Kick Out at Nitro Special! Blood Runs Cold!

Posted: April 4, 2016 by daltonclass in BJ, Derick B, Kick Out At Nitro, Phillip R, Robbie C, Shane D
Tags: , , ,

KoaNitro copyLadies and gentlemen, welcome to a very special edition of Kick Out at Nitro!  Oddly enough, this one isn’t from WCW Monday Nitro…it’s from WCW Pro, WCW’s weekly syndicated show.  Now, why are we bringing you this random installment of Kick Out at Pro, you may ask?

Well…this is something that’s five months in the making!

This, WCW fans, is the debut of Glacier!

Yes, our blood is currently running cold, ladies and gentlemen!

Glacier promos started back in April of 1996 and ran all through the summer and into the tail end of it before the frozen martial arts master finally made his WCW in-ring debut.  Until this point, all we’ve seen of the man is him in vignettes running through his bevy of martial arts katas.  Originally he was supposed to debut pretty quickly after the vignettes started, but as WCW moved into the debut of the Outsiders and the formation of the New World Order, the cartoony character was left off to a later date.  That date…September 8, 1996.

I remember watching this one live.  It was a Sunday and, although I thought it was odd that this highly hyped character that had been speculated at for months was going to debut on WCW’s third tier show, there was no way I was going to miss it.  I’m sure my mother loved that as I usually didn’t watch Pro, so Sunday was one of the few days that wrestling was on that she wasn’t subjected to it…but I wasn’t going to be deterred.

So, what we’re going to do here, fans, is have a quick review by each member of Ko@2 that you’ve seen in the WCW write-ups.  They took five months to hype him so this write-up will take no less than 5 men to get it done!

With that, I take you to…

The Gambler VS Glacier

The Gambler looks to be about 120 years late to his own party.  Dude is dressed up like a wild west gambler but with short black trunks.

The arena goes black except for a blue light being shown over the ring.  It also starts snowing in the ring!  At the entry way, out comes Glacier, dressed in a metal warrior’s armor.  He does some martial arts moves, removes the armor, and enters the ring.  He removes his face covering, flips off into the center of the ring, and finishes off doing some kata that Larry Zbyszko calls “a mix of styles.”  We’re told his goal is to become the greatest martial artist in history.  We’re also told that his entire family, basically, are cops.

Glacier bows to the ref, bows to the Gambler, but is sucker punched by Gambler.

This blue light is going to shine over the ring the entire match, apparently.  Think early Sin Cara, folks.

We get some kicks, arm drags, and a hip toss from Glacier, showing us he’s the scourge of unknown enhancement talent everywhere.  Glacier leapfrogs Gambler, back kicks him in the gut, then powerbombs him for good measure.  He doesn’t cover him, though, which is silly.  He goes up top and comes off with a flying side kick to Gambler for the win.

Winner: Glacier

Glacier goes back to the center of the ring to his spotlight and goes through his kata again.  Larry gives us some information about how hard that side kick was.  Dusty Rhodes tells us that the entire universe just watched this debut, so Big Bubba, who recently called out Glacier, was sure to have seen it.  Chris Cruz tells us about Nitro coming up and kicks us off the air as this was the main event.

Man, I can’t wait for Bischoff to call this guy’s matches.  He’s going to be calling so many back leg round kicks!

glacier

Okay, there was the match.  Now, our thoughts.

First off, for me, Shane.  I think the fact that they debuted this guy on Pro is very telling.  They knew they had a dud on their hands, so why not debut it, after FIVE MONTHS of hype, on probably their least rated show outside of Main Event, which ran on Saturdays in syndication…so whenever my local NBC affiliate decided they had no informercial to run.  Seriously, that show couldn’t be tracked down with any regularity.  This, you would have imagined, would have been on Nitro, in front of the largest live audience they could get and the largest TV audience they could get.  But no…Sunday at 5 PM.

The match was a typical squash match but it showed us that Glacier really can’t work that well.  He’s trying to be too Mortal Kombat so we’re just getting kicks and throws, so basically except for that one powerbomb, everything was either a kick or an arm drag.  Not very exciting.  Grappling and submission can help someone create an MMA type of character, as we’ve seen with Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle, Taz, and even Goldberg to a degree…and with Brock Lesnar now…but straight martial arts with kicks and whatnot seems out of place.  There’s nowhere for the other guy to work as they have no basis with that type of offense.  It came off sloppy and hokey.  Seriously, dude’s entrance and exit were about as long as the match!

On paper, the idea of wrestling and video games should work together, but this Sub Zero clone just didn’t work here.  I’m way more interested in Wrath and Mortis showing up than I am watching this dude get many singles matches, honestly.

Robbie:

Was that real!? Did that really happen!? I was seriously under the impression that Shane had sent me the wrong link until I recognized Dusty Rhodes’ voice on commentary. I had only ever seen pictures of Glacier and had never watched anything with him in it until now. All I had ever been told was he was a wrestling version of Sub-Zero from Mortal Kombat… yep that’s the truest statement ever! With his 90’s look and his 8-bit entrance music it looks like WCW was really trying to create the perfect mash-up of popularity from that time. I guess this isn’t the most outrageous thing from the 90’s but come on … The announcers talking him up were excited about him then as much as Sony is now about the new Ghostbusters reboot. Fans of what has come before simply know this shouldn’t be happening. Man, wrestling is really weird sometimes!

Derick:

12 year old Champ loved Glacier. It was the prefect mix: A character from Mortal Kombat (my love for video games) is now “invading” my other love, Personal Wrestling. There were awesome vignettes and a smoke of mystery surrounding this guy. Throw in the tagline “Blood runs cold” and Man, this was great.

After months, literally months, of these vignettes, he made his debut. He comes out, and it all seemed worth it. The arena goes black, snow falls, and techno starts pumping the speakers. His outfit was flat stolen from the MK movie set. The ENTIRE time he comes to ring and performs his kata, all 3 announcers are pouring information and praises about this man. Apparently knowing 385 different types of martial arts and everyone in his family was/is a cop, Glacier was a force to be reckoned with now in WCW. Oh, and when he wrestles, the ring turns blue!!!!

…..Then the match started. Honestly, his entrance is longer than the match itself. Trust me, I timed it. Obviously his martial arts needs fine tuning, because all he knows how to do are kicks and arm drags. Oh, and the all important chop. He ends the match with his Cryonic Kick (by the way, that’s a kick too) and the match is quickly over. And thankfully too. Because, Damn.

All in all, little Champ loved everything about Glacier. Little Champ thought he was cool and presentation was everything. Adult Champ hates Shane a little for destroying another great part of my childhood. There was no wrestling at all. Lesson here kids, that cool stuff you love now is probably going to suck when you reminisce. Thanks a lot, Shane……

The now suddenly sad Champ has spoken

Phillip:

The fact that I find this absurd, is like absurd-ception. Let’s reflect on the fact that this was a time when the Dungeon of Doom was still a stable and Booty Man was just killed off. Just let that sink in. Wrestling was as much a Saturday morning cartoon come to life. Bright colors, easy to see hero/villian narratives. When a heel turn involved a man in brightly colored tights putting on a black gimmick with lightning, and growing dark stubble under his iconic mustache to let us know, he’s dark, he’s the bad guy.

Why wouldn’t Bischoff see that this product was selling and think, next level is video games come to life! It’s a sensible next step. With the benefit of hindsight, we all know the attitude era is coming in WWE, and the nWo era is really taking off in WCW. Gritty, real, antihero stories with more complex ideas around who the “good guy” is, but all of that was really more organic. This is a WCW, and even WWE creative was about larger than life. None of those guys could have predicted  or created Austin 3:16 or “Sweeeeeet!” they weren’t in touch with what was happening.

Just like all great, and game changing moments, you can’t craft them. They just…are. Without that organic explosion of real life taking over wrestling, WCW may have made a killing off of this gimmick. The problem is while Kevin Nash was leading the Wolf Pack, Glacier was a crow left of the murder.

Wrestling was swelling, begging for a revolution. Smarks will tell you that this vignette style of introduction is to keep someone on the DL for a while so they can clean off the image, erase their existence, so that they can be born anew. No one had these style of entrances, lasers, snow, low light. Glacier recalled this on a podcast, and made note that Double A told him “you’d have to walk on water to live up to that entrance”. He’s right, and let’s be honest, it could have worked, but why? Why in the name of all things holy didn’t they get a guy who could throw a kick? Or knew anything about any martial art, EVER! Bischoff was more convincing! I’ve defended (how?) the idea behind Glacier, but the execution, well… left a lot to be desired. I think it was really insulting to the audience, and if they tried that now, we’d burn Bischoff at the stake!

I mean imagine if we took some of the skills of a martial artist that did works later, even guys like Syxx at least looked like he could throw a kick. This looks like kicking someone was a foreign concept, like he didn’t have 5 months to do any research or train. It’s like they grabbed a Sub Zero halloween costume on his way out, and said “go kick people, and do karate stuff” and he was like “ummm….ok, I guess” and then they dropped the lights, cued the lasers and let the fake snow fall, bringing a winter of hate in our hearts!

After 5 months of Sub Zero trailers, I get a less athletic version of what I looked like pretending to be a ninja in my bedroom as an adolescent. Facing the incomparable competition of professional jobber The Gambler on WCW Saturdays… I appreciate this is a special event, but not even dimming the lights to Marvin Gaye levels, and tinting it blue can hide that what Glacier was supposed to be, is not what was delivered. Zbysko is really trying to convince me that this is special martial arts, and oh, it is special, like a little short blue bus on its way to the last stop at character station. It’s like MK3 and UFC1 were involved in a West Virginia romance, and and conceived a brand new chromosome damaged brand of WTF?! The vignettes looked good, the hype was there, but this was the beginning of the “real” era of wrestling. My final word on this dollar tree budget Sub Zero… Finish Him

Benny:

Ok so I’ve been given the task of reviewing the WCW Glacier debut,UGH. So we get like 6 months of video promos with the tagline “Blood Runs Cold” and this guy shows up dressed like sub-zero from Mortal Combat, with what seems like a 10 minute entrance. And his first match is against The Gamber, really they were ready to bury this gimmick from day 1.

Two things wrong with the Glacier character:

1. Too much hype. Glacier was destined to be a mid-card novelty act, and they built him up as the next big thing. It’s no surprise that he was a bust from day one. If you are expecting The Empire Strikes Back, and you get the Phanton Menace, of course you’re going to be disappointed.

2. He debuted a few years too late. First off, Mortal Kombat was big in 1992-1993. By 1997, people had moved on to other games. More importantly, the wrestling industry had moved on from those cheesy gimmicks from the early 90’s. The nWo had changed everything, and Glacier’s character was essentially a step backwards.

So that’s all I have to say about that guy.

 

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