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20 Man Battle Royal
Duke “The Dumpster” Droese, HHH, Bob Holly, 123 Kid, Marty Jannetty, HOG, King Kong Bundy, Skip, Bam Bam Bigelow, Hakushi, Barry Horowitz, Kama, Rad Radford, Fatu, Jean Pierre Lafitte, Tatanka, Savio Vega, Sid Vicious, Aldo Montoya, Isaac Yankem and Owen Hart
Quite the line up… Winner faces Razor Ramon for the IC title next week. Strategically speaking, The Million Dollar Corporation should win this by sheer numbers alone as they have 4 members involved. This goes to pot right away as Bundy is tossed in seconds. That might be the last time I see him on RAW. As usual in these types of matches, too many guys in there so it’s a bunch of punching and hanging on the ropes. Skip and HHH find room to play human pinball with their bodies amidst the glut of humanity. Skip tosses Hakushi, so Horowitz defends his buddies’ honor and tosses Skip. We come back to commercial to find 7 men left: Sid, Marty, Savio, Owen, Yankem, Bigelow and JPL. Yankem is flown out by Sid, and Sid is tossed by Bigelow (for the first big pop of the night). We wither down to Marty, Savio, JPL and Owen – at which point the crowd starts to chant for Marty! Marty outs Savio and then back drops JPL out right after. JPL took another wild bump off of this and the more I see of him, the more it appears a superstar was missed by not keeping this guy around! Marty and Owen have a fun mini-match until Owen dumps Marty thru the middle ropes. Jim Cornette tries to wack Marty with his racquet so Marty chases him around the ring and right into an ambush by The British Bulldog. Bulldog beats the tar out of Marty and sets Owen up for the easy win.
The Survivor Series “Wild Card” match is announced. I recall being pretty excited by the concept at the time and it helps cover for a lack of babyfaces that aren’t jabronis.
Avatar vs. Brian Walsh
Avatar is Al Snow (I’m sure you knew that.) He comes down to the ring without his mask on and applies it once he gets in. This gimmick was a fairly blatant rip off of Hayabusa’s look – very similar masks and garb – and apparently both had a notch in their boots by their big toe. This gimmick would die quickly and Avatar wouldn’t even make his scheduled appearance at the Survivor Series in a few weeks. Actually had they just brought him in as a masked Japanese fighter he and Hakushi could have made a pretty nifty team and maybe save Hakushi from the low card purgatory he now finds himself in.
The crowd is dead since Avatar had no build up fanfare and Snow came out looking stern, so they probably assume he’s a heel. The jobber KIPS UP from an early take down. Somebody’s trying to impress. Complete disaster incoming: ALvatar “hits” a karate kick while damn near falling on his own face, and the jobber doesn’t sell it and bails outside instead:
Image courtesy WrestleCrap
Avatar tries a top rope plancha, but loses his balance and drops down to the mat and launches himself over the top rope instead. Avatar misses a follow up moonsault and the jobber blasts him with a couple of clotheslines. Snow rallies to win after a pair of splashes. Another DOA gimmick.
They plug Savio Vega vs. Gold Dust for next week as a “Battle of Legends”. Uh huh…
Bertha Faye (Champion) vs. Alundra Blayze
This is incidentally a mildly “historic” match as we are a few weeks away from Blayze making her infamous jump to Nitro where she dumped the WWF’s Women’s title in the trash. The WWF was actually setting Blayze up for her next feud as they were bringing in Aja Kong to chase the title. Aja and Blayze opposed each other at the upcoming Survivor Series in a Puro heavy 8 ladies match that was suppose to lead to a 1 on 1 match with Kong and Blayze at the Royal Rumble (per the WWF magazine’s preview of that event) but Alundra jumped to WCW by then. Faye of course was a star in Japan, but Vince only saw her fat and dressed her garishly and put her in a “comedy” angle as the lover of Harvey Whippleman.
Blayze gets a nice pop during her entrance. I can’t imagine Nitro didn’t slaughter this “main event”. Bertha hits an impressive press slam to start. Bertha dominates early thanks to girth. Blayze takes a hard bump off of a chop to the breast implant. After 5 minutes or so Blayze makes her comeback and Faye shows good athleticism by bumping around the ring for Alundra’s flying attacks. Blayze decides to attempt a piledriver like a fool and ends up flat lined again. Faye climbs to the second rope for a splash but Blayze does a standing head scissors into a frankensteiner in an impressive spot. Harvey tries to save the day by pulling Blayze’s hair but Faye’s charge ends with her and Whippleman colliding. A German suplex allows Blayze to recapture the title to a nice pop. Match was not as impressive as I had hoped for since I figured this would be 2 internationally experienced women wrestling a match that I’m sure was worked out through a bunch of house shows. As was it was merely inoffensive.
We close with Shawn whining about the “thugs” who beat on him and Dean Douglas’ being awarded his title.
Live from Huntsville, Alabama (at least Hogan shouldn’t get booed here)
“Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Kurasawa
Savage is working with a legit injured arm. Savage has the stuffing beat out of him right off with a series of chops and kicks. Savage is pummeled down all the way through a commercial break. Savage gets zero offense in even after Kurasawa misses a kick and bashes his foot into the ringpost. Savage finally blocks an armbar and throws Kurasawa throat first into the ropes. Savage then climbs to the top rope and Kurasawa blatantly rolls awkwardly into position to eat the big elbow for the pin. Randy hit maybe 4 moves the whole match. Wasn’t much to see otherwise unless you’re a big fan of watching Savage lay around and hold his arm.
The announcers are hyping Hulk Hogan’s upcoming interview when the lights go down and THE MASTER appears on a throne in the sky. THE MASTER cuts his usual wacky screaming promo full of imagery and nonsense. A giant block of ice is revealed and threats of Hogan’s demise are shared. This segues to Kevin Sullivan and The Giant being interviewed by Mean Gene next to the ice and Sullivan promises The Yeti will provide the final insurance of the end of Hulkamania this Sunday night on PPV.
Hogan promo (still in black). Hogan makes a veiled OJ Simpson reference in reference to his black gloves. He dismisses the Giant and challenges Sting, Savage and Luger to stop hovering over his carcass and meet Hogan one on one. Way to sell the PPV Hulk!
This Saturday Night at 6:05 Lex Luger vs., The Shark! Harlem Heat vs. The American Males and more Hogan promos
Mr. JL and Eddy Guerrero vs. Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko
Alex Wright comes out on crutches and JL replaces him in the match. Dean and Benoit work some nifty tag work early and Dean hits Eddy with a plancha to the floor! I don’t recall Dean doing that too often. Benoit attempts a flying charge onto Eddy as Dean holds him up on the floor but Eddy escapes and the heels collide. Eddy then launches Mr. JL over the top and onto the villains. The hick crowd doesn’t give these high spots much love. We cut away from the flying to show The Shark and Scott Norton brawling in the back. The Dungeon of Doom mystique loses something when we see the wackos standing around the same plain locker room as Bunkhouse Buck and others instead of their DOD set. The guys kill each other with suplexes and other hard bumps as the announcers talk about Hogan. Eddy comes in like a house of fire and we get a wild sequence of moves including Eddy hitting a enziguri to a moving target as Dean was running at him. All four men end up in the ring and the ref is overwhelmed which allows Wright to trip Malenko and lets JL win via a roll up. Another fun match as WCW establishes the cruiserweight division.
Bischoff makes fun of the WWF’s PPV from the prior night by promising the WCW hotline has a full report on “In Your Outhouse”.
Sting and Lex Luger vs. Harlem Heat
These guys plod through this match and even Sherri gets so bored during a headlock that she digs Polaroid’s out of her underwear of her and Col. Parker hugging. Luger is beat down until Sting makes the hot tag and takes out both Harlem Heat members. This culminates with a flying clothesline for the pin. That was there.
The Giant charges in right after and both Sting and Luger eat chokeslams. Savage comes out and stands off with the Giant long enough for Hogan to come down. Hulk sends Savage off as he wants the Giant alone. Giant no sells a few punches and clubs Hogan once, which leads to Hogan Hulking up. Hulk’s punches now rock the Giant and Hogan sends him into the turnbuckle. The rest of the DOD run in and Savage and Hogan wipe them out. The Giant is STILL SELLING after that and Hogan goes in for the kill and Sullivan has to distract Hulk so the Giant can wobble off. 3 months+ of build and you humanize the monster in the final segment before the PPV. Just terrible booking there. The “ground shakes” and lights flash as the giant ice block smashes open but before we see the man inside Nitro goes off the air.
I was all in on the Hogan/Giant build before that last segment. Now I feel like The Giant will be conquered and this was all just a set up for the new monster heel The Yeti to step up next in line to be taken out by Hogan. I know that doesn’t happen…but…that’s where the booking made me feel it was going.
As far as the head to head comparison, this was a near tie as Nitro had 2 listless matches with their stars and a fun cruiser battle – meanwhile RAW at least tried to feel important with a title change, a debut and a rare battle royal.
Come back Thursday as I review Halloween Havoc.