Taped from Montgomery, AL
Airdate: May 29, 1993
Hosted by Tony Schiavone and Jesse “The Body” Ventura
Our monthly installment of WCW Worldwide from Classics On Demand brings us the fifth week of the Computer Contender’s Challenge. This week Big Van Vader defends the WCW World Heavyweight title against Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. Also, Sting will be the special guest on “A Flair for the Gold.”
Match 1: Ron Simmons and “Heavy Metal” Van Hammer versus The Wrecking Crew
Simmons and Rage start. Simmons wins the first exchange with an arm drag. After both men shove one another Rage grabs a headlock. A rope sequence leads to a hiptoss and dropkick by Simmons. Since Rage was sent outside the ring Simmons attacks Fury on the apron. Instead The Wrecking Crew double-teams him.
Rage whips Simmons off the ropes but it gets reversed into a Simmons powerslam. Fury makes the save. Van Hammer tags in as Tony and Jesse discuss the current state of Cactus Jack. Believe me when I say that I’d rather discuss Mick Foley’s health status than narrate a Van Hammer match any day. Anyways, Van Hammer is so terrible that Fury grabs an armbar. Van Hammer counters with his own armbar before Rage tags in Fury.
Rather unintelligently Fury walks right into a Van Hammer hip toss. Van Hammer follows with a body slam. He then whips Fury but gets reversed into a Rage clothesline. This guy can’t even beat enhancement talent. It’s no wonder he lost to Sid in 35 seconds. Fury stomps on Van Hammer and then delivers a backbreaker for a 2 count.
Rage tags back in and The Wrecking Crew double cross-corner whip Van Hammer. Rage follows with a running back elbow. He then tosses Van Hammer outside the ring. In order to distract the referee he antagonizes Simmons on the apron. In the meantime Fury slams and stomps Van Hammer at ringside. After more referee distraction by Rage Van Hammer gets sent back-first into the apron by Fury.
In order to get Van Hammer back in the ring Rage suplexes him. After a couple of quick tags The Wrecking Crew whip him off the ropes and give him a double clothesline. Simmons has seen enough and nails Fury hard enough to send him outside the ring. He then whips Rage off the ropes and gives him a flying shoulderblock. Van Hammer takes advantage of his opponent’s misfortune and gives him the slingshot suplex for the pin. Thank goodness I won’t be seeing any more Van Hammer on WCW Worldwide for a long time. DUD
In our first installment of the WCW Magazine Tony Gilliam describes a match that was supposed to take place between Johnny B. Badd and Maxx Payne on WCW Saturday Night, but Payne attacked Badd beforehand. Highlights are shown of Payne applying the Payne Killer to Badd. Brad Armstrong came out to help Badd and substituted for him in the match against Payne. Gilliam then chronicles Badd’s involvement in that match and the highlights will be shown in the next installment of the WCW Magazine.
Tony and Jesse are on camera and promote the final match of the Computer Contender’s Challenge between Steamboat and Vader.
Match 2: Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart versus Todd Stansell
Jesse questions Neidhart’s hometown of Lake Tahoe, Nevada by saying “(Neidhart) must have invested his money well. He used to be from Reno.” Neidhart attacks Stansell to start. He whips him off the ropes and gives him a back body drop. He then picks him up and ties him to the tree of woe. After stomping him down he gives him another whip and then a flying shoulderblock. Finally he applies the “Anvilizer” (cobra clutch) until Stansell passes out. DUD
Tony interviews Neidhart at ringside. In a completely hysterical moment Neidhart reaches into a paper bag and puts a fake goatee on Tony.
Tony and Jesse are on camera again and this time they discuss the controversial ending to the Rude-Rhodes match for the US title two weeks ago. Highlights of the ending of the match are shown. Tony then states that an official ruling was made from the offices of World Championship Wrestling at CNN Center. Greg Gagne states that the Board of Directors has held up the US title. In the near future “Ravishing” Rick Rude and “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes will meet to determine the next US champion. Via satellite comments from both Rhodes and Rude are made in split-screen format.
Match 3: The Blackhearts versus Ben Jordan and Mark Mercedes
Before the match starts the Blackhearts perform their ritual of removing each other’s garb and yelling. They then attack both Jordan and Mercedes simultaneously and throw Jordan out of the ring. They give Mercedes a double shoulderblock. Next they make a tag and give him a suplex/legdrop combo. Jordan tags in as Jesse compliments Tony on his new beard. Jordan cross-corner whips one of the Blackhearts, but the Blackheart jumps to the second turnbuckle and delivers a back elbow. Jordan gets tossed out of the ring. While one Blackheart holds him in a front facelock the other Blackheart leaps from the top rope with a double axehandle. Spike powerbomb from the Blackhearts gets the pin. DUD
“A Flair for the Gold”
Flair makes his entrance wearing workout clothes and mentions that this edition of “A Flair for the Gold” focuses on physical fitness. A woman is next to the bar performing step-ups. Fifi walks that customary aisle. Next Flair introduces Sting. At first Sting is leery to shake his hand but then all is good. So good that once Sting sits down he lets out his customary howl.
Flair compliments Sting on his performance against Vader in the strap match. Incidentally Fifi walks by and hands Sting a glass of carrot juice. Who is he, Bugs Bunny? They discuss being “the man” and Flair one-ups Sting by saying he was the man “9 times.” In a more serious tone he asks Sting why he wears face paint. In a nutshell Sting says he wears the paint for the people who don’t think they’re just like everybody else.
Fifi escorts some children into the studio to meet Sting and get some autographs while miraculously speaking English! Oops. Flair then asks Sting to lead everyone in some exercises. All together they start touching their toes. Stretching and jumping jacks close out the show. At least we were spared from “Pretty” Paul Roma. Whew!
In our second installment of WCW Magazine Tony Gilliam reiterates the Payne-Armstrong match where Badd interferes. Highlights are then shown. In the end Payne nails Badd with Badd’s own glitter gun. I smell a feud a-brewin’. Booker T and Edge have nothing on this.
Match 4 for the WCW World Heavyweight title: Big Van Vader (champion w/ Harley Race) versus Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Steamboat is already in the ring as the champion makes his entrance. They tie up and Vader shoves Steamboat to the canvas. Another tie-up earns another shove. Again they tie up and Vader nails him with a right hand and a running splash then follows up with a short-arm clothesline. Next he military presses Steamboat for a few moments then drops him on the top rope. OUCH!
Steamboat and Vader exchange chops and blows respectively until Vader cross-corner whips him. He follows with an avalanche. Vader cheats a little in order to get the referee’s attention. Meanwhile Race chokes Steamboat on the second rope. Vader then goes to work on him in the corner.
Vader whips Steamboat off the ropes but Steamboat tries to give him a sunset flip. Vader counters with a butt splash, but Steamboat escapes getting squished like a bug. Vader misses a haymaker so Steamboat gives him an atomic drop all the way to the canvas! Chops from Steamboat lead to a foot race. Of course that is won by Steamboat followed by a baseball slide. Next he delivers an excellent plancha to Vader!
While the referee is distracted by Vader Race gets in the ring but receives an atomic drop that sends him over the top rope to the floor! Steamboat tries another dive onto Vader but gets caught and then dropped on the steel railing. Before we go to break Race nails Steamboat in the midsection.
When we return Race delivers a knee to Steamboat at ringside. Upon Steamboat’s return his chops lead to a rope sequence culminated by a Steamboat missed dropkick and a Vader elbowdrop to the quadricep. Vader mounts the second turnbuckle and delivers another standing splash.
Subsequently Vader gives Steamboat a snapmare and a seated abdominal stretch. He maintains the hold while asking Steamboat to submit several times. Steamboat tries to come back, but Vader rings his ears with forearms. A belly-to-back suplex followed by a splash earn Vader a 2 count. Now it’s Vader time as he mounts the second turnbuckle and delivers the Vader Bomb.
In lieu of making a cover Vader asks the crowd: “Who’s the man?” He tries a second Vader bomb, but Steamboat escapes to the apron. He mounts the top turnbuckle and gives Vader a chop to the top of the head. He then rushes to the opposite turnbuckle and delivers a second chop. A third trip to the top rope enables Steamboat to dive with a flying body press.
Is Steamboat the champion? NO! Vader kicks out at the last possible moment! In order to put him away Steamboat applies the figure-four leglock. But when Vader grabs the referee so he can block out the pain Race rakes Steamboat’s eyes breaking the hold. After a few kicks to Vader’s leg Steamboat comes off the ropes and flies onto Vader sending both men out of the ring.
Steamboat brawls with Vader in the aisle until he dives at him, misses, and hits the steel railing. To add insult to injury Vader splashes him on the floor! Vader sprints back to the ring and Steamboat is counted out. **1/2
Overall the Computerized Contender’s Challenge during the month of May was an exciting five weeks for WCW. In my eyes Steamboat didn’t have a chance against the monster Vader. The champion looks incredibly dominant. I give a lot of credit to Steamboat’s selling to assist in continuing Vader’s dominance. “A Flair for the Gold” was a segment to forget much like the rest of the show. We’ll see what happens next month. Stay tuned!
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