WCW Worldwide – April 18th, 1992

Let’s keep going with this, at least up until WrestleWar.

Previously: Big Van Vader wipes the floor with Marcus Alexander Bagwell, challenges and attacks Sting, but gets the tide turned on him:

Intro: Tony and Jesse refer back to last week as Jesse ribs Tony by staring in his face and suggesting he should get his hair cut like Jesse. At this point, Jesse was rocking the goatee and shaved head with the long tuft of hair at the back. Stick with the comb-over, Tony!

Rick Steiner vs. Bubba Howard

It wasn’t uncommon for the Steiners to wrestle singles matches even though they were still teaming. Howard is about an inch or two taller than Steiner, bearded with long hair, over 300 pounds. I note it now for later. Jesse starts in on Rick’s headgear (“Cauliflower ears are going to make HIM ugly?”). Rick gets an early German suplex and hoists up Howard into a backbreaker and runs him into the corner, a heavy load. Fairly snug punches and he appears to knock him out with a Steinerline. Neither he or Nick Patrick seem to know whether he’s still with us, but once he reacts on his feet Rick knocks him down again in a funny moment. Belly-to-belly off the top to finish. Rick just went out and amused himself with a massive punching bag. Jesse signs off the replay by reminding Bo Schembechler to “be proud of him – he has a degree… from YOUR college(!)”.

WCW Magazine (w/Eric Bischoff): Brian Pillman to face the Z-Man at WrestleWar. Even as a babyface, Pill defaults to a scowl once he’s done talking.

Cactus Jack vs. Dan Garza

“Here’s your next University of Michigan graduate right here, Tony!”, mocks Jesse. Cactus gouges Garza while Tony notes that he’s changed his noises from squealing like a pig to shouting. Hip toss is reversed into a chokeslam that Garza does a complete flip on. Bite to the forehead, but with the amount of teeth Cactus has I don’t know how much harm that would do. Jackhammer-like suplex. To the outside for the flying elbow off the apron, an old Cactus standard. Back in for the pin following a double-arm DDT. Jack was just showing what he could do with a willing victim.

Promo: Big Van Vader promises to teach Sting the pain game. Vader: “I FEAR NO MAN AND I FEEL NO PAIN!” – Vader really got over with these promos back in the day. Harley Race predicts the world title is going to change hands soon. He wasn’t wrong.

Larry “The Cruncher” Zbyszko and Stunning Steve Austin (w/Madusa) vs. Greg Casey and Scott Allen

Larry rips up a poster on his way in and probably pushed a stunt granny down on the way out. Jesse puts it down to “enthusiasm”. No stalling for Larry, quick to it with his arsenal of kicks and forearms before putting Allen in the Tree of Woe for stomps. Austin in and Tony estimates he’s been the TV champ for fourteen months (actually not yet ten and he’d lose it before eleven months were up). Short clothesline on Casey before bringing Larry back in for a swinging neckbreaker and brainbuster to finish. All fine, just a case of getting out on TV to promote bunkhouse tag team matches with Windham and Rhodes.

WCW Magazine: The Steiners to face Takayuki Iizuka and Tatsumi Fujiname, the winners to face Hiroshi Hase and the Great Muta (or, rather, Keiji Mutoh) for the IWGP tag team championship. Vader and Bam Bam Bigelow were actually the champions by this point, but I can believe they didn’t mention that so as to not mention Vader being the champion for another company. Iizuka came into this match looking like a male model and went out looking like he’d been in a car crash. Also, let’s look at the Great Muta, who might be teaming up with Sting again in WCW. Didn’t happen.

Promo: Dusty Rhodes pimps the Nintendo Top Ten Challenge. “What would happen if Rick Rude faced Cactus Jizzack?”, asks Dizzusty. I dizzon’t knizzow, Dizzust, nizzever hizzappened.

JT Southern vs. Randy Starr

JT fucks up a “duck the elbow, hit the clothesline” move. German suplex puts Starr on the back of his head. Nice gutwrench into a gutbuster. Decent spinning gourdbuster to finish. I don’t think many people have talked about Southern beyond Foley’s bit in his book about his “fight” with him at the Clash in Corpus Christi, but I always got the impression that nobody liked him in the business and told him to go away. Decent look, but he was green as grass, almost dangerously so. God bless Jesse for being professional enough to put him over.

Interview: Here’s a little more with him in case you hadn’t had enough already. He annoys Tony by playing the guitar when he’s talking. He coins a new, crap nickname and then calls Van Hammer a phoney (fair comment) and tells the Freebirds to get a grip with their shit song. Hey, maybe we could warm to him.

The Taylor Made Man vs. The Z-Man

Yeah, it’s a Million Dollar Man ripoff for Taylor, but he at least paid for some decent gear. These guys have wrestled loads of times over the last two years, so it’ll just be a case of them going through a standard match. Zenk has been teaming with Bagwell recently, so you’d think both partners would be lurking in the background, but Tony writes him off as still recovering from injuries from last week. Zenk controls early, no messing about. Jesse amuses Tony by wondering if Zenk doubles as Sgt. Garcia given the “mark of Zorro” on the back of his trunks. Zenk works the arm as Jesse brings up his bodybuilding past (Mr. Minnesota) and notes you don’t make any money in it and could lose your shorts in it if you get into it too deep. Yes, that was a knock at the WBF, why do you ask? Taylor dumps Zenk to the outside to take the advantage. Nice backbreaker for two, with Taylor telling Zenk to stay down – don’t call your spots so loud, Terry! Zenk starts coming back with a superkick and enzuigiri, but Taylor blocks a headlock with a belly-to-back suplex. Zenk gets his own a minute later. Knees to Tom’s balls off a test of strength. Lariat from Taylor for two. Zenk gets a powerslam and superkick to begin to finish. Greg Valentine runs down to ringside and eats a superkick himself. Zenk goes for a suplex, but Valentine reaches in, scoops the leg and hold it down for Taylor to win. See, no Bagwell around to help! Love how little details like that are stitched in to help things make sense. Solid match.

WCW Magazine: Sting talks about War Games. He hasn’t worked out what Nikita is all about yet, but he’s hoping for the best. He better not cross him. And he didn’t, as Sting and Nikita had a pretty solid bromance until Nikita called it a day later in the year.

Next week: Non-title match between US tag team champs Taylor and Valentine and the Fabulous Freebirds, plus Nikita will be in action. Jesse is offended that people confusing Nikita with him because they both have shaved heads.

Conclusion: I’ll try and keep up the cartoon reviews, but I’m going to keep doing these until I start to not feel it any more. Keener to watch these now I’ve discovered them again than even the newly-uploaded Superstars episodes!