If you had April 22 in the “when will Johnny B Badd be removed from his prominent role in the Prime Opening Credits” pool:
DUSTY RHODES and the insufferable CHRIS CRUISE are talking Macho madness. No doubt, he WON’T be here. Instead, let’s kick things off with ...
ONE MAN GANG vs. SCOTT ARMSTRONG
I was fairly sure that Gang was gone from WCW by this point, but silly me sometimes forgets this show was taped in 1988. Armstrong hits a pair of dropkicks, and that’s all he’s getting. Sidewalk slam gives Gang control. Some basic heel nonsense drags this far longer than any Prime match has any business being, during which Gang screams for The Giant. Don’t kid yourself though, the Giant ain’t watching this dreck. Avalanche misses, so Armstrong gets the bright idea to climb the corner where he misses a crossbody, and the 747 finishes at 3:39. -*
THE RENEGADE vs. MANNY FERNANDEZ
Cruise declares Renegade “better than ever” since his return. Far be it for me to load up the conspiracy theories, but the timing of his return with that of the Ultimate Warrior on the other channel seems more than coincidental. Of course, it wasn’t, as it was typical WCW jabbing their competition, but the problem with the Renegade is they basically treated him as though he was the real deal, despite being an obvious ripoff. The clone gimmick never works, with a couple of exceptions (Goldberg being WCW’s black trunk bald headed answer to Steve Austin, except he grew into a character of his own and was able to distance himself just enough to become his own star, and Gillberg who proceeded to rip him off is still remembered in wrestling lore as the greatest parody act in its history). Handspring elbow sets up a top rope splash for the pin at 2:58. DUD
LEX LUGER (with Jimmy Hart) vs. “HARDWORK” BOBBY WALKER (for the WCW World Television title)
Luger being escorted by Hart is hilarious considering Luger ditched him 3-4 weeks ago, and is a full-fledged babyface at this point. This show is stuck in some perennial time-warp where whatever airs is irrelevant to the real time happenings of WCW, and all is forgiven. Luger could cut a promo about how he’s going to stab Sting in the back on Nitro and cost them the World Tag-Team titles, and Sting would *never know*. In fact, Luger could flat out lose the TV Title right here and nobody would ever know, including Bobby Walker. So, if this show is such an irrelevant matter in the annals of WCW; why on earth am I wasting my time watching this every week? Well, for starters, it really seems like nobody else was. Just go looking for detailed results of Prime, they don’t exist. Secondly, is there anything more relaxing than knowing once a week, you’ll have an above average chance to watch the Gambler, in all his cocky glory, smile knowingly in the face of his WCW brethren, and proceed to get his ass kicked from pillar to post? I didn’t think so. Rack finishes at 5:52. **
BIG BUBBER vs. EDDIE JACKIE
Long time members of the IWC will remember the legendary Eddie Jackie as the winner of the Wrestling Observer award for “Least Intimidating Ring Name of 1996”. It’s true; send Dave an email. And if you do, PLEASE let me know what he says. Spinebuster flattens Jackie, and for some reason the fans actually break out in an “EDDIE” chant. Ignore them, they’re thoroughly confused. Throat punch sets up the camel clutch, but Eddie’s just so darn tough that he won’t tap. Though, admittedly, he passed out about 13 seconds into the match from fear and can’t do much of anything. Bossman Slam is all she wrote at 3:44. *
MADUSA reminds us that WCW is where the big girls play, which was actually the deciding factor when Mike Awesome signed on in 2000. She swears she’s not a home wrecker, then proceeds to talk about all the homes she’s wrecked. So she’s a classy slut; in the real world we call them incall escorts.
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND asks STING a personal question; and while I hang on to hope that it’s “will you help me shave my back?” or possibly “I need to borrow $100,000, but I’ll pay you back. You can trust me Sting, I would NEVER stab you in the back.” – it turns out he just wants to know if he’s still Luger’s friend. Sting says he is, and doesn’t really care that other people don’t like him. He feels Luger’s redeemed himself the last few weeks. So there.
THE PUBLIC ENEMY vs. HARLEM HEAT (in the Moo Match of the Week)
Maybe I’ve long blocked 1996 out of my mind, but were freakin’ Public Enemy on every goddamn show? Was it really this bad? I have no desire to do a full count; but out of the 51 shows I’ve recapped, I’m setting the over/under on TPE appearances at 28.5, and I’m taking the over. Booker T starts with Rock, and gets powered back to the corner. Rocco points to his head, hopefully an indication he’d like for Booker to drop him on it. Booker drops both guys, and Stevie comes in with a double clothesline to empty the ring. TPE throws a tantrum, but as long as they can figure a counter to the clothesline, and avoid nerve holds, they can pretty much put Stevie Ray on lockdown. Stevie tries to press slam Grunge, and as much as I want to mock the really poor attempt and his subsequent botch, I realize that he was trying to press slam a sack of lead, and at least it was a move outside his comfort zone, so points to that. Booker flies in with a spinning heel kick for 2. Rock comes back with a ropewalk armdrag, but a second attempt gets him crotched. Booker brings him in with a vertical suplex, and Stevie is tagged in. Heat with a double suplex for 2. Stevie chokes out Rock with his boot, and then Booker gives him a neckbreaker onto the ropes. All 4 guys start brawling, and somehow Rocco hits Grunge with a top rope flying body attack. Booker goes for the pin, but Rocco throws him over the top rope for a DQ at 7:29. I could do without either of these teams any more. *
Cruise and Dusty talk Battle Bowl, and you can guess how Dusty feels about that. (Let’s just say it’s good the camera shot is from the waist-up) And that does it for this week.
Only 5 matches this week – did they lose their canned inventory somewhere? I feel like they owe me a refund, or at the very least, another Armstrong getting squashed. Enjoy your week, so you Saturday.
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