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Leighty’s Retro Review: WCW Slamboree 1997

June 8, 2022 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
WCW Slamboree 1997 Image Credit: WWE
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Leighty’s Retro Review: WCW Slamboree 1997  

-We continue along with our look at shows from twenty-five years ago. This is the 3rd straight WCW PPV without a World Title Match and it would take three more months before we finally got one. So, the Champion putting the World Title on ice isn’t a new thing. Let’s get to it!

-Commentary Team: Tony Schiavone, Dusty Rhodes, and Bobby Heenan
-May 18, 1997
-Independence Arena, Charlotte, NC
-Attendance: 9643
-PPV Buys: 220,000

WCW Television Title: Ultimate Dragon (c) (w/ Sonny Onoo) vs. Steven Regal

-Mike Tenay joins the booth for this one. Regal throws some kicks for show and Dragon does the same. Lockup to start and Dragon gets a go behind, but Regal grabs an arm. Dragon counters, but Regal rolls through into his own counter. Dragon escapes and gets a side headlock on the mat which Regal counters with a head scissors. Dragon escapes and it’s a stalemate. Another go and Regal gets an armdrag and then a strait jacket choke. Dragon fights his way out and so Regal just picks him up with a suplex for two. Regal stomps the face and goes back to the arm. Dragon gets out and gets a near fall off a shoulder tackle. More mat wrestling as Dragon controls with a side headlock, but Regal rolls back for a few two counts. Something a little sloppy happened as they seemed off on an Irish Whip, so Regal just boots him. Dragon to the corner and he does his headstand on the buckle to confuse Regal. Dragon back with his kicks as he is laying them in tonight. Half Crab from Dragon, but Regal fights to the bottom rope to break. Regal escapes a head scissors and turns it into a STF attempt, but Dragon gets to the ropes. Regal opts to just kick the crap out of Dragon which sends him to the floor to break. Dragon back in and Regal boots him in the head again. Suplex gets two for Regal and then he hooks a Full Nelson. Dragon switches as the hands weren’t locked. Sunset flip from Dragon gets one as again things looked a little off there. Regal Stretch attempt, but Dragon to the ropes. Dragon fires off open hand slaps and goes to a cross arm breaker, but Regal clasps his hands together to block. Heenan feels Regal should just bite the calf to break. Heenan: “Bite him!” Regal turns and goes for The Regal Stretch again, but Dragon fights out, so Regal goes to a variation of a Bow and Arrow. Dragon apparently heard Heenan, as he bites Regal’s wrist to break. More stiff kicks from Dragon as they are just unloading on each other. The crowd is behind Regal in this one as we get a loud “Regal” chant. Dragon locks a camel clutch, but Regal elbows the knee to break. Dragon lands on his feet off a backdrop and hits a dropkick that sends Regal to the floor. Sonny gets in some kicks and Dragon isn’t happy about it. Back inside Dragon gets a handspring elbow in the corner and then a top rope rana gets two. Moonsault from the top misses and Regal again goes for The Regal Stretch, but again Dragon gets the ropes. Regal tries a double underhook suplex, but Dragon counters with a rana for two. Roll-up from Regal gets two. Spinwheel kick from Dragon and a cradle, but Regal is in the ropes to force a break. Quebrada moonsault hits, but Dragon can’t follow up with a cover. Regal gets dumped to the floor so Dragon tries to slingshot out, but Regal just walks away. Again, Samoa Joe would lift that spot. Regal tries to walk off, but Dragon flies in from off screen with Asai moonsault. More kicks from Sonny and again, Dragon isn’t happy. Sonny kicks Dragon in the back of the head as Heenan thinks it was an accident. Back in the ring Regal gets a front suplex and The Regal Stretch forces the submission at 16:03.

Winner and New WCW Television Champion: Steven Regal via pin at 16:03
-This was wonderful as they meshed styles well here. A few weird spots, but this was a fight and the crowd being that invested in Regal was cool to see. Good start to this show! ***3/4

Grudge Match: Luna Vachon vs. Madusa

-Lee Marshall joins the commentary team as he is the resident expert on the Women’s Division. Luna slaps Madusa to start the match and lands some kicks. Take down by the hair and then again. Madusa fights back, but Luna cuts her off and lands some clubbing blows. Luna rakes the eyes and uses the middle rope to choke. Slingshot under the bottom rope which pisses Madusa off as she roars back with a spin-wheel kick. Luna doesn’t back up though as she is right back on Madusa with a choke. Irish Whip reversed and Madusa hits a splash in the corner. She throws some chops and then hits a splash in the opposite corner. She hits a stiff lariat for two and then drops Luna face first on the mat. Luna goes to the eyes with a thumb and blocks a sunset flip. She pulls the hair, but Madusa fights for the sunset flip which gets two. Luna drops her on her face, but misses a splash off the top. Bridging German Suplex from Madusa gets the pin at 5:10.

Winner: Madusa via pin at 5:10
-Fine for a five minute match as it was all action as they knew they had limited time. I actually wanted to see them get a few more minutes, but this is what we were getting as far as the women in the mid 90s. **

-Gene Okerlund plugs the hotline in the aisle by the entrance, but is interrupted by Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth. The crowd chants for DDP as Savage talks about the nWo. Speaking of DDP he heads through the crowd with the crutch that Hogan and Savage used on him. Savage bails and Eric Bischoff is out to hold him back. Page figures Savage has a previous engagement, but it’s not with Kimberly and he even doubts it’s with Liz. Crowd popped for that one. DDP tells Savage he probably has to go to Hogan’s house to wash his car and kiss his ass. The crowd is molten for DDP here. This feud was amazing! Savage calls Vincent, “Virgil,” as he wants him to stand to the side. Savage isn’t one to back down and he hits the ring, but I mean, Page has a weapon so it doesn’t go well for him. Bischoff and Vincent hit the ring and each takes a shot with the crutch. Norton turns the tide and the nWo maul DDP until The Giant hits the ring for the save. The crowd loved every second of this!

Yuji Yasuraoka vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.

-WCW was good for just throwing cruiserweights from all over the world on PPV. Tenay goes over the history of WAR and mentions Jericho was part of the promotion. He also lets us know that Yuji and Rey have been tag partners in the past. Mat game to start and Yuji throws some chops before hitting a Northern Lights Suplex. He delivers a kick to the back alas Ultimo Dragon. Body slam follows and more kicks and stomps to the back. Yuji goes to the arm now as the crowd is just waiting for Rey to start flying. No go yet though as Yuji mows Rey down with a clothesline for a two count. Spinning heel kick gets another two count even with a lazy cover. Yuji charges into a backdrop and then sends Yuji to the floor with a rana. Rey goes to fly, but Mark Curtis accidentally gets in the way. Another go and this time Rey just flies over the ref with a somersault plancha. Back in the ring Rey hooks a camel clutch. Rey releases as Yuhi got close to the ropes. Shoulder block from the apron from Rey and he tries to spring back in the ring and Yuji catches him with a spin kick. That gets two as Rey gets his foot on the rope. Yuji uses the middle rope to bounce up into a back kick in the corner. He grounds Rey with an armbar as they are losing the crowd. Tenay mentions Lance Storm is a tag partner of Yuji and Storm is also a former partner of Chris Jericho. Brain tells us that Lance Storm sounds like a weatherman in Oklahoma. Yuji gets a key lock on the arm and releases to deliver a leg drop to the arm. Rey goes to the eyes but gets mowed back down for two. Yuji goes back to the armbar as this is just killing this hot crowd. I mean, it’s all technically solid, but this isn’t what the fans are used to with the CW division. Yuji drapes Rey’s bad arm over the top and that sends him to the floor on the opposite side of the ring. Yuji follows with a dive to the floor. Suplex brings Rey in from the apron and that gets two. Charge in the corner meets a boot ad Rey gets a powerbomb. Split legged moonsault (which hit the cameraman) gets two. Reversal sequence as each man gets a two count. Another powerbomb from Rey and gets a reaction from the crowd. Rey heads up top and misses a splash. Double arm DDT gets a two count and Yuji is pissed at the ref for the count. Another try, but Rey gets a bridging suplex for two. Dropkick from Yuji and then a spin-wheel kick. Yuji up top and Rey catches him on the way down with a dropkick. Springboard rana gets the win for Rey at 14:59.

Winner: Rey Mysterio Jr via pin at 14:59
-Dull, but technically solid. Hard to make a Rey match boring, but here we are. ***

Mortis (w/ James Vandenberg) vs. Glacier

-Glacier tries to attack before the bell, but Mortis catches him sliding in and stomps away in the corner. He targets the knee and then pounds Glacier down as Dusty mentions it is a good old fashioned mu hole stomping. Wrath heads down which lets Glacier land an Electric Chair Drop. Lariat from Glacier followed by a backdrop. Clothesline sends Glacier to the floor, so Wrath attacks with Vandenberg’s staff for the DQ at 1:51.

Winner: Glacier via DQ at 1:51
-I mean it was less than two minutes and it was a DQ. 1/2*

-The beat down continues as Glacier gets spiked face first on the ring steps which looked impressive. Wrath hooks a full nelson while Vandenberg slaps Glacier in the face. The debuting Ernest Miller (who the announcers think is a fan) runs in and cleans house. Finally the announcers release it is Ernest Miller, who is the current Karate World Champion, and has been on WCW Worldwide.

-Gene Okerlund plugs the hotline again

WCW United States Championship: Dean Malenko (c) vs. Jeff Jarrett (w/ Debra McMichael)

-Tentative start as they try to feel each other out. Jarrett showboats to the crowd as well before we get a lockup. They jockey for position around the ring and Malenko offers a clean break in the corner. The crowd with a massive “Jarrett Sucks” chant which is funny after Schiavone talked up how Jarrett was loved with these fans since he is a Horseman. Dusty tries to point out what the crowd is chanting and Tony tells him he will just focus on the match. Around clean break in the corner which annoys Jarrett so he shoves Malenko on his ass. Malenko back with a take down that Jarrett turns into an armbar. Drop toehold from Jarrett and he shows up Malenko by walking over top of him. Another go and Malenko gets a side headlock on the mat. Jarrett to his knees and flips Malenko off, but Dean right back to the hold. Jarrett hooks a head scissors and Malenko breaks that and hooks a version of The Regal Stretch. Not much going on so the camera focuses on Debra which also gets the attention of the announcers. Malenko continues to work the knee and the action heads to the floor. Malenko wraps the leg around the rail and hits a dropkick. Jarrett beats him in the ring though and stomps Malenko as he tries to roll in the ring. Abdominal stretch from Jarrett which seems like a good move to wake up this crowd. Thankfully he uses Debra for advantage which gets some heat from the crowd. Malenko powers his way out, but Jarrett goes right back to it. Joy! Malenko gets to the ropes to break and avoids another attempt at the hold. He then just stomps Jarrett and hits a double axe that sends Jarrett to the floor. I guess that was too much action and they needed to slow this down again. The crowd hates Jarrett by the way! Horseman getting booed out of a building in North Carolina. Jarrett back in and grabs a wristlock. Malenko uses the hair to break, but Jarrett back to an armbar. Tony is all about tradition and how the nWo would counter this. I would gladly take an nWo run in at this point. Belly to back suplex breaks for Dean and that gets him two. Charge in the corner meets a boot and Jarrett hits a swinging neckbreaker. Figure Four is blocked as Dean kicks the knee. Jarrett misses an enziguiri and Dean look for the Cloverleaf, but Jarrett grabs the ropes. He gets catapulted under the bottom rope, but is able to get Dean to the floor. Malenko gets tossed into the railing. Jarrett comes off the top with a crossbody, but Malenko rolls through for two. Jarrett counters a whip to the corner and gets a sleeper. Dean runs Jarrett into the corner to break and gets his own sleeper. Knee breaker breaks for Jarrett and he gets the Figure Four. Malenko gets to the bottom rope to break. Another massive “Jarrett sucks” chant. Both men collide which sends Jarrett to the floor. Mongo is out and he tosses Jarrett back into the ring. Mongo leads Debra away and she is not happy. Back in the ring Dean hits a double underhook powerbomb and the Texas Cloverleaf finishes at 15:04.

Winner and Still WCW United States Champion: Dean Malenko via pin at 15:04
-This took a while to get going as there wasn’t much the first ten minutes. It finally picked up and they went home with Malenko getting the clean win though the focus continues to be on the Mongo/Debra/Jarrett triangle. **1/2

Death Match: Meng (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Chris Benoit (w/ Woman)

-No DQ and no submission or pin. Only ways to win are submission or knock your opponent down for a 10 count. Now Benoit gets a good reaction from the crowd since this is Horseman Country. This is just a continuation of Benoit’s feud with Kevin Sullivan as Meng is picking up the fight for The Dungeon of Doom. Dusty states what we all know: “Meng will tear your head from your shoulders if he wishes.” Lockup to start and Meng misses a boot in the corner. Meng lands a kick to the ribs but a second one is caught and Benoit gets a leg whip. Meng back with another kick and Benoit heads to the floor to break. Anderson starts a 10 count which has to be out of habit as there is no count out. Meng gets an overhead release suplex and more kicks. Clothesline is missed and Benoit dumps Meng on his head with a German Suplex. Dropkick to the knee from Benoit, but he gets too close and Meng kicks him in the face. They fight on the floor where Meng fires off chops, so Benoit just tosses him into the stairs. They head back in the ring and Meng lights up Benoit with chops in the corner. Benoit responds with chops of his own which Meng no sells. The crowd is up on their feet and Heenan picks up on it and we see Miss Jackie in the aisle. Woman stares her down, so Jackie just walks to the back. Okay then! Meng lands a headbutt in the ring and rolls Benoit into a half crab. Benoit gets to the ropes and Heenan rightly asks why the ref is counting for Meng to break. No matter as Meng continues with strikes and sticks a piledriver. Benoit is up at 7 so we continue. Benoit gets a Crippler Crossface out of nowhere and Meng is to the ropes. Again, what is the ref doing? Dusty tries to cover by saying a rope break is one of the stipulations. Excuse me? It’s a DEATH MATCH! Meng just goes crazy with left and right hands as he pounds Benoit to the ground. Benoit is up and yells for Meng to bring it. So Meng just beats him into a pile of good again. I mean, he did ask for it. He is up and yells again so Meng boots him in the face in the corner. He misses a running boot and now Benoit throws hands. He gets a German Suplex and maintains to hit a second one. A well placed elbow stops a third try. Meng throws some heavy chops, but misses a third and Benoit goes back to The Crippler Crossface. Meng under the ropes and we get another forced break. Meng heads to the floor so Benoit follows with a suicide dive. Eh! Well! Benoit up top, but Meng crotches him and just hits a straight right to the head. Benoit hits a suplex from the second rope and heads up top. He comes down with the headbutt, but Meng catches him with a Tongan Death Grip. Benoit punches Meng repeatedly to break, but he is toast. Woman is up on the apron and Benoit shakes his head at her as he doesn’t want her throwing in the towel as the announcers have told us since the opening bell. Benoit is out and the ref calls for the bell at 14:55.

Winner: Meng via ref stoppage at 14:55
-This was a different type of Death Match as it was less about using whatever you can to keep someone down and more about them hitting each other hard or trying for a submission. It was a solid fight. ***

-Great American Bash commercial! I think I am doing King of The Ring 97 first and then hitting The GAB!

Konnan and Hugh Morrus (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. The Steiner Brothers

-Scott and Hugh start us off with a lockup and Hugh complains about a hair pull. Another go and a top wrist lock from Scott, so Hugh pulls his hair. Easy heat! Forearm to the face from Hugh and he lands some clubbing blows. Scott fight backs with a belly to belly into a submission. Tag to Rick, but Hugh greets him with a right hand and then a splash in the corner. A second one misses and Hugh gets tossed around the ring with a belly to belly suplex. Up top and off with a flying clotheslines. Hugh bails to the floor as the fans bark and The Steiners hit their pose. Konnan gets the tag for the first time and eats a Steiner line. Another belly to back suplex followed by a hiptoss. Then just a straight boot to the face before a cover gets two. Scott back in and he misses a charge in the corner as Konnan gets the feet up. No matter though as Scott hits a belly to belly suplex. Hugh back and Jimmy Hart trips Scott to let Hugh hit a reverse neckbreaker. Good power from Hugh as he gorilla press slams Scott and throws him throat first on the top rope. Konnan chokes from the apron as the ref is distracted. Tag wresting 101! Konnan back in with a rolling clothesline for two. Back to Hugh and they hit a double team armbar, but Rick runs in to kick Konnan in the face. He gets ushered out, but Hugh maintains the hold as the legal man. Konnan back in and he continues the work with the armbar. Hugh comes in illegally and misses a clothesline. Bell to belly from Scott on Konnan and then he catches Hugh coming off the top with a boot to the face. Hot tag made to Rick to pop the place and everyone gets slammed. Clothesline sends Konnan to the floor. Hugh gets backdropped and Rick follows with a top rope bulldog, but Konnan breaks the count. All for men battle as Scott gets the 10 count punch in the corner on Konan. Sick clothesline from Hugh Morrus on Rick. Things kind of break down as Hugh misses a moonsault with Scott just standing there watching him. Scott hits the Frankensteiner and Rick gets the cover at 9:35.

Winners: The Steiner Brothers via pin at 9:35
-Started good with a mean guy tag match with clotheslines and suplexes all over the place, but got klunky in the final few minutes with people wandering around and seemingly unaware of where things were going. **1/4

-Konnan turns on Hugh Morrus after the match and would be in the nWo not long after this. He walks off from Jimmy Hart.

Steve McMichael (w/ Debra) vs. Reggie White

-I mean sure this played off Bears vs. Packers and probably got some mainstream press, but this had bad idea all over it. White has never wrestled and Mongo obviously isn’t the person to led someone in a match. Trivia note as both these guys were in LT’s corner in his match at WrestleMania XI. White gets a ton of pyro and wears a knock off Packers jersey because no way NFL was getting involved with this. The crowd is intrigues by this at least and pop as White shoves Mongo back in the corner. Lockup and Mongo gets a hammerlock and shoves White away to gloat. Another lockup and Mongo gets a side headlock as he talks trash. They collide in the middle of the ring and nobody budges. Another go and repeat what we just saw. Repeat with White holding a side headlock and this time Mongo does fall off the shoulder block. Mongo draws a line with his foot and both men get down in a 3 point stance. Mongo gets a dive at the knees and White has to go check with his strength coach. Now White draws the imaginary line and this time he leap frogs Mongo and sends him to the floor with a clubbing blow. Mongo walks off, but Gilbert Brown (Packers) carries Mongo back to the ring. White hits a dropkick for two. Dueling chant between Mongo and Reggie as again, match may not be good but the fans are into it. Mongo gets an armbar and tells Reggie, “Jesus may have your soul, but I have your ass.” That’s some second level trash talk knowing Reggie White. Another lockup (this match may be setting a record) and White gets a side headlock. Mongo escapes and hits a clip from behind which is illegal in football, but all good here. Side suplex from Mongo, but he misses a leg drop. White goes back to the headlock and then gets a cross body for two. Nerve hold from White and Mongo is on his knees praying that he will go to church. He hits a mule kick to the balls to break. Mongo back to a knee-bar and he gets multiple two counts, but Reggie rolls off his shoulders. Half crab, but White gets the ropes to break. This was fun at first but they have gone past the point this should have gone home. Mongo looks for figure four, but White kicks off to send Mongo the floor. Mongo opts to go up top for some reason and White meets him and tosses him down in a tribute to Flair. Reggie sells the knee at least as Mongo stays on him with punches in the corner. Reggie fires back and hits a clothesline and another. Mongo misses wildly on a clothesline and gets stuck with an atomic drop. Clothesline sends Mongo to the floor. Mongo pulls White to the floor and they brawl out there. Mongo gets tossed into the railing and then back into the ring. Mongo catches him coming in with a double axe and then stomps away. White blocks a suplex and pulls out his own suplex. A splash from Reggie gets a cover, but Debra distracts the ref which lets Mongo gets the briefcase. Gilbert stops that, but Jarrett is out and he throws a backup briefcase to Mongo and White is toast at 15:18 as he gets waffled with it.

Winner: Steve McMichael via pin at 15:18
-I’ve seen people give this match negative stars and call it one of the worst ever, but I don’t see that. I mean, it wasn’t good, but the crowd ate it up. It was just super basic (obviously) and went way too long, but I can accept it for what it was. *

The Wolfpack (Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and Syxx) vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Kevin Greene, and Ric Flair

-Buffer is here for the super special introductions. Sadly, 3 of the 6 men involved in this match have passed away. The place explode for Flair’s entrance as this is his return match from injury. Tony brings up this is the arena that Flair won the title and “pummeled a big man that has never been seen again.” Love the Monday Night Wars when they would throw shots. For those unaware he is speaking of Vader. Flair and Syxx start and Syxx gets the initial advantage. Syxx with a side headlock and then catches Flair with a hiptoss. Syxx struts like Flair and eats a chop for it. The crowd is popping for everything Flair does. Flair struts a little, but Syxx catches him with a spin-wheel kick. Chops in the corner, but Flair reverses and shows Syxx how to really throw some chops. Backdrop sends Syxx across the room and we get more strutting as the crowd is losing it. Hall in and eats a right hand and some chops. Nash takes one on the apron, but he just stares at Flair. Dusty gets caught in the moment and it reminds me again how much I loved commentary from this time. Hall gets the proper tag and Flair struts some more before tagging Kevin Greene. Crowd loves that too. Greene is super jacked for this one and Hall opts to tag out to Nash. They shove each other and Nash just smiles and buries a knee to the ribs. He works Greene over in the corner as Tony reminds us anything goes in this match. Corner elbows and again, this crowd is fantastic as Greene comes back with a shoulder tackle. He gets a slam as Nash is bumping for the football player. Syxx and Hall in and Greene hits a double clothesline to send the nWo to the floor to regroup. The crowd starts chanting for Piper and Hall wants him in the match. They are doing like the bare minimum here, but the crowd is popping for everything so it’s working. Piper slaps Hall in the face and Hall’s sell of it is fantastic. Piper works him over in the corner as Dusty chokes on his spit laughing so hard. Piper catches Hall with a knee lift and tells him to bring it. Hall powers Piper into his corner and Piper has to fight his way out and does so successfully. Swinging neckbreaker from Piper, but Nash distracts the ref which lets Syxx land a kick to the bad hip. The nWo take turns working on Piper’s hip and Hall tells us we are going to school as he looks for a figure four, but Piper kicks him off. Hot tag to Flair and he hits everything wearing Red and Black. Hall stops the run with a poke to the eye. Flair corner flip and he comes off with the cross body, but Hall catches him and hits the SOS Slam. Clothesline sends Flair over the top to the floor and everyone brawls out there. Nash lands a shot on Flair from behind and back in the ring Hall gets two with his feet on the ropes. Nash back in and he hits Snake Eyes before choking in the corner with his boot. Flair tries to fight back with chops, but one shot from Nash stops that. Sidewalk slam as Nash is running through his offense. Hall gets the tag and he slaps Flair around a little bit which draws big boos. Running corner clothesline sets up Syxx to hit The Bronco Buster. Syxx and Flair collide in the middle of the ring and it’s a race to the corner. Hall and Piper each get a tag, but it seems the ref never saw the Piper tag. Piper opts to deck the ref and everyone starts fighting with everyone as Nick Patrick is out. Greene sends Syxx to the floor and it breaks down to Hall and Flair with Flair hitting a low blow. Nash decks Flair from behind and Outsiders Edge is set-up, but Flair blocks and gets a figure four. Piper ends up with a sleeper on Nash and Greene drops Syxx with a powerslam. Patrick opts to count Syxx out as Greene gets the cover at 17:22.

Winners: Ric Flair, Kevin Greene, Roddy Piper via pin at 17:22
-This was a fun match in front of a hot crowd. WCW made the right call as no other result would have worked on this night and thankfully they gave the fans a happy ending. ***1/4

-Thanks for reading!

The final score: review Good
The 411
Wrestling wise this was a solid show with good to great matches all over the place. Add in a molten crowd and that makes this a good show. A few low spots, but even those were helped by the crowd or were too short to mean anything. Not a real note-worthy show as the WCW Champion wasn't even part of it and the hottest feud in the company was reduced to a cameo, but probably for the best as this show as built around the return of Ric Flair.

article topics :

WCW Slamboree, Robert Leighty Jr.