The EYE on WRESTLING - Special Report
WCW Saturday Night Nitro Cybercast Report
by Jeremy Hartley
Ahhhh the joy of modern technology.
It has been said that the Internet and all its' splendor will help to relieve some of the everyday hassles that life has a way of throwing in our general direction. Since I am fortunate enough to work in system administration on my own Internet Service Provider, I can both understand the frustrations, as well as benefit from the great technological advancements. Also, being totally blind, the adoption of streaming audio broadcasts of a Pro wrestling event was something of a wondrous nature. This Saturday's broadcast across the Internet made possible by the folks at Audionet and WCW was in my opinion the giant step in the right direction. Last night's card was in reality, nothing more than a House Show, the kind of program that goes on day in and day out. What made this so important was the outreaching of the wrestling community and the distribution of entertainment on a world-wide level. With all that said, what did I think?
First off, if anyone tells you that watching an event at home on your desktop is far easier and hassle free, give them my e-mail address! With all the Network connections breaking down last night, as well as the website's error in posting the wrong Realaudio file, I didn't find a virtual parking spot, or a seat in the arena until long after midnight. But the good thing was, it was right there waiting for me when I could obtain a secure network connection, so I suppose there is in fact an upside. While I waited to take my place on the network as an eager fan, I watched Mike Tyson take a huge bite out of boxing history, so all was not lost.
Once all the network congestion and breakdowns were solved, it was time for the show!
To add to the realistic feel of being there, the show opened with the National Anthem in all its' glory. Mean Gene Okerlund and Mark Madden had the assignment of play-by-play tonight, and believe me, throughout the show, they endured their share of technical difficulties and ringside problems. Mike Tenney would join Madden and Okerlund on those matches involving the stars from abroad.
The first match on the card was a six man Lucha style match. I don't envy the boys at all for trying to call this match on virtually a radio broadcast. The final outcome saw Konan's trio take home the win after a high flying opening match.
I suppose I should backtrack a little and say that this show was billed as the show that the NWO didn't want you to see, and for good reason. Syxx and Ray Mysterio JR. were to get it on in the next match for the cruiserweight title. Chris Jericho came strutting down to the ringside area and issued an open challenge to whomever won tonight. He said he wanted a title shot that night. Both men agreed. This match was not the greatest encounter that has followed these two men before, but it was fairly decent considering the house show mentality. Syxx would win the match with the buzzkiller, and send Ray JR. packing.
Syxx then called Jerico out to the ring. Jerico would defeat the fatigued Syxx in a matter of seconds to secure the Cruiserweight strap. That is one point against the NWO.
The next match pitted the Steiners VS Chono and Bagwell. Scott norton was not in attendance as was announced earlier. Unfortunately, I momentarily lost my network connection during most of this match. All I can say was there were suplexes all over the place! Typical Steiner match! Explosive! The Steiners would ultimately win this match after a belly-to-belly applied to Bagwell by Rick Steiner. Scott Steiner was taking care of Chono on the out side of the ring with a chair that a fan had thrown into the ring. Another point against the NWO.
This next match was the upset of the night. Eddie Guerrero VS Dean Malenko. It was well documented in this match by Madden that Eddie had a history of being a rule breaker in other promotions, and mentioned Eddie's tag team with the late Art Barr, a good touch I thought. Eddie was more aggressive than I had ever seen him in any match in WCW. It was like he had gone back to his old ways, which in his case, I think is a good thing. The fans in LA were behind him no matter what. Many Latino fans in attendance this night. Guerrero got the victory, thanks to dirty tactics of placing his feet on the ring ropes for leverage. He then was interviewed by Mean Gene, and to make a long story short, he stated that he doesn't give a damn about the fans, and he is going to do what it takes to be the baddest.
Perhaps the best part of the night was the Rick Flair interview, and the subsequent match with Piper. In the interview, Flair returned so to speak to his days in the Mid- Atlantic territory. He got involved with the fans, insulting them, and calling out all the women. He of course managed to get a jab in about the LA Lakers, and how these fans must have been shocked about Flair's recent actions, just as they were when their beloved Lakers failed in the Playoffs. I won't describe the Piper Flair match in great detail. Not much to say. A pure Brawl! Piper would ultimately win this match with his sleeper, yes you read that correctly! Flair was put to sleep.
Other matches on the card saw: Ultimo Dragon defeating Psychosis, DDP defeat Macho man Savage with the diamond cutter, and Luger and the Giant defeat the outsiders via dq when the wolf pack and Hogan all hit the ring. An interesting side note to this last match, Sting did his usual rafter schtick, but this time him and Hogan got it on for about 60 seconds, with Sting Putting Hogan in the scorpion Deathlock! The show ended with Sting Luger and the Giant standing with bats, and the weapon that looked like a crow-bar that Nash brought to the ring.
I realize that my match descriptions left a lot to be desired. My intention of writing this special report was not to recount matches, but rather help to spur interest in this brand new form of our beloved sport. Gene Okerlund said it best when he said, welcome to the theater of the mind. I think we are seeing a new standard being set when it comes to broadcast communications. This show was not only broadcast live, but it is also stored on the audionet website for anyone who wants to examine the show themselves.
I think that Madden and Okerlund make a great team, and I personally think that Gene needed this kind of opportunity. He is a talented announcer, and knows his craft really well. Madden, although a bit brash at times, brings back the bad guy commentator who tells it like it is. There is nothing wrong with that indeed. I would like to see more of these shows in the future, and I sincerely hope that with the WWF's move into the Internet web arena, they will soon follow suit. And with that, my report is finished, and I will be back soon with an in depth column detailing some of the recent events that have been taking place in Cyberspace and wrestling. And with that, this special eye is closed.
If you wish to send any feedback or questions, please send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeremy Hartley's EYE on WRESTLING articles are a regular feature of Solie's Wrestling Newsletter.
WCW Nitro Report
Live from Las Vegas - the MGM Grand Hotel
Mean Gene w/Ric Flair and friends - Flair brings out two bimbos carrying an effigy of Roddy Piper. They remove the kilt to reveal...nothing. (giggle...)
Flair, after some of the usual palaver, holds up the empty kilt and says in effect, "This is all that's left of an ICON..." He then lays the kilt out on the floor and asks for a "moment of silence". He blames all of his problems on the fact that Roddy Piper tried to tell him how to wrestle a match - the women make salacious remarks - classic Nature Boy stuff...
Juventud Guererra vs. Chris Jericho - the announcers are busy hyping the appearance later tonight of the fabled "impact player" (probably Curt Hennig...but it could be Scott Levy instead...we'll see...)
Jericho wrestles a very methodical match which contrasts sharply with his usual style. He seems nervous about his recent elevation to Cruiserweight Champ. This contest is moving uncharacteristically slowly until Juventud makes his escape. Five seconds later Jericho is out on the floor on the receiving end of a Suicide Dive assault.
He struggles back and turns the tables by blocking a Frankensteiner and turning it into two powerbombs. A Boston Crab provides the submission victory.
Syxx comes to the ring and does his best "Big Daddy Cool" impression (which doesn't make much of one...) He does manage to look bigger than Jericho. He says he is "still the Champ" and offers Jericho a shot at the title? Chris gets a slap in the chops - a brawl erupts...yatta, yatta - cut to commercial.
Mean Gene is back with seemingly nothing to do when Alex Wright and claims (with much accuracy) that nobody is paying attention to him (with good reason...)
Dean Malenko vs. Eddie Guerrero - Eddie goes nuts - he attacks Malenko out in the aisle and dominates the opening minutes. Malenko comes back with his usual aplomb and is in the midst of his recovery he is cut short by the arrival of Chavo Jr. The younger Guerrero jumps up on the apron and starts upbraiding his uncle - who ignores him but uses the distraction to get the jump on his opponent. He slings Malenko into his nephew head o head (ouch) and then gets froggy to take the win. He leads his dazed relative away after the match. Cut to commercial.
Rey Misterio Jr. wants a match with Kevin Nash for some insane reason. Nash outweighs him by 100% and readily agrees. Rey says "I can take you..." - dream on Rey...
Voodoo Child blairs from the sound system as Eric Bischoff rides to the ring on a chopped hog. Hogan follows him playing air-guitar on the defaced WCW belt. EB says everybody loves Hollywood Hogan (yeah...right Eric) Hogan takes a long time to say that he plans to create a lot of havok tonight - he sort of announces a six man match with the Outsiders and Randy Savage vs. the Giant/Luger and DDP.
Hector Garza vs. Steve Regal - young Garza is perhaps the most appealing of the current crop of AAA invadors because he chooses not to hide his considerable good looks. He is putty in Regal's hands during the early going. He comes back with some rather confusing back flip moves then he tries his "Corkscrew" moonsault off the apron but just barely connects. Garza clearly got the worst of it but Regal was knocked down Regal pretends to be hurt while the badly battered challenger pulls himself together. Garza struggles to the top turnbuckle and gets a missle drop-kick in. Regal is pretending to be beaten. Garza throws another moonsault by springboarding off the second rope. Regal gets the knees up - the Regal Stretch seals his fate.
Mean Gene with the Steiners - they want another title shot (duh...) Hall and Nash stroll out with a contract which the Steiners sign sight unseen - turns out it's a contract to meet Chono and Muta...oh well...
Psychosis vs. Super Calo - Calo is the better wrestler and dominates most of the match despite Sonny Oono's best thrown kicks until the very end. Oono grabs his ankles during a suplex and hands the pin to Psychosis. Calo goes berserk after the pin - La Parka runs in and breaks up the assault with a well placed chair shot. Juventud wades in to little effect initially then turns the tables by getting the two bad guys to run into each other.
Norton/Bagwell/Chono vs. Benoit/McMichael/Flair - Buff Bagwell explodes all over Flair to open the match until Mongo tags in. Bagwell pulls him into the corner and tags in Norton. There is a power struggle but little else then Chono is in. This evens up the contest for a while. The Horsemen coordinate their attack and soon have things well in hand. Then Vincent runs in and causes a disqualification.
He gets nailed with the Haliburton - Horsemen inside - nWo outsde is the score as we cut to commercial.
Benoit/Sullivan feud video - their coming match is a "loser leave town" affaire.
Wrath/ Mortis vs. High Voltage - this is a route from the get go until Glacier and rnest Miller show up. Glacier distracts his arch enemies (and the ref) while Miller executes a spectacular flying kick off the top turnbuckle on the blindside of Motis to hand Chaos the pin.
A big white limo has pulled up out back but we aren't allowed to see who is in it. Scott Levy (Raven) is revealed to be in the crowd at ringside as we come back. It looks like we will get both him and Mr. Perfect tonight. Konan vs. Jeff Jarrett - US Title match - these guys are pretty evenly matched - both are talented grapplers - Konan is the power wrestler, Jarrett is more cunning and perhaps faster. Jarrett dominates the action via guile - but he's a showboat and there are no Horsemen to watch his back. Towards the end, after several turnovers he gets the drop on Konan and goes to work on his left knee. Ric Flair arrives at ringside and gives Jarrett a leverage boost in the figure four which wins the match for him.
After the match Flair cheerfully explains to Jarrett that he is out of the Horsemen.
Jarrett vows to be the one who will bring Flair down then wisely beats a hasty retreat.
We get a vidio of the outrages purportrated against Rey Misterio Jr. by Kevin Nash as the big man makes his entrance. Rey runs right to the ring and starts in with a series of drop-kicks that rock the Outsider. Nash comes back in a devestating manner - it couldn't last long...with a powerbomb, an eight foot high beal amd a second powerbomb, Nash takes control. Konan comes out as if he's there to save Misterio but as soon as Nash obligingly leaves the ring he mounts an attack of his own. He slaps an a hyperextension sumission hold and cranks down on it. The announcers are talking about a possible broken leg as we cut to commercial.
Misterio is being carted away as we return. Mike Tenay tries to interview Raven but gets nothing but a sullen look and then is shoved aside when he leans in too close.
The Outsiders enter with the Macho Man and Liz - Nash is wearing a toupee but never explains what the significance of it is. We go to sell something before the match begins.
Kimberly leads DDP to aisle - they wait while Luger and the Giant join them. They approach the ring and surround it. The nWo guys have drawn their wagons into a circle as we cut to yet another commercial.
The WCW guys finally break into the ring as we return (how convenient...) In no time all three of them are being pounded into their respective corners. Moments later the tide turns and then turns again. The Giant gets his hands on both of the Outsiders and head butts them to the canvas. As the WCW guys are coming back Hollywood Hogan shows up to change the odds followed by Bagwell, Norton et al.
As things get sorted out DDP is again caught in the ring and being beat on (why is Luger always one of the ones who ends up lying on the floor outside the ring while the real beating goes on inside?) Savage starts dropping elbows off the top. Sting appears up in the stands then almost immediately descends from the rafters (nice magic trick, that) He enters the ring as Mr. Perfect comes striding down to the ring area. Raven then bolts the railing and stands enigmatically (one of his favorite poses) - fade to black with everything up in the air...nice touch.
WWF RAW Report
Live from Des Moines, Iowa
We start with a video recounting of the Undertaker Saga - tonight the big secret will be revealed.
Ken Shamrock vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley - in an inset Chynna reminds everyone that she is the "world's most dangerous woman". In the match HHH shows that he doesn't have Shamrock's basic wrestling knowledge. He will win this one through slyness if at all. He turns the tables and then gets so aggressive that the ref hauls him off his opponent by the hair! He goes back to work and suckers Shamrock into tossing himself out of the ring over the top. Chynna slams him into the steps.
Back in the ring, Shamrock is out on the mat when Mankind makes an appearance and distracts Hunter so that Shamrock can slip up behind him then execute a belly-to-belly suplex and get the pin.
Video review of the Undertaker/ Ahmed Johnson feud. Ahmed has been injured and makes his rather mild threats from a hospital bed.
LOD interview with Michael Cole(?) - we're the best team yatta,yatta, we want the belts etc., etc. Hawk threatens to pound the NOD into various kinds of small animal excremite (honest he actually said that...)
We come back to Sunny with money tucked in her cleavage I don't remember why :-)
D'Lo/Faarooq vs. LOD - Tag Tam Tournament match - this one might as well be Faarooq in a handicap match for all the help D'Lo was. Faarooq has to rescue his young partner right away. Not that it matters - the Godwins run in and get involved with their slop bucket (yawn...)
I'm not sure but I suppose the Road Warriors advanced.
McMahon is invited to the ring to talk to the NOD. Simmons claims that the reasons Vader was given Ahmed's shot at the Undertaker is because the NOD are black (please...) Savio Vega appears on the ramp and vows revenge on the NOD. Faarooq taunts him and he summons his troups - three other Puerto Ricans I guess. They are winning the fight when the DOA guys roll down on their Harleys to join the frey followed by uniformed security personell. As a three way brawl erupts we cut to commercial.
We're back with a recap of what just happened (as if anybody really cares about any of these guys).
Scott Putsky vs Brian Christopher - Lawler is still not admitting paternity. Putsky (or Putz-ky as I like to call him) dominates the match until Brian starts applying some of his dad's opportunistic tactics. He goes for a Frankensteiner but is caught and powerbombed instead - now Putsky turns it up a notch. lawler pops up on the apron and succeeds in getting knocked onto the railing - but moments later he trips his son's opponent and hands him the victory. Lawler and son beat up on the helpless opponent after the match is over.
Undertaker says in a statement that he wants everyone to give him a chance to answer Paul Bearer's accusations. We will of course...
Brian Pillman vs. Mankind - Pillman makes a public apology for attacking a fan Saturday night (or whenever that program was taped) Mankind comes down to the ring with a wrapped package for Jim Ross.It has a rubber hand in it clad in a glove like the one Mankind wears. Pillman attacks from the rear and tries to jam the fake hand down Mankind's throat.
In the ring they match up pretty evenly. Hunter and Chynna show up on the ramp as we go to commercial.
Hunter and Chynna have elected to stay away from the ring as we return. The combatents are outside in a thrice and Pillman is committing mayham with the time keeper's bell among other things. Pillman then does his Mike Tyson impression by biting on Mankind's bad ear (yuck!!) Foley recovers and goes after Pillman's bad leg so Hunter decides it's time to get involved. He swings a mean chair but gets Pillman instead of his intended target. Somehow Pillman rolls into the ring while Mankind gets counted out.
Paul Bearer promises the "beginning of the end" for the Undertaker as we cut to ommercial.
Paul Bearer with Vince - the big secret, according to Paul, is that the Undertaker and his younger brother were playing with matches and burned down the family funeral home with his family in it. He accuses UT of murder - thunder peels - cut to commercial.
Owen Hart/ British Bulldog vs. the Headbangers - the Headbangers dominate the early going but succomb to Hart and Smith's only slightly superior teamwork. Bret Hart comes on the phone from Calgary during the contest. The former Tag Champs eventually win handily then Jim Cornette shows up and sicks two huge Abdullah the Butcher clones. Owen and Davey are knocked out of the ring an retreat as the newcomers battle the Headbangers. Cut to commercial.
UT tells his side of the story. He admits that he and his brother played with matches and chemicals but denies involvement in the burning of the family funeral parlor. He vows to "strike you down, Paul Bearer!!"
I must say that this thing didn't play out very well, I'm trying to figure out what Paul can say to counter the Undertaker's story.
Rockabilly (w/Honkytonk Man) vs. Vader (w/Paul Bearer) - Billy tries to use the guitar right out of the chute to no effct. UT runs in and disables Vader then attacks Paul Bearer. He slaps him a couple ties then Paul stops him by claimig that his brother is still alive. Somewhat better. Cut to commercial.
Jim Neidhart vs. Steve Austin - the Anvil attacks Austin as he is disrobing. It gains him a momentary advantage. Austin overwhelms him almost immediately then the mach begins to see-saw fpr several moments before we go to commercial.
We come back to see Ken Shamrock being attacked backstage by Bret Hart - the phone call was a ruse. In the ring the match continues as a stalemate until Bret Hart runs in. He drags Austin to the ringpost and slaps his special version of the Figure Four leglock on. This gives Mankind a chance to prove his worth to Austin by starting a melee. Fade to black...
I would have to give it to Nitro tonight - this RAW program seemd a bit weak in comparison.
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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