Shown on Sky Sports in the U.K.
By Stephen Lyon.
This week's theme: New Orleans-related wrestling matches & clips. Today's main event was the classic Ricky Steamboat vs Ric Flair 2-out-of-3 falls match for the NWA title, from WCW Clash of the Champions 6, April 1989. Other matches on today's show included: The Rock & Lita vs Kurt Angle & Stephanie McMahon (WWF Smackdown, August 2000); Taz & Sabu & Rob Van Dam vs Shane Douglas & Chris Candido & Bam Bam Bigelow (ECW November to Remember 1998 ppv, November 1998); Bret Hart & Bill Goldberg vs Kevin Nash & Scott Hall for the WCW Tag Team titles (WCW Monday Nitro, December 1999); and Sherri Martel vs Velvet McIntyre for the WWF Womans title (WWF Wrestling Challenge, September 1987).
Plus a wacky 'Big E. in the Big Easy' vignette.
Show was hosted by Gene Okerlund & Renee Young, once again live at Wrestlemania Axxess in New Orleans. The hosts briefly spoke about New Orleans being famous for voodoo, which led into the first segment.
Papa Shango was set to face jobber Brian Kruger on the May 30th, 1992 edition of 'WWF Superstars'. However, before the match could start, Shango began shaking uncontrollably in the ring as if he was going into some kind of trance. The lights went out, and suddenly Kruger was lying on the floor, unconscious, with his wrestling boots on fire and with black goo smeared across his face, all courtesy of Shango's curse. I get a kick out of Shango's act for the unintentional amusement factor, but if this had taken place in WCW, WWE would be mocking this something fierce, in the same way they mock to death the Shockmaster stuff.
1) Kevin Nash & Scott Hall defeated Bret Hart & Bill Goldberg to win the WCW World Tag Team titles. This match aired on the December 13th, 1999 live edition of 'WCW Monday Nitro', taped in New Orleans, Louisiana. Announcers for this match were Tony Schiavone & Bobby Heenan. An angle before the match saw Bret Hart jumped backstage, meaning Goldberg had to defend the tag team title belts by himself. Goldberg was holding his own and even scored a nearfall on Nash, before Hall chokeslammed him. Bret Hart then came out, recovered, and attacked the Outsiders. Hart gave Nash the side Russian legsweep and placed him in the sharpshooter, only for Hall to make the save. The finish saw Goldberg spear and jackhammer Hall, but whilst he was doing this, Nash attacked Hart's bad knee and pinned him for the title win. The crowd immediately started throwing garbage at the ring, with many visibly leaving the building in disgust.
A bizarre first-run vignette aired next, of 'Big E. touring the Big Easy'. E was shown at various tourist spots in New Orleans, in Jackson Square, at a Voodoo Shop where he had his palms read, and in a t-shirt shop. The running gag was the fans would ask him if he knew Daniel Bryan, to which he'd roll his eyes. The finish saw him eating a donut at a cafe, ramming it into his mouth like a small child would, with sugar all over his face and hands, with him doing the 'clap' with the sugar like he does with the chalk dust on his way to the ring. This vignette didn't do Big E. many favours and made him look like an unlikeable goof. Not sure why this was even on the show, beyond the New Orleans theme.
2) The Rock & Lita defeated Kurt Angle & Stephanie McMahon via disqualification. This match aired on the August 24th, 2000 edition of 'WWF Smackdown', taped in New Orleans, Louisiana on August 22nd, 2000. Announcers for this match were Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler. This was the go-home show before Summerslam. The big angle during this match saw Stephanie fall off the ring and bang her head on the ring steps, knocking her out. Triple H, watching the match on a monitor backstage, immediately ran out and carried her to the back for medical treatment (shades of the Mega Powers split angle in 1989). The cameras showed a groggy Stephanie backstage, lying on a sofa whilst EMTs tended to her. Triple H then announced, "I'll go and help Kurt", as Angle was still in the ring. Rock and Angle brawled up to the top of the ramp, but Triple H came out and attacked Rock. Angle & Triple H double-teamed Rock in the ring, with Triple H knocking down the referee for the disqualification. Triple H then dragged Lita into the ring and teased attacking her, only for the Hardy Boys to come out for the save. Rock gave Triple H a DDT, and this led to Rock, Hardy Boys & Lita all putting the boots to Triple H. Angle, outside the ring, conscious of his match vs Rock and Triple H for the WWF title a few days later, elected not to save Triple H and headed to the back instead. The show closed with a memorable scene - Angle with Stephanie on the sofa backstage, with Angle declaring his undying love for her and shockingly kissing her on the lips for a lengthy period. They had been building up to this point in the storyline for months. This angle was so great - up to this point. The obvious thing to everyone at the time was Stephanie going with Angle. Unfortunately, Triple H didn't see it that way, and as he had increased creative power as a performer (not to mention was in a relationship with Stephanie in real life at this point), he was able to get the angle nixed. Such a shame in hindsight. The match and angle that aired here was terrific though.
A short video aired on Sherri Martel's career in WWE. It was noted that Sherri was billed from New Orleans, Louisiana (she was actually from Birmingham, Alabama).
3) WWF Womens' Champion, Sherri Martel defeated Velvet McIntyre to retain her title. This match aired on the September 27th, 1987 edition of 'WWF Wrestling Challenge', taped in Rockford, Illinois on September 16th, 1987. Match was notable for McIntyre wrestling barefoot and for giving Sherri a Giant Swing, which was funny to see here, in light of the move's recent renaissance under Cesaro. Sherri won with a schoolgirl, with a handful of tights too. McIntyre beat up Sherri after the match and cleared the ring.
A brief recap of the ECW November to Remember 1998 pay-per-view aired, which took place in New Orleans, and included the bizarre sight of Jake Roberts appearing, wearing a British Wigan Rugby League shirt.
4) Taz & Sabu & Rob Van Dam (w/Bill Alfonso in their corner) defeated Shane Douglas & Chris Candido & Bam Bam Bigelow (w/Francine in their corner). This match was the main event of the 'ECW November to Remember 1998' pay-per-view event, held in New Orleans, Louisiana on November 1st, 1998. This was a wild brawl between all six guys, using chairs as weapons. RVD to an amazing somersault senton splash off the top rope, on to Bam Bam Bigelow who was in the crowd. The finish saw Taz have Shane Douglas locked in the Tazmission and actually went to the mat with him. Suddenly, Taz' partner Sabu came up with the top rope with an Arabian facebuster on to Douglas (and Taz), pinning Douglas for the win and stealing Taz' thunder. After the match, all three babyfaces argued.
5) NWA World Champion, Ricky Steamboat defeated Ric Flair in a 2-out-of-3 falls match to retain his title. This match was the famous main event of the 'WCW Clash of the Champions 6' live TBS special, that took place at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana on April 2nd, 1989, going head-to-head with WWF Wrestlemania 5 that was taking place at the same time on pay-per-view. Announcers for this match were Jim Ross & Terry Funk. This is one of the greatest matches of all time, but was only shown in 9 minute edited form here. Flair scored the first fall with an inside cradle. Steamboat came back into the bout with a great superplex on Flair, followed by locking Flair into a standing double chicken wing submission, causing Flair to submit and tie the falls at one a piece. Steamboat scored a nearfall, when Flair broke a pin attempt with a foot on the bottom rope. The finish of the match saw Steamboat once again lock Flair into a double chicken wing, at first standing but then dropping to the mat. The referee counted to three and it appeared at first that maybe Steamboat's shoulders had been down on the mat. But Steamboat had his hand raised for the win. Aside from the match being legendary, it's worth pointing out how great Terry Funk was on color commentary for this match. He was really great during this bout and worked well with Jim Ross.
Closing thoughts: Very good show, with some very interesting matches.
Quick plug: If you enjoy my weekly 'WWE Vintage Collection' tv columns such as this, then you may like to check out the latest issue of 'Fighting Spirit Magazine' (Issue 105, with The The Shield on the cover. The critically-acclaimed magazine features all new regular columns from FSM columnists, Magnus and Jim Cornette, in addition to articles on the current wrestling scene internationally and in the U.K., as well as great historical pieces on wrestling heritage. Plus my 'Wrestling Round Up' TV Lounge column, recapping this past months' WWE & TNA tv shows, as well as WWE ppv & UK independent show reviews, plus much more. Available now, in all good newsagents in the U.K. & Ireland, and for fans worldwide, subscriptions are available here at: http://www.fightingspiritmagazine.co.uk/magazine/subscribe!
Also, for fans in the U.S. and worldwide, why not try the brand new Fighting Spirit Magazine app for iPhone and iPad? Price is $3.99, but a free issue is included in that price! It's awesome to read FSM on the iPad, so why not give it a try?!
Fighting Spirit Magazine App is downloadable here:
1) Kevin Nash & Scott Hall defeated Bret Hart & Bill Goldberg to win the WCW World Tag Team titles ('WCW Monday Nitro' live - New Orleans, Louisiana: 13/12/99).
2) The Rock & Lita defeated Kurt Angle & Stephanie McMahon via disqualification ('WWF Smackdown' - New Orleans, Louisiana: taped on 22/08/00, aired on 24/08/00).
3) WWF Womens' Champion, Sherri Martel defeated Velvet McIntyre to retain her title ('WWF Wrestling Challenge' - Rockford, Illinois: taped on 16/09/87, aired on 27/09/87).
4) Taz & Sabu & Rob Van Dam (w/Bill Alfonso in their corner) defeated Shane Douglas & Chris Candido & Bam Bam Bigelow (w/Francine in their corner) ('ECW November to Remember 1998' pay-per-view event - New Orleans, Louisiana: 01/11/98).
5) NWA World Champion, Ricky Steamboat defeated Ric Flair in a 2-out-of-3 falls match to retain his title ('WCW Clash of the Champions 6' live TBS special - New Orleans, Louisiana: 02/04/89).
Please note: I DO NOT sell DVDs or tapes of any of these shows. Sorry!
I hope you enjoyed this week’s report. For other reports like this one, be sure to check it out my website archive at http://www.classicwrestlingreports.com .
It’s no longer updated, but this website carries all of my previous WWE Classics tv reports that have been featured on the old WrestlingObserver.com website.
As always your questions, comments and thoughts are always welcomed, and you can contact me at
Until next week, have a good week.
St Helens, England, U.K.