Volume 1, Issue 101
December 29, 1996
This weekend, with Starrcade '96 looming and the weekend programs mostly doing Year-End-Reviews I have decided to forego the usual Weekend Report (although I will give WWF SuperStars a look-see). The results of Starrcade '96 appear below.
The Honky Tonk Man makes his entrance goes to the ring and does his schtick (somehow I haven't missed this guy at all...). Of course he asserts that the crowd want to hear him sing but no, he's too busy right now. He retreats to the broadcast table.
The opening contest is Goldust vs. (the New Improved) Leif Cassidy - this could be a good match, Al Snow is a top-notch competitor and we all know what Rhodes can do. Goldust has been showing us a lot of aggression lately and seems to have curtailed his effeminate machinations. I love that move he does where he drops to his back in front of his opponent then blasts him with an uppercut. One of these days an opponent is going to scout that move though, and Goldust will end up with boot sandwich. Cassidy takes it right to the former IC Champ but to no avail. The Curtain Call puts him away.
Steve Austin makes good on his offer to face his opponent from last night + a partner in a handicap match. Too bad Jason Ahrndt didn't pick Bret Hart as his backup...
As it turns out the backup man was the British Bulldog who does a run in and clotheslines Austin allowing Ahrndt to get his revenge (and the win).
Ron Simmons squashes Alex Porteau after some NOD silliness. I wonder if they're ever going to let PG-13 wrestle...
Back in the locker room Jason Ahrndt has had his clock cleaned (and his leg "Pillmaned") by Steve Austin.
Barry Windham (the Stalker) faces Phineas Godwin - Hawk Bradshaw comes to the ring to try and talk to Windham but gets brushed off. The match is a pretty even contest. Both men are tough and very savvy wrestlers. Windham lets himself get distracted for a moment by Henry on the outside and Phineas rolls him up for the win.
Suddenly Bradshaw hits the ring and attacks the Godwins! Once he loses the element of surprise he can't handle both of them, they turn the tables and gang up on him. Windham observes this for a moment then weighs in on the side of his fellow Texan long enough to turn the tide. He splits and is followed by Bradshaw...but now Windham wants nothing to do with him...what just happened here?
Sid interview - the big guys seems to be trying too hard to convince everyone that he's "the Man"...
The main event featured Vader vs. Savio Vega - this is an extended squash which sees Cornette getting in a shot with the raquette (as if Vader needed the help) just before the commercial.
Coming back we find Savio on top - moments later he slams the big man! The he gets a suplex on him. A cross body block gets Vega a two count. The Vader runs through him and re-asserts himself. He goes up for a Vader bomb - almost decides to go for a moonsault but Cornette talks him out of it. He bombs Vega and then the lights go out. The dismbodied voice of the Undertaker distracts Vader who is counted out. He's looking under the ring just before we fade to black...
Dusty Rhodes is saying that the Piper/Hogan match tonight is for the title. I wish they would get it straight...
Meanwhile Jimmy Hart is saying that he and the Faces of Fear will have a "...big surprise" for the Outsiders and the wrestling world tonight. Who knows what that means.
Troy William's favorite tag team (High Voltage) gets another chance to win a match on TV as they are pitted against the (job) Armstrongs and...they do win it! Maybe this is the beginning of a push...(congratulations Troy, your support finally paid off).
Bret Hart's Weekly Column
Today's column is titled "The Hitman is Ready to Rumble."
Bret starts out by remembering what was going on in his life a year ago. He mentions how he was in his third reign as WWF champion and "living up to my moniker of the fightingest champion of all time." He says he had closed out 1994 by regaining the title from Diesel at Survivor Series and then he succesfully defended it against the Bulldog at In Your House in December.
Then last January, he was in training for his match against the Undertaker at Royal Rumble. He says UT gave him a tough fight, but didn't win the belt that day, "and neither of us really knows if he would have or not because Big Daddy Fool interfered and got me DQed." He says that he was naturally happy to still be the champion, but "keeping the title by DQ didn't seem quite right."
He says he tried to do the right thing and insisted that UT be given a rematch one week later on RAW. In that match, Diesel ran out and hit both of them from behind and once again, nothing was settled. He says that this is a perfect example of what he was talking about last week. He says that nothing was ever done about Diesel ruining UT's chances to become WWF champion. "When I'm the WWF champion again, I'll make it my business to give Undertaker another rematch and I'll try to get Diesel barred from the arena." He also says that the indecisive match isn't the only thing he received from Royal Rumble 96. He also hurt his right knee coming off the ropes and it's bothered him ever since.
Then, Bret went to India. "I was touched when I realized little kids on the other side of the world look up to the Hitman as their hero." He says that they seemed to be pretty blown away by his being there and he was too. Some 90,000 fans came out to see the WWF wrestlers in the four nights over there. In Bangalore, there was 30,000 people at the match-the second largest outdoor crowd to watch a WWF card in history. When he returned home, he got a phone call telling him that he was voted the most popular sports figure in Germany-for the second time! "I guess it would be easy to get big-headed, but no one is more amazed than I am. All I can do is try my best to be worthy of the undying support I get from all over the world. It's an awesome responsibility."
On February 18, he defended the title against Diesel in a cage match at IYH. He says that he expected Undertaker to even the score, "but not even I expected him to miraculously emerge through the ring, dragging Diesel down for a trip to the dark side." He mentions that he was already on his way over the top, so he would have won anyway, "but I still resented the interference."
He says add Rumble and IYH/Louisville to the interfernces he talked about last week, and "I think you can understand how I'd had it up to here going into my title match with Shawn Micheals at WrestleMania XII...that match changed things between me and Shawn." He says that yes, he lost the title, but he doesn't fault him for that. He also doesn't give him credit for winning it either, but he won't rehash all that. He says that they both went into WrestleMania with a lot of respect for each other. The previous evening, they both received Slammy awards, and "genuinely cheered each others achievements."
He then mentions that Shawn changed-or didn't change. "What I mean is, I'd hoped when he won the championship, he'd grow into wearing that responsibility. I'd hoped he'd realize that making suggestive gestures while pulling on the strap of his belt buckle isn't an appropriate way for a champion to behave." He then mentions that "Shawn's most recent response to my comments here was to announce the last time he looked he was born in a country that allows him to act any way he likes, and if he likes to act like a jerk and a blithering idiot, he will-because he can."
Bret says he respects Shawn's right to act however he likes, but he doesn't respect the way Shawn likes to act. "His description of himself is far worse than anything I ever said about him." Bret says that he actually thinks Shawn is a great wrestler and a good guy. "I'm hard on him because I know what an awesome talent Shawn Micheals would be if he'd just stop acting like a jerk."
Bret then goes on mention that he went to Germany, and South Africa. He appeared in an episode of Sinbad (a TV series), the Bret Hart sweepstakes (WWF vs WCW), and Stone Cold and Sid. "Isn't it funny how it all leads back to me training for the Royal Rumble again." He says it may look he went through a lot of changes to end up back where he started, "but I'm not the same guy I was a year ago. I'm more psyched about being in the Rumble than if I was in the title match." He says that he has to point out to 29 other guys that "I'm not going to be the WWF's walking rule book any more." He says that Sid & Shawn will be praying that he doesn't win the rumble, since the winner gets the title shot at WrestleMania XIII.
"Who do you think will be the toughest guys for me to beat and what do you think my winning strategy should be?" He then close by saying " I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of my fans for their loyalty and support and to wish each of you a happy and healthy New Year."
And that's it Earl. Happy New Year from me too.
Rudy (in a very cold Calgary!).
Thankyou Rudy, and a very Happy Holiday Season to you and your family.
From Nashville, Tennessee hosted by Tony Schiavioni, Dusty Rhodes and Bobby Heenan.
Dean Malenko vs. Ultimo Dragon w/Sonny Oono - Titles vs Title - this one is to unify the eight light-heavyweight belts held by Ultimo Dragon with Malenko's WCW Crusierweight Title. The Dragon is spewing green mist as Malenko makes his way to the ring. Mike Tenay joins the broadcast team. This one starts out on the mat and stays there for the most part. Neither of these competitors seems to want to take many chances. They trade leg trips and arm bars to start - eventually the Dragon opens up with kicks to the back and ribs of his opponent. Malenko retaliates with a devastating belly-to-back suplex. Now things are a little looser but both guys are still being cautious. Malenko takes the reins with a series of suplexes but the Dragon comes back with his martial arts techniques. More see-saw action ensues. They tumble outside and Malenko throws his opponent back in. Dragon prevents Malenko from re-entering the ring. Finally back inside Malenko gets the Cloverleaf but allows Sonny Oono to distract him and he reliquishes the hold to go after him. It's the beginning of the end...they exchange pin attempts untill Dragon rolls Malenko up and pins him. Now he holds nine Titles.
WCW Womens' Title finals - Medusa vs. Akira Hokuto w/Kensaki Sosuki (her husband) and Sonny Oono - what is that mask Hokuto wears anyway? Lee Marshall replaces Tenay on the broadcast team. Hokuto goes right to work - she likes to shriek as she wrestles - Sonny interferes toward the beginning and gets upbraided by Sosaki - I guess he wants to see a fair match. Hokuto is working on Medusa's legs. Medusa escapes and puts on some power moves. Now she is dominating and the action is fast and furious. After Hokuto gets dumped on the outside, Sonny Oono slips in and brains Medusa with a the pole of an American flag. This gives Hokuto the opportunity to get the pin. Sosaki seems to be protesting the outcome as we go to the replay.
Mean Gene interviews Rowdy Roddy Piper - Piper doesn't seems to think much of his chances this evening but he's going to give it a try. He disputes the talk about him and Hogan being "the" icons - mentions Dusty Rhodes, Strangler Lewis, Gorgeous George, etc...a man after my own heart...he hops away on one foot after being asked about his injured hip.
Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Rey Misterio Jr. - they shake hands at the outset - this is their first ever meeting in the ring one on one. As usual, Rey is heavily outweighed. Liger uses his weight advantage to good effect and Misterio has trouble getting anything happening in the early going. Things even up a little after the fight goes out to the floor. Rey begins to get in some of his patented flying moves. More furious action in and out of the ring until Liger puts on a powerbomb and gets the pin.
Chris Benoit w/Woman vs. Jeff Jarrett (No Disqualification Match) - Benoit and Nancy are all smiles as they come to the ring - it's her first appearance since returning from Europe. This match-up is pretty even on paper, but of course Benoit has outside assistance. Nancy takes advantage of several occasions to upset Jarrett's gameplan. Things go outside around the six minute mark and Benoit takes control. Back inside Benoit slaps on a sleeper and takes his opponent to the mat. Jarrett almost succombs then gets back to his feet and puts Benoit down. More see-saw action then Jarrett goes for a figure four - Nancy reaches in and rakes his eyes in sight of the referee (who does nothing because this is a "no-DQ" match).
Arn Anderson comes down to ringside and walks right by Benoit to stand in Jarrett's corner. Benoit goes back to the match with a vengance. Now the DOD shows up - Hugh Morrus grabs Nancy and gets crotched (ouch!!), Konan takes her away. Sullivan approaches the ring. Arn grabs Jarrett outside the ring and DDT's him...? Meanwhile, Sullivan is in the ring with a chair - he breaks it over Benoit's back. Jarrett crawls back in and barely gets the pin.
Mean Gene can't get anybody important to comment so he settles for the McMichaels. Stick a sock in it Debra!
Video review of Sting Thing.
Outsiders w/Syxx vs. Faces of Fear w/Jimmy Hart - Tag Title Match - Nick Patrick is the Referee so as Tony says, "Its four on three if you count Jimmy Hart". Regardless the Faces dominate the early going. Bad officiating gives the Outsiders the opening they need to turn the tables. Hall goes for a pin on the Barbarian but Patrick takes his time getting into position and spoils the pin...later the Barbarian gets a sleeper on Hall and takes him to the mat, but Patrick never checks in with him - eventually Hall fights back up and escapes. From then on the Faces continue to dominate but are thwarted by the officiating. Finally Nash gets a powerbomb on the Barbarian - this time Patrick is Johnny-on-the-spot with the count. Outsiders retain the Titles.
Hogan replies to Piper's interview - he says it's Hollywood Hogan day and he is the icon.
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Eddie Guerrero - US Title Tournament Final - Eddie tries to keep the pace fast and furious and largely succeeds - but DDP is up to the challange. This match is inside and out and back in in rapid succession. Guerrero is all over his opponent but Page keeps fending him off. Eddie goes for a Frog Splash and misses. DDP goes for the cover but fails to pin his man. He goes to the top and gets caught. Eddie tries for a superplex but gets shoved off - another exchange and Guerrero is dumped out to the floor.
Here comes the Outsiders and Syxx! Surprisingly Hall goes in and puts a Razor's Edge on DDP!! Eddie recovers on the outside and comes back in for his second Frog Splash attempt. He hits it and gets the pin.
Now he is confronted by the NWO guys and holds his own for a moment before he's overwhelmed. They cream him and repossess the US Belt.
NWO Pay-per-view promo
The Giant vs. Lex Lugar- Lugar is very aggressive and keeps the big guy off balance throughout the early stages of the match. The Giant shoves him off but he keeps coming back. A big clothesline gives the Giant the advantage. Now he's laying in some heavy shots - he's starting to get cocky. He's working on Lugar's back now - trying to thwart the Torture Rack. Lugar is in a bad way. He escapes momentarily but then goes for a slam and collapses under the Giant's weight. It's all Giant again until he rushes Lugar in the corner and geta a shoulder full of ringpost. Lugar gets some shots in but again is overwhelmed. The referree gets dropped. Then the Giant goes for a drop-kick and misses. Lugar is playing possum when the Giant rushes in again and meets the back of Lugar's elbow. Lugar pulls off a "Rude Awakening" neck breaker to put the Giant down. Then he slams him! He's going for the Torture Rack when Nick Patrick sneaks into the ring and kicks him behind the knee - Patrick has finally revealed his true colors .
Lugar goes for it again but Syxx interferes and gets creamed for his trouble when Sting shows up with a baseball bat. Both combatents are out on the mat. Stings drops the bat in the center of the ring and then goes and whispers something in Lugar's ear. He then repeats the performance with the Giant. Then he leaves. Lugar crawls over to the bat but before he can take it, the Giant pins it to the mat with his foot. Lugar crotches him then hits him repeatedly with the bat. The last blow is behind the knee which sends the Giant to the mat. Lugar gets the pin and the NWO experiences its first defeat.
Hollywood Hogan vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper - non-title match - Michael Buffer calls it the "match of the Century" and introduces Hogan as the NWO/WCW Champion. Randy Anderson orders the NWO guys away from the ring area except for Debiasi.
Piper looks in great shape - but then so does Hogan. Piper shows his best Golden Gloves style to win the first exchange. Hogan retreats to the outside. He's stalling for time. He re-enters the ring and Piper spits on him. Hogan wins the next exchange with a combination of eye gouges and chest rakes. Piper comes back after suckering Hogan into the corner - Hogan retreats again.
Back in the ring, Piper grabs a headlock and holds on for dear life. Hogan actually excutes a wrestling move - a belly-to-back suplex but Piper continues to hold on the that headlock. They get tangled in the ropes and Piper falls outside. Hogan follows him out and mauls him.
Back inside Hogan misses a running clothesline but Piper doesn't. Hogan retreats yet again. He starts up the aisle with Piper on his heels. Piper runs him into the barrier twice then gets a hold of his belt and whips Hogan back into the ring. As soon as he's able Hogan retreats again. Debiasi distracts Piper and Hogan blindsides him. Now its Pipers turn to get slammed into the safety railing.
Randy Anderson makes no move to end the match although he has ample reason too at this point. Back in the ring, Hogan starts kicking Piper's plastic hip. He puts on an abdominal stretch. Piper escapes with a hip toss. Now he's punching Hogan out - pulling out tufts of his hair!! (and Hogan can't afford to lose much!) Both competitors are groggy but Piper has the upper hand. Piper gets put down and Hogan goes for the big legdrop...and misses!.
The Giant shows up and tries to chokeslam Piper - meanwhile a fan has jumped into the ring and is going after Hogan!! Piper kicks free after biting the Giant on the nose!!! He slaps a sleeper hold on Hogan (one of Piper's signature moves) and renders him unconscience!! Piper wins the match!!!
The Outsiders hit the ring but are fended off long enough for Piper to escape their clutches. The Giant is acting strange - apparently he's pissed because the others didn't help him against Lugar earlier. This is the first sign of discension we've seen in the NWO ranks. Hogan and the Outsiders talk to him on the ramp then Hogan returns to the ring he claims that he won since he's still the Champ. He is going into his posing schtick as we fade to black.
This was one of the best PPV shows this year - almost three hours of solid action which saw the first set-backs to the NWO cause since the angle began months ago. A fitting end to the 1996 WCW PPV program schedule.
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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