It’s time once again along our WCW journey to plunk down our $29.99 and watch a WCW Pay Per View! WCW has been building up to this one for six weeks of Nitro and this is where we find out if it was all worth it. My first impression, right off the bat…I like that they had six weeks of buildup. Fall Brawl came just two Nitros into the journey, so it seemed like I missed everything leading up to it…because I did. This one, however, we got a good amount of time for things to build. As stupid as the Hogan/Giant stuff has been, we got enough time for us to really understand where the story is and why we’re going that way. Same with the Flair/Sting vs Pillman/Anderson story. In a world now where it feels like WWE is throwing us a PPV ever three weeks, having a month and a half to get to this point was pretty cool. It really has me wondering how next year is going at points since WCW still only runs 10 PPVs a year at this point. They won’t get to 12 until 1997.
Of course, the big build up to this PPV has been Hulk Hogan and the Giant. We have seen the replays multiple times by now, starting back in the summer when the Giant arrived and threw his Andre the Giant shirt in Hogan’s face. From there we go to Fall Brawl where the Giant runs over Hogan’s brand new Harley Davidson then later that night snaps his neck. A month and a half later we’ve gotten one more neck snap and a Hogan that now dresses in black (but isn’t nWo quite yet) and works without a mustache. Our main events are going to be Hogan vs the Giant in a Monster Truck Sumo Match, followed by the two going at it in the ring for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Tied for second on our big story list is the Flair/Anderson/Pillman/Sting angle and the Luger/Savage angle. I’m digging both of these and I feel that both come out in pretty interesting and satisfying ways by the end of the night.
Our show starts with a quick promo video of the Giant/Hogan feud which ends with a picture of the two of them head to head. Nothing out of the ordinary except for the fact that Hogan is eye-to-eye with the Giant in this one. Really…Hogan’s ego can’t allow him to be a head shorter than a man who is actually a head taller than him in real life? We go to our announce team which is Bobby Heenan and Tony Schiavone. Looks like this is our PPV team at this point as this was our team for Fall Brawl as well. I know that eventually Tony ends up on Nitro as well, but that may not happen until a year or so from now when Nitro goes two hours. I can’t really remember, honestly. We cut to Hogan and Giant grab assing on the rooftop of Cobo Hall, which is next door to the Joe Louis Arena where our PPV is taking place. Back to our announcers, we find out that Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman attacked Ric Flair earlier tonight. Sting isn’t at the building yet so he doesn’t know and this may put the match in jeopardy. Heenan laughs and says that this is what Flair gets…he’s not playing around with friends from Friends, which dates us right smack dab in the 90’s. We also see Heenan randomly eating at this nice table where Schiavone tells us he’s been having sushi all night.
We go to a replay of the 9/30 WCW Saturday Night, which if you’ll remember is where Johnny B Badd was supposed to cash in his WCW United States Championship shot that he won at Fall Brawl against Brian Pillman. Sting is in the ring, ready to go, but no JBB. They postpone the match until later that night, but the same thing happens. Due to two no shows, Pillman gets a title shot instead. Later that night, apparently, JBB arrived; dirty, saying he had a flat tire and couldn’t get here. He had no phone so he couldn’t call in either. Wow, this is an angle that couldn’t be run today. Diamond Dallas Page interrupts this interview, saying JBB is stupid for missing his title shot and that it should have went to him. Max Muscle says it’s hard getting here with four flat tires, to which DDP tries to shut him up, but JBB reacts saying he only said he had “a” flat tire, how did Max know he had 4!? He punches DDP, which set us up for Nitro a few weeks ago where DDP jumped JBB from behind before the match and stole his glitter gun.
Match #1: WCW Television Championship Match: Johnny B Badd vs Diamond Dallas Page (C) w/ Max Muscle and the Diamond Doll
As they make their entrances we see that DDP still has Johnny’s glitter gun and we see that Kimberly is not happy to be a part of this team. We’ve been seeing Kim get more and more disgusted with DDP over the last few weeks, and I know that she eventually leaves DDP for JBB (and then for The Booty Man), so you can definitely tell that is coming.
We get an update on Flair, saying he does have an injury but we have no information on the severity yet. Also, Sting still isn’t at the arena yet so he has no idea. Heenan tells us that this is proof that Sting and Flair don’t gel as a team because they aren’t even in the arena at the same time.
Page is in the ring waiting as Johnny B Badd makes his entrance. He comes out facing away from the camera so we can all read the back of his cape…but no, it’s a decoy JBB! The real Johnny B Badd makes his way through the crowd and pays DDP back for his Nitro waylay.
All through this match there is a running commentary and speculation on DDP winning 13.7 million dollars recently. I didn’t really start following DDP until after the whole “benefactor” angle that’s coming up through the first half of 1996, but I do remember there being a time when the angle was that he was poor as all get out, so that ties in pretty well to the next speculation point which is that the rumor is that the Diamond Doll actually won the money and that DDP is just along for the ride.
We get a pretty funny spot in this match when JBB pulls DDP’s hair while he’s in an armbar. DDP complains to the ref and the ref questions JBB about the hair pull, to which he replies “Yeah, I pulled his hair! Like this!” as he pulls it again. I thought that was pretty funny and really showed that JBB was out for payback instead of just winning a match or the title.
Heenan tells us another story about a pilot leaving the cockpit to ask him questions about what was going on in WCW, leaving him to reply “Who’s flying this bird?” I like to see it not as a joke being used twice, but that pilots all around the world want the scoop from Heenan and he’s getting annoyed and worried for his safety! Pilots should pay attention to their planes and get their scoops by calling 1-900-909-9900 instead.
We find out that the Sheik will be here with Sabu later tonight.
Two things really run through this match as we go along. One is that the announcers are constantly putting over the changes in DDP since he “won” the money. The second is that as this match goes on, Kim becomes more and more disgusted with DDP. She moves pretty much from distraught at the match to plain out pissed off with Page. This really takes off when DDP unwraps his wrist tape and uses it to choke JBB.
JBB comes back though, giving Page a duo of atomic drops, moving to punches and then rocking him with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. We get a double axe handle from the top rope by JBB that Kim scores a 10. She’s moved on from upset with DDP to actively cheering JBB. JBB gives us an ugly sit out powerbomb for a two count. DDP goes for the Diamond Dream (which is apparently a DDT out of a hip toss, which is odd having signature move that depends on someone else hitting you with an offensive maneuver, but whatever). DDP goes for a Diamond Cutter, but JBB blocks it by using the top rope to hold himself up, and then covers DDP for a two count for no apparent reason. That’s one of the logic flaws in the Diamond Cutter. I’ve always liked the move…but you do as much harm to yourself as the opponent when you hit it. When Page missed it, technically he did just as much to himself as he would have if he had actually hit the move, so JBB covering him for a two kind of shines a light on that.
Max Muscle grabs JBB from behind and DDP goes for a clothesline, but JBB moves. Thankfully DDP stops short from hitting Max, but then JBB dropkicks DDP from behind and the two collide. JBB picks up the win when Max Muscle accidentally clotheslines DDP.
Winner and new WCW Television Champion, Johnny B Badd!
We cut really quickly back to our announcers to find out that this is the first time that we’ll see The Giant in an actual match. Sure, he’s been choke slamming folks and snapping necks for a few weeks now, but tonight will be his first official match. Heenan tells us that they may not get to it as they may both end up going off the roof in the Monster Truck match, though.
Match #2: Zodiac vs “Macho Man” Randy Savage
Yep, I was as confused as you when Zodiac came out to the ring…and for the same two reasons. 1) Why is it Zodiac and not Kamala, as we were told it would be for the last few weeks? 2) Why is Zodiac employed?
Zodiac, however, apparently comes out to what will become Rey Mysterio Jr.’s entrance music. It’s always odd to me to see entrance music get recycled. It’s like when I realized Kurt Angle came out to The Patriot’s music and my mind exploded.
Randy makes his way to the ring and stops to kiss some random woman. It looked like it made both of their days, so all is well, I suppose.
Savage’s arm is taped up, still selling his match against Kurasawa from the previous Nitro.
At the start of the match a fan jumps into the ring only to be wrangled by Randy Anderson. For the most part, Savage and Zodiac ignore him, which is probably a good thing. I think out of all of the wrestlers you could randomly jump, Randy Savage would be near the top of the list of the ones most likely to seriously injure you.
Heenan says that Kamala said he was afraid of Savage, so Kevin Sullivan beat him and sent him back to Uganda. Guess this is cover up for Kamala leaving the company, kind of like Vader going AWOL before Fall Brawl. Seriously, WCW, you have two guys leave the company after building them into PPV matches…gotta keep a better watch on that stuff.
Savage wins with the top rope elbow at the end of a very quick match. Now, as long as Lex Luger wins his match, Savage and Luger will happen later on tonight.
Winner: Randy Savage
We go to the back where Mean Gene is standing by with Johnny B Badd. We get a quick Hotline plug from Gene in which he tells us that Jimmy Hart has been talking with a man he used to manage in “another federation.” Johnny arrives to tell us that there’ll be a celebration in Detroit tonight and that dreams do come true. Gene talks him into taking him out for some Greek food later.
Match #3: Kurasawa (w/ Col. Robert Parker) vs Road Warrior Hawk
This is a Revenge Match coming from Clash of the Champions in Daytona Beach earlier this year. In that match, Kurasawa broke Hawk’s arm, which we’ve heard a lot about over the last few weeks.
Where is Animal at this point? We’ve seen Hawk a few times, but is he the only one in WCW at this point?
Early in the match Hawk hits his shoulder on the ring post and Kurasawa goes straight for his arm. Nice to see WCW playing up continuity here. Hawk shoves Kurasawa off, though.
We see a “Bobby for Mayor” sign that Schiavone points out, leaving Bobby to respond with “That’s just what I need…to take a pay cut and live in a bad neighborhood.” Nice to see Bobby get a dig at Detroit in.
Kurasawa hits a Samoan drop, puts his legs on the ropes (which Parker holds) and gets the win.
Winner: Kurasawa with a dirty pin and assistance from Col. Parker.
We go backstage with Mean Gene again, this time with Randy Savage pacing the floor in front of him. He said he heard what Hogan said and he didn’t like it. He doesn’t think Hogan can separate business and pleasure. He’s Hogan’s friend…but when they meet together in the ring, he’s going to win.
He tells Gene that his mustache is crooked; causing Gene to fire back that Savage’s beard is sideways. Savage shakes it off with a “that’s alright.” Savage says he’s going to make sure Luger wins his match.
Match #4: JL vs Sabu (w/ the original Sheik)
For some reason, JL has been demoted from Mr. JL to just JL over the course of the last few weeks. Sabu comes out to what will eventually be La Parka’s music, giving us our random music shift #2 for the evening. Instead of a chair like La Parka, though, the Sheik comes to the ring with a damn sword!
Sabu hits an asai moonsault that takes out both JL and the Sheik. I’d watch it a little more closely if I were Sabu, though, with Sheik wielding a damn sword out there. Sabu also continues to prove he doesn’t give a damn about anyone’s safety as he goes for a flipping leg drop from the apron to the ring that lands his ass straight onto JL’s face. Sabu wins with the Arabian press. Afterwards, however, Sheik throws a fireball in JL’s face for no reason other than to do it.
Very quick matches tonight, honestly. We must be making sure that Hogan gets as much time as he wants later tonight. And trust me…he’s all over the last hour of this show.
We get a quick rundown video of the history of the Giant in WCW, followed by Kevin Sullivan and The Master in the entrance way. The Master decides that despite Sullivan being right beside him, he’s going to yell at him like he’s across the room. Also, I still don’t know why The Master refers to him as “Sullivan” every time he addresses him. It’s his father, apparently…just call him Kevin or “son,” for goodness sake. Maybe that’s why Sullivan is evil as all hell…his father is just a loud, impersonal jerk. Despite getting yelled at directly into his ear, Sullivan spends this entire segment looking bored as crap.
Sullivan is also in his gear…for no reason. He has no match tonight. The Master says that Sullivan, The Giant and the Yeti (pronounced throughout this pay per view as “Yeh-Tay”) will destroy Hulkamania. Sullivan says that Hogan’s evil is out of control. He says Hogan has no friends and that Sting, Luger and Savage are just vultures at his heels. He makes a good point here, finally. He’s way off the mark with his “Hogan is evil now” shtick, but this whole thing about his friends all wanting the gold and not caring about him is pretty accurate. This is what should have been played up more. It’s been mentioned once or twice, but this should have been part of Hogan turning “evil.” He should have felt alienated. Have his friends be more vocal to him about wanting the title, not just to each other. Then, Hogan would feel like he was backed into a corner and had no one to rely on. I think that would have been a lot more compelling story than “Hogan is evil now!” when he really hasn’t done a single evil thing. The most he’s done is tell a couple people to keep their mouths shut.
We go backstage again with Mean Gene along with Hulk Hogan, Jimmy Hart, and the winners of the Hulkamania Harley Davidson giveaway. Front and center is this scared girl who looks about 12 years old but we find out that she’s the winner’s fiancée! Of course, they are from Alabama, so the fact that there seems to be about a fifteen year age difference between the two of them and that she doesn’t look more than 15 maybe isn’t so out of the ordinary. I apologize to anyone reading this from Alabama…but my blue and orange Florida blood couldn’t help but take a dig at you. Hogan is putting over the winner and the bike and tells Gene “that he’s already told me how he’s getting it back to Alabama, dude, but you can ask him about that later.” Way to keep us in suspense, Hulkster. I’d imagine he’s going to ride the damn thing. Either that or tow it. Now, I’m hoping he’ll surprise me and tell me that he’s going to fly the thing home. That would be a real shocker. Mike, the winner, wins even more stuff, including some shirts and a new exhaust that he has to go pick up at the shop. Gene says that he could use an extra exhaust pipe. Hogan spoils the surprise by telling us Mike is going to ride the bike back to Alabama, but Mean Gene asks him anyway, prompting Mike to tell us that he and the fiancée are going to “straddle it and ride home.”
We get an ad for World War 3 on November 26th. This is actually the first WW3 PPV, so that’s exciting. The main event will be a 3 ring battle royal, 20 mean in each ring, and a giant in each ring! The winner will get a title shot.
We cut back to our commentators and Bobby gives us another zinger by saying that Mike’s new bike will look nice in his trailer park, beside all of the other cars up on blocks and the small $4 swimming pool. The only thing that kept it from being as sharp as it could have been was the fact that it took Heenan roughly a minute to come up with the words “swimming pool,” leaving him to just try to make a circle his hands in the most terrible game of charades ever. After the segment, Tony mocks him by making the circle with his hands. I wonder if these two actually like each other. There’s gotta be something somewhere that has some candid info on this relationship.
Match #5: Meng vs Lex Luger
As Luger comes out, we get a quick glimpse of a tombstone that’s part of the entryway set with the name Crockett. Gotta believe that’s a shout-out to Jim Crockett, the man you used to run Mid-Atlantic before it became WCW.
We find out that on Saturday Night, Meng kicked The Shark in the back of the head so that Luger would win the match. Kevin Sullivan apparently then told Luger that he would “see him tomorrow,” building up more of the is he/isn’t he between Lex and the Dungeon of Doom.
We get info that Ric Flair has been attended to and that Sting is finally in the building. Way to wait until the very last moment to get here, Sting. For a guy that’s supposed to be “the franchise,” getting here 2/3 of the way through the PPV is a little lame. Whatever happened to being the guy who was the “first to arrive, last to leave?”
We get a nice shoulder breaker from Meng to Luger and referee Nick Patrick asks Luger if he wants to stop, despite him not being in a submission hold currently. I always thought that was more of a trope when Patrick turned heel and went with the nWo…asking WCW wrestlers if they wanted to stop the match despite not being in a predicament where they might need to, but apparently it’s just how Patrick rolls. Rewatching this stuff really does show me that he was a terrible referee way before the nWo stuff. Meng follows his shoulder breaker with a nice old-school piledriver as Heenan gets worried that the Yeti may be in the building. The Master told us that he was here, but Heenan took that to mean that he was “here” in a spiritual sense alongside the Dungeon of Doom. He didn’t realize that he was physically in the building.
We’re told that this match is full of “close physical contact…man on man competition.” Reuse the Mean Gene meme from earlier and apply it to Schiavone if you don’t mind.
Luger is in this match way longer than Randy was in his so there is the question of what sort of toll will that take out on Lex. Sullivan also keeps talking to Luger randomly through the match and Heenan makes a point that Sullivan isn’t attacking Lex at all despite there being multiple opportunities. Anyone else turns their back on Sullivan and he’s going to destroy them, but Lex is basically allowed to have a clean match with Meng. He’s not really out there directing Meng to attack Luger or anything like that, truthfully. He’s just out there observing more than anything.
Heenan is asked about the man he was having sushi with earlier and Heenan says that’s just one of his Japanese business associates and that it has nothing to do with WCW. Is Sonny Onoo around at this point? Didn’t he and Heenan have a kayfabe partnership? This may be how they bring him in, especially since we’re seeing more Japanese stars show up. Or, at least wrestlers who were stars in Japan like Benoit, Malenko and Guerrero. We’ve also got the Cruiserweight division coming up, so that would be a good time to bring all of this together, if it actually has a purpose and isn’t just something they’ll drop.
Luger starts hitting clotheslines like they’re going out of style and Heenan puts over the fact that there’s a steel plate in Luger’s arm due to a motorcycle accident. This may be the first time this run that they’ve mentioned the Bionic Forearm.
Meng hits Luger with the golden spike and pins Luger, but Sullivan jumps in and kicks Luger, causing him to win via DQ. Meng isn’t happy about this.
Winner: Lex Luger via Disqualification
We cut to Mean Gene again who is with The Giant in a racing flame suit, but nothing of importance is said, honestly. He’ll destroy Hogan, etc.
Match #6: Arn Anderson and Flyin’ Brian vs Ric Flair and Sting
After the 2 Horsemen enter, Sting enters alone. They announce him and Flair together, but no Flair. This does bring me back to something I always liked with WCW. If the team is two singles stars together, they’ll usually still come out together. I liked that.
The crowd chants “We Want Flair” a lot but we still get Sting starting off strong and cleaning house through most of the early parts of this match, including one moment at makes him look like a total badass. Pillman tries to bait Sting in with a handshake, but Sting kicks him in the gut for good measure then picks him up in a gorilla press slam. He drops Pillman nonchalantly and as he’s falling beckons Arn into the ring.
We get some old Anderson tactics later as Arn rams Sting’s head into an unsuspecting Pillman’s head. Tony lets us know that Gene and Ole Anderson would sacrifice their own bodies as long as it hurt their opponents, so this is just Arn calling back to that. The match then swings to the Horsemen controlling Sting. After a few moments, though, the crowd explodes as Ric Flair makes his way out, in slacks and with a big bandage on his head. He hits the ring and tries to attack but the ref moves him back to his corner. The rest of the match runs with Sting taking a beating from Anderson and Pillman and Arn doing a great job of keeping Sting from being able to reach the corner and tag out. Sting is finally able to tag out; Flair hits the ring, hits the ropes, and punches Sting in the face. From then on it’s a 3 on 1 beat down on Sting. Flair pulls off his bandage, revealing that there’s no injury underneath. They beat Sting down and then head out to meet Mean Gene at the top of the ramp.
Flair is happy and says that “now we go to school!” Double A tells us to be careful what we wish for. A lot of bloodthirsty fans asked for it and now they have it.
Winners: Sting and Ric Flair via DQ
We go back to Mike Tenay in the back with Lex Luger. He asks about Kevin Sullivan’s interference. Lex says that ever since he came here to “the W…” and you can tell he ALMOST says WWF, but catches it later. He says that more than one person out there seems to want the Luger/Savage match, so maybe that’s why Sullivan helped him.
We go to our announcers and Heenan goes on a tirade against Hulk Hogan. He says that Hogan doesn’t deserve to be the champion. He’s desecrating something that Bobby believes in and does, that being WCW.
We get a recap of the feud yet again, leading us to:
Match #7: Monster Truck Sumo Match – Hulk Hogan vs The Giant
We come back and Schiavone is gone and replaced by Eric Bischoff and Bob Chandler, the builder of both Monster Trucks. Chandler runs down the specs of both trucks, letting us know how powerful they are. We then go to the roof for the official rules.
On the roof, Hogan and the Giant are in each other’s faces as they get the rules explained. The two trucks will be welded together and will have to push each other around the circle until one of the trucks is completely out of the circle. There are also two random explosive charges that could potentially disable the trucks. We see the trucks get welded together, but I seriously doubt that is happening. I’m no welder, but I’d imagine welding two giant monster trucks together would take longer than a few seconds to do.
Heenan grabs a quick jab at Hogan with “We always expect Hogan to be slow and he never lets us down.”
The match starts and is basically just ten minutes of the two trucks pushing each other around with quick cuts inside of the cabins so we see both men driving the trucks. They hit one of the explosive charges but the truck no-sells it, leading to what could have been a really cool wrinkle in the match being a useless throwaway firework. Eventually Hogan wins.
Winner: Hulk Hogan
After the match, The Giant exits his truck and goes after Hogan. He charges Hogan and he moves out of the way like he’s Batman fighting Bane in one of the Arkham games, but Giant grabs him by the throat and lifts him up onto the ledge, then follows him up. Hogan is being choked but he throws his arms up and breaks the choke, causing Giant to lose balance and fall off the roof back first. Hogan leaps for the ledge, looks down and then yells “Oh no! Help! Help!”
From there we cut back to the announcers who are freaking out.
Match #8: Lex Luger vs “Macho Man” Randy Savage
We start the match among Tony and Heenan freaking out about the Giant’s apparent death. Heenan more so. Tony tells us that he’ll “be honest with you…we may not have a World Title match.” Yes, Tony…that’s the important takeaway from this. Your #1 contender may be dead. But, the big thing is that the match won’t happen. Sheesh.
The match starts with Luger trying to make peace, but Savage booting him in the guts and starting the match.
We get info from Heenan telling us that they’re not allowing cameras outside so that’s obviously bad news.
Jimmy Hart makes his way to ringside for no reason. He’s still wearing his black outfit, but he’s just standing outside of the ring on the floor.
Heenan tells us that Eric Bischoff has left the building with Mean Gene.
In the match the ref tries to stop Randy at one point and Randy takes a swing at him.
Heenan goes apeshit about not getting info about The Giant. He raises his voice and starts yelling at some off air assistant or camera woman and asks how they can’t just go get info for him.
The fans in the match are booing Lex Luger all while Heenan is doing a great job at selling the Giant’s “death.” He comes across as genuinely troubled, which is cool. Savage starts gaining momentum in the match and Jimmy Hart jumps up on the apron and distracts the ref, costing Lex a possible win. Savage Irish whips Lex towards Hart and Patrick. Patrick moves, his Spidey-Sense tingling apparently, and Luger barrels into Jimmy Hart. He falls, elbow drop, and gets the win.
Winner: “Macho Man” Randy Savage
We go back to the announcers who are talking about the Giant again and Tony gets info that Michael Buffer is going to the ring. Heenan explodes again, tells Tony to forget about Buffer and to go find out what is happening outside. Tony tells Heenan to do it himself, and Heenan throws down his headset and storms off. He’s only gone a moment, though, as he comes back and says that there are 500 people in the doorway and it would take him two hours to get outside. Tony looks like he gives absolutely zero #*%#s. Heenan says that Tony doesn’t understand how serious this is to him. He doesn’t know how far back he and the Giant’s father go. We get a quick replay of what went down on the roof and Heenan again asks why we can’t get any information about what happened. Tony looks at the camera this entire time with a look that says “This crap again?” I do have to say that I absolutely love how much Heenan is selling all of this, though. It’s amazing.
We go to the ring where Michael Buffer begins introducing The Giant, but Hogan’s music comes on and he and Jimmy Hart walk out in total seriousness. Heenan says that Hogan isn’t dressed to wrestle, despite the fact that he’s in his wrestling gear.
Hogan gets in the ring and takes the mic, saying he’s sorry for killing the Giant.
And out walks the Giant.
Seriously, it was meant to be a shock, but it happened so quickly that the shock was kind of lost. I would have liked to see it drag out a bit, but it didn’t. Hogan is scared as hell as Giant gets in the ring for his first official match…ever.
Match #9: WCW World Heavyweight Championship – Hulk Hogan (C) w/ Jimmy Hart vs The Giant w/ Kevin Sullivan
Hogan slowly takes off his black bandana, revealing that his forehead is painted up like Kevin Sullivan’s usually is. This is supposed to show how evil he is, I guess. If only Hogan had done anything evil for the last month, it would have made sense. If they had been slowly making Hogan do more evil and devilish stuff, this being the final expression of that anger and evil would have been a really cool idea. But, he never did anything. Hell, he gave a guy a motorcycle earlier…how evil can the guy be?
Hogan starts trying to take down the Giant but can’t. He hits some clotheslines that do nothing to rattle him and then tries to slam him. The Giant says no and takes over, clubbing Hogan over the back and going on the offense. Heenan lets us know that tomorrow on Nitro he’ll be able to tell us what happened to The Giant between his fall and he walking to the ring like nothing was bothering him.
The Giant controls the match and goes for Hogan’s leg drop, but Hogan moves and you can just imagine him internally monologue “No one steals my move, brother!” Hogan takes over now as Back-rakeamania returns from Fall Brawl and Hogan rakes Giant’s back over and over. You could almost argue that Hogan is wrestling like a heel so the evil may have actually taken over…but this is how babyface Hogan wrestles too. Seriously, watch his matches over…babyface Hogan always did the most heel stuff. Heenan really did have a point all these years. In this match, though, Hogan is definitely more of a heel than the Giant, wrestling wise.
Giant locks Hogan in a bear hug and we spend the better part of three weeks here. Ref checks the arm, we get two drops, then on the third Hogan starts to Hulk up, leading him into a choke slam but a two count. Of course Hogan is the first man to barely sell the choke slam…the move that everyone has been taken out by. Hogan Hulks up again, big boot, hits the leg drop and suddenly the ref hits the floor. Hogan has the match won, but the ref is out. Hogan and Jimmy Hart talk a bit; Hogan lifts the ref up and hands him to Hart to get him ready to make the count. Hogan turns his back; Hart shoves the ref and nails Hogan with the WCW Championship. Hogan no-sells it, turns on Hart and goes to beat him when the Giant gets up and we’re back to the bear hug.
What was funny is that during the whole Hogan/Hart/ref gimmick, The Giant would randomly look up and around, and then drop his head down. I don’t know if this was inexperience on The Giant’s part, or if he was playing possum knowing what was coming. It just cracked me up.
Kevin Sullivan attacks at this point, making Jimmy Hart motion to the entrance, presumably for the rest of the Dungeon of Doom. What he gets, however, is Luger and Savage. They hit the ring and Savage goes to help Hogan, which brings out the Yeti. As soon as the Yeti hits the ring, though, Luger turns on Savage. The Yeti joins the Giant in bear hugging Hogan, but it looks like the most useless, stupidest thing ever. The Giant has a legit bear hug, but the Yeti, who is a good four or five inches taller than The Giant, just puts his arms around the two of them and looks to apply no pressure. Luger puts Hogan in the Torture Rack while the Giant and Yeti go to hug on Randy Savage for a while. Luger drops Hogan and then racks Savage for good measure.
Winner: The Giant by DQ (Hulk Hogan still Champion)
The referee hands The Giant the belt, but we get an announcement that the match ended on a DQ and the title didn’t change hands. Doesn’t faze Giant, though, as he leaves with the belt held high.
We go off the air with Hogan and Savage in the ring after the beat down. Heenan is happy at this, but at the end of the day, Hogan is still champ.
Wow, three major heel turns on this PPV. Flair betrayed Sting, but that was inevitable. Flair will always betray Sting. I have no idea why Sting even bothered with this one. Luger was pretty expected, but still, a top babyface joining the Dungeon of Doom is pretty out there, so that part is definitely a bit odd. Jimmy Hart, though…that was pretty major. Maybe he got really upset that one time Hogan told him to keep his mouth shut and held that grudge. It’d be funny if the one tiny thing that Hogan did to show his “dark side” was what caused his buddy to turn. I honestly can’t wait until Nitro to find this out.
All in all, this did what a good PPV should…despite having some garbage matches in it at times. It ended a feud in Hawk/Kurasawa. It got us to new or interesting places with a few feuds, like Sting/Flair and DDP/Johnny B Badd as well as how the world title scene being left with a new top heel in Luger. Plus now Savage has definite beef with Luger, as does Hogan…and presumably as does Sting. Remember, it was Sting who was the only man vying for Luger this whole time, so now that Luger is a heel, how does that reflect on Sting? Some pretty good stuff going forward into World War 3.
The bad, though…the monster truck match was awful. The Yeti is one of the dumbest things I’ve seen in wrestling. Ever. So this PPV has THAT going for it.
I’m hoping our next PPV has more cruiserweight action, though. That’s what this one was missing. Too much slower action and reliance on old WWF star power. Time to start making those new midcard stars.
Until tomorrow, wrestling fans!