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Slamboree 97–Another View

Hey Scott

Noticed you re-posted Slam 97 recently. I actually did a review of this back in Feb 2007. If you want, you could post this on the blog. It goes into a bit more detail and has match ratings.

All the best

Mikey

From the UK: WCW Slamborree 97

There’s actually a back story to this review. Basically, I’m waiting for some Wrestlemania videos to come through the post and was looking for something to review. I was shuffling through my DVD collection to find something and I saw this show. For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been pestering Scott Keith to do this one for years, seeing as it’s the only old WCW rant he’s not redone since his format change, and I felt I might as well bite the bullet and do this one myself. Scott absolutely tore it apart back in 97 but let’s see if it’s aged well.

Hosts are Tony, Dusty and Bobby with Mike Tenay popping in for the matches containing Cruiserweights.

We’re in North Carolina

WCW TV Title
(c) Ultimo Dragon w/ Sonny Onoo Vs Steve Regal
Yes Dragon had a major singles title here which is more than WWE ever did with him. Regal had been chasing the belt all through early even going as far to say that it meant more to him than any other belt in the company. Aim low and all that I guess. Lock up leads to a Regal wristlock but Dragon counters to his own. They fight over the arm with some solid chain wrestling. Regal gets a head scissors but Dragon flips out and we go to a test of strength. Regal goes to the straight jacket where you grab both guys arms and wrap them around his throat and then pulls back, adding a knee to the spine. Awesome! Dragon counters to one of his own, so Regal goes to the face with extra malice. Regal is so good at making everything look agonising, both with selling and inflicting.

Dragon tramples over Regal and gets the headstand in the corner before unloading with some vicious kicks. Dragon goes to a chin lock but rakes Regal’s face while doing it and then goes to a half Boston Crab. Swinging neck breaker lays Regal out but he fights back and sends Dragon to the outside with some stomps. Both guys are sort of tweener here with no guy really behaving like a face but I guess Dragon is the default face in this situation. Regal goes for the stretch but Dragon makes the ropes and pounds away with non-Dragonlike right hands. Dragon gets the cross arm breaker but Regal rolls him over into a Bow and Arrow. Dragon bites Regal’s arm and then delivers some more really stiff kicks before locking in the Indian Deathlock.

Fans start a big "Regal" chant which is certainly unexpected but can you really blame them? He IS a Lord after all! Dragon sends Regal outside where Onoo gets some cheap shots in behind the refs back. Dragon chastises Onoo and sends Regal back in where he gets the Dragonsteiner for a two count. Dragon goes up for a Moonsault but Regal moves and goes for the Stretch again but Dragon makes the ropes before it gets locked in. Dragon gets a sweet counter for a Butterfly Powerbomb by turning it into a rana for two. Regal gets two off a roll up but takes a spin kick to the face and a La Magistral for two. Standing Lionsault leads to Regal being sent outside but he develops a great counter for a diving body press, MOVE! Dragon, unperturbed, comes back with an Asai Moonsault and both guys are out. Dragon climbs back in and Onoo gets some more kicks. Dragon rolls out to put Regal back inside but Onoo turns on him allowing Regal to gain the advantage and The Regal Stretch for the win. God save the Queen!
WINNER - STEVE REGAL
Time of Match - 16:04
***1/4 - Solid technical wrestling match with oodles of cool counters and stiff shots.

Luna Vachon Vs Madusa
Oh yeah this will be awful I’m sure. Lee “I sound like I’m always constipated" Marshall does "Expert" commentary during the match. Luna gets a hairmare to start and yells at the crowd. Madusa attempts to fight back but gets clubbed down and choked on the ropes. Madusa fights back and gets a spin kick to the face but Luna fights back with the dreaded choke of doom. Madusa gets a Stinger Splash and some chops in the corner. Madusa nearly kills Luna with a lariat for two, good bump there by Ms Vachon, but Luna fights back with her dazzling array of chokes. Luna gets the Extreme Makeover and a neck breaker but misses a top rope splash and gets German Suplexed for the win
WINNER - MADUSA
Time of Match – 5:09
* – For the lariat bump. Madusa takes her top off post match to show off her implants

Mean Gene Okerlund is in the aisle hyping the WCW Hotline where he is joined by Randy Savage and Elizabeth. They kick him to the curb and come to the ring to address the crowd. He targets DDP saying he doesn’t want any of the Macho Man. DDP begs to differ by showing up with a crutch and Savage bails. DDP gets a choice burn on Savage by insinuating that he has a prior engagement to wash Hogan’s car. Ha Savage just got Pwned! Savage comes to get some of DDP but he gets worn out with the crutch. The nWo B Team and Eric Bischoff come down for a gang beat down so The Giant makes the save. Big pop for that, as you would imagine. Not a bad segment but you’d think on a Pay Per View that it would be better to actually have a match rather than a first hour Nitro angle. Still I guess I just can’t see the big picture. I’m sure that nWo stuff never got too tiresome did it?

Yuji Yasuraoka Vs Rey Mysterio JR
I officially vote Yasuraoka as having one of the hardest names to type in wrestling history. This is only his second WCW appearance too. I don’t know much of him but he was in the 1998 Best of the Super Junior. Rey looks much more lithe here than he does today. Yuji starts things off with a chinlock, which is never a good way to start a match. Rey targets the leg and grapevines them before getting a headlock. Yasuraoka gets some stomps and goes to a wristlock but Rey counters to his own. Yasuraoka gets a big clothesline for two and a spinning wheel kick for another two. Not much body on the cover though. Rey gets a back body drop and rana’s Yasuraoka to the outside. Rey gets a big Somersault Plancha to wake up the crowd and goes to a camel clutch inside.

Rey gets some chops but Yasuraoka kicks Rey on the way down for a two count. Yasuraoka gets some right hands in the corner and then goes to a Fujiwara Armbar. Yasuraoka stays on the arm goes to the Cross Arm Breaker. The match has had a much better flow since Yasuraoka went after the arm. They just seem more focused. Crowd is pretty quiet but Yasuraoka is doing some really good submission stuff and is generally taking Rey’s arm apart. Case in point he gets a run of speed and jumps outside sending Rey’s arm onto the top rope. Rey rolls outside and Yasuraoka follows him out with a plancha.

Yasuraoka suplexes Rey back in for two but he runs into a raised boot and takes a Split Legged Moonsault. Couple of pin reversals leads to Rey getting a Power Bomb. Rey has toally forgotten the arm work here which automatically deducts the match * on principle. Rey misses a top rope splash and Yasuraoka gets a Double Arm DDT for two. Rey counters another one with a Northern Lights Suplex foe two. Yasuraoka gets another spin kick but misses a charge in the corner. Rey dropkicks Yasuraoka and gets the West Coast Hop for the win.
WINNER - REY MYSTERIO JR
Time of Match – 14:58
**1/2 - There was some good stuff but Rey’s refusal to sell the arm ruined it’s chances of being anything else but average. Yasuraoka did some good submission wrestling but he didn’t really show much else.

Mortis w/ James Vandenberg Vs Glacier
Vandenberg is better known today as Jim “Sinister Minister" Mitchell. Mortis is Kanyon in a freaking green outfit. He looks sort of what Kane looked like in 2003 just before he lost his mask except with green replacing red. Glacier charges the ring but it costs him as Mortis lays into him with kicks and right hands. Mortis targets the knee and beckons Wrath down to the ring. Glacier amounts a comeback with a lariat and back body drop but Wrath comes in for the goofy DQ.
WINNER - GLACIER BY DQ
Time of Match - 1:51
Barely a match. Glacier gets the crap kicked out of him post match but Ernest Miller makes his WCW Pay Per View debut and saves Glacier from a further beating. This was really disappointing because the match they had at Uncensored 97 was much better.

Mean Gene shills the Hotline again. What shameless self promotion!

WCW United States Championship
(C) Dean Malenko Vs Jeff Jarrett w/ Debra McMichael
Yes Malenko was actually the champion at this point. Jarrett was also a Horsemen at this point as WCW were desperately trying to give him every rub possible. Lock up leads to a clean break in the corner. Just to show how unpopular Jeff is with the hardcore Horsemen fans the crowd breaks out into a big “Jarrett Sucks" chant. Jarrett gets an arm drag and does some strutting but Malenko, being the humourless grump that he is, will have none of that and takes him down to the mat with a chinlock. Jarrett breaks out but gets locked in a side headlock. they fight over the hold, with Malenko staying in control, and that swiftly moves to them fighting over the legs.

Malenko pretty much schools Jarrett with some good wrestling and gets a leg lock to ground him and take away the Figure Four. Jarrett gets some stomps and a dropkick for two. Jarrett, deciding to give up and play heel, uses the manager assisted Abdominal Stretch. They botch an Abdominal Stretch reversal spot so Dean stomps Jarrett to pieces out of frustration. They didn’t repeat the spot, which at least will make Scott Keith happy. Jarrett gets Malenko in a cross arm lock bur Malenko sends him into the corner and gets a back suplex for two. Jarrett nails a Swinging Neck Breaker and goes for the Figure Four but Malenko kicks him away and goes for the Texas Cloverleaf, which is countered to a small package for two.

Really good sequence there. Jarrett sends Malenko outside where he drops him throat first on the guardrail. Back inside, Jarrett gets a high cross body but Malenko rolls through for a two count. Jarrett gets one of his favourite moves, the sleeper, but Malenko bags him into a corner and gets one of his own. Jarrett counters with a shin crusher and gets the Figure Four but Malenko makes the ropes. Fans chant that Jarrett sucks again as both men collide heads. Debra tries to help Jarrett up but Steve McMichael, her husband at the time, comes out and drags her to the back, leaving Jarrett to the wolves. Malenko quickly gets the Cloverleaf and it’s all over
WINNER - DEAN MALENKO
Time of Match - 14:54
**1/4 - Not a bad match by any means but nothing ground breaking either.

Death Match
Meng w/ Jimmy Hart Vs Chris Benoit w/ Woman
Meng sends Hart to the back before the match even starts. This match came about because Benoit was feuding with Kevin Sullivan at the time who was in the Dungeon of Doom with Meng. Benoit gets a big pop from the pro Horsemen crowd. Benoit sticks a moves for a while to start with but Meng catches him and gets an overhead suplex. The rules of this match are basically just Last Man Standing, you don’t need a pin to start the count. Benoit fires off a German Suplex and goes after Meng’s legs but he gets kicked outside.

Benoit sends Meng face first into the ring steps but that barely fazes him. Test of strength goes Meng’s way and he chops Benoit in the corner but Benoit returns fire with some of his own. Meng no sells that as Jacqueline, Sullivan’s hoochie at the time, comes out to watch but Woman intimidates her to the back. Meng continues to destroy Benoit in the wing with a Half Boston Crab. The story they’re trying to tell here is that Meng doesn’t care about winning and simply wants to take Benoit out for Sullivan. Crowd gets behind Benoit as he makes the ropes, which for some reason breaks the hold. I never got that. Meng has the gall to no sell some chops and knocks Benoit down with a head butt. Meng just DROPS Benoit with a piledriver but he makes it up at 8.

Benoit gets the crossface on Meng but he rolls outside to break. Benoit pounds away as Meng continues to no sell his offence and crush him with ease. Meng clubs Benoit down to the mat but he gets up at 5 and dares Meng to bring it on. That’s why Benoit rules. Benoit gets up at 6 and again asks for more. Benoit gets the Multiple Gemran’s but Meng blocks at just two and sends sweat FLYING off Benoit’s chest with some chops. Benoit goes to the crossface again, which in the context of the match is a very smart move. Meng rolls outside again to break it so Benoit gets a suicide dive. Back inside, Meng tries to press Benoit off the top to the floor but Benoit flips out and gets the German off the second rope. Benoit goes for the Swandive but Meng catches him on the way down with the Tongan Death Grip and the ref stops the match
WINNER - MENG
Time of Match - 14:54
*** – The match was all Benoit selling but he’s very good at that so the match was good by proxy. Meng was good in his role but his no selling got very annoying at points. Creative finish though.

Hugh Morrus and Konnan w/ Jimmy Hart Vs The Steiner Brothers
I don’t know if there is a particular back story to this one. Scott and Morrus start out with Scott getting a top wristlock but Morrus pounds his way back in. Scott gets the Spinning Belly to Belly and tags in Rick who gets crushed in the corner. Rick fights back with an overhead suplex and a pair of Steinerlines. One from the top leads to Morrus bailing outside to regroup. Konnan comes in to have a go with Rick but he gets Steinerlined and suplexed in short order. Scott comes in with some shoulder barges in the corner but runs into some raised boots.

Scott shakes it off and suplexes Konnan again but gets tripped up by Hart to become your Roid Head in Peril. Plagiarism is only a crime if you get caught. Morrus and Konnan go after the arm of Scott with mostly rest holds and punching. Scott ducks a Morrus clothesline and nails Konnan with a suplex allowing the hot tag to Rick! Steinerlines are distributed in abundance and Morrus gets flattened with the top rope bulldog but Konnan saves at two. Morrus goes up for the Moonsault but he misses and Scott sneaks in with a Frankensteiner to give the Steiner’s the win.
WINNERS - THE STEINER BROTHERS
Time of Match - 9:35
*3/4 - Mostly a squash by The Steiner’s to build them up for a title win that didn’t come until months after it was too late. Konnan turns on Morrus post match which I think was the starting point of his nWo turn that finally led to him really getting over in the company.

“Battle of Super Bowl Champions"

Steve “Mongo" McMichael w/ Debra McMichael Vs Reggie White
I’ve heard so much bad stuff about this match. Mongo has to be one of the worst wrestlers in history. White shoves McMichael into the corner to start but Mongo goes to a side headlock and they do the “No one falls down on a double shoulder block" (Despite wrestling for over 4 years now I still don't know if that has a special wrestling name) spot. White finally knocks Mongo down so Mongo challenges him to do the three point stance. Mongo gets a chop block from that and does some showboating. White calls for another and this time leapfrogs to avoid it. Mongo gets sent to the outside and tries to walk out but some fat footballer drags him back in where White actually gets a dropkick. I guess that puts him one step higher than Erik Watts then.

Mongo goes to the arm with a wristlock and talks some smack, which serves to only piss White off and he sends him outside again. White gets a side headlock and cranks it on, showing more wrestling acumen than Mongo at this point but then so do I and I’m a worse wrestler than Snitsky. Mongo clips the knee from behind and then gets a side slam but he misses a leg drop. White goes back to the hold and gets a cross body for two. White goes to the nerve pinch which is a sure fire sign that this match is going nowhere fast. Mongo gets a low blow and then hotdogs for the camera before getting a head butt to the gut.

Mongo gets a Half Boston Crab, which would appear to be our transition move of the night. This match isn’t very awful at this point it’s just really basic and dull, which is the best these two can do I guess. Mongo heads up but gets thrown off by White as this match descends further more into farce. Finally, the two can’t resist the urge to punch and they both throw big fake looking rights and lefts at each other. I’m personally surprised it took them so long. White gets an Inverted Atomic Drop and sends Mongo outside. White manages a vertical suplex and a splash inside but Debra is disracting the ref allowing Mongo to grab the briefcase but White’s football buddy stops that. Jarrett runs down with another briefcase and Mongo nails White with it for the win.
WINNER - STEVE MCMICHAEL
Time of Match - 15:17
¼* – White wasn’t awful but everything he did looked awkward and laboured. Plus, Mongo is certainly NOT the guy you put in there with a rookie and expect to carry the match. The whole thing was one big disaster. And why would Jarrett help Mongo win when he cost him the US Title earlier? Just stupid

Main Event
No Disqualification
Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Syxx Vs Ric Flair, Roddy Piper and Kevin Greene
Syxx is better known as Sean "X-Pac" Waltman these days. Kevin Greene was a football player who had a shocking aptitude for pro wrestling. Flair gets the absolute monster pop, as you would imagine. Flair and Syxx start out with Syxx getting the advantage but he stops to taunt and Flair just PLASTERS him with a big chop. Syxx floors Flair with a spinning wheel kick and gets some chops in the corner but normal service soon returns with Flair taking over with chops of his own. Hall comes in and gets nailed and Flair even taunts Nash on the apron. Hall comes in but tags in Greene who is pumped. Pumped I say! Hall quickly tags out to Nash but Greene doesn’t back down.

Nash gets some knees to the gut in the corner and then talks some smack but Greene comes off the ropes with a big shoulder charge and a clothesline. Greene’s stuff is a million times crisper and well executed than White’s or Mongo’s was. Greene actually clears the ring forcing the nWo to regroup. Piper makes his first appearance in the match to go at it with Hall. Hall acts like a jerk and slaps Pipers braced hip so Piper slaps him in the face and unloads with some right hands in the corner. Piper gets muscled into the nWo corner but fights them all off but Nash distracts the ref allowing Syxx to sneak in and nail Piper in the leg setting up what looks to be the heat segment.

Hall goes for a Figure Four but gets kicked into the corner and Flair gets the tag. Flair beats the stuffing out of everyone but takes a thumb to the eye. Flair Flip in the corner leads to Flair attempting a cross body from the top but Hall catches him and gets the Fallaway Slam. Flair gets dumped outside where Nash gets a cheapshot giving Hall a two count inside. No one plays a better piece of shit than Scott Hall, except maybe Minoru Suzuki, you just want to slap that cocky grin off his face. Flair now seems to be the real face in peril and he takes a big side slam from Nash. Hall comes back in and slaps Flair around setting him up for a Bronco Buster. Fans chant “Faggot"at Syxx. Well, he did ask for it really for having such a gay signature move and he does hang around a lot with Hall. They could be more than friends if you know what I mean? Still, making gay jokes about Syxx is hardly original so let’s move on.

Flair and Syxx hit heads and Piper makes a blind tag. However, rather than get out of the ring he nails the ref, hey it’s no DQ, and a big brawl takes place with all 6 guys. Greene nearly takes Syxx’s head off with a clothesline. Flair nails Hall right in the Razor Ramon’s and locks in the Figure Four. Piper slaps the sleeper on Nash and Greene pins Syxx with the Power Slam to give the faces the win.
WINNERS - FLAIR, PIPER AND GREENE
Time of Match - 17:20
**** – This was a tremendously fun match and it was great to see Flair actually win in North Carolina for a change. Shame it all led nowhere but it was a great moment while it lasted.

The Inside Pulse
So this show certainly has some crap on it, make no mistake about that, but I’ve certainly seen worse and there’s still some good stuff to take out of it. The main event was a blast and Regal/Dragon was a solid technical wrestling match, plus most of the card was solid for what it was. Any show that contains Ric Flair mauling the genitals of Scott Hall is certainly worth a look for comedy purposes alone.

Comments

  1. The main event does seem like it could be fun, might have to check it out.

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  2. It was.  The heat was off the charts and like the review said Flair was booked to actually LOOK GOOD in his howntown!

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  3. I've still never seen this show, I'll have to give it a look at some point.  I see the tape on eBay every now and again.

    Anybody else think of the Glacier/Mortis/Wrath/Vandenberg/Ernest Miller stuff as a guilty pleasure?  Doesn't sound like they did much here, but I always enjoyed the goofiness of the storyline and the feud did produce some good matches, especially their Bash at the Beach 1997 opener.

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  4.  Agree about the whole Glacier angle, while it was stupid, those 4 guys did have some pretty good chemistry together in the ring.

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  5.  I think it also marked the only time that the Horsemen actually looked GOOD against the nWo.If WCW had the balls to do more booking decisions like that, then the Horsemen feud could have drawn money.

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  6. The_One_Millionth_VisitorMay 20, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    Yeah... Bischoff and Hogan had some say with that... Speaking of which.

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