It was nice to see Barry Horowitz back on WCW this weekend. Still jobbing... but he gave the Disco Inferno a pretty good match (before Jaquelyn came down and stole both their thunders).
Why does Mean Gene keep insisting that Disco got himself into this mess with Jaquelyn? As I recall, he was ordered to have a match with her, refused, and left WCW for a while. Then he came back and she challanged him. How does he get stuck with the responsibility for that? I can't imagine what that match will be like... I suppose she'll just cream him quick...You know, I doubt very much that Eric Bischoff actually said some of the witless things attributed to him recently, but this contest has great potential to "fill seats" just because so many people will want to see what is going to happen. It's almost sure to be a dissappointing match in the end...
Ric Flair made another bravado appearance on WCWSN this weekend. Chased Curt Hennig out of the building once more (just in case we didn't see it the last two times it happened). I hear predictions that Flair is headed back to the WWF when his contract is up at the beginning of the year. I wouldn't hold my breath on that one. I have no doubt that Vince McMahon would welcome Flair with open arms but what kind of storyline might he come up with? The spector of Jake the Snakes ignomous turn as a reformed drunk looms large in my mind. Say what you will, as much as I deplore the idea, I am still convinced that Flair still has a wrestling future in WCW. I just wish he'd turn manager and let it go, for God's sake! (sorry, I get emotional about Flair)
There has been a lot of debate on the Readers' Forum in recent months about what constitutes success as a pro-wrestler or a wrestling promotion. A lot of talk about "Star Power" and what effect it has on the balance of power in the ongoing Monday Night Wars. My contention has been that "Star Power" can only draw in new viewers - the people who watch the show week in and week out are doing so because they find it interesting, not because Hogan, Savage and Piper are on the program.
by Ervin Griffin Jr.
"Ladies and Gentlemen!!! Are you ready for "Rage In A Cage '97?!!! Ladies and Gentlemen, LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!!
Imagine one night of wrestling where the toughest and best wrestlers on earth decide to get in on in some the most insane cage matches of all time. Well, from the mind of Ervin Griffin, I bring you Rage In a Cage.
As with the Pro Wrestling VS. UFC article, I will let the readers (and the writers on this page) decide the decisions by e-mail and will post the results in a later article. I might even print your e-mail. Here is the line up:
Bret Hart, Owen Hart, The British Bulldog, and Jim "The Anvil" Neihart VS. Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Randy Savage, and Syxx (NWA Tower Of Doom Match)
Remember that crazy cage match they had at the Great American Bash back in 1988 where there were three cages stacked on top of each other?!!! Well, it has returned!!! The object here is team members enter the cage from the top one at a time. From there every two minutes another member of each team enters the "Tower". Also every two minutes, a trapdoor opens that allows wrestlers to advance to the next level of the cage. The first team to fight there way out of tower will win. There are a lot of long standing grudges here. Bret Hart has beaten all of the members of the NWO in this match so they will be zeroing in on him. The other members of the Hart Foundation have also had their share of run-ins with these guys. This would be a wild match to say the least. I'll let the readers (including the writers on this page) vote on this one.
Shawn Michaels VS. Eddy Gurrerro (Texas Death Steel Cage Match for the WWF European Title)
Gurrerro's WCW Cruiserweight Title would not be on the line here but Shawn's WWF European Title would be. In this anything goes affair, it will be done by traditional Texas Death Match rules: A wrestler can win a fall by pin but there will be a 30-second rest period between falls. After the rest period, a wrestler will have 10 seconds to get up. If he cannot get up after those 10 seconds, his opponent will win the match. There aren't too many men in wrestling that is as quick as Shawn Michaels but Eddy is one of them. Though Shawn will have a size advantage here, Gurrerro has proven his ability to get dirty when neccessary. Both the "Frogsplash" and the "Sweet Chin Music" would be very useful here. This is another one that I will not touch with a decision.
Chris Benoit VS. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin ("I Quit" Steel Cage Match)
Destruction city with these two. Both Benoit and Austin could bid for the title of "Mr. Intensity." In this "I Quit" match up, Benoit would look like the favorite on the surface. I say that because Austin is an underrated submission wrestler. He has used a standing figure four ("That's A Wrap"), "The Hollywood Invine", The Texas Cloverleaf, and in pretty proficient at the "Sharpshooter." Benoit's pet submission holds are a boston crab variation and "The Crippler Crossface." Benoit, however, doesn't have a "knockout" hold where Austin does in the "Stone Cold Stunner" (most often that is how these types of matches end). Again, this is one that I think that I will let the readers decide here.
Hunter Hearst Hemsley VS. Sabu (Barb Wire Cage Match)
In this encounter, the ring ropes will be wrapped in barb wire in addition to the cage surrounding the ring!!! It will be a "wear anything/bring anything" affair. Sabu is a total wild man but Hemsley has held his own with Mick Foley's personas of Mankind and Cactus Jack, so he's pretty tough in his own right. The match ends via the pinfall or when a wrestler is unable to continue. Expect Chyna to get involved some way in this match.
Diamond Dallas Page VS. Stan "The Lariat" Hansen (Texas Hanging Cage Match)
In this bizarre match up, it will pit the wildman from Boger, TX against the Diamond man. In this sadistic match, the match can end by either pinfall or if one man can HANG his opponent over the top of the cage with a bullrope!!! DDP has been one of the hottest wrestlers in 1997 but would be in for the fight of his life against "The Lariat." It would make his feud with Randy Savage look like a schoolyard fight!!!
Curt Hening VS. Shane Douglas (Hair VS. WCW US Title Cage Match)
In this no holds barred cage match, Hening would put his United States Title against the hair of Shane Douglas!!! Hening, while a great wrestler and a smart cheater, would find Douglas a pretty hard opponent!!! Douglas, a product of the UWF, WCW, WWF and ECW will have a huge advantage in this contest being that it is no rules!!! However, it'll take more than Francine to keep the NWO at bay.
"Ravishing" Rick Rude VS. Marcus "Buff" Bagwell (Strap Cage Match)
In this match, both men will be armed with leather straps!!! Bagwell is 100 times better since becoming a member of the NWO. Rude, though, is a proven comodity. Both have the biggest egos but Rude is more willing to put his a** (no pun intended) on the line than Bagwell. Still, it would make for an interesting match!!!
The Giant VS. Abdulla The Butcher (Mexican Death Cage Match)
It is the 450lbs. Giant VS. the 30 year veteran from the Sudan (who is way over that 400lbs. mark himself). In this match, it'll be the man that can force his opponent over the top of the cage to the floor!!! That man will be the winner!!! The Giant is very strong but he would have a task trying to lift the master of the foreign object over the cage (the same can be said for the Butcher though)!!! A violent match up indeed!!!
Well, that's the line up for this dream card. Send in your opinions and votes to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will post the results in a future article. Until next time, dream on!!!
If you have a question, comments, criticism, or just want to talk pro wrestling, e-mail me at email@example.com.
Ervin Griffin Jr. is Solie's resident historian and also contributes to the Ringside Insider on a regular basis.
Spooky set - pretty fireworks...ooh...Dusty, Tony, Bobby are our hosts. They hype the card for a couple of minutes.
Yuji Nagata (w/Sonny Oono) vs. Ultimo Dragon - Nagata is the up and coming tough guy and comes on aggressive to start. The Dragon leads him circles for a minute then Nagata suplexes him. The Dragon uses his high-speed kick assault to turn the tables momentarily but Nagagta comes back strong and continues to dominate the action. He rests with a Camel Clutch for a while then goes back to work with a power assault. The Dragon seems to be slipping away. Then he starts challanging his opponent to hit him! He stands up to the attack and turns the tables with a leg whip. Now he takes to the air as his opponent staggers around. Several exchanges with the Dragon in charge but he can't put the bigger man away. The match begins to see-saw. A struggle in the corner results in the Dragon having his elbow (re) injured - Nagata pounces on it and works it for several moments - then abruptly went for his figure four finsiher but was foiled.The Dragon makes one last comeback to no avail. Nagata grabs his trademark arm bar submission hold and the Dragon taps out. Sonny Oono tries to break the Dragon's arm after the submission victory.
Disco Inferno is talking with the Internet commentators when Jaquelyn invades the set and chases him off.
Gedo vs. Chris Jericho - these two are old enemies according to the announcers. They have been partners and competitors. Gedo looks oriental but has blonde hair. He smiles a lot. He seems a straight ahead wrestler - nothing flashy - at least in the beginning. Jericho is unusually aggressive from the get-go - he succeeds in dominating the action through most of the match. Gedo steadily holds his own - his style is not unlike Dusty Rhodes' own and Dusty comments on it. After a long while Gedo begins his comeback and causes Jericho to blow his Frankensteiner from the top. Jericho drops himself right on his own head!! Gedo seems to have the match in hand when he throws and bodyblock from the top...which Chris sidesteps...the Lion Tamer (Boston Crab) puts Gedo away.
Mean Gene interviews Debra until Mongo interferes.
Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Eddie Guerrero - Cruiserweight Title match - Eddie takes his time coing to the ring. Rey has a new purple outfit tonight. He launches an immediate spectacular flying assault which, after initial success, gets him dropped on his head outside the ring. Guerrero takes him back into the ring and has his way with him. Rey is resilliant but can't seem to sustain a revival. Guerrero is ripping at his mask but can't get it off because it is part of the jumpsuit Misterio is wearing. For several moments the match see-saws then Guerrero slaps on a surfboard - he is tearing at the mask again - he has enlarged the eye holes. He switches to an abdominal stretch for a moment then starts pounding on him. Rey escapes for a brief time then Guerrero puts him down again. A switch in the corner allows Rey to maneuver and he takes to the air again - this time he gets ahead of his opponent and manages to put on his spring-board hurracanranna but Guerrero kicks out. Eddie uses his superior weight to retake the initiative and looks to have the win in sight but Misterio has his second wind and resists - the match see-saws again. Rey steadily improves his position and finally tries the spring-board hurracanranna again. This time the pin in successful. Rey Misterio Jr. is the new Cruiserweight Champion!
Eric Bischoff and Hogan complain about the lack of a "safe working environment" for nWo wrestlers. They say Hogan won't wrestle tonight unless Sting is banned from the building. Right...the Main Event won't happen tonight...they invite WCW to get "another Main Event"...
Steve McMichaels vs. Alex Wright (w/Debra) - the mystery wrestler is Alex Wright?? He's a talented young man but I had hoped that popular prediction was wrong. She'll have to help him win this one. The announcers are still discussing Hogan's statement and we watch the match as they ignore it. On paper Wright has every advantage except size - but Mongo has learned a little about wrestling despite Jeff Jarrett's opinion and he has enough power to thwart any pinfall attempt against such a light-weight opponent. Wright is aggressive and keeps coming back with boots to the body but Mongo is not going down. Debra jumps onto the apron and distracts the referee so that Bill Goldberg can run in and tackle Mongo! Goldberg puts his standing vertical power-slam finisher on McMichael then drags Wright over on top of him. The ref manages to keep his head averted the whole time in a totally unconvicing manner. Wright gets the pin then slips out to thank Goldberg. Goldberg pearl harbors him, tosses him back into the ring then gives him the finishing treatment as well. Debra gives Goldberg her husband's Super Bowl ring as a reward.
Disco Inferno vs. Jaquelyn - DI looks his usual confident during his entrance. His title is not on the line tonight. He loses his smile as she approaches the ring. The bell rings and they circle each other. He's hesitant to lock up - she attacks and he shies away. They repeat that pattern on several occasions. He simply can't figure out how to grapple with her. So he circles the outside of the ring. He finally mixes it up with her when he tries to get back into the ring. She flings him in then gets a sunset flip - he tries to hold the ropes but loses his grip and has to kick out of her pin attempt. He gets up and drops her with a drop toe-hold. They go back to their former pattern until she gets frustrated and starts punching and kicking him. He tries to leave the ring area but she runs him down and chases him back. They mix it up some more with Jaquelyn dominating the action then she drags him to the corner and crotches him!! Out on the floor she suplexes him!! Back in the ring she throws an off the top rope bodyblock. He rolls through it and almost pins her. She comes back with a DDT! She rolls him up for the pin.
Curt Hennig vs. Ric Flair - Hennig wears Flair's now-sleeveless robe from their last encounter - Flair charges the ring as soon as his music starts. Hennig fends him off at first but then he gets into the ring and overwhelms his enemy. Hennig still has the robe on as Flair pummels him. He smashes Hennig's left leg into the corner post early on then stands him in a corner and chops him down. He takes back his robe and dons it. Moments later Hennig recovers ad strips the robe off of Flair. He is in control but his leg is hurting him. He repays the Nature Boy in kind - now both guys are limping but Hennig has the upper hand. It appears that he means to beat Flair with his own move as he continues to work on the leg. Then he switches to punches and elbows about the upper body. Flair is calling for more from him - Hennig obliges. Flair keeps getting up and getting creamed...but he keeps getting up...Hennig is still limping but he catches Flair trying to re-enter the ring and snaps his neck off the rope. Flair finally succeeds in re-entry and the match see-saws. Hennig gets frustrated and goes out for a chair. He misses a strike at Flair's legs on the apron. Flair comes out and takes control on the floor. He catapults Hennig head first into the ring post! A running kick to the head has little effect. Back in the ring Flair dominates and Hennig tries to leave. Flair runs after him and drags him back to the ring. Hennig meets him coming in and they struggle for control. Hennig tries to suplex Flair onto the belt (which is lying on the mat) but Flair reverses it. Flair props Hennig upside down in a corner and drapes the Title belt over his face then he kicks Hennig in the face!! He is disqualified for that but he continues to beat on Hennig as the nWo underlings swarm on them.
Mean Gene with JJ Dillon - he assures us that the Piper/Hogan will take place as advertised. Bischoff runs out to rant but Dillon produces a document stipulating that Sting will not appear tonight. Bischoff says that if Sting shows up then the nWo wants Nitro.
Lengendary Larry is introduced as the special referee for the next match.
Scott Hall (w/Syxx) vs Lex Luger - Hall and Zbyszco start jawing at each other right away. Larry is a very physical referee - he drags Hall off of his perch in the corner where he has Luger at his mercy. He continues to get physically involved every time the competitors go into a corner. Luger grabs an arm and gets a hammerlock on his opponent. Hall struggles free and challanges Luger to a test of strength then shortcuts his way into a bow and arrow. Hall generally outwrestles Luger in this one. He controls the balance of the match. After several exchanges in which Luger barely holds his own Hall gets a sleeper. Luger flags then recovers and reverses it to a suplex. Luger is toppled out to the floor and then Hall bars the door to his return. Larry complains and Hall charges him. Larry back drops Hall to the floor! Bischoff runs in and pops up on the apron - Larry kicks him off. In the ring Luger is leading the game until Syxx sneaks in a kick that addles Luger. Hall gets his Outsider's edge and the pin. Larry reluctantly counts Luger out.
Larry is asking for a replay. He watches the tape of Syxx interfering and re-instates the match! Hall runs back in and gets in Larry's face which allows Luger to blindside him and put him into the rack...Larry calls for the bell...Syxx attacks Larry and Luger - the three nWo guys overwhelm Larry and punk him - Luger is helpless at ringside as Larry is downed and humilliated.
Randy Savage (w/Liz) vs. Diamond Dallas Page - Las Vegas Street Fight - no rules in this one folks - falls count nowhere - winner is the last man standing. The fight starts out on the floor and is a class one brawl right from the get-go. DDP has his ribs bandaged but it doesn't seem to slow him down. They go to the ring for the first time after about two minutes. The fight goes on as before with DDP gaining the edge. He throws Savage out to the floor and then springboards onto him from inside out! Savage repays him with an axehandle from the turnbuckle to his ribs. DDP gets tossed over the rail right next to where Raven and his gang are lurking. They fight back into the crowd and then into the entranceway. DDP is losing the battle but reverses a beal to fling Savage into a prop tombstone. He then slams his opponent on the shattered prop and grabs a tray and smashes that into his head. Savage is on the skids now as they work their way back to the ring area and continue the fight. DDP gets flung into the ringsteps. Then Savage picks them up and brains DDP with them!! The ref counts to four before DDP rises. Savage steals a camera and tries to use it as a weapon but DDP gets his boots in the way so Savage takes it in the face. Now Liz gets involved by smashing the referee with a tray and then trying to choke DDP with a video cable. Kimberly runs in and attacks Liz and they struggle back away from the ring area. In the ring both guys are down but DDP recovers first and takes the advantage. He goes for the Diamond Cutter but Savage holds the rope and thwarts it - DDP is down. Savage struggles to the top turnbuckle and throws a clumsy elbow drop. Nick patrick has run down and starts the ten count. DDP recovers and reassumes control but Savage uses a shortcut to down his opponent and gets all of the elbow this time. DDP gets up on ten. Thet struggle some more and collide. Both men are counted to eight. DDP knocked to the floor, while Savage keeps the ref busy a Sting clone (wearing Hogan's boots!) runs in and hits DDP with a bat! DDP is counted out. After the match Savage attacks Patrick and a trainer then is led away by security. DDP is hauled away on a stretcher. Savage attacks him on the gurney...
The announcers seem to be stalling for time - we are ready for the main event (assuming it is going to happen)
Michael Buffer does the introductions (as usual)
Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper - Cage Grudge Match - we wait with baited breath as Voodoo Child plays and the cage is lowered onto the floor. It enloses the ring with floor room to spare and has no top. It is made from steel bars. Hogan holds a sign that says "Why wrestle for McMahon?" as the camera finds him. Piper enters carrying the WCW Title belt (it is still painted up) He displays it to Hogan with a smirk on his face. Piper enters the cage and the door is closed. He still has the belt. It looks to me like either of these guys could escape by squeezing out through the bars. Hogan tries to climb out right away but Piper stops him and they go into the ring. Piper sustains his attack. There is no referee inside the cage. Piper is the aggressor here - Hogan just wants to get away. They struggle at the cage wall and both of them take headers into it. Hogan recovers first and calls for the door to be opened. Piper catches him and the exit the cage together. They brawl on the outside and Hogan tries to beg off but Piper batters him back inside the cage. The fight is taking place between the cage and the ring apron. Hogan tries to climb out again and this time Piper follows him up. They struggle for position then retreat to the floor again. Back in the ring Hogan pulls off his kidney belt and whips Piper with it. Hogan starts climbing out as Piper lies in the ring. Hogan is starting down the outside but is stopped by the Sting clones that have been gathering there. Piper meets Hogan at the top of the cage and they trade places, Hogan inside now. They are brawling at the top then climb back down inside. There must be six or eight "Stings" outside the cage now. Strangely, there are no other nWo members in evidence. Hogan has the advantage in the ring and drops two leg on his opponent. Savage runs in and climbs to the top of the cage. He tries to drop on Piper but hits Hogan. Piper slaps on a sleeper and gets the duke just before Savage renews his attack. One of the Stings gets punked - he isn't the real one. Hogan and Savage punk Piper in the cage - cuffing him to the cage wall to mount the attack. A fan with Sting face paint climbs into the cage and gets punked as well. Security rescues the fan and Piper as we fade to the credits.
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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