This week back in 1997 saw Leicester City draw 1-1 with Middlesbrough in the Coca-Cola Cup final – Leicester won a replay. Cup finals going to replays?! I feel old for remembering those days! Anyway, it was a busy week in WCW with Booker T providing us with one of the most infamous bloopers in professional wrestling history. News on that, and much more, in this week’s ‘Meanwhile, in WCW’…
- How’s this for an angle? Arn Anderson, who is not currently active as a wrestler, was attacked in his hotel room a couple of weeks ago. There is no video footage of the attack, Arn did not get a good look at the attackers, nor see how many there where, and despite appearing on TV since, Arn has shown no ill-effects of the assault. Who attacked Arn Anderson? Who cares?!
- One person Arn has ruled out, however, is Kevin Sullivan. Arn said that he knows Sullivan too well and would have realised if it was him. He also stated why he let Sullivan walk passed him on Nitro, despite The Taskmaster having just fought with Anderson’s stable mates; Chris Benoit and Ric Flair. Apparently Arn was not allowing The Taskmaster to pass, more Kevin Sullivan. He made reference to the winding down of both of their careers by referencing their kids and talking about “life after wrestling”. This was the kind of stuff that fans today would applaud but, as this was a backstage promo from WCW Saturday Night in 1997, I’m not convinced fans in the arena were even listening.
- On Mean Gene’s WCW Hotline this week was the news of a big superstar from another promotion attending a recent WCW event. What could this mean for the superstar and for WCW? Well, the superstar in question was most likely ECW’s Rob Van Dam, who attended Nitro a few weeks ago. Hindsight will tell us that this helped RVD further his ‘Mr. Monday Night’ gimmick which led to him becoming ECW’s top star. As for WCW, RVD’s attendance at this show meant absolutely nothing, other than providing this week’s gossip for their hotline.
- The Giant cut a promo on Hollywood Hogan by referencing a shepherd’s pie while Lex Luger gave Harlem Heat “their due” but said he (or The Giant) would still win at Spring Stampede.
- There were sixteen matches on this card. However, due to an Atlanta Braves game, Saturday Night was only an hour long. The matches that didn’t air were either dark matches or shot for WCW Pro/Main Event.
- On the subject of matches recorded for WCW Main Event, the Women’s Cruiserweight Title Tournament match you see listed below was a semi-final. The Final was also recorded at a taping this week, to be aired in a couple of weeks. I am mentioning this now because – aside from airing the match on their C-Show – neither the title nor the tournament will be mentioned on WCW television again. For the record, Toshie Uematsu defeated Malia Hosaka to become the first of three WCW Women’s Cruiserweight Champions. She took the title back to her home promotion, GAEA Japan, where it was retired less than six months after being created.
- Malia Hosaka defeated Sonoko Kato in a WCW Women’s Cruiserweight Title Tournament Match.
- Rey Misterio Jr. defeated Chavo Guerrero Jr.
- Diamond Dallas Page defeated Scott Armstrong
- Prince Iaukea (c) defeated Squire David Taylor to retain the WCW Television Championship
- High Voltage defeated Ciclope & Galaxy
- Greg Valentine defeated Buddy Lee Parker
- Bobby Eaton defeated Lord Steven Regal by DQ
- The Faces of Fear defeated Big Al & T. Rantula
- Jeff Jarrett defeated Villano IV
- Maxx defeated Roger Boone
- Chris Jericho defeated Mr. JL
- Chris Benoit defeated Scotty Riggs
- Harlem Heat defeated Scott Armstrong & Steve Armstrong
- Hardbody Harrison vs. Kevin Sullivan ended in a No Contest
- Lex Luger & The Giant defeated The Power Company
- Hugh Morrus & Konnan defeated La Parka & Psicosis
This time last year Diamond Dallas Page was jobbing to The Booty Man in a feud that saw him lose a ‘loser leaves WCW’ match. How times have changed because this past week DDP main evented a WCW pay per view against Macho Man Randy Savage… and won. With the tag title match having to be re-booked, there was a question mark over which bout would headline Spring Stampede. Last week’s Nitro suggested that the four corners match would get the nod, but common sense prevailed and the most heated feud in WCW was given the top spot. After a wild brawl that spilled all over the arena, DDP landed a Diamond Cutter out of nowhere to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
However, with Savage being a member of the New World Order, there was of course more to this match than a simple clean finish. After Macho Man assaulted and piledrove original referee Mark Curtis, nWo referee Nick Patrick was drafted in as a sub. Patrick found himself between a rock and a hard place when DDP landed his Diamond Cutter because Macho Man was KO’d. After some reluctance Patrick did count the three, which infuriated Kevin Nash who was watching proceedings from the aisle. Nash entered the ring and grabbed Patrick, which sparked the rest of the nWo to hit the ring in an attempt to defuse the situation. This didn’t work because Big Lazy, I mean Sexy, hit Patrick with a huge Jacknife Powerbomb. Meanwhile, a revived Macho Man grabbed DDP’s wife, Kimberly, by the hair with the threat of more violence. Eric Bischoff put a stop to this, which infuriated Savage. All is not well in the nWo…
In Other News From Spring Stampede –
- As expected, Scott Hall was not present at the PPV, due to being in rehab. No mention of this was made on the broadcast, just that he is currently AWOL. At the start of the show it was announced that Nash was not allowed to draft in a substitute – i.e. Syxx. Later, we heard from Big Kev at his locker room door when he accepted a handicap match against The Steiner Brothers so long as Nick Patrick was assigned as referee. He closed by spitting on an already pumped up Scott Steiner, who was present behind a wall of security. This pushed Steiner over the edge who lost his shit and had to be taken down with mace, which was sprayed into his eyes. With Scott Steiner detained in handcuffs, the tag titles were contested in a singles match between Kevin Nash and Rick Steiner. With Patrick as ref and Syxx and Ted DiBiase at ringside, Nash used all the tricks of the trade to pick up the win. This did come at a cost though, as he appeared to fall out with DiBiase, who wanted Big Sexy to wrap up the match earlier than he did.
- Lex Luger won the four corners match and has thus earned a WCW Title match against Hollywood Hogan, at an unspecified date in the future. Weirdly, The Giant had the match in the palm of his hand and just needed to hit Stevie Ray with a Chokeslam, but he tagged Luger instead before encouraging The Total Package to put Stevie in the Torture Rack, which he duly did for the submission win.
- The Harlem Heat brothers did briefly face each other in the match, but kept things clean with traditional holds, reversals and rope running.
- Akira Hokuto defeated Madusa to retain the WCW Women’s Title after interference from Luna Vachon.
- Ric Flair was on hand to cut a promo. Firstly, he said that he will be cleared to wrestle on May 1st and invited Kevin Greene – our old friend from the Carolina Panthers – to join him and The Four Horsemen in a match. Weird, given that fellow Horseman Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael double crossed Greene last time he was in WCW. Anyway, Flair also wished Arn Anderson luck as he is set for neck surgery this week. Flair also appeared to call out the nWo for a fight, called Chris Benoit “a bad hombre” and said that he would fight Eric Bischoff with his hands tied behind his back if given the chance.
- Prince Iaukea managed to defeat Lord Steven Regal to retain his TV Title, but copped a beating after the decision.
- Rocco Rock smacked Jeff Jarrett with Mongo’s briefcase while Double J had Johnny Grunge in the Figure Four Leg Lock. Mongo was arguing with the referee which inadvertently allowed the damage to be done to his partner. Thus, Jarrett was pinned while applying a Figure Four.
- Deep breathe, there’s a lot of bones to pick out of the US Title match between Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko. After a good ten minutes of action, Jacqueline showed up and started a fight with Woman. Jimmy Hart was also present and for some reason grabbed hold of the US Title. This seemed to alert Eddie Guerrero, who was wearing a sling and showed up to tell Jimmy to put the belt back. Arn Anderson then came out and smacked Malenko, in a bid to aid Benoit. He was swiftly followed by Kevin Sullivan, who Arn again allowed to pass without physical confrontation. Obviously, Sullivan smacked Anderson’s Horseman team mate; Benoit. I think the ref threw the match out at this point, after which The Dungeon of Doom contingent threw the US Title belt over Guerrero’s shoulder and forcefully ushered him away to make it look like Eddie had stolen the belt and had joined the stable. Afterwards, Malenko could be heard saying to Benoit “he wasn’t supposed to be here”, at which The Crippler seemed to agree. By my count there were at least four feuds intertwined in this one and that’s not counting Benoit vs. Malenko, you know, the actual match in the ring.
- Now to that promo. I watched a VHS version, which dubbed over Booker T’s use of the ‘N’ word with the term “sucka”. Bizarrely, the full, unedited version of the promo is available on the the WWE Network. Booker has since stated that he simply got carried away in the heat of the moment. Apparently he received no heat for his slip of the tongue, which luckily for Booker occurred on PPV and not on TBS or TNT where WCW have strict PG guidelines. He even received reassurance from Hogan, whom his comment was directed towards. Hulk Hogan, okay with use of the ‘N’ word?! Get out of town!
- Rey Mysterio, Jr. defeated Ultimo Dragon
- Akira Hokuto (c) defeated Madusa to retain the WCW Women’s Championship
- Prince Iaukea (c) defeated Lord Steven Regal to retain the WCW Television Championship
- The Public Enemy defeated Jeff Jarrett & Steve McMichael (w/ Debra)
- Dean Malenko (c) fought Chris Benoit to a no contest in a WCW United States Championship Match
- Kevin Nash (c) defeated Rick Steiner to retain the WCW Tag Team Championship
- Lex Luger defeated The Giant, Booker T & Stevie Ray in a WCW World Heavyweight Title #1 Contendership Four Corners Match
- Diamond Dallas Page defeated Macho Man Randy Savage (w/ Miss Elizabeth in a No Disqualification Match
The troubles within the New World Order appear to have been ironed out, for now. The group sorted out their “family business” the way most families do; on national television. After Hogan, Bischoff, DiBiase and Vincent arrived in a separate Limousine from the rest of the group, the two factions first went head to head backstage before hitting the ring. Hogan accused Nash of having a problem with him and Dennis Rodman. Big Lazy refuted these claims and apologised for being “grouchy” last week, but his death stare still led Hogan to challenge the big man. Nash again diffused things by saying “I don’t have to love you to respect you” and stated that he is firmly on the same page as Hogan. The pair then shook hands the nWo way; by doing the too sweet hand gesture thing. In the other ‘family feud’, Savage said that Bischoff had gone soft while Easy E called Macho Man the problem, not the solution. Dad Hogan then forced his two boys to make amends, which they did. Macho Man proposed the idea of he and Bischoff being on ‘probation’ with each other, which seemed to sit well with all concerned.
In Other News From Nitro –
- Referencing his lowly position this time last year, DDP – who was wearing some kind of shoulder support – called himself an anomaly before calling Savage out for dragging Kimberly around by her hair the previous evening. Macho Man – who was on crutches – answered the call, but Hogan stepped in to take his place. Sting then descended from the ceiling to head off the nWo and join DDP in the ring.
- We saw footage of Dennis Rodman hanging out with Hogan at the premiere of his film; Double Team, which was the real reason for Hogan missing last week’s show and the kayfabe reason for the likes of DiBiase, Bischoff and Vincent being absent. Rodman said that he is coming on July 13th. That would be the date for this year’s Bash at The Beach…
- It would appear that Ric Flair, Roddy Piper and Kevin Greene – The Carolina Panthers guy – are all bros and are all up for a fight, presumably against the nWo sometime in May…
- Prior to Scott Steiner’s scheduled match with The Giant, Konnan and Hugh Morrus attacked Steiner until they were fended off by The Giant.
- High Voltage scored a massive upset by cleanly defeating the Public Enemy. After the match, Rock and Grunge challenged the jacked up duo to a Philadelphia Street Fight next week when Nitro is live from Philly. The former ECW tag team promised to “get extreme”…
- The Ultimo Dragon defeated Prince Iaukea to win the TV Title. Iaukea had earlier made the save for Rey Mysterio Jr, who copped a beating from Lord Steven Regal after their bout. In making the save, Iaukea got a kicking of his own. Thus, he was a sitting duck for Dragon who easily overcame the injured champion.
- Dean Malenko defeated Chris Jericho with a vicious kick to the face. Jericho sold it like he had broken his nose.
- Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael showed up half way through his and Jeff Jarrett’s match with Harlem Heat. He took a tag from Jarrett but tagged back out before Jarrett had time to recover from his previous beating and was easily pinned. As per usual, the pair argued afterwards while Mean Gene and Debra attempted to moderate.
- Hugh Morrus & Konnan defeated Alex Wright & Psychosis
- Rey Misterio Jr. defeated Lord Steven Regal by DQ
- Chris Benoit defeated Ice-Train
- Kevin Sullivan defeated Hector Guerrero
- Dean Malenko (c) defeated Chris Jericho to retain the WCW United States Championship
- High Voltage defeated The Public Enemy
- Harlem Heat defeated Jeff Jarrett & Steve McMichael
- Ultimo Dragon defeated Prince Iaukea (c) to win the WCW Television Championship
“HULK HOGAN, WE COMIN’ FOR YOU NI**A!”
- Who attacked Arn Anderson in his hotel room? Apparently the plan is to reveal that fellow Horseman Chris Benoit was responsible. The plan would then be for Benoit to form his own Horsemen group to go up against Flair’s Horsemen. This all sounds plausible because the Benoit/Anderson relationship has been strained somewhat due to Double A softening his stance on Kevin Sullivan, who is Benoit’s current nemesis. Moreover, the wrestlers who could join Benoit are rumoured to be Dean Malenko, Chris Jericho and Lord Steven Regal. We’ve already seen a few respectful encounters between Benoit and Malenko, with Dean also starting an angle with Jericho this week. If Regal could could be worked into the angle then what a stable this could be…
- Despite Flair, Piper and Kevin Greene acting like best buds, the current plan for Slamboree in May is to have Piper and Flair team up to face a team featuring Greene. Obviously this suggests a Greene heel turn at some point, but the show will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina where Flair is essentially a god and Greene himself would be a massive fan favourite due to playing for the Carolina Panthers. Steve McMichael and Jeff Jarrett have also been mentioned as part of this match, but not as partners…
- WCW have finally developed a firm vision for Sting’s current angle. The new plan is to hold off until Starrcade in December, at which point he will challenge Hollywood Hogan in a match billed as the biggest in WCW history. Sounds like a good plan to me…
- Here’s a weird, and completely false, rumour that actually made the pages of The National Enquirer; Rey Mysterio Jr. is said to be dating Jennifer Aniston i.e. Rachel from Friends. It’s total bullshit but was invented to get Rey some mainstream publicity because WCW is said to have big plans for the little man.
Over on Raw, Bret Hart’s recent heel turn allowed Shawn Michaels to unload with the heavy artillery in a scathing promo, without fear of publicly tarnishing the reputation of another babyface. I have a feeling The Hitman will respond to HBK’s comments at some point in the near future, and not necessarily by speaking…
Raw 2.8 – 3.65 Nitro
Ratings for Raw and Nitro are steadily increasing. Don’t get carried away though, it’s not until later in the year that Raw, and Nitro especially, routinely score these kinds of numbers or higher. Both shows have a ways to go to keep pace with shows like Friends, which despite drawing a below average rating still scored a whopping 16.3 with The One With The Dollhouse.
You can read all previous ‘Meanwhile, in WCW’ posts here