Live from Atlanta, GA
Airdate: May 23, 1993
Attendance: 7,008 (3,722 paid)
Hosted by Tony Schiavone and the “Living Legend” Larry Zbyszko
Can Smith derail the freight train that is WCW World champion Vader? How will Arn fare against NWA World champion Windham? Quién son los Dos Hombres? Will they defeat the Hollywood Blondes? Let’s find out!
In case you’re curious, I reflected upon this show on 12/11/2012. I hope you enjoy my current reflection as I get to invest my time into this show again.
As the PPV begins, numerous legends who were introduced prior to airtime stand in the ring. According to Schiavone, Jesse “The Body” Ventura is in the hospital due to a blood clot.
Maxx Payne then plays “Norma Jean” while a chariot carried by several prospective wrestlers gets carted onto the ramp. The Fabulous Moolah emerges. Although I love me some metal guitar work, Payne’s jam coupled with Moolah’s grand entrance seemed like a waste of time.According to Eric Bischoff, the Prisoner will replace Scott Norton while the lights go out. Perhaps Norton sought some pancakes instead of a payoff from WCW.
Match 1: The “Crippler” Chris Benoit & “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton versus 2 Cold Scorpio & Marcus Alexander Bagwell
- After Scorpio got the best of him, Benoit baited Bagwell to distract referee Nick Patrick.
- He and Eaton then attempted a double-team, but Scorpio leaped from the second turnbuckle and hit a cross body block on Benoit for 2.
- When tags were exchanged on both sides, Bagwell mounted the second turnbuckle and lowered the boom on Eaton.
- Benoit then put a knee into Bagwell’s back, but heel miscommunication caused Eaton to get backdropped over the top rope to the floor.
- As Bagwell brought Benoit in the hard way, the babyfaces gave Benoit a double Irish whip into Eaton on the apron.
- While Benoit distracted Patrick, Eaton tossed Bagwell over the top rope to the floor. SNEAKY!
- Upon Bagwell’s return, Eaton slammed him, mounted the top turnbuckle, and delivered a flying knee drop.
- Benoit tagged in and clotheslined Bagwell.
- When he slammed Bagwell, Benoit mounted the second turnbuckle and hit a flying leg drop for 2.
- Eaton tagged in and baited Scorpio to distract Patrick so that Benoit could give Bagwell the business. How dastardly!
- As Benoit tagged in, he gave Bagwell a belly-to-back suplex for another 2.
- He then applied an Eaton-assisted figure-four head lock behind Patrick’s back. Fiendish!
- After Benoit delivered a swinging neckbreaker to Bagwell, he got 2.
- He then slammed Bagwell, mounted the top turnbuckle, but ate knees on a splash attempt.
- Hot tag Scorpio.
- With all four wrestlers in the ring, Scorpio backdropped Benoit, mounted the top turnbuckle, and hit a corkscrew splash for 2.
- Further heel miscommunication caused Benoit to drop to the mat; thus, Scorpio remounted the top turnbuckle and delivered the Tumbleweed.
- Scorpio and Bagwell won.
Summary: Decent opener that showcased Scorpio’s high-flying and Bagwell’s selling.
Match 2: “Heavy Metal” Van Hammer versus ???? (w/ Col. Rob Parker)
- After Hammer made his entrance, Parker came to the ring, addressed Hammer, and requested a stretcher brought to ringside.
- Who’s Parker’s newest protégé? Could this be the return of…
- Nope, Parker introduced Sid Vicious making his return to WCW after two years. To say he was over with the Atlanta faithful would be putting it mildly.
- Sid clotheslined Hammer and followed with a powerbomb.
- Sid won.
Summary: Demonstrative return for Sid much to the delight of the Atlanta faithful.
On the podium, Bischoff interviews Red Bastien and Bugsy McGraw who praises Sid. I truly anticipated Bugsy dowsing Bischoff with a water balloon.
Match 3 (legends/six-man): “Chief” Wahoo McDaniel, Blackjack Mulligan, & “Jumping” Jim Brunzell versus “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka, Don Muraco, & “Captain Redneck” Dick Murdoch
- Are you ready for a legends match? I hope so, ‘cuz here it is…
- Mulligan hip-tossed him, but Murdoch recovered with an elbow drop for 2.
- As tags were exchanged on both sides, McDaniel slammed Muraco twice.
- Murdoch tagged in but rightfully lost a battle of chops with McDaniel.
- When Brunzell tagged in, he dropkicked Murdoch.
- Speaking of Murdoch, he recovered with a hip toss and a flying headscissors,. Holy high-flying Texicans, Batman!
- Brunzell then hooked a sleeper, but Murdoch backed him into his corner.
- After Muraco tagged in, he powerslammed Brunzell and followed with a pair of leg drops.
- A false tag occurred, but Muraco mistakenly nailed Snuka instead of Brunzell.
- As Murdoch tagged in, he delivered a swinging neckbreaker to Brunzell for 2.
- He then gave Brunzell a cross corner whip, stumbled to the top turnbuckle, and drove him down to the mat.
- When he hit an elbow drop, Murdoch only got a 1-count.
- Muraco tagged in, but Brunzell executed a cross body block for 2.
- After Snuka tagged in, he slammed Brunzell but missed a diving head butt.
- Brunzell then secured an inside cradle for 2.
- As Snuka inadvertently chopped Muraco, McDaniel rolled him up for 2.
- All six legends were in the ring, and referee Randy Anderson couldn’t control the chaos.
- When he threw the match out, the result was a double disqualification.
Summary: While Murdoch was game to destroy and Brunzell to sell, the rest of the match was pedestrian which the Atlanta faithful took as an opportunity to grab some popcorn.
After the match, the legends brawl while Mulligan makes Murdoch HIT THE POLE. Meanwhile, McDaniel chops Snuka so hard that he lands in the fifth row. Now THAT’S selling!
Missy Hyatt interviews Mad Dog Vachon and the Assassin. When Hyatt tries to cut him off, Vachon allegedly threatens to sick his niece on her. Seriously, Assassin challenges the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes to a match. Someone boot up the time machine please!
Match 4 (legends): “Bullet” Bob Armstrong & Thunderbolt Patterson versus Baron Von Raschke & the “Russian Bear” Ivan Koloff
- Due to injury, Bob couldn’t appear so Patterson threatened to kick both Raschke and Koloff’s asses by himself rather eloquently. The Atlanta faithful immediately got behind Thunderbolt.
- Koloff responded by insulting all Armstrongs, so Brad performed on his father’s behalf.
- When a pier-six brawl broke out, Brad backdropped Koloff.
- Tags were exchanged on both sides as Brad mounted the second turnbuckle and lowered the boom on Koloff.
- While the announcers reminisced about Koloff’s shocking victory over Bruno Sammartino at Madison Square Garden, the heels gave Brad a double back elbow.
- Raschke then applied the claw to Brad, but Patterson made the save.
- After tags were exchanged on both sides again, the babyfaces rammed the heels together, and Brad gave Koloff the ten-punch count-along.
- In the meantime, Patterson DEMOLISHED Raschke with a double thrust to the throat.
- Patterson and Brad won.
Summary: Patterson had the Atlanta faithful in his back pocket, but the action didn’t lend itself in his favor until the very end.
A FLAIR FOR THE GOLD: ” Nature Boy” Ric Flair makes Fifi the Maid “walk that aisle” and follows with Arn’s intro. After Arn cuts a promo on Windham, Flair drops the bad news that Tully Blanchard won’t appear tonight. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Regardless, Flair presents Ole Anderson, a.k.a. head booker, who dismisses Blanchard. Next, he introduces the NEWEST Horseman–” Pretty” Paul Roma.
OK, this has to be a rib.
In case it isn’t, Roma walks onto the set and accepts his role as gopher. Flair then cuts a promo on the Hollywood Blonds.
HOT TAKE: The look on Arn’s face was priceless. While Ole looked like he just struck gold, Arn must have contemplated getting some rope for him. I understand that Roma worked on the cheap, but making the Horsemen look like cubic zirconia was a bad idea.
Promo airs for Beach Blash ‘93. It will be LIVE on PPV on 7/18. Order NOW!
Match 5 (legends): Nick Bockwinkel (w/ Verne Gagne) versus Dory Funk, Jr. (w/ Gene Kiniski)
- Johnny Valentine joined the broadcast team for this match.
- While Zbyszko credited himself as the FINAL AWA World champion, he also claimed to retire Bockwinkel, Hey, Larry, shut up, and go find a golf course.
- After a series of European uppercuts, Funk got a 1-count.
- He then countered a side head lock with a belly-to-back suplex for anothe 1-count.
- As three minutes remained and the Atlanta faithful grew restless, Funk knocked Bockwinkell silly as well as to the ramp.
- He then suplexed Bockwinkel back into the ring for 2.
- When he piledrove Bockwinkel, Funk only got a 1-count thanks to a foot on the ropes.
- He then attempted a double underhook suplex, but Bockwinkel countered with a backslide for 2.
- With a minute remaining, Funk applied a spinning toe hold, but Bockwinkel countered with an inside cradle for another 2.
- He then secured a figure-four leg lock, but Funk made the ropes. Although Kiniski came into the ring to interfere, referee Mike Adkins didn’t call for a DQ.
- After Bockwinkel slammed Funk, he couldn’t get 3.
- Funk then hooked an inside cradle, but time ran out.
- As a result, Adkins ruled the match a time-limit draw.
Summary: Great mat wrestling, but nothing that would make a crowd from 1993 leave its seat. Nonetheless, they appreciated the effort by applauding both wrestlers afterward.
Bischoff then interviews former six-time NWA World champion Lou Thesz and former NWA President Bob Geigel.
Match 6: WCW US champion “Ravishing” Rick Rude & WCW World TV champion “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff versus the “Natural” Dustin Rhodes & Kensuke Sasaki
- As of this show, Rude maintained the US title despite the controversial match against Rhodes. Also, Orndorff was wrestling with a severe groin injury.
- Believe it or not, Schiavone acknowledged Sasaki’s tag-team involvement with Road Warrior Hawk as the Hell Raisers.
- When Rhodes backdropped him, he gave Rude a cross corner whip but ate knee on his follow-through.
- Rude then whipped Rhodes into the corner but ate knee as well.
- Upon attempting a cross body block, Rhodes launched himself over the top rope because Rude ducked.
- Rude then joined and rammed Rhodes face-first into the apron while Orndorff made Rhodes taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Dixie Style burger at the Grindhouse.
- As Orndorff returned Rhodes to the ring, Rude delivered a swinging neckbreaker to Rhodes for 2.
- Orndorff tagged in and hit a back elbow to Rhodes.
- When Rude tagged in, he attempted a tombstone piledriver, but Rhodes reversed and hit it for 2 to a tremendous response from the Atlanta faithful.
- Orndorff tagged in, gave Rhodes a cross corner whip, but a mid-ring collision occurred.
- After tags were exchanged on both sides, Sasaki mounted the second turnbuckle and clotheslined Rude.
- He then gave Rude an inverted atomic drop, mimicked him, and delivered a clothesline.
- As all four wrestlers were in the ring, Sasaki mounted the top turnbuckle, but Orndorff shoved him down to the mat.
- Rude then hit the Rude Awakening and pinned Sasaki.
- As a result, Rude and Orndorff won.
Summary: The Atlanta faithful got behind Rhodes, but the heels got the victory.
WCW HALL OF FAME: The “Dean” of announcing Gordon Solie welcomes us to the event and stops to acknowledge those who belong but could not attend: “Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers, Andre the Giant, Pat O’Conner, Gene Anderson, and Dick the Bruiser.
Next, he inducts Lou Thesz. Verne Gagne, and Mr. Wrestling II. Interestingly, Solie points out that Mr. Wrestling II was invited to President Jimmy Carter’s inauguration. Despite the honor, Mr. Wrestling II declined because he refused to be seen without his mask. That earns a thumbs-up from me. Next, Solie inducts the late Eddie Graham, and his son Mike accepts on his behalf.
Hyatt then interviews Lord James Blears and John Tolos.
Match 7: Sting versus the Prisoner
- As mentioned earlier, Prisoner replaced Norton. Due to WCW’s booking ineptitude, they didn’t give Norton the proper respect due to his standing within New Japan Pro Wrestling; hence, he forewent their $2000 payoff and bolted.
- Sardonically, Prisoner was introduced from Green Bay, WI. HA!
- While the Atlanta faithful chanted “bull-shit,” Prisoner delivered a back elbow.
- He then gave Sting a cross corner whip and followed with a backbreaker for 2.
- Upon giving Sting another cross corner whip, Prisoner came up empty on his follow-through.
- He then tossed Sting to the floor, joined, and choked him with a cord.
- When he hanged Sting with the cord, Prisoner rammed him face-first into the apron twice.
- Back in the ring, Prisoner gave Sting another cross corner whip and followed with a knee to the midsection.
- Sting then clotheslined Prisoner for a 1-count.
- After he backdropped Prisoner, Sting gave Prisoner a cross corner whip and a Stinger splash for 2.
- He then slammed Prisoner but missed an elbow drop.
- As Prisoner turned his attention to referee Nick Patrick, Sting mounted the top turnbuckle.
- Sting then hit a flying clothesline and pinned Prisoner.
Summary: What a waste of an opportunity. Kevin Wacholz could have stuck it to the WWF with a solid try-out against their rival’s top babyface, but he blew it. Waste of Sting too, I guess.
Promo #2 for Beach Blast ‘93 airs.
Bischoff then interviews the Crusher and Ox Baker. Unfortunately for Bischoff, Baker has WAY too much love for him. It must have been VERY cold in MInnesota in 1991.
Match 8 for the NWA/WCW World tag team titles: The Hollywood Blonds (champions) versus Dos Hombres
- Wait a minute! How’d the Blondes win the titles (aired 3/27, taped 3/2)?https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=ZAqxi0c7g4k
- Earlier in the week, Shane Douglas was given notice that his contract would not be renewed at the same rate; therefore, Tom Zenk, who received the same notice, substituted in his place.
- Before the bell rang, Barry Bloom and Mitch Ackerman were shown in attendance. I smell Disney money.
- Pillman attempted to ram him into the cage, but Steamboat blocked it.
- When tags were exchanged on both sides, Zenk mounted the top turnbuckle and lowered the boom on Austin.
- He then rammed the back of Austin’s head against the cage and tagged in Steamboat.
- As Steamboat tagged in, he mounted the top turnbuckle and lowered the boom on Austin.
- He then backdropped Austin against the ropes and followed with an atomic drop into the cage.
- After Steamboat tossed Austin into the cage, Zenk tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, and lowered even more boom upon Austin.
- Pillman tagged in, but Zenk reversed a cross corner whip. While Pillman mounted the second turnbuckle and leaped, Zenk nailed him in the midsection.
- When Steamboat tagged in, he reversed an Irish whip, gorilla-pressed Pillman, and tossed him into the cage.
- Austin tagged in, but Steamboat suplexed him against the cage and mocked him.
- As Zenk tagged in, he reversed an Irish whip from Steamboat, but a cross body block into Austin went awry.
- Pilllman tagged in and delivered a jawbreaker to Zenk.
- After Austin tagged in, he hit a back elbow to Zenk.
- He then mounted the second turnbuckle and gave Zenk a flying elbow smash for 2.
- When Austin caused Steamboat to distract referee Mike Adkins, PIllman choked Zenk with a towel. Devious!
- Pillman tagged in, mounted the second turnbuckle, leaped, but ate boot.
- As Austin tagged in, Zenk dropkicked him.
- He then attempted to tag out, but Austin caught him and delivered a spinebuster.
- After Pillman tagged in, he mounted the top turnbuckle, leaped, but a Rocket Launcher hit knees.
- Hot tag Steamboat.
- When he rammed Austin into the cage, Steamboat gave an incoming PIllman a taste of the same medicine.
- Austin then tried to escape, but Steamboat ensured a full moon rose above Atlanta that night.
- As he gave Austin an electric chair, Steamboat crotched Pillman on the top rope.
- He then gave the Blonds a double noggin knocker, and all four wrestlers were in the ring.
- After the babyfaces delivered stereo ten-punch count-alongs, they whipped the Blonds into one another.
- Steamboat then mounted the top turnbuckle and removed his mask to a raucous ovation.
- When he climbed to the top of the cage, Steamboat hit a double cross body block on the Blonds for 2. Air traffic control should have been alerted on that one.
- Nevertheless, the bell rang by mistake, yet Steamboat gave Austin a DDT.
- While Adkins informed the timekeeper that he only counted 2, Steamboat earned a false pin on Austin.
- He then delivered a DDT to Pillman for 2.
- As Dos Hombres double-dropkicked the Blonds, they only got 2.
- They then tried to whip the Blonds into each other again, but Austin hit a stungun on Zenk.
- After Pillman gave Steamboat a DDT, Austin pinned Zenk.
- The Blonds retained.
Summary: Absolutely fantastic tag match that told a great story, had plenty of drama, contained serious amounts of workrate and high-flying, and kept the Atlanta faithful on the edge of its seat. Bravo, gentlemen!
Bischoff then interviews Dusty Rhodes, Stu Hart, and Mr. Wrestling II. As Dusty answers the challenge from the Assassin, he doesn’t hesitate to mention his “big ass.” Hart then touts Smith on his challenge for the WCW World title tonight.
Match 9 for the NWA World title: The “Lone Wolf” Barry Windham (champion) versus the “Enforcer” Arn Anderson
- Windham leap-frogged him, but Arn responded with a belly-to-belly suplex for 2.
- As he reversed a cross corner whip, Arn backdropped Windham for another 2.
- He then gave Windham a DDT but couldn’t get 3.
- With Arn on the apron, Windham tried to ram him into the top turnbuckle but ate it himself.
- Arn then mounted the second turnbuckle, leaped, but received a clothesline.
- When Windham delivered an implant DDT, he followed with an elbow drop for 2.
- He then tossed Arn to the floor, joined, and hit a back elbow.
- With Arn on the apron, Windham attempted to bring him in the hard way, but Arn reversed the momentum to send Windham to the floor.
- He then made Windham taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Southpaw at Braves Grill.
- Consequently, Windham was BUSTED OPEN.
- Back in the ring, Arn hooked an inside cradle for 2.
- He then gave Windham a knee drop, mounted the top turnbuckle, but Windham dropkicked him to the floor.
- After Windham joined him on the floor, he suplexed Arn.
- GET OUT THE SPATULA!
- Somehow, Arn returned to the ring, yet Windham mounted the top turnbuckle and delivered a lariat.
- He then hit a knee drop for 2.
- As Arn tried to rebound with a suplex, Windham blocked it and gave Arn one of his own for another 2.
- Arn then reversed an Irish whip and delivered a SPINEBUSTER.
- When Windham grabbed the title belt, he headed toward the locker room.
- Arn then tossed referee Randy Anderson down and sauntered after Windham.
- After he tossed Windham back into the ring, Arn shoved Anderson down again.
- C’mon, Arn, you’re blowing your opportunity here.
- As Arn showed remorse for his actions, Windham retrieved the title belt and CLOBBERED him with it. The scoundrel!
- Windham retained.
Summary: Although Arn had a fighter’s chance, Windham used his heel mannerisms to thwart Arn’s opportunity. Really good match with that old-school NWA flavor to it.
Match 10 for the WCW World title: Big Van Vader (champion w/ Harley Race) versus the “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith
- Despite retaining the WCW World title, Vader had a pair of matches against Cactus Jack worth remembering.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PE_JOo3JNVc
- Vader gave Smith a running body block, but it didn’t take him off his feet.
- When Vader knocked Smith out of the ring, he distracted referee Nick Patrick.
- Concurrently, Race nailed Smith on the floor. Malicious!
- Vader then joined Smith on the floor, charged, missed, and hit the steel railing head-on. OUCH!
- As Smith hoisted him over the steel railing, he slammed Vader on the floor. Impressive!
- Back in the ring, Smith delivered a delayed vertical suplex, charged at Vader in the corner, but ate boot.
- Vader then mounted the second turnbuckle, leaped, but Smith powerslammed him.
- After he clotheslined Vader over the top rope to the floor, Smith attempted a crucifix.
- On the other hand, Vader countered with a Samoan drop.
- While the Atlanta faithful chanted “Whoop, there it is,” Vader mounted the second turnbuckle and hit a Vader bomb for 2.
- He then slammed Smith, mounted the second turnbuckle, and gave him a flying body block.
- When he placed Smith atop the top turnbuckle, Vader joined and attempted a superplex.
- Smith blocked it and delivered a front suplex sending Vader down to the mat.
- As he mounted the top turnbuckle, Smith hit a diving head butt.
- He then countered a side head lock with an atomic drop for 2.
- After Vader rebounded with a clothesline, Smith hooked a sunset flip yet avoided getting SQUISHED.
- When Vader mounted the top turnbuckle, he splashed Smith but hurt himself in the process. While it was good selling on Vader’s part, he came in to the match with a cracked rib.
- Notwithstanding, he tossed Smith to the floor and distracted Patrick again.
- Meanwhile, on the floor, Race gave Smith a knee drop. Villainous!
- Vader then slammed Smith again and successfully SQUISHED him
- As Smith countered a rear chin lock with an electric chair, he clotheslined Vader twice for 2.
- Vader then reversed a cross corner whip, charged, but Smith caught him.
- After Smith powerslammed him, he only got 2 thanks to interference from Race.
- Speaking of Race, he nailed Smith to no effect, so Smith powerslammed him on the floor.
- In the meantime, Vader grabbed a chair and CROWNED Smith with it.
- Patrick then called for the bell disqualifying Vader.
- As a result, Smith won, yet Vader retained.
Summary: As world champion, Vader did his job making Smith look like a million bucks; however, that finish stunk on Melba toast.
After the match, Vader returns Smith to the ring. Bagwell runs in to try to save Smith to no avail. When Scorpio hits the ring, Vader flapjacks him. Sting then comes to the ring, mounts the top turnbuckle, and clotheslines Vader to a HUGE pop.
Bischoff then interviews Magnum T.A. who should have remained a color commenator if only on a B show.
At ringside, Schiavone and Zbyszko interview Verne Gagne who’s impressed by the WCW wrestlers.
Conclusion: While nothing truly historical occurred, the last three matches are certainly worth your time. But be forewarned, the legends matches in the middle may cause drowsiness or irritability. Please consult your physician before watching. Also, you may want to fast-forward through the Flair for the Gold segment to avoid choking and/or unnecessary bowel distress.
Stay tuned for WWF Monday Night RAW 05-31-93!
Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202). Also, please check out all of my reflections at rockstargary.com.