I wasn’t the only person completely baffled about a 6-man tag-team match being included on WCW’s VHS release where nobody seemed to know the wrestlers. In fact, WCW themselves never expected it. HOWwrestling: The truth behind that six-man – It was supposed to be the Steiners vs. the Hellraisers (Hawk & Sasaki) but the WWF signed the Steiners and blocked WCW from showing it, even though WCW argued it was a New Japan show which they had rights to and the WWF didn’t. Then the WWF also signed Jim Ross, who was subsequently no longer available to go back and dub commentary on the new match.
Great insight here, but I’m still not willing to accept that Schiavone and Ross DIDN’T go to a sushi bar together. You aren’t taking that away from me.
We’re gonna skip the Power Hour this week, because … well, virtually nothing of note took place. I did a recap that ate up just over 1 page of written word, and I’m not gonna bother with it. However, I’ll give you the highlights. 28 seconds was dedicated to Teddy Long taking us through Jim Ross’ second career as the host of the Atlanta Falcons pre-game show. And … well, this gem:
MISSY HYATT welcomes us to “Missy Does the Mail”. The first question asks what the chances of Austin and Pillman taking the straps from Steamboat and Douglas. Hyatt looks at this mathematically. Steamboat loses 11 points for being married, and 7 more for having kids – since he won’t be able to train picking up after his brat while his wife is out shopping. Douglas gets 6 points for being single, but loses 10 for his god awful hair. The challengers are in far better shape, because Austin gets 3 points for those gorgeous blue eyes you could just drown in, 6 more for those round and well defined shoulders, 3 for the perfect pecks, and 10 for his hair. Given that his trademark became no hair at all – he should take a great deal of pride in knowing he was rockin’ it both ways. Pillman gets 8 points for his smile, 5 for his waist, and 11 points for not having an ounce of fat. “Brian Pillman can take MY belt anytime he wants to.” Missy’s whoring it up act is always fun. Missy actually whoring it up … not so much.
And with that, we’re off to the races.
JIM ROSS and LARRY ZBYSZKO welcome us to Center Stage, in Atlanta! Tonight is all about the build to the Clash of Champions coming up later this week. I’m down.
MARCUS ALEXANDER BAGWELL vs. BOB COOK
Ross gives mad props to Bagwell for winning WCW Magazine Rookie of the Year. This would of course pale in contrast to his sweeping of the 2001 RSPW awards, which included Worst Wrestler, Worst Worker, Least Favorite Wrestler, and Worst Match. You’re probably not particular impressed; but you need to understand that he ended a decade long by Hulk Hogan in the majority of those categories, no small feat! The announcers fail to pay any attention to Bob Cook, which I consider a hate crime. Here we have short, portly man, who is not letting his lack of facial follicles stop him from attempting a sad little mustache, while rocking a mullet straight out of the trailer park – and while most people meeting his description are found sourcing scrap metal from whatever rolled into their backyard that morning, Bob has decided to make something of himself. He even shows a little savvy, dodging a dropkick and punching Bagwell in the face repeatedly with his giant hams. While working a chinlock, I note that poor Bob is going bald. This man has NOTHING – would YOU mess with him?!? Marcus Bagwell is not particularly charitable, and leaves Bob with none of his dignity when he uses a Perfectplex for the pin at 5:40. This hurts my heart. *
Ross and Zbyszko promise to show us the Vader / Simmons title change, and … well, I guess they didn’t lie. I thought we might get to see the whole match, but no, they show us the end of the match where the title changed. Spoiler: Vader wins.
VADER and HARLEY RACE are god knows where. Harley gloats about being at the top of the mountain; but they’re standing in front of a blue curtain, nowhere near the white castle. Vader adds: “I AM VAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADER!” I imagine he is!
VAN HAMMER vs. RANDY SLEDGE
Randy Sledge! Where have you been all my life? So what he lacks in shape, he makes up for in hair. He’s managed to groom a perfect mushroom cut, and then, if he wasn’t already the hippest cat in the room, he added a rat tail! This looks to be some sort of metaphoric battle between good and evil, as Van Hammer’s styling a pair of shiny silver pants, lined with stars all over the place, Sledge is wearing the black singlet, with a star on his crotch, another on his ass, and two on each boot. And, as Hollywood is apt to script, the alleged good side triumphs with a slingshot suplex at 2:14. Why can’t the coyote win, just this once? DUD
TONY SCHIAVONE stops Hammer on his back to the shower. Tony’s hopped up on some sort of early 90’s energy drink, because there is nobody more excited to see Tony Atlas and Van Hammer settle the Strongest Arm competition once and for all. Van Hammer says he’s already climbed the mountain, but he’s bringing a lot of bass and treble to the fight. Oh.
Z-MAN and JOHNNY GUNN vs. MIKE THOR and CHICK DONOVAN
O…M…G. Chick Donovan? In 1993? This is the greatest gift in the history of amazing gifts. He’s the spitting image of Randy the Ram here, while tied up in a Chippendales vest and bowtie. I had no idea the old CWA mainstay was still working – but a quick Internet search tells me that not only was here working here, well into his 40’s, but he’s still working TODAY, well into his 60’s. That’s it, I’m moving to the South. One of you readers must have some sort of job offer that’s going to get me a work visa so I can live in your beautiful country and follow the exploits of Chick Donovan. Donovan actually beats Zenk in a test of strength, which is probably the most effective anti-depressant I’ve ever taken. I’m going to replace my Wellbutrin with Chick Donovan owning the Z-Man. A bearhug from Grandpa Love Machine has Zenk wailing, and Thor comes in to try and put this one away. Unfortunately, I know a weak link when I see one, and Thor gets kicked in the face and Zenk makes the hot tag. Gunn nails the flying jalapeno on Thor, Zenk hits a superkick, and Gunn finishes with a dick to the face at 6:50. **
TEDDY LONG and CACTUS JACK share a moment. Foley can’t wait until the Barbarian steps into the Thundercage at the Clash, because there’s going to be buckets of blood. I agree with EVERY word Cactus just said, but I think we’re imagining different things. He talks smack about ERIK WATTS, who immediately gets in Mick’s face. He throws Cactus through the prop lockers, and locks on the STF. None of this is going to help me sleep tonight.
2 COLD SCORPIO vs. MUSTAFA SAIED
We saw Saied last week, and much as I want to throw him a little support, I can’t. His hair is perfectly normal, and his tights look like fluorescent Granny Panties. You can’t unsee that. Scorpio hits a superkick, and sends Saied to the floor with a dropkick. Of course, high flying in 1993 means “jumping off the apron gently”, and Saied sells it like he’s been shot. Back in, the 450 finishes quickly at 2:27. JR’s imagination has been captured – but really, outside of the 450, he’s not really flashy and his good matches were few and far between. 1/2*
TONY SCHIAVONE, wearing a plaid shirt and a red tie, wants to talk about BARRY WINDHAM’s bad blood with Dustin Rhodes. Windham points out that Dustin’s interfered in several of his matches, while he’s never done that to Dustin. He goes back to a match on Worldwide last week, which is conspicuously missing from my library. I’ll have to open a ticket with CFB Network tech support. Windham took Shane Douglas to the floor during the tag-team affair, and DDTed him on the concrete. Rhodes had an issue with that and ran down. Tony thinks he was just trying to help his friend. Windham: “Hey, when I want to know how my friends are doing, I call them on the phone, I don’t go sticking my nose in other people’s business.” Rhodes took a tag from Steamboat which the referee tried to stop, and Windham tried to help by kidney punching Dustin. Still, he got in and the referee let the match continue. Windham: “What match? I didn’t want him in the ring! I was trying to keep him out of the ring!” Barry’s particularly pissed because Dustin then walloped him with a cast across the face and the referee counted the pinfall. Windham issues a warning to Rhodes, which is the next time he steps in the ring with him, he’s going to relish the pain he’s going to put him through.
TEX SLAZENGER and SHANGHAI PIERCE vs. DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE and VINNIE VEGAS (in the Battle of the Bullies)
A Godwinn under any other name is still a Godwinn, and no matter how you dress up Tex and Shanghai, they’re still gonna suck. In the case of Tex, this also applies when he’s undressed. DDP is still 4 years away from being any good, and you probably know Vegas better as Master Blaster Steel. Page cheats like crazy on the masked man, softening him up for Vinnie. Tex fights loose and tags in Pierce. Vegas hits a gutwrench slam, and Page hits a face plant, using Pierce’s hair liberally. Pierce throws a clothesline to get back to his corner, and Tex hits a stomp off the second rope. Pierce works a step over toe hold, and Tex pulls his arm for added leverage. I admire the fan in the front row holding up a 4 foot poster that reads “TEX” in bold red font. That’s someone who knows what he likes, isn’t afraid to express it, and I respect that. Page gets worked over for 3 or 4 hours, before making the hot tag to Vegas. He’s shut down immediately with a rake to the eyes, and is forced to tag Page back in. That … doesn’t seem very wise. Still, Page hits a neckbreaker, and uses a Pedigree on Pierce for 2! Vegas fights Tex on the floor, and the referee is too busy watching them to notice that Pierce has hung Page over the top rope with a bullrope! Vegas rushes over with a wooden chair and smashes it over Pierce’s head, and the referee throws a double DQ their way at 8:50. How the heck are we supposed to settle the battle of the bullies now? You can’t just give a match that kind of a title and leave it without a conclusion. I expect the WCW booking committee to start drawing up ideas STAT.
Next up, this is happening:
Honest to god, does TONY SCHIAVONE’s mother dress him? They’re talking football for some reason. VADER is a former All-American, getting drafted in the first round by the LA Rams and winning a Superbowl Ring. Knowing goddamn well the Rams never won a Superbowl, I decided to Google this mess, and found that Vader was actually drafted in the 3rd round. I realize that heels are meant to be liars and all, but isn’t it Schiavone’s job to call him out? Instead, he’s eating this up – and then asks if he’s going to give a title shot to Sting? He says he’s ready to accommodate Sting anytime, any place, as long as he gets a rematch for the King of Cable. Ummm, ooooo kay? He defends his loss to Simmons in the summer, because he spent all his time training for Sting, and he was dealt Ron instead. As soon as he got his rematch, he was ready, and won, exactly as he expected to. If he wants a rematch, he can bring it. He fears no man, and fears no pain. His plan? To be the longest reigning WCW champion in history.
Looking at that last segment – this is EXACTLY what the WWE is lacking in every one of their heels except for Lesnar (which is why he looks so much better than the rest of the roster). Vader isn’t a chickenshit, which is pretty much the only heel they know how to write for any more. He talks shit, and is prepared to back it up with his actions. He is the real life version of basically every video game Final Boss that had ever been created to that point, and this is why Vader was so damn effective in his role. You knew he was going to maim pretty much anyone he’d face, and if his opponent had even a sliver of hope, you could immediately rally behind that person because it’s so glorious to watch the evil topple.
TONY ATLAS (with Cactus Jack) vs. DUSTIN RHODES (in a semi-finals match in the US title tournament)
We’re clearly headed right into Rhodes against Windham, so hopefully they make this one quick. Rhodes comes out firing, with dropkicks a plenty. Every time Atlas tries to get up, Rhodes hits him again or sweeps out the legs to keep him down. Atlas finally gets up in the corner, so that Rhodes can’t take him down. He goes to work on the broken wrist, slamming Dustin on it with a hammerlock. Ross reports that Rick Rude isn’t going to be able to compete at the upcoming Thundercage event – so they’ll update us on the new game plan before the end of the show. Rhodes takes back over with a clothesline and finishes with a bulldog at 4:12. *
BARRY WINDHAM vs. RICKY STEAMBOAT (in a semi-finals match in the US title tournament)
Steamboat, carrying both tag-team titles, makes a bee-line straight for the ring, and he’s a ball of energy tonight. You can feel how much these two hate each other – as they just throw a maelstrom of fists at each other in the opening moments. Windham bails, but Steamer’s right behind, chasing him until he’s able to catch and chop the hell out of Windham’s chest. Back in, Windham hides in the corner long enough for Steamboat to back off when asked; and that gives Barry the chance to attack at the leg. Steamboat goes for a slam, but Barry’s too heavy and he falls on top for 2. Steamboat throws a desperation karate chop at Windham’s head, but that’s all he’s getting before Barry turns the tide with a hard clothesline. With Ricky down, Windham stomps on Steamboat’s wrist, playing into the Dustin Rhodes injury. Barry works a hammerlock on the mat, driving his kneecap into the wrist over and over while the kids scream in horror. Steamboat elbows loose, but Windham’s not ready to give up yet – dropping down to the floor to snap Ricky’s arm over the top rope. Steamboat crawls to the apron, but Windham wants him in the ring, and attempts to drag him back in. Steamboat surprises him with a sunset flip over the top, and the big guy topples backwards for 2. Windham gets up, walking right into a jawbreaker from the former world champ, and Steamboat starts beating on Barry’s shoulder. Steamboat continues to sell his own wrist as he attempts to hold Windham in place, and when it looks like Barry’s making his way loose, Steamboat turns to his legs to hold the hammerlock. Steamboat wiggles around until he’s able to work a full half nelson on the mat, and Barry’s fading fast. Steamboat goes for the knockout blow, but he misses the karate chop, and in the process really hurts his wrist now. Windham, arm dangling to the side, uses his good arm to slam Steamboat’s face into the canvas. A vertical suplex gets 2, but Windham goes to the well a second time and Ricky reverses it mid-move for 2. Steamboat gets a head of steam to prep a clothesline, but Windham tries to sidestep and both guys collide head first into each other, Barry hitting so hard he collapses to the floor. Windham just makes it back to the apron at 9, and Steamboat’s ready with a suplex to bring him back in – except his wrist is mush, and he can’t hold it, letting Windham fall on top for 2. Windham uses a gutwrench slam, but he can’t get the pin, and he’s frustrated now. Going up turns out to be a huge mistake for the big man, and Steamboat catches him for a slam. Ricky decides to use the top rope, trying his karate chop – but Windham sidesteps and delivers a kidney punch on the way by. A jumping DDT makes the audience groan, and Windham locks on the Figure Four. Barry uses the ropes liberally, but Steamboat won’t tap out. After a long struggle, Steamboat reverses the hold, but Windham’s out quickly. Both guys are staggering, throwing haymakers. Windham whips Steamboat across the ring, but he can’t make it before his legs fall out from underneath. Back in, Windham puts on a headlock, but Steamboat turns that into a single leg atomic drop to set up the Figure Four! Windham howls, desperately clawing for the safety of the ropes, but he can’t make it. As a last hope, Barry pounds at the weak legs of Steamboat, and he’s forced to break the hold. A vertical suplex doesn’t finish Ricky off, and Steamboat faceplants Windham. He starts with the karate chops, and hits a swinging neckbreaker! Off the top, a karate chop gets 2. Steamboat picks up Windham for a slam, but his legs swing wildly and clocks Nick Patrick in the face, sending the referee sprawling to the floor in pain. Steamboat hits a top rope crossbody for a count of 6, but the referee is dead and it doesn’t count. Windham illegally tosses Steamboat over the top to the concrete, but he does it just as Patrick is stirring, and he calls for an immediate DQ at 17:37. ***1/2
Windham isn’t done, slamming Steamboat on the floor and preps the jumping DDT. SHANE DOUGLAS rushes in to save his partner, beating the piss out of Windham … and you know that means BRIAN PILLMAN and STEVE AUSTIN aren’t far behind. DUSTIN RHODES takes it to Windham on the floor, while Austin and Pillman double team Douglas in the middle of the ring. Steamboat hits the ring to protect his partner, and the newest heel unit bails for now. Steamboat’s announced as the winner in a bit of a shock – it seemed readily apparent we were gonna get Rhodes/Windham, but that’ll have to wait now.
Fun edition of Saturday Night, and it effectively sets up Wednesdays Clash. The mid-card is positively stacked these days, with Cactus Jack, Dustin Rhodes, Brian Pillman, and Steve Austin as the clear breakout stars heading into 1993 – and the timing is ripe to see who of this crew is going to develop. The main event scene is absolutely decimated, with little of substance beyond Vader and Sting, so the time is now for any one of these guys to explode as the next big thing.
So I went in to work today to find this little party taking place on my desk.
I never thought I’d see the Outsiders getting buried by Sgt Craig Pittman, but Saul Goodman witnessed the whole thing. Also – I love my staff.
Extant1979 writes: For whatever reason, I also had Joe & Mac, which was a game my family LOVED. I would try and play some Mario or Super Castlevania and they would be playing Joe & freaking Mac. I hated that game so much. Thanks for bring back those awful, awful memories.
Aside from the fact that I got duped out of what felt like a million weeks of allowance to purchase the game on the sales point of “it’s JUST like Mario World”, I beat that stupid game the first day I had it. It was the polar opposite of my complaint about Super Ghouls and Ghosts – the damn thing was too easy. There was simply no happy medium in the early days of SNES games; and as a result I wound up renting The Legend of the Mystical Ninja for about as many weeks in a row as Nitro beat RAW.
Garth Holmberg:Don’t bad mouth Super Ghouls n’ Ghosts… yes, the game was ridiculously unfair in regard to difficulty, and had a middle finger for us at the “end” of the game, but if you could get beyond all that, it was really fun and had great graphics. On second thought, as a kid, that game was a real bitch.
I was like 8 years old and skipped the NES altogether, going from the Atari to the SNES. The graphics in EVERY game were going to look great, that was the least of my worries. Getting to the 2nd level? That shouldn’t have taken me until I was old enough to grow facial hair.
Zanatude:I beat Super Ghouls n Ghosts in about seven hours last year
No you didn’t.
Zanatude:on a modded Wii, through judicious use of save points.
No you didn’t.
WCW INTERRUPTS THIS EDITION OF SATURDAY NIGHT WITH A SPECIAL REPORT:
Big Van Vader defeated Ron Simmons on December 30th from Baltimore, capturing the WCW title for a 2nd time. Well … that IS big news. Maybe they can televise it!
JIM ROSS and LARRY ZBYSZKO man the commentary booth, which may send me into Dusty deprivation. Thith is laaaive from tha Mothaship, that’th what we talkin’ ‘bout dadd-yo.
CACTUS JACK and THE BARBARIAN vs Z MAN and JOHNNY GUNN
Much as I dislike the idea of anyone replacing Meng, Cactus is about as acceptable a substitution as I could ask for. Jack beats the piss out of Gunn, but Zenk tags in and backdrops Jack into the Barbarian like a human cannonball. Jack and the Barbarian exchange words, which probably trumps “I think we need to start on top of the cage” as the dumbest thing Foley’s ever decided to do. Barbarian gives him a death stare, but lets him walk away with his life. Barbarian’s a man of honor and charity. Jack gets locked in an armbar, but he wiggles loose and hands his prey into the hungry hands of his partner. Zenk’s all “I think I’ll try to pull on his Mohawk”, and Barbarian’s all “you’re dead”. After Jack pulls down the rope sending Z Man crashing to the unprotected floor, Zenk gets rolled back in where he’s kicked in the back of the head by the angriest man in the room. Gunn gets the hot tag, but he’s not the Top Gunn, and he’s able to muster a dropkick and jumping clothesline before all hell breaks loose. Jack takes a dick to the face from Zenk, but Barbarian punts his skull into the atmosphere for the easy win at 5:47. Not enough Barbarian. *1/2
Meanwhile, at Starrcade, BILL WATTS and HANK AARON played nice long enough to give Sting his Battlebowl ring from his 1991 victory. Later that night, Muta claimed the 1992 title, while Watts ejected Aaron from the building after he asked for catering.
Elsewhere, HOWARD SCHNELLENBERGER, head coach of the Louisville Cardinals, stopped by to discuss former college player, Erik Watts. “Determined” is roughly all he spits out before TONY SCHIAVONE wraps up the interview. I’m fairly sure I’ve seen more of the Women’s World Cup of Soccer this week than the length of this interview.
ERIK WATTS vs. MUSTAFA SAIED
Watts is the white guy, but just in case you were left with any questions, he used a gold bedazzler across his ass to spell it out. Mustafa is from Morocco, a country I know little about, but if his tights are any indication, I believe they’re the world’s leading exporter of blinding neon. Watts counters a bear hug with a belly to belly for 2. The STF finishes quickly at 2:37. Nepotism is a hell of a drug. DUD
TEDDY LONG stops CACTUS JACK to ask him how TONY ATLAS might be able to defeat Van Hammer tonight. Jack doesn’t really want to talk about Van Hammer, because he’s far more interested in collecting the $10K bounty on Erik Watts’ head. Of course, given that the bounty was offered by Paul E Dangerously, you’re about as likely to successfully cash that check as Watts is to successfully execute a watchable match – but it’s good to have dreams. Foley sneaks in a good line about the next time the Watts family gathers for dinner, that in addition to the carrots and mashed potatoes, there’s going to be another vegetable on the table named Erik. Atlas hollers about Hammer, but Foley won’t stop screaming “BANG BANG” long enough to hear what he has to say.
VINNIE VEGAS vs. DUSTIN RHODES (in a US title tournament match)
There’s nothing remotely gimmicky about Vegas, wearing a black singlet here. However, he’s shockingly spry, even hitting a sunset flip. Rhodes tries a bridge pin, but Vegas scoots loose. A sidewalk slam gets a near 2, and Vegas takes over the offense. Zbyszko tells us we can’t truly appreciate Vegas unless we see him in person. You’re a man ahead of your time, Larry. Rhodes tries a slam, but his back goes out and Vegas falls on top for 2. A gutwrench powerbomb gets 2, and Rhodes is fading fast. The bearhug fails to put Dustin away, and he finds his second wind. A forearm knocks Vegas down, but a dropkick only gets 1. Vegas tries the snakeyes, but Rhodes counters into a bulldog for the win at 6:23. **
TONY SCHIAVONE has tracked down BRIAN PILLMAN and BARRY WINDHAM in the locker room. Windham tells Pillman he’s ending their partnership because he’s decided to make a run at bigger singles gold, however, he doesn’t want to leave Pillman high and dry. In fact, he suggests he make friends with STEVE AUSTIN. Pillman’s delighted, because seeing as how they’re both world class athletes, they’re going to be completely unstoppable.
BRIAN PILLMAN and STEVE AUSTIN vs. RICKY NELSON and LARRY SANTO
And thus, a legendary friendship is born. Meanwhile, you probably know Ricky Nelson better today as Dolph Ziggler.
Austin starts with Nelson, and quickly press slams him. Ricky comes back with a series of dropkicks, and tags in his terrible tag-team partner. Pillman comes in to chop Santo into minced sirloin. Austin goes to finish, but Santo gives him a drop toe hold and goes back to Nelson. Ricky goes for a leapfrog, but Austin stops short and uppercuts him in the thigh. Pillman grinds Nelson’s face into the mat, and Austin drops a knee across his nose. Nelson tags out, and Santo immediately takes a Stun Gun for the loss at 4:34. Solid debut, but there are far stronger days ahead. *1/2
We re-live Sting’s King of Cable victory at Starrcade; which turned out to be a lifetime championship since it was never defended. Admittedly, as silly as a lot of these little titles are, with this, and Jesse Ventura’s arm-wrestling championship, I admire the creativity. They were clearly looking for a winning gimmick, akin to the Royal Rumble, that they could use as a plot device to keep wrestlers busy when they weren’t involved in a major program – which in turn would keep them strong instead of, say, jobbing a lot until the next push came along.
TONY ATLAS (with Cactus Jack) vs. VAN HAMMER (in a US title tournament match)
Tony’s got beef since he arrived in WCW too late to appear in the arm-wrestling tournament, and he feels he would have cakewalked to victory. I wish they’d kept that tournament alive, because the idea of Chris Jericho viciously cheating his way through to the championship against Scott Norton is so delicious that it would have kept WCW alive another 3 or 4 years. Hammer illegally clotheslines Atlas to the floor in front of the referee, but he decides it was clearly an accident, because nobody could do something so deliberate deliberately. When Atlas gets back in, Jack trips up Hammer and Tony steals the win at 5:10. 1/2*
JESSE VENTURA sits down with ARN ANDERSON for this week’s Up Close. Jesse says he’s ruled the place from the day he started. Arn figures a better description is that he grew up in WCW; starting as a green rookie years ago, and taking his lumps and learning his lessons the right way. He’s on the disabled list right now with knee problems – something he always felt was a cop out excuse from the other boys until he felt the pinch himself. “You can’t compete without your wheels.” Ventura asks Arn what he figures he has left to prove? He has no idea, because he’s working without a contract right now. Bill Watts is refusing to re-up the Enforcer, and he’s working night to night. Jesse is shocked that he’s without a deal, and Arn angrily says that he’s staying no matter what, because WCW is his home. And with that – he says that there’s nothing that can stop him from leaving Erik Watts in a heap at an airport, at his home, or inside an ice cream shop. He was in WCW first, he earned everything he got and was never handed anything unlike daddy’s boy, and he refuses to be shoved aside for anyone. Jesse: “I think Bill Watts is protecting his kid, and I don’t like it.” This whole interview was borderline shoot material.
BARRY WINDHAM vs. JOHNNY B BADD (in a US title tournament match)
Johnny’s still basically a walking cartoon at this stage, and not the overpushed perennial TV champion he’d be later in his tenure. Badd dominates early, but it looks ridiculous given the size difference, because Badd basically uses big-man moves which shouldn’t be an effective strategy at all. Windham finally snaps Badd’s face against the ropes, and hits a spinning suplex to take control. Badd fights to his feet and gets his eyes raked, and a hard elbow drop gets 2. MADUSA wanders down to ringside to scout on behalf of Rick Rude, while Badd gets faceplanted by the big man. Windham moves into a number of different suplexes, but he can’t put Johnny away. Badd snaps off a Frankensteiner which sets up a super sunset flip – but Windham rolls through and clotheslines Badd with a particularly nasty looking clothesline! Badd’s done, but a jumping DDT is the cherry at 7:32. **
TONY SCHIAVONE wants to know what RICKY STEAMBOAT’s motivation for being in the US title tournament since he’s holding half the tag-team titles. SHANE DOUGLAS cuts them off, saying that their goal, ultimately, is to take care of the tag-team titles. However, Steamboat was granted an opportunity to wrestle for the US belt – and he’s not one to look a gift horse in the mouth.
DAN SPIVEY vs. RICKY STEAMBOAT (in a US title tournament match)
Steamboat immediately shows how to work a match with a noticeable size difference, by leaning on his quickness and headlocks to wear Spivey down. Every time Spivey tries to fight loose, Steamboat just drops to the mat, holding the headlock to bring Spivey down with him. A swinging neckbreaker gets 2. Spivey finally manages to dodge a karate chop, and gives Steamboat a spinebuster. Ricky’s all cardio though, and fires back with a number of chops. Spivey no-sells, slams his own head into the buckle to show he’s a long way from done, and clotheslines Steamboat back to the 70’s. Steamboat fights back to his feet, and takes a Rock Bottom for 2. Still, he keeps fighting, but Larry rightfully points out that trying to go punch for punch here is idiotic, and he needs a better strategy. An abdominal stretch is used to wear Steamboat down, and a sidewalk slam gets 2. Steamboat throws some desperation chops to no avail, and Spivey’s pretty much laughing at him now. Steamboat tries a crossbody block, but Spivey catches him in mid-air and turns it into a backbreaker, smiling the entire time. He goes for an avalanche, but Steamboat sidesteps and delivers a backdrop suplex. Spivey whips Steamboat to the corner, but Ricky leaps over the ropes to the apron … where Spivey clotheslines him anyway. He goes to finish, but Steamboat slams his face to the buckle and comes off the top with a crossbody for the win at 8:22! Totally fantastic main event, and I’ll admit I have a total soft spot for Spivey who’s a completely underappreciated worker. ***
TEDDY LONG asks BARRY WINDHAM how he feels about taking on Ricky Steamboat next week in the tournament semi-finals. Windham’s pissy because he knows Steamboat’s only in the tournament to get revenge on Windham – but Barry’s here to capture championships, and he vows to tear Ricky up. Great fire from Barry, a total throwback to what made him such a compelling draw in the late 80’s. It’s a shame he got so bloody lazy around this point, because he clearly still had something in the tank when he wanted it there.
And that’s it until the Main Event tomorrow night.
Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals will air on NBC at 7:15pm EST as the Chicago Blackhawks have the 1-0 series lead against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
UFC Fight Night 68 will begin at 10pm EST on Fox Sports 1, highlighted by Tim Boetsch vs. Dan Henderson
There are several games across the MLB tonight. On Fox you will see either the Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves at 7:10pm EST or the Los Angeles Angels vs. New York Yankees or the Detroit Tigers vs. Chicago White Sox at 7:15pm EST. And on the MLB Network at 10:10pm EST you will see either the New York Mets vs. Arizona Diamondbacks or the St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers.
Boxing is on HBO tonight at 10:30pm EST as you can see Middleweight Champion Miguel Cotto vs. Daniel Geale.
Also, the Greg Valentine Shoot Interview Won the Poll with 40% of the vote and that recap will be posted Thursday at noon.
And as usual, talk about anything else going on tonight here.
LIVE from the depths of Shawn Michaels’ ass-crack (hey, I found his smile!) – it’s Shotgun Saturday Night! Of course, we’re not actually live, because we scrapped this show’s format weeks ago. But … it’s Saturday night! Taped on some other night!
VINCE MCMAHON and JAMES E CORNETTE welcome us to Some Unclear Location in front of … well, a fairly big crowd all told.
THE BRITISH BULLDOG (1-2-0) vs. CRUSH (3-2-0) (with Clarence Mason)
Someone appears to have doodled a penis on Crush’s forehead.
Cornette takes offense to the crowd chanting “Jailbird” since the folks in attendance look like “they’ve spent a few nights slummin’ with the warden”. Yes – but were they tattooed with phallic scribbling? That’s the real key to knowing if you’ve truly been on the inside. PG-13, A WELL DRESSED MAN, and D’LO BROWN head down to ringside to support Crush, which is a double cross of Clarence Mason’s clients – and before we can find out what happens, we take a commercial break.
OWEN HART and his Slammy have come down to even the odds, and in fact play peacemaker, shaking the hands of his good friend Clarence. Crush doesn’t need the help anyway, as a belly to belly suplex sets up the dreaded nerve hold of eternal damnation. A big boot only gets 2 – shocking considering the eternal damnation of that nerve hold he just felt. A backbreaker gets 2, but only because Crush took about 8 years to go for the pinfall after hitting the move. Gotta keep on top of your man – prison should have taught you that! The black power fist sets up an elbowdrop, but it misses and Bulldog hits a neckbreaker. A standing vertical suplex (6 seconds!) dizzies Crush, and Bulldog dumps him before throwing a cheap shot at a Nation member on the apron! Back to Crush, Bulldog suplexes him back in, but SAVIO VEGA hooks his leg, tripping him up, and Crush falls on top for the pin at 8:22. *1/2
Bulldog freaks out, and calls Clarence Mason back to the ring. “Whose side are you on? And whose side are YOU on?” – glaring at Owen on that second one. Bulldog fires Mason no fewer than 8 consecutive times, to really get his point across. Owen completely disagrees, but stays loyal to family.
TL HOPPER (0-1-0) vs. GOLDUST (2-4-0)
Marlena’s absent of course, still tending to injuries from the unnamed Amazon woman who shook her like a martini on Monday night. Hopper looks exceptionally confused by the concept of Goldust, and Cornette helps us out by pointing out “they don’t have things like Goldust down in Tennessee”. Of course, mind games aren’t expected to work here because “Hopper doesn’t even have the game pieces”. Cornette’s so on fire tonight he’d ignite Jake Roberts’ breath if he got too close. Goldust wins with the Curtain Call at 4:39. DUD
After recapping the entire saga of Monday Night’s attempt to run the title match between Bret and Sid, SYCHO SID hits the live arena to share what’s on his mind with KEVIN KELLY. Dear god yes, Kevin, please don’t miss a beat here! I need to know how he feels about all the hottest topics of 1997. Does he agree with Princess Diana’s stance to ban land mines? What do we make of the rise of Microsoft as the world’s most valuable company? Does he enjoy Savage Garden? Is Tony Blair truly the best the UK can do? Does the prosecution have a tighter case for OJ’s civil trial? Was he really at McDonalds with Kato at the time of the murders? Is the golfing world ready to accept Tiger Woods? Did he consider taking a bit part in the summer hit “The Full Monty”? Come on Kevin, don’t let me down. Unfortunately, Kevin Kelly is still Kevin Kelly, and he does the second best thing – just let Sid ramble about whatever he feels like. He circles the ring while screaming words that vaguely tie in “Undertaker” “Sid” and “I’m The Man”. Whatever the case, Sid doesn’t seem remotely concerned about his upcoming series with Taker – an unlikely candidate to ever shit his pants in the presence of the phenom.
THE HEADBANGERS (3-1-1) vs. THE GODWINNS (1-3-1) (with Hillbilly Jim and Cletus T Judd)
Jesus Christ, can we PLEASE stop running out this combination on every second edition of this show? When the main eventers aren’t in the house, this roster is *terrible*. Thankfully, we aren’t subjected to this, when two homosexual cowboys, allegedly “BARRY WINDHAM” and “JUSTIN HAWK BRADSHAW”, run in at 1:26. They beat the piss out of the swine farmers, and Vince calls for a commercial break.
THE HEADBANGERS (3-1-2) vs. THE NEW BLACKJACKS
Brokeback Mountain got themselves booked in place of the Godwinns, who’ve … simply vaporized, apparently? There were 4 of them, they just openly agreed to leave? Why aren’t more fans storming the ring during every Godwinn appearance then? We’d be rid of them in no time! Bradshaw is billed as the son of Blackjack Lanza, because apparently the truth (he’s his nephew) would simply kill his credibility. As stupid as Bradshawk looks, Windham looks positively ridiculous with the jet black hair and wispy moustache. I’m all for changing up your look; in fact, Bradshaw underwent one of the finest transformations of all time when he became JBL, but trading out your trademark blonde mop for a handful of shoe polish and a 70’s prison pussy probably isn’t the smartest of career moves. THE GODWINNS return to break this up at 2:17.
Paul Heyman’s phone call from RAW is replayed. Will ECW actually show up on RAW in the Manhattan Center? That’s the big question between now and then – and we’ll be headed over there after an exciting episode of Superstars, so hold on to your socks boys and girls, it’s gonna be a big one.