Posts Tagged ‘Rey Mysterio’

KoaNitro copyHello and welcome back everyone to another wonderful edition of Kick Out at Nitro!  This is the final episode of Nitro for what I’ve dubbed “Season 3.”  Basically, Seasons/Volumes are how I’m breaking these posts up into books, so this book ends with Fall Brawl 1996.  This is the go-home show to Fall Brawl, so it’s our close out Season Finale type of episode as far as Nitro goes.

This is episode 52!  If Nitro hadn’t been preempted back in March, this would have made a full year to the debut, but alas, that happened, so we’re one off.  Of course, that didn’t stop Eric Bischoff from getting the numbers incorrect a few episodes ago, now did it?

This episode comes to us from Columbus, GA, and opens with Tony Schiavone and Larry Zbyszko going over last week’s goings-on involving the nWo, Ted Dibiase, and The Giant.  Larry calls The Giant the biggest traitor since Benedict Arnold, which begs the question “is Giant a bigger traitor thank Hulk Hogan…or is Hulk Hogan a bigger traitor than Arnold?”

Match #1: Pat Tanaka VS Super Calo

Oh, you were looking for star power?  Yeah, not in this match.

We’re joined by Mike Tenay due to Super Calo making his Nitro debut here.  Super Calo has the distinction of having his sunglasses and backwards motorcycle hat integrated into his mask.  Tanaka is dressed as a stereotypically racist foreigner from the “orient,” in an outfit looking like he should be in a Kung Fu flick.  Kung Fu masters also wear ASICS wrestling shoes, in case you were wondering.

We quickly cut outside to see a group of teenagers in nWo shirts each holding a huge stack of flyers.

Calo flips around a lot and throws Tanaka off his game a bit, until Calo goes for a Frankensteiner and Tanaka sit-out powerbombs the crap out of him.  We’re told this happened due to Takana’s “martial arts skills.”  The sit-out powerbomb is a huge staple in jeet kun do.  It is.  Look it up.

Don’t look it up.

Tanaka goes up top with Calo and looks like he’s going for a waist-lock suplex but Calo just oddly falls on him for the win.

Winner: Super Calo

We’re backstage with Mean Gene and Rick Steiner.  Rick Steiner says that last week he almost had Lex Luger beat.  We get a quick replay of the match where we see referee Nick Patrick end the match due to being bumped by Lex Luger after Steiner shoved Luger away.  Luger shows up and gives Steiner props for being a great tag team wrestler, but now they’re going to be wrestling in a singles match and Luger is in War Games, so he’s amped and prepared.  Steiner says that Lex’s partner, Sting, saw that Rick almost beat him.  Rick starts calling for Sting and seems just oddly confused.  I know this is to set up for a match later tonight, but this made Steiner seem mentally challenged.  First off, the match hadn’t been going for more than a minute.  The DQ came right off of the opening lockup, basically, so for Steiner to claim that he had Luger beat is laughable as the match hadn’t progressed to a single move yet.  Secondly, Rick seems really whiney and unsure of himself here.  It makes Luger come off as condescending and it makes Steiner come off like he’s got something wrong with him.  Very odd promo.

“The following announcement has been paid for by the New World Order.”

We get the first ever ad for the nWo shirt!  This is such an awesome shirt.  Just the black shirt with the white logo on it.  Nothing else.

We get a quick rundown of the debut of Glacier on WCW Pro!  After 5 months, Glacier is here!  You can read our thoughts on his debut here.

“Glacier; certainly a man who is going to make a big impact here in WCW.” – Tony Schiavone

Match #2: The Amazing French Canadians (Jacques Rougeau & Carl Ouellet) VS The Nasty Boys

This is the debut of the French Canadians (formerly the Quebeccers in WWF).  Rougeau wants us to stand up as they sing the national anthem.  We get a few bars of it in terrible voices before the Nasty Boys destroy them, much to the delight of the crowd.

We cut to the crowd to see the guys from earlier handing out the nWo flyers.  Larry calls for them to be thrown out.

As they’re talking about this, the referee is distracted with Jerry Saggs while Brian Knobbs gets hit from behind with the Canadian flag by Rougeau.

Tony sends Larry to grab one of the nWo flyers.  It’s just the nWo logo with “You haven’t seen bad…but it’s coming.”

Since the hit with the flag, this match is all French Canadians.  Rougeau helps Ouellet with a cannon ball from the top onto Saggs.  Knobbs goes out and gets the Quebec flag and nails Carl Ouellet with it while Ouellet is perched on the top rope.  Quick cover for the win.

Winners: The Nasty Boys

Mean Gene comes in to talk to the Nasty Boys and says that Jerry Saggs took a few lumps from the Rougeau Brothers.  Good job there, Gene.  That’s Carl Ouellet, not Raymond Rougeau.  Saggs says that everyone here has been pointing the fingers at the Nasty Boys, asking whether they’re nWo or WCW.  Saggs says the tag team championship belts are all that they care about, and they’re in WCW.

Commercial break and we’re back with:

Match #3: Hold VS Hold Match:  Sgt. Craig “Pitbull” Pittman w/ Teddy Long VS Scott “Flash” Norton

Tony talks up the fact that both of these men have submission holds that focus on the upper body.  Due to that, those holds are the only way the match can be won.  He also mentions that Teddy Long also manages Ice Train, so maybe this is Long trying to get Norton softened up before Fall Brawl.

Pittman gets the early offense with a hiptoss, but Norton squashes that nonsense with a falling arm breaker.  We go to the outside where Pittman runs Norton into the guardrail, but Norton runs Pittman’s shoulder into the turnbuckle post.  Back in the ring, Norton puts on his armbar submission.

Pittman is telling manager Teddy Long not to throw in the towel.  Out comes Ice Train, who grabs the towel and throws it in himself, ending the match.

Winner: Scott Norton

Norton doesn’t release the hold for a long time, but he finally does, then he and Ice Train stare each other down for a bit.  Finally the ring clears and we get a quick replay of the end of the match.

We go back to the locker room with Mean Gene, Lex Luger, Arn Anderson, and Ric Flair.  Everyone’s asking where Sting is.  Luger says that he’s been a Horseman, he’s been in War Games…he knows what’s at stake.  Luger says he heard the Steiners say Sting was here, so he’s here.  Flair gives Luger the business until Mongo and Benoit walk in.  Mongo gives Luger crap over Sting not being here, saying that’s what they get for trying to take their spots.  Benoit asks where Sting is as well.  Luger says they know that there’s no one they can trust to be there for WCW more than Sting.  Double A says that he’s already called ahead to Winston-Salem for a hospital room because he knows he’s going to need it.  He says Hogan already too a bat to him and tried to put his eyes out with paint.  They should have used battery acid, because that’s what he would have done!  They argue with Luger a bit more as we go to commercial.

Panning crowd shots are now completely being taken over by people holding up their nWo flyers.

Quick recap of DDP VS Eddie Guerrero at the Clash of the Champions and the three Diamond Cutters DDP gave to Eddie.  We see Chavo Guerrero beat DDP three weeks ago and eat a Diamond Cutter for his troubles, then taking Nick Patrick’s belt and beating Chavo down with it.

Match #4: Joe Gomez VS Juventud Guerrera

Juvi hits this weird springboard flip that looks like he only got a piece of it.  As Joe Gomez gets sent to the floor, the announcers talk about Konnan and the changes he’s been going through.  They state he’s dressing more like a Mexican gang member now.

Both men are on the apron in the corner.  Juvi jumps in and tries to bring Gomez in with a head scissors, but Gomez times it terribly and jumps well after the move.  Juvi takes him up top then backflips off and stands there in the ring, effectively doing nothing.  Gomez comes off the top and Juvi dropkicks him out of the air…badly.  Juvi comes off the top with a hilo con plancha (Tony calls this a “flippy move”) that looks just as bad as everything else in this match for the win.

Winner: Juventud Guerrera

This match was awful.  The crowd agreed, as well.  They’re booing every time a move gets botched.

Mean Gene calls in Nick Patrick, asking about the DQ of Lex Luger last week.  Patrick says that Luger intentionally struck him and that anyone can see it.  Patrick calls out Gene for starting all this crap about him and while we were all looking at Patrick, Giant snuck in and put one over on us.  Gene says that Patrick has a nice car, a nice Rolex, a house…Patrick says Gene is going to keep pushing his buttons and they’re going to wind up in court.

We go outside and we see the same flyers from earlier being put on cars by the nWo themselves!  They’re out in the rain doing this, which is some dedication.  Dibiase is clearly talking to someone in a limo as well.  We see the four known members of the New World Order clearly in frame, so this leads us to believe that the 6th man is in that limo tonight!

Commercial break, including the Saturday Night breakdown.  DDP will take on Jim Duggan.  Rick Steiner will take on Kurasawa.  Shane will not be watching.  Of course, in 1996, Shane probably was watching, I’m not going to lie.

Match #5: Rick Steiner VS “The Total Package” Lex Luger

Tony speculates that Luger and Patrick were in cahoots and that they conspired to throw out the tag match last week.  Wow, what the hell, Tony?!  Larry doesn’t follow that logic, though, and says that WCW needs to look to Luger to be the man and take the title back from Hogan.

Quick commercial break and we’re back to the start of the match.  Rick Steiner is wearing two different boots.  Luger makes a show of shaking Steiner’s hand.  Steiner takes him down with a headlock takeover and from there for a while it’s all Steiner and a ground based game.  I’m so used to watching the Steiners toss fools around that it’s odd to watch one of them wear someone down with mat wrestling.

Luger tries to get up but Steiner’s right back on him with a takedown.  Luger gets away but is met with a big Steinerline for his trouble as we kick off to Hour #2 and our Hour #2 announcers.  Bischoff mentions that Nick Patrick is not the referee for this match so that there’s no controversy.  Big powerslam from Steiner and the crowd is liking that.  Rick follows with an elbow drop for two.

Heenan starts off by asking where Sting is.  Bischoff isn’t worried.

Luger rushes Steiner and runs right into the loving arms of an overhead belly-to-belly suplex.  Rick beats Luger around the ring a bit and goes for a German suplex but Lex grabs the top rope for dear life.  Irish whip and another Steinerline for two.  Lex is sent into the corner and explodes out of it with a jumping clothesline that turns Steiner inside out.  Irish whip again and a powerslam from Luger.  Luger calls for

Lex goes to pick him up and out runs referee Nick Patrick.  Patrick is motioning Lex Luger to follow him, saying come out back.  Luger takes off.

We cut out to the limo and Ted Dibiase arguing with someone in the limo.  We can clearly hear that it’s Sting’s voice.  Out comes Luger, asking “where is he?”  Dibiase asks what Sting would be doing with him.  The limo door opens and out comes Sting.  He kicks Luger in the gut and the rest of the nWo jumps in, helping with the beatdown.  Sting runs off and jumps in a car as Hogan and Dibiase get a few more kicks in.  Luger fires back up a bit, sending their limo driver flying off into the parking lot.  Dibiase and Hogan take off running in opposite directions as well as Luger starts checking the limos, finding nothing.

Nitro_9-9-96_8

We’re back to our announcers who run down what just happened.  Heenan says that it looked like Nick Patrick set Luger up.  Bischoff says forget about Patrick, who cares about him.  Bischoff says he’s hearing from security that they don’t know where the nWo scattered to.  Mike Tenay is just sitting there silently, looking like his puppy just ran away.  Bischoff kicks us off to video from last week of Ted Dibiase coming into the arena, as well as the Giant’s turn.  This is narrated by Tony Schiavone for some reason.  This promo goes on for a good five minute or so, basically recapping the entirety of last week’s episode.  When it’s done, we cut back to our announcers, still looking like they’ve lost their kittens.  Don’t get me wrong, when this happened, I was beside myself that Sting could possibly turn on WCW and join the nWo, but damn, man.

They end the promo with the line “WCW…more unified than ever before” however, which isn’t really apropos for the situation.  Bischoff forlornly kicks us back to the footage of Sting and the now jumping Luger in the parking lot then cuts to commercial, including another nWo shirt ad.  Talk about kicking a company when they’re down.

Back from commercial and we have Lex Luger, Big Bubba, Rick Steiner, Brian Knobbs, Scott Norton, the French Canadians., and a few others looking through the parking lot for Sting.  Nice to see the French Canadians jump in quickly seeing as how they just got here.

Match #6: WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match: Billy Kidman VS Rey Mysterio, Jr. (WCW Cruiserweight Champion)

Bobby mirrors my sentiments by saying “Eric, it sounds like you just lost your best friend.”  There’s no response from Eric, so after a beat, Bobby goes “Obviously you did.”

Tenay starts off by telling us that due to the influx of Mexican wrestlers, Billy Kidman has been kind of lost in the cruiserweight shuffle.  He’s not wrong.  Rey starts of with a hurracanrana that sends Kidman to the floor.  He hits another one on the floor and sends Kidman back into the ring.  He goes for a springboard move but Kidman dropkicks him out of the air, slams him, then hits a big top rope splash for two.  Irish whip to the ropes, shoulder to the gut to Kidman, then flipping springboard senton for the win.

Winner: Rey Mysterio, Jr. (still WCW Cruiserweight Champion)

Damn, that was quick!

Rey was wearing a black and neon green outfit that looked pretty badass.  I liked it.

Match #7: The Faces of Fear w/ Jimmy Hart VS Public Enemy

This one degenerates into a brawl pretty quickly.  I’m not gonna lie, I’m kind of getting tired of Public Enemy.  Their matches are super hard to watch because they never work like actual tag matches and always end up split screened.

Rocco Rock tries to hit a springboard moonsault but lands all kinds of awkwardly on Barbarian.

The match finally turns into a normal tag team match and the first thing I notice is the damn Leprechaun running around ringside.  This is one of the stupidest things WCW has ever come up with.  In a world where we’re moving into reality type storylines, this just looks very stupid and makes me wonder who thought this would be a good idea.

For some reason we cut to a promo in the middle of a match.

Yes, let me repeat that…a backstage promo in the MIDDLE OF A DAMN MATCH!

It’s Mean Gene with the Horsemen and Luger.  Gene asks what’s going on with Sting.  Double A says he’s not upset that Luger lost a friend.  He’s not upset that he lost a teammate.  He’s upset because for the last 10 years, the only thing that has been constant is Sting.  Arn says he wants answers from Luger.  Luger says he has no answers.  He’s just been stabbed in the back by his best friend.  He leaves, saying he’s going to go try to get answers.  Flair says that if Luger wants to ride with the Horsemen, he’s in.  Flair says four of them will walk in and four will walk out.  Double A says that if Sting isn’t going to be in the spot, he’s got two men that are chomping at the bit for it and wanted it to begin with.  Mongo ends the promo screaming “gimme the ball!”

Through the second half of the promo they splitscreen the match, but honestly, the promo is way more interesting so I hate to say it, but I didn’t catch what was going on.

Back to the match, the Faces of Fear are in control.  Barbarian sends Rocco into the corner but is met by a boot.  Rocco goes for the tag but Barbarian cuts him off.  This brings in Grunge, who draws the referee’s attention and lets the Faces of Fear double team Rock in the corner.

Bischoff says that people have been saying that War Games should have originally been the Four Horsemen and he’s inclined to agree.  He then calls Nick Patrick an nWo protégé.

The tables get setup right off of the corner and Barbarian puts Rocco Rock on it and dives from the top to the floor.  At the last moment, though, Rocco Rock moves so Barbarian crashes through the table and to the floor!  Rock brings in another table.  Public Enemy sets Meng on it, Grunge holds him down and Rocco hits a moonsault through the table.  Barbarian comes back in and it’s a brawl.  Meng locks on the Tongan Death Grip on Grunge, prompting Nick Patrick to FINALLY end the match.  One would think the moonsault through the table would be enough.

Winners: Faces of Fear (via DQ)

During the recap, Bobby calls Meng “Haku.”

We’re in the ring with Mean Gene and the entirety of the Dungeon of Doom.  Konnan is now standing with them.  Wonder when that happened.  Jimmy Hart says he’s upset that people keep blaming him for creating The Giant.  Big Bubba calls out Glacier again.  Gene asks Konnan about Fall Brawl.  Konnan says that Kevin Sullivan has led the biggest gang wars from California to Miami.  He challenges the nWo to come to the ring right now.  Konnan has now ditched his colorful clothes and is dressed like a stereotypical Latino gang member now.  Pretty drastic change in looks.  Sullivan, who is dressed in jeans and a WCW t-shirt oddly enough, says that they helped Savage to the back last week, and if he wants to pay them back, take out Tenta tonight.

Commercial, including a new nWo add that isn’t for the t-shirt.  They’re posing behind a chainlink cage.  Hogan is talking about being the champion.  They talk about Ted Dibiase having more money than Ted Turner.  They talk about Giant joining and no one believing there was a 5th man despite Dibiase telling them.  Pretty cool promo.  These things are so awesome.  Ted says that WCW wants them in this match, well they want some things too.  They want their own segment on a WCW TV show and they want their own tag team tournament to showcase their talent.  Hall holds up the 4 Horsemen sign and says they’re going to turn it over and now it’s “nWo 4 life.”

Match #8: John Tenta VS “Macho Man” Randy Savage

Tenta is coming out to Jericho’s future WCW music.  It was odd hearing that.  I actually started writing “Lionheart” Chris Jericho until Tenta walked out and I had to erase it.  So odd how music gets recycled sometimes.

Tenta takes it to Savage immediately.  Clothesline, sends him into the corner, then nailing him with shots.  Tenta wrestling like a heel here, which is odd because last time we saw him he was a babyface, feuding with Big Bubba.  Tenta still has half of his head shaved, too, which is dumb.  How long ago was that angle?  Three months?  At least two?

Savage tries a scoop slam but Tenta just weighs too much and comes crashing down on him.  They end up outside where Savage takes a steel chair to Tenta a few times before sending him back into the ring.  Double axe handle and then TWO flying elbow drops.  Out comes Teddy Long and he’s begging Savage to follow him, yelling “they’re back, they’re back.”  Savage leaps from the ring and to the floor and follows Teddy out.

Winner: No Contest

The moment Savage shows up, the limo speeds off.  We also see the Horsemen, Rick Steiner, and the Dungeon of Doom are there as well.  They find another limo and Savage searches it, coming out with a box of spray paint.  The WCW guys spray WCW on the limo, in the rain, so it doesn’t show up at all and won’t stay there.  That’s not intelligent, but emotions are running high, so I’ll give it to them.  They pull back and basically everyone who was on this show is out there now.

We kick back to the announcers to finish off the show.  They’re joined by Double A, who is soaking wet, but he grabs a headset.  He says the world’s in shock and outraged, but there’s no one hotter than the Horsemen.  He says everything started 10 years ago with Flair, Anderson, Tully Blanchard and Ole Anderson.  He says they showed Hogan the way.  He says Hogan wants to be a Horseman but he just don’t know how, so he’s surround himself with every cutthroat he can find.  Now he’s even taken Sting, which he says he never thought would happen.  He tells Sting that if he shows up as the 4th man at War Games, though, they’ll take his head off and that’s the God’s honest truth.  Flair says they shouldn’t have the Horsemen locked up backstage.  They should be out here up front.  He says that the nWo will not leave Winston-Salem alive.

Eric says that maybe it was a mistake to ever bring Hulk Hogan to WCW and that maybe they haven’t given the Horsemen their due.  I’m sure that hurt Eric to say.

We end the show with another replay of Sting and the nWo beating down Luger.

 

Damn.  This show!  Emotions running rampant.  Sting has betrayed WCW.  The Horsemen are hot about it and they’re ready to kill.  WCW is pissed.  Bischoff is admitting that Hogan shouldn’t be in the company.  It’s awesome!

Some good wrestling throughout the show, honestly, but a few too many no contests and DQs for my liking, unfortunately.  I liked Savage just wrecking shop on Tenta, though.  I also really liked seeing Bobby Heenan standing with the Four Horsemen at the end.  It made me realize how much I would have loved to see Heenan manage them.  We got a quick glimpse of that in June at Bash at the Beach, but him managing the full group would have been awesome and really helped guys like Mongo and Benoit who can’t cut promos for anything.

Sting, though…turning his back on WCW and on his best friend.  Like Double A has said multiple times, Sting was my constant, so watching this in 1996, seeing my favorite wrestler turn and join the nWo, who I still hated because they were the heels…that one was rough.  I couldn’t believe it.  Why would he do it?

We’re in a very interesting place going into Fall Brawl, though, so in that regard, this show was an amazing go-home show.  It turned the entire main event on its head.  We went in knowing who all four of WCW’s guys were, but not knowing who the 4th man in the nWo was.  Then Giant jumped ship, but we knew it wouldn’t be him because he’s wrestling Savage that night.  But now…all signs point to Stinger being the 4th man…and now we’re without a 4th man for team WCW.  This set everything into chaos and now the idea of Flair, Arn, and Luger getting to lock themselves in the steel War Games cages and beat the hell out of the nWo and the traitorous Sting…that’s something that sells tickets and PPV buys, friends.  Trust me, I know.  I sacrificed $30 of my money I had saved for a Sony Playstation because I just HAD to see this.

Join us next time for the Finale of Kick Out at Nitro Vol. 3…Fall Brawl: War Games!

Shane

 

Ratings Breakdown

WWF Raw Ratings –2.4

WCW Nitro Ratings – 3.7

(Raw – 17, Nitro – 28) (Tie Weeks – 2)

(Unopposed weeks – 7)

WWF’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – 6

WCW’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – 11

At this point, we’re one full year into this war.  Nitro ran unopposed its first night, so it wasn’t until the next week (9/10/1995) that the Monday Night War officially kicked off.  So, at this point, we stand 28-17 in Nitro’s favor, with two tie weeks and 7 weeks that the two shows ran unopposed.  It’s interesting to look back and see that the two shows were tied the week before WCW’s 11 week win-streak (at this point) began, but that really shows that the audience was there for both shows equally until the summer of the New World Order.  While WCW isn’t running away with the war and the victories are usually only about a point away from each other, it’s clear to see that The Outsiders and Hogan have started something in Turner-land that really brought in the viewers.  Looking back, I was still 100% into WCW at this time.  While I knew what was going on over on Raw, WCW was my main viewing pleasure.  They definitely had me hooked, and it looks like they had a lot of others as well.

—–—

WWF Raw results from this week

Faarooq (w/ Sunny) defeated Savio Vega in a WWF Intercontinental Title Tournament Quarter Final Match (13:37)

The Stalker defeated TL Hopper (3:28)

Crush (w/ Clarence Mason) defeated Freddie Joe Floyd (2:41)

The Undertaker defeated Salvatore Sincere (9:55)

Three enhancement matches.  Why did Taker VS Sal Sincere go 10 minutes?!  That’s insane.  On paper, it’s no wonder why Nitro decimated Raw this week.

KoaNitro copyIt took a while, but we’ve hit a pretty big milestone here at Kick Out at Nitro.  Tonight’s episode is Nitro number 50.  That makes this the 50th installment of Kick Out at Nitro!  That’s pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.

When I first sat down to start this process, back on September 4th, 2014, I mapped out every episode of Nitro, Thunder, and the PPVs, so that I would have a roadmap for where I was going.  That list is daunting, to say the least.  At times I wondered where I would start getting tired of doing it, to be quite honest.  It’s also kind of interesting how my process changed.  Originally I watched the episode and just did the write-up the next day out of memory.  Then, I started taking notes and then just expanding them during the write-up.  Later, I found it easier to just sit down with the laptop in my lap and go with the flow as the show went on.  That’s when you saw them start to get upwards of 3,000 and 4,000 words for a Nitro, if you hadn’t guessed that already.  With this being Episode 50, that means that when I close down “Volume 3” of this blog, there will be 52 episodes included.  Due to them skipping an episode one week, this makes it slightly longer than one year of episodes.  Of course, it’s been about a year and a half of me doing the write-ups due to some family issues and my own schedule getting busy.  However, myself and my crack team of fellow WCW historians will continue to get these cranked out for your enjoyment!

Now, enough lollygagging and on to the show!

WCW Monday Nitro comes to us tonight from Palmetto, FL.  My first reaction is that we’re now almost two months past the Bash at the Beach, but yellow and red Hulk Hogan is still all over the intro video.  He turned his back, people!  Get him out of the opening!  It only took three weeks to get Vader out after he went AWOL!

The show starts and we’ve already got the competitors in the ring for…

Match #1: Juventud Guerrera VS Billy Kidman

Pre-Flock and Pre-wifebeater/shorts Billy Kidman always seems odd to me.  This is Juventud’s debut, though, so that’s interesting.  Larry makes sure to differentiate between Guerrera and Guerrero.  Tony tells us that his name means “young warrior.”

Quick moves, including a nice slam from Kidman.  Guerrera gets rough with a sunset powerbomb to the floor from the ring apron.  He hits a crazy twisting dive into the ring to follow that.  He tries another, but Kidman catches him with a powerbomb of his own for two.

Tony tells us that Guerrera will face Konnan for the Mexican Heavyweight Championship at Fall Brawl.

Kidman with a slam and a shooting star press for two.  He goes up top again but Juvi catches him and takes him off the top with a twisting hurracanrana for the win.

Winner: Juventud Guerrera

THIS, to me, is the beginning of the first hour WCW Cruiserweight spectaculars that we’re going to get.  Don’t get me wrong, Dean VS Rey has been awesome, but Dean is a ground based wrestler, so we get two different styles.  This was two high flyers, two young guys, and they’re tearing the house down.  This is what we’ve been waiting on, ladies and gentlemen!

Mean Gene joins Juvi in the ring and tells him that he doesn’t “comprendo Español.”  Juventud proceeds to cut the worst promo ever.  His mask is in his mouth and pushing his nose up and you can tell he’s having a hard time talking through it.  He also can’t speak English for crap, so this is just awful.  The crowd starts booing him and Mean Gene just gets tired of it and walks away mid-sentence.

Commercial break, Glacier promo…this is getting old.

Back from commercial and our announcers run down last week’s crazy meeting between the Horsemen, Sting and Luger.  We get a replay of that meeting for good measure.

Match #2: Marcus Bagwell & Jim Powers w/ Teddy Long VS “Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan & Big Bubba w/ Jimmy Hart

The babyfaces are announced as also being joined by the “injured” Scotty Riggs, but he’s nowhere to be seen.

Powers and Sullivan start it off on the floor, and Powers is not showing any fear of the leader of the Dungeon of Doom.  Powers takes Sullivan down with a dropkick, which brings in Bubba, but he’s met with a dropkick from Bagwell.  The babyfaces clear the ring and celebrate for a moment.  They’re working pretty well together, but at this point, Bagwell is on his 19th tag team partner, I think, so he can work with anyone.

Bagwell and Bubba mix it up for a bit, resulting in a Bagwell 1 count before getting the crap powerbombed out of him by Bubba.  Bubba ties Bagwell up in the tree of woe and tags out to Sullivan, who rushes him with the knee and quickly tags back out to the big man.  Buff-to-be gets the hot tag to Powers, who takes the opportunity to slam Bubba’s head into the turnbuckle 10 times before turning that same attention to both Sullivan AND Jimmy Hart.  Not gonna lie, Powers is impressing here.  Crossbody block, Powers pins, gets what he THINKS is 3, but “worst referee ever” Nick Patrick waves it off and restarts the match.  The heels rush the babyfaces while they’re celebrating.  Bossman Slam for the win.

Winners: Kevin Sullivan & Big Bubba

Teddy Long gives Patrick a piece of his mind on the outside now as we get the replay.  The shoulder comes up about a second after the three count, showing us that Patrick really did screw over the babyfaces in this one.

Mean Gene joins the Dungeon in the ring.  Bubba says this shows he should be in the main event, getting the title shots.  Dear God, please no.  Bubba asks “what about this Glacier character?!”  He calls out the fact that Glacier’s promos have been on for three months now.  He says if he’s coming, to bring it this way.  Sullivan says he saw Mean Gene on a boat with Hogan three weeks ago.  Gene says that wasn’t him, that was Bischoff!  This little segment goes nowhere, but Sullivan calls out Benoit at the tail end as Gene pitches us to commercial break.

Back from break and we get Mean Gene, again, with Luger and Sting.  Maybe there’s a bit too many interview segments here.  I’m getting a bit tired of seeing Gene.  We’re only 20 minutes in and I’ve seen him three times now.  Sting and Luger say they thought everything was cool after last week, but here they are tonight wrestling the Horsemen.  They talk a bit about the Horsemen, about the nWo, and we go back to the announcers for our third match.

Match #3: Mike Enos VS Chavo Guerrero, Jr.

Mean Mike looks a bit derpy as he makes his way out from the back.  He starts off by saying everyone there is a bunch of idiots, but dude looks short a few wits himself.

Chavo takes it to Enos quick and hard.  That comes to a halt, though, when he dives over the top rope to the floor and is simply caught by Enos and fallaway slammed for his trouble.

Chavo will take on DDP at Fall Brawl, we’re told.

Enos shoulders Chavo and casually walks him up the steps and into the ring, then tossing him over the top rope.  Backbreaker and a stretch in the center of the ring now as Enos’s tag partner, Dick Slater, makes his way to ringside.  For some reason, though, Slater has a towel over his head.

Quick cut to the crowd and we get Konnan in flannel, sunglasses and a hat.  This has already happened?!  Damn, I hate not having Saturday Night.  Last we saw Konnan, he had gotten a bit more aggressive, which the commentators mention, but I didn’t know he had already gone full K-Dawg.

Chavo’s getting beat down in the ring for the most part until getting some kind of move done to Enos’s knee.  He capitalizes by locking on a Figure 4.  As Enos struggles to get out, he clocks referee Randy Anderson.  This brings in Slater, who elbow drops Chavo.  Slater wraps Slater’s head in the towel and rolls him to the floor, taking his place.  This is stupid since the two of them don’t look a thing alike.  Slater goes for a spinning toe hold, Chavo wraps up a small package for the win (on the wrong man).

Winner: Chavo Guerrero, Jr. (even though, technically, he didn’t…but whatever)

Mean Gene again…Chavo cuts him off and challenges DDP, saying he can’t wait to take on DDP at Fall Brawl.  Chavo really doesn’t come off very charismatic here.

Quick commercial for a WCW Monday Nitro t-shirt featuring…guess who…effing Mean Gene!  5 times now in 30 minutes.  We’re getting Gene an average of ever six minutes at this point.

Match #4: WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match: J.L. VS Rey Mysterio, Jr. (WCW Cruiserweight Champion)

One thing WWE does now that I really like is the graphics telling us that this match is for a championship.  I really had no idea that this was a championship match until the referee held the Championship up at the beginning of the match.

Very interesting flow to this match as opposed to the opening match of the night.  This is a little slower, more methodical, where that opening match was balls out.

We cut away from the match to see Hulk Hogan and the Outsiders headed toward the production truck.  Hogan spray paints NWO 4 LIFE on the side of the truck and Tony sells it like they’ve killed Rey Jr again.  He calls it disgusting.  It’s simple graffiti, Tony, calm the hell down.

“There are going to be some bills coming down from Turner for this!”

Ooooooo, they’re going to have to pay tens of dollars to clean the truck.  That’ll bankrupt these upstart rapscallions but good!

We go to commercial as Rey locks on a camel clutch and come back to JL locking on an ab stretch.  Rey is able to get out of it, flipping out to the apron and coming back in with a slingshot.  He sends JL to the floor and goes over the top, taking him out with a seated senton.  We cut to the entry way where the Ice Man is scouting Mysterio.

JL and Mysterio do some mat wrestling, slowing this match down a bit.  It’s hard to believe that under that crappy purple hood is Jerry Lynn, a man who in a few years will tear down houses with Rob Van Dam.  He’s just so boring as this character.  JL plays dirty during the mat wrestling bit, attacking Rey while he was down in referee’s position, and follows up with a seated powerbomb.  He goes for it again but Rey sunset flips him out of it for two.  JL takes the momentum back over, though, with a Boston crab that he turns into a ¾ bow and arrow lock.  JL’s outfit seems to be torn on the left side.  Quick rollup from Mysterio for two.  JL brings Rey down with a heck of a vertical suplex as we kick into Hour #2 of Nitro.

Bischoff and Heenan bring up the nWo spray painting the truck and apparently they see it as a whole lot less interesting than Tony did.  Bischoff plays it off like it was laughable, which it was, and that it was no big deal.

Springboard Frankensteiner from Rey for the win.

Winner: Rey Mysterio, Jr. (still WCW Cruiserweight Champion)

It’s Mean Gene for the sixth damn time tonight as he’s backstage with Benoit, Mongo, and the full entourage of ladies.  Gene says he heard Chicago wanted Mongo back, but Mongo says he’s not helping Gene’s hotline out with any news.  Woman asks Gene how his boat trip was with Hogan.  Benoit says they didn’t step out of War Games, that was a decision made by the two men who made them Horsemen.  Tonight they’ll take it to Sting and Lex.  With that, we go to commercial.

Bischoff lets us know that Macho Man will get his title match at Halloween Havoc in Las Vegas, setting up the return back from way earlier this year.  We get a replay of Hogan attacking Savage at the Clash of Champions as well as Savage’s promo from last week where Hacksaw randomly wandered around in the background.  We get the end of the Giant/Savage match as well.

Back to…you guessed it…Mean Gene…for the seventh damn time tonight…with Macho Man.  Gene brings up that Savage will be facing Hogan for the title at Halloween Havoc.  Savage is in this cool blue and neon yellow outfit.  He’s wearing one of the tops that he used to wear in WWF, though, which is always a bit random when they show up in WCW.  I never liked the tights + shirt combo, so I usually don’t like it when it shows up now.  Savage cuts a quick promo on Hogan and bounces.

Match #5: Hacksaw Jim Duggan VS The Giant w/ Jimmy Hart

Bischoff tells us that Savage will be taking on The Giant at Fall Brawl.  That’s only the third match from the PPV that I can recall being set in motion right now, and we’re only two more episodes away from the show.

Jimmy Hart starts off by grabbing Hacksaw’s foot, sending Hacksaw out to chace Hart around the ring.  Giant and Duggan brawl a bit outside until Giant tries to shoulder-block Duggan, but Duggan moves and Giant hits the ringpost hard.  Duggan punches Giant once, then just gets back into the ring.  Giant locks on a bear hug and holds it for a bit.  Duggan tries to slam Giant but nothing doing, so Giant locks on the bear hug again.

The crowd starts to look back toward the back and we see Ted Dibiase calmly walking down through the crowd.

Hacksaw wraps up his fist with tape and nails the Giant, but Giant no-sells.  Hacksaw wraps it up a bit more and tries again, but still nothing.  Jimmy goes for the 2×4 and Duggan tries to grab it from him, but Giant choke slams Hacksaw in the center of the ring for three.

Winner: The Giant

We quickly cut to Ted Dibiase who holds up one finger, then two, three, four…and mouths “next week” and holds up the 5th.  Looks like Dibiase is the 4th member of the nWo and we’ve got number 5 to look forward to next week.

Mean Gene, for time number freaking 8, meets with Giant at the entry way.  Giant says Savage better watch out if he’s going to call him out for letting WCW down.

Commercial break for Fall Brawl.

Match #6: Rock & Roll Express VS “Nature Boy” Ric Flair & “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson w/ Woman & Ms. Elizabeth

Bischoff asks if next week Dibiase is going to come out of retirement to become the 5th Horseman.  Granted, when he held up the 4 fingers, he did it in the 4 Horsemen sign…but damn, Bischoff, that’s a stretch.  As the match starts, he finally comes around and says “maybe he’s the 4th member of the nWo and next week we’ll get the 5th.”  Of course, he then calls back and says no, it’s more reasonable to think he’s going to be a Horseman since he came out before the Horsemen’s match.  Bischoff might be an idiot.

Some good, classic wrestling going on here.  It’s basically 1986 in the ring here.  Sure, everyone’s a little older and a little heavier, but still, the R&R are on point, hitting their double dropkick and playing good foils to the Horsemen.

End of the match is a thing of double-team beauty, though.  All four men are going at it, with Ricky Morton punching Flair in the corner.  Flair brings him off with a reverse atomic drop and Double A snaps off a quick and devastating DDT.  Flair covers for the win.

Winners: Arn Anderson and Ric Flair

Gene.  Ringside with the Horsemen.  Double A is intense and is telling the nWo that previously they’ve been picking their spots, but at Fall Brawl, when they lock the cage, then it’s on.  He says the Horsemen were in the first War Games and they’ll be in the last one.  Oh, how I wish that were true.  Gene asks Flair about the match at the Clash and we see the end of that match in replay.  Gene says that there is speculation that Hogan gave up during that match.  Flair says he heard it.  He says Hogan looked in his eyes and said he gave up, Nature Boy was too much man for him!  Flair says at Fall Brawl, the Outsiders and Hogan are in for it because they’re not in New York, they’re not in Chicago, they’re in Winston-Salem, NC, home of the by-God Four Horsemen!

Match #7: “Lionheart” Chris Jericho VS “Das Wunderkind” Alex Wright

Chris Jericho’s WCW debut!  It’s crazy to believe that I’m still watching him on Monday Nights 20 years later.

The two men shake hands at the beginning of the match and go at it.  Some beautiful arm drags from each man, followed by an amazing headscissors from Wright, and a double dropkick that brings them to the Indy-Standoff pose that you get in the opening of so many technical matches.  Jericho transitions out of an arm wrench into a turning northern lights suplex.

Bischoff calls a “back leg side kick” again.  Been a while since I heard that one.

Spinning wheel kick from Jericho.  Wright goes to the ring apron but Jericho dropkicks him off of it and then suplexes him back into the ring for two.  Jericho goes up top but is met in midair with an Alex Wright dropkick and a wheel kick of his own.  Wright comes off with a weird crossbody / headbutt combo but no.  Jericho gets some chops in the corner, then a heavy clothesline in the opposite corner.  He tries again but Alex moves and Jericho takes the tumble to the floor.  Alex tries to come off the top rope onto Jericho on the floor, but Jericho moves and Das Wunderkind eats guardrail.

The referee starts counting Wright out but Jericho says he doesn’t want the win that way, so the referee calls the match a no contest.

Winner: No Contest

For the TENTH TIME TONIGHT, we get Mean Gene at ringside.  Alex Wright says he came to WCW to fight to the best of his ability, but to beat a man like that is not to the best of his ability.  He says a man who would have taken that victory, though, is Hulk Hogan.  Jericho says he and Alex Wright are going to fight for WCW.

Well, that was random.  Very interesting to see Jericho try to throw himself into the nWo story from the get go.  Alex Wright goes to say something but Gene cuts him off and we go to commercial.

Back from commercial and we’re right into our next match.

Match #8: The Steiner Brothers VS The Blue Bloods (Earl Robert Eaton and Squire David Taylor)

Rick starts the match off for the Steiners, but the Blue Bloods have a bit of a discussion on who is going to start.  Both men go to the floor and argue for a bit about it before Rick runs over and slams their heads together.  Finally, Eaton gets in the ring but gets a powerslam and some Steinerlines for his trouble, sending the Blue Bloods back to the floor.

We get two more Fall Brawl matches as Bischoff mentions DDP VS Chavo Guerrero, Jr, as well as Chris Benoit VS Chris Jericho.

Dave Taylor accidentally drills Bobby Eaton with a punch when Rick Steiner moves, but this fires up Taylor.  He lifts Taylor up on his shoulders and Bobby goes up to the top for a diving cross body block.  Rick Steiner reverses it by rolling through it, thankfully not injuring himself since he did spike his head on the mat, but Steiner is able to roll it into a pin.

Winners: The Steiner Brothers

Mean Gene is interviewing the Steiners when the Blue Bloods start beating on each other.  The Steiners start calling color commentary over it in Gene’s mic.  Gene says that the Steiners are taking on Harlem Heat at Fall Brawl for the tag team championship.  Rick cuts a promo on Halloween Havoc, which Scotty has to remind him they’re talking about Fall Brawl.  With that, we go to commercial.

Bischoff is still stuck on the idea that Dibiase is a 5th Horsemen because he’s an idiot.

Match #9: “The Crippler” Chris Benoit & Steve “Mongo” McMichael w/ Woman, Ms. Elizabeth, & Debra McMichael VS Sting & “Total Package” Lex Luger

We start off with a straight brawl.  Everyone is beating on everyone else.  Benoit and Sting pair off as the two former football players take it to each other.

Sting is in one of my favorite looks.  Red tights, white scorpion, white boots, and that longer brown hair.  Where’s that action figure, Mattel?!

Benoit and Sting head to the floor and let Mongo and Luger have at it.  Mongo tags out to Benoit, who gives it to him for a few moments, then quick tag back out to Mongo.  Not gonna like, I like these two as a team.  Mongo comes in with a backbreaker and taunts a bit, showing off for Benoit.  Quick tag again out to Benoit, who hammers Luger with head butts and kicks before they drop each other with a double clothesline.

Sting gets tagged in and goes after Benoit.  He face slams Benoit and goes for the Scorpion Deathlock, which brings in Mongo.  Sting ducks the clothesline and dropkicks Mongo to the floor.  Mongo rams Lex into the ringpost as Sting dives off of the top rope and into the knees of Benoit.

Out comes Hogan.  Mongo sees him and chases him around ringside, Hogan backing off and away from Mongo.  This puts Mongo over nicely.  I actually really dug it and wanted Mongo to get his hands on Hogan!  Out comes Hall with the Pearl Harbor job, though, as he and Nash take out Mongo, spray painting the nWo letters on Mongo’s back.  They go to the ring and Hall gives Sting the Outsider’s Edge and paint him as well.  In comes the rest of the Horsemen, but Hogan sprays paint in the eyes of both Anderson and Flair, taking them out, then spraying a black streak in Flair’s hair.  The nWo kills everyone and is showered in beer and trash in the ring.  Hogan threatens to beat up and spray paint the camera man as they exit the ring and leave the babyfaces in the ring covered in trash.

The nWo heads to the announce booth, running Bischoff off.  Heenan had bolted the moment Hogan showed up.  Nash and Hogan grab headsets and start making jokes about the show, with Hogan spray painting the WCW Nitro logo.  The show goes off the air with a slow motion shot of Dibiase teasing next week.

Nitro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Really good show!  Tons of cruiserweight action as we get the debuts of both Juventud Guerrero and Chris Jericho.  Like I said earlier, this is the start of the Cruiserweight division that I fell in love with.  We’ve got tons of high flyers now and the first hour of Nitro is about to get pretty badass.

I wish that I had access to Saturday Night to see how this whole Robert Eaton / David Taylor thing plays out.  I know it’s not going to play out on Nitro because we so rarely see the Blue Bloods on Monday Nights, but this match and the way it ended intrigued me so much and I want to see what happens.  I’m hoping for a Fall Brawl match, but from what I remember, there isn’t one, although it’s been a long time since I watched that show, so I may be wrong.

The main event tag match did a great job at putting over the young Horsemen.  Benoit is a badass, no questions there, and this match did so much to put over Mongo.  Him taking it to Luger and Sting and holding his own…backing down Hulk Hogan…it was actually really awesome.  One thing that I did not expect through this retrospective trip is to enjoy Mongo.  I hated him on commentary, but ever since he took to the ring, I’m seeing him in a new light and I really enjoy his stuff.  Of course, we’re not too far away from his feud with Jeff Jarrett…ugh…I had forgotten about that for the most part.

Hogan, Hall and Nash killing everyone at the end was awesome.  Such a great way to lead into Fall Brawl.

See you again soon, fans, as we head into September of 1996.  Next week’s episode is being handled by Benny, a new face to our Nitro replays.  We’ll see you then!

Shane

—–

Ratings Breakdown

WWF Raw Ratings – NA

WCW Nitro Ratings – 4.2

(Raw – 17, Nitro – 27) (Tie Weeks – 2)

(Unopposed weeks – 6)

WWF’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – 6

WCW’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – 10

—–—

WWF Raw results from this week

There was no Monday Night Raw this week.

KoaNitro copyHello WCW fans! We are now one day removed from Bash at the Beach and the greatest heel turn of all time!  I refuse to believe that anyone watching WCW at that point in time saw it coming.  It was so perfectly done and it’s always going to be one of the big things that I point to when I talk about WCW and how much they did right.  WCW gets so much bad tossed its way for the latter part of the company’s tenure, but those first few years running through Nitro were some of the best ever!

Tonight’s episode is one I remember watching so vividly.  I was at my uncle’s house in South Carolina and we were all stunned to find out just that morning that Hulk Hogan had become the 3rd man in this hostile takeover.  This episode will always stick in my mind since it’s the first outdoor event I had ever seen.  I had only really been following wrestling hardcore since the night Nitro began, so this was something very new to me.

The show starts with Tony Schiavone and Larry Zbyszko coming to us live from Disney/MGM Studios.  Tony gives us a bit of a hint of what happened the night before but we’re told that we’ll get pictures during the second hour.  Tony puts over Rey Mysterio, Jr. VS Psichosis as well as Disco Inferno VS Dean Malenko.  He tells us that our first match will be…

Match #1: WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match: Rey Mysterio, Jr. VS “The Man of 1,000 Holds” Dean Malenko (WCW Cruiserweight Champion)

I have to go back to last episode to see if the padding around the ring had the flames on it.  It seems like this is the debut of those, but I’m not entirely sure.

Dean tries to start off on the mat but Mysterio is able to move the match towards his momentum, hitting some high moves and sending Dean to the floor to try to slow down the pace.  Rey attempts a springboard moonsault but Dean is able to catch it, but Rey slips behind him and sends Dean into the turnbuckle.  Rey hits a missile dropkick but then there’s a weird spot where Dean goes for a move and just kind of loses Mysterio.  He turns back towards him quickly and tries to cover him, but for a moment, Rey was just laying there on his back awkwardly.

Dean uses that opening, though, to go back to his ground game, applying a surfboard stretch as we go to our first commercial break.  Back from break and Malenko is controlling the match, sending Rey high into the air off of an Irish whip and just letting him fall down flat on his face.  Dean follows with a powerbomb for a two count and immediately transitions into a camel clutch.

Tony apologies for some things he said the night before and says it was all his emotions that got the better of him.  I’m guessing this is in regards to telling Hogan he can go to Hell.

Dean moves from a crossface chicken wing to dumping Rey outside and dropping him on his head with a brainbuster on the floor.  Tony tells us that they’ve never received as many phone calls, telegrams, etc, as they have over the last 24 hours.

The miscommunications continue, unfortunately, as Rey hits a very awkward Frankensteiner and follows it by totally wiffing on a suicide dive.  Rey is down for a good while but back in the ring Rey hits a Frankensteiner and it seems as if the momentum is his until Dean drops him with that crazy top rope gutbuster.  Damn, that move never doesn’t look absolutely devastating.  Belly-to-belly suplex for two, but Dean pulls Rey off of the mat, ending the pin.  Dean goes for a tilt-a-whirl slam but Rey is able to wrap him up quickly with a Frankensteiner for the win.

Winner: Rey Mysterio, Jr (new WCW Cruiserweight Champion)

We watch the replay as Larry tells us that it wasn’t so much Rey winning as Dean losing due to the mistake of ending the pin.  Weird for Dean to do that, I must say.

We go backstage with Mean Gene, The Steiner Brothers, and The Nasty Boys.  We find out that these two teams will wrestle tonight to see who gets a title shot against Harlem Heat at Hog Wild in August.  Scott starts talking and Knobbs interrupts him, which gets a pre-Big Poppa Pump response of calling Knobbs “fatso!”  Even back in 1996, it seems that Scott Steiner hates “fat asses!”

Glacier commercial.  It now just says “Coming to WCW” instead of “Coming in July.”  I did a little research and it seems that the nWo angle was just so big that they decided to hold off on Glacier’s debut for a while.  Apparently he doesn’t debut until September!  I’ll definitely make sure that we cover that when it happens, though.

Match #2: Big Bubba & Hugh Morrus w/ Jimmy Hart VS Lord Steven Regal & Squire David Taylor w/ Earl Robert Eaton & Jeeves

A heel VS heel tag match…really, WCW?  There is entirely too much heel VS heel stuff in WCW.  While on one hand I like that it’s something more than just babyface VS heel all the time, and it really does make it seem like WCW is a legit sporting event where wrestlers will have to go against each other, regardless of alignment, but from a fan standpoint…who do you root for?  The fans hate everyone involved in this match.

The fans decided that they’re going to cheer for the Dungeon of Doom, oddly, by chanting “USA!”  Weird.

“Apparently being originally from Alabama [Eaton] doesn’t know how to treat a butler the right, proper way. Butlers do all the dirty work.  We have the same arrangement over here…we just call them wives.” – Larry Zbyszko

Regal attempts a clothesline and Bubba catches him for the Bossman Slam, and Regal just yells during the move like it caught him straight by surprise.  That, coupled with the fact that the Bossman Slam is such a badass move, was the highlight of this match.

John Tenta shows up at ringside and brawls with Big Bubba, allowing the Blue Bloods to hit Morrus with a double back suplex for the win.

Winners: The Blue Bloods

Quick commercial for WCW Magzine, including fitness tips from The Booty Babe.  Where the hell has she been?  Granted, I’m all for Booty Man being gone, but Kim missing is something that makes me sad.

Match #3: Psicosis VS Eddie Guerrero

Neither men get an entrance as the match just starts as soon as we get back from commercial.  We oddly cut away from that to Rey Mysterio backstage apologizing to everyone for Hulk Hogan being the third man.  It was odd and half of it was in Spanish.

Very quick pace with these two.  Quicker than Dean/Rey, honestly.  Psicosis flips out of a monkey flip and Eddie catches him in a crazy arm drag, sending the masked man to the floor to slow the pace.

Tony tells us that last night saw the return of Sister Sherri as she and Col. Parker came back together and are now managing Harlem Heat.  This must have happened on a dark match or something along those lines.

Psicosis sends Eddie to the floor and goes for a crazy top rope twisting dive.  Eddie has to quickly step into the oncoming path, but it’s not too bad.  Move looked devastating.

Tony tells us that next week we’ll hear from Hulk Hogan.  Can you imagine…a major angle and they’re going to just let the fans sit on it for a week!  Larry calls Hogan’s actions “unmanly” for the fiftieth time tonight.

Eddie gets a two count off of a quick head scissors, then catches Psicosis in an atomic drop as he comes off of the top rope with a double axe handle.  Eddie charges into the corner but Psicosis moves and Eddie rams the post with his shoulder.  Psicosis hits a top rope Frankensteiner for two, then goes back up top, but Eddie races up after him.  It’s all for naught, though, as Psicosis sunset flips him off of the top rope for two.  Psicosis goes up top again, Eddie chases again, but this time is able to hit a superplex.  Eddie follows with a frog splash for the win.

Winner: Eddie Guerrero

Pretty good match.  Faster paced than the earlier cruiserweight match and the crowd popped nicely for Eddie winning.

Tony sends us to Mean Gene in the entry way with Kevin Sullivan, The Giant, and Jimmy Hart.  Gene asks Jimmy about Hogan since he’s been with him for years.  Jimmy cuts the first promo in a year that didn’t involve him yelling in his annoying ass voice, but he basically just says “I’m speechless, no comment.”  Sullivan is pissed because he’s been trying for so long to end Hulkamania and Hogan came along and ripped that away from him.  Sullivan says the sins of his past have come back to visit him since now all he can see when he closes his eyes is Chris Benoit.  Giant says that as long as he has the World Championship, nothing in WCW can go wrong.  He’s the one that took the belt from Hogan, so he’s gonna make sure everything’s good.  Giant says that last night the Horsemen may have won the battle, but he and Sullivan won the war since he doesn’t have to wrestle tonight.

Match #4: The Nasty Boys VS The Steiner Brothers (Winner gets a title shot against Harlem Heat)

90’s hair mom in a Beetlejuice dress dancing during the Nasty Boys entrance.

Tony pitches us Hog Wild, coming Saturday, August 10th.  I can’t wait for this one!

Scott and Saggs start off and Saggs hammers off on Steiner’s head with back elbows before hacking him into the corner where both Nastys club him.  Saggs keeps the momentum until Scotty catches him with a boot and a HUGE tiger bomb, followed up with an “out of nowhere” Steinerline by Rick.  Rick gets the tag in but is decimated in the corner by a tandem of Nasty clotheslines, followed by a whipped cross body in the corner by Knobbs.  Rick rebounds with a powerslam and another teeth-rattling Steinerline for two.  Scott comes in and gets an expoloder suplex and tries for the Frankensteiner, but Knobbs is wise to it and blocks it, allowing him to tag out to Saggs.

Saggs grabs a chair from a little boy at ringside (where oddly there’s no barrier) and just straight waffles Scotty with it in the face as we kick off to hour #2.  As always, our hour #2 commentators are Eric Bischoff and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan.  Scott gets a belly-to-belly out of the corner but the pin is broken up.  Suddenly, everyone stands up and looks to the entry way where we see Col. Robert Parker and Sister Sherri.  Sherri rushes to the ring and jumps up to distract referee Nick Patrick.  Parker hits Saggs with his cane and allows Scotty Steiner to get the pin.

Winners: The Steiner Brothers (win a title shot at Hog Wild)

Mean Gene joins the Nasty Boys in the ring where Jerry Saggs yells about Col. Parker hitting him.  He says something is going to need to change because it’ll be a long time before that happens to the Nasty Boys again.  Knobbs says he didn’t know what Hogan was going to do, but he doesn’t see anything wrong with it either.  He says it seems the nWo does whatever they want to do, just like the Nastys used to do.  With that, there are fireworks and we go to commercial.

Match #5: Jim Powers VS “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (WCW United States Champion) w/ Woman, Ms. Elizabeth, & Debra McMichael

Eric Bischoff says that the reason that he wasn’t able to be at the PPV last night was due to the fact that he was in WCW meetings until late into the night.  He then mentions that when he came in today he asked about the general feelings around the office and there were many calls in from families saying their kids were crying and that they were destroying their Hogan merchandise.  Heenan says that he has been telling us for twenty years that Hogan is no good, but people called him a buffoon.

Woman is looking good tonight!

Bischoff says that they’re going to update us on Lex Luger’s situation later tonight.

Normal match, Powers getting good offense but Flair cutting it off.  Flair dumps Powers outside and Woman goes to the eyes.  Powers comes back in the ring strong, though, grabbing and keeping a side headlock on Flair until Flair gets a thumb to the eyes in the corner, followed by some chops and a punch to the face.

Powers frustrates Flair, so he heads to the floor, heads around the ring like he’s pissed, grabs Woman, spins her and starts dancing back into the ring.  He tries to go up top, Powers reminds him he’s Ric Flair and sends him to the mat.  He follows it with a duo of clotheslines and gets a duo of two counts.

Flair regains control, Figure 4 for the win.

Winner: Ric Flair

Mean Gene meets up with the ladies, Flair, Double A, and Mongo.  Gene asks about last night and Anderson says last night made him puke.  He says that The Horsemen never claimed to be role models but Hogan had.  He says it wasn’t supposed to end like that.  Hogan was supposed to stand for something.  Mongo says the Apocalypse is upon WCW, but it has to do with the Four Horsemen.  Flair pours the ladies some champagne, cuts a promo on the Horsemen, and tells the Giant that there’s a new champion, one that can go all night!  He ends by dancing and singing La Cucaracha as we go to commercial.

Man, this outdoor Nitro is awesome.  I love outdoor wrestling and there’s just something so cool about this set.

Bischoff says that we still don’t know the status of Luger.  He was supposed to be here to take on Benoit, but instead we’re getting…

Match #6: Sgt. Craig “Pitbull” Pittman w/ Teddy Long VS “The Cripper” Chris Benoit

Bischoff says that he heard Benoit described as a “wolverine.”  Is this the first WCW reference to Benoit as such?  I believe so.

90’s hair mom doesn’t like Benoit as she gives him the thumbs down.

Pittman and Benoit start off mat wrestling; Pittman getting a big slam and a duo of gigantic suplexes.  Pittman is looking better than he has since this whole thing started for me.  However, all he’s done now is piss off “The Crippler,” who starts stomping the ever-loving crap out of him.

Benoit goes after Teddy Long, which brings out Pittman to cut him off.  Benoit rolls Pittman back in the ring and locks on the Crippler Crossface.  Within seconds, Teddy Long comes in to throw in the towel.

Winner: Chris Benoit

Match #7: “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson VS Sting

It’s odd, thus far, Flair is the only Horseman to come out with the entourage of ladies.  Benoit nor Double A get accompaniment.  Interesting.

Stinger shows class, slapping the hands of the little Stingers at ringside.  Nice to show kids that despite Hogan being a jerk, he’s still a good guy and there is still a hero.

Arn extends his hand, seemingly looking for an even contest.  Sting just stares him down, leaving Arn to shake his head and start the match off.  Bischoff mentions that Sting is focused and it does show.  This isn’t a Sting that’s out here to mess around.  I like it.  Everyone else tonight has talked about Hogan and what happened, but Sting is the first one to really make it look like he’s changed up his game after last night.

Arn sends Sting to the floor and goes for a piledriver, but Sting backdrops him to the mat.

Biscoff says that we will have “visitors” tonight as we go to commercial.

Glacier promo.  Do they run this for another two months?

Back from break, Sting tries to leapfrog Double A but is caught by that beautiful Arn Anderson Spinebuster.  As both men are down, Bischoff tells us that there is a black limo pulling up outside.  Double A turns it up, choking out Sting and then locking him in an abdominal stretch.  He gets a few two counts, but Sting is firing back.  Sting catches him in a leg scissors as we see the aforementioned black limousine.

Sting starts firing back with kicks as Hall and Nash make their way out of the limo.  Sting hits a big clothesline from the top rope and goes down for the pin but only gets two.  Sting and Arn start firing off on each other as Hall and Nash try to get into the ring.  Sting and Arn finally see the Outsiders and stop the match, daring them into the ring.  Out comes Randy Savage to join in.  While distracted, Double A tries to get the win with a DDT, but Sting wraps on the Scorpion Deathlock while staring the Outsiders down.

Winner: Sting

Savage and security back Hall and Nash up as Sting jumps to the turnbuckles and continues staring them down.  Man, I love this pissed off, intense Sting.  I love surfer Sting and I love Crow Sting, but honestly, THIS is my favorite version of Sting.  Pissed off, at war, dark haired Sting.

hqdefaultMean Gene asks Sting about last night.  Sting says he should have known.  He should have known when Hogan was taking a limo to all the events.  When he was staying away and showing up for cameos.  When he referred to Sting, Luger, and Savage as “three little dogs” waiting to wrestle the great Hulk Hogan.  He says Hogan told the kids to believe in themselves, and it’s a good thing he did because they sure as hell can’t believe in HIM.  He says Hogan finished off by telling the kids to “stick it.”  No, Hogan, you stick it!  I’m loving it!  Sting is fired up and pissed!

Gene asks Savage what he thinks since they’re so close.  Savage says that he has a message.  But what he wants to say and what he wants to do to Hogan, he can’t say, especially at Disney.  He says if Hogan takes the worst thing he can imagine, then multiplies it by 9,000,000…then multiplies that by “infinity and beyond,” that’ll be like a grain of sand to what he’s got in mind.

Gene wraps us out of the interview as we go to commercial.  Coming back, Mena Gene is hanging out at the limo with Hall and Nash.  What the hell?!  Gene getting all chummy with the Outsiders?  Nash says that last night WCW and the fans took a beating.  He says Hulk built pro-wrestling and these people can’t appreciate that, but he can.  He says next week the third man, Hulk Hogan, will be here.  Gene says he doesn’t know if they coerced Hogan or if he did it out of his own volition.  Hall says this portion has been brought to us by The Outsiders and Hulk Hogan.  Hall is now speaking sans accent, so I guess that WWF lawsuit has already happened.  Gene asks where Hogan is.  Nash says he’s on set, doing a movie.  Hall says he heard Savage talking about Hogan and asks if he’s jealous.  He says Luger didn’t get hurt, he saw them and fainted.

With that, we go to commercial and come back to Bischoff and Heenan at the announce booth.

Bischoff says he told the fans they would show us what happened last night, and he does the normal slideshow of images that they do the night after a PPV.  Can’t be showing video because there’s that replay to sell…especially after something as big as this one!  Bischoff and Heenan wrap up and send us off the air.

 

Good stuff here.  Rey winning the cruiserweight Championship was awesome and is going to usher in an era of cruiserweight wrestling that is going to be amazing.  The Steiners are going to go against Harlem Heat for the titles at the next PPV, which is always a good match.  Sting is riled up and pissed off, which is amazing.  Bash at the Beach changed a lot in WCW, but now it’s all about getting WCW together to fight off this new menace.  I’m loving it right now.

Shane

Ratings Breakdown

WWF Raw Ratings – 2.5

WCW Nitro Ratings – 3.5

(Raw – 17, Nitro – 21) (Tie Weeks – 2)

(Unopposed weeks – 5)

WWF’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – 6

WCW’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – 4

 

WCW has now tied their longest winning streak in the war to this point.  21 wins, four of them consecutive now…WCW is on fire; especially when you consider that they beat Raw by a full point this week!  

 

WWF Raw results from this week

The Ultimate Warrior defeated Owen Hart (w/ Jim Cornette) via disqualification

Savio Vega defeated Justin Bradshaw (w/ Uncle Zebakiah)

Davey Boy Smith & Vader (w/ Jim Cornette & Diana Hart Smith) defeated Henry Godwinn & Phinneas Godwinn (w/ Hillbilly Jim)

 

Eh.  Not to say this Nitro was anything amazing, because it was kind of run of the mill, but that is just not a great card.

GAB96It’s Pay Per View time once again, ladies and gentlemen out there in WCW world!  We’ve been building to it for a while and it’s finally here…the Great American Bash!  We open to a quick montage of promos for the big matches.  We get Heenan alone, looking a bit scared.  We get Mongo, Greene, and Savage.  We get Arn, Flair and the ladies.  We then finish off with Lex Luger saying he’s already got two titles, he’s coming after the third and then the rebuttal from The Giant.

From there, we go into the National Anthem and the presentation of the flag, which they’ve never done before in the PPVs that I’ve been watching.  I guess since it’s the Great AMERICAN Bash, that’s why.  Sgt. Craig Pittman is the man presenting the colors.  We go to our announce team of Tony Schiavone and Dusty Rhodes.  We’re minus Bobby Heenan due to him being the “coach” of the Horsemen team tonight.  They open the show running down some of the issues we’ll see tonight, including telling us that we’ll find out if WCW will accept the challenge from Hall and Nash.  Of course, they’ve yet to be named, so they’re still just referred to in a roundabout way.

Tony tells us that Dick Murdock has died recently. Dusty says that he would have loved a night like tonight when you can smell a fight in the air.  Odd to see Dusty talking about his departed best friend just a month or so after his own death.

Match #1: Fire & Ice VS The Steiner Brothers – There Must Be a Winner

These two teams have apparently been having a lot of matches on Saturday Nights where there hasn’t been definitive winners, bringing us this match.  The only one I know of is the Monday Night match from a few weeks back, which makes me sad that I don’t have access to Saturday Night.

Scott and Ice Train start off, looking pretty even until Scott gets a quick burst off offense, bringing in Norton, who gets a hip toss.  This brings in Rick Steiner and the Steiners hit their classic pose while Fire & Ice regroup on the outside.  After regrouping, both teams tag out and we get Norton vs Rick.  Rick hits a massive Steinerline and follows with a belly-to-belly suplex before tagging out to Scott.  Norton sends Scott to the ropes and surprises him with a massive Samoan drop.  Damn, I love a Samoan drop.  This derails Steiner enough for Norton to tag back out to Ice Train, who takes over, getting a two count out of a side belly-to-belly suplex.

We get our first inclinations of heelishness out of one of our teams when Norton attacks a downed Scott Steiner while the referee is distracted.  Until this point, Fire & Ice had been presented as a babyface team, so it’s interesting to see a heel move there.  Of course, Norton does come across as the more heelish of the two, so it kind of works.

Scott comes back with an overhead suplex and a Steinerline to Ice Train.  He tags out to Norton and Steiner gets an ugly suplex and dumps Norton on his head.  Norton and Ice Train do come back and begin to control the match, though, with quick tags.  Norton picks Scott Steiner up and drops him hard with a shoulder breaker, but instead of going for a pin like normal, he goes for a submission.  Rick comes in and starts kicking Norton in the face to get him to break up the hold, but Norton refuses to release, even after five or six kicks.  Norton gets another shoulder breaker, but Rick was able to tag in.  He Steinerlines Norton hard, then dumps him with a German suplex.  He follows up with a Steinerline/suplex combo to Ice Train as well before going back to Norton.  Ice Train sends Scott to the floor and they hit a powerbomb/splash combo bit the pin is broken up by Scott.  They send Scott back outside and attempt a Doomsday Device but Scott Steiner is able to knock Ice Train off the top rope.  The Steiners get their top rope bulldog off of Scott’s shoulders, but Ice Train breaks it up at two.  Scott hits Norton with a bad looking Frankensteiner for the win.

Winners: The Steiner Brothers

Another good match between these two.  I just wish Scott could have hit that Frankensteiner better, though.  I love that move and I hate seeing it messed up.

We go to the back with Mean Gene, Jimmy Hart and Kevin Sullivan.  Jimmy tells Sullivan that they don’t need to be messing with the Horsemen.  Sullivan says this isn’t about the Horsemen.  This is about showing Arn Anderson and Ric Flair that Benoit doesn’t deserve to be a Horseman.  He says he ran off the last guy who didn’t deserve to be a Horsemen and he’ll do the same to Benoit, and he’ll do it for Double A.

Match #2: WCW United States Championship: El Gato VS Konnan (WCW United States Champion)

El Gato looks like he’s wearing a pair of black dress slacks and a Tiger Mask mask.  This guy is a superstar?  Konnan comes out with the US title as well as the Mexican Championship.  He’s also wearing the Mexican flag as a poncho.

I can’t tell if El Gato is Mexican or Japanese.

We get a volley of armdrags followed each time by El Gato adjusting his mask and going into a martial arts pose.  Konnan connects with a nice flippy armdrag off of the ropes, then charges El Gato and they have an awkward exchange ending with Konnan sitting on the top rope.  El Gato goes to setup for a movie but Konnan pulls him down to the mat by his mullet.  Granted, El Gato is under a mask, so I don’t know for certain it’s a mullet…but this guy is so bad thus far that I’m going to go ahead and call it a mullet.

Konnan comes off the Irish whip and attempts a Frankensteiner but El Gato does his first good move and drops him with a sitout powerbomb.  El Gato and Konnan trade crappy looking arm and leg holds before Konnan whips El Gato to the corner, does a reverse roll and a weird looking bulldog.  Konnan does his rolling clothesline, which I always like, but El Gato kicks out at one.  Konnan goes to the floor, El Gato tries to do a baseball slide dropkick but Konnan moves and El Gato simply slides out of the ring and hits the floor.  They go to move back into the ring and Konnan surprises El Gato with a sunset flip powerbomb to the floor.  Konnan whips El Gato to the corner, El Gato tries to jump backwards out of it but Konnan catches him and Alabama Slams him for the win.

Winner: Konnan (still WCW US Champion)

Wow…this was bad.  Konnan has yet to impress me during this run and El Gato looks like a guy that they just grabbed from backstage.  This was bad.

Backstage, Mean Gene is joined by Sting and they talk about Lord Steven Regal being prissy and a sissy, drinking his tea with a little pinky out.  Sting questions his masculinity through most of the promo, saying he’s a little “iffy,” and that he’s “not too sure about him.”  Damn, Stinger, just come out and call him gay already…we know that’s what you’re hinting at.

Match #3: Battle Bowl Ring on the line – Diamond Dallas Page (Lord of the Ring) VS Marcus Alexander Bagwell

DDP says that once the women in Baltimore get a load of him, they’ll forget all about “Carl” Ripken.  Ugh.  Man, it takes Page a while to really get running, doesn’t it?

Bagwell hits the ring running but Page takes the low road and comes from behind him while Bagwell has his back turned.  Bagwell is able to pull him to the floor and whips him into the crowd.  Page gets into the ring first and cuts Bagwell off when he enters.  Bagwell gets a two count off of a crossbody block and starts working the arm.  Tony gives us a bit of history of Page and his fall and subsequent rise back to the ranks of WCW.

Bagwell sends Page to the ropes, but Page grabs the ropes with his arms and legs, hanging between the top and second rope.  Bagwell dropkicks him in the gut through the ropes and follows with a dive over the top to the floor.  Marcus goes up top but Page is able to knock him off the top rope and take over.

Bagwell fires back while Page is jawjacking with the crowd. Page goes to punt Bagwell but Buff-to-be moves and Page eats the mat.  Bagwell hits an atomic drop and a revere atomic drop, then they do this thing where Page kicks, Buff grabs his leg, spins him, ducks under a clothesline, then clotheslines Page himself…when he could have just pulled Page’s leg and clotheslined him from there.  Really some odd wasted movement that could have been way better by just clotheslining him right off.  DDP gets his own clothesline and tries to get a pin twice with his legs on the ropes.  He tosses Bagwell to the ropes and goes for a tilt-a-whirl slam but Buff gets him in a headscissors.  Bagwell goes for a suplex, DDP grabs the ropes to stop it and then hits the Diamond Cutter for the win.

Winner: Diamond Dallas Page (still possesses the Battle Bowl Ring)

We go backstage with Mean Gene, Jimmy Hart, and The Giant.  Mean Gene asks Jimmy about his alliance with both The Giant and Lex Luger.  Jimmy gives a non-answer, saying everyone’s worried about it, but Jimmy isn’t.  Jimmy irritates me.  He’s stuck in the 1980s and he really sticks out like a sore thumb in these interviews.  Giant cuts a promo talking about all the stuff he’s done to Luger and his buddies, puts down the Torture Rack and puts over the choke slam.  Gene says that Luger may use the choke slam and his memories of being choke slammed to fuel him in this match.  Giant says he should be scared and they leave it at that.

Match #4: WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Rey Mysterio, Jr. VS “The Man of 1,000 Holds” Dean Malenko (WCW Cruiserweight Champion)

Rey comes out to no fanfare, which is going to change very quickly.  It’s interesting to see Rey not get any real pop, since from the moment I saw him, he was very popular.  Of course, this is his first match in WCW, so he’s essentially an unknown (despite spending a little time in ECW before this).

Mike Tenay joins the commentary booth since we’re watching a huge international star.  Glad he came out here instead of for El Gato.

Match starts with a feeling out process, with some arm wrenches, reversals, etc.

I apologize if this match writeup is lacking because I have a feeling a lot of this is going to be hard to transcribe.

20130205_Playlist_JPGGreat volley of moves from Rey springing from the mat to Dean’s shoulders and then getting a quick sunset flip powerbomb that Dean rolls out of and then slingshots Rey to the outside.  Dean heads outside to get Rey but Rey slides quickly back into the ring.  Dean begins attacking the arm and slowing the pace down a bit.  Dean applies an armbar and holds it for a bit until Rey is able to escape by getting to the ropes.  Rey heads to the floor, but Dean wraps his arm in the guardrail and kicks it, further injuring it.

Back in the ring, Rey is in a knuckle lock but walks up the ropes and hits a dropkick.  He charges into the corner and trying to hit a hurracanrana, but Dean pushes him off and Rey flips to his feet to be met with a devastating clothesline from Dean,

Mike tells us that Eddie Guerrero defeated Jushin Liger to win the Super J Cup in NJPW this year.

Dean hits a beautiful hammerlock northern lights suplex, which is the first time I’ve ever seen a move like that.  Dean is soooo good.  It’s too bad he doesn’t have much of a personality, though, or he could have been a big star.  That being said, I am suddenly reminded of the Dean Malenko they tried out in WWF where he was a ladies man, and I’m a bit more okay with his Ice Man, no personality, character that I was at the beginning of this paragraph.

Dean has been controlling this match for a good while now, controlling the arm of Rey Jr.  Dean pulls Rey back into a Romero Special, then drops it and goes into a bridging pin for two.

Rey is able to reverse an Irish whip and send Malenko to the floor.  He hits a springboard somersault to the floor, jumping PAST the mats and taking Malenko down on the concrete and it gets a huge pop.  Back in the ring, Rey gets a springboard dropkick for two and the crowd is now firmly behind Mysterio.  Rey reverses two more moves into near falls, then goes out to the apron and gets a top rope Frankensteiner for two.  Now it’s easy to see why Rey Jr became such a big deal.  We haven’t seen wrestling like this before in WCW.  He goes up top, but Dean follows, and it seems like Dean is trying to do his top rope gutbuster, but Rey turns it into another top rope Frankensteiner.  Dean tries a tilt-a-whirl slam but Rey reverses it into a crossbody block for another two count.  Rey rushes Dean and tries another Frankensteiner, but Dean reverses into a powerbomb and a pin with his feet on the ropes for the win.

Winner: Dean Malenko (still WCW Cruiserweight Champion)

x240-UkZThis was a great match.  The finish worked well, too.  The story of the match was that Dean could barely control Rey, so when Rey got on a roll, Dean did what he needed to do to win the match.  The crowd loved Rey, so this will definitely be a rivalry for the summer if they keep following through with it.

We go to the backstage area with Mean Gene and Lex Luger.  Luger cuts a really subdued promo on The Giant.  He says his mind isn’t on the interview and he’s only there out of respect to WCW and Mean Gene.  He says he’s thinking about the match and that’s where his focus is.

Match #5: Big Bubba w/ Jimmy Hart VS John Tenta

Jimmy and Bubba come out with what we are to believe is John Tenta’s hair.  Why they still have this is beyond me.  It’s also kinda nasty, if you think about it.

Tenta comes out to no music and no crowd reaction.  Listening to Kevin Sullivan’s podcast, they were really trying to get Tenta over on his own but it’s not happening.

The two start brawling on the floor before the match.  Jimmy is running around holding scissors, and I can only assume that’s not safe at all.

Big Bubba goes down and pulls something out of his pants, nails Tenta with it with an uppercut, then throws it to Jimmy Hart.  Bubba covers and gets two.  Bubba kicks Tenta, who grabs his foot and then is hit with a surprising enziguri from Big Bubba.  Bubba goes for a cover with his feet on the ropes but referee Nick Patrick realizes it at two.  Tenta goes for a scoop slam and then falls down so Bubba can cover him for two again.  Bubba then starts trying to get his hands in Tenta’s mouth, apparently.  I have no idea what was happening there, but it looked like Bubba was trying to force Tenta’s mouth open.

Dusty keeps calling Bubba “Bubber” and it’s annoying.  I wish Heenan was there, as I feel he would make a “Bubber” VS “Blubber” joke.

Bubba controls the match some more and then gets a big belly-to-back suplex.  Bubba goes to the top rope and dives off, but Tenta catches him and powerslams him for the win while Jimmy Hart is dancing on the apron.

Winner: John Tenta

Tenta grabs the scissors from Hart and goes to cut Jimmy’s hair, but Bubba charges them, Tenta moves, and Bubba hits Hart.  Tenta cuts a bit of hair from the goatee of Big Bubba as the heels retreat.  This match was terrible, and Big Bubba controlled every bit of it, which is dumb booking if they’re trying to get Tenta over.

Backstage, Mean Gene has Mongo, Kevin Greene, and their wives.  They cut a quick promo and in comes Macho Man, in ring gear for some reason.  Of course, every time we see Savage, he’s in ring gear…even coming into the arena.  I’m going with the idea that Savage is just ALWAYS in gear.  He cuts a promo, fires everyone up and they all head out to the ring.

Match #6: Falls Count Anywhere: “The Crippler” Chris Benoit VS “Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan

During the entrances, Tony brings up the point that this feud is interesting because of how Arn Anderson seems to be siding more with Kevin Sullivan than he is fellow Horseman, Benoit.

Sullivan makes a beeline for the ring, walking with a purpose, but Benoit meets him halfway with a clothesline.  They starts brawling immediately, slamming each other into the guardrail, then the ring apron, the steel steps…

Benoit chops Sullivan three times, but Sullivan no-sells all three and the two of them brawl into the crowd.  They punch and slap each other as they brawl up the steps and head out into the concession area.  They brawl into the men’s room, Sullivan slamming Benoit into the stall doors, then slamming the door on Benoit’s head a few times.  You see the crowd start to spill into the bathroom on the opposite sides with just Randy Anderson and Doug Dillinger to try to stop them.  Sullivan slams Benoit’s head in the door another time for good measure, then double stomps him on the bathroom floor.  Benoit starts teeing off on Sullivan’s head with big right hands, but Sullivan is able to break it off, attempting to put Benoit’s head in the urinal.  Benoit fights that off, slams Sullivan’s head in the door, then they slam each other into the wall.

Dusty goes nuts when a woman appears in the men’s room.

Sullivan slams Benoit’s head into the metal door of the utility closet, then slams Benoit with a plastic bag full of toilet paper.  Benoit tries to suffocate Sullivan with the plastic bag, then they start brawling out into the hallway again, with tons of people lining the way and making it hard for security to keep the crowd from the wrestlers.

Sullivan pushes Benoit down the steps and Benoit takes a spill for about ten steps or so before Sullivan picks him up and tosses him down a few more.  Sullivan stomps Benoit in the crotch for good measure.  Benoit gets back to his feet and starts firing off rights again as they hit the arena floor.  They begin to trade blows at the guardrail, then Sullivan picks Benoit up and crotches him on the steel guardrail and clotheslines him off.  Sullivan grabs a chair and throws it at Benoit’s head.  Benoit returns the previous favor and crotches Sullivan on the guardrail, then goes under the ring for a table.  Benoit seems to have some trouble getting the table from under the ring, so he whips Sullivan into the guardrail and then tosses him into the crowd.

Benoit is able to get the table, finally, and tosses it into Sullivan to buy some more time.  Benoit gets the table into the ring and sets it up in the corner.  Sullivan whips Benoit into the table, tries to jump into Benoit, but Benoit moves and Sullivan hits the table.  Benoit bridges the table over the top ropes in the corner.  Sullivan backdrops Benoit onto the table, then follows him up.  Benoit stands, pulls Sullivan to the top and hits a superplex off of the table for the win.

Winner: Chris Benoit

“He didn’t win, he survived!” – Tony Schiavone

Benoit slaps Sullivan around for a bit more, and out comes Arn Anderson.  Anderson pulls Benoit off of Sullivan forcefully and Benoit gets in his face.  Anderson motions for him to hold on a moment, then Anderson punts Sullivan and the crowd erupts as Benoit and Anderson double team Sullivan.  Out comes the Dungeon of Doom, but the Horsemen retreat, arms in the air, 4 fingers held high!

Good match, brutal and violent, and put the Horsemen back together with Benoit firmly cemented.  This is basically Benoit’s real “introduction” into the Horsemen, since we haven’t really seen him be too involved since he became one.  I like it.

We go back to Mean Gene, who is in the locker room alone with Woman and Liz.  I’m going to set a timer to see how long it takes Gene to make an inappropriate or sexually suggestive comment.

In comes Double A and Ric Flair.  Arn brings in Benoit.  Arn says there have been wannabes who have wanted to be Horsemen, but they’re out of here.  He says Benoit proved himself as a Horseman.  Arn says Benoit severed the head of the snake and earned his stripes.  He says that the Horsemen and the DoD are now officially at war.  Benoit says he warned Sullivan not to mess with the Horsemen.

“Football players…you want a visual aid?  You just got it!” – Arn Anderson

Flair puts over everyone, ending with Bobby Heenan.  Heenan says that Gene has been insinuating that Heenan is terrified about Macho Man, Heenan says he’s not scared.

“There’s a lot of things that Macho Man would like to do that he can’t do anymore.  Right, Liz?  Wooooo!” – Ric Flair

They finish their promo and head out.  Damn, I loved this!  Benoit legitimized as a Horseman, Flair’s final line…damn, I loved this!

Match #7: Lord Steven Regal w/ Jeeves VS Sting

Sting starts off strong with a right hand and then more chops and punches in the corner before sending Regal to the floor.  He sends him to the guardrail and then back body drops him as Regal makes a rush at him.  Back in ring, Regal nails a quick succession of European uppercuts, rocking Sting and sending him to the mat.  Sting comes back with a Japanese armdrag off of an Irish whip and Regal heads to the floor to jaw with the crowd in the front row.

Coming back into the ring, Regal apologizes for the slap and offers his hand to Sting.  Sting shakes his pelvis at Regal and then acts like he’s about to charge, freaking Regal out for a few moments.  It was a very weird exchange, honestly.

x240-l4nRegal takes over with a full nelson until Sting breaks out and is able to get a sunset flip.  Regal overacts fighting to stay standing during this way too much.  I really like Regal, but this match he’s looking like a bit of a buffoon when WCW should be using this to make him an uppercarder.  Regal ties Sting up in a side headlock and fires off a European uppercut and some punches again, then does this weird dance around to celebrate.  I’ve never seen Regal act this weird.

Tony reminds us of the two matches Regal had with the Belfast Brawler at Uncensored and the next night on Nitro, and I am immediately wishing for THAT Regal to show up in this match.  That Regal, against Sting, would be amazing.

Regal has been controlling this match basically since right after Sting’s opening attack.  It really is interesting that Regal never really made it out of the midcard.  He’s super charismatic. He’s a great wrestler.  He could have been the total package, honestly.  Maybe it’s due to the silliness in this match that he never got taken seriously.  Yeah, that’s what I’m going to go with.  It’s the ONLY explanation I can offer as to why he shouldn’t be a megastar and former World Champion.

Sting sends Regal into the corner, Regal jumps out and eats an awesome Sting dropkick and then two running clotheslines!  Sting goes up top but Regal follows him with a dangerous looking top rope butterfly suplex for two.  Regal follows with the Regal Stretch right in the center of the WCW crosshairs.  For some reason, Regal just lets go and stands up because Sting hasn’t given up in ten seconds.  Damn, Regal, just stay in the thing until he does!

Regal backs Sting into the corner and fires off chops and punches, which shows Regal hasn’t watched too many Sting matches.  Sting gets pissed off and starts firing off punches.  By this point, Sting’s facepaint is completely gone, which is actually pretty cool.  I almost would have liked to see Sting start wrestling without the facepaint as it’s an interesting look, truthfully.  Sting goes for a Stinger Splash but Regal gets his knees up.  Sting is able to take Regal down with a backdrop as Regal comes out of the corner.  He locks on the Scorpion Deathlock for the win.

Winner: Sting

Tony sends us to a promo for Bash at the Beach, coming up in three weeks (AKA whenever I am able to actually get to the thing).

Match #8: Grudge Match: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson w/ Bobby “the Brain” Heenan, Woman & Ms. Elizabeth VS Kevin Greene & Steve “Mongo” McMichael w/ “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Debra McMichael, Tara Greene & Pepe

During the entrances, Flair and Anderson keep turning around and looking to the entrance for Heenan, but he is finally introduced on his own at the very end of the Horsemen entrance.

Mongo & Greene apparently get their own WCW entrance music.  I couldn’t tell exactly what it was saying, but I did make out something about “WCW tag team” and “Mongo and Kevin Greene.”

Tony tells us that due to requests from the fans of WCW, tomorrow we will see Macho Man reinstated into WCW.

Greene & Mongo start off doing dropdown drills before we start off the match with Mongo and Double A.  Tony calls Mongo & Greene the “athletes of the 90s.” Tony lays down some foreshadowing here when he talks about asking why Mongo finished his career with the Green Bay Packers when they’re the rivals of the Chicago Bears, which is the team Mongo is most associated with.  Mongo’s answer?  Money.  Remember that, folks.

Mongo’s first offensive move is a clothesline from a three point stance.  This is preceded and followed by a lot of standing around and posing.  Mongo and Double A both go down into three point stances again, but when Mongo charges, Arn drops him with a drop toehold and an elbow to the back of the head.  Mongo does surprise Double A with a fling shoulder block from the second rope, though.  Arn and Greene stomp Arn until he’s able to escape the ring, but he’s then punched by Macho Man.  Bobby hits the apron to complain but is chased off by Savage.

After some more gaga, Mongo tags out to Kevin Greene.  Greene does some drop down drills in the middle of the ring for no damn reason, but it fires up the crowd.  Double A tags out to Flair, who comes in stylin’ and profilin’.  Flair wants to get down in three point stance, Greene goes down and Flair stomps him in the top of the head.  He backs Greene into the corner and hits some chops, but Greene shoves him off and shoulder blocks Flair out of his boots.  Arn comes in and gets some of the same. Flair hits the ground and heads to the back as Kevin Greene starts strutting in the ring.  Macho Man nails Flair from behind and sends him back into the ring into the waiting arms of Kevin Greene.  Greene whips him into the far ropes, body drops him, then hits a pair of flying clotheslines before tagging out to Mongo.  Flair runs to Double A, but Mongo rushes Arn and cuts off the tag.  Flair begs off, then finds his confidence, wooo’s, and tries a shoulder block and eats canvas twice as a result.  Flair lures Mongo into the corner and kicks him in the gut.  He follows with a chop and Mongo channels the Stinger, no-sells them, asks for more, fires up and chases Flair into the opposite corner for a trifecta of chops and a hiptoss.

Flair is finally able to cut Mongo off with a thumb to the eyes, then, as usual, forgets he’s Ric Flair and goes up top.  Mongo sends him crashing off the top and then applies the Figure 4 to Ric Flair.  Arn rushes in, Kevin Greene meets him with a shoulder block and applies his own Figure 4 to Arn!  Woman rakes the eyes of Mongo, breaking up that hold, and all four of the women get in each other’s faces as Woman and Liz back Debra & Tara towards the entrance.

Flair breaks Double A out of the Figure 4 he’s in and then Arn and Mongo get into it, despite the fact that Arn never got tagged in.  Nice heel tactics to use the confusion to their advantage.  Arn tags Flair in and he kicks Mongo in the gut and then chops him, punches him in the gut and sends him to the floor to the waiting boots of Arn Anderson.  Macho Man chases Arn off, but like Dusty says, it’s too late, the damage has been done.  Flair sends Mongo to the floor and, as he casually walks by, Heenan gets a kick in on Mongo.  Savage chases him off and rolls Mongo back into the ring.  Mongo is throttling Flair but the referee’s back is turned and Flair gets in a low blow, followed by a knee drop before tagging out to Arn.  Arn comes in with a kick to the lower abdomen and a choke on the second rope to Mongo.

Arn and Flair double suplex Mongo and both go to choke him, but Greene comes in to knock Arn off of the pile. Flair sends Mongo to the corner but Mongo comes out with a nice hook clothesline.  Flair tags out to Arn, who comes in with a stomp to Mongo.  Arn goes for a clothesline, Mongo ducks, atomic drops Arn and sends him into an incoming Flair, and is finally able to get a very weak hot tag to Greene.  Greene comes in with two low tackles to Arn, a powerslam and a backdrop to Flair, but he doesn’t follow up any of his moves with a cover.  Greene sends Flair to the corner, Flair flips over it, runs down the apron into an awaiting big boot from Mongo.  Greene suplexes Flair back into the ring but again doesn’t capitalize with a cover, so Arn comes in with a chop block and takes out Greene.  Flair and Arn double team him, cutting off the tag, and Flair goes for a Figure 4 but is rolled up by Greene for two.  Greene applies a side headlock but Arn drops him with a knee breaker and then finally locks in the Figure 4 well into the Horsemen territory.  Arn is helping Flair add leverage to the Figure 4, but is attacked by Macho Man.  This brings out Benoit and Savage is double teamed by Arn and Benoit.

We cut to the entry way and out comes Debra McMichael, dressed in a beautiful pink dress, flanked by Woman and Liz.  She’s holding a silver briefcase and approaches her husband, opening the briefcase to reveal a Horseman shirt and a lot of cash.  Greene reaches out for the tag, Mongo shuts the briefcase and nails Greene with it.  Flair covers for the win.

Winners: Ric Flair and Arn Anderson

After the match, Mongo gets in Savage’s face and Savage is attacked from behind by Flair.  The Horsemen, a true foursome now, attack the downed Savage.  Mongo puts on the Horsemen shirt, shakes hands with Flair and Arn, and the Horsemen celebrate in the ring with the ladies and Heenan.

Tony reiterates the story about why Mongo jumped ship to the Packers for money, making sure we know that Mongo is a sellout.

I’ve given Mongo a lot of shit in the past about being a bad Horseman, but after this match, I’m honestly not against it.  I like it.  I’m interested to see Mongo’s wrestling career in this new light.

Tony sends us to Eric Bischoff at the entry way and says we’re going to hear about the attacks on WCW.  Bischoff mentions the “interruptions” starting on 5/27, and says that he mentioned last week that WCW would give them an answer.  He doesn’t call them by name, saying “I know who they are” and calls them out.  Out comes Hall and Nash to the stage.

The two flank Bischoff.  Bischoff says he’s got some questions that need to be resolved.  He says he was in the WCW offices, says if they want a war in the ring, they’re going to get it.  Hall says “they fell into the trap, big man!”  Bischoff says it’ll be at Bash at the Beach, in July, in Daytona.  Hall says he’s free.

Bischoff asks if they work for the WWF.  Both men say no.  Hall says to forget about the past.  They’re here now.  He wants to know who the three men are.  Is it the Macho Man?  The “Huckster?”  Hall says the “big man” and the “medium size man,” and their surprise buddy will carve WCW up.  Hall asks for the three men, Bischoff says he’ll tell them tomorrow on Nitro.  Hall says you don’t jack them around, punches Bischoff in the gut, and turns him to Kevin Nash who jackknife powerbombs him off of the stage.  Hall grabs the mic and says “the real big boys…they just left the building.”

bischoff-and-the-outsiders-o

This is probably the biggest image of the invasion (before Bash at the Beach) outside of Hall arriving the first night.  Bischoff had only been an announcer at this point.  We didn’t even know he ran WCW right now unless you read the dirtsheets, but now these outsiders have attacked an announcer.  They’ve set this up so nicely thus far.  I can’t wait for the Bash!

We go back to Tony and Dusty, and Tony looks concerned and goes off camera, leaving Dusty alone.  Dusty cuts a promo on the Outsiders, saying that WCW will be ready.  He mentions McMichaels and the Horsemen again, then sends it off to Michael Buffer, after mistakenly sending it to David Penzer.

Match #9: WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match: “The Total Package” Lex Luger (WCW Television and Tag Team Champion) VS The Giant (WCW World Heavyweight Champion) w/ Jimmy Hart

Luger stops during his entrance and checks on Bischoff.  This is actually a bit more of a babyface move than Luger has been pulling off recently, which is interesting.

There is also no ring announcing during the entrances.  Buffer waits until they’re in the ring.  I was starting to wonder if they had forgot.

Luger starts the match off running towards Giant, but eats a big boot and some stomps for his trouble.  Luger fires back, clotheslining Giant and sending him out of the ring.  Giant pulls Lex out of the ring, press slams him and sends him back between the second and top rope.  Luger tees off on the Giant as he tries to get into the ring, kicking and punching him.  Luger has Giant staggered, then dives off of the second rope into what I can assume will be a sleeper, but he doesn’t get it, then has to jump back up and apply the sleeper.  Giant backs Lex into the corner where Jimmy Hart is poised to strike with the megaphone.  As Hart draws back, out comes Sting.  He grabs the megaphone and chases Jimmy to the back.

Giant is able to get Luger off of him, tying him in the tree of woe and kicking him in the gut, eliciting the loudest grunts from Luger imaginable.  Luger is a lot like Foley in that he yells and grunts with each move, offensive and defensive.  Giant chokes him with his boot in the corner and yells at Nick Patrick for trying to break it up.  Giant sends Luger to the corner and drops him with a backbreaker and then pushes down on Luger across his knee.  Giant keeps on Luger’s back with a surfboard.  Luger tries a bodyslam but Giant is too much and Luger crashes to the mat.

There is an interesting spot where Luger is on the apron, Giant rushes trying to knock him off, and Luger ducks, pulling down the top rope.  This would normally result in Giant tumbling to the floor, but Giant takes the ropes gut first and bounces back.  I don’t’ know if Giant didn’t know what he was supposed to do, or if he just called an audible.  Lex jumps into the ring with a dropkick and then staggers Giant, sending him down to one knee at one point, then in the corner.  Giant goes to splash Luger in the corner, but Luger moves and Giant ends up laying on the top ropes in the corner.  Luger kicks him a few times, turning him from his stomach to his back, and then Luger picks up The Giant in the Torture Rack.  Giant’s weight seems to finally be too much and Luger crashes down, Giant dropping on top of him.  It was actually really convincing looking.  Giant picks Luger up, chokeslam, and the win.

Winner: The Giant (still WCW World Heavyweight Champion)

Tony tells us that we’ll have the information about the Bash at the Beach as well as the information about Eric Bischoff on Nitro tomorrow and then sends us off the air.

 

Honestly, pretty humdrum PPV until the last half.  Mysterio made a nice debut and had a great match with Malenko, one I know for a fact we’ll see in three weeks at the Bash at the Beach.  Benoit and Sullivan ignited their war and a war between factions and cemented himself as a true Horseman.  Mongo was added to the Horsemen in what was actually a really good match and a really cool ending.  Sure, they had to have Savage and Heenan and the ladies out there to cover for the shortcomings of the two football players, but I liked the way it played out, especially bookended by Tony talking about Mongo leaving to Green Bay for money.  It gave us a reason for him joining the Horsemen out of nowhere and made him an instant heel.

The Outsiders taking out Bischoff is one of those moments that will be burned into my memory.  I didn’t get to see it live…this is actually the first time I’ve watched this PPV, but I remember seeing it on Nitro and actually being shocked by it.  I wasn’t used to wrestlers beating up announcers.  It just wasn’t done.  I can’t wait until they get into the stuff over the next few weeks, including jumping everyone backstage and ruining Nitro in a few weeks.

The Main Event was whatever and if it hadn’t featured the Championship, I would have argued that the football match should have gone on last.

We’ll be back soon with a recap of Nitro on the following night as we march towards Bash at the Beach as well as towards finally catching up.  You’re going to be hearing from Derick and Phillip over the next few weeks, so get ready for that!

Until next time, WCW fans!

Shane

 

First and foremost I can not express the level of excitement that we here at Kick Out at 2! have for Sunday’s PPV!!! If you’re on this site you know how much we respect CM Punk and all of us have some degree of blood in our veins from “The Attitude Era” so seeing CM Punk vs The Rock is a real treat for us. Not to mention The Royal Rumble Match itself is the biggest match throughout the entire year! This Sunday will be Kick Out at 2’s PPV reunion meaning the first time we will all be watching live together since Night of Champions. With the addition of new friends and fans of CM Punk this is going to be nothing short of an awesome gathering! So lets get our picks out of the way and start a new year of PPV Predictions here at Kick Out at 2.

WWE Championship Match: CM Punk vs. The Rock

Robbie’s Pick: The Rock – In the words of J.R. “Good God Almighty, This one here is gonna be a Slobberknocker folks!!” This is the most conflicted I have been for a match ever! The old school fan in me wants nothing more than for The Rock to become a 10 Time World Champion. On the other hand CM Punk, who will have held the title 434 Days Sunday, has been on the role of a life time. He has single handedly brought the much needed prestige back to the title and made it, along with The WWE, relevant again. I’m a huge fan of both guys so I will enjoy this match regardless of who wins. I want to say Punk will remain Champion but my gut tells me Rocky will be holding that title high once the smoke clears from what I’m sure will go down to be one of my favorite matches ever.

Shane’s Pick: – CM Punk – I may be wrong, but there’s a lot of me that sees this run with The Rock as “legitimizing Punk” as opposed to just putting the belt on Rock so that Cena can win it at the Rumble.  Right now, I have about ten different scenarios that could play out of the Rumble and into Mania that all include Punk, Rock and Cena, but for the life of me, I just don’t really see Punk losing the belt until Wrestlemania.

Derick’s Pick: The Rock – As much as it pains me to see CM Punk lose if it’s going to happen The Rock is the right choice. Punk has beaten everyone on the roster and The Rock is the most logical choice and something extremely fresh that RAW has needed. This could very well go down as being one of the biggest matches of Punk’s career. As a long time fan these are 2 of the very best and like everyone else I’m just enjoying this feud. At the same time I do find it a bit unsettling that Punk’s 434 day regin could very well be ended by a guy who has only Wrestled 2 matches in the last 7 years. Than again this could be part of what makes this so intriguing.

World Heavyweight Championship Last man Standing Match: Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show

Robbie’s Pick: Alberto Del Rio – I guess WWE didnt have the faith in The Big Show to headline going into Wrestlemania, which is understandable. Don’t get me wrong I respect the big man and his accomplishments but Show shines in gimmick matches but isn’t really known for long quality matches. Dropping the title to ADR on Smackdown just goes to show that Vince wants to give Alberto the push that has been on hold for some time now. Alberto is back where he should be on Smackdown with the title he should have won in the first place. I guess they didn’t want Show to look weak by having MITB cashed in on him twice so hopefully Ziggler vs Alberto Del Rio is something I think I can enjoy in the coming months.

Shane’s Pick: Alberto Del Rio – From what I’ve been reading, ADR is their guy right now going into Mania, and it makes sense to build up a babyface champion so that Dolph can heel his way into the title run.

Derick’s Pick: Alberto Del Rio – I think something is up with The Big Show. He’s injured, ready to leave or pissed someone off. I thought they were gonna give Show a Mark Henry type run with Big Gold but apparently not. “Somebody’s Gonna get their ass kicked…somebody’s gonna get their wig split…” Sorry I mentioned Mark Henry so I gotta do this. “Beat ’em up, beat ’em up, break his neck, break his neck…..”

WWE Tag Team Championship Match: Team Hell No! vs The Rhodes Scholars

Robbie’s Pick: Team Hell No! – Honestly I love both teams but I want Team Hell No! to do with the WWE Tag Team Championships what CM Punk has done for the WWE Championship. I want these guys to set a record and make the ugliest belts WWE has ever used prestigious as hell! (pun intended) I would love to see this team go on for a long time. I would have them successfully defend those belts for as long as possible to the point it gets ridiculous. I think once the group start to break up a story should be worked in where they hate each other so much they are purposely trying to loose the titles to get away from each other but simply can’t due to various reasons in each match. I think it would be a funny way to wrap this story up and give them both a nice accomplishment with a more than solid title reign.

Shane’s Pick: Team Hell No! – I’ m sorry, but Team Rhodes Scholars still just reeks of “throwing two guys together” instead of a tag team right now.  I know that is odd to say when they’re against another random pair, but Kane & Bryan have had a good run here lately and have a backstory and history.  Rhodes and Sandow work well together, but they’re still not a team in my mind.

Derick’s Pick: Team Hell No! – This will probably be the last time I pick Hell No to win. Rhodes Scholars are working pretty well together and had they not been split for a few weeks due to Cody’s injury I think they would have already won the titles by now. Kane and Daniel Bryan have been hilarious but its time we get D-Bry back in the main title picture again.

The Royal Rumble Match

Robbie’s Pick: John Cena – Good grief it hurts my souls to pick him as to who I think will win this thing. If Rock wins the title Cena wins the Rumble no doubt about it. We don’t need Rock vs Cena II but it will probably happen. Ryback would be the logical choice as a move to Smackdown and a quest for The World Heavyweight Championship would be the thing to boost his character back up after months of subpar booking. Dolph is my ideal choice though. Could you imagine him fighting for the title at Wrestlemania, losing the match but seconds later cashing in. Being able to brag he competed in 2 World Title matches at the same Wrestlemania and walked out Champion would be something awesome to add to the arrogance of his character. I would love any of the last 2 scenarios but sadly I see Cena winning this again…cause yeah he needs that at this point in his career. *rolls eyes*

Shane’s Pick: Ryback – The money’s on Cena, no doubt about it, but WWE has actually been putting Cena in high profile “he’s gonna get a title shot” moments and then pulling the rug out from under him for the last year.  Take Raw 1000, the TLC match from last month…I think we’re going to put some money into Ryback this year, so this is where I’m going.

Derick’s Pick: John Cena – I just threw up a little in my mouth at the thought of this. Unfortunately the Rumble has Cena in it so it will be like a normal match involving him. You will see everyone’s talents showcased only to take a back seat to John Cena “Overcoming the odds!” My God after after 10 years and 12 World Title Reigns are the odds really against this fool anymore? F***’s sake WWE, The Rumble Match hasn’t even happened and you have already pissed me off. GO F*** YOURSELF CENA!

WWE U.S. Championship Match: Antonio Cesaro vs The Miz

Robbie’s Pick: Antonio Cesaro  – I like The Miz and where they are going with his face turn and alignment with Ric Flair but I want Antonio to keep his title for awhile longer.  The fact this is happening on the pre-show and not the actual PPV does sadden me. The pre-show should be whatever random match the throw in that isn’t advertised. Something tells me we will be slipping back into that for at least one match on this PPV.

Shane’s Pick: The Miz – They’re gonna do something to piss me off, I just know it, and this is probably going to be it.

Derick’s Pick: Antonio Cesaro – It’s the beginning of a feud and Antiono was made to look like a fool in front of Flair. His in ring ability will speak for itself to show just how serious this dude can be.

**The Dark Match**

This is a custom made video I stumbled on on YouTube uploaded by N2074. Perfect Editing with the intense promos between Rock and Punk.  Some of the comments say it’s biased towards Punk but honestly there is more recent material to work with from Punk than The Rock. Nevertheless it’s an amazing video and gets the emotion across of the magnitude of this match. Enjoy