Part one (review of Survivor Series 96 and more):
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!
– ECW also held their biggest show ever, the 1996 November to Remember, which was an immediate sellout of 1500 people at the ECW Arena, and Dave even attended the show!
– Steve Richards pinned David Morton Tyler Jericho in 9:25, as Stevie had his crew of goofballs all dressed up as “The Blue World Order”. The spoof was hilarious, but then the match started. Lots of low blows and Stevie won with a low blow into a superkick. *1/4.
– Axl Rotten pinned Hack Myers in 4:25 with a double arm DDT on a chair. Mostly chairshots. 1/4*.
– Buh Buh Ray Dudley pinned D-Von Dudley in 10:20 with a diamond cutter out of the air. Match didn’t have a lot of heat but the finish was hot, although the two guys don’t work well together unless they’re using chairs. 1/2*. (But what about…tables?).
– The Eliminators went to a time limit draw with RVD & Sabu in a match to determine challengers for the tag titles later in the night. Really sloppy to start. They worked it out with lots of hot moves between the teams, but then it fell apart again leading to a draw and a pair overtime segments that weren’t much better. Too many missed spots overall. ***.
– Chris Candido pinned Mikey Whipwreck with a top rope powerbomb in 11:54. Best match on the show from a work standpoint, but the crowd wasn’t into it. Afterwards Chris said he was wrestling with a broken neck and back and had spent the past two years carrying pieces of shit on his back. **3/4.
– The Gangstas retained the tag team titles by beating RVD & Sabu and The Eliminators in the Three Way Dance. Gangstas got a giant pop and they all brawled all over the arena. Sabu screwed up his own table spot multiple times, and it ended with Taz coming out and distracting Sabu, leading to New Jack hitting Saturn with a chair and pinning him to win. ***1/4.
– Next up, 2 Cold Scorpio came out to say goodbye to the crowd, as the arena did the “You Sold Out” deal to him and he told them off. So Devon Storm came out as his opponent and Scorpio said that everyone knows he was going to put Storm over and leave, so to make it interesting he offered a match where the loser has to leave ECW for 15 days. So then Scorpio destroyed Storm in 1:00. So then he asked for a 30 day loser leaves ECW match and got JT Smith, and moonsaulted him and pinned him in 32 seconds. Smith was working with a broken jaw and Scorpio actually landed on it, but luckily didn’t injure it further. Next up, he wanted a 60 day loser leaves match, and Hack Myers answered that one and got pinned in 1:15. And then they escalated to a one year loser leaves match, but by this point the segment was way long and they had lost the crowd completely, even as Louie Spicoli got to be the one to beat Scorpio with the death valley driver and send him packing.
– Afterwards, Scorpio refused to leave and so Taz came out to send him away, telling him “see you later, Flash” and then Taz hijacked the show and refused to leave. So he beat up the ring announcer and went after Tod Gordon, but then the lights went out and Sabu showed up in the ring to a monster reaction from the crowd, at which point the lights went out again and they were both gone. That pissed off the crowd, to say the least. (However, somewhere in Florida, young Tony Khan gets an idea!).
– Sandman retained the ECW title over Raven in 15:07. Horrible on every level. (What? I’M SHOCKED.). The match had two of the worst spots that Dave has ever seen, one with Meanie missing a moonsault onto a table and another with Lori Fullington missing cane shots. Sandman did get a nice pop when he pinned Raven after a DDT on the guard rail, however. Dave thought it was even worse than the Hogan-Savage match at Halloween Havoc. (COLD.).
– Terry Funk & Tommy Dreamer beat Shane Douglas & Brian Lee in 26:12. Dave thinks that the WWF missed the boat with Shane as a heel, big time. An excellent match to end the show, with brawling all over the building and into the street. Basically exactly what ECW fans wanted out of it. Dreamer hit Brian Lee with the TV camera (So they did it first, Dave notes) and Funk DDTd him for the pin. ***3/4.
– To Japan, where the U Japan show featured wrestlers involved for the first time and getting their ass kicked. The main event saw Bam Bam Bigelow getting destroyed by Kimo in 2:15, reportedly making $70,000 for the one match. This alone guarantees that the show is a financial failure. The myth of Bigelow as a tough guy was completely dismantled as Kimo took him down and pounded him out in record time. Bigelow also had Doink the Clown as his second, although Ray Apollo wasn’t wearing makeup or gear.
– Working idea for Starrcade 96 is Hogan v. Piper in a non-title match, which Piper would win to set up a rematch for Superbrawl VII. Dave notes that conceptually it’s a great idea, but it might not be pretty in the ring.
– Antonio Pena is dangling a WWF deal at most of his talent in an effort to keep them from jumping to Konnan’s group. The deal is that the current North American wrestling scene isn’t really known in Mexico, so the guys are naïve enough to think that working for the WWF is still a big deal, and WCW is still the loser brand.
– Ken Shamrock is engaged in a very heated dispute with Pancrase at the moment and is likely done with the group, probably headed for the US in some form.
– Koji Kitao and John Tenta are scheduled to have a rematch from their famous shoot incident on the 12/13 WAR show, which gives Dave the opportunity to explain that story again.
– Sadly, 12/11 will be the final match for Mr. Pogo, who is retiring from FMW due to “injuries, a bad heart, and because he’s about to get married.” (Despite all those reasons, he did not actually retire.).
– Jerry Lawler won the Unified title from the Colorado Kid in Memphis, which makes no sense because Lawler is barely around and never works house shows in Memphis. They actually did a match to unify the Unified title with the USWA title previously, but then booked a DQ finish to get out of it.
– Scott Levy did an interview recently and the subject of the cross angle came up, and he noted that although he thought it was a stupid idea to apologize for it, the fact that he’s Jewish and Paul E is Jewish and Tod Gordon is Jewish might have meant that apologizing was “the thing to do”.
– Terry Funk is upset with local promoter Steve Nelson in Amarillo, who is doing “UWFi style” indie shows with Dan Severn and doing quite well with them. The premise is that they’re shoots, even though they’re not, and Funk is pissed that the shows are being promoted as being “real” while other pro wrestling is “fake”. (Isn’t that kind of the entire premise of every wrestling promotion ever?).
– To WCW, where Nitro drew a sellout in Florence SC. The show also featured the debut of LA PARKA. (Coincidence? I THINK NOT.) In typical WCW fashion, Parka’s first match was with Juventud Guerrera and they were planned for 4:30, but someone in production forgot to give them the go home cue and they ended up stumbling through 9:22 of a weird match instead.
– After all the buildup to the New World Order on the Cable Ace Awards, the end result wasn’t much. They weren’t allowed into the show, but Mimi from the Drew Carey Show let them in and they all attacked Drew Carey and it wasn’t funny at all.
– Roddy Piper apparently got a huge deal from Turner to sign with WCW, doing a TV show where he’s some kind of cop or bounty hunter or something. (No idea what that was supposed to be.).
– The NWO show will be in Cedar Rapids IA on 1/25. (I’m sure that will be fine and not at all notable.).
– To the WWF, where the idea of Jake Roberts retiring and moving to the office has already been dropped and he’s doing matches again.
– Dave gives us “better than 50% odds” that Papa Shango will return in some form.
– Roddy Piper did call Vince and make amends for the surprise WCW jump, saying that he wanted to keep it a surprise and so didn’t inform him beforehand.
– And finally, Dave notes that they were indeed talking with Randy Savage. The WWF is fearful of getting raided by WCW again so they’re only looking to sign guys to 5 year deals at the moment, and couldn’t make a deal with Macho. The feeling was that he would have short term appeal and help at the box office, but wouldn’t be worth it in the long term due to his age. (And they were 100% correct on that one.). But at the same time they didn’t want to sign him to a one year deal and get that value out of him, only to have him jump back to WCW again with a renewed push. (Still no indication of the bad blood between him and Vince, however.).
And that’s the news and I’m OUTTA HERE!