It delights me to no end that I’m able, in 2016, to post a review of a WCW C-level show from 1997, featuring the re-emergence of a relatively unknown lower card player from the mid 80’s NWA (dressed in his much less famous ridiculous costume), and have you at full attention.
Mr Money On The Table: Lasertron....fucking Lasertron. In 1997! Wow. I used to like him a lot in 1987. Not because of his wrestling skills or anything but because just like three year old me, he played Lazer Tag too.
Bettis: In 1997 we still have Bunkhouse Buck, Col Parker, and the reemergence of Lasertron from a 10 year hiatus? Love it.
BigDaddyLoco: Reading through this I really thought Top Gun vs Braun Strowman would be a match that I needed to see, but then Lasertron walked into my life and I am now torn.
Guys, as much as we all want to believe this is the start of something special, given we all share fond memories of Lasertron and … whatever the hell it is Lasertron represents, I’m sad to inform you that to the best of my (and Wikipedia’s) knowledge, this is a one and done. We’re going to see Guerrero again, and if it turns out that another Lasertron appearance sneaks its way in via Worldwide or the re-emergence of WCW Prime then we’ll celebrate with laser pointers and corrective vision surgery, but old Hector wasn’t a big fan of WCW management and wasn’t prepared to sign on longterm with a group he didn’t respect. Unlike, say, Lanny Poffo, Hector still had his pride.
We’ve managed to put together the last of the missing WCW puzzle pieces, and effective immediately, WCW Pro has been added to the rotation! I know it’s been a wild journey, and keeping this historical perspective in check while missing out on this critical staple has been challenging – but I now proudly sport the entire 1997 WCW collection from top to bottom.
CHRIS CRUISE lives! Smartly, WCW has kept him with DUSTY RHODES, and just to add to the car wreck, they’ve tossed in LARRY ZBYSZKO for good measure. Yes, a program being watched closely by several families in the mid Carolina region somehow has the budget for three announcers. I miss everything about the WCW experience.
HUGH MORRUS (9-3-0) vs. HARDBODY HARRIS (0-0-0)
Hardbody Harris (or Harrison, depending on the week) is often confused with Hardwork Bobby Walker for god knows what reason, but Harris is the one we’ve been waiting for. Currently serving time for human trafficking (pimpin’ ain’t easy!), Harris was detailed in Chris Jericho’s first book as basically being the most delusional person in a company that was top heavy in that department. Desperate for TV time, he pitched a ton of ridiculous ideas at the wall, with two standing out. First, he wanted to feud with Sting. Hey, if you’re gonna make a play, go for the top guy, and that’s a fine place to start. However, his story was that he was going to paint his face black and call himself Stang. I love the idea of Hardbody banging out a few extra reps in front of a body length mirror, and convincing himself “Stang is money”.
When that was thrown into the reject pile (later Vince Russo’s office), a never dejected Hardbody went to work on his next idea, and this one couldn’t miss. He was going to feud with the red-hot DDP, and to do that, he’d start by stealing DDP’s crystal ball. What crystal ball? Oh, the crystal ball DDP was going to start carrying to the ring because of Reasons. This crystal ball was going to mean more to Page than the urn to Undertaker, and Hardbody would taunt him with it right through to their inevitable record breaking pay-per-view showdown. It was at this point, Harris would take the crystal ball, and throw it into a piranha tank! DDP, realizing he had only one choice, would dive in after the crystal ball, and be eaten by piranhas.
How none of this was green lit I’ll never know (though he probably should have pitched that during the DDP angle he’d have been Stang), but Hardbody Harris is going to live in infamy for all the right reasons between now and the end of this match. Which, unfortunately comes fairly quickly, cuz we’re in the midst of a 5-year push for Morrus where he dominates jobbers but never does anything to warrant a higher or lower place on the card, and in usual Morrus fashion, he wins with No Laughing Matter at 3:18 while cackling all the way back to the Dungeon of Doom which is somehow still a thing. Match highlight: Cruise gushing over Harris’ body. 1/2*
BUNKHOUSE BUCK and MIKE ENOS (0-1-0) vs. SOUTHERN POSSE (0-1-0)
To this point I’ve completely ignored Cruise hyping the “return” of a former tag-team champion tonight, but it turns out he was referring to Bunkhouse Buck – who I’d be far more shocked to see if he hadn’t appeared on WCW television as recently as 16 hours ago. In fact, the Southern Posse are the more unlikely pair to appear, last wrestling together on the 01/05 Worldwide – though both Trout and Thames have worked as singles since then.
Still, they work like a well oiled machine for about 30 seconds, working over Buck with a series of quick tags and strong punches, but a boot from Buck turns the momentum over for good. Cruise talks about the great teamwork of Buck and Enos, because they successfully performed the dreaded double … Irish whip. Enos nails a neckbreaker, setting Buck up to knock out the opposition with his violent musk - a lethal combination of moonshine, campfire smoke, and the leftover glow from fully clothed high cardio sex in a canvas tent in the 100-degree midday sun. Enos finishes with the electric chair at 2:51. DUD
BILLY KIDMAN (2-4-0) vs. MR. JL (0-8-0)
JL might not have any wins this year, but it doesn’t matter because … HE’S A GROWLER! Whatever that means! He’s actually 1-1 without the hood, but I guess he’s more interested in keeping his identity a hot secret, so the lucha outfit stays. Kidman goes for a tornado bulldog, but JL tosses him aside with a little bit of force, and Kidman hits the deck to catch his breath. JL doesn’t let up, hitting a plancha off the buckle to the floor, and heads in to finish. Unfortunately, he misses the dive, and that lets Kidman head up – but a well timed dropkick stops Kidman in mid-air and JL’s back in command. JL sets Kidman up in the corner, snaps off a DDT from the top rope … and scores the unlikeliest of pinfalls at 2:18! Dusty points out this is a fairly significant upset which both the other guys blow off, meaning Rhodes is the smartest guy in the booth. Jesus Christ, we’re in BIG trouble. *
VILLANO 4 (1-2-0) vs. KONAN (with Jimmy Hart) (6-4-1)
Apparently this match was recorded back in the dark ages, because Cruise starts discussing the fact that this weekend is the 50th anniversary of women having the vote, which sparks a debate in the booth somehow. I won’t give away the identity of the misogynist who, in 1997, is arguing that women need to have their right to vote taken away, but his name rhymes with Barry Nabisco. I’d say more, but Konan takes care of business like a woman in the kitchen (AMIRITE) with the double leg slam and 187 at 2:01.
THE ULTIMATE DRAGON (9-1-0) (with Sonny Onoo) vs. GLACIER (3-0-0)
Holy major matchup – where the heck are my clear cut underdog bottom licking $25 rent-a-jobbers? Glacier even gets his full 74-minute entrance. I’m … genuinely intrigued by this because I can’t for the life of me figure out what the bookers are going to do here. Is this where they pull the plug on the Glacier experiment, or do they actually have the cojones to job out one of the Cruiserweight division’s genuine jewels on their 4th most important television show. Both guys trade martial arts move, ducking and dodging away until Glacier connects on an enzuigiri and bounces around like he’s Brock Lesnar. Where the heck has this guy been? Dragon fires back with some brutal kicks, and locks on a sleeper. Glacier gets to the ropes, so Dragon chops him down and then hits an enzuigiri of his own for 2! Glacier gets up and hits a tilt-a-whirl slam, but Onoo trips him up and Dragon knocks him to the floor. Onoo starts launching a nuclear assault with the karate kicks (which are no-sold), and the referee immediately calls for a DQ at 2:04, as Glacier grabs Onoo by the throat. Dragon saves, and Onoo tries to steal the 4000-year old helmet – but Glacier rushes him, and Onoo tosses it back instead of eating the fist buffet coming his way and beats the hell out of dodge. This entire segment was perversely entertaining, and brilliantly done to save face for both guys.