RETRO EXPRESS: WCW NITRO #24 (FEBRUARY 12TH 1996) – HULK HOGAN VS ARN ANDERSON

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.

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A double main-event at Superbrawl with two cage matches was overshadowed by an infamous angle, which saw Brian Pillman “battle” The Taskmaster a.k.a. Kevin Sullivan in a “I Respect You” match. The match ended in less than a minute when Brian Pillman grabbed the mic and said “I respect you booker man” before leaving the ring and winding up leaving the company as a result.

The two cage matches saw Hulk Hogan topple The Giant in a cage match and the rest of the Dungeon of Doom while he was at it. However, the Mega Powers took a big loss as well as Ric Flair defeated “Macho Man” Randy Savage for the WCW World title with Elizabeth turning heel and siding with the Nature Boy against her ex-husband.

 

Date: February 12th 1996

Brand: WCW

City: Tampa, Florida

Rating: 3.7 (Nitro’s biggest number since it first aired but they were left unopposed this week)

Commentators: Eric Bischoff, Steve “Mongo” McMichael and Bobby Heenan

 

They recapped the events of Superbrawl, including the Brian Pillman angle. If you’d like to read the full review of Superbrawl, please click on this link where it’ll break it all down.

At least they went through the effort of breaking down who the champions were right then after that event, so it alerted us of who are the top guys right now and this is a plus. If this was WWE in 2019, I’d be scratching my head remembering who the champions were. But on Nitro, they broke it down for the viewer before the show started.

 

“Macho Man” Randy Savage vs Hugh Morrus

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They announced a Savage vs Flair title rematch for next week. I do love that Randy Savage makes his entrance and it is dead serious. Savage came out without the “pomp and circumstance” as the announcers put it. He wasn’t all flashy with his gear and had an intense look in his face. He was a man pissed off at losing the title, being betrayed by a former loved one and he was looking to take all that aggression out on Hugh Morrus.

Hugh Morrus had a bad night here I think. The chemistry was not there at all for a lot of spots. Savage was fast while Morrus was too slow to keep up. They brawled and brawled. There wasn’t a lot of noteworthy stuff. Hugh goes for a moonsault but Savage moves. Savage scoop slams Morrus and hits the elbow drop as the fans cheer. Savage goes for a second elbow drop for the win which was serious overkill from an angry Savage!

Savage then goes back up for another one as the fans continue to cheer but Hugh rolls out of the ring. Savage cut a promo, wanting Ric Flair, and VAULTED out of the ring. When I say vaulted out of the ring. He leapt high in the air over the top rope landing on the floor. Randy Savage was the best here. He went up the entrance ramp and started angrily giving out high fives to the crowd! I loved that little detail.

 

Mean Gene Okerlund interviewed Steve Grissom, who was WCW’s driver I believe in the Daytona 500.

 

Loch Ness w/Jimmy hart VS Scotty Riggs

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Loch Ness looked ginormous and not in a good way. This was his WCW wrestling debut and they put him up against Scotty Riggs of the American Males.

Riggs fired away with no effect at all to Loch Ness. THE VERY FIRST PHYSICAL thing Loch Ness does is that Riggs goes for a top rope crossbody and Loch Ness fails to catch him as Riggs splats on the floor. That was literally the first thing Loch Ness did because in the first 30 seconds of the match, Riggs is throwing dropkicks and punches and Loch Ness just lurches on forward.

Loch Ness did a big elbow drop and struggled to get back up his feet. He was on his knees after doing THAT elbow drop and had to get the ropes to lift himself back up.

Loch Ness hit a second elbow drop and got the pin. I felt kinda bad watching this because Loch Ness does not last long… both in the wrestling ring and in life. He died 2 years later and he really wasn’t not looking in a good way.

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Mean Gene is with Woman and Miss Elizabeth who both rolled out a hospital bed. Elizabeth said that Savage promised someone was leaving on a “gurney” at Superbrawl which I have zero memory of. Elizabeth said it took us all night but Ric Flair is  a man of his word. Flair pops out of the bed like a mad man!

Flair said it’s not easy being Ric Flair. Ric bragged about how he’s got Woman, he’s got Elizabeth and he’s got the 13th world title as he danced in celebration. Flair said that sometimes only a woman can say things as elegantly as they need to be heard and gives Elizabeth the floor. This really was a mistake from Flair as Elizabeth then cut a really bad promo!

God bless Elizabeth but giving her the microphone for promos was a terrible mistake, especially when RIC FLAIR hypes up her promo beforehand! Elizabeth said that for 7 years she had to walk behind Randy and was never allowed to opened her mouth, to which Mean Gene is appalled by this! Elizabeth said she took half of the properties and last night she took it all. Elizabeth then touches her stomach and I was thinking: “is she alluding to the fact that she’s pregnant?” I looked at my computer to write down the note of her touching her stomach and I look up and Flair is all giddy and the fans are making a reaction. I had to rewind it but no, I think Elizabeth just wanted to touch her stomach.

Elizabeth said she knows the title is the most important thing to Savage and her delivery… was SO FLAT. I legitimately had no clue half of the time what she was on about. Flair took both women away and left.

 

Konnan vs Dangerous Devon Storm

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Dave Meltzer gave this a three star rating at the time. I’m still trying to figure out the logic behind that. It was Konnan and Dangerous Devon Storm going through the motions and doing spots…. and nobody cared.

Konnan’s gear is getting worse every time I see him. This week it was pink with a blue cape which said KONNAN and a weird looking mask. Devon dropkicked Konnan to the floor and Devon did a chair assisted dive to the outside as he ran wild on Konnan.

The problem with Devon is that he did all of his moves, and didn’t react with the crowd. He didn’t show emotion, he just did all of his spots as fast as he could without prompting any emotion from the crowd. I talked about Randy Savage who did the elbow drops earlier. Savage scoop slammed Hugh Morrus and looked at the crowd as if to ask “do you want me to go up top” to which the crowd cheered and he delivered and hit the elbow drop as the place went nuts. Every time he went up the top rope, he’d look out to the crowd to communicate with them without saying anything and they cheered every time.

Devon did all of these moves like it was a routine. They had all of these choreographed spots put together and the fans just weren’t paying attention. Too many over-complicated spots. Devon tried running up the steel steps and doing a senton to a literally seated Konnan but Konnan catches him and slams him hard on the floor with a powerbomb…  he had barely any grip.

Konnan ran wild. They start doing lucha libre stuff in the ring and Konnan whacked Devon with a wheelbarrow suplex. Konnan did a weird submission as they cut too George Steinbrenner from the New York Yankees.

Devon gives Konnan’s foot a massage which barely looked like a submission. These looked like lazy submission attempts from both guys which begs the question of why would you bother? They went from doing super emotionless spots to suddenly going to the ground and doing submissions… which neither man was able to do well in this match.

Devon did a springboard side kick. Devon went for a sunset flip powerbomb to the outside and Konnan reversed it into a hurricanrana, and nobody in the crowd gave a shit. Think about that. Such an elaborate sequence and nobody in the Nitro crowd cared because super crazy spots are only as impactful as your ability to sell them as impactful to the crowd. These guys didn’t do that.

Devon tried a frankenseinter but Konnan reversed it into a powerbomb for the win. I thought this match was pretty bad.

 

Hulk Hogan vs Arn Anderson w/Woman

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Of course, the WWE Network starts buffering right before the main-event. No problems at all during everything else on this episode but of course, it’s Hogan vs Anderson, and the service just freezes up on me over and over. I clicked away and got it back and finally watched the match.

Hogan fired away at Arn and did punches in the corner. This match really was Hogan beating the crap out of Arn and Arn selling like crazy for the Hulkster which actually made sense when you looked at the finish.

Hogan goes to work with clotheslines. Hogan chases Arn but Arn backs away. Hogan reverses a piledriver into a catapult into the ring post. Hogan strangled Arn with tape and choked away at Arn as Woman screams.

Hogan did a back suplex. Hogan just does moves forever on Arn. It was like the heel getting the heat on the babyface instead Hogan just dominates Arn for the first 5 minutes of the match! This was like the Hogan vs Giant match from the night before but in reverse!

Bischoff said: “Arn, this man can fight” at the moment where Hogan is kicking Arn’s arse and is shown beating him up on screen. Hogan tried to push Arn off the top rope but Arn somehow landed on the top rope and got crotched

Arn works over Hogan as Ric and Elizabeth went down to the ring. I started to ask where Savage was, who wanted revenge on Ric Flair.

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I never appreciated until after the show was over how clever this match was. Arn barely did anything to Hogan during the match and Flair didn’t come down until Arn finally hit a move and got the “heat” if you will. Arn’s whole “heat” lasted a minute maybe? Arn hits a spinebuster and Hogan kicks out as Arn flies in the air as Hogan “pushes” Arn off of him then Hogan Hulks up. Hogan hits the big boot and then goes for the Figure Four as Flair takes off his jacket and goes crazy. Flair goes into the ring and Hogan rolls Flair up with a small package as Arn is still in the hold! What was this all about? To show that Hogan could pin Flair? Maybe that was what they were building too because Hogan wanted a title shot a few weeks ago if I recall correctly.

Ref pulls Flair off. Woman gets the white powder and throws it in Hogan’s face. Arn gets Elizabeth’s heel and smacks Hogan in the face as ARN ANDERSON pins and defeated Hulk Hogan. Arn Anderson got a minute’s worth of heat on Hogan and then only won the match off of shenanigans. What they demonstrated was that Hogan was the better man by a country mile, they demonstrated that Arn could only win with help and they demonstrated that Hogan is a legitimate contender to Ric Flair despite losing here. You kept Hulk Hogan strong and you gave Arn Anderson a special pinfall victory over Hogan. Think about all of the wrestlers that have beaten both Hogan AND Ric Flair in singles matches for example. Stone Cold Steve Austin never did that, Shawn Michaels never did that, The Rock never did that and so many others never did that. Arn Anderson can say that he pinned Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair in the space of just under 6 months in separate singles matches. That was a big deal.

Hogan then got up and kicked Ric and Arn’s arse afterwards! So it wasn’t all glorious for Arn and Flair as Savage comes down and they all brawled. Savage hit Flair with a chair as the heels fled as the fans cheered for the babyfaces.

Flair grabs the headset from the announce table. Flair makes fun of Hogan getting his ass kicked again. Arn grabs the mic. He said he just beat Hulk Hogan but Hogan and Savage chase the heels off as Flair yells. Hogan yells for Flair to get his ass back there. I guess somewhere in here, Arn challenged Hogan to the rematch and Hogan accepted. Savage says they’re gonna take the heels to school. I’m pretty sure Hogan told Savage at one point to just take all of his stuff back that he lost to Elizabeth! I really found it hard to figure out what Hogan was trying to say!

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This was not a particular good episode of Nitro. There wasn’t really a good match across the board although there were moments I liked and I did like the psychology of the Arn Anderson vs Hulk Hogan match and that’s gonna build towards a rematch to see who the better man really is after Arn scored a tainted victory.

 

WCW Nitro Reading Order

RETRO EXPRESS: WCW SUPERBRAWL VI (FEBRUARY 11TH 1996)

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.

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The first WCW pay-per-view of what will prove to be an eventful year for WCW. Two steel cage matches were promoted as double main-events in the middle of the conflict between The Mega Powers, The Four Horsemen and The Dungeon of Doom. Ric Flair and Randy Savage have traded the WCW World title back and forth, but Superbrawl would hopefully prove once and for all who the better man is. Meanwhile, Hulk Hogan’s battles with The Giant would continue as the two “immortals” of WCW face off inside of a steel cage. How will the forces of good and the forces of evil fair at WCW Superbrawl VI?

 

Date: February 11th, 1995

Brand: WCW

City: St Petersburg, Florida

Attendance: 7,200

Commentators: Tony Schiavonie, Dusty Rhodes and Bobby Heenan

 

This show felt really underwhelming for the most part. I’m not sure where this show ranks when compared to the other WCW PPVs I’ve watched so far. I think the difference between those PPVs and this one was that the stakes didn’t seem as high on this show. It didn’t feel like the intensity and build to the top programs were so grand that I felt a mass surge to watch it. Two steel cage matches back-to-back didn’t seem very special, especially knowing TNA would do entire PPVs with steel cage matches about a decade later!

I guess the double steel cage match thing was a bigger deal in WCW 1996. With that being said though, I don’t know if the action was really pay-per-view level of action. The Savage vs Flair match was very good and I thought the TV title match was good but everything else was, below part at best. There was some matches that were boring beyond boring and then there were matches were I had no idea what was going on and I just could not believe that it made PPV. There was one really infamous angle on this show which was pretty much the talking point and the biggest takeaway from this show. It’s funny because one of the guys involved would end up wrestling their final WCW match on this show!

I do love that the show starts and they cut to the announce team of Tony Schiavonie, Dusty Rhodes and Bobby Heenan. Tony would be talking while positioned in the middle of this motley crew and Bobby and Dusty are on either side of him just started staring at each other around Tony! Dusty had this big smile on his face as he does it as he and Bobby have a stare down!

 

“Public Enemy” Johnny Grunge and Rocco Rock vs “The Nasty Boys” Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags in a street fight

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We start of with a match which, without the Brian Pillman vs Taskmaster stuff, would have really stood out from the crowd. This was not a wrestling match at heart as it was a fight… a brawl. This may sound like I’m stating the obvious… but that’s EXACTLY THE POINT of a street fight. They start brawling right away and these guys batter away at each other with every weapon they could find. I usually am not enthralled with hardcore wrestling like this but I liked this match to an extent.

Public Enemy clear the ring as they brawled on the outside. Rocco Rock grabs a GINORMOUS TABLE. It’s insane how big this table looked on TV with a black cloth on top of it! Maybe it was forced perspective making me believe it was big but I just saw Rocco with this giant looking table over his head! Rocco runs into Sags with it but Sags no-sells this table charge and smashes Rocco with the table! There was barely any selling to these weapon shots but I didn’t seem to mind.

Grunge and Sags have brilliantly screwed up double clothesline spot. They do the clothesline and Grunge goes down but Sags kinda wobbles, loses his footing and then falls down! It was a way funnier version of the Barbarian/Animal double clothesline botch from a few weeks ago!

Sags brings in a trash can and smacks Grunge in the head with the lid. Sags went for a piledriver on the trash can and I figured at first that the WWE Network didn’t wanna show this because there was a random cut to Sags suddenly going for the cover and the trash can was all bent. Of all the stuff you can see on the Network, including Madusa’s German Suplex on Sherri from a weeks ago, this is the one they wanted to censor? They did end up showing this on the replay so I have no idea what happened here with the Network.

Grunge doesn’t even sell this and batters Sags with the trash can lid to the back. Knobs suplexes Rocco through the table. Knobs smack Rocco with a chair. Knobs goes for the cover but the referee was out of position, like really out of position. Grunge looked like he proper grazed Knobs with the trash can lid to the face. Grunge did a bulldog on Sags to the trash can.

They brawled, and brawled, and brawled, and brawled. Sags found another table and backdropped it onto Rocco. I think Rocco did a Diamond Cutter of some kind but I could barely see it with the lighting! Grunge looked like he proper smashed Knobs on the head with a trash can. Rocco went for a Swanton Bomb like he did on their debut but he missed the table. Rocco landed ass first on the floor. It looked like it hurt as he thudded onto the floor. Knobs picked up the win with a pin and then they continued to brawl after the match.

On paper, all of that would sound like a horrible match but in execution, it actually turned out alright. It wasn’t like these guys really hurt each other, with the exception of a few spots. There were light hits with shots to the head (the lightest you could think of anyway) and this was a match where the two tag teams just wanted to fight. They weren’t interested in winning and it was a street fight, so everything they did was to inflict punishment and it fit the styles of the tag team and the story of the match.

It wasn’t particularly a technical brilliant match but there was a charm where it was a street fight by it’s very nature. They hit each other and it wasn’t just insane hardcore stuff where they were killing each other, other than the Rocco Rock spot at the end. It wasn’t like they were all going for Bradshaw like chair shots to the head. As safe of a hardcore tag match as they could have possibly done.

Match Rating: **

 

Mean Gene Okerlund interviewed Konnan the WCW US and Mexican champion. Konnan said that he thanked all of the Latins and that he wasn’t gonna let them down. Konnan said he’d be smarter and he would leave as US champion as he was supposed to face the One Man Gang. As much as I have a go after the WCW title picture in the last few months, this US title has went from being held by Sting, to Kensuke Sasaki, to One Man Gang and now to Konnan in the space of a couple of months!

Mean Gene pointed out that One Man Gang has a lot of mass but Konnan said he’ll deal with it as he’s dealt with it before.

 

Johnny B Badd © w/Diamond Doll vs DDP for the WCW TV title, Johnny B Badd’s Diamond Doll and DDP’s $6.6million (which I guess DDP stole from Diamond Doll)

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I’ve actually been a fan of this program since I saw the first match at Halloween Havoc I believe. This has told a very basic story of the Diamond Doll initially being with DDP and eventually going with Johnny B Badd who respected her while her former man DDP simply wanted her as property. Johnny B Badd was fighting for her honour and so far, had DDP’s number in the big matches. There hasn’t been one time so far, to my knowledge, where Badd came off as a bad babyface. Here, this is the blow-off match and I’ll explain why at the end of this review…

The referee holds a cheque of the $6.6million which is on the line and it’s just a big blue cheque which says in big letters, CA$H! It didn’t include like a name of the bank, sort code or anything. It was a big blue piece of cardboard with CA$H on it and the referee hoisted it up like he was holding up the WCW World title!

DDP came out with roses in his mouth and in his hands, and then DDP eventually grabs Diamond Doll’s arms. Badd makes the save to kick things off. DDP, in this segment, represented the perfect heel. I have to hear all the time on Twitter about Baron Corbin being such a great heel. Apparently, we all hate Baron Corbin and that’s what makes him such a good heel that he’s hated. I guess Baron Corbin fans have got it into their heads that it’s all about getting the negative reaction and if you get the negative reaction, you’re automatically a good heel.

DDP was such a good heel in this program because I don’t hate DDP in this program because he’s a bad wrestler or he’s boring or whatever. He’s not a bad wrestler and he’s not boring. I don’t care about any of that. I care about how this is a sleazebag millionaire, in storyline, that wants it all and wants to own Diamond Doll as property. Baron Corbin, from a storyline, gives me no motivation to wanna care about his character. What is there to care about? He’s a tall guy who is below par in the ring and is booed because of the way he is pushed and promoted. That’s not the same as getting heat because of something your character does.

You need to be a good enough heel where I wanna see a babyface come in and kick your ass. Here, as a fan, I wanted Johnny B Badd to come in and kick DDP’s ass because I like the Diamond Doll and DDP is being a dick to her. I don’t wanna see a babyface come in a kick Corbin’s ass because simply put, I don’t wanna see Baron Corbin because he’s not any good. The RAW ratings in 2018 hit record-low numbers because people didn’t wanna see Corbin. That’s not productive television giving him such a prime position on RAW. DDP, as a mid-card talent as of early 1996, does right what RAW main-eventers in 2019 cannot or are unable to do.

Badd snapmared DDP over the top rope and then did a double axe handle. The commentators argued about the rules as I guess a rule in WCW wrestling was that throwing someone over the top rope was illegal. Badd did a nice float-over arm drag as the two men battled for the backslide pin. The men traded leapfrogs but then DDP dropped Badd on the top rope with a stun gun.

There was another random cut in this match so I guess there was issues with redeveloping this PPV on the WWE Network as I wound up getting it all over the show. DDP did a gutbuster. DDP did an Irish Whip but Badd just tumbled into the ground. Either this was really good selling by Badd or he got injured somehow.

Badd then went for a sunset flip but DDP simply punches him to knock him down. DDP taunts but then Badd almost gets him again with the sunset flip but DDP punches him. Then DDP sits on Badd out of cockiness but then Badd finally flips over DDP for the near fall! I dunno why but I loved that. DDP’s cockiness got the better of him and Badd, the babyface, never gave up with getting this roll-up! It was awesome!

DDP hits a beautiful DDT and deservingly runs around the ring to celebrate! DDP went to Diamond Doll for a rating, that Diamond Doll use to give him back when she was managing him, and Diamond Doll decided to give him a 0 this time. DDP got mad, fell over Badd liked he slipped on a banana peel, got rolled up but almost got pinned!

Badd fires back but DDP forces Badd down on the mat with a sleeper hold. DDP gets his foot on the rope, Diamond Doll goes “ref, look”, the referee turns around to see her and then DDP gets his feet off the rope like a smart heel! You know what this was. This was every pantomime where the bad guys sneaks up on the good guy, and the audience yells “he’s behind you!” That was Diamond Doll’s role in this little spot!

Badd almost catches DDP with a roll up for a near fall. Badd makes a comeback with punches, playing into his background as a boxer. Badd does a big double axe handle as Diamond Doll throws up the 10 board for Johnny B Badd! Badd does a big sunset flip off the top rope for a near fall. Badd does a big sit-out powerbomb. Badd went for so many roll-ups in this match! DDP goes for the feet on the ropes cover but Badd kicks out anyway.

DDP does the tombstone slam for a near fall. DDP goes a sleeper hold in the middle of a ring as Badd is passing out. Badd does a stunner to get out of it. Badd does his own sleeper hold getting on the back of DDP. Badd then reverses a tombstone slam from DDP into his own tombstone piledriver for the win.

I really liked this match as Badd gives Diamond Doll the money as we got a happy ending. I’ve really liked this storyline with DDP, Badd and the Diamond Doll. A simple story and the babyfaces looked good in the process. I think this was the strongest PPV match between the two in the series as things felt a little crisper between the two in the ring and thank god for that as this was the blow-off match! That the last match was the best match made for a good ending to the storyline.

This may be spoilers for future Nitros but about a month later, Johnny B Badd leaves the company. Badd apparently protested against the angle with Diamond Doll, who was actually DDP’s real-life wife Kimberley Page. Therefore, he left the company and joined the WWF as Marc Mero. Where they go with DDP and Kimberley after this angle remains to be seen but I imagine they reunite somehow on TV in the future.

Match Rating: ***1/2

 

Harlem Heat were interviewed by Mean Gene. Stevie says that Lex Luger committed grand larceny when Lex Luger and Sting won the WCW tag team titles and tonight, they were gonna get him. They said Sting was on the hit list too. Booker said: “they were pulling on us when were supposed to be pulling on them!” A bad sentence out of context! He told the champs to watch their back and watch their back hard as they refused to walk out without the titles. Harlem Heat said they were taking the tag team title picture into the future. They also mention that the Road Warriors would be facing the winners on the same night.

 

Sting © and Lex Luger © vs “Harlem Heat” Booker T and Stevie Ray for the WCW Tag Team Championship

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There’s not a lot I can say about this match other than what I’m about to say. Out of Sting and Lex Luger, Sting should have always been the guy taking the heat as Lex Luger is waiting for the hot tag. Lex Luger, in case you weren’t aware, wasn’t very good. The idea is that if he’s not good, you don’t want to expose him and make the audience aware of this. You protect him by having him only be active when it’s the most important time for him to be active and show him to be a star. Him having to sell for Harlem Heat for seemingly the entirety of this match was unbearable.

Booker and Sting wrestled for a while. Luger gets tagged in but Ray and Booker knock him to the outside with a double back elbow. Luger initially doesn’t wanna get back into the ring until Sting talks him into it. Luger then immediately tags Sting into the ring. See, even Lex Luger didn’t wanna get tagged in and get beat on!

Sting hits a big bulldog on Booker and tags Luger back in. Booker then misses an elbow drop, but somehow transitions this into the spinaroonie and then hits a side kick! I thought that was pretty impressive actually to do all of that in one motion! Harlem Heat get the heat… which is a pun I swear was not intentional when I wrote the first draft of this review! Luger clotheslined Booker on the chest in a poorly mistimed clothsline on the part of both men.

Stevie damn near killed Luger with a Powerbomb where he got him up for position and then just let go and dropped him. Way to go Stevie. Stevie went for a nerve hold on Lex Luger and at this point in the show, I wanted a nap. Sting finally got the hot tag but the referee didn’t see it. Sting said “screw it” and started beating up Booker and Stevie anyway! As the referee is dealing with Sting I believe, The Road Warriors come out and hit Stevie in the ring with a lead pipe and Luger covers Stevie for the win. This was a really bad match which ever way you slice it. I pray that I never get to see this match again as these two tag teams can’t seem to do it right, even with Sting and Booker T on hand to idiot-proof the match. I don’t know who was booking these matches… I guess I actually got an answer later on in the show when we get to the Brian Pillman match!

The funny thing about this… this wasn’t even Sting and Lex Luger’s worst match on this show.

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Match Rating: ½*

 

Mean Gene interviewed Sting and Luger. Luger cuts a promo and said that he had held up his end of the bargain. Sting said he didn’t know what happen but he celebrated that they won the match.

 

Konnan © vs One Man Gang for the WCW United States Championship

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Apparently, I watched a totally different match to seemingly everyone else on the internet. I’ve seen a few reviews of the match calling it a dud. Dave Meltzer from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter awarded this -2 stars at the time. I saw a match where Konnan and One Man Gang tried their best for a match that nobody cared about. I didn’t think it was any good, but this was nowhere near as bad as the Sting/Luger vs Road Warriors match which we’ll get to.

I love how when they showed the name plate for One Man Gang, the name plate fades away starting from the middle towards the outside and One Man Gang throws a kick in the middle to show the affect that he kicked it in two! That I liked!

It’s weird seeing Konnan without a gangster-like gimmick! Here, he was kinda dressed like Kalisto with his mask on for his entrance. One Man Gang clobbered at Konnan and drove his foot into Konnan’s face. Konnan tried to chop the big man down with dropkicks to the knee and then does a big wheel kick.

Konnan does a crossbody that sends them both to the floor. One Man Gang does a leg drop. Dusty gave the following advice: “fist him in the head.” One Man Gang gouged at Konnan’s face. The first few minutes of this match was exciting but then it just dragged and dragged as One Man Gang got the heat. Konnan fired back and somehow did a hurricanrana to One Man Gang. One Man Gang missed a big splash. Konnan does a diving cannonball onto One Man Gang for the win.

I’m still trying to figure out what people saw in this match that made it so hated. It felt a little bit of a styles crash but it didn’t seem like they were totally on different pages or anything. One Man Gang was slow but it just seemed like a slow heatless match but there was nothing really they messed up that made me think: “oh my god why am I watching this?” Maybe if you were so offended by the crossbody spot where they both tumbled to the outside which was kinda sloppy but I’ve seen way worse executions of that spot. I dunno. Maybe I’m being generous.

Match Rating: *1/2

 

Mean Gene interviewed the Road Warriors. Animal yelled that everyone saw what Luger did on Nitro, where Luger cheated to win. Luger brought this upon himself and Sting is making a big mistake of believing Luger. They faked an apology to Harlem Heat and then they walked off. Nothing really noteworthy about this promo. They were very loud and very rude to the heels.

 

“The Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan w/Jimmy Hart vs Brian Pillman in an I Respect You match

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“Here we go” which is what I said to myself as they played Taskmaster’s theme song. I heard about what happened before I sat down to watch this PPV and it’s been mentioned to me before, but watching this in execution was kinda surreal. I’m not entirely sure where the reality began and ended with this whole angle and what followed. All I know is that we had another alternate reality moment where all of a sudden, we leapt into the Quantum Realm and landed into WCW 2000. The year of the ultimate insider references and “shoots” in wrestling and that type of writing was evident in this particular angle at the very least.

The rules of this match was basically that it was an I Quit match but they had to make their opponent say “I respect you” for it to end.

Taskmaster does his entrance. Brian Pillman runs down to the ring as Taskmaster and Pillman brawl to start the match. Pillman then whips Taskmaster on the back and they sounded like they hurt. I guess this was Pillman’s revenge for a few weeks ago, when Taskmaster whipped him over and over while he grabbed onto the apron. If this was a “shoot” or whatever this was, this was Pillman’s way of getting revenge. They brawl to the floor as Pillman whips Tasmaster. Taskmaster tries to shoot and take him down with shoot amateur wrestling. It felt like a real fight where they were both sloppy in trying to take each other down.

Taskmaster punches him in the face. Then we get the big moment. Pillman flies into the referee, who was holding the microphone. Pillman grabs the mic and Pillman said: “I respect you booker man” and he walked out. Pillman races out of the ring, as Taskmaster is left dumbfounded by what has happened as Pillman walked out. After 30 seconds or show of showing the ring, they cut to Pillman who is flipping off the crowd as he exits!

On many levels, this was one of the most unbelievable angles I’ve ever seen. It didn’t strike me as a brilliant angle or anything, it was just unbelievable where I could not believe it happened. If you look at the rest of the show, with the exceptions of Eric Bischoff’s constant shots at the WWF, this was a storyline driven show. There were insider references but there was never “worked shoots” at least in the early days of WCW. All of a sudden, Pillman walks out of the match and ousts Sullivan as the booker.

The story about this angle was that it was apparently all a work that only two people knew about in Eric Bischoff and Brian Pillman. If you look at the execution of the angle, Jimmy Hart had no clue what was going on. The referee had no idea what was going on as I don’t even recall him calling for the bell after Pillman said the line. Arn Anderson certainly didn’t know as we’ll get to in the next match. To be perfectly honest, I don’t even think Kevin Sullivan knew either. Pillman says the line and Sullivan stood there for an uncomfortably long time not knowing what to do which is funny because, as the “booker man” of WCW, you figured in storyline that he’d know what was going on! So I bet he had no clue either.

The idea was that Brian Pillman had been slowly transforming into the Loose Cannon as was evident by his actions since joining the Four Horsemen. Pillman I guess was trying to work everybody, including Eric Bischoff, with this gimmick. The brawl from the Nitro go-home show seemed like Pillman was just doing what he wanted. Apparently, this whole angle was just an angle to “fool the boys” into thinking that Pillman had really gone against the script. Reportedly, Pillman and Bischoff had an argument where Pillman was “fired” by Bischoff which was apparently a work to get him to ECW. The plan apparently was for Pillman to go to ECW, which he did, and then come back as a bigger star in WCW down the road.

That didn’t happen as Pillman decided to sign with the WWF instead! So effectively, this was Brian Pillman’s last ever appearance on WCW television/pay-per-view. From a storyline perspective though, what was the idea?

You’re going to have Pillman, if Bischoff was in on it, go out there and say “I respect you booker man” but what was this going to accomplish? Who in the audience, except the boys, are going to even understand what it is that Pillman was on about? This is not like 2019 where all the news and gossip is available online for these fans. A handful of people in that building were probably aware of what a “booker man” was. Everyone else in the crowd just probably thought Pillman was referencing Booker T!

This is my biggest problem with insider references where, to a hardcore audience it’s fine but, it comes off as complete random and pointless to the main-stream audience. After all of this, there was no-pay off in the end for WCW! In hindsight, this was a really stupid angle.

 

Taskmaster vs Arn Anderson

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Now let’s pick from when that last segment left of. Kevin Sullivan is standing in the ring wondering what to do. Then Arn Anderson comes out. I believe the moment Pillman said what he said, somebody, possibly Bischoff, said to Arn backstage: “right buddy, we need you out there to wrestle Kevin instead.” Arn responded: “what do you mean? I’m working Sullivan?” They told him that the fans wanted a I Respect You match so they’re gonna throw him out there and Ric Flair will break it up after 3 minutes. They told him just to go out in what he was wearing. I say this because if you look at what he was wearing, Arn Anderson did not know this was coming and was not prepared to come out.

Arn Anderson was dressed in a big shirt and PURPLE SHORTS as he comes down to the ring. I’m pretty certain on my worst day, I never dressed this badly in my life! This was a man not prepared to wrestle! Taskmaster then starts whipping Arn and then Arn takes off the shirt and prepares to fight.

They both grab the strap in the ring. Arn gets control and whips away at Taskmaster. Arn tries choking him with the strap. Taskmaster straddles Arn with the strap, which I’m sure Arn was thrilled about. Taskmaster whips away at Arn and yells at him to “say it” as he beat on him. Arn low blows Taskmaster to get his revenge for the straddling him!

Arn chokes Taskmaster on the ropes and hangs him with the strap but Taskmaster says “hell no” refusing to submit. I was so confused as all of this went down. Taskmaster whips at Arn again to which my notes read: “What was this match?”

Finally Ric Flair jogs down to the ring. He puts an end to like three minutes of Arn and Taskmaster whipping each other with this strap. Ric tries to break it up and play peacemaker telling them to snap out of it. At the same time as he’s trying to play peacemaker, Flair goes off on a fan and says: “hey if I wanted to talk to you, I’ll take your wife and make a woman out of her!” I couldn’t believe my eyes and my ears. Clearly Ric Flair was not ready for this angle either! Ric goes crazy, vowing to destroy Hulkamania and take the belt and Liz. Arn and Taskmaster eventually shake hands as they make peace. Ric goes off on a fan some more and that’s how the match ended.

Nobody said “I respect you” as they shake hands and move on. There was no finish. This was the most bizarre 5 minutes or so I’ve seen on the WCW series so far. Like, even Hulk Hogan cutting a promo with a sword was not this bizarre!

I had to go for a walk somewhere after this angle went down so I was away from the PPV for an hour and came back. It then just felt like a completely different show!

 

Mean Gene did an interview with Jimmy Hart and The Giant. Jimmy said that Hogan has one eye and time is ticking on him before Hulkamania dies forever. The Giant said that today will be a day of reckoning. He had looked into the souls of men where maggots crawl. All that is bad and evil is inside him is like a volcano that is gonna erupt all over the arena and all over Hulk Hogan. The last thing that is going to go through Hogan’s mind is his fist. He said Hulkamania is done forever as The Giant roared and ran off.

What a promo! Even The Rock or Ric Flair could not make this promo work but The Giant in 1996 was so awesome with promo delivery. There are some things only The Big Show/The Giant could say and pull off and this was one of them. He cuts a promo about looking into the souls of men where maggots crawl and a volcano erupting all over Hulk Hogan and he is dead serious and menacing with his delivery! This made me excited about seeing The Giant later! The match however, did not!

 

Sting © and Lex Luger © vs “The Road Warriors”Animal and Hawk for the WCW Tag Team Championship

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This is going to sound like the biggest contradiction in this review, but I mentioned that it would have been better for Sting to get beat on for the heat and Lex Luger to get the hot tag to run wild, rather than Luger being the one being beat on. This match was determined to prove me wrong. This match was so terrible, that it is right up there with the infamously bad WCW tag title match at Fall Brawl.

We start with Lex Luger backing away from the Road Warriors as Sting tries to convince him to get down to the ring. They teased him walking out and then coming back into the match and… for like 3 minutes! This went on for 3 minutes before the match even started where Luger wouldn’t get into the ring and Sting had to tell him to get his ass on the apron. Now granted, it is possible that the Brian Pillman angle affected this match too so I will give them the benefit of the doubt. However, you couldn’t think of anything else to do with 3 minutes to kill?

The bell finally rings. Early on, Sting and Hawk screw up a neckbreaker. Hawk goes for a chin lock. Time passes as I grow older and older. Eventually Sting finally tags in Luger but Luger is hesitant but eventually gets into the ring. Luger and Animal eventually fight. Animal does a funny big boot where he doesn’t stand up and raise a boot – he raises it and falls down himself! It was like the Rocket Kick that Karl Anderson does!

Animal does a powerslam. Tony then decides now is the time to tell us that we are watching WCW at its best… incorrect! Luger and Hawk continue to fight. Sting does a back elbow but Sting inadvertently falls into Animal’s crotch for an accidental low blow. How this was not a DQ, even if unintentional, blows my mind. Especially I’m confused why this was not a disqualification, after they talked about throwing somebody over the top rope being a disqualification earlier! That is illegal but headbutting somebody in the groin is OK?

Luger made the tag but before he gets into the ring, Hawk goes over to the corner and beats his ass. Sting and Animal both get tagged back in and LOCK UP… 10 minutes into the match. After so much of the match of the Road Warriors getting the heat on Sting, they tag Luger and then Luger tagged Sting back into the match… and it’s BACK to the lock up!

Sting locks on the Scorpion Deathlock but Hawk flies in and doesn’t do a clothesline to break it up, no, he just clobbers Sting in the head to break it up.

As I was thinking that this was a boring match, Animal decides works on Sting with a chin lock! Luger stomps away at Animal.

The finish made me really hate this show for a while, especially after the Pillman stuff. Hawk attack Luger. Sting hits a suplex but Animal no-sells and then Sting no sells Animal’s suplex. After 10+ minutes of selling, they all decide not to sell as it breaks into a fatal four way brawl. Then the match is thrown out and the match ends in a count out. After this long boring match, it ended in a count out.

Remember on Nitro where they did this match and Luger and Sting actually won the match? They decided after that finish to do a rematch at the PPV, citing that the Road Warriors got screwed. They do this match and it ends without a finish as a brawl breaks out. Keep in mind, we watched about 10 minutes of long chin locks and the Road Warriors getting the heat on Sting. All of a sudden, they all get up and start brawling as if to tell you that what you just watched was a complete waste of time.

This is right up there with the WCW tag team title match at Fall Brawl. Why would you do a rematch that just ends in a count out? Surely the story should have been told in reverse. They have their match on Nitro and a brawl breaks out for whatever reason. Then, the Road Warriors are given a rematch at the PPV because they were never beaten and there was no finish. Road Warriors screw Harlem Heat because they hate Sting and Luger and want to prove they can beat them. Then at the PPV, Luger screws the Road Warriors and Luger and Sting get the victory. What was the point of the Nitro match if you’re just going to do a DQ at the PPV?

Furthermore, this did absolute noting for these tag team titles. You know, when I saw Sting and Luger winning the belts I was totally on board. I’ve watched for 23 episodes and 5 PPVs now where the titles are treat with such disregard. Taking the titles off Harlem Heat and Stevie Ray was a start. It played into the Sting and Luger storyline so I was on board. However, these tag team matches since that title change have been so horrible that I’m just begging for some team to beat them for the tag titles. Now more than ever do WCW need the Steiner Brothers back in the fold!

Match Rating: -*3/4

 

Ric Flair and Woman do an interview with Mean Gene. Woman says what Woman wants, Woman gets. Flair says Hogan’s master plot failed again. Flair said the plan to turn Anderson and Taskmaster against each other failed. Flair promises blood, sweat, tears and a title change. Mean Gene Okerlund, professional wrestling announcer, proceeds to asks Ric Flair if he wins, will there be a little ride on space mountain? My jaw dropped to the floor! Could you imagine the hysteria in 2019 if like some geek announcer asked a wrestler: “hey, are you planning to fuck someone after the match?” That’s basically what Mean Gene asked Ric Flair! Don’t look at me like that!

And of course Ric Flair, not known for subtlety, responds: “I’ll have Woman on my left and Elizabeth on my right, but who knows who I’ll end up with tonight!” I was blown away by the content from this exchange! Evil horror music plays as the cage comes down for the WCW World title match.

Mean Gene then interviews Miss Elizabeth. She looked NERVOUS as hell during this interview. Thankfully Randy Savage interrupts to make the save and cuts a promo. He talks about the Mega Powers reuniting. Savage said that it’s going to be mental insanity. He says the Mega Powers are cool and tight. Savage says he’s gonna beat up the Nature Boy right now!

They cut back to the announcers and I love Bobby Heenan’s gimmick of not facing the hard cam when it comes to the announcers and then Bobby trying to swivel his way around to the hard cam! Ever the showman!

 

“Macho Man” Randy Savage © w/Miss Elizabeth vs Ric Flair w/Woman in a steel cage match for the WCW World Heayvweight Championship

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EDITOR’S NOTE: OK, I apologise for this picture. Very much the best picture I could find on Google!

I forgot to mention this earlier but Woman looked pretty great here too in matching purple gear to Flair. Both ladies going down to the ring looked gorgeous on this show. There was also some gorgeous wrestling here with this match. It was an old-school, classic fight inside of a steel cage for the world title. These men did everything they could and it was easily the best match on the show.

Ric grabs the mic before the match and said before he hurt Savage real bad, he’s gonna give Elizabeth one last chance to kiss a real man. Elizabeth can’t stop smiling out here while Ric is hitting on her by the way! Obviously, she was nervous and Elizabeth really just was not able to keep a straight face. However, when you read what happened in the finish of the match it made perfect sense for her to smile at Flair. She was supposed to be nervous as if she was hiding something, so she was perfect! Bobby said Elizabeth’s got so much lipstick on she looks like Ronald McDonald.

Savage rakes away and gouges at Flair to kick off the match. Savage goes for the cover and the ref is nowhere to be seen as he is closing the door. Flair drops the knee. Flair then punches out the referee and stomps at him as Savage fires back! Savage goes for a backslide but again, the referee is nowhere to be seen as he was knocked down by Flair. Savage does a backdrop.

Savage hits one of his clotheslines I think and goes for the cover. Ric kicks out as the referee, who mind you was punched in the face by Flair earlier in the match, does a normal count for Flair. As the referee still continues to be a professional after being attack, Bobby jokes: “come on ref. that was a fast count!” Bobby Heenan had a great night on this show! Everything about this little segment was perfect!

Flair goes to work with some chops and smashing Savage into the cage walls. Savage goes for the Figure Four Leg Lock but Flair continues to fight as Woman screams to urge Flair on. Flair grabs the ropes but the referee kicks the hand away. I also loved this too because grabbing the ropes did absolutely nothing in a steel cage match so the referee is abiding by the rules but also simultaneously sticking it to Flair for the punch from earlier!

This was a battle and a true fight inside of the steel cage. This had a big match feel and it felt like a world title match, like this was really important.

Savage goes to the TOP OF THE CAGE for the double axe handle but Flair punches him in mid-air. Surely a double axe handle from the TOP OF THE CAGE would be a very risky move if you were coming down on your legs. But somehow, Savage got up and was completely fine! Savage was SO lucky as an awkward landing could have easily ended his career. If he landed the wrong way, he could have broken his leg with that much pressure coming onto the mat but that didn’t stop the Macho Man!

Flair tried many many pinfalls after a suplex in a desperate attempt to win the match. Flair throws Savage into the cage wall and he landed motionless right on top of the top rope. It was rather funny how he landed!

I love how Flair puts on the Figure Four and now he goes to grab the rope leverage in a STEEL CAGE MATCH of all things! He tried to escape the Figure Four from Savage earlier by going for the ropes but was thwarted. Here, he locks on the hold and he does it again to his advantage!

Flair tries it again but Savage goes for a small package to counter this. Savage eventually gets back into the match, slamming Flair’s head into the cage wall and then grating his face into the cage wall. Tony even points out that Elizabeth is all quiet at ringside and Woman screaming her head off!

Savage keeps going with the steel cage slams as Woman screams as if King Kong grabbed a hold off her and climbed up to the top of the Empire State Building! Woman did some screaming during this match!

Flair goes to escape but Savage ends up pulling Flair’s trunks down to throw him off and then Flair gets crotched on the top rope. Flair’s bare arse gets crotched on the top rope which is even worse the more I think about it! Savage goes for the cover and Flair kicks out with a damn NEAR FALL off this spot! The time keeper even rang the bell thinking it was a 3 count!

Flair eventually gets back into it and tries again and Savage shows the crowd the full moon of Flair as all I could see was Ric Flair’s naked arse on my television! Savage throws Flair into the cage wall and like instinct, Flair gets his arse up the cage to try to escape! In one motion, he gets thrown into the cage and then immediately tries to escape!

Flair and Savage then goes blow for blow, scraping at each other as they cut to the wide shot. Flair sends Savage back into the cage off a back drop. Woman tries to throw powder into Savage’s face but Savage dodges.

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Then we get the finish. Miss Elizabeth goes for one of her shoes and she GIVES IT TO FLAIR! Savage goes for the roll up and then Flair clobbers Savage with the heel of the shoe as Flair wins his 13th WCW world title. Miss Elizabeth turned heel and sided with Ric Flair to help him win the title!

I thought this was really clever the way they pulled this heel turn off. First of all, yes they used Elizabeth’s heel as a weapon to win Ric the title! The insider reference is strong with that bit of irony. Poetically, a heel has to be what helps Ric beat Savage! I loved the nervous energy of Elizabeth, whether intentional or not, which played into the fact that she knew more than what she was letting on. Finally, I loved the match. Flair vs Savage has that Sting vs Flair feel where most times, you’re going to get great stuff from these two. I think the Starrcade match was the only bad match that we’ve seen from the pair so far!

Hulk Hogan chases off the heels after the match.

Match Rating: ***3/4

 

Then Hulk Hogan decided to scare the living daylights out of me during his interview with Mean Gene. The sound for this promo was so strange, probably by design, where Mean Gene’s mic is turned all the way down and Hogan’s mic was turned all the way. Mean Gene would just be very quiet and Hogan yells at the top of his lungs: “WELL YOU KNOW SOMETHING BROTHER?” It felt like a demon had possessed my TV! I’m prone to hyperbole but I could have sworn I saw the sound speaker proper vibrate! Hogan was so LOUD during this promo! Hogan was pissed at Miss Elizabeth as he hyped up his match with The Giant.

 

Hulk Hogan vs The Giant in a steel cage match

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Michael Buffer did the ring introductions for the two steel cage matches. For this match, he called The Giant, and I quote: “the dynamic dominator of the Dungeon of Doom!” He also billed that The Giant is the man who literally returned from the dead, which is factually correct in storyline! Michael then billed Hulk Hogan as THE KING OF HULKAMANIA! Michael Buffer… did not take this seriously at all with his ring introductions!

Hogan goes over the cage, rips off his shirt, with an eye patch over his injured eye and is ready to fight this nasty, smelly giant! Hogan fires away at The Giant and bites at him. He strangles The Giant with his tape as he doing everything he can to beat this evil Giant. The Giant works on Hogan, stomping on his hands and then powering him down with the test of strength.

The Giant raked at Hogan’s eyes as Bobby recommended Hogan keep an eye out for the Giant. Hogan tries to slam The Giant but The Giant was too big. The Giant chokes away at Hogan’s throat in the ring with his foot. The Giant tried to escape through the door but Hogan stopped him. The Giant does a big backbreaker.

The Giant does a bearhug and they cut to a close up shot of Giant grinning and vibrating as he locks on the bear hug! To say this looked suggestive is putting it mildly. Not quite at the level of the Yeti dry-humping Hulk Hogan but still did not look pretty which ever way you slice it. Then Hogan vibrates his body to try and fight out of the hold as Hogan finally punches his way out of it! All of that I just said during this paragraph happened!

The Giant does a sloppy chokeslam to put down Hogan and then Hogan fires up to his feet and no-sells this as Hogan hulks up! Hogan throws The Giant into the cage walls repeatedly. Hogan hyped up the crowd and then scoop slammed The Giant and did three leg drops in a row and sought to escape out of the cage. But then GIANT no sells the leg drops of doom and chases after Hogan! This put Ric Flair’s kick out from a few weeks ago to shame in terms of surviving Hulk Hogan’s leg drop.

They engage in a chop battle while scaling the cage. Hogan finally delivers one big punch and Giant falls to the mat, and Hogan climbs out of the cage to win. As a match, this was every Hulk Hogan vs Monster Heel type of match but it told a simple story. The Giant looked a little gassed and he worked very slowly but he didn’t look too out of his depth in there. He did the only match Hulk Hogan knows what to do and it was effective with this audience. This gets a thumbs up!

Taskmaster immediately hits Hogan in the back with a chair and then Hogan no-sells it and chases Taskmaster with the chair. He traps Taskmaster in the cage as Taskmaster and The Giant initially beg him off but then the heels figure out that it is two on one and get confident. Then that confidence immediately disappears…

The Faces of Fear, Shark, Hugh Morrus, One Man Gang and Zodiac all come out and Hogan slays them all with the chair and runs wild. As far as destroying a group’s credibility, Hulk Hogan did a number on the Dungeon of Doom. It wasn’t like Randy Savage, Sting or even the American Males were there with Hogan. Hulk Hogan, with a bad eye and after a gruelling match, destroyed all of the Dungeon of Doom members by himself!

Then coming down to the ring was… THE LOCH NESS MONSTER. This man was actually British wrestling legend Giant Haystacks, who actually did not stay in the wrestling for too long after this angle due to health problems and died a couple of years later after battling cancer. I did look it up and we will see the Loch Ness Monster in three Nitro matches and a PPV match but I will keep those matches to myself for now for the purposes for spoiling any of the storylines right now.

WCW, at this time, was clearly setting him up as Hogan’s next big opponent… literally. 

He tries to comes down to go after Hogan but the Dungeon hold back the Loch Ness Monster.

Match Rating: *

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That was the show. This review was 8000+ words long which feels like an all-time record. I’ll have to go through some of the other PPV matches to see which one was the longest but this was a hard one to find the time to write up. There was so much to talk about with the tag team matches, DDP vs Badd, Brian Pillman, the world title match and of course the main-event. There was some good stuff on this PPV but also accompanied by a fair amount of bad stuff and this felt like the first WCW PPV where it felt like a chore to watch it. With that being said though, the Randy Savage vs Ric Flair and the TV title match was worth watching this PPV for and I’d highly recommend those two matches if you’re looking to watch any matches from this PPV!

Back to Nitro reviews now where we have a new WCW World Champion once again. This is a spoiler but there’s a pretty infamous main-event set for the next PPV if a recall correctly so seeing the build for that will be something! We will see you with the Retro Express review of WCW Nitro Episode #24!

 

WCW Nitro Reading Order

 

RETRO EXPRESS: WCW NITRO #23 (FEBRUARY 5TH 1996) – STING AND LEX LUGER VS ROAD WARRIORS FOR THE TAG TITLES

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.

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We took a detour into an alternate reality of WCW Nitro last week as things went completely haywire. Ric Flair defeated Hulk Hogan in one of the shockers of the series so far, getting the pinfall victory after a lot of interferences leading to Flair injuring Hogan’s eye to get the win. The Road Warriors appeared on Nitro, getting a win in a botch-filled match with the Faces Of Fear as they were shooting for a future tag title shot. The Dungeon of Doom and The Four Horsemen were at odds once more after Taskmaster double-crossed Arn Anderson. Madusa apparently decided to shoot on Sister Sherri after the latter picked up a upset win over the former WWF Women’s Champion. Finally, the scheduled Giant vs Randy Savage title match never even took place as The Giant and Ric Flair laid a beating on Savage and Hogan at the end of the show.

 

Date: February 5th 1996

Brand: WCW

City: Lakeland, Florida

Rating: 2.9

Commentators: Eric Bischoff, Steve “Mongo” McMichael and Bobby Heenan

 

This show was not as bonkers as last week’s show was but it was interesting that this show was the go-home show for Superbrawl and it certainly didn’t feel like it. This show, for me anyway, was trying to figure out what the main-events of the Superbrawl show were. Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Ric Flair and The Giant have all been in a tag team like feud in the last couple of months and they announced that there was going to be “two cages” or two cage matches or whatever the deal was. That was the deal with these four men but I couldn’t figure out who was wrestling who.

I figured maybe Hogan would fight Flair and The Giant would fight Savage for the WCW World title as this show, and last week’s show really, led you to believe that this was going to happen. We do get our answers at the end of the show but it was really unclear in trying to figure out what the card was going to be for Superbrawl.

 

 

Randy Savage © w/Miss Elizabeth and Woman vs Chris Benoit for the WCW World Heavyweight title?

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This was hard to figure out whether THIS MATCH was actually a WCW World Heavyweight Championship match. It was “Macho Man” Randy Savage with Miss Elizabeth and Woman versus Chris Benoit of the Four Horsemen and Eric Bischoff casually mentions that the title is on the line. This was also the same Benoit who, a few weeks ago, lost twice in two nights to Jushin Liger at Starrcade then to Steven Regal on Nitro. Here, he got a shot at the World title. Bizarre. It’s also rather eerie to see that Woman, of all people, was accompanying Savage to the ring for a match with Benoit but the less said about that the better.

Savage and Benoit wrestled for the advantage for the headlock. Benoit took a cheap shot as the referee tried to break it up. Then Benoit went to work and got the heat.

In terms of getting the heat on a babyface, Benoit was brilliant in that role. In terms of being a babyface in peril getting beat on, Savage was brilliant in that role too. However, Randy Savage, as the WCW World Champion, should not been getting this much heat on himself going into a big world title match. If Savage is presented as a fighting underdog against Chris Benoit and not presented as a legitimate champion, I think that causes problems with getting legitimacy for your championship. Then again, this title has had at least 5 title changes since this Nitro series started so it’s not like the legitimacy of the title was top priority anyway.

At this point in the show, I’m still trying to figure out what the cage matches were for Superbrawl. Dunno if it was Flair vs Hogan or Flair vs Savage, or Hogan vs Giant or Giant vs Savage. Benoit goes the top rope diving headbutt which actually connected, as opposed to every other match in the series where he goes for the headbutt and misses for the babyface to get back in the match.

Benoit, of all the things he delivers for the heat, does a snap leg drop! Benoit wrenched on the back for the backbreaker submission. Benoit just got the heat, got the heat and got the heat for a long time until Savage eventually hits a big clothesline. Woman distracts the referee and Benoit flips over Savage over the top rope and onto the outside. Benoit does a dive to the outside and lands face first on the mat on the outside. I screamed as Benoit thudded onto the ground. This was not pretty and thinking about the long term side-effects of this head trauma was just… it was not comfortable to think about.

Savage hits the elbow. Flair comes down gets a hold of Elizabeth. Savage goes after Flair. Woman then starts choking away at Savage and turns on him as the ref calls for the DQ. Yeah, Woman, who was brought in two weeks ago as just another woman in the company (pardon the pun), has already turned heel.

I do also have to point something out. Liger and Regal beat Benoit a few weeks ago. Regal beat Benoit clean but yet Savage couldn’t beat Benoit clean in this title defence? Can you let him get a clean win just one time in his life to make him seem a little bit credible?

Arn comes out as the heels gang up on Savage. Hogan makes the save with the chair. Mean Gene goes to do an interview as Savage is down and Hogan correctly points out, “Can’t you see he’s hurt?” I mean bad timing for Mean Gene. “Hey Hogan, your friend got his ass kicked. Can I have your thoughts?” That I laughed at when Hogan pointed this out. Mean Gene even says “I don’t know whats going on!”

Hogan cuts a promo. Hogan says he’s gotta put a stop to Ric Flair. He says The Giant is right in front of him on Sunday. Ric Flair then jumps Hogan and scrapes at the busted open eye of Hogan, that Flair had damaged last week. The Giant comes out and does a big swing of the chair. Zodiac stops him and then Savage comes back and chases away Giant with a chair. Savage then yells: “what he’s gonna do to Flair he can’t say on television.” Savage lays into Elizabeth for not doing anything and I’m like: “what was Elizabeth going to do?” Was Savage expecting Elizabeth to Hulk Up and beat the crap out of The Giant?

 

Hugh Morrus and Taskmaster vs Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman

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Before we get into this next match, they plugged a Benoit vs Savage rematch at Saturday Night and the announcers say that we wouldn’t wanna miss this. Why? We had the match on this show… and there was no finish. There was a disqualification. What could possibly convince me that there would be a clear cut winner on that show?

They start this tag match. Biran Pillman out crazies Hugh Morrus who just pushes away at Pillman as they have a crazy-off. Hugh no-sells Pillman’s chops and just laughs in his face. Hugh does a gorilla press to Pillman and almost killed Arn with another Gorilla Press. He barely got him up and Arn landed hard on his back. I know Arn doesn’t last much longer as a wrestler because of injuries so I was really concerned here. Then again, he did show up at AEW’s All Out show just last week in 2019 and did a spinebuster!

Pillman rakes away at Taskmaster who does a comeback. Hugh and Arn get tagged back in. Arn Anderson, to demonstrate just what a great professional wrestler he was, was then able to deliver a great spinebuster to Hugh Morrus of all people! Arn then goes for the chinlock.

Hugh tries to fight his way free from the Horsemen corner but he is overwhelmed. Pillman runs at Hugh at the corner and Hugh doesn’t do a back elbow to push him away like any other wrestler would do. He clobbers Pillman with a clothesline. It was like if a bear had just tried to paw away at you and it must have rung his bell a little bit.

Taskmaster runs wild on Pillman. Yeah, KEVIN SULLIVAN gets the hot tag and runs wild! With that being said,  I loved this brawl between Pillman and Taksmaster. They were both throwing wild punches at each other like mad men. It was awesome and as phony as the heat appeared initially between Pillman and the Dungeon of Doom in storyline, this brawl felt real. It felt like these two men, in real life, hated each other. Now granted, there is a future “unscripted” moment between these two guys but we’ll get to that later.

To an extent, this felt a little unscripted too. They brawled on the mat and the referee completely lost control of the match as Hugh and Arn got involved. They initially broke it up and then turned it into two seperate fights. Taskmaster brawled with Arn up to the entrance ramp. Arn goes for a piledriver but someone lays out Arn with a broom! This culprit is not seen but we just see a white broom pop out of the curtain and hit Arn!

Pillman tries a powerbomb on Hugh Morrus on the outside! It did not work. Taskmaster gets a a strap as Hugh delivers a moonsault headbut. Taskmaster whips Pillman. My question was where was Chris Benoit during all of this? It was so weird because after this, Pillman just walked to the back after being repeatedly whipped in the back. Like Taskmaster whipped him a few times and then Pillman just walked to the back. I’m guessing this was like a worked shoot and it makes sense when you see where this leads to at Superbrawl.

 

Ric Flair w/Woman vs Marcus Bagwell

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Woman sided with the Four Horsemen at the start of the show and is immediately coming down to the ring with Flair. “Mr Wonderful” Paul Orndorff comes down in a neck brace to the announce table. Mr Wonderful says the funny thing about payback, is that you never know when it’s going to happen. The announcers wonder that Mr Wonderful was the guy behind the broom attack. It actually makes sense because Arn and Ric did the spike piledriver to Paul Orndorff and Arn was going for a piledriver on Taskmaster. I did like that bit of story-telling.

I didn’t think this match was any good and I think it was 100% down to Bagwell. His offense was clothesline, dropkicks and punches. If you like those three moves, I guess this was the match for you. However, there wasn’t much wrestling to this guy and really he just attacked Flair more than he wrestled.

Bagwell runs wild with clotheslines and the fans actually loved Bagwell here. No matter what I say, he was over here with the crowd. He does a big clothesline on the outside and a few of the girls are going “ooowwwwwwwww!” like wolf-whistle style!

Bagwell fires away with some pretty lame punches but the fans loved it. I don’t think Bagwell did a single wrestling move other than two backdrops by this point. Everything else was dropkicks, punches and clotheslines.

Ric eventually grabs the ropes as Bagwell goes for another dropkick. It took Flair this long to figure out Bagwell’s game! Bagwell reverses a Figure Four with a small package pin. Ric and Bagwell both bounced off the ropes, they crash into each other in the middle and Bagwell tumbles and somehow falls backwards over the top rope to the floor… this was overselling done poorly as the fans were just looking at him like: “what the?”

I like how Ric used Woman to distracted the ref… just to get a kick in at Bagwell on the outside! He didn’t cheat or break any rules but he’s the dirtiest player in the game so he can’t help himself but take any advantage he can!

Bagwell’s offense was legitimately just clotheslines, punches and dropkicks as he made the comeback. They also announced Public Enemy vs Nasty Boys at Superbrawl in a street fight. That I can’t wait to see!

Bagwell does a superplex. Bagwell tries a springboard splash but Flair got the knees up. Flair does a figure four leg lock and Bagwell gave up as Flair wins. Flair punches the ref out and refuses to let go of the hold. Savage chases him off. Savage even pushes another referee down in his pursuit of Flair.

 

Sting (c) and Lex Luger (c) VS “The Road Warriors” Animal and Hawk for the WCW Tag Team Championship

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Big “LOD” chants as Sting and Animal started off with a bit of energy about them as they battled for the upper hand. Then they tagged in LEX LUGER AND HAWK. Lex Luger does a sloppy piledriver but Hawk no sells and beats up Luger. Sting hits a Stinger Splash and goes for the Scorpion Death lock but Animal immediately breaks it up. He knew well enough to break up as if it was locked in, it was over. I liked the selling that the Scorpion Deathlock was such a killer finisher at this time!

Luger draped the ropes which sent Animal crashing over the ropes to the outside. Luger drops three elbow drops. I got a flashing light and an error message from the WWE Network as apparently it was an issue with the original clip. Bischoff then explains that the power went out! I guess WWE couldn’t restore whatever the original content was as my screen went weird!

Sting does a front facelock and grounds him as the fans chant for LOD. Sting forces Animal into Luger and Sting’s corner. Animal does a big back drop, Animal goes for a clothesline but then Sting breaks up a pin I believe. Hawk then goes crazy on the outside and just beats the living hell out of Sting like a madman! Like I have no idea what brought this on but Hawk just goes nuts in attacking Sting. Luger and Animal are still wrestling as they cut to a wide shot. Then all of a sudden, Sting goes a Stinger Splash but hits the barricade like a mad man! Like Luger and Animal are in the ring and then Sting pops up in the bottom right corner of the screen and splashes onto the barricade!

Jimmy Hart comes down and gets knocked down. Luger hits Animal with something, I don’t remember what it was, but then the ref counts the pin. Sting is not happy as he doesn’t know whats going on as the fans boo the finish.

Mean Gene goes to the ring and interviews the Road Warriors. Hawk yells and demands the winner of Sting and Luger vs Harlem Heat, which I think is taking place at Superbawl. Mean Gene talks about Luger targeting the bad back of Animal. Animal acknowledges this but says they’re the men and they want the title match. Hawk vows revenge.

Finally they clear up its Ric Flair vs Savage and its Hulk Hogan vs The Giant at Superbrawl. After all of this time, I finally figured out what the two big steel cage matches were for Superbrawl!

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Not a lot to comment on for this show. It didn’t feel like it did a good enough job to hype up the PPV. Like it hyped up the main-event program well but, as mentioned, I didn’t even know what the specific matches were. I had to wait until the end of the show until they actually told the viewers outright what the matches were. Flair goes out there and attacks Hogan when Randy Savage is his opponent for the PPV. I don’t know, maybe they’re building up Hogan vs Flair again for after the PPV but it didn’t do a good enough job with the PPV at hand for me.

BUT WAIT….

BEFORE I LEAVE YOU, I promised two bonus match reviews and I’m gonna get them out of the way. Last week, they hyped up a Lex Luger vs Eddie Guerrero match for WCW Saturday Night which I wanted to watch and see, really, just how good Eddie Guerrero was. Lex Luger has had some really bad performances as of late on the Nitro series where as Eddie had some really good performances as of late on the Nitro series. I was very curious to see whether he could get a good match out of Luger.

I also discovered The One Man Gang, the new WCW United States Champion, in a match with Super Giant Ninja from January 20th 1996. Super Giant Ninja was the former Yeti that terrorised Hulk Hogan at Halloween Havoc. Repackaged as the Super Giant Ninja, him going up against The One Man Gang I though was going to be a treat! So let’s get start with these bonus match reviews!

 

One Man Gang vs Super Giant Ninja on WCW Saturday Night – January 20th 1996

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I’m going to go chronological with these reviews. Super Giant Ninja did not get an entrance as the ninja, looking exactly like Scorpion from Mortal Kombat, stretches in the ring!

Tony Schiavonie on the commentary says his name as the Super Giant Ninjaaaaaaaaaa. The two monsters both locked up as the two men trade blows. The Ninja chops One Man Gang as both men go “yaaaaarggh!” That I laughed at!

Super Ninja was a deer-in-headlights out there, completely out of his element in professional wrestling. When One Man Gang comes off as the more co-ordinated out of the two, it is something. One Man Gang did a good job here but it was just funny to me. One Man Gang wasn’t particular someone that struck me as co-ordinated!

One Man Gang clobbers Super Giant Ninja. One Man Gang scoop slams the Ninja like it’s just a regular move, when he’s just slammed like a 7 foot giant monster! One Man Gang then hits a splash and wins! All of that hype as the Yeti and here, he’s a Super Giant Ninja and he gets squashed by the One Man Gang!

A few notes about this ninja was that 2 weeks after this, he wrestled as the Yeti again on a house show! I looked up his details on the Cagematch website and notable matches included one where he wrestled WWE alumni Rodney Mack to a no contest in 2011 billed as “Vanilla Gorilla!” The Vanilla Gorilla is quite the ring name to come out too! Believe it or not, he still wrestles today! He wrestled as recently as August 2019 in a battle royal! Amazing to read these details after watching this match!

 

Eddie Guerrero vs Lex Luger on WCW Saturday Night dated Febuary 3rd 1996

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Luger made fun of the height of Eddie with the test of strength but Eddie one-upped him and played along. Eddie ran wild and Luger was taken back by the quickness of Guerrero, including a roll-up attempt.

Lex Luger TOWERED over Eddie in this match by the way. If there was nothing Eddie needed to make himlook like less of a star it’s this jacked-up Lex Luger standing in front of him!

One spot I liked was that Eddie was going to come off the ropes with the arm drag but Lex’s arms are too big so he transitions this on the fly and does a roll-up! I loved that worked improvisation by Eddie Guerrero!

Lex Luger Gorilla Presses Eddie into the top rope. Lex gets rough with Eddie and does a long vertical suplex. Luger caught Eddie off the top rope with a bearhug, Eddie eventually fought his way out with big Mongolian chops to the ears of Luger.

Luger gets the heat with boring just punches, elbow drops, just very long and drawn out. I think you could have shaved a few minutes from this match judging by all of this “non-action” by Luger.

Eddie reverses a Gorilla Press into another roll-up. Eddie fires up and delivers a big dropkick. Eddie went up and Eddie’s top rope dropkick crashed into the referee as Luger pushes the ref in the way. Luger went for a Torture Rack but Eddie landed on his feet. Eddie goes for a hurricanrana but Luger but barely had any grip as Eddie was only just able to get him over.

Luger then pulls off a reverse torture rack seemingly for the win as the second referee Randy Anderson seemingly calls for the bell. Luger thinks he won but the referee awards the match to Eddie via disqualification. Luger puts the stomps to Guerrero and… I don’t think this was the kinda finish that did any favours for Guerrero.

I do like how Eddie actually tended to the fallen referee! A honourable babyface! In short, this was an OK Eddie vs Luger match but it wasn’t like there was a lot Eddie could work with. They just worked your typical big man vs little match match.

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That about wraps up my WCW Nitro Review as well as two bonus match reviews! I will be reviewing Superbrawl! The card, when I read it, looked OK. There was some repetitive stuff. We’ve got another Johnny B Badd vs DDP match but I have liked that program and their matches, so I’m OK with that. The cage match results I think are going to be interesting but then again, everything before the nWo shows up I think will be “interesting” to see what direction they go in.

I will see you with my review of WCW SuperBrawl 1996!

WCW Nitro Reading Order

 

 

 

 

 

 

RETRO EXPRESS: WCW NITRO #21 (JANUARY 22ND 1996) – TWO TITLE CHANGES BUT HULK HOGAN IS STILL THE MAIN-EVENT

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.

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Attentions are turned to the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Ric Flair currently holds the gold but defended it last week against The Man Called Sting. The encounter ended when Lex Luger got himself involved in the match and “inadvertently” cost Sting the title so Ric Flair retained. Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage were both eyeing up the title as well, with the Macho Man set to challenge for the World Title on Episode #21. However, Hogan felt that he should have had the title shot instead with evidence in Macho Man LOSING clean to Lex Luger last week. Savage still wanted to take his shot but despite being at odds, Savage still helped Hogan beat Meng in the main-event of Nitro.

 

Date: January 22nd 1996

Brand: WCW

City: Las Vegas, Nevada

Rating: 2.7

Commentators: Eric Bischoff, Steve “Mongo” McMichael and Bobby Heenan

 

The shows starts with Konnan who is, and I quote, the “Mexican Heavyweight Champion” interrupting the announcers. He cuts a promo on Psicosis, who he is facing at Clash of Champions. This was literally over in like 30 seconds. It also didn’t seem to matter considering Alundra Blayze did this exact same promo a month ago and this has so far led to nothing. I mean Konnan ends up becoming a main-stay in WCW but still… there’s little reason for me to care about the Mexican Heavyweight Champion being on Nitro.

 

Ric Flair (c) w/Jimmy Hart vs “Macho Man” Randy Savage w/a bunch of women for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship

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Believe it or not, this match OPENED WCW Nitro. This match was like Savage and Flair’s title match the week before Starrcade as it was very good brawling on the most part. I think, in its self, that was a big part of the problem that it felt like a repeat. However, I think the finish played off really well here but had its underlining problems which we’ll get to later.

There was a massive line of beautiful women that came down to the ring before Macho Man came down to the ring. Funnily enough, supposedly one these girls was Linda Hogan and another one was in fact Woman… a.k.a Nancy Sullivan at the time I believe. In fact, during the match, Flair went up to Woman and tried to woo her but Woman slapped him and Flair has a tremendous sell as he crashes down to the floor!

Before Savage can make his entrance, Mean Gene Okerlund and Hulk Hogan cuts him off! All I can think is of all the times this journalist and friend can go up to Savage to ask this question, they both decide to do it RIGHT BEFORE his WCW World title match? I found that kinda hilarious.

Hogan wanted to wish Savage luck tonight but still wanted the first shot at the title. Yeah, Hulk Hogan is bargaining and asking for the first shot at a championship that Randy Savage hasn’t even won yet! Savage tells his lady friends to get down to the squared circle and let’s strip Flair of his belt.

Before we get into the match itself, they revealed a lot of big returns coming at Clash of Champions. They revealed that Miss Elizabeth would be accompanying Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan down to the ring for their match with Ric Flair and the Giant at Clash of Champions and the Road Warriors would be returning for a tag team match.

It’s actually astonishing how many old stars WCW were plugging and promoting for this Clash of Champions show. For a company that were bragging and boasting about how they were bringing in fresh new talent and they were the hottest wrestling promotion in the world. The reason I find that funny is because for a promotion so determined to boast about how great they are, they come off as panicky with this “plucking” of stars. Not from WWF, but just from old stars of the past. But hell, why would they have any reason to panic?

Savage and Ric brawl on the outside and then Savage hits a clothesline with his good arm and goes to work. His injured arm was still taped up. Flair cuts him off with a back elbow. Flair goes to work on the bad arm. Both men brawl on the outside which leads to Savage doing a back drop on the floor. Bischoff said they’re gonna go to a commercial break to which Savage gets on the top rope for the double axe handle. Bischoff goes “oh don’t do it!” and then Savage just misses, hits the metal barricade and then they go to commercial!

WCW promotes WCW Magazine during this commercial.

Savages does the punches in the corner. This was just a whole bunch of brawling and Flair and Savage were really good in that department so not a lot of complaints. This was a very old school scrappy match like the Savage vs Flair match from a month ago. Savage battles for the backslide.

Flair locks on the Figure Four Leg Lock and Savage screams in agony as Flair grabs the ropes for leverage. Eventually the referee Randy Anderson does the 5 count after he catches Flair in the act. Randy literally drags Flair off of Savage and pushes him backwards and he was not putting up with Flair’s shenanigans! This was great stuff from Randy and from Flair of course.

Savage delivers two double axe handles and goes for the elbow drop but Jimmy Hart gets on the apron. Arn gets on the apron too and he tries to use the brass knuckles but accidentally hits Flair. Hogan knocks down Arn. Savage hits the elbow drop for the win as the fans go CRAZY for this finish, absolute crazy, as the title changes hands. Randy Savage is once again the WCW World Heavyweight Champion.

Hogan celebrates with Savage which was both poetic and really undermined Savage as the champion. There’s two reasons from a storyline point though why this title change was great.

  1. Arn has been cutting all of these promos in the last month about how keeping the title on Flair was the most important thing for the Four Horsemen and he buries the new guys for starting fires they don’t want. Yet in this scenario, HE’S the one responsible for costing Flair the title.
  2. At World War III, when Savage won the title, Hogan cut off his celebration and kicked off about the finish of that battle royal. Here, he’s all happy for his friend, despite feeling he should be the champion. He was happy for his friend Macho Man for winning the title and bringing home the gold to the good guys.

Then Savage got the mic and said “STOP THE MUSIC.” Mean Gene got in the ring. Savage said Hogan is celebrating like he won the title himself. Savage reminded Hogan that he won it and he is the WCW World Champion. Hogan congratulates Savage but reminds Savage that he Hulk Hogan helped him out, his best friend helped him out. Hogan said he’s coming for that belt. Hogan said he would do whatever it took for the Hulkamaniacs to him get to that position as fans boo Hogan! Savage said if Hogan beats him, Savage said he’s gonna shake his hands. Savage said when he beats Hogan, Hogan better shake his hands. They shook hands on it and celebrated after taking care of the world title business. Both of them were going OOOOOH YEEAAH and going crazy. A nice celebration.

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As good as a feel-good moment this title change was, I must discuss something. I’ve talked for years and years and years about hot-shotting titles. They are one of my most biggest wrestling pet-peeves, the lack of care taken to these titles that are supposed to be the cornerstone of these promotions. So many title changes which would further the title’s reputation. WWE does this ALL the time will literally all of their titles except for the top two titles. Every month, there’s a new United States Champion it seems or new RAW Tag Team Champions.

If this was WWE 2019, I’d be rightfully laying into them if they booked the world title like this. Here, for WCW 1996, I must do the same. When I started this series, I started from September 1995:

  1. Hulk Hogan was the original champion.
  2. The Giant “won” that title after winning a match via disqualification at Halloween Havoc in October because Jimmy Hart screwed with the contract.
  3. The title was vacated after this controversy on an episode of Nitro.
  4. Randy Savage won the title at World War III in a match where Hulk Hogan was never officially eliminated.
  5. Ric Flair won the title at Starrcade after shenanigans and interference from the Four Horsemen
  6. Randy Savage regained the title on this episode of Nitro after shenanigans and interference from Hulk Hogan, Arn Anderson and Jimmy Hart.

In every one of these episodes following Starrcade, they’ve promoted SuperBrawl and they try to promote how everybody wants to be the WCW Champion. If this title changes hands so frequently, nobody is gonna gain anything from holding this supposedly prestigious belt.

What did The Giant gain from winning this title? Other than having “the rub” of beating Hulk Hogan, did this get The Giant any more over? Not really. Did winning the title get Randy Savage more over, especially after 3 DQ finishes on Nitro episodes? Not really. Did winning the title get Ric Flair over? No. He’s at the exact same position as a main-eventer.

I understand sometimes backstage politics does influence all of this and, from what I’ve heard, this affected these title changes. Supposedly, Flair didn’t wanna drop the title clean to Hogan so they put the belt on Savage. However, none of that matters and has no real long term gain for anyone of these guys in the long term. Maybe you could argue that The Giant gained something long term but again, he’s still an afterthought after so many guys now.

Like, will this really do anything more for Savage for the time being? Not really. At least I don’t think so. I mean this hot-shot problem will eventually sort itself out shortly as spoiler… Hulk Hogan will win the WCW title. However, Hulk Hogan was already the biggest star on the show anyway. If the title is presented as anything less important than one particular individual, why should I care about who the champion is?

 

Dean Malenko vs Brian Pillman

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I hated not liking this match but at the very core, this was an OK cruiserweight match that really didn’t do anything for either of these men and it had a somewhat botched finish.

Dean Malenko tried early Texas Cloverleaf but Brian Pillman avoided it and escaped under the ropes. Pillman goes “I’m the shooter because I have a Full Metal Jacket”… that I loved considering the story of that film in particular with a guy going crazy while training for the army. Had some oddly fitting parallels to Pillman!

Pillman gets the heat early on but Malenko hits some big moves such as a brainbuster to get back into the match. Pillman hits a beautifully controlled tornado DDT but doesn’t go for the cover and gets cocky. Pillman chops away at Malenko but Malenko hits a Tiger Powerbomb for a 2 count. Pillman tries another Tornado DDT but Malenko pushes him off.

Malenko hits a great gutbuster and locks on the rolling kneebar but Pillman got the ropes. Malenko’s foot gets trapped in the ropes, Pillman covers Malenko and even with one of Malenko’s shoulders up, referee Nick Patrick still counts the pin. Patrick could easily see the foot but still counted the pin anyway.

 

“Harlem Heat” Booker T © and Stevie Ray © vs Sting and Lex Luger for the WCW Tag Team Championship

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I’m pretty sure we had a situation like this before but of all the people to start of this match, it was Stevie Ray and Lex Luger? Sting and Booker could have put some good work in there to bring life into the match from the get-go but we had to see Stevie Ray and Lex Luger squaring off in this tag team title match?

As expected, both men were horrible. Stevie has some horrible clobbering blows to which Luger demonstrates some horrible selling to. Luger does a double clothesline and soon makes the hot tag to Sting. Sting runs wild with Stinger Splashes. Sting locks on the Scorpion Death Lock but the ref stops Luger from getting into the ring for some reason as Booker does a scissors kick to break it up as the ref is distracted. This axe kick bonks Sting right in the head for the heat.

The heat was not tremendous in the slightest but the heels getting the heat on Sting while Luger waits for the hot tag would at least be better than getting the heat on Luger while Sting waits for the hot tag. Booker got in the ring and delivered an arm lock, putting pressure on the Stinger. Sting fires away and breaks free but Booker drops Sting with a top rope face smash. Luger breaks up the pin.

Sting eventually finds a second wind but while the ref talks to Stevie for some reason, Booker drops Sting with a jawbreaker on the rope.

Fans go “LETS GO STING” as Stevie goes a bloody nerve hold and he couldn’t even do this move and sell the fact that it hurt. He just got on top of him and put his hand on his shoulder in a lazily fashion.

Sting gets his arm up at three when the referee checks out Sting. In fact, Sting actually sold this as if he was gassed and out of it so kudos to Sting with how he sold and he was a good seller in his own right. Harlem Heat does a poorly coordinated double gourdbuster.

Booker misses the Harlem Hangover. Sting eventually makes the tag to Luger. This was rather confusing. Luger goes to work. Then Jimmy Hart got on the apron, gave something to Luger and ran out like at the speed of the Flash. It’s weird because Luger gets back on the apron and all of the sudden, Sting is back in the ring! He’s in there as if the hot tag never happened! I wonder if Jimmy missed his queue so maybe Luger was like, “I gotta make the tag” and do something while Jimmy goes down to the ring. Because Luger is weirdly on the apron again and then Sting tags him back in.

Luger got the tag, used a fistful of dollars, knocked out the Harlem Heat member to score the pin and win the tag team titles. I can’t remember who Luger KO’d but either way, a second title change on the same night.

Luger celebrates like crazy as Sting doesn’t know at first whats going on. Luger goes “we won! “but Sting then just goes “yeah alright” and kinda doesn’t question it as they’re the tag team champions as the two celebrates. Very similar to the TV title rematch the night after World War III, where Kimberley and Johnny B Badd does something very similar to this. Either way, Lex Luger and Sting are the new WCW Tag Team Champions.

 

Hulk Hogan vs WCW United States Champion One Man Gang

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So to recap, Luger and Sting are contenders to the WCW tag team titles. Randy Savage is a contender to the WCW title. However, Hulk Hogan is not considered a title contender for the WCW US Championship despite having a match with him? Odd.

Hogan and One Man Gang start the match basically ballroom dancing around the ring with a lock up. It really didn’t look aggressive in the slightest. Hogan fights dirty in this match with pokes in the eye and biting at the One Man Gang. Hogan no sells a big body splash from the One Man Gang.

Hogan does three Irish Whips, big boots which doesn’t knock him down, slams him like he did with Andre and nobody cared, Hogan then did a leg drop and won. Basically that was the match.

I will say that Hogan decided on his own to test One Man Gang’s speed during this match, with Irish Whip after Irish Whip and One Man Gang ran and ran and by the end of the match he was goosed! I don’t know if Hogan was on a quest to expose the One Man Gang but he looks miles behind Hogan in terms of fitness which is a pretty bad thing!

Zodiac, Chris Benoit, Arn Anderson, Randy Savage, Pillman all come out. They all brawl. Zodiac backs away The Giant yet again as I guess Flair is trying to stop the Horsemen while Pillman tries to egg The Giant on.

Hogan says afterwards he’s gonna do everything he can to get to that #1 contender spot. Hogan talks about the secret weapon again which I guess was KEVIN GREENE who will also be there at Clash of Champions. I guess that’s who they were referencing to a few weeks ago when they talked about the secret weapon. Hogan talks about Miss Elizabeth. Savage simply said that Giant and Ric Flair were MEAT! I loved Hogan’s and Savage’s facial expressions as they both cut promos. I just love the larger than life aspects of these characters where they were just allowed to go absolute bonkers with their promos!

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There were moments I liked about this show but the whole show in general was just uneventful to me. Obviously, the two title changes were newsworthy! But I feel it would have felt more so if they weren’t so seemingly unimportant with Hulk Hogan’s position on the card. Luger and Sting winning the tag titles obviously advances that story but Hulk Hogan beating One Man Gang in a random match just seemed anti-climatic when Savage winning the title would be more climatic. Even if Sting and Luger won the titles as the main-event, the fans would go off the air wondering what is Sting going to think after that finish.

This show just didn’t do it for me this week. I will not be watching Clash of Champions so the next Nitro review will be for the show after Clash of Champions. If enough people do wish for me to review Clash of Champions I will consider it. Really the only noteworthy match for that show will be Hogan and Savage vs Flair and Giant. Looking at that card for that show, it doesn’t look like a show I’ll regret missing.

I will see you all again with the review of episode #22 of WCW Monday Nitro!

 

WCW Nitro Reading Order

 

EXTREME WARFARE REVENGE: WCW 1998 PART 17 – UNCENSORED 2000

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Previously on EWR…

Chris Jericho retained the WCW Title in a grueling ironman match against Asian Invasion leader Keiji Mutoh. But Jericho had a new problem on the horizon… the former WCW Champion Raven! The Exiles leader declared that it was time to reclaim what was his and won a number one contendership triple threat match against Bret Hart and Curt Hennig on Nitro, setting up Raven vs Jericho for Uncensored.

Eddie Guerrero and Ultimo Dragon have had quite the rivalry ever since Paul Heyman turned on Dragon and allied himself with Eddie Guerrero. But Eddie and Dragon both declared that it was time to end it. While Dragon won both times beforehand, Heyman disputed both of them as legitimate victories for the Dragon. Eddie got DQ’d at Souled Out and Dragon pulled a bit of lying, cheating and stealing of his own at Superbrawl. So all three agreed to end it at Uncensored. It would be an I Quit match. If Eddie won, Dragon would have to unmask. If Dragon won, his old partner and former Paul Heyman guy Dean Malenko would be rehired to the roster. Heyman accepted and the match was on!

Keiji Mutoh attacked Rey Mysterio following his victory over Tajiri on Nitro. Mutoh was upset with Yoshihiro Tajiri after he was unsuccessful in regaining the Cruiserweight Championship from AJ Styles. He told him that he needed to shape up if he wanted to remain in the Asian Invasion. Mutoh and Tajiri would target Mysterio, just before a triple threat number one contendership match for the Cruiserweight title. Mysterio won the match anyway, also involving Tajiri and Ultimo Dragon. Before the Cruiserweight title match between AJ Styles and Rey Mysterio, the entire Asian Invasion stable assaulted the pair preventing the match from starting. Mutoh and Tajiri assaulted Mysterio again the next week, but AJ made the save. AJ and Rey have put their Cruiserweight title match to one side to battle Mutoh and Tajiri. The tag team match was made for Uncensored.

Bam Bam Bigelow and Curt Hennig have been having issues ever since losing the tag titles to Hollywood Hogan and Sting at Starrcade. Their manager Ted DiBiase have been trying to get the two on the same page, but Bret Hart has not been making things any easier. The two have been targeting Bret Hart after taking out Diamond Dallas Page the Nitro after Superbrawl. But the attacks on the Canadian haven’t exactly gone according to plan. Bret Hart has picked up victories on both men after botched interferences. It seemed that the tag team was meeting it’s end, but DiBiase announces that Eric Bischoff have booked the two of them in a triple threat match at Uncensored with Bret Hart. The stakes are high as a shot at the WCW World Title is at stake… but DiBiase has decreed that Bam Bam and Curt are prohibited from defeating each other in the match.

Rob Van Dam became the undisputed International champion after beating Diamond Dallas in the final of an International title tournament. Scott Steiner declared himself to be the number one contender after Diamond Dallas Page got taken out and the fact that Rowdy Piper (who RVD beat earlier on in the night at Superbrawl). After beating RVD in a six man tag alongside fellow Steiner System members Jamie Noble and The Giant, Eric Bischoff granted Steiner his title match to take place at Uncensored.

The Legion stable of Rowdy Roddy Piper, Steven Regal and Fit Finlay targeted the reigning WCW Tag Team champions Hollywood Hogan and Sting after Piper was unsuccessful in capturing the International title. After impressing Bischoff with the constant attacks, they were given a tag title shot for the PPV. Bischoff announced himself as the special guest referee. And considering his previous issues with Hogan, things don’t look good for the tag team champions.

uncensored

Pre-Show – Bill Goldberg def. Jushin Thunder Liger and Kensuke Sasaki

I really didn’t want both Liger and Sasaki to job out to Goldberg because they’re both major parts of the Asian Invasion. Then again, I really wanted to elevate Goldberg as he’s started to get over recently after wins over the likes of Bam Bam (who was more than willing to lose clean). Therefore I decided that Goldberg would go over after botched interference from Tajiri! Tajiri’s already on thin ice with the Asian Invasion, and this will only make things worse for Tajiri. Tajiri better hope his team win later on!

 

Match 1 – Randy Savage def. Booker T

These two always deliver and this match was no exception. Booker beat Savage at Souled Out in a singles match, so Savage went over here by cheating.

 

Match  2 – Rey Mysterio and AJ Styles def. Keiji Mutoh and Yoshihiro Tajiri

Opponent miscommunication led to Mutoh and Tajiri losing to the two cruiserweight contenders. I was going to have Mutoh attack Tajiri after the match, but there wasn’t an option for me to that after the match. So I just had Mutoh and Tajiri argue. Needless to say, this was NOT a great night for the Asian Invasion. And Tajiri is in the THINNEST of the thin ice right now!

 

 

Match 3 – Perry Saturn (c) def. Arn Anderson to retain the WCW Television Championship

For some reason, these two work really well together in the ring. I book them in singles matches a lot on Thunder and Nitro, but this is really the first time these two were feuding. And it’s for the WCW TV title and it’s giving that title a lot of prestige. Not bad ratings. To be honest, throughout this game I’ve been having problems with Arn Anderson. Arn’s always pissed because I never use him and when I do, he’s always sluggish in his matches. He wouldn’t leave either when I offered him his release! So I shot him as a commentator on Thunder and his mood dramatically increased! Now he’s pretty happy because now he’s off the announce table and into the ring and in a feud! So let’s take advantage of that!

 

 

Match 4 – Rowdy Roddy Piper and Steven Regal def. Hollywood Hogan (c) and Sting (c) with Eric Bischoff as the special referee to win the WCW Tag Team Championship

Bischoff did the quick count on Hogan when Piper had him covered for the three. Hogan responded by attacking Bischoff, incensed by the fast count. The opportunity to put Piper and Regal over Hogan and Sting was almost too good to pass up! Regal and Piper winning the tag titles helps the stable get over greatly. This is good because I really wanted to elevate Steven Regal in particular.

 

Match 5 – Rob Van Dam (c) def. Scott Steiner via DQ to retain the WCW International Championship

Dusty finish which saw Rob Van Dam pick up the win via disqualification. Steiner beat him up afterwards. This was the joint-top highest rated match on the card alongside the main event! Awesome, because I want to have the International title elevated. Awesome match.

 

Match 6 – Ultimo Dragon def. Eddie Guerrero w/Paul Heyman in an I Quit match to reinstate Dean Malenko to the WCW roster. Ultimo Dragon would have unmasked if he lost.

The Dragon rises supreme in this feud-ending match! This feud has done an excellent job in elevating Dragon! He’s now got 96 overness on the game… one of the highest rated on the game as far as overness. Very proud of that. Eddie and Paul Heyman both have a great storyline lined up after this. So Eddie fans, don’t worry! Eddie’s got big plans despite the losses to Ultimo Dragon.

 

Match 7 – Bret Hart def. Bam Bam Bigelow and Curt Hennig in a triple threat match to earn a WCW Championship match. Bam Bam Bigelow and Curt Hennig were prohibited from defeating each other.

Bret Hart goes over in the triple threat match. After about 15 minutes of unity, Asbury Perfection eventually start scrapping. It’s a good massive fight in which the announce table is broken and stuff. Bret gets back involved and it becomes a proper three-way in the end after being primarily a handicap match before. Curt smacks Bam Bam with the chair but then Bret throws him out. Bret locks in the Sharpshooter to make Bam Bam tap and become the number one contender.

 

Match 8 – Raven def. Chris Jericho (c) to win the WCW World Championship

NEW CHAMP! Chris Jericho’s 240 day title reign is no more after Raven beat him CLEAN to win the title for the second time. I’ve been wanting to work Raven back into the WCW World Title picture for some time. That’s why he headlined Souled Out a few months ago. So here, he beats Jericho to regain the World Title. I felt Raven had to win the title back clean as it would really be unjustified to have Jericho’s title reign end by cheating or interference. That’s how Raven won the WCW title the first time at Superbrawl 1999! So I wanted to change things up, even if he is a heel. Him beating Jericho clean makes Raven look like gold but also doesn’t diminish the WCW Title. Jericho will get his rematch at Spring Stampede and maybe they’ll be a screwy finish there. But yeah, the Era Of Raven is once again at hand. And for the first time since a Nitro after Bash At The Beach… we have a new champion!

 

Great PPV. New champions! The great Ultimo Dragon vs Eddie Guerrero feud ended. 89% so a great rating by the game. What do you guys think about this? Vote on the poll to rate the PPV for yourselves!

EXTREME WARFARE REVENGE: WCW 1998 PART 16 – SUPERBRAWL 2000

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Previously on WCW EWR…

Eric Bischoff returned to WCW after a hiatus from the company. Bischoff announced that Ric Flair’s leadership of WCW has come into question by the Board of Directors. It was therefore declared that Bischoff and Flair would share the role of president while Flair was on “probation”.

Chris Jericho is still the WCW World Heavyweight Champion after knocking off Raven, Keiji Mutoh and Bret Hart in a fatal four way elimination match at Souled Out. Mutoh, who was quickly eliminated by the champ, demanded one more shot at Jericho. Jericho agreed but stated that they needed to prove who was truly the best in one of the most testing matches in all of wrestling… the Ironman match!

Raven and Bret Hart still continued their problems while Booker T and Randy Savage were at each others throats as well. Exiles members’ Raven and Savage decided to take care of both problems as a unit. Booker and Bret joined forces to combat the Exiles members and a hardcore tag team match was made for Superbrawl to settle the score.

On an episode of Nitro, Diamond Dallas Page challenged Rowdy Roddy Piper for the WCW European Championship. Rob Van Dam was made the special referee, but Flair warned RVD not to show favoritism to DDP. However, the constant insults from Piper during the match eventually annoy RVD. He hits Piper with the Vandaminator which waddled the Scotsman into DDP who connected with the Diamond Cutter for the win. However, Bischoff disputed the win by stating that RVD violated the pre-match stipulation and stripped DDP off the title. Flair and Bischoff therefore decided to settle the dispute over the title by introducing a new title in its place… the WCW International Championship. At Superbrawl. Steiner would take on DDP (which Bischoff made a submission match), Piper would take on RVD and the winner of those two matches would face off later on the same night to crown the NEW International Champion.

Ultimo Dragon defeated Eddie Guerrero by disqualification after his former manager Paul Heyman hit Dragon with a chair. This was followed up with Eddie delivering the brainbuster on Dragon ONTO the chair! Dragon came out later demanding a rematch with Eddie. Heyman agreed on one condition… if Ultimo Dragon loses, he must unmask!

AJ Styles and Yoshihiro Tajiri would settle their feud for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship in a LADDER match, as Tajiri has ONE LAST CHANCE to win the cruiserweight title!

superbrawl2

Pre-Show – Perry Saturn (c) def. Chris Benoit and Jushin Thunder Liger to retain the WCW Television Championship

Exiles member Saturn continues his reign as TV Champion, knocking off Benoit and Asian Invasion member Jushin Thunder Liger in a triple threat match. Frustration continues to build for Benoit as it’s now two PPVs in a row that he’s not been able to capture the title.

Match 1 – Rob Van Dam def. Rowdy Roddy Piper in a WCW International Championship Eliminator

RVD wins the first match in the mini WCW International Championship tournament. He beats Piper after botched interference from Piper’s faction the Legion. This results in RVD picking up the win and moving onto the WCW International Championship match.

Match 2 – AJ Styles (c) def. Yoshihiro Tajiri in a ladder match to retain the WCW Cruiserweight Championship

The highest rated match of the night! So proud of my cruiserweights! Styles was able to knock off the Asian Invasion member after powerbomb off the ladder and a styles clash before climbing up to get the belt.

Match 3 – Hollywood Hogan (c) and Sting (c) def. Bam Bam Bigelow and Curt Hennig in a steel cage match to retain the WCW Tag Team Championship

I was going to have Bam Bam and Hennig win the titles back at the end off the feud, but I kinda changed my mind on it. I figured that Hogan and Sting would hold onto the titles and drop it to another up-and-coming heel tag team. There’s a lot out there to choose from plus Asbury Perfection ended up gaining overness from the match anyway. So I’m guessing Sting and Hogan made them look good… shocking!

Match 4 – Diamond Dallas Page def. Scott Steiner in a WCW International Championship Qualifier (This match was a submission match)

DDP beat Steiner with his own Steiner Recliner to pick up the win in this qualifier. Steiner did a beatdown afterwards, so DDP’s a bit hurt going into his match against RVD. Then again, RVD is hurt too!

Match 5 – Ultimo Dragon def. Eddie Guerrero. If Ultimo Dragon lost, he had to unmask.

Dragon won the match after taking a page out of his opponents’ book! Eddie tried to unmask Dragon but Dragon fell to the outside grabbing his ankle. He rolls underneath the apron but Eddie goes out to get him. He brings him into the ring and locks on the Laso From El Paso. However, Dragon pushes him off and Eddie pulls off Dragon’s boot! Eddie turns and Dragon rolls him up for the three! Shades of Eddie vs Angle at Wrestlemania XX! Another good match between these two.

Match 6 – Raven and Randy Savage def. Booker T and Bret Hart in a hardcore tag team match

Raven and Savage go over in the tag team feud. Booker will probably continue his feud with Savage, but Raven’s set for bigger things! Exiles go over strong! Saturn won and Raven and Savage won this!

Match 7 – Rob Van Dam def. Diamond Dallas Page to win the WCW International Championship

RVD goes over DDP clean to become the first WCW International Champion. The handshake afterwards signifies respect between the King of Bada-Bing and the Whole Damn Show! Great little way to end this WCW US/European/International title saga!

Match 8 – Chris Jericho def. Keiji Mutoh in an ironman match to retain the WCW World Championship

Jericho goes over in the ironman match to put an end to his feud with Asian Invasion leader Keiji Mutoh. But he’s got a new problem now. After the match, Raven comes out and attacks. He ends the night, holding the WCW Title high over his head!

EXTREME WARFARE REVENGE: WCW 1998 PART 4 – SUPERBRAWL

IT’S TIME FOR SUPERBRAWL!

 

Previously on WCW EWR….

Rivalries were carried on from Starrcade at Souled Out, and we had a lot of interesting developments. We had nWo leader Hollywood Hulk Hogan fail to capture the World Title from Sting after a dusty finish, Raven retained the TV Title against DDP after Goldberg inadvertently helped Raven and the Steiners and the Guerreros continued to pull out quality ratings.

There was a lot of time from Souled Out to this PPV Superbrawl, so let me bulletpoint the big events that happened on Nitro, Thunder etc since then…

  • Raven won the feud DDP and was easily the biggest heel in the company. So a feud with the WCW World Champion Sting was in order (and was what I was planning all along… muahahaha!). However, Raven was still the Television champion, which I still considered a mid-card belt (even though it had the same amount of prestige as the World Title!). I felt Raven had to drop the belt, however I didn’t want him to lose it in the ring and risk losing overness. So I pulled a Steve-Austin and had Raven drop the belt, saying he didn’t need the belt and was going after the World Title. After multiple attacks with his new allies Public Enemy, Raven had taken the wind out of the Stinger’s tail..,
  • Chris Jericho ended up winning the vacated TV Championship after winning a fatal four way elimination match and then ended up winning the feud with The Giant. His next feud? Bret Hart!
  • DDP’s reward for putting Raven over was a feud with the man that lost the WCW Title feud to Sting… Hollywood Hogan! It’s been a difficult time for DDP to get points over in the feud due to Hogan’s Creative Control! However, I still planned on having DDP win the feud.
  • Chris Benoit had been feuding with WCW United States Champion Keiji Mutoh, and fought him in the last few feuds. However, Mutoh won both matches. However, Benoit laughed last after defeating Mutoh in an Ironman match to win the US Championship… helped tremendously by their matches for the belt! But I decided to give Benoit a mega-star to defend the belt against… “Macho Man” Randy Savage, who was victorious in his feud with Roddy Piper following interference by his new bodyguard The Big Bossman!
  • I turned the Steiners heel after they won the feud with the Guerreros. They would run in on Nitro to “save” Rob Van Dam and Rey Mysterio from The Outsiders. However, they turned on Rey and RVD – bolstering up my heel tag team ranks!
  • I had Eddie and Chavo feud with one another because I was planning on turning Eddie face and here’s why. Chavo was my reigning WCW Cruiserweight Champion and was even more over than Eddie. However with my two top face Crusierweights RVD and Mysterio feuding with The Steiners, I felt I had a shortage in top face cruiserweights. After the feud was made however, I soon discovered that Dean Malenko and Ultimo Dragon were both getting super over! However, I still had this Guerrero feud in place! So I had Chavo drop the belt to Ultimo and Eddie/Chavo continued their feud as a kinda “Who’s-The-Better-Guerrero” feud with both of them heel. Like one trying to outdo the other but still remain a team. It was going to be hard to get this heat, but I figured I could pull something out of the bag.
  • Keiji Mutoh was also feuding with Piper after they both lost their feuds, and the Outsiders were FINALLY set to end their feud with Ric Flair and Arn Anderson.

superbrawl

Pre-Show – Booker T, The Giant and Goldberg def. nWo members Lex Luger, Bam Bam Bigelow and Mr Perfect

Looking back, I probably should have put Jushin Thunder Liger in the face team but I wanted three top faces to go against three members of the nWo in the pre-show. The Giant had feuded with the nWo’s Lex Luger before and he was over, so that’s why I put him in. Booker was quite over himself so he got a  spot. And I wanted to push Goldberg so he was in there too. Luger, Perfect and Bigelow were the most over nWo members NOT in feuds so that’s why they were there (I would have put Konnan but he was injured at the time). The faces got the win with Goldberg pinning Bigelow because Luger refused to let Goldberg go over. -.-

 

Match 1 – Ultimo Dragon (c) def. Eddie Guerrero, Chavo Guerrero and Dean Malenko in a fatal four way elimination match to retain the WCW Crusierweight Championship

The top four crusierweights in the company gave me a hell of an opener in the main show. I wanted a bit more for my overall rating but 86% is alright. They gave me good match quality ratings and Ultimo retained. Eddie and Chavo were feuding with each other and cancelled each other out and Dean Malenko wasn’t over enough, so Ultimo retained!

 

Match 2 – Rey Mysterio and Rob Van Dam def. Scott Steiner and Rick Steiner via DQ

The Steiners had been on top throughout most of the feud so far, so I wanted Mysterio and RVD to go over at the PPV. They were fine with that, but refused to go out clean to the duo. So I had Mysterio/RVD win via DQ after Scott hit RVD with a chair! They ended up brawling to the back. This feud’s getting a less overall rating than Guerreros/Steiners were getting but they did better than the opener. Pleased!

 

Match 3 – Keiji Mutoh def. Rowdy Roddy Piper

Mutoh won this match after interference by Tajiri – the second most over person in his stable “Asian Invasion”. So yeah, Mutoh had a group of himself , Tajiri and Kensuke Sasaki and I’d figured put him against Piper, who’s incredibly over. This match got a 87% overall, which surprised me. And also good news for Mutoh as he’s getting over!

 

Match 4 – Bret Hart def. Chris Jericho (c) via count out in a match for the WCW Television Championship

Match of the night by a landslide! 96% OVERALL! That’s fantastic! Interestingly enough though, none of the crowd reaction, match quality or anything like that got 100%! It was like 98 and 95 or something. But ultra-pleased with this. I didn’t want Jericho beating Bret Hart early in the feud but I also wanted him as my TV Champion. So Jericho got himself counted-out and got beat up by Bret for it.

 

Match 5 – Hollywood Hogan def. Diamond Dallas Page

Creative Control strikes again as Hogan refused to lose to DDP… even by like DQ or count out. He wanted to win so I gave him the victory due to interference by Eric Bischoff. DDP got revenge though by fighting them both off to stand tall. The match quality sucked big time on this one but the crowd reaction was 100% because of Hogan. So if anything, he saved it from being a total let-down of a rating. 80% overall.

 

Match 6 – The Outsiders (c) def. Ric Flair and Arn Anderson

At last, the feud between these teams ended! The Outsiders went over for the third PPV in a row to win the feud! I was tempted to have Arn and Ric go over, but Ric was a non-wrestler and I wouldn’t be able to have him fight on Nitro and Thunder. So the Outsiders had to win… even though they did let me put Ric and Arn over when I was about to! 86% overall… which says a lot because the Cruiserweight Title match got the same rating!

Match 7 – Chris Benoit (c) def. Randy Savage to retain the WCW United States Championship

Benoit went over clean in this one. Savage never complained about it, which was awesome (he didn’t have creative control, but it was nice that he was willing to put Benoit over). At this point, I was considering putting Savage over at the end of the feud but I kinda didn’t want Benoit to lose the title yet. 87% overall. Three matches all getting 87%! Come on guys! In the 90s!

 

Match 8 – Raven def. Sting (c) to win the WCW World Championship

After beating the likes of DDP and Jushin Thunder Liger, after vacating the TV Championship and after aligning with Public Enemy… Raven got what he wanted the most! He defeated Sting to become the WCW Champion… but how?

I mentioned early on that Raven had joined forces with the Public Enemy. But another little group was also being formed. Randy Savage and his manager Sable had formed an alliance with The Big Bossman. However on Nitro, Public Enemy and Savage and Bossman got into a pull apart brawl after PE cost Savage and Bossman a tag team match. However, near the end of the WCW World Championship match at Superbrawl the ref gets taken out. Savage comes running down the isle seemingly for Savage… but BOOM! Savage hits Sting with the WCW Title! Raven then covered Sting for the 1, 2, 3! Afterwards, Raven and Savage SHOOK hands to symbolize the dawn of a new powerhouse stable in WCW… The Exiles!

  • Raven (Co-Leader and WCW Champion)
  • Randy Savage (Co-Leader and the Macho Man!)
  • The Big Bossman (The Fixer… or something)
  • Sable (The second lady of Savage)
  • “Public Enemy” Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge (The cronies)

BY GAWD! A new day is here in WCW! The Exiles are here!