Yesterday’s random review of a WCW Saturday Night show from Disney MGM Studios prompted a call for more reviews. Well, I don’t really fancy reviewing Saturday Night, but when I was a kid and got into wrestling it was during a surge in popularity in the UK, prompting ITV to import WCW Worldwide (previously Worldwide Wrestling) and stick it in a Saturday afternoon slot, much like the old World of Sport/Professional Wrestling programme had been for years.
The episode they started with, edited and on a tape delay, as was the case, was this one, with the new shortened title and a new member of the announce team. I tend to think of it as being right after Superbrawl II, but we’re actually more than a month removed. The Dangerous Alliance are running wild, and these are the current champions:
World Heavyweight Champion – Sting
United States Heavyweight Champion – Ravishing Rick Rude
World Television Champion – Stunning Steve Austin
Light Heavyweight Champion – Flyin’ Brian Pillman
World Tag Team Champions – Arn Anderson and Beautiful Bobby
United States Tag Team Champions – Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and the Taylor Made Man
Let’s get to it!
Previously: While wrestling Beautiful Bobby, Ricky Steamboat reflexively slapped Madusa and the whole Dangerous Alliance came out to beat him up, resulting in Rick Rude plastering him with a chair and ramming and rubbing his face into the concrete floor, resulting in a broken nose for Steamer.
New intro and theme tune, and Tony Schiavone is in the ring in Topeka, Kansas, to introduce his new co-host, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, who comes out to a big pop, giving out t-shirts with himself on. Jesse refers to their history and that he’s going to keep Tony in line, just as he promised back at Summerslam 1989. Jesse thinks Steamboat deserves what he got, to turn himself heel for the crowd. Big Van Vader is promoted as the big, new challenge for Sting.
Diamond Dallas Page and Vinnie Vegas vs. Barry Windham and Dustin Rhodes
Vinnie is in pink trousers, prompting Jesse to remark “He dresses like every Vinnie I know – horribly!”. Jesse also gets a couple of “Texican” references in before the match even starts. Dustin and Barry easily handle DDP before Barry gets caught, bringing Vinnie in. Jesse laments that at least Vinnie isn’t wearing canary yellow (Tony: “Yeah, I don’t like that colour either…”). Jesse finds one of his bugbears early, complaining about Barry’s taped fist, courtesy of Larry “The Cruncher” Zbyszko. Dustin and Page come in and Dustin ducks a couple of shots before hitting a bulldog out of nowhere for the pin. Perfectly fine, quick match.
WCW Magazine (with Eric Bischoff): Eric promotes the new magazine, with cool double cover (Sting’s Squadron one side, the Dangerous Alliance the other). This leads to promotion for War Games at WrestleWar ’92. Can Nikita Koloff be trusted, though? More comments later!
Johnny B. Badd vs. Jesse Curles
Tony admits he’s been waiting for four weeks to hear what Jesse has to say about Johnny. Jesse: “Everyone’s entitled to their heroes, but who would pick Little Richard as their hero? I guess it IS the nineties!” Curles looks like Tom Prichard. Obvious edit in this match as there are little patches of silence and cuts to make the match look like Curles challenging Badd to put them up, so he just knocks him out with a left hook for the pin in a pretty funny conclusion. Nothing match, though.
Promo: Sting talks about Big Van Vader, who’s bigger, stronger, and FEELS. NO. PAIN. But Sting’s going to help him find out what pain is all about. He’s going to keep him on the ropes.
Ron Simmons and Big Josh vs. Beautiful Bobby and Arn Anderson (w/Paul E Dangerously)
Simmons and Josh/Borne were actually recent US tag champs. Old partners Arn and Josh start, with the DA getting some cheap shots in on Josh, so Ron comes in and mows down both with clotheslines and three-point stance shoulder blocks to Paul E’s vexation (“HE’S NOT LAWRENCE TAYLOR! HE’S NOT LAWRENCE TAYLOR!”). Josh comes back in and tortures Bobby with the log roll, prompting an hysterical sell from Bobby. Arn tries to stomp him, but Josh catches the foot and atomic drops Arn. The heels finally get the advantage when Ron takes a spill to the outside off a missed charge in an excellently timed and coordinated evasion from Arn. Bobby uses aerial moves to wear Simmons down, but a cross bodyblock is turned into a powerslam. Josh sets up and executes the Northern Exposure (buttdrop off the top), but Paul E smuggles the phone to Arn, who hits him with it and puts Bobby on top for the win. “They stole it!”, complains Tony. “Hey, nobody said they weren’t thieves!”, rationalises Jesse! Good TV match, constant movement and stuff going on that made sense.
WCW Magazine: So, can Nikita be trusted? He made a comeback at Superbrawl to save Sting from a beating from the DA, but they’ve feuded in the past. What was he doing there? Arn Anderson talks up his experience in War Games matches and ANY kind of matches, so he can match Nikita for experience. Somebody’s going to get hurt and somebody’s going to the hospital. Also, coming soon on Worldwide, the Nintendo Top Ten Challenge. Number 1 vs. number 10, number 2 vs. number 9, and so on. The rankings have been frozen, but Barry Windham is at number 7, and by the time the match came along it was Nikita in that place. Somewhere along the way a Nikita promo, that Arn refers to, has been cut out. Because WCW.
Chip the Firebreaker vs. JT Southern
Shit gimmick aside, Chip wasn’t THAT bad a wrestler. Unfortunately, Southern was, and he plays some awful guitar music to the ring that is mostly feedback. For those that haven’t seen him, he’s got long blonde hair, all the same length for a change in the nineties, a massive nose, facially looks like Wayne Bloom, very slim, Brutus Beefcake tights and kickpads over his boots. Chip wipes the floor with Southern, including a slick dive into a flying clothesline while Jesse opines that Chip has a short-man complex. Closer to the truth than you’d imagine there, Jess. The thinning hair from the steroids probably didn’t help either. Eventually, Chip misses a charge and Southern rolls him up for the win with his feet on the ropes for leverage. Zero offence all match. I know you’ll be shocked, but he didn’t get over.
Interview: Tony takes us back again to last week, where Ricky Steamboat got attacked. Ricky comes out for his interview with tape on his face and blackened eyes. Ricky won’t face the camera initially, then turns around and does a melodramatic promo about having to explain to his son what happened to him. He’ll get revenge by taking Rude’s gold. He was going for really emotional, but it ended up coming off bad soap opera. Jesse laughs it off as a bad Charles Barkley impression.
Marcus Alexander Bagwell vs. Big Van Vader
Back when Bagwell was a willing sacrificial lamb, rather than refusing any job he could get away with. At least if he got piledriven the hair would protect him back then. Harley Race either must think Bagwell is below him or is having a shit backstage because he doesn’t come out here. Vader quickly demolishes Bagwell and finishes with a chokeslam. He then starts hitting splashes to draw Sting out to defend his honour. Sting and Pillman start carrying Bagwell backstage but Vader gets on the mic and goads him back in. Initially he starts clobbering him, but misses a shot and Sting clears him out with a missile dropkick… for now.
WCW Magazine: Still no Nikita promo. Paul E rubs it in by suggesting he’s part of the Dangerous Alliance. Eric throws it back to Tony and Jesse, who discuss Sting and Vader.
Next week: The Taylor Made Man against the Z-Man – can’t hardly wait(!).
Conclusion: Remember when wrestling shows only needed to be an hour long with commercials and could still achieve what they aimed to, nine times out of ten. Bless the internet!