WCW Saturday Night 8/3/1996

World Championship Wrestling presents Saturday Night
From: Orlando, FL

1.) WCW Tag Team Champions Harlem Heat defeated Dick Slater & Mike Enos to retain the titles
2.) WCW United States Champion Ric Flair defeated Chavo Guerrero Jr.
3.) Ice Train defeated The Gambler
4.) Alex Wright defeated Brad Armstrong
5.) Public Enemy defeated Butch Long & Bill Payne
6.) Dean Malenko defeated Steve Armstrong
7.) Meng defeated The Renegade
8.) Chris Benoit defeated Randy Savage by disqualification
9.) WCW World Champion The Giant defeated Brian Knobbs

Angle Developments/Notes:
1.) Enos and Ray kickoff the tag match with neither man getting a clear advantage at the start. Enos backs Ray into a corner and delivers a few shoulder rams and clubbing blows to the back. Enos headbutts Ray followed by stomps in the corner. Ray elbows Enos coming out of the corner and delivers a scoop slam. Ray slams Slater to the mat, as well. Ray chokes Enos in the corner as Booker works over Slater. Ray rams Enos into the corner face first. Booker tags in, but Enos eye rakes Booker followed by a backbreaker. Enos tags in Slater and Slater delivers a few strikes to the ribs. Slater back elbows Booker coming off the ropes, but Booker backdrops Slater to avoid a piledriver attempt. Booker shoulder blocks Slater, but is taken down to the mat where Slater misses an elbow drop. Slater eye rakes Booker and tags in Enos. Enos drops Booker throat first over the top and delivers a short arm clothesline for a two count. Booker takes Enos over with a vertical suplex. Booker misses a middle rope knee drop. Slater tags into the match and double teams Booker with a double vertical suplex. Ray breaks the cover and beats on Slater. Ray is double teamed and knocked to the apron. Booker sends Slater into ropes and they collide with Slater dropping to the floor. Parker holds Slater as Enos powerslams Booker. However, Ray comes in with the cane and whacks Slater allowing Booker to win the match. (*1/2. It’s always a weird feeling seeing two heel teams going at it, but I guess Heat were the good guys here despite cheating to win. I’m sure this is the blowoff to the mini TV feud these two had been having.)

2.) Mean Gene interviews the WCW Tag Team Champions Harlem Heat, Col. Robert Parker and Sherri. Ray wants the Steiner Brothers to look at the best tag team in WCW history. Ray says nobody is taking their titles. Booker chimes in and says they coming in and leaving as the champions. Sherri promises that nobody will take away what she’s fought to get back. Parker puts over the champs as being the best ever. Parker can’t wait for the PPV and beating the Steiner Brothers.

3.) Guerrero gets a headlock on Flair and switches to a hammerlock. Flair and Guerrero counter each other on the mat for a moment leading to a standoff. Flair pulls Guerrero down to the mat by his hair. Flair pulls Guerrero down by his hair a second time and backs off into the corner. Flair keeps a headlock on Guerrero, but is sent into the ropes and shoulder blocks Guerrero. Guerrero takes Flair down to the mat and keeps a leg lock on Flair. Flair gouges Guerrero and reaches the ropes to break the hold. Flair chops Guerrero to the mat and tosses Chavo to the floor. Woman eye rakes Guerrero from behind as the referee was distracted. Guerrero sunset flips into the ring, but Flair delivers a right hand to block it. Flair chops Guerrero in the corner followed by a strike. Guerrero fights back with a few strikes. Guerrero is met with an atomic drop to the mat. Flair drives Guerrero down to the mat with a vertical suplex and goes for a figure four managing to win the match by submission. (*. A fairly basic match and it went exactly how you’d expect it. Flair didn’t really give Chavo a whole lot of time to showcase anything, but that’s fine. I like using Chavo here since Flair is wrestling Eddie Guerrero on PPV. It’s a minor story enhancement, but I like it.) After the match, Eddie Guerrero comes out to pull Flair off of Chavo. Eddie and Flair trade chops in the corner and right hands. Eddie drops Flair after a few strikes. Eddie backdrops Flair and hits a dropkick. Eddie goes for the figure four, bu Woman enters the ring and eye rakes Eddie to save her man.

4.) Mean Gene interviews Eddie and Chavo Guerrero. Eddie says that the Four Horsemen are thugs. Eddie says they just want to get their positions in WCW and they don’t want to hurt anybody. Eddie says that Flair has added fuel to his fire. Eddie has a chance to get at Flair at Hog Wild and win the US Championship. Eddie brings out WCW Cruiserweight Champion Rey Mysterio, who has his neck wrapped in a towel. Rey is still selling the injuries by holding his head and talks to Eddie in Spanish. Eddie promises they will get up and fight back.

5.) A video package highlighting the tag team of Fire & Ice is shown. However, it’s in past tense because Scott Norton recently turned on Ice Train to end the tag team run.

6.) Mean Gene interviews Teddy Long and Ice Train. Long says that everyone knows that Norton is a coward and bully for putting his hands on him. Train chimes in and says he’s been training everyday. Train notes that Norton wanted to workout with him, and now at Hog Wild he’s on track for revenge.

7.) Armstrong takes Wright down to the mat with a headlock, but Wright counters with a head scissors on the mat. Armstrong pops out and puts a headlock on Wright. Wright takes Armstrong back down with a headlock. Armstrong breaks free again with a head scissors. Wright kips up to break free and they have a standoff. Wright cartwheels free and keeps a wrist lock on Armstrong for a moment. Armstrong takes Wright down to the mat, but Wright pops free and arm drags Armstrong to the mat. Armstrong shoulder rams Wright in the corner a few times. Armstrong elbows Wright and has a rollup, but Wright rolls through and pins Armstrong. (1/2*. That was really boring as they just kept with mat wrestling and nothing much of entertainment this time around.)

8.) Mean Gene interviews Alex Wright and Brad Armstrong. Armstrong shakes Wright’s hand again and they talk about the NWO. Wright says that what he saw on Nitro was disappointing and says that Hogan was his idol, but now he’s a traitor. Wright is a man now and his feeling can’t be hurt. Armstrong puts over the match they just had. Armstrong doesn’t consider NWO to be wrestling.

9.) Backstage, Mean Gene is with Lex Luger and Sting. Sting and Luger look like they just got done wrestling. Luger says he’s shocked by what they saw, but that shock turns into anger. Luger wants to savor all those emotions and have them ready for Hog Wild. Sting doesn’t understand the Outsiders and doesn’t want to understand them. Sting thinks it is ready to boil over and pop with the Outsiders. Sting has baseball bats with him saying they think this is cool. Sting asks how cool it would be to wrap the bats around their face and knees.

10.) Mean Gene interviews Dean Malenko following his quick victory. Malenko has cut a deal with Jimmy Hart and Malenko says business is business. Malenko says that Benoit is his stepping stone to getting the WCW Cruiserweight Championship back. Malenko says this isn’t about trusting anyone and he’s doing whatever it takes to get the belt back.

11.) Mean Gene interviews WCW United States Champion Ric Flair, Woman and Elizabeth regarding Eddie Guerrero at Hog Wild. Flair wants the fans to shut their mouths so they can understand what he’s talking about. Flair notes that Tony Schiavone questioned his heart and loyalty. Flair says that when Schiavone was calling baseball he came to him. Flair says the NWO made a mistake going after his best friend. Flair doesn’t think Hogan will win the championship, but he’ll have to deal with him if he can. Flair says that Guerrero is already done at Hog Wild.

12.) Benoit backs Savage into a corner, but they counter each other a few times. Benoit cheap shots Savage followed by a boot to the midsection and rams Savage into the corner. Benoit stomps on Savage followed by chops in the corner. Benoit tosses Savage to the mat and forearms Savage. Savage connects with a back suplex and both men are down. Savage shoulder blocks Benoit, but runs into an elbow strike for a two count. Savage slams Benoit and heads to the top rope, but Woman causes a distraction. Woman runs around ringside. Savage goes to the top rope and leaps off. Benoit delivers a strike and a snap suplex. Benoit heads to the top rope hitting a diving headbutt. Savage avoids a cover by rolling to the floor. Benoit sends Savage into the ring post shoulder first. Savage clotheslines Benoit after sending Benoit into the corner chest first. Savage threatens the referee and ends up tossing the referee to the floor to cause a disqualification. After the match, Benoit and Savage brawl on the floor. Savage sends Benoit into a door in the crowd to end the segment. (*1/2. I was invested in this because it’s two guys I really enjoy watching. Benoit didn’t get to show much of his offense and they kept it pretty basic. That shouldn’t be surprising since the crowd in Orlando is easily entertained and they aren’t actively going out there to have good matches on Saturday Night.)

13.) Mean Gene interviews Randy Savage following his loss. Savage doesn’t care that he’s in the dog house again. Savage says in order to get rid of a snake, you cut off the head. Savage is going to put all his venom towards Hogan. Savage didn’t see anyone in the limo and walks off.

14.) Knobbs attacks before the bell, but is shoved away by Giant. Giant clotheslines Knobbs and chokes Knobbs in the corner for a moment. Giant back splashes Knobbs in the corner a few times. Giant misses a splash and Knobbs tries for a slam, but fails. Giant easily scoop slams Knobbs and locks in a bearhug, but Knobbs fights out quickly only to run into a big boot. Giant drives Knobbs down to the mat with a chokeslam to win the match. (NR. Easy showcase for Giant nothing else about it.)

15.) Mean Gene interviews WCW World Champion Giant and Jimmy Hart. Giant says this is not their first time dancing with Hogan and the first time Giant won the title. Giant has fought for the title and he’s going to keep it. Giant knows what it takes to be a member in the NWO. Giant calls them skinny dudes and they need to go back to the gym. Giant makes his own path. Giant promises to take out every man that supports Hogan and walks off. Hart chimes in and says they will protect the title at all costs. (the crowd was booing everything they were saying, which is weird since Hogan is obviously a heel.)

Final Thoughts:
Another lackluster show this week as the in-ring left a lot to be desired. They are focusing a lot on the NWO storyline, which is totally expected and fine with me. There’s a lot of interest in Hog Wild so it feels like it’s easy to just coast to the PPV at this point.

Thanks for reading.

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