The SmarK Rant for WCW Saturday Night – 05.23.92
Taped from Atlanta, GA
Your hosts are Jim Ross and Dave Casper, who I guess is a retired football player.
Now, they don’t mention anything about it here, but this is the dawn of the Bill Watts Era, as he took over this week.
The Steiner Brothers v. Richard Morton & Tracy Smothers
What a weird jobber team, as Morton is back playing a babyface but he’s still “Richard” Morton. And they’re against the #1 babyface team. So they’re heels? I dunno. Forget about it, Jake, it’s WCW-Town. Also the matches are now taped from Center Stage, unlike the previous weeks of the show where they were taped in other arenas and edited around Ross’s interview segments in Center Stage. It’s definitely more cohesive that way. Tracy tries some redneck martial arts throws on Scott, but gets suplexed for his troubles. Over to Rick, and Tracy throws punches in the corner, but Rick catches him with a shoulderbreaker and Tracy bumps all over the ring for him. Over to Morton, but Rick clobbers him with a clothesline and they bail to regroup. Tracy calls for time and then heads back in long enough for Morton to trip up Rick from the outside, and then Tracy hits a superkick. But then the heels stop to celebrate their momentary victory and Rick hits them both with clotheslines. Back to Scott, but the heels double-team him, so Scott fights them off and powerbombs Morton, then hits Tracy with a tilt-a-whirl slam. That sets up the flying bulldog from Rick on Tracy and that’s all at 5:26. Really entertaining squash as Tracy and Morton understood their role perfectly and flew all over the ring. **
Diamond Dallas Page joins us in the studio, as he’s now free to talk again with the departure of his nemesis K. Allen Frey. So he’s going to have his own talk show segment, “Down with DDP”, and his first guest is Paul E. Dangerously. Paul assumes that DDP has a highlight reel of the Dangerous Alliance ready, but Page instead throws to a hidden camera of Dangerously paying off the hookers who set up Ricky Steamboat and pretended to be his “lovers”. And apparently Paul E is a cheapskate, in a funny touch. So with DDP having successfully stirred the pot, Ricky Steamboat comes out to confront Paul, but Dangerously hides behind the Alliance while calling Ricky a coward, and then Steamboat dives over them and attacks Dangerously, ripping off his suit while Sting’s Squadron comes out and brawls with them. This was great and wrapped up the “Steamboat is a cheater” storyline nicely.
Meanwhile, Sting talks about getting ready to face Big Van Vader after suffering a broken rib. Sting looks really out of place with that WCW World title, actually. Only the Big Gold Belt version looks right on him for whatever reason.
Super Invader v. Steve Pritchard & Larry Santo
I’m assuming that’s not the more famous L. Santo. God bless Hercules Hernandez, who apparently can play any nationality by sticking a pair of pantyhose on his face. Super Invader quickly powerbombs both geeks and pins them at 1:14. Jim Ross has a hotline update on what happened after WrestleWar in the hotel room, which is actually the first mention of the PPV on this show.
NWA TAG TEAM TOURNAMENT UPDATE! WITH ERIC BISCHOFF AND LANCE RUSSELL!
They run down the various wacky “international” tag team matches coming up at the Clash, including the mysterious Puerto Rican team who have made up names, and also the Puerto Rican government is banning tapes of wrestling from leaving the country so no one can study them. Well that’s, uh, something. Also, we hear from Doc and Bamm Bamm.
Steve Williams & Terry Gordy v. Terry Bronson & Joey Maggs
The MVC quickly storms the ring and throws the geeks to the floor, and then Terry hauls in Bronson and beats on him in the corner before putting him down with an elbow. Neckbreaker gets two. Another neckbreaker gets two. Doc comes in with a front facelock and cranks on that, then hits him with a backdrop suplex. Over to Maggs, and Gordy yanks him down from the apron, then Doc beats on him in the corner for two. Gordy comes in with a dropkick for two and stomps him down, then drops him onto Doc’s knee. Doc hits him with a series of backbreakers and Gordy drops a leg for two. They double-team Maggs in the corner and Doc drops an elbow for two. Gordy with a suplex and they hit Maggs with a double clothesline for two. Doc with a bearhug and they toss Maggs outside from some punishment from Gordy. Back to Bronson and Gordy beats on him with kneelifts and hits a corner clothesline for two. And then Dr. Death finishes with the Oklahoma Stampede at 6:30. This was way too long and dragged badly after a hot start. ½*
UPDATE! WITH ERIC BISCHOFF!
It’s the WCW Beach Blast report, coming June 20. The Steiners defend the tag team titles against Gordy & Williams, plus Rick Rude & Ricky Steamboat in an Iron Man match for the US title, and Sting faces Cactus Jack in a non-title Falls Count Anywhere match. Boy that ended up being a hell of a show, actually. I did it in 2000-ish but it could certainly stand a redo since it’s been, uh, 20 years. Fuck I’m old. Anyway, Cactus does a promo calling Sting a coward for not putting the title on the line, and he’s got a solid point.
Ron Simmons v. The Taylor Made Man
Taylor stalls for a bit and Ron runs him into the corner and follows with an atomic drop for two. Ron works a headlock but Terry chokes him out on the ropes to take over, but Simmons gets a sunset flip for two. Taylor with a jawbreaker, but he stops to stall some more. Simmons tries to come back, but misses a dropkick as Greg Valentine joins us at ringside to apparently build a feud with Simmons that never went anywhere. But then Ron runs the heels together and cradles Taylor for the pin at 5:35. This was a yawn. ½*
Meanwhile, Eric Bischoff shows up at the offices of Freebird Enterprises and the secretary immediately brushes him off because he doesn’t have an appointment. See, the Freebirds are super busy, so security goes to throw him out until Precious saves and gives him a tour. She looks so different with straight brown hair. I didn’t actually think she stuck around after her random cameo at WrestleWar. So Eric meets the Freebirds in a conference room, where they’re making prank calls. This was pretty dumb and like a lot of stuff at this point, was dropped abruptly when Watts took over and it went nowhere.
2/3 Falls: Arn Anderson, Bobby Eaton & Larry Zbyszko v. Nikita Koloff, Ricky Steamboat & Dustin Rhodes
Intriguing main event! The crowd chants “Paul E’s ugly”, which is just needlessly mean. He can’t help his ugliness!
FALL #1: Eaton takes Steamboat down with a headlock to start and they work off that, until Eaton tosses Steamboat and Ricky skins the cat back in and rolls through into a Boston crab. Unlike the Inner Circle, the Dangerous Alliance were definitely having problems at this point, which Jim Ross brings up frequently. Eaton reveres the crab into a catapult into the corner to escape, and Larry comes in to double-team and gets chopped down. Over to Dustin, who works the arm, so a frustrated Larry brings in AA. Amazing watching all these long-retired guys here and Dustin is still going strong. Dustin slugs Arn back into his corner, so Arn lips off to Steamboat and calls him in. Arn slugs Dustin off the apron and then runs away from Steamboat, but Dustin is now on the floor and beats on Arn out there. Well that plan backfired. Back in, Arn gets pinballed by the babyfaces and the Alliance regroups on the floor. Back in the ring, AA slugs on Steamboat to get his groove back, but Nikita comes in and Arn freaks out and runs away again. Bobby comes in and calms everyone down, then beats on Nikita in the corner and gets a suplex. He goes for triumphant high-fives from the Alliance, but Nikita no-sells it and gets his own suplex on Bobby. Larry tries slugging away on Nikita and he gets beat up for his troubles, but AA drops a knee for two to get things under control again. Larry comes in and again messes up, allowing Steamboat to blind tag in and finish the first fall with a flash bodypress for the pin at 12:20.
FALL #2: After a break, Ricky does a test of strength with Larry and loses that, and then Arn comes in and walks into an abdominal stretch. Arn quickly escapes that, so Steamboat works the arm and the babyfaces take turns on that. Arn slugs Dustin down, but goes up and gets slammed off, and Dustin takes him down with a figure-four. Eaton runs in and Steamboat puts him in one, and then Nikita gets one on Larry as the crowd goes nuts. TRIPLE FIGURE-FOURS! Come on, who doesn’t love that spot? More fun as Dustin hits Eaton with elbows and Bobby hits the ropes and pops up after each one before finally flying out of the ring. They brawl on the floor, but Dustin misses a lariat and hits the post instead, allowing Eaton to take over. Arn goes to work on the arm with the classic stuff and Eaton gets two off that before going up with a flying elbow for two. That’s the last top rope move we’ll be seeing for a while, I bet! Everyone brawls and Dustin grabs Paul E’s phone after Larry screws up again, but Dustin uses it and gets DQ’d at 19:29 to even up the match.
FALL #3: Dustin works on Eaton’s arm after the break and drops elbows on it before going to the armbar. Over to Koloff for more of the same and the Alliance tries to sucker him into the corner, but NOT TODAY, COMRADE. Steamboat comes in with chops, but he walks into a DDT and sells it like RVD because he’s AWESOME. So Arn runs the broken nose into Larry’s knee and Steamboat’s sell of that is AMAZING. Have I mentioned that Steamboat is a spectacular babyface? Just picture someone with a broken nose getting it smashed into someone’s knee and that’s Steamboat’s sell of it. So the heels work on it because why wouldn’t you? Eaton drops an elbow on the broken nose and Steamboat is in HORRIFIC pain, barely able to function but still fighting BECAUSE STEAMBOAT IS AWESOME. Larry with a neckbreaker and shoulderbreaker for two. Steamboat fights back with a neckbreaker on Bobby and it’s HOT TAG Nikita and Arn is running away in terror. Koloff slugs away in the corner and gets a shoulderblock for two, but Arn grabs Koloff and holds him for Larry to finish him off. And of course, Larry screws up again, hits Arn by mistake, and Koloff finishes with the Sickle at 26:47 to wrap up the match. Another great touch as Larry could have blocked the move, but chose to duck out of the way and let Arn get hit instead. Because he’s a screwup and a coward. This was GREAT. Loved all of this. **** So trouble within the Alliance continues as Arn and Larry get into each other’s personal space and we wrap it up.
NEXT WEEK: Brad Armstrong v. Great Muta in a random but great main event.
Boy I liked this show. Nothing great outside of the main event here but moving everything into Center Stage gave the show a more cohesive atmosphere, and this was some good, entertaining “Watching wrestling on Saturday afternoon with your dad” entertainment. Thumbs up.