Good show last week, bolstered by the Naitch, so let’s see if it’s more of the same this week.
Hosted by Jim Ross and Bob Caudle, green-screened in front of a muted crowd.
Lex Luger vs. Jim Corbett
Corbett looks like the kind of guy who would’ve had a biker gimmick just by wearing a choker, fingerless gloves and a jacket, no bike. He’s at least less of a gurning lump than what Lex had to work with last week. Feels weird seeing Package in his black Nitro look in ’91, I always think of him in the bright blue at this point. Some pretty uninteresting mat wrestling is punctuated by a suplex and some elbows. Powerslam finishes. Merely alright, but Luger was over like Rover here. The Greatest…
Jim talks to a breathless Lex about the El Gigante/Ric Flair feud and War Games before finally getting to his match with Dan Spivey, but he’s not got much material to work with so just flexes to finish.
Doom vs. Tommy Angel and Harry Bronson
An insert promo has them still targeting the Horsemen, with Butch doing all the talking. Ron back suplexes Angel to begin with and bounces his head off the mat. Reed in with a clothesline as Jim and Bob make up stories to cover Teddy Long’s suspension. Bronson in, who Ron gets a press slam drop down into a battering ram on. Reed in with the piledriver. Bronson is pretty animated with his selling of that and assorted blows. Jim talks about how new manager Diamond Dallas Page has lined up a mystery team to meet the champs, which would be revealed very soon. Ron finishes Bronson off with the spinebuster and then attacks him after the bell in a far more heelish way than he’s been in recent weeks. The Greatest…
The Steiner Brothers vs. Cruel Connection and the Italian Stallion
What did Stallion do to get put on heel jobber duty? This isn’t a handicap match, it’s just one half of the Cruel Connection. Stallion tries to pepper Scott with some forearms, but Scott powerslams him to get him tagging out. CC tries to do some goofy posing, so Rick comes in and tries to bite him. CC does his own barking, and a closeup pretty much confirms it’s George South. Rick gets into running the ropes back and forth and then throws in a Steinerline while he’s laughing at him. Both brothers fuck with him by pulling his mask off and turning it around. Blinded, Rick gets him up for the belly-to-belly off the second ropes for the win. The Greatest…
The Z-Man vs. Chuck Coates
Never got the music with Jimmy Garvin’s “Yeah, yeah, yeah!” quote over it being Zenk’s music. And Bob brings up that Arn has got the TV title back to kill that mini-push. Plus, a special feature in the next hour on the American Dream and Bob continues his man-crush on El Gigante. Zenk gets a rebound cross body off the second that actually hits because it’s not Brian Lee for two. Pretty boring stuff, so even the heel-turned Terry Taylor and some George Bush talk fills the time. A messy, messy, messy criss-cross and leapfrog routine ends with Tom doing a low leapfrog to land with his dong in Coates’ face. Superkick and missile dropkick to end. Shit match. Because WCW.
A look at the Gigante/Flair feud, with footage from another show with Lance Russell talking to Dave Sierra as Gigante’s interpreter. He’s such a lisping mushmouth that he’s unintelligible to begin with, so Gigante comes down and does his one line to Flair in the ring. Nature Boy gets a naughty swear in by telling him to not let his mouth overload his ass, then slaps him from the elevated position. Gigante comes in and fends off any shots before choking him out. The Lightning Express and Terry Taylor of all people finally manage to wrench him off. The plan Ric had was to get Gigante to suplex him for the impress visual, but he couldn’t even manage that, hence why they were moving onto boring Japanese controversy feuds soon after.
The Danger Zone with Ric Flair. Paul E kisses the champ’s hand and takes the knee upon his arrival in a great bit, which is particularly funny when it’s known these two didn’t really like each other. Naitch reminds us that he coined many phrases over the years, including “Diamonds are forever, and so is Ric Flair!”. He then runs through a few more and cribs “the Real Deal” from Evander Holyfield.
The Fabulous Freebirds vs. Dave Johnson and Bob Holley
Misspelt, but it’s Hardcore Holly with a blonde mullet and green tights and a black singlet in his jobber days. Johnson actually gets the better of Jimmy Jam first, so Hayes comes in and promises to be fair. Jim and Bob pour scorn on that, but he actually does wrestle clean! And have we told you yet about the interview with Dusty Rhodes coming up? Only three times? Well, here’s another. Garvin tags back in for multiple slams on the much bigger Dave Johnson, so Holley tags in with Jim immediately giving him a verbal blow job. Nice dropkick, but he whiffs on a second. I know that they’ve talked about Paul Bearer getting him his Sparky Plugg job, but did JR play a part in him. He runs into a Hayes left after an initial volley. Garvin with a clothesline after Michael surveys the crowd about wanting to see a DDT. Holley tries a small package, but Garvin gets a rare block by holding the ropes to avoid going down. Reminds me that I’ve never seen anyone do the old THQ N64 wrestling small package reversal in real life, where the defender stays standing and breaks the roll with a stomp. Going a bit long now, as Garvin works the arm. Maybe someone told them they wanted to give Sparky a look and to test him out. As I type that, Hayes finishes him off with the DDT. Nice to see a later star in their early days. The Greatest…
And at the top of the second hour, here’s that interview conducted by Gordon Solie with Dusty Rhodes, at the Omni, “the house that Rhodes built”. Clip from Starrcade ’86 of Dusty beating on Tully Blanchard in a match he actually lost. But people just can’t get over why Dusty retired, says the Dean. Why? WHY?! Dusty admits injuries have caught up with him, but he’s still a young man with things he wants to do. He’s 45, so I guess with myself turning 40 in a fortnight that I’ve got five left as a young man too. He’s going to be a commentator and ambassador now. Why not president too, Big Dust? He does concede that wrestlers now are bigger, tougher, stronger, uglier and faster, but he and Dick Murdoch were some of those too. Then a brief introduction to Dustin Rhodes, which is surprisingly subtle for the Dream. I love Dusty, but why so much time on a guy who now was switching to the mic?
Tommy Rich vs. Mark Kyle
Kyle can’t keep his feet still for some reason. Check his nose. Or it could just be general exposure fumes off Wildfire. Nothing much happening, although Tommy lets Kyle gets his shots in. Tommy misses a dropkick so that Mark can miss an elbow and fall to the Thesz press. “Tommy wins it THAT quick!” after five minutes of talking about everything but the match. Because WCW.
Missy Hyatt talks to Terry Taylor after looking at a clip of his with Z-Man that went to a draw and Taylor slapped him after an attempt at a handshake. So, we’re just not bothering with him being a member of the York Foundation at this point, then? Zenk, who sounds like the most insincere guy in the world as a good guy, comes out to threaten him, then Taylor saves the badmouth until he’s out of earshot.
Ricky Morton vs. Bill Ford
Ford is shaped and walks like the Kool-Aid Man. How come Ricky’s “knocking on the door” punches never get brought up as a weak spot in his game? What’s with all the dull babyface matches this week? The show is dying for Sid to come out and kill someone in under a minute. Roll-up off a blind charge for the win for Ricky. When you’re finishing jobbers without an established finisher it’s a sign of things not being right in the world. Because WCW.
El Gigante vs. Joe Kazana
What was with Gigante’s weird seventies prog rock music? The Nature Boy comes out to join Jim and Bob on commentary. Flair is pretty subdued compared to earlier. Kazana was the grandson of Knoxville wrestling promoter John Kazana. He gets up for a Gigante slam, which even with a guy that big doesn’t look impressive, and he can’t get his big boot up past Kazana’s shoulder. Claw finishes with the pin. Really weird dynamic with Gigante looking more like a heel and Ric putting him over like that on commentary. Because WCW.
The Master Blaster vs. David Isley
Pretty interesting, as it’s repackage number one for Big Sexy, with his mohawk mullet cut shorter, the sides grown out, no more “oil” or grease stains on him, and black tights with his name in pink down the sides, plus no mention of him being the Steel half of the team. Nash was guilty of “wrestling down” for the first three years or so, not taking advantage of his size until he had guys like Shawn and Razor reminding him that he was a monster and shouldn’t be doing anything that guys much smaller would be doing or taking. Who would’ve thought that would make sense, hey? Nash kinda backed into the success in the nineties that Sid should’ve had. He does some pretty awful stuff at this time, looking green as grass. Even a swinging full nelson, that could’ve been a finish, is abandoned within seconds. Shoulder block finishes. He wrestled at this point like a guy who’d been given a list of moves that he knew how to do but zero presence or linking between them. Oz was actually an improvement from this. Because WCW.
Some more footage of the badly-commentated in post Hansen/Vader match from Japan for some reason. Not even like a match featuring either was next up. Because WCW.
The Lightning Express and Allen Iron Eagle vs. Arn Anderson, Barry Windham and Sid Vicious
Jim was so impressed with last week’s tag match that we’re getting it again with extra added Sid and JOE GOMEZ! Let’s hope there’s no incongruous Doom run-in this week. Arn firing Sid up is weird considering what happened later with those two. Arn can’t get an advantage with Brad to start. I have to wonder how hot it was in there, because they’re sweating off the lockup. BW tags in but struggles as well. Horner gets the advantage over him. Iron Eagle comes in, doubtless to fuck it up. Dropkicks and an armdrag five minutes in. Arn and Horner back in. Nice dropkick to Arn. The veterans are obviously keen to put their buddies over, but they finally unleash Sid, who catches Horner like a baby and sits him on the top rope. Advantage regained, Arn comes back in. That’s obviously pretty smart to limit his involvement given how green he was as well as impressive in short bursts. Barry’s back in with an equally nice dropkick. Sid comes back in to maul Horner with a neck vice and bearhug. Horner bites the forehead to break. Barry lariats him to halt that comeback, but Horner tags out to Gomez, who’s immediately cut off by Arn. TV time is almost out, which makes me wonder where they’re going with this. Sid proto-chokeslams him, when that move didn’t even see the guy taking it really getting lifted. Arn calls time on it all, and Sid powerbombs him with an assist from Windham. Weird, but not bad. The Greatest…
Melting it down: A bit of a chore this week, with all the dull matches. Needed more heels on show. Just not a rookie Diesel.