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Everything posted by SirSmUgly

  1. Show #118 - 01 December 1997 "The one where we should just eliminate eighty percent of the nWo for the sake of show quality" I watched the Hall/Zbyszko AWA match that Curt McGirt posted, and I think I got about four minutes and fifty-three seconds in before they locked up, which is par for the course for a heel Larry Z. match. About 35%-ish of the match was Larry Z. stalling, in fact. Hall was green as grass, but this was an okay match. I will say that seeing Hall’s idea of charisma be “clap my hands a lot” was really something. I don’t think anyone in the‘80s is guessing at the incredible charisma Hall has by anything he’s doing in the ring at that time. Recap of the stupid ending to last week’s Nitro. Tony S. as they showed the Sting dummy being lowered to the mat at mach speed: “Here comes the REAL Sting, or so we thought!” Excuse me, we? We?! More recapping, this time of the Larry Z./Bischoff confrontation last week. I guess the implication is that this is all long-standing AWA beef that’s boiling over now that Hall and Bischoff have the power to harass Zbyszko? I don’t know if that implication a) actually exists or if I'm just making it up, or b) really makes it easier for me to give a shit about any of this. Again, I note that the crowd wants to see Zbyszko fuck someone up – Hall, Bisch, they don’t care. I still am not quite sure why. Gene Okerlund? OK, fine, at least it’s not starting the show with the nWo. Gene’s probably interviewing Flair or Page or…FUCK, he’s interviewing Bischoff? Come the fuck ON. Sign in the crowd held up by a whole damn row, one letter per person: N A S H ‘ S A L M A M A T E R. Wait, didn’t he transfer to like Bowling Green or somewhere after roughing up his coach? That would be his alma mater. Or maybe he stuck around and got his degree, and he is wearing a Vols cap tonight, so ultimately, that we are in Knoxville for tonight’s show is the only thing that very long sign really tells us. Bisch tries to back out of the match with Larry Z., then only offers to do it if he can put control of Nitro on the line. Don’t we get an actual nWo Nitro episode at some point? Rey Misterio Jr. faces off with Juventud THA JOOCY ONE Guerrera, with Eddy Guerrero creepin’ in the background. Eddy puts Tenay in the bushes and takes over on color in his place. Ooh, I love unexpected upgrades! Eddy give the wrestlers in the ring credit, but doesn’t have time for the dinguses on commentary. I love that he gives Rey credit for a move, but points out that he would have been canny enough to counter said move with a side slam. Now, THAT is how you put your opponent and yourself over at the same time. Quality heeling from Eddy. The match is solid and all, but I’m mostly focused on Eddy styling on commentary with his understated (and entirely false) modesty. Eddy’s ready to take everyone on and gives zero fucks. Misterio reverses some dull legwork with an enziguri, but gets hung up on the ropes and springboard rana’d. Juvy gets two on a Falcon Arrow, but misses a corner splash and pretty much is fucked after that, falling to Rey’s springboard rana shortly after. The match was good as it was, but Eddy made the whole experience aces. I’m just really glad to see Wrath back on Nitro. I’d be even gladder if he hits Hugh Morrus with the Death Penalty! Hey, Raven hops the railing along with his flock. I’m sad that Van Hammer’s toned down his look – bring back the purple lipstick, my dude. In the ring, Wrath goes right at Morrus and clubbers him real good. Morrus does his second-rope clothesline as a counter to a Wrath corner whip, but Morrus gets focused on Vandenberg and ends up jumped from behind and tossed from the ring. Wrath follows Morrus outside by hitting him with a senton from the apron to the floor. He dumps Morrus back in the ring, then hits a diving clothesline from the top. Wrath is so much fun. Mortis sticks a chain on his boot and wants to get involved, which is total nonsense because Wrath is about to hit the Death Penalty. Wrath, noooooo, don’t listen to that idiot Mortis! Aw, Wrath listened to that idiot Mortis. Wrath holds Morrus up for a kick and eats the chain-assisted boot when Morrus ducks, then eats a No Laughing Matter shortly after to lose. Ditch that bum Mortis for Crush already, dammit! I guess Glacier and Ernest Miller are already breaking up; they’re fighting each other on WCWSN after having a disagreement. Good, get Miller and his charisma away from Glacier. The sooner, the better. Well, it took twenty minutes or so before Hogan and Bischoff came out to blather on. Weirdly, Craig Leathers puts a virtual Sting mask - in what is surely cutting-edge CGI for the era - on the feed, positioned as if we (like the people in the IRL crowd who have been given physical Sting masks) are looking at Hogan from behind Sting’s mask. It looks dumb. Who told Craig Leathers that he could try to fulfill his creative ideas?! Who the fuck?! The promo: Hogan’s ego is out of control, nWo for life, You better take off those masks, people in the crowd, or I’m going to go mean mug the granny planted in the front row, etc. Yuji Nagata has been on quite the run since he came back to WCW. I can’t see that changing tonight, but then again, Prince Iaukea has managed to earn victory in unlikely spots before. Iaukea’s a guy who really doesn’t go much beyond the basics, but he’s a decent underneath babyface. He hits a nice overhead suplex, but gets back suplexed right out of a control headlock himself. Nagata sends him outside so that Sonny Onoo can hit some weak kicks before putting him back in the ring. Both men trade control, and at one point, Nagata targets Iaukea’s leg. That doesn’t keep Iaukea from fighting back with a kick that totally whiffs, nor does it keep him from eventually hitting the top-rope crossbody for a clean three count. See, I told you that man Iaukea was a threat. Unfortunately, he threatened along with Nagata to bore me, and he followed through. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: That Chae is so dreamy. Lodi is holding up signs at ringside, but there’s no time for paying him any attention: The Faces of Fear and Harlem Heat are about to clubber the SHIT out of one another! The match starts with clubbering. Then Stevie stomps a mudhole in Barb. YEAH. Anyway, this is a fun (to me) TV match, but it’s pretty clear if you’ve read any of these reviews that I’m a pretty big fan of both teams. Booker’s still perfecting his axe kick, so it only gets two on Meng. Stevie ends up as FIP, and when Jimmy Hart tries to get involved, Jacquelyn grabs him and puts him on the mats outside, YEAH. FUCK HIM UP, JACKIE! So, all four guys are fighting, when Booker ends up on Barbarian’s shoulders, and Stevie breaks from punching Meng to kick Barb in the stomach; Booker rolls through as Barb folds over in pain and gets the three count. This gives Meng a chance to Tongan Death Grip Stevie, then Booker after Booker grabs a chair that is totally ineffective in breaking the hold. Meng only breaks it once he and Barbarian realize that Jackie is choking the fuck out of Jimmy Hart on the floor. I, for one, think that whole thing RULED and was GREAT. The Outsiders are here! Yes, the core of the nWo that I actually want to get regular mic time! Syxx has been off TV for the past few weeks and won’t be back, which is a bummer, but those three guys are my dudes I want to see when it comes to the nWo, and pretty much the rest of that group can get fucked. Maybe not Buff Bagwell, that dude is good with me. But the rest of them, I’m done with them (at least as nWo members). Hall does a survey check and is charismatic enough to get a half-decent cheer for the nWo even though this place is pretty pro-WCW. Kevin Nash is Well-Informed Check: Mentions Lee Harvey Oswald being gunned down by Jack Ruby. Then calls out “the dude that lost to the chick,” which I think is reductive, but anyway, Disco will be out here after the break. Disco taunts his opponent Scott Hall with his dancing. Hall is confused and his face seems to say, Yo, what the fuck is happening right now? Then he throws a toothpick at Disco. This is one of those dumb matchups that I love about WCW. Hall musses up Disco’s hair, which is a bad move, Hall! Disco pushes ref Billy Silverman out of the way and unloads on Hall in the corner. See, told you he’d get mad about the hair. Hall flips control around and Disco feels those chops something serious. Then Hall does the Razor punch/stomp taunt thing that you know so well, it’s an awesome taunt even if it’s hard to describe. He knocks Disco back down, then calls for the chokeslam in what can only be described as disrespectful to the Giant while Nash hits Disco with a short-arm clothesline outside. Back in the ring, Disco tries a crossbody, but gets caught and fallaway slammed, then summarily eats a Razor’s Edge for three. Hall and Nash celebrate Hall’s victory in the goofiest way possible. Then they do the Mega Powers handshake. I enjoy their juvenile antics. J.J. fucking Dillon is out here to be super boring and talk about how he’s put Nitro on the line to make official the Larry Z./Eric Bischoff match at Starrcade. Hold on, so he put Nitro on the line, but got zero in return from Bisch? Dillon is a real asshole, you know that, folks? Bischoff is upset when he should just be like, Yo, I’m bringing half the nWo down and fucking Larry Z. UP, so thanks for signing Nitro over to us! Psicosis is wrestling Ultimo Dragon, and maybe they still have beef because Sonny Onoo sort of set them up to have beef, like an Iowan Scott Hall of sorts. The desk fake belly laughs over Bischoff having to wrestle Larry Z. when they should be talking about this match. I mean, this match isn’t some amazing deal, but it’s still worth talking about. They finally get to it when they notice that Psicosis is dressed differently than normal. They don’t remark on Psicosis doing that NUTBAR ring-to-floor guillotine legdrop, though. Is he trying to get a stinger? Does he not want to shit properly in old age? It’s a fucking dumb bump, is what I’m saying. The match is a solid TV bout that goes back and forth and features Psicosis bumping like a lunatic to the point that I feel like he should maybe stop doing some of that signature stuff. His signature leaping whiff bump into the corner where he lands on his neck is stupid, too. Dragon hits a top-rope Frankensteiner and follows up with a Dragon sleeper for the win. I was suitably entertained. Some Wisconsinites having a Nitro Party chant DEPORT EDDY. When they send in Nitro Party tapes, people, they’re not sending their best. So Raven is supposed to wrestle Chris Benoit this week since he ducked him last week, or you know, got Sick Boy a paycheck out of the goodness of his heart last week if you want to take a charitable interpretation of events. But no, Raven won’t conform. Billy Kidman will, however, as Raven orders him into the ring in his stead. Lodi tries to support Kidman at ringside with a dumb sign, but if this were a scientific test w/r/t how well encouragement on signs works to motivate someone to success, we’d have a pretty good data point that there is no connection between the two. Benoit does like a billion knife-edged chops and then bites Jericho’s style and locks on a Walls of Jericho. He drops it to walk over and yell at Raven. He’s actually frothing at the mouth, and it's gross. Poor Kidman’s chest is a deep red. Kidman gets a little offense, with a headscissors and a springboard bulldog, but that’s about it for him before Benoit takes back over. It’s only when the match goes outside and Kidman gets an assist from Saturn, followed by an apron-to-floor SSP, that Benoit looks like he might actually be in trouble. Kidman unloads on Benoit with the best offense he has and gets a couple of two-counts for his trouble. Benoit is able to break away and hit a lifting neckbreaker, but Kidman blocks a German Suplex and returns the favor with a couple of chops. The issue is that he goes to that well once too often, and Benoit turns a wayward chop into a Crippler Crossface for the submission victory. The Flock runs in and Benoit handles them until Van Hammer faces off with him, which allows Raven to come in from behind and hit Benoit with an Evenflow DDT. Saturn locks the Rings of Saturn on a prone Benoit to add insult to injury. That was just about in the “competitive squash” range, I think, and it was very good after starting out seemingly as a straight squash. I liked it because it was surprising, to some degree. It looked like one thing, but ended up another. It was the Psycho of Nitro TV matches. And not just because Benoit was involved! Go ahead and imagine the rim shot being drummed out after that last sentence in your head. Buff Bagwell and his flunky Vincent are in the ring, and Totally Buff will explode for about the fifth time since Nitro started in 1995. Pre-explode? Anyway, I remember them as one of the bright spots in 2000-2001 WCW because they were such hammy villains. In 1997, though, Luger is just a woefully misused main event level star. Not as woefully as he was misused in 1994 WWF, mind you, but misused nonetheless. Buff wants to have a posedown with Luger, who does the jiggling pecs thing and wins the posedown if judged by the amount of high-pitched shrieks in the crowd. This is a decent TV bout because Bagwell works a weird mix of cocky and intense. When he’s on top, he’s cocky, and when he’s threatened or hurt, he’ll slap a guy in the face or mudhole stomp. It’s pretty enjoyable work on a macro level, even if he’s mostly just posing and punching dudes in there (which I like, but is anathema to the preferences of some folks). Buff gets two on a shoulderblock and threatens Charles Robinson, then throws a lot of boots to Luger's prone body. Robinson shoves Bagwell and inquires about Buff’s problem and what it might be. Meanwhile, Luger is mostly dead for eighty percent of this match until he locks on the Torture Rack. You’ve seen Luger on Nitro before, you know the drill. The only twist is that Vincent interferes and earns a DQ for Buff, then gets racked right along with Buff. Ooh, the main event is Curt Hennig and DDP for the U.S. Championship. I am expecting a title change here. Hennig’s title reign has been a fine enough heel title reign with lots of fuck finishes and Page taking the gold from him should get a pretty huge pop in part because I do think people want Hennig to lose as well as wanting Page to win. Page outmaneuvers Hennig at every turn, so Hennig resorts to kicking Page in the nuts to get a bit of control. This turns into a heel control segment that lasts awhile, actually. Hennig snaps Page's neck and Pee-Wee Anderson goes down randomly. Did something actually hit him? I would assume so since Hennig looks confused, but no, Pee-Wee is selling it way too broadly to be a shoot. Weird spot, though. The camera missed it, so Tony S. being confused about what happened is fair enough. Then again, he totally stops selling it eventually. IDK what the fuck. That was weird. I’m intrigued by this, maybe because Hennig’s control segment has been running on fumes and most recently has transitioned from a sleeper hold into a chinlock. Page finally makes his comeback. He hits all his signature moves and signals for the Diamond Cutter, but Rick Rude comes to ringside and pulls Pee-Wee out of the ring before Page can get three off the Cutter. Then we get an nWo beatdown, which is so exciting, you know? It’s like, what an innovative finish to a main event match. Fine, okay, I can wait until Starrcade for you to put the title on Page, but there was zero need to run this matchup until then. Hogan does the shittiest Diamond Cutter ever to Page, and it’s BORING and I am done with all the non-Nash, non-Hall, non-Syxx (☹), non-Buff (I guess) members of the nWo. There was some quality wrestling in there, but I'm completely over the build to most of Starrcade. It's going to be a loooooooooooooong three weeks to that show. 3.75 out of 5 Stinger Splashes
  2. That was a genuinely funny spot because the implication is that Hogan had kicked out of/shrugged off/Hulked up from so many of them that doing so was now hard coded into his brain from experience.
  3. Jesus, I'd hope you wouldn't try to wake someone up from being KO'd with a giant Mongolian chop IRL. If that was an actual thing, I'd be astonished.
  4. This post is proof that language truly does evolve. I didn't realize that English speakers were now using "absurd" as a synonym for "great."
  5. If the ref does, I hope it's with an elbow drop or Mongolian chop or something.
  6. Wrestling really should bring back the old trope that if you put your opponent out with some sort of sleeper move, it's your responsibility to wake them up before brain damage sets in with an open-handed chop or a stomp to the upper back or something like that. That's an underrated "treat this like it's real" trope that I don't think people do anymore.
  7. Show #117 - 24 November 1997 "The one where I barely acknowledge the opening or the main event. Well, the first one where I do that, at least." The nWo, fresh off their incredibly stupid victory in the WW3 battle royal the previous night, comes out to celebrate. Most of this is stupid except for Scott Hall, who is absolutely hilarious when Bischoff introduces him as the WW3 battle royal winner. He’s so happy to be here! He thanks you for your adulation! He’s so bashful about the attention! Then Hogan starts talking. OK, I’m back out. Hogan challenges anyone in the back to a title match, and the Giant comes out. He accepts the challenge, but here is J.J. Dillon to throw cold water on that! He’s all like, Oh, your hand is hurt, WCW can’t have that sort of liability even though we’ve been letting Raven maim dudes’ eyes while not under contract on our shows! Anyway, Dillon will let the Giant sign away his rights to get in the ring or whatever, I don’t know, this was dumb except for Hall. Larry Z. threatens to knock Bischoff’s dick off, but in a PG way. Disorderly Conduct getting some burn on Nitro, huh? This is a step up from WCWSN or Pro, fellas! They’re out here to job to the Steiner Brothers. The Steiners tossing jobbers around pretty much doesn’t get old to me, so how much you like this TV match depends on how much like me you are in this regard. Sometimes, I just want to see relatively big dudes do side slams and overhead suplexes and powerslams and stuff. I will note that maybe people should stop trying to leapfrog Rick Steiner. He’s just waiting on that shit so he can slam you out of mid-air. I can accept this way more than people trying to powerbomb Billy Kidman and failing because almost everyone tries a leapfrog on a rope run at some point, unlike dudes randomly trying powerbombs (who otherwise never did) against Kidman. Scott Steiner clears Mean Mike out with a double-underhook suplex, then is able to hoist Tough Tom up for the super bulldog, and it gets three. Look, a Steiner tag squash is figuratively like chicken noodle soup – it’s comfort food. The blonde Nitro Girl hit a moonsault during their dance routine in the ring. That’s pretty impressive, TBH. Tenay’s impressed with it. THA MONSTA MENG is awesome and also so is Booker T. This Nitro is rapidly recovering from opening with the fucking nWo again. Sometimes I just want to see one big dude hit another big dude with a forearm, so the other big dude responds with a very athletic leapfrog and a side kick. And I got to see that in the opening minute of this match! Booker Spinaroonies up from a back body drop – Meng is SHOCKED by this, and it’s so funny – and kicks Meng, but another kick attempt is caught, and Booker gets slammed and then picked up and powerbombed. Meng clubbers, then misses an elbowdrop. The only way this match could be a more fun TV match is if Jacqueline beats up Jimmy Hart. Book dodges a corner charge, but gets caught and put in position for a powerbomb. However, having taken this move earlier in the match, Booker is able to recognize it, roll through it, and sunset flip Meng for a three count! Meng is enraged and Tongan Death Grips Booker. Stevie comes out and breaks a chair over Meng’s head, which anyone who knows racial stereotypes in pro wrestling knows is a failed plan of attack. Meng gets up and TDG’s Stevie while Barbarian runs in and lays the boots to Booker. I really loved everything about this except that Jackie didn’t throw a forearm or two at Jimmy Hart. I might be one of the few people who enjoyed all the hosses in mid-aughts WWF. There aren’t enough hosses in modern pro wrestling. I want more guys who barely leave their feet so when they do leave their feet, it’s got impact. Meng will do a flying headbutt or whatever, but he’s so hard to get off his feet by force that there was a good pop for Booker getting that pinfall. Here’s an update on the Raven situation: Dillon, who is back on TV in multiple segments I guess, FUCK, comes down along with Gene Okerlund to talk to Raven, seated in the front row with his Flock. Scotty Riggs joins them after Dillon comes down! Some guy goes YEAH and I agree? I didn’t know that I could feel this passionately about a Scotty Riggs angle! Raven apparently altered the contract that Dillon sent him before signing it, which I don’t think that’s how it works, legally? WCW doesn’t have to legitimize a contract that one guy randomly changed before signing without WCW getting a chance to review it, yeah? But Dillon is just like FUCK IT, WE GOT HIM UNDER CONTRACT, FOLKS, I’LL TAKE IT. Dillon is a complete asshole. What an ineffectual leader. But honestly, his ineptitude made me laugh. Like I’ve been sitting here for the last minute giggling at how shitty a leader Dillon is. That Raven contract thing is absurd, hahaha. Chris Benoit is wrestling Raven next! Raven brings Sick Boy with him by pulling him over the guardrail by his hair. Oh, I see, Raven’s not interested in taking about fifty knife-edge chops, so he sends Sick Boy in to do that for him. Sick Boy hits a nice springboard back elbow somewhere in between all the chops, I must say! Sick Boy also hits a nice springboard dropkick, but Benoit ultimately takes Sick Boy’s offense and walks through it so that he can do more knife-edge chops. I mean, that dude really was into chops and clobbering, especially tonight. Benoit calls Raven into the ring, but Raven’s all good watching for now. I think there’s a misperception of Benoit as working these technical masterpieces all the time when really, a lot of what he does really well is brawl. It's like the guy was small and had a submission finisher, so he must be some sort of technical genius (and by that, I mean lots of submissions and mat-work, as I think the term was popularly used at the time). Benoit hits the flying headbutt and prepares for the Crossface. A few Flock members try to run in, but Benoit is able to fight them off for long enough to lock on the Crossface for the win. The Flock keeps coming even after the bell rings, though, and Saturn is able to wallop Benoit and lock on the Rings of Saturn. A giant RAVEN SUCKS chant starts. I’ll admit that Raven’s getting over nicely as a heel, but I’m not sure the seven-month build was necessary. Just have him collect flock members over three months and do basically the same things he’s done in a compressed time period. The nWo trolls Larry Z. with a video showing Hall and Bischoff beating him up, so he storms to the ring to challenge Hall. He wants to relive the AWA days where he beat up Big Scott Hall, and yes, he definitely makes reference to those days. It made me want to watch a Big Scott Hall/Larry Z. AWA match. I probably will at some point this week. Anyway, the nWo responds by dropping flyers of Bischoff standing with his foot on Zbyszko’s chest from Havoc. Bischoff is the one who responds in person because Hall conned the SHIT outta this guy, and I remain impressed that Hall is a master troll who starts trouble and lets someone else handle it. Bisch eventually gets around to arguing that Hall doesn’t even need to be out here because he can handle Larry, so Larry challenges Bisch, and Bisch accepts. Meanwhile, Scott Hall is a walking GameFAQs poster who knows just how to get other people to pick up on his troll posts and lose their precious GameFAQs points after posting incendiary responses that get modded into the dust. I figured I’d go full ‘90s here with the internet analogy. It's a Prince Iaukea sighting! Apparently, he was in New Japan for the past few weeks. I’m mildly curious about his little tour. Alex Wright and Queen Debra are still holding it together as a duo somehow; let’s see if Wright can get them a bit of momentum with a win. Wright gets control, Wright dances, Wright does some pretty mean stuff like stomping on Iaukea’s fingers. Iaukea makes a comeback with a couple of dropkicks and an enziguri for two. Iaukea sinks in a chinlock, but Wright makes his way out of it pretty quickly and hits a release belly-to-belly on a rope run. Debra decides that she needs to get up on the apron to cheer Wright on at this point, and Wright just wants this idiot to calm down and relax. Wright’s still in control, though he’s fed up with Debra at this point and doesn’t fully focus on Iaukea. Apparently, Debra got her gown hung up on the turnbuckle, and Wright is just like, What the hell sis, you’re really cramping my style, and having been distracted, he turns around into a top-rope crossbody that gets three for Iaukea. Wright immediately shitcans Debra after the match, which is probably a solid decision! Disco Inferno and Randy Savage make for an interesting matchup, if only because both guys spend most of their time selling for dudes than putting up offense, at least on TV. Five minutes of Disco unloading offense on Savage before getting Savage Elbow’d would be interesting. Savage slugging Disco into the ground – also interesting. Or maybe they’ll have a dance-off! Let's find out together. Liz grabbing Disco’s leg to draw him outside the ring and pushing him into the steel post, I didn’t expect, but okay! I guess they got around all the pesky “Who’s going to take all the offense stuff” by making the post shot from Liz basically the end of the match – Savage beats him up outside for thirty seconds after that, then puts him back in the ring and hits two Savage Elbows for the win. It wasn’t good or anything, but I was riveted! Post-match, Savage drops another elbow just for funsies. Mickey Jay tries to stop him from dropping a fourth and gets punched and tossed, after which Savage spray paints Disco and Liz pins him with one boot on the chest. Oh, THEN Savage drops another elbow. This was pretty good fuckery and I found it entertaining. Someone tell that doofus Brad Armstrong that you can’t be a heel and ALSO wear a jacket patterned in the U.S. flag unless you’re a) working in a country where the U.S. is the heel, or b) working some sort of Dark Patriot gimmick, like the Dark Patriot did. And even that guy wore black and red rather than red, white, and blue! Anyway, Malenko comes out here and works a decent TV match with the guy. It’s got some crisp moves, especially Armstrong’s neckbreaker and his powerslam, the latter of which he floats over on to get two. Armstrong actually gets a couple of close two-counts, including on a roll-through of a crossbody. I mean, this match happens to general silence, but it’s aesthetically pleasing and Armstrong is excellent tonight. Malenko rolls through a sunset flip attempt to lock on the Texas Cloverleaf for the win. The bridge of Malenko’s nose is busted, if you want to get a sense of the intensity of this match, which kinda came out of nowhere to surprise me. Gene Okerlund is branching out and interviewing other former Horsemen now: Mongo McMichael joins him on the ramp. The Lions fans in Saginaw are like, Man, fuck this dude. Mongo got a kick out of Alex Wright firing Debra, the latter of whom comes out to make amends with Mongo. I guess Goldberg dumped her at some point off-screen, too? Debra, give it up, go join your boy Jeff Jarrett in the Dub already. Mongo is disinterested in a reunion, however. Debra said she’d do “anything” to get back with Mongo, so of course that pervy FUCK Gene Okerlund is like Ooh, she said “anything,” that probably means “butt stuff,” huh? Well, he implies that he’s thinking that! He totally is! I can’t shit on Okerlund too much, though, because the Nitro Girls are out here and Chae is wearing the same type of top that she popped out of a few weeks ago, and yes, I immediately watched this segment like it was the Zapruder film. Chris Jericho’s really growing out that beard to help signal his coming heel turn. He’s not gonna out-heel Buff Bagwell, though, at least not tonight. Buff trips Jericho and laughs uproariously because he thinks it’s going to be an easy night. Buff arm drag, Buff dance, Buff pose. Jericho eventually fights back and clotheslines Buff to the floor, then hits Buff with a tope over the top and slaps the shit out of Buff besides. Back in the ring, Jericho hits a Lionsault and I’m expecting a surprise win here, but Buff kicks out at two. Buff is able to drape Jericho over the ropes on a Jericho rana attempt, and Buff returns the angry slaps. Buff goes from angry to cocky as shit once he thinks he’s back in control, though. Huh, this is a pretty good match, too. They go back and forth, and twice, Jericho comebacks get stuffed by clotheslines. Buff jaws with the ref and gets rolled up for two after the ref finally shoves Buff back for once. Buff sets up for the Blockbuster, but he stops to pose and Jericho dropkicks him, then hits a rana from the top for 2.9. Jericho goes in for the kill and tries triple running corner lariats; Buff blocks the third with a boot, then hops up and hits a sloppy Blockbuster for three (thanks, commentary, for pointing that out). Man, the wrestling has been good tonight, and the match layouts varied to boot. Curt Hennig defends the U.S. Championship against Ray Traylor in a match that really holds zero intrigue. Perfect/Boss Man in 1991? Yes, please. Hennig/Traylor in 1997? I’ll pass, thanks. A guy in a Mariners cap (Go M’s! Go somewhere that’ll trade us their NBA team for you!) distracts Hennig enough that Traylor gets the jump on the champ outside the ring. Heenan gives a lot of love to Hennig for working as champ with a busted up knee – worked over the night before by Ric Flair – and Tony’s all like YOU WANNA BE nWo, HUH? Tony, these men had a fruitful working partnership together in the past and have clearly patched up their differences from four or five years ago. One thing I’ve noticed on re-watch: Schiavone is a total dickhead. Oh, the match itself? It’s acceptable wrestling. Nothing worth stopping to watch even if it pops up in a random WCW match playlist on YouTube, but nothing that makes you stop to evaluate why you’re a pro wrestling fan. I think that it’s important to note that they try really hard, though. Traylor hits a Boss Man Slam that gets two, which is when the nWo decides to make its entrance to beat up Traylor. Savage really wants to blow out his hip, considering that he now hits what's about his 73rd Savage Elbow of the night. Hall tries to use a marker (it’s dry erase and Traylor’s sweating, dummy) and then resorts to the ol’ dependable spray paint to mark Traylor up. Tony S. is struggling with the latest video game releases – he mixed up which console WCW Nitro was coming out for (PlayStation) and which console WCW/nWo World Tour was coming out for (N64) earlier. He gets it entirely right with World Tour, but confused himself with Nitro earlier. In his defense, there were like a shit-ton of wrestling games coming out between like 1995 and 2001, and it was truly a glorious time to be alive. Recap of the utterly garbage finish in the WW3 battle royal. After the nonsense finishes in the main events at Fall Brawl, Havoc, and WW3, at least we’re assured a good ol’, no nonsense babyface victory in the Starrcade main event! I can’t see any way that doesn’t happen! There is zero suspense to Hogan/Giant itself, but maybe Sting will show up when the nWo is feeling itself the most and bring them crashing back down to earth? That’s intriguing! Right before the bell, the Giant blasts Vincent with his cast-covered hand, which Hogan targets shortly after. Hogan hammers it into the ringpost, and it makes a nice DING sound just like an AKI video game, damn near. Even if this match is going nowhere in the end, I’m interested in the journey, but we cut away to Bischoff and Rick Rude running the commentary team off so that they can take over. We finally cut back to Hogan clotheslining the Giant from the ring to the floor, which is always an impressive bump for the Giant to take. Hogan hits the legdrop and the Giant kicks out at two – how devalued has the legdrop become as a finisher over the past year, huh? No one even pops for the Giant kicking out. This match is pretty heatless except for a brief HOGAN SUCKS chant earlier and the Giant signaling for the chokeslam. The Giant actually hits said chokeslam, but hurt his hand and can’t make the cover. Nash-as-Sting comes down and bashes Giant’s hand with a baseball bat. At least the nWo commentators are only pretending not to recognize how much taller Nash is than actual Sting. Then, they lower a Sting dummy and crash him through the mat. Look, when I grade this Nitro, I’m just ignoring the opening and the closing and pretending that the nWo nonsense that ruins every opener and every main event didn’t happen. Bischoff thinks “Sting is such a dummy” is clever, by the way, and I think he thinks that as a shoot even if you consider that he’s working as a heel. OK, I can’t entirely forget the opener and main event, but I’m not going to let it shake my grade too much because the rest of the show was fun, full of variety, and quite entertaining. 4.25 out of 5 Stinger Splashes
  8. Yeah, the issue here with WW3 is that the Rumble is already a perfected version of the battle royal. I don't think you can trademark a match type (only a name), so WCW would have been better off upping the amount of entrants, but not the amount of rings. Do sixty men, cut down the entry time to ninety seconds between entrants, and go forth with only one ring (or maybe one slightly bigger-than-regulation ring if you really want to do something visually different, though that probably would be a bitch for the high-flyers to get used to for one night only).
  9. World War 3 '97 notes: I like the switch-up to just have four dudes doing a ton of strikes to open the show in this Faces of Fear/Glacier and Ernest Miller match. I've weirdly come around to enjoying Glacier in the ring these past few months, and he was pretty dreadful early on, so that's saying something. The crowd was interested in seeing a Tongan Death Grip, and they got one from Meng (after a minor Jimmy Hart distraction) for the victory. Solid tag opener. DDP somehow gets Mark Madden mixed up with Gene Okerlund. Don't ask me how. Raven gets a mic and declares that we let the Wild Rumpus begin the stretchings start before this Disco Inferno/Saturn rematch for the TV title. Saturn's confused face at Disco actually getting some offense in had me laughing. He's genuinely unsure of when and where Disco figured out how to wrestle after the first three minutes of action. It actually makes for a good match narrative where Saturn doesn't expect Disco to be aggressive, but we know that Disco can focus and really bust out some solid skills when he wants something other than to dance. Disco walks over and Chartbusters a couple of Flock members because he's so fired up, but Van Hammer's not having that shit, and it lets Saturn take control. That Chartbuster over the guardrail looked and sounded nasty, though. Disco and Saturn have a very good match full of counters that ends on a counter: Saturn just barely rolls through a top-rope crossbody from Disco into the Rings of Saturn to get the submission. Gene shills the hotline. He wants to tell you about some of the surprising faces backstage who might just be in the big battle royal tonight! Ooh, who did you see, Gene? Shawn Michaels? Steve Austin?! Sgt. Craig Pittman?!?! The Giant comes over to interview about his busted hand while I think about the possibilities for the battle royal. Hey, Ultimo Dragon! He got that elbow injury cleared up (was it work or shoot or worked shoot? IDK) and is back to wrestle Yuji Nagata again. Low-key, this Ultimo Dragon/Sonny Onoo feud has been long and uninteresting. How long have these two been working together/against one another? Feels like decades. It's not as bad as Benoit/Sullivan or anything, but there has to be something more interesting for Dragon to do at this point. Oh yes, the match! It's okay, but overlong It drags a bit during the Nagata control segment and probably could have stood to be three minutes shorter or so. It's not bad or anything, though. Dragon is a stupid dummy who lets go of the Dragon Sleeper before the ref has called the match, and it costs him in an awkward-looking finish. Trim these matches based on lukewarm midcard feuds down, please. Ah, here is the reason for the Blue Bloods getting a mini-push over the past two weeks: Bischoff needed a spot tag team to program against the Steiners in a one-off PPV match. This should be decent and successfully get us to the big Outsiders/Steiner Brothers match at Starrcade that, oh man, let's hope that they FINALLY run and then we can end this fucking feud. A year-plus to build Hogan/Sting makes sense, but doing that for a bunch of feuds, not so much. There's a lot of clubbering and suplexing and big dudes doing cool stuff in this thing. Regal tries to fight Ted DiBiase at one point, too. The tower bulldog gets three for the Steiners, and man, that was enjoyable. It's too bad that Regal had his health and addiction issues at the time from a professional as well as personal standpoint because he and Dave Taylor are an excellent tag team that the division had dear need for. At least Bischoff stopped using J.J. Dillon on TV all the time. I realize after seeing Dillon here on the show that he hasn't been around lately. He's here to bitch about Raven not signing a contract, but still participating in these shows. Dillon, after seven months (!!!), finally gives Raven only 24 more hours to sign a contract or he's DONE with WCW. I'm staggered by how incompetent this front office is. STAGGERED. I mean, even if you're incompetent IRL, don't actually portray yourselves like that as a work, too! Seven months! That's how long this angle has been going on! Bischoff, what the hell? Raven jumps over the rail to beat up Scotty Riggs (w/ milky eyeball). There's a Juggalo in the crowd. This is the '90s, fellow wrestling fan. Kidman establishes that this match is Raven's Rules (no DQ) before Riggs dives into the Flock at ringside. Riggs, per usual, comes out on fire, but eventually flames out. This match is fine as a garbage-lite brawl, but I'm so invested in the finish that I'm really wanting to get there almost as soon as the match starts. That's not fair to either guy - Riggs and Raven orchestrate a 2.9 off a Riggs chair-assisted bulldog that got me even though I know that Riggs has no chance. Raven drops Riggs with an Evenflow DDT, then grabs a mic and implores Riggs to stop taking a beating and join the Flock. He emphasizes his desire by hitting multiple Evenflow DDTs on Riggs. But apologetically! He does it apologetically. Raven wins by KO, but somewhere in Lights Out Land, I think Riggs is convinced by the force of Raven's argument. Van Hammer lugs Riggs along as the Flock vacates the premises. Mongo KO'd Goldberg with a lead pipe pre-match. Lead pipe, taser - WCW-era Goldberg really did need that little bit extra to be defeated, huh? Mongo got his ring back and, since Goldberg is cooked for the evening, he calls out someone else to face him tonight. Debra drags Alex Wright out, but Wright's heart really isn't in it. Wright gets worked over and tries to leave, but Debra coaxes him back to the ring. Wright tries again with some offense, but Mongo again puts a stop to all that. Wright finally sticks Mongo with a boot and maintains some control for about fifteen seconds. Mongo hits the three-point stance a couple times, rips off a lariat, and nails a sidewalk slam. The Tombstone Mongo Spike that puts Wright down for three is academic after all that. Debra's going through it out at ringside, let me tell you! Rey Misterio Jr./Eddy Guerrero was so nice at Havoc, they decided to run it back. I do wonder why no one remembers this match. I mean, Havoc was awesome, but they had a dope Nitro match two weeks later or whatever that no one talks about to switch the title back, and then no one mentions this match either. Do we not appreciate Eddy zonking Misterio with a GROSS release German? Honestly, with some of the back-of-the-neck bumps that Rey takes regularly on these shows, it's a miracle that he's still able to talk in 2023, much less work regularly. This match is very good - surprise! - and they go for huge bombs in this that aren't all aerial, like sunset flip powerbombs and superplexes and release Germans and stuff like that. That gives this match a bit more flavor. Eddy working as the power wrestler is so much fun and something that he didn't get to do enough of in the United States (I can't speak for his work in Mexico). There's lots of counter-wrestling, and even though a lot of this match is worked in the air, it feels violent and spontaneous rather than light and choreographed. Some doofus in the crowd missed a great Misterio moonsault because he went to get food and is passing it out. Who gets food during a Rey/Eddy match? What is wrong with that guy? Eddy grabs the ropes to avoid losing to a Misterio springboard rana, then drapes Rey's throat across the ropes and hits a Frog Splash to retain. This was nearly as good as the Havoc match, IMO. Ric Flair and Curt Hennig have another match, this one no-DQ. These matches, at least in this era, generally have diminishing returns, and we've had one already on this show. Flair takes a nasty backdrop on the floor, certainly, but I don't know that this does much to really differentiate itself from all the other no-DQ arena brawls in this company. The Raven/Riggs bout had the angle-focused ending that made it all click for me. I want to be charitable: Hennig trying to take out Flair's wheels so that he doesn't have to keep running from Flair or risk the Figure Four makes a ton of sense. I think, as with many things that happen in this era of WCW, the idea is sounder than the execution. Maybe it doesn't help that Flair barely bothers to sell any of that damage even medium-term. He's kneedropping and strutting immediately after all that knee damage. Of course, he's got to get his spots in! The best example of this is Flair doing a Flair Flop and the crowd applauding for it even though the babyface is getting his ass beat. I have problems with Ric Flair's work sometimes. This match verged on actually sort of almost bad, though I don't think it quite got there. There's some poetry in Flair destroying Hennig's leg in response, but meh. Hennig survives with a belt shot to Flair's head while Flair has him in the Figure Four. Weak finish. It's another sixty-man, three-ring battle royal! Let's just do a few notes: They were smart to have Goldberg get attacked before his match so that he is unable to enter this match and therefore get tossed and have a blemish on his record at all. Kevin Nash doesn't show up to start this match, so we're at 59 guys in the ring for now. Man, it should be an auto-DQ if you don't make it by the time the bell sounds. The Giant just chills in the corner and tosses dudes as they come to him. Four in the first thirty seconds or so, in fact! There was sadly not enough Norman Smiley in this match. One of the only benefits of this match using three rings is that the people who survive a ring that's cleared out more quickly have an advantage. They can just chill out in their emptied ring while they wait for the ref to merge the rings when it gets down to only a few wrestlers left in the whole match. WCW booked around this feature a bit last year, but not so much this year. Ring 2 is a total cluster of humanity and it's just visual clutter. They don't hit the three-ring split-screen very often, and with good reason because it doesn't look great, but they spend a lot of time on the ring with the most guys in it standing around and trying to find room to work a punch. Barry Darsow's back and wearing gear that calls back to Krusher Khrushchev. Scott Hall teases a near-elimination, and three nWo members save him while the crowd shrieks at the first ostentatiously teased elimination in the whole dumb match. It took this long for that sort of teased elimination to happen. Gosh, we are well into this thing, too. Since Hall is the guy doing the teases, I'm thinking that he ends up winning this WW3 battle royal, now. Page and Benoit beating the hell out of each other makes me want to see them run that back in a singles match. James Vandenberg, ever active outside the ring, cuts a quick deal with Alex Wright on behalf of his client Mortis. They are now allied. Let's see how long THAT lasts. Rings 2 and 3 clear out, but Ring 1 stays fuller than you'd think after all this time. The nWo is taking awhile to get rid of everyone in that ring. Misterio's trying to pull a Kofi Kingston in that ring to avoid elimination. While everyone in Ring 2 just chillaxes, Mortis and Wright go at the Giant in Ring 1 and get eliminated. That leaves Giant and Meng, who I guess are like fuck it, why wait to merge the rings? No wait, Ring 2 starts fighting, too. Meanwhile, the nWo have cooked everyone in Ring 1 and are relaxing because they are far smarter than WCW. The Giant dropkicks Meng out of the ring because the Giant RULES. Final ten entrants into the single ring: DDP, Lex Luger, Booker T, Rick Steiner, and the Giant for WCW. Randy Savage, Vincent, Scott Hall, Curt Hennig, and Buff Bagwell for the nWo. I always forget that you can get eliminated under the bottom rope in this match. The Giant eliminates Vincent by rolling him to the floor with a boot after Page hit Vincent with a Diamond Cutter. Booker T got eliminated somehow. Rick Steiner did, too. The Giant dumps Buff Bagwell while Buff and the rest of the nWo tries to knock Luger out. Hennig and Luger hit the floor as part of that mass elimination attempt on Luger. Final Four: Page, Savage, Giant, and Hall. The Giant rules, did I mention? He cuts off a Savage Elbow, dares Savage to lauch, and catches him when Savage does jump. This provides enough of a diversion for Page to hit a Diamond Cutter on Savage, but the Giant insists on chokeslamming Savage before dumping him. Surprisingly, he doesn't pay for all that moxie and Savage gets rolled underneath the ropes after the chokeslam. Waiting for Kevin Nash to show up. Kevin Nash is showing up. The nWo runs a misdirection: Everyone expects Nash to come down the ramp, but actually Hulk Hogan comes down the ramp instead. Why is this doofus allowed to enter the match this late? WCW really needs to tighten things up. What is wrong with their rules committee? Hogan slams the Giant to a huge pop. I, uh, I don't love this twist. It's nonsensical. Why is Hogan allowed in this match? Why is he allowed in so late? Why not just run a Hogan/Page match on this show instead, even if it's not for the gold? Hogan casually dumps Page as Nash-as-Sting rappels down and uses a bat on the Giant to knock the big man out. Hogan dipped out of the ring, so Scott Hall wins in what has to be one of the shittier finishes that WCW has cooked up in the Bischoff era. I mean, the desk pretends that they're actually looking at Sting when, uh, Sting isn't 6'10! Fuck you, WCW.
  10. Yeah, I think this is a good idea. I wasn't planning on watching every PPV, but it's turned into that. I also plan to briefly cover Thunder here when that starts, so what the hell. P.S.: I love the navel-gazing, encourage as much of it as possible in this thread, and plan to respond to it when I can digest it.
  11. Show #116 - 17 November 1997 "The one where the nWo is all up in the videos like Missy Elliott in a fish-eye lens" We're going home to the WW3 PPV this Nitro! Sting is apparently taking over the entertainment business with that one movie part, according to Mike Tenay. Anyway, that's what he claims while we watch the end of last week's show to start this Nitro. I mean, you gotta promote, but let's not go too over the top with it. You will never guess how this Nitro starts: Rockhouse hits and the nWo wanders out. Wow, I love the switch-up to the typical format! At least Bischoff and Hogan aren't out here. Scratch that, Bischoff is here. Of course I couldn't be so lucky. There's a survey, Hall harasses Zbyszko, Hall passes that feud onto Bischoff's plate, Nash wants the tag titles back from the Steiners, Nash says that the Giant is reminiscent of Quasimodo and himself sexy, Bischoff blathers on and my eyes glaze over. Oh no, now Hogan's out here to ersatz Voodoo Child. Hogan points to the entrance and the enforcer of D-Generation X (at least based on the RAW airing that night, he still is at time of original viewing) Rick Rude comes to the ring. Rude is quite disapproving of the Montreal Screwjob, and he makes that clear in this polemic w/r/t what is wrong and what is right with pro wrestling circa-1997. Shawn Michaels gets some shade by name, as does Vinnie Mac. It's a pretty good promo! Rick Rude is endlessly entertaining. He also makes it clear that he's got everlasting beef with Sting! Man, the scars of 1992 have not yet healed! This was entertaining enough that I don't mind Hogan talking on and on after that Rude promo. I really did zone out there and started watching Hakeem vs. Shaq one-on-one on PPV (sponsored by Taco Bell!) promos on YouTube. Larry Z. won't stop talking about his golf game, dammit! Gene Okerlund interviews Ray Traylor. Traylor doesn't want anybody to feel sorry for him, and believe me, he has zero sympathy from anyone in this arena. Mostly because no one cares about him. The nWo runs out and jumps him. I'm tired of the nWo for now. Let's try to string together two segments without any of these fellas all up in the videos, please. Traylor gets whipped and spray-painted. Glacier comes out next, and he's still only got one loss in singles competition since he debuted. Let's see if Meng can nudge that number of Ls upward by one. Glacier hits a clothesline and a series of kicks ending in a leg sweep for two. He tries a few punches, but Meng eats them and hits a backdrop, followed by a clothesline of his own. Meng lads some chops and kicks on Glacier in the corner, then chokes him just for fun. Meng clubbers Glacier down, then raises his hand to a bit of a pop. Glacier tries to use his agility, but Meng stuffs his offense until he misses his own splash. Glacier finally gets some sustained offense in, and Jimmy Hart calls for Barbarian, but Barb's not needed. Glacier whiffs on a kick and gets Tongan Death Grip'd to the mat for three. Ernest Miller runs in for the save, and is doing quite the job until he runs into Meng, who walks through Miller's offense and locks a TDG on Miller. Meng absolutely RULES WCW. Diamond Dallas Page cuts a promo on Bret Hart in the bumper. Everyone just believes Bisch that Bret's gone nWo. Like, come on, I know you're babyfaces, but you can't be this dumb. Segment number two in a row without the nWo, maybe! Alex Wright and Debra have had a losing partnership so far, at least on Nitro, but I guess since the first time they interacted, they got off on the wrong foot - Debra was disgusted by the guy - there's not really any long-term basis for a good working relationship. Wright's up against Mongo. I was hoping for Goldberg, but the guy hasn't wrestled on Nitro too damn long. Sorry to disrespect your presence, Mongo. Wright unloads with strikes early, but Mongo has POWA and uses it to back body drop and clothesline Wright. Mongo's issue is that he's arguing with Debra and turning his back on Wright, which gives Wright openings to take control again. I'm pretty sure Mongo and Debra were actually IRL recently splitting up at this time, and I don't know how these people work together while going through that, or even having gone through that years ago a la Savage and Liz. I stopped talking to every ex I ever had after we broke up, though, so probably I'm less capable of doing something like that than most people. Wright missed a crossbody from the top and Mongo jumps on Wright and just clubbers the crap out of him. Nick Patrick tries to force a break and Mongo tosses him aside for the DQ loss. That was highly unsatisfying. Chris Jericho's wrestling Rey Misterio Jr. tonight. Jericho was a bit more vicious and quite snarky last week against Disco, so I think we're getting what is a much needed heel turn for this guy. He's actually a solid fiery fightin' babyface, but he doesn't have the pure natural babyface essence to get over like that in front of 1997 crowds. Jericho is one of those guys whose reach exceeds his grasp, particularly athletically, but for being a mediocre athlete (at least when it comes to smaller pro wrestlers), he's smart enough to use his size advantage effectively against cruiserweight opponents. I hate to give him any credit because he's just so generally (shoot, IMO) unlikeable, but even in these first couple years of his WCW run, you can see a guy who understands how to pitch his performance to different opponents, even as he struggles to keep up with many of them athletically. I mention this because Jericho hits a super press slam off the top rope, and it looks like he's going to fuck it, but he doesn't. It's a great move in this context because a) Jericho's playing bully ball with Rey effectively, being the bigger guy, but b) this is still a Cruiserweight match, so he's got to do something spectacular that you won't see from the larger heavies. Jericho is a complicated guy for me to judge as a pro wrestler, let me tell you. I think he got worse as he got older because he couldn't deal with the fading of what athleticism he had and he has rabbit ears and really believed the broader internet fandom when it asserted that he was a pro wrestling genius. Meanwhile, Jericho hits a nice stalling vertical suplex after dragging Rey back into the ring by his mask. Yeah, I'm ready for this heel turn. I've been writing mostly about Jericho because that's just where I ended up going, so I apologize for doing a Tony S. and not doing justice to this match, which is awesome. There's a spot that looks great but falls apart with three seconds of thinking in which Jericho stuffs a rana with a powerbomb, then goes for his signature triple bomb, but on the third powerbomb attempt, Rey flips out and hits a springboard rana for three. You telling me those two powerbombs did zero to Rey? I mean, it looked fantastic, but come on, two Jericho powerbombs should probably keep you from doing perfect flippies with no ill effects immediately after taking them. Sore loser Jericho confronts and shoves Rey after the match, but Craig Leathers cuts away to show the replay. Dammit, Leathers! Chris Benoit cuts a promo w/r/t the Hitman and the nWo next. He's also gullible, just in case you were wondering. We made it three segments before Bischoff had to insert himself back into the show. He faces off with Larry Z., and man is this Cincinnati crowd HOT for that. I continued to be staggered by how over Zbyszko is in front of these crowds. Bisch baits Larry Z. into a shocking spot where Bischoff is thrown into the set and then stripped down to his skivvies! No, wait, it's just another generic nWo beatdown of another babyface. Scott Hall is nowhere to be found. This guy is the true mastermind of the nWo, starting feuds that he never has to finish. I should note that the crowd has stayed hot for pretty much everything, including the nWo stuff, so I'm just a crabby old man. A Villano jobs to Diamond Dallas Page. I wrote that sentence before the match started, by the way. Kimberly and DDP do their entrance taunt, and man, the people at AKI nailed it in WCW/nWo Revenge, let me tell you. I saw this and immediately thought that I need to find some time to play Revenge. Watching this show has brought me back to Revenge a couple times in the past however long I've been doing this. Page gets an early two count on V, and IV tries to run interference, but the Villano family is out of their league tonight. IV does run a distraction and then choke Page later, and give the Villanos credit because they go deep into their bag of tricks to try and cheat a win, but Page takes their best shots and essentially wins an unofficial handicap match with the Diamond Cutter. Both dudes get it, and IV gets an Avalanche Diamond Cutter just for all the cheating. Page rolls up through the stands after he wins because he's a rebel and shit. Dean Malenko apparently finagled a shot at Eddy Guerrero's Cruiserweight Championship tonight just by mean mugging Eddy last week. Man, Eddy rules. He looks disgusted by Doug Dellinger's presence. I don't blame him. He tries to shake hands with Dean Malenko, who apparently has a longer memory than most pro wrestlers and swats it away. They go really fast, so I can't catch everything, though Eddy's tilt-a-whirl backbreaker followed by him getting up and yelling YEAHHHHH C'MON to celebrate made me laugh. Eddy really works over Malenko and controls a large portion of the match. Rey Misterio Jr. comes back out to scout this match right before the break; he's got the shot at the winner of this match at WW3. Back from break, Eddy's poking Malenko in the eye and choking him. Of course. Malenko makes his comeback soon after, with a press slam and a mudhole stompin'. He goes head-to-head with Charles Robinson after the break, but has the wherewithal to catch Eddy sneaking up on him. Eddy offers a handshake, and Malenko acceptsit and pulls Eddy in for a clobberin'. Eddy survives a Malenko flurry and turns the tide with a basement dropkick. Malenko makes another comeback and hits a weak double-underhook powerbomb, but can't find a way to lock the Texas Clvoerleaf on. Eddy regains control and goes for the Gory Special, which is reversed into what becomes a series of two-count pinfall reversals. Malenko gets back to his feet and hits a wheelbarrow slam, but the Cloverleaf gets countered into a small package for two. Malenko regains control and goes to the top, but gets caught and superplexed. The men go up again, and this time Malenko drops Eddy with a back superplex. Super back suplex? Whatever. Both guys hit hard and the match ends in...a double-KO when Robinson counts to ten. I don't know, that was a big enough move to rate that sort of finish in a vacuum, but I just saw Rey shrug off worse and still win his match. Lex Luger is also gullible in a bumper w/r/t the Hitman and the nWo. Scotty Riggs really shouldn't be wrestling with a still-injured eye, but he's probably got to pay a massive doctor's bill, so off to work he goes! Saturn is Riggs's opponent, an the whole-ass Flock is in the front row. Billy Kidman offers Riggs salvation from this ass-whipping he's about to catch from Saturn as long as Riggs joins the Flock, but it's a no from Riggs. Riggs does manage to get more offense in than Disco did, so there's that! Riggs has this whole offensive flurry that everyone just sits on their hands for. Poor bastard. It must be 1997 because some doofus in the front row has a South Park-themed sign. He was too lazy to even draw Stan or Kyle or Cartman or Kenny - he just put the "You killed Kenny!" quote on the sign by itself. Lazy prick. Anyway, Saturn takes over, hits a nice keylock suplex, and basically rolls Riggs for awhile. Riggs's patch and gauze pop off his eye, but he fights back a bit anyway and even gets two on a splash. Ew, Riggs has a milky eyeball. I'd be worried about keeping the contact in during the match too much to do wild spots if I were him, but this dude dives from the top rope over the rail and into Raven's flunkies in the front row. That ruled! Also, that's why he was a pro wrestler, but I'm not. Raven is unmoved; Saturn grabs Riggs and sends him into the steps. then hits a top-rope legdrop and locks on the Rings of Saturn for the win. We get a somewhat uninspired post-match beatdown, but mostly Raven just kneels in front of Riggs and looks like an extra in the video for Smells Like Teen Spirit. The nWo are in the final three matches of the night. In the ring, the Nitro Girl with the slasher smile does a solo dance. Well, I'm anti-hyped by all that. The Steiner Brothers come out for a match and, oh wow, get jumped in the aisle by the nWo and catch a beatdown and a spray painting. Tony S. has been going on about how smart the nWo's strategy has been tonight. This is literally the same strategy they've been using for almost eighteen months! Curt Hennig's out next. You know, at least Hennig's actually a proper nWo member who came from a long WWF stint and wasn't a jobber there. Hennig and Luger are going to rematch from a couple weeks ago. I see these nWo bums are smart enough not to try and jump Luger, at least. The desk hypes WW3 some more. You know, I have zero idea who is winning this one. I didn't remember any of these at all except for the one Savage won in 1995. That's sorta refreshing. I think, though, Scott Hall wins one at some point. Could be this year, could be next. Probably not in 1999 or later, considering his condition. Did they run this PPV through 2000? Gosh, I can't remember anything about 1999-2000 WCW, damn near. (Note: I went over to start WW3 1997 after this show and found that it ends after 1998. I do not remember what show takes its place.) Luger takes it to Hennig, who takes the opportunity to do a bunch of wobbly-legged selling. Hennig takes over, but not for long, and Luger hammers him with a lariat and hits a stalling vertical suplex. Hennig has to crawl to the apron and lure Luger over before he can get some space with a neck snap over the top rope. Hennig gets two off a kneelift, then locks on a sleeper. Luger fights out of it just before his arm drops for the third time and gets to hit Hennig with offense that Hennig does way too over-elaborate bumping for - no one's bumping off that Luger inverted atomic drop like that, Hennig. Hennig bumps all the way outside, shoves Nick Patrick into Luger, then clobbers Luger with the U.S. Championship. The crowd wants Flair, but they get Hennig rolling Luger back in the ring and hitting the PerfectPlex, though at least Patrick correctly calls for the DQ on Hennig. The Giant's the man to come down for the save. Hennig escapes with the damage already done. I get that the idea is the nWo is feeling good about themselves for beating Sting down last week and so they're just going HAM on everyone else, too, and that idea makes sense in theory, but the execution of this idea sucked tonight. Scott Hall mocking the Giant with the Frankenstein's Monster walk is hilarious every time. Kevin Nash chases Heenan away over at the desk and decides to join commentary in his place. Hall toothpicks Giant, who looks like a disappointed dad in response, honestly. Hall ducks a Giant punch, but decidedly loses a collar-and-elbow tie-up. They tie up again, and Giant sits Hall on the top rope and lightly pats him on his cheek. Ooh, disrespect! I pop for disrespectful behavior in a wrestling ring. At least when it's good, I do. The Giant open-hand slaps the shit out of Hall's chest. Hall is getting murked here. A guy in the front row holds up his TOSS 'EM HERE sign, fully-designed with a target, but Giant merely slams Hall in the ring. Only when Hall goes outside and is able to break a goozle by slamming Giant's hand against the post does the tide of this match change. Hall works the hand back in the ring while I childishly giggle at the TAZ: 3 LETTERS, 1 WORD, 4 FEET sign someone walks by holding in the stands. Oh man, I feel like a jackass, but I just couldn't help myself. The Giant fires up with headbutts and then a punch with the injured hand. Giant's hand is legit busted up, which is a cool visual. The Giant fights through the pain and goozles Hall for the chokeslam anyway, but, OH WOW, it's an nWo run-in and beat down. A few WCW undercard guys run down and we get basically a WW3 preview, but only in one ring. The structure of this show made a lot of sense, and I also did not like it generally, though there were good things sprinkled throughout the show. Next time, instead of the nWo showing up in like six segments, let's have Eddy show up for six segments instead. 3.5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes
  12. Show #115 - 10 November 1997 "The one where Bret Hart's career starts an inexorable downhill slide" It's the weekend and the dishes are done, the wife is turning in early, and the house is quiet. This is the perfect time for Nitro! Any time is the perfect time for Nitro, honestly. So, uh, if you don't remember the date of the infamous Montreal Screwjob, Bret Hart got screwjobbed the night before this show because the nWo rolls out with a bunch of Canadian flags. I am excited to have the HitG.O.A.T. on my screen, but also, I am not looking forward to seeing the HitG.O.A.T. be booked into the ground and then eat a kick from Goldberg that puts him out of wrestling. Bischoff manages to get a shitty Elvis impression in while introducing the previously injured Kevin Nash, whom Syxx rolls to the ring in a wheelchair. But it's all a fake-out! Nash is up and quite spry, actually! He and Hall are carrying their own pair of WCW World Tag Team Championship belts. Nash riffs on the Lou Gehrig retirement speech (not quite as timely as most of his references), then lists beating the Giant up as the thing he'd like to most do next to winning Ben Stein's money (much timelier joke, and here I will note that WCW did have their own special episode of that show, though Nash was not able to fulfill his dream. Raven, Kimberly, and Disco were on this one. Also, really bad taste and terrible edgelord "humor" was on this show, since it was the '90s and Jimmy Kimmel was involved. Link to the episode here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVTMwV6Gd7U) Bischoff talks about Bret Hart being a knockout kinda guy, which, like, no one in this crowd even understands. This is a crowd full of WCW fans who were mostly not on the internet at that time, probably! I was, though. I was scandalized. I know we're all sick of the Montreal Screwjob, and for good reason, but I'll always remember that night and clicking around the early internet trying to figure out WTF happened. It was a formative internet experience for me. These nWo scumbags BUTCHER "O Canada," which I have said before in this thread is one of the most fun national anthems to sing. My God, drunk hockey fans can belt this one out and make it sound good. This was like Amazing French Canadiens-level bad, but times a hundred. Thanks, I hated it. We get the proper Nitro introduction almost ten minutes into the show. The mooks at the desk talk somewhat cryptically about Bret Hart and just assume, I guess, that Bisch ain't lying about Bret Hart being a part of the nWo. Larry Z.'s smart enough to point out that Bischoff makes shit up all the time, though. Gene Okerlund shills the WCW Hotline like he's never shilled it before to sell a bit of that sweet, sweet Hitman-clobbered-Vinnie gossip. Excuse me, I had Rajah WWF for FREE, Okerlund, you bum. The Blue Bloods are back together! Steven Regal and Dave Taylor come to the ring to wrestle Harlem Heat. Booker backdrops Regal, hits a sidekick, and arm drags Taylor. Regal gets a shot to the eyes and tags Taylor in, but Booker pushes Taylor back into his corner and tags in Stevie. I'm sure this is not going long because they're moving pretty quickly. Anyway, a bunch of nonsense happened during a match between these two on WCWSN and Chris Adams was somehow involved, so this is a return match. Everyone else was filling us in on that when Tony S. randomly yelled OMIGOSH, BRET HART IN THE nWo?! and I know it's not his fault because he's just doing what the producers of this show tell him to do, but no wonder everyone hated him by the middle of 1998. Booker topples from the top rope and Regal and Taylor hit a combo of strikes on Stevie before Taylor floats over on a butterfly suplex for three. It's quite the upset, but Regal's not long for WCW, so nothing will come of this in the long-run. It was a perfectly cromulent television bout. This is a pretty loaded show, with Flair/Luger (based on last week's discord at the end of the show), Eddy/Rey, and DDP/Hennig as announced matches tonight, if I heard right. I'm into it! Disco Inferno got worked by Saturn for the TV Title last week, but he's over it. He'll face off with Chris Jericho, who should, as Saturn did last week, find it a pretty easy night's work. Weirdly, these dudes have an intense punchup to start, like where did that come from? I guess Disco was mad about whatever music Jericho was using at the time cutting him off. We got a badly-edited-in version of "Break the Walls Down" on the Network. Disco dodges a corner charge and hits a clothesline. He opens up on Jericho while the whole crowd on the hard cam side ignores the in-ring action to look at Raven and his Flock walking to their seats. In the ring, Disco misses a top-rope kneedrop, manages to block a roll-up, but celebrates that block and eats a thrust kick. Jericho follows up with a backbreaker and the Lion Tamer for the submission win. That was short and sweet. As Disco walks to the back, Billy Kidman tosses a drink in Disco's face. Disco responds by hitting Kidman with a Chartbuster, but Sick Boy and Saturn hop the railing and beat Disco down. Pirate Scotty Riggs and his eyepatch run down for the save, but Riggs finds himself unable to take a swing at the charismatic leader of the Flock. He backs off while Raven silently uses his Rasputin-like psychological influence to convince Riggs that life sucks, so join the Flock. Barbarian! I haven't seen this guy kick the shit out of someone in too long. Let's hope he kicks the shit out of Glacier. For a second, I was hoping it'd be Goldberg coming out here, but no, I've been let down. Glacier loses a lockup, but kips up and hits a bunch of strikes. He uses his speed to confuse Barb, hitting a leg sweep and throwing more strikes; Barb gets sick of that shit and clubbers Glacier. The crowd EXPLODES as Jimmy Hart comes to the ring. We're in Memphis, so obviously Hart's going to get some love. Hart still has Barbarian's management contract, so I figure after sitting at home wondering where it all went wrong with the Dungeon of Doom, he probably decided he needed to come back and get his cut. Glacier swings, gets blocked, and eats an inverted atomic drop. In a nice spot, both men block arm drags, then block belly-to-belly suplexes until Glacier finally gets his suplex on Barb. Hart jumps onto the apron and Glacier immediately Cryonic Kicks him - rude! - which allows Barb to take control. However, Barbarian comes off the second rope with a double axehandle and, with his hands raised defenselessly over his head, can do nothing but choke down a Cryonic Kick that earns Glacier the win. Meng won't stand for this nonsense, and he comes down and Tongan Death Grips Glacier in the post-match. Sure, I'm here for Glacier/Ernest Miller against the Faces of Fear, why not? This match was also pretty enjoyable in and of itself, by the way. Raven comes to the ring, takes Penzer's mic, and slumps in the corner. He apologizes to Riggs for the whole eye injury, but I'm not sure how sincere he is. Raven complains about his shitty childhood in which he was mercilessly bullied while the Flock stands around in the ring. Tony S. thinks the bullying was totally justified because Tony S. is a dick. Anyway, Raven blames society for being mean to him as the reason that he and his Flock will beat everyone up. Meanwhile, the desk freaks out over the somewhat androgynous dress and makeup that Van Hammer's wearing. It's a nipple ring and lipstick, fellas. That used to be typical dress on a Saturday night in Capitol Hill. After a short Goldberg/Mongo feud recap, Sonny Onoo escorts Yuji Nagata to the ring. Nagata's opponent is Alex Wright, who is a bit too impressed with his own cleverness in the early exchanges and eats a wheel kick for his insolence. The match goes outside and Wright beats the shit out of Nagata (aside, to a fan, as he chops Nagata: "Is this what you wanted?"), with a clothesline and a bunch of strikes. He rolls Nagata in the ring and goes up top, but Nagata catches him and hits a superplex. Wright backs into the corner and gets control again in short order, hitting a top-rope knee drop. He runs the ropes and eats a suplex, but hits his own back suplex for two. Outside the ring, Onoo shoves some money into Debra's hands and then kisses her, so she smacks him, and the whole exchange distracts Wright and allows Nagata to jump him and lock on the Nagata Lock for the submission. I guess Onoo thought that he could just pay Debra and then kiss her in return, but he didn't actually attempt to a) work out a deal before just jamming some money into Debra's hand and then kissing her, and furthermore, b) why would he think that she was interested in sex work, and c) even if it was, why would he assume that she wouldn't choose her clientele meticulously? This show has had a LOT of stuff jammed into it, let me tell you. This is an incredibly fast-paced television show. We're already at hour number two, and it doesn't feel like we should be. Bischoff and Hogan are back out here. They've got a movie poster for some movie called The Real Reason (Men Commit Crimes), and I guess someone cast Sting in it, so Hogan and Bischoff are mad about that because Hogan's ego is big but fragile, you know how it be. Hold on, let me see more about this movie Sting's in. To IMDb! OK, I guess according to the movie, the real reason that men commit crimes is to impress women. Yeah, I mean, for straight men, that's probably true in most cases. Most of what I did growing up was to impress my mom, and now most of what I do is to impress my wife. This could just be me, but I suspect that I am not alone here. The IMDb rating is a respectable 7.7/10, but it's iMDb, so I'll just assume that this score has been brigaded. Looking up that movie was more fun than paying attention to this promo. Hogan challenges Sting to a match tonight, but we all know it's not happening, so whatever, let's move on. Man, Chris Benoit's booking in WCW has been nonsense. He had something like a fifteen- or sixteen-month feud against Kevin Sullivan, was a Horseman when the Horsemen didn't run like a dominant pack, and since the end of that Sullivan feud, has been kind of floating around doing nothing. Oh, and the Horsemen are dead. I don't think Benoit is some main-event level talent, but he got over totally on his work because the booking did him zero favors. Saturn and Benoit kick the shit out of each other because that's what these guys do. Seriously, this is a match where they just clubber each other for three minutes before Saturn sits down on a Benoit roll-up and holds the ropes for three. Then, the Flock runs in and Benoit dumps them. Tony S. has no idea what the fuck is going on and missed the pinfall. He's unsure why the bell is ringing. Benoit faces off with Van Hammer, which gives Finlay a chance to run in and hit Benoit with a Tombstone. Finlay leaves and then the rest of the Flock jumps in and stomps out an unconscious Benoit. This is an uneven, but ultimately entertaining Crash TV approach to Nitro. I don't think I want this every week, but there's been little to leave me bored or fidgety on this show. The Nitro Girls dance. There are some Nitro Girls who should always be in the front, and some Nitro Girls who should be on the back line permanently, and yeah, I'll settle down. Gene Okerlund interviews Ric Flair, which is something like a cold shower. Flair puts over Elvis and basically yells about beating everyone up. Flair's yelling a whole lot, like all the way through this thing. I like it when Flair is a bit toned down at some points in his promos. It makes the parts where he goes off and starts yelling hit harder. Anyway, he yells about hopefully banging a few of the Nitro Girls after winning the WW3 Battle Royal, more or less. Eddy Guerrero is very over as a heel. Rey Misterio gives a kid his mask, and that kid is hyped. Progress! Eddy jumps Rey at the bell while the crowd chants EDDY SUCKS. Eddy gets an early two count, and I should note that this is a return match from Havoc for the Cruiserweight Championship (but not the mask!). These fellas have lightning-fast exchanges, and I can't call all of this stuff, but there's a good sequence that ends with Rey hitting a monkey flip and some sort of weird, awkward-looking headscissors from the ring to the floor. Rey doesn't keep control for long and ends up getting superplexed for two. Rey turns it around and hits a backdrop, then a rana for two. Rey hits a springboard moonsault for another two count. Rey slows it down with a headscissors on the mat. Eddy works his way out of it and hits a series of moves that culminate in a powerbomb attempt that Rey blocks three times before hitting a springboard DDT that puts both men down for a standing ten count from the ref. Rey stumbles to his feet and sets up for the springboard rana, but Eddy catches him and drops him neck-first across the cable. Eddy follows up with a Frog Splash and then wraps Rey up snugly for what is, to me, a surprising victory. Wow, they just swapped that belt around in 1997, didn't they? No sooner is Eddy presented the belt than Dean Malenko comes to the ring and mean mugs him to start Eddy's next program. Ray Traylor's stepping up his anti-nWo campaign tonight. He bumrushes Randy Savage and beats him around ringside. I mean, he just washes Savage, tossing him into the steps, hitting an enziguri, and popping Savage with a chair. I didn't expect Traylor to come out here and fuck Savage's world up, and Savage didn't either because after that beating, it takes an eye rake for him to turn the tide of this match around. That doesn't last long, though, and Traylor catches Savage in a spinebuster for two. Traylor hits his sitdown splash/sliding punch combo, then goes to the top rope, where Liz reaches up and knocks him off balance. That allows Savage to get a quick body slam and a Savage Elbow for three. I mean, dude got like five offensive moves, one of which was Liz's, and still won that sucker. Liz runs off while Savage drops another elbow for the heck of it. Liz runs back out with a can of spray paint while Savage drops one more elbow. Savage pops referee Billy Silverman and then lets Liz spray paint Traylor before dropping another elbow. This felt like a strange segment. I think it only works if Traylor is done after this show, Savage having stopped his revenge tour by killing him off entirely. Curt Hennig and DDP have their own return match from a few Nitros ago, Show #111, in fact. Man, Hennig showed up in WCW and started beefing with as many people as possible, huh? They spit at each other, and Page hocks a gross loogy, ew. They trade slaps and strikes before Page has a neat spot where he grabs Hennig in a headlock, stops a Hennig counter with a hair pull, and when the ref starts a five count, Page breaks it, punches Hennig in the stomach, then reapplies the headlock to break the count. That's pretty good! Page hits a swinging neckbreaker and tries a Diamond Cutter, but Hennig bails and tries to walk out with his belt. Page tracks him down and brings him back to the ring, but Hennig gets leverage and shoves Page into the buckles. Hennig starts his heel control segment, focusing on Page's taped ribs. It works well enough, and ends when the ref breaks up an illegal Hennig hold and Page makes his comeback. Page unloads with a load of punches, and the crowd is INTO it. Page hits a DDPancake, but Hennig blocks a Diamond Cutter attempt with a jawbreaker. Hennig grabs the title and hits Page in the ribs with it to draw a DQ, but Page fights him off with a boot. Hennig is bleeding like a motherfucker as he leaves the ring, so I guess that boot really caught him. That was good, but hurry up and put the belt on Page already. Ric Flair and Lex Luger settle their differences from last week's show in the main event. Luger uses his power to overwhelm Flair early. He clotheslines Flair to the floor, and Flair gets on his horse and uses misdirection and speed to trip Luger and, uh, ineffectually chop him. Luger eats the chops like chocolate chip cookies and goes right back to work on Flair. Flair resorts to an eye poke and a chop block to take control of the match. Flair works Luger's knee in the typical Ric Flair way. You know what this entails. He locks on the Figure Four pretty early and gets a couple of two-counts before Luger decides to stop laying flat on his back and turn the move over. Luger gets into the ropes to break while Pee Wee Anderson and Ric Flair have a physical confrontation. Flair moves past that incident and punches Luger, then struts. Flair sets Luger up for a vertical suplex from the ring to the floor, but that obviously gets reversed. Flair goes back to chops, the one thing that Luger ate and fired up from earlier in the match. Great strategy, Flair! Luger turns it around, hits a gorilla press, and works Flair over in the corner. Flair tries a top-rope move and, wouldn't you know it, gets caught and superplexed. Luger hits a powerslam and signals for the Torture Rack, but Curt Hennig runs out and enters the ring, and even though Luger sidesteps him and dumps him, Anderson calls for the bell. Luger tosses Flair into Hennig, who probably appreciated the assist as Flair immediately transitions into attacking Hennig and they brawl from the ring and down the aisle. That was an unsatisfying ending. I don't know what ending would be better off the top of my head, but I did not love how that was booked. The nWo music hits yet again. Bischoff and Hogan come down yet again. Woof. These guys suck, man, I don't want to hear them talk. Sting rappels down, walks to the ring, and faces off with Hogan. The nWo comes in from behind and jumps Sting, and for once, these guys get one over on the Stinger. It's an nWo beatdown, everyone! I guess this functionally needed to happen so there could be some threat of Hogan winning, but it's overlong and there was way too much nWo talking all night before this happened. That show sure was full of stuff! A lot of it was pretty entertaining, too! 4.25 out of 5 Stinger Splashes
  13. I very much hope he's okay, or as okay as he can possibly be living on the streets and in pain because of that screw in his leg, but yeah, that was especially grim. I knew all about LuFisto's issues as well, but that was just so hard to read.
  14. Here's a brutal read to start your month. Of course, we know these things already, but this is just a fantastic piece of journalism, and it'll totally depress you. Unless you're in Canada or the UK or the Nordic countries or Japan, I guess. You lucky fucks. https://defector.com/in-american-indie-wrestling-bodies-are-cheap-and-healthcare-is-not (I think you should be able to read one free article if you're not paying for Defector, so everyone should be able to read it if they want to unless they've been lurking Defector without an account, in which case I'd encourage you to spend the five bucks a month if you have it.)
  15. He's somewhat handicapped by simply not having enough babyfaces. He took the title off TA, but I'm not quite sure why! TA's still kicking around for a few months after that. The funny thing is that at the beginning of 1984, I felt great about where that side was at. He'd cycled JYD slightly down the card to push TA and had Hacksaw right there, too. He also had Dr. Death and Terry Taylor. Now Hacksaw's back off TV for whatever reason, JYD is gone, TA is about to go, Dr. Death is a heel, and Taylor is a zero. It's Butch Reed and that's about it. He didn't rest on his laurels and only focus on JYD as a potential top babyface, but circumstance and bad luck have put him in this position in early '85. I cannot believe I'm typing this, but this show desperately needs Hacksaw Duggan, and in retrospect, maybe Watts shouldn't have been so enamored with his need for a JYD replacement down to skin color and just rode Duggan at the top. Duggan's the guy. I'm disgusted that I typed that, but it's true.
  16. People at the time compared it to Vince interviewing Melanie Pillman the Monday after Brian Pillman's death, which was apt.
  17. Yeah, this is why so many Succession watchers act like Shiv is the absolute worst person alive in the history of ever, but her fascist brother and dipshit naked power-grabber other brother are somehow sympathetic. People DO NOT like ambitious women. And when you make this critique, people divert by pretending that you think these IRL and TV character women are angels or something. Someone can be a bad person and still be a victim of sexism, geez.
  18. I don't think I'll ever get over Jim Ross or whomever saying WHERE DOES THIS MADMAN SAVAGE KAMALA COME FROM?! LET'S TAKE A LOOK! and then they play that video where Kamala takes off his mask and stares into the camera looking just like a typical black uncle from the American South, except playing dress-up. I don't really understand why Watts took the route with the North American title that he did. That Brad Armstrong transitional title reign wasn't necessary. Other than Butch Reed, I'm not looking forward to anyone on the babyface side doing anything at that level. I'm dreading what is almost surely going to be a Terry Taylor title reign. Dude is so bland and boring.
  19. Paul Heyman isn't quite a Vince Jr. level scumbag, but man does he come close.
  20. Show #114 - 03 November 1997 "The one where everyone feels good about their chances in a big battle royal even if, like, only five or six guys have a realistic shot at winning it" WCW's in ECW country tonight! Did you know that Sting and Hulk Hogan signed a contract last Tuesday night? Do you want to learn more about the Human Game of Chess (tm Zybszko)? Do you want to know how well-rated Assault on Devil's Island was? If your answer to all those questions are "yes," then I have a rip-roaring Nitro opening for you! We actually see some of the film, which is sadly not bad enough to be entertaining (or good enough to be entertaining, obviously). Then we get some clips of a contract signing that apparently happened at the MGM Grand in Vegas on Tuesday. Huh, I didn't know that this contract signing was happening. I wonder why WCW failed to promote it. During said signing, Sting shows up, signs, and has a face off with a very nervous Hogan, you know the drill. Eddy Guerrero is tagging up with Dean Malenko. Huh. You'd think Malenko would be more likely to punch Eddy in the face than tag with him. In fairness, they do eye each other warily, both remembering their recent history with one another. But you know what's even more strange? Rey Misterio comes out with his tag partner Lord Steven William Regal. I don't understand this booking, but okay. Tenay tries to explain this weird set of pairings and fails to convince. Rey and Malenko trade some early pinfall attempts on the mat. They wrestle to a standstill, and Malenko blind tags Eddy, who gets in the ring and eats a Euro uppercut from Regal. Eddy and Regal have a nice sequence in which Regal uses his size to get the advantage, so Eddy clips the knee and tries to work it. Regal snaps Eddy with a kick, tags out, and Rey gets two with a rana. Malenko breaks it up, and a bunch of stuff happens leading up to Misterio hitting his own man with a springboard dropkick. Eddy hits Rey a powerbomb and sets up for a Frog Splash, but Malenko hits another blind tag and locks on the Texas Cloverleaf for the submission victory. I don't know why this match existed, exactly, but it was a fun opener, and I'm glad it did! Chae was really counting out the beats so that she didn't miss her cue. Roddy Piper has facial damage from the beating he took at Havoc because he's always kayfabe hurt after every main event in WCW so that he doesn't use all his dates up too quickly. I can only take Piper in short bursts, if that, so may he take a long time to recuperate. Dave Taylor and Fit Finlay are going to do the business tonight, and I am here for it. Finlay controls with a hammerlock and presses for two. The crowd is more interested in, I don't know, a fight in the crowd? Sting? No, it's Raven and his Flock, as ECW chants ring out around the Spectrum. Finlay works a nervehold, then pulls on Taylor's nostrils. The match goes outside, where Finlay uses the apron. His apron-based offense ruled. Best apron-based offense in wrestling history as far as I know. Taylor gets control and hits a press gutbuster, which looked awesome. He misses a springboard splash, however, and eats a lariat and a Tombstone for the three. Finlay yells WHO'S NEXT into the camera. Damn, dude's out here biting both Mongo and Goldberg. Eric Bischoff calls in to the commentary desk. He's basically very bitchy about Sting. Oh, and Roddy Piper. Oh, and Vincent Kennedy McMahon! Bisch accidentally shits on Hogan by claiming that USA and Vince McMahon doing their Survivor Series retrospective special opposite the premiere of Assault was a low-blow, and Vince put "Hogan in his prime" on TV to try and sink the movie. How much do you think Bisch had to apologize to Hogan for insinuating that Hogan's not in his prime anymore? The crowd chants BO-RING, and honestly, they have sat through just how much of commentary yammering on during this show? Try running a few matches, a few feud-focused promos, anything, fellas. Former Sonny Onoo client Psicosis wrestles current Sonny Onoo client Yuji Nagata. Onoo has quite the burn rate when it comes to clients! Nagata controls early with kicks, but Psicosis turns thing around by being speedy. He ducks a few strike attempts and hits Nagata with a nice springboard dropkick. Lots of springboard moves so far tonight. Nagata bails, and Psicosis just barely clears the corner on a pescado that scores. Psicosis follows with a running legdrop from the apron to the floor before getting Nagata back in the ring for a two-count. Psicosis follows up with a dropkick, but Nagata blocks Psicosis's top-rope rana attempt and Psicosis really bonks himself on the bump. Nagata takes control, and his style is kick. And chinlock. Kick and chinlock. Nagata hits a weak powerbomb, then tries an overhead German that Psicosis is able to flip out of. Onoo distracts Psicosis, though, who eats a back suplex and the Nagata Lock for the loss. Onoo drops some pesos on Psicosis because he's such a generous guy. Raven is recounting his sad and pathetic childhood in a promo. He's not wrong about middle school kids being a conduit to, in his words, "the depths of human evil." Oh man. Raven says that "nothing in nature behaves more consistently and rigidly than a human being in pursuit of destruction." Oh, did he watch the Succession finale the other night? Disco Inferno dances to the ring. How will he slither away with his title this week? Saturn, his opponent, hops in the ring as a siren sounds. Saturn puts on a suplex clinic of the highest order, and it rules. He tries to rip Disco's fingers off his hand. Raven watches Saturn from ringside, a typically dour look on his face. Well, both of their faces. Saturn efficiently and ruthlessly out-wrestling Disco is pretty fun! Saturn had hype at this time, and it's easy to see why. His offense is just so fun and creative, and fluid to boot. Saturn could have won this match about two minutes in, but he appears to be waiting for a signal from Raven. Saturn torques the wrist on an armbar, but lets Disco back up so that he can drive his knee into the injured arm. Saturn goes back to the armbar, and Disco somehow hasn't given up yet. Just when Saturn appears to be slowing down, he hits an overhead hammerlock suplex. I love it. MORE SUPLEXES. Disco's first offense is an elbow that busts up a corner charge, followed by a lariat that gets two. His flurry doesn't last long, though, and he eats a release German soon after. Disco does get space to try a swinging neckbreaker, but he whiffs and eats a suplex instead, and Saturn locks on the Rings of Saturn for the submission win and the TV Title. Philly likes this. Stevie celebrates a bit too much and gets shot through the ropes by Raven. I enjoyed watching Saturn dismantle Disco very much. Gene Okerlund's primary job these days seems to be interviewing Ric Flair. Flair claims that Philly loves blood 'n guts (true) and that Flair loves Philly (probably also true). Flair basically wants to beat everybody up in the whole nWo and yells about how he would very much love to do so. World War 3, the WCW PPV with the oddly violent name for a Turner company event, is coming up, and Flair will be there too. I think he'd like to be World Champ again! Hey, it's hour number two of Nitro! Scott Hall comes to the ring with what looks like one-half of the tag team championships. Someone holds up a HALL FEARS ZABYSCO sign, which is not a bad phonetic attempt at spelling Larry Z.'s name. Larry doesn't mind the misspelling and would like that sign to be held higher. It's nice that he understands how challenging Americans find it to spell names of Eastern European origin, generally. If this were 2023, I'd suggest that the dude maybe Google it beforehand, but it's not. Hall's catchphrases are over with the crowd. Larry Z. is also over with the crowd. Such is the nature of ECW country also being WWF country. Heck, the nWo is over, too. Everything is over here! Philly is a really good wrestling city! Hall would like all the people who are questioning the health of Nash and Syxx to suck some genitals, which I would guess many people are fine with doing anyway. Then he harasses Larry Z. ("You sit there in La La Land...you and Bruno, you guys put yourselves over") and prepares to beat up that babyface dork Chris Jericho. But wait, not so fast! After being a dickhead and tossing a toothpick in Jericho's face, Hall gets outwrestled early by Jericho and eats an arm drag. Hall focuses and works the arm, but every time he gets disrespectful, he gets caught. He paintbrushes Jericho and eats a series of kicks. He focuses and catches Jericho in a fallaway slam. He takes time to talk shit to Larry Z. in the camera instead of just hitting the Razor's Edge, and he gets reversed and inside cradled by Jericho for three. Hall immediately jumps Jericho and hits a Razor's Edge or two, but that was a fun little wrestling match and a decent morality play besides. Oh, Hall points to the ref, and the crowd approves Hall hitting a Razor's Edge on poor Billy Silverman, so Silverman jets. The crowd wants Zbyszko to come down and confront Hall, which he does (with that contract from the last show), and that gets Hall to leave. Larry Z. foams at the mouth, begging Hall to sign the contract for a match against him, while Hall walks away calmly (Hall: "Come on, you can't even beat Bischoff.") Hall was a walking internet troll at this point, in kayfabe and apparently IRL as well. Bold and somewhat visionary stuff from him in 1997, in kayfabe and in IRL as well! Tenay names some of the most common lucha high spots in what I think is his final lucha segment. Imagine educating your fanbase on another style rather than homogenizing your house style and presenting it as the only way to wrestle. It's a luchador battle royal! I assume it's not until Vince Russo shows up that the commentators spend most of their time making racist jokes about Mexican folks during the match. There are only eight luchadores in this whole thing, but okay. Tony S. uses this battle royal to pimp the big three-ring WW3 battle royal, which I will watch, and which will be visually ugly because of the multi-camera approach to the whole deal. The Royal Rumble is basically the perfect version of a battle royal, and it's hard to find another version that works as well in terms of visual clarity and structure. Yes, I know I just said something about WWE's homogenized house style, but come on, the Rumble is so good. There are always exceptions. Oh, no, they're just going to disrespect these luchadores by having the Giant come down and destroy them all. Well, at least there wasn't a ton of racism involved. The 'cism peaked in this episode with Onoo dropping the pesos onto Psicosis while Larry Z. talked about it keeping Psicosis in beans and rice for a few years. The Giant and Lex Luger have been so misused, it's crazy, especially since Road Wild a few months ago. No wonder the Giant took off for WWE, where he was also consistently mis-booked, but I get why he'd think the pastures were greener there at the time. The Giant grabs a mic after clearing the ring. He really loves figurative language and would like to note that he's much bigger than Kevin Nash, who is kinda puny if you really look at him. Nash skips leg day. Anyway, he didn't exactly say that, but he pretty much did. Ric Flair comes out to the ring, all fired up, and works over a game Alex Wright. Wright's canny offensive slight-of-hand doesn't do much to stop Flair, whose series of chops and occasional knee-based attack both thrills the crowd and keeps Flair firmly in control. Flair hits a nice stalling vertical suplex, lays in some chops to Wright on the outside, and back in the ring, locks in a Figure Four for the win. He has something to say to Debra on his way out, too. I guess he can stop putting up with Debra being a total dick now that the Horsemen are disbanded. Mongo McMichael locks up with Ray Traylor, who is taking time off from fighting B-Team nWo members to fight a few former Horsemen, I suppose. The match that follows is fine, but people are sort of muted on this until GOLDBERG walks out to watch the proceedings. He's wearing Mongo's Super Bowl ring, and Mongo, being easily distracted, walks over to yell at Goldberg. When Mongo turns around and walks back over to Traylor, he gets caught in a Bossman Slam and eats a three-count. Sure, that was neat, but do we get to watch Goldberg kill a dude tonight or what?! Gene Okerlund works his backup job, which is interviewing Diamond Dallas Page. Page cheesily tries to curry favor with the crowd, then he recaps his ascent up the card to start his promo. He is inspired by taking Hogan's best shot last week and surviving. That match was really good! I would like a rematch! Page has his Battlebowl ring on tonight because he wants to remind everyone that he is formidable in battle royals. Well, yeah, but he won that battle royal in the style of 1997 Steve Austin. Public Enemy and the Steiners are going to have a Philly Street Fight. I'm whelmed by the idea. Everyone brawls a lot and I'm not really going to do much to do PBP. There's clubbering, there are weapon shots, you know the deal. Rocco Rock and Scott Steiner do wander over to the desk, and in a cool spot, Rocco climbs partway up the commentary set's scaffolding to dive onto Scott with a forearm. But really, most of this is stuff I've been bored by for a long time now. Give me two guys trying to punch each other into unconsciousness until they both bleed while surrounded by a cage over the wandering plundah brawl. It's weird because some of those hold up - I'm thinking Nastys vs. Payne and Cactus - but many of them do not. The finish is gross, though, as Johnny Grunge whiffs on a dive through double tables while Rick Steiner bleeds from a gash in the side of his head nearby. That was a good visual. I think Rick caught the edge of a chair while taking a shot to the head. Anyway, Scott cursorily pins Grunge for three. Recap of last year's WW3 Battle Royal finish. Luger looked like a beast, and same time this year, he barely exists on Nitro, IMO. I'm so frustrated about how de-emphasized he's been. I get that you need to cycle him down the card, but put at least half the energy into his stuff that you put in for Page's stuff, Bischoff. Our Buffer-introduced main event pits U.S. Champion Curt Hennig up against, hey, Lex Luger! It's nice that he has a big match on Nitro. The feeling-out process favors Luger, who uses his power to win the first exchange with a shoulderblock. Hennig takes over into the break, and when we come back, he's jawing with some Philly dude in the front row. Luger can't take advantage of the distraction, and Hennig puts in some work. This match is alright, and it makes me wonder why they had a super-shitty match at WM IX. These are two good pro wrestlers! Even if they don't have the greatest chemistry, they should have been able to do something compelling! Maybe the answer is in face-heel alignment, as Luger selling for Hennig's heel control segment is much better than the reverse. Luger finally makes his comeback with a corner whip and a series of atomic drops. Hennig does his wild bumping and selling as he eats clotheslines and the metal forearm. Luger tries for the Torture Rack, but Hennig grabs the ropes, blocks it, and spills everyone outside, where Ric Flair runs in and attacks Hennig. Man, quit fucking up Luger's shine, Flair. Luger puts Hennig in the rack, but Flair's dumb ass knocks Luger over so he can get at Hennig. Luger and Flair have a tense conversation as Hennig escapes and the show ends. This was a decent show that laid some solid ground for the next PPV and got a bunch of folks some TV time, which I feel like wasn't happening in the previous week. 4 out of 5 Stinger Splashes
  21. It's still the foreword here unless you're a small printer with spotty editing.
  22. I've never seen this until today, and Hogan's face is hilarious. He was so enraged that he had to swallow figurative, and maybe actually literal, bile that was rising in his throat after that remark.
  23. Show #113 - 27 October 1997 "The one where Hogan and Sting are going to have a contract signing during the middle of tomorrow's showing of Assault on Devil Island, and that's all I can remember about this Nitro for some strange reason" This is a three-hour show, post-Havoc. That’s a lot of pro wrestling, maybe too much pro wrestling in one sitting, and I like pro wrestling! Hogan and Bischoff are here. Hogan got his ass beat by Roddy Piper again, but he got his Big Gold Belt back and Piper’s in the hospital after a post-match gang beatdown, so he’s happy. Piper dominated Hogan across three PPV matches over the past year, won two, but never won the title. Weird. Hogan and Bischoff cut their typical promo. Hogan really goes full-on cartoon villain, and honestly, he hits a level of hammy that’s pretty entertaining in this one. I guess Sting Mask Run-In Guy from Havoc was a plant since Hogan goes out of his way to challenge anyone from the crowd. Or maybe not. WCW loved its crowd plants and having wrestlers wandering around out there, though. Bischoff is excited about nWo Nitro. Oh no. I’m going to have to watch that in the process of doing these re-watches. People who didn't see Havoc are getting a lot of info about what happened to Piper and Larry Z. at that show. It's nine minutes in before we get an entrance for a match. Rey Misterio Jr., fresh off a classic against Eddy Guerrero the night before, matches up with a regular dance partner in Dean Malenko. Rey just won the dang thing and he's got to defend it the next night. They do a lot of very choreographed counter-wrestling to start. It looks good because Malenko's a good base and Rey is an incredible athlete, but it also might as well include a trapeze and maybe clowns being shot out of cannons. The crowd is distracted by Raven's Flock making their way through the crowd. In the ring, we get lots of counter-wrestling that is well-executed, but dry. Malenko does hit the super gutbuster, though - that move is so sick. It only gets two because Malenko takes some time to crawl over, and Rey is able to reach the ropes. Good way to protect that killer move. Malenko blocks a springboard rana with a powerbomb and goes for the Texas Cloverleaf, but Rey small packages Malenko as he leans down to lock it on and retains the gold. I liked the ending run a lot! Tenay's lucha series covers lucha merchandising. Tenay says that TV coverage of the major companies is limited, so wrestling magazines are big there. I assume that's not still true in the streaming era, but assuming Tenay is accurate, when and why and how did that change? Man, look, I don't want to any more questioning of the booking than I already do, but Bisch had better not job La Parka to Glacier. It's too bad Glacier wasn't around four years earlier. I'd be down for a cage match with Sting and Glacier vs. Flair, Arn, and some random midcarder wearing an elaborate mask on a PPV main event. Parka makes fun of Glacier's whole kick routine and is generally disrespectful. He gets a pair of one-counts off shoulderblocks, but then he eats a bunch of kicks that send him outside. Glacier follows up with a dive over the top to the floor. Park recovers, dodges Glacier, and hammers him with a clothesline. He takes control and hits a piledriver, then dances. The La Parka Shuffle rules. He's a better dancer than Disco and Alex Wright combined. Parka hits a splash to the floor, then grabs a chair. Oops, I think Parka's the one getting over as a face with the crowd. He does rule. You'd think Bischoff would notice. Parka sets up an elaborate chair-assisted move, but gets caught and eventually sent into the chair that's set up outside the ring. That's about it for Parka, who whiffs with a wild swing back in the ring and eats a Cryonic Kick for three. The good news is that this match definitely showed that someone deserves a push. The bad news (for Bischoff) is that it wasn't Glacier. Gene Okerlund yaps at us for a bit before bringing Diamond Dallas Page out. Page goes to the ring instead of stopping next to Gene in the aisle. Gene doesn't really want to move, but what's he going to do? Page is in the ring. So, Page lost another match to Randy Savage, this time at Havoc, and, in his remarks, steps up to Hogan instead. Hogan was the guy in the Sting get-up who knocked Page silly so that Savage could win last night. He's answering Hogan's open challenge from earlier in the show...TONIGHT! Gene's still in the ring when we come back, and he's interviewing Larry Z. next. Larry went to the Nitrotron to reverse a decision in the Hall/Luger match at Havoc, and let's just say that said decision wasn't in Hall's favor and Larry Z. got a beatdown for it. Larry wants retribution, and he's got a contract to wrestle Hall that he just needs Hall's John (not Ms.) Hancock on to make it official. Hall and Syxx come out to the ramp to respond. Hall shouts out the crowd and Kevin Nash, and then he politely declines the proffered contract. Also, he offloads this whole feud onto Eric Bischoff, who jumped Zbyszko in last night's post-match antics. Wow, I'm impressed by Hall causing all these issues and then dodging them almost entirely. Hall asks a question to Okerlund that prompts Okerlund to respond to him with DOWN HERE, and Okerlund enjoys the insinuation, that perv. Larry promises to haunt Hall. Anyway, nothing really happens in this whole segment. Hey, Stevie Ray's back! He's here (with Jackie) to wrestle Lex Luger. Luger's probably not going to put poor Stevie's wrestling prowess over to the level that he did Booker's last week. Or any level, really. The announcers spend the first few minutes of the match putting over Jackie. Poor Gorman did not enjoy Disco/Jackie, but I loved it, and I would suggest that if you even remotely vibe with my tastes, you give it a watch. Speaking of Disco, he's defending the TV title against Goldberg. I don't remember Goldberg winning that title, so I'm assuming he'll be winning by DQ tonight. Booker has his own title shot against Curt Hennig later tonight as well. I'm more interested in the commentary than the match, the latter of which is acceptable. I actually like Stevie, but he's definitely a tag team specialist. I dig the Slapjack, though. It's one of the few things I'm looking forward to in 1998-1999 WCW. Then I get Stevie Ray commentary in the last twelve, eighteen months of Nitro. Stevie Ray rules. This match is not one of the things that I would use to make that case, however. Luger fights out of a mediocre-looking bearhug and hits the bionic forearm, but Stevie hooks the rope to block the Torture Rack. Stevie tries a clothesline, but whiffs and eats a powerslam and Torture Rack for the submission L. Raven wants a haven. A Haven for Raven, this week's Hallmark Special Movie of the Week theme for a Raven promo. Eddy Guerrero faces off with Chris Jericho in a rematch from this year's Fall Brawl. They show Jericho splatting himself trying to do a move that he's not athletic enough to do from Havoc. Nah, I'm good with watching a guy dump himself on his head from three different angles, but thanks. Eddy just can't get anything on Jericho early, who dodges an Eddy dropkick and hits a nice tilt-a-whirl slam. He's over-aggressive, though, and Guerrero catches him and hits a shoulderbreaker on Jericho's bandaged shoulder (hurt in that self-administered and accidental head drop at the Havoc, you see). Eddy goes to work on the shoulder - he hits a nice targeted dropkick on it - and is able to fight off one Jericho counter attempt. He eventually gets caught whiffing on a strike and Jericho hits a nice release belly-to-back. Jericho follows up with a powerbomb, but misses the Asai moonsault. Eddy tries to capitalize, but he's too slow going up to hit a move, and Jericho crotches him and hits a superplex that hurts Jericho as much as it does Eddy. Jericho has no strength to put on the Lion Tamer, but he's able to suplex Eddy out of the ring...except that it wrenches his neck and arm and Eddy is able to land on his feet. Eddy rushes the top rope and hits the Frog Splash on Jericho for three. That was kind of a visually messy finish, but I got what they were going for, and their idea was creative. It's fine if your grasp doesn't quite fit your reach sometimes. Hey, Fit Finlay's back! He and Chris Benoit are going to punch each other, possibly for real. Benoit is vicious in this match, and honestly, these two work at high-speed for a long time to start. It's hard to follow it all, in fact, because it's done at video game speed. I can see how a generation of future wrestlers would decide that they want to be wrestlers and work like this all the time because it's pretty breathtaking. Finally, Finlay gets Benoit back in the ring and it slows down a bit. Finlay punts Benoit right in the spine, but I guess that just woke Benoit up. Benoit throws chops and kicks, so Finlay scissors the leg, takes Benoit down, and casually chokes him before putting him in a surfboard. Finlay eventually does some apron-based offense, then swings for the fences and hits the post when Benoit ducks. Finlay gets control right back and celebrates while someone holds up a Ken Patera sign in the crowd. In San Diego. In 1997. Sure, why not? Benoit finally hits a German Suplex and drops the diving headbutt for three. The crowd liked this and why not? They beat the shit out of each other. After some Flair/Hennig recap, we get Ric Flair interviewing with Gene Okerlund. Flair is barely keeping it together. He swears to take out Hennig, then puts DDP over before renewing his feud with Randy Savage. I mean, y'all need to agree to a permanent detente. He promises to fuck the Macho Man, or maybe Elizabeth, or maybe both of them? IDK, as long as they're consenting. No, wait, I think when he said "Drugs, no, violence, yes, sex, yes," he was offering the violence to the former and the sex to the latter. Anyway, Flair is having a totally normal one, as you can tell from this recap. This is going to rule, I think. Doesn't Raven injure Scotty Riggs's eye and then Riggs joins a flock and wears an eyepatch? This is a Riggs/Raven match, and I'm pretty sure that's what happens. Raven hops over the railing from his seat in the crowd, and his Flock surrounds the ring. Stevie Richards grabs a mic and notes that Raven still hasn't signed his contract with WCW and therefore will only wrestle if ref Nick Patrick and opposing wrestler Riggs sanction this match as no DQ. Patrick and Riggs agree to the terms. Raven, though, grabs the mic and points out that Riggs is on a long losing streak, but that he - Raven - can save Riggs from his failureswithout them having to fight. JOIN THE FLOCK. JOIN THE FLOCK. Riggs offers a rude gesture in response. Raven sounds just like Cousin Greg from Succession with his verbiage: "So it is written, so it shall come to pass." Greg's "If it so be, so it be, so it is" is AWFULLY close. Maybe Greg's a Raven mark? No, wait, maybe Raven's a Cousin Greg mark?! Raven stomps Riggs out, gets a chair, gets knocked into the chair, and then drop-toeholds Riggs face first into the chair. Kidman jumps in to stop the match and gets dumped by his own friend cult leader; then, Raven leaves the ring and sits down while Riggs screams in pain. Uh, Raven looked like a goddam boss right there. Buffer's out here to introduce DDP and Hogan, and it's not even the main event of this Nitro. The entrances span a commercial break, and when I look back up, the match starts with some cursory shoving and Hogan working a long armbar, which is kind of novel, actually? He actually works the thing instead of just sitting in it. Hogan has been trying really hard this whole year in the ring. I think I've come to the conclusion that as shitty as 1996-97 heel Hogan is on the mic and how not-giving he ends up being to Sting, he was a clear positive in the ring. Hogan hits a high knee that Triple H might be jealous of. OK, maybe not, but it looked good. Page is able to get control of Hogan's arm and tries to transition into a quick Diamond Cutter, but Hogan avoids it and bails. Hogan gets back in the ring, eats a discus clothesline, and bails again. He thought he had Page dead to rights by catching his kick, but got caught. Hogan regains control and hits the two elbowdrops-and-a-boot wipe move, then dumps Page to the floor. Hogan follows outside and hits a couple of loud chops, then a back suplex on the mats. Page has spent most of his time fighting from underneath, and the crowd is pretty ready for that DDP comeback at this point! Back in the ring, Page blocks a hip toss and hits a swinging neckbreaker for two. Page sells his everlasting rib injury, which slows him enough that Hogan gets in an eye rake and then an inverted atomic drop. Hogan is very disrespectful during this beatdown, and that fires Page up, who struggles back into the match from underneath. Man, I am really enjoying this Hogan control segment. Hogan gets two off an AXE BOMBAH and let's throw a tildebang in there because it looks good: AXE BOMBAH~! Hogan hits a combo and covers Page four straight times, but never gets more than two. Page tries to fight up and this time finds enough strength to win a punch-up and knock Hogan outside. Page follows and starts unloading on Hogan with wild rights, then rolls Hogan back into the ring and then, just as Page is picking up momentum, he eats a big boot. DDP dodges the legdrop, however, and just as Page is looking to capitalize, Fake Sting *sigh* runs out and eats a Diamond Cutter. Randy Anderson calls for the bell even though Page hasn't been touched, but Hogan grabs his weight belt and hammers Page with it, so I suppose it was inevitable. The nWo *sigh* runs out for an unopposed beatdown of Page while the crowd chants for Sting. This is a perfect example of a very good match ruined by the finish, though at least the real Sting does actually come through the crowd to save Page. Vincent doesn't understand the concept of a Slop Drop, but eventually turns himself around the right way and gets drilled. Hennig, Hall, Norton, and Konnan all rush Sting and take an ass-beating as we go to break. Disco Inferno's going to try to avoid utter devastation at the hands of Goldberg. Alex Wright is mad about getting Jackhammered at Havoc the previous night, and he runs out and pushes Goldberg while Goldberg stalks to the ring. Wright eats a Jackhammer for his troubles; Disco eats a spear and Jackhammer soon after, but Charles Robinson never actually, you know, CALLED FOR THE FUCKING BELL, so Mongo takes the chance to run down and kill the match just by tying up with Goldberg and coaxing security down to clear the ring. GOLDBERG WAS ROBBED. Man, Hogan, you were doing so well, you had a really good match and your heel control work was excellent, so there's no need to ruin it by coming back out here to talk...except Hogan walks over and punks a yappy fan who refuses to make eye contact with him. Never mind, this was worth it just to see that. Hogan's on fire tonight, I must admit. I'm going to forgive him for this actually alright promo with a couple of lame lines in it because of how good he's been tonight. And NO ONE IS WATCHING ASSAULT ON DEVIL'S ISLAND, GIVE IT UP. I guess the big deal here is that Hogan promises to sign a title match against Sting for Starrcade. (Note, I wrote that last sentence BEFORE the rest of the show happened.) The Steiner Brothers come out with Ted DiBiase to cut a promo. Their tag title chase ended with quite the whimper, and I sort of forgot that they were champs. Scott Steiner is out here thanking people like he won an Oscar. DiBiase is completely superfluous, and I guess they moved him out of the nWo since Bischoff became the prime non-wrestling talker, but just send DiBiase to a road agent position or something and keep him off screen. He is not a good babyface manager. The Steiners will take anyone on for their gold, just sign that contract, or so DiBiase says. Ooh, the Steiners will now wrestle. For some reason, Public Enemy is still around is getting a title shot. Man, PE do a lot of stalling. A lot of uninteresting stalling. A lot of it right into the break while commentary prattles on about Sting and Hogan. Finally, we come back and someone is doing something in the ring. Oh, I see, commentary is hyping a Sting/Hogan contract signing that will happen in the middle of that shitty Hogan movie. They're pulling a Robin Hood premiere here. There is a boring double-team beatdown on Scott outside the ring while that happens. Scott eventually makes a comeback by hitting a double clothesline and getting a hot tag. A top-rope bulldog soon follows for the Steiner Brothers win. I don't think commentary called one move in that whole tag title match, though I guess at least Tenay apologizes for not calling any of it. Then right after that, Tony S. promises to ignore the U.S. Championship match that's coming up next to talk about Sting and Hogan some more, so that completely undid the goodwill that Tenay attempted to gin up. Booker T. and Curt Hennig face off for that U.S. Championship, and it's too bad that the desk won't be trying to get young midcard star Booker T. over so that they can talk about this contract signing. Then again, I'm not sure how Booker is getting a title shot after eating a bunch of Ls the past few weeks anyway. Tony and the desk finally run out of steam for a second. What the fuck else can you say about a contract signing? I can sometimes overlook the desk not calling the in-ring action, but this has been so bad, almost show-ruining. I'm fine if you hype it here and there for the rest of the show since you are trying to sell a movie, but come on. Booker and Hennig are having a dull match anyway, and the young lady who clearly yells BO-RINGGGGG agrees. It goes outside and inside again, but it never really picks up...no, wait here comes Liz. Booker is putting up offense on Hennig, but Liz runs a distraction so Savage can interfere. Flair runs right out and attacks Hennig to earn Booker a DQ loss anyway. Flair chases Hennig out of the ringside area. Wow, this has been bad television. OK, coming out of the final break, Flair's back out and he tackles Savage. They have a wandering brawl that exists, I suppose. Then Flair kisses Liz against her will. Look, this show was great from the Raven/Riggs match all the way though Disco/Goldberg, and they'll never take that away from me. Savage does take a gnarly-looking bump whiffing on a double axe from the top to the rail, though. Curt Hennig runs out to draw the DQ and trigger a Hennig/Savage beatdown of Flair. I thought the show was very fun in hour number two, and I'm impressed with Hogan's Hogan Hogan Sting Hogan contract signing Hogan Sting Las Vegas Sting Hogan Sting contract signing Assault on Devil's Island Sting Hogan Hogan Sting. Hogan. 3.75 out of 5 Stinger Splashes
  24. Savage eliminated himself from the Rumble once, so I can accept that he'd go for a pinfall because he wasn't thinking straight. It's how ugly his elimination looks that makes the whole thing poop.
  25. I also bought the going for pinfalls that Technico mentions above as a detriment as a consequence of a grueling match. Twenty minutes in, these guys instinctually went for pinfalls to try and catch a quick one and end the match, their brains clouded by pain and fatigue.
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