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Ring Crew Reviews: WCW Superbrawl VII

August 24, 2013 | Posted by Jack Bramma
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Ring Crew Reviews: WCW Superbrawl VII  

Scheduled Card:
1. WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Syxx vs. Dean Malenko (c).
2. Six Man Tag Match: Konnan, La Parka, and Villano IV vs. Juventud Guerrera, Ciclope, and Super Calo.
3. WCW Television Championship: Rey Mysterio vs. Prince Iaukea (c).
4. Buff Bagwell vs. Diamond Dallas Page.
5. WCW United States Championship: Chris Jericho vs. Eddie Guerrero (c).
6. Triangle Match: The Faces of Fear vs. Public Enemy vs. Harlem Heat.
7. Grudge Match: Steve “Mongo” McMichael vs. Jeff Jarrett.
8. San Francisco Death Match: Kevin Sullivan vs. Chris Benoit.
9. WCW World Tag Team Championship: The Giant & Lex Luger vs. The Outsiders (c).
10. Grudge Match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Rowdy Roddy Piper vs. Hollywood Hogan (c).

• WE ARE LIVE FROM THE ROCK! AKA Alcatraz as Roddy Piper is finally getting released fresh off spending a week in the hoosegow in a stunt designed to psych himself up for taking on Hogan for the belt. But we’ll cover this more later.

• Piper: “IT’S TIME TO PAY THE PIPER, NOW! I didn’t spend seven days in hell for nothing. Hogan, YOU’RE AN EXTINCTION! YOU’RE AN ENDANGERED SPECIES! … GOODBYE! SAN FRANCISCO! HOGAN, I FEEL YOUR DEATH! Ohhhhh, sharks! Nice sharks. I’M COMING AND I’M BRINGING ALCATRAZ WITH ME!”

• Tony finally welcomes us into the Cow Palace where he hypes Piper-Hogan as “the biggest world title match this sport has ever seen.”

WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Syxx vs. Dean Malenko (c). For the past couple months, Syxx has been stealing the midcard belts including Eddie’s US belt and now Dean’s CW belt. Tony: “We are seeing a kleptomaniac from the n.W.o go after the cruiserweight belt.” Dust and Brain sidestep to talk about Hogan-Piper in the main event tonight. Tony brought his working boots tonight though because rather than talk about Hogan, he brings this match BACK up to talk about how Syxx was trained by Dean’s father, Boris Malenko, so this has some special family significance. Good stuff.

• Dean comes hot of the blocks with right hands and the crowd explodes. Leg lariat gets 1, 2, only 2 as Dean pulls up Syxx. Yeah, never like that spot. Dean works him over in the corner and then hits a nice hanging vertical suplex. Cover gets 1, 2, Dean pulls away again. Tony: “You know, this may be a big mistake. I never thought I would see Dean Malenko pull away from a win. He has always been so focused. He’s always been a man knowing his purpose to win a championship belt. This is different out of the book from Dean Malenko here.” Dean drives him back into the corner for more rights and then stomps him in the face. Syxx comes back with an open hand slap and gets the boot up in the corner. Dean counters to a powerslam and the place ERUPTS. Cover gets 1, 2, kickout this time. To the chinlock for Deano. Dean drops an elbow which Tony calls “assaulting with purpose.” Syxx has gotten nothing in the first few minutes. Syxx goes for the Bronco Buster but comes up dry as he hooks himself in the corner. Dean dropkicks him down and calls for the Cloverleaf. Syxx pokes him in the eye to get free. Dean fires up for a crossbody that sends both to the floor. Dean gets the belt to pose on the floor. He ducks a spinkick from Syxx and waffles him down. Back in, Dean catches a spinkick but eats one from the other foot but Syxx is selling the leg nicely. Dust: “You see what he tried to do there: he was blocked with the one foot when he came back with that sev—um WHATEVERITIS and but he got ‘im with the toe-sie of the other foot on the jaw. Now, that could turn this thing on—the other agenda, know what I mean? Turn momentum his way. We will see momentum change tonight and emotional… motions run rampant.”

• Syxx hits a kick combo in the corner and chokes. Syxx tells the crowd to suck it and hits the Bronco Buster this time. Brain brings up Dean’s history of neck problems. Syxx with a short leg drop for 1, 2, only 2. Syxx hooks up a Sleeper but Dean drops him and sends him into the turnbuckle. Syxx no sells to drop a knee. They redo it and Syxx hooks it in again. Back suplex from Dean to counter for a double KO spot. Dean drapes the arm for 1, 2, 2 ½. Dean is selling this Sleeper like he is coming out of a 10-year coma. Dust: “He’s drawsie now. He’s drawsie now. He don’t know where he at.” Brain: “Drawer-sie?” Dust: “Drawsie. Malenko’s drawsie, ya know, when you walk around stumblin’ and stuff like late at night…” Tony: “You’ve been doing these broadcasts a long time with him. You should know his vocabulary by now, Brain.” Brain: “Drawer-sie is the thing with the dresser. He’s got about six of them.” Syxx with some stiff chops and he pulls Dean to the apron for a second rope elbow drop to the apron. Syxx is STILL selling the leg despite only having one move on it several minutes ago. Good selling or bad selling? Syxx hits a brainbuster but heads up top and lands the guillotine leg drop. He covers for 1, 2, nearfall. Syxx goes to yet another SLEEPER! THIRD SLEEPER OF THE MATCH, TONY! Tony decides he’s more interested in whether or not Piper’s got to the building and has started fighting with Hogan in the back and he wants to abandon ship and send the cameras to the back. ANYWAY, Dean counters and applies a Sleeper of his own. Syxx escapes out and they run in for the coconut spot. Dust: “THEY HEADBUTTED EACH OTHER! RAMMED EACH OTHER!” Brain: “Like two Amtraks head on.” Dust: “And… uh… like two trains hitting.” Brain: “Same thing.” Dust: “Wut?” Brain: “Nevermind.” Tony: “… And a headbutt–” Dust: “Amtrak’s like Africa them two like–” Tony: “No, Amtraks are like trains.”

• Syxx heads up top but Dean crotches him. Dust: “Speaking of trains, THE WHISTLE BLOWING HIGH!” Dean goes for a super back suplex but Syxx floats over for a crossbody. Double KO spot again. Syxx recovers first to get Stinko’s belt. BUT WAIT! EDDIE GUERRERO HAS COME OUT! Eddie grabs the belt for a tug of war with Syxx. The ref is watching all of this rather quizzically while Dean joins in to pull Syxx from behind. Everyone lets go and Syxx careens back into waffling Dean with the belt while the ref chastises Eddie. He ejects Eddie from ringside. Syxx covers for 1, 2, 3 for a new champ at 12:01.

• For two great wrestlers, this wasn’t great. Dean pulling up Syxx twice in the first few minutes for “story,” Syxx selling a leg for 10 minutes on nothing but one dropkick to the knee, and several sleepers don’t add up to much. Syxx’s consistent work on Dean’s neck was solid, but still overall a disappointment. ***

• Gene Okurland is joined by DDP. Gene plays matchmaker saying he doesn’t know who DDP’s opponent is but it’ll be someone in the n.W.o. Page is amused by Eric “Bischquick” not telling him about his opponent. DDP investigates: Hogan? Too busy with Piper. Outsiders? Title match. Syxx? Doesn’t have the guts to wrestle twice in one night. Big Bubba? Fell in a manhole. Buff? Well, he’s the stuff and has an even bigger ego than Page. Gene gets the scoop via his earpiece that it’ll be Buff.

Six Man Tag Match: Konnan, La Parka, and Villano IV vs. Juventud Guerrera, Ciclope, and Super Calo. Tenay joins us on commentary and puts this over as a trios match in the spirit of lucha libre cards from Mexico.

• Villano and Ciclope to start. Ciclope with a hammerlock but Villano switches to a headlock. Villano uses the top wristlock but Ciclope kips up to take over. Villano tries to roll through a wristlock but Ciclope rolls through to stay square. Villano bridges up and kips up and armdrags Ciclope under. Villano with a trip for a phantom pin attempt. Another trip and another takedown and they both tag out. Konnan and Juvy in. Konnan hits some palm strikes and avoids a spinkick from Juvy. Konnan SWAT rolls into a clothesline. Juvy comes back with a spinning headscissors. Konnan bails out and then slides back in to avoid a dive. Juvy springboards back in with a dropkick and he poses to crickets. Konnan catches Juvy with a wheelbarrow suplex and then cleans out Ciclope and Calo with powerbombs. Dusty: “THAT’S PURE POWER!” Konnan tags in Parka. Calo whiffs on a charge by weeks and ties himself in a Tree of Woe. Parka folls up with a spinwheel kick. Parka tries one more but now he eats ringpost. He alley oops Calo up to the top rope and Calo Diamond Dusts into a headscissors. Parka with a clothesline but eats sidestepped and dumped out to the floor. Calo dropkicks him and then flies out with a TOPE CON GIRO! Nice. Calo tries another springboard but Parka moves and Calo eats mat. THE CHAIRMAN OF WCW GETS A CHAIR! He props up Calo and then flies out with a TOPE SUICIDA!

• Dust: “That was like the old days before they had the rail and at ringside, you just sit up close. I seen some old farmers down South, I be wrestlin’, they be takin’ the same thing right there. I tell ya, moved EVERYTHING BACK!” Ciclope and Villano back in. Ciclope with a dropkick. Villano comes in with a light burrito and armdrags Ciclope down. Ciclope dumps him out and tight ropes for another moonsault but slips a bit and takes a HORRIBLE spill down to the floor. That could be have life-threatening with another misstep. Juvy and Calo now. Juvy misses a blind charge and Parka comes flying in with a corkscrew moonsault. Parka covers for 1, 2, only 2. Parka and Juvy jockey for position up top and Juvy crotches Parka. Parka then conveniently steps over the ropes rather than sell to perfectly take a rana. Juvy covers for nothing as Konnan breaks it up. Konnan and Villano set up the Doomsday Device and HIT IT! They follow up with a Double Spinebuster. They hook Juvy in a double Stump Puller except on the arm. Ciclope and Calo fight in to apply the same move on the other two for a quadruaple Stump Puller. Sounds cool but it’s contrived as hell. Parka tries to sneak a cover but everyone breaks it up.

• The match breaks down as Konnan tosses out Juvy. Ciclope and Calo collide on a cococut. Konnan and Villano apply The Star submission. Juvy comes back in only to get facebusted by Parka. Parka rolls Juvy into the Mexican Surfboard. Triple Dropkick as Dusty goes dizzy at Tenay’s lucha name calling and Brain offers a $1000 to anyone that can name the legal men. Triple Tope Suicida and everyone is down. That’s sold for like 5 seconds before everyone rolls back in for the finish. Juvy rolls up Konnan for a nearfall. Konnan hooks him up in Splash Mountain and hits it. Cover gets 1, 2, 3 to win it at 8:52. Entertaining if somewhat sloppy and entirely forgettable. For every WCW cruiserweight classic with Eddie, Dean, Rey, Jericho, etc. there were plenty more of these. **1/4

• Brain: “There are six Spanish chiropractors somewhere licking their chops, rubbing their hands together after this one.”

WCW Television Championship: Rey Mysterio vs. Prince Iaukea (c). Iaukea is fresh off upsetting Regal for the TV title a couple weeks ago. These two put on quite the anti-gravity shitfest later on at Uncensored so I’m hoping this one is at least watchable. Iron Mike joins the boys on commentary. Brain uses this opportunity to talk up Piper and Hogan later. Brain: “I mean, right now Piper is in the same frame of mind as an escaped animal. For seven days and seven nights, like Papillon, he’s probably been eating cockroaches or whatever he can find out there. He’s been drinking out of the Bemis, so who knows what frame of mind he’s in right now? HE’S A MAN! A MAN… A SAVAGE ANIMAL IS WHAT HE IS! He’s not a man.. HE’S DANGEROUS!” Tony tries to put over Iaukea since Mike is quiet so far. Tony: “There is no one in this sport, within this sport, a fan watching on the outside, a casual fan who maybe watched our sport on and off for the last couple of months who thought that Prince Iaukea would come into this venue tonight as the television champion. But that is the case here.” Well, there ya go.

• They shake hands to start. Prince works the arm as Tony and Dusty put over how Iaukea has stepped up his game defeating the likes of Jerry Flynn. They trade wristlocks and reversals until Rey rolls through. Rey tries a go-behind but Prince ducks behind to grab the arm. Rey grabs a headlock only to get sent off into a shoulderblock. They both no sell until Prince realizes he’s not fuckin’ Ice Train and he was supposed to bump. He rolls backward into a dropkick. Iaukea leap frogs and tries a monkey flip but Rey dives through. Rey fakes out the 619 to oo’s and ah’s. Prince gets dumped to the apron only to springboard back in and hit a superkick. Cover gets 1, 2, only 2. Rey baseball slides to the floor but Prince catches him with some chops. Prince preps a dive while Dusty chews over the royal line of succession. Brain: “[If Prince beats Rey] He’ll no longer be a prince, he’ll be a king.” Dust: “You can’t be… you can’t be king unless like they vote, and uh—er–they vote for ya to be king.” Brain: “Well, where does he live?” Tony: “Where do you vote for a king?” Dust: “He at where the princes are—all the princes live.” Brain: “Somewhere near Omaha, I guess.” Back in, Prince with a short leg drop for 1, 2, only 2. Prince with a pseudo AngleSlam for another nearfall. Hanging vertical suplex gets 1, 2, 2 ½. Prince goes to the chinlock to slow things down. Prince press slams Rey into a ribbreaker which sounds awesome but gets NOTHING from the crowd. Prince does the Superfly taunt because HERITAGE..?! or something. Prince dives off into a dropkick from Rey.

• Dust puts over Rey’s experience edge and essentially calls Iaukea a loser: “Being able to have all that experience, ya know, at an early age and being where ya at now—as long as this thing goes, it’s going to favor Rey Mysterio, Jr. because the arsenal of the Prince can’t be all that much right now, yaknowwhati’msaying? He’s got a game plan; after a while, it’s gon run out and Mysterio got an A-tier gameplan and he’s going to go ahead and put that into—uh—focus.–uh roller, knowwhateyemeanIronMike?” Tenay: “[In reference to Mysterio] As the human highlight film of professional wrestling as we’ve dubbed him–” Dust: “Well, I was, yes—OH! Who you talkin’ bout?” Tenay: “The offensive arsenal of Rey Mysterio, Jr.” Rey flips up onto Prince to rana him to the floor but the rope breaks their fall. Rey dropkicks him the rest of the way to the floor. TOPE SUICIDA CON GIRO! That was awesome. They jockey for position in the corner as Prince backdrops Rey to the apron. Rey springboards back in with a double jump moonsault for 1, 2, only 2. Prince gathers Rey up but he slides behind and shoves Prince into the turnbuckle. Spinwheel kick follows for a double KO spot. Another moonsault off the ropes from Rey gets 1, 2, kickout. Rey drops down for the toe hold. Prince hiptosses him into another flip off the ropes counter. Prince gets Rey on his shoulders up top and falls off for a Super Samoan Drop. Cool spot. BUT WAIT! FORMER CHAMP LORD STEVEN REGAL HAS COME OUT! Prince whiffs on a dropkick and Rey heads up top. Rey leaps off for a rana but Prince isn’t in position and they botch it. Rey calls for it again but Regal trips Rey up on the apron because Regal felt that Rey cost him the title. Regal slides him back in and Prince covers for 1, 2, 3 to retain at 8:53.

• Despite some cool spots, these two just have zero chemistry. As this point, Rey just needed a competent guy to stand opposite him and catch him when necessary and Iaukea wasn’t it. Prince was green as hell and not over with a belt he wasn’t ready for. **

• Post-match, Prince won’t take the victory because of Regal’s interference. Iaukea is so stand up of a guy that he forfeits and gives the belt to Mysterio. Mysterio’s all I prefer my world titles by beating Jack Swagger, The Miz, and getting Eddie Guerrero’s push, so no thanks. Brain: “If I know Rey Mysterio, he’ll pawn that thing or turn it into a hood ornament.” Tony: “Have we ever seen it in the history of our sport a belt that no one wanted?”

• Gene is still slumming it in the back, this time with Giant. Gene wants to talk about psychological warfare, “MIND GAME AS THEY SAY!” Giant says the Outsiders can try it, but he’s one step ahead: “I’ve ridden with these guys in the car, I know how bad they drive. I’ve roomed with them in hotels, I know what they are, they’re all about the mind game, the psyche, that’s what they are after… I’m the conductor, Hall and Nash are playing the instruments—when it’s all said and done, you can be guaranteed that I’m walking away with those tag team belts.” Bad drivers and symphonic metaphors don’t make for the best promos, but this wasn’t bad.

Buff Bagwell vs. Diamond Dallas Page. Buff is in the n.W.o but has yet to don the top hat and pal around with Scott Steiner, so he’s not over. DDP is getting more and more over by the day since he turned down the n.W.o AND called out Macho and Sting.

• Tony and the crew speculate that DDP may have been the one to take out Big Bubba Rogers.

• Brain says that Buff is on orders from Hollywood and Bischoff to take out DDP. Buff spits on DDP and Page uses his new t-shirt to wipe it off and then toss it into the front row. Page smacks him for revenge to a pop and then drops down to outsmart Buff and grab a wristlock. Buff rolls through to work a wristlock himself. Page counters but Buff gets a rope break. BANGGGGGG! Crowd pops for DDP threatening the Cutter. DDP tries another wristlock but Buff pulls him down by the hair and then ducks behind the ref to boos. DDPDDPDDPDDPDDP! They slow things down staying with headlock and wristlock reversals. Page elbows out and shoulderblocks Buff down. Buff springs up to try a hiptoss but Page blocks and Buff blocks THAT, so DDP switches to a swinging neckbreaker. Crowd is FEELING it. Brain: “OHHHHHHHHH! YOU WOULDN’T HAVE SEEN DALLAS PAGE DO THAT A YEAR AGO! HE IS READY HERE IN WCW RIGHT NOW! LIKE DUSTY RHODES SAID, THIS MAN IS A MAJOR, MAJOR PLAYER RIGHT NOW!” Dust: “He is not intimidated by anybody, proved that. And—and–and the marks that he has made, Tony, we both watched it, chorographed it—I mean, not chorographed, core-logijig-it—logit… WE LOGGED IT IN OUR BRAINS! Through the years that he has been proved, youknowwhateyemean? CHRONOLOGICAL! THAT’S THE WORD I’M LOOKING FOR! DON’T HELP ME OUT, SILVER TONGUE!” Tony: “Not a chance, go ahead, Dream.” Dust: “We… chronologically donated…uh…” Tony: “We’ll be back to Dusty Rhodes next match.” Dust: “You know what I’m talking about.” ANYWAY, Page tries to bring Buff back in but Buff cuts him off with a Stun Gun that Page sells well. Buff chokes a bit while Dusty blames his tirade on a wine tour he did with Brain, Mike, and Lee Marshall. Buff sends DDP into the turnbuckle a few times while Brain puts over Buff’s newfound confidence from the n.W.o and Tony wants to know if he’s president of the Buff fan club. Buff lands a Tornado DDT but lands on his stomach rather than whipping into it. Tony: “THAT WAS ALMOST LIKE A DIAMOND CUTTER! … Or ALMOST LIKE A BULLDOG OR A DDT!” Thanks for that.

• Buff poses to jeers. Not satisfied, Buff mosies over to the corner. Buff: “YOU GOTTA GET A CLOSEUP ON THIS!” Dust: “He’s wasting time right here.” Brain: “Eat your heart out, Chippendales.” Buff drops some boots and a back elbow for 1, 2, only 2. Page with a small package for a nearfall and Buff quickly takes back over arguing the count. Page sneaks him with another school boy for 1, 2, nearfall. Buff pulls out his best Flair as he shoves the ref arguing the count again and the ref shoves him back down to a pop. Scott Dickinson backs Buff back into the corner and tears him a new asshole verbally. Big pop for all this. Page tries some offense but Buff pokes him in the eye. Buff blocks a kick but eats the DISCUSLARIATO! So far on commentary Buff has been called “Buff,” “Buffy,” and “Buffer.” DDPDDPDDPDDP!~! Page hits an atomic drop and goes to the lefts and rights. He fires up and the crowd is with him. Page with the LIGER BOMB! 1, 2, 2 ½. Buff blocks a blind charge with a back elbow. Covers with the feet on the ropes for 1, 2, 2.7. Buff now whiffs on a blind charge and DDP school boys him again for 1, 2, nearfall. Buff mounts in the corner but DDP counters to Snake Eyes. Page calls for the Cutter but Buff backslides him for 1, 2, kickout. Buff with a PERFECTPLEX! He releases rather than cover and demands the ref count out DDP for a KO victory. What the FUCK!? Buff poses and this is funny and everything but makes no sense contextually. Buff forgets his own idea to try a neckbreaker but Page hits the DIAMONDCUTTER! BUT WAIT! THE TROOPS HAVE COME OUT! Page bails out and hops the rail as the ref calls for the bell at 9:50.

• This was on the verge of being very good, but lost its way in the execution. The match was laid out as Page constantly playing catchup and needing roll ups to break even against the superior Buff. However, Buff because he’s the stuff just dances, prances, and poses his way through a match and may not have managed an effective workrate, psychology, or storytelling based heat in his entire career. Therefore, DDP can’t lay around while Buff kicks him a couple times and goes for the Olympia, he should no sell and pound him into next week. When Buff pulls him up an demands a KO victory at the end, it not only comes off laughable but IS laughable because he has done jackshit, but they miss the obvious payoff – DDP popping up to a huge pop to the crowd and landing a haymaker – instead going for a loopy DDP hitting a desperation cutter when he shouldn’t have been desperate. Still good, but had way more potential. **3/4

WCW United States Championship: Chris Jericho vs. Eddie Guerrero (c). Production department takes a whiff as the screen graphic says it’s for the TV belt. For those of you scoring at home, this is FOUR cruiserweight matches in the first five matches and surprisingly none of them have been great spotfests. Tony explains why Jericho gets the title shot: “One of the nicest young men that WCW has ever let into the fold.” Tony then speculates that that Syxx and/or Malenko may play into the finish because Eddie interfered earlier. Dust can’t manage anything better: “He’ll be there—he be there when the bell rings. That’s what it’s all about. Come to play, THE GAME HAS BEEEEEGUN! THE FIGHTS ARE ON, BABY!” Brain rounds out the crew by having flashbacks to FCW calling Guerrero, “Eddie Graham.”

• Eddie armdrags Jericho under to start. Jericho with a go-behind but Eddie switches to the wristlock. Jericho counters to his own and Eddie wrestles circles around him into a headlock. Jericho still manages to get on top with a hammerlock. Eddie with a drop toe hold and works a STF variation before Jericho gets the ropes. Eddie with a leg lariat and back suplex for 1, 2, nearfall. Tony tries to put over the current roster for the future of the business but Dusty has other ideas. Tony: “These men represent the new blood in our sport. There’s no denying that, we say with pride that WCW is where the big boys play and it’s because not only do we have the greatest superstars in the world here, but because we have the greatest young talent, internationally. You’re taking a look at Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho from Canada, we’ve seen the Ultimo Dragon from Japan, the superstars from Mexico. The young men are here, the superstars to take us into the next MILLENIUM! A term that’s overused I know, might as well get it in here while we can.” Dust: “Yeah, they gon be gon on to the next century and the year 2000, too…. Limmy-amum is that—uh—stuff you put on ya knees when they hurts.” Brain: “That’s horse liniment.” Dust: “WILL YOU STOP IT?! You talk about two guys of the young blood, I’m talking about BAD BLOOD! Hogan. Piper. That really, really sets up us for something that I really believe for Piper—Piper really gotta throw his big shot tonight, here, brother. Man, I mean, I cannot wait.” Brain: “Well, he’s beat Hogan before, he can do it again.” Tony: “Yeeeeeeeeeah, but something’s up. Something’s gon happen here.” That’s right, Tony openly predicts a screwjob. ANYWAY, Jericho with a back suplex of his own for a fleeting 1 count. Eddie runs into Jericho and basically applies an ab stretch on himself as Jericho seems a bit flummoxed. They go to the test of strength and the crowd is DEAD. Just nothing. Eddie bridges down and Jericho brings him up for a Northern Lights suplex and the Flair/Steamboat backslide spot. Jericho covers for 1, 2, only 2. Jericho hits a hanging vertical suplex for another nearfall. They go through a few phantom headlock takeovers for nothing and it’s the ECW STANDOFF! Jericho spinebusts Eddie and applies the LIONTAMER! Unfortunately, Jericho is a midcard nothing, so Eddie ducks under and whips him over. Jericho with a LARIATO for 1, 2, only 2. TOTHECHINLOCK! BORINGBORINGBORING!

• Jericho catches Eddie into a reverse Torture Rack and drops down into a sweet ribbreaker. Cover gets 1, 2, 2 ½. Jericho with a few chops in the corner. He goes for the up-and-over crossbody but Eddie sniffs it out and Jericho whips out. Eddie with a WILDBOMB! 1, 2, kickout. Brainbuster from Eddie and he calls for the Frog Splash. Jericho moves but Eddie rolls through. Jericho grabs him and LAUNCHES him with a sweet release German suplex. Crowd still doesn’t care though. Brain: “All the wind is knocked out of La Bamba, I can guarantee ya that.” Jericho paintbrushes Eddie a bit for some mild heel stuff, as they started off a bit sloppy and can’t seem to get the crowd back. Eddie lands on his feet out of a tilt-a-whirl. Jericho tries a Codebreaker and then wants a monkey flip but Eddie lands on his feet again. Jericho finally catches him with a belly to belly throw for 1, 2, feet on the ropes. Still nothing from the crowd. Jericho crotches Eddie and then springboard dropkicks him to the floor. Jericho follows out with a SPRINGBOARD PLANCHA! Nice and these guys are working hard even if no one cares. Back in, Eddie counters a dive with an atomic drop and backslides Jericho for 1, 2, 2.9. Tony: “HOLY MOSES! THAT WAS CLOSE!” Jericho with a shoulderblock but Eddie pops up for a leap frog. They both go for dropkicks and collide. Both then go for shoulderblocks and again double KO. Both up again but Jericho catches Eddie in a powerslam. Cover gets 1, 2, no. Eddie slides out of a suplex and rolls up Jericho for 1, 2, only 2. Jericho comes back with a superkick and LA MAGISTRAL! 1, 2, kickout. Crowd is still out to lunch as Jericho runs into an elbow in the corner. Eddie wants a Tornado DDT but Jericho counters to a NORTHERN LIGHTS SUPLEX! SWEET! ONE, TWO, THREEOHNOHEALMOSTGOT’IM! Still, a few more subtle BORING chants but fuck ’em, these guys are putting in work. A few more reversals before Eddie counters a powerbomb with a sunset flip roll up for 1, 2, 3 to retain at 12:00. Post-match, Jericho is miffed and argues the count casually. Eddie puts the belt on his shoulder in a show of sportmanship but Jericho gives it back.

• Both of these guys are better as heels and lacked personality as rah rah babyfaces. They started off slow and lost the crowd. They worked hard in the second half to REALLY put on a good show and a competitive match, but the loudest pop of the match was for the bell to end it. This match deserved a better crowd but 3 of the first 4 matches had unsatisfying run-in or runaway finishes and the 4th was an anonymous trios match and they checked out a few minutes into this. ***

Triangle Match: The Faces of Fear vs. Public Enemy vs. Harlem Heat. Tony: “It’s time for some tag team action, some WILD tag team action… IT’S PLUNDER TIME AT THE COW PALACE!” Tony mentions how this should have been a four-way with the winners getting a tag title shot, but unfortunately the Steiners are incapacitated due to attempted vehicular manslaughter at the hands of the n.W.o. They showed it on Nitro, but due to it’s graphic nature, it will never be shown again, sayeth Tony.

• Grunge: “LADI DADI, IT’S A SUPERBRAWL PARTY!” Tony: “All right, by now, you should know the rules to a triangle match.” Dust: “Well, tell ’em if they don’t. In Australia, they might not know.” Brain: “That’s where tag team wrestling was invented. Ever heard of Australian tag team rules?” Dust: “Yeah, but uh how ’bout Australian Triangle Match? You ever heard of that?” Brain: “Oh no, I don’t know a thing about that.” ANYWAY, Barbarian and Rock to start. Barbarian with a hard forearm and a Bulldog powerslam for 1, 2, on Rock. Stevie Ray smacks Barbarian from behind to tag in but then doesn’t get in the ring. Barbarian lefty clotheslines Rock while Stevie makes up his mind. Stevie steps in and goes to work on Rock with boots and a haymaker. Rock ducks a few clotheslines but runs into a press slam. Stevie covers for 1, 2, but Meng breaks it up. Grunge tags in and knocks Book off the apron. Book gets back up and enzuigiris him right into a pump kick from Stevie. Dust: “THAT PUT A STOPPA IN THAT MESS!” Book tags in to scream and hit the Ax Kick for another nearfall. Stevie back in for a clothesline and goes to cover, but Book’s all WE NEED MORE BREAKING NECKS BEFORE WE CASH THIS CHECK and Stevie pounds him down more. Rock and Sherri get into a verbal spat on the floor and that distraction allows some double teaming from HH. Stevie with some lazy choking. Book whiffs on an elbow drop but spinaroonies into the Harlem sidekick while Tony and Dust talk about how much this match adds to one’s resume. Book poses to a big response. Grunge goes for a charge but flops over like a sack of garbage and faceplants into the turnbuckle.

• Grunge tags out to Meng and he stomps a mudhole on Book. Meng hits a dropkick b ut Stevie breaks up the cover. Meng drags Book over to their FOF corner for some double teaming. Now, they clubberin’ is on. Dust and Tony talk over Sumo wrestling strategy and move-calling while Barbarian hits a SUPER BELLY TO BELLY SUPLEX! He covers but Stevie breaks it up. Book sneaks a roll up but Barbarian pokes him in the eye to escape and clubs him down. Tony: “It takes so much to hurt the Faces of Fear.” Brain: “Well, ya know, they live in trees and they, uh, jump across trees.” Tony: “They no more live in trees than you do.” Dust: “Mannnn, I’m gon tell you what–” Brain: “They are savages.” Tony: “They are not.” Dust: “They are no savages.” Brain: “They are wild animals.” Tony: “They are not.” Dust: “Not wild animals.” Brain: “What is this, Echo Mountain?” Tony: “Well, it doesn’t have to be.” ANYWAY, Meng hits a NICE piledriver for nothing as Grunge breaks it up. The FOF work another quick tag and hit stereo diving heatbutts. HH and PE step in to break up the nonsense but quickly step back out to the apron. Meng backdrops Book into a SWEET POWERBOMB FROM BARBARIAN! Stevie in again and won’t even let a cover. Grunge tags in but no one cares, so Barbarian BOOT OF FEARS him to the floor. Stevie is in to eat a superkick from Meng. In the confusion, Rock tries a senton but Barbarian catches him. Grunge follows him off the top with a crossbody taking out both but Barbarian takes the brunt. Rock rolls him up for 1, 2, 3 to win it despite Grunge being the legal man at 7:55.

• I’m a mark for these types of matches; I liked the HH/Steiners/Sting and Luger triple threat at Clash XXXIII; and I loved the FOF/Outsiders/Nasties match at WW3 in 96. But this was duller and had less heat than either of the other two. You can have the lumbering stiffs if you have some over guys like Outsiders or Steiners, but it doesn’t work when you’re putting over PE and have no cool interactions or opportunities for different personalities to collide. **

Grudge Match: Steve “Mongo” McMichael vs. Jeff Jarrett. If Jarrett wins, he’s a Horsemen. Tony says he’s been pushing the watercooler talk with one question: If Jarrett wins, does that mean there’s Five Horsemen or is someone out? SMELL THE INTRIGUE! Debra is of course with Mongo.

• The bell rings as the crew argues about which of them is the biggest gossiper. Jarrett wrestlers a circle around Mongo and then hiptosses him down and struts to big heat. AIN’T HE GREAT?! An armdrag follows and Jarrett reclines on the top turnbuckle to taunt. Brain blows a gasket warning Jarrett not to get too cocky against the likes of Mongo. Mongo whiffs on a charge in the corner but catches Jarrett showboating again and powerslams him down. Mongo sets up the 3 point stance and clips the knee a couple times to crickets. Dust: “Debra kinda fancies Jarrett.” Tony: “SHE’S MARRIED TO THE OTHER GUY FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!” Dust: “Well, I have seen women that are married fancing other guys.” Deb stops Mongo from pursuing and Jarrett attacks from behind as Dust speculates that she may be the new leader of the Horsemen. No, really. Jarrett applies an ab stretch but uses the ropes for leverage, so Debra waffles his hand with the Halliburton. You see, she wants it called right down the middle… or something. Keep that in mind come the end of the match. Mongo comes back with a hiptoss and tries an elbow drop but comes up dry. Mongo ducks a shot and hoists up Jarrett for a press slam and drives him down. Mongo clotheslines him out to the floor. Debra comes over and wipes down Jarrett with a towel. Mongo takes offense, steals the towel, and chokes Jarrett to a pop. Mongo Snake Eyes him into the rail to another reaction. Back in, the boys try to get back to Hogan and Piper. Brain: “I wonder how many times Hogan has had to go to the men’s room.” Jarrett sniffs out a backdrop and facesmashes Mongo down. Jarrett chokes for a bit and hits a Bossman attack. He struts to heel heat and goes for a Sleeper but Mongo thought it was a clothesline and bumped in an awful spot. Sure enough, they repeat it and Jarrett gets that Sleeper. Mongo sends him off to get his own Sleeper but no one cares, so Jarrett slides behind for a back suplex. Double KO spot as Debra is distraught and doesn’t know who to help. They get to their feet and slug it out and Mongo takes over with a sideslam. He poses for no particular reason as Jarrett pummels him from behind. They continue the Ray Traylor homage with Mongo hitting a Bossman slam for 1, 2, only 2. Jarrett pokes him in the eye to come back. He heads up top for a crossbody. He covers for 1, 2, 2 ½. On the kickout, Jarrett bumps the ref. Mongo calls for the Halliburton, but Debra’s all NEVERMIND THAT SHIT and tosses it backwards over her head instead to Jarrett. He waffles Mongo with a solid shot. Jarrett covers for 1, 2, 3 to become a Horsemen at 8:13.

• A typically plodding, periodically clumsy Mongo clash. They kept it together for the most part, but Mongo matches are so basic that even a blown clothesline isn’t going to shatter the illusion because there almost isn’t any illusion. If you just imagine every Mongo spot as him tripping over someone going for a chop block or shoulderblock, you’ll enjoy his repertoire of actual shoulderblocks, chop blocks, and blown spots that much more. All that being said, I kinda liked this because it was short, simple, and to the point. **1/4

• Post-match, Mongo is out cold. Brain: “Usually, you see him like this at 4:30 in the morning, not this early.”

San Francisco Death Match: Kevin Sullivan vs. Chris Benoit. Woman and Jacquline are strapped to each other at ringside. Sullivan is accompanied by Hart and is still coming out to DOD music. These guys had a barnburner in a similar match all the way back at GAB 96.

• The women collide in a catfight and Benoit and Sullivan start the slugfest as we’re underway. The women crawl and help each other to the floor as they try to gingerly whip each other on the legs. In case you were curious, the female strap match has no bearing on the actual match taking place as they can’t be involved in the finish. Sullivan backdrops Benoit while the ladies continue “brawling.” Sullivan no sells a few chops so Benoit slams him down. Benoit heads up top only to get slammed off by Sullivan. Sullivan with a butterfly suplex and goes to some GnP as the ladies slide in only to collide again. Woman whips Jackie a few times to a pop. Sullivan tries to break it up so Woman low blows him with the strap which doesn’t work as a spot when it’s not leveraged by his own weight against him but who cares. Benoit now gets whipped by Jackie and Woman has released the strap in the confusion. Sullivan wraps up Benoit in the strap and then drapes him over the top rope so Jackie can punt him to the stones. Woman attacks Sullivan from behind as the women are now jumping the other men. Sullivan and Benoit careen back into each other as Dust and Tony play this as the greatest fight since Dory Funk Jr. beat Gene Kiniski. The ladies clothesline down both of them and then go back to the whipping. Benoit and Sullivan recover to brawl out to the floor and down the aisle. Sullivan botches an eye poke, so he repeats it and gets it right that time. The ladies continue whipping each other in the ring while Sullivan and Benoit take a detour through the crowd. Tony: “YOU’RE GETTING DOUBLE YOUR MONEY, HERE!” Woman starts choking Jackie as Benoit and Sullivan have made it backstage. Sullivan slams Benoit down on a makeshift golf cart and then waffles him with a trashcan. Benoit no sells to send him into the wall and repay the trash can waffle. Sullivan and Benoit continue gouging each other’s eyes and low blowing their way all the way back to the ring from outside the arena. Back in, Sullivan hooks Benoit in the Tree of Woe. Sullivan double stomps him and goes for a pin but Woman breaks up the cover. Benoit jumps him from behind with a piledriver. Jackie is back on Woman with some GnP. Benoit pulls out a table and slides it in. Benoit puts Sullivan on the table and then heads up top. Jackie tries to cover Sullivan to prevent further damage but Benoit dives off the top with the headbutt and takes out both in a cool spot. Benoit covers for 1, 2, 3 to end it at 7:34.

• They figured that more was more after the insane brawl from a year ago, but this was a case of more being less with the catfight just being a glorified distraction. WCW was notorious about certain standards and practices elements, so my guess is that they wanted the ECW women’s violence, but didn’t have the guts to follow through with a true intergender or even mixed tag match. Because Jackie and Woman’s brawl has no bearing on the outcome of the match, so it comes half-assed and irrelevant. *3/4

• Post-match, Benoit, Sullivan, and Jackie sell the table spot as serious injuries. Arn, Orndorff, Terry Taylor, and Lee Marshall all come out for the appearance of sincerity. After several minutes, they all do stretcher jobs.

• Dust: “Tell ya what, fans, Piper coming out of Alcatraz in the shape he was in and Hogan meeting, right here, later on tonight here at Superbrawl, could end like this right here.”

WCW World Tag Team Championship: The Giant & Lex Luger vs. The Outsiders (c). In the interest of bias, Bischoff banned Luger from competing tonight because of a broken arm, so it’s been changed to a handicap match.

WCW World Tag Team Championship: The Giant & Lex Luger vs. The Outsiders (c). Tony thinks is the first time that a single competitor has ever fared for the tag belts, but he wants Dusty to reassure him. Dust: “A lot of people would say, ‘Well they’re not handicapped because the Giant is 7’4”, 500 lbs.’” Dust then follows up by saying the Outsiders are in a hurry to get this match over, so they can get back to doing what everyone in WCW does: worrying about and helping Hogan.

• Dust: “The bottom line is the World Tag Team Champions, The Outsiders, they are ready to go ahead and get this thing over with and done because it has to be on their mind about Piper and Hogan. So will Luger make a play here? Will Luger do something? Will Sting and the Macho Man be on hand? It remains to be seen what will happen.” Brain tries to take this back to the tag match, but Dust is determined to talk about Hogan and Piper.

• Syxx and Hall are wearing shirts that say “AZTECAS,” which Dust takes as an ominous sign about the main event. Dust: “You see what they got on their chest right there? ALCATRAZ! … Is that ALCATRAZ?” Brain and Tony in unison: “No.” Dust: “I’m just testing y’all! Looking over there… what is that?” Brain: “Tony… he can’t read or write, ya know?” Dust: “I’M TRYIN’ TO MAKE A POINT THAT ALCATRAZ IS ON THEIR MINDS!”

• Just to set the record straight, this would be one of at least three times that WCW would have the belts challenged, defended or won by one person. At Great American Bash 98, Sting and Giant would implode as champs with Sting winning them in a singles match. Later in 98 at Havoc, the same thing happened AGAIN as Rick Steiner finally got revenge on Scott Steiner in a tag match against Scotty and Giant in which one of the champs, Scott Hall, was not present to defend, and Rick’s partner Buff turned on him in the middle of the match. Rick would choose Kenny Kaos from High Voltage as his co-tag champ.

• Giant raises the goozle but Hall and Nash aren’t intimidated as usual. They play some rock, paper, scissors, and we all know paper beats rock.

 photo therockpaper_zps87aecb50.jpg

• They go face-to-chest and Hall throws the tooth pick. Giant sells it and comes back with a vengeance, but Hall ducks out of the way and paintbrushes him some. Hall mocks him like Frankenstein. Hall tries a hammerlock but Giant clubs him back and TROLL YELLS! Giant gently piefaces him and Hall bumps anyway as Dust goes crazy putting over how the key to the match is “stamina.” Hall tries some work in the corner, until Giant reverses for chops. Giant with a big slam and taunts Nash at the same time. Hall recovers to spit on him before backing off in a hurry and tagging in Nash. Nash raises the Wolfpac, but Dust is a bit slow on the uptake: “Must be a longhorn fan.” Tony: “No, I think he’s calling out to his boneheads.” Nash hits a corner clothesline that staggers the big man. Giant manages to counter and hit one of his own and another on an entering Hall. Giant with a HUGE dropkick that sends Nash careening to the floor. Tony: “THAT WAS INCREDIBLE! IT GOT EVERYONE ON THEIR FEET HERE AT THE COW PALACE!” Not exactly, but the effort is appreciated. Giant follows out to give Nash an Oklahoma Stampede into the ringpost. Giant hits an elbow drop for 1, 2, Hall breaks it up. BUT WAIT! SYXX IS IN WITH THE BELT! HE WAFFLES GIANT! The ref is distracted by Hall and Nash capitalizes with a hip check. Mark Curtis chastises Syxx and Hall hits a bulldog off the top. Giant covers for 1, 2, 2 ½. Nash works Giant over in the corner with the Director’s Cut knees while the crowd chants for LUGERLUGERLUGER.

• Hall clotheslines him while Nash distracts the ref. Nash goes back to his chokes and a lazy Bossman attack. Hall and Syxx aid out of the ref’s line of sight as Tony breaks out the food metaphors which confuse and make Dusty hungry. Tony: “I think much of the damage had already been done. Just a little, lil, little bit of garnish from Syxx.” Dust: “Little bit of what?” Tony: “Garnish. GAR-NISH!” Hall tags in for the mounted 10 punches. Giant shoves him away and headbutts him down. Nash wobbles in and calmly paces with head and arms down right into a boot from Giant in one of the worst telegraphed spots I’ve ever seen. Giant takes down both with a couple kicks and he fires up. Syxx tries flying off for another belt waffle but Giant catches him and tosses him into Nash. Hall recovers the belt and waffles Giant anyway. Giant no sells, so Nash JACK KNIFES HIM EASILY! That was a tense spot as of course that spot didn’t always go so well. Awesomely, Nash sells as well and Brain is all over it. Brain: “NASH HURT HIS BACK! NASH HAS HURT HIS BACK DOING THAT POWERBOMB ON THE GIANT! I BET HE’S TORE HIS WHOLE SACROILIAC!” BUT WAIT! HERE COMES LUGER! Bischoff is out as well to hold him off but Luger trashes him into the rail. Dust: “YES! YES! SEE YOU LATER, ALLIGATOR! I LIKE IT!” Giant tags in Luger. He pelts Hall and Nash with the cast! Syxx is in! LARIATO FROM LUGER! RACK ‘EM! NASH GIVES UP AT 9:07!

• Match was shit, but spectacular sports entertainment. Everything after Nash’s powerbomb is pitch perfect gratification for the months of n.W.o finishes even if it was a short-lived happy ending. It’s beautiful seeing Hall, Nash, and the interfering Syxx get their comeuppance especially after all the cheating in this match. ***

• Post-match, Giant hits the Slam Dunk ChokeSlam on Hall and covers him as well for good measure. Awesome moment. Even in losing, Tony and Brain put over Nash’s “superhuman” effort in powerbombing Giant.

• Unfortunately, the next night the victory would be overturned and the belts returned to The Outsiders.

Grudge Match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Rowdy Roddy Piper vs. Hollywood Hogan (c). Let’s recap the highlights. Piper shocked the world by returning at WCW Halloween Havoc 1996 and then recounted their lengthy history which was so lengthy the PPV company cut them off mid-promo. They had another miniseries at WCW World War 1996 in a contract signing where Hogan claimed he had Piper’s number because of Piper’s hip replacement surgery. At Starrcade (which is on the Starrcade Compilation, Starrcade: The Essential Collection – Disc One), Hogan passed out to Piper’s sleeper and Hot Rod “won” the belt. It was only after the match that WCW revealed the belt wasn’t on the line. Finally, Piper was ready to hang up his boots and ride off into the sunset with his son, but Hogan came out and trash talked Piper and punked him out in front of his son. That drove Piper batshit and he spent a week on Alcatraz leading to this war to settle the third score. Just for the record, these guys would go on to have several more “epic” clashes for the next 2 years.

• Dust: “It’s time to pay the piper. I GUARANTEE YA!”
Brain: “LOOK AT THE FILTH ON THIS MAN! IMAGINE THE CONDITIONS HE’S BEEN LIVING IN! RATS! ROACHES! EVERY KIND OF VERMIN IN THE WORLD, HE’S BEEN LIVING THERE THINKING ABOUT ONE THING FOR SEVEN DAYS: GETTING HIS HANDS ON HOLLYWOOD HOGAN!”
Dust: “He’s going in the ring, I believe, with the biggest varmint we have here at WCW: Hollywood Hogan.”

• Hogan steals Piper’s kilt to spit on it, but Tony overrules to say that’s nothing compared to what Hogan did to Piper in front of his son. Hogan begs off afraid to even step in the ring and takes a hike up the aisle but the ref rings the bell anyway. Piper runs him down and tackles him from behind. He runs him back to the ring and promptly goes to the eyes. Piper goes to a knee for the BLATANTLOWBLOW. Dust: “HIT HIM THERE AGAIN! THERE’S TWO OF THEM!” Dibiase argues with the ref, so Piper can choke Hogan with the shirt. However, the ref still turns around and sees the low blow and the choke spot. A lot of “discretion” being shown here. Piper bites his forehead and then chokes Hogan over the top rope. Hogan begs off and stumbles down the aisle. Brain: “CRAWL HOME, YOU MISERABLE COWARD!” Piper sends Hogan into the rail and then ushers him into the post at quarter-speed. Piper gets a chair and kind of headbutts Hogan with it. Piper scares off Vincent and Dibiase. Back in, Hogan comes back with a low blow but Piper no sells to try and stomp a mudhole. Piper botches it so he switches to a shitty Camel Clutch and bites Hogan. BUT WAIT! WALLSTREET IS OUT! VINCENT ATTACKS! Piper clears the ring casually. Hogan comes back with a weak throat chop as Tony speculates that it’s good that Wallstreet didn’t get in the ring, because we for sure would have seen a DQ. Yeah, except we’ve already seen two low blows, biting, and several chokes IN FRONT OF THE REF! Piper follows up by poking Hogan in the eyes. Tony: “WHAT A NIGHT! WHAT A MATCH!” Piper hits a horrible Mongolian chop, but Hogan no sells to pull Piper to the floor. He “wraps” the leg on the apron, but Piper says fuck it and no sells to poke him in the eyes again. I swear this isn’t no DQ. Piper comes back with a few Bas Rutten liver shots. He drags Hogan back in and they two-step their way over to the ropes for a crotch spot. This sucks. BUT WAIT! WE’VE GOT COMPANY! MACHO AND STING ARE IN THE AISLE! Macho and Sting have a pow wow and Sting disappears to the back while Macho stalks to ringside. Hogan and Piper slug it out while Hogan talks trash. Piper with the WORST SPEAR EVER!

• Hogan no sells to roll on top for some GnP. WEWANTSTING! WEWANTSTING! Hogan covers for 1, 2, no. Hogan rakes the back as Brain tries to bullshit his way into making the chants good for Piper. Brain: “Thousands and thousands of people here at the Cow Palace chanting, ‘We want Sting.’ There’s gotta be millions and millions around the world watching this on PPV, ‘I WANT PIPER! I WANT PIPER!’ I WANT PIPER TO TAKE THIS BIG-MOUTHED HOGAN AND SHOW THE WORLD WHAT I’VE SAID FOR YEARS! THAT HE CAN BE BEATEN! HE’S A PIECE OF SCUM!” That, my friends, is some PhD level bullshit, but Bobby is a trained professional. Don’t try that at home. Hogan peppers Piper a bit and he goes down in a heap. Piper bails out to the floor and sells death. Hogan boots him down while they plan out how to extend this feud into 6 more PPV matches. Hogan guides him into the ringpost and then Piper conveniently swings his own leg around the ringpost while Hogan stands in the vicinity of it trying to claim agency of said act. Back in, they go knee-to-knee and gouge each other in the eyes. Piper wins that one while Macho looks on. Hogan recovers for a BEARHUG! Tony: “What is Savage thinking?” Brain: “What’s going through Sting’s mind, that’s what I’d like to know.” Piper collapses into Hogan’s waiting arms while they lovingly caress each other on the mat like West Side Story except with more synchronized dancing spots and a better love story. Piper gets the arm up on the third lift and Mongolian chops Hogan. Hogan no sells for some shitty choking. He goes for an elbow drop but whiffs and Piper goes to the GnP. MOARLOWBLOWSFROMHOGAN! Sleeper from Piper which is how he beat Hogan last time. Brain loses his voice selling it, but no one cares. Mark Curtis raises the arm three times and Hogan’s out at 10:08. Big reaction for that. BUT WAIT! Macho drags Hogan under the ropes and even though the ref was in perfect position and saw it all for real. He restarts the match anyway. Macho slips the loaded knucks to Hollywood. Hogan waffles Piper and covers to retain at 11:00. Macho slides back in to hide the evidence and Macho has joined the n.W.o. He decks Piper again with the knucks and spraypaints Piper. Tony and crew speculate about Sting’s allegiance. Dust: “THIS IS SICKENING!” They trash Piper with a few leg drops and Macho elbows as Tony pleads the company line that Hogan’s feet were under the ropes, even though they weren’t. Fuck. You.

• At least their Starrcade debacle had a clean finish. Hogan/Piper in the late 90s is the epitome of good booking, but bad wrestling. Both guys are icons and super over as characters even in the late 90s and their promos are top-notch at times, even if they’re over the hill. But once they step through the ropes and the bell rings, the illusion is completely and utterly shattered. Neither guy could be bothered to take a bump, much less do a decent spot. It’s just 10 minutes of lazy rolling around, eye gouges, low blows, failed hope spots, and eye pokes all in front of the ref. Brain and Dusty can scream about the sake of humanity and WCW’s existence on commentary all they want, but when the old-timer part-timers are coasting their way through a money match, why should we care anymore than the guys involved? Look a the bright side, this is still years better than their cage match at HH 97. DUD

• In case you enjoy WCW 1997, here’s a few more shows.

WCW Uncensored 1997

WCW Halloween Havoc 1997

WCW World War III 1997

• If Superbrawl is more your speed

WCW Superbrawl VI

WCW Superbrawl VIII

The 411: Nothing is actively bad except for that tragedy of a main event but nothing rises above decent. Even the watchable stuff is disappointing because Malenko and Syxx are capable of better as is DDP and The Outsiders comeuppance would be overturned. I'd avoid for better 1997 WCW offerings like Uncensored or Havoc or better contemporary Superbrawls like VI and VII in 96 and 98.
 
Final Score:  5.0   [ Not So Good ]  legend

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