The Ring Report TV Update 6/27/96 Vol. 1, No. 174
(“Two issues in 2 days again? Make that 3 in 5 . . .”)
EXTREME CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING TV Report for Tuesday June 25, 1996
The voice of ECW, and the best d@mn announcer in the sport, Joey Styles welcomes everyone to South Philly for the beginning of “Hardcore Heaven ’96”. Against Mr. Styles will, he introduces . . . from Dusseldorf, Germany . . . BARON VON STEVIE, and BLUEDUST w/PATRICIA. The BARON (bald cap, cape and all) informs the crowd he will unveil RAVEN’S new valet later in the show. BLUEDUST (head to toe in blue with a blonde wig), meanwhile, begins to fondle Jojo from behind, leading to Joey spinning around to run for his life . . . only to be TRAPPED in BARON VON STEVIE’S infamous “iron claw”. Joey smacks RICHARDS hand away like he’s a child and says “I’m outta here”. Hilarious stuff, RICHARDS and MEANIE are the two most entertaining personalities in professional wrestling.
Ring announcer Joel Gertner is about to kick of the festivities, but makes the mistake of using the line, “Let’s get ready to rumble”. No Joel, let’s get ready for a caning. SANDMAN hits the ring and beats the poor guy unmercifully. SANDMAN yells for MISSY HYATT (with her huge wig) to bring out “The guy who looks like he belongs on the top of a wedding cake”. MISSY brings out a returning Bob Artese. For those unfamiliar with Mr. Artese, he was the ECW ring announcer up until about 6 or so months ago (not sure, it’s been a while). Bob is OVER HUGE with the fans, and it’s great to see him back. Welcome home Bob!
Highlights from SHANE DOUGLAS vs. SABU from The LuLu Temple show from the previous night are shown. SHANE works over SABU’S neck, and ROB VAN DAM comes out to add fuel to the fire. PAUL E. stopped the match, because SABU couldn’t continue (that’s what I was told) Joey puts over how bad SABU’S neck injury is.
In the OPENING (huh?) match of “Hardcore Heaven ’96”, the guy who never has bad matches, MIKEY WHIPWRECK faces “THE FRANCHISE” SHANE DOUGLAS. This was a great match with a couple MIKEY highspots. SHANE gets the win with his belly-to-belly suplex. The fans were REALLY behind MIKEY in this one. They really seem to hate DOUGLAS. SHANE probably thinks that’s Shawn Michaels fault too.
After the commercial break, the ECW World Champ RAVEN makes his way to the ring, along with STEVIE RICHARDS and SUPERNOVA! STEVIE and NOVA do some hilarious stuff before RICHARDS gets the mic, just goofing around. STEVIE tells “his man RAVEN”, he’s found the skank to be his new valet . . . so, according to the story, this valet will have been with MORE people than Divine Brown, and be even more feminine than BLUEDUST (is it possible?) . . . STEVIE presents SANDMAN’S ex-wife, PEACHES. This prompts SANDMAN and MISSY to hit the ring. SANDY tells RAVEN it doesn’t even bug him because he gave her out to the entire locker room anyway. He tells RAVEN to just make sure he pays his F’n bill.
Joey says that RAVEN will defend his title tonight against the number one contender from the IWA promotion in Japan. Apparently, a deal has been struck between the IWA and ECW (for more on that, scan the boards) . Making his ECW debut, to a THUNDEROUS ovation, TERRY “BAM BAM” GORDY comes out. GORDY, a true legend, is a huge asset to ECW. I’m so excited to see him in a place where he’ll get the respect he deserves. “BAM BAM” beats the champ from one end of the arena to the next, and into a bloody bloody mess. RICHARDS brings out a strand of barbed wire, but GORDY gets it and creates a “hardcore halo” on RAVEN’S head. RAVEN successfully defends his title after (who would have guessed) interference by RICHARDS and BRIAN LEE. TOMMY DREAMER comes out to save GORDY, followed by the SANDMAN. This is where it gets good. PEACHES makes her way down the aisle, with SANDMAN’S son, TYLER. Both PEACHES and TYLER are dressed like RAVEN (black leather jackets, flannel shirts tied around their wastes, etc.) . RAVEN grabs the mic and tells SANDMAN to listen to his son, TYLER says “Daddy, you’re a drunk and I worship RAVEN now!”. AWESOME ANGLE, JUST AWESOME. RAVEN was SOOOOOOOOO good in this angle. I’ve said it before, RAVEN is one of the most well-rounded performers in this sport . . . ever. SANDMAN crying “Tyler, don’t do this to me . . . TYLER!!!” follows them to the back . . . REALLY F’N GOOD STUFF. After SANDY gets to the back, BLUEDUST comes waddling down the aisle . . . to make it short, he gets in the ring with GORDY, DREAMER, KIMONA, and BEULAH. What do you think happens? Well? . . . You’re wrong. GORDY punches him and then BEULAH, yes BEULAH, DDT’S BLUEDUST. The DDT looked great! The show closed with the Arena chanting in unison, “She’s Hardcore”. Yes, she most definitely is.
WCW MONDAY NITRO 6/24 by MADDOGJMF
WHAT YOU MISSED: TONY SCHIAVANE & LARRY ZYBSZKO started the show by informing us that ERIC BISCHOFF would not be with us this week. Zybszko and Schiavane started off with a recap of the saga involving the Invaders storyline since THE GREAT AMERICAN BASH . . . an interview with STING, LEX LUGER & RANDY SAVAGE. SCOTT & RICK STEINER & HARLEM HEAT interrupted the interview . . . PUBLIC ENEMY defeated THE BLUEBLOODS when JOHNNY GRUNGE hit SQUIRE DAVID TAYLOR with his cast for the win . . . THE TASKMASTER & AN UNNAMED JOBBER went totally outside of the arena floor ECW STYLE. He was disqualified for his actions then did an interview. THE GIANT & THE TASKMASTER vs. CHRIS BENOIT & ARN ANDERSON has been signed for BASH AT THE BEACH. If the Horsemen win one of their members gets a title shot . . . THE DISCO INFERNO came out during BOBBY WALKER vs. DEAN MALENKO. Inferno had his music start and came into the ring to dance about his record going gold while the match continued. Malenko drop-kicked Walker into the Inferno then got the pin with a waist-lock take over into a bridge. An angered Dean Malenko did an interview and the Inferno tried to attack him from behind before taking over the interview . . . THE BARBARIAN lost to EDDY GUERRERO when Guerrero rolled over The Barbarian’s superplex and came down on top of him for the pinfall. After the match his interview focused on UNCENSORED and his loss to KONNAN . . . the countdown to hour two began when ARN ANDERSON & CHRIS BENOIT & ARN ANDERSON, along with MONGO, came out to face THE ROCK ‘n’ ROLL EXPRESS. This was a fast paced match — perfect to start the second hour off with. End came when Mongo hit ROBERT GIBSON over the head with the briefcase for the CHRIS BENOIT pin. JOE GOMEZ came out and was attacked by Mongo and the Horsemen. RANDY SAVAGE & KEVIN GREENE made the save . . . in the locker room MEAN GENE had RIC FLAIR & THE HORSEWOMEN. They were joined by Mongo, Benoit & Anderson and nothing really happened . . . back from commercial with Schiavane & Heenan complaining about the security tonight and how “the history of the sport could be changed” forever by the BASH AT THE BEACH PPV . . . DALLAS PAGE vs. ALEX WRIGHT. Good match between these two with Page pulling out the win . . . KEVIN GREENE did an interview, his interview skills were a bit cloudy, but he pulled it off. Greene said that once the season was over he & Randy Savage + 2 other WCW guys would be back to kick some rear . . . VK WALLSTREET came out to face the dangerous RANDY SAVAGE. Savage had “Stinger” war paint on and was accompanied by Greene. Savage got a win after an elbow from the top rope . . . TRIANGLE MATCH: LEX LUGER & STING vs. HARLEM HEAT vs. THE STEINERS. Crowd was totally dead during this one. Perhaps the time of a triangle match has come and gone. Luger wasn’t in the ring at all for 90% of the match. THE TWO MEN OF CONTROVERSY came out with baseball bats. Security Guards ran in the ring and during the melee HARLEM HEAT defeated everyone for the world tag team titles when Luger was rolled up for the victory . . .
MONDAY NIGHT RAW 6/24/96
WHAT YOU MISSED: HUNTER HEARST HELMSLY vs. AHMED JOHNSON was a *very* slow match featuring even slower counts from HARVEY WHIPPLEMAN. The crowd was totally dead during this match. Ahmed got the win with the pearl river plunge . . . Ahmed did an interview and proclaimed himself “the people’s champion” . . . a promo for the replay of KING OF THE RING . . . SUNNI came out for color commentary . . . a look at some of the people who sent in pictures and tapes to be the new BODYDONNA manager . . . “CLOUDY” accompanied “her” Bodydonnas to the ring for their match vs. THE BROOKLYN BRAWLER & another prelim. Sunni also announced that she was going to bring in a singles wrestler to take the World or IC title belts. Transsexual managers? Yeesh, switching channels. Dubbing now, fast forwarding through this . . . MARTY JANNETTY vs. SHAWN MICHAELS for the WWF title headlines next week’s RAW . . . Cloudy came over to meet the King . . . THE BRITISH BULLDOG, VADER & OWEN HART came out to face SAVIO VEGA, BARRY HORROWITZ & ALDO MONTOYA. Vader actually put over Vega. I changed channels. I flipped back and saw BRIAN PILLMAN coming to ringside and the match was thankfully over (dubbed — went right past this one) . . . THE UNDERTAKER vs. STEVE AUSTIN. BRIAN PILLMAN made an appearance and demanded his guaranteed money . . . JERRY LAWLER made a big deal about PAUL BEARER causing the loss for The Undertaker at the King of the Ring. During the last break DOC HENDRIX made a big deal out of Paul Bearer causing the loss. End came when The Undertaker went for the tombstone and GOLDDUST threw gold dust in his face . . .
CWUSA 6-23-96 TV Show Summary by Mark Carlton
Announcer: Dutch Savage (17 Time PNW Champion)
Richie Magnet vs. John Rambo:
The match ends when Rambo applying a sloppy German suplex but his shoulders are down instead of Magnets and Magnet *miraculously* gets the win.
Interview with “The Original Clown”.
Doink or whatever his name is, has his back turned, does a Randy Savage Slim Jim imitation, then Hulk Hogan followed by a Ric Flair wooooo saying he was the best thing around in 1982. “I started Doink’s career and I ended Doink’s career. What am going to do in the PNW? Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha! Anything I want.
Buddy Wayne vs. Coco Samoa with Sumito:
Wayne is on the offense for about 5 minutes. Finally, the punches have no effect on Coco who takes control with head butts, a double chop then a body slam. DeBeers tries to interfere but Sumito keeps him away. Meanwhile, Coco cleanly pins Wayne after a pathetic slash. Pandemonium erupts in the ring and somehow, Coco is DQ’ed because of outside interference by Sumito.
Interview with Sumito & Coco Samoa:
Sumito: Week in and week out, there is always interference. It’s crap! Coco: First of all, I would like to say God bless all the fathers out there (since it’s Father’s Day.) Next week, I want a No-DQ tag match with Wayne and DeBeers vs. me and Sumito.
Bruiser Brian & Shawn Stasiak vs. Dane Rush & Lou Andrews:
Stasiak starts out with arm bars and wrist locks on Rush who replies with punches, stomps and kicks. Andrews tags in and punches, bodyslams, and knee drops Stasiak. Stasiak makes the hot tag to Bruiser who clotheslines Rush and “The Body Beautiful” sells it with a Dustin Rhodes somersault-flip. Andrews tags in and throws Bruiser out of the ring where Rush chokes him. Bruiser tags Stasiak. All 4 men enter the ring. A pier 6 brawl breaks out and somewhere in the process, Stasiak is clubbed from behind by Andrews. Rush then pins Stasiak with his feet on the turnbuckles for leverage. This is the old Ric Flair special that we saw so many times in Portland over the years.
Interview with Bruiser Brian & Shawn Stasiak:
Bruiser: Don’t worry, this is only his second match. Stasiak: I’m sorry but I’m used to amateur wrestling where there is no 2 on 1.
Bruiser: He looked great tonight. I want to smash em both at the same time, step on their faces then kick em. How about this you freaks, a good time is now to get both of em in the ring at the same time. I’m proposing a Texas Tornado match with all 4 men in the ring at the same time.
Stasiak: Can you help me out (To Bruiser) ? I’m sick of all of this rule breaking. Bruiser: I’ll work out with you. Next week, 4 men in the ring but only 2 walk out.
Interview with Lou “The Bull” Andrews & Dan “The Body Beautiful” Rush:
Andrews: Once again, we won. Those Idaho potato boys just keep crying and crying. This is professional wrestling. Can you take it Little Stasiak? If you can’t handle it, go home.
Rush: We haven’t agreed to nothing. Stan “The Man” Jr., I’m the “Body Beautiful”. I’m wealthy and my friends say so. You can’t get away from the Pack: Jesse Barr, Lou Andrews and Dane Rush!
Jesse Barr vs. Matt Borne (with Lou Andrews handcuffed to Borne’s Uncle Ray) :
Borne attacks Barr and throws him out of the ring. Borne lands a decent chair shot (.7 ECW) then gives the chair back to the fan. Back and forth action with both men landing power moves. Neck breaker by Barr followed by a knee drop. Boston Crab, spinning toe hold followed by anther Boston Crab by Borne. Barr with a double chop, knee drop then chokes Borne over the ropes. Barr tires a suplex off the 2nd turn buckle but Borne headbutts him and Barr falls to the mat. Borne comes off the top turnbuckle with and “Atomic Drop” (that’s what Dutch called it, anyway) and pins Barr cleanly. (For the record, Borne came off the top rope and his butt landed on Barr’s stomach) Andrews then flattens Uncle Ray and handcuffs him to the ring post then attacks Borne from behind. Dane Rush enters the ring and handcuffs Borne to the top ring rope. The Pack proceeds to destroy Borne with punches and chairshots. Dutch calls for help to no avail. Jesse Barr lands a chair shot (.7 ECW) and The Pack walks off and leaves Borne laying in the ring.
Next Week: Bruiser & Stasiak vs. Rush & Andrews (Texas Tornado Match) Coco & Sumito vs. Col. DeBeers & Wayne (No DQ) Also “The Original Clown”.
1996 WWF KING OF THE RING 6/23/96 by Joel Geraghty
FREE FOR ALL: THE BODY DONNAS beat THE NEW ROCKERS when SKIP rolled up LEIF CASSIDY after new manager CLOUDY (independent wrestler JIMMY SHOULDERS in drag) planted a big kiss on LEIF . . . DOK HENDRIX interviewed BRIAN F’N PILLMAN as he hobbled into the back of the arena, he promised to make his presence known . . . A rundown of the events leading up to GOLDUST vs. AHMED JOHNSON . . . JIM ROSS got a word with AHMED, who intended to hurt GOLDUST . . . KING OF THE RING Memory: BRET “HIT MAN” HART winning the 1993 KOTR and then being savagely attacked by JERRY “THE KING” LAWLER . . . DOK spoke with LAWLER, who allegedly had burnt his hands when hot coffee spilled on them earlier in the day . . . A recap of the UNDERTAKER/MANKIND feud . . . MR. PERFECT came out to the coronation platform and when questioned by DOK, he said he would be unbiased as the guest referee . . . To close the pre-game show, DOK crowned himself 1996 WWF King of the Ring . . .
KING OF THE RING: VINCE MCMAHON & JIM ROSS were joined at the broadcast position by THE SLAMMY AWARD WINNING OWEN HART, the 1994 WWF King of the Ring, for color commentary . . . In a KOTR semi-final match, WILDMAN MARC MERO, w/SABLE, was tamed by STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN with his new finisher, called the Stone Cold Stunner . . . DOK HENDRIX was with JAKE ROBERTS, who said he wouldn’t be playing with VADER . . . In another KOTR semi-final, JAKE “THE SNAKE” ROBERTS defeated THE MAN THEY CALL VADER, w/JIM CORNETTE, via disqualification when the Mastodon grabbed the referee as he was being DDT’D by JAKE. Afterward, VADER brutalized JAKE’S ribs . . . DOK interviewed SUNNY and her SMOKING GUNNS . . . In the WWF Tag Team Title Match, THE GODWINNS, w/HILLBILLY JIM, lost to WWF Tag Team Champions THE SMOKING GUNNS, w/SUNNY, when PHINEAS was pinned by BILLY . . . DOK spoke with CORNETTE, DAVEY BOY SMITH, & STONE COLD DIANA SMITH in their dressing room, which was also shared with MR. PERFECT . . . After insulting the fans in Milwaukee, JERRY “THE KING” LAWLER was run over by THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR with a flying tackle . . . DOK asked WWF President GORILLA MONSOON if JAKE THE SNAKE would be able to wrestle, and the answer was “Yes” . . . Another recap of the MANKIND/UNDERTAKER feud . . . MANKIND upset THE UNDERTAKER with the Mandible Claw after PAUL BEARER accidentally (?) hit the Reaper with the urn . . . DOK once again had words with MR. PERFECT . . . In the WWF Intercontinental Title Match, WWF I/C Champion GOLDUST, w/MARLENA, lost the championship to AHMED JOHNSON after the Pearl River Plunge . . . BRIAN F’N PILLMAN hobbled down to ringside, where he went into his LOOSE CANNON antics while being interviewed by JIM ROSS, calling JR. a “son of a b*tch” and generally making a nuisance . . . As PILLMAN was going back to the dressing room, he crossed paths with former HOLLYWOOD BLOND partner STEVE AUSTIN, who seemed aloof . . . In the KOTR Tournament Final, STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN was victorious over the injured JAKE “THE SNAKE” ROBERTS after applying the Stone Cold Stunner . . . The 1996 WWF King of the Ring headed to the coronation area, where DOK was waiting. AUSTIN went into a speech, saying to get “that piece of crap” JAKE out of the WWF, because “thumping your bible” didn’t help. He then quoted his own psalm, “Austin 3:16 – Thy whipped your @ss” . . . In the WWF Championship Match with MR. PERFECT as the *outside* referee, THE BRITISH BULLDOG, w/CORNETTE & DIANA, was pinned by WWF Champion SHAWN MICHAELS, w/JOSE LOTHARIO, following a Superkick. OWEN HART jumped in and he and BULLDOG double-teamed SHAWN until AHMED JOHNSON made the save. VADER then ran down to make it 3-on-2 until THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR stormed in and cleaned house . . .
KING OF THE RING PLUS: DOK HENDRIX was standing by with GORILLA MONSOON, who said that the main event at July 21’s WWF IN YOUR HOUSE: “INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT” would be a six-man tag featuring CAMP CORNETTE against SHAWN, AHMED, & WARRIOR . . . !!!
HARDCORE HEAVEN – ECW ARENA – JUNE 22, 1996 by BRETT SCHWAN
I was looking forward to this show. I knew that after the mixed reviews the last Arena show received, Paul E would have something big.
The card started when ring announcer JOEL “Shave your neck” GERTNER entered the ring. He started talking about the new tuxedo he was promised but never got. Then, he began mentioning different fans by name. Finally, he turned his back to the camera. This was when SANDMAN came out and caned him. The crowd popped as BOB ARTESE returned to the ring after a six month absence. So far the card was looking good.
MIKEY WHIPWRECK vs. SHANE DOUGLAS
Mikey controlled most of this match and even got Shane in the figure four at one point. Mikey had a plethora of two counts throughout the match. Mikey hit with a DDT but was soon belly to belly suplexed by Shane, who go the three count.
JOEY STYLES made his way into the ring for an interview with BLUEDUST, PATRICIA, and BARON VON STEVIE. Blue Meanie was covered in blue and had on a long blonde wig. Steve Richards had a cape and a bald wig (or condom) on his head. This had to be seen to be believed.
THE FBI: JT SMITH/LITTLE GUIDO w/ SALVATORE BELLOMO vs. BIG DICK/BUH BUH RAY DUDLEY w/CHUBBY, DW, and SIGN GUY.
Buh Buh started by saying his name without stuttering. The Dudleys took control of the match. Big Dick carried Sal out of the arena and the FBI took advantage of the situation by double teaming Buh Buh. Soon, D VON enters through the front door, grabs a chair, and gets the Dudleys DQ’D. The music plays and as Big Dick returns to the ring, D Von runs out the front door.
TAZ w/TEAM TAZ: BILL ALPHONSO, SATURN, SHANE, KRONOS, VAN DAM vs. PAUL VARELENS shoot fight rules.
Paul and Taz went back and forth for the first minute of the match. Saturn climbed to the top rope and drop-kicked Paul while the ref. was distracted. Taz suplexed Paul and applied the Tazmission for the victory in 2:24. Taz then got on the mic and continued saying SABU was too chicken to get in the ring with him.
RAVEN w/ STEVIE RICHARDS and SUPER NOVA vs. ???
Stevie introduces Raven to his new “whore”, Sandman’s ex wife, PEACHES. Sandman and MISSY HYATT (with collagen lips) enter the ring. Sandman says he isn’t upset because Peaches already did half the locker room. Sandman threw the mic down and broke it. For the next 5 minutes Stevie and Nova ran around like idiots as Peaches fondled Raven in the corner. When the mic finally was fixed Raven yelled at Stevie the putz since Sandman was obviously unaffected by Peaches’ actions. Suddenly the music plays. It’s a familiar tune, “Freebird”. Out comes TERRY BAM BAM GORDY!! Gordy pummels Raven and they soon leave the ring. When they return, Raven is gushing blood. Terry then wraps Raven’s head in barbed wire. He applies the oriental spike to Raven. Stevie and Nova try to break the hold but can’t. TOMMY DREAMER runs in and DDT’S both Nova and Stevie. BRIAN LEE comes out and prime time slams Dreamer. Stevie superkicks Gordy as the ref. is knocked down. Raven hits with the DDT and the ref. counts three. Sandman comes out and canes the “heels”. As Sandman goes after Raven, Raven hides behind Peaches and Sandman’s son. Both are dressed in Raven outfits. Sandman can’t hit his own kid. The boy gets the mic and says: ” Daddy, I’m with Raven now.” Sandman sheds a tear as the his ex wife, son, and Raven exit the Arena. AWESOME!!
Gordy, Dreamer and Meanie are now in the ring. KIMONA enters the ring and grabs Meanie by the balls. Gordy boors him and then BEULAH hits him with the DDT.
ELIMINATORS vs. GANGSTAS
Before the match, the BRUISE BROTHERS and GANGSTAS OF PARADISE attack the Gangstas. The Gangstas are cut open and helped out. The Eliminators challenge the Bruises. The Bruises and Eliminators start to brawl all over the building. The Gangstas then return and attack everyone.
AXL ROTTEN/HACK MEYERS vs. GANGSTAS OF PARADISE
The Gangstas run in to attack the GOP and the match is over. The entire locker room clears as all four tag teams are brawling in the ring. The crowd starts tossing soda cans and plastic bottles in the ring. (Not to mention coins, pretzels, etc.) At this point I got nailed in the back of the neck by a stocking filled with grapefruits. If that wasn’t enough, I then took a coke can to the head. However, being the hardcore reporter I am, I decide to brave the elements and watch the rest of the card so you fans know what happened.
CHRIS JERICHO vs. PITBULL 2 w/ FRANCINE
This was a great match. At one point Pit 2 had Jericho in a press slam which he turned into a tombstone piledriver. Shane comes out and goes after Francine. PITBULL 1 comes out. As Pit 1 goes to clothesline Shane, Shane ducks and Francine gets hit! Pit 1 then carries Francine to the back. Shane grabs the belt. Jericho then hits Pit 2 with an off the top rope FrankenJericho. Chris Jericho is the new TV Champion. Pit and Chris shake hands.
BRIAN LEE vs. TOMMY DREAMER weapons match
No words can describe this brawl. Some of the weapons used included a guitar, violin, garbage can, metal tray, stop sign. Lee hits Dreamer with the prime time slam. Beulah runs in to make the save. As Lee goes to slam Beulah, Kimona (wearing a see through body stocking) flashes Lee. Dreamer hits him with a DDT on the stop sign for the pin. The Bruises run in and carry Tommy up to the balcony above the door. Lee then prime time slams Dreamer off the balcony and through 4 tables!!
Somewhere during the course of the evening the ring broke. It took about 30 minutes for the ring crew to decide what to do. Mikey and Pablo even came out to help. Paul E. knew he had to do something so he cleared off the stage and Kimona did a striptease for the fans. Brilliant idea!!
The ring wasn’t fixed properly so Paul E offered anyone refunds. He said they would try to have the match but couldn’t guarantee that the ring would hold.
SABU vs. ROB VAN DAM
Needless to say, after one bounce off the ropes, they snapped. However, both men continued as if nothing happened. Sabu hit with all his usual high flying moves. Van Dam hit with a fishermanbuster. Sabu got Rob in a superfishermanbuster. Sabu set up a table between the ring apron and the guard rail. As Van Dam stood on the table, Sabu ran across the ring, jumped off the top rope and hit Rob with a DDT. Sabu won when he hit Van Dam with the Arabian facebuster.
A great card plagued by a few uncontrollable circumstances. Paul E. put on a great show and even treated us to a little more of Kimona than we are used to seeing.
WWF CANADIAN MANIA 6/22/96 by Joel Geraghty (firstname.lastname@example.org)
WHAT YOU MISSED: From last week’s MONDAY NIGHT RAW, ALDO MONTOYA was attacked by a rabid JERRY “THE KING” LAWLER . . . Comments from THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR, sans face-paint . . . Comments from SUNNY and her SMOKING GUNNS, concerning their title defense at KING OF THE RING against THE GODWINNS . . . A recap of the events between GOLDUST and AHMED JOHNSON (as if we could forget) leading up to their match at KOTR . . . Suggestive, as always, comments from our Intercontinental Champion . . . From RAW, WILDMAN MARC MERO pinned THE SLAMMY AWARD WINNING OWEN HART in a quarter-final KOTR bout. Afterward, THE KING OF HARTS attacked MERO using his cast . . . DOK HENDRIX, who is without MR. PERFECT for obvious reasons, predicts that the KOTR tournament final will be VADER vs. STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN . . . We are treated to another highlight package, this one about the feud between MANKIND and THE UNDERTAKER, who coincidentally will lock up at KOTR . . . JIM ROSS catches up with MANKIND in some dark room for an interview . . . A look at last Monday’s contract signing with BRIAN PILLMAN, who appeared humble. However, he returned to his LOOSE CANNON persona during the following press conference . . . SLAM JAM with DOK, who has news about the WWF’S stop at the CNE Grandstand on August 24: it will be headlined by SHAWN MICHAELS vs. VADER . . . Our third highlight package of the hour, this one pertaining to the rematch between SHAWN MICHAELS and THE BRITISH BULLDOG at KOTR, followed by a “face-to-face” interview with the two combatants, mediated by JIM “MR. BUSY” ROSS . . . The show was saved by comments from MR. PERFECT, who promised to officiate the title match right down the middle . . . Things ended with DOK running down the KOTR line-up . . . !!!
CANADIAN PRO WRESTLING, Friday June 21, 1996 at the Max Bell Arena
By Tony Norman
E-Mail : Tony_Norman@pcp.ca
Attendance : about 800 excited fans.
The undercard began with two wrestlers not on the program, ‘Freeze’ Vs. ‘The Pitbull Kid’. Freeze made his entrance throwing freeze-pops to the crowd. This match turned out to be my fave of the evening with both young wrestlers really hamming it up for the crowd, and a good display of a wide variety of techniques. There were some good throws, clotheslines, hip-tosses, and a great scissors leg takedown. Freeze wins the match by a neat ‘spinning’ body slam off the top rope.
Interview (read : tirade) with ‘The Natural’: The fans in Winnipeg are lucky to have a character like ‘The Natural’ in their IWA Hardcore federation. He begins with what appears to be a sincere speech about the contributions of Calgary’s wrestling community, but before you can say ‘Kiss my a$$’, he is tearing down everybody. The fans made it even more enjoyable with comments like ‘the sock is falling out of your shorts.’ Just a great time. The ‘Thunder Warrior’ comes out, grabs the microphone, and beaks at the Natural for a minute, getting the crowd into it.
Match : ‘Champagne’ Jerry Morrow + Jason Anderson vs. Pat Brady and Lance Storm: A very good tag match, pitting veteran Morrow against new comers Brady and Storm. A highlight of the match was Brady (note to Pat : Purple, Blue, and Red DO NOT go together) . He demonstrated some excellent techniques, and took a good eight minute pummeling from Morrow and Anderson. Morrow and Anderson win about 22 minutes in.
Interview : Rocky Della Serra and Bad News Allen, which is interrupted by two mountains named The Basher and Rick Titan. Rocky and Bad News, who have been around for a while, taunt Basher and Titan with ‘we’ve forgotten more about wrestling than you’ll ever know’ to which Titan replies ‘that don’t mean sh*t’ and the crowd gets excited again.
Match: The Natural vs. The Thunder Warrior for the IWA Hardcore Championship: For a match that lasted over 20 minutes, there was barely 2 minutes of wrestling. It was fun anyway with the Natural prancing and gyrating a-la-Rick-Rude around the ring a lot. The Natural insults as many fans as possible during the match, and we all wonder what the arrow on the front of his shorts is for. The Thunder Warrior wins by countout (no belt) by The Natural blind sides him, and three minutes later a bloodied Warrior is helped from the ring.
Interview: Gamma Singh, The British Bruiser and Abu Weasel. I don’t know if it was his accent, but we couldn’t understand too much of what Gamma was saying. Anyway, Diamond Timothy Flowers charges into the ring, only to be beat up by Gamma and the Bruiser. Flowers turns the tide, but it wasn’t very exciting.
Match: Rocky Della Serra and Bad News Allen vs. The Basher and Rick Titan: The match starts off with a show of strength by Titan, who takes everything Bad News throws at him. Titan has some pretty good physical gifts, but was a bit lacking in the technique department. If he could improve on those, he would be a formidable wrestler. Rocky and Bad News know the only way they will win is by cheating, so showing some veteran ring savvy, expertly distract the ref. and beat up on their opponents at will. The highlight for me was when the 350 lb. basher was hip tossed, and something under the ring went ‘SNAP’ tinkle . . . The match ends when the ref. is distracted and the Basher gets a flagpole broken over his back a couple times, and is pinned.
Match: Gamma Singh vs. ???: It was supposed to be Gamma vs. Diamond Timothy Flowers, but a wrestler who wasn’t introduced came in. He attacks Gamma from the get go, choking him with his turban. The British Bruiser intervenes, and holds the mystery wrestler, and Gamma throws some fire type thing in his eyes. Gamma goes on for a minute about how he said he would blind him. A little confusing . . .
Final Match: Diamond Timothy Flowers vs. the British Bruiser: Again, it was supposed to be the Bruiser vs. Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart, but Anvil’s ‘plane was delayed.’ Anyway . . . Flowers goes ballistic from the start, Bruiser retaliates, back and forth, and the match ends in a count out. Some good wrestling, lots of enthusiasm . . .
All in all, it was a good time for everybody. A little tweaking and tuning will make future events by Canadian Pro Wrestling that much better . . .
EXTREME CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING TV REPORT for Tuesday June 18, 1996
Before I start the TV report, I’d like to apologize for filing this report so late. I had an out-of-town emergency and just got back today (Friday), now, LET’S GET EXTREME.
ECW television opens this week with a great video (to the “Mission: Impossible” theme song) recapping all the hot ECW feuds . . . TAZ vs. VARELENS, DREAMER vs. LEE, D-VON vs. BIG DICK DUDLEY, and of course, SABU vs. VAN DAM . . . all to hype “Hardcore Heaven ’96”.
Joey Styles reports that even though BRIAN PILLMAN signed with the WWF, he will still be using ECW to air his controversial views and opinions.
A clip is run of the SAMOAN GANGSTA PARTY attacking DA GANGSTAS at “Fight The Power”. The SAMOAN GANGSTA PARTY are the guys from the WWF who were showing up at Fatu’s matches. Next.
A recap of the TOMMY DREAMER vs. BRIAN LEE feud is next, with some great clips . . . such as some of the highlights from a recent “falls-count-anywhere” match (from Reading, I believe) . LEE gets the win after Chokeslamming TOMMY into a dumpster, as RAVEN overlooks things from what appears to be a fire escape.
As some British music blares throughout the Arena, “LORD” STEVIE REGAL and the “EARL OF EATING” SIR MEANIE . . . collectively known as “THE BLUE MEANIE BLOODS”, stroll to the ring. “LORD” STEVIE serves that “trollop” MISSY HYATT with court papers regarding his sexual harassment suit. Then, out of nowhere comes Dr. Mark Allen. For those unfamiliar with Dr. Allen, he’s the doctor who reconstructed RAVEN’S foot. SANDMAN recently blew out his knee, and Dr. Allen says that the SANDMAN paid him good money to reconstruct his bad knee. He goes on to say that he told SANDMAN to stay off the bad leg for 4 weeks, and doesn’t want him to wrestle. He fears it will make his professional reputation look bad. Well, SANDMAN tells the good doctor, “In my opinion, her reputation will change YOUR professional opinion”, as MISSY plants a big one on Dr. Allen. The match gets underway with RICHARDS “Stevie-kicking” SANDMAN’S bad knee and slaps on the figure-four. Of course, the Singapore cane is swung a hundred times and SANDMAN rolls up RICHARDS for the win. The ECW World Champ then runs in (who is a bloody mess . . . really bloody) and attacks the SANDMAN and puts him in another figure-four, while caning him. This made me smile 🙂 I guess they’re going with a RAVEN vs. SANDMAN feud, which I don’t understand. I guess we’ll just have to wait and let the story unfold. All in all, this was a really good segment of the show.
I guess the hardcore heavens have heard my (and many others I’m sure) prayers, as we get to see MIKEY WHIPWRECK vs. SABU from Allentown, PA. I had heard so much about this match from other AOLers, I was praying it would make it to TV. Thank God it did. The match was fantastic. SABU and MIKEY both hit some of their patented moves, while creating a few new ones. I don’t want to spoil it for you by describing it move-for-move, just do yourself a big favor, GET A TAPE OF THIS MATCH. The finish alone is worth it. These two work great together. This is the best match (IMO) that has been on ECW television in a long time.
In one of the funniest segments in ECW history, STEVIE RICHARDS takes RAVEN to the playground of his youth, to unveil yet another floozy, in his quest to find RAVEN a new valet. STEVIE “exposes” to RAVEN, and the whole wrestling world, “BLUEDUST”. I will not ruin the fun of this promo to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. If you don’t get ECW TV and want to know, e-mail me and I’ll fill you in. It’s that funny.
The show ends with our beloved “Pulp Fiction” closer. This week we hear from TOMMY DREAMER, THE ELIMINATORS, THE GANGSTAS, RAVEN, THE DUDLEYS, SHANE DOUGLAS, PAUL E., TAZ W/ FONZIE, PAUL “THE POLAR BEAR” VARLELENS, THE SAMOAN GANGSTA PARTY, STEVIE RICHARDS & THE BLUE MEANIE, and THE SANDMAN (who pays tribute to the late “Capt. Redneck” Dick Murdoch) .
Yet another phenomenal hour of ECW.
MONDAY NIGHT RAW 6/17/96
WHAT YOU MISSED: Things stated with yet another SAVIO VEGA vs. STEVE AUSTIN match. Nothing new. In fact, this was WORSE than their normal match. I barely kept myself from fast forwarding through it. End came with Savio pinning Austin, but Austin’s foot was on the rope. After the ref. restarted things Austin hit with a neckbreaker and got the pin . . . an interview with THE UNDERTAKER . . . a nice little tribute to the late DICK MURDOCH . . . MARC MERO vs. OWEN HART: Mero pulled out the win and then was attacked from behind by Hart with his cast . . . an interview with THE BRITISH BULLDOG. After several minutes of babbling SHAWN MICHAELS ran down to the ring for no reason at all and they brawled all over the place . . . ALDO MONTOYA came out for a match with HUNTER HEARTS HELMSLEY and JERRY LAWLER ran into the ring and insulted then beat the snot out of Aldo. JAKE “THE SNAKE” ROBERTS’ music started playing for no reason and Jake came into the ring . . . in the blunder of the year the WWF killed all momentum they had with the BRIAN PILLMAN angle by featuring a teary-eyed Pillman saying that he felt like he had family here in the WWF. I hope this is just a typical WWF slow start for Pillman going crazy but compared to all the excitement on the WCW shows (Diesel & Ramon appearing out of nowhere), this was horrible. But it will get better in future segments as the transcript from the WWF area shows Pillman going insane . . . JAKE ROBERTS vs. GOLDDUST: ::yawn:: Goldie threw GoldDust in Jake’s face and got the pin but ref. HARVEY WHIPPLEMAN reversed the decision . . . and CURT HENNIG was announced as the special ref. for BULLDOG vs. SHAWN MICHAELS . . .
THE NWC REPORT VOLUME #4 by NWCMAIL
The National Wrestling Conference had another action packed show on Saturday night, June 15th. Once again the Silver Nugget Pavilion was packed with fans anticipating the 2nd Annual Steel Cage War with Weapons. Before the opening bell took place, a special surprise interview was conducted in the ring with wrestling legend, the Fabulous Moolah. On Friday night, June 21st, the Ladies International Wrestling Association will be holding it’s 6th Annual Golden Girls Extravaganza, which will be highlighted by a card featuring Bull Nakano vs. Akira Hokuta. For those in the area, the show will be held at the Union Plaza Hotel, which is in downtown Las Vegas. It is a three day event, and looks to be a good time for all those who attend. Now, on to the matches . . .
The opening match saw NWC loser LIL’ HAYSTACKS take on LOUIE SPICOLI. This was Spicoli’s second NWC appearance, and his first since leaving the WWF. Haystacks opted to leave his pig at home this time since it hasn’t brought him any luck, or any wins for that matter. This time, he brought a goat with him (his theme song of “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” fits him well) . Spicoli looked real good in this match, hitting Haystacks with a great spinebuster, and finishing it up with his “Generation X Suplex”. Louie Spicoli gets the win, and Lil’ Haystacks has now missed more moonsaults than any other wrestler on the planet. He also has more losses than any other wrestler as well. Maybe next time Haystack’s luck will change for the better.
Match #2 featured perhaps the most hated wrestler in the NWC, LARRY POWERS, going up against the New Zealand giant, TAMA TOA. The arena was filled with “Larry sucks” signs, and the fans continued to get on his case in a big way. Tama Toa is just plain HUGE. He sits at about 465 pounds, and is very agile for a man of his size. Although Powers prides himself with his great strength, Tama Toa out muscled him for most of the match. Powers resorted to his usual tactics to get the advantage, and he was successful at keeping Toa off his feet for most of the match. Tama Toa came back and had Larry in trouble in the corner. When ref. Jesse Hernandez tried to separate the two, Powers grabbed the timekeeper’s bell, and nailed Tama Toa on the head with it. Larry gets the 1-2-3 and the victory.
Next up was an interview with VIRGIL. Virgil will be going on to fight in the cage match later on, and had some very unkind words for KAMA, who attacked him at the last show. Virgil promises to win the NWC title, and give both Kama and SABU the beatings of their lives.
The next match saw the NAVAJO KID take on the heartthrob DON JUAN. Don Juan, who is labeled the most arrogant man in the NWC, once again put down the locals in North Las Vegas, and promised to leave the arena with the “lady of his choice”. Both wrestlers went back and forth in this one, and kept it very even throughout. During the latter part of the match, Don Juan threw Navajo into the ropes, and “accidentally” kicked him low, which laid out Navajo Kid. Don Juan, always the person to capitalize on mistakes, being it his mistake or his opponents, quickly pinned Navajo before the referee saw what had happened. Don Juan walks out a winner.
After Don Juan leaves, the sound system begins blaring “Purple Haze”, and out comes Kama for an interview. Kama promises to kill the “peanut head” Virgil, and the “finger pointing” Sabu, and take the NWC title out on the town. Kama lives in Las Vegas, and even though he doesn’t exactly abide by the rules, the Vegas area people love him, and give him a good cheer.
In one of the most anticipated matches of the night, PRINCIPE HINDU & SUPERBOY finally got their rematch against NWC Tag Team Champions ROB VAN DAM & BOBBY BRADLEY, collectively known as AERIAL ASSAULT. Last year these two team met in the NWC, and really set the stage for Aerial Assault winning the Tag Team Title several months later. Right from the opening bell, the Mexicans attacked Aerial Assault. Bradley ended up outside the ring, and got hit with a top rope splash by Superboy. The match went back and forth with each team hitting their signature moves, such as Van Dam doing a moonsault from the apron to the outside of the ring, Bradley launching a cannonball flip off the top ropes to the outside of the ring, and the most breathtaking move of the night; Van Dam doing a running flip over the top rope to the outside WITHOUT TOUCHING THE ROPES!!! All four wrestlers took insane bumps on the outside of the ring, especially considering since the NWC doesn’t use mats on the outside. Principe Hindu and Superboy did manage to survive the Suicide Bomber, a combination powerbomb/bodysplash from the top rope, which is a favorite maneuver of Van Dam and Bradley. After he survived that, Superboy was then thrown over the top rope through a table, and Hindu was put in a Boston Crab by Bradley. Van Dam hit Hindu with a knee off the tope rope to his neck while he was still in the Crab, and that was it for the Mexicans. Aerial Assault get the hard earned victory, and the fans of the NWC are in awe!!! Aerial Assault are without a doubt one of the best teams in the world today, bar none.
After intermission, former World Champion, the IRON SHEIK, led to the ring by Sheik Larry Powers, gave the crowd a demonstration in Iranian Club twirling, in which the Iron Sheik holds the world record in. After completing about 70, three fans were brought in the ring to try it for themselves. Anyone who could twirl half of what the Sheik could do, would get $500 (in Iranian money of course) . All three fans failed miserably, but got a big kick being in the ring (one fan got in a posedown with the Sheik-hilarious!) . After the fans left the ring, the Iron Sheik challenged a security guard to get in and try it. Within moments of him getting in the ring, Powers and the Sheik attacked him. “Comanche” starts playing in the arena and out comes JOHNNY “PSYCHO” PAINE. Sheik and Psycho are scheduled to wrestle, and a pier 6 brawl begins. Sheik attacked Paine with a weightlifting belt and whipped him numerous times with it. Within several minutes, referee David Hogg loses control of the match. Hogg tried to regain control, but he got in the way and paid for it. Both wrestlers shoved him, and then Paine hit Hogg with a Spinebuster. Just for good measure, Sheik then threw Hogg over the top rope through a table!!! The locker room cleared at this point and both wrestlers were separated. It took several minutes to clear the ring to set up the Steel Cage for the Main Event.
The second annual Steel Cage Death Match with Weapons featured Sabu vs. Kama vs. Virgil, all battling for the NWC Title. The first man out of the cage to touch the floor was to be the winner. Since the NWC was the first organization to have a Steel Cage match with weapons, the fans of the NWC were pumped up and ready to go for this one. Among the weapons in the ring were 3 tables, 2 fluorescent light bulbs, a waffle iron, a boom box, a 2 by 4, and various chains, nooses, and bottles. First came Virgil to the ring to his music of “Whoop, There It Is” to get the crowd going. Then came Kama and his manager, BUFFALO JIM, who both came out on Harleys with “Purple Haze” playing in the background. Finally, out came the NWC Champion, Sabu, who immediately clocked Kama over the head with a bottle. It was a war from this point on as each wrestler beat the h*ll out of each other using the weapons in the cage, as well as the cage itself. All three battled for several minutes with each wrestler attempting to escape the cage. As Kama and Sabu were fighting in the ring, Virgil climbed up and out of the cage, but before he touched the floor, Buffalo Jim clocked Virgil over the head with a bottle, and Virgil was knocked out on top of the timekeeper’s table. Since Virgil was unconscious at this point, he was taken out on a stretcher and was out of the match. It then came down to Sabu and Kama in the ring. The much quicker Sabu made it to the top of the cage as Kama was still trying to drag him back in. Sabu got free and fell to the floor. Sabu retains his NWC Heavyweight Title!!!
After the show was over, all the NWC fans were invited to a local restaurant to hang out and have dinner with the wrestlers. About 50 diehard fans ate and drank with the likes of Sabu, Johnny “Psycho” Paine, Louie Spicoli, and Virgil. All of the NWC superstars signed autographs, and had a great time talking to the fans. A big thanks goes out to the Cheyenne Hotel & Restaurant for taking care of all of our fans so well.
Next week, more news and info on the great superstars who make up the National Wrestling Conference!!!
THE SUPER BOMB by Tom Robson (e-mail: TRobson724@aol.com)
Well, I’m sure that everyone else is talking about the Great American Bash, so the last thing you want to read is someone else’s opinions on the show, but that’s what you’ll be doing for the next couple of paragraphs.
The Bash was, without a doubt, the best WCW pay-per-view of the year, if not the best pay-per-view of the year, period. Sure, there were some pretty pathetic matches like Fire & Ice vs. The Steiners, Bubba vs. Tenta and DDP vs. Bagwell, but they were more than made up for in other matches. (One note about the DDP/Bagwell match, did anyone else find it hysterical that when the ref. asked the crowd if Page was using the ropes on the abdominal stretch, they all said no?) The Malenko vs. Misterio match wasn’t quite as good as I had anticipated, for two reasons. It was used, IMO, more to showcase Malenko’s excellent mat ability instead of Misterio’s high-flying skills. The only really amazing acrobatic maneuver that Rey did was the springboard somersault plancha to the floor (correct name for move?) However, the match that really stole the show for me was the incredible falls-count-anywhere bout between Sullivan and Benoit. I never thought I would enjoy one of Sullivan’s WCW matches, but he really pulled out all the stops, if I may use a cliché. They could have done a much better finishing move than a superplex, especially with that table up there. Why not do another one of Benoit’s excellent top-rope powerbombs? Anyway, as a huge Horsemen fan, I loved the show of force by the group that is the symbol of excellence in professional wrestling, the IMMORTAL Four Horsemen!
I’m not going to comment on the Nash/Hall/Bischoff angle, because I’ve made my opinion on this situation known before.
Then there was the most dumbfounding thing I have ever seen in WCW. Steve McMichael a Horseman? I’m not sure I agree with the decision, but it was fun to watch him turn on Kevin Greene. If Mongo keeps his mouth shut, and only acts as someone to do run-ins during matches, he’ll be a great Horseman. But, if he starts doing interviews and we’re actually forced to watch him attempt to wrestle, than we’ve got problems.
THE RIGHT VIEW by Jim Sondergeld
Remembering that one has committed to reviewing WWF PPVS on the day of a WWF PPV is kind of like looking at the calendar and discovering that you’ve got a dental appointment next Tuesday. The typical reaction is something like, “Oh, d@mn, THAT thing is on today. And I was all set to go On-Line and give a certain Southern California Democrat who knows who he is the h3ll he deserves. Oh, well.” And then you plop down on the couch and turn on the tube, resigned to your fate.
Except that this PPV — King of the Ring, as it happened — was only half bad. For Vincy’s troupe, this is progress.
STEVE AUSTIN pinned MARC MERO — An intriguing match-up of two WCW alums. I was curious to see if they’d add any wrinkles to the shows they put on down south. Turned out they didn’t. Lots of good action in and out of the ring, with Austin winning in the end. Chalk it up to seniority this time. GRADE: B.
JAKE ROBERTS defeated BIG VAN VADER (DQ) — Did anyone else find it curious that WWF announcers put so much emphasis on Roberts’ age in the weeks leading up to KOTR? Or that that age oscillated between 41 and 43 depending on the weather? Kind of a stark contrast with McMahon’s lampooning of Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage, but then, why should anybody be surprised at such hypocrisy?
Vader is still lugging around the handle “The Man They Call,” which leads one to wonder who “they” are. But minor irritants like that can be ignored if the end result is proper, which it was not here. Vader hadn’t even broken a sweat and yet he was vulnerable to Roberts’ DDT? Even terrified of it? I don’t think so. Add to that poor selling job the screwy DQ for Vader grabbing the ref. (Ric Flair pushes refs. all the time, and nothing happens to HIM), and you have yet another rooking of the 458-pounder who should have been handed the WWF title belt the first day he signed. At least he squashed Roberts after the match.
I can’t wait to see how McMahon tries to sell Vader jobbing for Shawn Michaels — if he ever even gets the chance. GRADE: C.
SMOKELESS GUNS defeated the GODWINNS — Honest to goodness, is this really the best Little Mac can do for a tag team match, much less for the championship? Smoky Mountain could field better teams, and they went out of business eight months ago. And to make it even more appalling, the `Guns were selling the hog-sloppers until the very end. The ONLY redeeming feature of this spectacle was Sunny, and she didn’t even moon the audience. What a colossal waste of time. GRADE: D.
ULTIMATE WARRIOR pinned JERRY LAWLER — Could have called this one blindfolded: Lawler runs his mouth, Warrior runs out like a maniac, Lawler jumps Warrior from behind, Warrior rallies, Warrior squashes Lawler. Now will somebody please lend Warrior a dime so he can finally go use the john? Then maybe he won’t have to dance so frantically. GRADE: C.
CACTUS JACK defeated UNDERTAKER (submission) — This was one of those overtly bizarre matches in which the WWF specializes. Actually, seen in retrospect the two characters seem made for each other. It was just commonly assumed that an independent maverick like CJ would never again sign with either of the Big Two. Plus he’d found a home made to order in ECW. But, to give credit where credit is due, McMahon has succeeded in making a quasi-compelling figure out of Jack (AKA “Mankind”), kind of like the Beast in “Beauty and the Beast” would have been if the Beauty had found him as roadkill in a highway ditch.
The bout itself ran unusually long for a pair of superheavyweights, although it wasn’t as though they were setting a furious pace. UT’s greatest exertion was his handful of sit-ups (i.e. rising from the “dead”), while CJ’s workout came from bellowing like a constipated Sasquatch every five seconds. That Undertaker did the job was somewhat surprising, though there had to be an excuse for it (Paul Bearer bopping UT with the urn by mistake) .
Any similarities between Jack and Disney’s “the Hunchback of Notre Dame” are purely intentional. GRADE: C.
AHMED JOHNSON pinned DUSTIN RHODES — The same “gay rapist” shtick that sold GoldDust’s I-C title win and reign worked just as well in selling his defeat. At this point I really don’t care, just so long as this character is buried so deep even the zombies can’t find it, or Rhodes leaves the WWF.
If Vincy had really wanted to stir up this feud, he’d have had Johnson take the ring microphone and announce that GoldDust had given him AIDS. You scoff in outrage, but this is the same man who had his fair-haired boy-toy fake a seizure on Raw last fall. Would this really be any worse? GRADE: C.
STEVE AUSTIN pinned JAKE ROBERTS — The other mild surprise of the evening. Roberts’ “comeback” had been given such a strong push that it seemed a lock that he’d pull a Hogan and, against all odds, overcome “Spear Bald.” Instead, Austin won, as one would have expected had this been in the real world. And now, as King of the Ring, he wants title shots. And he deserves them, too. But then, so does Vader. Whoops, there’s another detour! GRADE: C.
SHAWN MICHEALS pinned DAVEYBOY SMITH — A good match, but not a great one. Greatness would have been if Smith had kicked Micheals’ @ss and took the belt. Gorilla Monsoon and Curt Hennig’s extracurricular shenanigans didn’t help, either. But at least there was a post-match brawl involving Michaels, Smith, Owen Hart, Vader, Ahmed Johnson, and the Ultimate Warrior. Vader-Warrior is now a possibility, which is intriguing for novelty’s sake. GRADE: B.
OTHER NOTES — Owen Hart did colorless rulebreaker commentary. If that’s something he plans on pursuing at some point in the future, he’d be well advised to listen to miles of tape of the work of Jesse Ventura and Bobby Heenan. He’d also be well advised to NOT listen to the work of Jerry Lawler . . . Brian Pillman appeared — with crutches and without his Riddler stick — and didn’t say a word about WCW. He did cuss a little, though . . . I’ll say it again: yank McMahon from the broadcast booth and let Jim Ross do the announcing, if necessary all by himself . . . And while we’re at it, let “Dok Hendrix” be Michael Hayes again. Being that straight-laced has got to be causing him physical pain . . . All kidding aside, does anybody REALLY think that Ahmed Johnson is going to hold onto the I-C belt for very long? Still more, does anybody care? . . . Well, McMahon has given us a queer as a title holder; now it’s time for a pedofilic cannibal. Leading candidate for the job? I’m sure Vincy can find somebody in his front office . . . “In My House”? Guess again!
OVERALL PPV GRADE: C.
One Canadian’s Comments by Doug Corti
Well, considering I sat down to watch the Great American Bash expecting an absolutely awful PPV, I left later that evening extremely happy. That was the best WCW Pay-Per-View since Spring Stampede, with solid action and unexpected angles. I’ll rate the match-ups, and my star rating will combine both the angle and the match. A poor match can get a good rating if a good angle comes out of it, and vice versa. 5 is the maximum.
MATCH 1 – The Steiner Brothers vs. Fire and Ice
Good match to start the PPV. The match turned into a pretty good brawl before the end. Some of the work was sloppy, and the frankensteiner to win it was the worst I have seen since WrestleMania 9. ** for the brawling.
MATCH 2 – Konnan vs. El Gato for the U.S. Title
I expected this to be really bad. I mean, Geez, Pat Tanaka in a mask. Big Whoop. I was pleasantly surprised by Konnan, whose matches have been inconsistent. That sunset flip into a powerbomb on the outside was beautiful. ***
MATCH 3 – Diamond Dallas Page vs. Marcus Alexander Bagwell
Yet another good match that I expected otherwise. It did go a bit too long for a JTTS match, but MAB still put on a great show. DDP has improved since his layoff. ** 1/2
MATCH 4 – Dean Malenko vs. Rey Misterio Jr.
Excellent mat wrestling by Dean, excellent aerial moves by Misterio. I always say Holy Sh!t frequently while watching Rey Jr’s matches. No exception here. I only wish that Dean’s victory was clean. Still ****1/2
MATCH 5 – Big Bubba vs. Big John Tenta
DUD. I don’t want to elaborate too much more for fear of a flashback.
MATCH 6 – Chris Benoit vs. Kevin Sullivan
Another match I was dreading. However, this match was a great surprise. I have not been into a WCW match like this since the Nasties brawled with Maxx Payne and Cactus Jack two years ago. How would you like to be in the men’s room, when suddenly two men brawl in with cameras following them? And the angle at the end of the match, with Anderson and Benoit beating the h3ll out* of the Taskmaster was great. The angle and match combine to a **** 1/2 rating.
Match 7 – Sting vs. Lord Steven Regal
Nothing spectacular like in the Misterio or Benoit matches, but again solid work by both men. *** 1/2
Match 8 – Mongo and Kevin Greene vs. Ric Flair and Arn Anderson
The match itself would probably only get **. But the unexpected angle at the end again drives the rating up. ***. Nobody saw that coming. I still question how Mongo will fit into the Horsemen. Also, this was good for giving the Flair/Savage angle a boost, just when it was starting to get tired.
Match 9 – Lex Luger vs. The Giant
I don’t know what others see in The Giant. Frankly, he bores me. As does Lex. As did this match. The Horsemen angle would have been a much better choice to end the card. Either that or the Bischoff table shot.
Conclusion: Vince better watch out. If this is an indication of what is to come, WCW will truly be where the big boys play. But let us just keep that HH guy out of the picture. Please. I’ll give the PPV ***1/2.
Unfortunately, I can’t stay happy at WCW for too long. The Canadian version of Nitro (it is only 1 hour) did not show the Misterio/Malenko re-match. And what do we get instead? Stevie Ray vs. Rick Steiner!?! 10+ minutes of pre-show talk and interviews?!? Thanks a lot, guys.
OUT FOR THE COUNT by RUSSELL J. SMITH
KING OF THE RING PREDICTIONS
A little late, but here goes:
SHAWN MICHAELS vs. BRITISH BULLDOG: CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: Special guest referee is Mr. Perfect. Perfect helps Bulldog during the match and then counts Shawn’s shoulders to the mat after a Smith powerslam. New champion – The British Bulldog. Gorilla Monsoon comes down and reverses the decision. Perfect then attacks Shawn, kicking, punching and stomping him, setting up a Shawn-Perfect title match for Summerslam and a “perfect” return to the ring for Curt Hennig. WINNER: Michaels via reverse decision.
GOLDUST vs. AHMED JOHNSON: INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH: It is time for GoldDust to be stripped (of the IC title, not literally stripped – God!) . Ahmed is the man to do it (Sheesh, I never thought I’d type that!) . He will pin GoldDust after the Pearl River Plunge to win the IC belt. WINNER: Ahmed by pinfall
UNDERTAKER vs. MANKIND – CASKET MATCH: This is what I HOPE will happen. Mankind gets rolled into the casket and is not heard from again until Summerslam, when he is reincarnated as Cactus Jack. BANG BANG! Mankind is dead. WINNER: Undertaker
ULTIMATE WARRIOR vs. JERRY ‘THE KING’ LAWLER: Lawler won’t last 5 minutes in the ring with the Warrior. In fact, I predict that Warrior will squash him in less than 3. WINNER: Warrior by pinfall
SMOKING GUNNS vs. GODWINNS: TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Compare the WWF’S tag team division to WCW’S. I hate to say it, but it’s pitiful. This match has ‘lost cause’ written all over it, and that’s BEFORE the opening bell. WINNERS: Gunns following a Sunny distraction (best part of the match!) (BTW, I’ll be the Body Donnas’ new manager!!)
JAKE ‘THE SNAKE’ ROBERTS vs. VADER: Call me stupid, flame me, do anything you want, but I think that somehow Jake will manage to pull off a victory here. The WWF is making too much of a fuss about Jake to have him job again WINNER: Jake Roberts (somehow)
‘WILDMAN’ MARC MERO vs. ‘STUNNING BALD’ STEVE AUSTIN: Mero wins when interference from Hunter Hearst Helmsley backfires. WINNER: Marc Mero
JAKE ‘THE SNAKE’ ROBERTS vs. ‘WILDMAN’ MARC MERO: If it did come down to this, Jake would win. Mero would miss with an aerial move and Roberts would capitalize with the DDT. Your new KING OF THE RING: JAKE ROBERTS.
PREDICTION: This year’s KOTR will be a lot better than last year’s cr@p.
BTW, two great quarter final matches in Savio vs. Austin and Mero vs. Hart. Mero missing the sunset flip of the top rope was incredible! I still don’t understand why they put them on RAW, however. That means there is a total of 8 matches on the KOTR card. Not enough.
WRESTLERS STILL NEEDED! WRESTLERS STILL NEEDED! I am still looking for wrestlers to compete in my fantasy federation. I am particularly interested in former champions from other fantasy federations, as well as tag teams. E-mail me at email@example.com for more details.
BRET’S THE BEST! NO, IT’S UNDERTAKER! WRONG, IT’S SHAWN ETC. . . . Last week I said that I would be reporting on the most and least popular wrestlers in the UK. Well here goes:
* Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart: Bret Hart is without a doubt the most popular wrestler in the UK, barely edging out Shawn Michaels. The pop for Hart at the Hart Attack Tour was absolutely incredible and the crowd went wild when he and Bulldog won the match. The whole of the UK, me included, can’t wait to see Hart back in action.
* Shawn Michaels: The second most popular wrestler over here has to be Shawn Michaels. He also got a tremendous pop at the Hart Attack Tour for his magnificent performance in the Tag Team Title Match with Diesel against Razor and Luger. He made you feel as if you hadn’t wasted £25 on a ticket (although I got in for free – hehe) . Also, I get a British wrestling magazine, Power Slam, every month and there are always letters of praise for Shawn from fans, as well as fans asking to hear from fellow HBK supporters.
* The Undertaker: 3rd place has to go to Mark Callaway. There wasn’t anybody (besides myself and my friends) at the Hart Attack tour without an Undertaker cap or T-shirt on and the crowd response when he came down the aisle was nothing short of incredible. Undi’ will always be a fan favorite with us Englanders.
* Razor Ramon: Before he went and p!553d off to WCW, Razor was one of the best-loved superstars ever here in the UK. Indeed, he was my favorite when I went to see the Hart Attack Tour and when he came out I cheered so much that my face went blue. Now I hate him. Not so much because he’s left the WWF, but because of where he’s gone. TRAITOR! BOO, HISS!
* British Bulldog: For obvious reasons, Bulldog is now one of the most despised wrestlers in the UK. We were all thrilled when he won the Intercontinental title at Wembley Stadium in 1992 but e now all think he’s a dirty flea-ridden ingrate. At least I do anyway.
* GoldDust: UK fans, raise your hands if you like this perverted homosexual. A landslide. I thought so. We don’t like queers, we don’t. We want GoldDust out and Dustin Rhodes in, we do. And we’re not going to stop until we get him, we’re not (OK, so I got a little carried away) !
* Jerry Lawler: No-one likes a big mouth. Or someone who has to cheat to win a match.
* Mankind: We HATE Mankind. We LOVED Cactus Jack. Case closed.
* 1-2-3 Kid: Once one of the most popular, now one of the most hated. No-one in the UK really gives a d@mn about him anymore.
Generally, wrestling is not regarded very highly over here as one of the elite sports. Most people I talk to reckon it is ‘sad’. Indeed, I myself receive the odd comment and insult about it from time to time. I ignore it though. It’s my hobby, I enjoy it, and no-one can take that away from me. They’re probably the kind of people who are into ballet dancing and Barney the Dinosaur (DIE DIE DIE!) and other sad stuff like that. If anyone tells me I can’t like wrestling, I get them in a full nelson!
THE EN4CERS POINT by En4cer@ix.netcom.com
Since Sunday was my daughters christening, I was not able to follow the GAB. So I decided to wait until Nitro to find. How happy was I when
I heard there was no Eric. I only wish I had seen Diesel jack knife Eric. Maybe they will show it in full. There has been a lot of speculating going on as to who will be the 3rd member of the WWF bunch in WCW. Lex, Davey Boy, Ted, JJ, even the Kid. If Smith is going to leave the WWF, then he would be the perfect choice. I don’t like the Lex was a spy bit. You would be hurting a good (for a change) story line Eric. It might be a Lex turn around at the 6 man tag, who knows.
I watched Nitro most of the night w/ Raw in the PIP. Usually I don’t do this but Raw was a snoozer. I was drawn in by the AA/Crippler American (Fe) Males match. That must have been some match between Chris and Sully. Like the bruises. Are women actually turned on by the American Males??? Sure they can drop kick, but what else? BTW Marcus, if you’re exhausted and can barely make it back, stay that way. The Savage Flair match was a good one. Got to love Randy. The guy cracks me up and Flair is second on that list. Scott Steiner, Giant match was good too.
2 more KOR, ZZZZZZZZZZ. Jake the geriatric snake and poofdust. ZZZZZZZZZ. Knew Perfect would be ref. Shaun / Perfect feud in the making.
Notes: Was actually shocked to see Mongo as a horseman. (mark me) Again whats a Nitro w/o Flair and Arn. Debra, almost as bad as Liz, Better than Diana Smith though. The ever expanding Woman. Wish they had shown The Eric crushing live. another couple of Raws like that and no more for me. Rey impressed me.
RINGWATCH WRESTLING VIEWPOINT by Jon Shetler Jr.
I think that it was a sure thing that we would see MR. PERFECT return to the WWF once he came back at last year’s SURVIVOR SERIES. The question was not if – but when??? That time may very well be now!!! With HENNIG as the Special Guest Referee for the SHAWN MICHAELS-BRITISH BULLDOG WORLD TITLE Match at KING OF THE RING, I expect HENNIG to be a heel all the way!!!
Each time HENNIG has refereed, he has favored the heel. Just ask LEX LUGER what kind of referee HENNIG was at WRESTLEMANIA X in his match against YOKOZUNA for the WWF TITLE!!! It will be interesting to find out if HENNIG is ready to get back into the ring full-time. There is a chance that we may see HENNIG vs. MICHAELS at next month’s IN YOUR HOUSE 9 PPV. The logistics for that match exist here at KING OF THE RING. I guess we will all have to just wait and see!!!
I wonder what MCMAHON plans on doing with PILLMAN. I assume that MCMAHON will take his time in pushing PILLMAN, like he has with MARC MERO. I would suspect that PILLMAN’S first feud in the WWF will probably be with SAVIO VEGA. VEGA is the perfect wrestler to start building up PILLMAN’S “loose cannon” gimmick with again. Let’s just hope that THE CARIBBEAN KID does not get a pinfall win over PILLMAN too!!!
Turning my attention to WCW, I am glad that WCW turned MONGO heel. That was a great move because the fans hated MONGO anyway and now instead of getting booed as a “fan favorite”, MONGO gets booed as a heel and it is great!!! I liked the angle and I have no problem with MONGO as a member of THE FOUR HORSEMAN right now!!! I think that it was a clever way to take advantage of MONGO’S unpopularity with the wrestling public!!!
I am looking forward to the BASH AT THE BEACH PPV because I want to see who is revealed as the third member of the “WWF” Invasion Team. My money is on TED DIBIASE, but it could also be JEFF JARRETT. KEVIN NASH and SCOTT HALL are rising each week in popularity and this “WWF” Invasion Angle may be the Angle Of The Year in Wrestling!!!
I like DEAN MALENKO at the CRUISERWEIGHT Champion!!! To me, he is the perfect wrestler for that title. He wrestles very good matches and his “Stone Cold” persona is even more real than STEVE AUSTIN’S!!! I really like MALENKO and I also like his entrance music a lot – it fits MALENKO to a tee!!! WCW has not done many things right in crowning their champions, but giving MALENKO the CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE was a good move by the brass at WCW!!!
Looking at ECW this week, there is no doubt that they are the kings of mocking other wrestling promotions. This week on ECW TV, they had STEVIE RICHARDS and THE BLUE MEANIE mocking the BLUE BLOODS. Then they had THE MEANIE dressed up as BLUEDUST, in honor of GOLDUST. It was the MOST HYSTERICAL sequence I think I have ever seen, even more hysterical than when NASH Jackknifed BISCHOFF through the table at the BASH!!!
If RUPERT MURDOCH is as serious as he appears to be about forming his own wrestling federation, then the face of wrestling could change again. MURDOCH is a very wealthy man and his new AWA promotion could achieve credibility if MURDOCH is able to lure top wrestling stars into his promotion. There are already reports that BRET HART and THE ROAD WARRIORS have been contacted about their interest in joining the AWA, which is being scheduled to start this fall on the FOX Network.
This would certainly hurt WCW and the WWF because there would be a more legitimate third wrestling federation that could spend money for top stars, unlike ECW now. This would really cut into WCW’S current monetary advantage over the WWF. WCW would no longer be able to simply outspend the WWF for talent if the AWA enters the equation. You could see quite a bit of movement by wrestlers to the AWA that are looking for a bigger paycheck than what they are getting now.
The real war could end up being the AWA vs. WCW because they would be the two wrestling federations with the money to spend on high-priced talent. Of course, all of this talk is speculator and the AWA does not even exist yet, but RUPERT MURDOCH, as he has shown in his buying into the NFL, is a very good businessman and he has the platform for which to put out another wrestling federation. He has money and his own network just like TURNER does. It will be interesting to see how this all unfolds in the coming months ahead!!!
DAVE’S WORLD by DAVE WHITAKER
Awake, refreshed, and at peace. This week’s work may actually make sense. Shocking, isn’t it?
I watched the Great American Bash. Wasn’t the worst PPV, but it certainly wasn’t as great as some have made it out to be.
Rey Mysterio-Dean Malenko was a great match. But, I think a good match deserves a clean ending, which that didn’t have. The feet on the ropes diminishes the hard work done by both men.
The Steiners-Fire and Ice match wasn’t that terrible. But, the Frankenstiner was so blown, even Tony ( I’m now a Bischoff Flunkie) Schiavonie said “He didn’t get all of it.” I was disappointed, since I am a fan of the Steiners.
I was glad Flair and Anderson didn’t have to job to McMichael and Green. But, Steve McMichael as a HORSEMAN???? Hello, you have just put a rookie into what was once the best heel group in all of pro wrestling. His addition is just like a tattoo parlor moving into the rich side of Beverly Hills: The value just went down.
My obvious highlight was seeing Bischoff getting jackknifed. A Jacknife for a jack@ss. Appropriate, don’t you think.
I give the WCW people credit. They creamed RAW in the ratings, so I suppose their doing this war angle right. I also admire Bischoff (Did I just say that) for asking if Hall and Nash worked for the WWF. I’m gonna stop now before I say anything else shocking.
THE RIGHT VIEW by Jim Sondergeld
After the figurative crater of a PPV that was Slamboree, WCW managed to bounce back with a much better effort this time around. If the Great American Bash cannot fully be described as “great,” it was at least very good.
STEINERS defeated FIRE & ICE — There “had to be a winner,” and lo and behold, there was! And, what do you know, Rick and Scott ended up victorious! Look — the sun will come up in the morning!
A quality wrestling performance will capture the attention of the “informed” fan and distract him from what he knows to be a “choreographed” contest. In short, if the grapplers do their job, we can mark out with a clear conscience. And, ironically enough, the appeal of this bout was primarily in the athletic match-up, the study in contrasts between the Steiner’s all-around ring brilliance and the power attack of Fire & Ice — especially since there was no separate feud that propelled them into the ring. They didn’t disappoint. GRADE: B.
KONNAN pinned EL GATO — This was a match that was fun to watch not so much because it was competitive (even in the fictitious sense of this business), but because of Konnan. It was the first time I’ve personally witnessed a sunset flip from the top rope into a powerbomb on the arena floor. And they say Sabu is crazy.
“The Cat” was okay, but next PPV WCW needs to import better opposition, since this is the purpose to which the U.S. belt is currently being devoted. GRADE: B.
DALLAS PAGE pinned MARCUS BAGWELL — I think Bagwell lost his middle name about the time he became a chippendaler. Of course, he was half canned corn and half ham as part of Stars & Stripes, so maybe this wasn’t a step down as much as a lateral move to something equally as irritating. Regardless, he and Scottie Riggs look too much like a ’90s version of the Rock & Roll Express, another team I’ve never cared for.
There’s a reason why Bagwell is stashed in tag-teams, which was highlighted again in this encounter: he can’t carry his half of a singles match. That diamond-cutter couldn’t come too soon, even if it does mean that when Page flips the crowd the finger every time he walks the aisle, he’ll still have that Battlebowl ring on it. GRADE: C.
DEAN MALENKO pinned REY MYSTERIO, JR. — I reported Malenko’s opponent as Psicosis last week, an error from which I’ve probably got another bulging e-mail box full of chortling messages. Meanwhile, the “smarts” are still walking into doors after having sneezed from accidentally inhaling another puff of Horsemen incense billowing from the bowl clumsily knocked over and defenestrated in the haste of Flairy high priests to scramble to their keyboards to bang in another anti-Hogan tirade just in case he doesn’t take a ValueJet flight back to Atlanta. At least I own up to MY flubs.
Now, back to the analysis. This was, as expected, the most spectacular bout of the card.
Setting up the cruiserweight title was a good compromise on the part of WCW producers, as it allows the new breed of younger, smaller acrobats to shine while still making room at the top for the established stars in their remaining years. And of the “cruiserweights,” I’d have to say Dean Malenko is my favorite. The man can not only actually, honest-to-God WRESTLE, but his poker face ring demeanor is enormously refreshing in this age of wrestling circus acts. And Mysterio, with such moves as a top rope somersault and top rope frankensteiner, brought the house down as well. They even gave us an encore performance the next night on Nitro. Bravo, gentlemen. GRADE: A.
JOHN TENTA pinned BUBBA ROGERS — The hugely fat guys — sorry, superheavyweights — usually lack the stamina to go much more than ten minutes, which proves that sometimes nature is merciful. Tenta was probably spent after his drop-kick. What’s he going to do, shave Bubba’s head one hair at a time? By that time the rest of Rogers’ body may vibrate to pieces. GRADE: D.
CHRIS BENOIT pinned KEVIN SULLIVAN — This PPV had something for everybody, including the ECW enthusiast. I don’t follow that guns & spittle federation much, but I’d wager they haven’t had very many matches that ended up with one participant getting his head rammed into a toilet bowl. It isn’t often that the announcing team (in this case, Tony Schiavone and Dusty Rhodes) has more fun than the workers themselves, and in this case, Sullivan and Benoit looked like they were having a ball.
You knew the “Crippler” wasn’t going anywhere, a la Brian Pillman, so that narrowed the range of possible outcomes. Still, the climax of the contest, beginning with Benoit’s superplexing of Sullivan off a top rope/table platform, followed by the “Taskmaster” getting stomped by Benoit and Arn Anderson, was El Primo stuff. The crowd erupted at the three-count, easily the loudest cheer of the night.
I hope this marks the beginning of a strong push for Chris Benoit. He’s months overdue for some prime time attention. GRADE: B.
STING defeated STEVE REGAL (submission) — Both men are quality workers and wrestlers, and did a thoroughly professional job. Still, this match was contrived filler from the moment Regal demanded it on Nitro some weeks back. If there’d been any meat to it, a Blueblood or two would have interfered, gotten Sting pinned, and turned it into a full- scale feud.
This is the prime drawback to Sting & Lex Luger’s hold on the WCW World tag-team belts. Neither can really get into a singles feud because their schedules are constantly divided. Question at this point is what will they have Regal do now? GRADE: B.
ARN ANDERSON/RIC FLAIR defeated KEVIN GREENE/STEVE MCMICHAEL — Or, rather, Anderson, Flair, and McMichael beat Greene — repeatedly.
There are a number of things to be said about this development. On the plus side, McMichael won’t be in front of a microphone any more. Only time will tell if he can get the hang of professional wrestling, though I think he has more potential, such as it is, inside the ropes than standing next to Gene Okerlund. Of far more entertainment value to me is that Eric Bischoff has made McMichael the fourth Horseman, an act which must have the Flairies seething in indignation. H3ll, for my money that makes it worthwhile all by itself.
The tag-team bout itself was what you’d expect from two veterans working with two rookies fresh from a crash course at the Power Plant. And while the twist at the end, with Debra McMichael defecting and enticing Mongo to join her with a briefcase full of “Randy Savage’s” money, was unexpected — for the newbie, anyway — it wasn’t sold very well. Flair & Anderson had done nothing but belittle McMichael for weeks, and overnight they want him as their fourth? Sorry, I just don’t see the connection. Moreover, the Horsemen of old always dominated the title picture (mainly because Ric Flair was the NWA’S top banana) . But look at them now: Flair is washed up, Anderson has no tag-team partner (Benoit is a singles competitor, although the same was true of Tully Blanchard, and he assimilated successfully), and McMichael resembles a tavern bouncer more than anything else. Besides, even if they had the talent, WCW’S championships are scattered throughout the promotion. Only Benoit has a realistic shot at a belt (Malenko’s cruiserweight title) ; the rest look to starve.
On the other hand, since their hands will be full fighting the Dungeon of Doom, the Horsemen may not have much time to worry about titles. Besides, if you could look forward to an orgy with Woman, Liz, and Debra every night, would YOU pass that up to be massacred by the Giant? GRADE: C.
GIANT pinned LEX LUGER — At least at Slamboree, Sting managed to make it look like a competitive match. Only Jimmy Hart’s megaphone prevented Sting from getting the scorpion Deathlock on those treetrunks. This bout was over almost before it started. Why Luger would charge at the opening bell instead of hanging back, making the Giant come to him, and trying to tire him out is probably the same reason why he’s lost to Ric Flair for all these years and never realized his star potential.
Still, the “Total Package” almost got the Giant up in the torture rack. What he should have done is adapt his game plan to the realities of the champion’s size and avoid moves that require heavy lifting. I’ve yet to see anybody mount a sustained assault on the Giant’s legs.
Yeah, critiquing match strategy sounds like marking, but it’s also indicative of poor match planning. Make it look good and the crowd will cheer; fail and they’ll sit on their hands. In this case, Luger, at least, could have done a lot better. GRADE: C.
INTANGIBLES — As mentioned above, this card was a significant improvement over Slamboree and Uncensored II. Good mixing and variety and angles and work, with a few effective surprises thrown in. But by far the biggest, a veritable masterstroke, was what transpired at Eric Bischoff’s interview with Diesel and Razor Ramon.
Vince McMahon has been called a marketing genius, but I doubt he’s ever thought of allowing himself to be powerbombed off a stage and through a (breakaway) table as part of an angle Bischoff has done both. Say what you want about the man, but in this one storyline he has given just about everybody what they wanted: anti-WCWers undoubtedly marked to the throes of ecstasy at the unprovoked attack by “Big Daddy Cool” and the “Bad Guy,” and more levelheaded wrestling fans (if there are such people) are being offered the spectacle they’ve lusted after for the past year — courtesy of WCW and Mr. Eric Bischoff.
This incident was far better than a match, the first of which will be at Bash at the Beach in three weeks. Moreover, that’s likely just the beginning, since the three selected to meet Ramon, Diesel, and (Glacier?) were Sting, Lex Luger, and Randy Savage, meaning that Hulk Hogan and the Giant are being held in reserve. If Luger is, as some have rumored, the “spy” for the two ex-WWFers (the latter status publicly confirmed by Bischoff, probably at the urging of Ted Turner’s legal staff), this is where we’ll find that out.
But let’s be honest here: wouldn’t all of you crawl through flaming walls of rabid rattlesnakes to see Hogan, or especially the Giant, hook up with Diesel — especially now?
D@mn right you would. And your wish is going to come true. GRADE: A.
OVERALL PPV GRADE: B-.
HAVE A GREAT WEEK!
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