Greeting and salutations to you, the wrestling fans of the internet that have stumbled across the blog because you needed to take a break from ranting about James Ellsworth’s heel turn. Yes, it was bad, predictable and downright silly but I have the perfect remedy for your Smackdown blues and that is another brand spanking-new edition of the only wrestling review series on the internet that shoots more than Shane Douglas with a microphone: Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews! Before I take a look at Wrestlemania X8, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit WCW and continue my journey from the beginning of the NWO to the end of the company. Last time I had seen a laughable main event from WCW where Hogan and Savage put a show that was well hmmm…..
Yeah it was quite the experience but fear not, World War 3 is about to take place! WCW’s pay per view where the main event is a three ring sixty man battle royal with the winner either winning a shot at the WCW Heavyweight Championship. This could be a fun night but with WCW, we must always beware of illogical booking so strap in, break out the red panties because WCW is in town and this means war!
The opening package recaps all the matches going into the pay per view, card looks stacked while the promo seems rushed. Three rings are set up from the very beginning of the night, Schiavone welcomes us to the action. Dusty Rhodes is rambling as usual and Heenan is hilarious as always. To be fair, Dusty sells the possibility of Piper and Hogan killing one another tonight.
(J Crown Championship Match) Rey Mysterio vs Ultimo Dragon © W/ Sonny Onoo
Eight championships held at the same time by one man, Dragon was the man in the mid-nineties alongside Great Sasuke and Jushin Liger. Lock up with Dragon wrenching the arm, knee to the arm of Mysterio. Fujiwara armbar into a butterfly like manoeuvre, Mysterio takes down the leg until Dragon counters into an arm hold. Scoop slam and an elbow by Dragon, cover and a two count. Irish whip by Dragon, lots of flipping and blocking from both wrestlers which pops the crowd. Dragon decides to kick the shit out of Mysterio, a sole butt floors Mysterio. Mysterio is elevated to the apron, springboard dropkick by Dragon. Mysterio slams hard into the guard rail, Dragon smacks Mysterio on the apron. German suplex by Dragon for a two count, flapjack by the bigger Dragon. Stiff kick to the spine by Dragon.
Irish whip into an Argentine backbreaker by Dragon, backbreaker by Dragon into a half crab. Dragon breaks the hold on his own and powerbombs Mysterio and hotshots Mysterio into the ropes. Cover and a two count for Dragon, Dragon Irish whips Mysterio and lands a spinebuster into a giant swing. Mysterio is on the floor, fisherman suplex by Dragon and it is another two count. Nasty brainbuster by Dragon, two count for the champion. Mysterio counters another brainbuster into a small package, two count for Mysterio and now Dragon grounds Mysterio with a heel hook. Tombstone by Dragon, arrogant cover and Mysterio lifts his shoulder up at two. Dropkick by Dragon, Mysterio is on the floor. Dragon Irish whips Mysterio into the guard rail, piledriver on the floor by Dragon and a plancha by the champion. Dragon props Mysterio on the top rope, beautiful frankensteiner for a two count.
Running Ligerbomb by Dragon and it is a two count! Mysterio is taken one hell of a beating but nothing is keeping the man down. Mysterio drops Dragon with a boo into the corner and Mysterio scores with a split-legged moonsault. Mysterio drills Dragon with a springboard dropkick, tope con hilo by Mysterio. Mysterio rolls Dragon in, sunset flip by Mysterio for two, cartwheel into a frankensteiner by Mysterio but it is two once more. Dragon suplex for a two count, Mysterio counters a powerbomb into a victory roll but it is two for Mysterio. Mysterio signals for a West Coast Pop but Dragon catches Mysterio for a sit-out powerbomb.1…2…3!
Very good match, a great opener. In many ways, when the cruiserweights are in the ring, it is like a dance and their dance is an extremely fun dance that gets everyone involved. Dragon and Mysterio were diving all around the ring, hitting spectacular manoeuvres while telling the story of the match. Dragon was bigger and stronger but Mysterio was faster. If Mysterio had the chance, Mysterio could put away Dragon but on this night, Dragon kept Mysterio grounded, weathered the storm and was able to put away Mysterio, great stuff!
Winner: Ultimo Dragon over Mysterio via Sit-out Powerbomb!
Mean Gene Okerlund/DDP
Okerlund sells the pay per view and the new website before talking to DDP who might be recruited by The New World Order. DDP has been ignoring the rumours and The NWO but DDP says DDP is in his own world and The New World Order are of no concern to The Master of The Diamond Cutter!
Chris Jericho vs Nick Patrick (One Arm tied behind your back match)
Crooked referee Nick Patrick had been cruising for a bruising for a long time as Patrick’s “decisions” had made a lot of WCW stars angry. Jericho comes to the ring with Teddy Long and this might be the most bizarre pairing I have ever seen. Jericho has one arm so Patrick is over-confident and shoves Jericho, Jericho shoves Patrick and sweeps the referee. Hiptoss by Jericho and Patrick bails to the floor. Jericho gets the crowd to chant Patrick sucks, hammerlock by Jericho. Patrick sells this like a gunshot, Jericho kicks Patrick who flops all over the ring. Another hiptoss, Patrick powders. Patrick gets back in the ring and slaps Jericho, Jericho slaps Patrick. Jericho stomps the toes of Patrick and nails a big clothesline, Patrick runs into the ringpost before Jericho tries a clothesline. Jericho runs into the ringpost and the arm of Jericho is hurt.
Patrick rolls Jericho into the ring, kicks and punches by Patrick. Neckbreaker by Patrick, Jericho smacks Patrick with a boot to the face. Jericho rams Patrick into the turnbuckle, big back body drop by Jericho. Patrick tries leaving the ring, forearm by Patrick and now Patrick goes to the top rope, Jericho drags down Patrick with one arm, superkick by Jericho and it is all over. DUD.. too long and not entertaining in the slightest, Patrick was not entertaining enough to make it work and Jericho was very bland in his early days of WCW. Went way too long though, that is my biggest complaint.
Winner: Chris Jericho over Nick Patrick via Superkick!
Mean Gene Okerlund/Ric Flair Promo
Ric Flair has his arm in a sling brother because you know his has been wheeling dealing and kiss stealing, Flair hypes up the crowd in the way only The Nature Boy can. Flair calls out The NWO and says The Four Horseman represent WCW. Flair promises to own The NWO and struts off like the god that Flair is (His life must be so much fun).
The Giant vs Jeff Jarrett
Jeff Jarrett had a match at the prior pay per view with The Giant and it ended in a no-contest, Jarrett wants to prove he belongs in WCW. Jarrett punches Giant but there is no effect, more punches by Jarrett and Giant is not even flinching. Giant shoves off Jarrett who attempts ten punches in the corner, huge clothesline by The Giant. Hard Irish whip, Jarrett dodges a corner splash, corner clothesline by Jarrett and a dropkick. Giant is still standing, boot by The Giant. Huge elbow drop by Giant, Giant chops Jarrett hard in the corner. Another hard Irish Whip by Giant, make it two and it seems that Sting is walking around in the rafters. Giant big boots Jarrett and nails a leg drop, Sting is making his way to the ring. Backbreaker by The Giant, Giant looks to splash Jarrett but Jarrett rolls out of the way. Crossbody by Jarrett for a two count, Jarrett elevates Giant to the floor.
Sting enters the ring and drops Jarrett with a Scorpion Death Drop, Giant recovers and nails Jarrett with a Chokeslam. Goodnight sweet guitar prince as Giant picks up the win. Average match, having Sting come into the match was a good idea because you could take focus off what was happening in the ring because Giant was still very green and his matches consisted of the bare basics with his opponent tasked with making the match entertaining. Afterwards, the commentators speculate whether Sting is joining The NWO as Sting continues to stay silent and not display any sort of allegiance to either faction. There is drama brewing and the fans are into this angle.
Winner: Giant over Jarrett via Chokeslam!
Roddy Piper/Hogan Contract Signing
Piper wants his match with Hogan for Starrcade, Piper made his debut at Halloween Havoc claiming that without Piper, there is no Hogan and Hogan has never beaten Piper so you had a simple yet effective story for their match. Bischoff comes to the ring without Hogan, Bischoff had recently revealed himself as the head of The NWO. Piper shoves aside Vincent and Dibiase before ranting in the face of Bischoff. With enough prodding, Piper baits Hogan down to the ring. Piper is outnumbered by at least eleven to one but Piper is not moving, not backing down.
Hogan starts dressing down Piper and is in The Hot Rod’s face, this is getting meaty and personal, Hogan continues ranting and raving, making fun of Piper. Contract is signed and Piper smacks Hogan before Hall and Giant restrain The Hot Rod, Hogan begins beating down Piper. Piper keeps coming for Hogan but Hogan has a chair, Hogan smacks Piper on his injured hip (Piper has a scar up the side of his leg from an operation). Hogan spray paints the scar, branding the icon before spitting on Piper. The NWO back away leaving Piper to pick up the pieces before their match at next month’s Starrcade. Good stuff from WCW, there is an intensity to this feud, it seems very real which is a great thing when it comes to wrestling. A lot of heat, the match may not be much but the setup had been great so far.
Amazing French Canadians W/ Robert Parker vs Harlem Heat W/ Sister Sherri
My problem with Harlem Heat at the last pay per view was that Harlem Heat were not babyfaces in their match with The Outsiders. That problem has been rectified as Robert Parker has turned his back on Sister Sherri. A month too late but Harlem Heat can at least get a reaction from the fans now that they are babyfaces. Booker and Jacque kick us off, Booker quickly floors Jacque. Tag to Stevie Ray, back elbow by Jacque. Tag to Carl Ouellet, Carl smacks Booker and doubles teams Stevie with Jacque. Carl gets caught by Booker and Booker Scissor Kicks Carl, Booker nails Carl with a massive Harlem Sidekick. Jacque lowbridges Booker and Parker puts the boots to Booker T. Clothesline/legsweep combination by Jacque & Carl, two count over a double back elbow. Double flapjack by Jacque & Carl, Carl Irish whips Booker who counters with a victory roll, Carl wipes out Booker with a clothesline. Boston crab by Jacque, Carl leg drops on the back of Booker’s head. Stevie receives the tag from Booker out of nowhere, big back body drop and military press slam by Stevie. Referee takes a tumble as Carl crashes into the referee, Booker T is hung up in the ropes and Jacque and Carl piledrive Stevie Ray. Carl pulls out a table and the steel steps.
There is a table across the top rope with some steel steps too and Carl climbs to the top for their finish but Stevie Ray dodges the senton, Harlem Hangover by Booker T and Harlem Heat win the match. This match feels rushed, the last segment was very long so I imagine time was cut. It all seemed a bit disjointed as the hot tag and the heat were all done in a matter of seconds so it was all very fast without any real story-telling. As per stipulation, Sherri has Parker for five minutes in the ring, Dusty Rhodes is in hysterics as Sherri beats Parker all over the ring before Parker escapes to the back. That was not worth the pay-off, this was a waste of time in the grand scheme of things.
Winners: Harlem Heat over The Amazing French-Canadian via Harlem Hangover!
(WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match) Psychosis vs Dean Malenko ©
Having regained his championship from Mysterio, Malenko looks to continue his dominance of the cruiserweight champion. Lock up, Malenko takes the back before Psychosis trips up the champion. Malenko turns the tide and Psychosis grabs the ropes. Malenko trips up Psychosis and works over the challenger, side headlock and Japanese armdrags by both men. The two continue to feel one another out with neither gaining a clear advantage. Malenko shoots for the leg of the challenger and moments later, Malenko has a heel hook on Psychosis. Psychosis and Malenko continue wrestling one another before Psychosis dropkicks Malenko to the floor, Malenko looks up to see a flying Psychosis coming his way but Psychosis crashes and burns on the guard rail.
In the ring, Malenko chokes Psychosis with a triangle hold, Psychosis makes it to the ropes but Malenko is relentless. Knee drops and a single leg Boston crab are on the menu for the challenger. Tigerbomb by Malenko into The Texas Cloverleaf, Psychosis dives for the ropes and Malenko must break the hold. Malenko drops Psychosis with shots to the knee, Malenko drops huge elbows on the leg of Psychosis. Psychosis is tied in the tree of woe, more shots to the leg. Malenko dumps Psychosis on the floor, Malenko misses a baseball slide and Psychosis drops Malenko with a back breaker, Psychosis drills a Malenko with a senton from the top rope, leg drop from the top rope gets a two count for Psychosis. Malenko is propped on the top rope by Psychosis.
Top rope frankensteiner for a two count, Malenko counters a brainbuster for a small package. Champions gets two, spinning heel kick by Psychosis. Series of reversals into a tombstone by Malenko, Malenko counters a victory roll from Psychosis into a rolling prawn hold and Malenko walks away with the win. It was a well-worked match, slow and the fans had a hard time getting into the match but it was entertaining at the same time. I can see some people saying it was boring but I liked it.
Winner: Malenko over Psychosis via Rolling Prawn Hold!
(WCW Tag Team Championship Match) The Outsiders © vs The Nasty Boys vs The Faces of Fear
Let it be known that The Nasty Boys suck! Anyways, the match begins with the two WCW teams beating the piss out of The NWO, Hall and Nash are knocked to the floor, Meng and Jerry pair off while Knobbs and Barbarian brawl. The Outsiders are watching on the floor as Barbarian beats up Knobbs, Knobbs fires back with a clothesline. Tag to Saggs, double shoulder block on Barbarian, Barbarian kicks out at two. Tag to Knobbs, Knobbs misses an elbow and The Faces of Fear decimate Knobbs. Clothesline by Meng on Knobbs, Nash blind tags into the match. Nash drives his knees into Knobbs before Hall tags in and puts the boots to Knobbs. Nash tags Meng who headbutts and roughs up Knobbs, Knobbs tags Hall to save himself. Hall tees off on Barbarian, Barbarian snaps and corner clotheslines Hall. Scoop slam by Barbarian on Hall, tag to Meng who shops and stomps all over Hall.
Hall rakes the eyes of Meng and in comes Knobbs, match breaks down with everyone going wild in the match, back elbow by Knobbs on Barbarian. Piledriver by Saggs on Barbarian, Hall saves the match. Nash clotheslines Barbarian out of his boots, Meng saves his partner. Sidewalk slam by Nash on Barbarian and a quick tag to Hall. Corner clothesline and big punches by Hall, Barbarian fires back and chops The Bad Guy. Knobbs and Barbarian are legal once more, lock up and Knobbs rakes the eyes. Tag to Saggs who club Barbarian, another tag to Knobbs who drops his weight on Barbarian’s leg. Hall takes the tag and works the leg of Barbarian. Match breaks down for the second time as The Faces of Fear and The Outsiders go to war before it winds down to Nash and Meng in the ring. Knobbs tags in off Nash and Meng tags in Barbarian.
Saggs tags in off Knobbs, backbreaker by Saggs gets a two count, Meng piledrivers Knobbs who is saved by Jerry Sags. Knobbs who was in briefly tags back to Saggs. Meng chops the shit out of Saggs, corner clothesline. Hall tags in off Meng, Saggs nails Hall with two inverted atomic drops before Knobbs is tagged into the match. Barbarian and Knobbs proceed to fuck around until Hall and Nash are tagged into the match. The fans make it seem like a big deal because it seems Hall must fight Nash, the babyfaces look like absolute morons as Hall tries to pin Nash so they can regain the titles. The match breaks down and Knobbs is nailed with a megaphone and a Jacknife Powerbomb. Game over!
Pure garbage, sloppy stuff from Barbarian and Knobbs. The fans did not care about anyone except Hall and Nash who did not feature in half of the match. The match broke down several times like it was going to end only for the match to restart and the spot where the babyfaces thought Nash and Hall would fight one another even though their partners? What kind of crap is that? Knobbs and Saggs look like the dumbest babyfaces in existence. Horrible waste of time!
Winners: Hall & Nash over Everyone Else via Shenanigans!
(World War III Sixty Man Battle Royal Match/ Winner to receive World Heavyweight Championship Match)
Sixty men and three rings, this is going to be a fun match if nothing else, the announcers play up the various angles going into this match. What about The Giant? Can Luger be WCW’s Hero? What will happen between The Horseman and The Dungeon of Doom? Now there is simply too many people to name going into this match but I shall do my best to capture as many eliminations as possible but no guarantees.
The Horsemen and Dungeon of Doom begin killing one another on the floor, Benoit is horribly outnumbered but Benoit keeps on trucking. Benoit and Sullivan are up in the stands, brawling among the crowd. In ring two, The NWO are in the ring all together just watching everyone else brawl. The Horsemen and Dungeon of Doom are disqualified to the best of my knowledge. They are sent to the back and that’s the end of their night.
The match continues with a bunch of nobodies being thrown to the floor, we are just wasting time until there is ten left in each ring so we can get down to the real big fight, The NWO continue to dominate the second ring without any of the other superstars teaming up to battle The NWO. The NWO decide to kill everyone in their ring and it is quite entertaining. Bagwell and Scotty Riggs continue to have issues as Bagwell eliminates Riggs. The break-up of these two would be good news for Bagwell. The numbers have dwindled and now we have the rings joining together.
Once more, The NWO occupy a corner in the ring and start beating anyone who is dumb enough to come in touching distance. The Giant begins to clear house, Rick Steiner, Harlem Heat and Inferno all feel the wrath of The Giant. After a tonne of eliminations, we are down to about ten and now, WCW appear to think that it is time to go after The NWO. WCW’s plan does not work as DDP and Regal, the two heels go after the babyfaces as opposed to The NWO. Jarrett, Eddie and Mysterio are thrown out of the match, DDP has been eliminated and Regal is eliminated too. We are down to The NWO vs Lex Luger. Luger lifts up Giant for The Rack and goes to work on Hall, Hall is gone. Luger throws over Syxx and Racks Nash. Giant takes advantage and throws over Nash and Luger, we have a winner and it is The Giant!
That was largely on the boring side, 90% of the match was shown on three tiny screens with nothing happening. It was not great by any stretch of the imagination, the match does not matter until the last 4 minutes. Just like Knobbs and Saggs in the last match, WCW look like utter fools as they ignore the threat of The New World Order until it is too late and fall victim to the numbers game. Fair play to Luger who played his part well even though it lasted about thirty seconds. The Giant winning is interesting as it could mean NWO vs NOW which could lead to the implosion of the group but I do not want to see another Giant vs Hogan main event match because the Hog Wild match was enough for me.
Winner: The Giant over Everyone Else via Survival!
WCW’s World War 3 of 1996 was a boring pay per view, the matches wich were shown were average and felt more on the squash side of things. The cruiserweight opening match was a highlight with Mysterio and Dragon tearing it up in the ring but many of the other matches left me constantly checking the time remaining in the matches because I wanted them to end. Nothing of real significance happened in any of the matches on this card about from the main event and that could be considered a disappointment based on who you ask. Honestly, the main event was very long and was not worth the time until the last two minutes. However, the main event does perk my interest as it will be intriguing to see what happens between Hogan and The Giant. One match does not make a show though so my verdict is sit this one out folks because it is not worth your time. My name’s Sean and I reminding you there will be another night!