Tuesday, August 12, 2014

WCW Slamboree 1996

It's time for another F4W board pick. I remember watching my PPV-taped copy of this a lot back in the day due to the Konnan-Liger match on it, and to see DDP do a chain of cutters in the Battle Bowl match. The opening video hypes up three titles matches - cruiserweight, US, and World title with an 8-MAN BATTLE ROYAL after the 16-man Lethal Lottery tag matches. The grey, red, and white logo for Slamboree is rather ugly. Animal's out and their WCW theme is just awful. He's teaming with Booker T against Hawk and Lex Luger. Lex's bright blonde hair is distracting. According to Tony, 100 MILLION people are watching this show.  He must've gotten his results from the folks that did WWE's polls. Heenan says that Luger's back so quickly after getting chokeslammed through the table on Nitro by the Giant because HE'S A WRESTLER, AND THERE ISN'T A DISABLED LIST LIKE THOSE WIMPY FOOTBALL PLAYERS! Animal and Luger do power stuff and Animal counters with A DROPKICK! Booker T's in to add some much-needed speed to this. Booker gets taken down, but breakdances up and his the sidekick for 2. I should really make Harlem Heat's gear in FPR - it should be fairly simple to do in theory. Booker gets a chinlock that Luger hits some super-shitty elbows to the gut to get out of. Hawk and Luger brawl over a tag, so Animal helps Hawk. Everyone brawls and Heenan calls Booker T Stevie Ray - Tony points out that the Road Warriors never got in there. WELL THAT SURE ACCOMPLISHED ITS GOAL THEN DIDN'T IT. Jesus. This was a dreadful choice for an opener.

Public Enemy's out for match 2. The state of the fat balding guy doing the arm wave in Public Enemy's intro. Holy shit. Sullivan and Benoit are teaming here. Yargh. Benoit in a Horsemen belly shirt is odd-looking. Benoit starts with Rocco exchanging shoves and punches. "Benoit's got a temper, I tell you." I would have been fine with that line being muted. Rocco gets a quick rana to Benoit, showing off some rare cruiserweight action at this point in his career. Rocco goes for another rana but eats a wild bomb! These two have really good chemistry together. Benoit tags in Sullivan, who hits some overhand chops after a single Benoit chop. They're using a chair and a table here in this regular-rules match. Benoit stops the drive by with a lariat. Benoit gets suplexed to the floor from Rocco, which isn't a DQ. Sullivan is put on top of Benoit, but he moves both PE guys go through with Benoit. Sullivan says his leg's hurt, Benoit's out and they pin while also holding the leg down. This was fun and would've been a better opener.

Craig Pittman's out with Teddy teaming with Scott Steiner. Pittman looks like such a badass. Booty Man's teaming with Rick Steiner. Rick's got his crazy early '90s neon-filled crap. Booty Man looks to be his leanest and youngest-looking facially in ages. He looked bloated in the WWF in '93, but here, he's got no face fat at all. Booty Man's gear should be really easy to make in FPR. Teddy lost a lot of weight between his WCW run and his WWF run. Kneeling tigerbomb to Booty Man after Pittman tags out to Scott. Pittman comes back in and eats Rick's mid-air powerslam - I always loved that move, and it's a shame no game really replicated it. Rick hits the bodyblock harder than Big E. Scott tags in! They start with a tie-up before Scott hits a fireman's carry. Judo hiptoss from Rick! Heenan talking about Scott getting all of Rick's hand-me downs and Rick getting their mother's dresses is hilarious. Suplex. STEINERLINE FROM RICK! Scott teases a dragon suplex, but Rick gets a German! Rick goes up and eats a SUPER EXPLODER FROM SCOTT! Booty Man misses the shoulder charge leading to Pittman coming in and going after the arm to set up the arm bar. He locks on Code Red, but Rick gets a tag, a bridging German, and the win.

Blue Bloods in Regal and Taylor are out with Jeeves against Duggan and VK Wallstreet. I love Wallstreet's dollar-store Million Dollar Man getup. Regal PUTS UP HIS DUKES against a fan. Regal and Wallstreet start off with some basic wrestling. Duggan tags in like an idiot and gets double teamed in the corner. Duggan hits a taped fist with AN ENTIRE ROLL OF TAPE hanging off his arm to beat Taylor. Colonel Parker's still here and out with DIRTY DICK SLATER, who has a fantastic theme. Eaton's out with Jeeves, and they're facing Alex Wright and Disco Inferno. BOOGIE KNIGHTS! Dusty explains that this tourney is so important because the Lord of the Ring gets a world title shot - good to establish the stakes here AT THE END OF THE FIRST ROUND. Slater beats the fuck out of Disco before tagging to Eaton via a cheapshot to Wright. Wright hits a trio of European uppercuts to Eaton in the corner. Disco comes in and gets some absolutely shitty punches in to both Slater and Eaton, who are pros and actually sold this shit. Slater bonks him with his boot to win.

DDP's out with a generic theme and his awesome NEON GREEN AND PURPLE GEAR! Barbarian looks so great. Hugh Morrus is out without a singlet and in long rights  a fairly rare getup for him. MENG'S BLACK AND GOLD TIGHTS RULE! DDP clotheslines Morrus down before tagging in Barb. Faces of Fear are in and IT'S ON. They're just clubbing and countering tosses here. Loving the Faces of Fear going at it in respectful combat - it's like, they each want to win, but they're not going to hold back because that would be insulting. Barbarian tosses DDP on top of Meng, who comes back and hits a flying mid-ring headbutt. Beautiful flying elbow from Hugh off the top gets 2. DDP crotches Hugh leading to Barb's super belly to belly getting 2 before Meng saves him and sets up the moonsault for 2. Faces of Fear each hit a kick of fear, but Barb's legal, so he and DDP get the win.

Big Bubba and Stevie Ray are out, with Bubba as the biker here. A white guy with a jew fro danced to Stevie's theme. FIRE AND ICE ARE OUT! I loved these guys a lot then - Norton was great as a tag guy and they looked so similar build-wise, that I thought they'd do better than they did. Norton and Stevie do stuff, but Norton wins out with a flying shoulder block. Norton shoves his giant roid belly into Stevie in the corner. Bubber comes in and hits the avalanche and a nice punch to set up the spinebuster, called the Bubber slam, which it wasn't, for 2. Ice Train comes in and hits a big butt splash for 2. Train and Bubber clothesline each other. Norton and Bubber clubber! Bubber bonks into Stevie on the apron and Fire and Ice...run into him...for the win. Eddie and Arn team up next against Flair and Savage.

Eddie's theme is catchy, but generic, and this look for him sucks. I remember Eddie's look here, but wow was it ever generic in every way outside of the shiny jacket. He's got a fish meat look, a nothing stache, and doing generic face jobber mannerisms. Then he turned heel and found himself - much like Tajiri in that sense. One change led to a look and presentation that saw him gain a lot of momentum. Flair's not showing up, but Savage is out with two shades of pink and black on his gear. Flair runs down after Savage eats a beating from Arn. Eddie DOES NOT APPROVE OF THIS! Woman and Liz come down. Arn clubs away at Savage, who can't tag Flair in. Flair comes in to attack Savage and eats chops from Eddie. Flair and Savage brawl, but Arn DDts Eddie and Flair gets the win. I love Arn's DDT being absolute death. Liz slaps Savage and Arn hits a DDT on the floor. Flair keeps attacking. Tony and the announcers are on-screen and one team will apparently get a bye due to the first match being a double countout, and we get another random draw. Tony is sick and tired of Heenan here.

A silly Great American Bash ad aired with the Steiners as "the kids". Gene's out with some Hooters girls. Gene's making sure to check out the name tags. Fire and Ice get a bye to Battle Bowl. Eaton and Slater face Duggan and Wallstreet. Brad Armstrong's out to face Dean. I remember this being a heavy knee-selling match. Poor Brad's got a generic American flag jacket. DEAN'S THEME RULES! They trade holds on the mat for a bit. Malenko counters a test of strength with a kick to the knee, and he then attacks it on the post. Dean's got him in "a hurting situation" according to Dusty. Brad gets a fluke sunset flip for 2. Dean slams him for a pump splash, but Brad counters by booting him in the face. Snap powerslam from Brad sets up a missile dropkick. Heenan points out that's unwise given that he's got a bad knee. BRAD GETS THE CLOVERLEAF ON HIM, but Dean gets the ropes. Dean chucks him to the floor by his tights. AVALANCHE GUTBUSTER FROM DEAN GETS THE WIN!

A GLACIER HYPE VIDEO AIRS! The CG for this Glacier video has held up well. Gene's with the babes, who have been CHANGING THEIR NAMETAGS ON HIM! Public Enemy faces Savage and Flair. Slater and Eaton face Wallstreet and Duggan. Gene hits on the girls, who say they'll go to Hooters after the show, drink beer, and eat wings!

Slater and Eaton are out against Wallstreet and Duggan. Slater and Wallstreet wrestle, while Duggan and Slater just brawl - good stuff either way. Duggan tags in Wallstreet, WHO SHOWS FIRE, perhaps for the first time in the '90s. Wallstreet punches Duggan twice, who punches him once into a schoolboy for a win. Duggan and Wallstreet brawled - no shits were given. Public Enemy's out to face Savage and Flair, who just brawl and then PE wins by countout or some shit.

Barb and DDP face Booty Man and Rick Steiner. Booty Babe's out with a new dress. BM and DDP engage in fisticuffs. Booty Man chokes him with an electrical cord. Steiner gets the mid-air powerslam into kind of a fireman's carry slam too for 2. Steiner gets mounted punches, but Page counters with a stun gun on the buckle. Rick counters Barb's big boot with a crotch lift into a back suplex. BARB GETS A POWERBOMB! Booty gets a high knee, but DDP saves. Barb gets the win after Page elbows Booty on the head off an O'Connor roll. Battle bowl is next.

Or not - Liger-Konnan! Liger has black, silver, and gold gear - it looks amazing.  Konnan's got a Mexican flag hat, a Puerto Rican flag sleeveless jacket and a lot of fringe. It's so weird seeing Konnan actually move and do moves. Tenay mentioning MIXED MARTIAL ARTS IN 1996. Wow. Even the '97 Observers refer to the sport as No Holds Barred. Tenay tries to talk about Konnan's haircut with K cut into the sides and back of his hair...in three Ks..., and he gets cut off a ton by Heenan before Tenay says it's due to him playing a rapper in Mexico. Liger gets a nice brainbuster for 2. Tenay mentions the Jushin Liger anime. Ground abdominal stretch from Liger. Modified cross armbreaker by Liger. It's impossible to believe that this is the same Mike Tenay we hear each week on Impact. Tenay is so fantastic here adding insight. Tenay says that Konnan's a huge Flair fan, and has his own Horsemen group in Mexico. Heenan makes a rickshaw joke, so he's both racist and a REALLY stupid one. Sumo chest thrusts lead to the koppou kick in the corner! Liger gets a superplex and a diving headbutt. Liger goes off the top to the floor, but Konnan kicks him...which should snap his leg. Liger gets a Saito suplex countering an outside-in suplex. FISHERMAN BUSTER FROM LIGER gets 2. Liger leaps up in the corner and eats an Alabama slam and a jackknife cover for a 2.999! Liger sunsets out of the Power Drop for 2! LIGER BOMB gets 2.9. Liger eats boots off a flying headbutt. Power Drop gets the win! This was by far the best match on the show.

Flair and Arn are out with Woman and Liz to talk about Savage. Flair's got an orgy planned with himself, Arn, Woman, and Liz. Mongo's out with Flair insulting him. Flair calls Mongo an old-timer, but he looks relatively young here - he's only about 30 or so. Kevin Greene's out and Flair's pissed - HE WANTED RETIRED PLAYERS! Greene was really good as a wrestler - he had fantastic intensity and was incredible for how little experience he had. WE READY TO ROCK AND ROLL ANYTIME, ANYWHERE!

It's Battle Bowl time. Everyone did random crap except for DDP being eliminated, but the ref not seeing it. Rocco's out. Eaton's out due to Slater's boot misfiring. Eaton hits Parker, who is saved by Slater, who is eliminated during all this. DDP takes Norton out. Train powerslams DDP, Barb, and Grunge. Train and Barb hit Grunge. Train hits Barb, who eats a Cutter. He then Cutters Train, and Grunge! He rolls from a pin to Grunge to one on Train and then one to Barb! BUT BARB KICKS OUT. Logically, this works since it was done to Barb first and he had the most time to recover. Barb hits a clothesline for 2. DDP gets a cover with the ropes, but only gets 2 because the ref just stops counting and claims it's due to the feet being on the ropes despite not looking at them. They hype up Sting-Giant, which we've never seen a single video for, or even a promo. Barb gets a piledriver for 2.9! Barb gets a sleeper, but Page gets a low blow. DDP calls that a 10, but Barb gets a kneeling powerbomb for 2.9. Diving headbutt misses. This has been a fantastic night as a showcase for Barbarian. Cutter hits for 3. DDP gets pyro, and a ring!

Dusty says THE KING OF THE RING is coming out, in the Giant. Giant's in the back with Jimmy Hart talking for him. Not much to it. Sting's dark haired look was always weird with the surfer getup, and this gear is shockingly early '90s with the bright colors. Buffer's intros really do make the title matches seem more important. I love Parts Unknown being "A PART OF THE WORLD UNKNOWN TO MAN! Dusty predicts a classic. I predict he's a fibbering. Love Sting bouncing off a crossbody. Sting gets a sleeper, but not much. He goes for a slam but Giant's weight is too much. Giant gets a leaping elbow, which remains impressive to this day. Giant gets a running back elbow and stands on Sting. Sting clubs back but eats a falling headbutt to the nuts. Giant's mobility here is amazing. Giant's got the bodyscissors and the ropes. Hart's telling Lex that he's his number 1 man, and Heenan says Luger won't turn on Sting - he wants his half of the tag titles. Hard to believe he was both TV and Tag Champ here. Giant chucks him down the stage. Giant tries to chokeslam Sting through a table, but Luger's using Hart as a table shield! Giant gets a chest club, but Luger saves Sting from a dropkick. Sting accidentally elbows the ref to the floor. Sting kicks away in the corner and gets the Stinger Splash! Luger and Hart are on the apron leading to Luger getting choked and Giant eating several Stinger splashes before Sting hits a double boot to send him down. Sting goes to Stinger splash Hart, but he falls down and hits the buckle, resulting in a crotch headbutt to Giant. Sting gets a flying splash, which got him an International World title against Vader at the '94 Slamboree, but he gets pressed at 2! Ref's down! Sting gets another splash! Sting's got the deathlock, but Hart and Luger are fighting over the megaphone and it hits from several yards away. This wasn't the best Slamboree, but everything that was middling was at least short, so it flew by. Sting-Giant was way better than I remember it being, and it was definitely Sting basically plugging Giant into his Vader formula, but with a bit too much storyline gaga.


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