Future puro stars pop up in the strangest places in their early years- like CIMA making Nitro & Thunder appearances!
Welcome back to more Dream Matches! This week we have a wild assortment of weirdness, as I finally get to showcase something I’d been wanting to share- the time CIMA & Tokyo Magnum hit WCW! See, Ultimo Dragon wanted some training time for his boys in what was then called Toryumon, and so we have them acting as jobbers in all sorts of WCW programming, taking on guys in true “Wait, THAT happened?” bouts- such as here against The Public Enemy in their second WCW run!
Also the KOTR run of Chyna inspired me to check out an IC Title defense from the same era, as she takes on DX stablemate Mr. Ass! Then watch a bizarre OVW trios match, as “The Main Roster Failures Squad” (Sean O’Haire, Lance Cade & Renee Dupree) take on The Big Boss Man (an OVW trainer at this point!), Charlie Haas and John Cena! Also an all-time dream match as Blake Beverly takes on SMASH… but in WCW when the latter was completely washed up and doing the “Hole in One” gimmick on WCW Saturday Night. TWICE they wrestled- smell the ratings! Finally, more of my dive into lucha as Silver King, 2 Cold Scorpio & El Texano team up against Dr. Wagner Jr, Scorpio Jr & Black Power.
THE PUBLIC ENEMY (Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge) vs. SHIIMA NOBUNAGA & TOKYO MAGNUM:
(WCW Thunder 07-08-1998)
* GOD I love WCW! Where else can you see shit like Dragon Gate guys fighting TPE on the B-show? The rookie trainees already have great looks and good gear, but they’re taking on an increasingly-rotund TPE (Grunge in particular is HUGE now). Magnum’s in pink & black, Shiima’s in yellow & black, and TPE have big white jerseys on.
The pretty boys attack before the bell, but run into each other and take double-teams, hitting the floor. Grunge interrupts Magnum’s sexy dance on the outside and takes some shots for it, but gets an elbow and a horrible neckbreaker. Shiima’s in and eats a double-pancake, but dodges Rocco’s Lionsault (!). His back elbow & springboard swanton get two, but the crowd don’t even react (to be fair, he doesn’t get much of an “oomph” in to it)- he gets crotched and Magnum double-gutbustered, and TPE signal for the tables, waking up the fans- Shiima’s dumped on a double-stack outside the ring and BAM! The Drive-By (assisted senton)! Heenan LOVES that, just laughing his ass off on commentary (“I love to see grown men go through two tables!”) and the pin is academic at (2:52). Magnum tries to interrupt the hand-waving party with his sexy dance, but is beaten up for it- thankfully, in comes Alex Wright & Disco Inferno to save their new Fellow In Sexiness.
Just a complete squash- the boys barely got any offense at all, and were eaten alive by Public Enemy. Who, to be fair, did a good job of it, tossing the smaller guys around, hitting some okay stuff, and th en doing the big crowd-pleasing finale. A waste of Shiima & Magnum, but a great squash.
Rating: *1/2 (as squashes go, it’s pretty great- TPE were born for this nonsense)
#1 CONTENDER TO THE INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE:
CHYNA vs. MR. ASS:
(WWF SmackDown, Aug. 1999)
* This is during Chyna’s run at the Intercontinental Title, and she’s paired up with Mr. Ass circa his big push against The Rock post-King of the Ring. Recently, Chyna “swerved” Billy by writing her own name on his contract for an IC Title match, then low-blowed him when he mooned her over it. Later, she accidentally blasted him with a guitar instead of her intended target- Jeff Jarrett. So this match is over said IC Title shot (which, thankfully, they’re allowed to say instead of “opportunity”). Jarrett, Debra & Miss Kitty all come down for commentary, too. Mr. Ass is in neon green shorts, and Chyna’s in what looks to be a leather thong & bikini under a mesh slightly larger bikini. That doesn’t suck.
They talk smack to start, Chyna ending up mooning Billy, who thankfully neither sticks nor picks her ass, instead pushing it with his boot, sending her into the corner with her ass hanging out in the thong. Well she earned that one. Chyna bowls him over and throws punches, then a few forearms (thankfully she could do those pretty convincingly), but tries a suplex and he reverses to a delayed vertical… but she drops behind him and does a backflip to bring some distance, then DDTs him when he charges in! Not bad! Ass hits a back elbow as Debra makes some fan’s life by wiggling her eyebrows and blowing a kiss as them while Jarrett’s being a boring nothing on commentary. Chyna takes a huge bump over the top and to the floor, appearing to hurt her arm on the landing, but when Mr. Ass shows concern and leads her to the table, she grabs him and SLAMS him into the steps! Hah! Chyna launches him over the ring steps and slams him on an open chair, then brings him into the ring, where Billy shoves her into the ref and hits the Fameasser! But with the ref out, heeeeeeeeeere comes Triple-H. One Pedigree and the ref wakes up, and it’s over at (3:26)- Chyna’s the one to face Jeff Jarrett… in a bout that would have FAR-reaching consequences, it turns out!
huh, shockingly decent for what we got- they were usually very careful to plan matches around Chyna’s limitations, and Billy was solid here, selling for her and timing stuff right. Chyna looked good with strikes and doing that backflip, which does wonders for her credibility (they did a LOT of work to justify her as a threat to men’s titles at this point). Also I liked her playing on Billy’s gentlemanliness by faking an injury and blasting him when he showed concern. This is almost a perfect example of how you use a limited wrestler properly (people booking & wrestling Jade Cargill, take notice)- big bumps and flips to take advantage of the stuff she CAN do, then smoke & mirrors it outside with impressive shots to the ringside plunder. Add some charisma and you’re done- Chyna looks legit.
Rating: **1/4 (a hundred times better than it had any right to be, while also being an Attitude Era brawl)
SEAN O’HAIRE, LANCE CADE & RENEE DUPREE (w/ Kenny Bolin & Jerome Crony) vs. THE BIG BOSS MAN, CHARLIE HAAS & MR. P:
(OVW TV, Nov. 9th 2002)
* A mish-mash of the “Stars of the Future” in WWF Developmental as the massively hyped and rapidly-failing Sean O’Haire teams up with future Garrison, Lance Cade, and Renee Dupree, both of whom were just generic Cookie Cutter guys who washed out pretty quickly. Speaking of, there’s Charlie Haas, but his partner is the BIG BOSS MAN, who at this point had been removed from WWF TV and was made a trainer in OVW until his release. Their partner is the masked “Mr. P” from SmackDown, and it’s clearly John Cena in a mask, back when he was still new to the main roster. O’Haire’s in black & purple shorts, Cade’s in black trunks (with Dolph Ziggler hair), and Dupree’s in black trunks and a robe. Boss Man’s in the “ECW Special” (jeans & black t-shirt), Haas in black & neon green shorts, and Mr. P’s in black shorts and a mask. Man, the gear is so same-y, even in the developmental.
Mr. P charges the ring and we’re off straight away, as Cornette immediately calls out that he remembers the music (“Immigrant Song”) and physique, and Kenny Bolin (the top heel manager in OVW) accuses him of being “The Prototype” John Cena, who had lost a “Loser Leaves Town” match. Cade gets bounced around by the faces, eating the Boss Man Punch and a powerslam- Cena comes in with generic stuff. Cade takes a double-hiptoss and tags out- Dupree takes some punches & stuff but takes over when Crony trips up Cena. Everything Dupree does here looks REALLY unconvincing- like he goes into the corner too slowly, he moves too smoothly otherwise, and he has this weird “Donald Duck” walk with his chest and ass sticking out like Rob Liefeld drew him.
After a bunch of punching and headlocks, O’Haire hits an overhead backbreaker drop. Apparently all Cade can do is an overhand forearm shot because holy god is he doing nothing else. He finally misses a charge and Cena gets a backdrop to sit-out slam/clothesline thingie- oh, that’s the ProtoPlex- Cena dodges him again and Haas beats all three guys, hitting a flying forearm for two on Cade. The ref is distracted by the donnybrook, so Crony tries to use wrestling’s deadliest weapon, the Empty Shoe, but only clocks Cade by mistake- he takes a backdrop suplex and Haas slaps the Haas of Pain (Indian deathlock while leaning back and pulling with his hands) on Cade for the submission win (8:22). Crony takes the Haas of Pain as well.
Holy shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit this was basic. I know O’Haire could do more than this in particular, but it was ten minutes of headlocks, hiptosses, punches and overhand forearms. These 6’3″ roid-monsters were wrestling like second-year joshi wrestlers in terms of plain offense, which must be a directive from someone along the line to keep it simple and re-learn match pacing. Boss Man was only in the ring for 30 seconds and almost the entire rest of it was Cena getting slowly worked over by plodding garbage until Haas comes in and leads right to the win.
Rating: 1/4* (poorly put-together bout with too basic a set of offense)
Barry Darsow is one of my favorite wrestlers ever- not for in-ring skill, but for taking some of the most curtain-jerking bullshit ever and giving it his absolute all. This dude acted like he LOVED being “Mr. Hole In One!” on Saturday Nights!
MIKE ENOS vs. “HOLE IN ONE” BARRY DARSOW:
(Feb. 6th 1999)
* So WCW is actively sucking ass at this point, but we sure do get a pair of ’90s tag team guys in a throwaway match on their D-Show! Darsow is now doing his awful “I’m a golfer!” gimmick, but because he’s a fucking amazing pro wrestler, he’s just putting his ALL into it and we all now remember this fondly. Like, he’s wrestling in golfing gear and bringing his clubs into the ring- how can you not love this guy? Enos is in black short-shorts and now acting like a babyface.
Enos catches Darsow putting (god this gimmick is awesome) and clotheslines him down, then hits a slam, neckbreaker & falling headbutt. Darsow bails like a wuss and runs away until Enos goes to break a club- the ref stops him for some reason, allowing Darsow to nail Mike off the apron. Darsow uses 1980s WWF offense, but puts his head down and Enos bashes him around for two. Darsow cheats to come back, getting a suplex for two and WAY overselling the kickout, then hauling Enos down repeatedly in a weak submission, but Enos reverses a whip for a big powerslam and drives him golfballs-first into the ringpost. Darsow sells that and Enos just… keeps kinda tossing him to the corner for boots, doing that endlessly until Darsow finally hits the corner where his club is- Enos takes a shot to the throat, and DARSOW GETS THE PIN at (6:10). Haha, so much for the Enos push. Pretty weak match- Barry just had nothing in the ring by this point (he wasn’t that old, either- only 40-ish) and it was pretty plodding, and he was too big for Enos to do all his big power stuff, too.
Rating: *1/4 (pretty basic nothing TV bout)
MIKE ENOS vs. “HOLE IN ONE” BARRY DARSOW:
(Feb. 20th 1999)
* OH MY GOD THEY RAN A REMATCH!! Enos wants revenge for the past golfclub-shot, so we have our mini-angle on the D-show. Enos charges down to ringside and actually grabs a putter to take a swing to start, and now they’ve BOTH got clubs and this is amazing. Especially since Zbyszko on commentary is detailing official golf rules (“Count his clubs! He’s only allowed fourteen!”).
The bell rings, but Enos grabs the club and threatens to break it while Darsow now literally BEGS him not to. And after a bunch of teasing, he finally breaks it and Darsow just ANNIHILATES him as if this was the most grievous injustice in the history of wrestling, declaring “I’m gonna break your neck!” (no “stinkin”? He MUST be pissed!), then adding “NOBODY touches my clubs! NOBODYYYYYYYY!” hahahaha I love Barry. Darsow beats on him for like two straight minutes and runs into an elbow, but hits a clothesline for two. Suplex gets two, but he’s psyched out and leapfrogs up, only to get clotheslined himself- backdrop suplex & powerslam get two. Darsow runs into the ref and wipes him out, then goes for his club again, but this time Enos takes it away and knocks Darsow out, getting the pin at (5:01). Turnabout is fair play.
Rating: *1/2 (less plodding than the last one and featured heel comeuppance, so it was fine, if basic)
BLACK SCORPIO & LOS COWBOYS (Silver King & El Texano) vs. DR. WAGNER JR., SCORPIO JR. & BLACK POWER:
* We’re back with more Lucha! This time with 2 Cold Scorpio teaming up with Los Cowboys against Wagner, Scorpio Jr. (unrelated to 2 Cold- he’s a second-generation luchadore in a black mask) and Black Power (not a black guy- just some bald guy in black & yellow tassels). 2 Cold’s in yellow (and a neat yellow mask) and Low Cowboys are in pink trunks.
FALL UNO: We start with everyone pairing off, 2 Cold landing on his feet from a backdrop and the technicos triple-teaming Wagner, but the rudos do the same to Silver King when he comes in. 2 Cold eats a triple-boot and Texano gets his ass kicked, too. The Scorpios scrap in the corner (Jr. trying to yank off Black’s mask) while the technicos take even more punishment and everyone hits the floor. Scorpio Jr. gets into it with a lady in the crowd while Texano is stretched out by Black Power in the ring- that’s apparently the ending as perhaps Texano is the “Team Captain” (5:05).
FALL SEGUNDO: We come back from break and 2 Cold makes the hot tag and Los Cowboys clean house while he pays back Junior by trying to tear his own mask off. And finally the technicos triple-team Junior into 2 Cold’s Turning Splash off the top for one pin, then Low Cowboys do a suplex lift into Silver King’s Super Powerslam on Black Power for the fall (3:21)! They trade off doing the “leapfrog over the partner while the guy’s draped on the ropes” spot twice and then we hit the break
FALL TERCERA: We start with the Scorpios again, Black chasing off Junior, then Wagner gets beat up by a Cowboy but gets a powerslam for two when the Cowboy runs into the ref. Everyone breaks that up and the heels do stereo sunset flips for two. Silver King just FLIES into the corner, and Wagner gets two on him, then misses a splash off the second rope. SK gets a rana for two and everyone runs in, the faces now doing stereo pins for two. Everyone fights again, but the Scorpios are paired off one final time, and 2 Cold gets his heat back by outbrawling him, hitting a leg lariat, and using the Tumbleweed (turning 450 legdrop) for the win at (3:14). The faces win!
This one was a fair bit disjointed and hard to figure out thanks to the language barrier and “wait, who won and why?” factor, but it was fine. It seems like a big showcase for Black Scorpio, though he mostly just resisted having his mask torn and then hit his finisher for the win.
Rating: **1/2 (fine enough, but a little more outside my preferred style of lucha)