Written by: Bob Colling
World Championship Wrestling presents Takeover ’97
From: Oberhausen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Deutschland
There’s a video promoting Sting and his transformation despite not being on the show in a wrestling capacity, at least.
A video highlighting the Outsiders/Harlem Heat from Havoc 96 is shown, but these two teams are not wrestling against each other. They also show highlights from World War 3 1996, as well.
The trend of video packages continue with Meng having his highlights from 1994 and 1995 shown. That was before he lost a lot of his creditability.
Of course, the commentary is done in German so I’ll have no ides what they’re talking about.
Opening Contest: Hugh Morrus vs. Alex Wright: Morrus works over Wright with a few right hands for the early advantage and misses a splash in the corner. Wright hip tosses Morrus followed by a standing dropkick to send Morrus bailing to the floor. Morrus returns to the ring and stalls for a moment before Wright gets a wrist lock only to be yanked to the may by his hair. Wright yanks Morrus down by his hair for some revenge and the referee tells him to not do it. Morrus comes off the ropes to shoulder block Wright. Wright monkey flips Morrus followed by a dropkick to send Morrus to the floor again. Wright hammers away on Morrus on the floor as the camera may have missed a dive to the outside. Morrus wants to shake hands in the ring, but Wright is smarter than that. Morrus gets control on the mat and leg drops Wright on the lower midsection. Morrus locks in a sleeper, but the crowd gets behind Wright quickly. Morrus knee lifts Wright coming off the ropes to maintain the advantage.
Wright comes off the ropes to hit a crossbody, but Morrus decks Wright with a clothesline. Morrus plants Wright with a powerbomb and signals for the moonsault. Morrus comes off the top and misses the moonsault. Wright nails Morrus with a spinning heel kick to win the match. (*1/2. Well, there wasn’t a lot going on here and seemed to be just a formula match for Wright to get a cheap pop from the home crowd. I would have laugh if Morrus had won to kill the crowd early on.)
Second Contest: Luna Vachon vs. Madusa: Luna yanks Madusa down by her hair early on and sends her flipping towards the corner. Madusa battles back with arm drags and Luna rolls to the floor to regroup. Madusa trips Luna and goes to the middle rope only to miss a missile dropkick attempt. Luna squeezes Madusa’s midsection to maintain the advantage. Luna drives Madusa face first down to the mat. Luna tosses Madusa with a gut wrench slam for a near fall. Luna drives Madusa down with a Samoan Drop for a near fall. Luna slams Madusa, but Madusa comes back with a few clotheslines for a two count. Madusa slams Luna after walking around the ring and delivers a boot to the face. Luna tries for a catapult, but Madusa reaches the ropes. Luna back rakes Madusa and chokes her over the middle rope. Madusa fights back with right hands and a clothesline. Madusa takes Luna down with an arm bar, but doesn’t get a submission. Madusa drives her knee onto Luna’s arm to keep the advantage. Madusa hammers away on Luna and yanks her backward. Luna catapults Madusa throat first into the bottom rope. Luna shoulder rams Madusa and delivers a clothesline. Madusa kicks Luna from the apron and rams Luna into the corner face first. Madusa comes off the top with a weird move only to be clotheslined. Luna misses a splash in the corner and Madusa wins with a German suplex. (DUD. That went a bit too long and they didn’t put together a fun match by any means.)
Backstage, Diamond Dallas Page cuts a promo saying that tonight feels like a Nitro and the first thing that comes to his mind is when turned on the NWO. He’s recalling the story of the NWO trying to take him out, but Sting helped him out. Page hypes up his match with Michael Wallstreet. Page says that Wallstreet will feel the diamond cutter.
Third Contest: Harlem Heat vs. Steiner Brothers: Booker T and Scott Steiner start off the contest. Booker knee lifts Scott in the corner a few times to get the advantage along with an overhand strike to the back. Scott shoulder blocks Booker followed by a clothesline. Ray enters and is decked to the floor leading to the Steiner Brothers to pose in the middle of the ring. Rick Steiner and Stevie Ray are in the ring now. Ray beats on Rick with overhand strikes to beat Rick to the mat. Ray decks Rick with a clothesline coming off the ropes and taunts the fans. Rick plants Ray with a powerslam for a near fall and tags in Scott. Scott works over the arm of Ray and puts a chin lock on for a moment. Ray eye rakes Scott to stop his momentum and delivers a backbreaker. Ray misses an elbow drop and Scott delivers a clothesline. Rick returns to the match and they pull on Ray’s legs. Rick taunts Booker while keeping a sleeper on Ray. Ray knee lifts Rick in the corner followed by another strike before tagging in Booker. Booker beats on Rick with several right hands.
Booker rams Rick into the corner face first and chokes Rick for a moment. Ray tags back in and continues to choke Rick in the corner to maintain control of the contest. Booker eye rakes Rick but runs into a boot and a clothesline out of the corner. Booker beats on Rick on the mat to prevent a tag to Scott. Booker does a leapfrog but acts like he’s injured his left knee. Booker proves to be faking and sends Rick through the ropes to the floor. Booker drops Rick with a kick to the face. Rick is double teamed while the referee is distracted by Scott. Ray keeps a sleeper on Rick to keep control of the contest. Rick elbows free and ducks a clothesline to drop Ray with a powerslam. Rick tries to tag out, but Ray prevents the tag and Booker delivers a standing forearm drop. Booker delivers a knee drop to Rick and chokes Rick in the corner. The referee isn distracted while Ray chokes Rick with a towel. Booker has a front face lock on Rick trying to prevent a tag. Scott gets the tag, but Ray distracted the referee. Rick is double teamed as a result.
Ray plants Rick with a powerslam for a two count. Booker returns to the match and hooks Rick for a suplex, but Rick counters with an inside cradle for a two count. Booker decks Rick with a clothesline. Booker misses an elbow drop, but connects with a heel kick. Rick counters a spin kick to hit a suplex. Rick finally tags in Scott. Scott cleans house with clotheslines. Scott plants Booker with a double under hook powerbomb. Scott has Booker on his shoulders, but Ray makes the save. Rick axe handles Booker, but Booker slams Rick only to miss a knee drop. Rick goes to the middle rope and hits the bulldog for the clean win. (**. They basically worked a televised house show style match. We got the normal formula tag spots and there wasn’t a lot going on until the final minute or so. I do like the clean finish, but the action was a bit average.)
Fourth Contest: Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Dean Malenko: They shake hands to start the bout. Malenko backs Mysterio into the corner and slowly backs away. They have a standoff early on. Malenko keeps a sleeper on Mysterio briefly. Malenko arm drags Mysterio and puts a head scissors on to maintain the early advantage. Mysterio counters Malenko a few times and lands on his feet on a monkey flip attempt. Mysterio sends Malenko to the floor and fakes out a dive to the outside. Malenko leg sweeps Mysterio and locks in a half Boston Crab, but is unable to get a submission. Malenko hooks Mysterio for a suplex and drives Mysterio down to the mat. Mysterio mule kicks Malenko to the mat, but can’t followup with the advantage. Malenko knee lifts Mysterio coming off the ropes. Malenko has Mysterio over his shoulders to deliver a gut buster. Mysterio rolls to the floor to regroup. Malenko drives Mysterio down to the mat with a powerbomb for a two count. Mysterio tries for a rollup and nearly wins with an inside cradle. Malenko stops Mysterio with a clothesline. Malenko locks in a chin lock. Malenko lifts Mysterio into the air and drops him gut first to the mat for a near fall. Malenko tried for several pin attempts and couldn’t keep Mysterio down.
Malenko switches to a seated abdominal stretch. Malenko gets a rollup on Mysterio for a two count. Malenko delivers a backbreaker for another near fall. Malenko drops down to the mat with a sleeper hold. Mysterio looks like he’s passed out but prevents his arm from dropping three times. Malenko catches Mysterio coming off the ropes to put another sleeper on Rey. Mysterio prevents his arm from dropping three times again and reaches the ropes to break the hold. Malenko drives an elbow onto Mysterio. Mysterio gets a sunset flip for a near fall on Malenko. Mysterio dumps Malenko through the ropes to the floor. Mysterio baseball slides Malenko off the apron followed by a dropkick. Mysterio springboards off the top to dive onto Malenko. Malenko catches Mysterio on a moonsault, but is sent into the corner. Mysterio misses a somersault dive out of the corner. Malenko double leg slams Mysterio and they trade a few rollups. Malenko counters a hurricanrana with a Boston Crab. Mysterio reaches the ropes to break the hold. Malenko drops Rey face first to the mat and locks in a surfboard. Malenko bridges for a rollup managing a two count. Rey counters a slam for a near fall.
Malenko clotheslines Mysterio and heads to the top rope. Mysterio stops Malenko on the top looking for a suplex, but settles for a dropkick. Malenko blocks a hurricanrana, but not a second one. Mysterio has the cover and wins the match. (***. The opening minutes of the match were very slow and plodding, but they ended up working the style of match you’d expect and enjoy. I’m really enjoying the clean finishes which is something that never happens on WCW shows and certainly not to this extent.)
Fifth Contest: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Michael Wallstreet: Page has the right side of his body taped up, so I can only imagine how this will play out over the course of the match. Wallstreet backs Page against the ropes and breaks away. Wallstreet has wrist control to start the match, but Page counters with a hammerlock causing Wallstreet to get to the ropes. Wallstreet continues to frustrate Page and is met with wild strikes in the corner. Page works over Wallstreet with shoulder blocks and an uppercut to send Wallstreet to the floor. Page keeps a headlock on Wallstreet after pulling his hair. Page blocks a hip toss and drops Wallstreet with a neckbreaker. Wallstreet avoids the diamond cutter and bails to the floor. Page hits a slingshot crossbody to the floor and plays to the camera. Page returns to the ring and is met with a low blow. Wallstreet sends Page to the floor and sends Page into the guard railing ribs first. Page rams Wallstreet face first onto the apron, but is met with a strike to the ribs.
Wallstreet tries for a cover with his feet on the ropes, but Page kicks out at two. Wallstreet keeps a headlock on Page, but Page prevents his arm from falling three times and powers to his feet fighting out of the hold. Wallstreet drops Page with a backbreaker. Wallstreet locks in his trademark abdominal stretch and uses the ropes for leverage. Page hip tosses Wallstreet and hammers away with right hands followed by an atomic drop and right hand. Page delivers a flapjack and signals for the cutter, but Wallstreet delivers a jawbreaker. Page counters a slam with the diamond cutter and wins the match. (*. Page tried his best to make this enjoyable, but it’s impossible with Wallstreet.)
Backstage, WCW World Tag Team Champions the Outsiders cut a promo saying they know everyone is here to watch them beat up Lex Luger and The Giant.
Sixth Contest: Meng vs. Chris Benoit: Meng backs Benoit into the corner and delivers a chop. Benoit responds with a boot to the midsection and they have a standoff. Meng kicks Benoit several times and misses a kick attempt as Benoit held onto the ropes. They trade a few kicks until Benoit takes Meng down with a dragon screw leg whip. Meng shoulder blocks Benoit to keep control of the contest. Benoit tries for the Crossface, but Meng fights out of the hold by sitting Benoit onto the top turnbuckle. Meng slams Benoit off the top to the mat. Meng delivers a savant kick for a near fall. Benoit fights back with stomps and strikes in the corner. Meng tosses Benoit with an overhead belly to belly suplec. Benoit sends Meng through the ropes to the floor. Benoit hits a suicide dive as the lights changed color for a moment. Meng crotches Benoit on the top rope and Benoit is put in a tree of woe. Woman is going after Jimmy Hart outside the ring. Meng spikes Benoit with a piledriver for a near fall.
Jimmy Hart gets a few shots in on Benoit at ringside. Benoit sends Meng into the guard railing back first. Benoit takes Meng over with a snap suplex for a near fall. Benoit continues with a scoop slam and locks in a half Boston Crab, but doesn’t get a submission. Benoit comes off the ropes and Meng connects with a spinebuster. Meng continues with a shoulder breaker and a nerve hold. Benoit tries for a sunset flip, but Meng blocks it with a double hand strike. Meng continues with a nerve hold. Meng continues to work over Benoit with stomps on the mat. Benoit ducks a clothesline and hits a German suplex. Benoit stomps on Meng’s legs and drops Meng to the mat. Benoit delivers a clothesline and both men are down. Benoit misses a splash in the corner and they begin to trade strikes. Benoit hits a German suplex after countering a slam. Meng plants Benoit with another spinebuster. Meng goes to the top rope and misses a diving headbutt. Benoit comes off the top with a diving headbutt of his own and locks in the Crossface. Benoit grabs Jimmy Hart, but Meng collides with Hart allowing Benoit to get a rollup and a pin. (**. A rather slow and plodding match for these two. The crowd excitement seemed to be lacking as well. The finish was a bit lackluster, too. I was hoping for a rare Meng submission to put Benoit over very strong.)
Backstage, Lex Luger and the Giant cut a promo about how the NWO has been trying to takeover WCW. Luger says they are ready to set the tone and says WCW is number one and it will always will be. Giant says they will have the torture rack and chokeslam coming tonight for the Outsiders.
Main Event: WCW World Tag Team Champions the Outsiders vs. Lex Luger & The Giant: Hall and Luger kickoff the main event with Hall throwing his toothpick at Luger. Luger backs Hall into the corner and cleanly breaks away. Hall shoves Luger, who responds with a shove of his own. Hall shoulder blocks Luger a few times to get the advantage. Hall backdrops Luger to the mat and keeps wrist control. Hall slaps the back of Luger’s head and delivers a boot to the midsection. Hall decks Luger with a few right hands. Luger drops Hall with a leaping forearm and slaps the back of Hall’s head. Nash tags into the match to try his luck against Luger. Nash knee lifts Luger into the corner and delivers a few strikes. Nash continues with knee lifts in the corner. Nash delivers a few elbow strikes in the corner and a clothesline. Luger boots Nash in the corner followed by a clothesline and a leaping forearm smash. Luger hammers away on Nash. Luger decks Hall off the apron and is met with a big boot from Nash.
Hall returns to the match and hammers away on Luger. Hall taunts Giant on the apron. Hall clotheslines Luger from the apron. Hall chokes Luger a bit on the apron. Hall beats on Luger with right hands in the corner. Luger blocks being rammed into the corner and sends Hall into the corner. Hall elbows Luger and tags in Nash. Giant decks Nash from the apron, but Hall prevents Luger from tagging out. Nash tags out to Hall, who stomps on Luger. Hall puts an abdominal stretch on Luger and uses Nash for an illegal advantage. The referee stops the illegal activity and Luger breaks free with a hip toss, but misses an elbow drop. Nash chokes Luger over the middle rope. Diesel splashes down onto Luger over the middle rope and Hall delivers a right hand. Nash misses an elbow drop. Nash prevents a tag to Giant and Hall returns to the match delivering several stomps. Hall locks in a sleeper hold on Luger. Luger fights out of the hold and puts a sleeper on Hall!
Nash tries to get a tag from the apron, but can’t reach Hall. Luger sends Hall into the corner chest first and puts a sleeper on again. Hall breaks free with a back suplex. Hall and Luger collide on stereo clotheslines in the middle of the ring. Nash gets tagged in and Luger manages to reach Giant, finally. Giant cleans house with strikes and clotheslines. Giant is fired up and sends Hall into Nash. Wallstreet rams Luger into the ring steps. Giant attempts a double chokeslam, but Wallstreet enters the ring and causes the disqualification. Giant is being triple teamed. Nash drops Giant with the powerbomb!
Sting runs into the ring and beats on the NWO with right hands. Sting drops Hall with the Scorpion Death Drop and low blows Nash. Sting drops Wallstreet with the Scorpion Death Drop, as well. (*1/2. Well, Luger worked the majority of the match and they didn’t do a whole lot outside of the formula tag match. The finish is obviously horrible and using Wallstreet in that spot is probably the worst choice. Giant had one of the easiest paydays in wrestling history.)
It’s an average wrestling show at best with a few solid matches. There’s nothing over ***, but if you’re a fan of rare clean wins in WCW then you’ll be overjoyed with this show.
Thanks for reading.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.