From the Spectrum in Philadelphia, PA
We open with a review of the end of last weeks program.
Lex Luger has demanded his Title shot tonight. As soon as this is mentioned the nWo music plays. Here comes the whole gang of thugs...minus Hogan.
Kevin Nash takes the mic. He declares Philadelphia as nWo country. He says Luger has to go through him (Nash) to get his shot. I'm surprised I don't see any bWo t-shirts in the crowd...or maybe I'm not.
Tne Barbarian vs. Chris Benoit - great match-up to start the program! Chris' right wrist and hand are heavily taped. The B-man rushes in - Benoit side steps and then lays in the boots in the corner. Then he turns his back and gets nailed. He rolls out to the floor and catches Jimmy Hart sneaking up on him. Hart sacrifices himself to a punch so that the Barbarian can nail Benoit again. Back in the ring Benoit gets the upper hand but wastes too much time getting to the top. Barbarian follows him up and suplexes him from the top and clear across the ring. Barbarian then climbs to the top to deliver a headbutt but misses. Chris goes up again and connects with his headbutt - he gets the pin just before the DOD hit the ring. They cream him until Mongo and Jarrette save his butt.
Mean Gene with Chris Benoit - he likens Sullivan to a plague. He declares that the time is coming "the sun will soon set on your career." Cut to commercial.
Hector Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko - US Title Match - this should be good - to old-fashioned mat wrestlers. This is Eddie's older brother. The match starts out very fast paced. Guerrero is finding a counter for every move. Finally Malenko turns a powerbomb into the set-up for a Texas Cloverleaf - Guerrero submits. Malenko hangs on to the hold a little longer than necessary. Eddie comes out with his left arm in a sling - they meet in the aisle and have words. Eddie says "If you try to hurt my blood you'll see a side of me you don't want to see." Malenko answers this non-sequiter by saying "I know what you're about..." Cut to an In Your House commercial.
Clip from "Volcano" - a new Tommy Lee Jones movie. Looks like fun...
Reggie White is shown at ringside. They announce his contract with WCW to wrestle Steve McMichael.
Juventud Guerrera vs. Rey Misterio Jr. - another excellent match-up. One of the few times when Guerrera outweighs his opponent. A flying headscissors throw by the ropes gives Guerrera a chance to show his cooperation by throwing himself over the top rope to the floor when Rey's move doesn't do the job. Several times in succession both wrestlers miss flying maneuvers. Guerrera goes for a springboard body block which Rey attempts to block with a drop-kick. Neither man connects. Finally Rey throws his usual springboard Frankensteiner to get the pin.
Mean Gene with Luna Vachon - I wonder if this woman needs to spit after every rant...
Ultimo Dragon vs. Lane Carlson - jobber squash time - I suppose it had to happen sooner or later... Lane does his job...literally... He gets in a flurry towards the end of the match including a rather clumsy somersault planche out to the floor. That's all he gets - the Dragon finishes him with his spinning Huracurranna off the top turnbuckle after Sonny Onoo contributes a few martial arts kicks.
Syxx vs. Prince Iaukea - Cruiserweight Title match - the Champion enters first for some reason. I guess the challanger is considered a bigger star. Tony tells us that Nick Patrick has applied to be re-instated as a WCW referee. These guys seem pretty evenly matched. Both have a tendancy to showboat and both pay for this fault at one time or another. The Prince misses a flying tackle and goes down hill until Syxx returns the favor. The Prince is back in the saddle until he gets shaken off the top rope. He comes back one more time but Syxx manages to slap on his "Buzz Killer" cross-face chicken wing combination to uncle him.
Mean Gene with the Nature Boy - joined by Kevin Greene. Piper comes out last on his own to join them. Roddy notices that Hogan is never around when he is in the house. (I think I just caught sight of a bWo t-shirt in a long shot) Greene confesses that he was once a Hulkamaniac...he says he took his vitamins, worked out and said his prayers - and it worked. Flair calls himself an elder statesman and recalls his training at the hands of Verne Gagne. He recalls his 1983 match with Dick the Bruiser. Then mentions his 1993 match against Randy Savage. His message is that he's still going strong after more then 20 years.
High Voltage vs. Public Enemy - Philadelphia Street Fight - PE show up with garbage cans for this one and wearing the colors of the Philadelphia Flyers hocky team. Both teams go right to work with the garbage cans and lids. Heenan is calling HV High Energy - look at your program Bobby! A toilet seat gets rung around Rage's neck and he gets creamed. Rage later puts Rocco on his shoulders but Grunge tosses his partner a can lid which he uses on Kaos on the fly. PE stack up two tables and put Kaos through them to get the win. So much for HV's push...
The Giant vs. Big Al - Big Al isn't big enough for this one...chokeslam city in under two minutes.
Konan vs. Diamond Dallas Page - Oh boy! - Sounds like fun! Kimberly leads her man to the ring. The two competitors trade slaps before the match gets underway. The match is fairly even until DDP floats over after a whip and grabs a Diamond Cutter to win the match. Savage appears in the stands who says Kimberly has been fantasizing about him (Savage) and calling him. That's all he gets out as DDP heads into the stands after him. Cut to commercial.
Philly Eagles coach Ray Rhodes is shown in the stands as we return.
Harlem Heat w/Sherri vs. Steve McMichael/Jeff Jarrett - re-match from two weeks ago - Mongo shows up for this one...(there's another bWo t-shirt) Jarrett starts out and fares pretty well against Booker T. He tags in Mongo who faces Stevie Ray initially and proceeds to clean house - getting a great powerslam on Booker T just before we cut to commercial.
Jarrett is back in and taking it as we return. He absorbs a lot of punishment before finally getting loose and trying to put a figure-four on instead of going for the tag. Moments later Mongo is tagged in and all hell breaks loose. Sherri comes in with the Haliburton, Debra tries to stop her and ends up in Sherri's clutches. Sherri tries to set Debra up for a shot with the case - Debra drops down in the corner just like they rehearsed but Sherri slips and manages to hit her anyway (a glancing blow that upsets her tiara).
During the interview following the match, Mongo is busy saying how great Reggie White is (he actually said he considered it an honor to face him) when the man himself decides to take umbrage anyway. Security pulls them apart and hauls White away.
Lex Luger vs. Kevin Nash - Nash comes down with Syxx and the rest of the goons. Maybe we'll see Sting tonight. This looks like a lumberjack match. Luger is clearly preoccupied as Nash goes to work. As soon as Luger gets loose Syxx distracts him so Nash can blindside him. Luger is taking it all through the match. Nash is relentless. Luger finally gets a clothesline so the nWo attacks. They pound Luger down until DDP runs in - he gets put down as well. Now the Giant approaches the ring. Nash has a steel pipe and its a standoff until Sting shows up and starts handing out bats. Sting leads the way and catches Nash in the mid-section as the WCW troups clear the ring. Fade to black...
Coming from Johanasberg, South Africa as well as Kuwiat and US locations.
Road Warriors vs. The Godwins - Henry shows us that his slop bucket is empty. Phineous and hawk lock up. Phineous puts on a piledriver which has no effect on Hawk. Henry tagged in with Animal. The match is pretty even actually. Both teams are big bruisers and have worked together for years. As the match goes on the Road Warriors seem to be pulling ahead but the Godwins are hanging in there. McMahon is trying to tell us that the audience in South Africa is watching all of this live on satelite - like thats possible when the difference in time has to be at least 8 hours. (Lets see - it's clearly dark out in South Africa so that means it must be sometime around noon on the US East Coast - I suppose it could be that they are having a wrestling card at noon on a Monday - but wait - if its "live" then it has to be evening in the States - gosh now I am confused...) Cut to commercial.
There is still no clear advantage as we return. The tag champs show up as the order of things is breaking down. Davey brains Animal with his title belt to give the Godwins the win.
Cut to South Africa - Hunter Hearst Helmsley w/Chyna vs. Jesse (Jobber) James - Double J missed a bet a couple weeks ago when he turned down the Honkey Tonk Man's offer to dress him better... Actually Double Job is a much more experienced wrestler then Mr. Levesque. Honkey is telling us his "protege" (unnamed) is going to take care of JJ at IYH. Every chance JJ gets he pulls a hip toss then a drop-kick out of the hat. Hunter is having his way with the singer as we cut to commercial.
Double Job is still...well...jobbing, as we return. Things go from bad to worse for our hero - he finally gets a break only to have the Honky Tonk Man interfere to set him up for the Pedegree. After the match the loser calls the HT Man out. Honky gets on the apron but thinks better of entering the ring. Cut to commercial.
Savio Vega vs. Rocky Maivia - Maivia seems to be dominating this match from the get-go. Savio can't get anything going. Everytime he rushes in Rocky arm drags him into an armbar. Savio finally gets a round kick in to take the advantage. Faarooq shows up at ringside with his left arm in a sling just before we cut to commercial.
Savio is continuing to use a trapezeus claw hold to control the match as we return. Rocky gets loose and throws a flying tackle but Vega is right back with his claw hold. They finally get separated and now they are both throwing flying moves. Savio keeps capitalizing on Maivia's mistakes. After a series of exchanges the tide turns in Rocky's favor. He hits a spectacular flying body press but, instead of going for the pin he puts his opponent up for the shoulder breaker. Savio wriggles out of it then shoves Maivia into the corner - as he rebounds Savio rolls him up for the pin. The NOD attacks until Ahmed shows up with a somewhat bigger than usual board to chase them off.
Review of the Steve Austin situation wherein he negotiated another match with Bret Hart for In Your House this Sunday.
Steve Austin interview - as usual Austin is crying and whining about how he's been "held down" by the WWF. It amazes me sometimes that they call Bret Hart the "crybaby" but apparently nobody ever listens to this guy. Austin claims that Bret is "imitating" him. This "live" interview is bleeped appropriately of course.
Goldust vs. The Sultan - Goldust has painted his head up like a leapord for this occasion. We cut to commercial as the Sultan is starting to make his entrance.
The match is in progress as we return. Goldust has the advantage. The Sultan decides to take a powder but the Iron Sheik talks him out of it.We see the beginning of the match in an inset - Goldy wiggles his butt in the Sultans face. Back to the present (sort of): the Sultan turns back and they brawl on the floor. Sultan takes the advantage by flinging his opponent into the steps. Back in the ring he executes a piledriver then grabs a headlock. Goldust escapes and manages to pull off a bulldog. He's going for the pin when HHH and Chyna hit the ring. They beat on him then assist the Sultan in a spiked piledriver. Goldust ends up in a camel clutch with HHH punching away, then the hold is released so that the Sultan can pound him with the Iranian flag. Thats four matches and three screwjobs...Cut to commercial.
Bret speaks to us with the Kuwaiti flag in his hands. He rants on and on in multiple clips.
Headbangers vs. Vader and Mankind - this one should be wild - but lets go sell something first.
Vader is in the ring with Mosh as we return. He bulls his opponent into the corner and attacks the ribs. Thrash comes in to break it up and they run a doubleteam to try unsuccessfully to turn the tide. They replay the fire incident in split screen and remind us that nobody has seen the Undertaker since then. The match has moved out to the floor where Mankind is taking on both Bangers until Vader wades in to help. Back in the ring Vader goes to work on Mosh again. Mankind tags in and continues the carnage. Mosh finally resorts to spitting some liquid into Mankind's eyes. The Headbangers are disqualified. The blinded maniac grabs Vader and puts the mandible claw on him. Vader goes down. Afterward they switch to South Africa for comments from Ross and Honky Tonk on the match that "just ended" in the US, thus proving that neither of these shows can possibly be "live". I love pointing these things out (probably an obsession I'll admit)...
Clips from the swimsuit competiton at the Slammy - go Sable!!!!
The Commandant of the Truth Squad rants in the ring in South Africa - now what could be more tasteless then that..?
Ahmed Johnson vs. Crush - the NOD troups down to the ring after Johnson's entrance. The announcers are hinting off some discord happening within the NOD. The two monsters face off. They exchange tackles to little effect - then they criss-cross and collide - both men are down. They take turns knocking each other out of the ring. Of course when Ahmed goes out he gets attacked by the NOD goons. Savio joins the thugs at ringside. He and Faarooq are conferring as we cut to commercial.
Crush is in control as we return. Ahmed turns it around then drops an elbow but manages to hurt himself. Crush gets a piledriver but can't get the pin. He goes to a sleeper and Ahmed is going down. Ahmed fights to his feet so Savio distracts the referee while Crush chokes Ahmed with a belt (or maybe its tape). He switches back to the sleeper and Ahmed fights out again. He is put down again by a knee to the gut then Crush tries to set him up fo the heartpunch. Ahmed counters with a spin-wheel kick. He is whipped into the rope and rolls around Crushes upraised knee to grab a rollup for the pin.
After the match Faarooq issues a challange to Ahmed to the effect that if he can beat Savio, Crush and Faarooq (I think) that he (Faarooq) will "relinquish" the entire NOD (whatever that means...) They go back to the States where Cornette and McMahon get the last words before we fade to black...
I have to give the nod to Nitro tonight - neither show was really that great but the ending on Nitro was pretty dramatic. Besides if I counted right they had four screw-job endings to two clean pins on RAW - the ratio was almost exactly the opposite on Nitro. Also this business of calling RAW a "live" program really bugs me (or couldn't you tell...)
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
Bret Hart's Weekly Column The Calgary Sun has started publishing Bret Hart's column on line so rather than continue to summarize it here from now on I will be putting this link to it so you can go peruse it for yourselves.
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