On The Road: WCW 9/28/97
EDDY~! and ULTIMO DRAGON~! deliver the goods! WRIGHT~! vs. JERICHO~! Dang Good! JARRETT~! still sucks! Fairfax, baby! (1997/09/28)
Fairfax hosted one of the better house shows I’ve been to in a while Friday, with hardly anything to hate, a few things to love and one match that JUST KICKED ASS.
I arrive at Phil’s at 4:40 after taking 395 instead of 495 to his palatial estate in the hills of western DC and we wait around for all-around good egg and guy-who-ISN’T-totally-baffled-by-Northern-Virginia-and-thus-driver-for-the-night, Phil “Monster” Ripper. After pondering the Mr Aguila match we watched, one Phil gathers up his Hacksaw Foam 2×4 and the other Phil hugs his wrestlebuddy of Brutus Beefcake goodbye and we head to Phil’s UNSAFEatANYspeedMOBILE that Phil has concocted with scotch tape and a big wad of bondo (though it looks incredibly like a Chrysler Celebrity- which is swankier than the Reliant I had bought to the table, so there you have it.). Phil is without a ticket as he had thrown his ring in the hat WAY after Hangman Tim had bought tickets so we end up having to sit up in the stands and leave the amazing Tim (of WRESTLING POWER 97- Richmond’s ONLY alternative- bi-weekly on Mediaone cable access Ch.38.) and amazinger Keith to fend for themselves on the floor. Matt “Dave”
Classic was at ringside taking pictures and I want ALL the 75 pictures of UD/Guerrerro. Cheetah and Jeremy were- I guess- getting ready to ascend from rafters because they were WAY up there. Jeremy’s Sting make-up was astounding in it’s slavish accuracy. After driving in random directions for a while (it seemed like anyway. It’s Northern Virginia.) we arrive at the Vinyl Siding Suply Warehouse that they tell me is the Patriot Center. Phil is arguing with Phil about music and I tell both of them that they have no musical taste, thus Phil kicks an old man when he’s down by referring to me as “Mr. REO Speedwagon.” I plot my revenge- by thinking up ways to insult his car. in a post. on an internet newsgroup. about wrestling! That’ll show’em! We finally find three empty seats and I SWEAR they are the best seats in the house: perfect site-lines, eye-level with the top rope with no one in the way, directly between the ringposts. We were stoked. A redneck with the brain the size of a walnut was keeping us in stitches all night with his pontificating about how great Lex Luger is. Luckily we are surrounded by children who freak out at the right moments, adding to the fun. Three little girls behind screech louder than anything I’ve ever heard, and I saw Husker Du in 1985.
<<THE WRESTLING MATCHES THAT WE SAW>>
ULTIMO DRAGON vs EDDY GUERRERO
This fucking Kicked Ass. It starts with a Memphis beginning- Eddy stalling and getting all the cheap heat he would need to keep the crowd on the side of the Dragon. Dragon does his best Ricky Morton impression getting the crowd behind him and then… it goes totally New Japan. It starts with a flurry of lucha moves and running of the ropes that build to where Eddy gets the advantage by taking out UD’s knee. Eddy then proceeds to use every cool leg submission from both textbooks of Lucha Libra and Puroresu and UD sells it like a champ. My fave is when UD blocks the Figure-4 by grabbing Eddy’s leg before he can lock it in – just like Hase did against Mutoh back when Mutoh was worth a shit. Eddy
does a couple of those somersault sentons onto UD’s leg, he does that lucha standing figure four but stretched UD enough that it actually looked painful, he did one of those Mutoh Indian Deathlocks with a bridge, he did that grounded Romero special, he basically took it to the mat in Fairfax, VA BUT! Since they had used the Memphis stuff at the beginning, the crowd was into UD getting out of the predicament as opposed to being bored by cool matwork, which one would suppose would happen. “Dragon!” chants replaced the usual “Boring!” chants. I was digging it the most. After taking up the middle with cool leg submissions, they reached the ending sequence where NJ highspots and finishers kicked in with Eddy kicking it off by hitting a FANTABULOUS spinning DDT. UD recovers and does his multiple kicks thing, sending Eddy out of the ring. UD hits a piscada and they brawl by the safety rail for a while, with Eddy taking a bump into the ringstairs (on the far side of where we were sitting). UD gets Eddy back in the ring and hits a running LigerBomb, which was vicious as all get-out. They both work out of toprope Hurricanrana’s and Eddy is setting UD up for the final UD-Killer Powerbomb. UD wriggles out of it by twisting directly into a Dragon Sleeper. This Match KICKED ASS. Phil says “homage to Steamboat and Flair” about forty-five times during and after this baby. I agree, but me and Phil tell him to shaddup already anyway. 22 minutes including five minutes of Zbysko-level stalling. $25 bucks is already well spent.
THE REDNECK SAID DURING THIS MATCH: (After Phil said,”This might be the best match I’ve ever seen live.”) “Wait till Lex Luger gets out here- he’s big as shit and tough, man.”
DEAN MALENKO vs STEVE REGAL
Phil, Phil, and I were WAY stoked about seeing Regal live. And the fact that they spared us Malenko vs Hennig was enough to make us like this match no matter what happened. This was better than any other Regal/Malenko they have had that I have seen, which isn’t saying anything because for some reason Regal and Malenko can’t have a good match- like Naniwa vs UD and TAKA vs Kanemoto can’t have a good match for some insane reason. It wasn’t great because these two are the same wrestler basically- Except one is really fast and the other really stiff and likes to pee on people (tee-hee!). It starts off on a down note as a fan jumps in the ring- BUT- to our chagrin- REGAL ISN’T in the ring.
Malenko helps throw him out of the ring, but he’s not like Regal. Regal doesn’t give a fuck- he’d a broke his stinkin arm and we would have gotten to watch. Oh well. The match was good but not great. They do a lot of mat wrestling, unbelievably. Regal pops him in the face a few times but he doesn’t beat the crap out of him, which is good. Save that for useless shitheads like Jarrett. They do a batch of roll-ups and Malenko gets a Texas Cloverleaf on him and that’s the end. Regal yells at the rubes at ringside and they yell back. It was fun!
THE REDNECK SAID: “You know who hits really hard? I mean REALLY hard. Dustin Rhodes.”
ALEX WRIGHT vs CHRIS JERICHO
This match was the surprise of the night. Wright is the redneck HEAT MACHINE. THEY LOATHE THIS GUY. They hate him so much that they cheer ultimate pretty boy Jericho which is strange for a redneck crowd. Wright gets on the mic and speaks a bunch of German and then calls Fairfax a Pigsty. Suburban wasteland maybe, but pigsty?!? The crowd hates him anyway and Jericho tells him to kiss his butt to the delight of the crowd (especially the kids around us.) The match was real good. Surprisingly stiff and really well executed. Phil was wondering how many high spots Jericho would blow. I said it’s a houseshow so there would be no highspots. Actually he hit that springboard Clothesline off
the apron and it was neato. They went out on the floor and slapped the shit out of each other. Phil, Phil and I wonder if they were having some of that “legit heat in the back” that we always read about. Wright hits his flying kicks and doesn’t do anything suckass until he does the Rotundo Stretch, which was mercifully short. Jericho sold for much of the match and Wright didn’t try anything too stupid so it was pretty lively and well executed except Wright needs to work on his crappy elbow drops. Jericho was credible in his comeback, doing that turnbuckle lariat sequence en leiu of the Giant Swing, and worked for his Boston Crab submission. Phil decides that he hates Jericho a little less and I like both of these guys even more now.
They have intermission and I have two hotdogs and a fat ass coke. WOO-HOO! I sold the effects of the hot dogs like a champ later that evening.
MONGO vs JARRETT
Jarrett sucks and this sucked. Yep. Mongo tried to make something of this turd, but Jarrett can do NOTHING in terms of wrestling. NOTHING. His MOVESET is Ray Traylor without all the flashy stuff. There you have it. It was short and Mongo went over clean. Jarrett is a pile of shit. Join DOA or something. SUCK ASS!!
BUFF BAGWELL/SCOTT NORTON vs STEINERS
Buff rules in this match. Nobody else does. Norton works kinda loose. Yep. Rick Steiner really sucks. Scott Steiner takes lotsa steroids. Yep. BUFF was killing me with his greatness. He is gonna be the number wrestler in the world three years. “I heard that Fairfax was nWo country <GIANT CHEER> WELL WE DON’T GIVE A SHEEIT!” BUFF tries to drag these two slugs to a decent match, and succeeds enough to make it watchable for a minute, but Steinerism takes over and it ends with a crappy belly-to-belly suplex wherein BUFF gets to put over the suckasses
for his effort. BUFF gets Wrestler of the Night award for the herculean effort he put forth to make this an almost successful match. Benoit vs Buff for the US title already. They are the best heavyweights WCW has.
THE REDNECK SAID: “I like Norton but I hate that faggot he wrestles with.”
DDP vs SAVAGE
Not long enough but kinda okay. Savage and DDP do a bunch of stuff for eight minutes then DDP hits the Diamond Cutter. Kinda unfocused but not horrible or anything. I didn’t vomit directly on my shoes.
THE REDNECK SAID: Man…Stone Cold would kick DDP’s ASS.”
SYXX/HENNIG vs LUGER/GIANT
Syxx tried real hard but its Luger and The Giant so there wasn’t much he could do but sell to these two crappy stiffs. Actually, Luger sold a bunch for him so I’m being unfair to Luger, who isn’t afraid to make me not hate him even if he can’t wrestle for shit. Syxx did that Psicosis bump where he slides under the rope to land flat on the floor. Giant did a lot headbutts and lumbering. The dream is over. He isn’t good. Hennig does a kneelift and Phil and I spontaneously shout “BOOTYMAN!” and laugh hideously at the newest and shittiest member of the nWo. Scott Hall cracks a crutch over Giants back and the nWo does the only screwjob of the night and debris fills the ring. STING SHOWS UP and the
loudest pop I’ve ever heard bellows forth. The kids around me FREAK OUT! It was great! I had a blast! The crowd turned superinsane and it was GREAT! Sting is more over than Elvis ever was.
Phil lives near the Patriot center so we hitch a ride with Cheetah and Jeremy to go back to Phil’s to hang and be all cool and stuff. Jeremy drives us to McDonalds and Jeremy still owns the Teo Fabi Urban DeathRide Award as we destroy everything in our hoary path, my knuckles white from gripping the door, trying not to cry like a little girl. Cheetah, Jeremy and I do the scam where we dupe Phil into paying nine dollars for a Arch Deluxe Combo meal. We pocket the difference before the poor sap knows what hit him, the poor dope. We watch lotsa Promo Azteca and Ohtani/El Samurai and we yell at Ohtani for being such a big baby. He then kills El with the springboard DDT and we are happy again. We watch the finish of Takaiwa/El Samurai and compare and contrast. It’s fun. I give Cheetah the Lucha Goat tape and head back to Richmond.
All in all, a great night of wrestling.
Dean Rasmussen, SATOMURACIZED!!!