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

Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan are doing commentary and they are taped from Atlanta, Georgia.  The tapings took place on June 21, something to remember in relation to the scheduled main event.  Tonight’s episode is one hour in length.

Opening Handicap Contest:  Vader beats John Taylor & Dave Walby when he pins Taylor after a splash off the second rope at 1:49:

Vader is booked in a handicap match at The Clash of the Champions so this is a tune up bout.  He beats the tar out of both jobbers, continuing the assault on Walby on the arena floor after pinning Taylor in the ring.  Walby is then rolled into the ring, powerbombed, and pinned.

Vader is interviewed by Gene Okerlund.  He tells Ric Flair that his luck has run out and that he is going to feel pain at The Clash of the Champions.  Vader’s intensity really adds to these promos.

The Nasty Boys (36-4-2) defeat Tony Vincent & Chris Nelson when Jerry Sags pins Nelson after the Trip to Nastyville at 3:15:

Schiavone educates Heenan on what clubberin’ is, with Heenan rebutting that Dusty Rhodes cannot be listened to because he eats hay.  Heenan ads that he saw the Nasties giving each other the Pit Stop in the locker room, causing Schiavone to start laughing.  The Nasties sleepwalk their way through this squash, working in front of a tired crowd.

The Master tells Kevin Sullivan to get away from a statue that looks like Paul Wight as Hulk Hogan falls into the Dungeon of Doom.  This makes for high comedy as Hogan screams about there being no Hulkamaniacs and then touching water, pulling his hand away quickly and screaming “It’s not hot!”  Hogan promises to bury the Dungeon of Doom, while Sullivan says that Hogan created him and his demise will be etched in stone.  Sullivan touches the Paul Wight statue with the Master’s stick and Hogan is knocked down as Wight bursts out of the rock and chokes Hogan out.  Wight, who appears to be reading off cue cards, says he is wrestling’s one true giant.

Arn Anderson (w/Ric Flair) (15-10-2) pins Todd Wilder after a DDT at 1:53:

Anderson has not wrestled since losing the television title to the Renegade at The Great American Bash.  Flair dares Vader to make an appearance during the squash, yelling at ringside that he wants him to show his face.  Vader does not show, though.

Okerlund interviews Flair and Anderson.  Anderson says that Vader has put himself in a potential career-ending situation, while Flair promises to beat up Vader if he shows.  This time Vader does show up and tries to get at Flair, but Anderson steps in the way.  Vader appears somewhat reluctant to tussle with Anderson and jobbers and security personnel get him to go back to the locker room.  Ever a true heel, Flair calls the segment a victory because Vader ran away.

A new vignette airs for Kurasawa, the name given to Japanese talent Manabu Nakanishi.  He will be competing in WCW soon as part of Colonel Robert Parker’s Stud Stable.

WCW Tag Team Championship Match:  Dick Slater & Bunkhouse Buck (w/Colonel Robert Parker) (14-9) defeat Harlem Heat (Champions w/Sister Sherri) (34-4-2) to win the titles when Buck pins Stevie Ray when Parker hits Ray with Slater’s boot at 7:57:

On its face, Slater and Buck had little chance of winning because they lost five of their last seven matches, including three to the Nasty Boys, who were the previous tag team champions.  They were also not in the recent mix for the titles with the Nasties and Blue Bloods so this would appear to be a token title defense for the Heat until their next challengers emerged.  However, in a dull match featuring lots of elbows and rest holds, Buck and Slater capture the tag team titles when Parker picks up Slater’s ring boot and hits Ray in the back of the head while Sherri and Booker T put the boots to Slater on the arena floor.  Since the latter is happening in full view of the referee that should trigger a disqualification, but it does not so we get an ending that insults our intelligence.  Rating:  ½*

Tune into tomorrow’s night Main Event to see Harlem Heat square off against the Blue Bloods!

The Last Word:  Okay, so remember when I said that this show was taped on June 21?  That means that the title switch on this broadcast took place before Harlem Heat won the tag team titles from the Nasty Boys the June 24 episode of Worldwide.  So what we have is our second “phantom” tag team title change of 1995 since the Heat were not technically the champions when they lost to Dick Slater and Bunkhouse Buck.  Beyond that, the booking of Slater and Buck as champions was ridiculous when the Blue Bloods were a much better heel team to carry the titles for a while and could have better facilitated a Heat babyface run.  However, WCW appears to have favored the Colonel Robert Parker-Sister Sherri storyline over the sake of the tag division.  So to further that issue they put the belts on Slater and Buck so that the Heat could chase them into the fall.

Up Next:  WCW Main Event for July 23!