The return of the ‘Would You Go To This Show’ series focuses on the debut for World Championship Wrestling in New York City. Recently, I purchased a PWI magazine that focused on the debut and it got my interest to dissect the card and see if I’d be interested in attending the show, some 20+ years later.
WCW’s debut to the New York City area saw them hold the show at the Paramount Theatre. Of course, that’s a far cry from the Madison Square Garden venue that the WWF wrestled in, but it was progress for the company.
It should be noted that Ric Flair, who had just returned to the company, was supposed to be on the show for an interview segment, but failed to make an appearance.
The show took place on April 13th, 1993. 3,500 people attended the show with 2,900 paid.
Match #1: Tex Slazenger vs. Johnny B. Badd
Kind of an odd match as Tex wasn’t presented much on television and Johnny was still a comedy character who wouldn’t have his breakthrough until next year. Not a match that interests me in the slightest. 0 for 1
Match #2: Steve Regal vs. Maxx Payne
At this point, Regal had not developed his heel persona that he would have for basically the rest of his career. He was being presented as a plain baby face with no personality who just wrestled. I remember watching a match of his on Saturday Night and being incredibly bored because there was nothing brought to the table. Plus, I have never been entertained by Maxx Payne. 0 for 2.
Match #3: Chris Benoit vs. Ron Simmons
Alright this is more like it. Fresh off a stellar match at Superbrawl, Benoit was really on top of his game and I’d be interested to see how well he worked with a bigger opponent like Simmons, who wasn’t bad in the ring himself at this point. A former World Champion against an up and comer like Benoit. I’d check that out for sure. Oddly enough, the match would actually be stopped because Benoit performed a dive to the floor. I’d be disappointed with that, but prior to that I’d be interested in how they worked together. 1 for 3
Match #4: Van Hammer vs. Vinnie Vegas
Oh boy, this would be brutal and likely a restroom break if I’ve ever seen one. Hammer has never been a wrestler that I’d actively go out of my way to view his matches. He had a good look, but in-ring he leaves a lot to be desired. At this point, Vinnie Vegas had been damaged beyond repair with constant gimmick changes. 1 for 4
Match #5: Cactus Jack vs. Rick Rude
This one would be a really interesting matchup to see. I don’t recall a televised match against one another but I’d be interested to see how their styles meshed in the ring. Rude would have a field day with Jack and his appearance to get heat and Cactus would likely bump around crazy for Rude. At this point, I’d want to see if Cactus would do anything crazy like he had been know to do on television and pay per view. 2 for 5
Match #6: WCW United States Champion Dustin Rhodes vs. WCW Television Champion Paul Orndorff
These two had a few matches on television, but more importantly Orndorff had done a great job of generating heat for a feud between himself and Dustin. Paul brought Dustin’s father, Dusty Rhodes, into the feud. This is a good addition to the show due to Paul’s popularity and name value in the NY area and Dustin is a good young wrestler. I’d want to see this and might be the best match in terms of crowd heat base off of the promo work by Orndorff leading into the match. 3 for 6.
Match #7: NWA World Champion Barry Windham vs. Ricky Steamboat
Windham had been on a roll as a heel since his turn in late 1992. The ‘Lone Wolf’ persona added to his character and was putting on good matches. Toss in Ricky Steamboat and you have a good matchup lined up. Ricky is a big name for the market and would play the underdog role quite well despite having creditability that he could win the strap, as well. An intriguing match for me. 4 for 7
Main Event: WCW World Champion Big Van Vader vs. Sting
The feud had not been played out, yet. It is at the tail end of the feud between the two, but they had good chemistry and I can’t recall a time they didn’t deliver an entertaining match filled with action and drama. A strong main event for the debut show in NYC. I don’t think there is a better option unless they had the in-ring return of Flair, but that has to be saved for TV or PPV. 5 for 8
The undercard is not an interest for me. Once the first half of the show were to pass, my interest would spike considerably as WCW had an impressive upper card to make up for the weaker aspect of the show. I’d go to this show and feel that it would be an entertaining time after intermission.
Would you go to this show? Leave your thoughts below!
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.