Saturday, April 25, 2015

WWF Shotgun Saturday Night: February 22, 1997

LIVE from the depths of Shawn Michaels’ ass-crack (hey, I found his smile!) – it’s Shotgun Saturday Night! Of course, we’re not actually live, because we scrapped this show’s format weeks ago. But … it’s Saturday night! Taped on some other night!

VINCE MCMAHON and JAMES E CORNETTE welcome us to Some Unclear Location in front of … well, a fairly big crowd all told.

THE BRITISH BULLDOG (1-2-0) vs. CRUSH (3-2-0) (with Clarence Mason)

Someone appears to have doodled a penis on Crush’s forehead.


Cornette takes offense to the crowd chanting “Jailbird” since the folks in attendance look like “they’ve spent a few nights slummin’ with the warden”. Yes – but were they tattooed with phallic scribbling? That’s the real key to knowing if you’ve truly been on the inside. PG-13, A WELL DRESSED MAN, and D’LO BROWN head down to ringside to support Crush, which is a double cross of Clarence Mason’s clients – and before we can find out what happens, we take a commercial break.

OWEN HART and his Slammy have come down to even the odds, and in fact play peacemaker, shaking the hands of his good friend Clarence. Crush doesn’t need the help anyway, as a belly to belly suplex sets up the dreaded nerve hold of eternal damnation. A big boot only gets 2 – shocking considering the eternal damnation of that nerve hold he just felt. A backbreaker gets 2, but only because Crush took about 8 years to go for the pinfall after hitting the move. Gotta keep on top of your man – prison should have taught you that! The black power fist sets up an elbowdrop, but it misses and Bulldog hits a neckbreaker. A standing vertical suplex (6 seconds!) dizzies Crush, and Bulldog dumps him before throwing a cheap shot at a Nation member on the apron! Back to Crush, Bulldog suplexes him back in, but SAVIO VEGA hooks his leg, tripping him up, and Crush falls on top for the pin at 8:22. *1/2

Bulldog freaks out, and calls Clarence Mason back to the ring. “Whose side are you on? And whose side are YOU on?” – glaring at Owen on that second one. Bulldog fires Mason no fewer than 8 consecutive times, to really get his point across. Owen completely disagrees, but stays loyal to family.

TL HOPPER (0-1-0) vs. GOLDUST (2-4-0)

Marlena’s absent of course, still tending to injuries from the unnamed Amazon woman who shook her like a martini on Monday night. Hopper looks exceptionally confused by the concept of Goldust, and Cornette helps us out by pointing out “they don’t have things like Goldust down in Tennessee”. Of course, mind games aren’t expected to work here because “Hopper doesn’t even have the game pieces”. Cornette’s so on fire tonight he’d ignite Jake Roberts’ breath if he got too close. Goldust wins with the Curtain Call at 4:39. DUD

After recapping the entire saga of Monday Night’s attempt to run the title match between Bret and Sid, SYCHO SID hits the live arena to share what’s on his mind with KEVIN KELLY. Dear god yes, Kevin, please don’t miss a beat here! I need to know how he feels about all the hottest topics of 1997. Does he agree with Princess Diana’s stance to ban land mines? What do we make of the rise of Microsoft as the world’s most valuable company? Does he enjoy Savage Garden? Is Tony Blair truly the best the UK can do? Does the prosecution have a tighter case for OJ’s civil trial? Was he really at McDonalds with Kato at the time of the murders? Is the golfing world ready to accept Tiger Woods? Did he consider taking a bit part in the summer hit “The Full Monty”? Come on Kevin, don’t let me down. Unfortunately, Kevin Kelly is still Kevin Kelly, and he does the second best thing – just let Sid ramble about whatever he feels like. He circles the ring while screaming words that vaguely tie in “Undertaker” “Sid” and “I’m The Man”. Whatever the case, Sid doesn’t seem remotely concerned about his upcoming series with Taker – an unlikely candidate to ever shit his pants in the presence of the phenom.

THE HEADBANGERS (3-1-1) vs. THE GODWINNS (1-3-1) (with Hillbilly Jim and Cletus T Judd)

Jesus Christ, can we PLEASE stop running out this combination on every second edition of this show? When the main eventers aren’t in the house, this roster is *terrible*. Thankfully, we aren’t subjected to this, when two homosexual cowboys, allegedly “BARRY WINDHAM” and “JUSTIN HAWK BRADSHAW”, run in at 1:26. They beat the piss out of the swine farmers, and Vince calls for a commercial break.

THE HEADBANGERS (3-1-2) vs. THE NEW BLACKJACKS

Brokeback Mountain got themselves booked in place of the Godwinns, who’ve … simply vaporized, apparently? There were 4 of them, they just openly agreed to leave? Why aren’t more fans storming the ring during every Godwinn appearance then? We’d be rid of them in no time! Bradshaw is billed as the son of Blackjack Lanza, because apparently the truth (he’s his nephew) would simply kill his credibility. As stupid as Bradshawk looks, Windham looks positively ridiculous with the jet black hair and wispy moustache. I’m all for changing up your look; in fact, Bradshaw underwent one of the finest transformations of all time when he became JBL, but trading out your trademark blonde mop for a handful of shoe polish and a 70’s prison pussy probably isn’t the smartest of career moves. THE GODWINNS return to break this up at 2:17.


Paul Heyman’s phone call from RAW is replayed. Will ECW actually show up on RAW in the Manhattan Center? That’s the big question between now and then – and we’ll be headed over there after an exciting episode of Superstars, so hold on to your socks boys and girls, it’s gonna be a big one.

Friday, April 17, 2015

ECW Hardcore TV: February 22, 1997

It’s been awhile – but the last time we left off with Hardcore TV, we’d spent the last two weeks re-living memories from Crossing the Line Again. We’re now 3 weeks removed from that special event, and with Cyberslam happening later today, we should see some new footage and angle development.

Hiding out in an empty subway stairwell, RAVEN chats about his #1 obsession – My Little Pony. That’s right, he’s a full-fledged Brony. Of course I am kidding, his life is, was, and always will be Tommy Dreamer. Apparently Tommy believes that his time is now, but it will never ever be his time. Nor will it be for his mentor, 53-year old Terry Funk. “What infuriates me most of all, is that you’re so old you could be my father. And I hate my father! I’m gonna beat you and hit you like that bastard did to me. My father beat me Terry Funk, and I’m gonna beat you the same way.” After musing about all the psychological damage he’s done to the Sandman, he reflects on the lost Stevie Richards. He left, just like everyone else, wanting to be his own man. He offers Stevie one last chance to come back, and he’ll forgive all. This guy really needs a little time with Dr. Shelby.

JOEY STYLES can’t wait for Barely Legal in April, the promotion that’s all the talk of the Monday Night Wars. No immediate response to the WWF’s challenge on Monday, instead opting to take us through a look at Raven’s torture of the Sandman and Tommy Dreamer. Dreamer is still without a win over Raven, no matter how much he’s beaten the man. And then there’s Terry Funk, the old man who is pleading with the company for one more title shot. As it stands, all these guys will have a chance to hunt Raven at Barely Legal – the main event isn’t set and we’ll be establishing that in the coming weeks.

THE SANDMAN vs. D-VON DUDLEY (with Sign Guy Dudley)

Sandman’s entrance lasts long enough for him to chug three beers; and while the act admittedly doesn’t take him very long, he’s got a couple of cigarettes to work over in between. Match preparation can’t be rushed. The fans offer emotional support by chanting “FUCK HIM UP SANDMAN, FUCK HIM UP!” This is a rematch from CTLA, where Sandman was destroyed at the hands of the now united Dudley Boys. We re-live that and miss the opening bell, coming back in time to see D-Von and Sandman engaged in sword play with a chair against a Singapore cane. Chair wins this round, and Sandman is staggering – either punch drunk, or just drunk. On the floor, D-Von asks the fans to TESTIFY, while laying in some, slow ass punches. They circle around the ring with D-Von throwing a new punch every 15 seconds or so, carrying this one for a few minutes. Sandman eventually backs up and hits a drop toe hold, sending D-Von face first into the support post. In his fog, he sees D-Von’s glasses, and decides to wear them. I’ve been there bud – everything seems like a good idea at closing time.


Sandman crawls around under the ring looking for god knows what; maybe a table, maybe a Singapore cane, maybe the Ultimate Warrior, but he comes up with a ridiculously tall red ladder. Mistaking this for D-Von, he suplexes the ladder – but thankfully, it falls on D-Von, making the move a success. Back in the ring, the ladder is set up in the corner, and Sandman’s got that drunken smile on his face – the one where you’ve managed to remember all the words to “Freebird” while performing karaoke. D-Von reverses an Irish whip, and Sandman hits the ladder. D-Von traps Sandman under the ladder and drops a leg. Using the ladder for leverage, he still only gets 2. D-Von heads up, but Sandman drunkenly stumbles into the ropes – D-Von falls off the top, but hits the ladder on the way down, catapulting it upwards into the Sandman’s face. That’s a pretty unique spot, and probably should have been the finish, but, well, ECW. After the inevitable kickout, D-Von sets up the ladder and tries a splash from about ¾ of the way up – but Sandman moves and D-Von bellyflops. Sandman nails a DDT, and heads up to the ceiling – where he swings off a beam and drops a leg onto D-Von for the pin at 9:42. From a pure trainwreck standpoint, this was kinda fun – but wrestling it ain’t. *

JOEL GERTNER hits the ring for the official decision, but before he opens his mouth, he takes a Singapore cane to the face, yielding a man-sized pop. BUBBA RAY DUDLEY attacks from behind, but Sandman’s not having anything tonight, single-handedly beating up both guys … until they hit the 3-D out of nowhere, and leave him lying as we head to commercial.

Via satellite, impending ECW imports GRAN NANIWA, GRAN HAMADA, and THE GREAT SASUKE pimp Michinoku Pro wrestling, which is the ECW of Japan. English ain’t their strong suit, but Sasuke will more than make up for that in the ring.

TAZ (with Bill Alphonso) vs. SCOTT TAYLOR

This is Taz’s return to the ring, in preparation for Lance Storm at Cyberslam. Taylor is of course a ridiculously young Scotty 2 Hotty, and he’s got a phenomenal 80’s mullet on the go. Taz bitch slaps Taylor, and when Taylor gives it right back it may as well be a death sentence. A cross armbreaker is only broken up by a foot on the ropes. If there’s no DQ, why bother letting go? Taylor hits a savate kick and follows with a dropkick sending Taz to the floor. Giving Taz a chance to breathe is probably a mistake, and Taylor knows it, hitting a springboard plancha to keep the little monster down. Back in, Taylor gets caught in an overhead front facelock suplex, and Taz feeds him a clothesline that turns Scotty inside out – just in case he had any misconceptions of winning this one. Taylor ducks a big boot, slides to the outside, trips Taz up, and crotches him on the ringpost! A springboard clothesline gets 2, and that’ll be the end of Taylor’s offense. A t-bone about kills the poor guy, and the Tazzmission finishes at 6:06.Taz, when given someone who can pinball around the ring for him, looks like the midget prototype for Brock Lesnar today. **

TAKA MICHINOKU, TERRY BOY, and DICK TOGO check in via satellite. THE BWO join them, and Stevie apologizes for the interruption, but due to the overwhelming popularity of their group, they need expansion. Taka: “Oh, international?” And that’s exactly what they have in mind, offering shirts to the trio. All 6 lead a “BUY THE SHIRT” chant as we take another break.

Man – I thought we might get through this show SHANE DOUGLAS free, but no such luck. FRANCINE is hanging on, and Douglas is in a bad mood. He didn’t care for the comment that Funk made that the ECW title is the only belt worth going for, because he’s made the TV title mean something. “Terry Funk, you do it your way, the ECW way, and I’ll do it my way.” He shoves his tongue down Francine’s mouth, who comes up for air and lets us know “and he does it so well”. I feel like I caught several diseases just watching that.

CHRIS CANDIDO carries on like a lunatic, about what I *think* is a promo against Rob Van Dam. It’s hard to tell, because he’s buzzing around like a bee on cocaine.


Fan Cam footage from last weekend shows the return of SABU, confronting TAZ. Before they throw down, THE ENTIRE LOCKER ROOM rushed the ring to keep them apart. There’s something decidedly un-hardcore about keeping guys from fighting. Just as the credits roll, Sabu manages to bust through the wall of wrestlers and hit Taz with a hands free plancha! The guys roll around on the ground, throwing punches, and we are out of time. Infomercials are NEXT!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

WCW Nitro: February 24, 1997

One year ago this week: Kimberly and Johnny B Badd share their last carriage ride together before he heads off for browner pastures on the 02/24 Saturday Night. Love is a fickle matter, because by the 02/26 Nitro, she traded in her Frisbee for Booty Shorts, making eyes at Ed Leslie. And, most importantly, over on the 02/26 Prime, Cobra did battle with James Earl Wright, in the war of the feds vs. the state. Click through, enjoy, I’ll still be here when you’re done.

fg76: Angry about Hogan winning the way he did. Just wasn't what it should have been. This should have been the moment the yellow and red Hogan showed up and destroyed Piper or Piper beating the weak heel Hogan. What happened was garbage and I was a Hogan fan.

While I was busy being angry about the Savage turn like it was 1997 all over again, completely lost is the fact that Piper beat Hogan clean as a sheet, in front of the watchful eyes of Mark Curtis. The WCW referees were a class of bumbling idiots, but Mark Curtis always seemed above the rest of them. The guy was exceptionally observant, and keen eyed fans could see his enthusiasm for everything he did. It is positively mind-boggling that this guy, who watched Hogan’s arms drop just 6 inches from his face, somehow let himself be manipulated into believing that hmmm, maybe Hogan’s leg WAS under the rope. I mean, wrestlers wouldn’t lie, would they? If they wanted to pull this garbage they may as well have assigned Nick Patrick to do the job. Instead, WCW looks dumber and dumber with every passing moment.

What’s left for us now? Piper, fighting for his son’s name, got completely betrayed by WCW’s ineptness. Randy Savage, the wild eyed lunatic who was as likely as anyone to put a screwdriver in Hogan’s skull is now his best friend. DDP is fantastic, but as a world title contender? To quote himself, I don’t think so. The Giant’s been done to death. Hacksaw Duggan is too busy searching for “Terry” to be bothered with Hogan. Sting got another knife in the back, so he’ll probably be wiping his tears in the rafters for another 6 months before doing anything about it. The Horsemen and Dungeon of Doom can’t stop obsessing about each other for 5 minutes. It comes back to the same person it’s always been, but that WCW seems hesitant to move on: Lex Luger. Luger has been the hottest babyface in the company for nearly a year now, and in that timeframe he’s had exactly 1 major title shot (Great American Bash). He never loses, the fans are treating him like the second coming of Hulk Hogan, and he’s the only WCW superstar in the company that they haven’t hurt with repeatedly one-sided booking. I think it’s safe to say he’s gonna be stripped of the tag-team titles tonight, and the logical route to take is to bully Bischoff into a World Title shot, with the Giant acting as his bodyguard against any potential shenanigans. Run with this through Uncensored or even Spring Stampede, and you’re printing money.

This is unless, of course, they decide put the rocket on Meng and the Barbarian, in which case I’m done with Lex Luger.

One night removed from a fantastic pay-per-view completely ruined by an awful main event, THIS is Nitro! TONY SCHIAVONE and LARRY ZBYSZKO try and get us up to speed through the popping pyro, but we have no time for Tony to even bring us a single still shot from last night’s show, because the ring is already filling with bodies.

THE PUBLIC ENEMY (4-1-0) vs. JEFF JARRETT and MONGO MCMICHAEL (with Debra McMichael)

Last night, Jarrett pinned Mongo and as a result he’s officially a Horseman, apparently. I still have no idea how the hell this came to be, or how it makes sense. Mongo’s wife is clearly in love with this guy who desperately wants to become best friends with Mongo himself, except nobody likes him, but now Mongo will put up with him because of a match stipulation. Get it? Got it? Good. Rocco starts with Mongo, and he throat punches the big man a few times. Both guys trade out, and Jarrett takes a neckbreaker from a dancing Johnny Grunge. Mongo finally has enough and blindsides Rocco when he steps a little too comfortably near the heel corner, and the Horsemen take over. Jarrett hits a drop toe hold, and Mongo follows with a legdrop. Teamwork from the mortal enemies? Debra’s got a smile so wide that I’m shocked she’s not trying to cool down with a cigarette. 3 point stance gets a big thumbs up from Jarrett, and Jeff hits a powerbomb for 2. Debra hands the Haliburton to Mongo, and he HAPPILY accepts it, immediately waffling Jarrett and the Public Enemy get the win and 4:36. Debra is livid, but Mongo happily owns his actions here. *1/2

ARN ANDERSON and RIC FLAIR join the boys in the ring with “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND. Mongo said he’s been told to treat Jarrett like family, so he’s taken him in like a little brother. And, like all annoying little brothers, he needs to be slapped around. Flair, who’s absolutely pimpin’ tonight, reminds Mongo that he promised if Jarrett could win, he was in. Being a Horseman means being a team player, so he wants these guys to remind everyone why they’re the symbol of excellence. Arn’s even more desperate, reminding us that “The Dungeon is getting stronger” (REALLY?!? THIS is where their attention is?!?), and wants a hand shake right now. Mongo smiles, and tells Jarrett that he might mess with him, but nobody else will, he promises. Fingers in the air!

GALAXY vs. JIM DUGGAN (3-0-1)

Now THIS is the kind of Worldwide match up that really gets my juices flowing! … Unfortunately this is Nitro, and this is kind of ridiculous. I dislike wasted TV time during your most popular show; and this just feels like space to talk about Macho Man, even though we have TONS of time to do that. Duggan beats Galaxy from pillar to post, including a slam on the exposed concrete. Duggan’s always been a giant cheater, and he hides behind the American flag as if to justify himself. Your thumbs up and three-letter catchphrase aren’t fooling me, Jimbo. Galaxy tries a moonsault, but misses by 12 feet, and Duggan goes into the 3 point stance. The taped fist, DIRECTLY in front of the referee is NOT called for a DQ, and Duggan screams “HOGANNNNNNNN” before issuing the punch and getting the win at 3:23. DUD

Duggan continues to carry on like, well, Roddy Piper after a week in Alcatraz, and “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND wants a word. He’s still pretty angry about “Terry”. This is the second time he’s brought this guy up, this guy must have REALLY wronged him. And now, Savage has shown he has a Black Heart. Does that come with a bigger package? Duggan vows never to come through Hogan’s back door (thank goodness for THAT), but he may just be seeing him soon.

JOE GOMEZ  (0-1-0) vs. HUGH MORRUS (7-3-0)

This was actually a dark match last night, and CRZ, who was in attendance that night, reports on what was pretty memorable action: Wikipedia says there were two dark matches which I totally don't remember.

It’s going to be hard for them to top that kind of response tonight, but let’s see what they bring. Gomez gets completely man-handled, pounded down in the corner with nowhere to go. He eventually manages a leapfrog, and he sneaks in a small package. Larry carries on about the human game of chess being played by Kevin Sullivan. Is this like a LARP thing?


Morrus drops Gomez with a clothesline, and Larry encourages Gomez to Use His Science. Since Gomez is not a chemist, but a Desperado, he immediately falls victim to No Laughing Matter at 3:16.

LA PARKA (2-2-0) vs. ICE TRAIN (2-0-1) (with Teddy Long)

8 months ago, WCW began a series of Latino imports that changed the face of the mid-card for good. Gone were the days of trying to fill space with the never-ending Alex Wright push, and instead, we were treated to numerous high flying aerial displays the likes of which we’d never seen. And now, as highlighted with the Galaxy match earlier, we are entering the next stage of its evolution: Squashing them like bugs against plodding midcarders. Stage 3 will see the imports moved exclusively to Worldwide, to get squashed there instead. Parka throws everything he’s got at Ice Train, who stands there laughing at our favorite skeleton. Then he starts throwing powerslams and pumping his fist. Parka shocks him with a spinning heel kick off the top, but he kicks out and throws Parka across the ring to remind us He’s Much Bigger. Parka hits a jawbreaker, and follows with another pair of spinning heel kicks. Teddy takes a second to talk his man up, and Train turns around just in time to eat a 360 plancha. Back in, Parka tries a springboard Crossbody, but he gets caught, slammed and hit with the Train Wreck at 3:57. *

CHRIS JERICHO and EDDIE GUERRERO vs. THE FACES OF FEAR (4-2-1) (with Jimmy Hart)

Breathe, Chris, breathe. I’m so damn giddy I can barely control my bodily functions. The fans boo the Faces of Fear because they don’t know what’s good for them. Barbarian misses an early Kick of Fear, and Jericho, realizing the mistakes these guys make are few and far between, dropkicks the man and hammers with everything he’s got. Then he turns things over to Guerrero, because he has no desire to die. Barbarian throws Eddie in the air like a game of Angry Birds, and Guerrero crashes nose first into the mat. In comes Meng, and Eddie hilariously throws punches that causes Meng to stare at him like “you’re kidding, right?” Then he throws a man-sized headbutt and powerbombs Guerrero with enough force to knock the earth off its axis. Back to Jericho, and Team Wiener hits a double backdrop,  before a short senton gets 2. Meng just gets up and gives Jericho a backdrop suplex right to the back of the neck, and Barbarian wants a piece. His fantastic overhead release superplex nearly clears the whole ring, and Barbarian gets 2. Jericho goes for a small package. Why do you insist on upsetting them? It’s like dealing with a bear, just play dead and get it over with. Meng comes in, walking into a springboard crossbody, and he stands up PISSED off, pounding Jericho right into the mat and choking him out while waving his head around like Willow Smith. Eddie gets angry, and the distraction allows an illegal switch – but I don’t think they needed the distraction. If you were refereeing would YOU tell these guys what they are and aren’t allowed to do? Meng backdrops Jericho into the happy arms of Barbarian, and Chris eats a powerbomb. Barbarian sticks out his tongue to remind us he has more charisma in his mouth than you’ll have in your lifetime. Both guys fly off the top like missiles, delivering the double swandive, and only a desperate Eddie Guerrero stops this from ending. Jericho says something to Eddie, and I have to figure it’s “dude, seriously, stop. I can feel the life escaping my body, please just let them pin me!” Barbarian cuts off the ring, and when Jericho tries showing a little fire, Barbarian rakes him in the eyes. Meng tags in and takes his sweet ass time, which has to be like torture for Jericho – not knowing what’s coming next. Meng whips him into the ropes, and Jericho hits a surprise Lionsault. Meng tries to drop an elbow and break his head open like a melon, but Chris rolls away and tags in Eddie. Guerrero throws himself at Meng, who doesn’t budge, but screams to the heavens like a warrior ready to perform a human sacrifice. Eddie dropkicks him, which buys just enough of a distraction for Jericho to come off the top with a crossbody. A double dropkick sends Meng back to his corner, so he just tags in Barbarian. Coleslaw for brains on Team Wiener, I tell you. Barbarian runs over Jericho with a clothesline, but since they’re cheating and keeping 2 guys in the ring, Guerrero dropkicks him from behind. Jericho dropkicks Meng off the apron, and a double suplex has Barbarian down for a second. Jericho goes for the Lionsault, but Meng pulls his dumbass to the floor for a legendary beating. Eddie goes for the Frog Splash, but DEAN MALENKO rushes down for a little payback from last night, shoving Eddie into the awaiting Kick of Fear from Barbarian, and even though they didn’t need the help, the greatest tag-team in the history of the galaxy pick up the win at 7:43. I’m not allowed to post Youtube links on Blogger anymore, but you guys are self-sufficient enough to track this down. ****

Since the US Champion is usually the default #1 contender to the World Title, and since Barbarian just pinned the US Champion, he should be getting a title shot, no? This would make as fine a main event for Uncensored as anything I can imagine. Hogan trying to Hulk Up while Barbarian stands there in complete contempt for the stupid side show before kicking his head into the upper deck would get me to pay $30 to watch it every time I viewed the clip. Infinite money. I’d never be able to retire.

The second hour brings “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN and MIKE TENAY into Tony’s circle of friends. The conclusion from these brilliant minds is that Sting is probably working with the nWo.

JUVENTUD GUERRERA (0-3-0) vs. REY MYSTERIO JR. (7-3-2)

Mysterio is the rightful TV Champion right now, having been handed it by the unworthy Prince Iaukea last night, but Mysterio wanted to “win it” by “pinning him”. A forfeit’s a forfeit, yo, just take it. Juvi DDTs Mysterio and nails a springboard dropkick to knock Mysterio down. Remembering he just had knee surgery, Juvi locks on a grapevine, but Mysterio fights out.  Both guys nearly pin each other simultaneously, and bridge up at the same time for the easily delighted crowd. Both guys trade chops, before Juvi grows bored and just smashes Mysterio’s face with his forearm. A moonsault gets 2, but Juvi doesn’t miss a beat, putting on a chinlock less than a half second after the kickout. Juvi tries to follow up, but Rey spins around his body before hitting a rana with enough force to send Juvi sliding to the floor. Heenan: “It’s like wrestling a helicopter!” Juvi blocks a baseball slide, but Rey just whips his body through with a headscissors takeover that sends the Juice into the guard rail. Back in, Mysterio goes up to finish, but Juvi cuts him off and hits a super powerbomb for 2! Juvi dropkicks him back to the floor, and tope suicida connects! Back in, Juvi goes for a springboard senton backsplash, but Mysterio catches him on the way down and turns it into a powerbomb! The West Coast Pop is academic, and Rey takes it down at 5:37. Juvi probably deserves a lot better, but as long as he keeps putting on fantastic matches with his opponents, his win/loss record is secondary to me. ***

GOLDBERG PAT TANAKA (0-1-0) vs. PRINCE IAUKEA (3-1-0) (for the WCW world television title)

I’ve been hard on the poor Prince. After all, it’s not his fault that WCW is run by a group of legendary chowderheads. As a result, in an effort to try and appreciate Iaukea a little more, I drew up a pros and cons list to see if we can learn to accept him.


Tony continually refers to Prince as a “youngster”, which comparatively to the main event scene is probably true – clocking in at a spry 32. Heenan covers Iaukea’s decision to try and give the TV title away last night: “This guy’s got brains made of coconut!” Iaukea knocks down Tanaka with a karate chop, but he fails to follow up, and takes a leg whip. Iaukea comes back with a clothesline, and does his ridiculous karate poses in an attempt to establish a personality. Tanaka’s having none of it, and powerbombs Prince for 2. Iaukea comes back with a Samoan drop, and follows with a top rope crossbody for the pin at 2:55. “You hit a move, and then I hit a move!” Who needs selling? DUD

THE ULTIMATE DRAGON (8-1-0) (with Sonny Onoo) vs. DEAN MALENKO (9-2-2)

After some chain wrestling, Malenko offers Dragon the hand of friendship. Dragon doesn’t believe him, but Malenko insists, refusing to let it go … and he immediately clotheslines the doof as soon as he accepts. Dragon gets kicked in the back of the head repeatedly, but he manages to avoid a pinfall. Malenko lets him up, and that’s a mistake, because Dragon lays in his rapid fire kicks in retaliation. A dropkick is planted right on the nose, but Dean sweeps out the legs and pounds away on Dragon’s face. A brainbuster rattles Dragon’s cage, and Malenko works a chinlock, driving his knee into Dragon’s spine for extra effect. Dragon throws him off by moving forward, and holds on to rock Malenko backwards in an upside down surfboard. The hold is released, but he just turns it around to work an Indian deathlock! Dean won’t tap, so Dragon releases and just takes to kicking him in the kidneys instead. Malenko backdrops Dragon to make him go away for a second, and he finds the energy to powerbomb Dragon for 2. Dragon smashes Malenko’s face into the buckle, and sends him to the floor. A swinging dropkick makes a nice clapping noise on impact, and Dragon then comes off the top with a crossbody – appearing to hurt his own knee in the process. Back in, Malenko goes for a powerbomb again, but this time Dragon turns it in mid-air and uses a Frankensteiner into a roll up for 2! La Majistral gets 2! Fast and furious now. A handspring back elbow is blocked, and Malenko throws him with an overhead release German suplex! Malenko, frustrated, chokes the hell out of Dragon, and the announcers figure he’s simply lost it over last night. Sonny tries to get involved, but Malenko piefaces him to the floor and goes back to trying to choke the life out of Dragon – getting himself DQed at 8:58. This was about the floor as far as these two guys go, still a *** match.

“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND wants answers about Malenko’s behavior, since he’s typically the “consummate professional”. Dean says he’s sick and tired of the lack of respect he’s been getting, and he hasn’t forgotten about Syxx. His bigger issue, however, is that Guerrero is someone he fully trusted, and since he decided to get in his business, he’ll be giving him the business going forward.

DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE (7-1-0) vs. DAVID TAYLOR (2-1-0)

The master of the European uppercut! My god how I’ve missed you! Now, in the defense of the Squire, he’s been on the search for Dr. Livingstone for the better part of a month now. You can tell he’s still not completely back to his civilized self, because he mistakes the front row for a pride of lions and prepares to defend himself accordingly.


Page might be picking up a ton of momentum, but he hasn’t faced the wrath of our world traveler. Taylor goes right to the European uppercuts because he is not a man who messes around. Page is rocked with two of them, and it’s bordering on impossibility that he’s actually still on his feet. Page tries a Diamond Cutter, but as a former shark fighter, he summons his training and pokes Page in the eyes. THE OUTSIDERS come out to admire Taylor’s incredible ringwork, as Page picks up Taylor in a fireman’s carry. Out of this move, he hits a Diamond Cutter, and seeing as how Taylor had no counter, I have to believe that’s a completely illegal shoot hold, because otherwise there is no chance he could have connected it against this beast. Before Taylor can kick out, Nash and Hall prevent Page from even trying the pinfall – which is good, we don’t need his finisher killed. Taylor leaves the boys to their business, because he still has uncharted jungle to map out.

RANDY SAVAGE sneaks in behind Page while he’s distracted with the Outsiders, and attacks from behind. Savage shares a little love with his new friends, while A FAN gets the brilliant idea to run in and ask everyone for an autograph. All 3 nWo guys take turns teeing off on the moron, who decides to tuck tail and head for the hills – SECURITY hot in pursuit. Savage tags Page with the spray paint, and puts on his brand new shirt. An elbowdrop cements his spot in the group, and everyone shares Wolfpac signs.

The inconsistencies here are completely wild. Savage, god bless him, has always been more like a Diamond Dallas Page than anything. He’s more or less an independent, not interested in a lot of friends. Watching him “sell out” to the nWo lacks in any kind of believability from what we’ve been taught to know about him over the years. Hogan makes total sense, he’s always surrounded himself with people who bow to the power of Hulkamania. Savage never needed that … or any of them. He made friends with Hogan only once the Hulkster started acknowledging him as a top guy; and the minute he felt threatened, he tore him apart. The story they’re running with is that Savage did this in order to get his job back with WCW, but I’m not buying this. If that were a plausible scenario, Savage should be as uncomfortable as Elizabeth, or at least as “accepting” of his new spot as Mongo is with Jarrett. In a perfect situation, had the agreement been that he helped Hogan retain, and Savage happily agreed (with the intent to seek and destroy immediately afterwards), we would have had a heck of an intriguing storyline. Would the fans have accepted the “sell out” Savage, trying to use the ends to justify the means? Or would they have given him the Lex Luger treatment of last year? Would the WCW guys have been able to trust him moving forward, or would he be on an island unto himself, forced to take on all comers in the name of remaining employed? There were a million directions to take this. Instead, they chose the laziest path available. And this was just the beginning of the “lazy” turns. Strap yourselves in, there’s a million more on the way.

After a commercial break, the trio is still in the ring, where Hall is welcoming the audience to nWo Monday Nitro. Savage is introduced as the newest member, and Hall brings out “another icon” to join them, welcoming HOLLYWOOD HOGAN. Hogan sucks up to the locals (another big problem with this group – constantly fluffing the fans to ensure they picked up all the heat, good and bad). Macho is given his introductory present – a smiling ELIZABETH, with TED DIBIASE and ERIC BISCHOFF. Okay, here’s MORE inconsistencies. Just last year, this lady was running with Ric Flair, tossing Savage’s money into the crowd left, right, and center. Then, out of nowhere, she re-develops her feelings for Savage, and joins the nWo to get a movie role – actions that are counter-productive to each other. Savage, having nothing but hate for the woman, starts crying over her on Nitro to the point you don’t think he’s actually going to be able to fight Hogan because he’s so downtrodden, until he shows up at the pay-per-view and none of this is even brought up. 4 months later, all’s good – and they can be a couple now because they wear the same t-shirts. Maybe I expect too much from my shows, but as recently as Last Summer, they were working their asses off to ensure everything tied together. The Bischoff as the nWo boss stuff was positively brilliant, dropping subtle hints for months until we were clued in. The DDP as possible nWo backer, until it was revealed it was actually DiBiase was a fantastic red herring. And all those commercials to let us know Glacier was Coming really came together when he finally arrived. Now that they’re the runaway clear #1 game in town, it almost feels like they just stopped trying.

HARLEM HEAT (8-2-2) (with Sista Sherri) vs. LEX LUGER and THE GIANT (1-0-0) (for the WCW world tag-team titles)

At this point, it’s probably because I’m already in a mood and nitpicking to high hell, but why are Harlem Heat getting the title shots after Public Enemy won the #1 contender’s match last night? ERIC BISCHOFF runs down to ringside before we get underway, and before he makes his impending announcement, he invites THE NWO to join him as back up. nWo Sting and Masa Chono are missing, but otherwise, the gang’s all here. Bischoff reminds Luger he wasn’t cleared last night, and as a result, they are not the tag-team champions. Shocker. It’s bad when even Tony Schiavone sniffed this one out last night, because he doesn’t catch on to *anything*. Luger refuses, saying he’ll need to be removed on a stretcher before he gives the title belt. Unless – he’s willing to agree to one match. Luger wants every single belt on the line at Uncensored, World, Tag-Team, Cruiserweight, all of them. Bischoff agrees, as long as they hand over the gold immediately.

STING walks out from the back while both sides jaw with each other, and he marches right up into the ring. The ring parts like the red sea, and Sting coldly looks at everyone, before settling on Hogan. He burns a hole through Hollywood, and Hogan responds by giving Sting a big bear hug. Sting steps back … and poses with the nWo. Oh Christ almighty, really?!? Really?!? REALLY?!?!?! Tony speaks for all of us – “I can’t take this anymore, goodnight!” As the credits fade to black, Bischoff can audibly be heard, clearly wearing a loud smile, “Oh I LOVE this!!!”


I bet you do, Eric.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

WCW Superbrawl - February 23, 1997

Out on the prison island of Alcatraz, RODDY PIPER, panting like a post-coital dog, informs A SECURITY GUARD that he knows the way. Screaming, he rushes through the gate, looking dishevelled. “I didn’t spend 7 days from hell for NOTHING!” I’d reckon wearing a skirt in prison probably wasn’t the smartest thing h could have done, but there’s not much of this plan that I believe he thought through.

LIVE from San Francisco, this is Superbrawl! DUSTY RHODES, TONY SCHIAVONE, and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN are the A-Team tonight. Heenan screams about the escape from Alcatraz, and there’s a mad-man headed for Hollywood. Is everyone under the impression that Alcatraz is an active prison?

SYXX (0-1-0) vs. DEAN MALENKO (9-1-2) (for the WCW world cruiserweight title)

Syxx is wearing the gold, having stolen it from Malenko during last week’s match. I’d probably find it a much more heinous act if Malenko had ever bothered to defend the damn thing, but seeing as how this is the only way to goad him into a title match, good work Syxx. Malenko marches to the ring, completely focused, by wearing the exact same look on his face he always does. Thankfully, his actions are intense, as Syxx takes a man-sized beating right off the bell. Dean has a chance to win early, but opts to pull the challenger up at 2. Syxx throws some weak right hands, and even tries a bitch slap, but Malenko continues the assault, accentuated with a nasty powerslam for 2. The fans start a “1-2-3” “SUCKS!” duel, while he misses a Thesz press and puts himself in a tree of woe. Malenko dropkicks Syxx from the upside down position and goes for the Cloverleaf. Syxx shoves off, so a pissed off Dean sends him to the floor with a crossbody block, Cactus Jack style. Malenko heads over to Dave Penzer and takes his belt back, showing it off in front of Syxx’s face. Syxx tries a jumping spin kick on the floor, but Malenko ducks and decks him again. Back in the ring, Syxx finally hits his first move, with a backwards enzuigiri. Finally, with a chance to embarrass the man, Syxx hits the Bronco Buster, getting an audible groan from the crowd since this is still a relatively fresh move. A sleeper hold is applied, but Malenko drops forward, sending Syxx’s face into the buckle to break. He shakes it off and puts the sleeper back on. A backdrop suplex allows an escape, and Dean gets 2. Both guys are seeing stars, but it’s Syxx who recovers first, laying in some nasty chops. Malenko is laid out across the apron, and Syxx drops an elbow from the top rope, across the exposed throat. A brainbuster gives Syxx a chance to go high risk again, and a guillotine legdrop gets 2. The neck is clearly the target now, so Syxx goes to the sleeper hold one more time, and this time Malenko drops to the mat and is fading fast. Syxx loosens for just a sec, and that’s all Malenko needs to fight to his feet and drive Syxx backwards into the buckle. Malenko slaps on his own sleeper, but he’s still groggy, and they wind up headbutting each other. Syxx is up first and heads up top, but Malenko crotches him to a good pop. Dean tries a backdrop superplex, but Syxx twists mid-move and crossbodies Malenko, turning the impact on the champ. Syxx grabs the belt, but that draws in EDDIE GUERRERO who’s had enough of this kleptomaniac shit. They get into a tug-o-war which Malenko joins from the other side, pulling Syxx’s other arm. It’s Eddie who accidently lets go, and the belt flies back, smacking Malenko in the face HARD! Guerrero can’t believe what he’s done, and it’s made worse as Syxx gets the pin at 12:02. I really want to believe this is the spark the division needs to get back on track, but considering Syxx never really wrestles, I’m not optimistic. Good match, though. ***

“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND shills the hotline, carrying on about potential new nWo members he saw having breakfast with Eric Bischoff. If this is legit, shouldn’t the ever scheming Gene do the right thing and report it to his WCW superiors so they can take some sort of action? I’d be real sick of the mustachioed scumbag profiting off my company’s internal dissention when he has information that could be vital in STOPPING it. Anyway, speaking of the nWo, DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE is going to face an unknown member of the gang with Big Bubba on the sidelines. Page figures it’s not as unknown as all that, because Hogan’s busy with Piper, Hall and Nash are tied up with The Giant, Syxx doesn’t have the guts to pull double duty … so basically, a member of the C-team. DDP narrows it down to Buff Bagwell, and Gene gets word in his ear at that very moment in time that yes, that’s exactly who it is. I would have used nWo Sting, he’s gotta be fresh as hell, he hasn’t wrestled in months.

KONAN, LA PARKA, and VILLANO 4 vs. CICLOPE, JUVENTUD GUERRERA, and SUPER CALO

MIKE TENAY bolts out of the bathroom mid-stream at the first whiff of Lucha to join the announce team. I’m with ya Mike, I love a good Latino fly-fest as much as anyone, but I absolutely abhor these random pairings. Konan’s Dungeon 4 Life, and while La Parka would make a fine addition to the legion of freaks, I’m not thinking he’s even had a tour of the cave yet. Has The Master signed off on these new friends? Do they play well with Maxx? On the other side, I can’t begin to imagine Super Calo having anything in common with Ciclope. How is he to wear unmovable sunglasses with just one eye? This simply won’t do. Tony compares Piper’s arrival tonight to that of an earthquake. Really, Tony? In THIS city? Ciclope and Villano 4 kick off our Worldwide special, and they’re both awful. T he fans start to file off to the concessions, so they trade off to Juvi and Konan, generating a small buzz. A tumbleweed clothesline drops the Juice, but Juvi comes right back with a rana. A springboard dropkick catches Konan in the chest, but Konan retaliates with a wheelbarrow suplex. With Juvi down, Ciclope is subsequently killed with a powerbomb. Calo hangs himself in a tree of woe for some reason, but maybe that was the plan, because he moves as La Parka charges, and the skeleton bangs the buckle. Calo, moving fast, hits a springboard headscissors takeover. La Parka misses a dropkick, and flies through the ropes to the floor. Calo is right behind with a slingshot somersault plancha, without so much as moving the sunglasses or hat! A second high flying move completely fails, as is the norm, so Parka puts him on a well placed chair and hits him with tope suicida! Back in, Villano 4 and Ciclope pair off again to be completely terrible for awhile. Ciclope tries a springboard corkscrew plancha, but he slips during his slow climb to the top of the ropes, and promptly slips as soon as he gets up there. This grows cumbersome, so Juvi comes in to liven things up with a Firebird splash on the Villano for 2. Juvi lays in the chops, but Villano just makes angry faces. Somehow, he completely misses that La Parka’s on his way back in with a La Parkinator for 2! He pulls Juvi back up to the top, but Juice shoves him off, crotching Parka on the middle rope before hitting a springboard rana for 2! Konan rushes in, and picks up Juvi for a Hart Attack with help from Villano. They both work a surfboard together, but Ciclope and Calo help their buddy, rolling the pair back into a cradle submission hold. Their shoulders wind up down, so they’re forced to release lest they be pinned. Konan tosses Juvi to the outside with ease, and then with Villano applies a Star on the other two guys. Juvi comes to save, but Parka powerbombs him and locks on the Rito Romero special in the middle of the Star. It breaks up, while Heenan offers $1000 to the other guys to tell us who’s legal. Some combination of the various teams all hit suicide dives on the other three guys on the floor, and I doubt anyone even knows who’s on whose team at this point. Konan and Juvi wind up back in together, where Splash Mountain finally ends this mess at 9:55. Good god what a trainwreck. The biggest problem with a lot of the fancier submission moves (the group ones in particular) is just how phony they look. I don’t think anyone would ever mistake wrestling for MMA, but a hint of realism is nice. The rest was your usual high flying stuff, without the smoothness of a Rey Jr or Ultimo Dragon – and really illustrated the difference between the genuine top international guys, and the phony baloney players who probably would have been best served staying back in AAA where they’d be better appreciated. *1/2

REY MYSTERIO JR. (7-2-2) vs. PRINCE IAUKEA (2-1-0) (for the WCW world television title)

Rey gets a huge pop from the rabid fans, while Prince Iaukea is met with dead silence. During his entrance, if the music hadn’t been pumped up, I’m not convinced someone relieving their nachos in the men’s room couldn’t have been heard reverberating throughout the arena. So, as a means to try and come to terms with WCW’s boneheaded decision to put the TV title on this goon, I checked out Iaukea’s Wikipedia page. First and foremost, Kevin Sullivan is clearly established as the man behind Iaukea’s push, so I’d owe Bischoff an apology for my swear filled rant on Monday, except he signed off on it so fuck him. Secondly, he’s got one of those pages that I’m convinced was written by a family member. It reads, and I quote:

Prince Iaukea debuted on WCW TV in 1996 and quickly made a name for himself with his unique Samoan persona and real submission wrestling skills along with solid pro wrestling ability.

Now, if you’ve been reading along with me for the last couple of years, you’ll know that I’ve recapped *everything*, short of WCW Pro which I simply don’t have access to. In that time, Prince Iaukea has appeared in maybe 3-4 recaps, total, and usually as part of and “Already in the Ring” 3 or 4-man tag about to be destroyed by the Dungeon of Doom. So, unless he tore up the WCW Pro ranks (and I am going to go out on a short limb and say, no, he didn’t), there is absolutely nobody who knew who in the hell this guy was until he defeated Steven Regal. He’s a cruiserweight who doesn’t fly, he’s a mat specialist with no specialty, he channels Superfly at times without even a hint of his charisma, and the only unique character traits that differentiates him from, say, Todd Morton, is his stupid mullet-bun and lei. Now, if they’d played up a disturbing Furry fetish, explaining the Cheetah Kid is actually an extension of his personal choice of kink that he can’t control in the confines of a pro-wrestling ring and sometimes is forced to wrestle under the hood as a means to personal relief, I could get behind this push. In fact, the prospect of a horrified Steven Regal as the Cheetah Kid slowly stalks him, sexually entering to Divinyls is so delicious that now I’m genuinely upset this wasn’t explored.

But – the reality is that we’re stuck with Iaukea and his terrible, colorless matches, so let’s all hope Mysterio puts this to bed in short order so we can all move on with our lives. Tony calls Prince an underdog, which is the understatement of the year. Prince works a hammerlock, but Rey remembers Iaukea has no business in the same ring as him and dropkicks him in the face. Prince fires back with a superkick for 2, and Rey heads to the floor. Iaukea stands around making stupid karate moves (dude, you’re NOT Japanese), before hitting a plancha from the top of the buckle. Prince takes over the offense, while the fans start looking around for Sting.


That’s right, every eyeball in the building has more interest in looking at nothing at all, than Prince Iaukea. Prince hits a backbreaker and goes for the Superfly Splash, but Mysterio dropkicks him in the chest. Prince goes for a powerbomb, but takes a rana mid-move, sending him all the way to the floor. Prince takes his sweet time standing up, and Rey’s waiting, with a swinging dropkick to the face to greet him. Then, in one of the most impressive spots I’ve ever seen, Mysterio somehow does a suicide somersault plancha through the middle ropes, crushing Prince as he zips by fluidly. If you’ve only been watching wrestling these last 5 years or so, you couldn’t even begin to imagine what Mysterio used to bring to the table in his early 20’s. Back in, Rey hits a triple jump moonsault for 2, just because he can. Prince tries a powerslam, but Mysterio slides off the back and nails a spinning heel kick. Split-legged moonsault is up next, yielding another 2. Prince tries a hiptoss, but Mysterio bounces off the ropes and stays in, before heading up. Prince catches him this time with a super Samoan drop, and all the fans stand up as a very smart-looking STEVEN REGAL heads down to ring-side. Mysterio has recovered and sets up the West Coast Pop, but Regal pulls him off the apron, smacking his face into the side of the ring. Regal quickly rolls Rey in, and Prince gets the easy retention at 8:57. Prince refuses to take it this way, and hands the belt to Rey as the deserving champion. Tony: “Have we ever seen, in the history of our sport, a belt that nobody wanted?” Heenan: “Give it to me, it’s gotta be worth something!” Mysterio gives it back, because he’s not interested in giving the people what they really want. I can’t believe this experiment is going to continue another day. Jesus. **

“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND reminds us to call the Hotline NOW, and introduces THE GIANT. The Giant is as aware as anyone about how badly the Outsiders drive, because they’re all about The Mind Games. So … it takes an evil genius to be a bad driver? When I blew out my horn from over-use last year, had my road rage been caused by the great minds of tomorrow? Everything’s upside down.

BUFF BAGWELL (1-0-0) vs. DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE (6-1-0)

Page still hasn’t embraced his face turn, continuing to smoke his expensive cigars, and walk around like a self-involved asswipe, which is just getting him even more over as a result. Page starts Buff off with a bitch slap getting a monster pop from the fans who just can’t get enough of DDP these days. Buff heads for the comfort of the ropes, where he jaws with the fans and gets mad heat. I’ll say this for Bagwell; while most of the B-team converts have just continued to play the same characters and have fallen into the background, Bagwell has completely and totally transformed himself and run with the ball during the last couple of months. These two fought over the Lord of the Ring like 7 months ago, to absolutely no reaction – now the fans are hanging on their every move. Buff chokes Page in the ropes and talks trash. A tornado DDT plants Page, and gives Bagwell plenty of time to show off his newly roided physique to showers of boos. Page sneaks in a small package for 2, and an irate Bagwell gets into it with Scott Dickenson. In fact, he shoves Dickenson, who gives him a MONSTER shove right back and the fans lose their collective minds! Dickenson plays it for all it’s worth, backing Bagwell into the corner and just feeding it to him in a glorious display of finger waving, screaming, and basically putting him in his place. This distraction gives DDP plenty of time to get back to his feet, and one discus punch later takes Bagwell off his feet. A super atomic drop has Bagwell hopping around, clutching his groin, and Page hits a powerbomb for 2. A back elbow from Bagwell turns the tide, and he gets 2 with his feet on the ropes. A missed blind charge allows Page to roll Bagwell up for 2. Bagwell tries the 10 punch count-a-long, but Page gives him the snake eyes and calls for the Diamond Cutter. Bagwell counters with a backslide for 2, and hits a Fisherman’s suplex. Instead of a pin, he wants to embarrass Page, asking the referee to count him out instead as payback for Bubba’s injury. Page gets up, so Bagwell goes for a neckbreaker, but DDP reverses into the Diamond Cutter, drawing in SYXX, M WALLSTREET, VINCENT, and NICK PATRICK for the DQ at 9:49. Page takes off into the crowd, and celebrates with his thousands of new friends, who explode on the announcement that he’s the winner. Something was in the water here, because I thought this was awesome. ***1/2

CHRIS JERICHO (8-1-0) vs. EDDIE GUERRERO (8-3-2) (for the WCW United States heavyweight title)

This should be absolutely fantastic, despite the fact that both guys have the personalities of damp tuna fish. As long as neither guy speaks, we should be in quality shape. Jericho works an armbar, just one of his 1004 holds. Eddie gets loose, and hits a side suplex. Jericho gives it right back with a backdrop suplex, before putting on an abdominal stretch. A bridged suplex gets 2, and while Eddie is able to elevate loose, Jericho uses that to backslide him for another 2. Standing vertical suplex gets 2, and Jericho’s in complete control. The Liontamer makes its debut here, but Eddie snaps loose with his leg strength. A reverse Torture Rack is up next, and Guerrero has nowhere to go. Jericho works it for awhile, before dropping down on the spine, and getting 2. Jericho looks shocked, but carries on. A springboard crossbody misses, and Eddie quickly delivers a NASTY powerbomb for 2! A brainbuster has Jericho in position for the Frog Splash, but Jericho rolls away and throws Eddie all the way back into the turnbuckle with a release German suplex! Jericho intentionally steps on Eddie’s head, showing a little heel buried inside there somewhere. Embrace it, Chris, let it all out. Indeed he does, crotching Eddie intentionally across the ropes, and dropkicking him to the floor. With Guerrero lying prone, Jericho catches him with a springboard splash all the way to the floor. Back in, Jericho goes for the missile dropkick, but Guerrero turns that into an atomic drop! Nicely done! Both guys hit each other with spinning heel kicks, and it’s Jericho up first with a powerslam for 2. Channelling his idol, Jericho is spot on with Sweet Chin Music. A groggy Guerrero fights off the assault from Jericho and goes for a tornado DDT, but with no mustard behind the move, Jericho calmly drops backwards with a bridged slam for 2! Jericho goes for a powerbomb, but Eddie rolls forward with a sunset flip, and scores an unexpected pinfall at 12:04. I actually didn’t see that finish coming, because these guys were bringing it and probably deserved another 10 minutes and a more creative end to the match. Eddie and Jericho hug it out, and while I am just waiting for Jericho to kick him in the pooter, it never comes. Another strong match in a string of them tonight. ***1/2

THE FACES OF FEAR (4-1-1) vs. THE PUBLIC ENEMY (3-1-0) vs. HARLEM HEAT (8-1-2) (with Sista Sherri)

Folks, it’s rare that grand, life changing opportunities present themselves. One of those days is upon us. If you happen to live in the Flushing, New York area, then I need you to hang on tightly to your skivvies because the legendary Faces of Fear are making an appearance for the low, low price of $40. I’m planning on being there as soon as I can convince my wife it’s a great idea to make a 20-hour round-trip drive in the span of a single weekend; but let’s be honest, that won’t take any convincing. I mean, we’re talking about the most savage warriors in the history of mankind. Rocco Rock has shaved his head, and he looks like the focal point of a Bris. Barbarian starts with the human circumcision, and you can take one guess who wins that war. Stevie Ray tags himself in, and he manages to make a press slam look like a shooting star press in terms of difficulty. The bicycle kick means Stevie’s officially out of moves, so he tags in Booker, who hits Grunge with an axe kick. 110th street slam sets up the spinaroonie into the Harlem sidekick, and Booker’s quickly winning the fans over here. That ends abruptly when Barbarian kicks him in the face while standing on the apron, and Meng tags himself in. The Fear start some “HEAVY CLUBBERIN`” before putting Booker on top. Barbarian throws him into next week, because not only is he one of the two greatest wrestlers in the world, but he also defies the laws of time and space. Meng comes back in and starts screaming in Tongan before giving Booker the spike piledriver. The double headbutt cause Booker’s eyes to roll, and they ain’t done by a long shot. A backdrop sends Booker into the awaiting arms of Barbarian, who howls to the heavens like a hungry coyote while delivering a vicious powerbomb.


“WHAT POWER” understates Tony Schiavone, while Stevie Ray saves the day. Booker blindly tags out to Johnny Grunge, but before he leaves Barbarian wishes him a good night by giving him a Kick of Fear over the top rope. Stevie Ray angrily rushes in to defend his brother’s honor, and he takes a Kick of Fear from Meng. Barbarian spies the bald monkey Rocco prepping to do something stupid, so he just picks him up by the legs and starts planning all sorts of unspeakable horror. Johnny Grunge flies off the top, with both guys falling on top of Barbarian, and … gets the pin at 7:46?!?! What the flippity fuck? After a clinic like that from the Barbarian, and his awesome partner Meng, who quite frankly is one of the two best wrestlers in the world, we’re still trying this crap? I hope this stupid company gets sold in 4 years and dies a horrible death. This was easily an 8 and a half star affair before the finish, but that knocked off nearly a half dozen, so we’ll settle in somewhere around the *** range. The US had better pray the isle of Tonga never declares war, because despite having a range of military weapons ranging from birch bark canoes and some fairly threatening poisonous plants, these two alone might be enough to take down the entire nation with their bare hands.

MONGO MCMICHAEL (1-1-0) (with Debra McMichael) vs. JEFF JARRETT (9-1-0)

If Jarrett wins, he’s a Horsemen. If he loses, we’ll continue to run this insipid angle for another 8 months. There are no victories tonight, folks. Jarrett gets cocky, taking a break on the ropes like a hammock, which probably isn’t wise against a loose cannon like Mongo. A powerslam sets up a pair of 3 point stance clips, and Jarrett hits the deck. Mongo’s hot on his tail, but Debra asks him to relax, giving Jarrett a chance to land a cheap shot. Jarrett puts on an abdominal stretch, using the ropes for leverage, but Debra smacks his hands with the Haliburton because she wants a fair match. Mongo hiptosses Jeff away, and after threatening to military slam him to the floor (where a pleading Debra makes him stop), he slams him mid ring and clotheslines him over the top. Debra wipes Jarrett down, but that just draws a super irate Mongo over to choke his ass out with the same towel. Back in, Jarrett dodges a backdrop and hits a faceplant, pointing to his head because he’s a Super Genius. Of course, a Super Genius might know better than to mess with a man’s wife right in front of him – but this was just child’s play before hopping into bed with Karen Angle. Mongo works a sleeper, but Jarrett hits a backdrop suplex to escape, and both guys are out. Debra: “I don’t know which one to help!” Mongo winds up helping himself, hitting a sidewalk slam, followed by a Rock Bottom for 2. Jarrett gets in a cheap shot and comes off the top with a crossbody for 2. During the kickout, Jarrett’s hand accidently decks the referee, and Mongo immediately calls for the briefcase. Debra refuses, so Mongo grabs her by the back of the hair. She throws it wildly backwards, into the awaiting arms of Jeff Jarrett, who waffles Mongo and scores the pin at 8:13. Heenan: “I SMELL DIVORCE!” Jarrett celebrates his induction to the group who wants nothing to do with him, while Debra tries to revive her fallen husband. **

KEVIN SULLIVAN (7-1-0) (with Jimmy Hart and Jacqueline) vs. CHRIS BENOIT (6-3-0) (with Woman) (in a San Francisco death match)

If our creepiness scale with the entire Benoit story needed another layer, here he is with Woman in a Death Match. Woman and Jackie are strapped together, and they start scrapping on the floor to a massive reaction. You know, for all the hate I have for Kevin Sullivan, the heat is off the charts every single time he steps in the ring with Benoit. Benoit chops the old man into North Carolina BBQ, but Jackie cuts him off when he goes for the swandive. Sullivan pounds Benoit with repeated shots to the face, and Jackie comes after her. Woman cuts that off, whipping Jackie repeatedly. Sullivan throws himself in the middle, so Woman uses the strap as a genital mutilator, and Sullivan drops like a rock. Benoit heads over to check on his lady, and Jackie starts whipping him with some ferocity! Sullivan rips the straps off the girls all together, and hangs Benoit over the top rope. I swear to god, if Jackie puts a bible at his feet, I’m going to have to start scrubbing him out of WCW history like a WWE DVD editor. Instead, she punts him in the crotch, while Woman beats down Kevin. The ladies strap themselves back together, and use the leather as a clothesline to take down both guys. Sullivan recovers first, and takes Chris to the floor where he’s sent face first into the guardrail. They both start trading chops, and nothing’s being held back here. The boys start heading through the crowd, and we know exactly where this is headed. But, the boys have a curveball tonight. Instead of moth balls and stale urine, they fight just outside the parking lot, taking turns hitting each other with a giant Rubbermaid garbage can. Eventually they head back down to ringside, and Sullivan ties Benoit to the tree of woe. The running knee sets up the Double Stomp, but Woman starts whipping him to stop any pinfall. He starts to stalk his ex, but Benoit spins him around, and gives him a spike piledriver with some force! The women continue to roll around, while Benoit grabs one of those super sturdy old cafeteria style tables from under the ring. It’s set up in the middle of the ring with Sullivan on top, so Jackie throws herself on top to save her man. Benoit has zero fucks to give about that, and splashes the both of them, where everyone bounces off while the table doesn’t budge! That’ll crack a rib! Benoit lies on Sullivan underneath the table, and that gets the pinfall at 8:35. They tried a new side to their old template, but this didn’t quite have the punch their previous matches did. ***

ARN ANDERSON comes out to survey the carnage, with both Jackie and Sullivan down and out. PAUL ORNDORFF, who we haven’t seen in about a year, also heads down to the ring, and he’s livid. He checks in on Kevin, screaming for help, drawing in … TERRY TAYLOR and LEE MARSHALL. Lee provides all sorts of assistance, such as giving exaggerated points and looking shocked. After several more minutes, 3 gurneys are wheeled down, taking Benoit, Sullivan, and Jackie away for medical help.

THE OUTSIDERS (2-1-0) (with Syxx) vs. THE GIANT (4-0-2) (for the WCW world tag-team titles)

It seems almost illogical that in July, the Giant was the single most dominant force on the roster, yet WCW allowed their 3-man team at Bash at the Beach to be composed of a lottery drawing. Savage had nothing resembling momentum at that point, he could have been easily replaced, and WCW probably wins that match and stops the New World Order from happening before it even starts. Hall wins the Rock, Paper, Scissors draw for the 21st consecutive time, which either means Kevin Nash has the worst poker face on the planet, or Scott Hall is the world champion of Roshambo. Hall sizes up the competition, and decides his best course of action is to throw a toothpick at the Giant. Of course, that only serves to make the big man angry, so Hall’s forced to hide in his corner. Once the heat is off, Hall lays in a bunch of knees, but Giant shrugs him off and knocks him right down to the mat. Hall charges, right into the arms of Giant, who slams him and stares down Nash. Hall walks right up and hocks a massive loogie in the eyes of the Giant, and turns things over to big Kev. The fans buzz, because this was still at a time where the prospect of super heavyweights doing battle was always the most exciting thing in wrestling. Nash lunges, but Giant starts throwing dropkicks at both guys like a 500 pound Cruiserweight, and the ring is cleared while the fans warn Sting he’d best exit the rafters cuz they’re about to blow the roof off. Giant follows them to the floor, ramming Nash spine first into the ring post. Back in, an elbowdrop gets 2, saved by Hall. While Hall gets given a lecture about fair play, Syxx comes off the top rope with a tag-team belt to the face of the Giant. Nash nails a big boot, allowing Hall to hit a bulldog off the top, and Nash dives in for 2. The fans chant for Luger while Syxx holds Giant hostage allowing the Outsiders to take turns laying in shots. Giant continues to fight back, and succeeds in knocking them both down with a pair of big boots. Syxx heads to the top rope, but Giant catches him this time and throws the pipsqueak at Nash like a weapon. Hall grabs the belt and nails Giant upside the head, and Giant falls into the arms of Nash who powerbombs him!!!!! LEX LUGER’s seen all he can stands, but ERIC BISCHOFF’s right behind him, waving his arms to alert him there’s no way he’s getting involved. Luger grabs him by the hair and throws him into the guardrail, and the fans are having multiple orgasms at this point. Luger leaps on the apron begging for a tag – and while history tells me I should be feeling VERY uneasy about this, Luger stays true to WCW and issues clotheslines to everyone! Nash, back destroyed from the powerbomb, gets caught in the Rack, and he taps immediately giving us NEW tag-team champions at 8:56! Just for the hell of it, Giant chokeslams Hall and demands a 3-count before both guys celebrate with the tag-team titles. Sadly, in light of the precedent set last month at Souled Out, they best not get too comfortable with them because you know this is getting reversed on Nitro tomorrow. **

HOLLYWOOD HOGAN (0-1-2) (with Ted Dibiase and Vincent) vs. RODDY PIPER (for the WCW world heavyweight title)

Piper arrives, absolutely filthy. Tell me something, why would his shirt be ripped in a bunch of places? It was just a week for god sakes; I see contestants on Survivor go home looking better than Hot Rod. Hogan cracks me up by stealing Piper’s kilt as soon as Roddy takes it off, and wiping his nose with it. Piper mumbles to himself, which everyone assumes is Gaelic. I think we’ll need to bring in Mr. and Mrs. Murray to get to the bottom of this once more on WCW Saturday Night this week. Off the bell, Hogan decides he’s not much interested in wrestling a man that smells as bad as Piper, and walks away. No kidding! Personal hygiene is just common courtesy. Piper hauls him back into the ring, and uppercuts the Hulkster right in the BrookeMaker. That’s followed by more classic wrestling holds, such as the choke with the shirt, and the gentle chair tap. Back in, Hogan goes low, but to quote Tony Schiavone: “HE DIDN’T EVEN FEEL IT!” Instead, he jumps on Hogan’s back, and paying homage to Lou Thesz, he bites Hogan in the eye. M WALLSTREET rushes in, but Piper knocks him out before he makes it over the ropes. Piper digs deep, remembering the lessons of Pat O’Connor, and pokes Hogan in the eyes. Of course, tributes wouldn’t be complete without harkening back to the days of George Hackenschmidt, where Piper hits a thundering Bear Clap. Hogan tries to leave again, but Piper hauls him back by the tights, revealing Hogan’s milky white ass. Hogan takes an atomic drop setup, but gets dropped on the top rope. STING and RANDY SAVAGE show up in the aisle now, and Savage wants to hit the ring. Sting tells him not tonight, and they turn away … except Sting misses that Savage has simply spun in a full circle and is heading back to ringside. Hogan gets control for the first time, throwing a series of punches, while Sting has continued to stand on the top of the ramp, staring coldly at the ring. Finally, he gets annoyed and leaves, but Savage keeps his position at ringside, cheering Piper on. Hogan rams Piper’s back into the ring post, and starts working over the hip. He heads back in, but Piper’s still got energy, clawing at Hogan’s eyes. Hogan stops him, and locks on a bear hug while talking shit to Savage the entire time. Piper drops, and Hogan decides to go for the Big Leg Drop – but he moves! Piper hammers at the champ, and puts on the Sleeper!! Hogan fights, but he drops to the mat, and Piper squeezes harder! The arm drops 3 times, and Piper is unbelievably announced as the World’s Heavyweight Champion at 10:19!!! But wait – Savage drags Hogan under the ropes AFTER the bell, and somehow the referee decides that, yes, his foot MUST have been under the ropes and thus the match continues. Savage slips a pair of brass knucks to Hogan, and Hollywood decks Roddy scoring the pin and retaining the belt at 11:00. Hogan and Savage break into a huge hug. What … the … fuck.

No. Just no. Hogan spent months torturing Savage with Liz, had his group beat him senseless on multiple occasions, destroyed his self-confidence, and pretty much ruined his life. While I watch Savage drop elbow after elbow on Piper, while Hogan joins in with non-stop legdrops, I’m not confused. I’m disgusted. This is lazy, miserable booking, because they put themselves in a corner where Piper couldn’t lose. And yes, Hogan and Savage are best friends in real life – but they have YEARS to kiss and make up when the wounds of the last war aren’t so bloody fresh. I’ve had enough of the nWo, they’ve literally taken over the company as they promised, but in the process they’ve made the main event angles completely unwatchable.

I’m reminded to tune in to Nitro, and I’ll have to make that decision later because I’m too annoyed.


Oh, and -* for the main event. Both guys should be embarrassed. I know I am.

Friday, April 10, 2015

WCW Worldwide: February 23, 1997

I set up a web form on KickOfFear.com, in the hopes that if there is ever any urgent news that needs to come my way, that you used it responsibly. Thankfully, mature readers like veteran keen-eyed BigDaddyLoco knew exactly the kind of critical, news-worthy information that I’m always on the lookout for:  Maybe you already know about this, but I just found out it existed today http://www.amazon.com/Craig-Pittman-WWE-Wrestling-Figure/dp/B000LXXA3U

BigDaddy, it pains me to say that my in-laws, who reside in Florida for 6 months a year are leaving on Monday, because this would all but certainly be coming home with them. Unfortunately, I’m a man of meager income, and the outrageous international shipping + customs is preventing us from being together. Despite its clear long-term collectors-value, there is absolutely zero chance anything with that much entertainment value would stay locked behind its plastic prison any longer. No sir, it would join my TV side Money in the Bank set, where he would lie permanently on his back beneath the toes of CM Punk, except for when my nephews visit, during which time it would reside in the 2-year old’s mouth.

Of course, this e-mail DID prompt me to see what Canada had to offer in the obscure wrestling action figure world. And … you know, sometimes, pictures (and price tags) are going to do this a whole lot more justice than my words, so have at it. http://www.amazon.ca/Kevin-Sullivan-Wrestling-Action-Figure/dp/B000M7RL4Y

Superbrawl might be hours away, but it doesn’t stop all the top stars from coming out to Disney MGM! Akira Hokuto! Kaoru! Ciclope!

“SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN” is pacing around the studio to the annoyance of TONY SCHIAVONE. But, he’s only doing it so that he can get into the same mindset as Hogan, working himself into an anxiety attack with Roddy Piper on the horizon.

MR. JL (0-7-0) vs. HORACE BOULDER (WCW debut)

JL has completely changed his look, basically looking like the other half of a Spy vs Spy mission with Top Gunn. Horace is making his debut in the company, but he brings with him some deep family ties. We could be in for a lot of Horace, if his cousin Mike Awesome starts flaunting his political powers. Of course, first he’ll have to do something about that hair.


I positively love the controlled studio audience of Disney MGM, because the fans stand up en masse, giving Horace the thumbs down and booing like crazy. The man hasn’t even debuted or given you a reason to hate him, and the fans have universally rejected him. And you know what? I’m with them. Horace sucks! He tosses JL around for awhile, until JL gets some comical offense, including a slam that looks like it throws his back out. Horace decides to stop selling it after a few seconds, and plans JL with a German suplex. A Scorpion Deathdrop is followed by a superplex, and Horace wins at 3:04. *

CHRIS JERICHO (7-1-0) vs. SCOTT ARMSTRONG (0-3-0)

Armstrong gets in the first blow, and that’s all he’s getting. A standing vertical suplex gets 2, while Tony grills Heenan about his relationship with the nWo for the 40th week in a row. As usual, Heenan stands his ground that he won’t join their group until Hogan’s gone. I admire Heenan’s consistency; even after Hogan turned his back on the company, Heenan refused to toe the usual heel commentary line, and stuck to his lifelong hatred of the man. A tornado bulldog gets a 2 count. Armstrong tries a slam, and winds up eating a spinning heel kick. A Lionsault sets up a missile dropkick, and Jericho continues to roll at 4:26. *1/2

PSYCHOSIS (1-3-1) vs. DALE HUNTER

I’ve got to assume Dale Hunter is this guy’s real name, because I can’t find any information on him, and using that name in the mid-90’s is completely ridiculous (even if it IS the South). I look forward to the soon to debut, completely original characters, Hakeem Olajuwon, Amani Toomer, and Kenny Dykstra. Psychosis tries to finish immediately with a hard dropkick, but Hunter kicks out at 2. Dale misses a roar elbow, and Psychosis flies in with a lightning fast spinning heel kick. A missile dropkick gets 2, and Hunter’s had enough of that, hitting a clothesline. A pumphandle slam is followed by a one fingered cover. This dude has a little moxie. Hunter lays one “directly into a bowl of Mrs. Guerrero’s chili”, while Heenan questions why no one ever bothers turning the mask around to blind the guy. Hunter somehow misses a flying jalapeno, going right OVER Psychosis’ head, but he’s a pro and sells it anyway. Then he immediately shrugs it off and finishes with a corkscrew senton at 3:28. Psychosis was on his game tonight, everything was crisp and sharp. **

MEIKO SATOMURA and SONOKO KATO vs. AKIRA HOKUTO and KAORU (1-0-0) (with Sonny Onoo)

Is Akira ever gonna defend that belt of hers? In fact, she never even seems to carry it to the shows. I’m thinking she lost it in Japan, and hasn’t had the stones to tell WCW she had an unauthorized title match. The Board of Directors might have a conniption if they catch wind of that one; and given all they do around the clock, maybe it’s best to keep them in the dark. At least until it’s dumped in the trash on RAW. Team Evil destroys the teenagers in a completely one-sided beatdown that’s met with crazy mad canned heat. Of course the actual fans seem to be more engaged with trying to locate Wildcat Willy, but that’s Disney for you. Hokuto accidently hits Kaoru with a crossbody block, allowing the faces to … Irish whip Kaoru. No, seriously, that’s it, they whipped her into the ropes, and immediately took a double missile dropkick from Hokuto. Moonsault from Kaoru finishes at 2:36. The heels refuse to stop, having far too much fun, so MADUSA saunters down to ringside and tells Hokuto she has a problem with her. A (completely embarrassing) slapping fight breaks out, so Sonny hauls his client away. Mayweather / Pacquiao it ain’t. 1/2*

MIGUEL PERES (1-0-0) vs. STEVE ARMSTRONG (0-2-0)

My copy of this is completely shot, which I’m sure is going to disappoint the legions of readers who, like me, need to know exactly what moves were used in this very important match up from 18 years ago. I can say that it looks like Peres managed to get the job done with an X-Rated Moonsault, in roughly 4 minutes.


CICLOPE (0-2-0) vs. REY MYSTERIO JR. (6-2-2)

In one of those moments where hindsight is clear, Rey Jr. was easily the most marketable cruiserweight the company had. They’re establishing a division, so diversity is good, but turning the belt back to Malenko time and again when this guy should have been the face of it for years was a mistake. I always consider the cruiserweights one of the big “What Ifs”, because if they’d been literally separated from the heavyweights from Day 1, and been marketed the same way UFC has done so, could we have ever seen pay-per-views headlined with these guys? I genuinely don’t know the answer to that question, but I like to believe if the Cruiserweight belt had been put on par with the World Title for the lightweights, that they could have done some serious business given the right storylines.

Rey makes sure to slap the hands of every single fan in the front row, before turning his attention to the one eyed monster. Rey works a crossface (Heenan: “He’s got him by the eye!!!”), but Ciclope escapes. A vertical suplex grounds Mysterio, but a follow up tombstone attempt is turned into a rana. Rey tries a second time – this time getting launched about 9 feet in the air before belly flopping. A dropkick is followed by a DDT, but Rey kicks out at 2. A military press into a throat-first hot shot knocks the wind out of Rey, and Ciclope works a headscissors to try and get a submission. Mysterio fights loose, and ducks a clothesline, hitting a springboard moonsault for 2! A pissy Ciclope hits a nasty Doctor Bomb for 2! They move to a camel clutch, with Ciclope continuing to try and knock the man out, or at least keep him winded from performing high flying moves. Rey wiggles loose, so Ciclope puts him on the top rope, and DDT’s him half-way across the ring for 2!!! Ye gods! Ciclope poses a sec, and that’s more than enough time for Rey to hit a spinning heel kick, because you can’t take your eyes off him for a second. A two-man slide sends Ciclope to the floor, and Rey’s all over him with a springboard plancha! Back in, West Coast Pop puts an end to this at 7:16! Rey Mysterio Jr. is fantastic, probably behind only Shawn Michaels and possibly Chris Benoit amongst performers in North America at this point. As long as his smile stays intact, we should see him plenty. ***1/2

Tony covers tonight’s pay-per-view main event, explaining that in a title match, if Piper wins, he captures the gold. Oh, you mean unlike Starrcade where it was completely implicated as a bait and switch, this time they mean it? CALL YOUR CABLE OPERATOR NOW!