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The W - Pro Wrestling - On This (Yester)Day: WCW Saturday Night - March 9, 1996
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Ottawa, Ontario

Since last post: 44 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.81
Between Prime and Pro this week, I’m actually excited to get back to a show with real, genuine matchups, featuring a cavalcade of Armstrong Brothers. THIS ... is WCW!
 
Also; correct. I had wrongly believed that the pay-per-view was THIS Sunday when in fact it is not until the 24th, which explains the total lack of hype I thought we were seeing.
 
DUSTY RHODES and TONY SCHIAVONE welcome us to the show, and ... yeah.
 
JOHNNY B BADD (with Badd Blaster, Frisbees, and Kimberly) vs. LEX LUGER (for the WCW World Television Title)
 
Johnny asks Kimberly what the heck the flowers for the Booty Man were all about on Nitro a couple of weeks ago. This couldn’t have come up at any other point over the last 12 days or so? As we’ve covered over the last couple of weeks, Marc Mero was already on his way out and, in fact, was at this point finished with WCW, so the outcome of this one shouldn’t be in doubt. I didn’t even remember that this had aired on TV, to be honest, and a little bit of research finds this was a quickly slapped together house show change made for TV. Badd gets almost no offense in this match, with Luger systematically destroying him from the start. Even the “finest punch in our sport” is basically no-sold by Luger. Badd’s powerbomb fails to score the pinfall, and DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE with JIMMY HART show up on the stage. Sure enough, Hart causes a distraction so that DDP can hit Badd with a Diamond Cutter on the floor. Luger gets the pin and the title at 6:29. **
 
LEE MARSHALL interviews Johnny after the match, who is irate about having the title stolen. Badd promises to put Page out of WCW for good. Ha!
 
THE FACES OF FEAR vs. THE ROAD WARRIORS
 
Barbarian starts with Animal, and hits a powerslam. Animal pops up and throws a shoulder tackle at Barbarian. Elbow drop brings in Hawk, and Barbarian is happy to turn things over to Meng. Meng is powerslammed, but now HE pops up from that and Hawk is shocked. Hawk backdrops Meng to the outside, and hits a running clothesline off the apron. Meng doesn’t care for any of that, says “unh wah!” and clotheslines Hawk. Back in, double clothesline knocks out both, so Barbarian just walks in without a tag and takes over, right in front of the referee. Would YOU argue with the Faces of Fear? Double headbutt gets 2. And now; the least safe transition move in the business today; the assisted spike piledriver! It’s a 2 of course. A melee erupts, and somehow Hawk winds up clotheslining Barbarian from the top and the win at 3:40. *1/2
 
Meanwhile, “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND is with JIMMY HART. Hart says he’s tired of Sting’s crying, that it’s either Hart or Sting, because he has a legal contract with Luger. Hart says there is no way Luger is participating in a Chicago Street Fight, because as his manager, it’s his choice. He bring in his lawyer, GARY JUSTIN, and as a result, Luger will not be fighting the Road Warriors. LEX LUGER shows up to ask what’s going on. Gene: “Show him your pecs, Lex!” I don’t even know what that means, but I’m mortified.
 
“HARDWORK” BOBBY WALKER vs. ALEX WRIGHT
 
Tony mentions that “Hardwork” got his name through all the hard work he did at the powerplant, and NOT through the intense planning in his head that involved DDP jumping into a tank of piranhas. All this and more in Chris Jericho’s book. Alex Wright wins with the German Suplex at 1:57. 1/2* Tony: “Walker looked good in his Saturday Night debut”.
 
THE BLUE BLOODS (with “Lord” Steven Regal) vs. THE PUBLIC ENEMY
 
Regal’s disgust is all over his face. Dave Taylor has yet to embrace his bee keeper roots, and as a result is dressed in a distinguished puffy shirt. We lose the feed before the match, but it’s easy to assume the teams engaged in a high octane, smartly laid out match that was well on its way to earning an easy five stars. However by the time we come in, TPE has the fans waving their hands in the air, and Steven Regal is threatening to beat up both members AND every audience member including the kid who held his nose during the entrances. Taylor goes deep into his repertoire of moves, and hauls out the European Uppercut. FIT FINLAY runs in and kills Taylor on the floor. Regal books it for backstage, while TPE sets up a table. Eaton is put through it via a Rocco Rock senton bomb for the DQ at 3:20. Dave Taylor is so upset about his partner taking that vicious move that he raises his arm in jubilant victory. *
 
CHRIS BENOIT vs. EDDIE GUERRERO (winner gets a United States title shot)
 
This is the fourth Benoit/Guerrero match I’ve recapped since I started this project about 70 days ago, however it’s the first that actually has any stakes. Dusty Rhodes might argue that point as it WAS the Moo Match of the Week once, but Dusty is not to be listened to under any circumstances, ever, as your ears might begin spontaneously spurting pints of blood, and should that happen, who would clean it up? Dusty Rhodes might, he IS a man of a thousand jobs, but it’s not something I would be prepared to bet my life on. Anyway, after Benoit delivers Eddie a chop so hard one of his nipples flies into the crowd where it is blown up and tossed around like a beach ball, he hits a backbreaker that may have actually broken Eddie’s back. Will he ever walk again? Please allow us to take a commercial break!
 
Folks, we have amazing news. Eddie Guerrero IS in fact on his feet, and mobile. I’m not one to speculate, so I’ll tell you that the Reverend Peter Popoff is very likely in attendance, and with the power of his miracle spring water PLUS Eddie’s divine devotion (as proved by mailing him $512) – Eddie is able to walk again. Benoit’s like “I ain’t having THAT” and snaps off a killer spinbuster, and slaps on a liontamer that would have Jim Ross screaming about Eddie being literally broken in half. Eddie won’t tap, because he is dead and unable to. Benoit releases, and hangs Eddie over the top rope. Eddie does not move. So Benoit takes this to a whole new level of uncomfortable by throwing Eddie to the outside, and trying to choke him to death with the television cables. Through the jokes; there are some spots that hit a little too close to home, or in this case, Benoit’s home. Back in, Benoit bellyflops with a missed headbutt. Eddie tries to head up, but Benoit just starts throwing him around with the trifecta of German suplexes that have both guys smacking their heads on the mat with each one. Hindsight truly is something else. Benoit puts Eddie on top, where Eddie shoves him off and hits the Froggy Splash for the win at 11:09. Easy match of the month candidate; but maybe the big main event at Uncensored will top it. ****
 
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND congratulates Eddie on the win. Eddie is really raw and nervous here, he’s a terrible babyface at this point. He sucks Konnan’s kneecaps and then vows to beat him.
 
Here’s some clips of Sting beating up a very blonde Steve Austin for no reason at all. Take that WWF. Take that Steve Austin.
 
In the room of fun, HULK HOGAN and RANDY SAVAGE are with Gene now. Hogan grabs Gene by the throat: “DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE HIT WITH A LEATHER STRAP OVER AND OVER?” Gene: “NO! And I don’t want to!” Hogan explains it, and it probably makes sense if you’ve just swallowed a handful of shrooms. Hogan starts convulsing, and turns it over to Savage by asking: “How about that Booty with a strap?” Of course, BOOTY MAN comes in and his voice starts cracking harder than a 15 year old whose balls just dropped. Everyone’s eyes are the size of dinner plates.
 
Gene runs down the card for Uncensored, and here is the currently proposed main event; inside a progressive cage, Hulk Hogan will face Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Kevin Sullivan, and Loch Ness to survive. Boy that sounds terrible – I think the only thing worse would be to insert Savage and add 4 more heels.
 
VK WALLSTREET vs. JOEY MAGGS (with Teddy Long)
 
Stock Market Crash at 1:14. Next. DUD
 
GOLDBERG PAT TANAKA vs. DISCO INFERNO
 
Disco takes down Tanaka, and drops down on his leg with help from the ropes, which hurts his booty a little, so he shakes it off. Disco adds a cartwheel for the fans and gets rolled up and pinned at 1:25. DUD
 
LEX LUGER and JIMMY HART are with “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND. Luger wants answers from earlier. He was shocked Jimmy helped him with the TV title. “I almost feel, even though I deserve this, that this thing is tainted!” He pleads to Sting to believe him; he is on his side forever. Hart asks why he’s worried about poor old Sting, reminding him that Sting’s the idiot that dragged him into a Chicago Street Fight, and Jimmy’s the one who got him out of it. Hart reminds him that every time they’ve worked together, it’s been nothing but success. Hart uses his power of attorney, and throws Loch Ness out of the Doomsday Match, and puts Luger in his place. LOCH NESS confronts Hart now; saying he was brought in for a shot at Hogan, and now he’s getting replaced? He shoves Luger to the ground with one big shove, and throws up his dukes. Luger and Hart can’t leave fast enough.
 
And now, just in case you needed the propaganda beating you over the head, here’s Randy Savage laying the beats to Steve Austin.
 
“HACKSAW” JIM DUGGAN, THE AMERICAN MALES, and SGT. CRAIG PITTMAN (with Teddy Long) vs. RIC FLAIR (with Woman and Miss Elizabeth), ARN ANDERSON, KEVIN SULLIVAN (with Jimmy Hart), and LOCH NESS
 
Loch Ness does not enter with his team, unsurprising with what we just saw. Fans chant USA, so I guess they’re rooting against the only foreigner in this match, Kevin Sullivan, who is of course from another planet. Bagwell treats Flair like a tackling dummy, and after some serious abuse, Flair flops. Clothesline sends him to the outside, where he regroups as we all would; finding comfort somewhere between Elizabeth and Woman. Anderson comes in, and as you would expect against Scotty Riggs, Anderson is completely outclassed and winds up running to the safety of his corner. The World Champion comes back in, and the American Males double team him some more. Duggan gets the tag, pumps out his chest ... and Flair immediately jabs a thumb in his eye that makes me audibly laugh. Duggan sends Flair to the apron where a Riggs punch sends him flying. Anderson tries to go toe to toe with Bagwell, but he just can’t keep up with the superior wrestling skills of Marcus Alexander. Sullivan yanks Bagwell outside and sends him into the ring post. Thank god Sullivan is here, he is truly the anchor, on top of being built like one. THE GIANT lumbers out while Duggan tapes up his fists. Giant casually pulls him outside but Duggan hits him with the tape, which causes the pair to brawl to the back. Meanwhile, Flair is tagging Bagwell with chops, but Buff hits a clothesline to escape. Riggs tags in, and it’s dropkicks for everyone. A full fledged brawl erupts, where Arn flattens Riggs with a spinebuster for the win at 8:17. The three remaining members of the losing team get whipped down with straps, which prompts a run in from DOUG DILLENGER. In one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen, Anderson DECKS him and they start whipping Doug!!! *** for the match, for being smartly booked by never once allowing Craig Pittman or Kevin Sullivan to tag in.
 
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND wants an interview with the Alliance. Sullivan sends a warning to Luger that if he’s not fighting with the Alliance, he’s against them. Giant nerd GARY JUSTIN bursts on to the scene to announce that no straps were sanctioned tonight, and for hitting an official on top of it, they’ll be given the stiffest fines in WCW history. Woman responds by grabbing him by the tie. Anderson: “Let me explain something to you Justin, we have more money than we could ever spend in this lifetime, so pile it on.” Gene tells Flair he might not be flying around tonight since his pocket book is a little lighter. Someone needs to tell Gene that’s never once stopped Ric before.
 
Darn good edition of Saturday Night, between the main event and the Guerrero/Benoit showdown. These are the types of shows that kept me coming back as a WCW fan. Uncensored of course will provide us the complete opposite. It looms ... it looms.



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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.28

    “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND congratulates Eddie on the win. Eddie is really raw and nervous here, he’s a terrible babyface at this point. He sucks Konnan’s kneecaps and then vows to beat him.


Everything about Eddie except his wrestling ability sucked in his early WCW days. He looked like our friend's dad if he was wearing white spandex. If you were all about the wrestling his look and blandness wouldn't have bothered you. I wasn't all about the wrestling at the time. I dug Benoit because he was this mean little bastard with a crisp move set even if he couldn't cut promos, but could really care less about Malenko and Guerrero.

It took me a long time to come around on Eddie. I think his run in white spandex really held him back, I am guessing I'm not the only one who had a hard time forgetting this stage. Feuding with neon tassled guy nobody cared about Konan wasn't going to help. It wasn't until his first run with Chavo that I finally came around and realized he was more than a generic looking WCW guy with a nice move set, of course convincing Bischoff at that point is another matter.



Edit: Was Loch Ness sick at this point, or did they just push him aside?


(edited by BigDaddyLoco on 10.3.13 1200)
JustinShapiro
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Since: 12.12.01
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 9 hours
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.75
    Originally posted by BigDaddyLoco

      “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND congratulates Eddie on the win. Eddie is really raw and nervous here, he’s a terrible babyface at this point. He sucks Konnan’s kneecaps and then vows to beat him.


    Everything about Eddie except his wrestling ability sucked in his early WCW days. He looked like our friend's dad if he was wearing white spandex. If you were all about the wrestling his look and blandness wouldn't have bothered you. I wasn't all about the wrestling at the time. I dug Benoit because he was this mean little bastard with a crisp move set even if he couldn't cut promos, but could really care less about Malenko and Guerrero.


Wouldn't it have been weird if this had happened?

    Originally posted by 1/6/96 Observer
    There was actually discussion of having Guerrero upset Flair and win the title similar to how Flair made Steamboat in the late 70s in the Carolinas.
It's False
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Since: 20.6.02
From: I am the Tag Team Champions!

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.37
    Originally posted by cfgb
    LEX LUGER and JIMMY HART are with “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND. Luger wants answers from earlier. He was shocked Jimmy helped him with the TV title. “I almost feel, even though I deserve this, that this thing is tainted!” He pleads to Sting to believe him; he is on his side forever. Hart asks why he’s worried about poor old Sting, reminding him that Sting’s the idiot that dragged him into a Chicago Street Fight, and Jimmy’s the one who got him out of it. Hart reminds him that every time they’ve worked together, it’s been nothing but success. Hart uses his power of attorney, and throws Loch Ness out of the Doomsday Match, and puts Luger in his place. LOCH NESS confronts Hart now; saying he was brought in for a shot at Hogan, and now he’s getting replaced? He shoves Luger to the ground with one big shove, and throws up his dukes. Luger and Hart can’t leave fast enough.


It's so funny to watch, week-after-week, as WCW slowly put two and two together to realize that a Hogan/Loch Ness match would have been an epic disaster and they had to put the brakes on it ASAP. I remember the few Loch Ness squash matches that I did watch back in this time and I recall that guy barely being mobile. Was the whole idea of that "feud" with him and Hogan supposed to lead to a match, where Hogan would get the big bodyslam spot and timewarp us back to 1987?




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BigDaddyLoco
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.28
    Originally posted by JustinShapiro
      Originally posted by BigDaddyLoco

        “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND congratulates Eddie on the win. Eddie is really raw and nervous here, he’s a terrible babyface at this point. He sucks Konnan’s kneecaps and then vows to beat him.


      Everything about Eddie except his wrestling ability sucked in his early WCW days. He looked like our friend's dad if he was wearing white spandex. If you were all about the wrestling his look and blandness wouldn't have bothered you. I wasn't all about the wrestling at the time. I dug Benoit because he was this mean little bastard with a crisp move set even if he couldn't cut promos, but could really care less about Malenko and Guerrero.


    Wouldn't it have been weird if this had happened?

      Originally posted by 1/6/96 Observer
      There was actually discussion of having Guerrero upset Flair and win the title similar to how Flair made Steamboat in the late 70s in the Carolinas.



It would have been interesting to see Hogan's reaction to such banter. I can't see this working, at least not with the way WCW was raising the stakes and Hogan being Hogan. Probably better for everyone it didn't happen.


(edited by BigDaddyLoco on 10.3.13 1905)
cfgb
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Ottawa, Ontario

Since last post: 44 days
Last activity: 29 min.
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.81
    Originally posted by BigDaddyLoco

      Edit: Was Loch Ness sick at this point, or did they just push him aside?



He was diagnosed with cancer and written out fast. It's amazing how little things like this can impact the federation; because had he stayed around, without having any insider look into how it ran at that stage (and Justin can probably confirm via WON) - I'm guessing the title was headed back to Hogan to feud over with Loch Ness OR Loch Ness was being used as a prop to get Hogan BACK to the title. That match probably happens at Slamboree 1995.

    Originally posted by 1/6/96 Observer

      There was actually discussion of having Guerrero upset Flair and win the title similar to how Flair made Steamboat in the late 70s in the Carolinas.



Disaster. Eddie was nowhere near ready. His in ring work was rock solid, but there is NO chance that would have flown in the eye of Hogan's world against the Dungeon of Doom. Everything revolved around Hogan from the minute he walked into the federation, right through 1999. Aside from the impending hiatus (I CAN'T WAIT!!!!) in 1996, he was either champion, or the straw that stirred the drink. Guerrero wouldn't have gotten over, and the result would have been getting the title back to Hogan as fast as possible to "restore" the lost credibility from Eddie, making Flair look bad, and Eddie a paper champion goat that would have taken years to recover from.

(edited by cfgb on 10.3.13 1944)


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JustinShapiro
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Since: 12.12.01
From: Pittsburgh, PA

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.75
    Originally posted by cfgb
    It's amazing how little things like this can impact the federation; because had he stayed around, without having any insider look into how it ran at that stage (and Justin can probably confirm via WON) - I'm guessing the title was headed back to Hogan to feud over with Loch Ness OR Loch Ness was being used as a prop to get Hogan BACK to the title. That match probably happens at Slamboree 1995.


I'll have to go back and check sometime. The two things I remember are that

1) the only far-off plan for the year was that Hogan would wrestle Savage at Halloween Havoc (always bigger than Starrcade under Eric for whatever reason), in conjunction with a big ad campaign with Slim Jim. Whether the plan pre-Hollywood H. was for Savage to turn heel, I'm not sure, but if Hulk was reliving the 80s down south, Megapowers Explode comes next after Hogan/Andre.

2) most of the main event direction was being booked not just week-to-week to hotshot against Raw, but week-to-Hogan-arriving at the building and changing everything for that night -- a thundercloud ominously forming over 20-year-old James Storm and Robert Roode. I believe the Savage title switch on Nitro was the result of the former, and the one coming soon was a result of the latter.

(edited by JustinShapiro on 10.3.13 2223)
ekedolphin
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Since: 12.1.02
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.19
Luger still cracks me up. Jimmy Hart distracts the referee, Page hits Badd with the Diamond Cutter on the floor, Luger wins the TV Title. "This thing almost feels tainted!" HA!

Hogan cracks me up too. "DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE TO GET HIT WITH A LEATHER STRAP OVER AND OVER?!" he asks, grabbing Mean Gene by the throat.

"Hey, don't touch me, I've got a fleet of lawyers!"



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No way, where did you hear this? I ask because if Tazz does go, he totally has a career in radio.
- j9479, WWE Releases (2007)
Related threads: On This Day: WCW Pro - March 9, 1996 - On This Day: WCW Prime - March 4, 1996 - On This Day: WCW Saturday Night - March 2, 1996 - More...
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