Volume 1, Issue 98
December 23, 1996
We start the program with a review of the Benoit/Guerrero match from several weeks ago.
Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero - US TitleTournament semi-final match - this is a great match! Very fast paced, very competitive. Guerrero is on top of his game - Benoit is a buzz-saw! Guerrero almost gets a roll-up pin just before the first commercial.
Coming back we watch Benoit drop Guerrero's throat on the top rope from an incredible height. Moments later he puts a powerbomb on him then goes for the pin - no cigar. Benoit maintains his advantage until Eddie catches him in a spinning backbreaker. He goes for the top turnbuckle but gets caught. Benoit executes a belly-to-back superplex but still can't put him away. Now its a slug fest and Guerrero is winning. Benoit picks him up and drops his midsection across the top rope - then takes him up for another superplex and referee Randy Anderson follows them up. He gets knocked to the mat then Benoit gets shrugged off and he goes tumbling. Eddie twists in midair to hit his frog splash and gets the win.
Horsemen interview - Arn is still having problems with Benoit's amourous adventures - Debra interrupts to put Woman down - Chris defends Nancy saying she's doing Horsemen business and starts talking trash at Debra - Mongo takes offense at that... Flair says he's here to party and again defends Benoit's actions - he's trying to be the peacemaker but soon (I think) Arn is going to tell him to shut up...
NWO music plays as we return from commercial - Hogan, Debiasi, Vincent and Liz head to the ring. Hogan paces as Teddy introduces him then goes into his usual rant about Piper being a coward, he's the real icon, yatta, yatta...then he goes into his posing schtick.
Preview of Piper's new movie - Marked Man
Tombstone vs. Lex Lugar - this is the big guy who challanged Lugar over the weekend. He's very impressive looking and starts out pretty aggresive but he's no match for the Total Package. He has a moment towards the middle of the contest but eventually gets racked.
The Giant shows up at the end of the match and tries to attack Lugar but Lex is one step ahead. He staggers the big man with a series of blows then goes for the rack - other NWO members break it up - cut to commercial.
Review of the match that didn't happen between Sting and Steiner last week. Then the program's end focusing on Sting's actions.
J.L. vs Rey Misterio Jr. - this one is a rout. Jerry Lynne is a formidable competitor but doesn't outweigh Misterio by enough to dominate him. He holds the advantage for a little while right after the opening exchange but Rey is just biding his time. A flying Frankensteiner then a dive to the outside puts him back in charge.
J.L. gets a another chance a little later but makes the mistake of leaving Rey lying in the ring while he climbs the corner...too slowly. Misterio cuts him off, jumps onto J.L.'s shoulders and Frankensteiners him to the mat. Rey wins it.
Rey Jr. comes to the broadcast to defend Stings actions at the end of last week's show. The announcers have been citing Sting's lack of action against the NWO guys as meaning he has joined the group. Rey points out that Sting only reacted to the guys who chose to attack him that night - the NWO gave him a wide berth...Rey's convinced that Sting is still with WCW.
Second hour begins - Glacier vs Buddy Lee Parker - a squash - Glacier seems more intense then we've seen him previously (if that's possible...)
Amazing French Canadians vs. Public Enemy - I hate to say it but it's good to see PE back. They show up with the usual furniture accouterments - this should be interesting. PE try to attack the Canadians right off the bat but they get caught with the flags. They come right back however and take the advantage. This doesn't last long though - Rougeau and Oulette have some of the best teamwork going - soon they turn the tables - or the Table I should say - PE's table that is... They bring it into the ring and lay it across the ropes in the corner. While attempting to use it for a platform for a splash they are upset by Rocco Rock who levers it up and breaks it across Pierre's back...right on the cut line...PE use the table as a battering ram and get DQ'd for their trouble.
Video review of the ending melee from last week with the emphasis on Bubba's defection to the NWO.
Big Bubba (in NWO T-shirt) vs. Konan - this match is pretty even for a long as it is a match. Nick Patrickis on hand to referee (sans ski mask). Both wrestlers are powerhouses and Buba is exceptionally quick for a big guy. Patrick seems to be favoring Bubba in this one (surprise, surprise) - this quickly degenerates into a knock-down-drag-out fight with Bubba dominating. At one point Jimmy Hart jumps up on the apron and promptly gets banished from ringside (Patrick claims Hart hit him but he didn't...) The fight goes on - Konan is in charge now. Finally he throws Bubba over the top rope and gets disqualified. He turns on the ref who is rescued my Bubba. They leave together. Cut to commercial.
Lord Steven Regal vs. Dean Malenko - this is a match we've seen a couple time on the weekend shows over the last few weeks - another great exhibition by two consummate mat technicians. Regal is one of the few wrestlers who can match Malenko move for move - and he has the weight advantage here. In his usual genteel but deadly way, Regal controls things from the get-go but can't put the smaller man down decisively. Regal goes for a Boston crab but gets thrown off by Malenko who then nearly executes his Texas Cloverleaf. Now things are evening up. Malenko gets the Brainbuster and would get the pin but the time runs out.
Rick Steiner vs. Jeff Jarrett - Steiner would seem to hold all the cards - he's more technically proficient, he's bigger and stronger and probably more vicious...but he lacks Jarrett's grey matter so things are mostly even throughout this short match. The NWO Sting appears just after Jarrett tosses Steiner out of the ring. "Stink" comes into the ring and tries to put the reverse DDT on Jarrett but Steiner saves the day with a clothesline. Jarrett then pins "Stink" - ref counts three and awards Jarrett the match. This seems tobe alright with Steiner for some reason - silly ending. The crowd chants "We Want Sting" as we cut to commercial.
NWO music is playing again as we return. Hogan is back and struts to the ring again. He goes back into his rant about Piper's cowardice - in the middle of his speech the bagpipes start playing. Is Piper going to appear...? No! It's Rowdy Eric Bischoff in a kilt and an oldstyle Hulamania t-shirt. He also struts to the ring and does his best impression of Piper (which is pretty bad) kowtowing to Hogan, of course. He says "...lets have the match right here and now", calls for a referee (we get Patrick instead) then prostrates himself at Hogan's feet. After some more verbal silliness we hear the bagpipes again.
This time it's the real Rowdy One and he's pissed...he goes to the ring - they talk some trash off mic and then they go at it trading blows. The rest of the NWO shows up to hold Piper while Hogan tries to hit him with the Title belt. Security forces show up to seperate them and we fade to black...
Marc Mero vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley for the IC Title to open the program - Sable's back in her patent leather outfit and looking hot. Goldust and Marlena take seats in the stands to watch. Mero attacks and takes the advantage immediately - then breaks off his attack to run Jerry Lawler away from ringside. This proves to be a mistake as he returns to run right into a clothesline from his opponent who is lurking at ringside. He gets slammed on the concrete (ouch!). Hunter grabs a chair but then remembers that he can lose his Title on a DQ in this one (countouts count as well). Back in the ring they go at it hot and heavy. Hunter keeps tossing the Wildman out to the floor and then ambushiung him as he attempts to re-enter the ring. Finally back in the ring they exchange blows until Hunter geta another clothesline just before the comercial break.
We're backand Hunter is in command of the match. He's dropping some heavy knees but gets caught in a flying head scissors. Next he gets drop kicked from the top. The Mero whips him to a corner and catches him in a Samoan drop. He goes for his Mero-sault and misses. The Pedigree puts him away.
Hunter addresses Goldust in the crowd - taunting him and Marlena with sexual slurs. Goldy takes exception and HHH flees. Goldust is getting cheered these days.
Review of the Gunns neck-injury incident.
Sunny shows up dressed in red and wearing a Santa hat. She here to see Rocky Maivia whose due up after the commercial.
Salvitore Sincere vs. Rocky Maivia - this is rematch from the last PPV. Maivia is the crowd favorite (and Sunny's as well). Sal is wrestling smarter than he did in their last encounter and takes over the reins early on. He holds the advantage until Rocky puts on the brakes following an Irish whip. Then its all Maivia up to the point when Rocky puts on his patented Shoulder Breaker to win the match.
Vince interviews Sid - Sid correctly points out that he is 6'9'' and weighs over three hundred pounds and will continue to be that way for the foreseeable future...
The New (Improved?) Rockers vs. Ciberbetico/Pierroth - Poor Al Snow can't shed himself of his albatross (namely Marty Janetty). Cibernetico is Pierroth's protege, neither is your typical Luche Libre style high-flyer which seems to make Jim Ross happy. Pierroth is a devastating powerhouse - this match is a squash which ends with Jannetty falling prey to the Mexican veteran's one flying move of the match.
JR interviews Mil Mascaras - this guy has to be 50 years old - I remember seeing him wrestle in the Olympic Auditorium back around 1980. But he says he's going to compete in the Royal Rumble.
The Honky Tonk Man makes his RAW debut as a commentator for the main event.
Bret Hart vs. "Razor Ramon" - "Razor" waits in the ring as we return, The Hitman makes his entrance to a moderate pop. Honky notes that Bret Hart seems to be living up to his declaration that he is throwing out the rules from now on. He's got the imposter on the outside and is laying on some heavy punishment as we cut to commercial.
Coming back its only moments before Hart slaps on the Sharpshooter and makes "Razor" submit.
The program ends with a Shawn Michaels intervies. Shawn is pretty uncommunicative at first and sarcastic to boot. He says he's going to beat Sid and then puts Bret down. Fade to black...
There were a couple of excellent matches tonight on both programs. Malenko/Regal and Benoit/Guerrero were both barn burners. The Mero/Helmsley match was also great. The Maivia/Sincere match was better then expected as well. I'd give both shows a strong C+.
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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