The SmarK Rant for WCW Saturday Night – 06.06.92
Taped from Atlanta, GA
Your hosts are Jim Ross & Paul E. Dangerously, as introduced by a pouting Missy Hyatt because Madusa is getting interviewed later.
Oddly, they show footage of the upcoming main event during the show open, which goes against their usual “Everything is live!” attitude. This show is the last of the lame duck tapings done between Kip Frey and Bill Watts, so I wouldn’t expect a lot of stuff to happen.
Barry Windham and Arn Arnderson do promos to build up their two-out-of-three falls main event for the TV title later tonight. Paul E insinuates that Arn is bitter about Barry breaking up the Four Horsemen the year before. I think that was more on Flair.
Johnny B. Badd v. Mike Thor
As noted a couple of days ago, I’ve been reading Al Snow’s autobiography on vacation, and he didn’t have much nice to say about Marc Mero. And he raises a good point: Johnny B. Badd was a character that you could sum up in one sentence, whereas “Wildman” Marc Mero was just a guy who liked to spin around and point to his eyes for some reason. Badd takes Thor down and rides him on the mat and works the arm. Meanwhile the announcers continue their scattershot hype job, trying to get people excited for both the Clash of Champions in general, the NWA tag team tournament, AND the Beach Blast PPV all at the same time. Badd gets a sunset flip off the top for two and holds a headlock on the mat while Paul E notes that the Dangerous Alliance “cleans their own laundry and takes out their own trash.” But his parents file the lawsuits for him. Badd continues working the headlock and now they’re hyping the Omni show that weekend as well! How in the hell are fans supposed to keep track of any of this shit? Thor comes back with a backdrop, but Badd punches him out at 4:34 and then puts a lips sticker on his face. Yeah that gimmick didn’t last long.
Diamond Dallas Page & Richard Morton v. Ricky Steamboat & Nikita Koloff
Koloff puts DDP down with a shoulderblock and gets a backslide for two. He works the arm and Steamboat comes in and continues with that. And again, they’re all over the place with the hype. Steamboat faces Rude in the Omni and then teams up Koloff at the Clash and then faces Rude AGAIN at the Beach Blast PPV! And again, this is an internationally televised show, 99% of the audience doesn’t give a crap about an Omni house show. Over to Morton and the faces keep working his arm, but Page gets a cheapshot from the apron and Morton hits Steamboat in the broken nose to take over. DDP comes in with a clothesline for two, still stumbling around the ring like a baby deer at that point in his career. Page drops an elbow and goes to the chinlock, and Morton comes in with a legdrop for two. Steamboat comes back with a back suplex on Morton, but Page takes him down with a chinlock again and then they do a bowling shoe ugly reversal where Steamboat fights out and Page elbows him down and holds the chinlock. DDP looked SO awkward there. Finally Steamboat fights out and makes the hot tag to Koloff, who cleans house and clotheslines Morton out of the ring before finishing Page with the Sickle at 9:48. This was super-super simple stuff. *1/2
Back at the studio, JR & Paul introduce Madusa while squabbling, as apparently we get an interview segment to set up a bikini contest. Because WCW. Paul has a bouquet of flowers for her (with one in particular picked out by Rick Rude). JR wonders how you prepare for a bikini contest, but it quickly turns into a bitch session between Madusa and Missy. Madusa accuses her of doing what she does best: “BLOWING…hot air.” Meanwhile Paul hoots and hollers like it’s Jerry Springer while they both try to out-strip each other and security tackles Missy before she can even undo her shirt. “I’ve missed this show!” notes Paul E.
The Super Invader v. Jason Knight
Yes, future World’s Sexiest Man doing a jobber appearance on WCW Saturday Night. Of course, being from Thailand AND wearing a stocking on his face, Super Invader would be completely safe from Covid had he not already died. Invader throws Jason around and goes up with a kneedrop that barely grazes Knight’s back and then chokes him out on the ropes. I should also note that Super Invader not only has a pair of pantyhose on his face, but also wears a headband over top of THAT. And he finishes with the powerbomb at 2:22.
WCW MAGAZINE UPDATE! WITH ERIC BISCHOFF!
Eric is keeping a very close eye on the Missy v. Madusa situation leading up to Beach Blast. Also there’s a battle royale at the Omni. But back to Beach Blast, which has a main event of Cactus Jack v. Sting. So to build this up, we go back to September of 1991 with a Jack/Sting confrontation there. Really putting the work in for this show. We get a promo from Sting where he notes that fans are skeptical that they’ll even end up out of the building, but you never know! Yeah, the fans were right. It was still a hell of a match, but they didn’t get anywhere near the “beach”. Oh, and next week Jim Ross will have a special interview with Bill Watts, discussing the future of WCW. Really burying the lead there.
Dustin Rhodes v. Rip Rogers
They fight for a lockup while the announcers discuss the battle royale at the Omni tomorrow night, which features a series of singles matches afterwards based on the order that everyone gets eliminated. So they run down all these dream matches that COULD happen as a result, but I 100% guarantee did not happen. In fact, let’s look this up! Thanks as always to Graham Cawthon and his amazing site:
WCW @ Atlanta, GA – Omni – June 7, 1992 (2,600)
Sam Houston was backstage for the show; Abdullah the Butcher was scheduled to lose to Dustin Rhodes but refused and quit the company
Ron Simmons won a 20-man battle royal by last eliminating Arn Anderson; the order of elimination determined the line up of the non-title matches; Rick Steiner was scheduled to be eliminated before Barry Windham but didn’t; Windham worked the undercard anyway
Barry Windham pinned Big Josh
The Super Invader pinned Jimmy Garvin
Dustin Rhodes pinned Bobby Eaton after Larry Zbyszko shoved Eaton off the top
WCW Tag Team Champion Scott Steiner pinned the Great Muta after the 15-minute mark with a belly to belly suplex after catching Muta coming off the top; after the bout, the two men shook hands
Nikita Koloff pinned Vinnie Vegas
WCW US Champion Rick Rude pinned Ricky Steamboat at the 21-minute mark after Madusa interfered and clipped Steamboat as the challenger had Rude pressed above his head; stipulations stated the title could change hands on a disqualification
Ron Simmons pinned Arn Anderson at the 5-minute mark
WCW World Champion Sting pinned WCW TV Champion Steve Austin
So yeah, after spending the show basically promising Steiner v. Steiner and Rhodes v. Windham, the 2600 people who actually bought tickets got THAT parade of shit instead. To be fair, though, apparently the Steamboat-Rude match was great. Also, even though Barry Windham is defending the TV title later in this show, Steve Austin had already regained it at a previous TV taping and apparently was carrying it around at the house shows. And then they wondered why they couldn’t draw houses. Anyway, Dustin puts Rip on the floor with a lariat and then throws him back in for an armbar, but he charges and runs into a boot from Rip in the corner. Dustin takes him down and works on the leg now, but Rip goes to the eyes to get some offense. Dustin with a sunset flip for two and works the arm again, but Rip slams him and goes up. Dustin hits him coming down and puts him down with bionic elbows, and then just goes back to the arm again. Rip is usually a fun guy to put in these matches but this is REALLY lethargic. Dustin finishes with a bulldog at 6:08.
CLASH OF THE CHAMPIONS UPDATE! WITH ERIC AND LANCE!
So now we shift back to hyping THAT show, as they break down the NWA World tag team title tournament. We actually get words from the Silver Kings, and that’s a thing. I actually really liked WCW for most of 1992, but they’re such a mess at this particular point, even by their standards.
WCW TV Title: Barry Windham v. Arn Anderson
Case in point about what a mess they are! So as noted, Steve Austin had actually won the title on May 23, but it was taped for an episode of Worldwide that didn’t air until June 13, so Barry is still “champion” at this point. Meanwhile, Paul is not doing commentary here because he had to “leave” the announce position and manage Anderson, even though it’s IN A DIFFERENT FUCKING ARENA and they also showed clips of this very match AT THE BEGINNING OF THE DAMN SHOW and made no pretense that it wasn’t taped! See, although the main events for these WCW Saturday Night shows had normally been taped at the Center Stage set, which would completely justify Paul not being able to do commentary, in this case they’re just using a match from the arena tapings. I dunno why, because WCW, I guess. Also, I THINK this is the end of the 2/3 falls gimmick for this show, and good riddance if so. Anyway…
Arn spends the first few minutes running away and complaining about Barry’s taped fist (which, as JR notes, was caused by Arn’s team in the first place!) and Barry works a headscissors and slugs Arn down. So we get more stalling from AA before he takes over with clubbing forearms and tosses Windham to the floor. But he tries a clothesline and hits the post instead, and Barry goes to work on the arm out there. Back in, Barry goes to work on it, but Arn slugs him down. Barry works the arm again in the corner and that goes on for a good while, but then he tries a sleeper and Arn escapes with a jawbreaker. So now Arn lays on the mat working on the knee as this first fall drags on. Barry goes back to the arm to break free and then goes up, but Arn brings him down and tries a superplex. Barry fights that off and hits a flying clothesline to finish at 13:12.
Buckle in, there’s still a long match to come. They do the test of strength, but Arn goes for the leg again and Barry counters by hitting him in the arm and going back to the armbar. Come on, we know both guys are better than this. They fight to the apron and Arn tries a suplex to the floor, but Barry reverses to his own suplex back into the ring and goes back to the arm again. Windham charges and lands on the floor, and now Arn goes to work on the back thanks to an assist from Paul E’s phone. Back in, Arn goes to a chinlock, but Barry fights out and Arn reverses a slam for two. AA goes to a bodyscissors on the mat next as JR tells stories about Joe Stecher “breaking bags of wheat” with the move. Really speaking to the youth there, Jim! Windham elbows out of that and slugs away in the corner, but charges and hits a boot in the corner. AA goes to the middle rope and hits Windham with a double axehandle to the back, and that sets up a Boston crab, but Barry powers out of that and gets two. And now it’s time for an ABDOMINAL STRETCH from Arn, but Barry escapes that, so Arn hits him with the spinebuster and pins him at 23:57. At least that finish makes sense given all the work on Barry’s back.
Barry slugs away in the corner and gets two off that, and follows with a piledriver for two. Arn goes back to the leg, however, and hits a suplex to set up a figure-four. Arn of course uses the ropes, but Barry reverses the hold and Arn has to make the ropes while Paul freaks out to the ref. Arn tries to finish him with a pump splash, but Windham gets the knees up and makes the comeback, slugging Arn out to the floor. Back in, Barry hits him with a lariat out of the corner for two and then Steve Austin runs in for the fucking DQ at 30:12. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I had to sit through a 30 minute 2/3 falls match for THAT finish?!? Anyway, the match was generally enjoyable if deathly dull most of the way, but absolutely did not need to run half an hour, especially with Arn Anderson in there. **1/2
And that’s the end of the K. Allen Frey era of WCW, as EVERYTHING changes next week! I think Frey did the best he could with what he was given, but he was handcuffed from the start and sabotaged six ways from Sunday anyway.
Next week: BILL WATTS.