Truth be told, it’s been a long time coming. He hadn’t been on WCW programming in months, and really, the shows have been better since he’s been gone. But some people are just reluctant to change. Like the producers of WCW Prime, who still have Johnny freakin’ B Badd in the opening credits.
CHRIS CRUISE and DUSTY RHODES immediately make it clear they haven’t seen Bash at the Beach at all, by talking all about that “great show”, with zero mention of Hulk Hogan at all. It’s good to see some things remain pure of New World Order poison.
DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. KENSUKE SASAKI
Page offers the hand of friendship, but he was just kidding, what he REALLY wanted to do was punch Sasaki in the face. Chris Cruise promises a music video look at Fire and Ice later. I like the idea of performance art highlighting their wrestlers; perhaps later we can check out a claymation re-enactment of Battlebowl. Page thoroughly dominates the former US Champion in the early going, but Sasaki turns the momentum with a powerslam for 2. Page gives out some knife edge chops, but then Sasaki spins him around and shows him how it’s really done. Diamond Cutter is then hit out of nowhere for the pin at 3:42. *
ROUGH and READY (with Colonel Robert Parker) vs. COBRA and BILL PAYNE
Enos is back under the name “The Mauler” because Prime is about 3 years behind the rest of WCW programming. Cobra nails Enos with a dropkick, and tags in Payne who’s “not doin’ nothin’” according to Dusty. Slater dumps him to the outside, and Enos suplexes him right on the floor. Back in, Enos hits a fallaway slam off the second rope, and Slater hits a few headbutts for good measure. Cobra tries to get involved, but he gets his ass kicked and Enos gets the pin with a powerslam at 3:34. This was really, really awful. 1/2*
Fire and Ice get their music video; and I’m fairly sure the music is what Chris Jericho lovingly called “Basketball Highlights #22”.
GLACIER IS COMING
KURASAWA vs. ALEX WRIGHT
Kurasawa could not draw more hype from Cruise before the match, especially impressive since I doubt he’s won a match this year. Dusty kills me by botching Wright’s nickname as “That Wonder Kid”. Wright plays possum too long in the early going, and Kurasawa just drops an elbow across the back of his head. Wright comes back, hits a few European uppercuts, and nails a gutwrench side suplex for 2. Kurasawa then hits Mana Bauer – but the referee takes about 20 seconds to count to 2, and Wright kicks out. Kurasawa, frustrated, goes up for an elbow – but Wright rolls out of the way. Wright nails the German suplex for the win, because he’s white, at 4:40. **
DISCO INFERNO vs. RANDY SAVAGE
Disco hits a swinging neckbreaker that permits him to dance, and that’s about all he gets before eating the elbow at 2:12. Rest in peace Disco. *
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND talks turkey with “HACKSAW” JIM DUGGAN, who seems lost about Gene’s discussion of various countries around the world. He’s too focused on the USA to bother. Gene brings up VK Wallstreet, and Duggan drops his 2x4. Duggan says he’s in a bad mood now; and promises to knock Wallstreet’s nose off. Duggan then storms off, returning to ask “WHERE’S MY 2x4?” Gene deadpans: “Have you checked the floor?” – and success! This entire segment had me near tears.
GLACIER … STILL COMING!
THE GAMBLER vs. THE BOOTY MAN (with Kimberly)
This Gambler makes more Royal Flushes than anyone I’ve ever known, so perhaps he should try one of the games that awards bonuses for big hands. Booty’s continued existence is an issue for me, and I’m darn tempted to ignore this match, but I just can’t turn my back on my man Gambler. Booty is choked out in the ropes, but he fires back with a trio of Hi-Knees, knocking the Gambler on his ace, and scores the pin at 1:31. DUD
THE BLUE BLOODS (with “Lord” Steven Regal and Jeeves) vs. FIRE & ICE (in the Moo Match of the Week)
Taylor starts with Ice Train, and gets powered back to the corner. Taylor ain’t having that, hitting a dropkick followed by THREE European Uppercuts! This is a beastly effort! Three European Uppercuts in one set, that’s wild! Then stupid Ice Train sends him to the floor, and Taylor stumbles around like a drunken soccer fan. Eaton is rightfully blamed for this. He does come in, and gets thrown around by Train. Norton enters, adding further damage to Eaton. Eaton pokes the eyes, Taylor attacks too, and a Pier 6 erupts. Somehow Eaton is left alone with the pair, and a Shoulderbreaker followed by Big Splash gets the win for Fire and Ice at 4:05. Regal tears Eaton a new hole for his performance. *
The announcers wrap this one up; and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this show is on notice. In roughly 90 days, Prime is going to be gone the way of the Dodo, so enjoy the jobber squashes while they’re here. And Chris Cruise, for that matter. In worse news, Dusty’s going to be gone next week on vacation. If he’s replaced by anyone other than Stevie Ray, it’s thoroughly unacceptable. See ya then.
It seems like Vince has been keeping a tight rein on his wrestlers lately. Buff and Kronik were let go immediately after their lackluster performances, if that was the only reason. I just hope this all works out for the best.