Open: Starrcade ’86 is once again multi-venued at the Omni in Atlanta and the Greensboro Colesium in Greensboro, North Carolina. Tom Miller welcomes us to Greensboro, meanhile the scaffold hovers above the ring in Atlanta. Miller then asks everyone to rise for the National Anthem. Tony Schiavone & Rick Stewart are standing by at The Omni, while Bob Caudle & Johnny Weaver open the show in Greensboro, Caudle giving us a rundown of what’s to come before heading to the squared circle.
Match #1: Tim Horner & Nelson Royal vs. Don & Rocky Kernodle
Horner and Rocky start the match. A couple hip tosses and they exchange a variety of wrist and hammer locks. A little chain wrestling including Kernodle missing a dropkick before Rocky gives Horner an arm drag. Don is tagged in. Horner with a bodyslam on Don. He runs the ropes and executes a powerslam. Horner tags in Royal. Don connects with a shoulder tackle before Royal catches him with an abdominal stretch on Don, who reverses to a hip-toss. Don misses a charge to the corner and Royal tags out.
Horner cannot get much going on Don. Royal tags back in and puts a sleeper on Don, but Don is able to walk to the corner for a tag. Rocky enters the ring with a sunset flip from the top rope. 2 count is broken up with a headscissor. Rocky follows with a bodyslam, but misses a cross body. Royal tags Horner. and gives him a powerslam. A small package gets the same. A little brawling in the ring and Don makes the tag, and gives Horner a delayed vertical suplex. 2 count and a kickout. Don gives Horner a backdrop, and tries running into a diving headbutt, but he misses. Horner gives Don a dropkick. 2 count. They run the ropes and Don nails a big clothesline. Rocky tags in again, sends Horner to the ropes and hits a gorilla press slam. Rocky cradles Horner for a pin, but Horner reverses it into a pinfall of his own sitting on his chest and holding his legs. 1-2-3 for the win.
Winners: Tim Horner & Nelson Royal (Pinfall Counter)
- EA’s Take: This was a nothing happening match for me and in retrospect, I’m a little curious as to why it’s on the card. Don Kernodle is the most known of this grouping, but only if you’re familiar with Sgt. Slaughter’s career since they were partners and tag champions. Nelson Royal was a wrestler back in the 1960’s, had retired, then came back in 1983. Meanwhile, Horner is still a bit of an upstart, but neither he or Royal are ever anything more than jobbers. I don’t know why I was supposed to care about this match and unlike in year’s past when the crowd was into seemingly everything, the noise was fairly subdued in this one. Honestly, I had no idea who was even supposed to be the heels until the match was over.
Match #2: Brad Armstrong vs ‘Gorgeous’ Jimmy Garvin w/Precious
Both men lock up and let go. Garvin is taunting the crowd. They lock up again very aggressively. Lots of fast paced, vicious, traditional wrestling. Garvin slows it down with a headlock but Armstrong fights it. The ref finally breaks it up. Garvin applies another headlock but Armstrong attempts to counter with a wristlock. Armstrong wrestles Garvin down into an armbar submission. He continues to work on the arm with his knee and he gets some near falls. Both men are back to their feet fighting for control, trading armbars. Armstrong with a headlock takedown. They trade submissions on the mat until it’s broken by the rope. Back to their feet. Garvin wrestles Armstrong down and locks up his leg. He and Precious both taunt the crowd and camera.
Armstrong struggling to no avail with Garvin really strong on his legs for an extended period. Armstrong is able to get Garvin in a headlock despite the hold, and it’s what ultimately breaks it. Both men to their feet, back and forth on the ropes until Armstrong takes him down with a drop toe hold. Armstrong goes to work with some arm submissions until Precious is up distracting the wrestlers and ref on the apron. Garvin takes advantage of the distraction and works Armstrong down into a headscissor submission by illegally pulling him down by his hair. Armstrong trying to find strength but he’s caught in the grasp. Garvin continues to taunt the crowd. A huge pop when Armstrong escapes. Both men to their feet, they run the ropes and Armstrong delivers a hip toss, followed by a snapmare.
Garvin is quickly up though, and somehow gets Armstrong back down to the mat in the same headscissor submission. Armstrong once again escapes. They’re on their feet and Armstorng takes control, Garvin is caught in a headlock and fighting. Multiple kidney shots and he picks Armstrong up for a side slam, but Armstrong is able to counter. Garvin is still caught in that headlock. Garvin wills Armstrong’s shoulders to the mat for an apparent 3 count, but the ref saw Garvin holding the trunks and pushes them back over. Both men slowly to their feet, Garvin still caught in the headlock. He fights until finally breaking the hold with a side suplex. Both men down, Garvin is first to his feet. Attempts a pin, gets a 2 count. He bashes Armstrong’s head into the turnbuckle and throws him through the middle rope. The crowd boos. Precious approaches Armstrong taunting him.
Garvin kicks him into the rail on his attempt to re-enter the ring and Precious continues to taunt. The same results happens again. The ref backs Garvin off long enough for a drowsy Armstrong to make it back to the ring. Garvin with a snapmare and a 2 count. The crowd is trying to encourage Armstrong but Garvin is in control. Several 2 counts for Garvin after several attacks including a backbreaker. A shoulder tackle for Garvin but it looks like the men bumped heads so they’re both down on the mat. Both are up after a referee 6 count. Garvin attempts a body slam but Armstrong falls on top of him. 2 count. Garvin is frustrated and they exchange blows. Armstrong whips him to the corner but Garvin counters with a knee to the face. 2 count for Garvin. Shiavone explains there is 1 minute left! Garvin attempts a sleeper, but Armstrong with a takedown. They exchange pin attempts to no avail. Schiavone explains they’re at the 15 second mark as Garvin bodyslams Armstrong and heads to the top rope. As he executes an attempted splash, the bell rings and Armstrong moves.
- After The Bell: Armstrong attacks Garvin and sends him to the outside. He’s fired up now, Precious confronts Armstrong in the ring and the crowd is hot. Garvin attempts to get Armstrong from behind, but he’s wise to it and delivers punches until Garvin stumbles back out of the ring. Garvin is upset, but is consoled by telling himself he’s still undefeatedas the crowd boos him out of the arena.
- EA’s Take: Great selling of the aggression at the beginning of the match here by two real pros. Brad comes from the famed Armstrong family of course, arguably the most talented of the bunch. Even his brother ‘Road Dogg’ Jesse James has stated as much. Coming from a pedigree almost makes it inevitable sometimes that you’ll be skilled in the ring and that’s certainly the case with the son of WWE Hall Of Famer Bullet Bob. The flamboyant Jimmy Garvin is a fantastic heel and the kayfabe brother of Ronnie Garvin and Terry, something that was never really brought up much after The Gorgeous One made a name for himself in WCCW. He strikes you as a David Lee Roth-type and Precious added to his rock star aura. My only issue with this contest is having it finish as a draw, but I can understand why they’d want both guys protected at this point in their careers.
Match #3: Hector Guerrero & Baron Von Raschke vs. Shaska Whatley & The Barbarian
Barbarian is looking pretty intense, wrapped in chains. HUGE pop and HUGE sombraro for Hector! The heels both attack Hector. They work each other to corners before Hector and Baron whip their opponents into each other. Hector with a backbody drop on Whatley. Hector in control with a dropkick and a splash. Whatley is able to reverse and make the tag to Barbarian. Whatley holds him while Barbarian delivers a big fist from the 2nd rope. Barbarian takes control and hangs up Hector on the ropes.
Hector moves an attempted clothesline and Barbarian goes over the top rope. Baron rushes over to hold Barbarian as Hector leaps over the top rope for a splash. Whatley goes after Hector and runs him into the post. Barbarian back on the attack with a snakeeyes on the gate. Whatley comes back for a few more cheap shots and rolls him back into the ring. Barbarian with a gorilla press slam and a leg drop. He makes the tag to Whatley who hits a backbody drop before tagging Barbarian again. They double team Guerrero who is in trouble. Barbarian executes a backbreaker followed by a headbutt. Whatley with some dirty play in the corner before Barbarian makes the tag and they deliver a double backbody drop. Attempted pin, 2 count. Whatley foils Hector’s attempt at a tag and drags him back to his corner. While the ref is lecturing Whatley, Barbarian is holding Hector in the corner.
Another tag is made and Barbarian gets off a big boot. 2 backbreakers in a row from Barbarian and another tag is made to Whatley. Whatley with a headbutt followed by spitting on Hector. He whips Hector to the rope for an apparent backbody drop but Hector stops short to the surprise of Whatley. The crowd goes wild as Hector dives to his corner for a tag to Baron. Baron marches around the ring and goes to work. Barbarian attempts to interfere but Baron knocks their heads together. He delivers the claw to Whatley but it’s broken up by Barbarian. All 4 men in the ring going to work. Whatley whips Baron to the corner but Baron moves and Whatley hits the turnbuckle. Baron drops the elbow and gets the pinfall.
Winners: Hector Guerrero & Baron Von Raschke (Von Raschke/Elbow Drop)
- After The Bell: The heels toss Hector over the top and double team Baron. Barbarian to the top rope as Whatley positions him for a diving headbutt. Hector back to the ring, delivers a dropkick and the heels retreat.
- EA’s Take: The Barbarian really seems to be finding himself a bit more in this one. Like I stated, he really seemed to be more intense. His partner, Shaska, might be better remembered as Pez Whatley, who had arrived in JCP in 1985 and initially feuded alongside Jimmy Valiant against Paul Jones’ Army. Now a turncoat, he really felt like just an interchangeable body next to Barbarian. I think we all know who Hector Guerrero is or are at least aware of who The Guerreros are, so you should be familiar with what he can do in the ring. He essentially did the heavy lifting here. Baron is of course a legend in the Minnesota area and is also a turncoat, but going the opposite direction of Pez. In all, this is really just an odd mix, Baron’s best days are long behind him, but Hector can work and Barbarian is getting his footing under him.
Backstage: Johnny Weaver is outside Dusty Rhodes’ locker room. The American Dream hasn’t granted and interview about his match tonight, Weaver pleads for one and Dusty is heard through the door saying to leave him alone.
Match #4 is No Disqualification for the NWA United States Tag Team Championships: The Kansas Jayhawks (Bobby Jaggers & Dutch Mantel) vs. NWA United States Tag Team Champions The Russians (Ivan Koloff & Krusher Kruschev)
Ivan and Mantel start. Ivan using his power but Mantel manages a quick backbody drop and a tag to Jaggers. Ivan is punched to the ground followed by a whip and an elbow. Jaggers delivers more blows and uses Mantel’s boot in the corner and makes the tag. Lots of quick tags as the Jayhawks are in control. Ivan finally makes the tag to Krusher and the crowd boos. Krusher and Mantel lock up. Krusher works him to the corner and bullies him with rights. Ivan holds Mantel on the ropes and Jaggers breaks it up. Mantel rebounds with some offense forcing Krusher to the Jayhawks corner where they use the no DQ rule to their advantage.
More quick tags and double teams from the Jayhawks. Krusher stops short of a drop toe hold attempt and makes the tag to Ivan. Now it’s the Russians’ turn to doubleteam Mantel. Both Ivan and Mantel exchange failed Irish whips and Jaggers is tagged in. After a headlock, Mantel is tagged back in for a double elbow. Ivan wills himself back to the Russian corner. Mantel is fighting but can’t keep up with the two sided attack. Mantel is pulled out of the ring and is dropped knee first on the gate. Krusher rolls him back to Ivan who is waiting in the ring. Shoulder tackle by Ivan. Tag made to Krusher and more double team action ensues. 2 count by Krusher.
Double team work in the corner by The Russians. Jaggers is trying to break it up, but is being led away by the ref. The Russians whip Mantel to the ropes and he counters with a double clothesline. Mantel tags Jaggers who doesn’t discriminate going after both Russians and bashing their heads together. He whips Ivan for a lariat but the pinfall is broken up by Krusher. Now all 4 men are going at it, Jaggers and Krusher in the ring, Mantel and Ivan out. Commentators remind fans that there is no DQ. Ivan gets his trademark chain and climbs to the top rope while Krusher has Jaggers in his patented Bearhug. Before Ivan can jump he is literally whipped by Mantel from the apron. Krusher lets go of Jaggers and is whipped by Mantel, they both stumble out of the ring and brawl on the floor. Jaggers and Ivan are doing battle in the ring, as Jaggers is whipped to the ropes he’s hit from behind by Kruschev with Koloff’s chain. Jaggers falls to the mat and Mantel cannot get back in the ring thanks to Krusher. Pinfall for the win.
Winners and STILL NWA United States Tag Team Champions: The Russians (Kruschev/Foreign Object)
- EA’s Take: Nikita is no longer around with Ivan and Krusher, but we’ll get to that later in the main event. The future Zeb Colter & Bobby Jaggers don’t have a pretty offense, which can also be said about The Russians, so this was basically a slugfest for the secondary tag titles. Boy, if you thought WWE had a lot of titles, they’re surely following the footsteps of the NWA! Absolutely nothing historical about this one, The Kansas Jayhawks were a fairly short-lived duo, Jaggers is most known for feuding with Dusty in Florida, but that’s really it. Obviously, Dutch’s best days are probably coming up when he steps behind the scenes.
Match #5 is an Indian Strap Match: Rick Rude w/Paul Jones vs. Wahoo McDaniel
To win this match, you must touch all 4 corners in succession. Before the bell, Paul Jones takes the strap and demands Wahoo put it on first. Wahoo has no trouble obliging. Rude disropes and flaunts. Wahoo responds by whipping him and gets a big pop. The two bluff at starting a tug of war with the strap. Wahoo delivers a few whips before both men exchange punches. Rude is taken down with a shoulder tackle and Wahoo chokes him on the mat. Rude rolls out of the ring but Wahoo drags him back in. Rude applies a headlock and eventually rolls him to the mat. Both men get back to their feet and Rude’s on the offense beating Wahoo into the corner.
Rude wraps the strap on his feet and beats on Wahoo who is still sitting down in the corner. Rude flaunts to the crowd again and receives a boo. Back on the offense in the corner again. Bodyslam delivered by Rude who then wraps Wahoo’s wrists to restrict his motion and attempts the corners. He gets two before Wahoo gives a boot to the face. Wahoo lands a couple elbows to the head and works Rude into the corner. Paul Jones is demanding the ref break it up when Wahoo wraps the strap on the head of Rude. Wahoo delivers a flurry of whips to the back of Rude. Wahoo whips Rude to the corner and delivers a backhanded clotheline before dragging Rude to the corners. Rude appears to be deadweight as Wahoo gets 3 corners. Rude finally starts fighting back and pushes Wahoo down to the mat with his feet.
With Wahoo still down, Rude goes to the top rope and lands an elbow to the neck. The two fight for control, Rude gains it and he is back to the top rope again. Wahoo rolls to the ropes and uses the strap to throw Rude off the top and to the mat. Wahoo lands an elbow to the forehead and now he’s going for the corners. Paul Jones is going nuts. Wahoo gets 3 corners but Rude appears to be coming back to life. There is a tug of war as Wahoo goes for number 4. Jones is up on the Apron to attempt a stop to Wahoo’s pursuit. Wahoo elbows him back to the floor and dives for the 4th corner successfully.
Winner: Wahoo McDaniel
- After The Bell: Rude is enraged and attacks Wahoo in the corner. Jones is up into the ring to help. They tie Wahoo to the ropes but Hector and the Baron have a run in to save him before any further damage is done. The babyfaces celebrate in the ring.
- EA’s Take: Boy, The Ravishing One surely stands out among anybody you’ll see tonight just because of his look. Now, I’m not obsessed with jacked dudes like Vinnie Mac supposedly is, but Rude just LOOKS like a star. Rude would make a name for himself in Florida and WCCW, hailing from Minnesota, the land of many legends. The relative newcomer would quickly jump into Paul Jones’ Army and join the feud against Wahoo upon his arrival to JCP. The Chief is still hanging on by a thread career-wise and if you remember what Rude was famous for (at least to me), his ability to sell is really the entertaining point of this match. I’ve never really been a fa of the strap match and just the whole concept of having to touch all four corners, not my cup of tea. Of course like many others who did it before him, Rude would leave for greener pastures in the WWF the following April.
Backstage: The Russians are backstage with some words on tonight’s events. Ivan talks about outsmarting the Jayhawks and calls out Dusty Rhodes. He talks about Nikita’s upcoming match with Ric Flair tonight, Krusher demands Nikita do the honorable thing and give him the first title shot if he wins.
Match #6 for the NWA Central States Championship: ‘Superstar’ Bill Dundee vs. NWA Central States Champion Sam Houston
Dundee looks bothered by the crowd’s support for Houston. Dundee works Houston into the corner but Sam ducks a lariat. They lock up again and exchange armbars until Houston works him to the mat and delivers a legdrop. Both men regroup. Dundee has Houston on the mat in a headlock but Houston turns him for a couple near falls. They are back to their feet and to the ropes. The ref breaks it up. The two regroup. Irish whip to the corner and Houston with a headscissor takedown. Houston applies a headscissor submission. Dundee refuses to submit. Back to their feet once again, and Houston with a couple arm drags followed by a dropkick. Dundee is frazzled. They lock up and Dundee manages a takedown.
The ref is questioning if Dundee used Houston’s hair to bring him down. More submission work on the mat and Dundee lands a knee on the neck. 1 count. Houston stumbles to the corner before turning around and landing a punch on the pursuing Dundee. Houston is on the offense and tries for a running bulldog, but Dundee reverses it with a side suplex. Houston counters this with a full backflip and lands on his feet. Dundee runs him into the turnbuckle and pulls him backward for an attempted pin but Dundee pulls the trunks. The ref lectures Dundee on pulling the trunks.
They lock up again and Dundee sends Houston through the middle rope. It appears Houston hits the side of the table, he’s hurting. Dundee tries an attack on the floor, but Houston reverses it with an atomic drop and rolls back in the ring. Dundee is pulled back into the ring for a 2 count. Houston lands a punch but Dundee gets a big boot to Houston’s face. Dundee goes to the top rope and lands his Bombs Away, but he arrogantly delays the pin and only gets a 2 count. Dundee on the attack and appears to have his fingers in Houstons mouth. Dundee applies a front facelock and tells the cheering crowd to shutup. More punches and elbows. 2 Count.
Dundee lands 4 more punches before Houston goes down, and Dundee struts around the ring. He taunts again before a pinfall attempt and only gets 2 with the delay. Dundee applies a Boston crab and Houston screams “NO” when the ref asks him. Houston powers his way out but they’re in the ropes. Houston is once again thrown through the middle ropes. Dundee looks like he was headed for the top rope but the ref stops him from jumping to the floor. Houston crawls back into the ring and this time Dundee can land a big fist from the top rope. 2 count and Dundee is frustrated. Dundee takes Houston down to the mat with an inverted headlock.
Houston pumps the fans up by kicking the mat and slowly gets back up. He drives Houston to the corner and lands several rights. He whips Dundee for an elbow to the jaw. 2 Count. Houston with a knee to the jaw. Bodyslam by Houston, but Dundee moves an attempts knee drop. Dundee goes to work on the affected knee, using the bottom rope to make it vulnerable. Several knee submissions applied by Dundee. When Houston is able to shove Dundee off, he knocks the ref into the corner. This gives Dundee the opportunity to grab Houston’s the boot that fell off when the hold was broken and he clocks him with it. The ref saw it from the mat and calls for the bell. Dundee celebrates but the ref raises Houston’s hand.
Winner and STILL NWA Central States Champion: Sam Houston (Disqualification)
- After The Bell: An enraged Dundee beats Houston with his own boot until he’s able to roll out of the ring. Dundee is showered with boos.
- EA’s Take: Sam Houston moves up the card for this year’s Starrcade after opening the show the year prior. This was a really quick pace for these smaller stars, good job from Dundee to keep up with the young Houston at his age before slowing the pace. Dundee’s biggest exploits were in Memphis where he had a pretty hot feud against WWE Hall Of Famer Jerry Lawler, but by 1986 he was the same age as JJ Dillon. Again, another unusual title in the Central States Championship, which was the primary title of NWA affiliate Central States Wrestling (Kansas City).
Match #7 is Hair vs. Hair: Jimmy Valiant w/Big Mama vs. Paul Jones w/Manny Fernandez
Before the bell, Fernandez argues with the referee about going into the cage saying he’s going to sit ringside. He reluctantly works his way down. Several wrestlers from the back attack Fernandez to get him in the cage. Valiant is on the attack first. Irish whip and lariat to Jones. Valiant with a hiptoss as the crowd goes wild. Valiant rakes the back of Jones and hits another hiptoss. He continues the attack with a facerake.
The ref backs Valiant off Jones as they move to the turnbuckle. Jones goes to his tights and takes out a foreign object. He hits Valiant with it. “Big Mama” is trying to distract from ringside, but Jones is able to land several stomps and punches on a bleeding Valiant. 2 count. Jones is enraged and goes back to work on Valiant. Another pinfall attempt but the leg is on the rope. When Jones sees this he attempts a knee drop on Valiant’s leg, but Jimmy moves. Valiant starts pumping the crowd up “Hulk Style”.
Valiant is once again struck by the foreign object without the refs seeing it. Pinfall attempt by Jones, 2 count. Jones goes for the Indian Deathlock but Valiant pulls his head to the mat. The two are back to their feet and they exchange rights before Valiant takes control. Whips Jones to the ropes and into a sleeper. A desperate and struggling Jones once again reaches for a foreign object. Valiant shoves Jones to the turnbuckle who then falls to his back and the foreign object flies from his hand to the center of the ring. Valiant picks up the foreign object and hits him with it. 1-2-3.
Winner: Jimmy Valiant (Foreign Object)
- After The Bell: Valiant with the clippers shaves a knocked out Jones. Fernandez is slowly lowered to the floor and is demanding to come out. After the shaving is done, Fernandez attacks Valiant from behind and Rick Rude runs in joining the attack. Rude works on Valiant while Fernandez gets a chair. The two piledrive Valiant into the chair and then cover Jones’ head as they exit the ring.
- EA’s Take: The never-ending feud between Valiant and Paul Jones continues on, but would conclude after this one. In years past, the crowd was hot for anything going on between these two. That was not the case tonight as they would really die down almost into a silence during some points before a big pop for the finish. Maybe they were finally catching on that the matches just weren’t that good. I’d argue that Jones was a better worker even at this stage.
Intermission: Like every other year, we have an intermission like this is some kind of house show. Instead of highlights from previous Starrcade shows and interviews, we get a look at the last Jim Crockett Cup to promote the next upcoming tournament.
Match #8 is a Street Fight: Big Bubba Rogers w/Jim Cornette vs. Ronnie Garvin
Prematch, Cornette is on the mic to introduce Rogers. Schiavone explains the rules of the street fight which is the same as a last man standing. Garvin lands a few punches that seem to not effect a towering Rogers. Rogers looks for a traditional test of strength tie up. Garvin bluffs at it and punches Rogers out of the ring. Cornette helps Rogers regroup and he’s back to the ring. Rogers sends Garvin through the middle rope but he lands on his feet. Garvin is back to the ring and the men tie up. You can hear Cornette barking from ringside. The two brawl before Garvin is once again thrown through the middle rope.
Garvin slow to get back to the ring but he does so with a soda from the announce table. He splashes it on Rogers face and takes advantage with some vicious offense. Bubba finally rolls out of the ring and the crowd pops. Cornette gives Bubba a foreign object but Garvin catches Bubba in a chokehold as he enters the ring. Garvin works Bubba to the corner but Rogers out strengths him and gets in some blows. Bubba knocks him into the turnbuckle and nails him with a foreign object which appears to be a roll of nickels. Garvin gets up at an 8 count from the ref and Bubba goes back to work with punches to the mat. Garvin is once again up and an 8 count but is immeditaley bodyslammed by Bubba. 2 count. Bubba is up and the ref goes for another 10 count. Again, up at 8. The two exchange punches but Garvin pulls a rope out of his boot and starts choking Bubba with it.
The two work on the mat and Garvin lands several punches before once again tying Bubba up with the rope. After some exchanges, Rogers is able to take control and gets Garvin in a bear hug. Garvin gradually works the crowd up and is able to counter the bearhug with a headbutt but not for long. Bubba puts him in another. Garvin again counters with headbutt. Garvin lands multiple rights until finally punching him over the top rope to the floor. Cornette is pleading with Bubba to get up. Bubba’s back in the ring at the 6 count. Garvin still on the offense with rights until Bubba falls through the middle rope.
Garvin gives chase to the floor but Bubba counters with a knee to the midsection and rolls him back to the ring. Bubba to the top rope for a “Bubba Slam” but Garvin is to his feet for a gorilla press slam from the top rope. 2 count. When Bubba kicks out, Garvin lands on the referee. Garvin is first to his feet and lands a piledriver while the ref is unconcious. As Garvin stumbles near the ropes for a pin, Cornette hits Garvin on the back of the head with his racket and the referee starts his 10 count for both men who are down for the 10 count. He reaches 10 but explains on the mic that there must be a winner, so the first man to his feet will win. Cornette continues to plead with Bubba and gets in the ring but the ref pushes him back out. Garvin is the first to his knees. The ref is standing near Bubba and is pulled down. Garvin was to his feet but is hit in the knee by Cornette without the ref seeing. Bubba makes his way to his feet and win the match.
Winner: Big Bubba Rogers
- After The Bell: The crowd chants “Bull$#%!“.
- EA’s Take: In the words of Greg DeMarco referring to Big Bubba, “Thank God someone got him a gimmick!”. We know about the exploits of Ronnie Garvin after last year, but Bubba is obviously Ray Traylor, the future Big Bossman. I previously posted a picture of him working under his real name in JCP on The Chairshot’s Instagram and let me tell you, he was as bare bones (character-wise) as it gets. This upstart came into JCP and got pulled from television by Dusty Rhodes, who saw the potential in him and no longer wanted Traylor jobbing out. He was given the Big Bubba name and places alongside Jim Cornette as his bodyguard, looking like Mr. Hughes with a suit and shades (although not permanent shades like Hughes). He would get a good push and end up working opposite Dusty into 1987, but would make his way to the WWF in July of the same year.
Match #9 is First Blood for the NWA World Television Championship: Dusty Rhodes vs. NWA World Television Champion Tully Blanchard w/James J. Dillon
Before the match, they show Rhodes coming to the ring straight from his dressing room. JJ Dillon is putting a piece of headgear on Tully but Dusty is protesting. The ref and JJ get into an argument until finally JJ gives it up. Now JJ is putting some form of grease or oil on Tully’s face. The ref angerly protests this as well and wipes his face with a towel. Meanwhile, Dillon confronts Rhodes and is pushed to the mat. Dusty gives him some kicks and Dillon is bleeding. Tully misses a charge and offers Rhodes a test of strength.
Dusty instead kicks him to the midsection. The two regroup and lock up. Dusty taunts Blanchard by threatening him with his elbow. The two temporarily lock up but protect themselves from getting hit with punches or elbows. They regroup and lockup. Blanchard catches a kick, takes Rhodes to his back but misses an elbow. They lockup, and Rhodes hits a headbutt. Rhodes delivers a snapmare and a stomp to the knee. They tie up in the corner and Dusty works the midsection. The crowd goes wild as Rhodes hits an elbow. Dusty wants Tully checked but there’s no blood. Rhodes with a chop and Blanchard’s on the mat.
Rhodes with an elbow drop to the inside of the knee x2. When Rhodes threatens for the head, Blanchard rolls outside the ring. The two regroup and this time Blanchard takes control. After a snapmare, he rips at Rhodes’ face but is pulled to the mat instead. Rhodes works Blanchard to the corner, but JJ Dillon trips Rhodes from the outside and the big man falls into the ref. Meanwhile, Blanchard climbs the ropes. Dillon tosses Blanchard a shoe, but he can’t use it as Dusty catches his jumping effort. Rhodes with a suplex to Blanchard, but they hit the ref once again. With the ref out, Dusty delivers a barrage of punches to Blanchard’s head and he is bleeding but the referee is unconcious. As Rhodes celebrates, Dillon cleans the blood from Blanchard, puts oil over the cut and gives him a roll of coins. Blanchard hits Rhodes with the coins and he falls to the mat. When the ref comes to, the first thing he sees is a bleeding Dusty Rhodes.
Winner and STILL NWA World Television Champion: Tully Blanchard
- After The Bell: Dusty is enraged, pleading with the ref that Blanchard was bleeding first to no avail.
- EA’s Take: Another bloody brawl at Starrcade for Tully and another screwed finish going against the babyface. The build to this one was much better than the match itself and although I prefer Blanchard’s match against Magnum TA last year, it’s still a good watch and of course the crowd was white-hot. The formation of The Four Horsemen in early 1986 changed everything for pro wrestling’s future and anybody they were put up against seemed to come out the better of it. I stated previously that Dusty’s got the book and while he had put himself in main events in years past, he was starting to move himself down the card a bit and use his name to solidify other talent. Tully didn’t necessarily need it, but it gave him another high-profile match on Starrcade and continued The Horsemen/Rhodes rivalry without going to Dusty vs. Flair for the third year in a row.
Match #10 is a Skywalkers Match: The Road Warriors (Animal & Hawk) w/Paul Ellering vs. The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Dennis Condrey) w/ Jim Cornette
To win this contest, you must push your opponents off the scaffold. Condrey starts to climb the ladder to the top of the scaffold but is very hesitant. Cornette encourages him up. As Eaton begins his climb, Cornette is grabbing his leg. Cornette comes to the announce table and proclaims that this match is insane. The Express look very nervous and start by sitting and crawling. Condrey crawls under Hawks legs and begins with Animal while Hawk and Eaton start as well. The Express are down face first early. Pretty slow moving basic stuff until the Express throws powder in the face of both Road Warriors.
Animal dangles off the right side of the scaffold and the Express are in control. Hawk’s legs are dangling. Eaton works Animal over and has one leg over. Bobby is underneith the scaffold trying to pull Animal over. He’s now hanging onto to Animals leg with one arm, the scaffold with another before catching himself on the scaffold. Eaton climbs back up as does Animal. Animal faceplants Eaton on the scaffold. Condrey is bloody from the work of Hawk. Both are bleeding. Condrey to the ladder. It looks like he may be trying to crawl down.
Hawk’s got him by the hair and delivers a right. Another right as Condrey moves down the ladder. A kick to the head as Condreys in a bad spot. Hawk comes down to kick him some more but Eaton stumbles over to save him. Animal is trailing Eaton though and catches him. Hawk delivering a series of punches to Condrey from just below the scaffold. The two continue to exchange blows while Eaton and Animal exchange up top. Animal beats beats Eaton the the lower scaffold but Eaton uses the monkey bars. All 4 men on the monkey bars swinging back and forth. The Roadwarriors kick them down. First Condrey, then Eaton.
Winners: The Road Warriors
- After The Bell: Outside the ring, Paul Ellering steals Jim Cornettes tennis racket and chases him down. Cornette tries to escape up the scaffold. Ellering gives chase. Cornette does realize Animal is still up there. Surrounded, a scared Cornette drops to him belly as Animal pulls on him. Cornette is hanging from the monkey bars and quickly falls to the ring in obvious pain.
- EA’s Take: This is of course the famous spot where Cornette blows out both of his knees and despite his acrophobia (fear of heights), would be willing to do the spot since it was on such a big stage. Big Bubba was supposed to catch him, but obviously that didn’t happen and Corny was seriously hurt. Now, if this isn’t the most dangerous gimmick you’ve seen that didn’t involve barb-wire or explosives, I’m not sure what is. Being so high up in the air leaves you on the edge of your seat, but with such an element of danger, you can imagine how difficult it is to have any sort of match under these circumstances. With two of the greatest tag teams ever, I understand the idea of the gimmick keeping Cornette at bay, but it just wasn’t for me. Waiting to watch somebody DIE is not really something I’m interested in.
Match #11 is a Steel Cage Match for the NWA World Tag Team Championships: The Andersons (Arn & Ole) vs. NWA World Tag Team Champions The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson)
Gibson and Ole start. Ole’s aggressive but Gibson dodges a punch and Ole punches the cage. They lock up, Gibson on the offense but they roll to the Anderson’s corner and Ole makes the tag. Morton rushes the ring but is kicked out by the ref. Arn and Gibson working. Arn is driven into the cage multiple times before stumbling to Morton’s corner for some cheap shots. He’s able to stumble to his own corner and make the tag to Ole. Ole and Gibson exchange blows until Gibson is able to make the tag to Morton. Morton on the offense knocking Ole to the mat. They exchange a couple of reversals until Ole is able to tag Arn. Arn and Morton lock up.
Arn attempts to bash Morton to the cage but he puts his boot up. Multiple arm lock reversals before Arn backs off. Regroup. Morton with an armbar and tags Gibson. Gibson with an Irish whip into corner. Arn moves and Gibson is put up to the top rope. Arn works Gibson’s leg into the cage before dragging him off the top rope for a tag to Ole. Ole continues to work the left leg with stombs and leg drops. Another tag to Arn who picks up where Ole left off, working the left leg. Gibson is able to kick him off but before he can tag Morton, another tag is made to Ole. Ole stomps the leg but Gibson tries to fight back. The referee breaks the hold at the ropes.
Ole drags him back toward the Anderson corner but Gibson retalitates with shots to the head. He’s able to keep hold of Gibson’s foot though and makes the tag to Arn who continues submissions and knees shots to the damaged leg. Arn drags him up, Gibson attempts one kick but Arn catches it. From one foot Gibson lands a kick to Arn’s head. Arn is in position to make the tag to Ole but meanwhile, Gibson barrel rolls to his own corner and tags Morton. A huge ovation from the crowd. After brief offense, the Andersons double team Morton and Ole, the legal man, runs Morton into the steel cage twice. Ole punches him into the corner and puts his boot to Morton’s head until the ref calls him off. Snapmare by Ole. 2 count. Ole with a kick to the shoulder followed by an armbar. Morton fights him off and punches him to the ground, but Ole makes the tag along the way.
Arn works Morton into the corner and drags his face along the cage on both sides. Morton is bloody but fighting back. Arn stops the momentum wrapping Morton’s arm around the rope and tagging Ole. Ole goes to work with some stomps. He continues to target the left arm with a submission but it’s broken by the ropes. Ole hurls Morton over the turnbuckle and into the cage. More submission maneuvers and stomps on the left arm. He drives Morton into his own corner and tags Arn. Arn with an Anderson slam and goes to the 2nd rope. Morton reverses the double axe hammer with a shot to the gut and the crowd goes wild. Morton lands a DDT but Ole rushes the ring with stomps to Morton. When Gibson tries to stop this, the ref singles him out and forces him back to the corner while Ole continues to beat on Morton. Despite any official tag, it appears Ole is the legal man and he hits a shoulder drop. 2 count. Morton is fighting back but they’re in the Anderson’s corner again and the tag is made to Arn. A brief double team before Arn takes control and continues working the arm and pounding on his head.
Arn whips Morton to the ropes, he ducks a clothesline and gets Arn on the back of the head on the rebound. Both men are lying on the mat. As both men struggle to get up, Arn holds Morton’s trunks and makes the tag to Ole. Ole with a stomp followed by an arm submission. The ref checks but Morton says no. The two are down on their knees and Morton tries to fight back and respond to Ole’s punches. Ole works him to the ropes near the Anderson corner where Arn holds him and delivers cheap shots. When they lock up again, Morton tries to attack Ole’s leg but despite this, Ole makes the tag to Arn. Morton ducks a clothesline, but Arn lands a spinebuster. 2 count before Gibson saves. As the ref is redirecting Gibson, a tag is made to Ole who goes to the top rope while Arn holds him. Ole delivers a kick to the back of Morton’s head and is immediately to the mat in another armbar submission.
Both men to their feet before Morton drops and kicks Ole in the face. Ole rebounds into another headlock, but a whip to the corner results in both men hitting each other’s head. Both men slow to get up but Ole is first and tags Arn who thwarts Morton’s attempt with a stomp. He applies a front facelock to Morton who refuses to give up. Both men slow to their feet, front facelock in tack. Morton fights back with rights while Arn misses his punches. Both men to the mat. Arn makes the tag. Morton desperately fights Ole off and works him into a small package but Arn makes the save. Gibson rushes Arn and the referees try to get them out of the ring. Meanwhile Ole lifts Morton for a body slam but Gibson dropkicks Morton on top of him and they get the 3 count.
Winners and STILL NWA World Tag Team Champions: The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express (Morton/Assisted Body Slam Counter)
- After The Bell: The Andersons go after the Express as they crawl their way out of the cage.
- EA’s Take: What a loaded tag division JCP has, at least it feels that way with your top four! This was a masterful work of art by two more of the best duos ever, The Andersons dominating the action much like they did last year. I don’t need to delve too much into this one because you should already know what to expect from them and that’s exactly what they gave us. This was everything tag team wrestling should be.
Match #12 for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship: NWA United States Champion Nikita Koloff vs. NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair
Before the match there’s a tribute to Magnum TA. Mixed reaction for Nikita. The two lock up and Koloff powers him down. They lock up again and get the same result. Flair walks out of the ring to regroup. Test of strength and Koloff immediately twists his arm. Flair screams and the crowd cheers. Flair responds with chops that do not effect Koloff. Frustrated, Flair goes for another walk. They finally lock up again, and Flair is once again powered to the mat. You can hear Flair say “OK, Now you get your butt kicked you son of a gun!”. Flair works Koloff to the corner, but Koloff is able to turn and ultimately hiptosses Flair back to the center of the ring. Regroup and lock up.
Nikita powers him to the turnbuckle and hiptosses him once again followed by a couple impressive 1 handed body slams. Flair cowers away on his backside and demands the ref to back Koloff off. They lock up again, run the ropes and Flair tries an unsuccessful shoulder tackle. On attempt number two he is caught in a bear hug. Flair is screaming “No”. Koloff works Flairs shoulders to the mat but he kicks out at 2 several times. He’s pulled up to a full bear hug. Flair walks himself to the ropes to break the hold but Koloff immedaitely with shoulders to the midsection. Flair pulls a reversal on an Irish whip and gets Koloff up for a vertical suplex. But Nikita is right back to his feet and the frustrated Flair leaves the ring and paces outside in pain. He crawls back into the ring begging Koloff to back off for a minute. They lock up and Koloff administers a headlock.
Flair fights back with punches and works him to the corner for shoulders to the midsection and chops. Flair with a punch to the face and a whip to the ropes. After a failed shoulder tackle, Koloff reverses the next run with The Russian Hammer. The ref breaks the hold. Flair pulls himself up by the rope. Koloff attempts a clothesline but Flair moves and Koloff flies over the top rope. Flair starts to work on the knee, running it into the post outside and clipping him inside. Flair taunts Koloff who is struggling to get to his feet. Flair with multiple chops before getting into the Figure Four Leglock. As the ref isn’t looking, Flair takes extra leverage from the rope. Koloff struggles but refuses to give up. Koloff manages to turn the figure four, but Flair is on the ropes and the hold is broken. An angry Flair gets up and runs Koloff’s eyes across the top rope.
Flair with chops in the corner, but it seems to invoke Koloff. Koloff powers him down to the other corner. A begging Flair receives kicks and shoulder shots before a shoulder tackle. On the 2nd attempt, Flair is able to reverse and throw Koloff through the middle rope. Flair follows and leads Koloff around the ring and smashes his head on the scaffold. Koloff is bleeding. Back to the ring, Flair hits a snapmare followed by a knee to the head. 2 count. Side suplex by Flair and another 2 count. Flair is frustrated and delivers a series of punches to the head before the ref backs him off. This seems to have woken Nikita up. Nikita is up and stalking Flair. Koloff on the offense with shoulder blocks and a body slam. Koloff hip tosses Flair who is screaming “NO!”. Koloff whips Flair to the turnbuckle and he tumbles outside the ring. Koloff giving chase, but when he gets there Flair delivers a headbutt to the midsection. He tries to run Koloff into the scaffold again but its blocked and instead Koloff drives Flair’s head into the structure. Koloff back to the ring first as the ref counts. Koloff hits him again from inside the ring. Flair works his way into the ring and Koloff drives him into the turnbuckle.
When Koloff slowly approaches an offensive maneuver, Flair reverses with a kick to the gut and a chop in the corner. Koloff matches chops and punches and Flair falls face first to the mat. Whip to the rope. Koloff hits an awkward shoulder tackle which also hits the referee who is knocked to the floor. Flair with the Irish whip to the corner, but Koloff comes back with a huge lariat. He makes a prolonged cover but there is no referee in the ring. Koloff tries to pull the referee back in (who is being helped by other official) In the meantime, Flair is up and delivers a knee to Koloff’s back. A new official rolls into the ring for a pinfall attempt. 2 count. Koloff blocks a punch and attempts to whip Flair into the ropes. Flair reverses the whip but when Koloff comes back, Flair ducks a clothesline and hits the new referee. Koloff bullies Flair in the corner as the original referee returns to the ring. As he tries to break the hold in the corner x2, Koloff pushes him down. Ref calls for the bell.
Winner: Double Disqualification
- After The Bell: A complete melee as various wrestlers rush the ring to pull them apart.
- EA’s Take: This is very unusual in terms of crowd reaction, Nikita getting a mix of cheers and boos, but Flair’s a Horsemen and they’re heels. After the accident to Magnum TA, booker Dusty Rhodes had to make a change as Magnum was set to be pushed into a main event title match against Flair. The era of the evil Russians was starting to come to a close, so in order to capitalize on the changing political tides, Nikita would side with Rhodes and make the switch. Clearly, not all of the crowd was buying it yet. Nikita is much improved at this point and it allows Flair to do what he does best and that’s sell, sell, sell. This clash put Dusty in an unusual spot however, as Nikita isn’t ready for the World Title, but still needed to be protected to a degree if he was ever to get there. That leaves us with a finish I don’t care for, but again, I understand why it had to be done.
EA’s Finisher: A solid show. I think the gimmick matches were a lot cleaner than last year and made them more enjoyable, but that Skywalkers Match I definitely could have lived without. I applaud JCP for trying something new, but to me it just doesn’t work, it’s far too dangerous and was a wasted opportunity to have a quality match between two all-time great teams. The Andersons and Rock ‘N’ Roll Express put on a tag team clinic, the main event was a better in-ring product than the year before and we continue to see Crockett replenish his roster with young talent (which was really a necessity, but if not for that ability they may have had to sell much sooner). The production value is certainly getting better as well, plus there weren’t really any tech issues that I can recall. If I’m being honest, JCP’s product is really every bit as good as the WWF’s and in cetain aspects, is even better. The difference is WWF is mainstream, JCP was not.
Top Three To Watch
1 – The Andersons vs. The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express
2 – Ric Flair vs. Nikita Koloff
3 – Sam Houston vs. Bill Dundee
Chairshot Classics: WWE Elimination Chamber 2017
As we approach this year’s Elimination Chamber, we look back at one from the past with this SmackDown-exclusive from 2017!
Kickoff Match: Curt Hawkins vs. Mojo Rawley
The bell rings and Mojo chases Hawkins out to the apron, Hawkins steps back inside, ducks in the ropes to create separation, then delivers a cheap shot right hand. Rawley absorbs it, levels him with a clothesline, shoots Hawkins into the corner, then chops him down with a tackle to the knee. Hawkins rolls outside and Mojo goes out in pursuit, drapes him over the apron to drive him chest-first off the mat, throws him back into the squared circle, but gets caught coming in with a kick to the midsection. Mojo falls back to the floor, Hawkins goes out after him, drives him sternum-first into the ring apron, then slides in the ring and allows the referee to count.
Rawley slides in at 9, Hawkins is there to meet him with fists, puts him in the corner and stomps away as we head to break….We come back and Mojo battles up from a rear chinlock, hits the ropes, Hawkins follows him in and slides to the outside with a leg sweep, steps back in and hits a vertical suplex for a count of 2. He hooks a rear chinlock back on to wear Rawley down, Mojo works to his feet and escapes with a jawbreaker, hits the ropes and gets floored by a clothesline for multiple 2 counts. Hawkins starts talking trash and connects with fists, Rawley absorbs the shots and returns fire, whips Hawkins to the ropes and scores with multiple shoulder blocks. He flattens Hawkins with a clothesline, measures him in the corner for a splash, plants him with a fireman’s carry facebuster and nearly puts it away.
Hawkins tries to crawl out of the ring and Mojo grabs him by the foot, the official forces a break, Hawkins sneaks in a cheap shot, delivers a reverse STO and covers, but still can’t finish it. He start to shoot his mouth off and sets for a DDT, Mojo slips out, attempts a clothesline, Hawkins ducks it, connects with an enzuigiri and gets another 2 count. He gets set in the corner for a spear, Rawley powers him back into the turnbuckles, hits the ropes for a heavy right hand, plants Hawkins with a tilt-a-whirl powerslam and gets the win.
Winner: Mojo Rawley (Tilt-A-Whirl Powerslam)
- EA’s Take: Yikes, this one really started out pretty sloppy, but turned out to be what I would call decent to finish it out. This one was basically thrown together after a backstage segment last week on SmackDown Live and you could feel that, although Mojo is more over with the crowd than I thought. I’m not necessarily a big fan, but I can see the appeal. Hawkins was essentially brought back to the company to put guys like this over and as much as I am a fan of his previous work, this was the right move unless you want to turn this into a longer program.
Open: “Beauty, it’s everywhere. It’s the warm glow of our aspirations, but it can also be cold as steel and that’s beautiful. Tonight inside the steel beast, opportunity is a beautiful thing.” This is Elimination Chamber.
Match #1: Becky Lynch vs. Mickie James
Collar & elbow tie-up to begin, both ladies jockey for position down to the canvas and to the outside, finally breaking away and rolling back into the squared circle for a staredown. They tie-up again and Becky hooks on a wristlock, Mickie cartwheels through for a wristlock of her own, switches to a hammerlock, Lynch counters out back to a wristlock and Mickie grabs the ropes to force the break. She quickly slaps on an armbar The Lass Kicker sends her outside to break free, invites Mickie to step back in, grabs her on the apron and rams Mickie head-first into the top turnbuckle. She scores with a slingshot sidekick to drop her to the floor, comes off the apron with a flying forearm, tosses Mickie back in the ring and climbs up, Mickie surprises her with a kick coming in, spikes Lynch with a DDT and gets multiple 2 counts.
She wraps Becky’s arm up in the ropes and goes to work on the shoulder joint, snapmares her out and grabs a modified key-lock, drops a leg on the shoulder and then buries a kick to the face for another 2 count. Mickie stays on the left arm and wrenches it up in the ropes again, hooks on a hammerlock to ground The Lass Kicker, Lynch fights to a standing position, scores with forearms and levels Mickie with a clothesline. Irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Mickie delivers a boot to the jaw, drives Becky shoulder-first into the ring post, climbs to the 2nd rope and hits a hurricanrana. She starts to toy with The Lass Kicker, Lynch tries to fight back and gets kicked back down for 2, Mickie employs a half-nelson to grind her down, Becky battles back to a standing position and arm drags her away.
They trade-off forearm shots, The Lass Kicker blocks a kick, scores with multiple clothesline, drops Mickie with a leg lariat, then tosses her with a Bexploder for a 2 count. Mickie pulls herself up in the corner, Lynch charges in with a Flying Firearm, Mickie side-steps it, plants her with a flapjack, kips up to her feet and then climbs to the top turnbuckle. She hits a Thesz Press that almost puts it away, looks to ram Becky shoulder-first into the ring post again, Lynch puts on the brakes, cracks her with a back elbow, executes a springboard back kick, then comes off the top with a dropkick for a near fall.
The Lass Kicker hooks Mickie for a pumphandle suplex, Mickie slips out of it, clocks her with a Mick Kick, covers and only gets a 2 count. She mounts Lynch and hammers her with right hands, calls for the Mickie-DT, Becky reverses out with a back body drop, looks for the Dis-Arm-Her, Mickie counters with a roll-up, Lynch reverses right back and stacks her up for the victory.
Winner: Becky Lynch (Roll-Up)
- EA’s Take: As Mauro said on commentary, this was a wrestling clinic between arguably the two best technicians on the SmackDown Live side. I picked Mickie to get the win here because I don’t like having someone come in and start losing right away, but I understand that is likely the reason why she returned to begin with. I just have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of these two taking each other on, especially considering how it ended after a real back-and-forth battle.
In The Arena: Carmella & James Ellsworth are watching the show from a skybox when Dasha Fuentes comes in for comment, The Princess of Staten Island stating the wrong woman won the last match.
Match #2 is a Handicap Match: Apollo Crews & Kalisto vs. Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler ambushes Kalisto from behind as he makes his way to the ring, drives him into the LED board on the stage, Crews leaves the ring to check on The King of Flight and Dolph heads to the squared circle through the crowd. Apollo marches to the ring and we’re underway, Crews powers The Show Off into the corner, unleashes a flurry of right hands and puts the boots to Dolph. The referee separates them, Apollo rushes back in and meets a back elbow, Ziggler charges out and Crews delivers a back elbow of his own, then scores with more heavy punches. He delivers a snap suplex, Ziggler rolls to the apron, Apollo reaches out to grab him, gets surprised by a hot shot, The Show Off following up with a neckbreaker through the ropes.
He steps back inside and rips away at Crews’ face in the corner, plants him with another neckbreaker for a count of 2, drops an elbow to the back, hooks the leg and gets another 2. Ziggler hooks on a rear chinlock to ground Crews, Apollo finds his footing, Dolph goes to the knee with a kick, hits the ropes for a Famouser, Crews blocks and rolls him up for a 2 count. Ziggler staggers to the corner and Apollo rushes in, gets caught with a back elbow, The Show Off plasters him with stiff punches, uses a single-leg takedown for a 1 count, then jumps on his back to hook on another rear chinlock. Crews works back to a vertical base, Ziggler with another kick to the knee, sets for a neckbreaker, gets pushed away to the ropes and Apollo buries a kick to the midsection.
He can’t capitalize and The Show Off delivers another neckbreaker, Kalisto starts to limp his way back down to the ring and climbs on the apron, Dolph is distracted and Apollo explodes up with an enzuigiri. Crews crawls over and tags out, Kalisto clocks The Show Off with an enzuigiri from the apron, springboards in with a seated senton to the back, scores with leg kicks, irish whip to the ropes is reversed, but The King of Flight handsprings into an enzuigiri. He hooks Ziggler for the Salida Del Sol and gets pushes away, Apollo makes a blind tag, Kalisto flips under a clothesline attempt from Dolph, drills him with an enzuigiri, Crews follows with a Toss Powerbomb and finishes it.
Winners: Apollo Crews & Kalisto (Crews/Toss Powerbomb)
- After The Bell: Kalisto & Apollo celebrate, The Show Off catches The King of Flight on the apron with a leg sweep, Crews chases him around ringside and back into the ring, Dolph catching him with fists and kicks. He gets a chair and locks Apollo’s foot in it, stomps away and Crews writhes in pain on the mat, Ziggler then doing it again.
- EA’s Take: Personally I was excited when Ziggler jumped Kalisto before the match because I thought that would lead to him getting a win. As I stated with Doug Berrill on yesterday’s episode of the Top Of The Morning Podcast, I didn’t see what good this would do for any of the parties involved. Thankfully, the aftermath allowed Dolph to save face, but it makes Kalisto & Apollo look pretty stupid that they were still bested in the end by one guy.
Match #3 – Tag Team Turmoil for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships: Heath Slater & Rhyno vs. Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango) vs. The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) vs. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) vs. The Vaudevillains (Aiden English & Simon Gotch) vs. SmackDown Tag Team Champions American Alpha (Jason Jordan & Chad Gable)
Slater & Rhyno will kickoff with Breezango, Fandango & Heath to start the match off. They tie-up and Fandango backs Slater to the corner, breaks clean and does a little dance, another collar & elbow and The Lord of the Dance slaps on a side headlock. Heath pushes him away to the ropes and gets knocked down by a shoulder, Fandango with another little shimmy, hits the ropes, The One Man Band leapfrogs over, delivers a hip toss and does a dance of his own. He ducks a clothesline and splits The Lord of the Dance with an atomic drop, Breeze tags in, swings wildly with a clothesline that misses and gets hit with an atomic drop for his troubles.
Heath rocks him with a right hand and makes a tag, Rhyno utilizes a wristlock, Prince Pretty breaks free after a kick to the midsection, hits the ropes and gets flattened by a shoulder block. The Man Beast shoots him to the corner and follows in with a shoulder to the ribs, flattens Tyler with a short-arm clothesline, brings Slater back in and they send Breeze to the ropes for a double back elbow. The One Man Band hooks in a side headlock, gets sent off to the ropes, Fandango makes a blind tag, Heath ducks a clothesline from Tyler, but The Lord of the Dance sweeps the legs from the outside. He slides in and rains down heavy right hands, drops Slater stomach-first across the top rope, tags Breeze and they deliver in-sync kicks to the head for a count of 2.
Prince Pretty puts the boots to Heath in the corner and makes a tag, The One Man Band fires up with rights, hits the ropes, Fandango ducks down for a back body drop, Slater counters with a sunset flip, but can’t pull him down and gets rocked by a punch. The Lord of the Dance tosses a stack of tickets in Heath’s face, The One Man Band rolls him up off the distraction for a 2 count, both guys up quick, Slater connects with a heel kick and covers, but Breeze is there to break it up at 2. Rhyno steps in and runs Tyler over with a shoulder block, Fandango dumps him to the outside, Slater with a roll-up from behind for 2, makes a tag off the kick-out, The Lord of the Dance with a roll-up from behind now, but he’s got the illegal man. The Man Beast steps in behind him, charges in with a Gore and finishes Breezango off. Breezango has been eliminated.
The Vaudevillains are up next, they drag Rhyno to the outside as they head to the ring, drive him into the barricade, Slater comes off the top with a crossbody, helps The Man Beast back inside and makes a tag to pull Gotch in. Aiden ambushes Heath from behind and puts the boots to him, delivers a knee drop for a count of 2, planks The One Man Band across the top in the corner, The Vaudevillains rocking him with a barrage of boots as Gotch tags in. The Gentleman Brawler buries a barrage of knees to the ribs, powers Slater on his shoulders, makes a tag and plants him with a rolling fireman’s carry and English heads upstairs.
Rhyno steps in and splits Gotch with a Gore, Aiden looks for That’s A Wrap on Slater, The One Man Band rolls out of harm’s way, spikes him with The Smash Hit and gets the pinfall. The Vaudevillains have been eliminated. The Usos come out next, Jimmy slides inside, Heath unloads with rights, Jimmy drops him with a kick to the abdomen, then scores with stinging chops and shoots him to the ropes. Slater explodes back out with a flying forearm and makes a tag, Rhyno looks to whip Jimmy into the corner, Jimmy reverses, The Man Beast hits the turnbuckles hard and Jimmy drives him into his own corner. Jey tags in, Jimmy holds Rhyno in place for Jey to deliver a flying forearm for a 2 count, whips him back into the corner, The Man Beast rebounds out with a clothesline, Slater tags in and comes off the top with an overhand chop.
He drops Jimmy off the apron, avoids Jey charging into the corner, fires away with lefts and rights, hits the ropes for a running boot, Jey side-steps it and plants him with a pop-up Samoan Drop. He makes a cover and Rhyno breaks the count at 2, Jey grabs The Man Beast from behind and deposits him out of the ring, The One Man Band pushes Jey to the ropes for a roll-up, but Jey hangs on and Jimmy makes a blind tag. Jimmy rocks Heath with a superkick, hooks the leg and gets a 3 count. Heath Slater & Rhyno have been eliminated. American Alpha is the next team up, The Usos go to the outside to meet them on the ramp and the brawl is on before they head in the ring.
The champions hit double german suplexes, Jordan clotheslines Jimmy near the ropes and they both spill over the top, Gable ascends the corner and hits Jey with a crossbody for a count of 2. He snatches a wristlock and looks to make a tag, Jordan tries to step in early and the official cuts him off, Jey shoots Gable to the ropes and Jimmy with a cheap shot from the apron to give his brother the advantage. He pushes Gable into his corner and runs in with a shoulder to the midsection, Jimmy tags in, Jey cracks Gable with a backbreaker, Jimmy follows with a top rope double axe and gets a count of 2. He whips Chad sternum-first into the turnbuckles for another 2 count, chokes him on the 2nd rope, the ref backs him off, Jey sneaks in an uppercut from the apron, Jimmy follows with a big chop and tags out.
Jey buries a kick to the ribs and immediately brings Jimmy back in, Jimmy with a leg drop for another 2, then looks to wear Gable down with a rear chinlock. Chad fights back to his feet, Jimmy rocks him with a headbutt, tosses him out of the ring, Gable climbs back to the apron, fights off both Usos and slides in through Jimmy’s legs to try and tag. Jimmy hangs onto Chad’s arm to prevent it, gets sent into the corner, Gable knocks Jey off the apron with a forearm, turns to deliver a clothesline, Jimmy’s thinking the same thing and they both connect, then crawl to tags. Jordan comes in with forearm shots for Jey, connects with a dropkick, Jimmy steps in and gets tossed by an overhead belly-to-belly suplex, Jordan following with another for Jey.
He powers Jey up for an electric chair and Gable tags, heads to the top rope, Jey slips away and rolls Jordan up, Chad rushes in with a roll-up and scores the fall. The Usos have been eliminated. The Usos sneak attack the champions after the pinfall, drive Jordan shoulder-first into the ring post, slam Gable on the floor, then deposit him into the steel steps and rolls Jordan in the ring. Jimmy heads up top, scores with the Uso Splash and multiple referees have to finally pull them away. The Ascension is the last team out, Konnor & Viktor stand over a fallen Jordan in the ring and measure for the Fall Of Man, hit it and Konnor covers, Gable just barely making it in to break the count at 2.
Konnor powers Chad up on his shoulder, drops him throat-first across the top rope, Viktor tags in, The Ascension puts the boots to Jordan, Viktor pulling him up for heavy chops in the corner. He shoots Konnor at Jordan with a corner clothesline, follows with a high knee, Konnor with a lateral press and gains a near fall. Tag back to Viktor for more stinging chops, lines him up for a splash, Jordan avoids it, tosses him with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex, then tries to crawl to his corner. Konnor steps in and rushes at him, Jordan ducks down to send him to the outside, reaches Gable for the tag, but Konnor rips him to the floor from the outside. Gable ducks under a clothesline and slides in, American Alpha hits Grand Amplitude and Chad covers to retain.
Winners and STILL SmackDown Tag Team Champions: American Alpha
- EA’s Take: Really entertaining match here that allowed every team to get a little bit of shine at the very least. I really thought my pick of The Ascension was going to be good after The Usos left the champions laying, then even more so after Ascension dropped Jordan with the Fall Of Man and by the sounds of the crowd, they thought the same. For those that missed Top Of The Morning yesterday, I talked about The Ascension coming up with a tweaked look and we saw it tonight, so remember…it pays to #GetOnTop. What’s next for the champs? I’m not sure because the attack by The Usos leads me to believe they aren’t finished, but the staredown with The Ascension could also be teasing something as well.
Match #4: Nikki Bella vs. Natalya
They go face-to-face at the bell and Natalya mocks John Cena, slaps her across the face and brings her down with a side headlock, Nikki counters out with a headscissors, but Nattie kips up to break free. She quickly hooks in a wristlock and does some trash talking, Nikki paintbrushes her with a slap of her own, rolls into a cross armbreaker, The Queen of Harts breaks free, but gets slapped again. She tackles Nikki down to the mat and bludgeons her with right hands, brings her to the mat with a waistlock takedown, buries a kick to the ribs, then delivers another waistlock takedown and poses for the people. She hooks Nikki for another waistlock takedown, Nikki blocks and rolls her into a knee bar, Natalya claws to the bottom rope to force the break, then rolls outside for a breather.
Nikki hits a baseball slide frm behind, steps out to the apron and jumps off with a clothesline, sends Nattie back in the ring, but The Queen of Harts rolls back out and calls for a time-out as Nikki is in pursuit. Natalya shoves her spine-first into the ring post, throws Nikki back into the squared circle, steps in, hauls her up by the hair and delivers a snap suplex, then drives a kick into the back. The Fearless One pulls herself up in the corner, The Queen of Harts puts the boots to her, taunts Nikki, snapmares her over and scores with a basement dropkick to the spine. She utilizes a rear chinlock to wear her down some more, Nikki fights back to a vertical base, arm drags Nattie away, but gets flattened by a clothesline.
The Queen of Harts mocks Cena again and walks over Nikki, gets surprised by a schoolboy from behind for a count of 2, Nattie quickly drops her with a kick to the abdomen, rams her face-first into the mat, then goes to work on the left leg with an inverted figure four. Nikki slaps Nattie across the face and slips out for an STF, Natalya quickly reaches the ropes to gain separation, misses with a clothesline and Nikki delivers a shoulder tackle. She connects with a dropkick, cracks The Queen of Harts with a modified jawbreaker for a count of 2, measures for a forearm shot, but walks into a kick to the breadbasket. Nattie follows with a Michinoku driver for a near fall, hooks her for the Sharpshooter, Nikki kicks her away and levels Natalya with a stiff forearm that almost finishes it.
Nikki picks her up for the Rack Attack 2.0, The Queen of Harts slips out, looks to shoot her to the ropes, Nikki reverses and plants her with a spinebuster, but can’t put it away. She springs off the 2nd rope with a roundhouse kick and gains another near fall, Nikki heads out to the apron, catches Nattie charging in with a shoulder to the midsection, scores with a knee lift and heads to the top turnbuckle. The Queen of Harts is there to meet her with right hands, plants her into the mat with a superplex, staggers to her feet and slaps on the Sharpshooter. Nikki rolls out of it and hooks on the STF, Natalya crawls to the ropes to force the break, grabs Nikki by the hair and they spill to the outside. The Queen of Harts drives her into the barricade and pummels her with right hands, Nikki fires back, deposits Nattie into the barricade, they continue to battle the ref’s count reaches 10.
Winner: Double Count-Out
- After The Bell: Natalya tosses Nikki back in the ring and argues with the official, Nikki rises to her feet and has some words for the ref, Nattie clocks her with a forearm and starts to walk away. Nikki rolls out of the ring, spears The Queen of Harts on the ramp for a barrage of fists, Nattie breaks free and sprints away.
- EA’s Take: Pretty vicious battle here which I expected and to be honest, I was surprised this was just a basic match and didn’t have a stipulation like No DQ. I suppose that’s the reason for the double count-out, this feud has been too good for it to end here and I can’t imagine we don’t get something better from them in the coming weeks on SmackDown.
In The Arena: Carmella & James Ellsworth are still watching on from the skybox and Dasha Fuentes asks for comment, The Princess of Staten Island stating Nikki Bella & Natalya have been out of control, Ellsworth echoing her sentiments.
Backstage: Bray Wyatt & Randy Orton are in a dark, smoky room in the back, The New Face of Fear saying that in order to be victorious tonight, they must go their separate ways. The Viper warns that everybody should run.
Match #5: Randy Orton vs. Luke Harper
Collar & elbow tie-up to begin and we have an early stalemate, they tie-up again with the same result, another lock-up, they jostle for position and Harper hooks on a side headlock. Orton pushes him away to the ropes and gets knocked down by a shoulder for a quick 1 count, The Apex Predator rolls out of the ring to regroup, Harper goes out after him, intercepts him with uppercuts, drives Randy into the barricade, then bounces him head-first off the announce table. He tosses The Viper back inside and Orton staggers to the corner, catches Harper walking in with a back elbow, Randy hits the ropes, Harper explodes up with a dropkick, then heads upstairs.
The Apex Predator drops him to the floor with a big right hand, Harper bounces face-first off the apron, Luke drags himself back inside and gets hammered with fists in the corner. Orton shoots him across hard into the turnbuckles and dumps him to the floor, heads after him and rams Harper head-first off the announce table, then drops him on it with a back suplex. He throws Luke into the ring and gets a count of 2, grabs a rear chinlock to grind the big man down, Harper makes it back to his feet, The Viper clubs him across the back, then drops him gut-first on the top rope. He climbs to the 2nd rope and poses for the people, rakes his boot across Harper’s face, stomps away in the corner, then drags Luke out and goes back to a chinlock.
Harper fights back to a vertical base, rocks Randy with uppercuts, The Viper returns the favor, shoots him into the corner, but the big man explodes back out with running forearms. Irish whip back to the corner is reversed, Harper leaps out to the apron, drops The Apex Predator with a forearm, then slingshots back in with a somersault senton. He floors Orton with a big boot for a 2 count, grabs him by the leg, The Viper kicks him away, grabs Harper by the jeans to send him to the apron, then hooks him for the elevated DDT. Luke fights it off, catapults Randy throat-first into the 2nd rope, The Apex Predator rolls outside to catch his breath, Harper hits the ropes for a suicide dive, but gets clocked by a forearm shot.
Orton looks to dump him to the outside, Harper turns the tables and sends Randy out instead, takes flight with a suicide dive and The Apex Predator flies over the announce table. Harper picks him up and drops him on the announce desk with a back suplex, lines him up and charges in, The Viper planting Luke on the floor with a powerslam. He rolls back in the ring and grabs Harper on the apron, Luke surprises him with a forearm shot, climbs the corner for a suplex to the outside, The Viper slips out of it, crotches Harper on the top turnbuckle and executes a superplex to the inside. Randy crawls to a cover and only gets 2, pulls Harper up, they exchange shots, Orton ducks one fot he RKO, gets pushed away, but counters a clothesline for a full nelson slam that gains a near fall.
Harper rolls out to the apron, The Apex Predator spikes him with a rope-assisted DDT, gets set for the RKO, but Luke explodes up with a superkick. He connects with another superkick and nearly puts it away, hauls Randy up for a powerbomb, The Viper slips out for the RKO, Harper blocks it again, but gets kicked in the abdomen. The Apex Predator hits the ropes and runs into a kick to the breadbasket, Harper plants him with a sit-out powerbomb that almost finishes it, “This Is Awesome” chants take over the crowd, both guys struggle to their knees and trade-off right hands back to their feet. Harper gets the better of it, hits the ropes for the Discus Clothesline, Orton blocks it, delivers an RKO and gets the victory.
Winner: Randy Orton (RKO)
- EA’s Take: Tremendous match and I don’t think it’s a stretch to say these guys just stole the show, which I had mentioned previously was a strong possibility. I am surprised Bray didn’t get involved here, but I suppose that was addressed with his previous promo of having to be separated from Orton tonight. Harper showed a lot tonight although we already knew he could do it, he just has never been given a chance to really shine. The Viper may have won the match, but Harper was the real winner here in the long run as long as the company does something with him to follow up.
Backstage: Renee Young is standing by with Nikki Bella, Nikki states things are far from over with herself and Nattie, but Natalya ambushes her from behind. They battle into the hallway where Maryse is near a makeup table, The Queen of Harts bounces Nikki’s face off of a production box and Nikki falls backwards into Maryse, causing powder to go everywhere. Nikki tackles Natalya and a group of referees finally separate them.
Match #6 for the SmackDown Women’s Championship: Naomi vs. SmackDown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss
Alexa with some trash talk for the challenger at the bell, attempts to slap her across the face, Naomi surprises her with a schoolboy and gets an early 2 count. The champion pulls out her gum and tosses it in Naomi’s face, The Glow Queen grabs her by the hair, drives Bliss multiple times head-first into the top turnbuckle, climbs up top, but gets pushed down to the apron. She lands on her feet and rocks Alexa with a roundhouse kick, looks to springboard in the champion grabs a handful of hair, slams her down to the mat, then unleashes a series of rights for a count of 2. She puts the boots to the challenger in the corner and chokes her with her foot, chokes Naomi on the 2nd rope now, charges in with double knees to the back and gains another 2 count.
Bliss tries to ram her head-first into the top turnbuckle, The Glow Queen blocks it, attempts to bulldog Alexa into the turnbuckles, but gets pushed away. The champion wraps Naomi’s hair up in the ropes and rips away, covers for another count of 2, stands on the challenger’s hair, then pulls her up by the arms, this time getting a 1 count. She slaps on a rear chinlock to wear Naomi down, The Glow Queen works to a standing position, arm drags the champion away, rushes her in the corner, but runs into a back elbow. Alexa hooks her by the arm and goes to the 2nd rope, the challenger tries to hip toss her down to the mat, Bliss flips to her feet, rolls her up for 2, Naomi with a roll-up of her own off the kick-out, but can’t finish it.
Both ladies are up quick and Naomi looks for a kick, the champion blocks it, attempts to clock her with a right hand, Naomi delivers a roundhouse at the same time and they both go down. Both women stagger back to their feet, The Glow Queen ducks under a clothesline and hits the ropes for one of her own, drops Bliss with a jumping back elbow, irish whip to the corner is reversed, Alexa charges in, blocks Naomi putting the boots up, but gets drilled by an enzuigiri instead. The challenger follows with a stiff kick to the abdomen, hits the ropes for a somersault clothesline, measures the champion in the corner and charges in, gets elevated over the top, but lands on her feet and scores with a forearm shot.
Naomi ascends the corner and connects with a blockbuster, hooks the leg and nearly finishes it off, Alexa crawls to the ropes for some reprieve, the challenger grabs her by the foot, but gets kicked away. Bliss pulls herself back up in the corner and rushes out, The Glow Queen catches her with the Rear View, hooks both legs, but still only gets a count of 2. She positions the champion near the corner for the Split-Legged Moonsault, Alexa grabs her by the foot, Naomi kicks free, Bliss tries to beg her off and ducks into the ropes. The referee gets in between to create separation, the champion with a cheap shot, slams Naomi to the mat by the hair, delivers Insult To Injury, covers and gains a near fall. Bliss hammers the challenger with right hands and heads to the high-rent district, The Glow Queen pops up with an enzuigiri, Alexa falls to the floor, Naomi gets set for an outside dive, but the champion climbs on the apron and cuts her off with forearm.
She steps back in, spikes The Glow Queen with a DDT and covers, the challenger just barely kicks out at 2 and Bliss starts to show her frustration. Alexa pulls Naomi up, gets surprised by a modified jawbreaker, tries to follow with the Split-Legged Moonsault, the champion rolls away to avoid it, rolls her up and puts her feet on the ropes. The referee counts to 2 and notices it, stops the count, Alexa argues the call, pummels the challenger with fists, then goes back up top for Twisted Bliss. The Glow Queen gets the knees up, follows with the Split-Legged Moonsault and we have a new champion.
Winner and NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion: Naomi (Split-Legged Moonsault)
- After The Bell: Renee Young enters the ring for comment, a “You Deserve It” chant breaks out and Naomi is brought to tears, The Glow Queen states she’s envisioned this moment for many years and Alexa was a great champion, but she’s taking the title home to Orlando at WrestleMania.
- EA’s Take: Not a bad match in my opinion, but there were certainly a couple of spots that didn’t look great, the finish for example. Naomi has always been one of my favorites and very underused in my opinion, so I absolutely agree with the crowd and the “You Deserve It” chant. It’s been a long-time coming for her and I called for this to happen, mostly because of WrestleMania being in her hometown, which gives her that “feel-good” moment. Certainly Alexa will get a rematch and the way things are going, I still feel as if we’re headed towards multi-person title matches for both Women’s Divisions at the Showcase of the Immortals.
In The Arena: Carmella & James Ellsworth continue watching the show from the skybox, Dasha Fuentes tries to get comment, but The Princess of Staten Island says she’s sick of being bothered while trying to watch the show. Ellsworth tells Dasha to scram, sits back and puts his feet up.
Match #7 – Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE Championship: WWE Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose vs. Baron Corbin vs. The Miz vs. Bray Wyatt vs. AJ Styles vs. WWE Champion John Cena
Styles & Cena are going to begin, collar & elbow tie-up to start, the champion goes to a side headlock, AJ pushes him off to the ropes, but gets dropped by a shoulder block. They lock-up again and this time Styles hooks in a side headlock, Cena sends him off to the ropes, drops down, leapfrogs over and AJ scores with a leg kick. The Leader of the Cenation battles back with heavy rights, whips him to the corner and rushes in, The Phenomenal One side-steps out of harm’s way, powers him up on his shoulder and delivers a spin-out torture rack bomb for an early 2 count.
AJ looks to set for the Styles Clash, Cena powers out, launches him into the air, lets him drop face-first to the mat, then follows with a sunset flip bomb for a 2 count. The Leader of the Cenation pulls Styles up and they exchange shots, the champion takes The Phenomenal One down for the STF, AJ kicks him away, scores with the Ushigaroshi, hooks the leg and gains a near fall. Cena pulls himself to his feet in the corner, Styles rushes in for a flying forearm, the champion avoids it, hits the ropes for multiple shoulder tackles, ducks a clothesline and delivers a spin-out back suplex. He calls for the 5 Knuckle Shuffle, the countdown begins and Cena decides against it as Dean Ambrose enters the match.
He ducks a right hand and levels Cena with a flying clothesline, tosses him out over the top, drives the champion multiple times into the chain link, then stomps away. AJ comes out after them and The Lunatic Fringe rams him into the chain, clotheslines Styles back in the ring, kicks him to the apron, and sets for a suplex back inside. The Phenomenal One blocks it, looks to suplex Dean out on the chamber floor, Ambrose slips out, drops him with a release vertical suplex on the floor, Cena climbs up top, but The Lunatic Fringe drops him down with a forearm shot. He climbs on top of one of the pods and flies off with a diving elbow to the champion, tries to drag Cena into the squared circle, AJ grabs him with a waistlock, standing switch from Ambrose, Styles switches back, but the champion comes in and plants them both with a double german suplex.
The Leader of the Cenation picks Dean up for an AA, The Phenomenal One charges in, Cena drops Dean, lifts AJ for the Attitude Adjustment, rocking The Lunatic Fringe with Styles’ feet in the process. AJ counters the AA by landing on his feet, clobbers the champion with a kick, Dean rebounds off the ropes and floors Styles with a Lunatic Lariat as the timer hits zero. Bray Wyatt steps out and drops Dean with a right hand, flattens Cena with a running crossbody, tosses The Lunatic Fringe with a release vertical suplex, then charges AJ near the ropes and gets dumped outside. Styles tries to springboard out after him, gets thrown into the chain link, goes into the Spider Crawl for Sister Abigail, but The Phenomenal One slips away and shoves him into one of the pod doors.
He pulls Wyatt through the 2nd rope in the corner, hops in the ring and slingshots out with a leg drop to the back of the head, The Leader of the Cenation picks him up for an AA outside, but AJ breaks free and clocks him with forearms. He climbs the side of the cage and Cena goes up after him, they battle on the side of the wall, Styles clobbering the champion with fists and drops him to the chamber floor. The Phenomenal One climbs on top of The Miz’s pod, Ambrose scales up to meet him, rams Styles face-first off the plastic part of the wall, jumps off at Bray, but gets caught with a right hand on the way down. The Eater of Worlds tosses him in the ring, props The Lunatic Fringe on the top turnbuckle, climbs up for a barrage of headbutts, Dean slips down for a powerbomb, Bray grabs Styles in the process and tosses him across the ring as he gets planted into the mat as the clock ticks down again.
Baron Corbin comes in next, The Lunatic Fringe meets him with a flurry of forearms, hits the ropes, The Lone Wolf flattens him with a clothesline, deposits Dean to the outside, then rams him face-first off the chain multiple times. He throws Ambrose back in the ring and charges him in the corner, The Lunatic Fringe side-steps out, rushes in with a forearm, looks to follow with a running bulldog, but gets pushed away. He charges back in at Baron and gets planted by Deep Six, rolls out under the bottom rope, Corbin goes after him, but Wyatt attacks from behind and hooks him for a uranage. The Lone Wolf blocks it and sends Bray face-first into Miz’s pod, drops him with a big boot, slams him into the floor with a modified STO, then heads back inside.
The Phenomenal One meets him with a flurry of right hands and hits the ropes, Corbin cuts him off with End Of Days, Cena quickly grabs Baron by the leg and slaps on the STF. The Lone Wolf powers out of it, plants the champion with End Of Days, Ambrose comes off the top with a dropkick, then clotheslines Baron over the top and drives him into the chain numerous times. The Lone wolf finally puts on the brakes and returns the favor, launches Dean face-first into the wall, rams him head-first into one of the pods, then sends him back in the ring. He powers The Lunatic Fringe over his shoulder, Ambrose slides out behind, hooks him for Dirty Deeds, Corbin blocks it, tries to drive him into the corner, Dean holds up from hitting the turnbuckles and catches him with a back elbow. Ambrose climbs to the top rope now, The Lone Wolf pushes him off, The Lunatic Fringe hits the chain link face-first and the last man enters the match.
The Miz is in no hurry to step out of his pod as Corbin is waiting for him, Dean grabs The Lone Wolf with a schoolboy from behind and gets the 1-2-3. Baron Corbin has been eliminated. Baron is less than pleased, bludgeons Ambrose from behind with a clothesline, throws him through the plastic of one of the pods, props him up against the chain link, then unloads with forearms to the back of the head. He tosses Dean in the ring, plants him with End Of Days, multiple referees come inside and The Lone Wolf finally leaves, Miz quickly stepping in the ring to pin Ambrose. Dean Ambrose has been eliminated.
The A-Lister points to the WrestleMania sign and mocks a “Yes” chant, drills Cena & Bray with his Yes Kicks, hits the ropes and takes them both down with a double dropkick. Styles steps back in the ring and Miz puts him in the corner for another barrage of kicks, Cena & Wyatt stagger to opposite corners, The A-Lister delivering running dropkicks to everyone in the ring and dumping Bray to the outside. He crushes the champion in the corner with an Awesome Clothesline, climbs to the top turnbuckle, The Eater of Worlds drags him down to the floor for a clothesline, Miz blocks it and plants him with a Skull Crushing Finale.
The A-Lister heads back up top for a crossbody to the champion, The Leader of the Cenation rolls through, powers him onto his shoulders for the Attitude Adjustment and ends his night. The Miz has been eliminated. Bray & AJ attack Cena from behind and put the boots to him, The New Face of Fear holds the champion up for AJ, The Phenomenal One scores with right hands, poses for the crowd and Wyatt clocks him with an uppercut. He looks for a running senton to Cena and misses, drops Styles with multiple shoulder tackles, delivers a spin-out back suplex, catches Bray with one for his troubles, then hits them both with a double 5 Knuckle Shuffle. He scores with an AA to Wyatt, powers The Phenomenal One up for one, AJ slips out of it, connects with the Styles Clash, but only gets a near fall.
AJ rolls out of the ring and measures for a Phenomenal Forearm, The Leader of the Cenation ducks under it, delivers the Attitude Adjustment, but Styles just barely kicks out at 2. The champion looks stunned, steps to the outside and climbs on top of a pod, jumps off with a crossbody to wipe-out Styles & Wyatt, all three guys now down. Cena staggers back to his feet, hauls Bray up for an AA, The Eater of Worlds slips out of it, scores with Sister Abigail and covers for the 1-2-3. John Cena has been eliminated. Styles pulls himself to his feet and charges out at Bray, gets clocked by a forearm, The New Face of Fear batters him with right hands to the back of the head, throws AJ into the corner and charges in, but gets cut off by a dropkick to the knee.
The Phenomenal One follows with a basement forearm for a count of 2, Bray Spider Crawls back to his feet, snatches Styles for Sister Abigail, AJ breaks free, rolls him up and gains a near fall. He quickly scores with the Phenomenal Blitz, Bray comes right back and turns him inside-out with a clothesline, hooks the leg, but can’t put it away yet. He pulls AJ up for a uranage, Styles battles out of it, clobbers him with a Pele Kick, hits the ropes for a shining wizard, then rolls outside and springboards in with a 450 splash. He hooks the leg and The New Face of Fear just kicks out at 2, The Phenomenal One rolls back outside, pulls his elbow pad off, springboards in for a Phenomenal Forearm, Bray catches him in the air, hits Sister Abigail and finishes it.
Winner and NEW WWE Champion: Bray Wyatt
- After The Bell: Randy Orton comes out to the stage and watches on as Bray celebrates the win.
- EA’s Take: What an amazing match, I think we just saw the best Chamber match in WWE history. I have to admit, at first when I saw the padding on the outside of the ring instead of the usual steel grating we had in the old chamber, I was not overly enthused. The participants completely made me forget about that very quickly however and it allowed them to do so much more with less risk of injury. I’ve called for so long to have Bray get his big moment and we finally saw it, but we also saw some other interesting things take place which will shape for WrestleMania such as Corbin & Ambrose. I dare RAW to follow that, but I just know they can’t.
EA’s Finisher: Obviously the namesake of this pay-per-view is the big standout of the evening, but we also had another great moment in Naomi finally getting her just due by becoming the SmackDown Women’s Champion. While I wouldn’t call the undercard poor by any means, I truly could have lived without the Handicap Match personally. I think the Tag Team Turmoil was highly entertaining and showed why SmackDown Tag Team Division is far superior to RAW, meanwhile the women showed they have a lot more depth on the blue brand, which is not news to anyone. Overall, a very entertaining event that I think RAW will really have a hard time following up at FastLane.
Top Three To Watch
1 – Elimination Chamber
2 – Luke Harper vs. Randy Orton
3 – Tag Team Turmoil
Chairshot Classics: WCW Halloween Havoc 1995 – There’s Nowhere To Hide!
Our weekly Chairshot Classics WCW PPV series continues with Halloween Havoc ’95!
Open: “Motown’s gone mad, Halloween Havoc is here. Two demons have emerged, The Giant who has a jones for destruction. WCW World Champion Hulk Hogan has crossed over to the dark side to take on eerie powers in their world. Shutter to think two monster trucks will collide and if survival is possible, they’ll square-off eye-to-eye in the fortress known as the ring. It will happen before your very eyes here at Halloween Havoc.”
Kobo Hall: On the roof, WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan & The Giant both get a feel for their monster trucks before tonight’s battle.
Video: At Fall Brawl, Johnny B. Badd won the right to face Sting for the WCW United States Championship, but when the moment arrived, Johnny was nowhere to be found. ‘Flyin’ Brian would get the opportunity instead, but at the end of the night Badd finally showed up, explaining he had a flat tire on the biggest day of his career. WCW World Television Champion Diamond Dallas Page would feel the need to rub it in Johnny’s face claiming he should have had the US Title shot, Max Muscle unknowingly admitting that they had something to do with Badd’s car problems.
Match #1 for the WCW World Television Championship: WCW World Television Champion Diamond Dallas Page w/The Diamond Doll & Max Muscle vs. Johnny B. Badd
Badd slides into the ring behind the champion while a stand-in walks down the ramp, Page is distracted and the challenger unloads with big right hands as the bell sounds. Johnny shoots DDP to the ropes for a kick to the midsection, follows up with a knee lift, whips the champion to the corner and Page spills over the top to the floor. Badd goes out in pursuit, thwarts off Max Muscle trying to get involved, drives him into the champion with a noggin knocker, then sends Page into the crowd with a big right.
Johnny steps over the barricade after him, deposits DDP into the steel barrier, clotheslines him back to ringside, gets his hands on a bucket and puts it over the champion’s head, then smacking it with an ear clap. He rolls Page into the ring, DDP catches him sliding in with clubbing blows, irish whip to the ropes is reversed, the challenger scores with a hip toss, follows with a drop toe hold and hooks in an armbar. The champion finds his footing, Badd switches to a wristlock, continues wrenching away at the left arm, but can’t break free. Dallas grabs a handful of hair and slams Johnny to the mat, the challenger kicks back up, returns the favor, then goes right back to the armbar.
DDP backs the challenger to the ropes, doesn’t break clean and buries a knee to the abdomen, irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Johnny ducks down for a back body drop, the champion leapfrogs over it, gets surprised by another hip toss and Badd covers for a count of 2. He quickly connects with a dropkick and corners Dallas, climbs to the 2nd rope to rain down fists, DDP powers him out, drops the challenger face-first on the top turnbuckle and takes control, taunting Johnny while delivering kicks to the breadbasket. He shoves the challenger to the corner and drives shoulders to the ribs, stomps on Badd’s fingers, scores with a knee drop for a 2 count, then shoots him sternum-first into the turnbuckles. Page plants Johnny with a back suplex, spikes him with the Diamond Clash, goes into a lateral press and again finds a count of 2.
The champion looks to grind Badd down now with a rear chinlock, the challenger makes it to a standing position, DDP rips him back down by the hair, covers for 2, then argues with the official about the count. He quickly slaps the rear chinlock back on, gets frustrated after getting another 2 count, sends Johnny to the ropes for a hip toss, the challenger blocks it for a backslide and gains a near fall. Both guys back up quick, Dallas levels Badd with a clothesline for 2, shoots him to the ropes for a back body drop, Johnny counters with a sunset flip, can’t bring the champion over and gets nailed by a right hand. DDP drops down on top to cover, Badd kicks out at 2, rolls Page up for a 2 count of his own, can’t capitalize and gets dropped by a big boot.
Page muscles him up for a powerslam and still can’t put it away, wants to wear him down some more with a rear chinlock, Johnny battles back to his feet, counters to a top wristlock, but Max reaches in to lend a hand, the champion driving Badd back down to the mat for a near fall. DDP instructs Max to climb onto the apron, the referee is distracted, the champion unravels his wrist tape, then proceeds to choke the life out of the challenger. The official turns back to the action and Page switches to the rear chinlock, the ref checks Badd’s arm, Johnny holds it up on the third attempt and fights to a vertical base, countering out with a top wristlock. Page calls for Max’s help again, can’t reach him and gets planted by a back suplex, DDP stumbles back to his feet, gets caught by a right hand, tripped up by a leg sweep, but quickly rocks Badd with a punch of his own.
He drags Johnny up for another that’s off-target, the challenger splits him with an inverted atomic drop, follows with an atomic drop and then unleashes a flurry of fists. He looks to send the champion to the ropes and Dallas reverses, Johnny surprises him with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors, ascends the corner to the top turnbuckle, connects with a double axe handle and almost finishes it off. He hooks DDP for a sit-out powerbomb and gets a near fall, shoots Page to the ropes, the champion spikes him with the Diamond Dream and both guys are down now. Dallas crawls into a lateral press for a count of 2, sets for the Diamond Cutter, Badd hangs onto the ropes to block it, tries a cover of his own, but still only finds a 2 count.
He tosses the champion into the corner, goes to the 2nd rope to fire away with punches, DDP tries to power him out, gets flipped over the top to the floor by a hurricanrana, Max coming around ringside to help him up. Johnny charges in and feigns an outside dive, instead flies over the top with the Badd Day, rolls Dallas back inside and heads to the apron, then slingshots in with a splash and nearly polishes Page off. Badd calls for the Tutti Frutti, Max climbs to the apron and hooks him by the arms, DDP looks to clock him with a fist, the challenger side-steps out of harm’s way, Page nearly hits Max, but instead holds up. Johnny with a dropkick from behind, Dallas gets knocked into Max to drop him to the floor, Badd with a schoolboy from behind and almost steals it.
DDP quickly grabs him by the trunks to dump him outside, Max looks to ram him into the ring post, Johnny pushes him off, climbs back inside and Max steps up after him. The champion grabs Badd from behind and holds him for Max, Page gets flattened by a clothesline as Johnny ducks, the challenger clocks Max with Tutti Frutti, makes a cover and we have a new champion.
Winner and NEW WCW World Television Champion: Johnny B. Badd (Outside Interference)
- EA’s Take: Solid opener tonight, Page really slowing down the action while Johnny picked up the pace when he was in control. A little silly that a clothesline from Max Muscle is what put Page away, but this is honestly about as good of in-ring work as we’ll get tonight. DDP was really starting to come into his own as a character and it was nearing the time for him to start losing the entourage, so the seeds had been planted already for dissension between The Diamond Doll (Kimberly) and Dallas, which will continue in the coming weeks.
Match #2: The Zodiac vs. ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage
The Zodiac stands on the 2nd rope facing the crowd as Savage enters the ring, Macho Man rips him down, the bell rings and Zodiac gets sent head-first into the top turnbuckle. Macho unloads with punches, rakes Zodiac’s face across the top rope, a fan jumps into the ring and the referee tackles him, the action spilling to the outside. Savage sends Zodiac head-first into the ring post and barricade multiple times, The Zodiac surprises him with an eye rake, then sends Macho Man shoulder-first into the steel post. He tosses Savage back into the squared circle, scoops him up for a body slam, The Zodiac climbs to the 2nd rope, comes off for a splash, but nobody’s home. Macho Man quickly heads upstairs, connects with the Flying Elbow Drop and that’s all she wrote.
Winner: ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage (Flying Elbow Drop)
- EA’s Take: Yikes, pretty quick one here that was only made even worse by that fan hopping the barricade. The most interesting part of this match was that Zodiac came out to the music that would later be used for Rey Mysterio. Hell, he got a bigger pop from the crowd than even Savage did during his entrance as he fought off security. This is your basic squash match as Macho Man lays waste to the cartoonish Zodiac in under two minutes and rightfully so. Initially, Savage’s opponent was supposed to be Kamala, but The Ugandan Giant had left the company after only getting a pay-per-appearance deal and never a full-time contract. Also, the stipulation here is that if Savage wins and Luger wins his match later, they’ll meet one-on-one tonight. I wonder what will happen?
Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund is in the locker room, plugs the WCW Hotline and teases Jimmy Hart recently speaking to a man he used to work with. Okerlund welcomes in WCW World Television Champion Johnny B. Badd, the new champion proclaiming there will be a celebration in the Motor City tonight. He speaks about how dreams can come true if you work hard, states he never gave up despite Diamond Dallas Page from Max Muscle and he plans on keeping the title for a long time.
Video: Back at Clash Of The Champions over the summer, Kurasawa viciously attacked Road Warrior Hawk’s arm, locking on the Kurasawa Crush and breaking it in the process.
Match #3: Kurasawa w/Col. Robert Parker vs. Road Warrior Hawk
The bell rings and Hawk immediately goes on the attack, clobbers Kurasawa with clubbing blows and chops, shoots him to the ropes and connects with a shoulder tackle. He cracks Kurasawa with a neckbreaker, follows with a fist drop for a count of 2, fires away with more stiff shots, then puts the boots to him. Hawk shoots him to the corner and charges in, Kurasawa side-steps out of harm’s way, Hawk goes shoulder-first into the ring post, absorbs it and peppers Kurasawa with big right hands. He muscles him up for a gutwrench suplex, plants him with a powerbomb, Parker distracts Hawk from the outside, Kurasawa rises back to his feet and ambushes him from behind.
He scoops Hawk up for a body slam and goes to the top rope for an elbow drop, Hawks avoids it, clotheslines Kurasawa to the outside, then steps out to the apron. He flies off with a clothesline to Parker, Kurasawa sends Hawk head-first into the ring post, rolls him into the squared circle, launches him with a back body drop, then hits a samoan drop. He goes into a cover and puts his feet on the ropes for leverage, Parker holds Kurasawa’s feet in place, the official doesn’t see it and makes the 3 count.
Winner: Kurasawa (Samoan Drop)
- EA’s Take: Alrighty then, I definitely did not see that coming. Hawk has been on his own for a bit now as Animal continues to rest up a back injury, so it seems like Hawk has just been floating around with not much to do. There was supposed to be a good feud here, but Hawk had been legitimately injured, leading to the angle where Kurasawa “broke his arm”. To sum it up, boring match, boring storyline.
Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene is back in the locker room with ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, Macho saying there’s one down and one to go, reminding us he beat The Zodiac with no problem. Savage states he heard what Hulk Hogan recently said about him, says that he and Hogan are friends until the meet in the ring, claiming he can beat Hulk anytime. He talks about his curiosity to see what will happen tonight in the Monster Truck battle, warning he will be watching very closely.
Match #4: Mr. J.L. vs. Sabu w/The Sheik
Sabu slides right in and ambushes JL, blocks a kick, JL comes back with an enzuigiri and Sabu spills outside as the bell rings. JL slides to the outside in what looks to be a botched spot, Sabu drives him into the barricade, climbs to the apron, springs off the 2nd rope with a moonsault, taking out JL and The Sheik. Sabu lines JL up, leaps off the stairs for a crossbody, JL avoids it, climbs to the top turnbuckle and flies to the floor with a crossbody of his own. He sends Sabu back inside, Sabu surprises him with a kick to the abdomen, whips him to the corner, charges in and JL elevates him up. Sabu lands on his feet on the top rope, comes off with a moonsault that misses, JL heads upstairs for one of his own and gains a count of 2.
He delivers a sit-out powerbomb for another 2 count, sends him to the corner and rushes in with a dropkick, Sabu side-steps it, steps out to the apron and slingshots in with a somersault leg drop for a near fall. He ascends the corner back up top, JL clubs him across the back, pulls him down for a bridging german suplex, but Sabu kicks out at 2. JL looks to the high-rent district now, Sabu clocks him with an uppercut, climbs up for a super victory roll, hooks both legs, but still can’t put it away. Sabu scales the corner again, JL springs off the 2nd rope with a dropkick, sends Sabu spilling to the floor, but can’t capitalize. Sabu climbs to the apron and buries a shoulder to the breadbasket, drops JL throat-first across the top rope, steps inside, hits the Arabian Press and gets the win.
Winner: Sabu (Arabian Press)
- After The Bell: The Sheik lights is trademark fireball and throws it in JL’s face for good measure.
- EA’s Take: No selling, no pacing, no storyline…brutal. If you unmasked JL and gave these guys ten more minutes, you may have had something, but obviously this wasn’t the case. After being fired from ECW, Sabu arrived in WCW just over a month prior, however it was very short-lived and this would be his only PPV appearance before heading back to ECW just a couple of weeks later. JL is also a newcomer to WCW, who would be better known as Jerry Lynn in the future, but for the time being he would work under a mask as one of the lower-tier Cruiserweight competitiors until 1997.
In The Arena: The Master & The Taskmaster are on the stage for The Master’s Lair, The Master speaks about the moon falling over Detroit, claims the stars are lined up and the Milky Way is ready for The Taskmaster. He speaks about it being the start of a new day from China to the USA, believes there will be an eclipse of the sun and The Taskmaster will walk upon the galaxy as The Giant destroys Hulkamania with The Yeti as their back-up plan. The Taskmaster says that a giant will lead them into the next century, claims that when Hulk Hogan dawned black attire it pulled the evil out of him, warning that Hogan doesn’t have anyone to watch his back tonight.
Backstage: Gene Okerlund is standing by in the locker room with WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan & Jimmy Hart, the Hulkster joined by the winners of WCW’s Harley Davidson Sweepstakes. Hogan says it was important for him to be on a roll going into tonight, thinks giving this Harley away will give him the extra edge he needs, then offers up some extra custom work. The winners are presented with some t-shirts, Hulk speaks about The Giant running over his Harley recently and looks to return the favor.
Match #5: Meng w/The Taskmaster vs. Lex Luger
Luger wastes no time and fires away with fists at the bell, rams Meng head-first into the top turnbuckle numerous times, then grabs a side headlock. Meng pushes Lex off to the ropes, drops down, Luger grabs him by the legs, buries a stomp to the abdomen, then catapults him face-first into the top turnbuckle. He rakes Meng’s eyes across the top rope, Meng begins to battle back with kicks and chops, drives The Total Package face-first off the top turnbuckle, then looks to send him to the ropes. Luger reverses for a back body drop, Meng catches him with a kick, utilizes a small package for a quick 2 count, then unloads with shots across the back.
He tries to send Lex face-first back into the top turnbuckle, The Total Package blocks it, returns the favor, irish whip to the opposite corner is reversed, Meng charges in and meets a boot to the chin. Luger clotheslines him over the top to the floor, The Taskmaster helps Meng to his feet, Lex comes outside from behind, ramming Meng shoulder-first into the steel post. Lex rolls him back inside, climbs to the apron and drops the arm down across the top rope, climbs into the squared circle and Meng surprises him with shots to the ribs. Meng sinks his teeth into The Total Package’s nose, Luger starts fighting back with stiff right hands, shoots him to the corner and rushes in, but nobody’s home.
Meng measures for a clothesline that’s off-target, Lex powers him up for a back suplex, Meng switches his weight, falls on top and gets a count of 2. He puts the boots to The Total Package, scoops him up for a shoulder breaker, corners him and wrenches the right arm up in the ropes. He buries boots into the breadbasket, chokes Luger with his foot, spikes Lex with a piledriver and goes into a lateral press for a near fall. Meng quickly applies a choke, slaps on a rear chinlock to wear Luger down, The Total Package works his way back to his feet, hits the ropes for a clothesline, Meng ducks under it, both guys go for a crossbody and collide, Lex landing on top for a 2 count. Both guys back up quick and Meng goes to the ribs with a kick, plants Luger with a back suplex for a count of 2, deposits him out of the ring and The Taskmaster stands over Lex to have some words.
The Total Package tries to crawl back into the squared circle, Meng continually kicks him back down, Luger finally rolls back in and Meng keeps up the punishment with stomps. Lex catches Meng with shoulders to the abdomen and gets raked in the eyes, dishes out more shots across the back, sends The Total Package to the ropes for a dropkick, but Lex hangs onto the ropes to avoid it. Meng staggers to his feet and charges, Luger elevates him over the top, Meng hangs onto the apron, hooks The Total Package for a suplex to the floor, but Lex blocks and brings him in with a suplex of his own. He can’t capitalize and Meng shoots him to the ropes for a back body drop, Luger avoids it with a kick, tries taking him off his feet with multiple clotheslines, finally does it, then sends him to the ropes for a back body drop off of his own.
He measures Meng for more clotheslines, sends him to the ropes for a powerslam, calls for the Torture Rack, but Meng reaches into his boot for the gold spike. He surprises Lex with the gold spike to the throat, hooks the leg, The Taskmaster steps into the ring, kicks Luger and the referee calls for the bell.
Winner: Lex Luger (Disqualification)
- After The Bell: Meng gets angered and shoves The Taskmaster, Sullivan trying to explain that now Luger will have to face Macho Man.
- EA’s Take: Not a bad match, but again, nothing overly exciting or entertaining. Since returning to WCW just over a month prior, Luger has been in a tweener state and a teased member of The Dungeon Of Doom. Thus, further explaining The Taskmaster’s interference. This was a strange time for Lex, as the fans didn’t really want to boo him at the time, however WCW was trying to lay some ground work for a big match-up with Hulk Hogan that would never really come to pass. Despite the tension between Meng & Sullivan, nothing would come of it and Meng would go on to become more of a tag team competitor alongside The Barbarian as The Faces Of Fear.
Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene is joined by The Giant in the locker room, The Giant saying that if Hulk Hogan has the courage to show up for their Monster Truck battle, the roof won’t be big enough for the both of them. He states he will push the Hulkster right off of the building, then plans on Chokeslamming him through the floor to become the WCW World Heavyweight Champion.
Match #6: The Four Horsemen (Arn Anderson & ‘Flyin’ Brian) vs. WCW United States Champion Sting & ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair
Sting comes out on his own after Flair was ambushed earlier in the night by an unknown assailant. Double-A will kick things off, has some words for the Stinger and they lock-up, Anderson working to a hammerlock. The champion counters to one of his own and Arn reaches for the ropes to get the break, the fans chant “We Want Flair” they go in for another collar & elbow and Anderson goes to the midsection with a knee. He slaps on a full nelson, Sting kicks Pillman off the apron and reverses to one of his own, Double-A tries to scale the ropes with his feet, but the champion releases him and he falls to the mat.
Anderson rolls to the floor to regroup, steps back into the squared circle and the “We Want Flair” chants break out again, he locks-up with Sting, then goes to a wristlock and rips him down by the hair. The Stinger kips right back up and shoots Arn off to the ropes, gets knocked down by a shoulder block, Double-A goes back into the ropes, the champion leapfrogs over, then goes to the breadbasket with a kick. He hits the ropes and plants him with a facebuster, Flyin’ Brian comes in to help out, Sting thwarts both of the Horsemen off and clears the ring, Anderson & Pillman having a conference on the outside. Double-A rolls in and tags out, Pillman into the collar & elbow tie-up, the Stinger backs him to the ropes, Flyin’ Brian slaps him across the face off the break, then ducks to the floor to retreat.
The champion heads out in pursuit, Arn lays in wait around ringside for a clothesline, Sting ducks it, levels him with a clothesline of his own, then flattens Pillman with another. Flyin’ Brian takes a walk before heading back inside, he offers Sting a handshake, the champion accepts it, goes to the ribs with a kick, then powers him up for a military press slam. Pillman crawls away and makes a tag, Double-A cautiously steps in, has some words for the Stinger and then convenes with Flyin’ Brian. He avoids a lock-up with a boot to the breadbasket, clobbers the champion to the mat with double axe handles, picks him up for a piledriver and Flyin’ Brian climbs to the top rope. Sting blocks it, takes Arn down with a double leg, catapults him into Pillman and Flyin’ Brian gets crotched on the top turnbuckle.
The champion drops Anderson with a back elbow, steps to the apron, launches Pillman off the top down into the guardrail, then turns back to Double-A and peppers him with right hands. Arn sneaks in a thumb to the eye to stop the onslaught, unknowingly drives Sting head-first off Pillman’s skull in the corner, whips the champion to the ropes and buries a fist into the abdomen. ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair finally sprints down to the ring in street clothes, nearly runs over the official trying to get a piece of Anderson, but the ref works him over to his corner. Double-A deposits the Stinger to the outside, Flyin’ Brian goes to work behind the referee’s back, the champion staggers back inside and Arn puts the boots to him, then chokes Sting with the bottom of his foot.
Tag to Flyin’ Brian, he fires away with stinging chops in the corner, the Stinger begins to battle back with shots of his own, Pillman catches him with a drop toe hold, then reaches for the tag. The Enforcer continues the punishment by choking with his knee, grounds Sting with a rear chinlock, Flair gets tired of waiting and comes in with one of his shoes in his hand, the official cuts him off and Arn scoops the Stinger up for a body slam. He makes a tag and Flyin’ Brian heads upstairs, Double-A launches him off the top for a splash, Sting gets the knees up to avoid it, but Pillman tags out before he can reach Flair. Anderson plants the champion with a back suplex for a count of 2, he locks knuckles with Sting to try and hold him down, tries dropping down onto the Stinger, but he gets the knees up again.
The champion reaches for his corner and The Enforcer grabs him by the foot, Pillman drops off the apron, goes around ringside and baits Flair off the apron, The Nature Boy chasing him around ringside before order is restored. Double-A hooks Sting in an abdominal stretch, uses Flyin’ Brian for extra leverage out of the official’s sight, tags out and Pillman grinds the champion face-first into the canvas. He mocks Flair and fires off a chop to the chest, bites the Stinger across the nose, bludgeons him with heavy right hands, then snapmares him over for a single-leg crab. He uses The Enforcer to apply more pressure, Flair comes in to distract the referee, Flyin’ Brian and Anderson swap out, Double-A locking on a modified camel clutch.
He releases it and buries a boot to the spine, brings Pillman back in, Flyin’ Brian delivers a kick to the ribs, covers and only gets a 2 count. Tag back to Anderson, Arn goes to the midsection with a barrage of punches, The Nature Boy jumps into the ring to stop a 2-on-1 assault, the Stinger begins battling back, irish whip to the ropes is reversed and Double-A delivers a spinebuster for a near fall. Pillman reaches for the tag, targets the left knee with an elbow drop, slaps on a heel hold, brings The Enforcer back in for a wishbone, then Anderson goes to a heel hold of his own. Sting digs deep and starts crawling towards his corner, Arn buries knees into the back to put a stop to it, locks on a bearhug to wear him down further and the official has to check the arm.
The champion keeps it up on the third attempt, breaks free after an ear clap, Arn hooks him by the legs, reaches for Pillman and Flyin’ Brian cuts the Stinger off with an elbow drop. He chokes the champion, drags him up in the corner for heavy chops, snapmares him over and goes to a seated abdominal stretch. Sting starts working to his feet and Flyin’ Brian drives him head-first off the top turnbuckle, The Horsemen go on the attack, the champion fights his way out of the wrong part of town, but Pillman goes to the eyes. He brings Sting back to the corner, the Stinger rams Flyin’ Brian head-first into Anderson, finally reaches his corner and makes a tag. The Nature Boy steps in, hits the ropes, blasts Sting with a big right hand, then puts the boots to him with The Horsemen and the ref calls for the bell.
Winners: Sting & ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair (Disqualification)
- After The Bell: Flair, Anderson & Pillman work the champion over with an assault of punches and chops, put the boots to him and another official runs down to try and stop them unsuccessfully. ‘Mean’ Gene waits on the stage to speak with The Horsemen, plugs the WCW Hotline to kill time first, Flair takes the mic and proclaims that it’s now time to go to school. The Nature Boy says the first thing you’ll learn is not to jump on Double-A and secondly, you don’t play around with Flyin’ Brian. Flair states that thirdly you don’t mess with him and fourth you don’t breathe unless The Horsemen allow you to, Anderson saying everyone who asked for it now has it and needs to deal with. The Nature Boy exclaims they are reunited and it feels so good.
- EA’s Take: Beautifully put together swerve here after Flair and Anderson had been separated for a number of weeks now. Pillman was also just getting into his ‘Loose Cannon’ persona at this time too, which was very groundbreaking and left viewers, as well as the boys in the back wondering if he had legitimately lost his mind. Classic tactics during the match from two excellent tag team performers as well prior to Flair’s big turn, then of course you have Sting pulling off his babyface role perfectly. Overall a lot to like about this one.
Backstage: Mike Tenay is standing by with Lex Luger, The Total Package thinks there are forces at work here in WCW besides Sting who want him to face ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage. Luger says he can’t figure out why just yet, but when he hears the bell ring it’s time for the big boys to play and he will be victorious. Lex claims he knows Savage is in cahoots with Hulk Hogan, but it doesn’t matter because he will be the greatest wrestler WCW has ever seen, making an example of Macho Man.
Video: WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan knows the wrath of The Giant all too well by now, as we take a look at their history beginning with The Giant throwing a t-shirt of his father, Andre The Giant, into the champion’s face. He would continue to target the Hulkster, even nearly running him over with a monster truck, but destroying Hogan’s Harley Davidson in the process. The champion would announce his intentions to have his own monster truck built, however The Giant would continue to dominate him with help from The Taskmaster and the Dungeon Of Doom, even laying him out to shave Hulk’s mustache. This would lead Hogan to turn to a darker side of himself, showing he be as dastardly as anyone in the Dungeon Of Doom. The Master would notice this change in the champion, revealing he has an insurance policy of his own in The Yeti.
Match #7 is a Monster Truck Match: The Giant vs. WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan
Eric Bischoff & Bob Chandler join Heenan for commentary, as we go to the rooftop of Kobo Hall. Hogan and Giant are face-to-face as the rules are explained, as you must get all four of your opponents tires outside of the circle to win, but there are also two explosives charges randomly placed within it. They weld the front bumpers together, the engines fire up and we’re ready to go, Hogan and The Giant forcing each other back-and-forth around the circle. The Hulkster gets pushed through the circle, but only two wheels break the line and they continue jockeying back-and-forth. Hogan gets pushed back through the circle again, one of the charges explodes, the champion forces his way back into the circle and avoids getting knocked out. He battles back, forces The Giant backwards all the way through the circle and gets the victory.
Winner: Hulk Hogan
- After The Bell: The Giant steps out fuming and stalks the Hulkster near the edge of the roof, misses a double axe handle, but grabs Hogan by the throat and powers him into the air. They steps up to the ledge, the champion breaks free, Giant loses his balance and falls backwards off the roof.
- EA’s Take: So…they killed a guy? It was very strange covering a Monster Truck Match for one and while I give bonus points for trying to be creative, this was as unexciting as it reads. Then to finish it off, The Giant falls off the roof of an arena? Honestly, who thought this was a good idea?
Match #8: Lex Luger vs. ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage
The bell rings and the two men exchange some words, Luger offers a handshake, but Savage suckers him with a fist. He rams Lex head-first into the top turnbuckle and whips him to the corner, The Total Package rebounds out with a clothesline, then rams Macho Man face-first into the turnbuckle. Jimmy Hart makes his way down to ringside, Luger puts the boots to Savage in the corner, chokes him with his foot and the official forces a break. Lex batters Macho Man with punches, clubs him with a double axe handle, buries a kick to the chest and then chokes him over the top rope. He taunts Savage to get back up, Macho Man starts fighting back, The Total Package rocks him with a forearm, deposits him to the outside, Savage tries to crawl back up to the apron and Lex kicks him to the floor.
He steps out to the apron and comes off with a double axe handle, looks to send him head-first into the barricade, Macho Man blocks it, returns the face, then rams Luger face-first off the steps. He sends The Total Package back into the guardrail multiple times, throws him back inside, steps in and clocks Lex from behind with a clothesline. Savage ascends the corner and flies off with a double axe handle, Luger catches him in the abdomen with a right hand, Jimmy Hart climbs on the apron and distract the official, Lex tries to whip Macho Man into the corner, but it’s reversed. Savage rushes in and eats a knee to the jaw, The Total Package makes a cover, the ref is still dealing with Jimmy, he hauls Macho Man up to shoot him to the ropes, Savage reverses and Lex collides with Hart to send him to the floor. Savage quickly climbs to the top rope, connects with the Flying Elbow Drop and gets the 1-2-3.
Winner: ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage (Top Rope Elbow Drop)
- EA’s Take: Another quick one with very unusual circumstances if you weren’t keeping up on Monday Nitro. They were really beginning to pit Luger and Sting to a certain extent up against Hogan & Savage, a bit of reality meets fiction played out on television. We will see more of Lex tonight though to further explain the situation.
Match #9 for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship: WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan w/Jimmy Hart vs. The Giant w/The Taskmaster
Hogan takes a microphone and explains that what happened earlier tonight wasn’t supposed to be, apologizes and says there was a terrible accident. Music hits and The Giant & The Taskmaster march to the squared circle. Giant chases Hulk out of the ring, the champion steps in, shreds his shirt and we’re underway. The champion peels off his bandana and reveals paint like The Taskmaster, The Giant charges in, Hogan side-steps him and unloads with big punches. The challenger absorbs them, the Hulkster hits the ropes for more fists, staggers the big man, then attempts a body slam. The Giant blocks it and clobbers him across the back, whips Hogan into the corner, then scores with a boot off the rebound.
He continues hammering the champion with shots to the spine, delivers big chops in the corner, chokes the Hulkster, then whips him to the opposite corner. Giant buries a boot to the breadbasket off the rebound, locks knuckles with the champion and powers him down to his knees, Hulk muscles his way to his feet, but the challenger goes back to the midsection with a kick. He whips Hogan to the ropes for a back elbow, scoops him up for a body slam, The Giant hits the ropes for a leg drop, but it’s off-target. The Hulkster gets a rush of adrenaline and fires away with fists, drives the challenger head-first into the top turnbuckle multiple times, corners him, then climbs to the 2nd rope to rain down rights. He rakes Giant across the back, sends him to the corner and follows in with a clothesline, shoots him to the ropes for a clothesline and the big man only staggers.
Hogan makes him stumble with a second clothesline, dumps him over the top with a third, The Taskmaster helps The Giant to his feet and they start to walk off to the back. The champion climbs outside and chases them down, delivers a double noggin knocker, sends The Giant into the squared circle, roll in and pokes him in the eyes multiple times. The Hulkster batters him with punches, hits the ropes for a shoulder block, still can’t bring the challenger down with another, goes back to the well again and Giant grabs him for a Chokeslam. Hogan rakes the eyes to escape it, chokes him against the ropes, The Giant goes to the eyes to stop the onslaught, whips him to the ropes and cracks the champion with a backbreaker.
The challenger goes into a lateral press for a count of 2, pummels Hulk across the back, sends him to the ropes and locks on a bearhug to wear him down. The Hulkster fights his way free, can’t capitalize and gets clubbed across the spine, The Giant delivers another body slam, then goes right back to the bearhug. Hulk begins to fade away and the ref checks the arm, the champion keeps it up on the third attempt, breaks the grip with heavy right hands, hits the ropes and gets planted by a Chokeslam. The Giant makes the cover, Hogan powers out of it, begins Hulking up and absorbs a number of shots. He blocks one, delivers a series of punches, whips The Giant to the ropes for a big boot, but the big man stays on his feet. The Hulkster calls for a body slam, rakes the eyes and scoops Giant up for the slam, hits the ropes to deliver the Leg Drop and covers, but Jimmy Hart nails the official to stop the count.
Hogan doesn’t know what happened, Jimmy steps inside and helps him pick the referee up, Hulk turns back to the challenger and Jimmy shoves the official to the mat. He picks up the WCW Title, clocks the champion from behind, the Hulkster absorbs it, gets his hands on Jimmy, but The Giant grabs him in a bearhug. The Taskmaster steps in and fires away at the champion’s back, ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage & Lex Luger run down to the ring to make the save, but Luger turns on Savage and puts the boots to him. The Yeti marches down to the squared circle, wraps his arm around both Giant & Hogan, squeezing the champion in between the two big men. They put the Hulkster out, The Total Package powers him up in the Torture Rack, Yeti & Giant put Macho Man in their double bearhug, Luger following with another Torture Rack.
Winner: The Giant (Disqualification)
- After The Bell: The Giant grabs the World Title, raises it in the air and leaves with it.
- EA’s Take: So much bad to talk about here. The match was at least watchable thanks to Hogan, as this was The Giant’s first match, so he’s obviously greener than Kermit The Frog. A couple of spots it was very clear that he was ducking in to get the call from Hulk, but you could definitely see the potential there with him. I always found it absurd they claimed he was the son of Andre The Giant, but with everything else going on in the Dungeon Of Doom it wasn’t bad by comparison, specifically like The Yeti. This gimmick was so bad that it wasn’t even good enough for the Dungeon Of Doom, as he would only make three appearances before being repackaged later on (We will see him again, just not wrapped in toilet paper). Luger finally turns on Hulk and officially joins the Dungeon, plus Jimmy Hart swerves Hogan with it being revealed the next night on Nitro he had a clause in the contract stating the title would change hands by DQ. Therefore, The Giant wins the World Title in his very first match against the all-black Hogan, giving us a preview of things to come.
EA’s Finisher: No matter how you slice it, this event will always infamously be known for the Monster Truck Match, The Giant falling off of a rooftop and the debut of The Yeti…and not for good reasons. If you can look past those mishaps, the rest of the card wasn’t as bad as it seems aside from a couple. I thought the turn of Ric Flair on Sting was magnificently executed, Diamond Dallas Page and Johnny B. Badd showed what WCW’s up-and-coming stars can do, plus it is still the debut of a future Hall Of Famer in The Giant, even if it was rough. So whether you watch this for its comically epic failures, you can still find a couple of hidden gems in here. Basically, what I’m saying is if I didn’t have to pick three for the ‘3 On Top’, then I’d only choose two this time around.
Top Three To Watch
1 – Diamond Dallas Page vs. Johnny B. Badd
2 – Sting & Ric Flair vs. Arn Anderson & Flyin’ Brian
3 – Lex Luger vs. Meng