Date: December 27th, 1995
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Up until now I've only recapped the "exciting" WCW Nitro, BUT NOT TODAY! No, today I have to endure a show that is around three times as long as your standard Nitro, and with my luck, probably just as bad. I'm already ensured a double dosage of Lex Luger, so we're off to a good start, but then again NO HULK HOGAN! YAAAAAAY! Aaaaaanywho, on with the show…
If you think the intro video packages today are cheesy, it is NOTHING compared to WCW 1995. Generic rock music? Check. Pastel colours? Check. Hyped up narrator sounding like he's ready to orgasm at every moment? Check. He talks about the world being at war fighting for world dominance. I try to think back at the great World War of 1995 and it was indeed a big one. Betrayal, shady tactics, and a heroic winner, as "Macho Man" Randy Savage won the World Title, bad arm and all, less casualties than the two previous instalments though. So a best of seven series tonight between WCW and New Japan, and who'll defend WCW? Sting, Lex Luger, Randy Savage, Chris B-enoit and Eddie Guerrero, so far so good, but then there's the final two, Johnny B. Badd (who in all fairness is our TV Champion…you know…despite not appearing on Nitro for about a month) and Alex Wright. Excuse me for sounding negative, but if I ever got in a fight, fucking Berlyn would not be the one I would call for help first. Well, I guess WCW needed a few jobbers for the contest to seem much fairer. On the Japanese side, we have…well, they're Japanese they all look alike.
Our announcers tonight will be the first appearance in my recaps by non other than Mr. WCW himself, Tony Schiavone, along with Bobby Heenan & Dusty Rhodes. I must say, Dusty looks a hell of a lot better back then than he did the last time I saw him. I also find it somehow ironic that the first Pay-Per-View I'm recapping, it's held in the hometown of WCW light also known as TNA. The funny thing is, despite WCW Vs New Japan filling out the vast majority of the card, the only thing being hyped not only on Nitro but right now as well is that damn Triangle Match, but whatever. We're off with our first match, and it seems like it could be the match of the evening.
Chris B-enoit Vs Jushin "Thunder" Liger w/ Sonny O'Ono
This is actually the first match with Chris B. I've seen since his death, so it's definitely going to be interesting. Tony claims that the heat Liger receives has been fully earned after these past few weeks. Seriously, the man hasn't even appeared on WCW TV since…well…since the premiere of Nitro I believe. HOW DARE YOU LOSE CLEAN TO BRIAN PILLMAN SEVERAL MONTHS AGO!
Heenan, despite telling us all how the Japanese screwed him over a couple of weeks ago, is on Japan's side, prompting Schiavone to baffle everyone with the following sentence, "just keep on talking Brain, and you'll tell us all won't you". I must say that Tony Schiavone is my favourite all time announcer bar none. Sure he may not always be that precise in calling the action, BUT he's hilariously nonsensical…and I like that. Anyway, these two wrestlers as expected put on a very good match. A very high paced opening sees both men rapidly arm dragging each other before B-enoit lands on the outside and Liger hits him with a Plancha off the apron. Both men gets back into the ring where The Crippler seemingly wins a test of strength only for Liger to Monkey Flip himself back up and hit an awesome looking Hurricanrana. Now at this point the announcers are talking about the rest of the tournament and mentions Johnny B. Badd. Heenan proceeds to call Badd's left hook a "sucker punch" and both Dusty & Tony defends him saying that it's completely legal, which of course I'm pretty sure is a fan law, "Face announcers must always defend face wrestlers even though they obviously cheat". The pace of the match slows down in a big way as The Crippler takes control, even using what would later become Jericho's finishing hold in WCW, "The Liontamer", Liger however switches the momentum and locks in a Mexican Surfboard, into a Dragon Sleeper and again into a Camel Clutch which Crippler counters into an Electric Chair. Crippler hits a Superplex and goes for the Swandive Headbutt only to eat a face full of mat. This enables Liger to take control and hit a Sit-Out Powerbomb (BATISTUH BOMB!) and a Brainbuster both only getting 2. Crippler suddenly regains control with a Clothesline, a Powerbomb and a couple of huge German Suplexes. Just as he nails the Swandive Headbutt though, Kevin Sullivan comes out and distracts Crippler long enough for Liger to hit the slowest, sloppiest Hurricanrana ever, for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Jushin Thunder Liger
SCORE: WCW – 0, New Japan – 1
Schiavone uses the kind of logic that only he posses to deduce that it was in fact the Horsemen that cost him the match (you see, Pillman dissed the Dungeon so obviously it was his fault that Sullivan interfered in this one…obviously). We go back to the locker room where "Mean" Gene (sadly) is ready to interview Eddie Guerrero. Eddie is mad at Sullivan for interfering, he then goes on to talk about how proud he is to be representing WCW and being one of the "elite" 7 (ALEX WRIGHT!!? ELITE!!? COME ON!!!). It's really amazing how much better on the mic he became later on because this had to be one of the most generic babyface promos I've ever seen. Mad at heel for interfering in another match? Check, Proud to be wrestling for the fans? Check, Respect for opponent? Check.
Koji Kanemoto w/ Sonny O'ono Vs Alex Wright w/ Absolutely zero chance of winning
SAVE_US.ALX. I kid you not, the fans are CHEERING…actually giving a shit when Alex Wright makes his entrance. Tony breaks my heart by announcing that Hogan will be back on the next edition of Nitro, which of course will result in every Main Event ending with him waddling out and ruining everything until he gets his title back. The crowd instantly begins, to my great surprise, to chant "USA! USA! USA!"…the surprise of course being that they waited almost 20 minutes before starting. Of course it doesn't exactly make it clear who they are rooting for considering it's a Japanese guy Vs a German guy, but what the hell ever…fucking Rednecks.
Kanemoto opens up the match by grounding Wright with a Drop Toe Hold and working over his leg. Wright of course says screw that and eventually hits an Enziguri before completely no selling that his leg was ever hurt. Seriously, what the fuck! He continues to dominate Koji with Head Scissors, and a Dropkick, leaving me to think of the irony of a German apparently never hearing about a little thing called Psychology. Alex Wright sends Bruce Lee over the top rope along with himself before re-entering the ring…and…err…jumping back out again. Logic? No, Beautiful High Spot?...well, no, not that either, Stupid? Definitely. Schiavone begins to talk about Starrcade 1994 and this is what he has to say. "It really is a great place to have Starrcade, second year in a row it's here, last year was the debut of "Macho Man" Randy Savage, who made his debut in WCW at Starrcade 1994, right in the same arena at the same event"…and that was actually a shortened version. Tony Schiavone = BEST ANNOUNCER EVER!. Kanemoto regains control with a flurry of kicks ending with an awesome looking Spin Kick to the jaw of Wright. Kanemoto props Wright on the top turnbuckle and tries to literally break him in half with Judo Chops. SOMEONE STOP HIM! I once saw someone on TV do that, and ALL Japanese people know Martial Arts! Tony & Dusty are hilariously baffled that Kanemoto has been able to withstand Alex Wright and actually dominate the match. Kanemoto dropkicks Wright to the mat who sells it by getting up immediately and running to the other side of the ring before Koji launching himself over the top rope. WTF!? This match is like a fucking episode of Benny Hill. Kanemoto hits a Tiger Suplex back in the ring which Wright breaks with the ropes and the Japanese then hits a Moonsault but pulls up from the pin attempt. This almost costs him as Wright turns an Irish Whip into a German Suplex for a sloooow 2 count by the referee. Wright then hits a Springboard Splash only for Koji to put a foot on the rope. Wright goes for the Missile Dropkick but Kanemoto Dropkicks right back leaving them both out. Both men continues to exchange generic moves before the finish comes when Kanemoto counters a charge in the corner with a Snake Eyes variation and a pin with a bridge for the 3 count.
WINNER: Koji Kanemoto (SURPRISE!)
SCORE: WCW – 0, New Japan – 2
Mean Gene stands by with Sonny O'Ono (seriously...that guy is extremely creepy...just look at his smile and see if you can spot which picture portrays the actual O'Ono -
Masahiro Chono w/ Sonny O'Ono Vs Lex Luger w/ Jimmy Hart
Tony calls Chono "The Master of the STF, one of the most feared Submission holds in the world"…that's of course the move now known throughout the world as the STFU, one of the most ridiculed Submission holds in the world. I would actually mark a bit if Cena introduced a new move called "My laughter cannot be contained, therefore it's now audible.". Luger comes out with Jimmy Hart…who is a member of the Dungeon of Doom…who apparently was hired by O'Ono. Confusion to the MAX!
The Total Package starts by dominating with a Side Headlock and a Military Press Slam and man is the crowd into that guy for some reason. I think Luger is the only guy in the fucking world that has become more mobile after becoming paralyzed. Chono however quickly reacts and after a few Clotheslines and a huge boot to the face, he sends Luger out to get comforted by Hart. Chono seriously has shiny pants…I know, that statement is random as hell but I had to get it off my chest, they are shiny…very shiny. Aaaanywho, back in the ring Chono is choking Luger in the corner with his boot…his shiny boot. These two look kinda awkward in the ring together, the stumble around looking disoriented, and while I pretty much expected that from Luger (that IS all he basically does in a wrestling ring), Chono disappoints me. Chono locks in the STF in the middle of the ring , but Luger rather quickly manages to crawl to the rope and escape the "deadly STF (tm Tony Schiavone)", dunno about you guys but if I was to kill a guy, I'm not sure that would be my preferred weapon…the Crossface is much better. During this point the best exchange between the announcers, at least up until this point in the WCW timeline comes:
Tony: There it is, the MAFIA KICK!
Dusty: Where do you get all this!? The German Suplex!? The Mafia Kick!? He kicked him with the bottom of a 12,5 boot, right in the middle of the mush, that has nothing to do with the mafia! What the hell are you talking about!
Brain: TONY! He kicked the man in the head! Mafia Kick!? What about a Yugoslavian Neckbreaker!? HE KICKED THE MAN IN THE HEAD, SCHIAVONE!
And out of NOWHERE! Here is the Torture Rack for the win!
WINNER: Lex Luger
SCORE: WCW – 1, New Japan – 2
Holy fuck the crowd is in to this, it's insane to watch shows from back then when you compare them to the reactions today's wrestling events get. We go backstage with Gene "Intermission" Okerlund & Sting. Gene says its 2-1 now and asks Sting if that is good news. Sting, in response, glares at Gene, bitch slaps him and says "OF COURSE its GOOD NEWS YOU RETARD!!!"…or maybe he just said "that's right". Sting claims that Johnny B. Badd (who's next) will even the score…AHAHAHAHAH! Yeah, that's as likely as him producing a 100 % accurate list of deaths in wrestling. Sting sounds like he's strung up on crack as he repeatedly screams WOOOOW! While Gene is talking about his opponent Sasaki and Sting losing the US Title to him a few months back. Sting rambles a bit about the triangle match, continuing to look high as hell, before going to the next match of the tournament.
Johnny B. Badd w/ Kimberly (YAY!) Vs Masa Saito w. Sonny O'Ono
Sonny grabs the microphone before the match and tells Kimberly that women shouldn't be in wrestling. Kimberly's rebuttal? What is Sonny doing here then…*crickets chirping*…ohh, ohh snap! It appears that Alex Wright is more over than Johnny B. Badd…when fucking Alex Wright is more over than you, I think you should just call it a day and retire.
The match starts off extremely slow until it picks up with a pretty good looking exchange of right hands from both men which Saito eventually finishes with an elbow and a Side Headlock Punch. Saito distracts the referee allowing O'Ono to cheat for the first time tonight by choking Badd with the Japanese flag he brought with him. THAT'S WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU CAN'T CONTROL YOUR HO! Bobby Heenan mention Sgt. Pittman wanting Heenan to be his manager a few weeks ago, which indicates just how interesting this match has been thus far (it also appears to be the closest Pittman will ever get to be on Pay-Per-View…hopefully). Saito continues to use more restholds than Randy Orton to wear down Johnny B. Badd, but Badd eventually gains the upper hand with a Knee Lift, a Top Rope Double Axe-handle and a Top Rope Sunset Flip for 2. O'Ono then distracts Johnny B. Badd long enough for Saito to dump him over the top rope…for the DQ loss!? Fuck! I forgot about that completely non-sensical rule
WINNER: Johnny B. Badd
LOSER: Believable finishes
SCORE: WCW - 2, New Japan – 2
…well…I guess he'll produce a completely accurate list of deaths in wrestling now. Bobby Heenan says that he still thinks New Japan can win it, which causes Tony to be disgusted that he would say that on WCW TV. YEAH! HOW DARE HE TRY TO CREATE SOME SUSPENSE SURROUNDING THE RESULT! We go backstage with "Mean" Gene once again, this time along with Lex Luger. Gene asks Jimmy Hart what was up with the opening match and Kevin Sullivan interfering. Jimmy Hart says that Sullivan has a short fuse and Gene asks Hart how he knows that. Well let's see, err, because he randomly wants to attack people? Gene's no less of a retard on Pay-Per-View. Luger then throws out a generic "I want the title" promo just for good measure, only noteworthy comment being that Jimmy Hart will not be in Luger's corner tonight because Luger feels Sting's friendship is too important.
Shinjiro Ootani w/ Sonny O'Ono Vs Eddie Guerrero
Holy fuck! If you thought Cody Rhodes looked generic, he's got absolutely nothing on Shinjiro Ootani. If this was a random Jean-Claude Van Damme movie, Ootani would be Random Kung-Fu Henchman #2. Ootani starts off by getting the better of Eddie after a sequence of chain wrestling. Ootani wrestles pretty smart by going constantly into a corner when he gets in trouble, and eventually he catches Eddie with a Half Boston Crab which he tries to convert into a straight Boston Crab but Eddie blocks it. The pace quickens after Guerrero takes control with a Hurricanrana, a Dropkick and a Springboard Senton, and Eddie gets to lock in the Boston Crab, but Ootani gets to the rope. He gets a series of near falls next with a Powerbomb and a Brainbuster, before Ootani regains control after making a Ric Flair-esque dodge from the corner to the apron (just quicker….way quicker, like Flair in fast forward) and a Springboard Dropkick which sends Eddie to the outside where he hits a Springboard Cross Body. Ootani continues to dominate by flip flopping all over the ring before being caught on the top turnbuckle with a huge Top Rope Hurricanrana which only gives Eddie 2. Guerrero immediately follows up with a Sit-Out Crucifix Bomb for another 2, and the crowd is loving this and, you know what, so am I. Ootani suddenly reverses into a Scissored Angle Lock which Eddie breaks with the ropes, and – HOLY FUCK IS THAT JAY FROM THE SILENT BOB MOVIES!?
WINNER: Random Kung-Fu Henchman #2
SCORE: WCW – 2, New Japan – 3
Mean Gene is backstage with World Champion, Randy Savage, who refuses to talk about the triangle match saying "first things first" about his match with Tenzan and after that he can go to the infinity and beyond…wait, what!? Who knew Buzz Lightyear was based on Macho Man, he actually yells it again later in the interview. Savage's voice ranges from a whisper to a scream and it's practically impossible to hear what the fuck he's talking about, so let's just say that he wants to win both of his matches tonight.
Tenzan w/ Sonny O'Ono Vs Randy Savage
Neither man is able to gain an advantage from the test of strength until Tenzan cheap shots Savage with a few kick to the guts after the referee had forced a rope break. Both of these guys' pants just screams "welcome to the 90s" being striped and chequered in bright neon colours. Tenzan is absolutely dominating this match in the early going with brute power, absorbing every blow that Savage has to offer. Sonny O'Ono looks in the camera and says that WCW will be his. Now this baffles me a bit, why the hell would he take over if New Japan wins the tournament? That would be like the winners of the Super Bowl taking over the NFL. Meh, since this tournament probably only have been build up on WCW Saturday Night, they might have agreed to some sort of stipulation there, how the fuck should I know. WCW show the Spanish Announcers and I think "holy FUCK! That's a great idea!" as they have positioned them as far away from the ring as possible leaving them safe from wrestlers wanting to put each other through their table. WWE could definitely learn a thing or two here. Tenzan refuses to let go of his dominance as he almost gets the 3 after a Flying Headbutt, but after he misses a Moonsault, Savage gets back into the match with a Clothesline and a botched Suplex which leaves Tenzan hung stomach first on the top rope. One Flying Elbow Drop later and it is all over…wait, wtf!? Savage had like 3 moves in the entire match!
WINNER: Randy Savage
SCORE: WCW – 3, New Japan – 3
Dusty Rhodes calls Heenan distraught because it's all tied up between the two promotions and Heenan rolls excellently with it by dropping his papers, his headset and falling off his chair. We go to "Mean" Gene and Ric Flair, who is wearing the pinkest T-Shirt of all time. The story here of course is that he is the only one of the 4 battling over the World Title tonight that hasn't already wrestled.
Kensuke Sasaki w/ Sonny O'Ono Vs Sting
This match even has (sort of) a history. As I mentioned earlier, Sting lost the US Title a few months back to this guy in Japan, which of course bugged the Stinger having to job and all. THIS is payback time, although a non-title match.
Sasaki immediately jumps on Sting with kicks and punches trying to keep him off his feet. Stinger eventually almost breaks free of that spell of dominance with a Clothesline and a Stinger Splash, but as he goes for a second, he gets reversed and Sasaki nails a Bulldog. Sasaki however almost immediately makes a similar mistake as he hits 2 Clotheslines but Sting ducks under the third and hits a Dropkick and a Clothesline of his own to the outside. I don't understand how that is NOT a DQ, when throwing your opponent over is. Back in the ring Sting blocks a Suplex attempt only to run into a HUGE Powerslam and a…errm…Something Driver. The USA! Chants rings through the arena like nothing before as the try to rally Sting. Sasaki locks Sting in the Scorpion Deathlock in the middle of the ring, but the Stinger manages to power out. Sasaki then puts Sting on his shoulder, but Sting slides off and pushes his opponent into the corner before bringing him down with a Clothesline and a Face Plant. Sting then locks in the Scorpion Deathlock in the middle of the ring for the win and the crowd explodes. Holy Fuck!
FINAL SCORE: WCW – 4, New Japan – 3
Savage, Johnny B. Badd, Eddie & Alex Wright comes out to celebrate the victory and eventually even Luger and Crippler as they are presented with a ridiculously large trophy. The patriotism is sickening, now if there were actually anyone reading this recap I would prolly get a few hate mails saying that patriotism is the shiznit…but no, no it's not.
Cue the corniest hype video for a match I've ever seen, just take a look at this image -
Lex Luger Vs Sting Vs Ric Flair – Triangle Match for a shot at the WCW World Heavyweight Title
The big question in this match is of course how Luger and Sting will react when having to face each other. After a quite confusing coin toss (I have no idea how they did that, Tony rambled on about each man having a coin or something) Sting and Ric Flair is chosen to start the match. Sting fires up on all cylinders and knocks Flair down before immediately going for the Scorpion Deathlock which Flair blocks by grabbing the ropes and sliding to the outside. Flair gets back in a takes the tempo out of the match and in turn the control. Flair continues to use a basic strategy consisting of Hammerlocks, punches and the occasional Chop until Sting no-sells a Chop (as in every fucking Flair-Sting match…ever) and hits a Hip Toss, a Dropkick, a Gorilla Press Slam and the 10 Corner Punches. Flair goes to the outside and whips Sting into the guard rail but Sting no-sells that…twice, before getting back into the ring, miss a Dropkick and sell that like he had been shot. Flair taunts Luger making him enter the ring and distract the referee thus allowing Flair to throw Sting over the top rope without getting disqualified…Jesus Christ, how could they ever have thought this was a good idea, I felt like a retard just typing that!
Flair works Sting over on the outside before rolling him in, dropping a knee on his skull and going for the pin attempt 6 times in a row…from a fucking Knee Drop…optimism ftw! Sting regains control and hits a Superplex but slides off the pin attempt as he spots Luger entering the ring. Luger and Sting argues and Flair capitalizes by sending Sting into Luger's corner which Lex exploits by tagging himself in. Flair exits the ring and walks up the aisle prompting Luger to carry him back on his shoulder like a Caveman carrying his woman back to the cave to makes sweet, sweet love…okay, that analogy was disturbing even for my rather loose standards. Back in the ring Flair desperately tries to bring down the Total Package but in the end only gets a Gorilla Press Slam for his troubles. Flair finally manages to brig down Luger with a Chop Block and while the referee is distracted by Sting, Flair hits Lex with a Chair to the same knee. This allows Flair to take control and work on the leg trying to set up for the Figure-4 Leg Lock which he finally get locked in. Flair uses the ropes for leverage and almost gets a 3 count but makes the mistake of slapping Luger who eventually turns the move over. Flair rolls to the apron and tries to Suplex Luger to the outside but in the end gets Suplexed back in the ring for a 2 count. As Luger is about to mount a serious comeback, Flair tags Sting in for the major showdown. Both men start off with a respectful test of strength which eventually ends with Luger booting Sting in the gut. Both men exchanges periods of dominance with Clotheslines, Stomps and all kinds of goodness. Sting hits a Cross Body Block from the top rope for 2 and goes for a second rope Splash only for Luger to lift his knees up. Luger goes on the offence with a few Fist Drops and Elbow Drops before Sting out of nowhere tries to lock in the Scorpion Deathlock. The referee is distracted and Luger kicks Sting in the little Stinger, which prompts Tony to repeatedly say "I wonder what will happen with this friendship after the match"…well if it was me I would prolly just kick my friend in his nuts and call it even. Sting fights back (for god knows which time) only to miss a Stinger Splash and get locked in the Torture Rack. Luger swings around and catches the referee rather slowly in the face with Sting's boot, which of course results in the referee going down quicker than Lita at an AAA event. Flair Chop Blocks Luger and dumps Sting over the top rope onto him as the referee tries to regain his composure. The referee begins the 10 count and just as Sting looks to get back in the ring in time, Luger holds him back and gives Flair the win.
WINNER: Ric Flair
Sting shoots a look of contempt at Luger who rolls around clutching his knee. Jimmy Hart comes out and talks to Flair about something. Who apparently will offer support to Flair in the main event.
Randy Savage © Vs Ric Flair w/ Jimmy Hart – WCW World Heavyweight Title Match
Michael Buffer is making the introductions, the highlight of that being him saying that Macho Man's "unbridled charisma was what made him a Slim Jim spokesperson". How anyone can take a World Title match seriously when the champion is announced as the Slim Jim spokesperson is beyond me. Flair uncharacteristically goes on the offence at the get go and is almost pinned for it. Paul Orndorff makes his way out to the ring in a neck brace after the horsemen attack a few weeks ago. If that guy is thrust into the main event scene, I demand that he changes his theme music…which of course is a stupid thing to do considering that the whole thing happened over a decade ago. Savage Irish Whips Flair over the top rope…no DQ!? Seriously, what the hell is up with that fucking rule!! Savage goes for a Double Axe Handle from the top all the way to the floor but Flair counters with a punch to the gut. Flair works over Macho Man's arm, ramming it into the guard rail, applying Arm Bars with the aid of the ropes, and Knee Dropping it as well. Savage fights back with his good arm only to get caught in a Sleeper Hold. Savage eventually drops Flair and goes for the Flying Elbow but Hart distracts the referee and throws Flair the megaphone. It's to no avail though as Savage steals it and nails Flair with it instead, busting him open in the process. He nails the Flying Elbow but Hart is continuing to distract the referee enabling Pillman and Crippler to come out. Savage holds them off but is eventually nailed with a Brass Knuckles shot from Double A allowing Flair to get the 3 count and the title.
WINNER and NEW WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Ric Flair
The 3 announcers quickly run down what happened during the show before closing…and there are actually credits!? Okaaay?
WCW, Aaaah good times: Eddie Vs Ootani was easily the best match of the evening. Generally the wrestling was actually good.
WCW, WHAT THE HELL WERE THEY THINKING!!!: It just felt…meh. Beside the two non-tournament matches, the show had clearly not been built up well enough. They need to drop that fucking over the top DQ rule as well.
Phew, I'm done, and hopefully I'll be back in a week or so with a regular edition of the column. Until next time, I'm The Great Dane, and that's all I wrote.
THE TWF "MENTAL WELLNESS TEST!"
With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).