Would you be willing to believe this is the first bit of content I’ve produced for my webpage since June 5, 2005?
I imagine if you’d gone to my website, this wouldn’t be particularly hard to believe. It’s been sitting there, I’ve known it’s been sitting there, and I’ve WANTED to do something with it.
Numerous times, I sat down. I tried to do TNA Impact on a weekly basis. I lasted 30 minutes into week #1. That was a year ago.
Wrestling isn’t wrestling anymore. While the WWE is forever running through the same old motions, the indies are running a sick game of “can you top this?”. I will never forget the first time I saw Mick Foley rolling around in thumbtacks, after having been chokeslammed through the roof of Hell In A Cell. These days, that seems to be status quo for any pay-per-view featuring “hardcore”.
The business has likely passed me by - and I’m by no stretch an old man! But I feel that way whenever I tune into any wrestling. Real innovation was seeing a couple of hungry young guys get sent out on national television, do their thing, and see if the crowd responded. I didn’t need a fancy gimmick to know that I liked what I was seeing from Ultimo Dragon in the ring. Brian Pillman never needed any kind of contrived looking sky-twisting piledriver followed by a triple flip shooting star press to sucker me in.
I’ve never hidden my undying love for what WCW brought me in the 90’s. They had a roster about 1500 wrestlers deep, and a stream of midcarders that would make McMahon’s head spin. Booker T got over by defending his TV title weekly in a series of exciting matches, against a never-ending slew of wrestlers. Now the Intercontinental Title is being fought over by Johnny Nitro (which begs the question, who the FUCK is Johnny Nitro?) and Jeff “stale retread” Hardy. Our other top contenders are Carlito Cool, Shelton Benjamin, and ... uhhh ... I dunno, Randy Orton?
So in a strange world where I’m watching the same old shit on one channel, and over the top innovation in the other, I can’t be satisfied. It’s reached a boiling point where I simply don’t believe I’m part of the target demographic any longer. And that’s okay. The WWE ultimately is going to score wads of dollars from my paycheque based on their wonderful history laced DVDs alone - and they can continue to dance out the superstars of today that I have zero interest in seeing. They still win.
I will give out props to the one wrestling performer that I still enjoy today, and that’s Kevin Nash. For any long term reader of my work or site, you’d know that Nash ranks among my favorites, even during the WCW Death Era. Yes, he can’t wrestle for shit, but he never had to for me to like what he did. He is one of the funniest, and more naturally talented charismatic people you’ll ever find - and TNA has a gold star on their hands. I know the fan base is up in arms about the fact that he’s not putting over Chris Sabin, but I don’t really care, because I don’t watch TNA for Bland Chris Sabin. If Kevin Nash wins the X Division Title (and as well he should, because nobody spells No Limits quite like Nash) - I look forward to the collective projectile vomiting from the fanbase, while I smile.
My rant is done. About 3 years ago, I recapped the first 10 episodes of Monday Nitro, and then promptly was unable to find the tape that covered most of November, December, and January. Luckily for you, we’re back in business. Let’s hit it!
WCW wastes no time in jumping straight to the talking heads! ERIC BISCHOFF, BOBBY HEENAN, and MONGO MCMICHAEL (with Pepe) are back in action - and Bischoff’s already popped an erection for the announcement that the WCW title is going to be defended at World War 3 in a 60-man battle royal.
Backstage ... what appears to be ZORRO is actually apparently Hulk Hogan. He’s growling like a dog, and holding a sword??? He screams wildly that the Dungeon Of Doom is afraid of him because he has special powers invoked by training, prayers, and vitamins. He holds the sword above his head, and promises that Randy Savage will bring him the head of Meng. As far as Sting’s concerned, the Hulkamaniacs have no idea if he’s friend or foe - but they’re not worried, because after Meng’s head is returned on a silver platter, he’ll look Sting in the eye. And if he’s aligned with Sullivan, Sting’s name goes to the top of his hitlist. If the federal government EVER needed proof that Hogan was using drugs ...
Back in the live arena, the fans are booing Hogan. Heenan predicts Hogan will be the first one eliminated from World War 3. That would be the SMART thing to do, of course ...
MENG (with Kevin Sullivan) vs. RANDY SAVAGE
Meng was getting a decent little push at this point, including a win over Lex Luger a few weeks earlier. Savage, playing his usual mental role, strikes from the crowd, and hits a running knee before the bell that sends Sullivan to the outside. He and Meng hit the floor, and little happens. They wander back into the ring where Savage scoop slams Meng, spies Sullivan on the top rope - and knocks him off. Meng recovers and delivers a superkick! JIMMY HART runs down to ringside for added support. They head outside again, where Meng slams Savage face first into the ringpost. Back in, Bischoff declares Savage in a “Dungeon of Disaster”. Meng chops and chokes away for what feels like an eternity. Eventually, Meng heads to the top rope, but misses his headbutt! Jimmy Hart runs up onto the apron, and Savage uses the opportunity to send Meng face first into the megaphone. A rear clothesline and the Savage elbow end it quickly at 4:52. 3/4* SHARK and LEX LUGER are in the ring immediately following the match - and go after Savage’s already injured arm. Bischoff swears he heard limbs breaking.
KENSUKI SASAKI vs. CHRIS BENOIT
Benoit gets right in Sasaki’s face, but is leveled. Sasaki easily throws Benoit with a vertical suplex, and stomps away. A powerslam gets 2! Benoit gets to his feet, only to get nailed with a running clothesline. A flying bulldog gets some serious heat for the evil Jap, and a scoop slam gets 2. Sasaki moves to a rear chinlock, releases, drops an elbow, and gets 1. Benoit escapes a tilt-a-whirl attempt, and reverses a suplex in mid-air for 1! The boys trade standing switches, but Benoit wins, hits 2 German suplexes and scores the pinfall with a dragon suplex at 2:39!!!! ** Admittedly, I didn’t see that coming, because Bischoff spent the whole match hyping an upcoming US title match between Sting and Sasaki - so that was a pleasant surprise.
EDDIE GUERRERO (already in the ring) vs. JOHNNY B BADD (for the WCW world television title)
Badd shows signs of the character he’d soon play in the WWF, by giving Guerrero some attitude when asked for a handshake. They run through some chain wrestling, but THAT ends in a hurry with a tilt-a-whirl slam from Badd - getting 2! He goes for a second one, but Eddie reverses into a rana for 2! The fans give Johnny a little bit of heat during a stare-off, which is interesting. Eddie is leveled with an elbow, and then FLATTENED with a slingshot legdrop for 2! Eddie fights back to his feet, uses the ropes for leverage, and swings into a rana for 2! Johnny’s placed up top, but Eddie’s attack is reversed, and Badd hits a super sunset flip for 2! Eddie reverses for a 2 count of his own. Badd sends Eddie outside the ring, and connects on a slingshot senton to the outside! Back in, Johnny misses a slingshot whirlybird splash, and Eddie scores a 2! Guerrero quickly hits a victory roll for 2. A reversal out of an electric chair gives Edide another 2. La majistral cradle gets 2! Eddie’s on a roll, and the champion is frustrated. As a result, he takes a shot with his golden glove hands, and knocks Guerrero silly. The referee admonishes him for the closed fist - giving Guerrero a chance to fight back, and the brawl is on! The 2 guys roll around the ring, and the referee can’t keep them apart. The fans are loving the energy, and get on their feet. A LOUD “EDDIE” chant explodes, probably catching Johnny off guard. Badd applies a side headlock, but Eddie escapes with a belly to back suplex. Guerrero with a slingshot senton gets 2. Eddie tries for a tombstone, but Badd reverses in mid-move for one of his own!!! Johnny is more than upset when he only gets a 2 count. Guerrero fights back to his feet for a tornado DDT off the top - but Badd kicks out at 2! Both guys get up, and they get the same idea to go for a cross body block, and knock one another out. Penzer starts the 10 second countdown, and the time runs out at 9:03. *** Nine minutes and three seconds was of course the standard TV title match time for all defenses held on November 13, 1995. Eddie and Johnny get into a shoving match after the match, but settle their differences with a handshake and hug.
Bischoff announces that Hulk Hogan is going to be on Nitro next week, and he wants a match with Sting. Heenan is caught of guard with THAT announcement.
In the ring, GENE OKERLUND is joined by KEVIN SULLIVAN, JIMMY HART, and THE GIANT. Okerlund discusses the Halloween Havoc incident, when Hart sold Hogan down the river. Hart thanks Mean Gene for the compliment. “The only thing that bothers me, is what am I gonna do with my 200 Hulkamania jackets??? HAHAHAHAHA!” Sullivan follows with one of his usual idiotic rambling promos, only establishing that he feels the favorite to win World War 3 is The Giant. Finally, the big man speaks - and lets us know that the legend of Hulk Hogan will end, and Giant will be champion FOREVER!
DEAN MALENKO vs. STING (for the WCW United States heavyweight title)
Sting gets the usual loud reaction for his entrance. Malenko starts off with a go-behind, but Sting breaks it easily. Heenan and Bischoff discuss Malenko’s endless supply of submission holds, but Mongo blows them off and says “there’s no way that guy’s taking Sting, he’s not powerful enough”. I love it! Bischoff doesn’t seem impressed with that comment, and immediately goes back to selling Malenko’s technical prowess, but the damage has been done. Sting gorilla presses Malenko. He offers the hand of friendship, but Malenko ignores him. A dropkick to the knee leaves Sting reeling - and we take a commercial break!
Upon return, Malenko has Sting locked in a kneebar. We learn during the commercial that Sting nearly had Malenko in the Scorpion Deathlock - but Malenko was fast enough to hit the ropes. Back to live action, Sting’s getting fired up, but Malenko dropkicks Sting in the knee again. Mongo must have been spoken to during the break, because now he’s apologetic for misunderestimating Malenko due to his size. Malenko splashes Sting’s knee, and pulls away looking for a submission. Sting gets to his feet, but eats a German suplex for 2! Malenko goes for another dropkick, but Sting avoids it this time and whips Malenko to the buckle. Stinger Splash MISSES - and Malenko scurries to the top rope at breakneck speed and connects with a missile dropkick!! Texas Cloverleaf is blocked by a package from Sting, and it scores a pin at 5:08. **
Our announcers once again recap Jimmy Hart’s turn at Halloween Havoc, and then remind us that Hogan will face Sting next week on Nitro. And with that, we had back to the ring ...
... where GENE OKERLUND has joined Sting. Gene asks Sting why he left the building with Luger last week? Sting gives Hogan crap for knocking on his door, because he said that he has no problems with him. He reminds Hogan he’s a big dog in WCW, and offers to show him the list of wrestlers he’s defeated over the years to prove it. Sting says he’s looking forward to next week’s match, and Okerlund is aghast they’re going through with it.
The announcers quickly sum up what we’ve seen, and head out for this week.
For anyone who doesn't go to cfgb's site... my Being the Bookerman column on No Way Out sets out in details the reasons why Chris Jericho should retain the titles at Wrestlemania, and why I will be picking him to do so no matter the situation. Main point:...