–Gene Okerlund and Bobby Heenan are in charge of the studio portion. They argue over whether Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage really wanted Ric Flair back in WCW.
–Heenan goes through a big stack of WCW trading cards and offers to trade a bunch of cards to get a Gordon Solie card, which he proceeds to toss casually over his shoulder.
–Heenan complains about how many allies WCW Champion Hulk Hogan has, which makes it difficult for the heels to get the better of him.
–United States Championship Tournament First Round: Paul Orndorff (5-1) pins Johnny B. Badd (17-3-1) after blocking a sunset flip with the help of the ropes at 9:26:
The winner of this match, taped in Atlanta as part of WCW Saturday Night, gets Sting in the quarter-finals, which gives Orndorff the advantage since he is a heel. Orndorff is also featured at Slamboree, so that gives him another cause to advance. The match is poor as both men work in slow motion and Badd uncharacteristically works submission holds on Orndorff’s legs. Orndorff responds with an enziguri that fails to get above Badd’s shoulder blade before doing his own submission work. Badd appears poised to advance after hitting Dreamland, but Orndorff kicks out to kill that finisher, and advances when he uses the ropes to block a sunset flip. The loss ends Badd’s seventeen-match winning streak in overall competition. Rating: *
–Heenan makes fun of the Hulk Hogan “doll” by saying he is hard enough to use for nailing wood. Okerlund says the same can happen with the Ric Flair doll. This was a subtle burial of these action figures because they were hard rubber and could not move.
–Tune in next week to see the Patriot face Ric Flair in the United States Championship Tournament!
The Last Word: It would have been nice to see Badd advance to give us an interesting Sting-Badd quarter-final but the brackets are specifically aligned as face-heel in the quarter-finals so that was not going to happen. The loss also sends a signal that Badd’s ceiling is the midcard as he remains a top contender for the Television Championship. The May 13 episode of WCW Pro is missing from my collection, and results for it are also devoid of coverage online, so we will move over to WCW Worldwide for May 13.
Backstage News*: The WWF has served WCW with a cease and desist order over the Renegade character, claiming that it is infringing upon the Ultimate Warrior. WCW is trying to get away from a court case by reportedly changing some of the Renegade’s colors, instructing him not to shake the ring ropes, and removing the tassels from his arms.
*The recent Worldwide tapings at Disney MGM were eventful as Steve Austin refused to job to the Renegade despite being encouraged to do so by Ric Flair and Arn Anderson. Austin was reportedly a locker room hero for supposedly taking a stand against inexperienced newcomers or ex-WWF wrestlers coming into the company and taking pushes away from homegrown talent.
*It has been a rough month for Johnny B. Badd, who lost his mother while he was on tour for Japan and then had his brother pass away two weeks to the day his mother died.
*WCW’s decision to raise the price of its pay-per-views from $24.95 to $27.50 paid off for Uncensored as the company brought in $2.8 million from the show and the number of buys did not significantly decline. This shows that Hulk Hogan is a draw and WCW’s major shows are doing record business relative to previous years.
*WCW’s planned Hulkamania tour of Germany that was scheduled for the end of the month has been cancelled because the company was going to lose money due to Hogan’s high guarantee for doing matches overseas.
*In talent relations news, Kamala is coming in as part of a new evil faction led by Kevin Sullivan. Also, Brad Armstrong has been released over a reported failed drug test. Armstrong’s release might also be a cost cutting move.
*Backstage news is sourced from Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer from May 15, 1995.
Up Next: WCW Worldwide for May 13!