Is this the week that Johnny B Badd finally leaves the opening sequence? Noooo – he’s such a BADD man!
CHRIS CRUISE and DUSTY RHODES can’t wait for the Bash – and are all talk about Benoit / Sullivan, which is actually a nice change of pace seeing as how they get no time on Nitro at all to explore that feud. Anderson and Sullivan will be tag-teaming in the main event, Dusty wonders how Chris is gonna respond to the fact Arn doesn’t seem to be taking his side. Also, Cruise wonders just who’s going to coach Team Football. Someone doesn’t watch Nitro!
THE GAMBLER vs. THE BOOTY MAN (with Kimberly)
I’d profess my love for Gambler in words, by why talk when this will do?
Dusty feels the Gambler is “close” to victory one of these weeks; only because they refused to air his match with Loch Ness. There’s a conspiracy kids. Kimberly bounces cheerfully at ringside – but you’ll notice that the Booty Booty Booty Man’s main event push has faded substantially without Hogan around – and not even Kimberly’s gonna save him. Gambler hits a super exaggerated double axehandle, but that’s all he’s getting. A trifecfta of High Knees (GET IT HINEY) finish at 2:33. DUD
CHRIS BENOIT vs. EDDIE GUERRERO
I’m not convinced that Eric Bischoff has any idea that these guys can, and are willing to be booked against other opponents. This is about the 5th or 6th time he’s paired these guys in 1996. But then, Benoit’s always been killer against smaller opponents, so let’s get down. Cruise points out how cut Benoit’s gotten over the last few months, and honestly, he’s not kidding. Benoit headbutts Guerrero, and delivers knife edge chops with such ferocity I’m shocked the kid in the 4th row wasn’t bragging to his classmates on Monday he’s collected one of two rare Eddie Guerrero nipples. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker has Eddie down for 2. Guerrero comes back with a rana, and Chris goes to the floor, threatening to leave. Eddie does backflips off the top like a carnival performer – apropos for THIS crowd. Chris gets back in and goes back to the chops. Double leg slam takes the life out of Eddie, and the Liontamer is applied in the centre of the ring, with Eddie face first on the mat. That’s photo worthy.
Eddie manages to escape by flipping his body forward and tossing Benoit with his legs, then hits his own tilt-a-whirl backbreaker! Benoit begs off, but Eddie comes forward anyway and Chris tosses him to the outside. Eddie’s rolled in quickly, and reverses a backdrop suplex into a crossbody splash for 2. Eddie pounds at Benoit, but Chris sits down on Eddie with the shoulders down, but Eddie reverses at 2, but can’t score the pin. Benoit threatens a piledriver, but that’s a no-no on this program, so Eddie goes for the much safer brainbuster instead. Chris escapes that, and both guys tackle each other to the floor. Double countout is shockingly called at 6:13. Can’t say I agree with that result, Benoit has the big match on Sunday, it would seem obvious to keep him strong. Usual good stuff from these two, but would you expect anything less? ***
Meanwhile, we’re given more training videos of the NFL guys. The nice thing about Mongo and Greene in training for the last few weeks is that it’s meant neither has been on TV.
KENSUKE SASAKI and MASA HIRO CHONO (with Sonny Onoo) vs. THE NASTY BOYS
Dusty wonders what clout Sonny’s holding to keep around WCW, having clearly forgotten that he’s actually the rightful owner of the company ever since Bobby Heenan sold it to him back in December. Sasaki throws a shoulderblock at Saggs that takes him down, that has Cruise beside himself. “Sasaki took Saggs down? That’s incredible!” Yeah, he’s not a former US Champion as recently as 6 months ago or anything. Though, to be fair, Konnan’s the CURRENT champion and has been for ages, so that division has no credibility anyway. Knobbs beats down Chono, and Sonny tries to regroup the troops. Sasaki takes over with a pretty hard clothesline on Knobbs, and follows with a brainbuster for 2. Chono throws about 10 headbutts quickly, but then accidently superkicks his partner. Saggs gets the hot tag, and clotheslines both members of Team Japan. Powerbomb is given to Chono, but Sonny distracts during the pinfall. Pier 6 erupts, and both teams spill outside – and the referee throws it out at 5:27. What’s with the non-finishes tonight? **
“HARDWORK” BOBBY WALKER vs. TOPP GUNN
Do I really need to tell you that Topp Gunn has just surpassed Gambler for “Jobber of the Day”?
Gunn hits a shoulderblock, because he’s not just a Gunn … he’s TOPP GUNN! I mean look at this beast!
Dusty forces Cruise to play a guessing game on who Gunn is. We cycle through Chris Benoit, Shark, Sting, Clifford, Cody Rhodes (OMG!!!), before finally (correctly?) guessing Larry Zbyszko. Cruise asks if Larry’s lost a little body tone; causing Dusty to scold him for pointing out the Legend’s shortcomings. Walker backdrops Gunn, hits a dropkick, follows with a scoop slam, and hits the Blockbuster for the win at 3:32. Meanwhile, an angry Larry is apparently on the phone for Chris Cruise. Amazing segment. * (And for those genuinely wondering, it was Fidel Sierra)
THE PUBLIC ENEMY (with table) vs. ARN ANDERSON and KEVIN SULLIVAN (with Jimmy Hart) (in the Moo Match of the Week)
Dusty: “When you bring a table out that isn’t set with knives and forks, that’s plundah!” Well said, Dust. Anderson tackles Grunge with a shoulderblock, and yuks it up. Grunge comes at him, but walks right into a spinebuster. Sullivan comes in and throws a dropkick before tying the fat man to the tree of woe. Running knee is thrown at Grunge, but Rock stops a second one with a flying clothesline off the top. Rock tries a springboard moonsault on Anderson, but he’s caught and threatened with a piledriver, but Rocco wiggles loose. Drive By hits Arn, but Sullivan saves, and heads out with Grunge. Sullivan is put on a table, and Rock goes for a splash … but THE NASTY BOYS run in for the save, and Rocco goes through the table. Referee calls for a DQ at 4:52, while everyone brawls. Garbage. 1/2*
Dusty is pretty sure that nobody can beat Giant at this point, and has no faith in Lex Luger this coming Sunday. CALL YOUR CABLE COMPANY NOW!
Saturday Night is all that’s left before the big dance. See you then!
I really think it makes sense that the WWE title (Smackdown) is the one everybody is shooting for in the Rumble. I'm sorry, but the Raw belt is still the WCW title, and therefore doesn't hold as much interest for me.