Written By: Bob Colling
World Championship Wrestling presents Saturday Night
From: Atlanta, GA
The show opens up with a video highlighting the attack by Barry Windham on Shane Douglas and Ricky Steamboat. Windham battles Steamboat later on tonight in a US Title tournament match. Also, Dustin Rhodes battles Tony Atlas!
Jim Ross and Larry Zbyszko welcome everyone to the show and talk about Big Van Vader being the new WCW World Heavyweight Champion.
Opening Contest: Marcus Alexander Bagwell defeated Bob Cook: Bagwell wins the extended squash match following a fisherman suplex.
A video recapping the US Title tournament matches from last week is aired.
Jim Ross and Larry Zbyszko introduce a video showing Vader’s win over Ron Simmons to regain the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. The last minute and a half of the contest is showed. Vader won following a shoulder breaker.
Backstage, Harley Race and WCW World Heavyweight Champion Big Van Vader cut an interview. Race puts over Vader as the champion and an unbeatable force. Vader says he is the King of the World and that he is Big Van Vader!
Second Contest: Van Hammer defeated Randy Sledge: Hammer wins the squash match following a sling shot vertical suplex.
Jim Ross and Larry Zbyszko talk about the Van Hammer/Tony Atlas feud which is centered around who has the strongest arm.
Backstage, Tony Schiavone is standing with Van Hammer. Schiavone notes that Hammer is involved in the Thunder Cage match at the Clash of the Champions on the 13th. Hammer says he is going to beat Atlas in an arm wrestling contest at the show as well.
Third Contest: Tom Zenk/Johnny Gunn defeated Mike Thor/Chick Donovan: Gunn pins Thor to win the squash match following a Thez Press.
Backstage, Teddy Long is standing with Cactus Jack and Tony Atlas. Jack says that COTC will be a big day for his group. Jack assures Teddy that the Barbarian will win the Thunder Cage. Also, Tony Atlas will beat Van Hammer in an arm wrestling contest. Jack says he is going to put Erik Watts out of action and collect on the bounty. Erik Watts and Dustin Rhodes come over and Watts suggests they don’t wait for the COTC. This leads to a brawl between all four men with Watts getting the upper hand on Jack by locking in the STF until several referees come over to break up the situation.
Fourth Contest: 2 Cold Scorpio defeated Mustafa Saied: Scorpio wins the squash match following a top rope 450 splash.
Tony Schiavone interviewed Barry Windham recently. Schiavone brings up the bad blood Windham has for Dustin Rhodes. Windham says this whole thing has started because of Dustin Rhodes. We see a video from WCW Worldwide on January 2nd where Barry Windham and Brian Pillman lost to Ricky Steamboat and Shane Douglas. Windham planted Douglas with a DDT and was taken out of the contest. However, Dustin Rhodes came out and was allowed to be Steamboat’s partner. Throughout the video, Windham says that it was unfair for Rhodes to be involved in the match. Rhodes ended up hitting Windham with his cast and pinned Windham. Windham warns Rhodes that he better think again before getting involved in one of his matches again.
Fifth Contest: Tex Slazenger/Shanghai Pierce fought Diamond Dallas Page/Vinnie Vegas to a double disqualification: Page and Pierce start off the tag contest with Pierce shoving Page into the ropes out of a lockup position. Page is backed into a corner but Pierce cleanly breaks away. Pierce and Page exchange shoves and right hands until Page pokes Pierce in the eyes. Vegas is tagged in and Pierce is met with a double back elbow, which gets Vegas a near fall. Vegas works on Pierce’s elbow with several elbow strikes. Pierce rams Vegas into the corner face first and tags out to Tex. Tex with a few knee strikes in the corner and drops Vegas with a back elbow. Vegas blocks a back drop attempt with a gut wrench slam for a two count. Page tags in and plants Tex with a running bulldog. Snap suplex by Page on Tex for another two count. Page misses an elbow drop and is inside cradled by Tex for a near fall. Tex quickly gets up and clotheslines Page before tagging out to Pierce. Pierce leaps off the middle rope delivering a stomp to Page’s right knee. Page is double teamed in the corner for a few moments as Pierce and Tex work on Page’s right knee for several moments. Vegas enters the ring and punches Pierce to help out Page. Tex and Pierce continue to work on Page’s knee for quite a long time. Vegas gets the hot tag and cleans house on the opponents. Vegas quickly tags out to Page who drops Pierce with a swinging neck breaker, leg drop and a face buster for a two count. Pierce and Vegas brawl on the floor while Tex uses his bull rope on Page and hangs Page over the top rope. Vegas grabs a chair and whacks Tex over the head to cause a double DQ. *1/4
Tony Schiavone conducted an interview with the new WCW World Heavyweight Champion, Big Van Vader for an Up Close segment. Vader talks about his football career where he was drafted by the Rams and won a Super Bowl. Schiavone brings up Sting and Vader says it is over for Sting. Vader knows that Sting wants the championship. Vader says Sting has something Vader wants and that is the King of the Cable. Vader is sure he will wrestle Sting again. Schiavone asks about Ron Simmons. Vader puts Simmons over as a good athlete but believes that Simmons stole the championship from him back in August. Vader tells Simmons to bring on another challenge because he is ready to fight! Vader says that Harley Race has devised a plan to make him the longest reigning WCW World Heavyweight Champion in WCW history.
Sixth Contest: Dustin Rhodes defeated Tony Atlas to advance to the finals of the WCW US Title tournament: Rhodes gets off to a quick offense attack with clotheslines, right hands and a dropkick. Atlas is able to withstand the offense and works on Rhodes injured left wrist for a few moments. Rhodes gets out of a scoop slam and dropkicks Atlas. Leaping clothesline by Rhodes but only gets a near fall on the cover. Atlas scoop slams Rhodes and misses a standing elbow drop. Rhodes quickly gets up and plants Atlas with a running bulldog to win the match. ½*
Main Event: WCW World Tag Team Champion Ricky Steamboat defeated Barry Windham by disqualification to advance to the finals for the WCW US Title tournament: They trade punches as soon as the bell sounds with Windham getting the upper hand. Steamboat chops Windham and tosses Windham to the floor where Steamboat continues to chop Windham. Back into the ring, Steamboat stalks Windham into a corner but is met with a mule kick. Windham drops Steamboat with a right hand. Scoop slam by Windham but misses an elbow drop. Steamboat attempts a scoop slam of his own but Windham lands on top of Steamboat for a near fall. Steamboat leg trips Windham but Windham quickly recovers and trades right hands briefly. Windham blocks a back drop with a kick and nails Steamboat with a running clothesline for a near fall. Windham stomps away on Steamboat’s left arm and slams Steamboat’s arm on the top turnbuckle. Windham controls Steamboat with a hammerlock for a few moments. Steamboat elbows Windham in the corner and delivers several chops. Windham regains control by dropping Steamboat’s left arm across the top rope. Steamboat leaps off the apron taking Windham over with a sunset flip for a two count. Windham regains control but is stopped by Steamboat with a jaw breaker. Steamboat now works on Windham’s left arm with over hand strikes and knee drops. Steamboat maintains control with an arm drag and keeps an arm bar on Windham. Steamboat manages to get a few near falls while having a hammer lock on Windham. Windham punches Steamboat and sends Steamboat to the floor. Windham follows Steamboat to the floor and rams Steamboat face first into the ring apron. Windham knee lifts Steamboat on the apron in the back. Windham sets up for a suplex back into the ring and connects getting a near fall as a result. Steamboat counters a vertical suplex with one of his own! Steamboat comes off the ropes and they collide with shoulder blocks. Windham staggers around and falls to the floor, hitting the guard railing face first! Steamboat rams Windham face first into the top turnbuckle and goes for a scoop slam back into the ring but Windham lands on top and gets a few near falls. Gut wrench slam by Windham but only gets a two count on the pin attempt. Steamboat cuts Windham off on the top rope and slams Windham off the top to the canvas! Steamboat heads up top but is punched in mid air by Windham. Windham plants Steamboat with a DDT! Windham locks in the figure four leg lock and uses the ropes for extra leverage! Steamboat rolls over but Windham reaches the bottom rope fairly quickly. Windham starts to stomp away on Steamboat’s left knee several times in the corner. Windham sends Steamboat across the ring but Steamboat’s knee buckles on him. Windham rams Rhodes’s leg over the ring apron but Steamboat battles back with a knee breaker back in the ring. Steamboat locks in a figure four leg lock but Windham punches Steamboat on the knee to break free from the hold. Vertical suplex by Windham but only manages a two count on the cover. Steamboat blocks a back drop by ramming Windham down to the mat face first. Steamboat chops away on Windham and follows up with a backdrop. Steamboat connects with a swinging neck breaker and heads to the top rope. Steamboat nails Windham with an over hand chop and gets a two count. Steamboat goes for a scoop slam but Windham’s legs knock the referee down to the floor. Steamboat leaps off the top rope connecting with a cross body but there isn’t a referee. Windham gets up and tosses Steamboat over the top to the floor, which the referee saw to cause the DQ. ***
After the match, Windham scoop slams Steamboat on the concrete floor! Windham attempts a DDT on the floor but Shane Douglas runs down and attacks Windham until Brian Pillman and Steve Austin come out to attack Douglas in the ring. Dustin Rhodes is out as well to brawl with Windham on the floor. Several referees come out to break up a brawl between Austin, Pillman, Douglas and Steamboat. Pillman and Austin end up bailing from the floor.
Backstage, Teddy Long interviews Steve Austin and Brian Pillman. Pillman warns Steamboat and Douglas that they will show the champions just how hungry they are. Pillman assures them that they will get as violent as they need to be! Austin believes the champions have started something they can’t and won’t be able to finish!
Jim Ross and Larry Zbyszko sign off to close out the show.
End of show
My Take: As you can tell the first four matches were just squash matches, so there isn’t much to comment on for those. An interesting note about the Scorpio match, though. The match didn’t take place where everything else on this show was taped. I’m not sure where the match was filmed but it wasn’t at the Sound Stage in Atlanta. Also, Saied is indeed the same Saied that competed in ECW tagging with New Jack.
I enjoyed the interview segment with Barry Windham. I haven’t seen a lot of Windham’s work from the 1990’s but the guy sure is a great heel. He just looks like a bad ass and someone I wouldn’t want to mess with. Good segment to hype up his feuds with both Dustin Rhodes and Ricky Steamboat.
The Vegas Connection vs. Tex/Pierce match was actually pretty boring. They were just seemingly killing time by working on Page’s left knee for half the match it seemed like. The ending was entertaining as I didn’t expect to see the usage of a steel chair. I would suspect this would be the start of a feud between these two teams. Pierce and Tex would be the most likely duo to turn babyface because Tex has a pretty good fan base which is surprising.
Rhodes/Atlas was a boring contest and thus I gave a brief highlight of what happened. The match was only four minutes anyway, so I didn’t miss out on covering much anyway.
The main event was a good match, but I am actually shocked by the outcome. I figured that Windham would have won to wrestle Dustin Rhodes in the main event. It just seems like a logical thing to do. I would be much more interested to see two guys who hate each other and have been feuding for months to go at it for a championship instead of a babyface vs. babyface with no reason to be interested in the bout other than the fact that a new champion will be crowned. One last thing, both Windham and Steamboat worked on their opponents left arm. Why not work on their right arm? They are both right handed. I would want to injure the arm that would have the most affect, wouldn’t you?
Overall, the first hour or so was just filled with squashes, so that didn’t hurt the show really. Of the main matches, the main event was the only good one. So, I suppose this weeks show gets a thumb down from me. Anyway, WCW is hyping up Windham vs. Rhodes pretty well. Windham has been busy with feuds with Steamboat, Rhodes and the Great Muta. But, outside of that, the show was pretty lackluster and didn’t offer much. Seemed more like a hype up show for COTC happening in five days.
Thanks for reading