Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Showing posts with label Taskmaster. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Taskmaster. Show all posts

Thursday, 30 November 2017


WCW Superbrawl VII Review - Event Poster
February 23, 1997,
The Cow Palace, San Francisco, California.

Though we often poke fun at WCW's tendency to declare - via lead announcer Tony Schiavone- that every show was 'The Biggest Night in the History of Our Sport' and every main event 'The Biggest Main Event Ever In The Whole Wide Universe,' you do have to hand it to them: 

They really did go all out to back up their claims.

Such was the case tonight, as the company presented the hotly anticipated rematch between nWo leader and World Heavyweight Champion Hollywood Hulk Hogan, and his arch-nemesis, Rowdy Roddy Piper.

For those of you just catching up, Piper had put Hogan to sleep in the main event of WCW Starrcade 1996, earning himself a shot at the Big Gold Belt.

If you ignore the ridiculous story where he holed himself up in Alcatraz for a week, WCW had crated a serious big-time fight feel coming into Superbrawl 7.

Would the show live up to the hype? Let's head to The Cow Palace in San Francisco to find out:

Roddy Piper is Released from Alcatraz 

WCW Superbrawl VII Review - Roddy Piper was released from Alcatraz
Remember that time Rowdy Roddy Piper locked himself away in Alcatraz for a week to prepare for a pro wrestling match against Hulk Hogan?

That match was tonight, and the past seven days has seen Piper locked up, growing more and more insane in the process.

Tonight, Superbrawl VII began with Piper being released from what he called 'hell' and taking a boat towards dry land, shouting like a lunatic en route.

I'm saying nothing about whether 'Piper in Alcatraz' was a good idea or not, but it made an interesting start to the show.

From there, we got our typical welcome from Tony Schiavone and his colleagues, Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan and The American Dream Dusty Rhodes.

The three talked about the big main event before giving us the back story to tonight's opening contest.

World Championship Wrestling Cruiserweight Championship
WCW Cruiserweight Champion Dean Malenko vs. Syxx 

WCW Superbrawl VII Review - Syxx beat Dean Malenko for the cruiserweight title
That story took us back to Starrcade 96, when Eddie Guerrero won the vacant US title in a tournament final.

If you recall, Syxx had run out afterwards to steal the title, only for Guerrero to beat him in an awesome ladder match at the otherwise terrible nWo Souled Out show back in January.

Trying his luck a second time, Syxx this time stole

Dean Malenko's Cruiserweight title, and also tried to make off with the US belt again before Guerrero stopped him.

Tonight, Malenko would look to get his belt back from a man trained by Dean's own father, Borris Malenko.

The match, though it may not have been quite as good as it could have been, was a perfectly acceptable opener between two talented performers.

After plenty of back-and-forth action, Syxx looked to use the Cruiserweight title as a weapon, only for Eddie Guerrero to run out and stop him.

A tug of war ensued which the referee broke up, in doing so turning his attention away from the combatants so that Syxx could waffle his opponent with the strap and win his first singles title in one of the Big 2.
Your Winner and New WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Syxx

WCW Superbrawl VII Review - Mean Gene interviews Diamond Dallas Page
Cutting to the locker room, Mean Gene Okerlund told us to call 1-900-909-9900 to find out which major WCW superstar he saw having breakfast with the nWo that morning.

Speaking of The New World Order, one of them would be facing Diamond Dallas Page tonight, though Page hadn't been told who his actual opponent will be.

Gene welcomed him as his first guest of the evening to run through the possibilities, finally deducing that Buff Bagwell was a real possibility.

By coincidence, at exactly the same time, Gene got word on his head set that Buff would indeed face DDP, who promised to Diamond Cutter the former American Male before storming off to end what was a solid promo.

Six Man Tag
Konnan, La Parka, Vilano IV vs. Juventud Guerrera, Ciclope, Super Calo

There was no backstory and no intense rivalry behind this lucha libre style trios match, but that was perfectly OK.

WCW Superbrawl VII Review - Konnan fought in a six man Lucha Libre match
Rather than progressing a storyline, this was a pure time filler, and as time fillers go, it was a rather fun one.

OK, so this one was not the kind of classic we'd see from other AAA imports like Rey Mysterio Jr. and Eddie Guerrero, and with Ciclope botching a moonsault to the outside so badly that he nearly Lille's himself, it had no chance of ever coming close.

But there were some entertaining spots here, and I find it hard to believe that anybody could watch this one and not find it fun to watch.

In the end, Konnan threw Juventud Guerrera about 10,000 million feet in the air and flattened him to win the match for his side.
Your Winners: Konnan, La Parka, Vilano IV. 

From there, it was straight back to the runt for our next match.

World Championship Wrestling World Television Championship
WCW Cruiserweight Champion Prince Iaukea vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. 

WCW Superbrawl VII Review - Prince Iuakea defended the TV title against Rey Mysterio
Having to really fight my autocorrect here, it insists I refer to the Champion as Prince Ikea, but obviously I'm not going to.

The story here was that the Prince had gone into a TV title match against then-champion Steven Regal as an underdog, but shocked everybody by winning the match, and the title.

Regal had blamed Rey Mysterio for the loss (what Rey did, I'm not sure, I'm just repeating what Tony Schiavone said), and somehow that meant we had Mysterio as Prince Iuakea's first major title defence.

I've read a lot of criticism of this match but honestly can't understand it.

Despite what you've read elsewhere, this was a perfectly good match which -whilst not a classic- certainly delivered value for money.

Towards the end, Regal came out to distract Mysterio in retaliation for the masked luchadore costing him the title.

Prince Iaukea got the win, but that was only half of the story.
Your Winner and Still WCW Television Champion: Prince Iaukea. 

Admittedly, this is where things started to get dumb.

After realising that his victory was tainted, Iaukea, being the good sport he was, actually offered Rey Mysterio his title.

Why he didn't offer him a rematch, or even a restart is beyond me, and apparently beyond the announcers, who joked that this was the first time nobody actually wanted a title, because Rey wouldn't accept it like that either.

The Giant is Calm

WCW Superbrawl VII Review - The Giant cuts a backstage promo
Backstage, Mean Gene once again urged us to call the hotline before introducing his next guest, The Giant.

The big man would be going up against The Outsiders for the Tag Team titles by himself tonight since Eric Bischoff had ruled his original partner, Lex Luger, unfit to wrestle.

The Giant didn't care about that, nor did he care about the mindgames his former team mates in the nWo had been playing with him.

In another solid promo, the former champion told us he was calm, he was ready, and he would destroy Kevin Nash and Scott Hall tonight.

Buff Bagwell vs. Diamond Dallas Page 

At the previous month's nWo Souled Out, Buff Bagwell had offered Diamond Dallas Page one last opportunity to join the nWo.

Page had responded by Diamond Cuttering the hell out of the nWo B-Team, effectively cementing his face turn in the process and setting up a new rivalry with Bagwell.

WCW Superbrawl VII Review - Buff Bagwell faced DDP
Say what you will about the former American Male, he was both effective and entertaining as the arrogant, narcissistic heel, whilst Page himself was over as hell with the San Francisco crowd.

Unfortunately, neither of these made for that good of a match.

The sole highlight came when Buff shoved referee Scott Dickinson, only for the ref to shove back and verbally berate Buff until he backed down in the corner.

If that sounds familiar, it's because Earl Hebner had only just started to do that very same gimmick at the last two WWF pay per views.

After that, more uninspired back and forth followed until DDP hit the Diamond Cutter. Just when it looked like he was going to win, Syxx led the nWo B-Team to the rescue and Page hightailed it through the crowd.
Your Winner via DQ: Diamond Dallas Page 

Afterwards, Tony Schiavone told us about some guy named Keith who had won a PlayStation competition to be at the event. They put the camera on poor Keith for so long that he had no idea what to do with himself. He'd give us a 'yeah! Woo!' then look away and turn back, only to realise the  camera was still on him and give us a 'um...yeah!'

It was awkward. Poor guy.

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship
WCW United States Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris Jericho 

WCW Superbrawl VII Review - Chris Jericho challenged Eddie Guerrero for the US title
This was a shame, because both men really worked hard to deliver a great match that ultimately did nothing to excite the live audience.

In a different time, this one would have gone down well, but tonight it simply fell flat, ending when Eddie Guerrero rolled up Chris Jericho for the three count to retain his title.
Your Winner and Still WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Eddie Guerrero 

Post match, Jericho looked visibly pissed at the loss and even argued with the referee. However, this would only serve to be the most subtlest of teases at an eventual heel turn, as he did at least shake hands with Guerrero and congratulate him on the match.

Triangle Tag Team match
The Faces of Fear (Meng & Barbarian) vs. The Public Enemy (Flyboy Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge) vs. Harlem Heat (Booker T & Stevie Ray, w/ Sister Sherri)

WCW Superbrawl VII Review - Public Enemy faced Harlem Heart and Faces of Fear
As the Faces of Fear made their entrance (sans Jimmy Hart), Tony Schiavone reminded us that this was supposed to be a four way match until The Outsiders ran over The Steiner Brothers on Nitro.

That took Rick and Scott out of the equation and made this a triangle match where a title shot was not on the line.

The lack of a title shot (or 'opportunity' if you will, pal) didn't seem to matter to either of these three teams, who tore the hell out of each other in a short, passable match.

The Faces of Fear - who, I believe, were a far better team than many gave them credit for- were the stars here, doing most of the work before Public Enemy stole the win.
Your Winners: Public Enemy 

They must have been paying Mean Gene per-interview tonight, because once again we skipped the 'tween-match hotline shilling and went straight to our next match.

If Jarrett Wins, He Joins The Four Horsemen
Jeff Jarrett vs. Steve 'Mongo' McMichael (w/ Debra McMichael) 

WCW Superbrawl 7 - Debra McMichael wanted Jeff Jarrett in the Four Horsemen
Steve McMichael's wife, Debra McMichael had been campaigning ardently to get Jeff Jarrett into the Four Horsemen. Tonight, if the former WWF Intercontinental Champion could beat her husband, he would earn that spot.

This was the set-up for what turned out to be one of the best matches Steve McMichael would ever have in his career.

Look, I'm not saying it was great or anything, but for what it was, it was certainly very good.

Jarrett made McMichael look awesome before finally beating him after Debra not-so-accidentally passed him Mongo's steel briefcase:

One shot to the head later, and this one was over.
Your Winner: Jeff Jarrett 

Afterwards, Jarrett seemingly ignored Debra and strutted backstage boasting about his big win.

Talk about ungrateful.

San Francisco Death Match
The Taskmaster (w/ Jimmy Hart and Jacqueline) vs. Chris Benoit (w/ Woman) 

WCW Superbrawl VII review - Kevin Sullivan and Chris Benoit brawled backstage
As the two competitors made their way out, Tony Schiavone told us that a San Francisco Death Match was basically your standard no DQ match.

Confusingly, Woman and Jacqueline were then strapped together and begun whipping each other whilst Chris Benoit and The Taskmaster did their usual brawling routine.

As the show switched back and forth between the men and the women, not to mention occasionally going to that horrible split screen WCW loved to use whenever they could, it was obvious that this was nothing more than a disappointing mess.

At The Great American Bash 1996, these two had put on one of the most entertaining matches of the year in a similar no-holds-barred, falls-count-anywhere that was as wild as it was violent.

Tonight, this writer expected , as I'm sure many who were watching at the time did, to see the same kind of deal.

Instead, we got a poor man's imitation of ECW which ended when Benoit put Sullivan on a table, only for Jacqueline to lie on top of her man in order to protect him.

Benoit didn't care and dove off anyway, then pinned both Jackie and Sullivan beneath the table.
Your Winner: Chris Benoit

In order to really sell this as a big deal, Benoit, Jacqueline, and Sullivan all lay comatose in the ring for half an eternity whilst Paul Orndorff, Terry Taylor, and, randomly, Lee Marshall all took turns at coming to the ring and yelling at nobody in particular.

A long while later, the three were stretchered off as the show cut to a promo in which Hugh Morrus told us how crazy Uncensored 1996 was going to be.

World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship
WCW World Tag Team Champions The Outsiders (Scott Hall & Kevin Nash w/ Syxx) vs. The Giant  

WCW Superbrawl VII review - Scott Hall & Kevin Nash faced The Giant
At the start of this one, Scott Hall and Syxx came out wearing t-shirts promoting the Mexican Promo Azteca promotion. Dusty misread this and somehow thought it said 'Alcatraz,' his logic being that The Outsiders were so worried about Roddy Piper coming out of Alcatraz to face Hulk Hogan that they decided to wear t-shirts about it.

Anyway, the bout itself was fine - nothing terrible, nothing spectacular, just fine.

After holding his own against the nWo for a few minutes, The Giant was rescued by his original partner Lex Luger, who bust in with a torture rack to which Kevin Nash submitted.

After the bell, The Giant chokeslammed Scott Hall, pinned him, and had the referee count to three, just to be sure that he was definitely responsible for winning the titles.
Your Winners and New WCW Tag Team Champions: The Giant and Lex Luger                                  
Luger and The Giant celebrated, but their reign would be short lived.

Just as he had done after Hall and Nash lost the titles to The Steiner Brothers at WCW/nWo Souled Out 1997, Eric Bischoff vetoed the win and gave the belts back to The Outsiders the following night.

Wasting no time, it was finally on to our main event.

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hollywood Hulk Hogan (w/ Ted Dibiase and Vincent) vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper

WCW Superbrawl VII review - Randy Savage watches Hulk Hogan vs. Roddy Piper
The first part of this Mach was actually fun in an old-school, less-is-more sort of way, with Piper finally unleashing all that pent-up Alcatraz insanity on Hogan.

When the champ took over however, we ended up with a dull bear hug spot that lasted about two decades and literally nearly sent this writer to sleep.

At one point, Macho Man Randy Savage came out to take a look whilst Sting, who Savage had been palling around with since his return to World Championship Wrestling, came with but encouraged him to leave the match alone.

Macho would have none of that, and instead wandered to the ring, where he stood and watched Roddy Piper clearly and cleanly win the match -and the title- via sleeper.

All was not as it seemed however. In one of the most confusing finishes ever, we were told that Hogan had his foot under the ropes (I've read reports that said Savage put his feet there, but if he did, it was a blink-and-you'll-Miss-it kinda deal.

What Savage did do, was hand Hogan some brass knuckles. Hogan hit Piper with them, and 3 seconds later, this dumb piece of crap was over.
Your Winner and Still WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Hollywood Hulk Hogan

After the match, Randy Savage, who had been beaten up and humiliated for months by the nWo, revealed that he had finally joined them by assisting Hogan in a post-match beatdown of Piper.

So, did Superbrawl VII live up to the 'Greatest Night in the History of Our Sport' tag?

Not exactly.

Whilst there was nothing particularly terrible about this show, there was nothing especially spectacular either.

The only thing that really, really gets me about this show is Randy Savage's bizarre heel turn.

After Hogan turned heel, there was no bigger enemy of the nWo than Randy Savage, and that includes Sting.

Savage was beaten down, humiliated, and blackballed from WCW, and then one day just shrugged his shoulders and went 'Oh well, if you can't beat em, join em?' yeah, that's dumb.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Next time, over the next few weeks we'll be looking at WCW Uncensored 1997 and WWF Wrestlemania 13. Be the first to catch the latest Retro Pro Wrestling reviews by following on Facebook or Twitter @RetroPWrestling.

1997 events reviewed so far:

  1. WWF - Royal Rumble 1997
  2. WCW - Souled Out 1997
  3. WWF - In Your House 13: Final Four 

Thursday, 21 September 2017

WCW Clash of the Champions XXXII 1996

WCW Clash of the Champions XXXII - January 1996 review
January 23, 1996
Ceasers Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada

So, we've just finished reviewing all the major events from 1996, but there was one I hadn't covered - the first Clash of the Champions of 1996. 

I say 'major,' but by this time, the event had fallen from grace and was now no longer the big time attraction the first ever Clash of the Champions had been. Now it was merely just another TV event.

Still, I wanted to make sure I'd covered as much as I could of this game-changing year in pro wrestling. So, let's go back to the beginning of 1996, to a time before any of us had heard of the New World Order, and check out what happened at Clash of the Champions XXXII.

Last Night on Nitro

WCW Clash of the Champions XXXI - Hogan and Savage
Our show tonight began with a recap from the previous evening's WCW Nitro.

Of note:
  • Macho Man Randy Savage beat The Nature Boy Ric Flair. In a repeat of Wrestlemania 4, Hulk Hogan celebrated Savage's win a little too enthusiastically, promoting Savage to tell Hogan off. 
  • Lex Luger used an International Object to defeat Harlem Heat for the WCW Tag Team titles, making he and Sting the new champions. 
  • The Dungeon of Doom and The Four Horsemen were pissed about something. 
From here, we got a run down of tonight's show before going down to Ceaser's Palace, the same venue that brought us Wrestlemania 9. Here, we got our introduction from Tony Schiavone and Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan.

WCW Clash of the Champions XXXI - Mean Gene Okerlund
The two hyped up our show tonight, running through the matches before sending us to Mean Gene Okerlund.

Gene was stood outside a little white chapel where Col. Robert Parker and Sister Sherri were supposed to be getting married later on in the show

After making a few jokes about celebrity marriages, Gene sent us to the ring for our first match.

The Public Enemy (Flyboy Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge) vs. The Nasty Boys (Jerry Sags & Brian Knobs)

Flyboy Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge were fairly new at this point, having only made their debut a week earlier on Nitro.

Tonight, they were here doing what they did best throughout most of their WCW tenure: engaging in a wild brawl.

WCW Clash of the Champions XXXI - Nasty Boys vs. Public Enemy
Sure, this kind of match may not have been for everyone, but for this fan, it was a perfectly fun way to start a show, ending when Brian Knobs and Jerry Sags brought furniture into the ring.

More chaos ensued, leading to a double disqualifications.
Double DQ 

The two teams continued to fight into the commercial break, after which a promo for Superbrawl V1 aired.

Eric Bischoff Interviews Ric Flair and The Giant 

Having just lost his title the night before, you may have expected The Nature Boy Ric Flair to be at least a little bit upset, but no.

WCW Clash of the Champions XXXI - Eric Bischoff interviews Ric Flair & The Giant
In this promo, Flair smiled and styled and profiled and told us that he wasn't worried about it because tonight he would get to kick Macho Man's ass, and what he didn't finish, The Giant would.

For his part, The Giant called himself a Master of Destruction and, well, promised to destroy Hogan and Savage.

Dean Malenko vs. Alex Wright 

Maybe it was the dancing gimmick that he became synonymous with in the later part of his WCW career, or maybe it was the fact that -apart from that brief Berlin thing- the company never presented him as a serious contender to anything, whatever the reason, I admit to never seeing Alex Wright as a credible pro wrestler.

As such, I would often switch off -metaphorically if not physically- whenever he wrestled.

That, however, was my mistake -and my loss- because here against Dean Malenko, he looked fantastic.
This was a short but exciting little match, originally set up on WCW Saturday Night when the two had first met and Malenko had refused to let Wright out of the Texas Cloverleaf.

This time, Malenko won via pin fall and nobody cared, which is a shame.
Your Winner: Dean Malenko 

The Taskmaster (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Disco Inferno 

WCW Clash of the Champions XXXI - The Taskmaster hates Elvis Baby!I try not to use profanity often, but this non-match was utter shit.

In place of the Disco Inferno, a bad Elvis impersonator made his way to the drink and delivered a terrible singing telegram which made him sound drunk or stoned or inflicted with a speech impediment, or a combination of all three.

The telegram announced that Disco wasn't there because he was at Col. Parker & Sister Sherri's wedding.

Taskmaster beat up Elvis and tossed him out of the ring, after which Jimmy Hart grabbed the microphone and yelled 'The Taskmaster HATES Elvis impersonators, BABY!'

This was garbage, but at least it spared us having to watch Disco Inferno wrestle.
Your Winner via Forfeit: The Taskmaster 

That little incident did segue nicely into our next segment: Mean Gene at The Little White Chapel.

WCW Clash of the Champions XXXI - Dirty Dick Slater, Mean Gene, and Bunkhouse Buck
Okerlund was there to greet Bunkhouse Buck and Dirty Dick Slater as they arrived for the wedding. Slater said he hadn't seen Parker since the night before at a craps table, and for some odd reason Buck spat about how he didn't care whether the wedding went ahead or not, after which Okerlund said to him 'I know you're excited about this wedding!'

Sure Gene, that's exactly what I got from that too.


Okerlund next sent us back to the arena, where Eric Bischoff welcomed New WCW Tag Team Champions Sting and Lex Luger for an interview.

With Lex Luger erring on the side of heeldom, he began ranting to Eric about how he and Sting had proven to be the Tag Team of The 1990s by winning the titles.

WCW Clash of the Champions XXXI - The Road Warriors confront Sting and Lex Luger
Before Sting could chime in, The Road Warriors made their big return to WCW. Sting was delighted to see them and offered them a shot at the titles any time they wanted, but Luger, displaying more charisma than perhaps at any other time in his career, was apprehensive.

Instead, he insisted that Harlem Heat, The Nasty Boys, and even State Patrol deserved a shot before the LOD.

The banter went back and forth, with no real conclusion being reached other than the inevitability that the two teams would eventually wrestle.

Making this one of those shows with more talking than action, the show next took us to Paul Orndorff.

Mr. Wonderful Speaks Out 

In a pre-taped segment, Orndorff reminded us of the devastating injury he had suffered at the hands of The Four Horsemen on a recent episode of Nitro (in reality, a cover up for Orndoff getting neck surgery).

Going over his recent history with the fiction, particularly his hatred of Brian Pillman, Orndorff swore revenge and promised us that it wouldn't be the last we would see of Mr. Wonderful, though of course, it actually was.

Col. Parker Arrives For His Wedding 

WCW Clash of the Champions XXXI - Col. Parker was set to marry Sister Sherri Martel
Next, we cut back to Mean Gene, who was waiting at The Little White Chapel for the bride and groom.

In a bad continuity error, Gene was standing in front of a couple of newlyweds who had actually walked off in the previous segment.

Ignoring that, Parker arrived in a rented limo and was all in a fluster because he'd lost all his money at the casino.

After asking Mean Gene to loan him $50, Parker got on the phone with his 'Little Fried Pie' to assure her that he was going to go through with it.

This wasn't entertaining in the slightest, and it was a welcome relief when we finally got back to some wrestling.

Flyin' Brian Pillman vs. Eddie Guerrero

WCW Clash of the Champions XXXI - Brian Pillman went ape shit in his match with Eddie Guerrero
This could have been a great match, but Pillman was more interested here in playing up to his 'Loose Cannon' gimmick than actually wrestling. So, what he gave us instead was a disappointing, disjointed outing against Eddie Guerrero.

Pillman's behaviour did, however, give us one memorable moment when he went off-script and started roughing up announcer Bobby Heenan.

Irate (and as he would later explain, worried about his neck), The Brain very loudly yelled 'What the FUCK are you doing!?!' and stormed off, only to gather his composure, return to his job, and apologise for his outburst.

That was the only thing that mattered in this match. Pillman won with a handful of tights, but really, this was an underwhelming effort made watchable only for Heenan's F-Bomb.
Your Winner: Brian Pillman 

Out in the entrance way, Eric Bischoff put over Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, and Kevin Greene, bringing them out as his next guests.

The three talked about their positive momentum and how they would take out Ric Flair and The Giant before Hulk Hogan questioned which one of them would get to take Liz on the town later that night.

It was an odd question from babyface Hogan, especially when he told Savage -his friend, remember?- that his ex-wife Elizabeth was more than the Macho Man could handle.

Honestly, this was just an odd promo.

World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship
WCW Tag Team Champions Sting & Lex Luger vs. The Blue Bloods (Lord Steven Regal & Earl Robert Eaton) 

WCW Clash of the Champions XXXI - Steven Regal & Bobby Eaton faced Sting & Lex Luger
Finally, after an awful lot of drivel and nonsense on this show, we got back to some honest-to-goodness, good wrestling.

Both teams worked hard here to create a fun match which, though it may not have mattered in the grand scheme of things, was still fun to watch.

Predictably, Sting picked up the win, retaining the titles for he and Luger.
Your Winners and Still WCW Tag Team Champions: Sting & Lex Luger

Back at the Little White Chapel, Sister Sherri finally arrived looking absolutely smacked off her tits, and was mad that Col. Parker had gambled away all their money.

She was then even more upset that she couldn't get into a trailer to change into her wedding dress.

This whole thing was atrocious. There was nothing entertaining about it, and by now I'm really starting to regret committing to reviewing this show.

Eric Bischoff Interviews Flyin' Brian 

Despite making a shambles of his match earlier, Pillman was actually on form here, first threatening to drop 'The Seven Words You're Not Allowed to Say on TV' live on the air before talking about respect, and how he and The Four Horsemen would do whatever it took to get it.

AAA Americas Championship
AAA Americas Champion Konnan vs. Psicosis 

For this keeping track, this was billed as being the WCW Mexican Heavyweight Championship that was on the line here, but that title was actually short lived AAA Americas Championship.

Today, Konnan defended that title against Psicosis in a so-so match which, though it contained some exciting spots, mostly came across as sloppy and awkward.

After a bit of back and forth, the champ retained with a Ziplock submission move which I have never seen performed once before in all the time I've been watching wrestling.
Your Winner and Still Champion: Konnan  

Finally, we got to the wedding of the century, which Madusa interrupted by coming out of Parker's trailer to attack Sherri.

A wild brawl ensued, during which Disco Inferno stole off with a bottle of champagne. That and Booker T accidentally falling on his ass, where the only two good things about this whole thing.

Actually, I lie: the third good thing was that it was finally over and we could get to the main event.

The Mega Powers (Hulk Hogan and WCW World Heavyweight Champion Macho Man Randy Savage w/ Kevin Greene and Miss Elizabeth) vs. The Nature Boy Ric Flair & The Giant (w/ Jimmy Hart)

WCW Clash of the Champions XXXI - Elizabeth returned to manage Hogan & Savage against Giant & Flair
The big news here, of course, was Miss. Elizabeth returning to pro wrestling, not just returning, but looking absolutely stunning in the process.

The match itself was your standard WCW main event for the time; a so-so effort with nothing spectacular to write about.

The end came when Flair used an International Object to knock out Savage and get the win.
Your Winners: Ric Flair & The Giant 
Afterwards, Brian Pillman and The Zodiac ran in, but Hogan and Greene quickly got rid of them, bringing this horrible and tedious show to a much-welcomed end.

When I say horrible and tedious, I seriously mean it. Outside of a handful of highlights (the opening Malenko/Wright match, the tag team title encounter, and Bobby Heenan dropping an F-Bomb on live television), Clash of the Champions 32 was a chore to watch, and should probably be avoided at all costs.
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And that's the last WCW 1996 event to be featured here on Retro Pro Wrestling. Missed any of the others? Here's the full list.
The next time we cover WCW, we'll look at the ill-conceived NWO Souled Out pay per view.  Be the first to check out those reviews by following Retro Pro Wrestling on Twitter or the brand new Facebook page

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

WCW The Great American Bash 1996

WCW Great American Bash 1996 - Event Poster
June 16, 1996
Baltimore Arena, Baltimore, MD

The summer of 1996 was an interesting time for professional wrestling, particularly when it came to the burgeoning intensity of the rivalry between World Championship Wrestling and the World Wrestling Federation. 

By June, the latter were using their King of the Ring PPV to begin launching a bona fide star out of ex-WCW mainstay Steve Austin, ultimately creating the Stone Cold character that would shape and define The Attitude Era.

Meanwhile, the former were using two of the WWF's biggest stars, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash in a storyline that would ultimately position them as the number one wrestling company in the world. 

Tonight, at the tenth instalment of their 'Great American Bash event, WCW would not only take that storyline, but their entire rivalry with WWF, to the next level. 

Did that make for an enjoyable show? Let's head to the Baltimore Arena to find out, shall we?

Everybody's Pumped Up For The Bash 

Our show tonight began with a cavalcade of madness, not all of it of the Macho kind.

WCW Great American Bash 1996 - Ric Flair, Miss. Elizabeth, Arn Anderson, and Woman of the Four Horsemen
In the first of a series of crazy-hyper promos, Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan tried desperately and failed miserably to convince us that he wasn't worried about the possibility of Macho Man Randy Savage getting his hands on him later on in the show.

Savage, meanwhile, was only concerned about his boys Kevin Greene and Steve 'Mongo' McMichael, and how the NFL stars were going to beat up Nature Boy Ric Flair and Arn Anderson.

As for the two key members of The Four Horsemen, they vowed to take no prisoners when they battled Green and  Mongo.

Finally, TV and co-Tag Team Champion Lex Luger promised to add a third title to his collection by beating The Giant, whilst The Giant himself was obviously having none of it.

All of these promos were shot in shaky-wobbly camera mode, apparently to convince us that this was going to be a wild and crazy show, or something.

WCW Great American Bash 1996 - Tony Schiavone & Dusty Rhodes hosted the event
After Tony Schiavone welcomed us to the show, Sgt. Craig Pittman came out with the American flag whilst the Star Spangled Banner played.

This finally took us to our usual intro from Tony Schiavone and The American Dream Dusty Rhodes. Heenan was absent from commentary tonight as he was coaching The Four Horsemen in their match later.

Lots of pre-match rambling followed, including Schiavone paying his respects to the recently departed Dick Murdoch, before we finally got to the ring for our opening match.

There Must Be a Winner
Fire & Ice (Scott 'Flash' Norton & Ice Train) vs. The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) 

WCW The Great American Bash 1996 - The Steiner Brothers faced Fire & Ice in the opening match
For the majority of this fairly average opening match, the vague stipulation that here must be a winner didn't have any bearing on the contest itself, nor was it ever explained quite why it was necessary.

There was no wild brawling outside of the ring, no use of weapons, just a big standard tag match that -admittedly- did get interesting once all four men started brawling towards the finish.

It was at this point that both teams began trading a series of close calls and near falls to create an exciting sequence which ultimately resulted in a win for Rick and Scott.
Your Winners: The Steiner Brothers 

Backstage, Mean Gene Okerlund reminded us that we could chat to WCW wrestlers like Lord Steven Regal on Compuserve before welcoming his first guests of the evening, The Mouth of The South Jimmy Hart and The Taskmaster Kevin Sullivan.

WCW The Great American Bash 1996 - Mean Gene interviews Jimmy Hart & The Taskmaster Kevin Sullivan
The two Dungeon of Doom members largely ignored Okerlund as they talked about the rivalry between them and The Four Horsemen.

In a typically old school promo, Sullivan threatened to do all kinds of evil things to Chris Benoit in their upcoming Falls Count Anywhere match, mainly to send a message to his Horsemen buddies, Ric Flair and Arn Anderson.

With that, it was on to our next match:

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship
WCW US Champion Konnan vs. El Gato 

For those wondering, challenger El Gato was former Badd Company / Orient Express star Pat Tanaka in a cat mask.

Here, he went up against Konnan in an enjoyable, though hardly spectacular outing which saw both men go back and forth with some pretty sweet -and some admittedly sloppy- looking offence.

Eventually, Konnan landed the win to keep hold of the title he would eventually lose to Ric Flair at WCW Bash At The Beach 1996 one month later.
Your Winner and Still WCW United States Champion: Konnan 

WCW - The Great American Bash 1996 - Sting cut a promo on Steven Regal, calling Regal gay
Backstage, Mean Gene Okerlund interviewed Sting about his upcoming match against Lord Steven Regal.

In one of those moments that leaves you looking at the screen in disbelief saying 'seriously??' Sting spent the whole interview suggesting that Regal was gay, even going so far as promising to 'straighten him out.'

Honestly, there's no way they'd get away with something like that today.

After one of the 12,000 Glacier vignettes that would air that year, it was onto our next match.

Lord of The Ring
WCW Lord of The Ring Diamond Dallas Page vs. Marcus Alexander Bagwell 

Credit where it's due, both men worked their asses off here to provide us with an entertaining match.

WCW The Great American Bash 1996 - Diamond Dallas Page faced Marcus Alexander Bagwell
With reigning Lord of The Ring Diamond Dallas Page going for cheap, cowardly heel heat at every opportunity and Marcus Bagwell flying about the place and pandering to the crowd, they both did a great job in setting up a simple good guy/bad guy dynamic that was pure textbook.

Textbook, however, doesn't always equal interesting, and that was certainly the case here.

Apart from the occasional flashes of brilliance, even a solid effort from both men couldn't stop this one from coming across as average at best.

In the end, Page cheated his way to a victory, retaining a Lord of The Ring ring that nobody cared about.
Your Winner: Diamond Dallas Page 

Out in the back, our buddy Mean Gene was standing by with WCW Champion The Giant and his manager, Jimmy Hart.

Hart skirted around the question of whether or not he had any kind of vested interest in Lex Luger's career, before taking a step back to allow The Giant to do all the talking.

And talk he did.

WCW The Great American Bash 1996 - Mean Gene interviewed Jimmy Hart & The Giant
With a lisp.


The Giant's promo was basically solid, as he boasted about his superiority over his challenger and vowed to annihilate him later on in the ring, but it was all done with a curious lisp that was as disturbing as it was distracting.

Otherwise, it was good stuff.

Speaking of good stuff, we got much more of that next:

World Championship Wrestling Cruiserweight Championship
WCW Cruiserweight Champion Dean Malenko vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.  

I feel like I've reviewed a few Dean Malenko/Rey Mysterio matches already this year, including the strong effort they had at Clash of the Champions XXXIII, but I don't know that I've enjoyed any of them as much as I enjoyed this, their first meeting here at The Great American Bash.

By all accounts, Mysterio was still a relative newcomer to World Championship Wrestling by this stage, but his years of prior experience helped him look like a star against the reigning champion.

Not that Malenko was any kind of slouch.

Playing the aggressor for the bulk of the contest and working over his opponent's arm, The Ice Man displayed that rarest of qualities in which he actually looked every bit the fighting champion he was supposed to be here.

Combined with Rey's dazzling comebacks, this made for what was by light years certainly the best match on the show up to this point.

Malenko retained his title by plastering the challenger to the mat with a powerbomb and using the ropes for leverage on the pin fall.
Your Winner and Still WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Dean Malenko 

WCW The Great American Bash 1996 - Mean Gene interviewed Lex Luger about his world title match against The Giant
Backstage, Mean Gene reminded us to call 1-900-909-9900 to hear all the latest backstage gossip before welcoming a sombre looking Lex Luger.

The tag team and TV Champion admitted that he was only doing the interview out of respect for WCW, but that his mind was really elsewhere - namely in the ring ready to take on The Giant.

After flubbing his lines a bit and finding himself unable to say the word 'pride,' Luger spoke of dethroning The Giant in their main event match later on in the show.

Big Bubba (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. John Tenta 

Having recently returned to the babyface locker room after a spell as the Dungeon of Doom's Shark, John Tenta looked to extract revenge on his former teammate Big Bubba for the recent hatchet job Bubba did on Tenta's hair.

WCW The Great American Bash 1996 - Big Bubba faced Big John Tenta
The result was a match that turned out to be far better than most were probably expecting. Don't get me wrong, this wasn't a classic by any stretch, but it was definitely an enjoyable big man outing which ended when Tenta caught Bubba coming off the ropes and squashed him for a three count.
Your Winner: John Tenta 

Post-match, Tenta held a pair of scissors about a small country's length away from  Bubba's beard, and Bubba sold it as though he'd been violently face raped.

As the former Big Bossman scurried off, trying to convince us that his beard had been cut off, Tenta ranted in the ring that this was far from over.

Mean Gene Interviews The Football Players, Baby

WCW The Great American Bash 1996 - Mongo McMichael, Kevin Greene and Macho Man Randy Savage were insane in this promo
Asked about a strategy, McMichael said he and Greene didn't need one, whilst Greene himself basically yelled the word 'BABY' over and over again with the odd few syllables in between.

Their wrestling coach Randy Savage then came on the scene, ranting and raving in typical Macho Madness fashion, and before you knew it, this one was over.

Everybody in this promo (with the possible exception of Deborah McMichael and Tara Greene) was clearly off their tits on drugs here.

Falls Count Anywhere
The Crippler Chris Benoit vs. The Taskmaster Kevin Sullivan 

They brawled in the stands, they brawled in the bathroom, and they brawled in the stands some more.

Everywhere they brawled, Chris Benoit and Kevin Sullivan were absolutely awesome together.

From start to finish, this wild, out of control brawl was about as fun as wrestling ever gets.

WCW The Great American Bash 1996 - Kevin Sullivan beat up Chris Benoit in the bathroom
Whilst the earlier Cruiserweight Championship match may have been the best bout from a pure wrestling standpoint, this intense street fight was the most enjoyable for the sheer insanity of it.

Things ended when Benoit set up a table on the top rope, got backdropped onto it, then recovered and suplexed Sullivan off it in one of the highlights of the entire event.

A three count later and this one was over.
Your Winner: Chris Benoit 

Afterwards, Benoit continued to attack Sullivan until Arn Anderson, who had been siding with The Taskmaster during this feud, came down and hurled The Crippler across the ring.

This turned out to be a ruse however, and both Benoit and Anderson laid the boots into Sullivan until Dungeon of Doom members came to the rescue.

The Horsemen Are Strong 

Backstage, Mean Gene was doing that creepy-old-guy thing he always did when Woman and Miss. Elizabeth were around. Before he could interview them, however, a sweaty Arn Anderson and Chris Benoit came on the scene, followed by The Nature Boy Ric Flair.
WCW The Great American Bash - Mean Gene interviewed The Four Horsemen

Anderson yelled about how few people could cut it as a member of The Four Horsemen, but that tonight, Chris Benoit had proved well and truly that he could.

Benoit, happy to be back in the fold, added that he had put Kevin Sullivan in his place tonight, and taught him just what happens when you mess with The Horsemen.

Chiming in towards the end of Typical Loud Angry Wrestling Promo #158, The Nature Boy insisted that he and Anderson were more than ready for tonight's match with Kevin Greene and Mongo McMichael.

Special Challenge Match
Lord Steven Regal (w/ Chives) vs. WCW Tag Team Champion Sting 

Apparently Regal had 'backhanded' Sting on a recent WCW show. To hear the commentators talking about it, this was the most heinous thing to have ever happened, meaning Sting was out for revenge against the Blackpool native in a 'special challenge' match.

WCW The Great American Bash 1996 - Steven Regal was awesome in his match against Sting
The match itself was, quite frankly, magnificent. It was mostly Steven Regal being awesome, working the crowd into a seething mass of hatred and making several thousand people hungry to see him get his ass kicked.

Not that they would get to see it.

Regal spent the majority of the contest large and in charge, taking The Stinger apart with a succession of submission moves and trash talking the entire time.

It was awesome to watch, though less so towards the finish when Sting suddenly stopped feeling pain, made a quick comeback and wrapped this one up with a Scorpion Death Lock.
Your Winner: Sting 

Wasting no time in getting back to the ring, it was time for the hotly anticipated Footballers vs. Wrestlers match.

Legends of The World of Wrestling vs. Legends of The Gridiron
The Four Horsemen (The Nature Boy Ric Flair & The Enforcer Arn Anderson w/ Miss. Elizabeth, Woman, and Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan) vs. Kevin Greene & Steve 'Mongo' McMichael (w/ Tara Greene, Deborah McMichael, and Macho Man Randy Savage 

There's no two ways about it, this match was incredibly good fun.

No, it wasn't a mat wrestling classic, but then it was never supposed to be.

This was all about the spectacle of seeing two huge football players step into the squared circle, and to give them their due, Mongo and Greene played their roles to perfection.

They were big, they were manic, and that was all they needed to be.

Mongo and Greene kept things simple, Flair and Anderson bumped into the place and made the two footballers look like bona fide wrestling stars.

WCW - The Great American Bash 1996 - Deborah McMichael (w/ Woman & Elizabeth) betrayed Kevin Greene
Meanwhile, on the outside, Woman and Elizabeth chased the two footballers' wives off to the back, only to return towards the finish with Deborah, who had changed out of her football-themed attire and was now wearing a long, flowing dress.

In her hand, she carried a briefcase which she presented to her husband. Mongo opened it to reveal a Four Horsemen t-shirt and a butt-load of cash then closed it again and knocked out his partner with it.

Flair made the pin, and Steve 'Mongo' McMichael was now a member of The Four Horsemen.
Your Winners: Ric Flair & Arn Anderson

Afterwards, Mongo joined his new teammates in beating down his former wrestling coach, Macho Man Randy Savage, before the now complete Horsemen stable congratulated each other on a job well done.

The Hostile Take Over: 'They' Confront Eric Bischoff 

Our show tonight finds us in the earliest stages of the New World Order angle.

Scott Hall and Kevin Nash had already debuted on Nitro, but were still being referred to only as 'They.'

On a recent episode of Nitro, 'They' had issued a challenge to WCW for a match, and now it was the responsibility of Eric Bischoff, as Big Boss of WCW, to respond to that challenge.

Inviting Them out onto the stage, Bischoff first sought to get his way out of a lawsuit by asking both men whether or not they worked for the WWF.

They answered in the negative, leaving Bischoff free to continue the year's hottest angle by accepting Their challenge to a match, albeit on his terms.

The match, said Eric, would take place at next month's Bash at the Beach on July 7th, though the three men who would be representing WCW would not be revealed until the following night's Nitro.

When Bischoff refused to be drawn any further on this, Hall got angry and punched him in the stomach. Then, in one of the most memorable moments of the whole nWo angle, Nash powerbomed the boss through the stage.

It was a short, compelling, and utterly convincing angle which, though simple in its execution, made you sit up and take note:

This was no ordinary wrestling angle, this was something big.

As a stunned Tony Schiavone left the broadcast booth to join EMTs and WCW officials in tending to Eric, our pal Dusty gave a sombre promo to camera, declaring his disbelief at what a cruel, terrible world we lived in.

Between The Destruction of Eric Bischoff and Steve McMichael's dastardly turn, Dusty was inconsolable. So distraught was he in fact, that he failed to recognise that Michael Buffer was to be our ring announcer for tonight's main event.

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion The Giant (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Lex Luger  

WCW - The Great American Bash 1996 - The Giant yelled at the camera after beating Lex Luger
Whilst both Lex Luger and Jimmy Hart getting distracted by the Eric Bischoff saga was a nice touch -Luger even going so far as to check on him en route to the ring- it was about the only part of this match that was.

Everything else, from bell to bell, was miserable and almost unwatchable.

After several minutes of pure crap, The Giant hit his clothesline to retain the title.
Your Winner and Still WCW Champion: The Giant 

And that was all she wrote for one of the better PPVs of 1996.

And so it was that we were one step closer to Bash at the Beach 1996, one step closer to the heel turn that would change professional wrestling forever, and one step closer to the true formation of the New World Order. 

That being said, The Great American Bash was -unlike many other PPVs that would come later in the year- not predominantly focussed on the whole invasion thing. 

Here, we had lots of great wrestling from WCW's finest, including a rip-roaring match between Rey Mysterio and Dean Malenko, a great wrestling match between Sting and Steven Regal, and a highly entertaining novelty match in the wrestlers vs. footballers gimmick. 

To this writer, all of that proves one thing: 

That whilst it may have been the nWo that helped catapult WCW into the stratasphere, it wasn't the only thing they had going for them. Solid, in-ring action which at times totally outshone the competition was one of the company's best assets, and a tool they used to great effect in retaining fans long after the novelty value of Hall and Nash had worn off.

Admittedly, I've reviewed WCW's 1996 PPVs in a bit of a random order. If you haven't already, you haven't already, you can catch up with other reviews here: 

Next time, we'll go ahead and review WCW World War 3. To be among the first to read that review when it is published, join me on the Retro Pro Wrestling Facebook page, or follow me on twitter at @Retropwrestling. Until then, thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017


WCW SUPERBRAWl VI 1996 - Event Poster
February 11, 1996
Bayfront Arena, St. Petersburg, Florida.

For most pro wrestling fans, Ric Flair is as synonymous with World Championship as the company's other marquee attraction: Sting. So it was fitting that tonight, as WCW entered its final few months before the arrival of the New World Order, that The Nature Boy should be attempting to capture the group's World Heavyweight Title for an unprecedented 13th. 

Not that Flair and his opponent, defending champion Macho Man Randy Savage were the only main event here.

As the first WCW PPV of 1996, we were nearing the end of Hulk Hogan's initial babyface run with the company, a company which appeared to be less and less successful with passing show.

Everywhere he went, the chants of "Hogan Sucks! Hogan Sucks!" were growing louder and more noticeable, serving as the catalyst for Hogan's eventual heel turn at Bash At The Beach 1996 later that summer.

Would The Hulkster manage to win the favour of the Florida faithful as he went up against arch-nemesis The Giant in the second of two steel cage matches tonight?

Would his Mega Maniacs partner Randy Savage prevent Flair from breaking a new record when they met in part one of our big double main event?

Let's head to the Bayfront Arena to find out, shall we?

Welcome to Superbrawl VI, Welcome to the 1990s

Our show tonight began with a cheesy video package which basically told us what was on tonight's card, but could have just as easily have been a kid's toy commercial. Seriously, don't just take my word for it, watch it here:

After that, Tony Schiavone welcomed us to the show without telling us it was the most historic night in the history of our sport. Instead, he introduced us to his colleagues Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan and The American Dream Dusty Rhodes before taking us down to ringside for our opening contest.   

Street Fight:
Public Enemy ('Flyboy' Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge) vs. Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Saggs)

WCW SUPERBRAWl VI 1996 - The Nasty Boys faced Public Enemy in a Street Fight
Give credit to WCW where it's due, the company did know how to utilise Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags effectively.

This was a team that were never going to deliver a classic in a textbook tag bout, but book them in a wild, out of control brawl like this one, and the many others they had throughout their tenure with Turner, and The Nasty Boys could prove to be as entertaining as anybody on the roster.

Going up against 'Flyboy' Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge in a match which channelled the spirit of that team's former home in ECW, The Nasties spent several minutes trading chair shots, trash can attacks and table bumps with their opponents in an enjoyable -if hardly spectacular- opener.

Must-See TV this certainly wasn't, but as a way to get the crowd pumped for the show, the weapon-based madness on display here certainly worked well.

In the end, Rocco Rock hurled himself off the top of an obviously fake merch stand, hoping to crash onto Brian Knobbs and send him through a table.

Knobbs moved, made the cover, and won the match.
Your Winners: The Nasty Boys

All the while, your writer was still thinking about that merch stand. I mean seriously, it was next to the entrance, blocked off from the fans.  Who were they going to sell merchandise to, the wrestlers?

Did Mean Gene Foretell The Arrival of The Outsiders? 

Backstage, Mean Gene Okerlund shilled the WCW Hotline by telling us that he and Mike Tenay would be discussing the rumour that 'two World Wrestling Federation former champions could be on their way to World Championship Wrestling.'

Of course, I never heard that Hotline talk, but I do wonder if Okerlund was referring to Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, who would be debuting just a few months later.

Okerlund Interviews Konan 

WCW SUPERBRAWl VI 1996 - Konnan kept looking at the wrong camera for his interview with Mean Gene Okerlund
From there, Mean Gene invited his first interview guest of the evening, Konnan.

The United States and AAA Americas Champion saddled up to Okerlund wearing a truly hideous outfit that looked like some mad dress one of the ladies from Abba might have worn back in the '70s.

Promising to beat One Man Gang in his upcoming US title defence, Konnan delivered his entire promo looking at the wrong camera.

Either that or he was reading from an autocue.

World Championship Wrestling Television Championship
WCW TV Champion Johnny B. Badd (w/ Diamond Doll) vs. Diamond Dallas Page  

It was all on the line here. If Diamond Dallas Page won, he not only became the TV champ again, but also won back the services of the Diamond Doll.

WCW SUPERBRAWL VI 1996 - Kimberly Page The Diamond Doll rooted for Marc Mero against her real life partner, DDP
If Johnny B. Badd won, he not only kept both the belt and the girl, but also won $6 million for Kimberly, which DDP had taken from her in the first place.

Things started interestingly enough, and not just because it is still weird to see DDP heading to the ring to anything other than his famous Nirvana Rip Off theme music.

Badd's entrance was particularly explosive, with a Kimberly backflipping out of the curtain and leading her man to ringside.

Diamond Doll's presence, like some kind of super dynamic, super energetic children's TV presenter, turned out to be one of the most entertaining parts of the match.

That however, is not saying much.

WCW SUPERBRAWL VI 1996 - Johnny B. Badd won $6 million from DDP for The Diamond Doll
In the ring, her real life partner Dallas Page was in control for much of the contest. Though this did mean that the bout occasionally dragged in places, it was saved thanks to the combination of Page's natural cockiness and Badd's in-ring talent.

Indeed, it was when the champ was in control that this one was at its best, especially when he brought it to an end by reversing a tombstone pole driver and landing one of his own to retain the title.
Your Winner and Still WCW Television Champion: Johnny B. Badd 

Post-match, Badd and Diamond Doll celebrated with the oversized cheque representing the latter's cash prize.

Harlem Heat Suck At Their Sucky Sucka Promo, Sucka 

WCW SUPERBRAWL VI 1996 - Harlem Heat gave a terrible promo about their match with Sting and Lex Luger
Backstage, Mean Gene asked Stevie Ray and Booker T about their upcoming tag team title match against champions Sting and Lex Luger.

The 'Heat responded with a terrible promo in which every other word was 'Sucka' and the other words were badly phrased attempts at saying 'we're going to win.'

Seriously, you'd have no idea from watching him babble on in this promo that Booker T would go on to become one of the biggest stars to ever come out of WCW.

World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship
WCW World Tag Team Champions Sting & Lex Luger vs. Harlem Heat (Stevie Ray & Booker T)

The winners of this one would go on to defend the titles later on in the night against The Road Warriors.

At this point, you had to imagine they were saving any excitement for that bout, because that's the only logical reason for a match which should have been entertaining instead delivering ten-plus minutes of tedium that was an absolute chore to watch.

WCW SUPERBRAWL VI 1996 - Sting & Lex Luger defended the WCW Tag Team Titles against Harlem HeatEven the apparent dissection between champions Sting and Lex Luger wasn't enough to make this one even mildly captivating, and when The Road Warriors ran in at the finish to help the champs retain, it came as a huge relief to this terribly bored writer.
Your Winner and Still WCW Tag Team Champions: Sting & Lex Luger 

In a hilarious post match promo, Mean Gene tried to question the champs on the cheap way that they had won the match. Sting and Lex were apparently too pumped up from the bout itself (God knows why, it was so dull), and instead just yelled over the top of Okerlund, congratulating each other on a great victory.

The break in the action continued with Heenan, Schiavone, and Rhodes discussing the card so far.

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship
WCW United States Champion Konnan vs. One Man Gang 

I'd love to tell you that this was surprisingly enjoyable, that the two men worked hard to deliver a bout which was better than it looks on paper.

WCW SUPERBRAWL VI 1996 - One Man Gang challenged Konnan for the US Title
I'd love to, but of course, I can't.

This was dreadful.

It started bad enough, the champ throwing himself at the challenger with some sloppy looking offence which honestly looked as though he didn't care less whether he injured his opponent, or himself.

Then One Man Gang took over, and things went from bad to worse, the match only serving to ensure that the few fans still awake after the earlier tag team snooze fest were sent right to sleep.

A boring match in front of a lifeless crowd, if you only ever see this match once in your life, it will be one too many times.

Konnan threw himself recklessly off the top rope at his opponent to retain his title. Nobody cared.
Your Winner and Still US Champion: Konnan

Out in the back, Mean Gene informed us of a plumbing problem in the arena, before telling us that it was totally irrelevant and instead shilling the Hotline and the big rumour about the two WWF stars jumping ship.

WCW SUPERBRAWL VI 1996 - The Road Warriors challenged Sting & Lex Luger for the Tag Team Titles
What I can't understand now, is that if WCW themselves were hyping this as a potential big story as early as February, why were we supposed to be surprised when Scott Hall finally turned up on Nitro that summer?

Anyway, moving on, Okerlund brought on The Road Warriors who, in their typical rant and rave fashion, refused to apologise to Harlem Heat for costing them the titles, and promised that they were looking forward to locking up with Sting and Lex Luger.

"I Respect You" Strap Match
The Taskmaster (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. 'Flyin' Brian Pillman 

In one of the most infamous moments in WCW history, Pillman rushed to the ring for a quick, intense brawl with The Taskmaster before running to the corner, stealing the house mic and yelling 'I respect you, Booker Man.'
Your Winner: The Taskmaster 

I've read elsewhere that the 'Booker Man' part was edited out of the VHS release of this event, but it is still included in the copy we're watching today.

As the story goes, the line was part of Brian Pillman's run where he was working everybody, including Bischoff.

Eric would agree to release Pillman for real as part of a long term angle to bring him back as an even bigger star. Pillman, of course, would never return, ending up in the WWF by the summer.

Arn Anderson Steps Up

WCW SUPERBRAWL VI 1996 - Arn Anderson stepped up to fight The Taskmaster in a Strap Match
Back to tonight, after Pillman had stormed off, Sullivan basically stood around looking both confused and pissed off whilst Jimmy Hart ran to the back, apparently to fetch 'The Enforcer' Arn Anderson.

Shirt tucked into shorts and big, clobbering boots on his feet, Anderson came to the ring attired in a way that can't have looked good even in the '90s.

Apparently, he was going to step up and take the place of his Four Horsemen comrade Pillman in tonight's strap match.

"I Respect You" Strap Match
The Taskmaster (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. 'The Enforcer' Arn Anderson 

1996 was seemingly the year of strap matches, yet unlike Savio Vega's strap match against Steve Austin (and later Justin 'Hawk' Bradshaw), the two veterans here really knew how to make the gimmick work.

For the first couple of minutes, both men went at it in a heated exchange which had all the signs of turning into a really great match.

It didn't however.

WCW SUPERBRAWL VI 1996 - Ric Flair told Arn Anderson and Taskmaster to work together to destroy Hogan and Savage
Instead Jimmy Hart ran to the back again, this time bringing out Ric Flair, who put a stop to the whole thing by insisting that The Horsemen and The Dungeon of Doom should work together to take out Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage.

Anderson claimed that if it meant getting his hands on the good guys, he would get in bed with the devil himself. Sullivan said nothing because Flair took the mic from him and bounced around the ring being Ric Flair, but a silent nod and a handshake from The Taskmaster was enough to cement the truce.
No Contest

Out in the back, Mean Gene managed to interview somebody without shilling the WCW Hotline.

This time, his guests were The Giant and his manager Jimmy Hart, both of whom promised us that tonight, we would see the end of Hulkamania forever.

World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship
WCW World Tag Team Champions Sting & Lex Luger vs. The Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal) 

Further teasing a heel turn that would never fully come to fruition, Luger spent the opening moments of this contest threatening to head to the back and not compete at all.

WCW SUPERBRAWL VI - 1996 - Lex Luger wanted no part of The Road Warriors
This was entertaining for about a minute, and worked well as a storytelling device, but when it went on for a full five minutes, it became just as boring as Luger & Sting's earlier outing against Harlem Heat.

Eventually, Sting put us all out of our misery by persuading Luger to stick around and join him in what turned out to be by far the better of the two tag title bouts on tonight's show.

Don't get me wrong, that's not to say that this was in anyway a great match, because it wasn't.

It took forever to get going, and once it did, the whole thing failed to reach the kind of momentum you had to believe both teams were working towards.

Still, compared to the earlier snooze fest, this was a decent effort which ended on a double countout when all four men started brawling on the outside.
Double Countout 

Post match, The Road Warriors went after Luger, seeking revenge for the heel-like shenanigans that had been the catalyst for The Total Package's recent teased turn.

Sting came to his partner's rescue, and all four men brawled to the back.

The Nature Boy is Ready for Randy Savage 

WCW SUPERBRAWL VI 1996 - Ric Flair and Woman gave a backstage promo
Backstage, our old buddy Mean Gene was standing by to get some pre-match comments from The Nature Boy Ric Flair and his consort, Woman.

Teasing Okerlund, who always came off like a dirty old man in these segments, Woman promised that she always got what she wanted, and tonight she wanted her man Flair to capture the gold from Savage.

For his part, Flair basically lost his mind and began ranting and raving about Hulk Hogan, before presumedly remembering he was fighting Savage and promising to beat him, take his title, and take Miss Elizabeth, too.

Flair may have a reputation for being gold on the mic, but tonight was certainly not a good example of that. The Nature Boy came off as delirious and non-sensical in a segment that just didn't achieve anything.

From there, we got more analysis from Dusty, Tony, and Bobby, followed by much hype and fanfare as the cage lowered from the rafters in time for tonight's main event.

A quick commercial for the following month's WCW Uncensored 96 PPV followed, after which it was time for more Mean Gene.

Macho Man Hijacks Elizabeth's Interview 

Okerlund was about to ask Miss Elizabeth some questions, only for her man, the WCW World Heavyweight Champion Randy Savage to burst onto the scene and begin putting over how awesome it was that he, Elizabeth, and Hull Hogan were back together again as The Mega Powers.

Tonight, Savage promised that he would beat up Ric Flair, and that's just what we were about to see next... after more pre-match analysis from our commentary team of course.

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship Cage Match
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Macho Man Randy Savage (w/ Elizabeth) vs. Ric Flair (w/ Woman) 

WCW SUPERBRAWL VI 1996 - Ric Flair beat Randy Savage for his 13th World Heavyweight Title
At Wrestlemania 8, Savage and Flair had an epic match which to date remains one of your writer's all time favourites.

Whilst this rematch lacked some of the drama of that original WWF encounter, WCW's version of Savage vs. Flair was still very good.

The best match on the card so far, this intense contest made it more than worth sitting through all the dross that went before it.

Looking to capture his record-breaking 13th World Title (back in the days before titles changed hands every week, this sort of thing was a big deal), Nature Boy controlled much of this wild and wonderfully entertaining title match, only for the champion to continually fight back.

Just when it looked like Macho Man was about to put Flair away for good, Miss Elizabeth did the unthinkable; turning her back on Savage by giving Flair her shoe to hit him with.

Flair did just that, and a three count later, became the 13 time World Champion.
Your Winner and NEW WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Ric Flair 

Afterwards, as Flair and Arn Anderson celebrated in the ring, Elizabeth and Woman looked to make a break for it, only for Hulk Hogan to come running down and threatening the with a chair.

Hulk sent Flair and Anderson packing and helped Savage to the back, stealing Ric Flair's moment to celebrate his record breaking title win whilst the crowd chanted 'Hogan sucks! Hogan sucks!'

Mean Gene Interviews Hulk Hogan 

WCW SUPERBRAWL VI 1996 - Hulk Hogan talked about being stabbed in the eye by Ric Flair (with Elizabeth's shoe)
After more comments from the announce team, we went to the back one last time, where Hulk Hogan told Mean Gene that he didn't understand why Elizabeth had turned on Savage, but that didn't stop him being furious about it.

Now that he thought about it, Hogan said that it seemed funny just how easy Elizabeth's shoe had come off on WCW TV when Flair used it to stab Hogan in the eye, causing him to be effectively blind in one eye for tonight's match against The Giant.

Speaking of that match, The Hulkster told us that it was unsanctioned, with the referee remaining on the outside merely to declare the winner.

Unlike the previous bout which could be won only by pin or submission, Hogan reminded us that his match was basically what we'll call WWF rules: with escaping the cage the only way to win.

That match was next, Brother.

Unsanctioned Cage Match
The Giant (w/ Jimmy Hart and The Taskmaster) vs. Hulk Hogan 

WCW SUPERBRAWL VI 1986 - The Giant faced Hulk Hogan in an unsanctioned street fight
As The Giant made his way to the ring, Michael Buffer referred to him as 'The man who literally came back from the dead' at the previous year's Halloween Havoc.

Yes, literally.

I'm just going to leave that alone and concentrate on the match, which was better than I expected, but not by much.

Indeed, the bulk of the bout was so nondescript and uneventful that I had a hard time paying attention, though once Hogan hulked up to take us towards the finish, things did start to get exciting.

Replicating his Wrestlemania 3 moment with The Giant's storyline father, Andre, Hogan made a big deal out of slamming his larger adversary, before planting him with a Leg Drop of Doom hat trick.

The Giant shook off all of these, but wasn't able to stop Hogan from eventually making it out of the cage to win the match.
Your Winner: Hulk Hogan 

The moment Hulk landed on the outside, he was stacked by a chair-wielding Kevin Sullivan.

Hogan fought back, taking the chair for himself and chasing Sullivan into the ring.

The entire Dungeon of Doom ran in, though in a typical example of Hulk putting himself over at the expense of everybody else, he single handily beat every one of them up without selling so much as a single punch.

Finally, newcomer and Dungeon of Doom member Loch Ness (popular British wrestler Giant Haystacks) waddled down to get a piece of Hogan, only for his stablemates to pull him away as the shoe cane to an end.

Looking back, it's fascinating to see how different the landscape of World Championship Wrestling was just months before the New World Order came in and changed everything for good. 

No cruiserweights, none of the edginess and sense that anything could happen which came post Hogan heel turn, just an old fashioned pro wrestling show with a few notable moments, namely Pillman going into business for himself, and Flair capturing his 13th world title in a great match with Randy Savage. 

Speaking of which, that match may be the only reason you need watch this show. 

After all, when a match featuring the Nasty Boys turns out to be the second best on the card, that doesn't exactly speak volumes about the show's over all quality, does it? 

Next time, we'll review WCW Uncensored 1996. To be among the first to read that review when it is published, join me on the Retro Pro Wrestling Facebook page, or follow me on twitter at @Retropwrestling.

Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.