Lt. Loco vs. Juventud Guerrera
Cruiserweight Title Match
Holy hell, the cruisers are jerking the curtain again! It's good to see Juvi back, but 'The Juice' persona isn't cute anymore. Perhaps if he makes the big jump to the WWF and picks up a quick feud with the Rock over it, I'll be pleased.. but until then, enough's enough. It's painfully obvious how much he hates his current role with WCW, and I hope a good PPV matchup isn't too much to ask of him these days. If we get more than 5 here, with as little mention of the rest of the card as possible along the way, it'll be enough to make me smile. Even though he's leaving the fed rather soon, another reign as cruiserweight champ isn't totally out of line for Guerrera at this point. It's the logical way to continue the silly little Filthy Animals / Misfits feud, so I'll go with the upset title change.
Big Vito vs. Terry Funk (Replacing Johnny The Bull)
Hardcore Title Match
We'll see a garbage can somewhere in this match. Big Vito and Johnny the Bull have, surprisingly, built a small little empire all to themselves in the hardcore division. Their matches have been really pretty good, especially when contrasted with the arse they've been surrounded with. Both will bump to the level that fans demand in such a division (Vito's tornado DDT through a table a couple weeks back was absolutely vicious), and have more than a little athletic talent of their own. I'll go ahead and don this the sleeper match of the show, since expectations are already up for Booker / Kanyon and, to a lesser extent, Juvi / Lash. Keep your eyes on these guys.
Winner: Big Vito
Ms. Hancock vs. Daffney
Wedding Gown Match
Back in 1997, my first year in the dorms, one man defined a sort of tradition that would hold strong every weekday for the rest of the year. Sometime between 8 and 9 am every morning, he'd rise from his slumber, throw his windows open and scream "Poop and booooobs!!". It was great. Give these two some poop to wrestle in, and you'll have one satisfied customer. You've gotta start somewhere.
Winner: Daphne, because I find her strangely cuter than Ms. Hancock
Vampiro vs. The Demon
Hoooo boy. As if the stank of the Demon wasn't bad enough, they go ahead and toss Ass-yuh into the mix. It could be worse; the Black Scorpion could make a surprise appearance, with Yellow Dog and the Midnight Rider by his side. I can't blame Vamp for signing a recording contract this past week, because his future in the ring doesn't quite look as bright as it did only months ago. I'm taking the Demon. Because WCW is stupid.
Winner: The Demon
The Perfect Event vs. Kronic
Tag Team Title Match
You know, nothing embodies WCW's woes quite like their tag team champions. Here stand two rookies, green as can be, that should be paying their dues early and learning the fundamentals of the business from the old pros. Instead, the elders are more concerned with their own re-elevation, and have taught the new crop all the wrong lessons. WCW officials, instead of putting a stop to the problems before they start, have rewarded the new kids for this kind of behavior with golden belts. Is it really that difficult to realize from where the problems are emanating? Yikes. I'll take the champs to retain, as half of Kronik is rumored to be headed out for back surgery soon.
Winners: The Perfect Event
Buff Bagwell vs. "The Franchise" Shane Douglas
Apparently, in the eyes of WCW officials, Buff Bagwell will never go too far. You'll excuse me, but if someone as talentless as Bagwell were under my watch.. stroking the ego, publicly bashing the product and attacking and / or threatening the men and women who make him look good from behind the curtains, well.. he'd be jobbed out so fast nobody would remember his name. Tell me the WWF has interest in this clown, and I'll tell you how full of shit the notion is. In the modern regime of WCW, however, he's near the top of the card only days after a confrontation with Terry Taylor backstage. What a wonderful life he must lead. While Douglas isn't much cleaner game, he's earned my respect after showing a willingness to improve WCW as a whole takes precedence over a desire to boost his own career. Where the end result's concerned, I really don't care. They were a tag team, they split, hoo hah. I'll go with Douglas, because that's the way things should be..
Winner: Shane Douglas
"Positively" Kanyon vs. Booker T
I don't really have much to say about this one. The end result will be nice to look at, and the crowd will most likely dig it. Here's hoping both go on to bigger and better things in the next year, because they both deserve it. Booker's my pick here, continuing the tear he's been on of late.
Winner: Booker T
Scott Steiner vs. Mike Awesome
United States Championship Match
With proper motivation and a younger Scott Steiner, this could've been one to look out for. As is, it should be respectable enough. Awesome hasn't completely given up yet, and I'm confident he can drag something not altogether wretched from Big Poppa Pump. Of course, Steiner won't be willing to bump nearly as sharply as it's taken to make Awesome look... well, awesome.. in the past, but they should be able to tell an interesting story limiting itself to the mat between them. I've been looking for Scotty to drop the title for months now, after infrequent defenses have rendered the gold useless once more. Perhaps this is the stepping stone Awesome needs to build a name for him in the big town.
Winner: Mike Awesome
Kevin Nash vs. Goldberg
Scott Hall's contract is on the line
Let's cover this one more time.. Goldberg's heel turn was tremendous. In a company full of tweeners, afraid to damage their image by playing a bad guy, Goldberg reveled in the hatred of the crowd. I hesitate to compare him to HHH, but the similarities are there. The reporters on the net would have you believe he's uncomfortable with his new role and wants to drop it immediately.. but if you've been paying attention, it's fairly obvious. He's jumped into the role feet first, and is thoroughly enjoying himself. Unlike his stablemates, Goldberg won't back down from the challenge of the faces. He even bloodied Kevin Nash on Nitro a couple weeks back, rendering him unconscious. While I'd rather not see the big sloth this high on the card, the storyline development has made it acceptable. The end result is actually pretty unpredictable.. Goldberg looks to have the upper hand, which would point to a Nash victory.. but Big Bill's record is still an issue. There's little doubt this one will be a schmozz, to make up for what I hope goes down at the top of the card. The ref's final decision..? Let's say Goldberg, because this one isn't ready to blow off yet.
Jeff Jarrett vs. Hollywood Hogan
World Heavyweight Championship
Again, the rumors have been floating about for some time now, claiming Hogan's refused to lay down for the current champ.. and while it doesn't sound too out of character for the balding star of classic films such as No Holds Barred and Mr. Nanny, I'm willing to dismiss it as pure speculation at this point. Not that it would surprise me, seeing a DQ Jarrett win or a clean Hogan 'V'. If Ol' Terry's still up to the task of leading by example, this would be about as perfect an opportunity as he's gonna get. Laying down clean might not be the safest thing for Hogan's career, but it would give WCW a tremendous boost.. which is about all Hogan can offer these days. With Jarrett already a four time champion, I figure it's about time he picks up a clean title defense. This match will not be pretty. This match will not intrigue. This match will not attract buyers. The best thing to do here is to give Jarrett his FIRST clean title defense, while picking up the scattered pieces of the World Title belt. It's a completely unlikely scenario, and I'm giving Russo a lot more credit than he deserves here, but I'm gonna go with Jeff. Could be this whole "I don't wanna job.. I don't like Russo.. wahh" thing Hogan's got going on is nothing more than a work. Unlikely, unlikely, but it's their only hope. Jeff retains.
Winner: Jeff Jarrett
Let's hope it doesn't turn out any uglier in the execution than it looks on paper. I'm tired of talking about a one sided war.
until next time, i remain