The SmarK Rant for WCW Saturday Night – 06.13.92 (The Watts Era Begins!)

The SmarK Rant for WCW Saturday Night – 06.13.92

And now, the time has come for a(nother) new era of WCW…so let’s HOOK ‘EM UP.

Taped from Atlanta, GA

Your hosts are Jim Ross & COWBOY BILL WATTS.  Oh shit, we’re really doing this.  OK then.

Dustin Rhodes v. Tracy Smothers

Dustin quickly dives in with a rollup for one and takes Tracy down for the hammerlock and works on that.  Tracy fights out, so Dustin puts him down with bionic elbows and then finishes him off with a bulldog at 2:11.  Total squash.

Cowboy Bill lays down some new rules for WCW to begin our national nightmare, and speaking of national nightmares, he introduces Ole Anderson as special troubleshooting referee.  There’s an immediate problem with the logic here, because people were absolutely not crying out for “law and order”.  Also, Bill Watts has demanded the removal of the padding around the ring, so that his wrestlers will only be slammed on CONCRETE like real men.  Real thing said by Bill Watts on national TV.  Because who would want to see highspots outside of the ring?  Seriously, did Watts even watch a little bit of the programming before taking over?

Ron Simmons v. Chris Sullivan

Simmons gets some awkward power stuff on Sullivan and adds a press slam, then finishes with the spinebuster at 2:04.

NWA WORLD TAG TEAM TOURNAMENT UPDATE!  WITH ERIC AND LANCE!

The intrigue here is whether we’ll see a Dangerous Alliance showdown in the second round.  Spoiler:  No.  Hilariously, Lance talks up the hot new team of Z-Man and Bagwell as being so impressive that they had to be put into the tournament, but there’s literally ZERO footage of them actually competing as a team to use for this segment, so they have to show clips of them in singles matches.  So I actually went back and checked the records, and at the point this show was taped, they had competed in one (1) TV match as a team, which was a 10:00 draw against the Freebirds, and everything else before and after was them losing to various teams on house shows.  So not super impressive.  In fact Z-Man went crawling back to former partner Brian Pillman right after the tournament like sad ex-lovers reuniting only to find the magic was now gone.

The Super Invader v. Johnny Rich

This is like the dollar store ripoff version of Vader squashing Tommy Rich.  Invader puts Rich down with shoulderblocks and slugs away in the corner, then follows with a high knee and corner clothesline, and finishes with a powerbomb at 2:05.

WCW MAGAZINE UPDATE!  WITH ERIC BISCHOFF!

Two new rules from Bill Watts to go over:  No moves off the top rope, and no running your opponent into the ringpost.  The ringpost idea is fine, but the top rope stuff just came off so out of touch.

Cactus Jack joins us with words of warning for Sting leading up to Beach Blast, as he brings wooden crates as a visual prop for what he’s going to do to Sting’s ribs at the show.  Hint:  It doesn’t go well for the crate.

Sting v. Diamond Dallas Page

Sting cranks on the arm and slams Page to set up a pump splash, but that misses and he hurts his ribs.  Ironic that DDP of all people would be targeting someone’s injured ribs.  Page misses an elbow and Sting makes a comeback with a dropkick and bulldog to set up the Scorpion Deathlock at 1:35.  Obviously that match would look a lot different 7 years later.  Jack headbutts the wooden crate a second time to make sure that Sting gets the message.

Rick Rude cuts a promo on Ricky Steamboat, noting that he hasn’t “been to bed since 1972…for sleeping purposes!”  Madusa’s little “Oh my!” face in the background is tremendous.

The Steiner Brothers v. Arn Anderson & Steve Austin

Scott goes for the leg and Arn immediately retreats to the ropes.  Over to Rick, and he grabs a headlock on Arn before hitting a powerslam.  Austin comes in and walks into a Steinerline.  Back to Scott with another headlock on Austin, but he tries a dropkick on Arn and misses.  He tries a bodypress and misses, landing on the CONCRETE FLOOR, and back in Austin gets two from that.  Gut wrench suplex gets two and Arn comes in with a bearhug to cut off the ring, and we take a break.  Back with Austin beating Scott down with elbows and then choking him out on the ropes, and Arn comes in with more choking of his own.  AA misses a blind charge and Scott tries a sleeper, but Arn escapes with a back suplex.  Scott gets a small package on Austin for two, but Austin goes to a chinlock.  Scott fights out and Austin cuts off the tag, but Arn threatens to the go to the top rope and SPECIAL SENIOR REFEREE Ole Anderson threatens him with a DQ.  Emphasis on “senior”.  Finally it’s hot tag Rick, but he tries to drop an elbow on Austin and lands on his knees.  Back to Scott, but Ole misses the tag, so Rick gets a sunset flip on Austin for the pin at 15:11.  This was Ole’s debut as a referee and he’s already one of the worst ever.  They managed to take 1992 peak awesomeness Steiner Brothers and somehow make them just another boring tag team, so that’s an impressive start.  **

I wouldn’t call this new era significantly WORSE than the past couple of months of the show, which were pretty damn bad, but it’s not any particular improvement yet either.  And although you could make excuses about how the top rope rule was supposed to give heels more heat for doing it, we know how the story ends and all it proved was that Bill was stuck in 1979 and had absolutely no idea what the audience actually wanted to see.  But at least this next few months of shows will be an adventure, you can say that much.