WCW Saturday Night – Feb. 26, 1994
By Dave Newman on 10th September 2022
The short run of episodes and reviews comes to an end as the content uploaded to the Network has met an end for now, but Superbrawl IV is history, Ric Flair escaped the revenge of Vader, and newer, worse challenges are on the horizon for the Nature Boy, brother!
Speaking of revenge, Ricky Steamboat has that in mind for Vader after his attack on him a few weeks ago, delivering a promo after Tony and Bobby have opened it up. People forget that he incorporated some of his 1991 WWF outfit, the wings, into his attire after finishing up with Shane Douglas. They also use the musical part of Family Man as a bed underneath it.
Johnny B Badd vs. Bill Payne
Tony recaps that on Worldwide Johnny had an angle going where he teamed up with Michael P.S. Hayes and Hayes turned on him the weekend before the show, leading to an aborted match between them where Jimmy Garvin, with short hair and tattoos, was brought out of mothballs to be a substitute for the “injured” Hayes, although Michael didn’t have much more in him. Garvin actually used the Stone Cold Stunner in the post-match beatdown, funnily enough. As I type that, Johnny finishes with a crucifix of all things. Johnny would be in a bit of a limbo period until things picked up for him in the fall.
Brian Armstrong vs. Mongolian Mauler
It’s the D-O-double G, in trunks and boots, showing why wrestling covered up for the rest of his career was a good idea. Mauler’s still around, probably just to get some extra use out of him, but no Colonel Parker. Mauler, who Bobby misnames the Mongolian Stomper at one point, uses a sitdown splash to block a sunset flip and gets a nice clothesline, but takes forever to connect with a kneedrop. Brian gets mounted punches in the corner, but runs into a boot in the opposite corner. Abdullah the Butcher elbowdrop finishes. Mauler was just such a mismatch for this era.
Clips from Superbrawl of Rick Rude slamming the cage door into Sting’s head to renew their feud, which would ultimately lead to the end of Rude’s career. Also, the Boss tried to see justice served but got attacked by Vader in the main event, with Bobby again instinctively calling him “Boss Man”. I’d long forgotten that Harley Race took a typically great bump off a Vader flying clothesline and a Flair flip over the top. I’d also forgotten that Vader was wearing a strange, ugly t-shirt variant version of his gear.
The Nasty Boys and the Equalizer vs. Mike Winner, Pez Whatley and Sonny Rogers
Winner, a Portland stalwart and future Power Plant trainer of all things, looks like he’s stolen Scott Steiner’s gear. The Equalizer has gone in one week from growling bore to goof, which would become an important point. Pistol Pez gets his trademark dropkick on Sags, but is clotheslined off a wristlock. Missy Hyatt is still with the Nastys as this was recorded prior to her very nasty departure and subsequent lawsuit. It’s a clothesline for Sonny Rogers when he comes in. Equalizer tries to tag in, but Sags deliberately shuns him. Knobbs and Sags work over Rogers exclusively. Powerslam/flying elbowdrop combo finishes him off, with Sags almost going over Sonny on the finish. Bobby talks about how Equalizer reminds him of someone, with Tony namedropping Hulk Hogan separately.
Post-match, Gene speaks to the heels, with Equalizer trying to join in the fun until Knobbs and Sags just put the boots to him. This would end up being a very significant development, as Equalizer would bring in his “big brother” to back him up, revealing that he was dyslexic Dave/Evad Sullivan, the “little” brother of Kevin Sullivan, who of course on screen and off would be a significant part of WCW and its success to almost the very end.
Terra Ryzing vs. Larry Santo
Santo actually gets a musical intro too, a bit like Rocky. Terra is now spelt correctly, billed from Boston. Bobby continues the talking point of Hulk Hogan, who’s apparently on the cover of the WCW Magazine with Ric Flair, which would obviously lead to their match. Santo gets an early dropkick but whiffs on a second one. Flying elbow from Ryzing and a hooking clothesline. Suplex with a pec bounce, as Levesque is just a very different kind of wrestler at this point. Backbreaker sets up the inverted Indian deathlock. He was never going to set the world on fire as this or as a Frenchman, but you could tell he had something about him already.
The Patriot vs. Lord Steven Regal
Non-title match, just in case you want a spoiler. Regal starts out with some stiff-looking shots and won’t give Patriot an inch. Patriot catches a kick and throws his kicks in on Regal’s injured thigh and takes him down to the mat to worsen the punishment. Regal steps over a legsweep attempt and pounds Patriot down into a crossface. He misses the Regal Roll (somersault senton), so it’s back to attacking the leg. Boston crab attempt goes awry, with Patriot tumbling out. Back in, he walks into an elbow, with Regal going for a sunset flip, reversed into a cradle and a victory for the Patriot. Decent, if unspectacular, match.
After the match, Gene speaks to the Patriot about his victory and his hopes of becoming the TV champion. He was generally strong overall, but the thick South Carolina accent might’ve regionalised him a bit.
Cactus Jack and Maxx Payne vs. Ricky Santana and Fidel Sierra
Debut of the Barrio Brothers! When Sean Waltman did a Timeline show for Kayfabe Commentaries with Sean Oliver, the subject of Santana and Sierra (with Bill Alfonso as their manager) getting a tryout came up and they must’ve done something really bad, either in the ring or backstage, because that was a rare one where he refused to dish the dirt. Cactus catches Santana’s foot, resulting in an enziguiri, then Santana catches Jack’s boot, resulting in a spinning clothesline. Maxx comes in and misses an elbow, allowing Sierra in. He’s met with a boot. Jack comes in and Sierra gets a tag on the sly, leading to a spinning heel kick. The heels double team him, with Jack trying to make his own comeback. Maxx helps out, dumping Santana in place for Jack to give him the elbow off the apron. Back inside, Sierra gets squashed and Jack drops the leg on him to get the pinfall. Jack and Maxx were more than willing to play ball with the jobbers to the stars.
Gene speaks to the gruesome twosome about their loss to the Nasty Boys and they challenge the champs to a streetfight, with these pairs in different forms having some truly excellent matches in 1994.
Vader vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
These two had a really good match a year prior as a part of Dusty Rhodes’ Computer Challenge, although I dread to think what was on the Dream’s computer. Lots of BBW in cowboy boots pics, I imagine. Even though you think of Harley Race as one of the greatest wrestlers ever first, he was probably as important a part of Vader’s success in the early nineties as Paul Bearer was to the Undertaker. Vader starts off with some body shots and laughs in Steamer’s face to be a real villain, so Ricky pokes him right in the eye to start a volley. Back to the corner, so Rick goes to the OTHER eye and chops him down. Vader body check puts the Dragon down, followed by a short clothesline. Slam and a Vaderbomb, which Ricky is only too happy to sell like he’s had all the wind knocked out of him, then a big groan on an elbow to the gut. “Did you like that one?!”, yells Vader to the camera. Steamboat goes for a chance sunset flip, which Vader tries to drop down on with his ass and misses. Curt Hennig necksnap to him while he’s in a seated position, then some returned elbowdrops to the groin. Harley comes up to the apron and ring and gets dropkicked twice. Ricky takes Vader outside and demolishes him with a chair, horse collaring him at one point while Harley inadvertently distracts Nick Patrick. Almost a dozen different shots, knocking the mask off during it. One thing to note is that the crowd has been chanting “Whoomp, there it is!” for most of the shows, which Ricky ends up repeating in a fairly cringe moment. He manages to lure Vader back out and baseballs slides him right in the dick. Climbs the ropes and drops the flying chop, but Race cuts him off and Vader puts him down. Harley has a mini-match with him on the outside, stomping and kneedropping him. Vader suplexes Ricky back in, not even going down with it and slamming him down. “IT AIN’T OVER UNTIL THE FAT… LADY… SINGS!”, says Vader. Up to the second rope for a flying clothesline. Sunset flip off the second rope, surprisingly, which Steamboat uses to drop on him and slap him about. Flying chop off the top rope, then another, before trying to finish with the flying cross bodyblock for two. Superplex attempt, which instead becomes a loose DDT off the top rope, followed by a splash from the top. That gets two. Race tries to interfere and gets suplexed in, then inadvertently splashed by Vader. Eventually, they catch up to him and try to double team him, drawing the DQ, but the Boss gets Vader with the nightstick to run him off. Excellent TV match, with Steamboat showing the top class skills he always had, building his opponent as undefeatable and then bringing him down bit by bit, Vader as the monster, and Race contributing as much to the match as he could in his own inimitable fashion. Good match to finish the run on.
The meltdown: I’ll be back with… something. We’ll see what and when. Cheers!