Written By: Bob Colling
World Championship Wrestling presents Saturday Night
From: Atlanta, GA
A special WCW report kicks off the show. Eric Bischoff tells us that Big Van Vader defeated WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ron Simmons to regain the championship on December 30th. Vader pinned Simmons at the 12 minute mark, approx. Bischoff notes that Harley Race has stated that Vader is eager to defend the championship against anyone, most notably Sting. Vader won the title from Simmons in Baltimore, MD.
Saturday Night opening video
Jim Ross and Larry Zbyszko are on commentary as they discuss the title change on December 30th.
Opening Contest: Cactus Jack/the Barbarian defeated Tom Zenk/Johnny Gunn: Jack backs Gunn into a corner but breaks away cleanly to start the contest. Gunn ducks a clothesline and connects with a hip toss on Jack. Jack regains control with a right hand and a head butt. Barbarian tags in for a quick shot but tags out quickly. Jack accidentally punches his partner and is dropkicked by Zenk and Gunn. The same happens to Barbarian. Jack is back dropped by both Zenk and Gunn, but lands onto Barbarian in the corner! Barbarian returns to the ring after a brief talk with Jack but tags out to Jack. Jack backs Zenk into a corner and stomps away on Zenk several times. Zenk sends Jack into a corner but runs into a back elbow. Zenk stops a charging Jack with an arm bar but Jack battles out of the hold. Barbarian tags into the match but Zenk runs away from the corner. Barbarian works on Zenk with a couple right hands but Zenk controls the big man with a side headlock. Zenk goes to come off the ropes but is dumped to the floor by Jack, who held the top rope down. Barbarian nails Zenk with a running big boot to the back of Zenk’s head. Jack tags in and trades right hands with Zenk, briefly. They run into each other face first and Zenk tags out to Gunn. Gunn hammers away on Barbarian and connects with a clothesline. Barbarian misses a splash in the corner, and Gunn leaps off the middle rope with a clothesline. Zenk drops Jack with a Thez Press but Barbarian kicks Zenk in the head and pins Zenk since he was the legal man. *1/4
Footage from WCW Starrcade and the ring ceremony where Sting was given the first Battle Bowl ring. Sting came out and hoped that he would make it two years in a row. We eventually see highlights from the Battle Bowl show. The final four for the contest, were Steve Williams, Dustin Rhodes, Barry Windham and Great Muta. Williams and Rhodes were eliminated following a clothesline from Williams. Muta eventually won the battle royal by eliminating Windham.
A video of Tony Schiavone interviewing Erik Watt’s football coach is aired. The coach puts over Erik as a great athlete and all that great stuff. Not much of an interview as it lasted maybe ten seconds.
Second Contest: Erik Watts defeated Mustafa Saied: Watts wins the squash with the STF.
Backstage, Teddy Long is standing with Cactus Jack and Tony Atlas. Long mentions the match between Tony Atlas and Van Hammer taking place later on in the show. Jack instead talks about a bounty on Erik Watts and how a lot of people have tried to take him out. Jack calls himself the bounty hunter and will injure anyone whomever you want to be injured. Atlas cuts a promo on Van Hammer saying he has the strongest arms in WCW and we better believe that.
Jim Ross and Larry Zbyszko talk about Rick Rude being in danger of having to vacate his WCW US Championship due to a neck injury. Zbyszko assures Ross that if Rude isn’t injured he will defend the championship. Footage from Starrcade 1992 where Rude claims that WCW is conspiring against him and says that they aren’t taking his title!
Third Contest: Dustin Rhodes defeated Vinnie Vegas to advance in the WCW US Championship tournament: Rhodes rolls Vegas up quickly but only gets a two count to kick off the match. Rhodes side steps an attack from Vegas in the corner. Rhodes ducks a clothesline and rolls Vegas up for a two count. Vegas comes back with a sunset flip rollup for a near fall of his own. Vegas elbows out of a side headlock but misses a standing elbow drop. Rhodes trips Vegas and gets another two count on a roll up. Knee lift by Vegas and drives Rhodes down to the mat with a side slam for a two count. Vegas works on Rhodes lower back with a forearm shot. Vegas sends Rhodes hard back first into a corner and continues to work on Rhodes lower back. Rhodes avoids a double axe handle in the corner and attempts a scoop slam but his back gives out. Vegas connects with a gut wrench slam but only gets a near fall on the pin attempt. Vegas catches Rhodes coming off the ropes with a bear hug. Vegas lets go of the hold and gets a two count on a cover. Vegas decides to go back to a bear hug and keeps control of Rhodes for several moments. Rhodes gets out of it and sunset flips Vegas for a two count. Rhodes fights back with a flurry of right hands, knocking Vegas off his feet. Rhodes nails Vegas with a running clothesline and dropkick for a near fall. Rhodes sends Vegas chest first into the corner and plants Vegas with the running bulldog for the win. *1/2
Backstage, Tony Schiavone is standing with Barry Windham and Brian Pillman. Windham says he has had his priorities in the wrong place. Windham tells Pillman that he has found a man to be Pillman’s partner. Windham believes that Pillman can be tag team partners with this man. Windham eventually brings over the longest reigning WCW Television Champion in WCW history, Stunning Steve Austin! Pillman wonders what dominance they will have in WCW when they share the common goal. Pillman believes they will be in the tag team title scene for a long time. Austin already knows how great of a wrestler he is and doesn’t need to be reminded of that. Austin says they don’t wrestle just for the sake of wrestling. Their need for gold may as well turn into greed.
Fourth Contest: Steve Austin/Brian Pillman defeated Larry Santo/Rikki Nelson: Austin pins Santo following the Stun Gun. Simple squash match for the new tag team.
Jim Ross and Larry Zbyszko talk about the Vader/Sting King of the Cable match at Starrcade 1992. We see highlights from the contest, which Sting managed to win. Ross and Zbyszko also hype up an eight man tag match taking place at the Clash of the Champions which will take place inside a Thunder Cage. Speaking of which, the card for COTC is announced. Which are only three matches? The cage match, tag title match and a bounty match.
Fifth Contest: Tony Atlas defeated Van Hammer to advance in the WCW US Championship tournament: Neither man can get the advantage as they lock up. Atlas nails Hammer with a few right hands and a shoulder block. Hammer catches Atlas coming off the ropes and scoop slams Atlas a few times followed by a dropkick for a two count. Hammer comes off the ropes and shoulder blocks Atlas for a near fall. Atlas has a top wristlock on Hammer but Hammer battles back until Atlas yanks Hammer down by the hair. Hammer backdrops Atlas and connects with a leaping elbow drop for a two count. Atlas gets out of a side headlock with a back suplex and head butts Hammer into a corner. Atlas misses a clothesline and is met with a shoulder block from Hammer. Hammer clotheslines Atlas in the corner and leg drops Atlas for a near fall. Hammer clotheslines Atlas over the top to the floor. Hammer punches Jack on the floor and goes to suplex Atlas back into the ring but Jack trips Hammer and helps Atlas pin Hammer to advance in the tournament. ½*
Jesse Ventura interviews Arn Anderson for the WCW Up Close segment. Ventura mentions that he admires Anderson and how that is a rarity. Anderson has grown up in WCW and talks about being a rookie and having to learn with the best. Anderson feels that WCW is his home. Ventura brings up Anderson’s knee injury and asks how that is going. Anderson says his knee has reached a peak where it is healing but has stopped healing and it’s frustrating. Anderson says he hurt his knee during a match with Eric Watts. Anderson says that if he gets his knee healthy, he doesn’t have a contract for 1993. Anderson announces that Bill Watts is not extending his contract. Anderson tells Erik Watts that not having contract doesn’t mean anything on the streets. Anderson earned his way and earned his right to be in WCW. Ventura thinks that Bill Watts is protecting his kid from a beating.
Sixth Contest: Barry Windham defeated Johnny B. Badd to advance in the WCW US Championship tournament: Badd backs Windham into a corner but doesn’t do anything with the advantage. Windham shoulder blocks Badd but is unable to keep his advantage. Badd comes back with a hip toss and dropkick. Badd controls Windham with a wristlock despite a few right hands from Windham. Badd with a series of jabs and knocks Windham to the floor. Windham is able to send Badd chest first into the top rope from the apron to regain the advantage. Windham drives Badd down with a back suplex but takes his time following up. Badd jabs Windham a few times but is stopped by a right hand and works on Badd in the corner. Windham scoop slams Badd and connects with an elbow drop for a near fall. Windham chokes Badd for a brief moment until Badd gets a few punches in. Windham tosses Badd to the floor as we see Madusa has come out to ringside. Windham elbow smashes Badd but Badd battles back with right hands until Windham drives Badd face first down into the mat. Windham follows up with a knee drop and kicks Badd in the ribs a few times. Windham connects with a snap suplex for a two count. Gut wrench slam by Windham but only gets a near fall on the cover. Badd blocks a suplex with a snap suplex of his own. Badd punches Windham several times and backdrops Windham. Back elbow by Badd as Windham comes off the ropes and gets a near fall. Windham rams Badd face first into the top turnbuckle. Badd nails Windham with a nice standing hurricanrana and heads to the top rope connecting with a sunset flip but Windham rolls through and clotheslines a seated Badd. Windham spikes Badd with a jumping DDT and wins the match. **
Backstage, Tony Schiavone is standing with the WCW World Tag Team Champions Shane Douglas and Ricky Steamboat. Douglas puts themselves over as the greatest tag team in WCW and makes it clear that their main focus is holding onto the tag championships. Steamboat reiterates Douglas’s statements about the tag titles being his main focus. Steamboat is focused on getting his hands on Windham but needs to get past Dan Spivey first. Steamboat is going to get payback on Windham!
Main Event: WCW World Tag Team Champion Ricky Steamboat defeated Dan Spivey to advance in the WCW US Championship tournament: Steamboat takes Spivey down with a side headlock to kick off the match for a one count. Steamboat trips Spivey and goes back to a side headlock. Spivey rolls over and gets a few near falls on Steamboat. Spivey places Steamboat on the top turnbuckle but Steamboat leaps off the middle rope connecting with an overhand chop. Steamboat with a cross body coming off the ropes for a near all. Steamboat follows up with a swinging neck breaker for a two count. Spivey plants Steamboat with a spine buster as Steamboat came running off the ropes. Spivey gets a near fall following a back breaker. Steamboat chops Spivey until Spivey stops Steamboat with a clothesline for a near fall. Steamboat blocks a suplex attempt but is backed into a corner by Spivey. Spivey controls Steamboat with an abdominal stretch. Steamboat hip tosses Spivey to break free from the hold but runs into a side walk slam from Spivey for a near fall. Spivey chops Steamboat several times and scoop slams Steamboat. Spivey goes back to an abdominal stretch. Windham slams Steamboat and gets a near fall following an elbow drop. Steamboat tries to fight back with chops but they don’t affect Spivey. Spivey knocks Steamboat back down with a right hand and chokes Steamboat for a few moments. Spivey has a bear hug locked in for a few moments. Spivey catches Steamboat coming off the ropes connecting with a backbreaker for a two count. Spivey misses a splash in the corner and Steamboat connects with a back suplex. Steamboat leaps over the ropes to the apron but is met with a clothesline from Spivey. Steamboat rams Spivey into the top turnbuckle head first and leaps off the top connecting with a cross body to pin Spivey and move on in the tournament. *1/4
Backstage, Teddy Long is standing with Barry Windham. Long interviews Windham about his match next week against Ricky Steamboat on Saturday Night with the winner moving on to the finals in the WCW US Championship tournament. Windham gave up merit badges a long time ago and says he can fight off Steamboat by himself. Windham isn’t some kind of pretty face looking for a new girlfriend. Oh no, Windham is looking for Ricky Steamboat! Windham is man enough to send Steamboat home.
Jim Ross and Larry Zbyszko hype up next week’s show to close out the show.
End of show.
My Take: The US Title tournament matches this week were all pretty lackluster. Out of the four, Windham vs. Badd was the best of the bunch but that still was only mildly entertaining. I’m not a fan of Tony Atlas advancing in this tournament as he isn’t any good whatsoever at this point in his career. Next week’s Windham vs. Steamboat bout is something I am really looking forward to since there is a story between those two.
This apparent Arn Anderson/Erik Watts feud makes sense, but that doesn’t mean I like it. Erik Watts is simply awful in every possible way. Anderson is just going to be wasted in a feud with Erik Watts, which is a shame.
Cactus Jack is popular with the fans. There is no way to deny it. Even though he is a heel he got a pretty good baby face reception from the crowd.
I find it pretty odd that Brian Pillman and Steve Austin have already earned a tag team title shot. I mean, they just formed their tag team this week!
Overall, the show was pretty lackluster. Their wasn’t really a high profile match to keep me interested throughout the show as I quite honestly don’t have interest in Dan Spivey vs. Ricky Steamboat. Next week’s show should be decent just because there will be Barry Windham vs. Ricky Steamboat.
Thanks for reading.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.