We’re heading back in time to 1997 again and this week saw the 69th Academy Awards. ‘The English Patient’ scooped the big awards, but with regards to films people have actually seen; Cuba Gooding Jr. won Best Supporting Actor for his role in ‘Jerry Maguire’ and the Coen brothers film, ‘Fargo’, also did well. Anyway, it’s time to catch up on some wrasslin’ in this week’s ‘Meanwhile, in WCW’…
- After last week’s footage of Kevin Sullivan’s son, Ben, apparently blaming The Taskmaster for the break-up of his relationship with Nancy aka Woman, this week Sullivan essentially cut a promo on his boy. I can only assume we’re still within the realms of kayfabe – although it’s hard to tell with this angle – because Sullivan disowned Ben before inviting him to say what he said last week to his face. Sullivan also reiterated that Jacqueline is the only person who has stood by him, despite Jimmy Hart’s continuous presence by his side. Sullivan will also face Chris Benoit, again. There was a sense of déjà vu involved because the match will take place in Baltimore, Woman and Jackie will be connected via a leather strap and it will be a no disqualification themed match; it’s a death match.
- More matches were announced for Spring Stampede; Madusa will challenge Akira Hokuto for the Women’s Title. Dean Malenko will defend his US Title against Chris Benoit and Harlem Heat will face Lex Luger and The Giant in a four corners tag team match. From what I can tell, despite the name of the match, this is not a tag match, more a fatal four way featuring tag team wrestlers. The winner will get a shot at Hollywood Hogan and thus the WCW Title. We can rule out a Booker T or Stevie Ray victory then…
- On Mean Gene’s hotline this week was the news that somebody has left WCW due to ‘philosophical differences’. The person in question is most likely Disco Inferno.
- Public Enemy were again permitted by the referee to powerbomb their opponents through a table before pinning them. After the match, Grunge and Rock cut a thoroughly cringe-worthy promo on Jeff Jarrett and Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael. At one point they called Double J “a peacock”…
- The Giant, who has never had music of his own, now uses Lex Luger’s theme by virtue of their recently formed tag team.
- After Hugh Morrus interfered to cause a disqualification in Harlem Heat’s match with The Faces of Fear, Luger and The Giant made the save for their opponents at Spring Stampede. There was a tense display of mutual respect between the two teams.
- After Malia Hosaka defeated Leilani Kai in a surprisingly good match, Luna Vachon attacked both women before cutting a throat killing promo on Madusa and the rest of the women in WCW. From what I could make out, she wants the first title shot after Spring Stampede.
- The promo for Spring Stampede is awesome. It features The Four Horsemen, on Horses!
- The Public Enemy defeated The Extreme
- Dean Malenko (c) defeated Galaxy to retain the WCW United States Championship
- The Steiner Brothers defeated High Voltage
- Malia Hosaka defeated Leilani Kai
- Rick Fuller defeated Johnny Swinger
- Prince Iaukea (c) defeated Ciclope to retain the WCW Television Championship
- Scotty Riggs defeated The Renegade
- Kevin Sullivan (w/ Jacqueline) defeated Johnny Boone
- The Giant defeated Road Block
- Lex Luger defeated Jim Powers
- Harlem Heat defeated The Faces of Fear by DQ
Following a more eventful than usual Saturday Night, this week’s Nitro was a lot less eventful than we have come to expect. The main story was found when the New World Order decided to cash-in their title opportunity. After winning the clusterfuck main event at Uncensored, the group earned the right to a title shot at any WCW championship whenever they want. Well, the title they desired was Prince Iuakea’s TV Title and the member charged with bringing yet another belt to the nWo was Macho Man Randy Savage. Main eventing the show, the young rookie champion actually managed to hold onto his title. However, rather than a vehicle to get Iaukea over, this was an angle to further Macho Man’s feud with Diamond Dallas Page. With Savage dominating the champ, DDP ran-in via the crowd to cause a disqualification. After getting a few shots at Savage, both DDP and Iaukea were subjected to a typical nWo beat down, complete with spray paint and posing.
In Other News From Nitro –
- Somebody tell Eric Bischoff to stay in the back! After a promo recapping Bisch’s suspension a couple of weeks ago, The Steiner Brothers celebrated the fact that he will not be a factor in their match with The Outsiders at Spring Stampede. All this counted for nought however, as Bischoff appeared alongside the rest of the nWo for Randy Savage’s match with Prince Iaukea. There was no need for him to be there, just as there was no need for him to appear on camera last week either.
- La Parka – who has now dropped the skeleton design on his ring gear due to Mortis’ debut – was probably the most entertaining thing on the show. From his entertaining match with Juventud Guerrera to his outstanding dress sense, he was a like a new man with a new lease of life. If I didn’t know better I’d suggest that after being told he can’t perform his original gimmick, La Parka has fully committed to getting over regardless.
- Jeff Jarrett smacked Johnny Grunge with Mongo’s briefcase to cost The Public Enemy their match with High Voltage. For some reason Mongo wasn’t happy, he seemed concerned about the trouble he would now be in. Mongo fears Johnny Grunge and Rocco Rock?
- Larry ‘The Axe’ Hennig was shown sitting at ringside. Was this a tease for the debut of his son, Curt ‘Mr Perfect’ Hennig later in the show? Nope.
- Sonny Onoo cut a promo on Rey Mysterio Jr. I guess we can add Ultimo Dragon vs. Rey to Spring Stampede’s stacked card…
- That said, the show doesn’t appear to have had a main event announced as yet. Unless The Outsiders vs. The Steiners or DDP vs. Savage goes on last.
- Syxx cut a cryptic promo on Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko. Syxx’s tone gave the suggestion that Eddie may be working in cahoots with him, and is thus a member of the nWo.
- Dean Malenko also inferred some kind of relationship between Syxx and Guerrero before cutting a respectful promo on Chris Benoit.
- In a massive upset, Hugh Morrus defeated Benoit, albeit with help from Konnan. The Dungeon of Doom stable mates were then joined by their leader, Kevin Sullivan, to give Benoit a good kicking. The Crippler’s opponent at Spring Stampede, Dean Malenko, tried to make the save before Ric Flair came to the rescue. The commentators made a point of mentioning Jeff Jarrett and Mongo’s absence and, without actually saying as much, suggested that Malenko would be a better fit as a Horseman. They might have a point there…
- Benoit took all of a few minutes to recover as he and Flair came out for a promo after the break. Benoit was thankful, but suspicious of Malenko’s motivations. Ric Flair again aimed a promo at Roddy Piper, saying that he wants Hot Rod to be “more like a horseman”.
- Dean Malenko (c) defeated Konnan via submission to retain the WCW United States Championship
- Mortis defeated Jerry Flynn
- La Parka defeated Juventud Guerrera
- High Voltage defeated Public Enemy
- Psychosis defeated Super Calo
- Hugh Morrus defeated Chris Benoit
- Harlem Heat defeated Meng & The Barbarian
- Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner defeated Jacques Rougeau & Carl Ouellet
- Madusa defeated Malia Hosaka
- Jim Duggan defeated The Renegade
- Prince Iaukea (c) vs. Randy Savage ended in a no contest in a WCW Television Championship Match
“Right back atcha HBK”
- Last week I mentioned how WCW ‘s signing of Dennis Rodman caused quite a stir in the media ahead of Wrestlemania. Well, not every article worked in their favour. The Atlanta Constitution covered the signing of Rodman and his appearance at Uncensored. Problem was, WCW was referred to as “WWF” throughout the entire article. Doh!
- The August Clash of The Champions has been cancelled because by then it is hoped that WCW will be airing a weekly show on TBS on Thursday nights. Is that so…
- Hulk Hogan made it into the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. Famed sports photographer, Walter Ioos, was asked about the worst person he’s ever had to deal with during a shoot. I’m sure you can piece the rest together.
- A certain Mr. Rob Van Dam was in attendance as a guest at Nitro a couple weeks ago. Here’s me thinking ECW guys were only allowed to show up at Raw…
- Disco Inferno has reportedly been fired for refusing to lose to Jacqueline. There is a rumour that he will join the WWF and become The Honky Tonk Man’s protégé. While that seems to be a good fit, he has a no-compete clause that will likely last three or four months. Upon firing him, Eric Bischoff reportedly warned Disco – real name Glenn Gilbertti – that he would never get another job in wrestling worth $80,000 a year. Coming back into the 21st century and Gilbertti has since clarified this situation. The idea of jobbing to Jackie was pitched to him by Bischoff and Kevin Sullivan (who was the head booker at the time) when he had around four months left on his contract. While Gilbertti had no problem doing the job, the plan was not for him to stick around and be the guy who lost to a woman, instead he would disappear for a period of around six months i.e. become unemployed and hope WCW re-hire him because WWF wouldn’t want to a sign a guy who got beat by a woman. His friends – which included Diamond Dallas Page and Terry Taylor – advised him not to do it, which he didn’t so Bischoff fired him.
This was the Raw after Wrestlemania 13 and Bret Hart had a few things he wanted to get off his chest, particularly to the American wrestling fans, coast to coast…
Raw 2.5 – 3.0 Nitro
On the surface it seems like Raw blew it this week. It was by far the better show and came hot on the heels of Wrestlemania. Nitro on the other hand was lacklustre, didn’t feature Hogan or Sting and only featured the nWo for a few minutes. WCW got away with it largely due to the mainstream media attention their signing of Dennis Rodman garnered.
You can read all previous ‘Meanwhile, in WCW’ posts here