(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)
February 11, 1996
St. Petersburg, Florida
News & Notes: Randy Savage regained the WCW Title from Ric Flair. He defeated him on an episode of Nitro. The next night at Clash of the Champions, Savage & Hogan faced Flair & Giant. The Mega Powers had an entourage with them that included Miss Elizabeth, Woman, NFL star Kevin Greene, Linda Hogan, and Debra McMichael. However, they lost to Flair & Giant. (The rumor is, Flair threatened to quit if they didn’t change the Clash ending. He didn’t want to lose to Savage two nights in a row.) Then, Woman turned on them and joined the Horsemen. Flair hit Hogan in the eye with Woman’s high-heeled shoe. WCW booked two Cage Matches to prevent more interference. (We all know how well that works.) Savage defends his title against Flair and Hogan faces the Giant.
Meanwhile, The Horsemen and the Dungeon of Doom decided on a truce. They realized they should band together to take out Hogan. Sullivan only agreed as long as they disciplined Brian Pillman. He was out of control. Pillman mouthed off to Sullivan, so Arn Anderson slapped Brian. Then, Sullivan challenged Brian to a Strap Match at SuperBrawl. He would beat some respect into him. Also, I should point out the Dungeon added new members. The Barbarian took off his Super Assassin mask and teamed with Meng. They became The Faces of Fear. (Don’t confuse them with the Three Faces of Fear. WCW showed their originality with this name.) One Man Gang then joined the group. (I’m surprised they didn’t change him back to Akeem. It would fit with the other silly gimmicks.) The last new member is The Loch Ness Monster. He wrestled in the UK as Giant Haystacks. He is a large greasy-haired man with the most British teeth you have ever seen.
The narrator tells us about all the matches on the card. There are two Cage Matches! Randy Savage faces Ric Flair. Hulk Hogan fights the Giant! There are also two Tag Title Matches and an “I Respect You” Strap Match. I hear you asking, “What’s that?” You will find out in a bit. The opening video was basic. There weren’t any good puns.
Tony Schiavone welcomes everyone to SuperBrawl. He says both Heenan and Dusty know about Cage Matches. Dusty claims you can smell trouble in the air. He also calls Randy Savage emotional because of his family. Heenan pretends to play the violin for Savage’s woes. Heenan then compares the double main event to a double date and a doubleheader.
Street Fight: The Nasty Boys vs. The Public Enemy
Notes: The Public Enemy arrived in WCW. It didn’t take long to get attention when they did a double-decker table spot. Public Enemy then had a match with the Nasty Boys at Clash of the Champions. It ended in a double-DQ, so they booked this return bout. This is a Street Fight. Falls count anywhere.
The Match: Everyone brawls to the floor where Rocco grabs a table. Sags fends him off with a chair. Both teams trade hard head shots. Knobbs slams Rocco onto the table. Then, Sags grabs a trashcan full of what Dusty calls plunder. He bends the lid over Grunge’s head and piledrives him onto the can. While this is happening, Rock and Knobbs fight their way to a fake concession stand. Brian suplexes Rocco onto a table while Sags and Grunge join them. The teams trade more head strikes with chairs and trashcan lids. The Public Enemy then places Knobbs on a table. Rocco climbs into the stands and dives, but he misses. He lands tailbone-first on the concrete! Knobbs hits him with a chunk of the table and covers him for the win.
Thoughts: It was mindless brawling and weapon shots. There was almost no selling. Watching the unprotected head strikes is uncomfortable in retrospect. They kept it short, but I couldn’t get into it. The commentary was the only good part. Dusty called all the weapons plunder. Heenan thought he said plunger.
Winners: The Nasty Boys (7:49)
Mean Gene plugs the hotline. He says two former champions from the WWF could come to WCW. (Hmm, I wonder who he means.) Gene then welcomes the United States and Mexican champion, Konnan. (Is he wearing his jacket backward or is that a ridiculous outfit?) He thanks all his fans around the world. Konnan then speaks Spanish while Gene looks confused. Konnan translates his promo. He says One Man Gang is bigger and taller, but tonight Konnan is smarter. Gene reminds him of OMG’s size. (I guess Gene wasn’t listening.) Konnan says he faced him before. He has his strategy. Gene then sends it back to Dave Penzer. He calls him meshuggeneh. (Was that Dave’s nickname? I’m pretty sure that’s an insult.)
TV Title Match: Johnny B. Badd (c) (w/ Kimberly) vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Notes: Badd took DDP’s TV Title. Then, he took Kimberly. Now, Kimberly wants the rest of her money. Six million dollars remain. DDP somehow spent millions. (They don’t say what he bought. Dusty thinks he donated money to saved striped birds.) The ref holds a large novelty check. The name on the check says, “CA$H.” (Is that Johnny B. Badd’s rapper name?) The winner of the match gets both the check and Kimberly. DDP brings her flowers, but Kimberly refuses them. (On a side note, they show Linda Hogan in the crowd. They don’t acknowledge her.)
The Match: Badd attacks DDP while he argues with Kimberly. They fight in and out of the ring before Badd nails a slingshot leg drop. Then, they trade holds and pin attempts until DDP lands a hotshot. Page then focuses his attack on Johnny’s midsection. Dallas blocks a sunset flip and reverses Badd into a DDT. He keeps asking Kimberly to rate his moves, so she gives Page a zero. Badd tries to use the opening for a roll-up, but Page keeps cheating for the advantage. Badd rallies with a flying axehandle, a flying sunset flip, and a sit-out powerbomb. Kimberly gives him a ten. DDP tries more cheating and hits a pancake. Then, both men trade sleeper holds. Page attempts another pancake, but Badd reverses into a Tombstone for the victory.
Thoughts: This was decent, but it dragged in the middle. These two had better matches. I liked the overall story. But, the match wasn’t great. During the match, Heenan joked about Kimberly taking the money and running. It is Badd that runs. This is Johnny’s final WCW PPV. His contract neared its end, and Badd didn’t like the storyline. He disagreed with using a woman as a prize in a wrestling match. Badd leaves WCW soon after this event.
Winner: Johnny B. Badd (14:59)
Gene is with Harlem Heat. Sherri isn’t there. She has her own issues. She tried marrying Col. Parker at Clash of the Champions. Madusa interrupted the ceremony to reveal she was having an affair with the Colonel. (I bet Alundra Blayze regrets leaving the WWF for this storyline.) Gene says Harlem Heat’s match is for all the marbles. Stevie accuses Luger of grand larceny and says Sting is guilty by association. Booker calls Sting & Luger sissified suckas and glitter boys. He’s mad because Sting & Luger did to them what they were going to do to Sting & Luger. Booker says they refuse to leave without their belts. Gene then reminds Booker they have to face the Road Warriors if they win. Booker says it’s 1996, not 1976. Harlem Heat will take the tag division into the future.
Tag Team Title Match: Sting & Lex Luger (c) vs. Harlem Heat
Notes: Sting & Luger defeated Harlem Heat for the Tag Team Titles. They won because Luger punched Booker with a roll full of quarters. The ref counted the pin, despite coins laying on the mat. Sting & Luger then beat the Road Warriors because Luger cheated again. He did these things behind Sting’s back. When Sting discovered the truth, he threatened to leave the team if Luger didn’t change his ways. Now, Luger’s actions come back to bite him. They have to face Harlem Heat. The winner of the match faces the Road Warriors later on this show. Luger is hesitant to enter the match.
The Match: Sting and Booker trade holds. Luger and Booker trade strikes. But, Luger regroups when he is in trouble. Harlem Heat then double-teams Sting until he uses a facebuster. Luger returns and attacks Booker in the corner, but he misses an elbow. Booker misses one too and recovers with a Spinaroonie and a sidekick. Then, Harlem Heat double-teams Luger. They fend off Lex’s comeback and give him a powerbomb and a scissor kick. Harlem Heat also use a ref distraction to attack Lex in their corner. The ref misses Sting’s tag, but he attacks anyway. Sting and Booker brawl to the floor. The ref follows them. This opens the door for the Road Warriors to interfere. Animal nails Stevie with a lead plate and Luger rolls on top of him for the win.
Thoughts: I liked the story of the match. The action was decent. It wasn’t a thrilling match, but I enjoyed it. Plus, it contained lots of Luger’s loud selling. That’s always amusing. The character development with Luger is great. This tag run with Sting is some of his best WCW work.
Winners: Sting & Luger (11:49)
Gene stops Sting & Luger for a word. He mentions the outside interference, so Luger interrupts Gene. Lex tells Sting he held up his end of the bargain. They will be the tag team of the 90s. Gene asks Sting if he saw what happened. Sting is oblivious. He says he’s with the program. Sting & Luger leave, so Gene recaps the end of the match. He then sends it back to the commentators and almost calls Heenan a weasel.
Tony questions if Sting & Luger are a cohesive unit. Heenan doesn’t know, but he thinks the Road Warriors have the titles on a silver platter.
U.S. Title Match: Konnan (c) vs. One Man Gang
Notes: Konnan joined WCW. They billed him as the Mexican Champion. WCW never specifies the company. (It might be a fictional title.) He debuted at Clash of the Champions in a match against Psychosis. Konnan wasted no time. He then defeated One Man Gang for the U.S. Title, so WCW booked this rematch.
The Match: Gang uses clubbing forearms, but Konnan answers with low dropkicks and a wheel kick. He then nails a crossbody that takes both men through the ropes. (They have to go slow because of the inconvenient steps.) Then, Konnan does a somersault plancha off the apron. But, OMG gives Konnan a hotshot when they return to the ring. Gang controls the match with slow strikes and chokes. He hits a side slam, but he returns to using forearms. Konnan responds with the world’s slowest hurricanrana. However, Konnan misses a dropkick by a mile. (They pretend OMG sidestepped him.) Gang then nails a splash, but he pulls Konnan up before the three. Gang wanted to do another splash off the second rope. He misses. (Konnan moved too early. Gang looked ridiculous.) Konnan capitalizes with another somersault plancha for the win.
Thoughts: This match was slow and messy. Most of it was Gang doing boring punches and forearms. They botched a few moves. It was not good. The only redeeming quality was Dusty’s commentary. He kept calling Konnan, Konad. It amused me.
Winner: Konnan (7:27)
Gene complains about a sewer pipe leaking on his head. (That’s a good metaphor for that previous match.) He also repeats his hotline story about two WWF stars heading to WCW. (They’re in danger of spoiling the nWo storyline before it begins.) Then, Gene welcomes the Road Warriors. Gene mentions their interference. Animal says it’s an eye for an eye because of what Luger did to them. He says Lex brought it on himself. He also questions why Sting trusts him. Hawk offers his sincerest apology to Harlem Heat—NOT! (I forgot about not jokes. That is a throwback to the 90s.) Hawk then threatens to deviate Sting & Luger’s septum and detach their retinas. He tells Sting & Luger they have a lot of problems. Gene then says he has an idea where they can stick four iron if you’re a golfer. (No one mentioned that. Gene’s mind is in a weird gutter.)
“I Respect You” Strap Match: The Taskmaster (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Flyin’ Brian
Notes: This match is a combination of a Strap Match and an I Quit Match. The point is to whip your opponent until they say they respect you. This match doesn’t last long. But, there is a lot to talk about after it ends.
The Match: Pillman runs to the ring and whips Sullivan before they attach the strap. Both men trade stiff punches and grapple each other on the mat. But, Pillman bum-rushes the ref and takes the microphone. He says, “I respect you, booker man!” Pillman then leaves while everyone looks confused.
Thoughts: This is confusing until you know the backstory. Pillman wanted to make his loose-cannon character seem legitimate. He concocted a plan with Bischoff to work everyone, including the wrestlers. They wanted it to look as if Pillman went off-script. Kevin Sullivan is WCW’s booker, hence the reason Pillman called him booker man. Bischoff yelled at Pillman backstage and fired him. It was an act. However, Brian said it would only look real if Bischoff gave him actual termination papers. The idea was he would fire Pillman, and Brian would make a surprise return in the future. Since Bischoff gave him real termination papers, Pillman was free. He appears in ECW and then signs with the WWF. Pillman worked everyone, including Bischoff. It’s brilliant.
Winner: Kevin Sullivan (1:36)
Jimmy Hart runs backstage while Sullivan looks confused. Hart returns with Arn Anderson. Arn is dressed in a long-sleeve shirt and shorts. (He looks ridiculous.) Sullivan whips Arn and tells him to put on the strap. Arn agrees so the match restarts with these two men.
“I Respect You” Strap Match: Arn Anderson vs. The Taskmaster (w/ Jimmy Hart)
The Match: Arn whips Sullivan and hogties him. Sullivan breaks free and pulls the strap into Arn’s crotch. He whips Anderson, but Arn returns the favor by kneeing Kevin in the balls. Then, Arn hangs him over the ropes with the strap. They fight to the floor and take turns running each other into the post. When they return to the ring, Arn climbs the turnbuckles. However, Ric Flair arrives and demands they stop fighting. He says this proves nothing. They have to band together to stop Hogan. Ric says united they stand and divided they fall. He then heckles a fan and promises to leave the building with the title and Elizabeth. Arn agrees to the truce and shakes hands with Sullivan. Anderson says he will get into bed with the devil to defeat Hogan & Savage.
Thoughts: For a match thrown together on the fly, it wasn’t bad. This was the planned ending for the Sullivan/Pillman match. They transferred it to this bout once Brian left. I like the story, but this wasn’t much of a match. It confused the fans and that’s understandable.
Winner: No Contest (3:45)
Gene is with Jimmy Hart and the Giant, who appears to be asleep. Jimmy tells Hogan he has one eye, and time is ticking away on him. Gene asks if anyone ever told Hart he gets on their nerves. Jimmy isn’t amused. Then, the Giant comes out of sleep mode. He calls it a day of reckoning. The Giant says he looked into the darkest reaches of man’s soul, where the maggots crawl. Giant then compares himself to a volcano. He’s going to erupt all over Hogan. (Oh, my!) He’s cutting a pretty good promo until the end. He says, “The only thing you can do is be understand and the will to know Hulkamania is through FOREVER!” (What!? He almost had it, but that sentence was unintelligible.) Jimmy Hart then says they won’t have to watch any of Hogan’s awful movies or TV shows after tonight. Gene starts talking about Hogan again, so Giant rushes back into the frame and threatens him.
Tag Team Title Match: Sting & Lex Luger (c) vs. The Road Warriors
Notes: The Road Warriors reformed after Animal returned from injury. Almost four years passed and his back healed. He decided to wrestle again instead of collecting insurance money. Now, they want revenge on Luger for cheating. Luger doesn’t want to enter the ring. He tries leaving. Sting talks to him, but Luger stalls again. Lex demands the Warriors remove their spikes before he agrees to wrestle. Lex taunts the fans that heckle him. The Road Warriors remove their shoulder pads, but Luger still retreats. He finally climbs on the apron, and the match begins.
The Match: Hawk and Sting brawl in and out of the ring. When they return, Hawk botches a neckbreaker. He recovers and uses an STF. Lex tags, but he’s reluctant to fight. The Road Warriors give Luger a powerslam and whip him into the guardrail. Luger fights back and tags Sting again. Lex doesn’t return until Sting stumbles and lands on Animal’s crotch. Luger attacks and he and Sting double-team the Warriors. However, Animal raises his knees when Sting does a flying splash. The Road Warriors then wear down Luger for a while. When Sting tags, he hits a Stinger Splash and attempts a Scorpion Deathlock. Hawk stops it. Animal tries wearing down Sting, but Luger stops that. Then, Sting and Animal take turns no-selling each other’s suplexes. The Road Warriors answer with more double-teaming, but the match becomes a brawl. Everyone fights to the floor, so the ref counts out both teams. They continue brawling down the aisle.
Thoughts: This was a decent match and the story with Luger was good. But, that finish was disappointing. I get they are continuing this feud, but I didn’t like that ending. I guess they didn’t want to have Luger cheat again. They already used that. This had potential and fell short.
Winners: Double Count Out (13:56)
Gene is with Ric Flair and Woman. Gene says that match was thrown out, but Flair’s match won’t be. Woman tells Gene she gets what she wants. Flair then tells Hogan he failed to turn the Taskmaster against Arn Anderson. Ric promises to walk to the ring with Woman and leave with the title and Liz. He also says Savage will bleed and sweat. He says Savage doesn’t have good odds. Flair says there will be blood sweat tears and a title change. He asks Woman if that’s right and she agrees. Gene asks if Flair will ride Space Mountain when he wins. Flair says he will have Woman on his left and Liz on his right. But, he won’t say who he will be with tonight. Gene blatantly stares at Woman’s butt as she leaves and he says, “Lovely!”
The cage lowers while the commentators discuss the next match. Heenan says Savage had a good run, but it’s over. Then, they show a commercial for Uncensored ’96.
Next, Gene is with Miss Elizabeth. He asks her for her thoughts, but Savage interrupts. He yells, “STOP THE MUSIC!” (No music played.) Savage says the Mega Powers are together again. He tells Flair to expect the unexpected because it will be complete mental insanity. Savage also says to infinity and beyond. (He loves Toy Story.) Then, Randy claims he and Liz were bonded before, but now they’re tight. Liz says she agrees. She doesn’t sound sincere. Savage then says he can’t say more. They leave, so Gene says they’re walking a fine razor’s edge. (Is he making subtle hints about the hotline again?)
They go back to the commentators. Tony has to prod Heenan to turn around because his back is to the camera. Dusty thinks the match will be unexpected. Heenan thinks Savage is lost. He says Flair will leave as a thirteen-time champion.
Cage Match for the WCW Title: Ric Flair (w/ Woman) vs. Macho Man Randy Savage (c) (w/ Miss Elizabeth)
Notes: Michael Buffer does the introductions. He says it’s a double-cage rumble. (That’s untrue!) Savage’s pyro almost drowns out Buffer. (I won’t complain. Make it louder!) Randy hands out some Slim Jims during his entrance. Meanwhile, Dusty rambles about fighting in chicken coups. He calls the cage a good old fashioned inside! (I have no clue what he’s blathering about.) Flair stalls before joining Savage in the cage. Ric gives Liz one more chance to kiss a real man. Randy takes the mic and says, “Ohhh no!”
The Match: They brawl in the corner because the ref is busy locking the door. Flair shows his displeasure by decking the ref in the face. Then, both men take turns ramming each other into the cage. Savage slams Flair off the top rope and puts him in the Figure Four. Ric reaches the ropes, but the ref kicks his hand away from them. Savage continues attacking until Flair places him in the Figure Four. Savage reaches the ropes and the ref pulls Flair off of him by the hair. (Hey! He didn’t allow a rope break when Savage used the hold! What gives!?) They ram each other into the cage again until Flair bleeds. Ric tries escaping, so Savage stops him by pulling down his tights. We see way too much of Ric’s ass. Flair is crotched on the ropes and Randy covers for a two. The timekeeper rings the bell anyway. Then, they fight back and forth before Woman tries using powder. Savage ducks it. Flair then crawls to the door, but Elizabeth meets him. She takes off her high-heeled shoe and—gives it to Flair!! Ric nails Savage in the head with it and pins him for the victory.
Thoughts: Compared to their previous bouts, this one was a little disappointing. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t live up to the hype. I like the twist ending. The storyline going forward is great. But, I thought the match was a bit flat. Plus, I don’t need to see that much of Flair’s exposed butt! The inconsistent ref work was also a knock against the bout.
Winner: Ric Flair (New Champion) (18:52)
After the match, Woman and Elizabeth celebrate until Hogan arrives. He has a chair. (Is he threatening women with a chair?) Hogan enters the ring and uses the chair on Arn Anderson, but Flair escapes. Flair leaves with Woman, Elizabeth, and the belt. (He was telling the truth.) Hogan then checks on Savage while fans chant Hogan sucks. He helps Randy to the backstage area. Elizabeth turning on Savage leaves the commentators in shock.
Old one-eyed Hogan then joins Gene. He can’t believe Liz betrayed Randy. Hogan asks if it went back four years to their divorce. He calls Liz a turncoat and says she put the spike in Randy’s eye. Gene brings up Hogan’s match with the Giant. Hulk tapes his hand and says his match is unsanctioned. The only way to survive is to escape. Gene has another question, so Hogan says, “What!?” Gene asks him about his impaired vision. Hogan says he thought Liz would watch his blindside. But, he has the Hulkamaniacs and the big man upstairs on his side. Hulk asks what the Giant is going to do, but he sounds close to tears.
Cage Match: Hulk Hogan vs. The Giant (w/ Jimmy Hart & The Taskmaster)
Notes: Buffer does the introductions again. He says The Giant returned from the dead at Halloween Havoc. (So, the Giant is a zombie?) Michael also calls him the dynamic dominator of the Dungeon of Doom. Then, Buffer surprises me by correctly saying Hulkamania. (That’s twice. Let’s see how long it lasts.)
The Match: Hogan controls the early moments with eye-rakes, punches, and choking. He also bites the Giant and rams him into the wall. However, Hogan fails on a slam, and the Giant attacks his back. The Giant then uses a knucklelock and returns the favor with biting and choking. The Giant misses an elbow, but Hogan fails another slam attempt. Hogan prevents the Giant from escaping through the door. The Giant answers with a long bear hug. Hogan breaks free, but the Giant nails the chokeslam. But, Hogan hulks-up. He gives Giant a big boot and a slam. Hogan follows that with three leg drops and begins climbing the cage. The Giant rises! He meets Hogan at the top rope and they trade chops until the Giant falls into the ring. It’s enough for Hogan to escape for the win.
Thoughts: This was slow and boring. The Giant isn’t experienced enough to carry that much of the match. His offense was clubbing blows and bear hugs. I will give them credit for having Giant rise after three leg drops, but he still lost. Also, Hogan got more Hogan sucks chants during the match. The fans are tiring of him.
Winner: Hulk Hogan (15:04)
Hogan celebrates, but Sullivan attacks with a chair. Hogan takes it from him and places Kevin into the cage. Heenan asks where is the rest of the Legion of Doom. (He meant Dungeon of Doom. I’m sure the Road Warriors don’t want to be associated with these guys.) Heenan gets his answer. The entire Dungeon runs to the ring. Hogan fends off everyone with some of the weakest chair shots ever. He rams each member into the walls. However, the Loch Ness Monster arrives!
He tries entering the cage, but the Dungeon holds him back. Hogan still has the chair. (Who are they kidding? Loch Ness wouldn’t fit through the door anyway.) Hogan’s music plays while the Dungeon continues holding back Loch Ness. Hogan then poses while Tony talks about Nitro. (This was awful. They killed any heat the Dungeon had left. Hogan fended off eight men by himself.)
Sting/Luger vs. Harlem Heat was decent.
The Luger character work was good.
The Pillman stuff was interesting.
Many of the matches were disappointing.
Hogan going wild with a chair.
The main event was bad.
Konnan/OMG was a mess.
Performer of the Night:
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m giving it to Lex Luger. His character work was perfect. He did a good job appearing scared of receiving comeuppance.
This show was all about wasted potential. It looked good on paper, but it fell flat in the execution. I would call it the apex of Hogan’s nonsense in WCW, but we still have Uncensored. Thank goodness things are going to change for the better soon. This wasn’t a good PPV. It was disappointing.
Thank you for reading. My next review is ECW Cyber Slam ’96. Look for it next Sunday!
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