It was quite a week for wrestling 20 years ago. ECW, America’s third largest promotion, staged it’s very first pay per view – Barely Legal – at the ECW Arena in Philadelphia. The following night, WCW rolled into town and staged a live Nitro at the CoreStates Spectrum down the road. Let’s find out what happened, and if anyone made reference to ECW’s bold step forward, in this week’s ‘Meanwhile, in WCW’…
- After last week’s mysterious exchange between Dean Malenko and Chris Benoit where Malenko told Benoit “he wasn’t supposed to be here”, both men were tight lipped regarding who “he” was. Both men also spoke well of each other in their respective promos, with The Iceman offering The Crippler another shot at his US Title whenever he wants.
- Changing gears, Malenko again claimed to be onto Eddie Guerrero by saying he could “fool some of the people some of the bime”. No, that’s a not typo. Malenko has also regained possession of the US Title belt after The Dungeon of Doom forced Guererro to steal it from him last week.
- Benoit focussed the rest of his promo time on his nemesis; Kevin Sullivan. He again said that he and The Taskmaster are similar and compared their feud to a “slow bleed”, only he has “more blood to give”. Very graphic.
- The show ended with Benoit getting a quick, cheap shot at Sullivan, who, along with the rest of The Dungeon of Doom, gave Hardbody Harrison a kicking.
- The Giant claims to have developed a conscience, which is why he repaid Lex Luger’s faith in him by literally stepping aside to let The Total Package win last week’s four corners number one contender match.
- On the WCW hotline this week was the news of a new gang or group potentially heading to WCW…
- Stevie Ray debuted a new finisher. It was either a slightly botched top rope powerslam, a really botched top rope piledriver or a completely botched something else.
- Steven Regal used a piledriver followed by his brutal Regal stretch to beat Bobby Eaton. He continued his assault on Beautiful Bobby after the bell too.
- Big Al – who also appeared on Nitro this week too – is the artist formally known as Tombstone. If that still means nothing to you then he is probably most famous for appearing in ECW as 911.
- Dusty Rhodes gave a shout out to his son, Cody, who is nursing a broken leg. According to The Dream, young Cody is a massive WCW fan and quite the amateur wrestler.
- Chris Jericho defeated Mr. JL
- Greg Valentine defeated Buddy Lee Parker
- The Faces of Fear defeated Big Al & T. Rantula
- Jeff Jarrett defeated Villano IV
- Maxx defeated Roger Boone
- High Voltage defeated Ciclope & Galaxy
- 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
With Hollywood Hogan absent, Kevin Nash led the nWo as they gate-crashed the announce desk. Big Sexy called Hogan “The Godfather” and said that if number one contender, Lex Luger, wants a shot at the champ, he’ll have to go through him first. This encounter formed our main event, but guess what? The match was thrown out when the rest of the nWo interfered as soon as Luger gained the upper hand. This prompted Diamond Dallas Page to make the save until he was overcome by the nWo’s numbers advantage. The Giant then tried to get involved, but Kevin Nash produced a lead pipe from somewhere to make the big man think twice. Finally, Sting showed up with his baseball bat collection. He shared the hardware with the WCW guys and they easily took the ring from the nWo squad. The Stinger did manage to get a shot in at Nash too, before the baddies ran away to close the show. So, did Luger go throw Nash or will he have to try again…?
In Other News From Nitro –
- We’ve been given an explanation as to why Eric Bischoff, who is supposed to be suspended from WCW, keeps appearing on Nitro with the nWo, as he did this week. Easy E has apparently hired lawyers to dispute his suspension, thus it’s a big legal mess. I’m paraphrasing, but Tony Schiavone did describe the situation – which is total storyline – as “a mess”. The upshot is that there will be an announcement to clarify just what the hell is going on next week.
- Chris Benoit copped a beating from The Dungeon of Doom after defeating The Barbarian, with a top rope splash of all things. Jeff Jarrett and Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael did eventually make the save, but not before Kevin Sullivan and Jacqueline both got their shots in. In keeping with recent form, Benoit no-sold the beating in a subsequent promo by saying of Sullivan “soon the sun will set on your career”.
- Nitro was in Philadelphia, thus the crowd was rather lively, especially considering ECW hosted its first ever PPV just 24 hours earlier. The botch-fest between Rey Mysterio Jr. and Juventud Guerrera was subject to “E C Dub” chants while the Philly Street Fight between The Public Enemy and High Voltage was exactly as expected i.e. weapons and tables galore, no blood though.
- Ric Flair, Rowdy Roddy Piper and Kevin Greene will face three, as yet, unnamed members of the nWo at Slamboree. Piper accused Bischoff and the rest of the stable of being gay, Greene called the nWo “rookies” and Ric Flair discussed his history in wrestling. As an aside, he mentioned a certain Angelo Poffo, who he said would be disappointed in the actions of his son; Macho Man Randy Savage.
- As if one football player wasn’t enough, it was announced that Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael will face Reggie White of the Green Bay Packers at Slamboree, for some reason. Mongo cut a heel promo on White and the Philadelphia crowd by pointing out that White – who used to play for the Philadelphia Eagles – won his Superbowl ring with Green Bay. This prompted White, who was sat in the front row, to enter the ring only to be spat on by Mongo. The pair had to be separated.
- Dean Malenko refused to release his submission on Hector Guerrero, which prompted little brother Eddie to get in Dean’s face. Eddie is still in a sling from a legit injury though, so don’t expect a match between the two any time soon.
- Having been ousted from the New World Order, Nick Patrick is petitioning to be reinstated as a WCW referee.
- Macho Man appeared in the crowd to taunt Diamond Dallas Page by telling him to tell Kimberly to stop calling him. Savage could have just done it himself; Mrs Dallas Page was standing right there.
- DDP and Chris Benoit received the biggest pops of the night. Public Enemy were also well received, ditto Dean Malenko. The Philly crowd also wanted to get behind Rey Mysterio and Juvi, but as stated earlier, their match was full of blown spots which killed the crowd.
- Speaking of blown spots; between them, Sister Sherri and Debra managed to make a complete mess of a spot where Sherri tried to hit Debra with Mongo’s briefcase. Firstly, they clearly positioned themselves in the wrong corner and had to awkwardly reposition themselves to the other side while Jeff Jarrett and Booker T were trying to wrestle each other. Sherri was then supposed to swing, and miss, Debra with the briefcase and hit the ropes instead. Thus, Sherri would have hit herself with the weapon as it recoiled. Unfortunately, Sherri merely glanced the ropes with the briefcase and as a result nailed Debra as Mrs McMichael tried to duck. With no momentum to recoil, Sherri weakly just hit herself on the head with the weapon before falling over in the least coordinated fashion I’ve ever seen. Fans couldn’t chant “you f*cked up” because they couldn’t figure out what was supposed to happen, and thus didn’t know if anyone had messed up.
- Luna, who reminded us that she is the number one contender to the Women’s Title, cut a promo on Madusa, who is not the Women’s Champion.
- Chris Benoit defeated The Barbarian (w/ Jimmy Hart)
- Dean Malenko (c) defeated Hector Guerrero to retain the WCW United States Championship
- Rey Misterio Jr. defeated Juventud Guerrera
- Ultimo Dragon (c) (w/ Sonny Onoo) defeated Lane Carlson to retain the WCW Television Championship
- Syxx (c) defeated Prince Iaukea to retain the WCW World Cruiserweight Championship (5:41)
- The Public Enemy defeated High Voltage in a Tag Team Street Fight
- The Giant defeated Big Al
- Diamond Dallas Page (w/ Kimberly) defeated Konnan
- Jeff Jarrett & Steve McMichael (w/ Debra) defeated Harlem Heat (w/ Sister Sherri) by DQ
- Lex Luger defeated Kevin Nash (w/ Buff Bagwell, Michael Wallstreet, nWo Sting, Scott Norton, Syxx, Ted DiBiase & Vincent) by DQ
“Oh! Syxx telegrammed one!”
- Following last week’s WCW Hotline story about Rob Van Dam attending Nitro last month, Paul Heyman and the rest of the team at ECW are consigned to losing RVD. Van Dam has apparently given his word that he will work with the group until a specified date, rumoured to be in June.
- Macho Man’s ankle injury is legit and could sideline him for several months. As seen over the last two week’s however, WCW seem intent not to abandon his feud with Diamond Dallas Page.
- As suspected, Kevin Nash’s show closing rant the other week about “Little Napoleons” backstage in WCW was not scripted. This was a shoot remark directed towards Kevin Sullivan, the WCW booker. Apparently Nash was supposed to run down Hogan and Bischoff for being absent at Nitro – which he did – and Scott Hall for also being absent – which Nash refused to do. Nash is said to be the most vocal member of ‘the Hogan camp’ backstage in WCW.
- Prior to Spring Stampede last week, Steven Regal, Chris Benoit and Woman were involved in a car accident. A drunk driver smashed into the side of Regal’s car as the group of the WCW performers left the gym together. Despite the car rolling over a couple times and Benoit sustaining a gash on his hand, everyone was said to be okay, albeit shaken up.
- Rey Mysterio Jr. has become a dad for the first time. The joke in the locker room is that Rey’s son weighed more than Kevin Nash’s son did when he was born.
This week’s Raw was partially staged in South Africa and featured technical and audio problems. The action in the ring was not up to much either. But hey, if you want to read what happens, rather than actually watch it, Craig has just what you need here.
Raw 2.2 – 3.45 Nitro
Back to reality, and with Easter this weekend ratings were down slightly for both Raw and Nitro.
You can read all previous ‘Meanwhile, in WCW’ posts here