• Scheduled Card:
1. Respect Match: Psicosis vs. Ultimate Dragon.
2. Number One Contenders Match for the WCW World Tag Team Championship: Harlem Heat vs. The Steiners.
3. Konnan vs. Hugh Morrus
4. Wrath vs. Glacier.
5. Title vs. Career Match for the WCW Women’s Championship: Madusa vs. Akira Hokuto (c).
6. Death Match: Chris Benoit vs. Meng.
7. Steve McMichael vs. Kevin Greene.
8. WCW World Tag Team Championship: Ric Flair & Roddy Piper vs. The Outsiders (c).
9. Non-sanctioned, No Disqualification, Falls Count Anywhere in the Building, Must be a Winner Match: Macho Man Randy Savage vs. Diamond Dallas Page.
• Follow me on Twitter - @RingCrewReviews
• We get some right, white, and blue bullshit proclaiming DDP to be the heir apparent to Dusty as the working man who has reached the American Dream. IT’S SAVAGE! PAGE! PART II! GAB!
• Tony, Brain, and Dust in his signature red leather coat are on the crew. Double main event with Flair and Piper going after the Outsiders and the tag gold and of course, Savage and DDP going at it again. Dust puts over how Page and DDP are “mirror images of each other” but before anyone can challenge that statement, we’re off to the first match.
• Respect Match: Psicosis vs. Ultimate Dragon. Psicosis is joined by Sonny Onoo. Last month, Onoo turned on Dragon during his losing effort against Regal and now, he wants respect and has hired gun, Psicosis, to help him beat it out of Dragon. Dragon is face after having his heel manager, Onoo, ditch him last month for not getting enough.
• Psicosis wants a timeout so he can talk over some last minute strategery with Onoo. That pristine advice was to get armdragged by Dragon and fly to the floor and into the guardrail in the process. Crowd is fired up as Onoo and Psi claim that UD went for his hair. Back in, Psi with a drop toe hold as they go through some chain. Dragon bridges and flips out of a wristlock and armdrags Psi to the floor again to another big pop. Psi stalls a bit as the crowd is chanting for DRAGONDRAGONDRAGON. Back in, UD wants a test of strength and Psi avoids to spit on him. They shove it out and then UD walks into Psi’s not-so-waiting arms and then Psi remembers that OH YEAH, TIME FOR MY HEADLOCK SPOT, BRO! Psi then cinches it in. Dragon sends him off and eats a shoulderblock. UD tries a leap frog but Psi sniffs it out and lays him out and the crowd is getting all over him. Psi sends him off and telegraphs a trip so UD elbows him and the crowd EXPLODES! Who knew Dragon was so over considering last month at Slamboree he was getting booed against REGAL of all people?
• UD goes to the chops and then gets sent off for his handstand spot and he kicks Psi down. Time for Dragon’s kick combo. Crowd goes apeshit and even Dragon seems surprised but he’s fired up, feeding off their energy. Psi bails out and works the count. UD leads a chorus with the crowd counting along to 10 and then says it’s over that he should win by countout, but it was too fast. Back in, UD gets Psi up in the inverted fireman’s carry backbreaker and the crowd wants Ultimo to run for president. This is like Leslie Neilsen calling strikes pops. He can’t go wrong.
• UD telegraphs a backdrop and Psi goes to work with a boot and corner clothesline. He sends off Dragon and dropkicks him down. Dragon comes back with a backdrop and knocks Psi off the apron with a Stun Gun. UD goes for a plancha but wipes out. Psi distracts the ref, so Onoo can work over Dragon with some taekwondo. Dragon tries to reason with the ref and Psi baseball slides him to capitalize. Back in, Psi hangs him in the ropes for the guillotine leg drop which sends Dragon to the floor. Cool spot as always. Back in, Psi goes to some back elbow in the corner as the crowd rallies behind UD. Drop toe hold and La Magistral gets 1, 2, 2 ½. Backbreaker and another cover gets 2 as Psi has his feet on the ropes and the ref catches it. He shitcans out Dragon and Onoo tries the kicks again but Dragon blocks and the crowd wants him to kick Onoo’s ass BAD! Unfortunately, Psi breaks all that up with a plancha. Dragon flips out of a backdrop and kicks Psi a few times.
• He fires up for the handspring back elbow and Dragon sends off Psi. Psi runs off the wrong ropes and they have to stop and redo the whole sequence, so Psi can get caught in an anti-Newtonian roll up into a monkey flip to the floor. That whole sequence was odd. Asai moonsault and the crowd loves it. Back in, brainbuster gets 1, 2, 2.99 from Dragon. UD spikes him with a Tombstone and covers again for 1, 2, 2.99999999999. Psi avoids a backdrop in the corner and springboards in with a spinwheel kick that sends Dragon to the floor. Psi won’t let him get far and leap frogs the post and DIVES OUT WITH A PLANCHA! NICE! In the ring, Dragon tries a rana but Psi rolls through for 1, 2, kickout. Psi tries a double jump moonsault but Dragon cuts him off with a dropkick only for both to go down. Dragon cues up the top rope rana and the Tiger suplex but Onoo distracts. Psi with a missile dropkick in the meantime and he says it’s over. Cover gets 1, 2, no. Onoo wants the goods and wants them now but UD counters and Psi eats the spinkick instead. Psicosis careens back into the Dragon Sleeper and he’s out at 14:12.
• One of the best crowds of all time elevates a rather sloppy affair. Their timing and rhythm was off here and there and they only had a few high spots to counter it all. Less of a cruiserweight or lucha match, and more of a traditional face-heel match, but the crowd was just off the charts. ***
• Number One Contenders Match for the WCW World Tag Team Championship: Harlem Heat vs. The Steiners. Tony says that he’s never seen things as tense between these two teams that he labels “old rivals.” Stevie: “TONIGHT, WE NUMBER ONE WITH A BULLET, SUCKA! NOW, CAN YOU DIG THAT?!” Of course, rather than talk up this feud, Dust sidesteps to talk about how the Steiners should still be champs because they were screwed by Bischoff after defeating The Outsiders. That’s great and everything, but that was back in January. This is JUNE. You’d figure in the last six months, something of note in the division would have taken place, but I guess that barnburner against Konnan and Hugh Morrus last month didn’t get the Executive Committee and watercooler talk going.
• I give Dust a hard time, but occasionally he comes through big time. Dust: “Ya know, let me tell ya something else, too. Any major contest where there’s big money involved, there’s also a ring or a trophy or a belt or some type of gold at the end of that. BELIEVE ME! Each and every one of our athletes that steps in, here, at WCW has one thing in mind: that is to be the World’s Heavyweight Wrestling Champion. Hollywood Hogan, world’s champion. Right now, Hall and Nash, world’s tag team champions. Flair and Piper goin’ after it later on. But, believe me, these two teams, right here, this match, right here, will determine who moves on up to face the winner of that big match up later.” Tony takes over to talk about how it’s important for a team here to get a pinfall or a submission. Oh, please, God, don’t let this end in a DQ or countout. ANYWAY, to the match.
• Scotty and Stevie to start. Scott with an easy takedown and some stiff forearms to Stevie’s head. Stevie’s all SUCKA and Scotty’s all HUH and they lock up. Scott drives him in to the corner where Stevie hiptosses him. Stevie yells some smack about 110th street and Scotty applies a headlock. Stevie sends him off and they collide on a shoulderblock. Scott doesn’t like the no sell so he pastes Stevie back and the crowd loves that. Stevie responds by elbowing him down in the corner and the crowd loves that, too. Stevie sends him off for the FOOT TO THE FACE. He tries it again only to get hooked with a gargoyle suplex. Scott’s fired up and Book feeds in only to get cleaned out as well. Steiners clear the ring for their pose. HH regroups and decides that they want Rick. He tries to step through the ropes. Brain: “YOU GOTTA TAG FIRST, STUPID!” Dust: “He wouldn’t stupid there, Brain. A guy just called his hand.” Tony: “I can tell you this: Rick Steiner is not stupid. He’s a little different, a little odd.” Brain: “DIFFERENT?! LOOK AT HIS SHOES!” Rick just so happens to be worrying mismatched shoes. ANYWAY, Rick tags in and Stevie kicks him around and he goes to the CLUBBINGBLOWS. Rick comes back with a powerslam and again the Steiners clear the ring. They regroup again and Book’s in this time. He wants Scott and gets him after a blind tag. He waffles Book back to the corner. Book wants some more so he can unleash the TEST OF STRENGTH! After arguing about who looks better, they lock up and Scott gets the advantage before Book boots away down and applies a headlock. Scott tries a suplex but Book lands on his feet. Book applies a MasterLock. Scott fires up to overpower him and elbow free. Book cuts him off with a knee to the solar plexus. Scott comes back and wants the butterfly suplex and hits it.
• Rick tags in but Book goes to the eyes. Rick no sells for a suplex and covers for 1, 2, no. Rock goes to the GnP and tags in Scott. Scott with a press slam and Tony races to play up the athleticism of the entire company. Tony: “You are seeing the GREATEST ATHLETES IN THE WORLD RIGHT HERE ON THE GREAT AMERICAN BASH!” Unfortunately for Tony, Book blows the next spot facing the wrong corner thus leaving Scotty hanging out to dry to basically dive off into nothing and collapse on his own. High comedy. Tony: “Oh boy… That time, Scott, in mid-stream, realized he was too far away.” Dust: “He still caught him, though.” No, he didn’t. ANYWAY, cue up the Spinaroonie and the Harlem Sidekick. Brain: “COVER! COVER HIM AND YOU GOT IT!” Dust: “Well, he’s—uhhh—he’s a little winded, too. Ya know, when—uhhh-you do that… spin around thing on the floor and then the Harlem Sidekick, you go to be ready to cover. Brain’s right.” Cactus clothesline takes both out. Scott takes over and takes Book into the rail. Back in, Scott’s blown up and tags in Rick. Book tries to signal for some cheating in a cool spot but Rick sniffs it out and knocks Stevie off the apron. Thankfully, Book dumps out Rick as well. On the floor, Stevie botches a superkick, but he makes up for it by potato-ing the hell outta Rick. He just punches the shit outta him. He then suplexes him on the floor. Stevie then bowls over him with a clothesline. Back in, Book covers for 1, 2, kickout. Stevie in for some punches and a fuckin’ CAPTAIN MORGAN HIGH KNEE! MOVESET! OH MY! Book catches him and snaps him over the top rope behind the ref’s back. Stevie knocks Scott off the ropes and that sets up a Hart Attack/Harlem Sidekick. HH poses to boos. All along, Tony has been unintentionally burying Scott’s cardio, arguing that he should have been in to break up the double team but is still on the floor. Book goes to the punches but Rick cuts him off with a half powerbomb. Rick is blown sky high and stalls by barking before falling over for the hot tag to Scotty. Scott in with clotheslines and slams for HH. Belly to belly suplex gets 1, 2, broken up and it’s a donnybrook. Steiners get the advantage with this. Scott and Book alone in the ring. Scott nails the top rope Frankensteiner. BUT WAIT! VINCENT HAS COME OUT! He drops an elbow on Stevie right in front of the ref and it’s a DQ at 12:01.
• Post-match, Vincent tries throwing them dap claiming Black Power but no dice. Book: “WE DID IT! WE THE #1 CONTENDERS!” Vincent sticks around a little too long to gloat. The Steiners get hold of him and clothesline him down and he takes the top rope bulldog.
• I am just a sucker (no pun intended) for Harlem Heat. Their yammering promos on the way to the ring; their clubbering, borderline clumsy style; their cheap yet effective cheating. More on that, it’s not just forearms and elbows and suplexes here. HH know how to rile up the crowd by taking a knee and huddling up or by cheating behind the ref’s back or tripping the face up off a whip or calling off one face to challenge the other. They’re not the Kangaroos or anything, but it’s just tough-nose brawling and it’s fun. The Steiners are their usually no selling, ring clearing, getting blown up, suplexing selves. It’s two blunt instruments trying to thread a needle; it ain’t pretty, but it’s just fun to watch. Booking of the ending sucked, but it made sense at least as the Outsiders would try to pick their opponents.***
• This would be Sherri’s last major appearance with WCW until a few more dates in 2000.
• Konnan vs. Hugh Morrus. Hugh and Konnan were both in the DOD. They tagged for about a month and about 5 matches total just to get feed to the Steiners last month. Konnan turned on Hugh post-match and well, here we are. Dust: “THIS MATCHUP HERE IS GOING TO BE A HOSTILE SITUATION! LET’S PUT IT LIKE THAT!” Hugh: “AWWW SHUCKY DUCKY!” You’d think that Konnan turning on the DOD would make him a face, but this is just heel-heel and the crowd cares about neither. Thankfully, the DOD would be jettisoned for good next month at BATB.
• Hugh with a big clothesline to start and the crowd can dig that. Konnan goes up and over and rolls backward into a dropkick. Hugh’s fired up and follows up with a shitty STO into some GnP. Konnan kicks him off for a PALM THRUST! SHITCAN! Man, this is trash already. On the floor, Konnan kicks the hamstring and tosses him into the stairs. Konnan yells ARRIBE LA RAZA for the fifth time or so but no one cares. Dust: “Konnan, so many years, so respected throughout the world, loved by many, just as Hollywood Hulk Hogan, turned his back on the nation, the world, the universe, Konnan went back to his roots, he said. But I guarantee ya, the attitude that he has doesn’t really set well with the fans we have.” Thanks for that. Rolling clothesline gets 1, 2, shoulder up. Chinlock time to slow things down. Seated dropkick and another. Konnan wants an STF but Hugh doesn’t have the flexibility so he switches to a half crab and kind of holds his wrist in place awkwardly. Konnan hooks the arm with his leg and Hugh’s had enough of this “breather” so he gets the ropes. Konnan then moves in slowly toward his head and Hugh positions himself and then uses Konnan to help him up for some punches. Tony charitably labels this: “THE QUICKNESS OF HUGH MORRUS! LOOKATTHAT!” Hugh then boots him to the floor and tosses him into the stairs. Back in, Hugh with a spinwheel kick and covers for a nearfall. Hugh is laboring here and hooks in a half ab stretch and then falls forward into the mat losing his leverage but no one cares. After a spell, Hugh blocks a hiptoss and gutwrenches Konnan down. Double KO. Time to take it home, fellas. Hugh covers for another 2 count. MOARRESTHOLD! Hugh, at least, is focusing on the arm at this point, but one of the hottest crowds ever is restless.
• Konnan sniffs out a backdrop and clubs him down as Hugh blows the clothesline spot. Konnan botches a Stump Puller and even Brain notes that Hugh doesn’t have range of motion for that one. These two are huffing and puffing while Konnan sits on his back pretending to wrench the neck. God awful. Hugh can’t even sit up and falls over and Konnan is forced to switch holds into a triangle choke. Konnan is out of position so he just starts yanking on Hugh’s hair in front of the referee but no one cares except the crew. The ref finally sees it and forces a release as they continue this interpretative dance entitled, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up: A Meditation on Breathlessness by Hugh Morrus.” Now, it’s an armbar but the crowd is dead. Konnan starts kicking him in the head and just lets go as he realizes Hugh’s a sack of shit, tonight. They go through a TERRIBLE sequence of busted counters, botches, haymakers, and Hugh going for an armbar. Konnan rolls through as the match drags on into its 40s and the inevitable mid-life crisis. Dust: “THEY ARE BIG MEN! DRAINED! BIG MEN THAT ARE DRAINED!” Konnan tries a wheelbarrow roll up out of the corner but Hugh ain’t so limber when fresh and this is the longest 10 minutes of his life and of course, can’t roll back. Konnan drags him back into anyway for 1, 2, KICKOUT! THE AGONY! TAKE A HINT, YOU BASTARDS! This match might achieve the unthinkable where each 30 seconds is somehow worse than the previous 30 seconds and it ends at its worst. Hugh with a powerslam and he wants the No Laughing Matter. The crowd comes alive at the thought of this ending. Hugh and Konnan can’t get on the same page if he’s supposed to whiff or crotch him so they just are suspended in carbonite indefinitely waiting for SOMETHING. Konnan takes the initiative and dumps him to the mat. A deadlift German and Konnan rolls him into something resembling the Tequila Sunrise. Hugh’s out cold or wishes he was and the ref calls for the bell at 10:33.
• I doubt if Hugh Morrus has caught his breath to this day after that shitshow. This is like 03RR Steiner territory. I’ve seen worse matches, but that’s undoubtedly one of the worst showings and cardio displays I’ve ever seen. They weren’t even doing anything that was that exhausting. It was just 10 minutes of punch-kick-hold-slam and Hugh musta had the 12 ounce curls going overtime after his split from tag work, because he had NOTHING. Konnan wasn’t exactly pristine either, but unlike Flair, he didn’t have to carry a broomstick, he had to carry a fire hydrant and it was ugly. -*
• Meanwhile, Schemin’ Gene offers some spittle about the hotline and that a certain someone from a certain organization may show up a certain day if their certain potentials with their certain organization don’t pan out. Allegedly. You don’t get any more concrete than that. It would be Raven but he wouldn’t re-debut for a couple more weeks.
• Gene then welcomes Public Enemy and they, of course, bring out a table. Brain says they should put Gene through it. Rocco and Grunge cut a terrible promo, trying to be both homers and arguing that they should be number 1 contenders. They’re afraid of Harlem Heat… NOT! That caps off the worst 15 minutes of my life.
• Wrath vs. Glacier. Last month at Slamboree after a grueling 90 second contest, Wrath interfered to beatdown Glacier and prevent him from getting the victory over Mortis. According to Tenay, the Championship Committee has been hard at work all month and they’ve come up with a solution just as the PPV hit air: Mortis will be handcuffed at ringside to prevent interference. Also, apparently, Wrath, Mortis, and Vandenberg are known as the Trio of Terror. Brain mentions that a few weeks ago, Vandenberg tried to buy The Elephant Man’s remains from Michael Jackson and made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. Tenay sidesteps but puts over how Vandenberg is not a manager, per say, but a “collector of curious oddities.” Tony: “So far in the wars of WCW, Glacier is undefeated, but Glacier being undefeated does not mean he’s unbeaten. He’s been beaten many times by Wrath and Mortis.” One more thing, Tenay elaborates on the elaborate history behind Glacier’s history and his helmet that was a gift from his sensei and how Glacier viewed it as his championship belt. Currently, Wrath and Mortis have it. If all that doesn’t get you up for this match, I don’t know what will.
• Lockup and Wrath goes to the neck and follows up with some elbows to the gut. Tony mentions that just recently has Glacier graduated to being a “complete pro wrestler” while Wrath is known for his “great martial arts background.” This is pure insanity. Glacier tries some palm thrusts and he SWAT team rolls under a pump kick and lands another palm thrust. Wrath with a leap frog but turns his back on Glacier but Glacier doesn’t fall for that one… or something. Glacier with a hook kick and a dropkick and Wrath’s on the floor. Glacier is fired… iced up and hits a plancha to the floor right into some GnP strikes. Mitchell talks trash and backs into the corner where Mortis is tied up. Glacier avoids to hit the Cryo kick on Wrath. Wrath cuts him off and goes to work by sending him into the rail. Glacier counters and whips Wrath into the stairs. Vandenberg: “THERE’S TOO MUCH ON THE LINE!” Brain and Tenay fill up dead time describing Mortis’s backstory. Brain has heard through his sources that Mortis is ugly. Tenay, on the other hand, relays the story that Mortis used to be a grappler but was suspended so much he descended into the dark underworld of Bloodsport-style “pit fights in Europe.” But he returned to the states and the rules of WCW to get his hands on an “old nemesis”, Glacier. I wish I had a job writing the backstory for midcard jobbers and gimmicks. There are literally MORE THAN 10 JCVD movies worth of intrigue to go through. After that, you’ve got American Ninja, Gymkata, No Retreat, No Surrender, Best of the Best, Delta Force, Blood Fist, Magic Kid, American Samurai, etc. This feud could still be going today. ANYWAY, Glacier covers for 1, 2, foot on the ropes. More kicks and palm strikes. Glacier sends Wrath into Mortis’s handcuffed corner and he helps Wrath get out of the corner in a cool spot. Wrath wants a powerbomb but Glacier fights him off only to get alley ooped back into the ropes. Crowd is dead. Wrath kicks him around and goes to the chinlock. Brain puts over how personal this feud has gotten, like more chinlock. Vandenberg pounds the mat somewhere in the neighborhood of a 1000 times but the crowd still ain’t buying.
• Glacier tries to cool down but Wrath trips him back into the chinlock. Tony drifts into talking about EBD Nick Patrick and his probationary period and how he’s recovering nicely from his shady, cheating ways. Glacier elbows out and ducks a few clotheslines but whiffs on a crossbody in a decent sequence. Glacier flies out to the floor as Wrath admires his handiwork. Wrath follows up with a SWEET senton off the apron. Back in, Wrath this a flying clothesline off the top and he’s fired up. Foot on the chest gets 1, 2, shoulder up. Tenay: “We’ve seen some arrogant covers in the past, but that’s an all-timer.” Man, when Tenay is talking trash about you, you know you’re a heel. Glacier goozles him but Wrath knees him to escape. Rib breaker and Wrath heads up top. He tries a slingshot People’s Elbow but Glacier rolls under. He sweeps the leg and backdrops Wrath. Glacier is feeling it with a flying back elbow. Cover gets 1, 2, no. Wrath cuts him off with a side slam. Wrath says it’s over and heads up top. Glacier gets to his feet but stumbles back into Nick who lands on the ropes and crotches Wrath. Nick’s all WHAT THE FUCK, BRO, I WAS ALMOST OFF PROBATION! Glacier takes over with a superplex. Mortis tries distracting the ref but Glacier waffles him. Back suplex from Wrath to capitalize. Double KO spot. Vandenberg distracts while Mortis tosses the chain in the ring. He airmails it though and Glacier gets to it first. Glacier waffles Wrath with the chain as Vandenberg tries to steal the handcuff key from Patrick. But it’s too late. Cryo Kick gets 1, 2, 3 to win it at 12:01. Brain: “STILL UNDEFEATED!”
• The crowd wasn’t digging it, but they were in there working hard. It was well-booked with Mortis being handcuffed actually costing the heels. He still tried to interfere and it worked a few times. When Glacier avoided him, Wrath was still able to capitalize. It was just smart booking and timing with the gimmicks. Unfortunately, Glacier just isn’t very good and isn’t sympathetic as a face and no one really cares about the feud. Wrath (and Kanyon for that matter) was a talented guy who just needed the right gimmick and push to make it work and that would happen later.
• Is anybody lining up to watch this match? No. If you’re reading this, will you watch this match and/or did you like this match? Probably not. But again, they were working hard and nobody did anything massively stupid or botch-tastic or embarrassing. A decent match. **1/4
• Post-match, Vandenberg gets Mortis free. He handcuffs Glacier to the ropes and they put the boots to him.
• Title vs. Career Match for the WCW Women’s Championship: Madusa vs. Akira Hokuto (c). Lee Marshall joins the boys on commentary and he is AGHAST that Madusa would accept this stipulation knowing how binding wrestling contracts are and such. Akira is accompanied by Sonny Onoo and she’s wearing a white Tina Turner wig, a Fallout mask, and a combo geisha/LOD shoulder-pad outfitted attire, so you know she’s going places. Onoo pulls out the disposable camera for a selfie. Brain: “Madusa wants this one. She could be checking the want ads or honking through a speaker, ‘Do you want fries with that?’”
• Akira spits on her and hairtosses her around the ring which Lee completely no sells to finish his point. Awesome. Akira says she’s going to break her in half and goes to the CLUBBINGBLOWS and another hairtoss. These are CRAZY, like the most badass hairtosses of all time. She grinds the boot into Madusa’s hair and then brings her up to the top rope for a Sleeper. She picks up Madusa and then CHOKES HER! She stands on Madusa’s throat and mounts for GnP. Lee continues reading Madusa’s resume paying no attention to the match. Brain: “Madusa might make a mistake.” Lee: “Well, I don’t know if she’ll make a mistake. She’s been around since 1988 when she was PWI Rookie…” and off he goes. Akira pulls her around by the hair some more as the crowd gets behind Madusa and USA. SPIKE PILEDRIVER! Akira is a BEAST. She chokes Madusa some more and sends him off but Madusa comes back with a SLING BLADE! MISSILE DROPKICK! ANOTHER! 1, 2, foot on the ropes. Madusa backs her into the corner and goes to the boxing combo. She jumps on her head and now goes to pulling her by the hair. Akira cuts her off by going back to the throat. Snap suplex and she chokes with the foot for a bit and rather than cover, CHOKES SOME MORE! ARMBAR AND CHOKE! Another suplex from Akira and she wants the F4 but Madusa gets the ropes. Rather than release, Akira bites the feet. Madusa comes back with some sloppy kicks. Akira cuts her off with a small package for 1, 2, 2.99.
• Madusa handsprings to the apron and kicks Akira away and flies off but ghosts Akira on the double sledge. Madusa sells her knee on impact. Akira follows up with a kneebreaker and the Mexican surfboard. She releases and another suplex gets another 2 count. Madusa sells like hell though as she hobbles around and hits an anti-Newtonian rana off the top. ONE-LEGGED WILDBOMB! 1, 2, 2.99. Akira goes back to the hair and puts her up top to take over. Superplex gets 1, 2, shoulder up. Madusa tries to counter but Akira counters that into a slick kneebar. Madusa won’t give it up. USAUSAUSA! Madusa lunges and makes the ropes. Akira tries a missile dropkick but the knee gives and Madusa collapses out of the way. ONE LEGGED GERMAN! BRIDGE GETS 1, 2, ONOO GOES AFTER THE KNEE! NOOOOOOO! NOT THE KNEE! Madusa is giving the sell job of her life. Akira grinds the the good and the bad knee as Mickey Jay can’t get a break for the life of him. Akira heads up top again. She tries a splash but Madusa gets the knees up in an ugly spot but she’s still selling like hell. Clothesline gets 1, 2, no. Madusa tries an atomic drop but her knee collapses. Snow plow and Madusa is retired at 11:42.
• Madusa sold the leg like crazy and Akira just was crazy. One of the better women matches I've seen in a while with a good story, psychology, a sympathetic babyface, and stakes. Surprised the crowd wasn't more into it because it had the requisite red, white, and blue angle right there. ***
• Post-match, Gene ups the dick quotient to 1000 by swarming Madusa for a scoop even though she's being helped to the back, so he can then out-run to the back and hock it for $1.99/minute. Gene: “Her career right now is HISTORY! IT'S OVER! IT'S TOAST FOR THIS YOUNG LADY! MADUSA, DO YOU REALIZE WHAT'S HAPPENED, HERE, TONIGHT?! THIS IS SOMETHING, YOU PUT YOUR CAREER ON THE LINE! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA AS TO THE GRAVITY OF THAT!” He's so annoying the fans even start a mild LEAVE HER ALONE chant.
• Brain: “Well, happy trails. You won't see her kisser anymore.”
Tony: “Will you get out of here? You're a low life is what you are.”
Brain: “Don't talk that way to Dusty.”
• Death Match: Chris Benoit vs. Meng. Return match from last month where Meng won the same gimmick. “Death match” is a WCW catch-all for a match where the match is over when one wrestling can't continue – usually submission, maybe not answering the 10 count. Benoit jumps Meng on the way to the ring and we're underway. Benoit chases away Jimmy Hart and puts the boots to Meng. He goes after the arm to set up the CC later. Back in, Benoit hits the falling headbutt and goes to the CC already. Meng stacks him up easily to escape. He puts Benoit up top and slams him down. Benoit goes to the knees and boots him down again. Benoit wants the F4 but counters so Benoit fluidly grabs his arm to counter back to the CC. Nick gives a rope break for reasons that escape everyone except Dusty: “TAKE 'IM OUTSIDE WHERE THEY AIN'T NO ROPES!” Meng takes out Benoit witn an enzuigiri. Meng tries a powerbomb but Benoit trips him up and pulls him over to the apron to suplex him over and Stun Gun him on the ropes in a nasty spot. Back in, Benoit heads up top but gets hooked in the Tree of Woe. Meng kicks him around and poses to jeers. Benoit gets to his feet and they chop it out and Meng wins that one. Meng sends him off for an Alabama Slam. FOUR FINGERS DOWN! DOD 4 LIFE! Meng hooks in a half Dragon Sleeper and Benoit gets free and tries to chop Meng down. Meng gets the knee up though and slams down Benoit. Dust: “THIS IS A LOT OF MAN GOING UP ON THIS TOP ROPE, RIGHT HERE!”
• Meng hits a big splash and tries to cover but Nick force a release to start the count. Benoit gets to his feet at 9 and gets kicked back down. Benoit rolls to the floor to regroup. Meng tries to capitalize but Benoit counters and whips him into the rail. Back in, Benoit with a German suplex and tries a bridge but still no pin. Meng beats the count at 8 and Benoit takes him down with another suplex. Meng up at 7. Meng comes back with an inverted atomic drop and goes to the TONGAN DEATH GRIP! Benoit dives to the floor to break the hold. They slug it out on the floor and Meng wins that exchange with headbutts. Back in, Benoit takes the low road for a rope break and Meng boots him to take over again. Meng wants to end it with a CHINLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLOCK! YEAHHH, GRIND IT! ALL OF YOUR BREATHING APPARATUSES ARE IN THAT VICINITY! So sayeth Dust. Meng releases to kick him around and suplex him down. Meng tries another splash but whiffs. Benoit goes back to the CC. Meng gets the ropes and they slug it out again and again Benoit hooks in the CC. MOARROPEBREAK! Meng goes to the strikes and wants the death grip but Benoit avoids and hits the DSLW. He goes back to the CC. Dust wants more rag-taging of the arm, while Meng tries to reach the ropes and pretends he can't make it. You can't do an interminable submission tease with a guy who doesn't sell or move. Dust: “Givin' up ain't in his repertender.” This goes on for a solid two minutes before Nick Patrick stops it via referee discretion at 14:57.
• The biggest problem with this match is the same as last month: the stipulation. What's the point of rope breaks in a death match? It's like they work a last man standing match for the first 10 minutes and then switch into a submission match for the last few minutes. That's fine but they are completely different kinds of psychology that it's just jarring to make that kind of narrative, stylistic U-turn. There's a really good match in here somewhere if you don't rely on inconsistent rules and Meng's selling. ***
• Post-match, both guys are stretchered out even though it takes upward of SEVEN MINUTES for all of that to go down.
• Meanwhile, Gene is still pimping the hotline.
• Steve McMichael vs. Kevin Greene. Tony puts over how this matchup is a year in the making because it was at GAB 96 that Mongo turned on Greene for the Halliburton and a Four Horseman spot.
• Greene is firing on all cylinders out of the blocks as he sprints from the back and slingshots in to dropkick Mongo down. Mongo is too out of it and can’t recover to avoid the clothesline out of the 3 point stance. Greene mounts for some GnP but Mongo escapes to the floor. He stalls before pulling Greene to work over his hamstring on the apron. The shitkicking commences and Mongo finds Kevin Greene’s mom in the front row. It’s still real to her, dammit, and she is horrified at what she’s witnessing.
• Mongo presses his luck and she waffles him with her purse. Brain: “I KNOW THAT WOMAN! THAT’S CHEAP SHOT, GERDY GREENE! YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT SHE’LL DO!” Dust: “GET OUTTA HERE! WILL YOU LOOSEN UP?!” Tony: “That’s another first in our sport: Mama with a handbag on Father’s Day, up against the side of the head.” Greene takes over pummeling him and sends him into the stairs. Greene comforts his mom with bloodlust for Mongo: “YOU’RE DEAD, BABY!” Mongo, of course, cuts him off at the pass. Mongo goes back to the hamstrings. Mongo lines up for the field goal and the crowd is into it, at least for a Horseman taunt. Greene cues up a backdrop but Mongo counters to a neckbreaker. Cover gets 1, 2, kickout. Greene comes back with an ugly Thesz press. Dust: “THAT’S PURE ATHLETIC ABILITY, RIGHT THERE!” Greene feeds in for a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker from Mongo. Cover gets 1, 2, 2 ½. Mongo goes to some strikes and sends him into the corner for more of the same. Greene fires back with forearms and mounts in the corner for the 10. Mongo counters coming out with an atomic drop and a DROPKICK! MONGO FLIES! Cover for 1, 2, no. Mongo taunts for the Horseman again and sends across Greene and kicks him around some more. Mongo decides to show off his psychology and submission game by twisting the ankle for a bit. Mongo with some horrible strikes and choking in the corner but the ref breaks it up long enough for Greene to boot his way out of the corner. Greene heads up top and flies off with a shoulder tackle. Cover gets 1, 2, foot on the ropes. Mongo is reeling and Greene clotheslines him out to the floor. Ringside, Greene scoops him up for a body slam on the floor. BUT WAIT! DEBRA MCMICHAEL HAS BROKEN THE HEEL ON HER SHOE! A DAMSEL IN DISTRESS, TONY! Greene: “YOU AIN’T HURT! GET OUTTA MY FACE!” Greene pretends to slide in long enough to avoid Mongo’s cutoff and NOW WE GO TO SCHOOL, AUBURN STYLE! Greene puts the boots to him and Mongo overdramatically sells a whip. Greene calls for the Stinger Splash but Mongo sidesteps and works him over. MOARCHOKING! Debra gets on the apron and Tony starts gawking. The ref is distracted so Mongo can choke away. BUT WAIT! JEFF JARRETT HAS COME OUT! HE’S GOT THE HALLIBURTON! He tries the waffle but Greene pulls Mongo in the way and McMichael eats it. Greene drapes the arm for 1, 2, 3 to take it at 9:22.
• Greene’s an always welcome, fun addition to the proceedings. Mongo’s matches with Greene and Reggie were kept simple enough so that his usual foibles weren’t allowed to screw up an otherwise good match. Instead, these nicely mask his weaknesses so that he can do what he does best – be a bubbling asshole, fool. Booking was good as well with Greene being too smart for Debra and Mongo being too dumb to avoid Jarrett. **3/4
• Post-match, Tony smells dissension in the Horsemen because Jarrett didn’t help Mongo after accidentally waffling him.
• WCW World Tag Team Championship: Ric Flair & Roddy Piper vs. The Outsiders (c). ONE HALF OF THE DOUBLE MAIN EVENT! ONE OF THE BIGGEST TAG TEAM MATCHUPS IN THE HISTORY OF THIS GREAT SPORT, FANS! The Outsiders were notorious for never defending the belts and mostly just using them as props. Teams would win number 1 contender matches and never get shots, etc. The Outsiders were mainly just a function of the n.W.o and the tag belts were just another symbol of their dominance. Hall and Nash beat Harlem Heat for them back at HH 96 and then wrestled a handful of times over the next YEAR – including losing to the Steiners but it not counting at Souled Out, losing to an injured Luger and Giant but that also not counting, Nash defending the tag gold in singles competition against Rick Steiner, and being wasted in nothing matches against Bunkhouse Bunk, Mike Enos, Ace Darling, and Devon Storm on Nitro. But last month, WCW stumbled into a hot angle with the Outsiders and Syxx taking on a fiery trio of Flair, Piper, and Kevin Greene in Charlotte. In an electric moment, the faces came out victorious. As a follow up, Flair and Piper want the tag gold. A couple of weeks before this, Flair and Piper got a shot on Nitro but it went to a DQ.
• The Outsiders are accompanied by Syxx. Tony explains how Flair and Piper are getting this shot: “These teams don’t ‘not like each other.’ They HATE EACH OTHER!” There ya go. Dust: “THE BUTTERFLIES ARE A-FLYIN’!” All right, we get it. Brain: “Has anybody seen Bischoff?!” WILL YOU STOP?!
• Crowd is ROWDY at the bell for Piper especially. Hall says he’s starting and wants Flair. Flair is all WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO and we’re ready to go. Tony puts over the numerous beatings Flair suffered while Piper was off shooting his “new action adventure movie.” Based on Wikipedia, I’m guessing it was either First Encounter or Dead Tides, but I’m really hoping it was Sci-Fighters. ANYWAY, Hall throws the toothpick and starts playing the mind games. Flair no sells so Hall lays him out and goes to work in the corner. Flair counters and the place ERUPTS! Dust: “SPUN AROUND! LACED OPEN [WITH CHOPS]!” Flair is feeling it and tags in Piper as the heels powder out to regroup already. Well, apparently, that tag was a high five, so it’s still Flair-Hall. Hall goes back to the punches and sends Flair across for the Flip and Nash takes him down with a BOOT OF FEAR to boos. FUCK YOU, N.W.O! Hall covers Flair for 1, 2, kickout. Flair comes back with rights and chops but Syxx trips him up so Hall can lay him out with the LARIATO. Cover gets 1, 2, no. Hall brings in Nash and he tells Piper to suck it. Time for the hip checks and the back elbows in the corner. Nash sends him off and hits the side slam. Nash hooks the leg for 1, 2, kickout. Snake Eyes and Flair feeds over for a clothesline from Hall behind the ref’s back. Dust: “When they’re struttin’ around here, he needs to work his way toward there. Flair and the numerous arrows [errors] that he has been, the long matches that he’s been in, is not one to take early. So I’m not really concerned about that situation. But the more punishment he takes, he’s gonna have one man with a lot of beating put on him, like they doing right here, and one fresh one. THAT AIN’T GOOD! TWO FRESH MEN WILL BEAT ONE MAN THAT’S BEEN BEATEN DOWN! TWO FRESH MEN WILL BEAT ONE FRESHMAN! THAT’S IT! THAT’S ALL! I LAID IT ALL OUT THERE!” Tony: “Good.” ANYWAY, Flair is toast and can’t get to his feet. The crowd gets a rally clap going and Flair GOES LOW! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Brain: “THAT TRICK ELBOW!”
• Tag to Hall but he’s too late to stop the hot tag to Piper at sub-5 minutes in. Piper takes down the heels and pokes them in the eyes. Dust: “GOT ‘EM, BOTH!” He collides them on a coconut and applies the SLEEPER, TONY! The crowd comes unglued but dies as the hold goes on and then Hall counters out by crotching him on the ropes. TAGTAGTAGTAGTAG! Crowd wants the tag and so does Flair. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! In a very strange sequence, Nash goes to distract the ref, but then Flair jumps the ref from behind and then drags him over to the face corner so that Syxx can lay out Piper with the karate that he knows. I’m sure that was supposed to look more like Mark Curtis taking Flair over to the corner but it didn’t turn out that way. ANYWAY, Flair’s on the floor to brawl with Syxx. Syxx takes the bump of his life off a shitty uppercut from Flair. Piper is all by his lonesome now as Flair as gone to the back to film his latest action-adventure extravaganza and completely ghosts Syxx on a straight right in a hilarious spot. Hall drapes the arm for 1, 2, Piper kicks out and looks for the tag but no one’s home. Dust: “WHERE IS RIC FLAIR!? OHHHH, MAN!” You’d think that he just joined the match, but no he’s been there the whole time. Piper slugs it out with Nash but succumbs to the CLUBBINGBLOWS. Brain pipes in and proclaims that Flair wouldn’t abandon Piper and he’s right; Flair would show up to turn on him and kick his dick in the dirt. He’d never miss an opportunity to turn on an unsuspecting partner. ANYWAY, Nash is fired up and he starts showing off by busting out the knees and tags in Hall. Hall paintbrushes him and kicks his ass for good measure. Piper is punch drunk but still wants to fight. Nash back in and Piper fires right back with jabs and crosses but Hall waffles him from behind right into the FOOT TO THE FACE! Nash says it’s over and brings in Hall for the Outsider’s Edge. Hall covers for 1, 2, 3 to retain at 10:02.
• Went on a few minutes too long with Piper making a pointless final last stand and then a final final last stand and then the ultimate, final final, last last stand. Seriously, it took Hall and Nash three minutes to pound him down with Piper selling but still not really going anywhere because he still had some bubble gum. It would have worked better with a longer segment of time before Flair’s exit and a shorter segment of time after his departure. Decent enough but mostly a Nitro main event. **1/2
• Non-sanctioned, No Disqualification, Falls Count Anywhere in the Building, Must be a Winner Match: Macho Man Randy Savage vs. Diamond Dallas Page. By early 97, the nWo was riding high and taking on all comers with only Piper, Sting, and DDP being able to resist the allure of cash, women, and a black and white t-shirt. While Piper parleyed his name value and history with Hogan into several main event contract signings and few dates and Sting nursed a falcon in the rafters, DDP was left to fend off the nWo by himself. By February when Macho Man was at odds with the nWo and paling around with Sting, DDP wasn't sure he could trust either of them, so he called out Macho and Sting heading into Superbrawl. Of course, that all ended with Macho turning on Sting and joining the nWo. At Uncensored, DDP would be blindsided by Macho who was leering at Kimberly's Playboy centerfold all the while. The following month at Spring Stampede, DDP would finally get his hands on Macho and take him out in a No DQ match. After yet another interview and brawl at Slamboree, this would be the war to settle the score (until DDP dressed up as La Parka and that REALLY pissed off Macho).
• Pre-match, the lights go out for a fireworks display in a nice touch to give this the hard sell. Mach is accompanied by Liz. DDP is seconded by Kimberly and is not using the self high-five music. Don’t know if it’s a network thing or if he started using that music later. BUT WAIT! DDP ENTERS THROUGH THE CROWD FROM BEHIND! HE TACKLES MACHO!
• Page gets going with the shitkicking and the shoulder surges. DDP wants the DiamondCutter but Macho shoves him off and ducks out to the floor. Macho tries to slide back in but DDP stomps the hand. PLANCHA! DDPDDPDDPDDPDDP! OH NO! Page hurt his taped up ribs on the dive to the outside. Both men are down but Macho recovers first. He tries a shot but Page blocks to toss him into the rail. Macho retreats and HIDES BEHIND LIZ! THATNOGOODBASTARD! Page shoves her aside and back in, wants a biel but Macho blocks. He tries a clothesline but Macho ducks and then Page takes him down with a clothesline from the other arm. Good sequence. DDP’s selling of the ribs is awesome already. He heads up top and hits the flying clothesline. He gestures to the fans and they respond. Macho is reeling and gets shitcanned out. To the floor, Macho cuts him off by gouging the eyes and CLOTHESLINING HIM INTO THE FRONT ROW! OH MY! Macho drops him on the rail and now they’re going through the crowd. Macho tosses him into a few chairs and they venture over to the arena wall but DDP counters and Macho eats wall then door. DDP gets a crutch and then waffles Macho to the breadbasket and then BREAKS IT OVER HIS BACK! Page brings him over to the bleachers and Macho eats another shot, while Page pauses to sell the ribs. Tony: “FANS, YOU ARE WATCHING HATRED, BRUTALITY, REVENGE AT ITS ZENITH BETWEEN TWO OF THE TOP STARS IN THIS SPORT!” Dust: “OH MAN! THEY HAVE ZENITH-ED THEYSELVES RIGHT BACK TO RINGSIDE!” ANYWAY, Macho cuts off DDP with an atomic drop on the floor and whips Page into the stairs. Back in, Macho’s got the WHITE POWDER! Tony: “It’s either sugar or salt or powder or something.” Dust: “LYE!” Brain: “LYE!” DDP goes for the waffle with a DDP plate, hubcap, or something but Macho blinds him and waffles him instead, breaking the plate.
• Crowd gets behind DDP while Tony promos a potential Dusty finish, then realizes he’s an idiot and audibles. Tony: “Let’s not forget this: they both have to answer a 10 count or the referee would throw the match out…..[realizing he’s a buffoon] You would think. But you look down on the score card here and see, THERE MUST BE A WINNER! SO THEY’RE GOING TO GO ON UNTIL SOMEONE! WINS! THIS! MATCH!” Tony Schiavone, ladies and gentlemen. Macho pulls the tape off and goes to work on Page. Crowd chants for Sting, who helped DDP out last Monday and saved him from an attack by the n.W.o. Macho ties up DDP in his rib tape and traps him in the ropes, kicking him over and over again. Mickey Jay pleads for some sanity and Macho’s all out. HE SPITS ON THE REFEREE! Jay hasn’t had his fill yet, so Macho bumps the ref and PILEDRIVES HIM! THE MADNESS! DDP tries to fight back and they slug it out. Page with a big headbutt and both men are still reeling. Macho goes back to the ribs and chokes in the corner as another ref comes out. He tries to pull Macho off and Macho bumps him as well and shitcans him out. DDP gets his second wind though and fires up on Macho. Dust: “TURN IT ON, NOW!” Macho gets the boot up in the corner and pounds him back down and clotheslines him out to the floor. Kimberly tries tending to DDP and Macho GRABS HER! Tony: “THAT’S A LOWLIFE, RIGHT THERE!” EBD Nick Patrick comes out to restore order and hold Macho off from Kimberly. Page is damn near in a coma as Macho knees him all the way up the aisle behind the set. Page cuts off Macho and tosses him into the GAB-theme picnic area and the plants scatter. Dust: “THAT’LL RUIN YA BARBECUE!” Page gets an appetizer tray and breaks it over Macho’s head and then piefaces him with a potted plant.
• Page then scoops slams Macho through a picnic table. Brain: “I’ve been to picnics like this.” Page gets a girl and dumps the charcoal all over Macho and then CHOKES HIM WITH HIS SHIRT! This is kinda corny but fun as well. Page gathers up Macho and leads him back to the ring. Macho tries to get the boot up in the corner, but DDP avoids to trip him up and crotch him on the ringpost. Macho begs off but DDP plants him with the Neutralizer. He calls for the Cutter but Macho dumps him out with a jawbreaker to counter. He trashes Page into the stairs and now Macho pulls up the wrestling mats at ringside. HE’S GONNA PILEDRIVE HIM ON THE CONCRETE! Patrick saves Page and Macho has lost his mind as he blasts Nick and tosses him into the crowd. A photographer gets in the way and Macho breaks the camera and tackles him for some GnP. DDP gets a chair and cracks it over Macho’s head to a POP! He calls for the Cutter but Macho goes low. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! SUPLEX! NO! DIAMONDCUTTER! YESYESYESYESYES! NO REF! BUT WAIT! SCOTT HALL HAS COME OUT! NICK PATRICK IS COUNTING! ONE, TWO, HALL PUTS THE BOOTS TO HIM! Hall goes for the tag belt waffle but DDP lays him out with a haymaker. DIAMONDCUTTER TIME! NO! MACHO WAFFLES HIM FROM BEHIND! Hall gathers up DDP and almost botches it but recovers to hit the Outsider’s Edge. Hall helps Macho up and he hits the Macho elbow. They pretty much force Patrick to count 1, 2, 3 for Macho to take it at 17:00.
• Quite the sports entertainment spectacle and damn fun, too. These two had some AWESOME chemistry with this match being damn good and the Las Vegas Sudden Death match at HH easily being one of the best WCW matches of 97 (along with Eddie/Rey from the same PPV). Macho worked harder at getting DDP over than probably anyone short of Page himself and his ice bags on his knees and this match showed it. Macho was just aces here, showing the full breadth of his insane Madness character, hiding behind Liz, attacking refs, AND threatening Kimberly. He tried to have basically the same match against Rodman at Road Wild 99 and that was a miserable failure, mostly due to Rodman, but this is a borderline classic. Just fantastic stuff with Page selling the ribs all night long. ****
• Follow me on Twitter - @RingCrewReviews
The 411: A slew of *** affairs and others hovering around it and a dynamite main event. If you're looking for the stars like Hogan to stink out the joint, skip this one, but if you want more of the awesome Macho/DDP feud and the Horsemen/nWo/football players feud, dive in.