It’s Nintendo Top Ten Challenge Bros. 3 – and why should anyone outside of Japan know what the fuck a tanuki is?!
Previously: Cactus Jack met the post with his shoulder when he went running for Ricky Steamboat’s nose, leading to defeat.
Intro: Tony and Jesse open up the show and it’s WrestleWar this weekend! Fair play to these guys, they managed to do three or four show openings from this taping with costume changes and managed to keep the energy up with the crowd. Vader and Nikita talk about their match later in the hour.
Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and the Taylor Made Man vs. Scott Allen and Danny Posten
Loved the entrance music Taylor and Valentine were using at the time! Rare occasion of understating the length of time, although maybe to spare Valentine’s blushes – Jesse reckons he’s been wrestling for thirteen or fourteen years. Try twenty-two, Jess! Valentine started when was nineteen. The Hammer works through his arsenal of suplexes, sets up for the figure four, then realises he hasn’t tagged in Taylor yet, so tags him in and he just pins him in a funny bit. Barely worth Taylor taking the breakaway suit off!
WCW Magazine (w/Eric Bischoff): WrestleWar is hours away! The Steiners have to beat the Japanese tag team. A good Steiner drinking game during promos like the one that follows is to swig every time they say “Me and my brother!”.
Interview: Tony brings out Ricky Steamboat. The Little Dragon, aged four, now understands that Ricky will take some lumps and bumps. Mature kid! But Ricky is NOT harassing Madusa and is NOT a peeping tom! Breathing fire was a message to the DA and Rick Rude and he’s going to take the United States championship. I’ve made fun of Ricky and his melodramatic promos, but the crowd were really into it here and he did have great energy.
Diamond Dallas Page and Richard Morton vs. The Fabulous Freebirds
No mention of DDP previously managing the ‘Birds. Double spinebuster on Page early that puts him right on his arse, had to hurt. Some stiff chops from Hayes. Morton comes in and gets his inverted atomic drop, but walks right into Hayes’ left of death and eats the DDT. Shit, that was quick. Garvin was in there barely longer than Taylor in the first match.
WCW Magazine: Not long until War Games! Let’s go back to Halloween Havoc, where the Enforcers caught Windham and Rhodes driving in and slammed Windham’s wrist in the car door. Then the Halloween Phantom was revealed by Paul E and Madusa to be Rick Rude, the cornerstone of the Dangerous Alliance. From there, Eaton and Austin joined too, taking as many belts as they could and wreaking havoc, including breaking Ricky Steamboat’s nose. JR interviews Paul E and Madusa on Pro and Paul E gloats about Rick Rude rearranging Steamboat’s face and how he’s now stalking Madusa. Plus Big Van Vader broke Sting’s ribs, with Paul E behind that too. However, Paul E and Zbyszko have had friction recently, so there’s that, and Arn and Bobby have lost the tag team titles, so are things as tight as they need to be? Great recap and teaser for the main event, all done within about three minutes!
Beautiful Bobby (w/Paul E Dangerously) vs. Dustin Rhodes
Rematch from last week. Bobby goes out to face Dustin in the aisle to kickstart their fight. Dustin has switched from red to yellow gear to suggest the distance of a week. BTW, strap in for this one, there’s a lot I’m going to quote here as Dustin goes to punch Paul E off the apron.
Tony: “I hope he hits him right square in the mouth!”
Tony: “Don’t you think he deserves it? No, you don’t, but he does.”
Jesse: “He’s a manager, he’s not a wrestler.”
Tony: “Exactly! He is a manager.”
Jesse: “So, therefore, why should he be attacked?”
Tony: “Why should he be at ringside?”
Jesse: “Because he’s a manager!”
Tony: “Why am I even arguing with you?”
Jesse: “Schiavone, when Muhammad Ali went to fight he had Angelo Dundee, his manager, at ringside.”
Tony: “Who never hit anyone with a telephone if I recall. Thank you!”
Jesse: “Paul E don’t hit people with the telephone, he calls people!”
Wait, there’ll be more later! Tony even gets in a “Hello?!” when Jesse doesn’t reply to him about something, which Jesse scolds him for. Dustin handles Bobby well as Tony talks about how Paul E isn’t much of a strategist, but he’s a phenomenal motivator. He could even run a wrestling company with that skillset (my comments). On the outside, Bobby high knees Rhodes into the railing as Paul E mocks him (“Real tough guy, ain’t he?”). At this point, we get another phenomenal exchange that a few people have been looking forward to and remember well.
Jesse: “Dustin Rhodes is wishing he was back in Texas right now. I bet he wishes he was roping goats. You know, that’s what those cowboys do to train, they rope goats. That’s why they call them goat ropers!”
Tony goes into hysterics off mic and Jesse can’t hold it back himself!
Jesse: “What’s the matter, Schiavone?! You’ve never roped a goat?! Talk to Dustin Rhodes, he’ll tell you how it’s done! Hello?! Hello?! Someone get me an announcer that’s not laughing out here!”
Tony eventually comes back: “I don’t know of anyone you could find, who would put up with you and your guff!”. Classic stuff, on par with the Summerslam ’89 guns rant. Bobby gets a headscissors and a clothesline. Dustin comes back with a lariat and Oklahoma roll for the quick pin. The Diamond Studd returns, but accidentally takes out Bobby with a clothesline and gets dropkicked out himself. It would seem that the Studd was being groomed for a role in the DA or at least an association with them, but he already had a job interview booked a year out with the WWF after they saw him debut in ’91, so it didn’t go anywhere. The next time Rhodes and Hall would meet would be under a VERY different set of circumstances. Good match, classic commentary.
Interview: Tony speaks to Rick Rude and Madusa. I love Rude, but his voice would break so often, and here he sounds like Elmer J. Fudd with spit flying on every sibilant syllable he pronounces. Madusa waves the belt around in the background.
Big Van Vader (w/Harley Race) vs. Nikita Koloff (w/”The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes)
Last appearance on TV of Vader’s cool music with lyrics. Shocked it didn’t make the Slam Jam album, it’s a good song. The Russian Nightmare brings out old Super Powers partner the Bull of the Woods to counteract Race. Jesse is as glad to see him as ever (“What’s that big, fat Dusty Rhodes doing out there?!”). Race goes to attack Dust from behind, but the Dream catches him and elbows him all the way up the entrance way as Grizzly Smith ineffectually as ever tries to break them up. Vader attacks Nikita while he’s distracted, even getting a standing version of the Scorpion Deathlock while yelling “Where’s Sting?!”. Koloff gets the ropes. On the outside, Vader eats the railing a few times and six punches in the corner, leading to a slam! Misses a dropkick, and eats a big splash, the original Vader Bomb. Avalanche in the corner, followed by a powerslam, although the camera catches him protecting Nikita with the fall. Two count, and Vader stares daggers at the ref. Another avalanche is missed, leading to Nikita taking both Vader and himself out of the ring with a Sickle. They brawl on the outside and Vader misses an avalanche to the post, taking a nasty bump where he hits the post right with his face. I know that mask would give a bit of protection and he just got his hand up, but it looked NASTY. It’s a double count-out. Race returns, with no sign of Rhodes, and helps Vader deliver splashes on the inside. Feels like they cut something away from that early, because you hear the crowd starting to scream positively for someone coming out, maybe Sting, but Tony rushes in a “WE’VE GOT TO THE MAGAZINE!”. The intention was to build a little intrigue for War Games, but it didn’t go anywhere or get followed up.
WCW Magazine: Let’s look at the first bracket match ups for the NWA World Tag Team Championship tournament.
- Steiner Bros. vs. Miguelito Perez (the hairy guy) and El Boricua (no idea, they got involved in a “Puerto Rican wreck”)
- Chris Benoit and Beef Wellington vs. Flyin’ Brian and Jushin “Thunder” Liger (match wasn’t as good as it could’ve been)
- Terry Gordy and Steve Williams vs. The O’Days
- Nikita Koloff and Ricky Steamboat vs. The Malenkos (from Europe!)
Next week: TWO matches in the Nintendo Top Ten Challenge: Dustin Rhodes against Larry Zbyszko and Stunning Steve Austin against Ron Simmons. Austin gets a lame “NOT!” gag in at Simmons and Simmons promises to give Austin a blue and black beard to go with his new haircut – WHAT?! And this Sunday it’s WrestleWar!
Conclusion: Awesome final build for WrestleWar and hysterical commentary in the Rhodes/Eaton match. Check. This. Out!