Monday, December 22, 2014

WCW Main Event: December 14, 1996

It’s your favorite weekly episodic recap; WCW Main Event! TONY SCHIAVONE and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN are in studio, to talk about all big items in WCW this week. Like, Roddy Piper, but more importantly, Roddy Piper. And, to nobody’s surprise, we start with a recap of Roddy Piper’s week. You and I have already heard about it a zillion times, so we’ll skip ahead.

After a break, WCW prepares to make everyone watching at home (in 2014) squirm in their seats just a little bit, by airing a complete breakdown of the Sullivan / Benoit saga to date. Tony defends his airing of the tape, as having been ordered by someone higher than himself. Heenan tells us that fighting for money, and women, make a man plenty dangerous.

Last week’s Regal/Anderson match from Saturday Night is aired.

Off in the world of the nWo, Mr. Wallstreet was offered a contract on Nitro to join the nWo, and it appears he’s accepted. Heenan figures Hogan’s terrified of Piper, so he’s building an army to defend himself.

Meanwhile, over on the Pro …

REY MYSTERIO JR. vs. BILLY KIDMAN

This has a chance to be a swanky little pairing. Rey starts us with a delayed snapmare, and sweeps Kidman’s legs out for an early 2. Kidman comes back with an elevated headscissors takeover, and as Rey hits the floor, Kidman flies with a plancha; hitting his back on the spinning stage on the way down. He seems ok, and hits Rey with a springboard guillotine for 2. Rey manages to outrun Kidman, and ties him up in the ropes, upside down. That allows Rey to hit the top rope, and hit a super guillotine for 2! Hell, I would have finished with that spot. Kidman hits the floor to take a breather, and Rey does his swinging fake to make him stand back. As he re-enters, Rey hits a drop toe hold and a standing moonsault for 2. A DDT sends Rey back up, but he misses a moonsault, and Kidman quickly powerbombs him for 2. He goes up, and has a chance to hit the SSP, but opts for a big splash instead, getting 2. The 8 fans in attendance vocally start chanting “let’s go Rey” as Kidman goes up again. It propels him on, and Rey hits a super Oklahoma Roll off the top for the win at 3:49. Good stuff. **1/2

In the studio, Tony wants to change the topic back to Hogan and Piper, because we’ve veered way too far off track. Tony admits his fear that the nWo continues to grow, but Heenan points out that nobody from the nWo was willing to step in the ring with Piper on Monday, or Kevin Greene for that matter. We get a Special Look at Piper / Hogan, which I quickly fast forward through.

Tony is looking forward to the US title tournament finals at Starrcade, and Heenan is celebrating DDP’s recent success. Tony calls him a shyster, which Heenan takes crazy amounts of offense to, reminding Tony he was down on his luck with nowhere to go, and has re-invented himself all on his own. Tony says he doesn’t deserve any of it, and Heenan calls him out for not being in the holiday spirit, telling him he doesn’t deserve any eggs this year. Most of DDP / Jarrett is aired.

Tony is excited to tell us that the Women’s title tournament is taking place on Main Event! Holy hell, you know they mean business.

ZERO (with Sonny Onoo) vs. MADUSA (in Main Event Exclusive, 2nd round Women’s title tournament match)

This was recorded at Nitro, so this is even more big time than you could imagine. JIMMY JETT referees – is this his debut? A USA chant makes Zero’s ears bleed her own blood, and she is forced to cover them up to keep it from spewing all over the place like a loose catheter. She quickly mounts Madusa, and works the slowest ground and pound I’ve ever seen. Madusa is stretched between the ropes allowing her to arch back and show off her enormous breasts. Seconds later, she’s loose and hits 3 straight swinging neckbreakers – but Zero grabs her by the throat as soon as she tries for the pin. A powerbomb hits, but Zero’s sick of Sonny Onoo for god knows what reason and goes to fight him on the apron, allowing Madusa to roll her up at 2:31. What … the … hell … was … that? Get me out of here. DUD


Back in studio, Heenan asks Tony for his pick at Starrcade. Tony calls Piper, because he’s tougher than Hogan, and even if he doesn’t want WCW’s help, they’ll be there to fend off the nWo. When did that start? I’ve yet to see WCW do anything unified together, which would have solved this problem months ago. Heenan cuts a promo on Hogan, telling him his day is coming. And that’s a wrap.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

WCW Saturday Night: December 14, 1996

Jabroniville writes: RIP Jimmy "Graffiti" Del Ray. I remember this Nitro! I couldn't place who Graffiti was, but he didn't last long in WCW.

Their fatal flaw in the booking was in never giving him a chance to talk to Okerlund.

Gene: “Are you Jimmy Del Ray?”


wannaberockstar: Watching the Horsemen in 1996-1997 is, I assume, what it was like in the last days of the Roman Empire when they were down to a handful of territories, struggling to keep themselves relevant. I mean Jeff Jarrett and Mongo McMichael?

To a certain degree. We’re a couple years away from seeing them get a shot at resurrection, only to see it buried dead and good at Starrcade 1998. The current incarnation with the Jeff Jarrett nonsense right through to the spring of 98 is definitely the lowest point in the group’s history; and that’s saying a lot considering Paul Roma.

Dr. Unlikely: Does Piper go on about "Tootsies Bar & Grille" in this episode?

You mean where Hogan played the BASS GUITAR when Piper was FIFTEEN YEARS OLD?

texasranger9: Its funny reading these reviews and then watch the programming of today. If this would happen today what would the WWE do? Like, lets just say, a wrestling ICON showed up at the end of one of its biggest PPV/Special Events to save the company from a group of heels lead by a blonde, 40+ year old. If that would ever happen would they re-air that segment every show for a month? Or would they only mention it in one segment and forget about it a week later?

To be fair, Roddy Piper gives WCW fresh batshit crazy material to work with weekly, which they beat into the ground until the following Nitro. Sting hasn’t even bothered sending Maggle a mysterious package, which would be aired carte blanche, in which an embarrassing video contains messages that prove he’s wanted a match with Triple H since at least 1993. In fact …



53 seconds in to this, Vader challenges Sting to play A Game. The Game? Did I just out-scoop Dave Meltzer?

Let’s head to the Cyborg Factory, where men who know use Valvoline.

DUSTY RHODES and TONY SCHIAVONE hype the Starrcade card, giving equal amounts of attention to all the matches slated. And if you believe that, I’ve got WCW stock I’d like to sell you. Piper Piper Piper. I haven’t heard repetition like that since Shari Lewis was alive.

BILLY KIDMAN vs. DEAN MALENKO (for the WCW world cruiserweight title)

I’m glad that WCW gave these guys some time apart in order to keep this matchup fresh and vibrant. I’ve really come to appreciate their work together over the last 12 days since this one last ran on TV, and I’m ready to renew this old rivalry. Kidman earned this non-stop slew of title matches by beating Jerry Lynn on Worldwide once. Kidman hits a nice slingshot headscissors take over, and Malenko hits the floor to slow him down a little. It works, and Dean takes over with a fallaway slam. Kidman tries a sunset flip but gets punched in the head for his effort. A crossface is applied, for some “bone marrah on bone marrah” action. Welcome to Planet Dusty, if you need to drink go see the Debulish Woman down by the Pay Windah. A crossbody off the top connects, but Billy rolls through for 2. Malenko is up first, and clotheslines Kidman so hard he does a full 360. A brainbuster is tried, but Kidman slides off the back and hits a tornado bulldog for 2. Malenko sidesteps a dropkick, and hits the brainbuster this time for a close 2. Kidman comes back with another bulldog attempt, but Malenko reverses it mid-hold into a slam, and locks on the Cloverleaf for the submission at 6:55. **1/2

HIGH VOLTAGE vs. THE RENEGADE and JOE GOMEZ

High Voltage are the underdogs here on the basis that unlike the opposition, their Nipples have never been given their own segment on Nitro. I’ll keep this match to a high level summary: we saw a wide array of hiptosses, and Renegade wins with a big splash off the top at 5:25. 1/2*

As part of Gene’s propaganda report; he’s hearing that WCW is investigating the signing of “one of the biggest names in wrestling history”, who reeks of “tradition”. While I assume this report has about as much legitimacy as the financial reports at Los Pollos Hermanos, I’ll call out the WON guys to ask if there was anything here, since both Bret and Shawn were locked up at this point. Was this just an overhyped Mr. Perfect?

JEFF JARRETT vs. LARRY SANTO

Dear god, we haven’t seen Larry Santo in years, and man does he look grizzled. Of course, anyone who spent their livelihood getting worked over by Vader may have suffered the same fate. Jarrett hits an early swinging neckbreaker, but Santo retaliates with hiptosses. A blind charge misses, and the next thing you know, Santo’s locked in the Figure Four and tapping out at 1:43. Welcome back Larry. DUD

Hey, speaking of embarrassing Sting videos…



DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. REX KING

Page is chewing gum today, while simultaneously smoking his cigar. I don’t know if the gum is standard for every cigar, but that’s positively disgusting. Not disgusting is his fantastic finisher however, in which he backdrops Rex into the air, and hits the Diamond Cutter on the way down in one smooth movement, for the easy score at 3:19. *

LEE MARSHALL gets a word with the big winner, who pantomimes the move all over again. His enthusiasm is completely infectious; and his evolution this year has been a joy to watch. Marshall asks about the nWo again, and Page reminds us he doesn’t need them or anywhere, because he has the greatest finisher in the world. He says if they keep it up, he’s gonna drop them. Page can’t wait for his shot at the US title at Starrcade, throws in a racist joke about Eddie, and finishes with a BANG.

ICE TRAIN (with Teddy Long) vs. LUSCIOUS LUTHER BIGGS

I don’t mean to speculate idly, but I think it goes without saying that Glacier is scouting this one very carefully. A quick Train Wreck sets up a shoulderblock off the top, and Biggs hits the floor. He acts incapacitated, but it’s a ploy, because he gets back in and throws a punch. Ice Train doesn’t care for that, and hits a clothesline to set up a senton. Still choosing not to finish, a standing vertical suplex sets up a banzai drop, and FINALLY he goes for the pin at 2:27. It took Luther Biggs nearly 3 years to recover from this loss, but when he did, he came back with a lot of Buzz. *

RON STUDD and ROAD BLOCK vs. THE FACES OF FEAR (with Jimmy Hart)

Holy crap, now THIS is a match up! I can’t imagine anyone coming out of this alive? Just ask Fit Finlay, who Ron Studd killed overseas months ago. Nobody sells anything here, and it’s glorious. Seeing Meng take the giant arms of Road Block to the face and just giving it back, with neither guy giving an inch is amazing. Road Block hits a big boot, and Meng’s up at 1. Both members of the Fear start with the CLUBBERIN’! Barbarian goes for the Kick of Fear, but Road Block just slams him and GOES UP TOP! A big splash MISSES, dear god! Kick of Fear is right there, and we have winners at 3:25. This was at least a 5 star matchup, and possibly 6.

KEVIN SULLIVAN won’t talk to Tony anymore, so he’s talking with LEE MARSHALL instead. Marshall promptly stabs him in the back and airs a new Chris Benoit video.

CHRIS BENOIT and WOMAN are still sitting around drinking their wine. Benoit brags that Woman wants to be with a young stallion, and is finished with the old generation. Woman: “Woman gets what Woman wants. She always has, and she always will.”

Back to the arena, Sullivan snaps and asks Marshall if he heard a word he said to Schiavone on Monday? He reminds Lee that the video was sent to HIMSELF and no one else. He also knows Tony Schiavone is the producer of this show, so he doesn’t blame Marshall, but is livid no one’s asking him if it’s ok to show this stuff. Sullivan reminds us that he has a family, and at home he’s not the nut he pretends to be while he’s here. He might be wrapped a little tight, but he has nothing left in his life to lose now. He sends a message to Arn Anderson, because he’s been arrested before but it took 12 officers to get him in the car. With his personal life now a mess, he blames Anderson for starting this because he’s the one who brought Benoit into the Horsemen. For every cold and lonely night he has moving forward, he’s going to take it out on Anderson and split his head open. He can’t tell him what he really thinks because this is on TV, but if he ever shows another video without his permission, something’s gonna happen.

The complete Piper/Bischoff confrontation from Nitro is aired.

HUGH MORRUS vs. “LORD” STEVEN REGAL (for the WCW world television title)

This is a big of a styles clash, but I’m digging the idea. Morrus puts his arm behind his back like Regal, and prances around the ring laughing his ass off. He quickly pays for that, finding himself trapped in a hammerlock. Regal sweeps the legs out from Morrus, and powers him down to the mat, but Morrus overcomes that by winning a test of strength and getting back to his feet. Regal throws a ton of palm thrusts, but it doesn’t stop Morrus from springboarding off the ropes and hitting a clothesline. Regal hits the ground, looking shocked, so Morrus follows him out of the ring. Big mistake, because Regal rolls in first, and waits to start hitting the palm thrusts and European uppercuts upon his re-entry. Morrus spears forward, and uses a ground and pound technique, looking seriously pissed. Regal pokes him in the eyes, stops to plead innocence with the ref, before moving to the corner to work Morrus over some more. Regal works a headlock on the mat, grinding his elbow into the ears because he’s a dick. Upon release, Morrus hits a boot to the face, and starts running over Regal with clotheslines. Morrus heads up for No Laughing Matter, but Regal pops up and powerbombs him from the reverse position and gets the pin to retain at 5:06. That was fantastic. Post-match, Regal tells us to forget the nWo, the Horsemen, and the Dungeon, because he’s all alone and kicking ass. ***

Meanwhile, over in the world of nWo Saturday Night…

K.C. SUNSHINE
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 210 & 1/2
Reach: 15 1/3”
Fist: 15
Hometown: Flooring, IL
Pro Record: It ain’t much
Studying “Dance Art” at Skivies Dance downtown

Because of his lack of a track record, Sunshine isn’t worthy of a ring entrance. SYXX is our ring announcer, THE OUTSIDERS work the commentary, and DOCTOR X referees.

THE GIANT (with Marcus Bagwell) vs. K.C. SUNSHINE (for the WCW United States heavyweight title)

Hall notes Giant’s beautiful hair, with his recent change in conditioner. Sunshine throws himself at the Giant like a tennis ball, but gets clobbered all over the ring. A Baldo Bomb leaves Sunshine worse for wear, and Bagwell throws in a taped fist shot. The referee, after a brief discussion with Bagwell, decides it was legal. The Giant goes to the mat to try some shoot style wrestling, and hooks a “large package” for 2. Nash: “KC has blonde hair and dark eyebrows, he must be dying those eyebrows.” KC hits the floor, where Syxx chops away at the poor jobber, and Bagwell laughs at him. Giant does the world’s laziest version of La Magistral (you probably don’t believe me, but I swear!), before palming KC’s head like a bowling ball to throw him around. Bagwell slides into the ring as Giant holds KC in place, and gives him a play by play how-to instructional on how to do a Chokeslam. This is easily the highlight of the match, as it takes nearly a minute, with Giant talking him through each step, eventually getting the pin.

In case you needed to see the Roddy Piper segment from Nitro one more time, in full, we play it again.

DAVID TAYLOR vs. “HACKSAW” JIM DUGGAN

Duggan’s waving his flag around like a bloody lunatic, and nearly takes the head of poor Taylor off in the process. Off the bell, Duggan dumps Taylor over the top, but fails to draw a DQ because WCW makes no sense. Taylor pulls Duggan to the floor for a little brawling, but promptly gets himself thrown into the ring post. The world’s ugliest American cheerleader starts a USA chant, before taking a jawbreaker across the top rope. A snapmare leads to a headlock, where Duggan’s eyes and tongue take on a life of their own. Duggan elbows his way out of the hold, and drops Taylor with a shoulderblock. A knee to the midsection allows Taylor to put the headlock back on. Duggan fights out again, so Taylor pokes him in the eyes. Duggan sells for a second, but stomps around like a Nazi on speed. Taylor rapidly puts a stop to that, and re-applies a headlock. Duggan gets to his feet, so Taylor rocks him with a European uppercut! I was waiting for it! Then back to the headlock, because Taylor’s amazing. Duggan gets loose, so Taylor snapmares him and puts the headlock on for a 5th time. I know this must be driving most viewers at home nuts, but I’m loving every second of Taylor’s dickery. Duggan escapes, and finally gets away long enough to punch Taylor 10 times in the corner. Taylor takes a big step forward, and falls on his face. However, it was a ruse, and he pops up like a torpedo, and promptly applies his 6th headlock. Duggan fights loose, screams at the referee to get off his back, and dives at Taylor, face first into the buckle. Taylor heads up, so Duggan tapes his fist up, and levels him on the way down for the pin at 6:11. Dave Taylor is a god amongst men. **1/2


Our main event segment features ARN ANDERSON, by himself in the locker room. About 2 years ago, he was in Japan wrestling, and saw a young guy named Chris Benoit, and knew immediately “that’s a Horseman”. He went to WCW to get him hired, and Benoit’s exceeded all expectations since his arrival. He told Benoit that anything he wanted was his, just reach out and take it. However, there’s an unwritten rule that applies to every aspect of a man’s life. #1 – you take care of your family. #2 – you don’t mess around in another man’s family. Arn says with his age and wisdom, he can tell Chris that there’s going to come a time when he’s a nobody, and no one will have any interest in getting his autograph. And whether he walks away from the sport on his own terms, or is rolled away in a wheelchair, the one constant will be his family. So he closes by asking if destroying Kevin Sullivan’s life is worth losing his soul.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

WCW Nitro: December 9, 1996

Are you ready for action? Excitement? A REALITY CHECK? Because tonight, WCW has promised us two solid hours of Roddy Piper here on WCW Monday Piper! Your hosts are TONY PIPER and LARRY PIPER. They can’t get so much as a coherent sentence strung together, because immediately the bagpipes fire up and out walks…

GLACIER! Oh, sorry, it’s RODDY PIPER. He’s wearing a Carolina Panthers t-shirt, because he’s a giant suck-up (since we are LIVE in Roddy, North Caropiper). Piper says he’s home, because he’s so bloody strung out he can’t tell North Carolina from Oregon. He hops around on one leg (the surgically repaired leg, for those playing at home) as a display to the nWo that he’s fine. His 7-year old son, whose name he can’t remember (his words, not mine) saw the nWo written on his leg, and told daddy dearest that Hogan’s younger than him and has two legs. He’s been told to stop because he’s a gimp. “It didn’t seem to stop Bo Jackson!” For god sakes Roddy, yes it did. Piper tells a story about a time he was asked to take a dive against Mr. T, which he refused, so “they” forced him to wear special gloves that curled his hands so he wouldn’t hurt Mr. T. It was the most shameful moment of his career, one he’ll never repeat, cuz he’s never taking a dive for anyone, anywhere, anytime. Point made; but nope, we’re still going. He talks about a recent nWo promo he saw where 6 guys dressed in leather were sitting around drinking Dom and not a woman in sight. You know, for a guy whose nickname is “Hot Rod” and wears a kilt, you’d figure he’d stay away from that nonsense. Piper demands Hogan tonight, and leaves to the bagpipes and a slew of utterly confused fans who are still cheering but don’t appear to be sure why.

MIKE ENOS vs. M. WALLSTREET

Thankfully, the announcers are about as interested in this match as I am, but that’s because Tony can’t stop talking about the number of kids Piper has. TED DIBIASE wanders down to ringside about 30 seconds into the match, and considering the history he has with one of the guys in the ring, it should be obvious where this is going. He has a contract, which Enos smiles and offers to sign – giving Wallstreet a chance to nail him with the Stock Market Crash at 1:36. DUD Wallstreet happily accepts the contract; presumably to join the nWo.

The insanely creepy Benoit/Woman video is replayed from Saturday Night. This is on the Network, in full.

HUGH MORRUS vs. THE RENEGADE (with Joe Gomez)

I’ve always appreciated WCW, and their roster of 1400 wrestlers, but cutting ties with Renegade sooner rather than later might not be the worst idea in the world. It’s unbelievable that in a year and a half since his debut, working in numerous high profile spots, that he has failed to improve in any way, shape, or form. Morrus, on the other hand, is coming into his own, showing some fantastic timing and unique characteristics that stand out. He admittedly doesn’t look great selling the horrible handspring back elbow from Renegade, but the No Laughing Matter is always a joy, and Morrus gets the win at 3:02. 1/2* He goes for a second one, but Gomez saves his close personal friend from disaster.

KEVIN SULLIVAN power walks right into the face of Tony Schiavone, freaking out about the video being played a second time. He says it’s just a stupid ratings ploy; and demands to know who the tape was mailed to. Tony admits it was sent to Sullivan himself. Kevin freaks, and asks why the hell Tony thought he could just up and play it? Tony backtracks saying he only does what he’s told, but Sullivan says he’s a pawn. His personal life is his business, and that video affected “somebody” really badly (no idea who that is, they don’t have kids), and demands that the next time he’s got a video, he gives it to Sullivan and doesn’t air it for their stupid ratings.

Upping the ridiculousness, a special video look at Sting is aired with “Holding Out for a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler as the bed. Do they understand their audience is 13-35 year old men?



Things are spiralling downwards fast; because KEVIN GREENE is welcomed by “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND. Greene is still upset that Mongo sold him out a million years ago, and insists he’s gonna get his revenge after that pesky football season is over. In fact, he wants a piece of Hulk Hogan as well, and he’ll be renamed “Chokin” Hogan. Just leave.

JIMMY GRAFFITI vs. DEAN MALENNKO (for the WCW world cruiserweight title)

Is this show for real? Jimmy Graffiti’s getting title shots on their flagship program? I realize the WWF is utter garbage, and they probably don’t have a lot to worry about from the competition, but this Nitro has been straight up laziness. I suppose Graffiti could shock us all with the performance of a lifetime, but then I imagine Tony could stop talking about Roddy Piper, but that’s simply not going to happen. Graffiti works a hammerlock on the mat, slowing things down right away, exactly what I want from my Cruiserweight matches. Malenko belts him with a short arm clothesline, and we take a commercial break which causes every trained fan to immediately look to the entrance to see who’s coming to the ring.

Back from the break, SONNY ONOO has joined us to liven up the racism. He’s snapping pictures, because that’s what Asians do. Graffiti nearly steals a pinfall, but that’s not happening, so let’s move on. Malenko knocks Jimmy to the floor, but misses the baseball slide allowing Graffiti to clothesline him. Malenko is dropped across the guardrail, and rolled back in as Jimmy promptly crotches himself on the top rope. A superplex from Deano knocks both of them silly, and Graffiti recovers first with a superkick for 2. A powerbomb allows Graffiti to take half an hour to eventually go for a bridge, getting 2. Malenko comes right back with a series of pinfall attempts, but none of them succeed. Graffiti throws a hot shot and goes for a brainbuster, but Malenko hooks him and rolls forward for the pin at 7:06. This was perfectly acceptable, but I’m all kinds of sour right now. **

“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND drops in to talk to Sonny Onoo. Sonny slips and speaks English, and Gene accuses him of being a scam from a sushi bar. Sonny says he speaks with the accent is because the US throws him free education, free housing, and even stay home and get free money with his act. He waves a miniature American flag to show his patriotism.

THE NASTY BOYS vs. THE FACES OF FEAR (with Jimmy Hart)

I see a glimmer of hope in turning this show around; but that’s assuming the Nastys don’t drag the Fear down to their level of stink. Everyone starts clubbering, causing Tony to get knocked in the jaw by the ever present erection of one Dusty Rhodes. Of course, THE OUTSIDERS appear about 20 seconds into this match, posing with the tag-team titles to a roaring ovation. Sags easily slams Barbarian, but heads to the floor to chase Hart, so the Fear double team him, complete with smashing his face with a chair. Barbarian holds him hostage while Meng viciously beats him in the chest with such vigor you can hear each rapid blow clearly. He’s rolled back in, and Barbarian misses a top rope swandive. Knobbs tags in as the “fresh” man, but there ain’t nothing Fresh about Brian Knobbs. Knobbs hits a mid-rope placha on Barbarian, followed by a mid-rope splash, but the referee is busy trying to break up a fight on the floor to count to 3. Hart gets involved now, but accidentally smashes Barbarian in the face with his Megaphone. Knobbs rips the coat right off the back of Hart, and throws him right over the top, into the awaiting arms of Meng. Thankfully Barbarian puts an end to this sham with a Kick of Fear at 5:22. Too much selling from the Fear makes me an unhappy camper. *

The Shank of the Evening is upon us, because “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND welcomes RIC FLAIR to a rabid Charlotte crowd. Flair takes a moment to bow down to Kevin Greene, for leading the Panthers to the playoffs. With that in mind, he asks RODDY PIPER to join us. Flair endorses Piper, and admits he fumbled the ball two years ago when he had the chance to stop Hogan. Roddy admits it’s his last shot, and says he doesn’t want to come off as arrogant but he isn’t asking for anyone’s help. He won’t live with himself if he can’t do this alone. With that in mind, he has a big kiss for Flair, and they head to the back in each other’s arms to talk old times.

MIKE TENAY and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN join Tony for hour #2. Zbyszko disappears into in the purple haze of Larryland.

Piper’s first promo from hour 1 is replayed, in case you weren’t sure whether or not Roddy Piper was here.

BOBBY EATON vs. CHRIS JERICHO

Eaton clotheslines Jericho immediately, heads up, and choose not to hit the Alabama Jam. No, with Jericho laid out perfectly, that would only make sense, and we can’t have that. Instead, he drops a knee, which does little, and before long Jericho’s throwing spinning heel kicks while simultaneously blasting in with a promo against Nick Patrick, vowing he’s going to get him again. For what? Patrick’s not even around anymore. Lionsault gets 2. Eaton fires back with an electric chair, and NOW he decides, yes, it’s Alabama Jam time, but ONLY after he takes about 48 minutes to scale the ropes. Jericho moves, nails Sweet Chin Music, and finishes with the missile dropkick at 2:36. 1/2*

In light of last week’s bizarre behavior from Sting, we choose to let THE STEINER BROTHERS weigh in, with “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND firing the hard-hitting questions. Scotty asks if you really wanted a fight with Rick Steiner, would you hand him a bat – because if so, you’re nuts. Scott says he saw something in Sting’s eyes at that moment, and he’s able to do the math. Together, the Steiners and Lex Luger are WCW forever. Rick starts doing pirouettes looking for Sting, and asking for a message that never comes.

SGT. CRAIG PITTMAN vs. ARN ANDERSON (with the McMichaels)

Only a night like tonight could breed the return of the Pitbull. I’m about ready to pull my TV out of the wall in the hope it explodes. We call for a commercial break after about a minute of absolutely nothing happening.

Back in the arena, Arn is slowly dragging Pittman’s leg to the corner, and whips it around the ringpost. Mongo looks Pittman in the eyes, and screams “DID IT HURT?” with a shit eating grin, which makes me crack a smile. Arn heads up, but Pittman slams him off the top and locks Arn in Code Red. Anderson scurries to the ropes for the break, and heads out to the safety of the floor. Debra gets into it with the referee, allowing Mongo to smack Pittman with the Haliburton, and one DDT later gives us a winner at 2:52. *

“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND needs a word with the Horsemen (sans Flair, Benoit, and Woman), and everyone’s asking where Woman is? Benoit’s apparently in Germany, and is supposed to be alone. Debra shrieks that “Nancy” is a tramp, and she wears her beauty pageant gear to remind everyone that she’s legit and true to her roots. Arn urges Benoit to come home, because he’s got a bone to pick with Woman. I bet Benoit’s got a bone with Woman too.

DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. JEFF JARRETT (in a United States heavyweight title tournament semi-finals match)

Oh come on, what the shit is this? DDP should be on the fast-track to the finals since Luger and Arn annihilated each other in round one; but since neither of THEM could decide a winner, apparently Jeff Jarrett gets a free pass into the final 4 in a tournament he was never a part of. Further blowing my mind is the realization that these two would one day main event a pay-per-view together. (Albeit, not a good one.) Jarrett sweeps out Page’s legs, and dances on his back. I’m not impressed until I see a moonwalk, or at minimum, the Charleston. Jarrett and Page get into a shoving match, and a commercial break gets in the way.

Specifically, a Roddy Piper ad for Starrcade.

Back from the break, Page hits a backdrop, and follows with a tilt-a-whirl slam for 2. Jarrett retaliates with a jawbreaker, and follows with an enzuigiri – and now we strut. A swinging neckbreaker takes Page down, and Jarrett points to his head because he’s Double J: Super Genius. After a brief flurry of offense, Page hits a quick sunset flip for 2, but Jarrett pops up quickly with a clothesline to keep him down. A slingshot suplex sets up a second rope fistdrop, and a bridge pin gets 2. Jarrett goes for a suplex, but Page packages him for 2. Jarrett’s right back to it with a faceplant for 2. Jarrett tries a sleeper next, and Page waves viciously until he passes out. After a brief siesta, he’s awake and wiggles loose. Jarrett blocks a kick, but can’t block the discus punch, and they’re both out. DDP slowly makes his way to the top, and hits a clothesline for 2. Page feels the momentum now, and charges Jarrett, but the ropes are pulled down and he crashes to the floor. Out cold, THE OUTSIDERS race down to ringside but both Jarrett and the referee see Nash. They completely miss Scott Hall, who hits the Outsiders Edge on Jarrett as he was standing on the top rope watching Nash. Page rolls in, having no idea what just happened, and gets the win at 9:49. We have a highlight tonight! ***

“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND storms the ring next, and wants to know why Hall and Nash keep coming to Page’s aid. He reminds us that he doesn’t need those guys, he has the hottest finisher on the planet. For the last time, he is willing to do his own thing without them. He wants to know where they were 3 years ago when he was busting his ass? When he won the most improved wrestler in PWI last year? He says this situation reminds him of dealing with a girl he might have picked up in a night club once, and the next thing he knows, she wants a “membership” to his “gym”. For the last time: Leave DDP alone.

RICK STEINER vs.

RODDY PIPER storms down to the ring as Rick’s music is playing. I can’t decide if I’d rather see this, or the planned Rick Steiner/Scott Norton main event. He calls out Hogan, and wants to do some fighting NOW. He’s got a chair, because he’s willing to wait. Instead, we’re greeted with ERIC BISCHOFF, now with a new evil goatee, ducking debris and getting soaked with beer all the way to the ring. He’s here to inform Piper that the nWo has left the building, and remind him that he’s Piper’s friend. He’s doing everything he can to protect Piper from the violence of Hulk Hogan. But if he insists, “we’ll see you on the 29th, gimp.” Piper stands and smacks Eric in the back of the head, and before he smacks him with the chair, THE OUTSIDERS and TED DIBIASE rush down to ringside. He threatens everyone in sight with the chair, and nobody’s willing to pounce, as the fans go completely insane. KEVIN GREENE rolls into the ring to stand with Piper, and help him fend everyone off. The crowd is going absolutely insane here, and JUST as the Outsiders make their move, WE’RE OUTTA TIME.

I’m getting Piper overkill, but that last segment was red hot. And, bonus points for NOT turning Kevin Greene on the side of the nWo, because you KNOW 1997 Eric Bischoff wouldn’t have been able to resist that “clever” move.


To better days, and better shows.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

WCW Main Event: December 7, 1996

It’s everyone’s favorite hour of absolutely NOTHING at all! WCW Main Event is on the air!

TONY SCHIAVONE and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN welcome us to the studio. Tony has absolutely nothing of interest to say, so he turns things over to …

Rick Steiner’s challenge to Sting on Monday. After a recap, Bobby figures that Sting has turned to the dark side. He said Hogan was a great guy, and he turned, so anyone’s capable. It’s clear Sting is an nWo member.

There is no point in talking any more, when we can check out the ring.

BIG BUBBER vs. SCOTT ARMSTRONG (in a Main Event exclusive)

They weren’t kidding when they said this could “main event” anywhere in the country, were they? Announcers are DUSTY RHODES and LEE MARSHALL. Bubba pulls the mullet, and honestly, that’s Armstrong’s fault for having such horrendous hair. The referee, looking right at it, decides that it’s possible Bubba didn’t do it on purpose and lets the match continue. Armstrong tries a cross body, but he’s caught. Somehow Scott slinks over the top and shoves Bubba into the buckle, schoolboying him for 2. A sunset flip follows, and gets 2. Armstrong starts running around the ring like a Road Runner cartoon, driving Bubba insane. Eventually Scotty gets too cocky and takes a right hand to the mush, and that’s probably all he’s gonna get in from this point forward. A sidewalk slam is followed by a double arm chokeslam. Scott throws a punch, and walks right into the Bossman Slam for the win at 3:36. 1/2*

Back to the only discussion that ever matters anymore in this company; Roddy Piper. Tony figures Piper’s easily the bigger star in both wrestling and Hollywood. Uh huh.

Last week’s Norton/Page match from Saturday Night is replayed in full.

The US title tournament continues onwards, with Benoit, Guerrero, and Page moving forward. It sounds like Page is likely to get a bye to the finale, since Anderson and Luger took each other out. Heenan says if Giant wants to be considered a champion, maybe he consider buying some cufflinks.

Over to Pro from last week. As usual, since I don’t recap that show, let’s check this out.

CHAVO GUERRERO JR. vs. ARN ANDERSON

Chavo works a hammerlock off the bell, which is laughable. Arn quickly grabs the ropes, and shakes it off. Arn warns Chavo to stop pulling his hair, which Chavo denies vehemently – but the referee isn’t having it and issues a stern warning. On a second takedown, Anderson complains again, and the referee, irate, really feeds it to Chavo this time. As they lock up again, Arn uses Chavo’s hair to pull him to the mat. Amazing sequence. Chavo pops up and decks Anderson in the mouth, which knocks him to his ass. A dropkick gets 2. Anderson quickly yanks Chavo to the floor and gets a talking to from the referee, allowing CHRIS BENOIT to rush the ring area and throw Chavo face first into the ring post. Chavo’s rolled back in, and the pin is academic at 3:08. *1/2 EDDIE GUERRERO rushes down to ringside, and promptly gets double teamed by the Horsemen. Chavo saves his uncle, and the Horsemen bail. I imagine that sets up a tag-team match for this week – which is a shame I’ll miss because I’d probably enjoy that.

And, out of subjects to talk about, we return to Roddy Piper. Heenan notes that Piper faced the entire nWo without a baseball bat, or a chainsaw (a chainsaw?!?). Tony calls it a Personal Vendetta. What’s an Impersonal Vendetta exactly?

After a Starrcade preview, Heenan thinks back to when he managed Andre the Giant against Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania III. He said nobody ever figured they’d see a bigger match, but this Piper/Hogan deal is the match of a lifetime.

A clip of the assault on Benoit in Baltimore is played. Tony was amazed that it didn’t deter Benoit at all, including facing Steven Regal on Nitro. The full match is played, which is silly since it aired from the stands due to Regal getting opened up.

EDDIE GUERRERO vs. LA PARKA (in a Main Event exclusive)

Oh whomp ass – god bless you Main Event! I don’t like that there’s roughly 4 seconds left in the show, but this has potential and that’s all I ask for. I imagine time was cut because we couldn’t take away from talking about Roddy Piper. A spinning heel kick gives Parka the early edge. He chops Eddie in the corner, before giving him a pretty vicious corner spear. A second attempt is missed, and Parka flies shoulder first into the ring post. A clothesline connects, and Eddie kicks out La Parka’s legs. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker is on point, and Eddie turns things over to the chops. Parka responds with a quick enzuigiri drawing 2. A second one knocks Eddie silly, but he manages to kick out again at 2. Back to the well, a reverse enzuigiri scores 2. Double leg slam sets up a Figure Four, but Eddie packages him for the win at 3:08, which is exactly the same length as the last match we saw. Never the mind, this was pretty good for what it was. *1/2


With time ticking, Tony wants to quickly talk about Roddy Piper. Heenan thinks that Sting is going to get involved in Piper and Hogan’s affair somehow, and doesn’t trust him at all. Tony signs us off.

WCW Saturday Night: December 7, 1996

Pneumonia’s no fun, but WCW Saturday Night is! At least sometimes. Well, occasionally. Whatever the case, it’s better than pneumonia! Off to the Cyborg Factory.

TONY SCHIAVONE and DUSTY RHODES can’t WAIT but to talk about the MATCH OF THE DECADE between Piper and Hogan, which will top the MATCH OF THE DECADE between Savage and Hogan last month. Also, Dusty is eternally confused by Sting, Woman, and Benoit. Like, together?

SGT. BUDDY LEE PARKER vs. CHRIS JERICHO

Where the hell has Parker been for like 10 months? Is Lt. James okay? Will the State Patrol re-unite, or has there been a change in management at the old USA Police Station? And is Jack Boot secretly Buddy Lee’s evil twin brother? It’s like nWo Sting, on a Worldwide level of controversy. Dusty makes a bold prediction: Jericho’s on the doorstep of stardom. There are nuggets of wisdom under those chins. Jericho hits Sweet Chin Music to send Jack Boot Parker to the floor, and follows with a plancha. Back in, a hot shot changes EVERYTHING. To the point Tony starts comparing the Sarge to Roddy Piper. I’m not kidding. A kneedrop leads to a headlock, but Jericho’s out quickly and hits a release German. Spinning heel kick is followed by the Lionsault, but Jericho stops to yell “COME ON BAYBEEE!” Missile dropkick finishes at 4:17. That match was shockingly froot. **

TONY SCHIAVONE interviews Jericho, stopping him before he hits the pay windah. That’s rude. Jericho says WCW is not going to sit down and take this nWo invasion lightly, and as soon as WCW nominates a leader, he’ll stand behind them. Ok, so Hall fired the first shots over 6 months ago, and WCW hasn’t taken the time to nominate a leader. What do you guys talk about in the locker room?

THE ARMSTRONG BROTHERS vs. THE AMAZING FRENCH CANADIANS (with Colonel Robert Parker)

The Canadians stop everyone to sing the National Anthem, and they’re actually on point with the music. Big steps, which are lost when Tony Schavione can’t SHUT UP. These Quebecers from 1996 are completely wrong; but I guess you can’t have them demonizing Canada while waving the Quebec flag because the politics of separation might be lost on the crowd at Diznee. Make no mistake though; if they’d walked out in Canada carrying around a poster of Jacques Parizeau and Lucien Bouchard, they’d draw more heat than this Rusev/Putin thing today, I kid you not. Quebec Crash wins at 2:09. *

The crew is halted by TONY SCHIAVONE. Colonel Parker is now “Ker-nelle Par-kerre”, doing his best French impression of someone doing a French impression. Kernelle promises the whole world will be Parlez Vous Francais by the time they’re done. Done what?

BUNKHOUSE BUCK vs. RICK STEINER

Who did I upset? I’m REALLY sorry. Please don’t do this. Awww hell, nobody dies on the way to the ring, this is happening. Belly to belly overhead starts matters for Rick, while Tony reminds us about 800 times that Roddy Piper is not a part of WCW’s roster. Good to know he’s the man charged with saving WCW in that case. Meanwhile, Dusty starts speculatin’ on Sting’s gameplan. He decides it’s mysterious. Steinerline finishes at 2:24. DUD

In a segment I typically ignore in these recaps, “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND pimps his hotline. Today’s big news, an “Icon” might be “Calling It Quits” and “Going Elsewhere”. Well, if that’s true, it’s unfortunate, and we’ll all miss the Booty Man.

KEVIN SULLIVAN (with Jimmy Hart) vs. PRINCE IAUKEA

If you’ve seen one Saturday Night match with Kevin Sullivan, you’ve seen them all. Toss over the guardrail, toss into the ringsteps, toss into the ringsteps, Jimmy Hart cackle, toss into the ringsteps, double stomp in the belly welly, win at 1:41. DUD

The winners are invited to a chat with TONY SCHIAVONE, and Sullivan immediately starts in on Benoit. Tony stops him because he’s been handed another MYSTERIOUS TAPE that they’re just dying to play RIGHT NOW.

It’s a home video of WOMAN and CHRIS BENOIT. They’re sipping wine, and Woman’s giggling about the fact she’s not with her parents or in the Keys. She warned Kevin to stop hurting Benoit in Baltimore and one more shot meant it was over. And by over, she means over sista. She reminds Kevin that it’s not the 50’s, she has the right to vote and drive, and she’ll do what she wants whenever she wants. Benoit laughs that he hasn’t made any of the same mistakes Sullivan made, and it’s time he got some sense kicked into him. He brags about being the best chess player, but Benoit bishop just took Sullivan’s queen. NOT REMOTELY UNCOMFORTABLE. (I was initially going to insert a screencap here of how incredibly creepy this entire thing was in retrospect of … well, everything, but I realized there are some people who probably would prefer not to see it – so I’ve linked it here instead and you can choose.)

Back to the live arena, Sullivan’s eyes are welled up, and he bolts.

JEFF JARRETT vs. JOHN BLITZ

John Blitz is a fantastic wrestling name. In fact, I’m a big fan of the light blue lightning bolt down the side, and am completely disgusted at the ease Jarrett wipes the floor with him – including lying across the top ropes like a hammock. Tony spews his love for Jeff Jarrett, because of respect, tradition, family, 1905! Of course, Jarrett’s wrestling the entire match like a heel, but that’s just history! Speaking of history, John Blitz. :-( … figure four at 3:35. *1/2

RIC FLAIR and TONY SCHIAVONE hook up to promote the upcoming Nitro in Charlotte. He declares that Piper’s a man. Did he peak under the kilt to confirm? Together, they’ll walk the aisle! Different strokes.

Even though I’ve seen the commercial dozens of times, this one still slays me every time.



HIGH VOLTAGE vs. THE FACES OF FEAR

Now I’m amped! I even get pre-recorded comments! Concerning Hall and Nash, they grunt a lot. That’s fantastic. Dusty: “Tony I need to correct you a moment, you said the belts belong with the Faces of Fear, well that’s not true. They belong with the better team, the winners if you will. And that is not High Voltage.” That was an incredibly mean spirited burn; you’re alright Dusty Rhodes. Barbarian beats the tar out of Kenny Kaos. He desperately tags Rage, but Barbarian doesn’t care, he keeps beating up Kaos anyway. Rage tries to double team Barbarian, so he just clotheslines both of them. The price tag of that disrespectful attack is Meng – who promptly beats Rage into the mat. Barbarian comes back in to choke Rage, which draws a stern warning from the referee. Meng chops Rage in the corner, showing no rage of his own, just business. A bored spike piledriver gets 2 – only saved by a diving Kaos. That’s cool, Barbarian has a powerbomb with his name all over it. Kaos saves again. Dude, you trying to cripple your partner? Barbarian punches Kaos in the face just cuz, and drags Kaos back to the corner of Fear for more pain. Now Meng hits him with a sitdown powerbomb, which Kaos saves, so Barbarian clotheslines him in the face. Wonderful. Rage finally gets to his corner, but can’t find Kaos, so he dives off the top, right into a Kick of Fear from Meng for the win at 4:55. I cannot get enough of this stuff. ***

Over on nWo Saturday Night … we have a repeat challenger!

“PISTOL” PEZ WHATLEY
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 299 lbs.
Reach: 32”
Fist: 18”
Hometown: Chattanooga, TN
Pro Record: 99-76
Doughboy look-a-like winner
The largest small man in wrestling

“PISTOL” PEZ WHATLEY vs. MARCUS BAGWELL (for the WCW United States heavyweight title)

Pistol Pez was last seen just two weeks ago on the November 23 edition of Saturday Night. In fact, he’s introduced as the only person to ever come back for more. Bagwell is defending the US title here for god knows what reason, and is also peeling off his shirt for all the “young teeny bops” out there. Your ring announcers are the OUTSIDERS, SYXX is the ring announcer, and DOCTOR X has been given referee duties – further proof he could NOT be Nick Patrick as Patrick has been MIA for ages. Bagwell flexes, which Nash calls a “nice double bichat”. He turns around to show off his back, and Hall gushes over those lats. Whatley gets in a scoop slam, and poses – which upsets everyone involved because this is an nWo segment. Bagwell launches him into the buckles, which causes deep vertebrae trauma. A swinging neckbreaker is all she wrote at 3:10. Nash congratulates Bagwell on his 1-0 winning streak. Whatley goes over to the Outsiders to ask if he’s getting paid, and Nash vows it’s in the mail.

DAVE TAYLOR vs. DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE

Taylor nearly chokes on the Saturday Night smoke machine, angrily waving it away as he makes his way through the door. He should have given it a European Uppercut. DDP is on a hot-streak, and I’m FAIRLY sure he’s only lost one match since May (to Guerrero at the Clash) – so it’s unfortunate that he’s been put in this unwinnable position against Taylor. The Squire wrings the arm, but Page reverses and throws some shoulder blocks. Dusty notes, for the first time amongst the announcers, that the fans are actually cheering DDP. Tony figures it’s the Diamond Cutter that’s won them over. Page hits a backdrop suplex for 2, and that’s enough for Taylor, who throws TWO European uppercuts! Then a third! Sweet mother of God, how is Page expected to win let alone LIVE? The referee starts admonishing Taylor for the uppercuts, but Taylor makes a clear demonstration that those were hands, not closed fists, repeating it slowly for the dimwitted ref. A boot to the face sets up a vertical suplex – and it looks like Taylor’s got this match in hand. A fourth European uppercut is launched like a missile, and there is no stopping this English-bred machine. But then – Taylor grabs a TV from ringside, and it EXPLODES! That allows DDP to hit the pancake, and finish with the Diamond Cutter at 6:06. **

TONY SCHIAVONE has a nagging question on his mind about Page and the nWo. Page figures he should be flattered since the nWo’s biggest current recruits are Sting and Page, but he’s not. He works better when he wants to do something, not when he’s told. What he wants is the US title.

ARN ANDERSON vs. “LORD” STEVEN REGAL (for the WCW world television title)

Regal takes issue with the smoke machine much like his compadre – but more importantly he has a big problem with a large number of the fans in the front row; so much so that he stops to lecture several of them, one at a time. It’s the little details that made Regal; hell, even today he still has that range as evidenced by his facial expressions on the NXT post-show last Thursday. Arn works an armlock, but Regal escapes and pops up with a big smirk on his face – only to have it knocked off with a short arm clothesline. He makes a face like he bit into a bad lemon. The ring announcer notes that 5 minutes have already lapsed, which is an impressive feat in only 2 minutes. Regal pokes Arn in the eye, and promptly denies it when questioned. Regal throws a European uppercut, but Arn comes back with an abdominal stretch. No leverage tonight because he’s not a heel. Regal escapes and throws some palm thrusts to Anderson’s face. Arn fires back with a huge right, and gets a close 2. Regal sweeps out the legs, and quickly locks on a crossface – with the occasional palm thrust to the ear. Yowch! Hold released, Regal throws another European uppercut, spears him, and re-applies a crossface with additional palm thrusts. That ear’s got a future as a cauliflower. Arn wiggles loose, and starts throwing wild haymakers, but one European uppercut takes him right back to the mat. The Regal Stretch is applied, but not fully because Anderson is fighting, and Arn makes the ropes. Regal pops up and stomps him repeatedly. To the floor, one minute left is announced, and that seems to wake Arn up. Back in, Anderson punts Regal in the face and goes for a quick DDT, but Regal blocks. A spinebuster puts Regal down … and time runs out at 8:01. Awesome old school brawl. ***1/2

Time is legitimately up, as Tony ushers us off the air. No Worldwide tomorrow? That’s AWFUL! So we’ll shuffle off to WCW Monday Piper, and go about our business. G’night!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

WCW Nitro: December 2, 1996

Apologies on the slowness of these recently, I’m dealing with pneumonia and my level of concentration is not all there.

Biscuit! writes: This WCW run just killed Piper for me. I was hoping for like 8 Diamond Cutters to see him out the door.

Well Biscuit!, I ask that we not react prematurely, unless of course you can see the future or something. Piper, admittedly, has not “lit the world on fire” over his first few weeks, but maybe we should just let it all play out and see where it goes. It’s not like he’ll wind up locking himself on Alcatraz and rant and rave about Hollywood Hogan from inside a jail cell as any kind of pay-per-view build up or anything, so I think we all need to relax a little.

And speaking of seeing where it goes, I imagine Piper will be around tonight, because this is Nitro, home of fireworks, exploding street lights, TONY SCHIAVONE, and LARRY ZBYSZKO. We are LIVE from Dayton, Ohio, on a frosty December evening. Your theme tonight: Piper is the only man that Hogan hasn’t defeated.

Before Larry can even belch his first New World Odor, THE STEINER BROTHERS interrupt the broadcast table. Scott lives! Scotty says that Sting’s one of his best friends in the world, but last week he attacked his brother, and tonight he’ll make sure he doesn’t do it again. Did Scott manage to miss the fact that Rick started it?

GLACIER vs. HARDBODY HARRISON

According to Larry, the story goes that Glacier has been gone for the last couple months to work secretly on himself, and has added greatly to his repertoire overseas. I’m going to call bullshit on that, since he appeared on Worldwide on November 24. Reflecting a little on Glacier, the obvious move, after his debut match, was to advertise his second match heavily with vignettes. COMING HARDER: THE SEQUEL. Play it out for 8-12 months. Repeat. Anyway, it’s clear Glacier has in fact made changes. For example, he has lost his blue light. But that’s about it. The Cryonic Kick wins at 1:02. Then, Glacier cuts a heart-felt promo about his background. His father was an officer of the law, a good man, with honor and values. And he has years of experience as a military man, now a secret ninja warrior, and his discipline has taught him that rogue groups like the nWo must be stopped. He rallies the entire WCW roster together in a beautiful moment, where they unite as one, chanting Glacier’s name, vowing to use their numbers to overcome the nWo, including his opponent, the man named Stang. Wait, none of that actually happened, he actually sat around posing for half an hour. DUD

JOE GOMEZ and THE RENEGADE vs. THE AMAZING FRENCH CANADIANS (with Colonel Robert Parker)

Tony can’t wait to see some great tag-team wrestling, and quite frankly, neither can I. If any is booked, I’ll be thrilled. The Canadians break into the National Anthem, a LITTLE off key and queue, but without any regard for their patriotism, Tony talks ALL over them. Fans chant “USA” for the Spanish guy. Gomez is tossed over the top rope, allowing the Colonel to stomp him like a bug! Back in, Ouellette kills Gomez with a full head of steam. A double hot shot has Joe gasping for life, but the Renegade saves him with an illegal attack. He isn’t admonished, which seems unfair. A crappy handspring back elbow hits Rougeau, and he’s so embarrassed by it that he immediately gives Renegade a spike piledriver. Quebec Crash finishes at 3:15. *1/2

“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND makes his first appearance of the night, chatting with ARN ANDERSON by the ramp. Flair’s not here, because he’s in rehab. We’ll assume it’s his shoulder, but you never know. We’re talking Hulk Hogan tonight. Arn reminds the world that there was a myth Hogan couldn’t be beaten, which he destroyed by beating him twice in two weeks. (Fact!) Years ago, Hogan told Arn that the toughest matches of his life were with Piper. Anderson used to take it with a grain of salt, but he’s gone back and watched those wars, and he understands now. Even when the entire nWo attacked him, he saw no fear, but just straight up focus. And when they square off, 1-on-1, Piper’s going to serve him his receipt. The fans respond positively, chanting “nWo!” at the top of their lungs.

THE FACES OF FEAR vs. THE ROCK & MALES EXPRESS
                                            
Scotty Riggs is on the rebound, and he’s walked right into the arms of one Robert Gibson, who hasn’t won a match with old Ricky since mid-1988. This might be the great tag-team match that Tony was hyping during the last segment. Apparently the Faces of Fear have been granted a tag-team title shot at Starrcade. Now THIS would be a good time to have the nWo show a little ass, the Fear might be the only team legitimate enough to take down the Outsiders cleanly. Unfortunately, WCW is booking them like chumps early, with Riggs scoring a 14-count off a sunset flip, except that Meng has the referee distracted. I’m not cool with this. Barbarian goes for a powerslam, but Riggs holds the arm and drags him along. What the crap is this? Barbarian finally just punches Gibson in the back of the head, and in comes Meng. Riggs hits him with a crossbody off the top for 2. A double clothesline drops him again, and I am decidedly unhappy. Gibson works a headlock on a bored looking Meng. In comes Riggs, and Meng just chops him off his feet. The backdrop into a VICIOUS powerbomb very likely just put Riggs in the hospital. Barbarian delivers a backbreaker, which is silly, they already broke his back. Meng calmly chokes Riggs in the ropes, chanting in Tongan the entire time. For kicks, Meng delivers a spike piledriver, but Gibson saves his crippled partner. Barbarian chops Riggs hard in the THROAT. Yeebus! Riggs somehow manages a sunset flip … perhaps he’s a zombie? Barbarian laughs and doesn’t flip, opting to Banzai, but Riggs moves. Gibson enters, giving Barbarian a Blockbuster for 2! That draws the ire of Meng, who throws about 800 consecutive punches. Kick of Fear from Barbarian finishes at 7:41. Riggs re-enters, and slams both Fear members in the head with a steel chair. Ummm … you’re probably gonna come to regret that, pretty boy. **

KEVIN SULLIVAN vs. KC SUNSHINE

This is your usual Prime / Worldwide crap, with Sullivan attacking before the bell, and doing the fast action garbage brawling alongside the ring. Must be nice to be head booker, and feed yourself a perennial stream of jobbers to keep looking like a threat to anyone worth a damn. Granted, he never puts himself OVER in those big matches at least, but after a full year of this, I’m done with the Kevin Sullivan experience. The most entertaining thing to come out of this, is that poor Randy the Ram Robinson is given the unfortunate ring name of KC Sunshine – but it’s always good to see the old Ram out there. We’re denied a Ram Jam, or even a classic rock entrance. Double stomp finishes at 2:01. RIP Randy. DUD

Post-match, “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND is forced to waste time talking to this clown. Sullivan declares himself the greatest chess player in history, but Benoit’s recently got the upper edge with his mind-games, since he did something or other in Baltimore after Sullivan beat him off. Of course, he never spells it out because this angle sucks.

BILLY KIDMAN vs. DEAN MALENKO (for the WCW world cruiserweight title)

Winner of this match faces Ultimate Dragon at Starrcade. Kidman sports a spiffy 0-191 record against Malenko coming into this match. And that’s just over the last 6 weeks. Don’t get too enthralled here though, because Tony has a memo from the Executive Committee, which is headed up by the Anonymous General Manager. They state that they have all authority over titles in WCW, and not Eric Bischoff. Of course, Larry puts Tony’s hand to the fire and asks questions like “do they sanction all the title changes?” and “can they weigh in on disruptive finishes?” … Tony has no clue, of course. Meanwhile, there’s a pretty awesome match going on, and after Malenko powerbombs Kidman on the floor, SONNY ONOO wanders down to take pictures. Deano locks in a crucifix submission, and rolls backwards for 2. A brainbuster looks to finish, but this is 1996, and that silly transition move only gets 2. Kidman kicks Malenko in the face, and follows with a quick missile dropkick. Perfectplex(!) gets 2. Malenko pops up quickly, and goes for the Outsiders Edge, but Kidman swings through for 2. Both guys start trading small packages (stop it), and eventually wind up on the top rope. A nice looking superplex makes Larry say “New World Odor”. Dean goes up, and Sonny snaps a picture in his face – with the flash sending him crashing to the mat! Kidman heads up … yes, Shooting Star Press! No! Malenko blocks with his knees, and quickly applies a Texas Cloverleaf for the win at 5:53. *** So close Billy, so close.

BIG BUBBER (with Jimmy Hart) vs. JEFF JARRETT

MIKE TENAY and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN take over the announce booth, but not before Larry’s able to throw in one more New World Odor. Jarrett has, of course, now suffered his first loss, so are we prepared to start the Jeff Jarrett job-fest ‘round the nation? This would be as fine a place to start as any. Tony sneaks up behind Heenan, to join the second hour announce crew. He immediately starts saying “TRADITION!” in reference to Roddy Piper, discussing his legendary dog collar match at the first Starrcade in 1983. So basically, he’s old as hell. Jarrett hits a jumping DDT, which serves little purpose because Bubba stands on his throat against the ropes. The referee gives him an earful, allowing Hart to sneak in and choke him out additionally. Of course, he hits the deck seconds later to chase Hart. Bubba tries to save the day, but he punches Hart in the mush by mistake. Back in, Jarrett hits a crossbody off the top, getting 2. Still, he goes for the Figure Four, but Bubba shoves him off. The megaphone is tossed to Bubba, but he misses smashing Jarrett in the face. The referee finally pays attention to the match, just as Jeff dropkicks the megaphone in Bubba’s face for the pin at 4:10. We just saw this match on the October 14th Nitro, right down to the megaphone spot. Welcome to Hour #2 – the no fun zone! *

THE STEINER BROTHERS take over the ring right after the match, with Rick angrily calling out Sting. Scotty spots him in the rafters, and so do the cameras – hi STING! Rick urges Sting to come fight him one on one like a man instead of sneak attacks. Sting nods, indicating he’s accepting the Steiner challenge. Errrr, sure!

Apparently Dave Taylor was scheduled next, but the porno music brings us THE OUTSIDERS, ERIC BISCHOFF, VINCENT, and SYXX. Hall rushes the announce booth, making goblin noises and wiggling his fingers – which works because the announcers scatter like cockroaches. Bischoff declares his love for all of us, and welcomes Sting to the nWo. Concerning Piper, Bischoff says he’s actually his best friend, he was TRYING to save him from Hulk Hogan. If he remembers what happened to that “tub of goo” Vader (queue the footage), he tried and got destroyed. As did Flair and Savage. He urges Piper to stay home over the holidays with his 6 kids, and forget Hogan.

DAVID TAYLOR vs. EDDIE GUERRERO

Hall promises to take a close look at “this guy Taylor”, because they need an Englishman. Taylor immediately starts in with the European uppercuts. If this is an audition – that’s a hell of a way, those things have killed dozens of challengers during street brawling tournaments, held in the mean streets of Blackpool, England (which is where he would have met Regal, you see). Hall figures they should try and recruit Regal while they’re at it, since they handed him the strap that he’s “so proud of”. Taylor fires off a couple of dropkicks, and works over Eddie in the corner. A springboard crossbody misses Guerrero, who jumps up and finishes with the Frog Splash at 2:18. *

LEE MARSHALL starts jawing with Bischoff and the Outsiders on the Road Report. He reminds them that stepping into Charlotte against Flair and Piper is like seeing the Beatles in Liverpool. Hall: “Old and dated?”

ARN ANDERSON vs. JIM POWERS (with Teddy Long)

Anderson attacks immediately, and grinds Powers’ face in the floor. Powers comes back with a crossbody for 2. Hall mentions he’s sick of everyone talking smack against the nWo, and not folks like Arn Anderson who can back it up, but fat announcers like Dusty Rhodes and Larry Zbyszko. He sends a message directly to Larry: stick to golf. Arn misses an elbowdrop, as the Outsiders start sucking Flair’s ass trying to get him on board. DDT finishes for Arn at 3:09. Hall: “Arn can play on my team.” *1/2

CHRIS BENOIT vs. “LORD” STEVEN REGAL (in a first round United States title tournament match)

Bischoff mentions that Benoit won’t go near a men’s room anymore. Hall: “That’s ok, he’s got the bladder of a gladiator.” I’m fairly excited for this match up – we haven’t seen it since January, and that one was fantastic. Regal and Benoit grapple, while the fans chant “USA”. For WHO? Regal throws a series of vicious palm thrusts, but Benoit retaliates with a bunch of his own, and Regal’s busted wide open the hard way. Regal sees it, and rages, sweeping out Benoit’s legs and locking on a front facelock. Benoit escapes, but walks into another palm thrust. The camera pans WAYYYY backwards so as not to show the blood. Come on! We’re like 150 feet away from the ring and can barely see anything. Half the joy of any Regal match is his awesome facial expressions, piss off WCW! Benoit is locked in something, or maybe it’s Regal, who can tell, we’re watching this further away from the ring than Sting. A scoop slam from Benoit sends him up top, and he hits the Swandive! Hall: “This guy’s reckless, that hurts him. I like that.” Both guys trade tombstone threats, but after several reversals, Benoit connects and Regal rolls to the floor. Benoit misses a slingshot plancha, and Regal quickly rolls him back in and puts Benoit on the top. A butterfly superplex has the Lord in control, but it only gets 2. Seconds later, Benoit sneaks behind Regal and nails a German suplex. Hall asks if the camera guys are on strike or something, wanting to know what the hell is with the awful work here. Dragon suplex finishes at 6:26. This looked ok, but the camera stuff was a joke and ruined this for me. **1/2

“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND meets up with ARN ANDERSON, MONGO MCMICHAEL, and DEBRA MCMICHAEL – waiting for Benoit to join them as well. Gene sees momentum for the Horsemen apparently. I dunno about that Gene, downward momentum lately, things ain’t pretty. Arn says he felt the rush earlier of driving someone’s head through the mat, and he’s back. Arn asks where the hell Woman is. Benoit says it’s Horsemen business, but Anderson reminds Benoit that Nitro IS Horsemen business. Chris defends her, but Mongo is quick to state that he was part of a team that should have been a dynasty (DAAAAA BEARS!), but they fell apart. Debra’s tired of hearing Woman cutesying up to Benoit, and spraying on her cheap perfume because “Chris loooooves it”. She tells Benoit to straighten this out, immediately. Gene asks what this exclusivity agreement between Benoit and Woman is. Benoit cuts him off, and tells him they’re all Horsemen and to shut it.

ROCCO ROCK (with Johnny Grunge) vs. LEX LUGER

The fans are absolutely manic for Luger here, which the Outsiders try and downplay, but there’s no downplaying this. Rocco drops Luger throat first across the top rope, and tells Luger “don’t worry about Hogan”. Bischoff figures that it’s ok for WCW to be the #2 wrestling organization in the world, behind the nWo. Hall wants to buy a Japanese promotion and make them the #3. Nash: “Does that make ECW #4?” Bischoff: “… ha ha ha, I don’t think so.” Hall: “It’s sweet actually, you can play bingo too.” Rocco misses a blind charge, and Luger starts throwing some “forearm shivers”. Rock scores a cheapshot, sending Lex to the floor, where Grunge gets in a few shots. Luger rolls back in, and Luger hasn’t felt anything, because he gives Rock a gorilla press slam “like he’s a toy!” Grunge trips up Luger before he can finish, and holds Luger hostage on the ropes. Lex moves, Rocco crashes into his buddy, and the Rack finishes at 3:55. Grunge charges, so Luger throws Rocco into him, and clotheslines them out. Hall: “He has that loaded forearm, we need to look into that.” *

RICK STEINER (with Scott Steiner) vs. STING

Sting enters through the crowd, carrying a black baseball bat. He tosses it aside, into the arms of Scott Steiner, and turns around – offering Rick to attack. Steiner tees off on him for a few seconds, until Sting ducks a punch and flattens him with a Scorpion Death Drop. Sting picks up his ball bat, and approaches Scott Steiner, moving him aside to get to Rick. He shoves Rick into the corner, and hands Rick the bat, offering up his back again. Scotty refuses to let Rick attack Sting, so Sting wanders away… right towards the nWo at the announce table. He points his bat at the 3 clowns in the booth, before turning and heading back through the crowd. Hall: “Just send the contract to his house then.”


Bischoff wishes everyone a happy holiday, and the trio makes the Wolfpac sign as the show fades.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

WCW Worldwide: December 1, 1996

Ever since the death of WCW Prime, and with it the legacy of the great Johnny B Badd, I have felt alone. But a new love has quickly emerged; courtesy of Bobby Heenan who could not give less of a crap about the program he’s talking about. And no, I don’t mean Nitro, which is the ultimate volatile stock market, but the ever steady Worldwide. And what big stars are upon us tonight? Well, no less than the best, such as Jim Duggan, Disco Inferno, and Alex Wright.

Our hosts are the aforementioned “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN, and TONY SCHIAVONE.

“HACKSAW” JIM DUGGAN vs. JOHN PETERSON

With the arrival of this newcomer, John Peterson, also comes the return of one NICK PATRICK to the ring. Peterson attacks before the bell, and Patrick lets it go. Your newest nWo member?


It might seem unlikely that the nWo comes recruiting on Worldwide, but ultimately, every single WCW wrestler on the roster has been told they have 30 days to make a choice, and any time you can sign the love-child of Arn Anderson and Kendall Windham, you have to do it. Granted, he’s not very good, losing to a clothesline in 1:39, but maybe Vincent needs a bitch. DUD

BOBBY EATON vs. MANNY FERNANDEZ

With the nWo firmly in control, it looks like we’re back to a steady stream of NICK PATRICK being the assigned official to every single match, important or meaningless. Not that I would ever doubt the importance of Bobby Eaton picking up a much unneeded win (whoops, spoiler), but I don’t think it would kill them to send out Scott Dickenson to pick up a little ring experience here. Bobby hits a swinging neckbreaker, which sets up the Alabama Jam for the easy peasy win at 2:20. 1/2*

Backstage (we have a backstage on this show?!?), LEE MARSHALL is with ARN ANDERSON. Arn gives us the world view of the Horsemen; Flair’s out and done. Anderson’s lost his will. Benoit is coming along, but isn’t there. The assessment? The Horsemen are done. Arn says that’s fantasy island, because Mongo’s a 12 time all pro, Benoit’s wrestled in Japan for years, Flair’s a 13-time champion and has been hurt plenty before, and he’s back. Anyone who thinks they’re dead and gone has already lost.

DISCO INFERNO vs. ALEX WRIGHT

For a 3rd consecutive match, NICK PATRICK works. Heenan and Tony start talking about the Christmas season, with Tony gloating he got nothing for Bobby. Bobby, hurt, tells Tony he picked up one of the new James Bond style BMW’s for him. Tony calls him a liar, so Bobby, angry, tells Tony he’s returning it. Wright messes up Disco’s hair. Bobby: “Who cares? You can comb it later! Break his hands now!” Then bloody Tony defends Disco, saying it’s his trademark and he has a right to be upset, like Bobby when someone calls him a weasel. Heenan denies ever getting mad about that, because “I’m not a weasel. Being a weasel doesn’t get me upset. I don’t have claws, I don’t have a tail, I don’t hop around into the chicken coops at night and then … no, I’m not! It doesn’t upset me.” Tony: “Ok, weasel.” Heenan: “Why would you call me that? I didn’t do anything wrong.” I would have preferred if he’d just punched Schiavone in the mouth. Wright runs through his usual offense, which has been completely exposed with the influx of lucha talent over the last 6 months. Disco comes back with a slam of the head into the buckle, hits a swinging neckbreaker, and dances while Bobby counts to 13 to prove he’s a timewaster. A back elbow leads to a swim, followed by a boogie break. Wright quickly comes back with a belly to belly, and finishes with the German suplex at 4:21. *

CHRIS BENOIT vs. RICK STEINER

Heenan just tees off on a fat woman in the crowd during the entrances while she flashes dual 4’s for Benoit. “8 more donuts! Nice dress if you’re going to a luau and you have apples in your mouth. Does poi mean anything to you sweetheart? They arrested that woman once for impersonating a piƱata.” Tony’s pleas to make him stop go completely ignored. God bless the pre-social media anti-bullying era. He moves on to trash talking Steiner, and Tony asks him if he’d ever say any of this to his face? Heenan admits he would, and would even slap him around while he’s at it. Tony offers him $5 to do it immediately, but Heenan, despite being intrigued by the cash offer, refuses because he made a vow to the producers he’d never leave his chair, due to his ability to enhance the product like nobody else. Steiner tosses Benoit around, so he quickly takes a powder to re-evaluate. Tony has enough of Bobby calling Steiner stupid, to which Heenan replies: “Would you let him do your taxes?” Tony (sputtering): “Well … no, but I wouldn’t let Benoit do them either!” Heenan promptly offers to do them for a small fee. A big right hand sends Benoit back to the floor again, where he complains that Rick’s using closed fists. The referee, quick to correct this measure, politely asks Rick if he’s being using closed fists? He says no, which is enough for the referee to inform Chris his investigation is complete, and no penalties will be incurred. Benoit heads back in to a potentially dangerous situation, but quickly cradles Steiner for 2. Rick fires back with a release German suplex, dropping Benoit on the back of his head – yikes! Overhead belly to belly follow suit! Heenan: “I haven’t seen hurling like this since I had dinner at your house!” Benoit manages a short arm clothesline, but misses the swandive. Rick explodes with a clothesline, and scores the pin at 5:36. I really want to question why the hell Benoit’s losing matches cleanly on Worldwide … but then I remember nobody actually watched this show, so it probably doesn’t matter. **

Returning to this mysterious “backstage”, LEE MARSHALL invites THE NASTY BOYS in, to find out where they stand. Personally, I’m hoping they stand anywhere other than in a WCW ring, but apparently 1997 is going to be “Nothing but Nasty”. Yeah, don’t expect me to hang around for 1997 in that case. Lee channels his inner Mean Gene, reminding them they were cozying up to Hogan as recently as a couple of weeks ago, donning nWo colors. Knobbs threatens to knock out his teeth, before admitting he made a mistake but they’ve learned from it. Learned what, exactly?

JIM POWERS (with Teddy Long) vs. LEX LUGER

NICK PATRICK fulfills our 80% Nick Patrick quota by working here. Much as I can’t believe I’m saying it, the most unfortunate part of Roddy Piper’s WCW arrival is that it’s costing Lex Luger his rightful place in the Starrcade main event. It’s almost unbelievable that Luger, barely garnering any interest from either company as recently as a year earlier, is very likely the hottest babyface in the game for either major company right now. Booked into a corner, however, WCW is in a tough spot – because they’re also amerced with the best heel in the world, and neither can afford to lose, so maybe it’s best for the Great Choker to stay away from Hogan for the immediate future. Powers tries to show off his great physique, but that’s like Kofi Kingston trying to show off his incredible height while standing next to Khali. Luger flattens him with a series of clotheslines. Heenan starts ranting about Hogan, ending with “he is the only man walking the face of the planet that I can honestly say I hate! … well, and Okerlund.” Tony: “Anyone else?” Heenan: “No! Well, and Cruise. That’s not the point, because … well, I never liked Dusty either. So, Luger … no, I don’t like him. You know, Tony, I don’t like you either. Give me 5 bucks.” Tony: “No!” Heenan: “Now make it 10, I don’t like you for not giving me 5 bucks.” Luger works a chinlock because apparently Powers is the face tonight? Was this taped in late 1995? Luger drops an elbow, as the fans try to will Powers to his feet. Powers comes back with a sunset flip, but Luger kicks out at 2. Luger comes back with a backbreaker, scoring 2. A running forearm gets 2, and the canned heat really starts getting worked up. Luger remains on offense, until finally Powers comes back with a running knee and dropkick for 2. He misses an avalanche, allowing Lex to Rack Powers for the win at 8:53. Wow, that was long. The fans throw their hands in the air, looking thrilled, appearing to celebrate, and allegedly booing like crazy. Who edited this? DUD


Next week: Akira Hokuto! M Wallstreet! Luchadores! I have no idea how the NFL ratings are expecting to compete with that. And with that, Tony signs us off.