WCW World War III 1997 Review

WCW World War III 1997 Review
Date: November 23, 1997
Attendance: 17,128
Location: The Palace of Auburn Hills

Your commentators are the usual foe in The Brain, Tony and Mike.

We are coming hot off the contract signing between Sting and Hollywood Hogan and this feud had the world buzzing at this point. Went and watched Hogan’s movie (for a laugh) that had been advertised so often on Nitro and it was fucking shit! Might have been a hit back then though. Attack on Devil’s Island for those playing at home.

The winner of the 60 man, 3 ring battle royal will go on to face with Sting or Hogan at Superbrawl 1998. Lets get to the action.

The Faces of Fear (Meng and Barbarian) w/ Jimmy Hart vs Ernest ‘The Cat’ Miller and Glacier

Dont know why this is the opener but we obviously don’t get a say in these situations. Meng and Barbarian get into it straight away as they start laying into their competitors. Miller fights back and uses Meng as a springboard to launch onto barbarian on the outside. Glacier follows it up with a cross body to add some spice. Back in the ring and a back body drop into a powerbomb by the Faces of Fear fetches only 2! A shoulder breaker on Glacier then straight into a side neck grip by Meng.  Glacier finally makes the hot tag to get Miller in and starts throwing his kicks around. Jimmy Hart gets on the apron and Miller smacks him one. Turns around and walks straight into a Tongan Death Grip for the 1-2-3. (9:09) Your winners, The Faces of Fear.

Rating: *½ - A real nothing opener this one and im very surprised it even made a PPV, let along opening one up. You have karate or martials arts specialists vs wrestlers. Who do you think is going to win? ITS WRESTLING (or sports entertainment). Whatever you prefer.

TV Title match: Disco Inferno vs Perry Saturn (c)

I loved Perry Saturn’s entrance music in WCW and fitted his persona perfectly. We finally have Raven and co doing something rather than getting free front row tickets every week at Nitro  so thats a positive.

Anyways to the action and Saturn won the title off of Disco two weeks prior on Nitro and this is the return matchup. We have Raven at ringside as Saturn is on top early. Disco fights back and sends Saturn to the outside in frustration. Back in the ting and some good action as Disco continues to be on top before Saturn whips out a pump handle slam.  Hoists Disco on the top ropes and springboards to knock him to the floor. Kidman starts giving Disco crap from the front row and Disco nails him with a chartbuster. Hits another on Syck Boy on the rail before trying to hit one on a creepy looking Van Hammer. Takes too long and Saturn nails him from behind. Back in the ring and an irish whip turns into a spinning next breaker offense manoeuvre for Disco.  Heads up top and goes for a cross body, reversed on the mat into the Rings of Saturn for the submission win. (8:19) Still TV champion, Saturn.

Rating: *** -  Good stuff from these two but due to the main event that will take an eternity to finish, this is about as much time they could get. Still a good match up with the majority of offense owned by Disco before Saturn picks up the submission.

Ultimo Dragon vs Yuji Nagata w. Sonny Onoo

If Ultimo wins this one, he will get five minutes in the ring with Sonny. These two have faced each other plenty of times before so i have high hopes. Quick back and forth action starts this one off before Yuji goes to the floor. Dragon turns his attention to Sonny as he begins to suplex him before getting nailed from behind. Back in the ring and Dragon applies a headlock which is finally reversed into a belly to back suplex. Yuji spikes him with a piledriver before applying a headlock of his own. Lots of mat work in this one before Yuji puts on the arm bar to the injured Ultimo arm but he makes it to the ropes. A nice spot here as Dragon hits a cross body off the top to the floor. Dragon puts Yuji on the top and gets a couple of close pinfalls with a powerbomb and a moonsault off the top. Applies the dragon sleeper and looks as if Yuji is tapping out but Sonny gets on the apron to distract the ref. Dragon breaks the hold and then goes up top to hit a frankensteiner but Sonny puts Yuji’s foot on the rope. Dragon goes for a belly to back but loses balance and it connects with Onoo on the apron. Nagata wraps him up and steals the win. (12:45)

Rating: *** - Again very good stuff with a good mix of mat work and plenty of action towards the end of the match but the screwy ending was pretty poor. Onoo played it very well and allowed Yuji Nagata to steal the win. Got a decent amount of time as well so not bad.

Tag Team Title Match: The Steiners vs Dave Taylor and Steven Regal

We all know what the outcome to this one will be. Really just a filler match/feud with these two Brits before they get into a more decent feud. Taylor and Regal only had their first match together two weeks ago on Nitro so I wonder how the Steiners feel after their torturous run in finally getting a title shot. Oh well.

Its the power game of the Steiners vs the tactical mat stuff of the British. Scott Steiner starts things off with Dave Taylor and a double armed powerbomb gets Dave Taylor to the outside. Rick Steiner is now the legal man with Regal as Rick works on the arm. Scott is tagged in and plants a belly to belly suplex. Scott is looking alot bigger than I have ever seen before.

We get the usual Steiner match with Scott getting beat down for the majority before finally making the hot tag with Rick. Comes in and clears house with some forearms before its just the Steiners and Regal in the ring. The Steiner bulldog and this one is alllll overrrr! (9:45)

Rating: ** - Nothing all that major here and im more thankful its over so quickly. Hope its the last we see of the Taylor/Regal tag team for quite a while.  

JJ Dillon comes out and hands down an ultimatum to Raven, stating that if he doesn’t sign a contract with WCW within the next 24 hours, it will be the last we see of him. So we’ve seen him in the front row for the last two weeks without a contract, and he’ll just ‘disappear’ if he doesn’t sign? I like your thinking WCW.

Scotty Riggs vs Raven

Riggs comes out with an eye patch on due to the injury sustained by Raven on Nitro a week back where a drop toe hold on a chair injured his eye. The injury was always thought about being kayfabe but was revealed to be a real injury where Riggs was unable to look into bright lights and the sort. Poor thing.

Anyways, Kidman tells Riggs that its either a No DQ match or there is no fight at all. Riggs states his intentions with a spring board over the top onto three members of the flock. After a few punches on the outside, we are finally in the ring with Riggs on top. Raven whips off his shirt and starts choking Riggs in the corner. Things go to the outside again and Raven is irish whipped into the steps before getting strangled by a camera cord. You get fired for that in other companies *cough*. Perry Saturn slides a chair back in the ring and Raven wallops Scotty across the back. Stands the chair up in the middle of the rings and goes for the drop toe hold off the ropes again but this time Riggs reverses it and applies the move on Raven. DE JA VU!! Only a 2 count. Riggs nails Raven with a bulldog on the chair and again only 2! Scotty goes for a suplex and it reversed into the even flow DDT. Raven gets the microphone and says he feels Riggs pain and spikes him with another DDT. And another DDT. Riggs is out and winner by KO, Raven.  (9:45) After the match, the flock carry Riggs to the back.

Rating: ** - Wasn’t exciting by any means but was all about making Raven quite dominant at the time . The match had a purpose and it fulfilled it, though could have been a little longer.

Mongo McMichael vs Goldberg

McMichael comes out first and gets on the microphone and footage comes on of Goldberg backstage who is knocked out. McMichael asks if anyone else wants to wrestle him tonight and Debra is seen dragging out Alex Wright.

Its now Alex Wright vs Mongo w/ Queen Debra. Intriguing stuff.... not.

Wright starts things off by whacking him with his leather jacket before Mongo fights back with numerous clotheslines! A side walk slam on Wright but only 2. Debra is getting all my attention, she is smoking! Anyways, this one is over quickly after a tombstone piledriver. 1-2-3! (3:36) Your winner, Mongo!

Rating: * - A squash match on PPV and a crappy one at that. Seems they just wanted to save this Goldberg and McMichael match-up for Starrcade. Scrap this match and add some time on any of the previous matches on the card.

Cruiserweight Title Match: Eddie Guerrero (c) vs Rey Misterio Jr.

After their phenomenal match at Halloween Havoc the month before, we saw Rey lose the title back to Eddy two weeks ago on Nitro. Was definitely surprising to see Rey lose the title so quickly but its all about Starrcade supposedly (so why would anyone but this PPV?). I can’t complain though because they put on a spectacle last time and this should be good.

“Eddie Sucks!” chants go around and Rey is quickly away with a flying head scissor take down. Eddie bounces back and lands a very hard german suplex before slamming a belly to back suplex on Rey. Great action early as some close apron work results in a back breaker on the outside on Rey. All of a sudden, things are on the top turnbuckle and Eddie plants a superplex. Goes up top for the frogsplash but adjusts as Rey gets out of the way and Rey hits the Hurricanrana but only 2! Eddie is up and quickly plants Rey with a high face buster. High amount of action and at a very quick pace. Eddie puts him on the top rope and flips over him going for the powerbomb on the floor and Rey reverses it with a take down. A flying somersault over the top and nails Eddie. Back in the ring and an Irish whip sends Ray into the corner and Eddie misses with his splash attempt and hits his head on the steel post. Rey sees an opportunity to attack but gets a powerbomb for his troubles. Guerrero is up and applies his Gori Special but a quick combination of pins sees this one continue. Rey goes for a his springboard hurricanrana finisher and adds a somersault to it but Eddie gets his hand on the rope for 2 and three quarters. This one is over when Rey gets planted on the top rope and Eddie hits the frog splash for the win and remain the Cruiserweight champion.  (12:42)

Rating: ****¼ - Another excellent match between these two. There were a couple of errors in there but none the less, was still a fantastic match. Their Halloween Havoc match up was better but easily match of the night so far.

No DQ match for the US Title: Ric Flair vs Curt Henning (c)

Starts immediately on the outside and they work their way through the crowd. They stay on the outside for the majority of time as they slug it out. Back in the ring and a two count results in Henning poking the referee in the eye. He then starts working on the leg to prevent Flair from putting on the Figure Four. Things finally turn around, only for Flair to go up top and get thrown off. I seriously cant remember a time where he has pulled that move off.

Flair grabs the chair and stands it upright in the ring. Atomic drops him on the top part before kicking the chair shut and smashing his leg. Does it one more time for good measure before going for another chair and the belt on the outside. Smashes him on the leg with the chair before applying the figure four leg lock. Henning is about to tap before he reaches the title and slams it into Flair’s knee, before clocking flair in the head for the 1-2-3. (17:57)

Rating: *** - I liked this. They told a good story in the ring and it had a good flow for a No DQ match. They didn’t just rely on weapons throughout the whole thing and the fact Henning got the win means this feud is probably not over yet.

60 Man Battle Royal

I have always preferred this to the Royal Rumble. I don’t know why but the three rings and all competitors starting out in the ring I thought was always much more entertaining compared to the Rumble. It was different, with the same result for the winner who gains a title shot.

nWo comes out to their own music and I guess they will all be in the same ring due to the others being filled already.  Ravishing Rick Rude is out with the nWo after aligning himself with them on the last Nitro before the PPV.

The Giant is clearing the ring out early in Ring 3 and i think he was supposed to dump La Parka but the cool cat he is just bounced off the rope and stayed in. La Parka goes by his own rules, gotta love him!  DDP does a shifty and was in the Giant’s ring but is now in Ring 2. Clever!

Anyways, the final 10 men are the Giant, Luger, Rick Steiner, DDP, Hall, Savage, Vincent, Henning, Bagwell and Stevie Ray. So its 5 nWo vs 5 WCW and its a massive brawl in Ring 1. Giant remains in Ring 2 sussing the whole situation out. DDP Diamond cutters Vincent and Giant kicks him out of the ring. Stevie Ray and Rick Steiner are eliminated by Savage and Hall. Giant gets rid of Bagwell but then Luger and Henning are gone. We are down to Giant, Hall, Savage and DDP.

Savage goes up for a elbow drop on Page but The Giant gets in between them and catches Macho Man. Goes to dump him but gets raked in the eyes. DDP sneaks behind and nails him with the Diamond Cutter. Giant chokeslam and Savage is eliminated. Hall moves across to Ring 2 and nWo music hits. Commentators thinks its Nash before Hogan’s Hendrix music hits and he makes his way to the ring. So its now Hogan Hall, Giant and DDP.

Hogan gets rid of DDP as ‘Sting’ make his way down from the rafters. I dunno if the commentators are fucking stupid but unless Sting has grown his hair, dyed it a nice brown colour and grown a foot, then it aint the real Sting. Hogan shits himself and eliminates himself leaving the Giant and Hall. ‘Sting’ wallops Giant with the bat and is eliminated. Your winner, Scott Hall. (29:48)

The fake sting points his bat at Hall and then reveals himself to be Kevin Nash. Hogan gives DDP a diamond cutter for good measure and thats it for the night.

Rating: ** - Not really sure you rate a match like this but im guessing its merely on the entertainment factor and logic. We all known Hall would never go on to win the World Championship so why not give this opportunity to a young star who is going places and keep the whole nWo and WCW feud out of it? Anyways, it was good but if you couldn’t see Kevin Nash was the Sting from a mile away then your completely clueless.

PPV Rating: **¼
Average is probably the best word for it. Nothing special and this PPV was used as a promotional show to the big one that would be Starrcade. The Eddie and Rey match once again stole the show and there were a couple of others that were also really good. I raise my thumb in the upward direction very slightly. Actually, make it an even. 

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