Two gridiron guys who should have been teammates in the Horsemen were featured here - Kevin Greene, standing side-by-side with Ric Flair, en lieu of Steve "Mongo" McMichael one could say, because "Mongo" had a match of his own against yet a third football freak of nature... More on that in a second!
This one was a joy to watch for many good reasons: despite all the football players in the ring, there was not even a TRACE of one Lex Luger... No stench of hulkamania either here - he must have boycotted the night (as his creative control deal gave him the right to do so - because Flair was scheduled to star and shine on this evening... Hollywood Hogan is one hulkish primadonna - thus, he'd veto his appearance on something that Flair shines in... Hence, there would be no Hulk tonight! No cheap "victory" for the damnable nWo either here...!
In the nostalgia-filled comments section, you will find a detailed description of the pay-per-view event (available on VHS still - somewhere out there!)
Here, let's be luminous and focus only on what truly matters, shall we?
Mongo had a match with NFL star turned preacher Reggie White (who's black, for those who don't know him!) This proved an interesting dilemma for me, see... For I was a fan of Mongo as a member of the 4 Horsemen But I liked White, the man of God! In the end, thanks to interim horseman Jeff Jarrett's interference, Mongo gains the upper hand and wins over White - begrudgingly one might add, for he would have preferred not to have had Double J's assist at all...
The main event is Flair's affair here! As well it should be - this event being held in his hometown! Home state hero, Greene, a star at the time for the NFL's Carolina Panthers, was the natural partner for Flair and should have become a full-fledged Horseman in subsequent years (somehow, it didn't come to pass... Snif!) As for White, a wrestler-for-one-day, Greene was a Horseman-for-one-night! The third component in this trio of TRADITION versus the unruly new world order was Flair's old accomplice, Roddy Piper. In recent years, Piper re-teamed with Flair again and again - last time being in 2006 when the two of them, aging and all, still proved to be too much for the Spirit Squad to handle as they took the tag-team championship from them - two old guys versus five younger ones! FAUT LE FAIRE! But I digress... Back in 1997, the opposition was the over-rated elite members of the nWo - Syxx (aka the 1-2-3 Kid a.k.a. Sean Waltman - the one who got beat up by his girlfriend, WWE's Chyna a.k.a. Joanie Laurer!) along with Kevin Nash (a.k.a. the WWE's Diesel) and Scott Hall (a.k.a. the WWE's Razor Ramon). Flair, Piper and Greene destroyed Syxx, Hall and Nash - pinning them all simultaneously for the unequivocal triumph of time-honored tradition over the rulebreaking ways and degenerescence (!) of the nWo!
WCW won big time on that day! Too bad it couldn't last... :(
Here following (depending upon "availability"...!) is the main event of Slamboree 1997 - easily the greatest tag-team match of its kind, ever! Its aftermath is on the third and fourth screens... Suffice it to say, over all, the good guys won!
I find it downright AMUSING that I, Luminous Luciano, will now showcase a "darkgenius" - but why the hell not? The guy knows his wrestling - is from North Carolina (home of Flair and Greene - two of the three triumphant heroes here) AND he is almost as funny as I can be! ;)
"Darkgenius" though is no genius - he makes abominably simplistic errors on names here (he really should have known better) and he dares to dislike two of the greatest Horsemen of all-time; Mongo and the Crippler!? He probably thinks the big bores such as Sid Vicious and Barry Windham were better? I hope, for his dark soul, that he doesn't like Luger one iota...
What could be expected here, though? The guy is in the dark - he is not luminous! Genius rhymes with luminous; not "dark" nor darkness! The two concepts are as incongruous as, say... Love and hatred! I can't make it any more understandable than that! ;)
So here, following, is the darkgenius' so-called "review" - courtesy of Amazon.com too!
Ric Flair's return to action is one of only a few highlights, November 14, 2003
Reviewer: Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA)
WCW's Slamboree 1997 is not one of the sport's most memorable pay-per-view events, but it certainly does have its moments. There are a few less than exciting matches, including one woefully short one, Hollywood Hulk Hogan is nowhere to be found, and the only two belts up for grabs are the television and US titles - many a Monday Nitro broadcast offered better cards than this event. Yet, Slamboree 97 is important. The night is basically built on the foundation of Ric Flair's return to wrestling. After some eight months out nursing an injured soldier, Flair returned to the ring styling and profiling as only he could, and he did it in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. In the main event, he joined Rowdy Roddy Piper and Kevin Greene (who was at the time a celebrated player from a Carolina Panthers team that had just enjoyed an amazingly successful season for such a young franchise) to take on the NWO's Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and Six. This match is rather shameless, really, especially as it ends with all three of the NWO guys pinned simultaneously, yet it was great fun and a welcome relief to fans who had seen the NWO running rough-shod over the WCW for far too long.
The night began with Steven Regal seeking to reclaim the world's television title against the Ultimate Dragon. Regal is a great wrestler in every sense of the word, and this is a pretty good match that comes to an unexpected ending when Ultimate Dragon manager Sonny Ono shows that he can break champions as well as make them. Next up is a boring women's fight between fan favorite Madusa and the frightening-looking Luna Vachon. As soon as the match ends, the NWO's Macho Man Randy Savage decides to come to the ring alongside Miss Elizabeth and rag on his current nemesis, Diamond Dallas Page. Page comes out of the stands holding the crutch that Savage had recently used to injure DDP's ribs, and he introduces that very same crutch to the bodies of Savage, Vincent, and Eric Bischoff before being ganged up on. The Giant, who had recently proven that the NWO was not for life after all, comes to DDP's aid and cleans house. Rey Mysterio, Jr. vs Japanese Juhi Jasuraoka follows this action, and while Juhi was basically unknown to the WCW viewing audience, his match with the ever-popular Mysterio actually stands as the best wrestling match of the night. The next match features Glacier; WCW made a big deal about this guy, but he never won me over. His supposedly long-time nemesis Mortis, with James Vandenberg at his side, comes out to face him, but about two minutes in he calls for Vandenberg's other henchman, Wrath, to come to the ring, whereupon the evil trio beat the fool out of Glacier. Suddenly, a "fan" jumps into the ring and starts handing out incredible karate kicks; this "fan" is none other than full-contact karate champion Ernest Miller, who would soon join the stable of regular WCW wrestlers.
The next match pits US champion Dean Malenko against Jeff Jarrett, the sort-of Horseman who is accompanied to the ring by Debra McMichael. Steve Mongo McMichael comes to get his wife in preparation for his own match later on, at which point the whole tide turns and Malenko retains the title. I was always a fan of the Four Horsemen in my youth, but I never really liked Mongo and I really didn't like Chris Benoit, who fought Ming in a Death Match on this night. It doesn't really matter who wins this match; you just want it to end so that the abrasive racket of Woman (Benoit's sweetie) screaming her support and concern for Benoit will stop. The finish is sort of lame but enjoyable, at least for me. Next up is a rather forgettable match between the Steiner Brothers and the soon-to-be short-lived team of Hugh Morris and Konan.
That leaves just two matches left, the first of which features a battle of the NFL defensive monsters: Steve Mongo McMichael vs. Reggie White. This was Reggie White's first (and as far as I know) only wrestling match, and it's not a particularly pretty thing to watch. My man Jeff Jarrett lends a helping hand in the culmination of the fight, even though he had few reasons to want to help Mongo, and even the ringside presence of Gilbert Brown can't save Reggie White from a welcome but unsatisfying defeat. Then it's Flair's time to shine, and the fans in Charlotte go crazy for him and his partners, the magnitude of whose victory over the NWO leads Tony Schiavone to offer the suggestion that, when the losers wake up, somebody should tell them that tradition, which the NWO always spat upon, does not bite. It's silly but good fun, especially for fans of the one and only Nature Boy Ric Flair. Of course, the play-by-play team of Schiavone, Bobby the Brain Heenan and the always-hilarious American Dream Dusty Rhodes guarantees plenty of entertainment during even the scattered number of boring spots in the night's activities.
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Born in the Age of Aquarius, destined to seek out truths in many an art form, trained as a historian and a journalist but truly a prose-lover... Luciano is out to dispel any clichés and reinvent them all both to the tune of a little something called the truth as also to his own image - being old-fashioned, he does not mind that distinction one infinitesimal tiny bit at all...! "There are two ways to spread the light; be the candle... or the mirror that reflects It." I have chosen to be the latter... okay? ~*~
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