Welcome back to the TJRwrestling retro reviews where we are breaking down all the Pay-Per-Views during “The Monday Night Wars” era. We are fresh off Halloween Havoc 1997, which had a 5-star classic between Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero but ended with a terrible cage match for the WCW Heavyweight Title. It was a mixed show for me with ups and downs throughout the whole night. You can read about that show and all the WCW shows we have covered here. It’s November ’97 in WCW and that means it’s time for their version of the Royal Rumble. Let’s do this!
WCW World War III
November 23rd. 1997
The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan
The show starts with a package showcasing everyone in the Battle Royal tonight with some war graphics before we are joined by the usual announce team of Tony Schiavone, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and Mike Tenay. Tenay is taking the place of Dusty Rhodes on the show. They talk up the main event and mention that the winner gets a show at the WCW Heavyweight Title. We know now that the winner would face either “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan or Sting, depending on who wins at Starrcade. It’s time for the first match.
The Faces of Fear (Meng and The Barbarian) (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Glacier and Ernest “The Cat” Miller
The match starts with all four men going at it. Miller kicks The Barbarian out to the floor as Glacier and Meng exchange blows in the ring. Glacier takes the early advantage and makes a quick tag to Miller. He comes in and goes for a crossbody, but Meng catches him before Glacier comes in with a dropkick. Barbarian tags in and he is immediately hit by Miller. Glacier tags back in and they use some double team offense to ground The Barbarian. He finally fights out and makes a tag to Meng as they work Glacier into their corner. Glacier hits an elbow on The Barbarian and takes Meng out with a dropkick. Glacier works Meng in the corner as Miller comes out of nowhere and jumps to the outside on The Barbarian. Glacier comes out after him and all four men are now out on the floor. He confronts Jimmy Hart, but that allows The Barbarian to hit him from behind. Barbarian throws Glacier into the corner and charges in, but Glacier gets out of the way. Meng makes a blind tag and they destroy Glacier with a powerbomb before Barbarian tags back in the match. He starts to stretch Glacier and works him into another corner. He chokes him and he throws Glacier into his partner who was arguing with the referee. Meng makes another tag and hits Glacier with a big dropkick. He picks him up and puts him down with a backbreaker for a near fall. He tags The Barbarian back in the match and they both start pounding on him in the corner. The Barbarian continues the assault in their corner and gets Glacier all locked up on the mat. Meng is back in and he starts to stomp away on Glacier and hits a Shoulder Breaker. That was brutal. He keeps pounding on Glacier and gets him locked in a nerve hold as he is on the mat. The Barbarian is back in and continues to keep Glacier grounded. They exchange a couple more tags with Meng missing en elbow drop, but not the advantage. Glacier reverses a move by Meng and hits a Belly To Back Suplex. Glacier slowly makes the tag to Miller and he is in working on Meng. He takes him down before turning his attention to The Barbarian. He knocks both men down and goes after Hart. He knocks him off the apron, but that allows Meng to put him in the Tongan Death Drip and he picks up the win after 9:09.
Winner(s): The Faces of Fear
Match Rating: 1.25/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This match was eh, with some parts being better than others. Glacier made a frosty cold tag to Miller towards the end of the match, so that was a real downer, and didn’t help the match at all. The Faces of Fear imposed their will for most of it and even after Miller got in the match, it was over less than a minute later.
Diamond Dallas Page is backstage with the WCW internet guys, one of which is Mark Madden, who is the man. He asks Page about the Battle Royal tonight and he starts talking about it, but they cut him off halfway through.
WCW Television Title Match
Perry Saturn (w/Raven) (c) vs. Disco Inferno
Last month, Disco wrestled a match against Jacqueline which was one of the most bizarre matches I can remember. Saturn and the rest of Raven’s Flock are starting to get time on TV, and I was always a huge fan of that stable.
They lock up and Saturn takes them both down to the mat before slapping Disco in the head. Saturn takes him down again and stays on the offensive. Saturn gets a headlock on and comes off the ropes, but Disco takes him down with some slams before he slides out of the ring to regroup. Saturn comes back in and hits Disco in the head, but it doesn’t last long before Disco is back on him and Saturn slides out of the ring again. Saturn comes off the ropes as he comes back in and Disco goes for a back body drop, but Saturn punches him in the head instead. He comes in to capitalize, but Disco hits an Atomic Drop and works him into the corner. He hits some shots and takes him down with an elbow to the head. Disco was a fist to the head and comes off the second rope. Saturn gets a boot-up and hits Disco with a T-Bone Suplex. He covers Disco for multiple near falls. He slams Disco down again and tries a Moonsault, but Disco rolls out of the way. Disco with a clothesline and a back elbow and picks up a one count. Saturn hits a backslide before dropping Disco crotch-first on the ropes. Saturn hits a splash on him and both men crash out to the floor. Disco walks over to The Flock at ringside and starts hitting them one by one before Saturn comes charging in and takes him out. He rolls Disco back in the ring and goes for a Dragon Suplex, but Disco fights out and hits a Swinging Neckbreaker for a two count. Disco goes up top and hits Saturn with a crossbody, but Saturn rolls it into The Rings of Saturn and retains the title after 8:19.
Winner and STILL WCW Television Champion: Perry Saturn
Match Rating: 2/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: I actually enjoyed this match a little more than I should have, although it was still below average. I thought it was some nice back-and-forth action with both men getting ample time to shine. Disco was always a tad underrated and although his match last month was a flop, this was a nice step up. The Raven’s Flock gimmick was really cool and I always liked Perry Saturn. Solid match.
Gene is backstage for the first time on the night and has some exciting news on the hotline. He is soon joined by The Giant, who won the event last year. Gene says that he has to be the favorite going into the match, but he suffered a broken bone in his hand, at the hands of Scott Hall, which might hamper his chances. The Giant says that just because he can’t chokeslam someone tonight, doesn’t mean he can’t throw people out of the ring. He said Hall is a marked man and he is coming for revenge. Gene shoots back down to the ring for the next match.
Yugi Nagata (w/Sonny Onoo) vs. Ultimo Dragon
This match has a stipulation of if Dragon wins, he will get five minutes in the ring with Sonny Onoo.
The bell sounds and both men start to try and intimidate the other with some kicks in the air. Dragon hits a leg sweep and an elbow drop that grounds Nagata. He throws him into the corner and hits a flipping elbow before Nagata slides out of the ring to regroup. Dragon goes after Onoo on the outside and they actually exchange blows. He tries a suplex, but Nagata takes him out from behind. He rolls Dragon back in the ring and starts pounding away on the head and neck area. He goes for a dropkick, but Dragon grabs the ropes and he hits nothing but canvas. He gets Nagata in a headlock and continues to wear Nagata down to the mat. Nagata tries to fight out, but it’s to no avail. Nagata falls back into a Suplex and it breaks the hold. He picks Dragon back to his feet and takes him down with a series of chops. He starts pulling on the mask of Dragon before pulling him out and hitting a Piledriver. He covers and gets a near fall. He keeps Dragon grounded with a sleeper and stops all attempts of breaking it. Dragon gets out of the hold by dropping Nagata with a suplex, but Nagata is quickly back to his feet and continues to pound on Dragon. He hits another Piledriver and steps down on the neck. Nagata hits some more kicks to the chest and puts Dragon in the Camel Clutch. Dragon gets back to his feet, but Nagata takes him down with an armbar. Nagata hits a Belly to Belly Suplex and grabs a two count for his troubles. Nagata tries to slam him down coming off the ropes, but Dragon lands on his feet and takes Nagata down to the mat with some stiff kicks. He works him into the corner and kicks him in the face multiple times, which sends Nagata to the outside. Dragon leaps over the ropes and hits a leg whip that has Nagata in a bad way. Dragon gets back in the ring and comes off the top with a splash that takes both men out of the floor. He rolls Nagata back in the ring and climbs up top again, but Nagata is right up after him. Dragon flips over him and hits a Powerbomb. Dragon goes back up and hits a Moonsault, but it isn’t enough. Nagata goes for a Suplex, but The Dragon slips behind and puts him in the Dragon Sleeper. Onoo distracts the referee while Nagata is tapping out so the match continues. He puts Nagata up top and hits a Hurricanrana, but Onoo puts Nagata’s foot on the rope. Dragon has some words with Onoo which allows Nagata to kick him in the head from behind. He covers Dragon and picks up the win after 12:45.
Winner: Yugi Nagata
Match Rating: 3/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This was more to continue the story between Dragon and Onoo. The match as a whole was entertaining and didn’t have too many dead spots, which was nice. Onoo did his job good as a heel manager during this time, but I was more into the match than the actual story.
WCW Tag Team Title Match
The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott Steiner) (w/Ted DiBiase) (c) vs. Steve Regal and Dave Taylor
It’s shocking to me that they actually gave The Steiners the Tag Team Titles without being stripped of them.
Scott and Taylor are the first two members in for their teams. They work into the corner with Scott hitting an arm drag that takes Taylor down to the mat. Taylor sends him into the ropes, but he comes back with a shoulder block. Scott comes back with a Double Underhook Powerbomb which brings Rick in and they clean house. Regal tries to attack DiBiase at ringside, but Taylor tackles him to talk some sense. Rick tags in the match and so does Regal. Rick puts him in a wristlock and Regal tries to fight out, but Rick starts pounding on the arm. He throws him across the ring, but as he comes in, Regal gets an elbow up. Regal with an uppercut and tries to capitalize, but Rick slaps on an armbar. Scott tags in and he continues pounding on Regal. He hits a big suplex and covers him for a two-count. He starts to stretch Regal before tagging Rick back in the match. Regal fights out and tags Talor back in the match. He starts hitting Rick, but gets a Powerslam for his troubles. Scott is back in the ring and he starts working on the arm of Taylor. He throws Scott into the ropes, who gets hit by Regal and clotheslined over the top rope. Regal beats on him on the outside before sending him back in the ring. Taylor hits a shot to the head and they double team on Scott in their corner. Scott fights out of it and tries to make a tag to Rick, but Regal grapevines the leg. He tags Taylor back in and he continues the Scott beatdown. Regal sends him into the corner, but Scott comes back with a Belly to Belly Suplex. He crawls to his corner and Rick is in. He wipes out both guys and hits some shots and an elbow drop. All four men are in the ring now with Rick and Regal, the legal men, going at it. They send Taylor out of the ring which allows them to get Regal in the Steiner Line. They cover Regal to retain the titles after 9:45.
Winner(s) and STILL WCW Tag Team Champions: The Steiner Brothers
Match Rating: 2/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: The Steiners were so good in this era. They dominated a large part of the ’90s and they were just in peak form here. Scott hit multiple suplexes and some stiff shots that made everything feel believable, and Rick came in to clean the house. Regal and Taylor getting a shot here is fine, but they made the right more not taking the titles off the Steiners.
JJ Dillon is in the aisleway with Gene and he says that Raven has 24 hours to sign a contract or he is out of WCW. Dillon reiterates that point and the clock is ticking on Raven.
Raven (w/The Flock) vs. Scotty Riggs
Last week on Nitro, Raven hit Riggs with a drop toe hold on a chair and now he is wearing an eyepatch.
Billy Kidman grabs a mic and says that this match will be under Raven’s Rules. Riggs leaps over the top rope on everyone and the match is underway. He continues pounding on Raven before both men get into the ring. He works Raven into the corner and continues to pound on him. He throws Raven into the ropes and gets a kick to the midsection and follows that up with a swinging neck breaker. He picks Raven up and throws him into the corner, and rolls him up for a two count. Raven counters by pulling Riggs into the top turnbuckle. Raven starts choking him with his flannel shirt he was wearing around his waist and tosses him out of the ring. Raven goes out after him and slams him headfirst on the apron. He tries to throw him into the stairs, but it’s reversed, and Raven is sent in instead. Riggs chokes him with a cable around the ring as they both slowly get back in. Raven hits a Jawbreaker after a few shots from Riggs, and both men are down. Raven gets a chair in the ring and wears Riggs out with it with some shots to the back. He sets up the chair as he did on Nitro, but this time Raven is one going face-first into it. Riggs crawls over and gets an arm over, but Raven kicks out at two. He throws the chair to Raven, who catches it, and he kicks it back in his face. He covers him, but Raven gets his foot on the rope. Riggs sets the chair back up a second time and he bulldogs Raven on top of the open chair only to get another near fall. Raven fights out of a slam and hits Riggs with The Even Flow DDT, but asks for a mic instead of covering him. Raven says he didn’t want to hurt Riggs and that he should have joined him. He hits him with another DDT and keeps berating him on the mic. He picks Riggs up a third time and puts him down with a third Even Flow. The ref starts counting him down and Riggs is unable to answer the count. The whole thing went 9:43.
Match Rating: 1.5/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This is a match that showcased how much ECW was starting to influence the bigger companies. There were a lot of chair shots in this match and they used it more than most WCW matches. Scotty Riggs was alright in the ring, but the whole aura around The Raven character was so cool though.
After the match, the rest of The Flock grabs Riggs and carries him back.
Steve McMichael is bringing a lead pipe down to the ring. He then gets on the mic and says that the match everyone wanted tonight isn’t going to happen. They showed Bill Goldberg laid out in the back at the hands of McMichael and the pipe. McMichael then calls anyone out from the back to have a match. Debra McMichael is dragging Alex Wright from the back for these two workhorses to have another match after last month.
Alex Wright (w/Debra McMichael) vs. Steve “Mongo” McMichael
Wright is pretty reluctant to come out to the ring. Wright attackers McMichael from behind and hits him with the jacket he wore out to the ring. He chops him in the chest, but McMichael quickly fights back and takes him down. He slams him down and starts to stomp down on him. Wright slides out of the ring and starts to walk away, but Debra convinces him to get back in the ring. Wright gets a shot to the head and it knocks McMichael back, but it doesn’t last and he gets slammed down again. McMichael hits an elbow to the head and hits a Sidewalk Slam. He covers him for a two count. He continues beating on Wright, but Wright comes back with a kick to the head. He picks McMichael up and hits some chops in the corner, but gets his legs taken out by McMichael. He hits some shoulder tackles and a clothesline that knocks Wright down to the mat. He hits an elbow and another Sidewalk Slam and signals for the Mongo Spike. He hits it and picks up the win after 3:36.
Winner: Steve McMichael
Match Rating: DUD
Collective Thoughts: I would have been super stoked to see Goldberg’s first PPV match here, but alas, we get this match again. I can promise I never want to see these two lock horns in the near future, which means it’ll happen again soon. McMichael is slowly creeping up my Mt. Rushmore of all-time greats.
Saturn is backstage with Mark Madden, but leaves really early into the interview.
WCW Cruiserweight Title Match
Eddie Guerrero (c) vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
These two went out last month and had the first five-star rated match I have handed out since starting to write these reviews. Seriously, if you haven’t seen their match at Halloween Havoc 1997, go do it now. Mysterio won the title in that match, but Guerrero has since regained it.
The crowd is really into Mysterio and really against Guerrero to start things off. They lock up with Guerrero quickly taking him down to the mat, but Mysterio recovers, and both men are back to their feet. Mysterio takes Guerrero over with an arm drag and it sends him to the outside. He slides back in and is taken down with some head scissors. Guerrero comes back with one of his own before hitting a Release German Suplex that looked vicious. He picks Mysterio up by the mask and hits a Belly To Back Suplex. He puts Mysterio in the Abdominal Stretch and sends him into the ropes, but Mysterio hits a kick to the head. Mysterio leaps to the top rope and sends Guerrero to the outside again. Guerrero gets on the apron and Mysterio tries a Powerbomb from there, but Guerrero pulls him out and hits a backbreaker on the floor. He rolls Mysterio back in the ring and climbs up top, but Mysterio goes up with him. They fight on the top until eventually, Guerrero sends them both flying with a Superplex. He comes off with a splash but misses and Mysterio hits a Hurricanrana for a two count. Guerrero gets up and slams him face-first into the mat. He picks Mysterio up, but gets taken down to the mat with some more athleticism from Mysterio. Guerrero gets up and hits a dropkick to the head of Mysterio as he tries to get back up. Guerrero hits a chop and follows that up with some stiff uppercuts. He picks Mysterio up and drops his stomach first on the top rope. Guerrero tries to hit a Sunset Flip Powerbomb on the floor, but Mysterio reverses it into a Hurricanrana. He comes flying out of the ring with a spinning splash. Mysterio gets him back in the ring and hits a slingshot Moonsault, but only gets a two. Mysterio drops Guerrero’s face-first on the top rope. Mysterio charges in, but Guerrero reverses it into a Powerbomb. Great counter. Guerrero picks him up for the Gory Special, but Mysterio slips out and rolls him up for two. They get up and Mysterio hits a spin wheel kick to the face. Mysterio slams him down and goes up top, but Guerrero is there and goes for a running powerbomb, but Mysterio slips off. That was a botch. Guerrero throws him into the corner, but he climbs up and hits another Moonsault for a two-count. He hits a leg drop and goes to the apron for the Hurricanrana, and he has Guerrero pinned, but his foot was on the rope. Nice false finish there. Mysterio comes in, but Guerrero drops him on the turnbuckle. He goes up top and hits the Frog Splash to retain the title after 12:42.
Winner and STILL WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Eddie Guerrero
Match Rating: 3.75/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: Obviously, this wasn’t as good as their previous outing, but it was still solid. Both men were so smooth at this point and every move that Guerrero hit Mysterio with had some extra power behind it. These guys had some great chemistry going on and it really showed in their matches. This was enough to not be a letdown from their classic one month ago.
They show a commercial for WCW Starrcade 1997, which is one of the most infamous WCW PPVs ever. It will mark the main event battle between Hollywood Hogan and Sting for the WCW Heavyweight Title.
WCW United States Title No Disqualification Match
Curt Hennig (c) vs. “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair
Hennig turned his back on The Horsemen a few months ago and is now part of the already bloated NWO.
Hennig hangs out on the apron to start the match and is a little slow getting in the ring. Flair comes out after him and starts hitting him with some chops and shots to the head. He sends Hennig into the guardrail and they are out in the crowd. They continue to battle up through the crowd with Hennig taking control of the offensive. He hits Flair with all kinds of offense and starts to drag him back to the ring. He hits Flair with a chop to the chest at ringside and he continues to pound on him as he leans upon the guardrail. He slams Flair’s head against it and starts to choke him with a cable that was at ringside. He rolls Flair in the ring and brings the cable in with him. He chokes Flair with it before taunting the crowd a little bit. He clotheslines Flair over to the floor, but gets hung up on the rope after Flair counters an attack. He sends Hennig to the outside and slams him against the rail. He climbs up top and comes off with a double ax to the floor! That was impressive for Flair. He continues to pound on Hennig at ringside as the referee just looks on. Flair is hobbling, but he continues to remain on the offensive. Hennig gets a thumb to the eye to stop the onslaught and hits Flair with a Back Body Drop on the floor. He knocks him down with a clothesline before sending him back into the ring for a near fall. After not picking up the win, Hennig hits the referee in the face and he oversells it badly. Hennig hits some blows to the head and drops an elbow for another two count. Hennig comes down on the leg of Flair and brings him over to the ropes to keep him grounded. Hennig drops a leg in no man’s land before getting Flair wrapped up in the corner. He hits some punches before bringing him out to the middle of the ring and continues to work on the leg. Flair tries to fight back, but Hennig fights him off. Both men start slapping each other as Flair pokes the eye to get free of the move.
They both get up to their feet, but Flair takes him down right away. He starts working on the leg of Hennig and hits a knee drop to the head. He sits Hennig up and starts punching him in the forehead. He climbs up top, but in classic fashion, Hennig is there to throw him off. He covers Flair for a two count. Flair comes back with some offense including some more chops to the chest. They go into the corner and both men are now exchanging chops. Hennig hits the final one and Flair does his famous flop bump. He works Flair back into the corner and continues to pound on the chest. Flair reverses it and hits some rights and lefts to the head. He grabs Hennig by the hair and tosses him to the other side of the ring. Flair throws him into the ropes, but Hennig grabs on to stop his momentum. Flair punches him in the head. Flair sends him into the ropes again and they take a double bump with both men hitting the mat. Hennig rolls over to another ring, but Flair is hot on his trail. He hits Hennig with a suplex and covers him for a two-count before Hennig gets his foot on the rope. They continue to exchange some chops on the corner until Hennig finally gets on top and hits The Hennig Neckbreaker. Hennig throws Flair into the corner and he takes the bump over the top onto the floor. Hennig is out behind him and starts pounding on him and slams his head into the stairs at ringside. Hennig starts choking him, but Flair counters and sends him flying into the rail. They get back in the ring with Flair hitting a suplex from the apron. Flair goes to the outside to grab a chair and drops Henning’s crotch-first on the chair. He comes off the ropes and kicks the chair twice with Hennig’s ankle caught in it. He brings in another chair and the title belt into the ring. He hits Hennig’s leg with the chair and slaps on The Figure Four. Hennig grabs the belt and hits Flair in the knee and then in the head to pick up the win after 17:57.
Winner and STILL WCW United States Champion: Curt Hennig
Match Rating: 3/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This was a really solid match throughout the entire thing. Obviously, with guys like this, you don’t have a “bad” match. They both have some time on offense and they hit all the spots people came to see. The chair spots were cool because you didn’t see it as much in WCW, but as I said with the Raven match, it has been more common. I actually like the finish a lot because it was a story of Flair’s hatred for Hennig with the title not mattering as much, he was just there to hurt him. It cost him the match, but I thought it added to the match.
World War 3 Battle Royal
I have covered this match twice before and it’s something. For those who don’t know, this is WCW’s version of The Royal Rumble, except they have 60-men and three rings. The winner gets a shot at the champ at SuperBrawl in February. Look up the WCW roster in 1997 and I promise pretty much all of them were in this match with some notables being DDP, Randy Savage, Lex Luger, The Giant, Scott Hall, Rey Mysterio Jr., etc. The NWO guys get their own music and entrance. Unlike the previous years, it will now get to 15 instead of 30 guys left before they all move to the center ring.
The bell sounds and everything is a mess to start. Lizmark Jr. is the first one eliminated, quickly followed by Disco Inferno. The Giant has eliminated both of them himself. He is up to four right after that and continues to dominate the ring he is in. La Parka is eliminated and Norman Smiley follows him. They are focusing on the ring with The Giant’s ring right now because all of the action has been in that one. They do a three-way split screen and the other two rings still have a lot of their guys remaining. Scott Hall starts eliminating people and works on someone in the corner. We have another elimination of an indie guy that got invited, and they do a wide shot which shows The Giant’s ring is clearly the least full. Benoit and Dragon are going at it in their ring, which happens to be the one with the most people. Luger is trying to eliminate Mortis, a sentence I thought I would never say, but he fights out of it. Stevie Ray almost eliminates Silver King, but he gets kicked in the head by Ernest Miller. Luger comes over to help and they double team on Silver King. Scott Steiner comes over to join the fun and they are all going at it now. Brad Armstrong is eliminated as they have a close-up of Meng and Greg Valentine exchanging blows. Booker T. eliminates Silver King after all of that back and forth as they are on ring two which has the most people remaining in it. Jericho is up on the corner beating on someone with the ten punches, but there hasn’t been a lot of eliminations yet. DDP and Wrath are exchanging blows and Page almost eliminates him. The Ultimate War.. I mean Renegade is working on Wrath in the corner, as Stevie Eay is on the bring of being eliminated. Yugi Nagata goes out as they showcase Barry Darsow who is working on someone in the corner. Renegade and Wrath are both eliminated at the same time and starting fighting on the outside.
Jericho gets eliminates as Scott Hall is pounding on Vincent in the corner, which is weird because they are both in the NWO. Scott Hall is nearly eliminated, but Bagwell brings him back in the ring. Ray Traylor is there to help out team WCW and fights off Bagwell and Hall. Mortis works on the hand of The Giant in their ring as they show “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan signaling to the crowd for some reason. Scott Steiner is working on Buff Bagwell in ring one, but he gets hit from behind. Ring three has the least amount of people left with seven. Chris Adams is eliminated, but gets back in the ring so he has to be asked to leave. Traylor is working on Savage in the corner as Fit Finley is eliminated. Page and Benoit have an exchange that nearly sends both of them out, but they land on the apron. Benoit is sent right back out by Page and he is joined shortly after by Dean Malenko. The Giant and Meng are having a staredown in the ring as the action has slowed in that ring because they only have the guys to move to the center ring. The Barbarian is eliminated as Ring two is down to the final five as well. Hennig is trying to eliminate Rey Mysterio and succeeds by kicking him in the head. Mysterio is shown at ringside grabbing on the apron, so he is not eliminated yet. Mongo is out as Mortis and Alex Wright are trying to eliminate The Giant, but they get thrown out together. The Giant and Meng are the only two left in ring three and start battling each other. Scott Steiner is eliminated which means ring one is only NWO members. Stevie Ray is eliminated which means they will start to move to the center ring. The Giant dropkicks Meng and he is eliminated which means The Giant is the final man in his ring.
They all move to the center ring and the guys that are left are The Giant, Lex Luger, Booker T., Rick Steiner, DDP, Scott Hall, Vincent, Randy Savage, Buff Bagwell, and Curt Hennig. The NWO throws their referee out of the ring as they challenge all Thw WCW guys to come to their ring. They charge over and all hell breaks loose. Luger goes after Bagwell and Hennig, but is taken out from behind by Savage. Vincent is eliminated after he gets a Diamond Cutter and The Giant just pushes him out. Luger and Savage are working on each other in the corner as Booker T and Rick Steiner are both eliminated. There are seven guys left, four of which are members of The NWO. Luger is working on Hennig in the corner as The Giant is cleaning house on the other side. Bagwell hits Luger from behind, but gets taken out right after. All four NWO members try to eliminate Luger, but Bagwell, Hennig, and Luger are the ones who go out. Savage and Page are battling on one side as The Giant is working on Hall in the corner. Savage slams Page and goes up top, but The Giant is standing in front of Page. He catches Savage coming off the ropes and Page hits a Diamond Cutter. Page tries to eliminate Savage, but The Giant wants to Chokeslam him before it. He hits it and they both eliminate Savage. The final three are Hall, Page, and The Giant. Page and The Giant are just looking on as Hall runs to another ring. He signals up the ramp and here comes Hogan out to the ring. They both go over to ring one to meet Page and The Giant and all four men are in the ring. Hogan starts beating on The Giant as Page and Hall are going at it. Hogan hits a scoop slam on The Giant and hits him with the bandana. Hogan walks over to start stomping on Page and his injured ribs. The Giant puts Hall up on the top rope as Hogan hangs Page out to dry. The Giant gets Hall in a bearhug as “Sting” drops down from the rafters. Hogan eliminates himself, but this Sting hits The Giant and Page from behind to eliminate both of them. He takes the mask off to reveal it was Kevin Nash all along. Scott Hall is the winner after 29:48.
Winner: Scott Hall
Match Rating: 2/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This match is so hard to rate, so I am normally going to give it around 2 stars or so. The beginning of this match is always a mess, and who thought this was a good idea is beyond me. It doesn’t have the same excitement that the Rumble does because of how many people are in it. The final guys weren’t shocking with Luger, Page, and The Giant are all getting pushed hard on TV up to this point. I HATED that they missed the elimination of Page due to a hard cut of the camera. Scott Hall picking up the win was interesting because The Giant won the year before while being a member of the NWO, so it has happened twice now. Although, with the title match at Starrcade, it could be Sting facing Scott Hall instead of Hogan.
After the match, Hogan, Hall, Nash, and the rest of The NWO come down to the ring to celebrate. They roll Page back in and Hogan hits him with a Diamond Cutter. The announcers wonder about the future as the show comes to a close.
Overall Show Rating: 5.5 out of 10
This show was a step down from last month, with no matches really jumping off the screen. Some of them, including Guerrero and Mysterio part 2, were solid, but it didn’t help with the PPV overall. There were a lot of matches that felt very “Nitro” to me, especially the Mongo and Debra angle. The Tag Team Title match was solid, but again, I don’t really come away from this show excited for Starrcade 1997. The Battle Royal had the same feel as previous times this match has happened, and it doesn’t really get exciting until the end. Starrcade 1997 will be a monumental show in WCW and one that would go down forever in the history books. I believe John has actually covered that show for the site, so when I am done you can compare the two, and see how terrible I am at writing. It’s time for the Sting vs. Hogan match that they have been building for well over a year. Let’s do it.
What did you think of WCW World War 3 1997? Loved it? Hated it? Didn’t care to watch it? Either way, keep the conversation going over @collectiveheel on Twitter and let me know your thoughts. Take care of yourselves, and each other. I will be back soon enough with some more Collective Thoughts.