Tuesday, October 21, 2014

WCW Nitro: October 14, 1996

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

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

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

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

MEN WHO KNOW USE VALVOLINE!

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

M. WALLSTREET vs. JIM DUGGAN

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

HUGH MORRUS vs. JIM POWERS (with Teddy Long)

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



GREG VALENTINE vs. LEX LUGER

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

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

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

MIKE ENOS vs. RANDY SAVAGE

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

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

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

I guess Enos wins!

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

EDDIE GUERRERO vs. THE CHEETAH KID

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

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

BIG BUBBER (with Jimmy Hart) vs. JEFF JARRETT

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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


Just where the heck IS Sting?

Monday, October 20, 2014

WCW Saturday Night: October 12, 1996

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

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

BILLY KIDMAN vs. JEFF JARRETT

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

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

DISCO INFERNO vs. EDDIE GUERRERO

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

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

RON STUDD vs. JACK BOOT

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



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

PRINCE IAUKEA vs. HUGH MORRUS

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

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

VK WALLSTREET vs. JIM DUGGAN

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

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

STEVE ARMSTRONG vs. CHRIS JERICHO

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

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

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

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

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

THE OUTSIDERS vs. JOE JOE and ROCKET STARBUCK

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



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



SCOTT ARMSTRONG vs. KEVIN SULLIVAN (with Jimmy Hart)

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

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

NWO STING vs. BUNKHOUSE BUCK

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

JIM POWERS (with Teddy Long) vs. LEX LUGER

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


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

Sunday, October 19, 2014

WCW Prime: October 7, 1996

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

VK WALLSTREET vs. ICE TRAIN

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

SUPER CALO vs. BRAD ARMSTRONG

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

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

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

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


Dusty Rhodes wouldn’t lie.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

WCW Nitro: October 7, 1996

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HUGH MORRUS vs. JEFF JARRETT

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

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

THE RENEGADE vs. ARN ANDERSON (with Woman)

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

DAVE TAYLOR (with Jeeves) vs. LEX LUGER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RANDY SAVAGE vs. RIC FLAIR

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

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

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

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


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

Monday, October 13, 2014

WCW Worldwide: October 6, 1996

Happy Thanksgiving Canada! Have I got a treat for you! Is it the nWo? Sting? A new big debut? NO, MUCH BIGGER! Rick Steiner, Scott Norton, and Dean Malenko! All this and MORE today on WCW Worldwide!

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

SCOTT ARMSTRONG vs. DEAN MALENKO

We start things off with a bang, featuring a rare singles appearance from future WWE referee Scott Armstrong! This is probably supposed to be exciting because Dean Malenko once faces Scott’s brother, Brad, in the finals of the Cruiserweight title tournament, but if you believe that, then I’ve got a plate full of delicious Brussels sprouts to serve you. Scott scores a quick roll up, but Malenko comes back with a dropkick to the knee, which encourages the “BOO” sign to flash like it’s at a Mardi Gras parade. Deano grapevines the leg, but Scott won’t tap, so Malenko just beats the piss out of the thigh instead trying to give the man a charley horse. Armstrong gets his legs wrapped around the ringpost, but the fans pre-emptively feel a comeback coming because they start their rallying cheers. Lo and behold, Armstrong gets in a backslide for 2. Tony says Armstrong has wrestled a very intelligent match. Heenan: “Uhhh, yeah, he’s been a competitor I guess, but Malenko’s way ahead on points.” Tony asks, if there were points, what the score would be? Heenan: “Armstrong nothing, and Malenko’s your winner.” And just like that, Dean pancakes the man, bridges the legs back and scores a pin at 4:42. **

DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. RICK STEINER

Whoa, this is seriously high profile for THIS show. NICK PATRICK referees, and I need to believe at this point he’s involved in some sort of sexual relationship with Page. This was also taped far too recently, as evidenced by Patrick’s evil moustache. Steiner knocks Page to the floor, and rolls around the mat barking. Oddly, Heenan leaves this alone. Page gets back in, and gets hiptossed in short order. A clothesline sends Page to the floor a second time, and we have more barking. Page re-enters with a swinging neckbreaker for 2. Page works a chinlock with plenty of cheating via his feet on the ropes, which Patrick misses completely. Steiner fights loose with a jawbreaker, and starts throwing meathooks. A clothesline is ducked by Page, and he levels Patrick, which draws a DQ at 4:06, and Page wins again. Page lends a gentle hand to Patrick after the match, and screams that you can’t hit a referee. Steiner swears innocence, and a replay shows that Rick actually pulled his punch but Patrick sold it like death. If Page isn’t in the nWo, then I’ll be an ebola monkey’s uncle. *

HARLEM HEAT (with Sista Sherri and Colonel Robert Parker) vs. RICK THAMES and BILL PAYNE

Schiavone is in true form here, by reminding us that current tag-team champions, Public Enemy, are going to Halloween Havoc to defend against the Outsiders. For god sakes, the editing had a full 24 hours to fix this. Syndication baybee! Stevie destroys anything that even reeks of jobber. Booker hits a heat seeker off the top onto Payne who’s perched on Stevie’s shoulders, and we have winners at 1:32. 1/2* Heenan notes if the Heat want their titles back, they’ll have to wait in line.

BIG BUBBER vs. LEROY HOWARD

I’ll ignore Heenan comparing Hogan to Saddam Hussein, and concentrate once more on RON THE LEPRECHAUN running around the ringside area, gnashing and gnawing at anyone and everyone. Howard, shockingly, takes a spinebuster, and is already out of the fight. Bossman slam finishes at 2:07. DUD

BILLY KIDMAN vs. REY MYSTERIO JR. (for the WCW world cruiserweight title)

Heenan talks about how close Kidman is to taking the next step, until he shows up on the entrance way, at which point he gasps: “Wait, THAT’S Billy Kidman?” Tony: “Who did you think it was?” Heenan: “Potsie Weber!” I’m about a million years old who has seen every sitcom in history, so I got it, but … that’s a bit of a stretch for your average wrestling fan, even in 1996. Tony’s spent way too much time with Dusty, pointing out that Rey is stretching Kidman’s legs, “if you will”. Kidman goes up and hits a backwards headscissors takeover, but Rey fires back by turning a sidewalk slam into a rana. Rey slides to the floor, so Kidman tries a slingshot plancha, but Rey goes back in and Kidman belly flops to the floor. Rey is right behind with an Asai moonsault! Back in, Rey goes for West Coast Pop, but it’s blocked by a powerbomb! Kidman heads up, nails a big splash but it’s only 2. A second powerbomb also gets 2. Kidman keeps going, hitting a slingshot guillotine for 2. Kidman goes to the well again, but Rey springboards in hitting a double jump Frankensteiner for the pin at 5:03. ***

SCOTT NORTON vs. ARN ANDERSON

Norton goes to the power stuff early, so Arn whines to the referee, one NICK PATRICK, that Norton’s been pulling his hair. Patrick is no idiot, and a rule follower, so he ignores Anderson. A jumping armbreaker grounds Anderson, and Norton kicks away at the weakened arm. An avalanche takes Arn down again, and Norton applies a shoulderbreaker hold. Anderson makes the ropes and rolls to the floor for safety, but Norton’s right behind and throws Arn shoulder first to the post. They head back in, and Anderson attacks with Norton between the ropes – but a big knee to Arn’s face leaves him in control. Norton calls on McMichael and Benoit while he’s at it, but they don’t respond. Norton keeps driving his knees into Anderson’s shoulder, trying to make the man tap, but Arn’s too tough a cookie for that. Norton accidentally hits Patrick, and then sets up his shoulderbreaker move, but Patrick pushes Arn’s legs back the other way in retaliation. As they fight about it, Arn rolls up Norton with a handful of tights for the pin at 4:51. ** Norton goes to murder Patrick after the match, but Anderson saves, so Norton swats him away like a gnat. Weird booking.

So what kind of teasers can we be offered for next week? Why, just more big stars, like Kevin Sullivan, Konnan, Public Enemy (the tag-team champions, oif), and MANY others!

Order Halloween Havoc or go to hell!


Gnight!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

WCW Saturday Night: October 5, 1996

Efin asks: Why would wcw think the NWO IS being over done in 1996?

Look, WCW didn’t think the nWo was over done in 2000, so I’m not even implying anyone upstairs thought that at all. But we’re less than 90 days into this angle now, in the fall of 1996, and already I’ve started to see cracks of oversaturation. Everything up to about 2 weeks ago was playing out alright, but we just had an episode of Nitro that featured the nWo taking over the last hour of the entire show. We’re regularly cutting off matches, sometimes IMPORTANT matches, to go see what they’re doing in the back, or last week, in a hotel room (often times: very little).

I recognize the importance of the angle, but the signs were there early. I think I have been exceptionally kind to WCW, even with the benefit of hindsight, because I absolutely loved the company. This entire project is a labour of love. But the way I feel when re-watching this is how I feel my friend, and I’m giving you as honest a feel from my viewing perspective as I possibly can when I do these things. And the last 2 weeks, the nWo has reached the point of being just a little unbearable. Nothing that can’t be fixed with WCW giving them an asswhoppin’ or two, just to remind us the war isn’t completely unbalanced. I’m just asking to scale back the air time a little, and even the playing field so it stops feeling like a modern day American invasion of, say, Palau.

Meanwhile, in the Cyborg Factory, DUSTY RHODES and TONY SCHIAVONE are up to date on their WCW storylines – catching us up to Miss Elizabeth’s strange actions as of late, including eatin’ fruit and bein’ cool with Hogan on Monday. Dusty sums it up by stating he has no idea what’s going to happen on the Mothaship.

JUVENTUD GUERRERA vs. REY MYSTERIO JR. (for the WCW world cruiserweight title)

Why yes, this IS Juvi’s 3rd cruiserweight title shot in the last couple of weeks, along with sneaking in that awful tag-team title shot on Monday, and a shot at the Mexican vanity title against Konnan. He must have a clause in his contract to get a title shot on every other show, because he sure as hell isn’t WINNING any matches. Juvi dropkicks Rey’s knee out in order to keep his speed to a minimum, and follows by suplexing him to the floor feet first. A slingshot plancha misses because Rey sidesteps, and Mysterio greets him back in the ring with a slingshot springboard moonsault for 2. A second one is blocked with the knees, but they’re so fast they both find themselves on the top rope lickity split. Juvi wins that battle with a monkey flip into a powerbomb, and that gets 2! Rey comes back with a back elbow, but his powerbomb attempt is blocked. Back to the top rope, and this time Rey comes out ahead with a front suplex dropping da Juice to the floor. Rey is RIGHT behind him with a somersault plancha, and the power of his dick to Juvi’s face leaves him dazed. Juvi cuts Rey off as they re-enter, but he can’t capitalize. West Coast pop finishes at 3:58, and the champ retains! This needed about 20 more minutes. ***

TONY SCHIAVONE wants a word with the champ. He’s defending against Dean Malenko at Halloween Havoc, because apparently the division is made up of about 3 people at this point. Rey professes his continued love and respect for Malenko, even though he was blindsided last week and had his mask stolen. Rey says he doesn’t like that Dean stole his mask, and he’s fine if Dean doesn’t “want it that way” because he’s “going after that”. Going after what? Rey, stop talking.

Thankfully, we turn things over to RANDY SAVAGE, who Tony can swoon over. Schiavone wants to know what the heck he was doing at the hotel on Monday. Savage reminds us that he was married to Liz in a different lifetime, and that he used to be Hogan’s best friend, but nobody knows him anymore. Things are gonna get crazy, things are gonna get nuts, and he’s tickin’ away. He vows to snap into the world title, and spit in the nWo’s face.

RON STUDD and JOHN TENTA vs. THE FACES OF FEAR (with Jimmy Hart)

Was Studd ever officially thrown out of the Dungeon of Doom? Was Studd ever officially IN the Dungeon of Doom, or are we pretending he is NOT the Yetti OR the Super Giant Ninja? Would we prefer that he was? (Don’t answer, I know it’s a resounding YESSSS!) Perhaps this is where he reveals his persona, as part of more MIND GAMES with Tenta. Tenta has thankfully grown his moustache out, and cut off the long hair. Tenta slowly attacks the Fear, and gets the early advantage and that makes me sad. Thankfully, the Fear work the double clubberin’, and Dusty’s excitement is literally dripping down his pant leg. Meng brings chops and eye rakes, but can’t take Tenta’s fat ass down. Barbarian can’t slam Tenta, but Tenta can slam Barbarian and does. Studd gets the tag, and works on Meng. He is unbelievably awkward, and tries to raise the roof but I am not even buying that. Thankfully Barbarian hits a chop block and Meng lands on top, but the referee misses it all. A double backdrop suplex gets 2. The Fear knock Tenta to the floor, and Barbarian gives Studd the Kick of Fear for the Meng pin at 4:14. You know that great match on Prime I was drooling over? This is the polar opposite. -*

EDDIE GUERRERO vs. JOE GOMEZ

Eddie’s been booked against Page at Halloween Havoc for the Battlebowl Ring a second time, even though he already won it. I’m supposed to believe that if Page loses this match, THIS time he’ll hand it over? One loss isn’t enough, but two losses will make him play fair? I’m not sure I understand the logic here, WCW. Gomez hits a backbreaker for 2. Eddie comes right back with a rana. A dropkick misses, as does an avalanche, and Gomez uses this to his advantage by locking on move #740 – armbar. Eddie tries to escape with a scoop slam, but Gomez holds the arm and rolls through, in perfect position to lock on a cross armbreaker, but he never does because he sucks. And I say this with the knowledge that even Craig Pittman can do one. Eddie escapes, and hits a slingshot senton. Gomez doesn’t flinch, and hits a clothesline for 2. Gomez manages a backdrop suplex for 2, that Tony and Dusty felt was close, but the fans didn’t react cuz it’s Joe Gomez. A powerslam gets 2. Eddie manages to hit the Frog Splash out of nowhere and capture the pin at 5:29. Seriously, at least half the roster needs to go, and it needs to start with the jobbers in these last 2 matches. DUD

To take us away from all the horrible we’ve watched tonight, here’s NICK PATRICK, still wearing a neck brace. He’s going to get interrogated by TONY SCHIAVONE. Tony points out the fans love what happened to him. Patrick mentions that recently a baseball player got out of line and attacked an umpire, and now the umpires don’t want any part of the sport anymore. (He’s referring to Roberto Alomar, of course.) Patrick admires their decision, and he feels they need to do the same thing. He calls on the WCW referees to boycott WCW. He promises to bring law and order back to WCW by making the following move: he issues a $1,000,000 fine against Randy Savage for his actions. He also wants him suspended. His lawyers says he has a great case, and he encourages WCW to listen up. He said there was one announcer in particular who stirred up a lot of dirty rumors against himself, and that announcer isn’t here anymore. Where the heck IS Mean Gene?

Is Patrick allowed to levy fines?

ARN ANDERSON (with Woman) vs. VIC STEAMBOAT

Holy crap – the legends were true! Ricky Steamboat DOES have an awful jobber brother! I think that’s worthy of a screen capture.


NICK PATRICK is your referee, but I don’t think any amount of shady officiating is going to make Vic a winner. A double axehandle sends Steamboat to the floor. He comes back with a karate chop, and hits a dropkick. Arn rolls to the floor, but Vic leaps off the apron with another chop to the noggin. Back in, Arn’s given this clown plenty, and takes over. He runs Steamer’s face across the top rope, and fish hooks the face. Vic goes for a sunset flip, but that has no chance of working. Arn hits the atomic drop, and finishes with the DDT at 2:33. The match stunk (DUD), but at least ***** of entertainment for giving me a look at Vic Steamboat. Let’s leave this as a one and done.

TONY SCHIAVONE chats with Arn and Woman. He points out that Woman is the perfect example of beauty, brawn, and brains. Luger has none of the above, because at War Games, he tapped out. Arn says he knows what Luger’s made of now – hurt him, and he’ll quit. “Ripple those pecs at me, and I’ll take your head off.”

LEE MARSHALL hypes the WCW hotline, and I can’t remember whether or not this is his debut. I feel like Tony the Tiger might have been around before, but I’m far too lazy to check my archives.

CHRIS BENOIT and MONGO MCMICHAEL (with Debra McMichael) vs. THE ROCK AND ROLL EXPRESS

I have to admit, I’m partially distracted because I have the Royals/Orioles muted in the background, and the Royals are packing it on in the 9th inning again. Is there any better story in sports right now than the scrappy Royals? The answer is no, do not attempt to answer otherwise. NICK PATRICK referees again. The R&R are determined to beat Benoit, aren’t they? This is at least the 5th or 6th time they’ve faced some combination of the Horsemen with Benoit involved this year, and they have yet to pick up the W. Mongo levels Gibson with a shouderblock, and shows off his chiselled abs. Of course, he’s a pro wrestler, so he’s not exactly impressing anymore, but it was worth a shot I suppose. Morton tags in, and starts taking his ass kicking immediately, with a clothesline from Mongo and a snap suplex from Benoit. Morton gets slammed face first to the buckle, and starts taking chops. Morton reverses a whip and tries an avalanche, but Benoit side steps and slams him. Mongo takes out the knees from the 3-point stance on both sides of the ring, but it only gets 2. Benoit comes in, but is taken out as each guy clotheslines each other, giving Morton just enough juice to tag in Gibson. Double noggin knocker! DDT to Benoit. Morton comes off the top with a crossbody, but the referee is chasing out Gibson. Mongo uses the Haliburton to smack Morton over the head, and Benoit scores the pin at 5:16. Debra gives this a big thumbs up, but this was the worst of the Horsemen R&R series. Tonight’s show is trash. *1/2

DEAN MALENKO (with Rey Mysterio Jr’s mask) vs. MR. JL

With or without the hood, there’s no love for Jerry Lynn, and Dean pounds on him in the corner. JL comes back with dropkicks, while Dusty spins his career as best he can, by pointing out JL’s been “on the cusp of winning several matches”. That might be the most backhanded compliment I’ve ever heard. Dean comes back with a scoop slam, and a slingshot legdrop for 2. A snap suplex sets up a leg grapevine, as Dean is clearly working to wear him down. JL fights loose, and manages to get up top, hitting a missile dropkick for 2. A backslide gets 2. A dropkick finally misses, and Deano hits a brainbuster. Tigerbomb sets up the Cloverleaf, and Malenko wins at 3:58. **

Royals win!!! 2-0 series lead! I’m hoping I can look back at this moment in 5 years as the start of “man I’m sick of the Royals!” because they’re in the playoffs every year. They deserve it.

TONY SCHIAVONE wants to know what the heck is up with stealing the mask from a poor Latino boy. Dean says that the mask is clearly as important to Rey as the belt is to Malenko, and he’s keeping the mask as a trophy so he can remind Rey how it feels to be without something that means more than anything to him in the world. That’s weak, but I’ll accept it.

THE RENEGADE vs. LEX LUGER

The world would have been hot to see this in 1988, assuming Renegade was who he pretended to be, which he’s not. Renegade is coming off a hard fought win over the Gambler, so maybe he’s starting a little sumpin’ sumpin’. Luger goes straight to the good stuff – I’m talking the hiptoss! Renegade battles back with all his top offense, like clotheslines and a powerslam! A kneelift sends Renegade up top, where’s promptly caught like Ric Flair and slammed. Rack finishes at 2:43. Tony: “Luger is awesome!” This match was not. DUD

Of course, TONY SCHIAVONE needs to talk to the man he calls awesome. He wants to know if Luger’s talked to Sting? He said he’s called him a ton, but Sting won’t call back. He’s hoping time heals all wounds. Regarding Arn Anderson – he says you can lie to anyone, and think Luger’s all show, but he’s wrestled for 10 years and has never said “I Quit”. He encourages Arn to say whatever he needs to, in order to believe he’d never tap out, but he’s not out to just beat Arn, he wants to take him out. This should definitely help WCW in their war against the nWo.

BRAD ARMSTRONG vs. MARK STARR

Holy crap this might be the worst show in history. I say this with Tony Schiavone levels of hyperbole, but I’m still not particularly impressed. Tony reminds us that Brad Armstrong made it to the finals of the Cruiserweight title tournament 6 months ago, but the landscape was different my friends. Times were tough. Of course, nobody cares about this match because TED DIBIASE and VINCENT have arrived in the stands, with a microphone. DiBiase says no one ever knows when the nWo will show up, and as CEO of the group, he’s here to talk a little business. He encourages the fans to follow the nWo, a winning group. Armstrong wins during this speech at 2:21. DiBiase reminds everyone they have the rights to their own time on TV, limousines, and eventually their own TV show – based on their win at War Games. But now, they want a little bit of “the Mothaship”. So next week, on the rebranded nWo Saturday Night, we’ll see the second round of the nWo tag-team invitational.

HARLEM HEAT (with Sista Sherri and Colonel Robert Parker) vs. THE PUBLIC ENEMY (for the WCW world tag-team titles)

NICK PATRICK, the same official who was there when the Enemy won the tag-team titles in a very questionable way, is once again working this match. I imagine we can rule out the Harlem Heat from being nWo members based on that, but we still don’t have any clear answers regarding where Fit Finlay stands. Tony says this is the last tag-team title match between now and Halloween Havoc, as WCW would like their champions as healthy as possible against the Outsiders. I’d like to believe him, but Tony’s hurt me before with his lies. Stevie Ray kicks away at the bad knee of Johnny Grunge, while Dusty notes it’s probably not smart to wear a giant obvious wrap over your leg if you’re trying to hide an injury. Booker hits a beautiful standing enzuigiri for 2. Harlem Heat stomps away, but THE OUTSIDERS have showed up and are distracting everyone in the ring. THE GIANT and NUMBER SIX are there too. Booker hits the axe kick, and calls on the nWo to bring it. That … doesn’t seem like a smart idea if you’re trying to win the tag-team titles. Stevie hits a back elbow, but Grunge battles back with a swinging neckbreaker. Grunge fakes an injury to distract Harlem Heat, and Rock flies in off a blind tag with a double bulldog. The fans aren’t even remotely paying attention to this. He hits a double moonsault, and sends Booker to the apron. Drive By connects on Stevie, but Sherri is distracting the referee. Booker beats down Grunge’s leg with the cane right in front of Nick Patrick who apparently is cool with this, and we have new tag-team champions at 5:50. Hall does the “oooh so scared” routine, while Stevie yells to the camera to come git some of dis. Talk about your anticlimactic finishes. Jesus. *


The show goes off the air, and not a minute too soon. Let us hope this never sees the light of the WWE Network, ever.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

WCW Prime: September 30, 1996

Who knew the asshole of Jerry Sags could generate so much discussion?

I wasn’t a member of the IWC in 1996, but some of you were, and despite the passage of time, like sands through the hourglass, those were the days of your lives. CRZ started the discussion:

It was enough of a big deal to scuttle the Nastys' role in the NWO and start them down the road of their eventual WCW demise. I tried to find a good r.s.p-w thread about it, but came up with this one (groups.google.com) instead, which has two retellings of (I'm sure) whatever Meltzer said about it, including Micasa's. It also has a reply from THE RICK in there, so be sure to expand the other posts! The sad thing is Sags was probably just too hip for the room by aping something as timely as "Ace Ventura" in 1996.

thecubsfan also thumbed through his virtual library of the Observer to bring us:

1996-10-07: NWO stuff looked like public access TV although there were a few funny lines. Nasty Boys joined the NWO and Jerry Sags bent over and spread his cheeks saying he was doing an impression of Eric Bischoff on last week's TV show. Bischoff walked off the set early into the second hour for no explainable reason although what Sags did may not have been planned (although there is so much swerving going on these days that you never know) and nobody seemed to know ahead of time that Bischoff was going to walk off.

1996-10-14: Eric Bischoff did make a hot phone call to the hotel room where Hogan and company were hanging out regarding Jerry Sags bending over and spreading his cheeks (and he didn't even know at the time what happened to the ratings after that).

1996-10-21: At the Nitro from Cleveland on 9/30, if you had a dish, you could find the back-haul feed from the hotel room and see Kevin Sullivan after the NWO segments handing the guys their scripts, telling them where to sit and what to say. It's amazing something that bad was actually scripted. Anyway, after the show ended those watching on dishes could see Savage and Liz walk back into the room where Eric Bischoff, Sullivan and the NWO guys were all talking about what a great job they'd done.

So Jerry Sags, in the shootiest room of shooty shooters that’s ever graced our television screens, is given the scapegoat treatment because he bent over and talked with his ass? He was wearing his pants for god sakes, it’s not like his brown eye made its WCW debut (tonight on Prime, Brown Eye takes on Braun the Leprechaun – does he have the stomach to try and eat it?).

I have absolutely no use for the Nastys (I’m sure you’re SHOCKED to read this, I know I try very hard to play it straight and never share my feelings) – but this is just petty. Was Bischoff mad because the ratings dropped and could blame it on Sags, or more likely, was he mad that somebody made Bischoff look bad … unapproved.

WCW in all its glory never ever ceases to focus on all the wrong things while ignoring the bigger picture. Like, for example, that the entire nWo thing is becoming a little overdone? That maybe it’s time for a hint of some comeuppance? That maybe WCW should stop being booked like buffoons? And maybe, just maybe, it’s high time to edit Johnny B Badd out of the Prime opening credits? (Or Hulk Hogan for that matter who has appeared on this show exactly as often as he appeared on RAW in 1996)

Well thank the lord, MIKE TENAY has replaced Chris Cruise, but DUSTY RHODES continues to loom large.

JOHN TENTA vs. KONAN

Tenta enters to “Not Evenflow”, later used by Chris Jericho. Konan has once again been stripped of an “N”, but based on his entrance music this was taped before he joined the Dungeon of Doom, but after he started wearing flannel, so … a month ago? Tenay talks about Konan like he’s a blooming flower, cuz he can’t stop talking ‘bout his ROOTS. Tenta goes through his usual, hitting a hurricanrana off the bell, but misses the 450 splash. Konan comes back with the Space Flying Tiger Drop, which Tenta sells by flying backwards into the crowd. He leaps the guardrail with lightning speed, and gives Konan something to think about with the spear and jackhammer combo. Okay, I made all that up, Tenta misses a crappy splash and Konan wins with a senton at 3:09. 1/2*

THE RENEGADE vs. THE GAMBLER

I’m thoroughly confused, there’s a vortex of suck and amazing in the same ring, and I truly don’t know what the heck is going to happen. Gambler isn’t dressed as suave as he was the last time we saw him, but he does have his oversized card deck, which he smartly uses as a weapon. The fans boo him because they are all going to hell. Renegade uses all his moves, like punches, and … well, that’s about it. Gambler tries to break the Gambler’s shoulder, but he’s far too smart for that and goes to the ropes. He shakes it off as best he can, while the referee insists Renegade stay in the ring. Gambler calls for time out, but it’s a trick! Eyerake for YOU! That gives him a solid advantage for no less than 2 and a half seconds before Gambler finds himself trapped in an armbar. Tenay trips over his words by saying Renegade continues to “apply pleasure” to the Gambler’s shoulder. He might want to consider opening a rub n tug, and stay off my TV. Gambler shoots a back elbow for 1, so he tries a choke instead. We move to a rear chinlock, in what seems to be the slowest moving match of all time. I won’t even acknowledge the audience screaming for Renegade with the ferocity of 1000 constipated bowels. Renegade finally hits the handspring back elbow and finishes with a bulldog at, and I wish I was making this up, 7:26. Renegade declares he’s back and better than ever. I agree, this might be his highest rated match ever. -**

VK WALLSTREET vs. JOHNNY BOONE

NICK PATRICK is your referee, and Johnny Boone is a future referee, so don’t rule out shenanigans, even if this was taped at some point in late 1989, as evidenced by Patrick’s lack of moustache. Wallstreet hits a butterfly suplex, and locks Boone in an abdominal stretch, cheating like he’s Ric Flair (which he’s not). Stock Market Crash finishes at 2:51. Match of the night so far! *

THE FACES OF FEAR (with Jimmy Hart) vs. CHRIS BENOIT and ARN ANDERSON (in the Prime Cut Moo Match of the Week)

If you don’t know who I’m rooting for here, then this is the first of my recaps you’ve ever read. Arn rakes the Barbarian’s eyes, but he doesn’t even feel it and powerslams Arn. Benoit runs in to save, and he just eats a clothesline, while Barbarian bounces around like he’s a young Brock Lesnar. Benoit and Meng pair off now, and trade blows. Benoit throws some of the hardest chops of his life, which just make Meng madder and madder. He plans Benoit with a dropkick, but misses a leaping headbutt allowing Benoit to hit a German suplex. The Horsemen double team with stomps, so Meng just starts karate chopping Arn in the head to make it stop. Benoit throws more chops, but now Meng has his own, and that doesn’t go well for our Canadian friend. Twin headbutts from the Fear brings Barbarian back in. He goes for snakeyes, but Benoit slides off the back and now they double stomp Barbarian. Barbarian isn’t Meng, so he sells, just a little. Benoit hits a cannonball, while Arn works on Barbarian’s inner thigh. Of course, as soon as he picks Barbarian up, he takes a suplex, and here comes Meng again. He pounds the ever loving shit out of Arn, who rolls to the floor and brings Meng’s leg with him. He wraps it around the post, but before he can follow up an irate Barbarian is already chasing him off. Benoit comes in to follow up, but quoting Dusty, “Meng just wants to beat the snot out of him!” Tag to Barbarian who hits the pumphandle slam, and Arn has to save at 2. Thrust kick connects, and Barbarian puts on a chinlock. It doesn’t last long before Benoit fights loose and hits an overhead belly to belly. Barbarian is up first anyway, and tags Meng. Meng hits an awesome spike piledriver, and as Barbarian hits a powerslam, both guys go up for the double swandive. It hits, but Arn saves from the pin. Meng’s had enough of that, and attacks, but Arn knocks him to the floor! Benoit hits Barbarian with a German suplex and heads up, but Meng’s already back up and crotches Chris! Barbarian hits an overhead superplex, but he walks right into Arn’s DDT. He drapes Benoit on top, holds off Meng, and the stupid Horsemen win the stupid match at 9:23. Stupid, stupid, frickin’ awesome match. ****

Back to the studio, where Tenay reminds us that Randy Savage has a title shot at Halloween Havoc. Dusty says he’s been a part of a lot of marquee matches, but the biggest matches in history have had Hogan or Savage either together, or against each other. It’s the biggest matchup in the last 5 years, if you wheel. And that’s a wrap.


You know, that match deserved a lot more press than the asshole of Jerry Sags. Those Faces of Fear are pretty damn good.