Happy Canada Day Landover, Maryland! TONY SCHIAVONE and LARRY ZBYSZKO can’t waste time talking about fireworks north of the border when there are fireworks right here what with the HOSTILE TAKEOVER! DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE interrupts the opening, because his Lord of the Ring has been stolen. He demands that the enhanced security lock down the building and strip search everyone. “YOU KNOW WHO HAS IT SCHIAVONE? DO YOU KNOW WHO HAS IT???” Soooo good. Page is absolutely coming into his own.
Back to the hype, Tony says the “two men” have been seen, and wonders if the third guy is with them? Larry promises a “New World Order” this weekend – the first time those words have been uttered on TV.
THE STEINER BROTHERS vs. HARLEM HEAT (for the WCW World Tag-Team titles)
Larry starts carrying on about the human game of chess being played between WCW and the invaders – and figures now that WCW has shown its hand by revealing their 3 guys, they may as well give up their 3rd. Scotty gives Booker a belly to belly, and follows with a military press slam. Both members of Harlem Heat are given the dumpski, and while they take a powder, the camera pans to show SECURITY all around the ringside area, looking bored. These little details are what is making the invasion angle so effective here; it genuinely looks like WCW has a real fear about what these men might do next, and are taking all steps to keep their show in order. And with that, we take a commercial break.
Upon return, we’re checking out THE FOUR HORSEMEN (and the Ladies) sitting in Flair’s VIP booth. What could they want, asks Tony? I dunno, maybe caviar and a fruit platter? Meanwhile, Rick Steiner gives Stevie Ray a German suplex for 2. Scotty comes in and backslides Stevie for 2. Overhead belly to belly leaves Stevie absolutely scrambled, but he still manages to poke Scott in the eyes to tag out. COLONEL ROBERT PARKER has come down to ringside now – and it’s funny, because in the 3 months or so that he’s been gone, the character seems so out of place and stale in the edgy environment WCW has become. Booker nails a Harlem Sidekick on Rick, and comes off the top with a springboard crossbody for 2! Booker heads back up to finish, but Rick cuts him off and hits a belly to belly superplex for 2. Scott comes in and gives Booker the tigerbomb for 2. Booker comes back with a superkick, and turns it over to Stevie Ray who powerslams Scott for 2. Sidewalk slam brings Booker back in for a big splash off the top – but Rick saves at 2! Double clotheslines leave both guys down, and in comes Rick Steiner with the hot tag. Both Harlem Heat guys are attacked, and a Pier 6 breaks out. Scott nails a Frankensteiner on Booker, but he’s not the legal man – leaving Rick to try and finish. He hits the top rope bulldog, then goes up for a second one, but Parker crotches him, hits him over the head with the walking stick, and Booker gets the pin to retain at 8:19. Parker celebrates with the champs – and you have to imagine the gang is back together. *1/2
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND finds out what the Horsemen are thinking; specifically their recent attack on the Renegade and Joe Gomez. Debra ignores that, going on about Mongo being the greatest athlete in sports history, and he has the possibility to make more money in WCW than anywhere else. Mongo backs her up: “Money makes the monkey dance.” Liz brings up that they have limitless financial backing, “and we know where that came from!” Anderson says they’re at full strength for the first time since the mid 80’s, and heads are going to roll. Flair just dances on the VIP table.
Our world is taking its sweet time changing. Glacier – July 1996! Liars.
DISCO INFERNO (with Gold Album) vs. KURASAWA
Disco tries to dance for the fans before the match – but Kurasawa’s music cuts him off. Kurasawa works an arm wringer, but Disco reaches the ropes and shrieks at the ref “GET HIM OFF – GET HIM OFF!” Not a problem – but the super kick is right behind. That enrages Disco, who goes through a martial arts demonstration to a loud reception. Kurasawa runs him over with a shoulderbreaker. Disco rolls out to the floor to take a powder, and in anger kicks the ring steps. He of course hobbles around, probably spraining his ankle, so Kurasawa attacks and rolls him in. Death Valley Driver is followed by the Mana Bauer (or “that’s his move!”) – but before he can go for the pin Disco’s music starts playing over the loudspeaker for some reason. Everyone looks at the entrance, where an ELVIS IMPERSONATOR has arrived. A disco balls drops from the ceiling – which Disco uses to smack Kurasawa, and gets the pin at 3:48. This was one of the most ridiculous finishes I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen tons. *
SCOTTY RIGGS vs. DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE
DDP is seen frisking one of the producers at the entrance way, still unable to find his ring. Random camera guys at ringside are patted down. Tony figures he’s hawked it for more money. JIM DUGGAN offers pre-recorded comments. “You’re worried about your ring? Don’t you worry about Hacksaw Jim Duggan stealing your ring. I don’t wear no ear rings. I don’t wear no necklaces. I don’t wear no rings. What Hacksaw Jim Duggan does is carry a 2x4 and a roll of tape. So Page if you want your ring, look somewhere else Tough Guy!” Larry: “Does this guy have a point?” Page comes out with some extra intensity today, screaming “I WANT MY RING!!!” Backdrop suplex leaves Riggs scrambled. Still, he comes back with a crossbody for 1 – but Page is right back up with a huge right hand, demanding the return of his ring. Abdominal stretch is applied – with ample cheating via the ropes. He’s caught on the 3rd go of it, so Nick Patrick kicks him off the ropes. After a hiptoss from Riggs, Page fires back with a Stunner. He calls for the Diamond Cutter, but goes for a pumphandle backbreaker instead. Riggs manages to send DDP to the floor, and hits a springboard plancha off the outer ropes, and goes to finish but Dallas makes the ropes. Diamond Cutter out of nowhere finishes at 6:41. *
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND comes down for an interview, but Page just wants to frisk him. Gene threatens legal action as only he can.
GREG VALENTINE vs. RANDY SAVAGE
Valentine gets the recycled Stunning Steve Austin music en route to his first match in WCW in what, 83 years? Even Larry can’t hold back, talking about Valentine as a very slow wrestler – which is saying something coming from freakin’ Zbyszko. True to his word, Valentine moves at the speed of chilled lard, which might also be his body composition at this point. I met Valentine in 2007 at an Indy show, and there was one question I’d been waiting my entire life to ask – “Hammer, does it still take you an hour to get warmed up?” Well, the Hammer, who appeared to be asleep up until that point, gave me his patented Hammer stare, and informed me that it was $20 for a photo and autograph. Tony gives us the 1 minute countdown to Hour 2 of Nitro halfway through this slugfest (aptly named by the slugs in the ring) – and he starts screaming like it’s New Year’s Eve counting all the way down. Savage drops the elbow for the win just as the clock turns over at 5:17. -*
ERIC BISCHOFF makes his triumphant return to the booth as fireworks explode. BOBBY HEENAN joins the booth, as a screaming Tony can’t hold back his excitement about Bischoff’s return. Eric thanks all the fans who have supported him, including the entire crowd here tonight (who are of course chanting “WEASEL”). Bischoff sends a special word to “Kevin Nash” who is apparently the man we’ve known as Diesel. He says nobody’s afraid of him, not Sting, Luger, Savage, and especially himself. This is just begging to have him put through the announce table. Bischoff continues his tirade, as the fans start to buzz like nuts … and sure enough, KEVIN NASH and RAZOR RAMON are walking through the crowd with popcorn and drinks in hand. SECURITY approaches them, and Nash is all too happy to produce front row tickets. Razor offers popcorn to fans all around him, as the fans chant “DIESEL”.
DID YOU KNOW OUR WORLD IS ABOUT TO CHANGE?
JOHN TENTA vs. THE GIANT (with Jimmy Hart) (for the WCW World Heavyweight title)
Nash and Razor have absolutely consumed the crowd here, as every bite of popcorn is watched and documented. Tenta actually comes out with some energy tonight, throwing some pretty fierce haymakers – but it does him no good. Bischoff, meanwhile, discusses security calling for re-enforcements, despite already having three or four times the regular staffing on hand.
Giant takes over the offense so we slow down a bit, not that it matters because nobody’s paying attention.
Except these guys!
KEVIN SULLIVAN eventually runs down to distract Tenta, with BIG BUBBER right behind. It’s enough, and Giant chokeslams him to retain at 6:38. Bubba winds up shaving half of Tenta’s beard. I wish he’d shave the mental image of Giant’s prominent penis out of my head. DUD
A video package on Rey Mysterio Jr. is aired – but cut short because KEVIN NASH and RAZOR RAMON have headed towards the announce booth. SECURITY is on them, with RANDY SAVAGE, STING, LEX LUGER, SCOTT STEINER, BIG BUBBER, DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE, GIANT, and KEVIN SULLIVAN chasing them down. Nash asks “is this the best you’ve got?? Send in the clowns!” The Outsiders are escorted out of the building. Heenan worries the third guy might be in the building, while Savage keeps trying to cut through the security guards to fight.
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND has found JIM DUGGAN, who’s “just back from the toilet where I went to relieve myself”. Of course, lying there was the “King of the Ring” (Thanks Gene!), and he wants to return the “feminine piece of metal” to its rightful owner, being the ex-boy scout that he is. DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE crashes the set and accuses Duggan of being a thief. Duggan drops the ring on the ground, and when Page drops to grab it, Duggan reaches into his tights and whips out … his tape. A taped fist drops Page. What the hell am I watching here?
ROCK & ROLL EXPRESS, JOE GOMEZ, and THE RENEGADE vs. THE FOUR HORSEMEN (with Debra McMichael, Woman, and Elizabeth)
While Bischoff rambles about incognito security being strategically placed throughout the crowd – a pier 6 is breaking out in the ring between the two factions. Anderson orders a time-out so the Horsemen can strategize. Morton and Flair start, with Flair eating a rana, followed by a double dropkick from Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Anderson tags in and takes an enzuigiri, leading to a cocky and pissed off Benoit to take his turn. Gibson tosses him around with ease, and turns things over to Renegade. Benoit tees off with some chops so vicious you almost get the feeling he might personally hate the guy. In comes Flair, and Joe Gomez sends him to the guardrail with Renegade clotheslining for good measure. Flair thumbs the eye, and goes over to Benoit who violently chops at the rookie. “DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU’RE MESSING WITH???” Finally Mongo tags in to a hefty heel reaction and he slams Gomez’s head to the mat repeatedly. If anyone knows a little something about concussions it’s a football player. Anderson goes for a spinebuster, but Gomez sunset flips him for 2. That severs to piss Anderson off, and this time the spinebuster doesn’t miss. Benoit rails on Gomez with chainsaw like precision, and Flair follows with a Nolan Ryan beatdown. Figure Four is poorly countered into a small package for 2. Arn tries to decapitate Gomez, and Flair drops a knee across Gomez’s knee. Mongo powerslams Gomez, and Arn goes to finish – but Gomez knees Anderson in the face. Renegade gets the hot tag to no reaction. The match breaks down, and behind the referee’s back, Mongo slams Renegade with the Haliburton, and he taps out immediately to the Figure Four at 11:52. **1/2
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND is on site to talk to the Horsemen. Gene talks the upcoming match with the Dungeon at the PPV, where if Benoit and Anderson win, Benoit gets a shot at the World Title next week on Nitro. Benoit promises a return of the Gold, and Flair gives him his endorsement. Woman is quoted by Flair as saying Benoit’s “silent but deadly”. Prophetic.
Bischoff signs off by promising again that there will be no fear. “It’s time to put up, or shut up and go away.” Heenan is frustrated by not knowing who the third man is. Bischoff then cuts away, because…
Backstage, KEVIN NASH and RAZOR RAMON are being threatened with being tazed if they don’t leave the building immediately. Nash: “What if I bought you guys a donut?” Razor: “Coffee and donuts – on the Outsiders!” They drive off in a Mustang Convertible. Nash: “You couldn’t afford this if you pooled all your cheques!”
[Quote]I met Valentine in 2007 at an Indy show, and there was one question I’d been waiting my entire life to ask – “Hammer, does it still take you an hour to get warmed up?” Well, the Hammer, who appeared to be asleep up until that point, gave me his patented Hammer stare, and informed me that it was $20 for a photo and autograph.
That's fantastic. I would have gone back for the pic at the end of the session after he worked up a good lather from taking other pictures.
I was intrigued as to who Kurasawa was, and so I looked up the bizarre Disco Inferno match, and he looked...so...familiar! I couldn't identify him at all, though, so I bit the bullet and googled. I was shocked to find it was Manabu Nakanishi. I guess the hair did me in. To nitpick, that "That's His Move" is not a Mana Bauer, but a kind of backdrop driver. The Mana Bauer ends in a bridged German suplex.
I want to say that I really appreciate your recaps. I've been reading them weekly and I want to give out a big kudos for your dedication towards the WCW product at the time. I was 10 years old in 1996 and had no access to WCW (it only started airing in India around 97-98), and even though I've caught up on most of the history, it's great to read these accounts to get a feel of what the promotion was doing at the time. Thanks a lot.
Reading these reviews, it reminds me why I remember so little of WCW immediately before the nWo. The Horsemen feuding with Joe Gomez and Renegade? Greg Valentine on TV? The Jim Duggan taped fist angle. Don't worry, it only gets better from here.
Originally posted by ekedolphinTrue, true. I meant, when was the last time he was on WCW television, and what was he doing? I seem to recall him acting like a whiny bitch when Randy Savage won the World Title again. ("Acting"?!)
Hogan's last appearance was April 15th on Nitro. He wrestled a handicap match against Kevin Sullivan and Arn Anderson, basically ending his feud with the ridiculous alliance to end Hulkamania. The Giant chokeslammed him after the match, which he no-sold, before vowing he'd get the belt back.
Originally posted by CerebusI still have no clue why, but I sure did enjoy watching Disco Inferno. Why, why why?
'Cuz he's funny! He was ridiculously entertaining, and I do mean "ridiculously". I still fondly remember his alternate lyrics for "O, Canada" which he, unwisely, chose to debut just before a match against Bret Hart:
O, Canada Let's all go drink some beer Then we'll play hockey Because we got nothing better to do
And there was his doctored version of Konnan's music video that the announcers were trying very, very hard to look offended by.
Bow wow wow, yippee yo yippee yay Oil of Olay! All day, every day!
And then there was the time he lost to Jacqueline, which nobody ever let him live down. Months later, Scott Hall did a pre-match promo, and then said, "Now bring out the guy who lost to the chick."
(edited by ekedolphin on 21.7.13 1355) "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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I have to disagree. I have never really been a Rock fan but I don't think you can call him a joke. When he shows up you know it will be for a good reason. And he is willing to wrestle and lose to a lot of the youngers in the locker room.