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Assorted May-Per-View Countdown: WCW Slamboree 1996

The SmarK Retro Rant for WCW Slamboree 96

- Into the home stretch of WCW PPVs now, as we wrap things up with Slamboree '96 (which I didn't order back in the day and have only watched once since then) and then finish off with Road Wild '99 (which I watched live, but was very drunk while doing so). And then that'll be every WCW PPV ever, in the bag.  (I used to have a LOT of time on my hands.) 

- Live from Baton Rouge, LA

- Your hosts are Tony, Bobby & Dusty.

- This of course is the last, and worst, iteration of Dusty Rhodes' original "Battlebowl" idea, with "random" drawings forcing people to team up, with winners advancing until there's 8 people left for a battle royale to crown the "Lord of the Ring".

- Opening match: Road Warrior Animal & Booker T v. Road Warrior Hawk & Lex Luger.

Let's see if Booker can carry three guys at once. Oddly enough, Hawk & Animal have different variants on the same "Iron Man" ripoff. Luger was in full babyface mode at this point, in preparation for the impending nWo invasion. Animal starts with Luger and they do the dramatic lockup in the corner, before Luger stomps away. Powerslam, but he doesn't cover. Animal works him over in the other corner, and gets his own powerslam. Luger gets a suplex, which is no-sold, and Booker comes in to work on Luger's arm. Charge hits boot, and Luger gets a clothesline out of the corner to take over again. Okay, we've obviously mastered the punching and kicking, let's move into the 20th century now. Booker misses an elbow but recovers with a Spinarooni and sidekicks Luger. That gets two. It's funny - WCW marketed Booker as a viable contender while ignoring the marketing possibilities of the Spinarooni, while the WWE markets his catchphrases while ignoring the viability of him as a contender. That pretty much sums up their differences in a nutshell. (And that’s why one is still here and one is gone.)  Axe kick gets two. Partners Hawk & Luger get into a fight, which leads to a pier-six brawl, and Luger runs away from the fight. It's a double-countout at 6:55, which eliminates both teams from the tournament. That is so incredibly stupid that it can only have come from WCW. Horrible match, filled with bad wrestling. DUD

- The Public Enemy v. Kevin Sullivan & Chris Benoit.

This match really stretches the bounds of credibility as far as random drawings go. (It’s also pretty fucking depressing that 3 out of the 4 are dead.)  I mean, at least back in the early 90s (which I recently learned from the source that it WAS booked in advance, not truly random) (Wait, a wrestling event is predetermined?  HUBBA-WHAAAA?!)  the teams were suitably bizarre and thus seemed random. Benoit starts with Rocco Rock and gets pounded, and Rock hits him with a headscissors. That turns into a shoving match and stalling follows. Rocco gets a rana as Dusty and Bobby have a funny discussion about what would happen if they were partners. A second rana is reversed into a powerbomb by Benoit. He pounds away and brings Sullivan in, which turns the match into a brawl. That's smart, because 3 out of the 4 guys aren't good for much else. Sullivan pounds on Rocco with a chair, but gets put on a table. Benoit cuts off a dive by Rocco with a clothesline, but gets suplexed out of the ring. Sullivan and Johnny Grunge keep fighting on the floor, but Sullivan and Benoit both end up on the table, and the Public Enemy dive onto it, putting Benoit through when Kevin moves. Back in, Rocco gets the pin on Benoit at 4:44. This could have been SO much more if they had booked it like one of the crazy brawls both teams were known for. 1/2*  (Why the fuck would they put Public Enemy through to the next round anyway?  Who booked this crap?) 

- Sgt. Craig Pittman & Scott Steiner v. Rick Steiner & The Booty Man.

I've had nightmares involving these four guys wrestling each other. I mean, seriously, Rick Steiner and BRUTUS BEEFCAKE? Is that someone's idea of a sick joke? Kimberly is playing Brutus' "booty babe" as a result of DDP jobbing to him at Uncensored. So there's at least one (or two) things to watch here. Pittman and Booty start, and do a ridiculously bad mat- wrestling sequence. Pittman headbutts him low to end that charade, and Scott Steiner, who was not yet the Big Bad Booty Daddy and thus couldn't really be confused with The Booty Man at that point, comes in with a butterfly powerbomb for two. For some reason he tags Pittman back in, as Booty tags out to Rick. Pittman pounds on Rick, who cheerfully no-sells everything and powerslams him. Pittman gets a german suplex, but Rick comes back with a Steinerline and Pittman decides that cowardice is the better part of valor and tags out to Scott. This actually gets the crowd going, and Scott takes Rick down with a fireman's carry. Rick responds with a side headlock, but Scott goes behind to control on the mat. They do some mat-wrestling, and Scott gets a side suplex, but Rick gets a Steinerline. Scott suckers Rick into checking on him, and cradles for two. Scott gets a full-nelson, but Rick reverses to a german suplex and goes up. Scott follows and superplexes him, but Rick tags out to Booty to end the awesome. So we get Booty v. Pittman again and Pittman works on the arm, into the cross- armlock. Booty tags Steiner to escape the hold (which isn't actually legal), and Rick suplexes Pittman for the pin at 8:21. Oh man, that stuff with the Steiners fighting in the middle was shaping up to be one of the best matches of the year given some time and a proper match. (Sadly the eventual Steiners clash was junk, as Scott was too far gone to have a great match and Rick didn’t give a shit anyway.)  The rest was junk, so it evened out. **3/4 I briefly considered giving it another 1/4* in celebration of Kimberly leaving her bra in the dressing room, but then we've already seen her naked anyway.

- Lord Steven Regal & Squire Dave Taylor v. Hacksaw Duggan & VK Wallstreet.

Amazingly, it's another combination of archenemies facing regular tag team partners. Oddly enough, Mike Rotundo was playing a Wallstreet spoof of Vince McMahon 4 years before the WWF went public. Duggan and Regal start and we get a posedown-slash-stallfest. I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to guess who does what. Regal gets a cheapshot, but Duggan hiptosses him. Clotheslines send Regal running to the corner, and tags abound. Taylor and Regal work over Wallstreet's arm, but he fights back with forearms. Duggan and Wallstreet can't get the teamwork going, however, and Regal takes advantage with a beatdown on Duggan in the corner. Duggan & Regal collide, but Wallstreet won't take the tag. Duggan makes his own comeback, including nailing his own partner, and uses the ATHLETIC TAPE OF DOOM on Taylor for the pin at 3:49. Short and bad. 1/4*

- Dirty Dick Slater & Earl Robert Eaton v. Alex Wright & Disco Inferno.

Disco ducks away from Slater to start, in order to save the hair. Dancing follows. Slater chops away, prompting Disco to tag out. Eaton slugs away on Wright, but he fires back and gets a hiptoss and bad headscissors. Leg lariat gets two. Slater comes in with a neckbreaker, but Wright escapes a piledriver and Disco cleans house. Was that supposed to be the hot tag? It's breaking loose in Tulsa and Wright dumps Eaton, but Slater nails Disco with his boot and gets the pin at 2:56. Yeah, okay. DUD

- DDP & Barbarian v. Meng & Hugh Morrus.

This show gets better and better. Speaking of Hugh, I was watching bits and pieces of Confidential, and listening to him yelling at kids about how they'll never make it in the WWE was kinda surreal. I mean, this is HUGH FREAKIN MORRUS telling someone that THEY don't have what it takes to make it. All they need now is HHH to come out and tell the kids that they don't know how to work. (Well, he is running developmental now, so that’s probably closer to reality than we’d like.)  DDP grabs a headlock on Morrus to start, but gets dumped. Hugh follows with a pescado and misses by a mile. Back in, Page gets a lariat for two and brings the Barbarian in. This leads to the showdown of the Faces of Fear, as Meng starts pounding with chops. Barbarian overpowers him in turn and elbows away, but neither guy sells anything. Barbarian finally gets a back kick to drop Meng, and he presses Page onto him. Meng comes back with a headbutt and Morrus comes in and goes up right away. Flying elbow gets one. He changes his mind and goes up again, but DDP crotches him and Barbarian gets a belly-to-belly superplex for two. That looked pretty bad. Meng comes back in for some double-teaming and Morrus heads up for the moonsault, which gets two. It's BONZO GONZO and DDP eats a superkick from Meng while Barbarian hits Morrus with the KICK OF FEAR, and since DDP is in the ropes, Barbarian's pin counts and they win at 5:16. Who booked this shit? They tried, but the universal suck force bound them together too tightly. 1/2*

- Big Bubba & Stevie Ray v. Scott Norton & Ice Train.

Kill me now. It's like someone wanted to book Fire & Ice v. Harlem Heat, but decided to replace Booker T to ensure the worst match humanly possible. Why? Who would be cruel and inhuman enough to book such a match? Norton pounds on Stevie, but charges and hits boot. Stevie clotheslines him and brings Bubba in, as Norton does an astounding amount of selling for an astoundingly bad run of offense. Spinebuster gets two. Norton gives Bubba the worst faceplant ever seen on TV, and Juice Train gets a buttsplash for two. Clothesline and both guys are out, as even Tony is riffing on the excessive number of clotheslines in the match. When TONY SCHIAVONE thinks you're lame, you've got trouble. Norton comes back in and hammers on Stevie, but Bubba collides with his own partner and Norton pins him at 3:28. And thank god it's over. DUD

- Eddy Guerrero & Arn Anderson v. Ric Flair & Randy Savage.

If there's any justice they'll give this a decent amount of time. Arn attacks Savage while waiting for Flair to make his entrance, and Flair adds some punishment on his own partner until Eddy (still a babyface) makes the save. Flair chops away, but Eddy wants to bring it! Liz & Nancy quietly make their way to ringside. Eddy backdrops Flair and dropkicks him a couple of times, but Flair goes to the eye, and then nails Savage for fun. I guess that was a tag. Arn comes in and beats on Savage, with Flair's blessing, but Macho fights back. Arn keeps pounding in the corner, but eats boot. He gets the spinebuster for two, however. Flair tags back in, beats on his own partner some more, but Eddy pokes him in the eye and chops away. This is wild. Another dropkick sets up a tornado DDT, and Savage comes in and goes after Flair again, while Arn turns on his own partner and DDTs him. Flair gets the pin on Eddy at 4:05. Oh man, that match was amazingly fun stuff and it's tragic that they cut it off at 4 minutes. ** Liz and the Horsemen give Savage some more abuse on the floor afterwards.

- We review the winners and set up the next round of matches (determined by another "random" drawing, with one team getting a bye due to the double countout. Mean Gene and some Hooters girl select a team at random for the bye - Fire & Ice. The rest of the matches are drawn from there.

- WCW Cruiserweight title: Dean Malenko v. Brad Armstrong.

Tony talking about the "lengthy double-elimination tournament" for the belt (in reality: One match between Shinjiro Ohtani and Chris Benoit) is slightly bizarre given that even in 1996 it was easy to look this stuff up on the 'net. Also Dean is apparently a youngster. They do some mat-wrestling to start and Brad gets an enzuigiri. They fight over a hiptoss and neither gets it, but Brad armdrags him and Dean bails. Back in, Dean dropkicks the knee and wraps it around the post, going to work on it. He uses an Indian deathlock and gets a backdrop suplex. Brad reverses a fireman's carry into a sunset flip for two, but Dean goes back to the knee and keeps him down. Stump- puller (now there's a move you don't see everyday) and Dean goes back to the knee. He grabs a kneebar, but Brad makes the ropes. Pump splash hits foot, and Brad makes the comeback. Charge hits boot, but he gets a powerslam and goes up for a missile dropkick. He puts Malenko into a Texas Cloverleaf, but Dean makes the ropes. Brad gets dumped, but goes up again until he gets caught by Dean and hit with an Atomic Gutbuster for the pin at 8:25. Crowd didn't care about any of this, and you can thank Rey Mysterio Jr. for completely salvaging this division from the scrap heap. (Yeah, for all the talk about Eric believed in the lucha style and wanted to revolutionize the business with it and stuff, they were ready to jettison the whole thing before Rey Rey set the division on fire.)  Match didn't really work, either. **

- Dick Slater & Robert Eaton v. Hacksaw Duggan & VK Wallstreet.

Slater hammers on Wallstreet to start while Duggan takes Eaton. Duggan and Wallstreet want to go, but Duggan calls for peace...and Wallstreet turns on him and dumps him. Slater gets a legsweep on VK for two. Elbow and the Slater-Eaton team work him over in the corner, but he comes back on Eaton. Eaton bails and Duggan beats on him outside, and back in Wallstreet gets the abdominal stretch, but Duggan refuses to help out by grabbing his hand. What a wuss. Duggan tags himself back in and pounds everything that moves, and gets two on Slater. We hit the chinlock. Slater & Duggan collide and tags abound. Duggan & Wallstreet disagree and Eaton rolls up Wallstreet for the pin at 4:04. Well, at least it was short. 1/2*

- The Public Enemy v. Ric Flair & Randy Savage.

Liz throws out Savage's alimony money into the crowd, so Randy charges out and attacks Flair during his entrance. Security pulls them apart to prevent anything interesting from happening, and TPE wins by forfeit. GIMME A BREAK.  (Seriously, can you imagine how awesome Benoit & Sullivan v. Savage & Flair would have been?) 

- DDP & Barbarian v. Rick Steiner & The Booty Man.

I can't imagine this show getting much worse, so there's always that on the bright side. Just call me Positively Netcop. We're really rushing through now, so this should be short and painless. DDP pounds on Booty to start, but gets dumped. Tony actually stops to give a logical explanation for DDP's reinstatement following his retirement match: Since Johnny B Badd left the promotion and thus the match with Booty Man wasn't for the TV title, DDP was under no obligation to put anything up, either. Okay then. Steiner comes in and pounds Page, but gets dropped on the top rope. Barbarian uses the power of the foot on Rick, but gets caught with a backdrop suplex. Sloppy belly-to- belly gets two, but Barbarian no-sells and powerbombs Rick, for two. Booty accidentally ties up the referee's attention, allowing the heels to work Steiner over in the corner. Barbarian gets a clothesline, but Rick hotshots him and makes the "hot" tag to Booty Man. High Knee of Death gets two. Rollup is broken up by Page, and Barbarian GETS THE PIN at 5:05?!? From an ELBOW? Geez, is Brutus suffering from that brittle bone disease like Mr. Glass or something? DUD  (Well he did have that facial problem…wait, is this where he becomes the Man With No Face?  No, it can’t be, because he’s Booty Man when Hogan turns on him at Hog Wild.  It’s hard to keep up with Leslie’s gimmick changes.) 

- US title match: Konnan v. Jushin Liger.

Liger is sporting the EVIL BLACK TIGHTS tonight, but the pink boots sort of ruin the effect. Konnan only has one "N" in his name at this point. Konnan takes him down with a reverse bow-and-arrow to start, but Liger escapes. They do the wristlock reversal spot and lots of RVD-ish flipping results. Liger gets a senton and Konnan bails, which allows Liger to follow with a pescado. Back in, brainbuster gets two. Liger goes into a cross-armlock, but Konnan reverses to a Regal Stretch. Liger goes to a half-crab while the crowd snoozes. They exchange palm strikes and Liger gets the Koppo kick, and they head up. Liger gets a superplex and goes back up with a flying splash that gets two. Dropkick puts Konnan out, and Liger follows with a plancha, but Konnan catches him with a kick on the way down. Back in, Liger gets a fisherman's buster for two. Konnan gets a whiplash slam for two. Liger reverses a powerbomb into a sunset flip for two. Cradle gets two. Ligerbomb gets two. Liger goes up and lands on Konnan's foot, which sets up Splash Mountain for the pin at 9:30. Crowd was getting into it by the end. ***

- Flair and Arn Anderson are doing an interview, but Steve MacMichael interrupts and challenges them to a match for the next PPV. Kevin Greene comes out as Mongo's partner.

- Battlebowl finals: Scott Norton, Ice Train, Dick Slater, Robert Eaton, DDP, Barbarian, Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge.

This is just a plain old battle royale, with the winner getting a title shot at the Giant. Let me repeat that: The winner of THIS match, with THESE guys, was supposed to get a shot at the champion on PPV. This is why WCW was in so much trouble before the nWo. Usual kick and punch stuff with absolutely no storyline to the match. Page gets booted out by Barbarian, clearly eliminated, but the ref misses it (even though the camera shows it all). Gotta love WCW. More kicking and punching as guys randomly switch dance partners with no rhyme or reason. They should have done a Survivor Series elimination match or something to settle this. Rocco charges Barbarian and gets backdropped out. Slater hits Eaton with his boot and eliminates him. Slater follows him out via unseen elimination, and brawls with Eaton back to the dressing room. DDP dumps Norton, leaving four men. Ice Train powerslams everyone and forms an alliance with Barbarian, then turns on him. DDP Diamond Cuts everyone, and pins Grunge, and Train. Um, WHAT? Barbarian kicks out, however. This is retarded. What is this, the AWA World title battle royale? Where's Tom Zenk? (Still don’t know the answer to that question.)  Barbarian clotheslines Page for two. He charges and Page gets two in the corner. Page charges and Barbarian gets two. Tombstone piledriver (which looked like it nearly killed DDP) gets two. That was almost an OwenDriver. Sleeper is stopped by DDP going low, but Barbarian gets a powerbomb for two. Barbarian goes up, but misses the flying headbutt, and the Diamond Cutter ends it at 9:36. And the crowd goes apathetic. ** DDP didn't get his promised title match until more than two years following, at Halloween Havoc '98, and even then he had to win WarGames to earn that.

- WCW World title: The Giant v. Sting.

We've got like 10 minutes of airtime left here, so this should be quick. Those who give me that garbage about Big Show not being able to move faster and be thinner than he is now should watch his stuff from 1996, when he still sucked, but sucked in such a way that you could at least watch his matches without being embarrassed by it. This would be the point when Sting started growing his hair out, for whoever asked me a couple of weeks ago. Sting tries a bodyblock to start, but bounces off harmlessly. He keeps hammering on Giant and tries a sleeper, but gets shoved down. Seriously, Giant is MAYBE 400 pounds here. Maybe. If he got down to that size again and stayed there, I'd have no problem with him in the main events. Sting keeps bouncing off Giant, and bails. Back in, Sting tries an enzuigiri, but that gets no-sold. Giant charges and Sting tries a slam, but Giant falls on him for two. Giant elbow and he simply walks on him to set up another elbow. Back elbow puts Sting down again and Giant works him over in the corner. Headbutt low and Giant chokes away. Another elbow and we head to a bodyscissors. That's a pretty smart move, actually. Giant uses the ropes for good measure. That goes on for a while. Giant tosses him and sends him hurling down the aisle, but Luger prevents a chokeslam through the table by holding Jimmy Hart on the table. A REAL man would sacrifice his manager for the greater good. You think Ric Flair would have blinked twice before throwing JJ Dillon out there as a diversion? (JJ knew the deal.  Take the occasional Stinger splash in exchange for 10% of the Flair gravy train.  We’d all take that deal every day of the week and twice on Sunday.)  Giant misses a dropkick and the ref is bumped by mistake, as Sting makes the comeback and gets the Stinger Splash. He keeps hitting them, and Giant keeps not selling them. Giant finally goes down as Luger has Jimmy Hart tied up, but there's no ref. Sting makes the fatal error of going after Hart with another splash, misses, and then recovers with a flying splash for two. Ref is bumped again on the kickout, so Sting hits him with another splash and gets the Scorpion Deathlock. Luger "accidentally" hits Sting with the megaphone, chokeslam, goodbye at 10:40. Surprisingly good, given that they kept it around 10 minutes to compensate for Giant's weaknesses. ***

The Bottom Line:

Well, when the nicest things I can muster up about a show are that some of the matches are "surprisingly good" and "entertaining despite all the other crap" and "they tried hard but still sucked", you know there's not going to be much worth watching here. Not the worst show ever, but one of the weirdest in terms of booking, and certainly not one that you'd wanna watch more than once.

Strong recommendation to avoid.


  1. Yeesh between this and Starcade 1996 WCW not doing well on the site lately


    I was at a concert this evening in Pittsburgh and Mark Madden was sitting in a VIP section near me.  Had I known I'd be seeing him, I would have solicited grievances ahead of time to convey to him on behalf of decent people everywhere.

  3. Wasn't this the last Lethal Lottery/Battlebowl show? If so, good riddance. Man, that battle royal might be the shittiest group of 8 wrestlers I've ever seen in the ring at one time.

  4. Never really realized how thin WCW's roster was before. Outside of like the top 10 guys, everyone else was useless before the nWo and the cruisers came in.

  5. That's two paragraphs of my life I'll never get back again.

  6. I really like the Sting vs Giant match, but aside from that and the little Savage/Flair interlude, this may actually be the dullest PPV I've ever ordered. 

    Sadly, I was actually EXCITED for this back in 1996, because I kind of enjoyed the 1991 installment of the Lethal Lottery/BattleBowl as a kid (I hadn't seen any of the others at that point).  This was so flat though -- bizarre booking all around.

    Personally, I've always felt the the PPV scene in WCW in 1994 and most of 1995 were not as bad as people make it out to be -- Hogan was definitely stale on top after awhile, but he spent a lot of time against good workers like Flair and Vader and they seemed to plan out his angles well and had a coherent plan from month to month.  Sure, they jettisoned Austin and Foley for the Honky Tonk Man and Brutus Beefcake, but at least it was clear what they were doing -- copying 1987 WWF angles.

    No, for my money, the worst time in WCW was in between the end of Halloween Havoc 1995 and the Hall/Nash Invasion.  Maybe the jump the shark moment was the Battle of the Monster Trucks.  I actually think Nitro was part of the problem, because it caused any real long-term booking to go out the window.  It was getting over on the 'anything can happen' concept, but it turned the PPVs into a mess.  Hogan carrying around a sword, painted up like Kevin Sullivan?  Savage winning WWIII and Hogan unwisely throwing a fit in Norfolk VA that would have caused a crowd in NYC or Canada to turn on him?  Lock Ness, Z-Gangsta, the Uncensored cage match?  The leprechaun?  The Bootie Man?  All of those things came in that six month period... with Hacksaw Jim Duggan on the undercard.

    The only good thing going on was Liz turning on Savage, the Giant's world title run, and maybe Starrcade which had a nice concept gimmick even though, much like Slamboree, came really out of left field and left the crowd totally flat.

    The NWO couldn't have come around at a better time.


  7. I was a young mark at the time so take my impressions for what they are worth.

    Monster trucks were pretty bad but in hindsight no worse then the Doomsday Cage with Hogan and Savage beating 8 guys (including Flair, Luger, Anderson, and Meng). Both events lacked credulity, but at the time I liked the Doomsday Cage for its novelty.

    I will forever be a mark for stacked cages on top of each other, but what I would really like to see is different themes in each cage, like IC title in the first cage, Tag Titles in the 2nd cage, and World Title in the 3rd cage. I wont hold my breath considering WWE's current MO of playing things safe and still doing a million ladder, HIAC, and Tables matches that weve seen dozens of times before. But yes even I realized at the time at the age of 10 Hogan & Savage beating 8 guys was cheesy as hell.

    That whole Uncensored 96 Pay Per View is a candidate for worst of all time IMO.

    So yeah that era sucked, but didnt Giant squash Flair for the World Title in this time frame? Not a great match but a huge Nitro moment for the kids who badly wanted to see Flair lose. Yes it was a dark period, with the only high point being Nitro innovating PPV matches on weekly programming like Hogan/Sting and Savage/Flair. The NWO couldnt have come at a better time.

    Personally its amazing to me what a 180 I have turned as a fan as Ive gotten older, but stuff like this harkens me back to my youth and I can actually in some way relate to why Cena is pushed so hard right now for the kiddies.

  8. Re: the OP : Was DDP really promised a title match? He was a bonafide midcarder at the time which is why Im skeptical. And from here he had a feud over the Battlebowl ring with Guerrero or Bagwell right? And that was midcard too. I dont remember DDPs push coming till much later.

  9. The monster truck stuff all seemed lame to me, but the cage match was a great idea in theory. 

    In fact, you're not the only person who thought the Uncensored cage match was intriguing -- the ratings leading up to that show were strong and the PPV did the best buyrate they'd done since since Bash at the Beach in July, with WW III and Starracade in particular both doing very poor numbers.  I missed it myself at the time, and I've never seen the full PPV aside from the cage match, but as I recall it was actually a decent show overall, wasn't it?

    Yeah, Nitro was really a hot show at the time and I think it saved them.  It didn't seem to matter whether or not the PPVs were good or poorly received, because Nitro had the stink of excitement on it and people watched it anyway.

  10. TheRealCitizenSnipsMay 17, 2012 at 2:59 AM

    Isn't Bill DeMott actually a respected trainer now? Or maybe that's just a WWE line. Ah fuck it, who cares, I really just wanna dance, man. 

  11. Something I've been wondering and since it's around this time period, I'll throw it out here. What if Nash and Hall don't jump? What would the rest of 1996 look like for WCW? I'd guess that the Doom/Horsemen feud would have lasted throughout the year. It seemed liked Flair was gonna get the title from Giant, I'm sure we would have gotten a War Games between them, and I'd bet that the plan for Starrcade was Sullivan vs Flair for the title. 

  12. The winner of the Battle Royal was promised a WCW World Title shot at the Great American Bash, but since DDP was 'technically' eliminated during the battle royal, he was allowed to remain the Battlebowl winner but didn't receive his title shot. 

  13. Scott, you will be happy to learn I've uncovered the truth of Wallstreet's real name- it's Mike RotundA, as told to me by Ted DiBiase. He namedropped him when I discussed Money Inc. with him at this year's Calgary Comic Expo, and I was nerdy enough to ask him the correct pronounciation. "Well, he's italian, and I'M Italian, so I should know". He's a nice guy.

  14. I watched the Nitros around this time, and there was just something I couldn't get over. The fact it took DDP, what, 2 years to move his hands 6 inches closer when he'd throw'em in the air? It bugged me to no end when he'd just throw up 10 fingers. 

  15. Was WCW's super-secret double elimination Cruiserweight title tournament also held in Rio de Janeiro?

    I was just thinking...wouldn't that be a great Are You Serious? episode where Puppet H could unearth some "rare footage" of the matches from the Rio tournaments that Buddy Rogers and Pat Patterson won? Like, there has to be at least 3 Patterson vs. random 70s jobber matches taped but never aired...Puppet H could have backstories for the 3 jobbers, and presto! Instant fake reality!

    Ok. I just got into work and I already don't want to be here so I'm letting my mind wander

  16. It's amazing that WCW followed up possibly its worst PPV ever with inarguably its best 2 PPVs back-to-back with Great American Bash & Bash at the Beach.

    It's even more jarring when you watch the Nitros from 1996 - the whole company sucks for about 5 months & then all of a sudden, everything clicks at once (nWo, Horseman, Savage/Flair, Mysterio, etc.)

  17. The ten fingers thing traced back to when Kimberly used to hold up scorecards during his matches. She'd work her way up to a "10+" for the finisher.

  18. Yup.  I suspect that segment was from the next night's Nitro.

    The more pressing mystery was the whole "Benefactor" storyline, which I think was obviously intended to be DiBiase but they just kind of forgot the whole thing in spite of it dovetailing into DDP's recruitment by the nWo.

  19. It was made really obvious during WWIII 95.  That first one had some remarkably obscure guys in it who were hanging around the bottom of the roster at the time.  At least most of the guys on this show are names of some form of another.

  20. I remember being beyond puzzled at the result of this show. DDP won? Seriously? He was still such a midcard jobber in my eyes (and I guess everyone elses too) I really couldn't understand why he won. It was at this point I was slowly slipping away from wrestling...I hated that HBK beat Bret at Mania earlier since Bret was my favorite at the time. All of a sudden the nWo forms out of nowhere and I came screaming back in.

  21. Oh sure... like his witty comeback you arses.

  22. I think you could get away with something like this as an episode of RAW or Smackdown.

  23. Sullivan vs. Flair for the title at Starrcade would have been insane.  No offense to Sullivan but he was never a main event draw, and besides the Horseman were heels by the end of the GAB.  If the NWO never happened I'd say Flair would have gotten the title back by the Fall but assuming his injury still happened that would have screwed up all the booking plans for Starrcade.  Honestly I would have kept the title on Giant till Starrcade and had Sting dethrone him.

  24. I always thought he was just giving himself a Self High Five?

  25. WTF were they thinking with Starrcade 95 though.  You use the biggest PPV of the year to showcase a badly underhyped group of NJPW guys?  And you couldn't do this at the early 1996 Clashes?  Yeesh.

  26. I actually think Hogan would still have gone heel for one.  They were clearly testing the waters of it late in the previous year and the crowds were getting so openly hostile with him that I think they would have eventually forced him that way. 

  27.  Yeah, I agree, I think Giant would have ended up having a crazy long reign.

  28. Yeah they turned it around crazy fast.  I think they had all the pieces, just not in the right places.  I think they suffered from the same thing Vince did the rest of 1996 and 1997 -- trying to play the nostalgia card too much and trying to make the early 1990s styled gimmicks work.

  29. Thinking about it I would replace Sting with Savage.  They had never fought before this show correct?

  30. Yeah, the timing and methods of hyping the NJPW guys (on the 6:05am Pro show) definitely seemed odd, although I suppose Starrcade had spent the better part of the last five years or so as more of a gimmick show and Hogan was on scheduled vacation until February-ish, so perhaps he just figured it was going to be a weak show and/or that Starrcade was no longer the flagship show.  Of course, by the next year it was definitely back in the running, so who knows.

    Good show though, always enjoyed it despite the bizzaro world concept.

  31. Probably. I'm still not sure who were the faces in the Horsemen/Doom feud. Maybe turn Hogan by having be the mystery partner for Doom in a War Games match and run heel Hulk vs face Flair for the title at Starrcade.

  32. I'm not so sure. They were clearly retooling the Horsemen for a big run and I would think that meant a title run for Flair. 

  33.  I'm not sure if it's right for Are You Serious? but this is an awesome idea.  Fake backstories would be hilarious.  Have overdubbed announcers talking about the sweltering Rio heat and the local customs that never made it on air.  If the jobber lands a clothesline, act like it's his finisher and Patterson just bounced right back from it.  And finally, build up the animosity between the North America and South America as their champs wage war.

  34. True -- the Savage/Flair feud was pretty hot and he ended up winning it early 1996 anyways, so I wouldn't have been shocked if they returned to it if the Giant's run had not gone well especially, or later in the year.

  35. I keep forgetting that Bischoff couldn't decide whether Starrcade was the "biggest" event of the year, hence the NJPW angle.  The fact that they never properly hyped it is mind-boggling though.

  36. What a weird thing to think about now lol  It's just hard to imagine things minus the NWO.  That would have been kind of fun though.

    That reminds me, did Hogan and Flair ever team up as a tag-team?  I don't recall it ever happening (maybe once on Nitro in 1999?), but that would be another one of those 'things you thought you'd never see' deals.

  37. Pretty amazing to think about how long Flair and Savage feuded and it never really lost any steam. Psycho crazy babyface and women stealing playboy heel. Perfect match.

  38. This card makes Over The Limit look like WM X-7 in comparison.

  39. I've blocked post 1998 WCW out of my mind so I'm not sure. Weren't they both members of the Millionaire's Club? Or one of the endless sting of stables that Russo threw at the wall while he was there.

  40. Ah yes, the fabled "post-Bischoff/pre-Russo" WCW era.  I always wondered who would have gotten the keys to the kingdom if Russo never showed up.  Probably Bischoff again.

  41. I think Hogan vs. Sting would have been more likely. Sting has always been the super babyface in WCW (even when Hogan was there, has was still a solid #2 with not even Savage touching him) so I think it's only the most logical choice....... oh, which if I think about again, would result in WCW NOT doing it and booking Hogan vs. Piper instead.

  42. It defied probability in the early Battlebowls when once every show you had The Enemies Teaming Together match, The Partners Against Each Other match, and the Tag Partners Randomly Get Picked Together match. This one had that with EVERY match, and they expected no one to notice? How stupid. Although IIRC, The Blue Bloods didn't get picked randomly but rather it was supposed to be Regal & Finlay, and then Finlay got injured or whatever and Taylor was the replacement.

  43. Rob Zombie headlined over Megadeth?  Say what?  I mean, I get Lacuna Coil being in the mid-card, they're Italian and such, but Zombie over Mustaine?  That's weird as shit.

  44. Yeah, LC opened for 45-45 min, playing a bunch of their new album.  Megadeth played for a bit over an hour (maybe an hr 10 or 15?), and then  Zombie the same.

    But here's the thing...Zombie toured with Slayer last year, with Exodus opening, neither of whom had anything new out at the time.  I wasn't able to go, and had already seen Exodus do that set and Slayer most of theirs, so I skipped it (same venue).  I went this time since I'd never seen LC, plus Megadeth has a new CD out/I've been listening to them since before RiP/their original bass player is back, so it was worth it.

    BUT, anyone who went to see Zomie both this year and the last got the *exact* same set list from him.  Had Zombie been the draw for me in both cases and I didn't care about the openers at either show, I'd have been mighty pissed paying money to see the exact same show two years in a row.  I stayed to watch Zombie simply so that I got my money's worth.  And after hearing his set, I can safely conclude that he still doesn't do a damn thing for me (never did even with White Zombie), and TBH I watched him mostly for the stage show, which at least was entertaining.

  45. Not a Zombie fan, but it's good to see Lacuna Coil and Megadeth switching up their set, I'm huge fans of both and would love to see them live, are they good?  And it seems that plenty of artists get stuck in their ways and do the expected, Lacuna Coil still sounds like Lacuna Coil, but I dig their new album and their new material.

  46. I sort of vaguely remember them announcing on TV that the 1996 version was not a random draw, but chosen by the 'championship committee' or some fictional body in order to justify the pairings.


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