Thursday 26 January 2017

WCW Slamboree 1997 Review

Welcome ladies and gents to another action-packed edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews! Did you catch the end of this week’s Raw? What a moment am I right? The Undertaker, Goldberg and Brock Lesnar all in one ring, which one of these young stallions is going to grab the brass ring and carry the company into the future? Wait a minute…… the focus is on the stars of the past…… what about the likes of Zayn?..... And with that, let’s move onto WCW! Slamboree 1997: The promo is not about the wrestlers but rather three football players like Steve McMichael, Reggie White and Kevin Greene. WCW must have thought that Wrestlemania 11 main event was where the money was at! Seriously, this could be a trainwreck or a really fun show, this is no in between with WCW. Let’s get it on!

(WCW Television Championship Match)  Steven Regal vs Ultimo Dragon © W/ Sonny Onoo

At the last pay per view, Regal had a horrible match with Prince Iaukea, Iaukea is nowhere to be seen as Dragon is your tv champion and Regal is the challenger. Lock-up, Regal takes the arm. Dragon counters and grabs a side headlock on Regal. Regal outpowers Dragon, cover and a two count for Regal. Regal stays in control with a straight jacket like submission, nasty looking hold from Regal. Dragon reverses the hold before Regal gutwrench suplexes Dragon. Slap to the face by Regal and a double stomp by Regal. Side headlock by Dragon, shoulder block and a two count for the champion.

Dropkick by Dragon, Regal eats the turnbuckle, awkward looking botch as Dragon tries to Irish whip Regal. Some uppercuts and kicks before Dragon floors Regal. Stiff kick to the spine, Dragon rakes at the face of the challenger. Double stomp on the face by Dragon, single leg Boston crab by Dragon. Regal reaches the ropes, Dragon nails a neckbreaker. Headscissors hold by Dragon, Regal escapes and tries for a Regal Stretch. Regal stomps Dragon after the champion reaches the rope. Suplex by Regal, cover and a two. Sunset flip by Dragon, Regal reverses for a Regal Stretch. Dragon reaches the ropes, reverses Regal and slaps the shit out of Regal. Cross armbreaker by Dragon, Regal counters for The Regal Stretch, Dragon wriggles free so Regal applies a Bow & Arrow.

Dragon bites Regal’s arm, stiff kick by Dragon. Two massive kicks to the back, Indian Deathlock into a Muta Lock by Dragon. Camel Clutch by Dragon, Regal elbows his way out. Big lefts by Regal, Dragon dodges a back body drop. Dropkick by Dragon, Regal falls to the floor. Onoo gets in some cheap shots, handspring elbow by Dragon. Top rope frankensteiner by Dragon, two count for Dragon. Dragon misses a moonsault, Regal goes for The Stretch but Dragon reaches the ropes. Dragon counters a tiger bomb for a frankensteiner, another two for Dragon. Roll-up by Regal gets two, uppercuts by Regal, Dragon dodges one for a huge kick. La Magistral but Regal is in the ropes.

Springboard moonsault by Dragon, Regal blocks the tiger suplex but Dragon throws Regal to the floor. Regal dodges a plancha from Dragon, Dragon sends Regal into the guard rail. Asai Moonsault by Dragon, both men are down. Onoo keeps kicking Regal and Dragon is not happy with Onoo. Onoo nails Dragon in the back of the head, Regal nails a reverse suplex and applies The Regal Stretch. Dragon submits and Regal is your new champion.

The beginning might irk some people as it was very heavy in technical and mat based wrestling, the fans were not too happy as they erupted when Regal start throwing bombs at Dragon. Two heels battling one another is never a good idea and I am not sure why Vince Russo gets so much shit about heel vs heel matches because I have seen a tonne from covering these WCW pay per views. Anyways, good call to turn Dragon a face as this at least made up for the heel vs heel as we had a babyface by the end of the match. I guess the plan is have Dragon go through Onoo’s henchmen. This could be fun. Also, Regal the heel cheated to win as it should be and the new babyface Ultimo Dragon did not lose clean. I like that WCW, more of that please.

Winner: Regal over Dragon via Regal Stretch!

Madusa vs Luna Vachon

Luna interfered in Madusa’s championship match with Akira Hokuto at the last pay per view so, we have this match tonight to settle the score. Luna slaps Madusa and rakes the back. Snapmare and hair-pull by Luna, kicks to the face by Luna. Madusa fires back but Luna goes low and chokes Madusa with the ropes. Rope guillotine by Luna, Madusa fires up and pushes back Luna with a massive spinkick. Luna sweeps the legs and chokes Madusa. Stomach claw by Luna, it looks as ridiculous as it sounds.

Corner splash by Madusa and knife edge chops. Kicks to the ribs by Madusa, clothesline. Cover and Luna kicks out at two. Madusa works the leg and floors Luna, Luna rakes the eyes, sunset flip by Madusa and it is a two count. Hair-mat slam by Luna, neckbreaker by Luna. Luna misses a diving headbutt, German Suplex by Madusa and Madusa wins the match.

Good match for the time allotted, Luna looked mean for the time she was in control, the clothesline sell was great and Madusa showed a lot of fire as she was the babyface of the division.

Winner: Madusa over Luna via German Suplex!

Mean Gene Okerlund & The Macho Man Randy Savage

Savage is here after his big loss at the last pay per view to DDP. There was a stupid NWO dissension angle that overshadowed DDP’s big win in his first main event. Savage comes down to speak and DDP appears with a crutch seconds later. Savage runs with Elizabeth and Bischoff tells Savage to leave. DDP calls Savage Hogan’s Bitch and Savage wants to kill DDP. Savage walks to the ring, DDP beats the piss out of Savage and The NWO with the crutch, Bischoff takes a huge shot before Norton attacks the ribs of DDP. It is five on one but The Giant is here to save DDP.

It popped the crowd huge, DDP was growing as a star at a steady rate, I would say WCW would have been very happy with Mr. Page.

Yuji Yasuraoka vs Rey Mysterio

Yuji had just debuted in WCW, Yuji would be retired only three years later and would become a motorcycle mechanic. Mysterio is Mysterio which is awesome and show-stealing. Kicks by Yuji and a side headlock, snapmare into a reverse chinlock. Mysterio and Yuji slap one another and trade wrestling holds. Yuji escapes a choke with a Northern Lights suplex, stiff kick to the spine. Scoop slam by Yuji, Mysterio grabs the arm. Big clothesline by Yuji, cover and a two count. Back body drop by Mysterio, forearms and a frankensteiner to the floor by Mysterio. Referee Mark Curtis blocks Mysterio on a tope con hilo so, Mysterio dives over Curtis. Yuji recovers and re-enters the ring.

Drop toehold and camel clutch by Mysterio, Mysterio kicks and stomps Yuji. Mysterio is on the apron and dives into a spinkick from Yuji. Cover and Mysterio puts his foot on the rope. Forearm shots by Yuji, jump up spinkick into a Fujiwara armbar by Yuji. Yuji transitions into the cross armbreaker, Mysterio reaches the ropes so Yuji brutalizes Mysterio with kicks. Chest chop, Mysterio holds onto the ropes and will not be whipped. Yuji takes a look at Mysterio and hotshots Mysterio’s arm onto the top rope. Yuji nails a plancha that the camera misses, Mysterio is in dire straits.

Suplex from the apron to the ring by Yuji, Yuji runs into two boots. Mysterio drops Yuji and nails a split-legged moonsault for two. Yuji misses a spinkick, Mysterio powerbombs Yuji (I think that is the first time I have seen Mysterio powerbomb someone). Mysterio is on the top rope, Yuji dodges the splash. Double arm DDT by Yuji, cover and a two count for Yuji. Yuji tries again, northern lights suplex by Mysterio for a two count. Mysterio whips Yuji to the floor, Yuji comes back with a spinning heel kick. Yuji misses a corner clothesline but nails a thrust kick. Yuji tries a crossbody but Mysterio blocks with a dropkick. West Coast Pop and Mysterios win the match.

Good match but not great, Yuji’s kicks were not as crisp as they could have been. There were a few botches in there too which made the match very sloppy as a whole. Mysterio goes over as Mysterio is challenging Syxx for the championship. Disappointing for a cruiserweight match not to steal the show, this could be a tough show to get through with a healthy dose of cruiserweight awesomeness.

Winner: Mysterio over Yuji via West Coast Pop!

Mortis W/ James Vanderberg vs Glacier

Mortis vs Glacier, Reptile vs Sub-Zero. Bischoff’s idea to capitalize on Mortal Kombat, Mortis stole Glacier’s war helmet. Glacier is undefeated and charges into Mortis, Mortis stomps the shit out of Glacier’s leg. Here comes Wrath, Mortis eats an electric chair drop and a back body drop. Clothesline by Glacier and here comes Wrath with the staff of Mortis. Wrath chokes the life out of Glacier, Mortis leg drops Glacier’s face onto the steel steps. The match has long since ended in a DQ. However, here comes Ernest Miller who karate kicks Mortis and Wrath out of the ring.

Winner: Glacier over Mortis via DQ! DUD

(WCW United States Championship Match) Dean Malenko © vs Jeff Jarrett

Jarrett has been accepted into The Four Horseman by this point, Jarrett and Mongo lost a tag team match to The Public Enemy at the last pay per view so how we got to this match, I have no idea. Lock-up with Malenko shoving back Jarrett, clean break from Malenko. Shoulder block from Jarrett, another lock-up. Malenko eats a hiptoss but pops up and stops Jarrett with a drop toehold. Jarrett wriggles free, drop toehold and Jarrett walks on Malenko. Malenko snapmares and slaps on a reverse chinlock. Malenko transitions into an STF, Jarrett fights up to a vertical base and trips up Malenko. Both men rise to their feet in a stalemate.

Malenko sweeps Jarrett and has a leg lock, Malenko wears down the leg of Jarrett with elbows and knees. Malenko stretches Jarrett’s leg across the guard rail and dropkicks the leg. Jarrett hobbles away from Malenko to jump Malenko in the ring. Dropkick by Jarrett followed by an abdominal stretch. Jarrett uses Debra for some extra leverage (Good heel tactic from Jarrett). Malenko backs into the ropes and stomps all over Jarrett after a botched abdominal stretch reversal. Huge right from Malenko and Jarrett powders. Test of strength and Jarrett kicks Malenko in the gut.

Malenko hair-pulls Jarrett to the mat, Jarrett pops up and grabs the arm. Back suplex by Malenko, Jarrett nails a boot to the face out of an Irish whip, spinning neckbreaker. Jarrett tries for a Figure Four, Malenko shoots for The Texas Cloverleaf, small package by Jarrett gets a two count. Rope guillotine by Malenko, Jarrett throws Malenko to the floor to avoid the Texas Cloverleaf. Malenko is whipped into the guard rail and dropped on the rail for that extra bit of offence. Crossbody by Jarrett but Malenko rolls through. 1…2.. Jarrett kicks out, sleeper by Jarrett. Sleeper by Malenko, Jarrett nails a shinbreaker and applies The Figure Four. Malenko grabs the ropes.

Jarrett is shoved into the turnbuckle and both men crack heads, here comes Mongo. Mongo picks up Jarrett and throws Jarrett in the ring. Malenko nails a Tiger Bomb into The Texas Cloverleaf and Jarrett gives up.

Another match heavy in technical wrestling and psychology. Crowd hated Jarrett which helped the match compared to Dragon vs Regal. The ending did little to add tension between Mongo and Jarrett, it would have made sense if Mongo cost Jarrett the match by throwing him in and Jarrett getting distracted by Mongo. Yet, that did not happen as Jarrett was rolled in and went to fight Malenko with Malenko beating Jarrett to the punch. I think it could have been executed better as it was clear they were trying to tease more tension between Mongo and Jarrett over Debra.

Also, nice to see Malenko have a reign as United States Champion. I forgot to mention it while Malenko won the championship but WWE likes to present the story that all these WCW talented rosters never got anywhere and were always held down. While they may not have penetrated the main event scene, the likes of Benoit, Guerrero and Malenko have been treated well so far in their WCW runs. Perhaps the narrative was a little twisted? Only time will tell but just something to think about as Benoit continues to be featured alongside Flair in The Horseman and Guerrero/Malenko are around and holding the us championship.

Winner: Dean Malenko over Jeff Jarrett via Texas Cloverleaf!

(Japanese Deathmatch) Chris Benoit W/ Woman vs Meng

The Dungeon of Doom are still a thing brother! Yes, that statement is true. Sullivan and his revolving door of goons cannot stay away from Chris Benoit. Meng is the hired gun as The Faces of Fear were integrated into the group. Benoit and Meng are slow to start, Meng shoves back Benoit. Test of strength, Meng kicks Benoit, Benoit catches the leg for a dragon screw. Benoit shoots for the leg and Meng kicks Benoit hard. Lock-up, Meng belly to belly throws Benoit, kick to the ribs. Meng misses a clothesline, German suplex by Benoit. Benoit dodges a kick, dropkick to the knee. Benoit goes for a figure four, Meng kicks off Benoit. We are out on the floor and Benoit sends Meng into the steel steps. Reset in the ring, test of strength.

Meng backs Benoit into the corner, chops and elbows. Benoit chops Meng but Meng unloads on Benoit. Benoit knees Meng over and over and slams Meng to the mat. Jacqueline comes out and Woman scares off Jacqueline.. ok? Meng is back in control, headbutt by Meng. Single leg Boston Crab by Meng, crowd are rallying huge for Benoit. Benoit catches Meng charging in, chop war by both men. Headbutt by Meng, Meng piledrives Benoit. Meng goes for a short-arm clothesline and Benoit applies The Crossface. Meng makes it to the ropes, there are no breaks but the referee calls for a break. Benoit stomps Meng out onto the floor.

Benoit tees off on Meng who counters with a huge elbow, stomp to the head by Meng. Meng pummels Benoit over and over, Benoit asks Meng for more and Meng obliges. Gutsy move from Benoit who asks for more, Meng hurls Benoit into the corner, huge kicks to the head and chest by Meng. Meng misses a boot, Benoit clubs Meng in the back of the head. German suplex, two by Benoit. Meng stops the third, chop by Meng. Benoit goes for The Crossface. Meng escapes the hold by bailing to the floor, suicide dive by Benoit. Benoit climbs to the top rope, Meng crotches Benoit. Benoit floats over and nails a massive German suplex. Diving Headbutt by Benoit but Meng catches Benoit in The Tonga grip. Woman is on the apron.

Benoit would not let Woman throw in the towel as Meng chokes out Benoit. Great angle and work with Benoit in this match, Meng continues to be an awesome force while Benoit looks like a hell of a fighter as Benoit fought against the odds and took the fight to Meng. Finish was creative too, Benoit struggles and struggles while you have Benoit refusing to give up easily. Good stuff, the best of the night so far.

Winner: Meng over Chris Benoit via Tonga Death Grip!

Steiner Brothers vs Hugh Morrus & Konnan

More Dungeon of Doom as we have Morrus and Konnan battling Rick and Scott Steiner. Scott cannot rough up Morrus as Morrus is just as big, Morrus grabs the side headlock. Shoulder block by Morrus, clubbing blow but Scott shakes off Morrus. Belly to belly into a side headlock by Scott, tag to Rick. Rick eats a corner clothesline from Morrus, Morrus misses the second clothesline. Belly to belly overhead suplex by Rick and two clothesline. Diving clothesline by Rick, Morrus powders. Tag to Konnan, Konnan wallops Rick and eats a clothesline for his trouble. German suplex by Rick, Konnan runs into a hiptoss and a huge right.

Scott is in and clubbing Konnan, Konnan blocks with a boot. Belly to belly by Scott, Konnan tags Morrus. Jimmy Hart trips Scott and Morrus nails a neckbreaker. Hotshot by Morrus, Konnan puts the boots to Scott. Rolling clothesline by Konnan, cover and a two count. Double Fujiwara armbar by The Dungeon Of Doom, Rick kills Konnan.

 More Fujiwara armbars on Scott, Scott decks Konnan and knocks down Morrus. Tag to Rick, Rick clotheslines everyone. Scoop slams, Konnan is on the floor, powerslam on Morrus. Top rope bulldog by Rick, Konnan saves the match for his team. Scott pummels Konnan in the corner. Rick and Konnan collide, clothesline by Morrus. Morrus misses The No Laughing Matter, Frankensteiner by Scott and The Steiner Brothers walk away with the win.

Alright match, bit on the short side with The Steiners going over like they should. Scott and Rick continue to be over despite their poor booking in recent months. Post-match, Konnan lays out Hugh Morrus.

Winners: The Steiner Brothers over Morrus & Konnan via Frankensteiner!

Reggie White vs Steve Mongo McMichael

A long match with Mongo? And nobody to cover for Mongo? This is my worst nightmare. Mongo charges White and messes up White’s leg. White leapfrogs Mongo, clubbing blow by White and Mongo falls to the floor. Mongo tries to leave, embarrassed and frustrated. Gilbert Brown carries Mongo back to the ring, dropkick by Reggie White. Two count for Reggie White, Mongo works the arm. White stands up and clotheslines Mongo out of the ring. Mongo clips White’s leg from the back, elbows to the leg by Mongo. Mongo misses a leg drop, side headlock by White. Crossbody by White gets a two count.

Nerve hold by White, Mongo prays in the middle of the hold at White’s command. Mongo low blows White and drives a headbutt down south. Mongo rams White into the top turnbuckle twice before White returns the favour. Mongo tries the figure four but White kicks Mongo out of the ring, Mongo is on the top rope and White slams Mongo off the top rope. Forearm shots by Mongo, White battles back. Clothesline and make it two, inverted atomic drop and a clothesline to the floor by White.

They brawl on the floor, Mongo has control in the ring. White suplexes Mongo splash by White but Debra has the referee. Gilbert Brown takes the briefcase away but Jeff Jarrett gives Mongo another briefcase and Mongo clocks White. Mongo wins! Mongo wins! Mongo wins!

Not a disaster, Mongo is one of my favourite wrestlers based on facials and trash talk alone. Mongo cannot wrestle for shit but he sure is entertaining. White did not make an ass of himself, White hit some decent moves and may he rest in peace as research shows Reggie White would only live for several more years.

Winner: Mongo over White via Briefcase Shot!

NWO vs Roddy Piper/Ric Flair/Kevin Greene

The so-called Wolfpac of Nash, Hall and Syxx battle the old-timers in Flair and Piper with their special partner Kevin Greene. This feud had a heavy-mix of realism added to it as Nash, Hall & Syxx would regularly shoot on television when speaking about Flair and Piper. There is also the legendary backstage fight between Piper and Nash which depending on who you believe, had a clear winner. Kevin Greene is a footballer and is the hometown boy while Charlotte is no stranger to Ric Flair either and well, Piper is an Icon like the shirt says. Flair gets a monster pop for his return to action.

Syxx and Flair to start, Flair had said he could whip Syxx’s ass which led to Syxx slapping Flair on Nitro in a very shoot-laced promo. Shoulder block by Syxx, lock-up and Syxx hits another shoulder block. Flair chop and Syxx is down, Flari strut and the places lights up. Massive spinning heel kick by Syxx, Flair is wiped out. Flair chops and punches Syxx, back body drop. Right hands to Hall and Syxx. Nash takes a chop too and Nash looks at Flair like how dare this guy. Great stuff all around, Greene and Hall have a staredown. Nash shoves Greene, Greene shoves Nash. Knee by Nash, knees in the corner and elbows. Greene nails a shoulder block on Nash.

Huge clothesline, scoop slam by Greene. Nash powders and Greene nails Hall and Syxx with a double clothesline. The Wolfpac have a huddle and strategize. Hall wants Piper, slap by Piper. Lock-up, Piper drills Hall. Hall goes low, knee lift by Piper. Lock-up Hall tees off on Piper, Piper attacks all members of The NWO. Neckbreaker on Hall, Syxx enters and illegally smacks Piper’s taped leg. Hall and Syxx work the leg. Hall tries for a figure four but Piper kicks off Hall. Tag to Flair who chops everything in sight.

Eye rake by Hall, Flair flip and Flair tries for a crossbody. Fallaway slam by Hall, Flair is clotheslined to the floor. Piper protects Flair but Nash wipes out Flair with a huge boot. Cover by Hall with feet on the ropes, two count for Hall. Tag to Nash, snake eyes by Nash. Foot choke by Nash, cheap shot by Hall. Sidewalk slam by Nash, tag to Hall. Hall slaps Flair over and over, stamp to the face. Corner clothesline, tag to Syxx. Bronco buster by Syxx, Flair chops back against Syxx. Syxx grabs a side headlock, shoulder block by Flair. Syxx shoves Flair into Hall and Nash, cheap shots ensue. Both men bang heads, Syxx drapes an arm over for a two. Tag to Piper, Piper floors Hall. Piper nails the referee who apparently did not see the tag.

Greene has Syxx, multiple forearms and thrusts by Greene. Greene clotheslines Syxx to the floor, Hall and Flair are in the ring. Nash cheap shots Flair, Flair blocks The Outsider’s Edge. Figure Four by Flair on Hall, Sleeper by Piper on Nash, Powerslam by Greene on Syxx and WCW defeat The NWO in the middle of the ring.

What a hot crowd, Flair’s return was fantastic and Greene did better than Mongo and Reggie White, the match was hot from start to finish, the crowd loved the antics of Piper and Flair, they cheered Greene like crazy. Hall and Nash were bullying Flair while Syxx was such a prick hiding behind his two big buddies. The wrestling was not going to blow you out of the water but as entertainment, that match was worthy of being a main event.

Winners: Flair/Piper/Greene over Team Wolfpac via Powerslam/Sleeper/Figure Four!

So, that was WCW’s Slamboree 1997, a pay per view which could be viewed as largely on the disappointing side. A lot of top stars are nowhere to be seen on the show (Hogan/Luger/Macho Man/DDP/Giant) and the matches we were given ranged from squashes to no-contests. Although, I did see Ernest Miller’s debut so there is that positive. Kidding, the Benoit vs Meng match was enjoyable for the story it told but I am rather sick of Benoit vs Sullivan by this point, I pray something new is coming. The main event was a lot of fun too, Flair and Piper were so much fun, Greene held his own and The NWO is The NWO baby, Syxx bumps around, Hall entertains and Nash destroys. They all got to do their thing and we got a fun main event because of their work. Beyond those two matches though, there was not a lot going on that you needed to see. Final Verdict: WCW was hot with The NWO but they were not banging at tremendous matches or pay per views!

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