WCW Worldwide 6/23/1996

World Championship Wrestling presents Worldwide
: 6/23/1996
From: Orlando, FL

1.) Brad Armstrong defeated Mr. JL
2.) Arn Anderson & Kevin Sullivan defeated Leroy Howard & Bill Payne
3.) Chris Benoit defeated Eddie Guerrero
4.) Diamond Dallas Page defeated Kensuke Sasaki
5.) Sting defeated The Mauler
6.) Jim Duggan & Craig Pittman defeated Faces of Fear

Angle Developments/Notes:
1.) Armstrong takes JL down with a headlock, but JL counters with a head scissors on the mat. Armstrong gets arm control with a wrist lock and shoulder blocks JL a few times. JL rolls through and twists Armstrong’s arm before delivering an arm drag to send Armstrong into the ropes. Armstrong keeps wrist control, but JL manages to take Armstrong down to the mat. JL arm drags Armstrong several times and goes back to an arm lock. JL knee drops Armstrong on the shoulder. JL connects with a head scissors and another arm drag. Armstrong elbows JL, but JL almost wins with a forward roll. Armstrong dumps JL to the apron, but JL hits a missile dropkick. JL heads to the top rope again and hits a crossbody, but Armstrong rolls through for a two count. Armstrong avoids a strike and hits a side Russian leg sweep for the win. (*1/2. I was a little disappointed with the constant mat work instead of going with a more high flying approach to allow JL to shine. JL got some shine towards the end, but the match just felt a little too slow considering the guys involved.)

2.) They actually let us know that the Anderson/Sullivan tag match was recorded before Great American Bash. That is because Anderson turned on Sullivan ending their alliance.

3.) Guerrero and Benoit trade wrist locks to start the contest until Benoit grabs the ropes. Benoit takes Guerrero down to the mat and keeps arm control on the mat. Guerrero hits a nice hurricanrana sending Benoit reeling to the floor to regroup with Anderson at ringside. Guerrero drop toe holds Benoit and keeps control on the mat with a headlock. Benoit forearms Guerrero in the ribs and Benoit delivers a kick to the midsection. Benoit drops Guerrero gut first over the top rope. Benoit knee lifts Guerrero coming off the ropes. Benoit locks in an abdominal stretch, but Guerrero doesn’t give in. Guerrero arm drags Benoit, but misses a dropkick attempt. Benoit spikes Guerrero with a tombstone piledriver, but doesn’t go for a cover. Benoit keeps an abdominal stretch on Guerrero, but doesn’t get a submission. Benoit clotheslines Guerrero to maintain the advantage. Benoit works over Guerrero with chops in the corner. Guerrero fires back with chops of his own in the corner. Guerrero hits a top rope hurricanrana, but Benoit stops Guerrero with a boot to the midsection. Benoit drops Guerrero gut first over the top rope. Benoit rams Guerrero into the turnbuckle. Guerrero goes to the top rope hitting a head scissors and a dropkick. Guerrero spikes Benoit with a brainbuster. Guerrero heads to the top rope hitting the frog splash! Anderson gets on the apron and is decked off by Guerrero. Guerrero accidentally hits the referee allowing Anderson to pull the ropes down and Guerrero crashes to the floor. Benoit takes advantage with a cover and pins Guerrero for the win. (***. I would have gone a little higher if there was a better finish to the match. Guerrero looked fantastic and really shined well in this bout with Benoit. Guerrero looks good in defeat and Benoit continues his momentum. A good match for Worldwide.)

4.) Page kicks Sasaki on a handshake attempt for the cheap advantage. Page shoulder blocks Sasaki a few times and puts a headlock on Sasaki for a few moments. Page is elbowed by Sasaki and clotheslined over the top to the floor. Page drops Sasaki throat first over the top rope from the floor and keeps control with an elbow drop for a two count. Sasaki powerslams Page for a near fall. Sasaki keeps wrist control on Page and keeps control on the mat. Page knee lifts Sasaki followed by a forearm strike. Page elbows Sasaki a few times in the corner. Sasaki counters with strikes in the corner. Page nails Sasaki with a strike in the corner for a near fall. Page tries for a suplex, but Sasaki counters with an inside cradle for a two count. Sasaki dropkicks Page to gain control. Page counters a hip toss with a diamond cutter for the clean win. (*1/4. It’s a rather huge win for DDP on Worldwide. This makes me think that they are going full steam with DDP to get him over. DDP has come across a lot differently compared to how he was earlier in the year. It’s been fun to see this transformation.)

5.) The Mauler is better known as Blake Beverly or Mike Enos.

6.) Mauler works over Sting in the corner with knee lifts in the corner. Mauler misses a splash in the corner and Sting hip tosses Mauler followed by a dropkick to send Mauler to the floor. Mauler gains control with a knee lift but misses a clothesline. Mauler catches Sting hitting a fallaway slam. Mauler misses a clothesline and flies over the top to the floor. Sting grabs Col. Parker’s hat and taunts Parker allowing Mauler to deck Sting from behind and delivers a backbreaker. Mauler puts a bearhug on Sting in the middle of the ring. Sting claps free, but runs into a powerslam for a two count. Mauler collides with Parker on the apron and Sting kicks Mauler on the knee before locking in the Scorpion Death Lock for the submission victory. (*1/2. It’s a quick match, which is to be expected since it’s a Sting match on Worldwide. Mauler looked great in there, though. I really enjoyed Mauler’s moves and this was a fun extended showcase for Sting.)

7.) Meng and Pittman kickoff the main event. Meng grabs wrist control, but Pittman quickly counters with a hammerlock until Meng reaches the ropes to break the hold. Pittman tries to take Meng down to the mat, but Meng holds the ropes. Pittman keeps wrist control on Meng and tags in Duggan. Duggan hammers away on Meng followed by a clothesline and punches Barbarian on the apron. Duggan sends Meng into the corner to deliver another clothesline for a near fall. Pittman is double teamed while Duggan recovers in the corner. Pittman is sent to the floor and Barbarian nails Duggan with a big boot. Teddy Long grabs the 2×4 to stop Barbarian. Duggan hits Barbarian with a taped fist and gets the win. (1/2*. This was not a good match and the decision to have Duggan and Pittman go over is rather baffling to me. I didn’t like any aspect of this match.)

Final Thoughts:
A decent show with a good Benoit/Guerrero match and I enjoyed seeing the Mauler in action against Sting.

Thanks for reading.

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