Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, & Lee Marshall
Will something historic occur in the main event? Who will win in the next chapter between Benoit and Booker T? What’s going on with Saturn? Does Jericho get his title back this week? Let’s open this baby up and see what’s inside!
Prior to the opening match, we revisit the previous four matches of the series. Benoit leads 3-1.
Match 1 (best-of-seven #5): The “Crippler” Chris Benoit versus Booker T
THIS is how you start a show!
When Booker T countered a hammerlock with a back elbow, he suplexed Benoit.
He scored with a leg lariat and got 2.
As he slammed Benoit, Booker T fed him an Axe kick for another 2.
He dealt Benoit another back elbow but couldn’t get 3.
After Benoit ducked a clothesline, he delivered a trio of German suplexes. Nifty!
He hooked a snap suplex and followed with his own back elbow for 2.
While he gave Booker T a HARD cross corner whip to injure the back, Benoit planted him with a belly-to-back suplex for another 2.
He clotheslined Booker T, mounted the top turnbuckle, launched a diving head butt, but couldn’t get 3.
In the meantime, Stevie Ray came to ringside to egg on his younger brother.
Benoit attempted a Crippler Crossface, but Booker T made the ropes to escape.
Reversing an Irish whip, Booker T landed a second leg lariat.
He obliterated Benoit with a spinebuster, pancaked him, and celebrated with a Spinaroonie.
Getting destroyed by a clothesline, Booker T sold it with a 360°. Woohoo!
Benoit got 2.
Tossing Booker T over the top rope to the apron, Benoit got distracted by Stevie Ray.
Booker T mounted the top turnbuckle and uncorked a missile dropkick.
Booker T won at 6:26.
Summary: Another solid match to add to their list. Booker T inches closer as the series stands at 3-2.
Giant approaches the ring wearing both World tag title belts around his waist. As he grabs the microphone, Giant dictates to Sting that “red and black are not (his) colors.” Objecting to getting slammed on Nitro, Giant selects his new partner—Brian Adams.
Speaking of Adams, he enters the ring to receive a World tag title belt. He states that he and Giant are fighting champions, and Giant calls out Luger along wiith “any partner (he) want(s).”
On WCW Saturday Night, Giant squares off against Konnan.
Match 2: Van Hammer versus Reese (w/ the Flock)
Reese reversed a cross corner whip into a YANK of the arm. It’s a good thing they’re north of the Mason-Dixon line.
As he planted Hammer with an elevated slam, Reese gave Hammer a HARD cross corner whip to further injure the back.
He fed Hammer a delayed vertical suplex and got 2.
When Hammer rebounded with shoulder blocks, he followed with a jawbreaker.
He dealt Reese a series of blows and a clothesline to ultimately take Reese off his feet.
After Horace CREAMED Hammer’s corn with a STOP sign, Reese delivered a chokebomb.
Reese won at 3:07.
Summary: With the Flock nearby, Hammer never stood a chance.
After the match, the Flock enters the ring and attacks Hammer. Suddenly, Juventud Guerrera storms the ring and clears the Flock out of there. Before Reese can unload upon Guerrera, Hammer saves his bacon and gets him the flock out of there.
Prior to the next match, Eddie grabs the microphone and is concerned about his nephew Chavo. In fact, he states that he scheduled Chavo for an appointment with a psychiatrist.
Match 3: Eddie Guerrero versus “Das Wunderkind” Alex Wright
As soon as Eddie got rid of the microphone, Wright attacked him to begin the match.
Wright gave Eddie a cross corner whip but ate a back elbow on his follow-through.
When Chavo appeared in the aisle, the Peoria faithful reacted positively to him. Sweet!
Eddie noticed Chavo, evaded him, and Wright backdropped him over the top rope to the floor.
Seeing this, referee Nick Patrick called for the bell to throw the match out at 1:05.
Summary: Not really a match more than just storyline progression.
Afterward, a crazed Chavo mimics Wright for a brief moment then scares the living daylights out of Eddie causing him to flee. Chavo’s overacting is beyond comprehension as his mood swings change from one moment to the next.
In the ring, Schiavone interviews Luger who’s ecstatic that Sting has joined the Wolfpack. He’s been assigned as “head of recruitment” for the Wolfpack. Next, he accepts the Giant’s challenge for the World tag titles tonight. Who will be his partner? It “might be a surprise,” but Luger wants DDP to join him. Upon pitching the tag titles to DDP, Luger also offers a “red and black shirt.” Oh my!
We revisit the finish to the opener when Booker T earned victory #2 in the series thanks to his brother’s influence.
Match 4 for the WCW World TV title: Fit Finlay (champion) versus Psicosis
Psicosis attempted to slide between Finlay’s legs, but Finlay moved as fast as a slug. Thus, it looked off.
Nevertheless, Psicosis unleashed a spinning heel kick before eating a clothesline.
Finlay guillotined him across the top rope and got 2.
As he fed Psicosis a short-arm clothesline, Finlay got another 2.
He slammed Psicosis twice, attempted a pumphandle splash, but ate knees.
Since the Peoria faithful sought popcorn, Psicosis hoisted Finlay atop the top turnbuckle, joined, and launched a super huracanrana. Yippee!
With their butter still dripping on their fingers, the Peoria faithful ate both it and the popcorn up.
Psicosis reversed a cross corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
When Finlay dealt him a somersault slam, he planted Psicosis with a tombstone.
Finlay retained at 4:02.
Summary: This guy’s as dull as dishwater. At least Psicosis busted out a high-flying maneuver.
“Iron” Mike Tenay joined the broadcast table.
Next, we revisit Nitro when Luger told Sting to “take the step.” Afterward, Hogan spews his jargon before we see the ending to the main event followed by Sting’s magnificent entrance and decision.
Match 5: Saturn (w/ Lodi) versus Glacier
While I filed next year’s taxes, Glacier made his entrance.
The entrance finished, and the new millennium happened.
Seriously, Saturn appeared behind him and surprised Glacier with a release German suplex for 2.
Glacier sought refuge outside the ring, but Saturn met him with a plancha.
When he fed Glacier a big boot, Saturn dropkicked him from the apron causing Glacier to taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like Dicken’s Delight at Fox Pub.
Back in the ring, Saturn swept the leg and got 1.
He gave Glacier a cross corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
As Saturn reversed a cross corner whip, he crotched Glacier on the top rope.
He suplexed Glacier from the apron back into the ring, yet Glacier used a leg whip to keep Saturn down.
After Lodi jumped onto the apron, Glacier grabbed him.
Saturn battered Glacier from behind, but referee Mark Curtis got SQUISHED between Glacier and the ropes.
With Curtis OUT COLD, Saturn dealt Glacier a superkick but couldn’t revive Curtis.
He summoned someone from the back, and another referee replaced Curtis.
Carrying Glacier in a fireman’s carry, Saturn ate a Flatliner from the official.
That’s Kanyon’s move!
Kanyon removed his wig and dress shirt and held up his Mortis mask.
Stunned, Glacier was beside himself.
He decimated Saturn with a Cryonic kick and pinned him at 4:25.
Summary: More storyline than match as the Saturn/Kanyon match at the PPV gains some momentum.
Hennig hobbles out to the entrance on crutches and polls the Peoria faithful about Goldberg. It earns an expected favorable response. Next, he asks if they want to see Goldberg kick his “address from one end of this arena to the other.” An even bigger response is generated from the Peoria faithful.
Nonetheless, Hennig states that it’ll be “two more weeks” until he’s cleared to wrestle. He puts over Konnan who joins him. As Konnan substitutes for him at the PPV, he grants Hennig “the first opportunity” upon winning the US title from Goldberg. For some reason, Konnan feels cheesy as he mentions cheddar.
Match 6 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: Dean Malenko (champion) versus Silver King
Malenko fed Silver King a high knee and got 2.
As he dealt Silver King a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, Malenko got another 2.
Silver King gave Malenko a cross corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
When Malenko dealt him a belly-to-back suplex, he got 2.
To wake up the Peoria faithful, Jericho emerged and headed toward ringside.
With Prince Iaukea’s wrap around his waist, Jericho rang the bell, grabbed a microphone, entered the ring, and declared Malenko’s title reign over.
Summary: Mere back drop for the Malenko-Jericho storyline.
Regardless, Jericho has obtained an NWA rule book from 1934. Uh, the NWA was founded in 1948. Where’d he get this cookbook? He quotes that “a champion has the first right of refusal over any challenger.” Since Jericho didn’t consent to have Malenko in the battle royal, Malenko’s “not the champion anymore.”
He calls out Dillon to make it official. When Dillon doesn’t answer, Jericho demands his belt back. He berates Malenko stooping so low to mention his father again, so Malenko, in lieu of returning the belt, CLOBBERS him with it. Complaining about his head, Jericho claims to seek “the highest authority” to get the belt returned.
Match 7: Raven versus Disco Inferno
Raven ambushed Disco prior to the bell, gave him a cross corner whip, but ate a back elbow during his follow-through.
When Disco scored with a swinging neckbreaker, he got 2.
Raven tossed him down to the floor, joined, and rammed him shoulder-first into the ring post.
As Raven tossed a chair into the ring, he set it up in the corner.
He whipped Disco into it, set it up in the middle of the ring, but Disco rammed him face-first into it.
After Raven reversed an Irish whip, he sent Disco face-first into the chair via a drop toe hold.
Raven was BUSTED OPEN above the eyebrow from eating the chair yet destroyed Disco with a DDT.
Raven won at 2:58.
Summary: Short Raven’s-rules match where Disco may have been game but quickly became fodder.
After the match, Raven calls out Kanyon even going so far as to lay down on the mat.
Prior to the next match, Schiavone mentions the untimely passing of Junkyard Dog (1952-1998). He died in a single-car accident on June 1. RIP Sylvester Ritter.
Match 8 for the WCW US title: Goldberg (champion) versus Hugh Morrus (w/ Barbarian & Jimmy Hart)
Morrus and Barbarian double-teamed Goldberg but not for long.
When Goldberg clotheslined Morrus, Hart jumped up to the top turnbuckle.
Goldberg noticed and launched him in Morrus’ general direction.
As Goldberg triple-speared the former Dungeon of Doom trio, the Peoria faithful ERUPTED.
He fed Barbarian a Jackhammer to send him packing.
Next, he dealt Morrus a Jackhammer and pinned him at 1:16.
Summary: Showcase match for Goldberg who’s now 95-0.
Luger makes his entrance alone…until DDP arrives.
Match 9 for the WCW World tag team titles: Giant & Brian Adams (champions) versus the “Total Package” Lex Luger & Diamond Dallas Page
Luger clotheslined Adams and tagged in DDP.
When DDP blocked a hip toss, he fed Adams a belly-to-belly suplex for 2.
Luger tagged in, hip-tossed Adams, but ate a piledriver.
As Giant tagged in, he delivered a side-Russian leg sweep to Luger.
Adams tagged in, baited DDP into the ring, and double-teamed Luger in the heel corner. SNEAKY!
After he landed a leg drop, Adams got 2.
Giant tagged in, caved in Luger’s chest with a chop, and slammed him.
While Adams tagged in, he scored with a knee drop and applied a bear hug.
Luger escaped but suffered a backbreaker.
Tagging in, Giant missed an elbow drop.
Hot tag DDP.
He hit a discus clothesline to Adams and pounded Giant in the corner.
Readjusting critical vertebrae, DDP punished Adams with a swinging neckbreaker.
Sting, wearing red face paint, bolted to ringside and nailed Giant.
In the meantime, DDP flattened Adams with a Diamond Cutter.
Do we have new champions?
DDP and Luger won at 6:32.
Summary: Now THIS is what you do with star power for the main event. But will the decision stand?
After the match, JJ Dillon calls in to announce that Giant has NO authority to neither name partners nor book championship matches. Therefore, Giant will face Sting at the PPV, and the winner will be a World tag team champion and can name whomever as his partner. DDP and Luger GOT SCREWED!
Conclusion: Exciting main event bookended by a sensational opener makes this episode a solid thumbs-up from me. Let’s hope WCW doesn’t keep screwing over the paying customer in the future.