What the World Was Watching: WCW Saturday Night – June 17, 1995

Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan are doing commentary and they are taped from Atlanta, Georgia.  This broadcast included matches that were taped on May 11 and June 7 from the usual Center Stage venue.

Opening Contest:  Brian Pillman (18-3) beats Romeo Valentino via submission to an octopus hold on the canvas at 2:32:

Valentino is supposed to be Italian, yet he is sporting purple and green tights which are not the proper colors of the Italian flag.  Valentino’s brief offensive burst is stopped by Pillman’s dropkick out of nowhere when Valentino comes off the top rope.  As has been the case with a handful of his squashes this year, Pillman opts to remain grounded despite his “flyin’” nickname.

Gene Okerlund interviews Pillman, who says that he respects Wright’s potential, but he will expose him as a flash in the pan and move onto better things.

Harlem Heat (w/Sister Sherri) (25-3-2) defeat Tommy Tanner & Todd Zane when Booker T pins Tanner after a Harlem Hangover at 1:06:

The Heat are wrestling with an attitude, tearing into the jobbers and beating them in short order.  Sherri also gets into the picture after the bell by belting Zane, a long-time WCW jobber who is happy to earn a paycheck.

Okerlund interviews the Heat and Sherri, with Sherri telling fans that she will be at The Great American Bash with a contract for the winner of the Nasty Boys-Blue Bloods to fill out so her men can get a return match for the tag team titles.  Booker T and Stevie Ray echo those sentiments.

Vader (12-2) pins Eddie Jackie after a splash off the second rope at 2:20:

Vader is back in the public eye because he is being prepped for a third and final encounter with Hulk Hogan to blow off their feud.  That is somehow necessary despite Hogan winning all of their matches.  Jackie does a good job selling Vader’s beating, which might be why Vader does not viciously spike him with a powerbomb before finishing with a splash off the second rope.

Okerlund says that Vader is the number one contender for the WCW title and interviews him.  Vader tells Hogan that it is “Vader time” and says all the stars of WCW are going to be at The Great American Bash except for Hogan because he is ducking him.  Vader adds that his muscles make Hogan’s pythons “look anemic,” thereby continuing his entertaining mic work during this feud.

Dave Sullivan (3-2) defeats Butch Long via submission to an inverted bearhug at 2:14:

Dave gets some fan support by letting them pet his rabbit Ralph and they are not happy when Long starts pummeling him in the corner.  The only nice thing to say about this match is Heenan cracks some good jokes about Dave needing to go to an insane asylum.

Okerlund interviews Dave, who says that Ralph gives him advice and he is doing some arm work to prepare for his arm wrestling match with Diamond Dallas Page at The Great American Bash.

Non-Title Match:  Arn Anderson (Television Champion) (14-9-2) pins Ron Thompson after a DDT at 2:14:

Thompson was a regular WCW jobber on their syndicated programming in the 1990s.  As such he does not get a television title shot from Anderson, who goes over to showcase his skills the night before The Great American Bash.  Fans at Center Stage love the finish, working up a loud “DDT” chant after Anderson hits the move.

Okerlund interviews Anderson, who says that a couple of coats of paint are no going to help the Renegade beat him at The Great American Bash.  Anderson also makes a good point well beyond kayfabe by saying that the only reason the Renegade is getting a title shot is because of his affiliation with Hulk Hogan.

A video package recaps all of the action in the United States Championship Tournament from the first round through the scheduled Sting-Meng final set for The Great American Bash.

Paul Orndorff (11-3) pins Barry Houston after a piledriver at 8:22:

Orndorff and Houston have been previously acquainted, with Orndorff winning their April 15 encounter on Saturday Night.  Heenan subtly buries Paul Roma during the match, saying that Orndorff does his best as a singles competitor because he does not have to worry about a tag team partner screwing things up.  This is a very long squash match, with Houston mounting a few small periods of offense only to get swallowed up by Mr. Wonderful.  If one did not know any better one would think Houston was someone WCW had high hopes for in the future since he lasts so long with the number one contender to the Television Championship.  Orndorff delivers a devastating suplex into the corner spot that gets some major heat and that makes the piledriver academic.

Okerlund interviews Orndorff, who yells about how he is going to be the next television champion.

Road Warrior Hawk (0-0-1) beats “Not THAT” Manny Fernandez after a flying clothesline at 3:07:

Hawk gets a big pop from the crowd, appearing on his first television broadcast since he returned to WCW at Slamboree.  Fernandez – not to be confused with the other Manny Fernandez of 1980s NWA fame – stands no chance as Hawk runs through his power moves in between chinlocks to announce his presence with authority.

Okerlund interviews Hawk.  The Road Warrior puts himself over as a fighter in a promo that impresses Mean Gene.

Sergeant Craig Pittman (21-0) defeats Chris Sawyer via submission to the Code Red at 2:10:

Sawyer tries to charge Pittman, gets slammed, and some arm work submits him in short order.

Okerlund interviews Pittman, who tells “pretty boy” Marcus Bagwell that he stands no chance at The Great American Bash.  Pittman then issues an open challenge to anyone in the world because no one can break his Code Red.

WCW Tag Team Championship Match:  The Nasty Boys (Champions) (29-2-1) wrestle the Blue Bloods (11-0) to a double disqualification when Harlem Heat interfere at 13:32:

These two teams are supposed to face off for the titles at The Great American Bash so booking this contest here makes very little sense.  Could WCW not wait 24 hours to put this match on?  Like Main Event, the Nasties charge the ring and wrestle the match via the old WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event formula where they dominate for a long time before the heels finally cheat to counter.  A long heat segment on Jerry Sags is aided by Brian Knobbs constantly running interference attempts to prevent his partner from becoming overwhelmed, helping to keep the Center Stage crowd engaged.  Lord Steven Regal blocks a Trip to Nastyville effort but before we get a decisive finish Harlem Heat hit the ring and attack both teams.  The match was a lot of good, organized chaos that felt like a real fight and the finish kept both teams hot for tomorrow night’s pay-per-view.  Rating:  ***

After the bell, the Nasties clean house of the other two teams, toss Sister Sherri into the ring, and Sags gives her an atomic drop.

The Last Word:  The two-hour editions of Saturday Night could drag.  While this was not one of those episodes it did become incredibly repetitive as Gene Okerlund interviews followed every match.  Still, the crowd ate up the main event and WCW has done a good job building a three-team feud over the tag team titles over the last couple of weeks.

Up Next:  WCW Main Event for June 18!

And if you want to read what was happening in the WWF as a companion to this series of WCW reviews, check out my e-book on Amazon.  $4.99 for an electronic copy of the e-book or $26 for the paperback copy, which provides more than 800 pages of reviews, statistics, and angle breakdowns of the WWF in 1995!