WHAT HAPPENED WHEN MONDAY WITH TONY SCHIAVONE & CONRAD THOMPSON
Episode 41: WrestleWar 1992
Release Date: November 6, 2017
Recap by: Dominic DeAngelo
Top Newsworthy Items:
-The void Flair left when leaving WCW
-JR’s tension with WCW
-The strong-style shooting of the Steiner Brothers vs. Fujinami & Iizuka
-The War Games main eventShow Highlights
(7:20) Any heat on Eddie & Rey for them having the best match on Halloween Havoc 1997? Always rubs some people the wrong way but overall it’s good for the show. Curt Hennig brought out the Cruiserweight belt because he misplaced the U.S. belt. Why was Hawk in a singles match in Halloween Havoc 1995? Animal was hurt at the time. Why did Marc Mero open every WCW show at the time? They always thought that the Johnny B. Badd entrance was great. Bischoff took over the monster truck segment because it was his baby. No issue with The Sheik and the fireball. How did they get the monster trucks on the roof? There was a ramp. Why did Tony pronounce the Yeti “Yet-ay”? He thought it was f*ckin’ stupid so he had to make it as ridiculous as it was.
(13:45) Next week’s poll: Clash of The Champions 17 (1991), Clash of The Champions 21 (1992), Clash of Champions 25 (1993), Clash of Champions 29 (1994)
(19:38) Starts the PPV at this time. Tony cracks a Larry Zybysko joke. Tony got a lot of heat cause he bleached his hair. Bischoff was just an announcer at the time. Nothing else. He was brought in by Jim Herd to piss off Tony & Jim Ross. Conrad thinks this is the best era of JR.
(23:25) Talking about The Freedbirds. What happened? Michael Hayes is the same now as he was back then. Terry Taylor was going with a Hugh Hefner look and Tony says he was a handsome guy. Great wrestler, good look. Tony thinks Taylor lacked “it.” Bill Alfonso was the referee for this match. Tony says they called it like an actual sporting event. Greg Valentine is a solid dude, but his run in WWF wasn’t as memorable. Spot was called right on camera. Valentine was old school. This is very old school southern wrestling, and Michael Hayes is probably pretty excited during this event because Jacksonville is the hometown of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Jimmy Garvin is a pilot that flies around rich people now. He was always a good family man. Michael & Tony hosted WCW Main Event back then and was told Bischoff didn’t like him and said to Tony that he could be whatever Eric wanted him to be. (Michael Hayes is from Philadelphia??) Even though they’re #2, production for WCW is phenomenal. Lance Russell, Jesse Ventura & J.R. are all there – it’s crazy. Tony thinks that Bischoff and him aren’t really needed.
(36:20) What did Tony think of the ring look? He didn’t think it popped as much. Conrad has a lot of fondess for the ring because of the toy he had. Tony & Conrad are both loving this match and praises Garvin some more. Big void when Flair left WCW. Luger & Sting weren’t big stars until Flair worked with them. Tony adds that Ric Flair made Ricky Steamboat too. Conrad agrees. His matches with Flair put Steamboat on the map. Bill Alfonso is doing a great job. Match over at 42:17 into the episode. Freebirds are the new champs. Tony gives it 3 1/4 stars Tony thought Eric took notes because he always believed he could run the company. Tony liked Bischoff at the time.
(44:35) Tracey Smothers comes out and Conrad sings his praises. Marc Mero did a dark match and Dusty pointed out that he looked like Little Richard. Mero took it and ran with it. He was a Golden Gloves boxer, which was really hard to push at the time. Tony says referee Mike Atkins looks like Groucho Marx. Conrad feels like he runs an Autozone now. 25 years later Tracey Smothers is currently financially hurting, but he’s still wrestling. Vince apparently wanted to bring the Johnny B. Badd gimmick to the WWF, but didn’t know he didn’t own it. Now Mero is doing motivational speaking. PPV got 78.7% thumbs up. Tony was surprised it got any thumbs down. Tony never tried to stick his wiener in a light socket. Tony wants to inject a little class into the podcast. Conrad says Tony could kiss his ass. Match ends at 55:58 into the episode. Tony does a hilarious impersonation of Michael Hayes. Conrad has a funny story about Michael Hayes repaying his debts.
(58:30) Scotty Flamingo comes out dressed like a male escort. Flair would call them d*ck dancers. Marcus Bagwell comes out. Stiff slaps. Scotty does some more shooting slaps. Conrad says he loves this match and it turns out better than it had any right to be. Tony would take Bagwell in a shoot fight because he thinks he wouldn’t give a f*ck. Tony’s birthday was Tuesday and he turned 60 years old (November 7). Fan of the show Jeff got Tony a Tom Zenk action figure! Conrad thinks Tony may stick it in his nether region. Tony and Raven talked a lot about comics. Raven got him into Swamp Thing. Jesse Ventura did not like JR, apparently. When JR left for WWE and first thing he did was wear a toga for WrestleMania IX and Jesse made a comment about not liking see a fat man in a toga. JR was pissed.
(1:11:39) Around this time the match between Ron Simmons and Curtis Hughes starts. Tony and Conrad are talking up about how this was a great Cactus Jack era. Tony says Curtis Hughes could work for a big man. He was a heavy snorer and Arn Anderson had to wake him up because he didn’t believe it was legit. Some really funny Arn bits here. Tony & Conrad talk about Ron Simmons’ impact on being a first black champion. Match ends at 1:21:07 into the episode. Who else could have fit into the first black champion role? Both Conrad and Tony think Ron Simmons was the right guy.
(1:22:50) Todd Champion vs. Super Invader (Hercules Hernandez) starts right about now. Tony does a Harley Race impression (“On God’s green earth!”). Tony gives this match -2 stars. A job match in a PPV! Dark match included DDP. Match ends about at 1:29:50 during the episode.
(1:31:00) Tony attempt to give marriage advice, but then bails on the topic to go “back to the action”. Ricky Morton vs. Big Josh (aka: Doink). Big Josh’s gimmick was a lumberjack with a mullet. Ricky is playing the heel here. Meltzer craps on the Freebird match and Tony goes after him. This match gets a star. Morton was a last-minute substitution for The Diamond Stud, who quit the promotion before the PPV. WCW only offered him $300 a worked show, nothing else. Almost four years to the day he was making $600K a year. The thing about Bill Watts was that he always talked to Tony about the ongoings of the business and he always appreciated that. Match ended at 1:41:05 into the episode. Some really funny jokes with Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson.
(1:42:50) Tom Zenk appearance. Tony acts like he’s Tom Zenk during an interview. As Zenk, he says that he and Schiavone have “hot tagged” many girls. Tom Zenk enters and Tony sings his own Tom Zenk theme song. Conrad wants to find Tom Zenk. It’s Flyin’ Brian Pillman vs. The Z Man. Conrad’s a huge Brian Pillman fan. Tony always thought Brian was a pretty down-to-earth guy. Tony loves kick outs at one. Conrad agrees. Conrad and Tony agree that wrestling is cyclical and Conrad thinks that wrestling is currently on the upswing. Tony doesn’t like the veil (or the “magic”) is all gone. Tony doesn’t know how they can get it back. Conrad doesn’t think they need it anymore. Conrad highly recommends this match. Ends at 2:01:20 into the episode. The Light Heavyweight belt never got traction, but Pillman and Zenk showed it’s value. Conrad brings up heat with JR at this time in WCW. Tony says no one gave JR as much crap as Bill Watts did. Tony doesn’t think this was a positive time for the two.
(2:04:07) Next match is the Steiners vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Takayuki Iizuka. Conrad loves this era of the Steiners. He mentions that there was absolutely a strong-style shooting to this match. Some very stiff exchanges in this match. Scott Steiner has a “f*ck sideburns” mullet. Many people thought Rick would be the singles superstar and not Scott Steiner as “Big Poppa Pump”. Tony thinks it was because Scott changed his gimmick. Conrad was fascinated by this and Tony thinks that maybe he had more singles personality than Rick. They make note of when Iizuka got injured. Tony was amazed that there weren’t more injuries and the two are impressed with the brute strength in this match. They really go into strong-style in this match. Tony notes Dennis Brent (WCW magazine editor) in the audience. Both praise this match greatly and how snug it is. Even after how heated this match probably got, they all probably shook hands backstage. Iizuka most likely got a concussion here. Tony was in wrestling for 18 years and Conrad thinks he had a lot of concussions because Tony can’t remember anything. You can see Scott Steiner’s temper in this match. One of Rick Steiner’s biggest fans was Ric Flair because he could manhandle somebody. It’s crazy that Rick is on a school board right now. Scott Steiner runs a restaurant now. This stiff kind of a match was the hook back then, Tony says. Match gave it 3 and 3/4 stars. Scott Steiner is extremely frugal. TNA’s Petey Williams once hung out with Scott Steiner. Scott asked him to lunch and they go to Cracker Barrel. Scott didn’t pay for Petey. Tony’s surprised he didn’t charge Petey for transit. Match ends at 2:23:55 into the episode. Tony and Conrad go over the menu at Scott Steiner’s restaurant.
(2:29:45) Tony runs down the rules of War Games. All of this was Dusty’s creation. Klondike Bill and Doug Dillinger are helping to get things set up. Dangerous Alliance comes out. Sting comes out in a denim jacket. Tony looks at all the talent in the ring and isn’t too concerned with how they look. Nikita Koloff kinda sticks out like a sore thumb. Steve Austin and Barry Windham start the match. This match got five stars. WWE Network considers this one of the greatest matches ever. Tony says that J.R. was on another of announcing, above him too, he mentions. Match goes 23:30 minutes.
Score and review (8.7 out of 10)
The live commentary format of Conrad & Tony on the PPV provides a really entertaining balance of the ongoings of matches (both crappy and must-sees) and great stories about the wrestlers involved in them. Really fun stuff shared about Michael Hayes, Raven, Ricky Morton, both Steiner Brothers and the usual show favorites like Tom Zenk & Klondike Bill. Even though it’s been awhile since I’ve recapped a WHW episode, this is without a doubt one of the best wrestling podcasts going still.
Subjects covered (with timestamps):
(7:20) Tony Q&A / Heat on matches
(13:45) Next week’s poll
(19:38) Starts the PPV at this time.
(23:25) The Freedbirds vs. Greg Valentine & Terry Taylor
(36:20) WCW’s ring look & the void Ric Flair left in WCW
(44:35) Tracy Smothers vs. Johnny B. Badd
(58:30) Scotty Flamingo vs. Marcus Bagwell / Raven stories
(1:11:39) Ron Simmons vs. Curtis Hughes
(1:22:50) Todd Champion vs. Super Invader (Hercules Hernandez)
(1:31:00) Marriage advice / Ricky Morton vs. Big Josh (Doink)
(1:42:50) Tom Zenk vs. Brian Pillman
(2:04:07) Steiner Brothers vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Takayuki Iizuka
(2:29:45) War Games Main Event: The Dangerous Alliance vs. Sting’s Squadron
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”