The Nintendo Top Ten Challenge starts this week!
Coming up: The Taylor Made Man reverts back to Terry Taylor mode against Rick Rude!
Intro: Tony and Jesse preview how we’ll hear Nikita Koloff’s comments in an interview with Jim Ross. Jesse: “I don’t trust Koloff and I don’t trust Jim Ross, so I don’t believe NOTHING that’s gonna come out of that interview!”
Ron Simmons vs. Sonny Trout
Simmons was enjoying a steady push to the top at this point, reaching his singles peak by the summer. Trout would go on to be a member of jobber tag team the Southern Posse and is incredibly hairy. Trout tries to attack from behind but gets caught and dropkicked. Sidewalk slam finishes for Ron quickly. When people say sidewalk slam a lot of the time, they’re referring to the side suplex that Dino Bravo and Kevin Nash used, but this to me is the real sidewalk slam (spinebuster without the attacking wrestler dropping to their knees).
WCW Magazine (w/Eric Bischoff): So, WrestleWar, and Sting’s ribs. Eric went to visit Sting and he’s underplaying the injury, but taking time off to get ready. And what about Nikita? We’ll hear from him later.
Scotty Flamingo (w/JT Southern) vs. Joey Maggs
Someone must’ve realised how bad Southern was and demoted him already to second/manager. This is Raven’s debut on the big stage. He looks so much better and healthier at this point, even though he was already snorting up coke like a hoover by his own admittance. Scotty was a light heavyweight championship contender based on size and weight, but certainly not on moveset. Meatball Maggs tries a few moves to upset Scotty, but he finishes quickly with the piledriver. Nothing wrong with it, but it was JUST a debut.
Interview: Jesse’s handling this one, with Rick Rude and Madusa. Nice red dress for Dusy here. Rude tells Ricky Steamboat not to mistake his “sudden surge of testosterone” for a chance of winning his United States title, because he’s just not man enough to do it. Jesse approves.
Big Van Vader (w/Harley Race) vs. Carl Robertson and Steven Greene
New taping cycle in Augusta, Georgia (where Jesse claims he was a few weeks ago to assist Jack Nicklaus), so Harley is present now. Vader comes out to new music with lyrics, which I really liked, but it didn’t last long and was only really used on house shows after this set of tapings. Greene looks like he should’ve been somebody, a muscular black guy. Gorilla press into a clothesline on the ropes for Robertson, followed by a big splash. Greene runs into a clothesline, followed by chokeslams for both, then Vader piles them up and splashes them in one go. Shocker, Vader was allowed to get over by being complete dominant(!).
WCW Magazine: Let’s go back to Saturday Night, where Jim Ross (and Bill Fralic!) spoke to Nikita the pet cheetah. Nikita was only at Superbrawl to talk to Sting (about what a fraud Lex Luger was, in a neat bit of retconning), but the Dangerous Alliance came in first and interrupted that, hence why he came to help out when they attacked him. So, he’s still not had chance to talk to Sting, but does here – he’s sorry about what happened to him recently and will take his place in upcoming matches against Big Van Vader! I know Scott didn’t care for this much when he reviewed that particular episode, but I thought Koloff did a good job here of seeming sincere, but also building in enough stuff to make everyone doubt him.
Richard Morton and Young Pistol Tracy vs. Nikita Koloff and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
So, guys like Thomas Rich and Steve Armstrong had either been fired or quit, so you get mix-and-match teams like these two heels. Jesse believes what Paul E and Rick Rude told him about Ricky Steamboat, supposed family man, being a LUSTER!
Tony: “Oh yeah, I’m sure Arn Anderson and Beautiful Bobby and Stunning Steve and Zbyszko backed it up!”
Jesse: “How did you know that?! You weren’t there… how did you know that?!”
Tony: “I just assumed, thugs run together!”
Not much to the match, Nikita handles the heels with power and Steamboat freaks them out with martial arts (“Hawaiian” Bruce Lee martial arts trump Tracy’s redneck karate, I guess), then Nikita steamrolls Tracy off a blind tag with the Russian Sickle. Just a bit of promotion for them being together for WrestleWar, but both guys would team for quite a few months surprisingly.
Interview: Jesse interviews Scotty Flamingo, who runs through his rap and challenges Flyin’ Brian. Scotty offers a handshake that Jesse totally misses until he gives him a rub on the neck to point it out (Jesse: “Absolutely!”).
Ravishing Rick Rude (w/Madusa) vs. The Taylor Made Man
Number one versus number ten to start out the Nintendo Top Ten Challenge. Rude does his goofy deal of staring at Madusa’s arse before kissing the camera, which was always a funny bit. Tony bites on Jesse’s “He’s talking to you!” bit every time before Rude does his spiel. Rude’s wearing one of his pair of tights with a geisha girl on that he got for his AJPW tour in ’91. Taylor defaults to the babyface role for this match, but still does enough cheating to stay heel. Taylor works the arm as Rude grabs for the rope, so Taylor pushes it further away with his foot. Rude regains the advantage by taking the knee out and ramming it against the post. Tony and Jesse argue over Jesse’s point about announcers like Tony and JR never having felt pain.
Tony: “How do you know I’ve never felt any pain in my life?”
Jesse: “What, have you had a baby?!”
Tony: “I’ve gone to the dentist!”
Jesse: “Yeah, and you got plenty of novocaine!”
Swinging neckbreaker from Rude, which I always found an odd part of his arsenal given that the Rude Awakening is his finisher. Taylor attempts an atomic drop, but further injures the knee, and Rude finishes with aforementioned Rude Awakening for the pin. Match was fine, just super-accelerated, needed more time to approach being good.
WCW Magazine: Rundown of the matches for WrestleWar, with newly announced matches of Ron Simmons vs. Mr. Hughes (but using a shirtless picture of him as Big Cat), Junkyard Dog vs. Cactus Jack (both this match and the prior one were rebooked as a tag team match, then separated out again to just the former one when Jack attacked JYD before the match), and Johnny B Badd takes on Firebreaker Chip (replaced at the show by Tracy Smothers). EXCLUSIVELY on PPV!
Next week: Cactus Jack faces Ricky Steamboat in the next round of the Nintendo Top Ten Challenge. The only list Cacti is interested in the inactive list, which Ricky Steamboat is going to join next week! And the Dragon’s breathing fire! Might be lame, but promos for next week helped you get excited.
Conclusion: You realise just how well these old shows worked for having a format and using tricks that worked. 57 writers clutching their Emmy awards couldn’t match these!