The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 02.26.96
Live from Knoxville, TN.
Your hosts are Eric Bischoff, Mongo and Bobby Heenan
So we’re shortly after Superbrawl VI, and Flair is once again World champion, and apparently Brutus Beefcake has changed identities again, this time into the Booty Man. But in a Russo-like twist, it’s not even really a babyface turn, because he was a SPY all along. Those must have been some thrilling reports he was sending back. Like Donnie Brasco for idiots.
Big Bubba Rogers v. Sting
Just in case you were planning on changing the channel, Eric Bischoff runs down the results of the taped RAW and frankly it sounds pretty wretched. Diesel v. Bob Holly? Yeesh. Bubba quickly overpowers Sting and gets the running choke for two, and Sting’s makeup is already coming off in gobs. Sting walks into a spinebuster that gets two. Bubba with a chinlock and Sting fights out as I notice the guy in the front rows with a creepy Bart Simpson mask on. If there was any serial murders in the Knoxville area around that time, I can probably give the police a lead. Bubba tosses him and actually gets yelled at by an angry old granny in the front row, which seems like a wasted opportunity for all. And security tries to chase her away! Haven’t any of these people watched wrestling before? Bubba should have gone all Bubba Dudley on her! This would be right around the time of that stupid show with the masked Harley Race and the stunt grannies and everything. Sting makes the comeback and misses a pump splash in the corner, but recovers with a flying bodypress for the pin at 7:12. I’d call this one about 0.5 Diesel v. Holly, actually. Pretty boring but not as dire as the opposition’s main event. *
Mean Gene has a word with Sting & Luger, but the Road Warriors interrupt on behalf of the other teams in “World Champions of Wrestling”. And that was Animal who stumbled over that line, not Hawk! Luger declares that they’re not scared of the Warriors, while carrying both belts and hiding behind Sting. Sting is dubious that Luger is from the part of Chicago that would allow him to compete with the Warriors in a Chicago Street Fight. What an underrated act they were as a team. Luger accepts that challenge for a Chicago Street Fight, then waits until the Warriors leave and asks for clarification on what the match actually involves. HA! This is exactly the kind of stuff they’re constantly trying for now, but end up overscripting into 20 minute promos about business meetings and stuff.
Lex Luger v. The Renegade
Renegade manages to overpower Luger for some reason I can’t fathom, but Lex comes back with an atomic drop, and Renegade no-sells it and clotheslines him for two. Bischoff notes that Renegade has been working out at the new Power Plant training center, which is apparently supposed to be a SELLING POINT. Renegade then proceeds to neck himself on the top rope while nearly missing by a foot, and Luger takes over. Renegade with a sunset flip for two, but Luger clotheslines him down again for two. And we hit the chinlock. Luger pounds away and yells a lot, and a suplex is no-sold by Renegade because he’s fucking terrible. Powerslam gets two and Renegade comes back with his handspring into a bulldog, but he goes up and Jimmy Hart pushes him to the floor, allowing Luger to finish with the rack at 5:40. As bad as Renegade is, he actually outworked Luger here. I’d call this 1.1 Diesel v. Holly, as was clearly worse than 1996 Kevin Nash would be. ½* Sting comes out to yell at his friend about cheating to win, but Lex avoids the conflict and claims ignorance of all the sordid dealings, then raises Renegade’s arm in a show of good sportsmanship. Well that’s nice to see.
The Roadwarriors v. Harlem Heat
Hey, that’s what the graphic calls them. Bischoff notes that this one is gonna be rough. Indeed. Let’s play “How drunk is Hawk tonight?” Booker clotheslines him in the corner and Hawk no-sells it and chases him to the floor, albeit while moving very slowly. Back in with a neckbreaker for two and the stunt granny is PUMPED. Now that’s a segment of the fanbase that is completely missing these days – crazed old ladies who believe that every word is real and will fuck up your shit if you’re a heel messing with John Cena. Stevie slugs away on Animal while Booker stands on the ring apron and threatens to backhand the old biddie. Now that’s more like it! You just know an old lady from Tennessee confronted with two black heels is gonna make for great TV. Now they need to drag a babyface out there to the front row and lay in a good shot to the face on him just for her. Ric Flair used to do that to Ricky Morton CONSTANTLY and it was glorious to see the old women in the front row just lose their shit over their hero getting smoked. Stevie with a powerbomb on Hawk for some reason and he stomps away on the back, setting up the ax kick for Booker. We hit the chinlock for a bit and Booker hits a sidekick for two. Heat with a double suplex for two. Hot tag to Animal and he clotheslines both Heat, but Booker comes back with the Harlem Hangover. Animal sneaks in and boots him, then puts Hawk on top for the pin and a surprisingly large heel reaction at 8:00. That was weird, as the crowd was very into the LOD the whole way through and suddenly turned on them when they cheated to win. Not a bad match at all, thanks to the Heat controlling the whole thing. **1/2
Ric Flair, Kevin Sullivan & Arn Anderson v. Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage & The BOOTY MAN
I literally have no idea what “The Booty Man” was supposed to represent as a gimmick. He was basically Brutus Beefcake without the barber gimmick. Speaking of gimmicks, Bischoff accidentally calls the babyface team “The Megapowers” and probably got a letter from the WWF’s legal department. Oh, and Kimberly joins us at ringside with flowers, because she apparently wants a piece of that…uh…hot and sexy Ed Leslie action, I guess. His thighs are barely even meaty! And his hair is thinning and barely even wet. I bet Vince wouldn’t even get a half-chub for him, IF THAT. Booty quickly gets a sleeper on Arn after some assorted stalling and bullshit to start and has a strutting contest with Flair. Over to Savage and we get more pyro and ballyhoo from the babyfaces as we’re 5:00 in with FUCK ALL having occurred thus far. Flair goes up and gets slammed off, but catches Savage with a shot and stops to pose. However, this allows Hogan to come in and you just know the old lady is ready to throw her panties at him, because they’re in the same age bracket and all. Hogan cleans house and pounds away on Flair in the corner, and the faces do a double boot on Flair for two. And now Booty cleans house as the poor heels have to sell for THE BOOTY MAN. Bischoff clarifies that he got his name not from kicking booty, but from shaking his own booty. And this was supposed to get him over as a top babyface, mind you. TOP BABYFACE. Finally Savage proves to be the one to take the bullet and sell for the heels in the corner so this match can finally go somewhere after 10:00, and then Flair immediately takes him to the front row and beats on him in front of the old lady! WHAT DID I TELL YOU? A million stars just for that. Flair is a god among wrestlers. Back in, they continue beating on Savage, but it’s hot tag to THE BOOTY MAN and Hulk finishes Arn with the legdrop at 12:05. Flair attacks from behind and Liz handcuffs Hulk in the corner, as the camera shows us Hulk feeding her the wrists because she can’t figure it out on her own. And that’s where he presumably was left to die in Knoxville as the show goes off the air, his plight unresolved like Cary Elwes at the end of Saw. Maybe that’s what happened to Kerry Von Erich?
Luger and Sting as the Bickersons was nearly cancelled out by the vomit-inducing six-man, but the vicious old lady super-mark in the front row pulls it out of the fire for all involved. It’s a win overall.