What the World Was Watching: WCW Saturday Night – January 7, 1995

Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan are tonight’s broadcast team and they are taped from the Center Stage Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia.  The tapings were done on December 7, 1994.

Footage of Big Van Vader confronting WCW Champion Hulk Hogan at the end of Starrcade is shown.  The highlight is Vader grabbing Doug Dillinger by the tie and nearly decking him with a right hand.

Opening Contest:  The Guardian Angel (1-0) beats Carl Fergie after a Bossman slam at 3:51:

Fergie made a career as a jobber in Georgia, Memphis, and Mid-South in the territory era and is the cousin of Jerry Lawler.  He did hold some gold, though, teaming with Ox Baker to win the NWA Mid-Atlantic tag team titles in 1981.  Fergie gets a surprising amount of offense, possibly due to that pedigree, attacking the Angel before the bell and avoiding an avalanche against the buckles.  However, the Angel rallies with a clothesline, winning with what Schiavone incorrectly calls a “spike piledriver.”

Okerlund interviews the Angel, who says that he is the only man big enough to answer the challenges that WCW poses.  He promises to make some big waves and make people “serve hard time.”

Fans see a replay of Nick Bockwinkel’s segment about Sting and Avalanche that aired on Worldwide.

The Blacktop Bully (w/Colonel Robert Parker & Meng) defeats Barry Houston via submission to the Breaker 1-9 at 3:59:

The Bully was Barry Darsow of WWF fame, where he wrestled as Demolition Smash and Repo Man.  Darsow came into WCW after a year on the independent circuit in 1994.  The Blacktop gimmick is an evil trucker driver who likes wrestling, showed up to some WCW shows, got arrested for pushing Dustin Rhodes at an event, and was bailed out by Parker, who wanted to make Rhodes life a living hell.  Bully abuses Houston in a squash that goes too long, violently tossing him out of the ring before getting a submission win.  Houston would eventually head to IWA Japan, where he teamed with David Heath, better known to wrestling fans as Gangrel, as the Black Harts.

Harlem Heat (w/Sister Sherri) beat Brad & Scott Armstrong when Booker T pins Scott after a Stevie Ray flying elbow to the back of the head at 13:05:

WCW’s mascot Wildcat Willy, who is a wildcat in sunglasses, welcomes the Armstrong brothers when they make their entrance.  Willy stayed around until 1999 when WCW executives finally caught on to the idea that fans hated the character.  The Armstrong brothers were a perfect fit for Saturday Night, presented as credible due to their wrestling heritage, and often being used to put over other teams.  That is definitely the case here as Harlem Heat have been hyped by commentators as WCW’s next big tag team.  The Heat have great timing in cutting off the Armstrong brothers comebacks and cheat constantly, with Stevie Ray flying off the second rope behind the referee’s back to break a cover late in the match and give his team the win.  Rating:  ***

Okerlund interviews Harlem Heat, who he says are getting a tag team title match at Clash of the Champions.  Sherri says that her men will soon win the titles, with Stevie Ray calling the Patriot a power ranger.

Okerlund provides the Clash of the Champions Report.  Another match added to the card includes Alex Wright against Bobby Eaton.

Non-Title Match:  Stars & Stripes (WCW Tag Team Champions) beat the State Patrol when Marcus Bagwell pins Lieutenant James Earl Wright with a fisherman’s suplex at 6:36:

The State Patrol, composed of Sergeant Buddy Lee Parker and Lieutenant James Earl Wright, were a lower midcard tag team that reappeared in WCW near the end of 1994.  Stars & Stripes was Marcus Bagwell’s latest foray into tag team competition and this pairing with the Patriot captured the tag team titles twice in 1994, mirroring some of the success that Bagwell had with 2 Cold Scorpio in 1993.  The Patrol put the tag team champions in peril throughout the match, delivering a battering ram, facebuster, and elbow drop to Bagwell for a near-fall.  However, the Patriot towers over them and turns the tide to lead his team to victory.  Rating:  **¼

Okerlund interviews Stars & Stripes, with Bagwell saying that with the United States behind them they cannot lose to Harlem Heat at Clash of the Champions.  Sister Sherri interrupts the promo, questioning the manhood of the babyfaces and warning them that Harlem Heat is coming for their titles.  She slaps Bagwell and gets them to go into the ring, with Stars & Stripes demanding Harlem Heat come out to wrestle them immediately.  The Heat come out, but the Nasty Boys also run out for some reason and Sherri is carried to the locker room by referee Nick Patrick.  Based on the promo given here, Harlem Heat are a much cooler team and should be given the titles immediately.

The Nasty Boys (1-0) defeat Bobby Starr & Ricky Santana when Jerry Sags pins Starr after the Trip to Nastyville at 3:26:

Schiavone puts over the WCW SuperBrawl game on Super Nintendo even though most of the roster in that game were gone from the company by this time.  Starr was a freelance talent that worked an enhancement role for the WWF and WCW between 1992 and 1998 and then spent the end of his career working for the Maryland-based MCW Pro Wrestling.  The Nasties drag out the squash by beating on Starr and they finally pin him for an easy win on today’s broadcast.

Clips of Kevin Sullivan’s match with Mr. T at Starrcade are shown, as well as the post-match beating that Kevin did to Dave Sullivan, who Schiavone hilariously insisted was Santa Claus.  We also get a replay of Randy Savage helping out Hulk Hogan at the end of the show against the Faces of Fear.

Alex Wright (2-0) pins Dave Young with a reverse flying body press at 3:04:

Police are shown keeping Wright away from an obsessed female fan, although when they grin in holding her back they ruin what that bit was going for.  Young was trained by big league enhancement talent Larry Santo and he later adopted the nickname “the Messiah of the Spinebuster” on the independent circuit.  There are a few small botches in this squash, notably when Wright has to redo a headbutt to the mid-section spot off the ropes, but Wright goes over and the female fans remain happy.

Television Championship Match:  Johnny B. Badd (Champion) (1-0) beats Paul Roma with a somersault rollup at 10:20:

Roma was wrestling in a tag team with Paul Orndorff at the time, with the team capturing the tag team titles in 1994.  WCW still had some hopes for him, as he wrestled in the main event of a European tour at the end of 1994 against Sting on a few cards, but those matches failed to excite crowds and were replaced with six man tag matches.  Schiavone announces that the winner will face Arn Anderson in a title match on Main Event tomorrow evening.  Based on the number of empty seats facing the hard camera, this match probably took place at the end of the taping and it mutes some of the reaction to big moments and moves.  Roma spends the bout attacking Badd’s back, but Badd rolls up Roma out of nowhere to retain the title, which was a really weak finish based on the all of the action that preceded it.  Rating:  **½

Okerlund interviews Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, and Jimmy Hart.  Announcers are referring to Hogan and Savage as the “Monster Maniacs” and Hogan talks about how Savage has him lit up like nothing before.  He adds that Julius Caesar will be shaken by the main event of Clash of the Champions, as if Caesar is still alive.

The Last Word:  Harlem Heat were the MVPs of this show, wrestling a good match against the Armstrongs and delivering a strong promo to hype a future encounter with Stars & Stripes, who seem woefully undermatched relative to their heel counterparts.  The Guardian Angel’s promo, which talked about big things in 1995, seems to foreshadow a heel turn as well, especially because Traylor lost some big matches in 1994 to Big Van Vader and Sting, notably in the triangle match at Fall Brawl.

Up Next:  WCW Main Event for January 8!