Written by: Tom Hopkins
Now this episode is listed at 76 minutes. Why was there such a disparity in lengths of the shows?
Hogan promises to fight his big Monster Truck against the Big Show’s Monster Truck. So they’ll have a monster truck battle and then follow that up with a WCW Title bout. Tony Schiavone is joined by Bobby Heenan. The two of them welcome the new co-host for this show: Dusty Rhodes. Heenan doesn’t like this and tells Rhodes to quit. If he doesn’t quit then Heenan will. Heenan leaves but no matter what they can’t get rid of him. Eventually Heenan leaves (in his own comedic manner).
–Johnny B. Badd vs. Sting(c) for the US Title–
Johnny’s music goes off but he’s nowhere to be found. Sting comes out and the ring announcer says that Badd has not arrived yet and the match will be later on today.
Mean Gene is backstage and he wonders where Badd is. Pillman shows up and he says that the fans will demand that Pillman will fight for the title and not Badd, since he took Badd to the limit at Fall Brawl.
–Arn Anderson vs. Mark Starr–
Before the match Dusty and Tony talk about Nitro being LIVE on Monday, unlike other wrestling shows that may be on television and **gasp** video-taped! Arn is tripped up by Starr early on and he’s a bit flummoxed. Arn comes to his senses, trips Starr and drags his arm to the ringpost. The ringpost is introduced to the arm a couple of times and Arn goes to work on that arm. Dusty talks about flubber-punching someone and that just sounds incredibly dirty. It didn’t help when Dusty said to try that on your sister. Starr sneaks in a sunset flip for two and he whips Arn to the corner. Arn tries an atomic drop out of the corner but Starr either a) no sold-it, or b) fucked up because the spinebuster ended this right afterwards at 3:46. Usually jobber matches have the star control most of the match and dominate but I wouldn’t call Arn’s performance dominant in any way. I don’t get the point of what that match was supposed to do. It didn’t help Starr and it didn’t help Arn.
It looks like we’re ready for the TV Title match. Johnny’s music goes off and he’s nowhere to be found again. The fans are just in shock. So Sting comes out again and he tells the referee he doesn’t want to win by forfeit so this match will be on hold once again. We go to Gene again and once again Pillman interrupts saying he deserves the title shot.
–Mr. Wonderful vs. Barry Houston–
It seems that Mr. Wonderful doesn’t want to be called Paul Orndorff anymore. If he’s so wonderful why does he have a band-aid on his back shoulder? Houston is wearing tights with the state of Texas on it. So his last name is Houston and he just happens to be from Texas? That would be ironic. It’d be even more ironic if he was from Houston, Texas. If I were a wrestler I’d call myself Tommy Steubenville and have a picture of Ohio on my trunks. Houston rolls-up Orndorff for two so the Wonderful one responds with a knee to the gut. Orndorff dumps Houston, much like the White Sox did in the 2005 World Series, and follows up with a top rope axe-handle in the ring. I just noticed, speaking of trunks, that Orndorff has 1-derful on his ass. He’s so good he doesn’t even need to spell out the whole word! That’s like a bad That Thing You Do joke. The piledriver ends this at 3:02. If you like seeing elbows being delivered to jobbers then this match is for you.
We head to Mean Gene and the Event Center (wait, wrong show) and he recaps the Giant running over Hogan’s motorcycle with a monster truck and continuing the attack at Wargames. Hogan suffered a neck injury and challenged The Giant which led to the Giant taking out Savage and Luger on Nitro. We hear from the Taskmaster and The Giant and they accept the challenge of Monster Truck vs. Monster Truck followed by a match. Giant shows him ripping the heads off of people but he failed the first time with the picture of Hogan. He didn’t even rip the bandana off! This promo shows that the Giant can rip paper well. He also destroys a toy truck. That was one of the oddest promo’s I’ve ever seen.
We hear from Hogan, who has impeccably perfect timing. Hogan says they went to the guys who made Big Foot and they signed the contract in blood. Why would they do that? Why wasn’t a pen good enough? I’d hate for Hogan to come to me and say something like, “You know, brother, I need you to make me a big boat. Here’s the contract, now sign in blood!” Hogan promises to bodyslam Giant.
We go from Hogan to an American Males video of them standing around with their shirts off. How was this going to endear them to the fans who watch wrestling? This was a slightly homosexual video and we know how homophobic most wrestling fans are. Yet here come the American Males and they get a good reaction.
–American Males vs. The Bario Brothers–
Tony called the jobber team the Mario brothers before Dusty corrected him. He says they hail from Cuba yet when the camera got on them they were talking about Puerto Rico. I don’t know the names of the jobbers but I’ll call them Bario and Luigi. The Bario brothers try a slingshot plancha but they fail. So The Males do one of their own in stereo and they follow with a dropkick in the ring that sends the brothers to the outside. Both of the Males are wearing long pants with suspenders on and they look absolutely ridiculous. Did WCW really try to get these guys over as faces? They will be making their first title defense on Monday (WHICH IS LIVE, UNLIKE THAT OTHER SHOW!) against the Nasty Boys. Bagwell tries a splash but he lands on the knees of Bario. Riggs tags in and dropkicks Luigi for two. Bario drives a knee into the back of Bagwell when he is whipped to the ropes and the Brothers are in control. Bagwell sunset flips Bario and the Brothers do a good little technique. The other brother reaches in and pushes the leg of his partner so he can kick out. That was clever. The Barios hit a top rope version of the Doomsday Device and cover and Riggs has to make the save. The Males end this with a double dropkick for the pinfall at 6:44. It was surprising to see the Barios get that much offense in on the tag champs. The champs really ended up looking like chumps. *.
–Sgt. Craig Pittman vs. Cobra–
These guys fought last week and Cobra won in about 30 seconds by attacking him from behind. This would be the rubber match. I would’ve thought that Cobra was the heel just because snakes are usually portrayed as evil. Just think of Cobra in GI Joe. The two fight over an arm with Cobra getting the better end of that deal with a fireman’s carry. Pittman rams Cobra in the chest with his head. Cobra charges at Pittman in the corner and stands on the second rope to start slugging away. Pittman powerbombs him out of the corner and pins him at 2:44. This was a mess. It was like they were fighting and not wrestling. So their three-match series has taken all of what – 4 minutes? Truly a classic series.
–Big Bubba vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan–
Hacksaw, the all-American, attacks from behind and slugs Bubba around. Hacksaw ducks a boot attempt but Hacksaw misses his own kneedrop. Bubba goes to slug Hacksaw but he trips and falls anyway so Bubba has to lift him up and slug him down. Hacksaw ends up on the ropes and Bubba follows with his splash on the ropes. The two collide with a shoulderblock that knocks them both down. It’s been a marathon 2:20 match so far so you can see why they’d be so exhausted. Hacksaw is up first, he slugs at Bubba in the corner and bodyslams him. VK Wallstreet comes out (Mike Rotunda, aka IRS) and he tries taking Hacksaw’s 2×4. Hacksaw sees this and he plays tug of war with it and Bubba uses a roll of tape (aka the foreign object) to knock out Hacksaw and pick up the pin at 3:53. There were three WWE rejects in this match and the best performer was the one in the suit outside the ring.
–Diamond Dallas Page(c) vs. Eddie Jackie for the TV Title–
DDP trips Jacket to start and escapes into the corner where he kisses his valet, Kimberly. DDP also has Max Muscle in his corner. DDP gets some cheap heel heat by stalling. Jackie gets clotheslined down. Jackie ducks a clothesline in the corner and Max Muscle gets on the apron to argue with DDP. Jackie dropkicks DDP and school boys him for three. A lariat follows and Jackie whips DDP to the corner. He hits a spinning heel kick and skins the cat (barely) to get back into the ring. Dusty notes that is what he used to do all the time. DDP catches a quick Diamond Cutter out of nowhere to get the pinfall at 2:46. The rift between Muscle and DDP is growing. This was your standard jobber match.
Mean Gene interviews Page, Kim and Max after the match. They don’t have much to say. Before heading to the break we hear from Arn Anderson who asks Flair if he thinks he has some sort of degenerative disease that would’ve impaired him between Monday’s match and Fall Brawl.
–Ric Flair vs. Frankie Lancaster–
Dusty and Tony hype up Nitro and they talk about this week being the debut of Dean Malenko. They also mention that Pillman will be wrestling Sting this week instead of Badd. This guy Lancaster looks even older than Ric Flair if that’s possible. Lancaster works a headscissors early and Flair rolls to the ropes. Lancaster gets in some token offense until Flair decides he’s had enough and he goes to work on the leg of Lancaster. Lancaster sells the knee and Flair offers his hand. Lancaster shakes it and he’s rewarded with another boot to the knee. I love Flair. Flair works in a kneedrop and he quickly locks in the figure four to end this at 2:48. *.
We see highlights of Hogan and Luger’s title match which led to Luger joining the WarGames match on Hogan’s team. He and Savage had issues though and both were attacked by The Giant. So this Monday will be the big Savage/Luger match with Luger stating that if he loses he’s gonna go home and leave Nitro.
–Flyin’ Brian Pillman vs. Sting(c) for the US Title–
The two collide with a shoulderblock that leads nowhere so Pillman bails to the outside and tears apart one of the security barriers. So Sting goes out and fixes it. That’s very nice of him. We head back to the ring with Sting grabbing the arm of Pillman. Pillman backs into the corner to get Sting to break and Pillman adds in a cheapshot. Sting lifts up Pillman by the neck and seats him on the top corner. Pillman comes off and charges but is clotheslined down and dropkicked to the outside. Hey, did you know that Monday Nitro is live and not recorded? I think that’s the first time the announcers have mentioned it this episode. Pillman tries to escape to the back but the entrance is closed and he can’t leave! So he heads back in and hurts his knee doing a leapfrog. It was just a trick and he nails Sting’s knee. Pillman softens the knee and puts Sting in a single-leg Crab and then uses the ropes to the dismay of the crowd. The ref does catch on and makes Pillman break the hold. Pillman tries some sort of axehandle but Sting lifts his bad leg to block. Sting is up now and press-slams Pillman. This was on one good leg. Nice of Sting to sell that for more than 30 seconds. Pillman ends up on the apron and tries a slingshot splash but Sting catches him and powerslams Pillman to get the pinfall at 5:27. I liked the finish and the match did have an interesting storyline. It was way too short and it could’ve used another 5-7 minutes to develop and make it a really enjoyable TV match. Sting could’ve had more time to sell the injury, too and Pillman could’ve really riled up the crowd having a few more minutes of being in control. **.
Gene interviews Sting and once again Flair comes out. Flair tells Sting that he thinks of Sting as being on the same level as him. Sting tells him that’s a big putdown and denies him again. So Flair walks off with a lady because he’s the stylin’ profilin’ jet-ridin’ guy. Johnny B. Badd finally shows. He had a flat tire and couldn’t make it on time. DDP comes out and calls Badd stupid. Max Muscle soon gives away that it was he and Page who gave him the flat tires and Badd responds with some rights. I smell a match next week!
–The Bottom Line– I enjoyed this episode of Saturday Night. This is very similar to the 1991 Superstars that are also on Classics.com with a few differences. There are the same amount of matches but these regularly get into the 3-minute territory and the highlight match usually hits five-minutes. You’re also more likely to see some stars wrestling (like Flair and Sting for example). It’s more wrestling, it has the angle development without being overwhelming and there’s nothing boring about getting through a show. I just wonder if this will also be around 70 minutes long. I didn’t watch Saturday Night when it was on so I don’t know if it was an hour or two-hour show.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.