Thursday, October 30, 2014

WCW Worldwide: October 20, 1996

It’s been a busy week and I’ve fallen behind again, which is embarrassing considering this lineup of wrestling that’s been waiting for me. Stars like Alex Wright, Madusa, and Ice Train are here this week!

TONY SCHIAVONE and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN are your hosts; and apparently the line was building all day at Disney to see WCW. This might in fact be true, I’ve been to Disney, and EVERYTHING has a bloody line, even that traumatizing “It’s A Small World” ride through hell.

ALEX WRIGHT vs. DEAN MALENKO

I don’t know how the ring is going to contain itself from the charisma that’s just oozing out of these guys. In fact, if any match was a threat to end with the lights going out, followed by a Lantern hologram and attack from Charles Manson, this is probably the one. Malenko hits a double underhook overhead suplex, and holds on to work the arm. That doesn’t last long before Wright starts in with the European uppercuts, followed by his transition move, the European uppercuts. A European uppercut sets up a European uppercut, and Wright gets 2. In the corner, Wright hits a European uppercut, before trying a spinning heel kick which seems silly because it’s not a European uppercut. Wright goes up for a missile dropkick, but Malenko throws the referee in the way, and when you’re talking about men who would fall unconscious at a dance club from a twerk, you know that poor Randy Eller must be on life support from that. After resuscitation, Eller somehow remembers in his pre-coma state that Malenko scumbagged him, and gives the win at Wright at 3:51. *

JIM POWERS vs. CHRIS BENOIT

Heenan points out Powers is in the best shape of his life, but I’m pretty sure Scott Hall eluded to the same thing on Nitro a couple of weeks ago. Honestly, if he was in any better shape, he’d probably explode; and then what? We’d be left with a row of Disney onlookers covered in testosterone and rock hard man-boob. NICK PATRICK referees without his neck brace. Powers runs through the type of offense that would make workers like the Renegade jealous, but it’s all for naught. A swandive changes everything, and Benoit wins at 3:28. Heenan declares the Horsemen have never had a bad member. Oy … vey. *1/2

MADUSA vs. LEILANI KAI

Tony can’t help but crow about Madusa championing the Women’s division since her arrival in WCW. Way to go Madusa, you keep wrestling that one match every 3 months. Kai isn’t in great shape here, looking less like a professional wrestler, and more like a new mom. And, to be fair, a lot of new mom’s are sexy as all hell – but I wouldn’t suggest throwing on a singlet and heading out to perform on a national wrestling stage. Madusa takes this one quickly with a schoolboy at 2:31. Kai, still hormonal, attacks Madusa after the match. AND SO IT BEGINS! 1/2*

THE ARMSTRONG BROTHERS vs. THE ROCK & ROLL EXPRESS

Holy crap a fresh match up for the R&R! And the Armstrongs are all over the heel act tonight, with Steve strutting around the ring like he’s a late 70’s Memphis champion or something. The fans are right riled up about this too for some reason, and I can dig it. Morton hiptosses both Armstrongs around for awhile, while the fans chant “ROCK AND ROLL” until they’re hoarse. Gibson starts working over the Armstrongs, but a little cheating changes everything. Scott knocks Morton off the apron, and keeps Gibson in the heel corner. What the hell is this? I don’t think I’ve seen Gibson take a beating in his life, that’s not his role. Morton gets the hot tag, and slams Armstrongs all over the place! A crossbody on Steve gets the pin at 3:41. That wasn’t at all what I expected. *1/2

DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. ICE TRAIN (with Teddy Long)

This is your main event. Heenan gives us a scoop on Long; that if you walk real close behind him, his head smells like furniture polish. Train keeps DDP down in the corner, but that doesn’t stop Page from hearing the jeers of the crowd, yelling at someone “SHUT UP YOU FAT PIG!” Train wrings the arm, and a clothesline sends Page to the floor. Train is a ball of energy tonight, and the fans are digging it, as Long leads an “ICE! ICE! ICE!” chant. Page comes back with a necksnap over the top rope, and takes over the offense with some stomping in the corner. A discus clothesline gets 2. In a headlock, Train hulks up, and gets a sunset flip(!) for 2. An explosive clothesline sets up the Train Wreck, but Page kicks out! Oh god, NOW what can he do? An avalanche misses, and Page dives on top with his feet on the ropes and scores the pin at 6:37?!? A MISSED AVALANCHE??? This show, sometimes … *1/2


Next week, there’s no stopping the star power. Juvi! Konnan! Rick Steiner! Kevin Sullivan! Until then …

Sunday, October 26, 2014

WCW Saturday Night: October 19, 1996

I met Mick Foley Friday night. If you’re here for the wrasslin’, you may want to skip me as I indulge in a little long-winded epilogue of the night.

This probably isn’t much of a surprise, seeing as how he was in Ottawa to do his comedy show and I live here. Wrestling fans sorta flock to wrestlers, it’s how we roll. My best friend was able to help organize an outing with a number of people from his office, and to spice things up we brought a number of non-wrestling fan wives along for the ride (including my own).

We were having a drink at the bar next to the venue before the show, when much to my surprise, in walks Mick Foley and Jason Sensation, and a small pile of merchandise that he was selling (and donating the proceeds to charity). I quickly took my place in line, with my wife, to meet the Hardcore Legend.

My wife, Emily, wasn’t much of a Mick Foley fan. She didn’t “get it”, and I understand. Mick is someone you had to have experienced in his prime. You have to be a wrestling fan to appreciate the sacrifices he made on his body that he made night after night that extend far beyond the Cell that everyone links him to. You had to have experienced Commissioner Mick Foley, the happy go lucky geek, who swung his gavel wildly while making decisions to screw with the heel contingency and keep things in order. His shenanigans with Edge and Christian. His love for children, and the passionate ways he tries to make everyone happy. She never saw this. She sees the old hobo who shows up once in a blue moon to rave like a lunatic, and hobble away. I knew if she met him, this would change. I hoped.

I got there first. I asked Mick to sign a well-thumbed paperback edition of Have a Nice Day. I actually had a first edition hard cover once upon a time, but it was lost in a flood years ago. This was the replacement, as getting the hard cover editions are challenging these days.

I told him that I appreciated all he’d given to the wrestling business, with the exception of that match with Heavy Metal Van Hammer. He chuckled and said “come on, that was a good one.” I shook my head. I told him he was an excellent writer, that I had read all 4 of his autobiographies, and that I hoped he would never stop.

Then came Emily. The line at this point extended out the door. She presented my old copy of “Hard Knocks & Cheap Pops”, the only Foley DVD I still own after having sold most of my stuff years ago. He signed the front. She told him that she had heard (via me) that he sometimes granted second wishes to children who had used their “Wish”, but were still suffering years later. My wife worked with disabled children as a teenager, and she still would if the chips had fallen a little differently with her career. Mick looked at her in the eye with all sincerity and asked “do you know someone who needs a second wish?” Emily admitted she didn’t, but that she thought the fact he did this unselfishly was wonderful. Mick said he used to work with an organization who did those on the side as kids can’t have a “Second Wish”. He completely ignored the fact there were dozens of fans who were wanting a picture with the Hardcore Legend, because he was now engaged in a real conversation about a topic he truly cared about.

She wound up buying every glossy picture on his table, and asked that he autograph them to me. We all had photos done, and he thanked my wife for having the talk with him. It re-affirmed my long-standing belief that Mick truly is one of the good guys in the business, not looking to take advantage of Mark Money. He cares about his fans, kids, Christmas (yesterday was Day #304 of the Foley Is Santa shirt tour), and is a great spirit. His comedy was excellent too, albeit in a wrestling niche (most of his jokes went over my wife’s head unfortunately).

He made a new fan last night. And he re-affirmed my fandom forever.

But enough about that. You’re here for the CYBORG FACTORY. Full edition tonight as the baseball season is just about over (fkn Yankees). DUSTY RHODES and TONY SCHIAVONE hype Halloween Havoc which is just a week away, and they’re worried about WCW because now Savage is an emotional wreck. Will he make it to the big show?

EDDIE GUERRERO has a message for DDP. When he won the Lord of the Ring, it was a big accomplishment (eep, set the bar a little higher, Barbarian nearly won the dang thing). But now he’s hurt his family, and he’s mad. Spitting mad!

DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. SCOTTY RIGGS (with Marcus Bagwell)

Holy crap, Scotty Riggs still lives! I thought we’d lost him when Bagwell started to succumb to Jim Powers’ charm last month, but they’re back! Riggs sings his own theme music because he isn’t embarrassing enough already. NICK PATRICK is your referee, but DDP’s involved so that really should have gone without saying. Riggs gets a hiptoss, and he’s mighty proud of himself. Page elbows him in the face, and hits a swinging neckbreaker that’s got him all fired up. A pancake gets 2. Riggs manages to fight out of a headlock, and dropkicks Page to the floor. He’s right behind with a plancha, and a world of personal excitement! Back in, Riggs nails a double axehandle off the top, and a follow up super sunset flip gets 2! Tony: “Nick Patrick is still favoring his neck!” Dusty: “What neck?” Tony: “…the one on his head?” Before we can explore Dusty’s newfound interest in anatomy, a Diamond Cutter gets the pin at 3:14 despite the fact Riggs’ foot was under the rope. Page is so nWo at this point I’m surprised he isn’t painting himself black and white like Roddy Piper did that one unfortunate time. *

TONY SCHIAVONE stops Page in the back. Page brags about taking advantage of Riggs’ mistake, something that “seniorita” Eddie Guerrero knows all too well. If he was any kind of man, he’d have left the Clash of Champions with the ring months ago. He promises to play La Bamba with burrito boy’s head on the turnbuckles. Don’t be offended, this is nothing in 1996 pro-wrestling. Over on RAW they were openly encouraging the fans to chant a 6-letter f-word at Goldust that I can’t even type without getting uncomfortable.

DEAN MALENKO (with Rey Mysterio Jr’s mask) vs. ALEX WRIGHT

This is a return from the upset on Nitro a couple of weeks ago, which Tony declares “very important!” Wright hits a spinning heel kick, and works a hammerlock. Malenko comes back with a grapevine of the leg, and starts working over the knee. He crushes the bones into a fine powder, with a series of kneedrops and holds. They battle to the apron, and in the melee Wright gets a German suplex with a bridge for 2! A series of European uppercuts sets up a wobbly dropkick for 2. They start trading pin styles, before Malenko dropkicks Wright’s dropkick (yes!), and a double underhook pin gets the victory at 4:20. *1/2

TONY SCHIAVONE feels Deano’s on a roll going into Havoc. Malenko promises lightning won’t strike twice from Rey, and he just proved it by avenging previous losses this week, with Brad Armstrong and now Alex Wright.

JEFF JARRETT vs. STEVE ARMSTRONG

Tradition and heritage – mark off your Jeff Jarrett buzzword Bingo cards! A hiptoss is enough to get Jarrett to start his Fargo strut. A drop toe hold sets Jarrett to dance on Armstrong’s back, but he struts one time too many and gets his ass kicked. Jarrett comes back with a sitdown powerbomb, and follows with a slingshot suplex – which is because he’s so SMART (which you can see when he POINTS TO HIS HEAD!). Armstrong sneaks in a backslide for 2, and he follows with a clothesline to hold the momentum. A powerslam and quick splash gets 2. Jarrett stops the comeback with a single leg atomic drop, and slaps on the Figure Four for the win at 3:33. Which dum-dum decided he’d be best served as a frickin’ BABYFACE? *

TONY SCHIAVONE cuts Jarrett off on his way to the Pay Windah. Jeff says he’s made an impact since he’s been here (no he hasn’t), and now he’s going to make the biggest impact of them all when he slaps a Figure Four on the Giant at Halloween Havoc. He vows to make the nWo respect him. He can’t wait to show the No Wrestling Organization what happens when you step in the ring with a real traditionalist. Shoot me.

MIKE ENOS and BUNKHOUSE BUCK (with Colonel Robert Parker) vs. THE FACES OF FEAR (with Jimmy Hart)

Dusty wonders why the heck Enos isn’t tagging with Dirty Dick, because they’ve become a “really great team” these last few months. Have they ever won a match? Enos has probably had enough of the losing and is looking to shake things up a little. Of course, trying this against the Faces of Fear who have LEGIT become a really great team these past few months is not a good place to start, unless of course you have already filled out a legal will (which is not hard to do in 1996 WCW, as every break features people so eager to prepare your will, that they appear to have rabies). There’s an interesting dynamic here with Parker, because Buck couldn’t be happier to see him, but Enos is so offended by his presence that Parker is chased to the back, defending himself with the cane. Meng starts beating down Buck. Buck tries to fight off Meng, but he gets powerslammed. NICK PATRICK is your referee, and despite his neck brace, will probably be in better shape than the impending losers when this is over. Everyone trades off, and Enos tries to suplex Barbarian. That goes nowhere, and he eats a bunch of elbows. A crossbody is stupidly attempted, and Enos winds up in Barbarian’s awaiting arms. Enos slips off and throws fists, that Barbarian doesn’t even react to. Enos takes a nasty looking powerbomb, and both members of Fear hit leaping headbutts simultaneous. Enos is saved at the last second by Buck. Barbarian gives Enos some chops that echo through the rafters, but misses a falling headbutt allowing Enos to tag out. Buck comes in with the clubberin’, and successfully gets a sunset flip for 1. Parker re-emerges with SISTA SHERRI in tow now. Meanwhile, everything breaks down, with Meng single handedly beating down everyone. Enos winds up on the floor, where Parker stomps the shit out of him. Back in the ring, a Kick of Fear finishes Buck at 4:28. ** I haven’t got the foggiest idea why Mike Enos thought this match was a good idea.

MARK STARR vs. LEX LUGER

Starr isn’t wearing his construction dregs; Man Off Work? Is Kanyon picking up his slack? How does Mike Winner feel about this? Starr misses a blind charge and winds up getting schoolboyed for 2. A backslide gets 2. Starr winds up throwing Luger between the ropes to the floor, and when he tries to re-enter quickly, Starr kicks him on the apron. Starr slams him into the buckle, but that just seems to get him fired up, because he’s ROARING! Lex, you stud! A powerslam sets up the Rack, and a winner is Lex at 3:19. Not a good weekend for Starr, a big loss, and likely discipline from his superior for not finishing that tough measuring job. 1/2*

Backstage, TONY SCHIAVONE presumably wants to talk to Mark Starr about his current construction project. Unfortunately, he gets Luger instead. Luger says his back is feeling better than ever, and Arn Arnderson should ask Mark Starr about it. Is Mark Starr studying chiropractic work on the side? This is a fascinating man! Luger promises to Rack Anderson, AND hurt him.

RON STUDD vs. CHAVO GUERRERO JR.

Ron Studd gets interview time! This is the best Saturday night ever! He says Jeff Jarrett doesn’t know if he’s a country singer or a wrestler, but he knows what he is, and that’s a wrecking machine. “This Monday on Nitro, you’ll be SINGING THE BLUES!” I think I need to hear a lot more from Ron Studd. Specifically, why he’s no longer a Super Giant Ninja, and why he has clearly murdered Fit Finlay and stolen his music. We’ve got a clear mismatch here, but Benoit’s knocked off Studd a bunch of times, so Chavo has no excuses. Studd drops down to his knees to bring himself to Chavo’s level (he’s still taller), so Chavo leapfrogs him and dropkicks him in the back. Off the top, a crossbody gets a 2. Then it’s STUDD TIME – as he gives backbreakers galore, and pounds himself in the head! A standing vertical suplex gets the win at 2:02. Studd’s on a winning streak! If I were Jarrett, I’d think seriously about quitting WCW immediately. In fact, I encourage this. DUD

Meanwhile, over in nWo world, we’re now hosting an nWo Cruiserweight title tournament …

JOHNNY “TOO TOUGH” ACCABELLA vs. SYXX

We have stats on Accabella! He’s 6’2”, 195 lbs, with a 33” reach. His left fist is 13 1/3”, while the right extends to 14 1/4". From his hometown of “The Dark Side”, his pro record is an excellent 34-5. Other credentials include being the Dr. Donut Dozen Eating Champ (1987-1990), as well as the Winner of the “Mr. Shape” Contest in 1991 – Boise, Idaho. He threatens with his finisher, the Screaming Sleeper. Your ring announcers are THE OUTSIDERS, and the MASKED REFEREE is once again present, who is obviously NOT Nick Patrick. Syxx trades Wolfpac kisses with the Outsiders, before they take over commentary. Apparently the referee’s name is Dr. X. Accabella hits a “deep armdrag!” Nash encourages Syxx to use his girth advantage, but he’s busy being slammed into the turnbuckles. Syxx finally gives off a “belly to back soufflĂ©”, before giving him the “car wreck” on the outside. He starts chopping Accabella, “simply tearing the skin away, like peeling an onion”. A quick legdrop sets up a “vertical soufflĂ©”, and Hall starts asking Syxx to whip out a spin kick. Instead, he hits a dropkick in the corner that Hall calls the “buzzkiller”. Then he gives the spinning heel kick, and scores the pin at 4:06. This is shameless masturbatory stuff, but it cracks me up and is harmless in contrast to taking over the shows.

SERGEANT CRAIG PITTMAN (with Teddy Long) vs. CHRIS BENOIT

Oh hell, not this pairing again! They don’t mesh, stop it WCW! NICK PATRICK is assigned to this match. Pittman takes Benoit down, and howls to the stars. An overhead belly to belly launches Chris hard, and he falls to the floor. Back in, Pittman headbutts Benoit, and gives him the battering ram spear. Benoit tosses him to the floor, and attacks. Long wanders over, but one look from Benoit stops THAT plan. Some fan starts a USA chant, because Benoit is not yet hailing from Atlanta, Georgia. Pittman throws a few more battering ram spears, and both guys start trading chops. Pittman no sells because he’s a useless creep. Benoit whips Pittman to the buckle, and finishes with the swandive at 5:23. Nope, they’re still awkward ring-mates. *

TONY SCHIAVONE is with WOMAN and ARN ANDERSON. For the millionth week in a row, they confirm that Liz is no longer with them. Woman promises she can always be counted on. Over to Luger, Arn says he let everyone down, WCW, Sting, the Horsemen, everyone. At Havoc, he’s going to find out what makes the Horsemen so great.

CHRIS JERICHO vs. MARCUS BAGWELL (with Scotty Riggs)

Tony hypes Jericho’s match with Syxx at Halloween Havoc by talking incessantly about Miss Elizabeth. The guys trade hiptosses, and go for simultaneous dropkicks that miss, and Jericho gives them both a big ovation. Such a wiener. Bagwell issues a hiptoss, and puts on a hammerlock. Jericho comes back with a Lionsault onto a standing Bagwell, and gets 2. Up top, a missile dropkick is right on the money, but Bagwell kicks out at 2. Bagwell fires back with a dropkick to the “solar system” (thanks Dusty!), and a gutbuster has Bagwell clapping. Jericho comes back with a crossbody and gets the 3 at 3:33. Riggs applauds for both of them, which upsets Bagwell. It’s okay Marcus, you still have the Clap. *1/2

In the back, TONY SCHIAVONE stops Jericho. Chris reminds us that the nWo have never lost a match, but he promises to deliver the first chink in their invincible armour, and screams “COME ON BAYBEE!” I hate this version of Jericho with every fibre of my being; and the only chicken soup for the soul I can get out of this is the knowledge that Jericho himself does too.

ROAD BLOCK vs. RANDY SAVAGE

Yessssss, the legendary Road Block!



Now this is a man! Savage has no hope in hell. In fact, RANDY ANDERSON hits the ring and informs the referee and Road Block that Savage is gone. Road Block: “What do you mean he left?!? I’ve been waiting my WHOLE CAREER for this! I WANT SOMEONE OUT HERE NOW!” When WCW fails to deliver, Road Block tears off into the back, and grabs the first person he sees.

ROAD BLOCK vs. DUSTY WOLFE

He gives Wolfe a big powerslam, and orders him to stand up. Wolfe is dead, so he doesn’t. That just drives Road Block to do it two more times, and score the easy win at 0:37. Road Block demands Lex Luger now, and vows to show up at Nitro to fight everyone! *****


We end with Liz’s stupid video, and slow shots of Randy Savage crying. Can Halloween Havoc hurry up and be over so we can stop with this Liz crap? Thankfully Worldwide is up next and I’m pretty sure Liz isn’t contractually obligated to be there.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

WCW Prime: October 14, 1996

It’s always hard to say goodbye, and tonight is no exception. Please stay tuned for a photographic ode to WCW Prime at the end of this recap.

Yes, that’s right. This is it. The end. The finale. We’ve been together for so long. But all amazing things must come to an end, and our never ending line of colorful jobbers, and the smiling face of Johnny B Badd months after his departure will never grace our screens again. It feels almost blasphemous that he was replaced with Lex Luger last week.

CHRIS CRUISE returns for his last hurrah. DUSTY RHODES may have one more moo left in his belly welly.

HUGH MORRUS (with Jimmy Hart and Maxx) vs. LEROY HOWARD

NICK PATRICK referees this one – but if you’re worried about shenanigans, it’s important to note that he is without an evil goatee and his neckbrace, so it’s likely this was taped at some point in mid ’93. I have no idea what WCW is going to do with its years of unaired syndication without this program, but if WCW Pro expands into a second hour, I wouldn’t argue with it. Leroy’s been on the receiving end of more than one Hugh Morrus assault in the past, but we’re going to the well one more time for old time’s sake. It’s a party here on the Prime, with all our old favorites! Morrus wins with No Laughing Matter into the splits for a pin at 2:40. 1/2*

JIM POWERS and THE RENEGADE (with Teddy Long) vs. HARLEM HEAT (with Colonel Robert Parker and Sista Sherri) (in a non-title match)

Dusty starts openly eating on the air, because he couldn’t give less of a crap about this show, or Chris Cruise. He’s usually incomprehensible either way, so it doesn’t change much. I wonder what it is that prompts the bookers of this company to put Harlem Heat on every single show. Did they conduct some sort of marketing study that found viewers were really into seeing Harlem Heat 5 times a week? Do Harlem Heat help with varying demographics? Are they just really fun to wrestle, and all the boys are lined up for matches with them? I’m trying to find a reasonable explanation for the 100+ matches I’ve recapped this year featuring them, without them breaking the *** barrier even one time. Booker hits the Harlem sidekick on Jim Powers, and Stevie locks on his move, the chinlock. Booker starts yelling about the sucka Powers, which really offends Cruise for some reason, and he sets out on a personal mission to defend the fact that he is not, in fact, a sucka. Renegade gets the hot tag in here, but Booker drops a leg across the back of his head quickly to stop any momentum. A double team powerbomb scores the easy pin for the Heat at 5:21. *

M. WALLSTREET vs. JOHNNY BOONE

Cruise asks what the M stands for, which is a GREAT question since he up and changed his name. Dusty goes with “mon-ay!” which is probably not a bad guess since this is WCW. Boone almost scores an upset with a schoolboy for 2. Wallstreet lives to bore, and works a chinlock. For god knows what reason, Dusty starts talking about dikes (and not dykes, which would have served as a quality reason why the show was cancelled), as Wallstreet scores the pin with the Stock Market Crash at 2:59. DUD

DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. DISCO INFERNO

I was about to question what this was doing on the PRIME, but I have to sadly admit that Disco has been little more than a comedy jobber for nearly 8 months now. Page attacks before the bell, stomping Disco like he’s applying for the lead role in American History X. Disco blocks a kick, but takes a discus punch. He goes for a pancake slam, but Disco winds up sunset flipping him instead for 2. Page clotheslines him for daring to show a little offense. After a little more choking, cuz he’s kinky like that, Page drops an elbow right on the penis! He claims it was in the gut, but the camera showed otherwise. Disco finally decides cheating’s his only hope, with a poke to the eye and whips out the Flip Flop n Fly to Dusty’s delight. Swinging neckbreaker nearly gets the win, but Page gets a foot on the rope. Disco celebrates like he won, and starts celebrating … right into a Diamond Cutter at 4:21. *1/2

THE ROCK & ROLL EXPRESS vs. CHRIS BENOIT and ARN ANDERSON (in the Prime Cuts Moo Match of the Week)

These guys must be involved in some sort of polygamous relationship, because I can’t remember the last time the RnR fought anyone else. The fans, under strict military orders, give some love to the RnR. Morton snaps off a rana against Benoit, but that just makes Chris mad, and you DON’T want to make him mad. Morton recognizes, and gets out of Dodge. Gibson hits an enzuigiri, which translated into Dusty is called the “LouGehrig”. On the floor, Arn tries to take off Gibson’s head, but he punches the ring post. Gibson gives it a second shove, just for the hell of it. Back in, Morton dives in off the top, and Gibson drops a knee across the arm. Arn finals has enough of this crap and delivers a little snake eyes, before turning Benoit loose. Ricky is beaten in the corner, and given a back elbow right to the mush. A quick toss sends Morton into the waiting hands of Arn Anderson, who introduces him to the ring post. Arn then takes to distracting the referee for Benoit to slam him face first to the ring steps. Morton tries a sunset flip on his way back in, and after a long struggle and several Arn Anderson punches, it hits and gets 2. Anderson puts Morton in a front facelock to prevent a pin, but Morton fights, so Arn releases and punches Gibson in the face to knock him off the apron. Benoit enters with a quick backdrop suplex, but Morton still has a little life in him which is unusual against Chris. They trade blows, which Benoit wins, and we check back in with Arn. He tries an axehandle blow, but Morton blocks with a kick to the face, allowing Morton to tag in a red hot Gibson. Horsemen are laid out all over the ring! A double dropkick connects, but Morton won’t leave the ring fast enough while Gibson covers, and Benoit flies in with the swandive, Anderson is rolled on top, and the Horsemen win once again at 8:50. Good main event to close out the show’s history. **1/2

And it ends with a final plug for Halloween Havoc.

But I don’t want it to end on this note, oh no. Let’s take one last look back at the 1996 run of WCW Prime, in pictures.
























RIP WCW Prime.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

WCW Nitro: October 14, 1996

No Worldwide this week because my copy is completely corrupted. It’s unfortunate, because apparently, Sting returned, walking down the ring and saying “sorry brothers, I was just upset, we’re cool again!” and returned to doing absolutely nothing to combat the nWo. The remaining 56 minutes were filled by Glacier’s entrance. I don’t care if you don’t believe me.

Street lights are exploding EVERYWHERE, because WCW is LIVE in Memphis, Tennessee, for what TONY SCHIAVONE calls “two red hot hours!” One of these weeks, I want them to admit “yeah, you’re good to skip this one, ice cold folks, ice cold.” LARRY ZBYSZKO is around too, but I’m thinking you don’t care any more than I do.

DEAN MALENKO (with Rey Mysterio Jr’s mask) vs. BRAD ARMSTRONG

Tony introduces Malenko as “Dean Armstrong”, which just terrifies me. The Bullet has produced enough crappy children, I don’t need him sapping the life out of other midcarders. As you may be aware, these guys have been paired on all the syndicated G-shows multiple times, and the announcers fill their shorts with excitement every time that these guys met in the initial Cruiserweight tournament. Tonight is no exception. A heavily neckbraced NICK PATRICK is your referee, and he’s selling more than Mr. Perfect in his prime. The fans show their appreciation for this quality Cruiserweight matchup by erupting in an “nWo!” chant, and waving their propaganda in the air. Tough crowd. Armstrong plants Malenko with a dropkick, and Deano rolls to the safety of the floor. Back in, Dean slams Armstrong’s head to the buckle, and takes over with a grounded abdominal stretch. He releases, and hits a waistlock side suplex. Armstrong manages to get a shot into Malenko’s face, giving him a chance to head up and connect with a missile dropkick for 2. They trade pinfall spots, and then Brad hits the side Russian legsweep – but he takes too long to cover and it only gets 2. He ain’t winning, that was his move. Lo and behold Malenko manages to squeeze in a full nelson cradle out of nowhere and scores the pin at 5:24. **

MEN WHO KNOW USE VALVOLINE!

Backstage, THE NWO arrive in a pair of limousines. Looks like the gang’s all here.

M. WALLSTREET vs. JIM DUGGAN

This is allegedly a return match from Saturday Night, but I don’t remember seeing any “M. Wallstreet”. One of my favorite WCWisms is their own inability to keep people’s names straight from show to show. How many N’s in Konnan this week? Is it Rey Mysterio or Misterio? Why don’t I ever see JL and Jerry Lynn together? And what of Buddy Valentino? WCW assigned a referee who wasn’t Nick Patrick to this one to try and get a legit winner. I have an idea – why not do this ALL THE TIME? The fact that the company isn’t taking any action, ever, against a group of thugs who have taken over, vandalized, and effectively made a mockery of their show means one of two things. Either they are the dumbest group of executives in the history of the universe (don’t bet against it with this crew), or someone on the inside is behind this whole thing. Duggan winds up taking a pounding, and responds by wildly swinging his fists at absolutely nothing because he’s so discombobulated. Wallstreet works a headlock with his feet on the ropes, because he’s such a slimeball. Duggan fights out, and pounds Wallstreet with his giant ham fists. Duggan pulls the roll of tape out of his tights, but Wallstreet clotheslines him from behind and tapes up HIS fists! As he does that, Duggan explodes out of the 3 point stance and gets the win at 4:38. *1/2

HUGH MORRUS vs. JIM POWERS (with Teddy Long)

Maybe I didn’t lose my copy of Worldwide after all, because all 3 matches we’ve seen so far ain’t no Nitro quality, that’s for damn sure. I’m just waiting for appearances from Maxx, and Braun the Leprechaun. NICK PATRICK has been re-assigned to this one. In an absolutely bizarre moment, Tony sends a big thanks to one “Mr. Lawler” for helping them sell out the Memphis arena and getting the word out about tonight’s show. Now what the hell is THAT about? It reeks of snarkiness, but I’m gonna defer to the old school RSPW folks to hopefully help me out here. The boys trade leapfrogs for awhile, but Morrus spends too long yukking it up and he gets slammed. A crossbody from Powers gets 2. A clothesline is enough for Morrus to take a powder, while Teddy long throws his arms in the air in disgust for this awful stall tactics. Back in, Morrus clotheslines Powers, and chokes him out in the ropes. Larry interjects if you use the bulk of your 5 second count, you’re “more better off”. His commentary is less crappy awful. Morrus threatens No Laughing Matter before deciding it’s not time yet. Instead, he chooses to miss an elbowdrop, and Powers takes over with some head shots to the buckle. A sunset flip gets a slow 2, and that sets Long off. Powers hits a running knee while Long barks at Patrick. A powerslam gets the world’s longest 1 count, because Patrick’s too injured to keep counting, and the fans lose their business. Powers shoves Morrus to the corner, and Patrick has to rush to miss it, and that tears a muscle in his neck so he’s not remotely present to count during Powers’ schoolboy. Tony figures it was at least a 4 count. Morrus hits a backdrop suplex, and heads up for No Laughing Matter, and Patrick manages all his energy to make a quality 3 count at 6:34. Long gets all up in Patrick’s grill about his slow counts. They wind up nose to nose, feeding it to each other. *



GREG VALENTINE vs. LEX LUGER

I met Greg Valentine about 7 years ago. He was appearing at a small indy show with all sorts of big names, like Kamala, Koko B Ware, and Johnny Devine. Sid was there too, but if I had mentioned him it would kill the lustre of mediocrity I’m trying to present here. Anyway, he had an autograph table, and I noticed he didn’t have a lot of visitors. Well, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to approach him and ask the question that had been on my mind for years. “Hammer!” I greeted him. “Does it still take you an hour to get warmed up?” He looked at me, with those old veteran eyes, and without breaking character, informed me it would cost $20 for an autograph and a picture. Anyway, I guess WCW realized RAW was about to start, because VINCENT and TED DIBIASE have arrived in the crowd near a giant nWo banner. Tony starts crying for a leader to emerge from WCW, and it sure as shit doesn’t appear to be Luger, who has spent the first 4 minutes of this match getting his ass kicked by a 90 year old man who looks like Triple H’s grandfather. Eventually they knock each other out, and when Luger comes to, he hits Valentine with an atomic drop. Valentine comes back with a clotheslines, and tries a pin with his feet on the ropes, but the referee won’t count. As Valentine argues, Luger sneaks behind with a Rack for the win at 6:36. 1/2*

TONY SCHIAVONE has NICK PATRICK on the sidelines, and suggests if he’s not 100% that perhaps he take some time off. Regarding his fine for Macho Man’s assault on the referee, the WCW committee has decided on one, and it’s not $1,000,000 unfortunately, but in fact $500. Savage will also be suspended for the first 5 matches of 1997. Hah! Patrick calls the committee a group of spineless jellyfish, and says WCW’s about to wind up at war with his lawyers. Tony then calls him out for being the referee during nWo’s tag-team match on Saturday Night. Patrick denies it, he says he’s in better shape than the guy in that match, and thinks it’s actually Randy Anderson. Patrick says they haven’t heard the last about Macho’s actions.

MIKE TENAY and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN take over in hour #2.

MIKE ENOS vs. RANDY SAVAGE

On Savage’s way to the ring, ERIC BISCHOFF stops him to get a word. Savage just wants to go kick “that guy’s a… I can’t say it!” I like that Mike Enos is “that guy”. That’s probably not far off the truth. Bischoff asks what the deal with Liz is. Savage orders him not to go there. Bischoff plays a video from Elizabeth.

She’s sitting on a swing in a park, and she says the only thing left for her to do is make this video. She says she’s been a coward, and she’s now alone. She’s sitting in a place they used to share everything, and she wishes she could change things. She begs for his forgiveness. She understands the worst decision she ever made was signing up with Hulk Hogan’s nWo. She can’t lose Randy, she still feels the same way about him today as she did when they got married.

Bischoff asks for Savage’s thoughts. Savage is near tears, and walks off, pie-facing Bischoff. That doesn’t stop our favorite Ken Doll look-a-like, as he keeps on Savage all the way to the back. Savage doesn’t say a word as he hops in his white limo. The fans, clearly intrigued, chant for the nWo.

I guess Enos wins!

Back from the break, Heenan gives Bischoff a pile of shit for messing with Savage’s already messed up mental state just 2 weeks before he’s supposed to be representing WCW against the nWo.

EDDIE GUERRERO vs. THE CHEETAH KID

Eddie has a match against DDP at Halloween Havoc, and anyone messing with Page is obviously messing with NICK PATRICK, who will referee here. Is it safe to say this is the worst card in Nitro history? You can dress Prince Iaukea up any way you want, but he’s still Prince Iaukea, and he’s taking up precious real estate on the one show I count on for quality match ups once in awhile. Anyway, he hits Eddie with a Samoan drop, and follows with a powerbomb. A second powerbomb attempt is blocked with an armdrag. Eddie is sent to the floor, but the Cheetah kid is all over him. They head back in, where Cheetah is cut off on the top rope and hit with a super Frankensteiner. Frog splash ends it at 2:31. *

Bischoff apologizes to the Poffo family. He should be apologizing to all of us for this awful Nitro.

BIG BUBBER (with Jimmy Hart) vs. JEFF JARRETT

Jarrett gets a good reception, since they’re in Memphis – but outside of this place, Jarrett as a babyface is a HORRIBLE idea. The fans erupt into a massive “DOUBLE J” chant, and he appeases them with a Fargo strut. Bubba ends the love fest with a shoulderblock. An uppercut rocks Jarrett, but he comes back with a thumb to the eye, and a big uppercut of his own. Hart tries to trip up Jarrett, so Jeff chases him around the ring, walking right into an uppercut from Bubba who was perched behind the ringsteps. Bubba hits a shoulderbreaker on the floor, and Hart gets in a few cheap shots of his own. Hart: “THIS IS MEMPHIS BAYBEE, MY TOWN!” They head back in, where Jarrett hits a crossbody off the top for 2. Bubba stands up and pops him in the mouth again, and puts on a headlock. A big boot leaves Jarrett a little off kilter, and he misses a dropkick, and is immediately rocked with a right hand. Bubba misses a blind charge, and eats an atomic drop. Jarrett threatens a figure four, but Hart’s back on the apron. Jarrett flattens him, but Bubba is right behind with a spinebuster! Hart tosses Bubba the megaphone, but Jarrett dropkicks it in Bubba’s face (where it explodes – nice spot!) for the win at 6:43. **1/2

TONY SCHIAVONE stops Jarrett on the ramp, and tells Jeff that he has been granted his match against The Giant at Halloween Havoc. Jarrett cackles, because he thinks he’s the smartest wrestler alive today. He vows to chop the Giant down to size, and make him tap to the Figure Four. He wants the nWo to learn a little respect for tradition.

THE FACES OF FEAR (with Jimmy Hart) vs. HARLEM HEAT (with Sista Sherri and Colonel Robert Parker) (in a non-title match)

You know, if WCW was serious about defending its property from the nWo, it would make this a title match, and let the magic happen when the Faces of Fear eat Harlem Heat alive, and do the following at Halloween Havoc to the Outsiders:



Off the bell, Meng beats on Booker like it’s the last thing he’s ever got to accomplish in his lifetime. CHRIS BENOIT, MONGO MCMICHAEL, and DEBRA MCMICHAEL appear on the ramp, distracting our island heroes. Not quite enough however, because Meng turns back to Booker and runs him over with a shoulderblock. Booker comes back with a Harlem sidekick, and tags in Stevie to double team him. Stevie misses an elbowdrop, and in comes the Barbarian to dish out a little pain. He elbows Stevie in the face about a million times, but Stevie comes back with a bicycle kick to send Barbarian to the floor. He comes back in, walking into a flying jalapeno from Booker. They issue a series of quick tags to keep Barbarian grounded. Booker goes up for a missile dropkick, but Meng casually strolls to the corner and crotches him, before returning to his corner looking bored out of his skull. Barbarian nails a superplex, and a hungry Meng gets the tag. He stops to wiggle his hips at Sherri because he is THE FRICKIN MAN, then powerbombs Booker. The referee tells Stevie to calm down, as Barbarian strolls in and slaps hands with Meng to fake a tag. These guys are so casually cool – Roman Reigns WISHES he could bottle what they have. A standing double headbutt gets 2, saved by Stevie. The fans suddenly erupt as THE OUTSIDERS stroll down through the crowd and sit in the front row, with spray paint in hand. All 4 guys stroll over to the gate, getting counted out at 7:20. **

Hall and Nash back off, wanting no part of these guys. Of course, I’m talking about the Faces of Fear, because Harlem Heat doesn’t scare anyone, except maybe the crowd at Hog Wild.

HOLLYWOOD HOGAN leads THE NWO down to ringside, complete with Elizabeth. The fans whip trash at them as they strut, and start filling the ring before the segment even starts. Vincent gets absolutely covered in soda. Hogan says now that they’re on the eve of Halloween Havoc (no they’re not), he expected Macho Man to actually fight. He points out he’s been off filming 3 Ninjas, and is clean shaven and feeling amazing. He doesn’t think Savage deserves a title shot after spending his night crying. THE NASTY BOYS, clad in nWo shirts, make their way down to the ring. Hogan tells them they’ve never done him wrong, they’ve always watched his back, and he loves them more than he loves his own family (da hell?). Hogan promises he’ll always be there for them. Knobbs has the contract in hand, and says he thinks DiBiase made a mistake because the decimal point was in the wrong place. Hogan says he never signed off on this contract, and really, they shouldn’t be wearing the t-shirts unless Hogan agreed to it. Hogan tells them they do NOT wear the colors unless the nWo says it’s ok, and with that, the entire nWo attacks. The shirts are ripped off their backs, and Hogan orders the nWo to “tag them”. Hogan says what you see here is just a hint of what he’s going to do to Savage, as the nWo spray paint the Nastys. And, in case Savage didn’t know, in all those years Liz was married to him? She was pining for Hogan, holding him as the standard for all men.

Hall, Nash, and Syxx rush the booth and chase off the announcers. Hall says the Heat aren’t from Harlem, but a couple of country bumpkins from Texas, and they’re going to take care of them at Havoc. Nitro cuts to replaying the Savage/Liz segment from earlier, and heads off the air.


Just where the heck IS Sting?

Monday, October 20, 2014

WCW Saturday Night: October 12, 1996

All systems are operating within normal design parameters. THIS is WCW Saturday Night!

TONY SCHIAVONE and DUSTY RHODES are your hosts. Tony hopes to have a Sting update later tonight. My guess? Drying his tears.

BILLY KIDMAN vs. JEFF JARRETT

How am I going to survive the next 12 months of Jeff Jarrett wrestling 2-3 times a week? No good can come from this. Kidman misses a dropkick, and Jarrett points to his head cuz he’s just that smart. A hotshot flattens Kidman, and a slingshot suplex gives Jarrett complete control. Bossman straddle chokes out Kidman, and Jarrett’s struttin’. A dropkick is on point, but he spends too long flexing so Kidman comes back with some punches. Jarrett stops that fast, and puts Kidman up top for a superplex. Figure four finishes at 3:13. *1/2

TONY SCHIAVONE talks with Jarrett backstage, and thinks he’s made quite a statement so far. He saw what happened to Flair on Nitro, and he wants the Giant at Halloween Havoc to make a real statement. Tony promises an answer on Monday. Can I just zip ahead to the fall of 1997 when he’s gone again?

DISCO INFERNO vs. EDDIE GUERRERO

Disco says he’s been on the Shake Your Booty tour, but now he’s back, and he just wants to dance. Production refuses to play his music, bringing out Guerrero instead, frustrating Disco. Eddie snaps off a rana, and follows with the Frankensteiner, but doesn’t hook the legs. A tornado DDT out of the corner gets 2. Disco comes back with a swinging neckbreaker, and we dance! Up come the pants, exposing Disco’s knee … but he misses a kneedrop off the second rope. Guerrero finishes quickly with a Frog splash at 1:57. 1/2*

In the back, TONY SCHIAVONE wants to know what Eddie thinks about DDP. Eddie promises not to yell and be obnoxious like DDP, of course while he’s yelling the entire time. He vows to come at Page full bore. I find 1996 Eddie to be a full bore.

RON STUDD vs. JACK BOOT

I don’t like that Fit Finlay’s disappearance coincided with his music being shoplifted by Ron Studd. Not one bit. What I do like? It shouldn’t surprise you at all:



Of course, Boot is just a repackaged Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker, AKA Braun The Leprechaun. Sorry Dr. Unlikely, it’s the end of an era (except on the syndicated shows). Boot is given a double arm chokeslam, and gets pounded in the corner. A whip to the corner kills old Jack, and a standing vertical suplex gets the win at 1:46. I hate Dungeon of Doom on Dungeon of Doom violence. DUD

PRINCE IAUKEA vs. HUGH MORRUS

Iaukea’s pre-match posing is not unlike Glacier, but he doesn’t cheat with blue lights and mountains of snow. Which he might want to consider, because he’s AWFUL. NICK PATRICK referees with his neck brace. Iaukea tries a schoolboy, but it gets 1. Morrus pops up and clotheslines Iaukea’s head off. It is literally rolling around in the front row of fans, tossing it around like a loose beach ball, it’s unprecedented! Without a head, Iaukea is basically a carcass for Hugh to do with it what he will. And do it, he does, with a spinning heel kick. Two instances of the No Laughing Matter put Iaukea to rest at 2:27. 1/2*

Meanwhile, RANDY SAVAGE is dressed up like Frankenstein. He’s claiming it’s the set of Halloween Havoc, but don’t kid yourself, it’s the Dungeon of Doom with a Slim Jim sign hung up. If he opened the purple door behind him, you know Meng would come barrelling out ready to fight. Does this mean Savage has joined forced with Kevin Sullivan? How do Konan and Konnan feel about this? RIC FLAIR appears as part of a dream to pimp the chance to win a prize package involving the crappy WCW racing team and Halloween Havoc. I’m pretty sure I don’t do drugs, but I’m having a hard time believing I DIDN’T imagine this happened.

VK WALLSTREET vs. JIM DUGGAN

This match actually gets a video package because these guys have fought about 48,200 times, and that’s just in the last year on Prime! NICK PATRICK referees once more, and he sure seems to be around Wallstreet a lot. Secret alliance with the nWo, or just mere co-incidence? Patrick searches Duggan and finds a roll of tape in his pants. No shocker there. Wallstreet attacks during the strip search, and gets in a few cheap shots before the bell. Duggan responds with a series of clotheslines, and little else because he’s developmentally challenged. Wallstreet heads outside, and gives Duggan a neckbreaker across the top rope. Back in, Wallstreet pounds away. Duggan comes back, and loads the boot, which serves him well when he immediately goes back to the punching. Wallstreet gets knocked into Patrick, and Duggan whips out a second roll of tape and scores the easy pin at 2:32. However, Patrick spies the tape after the fact, and reverses his decision. Duggan grabs his 2x4 and chases Patrick away.

TONY SCHIAVONE rushes in to get a word with Patrick. Tony wants to know why Patrick has changed his attitude in recent history. Nick says anyone’s attitude would change if they had faced the type of accusations he had over the last few months. He’s tired of hearing WCW complain about the nWo, and then promptly doing nothing. All they do is resort to name calling. Then he warns the wrestlers not to put their hands on him again, or else.

STEVE ARMSTRONG vs. CHRIS JERICHO

This is a busy card; we’re only half way done and on our 6th match of the night already. Jericho does his usual wiener pandering to the crowd by the guardrail, and is pretty much insufferable. Spinning heel kick gets us started, and Armstrong rolls to the safety of the floor. Jericho catches him on the apron with a springboard bulldog, and then leaps onto the guardrail to high five fans in the front row. Back in, Armstrong takes him down with an armbar. Jericho is greatly familiar with the move, and manages to fight loose. A front suplex drops Jericho, and Armstrong stops to do Superman poses. Dusty points out that he hasn’t won a match in over a year, so maybe it’s best he not do that. He locks on a pretty vicious abdominal stretch, with Jericho’s head under his leg. Jericho hiptosses loose, and drops Armstrong with some Sweet Chin Music. Springboard crossbody sees Armstrong roll through and grabs a close 2. Dusty: “Wow, he’d have to give some ID at the pay windah if he’d won there, he ain’t been there in so long.” Jericho comes back with a Fisherman’s buster, and hits the Lionsault for the pin at 4:22. **

ROUGH & READY vs. HARLEM HEAT (with Sista Sherri and Colonel Robert Parker) (for the WCW world tag-team titles)

For the love of GOD, make this STOP. I just bitched up a storm about this pairing on Prime, and here we are again? We get the point, Rough & Ready used to be managed by Colonel Parker, now they’re not, and Harlem Heat tees off on them constantly. Rough & Ready are never going to beat them, can’t we leave well enough alone? By the way, what the heck happened to “no more tag-team title matches” between now and Halloween Havoc? That lasted ONE WEEK. Enos gives Booker a hot shot, then runs him over with a shoulderblock. At this point, Booker remembers Enos is a jobber, and kills him with a Harlem sidekick. Stevie powerslams him, which unfortunately makes up his entire moveset, so he’s left now to take a beating. Slater works him over in the heel corner for awhile, before Stevie punches his way out. Over to Booker to sell for the losers for a bit. They use all sorts of bush league double team efforts, and eventually it all breaks down. The Colonel jumps in, and accidentally hits Booker with the cane! Thankfully, Sherri’s right behind with her own cane, and beats the snot out of Slater and Stevie gets the win at 3:45. * Booker’s not happy about getting hit with the cane, and Colonel spends awhile defending himself. This probably means he’s defecting to the nWo at Halloween Havoc because WCW.

TONY SCHIAVONE wants to play mediator to this dysfunctional group. Booker says he’s sick and tired of the Colonel, but he does NOT call him a nagger. Stevie says he’s really from the streets, unlike the nWo, and are going to prove it in Vegas. It’s on like neckbone.

Filmed elsewhere, the nWo continues their strange invitational tag-team tournament.

THE OUTSIDERS vs. JOE JOE and ROCKET STARBUCK

Joe Joe and Rocket are the Starbuck Twins, and apparently undefeated.



THE GIANT acts as the world’s largest ring announcer; and I’ll say that thus far, amongst the second banana guys in the nWo, his career has benefitted significantly because he’s been allowed to show off all kinds of fantastic charisma that didn’t exist in his grunting stinky wart infested Dungeon of Doom days. He introduces the Starbucks as 14-time seaboard tag-team champions. The referee is a masked man, built and sounding not unlike Nick Patrick. Nash provides commentary from the ring apron, and is absolutely incredible. “Hall with the Pretzel, into the donut hole!” Every time Rocket gets the advantage, the screen gets blurred out. Hall drops a leg, while Nash makes up all kinds of ligaments that move affects. Hall makes a tag, and takes over the mic. The referee, who is clearly not Nick Patrick, asks Rocket if he’s had enough. Hall says the Starbucks are known across the Eastern seaboard, from Madison Square Garden, Albany New York, and even Rhode Island. Joe Joe gets the tag in, and immediately takes snake eyes. Hall clotheslines him from the apron, and celebrates wildly at the announce table. Jackknife hits, and Nash tags in Hall to steal the pinfall 3:45. Nash immediately wants to interview the victors, if they’ll talk to him. They don’t.



SCOTT ARMSTRONG vs. KEVIN SULLIVAN (with Jimmy Hart)

I really don’t appreciate that the Armstrongs have been split into singles units, meaning I have to watch them in more matches. Sullivan rushes the ring as usual, and sends Armstrong to the floor for additional hurt. Hart even gets in a couple of shots. Back in, Armstrong hits a standing sidekick, and gets 2. That’s about all he’s getting though, as Sullivan ties him to the tree of woe and hits the running knee. Double stomp in the belly welly finishes at 1:35. DUD

Meanwhile, TONY SCHIAVONE is with ARN ANDERSON and WOMAN. Woman says Liz’s head isn’t in the game anymore, and she’s being fooled. Woman kicks her out of the Horsemen. Arn says that’s no revelation, because if she wants love, she can take it. They only want people who are all business.

NWO STING vs. BUNKHOUSE BUCK

This was hyped as Sting’s big return to WCW, but no shocker, it’s another ruse. NICK PATRICK has his back in this one. I don’t appreciate that nobody is paying attention to the return of Bunkhouse Buck, who has been gone for well over 6 months and lost his tag-team partner to Blake Beverly. Buck gives Sting the big boot for 2, while the fans chant “WE WANT STING!” Buck goes for a legdrop off the second rope, but misses and takes a Stinger Splash. Scorpion Deathlock finishes at 2:03. LEX LUGER rushes the ring, and nWo Sting bails immediately. DUD

JIM POWERS (with Teddy Long) vs. LEX LUGER

The 11th match of the night is our main event, and there’s less than 5 minutes left in the show so don’t expect big things from Jim Powers tonight. Luger starts us with a shoulderblock, and a roar. Powers comes back with a crossbody for 2. With time an issue, ARN ANDERSON hits the ring and it’s a DQ at 1:34. Luger fights him off, and heads to the back to chat with…


TONY SCHIAVONE, who wants to discuss his upcoming match at Havoc. Luger says the Horsemen are crumbling without Flair, his friendship with Sting is broken up (temporarily, he hopes). But, that aside, he’s focused on Anderson, and he’s promising pain. He guarantees Anderson’s going in the Rack. Tony wraps it up fast because we have other programming coming yo! Goodnight!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

WCW Prime: October 7, 1996

Friends, we approach the end of an era. This is the second to last edition of WCW Prime. Syndication cancellation is all the buzz. In response, WCW has done the unthinkable; THEY EDITED JOHNNY B BADD OUT OF THE OPENING CREDITS.

Our hosts are DUSTY RHODES, and MIKE TENAY replacing a vacationing Chris Cruise who can stay wherever he is as far as I’m concerned.

GOLDBERG PAT TANAKA vs. REY MISTERIO JR. (for the WCW world cruiserweight title)

Rey has undergone a spelling change on his last name tonight, a staple of WCW programming. He doesn’t carry his title, as per the rules of shows that were taped years ago, but I like to assume this is for the belt, because the idea of Pat Tanaka as a Cruiserweight delights me. Rey takes Tanaka to the floor, and hits a springboard plancha. Dusty declares “Juniah!” one of his favorites. Back in, Rey tries to snap off a quick rana, but Tanaka powerbombs him and that just irritates the canned heat to no end. A clothesline sets up a superkick for 2. Rey is put up top, but he fights Tanaka off and finishes with the West Coast Pop at 2:21. ** Rey remains red hot with the ever necessary Twin African American Female demographic.


ROUGH & READY vs. HARLEM HEAT (with Sista Sherri and Colonel Robert Parker)

Holy crap, can Rough & Ready fight ANYONE ELSE? This feud has been taking place on the G-level shows for, and this is an estimate, 470 years, and I’d really like to get this settled once and for all. Granted, I thought it WAS settled considering Rough & Ready have been doing their finest impression of the Washington Generals, but maybe … just maybe … The quality of this recording goes into a fuzzy haze, and I almost start to wonder if the nWo are taking over THIS show now too, but let’s not kid ourselves. Booker hits a shoulderblock on Slater that sends him to the floor, and he walks around the ring holding his head. Slater comes back and hits Stevie with the Flip Flop and Fly, which excites Dusty and makes the picture even fuzzier and more unbearable. Enos tags in and elbows Booker in the face. Booker comes back with a flying jalapeno, and he starts slamming the crackas. Harlem sidekick is delivered for Enos! All hell breaks loose, and the Rough and Ready boys start double teaming Booker on their side of the ring. Back in, Enos hits a piledriver for 2. They work together for a double Russian legsweep which is kinda sweet, but Booker won’t stay down. A diving headbutt misses, but Enos doesn’t lose control, and comes right back with a swinging neckbreaker for 2. Parker gets involved, but he gets decked. The distraction lets Sherri wallop Enos with the cane, and Booker steals the pin at 7:33. So that was long. *1/2

At this point I completely lose the signal all together, and I assume I miss a match in here somewhere. We return in progress with …

VK WALLSTREET vs. ICE TRAIN

NICK PATRICK is refereeing without his neck brace. Dusty is doing some sort of analogy cartoon trains being turned off their track by an evil villain in an effort to make Ice Train more relatable. Then he wins with the Train Wreck out of nowhere at 1:16 of what aired (and honestly, was probably most of it).

SUPER CALO vs. BRAD ARMSTRONG

Calo has been out for about 3 weeks with an injury, so you can expect him to continue making appearances on Prime and Worldwide through the end of the year. Calo uses a waistlock takedown, but Armstrong reverses the hold. Calo kicks him off, and butt butts him in the face. A triple jump crossbody takes down Armstrong, and a springboard armdrag sends Armstrong to the floor. Calo stalks him, hitting a swinging dropkick, and follows with a slingshot senton to the floor. Back in, a tilt-a-whirl slam sets up a missile dropkick – but Armstrong dodges and Calo hits canvas. A running clothesline levels Calo, and a Russian legsweep finishes at 2:20. The positive news for Calo is that his hat did not fall off. *

THE NASTY BOYS vs. HUGH MORRUS and MAXX (with Jimmy Hart) (in the Prime Cuts Moo Match of the Week)

NICK PATRICK is once again assigned to this, which should favor the Nastys since they are clearly in the nWo. Of course, no Dungeon match is complete without a rabid RON THE LEPRECHAUN running around at ringside, threatening to eat everyone. Drool runs down his face as he chases a camera man around, before retreating to his hole. Morrus tees off on the skull of Knobbs, and follows with an avalanche while the fans chant “NASTY!” A bulldog from Knobbs brings control back his way. Sags enters, and we have CLUBBERIN’! Dusty loses all self-control, and his excitement starts pouring down his leg! Maxx winds up pulling Knobbs to the floor, and sends him face first to the ringpost. He gets rolled in, and Morrus kicks him in the face. No Laughing Matter connects, but Sags makes the save. Maxx tells him to do it again, and you don’t have to ask Morrus twice. This one misses, and Sags gets the hot tag. Elbows are delivered with a little mustard to the face of Maxx, and a powerslam gets 2. Pier 6 breaks out, leaving the Nastys alone to hit their lazy clothesline version of Total Elimination at 6:02. **

Dusty wraps up the show, with a hard sell of Halloween Havoc – calling it the “final chapter” in the war between WCW and the nWo.


Dusty Rhodes wouldn’t lie.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

WCW Nitro: October 7, 1996

This past summer, my parents stayed with me for a few days. I was working nights at that point, so I regularly slept until about noon or so.

I got up late one morning, and of course both my parents were already up. My father, who has gone every morning of his life that I can remember with a cup of coffee, was complaining about my “future coffee machine” giving him a hard time. Now, I have a Keurig, which of course is the easiest machine in the world to use. But here he was, carrying on that it took him over 20 minutes to put it all together and get a cup of coffee. I was nearly a point of hysteria when I finally asked what took him the longest to figure out, how to put the cup inside the machine, or how to push “brew”?

“No, it was getting that piece of foil off the coffee pouch!”

Suddenly it wasn’t so funny anymore. Lo and behold, there sat a K-Cup in my brewer, cap off, and coffee grounds everywhere. And as I sit here, drinking my coffee before work, prepping to write a Nitro-cap, I am STILL picking coffee grounds out of cup, some 3 months later.

What does this have to do with Nitro? The last couple of weeks have been rank with coffee grounds in my cup, and hopefully now is the time we see something a little closer to the wrestling that I love.

The ever familiar voice of TONY SCHIAVONE is screaming about the Big Boys playing, because we are LIVE SO VERY LIVE LIVE LIVE in Savannah, Georgia. Tony declares WCW “red hot!” LARRY ZBYSZKO would love to weigh in, but he’s too busy taking bows to the legions of fans who live in his head. Tony demands to know the word on Liz? Larryland declares her an obvious member of the “New World Odor”.

THE PUBLIC ENEMY vs. HARLEM HEAT (with Sista Sherri and Colonel Robert Parker) (in a non-title Special Grudge match)

Well, I see WCW’s plan to refuse tag-team title shots in order to rest their champs before Havoc is working out. They also get the “Already In The Ring” routine usually reserved for jobbers. WCW!!! NICK PATRICK is your referee, and quite angry about being here. Tony figures the speed advantage goes to Harlem Heat. Christ almighty, Stevie Ray is winning the footrace in the wrestling ring of life. There’s no hope for the rest of us. The Heat double team Rock with no regard for the rules of fair play. So Rock says to hell with it, and rolls out making a play at attacking Sherri! Booker is having none of that, and is on her like a steaming pot of neckbones. That brings us to commercial.

Backstage, ELIZABETH is trying to get into the dressing room of Randy Savage. Eventually she tries the handle, which works, and he’s not there.

Back in the ring, Stevie is slowing things down, as usual. He tags in Booker, who destroys Rock with a Harlem sidekick. Stevie takes him to the floor, where Sherri gets in a free shot in exchange for the earlier attack. Back in, Rock manages to work his way back to the corner to tag in Grunge, but Stevie is distracting Patrick so it doesn’t count. It doesn’t matter though, because…

THE NWO has arrived at the top of the arena stairs. Hall has the stick, and calls Harlem Heat a couple of hillbillies. “You want some of the Outsiders chico? You gonna get it.” Nash vows to snap into the belts at Slim Jim’s Halloween Havoc. “I know why they wear those things on their noses, I can smell the fear from here.”

Back in the ring, Rock is put through the table, and Sherri issues a distraction to Patrick while the Heat destroys the leg of Grunge. The announcers figure they’re trying to end the career of TPE, and I’m cool with that. Heat get the easy win at 10:18. Long, extended squash, but at the expense of a team I can’t stand, so kudos. *1/2

Meanwhile, a limo arrives. Tony’s confused because the nWo is already here, but he reckons it’s Hogan. However, nope, it’s JEFF JARRETT, and he’s got something to say. We might find out what that is after a break. Larry: “Is he with the nWo?” Tony (sputtering): “…YES!”

DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. JIM POWERS (with Teddy Long)

It should come as no surprise to you that NICK PATRICK is here, to oversee his life partner and soul mate, DDP. Before the match, Page had some comments for Guerrero. He orders Burrito Boy to watch the ass-whoopin’ being handed out to Powers. I think that’s racist. Powers misses a dropkick, but hits a crossbody for 2. Diamond Cutter hits from nowhere for the win at 2:35. DUD Page kicks Teddy Long after the match, knocking him to the mat, and tells him to kiss his ass. Nick Patrick looks on, staring wistfully at the love of his life. If DDP isn’t in the nWo, I’ll high five a rabid pitbull. (Offer subject to change.)

MIKE TENAY welcomes RANDY SAVAGE, who actually appears this week, with new bestie JASON KELLER who drives the Slim Jim Halloween Havoc race car. Savage demands to know how the nWo car did at the race this weekend. Thankfully, WCW has highlights of the car hitting the wall, while Scott Hall and Ted DiBiase looked on. Savage celebrates because they not only finished in the top 25, the top 20, the top 15, and even the top 12, finishing yes, 10th. Then ELIZABETH shows up asking to talk, and Savage tells her no to forget it and storms off. THIS ALL MAKES ME WANT TO ORDER HALLOWEEN HAVOC.

HIGH VOLTAGE vs. THE FACES OF FEAR (with Jimmy Hart)

I smell an ass-kicking! Meng’s all kinds of fired up on his walk to the ring, spouting Savage Islander speak, and flailing his arms around freely as if independent from the rest of his body. Then the bell rings, and he chops the crap out of Kaos and lectures him in his self-made language. Kaos charges with clotheslines and Meng ignores it by just screaming and pounding his chest. They try a double dropkick but even THAT doesn’t take my man down, as he bounces back into the ropes. In the aisle, CHRIS BENOIT, MONGO MCMICHAEL, and DEBRA MCMICHAEL look on. Voltage is busy trying to slam Meng’s head into the buckle, which is going nowhere, so they use a missile dropkick and Rage gets 2. Meng pops up and gives him an atomic drop, bringing in a fresh Barbarian. Pumphandle slam is delivered with a little gusto, but he picks Rage up at 2 cuz he knows he’s winning and he wants to deliver a little more pain. Back to Meng who brings a powerbomb. Barbarian in again, and Rage hilariously tries to throw some punches into the stone 6-pack of Barbarian, who promptly powerbombs Rage and starts dancing in happiness. Holy crap I didn’t think I could love them any more! Kaos saves the pin, so Meng comes in and catapults Rage into the Kick of Fear, and Barbarian gets an easy win at 3:43. I don’t think I’ve ever loved a tag-team more than the late ’96 version of the Faces of Fear. Brutally entertaining squash. **1/2

MIKE WENNER vs. GLACIER (with 300 year old helmet passed down from Sensei to Sensei to this white guy)

What the hell is with Nitro and destroying people’s last names? To be fair, Mike Winner has never actually seen victory, so maybe this is apropos, but I get the feeling we’re dealing with some Buddy Valentino levels of chicanery here. Glacier’s entrance takes up most of the 1st and 2nd hours of Nitro. Once again, he’s allowed to wrestle in the blue hue, but above that, it’s still snowing. Honestly, this is a bigger threat to the company than the nWo. The nWo might be commanding all the attention and threatening to destroy WCW, but they’re doing it following the standard rules of professional wrestling. This guy? He’s allowed to completely modify the previously understood setting that has been used for 300 years, as old as the WCW title which was once held by Abe Lincoln, and this simply isn’t ok. Anyway, Glacier dropkicks Wenner to the floor, as the fans chant Boring. Going to the martial arts he learned in Japan, he hits a plancha. You know, he could have gone to Mexico and learned that from anyone under a hood. Cryonic Kick finishes at 2:26. I long for the days when Glacier was coming. DUD

Hour #2 starts during Glacier’s never-ending post-match display of Martial Arts. Honestly, they should go all the way with him if this is the direction they want to take. When he rolled Wenner back into the ring, he should have stood there staggering while Dave Penzer screamed “FINISH HIM!” Then he would have turned him into a block of ice and shattered him into a million pieces, kicking off the era of killing off characters a good 7 years before we lost Al Wilson (may he rest in peace).

Oh yes, and our hosts are ERIC BISCHOFF and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN. Bischoff declares the nWo most definitely in the house.

HUGH MORRUS vs. JEFF JARRETT

Soooo … we got that segment in the back with Jarrett’s limo, and the announcers sat around all night questioning what was up, and it turned out Bischoff had simply signed him and given him a match. Bischoff really needs to start sending out company-wide memos to alert them of stuff like this. However, now he’s all paranoid he inadvertently just brought in a new nWo guy, and thinks Jarrett’s going to make him a fool. Oh, Jarrett would make WCW a fool, but it would take another 5 years. Jarrett takes down Morrus with a drop toe hold, walks over his back, and struts. Morrus pops up and clotheslines him to a MASSIVE pop. Bischoff’s given up any objectivity at this point, declaring Jarrett the newest nWo member. Jarrett misses an enzuigiri, but comes back with the “back leg round kick”. Swinging neckbreaker nearly turns into a DDT, and it gets 2. A dropkick gets 2. Morrus comes back with a powerslam, and heads upstairs. He flies, and misses a legdrop. That smarts. Figure four gets a submission at 4:07. One match, and I’ve already had enough of Jeff Jarrett. *

TONY SCHIAVONE welcomes Jarrett to the company, but wants to know if he’s another nWo vandal. Jarrett says he heard Hogan declare himself bigger than the wrestling industry, and without him, there is no wrestling. He says Hogan didn’t put food on his table when he was a kid, and reminds Hogan he started in Tennessee working for his father. He figures history might not mean anything to Hogan, but it means something to him. He tells the nWo to stick it. The fans boo mercilessly.

THE RENEGADE vs. ARN ANDERSON (with Woman)

Tenay mulls over the fact that Sting didn’t accept WCW’s peace offering last week of painting a race car in his colors, because he’s not here. He wonders what else WCW needs to do. They really were that stupid, weren’t they? Renegade holds a big win over Arn Anderson, taking the TV title from him about 18 months earlier. Tenay actually brings this up, figuring Arn’s learned since then that Renegade’s game is bursts of offense, and all he needs to do is slow him down. Arn stomps him down to the mat, and drops a knee. Renegade tries a sunset flip, but Arn chops him in the face and gets 2. Fans start chanting for the DDT, cuz we’re a full heel group tonight. Arn works a hammerlock for awhile, before releasing and stomping Renegade in the face. Scoop slam sets up a Vaderbomb, but Renegade blocks it with his knees. Handspring back elbow drops Anderson, and Renegade calls for the finish. He goes for another handspring back elbow, and Anderson punches him in the back of the head, finishing with the DDT at 7:07 to a loud reaction! LEX LUGER hits the ring after the match, and chases Arn to the back. *1/2

DAVE TAYLOR (with Jeeves) vs. LEX LUGER

Taylor knocks Jeeves out with a European Uppercut on the way to the ring, calling him a stupid little person. Tenay reminds us that Steven Regal is the TV champion, taking it from Luger over a month ago, and that we haven’t really seen him. He’s been overseas defending it all over the world, in accordance with the name “WORLD’S Television Title”. I’m good with that. Luger apparently wants the belt back, which seems odd, the World Title would seem to be a more appropriate goal for a guy at his level. Anyway, Taylor hits a couple of European uppercuts because he’s going straight for the jugular tonight! Luger manages to live, and comes back with a backslide for 2. The loaded forearm gives Luger the advantage, but Taylor kicks him in the face and goes up! The elbowdrop misses, and damn it all, Luger racks Taylor at 2:37. Not cool WCW, not cool. *

On his way back up the ramp, ARN ANDERSON attacks Luger with a chair in hand, giving him the business until the referees break it up.

CHRIS BENOIT (with Mongo and Debra McMichael) vs. RICK STEINER (with Scott Steiner)

NICK PATRICK referees. Rick hits a nasty looking powerslam to start, and he pounds Benoit into the mat. The two start trading nasty punches to the head, which Steiner wins. A belly to belly gets 2. Now Steiner hits a release German suplex that drops Chris right on his head, and gets 2 as we head to a commercial break.

Upon return, Chris is delivering the chops, setting up a snap suplex for 2. Scott Steiner gets up on the apron and rubs Patrick’s neck a little, which Patrick sells like death because he’s still in the brace.

Meanwhile, an nWo limo backs up into the building, and HOLLYWOOD HOGAN and THE GIANT emerge. Hogan tells the Giant to watch his back because he has business to do.

Back in the ring, Steiner is pounding on the back of Benoit’s head, but Chris comes back with a scoop slam. Backdrop suplex gets 2. Benoit nails a flying forearm, and slaps on a headlock. They stand up, and Benoit hits a chop that echos into the rafters, and he goes up. The Swandive connects, but it’s only 2. A second attempt finds Chris in the arms of Steiner, and being thrown across the ring with an overhead belly to belly. DDT gets a close 2. Rick hits the bulldog, driving Benoit face first into the canvas, but it gets 2! Scott starts screaming that he counts too slow, and Patrick orders him to shut up and stay on the floor. Double clothesline spot knocks both guys down, and Debra hits the apron to talk to Patrick. Mongo tries the Haliburton spot, but Scotty distracts him long enough for Rick to steal it and waffle Benoit to get the pin at 12:59. ** Bischoff can’t figure out why Patrick made a normal count. Let me spell it out for you, Eric: He’s in bed with the nWo, not the Horsemen!

RANDY SAVAGE vs. RIC FLAIR

Flair never shows up, because HOLLYWOOD HOGAN, THE NASTY BOYS, and TED DIBIASE are in the back. He asks the Nastys to watch his back, and offers them “paperwork” with the “deal they talked about”.

Elsewhere, THE OUTSIDERS, THE GIANT, NUMBER SIX, VINCENT and NWO STING are working over Flair. ELIZABETH hovers nearby, looking concerned. Giant sees her, and backs Liz out to the live arena, where she hides behind Savage for safety, who’s now wielding a chair. Hogan rushes Savage from behind with a clothesline, and chokes him on the floor with a chair. Liz tries to pull Hogan off, but Hogan reminds her “I own you!” Giant carries the limp carcass of Savage to the ring, but trips on the ring steps and damn near kills Randy who falls with the small of his back on the edge of the steps. Goddamn! He throws Savage in anyway, and picks him up for the Chokeslam – but Hogan tells him not to, because he wants Liz to watch himself beat on Savage. Giant holds Liz hostage, and does the world’s slowest ground and pound. Hogan starts dropping one Atomic legdrop after another, and spray paints an outline of Savage’s dead body, as Elizabeth cries and cries. The fans litter the ring with trash, while Hogan trolls them further by getting on the stick and telling Liz she belongs to him forever because it’s been etched in stone. Really? Does the nWo have their own etch-maker, armed with a rock hammer and stone tablet? Can I see it? Are they forced to carry this through airports to ensure the agreement is legal from state to state? Who does the grunt work? If it’s Vincent, I feel like that’s racist.

Syxx drives a huge nWo Monster Truck out on the staging area, making a bee line for the announcers table, and WE ARE OUT OF TIME!

Really? We couldn’t stay 10 seconds more to watch Bischoff get run-over?


Prime is next, and if you can’t wait to find out what happens next … don’t read that recap, because you’ll be sorely let down when you find out it’s littered with far too many members of the Dungeon of Doom, and Leroy Howard.