WCW House Show 8/23/1997
Written by: Bob Colling
World Championship Wrestling House Show
From: Greenville, SC
Interestingly, all wrestlers are brought to the ring on a golf cart. Nowadays they have it so guys would just come out of the dugout, but it looks like WCW is doing things differently here. If you couldn’t tell by that description, this show is taking place at a baseball stadium and it looks really full. There’s actually no floor seating and everyone is in the stands.
Opening Contest: Bobby Eaton vs. Dave Taylor: Taylor gets the early advantage with a cheap shot, but Eaton is able to deck Taylor and cause him to crawl around the ring. Eaton takes Taylor down to the canvas with a wrist lock. Taylor gets up and puts a headlock on Eaton to keep control of the contest. Eaton works over Taylor in the corner with a few right hands until Taylor bails to the floor to regroup. Taylor gets a microphone and tells the fans to stop booing him or he’ll go backstage, so they naturally boo him louder. Taylor drops Eaton with an uppercut to regain control of the match. Taylor keeps Eaton on the mat with a choke hold it appears before switching to the bottom rope and choking Eaton over that. Taylor is keeping the offense really simple. Eaton punches Taylor away in the corner but Taylor gets up quickly to knock Eaton down to the canvas. Eaton decks Taylor in the corner to drop him to the canvas. Eaton sends Taylor into the ropes and delivers an elbow strike over the back. Taylor uppercuts Eaton in the corner followed by a double under hook suplex and that wins the match. (1/2*. This literally didn’t provide much for entertainment as they did rest holds mostly and very little actual wrestling. I didn’t expect anything from this, but come on, guys.)
Second Contest: Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker vs. Psychosis: This is kind of a bizarre pairing to have for a house show match. Psychosis takes Parker down to the canvas with a toe hold but Parker gets out of the hold and punches his arm a few times. Psychosis reaches the corner quickly to break the hold. Psychosis takes Parker down again and stomps on him a few times. Parker fights out of the corner with right hands but Psychosis sends him across the ring missing a splash. Parker plants Psychosis with a back suplex and comes off the middle rope with an elbow drop for a near fall. Psychosis comes off the ropes to axe handle Parker over the back but gets kicked into the ropes. Parker clotheslines Psychosis over the top to the floor and it looks like Psychosis has had enough, but Parker follows him. They are over by the dugout as Parker hammers away on his opponent. Psychosis stops Parker with an eye rake. Psychosis rams Parker into the ring post before returning to the ring. Psychosis misses a splash as Parker got his boot up. Parker scoop slams Psychosis hitting a knee drop for a near fall. Psychosis low blows Parker and hits a clothesline in the corner. Psychosis slams Parker and heads to the top rope missing a frog splash. Parker works over Psychosis with right hands and a backdrop. Parker slams Psychosis followed by an elbow drop for a two count. Parker takes Psychosis down to the mat for a near fall. Psychosis strikes Parker with his knee and continues with an atomic drop. Psychosis misses a splash in the corner crashing to the canvas. Parker drives Psychosis down with a suplex and comes off the top rope missing a knee drop. Psychosis quickly comes off the ropes to hit a spinning heel kick. Psychosis comes off the top to hit a leg drop and wins the match. (*1/2. The fans were kind of into the match, which was surprising. The action was alright and I’m glad that Psychosis pulled out the victory. The match was a little more exciting and the action was okay. There just wasn’t any reason to really care about this match.)
Third Contest: Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko: Malenko backs Guerrero into a corner but can’t get any offense since he’s backed away by the referee. Malenko comes off the ropes with a shoulder block to drop Guerrero, who goes to the apron to stall for a few moments. Malenko arm drags Guerrero a couple of times and Eddie complains of a hair pull that didn’t actually happen. Guerrero works over Malenko with uppercuts in the corner but Malenko lifts Guerrero up and drops him gut first to the canvas causing Eddie to roll to the floor. They go with a test of strength that sees Malenko get control and stomps on Eddie’s fingers. Guerrero pokes Malenko in the eyes and rubs his eyes over the top rope. Guerrero works over Malenko in the corner with strikes before hitting a leaping back elbow. Guerrero misses a senton splash from the apron. Guerrero gets arm dragged off the top rope by Malenko. Malenko drops Guerrero face first on the top turnbuckle followed by a back suplex. Malenko stomps on Guerrero in the corner to keep control of the match. Malenko is arguing with the referee allowing Guerrero to get up and nearly attack from behind but Dean turned around and Guerrero begged off again. Eddie wants to shake hands but Malenko doesn’t seem to be all that interested in the idea. Malenko ends up decking Guerrero with a clothesline and Eddie hides behind the referee. Guerrero bails to the field and walks up the third base side to stall for time.
Guerrero gets back into the ring and attacks Malenko from behind and stomps away on Malenko in the corner. Guerrero drives Malenko down with a vertical suplex for a two count. Guerrero controls Malenko on the canvas with a body scissors and uses the ropes for an illegal advantage. The referee eventually sees that and forces a break of the hold. Guerrero puts a Gory Special on Malenko but isn’t able to get a submission. Malenko gets out of it with a rollup for a near fall but Guerrero hits a quick clothesline. Guerrero keeps control of Malenko on the mat with an abdominal stretch but once again can’t get a submission. Guerrero shoulder blocks Malenko and connects with a tilt a whirl backbreaker for a two count. Malenko gets out of a headlock but is met with a quick dropkick from Guerrero. Guerrero has a sleeper on Malenko and uses the ropes for extra leverage. This time the referee is oblivious to what Guerrero is doing. Malenko drives Guerrero down with a back suplex. Guerrero cuts Malenko off with a dropkick as Malenko was kneeling. Guerrero connects with a side suplex for a near fall. Guerrero chops Malenko against the ropes but Malenko backdrops Guerrero followed by right hands. Dean rams Guerrero head first into the corner several times. Malenko slams Guerrero for a two count. Malenko gets met with an elbow in the corner as he charged towards Guerrero. Guerrero works over Malenko with strikes. Malenko walks the ropes to arm drag Guerrero. Eddie chops Malenko and is met with a shoulder in the corner. Eddie stops Malenko on the top but gets crotched on the top. Malenko shakes the ropes and bounces Guerrero off the top.
Malenko works over Guerrero with right hands but gets sent over the top by Guerrero with a hurricanrana. Malenko knee lifts Guerrero but Eddie counters with a rollup for a two count. Malenko drops Guerrero with a right hand and a heel kick for a two count. Malenko clotheslines Guerrero in the corner and counters a head scissors attempt with a quick power bomb. Malenko goes for the Texas Cloverleaf but Guerrero wiggles free and reaches the ropes. Malenko counters Guerrero’s offense with a wheelbarrow suplex. Guerrero counters the Cloverleaf with a rollup for a two count. Guerrero stomps on Malenko to keep control of the match. Malenko counters a tilt a whirl backbreaker attempt with a tombstone. Malenko heads to the top rope managing to hit a knee drop to Eddie’s midsection. Malenko stops Guerrero in the corner and the referee gets knocked down as Dean puts Eddie on the top rope. Guerrero low blows Malenko on the top and manages to hit the frog splash for the win. (**1/2. It was a decent match but certainly not to the level they are capable of, which isn’t a surprise since it’s a live event. The crowd was into it more than anything else on the show, which isn’t surprising. I don’t know why, but these matches between them always feel like it takes forever to get through even if the action is solid.)
Prior to the next match, Scott Hall and Syxx stand in the ring and cut a promo on Lex Luger saying they are the reason that people have come to the show. Hall tells the crowd that Diamond Dallas Page is apart of the New World Order now after what happened at the Clash of the Champions. Luger runs down the third base side in front of the golf cart so he’s probably going to be winded. But, that pumped the crowd up.
Fourth Contest: WCW Tag Team Champion Scott Hall vs. Lex Luger: Hall tosses a toothpick at Luger and is promptly slapped for doing so. They trade strikes in the corner with Luger knocking Hall to the floor to regroup with Syxx. Hall returns to the ring and wants to do a test of strength. Hall fakes out Luger with a strike and controls Luger on the mat focusing on his back. Hall stops Luger with a knee ram to the midsection to keep Lex grounded. Luger manages to turn the move around into his favor but Hall low blows him to break free. Hall delivers a leg drop to keep Lex on the canvas. Hall stomps away on Lex and Syxx chokes Luger with his towel. Hall chokes Luger over the middle rope and distracts the referee to allow Syxx to punch Luger. Hall stomps away on Luger to keep Lex down on the canvas. Hall slaps the back of Luger’s head a few times to taunt him. Hall clotheslines Luger and gets a two count on a cover. Hall puts a sleeper hold on Luger for several moments. Hall uses the ropes for leverage but Luger refuses to stay down. Lex is able to break the hold with a back suplex and they both remain on the canvas for a few moments. Hall recovers first and covers Luger for a two count. Lex hammers away on Hall and delivers an atomic drop a few times. Luger signals for the forearm and drops Hall with it. Luger wants the Torture rack and Syxx gets tossed off the top rope onto Hall. Luger clotheslines Syxx and Hall tries for the Outsiders Edge but is sent to the floor. Luger puts the Torture Rack on Syxx. Hall comes in and Luger puts the move on Hall, too. Lex wins the match by disqualification. (*. Hall hilariously sold the atomic drop.The action wasn’t anything special and it felt like they were coasting to the finish line here. It was the just the typical effort you’d see from major names on a house show.)
Fifth Contest: Steiner Brothers vs. Wrath & Mortis: Scott and Mortis start the tag match. Mortis attempts a spin kick out of the corner but Scott just moves out of the way. Scott hip tosses Mortis out of the corner but doesn’t quickly followup on the offense. Mortis delivers a kick to Scott’s left leg and hammers away on Scott. Scott hip tosses Mortis and Rick goes to the floor to chase their manager. Rick chases him to third base before going back to the ring. Scott gets nailed by Mortis with a spinning heel kick. Mortis keeps control working over Scott in the corner with kicks. Scott boots Mortis in the corner and hits a pump handle slam. Mortis is met with a clothesline and rolls to the floor. Mortis and Wrath regroup on the floor. Rick gets tagged in and so does Wrath. Wrath boots Rick and backs him into a corner delivering right hands and kicks. Wrath misses a splash in the corner and Rick takes him over with a German suplex followed by a clothesline. Rick gets distracted and Wrath elbows him down to the canvas. Scott chases after Vandenburg on the field but Rick continues to get worked over on in the ring. Mortis chokes Scott while the referee was distracted by Scott across the ring. Rick is double teamed with a double elbow strike to knock him down to the canvas. Mortis has a rollup on Rick for a two count. Wrath puts the Billy Goats Curse on and Mortis comes off the middle rope to leg drop Scott for a near fall. Wrath drives Scott down with a backbreaker but misses an elbow drop off the middle rope. Rick gets the hot tag and Mortis gets tagged in but gets met with clotheslines from Rick. Rick slams Mortis and decks Wrath with a clothesline. Scott hits an overhead belly to belly on Mortis for a two count. Wrath and Rick end up on the floor when Scott clotheslines Wrath to the floor. Scott drives Mortis down with a double under hook powerbomb. Scott has Mortis on his shoulders and Rick hits a top rope bulldog for the win. (*1/2. The finish was nicely done, but this just felt like a subpar tag match with the obvious winners going to be the Steiner Brothers. I don’t think the match overstayed its welcome or anything, but it just didn’t connect very well with me.) After the match, Scott clotheslines Vandenburg on the field before leaving with Rick as the fans cheered them on.
Main Event: Ric Flair vs. Jeff Jarrett: Jarrett gets a side headlock on Flair to start the match but Flair comes back with a shoulder block. Jarrett ends up walking on the back of Flair and taunts Flair by laying over the top rope. Jarrett continues to taunt the fans as Flair has gotten up and ready to compete. Flair controls Jarrett with a wrist lock to keep Jarrett on the canvas. Jarrett gets a head scissors on Flair after getting out of a headlock to control Flair. Flair gets free and they do the same spot. Flair pops free but Jarrett puts the head scissors back on. Flair reaches the ropes to break the hold and Jarrett gets chopped in the corner. Jarrett punches Flair to the canvas and pokes Flair in the eyes to get the cheap advantage in the corner. Jarrett drops Flair with a right hand before delivering more strikes. Jarrett stomps on Flair near the apron and taunts the fans. Jarrett drives Flair down with a vertical suplex and drops a forearm. Flair gets up and chops Jarrett but is cut off in the corner with right hands from Jarrett. Flair stops Jarrett with an atomic drop and chops Jarrett some more. Flair comes off the ropes but misses a knee drop. Jarrett goes for the figure four and has it locked in right in the middle of the ring. Jarrett lets go of the hold and jumps down onto Flair’s knee over the bottom rope. Flair fights back with a few strikes and chops. Jarrett gets fired up taking his straps off but he just gets chopped more. Flair gets met with a sleeper hold as he comes out of the corner. Flair drives Jarrett down with a back suplex to cause both men be down on the canvas. Flair chops Jarrett and pummels him with right hands in the corner. Flair low blows Jarrett as the referee wasn’t looking. Flair takes Jarrett down to the mat and puts the figure four on! Jarrett is able to reach the ropes to break the hold. Flair hammers away on Jarrett some more. Jarrett trips Flair and uses the ropes for leverage to get a pin fall. However, the referee sees this and calls off the pin. Jarrett thinks he has won and gets pinned by Flair after Jarrett is shoved by the referee. After the match, Eddie Guerrero gets in the ring and attacks Flair to help out Jarrett. Dean Malenko runs the entire field with a steel chair to run them off and make the save. (*1/4. There wasn’t much heat to this or anything and they kept it really basic throughout. I was hoping for something more brutal and something that felt more personal and that wasn’t delivered here. Not a great way to end the show.)
Despite the show not having a lot of major names considering how large WCWs roster was at the time, the stadium was filled rather well from what I could gather. It felt like the wrestlers did a basic job to entertain the fans and nobody really went out there to provide over the top entertainment. I was disappointed by the action here. I was really hoping for Jarrett/Flair to be better than what they provided. That was a major disappointment. Recommendation to avoid.
Thanks for reading.