Written by: Bob Colling
World Championship Wrestling presents Saturday Night
From: Gainesville, GA
1.) WCW Lightweight Champion Brian Pillman defeated Brad Armstrong to retain the title
2.) Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin defeated Cactus Jack & Diamond Dallas Page
3.) WCW United States Champion Rick Rude defeated A Jobber
4.) WCW Television Champion Steve Austin defeated Tom Zenk in a best two out of three falls match to retain the title
1.) This is deemed the new era of World Championship Wrestling. The show has some new music with Jim Ross standing inside a separate ring inside the studio to promote the show. Eric Bischoff introduces Ross, as if he is the sidekick. The format for this episode is almost just like WWF Primetime Wrestling.
2.) We here pre-taped comments from Tom Zenk and Steve Austin regarding the main event. Zenk says he has been on a roll and is coming for the championship. We hear from Paul E. Dangerously who puts over Austin as the best wrestler. Austin says he is a generous guy putting the belt on the line in a best two out of three falls.
3.) Pillman starts off with control taking Armstrong down and works over the arm with a hammerlock. Pillman hits a head scissors out of the corner and follows up with a dropkick and arm drag to maintain control of the bout. Brad gets control after Pillman fails on a high risk attempt. That offense doesn’t last all that long as Pillman hits a head scissors and goes back to work on the arm. Brad avoids a dropkick and Pillman hits the mat hard. Armstrong heads to the top rope after slamming Armstrong, but Brian manages to dropkick Armstrong to the floor. Pillman leaps off the apron to hit a cross body. Brian heads to the top and they both go for dropkicks and they both remain on the mat. Armstrong soon hits a power slam but can’t get a three count on the cover. Armstrong attempts a superplex but Pillman knocks him off and hits a top rope cross body but Brad rolls through and nearly wins the match! Pillman comes back with a spinning heel kick for a two count. Pillman goes to the top rope and attempts a splash but Armstrong gets his knees up! Armstrong hits his finisher the side Russian leg sweep but Pillman got his foot under the ropes. Pillman hits a springboard clothesline from the apron and gets the win. (***. An enjoyable match between these two guys. Brad Armstrong was really underrated and I often forget how solid of a worker he was. The crowd was completely into the match, too.)
4.) Ron Simmons joins Jim Ross and Jesse Ventura on the stage. Simmons seems to be getting the Hogan treatment as they had aired a video of him being a role model with kids in the area. Simmons thinks that fans are letdown by their heroes when their hero makes a mistake. Ron says the fans themselves are heroes. Simmons encourages kids to stay in school and finish. Ross talks about WCW World Champion Sting and Simmons puts over Sting as a great champion. Simmons would jump at the opportunity against Sting. Ventura mentions that WCW has never had a black champion and that’s motivation for Simmons. Ross brings up WCW United States Champion Rick Rude. Simmons puts over Rude as well and says that Rude has Paul E. Dangerously in his corner. Ron thinks he would take care of business against Rude one on one. Simmons says that had Ventura ran Florida State they wouldn’t have won any games. Ventura believes that nobody would get up from the Rude Awakening. Simmons promises that Rude would be in for a rude awakening himself. Simmons decides to show Ross and Ventura how he would handle Rick Rude. Ron takes off his shirt and poses for the fans. I’m pretty sure flexing wouldn’t beat the guy, but okay.
5.) Zenk takes Austin over with a backslide and tries a few more rollups but Austin easily kicks out. Austin drives Zenk down to the canvas with a back suplex. Zenk hits a cross body for a near fall and follows up with a dropkick. Austin avoids a second dropkick and regains control of the match. Austin takes Zenk over with a gut wrench slam but is rammed head first into the top turnbuckle. Zenk hammers away on Austin but can’t put the champ away yet. Zenk has a rollup but Paul E. Dangerously is distracting the referee. Austin counters the rollup and has Zenk rolled up with a handful of tights to win the first fall.
Austin clubs Zenk from behind as Dangerously was on the apron. Austin sends Zenk to the floor and rams Tom into the railing. Zenk fights back ramming Austin into the railing and apron. Austin sends Zenk shoulder first into the ring post. Austin slams Zenk’s arm over the railing and continues to work over Zenk in the corner. Zenk takes Austin down with a hammerlock but is backed into the corner quickly. Austin counters Zenk and works over Tom’s arm with knee drops. Zenk hammers away on Austin and they both run the ropes briefly with Zenk hitting a Thez Press and gets a three count to even the falls at one!
The third fall starts off with Austin working over Zenk with several strikes and a vertical suplex. Zenk avoids a splash against the ropes. Zenk stomps Austin in the midsection and runs over the champ with a clothesline. Zenk misses a shoulder strike in the corner and Austin focuses on the shoulder. Zenk gets the upper hand and works over Austin’s shoulder, as well. Zenk backdrops Austin and connects with a couple of dropkicks. Austin drops Zenk with the Stun Gun and gets the win. (*1/2. That was a rather boring match that lacked excitement for the third fall a great deal. They kept the match way too basic and both men seemed to have focused on the shoulder attack too much.)
A solid opener and the Simmons interview with the highlights on the show. Aside from that, the show was uninteresting and didn’t feature much top talent. I’m not sure if WCW having a similar format to WWF Primetime is a good idea. It’s different for WCW, but they have to find their own format that works. A thumbs down for the first edition of the new era of WCW.
Thanks for reading.