Saturday, January 24, 2015

WWF RAW: January 13, 1997

Last week: Pete Lothario suffered a crippling injury at the hands of Sid Vicious, and fans were so outraged they called the WWF headquarters to demand to know why Jose Lothario was not taken out with him.

THE HONKY TONK MAN draws announce duties for the second night in a row, paired with the ever excited VINCE MCMAHON for the go-home show before the Rumble.

HUNTER HEARST HELMSLEY and JERRY LAWLER vs. GOLDUST and MARC MERO (with Marlena and Sable)

Two weeks ago, Hunter knocked down Marlena, which somehow has resulted in Goldust being named the #1 contender. Goldust goes right for Helmsley, but he breaks away quickly and makes eyes at Marlena. Lawler and Mero pair off, and Mero wipes the floor with the King. Lawler dives to his corner, and clings on to Hunter’s legs for safety like a terrified child. Eventually he sucks it up and decides to get back on the horse, and takes a big left from the boxer. Lawler manages to hold Mero hostage, drawing in Hunter for a cheap shot – but Mero ducks and Lawler eats it in the chops. Man alive, these guys are less coordinated than High Voltage. Helmsley finally takes the tag officially, and gets backdropped across the ring. Goldust gets the tag, and Hunter rushes to the safety of his corner, tagging in Lawler as fast as he can. I’m downright confused by the notion of Triple H showing that much ass against Goldust of all people, I can’t promise my system won’t shut down and go into shock at some point during this match. I’ve spent the last 15 years being led to believe that Hunter was the model from which all future wrestlers would be chiselled; a god I am not permitted to pray to as I am not worthy. All wrestlers tremble before his almighty manhood, but yet, Goldust scares the crap out of him? Of course, I wasn’t able to tell from that angle, but it’s entirely possible Goldust was fully erect; and Triple H needed to make haste to save his heterosexual image. Hunter starts causing a series of distractions with Goldust, and they’re able to double team Mero in the corner. Mero is able to get the hot tag, and Lawler rushes to his corner for the tag… only to see Hunter walking away. Lawler begs him to come back, and manages to rake the eyes to stop the attack. Now Triple H is willing to play ball, and they double team him ‘til Mero is brought back in. Helmsley pulls Mero to the floor, and Lawler gets in a free shot with his Invisible International Object. Because this is never going to end, we’ll need to throw in a commercial break.

Mero is snapping off a rana when we come back, and Goldust begs for the tag. Hunter tries to cut off the ring, but Mero gets to the corner, and Goldust dives on Helmsley with a ground and pound. An uppercut sends Helmsley flying backwards, and he gets tied up in the ropes. Goldust happily advances, and chokes Hunter in the ropes until he draws a DQ at 11:22. Mero gets in Goldust’s face, so Goldust punches HIM. Mero stands there in shock, as Hunter manages to squirm away. This entire match was a totally disjointed with zero flow, and they could have lopped 5 or 6 minutes off and got to the same result without aggravating the piss out of me. *

Earlier today, in the Alamodome (home of the Royal Rumble, this Sunday for the low low price of much more than $9.95), SYCHO SID stands in the empty arena, and whispers about all the pain he’s going to cause Shawn’s mother, Jose Lothario, and all his friends from his hometown. From the highest seat in the roof (in the roof?!?), they’ll see the look that tells them that Sid is the Master and Ruler of the World. I love the fact that Sid, given the week off RAW, decided that he would drive to San Antonio a week in advance of the pay-per-view, and stand around inside an empty arena screaming at absolutely nobody at all. What did he do as soon as the camera turned off? Did he just up and leave and find the nearest Sonic for some lunch? Did he tape Sid shirts under each individual chair so he can do his finest Oprah impression this weekend? “YOU GET A SHIRT – AND YOU GET A SHIRT!” Did he set up the ring? Did he stand in front of the concession stands, wrestling with the emotional choice of corn dog or nachos, before realizing there was nobody there? Honestly, I don’t even care for the rest of the matches tonight, I need to know what Sid is doing.

Meanwhile, LIVE, from San Antonio, SHAWN MICHAELS is partying with his 300 closest friends. Vince replays all the attacks on the Lothario family in recent months, including multiple shots of the powerbomb on Pete. Michaels figures if Sid wants to get cheap, he can be just as dirty, because he’s a Texan. “I’m all man, and at least a yard wide, if you know what I’m talking about.” I’m glad he brought it up; I was worried we’d go another week without a State Of His Penis address. Michaels reminds us that he’s the man, and the leader of the New Generation. “Nobody can work his ass into the ground like me!” Even from atop a cactus?

BRET HART comes gimping down to ringside following Steve Austin’s attack last night on Superstars. He joins the commentary team, and if he’s in a mood, he should be fun.

THE BRITISH BULLDOG vs. ROCKY MAIVIA

Bret calls Rocky the most promising wrestler he’s ever seen. I’ll give him credit for being a killer judge of character, because between that stupid grin and haircut, I’d have figured he was about 14 months shy of being feature endeavored. Bret’s sick of Steve Austin trying to end his career, and finds that the WWF has turned into a lawless land. As a result, he’s going to start playing by his own rules, and vows to turn Austin’s knees into talcum powder. Rocky hiptosses Bulldog around, while Honky changes the subject from Rocky because he’s sick to death of the verbal fellating. Honky promises to keep a close eye on Bret this weekend, because he’s still looking for a protégé. Bret doesn’t ignore it, because he may need some help in this lawless land. That leads to both guys jumping on Bret, reminding him there’s lots of rules around here. Bret: “You haven’t been watching my matches then.” CLARENCE MASON comes down to ringside to fire up the Bulldog and get him back in this. Bulldog, fully inspired, gets back in the ring so Rocky can continue working over his shoulder. That draws OWEN HART and his Slammy down to ringside, and heads right over to Bret to show off his award. Bret’s irritated with his annoying little brother, since things have been so harmonious at the Hart home over the Christmas holidays and here he is ruining things again. They stare each other down as we head to break.

Back from commercial, Owen’s still burning a hole through Bret. Rocky gets a close 2 off a sunset flip, but Bulldog pops up and hits a clothesline. Rocky hits a crossbody for 2, and Bulldog turns around with a standing vertical suplex for 2. Bret promises to win the Royal Rumble this weekend, bad ankle and all, as Rocky fires himself up with a Flip Flop and Fly. Cactus clothesline sees them both careen to the floor with some series momentum, and now STEVE AUSTIN bumrushes the Bulldog. Bret stands to fight, but Owen’s got his back to the Bulldog and has no idea what’s up – so he just keeps himself in Bret’s way. Bulldog eats a Stunner, and by the time Bret’s able to hop after him, AND Owen spies him, Austin’s already made his way to the back. Bulldog is counted out at 9:13. They ain’t much on the wrestling tonight, are they? *1/2

THE NATION OF DOMINATION are back in the locker room, and Vince asks if it’ll be every man for himself at the Rumble. Faarooq tells him there’s no chance, they’ll be completely unified as one.

A live shot airs of the party in San Antonio, and I’d LOVE to know just how in the hell ROCKY MAIVIA got from New York to Texas in the last 3 minutes.

THE UNDERTAKER vs. KONA CRUSH (with Faarooq, PG-13, and Clarence Mason)

The Undertaker goes right after Crush before PG-13 can even finish their pre-match rap, throwing him face first into the steps. Off the bell, Taker plants him with a DDT, and drops the leg. He heads up for Old School, but Faarooq shakes the ropes and Taker crashes down right on his rosary beads. Crush charges, but Taker backdrops him to the floor, and uses the break to shake off the ball-shot. Crush is pulled back to the apron, but he drops down with a jawbreaker and turns the tide. A spike piledriver gets Faarooq’s nodding approval. They move to the floor, and Taker is gently dropped face first across the guardrail. I’ve seen mothers put their babies to sleep with more aggression than that. VADER shows up at the top of the ramp, staring at Undertaker as we move to a commercial.

Crush works a head vice when we return, and the fans fire up a “JAILBIRD” chant. Vince hypes next week’s show, which will see the winner of the Royal Rumble take on the loser of the WWF Championship match. The fans work to rally Taker as he takes a backbreaker. Crush heads to the second rope, which is probably not where a man of his size belongs. Lo and behold, he misses a fist drop, and Undertaker takes over. A jumping clothesline sets up the Tombstone, but Crush drops off the back and hits a uranage! Crush holds his fist in the air to show off his black power, but Taker sits up and chokeslams him quickly. The Nation has enough, and attacks for the DQ at 8:41. *1/2

With Taker beaten down by the Nation, Vader takes advantage, hitting a pair of Vaderbombs! AHMED JOHNSON rushes down to save, smacking Crush in the back of the head with a 2x4 – but the Nation gangs up and stops that fast. Faarooq smashes it over Ahmed’s back a few times as we head off the air.

This was the end of a taping cycle; and they did their best to hype the Rumble with what they had, but man alive are these ever stale by the time we get to them. Thankfully, next week is live, and it’s fantastic. Granted, it won’t feature a 45 minute match during La Femme Nikita, but Bret Hart makes up for it. Stay tuned!

Friday, January 23, 2015

WCW Nitro: January 13, 1997

Big questions on deck this week. Will The Giant get a token of revenge against the nWo? Will the announcers finally catch up to the rest of us and realize Sting is pro-WCW? Will Jimmy Graffiti ever win again?

Nitro isn’t but seconds old, and we aren’t even given the benefit of a complete opening sequence (now I’ll NEVER know what happened to those exploding traffic lights), because THE GIANT has come crashing through the door of the nWo locker room. He’s here to SHOCK the World because he’s the SHOCKMA… wait, wrong year. He manages to take out the entire crew of NWO JOBBERS before being taken out by security. The A-Team barely flinches, and goes about conducing the usual nWo business. What “business” consists of is of no “business” of mine; so for the sake of time we’ll assume it means Bischoff feeding Hogan grapes between hot oil massages.

We are LIVE from New Orleans! TONY SCHIAVONE and LARRY ZBYSZKO are unfortunately still our announcers.

MR. JL vs. CHAVO GUERRERO JR.

The announcers catch us up on The Giant’s mood swing. Apparently, Hogan has already backed out of his match at Souled Out for the belt. Now, in fairness to Hulk, he’s been defending that belt like a mad-man since winning it in mid-August. Already he’s given a title shot to Randy Savage, and that was just 3 months ago, give the guy a break. JL reclaims his old music, no longer sharing with Jerry Lynn or Jerry Flynn. Tony runs through tonight’s matches, and honestly, and I’ll spoil the big one: Super Calo is here. Chavo sends JL to the floor, and connects with a slingshot plancha, drawing “ECW” chants for god knows WHAT reason. Back in, Chavo heads up, but JL dropkicks him all the way to the floor, before following with a plancha OFF the top buckle – yikes! JL goes to finish, but misses a slingshot legdrop upon re-entry, and Chavo punches away. Flying jalapeno gets a really close 2; so Chavo heads upstairs. He’s crotched viciously – but I hear deflated balls give one an advantage, so expect this to be the equivalent of hulking up. Super rana gets 2. Chavo turns the tide with a butt butt, and heads upstairs to a MASSIVE pop. Moonsault scores the win at 4:16, and the fans are Loco for Loco. Did Mardi Gras start early? Chavo Mania? I’m lost. **

Larry has strategic advice for The Giant: Go see Piper and learn the sleeper. Or, you know, keep doing what’s worked for the last 2 years.

“HACKSAW” JIM DUGGAN comes out waving the Purple and Gold colors of WCW. “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND intercepts him, and he’s just proud as punch that Duggan’s “taken the bull by the horns” and is “doing something about the nWo.” He’s WHAT now? Duggan admits he’s turned his back on the USA in favor of WCW, and won’t wave Old Glory again until the nWo are gone. Also: Sting needs to Be A Man.

“HACKSAW” JIM DUGGAN vs. SUPER CALO

Calo never even makes it to the entrance ramp before STING hits the ring and drops Duggan with the Deathdrop. Larry: “HE’S WITH THE NWO!” You could give these guys a 4-piece puzzle, and it would take them 3 or 4 months to put it together. Tony announces that the producers are desperately scrambling to find a substitute match, since Duggan’s in no shape to wrestle. Of COURSE, as he says that, Duggan pops up and starts waving the flag around, but decisions have been made and he’s been replaced.

SGT. CRAIG PITTMAN vs. CHRIS JERICHO

How does Calo get screwed over here? He didn’t do anything, he’s perfectly healthy, and his hat is firmly attached – I don’t see why he has to suffer. In fact, I don’t see why *I* have to suffer, get Pittman out of here! Tony has breaking news: The New Adventures of Robin Hood is scheduled IMMEDIATELY after Nitro. I guess that means no overrun tonight, I certainly hope the main event doesn’t run long or we’ll NEVER see it. Jericho hits a spinning heel kick, and follows with a clothesline, neither of which Pittman has any idea how to sell. Jericho starts in with shoulderblocks, and finishes with the missile dropkick at 1:05. That was the greatest Pittman match I’ve EVER seen. DUD

HIGH VOLTAGE vs. HARLEM HEAT (with Sista Sherri)

You’ll be pleased to know that D3: The Mighty Ducks is coming out on Home Video in a lovely clamshell case THIS WEEK, widely considered the pinnacle performance of the great Emilio Estevez’s career. Voltage have moved to tights that resemble a can of Monster Energy Drink, of which I approve, since the black makes it difficult to see the junk in their trunk. Alas, we aren’t given but a minute into this classic, because …

THE GIANT has rushed the nWo locker room a second time! That poor door is NOT having a good night. Once again, THE JOB SQUAD team with SECURITY to haul Giant out of here. ERIC BISCHOFF and HOLLYWOOD HOGAN share a cigar, and laugh at the notion that Giant ever thought he was getting a title shot. Bischoff: “He puts the DUH in Dumb!”

Back to the show, Booker flattens Rage with a Harlem Sidekick, and follows with the 110th street slam. A second rope kneedrop misses, and Rage is able to make the … hot tag? I guess that’s what that was. Kaos hits a butterfly suplex, but Stevie saves, and all hell breaks loose. Rage is ordered back to his corner, and a super Heat Seeker finishes at 4:06. We saw maybe 90 seconds of this, so if you want to rate it with stars, you can log on to the WWE App and cast your vote.

Tony announces that across the street at the Hyatt Regency, members of “The Executive Committee” are meeting RIGHT NOW to make a ruling on the Souled Out title match. I thought Bischoff had already been established as the highest ranking official in WCW. I don’t know who makes up the executive committee, but I’ve always assumed it’s some combination of Hank Aaron, JJ Dillon, Ted Turner, Craig Leathers, and Harvey Schiller, and they just travel from city to city making Important Decisions together.

ERIC BISCHOFF, TED DIBIASE, and VINCENT come strutting down to the announce booth, and order the guys out of there. Larry: “I won the golf tournament, I don’t care. The Executive Committee is here, and if you keep messing up you’ll be mowing Verne Gagne’s lawn again.” Is Larry on some sort of psychedelic I’m not privy to?

DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. MARK STARR

Bischoff figures DDP doesn’t need an nWo shirt, because he’ll just brand him with a tattoo instead. Mark Starr being sent out to wrestle in clearly unsafe conditions with the nWo lurking is exactly the kind of thing that the workers union would have protected him from, but noooo, Mark Starr is just so much smarter than the rest of us that he decided to ride the road solo. And now look at him, lost, without purpose, and eating a Diamond Cutter with such force that he actually flies across the ring from its impact before DDP even HITS it at 0:53. I mean look at him, he’s spinning around like he’s M. Bison before DDP has even managed to hook the bloody thing.


Bischoff: “Burgers and beans are on me this weekend, just come on over and we’ll grill a few and tip a few.” Tip a few? Who TALKS like that?!? Before we can get into that, THE OUTSIDERS make their way to the ring with an nWo shirt for their good buddy. Page gives Nash a bearhug to a MONSTER pop – hah! However, as soon as he puts on the shirt, the fans start to boo, but Page is all smiles. In fact, he can’t stop shaking the hand of Scott Hall … who he pulls right into a Diamond Cutter!!! Nash doesn’t realize what’s happening until it’s too late, and charges Page. DDP dumps him over the top, and heads into the now rabid crowd to celebrate. A “DDP” chant swallows him alive, while Bischoff declares him #1 on the nWo hit list.


Wow. If there was ever a template on how to make a star, this was it. The entire Page saga over the last year has been one of the most beautifully organic wrestling stories you’ll ever see. When I started this project with January of 1996, DDP was farting around on the lower mid-tier, getting trounced regularly by the likes of the Booty Man and Johnny B Badd. Though his effort was never a question, his in-ring work was ok at best. Still, the company showed faith, and gave him a strong push beginning with the Battlebowl win in May, and slowly let him work his way up. The announcers played up the unpredictability and impact of his finisher, the Diamond Cutter, to the point the fans would start to buzz anytime they sensed its arrival. And all of this happened without Page ever ONCE stepping out of character, continuing to be the same slimeball piece of shit he’s always been. He never aligned with anyone else just because they were Bad Guys, and that included the nWo which would have made him “cooler” by association. With the added wrinkles of these being Page’s friends from yesteryear, he STILL took the road less travelled and decided to go at it alone. If it sounds familiar, it’s because Steve Austin is about to embark on the same journey (albeit, even better) – but it doesn’t make this any less special. Bravo, DDP, you have arrived.

DEAN MALENKO vs. EDDIE GUERRERO (in a non-title match)

Tony and Larry have rejoined the booth because the nWo have rushed off to deal with this DDP problem. The Executive Committee are planning a Big Announcement shortly; should they ever manage to cross the street. Guerrero tries to tie up Malenko, but he’s far too skilled in the shoot stuff and counters his way loose. Deano hits a dropkick, while the fans unite in doing Diamond Cutter signals and cheering for Page.

Hark – a decision has been made! Hogan does in fact have to face The Giant … and it’s going to happen TONIGHT. Apparently The Executive Committee are sick to death of the nWo. Well hell, what TOOK them so long?

Meanwhile, the fans have completely turned on this match with a “BORING” chant. I don’t blame them, neither one of them seems capable of emoting. Especially Eddie, whose US title was stolen out from under his nose, but any time he’s asked about it, he sounds about as frustrated as a man whose TV guide has gone missing. He’s not THRILLED, but he’ll make due with a little channel surfing. Guerrero goes for a tornado DDT, but is thrown off by Malenko. An abdominal stretch is worked by Dean, bringing the “BORING” chants back for a second round. And this is a crowd that was ready to anoint Chavo the King of New Orleans all of 40 minutes ago. All eyes turn to the entrance ramp, because SYXX has made his way up a ladder, wearing the US title. Fans try and knock him off with cups of beer, but his fall wouldn’t come until his trip to China. The guys in the ring start trading nearfalls, which absolutely no one is watching. Eddie walks the ropes, and flies off with a rana, hooking the legs for 2. An “EDDIE” chant starts now, these fans are weird. Malenko comes back with a vertical suplex for 2, and I honestly can’t believe they haven’t gone home yet. Eddie hits the brainbuster, which is the usual set up for the Frog Splash – but he sees Syxx and wants a fight. With the distraction, Malenko powerbombs Eddie off the middle rope, and scores the upset pin at 12:15. I did not care for this at all. *1/2

Hour #2 kicks off, and Larry punches his ticket back to LarryLand. MIKE TENAY and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN join Tony, and they’re patting themselves on the back for tonight’s main event. Are they members of the Executive Committee? Is this why they only work the second hour, they’re otherwise stuck across the street?

SUPER CALO vs. KONAN (with Jimmy Hart)

Man alive, the Executive Committee are REALLY kicking things up – justice for Calo! Now if he can reward their support by squeaking out a win tonight, I’d be thrilled. Not just for him, but for everyone who’s sick of the Hulk Hogan of Mexico. Calo starts with a springboard armdrag, and then follows with several more armdrag variations. This guy is to armdrags what Dave Taylor is to European uppercuts. It’s amazing Konan still has use of his sockets to this very day. Konan hits the floor (following an armdrag), and Calo is right behind with a somersault senton! Back in, he drops a pair of People’s Elbows, but somehow Konan kicks out. I don’t understand. In fact, he not only kicks out, he pops up with a tumbleweed clothesline and the fans pop huge. Who ARE these people? A nasty looking powerbomb sets up another nasty looking powerbomb, and Konan heads up. Calo quickly realizes the Hulk Hogan of Anywhere would never go up top, and nails him with a super headscissors for 2. Konan comes right back with Montezuma’s Revenge, which is pretty much death to poor luchadores everywhere, and this baby’s over at 2:57. Calo fought the good fight, and came away with at least one victory; his hat never once left his head. *1/2

CHRIS BENOIT (with Woman) vs. JEFF JARRETT

Woman’s sporting a lovely black cocktail dress, and a pearl necklace so long it would take the entire male conglomerate at the AVN awards to match its ferocity. Tony points out that tonight’s match between Hogan and the Giant will be non-title, because you need to give the champion 24 months hours notice. Tony says he doesn’t care if the title’s up anyway, he just wants to see Giant get his hands on Hogan. THIS ATTITUDE IS THE PROBLEM. Jarrett draws ridiculous amounts of heat, with the entire arena erupting in unison to let us know that “JARRETT SUCKS”. Before anything of note happens, ARN ANDERSON, MONGO MCMICHAEL, DEBRA MCMICHAEL, and HALIBURTON MCMICHAEL make their way to ringside. If this leads to Arn Anderson putting Jarrett through the ring with a DDT, I’m perfectly okay with this distraction. Jarrett hits a swinging neckbreaker in front of Woman, and heads for the Figure Four, but Arn jumps on the apron to cause a distraction. It’s enough to let Benoit up, and he starts to pound the crap out of Jarrett while the referee chats with Arn about local draught beer options. Mongo holds Jarrett hostage and reaches for the Haliburton, but Debra yanks it away. This leads to a tug of war, won by Mongo quickly, but as he swings back he nails Chris by mistake! That … probably isn’t going to help things. Jarrett scores the pin at 2:33, as Debra grins like a Cheshire cat. Arn and Mongo scream at each other, and the fans eat this up by chanting “DDP!”

“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND hits the scene to stir up MORE problems, but Benoit doesn’t really let him talk because he wants to work this out tonight. He tells Mongo that if he wants to remain a Horseman, he’d best stop fumbling the ball. He doesn’t particularly care what Debra has to say about anything, but he recommends she stop talking about Woman. “She’s 100% woman head to toe, and I speak from experience. There’s no plastic, zero silicone, she’s ALLLLLL Woman.” Mongo apologizes for walloping Benoit, and reminds him that they’ve won a lot of matches together thanks to that Haliburton. Benoit demands to know where the hell Flair is. Arn figures Ric is tired of the infighting and is staying away. Benoit sends a warning to the McMichaels: Shape up, or ship out. Mongo takes it well, by immediately challenging Benoit to fight. Arn keeps them apart, and everyone heads back to the locker room frustrated.

BILLY KIDMAN vs. SCOTTY RIGGS

Poor Riggs, completely directionless and heartbroken. In fact, he spends his entire entrance letting us all know how over Bagwell he is, while still using Their Song. He still claps, but now he claps alone, and I can’t believe nobody ever wrote a top 40 ballad about this. Of course, MARCUS BAGWELL makes things a million times worse by showing up at the top of the ramp, looking great and far too happy. Why does he have to be so happy? Is Riggs the only one hurting here? It’s not fair. In fact, he pretty much lays down to die, and Kidman heads up – barely missing a Firebird splash (Tenay in a rare gaffe calls it a Shooting Star Press – come on Tenay, you’re better than that!). Riggs forces himself to roll out of bed over, picks himself up, and nails Kidman with the Fisherman’s buster, which is Bagwell’s move! What’s next, he’s going to start letting just anyone wear his old shirts? It gets the win at 2:15 because apparently Kidman’s so awful he can’t even beat an emotionally dead Riggs. Riggs points at Bagwell, who responds by showing off his new tight six-pack. Why didn’t he put that kind of effort into his physique when they were together? DUD

LEX LUGER vs. RICK FULLER

This is Fuller’s WCW debut, and if you don’t know who Rick Fuller is, then you simply don’t know your awful late 90’s video games. He was amongst the ridiculous roster options in WCW Mayhem, along with Bobby Blaze, Doug Dillinger, Lizmark Jr., Lash LeRoux, Bobby Duncum Jr., and Prince Iaukea. Granted, that’s about ALL I know about Rick Fuller, seeing as how nobody in history ever USED the character. In fact, I’m not even sure it would have worked if you’d have clicked on him, or if the game would have immediately shut down out of AI confusion. Showing off incredible skill, he and Luger get into a shoving match. Fuller hits a running clothesline, and drops a leg with some good energy. Some pretty strong chops are delivered, and I think I’m all aboard Team Fuller. This guy might be the Luke Harper of WCW; the unexpectedly awesome big guy. The crowd just gets ridiculously hot now, the loudest they’ve been all night, willing Luger back into it. By the time he starts his running clotheslines, they’ve reached deafening levels of noise, and the Torture Rack is so damn exciting that even referee MARK CURTIS jumps 8 feet in the air as he rings the bell at 2:57. If DDP and Luger wrestled as a tag-team tonight, I think the fans would spontaneously combust. *


As Luger heads to the back, THE GIANT approaches him on the ramp. These guys fought at Starrcade just 2 weeks ago, and the tension between them is clear. As they stare eachother down, I’m caught by Rick Fuller walking behind them, shaking his head in disgust at his loss. Put the US title on that guy NOW.

Neither guy comes to blows, and Giant continues to the ring where “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND has already appeared. Where the hell did he come from? Does he just morph from place to place? Giant is pleased to have WCW’s support, and he wants to bring the title back. He vows to never be a bookend for anyone again (what?), because he’s read all the books (…what?!?), and tonight he turns the chapter on the nWo. I’m not sure what he was trying to tell us at all, but he seemed pretty fired up and I’m not about to ask him.

ARN ANDERSON vs. RICK STEINER (with Scott Steiner)

So apparently Rick Steiner is an actual dog now.


I’m thinking Sting dropped Rick on his head a little harder than usual. Arn tosses Rick across the ring and does jumping jacks, while Rick howls at the moon. Anderson charges, but walks right into a belly to belly overhead suplex. Frustrated, he hits the floor and calls out the Horsemen, but they no-show. Tony tells us that because we HAVE to see the New Adventures of Robin Hood, if the Hogan vs Giant match runs long, they’ll keep us updated during the commercial breaks. What if it ends during one of the segments of the show? I’ll be really disappointed if we cut in, and we’re forced to watch a dark match between Kevin Sullivan and Chip Minton. Arn winds up walking up the aisle looking for the Horsemen, and with the boys failing to have his back, he says screw it and walks out at 3:14. DUD

“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND brings up the Steiners impending tag-team title shot at Souled Out. Scotty says if the nWo thinks he’s still hurt they’ve made a mistake. “Scott Hall! I’ll put my fist down your throat and rip out your throat and make a Belieber out of you!” Justin Bieber is Scott Steiner’s fault?

HOLLYWOOD HOGAN (with the entire nWo) vs. THE GIANT (in a non-title match)

With only 5 minutes left in the show, Hogan takes just about all of them to do his ring entrance. Tony says “The New Adventures of Robin Hood” about 300 times, so even though every other match ended in less than 3 minutes tonight and if they got their asses in gear they might be able to fit this in, it’s clear we’re going to be forced to watch Robin Hood. And just in case you had a glimmer of hope, Hogan decides to cut a promo with what’s left of the show. He gloats about using The Giant as a friend, and has no interest in wrestling tonight. Giant grabs him with one hand from over the top rope, and yanks him in. Hogan begs for his life, but Giant ain’t having it, slamming the Hulkster from buckle to buckle. Hogan tries to walk out, but Giant rushes after him and puts him back in the ring. And we’re out of time!

Amazingly, the match is still going during a commercial break, which puts this around the 25 minute mark. Neither guy has broken a sweat – what incredible athletes! Hogan goes low, but Giant doesn’t even react. Deflated balls? They ARE advantageous! Giant grabs Hogan’s bandana and shoves it down Hogan’s throat – but unfortunately we are once again out of time! Darn, I’m certain we’re going to miss the ending now.

NO – the match continues! WOW! The Giant still seems to have all the energy in the world, he must be flying on crazy amount of hate and adrenaline! He goes for the Chokeslam, and no matter what Hogan does, he can’t escape. The entire nWo has had enough and attacks, putting to bed a gruelling match at around 46:28. The Giant manages to take out the entire nWo all by himself, punching them out one by one, while Hogan screams he quits! After that 45 minute assault, he might never be seen again!

Wow, what an ending to Nitro – worth EVERY second of Robin Hood. Fans no doubt loved this, and I encourage WCW to do this more regularly with other fantastic TNT programming.


Truth be told, this was the best Nitro in ages, even if the matches stunk. The crowd was red hot, DDP was made, and Rick Fuller made the leap from jobber to a special place in my heart. I don’t care what the WWF airs in retaliation, nothing is topping that debut.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

WWF Superstars: January 12, 1997

After last night’s disaster of a show, it’s nice to know we can return to a world where we be doin’ it for the kids. The results might be awful, but the characters are never dull, and if you behave, we might even get the occasional appearance from The Goon.

JIM ROSS welcomes THE HONKY TONK MAN as his color partner this week since Cornette was murdered last week (and nobody, including Vader, really seems to care).

GOLDUST (with Marlena) vs. THE EXECUTIONER

I am a big fan of the evolution of Goldust; from deranged movie star, to out of control homosexual deviant, to “that funny gold guy” as the youth of today know him. Kids, just tread carefully – the man has sticky fingers and he’s NOT afraid to use them. The Executioner is former Freebird Terry Gordy, trying to remake himself after medication induced coma caused brain damage some years earlier. Goldust drops an elbow across Gordy’s throat, as PAUL BEARER joins us at ringside, prompting a “REST IN PEACE” chant because he’s far more interesting than anything going on in the ring. Executioner hits a running elbow drop, but Goldust kicks out at 2. A fist drop yields the same return. If all this slow moving actions is too much for you to take; here’s a commercial break!

We’re back, as I’m rapidly being reminded about just how unbearable Goldust’s ringwork was during his initial run. In fact, had he not rejuvenated himself following the 2002 Royal Rumble, it’s entirely possible we aren’t seeing him in any capacity again today. Spike piledriver gets the win for Goldy at 5:07. JR: “Goldust is a big Packer fan!” Bearer smacks Executioner with the urn, which makes Goldust rub himself to orgasmic bliss. Jesus. DUD

HECTOR GARZA vs. TL HOPPER

AAA guru, TheCubsFan, weighs in on the 1997 WWF talent raids:

To be fair to Vince McMahon's lateness, Vince McMahon was also a pretty terrible judge of talent in this case. AAA is pretty drained at this point, but Cibernetico and Pierroth are bad wrestlers who got themselves over via promos and bookings and (in Ciber's case) in look. Hector Garza was available (and used later in the Rumble), Heavy Metal was around, and there were other options. WWE just went with the big guys, as always. There was a time where Pierroth was actually pretty good, and Lafon and Furnas did have a run in Mexico as the masked Can Am Express I & II so maybe someone was able to talk themselves into this, but it was not a great idea.

But it’s cool, they stole Mascarita Sagrada from WCW, so the arms race to midget madness has clearly been won. It’s not all grey skies, you know. Garza, as Cubs noted, is probably the best of the Mexicans the AAA agreement sent over, but I’m *fairly* sure this is his lone singles match. He’s also probably more well known to you as “the guy who tore his scrotum once”. Let that sink in for a minute. Honky’s fairly taken by TL Hopper, figuring they might be able to do a little business IF he’s willing to have something done with his awful hair. He’s basically the love-child of Kevin Sullivan and Doc Hendrix. Garza hits a double springboard moonsault from the second rope, OVER the top and to the floor. Hopper sells it appropriately by getting back in the ring and kicking Garza’s ass because he’s big and Garza is not. After a bunch of kicks, Hopper looks completely gassed, sucking the wind right out of this place. Garza recognizes it’s time to end this, hitting a missile dropkick and finishing with a standing moonsault at 4:02. Fat awful wrestlers with talented luchadores – ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN IN THE WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION! *

In the back, BOB BACKLUND, alongside THE SULTAN and THE IRON SHEIK promises to show Bret Hart what a real champion is made of. I feel like a lot of bad jokes have started with them walking into a bar.

KEVIN KELLY introduces AHMED JOHNSON, and if injuries hadn’t derailed him, this guy was IT. Ahmed is one of the few times I can remember the WWF booking a black athlete as a real human being. It doesn’t matter that nobody could understand a word he said (much as I have no idea what he says here), he brought an intensity and fire to his matches that you can’t teach. Ahmed eventually leads the crowd in a “HE’S GOIN’ DOWN” chant in reference to Faarooq, which comes across as a lot more organic than “FEED ME MORE”.

ROCKY MAIVIA vs. DR. X

This is of course the wrestler Dr. X, and not the referee Doctor X who works for the nWo. Rocky takes care of the good doctor with a number of hiptosses, with the smile never leaving his face because he’s such a gosh darn good guy. X hits a monkey flip out of the corner, but Rocky holds the arm and works a hammerlock. A sunset flip gets 2. Rock is sent face first into the buckle, but he comes right back with a vertical suplex. X hooks an inside cradle for 2, and that’s probably all he’s getting for the rest of the match. A floatover DDT “scrambles his eggs!” according to JR. Shoulderbreaker finishes at 4:49. If you told me this geek would be headlining Wrestlemania within 2 years, I’d have figured they’d be on the cusp of bankruptcy. *1/2

THE SULTAN (with Bob Backlund and The Iron Sheik) vs. BRET HART

Backlund reads the riot act to a fan wearing an Undertaker shirt in the front row. JR relives memories of Bret losing the WWF title to Backlund in “San Antonio at the Royal Rumble about 4 years ago”, making me flash back to the time John Cena won the Royal Rumble at SummerSlam 9 years ago. Sultan boots Bret in the face off a blind charge, which delights the Sheik to the point his mustaches starts to curl. Bret kicks Sultan in the face, but that just wakes him up to deliver a belly to belly for 2. A belly to back destroys Hart, and we need to take a commercial break. Will Bret survive?

Yes! But barely. Sultan loads the boot, and slams Bret’s face into it. An avalanche misses, which staggers the Sultan, and Bret clotheslines him to give himself a few seconds to recover. Side Russian legsweep sets up the axehandle, and Bret gets 2. The Sharpshooter starts getting applied, but Sheik gets involved and Bret chases him off. Sultan approaches, but Bret spies him and kicks him in the midsection. Sheik trips Bret up, and the referee’s seen enough to call the DQ at 7:05. The Sultan comes at Bret 3 times after the match, but Bret keeps knocking him down. Eventually, he realizes it’s not his day, and the heels retreat to come up with a new strategy for another day. **

Of course, while Bret watches them, STEVE AUSTIN charges in from the crowd and just pounds the ever loving crap out of him! A Stunner makes sure Bret stays down, and Austin finishes by Pillmanizing Bret!! Bret rolls around, with his knee absolutely shot, while Austin gives us that classic cold self-satisfied grin.


Well that was a hell of an ending; caught me completely off guard for a Sunday morning throw-away. Great stuff from both parties, and definitely a palate cleanser from last night’s Shotgun.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WCW Worldwide: January 12, 1997

The hits just keep getting bigger, and somehow WCW manages to top itself week after week. Our lineup tonight includes the Wrestlemania quality group of Jimmy Graffiti, Madusa, and … okay no jokes about the Barbarian vs Luger main event, because I’m already covered in giddy.

TONY SCHIAVONE and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN welcome us to the studio to talk about Red Hot Lex Luger. I’m amazed that one hasn’t been recycled for Sheamus yet. Cole: “Here comes Sheamus, and you can join the discussion on Twitter with hashtag RedHot.” You’re not laughing, you’re nodding sadly because it’s happening.

REY MYSTERIO JR. vs. PSYCHOSIS

Well, it’s not Sunny “making love” with Fondle Me Elmo, but it’ll have to do. Rey is caught in an armbar, but Rey scoots loose and starts working over the knee of Psychosis. Psychosis works back to his feet, but Rey hits a rana. Psychosis responds by taking him down with a drop toe hold, and drops the leg for 2. Rey charges, and takes a HUGE backdrop over the top – but hangs on somehow and re-enters with a rana off the top for 2! Psychosis ain’t letting the little guy get the best of him, and nails a hot-shot style snake eyes before hanging him out across the ropes. A guillotine is dropped towards the outside of the ring, drawing audible groans from the crowd. A sleeper is locked on, and Tony yuks it up with “HEY HOGAN DO YOU REMEMBER THIS? HAVE A NICE NAP?” Heenan laughs along, and as he catches his breath tells him “Tony, I don’t really like you,” before bursting out in another laughing fit. Missed in this is Rey blocking an attack on the apron, and somehow springboarding himself into a rana taking them BOTH to the floor. Psychosis smashes his head into the turn-table that they call “ringside”, and Rey smacks his knee right down. The referee, showing a strangely high level of responsibility for 1997, throws it out at 4:22. **1/2

JIMMY GRAFFITI vs. BOBBY EATON

Tony, without a hint of sarcasm, starts carrying on about all the top stars joining WCW like “these two guys, Jimmy Graffiti and Bobby Eaton”. I clearly didn’t watch a lot of Worldwide in my younger days, because I seriously don’t even remember Graffiti, and yet I feel like he’s been on every WCW show for the last 3 months. The guys break into a test of strength, and Eaton gets the best of it. Congratulations, you just beat Jimmy Graffiti in a strength match. If THAT isn’t mentioned in his HOF induction, then I’m not interested in having him in the hall of fame! Alabama Jam wins it at 2:55. Is that an upset? I feel like it is, but I’m not exactly sure where Graffiti fits on our food chain. Somewhere between Billy Kidman and Scott Armstrong? DUD

AKIRA HOKUTO (with Sonny Onoo) vs. MADUSA (for the WCW women’s title)

I’m a little disgusted with myself because Madusa’s been looking good these last few weeks. Either she found a hot streak in late 1996, or I’ve got low blood sodium and I’m hallucinating. Tony excitedly announces that WCW is planning on introducing a Women’s Cruiserweight Championship. And no, I’m not making that up. None of these ladies weight more than 150 pounds already, meaning there’s no one who’d be able to fight OUTSIDE the Cruiserweight division. Bertha Faye is with the competition, but probably available for the right price. Don’t rule it out; she may be the missing link to finally put the WWF out of business once and for all (assuming they don’t do it to themselves with “Shotgun”.) The ladies brawl to a double countout, as is the style tonight, at 2:47. Sonny grabs himself a piggyback ride on Hokuto’s shoulders to the back. 1/2*

DAVID TAYLOR vs. LEROY HOWARD

Leroy hasn’t won a match since his days wrestling for Dory Jack Funk Brisco who ran the old BWA out of his South Florida territory that extended from one half of his backyard to the other. Though, for a perennial loser, he shows a lot of nerve by mocking Taylor’s peace sign and walks around like a Brit. He promptly eats a European uppercut for that, and he’s lucky it isn’t more. Fallaway slam wins at 1:41. Tony: “You can’t question what David Taylor means to this sport.” I have never agreed with Schiavone more. Good job Fat Tony. DUD

BRAD ARMSTRONG vs. JERRY FLYNN

Heenan: “LOOK AT ARMSTRONG! He’s wearing Madusa’s TIGHTS!” Frustratingly, Flynn isn’t given an entrance so he can yell at the camera and look like the poster child for fetal alcohol syndrome. Flynn puts on an amazing display of kicks and martial arts, which probably would have done some incredible damage if he’d opted to do it anywhere near Armstrong. Brad nails a dropkick, and takes Flynn down with a headlock. With the advantage, Brad heads up, and takes a roundhouse kick to the midsection on the way down. What was he planning on doing exactly? He didn’t seem to have a move planned, unless he was throwing himself off the top like an excited bride throwing herself into her new husband’s arms. Flynn nails a series of rapid fire kicks in the corner, and then hits a spinning heel kick on the other side. Brad comes back with a sunset flip, but that just frustrates Jerry who beats him down for his insolence. Armstrong comes back with a Dragon sleeper … and gets the submission at 5:16?!? I’m supposed to believe that Armstrong is making Jerry Flynn tap out? I’d like to see that happen in THE BLOCK. *

THE BARBARIAN vs. LEX LUGER

Mad props to my man Barbarian for going at this alone. He doesn’t need Meng or Jimmy Hart, those guys are just along for the ride. Besides, Barbarian owes himself a little redemption after running in on Meng’s behalf last week and getting caught in the Rack AND tapping. It’ll never happen twice. Luger pushes Barbarian to the corner and roars, but it’s probably mind games by Barbarian because on top of being tough, he’s cerebral. Barbarian works a headlock, but Luger fights out. Lex goes for a backslide, but Barbarian ain’t letting THAT happen without a fight. In fact, he has to kick Barbarian in the Achilles to make him fall, and Luger gets 2. Barbarian stalls to get deeper inside the mind of Lex Luger; though he should share ideas with Cobra if he’s really looking to do something special. And sure enough, Barbarian gets back in and NAILS Luger with the Kick of Fear!!! Luger’s only safety net is falling to the floor, but don’t be surprised if he ruptured many different parts off that blow. Barbarian rolls him in, and poses for his legion of fans – the new king of Tonga is born! The stupid fans chant for Luger because they’re stupid. Stupid. Luger tries a sunset flip, but Barbarian fights it for 15 seconds letting out all KINDS of primal noises before succumbing as Lex gets 2. But that doesn’t stop him, he pops back up and clotheslines sexual Lexual. CLUBBERIN! CLUBBERIN! THERE BE CLUBBERIN IN THE CORNAH! This isn’t just a fight, this is a clinic! Barbarian poses like a snake for everyone, just basking in the most dominant display in the history of wrestling. Luger throws an elbow, but Barbarian drops him with one big punch. Going in for the kill, Luger sidesteps a blind charge and punches him 10 times. The clotheslines start, and I don’t care for THIS. Thankfully, Barbarian stops that with a Stun Gun, and drops Luger with a backbreaker – refusing to even go for the pin. Instead, the top ropes are calling his name like a tree to a jungle cat … but he misses the headbutt! Luger throws him in the Rack, and AWWWW HELL Luger wins at 8:49. What an awful booking decision, can’t the company see who their future really is? It’s probably racism. **


The announcers close the show by asking themselves if they’re even invited to nWo Souled Out. Heenan figures they’ll wear disguises, buy tickets, and sit ringside to infiltrate them. “I’ll be Paul Revere, you can be Marie Antoinette!” Tony ignores him and calls for the credits.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

WCW Saturday Night: January 11, 1997

Roughly a week ago, I asked you for your best suggestions to a domain I could register to house my writing. It’s clear that some of you know me better than others, and I got some fantastic responses. Some of my favorites that I considered included:

·         siderussianlegsweep.com
·         nitrogrill.com
·         supergiantninja.com (man oh man did this take some restraint)
·         Glacieriscoming.com (which was tempting but it would never get delivered)
·         FitFinlayIsMissing.com (too soon, I’m still hurting)
·         yeteh.com (along with a recommendation to stay away from GoDaddy – whoops, I’d already picked the winner and registered the domain by this point, please don’t disown me)
·         soberbobbyheenan.com
·         facesoffearforever.com (we’re getting closer)
·         FOFO.com (Faces of Fear Online – sadly already registered, the scum!)
·         mengbarbarianandchrisanadventureunchained.com (too easy to remember)
·         recappingdeadwrestlingpromotionsforeeasons.net (hey, that’s mean)

At the end of the day, it seemed apropos that both my favorite suggestion was the one that came from someone who’s been reading and providing feedback on this manic game from the start (cue the love-in), and I thank BigDaddyLoco for brilliantly coming up with KickOfFear.com.

Ultimately, it’s simply an easy archive to find your favorite shows that I’ve covered, and nothing more. It’ll take a bit of time to move everything over, but as soon as it’s all done you’ll be the first to know.

But enough about plugs; you’re here for the jobbers, and I’m here for YOU. LIVE from the TAPED Cyborg Factory, it’s Saturday Night! TONY SCHIAVONE and DUSTY RHODES have some great wrestling action, which will serve as the ketchup to our main course; which is non-stop talk about The Giant and nWo.

SUPER CALO vs. ALEX WRIGHT

Calo’s back from injury – good recovery time! I guess he’s a heel tonight? I don’t remember him doing anything particularly evil, but Wright’s from Germany and they’ve got a solid track record. Meanwhile, it looks like Calo got a new hat for Christmas, and it’s pimpin’.


Calo looks limber, as he circles Wright like a shark, waiting to be hit with a European uppercut. A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker keeps my man Calo down, and Wright gets 1. A powerbomb connects, but again Calo ain’t having that and kicks out at 1. He’s squirmy tonight, maybe refocused after having his career threatened. Wright applies a half crap, but Super hits the ropes for safety. Tilt-a-whirl slam sends Wright up top, but he takes a little over half an hour and Calo cuts him off. A super forward headscissors gets 2! Wright gets up and charges, right into a monkey flip and he’s sent to the floor! Slingshot senton doesn’t rotate completely, and Calo lands on his head. Dusty: “HE’S SWOLLEN UP TOP!” – which is of course his toque. Calo shakes it off, but comes back in with a top rope senton that misses, and Wright levels him with a pair of European uppercuts. German suplex with a bridge finishes at 3:47. Calo actually appeared to kick out; gotta wonder if he didn’t realize that was the finish. Important to note: the hat never fell off. *1/2

TOMBSTONE vs. ICE TRAIN (with Teddy Long)

Oh god yes, you have NO idea how excited I am to see this pairing. It’s rare you’re able to present a straight up, 1-on-1 affair, with such strong potential for record setting negative stars. Train pumps his forearm, blowing that imaginary whistle like a boss. Tombstone hits him with a dropkick (he can dropkick?!?), but the second one confirms my suspicion it was a fluke, because Train hooks the ropes to avoid it, and Tombstone falls right on his head. Fantastic. Train delivers a quick slam and finishes with a variation on the Train Wreck (Vaderbomb style) at 1:45. Such high hopes, such a letdown.

LEE MARSHALL stalks the winning team in the back, and Teddy is so fired up that he decides Ice Train is going to stop the nWo all by himself. Points for enthusiasm! Train vows to spend extra time in the Power Plant to draw up a winning game plan. Sounds Smooth.

HUGH MORRUS (with Jimmy Hart) vs. THE CHEETAH KID

I think this is the first time Jimmy’s spent any time with Morrus in months. Maybe Hart, realizing his empire is crumbling around him, needs to refocus his energy on the loyal soldiers he has left. Rally the troops for a comeback, remind the world why they want to play on Team Dungeon. Perhaps even offer them a nice cold place to sleep inside their dank cave, if it strikes their fancy. Dungeon of Doom Expert Dr. Unlikely also provides us an update on another forgotten member:

Maxx! How long has it been since we've seen him now? Maybe this is what happened to him - he doesn't know how to travel through the portals in to and out of the Master's Cave like Sullivan, the Giant and Hogan, so maybe Maxx lagged behind during a Dungeon meeting and has spent the last 17 years trapped in a cave where the water is surprisingly not hot.

You know, THIS is why I need to be tracking results on an Excel spreadsheet somewhere. It’s 2015, I have absolutely no excuse to be this disorganized and unable to pinpoint the moment Maxx officially got lost. Maybe he figured after the Leprechaun died that he was safe to eat, catching the Kuru himself and is no longer with us? It bothers me that the New World Order are granted 45 minutes of camera time every Monday Night, but we can’t ask Jimmy Hart to give us a state of the union once in awhile. Morrus, meanwhile, seems to be sporting something of a mean streak tonight, adding a little extra oomph to his moves, including a phenomenal puffed chest block of a crossbody. Morrus finishes with a fantastic routine, where he hits the No Laughing Matter, and then rolls Cheetah Kid back and forth, trading a series of “pinfall reversals” with his limp corpse, before finally finishing him off in a fit of laughter at 1:53. Entertainment factor was a high four stars here.

BOBBY EATON vs. DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE

This is DDP’s first appearance since the nWo announced his membership, but he’s not dressed in the colors. A confused Dusty sums it up as a “Hawse of a different colah!” You can’t argue with the man, primarily because his counter-points make no sense. Eaton stops the Page squash by hitting a jawbreaker, and takes him down with a hammerlock. That ends abruptly with a Diamond Cutter for the Page victory at 3:11. *

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

This is Psychosis’ third TV title shot in the last 2 months, most recently losing a fantastic fight against Regal on the 12/16 Nitro. A fan in a home-made nWo shirt stops Regal to call him stupid on the way to the ring. Regal turns to the camera and tells us: “He has the audacity to call me stupid? He looks like he’s from Deliverance. Go back there, Sunshine.” Psychosis somehow leads a USA chant – what the hell? The fans aren’t even buying it, giving up on the chant in under 10 seconds. After struggling to take down Regal, Psychosis finally hits a legsweep and grapevines the leg – but Regal uses the free one to kick him in the face. Psychosis rolls to the floor, in front of a fan in a Superman t-shirt who tells him “IT’S ALL YOU MAN, IT’S ALL YOU!” Psychosis, not a native speaker of English and unable to use this strategy to his advantage, decides to walk into a European uppercut. He manages to hit a big boot, and dropkicks Regal for a 2 count. Psychosis heads up, and manages to successfully hit a flying elbow – but Regal kicks out at 2 again. Regal wiggles out of a headscissors submission hold, but takes a clothesline. Realizing he’s being outclassed, Regal takes a powder. Back in, a spinning heel kick rocks Regal, so he heads out again. Psychosis makes him pay this time, with a baseball slide, and follows with the rarely seen Senton Psicosis. With Regal back in, Psychosis goes for a splash off the top, but Regal blocks with his knees! The cocky head bobble makes its way out, but Psychosis locks Regal in an abdominal stretch mid-ring with nowhere to go! The referee leans in to ask Regal if he taps … so Regal grabs him and smashes his head into Psychosis’, and that’s a DQ at 6:05! Brilliant retention plan from your hero and mine. **1/2

Demanding answers, LEE MARSHALL stops Regal. Regal declares himself WCW’s heavyweight champion, as the highest ranking champion in the company, and thus he’s the most important person in WCW. He doesn’t care if Psychosis wants a 4th match, or anyone for that matter. Neither Roddy Piper or Hulk Hogan are “The Icon”, and the only reason he’s not acknowledged in that role is because in 1983 he was in Blackpool beating people up for a living instead of farting around in America. He challenges the entire company to fight, and vows to hang on to the belt so long he’ll just retire it someday. I hope Meng and Barbarian don’t find out about my infidelity with the Lord.

Tony has a huge announcement for Nitro: Chris Benoit returns. Pfft, not as big an announcement as that would be TODAY.

DISCO INFERNO vs. MIKE ENOS

Here’s a fresh new matchup I have absolutely no interest in seeing! Disco dances his way right into a clothesline. Enos puts Disco in a seated position, and grabs Disco’s hand, forcing him to mock his own dance. A big legdrop is followed with a powerslam, and Enos has Disco on the ropes. He gets too fancy, and misses a slingshot senton, giving Disco a chance to go for his leglock. However, he keeps picking the wrong leg in the wrong direction, eventually giving way to a package from Enos for the win at 2:05. Disco promises he’s going to learn that leg-lock if it kills him. Geez, by the time he figures it out he’s gonna be working as Honky Tonk Man’s protégé in the WWF if the Internet is to be believed. 1/2*

SCOTT ARMSTRONG vs. LA PARKA

I’ll give WCW credit, they have a million different combinations of guys they can put in 1-on-1 slots, and they’re proving it here with this positively random styles clash. Parka applies a package early for 2. Speaking of packages, Armstrong might consider making an alliance with High Voltage. Parka hits a mule kick, and follows with a boot to the face and spinning heel kick. For a big guy, he’s damn quick. La Parkinator finishes the squash at 2:01. Nobody’s getting time tonight. 1/2*

Tony excitedly announces that WCW has a new segment!

THE WORLD ACCORDING TO DEBRA MCMICHAEL (as Narrated by former coach Mike Ditka)

I’m kidding on the last point; but the rest is on the up and up. She takes us back to the press school she attended, where she wasn’t well liked because she was so beautiful. But, she can’t help herself, she just is. She walks us around the yard to show us some special places; declaring herself the queen of the school. Apparently we can look forward to seeing this every week.

JIM POWERS and “HARDWORK” BOBBY WALKER (with Teddy Long) vs. THE RENEGADE and JOE GOMEZ

Good to see Walker’s back. I think it’s safe to officially dub him The Future Of Cruiserweight Wrestling Before Mexico Arrived. Sharp viewers will note that this is a landmark match. Yes, with Jim Powers defecting, Team Nipples have officially broken up. I’m a little upset we aren’t provided with any reason, but I guess when you’re a Nipples Man, you’re subject to a little privacy. Who will Alex Wright side with? Is this match for his custody? Because, Bobby Walker pins Gomez after a crossbody at 2:04, which could lead to some very important decisions in the future. And hey, Teddy Long is 2-for-2 tonight, when was the last time THAT happened? Powered by Nipples.

CHAVO GUERRERO JR. vs. REY MYSTERIO JR. (for custody of the Jr.)

Don’t laugh; this would actually be a thing in about 3 years when Booker T fought Big T for control of the T. There’s still like 30 minutes left on this show, and we’re already on our 9th match of the night. Rey drops Chavo with a shoulderblock, and follows with a spinning heel kick. He calls for the West Coast Pop, and I’m surprised he doesn’t follow through since every other match tonight is ending at the 2 minute mark. Rey goes for a rana, but Chavo turns it into a powerbomb and gets 2. The camel clutch is applied, and Rey sells that puppy better than anyone outside a gymnast. Off the release, Chavo hits a clothesline for 2. Next up, the Boston Crab, but Rey won’t tap. A snap suplex gets 2. Rey tries to slip through Chavo’s legs, but gets caught and powerbombed once more. A standing vertical suplex sends the blood rushing to Rey’s head, but only gets 2. Chavo goes for a moonsault, but trips on the top rope and falls on his face. That gives Rey a chance to hit West Coast Pop and score the pin at 3:24. Rey hobbles out, and appears to have legit hurt his knee. *

THE AMAZING FRENCH CANADIANS (with Colonel Robert Parker) vs. HARLEM HEAT (with Sista Sherri)

Rougeau demands the respect of the fans while they sing the national anthem, but Tony starts criticizing them before they even open their mouths. Colonel: “I have to hand it to ya, that was some amazing singing. Beautiful anthem!” After over a year of watching Harlem Heat several times a week, I am beyond ready for them to split this team up and move on. I have seen everything that Booker T (fine kicks, mad charisma) and Stevie Ray (nothing at all) have to offer as a tag-team. In fact, a full revamping of the tag-team division is in order. Booker hits a nice Harlem Sidekick out of nowhere after several minutes of a beating, and scores a shocking pin at 3:32. The rest was standard fare. *1/2

With 11 minutes left in the show, Tony takes us back to the closing segment of Nitro to chew up all the time. You and I don’t care to go over that again, so we’ll close with something a lot more fun instead. It answers the question that burns inside many of us: Do people actually still answer the phone? Love grease and hair piece.



Sunday, January 18, 2015

WWF Shotgun Saturday Night: January 11, 1997

It’s False: Is Marlena pulling her top down the most underrated moment of the pre-Attitude era? It's barely a blip on our radars today, but I remember this being a huge deal at the time.

It’s definitely on the list. I actually hadn’t even thought about it for over a decade, and I can’t even remember the last time anyone talked about it on a message board or blog post. I was 14 when it happened, so forgive me if my mammary memory is a little biased, but I distinctly remember all the Hot Newz websites exploding in a collective orgasm of “DID I JUST SEE IMPLIED TITTIES?” If nothing else, it changed everything we knew about divas for the next 10 years.

The only question is whether or not Sunny is going to top that with her promised sex tape? If she delivers the goods, the ratings for this show might hit near Superbowl numbers seeing as how she was already AOL’s top downloaded woman. Also, the WWF is probably going to face lifetime bans from every cable channel in existence, but sometimes, it’s worth the risk.

THE HONKY TONK MAN is in … what, a barber shop? He’s seated next to SOME DUDE whose face is covered by the New York Post. Is this his protégé? And why does seeing a headline about Kenny Rogers in pinstripes make me feel 100 years old?

Arriving to the show are SABLE, and WCW Executive in charge of Prime Relations, JOHNNY B BADD.

LIVE from the All-Star Café in New York City, THIS is Shotgun. Yes, through the infinite wisdom of Vince, somehow he decided that rather than take RAW live more than once a month, that he’d be better served to give that kind of treatment to his new top B-show. And speaking of, VINCE MCMAHON and DANCIN’ SUNNY are your hosts. She reminds us that she has a sexy home video for later tonight. “Just like Mookie Wilson did when he hit the baseball through Buckner’s legs!” says TODD PETTENGILL; who is about as likely to appear on Sunny’s home video as I am.

Earlier today, THE SISTERS OF LOVE were arrested for solicitation in front of the Disney Store in downtown Manhattan. This could have only been better if they’d been making jazz hands.

NOT DIESEL vs. MARC MERO (with Sable)

The Mero’s need a ton of security, because, and you won’t believe this, drunken bystanders start trying to grope Sable as she makes her way through them. I didn’t see it coming either. In all seriousness, I never actually got the whole Sable thing, even as a teenage walking hormone. She always looked trashy, like she’d just finished her shift at Pinky’s House of Grind, and probably smelled like a mix of cheap vanilla perfume and whiskey. Sunny came across as the real deal, and there was no contest in my household. (We’ll let the next 100 comments that follow this article sort it out on a mainstream level.) Diesel gives chase to Sable right away, and she shoves her creampie in his face. Whoops, sorry, that was cake. Blinded by icing, Mero’s able to capitalize with a faceplant. He’s such a wild man! Diesel comes back with a big boot, while Pettengill checks in with Sable. “DIESEL TAKES THE CAKE!” she tells us. Sunny responds by suggesting she performed with Mero in her sex-tape; Marc, not Rena. I’m only okay with this if he awkwardly offers her a mustache ride to set up the scene. Diesel knocks Mero to the floor, and NOT RAZOR RAMON rushes in to stomp on Mero. ROCKY MAIVIA saves the day by the power of his Chia Hair, as we take a commercial break.

DOK HENDRIX YELLS.

Diesel is working over Mero, but because we can’t go 3 seconds without Sportz Entertainment, THE HONKY TONK MAN is given split screen time. And why? FOR NO REASON AT ALL. He promises to play music, which is the GREATEST thing Vince has ever heard if his reaction is to be believed. Diesel delivers a vertical suplex and beats Mero down in the corner. However, that pesky Mero just won’t give, because he’s WILD! Diesel heads up top, which completely destroys any illusion that he’s supposed to be anything like Kevin Nash. Clothesline connects, and Mero starts hobbling around. A completely botched and awful sidewalk slam gets 2. He goes for another, but Mero snaps off a quick rana. A clothesline knocks Diesel to the mat, and he heads up – nailing a Merosault! No time for a pin, however, because he spies Honky Tonk with his lady, and apparently is so threatened by a 60 year old fat guy in an Elvis jumpsuit, that he HAS to rush down and get involved. Diesel pulls him back in and finishes with the Truckstop at 12:17. So let’s sum this up: You have Marc Mero, fresh off an IC title run, and sitting with the highest guaranteed contract in the entire company. He’s facing a green, and absolutely awful Kevin Nash impersonator – which is some sort of giant rib against WCW stealing their stars or something (you’d have to check with Vince). You put them together, giving them 12 minutes, on your secondary show, and the PUNCHLINE spends the entire match on offense and wins cleanly. I don’t even have the words for the boneheadedness of everything I just saw. -***

The Mero’s fight after the match, which makes Sunny horny. Rocky Maivia returns to save the day, and a brawl erupts. The referees break that up quickly, while the fans chant “LET THEM GO!”

Some fine mugshots of The Sisters of Love are shared.

SAVIO VEGA vs. FAAROOQ (with PG-13, Clarence Mason, and D’Lo Brown)

Considering the edge the WWF was adopting at this point, it’s a little surprising they never pushed the envelope to have the Nation wear colors; but then, that might have been crossing the line a little too far into real life and putting the performers lives in jeopardy. Still, it would have been downright balls to have Faarooq come out with a blue bandana, and force Rocky to change his name to The Rocc. A commercial airs during the entrances, and we return with Faarooq working over Vega on the mat. Vince suggests we whip out our VCR’s and set them to record, because Sunny’s sex tape is coming up.

In fact, TODD PETTENGILL is with fans to discuss “who do you think Sunny is making love with tonight?” Making love?!? For god sakes Todd. One young guy starts shaking uncontrollably and wishes it was him. I’m assuming, just looking at him, that rule applies to any woman and not just Sunny.

Back in the ring, Vega gives Faarooq the electric chair, but he kicks out at 2. The fans are really into this, screaming “NWO” with great enthusiasm. Vega chops Faarooq in the ropes, and follows with a superkick for 2. Wolfie D starts getting into it with the referee, allowing JC Ice to come off the top with an axehandle to give the advantage back to Faarooq. Snap suplex gets 2, and Faarooq angrily barks at anyone white. Vega retaliates with a jawbreaker, but misses a Stinger splash, and the Spinebuster gets the win for Faarooq at 5:55. He’ll be taking on Ahmed Johnson at the Royal Rumble. 1/2*

And now, following all the hype … it’s SUNNY’s Lair of Love. She’s lying in a bathrobe, with the hottest Christmas gift in the world – Tickle Me Elmo. After some quick teases, she introduces her lover.


It’s not Tickle Me Elmo; this is Fondle Me Elmo. And, after promising to take him to “Space Mountain” (oh Jesus), she claps off the lights, and following a cartoon “BOINGGGGGG”, they start screaming like the tail end of a Shania Twain song. Elmo, showing the gusto of a 17-year old virgin, lasts about 14 seconds.


“The Energizer Bunny has nothing on you”, coos Sunny. “Where’s Fondle Me Elmo’s pants?” asks the muppet, waiting a moment, and pondering further. “Where’s Fondle Me Elmo’s … (BOINGGGGGGG)?”

So I think we need a minute to digest this. Following the debut of this show a week earlier, which featured Marlena taking off her top and showing off her very real (well, “real”) breasts to the audience, the WWF spends a whole week hyping a bigger, badder, raunchier show the following week, with the number one Spank Bank model in the company. Now, of course this is a company that once baited us with the Gobbledygooker, but you would HOPE in the 6 years since then that they’d learned a little something about bait and switch. Granted, if anyone was stupid enough to tune in specifically thinking they were going to witness Sunny’s adult debut for FREE, on a CABLE network, they probably got exactly what they deserved. But for the rest of us, this is mind-numbingly embarrassing crap that pretty much keeps our wrestling viewership a secret from the rest of civilized society. Sleazy, stupid ratings ploy, and all involved should be taken out back and shot.

And what does Vince McMahon think?

“HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! TODD PETTENGILL TAKE US AWAY!”

THE HONKY TONK MAN promises to sing; but in fact it’s TODD PETTENGILL who takes over the song. This is two weeks in a row; if Todd is so itchy for karaoke amateur hour, can I suggest he ask McMahon for weekends off and tackle his newfound hobby at bars that aren’t taping wrestling television?


ROCKY MAIVIA vs. NOT RAZOR RAMON

Rocky hits a sweet series of dropkick that remind just how flexible he used to be, before the 180 pounds of muscle were added. The fans start chanting “WE WANT HALL” which Vince tries to talk over loudly thinking it’ll go away. We take a commercial break as Honky starts skulking around ringside.

“Razor has been battering Rocky Maivia!” is how we’re welcomed back. Sunny cites Razor’s years of experience. For fuck sakes, now they’re pretending he’s the SAME guy he used to be? A few noticeable fans start a “ROCKY SUCKS” chant, which is unfortunate, as he’s a man of the people. McMahon gives us our Todd Pettengill update: he’s on his way to Times Square. This is good news, I’m not sure what I’d have done if I wasn’t getting my round the clock Rodd updates. Rocky is sent to the floor where Honky gets in a few cheapshots. Back in, Razor goes to finish with the Razor’s Edge, but Rocky slides down off the back and finishes with a shoulderbreaker at 5:02. I can’t decide if that was an upset or not. Match of the night. *

TODD PETTENGILL is in the middle of Times Square, and feels like Dick Clark, but “without the ball dropping”. Check your pants, Todd. He’s found a homeless box, where they have “cable” and “heat” apparently. Inside is NIKOLAI VOLKOFF. Is this supposed to be funny? Any of this? Who is this appealing to? Anyone old enough to remember Nikolai is too old to be amused by homeless jokes (or whatever they’re doing), and anyone young enough to giggle at “BUMS ON THE STREET LOL” have no idea who on earth he is. This show has to be a contender for one of the 10 worst of all time, right? I may need to poll you, the audience at a future date to make a list; but I can’t think of any night more cringe worthy than everything I’ve seen here thus far. Of course, I’ve got a mental block on anything Russo.
                                                           

Annnnnnd … The hits just keep on coming:


He will give birth LIVE on Shotgun next week. DUDE NO. JUST STOP.

DOUG FURNAS and PHILLIP LAFON vs. THE HEADBANGERS

We’re joined in progress for this one, watching Mosh get thrown across the ring with an overhead belly to belly from Furnas. “ECW! ECW!” shout the loyal crowd. Thrasher blows something or other, and gets the requisite “YOU FUCKED UP” chant, and well deserved. And on the topic of blowing, Sunny figures she’s due to have sex with Doug Furnas. “BWO! BWO!” Off to commercial.

Todd brings us back by celebrating in Times Square about god knows what, with a bunch of drunken Yankees fans. In the arena, Furnas kills Mosh with a jumping DDT – and lest you want a finish, WE’RE OUTTA TIME!!!


If you can make lemonade out of this pile; then be my guest.