Because last week was Joined In Progress, I didn’t get a chance to re-live the absolutely ridiculous Saturday Night opening. Where deep inside the bowels of some terrorist-backed factory, there are Cyborgs being created to look like human wrestlers. Perfectly chiselled creatures on a mission to ... compete on Saturday Night, I guess? Whoever thought through this Cyborg plot didn’t really seem to have an end game. I’m guessing the factory was eventually turned into the place where they manufactured Karate Fighters, once the “Lex Luger” Cyborg was determined to be defective. Unless they were responsible for the guys we knew as Saturday Night Jobbers – which isn’t brag-worthy because those guys won about as many fights as the Putty Patrol on Power Rangers. Yes Bobby Blaze, I am looking squarely at YOU.
Your hosts are TONY SCHIAVONE and DUSTY RHODES.
STEVE ARMSTRONG vs. ALEX WRIGHT
These guys were bound to meet sooner or later; I think it’s time to settle once and for all who is the better man wearing a jacket without a shirt. Wright hits an early overhead suplex with a bridge for 2, and follows with a backslide for the same. Armstrong is dumped to the outside, and uses that time to consider all his options. He opts for the American way over truth or justice, and winds up right back in a headlock. Armstrong fights back, as a shoulderbreaker knocks Wright to the mat, and a reverse suplex into a half brainbuster have him completely out to lunch. Tony has a major announcement; we have another Armstrong in the next match. Armstrong goes for a slam, but a small package from Wright gets the pin at 6:55. *1/2
SCOTT ARMSTRONG vs. EDDIE GUERRERO
Armstrong is rocking the mullet that we all wish he was rocking today. Eddie bars the knee, but Armstrong reverses into a surfboard. Dusty: “Is there some name for this move? A Russian crab? A New England clam chowder?” Eddie escapes, but gets backdropped for 2. Going completely off the deep end, Dusty starts listing the comparisons between the legendary Guerrero family, and the legendary Armstrong family. I imagine I’ll be proven wrong if The Road Dogg winds up beating CM Punk for the WWE Title at some time in the coming months, but I won’t be holding my breath. Eddie applies a legbar, but Armstrong kicks him off and headbutts Eddie in the kidneys. A backbreaker gets 2, and Eddie is really selling the back now. Armstrong continues to work it over with kicks and stomps. After a failed pin attempt, Eddie hits a brainbuster that sets up the Frog Splash at 7:06. **
KEVIN SULLIVAN (with Jimmy Hart) vs. BUTCH LONG
They didn’t post Butch’s name, so I’m going based on what I heard. You may recall on Nitro last week, that Sullivan was scrapping with the Horsemen. It was around this point where WCW had grown tired of the 89 year old Sullivan consuming 80% of their programming schedule, and informed their booker that he was going to feud with Chris Benoit, put him over hotter than the sun, and as soon as that program was over, he was to retire. Well – never ever doubt the power of a crafty old veteran, because Sullivan adhered to that rule, by booking his feud with Benoit to last well into the summer of 1997. Now, in his defense, there MAY have been some other angle that was consuming the bulk of Eric Bischoff’s time that allowed him to completely forget that Sullivan should have been in retirement about 15 months sooner, but we’ll get to that. Meanwhile, this boring match ends with the Double Stomp Of Gastric Discomfort for a Sullivan win at 1:14. DUD
Gene continues to take shots at the impending WWF geriatrics; by saying a 55 year old and 48 year old have been signed to compete at the Royal Rumble. One of them has to have been Dory Funk Jr, and I’ll assume the other is Mr. Bob Backlund. This of course totally ignores the fact Ric Flair was right around that age himself and feuding with a mid 40’s Hulk Hogan for the belt, but hypocrisy has always been a wrestling staple.
MEN AT WORK vs. AMERICAN MALES
The entrances feel like some sort of primordial mating dance, with Mark Starr rubbing his hammer in the direction of the Males, while Kanyon takes a more conservative approach showing off nothing more than his tool belt. Kanyon mounts Bagwell off the start, but Bagwell reverses and takes over the top until Kanyon reaches the ropes and accuses Bagwell of pulling his hair. Bagwell denies it, and then donkey punches him. A foursome erupts – with the Males standing tall. Bagwell pulls Starr’s arm between his legs and handlepumps him with some gusto. Starr tries to stir something up, but Bagwell sits on Starr’s head in the corner, leading to a monkey flip. Bagwell fires his best shot to Starr’s chin, but only gets 2. Riggs wants his turn, and nails a weak Money Shot across the chest and belly of Starr. Riggs could have done more with that, but he didn’t hit the ropes properly before executing; his Money Shot was a 2 roper at best. Unfortunately, Riggs seemed to use all his energy in that move, and in shooting his load early, he allows Starr to tag out to Kanyon, who starts jerking on any part of Riggs he can get his hands on. Kanyon works over Riggs from behind, but Riggs makes him stop by beating him off. Kanyon drags Riggs by the ankles, but Riggs finds a second wind, stiffens up and blasts Kanyon in the corner. Both teams send in fresh bodies, and Bagwell heads up for a hard blow to Starr which finishes the job at 11:39. I need a cigarette. **1/2
RANDY SAVAGE and HULK HOGAN are standing by with “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND. Hogan says every time he gets chokeslammed by the Giant, Savage gets angrier – and feels that after tonight, Savage is going to be the new WCW Champion. Then more hyping of the “Secret Weapon” forthcoming at Clash of Champions for the big stinky wart infested Giant. For sheer comedy, I hope it’s a difficult to conceal torpedo.
We get a really long recap of One Man Gang winning the US Title from Kensuke Sasaki. I could do without.
VK WALLSTREET vs. MR JL
Mr. JL guarantees I’ll be getting a full page of discussion, so this is a positive. Why hasn’t the Wallstreet character been resurrected in light of the current state of America? Certainly we can turn Teddy DiBiase into “The One Percent”? We haven’t had anyone named “The” since The Rock changed his name to Dwayne. If you think I’m rambling because I am doing my best to ignore a well past his prime Mike Rotundo, then you’re on to me. JL tries to get a shock win with a small package a couple of minutes into his extended squash, and that’s about all the offense he’ll see. JL stupidly goes for an Oklahoma Roll which is turned immediately into the Stock Market Crash for the pin at 5:27. 1/2*
THE GIANT, “JUMPIN’” JIMMY HART, RIC FLAIR, and “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND walk into a bar ... Seriously though, Hart can’t stop moving – I’m thinking he’s on his 26th cup of coffee. Two high comedy points; Gene interviews the Giant by arching his neck 45 degrees straight up to see him, and stretching his arms way up in the air. Secondly, someone knocks on the door halfway through the promo, and they don’t bother re-taping it. WCW! The rest is the usual purple faced veins popping heart attack inducing fun with Flair.
MIKE DITKA joins us in part 2 of the Mongo McMichael snoozefest. Chicago Bears, 1985, blah blah blah. This was much better when it featured Chris Farley and George Wendt.
MENG (with Hugh Morrus) vs. DUSTY WOLFE
Wolfe is sporting the ever stylish sea-green singlet, which shows off his perfectly toned manboobs and Taco Bell quality gut. Meng beats the hell out of Wolfe, which is the FUNNIEST thing Hugh Morrus has ever seen. Meng hits a pair of backbreakers, but Wolfe gets the ropes to save himself. Morrus hits the big bear clap to set up a shoulderbreaker and the spike for the win at 1:58. DUD
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND gets a moment with the recently engaged COLONEL ROBERT PARKER and SISTA SHERRI, who will be wed at the Clash of Champions. The pair share a private moment which makes Gene uncomfortable. I think it goes without saying that this pairing will undoubtedly lead to a best of 137 series between the Nasty Boys and Harlem Heat.
RIC FLAIR (with Jimmy Hart and The Giant) vs. RANDY SAVAGE (with Hulk Hogan) (for the WCW World Heavyweight Title)
Champ enters first, because The Mothership has lost its way. THE ZODIAK immediately makes an appearance to hold The Giant back from the impending chaos. Something stinks about Brutus Beefcake telling anyone to stay away from Hogan – but Giant is stupid enough to listen. Flair and Savage lock up, and Flair goes straight to the mat. Tony reminds us this feud goes back to last year’s Slamboree where Flair attacked Angelo Poffo, which is pretty good memory considering who we’re talking about. Flair rakes the eyes, but Savage no-sells and gets a backslide for 2. Flair gets in the referee’s face, and winds up shoved to the mat and Savage gets another 2. Flair tries to mount any kind of offense, but gets backdropped and heads to the floor. Never one to avoid a brawl, Savage is hot on his heels, so Flair retreats to the ring for safety. Flair busts out the chops, but Savage wins that battle with the meathooks, and gets 2. Flair finally gets a shot in with the Nolan Ryan punch, and drops a knee which sends Savage rolling to the outside. Jimmy Hart gets in a couple of free shots while the referee is distracted. Flair works over Savage on the guardrail, so Savage grabs a fan’s CANE in rage. The referee is quick to take that away, allowing Flair to hit a backdrop suplex for 2. Flair goes to the standing vertical suplex this time, and gets another close 2 count. Flair senses the end is near, and starts softening up Savage’s knee. Figure Four is applied centre of the ring – and Savage has nowhere to go. With the ref checking in on Savage for a tap, Flair cheats like hell with the ropes. Savage sits up, so Flair starts bitch slapping him – which is a BIG mistake. Savage reverses the figure four to escape and nails Flair with a hot shot. Flair heads to the top, but he’s caught and slammed. Savage hits a series of clotheslines, and heads up to finish. The Big Elbow hits – but Jimmy Hart distracts the referee drawing in Hogan. While the referee gets rid of him, ARN ANDERSON runs in to hit Savage with brass knucks and that scores Flair’s win at 9:10. ***
Hogan grabs the brass knuckles which chases off Flair. Hogan tells the referee what happened, and the referee actually listens and changes the decision in this match to a win for Savage by DQ – which is nonsense! When the hell did Hogan become god’s authority for all things WCW? TONY SCHIAVONE grabs Savage and Hogan quickly for a word. Hogan cries and whines that Savage should be champion right now, and vows to tear the Dungeon of Doom apart, starting on Nitro with Meng, while calling Tony by the name “Shavonte”. Savage threatens to show off the “Secret Weapon”, but Hogan begs him to keep it under wraps until Clash of Champions. Good sell for the Clash, and kudos to our man Shavonte for being there to capture it.