What the World Was Watching: WCW Saturday Night – April 22, 1995

Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan are back as the Saturday Night commentary team and they are taped from Atlanta, Georgia.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, the tapings were held on April 12 and 790 fans attended, with admission being free.

My copy of this show is missing the first hour of the broadcast.  All of the matches that took place were squashes, probably following the usual pattern of bouts that we have seen from all of the individuals listed below:

*Marcus Bagwell (0-2) defeated Frankie Lancaster

*Meng (9-0) beat Mike Khoury

*Alex Wright (28-0-1) defeated Steve Storm

*Paul Orndorff (4-1) pinned Al Phillips after a piledriver

Schiavone interviews Orndorff, who says that he has turned Tampa, Florida into what it is today and he puts over his football career.  It seems like Orndorff was going for a babyface promo to paint the Great Muta as a foreign villain for Slamboree.  Of course, people love Muta so it is not like a generic foreign heel is coming to town.  Just an odd direction for a promo.

United States Championship Tournament First Round:  Brian Pillman (12-0) defeats Bunkhouse Buck (w/Colonel Robert Parker) (2-4) with an inside cradle in five seconds:

The winner of this contest gets either Meng or Marcus Bagwell in the quarter-finals.  Before the bell, Pillman gets on the house mic and says some nice things about Parker, who responds by calling Pillman.  Pillman causes heel miscommunication when Buck tries a sneak attack and wastes no time advancing in the tournament.  This was the best one could have hoped for when it comes to a Buck singles match, so I am fine with the booking.

Brad Armstrong & Tim Horner (2-3) beat Tony Vincent & Jimmy Rogers when Armstrong pins Rogers after a side Russian leg sweep at 6:55:

After wrestling five bouts together, Armstrong and Horner finally have matching tights.  They have not perfected the squash match, though, as the old Lightning Express rely on some very basic wrestling maneuvers like headlocks, arm drags, and rollups, making the bout last an eternity.  This tandem could have gotten over in the 1970s with this style, but they stick out like a sore thumb relative to other parts of the roster.

A replay of Kevin Sullivan’s turn on the Butcher on Worldwide is shown.

Kevin Sullivan (3-1) pins Kip Abee after a double stomp at 3:30:

Abee wrestled Sullivan a month ago in a tag team match and he makes the same mistake today, allowing Sullivan to take him down and ram his arm into the ring post and turnbuckles.  The crowd showers Sullivan with “Hogan” chants, but Abee cannot capitalize.  Heenan jokes that the fans are chanting for Hogan because that is who they want Sullivan to beat up.

Schiavone interviews Sullivan, who says he had a dream of totally destroying the Butcher, whose continuing belief in Hulkamania made him weak.  He christens the Butcher as the “Man With No Name.”

Sergeant Craig Pittman (11-0) beats Ian Weston via submission to the Code Red at 2:13:

Sensing that the show is becoming dull, Heenan tries to inject tons of comedy into calling this bout, doing his best to make Schiavone laugh as he tries to call the action.  Pittman does his usual shtick to complete the “WCW Saturday Sweep.”  Heenan urges fans to call “9-11” after the bell, eerie to hear in retrospect.

Call 1-900-909-9900 to find out what “outlaw” wrestler might be headed to WCW!  Mike Tenay will tell you all about it!

Schiavone hypes tomorrow night’s Main Event broadcast where Hacksaw Jim Duggan will face Steve Austin in a first round match in the U.S. title tournament.

United States Championship Tournament First Round:  Sting (10-1) defeats Arn Anderson (9-8-2) via submission to the Scorpion Deathlock at 14:21:

Sting is the number one seed in this tournament, begging the question of how Anderson ended up as a sixteen seed.  The winner faces either Paul Orndorff or Johnny B. Badd in the next round.  Sting dominates much of the action, forcing Anderson to use his trademark spinebuster to go on the offensive seven minutes in.  Anderson catches Sting with the DDT minutes later, but Sting gets his foot on the ropes to break the count, and the Television Champion’s confidence is his downfall as he goes to the top rope after blocking a Stinger Splash, is tossed off, and is forced to submit.  It took a while for this to get going, but when it did these two veterans showed what they were made of.  Rating:  ***

Schiavone interviews Sting, who makes fun of the “lights out” stipulation, saying that he does not really understand what it means.  He does promise to put Big Bubba Rogers lights out at Slamboree, though.  Sting also stumbles over discussing his future in the U.S. title tournament, forgetting how many competitors he has to defeat to win the title.

Tune in next week to see Meng wrestle Marcus Bagwell in a U.S. title tournament match!  Also, Ric Flair & Arn Anderson will be in action!

The Last Word:  Sting and Arn Anderson put on their usual good match but that alone was not enough to make this show worth watching.  WCW’s top acts were nowhere to be seen and the midcard does not have enough star power to carry Saturday Night on its own.

Up Next:  WCW Main Event for April 23!