What the World Was Watching: WCW Saturday Night – April 1, 1995

Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan are calling the action tonight and they are taped from Atlanta, Georgia.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, these tapings were held on March 22.

Opening Non-Title Contest:  Harlem Heat (WCW Tag Team Champions w/Sister Sherri) (16-1-1) defeat Brad Armstrong & Tim Horner (1-0) when Stevie Ray pins Horner after Booker T gives Horner a scissors kick at 9:12:

Armstrong and Horner make the first entrance and fans at home likely thought they might get a squash win to bolster their status in the division, but Harlem Heat are announced as the opponents and the babyfaces odds drop faster than an underperforming candidate on election night.  One of the highlighted moves of Armstrong and Horner is a double snapmare, which is about as jobberific as it can get.  The bout moves like it has a bad case of Internet lag but the finish is nice as Horner puts Stevie Ray in a sleeper hold and Booker T gives Horner a scissors kick behind the referee’s back to break it up and give the champions a victory.  Rating:  **

Schiavone interviews Sherri and the Heat.  Sherri says the Heat are happy to give the Nasty Boys another title shot, which will happen on tomorrow night’s Main Event telecast.  Booker throws down the slang by telling the Nasties that they “ain’t nothing but chicken wing on a string.”  Urban Dictionary says that means the Nasties are an “insignificantly mild inconvenience.”

WCW’s Executive Board meets to discuss whether Ric Flair should be reinstated.  The room they are meeting in has unopened action figures of Hulk Hogan and the Pro Wrestling Illustrated trophy that Hogan received for being Wrestler of the Year.  Germany and Japan – Japan being represented by Sonny Onoo under another name – vote in favor of bringing Flair back, Germany for selfish motives because they want Flair to face Hogan on a tour of their country.  The United States and Spain vote no.  France abstains and the vote deadlocks, so a more definitive decision will have to wait for another day.

Sergeant Craig Pittman (6-0) beats Eddie Jackie via submission to the Code Red at 2:44:

This squash is a mess as Pittman knocks Jackie down, Jackie sells like he cannot get up, and Pittman pounces with weird strikes and holds to keep the action moving.  Pittman does several sessions of push ups and eventually locks in the Code Red.

Gene Okerlund interviews Pittman.  This interview had to have happened at an earlier taping because Pittman’s shirt is black instead of red.  Pittman barks out some military commands but says nothing of substance.

The Nasty Boys (15-1) defeat Stan Lee & Bill Quinn when Jerry Sags pins Quinn after the Trip to Nastyville at 2:55:

Lee, who eats a Pit Stop during the match, is still active on the independent circuit, also wrestling under the name Stan Van Dam.  He also acts like a moron during the match as he yells in the corner when Jerry Sags clotheslines him against the buckles instead of moving out of the way.  The Nasties go through their usual routine to build to their match tomorrow night.

Schiavone interviews the Nasty Boys, who pledge to win the titles tomorrow night on the Main Event.

Paul Orndorff (1-1) pins Mark Starr after a piledriver at 4:11:

Schiavone hypes Orndorff as a U.S. title contender as WCW’s plans for that belt are still undetermined.  That is also a signal that Orndorff is done in the tag team ranks and is transitioning back to singles competition.  After some basic back and forth wrestling, Orndorff goes over.  Rating:  *

Dick Slater & Bunkhouse Buck (w/Colonel Robert Parker) (4-3) defeat Barry Houston & Bobby Knight when Buck pins Knight after a right hand at 4:54:

Slater does a weird move where he puts Hardy in a front face lock and briefly lifts him into the air.  The string of horrendous Slater and Buck squashes continues as they pummel Houston and Knight for nearly five minutes.  Heenan reads my mind and pitches the idea of a Buck-Johnny B. Badd match since they share similar finishers.

An advertisement paid for by Ric Flair says that people need to be fair to him and that his name has been unfairly smeared in recent weeks.  Flair brags about his popularity with women and footage shows him wrestling through the years.  He gives ten reasons why he should be reinstated, the funniest of which says that if he is gone people will think Alex Wright can dance.  There is also some delusional heeling as he says women are already going crazy in his absence because a woman was so overcome with withdrawal that she beat up Randy Savage at Uncensored.

Kevin Sullivan & the Butcher (5-1) beat Steve Hall & Steve Storm when the Butcher submits Storm with a sleeper hold at 3:15:

Storm wrestled as an enhancement talent across the big three promotions of the 1990s – WWF, WCW, and ECW – and later became a minister.  Hall wrestled under the name Tom Stone during the 1990s, doing jobs for the WWF from the late 1980s to 1995.  Schiavone announces during the match that there will be a sixteen man tournament to crown a new U.S. champion and it will start in a couple of weeks.  Sullivan and the Butcher work better as a team, showing no signs of dissension as they roll through their opponents with ease.

Sullivan and the Butcher are interviewed by Schiavone, but Avalanche interrupts and blames the Butcher for Hulk Hogan being WCW World champion.  Sullivan says that the Butcher has made a few mistakes and tells Avalanche that there might be some Hulkamania left in the Butcher’s brain that they may need to fix.  One would expect a two-on-one beatdown on Butcher to end this segment, but Sullivan and Avalanche leave and the Butcher seems to think everything is okay.

Bobby Eaton is shown getting a massage and manicure as Lord Steven Regal gives him diction lessons.  Regal says all of this is needed because Eaton is about to meet Queen Elizabeth, which will occur on Main Event.

Big Bubba Rogers (9-0) pins Mike Davis after a Bossman slam at 2:21:

As noted in the Uncensored review, Rogers needs to do something dastardly to get the crowd against him because opting to change gimmicks over his treatment as a special guest referee at Clash of the Champions is not cutting it.   Rogers makes quick work of Davis to get his undefeated record into the double digits.

Schiavone interviews Rogers, who gets Schiavone to tell the television audience that he defeated Sting at Uncensored.  Rogers calls Sting a loser and warns everyone else in the locker room to stay out of his way.  This was a great promo.

A video package hypes Sting.

Alex Wright & Johnny B. Badd defeat Arn Anderson & Steve Austin (w/Colonel Robert Parker) via disqualification when Parker interferes at 12:24:

Wright’s inexperience is exposed as he tries to tag into the match after he comes into the ring and referee Randy Anderson refuses to let that occur.  Wright still refuses to fully position himself on the apron to do the tag so Anderson just gives up, but that is too much for Austin as he just rolls away from whatever attack the babyfaces may have had planned.  It appears that one of the functions of this main event is to transition Badd’s feud with Anderson to Wright, but the bout really shows that Badd is a better worker and more over than the young German.  Besides that, Austin shows that he has a lot in the tank as well, riling up the crowd with his antics and seamlessly cheating with Anderson and Parker’s assistance.  Overall this was a fun match that would have gone up a notch if Badd was teaming with someone who had more experience.  Nevertheless, the hot crowd made up for some of its deficiencies, such as the disqualification finish when Parker breaks up Wright’s closing pin on Austin following a flying body press.  The win constitutes Wright’s twenty-sixth straight victory in overall competition and Badd’s eleventh, while Austin loses his first televised bout in 1995.  Rating:  ***¼

After the bell, the heels beat on Wright until Sting makes the save.

The Last Word:  The middle of the show seemed to lose its way with way too many tag team matches but the main event left fans with the desire to see more WCW television and that is never a bad thing.  As noted in prior reviews, the Sullivan-Butcher story is dragging out too much and Big Bubba Rogers needs more to spice up his character.  And it is also telling of WCW politics that two of the three MVPs in the main event were working for the competition by this time the following year.

Up Next:  WCW Main Event for April 2!