What the World Was Watching: WCW Main Event – January 8, 1995

Eric Bischoff and Bobby Heenan are doing commentary and they are live from Atlanta, Georgia.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, the show drew a packed crowd of 785, with no one having to pay for their ticket.

Gene Okerlund; in the heel locker room with Avalanche, the Butcher, Colonel Robert Parker, the Blacktop Bully, Bunkhouse Buck, and Meng; urges fans to call 1-900-370-3WCW to vote for who they wish to see wrestle in the main event.  The calls cost ninety-nine cents.  The babyface locker room, where Tony Schiavone is, features Sting, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, the Guardian Angel, and Dustin Rhodes.

Opening Contest for the Television Championship:  Arn Anderson (w/Colonel Robert Parker & Meng) beats Johnny B. Badd (Champion) (2-0) after a shoulder block to win the title at 6:49:

This is a rematch from Starrcade, where Anderson substituted at the last second for the Honky Tonk Man and lost to Badd.  Badd is coming off of a title defense against Paul Roma the previous night on WCW Saturday Night but he does not show any ill-effects despite the fact that Roma seemed to do a number on his back.  Badd dominates the early going, although his psychology is all over the place, working Arnderson’s arm and then switching to a leg.  Badd has the match won with a sunset flip off the top rope but Parker distracts the referee and then he puts Anderson’s foot on the bottom rope after the Tutti Frutti.  Anderson follows with a weak shoulder block and Parker holds Badd’s foot down for Anderson to win the Television Championship for the fourth time.  The match was going well until all the shenanigans and weak finish.  Rating:  **

Badd tells Okerlund that he wants a rematch.  Referee Randy Anderson says that his decision in the title match stands because he can only go on what he sees.  Okerlund is outraged and urges fans to call him on option four of the WCW Hotline to see if they want Badd to get a rematch.

The babyfaces get some promo time to explain to the fans why they should be picked for tonight’s main event.

Harlem Heat (w/Sister Sherri) (1-0) defeat Mike Corey & An Unknown Jobber when Booker T pins the Unknown after an assisted flying leg drop at 1:11:

WCW has not mastered the split screen promo, cutting away from the match for a promo from WCW Tag Team Champions Stars & Stripes, who say that they will give Harlem Heat a title shot on the next episode of Saturday Night.  The Heat make quick work of the jobbers, making a powerful case for winning the titles next Saturday.

Bischoff says Sting and Avalanche are leading their respective votes as Okerlund interviews the heels.  Avalanche says he wants the Guardian Angel so he can get another referee for his match with Sting at Clash of the Champions.

Alex Wright (3-0) beats Barry Houston after a moonsault in 56 seconds:

Like Saturday Night, women mob Wright, somehow getting past WCW”s lax security by not being behind the guardrail at all.  One woman joins Wright in the ring for his dance before this squash, which pits Wright against Houston, who has hearts all over his tights as if he is Shawn Michaels 2.0.  Wright wins today with a sloppy moonsault.

Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, and Jimmy Hart give a promo for Clash of the Champions.  Hogan and Savage agree to watch each other’s backs, with Hogan also warning Big Van Vader to pick his spots carefully if he is coming after him.  This promo seemed to take an eternity and it was a longer version of the promo that aired on Saturday Night.

Bischoff says that 60% of the votes for the babyface locker room went to Sting and Avalanche got 40% of the vote in the heel locker room so both men will wrestle in the main event.  Heenan keeps complaining about how giving power to the fans is not a good idea.  Johnny Ace would not approve of Heenan’s logic.

Sting (1-0) defeats Avalanche via disqualification when the Faces of Fear intervene at 5:30:

Just like the Stars & Stripes-Harlem Heat feud, this bout that was originally booked for Clash of the Champions, is given away ahead of time.  One of the security personnel is a big Sting fan, getting very upset when Sting fails to slam Avalanche and losing his mind when Sting rallies.  The match is perfectly acceptable television with little resting, but getting a conclusive finish is out of the question since the theme for the feud is that the Guardian Angel is needed to help the two men settle their differences in a clean fashion.  Rating:  **

After the bell, the Faces of Fear briefly beat on Sting before the Guardian Angel, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, and Dustin Rhodes make the save.

The Last Word:  The television title switch gave this show some relevance, although the ending made Badd look weak.  It would have been better for Colonel Robert Parker to intervene and help Anderson hit a DDT for the victory.  Sting and Avalanche showed some good chemistry in the main event but if they are booked to go longer at Clash of the Champions that might hurt the quality of a future encounter.

To kickoff 1995, WCW ran a show with New Japan Pro Wrestling at the Tokyo Dome.  Here were the results of that show – noting only WCW talents – courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com:

Tokyo, Japan – The Tokyo Dome – January 4, 1995 (62,500; sell out):  Final Countdown BVD Tournament Semi-Finals:  Sting beat Tony Palmore at 5:29 via submission with the Scorpion Deathlock…Final Countdown BVD Tournament Finals:  Antonio Inoki beat Sting at 10:26 via submission with a sleeperhold.

Backstage News*:  At the Tokyo Dome show on January 4, Eric Bischoff made an in-ring announcement that WCW and New Japan Pro Wrestling would continue doing talent exchanges in 1995.  This means that talents such as the Steiner Brothers, the Road Warriors, Hiroshi Hase, the Great Muta, Jushin Liger, Scott Norton, and Chris Benoit could be working WCW shows in the near future.  There is Japanese interest in having a Hulk Hogan-Vader title match at the Tokyo Dome on April 2, but Vader is under contract with Japan’s UWF International (UWFI) promotion and they will not want him to do a job to the current WCW champion.  Randy Savage has started wrestling for the promotion, squaring off against Avalanche on house shows in Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama over the past week.  Savage replaced Sting due to Sting’s appearance at the Tokyo Dome.  And WCW has a big interest in Sabu, willing to work around some of his Japanese and independent commitments and only use him on big shows.

*Source:  Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for January 16, 1995.

Up Next:  WCW Pro for January 14!