The SmarK Rant for WCW Saturday Night – 05.09.92
Taped from Atlanta, GA
Your hosts are Jim Ross and Randy Owen, one of the members of Alabama. Who says WCW was too regional? Although I will say, Randy Owen was there to hype their current album, which produced “I’m Always in a Hurry” and I actually HAVE heard that song before and it was apparently a #1 hit. So at least they were still relevant at that point.
Although of course the first thing that Owen does is thank Dusty Rhodes for helping with their charity work.
The Z-Man v. Bob Cook
Zenk was getting ready to face Pillman for the light heavyweight title at WrestleWar, and that was actually a hell of a match. So of course they never did anything else with Zenk again afterwards. Criss-cross and Zenk gets the hiptoss and dropkick into the armbar and that goes on for a while. Cook fights up, so Zenk puts him down with an enzugiri while holding the wrist, but charges and hits boot. Bob Cook unloads his legendary right hands, but Zenk no-sells it and superkicks him, then goes up and finishes with a missile dropkick at 4:00. Cook was a good jobber and this was a good squash.
Nikita Koloff v. Mr. Hughes
Koloff grabs a headlock to start but can’t overpower him, so Hughes yells at him to try it again, and Nikita goes with a dropkick instead and Hughes bumps to the floor. That was a funny spot. Back in for the test of strength and Nikita quickly wins that, as Ross notes that Hughes is probably not getting many votes for WCW Magazine’s “Sexiest Wrestler” poll. Well unless you’re into certain kinks, allegedly. Hughes goes low to take over and gets a slam for two, but Koloff gets a sunset flip for two. Hughes chokes away on the ropes and that gets two. Hughes slowly works Koloff over and goes to the chinlock as JR is busy hyping an Omni house show that weekend, you know, for the 1% of the audience who lives in Atlanta. That was a pretty major problem at the time, where they’d nearly ignore PPVs and spend all their effort trying to draw to the Omni. Hughes finally goes up and Nikita slams him off to make the comeback. Shoulder tackle sets up the Sickle, but then Hughes just cuts him off and gets more shitty offense on him. Finally he misses a charge and Nikita finishes him with the Sickle at 9:00. Hughes really sucked by this point and Nikita was in auto-pilot for most of 1992, so this was a bad combo and way too long. ½*
Ravishing Rick Rude joins us for an interview in the studio, and Randy wants to know why Rick left the WWF and joined WCW. WHOA! So Rick points out that he was Intercontinental champion for a long time, and that should put him in line for a title shot at the WWF, which never happened. Except for the multiple times he got a title shot at Ultimate Warrior in 1990, I suppose. So he left for bigger and better things. Well then. Moving on, he’s sick of Ricky Steamboat harassing his woman Madusa, and brings her out for audience questions. So after one softball question, we get a pair of women who get into a yelling match because they’re both supposedly having a long-term affair with Ricky Steamboat. JERRY! JERRY! JERRY! Rick Rude isn’t surprised by these accusations of infidelity and he apologizes to Mrs. Steamboat.
Vinnie Vegas v. Unnamed Jobber
Yes, it’s our SECOND match of the evening featuring a guy wearing a suit and suspenders as wrestling gear. Vinnie’s pre-match promo is wonderful, as he’s supposedly from Vegas, but does an Italian accent like a Jersey gangster. You can imagine how dedicated Kevin Nash is to the character as well. Vinnie punches the guy in the corner for a bit to set up the Nash Choke, and drops an elbow, then goes to a neck vice to set up SNAKE EYES for the pin at 2:35. Future World champion, ladies and gentlemen. True story.
UPDATE! WITH ERIC BISCHOFF!
The Steiner Brothers won the tag titles from the Dangerous Alliance at a random house show in Chicago, despite their being no TV cameras present, because WCW. This match was notable because Arn Anderson wrote about it in his book as though it was a shoot, by the way. So this sets up the Steiners defending against a New Japan team at WrestleWar, which was an awesome match featuring them beating the hell out of young Iizuka, but why would you pay off the tag title thing at a house show in Chicago and then do THAT match on PPV? Anyway, Eric also runs down the impending NWA tag team tournament, showing that Bill Watts inherited that particular mess when he came in. Again, this is the problem with WCW at that point among many. They had been hyping some house show in Chicago for the tag title change, plus they’re hyping the Omni house show, plus the Clash of Champions and the NWA tag team tournament, plus WrestleWar! And the main feud throughout the show was Ricky Steamboat v. Rick Rude, and that’s not even set to be paid off with a match anywhere! They were just all over the map and it’s no wonder K. Allen Frey got the plug pulled so soon.
The Diamond Studd v. Rob Campbell
The Studd, returning here after a hiatus, would of course not be long for WCW in 1992. He pulls Campbell out of the ring and throws chops, then boots him down and follows with a chokeslam. Backdrop suplex and Diamond Death Drop finish at 1:50. Seriously, WWF was basically handed Razor Ramon fully formed and only had to draw razors on his boots and give him a Cuban accent. And yet WCW couldn’t figure out how to make this guy a star.
Scotty Flamingo v. Brad Armstrong
Scotty was accompanied by EVIL guitar player JT Southern at this point in another WCW push that went nowhere. Also, I don’t want to be that way, but JT looks like a female valet from behind with the camera angle they’re using. The crimped blond hair doesn’t really help him, either. I will say, however, that standing at ringside cheering for Flamingo as a groupie is at least 1000% more watchable than actually having him try to wrestle. Scotty controls with some armdrags to start, but Brad takes him down with his own and Scotty is forced to check on his hair. Brad takes him down with a headlock and controls on the mat, and a sunset flip gets two. Brad tosses him and tries a dive, but hits the railing and Flamingo stops to dance before beating on him in the ring. To the chinlock, and that goes on for a while. We get some choking and that gets two and back to the chinlock. Brad escapes and hits a pair of flying bodypresses, but instead of going for a cover, he dropkicks Scotty to the floor. JT helps him back in, so Brad stupidly suplexes Scotty and JT holds the foot and Scotty gets the pin at 8:02. JT was even useless as a manager and was fired soon after this and thankfully retired from the business. *
WCW World TV title: Steve Austin v. Barry Windham
This is a rematch from two weeks ago, where Barry won the first fall and then time ran out to make it a TV time limit draw.
Fall the First: Austin works a headlock to start and hangs on tenaciously, but Barry reverses to a chinlock while JR talks Alabama with Randy Owen. Yeah, Jim’s pretty much calling this one solo. Barry with a dropkick and he slugs away on Austin, but Steve gets a kneelift. Barry with a backdrop and Austin bumps to the floor off a punch. Back in, they trade headlocks on the mat, and Barry gets a clothesline for two. Floatover suplex gets two. Barry goes to the chinlock and we get the nice touch of Paul E. pretending to talk on the phone to someone when he knows he’s on camera. Austin runs Windham into the corner for two and goes to a headscissors on the mat as this first fall just kind of meanders along, and Steve uses the ropes for a couple of near-falls off that. Barry fights back with a DDT, but Austin cuts him off and slugs him down. They fight to the top and Barry hits the superplex for the first fall at 10:55. Weird, usually you have the heel win the first fall so the babyface needs to win two straight.
Fall the Second: Barry slugs away right away, but puts his head down and gets caught by Austin with an elbow that sends him to the floor. Back in, Austin beats on him with knees and that gets two. Suplex gets two. Austin goes to a camel clutch and follows with a clothesline for two. Steve chokes away in the corner and follows with the stungun to tie it up at 18:40. The camera was on Paul E. while he making the pin by the way. This is such weird booking. You’d think “Oh, Barry won the first fall, so they’re gonna do a riff on the previous match where they go right up to the time limit and Barry wins in two straight falls as a surprise.” But NOPE. Austin just hits his finish and pins him.
Fall the Third: Austin pounds away and tosses Barry, and they slug it out back in the ring. Barry misses a dropkick and Austin goes up with a middle rope elbow, and that gets two. Austin with the chinlock and he reverses a slam for two. Austin goes to a facelock and uses the ropes for leverage as we get BREAKING NEWS on a graphics crawl: RICKY STEAMBOAT HAS DENIED ALL ALLEGATIONS and will address it on Main Event tomorrow night. But isn’t he wrestling at the Omni in a tag team match at the same time? I’m so confused. I’m surprised he didn’t just quit the promotion and go run his gym in Charlotte when confronted. Anyway, WCW is a hot mess, film at 11. The ref is bumped and the belt gets involved, but Austin misses and Windham rolls him up for the pin and the title at 27:05. Austin does not deal with this well and steals the belt after beating up Windham. Really, this was long and mostly good, but didn’t particularly build to anything from fall to fall and was mostly just them doing stuff. That was an ongoing problem with these 2/3 falls matches and they never sorted it out. **3/4 Windham held it for a month and then dropped it back to Austin for no particular reason.
Apparently next week’s main event is Scotty Flamingo v. Johnny B. Badd. KILL THIS FORMAT, PLEASE.