Last week, in the upset to end all upsets, despite a flurry of interference, Arn Anderson pinned Hulk Hogan square in the middle of the ring. Amazing, because through this point, the only wrestlers who’d ever managed to do the same over the year were Andre The Giant, the Ultimate Warrior, the Undertaker, Yokozuna, and Ric Flair just one week prior. Randy Savage never did it. Bret Hart would never accomplish it. And now, Arn Anderson is on the short list. Incredible.
I don’t think I was able to properly convey what a huge deal that was in last week’s article. Hulk Hogan had always operated under complete and total creative control, and very few wrestlers were allowed to get the upper hand as a result. Once in awhile he’d lose via countout (see The Genius), and every so often he’d even give someone a slight edge so people would see the rematch (see Sid eliminating him from the 1992 Royal Rumble), but pinfalls were few and far between. Hulk lived in a world where it didn’t matter unless those shoulders were down, and he made damn sure his never were.
Until last week’s Nitro. Oh, the times were a changing folks. Slowly but surely the times were a changing.
LIVE from Salisbury, Maryland, THIS ... is WCW! ERIC BISCHOFF, BOBBY HEENAN, MONGO MCMICHAEL, and PEPE are in the hizzle – and we have us a return match for the World Title! Sick of Flair vs. Savage? Tough, we’re getting at least one more round. And all the rage is Hulk Hogan’s loss to Arn; with Hogan so fired up he has NO interest in waiting any longer for revenge, so let’s get to it.
ARN ANDERSON (with Woman) vs. HULK HOGAN
Hogan gets his largest pop in awhile; and one has to imagine his recent change to show a little ass (not literally – that wouldn’t come for another 16 years!) might actually have made him a little more sympathetic. Will it stick? Well, for starters, Hogan cheats by choking Arn with his shirt on the outside. Okay, so not everything has changed. Arn slams Hogan face first to the buckle, but coming off the top he’s met with a clothesline, and Hogan bites him in the eyeball. Hogan’s newfound cannibalism really isn’t sitting well with me, did he accidentally snort bath salts instead of cocaine before the show? Arn gets dumped outside which wouldn’t seem like a safe place for Hogan to be, but with the help of a fan’s Hulk Hogan shirt, he chokes Anderson again. Back in, Hogan kicks Anderson in the face, and slams him head first to the mat repeatedly before grinding his nose into sawdust. The double chop to the shoulders knocks Arn loopy; and Heenan starts begging for him to get up. A throat punch sends Hogan to the mat, and Arn drops a knee across Hogan’s face. Hogan blocks the second one, and punches him back to the floor again. Back in, Anderson fakes a punch, Hogan ducks, and Arn goes for the DDT but Hogan blocks. Hulk up time, Anderson eats the big boot, pose pose pose, and Arn is placed in the WORST figure four of all time! KEVIN SULLIVAN charges, but RANDY SAVAGE cuts him off, Anderson taps, and the referee calls for the bell at 7:01. But wait – the referee saw Savage attack, and declares Anderson the win by DQ!!! EAT IT HOGAN! 2-0 FOR ARN! **1/2
Meanwhile, we can’t go by without getting an update from WCW race car driver STEVE GRISSOM, via one “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND. Good news this week, as he won the Busch Grand National Series Race #1 of 26 at Daytona. I’m sure someone who actually watches the sport can tell us where this ranks on a scale of being Scott Armstrong to beating Hulk Hogan.
You know who DID beat Hulk Hogan? Arn Anderson. Twice. That’s who.
LOCH NESS (with Jimmy Hart) vs. ALEX WRIGHT
If you’ll recall, Alex Wright won a tune up match on Saturday Night against an opponent who appeared to be roughly 220 pounds, so he should be well prepared to fight against a man the size of family sized SUV. He tries a sleeper, a bear clap, dropkicks, all of which cause Loch Ness to gasp for air because he’s out of shape and just about died on the way to the ring. Then Nessy drops an elbow and it’s all over at 2:21. Old Haystacks screams for Hogan after the match. Pfft, Hogan’s old news, he should be gunning for Arn Anderson. After all, Arn has defeated Hogan. Twice. DUD
FIT FINLAY vs. BRAD ARMSTRONG
If I wanted jobber squashes, I’d watch WCW Prime (not that I do not enjoy Prime and its jobber squashes, just to be clear). Nitro should be used for big moments. Like that time Arn Anderson pinned Hulk Hogan. Or that time Arn Anderson beat Hogan by DQ. Making two straight wins. Remember that? Bischoff calls this International Action, because we live in America dammit, where our foreigners are identified and outcast. Fans chant USA. A quick call to Miss Cleo (this IS 1996 after all) indicates that “disappointment be in dey futah chile!”. Unfortunately, that call cost me more than 5 minutes on the WCW hotline; and I’m going to have to ask my readers for money to continue this series. Finlay hits Armstrong with a running knee, and blinds him with a stiff right hand to the socket. Armstrong comes back with a hiptoss for 2. Finlay is sent to the floor, but he quickly pulls Armstrong with him, where his knee destroyed with the ring post. Back in, Finlay works a half crab, that he modifies into a stepover toe hold. Brad won’t tap, so Finlay folds him in half, then moves to an STF. Armstrong elbows his way out, and backdrops Finlay. A crossbody sends both guys dangerously to the floor. Back in, Finlay gets a backslide for 2. Armstrong keeps coming back, this time with a side suplex right on the back of Finlay’s head. However, that’s all he’s gonna get, as a tilt a whirl pancake ends it at 6:49. ***
RIC FLAIR (with Woman and Miss Elizabeth) vs. RANDY SAVAGE (for the WCW World Heavyweight title)
If you recall, about a month ago when Savage got his first title shot against Flair, Hulk Hogan was pitching a fit like a spoiled child. One has to imagine that Savage is getting yet another shot can’t be sitting well with the old Hulkster, but his silence indicates that he’s taking a little time to think about his recent performance. Like those two losses to Arn Anderson. Flair is completely stylin and profilin, strutting as ONLY he can strut, and Savage is in a bad mood. Savage backdrops Flair, who begs off immediately. Savage ain’t having that, and punches him 5 times in the corner, before Flair has enough of that and atomic drops him. The blow is so vicious that presumably, Savage’s man parts have turned black and blue, and he rolls to the floor holding his groin. Flair is not far behind, sending Savage sprawling into the crowd, much to our referee’s annoyance. Savage crawls back over the guard rail, where the champ chops at his chest. Flair gets in the ring, and Savage uses this time not to focus on the match, but chase Woman to the back. When he turns around, Flair is waiting with an elbow to the face. Flair leaves him for dead, where a returning Woman is ready to rake his eyes. Back in, Flair’s strutting, but Savage isn’t quite done yet, and they trade blows. Savage wins the war, and Flair flops. Flair heads up top to attack from up high, but gets caught as per usual, and put in the Figure Four by Savage! Flair hangs on and won’t tap, but he’s feeling an awful lot of pain right now. Flair gets to the ropes after nearly 45 seconds in the hold, but Savage won’t let go. He takes FAR longer than a suggested 5 count, but the referee doesn’t DQ him. Be fair to Flair – come on now! Flair goes low, because hey, why not. Savage tries a sleeper, but Flair backdrops out to save his bacon. Savage comes off the ropes, right into an elbow to the face, and Flair’s feeling good now. Standing vertical suplex drains the color from Savage’s face, and Flair punts him in the stomach for that little extra oomph. A single leg atomic drop sets up the Figure Four, and Flair hooks it. Bischoff keeps playing up that Savage has lost it all to his horrible ex-wife; but how is this any different than DDP who we are supposed to boo? I’m pretty sure Savage was abusive and overbearing, like DDP allegedly was with Kimberly. Hrmph! Savage gets to the ropes to force a break, and both men are on fumes. Flair throws a big chop with what energy he has left, and drops Savage to his knees. Savage pops back up, so Flair keeps firing, but it’s no good. Savage spits in Flair’s face, and Flair begs for mercy. Savage fights his way to a backdrop, and flips Flair over the buckle and clotheslines him on the apron. Macho heads up, hits the axehandle, and calls for the elbow. Liz gets on the apron, and Woman tosses the shoe. Savage intercepts, as KEVIN SULLIVAN runs down. Savage clocks Flair, but only gets 2! HULK HOGAN runs down to fight off Sullivan, allowing ARN ANDERSON to slip in from the back and DDT Savage!! Flair rolls over, the referee turns, counts the pinfall and Flair returns at 11:28! ***1/2
Flair, Sullivan, and Anderson are working over Hogan, but suddenly, THE ZODIAC without makeup and a WHOLE lot of tassels hits the ring. He fights off all 3 guys by himself, and chases Sullivan to the back. What in the hell was that???
Flair hits the announce booth to brag about Anderson’s second win over Hogan, and his win over Savage, but again Ed Leslie breaks it up. Hogan gets in Bischoff’s ear, and screams “BOOTY BOOTY BOOTY MAN” over and over and over. “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND is there with a microphone, and Hogan keeps ranting about this Booty Man. Hogan challenges Anderson, Flair, and Sullivan to a 6-man with himself, Savage, and the “BOOTY BOOTY BOOTY BOOTY BOOTY MAN! BOOTY MAN’S GONNA TEAR THEM APART BROTHER!”
Why the sudden turn for the Zodiac Man? What happened to the make up? Is this why he refused to allow anyone to attack Hulk Hogan? And will this force him back into the main event against our collective wills?
We’ll need to save THIS mystery for another week. Because we’re out of time, and unless Chris Cruise has the scoop later today on WCW Prime, you’ll need to hold on to your collective booties, man.
I followed WCW religiously from 1991 until it's dying day but I can't for the life of me remember how they explained Ed Leslie transforming from The Zodiac into the Booty Man. I'm almost positive they addressed it because I vaguely remember Hogan saying something about him being sent in undercover (which made/makes no sense whatsoever, so maybe I made that up in my head?) but I can't remember at all how they explained his turn at this point in time. So it'll be interesting to see how this develops.
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Originally posted by CTXI followed WCW religiously from 1991 until it's dying day but I can't for the life of me remember how they explained Ed Leslie transforming from The Zodiac into the Booty Man. I'm almost positive they addressed it because I vaguely remember Hogan saying something about him being sent in undercover (which made/makes no sense whatsoever, so maybe I made that up in my head?) but I can't remember at all how they explained his turn at this point in time. So it'll be interesting to see how this develops.
That's pretty much all we got. I think the announcers either retconned or pointed out a fact that no one noticed, which is that the Zodiac never hit Hogan whenever the Dungeon would attack him, but exactly why the Booty Man turned here was never really explained.
What Worked: TKG: That main event was better than it had any right to be. Cena's been consistently unimpressive and this may be his best match since the brand switch. Carlito may be the ideal foil for him. Really liked the wild swinging punch exchange.