We have no new episode of Prime this week, so this is all we’ve got today kids. Soak up the stars, cuz the jobbers is hibernating.
FIREWORKS! TNT! (The station, not the Dynamite!) MORE FIREWORKS! ERIC BISCHOFF! BOBBY HEENAN! MONGO MCMICHAEL! PEPE THE FERRET! THIS IS NITRO! Sting and Lex Luger will take on the Road Warriors later for the WCW titles. That’s quite the move up the ladder in a single week.
CHRIS BENOIT vs. RANDY SAVAGE (with Woman and Elizabeth for the WCW World Heavyweight Title)
Bischoff starts his “1905” crap about the WCW’s lineage. Benoit flashes the 4 in Savage’s face, because he is the man and will no doubt do great things and have his big moment that will cause us to remember him forever. For today he’ll focus on the title, beating him into hamburger on the floor with some vicious chops. Benoit tries the decapitator on the bottom ropes – but Savage blocks and attacks Chris in the corner. Benoit fights him to the mat with some headbutts that look a little too real for comfort, and chokes Savage in the corner with his knee. Snap suplex, and Savage is on spaghetti legs. Scoop slam sets up the Swandive, which hits the mark, and Savage doesn’t know where he is. Savage throws a couple of blind punches at the air, before taking backdrop suplex for 2. A leg is dropped across Savage’s nose, and followed with a backbreaker with attempted submission. Savage claws out with an eye-rake, but Benoit keeps him down with another pair of headbutts. To the floor, Savage tries to grab Benoit, but winds up thrown into the ringpost shoulder first. Back in, a double clothesline takes out both guys, but Savage is up first. It doesn’t last, as he misses a blind charge and backdropped to the floor. Chris goes for tope suicida – but MISSES and goes FACE FIRST unprotected into the guardrail! Jesus! Back in, Savage drops the elbow on the BACK OF BENOIT’S HEAD. RIC FLAIR heads down now and kidnaps Liz. Savage chases, but gets his eyes clawed from behind by Woman!!! Referee calls for a DQ at 8:19, but the ambush is on because ARN ANDERSON is in and stopping a mudhole in the champion. Woman laughs at Macho’s misfortune, bringing in HULK HOGAN of course, with a chair to chase off the Horsemen. Woman and Flair embrace in the aisle, while Liz checks on Savage. Great segment, excellent match. ***1/2
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND is on the scene for answers from Hogan. Hogan promises to put a stop to Ric Flair, but Ric has snuck up behind Hogan and decks him. Flair pounds on the injured eye, and scratches at the bandage. THE GIANT and THE ZODIAC lurk ringside, and seizing the opportunity, Giant nails Hogan in the back. Zodiac begs for mercy on Hogan yet again, and while Giant argues with him, Savage rushes the ring and chases everyone off with the chair. Savage asks Liz why the hell she didn’t warn Hogan that Flair was coming. Gene comes to her defence; always the gentleman. Bischoff calls for a break so Hogan can get some medical attention.
KEVIN SULLIVAN and HUGH MORRUS (with Jimmy Hart) vs. BRIAN PILLMAN and ARN ANDERSON
The Horseman / Dungeon feud is getting complicated. Flair is in good with the Dungeon, and uses their resources, but the same Dungeon absolutely hates Flair’s best friend and allies, and are willing to beat them up at all turns. One would assume that even in times like this, Flair would side with blood over the Title – but these are not normal times, no sir. Pillman threatens to kill Eric Bischoff before the match, which is always fun. And we take an ad break.
How I long for the days of $27.95 pay-per-view.
We return to Morrus laughing at Pillman, as though he’s the FUNNIEST person he’s ever seen. So Pillman does the same, and jumps up and down. Finally we get started, Pillman throws the chops, and Morrus LHAO, chat-room style. We learn that Pillman and Sullivan have been signed for Superbrawl in a “Respect” match, where the loser is forced to tell the other he respects him. You know – that’s a gimmick WWE would be wise to bring back today, that would be a killer route for a blood feud that wouldn’t, you know, require blood. Meanwhile, Pillman draws Morrus’ ire with a kick to the back of the head, and Anderson uses that to drop him with a spinebuster. Pillman bitch slaps Morrus, but due to his severe jobberitis, he can’t fight back and winds up trapped in an Arn Anderson headlock. Morrus fights free, but Pillman chop blocks him to cut off the ring. Anderson dumps Morrus to the floor, and Pillman slams him head first into the ring steps. Back in, Anderson drops a knee across the face. Morrus’ selling leaves something to be desired, as he constantly stands up looking confused and unhurt. Sullivan gets the hot tag and ties Pillman to the tree of woe. Running knee connects, and the two get into a catfight brawl. Sullivan bites Pillman in the face, so Anderson breaks THAT up in a hurry and takes him to the back. A piledriver is attempted on the floor, but AN INVISIBLE PERSON knocks Arn out cold from behind. Back in the ring, Sullivan starts whipping Pillman with a belt to draw a DQ at 7:19, as Morrus hits No Laughing Matter. Pillman escapes, looking seriously pissed off, and storms to the back.
PAUL ORNDORFF shows up at the announce booth, and is all smiles and giggles tonight, despite the neck brace. He’s all talk about revenge; and Bischoff does the math, realizing he was probably the broom wielding maniac that just tried to kill Arn Anderson.
MARCUS BAGWELL vs. RIC FLAIR (with Woman)
This is an interesting singles match, between a then motivated Bagwell, and Flair just slightly out of his prime. Bischoff updates that Savage has taken Hogan to the hospital, and is on his way back. Bagwell hits a trifecta of clotheslines that send Flair to the floor. Flair staggers around, so Bagwell follows and flattens him with another. Flair heads in and begs off, before kicking Bagwell in the junk. That’s my Flair! Bagwell comes back with a flurry of fists, causing Flair to flop, and Bagwell gets 2. A dropkick misses when Flair hooks the ropes, but the Figure Four is reversed into a cradle for 2. Bagwell botches a crossbody block, and throws himself over the ropes in a silly looking spot. Woman decides now is a good time to have a long conversation with the referee, while Flair cheats on the outside. Back in, Bagwell counters the chops with a number of hooks, but Flair stops that with a kick to the face for 2. Ric goes to the top rope, noooo Ric! He’s caught and slammed. Bagwell puts Flair right back up again, beats him into a daze, and flattens him with a superplex for 2! A slingshot splash from Bagwell is countered with the knees, and Ric struts now before applying the Figure Four in the middle of the ring! Much as Bagwell doesn’t want to, the submission is called for at 7:02. Fantastic match, Bagwell was totally game. ***1/2
RANDY SAVAGE chases off Flair when he refuses to break the hold, and DOUG DILLENGER is on the scene to hold him back. The head of security is tossed aside, with Savage bolting to the back to try and catch Flair.
THE ROAD WARRIORS vs. STING and LEX LUGER (for the WCW World Tag-Team Titles)
Very little blonde left in Sting’s hair at this point, as his hair has nearly returned to its natural dark roots. Fans are rabid for LOD here, which seems odd for me; but then I never got the Road Warriors thing. Animal and Sting start, with Sting getting the early upper hand with a clothesline off the top. Both men tag out, where Luger hits Hawk with a spike piledriver. Hawk jumps right back up, because who needs a working neck? Sting heads in, and drops Hawk with a Stinger Splash. Scorpion Deathlock is stopped by Animal, and when Luger cries foul, the Warriors trade with no tag. During an Irish whip, Luger pulls down the rope so Animal tumbles to the floor. Sting doesn’t like it – but doesn’t make a scene. Back in, Luger stomps a mudhole, and keeps the ring cut off. And apropos after this weekend’s Superbowl, the entire building loses power.
When we come back, Bischoff promises TNT master control is going to stay with the show all the way through. The building and set are dark, but the ring is well lit. Animal is still in peril, with Sting keeping him in a headlock. Luger bodyslams him and calls for the Rack. Instead, Animal hits a belly to back suplex, which draws in Hawk who takes Sting to the floor. JIMMY HART comes running down with a lead plate, which Luger jams in the kidneys of Animal, and the champs retain at 8:00. Sting caught that, and isn’t happy at ALL. **1/2
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND hits the ring for a quick word with the Warriors. Hawk demands a rematch, and when Okerlund tries to ask Animal about his back, Animal just focuses on the same demands.
Bischoff gives his last hard sell for Superbrawl, the World Title match, and Hogan’s bad eye. More updates on WCW Saturday Night – enjoy your week!
I looked up the Benoit/Savage match on YouTube (unfortunately, it was missing the second half of it), and it was pretty awesome seeing those two wrestle against one another. And for the title, no less!
I know Benoit's chances of being booked to defeat Savage for the World Title in '96 were less than zero, but wouldn't it have been something if he had? How do you think Flair would have reacted to another member of the Horsemen holding "his" world title? (My guess: Thumbs up, thumbs down.)
"I'm sorry, I'm not much of a hugger." "Not yet you're not." --Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan, SmackDown 1/18/13
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Co-Winner of Time's Person of the Year Award, 2006
Jack Swagger continues to be boring but he has potential. I like Miz & Morrison and Cryme Tyme's OK, but both teams are more than the sum of their parts, I think; this singles match didn't do much for me.