Roughly 2 and a half weeks ago, I went to the casino after work instead of coming home, letting my wife know I was going to dabble in the poker. It’s been available to me for years; but I haven’t really taken advantage of it, despite having been an avid online player for ages. My mind was promptly blown when I discovered the brutal locals, handing out money to anyone with any decent card sense about themselves.
What started was the best cash game run of my lifetime. In a span of just under 2 weeks, I had netted roughly $3000 in straight profit. My wife was encouraging me to use the skills I’d honed over the years, and make every attempt to turn this into a part time job; so long as I was continuing to have fun.
During my last visit, the usual was happening. Having bought into the game for $200, I was sitting on a stack of just over $1000 after 8 hours of play. I was exhausted, but there was a rich businessman at the table who was ready to throw in hundreds with any two cards, and I wasn’t leaving until he did.
Late in the night, I raise to $10 with pocket 8’s. I got just 1 caller; coming from what appeared to be a good player, with a stack that rivalled mine.
Gin hit the flop; 8, 6, 2 with two clubs. My opponent lead out for $20, and I re-raised him to $80, not wanting to see another club. To my surprise, he came barrelling over the top to $200. At this stage, my only move was to shove all in; I can’t call and let him catch a club if he’s drawing, and if by some miracle he also has 3 of a kind, I’m about to get all his money. So I shoved. He called instantly, with words that will haunt me for weeks. “I came to gamble”. He flipped over the 5/2 of clubs.
I was completely apoplectic, and paced, hoping to god that this $2000 wouldn’t slip out of my hands. Judging by my tone; I think it’s fairly clear at this point that the ace of clubs hit the turn, giving my opponent the flush, and the board did not pair on the end to improve me to a full house. I lost. “You got what you fucking deserved!” he chirped at me, to add insult to my fresh injury.
And thus ends my newfound hobby. I realize it’s a very results oriented thing to say; but losing a pot that amounts to nearly a month’s net salary at my real job, on a gamble, is not fun. At the end of the day, I managed to make a little extra cash, pay off some bills, and cry about the worst beat of my life.
And that’s why the WCW reports have been a little late over the last couple weeks. With that in mind, I will do my absolute best to catch us all up over the next 72 hours.
Saturday Night is on the air, and DUSTY RHODES is all about Randy Savage being named the coach of Team Football! TONY SCHIAVONE actually keeps things on track, hyping tonight’s big matches, featuring Sting, Lex Luger, and more!
FIRE AND ICE vs. THE STEINER BROTHERS
Tony informs us that on top of seeing this match tonight, the Steiners and Fire and Ice have been booked against each other again at Great American Bash in a “Must Be A Winner” match as a result of recent count-outs. Why not make that the stipulation of THIS match then, and book the winners against LOD or Harlem Heat in a #1 contenders match or something. I’d give you play by play, but we all know this is ending in a double count-out, or a double DQ, or a time limit draw, or a double pin, or a run in by Sid Vicious with flunky Charles Robinson running his undefeated streak to 104-0, or an interruption by Razor Ramon followed by everyone walking out, or the power going out. I think I covered my bases. Actually I’m not exactly being fair to this match, which features some pretty hard hitting stuff, which should come as no surprise considering the run the Steiners have been on. Steiners vs. Faces of Fear given the right booking would probably be a pile of fun. Double count-out occurs at 4:23. **1/2
Both teams keep in each other’s faces, with “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND in the middle. Gene demands they knock it off, lest he knock off the interview. Ice Train promises to hook it up and do some clobbering at the Great American Bash. Scott Steiner’s having none of that and replies with “wereonaouaistotahteechampeesanifwegotoogothruyouwewih".
WCW Propaganda: Hulk Hogan tees off on Vader!
The special look on Konan that no one asked for airs.
BILLY KIDMAN vs. “LORD” STEVEN REGAL (with Jeeves)
While the fans chant USA at Regal, and cause him a great deal of distress, Kidman sneaks in a roll up and gets 2. Regal goes to stretch the kid, but Billy’s on the move, and keeps rolling him up frustrating him greatly. A European uppercut changes momentum – no doubt taught to him by his good friend Dave Taylor. Butterfly suplex finishes at 0:57. This match might be the best sub 1 minute match you’ll ever see. * Dusty states Kidman got Regal’s “dandruff” up.
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND wants a word with the Lord. Regal says in his country, the biggest insult you can dish out is a backhand across the mouth, which is exactly what he did to Sting. Regal has officially challenged him to a duel in the squared circle. “I want to be the World’s Heavyweight Champion. I want to get in the ring with that bloody 7 foot pig and beat him. If it means beating you Sting, I will do it. If it means beating Luger, if it means beating Mah-Cho Man, I will.” Regal challenges xenophobia, feeling he’s been held back because he’s a Brit. Truth be told, he’s probably right.
Quick package airs about “The Mysterious Rey Misterio Jr.” Maybe he is this “Glacier” we’ve been hearing about. He doesn’t make my blood run cold, however.
KEVIN SULLIVAN (with Jimmy Hart) vs. TONY QUICK
Quick looks an awful lot like Elix Skipper, but my research is telling me that Skipper didn’t debut in pro-wrestling until 1999 so I must be mistaken. I’m guessing it doesn’t matter, seeing as how he loses to the double stomp at 1:20, but I always like to know these things. Now, after praising the booking system for having jobbers to keep mid-card losers like Kevin Sullivan strong LAST week, I’m going to damn Sullivan to hell for keeping himself strong at the expense of air-time that could have been dedicated to literally ANYONE else. His character sucks; Sullivan can’t pull off crazy, so instead we have a late 40’s, fat, balding, poor actor and worse wrestler who’s being kept strong because he’s the booker. If he wanted to learn how to pull off bat dropping nuts; he should have just sat around taking notes on things Scott Steiner said. DUD
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND checks in with the Dungeon losers. Sullivan says Anderson and Flair are the only guys in the wrestling business he respects. This draws out uncle Arn, for a word. He demands Hart keep his nose out of Horsemen business. He agrees that Sullivan was right about Pillman, and that he was given a fair shot against the Giant, so at the Great American Bash he says he’ll keep his word to Sullivan and at the end of the night, they’ll know where everyone stands. Foreshadowing.
Coming soon: Desperado Joe Gomez!
ARN ANDERSON vs. STEVE ARMSTRONG
Arn getting some rare singles time to beat up on a loser; I can dig that. Steve takes the legs out from Arn, and threatens to catapult him in the ropes. Arn jaws off about that, and takes a missile dropkick to the jaw. That’s about it for Armstrong, as Arn plows him in the mouth, and starts clawing at the eyes. Steve tries to get his shots in, but winds up atomic dropped, and flattened with the DDT at 3:32. *
Back in the locker room, Anderson meets up with RIC FLAIR, WOMAN, ELIZABETH, and of course, the ever present “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND. Arn tells Mongo and Greene that the match we just saw was a warning; and they might think twice about messing with professionals who do this every day for a living. BOBBY HEENAN wanders in, and states his reason for participating in the Great American Bash is to get back at these football players who think they can march into WCW and outshine the best wrestlers in the world. Ric promises to change Debra’s last name to Flair. Heenan takes a family portrait so they’ll remember this moment forever.
DAVE TAYLOR (with Jeeves) vs. LEX LUGER (for the WCW World Television title)
I don’t mean to alarm those of you following at home, but when Dave Taylor wins this match and becomes the rightful holder of the WCW TV Title, it is likely to set off a dominant run of title defenses the likes of which we’ve never seen before, or likely ever will again. Here’s a fun bit of trivia: which WCW alumni was so unlikely to be wrestling for the WWE in 2008, that if you’d suggested it when the company closed its doors you would have been laughed off the Internet. Yes, defeating runner-up Fit Finlay by a 3:1 margin; “Duchess” Dave Taylor is of course the winner, running around the tag-team title picture at the age of 51. There truly is no limit to the man’s talent. Fans chant USA, and Taylor is annoyed, but seems to have better control of his laurels than Regal. Luger attacks, but Taylor backs to the corner to brush himself off. Wristlock turns Taylor into a pretzel, and he’s forced to shake it off. Enzuigiri sends him flying, and Taylor seems lost. What gives, this man is a monster! Then it happens … EUROPEAN UPPERCUT! Make it TWO! Taylor works a chinlock, because the chin of Luger is completely shattered by the uppercuts undoubtedly. Still, he fights loose and drops an elbow for 2. Then Taylor rears back and really lays in a European uppercut. Suck it Luger! Meanwhile, Tony updates us on Macho Man throwing bricks through Flair’s limousine outside; but I don’t care for that while we have this obvious title change going on. Luger goes for the Rack, but that can’t possibly work, because it’s “Dangerous” Dave Tay..no, he’s tapping out at 4:08. I can’t say I agree with that booking decision. *1/2
Poor Lex has been downgraded to LEE MARSHALL interview time. Luger feels Giant’s the kind of guy who might be World Champion forever, but dang it, he’ll give it his best shot. Marshall replays the last time they fought, where Luger was put through a table. Luger ignores it, because he’s been working on his promo for 3 weeks, and he didn’t include anything about a table. Generic stuff, Giant’s just a big human being, blah blah blah, pose pose pose.
While Gene shills his hotline; this week’s retro look at “things WCW did better” is focused on one “Mean” Gene Okerlund. Gene had credibility with the fans that no backstage interviewer has ever been able to replicate. He was on site during every major happening; be it a violent attack, a particularly edgy promo, or to ogle every woman within a 60 foot radius. He knew how to mock the wrestlers that needed a jab, and keep it straight while watching a coked up Macho Man scream death threats at no one in particular. His made for radio voice, coupled with his used car salesman persona is impossible to duplicate; and I really miss the era of having a reliable backstage interviewer that could be trusted to help carry the angles.
And I didn’t even mention his scummy hotline, charging outrageous prices (with your parents’ permission!) to divulge the latest he just read about in Dave Meltzer’s newsletter. Good times all around with the scheming one.
“BIG” JOHN TENTA (NOT AN AVALANCHE NOT A FISH NOT A SHARK A MAN!!) vs. LARRY KEEN
Dusty gives us the rundown on Keen; he’s from the hills of “Kentuckah” and knows all there is to know about brawling. He’s also 400 pounds and looks like the product of inbreeding, so Dusty’s story checks out. BIG BUBBER shows up on the entry way, with Tenta’s hair framed. Tenta keeps an eye on the distraction, but powerslams Keen. Bubba shows off his lovely locks, while Tenta hits the Avalanche Drop at 1:43. DUD
Of course, “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND wants a word. “He is a man! His name is Big John Tenta!” This entire angle is amazing. Gene can’t keep a straight face while looking at Tenta’s hair. Tenta reminds us that the hair is his motivation, and promises to hurt Bubba “bad”. Then he’ll become the number one ranked wrestler. Slow down slim, you’re not ready for the Barbarian just yet.
WCW Propaganda: It’s hatin’ on Vader day – Sting beats him up all OVER the ring!
DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. KURASAWA
Tony apologizes of the recent “unexpected interruptions” on Nitro, and states sometimes get a little out of hand, but promises they (WCW) got it handled. I’m sure Razor Ramon will go away once the wrestlers put him in his place, and this whole “war” will come to an end. Page offers Kurasawa the hand of friendship, and kicks him in the gut when he falls for it. Discus lariat drops Kurasawa, but he pops back up and clotheslines Page over the top to the floor. No DQ is called, because the rules depending on the booker, and whether or not the wrestler doing the move is a heel. (For the record, Kurasawa is not a heel … today.) Crucifix gets 2. Page fights out of a German suplex attempt and hits the Diamond Cutter for the win at 2:12. Page gives a self high-five, and kisses the Battlebowl Ring. Will he get the Lee Marshall treatment?
Yes – LEE MARSHALL wants a word with “Mr. Controversy”. Page rightly points out he beat 31 other guys at Battlebowl, theoretically, and wants his title shot. Marshall shows him the footage of him hitting the floor, but Page says the footage was shot out of order. Him being tossed out was actually him leaving on his own volition at the end of the match, because “to leave the building you have to leave the ring”. Marshall then asks the question that I can’t believe nobody did sooner; is Kimberly the benefactor? Page says Diamond Dolls are a dime a dozen and he doesn’t need a woman to bail him out.
On another planet, COACH MACHO arrives in the gym to start working out with KEVIN GREENE and MONGO MCMICHAEL but not Pepe. Macho encourages them to use their power and strength, because Flair hates intensity. All 3 share a group hug and a vial of cocaine.
THE NASTY BOYS vs. MEN AT WORK V3.0
Still on his union mandated 10-week vacation, Kanyon is not with us tonight. Saggs slams Mark Starr off the get go, and turns things over to his large, smelly, Hogan loving friend. Starr holds him hostage in a full nelson, but Mike Winner can’t follow up with anything and gets destroyed. For a guy named “Winner”, he’s been the downfall of this tag-team. A bulldog from Knobbs gets 2, and Starr accidentally drops an elbow on Winner. Pumphandle slam is followed by a splash off the top for the Nasty win at 2:44. Rest in peace to Mark Starr who passed away from a heart attack this past weekend, at the age of 50. 1/2*
HUGH MORRUS vs. STING
Dave Penzer introduces Sting as “The holder of the WCW Television Championship”, made especially impressive by the fact this show is taped. Morrus offers the hand of friendship, and Sting happily agrees to shake, despite the fans protests. Morrus backs down before the shake happens, and Sting calls to the crowd. Morrus does the same, and he gets mild heat. Sting shows him again how it’s done, but Morrus attacks while Sting screams, and slams him hard. A clothesline drops Sting, and Morrus screams “WHERE’S LEX? WHERE’S LEX? YOU AIN’T NO TAG-TEAM!” Then he introduces Sting to his new tag-team partner, Lex Loogie – right between the eyes. That wakes Sting up, who comes at Morrus hard and dumps him to the outside. Back in, they square off in a test of strength, which brings Sting to his knees. Still, Sting refuses to give in, so Morrus boots him in the midsection and drops Sting back to the mat. Avalanche misses, and Sting punches Morrus to the corner, setting up a pair of Stinger splashes. Morrus drops face first, and Sting applies the Deathlock for the win at 6:34. **
LEE MARSHALL asks Sting about his upcoming match with Regal. Sting says he’s been knocked out, dragged out, and left for dead – but he’s never had another man backhand him, especially “some idiot from another country”. Sting states through the humiliation, he’s here to stay – and promises to return the humiliation to Steve Regal. Lee Marshall wraps up the show, doing his best to remind us he is not Gene Okerlund. No worries Lee, nobody is.
I lost. “You got what you fucking deserved!” he chirped at me, to add insult to my fresh injury.
That comment hurt worse than the loss. In reality you only lost $200 which is to be expected if you are bringing home way more than that. The Gambler gets back in that ring and keeps plying at his hobby after jobbing far worse than that on a regular basis. Get back out there son.
I think that right now, more than ever in recent history (last 2-3 years) the product is on an upswing. The Kane angle, the Cena-UT angle in particular is quite intriguing to me. Trust me, I remember there was tons of crap back then as well.