A new month is here on the Prime – July is in the hizzle, and Johnny B Badd is STILL the face of the show! THIS … is WCW!
CHRIS CRUISE and DUSTY RHODES are celebrating the 4th of July a little early, and prepping for the Bash at the Beach. Chris Benoit will face Eddie Guerrero in an “Eric Bischoff isn’t sure who else to book them against” match. Also, Dusty Rhodes does his best Jesus on the Cross imitation that some people may find offensive, though admittedly I find hilarious.
COBRA vs. KENSUKE SASAKI (with Sonny Onoo)
Fans chant USA in order to fire up the former federal agent. Cobra works an armbar, and takes Sasaki over with a fireman’s carry. Cruise gushes at Cobra’s “basic wrestling knowledge”. WELCOME TO PRIME! Where Basic Wrestling Knowledge is considered an asset, not a requirement. Powerslam connects, but Cobra doesn’t go for the pinfall. Sasaki comes right back with a brainbuster, and slaps on Power Special for the submission at 2:34. 1/2*
THE MAULER (with Colonel Robert Parker) vs. STING
Mike Enos has an awful lot more hair on this show than he’d shown on the Memorial Day show which is the last time we saw him; so this was taped in at least mid-May, if not earlier. Sting dumps Mauler, so Parker takes some time to fan him with his giant hat. Back in, he catches Sting on a crossbody attempt, and drops him with a fallaway slam. Mauler charges, Sting ducks, and sends Mauler back to the floor again. Sting steals the cowboy hat of Parker and threatens to throw it to the fans, before considering stomping it to death. Mauler sneaks in from behind, and gives Sting a backbreaker. Powerslam gets 2. Some miscommunication between Mauler and Parker allows Sting to sneak in the Deathlock, and he gets the win at 3:10. *1/2
CHRIS BENOIT (with Arn Anderson) vs. EDDIE GUERRERO
Dusty starts in about the “solid-didaridy” between Benoit and Anderson and already feel giddy about this match up. Guerrero hits a Frankensteiner not far off the bell, and Benoit calls time out to confer with Anderson. Arn gives him words of wisdom (“if you freeze ginger, it keeps longer and still retains its natural state”) which Benoit takes to heart and hotshots Eddie. Abdominal stretch is applied in the centre of the ring, but Guerrero fights out. Benoit hits the tombstone, but refuses to go for the pin, promising additional pain. Anderson grimaces, as Benoit goes back to the abdominal stretch. Eddie escapes, and they wind up on top where Guerrero hits a super Frankensteiner. Benoit goes back to the hotshot, and they brawl on the apron. Guerrero heads up, leaps and hits the rana, follows with a brainbuster and heads up. Frog Splash is on point, but Anderson gets on the apron for the distraction. Eddie accidentally hits the referee, and Arn pulls the top rope down. He crashes, is rolled back in immediately, and Chris gets the pin at 4:55. **1/2
MR. JL vs. BRAD ARMSTRONG
Dusty goes off on a tangent about newcomer “Jose Gomez” makin’ a name for himself – while ignoring this matchup featuring two of the most overrated stars of the 90’s. JL keeps the pace nice and slow with lots of armsdrags. An Oklahoma Roll gets 2 – with Armstrong saved by those “strong legs” sez Cruise. A missile dropkick sets up a crossbody, but Armstrong rolls through for 2. Russian Legsweep finishes out of nowhere at 3:30. Total blah. 1/2*
MEN AT WORK V3.0 vs. THE AMERICAN MALES
This is the Starr/Winner combo of Men at Work. We’ll see if removing Kanyon from the equation drags down the overtly gay overtones this matchup always seems to exude. Bagwell and Riggs enter the ring, slowly removing their shirts – but Winner yanks his off and bares his slightly hairy chest. He and Riggs lock up tightly, but it’s released after a tender moment and Riggs plants one right on Winner’s kisser. Already feeling the need to follow up, Riggs gets up, and delivers a rough blow. Bagwell enters to finish the job, but Winner isn’t ready for that and turns things over to Starr. Starr tries to give Bagwell the fist – but he misses by 3 feet. Bagwell bends over and sells it anyway. Riggs comes in, and he and Bagwell tag-team Winner. With his head throbbing, Winner knows this is it, and lets Bagwell pin him for the big finish at 2:23. 1/2*
THE FACES OF FEAR vs. “HACKSAW” JIM DUGGAN and SGT. CRAIG PITTMAN (with Teddy Long) (in the Moo Match of the Week)
Well this is guaranteed to be god awful. Duggan fires his board at those darn foreigners like a gun, because dammit, America is the land of the free and if he wants to fire his board like a gun at immigrants, then so be it! Pittman does pushups, because this is wrestling. Team America should really call themselves BubbaGump, but then Duggan would have to shave his head and lord knows he’d never do that short of turning Canadian. The Americans dominate this, which is pretty much the opposite from the way you should ever book the Faces of Fear. Barbarian tries to whack Duggan with the board, but Teddy Long stops it and a taped fist gets the win for Duggan at 4:17. Total garbage. DUD
That’s a wrap! Saturday Night will be posted tomorrow, and that will shortly be followed by Bash At The Beach. I am downright giddy with anticipation, and can’t wait to relive it with you. Join me then.
Not counting the overseas business that North American fans weren't aware of, Flair's first reign as champion lasted nearly two years. So if by "Flair" you mean "Tommy Rich or Dusty Rhodes", that would be correct.