Welcome to the Retro Express. This is where we’re taking a stroll down memory lane at wrestling history. This post is part of an ongoing series where we’re reviewing every episode of WCW Nitro from start to finish. Links to the previous posts are at the bottom of this post. We hope you enjoy.
It’s that time of year again where World War III breaks out in World Championship Wrestling. Last year, I reviewed this pay-per-view and my interest in the concept of the World War III battle royal got me interested in the overall show. This year, I was not as enthralled by this PPV. In my opinions, this was one of the weaker pay-per-views for WCW in 1996.
That feels like a fairly harsh comment but there has been a high standard set for pay-per-views since The Great American Bash 1996 which was highly regarded as one of their greatest pay-per-views of all time. Every other pay-per-view since that show has been great but this one did not live up to the standards set. This pay-per-view had one outstanding match, a few matches which you either loved or you hated and a horrible main-event with the World War III battle royal.
This was not as bad as the WCW Slamboree 1996 pay-per-view which, in hindsight, felt like one of the worst wrestling pay-per-views I’ve ever watched. However, when a Rowdy Roddy Piper segment is given roughly 30 minutes and the convoluted battle royal is given 30 minutes, the pressure is on everything else to deliver and steady the ship. I think the opening match was the only one which I think could be considered a pay-per-view worthy match. The Malenko vs Psychosis match was fine but it was nowhere near as good as it could have been. Everything else was passable at best.
Date: November 24th, 1995
City: Norfolk, Virginia
Commentators: Tony Schiavonie, Dusty Rhodes and Bobby Heenan
(NOTE: Mike Tenay, Lee Marshall and Larry Zybsko were also commentators for the battle royal.)
The Ultimate Dragon © w/Sonny Onoo vs Rey Mysterio Jr. for the J-Crown Championship
A fabulous match to start off the show. I did check the rating for their last pay-per-view match at Hog Wild. This match far surpassed that one. Dragon was absolutely incredible and Rey sold like crazy for him. I liked the finish a lot although I think given a little bit more time, this would have been one of the best WCW matches of 1996. I’m sure if I go through the ratings I’ve given during the year, it will probably end up being one of the best WCW matches of 1996! However, I was really hoping for a bit more time to heighten the drama. Call me needy but there were signs where I think this match was meant to have more time but it got cut for some reason.
Dragon wrestled Mysterio down and worked on the arm, driving knees to the arm then locking up. Rey responded by going for Dragon’s legs to which commentator Dusty Rhodes yelled “break a leg!” They wrestled for a wrist lock. Dusty noted that Dragon was working like Malenko, who BEAT Mysterio at Halloween Havoc. This was good continuity because clearly Dragon, in storyline, took notes from the Havoc match heading in this title defense against Mysterio Jr.
Rey and Dragon did flips and tried kicks in a great spot which the fans applauded for. Dragon unloaded with kicks in the corner. Dragon dropkicked Rey to the floor. Sonny followed this up with a kick to the gut as the ref’s back was turned. They did bring up what happened last year with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan working with Sonny Onoo and the Japanese last year at Starrcade. A nice reference from the commentators.
Dragon hit a picture perfect German suplex for a two count. Dragon threw Mysterio so high in the air to which Bobby yelled: “hey Rey, can you get the lights?” Dragon did a brilliant inverted torture back backbreaker. I’m pretty sure the one he did to Rey at Hog Wild looked miles better but this one was pretty sweet in its own right.
Dragon locked a single leg Boston crab. Dragon did a powerbomb followed up by an Alley Oop into the ropes which was a combination I’ve never seen before but it looked incredible. This is a spot that only someone like Rey could take!
Dragon did a giant swing to Rey Mysterio as Dragon got dizzy himself which the fans laughed big time at. Dragon did a fisherman suplex for a 2 count. Dragon DROPPED Rey with a brainbuster. Dragon tried another one but Rey reversed it into a 2 count.
Dragon did a naughty jumping tombstone from Rey for a 2 count. Rey got Irish whipped into the guard rail. Dragon did a second tombstone on the floor. Dragon followed this up with a dive. These men just did move after move onto each other. It felt they were doing too many moves given the time they were given but each of the moves they did were pulled off really well.
They showed the backs of the announcers as the action between Rey and Dragon spilled to the floor and Dusty, who was wearing a red jacket, yelled “whose the guy in the red jacket?” It was just funny that Rey and Dragon are doing all of these spots on the outside and the commentators had their back to the action the entire time! They weren’t allowed to turn around and get an up-close look at the action as they just stared at their monitors!
Dragon did frankenstiener from the top rope for a 2 count. Dragon hit a running sit-out powerbomb for another 2 count. Rey did a fabulous springboard moonsault for a 2 count where he launched off the top rope, went diagonally to the middle rope and bounced off for the moonsault. It looked so slick.
Rey did a flipping seated senton to Dragon on the outside. As I mentioned earlier, there were some brilliant moves in this match. Rey did a sunset flip, Dragon did a bridge pinfall both for a 2 count.
Rey did a cartwheel into a hurricanrana for a near fall. Fans seemed to buy that move as the finish. Dragon hit a dragon suplex for the 2 count. Rey tried his Frankensteiner finisher but Dragon caught him, bounced Rey off the top rope and hit a sit-out powerbomb for the clean pinfall victory to retain the titles.
Tremendous action, top notch spots, great chemistry and a great way to open the show. I think if you’re big on spots, this match is an excellent match to watch because these two did sensational stuff in that ring. I felt given a few more minutes to pace themselves better, this would have a sure 4 and a half star match or even a perfect match for that matter. However, I just don’t think it got enough time to solidify itself as a near perfect match. If you’re really big on a spots, then I’m sure you’ll have a different opinion.
Match Rating: ****1/4
Mean Gene Okerlund interviewed Diamond Dallas Page. DDP said everyone wanted to get a hold of the best. DDP tried to talk about other stuff but Mean Gene said Page has got to address the people about the New World Order being interested. DDP said he doesn’t care about the life of Eric Bischoff, who had joined the New World Order on the most recent episode of Nitro. DDP says what affected me was the World War III battle royal, which he was a participant in. DDP talked about winning battle royal. and when it’s all said and done, there can only be one. Mean Gene noted that DDP did not answer his question about the nWo but this was solid promo. Clearly Page was conveniently dodging the subject to focus on winning this main-event. Page actually mentioned that he won the Slamboree battle royal and held the Lord of the Ring, to suggest that he could possibly pull off a big win again.
Chris Jericho w/Teddy Long vs Nick Patrick in a one arm tied behind the back match
This match was everything it needed to be when it comes to this storyline. Jericho working with one arm was still better than half of the wrestlers in the World War III battle royal. Nick Patrick, for a man who does not wrestle and is a referee, was a phenomenal seller for Jericho. He bumped left and right for this man, getting the right balance between comical overselling and embarrassing overselling. Patrick’s been a great character in the story and the match was booked really well with the storyline in mind.
Nick Patrick was dressed in black and white boxing robe, a neck braces and sunglasses with a scolding look on his face. Thunderous boos coming out for this man! I loved detail of the black and white boxing robe as a nod to the allegations that Patrick was working for the New World Order. I don’t think the announcers mentioned this once but it was great because it allowed you as a viewer to put 2 and 2 together rather than Tony Schiavonie telling you what the storyline is for example. This was not Michael Cole hammering the storyline into your head verbally. You could figure this out on your own.
It was mentioned that Patrick did used to wrestle so at least he has some wrestling credentials about him. Therefore it was somewhat believable that Patrick would be able to get some heat on Jericho.
Patrick being in tough guy mode against a one-armed man was brilliant! Patrick pushed Jericho. Jericho did a one arm push and Patrick does a brilliant sell for Jericho. He takes a big backward bump, with his arms in the air and the fans ROAR with approval! It was the best!
Jericho hip-tossed Patrick out of the ring with one arm and Patrick demanded Jericho to “watch his neck” which I enjoyed. Jericho started a “PATRICK SUCKS” chant. Patrick did the test of strength spot where they put their hands out. He mocked Jericho for not having the other hand available so Jericho does a hammerlock with one hand and Patrick screams with agony!
Jericho kicked away at Patrick as Patrick looked like he was having a seizure on the floor! If you’re gonna do over-selling in wrestling, do it right. Patrick was a great over seller here! He’s a cartoon character and he’s a referee so it was perfect that he would do over the top selling in this match!
Patrick pushed Teddy Long at ringside and Teddy LAUNCHED Patrick with a shove of his own which the referee scolded Teddy for. I actually thought this was gonna end in a disqualification but no, the match continued. Patrick was able to slap Jericho. Jericho retaliated with a slap of his own and Patrick fell over like a inflatable doll with his hands up in the air and just tumbling down to the mat! He just got flipped perfectly from horizontal to vertical in a 90 degree angle!
Jericho clotheslined the ring post so Patrick got the heat on a one-armed man. Patrick wasn’t particularly bad. Patrick did some snapmares and he threw some great right hands as he got the heat on Jericho. Patrick was constantly thrusting his arms in the air as he got punched in the face! Jericho made a comeback. Jericho was somehow able to do a one-arm back body drop to Patrick.
Patrick did a horrible looking Shawn Michaels forearm and it actually made it better that it was so bad, because it’s Nick Patrick who was NOT Shawn Michaels! If this would have been a great forearm, it would have ruined it! Speaking of Shawn Michaels, Jericho pulled off a super kick, as a tribute to his future employers The Young Bucks. and got the clean pin.
As a way for the heel referee to get his comeuppance this was booked really well. Jericho didn’t come off as a geek. Patrick’s over-selling was not too much. Patrick was not out-wrestling the man. We got a clean win and a happy ending for the wrestler who was getting screwed by the evil referee.
I’ve got to get this off my chest before we get into the next match. The idea behind this blog series of mine was to watch stuff from the past and see what we can learn from for the future of wrestling. What old stuff can we incorporate into modern wrestling. This is something that has been lost to time. Nick Patrick has been winding up wrestlers and fans for months with his antics. He finally is thrown in the ring to get his arse kicked and the good guy won as the crooked referee got what he deserved.
If this was WWE in 2020, Nick Patrick would have won this match without a doubt. What would have happened was either Patrick would win by disqualification because Teddy Long pushed him in that spot earlier or someone else would have laid out Jericho allowing Patrick to win. They did the same thing with the Michael Cole/Jerry Lawler match at WrestleMania 27, where the announcer beat the wrestler after a BS ruling where the heel won on a technicality instead of Lawler beating him and Cole getting his comeuppance. If they would have done this Patrick match in WWE in 2020, it would have been the exact same thing to get heat. At least WCW in 1996 had the clue and bright idea to have Jericho go over when he needed to. THUMBS UP!
Match Rating: **1/4
Mark Madden and Marcus Bagwell were shown answering questions on WCWWRESTLING.COM.
Mean Gene interviewed Ric Flair who was not wrestling on this show as he was injured. I had serious buffering problems at this time, even after I restarted the Playstation 4 I was watching the show on, so I decided to pick this up the next day. This ended up being a pay-per-view that took me two days to watch which really took me out of the game.
Ric said the theme of the event is World War III but in reality its WCW on tour. He made it clear that the nWo are entitled to walk down their own way of life, but guys like Flair, Arn Anderson, Sting, The Steiner Brothers, Steve “Mongo” McMichael and Chris Benoit were “W BY GOD C W.” He promised that the nWo would belong to WCW which I guess ended up coming true, because Ric Flair would be the WCW President in 1999!
The Giant vs Jeff Jarrett in a return grudge match from Halloween Havoc
An absolute nothing match. I don’t understand why they felt the need to do this match again on pay-per-view. It wasn’t good the first time but they did it again. There was no Ric Flair to help get the fans behind Jarrett. The fans loved the New World Order on the show so of course Giant was cheered. This to me accomplished nothing and really, both men became irrelevant due to Sting showing up again. They did this horrible match just to lead to Sting coming in and dropping Jarrett with the Scorpion Death Drop.
The Giant still has the US title that he stole from Ric Flair but the commentators confirmed that because the Nature Boy had not defended the title, Ric Flair was no longer the US Heavyweight Champion. The title was vacated and The Giant was not the champion either. Jeff fired away with punches but Giant pushed him away to a big pop. Jeff kept trying punches in the corner but one big clothesline from Giant was enough to turn the tide in the match.
Jeff continued to try and bring Giant down but Giant pushed him away with his foot. There was a giant elbow drop from the big man. The Giant did a foot stomp where he had his foot on Jeff for at least three seconds before he even applied pressure. Jarrett’s shoulders were on the match so that should have easily been a three count!
As Giant was getting the heat on Jeff, the fans react to someone in the rafters who was in fact Sting. Giant did a leg drop and then Sting got down from the rafters and made their way trough the crowd. The fans are paying no attention to the match by this point.
Giant did a backbreaker. Giant missed a Vader Bomb. Jeff did a top rope crossbody for a two count. The police flanked Sting as he came down. Giant got sent over the top rope by Jeff but then Sting got in the ring and did the Scorpion Death Drop on Jeff as the fans cheered. There’s a big thud of Sting hitting a move on Jeff and the referee Randy Anderson, who was distracted, was a couple of inches away from Jeff and Sting and he couldn’t hear a thing and continued to count out Giant! Even if the referee got out of the ring to count out Giant, that would have been better than the referee somehow not being able to hear Sting attacking Jeff Jarrett DESPITE BEING IN THE RING AS WELL!
Giant got in the ring and scored the pin from a chokeslam. A bad match with a bad finish as Sting was the only thing noteworthy about this match.
Match Rating: * (I’m not sure why I’m being so generous)
Then we got a long contract signing with Rowdy Roddy Piper and Hollywood Hogan. I’m a huge fan of Piper and this was a good television segment but it did not need to take place on World War III. They had Chris Benoit vs Taskmaster and Lex Luger vs Arn Anderson originally booked for this pay-per-view but they were cut I guess for this segment. This thing took way too long for a pay-per-view. It was great and Piper was tremendous in selling the nWo beatdown he would get. He and Hollywood Hogan were great characterS but this bored me half to death at times. I really wanted to see more wrestling on this show but instead I got this.
Piper appeared with the contract in his hand for the match with Hollywood Hogan. Some dude was in the ring with a table and a cloth over it with the camera man getting in shots of Piper. Piper said there’s no sense in waiting. He told Hogan to get out here. Coming out to meet Piper was Ted DiBiase, Vincent, The Giant and… ERIC BISCHOFF in nWo gear. For those unaware, Eric Bischoff revealed himself as a member of the New World Order on the last edition of Nitro. This was Bischoff’s first appearance since joining the group. It was Bischoff with a leather jacket and nWo shirt underneath.
Bischoff said that Hollywood was a little busy as he’s got scripts to look at. Bischoff said Hogan gave him his power of attorney. It’s funny to me that they do this angle where Hogan gives Bischoff the power of attorney powers. A year before this, he did the same thing with Jimmy Hart and that led to Hogan losing the title to The Giant which led to the World War III battle royal last year! It all comes full circle!
Bischoff was happy to look into the contract and sign the contract for the Hogan if it is suitable. Piper said he taught Vincent to fight and told him slow his roll. Piper said he’s been doing this for 28 years but he’s never had his hair done or nails done. Piper said if Bischoff thinks Piper is gonna trust a “flake” like Bischoff, think again. Could you imagine if Piper threw out this line in 2020?
Bischoff said he could fine Piper for that line. How could this even be possible if Piper is not associated with WCW? They explained on the Nitro after Havoc that Piper was not associated with the company so how can Bischoff possibly fine Piper if Piper doesn’t work for WCW? Was Bischoff lying? Had Piper signed with WCW full-time and they just didn’t tell us or was this just a cock-up by Bischoff? I suspect this was just Bischoff saying whatever he wanted but the line just made no sense in the context of the storyline.
Piper asked how much would the fine be if he knocked him out. Piper said he will fight Hogan. He’s going for the fight regardless of the nWo as even if they showed up as he doesn’t care about disqualifications. I’m guessing this made the match no disqualification although it was hard to tell what type of match Piper wanted based on his promo.
Then HOLLYWOOD HOGAN arrives with Elizabeth, The Giant again, Syxx and the Outsiders. Hogan said Piper had a problem. Piper responded that he always had problems but that’s never stopped him. He told Hogan to get his butt in the ring, sign the contract and quit talking. Everyone got in the ring. Hogan said he’ll sign but he’s got a real big problem. Hogan said he’s used to dealing people that are number one contenders, on his level and up to his speed. When Piper was his equal, he couldn’t get it done. Hogan said since Piper’s “Mr Self-Righteous, Mr Straight Man”, he asked Piper to show everyone his “hip”. He showed a hip but Hogan wasn’t happy. Piper showed the other hip with a big scar on it as Piper had hip surgery which the scar clearly showed.
Hogan said he didn’t pick on cripples but since the whole world seems to like him and everyone wanted to see the war to settle the score, he would fight him. He signed the contract. Hogan said Piper’s not gonna have a leg to stand on because he can’t wait to beat on a gimp. Piper punched Hogan but the nWo ganged up on Piper, so Hogan punched away himself. Piper clawed through to attack Hogan.
The nWo expose the scar from hip surgery and then Hogan did a chair shot to the scar and one of the worst chop blocks in the history of wrestling. Hall grabbed the leg. Hogan grabbed the spray paint and spray painted the leg of Piper with “nWo”. Hogan says he will break Piper in half and called him a piece of crap. He spit on the chest of Piper and the nWo celebrated.
Piper clawed himself up and knocked over the table. This spooks out the nWo who leave. Piper grabbed the mic said if that’s the best you can do, Hogan’s in trouble because there’s no retreat, no surrender on him. So the match was booked Piper vs Hogan for WCW Starrcade. Dusty decreed the fight of all fights has been signed. Piper crawled his way through the curtain.
The segment itself was really good. The back-and-forth between Piper and Hogan was really good. I even liked Bischoff’s role in this. The beat down of Piper looked really good and I liked the spot where they attacked the hip of Piper. It was done in a safe manner but it looked like it would have wrecked Piper. Piper did tremendous selling of this beating. As a segment it was great. My issue was with it being on a wrestling pay-per-view. With that being said, it was a great segment. I’ll give credit where credit is due.
Segment Rating: ****
“The Amazing French Canadians” Carl Ouelett and Jacques Rogueau w/Col Robert Parker vs “Harlem Heat” Booker T and Stevie Ray w/Sister Sherri. If Harlem Heat wins, Sherri would get five minutes in the ring with Parker
An absolute nothing match with what I thought was a decent enough finish. I didn’t have much expectations for the match going in and it pretty much met my expectations. It was boring as a suspected, it had a bunch of goofy shenanigans which I expected and there wasn’t much wrong with the match. There wasn’t much right with it either so I can’t say this was a good match.
Bobby makes a joke about how Parker was gonna find a place in Quebec… in South Quebec. Tony just responded: “very good”.
The Canadians sang the national anthem for the “greatest country in the world” Canada. Ray responded saying: “listening to that is breaking my heart.” I was actually surprised but in the middle of this blood feud involving managers, the Harlem Heat at least had the courtesy to let the Canadians sing the national anthem uninterrupted!
Not much happened in the first few minutes of the match. Harlem Heat gained control of the match for a while as Booker hit an axe kick. Somehow Jacques and Booker screwed up a “pulling down the rope” spot where Booker was supposed to slide over the top rope and to the floor but got stuck on the top rope. This caused the Canadians to get the heat.
Bobby brought up the good point that the Canadians must have been told by Parker everything about Harlem Heat because he was with them for a long time. Therefore, that would give the Canadians the advantage as they know their strategy. Booker tried a roll up but got turned inside out with a clothesline for his troubles by Carl. Stevie got the hot tag. He ran wild on Jacques and Gorilla Press slammed Jacques into Carl. Carl got Irish Whipped into the referee.
The finish saw the Canadians go for a piledriver. Carl whipped out a table. The last time we saw a table spot on Nitro, Johnny Grunge used the table right in front of the referee and was not disqualified. That referee allowed it then because he did nothing about it at the time. In this match, they had to go through the trouble of doing a ref bump so the Canadians could use weapons! Why would you even bother? Public Enemy use weapons all the time in normal tag matches anyway! Why bother with bumping the referee?
They brought in two steel steps. They stacked the steel steps on top of the table in the corner in an completely clunky looking spot that could have ended horribly. It didn’t particularly end great. I don’t remember who went up to the top of this set-up but the Canadians tried an elevated senton form the top of the steel steps but Booker moved and they land from all the way up at the top of the weapons to the mat. That must have sucked! Booker hit the Houston Hangover for the clean win.
I liked the finish for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Harlem Heat got a clean win. After years of Harlem Heat being the heels and having every screwjob finish you can think of, they have a big PPV match as babyfaces I guess and they win clean. Secondly, the finish showed the dangers of going for big spots from above. Granted, Booker hit the Harlem Hangover from the win. However, I think it was Carl went all the way high up for a big move and missed and ultimately paid the price for it. Good finish to an otherwise below average tag team match.
Match Rating: **
Sister Sherri vs Col. Robert Parker
I’m not sure if this was ever explained on television, because this took me off guard, but the Sherri vs Parker took place immediately after the tag match. Now before I actually get into what happened, allow me to remind you all that the storyline between Sherri and Parker has went on for more than one year. They had the break-up angle a few weeks ago and now Sherri is gonna get her hands on Parker. She gets FIVE MINUTES in the ring with Parker. Let’s all remember that.
Sherri ran wild on Parker to start off the match. She smashed his head into the turnbuckle and then threw him over the top rope. Sherri did a clothesline to which DUSTY POPPED FOR as he yelled“SHE CLOTHESLINED HIM”. In defense of Dusty, these were some pretty good clothelines that Sherri was pulling off in the ring. Dusty was going nuts.
Sherri did a top rope crossbody and she went for the cover but Parker kicked out. Let’s analyse this for a minute! Remember that Sherri had the opportunity to beat up Parker for FIVE MINUTES and Parker doesn’t want any part of Sherri as the finish clearly demonstrated. Why did she go for a pin if she has five minutes to get revenge on Parker and kick his arse? Why did she bother? Why did Parker even kick out? Why didn’t he just take the pin and then Sherri can’t beat him up anymore? WHY WAS THERE A KICK OUT IN THIS MATCH? That’s not even the least of our worries.
The finish saw Parker run to the back as everyone chased after him… AND THAT WAS IT. Sherri was supposed to get five minutes with Parker. The match lasted…. 1 minute and 30 seconds. After ONE YEAR OF BUILD for this storyline, they have a match together on PPV and it lasts less than 100 seconds. Give me a break. Why did you waste my time for more than a year to just have this crappy finish as the big pay-off to the storyline?
Match Rating: -* because the structure of the match offended me. If you have a match that offends me as a wrestling fan for investing in it, you get a minus star rating.
To their credit. Dusty was still howling at ringside after the match. So at least the American Dream loved it.
Mean Gene talked about WCW Hotline and advised that another superstar would becoming to WCW in the near future. He interviewed Lex Luger. Luger said he doesn’t know what to make of what happened with Sting and Luger on Nitro. He said the baseball bat reeks of nWo but he doesn’t want to believe it and the fans didn’t want to believe. He called Sting a man of no words. Lex Luger was the odds on favourite to win as he’s been racking big man recently on Nitro. He said he feels on a roll and restore honour to WCW and he wants the title shot really bad. This was a fine Luger promo as usual.
Dean Malenko © vs Psychosis for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship
I think this had the potential to be as good as Rey Mysterio Jr. vs The Ultimate Dragon but it just wasn’t anywhere close. I thought it was an average Dean Malenko match, which are good matches by default, but this was not a match that played to Psychosis’ strengths at all. Malenko was good at being Dean Malenko but this didn’t do much to elevate Psychosis.
Apparently this was the first time this two had been in the ring together according to Tony. Dean tried an STF early on but Psychosis got the ropes. The announcers talked about how Regal apparently went to a time limit with Psychosis on WCW Saturday Night. and then Regal said Psychosis would win the cruiserweight title.
Dean tried to tie up the legs, but then grabbed the arms and turned it into a bridge. That was awesome. They traded arm drags. It was a very slow-paced match, which more mat based than high flying. For Psychosis that look out the lucha libre spots which hurt him.
Dean swept the leg and clutched onto it with a leg scissors. Psychosis returned the pressure. Eventually, they both rolled into to the ropes. They did a spot where Psychosis tried a springboard but Dean kicked at his leg so the luchador missed.
Then Psychosis tried a dive to the outside but lost his footing. It looked like a botch but this appeared to have played into the storyline to Dean working on the leg of Psychosis. Because Psychosis tried to do the spot so fast, it was hard to tell. I guess he knew his high-flying spots were so limited when the match was planned out so he wanted to get through the spots quickly as possible so he could get all of his spots in. I’m not entirely sure.
Dean tried a headscissors but the luchador got the rope. I like how instead of doing a simple leg drop, Dean bounced off the rope, jumped onto the middle rope and then came down with a leg drop. Dean needed that extra bounce for a little bit extra impact.
Dean wrenched on the leg like singe leg Boston crab Liontamer. Dean did the powerbomb and went for the Texas Cloverleaf but Psychosis got the rope. There seemed to be some miscommunication where Dean did a dropkick but Psychosis didn’t seem to sell it at first. They tried a monkey flip but both men got sent over the top rope.
Pscyhosis dropped Malenko with a backbreaker. Psyschosis did a corkscrew to the floor which did look awesome. Pscyhosis did a springboard leg drop for a 2 count.
OK, now to discuss a big pet peeve of mine. Malenko worked on Psychosis’s leg the entire the match up until this point. Psychosis then ran wild. He does all of these athletic spots and lucha libre spot with seemingly no difficulty. The announcers then kept talking about the damage to the legs of Psychosis after Psychosis went like 5 minutes without selling the leg at all.
If you’re going to lay out a match where a luchador will get his legs taken out to prevent him from flying around, make sure the man sells his leg. Psychosis was out there pretending like the first ten minutes or so never happened. If your leg is hurt, you can’t run around and do all of these high spots. Heck, I went to the gym for the first time in three months recently after this lockdown and my arms ached because I haven’t done intense workouts like that in so long. My arms hurt so my ability to certain things was limited. Psychosis is pretending like the ten minutes of Malenko destroying his leg were not a concern at all. Get out of here.
Psychosis did a top rope frankensteiner. Psychosis tried a suplex but this was reversed into a small package. Dean tried a tombstone to which Pyschosis reversed this and then Dean reversed that reversal to deliver the tombstone but it was for a two count. That was an awesome spot. Dean did a roll up with a bridge for the clean pinfall victory.
I feel bad for not liking the match more because I really should have. I love watching Malenko getting the heat on someone. There were some awesome spots in between. However, when things like Malenko getting the heat are made irrelevant by Psychosis no selling it and there’s a few botched spots in between, it’s hard to go out there and say this was a great match. It wasn’t. It was a good match I guess but it had the potential to be more.
Match Rating: **3/4
“The Outsiders” Kevin Nash © and Scott Hall © vs “The Nasty Boys” Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags vs “The Faces of Fear” The Barbarian and Meng w/Jimmy Hart for the WCW Tag Team Championship
This match was simultaneously the match I wanted to see from these teams and the match I didn’t want to see from these teams! We’ve got three big hard-hitting teams fighting for the tag titles. They had TREMENDOUS brawling where they clobbered into each other like mad men. It’s everything I wanted on that front. It also had triangle tag team match rules to contend with and it felt like whoever put this match together had zero idea of how this type of match should be booked.
I think WWE nowadays currently uses a formula where in a triple threat tag, one member from each of the three teams are legal in the ring wrestling in a triple threat style which negates the problem I’m about to talk about. However, typical triple threat tag matches have two men in the ring from two teams with everybody else around the ring. You can tag out to ANYBODY whether it be your partner or one of the other tag teams.
This rule of the match made this match so difficult to keep up with. These men running in to fight each other was all great but it made this match so difficult to keep up with. Dudes would just in and attack each other. It even got to the point when two members of the same team got tagged in at the same time, which I will get into. It made this title match a mess of a match structurally.
The Nasty Boys actually attacked the Outsiders before the Faces of Fear even came out. Even before the match started, the fighting just starts between these teams. The Nasty Boys actually kicked their arses and sent them packing which was shocking to see. They portrayed the Nasty Boys as such geeks when they were trying to join the nWo and now they’re beating up Nash and Hall like it’s just another day in the office.
The Faces of Fear’s music played and they came out to fight. There was a bandage on Brian Knobbs had on his head as Bobby claimed Knobbs was a brain donor. The Faces of Fear charged at the Outsiders as Scott Hall got beat up by the Nasty Boys. Everybody gets in the ring to fight. The Faces of Fear and Nasty Boys then beat each other up. Then the Outsiders just stood watching it, with Scott Hall even shrugging his shoulders like “why should we get involved? There’s no need for us to get involved. Let these two teams beat each other up and we’ll pick up the scraps.” The match did start off with an awesome fight with the three tag teams. I’m not going to lie.
The Faces of Fear just started clobbering Knobbs so Jerry Sags just ran in and fists continued to being thrown. The Outsiders just applauded on as these two other wild tag teams beat each other up. Kevin Nash tagged himself in. Nash drove knees into the gut of Knobbs. Hall tagged in. I guess Meng tagged himself him because then he beats up Knobbs in the ring randomly.
The Barbarian and Hall fight. Barbarian beat up Scott Hall for a while. Meng got tagged in as he beat up Hall for a while. Hall tagged in the Nasty Boys. Everybody started fighting everybody and got into a wild brawl. The fans popped for a lot of the brawling too. It ended up with the Nasty Boys and Faces of Fear tangled up in like a rugby “scrum” according to the announcers as the Outsiders smiled on.
Nash and Barbarian fight ast he two tallest men in the match. Then suddenly, Barbarian and Meng are both tagged into the ring to face each other… even though they are team mates. It’s explained that Meng has to tag out to Brian Knobbs because two members of the same tag team can’t wrestle each other! Let’s all remember that ladies and gentlemen.
Then Outsiders and Faces of Fear get into a big fight. The match kind of died down for a while. Meng hit a piledriver. Meng voluntarily tagged Scott Hall for god knows what reason. This always bothered me. If I was in this match and the rules was that I had to be tagged in order to be legally able to get the win, why would I tag out? Why would I tag out to another tag team? All the Outsiders and Nasty Boys would need to do is not tag in the Faces of Fear and they can have a clear cut winner and you’d prevent someone else from winning.
Apparently Sags low-blowed Hall which was not a disqualification. Knobbs tried to Irish whip Meng but Meng just punched him right in the gut! You could hear the sound of this punch from the rafters! It was just a hard smack/
Then Knobbs and Meng tag both members of The Outsiders because I guess they wanted Kevin Nash and Scott Hall to fight. When Meng and Barbarian were tagged in earlier on in the match, I thought back to a match at WWE SummerSlam 2015 where the New Day were both tagged in during a similar match and tried to pin each other. I felt that was a cool concept, even if it didn’t make any sense. They exploited the rules to their advantage. Then the announcers explained that Meng had to tag out so I assumed that spot wouldn’t happen.
Therefore, the Outsiders are in the ring together. The tag teams both leave the apron to make sure the Outsiders fight each. These two other tag teams came off as the dumbest geeks on the planet. Because Tony explained that if the Outsiders pin each other they retain the tag titles. Well lo and behold, Nash laid down for Hall as they try to pin each other to retain the titles. Thankfully, the other tag teams broke it up. You allowed these two to try and pin each other and you genuinely believed they were gonna fight? Why would the Outsiders just start fighting each other? That wouldn’t have made even less sense. Why would they fight each…for pride? THEY’RE THE NEW WORLD ORDER. So of course, they try to pin each other and the other WCW tag teams come off like geeks. All four of them. Meng, The Barbarian, Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags.
Jimmy Hart gets on the apron. Tony asked: “whose legal” and then Bobby responded: “Jimmy Hart I think”. Hall used Jimmy Hart’s megaphone and Nash hits a jackknife powerbomb for the win. The match got a bit ridiculous although started off well. Things were falling part, it was hard to keep track of who was legal. It was a train-wreck but the crowd were very much into it and there was some decent action.
Match Rating: **
The WCW World War III Battle Royal to determine the number one contender for Hollywood Hogan’s WCW World Heavyweight Championship
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Carl Ouellet vs. Konnan vs. Rick Steiner vs. Ron Studd vs. The Barbarian vs. Mike Enos vs. Kevin Nash vs. Arn Anderson vs. Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko vs. Jeff Jarrett vs. Chris Benoit vs. Lord Steven Regal vs. Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Marcus Alexander Bagwell vs. Jimmy Graffiti vs. Booker T vs. Lex Luger vs. Big Bubba Rogers vs. Meng vs. Kevin Sullivan vs. The Giant vs. Juventud Guerrera vs. Chris Jericho vs. Alex Wright vs. Scott Norton vs. Scott Hall vs. Jacques Rougeau vs. Mr. JL vs. Pez Whatley vs. M. Wallstreet vs. Scotty Riggs vs. Hugh Morrus vs. Disco Inferno vs. Galaxy vs. Syxx vs. Ultimate Dragon vs. Bobby Eaton vs. Jim Duggan vs. Ice-Train vs. Ciclope vs. Villano IV vs. Stevie Ray vs. Squire David Taylor vs. Steve McMichael vs. Bunkhouse Buck vs. Kaos vs. Ruckus vs. La Parka vs. The Renegade vs. Johnny Grunge vs. Prince Iaukea vs. Jim Powers vs. Sgt. Craig Pittman vs. Joe Gomez vs. Tony Rumble vs. Jack Boot vs. Mark Starr vs. Road Block
What a miserable battle royal and what a miserable viewing experience if you watched this back like me. It was the worst experience in the world trying to take notes and properly review this battle royal. There was six announcers out there and even they had a difficulty figuring out what was going on. Calling a match with 20 people in one ring would be hard enough. These announcers had to simultaneously call 60 wrestlers fighting each other within 3 rings.
The rules were like last year. You have 60 wrestlers divided into 20 wrestlers in 3 separate rings. Once one of the rings were down to ten men, those men would jump into Ring #2 I believe and then eventually, one man would be left standing in one ring to win the match.
I did make a list of the announcers predictions in case anyone was wondering Marshall picked Kevin Nash, Larry said Lex Luger, Dusty and Mike Tenay also said Luger, Bobby picked Dean Malenko and Tony Schiavonie picked The Giant.
Let’s talk about the way they presented this match because it is important to the start of this match! There was split screens for all three rings so all the action could be shown at the same time. Chris Benoit comes out all bruised up. Lee Marshall talked about what happened in Baltimore like we’re supposed to have any idea what happened. I have no idea what happened in Baltimore. I just know Benoit and Taskmaster were supposed to have a match but it got cut. Marshall I guess explained that Taskmaster beat him up the night before or whatever.
Taskmaster ended up bring the last match to come out. At Ring #3, Benoit jumped Taskmaster outside of the ring. The Faces of Fear and Four Horsemen all fight on the outside except for Jeff Jarrett which I will get to later. Benoit and Taskmaster punch at each other and fight in the crowd as everyone gets into the crowd to break it up
The match started in the three rings. Rather than show the split screen of three different rings, they have to have only one of the screens show the battle royal. The other screens are showing this fight between Taskmaster and Benoit in the crowd! WHAT?
They fight on the steps. Benoit sends Bubba crashing down the stairs. It’s just Benoit up there, I have no idea where Arn and Mongo were because they were fighting with Benoit earlier. They eventually reappear. Taskmaster used the Canadian flag as a weapon. Mongo fought with Taskmaster. Other Dungeon members ganged up on Benoit. Konan beat up Benoit on the table as the Faces of Fear use a chair.
Lee Marshall suddenly got attacked amongst the conflict! If it’s not bad enough that a ten man brawl breaks out on the outside as fifty men fight within 3 rings, an announcer has to take a bump! So much happened and it did nothing to elevate this battle royal! Remember when Tony was such a pussy on Nitro and didn’t want be out there being pushed around by Nash and Hall. Lee has taken a beating like a champ and it’s not even from the nWo!
Anyway, the Dungeon of Doom and the Four Horsemen were disqualified. 1/6 of the field of this battle royal was eliminated without being thrown over the top rope! This was one of the worst moments of any battle royal in the history of battle royals! It made me hate World War III battle royals with a passion and I had little desire to watch the rest of this battle royal! However, I stuck with it!
Tony Rumble was eliminated from Rumble #1, Ciclope I think was shown eliminated but the announcers didn’t even know if Ciclope was eliminated. That’s how much they knew about what was going on. None of the announcers knew what was going on until it came down to ten men. Marshall scolded Larry for just standing there as Marshall got his arse kicked.
Mike Enos was eliminated but this was never shown. La Parka was eliminated by Lex Luger as one of the first eliminations of the match.… La Parka got a big win on his Nitro debut and he was one of the first guys eliminated. That tells you how much that victory elevated his WCW career!
Jimmy Grafitti, The Renegade and Galaxy were all eliminated by the nWo I believe. Juventued and Jericho wrestled for the suplex to the floor but Jericho threw him back into the ring despite the objective of the match being to throw men OVER the top rope.
The nWo wasted little energy but gathered in the corner, taking cheap shots when they could. There were only four members of the group in this match. No idea what happened to bogus Sting or why Vincent wasn’t wrestling.
Luger eliminated Kenny Kaos. The Giant eliminated Joe Gomez. Mike Tenay said Ron Studd was being a big factor in whatever ring he was in. I don’t think he’d eliminated anyone by this point! At this point, at least each ring was not as clustered as they were at the start of the match.
Disco Inferno was running around at ringside so I assumed he was eliminated but then he got back into the ring. So… if there’s one thing this match didn’t need is Disco randomly running around and me not knowing if he was eliminated or not. The Giant and Roadblock had a showdown as Giant kicked him and then clotheslined him over the top rope to a huge pop. Mr JL was also eliminated.
Disco tried to gain favour with Rey but then suckered him for a beating. Scott Hall interrupted and then Rey took advantage to clobber Disco. Rey pushed Disco under the bottom rope but Disco was not eliminated
In Ring #1, everyone ran wild on Ron Studd with Stinger Splashes and punches. Luger hit one big forearm and then he collapsed. All of the men in the first ring jumped onto of Ron Studd for god knows what reason. I was hoping for a roar spot but I don’t even think we got that. The action in Ring #1 just slowed down to a standstill!
Ouelett, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Rogueau were all eliminated while the patriotic Canadians and American fought each other. Eddie Guerrero and Steven Regal both seem to be eliminated although the announcers couldn’t confirm this. They didn’t have a clue. The American Males were definitely eliminated and they bickered at each other on the floor.
Dave Taylor was eliminated by Alex Wright and M. Wallstreet eliminated by DDP. Marshall claimed Scott Steiner was out and I was completely taken back because I HAD NO IDEA Scott was in this match. I was amazed that he was in the battle royal and I missed him. As is turned out, Scott Steiner wasn’t even in the match! Either Marshall just made it up or meant to say Scott Norton but screwed it up. That’s how bonkers this match was. The announcers appeared to just be guessing who was in this match!
Juventud Guerrera was eliminated. Eddie was still out there so I had no idea what was going on. Tony asked does anyone know what’s going on. DDP and Eddie are fighting on the outside. REGAL WAS STILL IN THE RING. At this point. I was just clueless as to who was actually eliminated. The announcers had no idea who was eliminated. Suddenly all the men wrestled in the same ring to make things even more cluttered.
JACK BOOT got eliminated who I swear was eliminated earlier. I could have sworn he was one of the first people to be eliminated but apparently not! Johnny Grunge got eliminated. The nWo stayed close together in one corner. Jack Boot and Grunge fought on the outside.
Jeff Jarrett eliminated Dean Malenko. Speaking of Jeff Jarrett. On the Nitro before this PPV, Ric Flair claimed Jeff Jarrett was a member of the Four Horsemen and the other Horsemen just had to accept it. Jeff’s first outing as a Horsemen endorsed by Ric Flair was that he did nothing while the other Four Horsemen were beat up seven men at the start of the match. He selfishly stayed to try and win this match! What a Horsemen he turned out to be.
DDP threw Pittman over the top rope. Booker T was eliminated by someone. Rick Steiner almost eliminated Disco but he held on. Nash finally eliminated Disco. Buckhouse Buck gone, Stevie Ray gone, Ron Studd was eliminated by Lex and Wright, Rick Steiner eliminated. Ultimo Dragon was eliminated by Mysterio with a headsicssors. Luger eliminated Wright. Jericho eliminated. Rick Steiner tried getting back in the ring. I was still in the dark as to who was eliminated or not as Rick is just trying to get back in the ring!
Ice Train, in a sweet looking Big E singlet, was eliminated. There was then a nWo vs WCW showdown as the spit screen finally ended. Hall spat at Jeff. DDP was in the middle and he charged at Eddie. DDP Irish Whipped Eddie into Regal who tossed out Eddie. Giant lifted Rey with one hand and thew him into Eddie which the fans popped big for. That was impressive.
Scott Hall tried an Outsiders Edge on Jarrett I think but Regal saved him. Nash clotheslined Jeff over the top rope anyway. Regal eliminated DDP but eventually the nWo eliminated Regal. At least the WCW Television Champion Steven Regal got a great performance in and made the finally six of this match!
It was down to Luger all on his own against Giant, Hall, Nash and Syxx. 4 on 1. Luger ran wild with clotheslines. Giant got stuck on the top rope and Luger lifted him up temporarily for the Torture Rack but the nWo made the save. Hall was eliminated when Luger reversed the Outsiders Edge, Syxx was eliminated with a Gorilla Press. Luger did a Torture Rack on Nash but Giant knocked both Luger and Nash over the top rope to win the World War III battle royal.
The finish was tremendous. Lex Luger overcoming all the odds and looking an absolute killer, even as he was about to be overwhelmed, was great to see. He got so over with this crowd. He nearly beat all the nWo by himself, just like Sting at War Games, but he was overwhelmed. If Sting was in the ring and if he and Luge were on the same page, maybe they could have won this World War III battle roya. However, one man could not beat four so the nWo. I thought it was awesome when it come to the final five.
Bobby Heenan claimed this was the greatest battle royal he’d ever seen which was incorrect. Thee were fireworks galore as the nWo win World War III.
One of the worst battle royals I’ve ever seen although the ending was pretty great and at the end of the day, the finish was what the people remember from this battle royal. ON those grounds it gets half a star as it was the one redeeming quality of this match.
Match Rating: 1/2*
That was World War III. I just got depressed after that battle royal was over because I realised there was two more World War III PPVs that WCW produced so we’re gonna get to watch two more of these battle royals yet again. Thank god for Ultimate Dragon vs Rey Mysterio this had all the potential to be an all-time horrible PPV. However, I think that match and the finish to the battle royal saved the show in a lot of ways.
WCW Nitro Reading Order
- #1 – September 4th 1995
- #2 – September 11th 1995
- WCW Fall Brawl 1995 – September 17th 1995
- #3 – September 18th 1995
- #4 – September 25th 1995
- #5 – October 2nd 1995
- #6 – October 9th 1995
- #7 – October 16th 1995
- #8 – October 23rd 1995
- WCW Halloween Havoc 1995 – October 29th 1995
- #9 – October 30th 1995
- #10 – November 6th 1995
- #11 – November 13th 1995
- #12 – November 20th 1995
- WCW World War III 1995 – November 26th 1995
- #13 – November 27th 1995
- #14 – December 4th 1995
- #15 – December 11th 1995
- #16 – December 18th 1995
- #17 – December 25th 1995
- WCW Starrcade 1995 – December 27th 1995
- #18 – January 1st 1996
- #19 – January 8th 1996
- #20 – January 15th 1996
- #21 – January 22nd 1996
- #22 – January 29th 1996
- #23 – February 5th 1996
- WCW Superbrawl VI – February 11th 1996
- #24 – February 12th 1996
- #25 – February 19th 1996
- #26 – February 26th 1996
- #27 – March 11th 1996
- #28 – March 18th 1996
- WCW Uncensored 1996 – March 24th 1996
- #29 – March 25th 1996
- #30 – April 1st 1996
- #31 – April 15th 1996
- #32 – April 22nd 1996
- #33 – April 29th 1996
- #34 – May 6th 1996 (Nitro)/May 6th 1996 (RAW)
- #35 – May 13th 1996
- WCW Slamboree 1996 – May 19th 1996
- #36 – May 20th 1996
- #37 – May 27th 1996
- #38 – June 3rd 1996
- #39 – June 10th 1996
- WCW The Great American Bash 1996 – June 16th 1996
- #40 – June 17th 1996
- #41 – June 24th 1996
- #42 – July 1st 1996
- WCW Bash At The Beach 1996 – July 7th 1996
- #43 – July 8th 1996
- #44 – July 15th 1996
- #45 – July 22nd 1996
- #46 – July 29th 1996
- #47 – August 5th 1996
- WCW Hog Wild 1996 – August 10th 1996
- #48 – August 12th 1996
- WCW Clash of the Champions #33 – Hulk Hogan vs Ric Flair
- #49 – August 19th 1996
- #50 – August 26th 1996
- #51 – September 2nd 1996
- #52 – September 9th 1996
- WCW Fall Brawl 1996 – September 15th 1996
- #53 – September 16th 1996
- #54 – September 23rd 1996
- #55 – September 30th 1996
- #56 – October 7th 1996
- #57 – October 14th 1996
- #58 – October 21st 1996
- WCW Slim Jim’s Halloween Havoc 1996 – October 27th 1996
- #59 – October 28th 1996
- #60 – November 4th 1996 (Nitro)/November 4th 1996 (RAW)
- #61 – November 11th 1996
- #62 – November 18th 1996