Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, & the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes
Can the main event live up to the hype with all of the tradition versus tradition bites? Read on!
Match 1 for the WCW World TV title: Ultimo Dragon (champion w/ Sonny Onoo) versus Steven Regal
“Iron” Mike Tenay joined the broadcast table for this match.
Regal dropped the lordship moniker so that he can be more of a bruiser and less of a gentleman.
After some mat wrestling, Regal executed a gutwrench suplex for 2.
He then leap-frogged Dragon but ate a dropkick.
As Dragon performed a head stand on the top turnbuckle, he mule-kicked Regal.
He then delivered a series of kicks making referee Mark Curtis cringe.
Next, he applied a single-leg crab, but Regal made the ropes.
Upon giving Regal a swinging neckbreaker, Dragon received a vertical suplex.
He then hooked a sunset flip for a 1-count.
When Dragon hooked a Fujiwara arm bar, Regal countered but couldn’t hook the Regal stretch.
He then hooked a bow-and-arrow, but Dragon won’t submit.
As Dragon came back, he tied Regal up like a pretzel. Of course, Regal wouldn’t submit because Dragon forgot the Grey Poupon.
The Charlotte faithful then chanted “Re-gal” as Dragon landed on his feet after a back drop.
Afterward, he dropkicked Regal out of the ring.
Dragon then distracted Curtis so that Onoo could lay some kicks into Regal. How dastardly!
Back in the ring, Dragon gave Regal a cross corner whip followed by a handspring elbow.
He then hoisted Regal onto the top turnbuckle and hit a super huracanrana for 2.
When he mounted the top turnbuckle, he missed a moonsault.
Regal then attempted the Regal stretch, but Dragon made the ropes.
As Dragon reversed an Irish whip, he countered a powerbomb into a huracanrana for another 2.
Regal then rolled up Dragon for 2.
After a spinning heel kick, Dragon hooked la Magistral cradle, but Regal was in the ropes.
He then delivered an Asai moonsault and used momentum to send Regal to the floor.
Upon skinning the cat back into the ring, he WHIFFED on a plancha.
Dragon then reversed an Irish whip sending Regal back-first into the steel railing.
With Regal in the aisle, Dragon hit another Asai moonsault.
Onoo continued to torment Regal with kicks while Dragon distracted Curtis again.
When Dragon tossed Regal back in, Onoo kicked Dragon!
Regal then delivered a reverse suplex and tied Dragon up in the Regal stretch.
WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!
Summary: Good match with shenanigans costing Dragon the title.
Match 2: Madusa versus Luna Vachon
Lee Marshall joined the broadcast table for this match.
Got any popcorn? You should make some and return when this match ends.
After an eternity, Madusa gave Luna a spinning heel kick.
Luna then delivered a vertical suplex, but Madusa bridged out of the pinning attempt.
Upon reversing a cross corner whip, Madusa gave Luna an avalanche. With both women having ample bosoms, the landing was much softer than it normally would be.
She then gave Luna a cross corner whip followed by a second avalanche.
Next, a clothesline by Madusa resulted in a 360° sell by Luna. Woohoo!
Madusa then attempted a sunset flip, but Luna sat down and got 2.
As Luna gave Madusa a swinging neckbreaker, she mounted the top turnbuckle but missed a splash.
Madusa then hooked a German suplex with a bridge for the pin.
Summary: Folks, back in 1997, women’s wrestling was nowhere near as good as it is in 2017. Let’s just stick with popcorn match, ok?
At the entrance, “Mean” Gene Okerlund shills the hotline, and “Macho Man” Randy Savage alongside Elizabeth steals his interview time. After they enter the ring, Savage mentions his name, and DDP appears through the Charlotte faithful. Since he comes to the ring with the crutch that injured him, Savage scampers away.
Bischoff emerges as well as the rest of the nWo. Never one to refuse a challenge, Savage enters the ring only to get WALLOPED with the crutch. Bagwell and Vincent try to attack but eat crutch as well. After DDP nails Bischoff, Norton hits him from behind. Norton then rips off DDP’s shirt to reveal taped ribs.
As Savage returns to the ring, he attacks DDP’s ribs. The nWo then puts the boots to DDP until Giant makes the save. When Savage tries to make another attempt at DDP, the nWo restrains him before walking backstage. Hot segment!
Match 3: Rey Mysterio, Jr. versus Yuji Yasuraoka
Tenay joined the broadcast table for this match too.
Making his second of three WCW appearances, Yasuraoka had beaten Julio Sanchez on WCW Saturday Night.
Yasuraoka countered a front face lock with a suplex and slammed Mysterio.
After another slam, he clotheslined Mysterio for 2.
He then hit a spinning heel kick for another 2.
As Mysterio delivered a back drop, he implemented a flying headscissors sending both wrestlers over the top rope to the floor.
He then gave Yasuraoka a somersault senton much to referee Mark Curtis’ chagrin.
Back in the ring, Mysterio hooked a camel clutch, but Yasuraoka wouldn’t submit.
From the apron, Mysterio attempted a springboard move but ate a thrust spin kick to the midsection. Yasuraoka got 2.
He then gave Mysterio a cross corner whip followed by another thrust spin kick.
After working on Mysterio’s arm, Yasuraoka applied a Fujiwara arm bar.
Again, Mysterio wouldn’t submit.
Yasuraoka then clotheslined Mysterio for 2.
In unique fashion, he reapplied the Fujiwara armbar, but Mysterio made the ropes.
As Yasuraoka guillotined Mysterio’s arm with the top rope, Mysterio sought refuge outside the ring.
Yasuraokathen mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a tope. Woohoo!
With Mysterio on the apron, Yasuraoka suplexed him in for 2.
He then gave Mysterio a cross corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
After Mysterio mounted the top turnbuckle, he hit a split-legged moonsault just like RVD for 2.
Yasuraoka then countered a victory roll for 2.
On the other hand, Mysterio rolled him up for 2.
When Yasuraoka missed a spinning heel kick, Mysterio delivered a powerbomb.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle but missed a splash.
As Yasuraoka hit a double-arm DDT, he only got 2. That’s his move!
He made a second attempt, but Mysterio countered with a Northern Lights suplex for 2.
After a spinning heel kick, Yasuraoka gave Mysterio a whip into the corner but came up empty on his follow-through.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle, leaped, but Mysterio dropkicked him in mid-air. Wow!
To stir the Charlotte faithful, Mysterio hit the West Coast Pop.
Summary: Great match where Yasuraoka’s psychology combined with Mysterio’s high-flying made the match very exciting. Yasuraoka would wrestle again in a dark match before Nitro losing to Hugh Morrus.
Match 4: Mortis (w/ James Vandenberg) versus Glacier
Considering their match at Uncensored, I’ll hope for the best here.
After Mortis beat up Glacier, he motioned backstage. Already?
Wrath then came to the ring as Mortis mounted the second turnbuckle.
Next, Glacier caught Mortis with an electric chair followed by a clothesline.
He then gave Mortis a back drop and clotheslined him over the top rope to the floor.
Suddenly, Wrath entered the ring and WALLOPED Glacier in the back of the neck with Mortis’ staff.
Glacier won by DQ.
Summary: More angle than match as you will see.
After the match, Wrath works over Glacier while Vandenberg bad-mouths him. Mortis then guillotines Glacier using the steps. OUCH! Back in the ring, Vandenberg slaps Glacier, and Wrath sets up for the Death Penalty (uranage). Abruptly, “a fan” enters the ring and thrust kicks send the heels out of the ring. Schiavone then reveals the “fan” to be Ernest Miller, a karate champion.
At the entrance, Okerlund shills the hotline again.
Match 5 for the WCW US title: Dean Malenko (champion) versus Jeff Jarrett (w/ Debra)
As the Charlotte faithful LOUDLY chanted “Jarrett sucks,” Malenko brought Jarrett outside the ring.
He then dropkicked Jarrett’s leg when it was wrapped around the steel railing. OUCH!
Back in the ring, Jarrett delivered his own dropkick for 2.
He then hooked a Debra-assisted abdominal stretch, but Malenko escaped.
When Jarrett reapplied the hold, Malenko made the ropes.
Malenko then repeatedly nailed Jarrett causing Jarrett to seek refuge with Debra.
Again, the Charlotte faithful chanted “Jarrett sucks” while Malenko used momentum to send Jarrett face-first into the top turnbuckle.
Malenko then hit a belly-to-back suplex for 2.
After he gave Jarrett a cross corner whip, he ate boot on his follow-through.
Jarrett then delivered a swinging neckbreaker, attempted the figure-four leg lock, but Malenko hit Jarrett’s knee.
When Malenko attempted the Texas Cloverleaf, Jarrett countered with an inside cradle.
Do we have a new champion?
After Malenko reversed an Irish whip, Jarrett missed an enziguri.
Malenko then attempted the Cloverleaf again, but Jarrett made the ropes.
To add insult to injury, Malenko guillotined Jarrett using the bottom rope.
As Malenko made a third attempt at the Cloverleaf, Jarrett used momentum to toss Malenko outside the ring.
Jarrett then joined and rammed Malenko back-first into the steel railing.
Next, he guillotined Malenko using the steel railing.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle, hit a cross body block, but Malenko used momentum to land on top for 2.
When Malenko reversed a cross corner whip, Jarrett floated over and hooked a sleeper.
Malenko then broke the hold and hooked his own sleeper.
To counter, Jarrett used a knee crusher.
He then hooked the figure-four leg lock, but Malenko made the ropes.
While a third round of “Jarrett sucks” made its way among the Charlotte faithful, heads collided sending Jarrett outside the ring and Malenko down to the mat.
Suddenly, Mongo came to the ring as the Charlotte faithful chanted “Reg-gie.”
He then tossed Jarrett back in and returned backstage with Debra.
In the ring, Malenko delivered a butterfly bomb and hooked the Texas Cloverleaf.
Jarrett submitted so Malenko retained.
Summary: Storyline finish to an otherwise good match.
Match 6 (Texas death): The “Crippler” Chris Benoit (w/ Woman) versus Meng (w/ Jimmy Hart)
Hart came through the entrance with Meng, but Meng sent him back.
When Meng tried to kick him, Benoit countered with a dragon screw leg whip.
Meng came back with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex, but Benoit got up at six.
Next, Benoit folded Meng up like an accordion with a release German suplex.
Meng then reversed an Irish whip, but Benoit dropkicked him in the knee.
As Benoit sought refuge outside the ring, Meng joined him but ate the steps.
Jacqueline came out to stand in the aisle, but Woman shooed her away.
When Meng hooked a single-leg crab, Benoit made the ropes.
Meng then delivered a piledriver, but Benoit got up at seven.
While the Charlotte faithful chanted his name, Benoit hooked the Crippler Crossface.
Meng then made the ropes to break the hold.
After Meng repeatedly nailed him, Benoit got up at five and challenged Meng.
Meng did it again, and Benoit got up at six to challenge Meng again. That’s one tough SOB.
With Benoit in the corner, Meng charged but came up empty.
Benoit then hit a pair of German suplexes before Meng escaped.
Again, Benoit hooked the Crippler Crossface, but Meng made the ropes.
With Meng outside the ring, Benoit hit a tope suicida. Wow!
He then mounted the top turnbuckle, but Meng crotched him.
As Meng joined him, Benoit escaped and hit another release German suplex.
Again, Benoit mounted the top turnbuckle, dove, but Meng hooked the Tongan Death grip.
Woman then got up on the apron while the Charlotte faithful chanted for Benoit.
As Meng put Benoit down on the mat, referee Randy Anderson called for the bell.
Summary: S-T-I-F-F match that Meng survived rather than won.
After the match, the WCW trainer and officials checked on Benoit.
Promo airs for Great American Bash ’97 LIVE on PPV on 6/15. Order NOW!
Match 7: Steiners versus Konnan and Hugh Morrus (w/ Jimmy Hart)
Scott delivered a belly-to-belly suplex to Morrus and tagged in Rick.
After Morrus gave Rick a cross corner whip, he followed with an avalanche.
Upon a second attempt, Morrus came up empty on his follow-through.
Rick then delivered an overhead belly-to-belly suplex followed by a pair of Steinerlines.
As he mounted the top turnbuckle, Rick hit a flying clothesline.
Morrus then sought refuge outside the ring.
When Konnan tagged in, Rick reversed an Irish whip and delivered another Steinerline.
Rick then gave Konnan a release German suplex followed by a hip toss for 2.
After Scott tagged in, he gave Konnan a cross corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
Scott then reversed an Irish whip and delivered an overhead belly-to-belly suplex.
As Morrus tagged in, Hart tripped Scott coming off the ropes. Nefarious!
Morrus then delivered a swinging neckbreaker, pressed Scott overhead, and guillotined him using the top rope.
While Rick distracted referee Scott Dickinson, Konnan gave Scott the business in the heel corner.
Konnan tagged in and gave Scott a somersault clothesline for 2.
When the Dungeon of Doom tried to double-team Scott, Morrus missed a clothesline and spilled over the top rope to the floor.
Scott then gave Konnan another overhead belly-to-belly suplex.
Morrus mounted the second turnbuckle, he leaped but ate boot.
Hot tag Rick.
After Rick dispatched Konnan, he powerslammed Morrus.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit the top rope bulldog for 2 as Konnan made the save.
All four wrestlers were in the ring as Scott gave Konnan the ten-punch count-along.
Afterward, a double whip sent Konnan into Rick which must have felt like a brick wall.
Morrus then clotheslined Rick practically out of his boots.
Upon mounting the top turnbuckle, Morrus missed the moonsault.
Scott then hit the Frankensteiner.
Summary: Another stiff match, but do I smell dissension within the Dungeon of Doom?
After the match, the Dungeon of Doom hugs it out until Konnan nails Morrus. He then gives Morrus a DDT, and Hart questions his actions. As it would appear, Konnan has left the Dungeon of Doom.
Match 8: Steve “Mongo” McMichael (w/ Debra) versus Reggie White
Ready for a celebrity match?
Not THAT kind of celebrity match!
After a pair of shoulder blocks took neither wrestler off his feet, a third one by White knocked Mongo loopy. Or is it loopier?
A three-point stance challenge then went in Mongo’s favor.
On the other hand, a second one led to a White leap frog.
White then clubbed Mongo out of the ring causing Mongo to threaten to leave.
Suddenly, Green Bay Packers nose tackle Gilbert Brown put Mongo in a fireman’s carry and tossed him back in the ring.
White then delivered a dropkick for 2. Holy flying defensive lineman, Batman!
As the Charlotte faithful chanted both “Mon-go” and “Reg-gie,” Mongo trash-talked so Reggie clubbed him out of the ring again.
White then exchanged words with referee Mark Curtis so Mongo gave White a chop block.
After Mongo hit a sidewalk slam, he missed a leg drop.
White then hit a cross body block for 2.
When White got distracted by Curtis again, Mongo’s trick knee acted up. YEE-OUCH!
Mongo then hooked a single-leg crab, but White made the ropes.
As Mongo attempted a figure-four leg lock, White booted him out of the ring.
Mongo then mounted the top turnbuckle, but White caught and slammed him down to the mat.
After White hit a pair of clotheslines, he gave Mongo an inverted atomic drop.
Next, he clotheslined Mongo over the top rope to the floor.
Mongo then dragged White out of the ring, but White reversed an Irish whip and rammed Mongo back-first into the steel railing.
Back in the ring, White blocked and delivered his own vertical suplex.
While Debra distracted Curtis, White hit a splash for a false pin.
Mongo then grabbed the Haliburton, but Brown got up on the apron and stole it from him.
When Curtis admonished Brown for being on the apron, Jarrett ran to the ring and tossed a second Haliburton to Mongo.
Mongo then HAMMERED White in the back with it.
Summary: Not bad for a celebrity match, but it wasn’t good either. I’ll award the ½* for the White dropkick. This was White’s final appearance in pro wrestling. RIP Reggie.
Match 9 (six-man, no-DQ): Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, & Syxx versus “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, & Kevin Greene
Gee…do you think Charlotte is nWo country?
Schiavone took a subtle potshot at Vader when he mentioned Flair’s victory at Starrcade ’93 in Charlotte.
After a hip toss, Syxx tried to strut like Flair and earned a chop for his efforts to a raucous ovation.
Syxx then hit a spinning heel kick, but Flair came back with a cross corner whip and back drop.
When Hall tagged in, Flair thrilled the Charlotte faithful by tagging in Greene.
Nash tagged in and manhandled Greene.
While the Charlotte faithful chanted “Pan-thers,” Greene hit a flying shoulder block to Nash.
After a lariat, Greene slammed Nash.
Nash then tried to bait Greene from outside the ring, but Greene turned around and double-clotheslined Syxx and Hall. That’s picking up the 7-10 split.
As you would expect, the Charlotte faithful was JACKED!
Hall requested Piper to tag in, and Piper complied.
When Hall slapped Piper’s taped hip, Piper slapped the taste out of Hall’s mouth.
Piper then delivered a knee lift, fought out of the nWo corner, and gave Hall a swinging neckbreaker.
While Nash distracted referee Randy Anderson, Syxx hit Piper in the hip. SNEAKY!
Syxx tagged in as the Charlotte faithful chanted “We want Flair.”
As Hall stole Flair’s line of “going to school,” Piper escaped a figure-four leg lock attempt sending Hall face-first to the top turnbuckle.
Flair tagged In and received a cross corner whip from Hall.
After a Flair flip, he caught his balance on the apron, mounted the top turnbuckle, and dove.
Unfortunately for Flair, Hall caught and gave him a fallaway slam.
Hall then clotheslined Flair over the top rope to the floor.
When Nash tossed Flair back in, Hall tried to pin Flair with his feet on the ropes but only got 2.
Nash tagged in and gave Flair Snake Eyes.
Upon giving Flair a standing choke in the corner, Nash delivered a running guillotine.
He then hit a sidewalk slam and tagged in Hall.
After Hall gave Flair a cross corner whip, he followed with a corner clothesline.
Syxx tagged in and hit the Bronco buster on Flair.
While the Charlotte faithful chastised Syxx for effeminate behavior, Syxx sent Flair into a Hall right hand for 2.
A mid-ring collision occurred until Flair tagged in Piper.
When Anderson informed Piper that he didn’t see the tag, Piper decked him.
All six wrestlers were in the ring.
As Greene backdropped Syxx, Nick Patrick came out to check on Anderson who was OUT COLD.
Meanwhile, Greene clotheslined Syxx over the top rope to the floor.
Hall and Flair fought in the middle of the ring until Flair took him on a trip down SOUTH.
After Greene made Syxx HIT THE POLE, Flair countered an Outsider Edge with a double leg sweep.
He then hooked the figure-four leg lock on Hall.
When Nash came in to break it up, Greene tackled him.
Piper then hooked the sleeper on Nash as Greene gave Syxx a powerslam.
WCW won! Woohoo!
The Charlotte faithful went APESHIT!
Summary: Awesome finish to an extremely entertaining match. It’s great to see the nWo get their comeuppance.
Conclusion: This was a truly solid card with a hot main event that included one of the few times WCW went over the nWo. With said main event along with the TV title change, I recommend this show for historical purposes.