Volume 1, Issue 86
December 2, 1996
This week coming from Dayton, Ohio. The program begins with some Hogan/Piper hype being interrrupted by the Steiner Brothers. Scotty is here this week to watch his brother's back in case Sting shows up. Rick issues a challange to the Stinger to "...get it on tonight!" They show a video review of the Steiner/Sting incident from last week.
Glacier vs. "Hardbody" Harrison - Glacier is back with a slightly different outfit and more normal lighting. The "snowfall" entrance is still intact but he wrestles under normal light now. Good changes. "Hardbody" attacks right off the mark but is batted aside. Glacier is more aggressive then we've seen him before and he makes short work of his opponent with a spinning thrust kick to the jaw.
Renegade/Joe Gomez vs. The Amazing French Canadians - the irstwhile Quebecers make short work of two glorified jobbers. 'Nuff said.
Arn Anderson interview - Mean Gene asks him for comments about Roddy Piper. He likes Piper's chances against Hogan. Says Roddy has "an edge" over Hollywood. The Horsemen plan to watch Piper's back at Starrcade.
Faces of Fear vs. Scotty Riggs/Robert Gibson - Scotty had to find a new partner after Bagwell's defection to the NWO. Here we have the "weak link" of the American Males teaming with his counterpart from the Rock & Roll Express. Regardless of the fact that he was a "weak link", however, Gibson is light years ahead of this partner. They do alright until Robert puts his head down during a back-drop attempt. It's all downhill from there. Oh, they have their moments but the Faces are too powerful and too good a team to be beaten by these guys. It's an extended one - but a squash nevertheless. Toward the end Gibson gets in a flurry trying to take on both Faces but inevitably runs into the Barbarian's boot. Afterward Riggs clears the ring with the help of a chair. Very unsportsmanlike...tsk, tsk.
Video Review of Taskmaster vs Benoit at Baltimore. We get to see what happened to him when the DOD laid in wait for him in the bathroom. Later, back in the ring Woman tries to attack her husband but is restrained by the Faces.
Kevin Sullivan vs. The Blonde Jobber - squash - we never even heard the opponent's name.
Mean Gene with the Taskmaster - Sullivan says Benoit has hurt him mentally and "...right here" (pointing to his heart). He is suggesting that there is a love triangle involving him, Chris and Nancy. But it's not really made clear...
Billy Kidman vs. Dean Malenko - Cruiserweight Title contenders' match - the "Kid-Man" is in way over his head on this one. Tony reads a statement from the Executive Committee of the WCW saying that they will decide who the Title contenders are for all belts. The implication is that the US Title tourney is legitimate despite the Giant's current physical possession of the belt. In the ring Kidman is going down fast. Sonny Oono is scouting Malenko - taking pictures even. Tony seems to be trying to relate anything that happens somehow to the coming Hogan/Piper match. Sonny Oono tries to give Kidman an advantage by flashing his camera into Malenko's eyes but it doesn't do the trick. Moments later Malenko slaps on the Texas Cloverleaf for the submission.
Big Bubba vs. Jeff Jarrett - the second hour begins and I am surprised to say that we have not seen hide nor hair of the New World Order. In the ring Bubba starts strong, using his superior size and strength to good advantage. We are reminded that Roddy Piper was part of the first Starrcade back in 1983, in a Dog Collar match against Greg Valentine - I remember it well...
Bubba continues to dominate with an assist from Jimmy Hart which goes awry when Hart tries to hold Jarrett for a punch that misses the mark. Back in the ring Hart has introduced the megaphone to the equation. Bubba tries to use it but misses - Jarrett drop-kicks it into Bubba's face - end of story.
The Steiners are in the ring calling for Sting to come out. He reveals himself in the rafters. Rick reiterates his challange. Sting apparently accepts with the nod of the head. Cut to commercial. Outsiders' T-shirt anyone?
The announcers are talking about the coming Sting/Steiner match when members of the NWO shows up - Bischoff, the Outsiders, Syxx and Vincent. They chase Tony, Teney and Heenan off the dais. Looks like they're taking over the broadcast...
Bischoff is sporting about three days growth of beard. He's trying to dissuade Piper from the Starrcade match - shows footage of Hogan beating up Vader and others. He says his phone line has been flooded by wrestlers wanting to convert their contracts...yeah right. With this move the NWO have surprised us again - we all expected them to start taking over the first half of the show. Maybe it will be different in the weeks to come. EB is talking abiut the NWO graphics they will be using once they assume control of "their" program.
Squire Dave Taylor vs. Eddie Guerrero - this is a good (if short) match. Maybe the second one on the program. Taylor is a fairly talented mat technician and tries to ground the high-flyer but without success. Guerrero gets loose and Frog-Splashes his way to victory. The announcers (Hall, Nash and EB) are impressed with both competitors...
Arn Anderson vs. Jim (the jobber) Powers (w/Teddy Long) - I expect Powers to look good - and I'm not disappointed...but there is no contest between these guys. Kevin Nash is calling out Dusty Rhodes and Larry Zbysco...while in the ring Arn is going to work on his younger opponent. Eric is predicting that Sting will defect to the NWO tonight...sounds like wishful thinking to me. Oh yeah...Arn won easily. Teddy never even jumped up on the apron...
Horsemen music plays for a second time - Chris Benoit vs. Lord Steven Regal - US Title Tournament match - this should be a barn-burner! Regal avoids the lock-up at first. Suckers Benoit into an arm bar. He's really aggressive in this match to try and stay with the "Wolverine". Of course he can mix it up. The NWO guys are continuing to imply that Sting is one of them...they like both Benoit and Regal.
Back in the ring Benoit takes the advantage and gets his flying head-butt on the TV Champ. Moments later he goes for a splash outside and misses (ouch!). Regal goes back inside and puts a super-plex on the Canadian. Can't get the pin. This whole match is being shown in a long shot for some reason. Benoit finally gets the pin after a belly-to-back suplex.
Horsemen interview - minus Flair. Gene sees momentum toward the Horsemen. Anderson gives Lugar his due but says they intend to lead the WCW...Arn wants to know where Woman is. Benoit defends her. Mongo accuses Chris of creating dissension by having his own agenda. Arn cuts that talk short and endorses Benoit.
Rocco Rock (Grunge) vs. Lex Lugar - (the announcers are speculating about Lugar's loyalties...) Rock gets in the first lick - a kick to the guts then he drops Lex across the top rope. Lugar seems unprepared for this attack mode. Grunge gets some shots in as well...
Lugar has a few moments but he's being double-teamed. Turning him lose for some whip-action turns out to be a mistake. Now it's all Lugar - the "Rock" gets "Racked".
With less then 5 minutes left of the program we finally get Sting vs. Rick Steiner - Sting makes his entrance from the stands with a baseball bat! He throws it away then turns his back and pays for it. Scotty throws him back in. Sting gets the drop on Steiner with the reverse neck breaker then grabs the bat and threatens Rick with it. Scotty gets between them but is warned away. Sting repeats his bat schtick, shoving Steiner and then handing him the weapon. He turns his back and Scotty has to stop Rick from whacking him. Sting takes the bat and goes to the broadcast booth where he seems to me warning the NWO guys. He leaves and they continue to maintain that Sting is NWO. They wish us all Happy Holidays...fade to black.
Competitively, this program was definitely a step down from last week's offering. Too many screwjob endings - very few really competitive matches. Too bad. The Sting thing was as mysterious as ever, but its getting old...
I really liked the NWO parts of the Nitro show - it was more interesting then I expected it to be. Vince McMahon can take credit for the "Diesel" character if he wants to - but this "Kevin Nash" guy is really entertaining.
Shawn Michaels is shown waiting in the wings as we begin. First up...
Flash Funk (2 Cold Scorpio) vs. the Goon (Bill Irwin) - here is an interesting match-up. Wild Bill is a classic brawler but very athletic. His leaping kick is a master-move that few wrestlers can top. 2 Cold exemplifies the high-flying 90's kind of wrestler. So Flash goes for his moonsault and gets side-stepped. Looks bad for about 5 seconds but 2 Cold recovers and does a one-and-one-half backward somersault in order to drop a leg across Wild Bill's head...spectacular move.
"Diesel" vs. PI Godwin - Tex Slazzinger jobs to Dr. Yankum (the King's personal dentist) - I'll tell you why Vinnie Mac brought back "Big Daddy Cool" - because they didn't want to have to give up the most popular character in the video games..."Razor" interfered at the end, by the way - couldn't tell who won...
Shawn Michaels interview - HBK keeps his temper and tries to make nice. He's ready to take anyone on.
Maybe he could start with this next specimin...
Here's another "Diesel" if you will...this guy really sang the song...yatta, yatta.
Double J vs Justin "Hawk" Bradshaw - on paper Bradshaw wipes the floor with "Job Armstrong" - and that's the way it goes during most of this match. JJ takes it throughout. We know Jesse James is a "real" wrestler but are surprised by the extent of the Hawk's grappling knowledge. With his size, and frankly...a considerable charisma advantage, Bradshaw carries the day. Job Armstrong gets branded...cut to commercial.
Stone Cold runs in and whacks Bret with a chair...oh wait...its a replay. We get to see some footage of the goings on in England...Stone Cold attacks Sid with the Title belt...Bret Hart rescuing his brother-in-law from Sids wrath. Bulldog ranting about Sid while Owen tells him to forget it and concentrate on the upcoming Tag Team Title match against "Diesel and Razor" (right! that's a threat...like Vince really wants his Tag Team Champions to be percieved as bad imitations of the competition's two Main Men.)
Marc Mero/Jake the Snake vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley/Billy Gunn - two non-entities vs. a legend and the sport's "Shooting Star" (Double J interrupts the play-by-play to challange Bradshaw to a rematch next week...ignore him, he'll go away...).
The four men in the ring are all fine athletes. Jake can still out-think most opponents. Aside from athletics, Billy Gunn is a joke. This guy badly needs acting lessons. Helmsley is okay if you like boooring....still, this is a pretty good match.
The Wildman is the star here and he's kept above the fray for the most part (HH and Jake are the focus of the match)...until the end, of course. Gotta throw that "Shooting Star"...Helmsley gets it.
They're advertising a Mankind/Undertaker match (No Holds Barred) for next week, also a Champion vs. Champion match (Sid/HHH - gosh...I wonder who will win that one...?) Should be a good show.
I'm afraid neither show really rang my bell tonight...the competition level was probably a little higher on RAW. The best thing going week after week on Nitro is the emerging presence of Hall and Nash.
A Few Thought on Hall and Nash
I find it really it fascinating that the WCW is giving these two guys the prime push and nobody seems to be recognising it. Everybody is crying about Hulk Hogan "hogging the spotlight" but meanwhile Hall and Nash are being served up on a platter. They have been allowed to hold legitimate titles and have defended them with honor. They are all over the place as announcers even during their own matches. They have the hottest selling T-Shirt going, I'm sure. The whole NWO scenerio has really been about Hall and Nash all along.
Hogan/Savage was a unsatisfying fiasco but it brought in the big gate. Hogan/Piper is setting up to be the same kind of thing - then what...? If you want to criticize Eric Bischoff - call him on giving lengendary dinasours jobs so he can make them do humiliating things to each other, but don't accuse him of not doing right by Hall and Nash.
Some where down the road someone will be designated to take Hogan down and that person is going to embody what the WCW is currently metamorphosing into - a newer, sleeker, outlaw kind of wrestling programming...NWO programming...
Outlaws in black leather...hmmm...sounds like Big Daddy Cool...
A final thought...
A certain "journalist" (who shall remain nameless) has chosen to attack me by name again in his wrestling newsletter. During this assault he has also chosen to violate my privacy by publishing some embarrassing personal correspondence without my permission. His explanation for this outrage is to cloak it as an "apology for his own bad behavior". I admit the evidence is there, in what he laid out, for my own lack of judgement, but he left out the circumstances (of which he knows nothing) under which I made a comment to a third party that was unflattering toward the dear boy and to which he originally took offense (in fact, it was really none of his business since I was commenting privately to someone else at the time).
It just goes to show you what happens when you let yourself be drawn into an argument with an infant...needless to say I won't be sending him e-mail again...wouldn't want to see any more of it plastered all over his web page...
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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