Missing a week, but not missing much.
Before the credits, Cowboy reads a congratulatory message to Ron Simmons at CNN Centre, in a polo shirt, looking like he popped down on his way to the bog. FFS, Bill! Ron says it’ll take an Act of Congress to get the belt off his waist. Careful, Ron, getting political there!
Intro: Tony and Jesse tell us that Masahiro Chono is the new NWA world heavyweight champion, because there’s nothing like diluting down your new champion’s worth like mentioning one that isn’t even under contract to your company. And Cowboy is allowing you to vote on whether to keep the top rope rule. And Jake Roberts is getting his fine (not his first, won’t be his last) as well as his henchman, Cactus Jack. Plus clips of Windham and Rhodes beating Slater and Valentine from last week, which was missed off the end of the episode. Yes, Cowboy is in the company, why do you ask?
Ravishing Rick Rude vs. Jim Cane
I feel like Rude’s not-Black Cat music is one of the underrated pieces of entrance music. Rude is wearing what I’d call his raspberry ripple tights, white with pink swirls on them. And as quickly as I type that, it’s the Rude Awakening and out.
WCW Magazine (w/Eric Bischoff): Brad Armstrong, the light heavyweight champion, has a knee injury after wrestling in Japan recently. Hopefully that won’t lead to anything bad, like the title becoming defunct. As it was, the belt was already dead, he was just carrying it round until it was ready to be buried.
Interview: Eric Bischoff catches up with Erik Watts, training alongside Dustin Rhodes and Barry Windham, hoping he can be another great second generation star like they both are. Well, it’s good to have hopes. Obnoxious as f---, and Erik couldn’t get a simple sentence out while doing squats without stuttering or sounding like he’d been running for three hours.
Sting and Nikita Koloff vs. Tracy Smothers and Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker
I always liked Sting and Nikita as a buddy team, but Koloff was already one foot out the door. Nikita bounces Tracy around, including into the corner and Sting, but Sting shows mercy in a funny moment and lets him go. Sarge comes in and gets Stinger Splashed and submitted to the Scorpion Deathlock while Nikita charges across the ring and sickles Tracy out to a big pop. I’ve said it before, but when it comes to intense power guys with bald heads and goatees I’ll take the Russian Nightmare over Goldberg.
Ron Simmons vs. John Black
Recorded with Ron as the champ, unlike the prior match from a week or so prior. Ron humours Black by letting him get a brief advantage, then powerslams him as hard as he can for the win. Tony joins him in the ring for an interview. “When you’re the big dog, everyone wants to know what you’re eating in your bone!”, says Ron. I think I get that. Rick Rude and Madusa come out to make the first challenge to him. Rude should’ve been the guy to beat him at Starrcade, but life intervened.
WCW Magazine: Jake the Snake and Cactus Jack appear to be in league with one another, so let’s look at Cacti and Dustin Rhodes going to a double count-out on Pro. The maths don’t appear to be adding up for me.
Big Van Vader vs. Scott McKever
McKever is a doughy guy who looks scared to death. Vader mauls him, catching him with an avalanche in the corner and hitting him so hard with a clothesline that his head hits the mat first. Splash and powerbomb finish. Vader would lift his opponents up into the backbreaker position before slamming them down, so no shock he was hurting backs and necks with how little space they had to land on.
Interview: Jesse speaks to Jake Roberts. Jake’s music at this point was terrible, like a rejected intro for The X-Files. It’s better to be the hunter than the hunted, and when you go bird-hunting you take a gun AND a bird-dog, which is a veiled admission that Cactus Jack is working with him. Jake lost his train of thought a few times but covered it well enough with Jesse likely feeding him off camera.
Cactus Jack vs. Ian Weston
Weston actually gets an early advantage, including a flying shoulderblock, but goes for it again and meets an uppercut. Mr. Bang Bang wastes no time going for the double-arm DDT to get the quick win, no messing about.
Ricky Steamboat, Dustin Rhodes and Barry Windham vs. The Barbarian, Greg Valentine and Dick Slater
Bizarre in some respects which heels were getting the push at the time. Dustin and Greg start, with Dustin trying to avenge his injury by going for the leg and hooking the figure four. I was expecting Slater and Barb to run in for the triple figure four for the cheap pop, but didn’t happen. Slater and Steamboat switch in for a few, then Barb and Windham. Barb going off his feet is talked up as a big thing at this point. Steamboat comes back in and the heels target the ribs while he fights back with chops where he can. Even in a throwaway match like this there’s so much that can be learnt from watching the Dragon with how he times his comebacks and sells the damage. He gets a lucky bounce off Valentine to bring BW in. He gets the roll up, but Barb hits the big boot with him exposed for the knockout so that the Hammer can pin him. This would commence a short feud between the two with Barry struggling to avoid getting knocked out each time they wrestled. Lots of fun here, even with the short running time.
WCW Magazine: Arn and Bobby have been hired to take out the Steiners, so lets look at Rick and Scott in action, including Scott hitting his backflip blockbuster slam on Takayuki Iizuka in the match from Wrestlewar where he was just beaten up from bell to bell.
Close: Tony and Jesse preview the matches for next week, but we won’t see it as we’ll be skipping to the end of September.
The Bottom Line: Great main event and all the top stars on this one, so you can’t complain too much about it.