The opening bit does a good job of building up Arn vs. Flair as something special.
During the TBS show that served as a pre-game of sorts, The Giant used a monster truck to wreck Hulk Hogan’s Harley. That leads to nothing good at the next PPV…
Flyin’ Brian vs. Johnny B. Badd
Pillman’s “California Girls” theme was almost as bad as the “American Males” theme. Almost. Winner of this is number one contender to Sting’s US title. Pillman is already acting as a subtle heel here. They do a lot of mat work early and the crowd is fairly dead. Maybe reluctance to root against either guy? Pillman rectifies that by throwing a punch and mocking Badd a few minutes in to establish himself as the cad. They pick up the pace and go to a 20 minute draw –finishing by trading submission holds, which sure isn’t sound strategy. Ref Nick Patrick orders sudden death rules. They go into desperation mode and both guys bust out high impact moves to try and finish the match. Badd hits a particularly sharp looking top rope Frankensteiner. Pillman is flung from the top rope to the railing in another nasty spot. After nearly 30 minutes they collide in mid-air during a dual flying crossbody and Badd falls on top for the win. Crowd explodes! Real solid outing with a tremendous final 10 minutes.
Ric Flair promo. Arn came from a broken home. Flair was adopted. They were brothers for 15 years and now tonight they battle. Further good build to the match.
Cobra vs. Sgt. Craig “Pitbull” Pittman
Cobra looks like Vince McMahon’s wet dream of a wrestler, complete with completely generic short hair. Cobra is from the CIA Special Forces, which must outrank Todd Champion and Firebreaker Chip hailing from “WCW Special Forces”. A jabroni who may or may not be a pre-gimmick Prince Iaukea comes down to distract Cobra so Pittman can drop in from the ceiling for a sneak attack. Pittman is hilariously bad. Oh my. He’s throwing terrible looking punches and whiffed on an elbow. Lots of mean looking faces though. Cobra submits in maybe two minutes via an armlock. Mercifully short.
They show us the amusingly campy vignette where Paul Orndorff is reassured by Gary Spivey (“The Gary Spivey?!?!? Of the Psychic Companions Network?!?!?”) that he’s still wonderful.
Thinking about it now, the fact that Orndorff lost confidence in himself makes sense because it was a similar insecurity that led to his 1986 heel turn on Hulk Hogan.
Oddly enough this led to nothing further on the PPV. Huh.
DDP vs. Renegade (TV Champ)
Oh my! This should up the workrate…Page looks delightfully scummy. Page does his best Terry Funk impression early on and bumps out of the ring, walks into the ringpost and then flops over the railing ass over tea kettle. Page is bumping all over the place. Maxx tries to interfere and hits DDP instead. Renegade attacks Maxx instead of pinning Page and of course that backfires for him as he walks into a Diamond Cutter as Maxx hangs on his leg and DDP is your new WCW TV Champion. He’s got a valet, a bodyguard and now a title, the hard push to make Eric Bischoff’s neighbor a star is in full gear. Match was much better than expected as Page was motivated and Renegade had some good high spots as well.
Harlem Heat (w/Sherri) vs. Dick Slater and Bunkhouse Buck (w/Col. Parker) (World Tag Team champions)
The angle here is both teams want the World tag belts that the Stud Stable have but in the midst of their feud, their respective managers fell in love. Punchy kicky stuff combined with both teams being heels make for a quiet crowd and a plodding match. The announcers get bored and talk about Hogan instead of the match. Both teams take turns having the heel in peril, and eventually the crowd seems to favor Harlem Heat, because at least Booker T is hitting a flashy move now and then. Col. Parker and Sherri start making out in ring number two as the Nasty Boyz run in and KO Slater with his own boot. The Heat claim the belts as Buck gets pissed at Col. Parker and Sherri claims she was faking it to distract Col. Parker. If I never see a Stevie Ray match again…
Arn Anderson vs. Ric Flair
The pre-match video package basically says Hogan wrecked Flair mentally and Flair couldn’t win without Arn’s help anymore. Tony and Bobby talk about feeling the butterflies from having to watch these two men go at it after all those years of friendship. Tony points out that the North Carolina arena they are in hosted many many nights of action with these two head lining. Can’t say they didn’t put this match over!
Various mid-card guys are sitting in the stands in order to get a look at this once in a lifetime event. Arn messes up Flair’s hair and lets out a “Woo!” to mock his buddy. Arn works Flair’s arm extensively followed by a neat spot where Flair does his flip over the turnbuckle, but instead of a follow up clothesline like usual, Flair pulls the rope down and sends Arn flying to the floor. Flair blocks a DDT and flops on his face anyway. Figure four gets a big pop. Arn’s reversal gets a bigger pop. Pillman gets on the ropes and hits Flair to a big pop, Flair falls right into a DDT for the pin and the crowd is molten! Arn was suppose to be the face here but Col. Parker is cheering him after and the good guys chase off Pillman. Crowd is booing and roaring all at once. Heenan tries to act like he’s crying to put over the moment. Nice match but not the classic that I’m sure they were aiming for.
Cheesy Taskmaster video package where he offers Hogan dead roses and attacks a Hulk Hogan doll with a shovel. Yup.
We see clips of a vignette that was taped with Hogan, Savage, Sting and Vader at a boot camp but since Vader’s gone we only get a few seconds of what promised to be **** Wrestlecrap entertainment had it been shown in full.
Hogan reveals that his team all drank Agent Orange so they are now impervious to pain. Savage trusts Luger now thanks to Sting convincing him Luger’s on the up and up. Sting and Luger goof up their lines and Hogan has to get the last word in.
Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Sting and Lex Luger vs. Meng, Kamala, Zodiac and The Shark (WAR GAMES)
The biggest guy on the heels, The Shark surprisingly starts things off for his team with Sting. Cool spot where Tenta tried launching himself from one ring to the other and he ends up caught hanging between the rings, which allows Sting to batter him. Zodiac and Savage are the next in and the DOD reach under the cage to pull at Savage and Sting’s arms and legs to deliver damage in a spot I’ve never seen in a War Games before. When Luger comes in he accidentally hits Savage and that sets off a brawl within the Hulkamaniacs. Hogan comes in and cheats like crazy by tossing powder into Kamala, Meng and The Zodiac’s eyes. After that it’s academic and Zodiac submits to a camel clutch from Hogan. Taskmaster is dragged in the ring after to face Hogan one on one, After taking a beating for several minutes, Taskmaster is saved by The Giant who comes in. Giant is wearing Andre’s singlet and does the same style choke that his “father” used to do to Hogan. Giant snaps Hogan’s neck as the babyfaces pour in to save Hulk and we go off the air with Hogan convulsing on the mat.
Not a bad PPV but it sure dragged at times. Lots of poor workers being pushed and no Vanilla Midgets to counteract the sluggish workrate. That will be remedied quickly.