Volume 2, Issue 144
March 16, 1997
Weekend Review: Part 2
A Correction: I stated yesterday that Bobby Eaton jobbed to Dean Malenko on the WCWSN broadcast. It has since been pointed out to me that Malenko, in fact, lost that match through disqualification. So technically, Bobby didn't job.
Solie's Seattle correspondent, Garland Chan, experienced a power outage last night and was unable to watch Shotgun Saturday Night. I have substituted the following WWF SuperStars report since it is usually the same set of matches shown in a different order.
Garland will be back next week with the usual SSN report.
The program opens with a rehash of Ahmed Johnson's appearance with the Road Warriors on last Monday's RAW is WAR program. Of course Ron Simmons (Faarooq) has a long history with the Road Warriors. Their feuds with Doom (Simmons w/Butch Reed) were epic in the old NWA. Simmons and Co. were usually on the losing end of those encounters.
Owen Hart and the British Bulldog were interviewed on SSN last night - they were queried about their personal problems of late. Owen repeated his assertion that he "could have" beat the Bulldog if he's "...really wanted to." The Bulldog took a moment to dispute that assertion then went on to say that they are united in their desire to retain the Titles against Vader and Mankind. He then said there is one thing that they won't be able to do at WrestleMania - they won't be able to make the latter team look "any uglier" than they already are.
Headbangers vs. Furnas/LaFon (from SSN) - joined in progress - Doug Furnas injures his shoulder during a clothesline maneuver just as we join the match. The Bangers are sneaky doubleteam artists and have their opponents literally "on the ropes" through much of this match. Hard to tell which of these teams has the better teamwork. Both are topnotch. All four end up out on the floor and get counted out of the ring for a draw ending to the match. They had to be physically pulled apart after the bell.
Next up. a review of the Ken Shamrock/Bret Hart (with a little Steve Austin thrown in) interview from RAW. Hart and Shamrock are a good combination - both have about the same short-comings in the articulation department...
After the commercial they review the attack by HHH and Chyna on Goldust which precipitated Marlena's attack on the Amazon. I noted that, contrary to some claims I've seen elsewhere on the Web - Chyna was not wearing high heels when she fought off that passle of officials on RAW. They seem to be suggesting that the match at WrestleMania will be akin to a mixed tag team contest.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/Chyna) vs. Bob Holly (from SSN) - this contest is pretty evenly fought - neither of these guys is a super talent but both are competent grapplers. Helmsley takes over about 1/2 way through the match as a result of an error on the part of his opponent. The crowd is chanting "boooring". Holly gets the advantage back when he stumbles into the ropes as Hunter is climbing them. Holly hits a rather clumsy Frankensteiner but fails to get the pin. Moments later he dives off the top and eats canvas when Hunter moves aside. Helmsley wins it with his usual Pedegree DDT finisher.
Brian Pillman's much hyped reappearance on SSN this week was barely mentioned on this mornings program. The speculation continues about what a Bret Hart win in the cage match tomorrow night would mean for the WrestleMania card. Hart stated last week on RAW that he would face Steve Austin for the title at WM13, but then reversed himself in this weeks column in the Calgary Sun and named the Undertaker as his putative opponent. Jim Cornette said on SuperStars that the Hart/Austin match would become a title contest if Bret won the belt Monday. So far there seems to be no definitive word from the powers that be in the WWF. I guess we'll find out tomorrow...
Alex Wright made fairly short work of Pat Tanaka, who has fallen a long way since his days as the AWA World Tag Champ with Paul Diamond in Bad Company.
Harlem Heat vs. Mike Enos/Bunkhouse Buck - Buck and Enos start strong, both are wily veterans and provide some tough comptition to the former Tag Champs in this one. They have also both been very successful as Tag Team members in the past. Readers probably remember Enos as "Beau Beverly" of the Beverly Brothers in the WWF. Jimmy Golden (Buck) has worn the WCW World Tag Team strap at least once (maybe twice) and has been a champion in other promotions as well. They are no match in the end with the incomperable Heat. What an athlete that Booker T is!!
In a Jobbers vs. Jobbers matches - Ice Train takes the measure of Maxx Muscle (despite the disadvantage of having "Jack-in-the-Box" Teddy Long as a manager). Then Renegade and Joe Gomez succombed to the attack of Jim Powers and "Hard Work" Bobby Walker.
The main event featured the Steiners vs. The Faces of Fear - this is a powerhouse match by anyone's estimation. It's quite possible that the Faces have better teamwork. The Steiners' usual strategy is based more on the fact that they are individual wrestling machines. The announcers express surprise that the Steiners would choose to take such a match "this close to Uncensored" - of course we all know that this match was probably taped at least a week or more ago. Eventually all four contestants end up out on the floor and get counted out.
From Charleston, SC
First up - Dean Malenko vs Eddie Guerrero for the US Title - No Holds Barred - this should be interesting considering the heat that has been building betwen the two. Right away we get a slug fest. It ends in a massive shoulder block that cuases Eddie to bail out. Very uncharacteristic. Back inside Malenko "stomps a mudhole" in his opponent as Dusty puts it. Malenko is in the odd position of being the fan favorite. Backstage the Outsiders are hovering over a downed wrestler - strategically placed to be unidentifiable. Coming back to the match we learn that it is Rick Steiner. Who will replace him in the Main Event...?
In the ring Malenko has brought the Title belt into the contest as a weapon. Eddie comes back but he's wobbly. He starts slapping Dean around. Moments later he irish whips his opponent and then drop-kicks him in the knee - a devastating blow. Now he goes to work on the injured leg. Backstage Rick Steiner is being carted away on a stretcher.
Back in the match Eddie has Malenko out on the floor and is continuing to pound on his opponent. He gets reversed and rammed into the guard rail. As Malenko tries to re-enter the ring Eddie comes up behind and positions Dean's knee against the corner post then drop-kicks it again. In the ring he slaps on a figure-four. Dean escapes with a thumb to the eye. but Eddie comes back with a series of European forearms. Malenko goes out and gets baseball slid into the railing. Eddie tries to jump him from the top but Malenko side steps the move and Eddie eats the railing.
Back in the ring and Malenko has the advantage. He maintains control through several exchanges then pulls off a Frog Splash!! He then pulls Eddie up! Big mistake...he's letting his temper get the best of him. Things go to see-saw action. Eddie gets a Texas Cloverleaf!!! Syxx shows up with his video camera and steals the US Belt. Eddie lets up on the hold to struggle with Syxx for the Title belt. Syxx tries to use the camera as a weapon but is ineffective. He loses it into the center of the ring. Malenko picks it up, ducks a swing by Eddie with the belt and brains his opponent with the camera. Malenko gets the pin and the Title.
Roddy Piper with Mean Gene - he rants for several moments then Benoit, Mongo and Jeff Jarrett join the interview. They all pledge to work together.
Psychosis vs. Ultimo Dragon - good to see Psychosis back (love that outfit!) - This should be the ultimate high flying bout. Psychosis always lives up to his name - the guy is nuts! Probably why he is frequently out of action for weeks at a time... Tenay tells us this is the first singles meeting between these two. The Dragon grounds the madman in the early going. He is clearly dominating the action. Then Pychosis recovers and drops a big heel on the Dragon's nose. The pace of this match is surprisingly slow.
Pychosis hits an amazing suicide dive after putting the Dragon out to the floor. He tries a second move and hits it again but hurts himself in the process.
Outside again a few moments later the Dragon hits a springboard moonsault. Then Sonny Oono puts some martial arts kicks on Psychosis as the Dragon distracts the referee. Back inside the Dragon hits another moonsault but fails in the pin attempt. They trade pin attempts. Both go to the top and manage to fling themselves face first onto the mat. Both are down. They get up and both attempt a spin-wheel kick. Both down again. They go the top together again - Psychosis gets the Frankensteiner - no cigar. They climb to the top once again. Dragon executes a spinning "Hurricane" DDT then a Tigar Suplex to get the pin. That's two excellent matches.
Mean Gene interviews Diamond Dallas Page - will he replace Rick Steiner? He is asked about Randy Savage first. The crowd chants "DDP! DDP!" He challanges Savage again (and gives him the salute) Savage appears with a mic about 50 feet away. Liz is with him. Savage apologizes and says he has "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" for DDP. He holds up a girlie mag with Kimberley's cenerfold picture in it. Kimberly appears in tears - her dress has been painted with the letters NWO. As DDP is distracted Savage Pearl Harbors DDP then spray paints him. Then he spray-paints Kimberly again as she comforts her fallen husband.
Glacier vs. Mortis (w/James Vandeburg) - Martial Arts match - they say that Mortis and Glacier are old enemies. Mortis' entrance is as bizarre as Glacier's - he uses green light. Mortis is the bigger man but he is very quick as well. After the first exchange Glacier complains of an ear injury. Mortis punches him there several times. Then Glacier recovers and runs Mortis into the railing on the outside. Back inside Glacier goes for a pin but Vandeburg pulls him off. He goes after the manager and gets blindsided by Mortis. Outside, Mortis picks Glacier up in a fireman's carry, mounts the steps then drops him jaw-first onto the apron. Back inside Mortis has the advantage. He puts a leg over Glacier's neck and DDT's him that way. He tries it a second time and gets powerslammed. Now it is see-saw. Glacier goes for his finisher (the Cryonic Kick) but cuts it short when Mortis pulls the referee between them. Moments later Mortis has to do the same to keep from hitting his manager. Glacier gets his kick in and wins. Now a new player arrives - Brian Clark (formerly Adam Bomb) joins Mortis in double teaming Glacier. Another excellent match. WCW is going all out so far.
Replay of the "Auto accident" video from a few weeks back involving the Steiners and the Outsiders.
"Buff" Bagwell vs. Scotty Riggs - our first jobber match of the card. This one is a strap match. and is surprisingly well fought by both competitors. Riggs goes for the win first. He gets two posts before his movement is stopped. Bagwell comes back and deals out some punishment with the strap. He wraps up Scotty by the throat and gets two corners before he is halted. Bagwell keeps stopping to pose and losing his momentum. Still, as the match goes on he is getting in most of the shots. Riggs comes back and manges to get three corners but then loses his momentum. He gets dumped outside and strikes his back on the apron. He is out of it as Bagwell touches all four corners with no interference from his opponent. It looks like Riggs is seriously hurt.
The NWO team are together back stage (in black and white) they are guaranteeing victory. Hall quotes Jimmy Cagney from White Heat "Hey Ma, look at me now! Top of the world!" (that line happened just before the gas storage tank that Cagney was standing on blew sky high...)
Harlem Heat vs. the Public Enemy - Texas Tornedo Match - PE come out with their table as usual. This match is aptly named - a regular Hurricane of action. It goes outside almost immediately. Sherri starts hitting people with a frying pan! There is a toilet seat involved as well, trash can lids, pizza pans, baking utinsils, cookie sheets, etc. There is a big bang every few seconds throughout this one. The PE clearly hold the advantage here because they are more accustomed to using "plunder" as Dusty terms it. At one point they trap Stevie Ray's head in a trashcan and pummel him. Dusty laughs and says "I used to do that to my little brother..!"
Sherri finally manages to turn the tide for her team but only for a moment. The announcers are cracking up all through this... A woman fan's handbag gets into the action and then a portable tape recorder! Twice Sheri tries to use a trash can but keeps hitting Stevie Ray. Jeff Jarrett and Mongo come out and McMichael hits Grunge with the Haliburton case. Booker T finishes the job.
Mean Gene with the WCW team (three of them) - Scott says his brother will be back! (seems doubtful to me) The Giant says he will clean house tonight - he also expects Rick to come back for the match. Lugar says this match is for the honor of WCW. He only claims that Rick will be there in "spirit".
Ray Misterio Jr. vs. Prince Iaukea - TV Title match - this is another surprisingly even match. Prince Iaukea has gained a lot of confidence since his Title reign began about two months ago. It is also less of a high-flying match then we might have expected. Both men are relying more on mat wrestling. In fact many of the high-flying attempts are unsuccessful. Both men go for a drop-kick at the same moment and end up groaning on the mat. Moments later they exchange pin attempts. Eventually they go the extended 15 minute time limit. Misterio wants more time. The champ agrees.
Mark Curtis restarts the match. Misterio kicks it into high gear. Now he is flying. But he beats himself when the Prince rolls through a move and pins his opponent.
WCW Spring Stampede promo featuring the Horsemen in cowboy outfits...
The Main Event - Michael Buffer is the ring announcer - he recites the rules then starts by introducing Benoit for Piper's team, Scott Hall for the NWO and the Giant for WCW. Benoit is on Hall before the Giant arrives. he clotheslines both as soon as he enters the ring. Then he goes to work on them one at a time. He keeps both men at bay during the preliminary round until Hall grabs a sleeper on him. The Giant throws him off. Moments later the Giant eliminates himself by throwing himself over the top rope!
Jarrett is the next man up - followed by Savage then Lex Lugar. Lugar is on his own against two each of the other teams. The next man out is Mongo then Kevin Nash then Scott Steiner. This is getting impossible to call. Steiner is suplexing right and left. Jeff Jarrett is eliminated next. Then Mongo is eliminated! That leaves two Piper team members, NWO at full strength - then Scotty Steiner is thrown out. Lugar is on his own.
Piper comes down, a long moment later Hogan comes down with Dennis Rodmen. He takes his time going into the ring. Piper is on the outside working Savage over with a chain. Hogan continues to observe the action with Rodman at ringside. Finally he enters the ring and gets into it with Piper. next thing you know they are outside and Hogan is trying to flee the ring area. Savage rescues him and they return to the ring.
Piper is the next one eliminated when Rodman pulls down the top rope. He and Hogan continue to fight on the outside of the ring. In the ring Benoit gets Razors edged. Then he is eliminated. Lex Lugar is now alone against the NWO...he is collapsed in the corner as the NWO hold a huddle (including Rodman).
Lugar comes to life suddenly and racks Savage - Savage gives up - then he eliminates Nash by clotheslines him over the top. Next he racks Hall - another elimination. Then he racks Hogan but Savage runs in with the a can of spray paint that Rodman brought with him and gets Lugar in the eye as Nash is distracting the referee. Lugar is pinned by Hogan. They spray paint his back - Rodman gets in a few licks while Lugar is still out of it.
Suddenly Sting descends from the rafters on a guy wire - he lays into the whole NWO with his bat as they re-enter the ring. He puts the reverse DDT on Savage then Hall then Nash. Now he is challanging Hogan!! Hogan looks scared but Rodman bucks him up.
Hogan goes back to the ring after Sting puts down the bat. Sting turns his back then turns back around as Hogan attacks. He blocks Hogan's punches then puts him down with the reverse DDT. Fade to black...(Eric Bischoff is listed as the Executive Producer in the credits).
I have to say that WCW pulled out all the stops for this one and largely succeeded in giving us an excellent PPV. The ending of the Main Event was a crock but the comeback of Sting made it worth it. The rest of the card was solid from top to bottom.
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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