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  1. Show #37 - 27th May 1996 "The one where you know who I am, and actually, you also know why I'm here" We're here for two hours now, and we open with Tony Schiavone and Larry Zbyszko at ringside for hour one instead of at the desk with the typical group of commentators. Z talks like a right-wing radio host who is trying out as many words as he can from his pocket dictionary. I think, maybe, this could be charming to someone. I don't think it is to me. Let's mark our first two-hour show with AMERICAN MALES AMERICAN MALES AMERICAN MALES AMERICAN MALES. They are dorks. They're looking to defeat Ric Flair and Arn Anderson, who are accompanied by Woman and Elizabeth as per usual. Schiavone shills the upcoming GAB. Riggs starts out okay, but he goes to the floor, and that's no place for him against the Horsemen. Riggs gets a beating outside, inside, and then outside again before Bagwell comes over to save him. They end up clearing the ring of the heels after a four-man brawl. Bagwell's back is oddly unhurt from carrying this team. Flair wants a drink and heads to his ringside banquet table, but Woman gets him to put the bottle down and to re-focus. The crowd is strangely bored by all of this. I think it's alright TV wrestling! We go to break, and when we come back, Bagwell puts in work on both his opponents to get out of their corner. Then, he makes a huge mistake - he tags in Scotty Riggs. You know what happens: About ten seconds in, Flair and Arn pull the okeydoke on Riggs and take out his leg. They beat his ass, Riggs eventually gets a hot tag, Flair and the ref have a shoving match, roughly in that order. Bagwell almost gets three off a nice-ass missile dropkick, it was really sweet, man. Bagwell hits a sweet fisherman suplex with a bridge, but Riggs preoccupies the ref like an idiot and he only gets a visual three. He gets another pin attempt broken up by Woman's eye rake, and Arn hits Bagwell with a DDT behind the ref's back as, again, Riggs preoccupies him. Flair covers for a three he really had to work for, at least until Riggs got involved. It's a slow burn to the AMERICAN MALES AMERICAN MALES etc. etc. exploding. Arn and Flair talk to Gene Okerlund at the banquet table. Arn thinks Mongo is a wuss for using pads. Flair yells a lot, quotes the song "Afternoon Delight," and generally acts like he's lost it. He also reminds Randy Savage that Savage's ex-wife is bankrolling his lifestyle with the alimony. Well, it's bad, but at least Liz didn't buy a boat and name it Alimoney. There's taking an L, and then there's being so caught up that you openly empathize with OJ Simpson. We get a very '90s video of Mongo and Kevin Greene in the gym. It is surprisingly only somewhat homoerotic. Ah well, Mongo, the more comfortable you get as a pro wrestler, the better you'll get at making a homoerotic workout video to show on your weekly pro wrestling program. Hey, they steal Hogan's catchphrase! That's a reversal from, oh, the past few months. Steve Doll makes his way to the ring to face The Mauler Mike Enos, accompanied by Colonel Rob Parker. Well, this is going to be a historically important match, and not because it's Enos's debut in WCW. Some stuff happens. Enos hits a nice belly-to-belly. Thing is, I'm waiting for the inevitable run-in. Walk-in? Saunter-in? Yeah, that last one. Enos hits a second-rope fallaway slam because he's really into foreshadowing. We get a commercial break. C'mon, no need to draw it out. We come back and Scott Hall immediately saunters on down from the crowd. He requests a microphone and Enos, who was beating Steve Doll's ass again, looks over in confusion. Col. Parker decides to just lead him on out, which is a solid move as long as Enos gets paid the winner's purse. Hall cuts a promo on Billionaire Ted, Scheme Gene, and the Nacho Man (but not the Huckster, hmmmmm). He'll be back in hour two to talk to weatherman wannabe and Ken doll-lookalike Eric Bischoff re: a challenge and also a war. A wrasslin' war! The best type of war, IMO. It's Sgt. Craig Pittman! Aw, he's probably gonna job. Teddy Long leads him down. Well, at least he's jobbing to DDP! That guy is awesome for being such a scumbag. Seriously, I'm excited for this match-up. Page tries to kick Pittman while Pittman's doing a pushup, but the Pitbull moves and DDP whiffs on the kick as comically as possible. He went full Looney Tunes on that bump. He gets control with an eye poke, but he tries to headbutt a) a black man and b) a Marine, which by the laws of pro wrestling means that DDP is the one to take a bump through the ropes after seeing tiny tweeting birds circling his head. Page gets control with a neck snap, but soon, Pittman gets the Code Red locked on...the wrong way. Long leans over the apron to remind Pittman how to put on his own move that he has somehow forgotten how to do and DDP grabs him. This distracts Pittman, who gets hit with a Diamond Cutter as soon as he tries to check on Long. Well, that was underwhelming in terms of being a competitive wrestling match, but DDP really turned on the goofball scumbag energy! It's too bad that Pittman is randomly an idiot now, though. Video package about how crazy Randy Savage is. Flair has been just as, if not more, insane, so I'm not sure that Savage is the one who should be suspended from live events. The Canadian Shark is yelling a lot. Sullivan kicked him out of the Dungeon, because Sullivan got a bigger dude to replace him, and he's mad. He's going to take The Giant (French: LE GEANT~) down and take the world title back to Surrey, where he will display it for his fawning Canadian fans at the local Cora during a long, large victory breakfast. Well, I think he at least intimated some of that. Video package of Hulk Hogan hanging out with George Foreman, Shaq, Dennis Rodman, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Kevin Greene. He's still cool! And relevant! He's not old and shitty! He certainly doesn't need a heel turn to freshen up! Bisch welcomes us to hour number two alongside Bobby Heenan. He won't dignify Scott Hall's outburst! The Shark is in the ring awaiting his WCW Championship shot against The Giant. This should be good. The Shark clubbers. It's not effective! The Shark clotheslines. It's not effective! The Giant clotheslines. It's wildly effective! The Giant gets control, but gets cocky and eats a second-rope axe-handle. Then The Shark tries to body slam The Giant. Nope. The Giant, on the other hand, has a lot of success with a similar move. The crowd pops for it because it's awesome. Wrestling needs more four-hundred pound guys body-slamming one another and fewer 180 pound guys doing shitty, obviously-choreographed flippies. The Shark uses an eye gouge and some shoulders to the solar plexus to take control. A second-rope clothesline knocks The Giant down for a second, but Jimmy Hart offers himself up as a distraction on the apron, and The Giant uses that time to quickly recover and hit a chokeslam for three. Then Big Bubba shows up and shaves half The Shark's head because Bubba is a dick, man. Somebody tell The Giant to have a funeral for his daddy indoors when that dread day comes. I think there's a better match in these two, but the body slam spot was sweet. Bisch is still heated about Hall insulting him. I guess he's going to dignify Scott Hall's outburst later tonight! Maxx is facing Lex Luger for the TV Title. Who the fuck is Maxx? Google tells me he's a Power Plant dude with an unremarkable career who passed three years ago. How the fuck are guys like The Shark and Maxx getting title shots, seriously? I'm not asking for a rankings system, but I would like some logic to these title opponents. Maxx is bigger than Luger, so Luger struggles to match power. Maxx is clearly limited, so Luger does some nifty pro wrestler acting to get the crowd invested. He's slow to engage, generally looks unsure of himself, and gets the crowd to chant for him and give him some spirit. I think we need to re-assess Lex Luger as a wrestler. I think he's really good and generally underrated. Maxx chokes and clubbers while Bisch tells security to keep Hall away from the desk until the end of the show. Maxx does every simple move he can think of from his Power Plant classes. It's not very compelling. Luger's trying to help the guy by eating all his offense and struggling from underneath, which is nice. Luger finally hits the loaded forearm, which Eric notes beat Yokozuna again, but which he fails to note was a victory by DQ. Meanwhile, Luger hits a powerslam and gets Maxx up for the Torture Rack after a bit of jostling. He wins, the crowd is genuinely happy, and this was just a vet leading a green dude through a ten-minute TV match, nothing more or less. Okerlund comes to the ring to interview Luger, who's got a title shot against The Giant at GAB. We see the table chokeslam from two weeks ago on Show #35, a chokeslam which was awesome as hell. Luger wants to fight all the biggest dudes WCW can find to prep for The Giant. I hope this is what leads to the awesome Roadblock Torture Rack incident. Two hours of programming, and we're being subjected to a Hardwork Bobby Walker/Brad Armstrong match. Come on, man. This is not the cruiserweight matchup we want to see. Walker tries to do stuff he's not athletic enough to do. It's sloppy. Rey Misterio Jr. is getting a shot at Dean Malenko's Cruiserweight Championship at GAB. OK, you have Misterio under contract, put him in this slot instead! This match is below average. Walker should really stop trying to do stuff he can't reliably do. Anyway, he gets three off a weak top-rope dive, and no one cares, man. Lord Steven Regal walks out with Jeeves, and yes, we've settled on Jeeves, I think. I guess they're not worried about the PG Wodehouse estate suing anymore. Alex Wright, who still isn't even fifty years old yet(!) high-fives his way down to the ring, no dancing tonight, he's ready to fight. They have a nice mat exchange with a couple of lovely Wright escapes. Regal struggles with Wright's speed, agility, and flexibility, and logically should try to turn this into a strike-fest. Wright hits a lovely dive and we go to break. Man, let it run. This was enjoyable. Modern ads for Fourth of July sales. It absolutely does not feel like July should almost be here. Anyway, we come back and Regal got control in the ring somehow, but Wright wins it back briefly before an eye-poke stops him. However, Wright is feeling himself tonight and even wins a strike-fest before Regal counters by grounding him into the mat. Wright basically keeps fighting up, and Regal has to use misdirection to regain control. It's a nice little story of match strategy here. Wright has too much energy, and Regal keeps trying to ground him down before testing him with strikes. Wright finds one more flurry of offense and gets a two-count, but his monkey-flip gets stuffed and Regal bridges for three. Good match! Okerlund comes to the ring to interview Regal. Regal insults him, Americans, The Giant, Savage, Scott Hall, and like everyone, man. Push this man, he's on fire. He challenges Sting so that he can beat him and use that win as a springboard to challenge, uh, "that bloody circus freak" in his words. I am in on Regal/Giant, btw. Scott Steiner is wrestling Sting in what Bisch swears is their first-ever singles meeting. That seems probably true. Sting hits Flair's buffet table for a few snacks on the way down. Early exchanges, Scott press-slams Sting, bust out the suplexes and Stinger Splashes, dammit. Sting gets air on a dropkick and hits a flurry of moves that culminate with a cross-body to the outside. They come back in, though, and Steiner uses a forearm and a suplex to take control. He hits a nice belly-to-belly and then comes off the top rope with an axehandle to a wobbly Sting on the outside. The crowd should care more about this. Sting wins control back with a boot to the mush for about three seconds, before he gets overhead release belly-to-belly'd. Man, Scott Steiner has all these dope belly-to-belly variations. I love it. Steiner locks in an STF, but it doesn't look like he's really sunk it in. There's some protracted mat stuff that I don't think is effective. Eventually, they get back up and Sting reverses a vertical suplex into a Slop Drop Scorpion Death Drop. One Stinger Splash lands, but Steiner dodges the second one and hits a Dragon Suplex. Then, Lex Luger shows up at ringside...and so does Rick Steiner. Meanwhile, Scott hits a second-rope Samoan Drop and signals for the Frankensteiner. Sting dodges the move and locks on the Sharpshooter Scorpion Death Lock, but Steiner gets in the ropes. They struggle over a Tombstone Piledriver, which Sting ends up hitting for 2.9. This is a pretty good finishing-run segment, but this crowd is sooooooo lame. Eventually, it goes outside where Luger interferes on the part of Sting and is attacked by Rick Steiner. The match breaks down and all four men fight one another as Nick Patrick calls for a no-contest. All the undercard babyfaces spill out of the back to separate everyone. What a nice touch! It's too bad that these guys, who are friends, are fracturing right at this moment because...here comes Scott Hall to the desk. Hall says that "we" are sick of Bisch's shit talking and challenges three of WCW's best to a match for wrestling supremacy. He tosses a toothpick and rolls out. Credits. Truly an historic Nitro! Also a mediocre one. They'll get this two-hour card scheduling thing sorted out soon enough. 3.25 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
  2. Duggan in the gorilla suit was great in Mid-South, but I don't even love his Mid-South stuff. Most of it is fine at best. His best pre-WWF match by consensus is the Super-stip match in the cage against DiBiase, and I think it's decent enough at most, and I've seen (I think) most of the TV leading up to it on top of the match itself. He's almost always bad in WWF and is usually bad in WCW, though in 1996 he's still very occasionally good for a decent TV match.
  3. Show #36 - 20th May 1996 "The one where Ric Flair just goes off, man, what a multi-tool performance from him" Slamboree was weird. Not bad weird. Just weird. I got something out of watching it, though. This is a ninety-minute show a week before we go to a full two-hour show. Mongo's not at the desk since he and that nutbar CTE case Kevin Greene are in training for a match against Ric Flair and Arn Anderson. Fire & Ice are here to toss some dudes around, hopefully. It looks like a return match against the Steiners is on deck, actually. Absolutely, let's just run this match-up back a few times. Beefy boy shoulderblocks and hip tosses between Train and Scott Steiner to start. Then we get to suplexin' on both sides. Norton hits a series of moves on Rick, but doesn't cover. The desk rightly points out the error, which is compounded by Rick tossing Norton damn near up into the lights on a belly-to-back release suplex. Suplexes are the most aesthetically pleasing wrestling move, in my opinion. I used to make CAW wrestlers on No Mercy that had different suplexes in every grapple spot, and they were so satisfying to play as. It pops off after Ice Train and Scott Norton mistime a double shoulderblock that still spills Rick outside. All four guys just end up fighting one another at ringside to a double DQ. Scott Steiner doesn't care and flips Norton on another belly-to-belly on the mats. Weak finish, and worked a bit slower than last week's match, but still fun TV. Their match last week was definitely better, though. Eddy Guerrero's out to wrestle Ric Flair's crazy ass. Woman and Liz are with him, of course. They have beef after their Battlebowl tag match the night before, in which Eddy's Battlebowl dreams were sacrificed just to fuck with Randy Savage a little bit more. Nice early exchange leads to Guerrero getting the advantage with a dropkick. Flair recognizes that Eddy has a significant speed advantage, but can't counter that by bullying him with power early on. They end up heatedly chopping and punching one another. It feels legit heated, man, and I enjoyed the prolonged exchange. Flair's got to figure out another strategy, but his strategist's mind is long gone at this point. Instead, he just tries to just chop and punch harder, and it's not working. Flair loses another round of fisticuffs and gets deposited to the ringside floor. Flair's so irate at this point that he gives up any pretense of strategy and grabs a chair from the banquet table he's got set up. Pee-Wee Anderson stops him and they do one of HHH's favorite ref spots. This is really excellent, by the way. It's not a classic match or anything, but it is achieving every goal that it's setting out. Eddy's getting chants at this point because Flair is giving him so much and making him look like a potential world-beater. Guerrero figures out that Flair is losing it and taunts him with a Fargo strut. So we've got this great story here where Flair feels legit in danger because he's lost his self-control after months of trying to match crazy-for-crazy with Savage. Flair gets control with an eye poke going into break. When we come back, Flair's enjoying his first prolonged control segment because he finally figured out that he should cheat instead of trying to out-punch Eddy. However, Eddy fires up and gets a 2.9 off a sunset flip. The desk has been putting over Eddy's prowess all match. An atomic drop to the balls upper thigh gives Flair control once again. He's visibly trying to calm himself down in a nice little touch. He's just too far gone, though, and continues to make the mistake of getting into punch-outs and chop-outs and losing them. Eddie gets 2.9s off a couple of counters into pinning predicaments. I think maybe this match is just a bit too unfocused in this segment. The crowd was pretty heated, but they've cooled off somewhat. They're now waiting for the finish, and they get hyped when it looms into view after Eddy avoids a Figure Four with a small package before applying a Figure Four of his own to Flair. Flair escapes and the match goes outside, where Eddy's knee slams into the guardrail. Flair did not work the knee at all to set up for the Figure Four, and from the perspective that he's completely on the wrong wavelength mentally, it made sense that he'd only remember to do so once Eddy went crashing knee-first into the guardrail. Eddy does get into a couple of pinning positions, but can't hold Flair down specifically because of a lack of leverage due to the knee. However, he does deposit Flair back outside with a dropkick off a burst of energy. Another sunset flip attempt gets stuffed - Flair's catching on to Eddy's attempts to catch a quick one on him. However, Eddy comes back and buries Flair with a Tornado DDT. Eddy does a contrived hurricanrana that involves an unnecessary rope run. That's sort of immersion breaking. It's also immersion breaking that he forgets which knee to sell after slamming it into the mat while hitting Flair with a frog splash. The knee is so hurt that he can't make the cover, and Flair takes advantage to finally get Eddy in the Figure Four. Even then, Eddy tries to block it and then turn it over, but Woman gives Flair the leverage to force Eddie back, and Eddie's shoulders stay down for three. Ric Flair clearly was interested in getting Eddy over, and I have to give my hat off to him because he worked nearly a perfect match to do so. This was a staggeringly good performance in multiple ways: 1) he wrestled like a guy who was off his game because of the Savage feud, 2) he worked his typical shtick into the match in a logical way that fit what he was trying to do, and 3) he really gave Eddy as much as he possibly could. I give Flair a lot of shit as a worker, and I think it's generally warranted, but I gotta give him his metaphorical flowers for that match. Eddy was great too, but Flair really killed it with his performance. It was a wonderful match that is worth seeking out. Flair stops by the banquet table to grab champagne, a few glasses, and a bit of interview time with Gene Okerlund. He talks shit about Savage, McMichael, and Greene. We find out that Flair isn't going far; he sets up some food and candles in Mongo's old spot at the desk. Apparently, he's going to do a bit of commentary. Heenan pours himself a drink and Flair asks about how his hair looks on camera while the Faces of Fear come down to the ring. Flair cuts in on a discussion about Sting to ask where their waiter is. He's in fine form tonight. Sting and Luger come to the ring as FoF's opponents in what is a tag title match. Flair makes a Debbie Does Dallas reference as a double-entendre about Debra McMichael and then puts over Sting in the same breath. I mean, this dude is really putting in work all across this show. He also notes that Liz finds Luger to be cute, and says it doesn't bother him when Bischoff asks about it. Surreptitiously dish that backstage newz, Flair! Flair is killing it on commentary, and I can't keep up with all of it. Anyway, FoF dominate Luger early, and Sting tags in as we go to break. When we come back, Sting is also getting worked, though he powers out of a FoF attack and tries to turn the tide before missing a dropkick. Flair references the Four Horseman hand signal to talk about vaginas. Bisch seems genuinely somewhat nervous about what Flair might say or do. Barbarian dominates Sting while Flair puts them both over. Barb hits a top-rope belly-to-belly on Sting, like straight launches that dude, but it's only worth a two-count. FoF hit a double-top-rope headbutt on Sting, but Luger distracts the ref, and FoF only get a visual pinfall. Sting fires up and tries to get a tag, but can't get past Meng the first time around. He does get a hot tag after a missed headbutt, though. Luger comes in, calls a few clotheslines and forearms, and AUGHs his way out of the ring when Meng breaks up a pinfall attempt and kicks him to ringside. However, Luger frees himself from Meng in time to help Sting avoid another top-rope belly-to-belly. Barb hits the ring, Sting follows up with a top rope splash, and Luger covers for three. This whole thing was an experience. It was quality TV. Speaking of, Flair is in a conniption because Randy Savage is outside the arena. We cut to Savage outside with Gene Okerlund. Okerlund tells Savage that WCW officials are meeting to discuss how craaaaaaazy Savage is and what to do about it. Savage is super paranoid about the meeting and about Gene himself ("Are you settin' me up?"). Savage can't get in the building. A previously nervous Flair is much less nervous once he sees that Savage can't get in, so much less nervous in fact that he's cackling joyously. DDP, the reigning Lord of the Ring and Battlebowl champ, will face off with Brad Armstrong. Flair puts over DDP's style. Of course. Heenan tries to help Flair plot to steal Kevin Greene's wife, and therefore Kevin Greene's Panthers signing bonus. I mean, there's a lot of true scumbag energy between Heenan and Flair at the desk. In the ring, Armstrong's early burst of energy is snuffed by DDP going into the break. We come back and DDP snuffs out a couple of Armstrong comeback attempts. Armstrong's third comeback attempt works out better. Flair takes some time to put him over, too. Geez, man. Flair is better at this than actual commentators who do this shit for a living. Unfortunately for Armstrong, DDP hits the Diamond Cutter out of nearly nowhere for three. Okerlund comes down to interview DDP, who puts himself over in an extremely corny and endearing way, as is DDP's way. He gives himself another self high-five and threatens The Giant (remember, he also got a title shot guaranteed to him at a future PPV for winning). Okerlund says that the committee has seen the video from last night, in which DDP definitely had a foot or two on the floor at one point before he won. The committee won't reverse the ref's decision, but it will strip him of his title shot, and he grabs Gene by the lapels. Gene calls for SECURITYYYYYYYY as DDP throws a tantrum. I did not remember this happening; I just thought they'd forgotten about DDP's title shot in true WCW style. I mean, look, if you're not reversing the ref's decision, DDP should get his shot as a stip of winning the tournament. This is a cheat. The main event pits Arn Anderson against The Giant (French: LE GEANT~) for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, which is the lead-in to the SuperSonics beating Utah's asses. Flair cheers for Karl Malone. That ain't it, Flair. You were doing so well, too. Arn comes down alongside Kevin Sullivan while Flair prematurely celebrates Arn's victory. Bisch calls Sullivan a homewrecker in the Dungeon's house, much like Liz is a homewrecker. Flair's answer is perfect: "Haha, what are you talking about, Liz looks nothing like Sullivan." What an interpretation of that comment. Jimmy Hart, who has come down with The Giant, asks Sullivan why he's seconding Arn. Sullivan responds that he's supporting Arn and making sure he gets a fair shot because Arn supported him through the Pillman issue and now, during the Benoit issue that was the Pillman issue before Pillman left and Sullivan didn't skip a beat with running that "beefing with one of the lesser Four Horseman" angle he was running. The match starts. Arn's offense is ineffective. Arn's defense is insufficient. I feel like I, and everyone in this crowd, is just waiting for what seems like inevitable fuckery. Arn does briefly gain control by attacking The Giant's testes, which is like the only way to actually get control against this dude. Arn's DDT attempt gets turned into a chokeslam for three, and as soon as the ref's hand hits the mat the third time, Flair leaves the booth. But...nothing happens? Bisch lampshades that fact, knowing that we expected something to happen. All that does happen is that Heenan steals the rest of the champagne and a few candelabras before leaving to join Ric Flair at the aftershow party the Horsemen are having. This wasn't a perfect Nitro, but it was pretty great, and that's largely because of the work Ric Flair put in. Hell of a performance all around on his part. He was absolutely on one this night. 4.25 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
  4. I wanted to pull this up because I'm just through the PPV, and I actually kind of liked this show. It's a total clusterfuck, but in an entertaining way. The Steiners actually were a bit hesitant to mix it up and stuck to mat wrestling until the desperation to win overcame them. Pittman working his "I have no confidence" gimmick, not being able to lock the Code Red in properly twice, and then looking over at Teddy Long for guidance while his opponents prepared to ace him were just awful. Misuse of Pittman. The refs coming out to jump Savage before he can even get to the ring for his second-round match was some horseshit. You gotta let the match actually happen first. WCW was really punitive against Savage, but let Ric Flair do whatever the fuck he wanted. You can't even say that Savage attacked officials and that's why since Flair dropped a couple of refs on Nitros himself. Why do refs ignore the tape...and the tape dispenser...that Hacksaw's always waving around after getting a win that should be changed to a Duggan DQ? And look, I need to take a cold shower, but Kimberly in that outfit was SPECTACULAR. INSPIRATIONAL. My God. And she decided that dancing around while wearing it was a great idea! And it was! I WILL NOT SETTLE DOWN. I was almost mad that Booty Man won a first round match until I realized that it meant more Kimberly later in the show. Liger/Konnan was not particularly great (though it was decent), but it was one of those matches that '90s WCW was known for randomly booking, and I love that. Malenko's super gutbuster was used as a secondary finish, and rightfully so because it is a spectacular-looking move. I dig that the winner of the title shot ended up being a midcarder in DDP, but I don't dig that he never actually received that title shot, which I think he was supposed to get at Spring Stampede. This is still better than WWE-style booking, where Luger or Flair would have won it. This actually had a surprising winner for the time. Though looking at the last eight, DDP was the only guy who is probably winning this out of that group. It would have been better to bring Eddie through to this final match to make it a bit more uncertain. Even bringing Scotty Steiner would have been a good decision, I think, just to muddy the waters. Sting/Giant was good despite all the jibber-jabber that was meant to protect both guys. The Luger/Sting thing is more than done, but they threw some shit in to prolong it and to get a finish that protects Sting; however, I think the stuff on the Nitro prior should have ended all that "intrigue," which is now long in the tooth. We're two weeks from the nWo angle beginning, no need to keep it going. I also think the bodyscissors spot wasn't visually striking enough to really work that well. The rest of it was pretty great, though. I just wish we could get a fifteen or twenty minute match between these two with a clean finish.
  5. Show #35- 13th May 1996 "The one that slowly starts the prep for the next big angle" Lex Luger stayed outside the arena in Nashville the night before Nitro to make sure he didn't miss his title shot this time around. Dude was out here under a blanket on a lawn chair reading a newspaper like he was waiting outside of Target to try and get a PS5. They're only being sold online, Luger! Not at physical Target locations! You goof! The Steiner Brothers wander out. They look peeved tonight. Is someone gonna get shoot fucked up? Well, they're wrestling a no-entrance Public Enemy, so probably, yes. We'll see what this ends match up being on a scale of one to Acolytes. Scotty Steiner is absolutely jacked. Dude looks like Bane. He press slams Rocco Rock onto Johnny Grunge while talking mad shit. Didn't even need to take a breath. This match seems regular levels of Steiner stiffness, actually. PE's modus operandi is basically to cheat their way into control, successfully clubber a bit, and then lose control as soon as they try some high-risk shit. Rinse, repeat. Scott Steiner does as many suplexes as possible in between. Rick Steiner gets the hot tag as Eric Bischoff announces Nitro's expansion to two hours every Monday in two weeks. I don't know, I really like the way these hour-long shows move. I think somewhere in the range of sixty to ninety minutes an episode is perfect for TV wrestling. As I ponder this, the match breaks down and Scott hits a Frankensteiner on Rocco for three. This was decent. We got some suplexes, a Frankensteiner, a few dives. Standard, generally enjoyable stuff. Squire Dave Taylor (with Jeeves at his side, yes, they keep spelling his name differently on the chyron) is facing off with Chris Benoit. We're transitioning into that fateful and unfortunate Benoit/Sullivan feud per the desk's yapping, which makes sense now that Pillman's out of the company. Anyway, early exchanges lead to Benoit dropping down while running the ropes and Taylor just stopping dead and punting Benoit in the face. That was a nice spot. The crowd is into Benoit's chops. They brawl outside a bit. This match isn't really flowing much, but there is the occasional nice move. Taylor hits a sweet fallaway slam and floats over for two. Benoit gets a win on a dragon suplex and bridge. Meanwhile, Mongo's run off to find Randy Savage, ostensibly because they're both equally heated about Ric Flair being a dick. Anyway, this match was also fine. Speaking of Savage, he's not allowed in the building. Gene Okerlund is with a bunch of guards at a back entrance. Mongo shows up and cuts a Mongo-esque promo. It wasn't good, but, like, it wasn't bad. Mongo is entertaining even when he's being shitty. Anyway, he jets and now Savage refuses to talk to Okerlund and tells him so with a long monologue. He continues to talk, too. He really does want to open up. Savage doesn't care about the money and Okerlund doesn't know where Savage is going because he doesn't know where Savage has been. Solid line, Savage. I'm interested to see how long these Glacier promos run. We're in May of 1996. Let's check back in when Glacier actually shows up for a wrestling match! Aw, shit, it's V.K. Wallstreet. If Nitro were around now, Bisch'd be calling Wallstreet's clothesline finisher the NDA. I think I'm glad Bisch isn't showrunning Nitro in 2022, come to think of it. Ric Flair shows up, Woman and Liz at his side as usual. Flair's about as unfocused and out-of-control as Savage at this point. There's some early matwork that's pretty nice, and I don't care that it'll probably end up being totally pointless. I enjoyed it on an aesthetic level. Wallstreet shows some fire and is the defacto face, I guess? Flair takes a walk after a flurry of Wallstreet offense. A commercial break allows us to skip a bunch of Wallstreet's offense, though in fairness, he's not moving like a slug and using a terrible abdominal stretch for twenty minutes tonight. He goes outside, dominates Flair, comes back inside, dominates Flair some more. Wallstreet hits a Samoan drop, but Flair (with a tiny assist from Woman) gets his boot on the ropes at two. A series of pinning combinations from Wallstreet get two counts as well. However, Wallstreet remembers that he's in a Ric Flair match and goes for a high knee on Flair outside the ring. Flair dodges, Wallstreet cracks his knee, and a minute or so later, Flair gets a submission win with the Figure Four. I mean, it wasn't the worst! That's something! There's another banquet table set up this week. Okerlund interviews him in front of it post-match. Mean Gene says that Nashville doesn't like Flair while everyone in the camera shot holds up four fingers and then cheers when Flair says that he gave Dolly Parton a ride on Space Mountain. Gene, always on the ball, asks about Debra. Flair puts Mongo over as a legit athlete while also putting over his own ability to fuck the ladies. He puts his arms around Woman and Liz and declares Look at my wide receivers to end the promo. Should have gone with Look at my tight ends instead. The Giant and Lex Luger are in the ring already, no entrances. We must be running long. Luger starts the match by bouncing off The Giant a few times and then getting clotheslined. Maybe the power game isn't the game for you tonight, Lex? Welp, he tries a body slam and fails. Let's see if he adapts! He does, actually. He tries a move from the second rope, but he gets caught and Oklahoma Stampeded. Luger's throwing clotheslines and forearms, and it's not really working. Bisch notes that said forearm, which bounces off The Giant, knocked out Yokozuna a couple years back. I mean, not a bad pull, especially because in this match, Luger finally knocks the Giant around a bit...but to the outside of the ring. Luger's ring awareness in a title match fails him again! Anyway, The Giant is so unfazed by Luger's attack that he walks over and uses Flair's banquet table as a place through which to deposit Luger with a chokeslam. Flair and the ladies flee and Sting comes out to check on his friend as Jimmy Hart desperately tries to lead The Giant away. Bisch hits the SOMBER TONES and all that. Gene Okerlund comes over for an interview, and Sting's like WHAT THE FUCK MAN, COME ON, THIS IS NOT THE TIME. The desk hypes Slamboree coming up on the next Sunday, which I am stopping to watch. It's the last PPV before the nWo angle kicks off. That first two-hour Nitro marks the debut of Scott Hall, as a matter of fact. This show continued to establish The Giant as dominant (unless Hulk Hogan is standing across from him) and sort of capped the Luger/Sting "is Luger legit or not?" stuff that will get flipped in a few months when Luger questions Sting about his legititude. It also sort of explains why Savage would go nWo eventually; he's been taking Ls ever since he lost the WCW World Championship, and he's going to continue doing so for the next few months. Why not be on the winning team? But that's for later. For now? 3.25 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
  6. Totally in line with KotOR II's whole existence. I stopped playing once I got off Telos because I wanted to wait for the cut content update, so I luckily didn't get to the end and then find out that it's not able to be completed. I wonder why Aspyr had to release it now. Why not just wait to complete the cut content restoration, finish porting the full game, and then release it? Probably some weird financial stuff.
  7. @cwoy2j's story proves that wrestling is best watched alongside a Southern grandma. The best audience, IMO.
  8. You were there at the Nutter Center, in the breadbasket of America?! Lucky.
  9. Show #34- 6th May 1996 "The one with the lead-in to another eventual Bulls NBA Three-peat" Bisch again points out that they're the lead for the NBA Playoffs. This is unfortunately the last year that my Sonics made the NBA Finals, where they fell to Jordan's Bulls in six. I would take the Sonics eating a 4-2 loss in the Finals right now. Celtics fans are lucky from my perspective. Pepe is dressed as a sailor because he wants to see if he can get lucky in Daytona Beach, where the show is tonight. Mongo's words, not mine. Luger will face The Giant (French: LE GEANT~) for the WCW World Championship in the main. Hugh "Laughing Man" Morrus wanders to the ring so slowly that Randy Savage's music hits before he even gets to ringside. Let's see if Morrus can look better as he takes 85% of the offense this time around; he squandered that opportunity on Nitro a few weeks back. He's a big guy who can hit moonsaults. Even with that dumb gimmick, he should be more over. Morrus jumps Savage at ringside. He pummels the shit out of Mach. It's fine. Savage rolls back inside. Morrus puts on Savage's jacket, hat, and glasses and pretends that he is Savage. I would too if I were a bum like Bill DeMott. Savage is real mad at the mockery. Long eye rake. Savage is CRAAAAAAZY. He chokes Morrus with his jacket. Jacket-assisted hangman over the ropes. Savage gets DQ'd when he doesn't break said hangman. The bell rings incessantly, but that's not stopping Savage from hitting a flying elbowsmash. The ref pushes Savage away when he goes for his own one-footed pinfall, so Savage slaps him, slams him, and elbowsmashes him. Hahahahahaaaaaaaa, that's what you get, ref. There was no need to provoke violence with that shove. Doug Dellinger's worthless ass, flanked by bunch of refs and troopers, comes down to the ring. He remonstrates with Savage, who is reluctant to leave. The crowd eggs him on. You buncha enablers! Savage eventually leaves, high-fiving the cheering crowd on his way. I mean, yeah, that was cool. That right there is why everyone thinks Savage is dope. He can cut a bunch of corny forty-something white guy promos in a row, and it doesn't hurt him because then he does something like that. That was an angle, not a match, but it was just fantastic watching Savage do some wild shit, as it always is. IN MEMORIAM: Ray Stevens. Donations to Cauliflower Alley, please. I'm sure they'd still take them. "The Iceman" Dean Malenko is all business as he marches to the ring. He's up against Jushin "Thunder" Liger. Hell yeah, I'm into it. Inaugural WCW Cruiserweight Champion Shinjiro Ohtani will be defending the gold at Slamboree. I always forget that he was the first champ. Bobby Heenan enthusiastically compares Sonny Onoo, Liger's second for this match and kayfabe New Japan representative, to Donald Trump. A-haaaaaaaaaa HA! No wonder New Japan got consistently washed by WCW at this time. Early exchange. We go to split screen so we can see Ric Flair, Woman, and Elizabeth walk out. OK, great, thanks. In the ring, Liger hits a brainbuster three minutes in. No one in the crowd appears to notice. I can't wait to see how the cruisers age for me. I've really come back toward a less-is-more philosophy as I've gotten older as pertains to ringwork. Unless beefy guys are doing suplexes. In that case, more is more. We come back from a break to look at Flair, Woman, and Liz at a banquet table paid for with Savage's money. The break and the cuts to Flair/pic-in-pic of Flair have harmed this match. I don't get a sense of the flow of action. It's not a bad match, but it's one that has been destroyed by the production choices that other people made while the workers were trying to get something going in ring. The crowd isn't helping; they sit on their hands for big spots. Liger hits a splash to Malenko on the floor, and the crowd is just like, "eh, don't care." If they don't care about that, they're not going to get up for victory roll reversals for 2.9s. They halfway wake up for that super-gutbuster that Malenko hits (because it is an AWESOME fucking move), though. Otherwise, lots of counter-wrestling leads to a Malenko win off a double-underhook powerbomb. I feel bad for those guys that the production did that to their match. I do appreciate that Malenko refuses to slap a fan's hand on the way back to the locker room. Her look of personal offense was great. Gene Okerlund interviews Flair and the ladies. He's rich, he's cool, etc. etc. He talks about his plans for Slamboree. Woman delivers a double entendre. Flair hits on Debra McMichael. He sends her a martini. She pours it out. Not a fan of vodka, I presume? Flair still wants to hit though. I guess it's champagne according to Liz. In a martini glass? Classy! BLOOD RUNS COLD. BRRRR. FLAWLESS VICTORY. Also, please enjoy a Slim Jim, sez Savage. Is Liz getting a cut of the Slim Jim money? Steven Regal, his busted eyebrow, and Geeves all come to the ring. Sting, sans busted eyebrow, also comes to the ring. He's wearing a hell of a ring jacket, though. That's a baller-ass '80s babyface jacket. Regal's thigh is also taped. He's stalling, yapping at irate Daytona Beach xenophobes, but Sting eventually gets his hands on Regal and almost locks in the Scorpion Deathlock early. Regal bails, and we take a break at a more opportune mid-match time this time around. Regal's still begging off when he get back. He stalls some more before getting his first offensive move, a wristlock, on Sting. That lasts five seconds before it's reversed. Sting then signals that Regal is gay for, um, having an accent, I guess? Liking tea? Enjoying a good book? Is that something specific to the LGBT+ community? Is categorizing it as one community too simplistic? I think so. Anyway, Daytona Beach is really, really into casual homophobia, as too many of us were in the mid-'90s. Regal works a hold. It lasts slightly longer than the last one. The in-ring stuff has been kinda boring, a real comedown after the last couple of shows. I'm just waiting for Sting to explode here, which he does and it's a good babyface fire offensive segment. Regal dodges a Stinger Splash, but is easily overpowered when trying a butterfly suplex and gets reversed into a pinning combination that gets three. The unspoken (well, at least at the desk) thread in this match is that Regal was so hurt from last week's parking lot brawl against Finlay that he really didn't have much of a chance against Sting. He uncharacteristically couldn't control the match very well or for very long at all. It wasn't good in practice, but it was logical in theory! Sting's music is still playing, even as Luger is announced. Then Luger's music plays for a second. Then Duggan's music plays after that and, aw, it's Duggan. He's apparently here in place of Luger, who never showed up. Penzer and Pee-Wee look more annoyed than confused that Duggan's here instead of Luger. Luger's got like a flat tire or maybe FOUR FLAT TIRES so he couldn't make it. The Giant, our champion (long may he reign) comes down with Jimmy Hart, looking oddly intense for a guy who just got a much easier matchup for the night. Duggan jumps The Giant at the bell with a multitude of punches. It doesn't really work. Duggan tries again. Nope, still doesn't work. Giant with a boot choke in the corner. Duggan, being an idiot, tries more punches. Just go straight for the tape and the 2x4, Duggan. Did you not even watch last week's main event? Duggan slam attempt, get this, doesn't work. Duggan gets choked and punched and falls outside. Giant comes out, tosses him back in, and Duggan tries to jump him yet again as he does. Well, you won't believe this, but it fails. He goes for the tape too late, as LE GEANT~ is like "fuck this dude, he sucks" and chokeslams him for three. He does it again after the bell just for emphasis. Cobra comes out. Chokeslam. Cuban Assassin (IDK which one) comes out. Chokeslam. Alex Wright comes out. Chokeslam. Ric Flair comes out. He brings a chair from the banquet table because he's got a few brains. The chair is only barely effective, but good idea. The Giant goozles Flair, but Sting comes out, dives on The Giant, clips the leg, and throws punches that actually work (and also an eye poke that works). He knocks down our champion, but can he turn him on the Sharpshooter Scorpion Deathlock attempt? Shades of the Bret Hart/Razor Ramon psychology from early 1993! Jimmy Hart breaks up the hold, but Luger comes down before things pop off even more. He's got a briefcase with him, which is either full of money or has a lot of billowy white dress shirts in it. Sting is disapproving of Luger's missing his match. This is why you have a bedtime, Luger, so you don't miss these things! Luger's hurt, but we cut to the outro as Luger responds. Savage going off and the post-match jibber jabber after The Giant won was great. Everything else was just there. Ah well, they can't be big winners every week. 3.5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes for me.
  10. My grandparents were early adopters of cable, so I saw a lot of this with my grandma, and i think it informs my pro wrestling fandom more than anything else. I didn't really delineate much between the house styles or anything like that, so I liked both JCP and WWF at the time, but the JCP stuff is really what I like the most about pro wrestling, and that was set in stone when I was in pre-school watching that stuff at grandma's house, probably.
  11. I was cognizant of WWF and JCP early, as in watching wrestling was among my earliest memories. Heck, I remember watching late-stage AWA as a very young child and having four AWA figures (which I've mentioned here before). For me, the sweet spot for WWF is about 1988 through 1993. To me, that is the best period. You had some of the enduring wrestlers (Hogan, Savage) mixed in with compelling newcomers (Warrior, Undertaker, Razor), and I got to see dudes I rooted for as undersized tag wrestlers make their way slowly up the card (HitG.O.A.T., Michaels). I also will swear to you that a bunch of the angles during this period were legendary, even the Wrestlecrap ones (like Papa Shango making Warrior ooze black blood - that was GREAT and I won't stand for slander against it). Taker locking Warrior in the casket, Jake locking Taker in the casket and then Taker chasing him while dragging it, that whole wild Jake/Savage feud, The Mountie losing a jailhouse match, the Owen Hart heel turn...yeah, all of that is my jam. I feel like my WWF fandom actually peaks with the 1993 King of the Ring in some ways. I've highly enjoyed stuff past that from the company (like a whole lot of 1997 or 2014 to early-2016 NXT), but that KOTR is still one of my favorite big shows ever and in retrospect has a load of stuff that a fan who started watching when I did would love (Michaels retains the IC title, Hit.G.O.A.T. wins KotR, Hogan loses, the Steiners win a match on the show). Savage and Heenan are on commentary together as well. The only thing the show was missing was Monsoon as PBP instead of Ross (I like '90s Ross, but Monsoon was of course the voice of WWF to me). That KOTR is a love letter to me and my fandom of WWF/E. It never got quite that good again after that show.
  12. Show #33- 29th April 1996 "The one with the start of the genesis of the beginning of the reign of The Giant" Nitro must have been on early this week since Bisch notes that it's a special edition that will be followed by the NBA playoffs. I will note that on that night, the Sonics put in work on the Kings to take a 2-1 series lead. Yeah, back when the NBA was my jam (pun genuinely not intended). Now I only watch the playoffs sometimes. GIVE US OUR TEAM BACK, YOU TOTAL FUCKHEAD ADAM SILVER. I'M GLAD DAVID STERN IS IN THE GROUND. *ahem* So the Ric Flair/LE GEANT~ (in English: The Giant) WCW Championship match happens tonight. I smell a title change in the air. Regal's going to rematch Finlay as well. First, however, Harlem Heat come down to the ring. I am ready to see someone get fucked up or, at the very least, ponderously clubbered. They're up against Sting and Lex Luger. The tag titles are on the line. Apparently, Jimmy Hart tossed a towel in the ring last week in all the hullabaloo, which I missed. I guess most viewers did since Brain and Mongo discuss what it was about. Was Jimmy Hart trying to get the tag belts off Sting and Luger, or was he trying to toss the towel in to save Luger from The Giant? Who knows? Well, I guess Jimmy Hart does, but good luck getting a straight answer out of him. Sting and Booker start. The crowd is again fired up to open, which is nice and sets a real tone. Nice back and forth opening exchange before Luger tags in. Mongo says that Harlem Heat's been tearing stuff up together since momma was changing their diapers, which genuinely gets a chuckle out of Bisch and was pretty funny. Luger does a shitload of punches and kicks and fires the crowd up. Booker and then Stevie take a beating, but kick out at or before one to show how tough they are. The match relies on Booker and Sting cutting a pace with one another and keeping the crowd heated; these guys have pretty good chemistry, actually. There's a break, and when we come back, Booker's on top. He lights Sting up with a spin kick, but instead of covering, he hits a Spinneroonie and celebrates in the corner. The desk astutely sells it as a potential match-losing mistake. Of course, Sting gets a hot tag shortly after that, but Luger eventually gets combo powerbombed and elbow-dropped in a dope move. Jimmy Hart runs down to throw the towel in again, but Booker catches it before it can hit the ground, which I guess is what keeps it from being a legal, match-forfeiting towel-toss? Unfortunately, everyone is preoccupied with Jimmy Hart, and Sting is able to slip in and schoolboy Booker for three. That was fun, I enjoyed it, would watch again. I just want to see fifteen minutes of Booker and Sting at this point, honestly. Give me that. More tag action. Fire & Ice come down to the ring. Sure, I am into this team. The Steiners music hits. Hell yeah, gimme that beefy boi wrestling. Clubbers! Suplexes! Hopefully at full speed! Ice Train starts out with Rick Steiner. Train hits a sweet leapfrog/powerslam combo. Yeah, I'm ready for this. Rick Steiner hits a back suplex. Sure, keep it coming, gentlemen. This is, as everyone who has read any of these posts well knows, my exact type of spotfest. Scott Steiner hits Scott Norton with a pumphandle suplex and then a belly-to-belly suplex. Scott Norton catches Scott Steiner on a top-rope crossbody and press slams him. THIS IS GREAT. It's just clotheslines and suplexes and big dudes catching other big dudes and tossing them. Ice Train big boots the FUCK out of Scott Steiner before press slamming him. Eventually, all four guys go at it before Rick Steiner gets the win with a Steinerline on Ice Train behind Norton's back. It was five minutes of bombs, and it was great. Ric Flair, who may be losing his mind, walks down the aisle flanked by Woman and Liz to be interviewed by Mean Gene Okerlund. Woman does the flirty thing with Gene while Flair insults everyone he can think of: the fans, The Giant, Savage, as many people as he can. He's sweating once he's done cutting his promo. Glacier promo. It makes my Blood Run Cold. We come back to Finlay throwing Regal into a car in the parking lot. Finlay puts a boot through a car window. This is fucking WILD. Finlay wants to beat Regal with concrete. Like, what the fuck, I didn't even realize this was a Parking Lot Brawl somehow. It's just two dudes smashing each other with shit. They absolutely destroy an old truck. Finlay uses the bumper to beat Regal. I am really, really into this. Regal has a laceration on his back and is bleeding through his shirt. This is just random violence, and I mean that as a compliment. They get in the back of another truck and dent the shit out of the roof. Regal sends Finlay into another window, shattering it. It looks and sounds great. The shot gets wider and wider with each minute, hahaha. Regal takes a dangerous back-body-drop on the roof of a tiny Japanese car. Finlay then takes a piledriver on that same hood and gets pinned. That was some dumb fucking bullshit. Finlay barely even sells the piledriver after getting pinned! That is the only tiny issue that I have with this match. Everything else about it was stupid trash of the highest order. The Giant lumbers to the ring, Jimmy Hart alongside him. Ric Flair comes back out along with his valets. He again harasses Debra at ringside. Mongo angrily says that you don't mess with a country boy's dog or wife. Was that list in order? Flair talks shit. The Giant simply stares at him with murder in his eyes. The bell rings, Flair stalls. Then he taunts. Then he goes for a shoulder block and a chop. Did The Giant even notice? It's questionable. Anyway, Flair is begging off inside of two minutes. He eats a press slam. Woman shrieks. Flair gets whipped to the floor. He runs and hides behind his valets. The story of this match is what sort of bullshit Flair's going to be able to conjure up to escape with his gold. Or, as Flair might say, Macho's gold that Flair has taken from him. So, what the story plays out as is that Flair doesn't seem to have any tricks left that The Giant hasn't seen. The Giant takes a thumb to the eye stoically. He misses a corner charge, but quickly shakes it off. The Giant has really sweet vertical suplexes that look and sound impactful. Anyway, after he hits one, he goes for the chokeslam and gets a nutshot for his troubles. The problem for Flair is that regular old fists and chops don't work. Then, he pulls out a new trick that The Giant hasn't seen yet: Flair loads his fist with knucks, hits The Giant, and stashes them back in his boot before Randy Anderson can catch him. Too bad for Flair that he chooses to go for the Figure Four instead of a quick pinfall. The Giant goozles Flair out of the Figure Four, hits a chokeslam, and gets a very academic three count. So, I like this! Flair might have found a way to escape, but he had to hide the evidence, dance a bit, and go for a Figure Four instead of keeping his composure and trying to get a quick three. As crazy and unfocused as he's made Savage over the past few weeks, maybe some of that crazy and lack of focus has rubbed off on him in a He Who Fights Monsters sort of way. Mean Gene comes into interview The Giant and Jimmy Hart. Jimmy Hart accidentally(???) insinuates that he will have sexual relations with The Giant later that night. The Giant spits right into Gene's eye while talking. Gene reacts hilariously. The Giant threatens that punk ass Hulk Hogan as well as Sting and Luger. The desk notes that Sting gets a shot at The Giant's title at Slamboree. Yeah, I'm stopping to watch that. This show really did it for me. It was a hell of an hour of wrestling. The best thing about it is The Giant finally getting that dominant win he needed, but it was also some car-crash TV that started hot and ended hot, and the crowd was as into it as I was all the way through. 5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
  13. Show #32- 22nd April 1996 "The one with some nice variety and Flair caught slipping." Time to talk storylines that are actually planned rather than meta-storylines about a company's inner workings! Yay! All titles on the line in a rematch from last week's main event. Bisch sells The Giant (French: LE GEANT~) possibly pinning his own partner to become WCW World Champion. That's, uh, quite Russo-esque, actually. Also, Macho wants his money back, but I'm sorry, Liz put up with a lotta bullshit and deserves it, Mach. You know I love you, but you have to chill about Liz and the money. Bisch spoils that night's taped RAW. Goldust is called a RuPaul impersonator again. That is a compliment, I keep telling you! He beat Savio Vega in an IC title match that night that I remember being really good, actually. Mankind over the Portuguese Man 'o War and Vader over Fatu...uh, this is a good card. I feel like I should watch it after I'm done with this show. AMERICAN MALES AMERICAN MALES AMERICAN MALES AMERICAN MALES meet up with Public Enemy in the opener. PE jumps the Males. Bisch pimps a Cruiserweight Title tourney. I'm so ready. The Males turn it around. Riggs body-presses Rocco from over the top rope. The crowd is into this. Good, high-energy opening. Bisch wishes Pillman well after Pillman destroyed his ankle in that rollover. Good combo tag work from the Males, but Bagwell is late to leave the ring and allows Grunge to break up what was a visual three count. PE takes over by slowing the match down and brawling and choking. Nice middle-rope moonsault from Rocco on a prone, held-down Bagwell. They only lose control when they go top-rope, high-risk, and Rocco misses a senton splash. Riggs has a nice hot tag segment, but Bagwell comes back in and gets tossed by Rocco, and the ref gives up on keeping order and calls for the bell. PE hits a partner-assisted cannonball on Riggs, driving him through a table, just because why the heck not. Anyway, the American Males win by DQ after PE spends too long together in the ring illegally, but they don't look like winners. Nice little opener. Gene Okerlund is with two ladies who are, I guess, drawing names for the Lethal Lottery. Gene says that Flair has nothing on him. No offense to these ladies, but Woman and Liz are elite talent in the valet game. Flair and Savage are somehow randomly drawn into a tag team in magical Battlebowl fashion. Some other teams are drawn together, including Eddie and Arn, which segues into... ...Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero kicking off the cruiser tourney, I think? Or maybe not since they don't mention said tourney again during this match. In any case, these guys are going to get over with just their work and, in the process, leave this weird legacy behind where many fans (and even one modern booker) make the mistake of thinking that just anybody can get over like that or that work is all it takes to get over. I've been thinking about the legacy of WCW's Cruiserweight division and of pushing their smaller super-workers as a whole, and I think one of the negative aspects of this whole deal is the idea that you just put two guys that can go in a ring, and it's enough. I think a rare thing about modern pro-wrestling is that it doesn't have the variety of work that these WCW shows between about 1996 and 1998 do. NXT got there in 2014-ish and had this blend of comedy, fast-paced work, and beefy boi work that for whatever reason, modern companies don't get right very often anymore. In the context of a 1996 WCW show, we're going to get a lot of very different stuff in-ring, so this stands out on the card. Lots of reversals, armdrags, and dives lead into Benoit getting three when he uses the ropes to sit down on Eddie's victory roll attempt. Nice match, the crowd enjoyed the action, and while it wasn't the best either guy will do, "an average night" is still quite good for both of them. Okerlund's back out on the ramp to talk about Randy Savage's crazy ass. He's with a shoot-VP of WCW programming, I think. Before said VP can say one word, Savage comes out. The VP issues threats. Savage issues threats back. The VP tells Savage to see a shrink. Savage is like NO U. Then he's like, I'MMA SLAP YOU SON. Then he stomps off to his room backstage. I think we get it, Randy Savage is CRAAAAAAAAZY. THA MONSTA Meng is wrestling Hacksaw Jim Duggan. I feel like this is a rematch from a few weeks back. Yep, from Show #7 - 16 October 1995. Is Duggan getting his win back? That match was good, so I have hopes for this one to be good. And it starts good as Duggan, knowing that Meng is deadly, straight jumps him at the bell and forces him to bail. Then Duggan does it again. Bisch again shits on Goldust as a concept because he's an idiot. Anyway, Meng gets control and punches and chokes and stuff. Duggan smashes Meng's head into the corner, but you can't do that to a stereotypically hard-headed Tongan, Fijian, or Samoan! Meng headbutts himself in the corner a few times to demonstrate this truism and then re-takes control. Duggan fires up...but no, Meng re-takes control. Eventually, Duggan escapes the corner, dodges a couple of Meng elbow/legdrop attempts, and then sets Meng up for the three-point stance. He whiffs head-first instead of ribs-first this time. Of course, Duggan is a doofus so he's still relatively unharmed. He grabs the 2x4, but gets kicked when the ref takes it away. Meng almost gets three, but Duggan gets his foot on the ropes, gets the tape, and knocks Meng out for three. Wow, that is some magic tape! What is it made of? Titanium? Anyway, I liked this well enough! It actually built on a match from six months ago if you were able to remember that match. More draws for Lethal Lottery. The Boogie Knights get drawn together years before they'll be the Boogie Knights. The ladies profess to be ready for a night on the town with Okerlund. Settle down, Okerlund-netico. Regal and Finlay are also magically somehow drawn together. Do you think they freeze and crease these envelopes, NBA-draft-in-1985 style? Well, maybe not all of the envelopes since they drew together the execrable team of Hacksaw Jim Duggan and VK Wallstreet. No one would pair them on purpose, right? Right?! John Cena tries to sell me a Honda during this commercial break. I'm still tripped out by that. Ric Flair and The Giant walk out with a whole cadre of folks: Woman, Liz, Jimmy Hart. Ric Flair hits on Debra McMichael again. He kisses her hand. She wipes it off on her dress. Ew, Flair, ask for consent first. Savage runs out, chases Flair around, and gets cuffed. Flair stomps Savage while he's being handcuffed like the true scumbag he is. This dude is out here just violating societal niceties. Now he's out here flexing for Debra who, uh, found it sort of entertaining actually. She's hiding her face and trying not to shoot laugh, I think. And you can't Send For The Man if she's corpsing because he's just been handcuffed and led away! Sting and Luger stroll down to the ring. We start with Sting and The Giant in the ring, and just give them twenty minutes straight up, please. The Giant's strength wins out over Sting's exuberance initially, but Sting and Luger double-up on him and clothesline him over the top rope. Flair comes in and gets press-slammed. This crowd is HOT man, yeah, I'm fired up too, honestly! Flair continues to get dominated by Sting and Luger and just flops, bumps, and sells to the hilt. He escapes a corner charge from Sting with an elbow, but instead of tagging in his monster partner in the corner, he goes to the top rope. I can kind of accept Flair going up to the top rope as part of his routine because I think the story over the past few weeks is that he just has way too much on his plate and he's starting to slip a bit. He's had so many control spots that end really quickly, he's become way more reliant on Woman and Liz to run interference, and The Giant and Luger have had him nearly dead to rights before he's been able to escape. He's also become slightly crazier in his promos; he's under pressure. Flair, for whatever reason, isn't interested in tagging in The Giant. He basically ignores him for most of the match, relying on Woman to eye rake and load up a cup of hot coffee for later use. The Giant finally takes matters into his own hands and has to be assaulted for about three minutes to let go of a goozle on Luger. Flair, who is totally off his game, whiffs on the coffee toss and hits The Giant. Everyone bails the ring to avoid getting their asses beat as the ref calls for the bell. Flair eventually comes back to the ring to remonstrate with The Giant, but then he bails because, again, trying to avoid getting his ass beat. Okerlund comes in and The Giant cuts sort of a corny promo about the coffee burning his eyes, but lighting a fire in his soul. Oh well, Flair is going to save it by threatening The Giant from the desk. He wants an apology from The Giant or, and I quote, Flair is going to "kick [The Giant's] big ass." Then he runs like a punk bitch as The Giant chases him. This was GREAT. I loved ALL OF IT. The Brain is hiding behind the desk in fear. Bisch announces that The Giant will get another shot at Flair's title next week. Brain adroitly points out that Flair has bitten off more than he can chew and that his life is going in the wrong direction. It's a great little bit of commentary because, considering their history, it's obvious that Heenan cares and probably almost feels like he needs to come back and manage Flair to keep him from fucking up. This show was fun as fuck, had a hot crowd, and included matches that offered something for everyone. Plus, no Hogan. I really enjoyed it immensely. Even the matches that were just okay were still good or built on something/developed a character. 4.5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes for me.
  14. FUCK YOU WHO ARE YOU TO QUESTION MY LOVE OF WRESTLING YOU PEOPLE ALWAYS DO THIS SHIT ...haha, no, just kidding with you, I like wrestling. I'm watching Nitro right now. 1995-1996 Giant is amazing and should have made some company a billion dollars on his own.
  15. She's not playing hard to get, she's playing impossible to get. This should not be a thing that you think once you get out of your teens, and we need to do a better job of teaching teenagers that this isn't a thing (or a healthy one, if someone is actually 'playing hard to get' because they think it's a proper way to pursue a relationship).
  16. Please don't get this thread locked with the meta-discussion about other posters. Thanks, y'all.
  17. Just like Kendall rapping while being driven to the company on the day he'd (theoretically) be named CEO!
  18. *me, wishing on a monkey's paw*: "I wish for professional wrestling over the next decade to have awesome storylines with twists and turns that I don't see coming at all." *the paw's index finger curls inward as, emanating somewhere in the ether, the sounds of haunting, evil, mocking laughter reverberate around the room*
  19. It was. That first NXT show probably had a lot of eyeballs on it because it was the Network's test-run for their first streaming WM. I also would like to point out that WWE really wasted Emma, too. When she went back to NXT and was a bully heel with Dana Brooke as her second, she was having dope squashes where she'd beat the shit out of jobbers and looked like the meanest piece of shit around. It was clear about three months into that second run that they should do something with her on the main roster.
  20. DVDVR's monthly thread turning into a Shabba Ranks dancehall retrospective is both the most unexpected thing that's happened so far this year and also delightful.
  21. Yes, yes, but Vince wanted the respect and access of being a publicly-traded entertainment company without any of the media or shareholder scrutiny that follows as a consequence. Is that really so much to ask?!
  22. Issues with his TV deals and other revenue streams probably are the biggest concern for him right now, business-wise. Hard for Nick Khan to unlock revenue streams when he represents a leadership full of sex pests.
  23. Coach Tony K is about to start up a new sleaze thread on Twitter with this news. Vince is a garbage human being. I hope he gets deposed at the very least.
  24. Hey everyone, Capcom is releasing the Arcade version of Saturday Night Slam Masters in the Capcom Arcade Stadium 2 collection. Now to hope that they also release the sequel, even though that it's barely a wrestling game, really.
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