What the World Was Watching: WCW Saturday Night – December 16, 1995

Tony Schiavone and Dusty Rhodes are calling tonight’s action and they are taped from Atlanta, Georgia.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, these matches took place on November 29.

Opening Contest:  Joey Maggs (w/Teddy Long) (1-13) beats the Disco Inferno (7-11) after a crucifix roll up at 4:44:

Disco has a way of making an eclectic group of fans start dancing as men in business suits, a Hulk Hogan look-alike, and African-American youth strut their stuff to his theme song.  Schiavone puts over Maggs mobility, but he moves in slow motion in comparison to Dean Malenko that have been brought in to build the foundation for the cruiserweight division.  Both men trade basic offense, failing to excite the Atlanta audience, and Disco appears to be headed for victory when he gives Maggs a swinging neckbreaker after blocking a monkey flip.  However, Disco struts too much and when he decides to go for the cover, Maggs rolls him up for his second win of 1995.  So Maggs has become so motivated by Long that he is still a glorified jobber?  With this loss, Disco completes the anti-“WCW Saturday Sweep” by losing all three of his matches on the company’s Saturday broadcasts.  Rating:  *

Gene Okerlund interviews Maggs and Long.  Long says that he is going to make Maggs a better person.  Maggs says that he has found new confidence in himself and will achieve new heights.  Disco comes in at the end of the interview to hype his CD, but Long tells him that he is not serious so he will go nowhere in WCW.

In a taped segment, Sonny Onoo says he wants to showcase the power of Japanese wrestlers.  He puts over all of his wrestlers, saying that the Koji Kanemoto-Alex Wright match is not even worth his commentary.

Alex Wright (53-9-3) beats Bunkhouse Buck (w/Colonel Robert Parker) (5-13) with an O’Connor roll at 8:14:

This marks Wright’s return to the ring since suffering a knee injury in a match that aired against Chris Benoit on November 4.  It is also the second time he has wrestled Buck, defeating him on the April 29 edition of WCW Pro.  Most of the match stays on the mat, which allows Dusty to hype Monday Nitro and discuss the significance of Starrcade when Schiavone gets a case of dry mouth.  As Wright rains down some uninspired punches, Sister Sherri comes to ringside to make out with Parker and that distraction helps Wright win a dreadful return match.  Rating:  DUD

Okerlund interviews Ric Flair, who ditches nice suits to wear everyman clothing.  Flair puts himself over as an internationally recognized star.  He cares little if Lex Luger and Sting are working together because they still have to go through him.  This Flair story arch of finally getting another world title shot, coupled with this promo that casts him as an underdog, is hardly befitting one of the promotions’ biggest heels.

Kurasawa (w/Sonny Onoo) (14-4) beats Rick Garcia via submission to a Fujiwara armbar at 1:30:

Kurasawa is sporting a simple mustache for facial hair and now has Onoo as a manager, with Onoo paying Colonel Robert Parker one million yen – which Parker believed to be one million U.S. dollars – to secure Kurasawa’s managing rights.  The Parker-Kurasawa relationship never made sense anyway, so Onoo fits better.  Kurasawa’s apparent feud with Meng has not received any attention this week either, so WCW must be dropping that angle.  Kurasawa makes short work of Garcia, briefly working the arm before applying the Fujiwara armbar.

Eddie Guerrero (17-3-4) pins Jerry Lynn after a frog splash at 9:52 shown:

For the second time, Mr. J.L. wrestles under his real name on WCW programming.  That choice is weird because Schiavone and Dusty put over Lynn as a big deal but fans have only seen him lose to Lex Luger on a previous episode of Saturday Night.  During the match Dusty congratulates his son Cody on winning a gold medal in a local amateur wrestling competition.  Instead of this being a fast-paced encounter, each man takes time between moves and work ground-based submissions.  Later, a Lynn dive off the top rope eats canvas and Guerrero hits a brainbuster and frog splash to win his sixth-straight match.  The match layout was an odd choice, but they were probably trying to mask that Lynn was not J.L. or something.  Guerrero completes the “WCW Saturday Sweep” with this victory.

Okerlund interviews Guerrero, who thinks it is an honor to represent WCW against New Japan.  He promises to work harder to beat Shinjiro Otani at Starrcade.

Television Championship Match:  Johnny B. Badd (Champion w/Kimberly) (49-5-3) beats Brian Pillman (34-8) via disqualification when Arn Anderson interferes at 6:50:

No mention is made of these two wrestling a great match at Fall Brawl three months ago.  Things have changed a lot since that point, with Badd going back to the television title division and winning that belt and Pillman becoming a member of the Four Horsemen.  An average match follows, with Badd scoring a near-fall from a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker before Anderson runs in and attacks Badd.  He and Pillman do a two-on-one beatdown before WCW officials pour into the ring.  Pillman has now lost five singles match in a row.  Rating:  **

Lex Luger (w/Jimmy Hart) (12-3) beats Larry Santo via submission to the Torture Rack at 4:17:

Luger takes his time demolishing Santo, grabbing the jobber and putting him in Hart’s face so Hart can yell at him through his megaphone.

Okerlund interviews Luger and Hart.  He says that all three men in the triangle match have been world champions and Ric Flair cannot get himself disqualified to avoid a beating this time.  Luger also reminds Sting that the world title is his top priority and he will get taken out if he gets in the way.

Okerlund interviews Sting.  Sting says he has mixed emotions about winning the triangle match because if he wins, he has to wrestle Randy Savage and beat his best friend in Lex Luger.  However, he wants to be world champion again.

Sting (39-2-1) defeats Sergeant Craig Pittman (40-9) via submission to the Scorpion Deathlock at 5:49:

A weird styles clash unfolds in this match, with Pittman keeps the match on the mat and not selling for Sting.  Sting avoids Pittman’s headbutt to the mid-section by flying over his opponent, causing Pittman to go head-first into the ropes and knock himself silly.  Sting then pounces with the Scorpion Deathlock to prevail.  Rating:  *

Okerlund interviews WCW Champion Randy Savage.  Savage says he has fully recovered from the Giant giving him a chokeslam on the arena floor a few weeks ago on Monday Nitro.  He casts himself as the underdog for his Monday Nitro title defense against the big man.  He also makes fun of Hiroyoshi Tenzan’s name, saying he “challenged Elevenzan” but the challenge was not accepted.  Savage says that if Hulk Hogan ever wants a shot at the title all he has to do is ask.

The Last Word:  Even though this broadcast featured a lot of star versus star matches it felt flat because the matches were not very exciting.  All of the major acts for Starrcade went over like Alex Wright, Eddie Guerrero, Lex Luger, Johnny B. Badd, and Sting so that was a positive but there was nothing new to report.

Backstage News*:        The reason that the Monday Nitro crowd in Charlotte was dead through the first two matches is that a lot of pro-Ric Flair and anti-Hulk Hogan signs were confiscated.  WCW tried to make it look like the crowd loved Hogan by handing out free merchandise to fans in the first few rows but by the end of the broadcast they were tearing it apart and throwing it at Hogan instead.

*At a Stu Hart tribute show on December 15 in Calgary, Chris Benoit defeated Rad Radford in a WWF vs. WCW match.  Brian Pillman, who wrestled on the show as a partner of Bruce Hart against Terry and Dory Funk, was supposed to wrestle Radford but did not want to wrestle a WWF guy for political reasons.

*WCW is rethinking their decision to tape Monday Nitro bi-weekly, believing that they have the WWF on the ropes and that they should keep taping live through April.  WCW will tape two shows in Augusta, Georgia for December 18 and 25 since they are not running live on Christmas.

*The reason that the Four Horsemen beat up Paul Orndorff on the recent Monday Nitro was because he is going to undergo neck surgery.

*In talent relations news, the Bushwhackers will not be going to WCW since they are still under contract with the WWF.  The Public Enemy will debut on Monday Nitro on January 8 against Dick Slater and Bunkhouse Buck.  Eric Bischoff fired Mark Madden for a few hours because he told fans on the WCW Hotline that Hulk Hogan was booed in Charlotte and was discussing UFC-related issues.  WCW attorney Nick Lambros later told Bischoff that such a firing would not be legal since it was the company’s responsibility to vet what Madden said before they allowed it to go out on the hotline.

*Backstage news provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for December 18 and 26.

Up Next:  WCW Monday Nitro for December 18!

My second book was recently published on Amazon, chronicling WCW action from January to September 1995 before the debuted of Monday Nitro.  The book includes reviews, angle breakdowns, win-loss totals and breakdowns, and other relevant information about the period.  You can buy it in ebook or paperback format.