WCW Saturday Night 1/23/1993
Written by: Bob Colling
World Championship Wrestling presents Saturday Night
From: Atlanta, GA
A video promoting a match between Ricky Steamboat and WCW United States is aired. Also, Vader and Paul Orndorff will be in tag action. Lastly, Cactus Jack teams with the Barbarian to wrestle Tex Slazenger and Shanghai Pierce!
Jim Ross and Larry Zbyszko are on commentary talking about how Cactus Jack is now popular with the fans and they are surprised by it.
Opening Contest: Johnny B. Badd/Marcus Alexander Bagwell defeated Scotty Flamingo/Bob Cook: Bagwell is able to pin Cook with a backslide to get the win.
Backstage, Tony Schiavone is with Barry Windham. Windham puts Dustin Rhodes over as a great champion and says that he will see Ricky Steamboat down the road. Windham turns his attention to NWA World Champion Great Muta. He says it’s a belt he has always wanted and at Superbrawl III Muta will go back to Japan as a loser!
Jim Ross is joined by Bill Watts. They talk about the United States Championship situation. Watts says that Rick Rude has refused to give up the championship and that is why Dustin wasn’t given a championship following his win. Watts makes it clear that Dustin Rhodes is the champion. We see highlights from last week showing how Dustin won the championship. Watts says they are like the NFL and don’t do the video tape replay to change the outcome.
Second Contest: Vinnie Vegas defeated Chad Byrd: Vegas wins the squash match after connecting with the snake eyes.
Third Contest: Chris Benoit defeated Johnny Rich: Benoit finishes Rich off with a full nelson suplex for the win.
Jim Ross hosts the Superbrawl III Control Center which features hype for Vader/Sting WCW World Heavyweight Championship match. He also promotes Great Muta/Barry Windham for the NWA World Championship. Rock N’ Roll Express will compete against the Wrecking Crew. We see clips of the Express from 1990 where they defeated the Midnight Express.
Rock N’ Roll Express cut a pre-tape promo and say that it is a honor to be the first tag team from another promotion to appear on WCW programming.
Fourth Contest: Wrecking Crew defeated Italian Stallion/Larry Santo: Rage has Santo over his shoulder as Fury leaps off the top to hit the Wrecking Ball finisher to win the bout.
After the match, Larry Zbyszko interviews the Wrecking Crew. They are here for one reason and that is to beat Ricky Steamboat and Shane Douglas to win the tag team titles. That whole segment looked quite awkward.
Fifth Contest: Robbie V defeated Pat Rose: Robbie wins the bout following a split legged moonsault.
We go to a promo by Steamboat and Douglas from after COTC conducted by Schiavone Steamboat says that people doubted they were tough enough or Douglas was the weak link. Douglas turns around and has a bloody face. He says that Austin and Pillman drew first blood but they will be happy to finish it whenever they want!
Vader and Orndorff cut a promo before the match where Orndorff promises that either Zenk or Gunn or even both will get seriously hurt. Orndorff tells Cactus Jack that he hasn’t forgotten about being hit with a shovel and beat him fair and square. Vader wants everyone to take notice because they are here.
Sixth Contest: WCW World Heavyweight Champion Big Van Vader/Paul Orndorff defeated Tom Zenk/Johnny Gunn: While Zenk and Gunn got a few moves in; there was never any doubt about the outcome here. Vader pins Zenk following a power bomb and Orndorff pile drives Gunn on the floor.
Tony Schiavone hosts Up Close this week to interview Sting. Tony talks about Great American Bash 1992, which Sting says was a physical match and credits Vader as being the biggest guy he has ever wrestled. He made a mistake during the bout and lost the championship. He doesn’t think anyone will ever kick out of the power bomb. Tony talks about the King of the Cable match against Vader. Sting didn’t change how he was going to beat Vader. Tony brings up the White Castle of Fear which Sting has no idea what that is about. He didn’t know what spin the deal make the deal was but beat Jake Roberts. He doesn’t care what the match is because he is just happy to get his hands on Vader again to regain the WCW World Heavyweight Championship!
Seventh Contest: Barry Windham defeated 2 Cold Scorpio: Windham slaps Scorpio to open the match and works on Scorpio with an elbow strike and right hand. Scorpio rolls Windham up out of the corner but only gets a two count. Windham is kicked to the floor and is suplexed back into the ring from the apron by Scorpio. Windham stops Scorpio by slamming him gut first down to the mat. Windham gets a two count following a vertical suplex. Scorpio nearly wins with a sunset flip but is met with a clothesline while sitting on the mat. Windham connects with a leg drop and kicks Scorpio into a corner. Windham hits a gut wrench slam but Scorpio kicks out at two on the cover attempt. Scorpio nearly gets the win again with a quick inside cradle. Windham comes back with a back suplex for a near fall. Scorpio counters a back suplex with one of his own and backdrops Windham followed by a dropkick. Scorpio comes off the ropes to hit Windham with a shoulder block for a two count. Scorpio nails Windham with a super kick but isn’t able to get a three count. Scorpio hits a twisting leg drop but Windham kicks out. Scorpio connects with another back suplex but misses a slingshot 450 splash. Windham comes off the top with a double axe handle and plants Scorpio with a jumping DDT to win the match. (***. I thought this was a nice fast paced contest. Some of the spots were repetitive but it was a good match.)
Larry Zbyszko interview Cactus Jack and the Barbarian. Jack doesn’t believe it will be the end between him and Orndorff in a no disqualification match. He says that as long as his ribs and neck hurt him his issues with Vader and Paul Orndorff will not be over.
Eighth Contest: Cactus Jack/the Barbarian defeated Tex Slazenger/Shanghai Pierce: Jack and Pierce start the contest. Pierce backs Jack into a corner and they trade right hands with Jack getting the better of it and knocks Pierce off his feet with a back elbow. Pierce knee lifts Jack and tags to Tex but he and Jack exchange a series of right hands on the apron. Jack tosses Tex to the floor and Jack looks for an elbow drop off the apron but Tex crawls out of the area. Barbarian tags in but Tex delivers several knee lifts and right hands. Barbarian backdrops Tex and connects with a snap suplex followed by an elbow drop. Jack tags in and works on Tex with right hands. Pierce tags in but Barbarian controls him with a wristlock. Pierce fights out of the hold and tags in Tex. Barbarian nails both men with a running clothesline. Barbarian delivers a running big boot to the back of Tex’s head but misses a second attempt and gets crotched on the top rope. Pierce tags in and gets a two count. Barbarian catches Pierce with a nice power slam and Jack tags in along with Tex. They exchange blows until Jack goes for the DDT but backdrops Pierce and plants Tex with the DDT for the win. (**. The match was good when Tex and Jack were going at it. Barbarian and Pierce couldn’t really keep up with the momentum that their partners set before them.)
Main Event: WCW United States Champion Dustin Rhodes fought Ricky Steamboat to a draw to retain the title: Rhodes takes Steamboat over with a side headlock and keeps it on for a few moments. Rhodes shoulder blocks Steamboat and counters a hip toss with one of his own. Rhodes with a few side headlocks but Steamboat quickly counters with a head scissors. Steamboat keeps the head scissors locked on after a third takedown. Rhodes gets out of the hold and has a leg lock on Steamboat. Steamboat counters with a hammerlock. Steamboat counters a headlock with a roll up for a two count. They have a test of strength with Steamboat getting the early advantage. Steamboat breaks the hold and takes Rhodes down to the mat with a top wristlock. They both fall to the floor as they tried to counter hip toss attempts. While on the floor, they have a confrontation and shove each other. Back in the ring, Rhodes backs Steamboat into a corner but the referee pulls them apart. They trade slaps and right hands until Rhodes dropkicks Steamboat. Steamboat chops Rhodes as he comes off the ropes. Steamboat scoop slams Rhodes two times but Rhodes gets his knees up to block a splash attempt. Rhodes scoop slams Steamboat followed by an elbow drop for a two count. Rhodes sunset flips Steamboat and nearly wins. Steamboat does the same. Rhodes backslides Steamboat for a two and gets a two count with an inside cradle. Rhodes comes off the ropes with a cross body for a two count. Rhodes breaks free from a sleeper hold with a jaw breaker for a two count. Steamboat rolls Rhodes up for a two count. Rhodes knee lifts Steamboat and connects with a leaping clothesline for a two count. Rhodes looks for a running bulldog but Steamboat shoves Rhodes away! The bell sounds as the time limit has expired. They trade punches as the show goes off the air. (**1/2. It was a decent bout but I didn’t think it was all that special. The emotion seemed to be there as Steamboat looked to be annoyed with the young punk Rhodes but the action was rather simple and really bland to me.)
Final Thoughts: I think it’s kind of interesting to see WCW have guys like Benoit and Robbie V (RVD) during the early stages of their career. Heck, Scotty Flamingo (Raven) is there too. It’s fun to see how they grew as performers and all that. Anyway, this week’s show wasn’t all that bad. The three featured bouts were at least decent and they are doing an okay job with their hype job for Superbrawl, though I don’t have any interest in the Rock N’ Roll Express. I’ll give this week’s show a mild thumbs up.
Thanks for reading.