Volume 1, Issue 97
December 22, 1996
WCW Main Event
The started by reviewing the melee at the end of the Nitro broadcast with an emphasis on Sting's participation. Heenan's still claiming that Sting is NWO (right, Bobby...) They also showed Masa Hiro Chono's defection to the NWO...loved seeing Sonny Oono get his due...
I keep reading on the Net that the Piper/Hogan match at Starrcade is not going to be for the Title and yet the announcers keep talking about it as if it is. I notice that the advertisements don't mention the Championship being on the line.
The Main Event Exclusive featured a very competitive match between Akira Hokudo and Kouru which resulted in a win for Hokudo who advances in the Womens' tournament.
Todd Pettingill and Sunny are the hosts.
The top story is the Hitman's actions on Monday night. As you probably remember, he interfered in a match between Stone Cold Steve Austin and "Big Van Jobber" (was that Jack Tunney I saw out there among the suits trying to break that situation up...? My how the mighty have fallen). They took a FAX from a smart fan who said "...why not call off the Title match in San Antonio - everybody knows that Sid is going to lose"...they threw that one away in a hurry. Look for Bret to win the Royal Rumble...
Minutes later Vic Venom (WWF Magazine Vince Russo) made the same prediction about Michaels and Hart.
WWF Shotgun Saturday Night was officially announced on the program.
Jim Ross is predicting that we will see "...big things happening even before the the Royal Rumble" and implied that Sid "...may not even be the Champion by then."
The WWF is heavily hyping the "injury to Billy Gunn's neck" that took place Monday night. Most of my Internet sources are saying that this was an act on Billy's part. I'm not sure that's clear at the moment, but the promotional attention given to this incident certainly points to the likelyhood that the injury isn't for real...still, the look of stunned bewilderment on Billy's face was pretty well done if it was an act. The medical prognosis is temporary paralysis, according to the WWF.
Bart Gunn was on the phone and very apologetic, Sunny jumped right in and put him (and Billy's wife) down, further evidence of a fraud in my opinion (or else evidence of her incredible tackiness...a definite possibility). Later she said she plans to go down and visit Billy because "...he needs me right now." I'd say "Butt out, Sunny!"
Vic Venom predicts (in answer to a caller's question) that Shawn Michaels will be the WWF Champion by this time next year, after a few changes in the meantime... He also predicted great things for AAA rookie sensation Hector Garza.
WCW Saturday Night
Rookie Rex King gave Jeff Jarrett about all he could handle in the opening contest.
Diamond Dallas Page met Bunkhouse Buck (Jimmy Golden) in another good match on the show. The fans couldn't figure out who to boo in this one so they mostly sat on their hands. Both represent low-life characters. Of course DDP is one of the current WCW golden boys so he won.
They presented another Benoit/Woman video, This one seemed to wrap things up but really imparted no more information than the two previous ones. It ended with them staggering drunkenly down the hall of a hotel (I assume) and getting on an elevator. I will be surprised if Benoit isn't being set-up...
An NWO match took place, for the first time, in front of the regular WCWSN audience and featured Scott Norton in NWO garb vs. Buddy Lee Parker in a squash match. Nick Patrick reappeared as the "Mystery Referee" with the ski mask on to conceal his features. This time the ref even got physically involved in the match.
Later in the program Mr. Wallstreet (also in an NWO T-shirt) had Patrick's help in a match against Bobby Eaton. This match was a more even contest so the ref had to stoop to tripping Eaton in order to give Wallstreet the win.
TV Champ Lord Steven Regal correctly pointed out that he is the only remaining WCW wrestler who hold a Heavyweight Title. He invited anyone, WCW or NWO to come try and take the belt then ended the interview by challanging Roddy Piper to come get a piece of him after Piper's finished beating up Hogan.
Disco Inferno stated before his match with Eddie Guerrero that he would be debuting a "new leg hold" on the program (taught to him by his "Uncle Guido"). The match was very fast paced and quite competitive but when the time came to put the leg hold on Disco couldn't seem to remember how to begin... Guerrero won with a Frog Splash.
The regular NWO segment was the silliest one yet as jobber Alan Storm took on the Outsiders in a handicap match. This one also ended with the referee beating up on the non-NWO competitor. Bagwell got some licks in as well...
The program opens with a non-Title Tag match pitting the Champions (Owen Hart /British Bulldog) against Savio Vega and Double J. The latter is a posturing buffoon IMO - and his mother dresses him funny...
The match was a good one - despite Double J's funny outfit. Things were surprisingly even going into the first commercial.
We come back to find the Bulldog firmly in control and Double J taking it. He finally escapes but is too addled to follow up. A head-to-head to collision puts both men down. After a pause both manage to tag in their partners - moments later Bulldog puts Savio down with a running powerslam.
The feature contest of the program is announced as "Diesel" vs the Undertaker as we go to another commercial.
Steve Austin wrestles another squash match against a jobber. I wonder: does that "Stunner" maneuver ever hurts Austin's shoulder? After the match he challanges his vanquished opponent to get a partner and meet him in a handicap match next week. He then interviews himself, calls the fans "trash" and threatens Bret Hart with retaliation for the incident on Monday. What a stirling character...
We get a rehash of the Lawler/Goldust incident from Monday night. They "tastefully" bleeped Lawler's use of the "Q" word. It's always so satisfying to see the Burger King get popped.
Shawn Michaels continues his verbal battle with the Hitman. He says he has the right to pursue happiness as he sees fit. Says he couldn't care less what people think about him (so then why do the Hitman's statements bother him so much...?) Says he plans to beat Sid at the Rumble.
We get our first look at one of the AAA wrestlers in action when Pierroth takes on jobber Matt Hardey. Pierroth is not your typical lucha libre high-flyer. He's a powerhouse and a well known heel in Mexico. In fact Hardey is the aerialist in this contest and puts up a pretty good fight. Eventually he succombs to Pierroth's one flying move (a planche) and then gets powerbombed and pinned.
"Diesel" looks pretty nervous as the Undertaker enters the ring. He obviously feels in over his head. He retreats momentarily then sneaks back in and attacks from behind. Next to the 6' 10" Man from the Darkside, it's obvious that "Diesel" is no seven footer. I've noticed that JR has stopped referring to him that way. Apparently sometime in the last few weeks he's shrunk to 6' 9"... Going into the commercial finds "Diesel" finally starting to assert himself.
Right after we return the Undertaker regains the advantage. No sooner does he start his assault then Vader shows up to provide the screwjob ending. Together the two ruffians put UT down so Vader can bomb him. They leave him lying as we fade to black.
I'll be back tomorrow night with my regular Monday Night Wars edition. Look for Issue #99 mid-week then the Year-in-Review and Solie's Year-End Awards Issue #100 next weekend. Untill then...
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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