– Live from St. Petersburg, Florida.
– Your hosts are Jim Ross and Dusty Rhodes.
– Opening match, US tag titles: The Fabulous Freebirds v. The Young
Pistols. The titles were vacated when the Steiners “won” the World
titles (Hey, wanna annoy the Rick? Write and ask him to explain the
Freebirds’ title reign in 1991…) and this is to fill the vacancy.
Standard action to start and then a pier-six erupts and Brad Armstrong
arrives at ringside to even the odds. Big Daddy Dink gets sent back to
the dressing room and Brad follows. The Pistols double-team Garvin. We
head outside the ring and Tracy Smothers takes a nice bump as he gets
dropped on the STEEL railing. He gets on the ring apron and then takes
the Bret Hart bump into the STEEL railing again. Tracy plays Ricky
Morton for the Freebirds’ shitty offense. Steve Armstrong gets the hot
tag and cleans up with a tope on both Birds, and then they hit their
double-team jawjacker on both Birds. Ref gets bumped when they do it
again. Brad Armstrong runs out dressed as “Fantasia” (later renamed
Badstreet) and nails Smothers with a tornado DDT, and Hayes gets the pin
to win the US tag titles at 10:19. *1/2
– Dan Spivey v. Ricky Morton. This is still prior to Morton’s heel turn.
Spivey tosses Morton around the ring like a child in the standard big
man v. little man formula. Morton makes a brief comeback but gets
powerbombed out his boots and Spivey pins him with one foot at 3:11.
– Nikita Koloff v. Tommy Rich. Fresh off attacking Lex Luger at
WrestleWar 91, Koloff needed a reason to be here to interfere later in
the night, so he squashes Rich and finishes it with a sickle at 4:07. *
– Special interview with Johnny B. Badd. This is Badd’s debut, and he
turns the Fag-O-Meter up to 11. Badd finishes the interview with that
classic line “I’m so pretty, I should have been born a little girl.”
Man, isn’t that Dusty Rhodes a friggin’ GENIUS? Only he could come up
with a blatantly homosexual character and not get it over. It should be
noted that Johnny, who was gayer than Lenny and Lodi combined, predated
them by a good 8 years.
– Terrence Taylor v. Dustin Rhodes. Taylor has the repackaged Big Cat
with him as the bodyguard Mr. Hughes. Oddly that particular gimmick
would stick with Hughes for the rest of his career. Stalling and
punching to start. Taylor keeps rolling out to consult with the
“computer”. To review: Alexandra York would go on to marry Dustin
Rhodes and is currently known as Terri, manager of the Hardy Boyz.
Taylor keeps control with more knees and punching until Dustin makes the
supercow comeback. Dustin gets the bulldog but the ref is distracted
with Ms. York, wich allows Hughes the opportunity to get onto the apron
and, of course, hit Taylor by mistake with an international object.
Rhodes gets the pin in 8:05. *
– Big Josh v. Black Bart. Bart doesn’t have the other two Desperadoes
with him, unfortunately. Speaking of bad gimmicks, man was THAT one like
a huge car wreck. Two months of vignettes for a six-man group
consisting of Dutch Mantell, Randy Culley and Black Bart, whose ultimate
goal was not to win matches or anything (because god knows they failed
hideously enough if it was) but to find Stan Hansen. Another Dusty
brainchild. This would be a nacho break match, as Bart is subbing for
Larry Zbyszko. Sadly, this is probably a better match than Zbyszko would
have provided. Josh completes the squash in 3:46 with the log roll and
the Northern Lights butt splash. DUD
– Paul E. Dangerously presents…the Danger Zone. He’s the only true
cowboy in New York, you know. The designated verbal victim this time:
Stan Hansen. Well, not quite, as Hansen commandeers the microphone and
yells threats to Dustin Rhodes and his fat father. Oddly enough, the
Desperadoes don’t do a run-in here, despite the pursuit of Stan Hansen
being their, you know, life and everything.
– And while Hansen talks, the stage hands set up the entranceway for the
debut of…you know who. Yes, folks, before he was Big or even sexy,
Kevin Nash walked the yellow brick road as the Great and Powerful Oz.
With his manager, the Great Wizard (Kevin Sullivan in a goofy mask). I
couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. See, Ted Turner had recently
bought the rights to the MGM movie catalogue, and in one of those mental
leaps that only people from the southern US and network executives make,
he wanted to hype the debut of the Wizard of Oz on his TV stations by
having a character based on the movie. Kevin Nash was appointed.
– Oz v. Tim Parker. 40 second squash as Nash finishes it with the
helicopter slam. DUD 8 years later and the guy is WCW World champion.
– Missy Hyatt goes into the locker room for an interview with Terrence
Taylor, but inevitably she finds Stan Hansen in the shower and more
– Taped fist match: Brian Pillman v. Barry Windham. Total brawl, as they
spill outside and Windham starts bleeding right away. Pillman briefly
launches his flurry of offense, but Windham drops him on the STEEL
railing to a big pop to take over. Windham hammers on Pillman, who makes
the comeback, but gets caught with a lowblow on the top rope and
superplexed for the Windham pinfall. Big pop for that. Alarmingly short
match at 6:08, however. **1/2
– The Diamond Mine with DDP. We get pre-taped comments from Luger and
Sting for whatever reason, and then DDP brings out his newest find…The
Diamond Studd. Hey yo, this gimmick sucks. Scott Hall would go on to
refine the gimmick into Razor Ramon.
– Stretcher match: El Gigante v. Sid Vicious. This would be the “let’s
get this over with so I can go to the WWF” match for Sid. Conspiracy
theory: El Gigante disappeared in 1994. Paul Wight made his debut in
1995. El Gigante is Spanish for “The Giant”. Coincidence? Well, anyway,
Gigante finishes Sid off with the clawhold after about two minutes of
non-action, but One Man Gang attacks Gigante before Sid can be loaded
onto the stretcher. The fans sing “Na na na na, hey hey hey goodbye” for
– Thunder-doom cage match: Ron Simmons v. Butch Reed. Teddy Long is in a
cage above the ring. This would be the blowoff for the feud that started
at Wrestlewar when they lost the tag titles to the Freebirds. This was a
very transitional show, as Long dumped Reed and moved on to Johnny B.
Badd, and DDP dumped the Freebirds in favor of the Diamond Studd. Both
Reed and Simmons use the same music. Simmons hammers Reed early but
misses a charge to the cage and Reed takes over. Ross is once again
dubbing him “Hacksaw” Butch Reed. Simmons blades. More boring offense
from Reed. Simmons takes about 10 minutes of punches and kicks. Why
would Reed still have the “D” on his boots? At least Ron Simmons moved
on with his life. Simmons makes the superbro comeback, but Long tosses
an international object into the ring. Reed spends too much time jawing
with the referee, and Simmons catches him with the spinebuster for the
win at 9:39. Yawn. 1/2*
– WCW World tag team titles: The Steiner Brothers v. Sting & Lex Luger.
There was no real build to this match — Sting and Luger basically just
asked for a title shot at one point. Luger and Rick start out slow, but
it builds fast once Luger no-sells a Steinerline. Rick blitzes him with
a pair of suplexes and a clothesline, but Luger responds with his own.
The crowd is torn. Sting’s turn, as he clotheslines Rick out of the ring
and hits a gorgeous running tope. Sting does Rick’s own
body-vice-into-the-corner ramming move on him, but the Stinger splash
misses. Scott in with a butterfly powerbomb to a huge pop. Tilt-a-whirl
and the crowd is going nuts. Sting reverses a whip into a stungun and
Luger’s in. Another quick tag to Sting, but Scott with an atomic drop
and a belly-to-belly superplex for two. Over to the other corner, but
Scott misses a charge and goes over the top rope. Luger tags in and
suplexes him in for two. Scott blocks a powerslam with a uranage, but
Lex comes back with the powerslam. He goes for the rack, but Scott
counters to a russian legsweep. Rick tags in and comes off the top with
the bulldog and an elbowdrop for two. Sting dropkicks Rick off the top
rope and a brawl erupts. Luger and Rick do the double knockout. Sting
and Scott get the hot tags and Sting hits a belly to back on Scott. They
do the tombstone reversal spot and Sting gets it. Two count. Another
brawl erupts as Rick and Luger fight outside. Sting with the Stinger
splash on Scott…but Nikita Koloff skulks to ringside with a chain
wrapped around his arm. He swings at Luger but Sting pushes him out of
the way and takes the shot himself, falling prey to a Scott Steiner pin
at 11:09 to retain the titles. Ab fab. ***** A great match with a great
angle, great intensity, and completely non-formula.
– World TV title match: Arn Anderson v. Bobby Eaton. They trade
headlocks to start as Eaton has morphed into a babyface since the last
PPV. Arn gets a cheapshot but Eaton with a clothesline out of the corner
and move #103 (arm-BAR). Eaton to the top but Anderson slams him onto
the rampway. Eaton reverses a piledriver on the ramp to a backdrop.
Eaton with a double-axehandle on Anderson as he comes into the ring.
Eaton mixes it up with move #949 (ARM-bar). A AA cheapshot and posting
turns the tide. He applies a leglock and holds the ropes for leverage.
Although the way he has it applied, the ropes wouldn’t really help much.
Eaton breaks free and rams Arn to each turnbuckle 8 or 9 times each.
Another cheapshot allows Arn to go to work on the knee again. Eaton
tries a suplex but the knee gives way. They trade shots and Arn goes for
the pump splash but Eaton gets the knees up. Spinebuster gets two.
Anderson to the second rope and he gets a shot in the gut, of course,
and does the somersault sell. Eaton with the neckbreaker, and he goes to
the top for the Alabama Jam to win the World TV title at 11:50, his
first and only singles title. It would last about a week before he
dropped it to Steve Austin. Eaton is so happy that he hugs Nick Patrick
while taking the belt. Eaton and Anderson must have like working
together, because they went on to win the WCW World tag team titles in
early 1992. ***1/4
– WCW World title match: Ric Flair v. Tatsumi Fujinami. This was
actually a match to settle a dispute between NWA World champion Fujinami
and WCW World champion Ric Flair after Fujinami pinned Flair for the NWA
title in Japan and WCW refused to recognize it. Flair isn’t using “Also
Sprach Zarathustra” here for some reason. Tiger Hatori is the in-ring
ref, and Fonzie is the backup outside. They trade some stuff to start
and Fujinami ends up with the first advantage with a bow-and-arrow. Then
a Boston Crab. And an indian deathlock. Geez, this is rather 20 years
ago. Fujinami gets two off a flying forearm. Another one sends Flair
over the top to the floor. They fight a bit and Flair ends up crotching
Fujinami on the STEEL railing. Flair tosses him in and goes to work on
the knee. Figure-four but Fujinami makes the ropes. Fujinami gets a
scorpion deathlock but Flair makes the ropes. Belly to back gets two.
Flair with his own, followed by the kneedrop. They do some headlock
stuff and then fight outside, where Flair blades. Fujinami with chops on
Flair back in the ring. Flair to the top, but Fujinami slams him off and
puts on a modified abdominal stretch. Slugfest, which leads to the
inevitable Flair Flop, and a double knockout which leaves Fujinami on
the floor and Flair on the ramp. Back in and Flair’s knee gives out on a
slam for a Fujinami two. Small package for two. Fujinami with a rollup,
but Tiger Hatori gets bumped. Luckily Bill Alfonso is there to count
Flair’s reversal for three at 18:39. The WCW and NWA title are thus
reunified. And everyone who cared was pretty much sitting at the
broadcaster’s table. Off night for both guys. **3/4
The Bottom Line: Well, the first couple of hours was pathetic crap, but
everything from the tag titles on was great. Not a must-see show, but
definitely check out the tag title match.