I’m laid up with one of the worst summer colds I’ve ever experienced; but the timing couldn’t be better because with a 2-hour edition of Saturday Night, followed by the pay-per-view, 2 hours of Nitro, and another rockin’ episode of Prime (could we see the return of TOPP GUNN?!?) – I’ll need all the downtime I can get. THIS … is WCW!
TONY SCHIAVONE and DUSTY RHODES are very excited for this Father’s Day weekend; but perhaps less excited are Mongo and Debra after Debra was attacked by the Horsemen? Also, no longer able to ignore it – Tony can’t wait to see who will defend WCW from the invading Razor Ramon and Diesel. Dusty figures there’s 100 guys in the back who are ready to go. Super Giant Ninja? Lifeguard Steve Collins? TOPP GUNN?!?
VK WALLSTREET vs. MARCUS BAGWELL
Bagwell has a shot at the “King of the Ring” title according to Dusty Rhodes, when he faces DDP at Great American Bash. The way Wallstreet is protected on these jobber shows despite NEVER being good enough for Nitro, I almost wouldn’t be shocked if he beats Bagwell here. Wallstreet hits a couple of early slams, but Bagwell comes back with a pair of dropkicks. And so we clap! Wallstreet wants a timeout, but the referee doesn’t appease him. Back in, Bagwell wrenches the arm, but misses a springboard crossbody, allowing Wallstreet to hit a clothesline for 2. Bagwell is tossed to the floor, but nothing exciting happens. Back in, Bagwell takes back over with a couple of clotheslines, while Tony excitedly notes the “Second Wind!” That comes to an end on the heels of a Stock Market Crash, but Wallstreet refuses to go for the pin, as he wants to do a second one. This time, Bagwell slips down his back and gets the roll up and pin at 4:38. Life partner and soul mate SCOTTY RIGGS arrives, and Bagwell gives him pantomimed fellatio? You be the judge.
LEE MARSHALL checks in with Bagwell and Riggs. Bagwell says he’s exhausted, having forgotten how tough it is to be a singles wrestler, and kinda wishes Scotty had won the coin toss to determine which of them would wrestle Page. Feel his passion here kids – he wants this match so badly he wishes he’d lost a coin toss. DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE wanders in to the party, and tells Riggs he’s lucky he didn’t win the coin toss, because otherwise he’d be sucking his meals out a straw. “Listen Chachi, you don’t know what I went through to get this ring.” Bagwell tells him it doesn’t matter, because he’s better. You show him Buff!
“HACKSAW” JIM DUGGAN vs. THE GAMBLER
Gambler’s holding the Dead Man’s Hand, dude why? Are you trying to jinx yourself? Granted, Duggan’s always been a couple cards short of a full deck, but I still get the feeling this just can’t end well. He tries, man does he try. But a couple of meathooks from Duggan gets control, and a powerslam sets up the inevitable. 3 point stance gets the pin at 2:12. But then my man Gambler attacks Duggan from behind after the bell – thattaboy!!!! Duggan tapes the fist and knocks him out cold. DUD
OUR WORLD IS ABOUT TO CHANGE. ENTER THE REALM! BLOOD RUNS COLD! IN EACH OF US BURNS A FURY OF A WARRIOR! COMING – JULY 1996! Is he the THIRD MAN?!?
HARLEM HEAT vs. THE STEINER BROTHERS
Classic WCW tag-team pairing here. Tony mentions that the fans don’t really identify with any of these guys, which is why they make such great tag-teams as opposed to singles. Good work, Tony. Backstage, FIRE & ICE state the Steiners are just the first step to them winning the tag-team titles. Dream big, think gold, fail spectacularly – Fire & Ice ladies and gentlemen! Stevie Ray and Rick pair off, with Stevie hitting a scissor kick, followed by a clothesline. Rick ain’t having none of that, and German suplexes the big man, followed by a clothesline for 1. Scott comes in, but Stevie powers him back to the corner and turns it over to Booker. Harlem Sidekick misses, but Scotty sells it – god bless him. Stevie gets a cheap shot, allowing Booker to hit the Harlem Sidekick for real this time. A double team vertical suplex gets 2. Sidewalk slam sets up a knee drop off the second rope, but Scotty rolls out of the way and tags in Rick. House o fire! Rick small packages Booker, but Stevie turns it around. Scott then does the same with Stevie’s back turned and celebrating, and the Steiners get the win at 5:06. *1/2
HIGH VOLTAGE vs. FIRE & ICE
Big announcement from Tony: Mongo is in the back! THE Mongo McMichael? We should all feel so privileged! Ruckus hits a pretty nice shoulderblock off the top rope, but Rage tries a springboard something and gets powerslammed by Norton. Ice Train shucks and jives, and shakes hands with Ruckus?!? What the hell is up with that? A shoulderblock from Train damn near kills Ruckus, so there goes the friendship. Train allows some free shots, which only serves for a hulk-up. Gutwrench slam, over to Norton, and the shoulderbreaker sets up a Train splash off the top for the win at 2:42. *
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND is with MONGO MCMICHAEL and DEBRA MCMICHAEL. Debra calls Flair and Anderson animals, and Mongo’s still feeling rage, taking time to show us his anger by stopping Gene to punch the door. Keep working on them acting skillz, Mongo. He promises that everybody’s gonna get exactly what they want out of this match, and that his motivation is the oldest in the book. For the horrendous, campy acting and storyline, this set up is so juicy I am honestly giddy for tomorrow’s payoff.
DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. STEVE DOLL
Dusty describes Mongo as “not no stupid individual”, which I’m sure will make him feel a whole lot better. While Page shows off to the crowd, SCOTTY RIGGS comes out and asks Doll if he can take over. Doll’s all “sure, why not, it’s not like I have a shot in hell anyway, have it at jobber”, and thus …
DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. SCOTTY RIGGS
High knee connects right away, but he is not the Booty Man, and thus does not score the pinfall. Page screams “WHAT’S HE DOING HERE??? YOU’RE TOAST MONKEY!” Riggs claps, as he’s wont to do. Test of strength is won by Page, but Riggs gets the last laugh with a tornado armdrag, followed by a dropkick that sends Page to the floor. Riggs up top, but Page hits the ropes to crotch him. Gorgeous top rope Diamond Cutter hits, but Page doesn’t go for the cover, opting instead to continue the assault, drawing out MARCUS BAGWELL for the DQ at 2:32. 1/2*
BRAD ARMSTRONG vs. ARN ANDERSON
Arn offers Brad the hand of friendship, and Brad tentatively shakes, but Arn does the right thing and doesn’t lay in a cheap shot. At least until the bell rings, at which point he takes Brad down with a hairpull, because screw Brad Armstrong. Brad throws a closed fist that knocks Arn down, and possibly loosened some teeth.
Dusty starts a strange story about how everyone in WCW who’s anything has a match tomorrow night, while other guys are scrapping for TV time (like Steve Doll?) – and if outsiders are just trying to work their way in, well they best look at these names and decide if they really want a war. Yes Dusty, Razor Ramon looked terrified on Monday. Meanwhile, Arn kills Brad with a spinebuster at 2:46. *
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND has tracked down RIC FLAIR, ARN ANDERSON, BOBBY HEENAN, WOMAN, and ELIZABETH. Anderson lets the footballers know they don’t have the tools to use their strength and speed to their advantage – and that the Horsemen have been doing what they do best for a long time. They might get hurt bad, possibly permanent. Flair: “You’re Conway Twitty, McMichael, I’m Elvis Presley!” Flair promises not only to destroy them, but to make their own notch in the NFL hall of fame. Heenan repeats over and over he’s not afraid of Heenan, while sweating profusely and voice cracking.
BLOOD RUNS COLD! TWICE IN ONE SHOW!
Now Gene’s hanging out with “LORD” STEVEN REGAL. Gene wishes everyone a happy father’s day, but Regal takes offense; “I’m sure a very nice thought to all you Americans not even bloody likely knowing who your fathers are.” Gene wants to discuss Sting’s recent backslap retaliation. Regal starts talking about the Pearl Harbour attack from “1945”; Gene: “That’s 1941!” “Who cares, I have a lot on my mind.”, and promises the end result for Sting will be similar.
“LORD” STEVEN REGAL (with David Taylor, Robert Eaton, and Jeeves) vs. JOHNNY WILD
Johnny Wild!!! If he was fighting ANYONE but my main man Regal, you KNOW I’d be clamouring for an upset! I mean, how can you top this look?
One creative fan shows off her sign, “Lord Stinkin Regal”, and Regal most definitely sees it, sneering and giving us looks that represent his complete and utter disgust with the 9 year old girl swine that makes up America. Regal gives Wild a European Uppercut! Then he falls to the floor where Taylor hits up with a European Uppercut!!! God damn, what did Johnny Wild DO to these men to deserve such a beating?? Back in, butterfly floatover suplex, Regal stretch, victory at 1:16. At least *****, and probably worthy of the first *****1/2 rating in wrestling history. Then Regal hits Wild with another European Uppercut on the floor! There’s entertainers, and then there’s Steven Regal – truly no comparison.
STING is up for a word with “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND about Lord Regal. Sting says he’d rather have his teeth knocked down his throat than to have a guy like Regal backhand him, but returning the favour was wonderful. He promises even more, in Baltimore, this Sunday.
THE GIANT (with Jimmy Hart) vs. PRINCE IAUKEA, REX KING, COBRA, and MARK STARR (in a handicap match)
Iaukea starts, and is chokeslammed immediately. Rex King follows suit. Mark Starr looks on like “I don’t THINK so!”, so Giant pins Iaukea and King at the same time at 0:36. Starr leaps off the top trying to get in a free shot, but Giant catches him and chokeslams him into tomorrow. Cobra tries to slam Giant, but that goes about as well as expected, and he’s chokeslammed to death. The referee counts more pins on those guys at 1:07. I found this all perversely entertaining.
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND is pretty sure Giant is unstoppable. Hart doesn’t disagree, and promises that tomorrow night Luger’s up for a reminder again what Giant’s all about. Giant says the only time Luger’s had a chance is when his buddies were nearby. He doesn’t fear the Torture Rack at all. This is a confident man.
JOHN TENTA vs. TOPP GUNN
YES! YES! YES! TOPP GUNN BAYBEE! Dusty wonders if it’s Tom Cruise after “a few tamales”, but Tony doesn’t think so. This looks to end quickly, but BIG BUBBER and JIMMY HART wander onto the scene with Tenta’s hair. That fires him up so much he hits a really fast Avalanche for the win at 1:01. DUD
KEVIN SULLIVAN gets a killer 30 second promo about Chris Benoit that I can’t give enough credit to. It’s filmed in a black and white, psychedelic style, where he just keeps mumbling, laid back hands over eyes, about how he’s going to show the Horsemen what Benoit’s all about. I can’t even believe I’m loving a Sullivan segment this much, but bravo.
THE BARBARIAN vs. LEX LUGER (for the WCW World Television title)
Seeing as how Barbarian is the #2 contender to the World Title, and Luger inexplicably leapt over him, not only do I agree with this match – but Luger’s title shot should ALSO be on the line. The announcers discuss how lean Luger is, and honestly, he does look about as trim and ridiculously over-roided as you’ll ever see him. Barbarian starts with the traditional heel shoulderblock to knock Luger over, leaving Lex shaking his head in disgust. Luger tries running into the brick wall that is Barbarian, and he does manage to get the man rocking, with a clothesline sending him over to the floor. No DQ, because WCW is anything if not inconsistent. Barbarian threatens to destroy the cameraman. I don’t remember liking Barbarian, but he’s been winning me over the last few weeks. Powerbomb leaves Luger a batterered and broken man. Lex is placed on the top rope, but Luger fights the big man off. A forearm off the top drops Barbarian, and a powerslam puts Lex back in control. Luger goes for the Rack, but Barbarian jabs a thumb in Luger’s eye – catching EVERYONE off guard. Love it – those fans just deflated like a balloon and the heat is on overload. Off the top, Barbarian hits a belly to belly overhead superplex and drops Lex on his HEAD! Right before the PPV – can you IMAGINE that flying today? Flying headbutt goes to finish, but Luger moves. To his feet, Luger manages to get on the Rack and scores the win at 4:03. This is worth tracking down, and nobody’s more surprised to be writing those words than I am. ***1/2
Finally, in a special pre-taped special interview with Lex Luger; Luger states that the match is important because he’s seen the Giant go through everyone in the company, and he wants to do something about it. Luger says taking a Chokeslam is like being thrown off a second story building with great force, and taking one through a table is a whole ‘nother level. He says the table-slam was personal; the Giant was trying to take him out. The Giant’s still young, probably feels invincible. But he’s a human, he bleeds, he sweats, and he feels pain, just like everyone else. And if you think you’re invincible, you become overconfident and careless. Luger says he’s had a lot of title matches in his career, and thus he’s experienced
at choking during all of them. Nobody’s ever been tag-team,
TV, and World champion at the same time, and if he can pull it off, he’ll have
a made legacy nobody will ever be able to touch until Lance Storm.
Tony and Dusty wrap it up. Great American Bash is up next. It also happens to be my favourite show of all time. But does it hold up? We’ll see tomorrow!