Randy Savage practices his high art
The program began with reviews of the Undertaker situation and the latest travails within the Corporation. Heat is live from Bakersfield, CA.
Mr. McMahon came out with Paul Wight to start the show with a rant. He's referring to Wight as "The Big Show" these days. Great, now he's the circus... He mentioned UT's role in the Sci Fi Channel program Potergeist - which previews tonight after Heat on USA. He tells us that the Rock's private jet is circling the Bakersfield airport so he'll be here later. He invites Mankind to the ring and disabuses him of the ideas that he has earned to referee spot at WrestleMania - he says there is one more task he has to complete - he has to beat Paul Wight at the PPV...if he does he will be the sole referee for the main event. Foley complains that he's being "swerved" - he tries to put the Mandible Claw on Vince but gets demolished by Wight who is standing right there, of course. He holds Foley so McMahon can kick him. They leave him laying in the ring.
After the break, Mankind chases Shane McMahon away from his broadcast position then challenges the Giant to a match tonight. He encounters Test on his way out and does him in then spends most of the rest of the evening searching for the big guy.
D-Lo Brown (w/Ivory) got set to face Test when X-Pac showed up and joined the broadcast team (actually only Kevin Kelly was left out there at this point). D-Lo dominated the rookie fairly easily until Shane slid the European Title belt to Test who used it on his opponent. X-Pac ran back in to prevent the pin and got D-Lo disqualified (the ref didn't see Shane's shenanegans).
Al Snow (w/Head) started down the aisle but Mankind followed him out and hit him with a chair. Droz then ran down (he had the match with Snow) and got laid out as well. Vince and Wight appear on the TitanTron to head him off - but Foley wants what he wants - Wight tonight (hey! that rhymes!)
Hard Core Holly and Val Venis are being interviewed backstage prior to their tag team match with the New Age Outlaws and get the Foley treatment - Holly takes a chair shot for the both of them. Holly limps to the ring for the match which Val wins on his own by clotheslining Billy over the top rope then suplexing the Dogg into a pinning combination. The Dogg then challenges him to a match tomorrow night for the Intercontinental Title. Billy then adds a challenge to Holly for his title.
Meanwhile Foley is beating up on strangers in the back.
Public Enemy started their match with the Brood backstage when the latter attacked them during an interview. Later Jim Ross wrote a new chapter in the saga of his heelhood as he had Steve Williams cream a "fan" who was doing an impression of him for one of Tiger Ali Singh's challenge skits. Oh, and Singh got squashed by the way. He and Dr. Death occupied the ring until Wight came out to remove them. JR removed his boy rather then let him face the giant. The Rock then came out to confront Wight - then got attacked. Mankind ran out with a chair but couldn't make a dent in Wight, who chokeslammed him. Steve Austin then showed up and stood on the ramp and suggested that he and Wight might be in league against the Corporation - great way to stir the pot. As the program ended the ring started to move - apparently Wight was lifting it although he couldn't be seen on camera.
Here comes David Flair, checking in at the hotel. "Denice" (Mrs. Robinson) happens to be at the front desk recognises him. He barely pays attention to her but she walks off at his side when he heads for the elevator. The announcers are all speaking in superlatives about the outcome from the main event at Uncensored. They seem to think that it's a great thing that Flair is the new Champ. I wonder...what if Flair is going to up the anty on Heel Boss scenerios by actually being the World Champion (something Vince McMahon would not be able to credibly do) at the same time he is being everybodies nightmare boss..? Never mind lets go see Lodi (Lodi????) and the Nitro Grrrrls at the local college. Cut to commercial.
"The Cat" Ernest Miller seems to have his own talk show going - I guess it's a press conference of some type. He's bragging on himself as usual. He starts an argument with one of the journalists, threatening him, then turns up his music and grooves with a female reporter. His character reminds me of Bill Cosby on speed...
Jerry Flynn vs. Meng - Flynn puts up a pretty good fight, absorbing some of Meng's best blows along the way. His big mistake is in attempting to take Meng on toe-to-toe. The announcers are discussing the decision on the main event last night again. Legandary Larry suggests that the referee was paid off. Tony is oblivious, he doesn't care to what lengths Flair had to go in order to win control of WCW. Back in the ring, Flynn is trying to work on one of Mengs arms but he's not able to neutralize the power of his adversary. Meng finally stops toying with him and grabs the Tongan Death Grip to end it. Cut to commercial.
There's Ricky what's his name again at the live Nitro Party at the University of Cincinnatti. He enthuses all over the place - Todd Pettingill wanabe... Cut to commercial.
David arrives at his hotel room with the temptress still tailing him. She tries to open a door down the hall from his then runs to him before he closes his door and asked to use his phone because her "key doesn't work..." Hey! Raven is hanging out at the Nitro party. Ricky whatsit asks him about the betrayal of his sister Chastity. He plans to go after her and Hak.
Chris Adams vs. Rick Steiner - Steiner barks all the way to the ring. He and Adams would have been considered evenly matched about 10 years ago, but Adams has lost a step since then. Steiner hasn't... Adams, with his British/Texas wrestling background can keep up with Steiner technically but Steiner's power and incredible repetoire are hard to beat. Adams gets his signature superkick in and shakes Steiner up for a moment but the Dogface bounces back. After a suplex clinic, he puts the Gentleman away.
Disco Inferno teases us with the Wolf Pac theme then heads straight to the announce booth to complain about the lack of music videos dedicated to him. He demands that they refrain from playing Konnan's video "out of respect to me". Tony says he understands...then throws it to Konnan's video...except it's not completely Konnan's video. Disco stands in the foreground and parody's the lyrics...eventually we hearthe jeers from the crowd as we cut back to the broadcast position where Disco is laughing and telling them Tony " I told them not to play the video..." Funny stuff, actually... Cut to a Konnan T-shirt commercial.
David hums Mission Impossible as the lady dials the desk to request a new key. We pull back and see that this is being observed by Nash and Torrie on a video monitor. Mrs. Robinson goes through her routine, taken right out of the movie, including camera angles. David says his lines as well but shows her the door. Nash turns to Torrie and tells her that her plan was a flop. They argue about what happens next. Nash accuses her of falling for David but she denies it. They argue some more and she agrees to go with his next plan. Back at the Nitro party, Ricky Rack-man, who can't get the girls to talk to him when the camera is off, is welcoming Norman Smiley. Smiley does his little dance but omits the slapping of his own butt.
The announcers are talking about Flair again. We will be hearing from him any minute. What is it...? Five minutes to nine... Cut to stills from the big match last night then to commercial.
Nitro Grrrrls dance in the ring as we return. The second hour pyro goes off as Tony exaults in the pending Flair era in WCW. The white limo pulls up, Arn Anderson and several long stemmed roses step out followed by the Man and JJ Dillon. Charles Robinson joins them as they stride purposely into the arena and right into the ring where Mean Gene waits to interview the President/Champ. The WCW World Title is cleaned up and he holds it proudly over his head. The girls precede him into the ring. Mean Gene wants to question the referee about his part in the match last night. Arn interrupts to throw a little controversey on the fire by mentioning that Robinson may "die his hair blond" like Flair, and wear fancy clothes etc., but pronounces him innocent of corruption...like you doth protest too much, Gene... Flair takes the mic and declares himself the most powerfull man in the wrestling world. He rants on as Goldberg appears heading for the ring. He enters the ring and comes face to face with Flair and declares himself to be the #1 contender and requests a Title shot tonight. Kevin Nash appears as Flair is shaking his head. He enters the ring and turns to Goldberg (after acknowledging Flair) and tells him to butt out. Anderson takes the mic and tells Goldberg that the reason he got such a big win streak was because the Horsemen weren't in the picture. Goldberg threatens him. The Hogan shows up to put in his two cents. He wants Goldberg and to fight Nash and Flair to fight him (Hogan). Nash comes back with a compromise. He and Hogan against Goldberg and Flair. Flair at first says he has a party to go to but then turns to ask Goldberg and gets shoved to the mat...but the monster takes the match. Flair pretends like it was his idea as we cut to commercial.
Vince and Horace are arguing about what happened last night. Horace tells Vince that he was the one chosen to be the B-Team leader. Does anybody actually care..?
Rey Misterio, Jr. (w/Konnan) vs Kidman - Cruiserweight Title match - the two shake hands before starting the match. Kidman dominates th action until he throws himself over the top rope to the floor. Rey dives on him as he tries to get up. Back in the ring. Misterio gets a springboard and flies right into a drop-kick. Back to the floor again. Kidman is full of confidence as he runs Misterio into objects at ringside and we cut to commercial. Kidman reminds me of a young Bret Hart, earnest, determined, unnassuming but brilliant.
He is in charge as we come back but Rey maneuvers him into diving to the concrete then does a somersault Thesz Press onto him. Back in the ring Kidman is king again for a moment but then he goes to the top and gets caught in a Frankensteiner. The match is firmly in see-saw mode - move and countermove at a furious pace. Kidman starts to dominate again then Rey pancakes him by the hair. Kidman recipricates with a similar move then gets the Shooting Star press...on the mat. Rey hits him from the top again but can't get the pin. Kidman runs around the corner and bulldogs Rey then climbs the top turnbuckle, gets caught and bulldoged from the top rope!! Rey takes the Title and they embrace. Stevie Ray and Horace have words (and more) over the B-Team situation, Disco is told to go to Hogan and find out what's going on. Cut to commercial.
Benoit and Malenko are congratulated on their Tag Team Title victory last night. Malenko says it was a Horsemen team victory and Benoit agrees. Cut to stills of the match last night. The Enforcer came through last night in both Title wins.
Hugh Morrus/Barbarian (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. The Horsemen - Tag Team Title match - Benoit ries his buzzsaw approach on Barbarian but is stopped short for a moment before coming back and pouding him into the corner. Morrus comes in and gets the same treatment - Benoit and Malenko are showing us some great teamwork. Hart's team is completely on the defensive until Barbarian gets back in. He is very powerful, if a little slow these days. He dominates Malenko and Benoit has to make the save. The big guys are starting to establish a rhythm on Malenko. They are overwhelming him with sheer power. Hart gets a couple of punches in when they hang him over the apron. Malenko is still in it but he is sinking. He tries to force Barbarian to let him tag and succeeds but the ref is being distracted and disallows it. Morrus tries to fly but gets sidestepped. Benoit tags in and cleans house but then is toppled to the floor. Malenko is back in and on the bottom again. Morrus holds him upp for a kick from his partner but takes the blow himself. Benoit swanbutts him and covers.
More Nitro Grrrrls on the platform...Cut to commercial. That was a killer second hour.
Wolf Pac music welcomes us back. Scott Steiner (w/Buff Bagwell) comes out to whine about his loss last night. How far the mighty have fallen... First he pumps his body (and his ego) for us and puts down all the local sports team. Steiner returns to his full court mysoginistic rant tonight then turns and accuses Buff of causing the defeat last night. He implies that Buff is weak because of his neck injury. Buff invites BPP to look at all the Buff Daddy signs in the crowd. Steiner says he doesn't need the fans. Buff says Scotty is just jealous. Steiner threatens to get Buff kicked out of the nWo. Buff wants to cool it at that point, then turns and asks the crowd for their approval. Steiner removes his glasses and shakes Buff's hand then suplexes him. He gets a chair and batters Bagwell about the neck then puts on the Steiner recliner until Buff passes out. Cut to commercial. Everything is changing tonight...
Stevie Ray vs. Horace - it's every man for himself on the B-Team now. Looks like they really are going to thin the nWo ranks. Both these guys are big bruisers. Stevie is probably the more talented (although he's never come close to his brother) - the match goes right to the floor where Stevie dominates then back to the ring where Horace seems to have the edge. Stevie is coming back when we spy Vince advancing with a chair. He climbs the apron and tries to help Horace with it but bonks Hogan on a reverse whip causing the win for Stevie. (Yawn...) I wake up for the commercial.
Konnan vs. Disco Inferno - ah yes, the "dropped out" vs. his replacement. Konnan shows us his mat wrestling superiority to start the match then flies around a little to confuse the Dancin' Fool. Disco bails out to regroup then comes back and falls into the same trap. Konnan finally lowers his head at the wrong moment and gives Disco an opening he could drive a truck through. Disco dominates the next several exchanges, gives up his advantage then snatches it right back with a swinging neck breaker. Konnan comes back with a driver suplex of some sort then goes for his submission hold but is too close to the ropes. Konnan follows Disco out to the floor and is continuing his overwhelming assault as we cut to commercial.
Disco repells a rush to the corner as we come back and turns the tables. He traps Konnan in a corner and puts the boots to him. Lex Luger and Liz show up ringside. Luger has the wrong arm taped. In the ring, Disco misses his forearm drop and Konnan starts running circles around him again. Disco is going down in a flash but Liz climbs up to distract the referee while Luger clocks Konnan. Disco gets the upset win. Cut to commercial.
More Nitro Grrrrrls on the platform...
Chris Jericho comes to the ring on his own wearing a rib bandage.
Chris Jericho vs.Booker T - World TV Title match - Booker ticks Jericho off with his bouncing around so Jericho complains loudly to the referee then gets run over. These two have pretty well matched physical gifts...but Booker is bigger. Jericho yells for help to anyone who'll listen. Booker has such great balance, Jericho's usual finess is not helping him out. He gets elevated vertical over the top rope and crashes to the floor. Booker follows him out and gets run into the steps. Jericho returns to the ring and bathes in the crowds applause. Booker struggles up and is on the receiving end of a springboard drop kick and falls back to the floor. He is struggling up again as we cut to commecial.
Booker is back inside when we return and he is turning the tide. He throws a big drop kick and hits the back of his own head. Both are down but Jericho rises first. He tries to crush Bookers throat with his boot in the corner. He lets Booker up and whips him but is dropped, but he is right back up and hits a Lionsault. Booker takes it for a moment then comes back with a sidewalk slam. Jericho gets up and is caught and pancaked again. Booker goes for a missle drop kick but Jericho pulls the referee into harms way. Booker knocks Jericho out of the ring and the ref recovers and DQ's the challenger. Cut to commercial.
Ric Flair/Goldberg vs. Kevin Nash/ Hollywood Hogan - there is literally nothing at stake in this match, really. They can beat on Flair all they want but he will still be the President. Goldberg will still be a monster, Nash will still be the booker and Hogan...? Well, we'll see about Hogan... Hogan looks old as he marches grimly to the ring next to Big Sexy, who is smouldering. Flair pauses at the foot of the ramp to display his gold then struts toward the ring. He wears black tights. I didn't even think to notice what color he wore last night... Goldberg wears black as well so both teams are color coordinated. Goldbirg has blood on his forehead. Charles Robinson is the referee, of course. Flair orders Goldberg to start the match...so he gorrila presses Flair! Nash comes in to face him and gets a sideslam - then tags in Hogan. Hogan forces Flair out to the floor and then pummels him there. Back in the ring, Flair is caught at the top and slammed. He avoids further contact as best he can and tags in Goldberg. Hogan comes in to face the monster. He drops the big guy and beats on him then gets tackled...and pops right back up. They struggle like huge bulls and the Goldberg chant rises. Hogan fails to pound Goldberg's head into the corner a second time and Goldberg punches out to the center of the ring. Hogan comes right back and then runs Goldberg backward into Nash's arm. Nash comes in and divebombs Goldberg in the corner. Hogan is back in - they are isolating Goldberg pretty good now. They get a double boot to his face!!! Goldberg elevates Nash as soon as he is alone with him but Nash stops his progress and Hogan is back in, hitting a belly-to-back suplex. Goldberg is coming back but is ignoring his partner to his peril. Hogan hits him with a clothesline in the corner - Goldberg comes back with a shoulder block. Flair makes a tag sound with his hands and insists he made a tag. Robinson pushes Goldberg out and Flair is taking it from Hogan. Goldberg fights Nash on the floor while Hogan drops the big leg and covers. The referee refuses to count. Hogan grabs him and decks him and misses the fact that Goldberg is back in the ring. Hogan is speared and we fade to black...
This is the first of a series of four (so far) "video biographies" of WCW wrestlers, Randy Savage, Sting, Diamond Dallas Page and Goldberg. I have to say right off the bat that $14.95 seems a bit pricey for a one hour video but for a true fan of these wrestling superstars, it is well worth the price.
This one features Randy Savage, who's earlier career is dismissed with one sentence, "...after great success in other organizations, Randy Savage came to WCW in 1994." I suppose that's to be expected but I would have loved to have seen some clips from his earlier NWA tour.
What follows is a series of interviews with Savage and in-ring clips featuring Savage and various of his friends and enemies. The first big incident examined is the the 1995 Slamboree attack by Ric Flair and Arn Anderson on Savage's father Angelo Poffo. This was followed by an extended clip of the revenge match at the Great American Bash, on father's day no less, in which the Macho Man (and his father) took out their ire on Flair, but lost the match none-the-less. What ensued afterward was a monumental backstage brawl that ended when Flair jumped into a limo and sped away with Savage chasing him into the street!
Later that summer, at Bash at the Beach, Savage finally got his satisfaction by defeating Flair in a brutal match outdoors on the beach overlooking the blue Atlantic.
At World War 3 that same year, Savage took the World Title in a controversial win (this was the battle royal in which Hogan was pulled out under the ropes and then declared eliminated). The video doesn't mention the disputed victory. At Starrcade, less then a month later, Savage lost the belt to Ric Flair.
In January 1996, Savage regained the title from Flair on Nitro in another steller match. This time Hogan had no complaints as he helped Savage from the outside.
Next the video goes into the up and down relationship between the Macho Man and Miss Elizabeth although it only dwells on that aspect for a moment then goes on to the next big match. This was a cage match for the World Title in which Liz turned on her man and gave Flair her shoe with which to hit Savage. As should be expected, Savage stays in character throughout the interviews, feigning bitterness at Liz' betrayal.
His attack on Flair at Slamboree 1996 got Savage suspended from competition for a while. He came back in time to face the Outsiders at the side of Sting and Lex Luger at Bash at the Beach 1996. Of course it was Savage who suffered defeat at the hands of Hulk (soon to be Hollywood) Hogan, the surprise "third man" who gave birth to the nWo that night.
What follows is a series of incidents in which Savage was beaten again and again by the nWo. Then Hogan faced Savage alone at Halloween Havoc '96, wearing a blond wig, which Savage took from him and donned at one point with comic effect. The end of this match marked the reunion of Savage and Elizabeth, who came down to help him towards the end of the match. At that point Savage dropped out of sight for three months, during which time Elizabeth was tortured by her association with the nWo thugs.
At SuperBrawl '97 in San Francisco (a card I attended in person), Savage re-emerged to help Hulk Hogan survive his encounter with Roddy Piper and then joined the nWo. The story being told here makes it clear that the motivation for Savage's turn to the nWo was Elizabeth - something that was maybe not made quite so clear at the time it was being played out on TNT.
The video shows how Savage was instrumental in making a star out of Diamond Dallas Page, whom he feuded with through much of 1997. At the Uncensored PPV that year they had a brutal battle which is extensively covered on the video. This followed by another match featuring the two, at the Great American Bash. Again we get a good long look at this classic battle. It fell to Scott Hall to take DDP out so that Savage could emerge victorious.
At Halloween Havoc they clashed yet again and this time even the two women got involved in the action. In an interview clip, Savage acknowledges that Page made a believer out of him during that match. This time it was Kevin Nash, disguised as Sting, who saved Savage's cookies.
The Souled Out card saw Savage face Lex Luger and again the nWo interefered to give Savage the win. The pattern is getting monotonous...
Suddenly, without explaination in the video, Savage and Hogan are on opposite sides, battling it out in a cage at Uncensored 1998. This sequence shows both stars at their best and includes a spectacular ax handle blow delivered from the top of the cage. Later in the match the Disciple entered the cage to face Savage and then Sting descends from the rafters only to be clotheslined by Savage who was determined to fight his own battles. Savage's storyline at the time had him trying to subvert Hogan and take over the nWo, but that is not mentioned here.
At Spring Stampede, Savage again won the World Title, this time from Sting with help from Elizabeth and Kevin Nash's Jack Knife powerbomb. Savage finally acknowledges that he was an opportunist on that occasion. The very next night, on Nitro, he got his comeuppance when he lost the Title to Hogan in a controversial decision due to Bret Hart's interference.
The Wolf Pac was born at this point with Savage, Nash, Konnan, Luger and Curt Hennig. Savage contends that he "anointed" Kevin Nash as the leader of the Wolf Pac and insists that he isn't done with them yet. I do remember that part of the storyline. I remember now that Nash had a minor skirmish with Hogan a while back which came to nothing. It wasn't until Savage challenged Hogan that Nash was able to successfully disconnect from the nWo Black and White. That significant fact had not really been illuminated in WCW storytelling thus far.
This video was evidently produced before the recent takeover of the Wolf Pac by Hollywood Hogan. Not mentioned in the video was Savage's subsequent surgery and temporary retirement, which is still going on at present.
I was surprised at how much material they were able to pack into this relatively short (60 Minute) video presentation. Randy Savage has had a steller career in three major wrestling promotions and this video tells this part of his story well enough to make sense out of some seemingly non-sensical twist and turns his adventures have taken. He is likely near the end of his storied wrestling career and certainly merits having such a fine video tribute.
I would consider this video a must for any fan of the fabulous "Macho Man" Randy Savage.
At least that's the way I see it...
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
This page is a personal tribute and is in no way connected to any of the wrestling promotions mentioned on it. It is dedicated to the Dean of Wrestling announcers, Gordon Solie. Copyright 1998 - Jump City Productions