What the World Was Watching: WCW Saturday Night – September 30, 1995

Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan are calling the action and they are taped from Atlanta, Georgia.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, these tapings took place on September 20.

Dusty Rhodes comes out to take on his new role as a color commentator.  Heenan demands that Dusty leave and when Dusty refuses, Heenan takes a hike, doing a funny bit of giving Schiavone and Dusty a bunch of chances to take him back.

The opening match is supposed to be Sting defending the United States title against Johnny B. Badd, but Badd does not show up when his music plays.  As a result, Badd is given more time to show up.

Brian Pillman comes out and runs down Badd’s absence in a discussion with Gene Okerlund.  He says that he will be happy to wrestle Sting in his place.

Opening Contest:  Arn Anderson (22-11-2) pins Mark Starr (2-14) after a spinebuster at 3:34:

Schiavone announces that Anderson will wrestle Ric Flair on Monday Nitro, further loading up a show that is scheduled to feature Randy Savage against Lex Luger.  Starr only manages a couple jobber hope spots before running into an Anderson spinebuster.  Rating:  ½*

Introductions are made for the U.S. title shot a second time but Badd does not show up.  Okerlund vows to get to the bottom of it, while Pillman comes out again and repeats his demand to get the title shot.

Paul Orndorff (15-7) beats Barry Houston after a piledriver at 3:01:

Orndorff is demanding that he be billed as “Mr. Wonderful” and no longer by his real name but for the purposes of consistency his name will still be used for reviews.  Houston took Orndorff to the limit when they wrestled on the June 17 edition of Saturday Night as Orndorff took more than eight minutes to beat him.  Dusty makes fun of the Freebirds as Orndorff has an easier time with Houston because of his newfound confidence.

In a taped promo, the Giant makes fun of Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, and Sting.  Kevin Sullivan tells Hogan that his monster truck will be no match for the Dungeon of Doom as the Giant destroys a toy truck to get the message across.  Sullivan warns Hogan not to show up to the upcoming Monday Nitro in Denver.

For the Halloween Havoc Command Center, Hogan and Jimmy Hart cut a promo against the Giant that is a second-rate adaptation of the promo Hogan cut against Andre the Giant at WrestleMania IV.

Non-Title Match:  The American Males (WCW Tag Team Champions) (5-0) defeat the Barrio Brothers (1-6) when Marcus Bagwell pins Fidel Sierra after a double dropkick at 6:45:

Dusty attempts to put over the international credentials of the Barrio Brothers, saying that they made some major earthquakes on a recent tour of Mexico.  Their WCW win-loss record is not as impressive, and it shows on commentary as Schiavone admit he does not know their names.  Both teams do a good job keeping the match moving, with the Barrios hitting a flying clothesline-electric chair drop combination to Bagwell.  However, Scotty Riggs breaks that up, takes out Ricky Santana, and Sierra falls victim to the double dropkick.  Rating:  **½

Sergeant Craig Pittman (36-5) beats Cobra (5-2) after a powerbomb at 2:43:

Pittman leads this feud two to one, although Schiavone’s retelling of the feud ignores their match last week on Main Event, where Pittman prevailed to earn the right to face – and lose to – Kurasawa on Monday Nitro.  Some basic brawling leads to Cobra trying to do some second rope punches in the corner, but Pittman counters that with a powerbomb to keep getting the better of his rival.  It is a good thing that they kept this short.

A video package hypes Dean Malenko, using footage of a match against Jushin Liger in Japan.  He says that he looks forward to facing Eddy Guerrero.

Big Bubba Rogers (26-8-1) beats Hacksaw Jim Duggan (32-6-1) after hitting him with a taped fist at 4:20:

The feud between these two is low in terms of WCW’s priorities, evidenced by the fact that they are facing each other with little build on this episode.  Rogers has won the last two matches between these two and he notches another win with the help of V.K. Wallstreet, who comes out and steals Duggan’s 2×4, allowing Rogers to hit Duggan in the back of the head with a taped fist.  That will ostensibly set up a taped fist match between the two later to blowoff the feud and move Duggan onto a new feud with Wallstreet, who has not been seen since losing to Sting on the second-ever edition of Monday NitroRating:  ½*

Non-Title Match:  Diamond Dallas Page (Television Champion w/the Diamond Doll & Maxx Muscle) (15-1-2) pins Eddie Jackie after a Diamond Cutter at 2:42:

Jackie got an entrance for some reason, with Dusty urging female fans to drink their milk so they can look like the Diamond Doll one day.  Page and Muscle have some heel miscommunication, spurring on a Jackie comeback where he struggles to skin the cat back into the ring.  Page hits the Diamond Cutter shortly thereafter to beat Jackie for the second time this month.  After the match, Dusty says that Page needs to reconsider who his bodyguard is.

Okerlund interviews Page, the Doll, and Muscle.  He complains about not getting the match against Sting today since Johnny B. Badd did not show up.  Okerlund hilariously complains about Muscle’s inability to answer interview questions in more than one word with a “Why do we even ask you anything?”

Ric Flair (13-3) beats Frankie Lancaster via submission to the figure-four leglock at 2:44:

A sad Schiavone tells fans that Sting will face Brian Pillman in tonight’s main event because Badd has not appeared.  Flair systematically outwrestles Lancaster on the canvas and then slaps on the figure-four after a kneebreaker.

A video package hypes Eddy Guerrero, who recaps his family background and career in Mexico.

Gene Okerlund hypes the upcoming Monday Nitro show, recapping the growing feud between Randy Savage and Lex Luger.

United States Championship Match:  Sting (Champion) (30-2) beats Brian Pillman (34-6) after a powerslam at 5:24:

Pillman showcases more of his crazy personality by pulling down a guardrail and jawing with fans and then going near the entrance set and banging on it in a vain attempt to go backstage.  He still needs different theme music because his behavior is showing that blondes are not more fun.  Even though it does not fit the match, Dusty continues making fun of Cobra, arguing that he is getting a message and singing more Morse Code.  After some fun, basic wrestling, Sting counters Air Pillman into a powerslam to retain the title, hand Pillman his third straight singles loss, and complete the “WCW Saturday Sweep.”  It is a crime these two only got five minutes.  Rating:  **

After the match, Okerlund tries to interview Sting but Ric Flair comes out.  Flair compares himself to Sting, but Sting takes that as an insult and turns Flair’s offer down once again.

Okerlund interviews Johnny B. Badd, who has just showed up to the arena.  Badd says that he had a flat tire, lamenting that he could not phone in his absence.  Television Champion Diamond Dallas Page, the Diamond Doll, and Maxx Muscle interrupt with Page insulting Badd to his face.  Muscle says it is a shame Badd had four flat tires, with Badd wondering aloud how Muscle knows that and when he puts two and two together, he decks Page with the Tutti Frutti as the show goes off the air.

The Last Word:  A good mix of feature matches and a fun closing segment made this a strong show.  It was still incredibly disappointing that Badd did not get a United States title shot as his match with Sting was a small “dream match” at the time for young fans.  Also, demoting Badd back to the television title division made it seem like his career was going in reverse.

WCW Main Event featured a strong Eddy Guerrero (0-0-1) vs. Jushin Liger (0-1) match that is sadly incomplete on remaining tapes of the show.  According to Dave Meltzer it was a **** affair, with Guerrero winning his first televised match with a brainbuster after fourteen minutes.  As a result of his win, Guerrero earned the right to face Dean Malenko on Monday Nitro in Denver.

Backstage News*:        Fortune did a recent story on the WCW-WWF competition and WCW was painted in a more favorable light, although Eric Bischoff’s claim that WCW hopes to gross $50 million per year was exaggerated.

*New Japan talents will go over in squash matches on the WCW Pro and WCW Worldwide telecasts to build to the Starrcade team tournament in December.

*WCW has sent Sabu a contract, but he has not signed it.  Sabu is working on a pay per appearance deal.

*Vader is currently suspended but WCW has not yet terminated his contract.

*WCW executives were said to be angry at Steve Austin’s ECW promo where he mocked Hulk Hogan.

*In talent relations news, the WCW hotline was reporting that the Powers of Pain will be coming in.

*Backstage news provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for October 9.

And since it is the end of the month here are some win/loss standings for WCW talent at the end of September 1995:

Top Twenty-Five Overall Records

1—Hulk Hogan (12-0)

2—Scotty Riggs (6-0)

3—The Renegade (23-1)

4—Sting (41-2-1)

5—Road Warrior Hawk (6-0-1)

6—Randy Savage (24-2)

7—Diamond Dallas Page (16-1-2)

8—Kurasawa (8-1)

9—Sergeant Craig Pittman (37-5)

10—Johnny B. Badd (45-6-2)

11—Alex Wright (56-8-2)

12—Meng (28-4-2)

T13—Brian Knobbs (42-6-2)

T13—Jerry Sags (42-6-2)

T15—Booker T (45-7-2)

T15—Stevie Ray (45-7-2)

17—Brian Pillman (38-7)

18—The Disco Inferno (5-1)

19—Kamala (17-4)

20—Lord Steven Regal (30-6-3)

21—Hacksaw Jim Duggan (37-9-1)

22—Kevin Sullivan (29-8)

23—The Zodiac (3-1)

24—Ric Flair (17-6)

25—Big Bubba Rogers (29-10-1)

Inactive Wrestlers that Would Have Qualified:  Frank Andersson (4-0), Vader (24-5), Wahoo McDaniel (1-0), the Great Muta (1-0), Dustin Rhodes (18-2), the Blacktop Bully (15-5)

Top Ten Singles Records

1—Kurasawa (7-0)

2—Hulk Hogan (6-0)

3—The Renegade (21-1)

4—Sting (31-2)

5—Meng (27-2-1)

6—Road Warrior Hawk (4-0-1)

7—Diamond Dallas Page (16-1-2)

8—Randy Savage (15-2)

9—Sergeant Craig Pittman (37-5)

10—Johnny B. Badd (38-5-2)

Inactive Wrestlers that Would Have Qualified:  The Blacktop Bully (15-0), Wahoo McDaniel (1-0), the Great Muta (1-0)

Top Ten Tag Team Records

1—The American Males (6-0)

2—The Monster Maniacs (4-0)

3—Arn Anderson & Brian Pillman (1-0)

4—Sting & Randy Savage (3-0-1)

5—The Nasty Boys (42-6-2)

6—Harlem Heat (44-7-2)

7—The Blue Bloods (24-4-2)

8—Kamala & the Shark (2-1)

9—Dick Slater & Bunkhouse Buck (21-13-1)

10—Scott Armstrong & Tim Horner (1-1)

Inactive Teams that Would Have Qualified:  Ric Flair & Arn Anderson (3-0), Kevin Sullivan & Avalanche (3-0), Dustin Rhodes & Johnny B. Badd (3-0), Lord Steven Regal & Jean Paul Levesque (1-0), Kevin Sullivan & the Butcher (6-2), Stars & Stripes (21-7), Big Bubba Rogers & Avalanche (2-2), Brad & Scott Armstrong (2-2)

Top Ten in Televised Match Appearances (Iron Worker Award):

1—Alex Wright (66)

2—Bunkhouse Buck (56)

T3—Booker T (54)

T3—Stevie Ray (54)

5—Johnny B. Badd (53)

6—Arn Anderson (51)

T7—Brian Knobbs (50)

T7—Jerry Sags (50)

T7—Marcus Bagwell (50)

10—Hacksaw Jim Duggan (47)

Most Appearances By Show:  Monday Nitro-Alex Wright, Brian Pillman, Hulk Hogan, Lex Luger, Randy Savage, and Sting (2); Prime-Tim Horner (5); Pro­-Bunkhouse Buck (18); Worldwide-Alex Wright, Arn Anderson, Booker T, Bunkhouse Buck, and Stevie Ray (13); Saturday Night-Alex Wright, Arn Anderson, Booker T, Marcus Bagwell, and Stevie Ray (19), Main Event-Alex Wright (9)

Top Five Matches in September 1995

1—Arn Anderson vs. Ric Flair (Fall Brawl, September 17) – ****

2—Brian Pillman vs. Johnny B. Badd (Number One Contenders Match for the United States Championship, Fall Brawl, September 17) – ****

3—Alex Wright vs. Diamond Dallas Page (Main Event, September 10) – ***½

4—Brian Pillman vs. Marcus Bagwell (Winner Faces Jushin Liger on Monday Nitro, Main Event, September 3) – ***¼

5—Kurasawa vs. Sergeant Craig Pittman (Monday Nitro, September 25) – ***

Top Five Overall Matches in 1995 (to this point)

1—Arn Anderson vs. Ric Flair (Fall Brawl, September 17) – ****

2—Brian Pillman vs. Johnny B. Badd (Number One Contenders Match for the United States Championship, Fall Brawl, September 17) – ****

3—Brian Pillman vs. Alex Wright (The Great American Bash, June 18) – ***¾

4—Harlem Heat vs. Sting & Randy Savage (WCW Tag Team Championship Match, WCW Saturday Night, February 25) – ***½

5—The Patriot vs. Ric Flair (U.S. Championship Tournament First Round, WCW Main Event, May 14) – ***½

Up Next:  Monday Nitro for October 2!