Slamboree 1997: Agoobwa

Slamboree 1997
Date: May 18, 1997
Location: Independence Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina
Attendance: 9,643
Commentators: Dusty Rhodes, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan

So you remember how Spring Stampede was a filler PPV? This one is as well but probably moreso than that one. The main event is the Wolfpac vs. the Horsemen in a meaningless six man. Hogan had this annoying habit of taking the summer off and he did it again here too. He wouldn’t be back until July with Bash at the Beach for another meaningless tag match. To give you an idea of how dominant WCW was, the world title wasn’t defended on PPV from February until August and they still dominated WWF. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is about the three former football players that are wrestling tonight. You know, because that’s what we bought wrestling PPVs to see.

The announcers babble about tradition.

TV Title: Steven Regal vs. Ultimo Dragon

Regal is challenging. Dragon goes to a wristlock and manages to stop Regal’s usual counter to it and hooks an armbar. Test of strength goes on with Regal taking him down but Dragon pops right back up. They go to the corner and Dragon does his stand on his head in the corner deal. Why does no one ever hit him while he does that? I get the real life reason that he might die, but in kayfabe why not hit him?

Back on the mat Dragon fires off some kicks and hooks a half crab. Regal makes the rope and fires off some kicks of his own to send the champion to the floor. Back in a suplex gets two for Regal. They trade full nelsons and Dragon gets a sunset flip for two. Regal Stretch is avoided and Dragon is all fired up now for some reason. They get into a chain wrestling match and Regal is in his element. Regal tries the Stretch again but Dragon grabs his own mask to block it.

Since the Stretch won’t go on it’s time for the bow and arrow/surfboard (Dusty and Tenay call it either or) but Dragon escapes and fires a kick to the back. Here’s the bridging Indian Deathlock and the fans chant for Regal. Dragon switches to a camel clutch and it turns into a brawl. Dragon dropkicks him to the floor and Sonny fires off some kicks. Those get him yelled at by the champ so Dragon sends Regal back in and hits a top rope rana for two.

Regal tries the Stretch again but Dragon makes the ropes. The fans are firmly behind Regal now which is strange as this is heel vs. heel and Dragon has been the good guy by default. Both guys try rollups for two but Dragon takes over with a spinwheel kick. Tiger suplex is countered but Dragon sends Regal to the floor. Asai Moonsault hits and Sonny adds in some more kicks. Dragon stops him so Sonny kicks Dragon, allowing Regal to take over. In the ring a reverse suplex sets up the Regal Stretch and we have a new champion.

Rating: B. This was getting really good at the end and was still good when Sonny got involved. Was there ever a more useless manager now named Paul Jones? Really good opener here as they were beating the tar out of each other. Dragon would get the title back in a little over two months.

Madusa vs. Luna Vachon

This is the fallout from last month. Luna is billed from the Other Side of Darkness. Lee Marshall is brought in as a women’s wrestling expert here. Luna takes her down to start and chokes a lot. Madusa tries to throw punches but gets beaten down again. Marshall talks about Martina Navartilova as Madusa kicks Luna’s head off with a SWEET spin kick. Luna comes back with a stomach claw which that schnook Marshall calls scandalous. Madusa hits something like a Stinger Splash and screams a lot. Clothesline gets two. Luna manages a thumb in the eye, misses a top rope splash, and gets German suplexed for the pin.

Rating: D-. Nothing at all to see here as neither girl cared and none of the fans cared either. Bad match and there was nothing going on. The division didn’t exist but we got this stuff every now and then so that WCW could claim they had women’s wrestlers. Bad match but Madusa is kind of cute at times.

Post match Madusa takes her vest off to reveal her bra, which you could see 80% of already.

Here are Savage and Liz for a little chat. They throw Gene out and head to the ring. He talks about how the NWO is the center of the universe and how Page doesn’t matter because he doesn’t want any more of Savage. Cue Page through the crowd with a crutch to taunt Savage. The NWO has a conference in the aisle as Page makes fun of Savage, saying that he washes Hogan’s car. Savage finally comes in and gets beaten down by the crutch. More NWO comes in and beat him down but the Giant makes the save. Page vs. Savage would main event the next show. This took almost eight minutes.

Rey Mysterio vs. Yuji Yasuraoka

Yuji is a guy who I can only find very infrequent matches in New Japan for. He debuted last night on Saturday Night and that’s about all they’ve got on him. In other words, he’s a nobody. They both trade some quick holds and Rey works on the leg. Yuji comes back with a suplex and a kick to the back to take over. He’s the heel by default here because he’s Japanese and therefore evil. Oh and because he’s facing Mysterio.

Spinwheel kick gets two for Yuji. He puts his hands on the chest instead of a usual cover with a leg hook to really show how evil he is. Rey sends him to the floor and sets for a dive but the referee gets in the way. Rey is like screw it and dives over Curtis the next time instead to hit Yuji. Back in the ring Rey hooks a camel clutch which looks really awkward for him. Yuji comes back and hooks a Fujiwara Armbar as things slow down again.

Apparently Yuji is a former partner of Lance Storm. Heenan: “He sounds like a weatherman from Omaha.” Now it’s a cross armbreaker to really put the fans to sleep. Well not to sleep but remember that this is a no name guy keeping things on the mat in a non-title match. Why should we care? Out to the floor and Yuji hits a double ax off the top to take Rey out. Suplex back in gets two. Rey sends him into the corner and hits a split legged moonsault for two.

Time to trade some reversals with both guys getting two, Yuji’s off a countered victory roll and Rey’s off the counter to the counter. Yuji tries a rana but gets powerbombed for two. Rey misses a top rope splash and Yuji hits his finisher, a double arm DDT, for two. Another attempt at it is countered into a northern lights suplex for two. A top rope cross body is dropkicked down by Rey and the West Coast Pop gets the pin.

Rating: C. It’s not a bad match but at the end of the day, it’s just another cruiserweight match that doesn’t mean anything because Syxx wouldn’t defend the freaking title. On top of that the match was only ok. Yuji would never be seen again that I know of and after this, I can kind of see why. Again not a bad match, but nothing we haven’t seen a million times.

Mortis vs. Glacier

This is one of those feuds that went on forever and I don’t think there was ever any real resolution to it. Glacier charges in and the fight is on quick. Mortis goes after the knee and Glacier is down in the corner. And here’s Wrath who has debuted before this apparently. Glacier hits a German on Mortis before Wrath gets here but there’s the DQ like two minutes in. This is what NITRO is for people!

Ernest Miller comes in through the crowd for the save. He hasn’t been named yet at this point. Oh ok he is named and the announcers immediately recognize him as a world karate champion, because Eric Bischoff seemed to think that EVERYONE followed tournament karate.

US Title: Jeff Jarrett vs. Dean Malenko

Dean is defending and Debra brings out Jeff. They fight over a lockup to start and Dean gives him a clean break in the corner. Jeff takes him down with a shoulder but doesn’t follow up. Even Tony is confused by that. Dean hits a drop toehold but doesn’t follow up either. They both seem hesitant to charge in here. Dean hooks a quick chinlock but Jarrett counters into a mat hold of his own that is countered so quickly that it’s off to an STF by Dean.

Debra says something and they’re still feeling each other out in the ring. Dean hooks a leg bar which goes nowhere either. Out to the floor and Jarrett’s leg is put over the railing and kicked, but he’s fine enough to rapidly stomp Dean on the way back in. Dropkick gets two. Off to an abdominal stretch which lasts for a few moments. Dean tries to speed things up and sends Jeff to the floor.

Back in Dean still won’t go after him and for the life of me I don’t get why. It’s Jeff Jarrett in 1997. Armbar goes on followed by a swinging neckbreaker. Here comes the Figure Four but Dean escapes by hitting Jeff’s knee. Cloverleaf is countered into a small package for two. Another Cloverleaf attempt is countered by Dean being sent to the floor. Back in the ring a cross body is rolled through for two for Dean.

Off to a sleeper so Tony talks about Piper. Now Malenko counters into a sleeper of his own but Jeff quickly counters into the Figure Four. Dean panics then realizes he’s 8 inches from the ropes. The fans are all over Jarrett here. Dean sends him into the corner and we get an embarrassingly bad collision. Here’s Mongo to pull Debra away and throw Jarrett back into the Cloverleaf so Dean can retain.

Rating: C. Again the match isn’t bad but so what? Back in February Mongo and Jarrett were fighting because of Debra and now it’s May and they’re still fighting about Debra. Also keep in mind that this is when Jarrett was still REALLY boring in the ring and could pretty much just throw dropkicks and put on a Figure Four. Nothing to see here as Malenko keeps the title and that’s about it. Jarrett would get the title about three months later in an attempt to make the Mongo feud mean something.

Meng vs. Chris Benoit

This is a death match which means last man standing. Speaking of feuds that WOULD NOT END, this is more Benoit/Horsemen vs. Dungeon. At least Woman looks pretty good here. Benoit is tentative to start but grabs a dragon screw leg whip to put Meng down for about a second. Meng comes right back so Benoit heads to the floor where he gets counted for no apparent reason.

Back in the ring Meng hits a belly to belly suplex. Meng tries to throw a punch but Benoit slips behind him and hits a German. Benoit keeps going for the legs which is smart strategy but he gets kicked off. Out to the floor and Meng is sent into the steps in a scary looking bump as the corner almost hit his eye. Meng comes back in and pounds him down in the corner but Benoit comes back with chops.

Meng goes all psycho Samoan…..and for the love of all things good and holy freaking Jacqueline is here. NO ONE LIKES YOU AND NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOU NOW GO AWAY!!! Woman chases her away for some reason that I don’t care about at all. Meng hooks a half crab and I think you can win by submission as well. Benoit makes the ropes which is a break in a match that has no DQ.

Benoit tries a comeback but gets headbutted right back down. A good piledriver puts Benoit down for eight. Out of nowhere Benoit grabs the Crossface (not named yet. Ok apparently it is but Tony calls it an armbar submission at first) but Meng slides to the floor to break it. Now Dusty says you have to break in the ropes. What happens if you don’t? Benoit keeps getting up and screams for more so Meng keeps kicking him in the face.

A running kick in the corner misses and Benoit fires away at him. Here are the rolling Germans which that idiot Tony calls dragon suplexes. This show is ticking me off already and now we have to listen to Tony screw up move names. Here’s the Crossface again but Meng rolls outside again. Wicked suicide dive takes Meng down but Benoit can’t follow up. Back in a suplex puts Meng down but he catches Benoit in the Tongan Death Grip while Benoit tries the swan dive. Benoit passes out for the loss.

Rating: D+. Another match that more or less was a singles match but more hard hitting. It wasn’t terrible but with Tony and Jackie out there messing up everything, it was hard to care. On top of that, why have Benoit lose here? That would apparently be so that they could do THE EXACT SAME MATCH the next month.

This show is already bad but the problem is that none of this stuff matters. That’s the case for Spring Stampede, this show and the Great American Bash, because most of the big names weren’t here and none of the matches meant anything because it was clear that everything was leading up to Sting vs. Hogan, and Hogan didn’t appear on any of these shows, nor did Sting I don’t think. In other words, we had three months of worthless PPVs, which make them even harder to sit through.

Konnan/Hugh Morrus vs. Steiner Brothers

See my point? Scott and Morrus start. Dusty says these teams both want to be tag champions. That’s hilarious: like the Outsiders would ever defend those things. To give you an idea of things: the Steiners won the belts in October. From October 1996 until May of 1998, ONLY the Outsiders and the Steiners held the belts (not counting the Giant/Luger title win as they had to return them the next night). On top of that, aside from 18 days in Spring of 98, either an Outsider or a Steiner held the titles from October of 1996 until January of 1999. Think about that for a minute.

Morrus gets thrown around by both Steiners and Rick hits some Steiner Lines. A top rope Steiner Line puts Morrus on the floor and the Steiners clear the ring. Rick vs. Konnan now with Konnan getting thrown all over the place with “that move that Benoit used in the last match” (German suplex). Back to Scott as we’re in squash mode so far. Konnan finally gets a boot up in the corner to give the Dungeon an advantage.

Never mind of course as Scott suplexes him over. Morrus comes in again and Jimmy trips Scott to give his team a chance. Hugh manages a suplex and it’s back to Konnan who gets two off a neckbreaker. Morrus hooks a Fujiwara Armbar but it’s off to Konnan for a modified Rings of Saturn. Scott gets up and hits an overhead belly to belly. Morrus tries a double ax while Scott is on his back because the put the boot up while the other guy does a move that only exists to jump into the boot spot is REALLY what I want to see right now. Hot tag to Rick, bad top rope bulldog, everything breaks down, Frankensteiner, pin.

Rating: D. Another whatever match here as none of it means anything and we got a glorified squash on PPV. Then again Rick lost a glorified squash last month as well but hey, it sucked last month so maybe it will here too! Nothing to see here (of course) as the Steiners wouldn’t get a title shot until AUGUST.

Konnan beats up Morrus post match, quitting the Dungeon to become a rapper.

Reggie White vs. Steve McMichael

GREAT. This is EXACTLY what this show needs. Why is Reggie White fighting? Who knows? Who cares? My guess is because even though Mongo is a face here, he turned heel on Greene like 11 months ago and this is REVENGE. You would think that Greene would want revenge himself, but he’s in the main event with the guys that Mongo turned on him for. In theory White is a heel here, but naturally he’s treated as the hero against a Horseman in CHARLOTTE. He has his strength coach with him. This is White’s first match ever and they put him with STEVE FREAKING MCMICHAEL. Let’s get this over with.

Feeling out process to start as Mongo is definitely playing heel. They collide and both stumble. They do it again and Mongo stumbles a bit. White hooks a headlock and they ram again with Mongo going down this time. Steve draws the scrimmage line and they go at it with Mongo taking the leg out. They do it again and White jumps over him, then hits him in the side of the ribs which is a “clothesline.”

Mongo tries to leave but one of White’s teammates comes out to throw him back in. It’s a nose tackle from the Packers apparently. White gets some great height on a dropkick for two. The kick sucked but he was UP THERE. The fans cheer for Mongo but he keeps playing heel because that’s what was set before the match and White (not his fault) doesn’t know how to be a heel because HE ISN’T A WRESTLER.

Mongo hooks an armbar and shouts about how Jesus may have White’s soul (White was known as a very religious man) but Mongo has him right now. That gets McMichael sent to the floor and it’s more stalling. White hooks a headlock but Mongo escapes and clips him to take over. Side slam puts Reggie down but he comes back up quickly and puts the headlock on again before hitting a cross body for two.

Off to a nerve hold by White but McMichael hits him low and makes fun of church bells. Off to another leg lock and then a half crab. They ram each other into the corner a few times but Steve kicks the knee out. Figure four is countered and White shoves him down. He actually SELLS THE KNEE….or maybe he’s just tired. They slug it out in the corner and Reggie is all fired up.

There’s an atomic drop and a much better clothesline to put Mongo on the floor. Back in and McMichael takes over, only to have his suplex countered. He hits a splash but there’s no referee because of Debra. Briefcase is stolen by the other football player but Jeff Jarrett comes out and throws in another case and the shot with that gets the pin on White.

Rating: F. As in FIFTEEN MINUTES that this match got. Now before I get into this, I want to emphasize something: Reggie White was TRYING out there. He looked fired up, he was going the entire time, and there have been far worse celebrity performances in the past. That being said, the match was WAY too long and McMichael was the totally wrong person to try to carry him.

Think back to the 97 Great American Bash when it was Mongo/Greene debuting as a team. They faced Arn Anderson and Ric Flair, two of the best ring technicians ever. Flair and Arn walked then through a 20 minute match and it wasn’t that terrible. That being said, this was a HORRIBLE idea. You took basically a rookie and had him work a fifteen minute match with a football player. Horrible match, but more based on the people that put it together rather than the wrestlers.

Kevin Greene/Roddy Piper/Ric Flair vs. Syxx/Kevin Nash/Scott Hall

Here’s your main event. Nothing on the line, just pride. It’s Flair’s first match back in 8 months. Greene played for the Carolina Panthers so he’s incredibly popular. Flair vs. Syxx to start. Syxx takes him down quickly and grabs a headlock. Flair chops him down but Syxx kicks him in the face. Syxx chops him in the corner and Flair is all like boy please. There’s a backdrop and a pelvic thrust to the Outsiders.

Hall comes in and takes a punch and Flair wants Nash. Greene and Piper haven’t done anything yet. Hall comes in legally and Flair says bring it on. Now it’s off to Greene and it’s time to stall. Nash comes in before Hall does anything. They shove each other around and Nash pounds away with the usual stuff in the corner. Greene comes back with a shoulderblock to take down the other Kevin and he does it again. Nash heads to the floor so Greene beats up both other Wolfpac members.

Hall wants Piper so here he is. Piper has a HUGE bandage on his right thigh. Into the corner and Piper rifles off rights and lefts as we continue the start and stop nature of this match. A knee lift by Piper puts Piper down (not a typo) but Hall shoves him into the corner. Roddy fights off all three of them at once but Syxx manages to get in a shot to the leg to give the NWO their first advantage.

Piper kicks away a figure four attempt and dives to Flair, putting the total time the NWO was in control at 19 seconds. Flair comes in but gets knocked into the corner for the Flair Flip. He comes off the top and jumps into the fallaway slam by Hall. They all head to the floor and Greene runs over Syxx. Flair is the face in peril and gets caught in Snake Eyes.

Back to Hall for nothing of note and it’s back to Syxx. He hits the Bronco Buster, drawing a homosexual slur chant. That of course fires up the He-Man known as Ric Flair but Syxx takes him back down almost immediately. Flair tags in Piper but the referee doesn’t see it. Piper is like screw that and decks Anderson and everything breaks down. Nick Patrick, freshly good again, replaces Anderson. Flair hits Hall low and puts on the Figure Four. Piper puts Nash in the sleeper and Syxx gets powerslammed for the triple win.

Rating: C. This was a basic six man tag but MAN did the place pop for the win. This is supposed to be a big deal for some reason with Tony calling it the biggest moment in the history of WCW. It’s probably the best match of the night other than the opener and this one kind of almost means something so I’ll give it the point. Greene was having a blast out here and did what he could.

Overall Rating: N. As in nothing. I’ve got nothing that could accurately describe how worthless this was. Some of the matches are ok at best but for the most part they were either bad or pointless. Nothing to see here at all as none of the big stars were here for the most part, at least not wrestling. This was the second of three straight PPVs with no Hogan and as annoying as he was, without him there was really no point to anything because he was world champion. Horrible show that was actually making me mad at times, which is a rarity.

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  1. Wayne says:

    Good review as usual, but 2 things:

    1) The Great American Bash show that Mongo & Greene teamed up at was the 1996 version, not 1997. Typo there, lol.

    2) Three straight months of worthless PPVs? That comment is VERY accurate regarding WCW PPVs during this period in 97.

  2. Wayne says:

    Oh yeah, and after Uncensored 97, Sting didn’t appear on any PPVs till Starrcade.

  3. Jay says:

    Other than the 6-Man and the Opener I do agree that wasn’t much about this Slamboree. Malenko/Jarrett & Rey’s Matches are just there but not too bad. I dunno how WCW was able to stay on top even at this point without Hogan or Sting appearing on some of the PPVs in 1997. I liked your line KB about Bischoff thinking every follows Karate Tournaments so we should have known who The Cat was right away.

  4. Jay says:

    And some of these Matches could have been on Nitro instead of here.