– Before we begin, special thanks to Shaw Cable, who didn’t get the signal from WCW until an hour into the show tonight, forcing me to watch the replay instead. This meant that I had to miss the Canadian debut of the Sopranos, I show I’ve been waiting YEARS to finally see. Good job, Shaw!
– Live from Buffalo, NY
– Your hosts are Tony, Mark and Scott.
– Opening match, Jobberweight title: Elix Skiper v. Kwee Wee. Elix bails quickly, and back in for some armdragging. Skipper hits a forearm to the back of the head, then does a nice rope-jumping sequence that leads to a german suplex for two. Backdrop suplex and twisting legdrop get two. A long chinlock follows, breaking the nice flow they had going, and they hit the floor and brawl. Back in, Skipper gets two. Kwee Wee hits a powerbomb for the double KO spot, as the Natural Born Thrillers emerge. Kwee gets a Thesz Press and a dropkick for two. Backdrop gets two. Skipper is dumped, and hurts his knee on the landing. Mike Sanders then pops in, punks out Kwee Wee, and leaves. Skipper comes back in with a flying crossbody, which is reversed by Kwee Wee for two. Skipper clips him and hits the Overdrive for the pin to retain at 11:02. A bit too long, but some surprisingly decent action to start. **1/2 The lousy psychology and out-of-nowhere ending sequence hurt it a lot, though.
– Three Count v. Chavo Guerrero, The Wall & Lash LeRoux. Chavo & Shannon start and Chavo gets some Mexican Violence, and an inverted powerbomb. Lash gets dominated in the heel corner, but the Wall comes in and kills Shane dead with a spinebuster for two. Lash comes back in and gets beat on again, with a double-team fireman’s carry neckbreaker for two. Shannon gets a fameasser for two. Rockerplex gets two. Hey, if you’re gonna steal, Shawn and Marty are as good as anyone. Evan drops the big elbow for two. Shane gets a diving sunset flip for two. Shannon hits a twisting splash for two. Man, Evan is like this huge anchor around Shannon and Shane right now. Lash gets a blind X-Factor and hot tags the Wall. Pier-six sees Moore hit a tope on Lash, then Chavo hits one on Moore, then Evan hits on one both MIA guys, then Shane tries one but gets caught by the Wall. Evan trips him up, though, and Shane superkicks Wall through a conveniently placed table. Back in, Three Count does some heel miscommunication and Chavo reverses a Shannon rana into a powerbomb for two. Triple suplex attempt by Three count is reversed into a double suplex attempt by MIA, which is reversed again into a double DDT by Three Count for two, with Wall making the save. Lash then hits Whiplash Classic for the pin on Shane at 10:27. That was one hell of a match from these kids. ***1/2
– The Harrissessesssess v. Kronik, chain match: Adams asks for first blood, just so no one has to job. Big brawl to start, and Adams won’t sell anything. Into the crowd. Scott keeps reinforcing his point about how this won’t be a classic wrestling match. No shit, sherlock. Into the ring, where Adams and Ron lie around. Crowd is dead. Ref gets bumped, and you know the routine: The heels bleed, but the ref doesn’t see it, and wakes up to find the heels beating on Adams until he bleeds, giving the bad guys the win at 6:37. Strictly clichÃƒÂ© city here. Ã‚Â½*
– Canadian title match: Lance Storm v. General Rection. Jim Duggan is YOUR special enforcer, and has an extra t-shirt on under his ref shirt, so look for a “shocking swerve” here in the form of a Duggan turn. Scott speculates that Rush’s “Free Will” is the Canadian national anthem. Actually, it’s probably either “Tom Sawyer” or “Spirit of Radio” because they both get played incessantly at high school dances up here. Rection no-sells some Canadian Violence to start. Storm bails, and heads back in after stalling for a bit. Rection blocks a crucifix and hits an avalanche. A second one misses, but he salvages a superplex for two. Storm goes low to take over. Superkick gets two. Dropkick gets two. Rection bails and Storm hits a tope and they brawl. Back in, Storm gets a jawbreaker, but Rection comes back with a powerslam for two. Doctorbomb gets two. Storm gets a bad dragon screw legwhip, but can’t hook the Mapleleaf. Rection comes on with a release german suplex and Storm bails. Duggan tosses him back in, and Rection goes up for the moonsault and Duggan of course waffles him with the 2×4 to go Canadian. Mapleleaf finishes at 6:11. Didn’t really do anything for me. **
– The Natural Born Thrillers v. The Filthy Animals, Big Vito & Paul Orndorff. This is supposed to be 6 on 6, but the Animals seem to have about 10 people hanging around. Orndorff looks OLD. Rey and Jindrak start, and Jindrak controls. Rey gets his springboard legdrop, but gets caught coming off the ropes. Juvy & O’Hare go next, with Juvy using his speed to avoid him. Bodypress attempt is caught by O’Hare and turned into a Falcon Arrow, but Juvy ranas Jindrak and tags in Vito. Disco then tags himself in and gets an atomic drop for two. Jindrak tilt-a-whirl and O’Hare superkick gets one. K-Dog comes in with the rolling lariat and carpet muncher, but he collides with Disco and gets stunnered and pinned at 5:51. Johnny the Bull comes in and misses the legdrop on Disco, but no one will tag Disco, and Reno hits his neckbreaker thingie for the pin at 6:40. Vito and Reno go, then Palumbo comes in and takes a DDT for two. Reno hits the neckbreaker again, on Vito this time, and gets the pin at 8:45. Juvy tries next, hitting a diving senton on Reno and the Designated Driver. He and Rey finish Reno with the Wassup Drop at 10:43. O’Hare and Jindrak just kill the champs, dropping Juvy on the rail outside and then tossing him back in, OVER the top rope. Wild. Senton bomb rids us of the Juice at 12:10. Orndorff comes in and kicks some whippersnapper ass, hitting the BOOGIE-WOOGIE ELBOW OF DOOM! Haven’t seen that one in a while. Johnny gives it a go, but gets caned. Piledriver finishes him at 13:24. Jindrak & O’Hare try Orndorff next, but miss a blind charge. Orndorff uses psychology to dodge their stuff (he’s their teacher, you see) and hits a piledriver on Jindrak, but hurts himself on the move and gets pinned at 14:47. The match limps along as EMTs tend to Orndorff before the ref calls a no-contest at 16:40. I was enjoying the hell out of that match before that ending. ***1/4 I think there’s a lesson about bookers crying wolf in here somewhere, but I like Orndorff so I’ll let it be.
– Scaffold match: Shane Douglas & Torrie Wilson v. Kidman & Madusa. The scaffold is over the stage area. Madden gets the burn of the night in on Madusa, noting that she’s so saggy that her bra size is “38 Long”. The usual scaffold inaction goes on here, as they do some punches and crawl around. Madusa and Torrie go for the ladders as Douglas & Kidman try to salvage a match. Douglas kicks Madusa off the ladder and she falls to the stage in a nasty looking bump. That looked pretty darn bad. Douglas then tosses Kidman in a safer-looking bump for the win at 4:47. At least it was short. *
– We go to a pre-taped skit, as Mike Tenay interviews a mentally unstable David Flair about who the father might be. It ends with David attacking the mailman.
– Sting v. Vampiro v. Great Muta. ICP are handling commentary. Brawl outside to start. Yawn. Into the ring, Sting beats up both. Vamp & Muta double-team him and Muta moonsaults him for two. The heels argue and ICP breaks it up. Sting takes them all out and finishes Muta with the deathdrop at 5:08. Match had no heat. *
– Mike Awesome arrives with Gary Coleman. Great, all we need is the return of Cheetum, the Evil Midget and- we can have a tag match.
– Bunkhouse Match: Jeff Jarrett v. Mike Awesome. Jarrett annoys the Buffalo Bills at ringside, going for the cheap football heat. He needs to take lessons from Edge & Christian on that sort of thing. Brawl outside to start with various weapons. I hit you, you hit me. Awesome sets up a table, but gets backdropped through it off the top. Jarrett goes into a barbed wire table, twice, and a powerbomb gets two. Frog splash misses and Jarrett jaws with the Bills. The Bills then surround the ring and lay in some shots, and Awesome gets a powerbomb for two. Jarrett escapes an Awesome Bomb, and then everyone just kind of stands around. Gary Coleman runs in and lowblows Jarrett, and takes a guitar shot as a result. Good lord. And now Sting runs in, hits the deathdrop on Jarrett, and Awesome gets the pin at 9:03. When it takes weapons, Sting, Gary Coleman and the ENTIRE BUFFALO STARTING LINEUP to beat Jeff Jarrett, you know the match is just a BIT overbooked. *1/2
– Scott Steiner v. Goldberg. Steiner is wearing an Aldo Montoya headpiece tonight. Goldberg gets a quick shoulderblock and snap powerslam, and Steiner runs. Back in, Steiner gets an elbow for two. Goldberg shrugs off some offense and suplexes Steiner. Scott comes back with a Diamond Cutter and belly to belly for two. Tombstone is reversed to a powerslam for two. Spear misses, but Goldberg no-sells the miss and powerslams Steiner anyway. Steiner bails as his hooch wanders out. Into the ring, Goldberg is bleeding, which was given away when he put the gig into his tights on-camera during his big pre-match walk to the ring. Backbreaker gets two for Steiner, followed by a nasty overhead belly to belly. He gets the lead pipe, but Goldberg spears him. Russo then runs in with a baseball bat and lays out Goldberg. They brawl outside and Steiner slams him through a table. Back in, Steiner hooks the REAR CHINLOCK OF DOOM. You know, if he can’t even do his own finisher properly, he should go back to using the Screwdriver or something. Goldberg powers out. Scott tries the top rope rana, but Goldberg pushes off. Steiner keeps coming and gets a belly to belly for two. Back to the chinlock, Goldberg escapes again. That move is such a joke. Goldberg gets a neckbreaker, but Steiner hits him with the pipe, goes back to that stupid chinlock AGAIN, and Goldberg is out at 13:50. All the interference in the last match killed the effectiveness of it here, but the match was pretty brutal on it’s own. ***
– WCW World title match: Kevin Nash v. Booker T. Kev overpowers Booker to start, and does his lazy offense in the corner. Lariat gets two. Sideslam gets two. Booker slams him and hits the scissor and axe kick combo. Bookend is blocked with a chokeslam, and both guys are out. At 4:00? Nash rolls over for two. Slugfest is won by Booker. Nash goes facefirst to the cage and blades. Good one, too. Booker escapes the powerbomb and hits a missile dropkick for two. Nash lariat gets two. Nash goes low and hits the big foot, but Booker reverses the powerbomb and hits the Bookend for the pin and his second title at 9:00. Match felt kind of hurried, but at least Poochie jobbed clean. **
The Bottom Line: Hey, what can you say? The show pretty clearly did not suck, and in fact there was some hellacious effort given by the young guys in the first hour. The old guys all dogged it, but that’s expected these days. I got all I needed out of it, at any rate, and the disappointment of the Awesome-Jarrett match was more than compensated for by some great undercard action to start, making this a pleasant surprise for a show I was dreading. And if Vince Russo would drop dead and/or quit tomorrow, it’d be even more entertaining. But that’s later.