WCW Saturday Night returns to a 2 hour format tonight; Braves are likely out west but I cannot be bothered looking it up. Let’s get crackin’.
TONY SCHAIVONE and DUSTY RHODES are so excited by the “interruption” on Monday that they fail to bring it up at all. The more pressing topic? Kevin Greene and Mongo.
“DIRTY” DICK SLATER (with Colonel Robert Parker) vs. LEX LUGER (for the WCW World Television title)
Dave Penzer’s voice cracks during the intros, meaning WCW has officially hit puberty. Of course I am kidding, they hit puberty when Vince Russo was hired and lashed out in constant unexplained emotional outbursts. Tony breaks down this match as follows: “Slater looks like a tough guy, so he could win the belt here.” Luger immediately slams Slater after that statement, and rolls around like he was shot. Not to worry Dick, you still look like a tough guy. Slater turns the tide with a headbutt, and tosses Luger to the floor. Of course it backfires, as Luger slams Slater face first to the ring apron, and suplexes him back inside. Slater rakes the eyes, which Luger no-sells, and Slater seems to collapse under the weight of his back problems. Slater rips off his boot, swings at Luger who ducks, and one Torture Rack later decides it at 3:17. Luger dares the Giant to “come and get it”. 1/2*
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND and JIMMY HART discuss the upcoming match between Giant and Luger at the Great American Bash. Hart wants to talk sense into Luger – but before he can, THE GIANT arrives to give a synopsis of his resume so far: Hogan, Savage, Flair, and Sting have all been taken out by his hands. “YOUR 15 MINUTES ARE UP!”
Speaking of Hogan, here’s a video package reminding us he exists. I’m loving the fan made “Hogan Rules” sign on tractor feed paper. The 90’s ladies and gentlemen!
THE BOOTY MAN (with Kimberly) vs. MARK KYLE
Booty’s entrance takes forever; and I can all but guarantee will last longer than the match. And true to form, the high knee finishes at 0:33. Perfect, Booty is kept to a bare minimum, AND the arena appeared a little nipply! DUD
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND wants to talk to Booty about Hulk Hogan. Booty says he’s been hanging and banging with Hogan down in Florida, while his new movie takes in over $10 million. Gene twirls his moustache.
RIC FLAIR (with Woman and Elizabeth) and ARN ANDERSON vs. THE ARMSTRONG BROTHERS
Somehow, the Armstrongs have succeeded in dressing more jobbery than usual, and Flair can’t even be bothered wasting time with these chumps, attacking before the bell. Arn eats a sunset flip, but he tags Flair on the way down so no pin is attempted, and Flair dumps Scott to the floor. Woman claws his eyes out, while Steve defends his brother by standing helplessly in the ring and making gestures at the referee. Arn stomps a mudhole, and catapults Scott across the bottom ring ropes guillotine style. He’s tossed outside again, and makes an audible “SPLAT”. Woman again claws the eyes, which the referee sees this time, and makes the tough decision to point at Flair and ask him not to do it again. Scott tries for a tag, but Arn atomic drops him. A Flair back elbow flattens him, but the first mistake is made when Flair goes up top to attack and gets caught. Arn is not far behind though, and gives Scott a neckbreaker across the ropes. Scott superkicks him, and has a chance at a tag. Steve finally comes in, and takes them down, running high on Loser Power. Both Horsemen take dropkicks, but Flair punches him in the pooter, while Arn Spinebusters him. Flair grabs a handful of tights and scores the pin at 4:33. A thoroughly enjoying jobber squash, capped off with Arn giving a rare crotch chop at the ring. Eat your heart out DX. **1/2
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND confronts Arn about a rumor he heard about a secret trump card. Arn won’t confirm or deny, while Woman plays with what’s left of Gene’s hair and gets a number of creepy smiles. Flair promises someone will be joining their side next week, and kisses every exposed part of Liz.
KEVIN SULLIVAN (with Jimmy Hart) vs. ALEX DAVIS
Sullivan takes Davis right to the floor, and throws a chair in Davis’ face. Back in, Sullivan delivers a move that can only be described as “sodomy”, before the double stomp finishes at 0:59. DUD
Jimmy Hart asks Sullivan why they’re bonded to the Horsemen, and “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND is right there with a microphone in everyone’s face. Sullivan says he’s doing the Horsemen a favour by getting rid of Benoit just as he did Pillman. He warns Arn that someday Benoit is going to want to be the Enforcer of the Horsemen, so he’s helping them before it gets out of hand.
And now, a very special look at the Big, Bad, Unstoppable, Giant. This video tests my entire belief system when it suggests that it’s in fact The Giant, and NOT Cheese that stands alone. I’ll need to consult with the Farmer in the Dell to put my mind at ease.
THE AMERICAN MALES vs. PAT TANAKA and KURASAWA
This is such a highly anticipated match that neither team gets ring entrances or intros. Males chant USA, because they are racist and closed-minded bigots. Kurasawa takes a couple of armdrags from Bagwell, which sets up a double teamed back elbow. Geez guys, don’t kill yourselves with all the flashy moves or anything. Tanaka kicks Riggs in the back of the head, and Tanaka follows with a Mafia kick to the face. Riggs tries for a rana, but it’s turned mid-air into a powerbomb from Tanaka and gets 2. “Upset City!” screams Dusty. Of course, I’m only upset this match is still going. Bagwell eventually gets the hot tag, and performs all his hot moves, like the scoop slam and dropkick. Pier 6 leaves Riggs alone with the Japanese, but Kurasawa accidentally Mafia kicks his partner, and the double dropkick gets the win at 5:37. Bagwell: “It’s time the American Males get their shot and it turns out Japan was in the way.” Oh. DUD
ALEX WRIGHT vs. KONAN (for the WCW United States title)
This girl sums up my feels on Konnan:
I’m not even sure Konnan’s a heel – but then I’m not sure his character has properly been defined as anything short of WCW’s 1996 winner of the Thumb Look-A-Like Contest. Congratulations to Konnan on this prestigious award. Of course, there was a banquet, and a shirtless Dave Meltzer presented him with a fruit basket and plaque. Tony announces that Konnan will face a “Mexican Youngster” named “El Gato” at the Great American Bash. El Gato translated from Spanish to English is “The Cat”, but more interestingly from Spanish to Japanese, it’s “Pat Tanaka in a bad mask”. Wright hits the European uppercuts, but he isn’t Dave Taylor so I’m not feeling it. Scoop slam sets up a slingshot splash for 2. Out of nowhere, Konnan rolls up Wright in a strange pinning move, and gets the win at 5:11. Both men hug it out. This was atrocious. DUD
WCW Propaganda: Sting beats on Steve Austin so viciously, all his beautiful blonde hair falls out.
THE GAMBLER vs. PRINCE IAUKEA
Unfortunately for all of us, this is Iaukea’s debut. Apparently backstage before the break, we were supposed to get an interview with John Tenta, but he nearly tore up the entire set trying to kill Bubba, so he has been denied time and instead will face Bubba at the Great American Bash. Gambler, who as always is fantastic, throws Iaukea on the apron, and screams “COUNT HIM OUT” even though Iaukea’s not even on the floor. Iaukea re-enters with a crossbody and gets the win at 2:02. 1/2*
Outside, RANDY SAVAGE is scaling a transformer trying to break into the building. He spies the CAMERA MAN and beats the hell out of him. “How do you like that, punk? Got a good story?” Camera goes to snow.
DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. COBRA
While I don’t expect miracles to come out of this match, I DO expect Dr. Unlikely to be furiously taking notes. Dusty speculates on who the benefactor is; could it possibly be Cobra? How much money does he have? Page stomps a mudhole in his possible ally, but promptly eats a dropkick. Dusty discusses Cobra’s recent hardcore training, as he nearly steals a win with an overhead belly to belly for 2. I wonder if his training regimen is anything’s like Sting’s? What other links might he have to Sting, and why should I care? Cobra hits a backdrop suplex, but Page goes low before the pin. Diamond Cutter finishes at 3:10. *
LEE MARSHALL gets an interview with Page, who tells Marshall to zip it. Page brags about his Lord of the Ring title, and tells Giant how lucky he is that he never had to face the Diamond Cutter. Marshall demands to know who “SHE”, the benefactor, is? Page pie-faces him, and calls out Marcus Bagwell for the Great American Bash. Page puts his hand up for a high five, and Marshall tries to appease, but Page pulls away and Lee falls on his face. Self-high fives only.
FIRE and ICE vs. THE BLUE BLOODS (with Jeeves)
Taylor starts with two European Uppercuts to Train, so it’s clear he’s going for the win immediately. Taylor hilariously tries to clothesline both members of the tag-team at once, and winds up bouncing off them much to his confusion. Eaton comes in, and Norton just runs him over. Eaton gets some offense with a neckbreaker, but that just seems to enrage Norton – and this is one man you don’t want mad. Eaton quickly tags out. Taylor pounds at Norton’s back, and then goes to big move … the European Uppercut!! Norton NO-SELLS! This man must be the toughest warrior in WCW! What a beast! Ice Train comes in, and Taylor’s taking no prisoners. You guessed it – European Uppercut! Eaton can’t do anything with Train, so Taylor comes back while Train Steams Up. Train wins a test of strength, so Taylor tags out to rest his wary fingers. Eaton rakes Norton’s eyes to gain brief control, but Fire and Ice go right back to the domination. Duelling avalanche splashes are hit on Eaton, so he tags out. Taylor ducks an avalanche from Train, and heads up while Eaton holds Train hostage. Train ducks the axehandle, so Taylor nails his partner, and the Big Splash from Train finishes at 6:07. Dave Taylor should be competing for the World Title. **
Folks – I don’t mean to alarm you, but you’ll have to get ready. Get ready for “Desperado” Joe Gomez that is. WCW has warned you.
JOHNNY GRUNGE (with Rocco Rock) vs. STING (with Lex Luger)
The first minute of this match features both guys circling each other. What is this, a Brock Lesnar match at Wrestlemania? Get a move on boys. Grunge takes a powder immediately and jaws with the fans. Back in, he offers Sting the hand of friendship, and Sting asks the fans if he should trust in Grunge? No handshake evolves. Grunge gives Sting a kick, finally, and Sting lies around on the apron while Rocco chokes him out behind the referee’s back. Sting comes back with a sunset flip, but he can’t take Grunge over, so Grunge dances. Sting’s all “oh no you didn’t”, and takes Grunge over NOW, then proceeds to do a very flamboyant version of the “hands in the air” dance. Grunge tries an avalanche, but eats Sting’s boot instead and Stinger gets 2. Rock chokes Sting out again, so Luger gives chase on the outside. Grunge drops an elbow and uses the ropes for leverage, but it’s only 2. Sting’s face is slammed to the buckle over and over, and Rock tries to interfere again, but this time Luger’s all over him. Rock throws Luger face first to the ring post, so Rock can hold Sting hostage. Miscommunication follows, and Sting rolls Grunge up for a very close 2. Stinger splash drops Grunge, and the referee makes the world’s SLOWEST count because Rock can’t get to the top rope fast enough for his senton spot. At 2 and a half, which is more like 10 and a half, he flies in with the swanton and accidentally hits his partner, and Sting gets the pin at 6:46. *
We’re running REAL short on time, but “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND wants a word with the tag-team champions. Sting is thrilled that Luger let him actually hold a tag-team title tonight, but before we can follow up, we’re outta here because the baseball game is on and we gots to go. More on Monday.
First of all, RVD is 31, which I believe was the same age that Austin was when he got his mega-push in 1996. Hell, Nathan Jones is 35, for cripes' sake, and Vince is still trying to make us care about him.