Sunday, July 26, 2015

WCW Power Hour: January 23, 1993

CruelConnectionNumber2: Barbarian is a babyface! For like 2 weeks.

Yes, it wasn’t until 1993 that the fans were finally able to accept what had been true since the 80’s … that the Barbarian was simply the greatest physical specimen to ever set foot on planet earth. These two weeks were the WCW Universe’s way of handing him a lifetime achievement award. “We are not worthy” is the sentiment of the day, and will be carrying us through the next several millennia.

It’s WCW’s most powerful hour, it’s THE Power Hour! TONY SCHIAVONE and LARRY ZBYSZKO have exciting news: they have personally signed a rematch between Cactus Jack and The Barbarian against Vader and Paul Orndorff. Does Tony wield that much influence? Or, is that the gimmick of this show – he who hosts the Hour holds The Power?

2 COLD SCORPIO vs. DEATH ROW

Death Row hails from “The State Penitentiary”, and shock of all shocks, is a large black man. Hulk Hogan has nothing on Bill Watts circa 1993.


Tony has a major announcement as they lock up: That due to popular demand, they will air 2 Cold’s video next week once again! So many kids, not enough step. Death Row runs Scorpio over with a body bump. Unless this guy’s got an impending date with the governor, just stab a bitch, make it quick. Row somehow throws a dropkick, and Tony is beside himself. Unfortunately, he has no idea how to follow up, and Scorpio finishes with a spinning legdrop for the pin at 2:50. ***** for the dropkick.

MARCUS ALEXANDER BAGWELL and BRAD ARMSTRONG vs. BOB COOK and BUDDY LEE PARKER

Larry compares the Sarge to a pitbull which seems decidedly unfair to Craig Pittman. Of course, he’s like no pitbull I’ve ever seen, given that he takes a beating for most of the match, and submissively lets it happen. The only reason the government would make it illegal to own this guy, is because it would simply be too embarrassing to have him guarding your house. This guy could be intimidated by a postman. Speaking of – why hasn’t a postal worker ever made their way into the squared circle? Violent sociopaths are the name of the game here, and given the recent cutbacks in the field, it might not be a bad career transition. “Special delivery, John Cena … YOUR ASS!” And the foreign objects? You could choke him out with your satchel, jab him in the eye with a letter opener, or bash him over the head with a mysterious package which will ALWAYS be carrying an anvil. While I’m putting together a character business plan for Vince McMahon, Bagwell pins Cook with the fisherman’s suplex at 3:49. *1/2

Today’s program is brought to you by Berry Berry Kix. I hadn’t seen it in forever, but during my last trip to the States, there it was, in all its Kid Tested glory! If the 90’s are making a return, then I’m getting a cardboard cutout of Kelly Kapowski and shoving it under my bed, pronto.

VINNIE VEGAS vs. JOE PECKS

I can’t decide who looks worse. We have Joe Pecks, who’s got more bloat than Triple H taking a week off from the gym, or Kevin Nash, in pink hospital scrubs. I’m gonna give Nash the edge on this one, simply for wearing that while trying to be the coolest guy in the room. Snake Eyes takes care of business at 1:21.

WCW is brought to you by … professional bullying! And Lark Voorhies!



MISSY HYATT welcomes us to Missy Does the Mail! She’s asked about her feelings on Dustin Rhodes. She thinks he’s okay, but of course, he’s only the champion because Barry Windham made it so. She says it wasn’t a conspiracy or anything; but that Barry wants Dustin to hold the US belt, just so he can take it from him. Holy hell, Missy’s the only commentator who’s thinking around here. Must be the extra protein intake.

THE WRECKING CREW vs. JOHNNY RICH and JOEY MAGGS

Thank the lord the stay for the Crew is gonna be short lived, because I don’t think I can keep taking these goons on every single show. The bumbling geniuses spend about 80% of the match accidentally hitting each other before getting their shit together long enough to finish Rich with the Wrecking Ball at 4:25. 1/2*

CACTUS JACK and THE BARBARIAN vs. VADER (with Harley Race) and PAUL ORNDORFF (in a no disqualification match)

All hell breaks loose before the bell even rings, and seconds into this thing, Jack is already dropping an elbow onto Orndorff from the apron to the concrete floor. Order is restored for god knows what reason – because I’m fairly sure Barbarian and Vader can tell the referee “go fuck yourself” when he orders them back to their respective corners. Jack takes a man sized beating from both guys, with Vader immediately going into his “WHO’S THE MAN?” deal. Vader splashes Foley’s head, because he’s fun like that, and only a save from the Barbarian keeps this match going. Jack is tossed over the top rope, hitting it FACE FIRST! Dude, that’s NOT necessary! A thick non-folding chair is smashed over Jack’s head, and Vader goes for an avalanche against the ring post. Jack moves at the last second, and Vader goes in face first! Foley starts waving the chair around at anything moving, even giving a little payback to Harley! The referee desperately tries to restore order, as Barbarian gets the hot tag, and he starts laying waste to both guys. Orndorff stop the attack with a rake to the eyes, and a Vader powerslam gets 2. Jack makes his way back in, clotheslining both guys, trying to gain some sort of advantage here. A running legdrop on Orndorff gets 2, as Vader drops an elbow over his head. Vader and Barbarian head to the floor, while Paul drops a knee off the top rope, and the heels pick up the win at 6:31. ***

Vader tosses a fan out of his chair, using it on Barbarian … but Barbarian roars to the heavens and attacks like a wild python, striking at everything! Tony decides this is all too much for humanity and ushers us off the air as quickly as possible, plugging Saturday Night on the way out.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

WCW Main Event: January 17, 1993

In the world of professional wrestling, there are shows, there are events, there are special events, and then there’s … THE MAIN EVENT! We have a genuinely stacked show tonight; where both the Barbarian and Cactus Jack get to seek a little redemption against Harley Race’s gang o’ scumbags, and Erik Watts sees his first action since his arrest.

JIM ROSS and MICHAEL P.S. HAYES are your hosts, coming to you LIVE in front of a Green Screen. Superbrawl III, hype hype hype.

RON SIMMONS vs. TONY ATLAS

Michael Hayes leaves the commentary booth, following what I like to believe was a fairly ugly confrontation with Dok Hendrix, leaving JR alone to call this one. Atlas runs over Simmons with a bunch of shoulderblocks, and then delivers a big splash while Ron’s lying on his side, which probably didn’t feel particularly good to either guy. Simmons comes back with a pair of shoulderblocks of his own, and Atlas takes a nose-full of powder. Back in, Atlas poses like a special needs jungle cat, and Simmons shoots a look to the crowd that clearly gives the message of “dah fock is wrong with that man?” A test of strength follows, and Atlas CHEATS by kicking Ron in the gut. That just serves to piss Simmons off, and he suplexes Atlas clear across the ring. A shoulderblock misses, and Simmons hits the buckle. JR’s quick to play up that Simmons actually needs surgery on the shoulder, and Atlas is all over it, laying more damage to his rotator cuff than Mark Prior’s delivery. Still, Simmons is able to come back with a powerslam, and he scores a quick win at 6:11. Simmons would have been far better served to just squash jobbers for awhile, instead of having Tony Atlas ploddingly kick his ass before pulling out the “upset”. It’s a perilous time for Ron, following his title loss, and he needs a series of strong wins to keep his credibility strong. 1/2*

JR announces that Watts’ suspension has been lifted after the review of the video footage that proved Erik’s innocence. Dude – he was making out with underage children, he needs to serve some serious time!

ERIK WATTS vs. RIP ROGERS

Rogers is basically Ricky Morton with Vince Russo’s beard. It’s utterly terrifying, I assure you. And speaking of terrifying, Watts applies a “hammerlock”. Rogers pokes Watts in the eyes, but Watts has no idea how to sell, so he sunset flips Rogers for 2. A flying forearm smash sets up the STF, and Watts is your winner at 3:40. DUD

THE WRECKING CREW vs. TOMMY ANGEL and TERRY BRONSON

Yep, we’re still pushing these goons, despite having 2 clear weeks of data to prove that they are atrocious. JR talked to Angel and Bronson before the show, and allegedly, they feel they can “compete” in WCW. And, to be fair, they are absolutely competing here, and getting totally destroyed. Bronson throws some desperate dropkicks, but they go nowhere, and the big ugly bad guys go back to kicking his ass. Fury delivers a DDT to Angel, but refuses to pin him because he’s either cocky, or brain damaged. In fact, they start tagging in and out without actually performing any moves, so draw your conclusions appropriately. Bronson gets the hot tag, which he uses to … run back and forth across the ring. I wish I was kidding, but he literally runs the ropes 6 consecutive times while the big guys wait to deliver the Wrecking Ball at 4:46. I’m going to assume Bronson’s only had one day of professional training to date, and has only learned how to run the ropes. 1/2*

THE BARBARIAN and CACTUS JACK vs. PAUL ORNDORFF and VADER (with Harley Race)

Yep – you done messed with the Barbarian, and now it’s time to pay the price. Vader asks “WHO’S DA MAN” repeatedly, which I assume is total rhetoric with Barbarian standing right there. Da Man starts with Orndorff, and he overpowers Mr. Wonderful to assert his dominance. The referee then holds him back, presumably to prevent Orndorff’s head from being popped off like a chicken, and Paul gets in a cheap shot. That just gets him a boot to the mouth, and Jack tags in. Orndorff chokes him out in the corner, which I’m fairly sure is foreplay in Jack’s world. In comes Vader, and he punches Mick in the ear and face repeatedly, but Cactus manages to throw up a foot to kick Vader in the face, and a forearm takes him down for 2. I love Vader’s selling, that anytime you can get in a big unexpected blow, he makes the Bald Bull face, and stands there completely stunned.


The pair brawl to the floor, and Harley takes liberties, holding Cactus hostage. However, Jack’s able to wiggle away at the last second, and the old man eats the clothesline. Barbarian tags in now, and he just feeds it to Vader. Vader gives it back, swiping those meaty palms back and forth, but Barbarian stands his ground. Orndorff comes in, choking Barbarian out. Barbarian stands up quickly, but a high knee takes him down. Barbarian powers out of the pinfall by launching Wonderful into orbit, and the Kick of Fear is delivered with some muster! Vader stops any pinfall attempt and dumps Barbarian, leaving Jack alone. Race holds him hostage against the ropes, but Jack wiggles loose again and Vader splashes his manger! Jack then takes the shocked Vader to the floor with a Cactus clothesline, and when Wonderful dives over the top to go after Barbarian, the referee has enough and throws this out at 5:58. As the double DQ is declared, Vader smashes Jack with a hard plastic chair; the non-folding type you probably had in your auditorium in school, over the head, full force. Barbarian rushes in, so Vader avalanches the pair of them against the guardrail, and leaves celebrating his destruction of the duo. Fantastic hard-hitting brawl, that needed at least 10 more minutes. ***

MICHAEL HAYES heads down to ringside to chat with Jack and Barbarian. Cactus is furious that nothing got done. He normally fights to hurt people, or profit, but this one’s pride. So, he demands a rematch between all 4, and this time, he wants no disqualification.


There’s no Main Event for the next 2 weeks, so JR hopes to see the match signed on the Power Hour this coming weekend. And, looking past Sting’s challenge at Superbrawl, they’ve got Jack lined up perfectly as a formidable, legitimate threat to the belt.  

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

WCW Saturday Night: January 16, 1993

InVerse: This is several years from being relevant to this post, but it felt really important to bring to CFB's attention but not quite important enough to warrant it's own thread.




I hadn’t realized prior to this evening just how important InVerse was to me – but reading this, it’s clear we’re going to be inseparable soul mates from this day forward.

But let’s not bury the lead here … RVD at Glacier? Suddenly, the entire mystery of “he’s coming” makes all the sense in the world. RVD spends ages learning from “this pretty gnarly old guy” who gave him “this really old hat” and taught him “kicks and stuff”. Unfortunately, he violated the sensei / student clause when he mistook meditating for self-medicating, and was told he had dishonored the warrior code. That was when struggling physical education teacher “Coach” Buzz Stern happened to be in the country on sabbatical, and even though he possessed very little skill of any kind, he definitely spent a lot less time trying to see which incense provided the best high – so he was hired.

WCW, having been notified that Glacier was on his way, began airing ads immediately. But, the process had to be started from scratch, with months of higher learning. Realizing he wasn’t picking up any of the martial arts, but determined not to be embarrassed, the sensei wisely covered his tracks by teaching him the most important thing about being a warrior … was to stretch out your entrances to last longer than the show, and thus you’d never be seen in action. Fewer words, more posing. After 6 months, he was ready. And, the legend was born.

LIVE on tape from somewhere, it’s WCW Saturday Night – and we have no time for anything because we’re already underway.

BARRY WINDHAM, BRIAN PILLMAN, and STEVE AUSTIN vs. BRAD ARMSTRONG, 2 COLD SCORPIO, and JOHNNY B BADD

 This is a pretty sick collection of talent, and Johnny B Badd. Sadly, we don’t get to see anywhere near enough of this. I could watch the heel team beat on Brad Armstrong all night, and never grow tired. There’s a fantastic sequences where after taking a bit of a pounding, Badd makes the hot tag to Scorpio. Scorpio pulls up the fists ready for a fight, and Windham gives a “really, kid?” look at him. 2 Cold winds up hitting a crossbody off the top onto Pillman, and then nearly scores an upset over Austin with a sunset flip. Johnny’s brought in, and promptly gets his ass kicked. Badd flails around desperately, so Windham calmly rakes his eyes and slams him into Austin’s boot. Armstrong tags in, and hit a high knee on Windham for 2. All hell breaks loose at this point, and Windham winds up sneaking in a jumping DDT on Badd for the pin at 7:45 of what aired. Good enough, but I wish we’d seen the whole thing. **

LARRY ZBYSZKO wants a word with Windham, bringing up that earlier in the night (which wasn’t aired), Watts made tonight’s match between Rhodes and Steamboat for the US title. Windham vows to watch with great interest, because “you never know what might happen”.

Our hosts are the aforementioned Larry, and JIM ROSS. Ross can’t stop talking about the “White Castle of Fear”, which we learned about at the Clash. And, because it never gets old, they replay the challenge from the Clash. “I KNOW YOU LIKE LIVING ON THE EDDDDDDDDDDDGE! COME TO THE WHITE CASTLE OF FEAR AND PLAY VADER’S GAME!!!!”

VADER (with Harley Race) vs. TIM DIXON (in a non-title match)

Vader doesn’t even wait for the bell to start destroying his prey. A running chest bump and clubbing paintbrushes sets up the big splash off the top. Then, for fun, he powerbombs Dixon, and folds him like a pancake for the easy pin at 1:27. Dixon gets carted out by a bunch of enhancement talent. Jobbers are so critical when building up the big guys … Vader just walks out of here looking nothing short of an unstoppable killer. Kevin Owens would benefit so much from a series of these on RAW over the coming months between big PPV matches.

TEDDY LONG wants to know what RON SIMMONS is bringing in 1993. Simmons says he’s accustomed to being a winner, and having held the gold, he’s got an addition to it now, and he will climb the mountain again.

Elsewhere, TONY SCHIAVONE has found ERIK WATTS. Tony replays the video sent in by the fans at the gas station, and asks for his comments. He’s feeling mighty pissy, because he’s not paid to fight in the streets. “It’s a profession of mine!” What other professions does he hold? Ballroom dancer? Hot stone masseuse? Shoe shine? Door to door sales representative? Tony – for fuck sakes, follow up on this! Watts tells Anderson he’s an easy man to find, so “come get me”. That … might not have been the smartest thing he’s ever said.

THE WRECKING CREW vs. KEITH COLE and CHRIS SULLIVAN

Oh yes!!! The return of Chris Sullivan! And paired with the flat-top mullet? This is like a dream! We’ve already established the Wrecking Crew are a couple of bumbling chowderheads, so I’m ready to watch my boys take this one to the next level. Cole, mullet flowing through the ring as he runs the ropes, runs Fury over with a back elbow. Chris Sullivan, with his bald pony tail and well-worn mustache ride, tries to throw Fury but it doesn’t work. That’s ok though Chris, you’re still the connoisseur of cunnilingus as far as I’m concerned. I mean, just look at this stud.


Unfortunately, the CoC falls victim to the Wrecking Ball at 5:30. ½*

No, not this wrecking ball


TONY SCHIAVONE talks with DUSTIN RHODES about his US title shot later tonight. He can’t wait to wrestle his good friend Ricky Steamboat. “I hope you brought your best game, because I brought mine”. Dustin strikes me as a Trouble kinda guy because really, who can resist that pop-o-matic bubble? Ricky probably doesn’t play board games, and grabbed whatever was available at his local garage sale. I’m going with this one.




Here to refute Dustin’s harsh words is RICKY STEAMBOAT. Steamboat calls him all the names in the book: good friend, comrade, former tag-team partner. Good god man, hold back some! His advice: “Don’t let up!”

MAX PAIN vs. RICK SAVAGE

Pain in the future Main Mountain Rock, who gained a strong cult following in the late 90’s with the only crew for some reason, but it didn’t last long. He looks like Ozzy Osbourne on HGH here. Pain nails a German suplex, and finishes with a hammerlock submission at 0:41. Strong debut.

Meanwhile, LARRY ZBYSZKO is hanging out with VINNIE VEGAS. Vin wants an arm-wrestling match against Van Hammer, this time with the left arm instead of the right. In fact, he wants to do it BARROOM STYLE!

Poor CACTUS JACK doesn’t get his own private interviewer. He calls out Vader and Race. While he can forgive a cheap shot, because he’s given out plenty of those, he won’t forgive them for making people like him. “They put their hands together and cheered for Cactus Jack! And that takes away the hunger!!!” So, instead he’s going to feed on his hatred of those two instead. “You want to beat on me? I’ll beat off you!” Wait, what?!?

MARCUS ALEXANDER BAGWELL vs. CHRIS BENOIT

They aren’t wasting any time building Benoit up – first with Armstrong, and now with Bagwell. Mid-card, beware. A test of strength doesn’t really go anywhere, so the pair start trading pinfall attempts. Bagwell hits an enzuigiri and goes for a German, but Benoit elbows him in the eyeball. Bagwell dropkicks Chris to the floor, but Benoit’s right back in with a crossbody block off the top for 2. A clothesline drops Bagwell like a sack of potatoes, and a sidewalk slam gets 2. He picks Bagwell up BY HIS HAIR and slams the man, which gets a stern warning from the referee. Chris immediately does it again, and now the referee is visibly upset, telling him “hey, you can’t do that!” Benoit goes for it a third time, but Bagwell shakes loose and does it to Chris. He gets no warning, because the referees are biased monsters. Benoit doesn’t really care and immediately finishes with the Dragon suplex at 6:23. **

LARRY ZBYSZKO wants a word with the Canadian newcomer. He promises just one possibility for his opponents moving forward – which is to leave with their heads down, assuming it’s still on their shoulders. Hey, that’s two possibilities! Benoit reminds us he’s a 7-year pro, even though he doesn’t look a day over 15-years old.


In another part of the building, TONY SCHIAVONE is with STEVE AUSTIN and BRIAN PILLMAN. Pillman says they’ve got intense focus, and they’re going to be a tag-team dynasty. Schiavone is curious why Austin, the greatest TV champion of all time, and quite possibly the best singles wrestle in WCW history (da fock?!?) would suddenly change gears and focus on the tag-team division. Austin knows he’s the greatest singles wrestler there is – but now he’s ready to prove what he can do as a tag-team. Pillman wants to show themselves off in the best way he can imagine … in a 2-out-of-3 falls match. The longer they wrestle, the stronger they get. Anything can happen in 1 fall, but nobody’s gonna get them twice. Neither of them figure that the champs have the guts to sign on for that kind of match, but a man can dream.

PAUL ORNDORFF vs. CACTUS JACK

Oh man, there’s some serious hate here, and they go right at each other tooth and nail. Jack bites Orndorff’s face, which gets a shriek from Paul. He angrily boots Cactus to the apron where he holds the ropes, so Orndorff runs at him with a knee, sending Jack to the floor where he audibly splats against the cement. Christ almighty Mick…. Back in, Jack starts throwing haymakers, knocking Orndorff out, and he rolls to the floor. Jack follows, but it was a sucker move, as Orndorff sweeps out the legs and grinds Jack’s face into the ring apron. Back in, he drops a fist to Jack’s jaw, and backs the wild man into the corner. Cactus gets loose and charges, but Orndorff sidesteps and Jack flies over the top and to the floor. Jack gets up to fight, but Orndorff comes off the apron, driving Jack face first into the cement with his knee! Holy hell man! Jack staggers around the ringside area and heads back in, but Orndorff drops him with a neckbreaker over the ropes. He finally gets back in, and feeling no pain, he kicks away at Orndorff. Orndorff goes for the piledriver, but Jack drops down and hooks the foot while the fans cheer his name. That’s turned into a “PAULA” chant which is so vile that Orndorff has to cover his ears to keep them from bleeding. It’s flustering enough to make him miss a dropkick, and Jack hits an explosive clothesline. Jack looks like he’s got this in control, but suddenly VADER rushes in for the DQ at 8:47! The fans root for Sting to save, but it’s not happening. Instead, the man, the legend, THE BARBARIAN is on the scene! Everyone’s gonna die!!!! He goes straight for Vader, hitting him with a Cactus Clothesline in honor of his new best friend, as we head into a commercial. **1/2

RICKY STEAMBOAT vs. DUSTIN RHODES (for the WCW United States heavyweight title)

In a show of pure hatred, they shake hands and hold each other closely as the bell is rung. Steamboat takes over the early going with slams and a wide variety of holds. A half nelson gets 2, and Rhodes fights his way back to his feet. Rhodes comes back with a side headlock that he works for a small eternity. Steamboat hits a drop toe hold to change his fortune, and works an armbar. Dustin gets loose, and tries an abdominal stretch, while holding a headlock, adding extra pressure. Steamboat tries to get away with a waistlock, but Rhodes won’t give, slams Steamboat, and goes back to the abdominal stretch one more time. Upon release, Rhodes tries a dropkick, but Steamboat sidesteps and applies on a wristlock. Rhodes gets up, but takes a hiptoss for 2, before winding back in an armbar. Rhodes eventually gets out and nails a clothesline for 2. Rhodes goes to finish, but they wind up colliding face first with one another mid-ring. They both fight to their feet, and Rhodes hits a bulldog, but Steamboat shockingly kicks out at 2. Steamboat tries a bridged pin, but Rhodes bridges his way out at the last second. Still, Steamboat snapmares him and heads up, hitting his crossbody, but now it’s Rhodes that kicks out of a finishing move! During a leapfrog, the referee accidentally gets nailed as Steamboat crumbles to the floor. BARRY WINDHAM makes an appearance, and hits the jumping DDT on Steamboat on the concrete! Nobody saw it, Rhodes included, and when the referee comes to, he counts out Steamboat at 14:52, to give Dustin the US title. Winning on a count-out – you go Dustin! The match was slow, plodding, and didn’t tell much of a story, a total timewaster building up to the interference of Windham. Embarrassingly low quality considering the participants. **

JIM ROSS congratulates the new champion, and airs the footage of Windham helping him out. Rhodes is beside himself – positively livid. His daddy didn’t teach him that way, and dang it, he’s gonna go make it right with Ricky. And he heads out, while the announcers wonder aloud if Dustin actually knew Windham had been involved. Questions abound as the show fades to black.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

WCW Worldwide: January 16, 1993

I’ve finally managed to get Worldwide back in the rotation – and not a moment too soon! Z-Man! Johnny Gunn! Nothing but the biggest names on the planet!

TONY SCHIAVONE and JESSE VENTURA welcome us to an actual arena in Alabama. Tony’s displaying a quality part on the mid-right side of his head, with the kind of precision that lets you know, yes, this is the 90’s. PAUL ORNDORFF saunters on camera, and he starts screaming about Rick Rude’s injury. He apparently knows exactly what needs to be done. And what needs doing? Whether it’s Milwaukee, or Philadelphia, he’s going to have a match with Steeng. What of Atlanta? St. Louis? Murfreesboro? Does “Steeng” not work those territories?

BARRY WINDHAM vs. TOMMY ANGEL

Jesse tells us that Angel best be a Devil if he wants to beat Windham. There’s phoning it in, and then there’s Jesse Ventura circa 1993. Angel comes at Windham for about a second before taking an eye poke, and Windham dumps Angel through the ropes. An uppercut draws the ire of the referee, but Windham informs Pee Wee that no, he did not close his fist, and that seems to be enough to satisfy. The Jumping DDT (or, as Tony has coined it on every show, “A Form Of A DDT!”) is enough to seal Angel’s fate at 2:18. DUD

Elsewhere, handsome 8th string announcer ERIC BISCHOFF talks about WCW Magazine. That leads us into legendary midget BILL APTER handing the Rookie of the Year to ERIK WATTS. According to Bischoff, he managed to do this despite attacks from greats like Michael Hayes and Bobby Eaton, though he doesn’t touch on the uncomfortable rocket Bill Watts shoved up Erik’s ass.

VINNIE VEGAS vs. TIM DIXON

Jesse: “I normally don’t like guys named Vinnie, there’s just something about that name that just strikes a chord with me … but this Vinnie, I’m growing attached to.” Yeah yeah yeah Jesse, you have beef with McMahon – shut up and let me admire Tim Dixon. Tim has adorned a black singlet with half a leopard skin, accentuating his moppy mullet, and a quality unkempt mustache – the kind you’d see in the *really* raunchy movies. Unfortunately, his whisk broom is no defense for the Snake Eyes, and Vegas picks up an easy win at 1:07. Jesse gushes over how big Vegas is. Pfft, he should see Scorpio. DUD

Now, a WCW Exclusive! ERIK WATTS is being shot on a hand held camcorder at a gas station, signing an autograph for a clearly disturbed little girl. Her dad, holding the camera, encourages the pre-teen to “give him a kiss … yeah, see if ya can git a kiss there.” Holy crap – is this what got him arrested? After an inappropriate lip locking, the girl points out “hey, that’s ARN ANDERSON!” He’s power walking over fast, screaming “I TOLD YA WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF I CATCH YER ASS OUT HERE AGAIN!” Arn throws Watts face first into the hood of his car, but Watts punches him in the pooter and locks on the STF. The cops show up, and immediately arrest Watts for what I assume is aggravated battery, first degree sexual assault, and statutory rape.

THE WRECKING CREW vs. JOEY MAGGS and JOHNNY RICH

Maggs was kicking around even back then? He might well be the jobberiest jobber in the history of WCW’s jobbers, but we won’t know for sure until I make it through the entire run of the company at some point in 2093. Maggs almost picks up an upset win and the ladies moisten their knickers while finding their most obnoxious octave levels, but it’s not gonna happen folks. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever. Fury destroys Maggs with a backbreaker and leg drop, setting up Rage nicely to go to finish with the Meathook … but Maggs kicks out in a shocker. Rich gets the hot tag, delivering his patented spinning elbows to anyone fat … but a kick to the face from Fury sets up a backbreaker into an elbowdrop for the win at 4:29. This was no fun at all. *

Weather man Wannabe ERIC BISCHOFF is back with WCW Magazine. He introduces BILL APTER giving the Most Inspirational award to RON SIMMONS. Simmons is so polished and well spoken, delivering his thanks like a humbled Apollo Creed. You know, for everything McMahon got right with Austin, Foley, and Rhodes in the coming years … he completely blew it with Simmons. Ron’s got the charismatic endearing thing going for him, with just enough jazz to back it up in the ring. The fall of Ron Simmons in 1993 is going to be a sad thing to watch.

PAUL ORNDORFF vs. MARCUS ALEXANDER BAGWELL

Bagwell actually upset Watts for WCW Magazine’s Rookie of the Year, despite Erik’s ability to overcome Michael Hayes. That’s pretty strong. Bagwell hits Orndorff with a knee lift, and then goes to the only other move he knows … the dropkick. Not to worry, he’d live by that dropkick for the next 4 years, before working in a swinging neckbreaker, and eventually, the Blockbuster. The announcers gush over the fact that Bagwell’s able to reverse a drop toe hold, but it honestly doesn’t change the fact he wears tassels. A crossbody block gets 2, and Bagwell yells “YEAH!” while turning his back, knowing this is as close to beating Orndorff that he’ll get. Belly to back suplex finishes matters at 5:12. 1/2*

STEVE AUSTIN and BRIAN PILLMAN vs. Z-MAN and JOHNNY GUNN

Jesse, keeping a straight face, says WCW’s tag-team division is the deepest it’s ever been. Oh. Pillman beats on Z-Man because, well, it’s fun. Zenk throws crappy dropkicks for awhile, before working a hammerlock. Gunn comes in and gets double teamed immediately. Austin tries to roll up Gunn with a handful of tights, which fails, but he tries it one more time anyway because he’s just that much of a scumbag. Pillman chops Gunn into fish chum, and when Z-Man tries to get involved, Pillman happily throws Gunn over the top rope illegally. Austin drops an axehandle, but it won’t keep Gunn down, who gets back in and slugs away for his life. The hot tag is made, and Zenk can’t wait to start hitting the bad guys with his awful awful dropkicks. A jumping superkick on Pillman nearly gets the upset, but Austin saves. And that’s all they’re getting, as Austin picks Zenk up for the Stun Gun, and Pillman pushes it forward with a dropkick for the pin at 4:35. On his way to the back, Austin tells the camera “they wuz nothin’”. Match of the night! *1/2

Back at WCW Magazine, Ken Doll look-a-like ERIC BISCHOFF has one more award to show off tonight. And what is it? A walking plaque hands itself to RICK RUDE as PWI Comeback Wrestler of the Year. Wait, I apologize, Rude picks up the plaque to reveal BILL APTER was there.

JESSE VENTURA welcomes VADER and HARLEY RACE to the live arena. Vader’s all fired up, huffing and puffing like a fairy tale wolf. Race says Vader knew when he walked the aisle in Baltimore that he was returning with the gold. Vader screams that he’s never listened to advice from anyone … except Harley Race. So, when he says Ron Simmons gets a re-match, “I SIGN ON THE DOTTED LINE!” But, he’s more concerned with Sting, because he still wants that elusive King of Cable title. Who can blame him?


GET CYBERGENICS AT GNC! BLISTEX MOISTURE SYSTEM! MURINE EAR WAX REMOVAL! And do it now because this show is OVER! And you have some atrocious hygiene.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

WCW Power Hour: January 16, 1993

Going Anon: You failed to note the very loud "Erik Watts sucks" chant while he's being interviewed in the back.

I have failed each and every one of you. I vow to work harder at bringing up any and all of Erik Watts’ lowest moments.

LIVE from a taped studio, TONY SCHIAVONE and LARRY ZBYSZKO are running on Cactus Jack-mania. Of course, they immediately divert my attention by casually dropping in that The Barbarian is facing 2 Cold Scorpio in the main event. Oh, hell, yes. Scorpio, I dare you to step. This could be glorious.

I opt to skip through the replaying of the US title tournament semi-final matches, or Jim Ross in the Superbrawl Master Control Studio. I am completely taken by the Super Mario Kart commercial however. That game was the boss. I used to haul my Super Nintendo to a friend’s house who also had a system, and a group of us would two barrel a pair of TVs all night, running tournament after tournament. My wife and I played it roughly a month ago, but she hated it. I have since considered filing for divorce.

TEX SLAZINGER and SHANGHAI PIERCE vs. TOMMY ANGEL and THE ITALIAN STALLION

I love that WCW never stopped recycling their awful, awful music, even with the added pressure from the WWF’s in-house work in the late 90’s. Tex and Shanghai are using “Generic Cowboy” which would later be given to Bobby Duncum Jr. Chris Benoit used that silly clapping theme at the Clash of Champions. Austin’s would be recycled a half dozen times. And Ron Studd would murder Fit Finlay in an unsolved European case before robbing him of his music. My sound completely gives out after the entrances, so I’m left to speculate what’s in the paper grocery bag Tex brought to the ring. I spent a lot of time thinking about this, and I’ve opted to rule out his lunch, an International Object, and Damian, leaving me with the obvious answer. It’s rolled tightly, and doesn’t appear to be very heavy … so I figure it’s whatever’s left of Erik Watts’ dignity. Angel hits a fantastic German suplex on Tex, which is pretty much our lone highlight. The Italian Stallion, meanwhile, can go to hell for ripping that name off, and I’m hoping he draws the ire of a drunken Paulie and gets stabbed in the beans with a broken beer bottle. Pierce pins Angel with a combined DDT at 3:29. *

Elsewhere, MISSY HYATT hosts Missy Does the Mail. On the topic of Cactus Jack’s actions from this week, she says it sums up her longstanding believe that you can’t trust a man who wears his teeth as an earring. However, Harley Race was wearing some fairly atrocious polyester, so Jack can’t be blamed for his actions. Also, the letter writer offers her some bareback riding lessons, and Missy says “I can’t wait!” Isn’t this a kid friendly show? I’m fairly sure an open proposal to contract Missy’s wide array of STD’s by plugging her without the shrink wrap doesn’t belong on Saturday morning programming.

The volume completely cuts out now, which is great, because I don’t have to listen to BILL APTER suck the kneecaps of ERIK WATTS … which might be the most play he’s ever going to get.

THE BARBARIAN (with Cactus Jack) vs. 2 COLD SCORPIO

I’m still without sound, but Tony’s kinda useless anyway so I’ll get by. Barbarian powers Scorpio back to the corner and barks in his face repeatedly, like the Alpha dog asserting his dominance in the pound. A series of headbutts take Scorpio to the mat, and probably to another planet. The fool tries a sunset flip, but Barbarian’s like “bitch, really?” and doesn’t even flinch. Scorpio runs away from the attack, but then leaps on his head and hits a victory roll for 2. A dropkick has the Barbarian in a white hot rage, but he rolls outside to confer with his good friend, Cactus Jack. Scorpio threatens to fly, and winds up kicking Barbarian all the way to the guardrail. He shakes it off and gets back in. Scorpio’s waiting with a kick to the face, but Barbarian just roars in his face and murders him with a clothesline. Barbarian threatens a powerbomb, but stops mid-way and hangs Scorpio over the ropes in the corner instead. A single uppercut causes him to fall off the buckle and on to the apron, so Barbarian pulls him back in and goes for a backbreaker. Scorpio slips off the back, and pays dearly for that stunt with a clothesline that would have chopped down a giant redwood. Barbarian goes easy, working a headlock, which Scorpio stupidly tries to fight off. Barbarian just throws him through the middle ropes like garbage – which might be a rare mistake from the promotion’s top guy, because 2 Cold re-enters with a sunset flip for 2. You can about see the steam come out his ears when Barbarian pops up, and Scorpio takes the kind of pounding you’d usually reserve for tenderizing a whole cow. Barbarian drops a couple of elbows across Scorpio’s throat, and attempts to put him to sleep. Scorpio manages to escape and hits a pair of dropkicks, followed by a big splash for 2. Barbarian sits up like the Undertaker on speed, and delivers the Kick of Fear with enough force to make a soccer ball explode. Scorpio tumbles to the outside of the ring where he lays for awhile, but he manages to beat the count. He quickly hits the Pele kick, and does a 180 legdrop for 2. A superkick sends Barbarian to the floor, and Jack reminds him, “hey, you’re the Barbarian, you’ve cannibalized bigger guys than this in one sitting!” Barbarian nods and gets back in, but Scorpio catches him with a surprise suplex and hits a slingshot somersault legdrop for 2. A superkick rocks the big man again and time runs out at 10:00. Saved by the bell, 2 Cold. It’s probably for the best, this was undoubtedly ending with Scorpio’s head being ripped off like a chicken, and that just gets messy. **


That’s it for now. Saturday night has a rock-star lineup tonight, and although the show may not feature Barbarian, it’s likely to be a good one. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

WCW Clash of the Champions 22: January 13, 1993

On Sunday Night, Cactus Jack left about 800 wrestlers for dead. Everyone, from jobbers all the way up to the World Champion were no match for Jack and his shovel. Are there going to be repercussions for the madman from New Mexico? Will Dustin Rhodes win the big one? Just what DID Erik Watts do to get arrested? And what the hell is a Thunder Cage? We hope to address this tonight, but being WCW, I’ll be happy if just one of these points is touched on.

Since this is 1993, Vader’s team is dubbed “THE EVIL TEAM” by the Unknown Voice Over. Shades of grey weren’t wrestling’s strongest suit in those days.

LIVE from Milwaukee, WI, TONY SCHIAVONE is joined by … BILL WATTS? This can’t possibly be our announce team. Watts gloats about teaming with The Crusher against Larry Hennig and Larry Zbyszko in Milwaukee shortly after founding father Soloman Juneau settled in the region in the early parts of the 19th century. Watts takes us through the state of the union; Van Hammer tore a guitar string and won’t be able to arm wrestle tonight. He’s being replaced by Vinnie Vegas for reasons. Meanwhile, his son Erik, who he says is “like a son” to him, told him he was arrested for no good reason at all. And because of this relationship, Bill believes him; but it needs to be investigated. As a result, he won’t be wrestling Cactus Jack. Wouldn’t an appropriate punishment be to have him wrestle Cactus Jack?

In the back, LARRY ZBYSZKO is with the aforementioned ERIK WATTS, and it becomes increasingly obvious that he’s been charged with stealing the wardrobe from the host of Nick Arcade.

 

Bill Watts is frustrated that his son can’t compete, but has a fair replacement: Johnny B Badd. Man, that’s a shockingly low opinion he has of the man who’s “like a son” to him.

JIM ROSS and JESSE VENTURA are the real announcers, though I don’t know if this is an improvement.

CACTUS JACK vs. JOHNNY B BADD

These guys actually have a little history, partnering together in the Lethal Lottery at Starrcade – but like all other Cactus Jack partners, Badd ate it like a champ. Ventura correctly points out that the audience has a shocking number of Cactus Jack signs, fallout from Sunday’s anti-hero face turn. Cactus misses an avalanche, and gets rolled up for 2. Badd works an armbar, but that doesn’t go very far, and Johnny gets punched in the head. Badd slams Jack’s face into the buckle, and cradles Cactus for 2. Up top, Badd misses a sunset flip, and Jack drops an elbow for the quick pin at 2:53. This should have been a completely one-sided squash; that was WAYYYYY too much offense for (at this point) useless Johnny. 1/2*

During the break, the greatest music video in the history of wrestling debuts. I’ve posted it before; but let’s go through it one more time. A group of naughty (black) kids refuse to go to school, despite the pleas of the (good) white kid, because they just want to play basketball. They continue to play, when a limo pulls up, and a large woman begin shrieking “EVERYBODY HERE COMES TOO COLD SCORPIO!” The basketball is whiffed with one of the worst looking air-balls I’ve ever seen, which is both necessary to take us to the next part of the video – but also subliminally highlight that these kids should probably focus on their studies since an NBA career is not in the cards. The ball takes a perfect bounce into the limo, and Scorpio bursts through the doors bouncing the ball – basically playing the Wesley Snipes version of the Kool Aid Man. He dunks, drawing high praise from the drop-outs. Scorpio asks why they’re not in school, and one of the delinquents tells him they’re off to the Arcade. Scorpio tells them Mortal Kombat is going to have to wait, they need an education, and he’s going to take them there. The kids perk up, thinking they’re about to hop in the limo, bathe in Dom, and toss around Benjamin’s like Floyd Mayweather. However, Scorpio immediately blue balls them and informs the group “we gonna step”. Then he dances with a bunch of sluts for some reason. This entire segment is Faces of Fear levels of amazing, and completely defines a generation. What that is, is really hard to say – but we’re going to assume it involves stepping.

2 COLD SCORPIO vs. SCOTTY FLAMINGO

It breaks my heart in knowing Flamingo has no shot in hell following that video, because any man willing to strap on those tiny pink bicycle shorts and thrust violently at whatever’s he hallucinating about deserves a rocket strapped to his back. Flamingo actually has the crowd support which pleases me greatly. Scorpio hits Flamingo with a springboard back elbow before whiffing on a kick that Flamingo sells by literally jumping backwards and out of the ring. Champ. Scorpio decks him with a big right hand off the apron, but Flamingo’s back in first and hits a dropkick to send Scorpio back to the outside. A plancha (!) connects, and Flamingo throws Scorpio back in for 1. Scorpio sneaks in a small package for 2, and that enrages Flamingo and his protruding penis. Scorpio keeps on, hitting a pair of dropkicks and Flamingo begs for a time out. Instead, he’s given a rotating splash off the top, but Flamingo kicks out at 2. A Stinger splash misses, and Scorpio eats buckle, allowing Flamingo to roll him up for 2. A dropkick from Scorpio sets up a legdrop, and the Diss That Don’t Miss finishes us off at 4:12. **

CHRIS BENOIT vs. BRAD ARMSTRONG

This is Benoit’s WCW debut, and he’s introduced as a 7-year veteran by Ross to give him some credibility. Man did he age fast, he looks like a kid here, even though he’s in his mid 20’s. Benoit goes for an early powerbomb, but Armstrong rolls off the back and hiptossees Chris. A dropkick leads to an armbar to slow Benoit, who is an absolute ball of energy here. Benoit bridges loose and takes Armstrong down, winning a test of strength. Armstrong backdrops out, and goes back to the armbar. Chris finally has enough and counters into a hammerlock, but Armstrong dumps him through the middle rope, leading to another debut … the feathered mullet.


Back in, Armstrong plants Chris with a dropkick, and goes back to the armbar. I’m not sure keeping Benoit moving at a snail’s pace is the best way to show him off. Benoit shakes loose and goes for a Liontamer, but Armstrong won’t turn, so Benoit gives him a hot shot instead. Armstrong staggers on the apron, so Chris gives him a violent headbutt, and then nails him with a double jump clothesline drawing a massive pop! Armstrong crawls back in, and takes a clothesline so hard I’m surprised his head’s still attached. A backbreaker is followed with a scoop slam so hard that Armstrong bounces off the canvas like a basketball. Chris heads up, but Armstrong goes to cut him off. Benoit ain’t having that, headbutting Armstrong like a boss, and as soon as Brad falls, Benoit’s right behind him with the swandive. Still, Armstrong rolls away, and Brad hits a swinging neckbreaker for 2. Benoit immediately stands up and hits the Dragon Suplex for the win at 9:15! This was the tale of two matches, but as soon as Benoit got going, this was outstanding. It’s incredible they didn’t offer this guy a huge contract and immediately insert him into the US title picture, because he was ready, even at this point. ***

Meanwhile, TONY SCHIAVONE introduces a video package to highlight the reunion of the Rock n Roll Express. They’ve been tearing up Smokey Mountain Wrestling, but WCW’s arranged a one-time appearance for the new SMW tag-team champions to appear at Superbrawl. That’s a fantastic working partnership. I actually have the bulk of the SMW library on one of my hard drives … do I dare extend myself even thinner?

JESSE VENTURA excitedly hosts the latest in the Strongest Arm competition. The reigning champion is hurt, and the runner up, Ron Simmons, is in the main event – but we’re given Tony Atlas challenging … Vinnie Vegas. Apparently Vegas is being given this opportunity because he was eliminated unfairly from the tournament, since he is left handed. This is actually happening, isn’t it? Vegas, for the record, is sporting an incredible pair of pink hospital scrubs tonight. Jesse provides some scintillating play-by-play that I could not possibly top (“HERE COMES VINNIE VEGAS BACK! HE’S ROLLING THE DICE!”), and after roughly two and a half decades, Vegas wins. You know, even with the hindsight that Over the Top drew absolutely no money, WCW continues to run with this. Though, really, I’m secretly ok with that.

And speaking of things I’m totally ok with, VADER is screaming about Sting from inside a blizzard. He has a special challenge to present him with, but he wants to do it from inside his White Castle of Fear! Sting is promised a good time if he’s willing to live on the edge. I think this was Chapter 14 in 50 Shades of Vader.

LARRY ZBYSZKO covers the #1 contender tournament for the US title that’s been going on. Rhodes and Steamboat face off on Saturday Night, and will face Rick Rude on the 23rd … unless he’s too hurt to fight. If that’s the case, this weekend’s bout is for the strap. Fun!

THE WRECKING CREW vs. THE Z-MAN and JOHNNY GUNN

Rage and Fury make up the Wrecking Crew, but while Fury is probably not known to you, he has a couple of very famous brothers in Animal, and John Laurenitis. Rage is just the latest incarnation of The Reverend Al Green, who has not begun his beastial transition from 70’s Soul Singer to Dog. Ventura sums up his predictions: “I’ll take the two ugly guys!” That’s not very kind to Tom Zenk. Rage tries a press slam, but Zenk escapes and hits a cross body for 2. Team Powder Blue clear the ring, and while the Crew reground, Z-Man hits a tope on both! Gunn comes in and is held hostage by Rage, but he sidesteps the attack and Fury nails his own partner. Fury regroups and blasts Gunn with a forearm, but Gunn hits a quick faceplant and tags out. Zenk takes a gutwrench powerbomb to set up a spinning sidewalk slam, and Z-Man is reeling. Rage comes in and ties up a bit with the referee giving Z-Man a chance to hit a crossbody, but Rage hangs on and just drops him down into a slam. A second rope axehandle is blocked with the superkick, and Zenk makes the hot tag. Gunn cleans house, but Rage hits a cheap shot to set up the Wrecking Ball and the pin at 6:08. I always like a couple of lumbering, clumsy heels, and these guys will be exactly what the doctor ordered on the J-shows. *

LARRY ZBYSZKO has tracked down BRIAN PILLMAN and STEVE AUSTIN. Pillman promises that the champs are about to pay a hefty fine for carrying the gold, and guarantees a dynasty is about to kick off. I’m all in on the Hollywood Blondes era.

STING is welcomed to the arena by TONY SCHIAVONE to respond to Vader. He’s never walked away from an invitation in his life, and he certainly won’t walk away from the White Castle of Fear. DUSTIN RHODES and RON SIMMONS join Sting, and even though Van Hammer is too useless injured to join them tonight, they don’t feel any more short-handed than they did before he was hurt. Only Van Hammer could be double booked and STILL not let anyone down when he fails to appear.

Back in the locker room, LARRY ZBYSZKO is joined by VADER, PAUL ORNDORFF, BARRY WINDHAM, HARLEY RACE, and the man who doesn’t need any partners to single-handedly win this match, THE BARBARIAN. Race doesn’t want to talk about the Thunder Cage because he’s so angry at Cactus Jack. Someday, he’s going to pay for “coming at me with a SCOOP … SHOVEL!” In fact, he doesn’t like anyone associated with Cactus Jack, and fires the Barbarian. The Barbarian lifts Race in a double armed chokehold because he’s the coolest man on the planet, but Vader cheap shots him from behind and Orndorff piledrives him. Race: “ONE MORE TIME!!!!” No one dares do it one more time, because there’s no reason to make the Barbarian any angrier than they already have. Just this stunt is going to cost everyone living in a small village their lives.

WCW airs a package on the history of Superbrawl because whatever The Barbarian is doing is definitely too graphic for your average viewer, and once they’ve managed to clean up the locker room, Larry’s retaken his post with RICKY STEAMBOAT and SHANE DOUGLAS. Steamboat promises that the dynasty is going to end before it begins. Douglas just wants to get to the ring and get it on. So does Chyna, quite frankly.

SHANE DOUGLAS and RICKY STEAMBOAT vs. STEVE AUSTIN and BRIAN PILLMAN (for the WCW world tag-team titles)

We’re on a 30-minute time limit given the TV limitations, but that seems asinine since there’s like 30 minutes left in the show and we have a Thunder Cage to see, assuming anyone survived the wrath of The Barbarian. I’m kinda amped to see this incredible collection of talent, and Shane Douglas, in one ring at the same time. Steamboat tries to end things early with a crossbody, but that just draws everyone in for a massive brawl. The faces clear the ring, and Austin’s not impressed at all. Back in, Steve offers the hand of friendship, but Steamboat slaps it away. Disrespect Austin and pay, and he beats the shit out of Steamboat. Pillman comes in, but Steamboat has his way with him, hiptossing and dropkicking him at will. Douglas and Steamboat tag in and out quickly, hitting one move at a time to Pillman’s arm, wearing him down. Pillman twists his knee and it looks like we may be throwing in the towel on this one early. Douglas cautiously checks it out … and takes a headbutt to the gut while Pillman laughs like a hyena. Pillman goes for a rana, but Douglas turns it into a slam for 2. Austin comes in but Douglas wrestles him right down to the mat. Steamboat helps keep Austin in the corner with a hammerlock slam, and a sunset flip from Douglas gets 2. Austin comes back with a handful of tights for 2, and gets into a test of strength. Neither wins, but Douglas rushes to the corner and bounces back with a second rope rear elbow for 2. Steamboat slams Douglas on Austin for 2, and when Pillman rushes to save his buddy, Steamboat slams Brian on Austin as well! Things calm down a little, and Austin inches his way back to his corner. Pillman decks Steamboat allowing Austin to hit a backdrop suplex, and Pillman tags himself in. A cheap shot draws in Douglas, and while the referee restrains him, Steamboat is thrown over the top rope where Austin happily slams him on the concrete floor! Dirty and delicious. Steamboat fights his way back to the apron and nearly suplexes Pillman to the floor, but Austin kicks Steamboat in the small of the back, and Pillman reverses to bring Steamboat back in for 2. The boys beat Steamboat like a pinada, and the longer he takes to spew forth candy, the harder they hit. A faceplant from Pillman is held on, and Steamer’s face is ground into the mat. Steamboat gets a surprise sunset flip, but Austin was busy chatting to the referee to get a count. Austin tags in as Steamboat desperately tries to karate chop his way loose, and JUST as it looks like he’s going to get out, Austin hits the backdrop suplex for 2! The crowd collectively gasped when Ricky was denied the tag, great spot. Austin works a reverse backbreaker, and Pillman makes the blind tag to attack … but Steamboat ducks and Pillman nails Austin! A springboard double karate chop knocks down both challengers, and Steamboat makes it oh so close before Pillman stops him. Steamboat hits him with a spinning suplex, and both guys are down. Pillman desperately tries to stop the tag, but Ricky makes it this time as the arena explodes, and Douglas destroys both guys. Pillman takes a belly to belly, but the referee is trying to keep the desperate Steamboat in his corner … and Austin drops a knee off the top rope! Pillman is rolled on top, but Douglas kicks out and the place is rocking now! Austin and Steamboat trade punches on the outside while the referee desperately tries to maintain order, but JUST as the referee starts dragging Steamboat back to his corner, Austin grabs a belt and sneaks in to blast Douglas upside the head with the sharp side of the gold! The referee was still paying attention though, and immediately disqualifies both guys at 13:43! The fans are positively rabid now, THRILLED the miserable bastards got caught. They don’t care though, as Pillman hits a DDT on Steamboat, while Douglas spurts blood from his forehead. Next, the belts are used to whip Steamboat, but BRAD ARMSTRONG leads a BRIGADE OF LOSERS to the ring to save the day. Austin and Pillman take the gold and parade around the ring, holding the belts as high in the air as they can. This is everything I could ever hope for from my favorite scumbags. ****

VADER and HARLEY RACE head to the ring to talk with JESSE VENTURA. Race gloats that Vader’s the greatest champion in history, but that draws out an irate RON SIMMONS. Simmons says the first time Vader lets his guard down, he’ll put him on his back. Race tries a sucker punch, so Simmons kicks his ass and then goes for Vader. A spinebuster takes out the champion, and Simmons turns back to the ramp to slaughter Race. Vader rushes in to save his manager, and jumps on the back of Simmons which HAS to smart! He splashes Simmons on the concrete, and attacks the injured shoulder with a pair of shoulderbreakers. STING and DUSTIN RHODES rush in to save their friend, but they’re way late. Simmons is out of the main event.

BARRY WINDHAM, PAUL ORNDORFF, and VADER (with Harley Race) vs. STING and DUSTIN RHODES (in a Come Dressed as You Are, handicap Thunder Cage match)

As it turns out, street clothes for Vader are exactly the same thing he wears all the time. I admire his dedication to the look. So, to answer what exactly a Thunder Cage is, it’s essentially a Hell in a Cell, but constructed like an upside-down deep fryer basket. Rhodes goes after Windham as you’d expect, but a blind tag surprises Windham, and he eats a face plant from Sting. Vader wants a piece of Sting, and tags in to go right after him. Sting is immediately overpowered, and Vader flexes to remind him he’s the man. Sting throws some desperate punches, but Vader starts throwing his giant clubs. Sting battles back and Vader starts rocking, so he quickly hits an atomic drop, followed by a DDT. The Stinger Splash has Vader wobbly, and Sting doesn’t relent, hammering with everything he’s got! The fans are loving Sting’s fight, but you know it this isn’t it, because here comes the heels. Sting fights them off, but Vader is able to recover and he hits the bear clap. Off the top, a clothesline drops Sting. Ross: “That defies logic! A 400 pound man should not be able to come off the top rope like that!” So, he opts to defy logic again, but his splash misses and Sting clotheslines him to the floor! The fans are rockin’, and Sting howls to them … completely missing that Orndorff has rushes him from behind, and Sting’s dropped with a German suplex! Vader officially tags Orndorff in, and he stomps Sting into a puddle. An elbow to the little Stinger (which Jesse reminds us is a legal blow in this match) brings in Windham, and he’s ready to dish a little violence. A vertical suplex is followed by a cheap shot to Rhodes. Dustin rushes in, and gets avalanched by Vader in the corner. Good job Dustin! Vader tags in, and crushes Sting with the avalanche as well before hocking a loogie at Rhodes. My man! A press slam, complete with Vader tossing Sting in the air as he benches him, keeps Sting down, and Windham comes in to hit his Superplex. Sting fights off the Superplex, which would have undoubtedly ended this, and gets the hot tag to Rhodes. Dustin fights with all 3 guys who have come into the ring now, and manages to beat them down briefly. Windham eats a corner clothesline, as CACTUS JACK rushes in with a pair of bolt cutters! He hacks his way through the lock, and welcomes himself to the fray – officially declaring himself on the side of the faces! Windham tries to stop him as Orndorff works over Rhodes, but he rips off his boot and starts clobbering all 3 guys! Vader avalanches Rhodes again, while Orndorff tosses Jack through the ropes, where he flies into the side of the cage and splats on the floor full force, as always. Sting is dumped, leaving Rhodes one on one with Orndorff. However, Cactus wills himself back in, and he comes off the top with the boot to the back of Orndorff’s head and scores the pin at 11:25! Sadly, this was rushed because TV time was at a premium and WCW didn’t think to cut out some of the unnecessary fat. **1/2

JIM ROSS wants a word with Jack, and the audience is fully behind this. Jack says for the last 9 years he’s been called a psycho, and a warped loser. He’s got a neck that hurts him every morning when he wakes up thanks to Orndorff, and he’s probably in over his head. His ribs hurt because Vader splashed him, and he knows he’s in over his head. However … you can beat him, you can hurt him, but you can’t stop him. “SO PAUL ORNDORFF, BRING IT ON! BRING EVERY OUNCE OF ENERGY CUZ YOU’RE GONNA NEED IT!” The face turn is complete, and it looks like we have the first break-out main eventer of 1993.


I wasn’t expecting a ton out of this show given the clog of names like Van Hammer and Erik Watts being heavily advertised – but not only was the dead weight shoved aside for the most part, all of the young guys were given plenty of opportunity to shine, and shine they did. Austin is looking like a polished vet, Chris Benoit is a phenomenal new intense entry to the federation, and Mick Foley’s the second hottest commodity they’re riding (behind Sting). We’re off to an incredibly promising start to 1993, and it’s all up to WCW to take advantage.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

WCW Main Event: January 10, 1993

The Clash of Champions is coming up Wednesday, but not before a major edition of The Main Event takes us home. And as you’ll find out, for roughly the first time ever, I’m actually not kidding. JIM ROSS and MICHAEL P.S. HAYES are LIVE (taped) in front of a green screen featuring a slow moving blurry audience that appears to be cheering and booing at random intervals at … Gary Michael Capetta?

BARRY WINDHAM vs. DUSTIN RHODES

This is actually a ridiculously big match for the Main Event – good on you WCW for paying attention to your H-shows. Windham thinks it’s amazing that Rhodes has even displayed the guts to show up tonight given his broken wrist. Rhodes charges the ring, and fists start flying like electronics on Black Friday. Rhodes throws his best clotheslines with his good arm, including one that sends Windham over the top rope. Hayes correctly points out that’s a DQ, but Ross defends it as … it’s the referee’s discretion? What the hell is that nonsense? Pee Wee Anderson should have been fired years before his public humiliation in 1997, he’s making awful judgment calls. Back in, Rhodes hits another clothesline, but Barry immediately plants him with a jumping DDT. With momentum now in his corner, Windham starts attacking the raw wrist of Rhodes. DOUG DILLENGER stalks around the ringside area in a 3 piece suit for god knows what reason, while Windham delivers a half nelson slam on the wrist. A second jumping DDT is blocked with a backdrop, but before Rhodes can do anything, Windham claws at the eyes. Rhodes fires back, and both guys start getting ridiculously violent. The referee tries to break it up to have a clean fight, but they both shove him aside and it’s a double DQ at 4:27. Barry kills Rhodes with a jumping DDT after the bell, and informs Anderson he doesn’t really care that it’s “over”. As a result, the entire brigade of striped shirts is forced to intervene on Dustin’s behalf and save the day. **

MICHAEL HAYES hits the ring to chat with HARLEY RACE. Hayes talks up the Thundercage as the most dangerous structure ever constructed, and asks Race who the heck is going to replace Rude? Race says he’s scoured the earth for the nastiest people on the planet, and he’s decided that … Cactus Jack and Paul Orndorff are going to wrestle to determine the vacancy. I mean, I can’t hate the Jack involvement, but Race really had to scour the earth for that? He didn’t come up with anyone better while he was going the streets of Djibouti? There was nobody meaner in Qatar? I’m thinking Race didn’t put a lot of effort into his world travels.

BRIAN PILLMAN and STEVE AUSTIN vs. LARRY SANTO and T.C. CARTER

T.C. Carter is a long time WCW jobber – which is unfortunate since he’s just defined half of the entire WWF Attitude Era. On one side, we have Steve Austin, and on the other, an 80’s pimp. He looks a little meaner than the Godfather, so I’m thinking you probably don’t want to get caught up in an argument with one of his ladies over whether or not she didn’t state up front that fetish of yours comes at an extra cost. Carter beats down Austin, so he backs up to the corner, and as soon as he does, Austin comes out with some killer intensity, just pounding the ever loving shit out of Carter. Now THAT was the rattlesnake in Steve all the way, turn your head for a second, and he’s gonna get you. Carter gets picked up for the Stun Gun, and just for kicks, Pillman dropkicks him into the move to accentuate the punch, and picks up the easy win at 2:49. Even in a squash, Austin’s scary good at this point, and I’d dare say potentially even more polished as a ring performer than he’d be by the time he got around to the main events. *

MISSY HYATT welcomes us to “Missy Does the Mail”. Memphis Heat asks: Does that mean she had done everyone in the locker room already and the mail was the only left she could do?

Memphis, that’s silly. The sheer notion that Erik Watts has been inside a woman since his mother was carrying him is absurd. Anyway, in this segment, Missy plugs the Hotline by promising to tell us the REAL reason Ron Simmons lost the World Title to Vader. Given how uncomfortable he looked, I’m going to say a bad case of hemorrhoids had flared up – and the sheer distraction of a throbbing sphincter was simply too much to handle against a quality opponent like Vader. Now, given that Missy fails to actually answer any mail, let’s turn things over to Devin Harris, who has a quality suggestion regarding Ron Simmons moving forward. Why didn't they just have Ron Simmons die in a car wreck? That would have been the perfect ending to completely killing off his character.

Oh, we’ve still got a long way to go before we reach that point. An entirely different company hasn’t had the chance to put him in a blue gladiator helmet while having him play an angry Black Panther. Or, live out his days as a walking caricature, known to anyone born after 1990 as “the guy who says Damn”. His assassination is FAR from over.

CACTUS JACK vs. PAUL ORNDORFF (in an Anything Goes Street Fight)

HARLEY RACE hangs around ringside for what is a shockingly stacked show. Orndorff attacks ringside, slamming Cactus’ head into the guard rail, hard enough to get a loud uncomfortable clang from the impact. Wonderful pulls Cactus’ flannel around his neck to choke him out, before throwing some punches the hard way right to the eye. Jeeeeeez! Next up in the car crash, Foley gets thrown into the ringsteps, which he hits full tilt with his hip before careening over, and then Orndorff slams him face first into the steps … which of course Cactus takes as hard as possible. Into the ring, Orndorff stands on Jack’s throat with his workman’s boot, but it does little to keep the wild man down, because he’s back up and pissed off. Orndorff’s shirt is ripped right down the back, and Jack starts clawing and scratching at the bare skin. The shirt is then used as a noose, and while Orndorff lies neck first across the second rope, Mick rushes with a hard knee to the back. Since there’s no DQs, Paul is tossed over the top rope where he falls skin first on the concrete. He gets back to his feet and tries to pull Jack to the floor, but Cactus kicks him in the face and slams Orndorff in the stairs. A running elbow onto the floor MISSES, and Jack is forced to absorb that. Orndorff steals a can of beer from someone in the front row and slams Jack in the face with it. As he staggers around, Orndorff uses a running elbow that sends Jack head first into the ring post, which is again taken hard and without protection. Cactus is feeling no pain though, and he throws Orndorff into the steps, and calls for the finish. The Cactus Clothesline is set up … but Orndorff ducks, and Foley flies ridiculously fast over the top and to the floor. He crawls back to the apron, but Orndorff kicks him in the kidney until he belly flops back to the floor. So much of this is completely unnecessary, but that’s a young Mick Foley in a nutshell – both why I love him, and am sometimes uncomfortable watching him. Orndorff removes his belt for a whoppin’ as Race rolls Cactus back towards the ring, but Jack rakes Paul’s eyes … then dives off the apron delivering a clothesline to Race for being an interfering prick! The fans eat that up, but that was a bad idea, because VADER won’t take that lightly. He comes in, and starts delivering some meaty hooks to Jack’s face, and that’s enough to let Orndorff follow with the spike piledriver. You can scrape him off the mat, he’s dead, but they’re not done. Race drops a knee across Cactus’ face, and because he’s sprawled out on his back, Orndorff uses that as an invitation to choke the life out of him with his belt. Vader, even more happily, delivers the big splash to his prone enemy, and then for fun he does it again from the second rope. Orndorff is declared the winner by Race at 9:16, and despite the lack of finish, this was an excellent old school hardcore brawl. Even better, it sets the stage for Cactus to be an early challenger to Vader’s belt – and you KNOW those guys are gonna deliver some ridiculously hard-hitting stuff. ***

MICHAEL HAYES heads down to the ring to talk to the trio of heels. Harley’s thrilled that Orndorff’s included in the Thundercage, and begs Sting’s team just to show up. Lost in all this, CACTUS JACK has returned with a shovel in hand, and he attacks Vader from behind while Orndorff’s giving himself a pep talk for Wednesday. Race takes a shot between the eyes, and Wonderful is clocked in the head. Jack completely clears the ring to a massive pop, and the rest of the heels on site rush in. VINNIE VEGAS is smashed in the face! TEX SLAZINGER eats a beating! SHANGHAI PIERCE takes a mouthful of shovel! Even a crew of jobbers try their hand, and are completely decimated! It looks like a warzone, with bodies strewn all around the ringside area, and Jack standing tall. Great segment.

After a break, Hayes, who managed to go without getting clocked, wants a word with the wild man. Foley’s face has had time to swell up from the street fight, and his eyes are purpled and swollen. He says that Vader and Race made a big mistake … they let him live. For all the World Title and knowledge Race has got, he’s missing one thing … eyes in the back of his head. He reminds them that while the Thundercage was created to keep men from getting out, it was never created to keep Cactus Jack from getting in. BANG BANG!

Jim Ross sums up the lunacy brilliantly:



After composing himself, Ross remembers that he needs to tell us that Erik Watts was arrested in Charlotte for some reason. Wait, what?!? We’re just hearing about this now? How the hell can that be? We’re like 8 seconds from going off the air and we’re just throwing that out there? I’m not okay with this. What did he do? Solicitation? Narcotics? J-Walking? Disturbing the Peace? Public Intoxication? Stalking? Double Homicide? This is some seriously shoddy reporting on the part of WCW, and it might be the worst cliff hanger in TV history.


Who am I kidding, they got me, hook line and sinker. AWESOME edition of Main Event this week, a billion thumbs up.