I've been reading DDT Digest fan for over two years and finally, finally I have something to contribute.... and I'm 10 days late sending it in. Oh well. Life can be hectic when you're a wrestling fan. (Especially trying to keep track of WCW storylines.) Oh well, here's the scoop... I attended the show with coworker Angie (I'm an intern at Impact Weekly for those in the Dayton area). Angie's a huge ECW fan but doesn't watch much WCW. As Luck would have it about half the guys in the show were recent ECW defectors.
The show was at Hara arena, home to WCW Souled Out 98 and Great American Bash 95 - the notorious show where Arn Anderson lost the TV Title to the Renegade. I was at GAB 95 and had a great time. The Pillman/Wright match in particular was fantastic. Anyway...
The show opened almost exactly at 7:30 (the scheduled start time). The announcer introduces the Nitro girls (Cheetah, Baby, and another who I forget). But they are rudely interrupted by Tank Abbott who brings out Shane Helms and Shannon Moore.
Match 1: 2/3 of Three Count and Tank Abbott Vs. The Jung Dragons
People were actually pretty hot for this match and Tank got a lot of heat. People kept calling for Tank to get in. He finally did, punched Kaz and scored the pin.
Match 2: Cruiserweight Champion Lt. Loco vs. Juventud Guerrera
Loco is seconded by Major Gunns, Juvy by that female Filthy Animal whose name I forget. A cat fight is teased throughout the match. It finally happens and Gunns seems to get poked in the eye, as she wanders around and holds her eye for a bit. Juvy is distracted by the sort-of fight which allows Loco to hit the Tornado DDT for the pin. Afterwards Juvy and his girl beat up the MIAers until Corporal Cajun and Captain Rection (sigh) make the save. Rection tells Loco to take the night off, but Gunns needs to stay at Ringside.
Match 3: #1 Contender's Match: Captain Rection (sigh) and Corporal Cajun Vs.
Perfect Event Vs. Sean O'Haire and Mark Jindrak
I thought it would cool if the winner of this match actually got a shot on Nitro, but alas it wasn't to be.
It's a good idea. You could hold the same match three times (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and then have the title match Monday so people would feel their house show meant something. I guess totally ignoring the stips has its advantages too. I can't think of what though.
Anywho, the crowd is pretty dead for this one ... until the very end when Rection takes control and points to the top rope. Then the crowd goes crazy.
Rection hits the moonsault (Ragin' Climax?) for the pin on Stasiak and the (ahem) number one contendership to Kronic's titles.
Match 4: Hardcore Champion Big Vito vs. David Flair
Flair is seconded by Ms. Hancock who is every bit as hot in person. Hancock tells Flair she's very high maintenance and needs some gold.
Vito comes out and tells Hancock when he kissed her, her breath stunk and she smelled of fish.
Vito brought out a trashcan of plunder that was used throughout. In the end, Daffney ran down and attacked Handcock, which distracted Naitch Jr., enough for Vito to hit the Impaler for the pin.
Vito and Daffney left together celebrating.
Intermission while the ring was cleaned up. That was the reason they gave. Their were only a couple of things to be cleared out, and it took two minutes tops. But we got a full fifteen.
Match 5: Mike Awesome vs. Rick Steiner
Awesome comes out first to a mixed reaction. He plays face by saying he needs a special Awesomette to help him in this match. Then he picks this fat broad in a short skirt and has trouble lifting her over the rail. (She was definitely a plant we later learned.)
Steiner comes out to a huge face pop. Steiner demands this be turned into a table match. The end comes when Steiner hits the bulldog. He's about to table Awesome but the (Ahem) Awesomette climbs into the ring to distract him. Awesome recovers and does that cool Razor's Edge/Powerbom thingy through a table Steiner had already set up.
Steiner revives and to a chorus of "Woof"s destroys Awesome and the fat chick. This match didn't make a lot of sense. If Awesome's the good guy why team him with a fat chick - that's just begging for goofy heel heat. And the match was booked so the heel gained the final "moral" victory (He left with his head high and without the fat broad). Oh well.
Match 6: Canadian National Champion Lance Storm Vs. Billy Kidman
Storm had a couple of guys in the nose bleed seats hold a Canadian Flag whilst "Oh Canada" played. Angie and I stand. Whenever Storm got in a really good move, I'd scream "That's from Calgary.... Alberta, Canada." I don't think I made many friends during this match. This was probably the best match of the night. The end sucked though - Storm does that roll through half-crab thing and knock Kidman into a chair (ala Raven) Kidman's out so the ref awards the match to Storm via submission. Umm... DQ, anyone?
Match 7: Sting vs. Vampiro
And then things turned not so good.
Vampiro comes out with The Demon and says whoever is in the back isn't Sting, just some Power Planter. If this guy wants to prove himself, he must get through the Demon first. So some guy with his face completely wrapped up, ninja style comes out with a mike We hear Sting's voice over the speakers He says he's the real deal and he's out to whoop some booty. So Sting jumps the Demon and in about two minutes gets him the Scorpion Deathlock. Vampiro jumps him, so there match is on.
About two minutes later we get two Stinger splashes and the Deathlock. Vampiro submits and its over like that. Sting leaves.
So ... was it Sting? It sure didn't seem like it. I know real life burn victims would have to wear a special mask but ... this is wrestling. People recover from threatening injuries all the time.
Second, Sting was easily the guy everybody wanted to see. Half the audience seemed to have Sting masks. His pop was huge.
So what do we the fans get - A man who may or may not be Sting wrestle for five minutes and leave. And we don't even get to see our heroes face. How hard would it be to duplicate Stinger's two big moves? I think WCW royally gypped the fans on this one. If Sting couldn't be hear then don't promise Sting or apologize. Don't dick us around. Rant over.
Match 8: WCW Heavyweight Champion Booker T vs. Shane Douglas
Shane is seconded by Torrie, also extremely hot.
Shane insults Dayton for the hell of it to start.
Booker defends Dayton and tells the audience "He's got a hankerin' for some spankerin" (Simpson's reference) if Torrie interferes
. Sure enough, Torrie interferes and sure enough he spanks her to a big ovation Minutes later Booker ends it with the Book-end Good match.
The Good: Storm vs. Kidman, Booker T vs. Shane and Dragons Vs. 3 Count were all pretty good matches. In fact none of the matches (except for the Sting fiasco) stunk. Good wrestling effort from WCW.
The Bad: Lack of name talent. I like Booker T as much as the next guy, but where's Jarrett? Scott Steiner? Goldberg? Hell, where's Smiley (Who I truly wanted to see). It's a Friday night, people spent their money to see the stars not the mid-carders. WCW will never pull ahead if they can't get their house show act together.
The Ugly: Sting vs. Vampiro. WTF, indeed.