The SmarK Rant for WCW Saturday Night – 05.02.92
More of these are coming this month, so let’s get caught up a bit more, hopefully.
Taped from Center Stage in Atlanta.
Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jason Hervey. God I’ll be glad when we get through this early version of the show with the guest stars and 2/3 falls matches. Also, Jason announces that Kip Frey has been BURIED by thousands of cards and letters, DEMANDING the return of Dusty Rhodes and the Bull Drop Inn. Oh, Dusty can drop some bull, all right. Man, I thought I could escape Dusty-mania by getting away from 1986 Mid-Atlantic today.
Big Josh is ready to chop Arn Anderson down tonight, TIMBER! And you thought Matt Borne had no experience playing a clown before he jumped to the WWF.
Dustin Rhodes v. Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker
Buddy attacks and Dustin quickly hits him with a botched bulldog, so Buddy takes over with a flying shoulder tackle and slugs away. Dustin cuts him off and puts him on top before dropkicking him to the floor. Back in, they exchange weak shots and Dustin goes to an armbar. The crowd is actually mixed out of the match’s audio for some reason, which gives it a weird muted sound. Dustin gets an elbow and back to the arm as this excruciatingly dull match drags on. Finally Dustin just finishes with the bulldog at 3:27. Both guys looked AWFUL here. ½*
Barry Windham joins us in the studio for an interview with JR & Hervey. This is set up really weird as they’re all seated about six feet apart and have to yell questions and answers at each other without a house mic. Meanwhile, some guy is sitting in the audience and heckling Barry, so he goes out to confront him, and it turns out to be Paul E., dressed in a cowboy outfit and fake beard. This apparently sets up Barry challenging Steve Austin for the TV title again next week.
Diamond Dallas Page & Richard Morton v. Ron Simmons & Junkyard Dog
WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS? Come on, now, everyone complaining about the current quality of matches on RAW, just look at the bullshit we used to have to sit through. Rookie DDP and Evil Mullet Morton against big fat JYD! I hope Simmons got a big bonus for standing on the apron for this. Dog shoves Morton around to start as we get various stalling and shenanigans. DDP comes in and Dog headbutts him to take over, allowing Simmons to comes in with press slams. Page clips him from behind and poor Ron has to sell for these goofs for about 10 seconds before getting out again with a hot tag to the Dog. Page demands a test of strength to really amp up the match and loses that immediately, but gets a half-assed clothesline on Dog out of he corner and drops a half-assed elbow for two. I know Page got better, but JESUS CHRIST why would they waste money on employing this guy for so long until he did? Morton comes in with a sleeper on Dog, who completely ignores it and just tags Simmons, but the ref misses it. So Page switches in and gets his own sleeper while JR rants about terrible officiating. The refereeing is not the terrible thing in this match. Dog and Page collide and Morton comes in and gets two on Dog, who still won’t sell to any degree. Back to Page for another sleeper, but heel miscommunication allows the hot tag to Simmons and JYD suddenly revives and cleans house with him. Simmons thankfully puts Page away with a shoulderblock at 8:42. Page just had zero ring sense at this point, stumbling around out there with no timing, so of course was 90% him and JYD. I will say, Morton at least elevated it to “It could have been worse” by at least being a halfway competent wrestler at this point despite clearly not giving a shit. *1/2
Johnny B. Badd v. Joe Cruz
This was the point when we were supposed to be buying Johnny as a light heavyweight contender, by the way. Cruz, who looks like a jobber version of Magnum TA and probably could have gotten a run somewhere based on his look, attacks to start and gets hiptossed. Badd goes to work on the arm and puts Cruz down with a back elbow for two. Cruz pounds him down with forearms and a back elbow, but stops to showboat and gets knocked out at 2:22. Apparently Cruz only had another couple of matches and then retired in 1993. Too bad, he looked fine here and could have been packaged into something.
UPDATE! WITH ERIC BISCHOFF!
Sting might have a broken rib at the hands of Vader, but he’ll be ready for Wargames. We also take a look back at Nikita Koloff’s weird promo from last week where he basically reverted to full Minnesota accent while turning babyface. Eric also called the Dangerous Alliance “a tightly wound band of bonecrushers”, because I guess he’s now a newspaper writer from 1940.
Meanwhile, Jesse Ventura interviews Paul E and Madusa, and she’s still very upset about Ricky Steamboat’s sexual harassment. Paul would like to stress that Ricky is a lecherous pervert who needs to stay the hell away from her. So the lights go out and Steamboat shows up in the aisle and blows fire. Well, THAT will show them! Paul and Madusa were hilarious here, but I have no idea what the fire-breathing was supposed to prove. So we get a promo from Rick Rude, who promises “Duce” that he’ll take care of things for her.
Big Van Vader v. Ronnie Edgewood
Vader gives this geek a press slam right away and drops him on the top rope, then hits a chokeslam and finishes with a Scorpion Deathlock at 1:22. JR thinks this might be a message to Sting. YOU THINK? Vader just holds the move and a bunch of geeks run out and try to stop him, so he just fights them off with one arm until he’s good and ready to release it.
Meanwhile, let us take you back the historic press conference where K. Allen Frey reveals the NWA World tag team title tournament. Apparently the finals will take place at a special “international edition” of the Great American Bash PPV. Tony Schiavone runs down the bracket, with random WCW teams facing teams from various other countries who don’t even get names on the bracket and are simply represented by their country. Oddly, one half of the bracket is WCW teams facing international teams, and then the other half has international teams against each other and then four WCW teams facing each other. And then Kip Frey takes questions, and he’s not really sure about any of the answers. Riveting stuff! And then poor Bill Watts had to inherit this mess right away.
2/3 Falls main event: Big Josh v. Arn Anderson
There’s still an HOUR left in the show! What the fuck?
Fall the First:
Arn offers a handshake and Josh tosses him across the ring to escape a headlock. Arn runs away for some advice from Paul E. That advice? “If someone attacks you with scissors, throw rock!” Hopefully he can use that. Josh gets some chops and Arn misses a clothesline, which allows Josh to hit the butt splash, and Arn rolls out to escape. They slug it out on the floor and Arn goes for a piledriver, but Josh backdrops out of it. Back in, Josh works on the back and rolls him over in a sunset flip for two. Suplex gets two. Josh works on the arm, but Arn elbows out of it. Josh with a bearhug as JR casually mentions that Anderson and Eaton defend the tag team titles in Chicago on Sunday night against the Steiners. That was the title change, by the way. Josh goes to a Boston crab, but Paul E rakes the eyes to break it up. Arn tries a suplex and Josh falls on top for two and then goes right back to the arm again. Hervey is just such an unlikeable little shit on commentary, despite him supposedly playing a babyface here. Arn is a little unsure of whether he’s selling the arm or the back at this point, so I think he settles on the back. He tries a piledriver, but Josh reverses, so Arn grabs the ropes and gets the pin at 10:35 to win the first fall.
Fall the Second:
Josh gets a gutwrench for two after the break and follows with a backdrop suplex, and into the abdominal stretch. Back to the floor, but Josh stupidly charges and clotheslines the post by mistake. Arn works on the arm off that while Josh sells on the apron, and then into the ring for a hammerlock. And that goes on and on as JR and Hervey struggle to talk about anything on commentary. He works the arm and works the arm and they’re just laying there on the mat in HOLDS. Josh rolls him over for a bit and gets two, but then it’s back to the mat again. Josh fights out and whips Arn into the corner for two, but Arn goes back to the HOLDS. This match is completely negating the energy drink I had before starting the show. It’s like anti-caffeine. They collide and Arn goes up, but lands on Josh’s knee and Josh rolls him up for the pin at 27:13 to even it up.
Fall the Third:
Back from the break and Josh threatens Arn with his axehandle (Hervey: “I thought they were called international objects?”) but then gets a sleeper, which is countered by Arn. Josh escapes with a jawbreaker and gets two. And it’s back to the HOLDS, as Josh grabs a facelock and Arn goes back to the arm. He goes up and lands on Josh’s foot as both guys are clearly blown up and have nothing left, and Josh gets a butt splash for two. Josh with a suplex and he goes to a rear chinlock, but he goes to yell at Paul E and Arn hits him from behind and drops a knee on him. Josh blocks a second one and takes him down for a figure-four, and he’s barely able to put him in the move because he’s sucking wind so bad. Josh with a rollup for two and he goes to a Boston crab and someone has to be ribbing these guys to make them go out and do a match this long. They slug it out in the corner and Josh clotheslines him for two, but Arn sends him to the apron. Josh back in with a sunset flip for two, but they collide and both guys are out. JR notes “they’re battling fatigue out there” in the understatement of the show. Josh slugs away in the corner as JR notes that one of his eyes is swelling shut. “Arn really STIFFED him one, I bet!” notes Hervey. Who seriously put this kid on commentary? Arn does the knucklelock where he lands on the babyface’s knees spot, but they trade clothesline attempts and THANK CHRIST, Arn hits the spinebuster to end this marathon at 42:15. What were they even thinking with this? Call it *1/2 for the entire thing.
This was a fucking awful episode of the show and they desperately need to repackage it and end this format soon.
Next week: A return match between Steve Austin and Barry Windham for the TV title, plus our special guest is a member of Alabama. Yeah, that’ll help, I’m sure.