The SmarK Rant for WCW Saturday Night – 05.30.92
I really enjoyed last week’s show so let’s carry on. Also, I know no one would possibly notice, but this one and last week’s show were both posted on Saturday morning at 6:05 CST.
Taped from Atlanta, GA
Your hosts are Jim Ross & Riki Rachtman. Apparently he was an MTV VJ, but I had no exposure to him because we only got MuchMusic in Canada at the time. He does have some impressive Nuno Bettencourt / Gary Cherone style big hair, though.
Greg Valentine v. Larry Santo
FUCK. We’re back to using matches from the Worldwide arena tapings with the dead crowds instead of doing them at Center Stage again. It was much better last week! Even the models they paid to sit in the front row and block out the black kids were more animated! Hammer beats Santo down while JR details all the problems between himself and Ron Simmons to set up their clash on the Main Event the next night. Fair enough. Valentine tosses him and then brings him back in with a butterfly suplex while JR notes that “he establishes his own pace, somewhat methodical at times.” Yes. SOMEWHAT. Valentine works the arm of Larry the Saint, and hits a backdrop suplex to set up the figure-four at 2:26. I have no idea how anything in that sequence set up anything else in that sequence, but Greg’s the pro and I’m just the guy making jokes at his expense.
Cactus Jack v. Johnny Rich
Rachtman relates a story about how “all the guys he rides bikes with in LA” look like Jack. He’s so DANGEROUS. But non-threatening enough that girls felt like they change him. Jack works a headlock and beats Rich down. JR notes that Cactus once quipped that “he would rather fight a man than love a woman”. And yet he still managed to convince Collette to marry him and produce offspring. Also, how many situations was he being put in where he had to choose? Can’t he fight a man and THEN love a woman? Is it an “either-or” scenario? Jack drops the elbow and then legdrops Rich for good measure. Rich gets a dropkick for his meager comeback, but Jack puts him away with the DDT at 4:30. And then presumably goes home and loves a woman. Jack didn’t seem used to gobbling up jobbers at this point and was almost too nice to the guy. Come on, it’s just Johnny Rich, let ‘em have it.
Arn Anderson joins us in the studio, and there’s RUMORS that Arn is going after the World heavyweight title. And Arn confirms those rumors. I bet those rumors were printed in the dirt sheets and maybe on that new fangled internet bullshit. Arn stresses that he’s been part of very successful groups, but it’s time for him to do stuff for himself. Also, if you cut out the leg from a table, it’s just a three-legged table and that’s no good to anyone. I’m assuming Sting is the table in that particular metaphor. Anyway, I checked out of curiosity, and Arn indeed did get shots at Sting and jobbed hard on the house show circuit over the next month or so. Well, you know what they say, you win some, you lose most. Probably they were some good matches, though.
Marcus Alexander Bagwell v. Arn Anderson
Oh this is gonna be glorious. Arn makes sure to let us know that “he loves pretty boys” on the way to the ring and even offers a handshake. Bagwell grabs a headlock and Arn just throws him down with disdain and then goes to the corner while Madusa talks trash on his behalf. Arn gets his own headlock and puts Bagwell down, and they trade hammerlocks. Why would you try to trade hammerlocks with an ANDERSON? Arn goes for a slam and Bagwell reverses for two, but Arn takes him down and starts grinding on the arm. Hammerlock on the mat and he drops knees on the arm, then drags him to the corner and wraps it around the post. Arn punches him in his pretty face in the corner and then puts him down with an armbar takedown to set up another hammerlock. Bet they didn’t teach that in Sprayberry High School in Marietta. Bagwell fights to the ropes, so Arn chokes him out while he’s there and then hits him with the hammerlock slam and drops a knee on the arm, and it’s back to the armbar again. I hope he submits him old-school but he’ll probably just win with the spinebuster. Marcus fights out with a sunset flip, but Arn punches him in the face to block and he goes RIGHT back to the arm again. And indeed, with Bagwell weak and disoriented, that sets up the spinebuster to finish at 7:30. This was pretty much a perfect squash for what it was.
WCW MAGAZINE REPORT! WITH ERIC BISCHOFF!
We take another look at the Cactus-Van Hammer falls count anywhere match, which was hilarious because at the time RSPW went NUTS for it and you’d think he had won a World title instead of just winning one stupid match on one TV show of months of doing jobs. Also, we get clips from Worldwide Wrestling as Jack faces Sting, with no further clarification of who won the match or why it matters. Then it’s off to Jack to run down the four basic tenets of human existence, which Sting has violated:
- You don’t tug on Superman’s cape.
- You don’t spit in the wind.
- You don’t pull the mask off the Lone Ranger.
- You don’t face Cactus Jack in a falls count anywhere match.
I mean, no disrespect to Jim Croce, but three out of the four have FAR worse consequences than spitting in the wind. I mean, yeah, it’s a bad idea and will probably result in you getting spit back in your face, but the other three things will result in you getting hurled into the sun by Superman, shot point blank by the Lone Ranger, or hit on the head with a trash can by Jack. Given all of those, spitting in the wind can hardly be classified on the same level. Anyway, Sting’s body parts will be left scattered along the Gulf Coast.
PS: BANG BANG!
Sting, meanwhile, promises to blast Cactus out of the beach. Very clever word-play, Sting, and a nice bit of branding, but I’m gonna bet on the guy who specializes in falls count anywhere matches, I think. Promo victory goes to Cactus Jack here.
Meanwhile, Bischoff notes that the Steiners v. Williams/Gordy match has “connoisseurs of the sport in a cold sweat”. Hope it’s not Covid.
Stunning Steve Austin v. Larry Zbyszko
So the Dangerous Alliance continues to disintegrate, although this is apparently the group settling things “internally”. Gotta say, I’ts hard to take Austin seriously as a World title contender when he’s got “AUSTIN” on his ass in what appears to be multi-colored alphabet fridge magnets. Also, Austin is facing Sting at the Omni this weekend, so for those keeping track we’re simultaneously hyping the Main Event, the Clash of Champions (and by extension the Great American Bash with the NWA tag team tournament finals), Beach Blast, the Omni house show, and a Baltimore house show. JUST PICK ONE THING. Paul E lays down the law to Larry before the match, telling him that he needs to face Steve and “obey orders like a common woman obeys her husband”. Tremendous. Who could POSSIBLY cheer him after that? Besides Jesse Baker. But Larry is not about business here, and it’s personal, and he slaps Dangerously and attacks Austin. But then Austin immediately kicks his ass and beats on him outside while the crowd is suddenly 100% behind Larry, and then Larry makes the comeback and runs Austin into the turnbuckles. Steve works him over with shoulders in the corner, but Larry grabs a sleeper and they tumble to the floor off that. Austin tries a piledriver and Larry backdrops out, while JR notes that the ref is “fairly lenient on his 10 count”. That’s like saying AEW is “fairly hesitant to book DQ finishes”. Back in, Larry slams him for two, but Austin rakes the eyes and puts him down with a short arm clothesline for two. Austin goes to the chinlock while Dangerously officially fires Zbyszko as a demotivational tactic. Larry fights out, but Austin whips him into the corner and drops an elbow for two. Larry gets fired up and pulls Austin out for some chops to make the comeback. Back in, that gets two. And Larry goes to an armbar, but Dangerously takes the ref and Larry hits a piledriver. But then Bobby runs in and drops a flying knee on Larry’s head, and Austin gets the pin at 8:41. Match started hot but Larry was just done at this point and it got boring fast. *1/2
NWA TAG TEAM TOURNAMENT COUNTDOWN! WITH ERIC & LANCE!
Today we’re taking a look at the match with Benoit & Wellington v. Brian Pillman & Jushin Liger. Bischoff relates a story about going to Winnipeg to watch Benoit fighting Wellington in a parking lot when it was 30 degrees below zero. Dude, that’s just called WEDNESDAY up here. The fight probably started because Beef went to put on a windbreaker and Benoit called him a pussy. Meanwhile, Lance clarifies that Steamboat and Koloff are teaming up because the Lithuanian delegation didn’t enter a team in the tournament. FUCKING LAZY LITHUANIANS. They’re worse than Kazakhstan. DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON KAZAKHSTAN!
2/3 Falls: Brad Armstrong v. The Great Muta
This is certainly random, although as usual Muta is crazy over whenever they decide to use him.
FIRST FALL: They trade wristlocks and Riki gets a legit hilarious line when he notes that Brad “looks just like LA Kings hockey player Marty McSorley”. HE DOES! That’s awesome. JR completely no-sells it, sadly. Muta with a mule kick in the corner and he takes Brad down with a headlock. Brad fights up, but Muta hits him with an enzuigiri to the face and takes him down with a headscissors. Brad reverses out due to the fans chanting for “USA”, perhaps because he forgot what country he was currently in and needed a reminder. Maybe he thought he was in Kazakhstan. Muta goes to an abdominal stretch and Brad reverses as this first fall is kind of going nowhere. Muta works the arm and we take a break. That seems poorly timed in a pre-taped match with two natural points for a break. Back with Muta working the headscissors on the mat and there’s not much going on with this one. Boy I remembered this one being WAY better so hopefully it picks up in the later falls. Jim Ross tries to steer the conversation to comparing wrestling fan to fans of specific rock bands in a BIT of a stretch, but at least he’s trying to engage Riki I guess. Muta works the arm now as this continues going absolutely nowhere, taking longer than Greg Valentine fighting in a Winnipeg parking lot to get warmed up. And then Armstrong switches to a headlock, lets Muta up, and then takes him down with another headlock again. The Lithuanian delegation could have walked their paperwork to the WCW offices in the time since this match started. Brad doggedly holds onto that headlock as JR notes that there’s a lot of strategy here. Strategy: Grab headlock. Hold headlock. Occasionally work the arm. Repeat.
Muta stomps the knee to escape and Brad kneelifts him before going up with a flying bodypress for two. Back up, but Muta rolls through for two. Small package gets two and another one gets the pin at 19:01. They took TWENTY MINUTES of headlocks to get to that finish.
SECOND FALL: I mean, let’s face it, there is ZERO chance of Muta doing a job on this TV show to Brad Armstrong until Inoki was really drunk or particularly distracted by his Brazilian farming scam, so this is clearly going to be a 2-0 sweep for him. Muta gets a suplex for two and beats on Brad in the corner, but Brad drops an elbow for two. Brad with a small package for two and he slugs on Muta, but Muta chops him down like a couple of fellas having a fight in a Winnipeg parking lot when it’s 30 degrees below zero! WHO’S GONNA GET THE LAST PIL IN THE TWO-FOUR? Actually, I’m not sure if that horrific Pilsner shit is also a Winnipeg deal or if it’s a localized Saskatchewan thing, but whatever. I know no one drinks it in Alberta, at least. Also, we say “minus thirty”, we don’t say “thirty degrees below zero”. As in “Lloyd Robertson says on the weather that it’s minus thirty tomorrow. Better put on a bunny hug before heading to that parking lot fight, eh? And maybe pick up some Timbits and a Double Double on the way back.” Anyone who had ACTUALLY come to Winnipeg to watch Chris Benoit fighting Beef Wellington in a parking lot would have picked up on that immediately. Guys, you know what, the evidence is just piling up and I don’t think Eric Bischoff actually was in Winnipeg when he was claimed he was. Anyway, thank god, Muta finishes with the moonsault at 25:47. Boy this was way worse than I remembered. Bret Hart had nothing on Muta for dogging it when he wasn’t motivated. I apologize for talking this match up years ago! **1/4
Next week: Barry Windham defends the TV title against Arn Anderson! Wait, Barry was STILL the TV champion at this point? What the hell, man?
Also, Jim Ross has BIG NEWS on the wrestling hotline to end the show. Oh, we know what THAT one was.