– Live from Baltimore, MD
– Your hosts are Tony Schiavone and Bobby “Two Drink Minimum” Heenan, who is so loaded tonight that he makes Scott Hall seem like a choirboy.
– Opening match: Alex Wright v. Paul Roma. This match is the [static]
– BREAKING NEWS! This week’s Thunder report prompted a a flood of hate mail from repressed WCW fans so desperate for ANYTHING to cling onto while the ship sinks that they accused ME, your intrepid reporter, of being BIASED. You think THAT report was biased? Bah. That was pulling my punches. If you want a truly heavy-handed thrashing of a WCW show, there’s only one real method to use THE HOT POKER UP THE ASS RATING SYSTEM! So here’s how it works: Since I have a good idea of how ridiculously low most of the ratings are going to be, I will use a supplementary ratings system to REALLY express how painful watching this show is: I will metaphorically shove hot pokers up a prominent WCW personality’s ass, with the number of pokers used expressing how irritating a given match is. Our target: Kevin Sullivan, who in 1995 gave WCW the Dungeon of Doom, and in 2000 gave the WWF the Benoit Four. He deserves a pokerin’ either way. For fun, pretend that the “Vanilla midgets who’ll never draw a dime” are taking turns administering the pokers. Die-hard fans of mine will remember that I tried tempering the painfully hot metal with refreshing bottles of SurgeÃ¢â€žÂ¢ for when something good happened, but WCW has since ended that partnership, so Kevin is out of luck, I guess. Better stock up on Preparation H, Kev.
– Opening match: Paul Roma v. Alex Wright. This match is why you don’t see Roma around anymore. I’ll explain why as we go along. The idea was that Wright was the undefeated rookie at the time, and WCW told Roma to go out and make him look good en route to losing to him. Roma had other ideas. Roma destroys Wright to start, then mocks Wright’s goofy dance to BABYFACE heat. They trade wristlocks as Orndorff comes out for moral support. Roma won’t sell anything and soon takes over with a couple of elbowdrops and more posing. Wright gets tossed and spends some time on the floor. Back in and Wright fights for a backslide. Roma won’t even give him that easily, and he immediately kicks out, not even giving Wright a one-count. Into the resting. Wright fights free but Roma moves out of the way of a dropkick, making Wright look stupid again. Roma follows up with a beautiful flying elbow, making sure to take his time and showboat so Wright has to lay there doing nothing. Wright finally mounts the comeback and Roma won’t cooperate, messing up a Wright hiptoss attempt in the process. Roma and Orndorff stop for a conference and Roma finally allows Wright a move Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a fluke schoolboy rollup for the pin at 13:20, although Roma actually had the balls to KICK OUT and make him look even worse. Ref counted three anyway. *1/2 Roma was fired for being an unprofessional shit after the show, and hasn’t been seen anywhere outside of the indys since then as a result. We’ll go 10 hot pokers up Sullivan’s ass for having to watch Roma, a lifelong jobber and a joke of the industry, attempt to make himself look good at Wright’s expense. I guess Paul knows his role now. Weirdly, the same shit happened to Wright AGAIN last year, as Jim Duggan refused to sell for him at Halloween Havoc, thus killing the Berlyn gimmick out of the starting gate.
– Bunkhouse Buck v. Hacksaw Duggan. Speaking of ol’ Hacksaw, he puts Buck on the floor in short order here. Bobby Heenan is having trouble stringing together coherant sentences at this point. They brawl and Duggan eats ringpost. Duggan controls anyway with punches and kicks. Buck takes over. More resting. They plod around very sssssssllllooooooowwwwwwwlllllyyyy as Duggan comes back. More resting. More resting. Bobby notes that “this is not a match, it’s a fight”. He’s half-right, of course. We pass 10 minutes and even hardened CIA agents begin reaching for their cynanide capsules to end the torture. Duggan mercifully hits the THREE-POINT STANCE OF DOOM for the pin at 11:54 and then gets destroyed by Meng. The match is -**, plus an additional 5 hot pokers for Duggan’s plodding offense, 5 for Buck’s matching of that pace, and another 5 for whoever booked this to go more than 10 minutes, for a total of 15 flaming hot pokers up Kevin Sullivan’s ass. That’s gotta hurt.
– Kevin Sullivan v. Evad Sullivan. Speaking of the evil midget himself, here’s the big, long-awaited blowoff for the feud with his “brother”, Dave. Kevin has Brutus “the Butcher” Beefcake with him, which drops the match * by proxy. Quasi-brawl to start. Evad has his way with Kevin despite missing nearly every move, but Butcher trips him up (which he can’t even sell right) and Kevin takes over. Evad’s selling is even worse than his offense, rendering the match indescribeably awful. Well, I’ll give it a shot: We’re talking Giant Gonzalez v. Undertaker best of 3 falls territory here. Kevin throws Evad into the Butcher, thus sacrificing his own lackey, and gets the rollup for the pin at 7:16. Beefcake sells a facial injury as a result, leading to Winning Gimmick #19438 for Beefer: The Man with No Face. I shit you not, he actually used that one in between “The Butcher” and the “Zodiac Man”. Who needs talent when you’ve got Hogan? Match earns a very generous -***, plus 5 hot pokers for Evad Sullivan in general, plus 5 for the whole Sullivan brothers feud, plus 5 for Tony mentioning Evad’s “magic slippers”, plus 5 for the Butcher being at ringside, plus 5 for being the match that triggered the “Man with no Face” gimmick, for a whopping total of 25 hot pokers for Kevin Sullivan. Somebody call a proctologist, stat!
– WCW World tag titles: Harlem Heat v. The Nasty Boys. Booker pummels Knobs to start, but gets crotched in a ridiculous looking spot. Nasties work Booker over for a few minutes. Stevie Ray comes in and gets clubbered. Pity, no Dusty to call it properly. It occurs to me that the Nasties and Heat may have set a record for having the most PPV matches despite not really being able to work together well enough to break **. The leg is worked upon for a while. Sags gets caught in the Heat corner a few times, however, and the Heat takes control. Boring heat segment on Sags follows. Hot tag to Knobbs after a few years, as he DDTs both Heat members and covers Stevie Ray for 2. Heel miscommunication among the Heat leads to Sherri hitting the wrong guy off the top rope and Sags cradling Stevie Ray for the pin and the titles at 17:06. BUT WAIT! The evil Hand of Dusty sends another referee out to inform the first one that someone got tossed over the top rope before the pinfall, so the decision is reversed and the Heat keeps the titles. Curses, foiled again. Match was * if that, and we’ll allot the standard 10 hot pokers for a Dusty Finish.
– Blacktop Bully v. Dustin Rhodes. Speaking of people with no significant amount of talent who keep getting recycled into new gimmicks, witness Barry Darsow, playing his latest lame character in the form of Blacktop Bully. Dustin dominates quickly but the Bully clips him and pounds away. Dustin tosses him. Bully stalls. Dustin grabs an armbar and holds on. He messes up a leapfrog, kneeing Bully in the head by mistake. Sloppy, really sloppy. This match is the pretzels. More armbarring. Quick brawl outside puts Bully in control of things. Resting results. Who authorized FIFTEEN MINUTES for these guys? Dustin finishes with the bulldog, but Col. Parker puts Bully’s foot on the ropes at two. And then we do the worst ending ever to be repeated 400 times a year, as Dustin suplexes Bully into the ring and Parker hooks his leg, allowing Bully to fall on top for the pin at 16:08. This would lead to the ludicrous King of the Road match at Uncensored, which we’ll get to next month. Ã‚Â¼* Tack on 5 hot pokers for that ending.
– Ric Flair, still in “retirement”, joins us at ringside for the next match.
– Sting & Randy Savage v. Avalanche & Big Bubba Rogers. Stalling to start. Sting gets caught in the fat people’s corner and double-teamed. Sting and Savage quickly take advantage of a Bubba mistake and dominate him, however. Savage pounds on Bubba, but has less success with Avalanche. He tries a bodyslam, but Avalanche is JUST TOO FAT and it backfires. Sting lends a hand and they clean house, but again Sting tries power moves on Avalanche and the overwhelming CELLULITE OF DOOM is too move to overcome. The heels pound on Sting for a while. Savage eventually gets the hot tag and takes down Bubba, as Sting comes off the top with a flying body attack on Avalanche. Avalanche trips over Bubba and Sting pins him at 10:16. Dumb but watchable. ** No pokers needed.
– WCW World title: Hulk Hogan v. Vader. Hogan starts with his panty-waste offense, which Vader gleefully no-sells, thus drawing a face reaction. This match was the first sign that Hogan’s faÃƒÂ§ade of popularity was cracking, so of course Vader was completely buried and humilated by him in every encounter after this to prove otherwise. Hogan has the audacity to try an armbar takedown, so Vader boxes his ears and hits a running splash in the corner. Hogan bails. Vader chases, but Hogan whips him into and over the railing, into Flair’s lap. Back in, and Hogan unloads on Vader. Big boot and clothesline sends Vader to the floor. Back in, and a bodyslam fails. Vader goes easy on Hogan, dumbing down his offense. Pump splash gets two. Moonsault misses. Hogan, hero and role model to millions, grabs a chair and whacks Vader with it. Vader shrugs him off like the whiny little red-and-yellow bitch he is and chokeslams him. Suplex gets two, and Hogan hulks up. The crowd is decidedly split at this point. Big boot and legdrop, which doesn’t even get one. Crowd is either shocked or elated, depending on which section. Ref gets bumped and Vader hits the powerbomb. Ric Flair comes in to personally revive the ref, but Hogan re-awakens and it’s a big schmoz at 15:08. *** Conventional wisdom says that you put your monster heel over here and do a rematch with Hogan winning later, but this IS Hogan we’re talking about, so of course he keeps the title. Good match, no pokers needed.
The Bottom Line: Grand total of 60 hot pokers means that Kevin Sullivan may need an ass replacement. Possible donors should contact WCW, although I hear that Vince Russo is looking for work right now and may volunteer himself.
The show itself is horrible and worthless, as were most things in 1995 WCW. Don’t even bother checking out the back of the video box in the store, rent porn or something instead.
Strong recommendation to avoid.