Sunday, February 24, 2013

WCW Saturday Night: February 24, 1996



You know the feeling that lingers in the back of your throat while a slight headache comes quietly knocking, knocking, knocking, as if to whisper “psst, tomorrow’s gonna REALLY suck, cuz there’s a COLD that’s gonna be breaking down your immune system”. That’s me now, and if gut instinct is right, Nitro’s gonna be done by a seriously grumpy recapper. Bias beware!

Clad head to toe in red leather, DUSTY RHODES is with a well groomed TONY SCHIAVONE. The tag-team champions defend against the Public Enemy, and we’re all about ... Steve Grissom? Priorities!

“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND is with a very happy JOHNNY B BADD and KIMBERLY. DDP is the last thing on his mind; as he’s concerned about Chris Benoit who he’ll be defending his TV title again. Kim is feeling bad for the position DDP is in. Johnny gets a little peeved about that; but Kim says she’s moved on from the hurt, and is worried about him. Johnny snaps and tells Kimberly to “zip it”.

JOHNNY B BADD (with Frisbees, Badd Blaster, and Kimberly) vs. CHRIS BENOIT (for the WCW World Television Title)

While WCW had no insight into Mero’s plans; easy revisionist history says you change the TV Title here and give the Horsemen another piece of gold, but it seems clear they were headed towards turning Johnny into an abusive jerk, while DDP changes his ways and wins his girl and money back en route to defeating Ric Flair at Spring Stampede 1999 and becoming the oldest World Heavyweight Champion in history at age 91. Benoit trash talks Johnny after a hot shot, and turns to Kimberly asking her if she wants a real man. Benoit puts on a standing surfboard, which Tony calls “a rack!” but Johnny won’t tap and rolls through for 2. Flying jalapeno from Benoit gets 2. Kimberly expresses concern, and that’s even before he gets dropped with a spinebuster and a beautiful Liontamer. Even Rhodes recognizes it as a “different kind of Boston Crab”. Johnny hits a flying headscissors takeover to regain control, and drops Chris with a running knee. Super double axehandle sets up a top rope sunset flip – but Johnny grabs the referee by ... mistake? He is immediately DQed at 5:08, and Benoit snaps. Chris tries to kill him on the floor and needs to have the attack broken up. **

ONE MAN GANG vs. PEZ WHATLEY

I’ve grabbed a cup of Lemon Zinger tea from our good friends a Celestial during the break, though I doubt One Man Gang is in any position to make me feel any better. Much to my dismay, he is given WAY too much time to beat up on the portly Pistol Pez, with the lone highlight being a heavily mic’ed corner catching Gang screaming “I’LL RIP YOUR EYEBALL OUT!” That turns out to be a lie, but a 747 Splash is good enough, at 3:13. 1/2*

SCOTT ARMSTRONG vs. KONAN (for the WCW United States Title)

Well, the title really can’t sink much lower, they may as well move the title to Scott Armstrong and get it over with. How have we gone from Sting, to this, in like 3 months? I actually find this more offensive than some of the games of today where the titles are blatantly acknowledged as props (WWE Title aside) – because at this stage in WCW history, the United States title was always the Close but Not Quite There second banana to the World Heavyweight Title. If you held this belt, you were on your way, and almost guaranteed superstardom, unless of course you bore a relation to Rutherford PS Hayes. In short; up yours Konnan. This match goes on and on with Konnan showing off his “wide array of holds”, which is akin to saying things like going on about Virgil’s “great moveset”. Konnan ends this with a roll up out of the corner with a bridge at 4:26. DUD

DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. SGT. CRAIG PITTMAN (with Teddy Long)

WCW at its finest! Jobbers who can flip between heel and face at the drop of a military hat. DDP starts in with the fans, screaming “EAT A SALAD YOU FAT PIG!” Now that’s no way to address someone with a weight problem ... unless it’s happening inside of DDP’s Yoga Studio with Jake Roberts and Scott Hall, in which case I DEMAND it be televised. Actually, regardless, why isn’t that on my TV today? That show would immediately be set to “Save Until I Delete” status. As it stands, my PVR has been relegated to old Inspector Gadget reruns, I need some modern entertainment. I can’t be bothered with Pittman after the marathon match he had with Sting last week; so let’s just cue up to the end, where both men are counted out 6:04 after a boring brawl on the floor. Can DDP sink any lower, now unable to beat freakin’ Pittman? DUD

STING and LEX LUGER are meeting briefly with “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND, who wants to know what’s going on between the guys psychologically. Lex says Sting is the captain of the team, and they’ll make sure every team gets a tag-team shot. Sting says making him a captain isn’t getting him out of hot water. He wants Luger to understand he has problems, to stop bouncing his pecs around, and to focus on wrestling. Luger’s all fired up tonight and peppy, Sting’s feeling good, let’s see what happens.

THE PUBLIC ENEMY vs. STING and LEX LUGER (for the WCW World Tag-Team Titles)

I don’t see these two teams gelling very well for some reason. Sting starts by slamming Rock’s head into the buckle about 50 times in a row. I don’t mind that strategy against most teams, but against these meatheads? Forget it. Luger powerslams Grunge and calls for the Rack, but Rocco stops that fast. TPE take over with your standard double team nonsense, with lots of cutting off the ring and quick tags. I like these tactics from teams that have a clue; Public Enemy does not. After some basic stuff, Sting gets the hot tag, and Rocco eats knuckle. Double noggin knocker; and a melee erupts. Luger is sent packing, but Sting is able to take out both members of TPE with clotheslines. Luger drops Rock with an elbow, and Sting gets the pin at 6:59. *

Deep in the asylum, HULK HOGAN and RANDY SAVAGE are present to discuss our new booty situation. Hogan says he’s gone down in a blaze of glory in recent history (errr, sure!) – but he’ll win the war of wars. Hogan tells us what is up with the Zodiac; apparently he volunteered to step into the Dungeon of Doom’s lair as a double agent. He was tortured at the hands of Kevin Sullivan, all in the name of ... well, he doesn’t explain what the hell the end goal of this was. Then THE BOOTY MAN arrives on scene, coked out of his skull, running back and forth.

THE ROAD WARRIORS vs. THE GAMBLER and BUTCH LONG

Thank god, finally a match worthy of WCW Saturday Night. Gambler throws his DECK OF CARDS in the face of Animal! YEAH BABY! It’s no sold, because Animal is an ass. Hawk kills Gambler with a shoulderblock, and a chop they heard all the way in Chattanooga. Doomsday Device finishes at 1:01. FFS. DUD

An unseen LEE MARSHALL making what I believe is his WCW debut catches up to DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE. He asks DDP how he feels he’s on a roll since he’s lost everything. Page says he doesn’t care about the cheese whiz sucking trailer trash, or the Diamond Doll who is trash. Then he threatens to rip Lee Marshall’s arm off, and says he’s jumping in his Benz and driving home. But wait ... it’s being repossessed! Is this a sign another WWF cast-off is on his way in?

ICE TRAIN vs. SCOTT NORTON

This aired on WCW Pro early this morning, and has already warranted a rematch because it was such an allegedly great power match. I’m sure the fans are hanging from the rafters, and this could be a main event anywhere in the country. They trade avalanche splashes, which sends Dusty Rhodes into a frenzy about this “explosion”. Test of strength is won by Norton, but Train gets back up with a clothesline. Train slams Norton, but Norton side steps a blind charge and hits a backdrop suplex. Norton applies a neck vise, and Train’s got some loose joints cuz his head turns a near 45 degree angle. Train fights out of a rear chinlock, but is taken back down with a shoulderblock. Train hulks up, and slams Norton with ease. A splash flattens Norton, and Train applies a toe hold. Norton escapes, and a double clothesline takes both guys out. Neither guy can beat the count, and another draw is issued at 6:51. Shocking good. **1/2

“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND catches up with Norton, and he wants to form a tag-team. He feels they’ll steam roll the tag-team ranks, and go right to the top. Gene says if the team is in fact formed, he wants a phone call at his personal number so he can break the story.

MARCUS BAGWELL vs. LOCH NESS (with Jimmy Hart)

This impending squash couldn’t be happening to a more deserving guy. Bagwell punches and kicks, which goes nowhere. Bagwell is dropped with a lazy spinebuster, and an elbow finishes at 1:33. DUD

Naturally, “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND is not far, and grabs a quick word with Hart and Nessy. Hart promises that this latest surprise is the best ever; and when Gene tries to look him face to face, Ness gives him a nasty look and Gene cowers. Ness is asked to comment on Hulk Hogan. He says, and I quote: “namnamnahsdfoisdpfospdlfsdfmihsewuethwoigjagonosnonon!” Hart: “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!”

Our passive aggressive video du jour shows Sting beating the ever loving snot out of Jake Roberts; who co-incidentally returned to the WWF just weeks earlier!

Our main event interview sees Gene busy with RIC FLAIR, ARN ANDERSON, and KEVIN SULLIVAN. Gene references the recent return of “Brother Bootay” which cracks me right up. Anderson admits his chest is swollen, but says Beefcake is still a loser, and he knew all along he couldn’t be trusted. Sullivan dons a Four Horseman t-shirt; reminds us that he chased Pillman out of town, and says that he matches up with these guys, No Name does not. Flair can’t wait to unload on Hogan, Savage, and the Butcher with his friends – and Gene wraps things up as everyone dances! Goodnight, see you for Nitro!

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