WHAT HAPPENED WHEN MONDAY WITH TONY SCHIAVONE & CONRAD THOMPSON
Episode 15: WCW World War 3
Release Date: May 8th, 2017
Recap by: Dominic DeAngelo
Top Newsworthy Items:
-Tony rips apart Dave Meltzer
-Where does Roddy Piper rank all-time for Tony?
-The star power of Dusty Rhodes
-Love for Chris Jericho
Subjects covered (with timestamps)
(2:43) Tony’s immediate reaction to WW3
(4:55) Conrad plays conspiracy theorist
(20:50) Who was Jennifer Schiavone? Peachtree Post?
(22:00) Ultimo Dragon vs. Rey Mysterio
(28:10) Meltzer fan poll
(29:35) Chris Jericho vs. Nick Patrick
(33:07) Giant vs. Jeff Jarrett
(35:25) Ric Flair interview
(43:55) Roddy Piper / nWo contract signing segment
(56:35) Col. Parker vs. Sherri
(1:02:00) Rapid fire questions for Tony
(1:05:20) Dean Malenko vs. Psychosis. Tony vs. Dave Meltzer
(1:09:15) Scott Hall & Kevin Nash vs. Meng & The Barbarian vs. THe Nasty Boyz
(1:14:00) World War 3 Battle Royal
(1:22:00) Rapid Fire WW3 Match Questions
(1:25:40) Twitter questions
(1:29:55) Next week’s poll
(2:43) Tony’s immediate reaction to WW3 was a three-ring clusterf*ck, but now he thinks about Roddy Piper and Hulk Hogan along with people that have passed on. Makes you think. Tony likes WW3 and Conrad has to roll on that. Was it a Bischoff idea? Tony remembers it a concept for the booking committee.
(4:55) Conrad plays conspiracy theorist. He says it feels like WCW was running two rings in Fall Brawl, let’s make it three in WW3 and beat Royal Rumble to the punch in Jan. Tony agrees with all of that. They tried to upstage the WWF. Tony says baseball does a lot of infield shifts. Once one team started to do it, all teams started to copy it and wanted to make it better. WWF tried to set the standard, and WCW followed suit to make it better. Conrad says as a viewer there is no way to make it clear to us.
(11:50) Nitro has beaten Raw 23 weeks in a row now. There is an Undertaker/Mankind feud, Bret Hart/Stone Cold, Rocky Maivia’s debut, among other things on WWF.
(13:10) First match on the card is Rey Mysterio vs. Ultimo Dragon. How underrated is this roster? A lot has to be said – a new show in Nitro, Hall, Nash, Piper, Hogan showing up and the unexpectedness of who will show up on Nitro next? Dusty, Tony and Heenan were all on commentary for the event. WCW had a promotion where if you ordered Halloween Havoc in the Norfolk area, you’d get two free tickets to WW3. More people bought it than estimated. They had to service 6,000 tickets in a 10K house, but only half ended up being taken, having WCW losing out on 20%. Bad idea in retrospective? Tony said this was the marketing department, but Bischoff was more interested in TV ratings and PPV buys.
(20:50) Who was Jennifer Schiavone? Peachtree Post was a production facility that WCW used. The Schiavone thing was just kind of a rib.
(22:00) Ultimo Dragon vs. Rey Mysterio. They go 14 minutes. Conrad enjoyed the match. Tony did too, but at about the 53rd false finish, he thought WTF? It was acrobatic, high-flying stuff and he liked it, but then again it was not his flavor. Meltzer gave it 4 1/2 stars. Conrad agrees that it was the best match on the card. Ultimo pins Rey. There were nine title belts showcased in this match for the J Crown. Tony has nothing to share about Ultimo Dragon. He actually never had any interaction with him, but more with Rey, who he thought was a very handsome kid. Conrad was bummed to know Tony’s little Ultimo interaction. What about Sonny Oono, who’s playing a stereotype in this match? Sonny and Tony got along great, who was tight with Eric which got him a lot of heat. He was very vocal about booking decisions. Tony thought he played the stereotypical “rich Asian” role, which Heenan and Tony plugged throughout the match. Ultimo and Ultimate Dragon.
(28:10) Meltzer fan poll 10.9% thumbs up, 80.4% thumbs down, 8.7% thumbs in the middle. Tony thinks it’s a thumbs up show. Lots of things wrong with the show, great opening match and the nWo angle was well done, Col. Parker vs. Sherrie was a lot of fun, and he thought it was a lot of fun.
(29:35) Chris Jericho vs. Nick Patrick in a one-arm behind his back match. Jericho wins after eight minutes and makes it pretty damn watchable. Tony says Patrick took some pretty good bumps. Good conversation about Jericho’s talent here.
(33:07) Giant vs. Jeff Jarrett. Two things Conrad finds surprising: how awesome was the Giant here and how unbelievable that he wore the U.S. belt around his waist? Giant could do a lot of things. Tony thinks that the #1 spot was Giant tossing Rey Mysterio out of the ring with one arm. Conrad agrees.
(35:25) Ric Flair interview. Tony asked Conrad what was wrong with that interview? You had Gene Okerland and Flair. Conrad says Flair didn’t say anything. Tony says there is that, but there is no reactions from the crowd. Tony says we needed more of that and they didn’t. Tony says they needed reaction shots. Conrad calls out Craig Leathers for that. What does Tony think of Jeff Jarrett here? He walked out on WWF, came to WCW unexpectedly. Great performer in the ring. Had a smart idea about the business. He loves Jarrett to death and he took some great bumps for the Giant. Down to earth as anybody. Conrad agrees, but he had “go away” heat with him back then. Jarrett’s second run he felt less of that. Even in his TNA run, too. When Conrad met Jarrett for the first time, he was pretty freakin’ cool. Everybody was nice to Tony, thinking that he’d put the boys over more, but he would have done it anyways because that was his job. When Tony turned heel in TNA is when he met Jerry Jarrett, and that’s around the same time he got sick of professional wrestling.
(43:55) Roddy Piper / nWo contract signing segment. Conrad and Tony both thought this was a really good segment. Conrad says this was probably the best run Piper has had in about ten years. Hogan does the angle mentioning Piper had hip surgery. Roddy Piper is in Tony’s top five performers of all time. One of Tony’s first interviews with Roddy Piper was in 1983. Piper hooked a dog collar on Tony and drug him around during the interview, he thought it was great improv work. Why does Tony think he was a top five? Because he could talk. Back to the segment: Bischoff joins the nWo. Did Tony think that this was a good idea at the time? Damn right he did. #1) It put Tony on Nitro, #2) Eric was a legit heel, he could really be a sh*thead so he could pull it off. Great segment here. Only problem is that they had to wrestle. Any thought from Tony’s stance to push the athleticism more? Push the younger talent or mash the gas with the nWo? Tony agrees with the latter. Certain guys could work, but could they talk? He uses Dusty Rhodes as an example. Plus you have the angle that Hogan was a heel now.
(52:35) Wouldn’t it make more sense to save this angle for Nitro, because it would save money AND would have more people see it. Did Hogan push for this to happen so he’d get more money and that he didn’t have to work a match to make that money? “Ding, ding, ding!” Tony says. Harlem Heat vs. The Amazing French Canadians. Harlem Heat won in what was an underwhelming match, but it gave Sherrie five minutes in the ring with Col. Parker.
(56:35) Col. Parker vs. Sherri. Match only lasts a minute-and-a-half. Dusty’s commentary was hilarious. Even Conrad’s girlfriend, who isn’t a wrestling fan, was laughing at it. Tony says it was commentary gold. He adds that they did a great job on commentary in this event. Conrad praises Dusty further. The show is littered with great quips. Tony mentions that they got him between two of the greatest talkers in the business. “How lucky was he?” Tony considers. He thought TNT or TBS should have a show “Dusty Rhodes in America” where he traveled around the States and interview interesting people. Conrad says today Dusty would have been one of the biggest TV stars of today.
(1:02:00) Rapid fire questions for Tony: Have you ever seen Carl Oullet play baseball? No. Does Tony believe in miracles? Yes. When did you know Booker T had “it”? One of the first times he saw him. From the get-go he had major talent. The Amazing French Canadians had heat in WCW. Jacques Rogeau was very difficult to work with. Any good Sherri Martel stories? Tony thinks she’ll go down as one of the great female performers ever. So amazing, but in the same breath a tragic figure. Heenan worried about her all the time. Bobby was concerned of getting hit because she was nuts in the ring (since he had neck surgery).
(1:05:20) Dean Malenko vs. Psychosis. 2 3/4 stars. Meltzer criticizes the announcers for not breaking down Malenko’s wrestling style. Tony’s reaction: f*ck Dave Meltzer. Calls Wade Keller a creep for some reason (uh oh). What did Tony think of Malenko and Psychosis? Conrad likes both of them. Tony goes on to rip on Meltzer a little more instead with some verbal spitfire.
(1:09:15) Scott Hall & Kevin Nash vs. Meng & The Barbarian vs. The Nasty Boyz. Conrad thought the match was awful, and so did the Observer readers, but Tony said the finish of the match was good. 16 minutes. Tony is pretty damn hot about Meltzer. It’s quite funny. Lots of F-bombs. Lots of them. And masturbation references. Half a star.
(1:14:00) World War 3 Battle Royal. Conrad runs down the entire list of participants. Sting was not a participant. Meltzer criticizes the announcer again. Half a star. A lot of weird names – Tony Rumble (?), Jack Boot (?). Tony still gives credit to the commentary team. He enjoyed the Lee Marshall bump. Meltzer says the match took less time than it did to write the recap. Tony says it was too many people. He says the announcers probably did as good as a six-man announce team could do. Tony says the match shouldn’t have been for a title shot since they just started hyping Piper and Hogan.
(1:22:00) Rapid Fire WW3 Match Questions: Was Lee Marshall up for the bump? Yes. Was the Benoit / Kevin Sullivan interaction was uncomfortable? Yes. Kevin Nash drinking a beer? Yep, but rightfully so they had brought the money. Conrad says Hall & Nash wouldn’t get away with that in WWF. Tony says the buck didn’t completely stop with Bischoff because it wasn’t his money, it was Ted Turner’s. Does Tony think that if they knocked it to two rings with forty men it would have been more effective? In hindsight, obviously.
(1:25:40) Why did Randy Savage disappear? He was hurt. How did the Norfolk Scope rank for Tony? One of the top three, no question. Tony didn’t like the commentary set up and who was the blonde by Dusty? The name was Annette Yother, who will very much come into play later down the road with WCW. Did Dusty and Heenan get along? Tony said they got along greatly. Any Pez Wattley stories? When Pez became Shaska Wattley because he turned on Jimmy Valiant. Pez was a really good guy. Seeing him walk out for WW3 was an old school moment. Tony never called a Madusa/Sherri match.
(1:29:55) Next week’s poll: 1997! (1) Superbrawl VII, (2) Slamboree 1997,
(3) Bash At The Beach 1997, (4) Fall Brawl 1997. Tony thinks the best one to go back and revisit Fall Brawl 1997.
Score and review (9.1)
In my short time of recapping WHW, this is by far the best yet, and that’s really saying something as all of them have been good. Lots of great tidbits in this ranging from Roddy Piper to Dusty Rhodes, to some of Tony’s personal favorite performers and moments. Plus, Tony taking Dave Meltzer to task on his criticisms is absolutely worth the free admission. Absolutely a must listen for anyone who is a fan of this era of WCW. I never laughed out loud more at a WHW episode than this one in particular. Tony’s comments are pretty on fire (despite the dig at Wade. Sad face for that one)
About the Author
Dominic DeAngelo has a weekly column on PWTorch.com, “Rising Star, Fading Star” and runs a sports, entertainment, and lifestyle blog in the Pittsburgh area called The Keystone Statement. In addition, he writes book reviews for The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. His wrestling top three are Scott Hall, Bret Hart & Bruno Sammartino. Follow him on Twitter @DominicDeAngelo and visit his site www.keystonestatement.com for good articles and the two podcasts he hosts, “The Keystone Cast” & “Here Comes Everybody.”
For more, check out What Happened When on Uncensored ’95.