Bill Watts took over WCW on June 1st. His first moves were to name Ole Anderson as head ref of WCW, ban moves from the top rope, take the mats away from around the ring, start to try and make wrestlers agree to pay cuts, ban the wrestlers’ families from being backstage at events, cut the buffet budget for the TV events, make all the wrestlers stay in the building until the main event was over, no playing cards in the locker room, no heel/face intermingling and finally Watts wanted the new deal Kip Frey had put together with the NWA to be marginalized quickly.
Scott Hall was booked to replace Larry Zybysko in the Dangerous Alliance. Rather than accepting the biggest break of his career, Hall quit and jumped to the WWF.
Mr. Hughes, Big Josh and Ricky Morton were all told by WCW that they will be released at the end of their contracts.
Bobby Eaton has a legit shoulder injury and the War Games finish will be used as a cover story for it.
Madusa accused Ricky Steamboat of stalking her and beating women. Rick Rude also had two women come out and accuse Steamboat of having affairs with them behind the back of his wife Bonnie.
After taking the blame for losing War Games, Larry Zybysko accidentally struck Arn Anderson during a tag team match. Anderson was furious and vowed to stick to being a singles wrestler from now on.. Steve Austin then was put into a match with Zbyszko where Larry was suppose to prove himself to the Dangerous Alliance. He slapped Paul E for this disrespect.
Steve Austin reclaimed his TV title from Barry Windham.
Abdullah the Butcher was asked to lose to Dustin Rhodes at the Omni in early June, he refused and quit WCW.
June 20th, 1992
Tony Schiavone and Eric Bischoff are in casual wear. Bill Watts joins them in a t-shirt, fanny pack and gym pants. How professional. JR runs down the card and Jesse Ventura hangs out with a bunch of the bikini clad women up on the set.
Light Heavyweight champion Brian Pillman vs. Scotty Flamingo
Gary Michael Cappetta is no longer WCW’s ring announcer apparently. That’s disappointing. They go through some basic grappling to start, with Pillman controlling the action. Pillman grounds him with an armlock and works it for several minutes. Pillman drop kicks Flamingo into the ropes, where he gets hung up and then dumps Flamingo to the cement floor. Pillman tries a top rope move, but the ref blocks him and Flamingo slams him off. Flamingo takes over with rest holds. Jesse even flat out says Scotty is resting. This dull stuff goes on for several more minutes before Pillman hits a dropkick and fires up for his comeback. Flamingo nearly cuts him off with a power slam but Flamingo poses and gets backdropped off the second rope for being a moron. Pillman clotheslines him to the ramp but misses a dive after him and splats on the wood ramp. Flamingo gets him back in the ring and scores the upset win. Not a good start to the banned top rope moves era of WCW.
Johnny B. Badd comes out for part one of the Missy Hyatt vs. Madusa “First lady of WCW” competition. Round one is the evening gown competition.
Ron Simmons vs. The Taylor Made Man
Taylor learns early that he can’t match power with Simmons. Simmons takes him down with chop blocks but ends up dumped to the ramp. Simmons takes over again right away, press slamming Taylor into the ring and clotheslining him to the cement. Simmons tries charging again and Taylor deposits him on the ramp once again. After absorbing some punishment, Simmons comes back with a spinebuster and then just chokes Taylor. A good looking powerslam finishes it. A nothing match, technically fine but unspectacular. Simmons puts over his quest to be World champion afterwards.
Marcus Alexander Bagwell vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine
Hammer clubs away and tries a piledriver early and ends up back dropped for his efforts. Bagwell hits a few dropkicks, so Valentine takes a breather to regroup. Hammer chops away and drives elbows into Bagwell’s neck. Both men make mistakes as Valentine misses an elbow and Bagwell misses a knee drop – that allows Hammer to begin to work on the leg. Bagwell fights out of several figure-four attempts and tries a few desperation cradles. Hammer keeps the focus on Bagwell’s leg and locks on a figure-four for the surprise submission win. Bagwell was booked like a chump here, every thing he did was fluky and then he quit like a bitch.
Falls Count Anywhere: World Champion Sting vs. Cactus Jack
What the hell is this doing in the mid-card? The title is not on the line, I guess because of the violent stipulation. Jack awaits Sting on the ramp and the brawl starts right there. Jack is backdropped on the ramp and then has his face driven into the wood. Sting misses a flying attack and crotches himself. Jack smells blood and drops an elbow from the ring down onto Sting on the cement. Jack roughs him up around the ringside before Sting backdrops him over the railing. A pursuit into the fans ends with Sting suplexing Jack onto the concrete. Another violent toss over the railing sees Jack’s kidneys again splat into the cement. Jack takes over in the ring and tortures Sting by ripping at his face. Sting gets pissed from that and fights his way out. Jack sends both himself and Sting over the ropes. Jack hits several safe chair shots across Sting’s back and goes back to tearing at Sting’s face. The champion responds by back suplexing Jack onto the pavement. Sting attempts another leaping attack and Jack drops him on the railing. Jack misses a follow up plunge from the second rope to the floor. Sting works over Jack’s leg with a chair and they trade abuse on the ramp. Sting connects on a flying clothesline and that is enough to earn the win. One heck of a brawl and a template for a million brawls like it to come in the ensuing years.
30 minute “Iron Man” match: US Champion Rick Rude vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
This is also non-title. Steamboat brings his four year old kid with him to the ring. Steamboat gets protective of Rude moving in too close and attacks Rude, injuring his ribs with his first flurry. Steamboat dominates the early minutes and traps Rude in several torturous submission holds. Steamboat dominates for almost eight minutes, but runs into a kick and gets pinned out of nowhere for a 1-0 lead for Rude. Rude takes advantage of a dazed Steamboat and delivers a Rude Awakening neckbreaker for a 2-0 lead. Rude then delivers a knee drop off the top, which earns him a DQ but injures Steamboat gravely. Rude quickly makes a cover to take a 3-1 lead. Steamboat starts to work at Rude’s ribs in a desperate bid to take control but Rude pounds him down and locks on a time-consuming chinlock. Steamboat fights his way out but foolishly tries a splash and knocks the wind out of himself by landing on Rude’s knees. Rude wears away on Steamboat and nearly seals the win with a piledriver. Steamboat fights out of a Tombstone and drops Rude with one of his own to make it 3-2.
Steamboat delivers a superplex but is too out of it to make the tying pin. Both men are then downed with dueling clotheslines. Steamboat clears the cobwebs first and rolls up Rude for the pin that makes it 3-3. Rude talks trash as he re-takes control and wears away at The Dragon. Steamboat fights out of the Rude Awakening and delivers one of his own for the near fall. Rude locks on a sleeper and forces Steamboat to burn up energy to fight his way out in the closing minutes of the match. Steamboat survives for almost four minutes in the sleeper before he manages to kick off the turnbuckle and roll on top of Rude for the win. Rude gets a series of desperation pin attempts but the match ends with Steamboat up 4-3. Tremendous match and these two made the 30 minutes fly by.
Madusa and Missy have the bathing suit portion of their competition. Madusa looks good but Missy cheats by wearing a bikini.
Nikita Koloff, Barry Windham and Dustin Rhodes vs. Arn Anderson, Steve Austin and Bobby Eaton
After months of TV matches and a violent War Games…this feud is still going on? Ole Anderson is the guest ref. Austin is abused early and makes the tag out. Arn and Eaton take turns trying to take on Rhodes and Nikita but have little luck. Anderson turns his back on Koloff and ends up being blasted with a Russian sickle. The heels try and cheat but Koloff wipes all three of them out by himself. Windham comes in and Anderson tries to have his henchmen distract Ole long enough to deliver a top rope attack to put over the psychology of the new rules. Rhodes tags in and after some early success, falls into the face in peril role. One of the many old ladies in the front row gets on Ole’s case over the heels constant cheating. Windham comes in from the hot tag and all six men brawl. Arn attacks from the top rope behind Ole’s back, then does it again but gets caught and DQ’d. This was technically fine but I wasn’t feeling this contest at all. The crowd was burnt out from the 30-minute match that preceded this and were pretty dead throughout as well.
Paul E promises that Ricky Steamboat won’t be given any further shots at Rick Rude’s title. Cactus Jack attacks Steamboat and they brawl to the back.
Ross does some carny B.S. and announces that Madusa is ahead of the 1-900 voting and implies we best call in and support the babyface.
The finals of the Madusa vs. Missy contest is a bikini contest. Madusa sports chaps with her outfit. Missy Hyatt’s suit has been stolen, so she steals Ventura’s scarf and bandana and uses that for an outfit. Badd then declares Hyatt the winner without seeking the hotline results and Madusa chases him into her changing room. Badd takes off her top and Ventura jumps in to take advantage of the situation.
WCW World tag team champions The Steiner Brothers vs. Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy and “Dr. Death’ Steve Williams
The Miracle Violence Connection is in Japanese garb. Scott and Gordy tangle on the mat to start and neither man can gain an advantage. Dr. Death tags in and he and Scott engage in a Greco-Roman stalemate before rolling around the mat and trying to gain an edge. Dr. Death misses a charge and Scott’s able to ground him with a side headlock. Rick tags in and he and Doc prove to be equals in Greco as well. Rick hits the first impact move of the match by tossing Williams with a belly to belly. Doc regroups and uses football chop blocks to hamper Rick. Steiner blasts off a Steinerline to end that. Gordy tags in and he and Rick trade back suplexes. Dr.Death gets back in and sends Steiner to the floor. Gordy grabs a half-crab to try and wear down Rick. Rick fights out and manages a belly-to-belly. Scott tags in and ties Gordy up on the mat. Doc gets a blind tag and ambushes Steiner while he’s still tied down with Gordy on the mat. Doc and Gordy take turns grinding Scott into the mat. Gordy wallops Scott with a big lariat and allows Doc to come in for more torture. They trade off working on his leg for multiple minutes.
Rick finally makes the hot tag and he powerslams and bulldogs Dr. Death. Scott tries to set up a double team move but Scott gets shellacked and knocked to the floor. The heels set Rick up for a top rope power slam and the old lady in the front row is almost despondent. She holds her head with both hands and then buries her face in her knees when the move is executed. Kayfabe lives.
The heels double shoulder block Rick but even that isn’t enough to keep Rick down. Dr.Death locks in a cross facelock as the time limit nears. Rick avoids the Oklahoma Stampede powerslam and levels both heels with Steinerlines. Scott tags in with 30 seconds remaining and he works over both heels. They blow the finish as Scott hits a double underhook suplex that Gordy pops up quickly from as they are suppose to hit a Frankensteiner before the time runs out. 30 minute draw.
The match was plodding for a large chunk of the middle heel heat segment, but I liked the early faux-UFC grappling and the last few minutes. This probably could have been a really intense 15-20 minute bout had it been placed in the mid-card and given a better finish.
Final thoughts: Why would you book a time limit draw to end a PPV? Why is World champion Sting in a non-title match in the middle of the PPV? Why is Rick Rude not defending the title against Steamboat? Why are the Dangerous Alliance still feuding with Sting’s buddies when they already lost the war? Why did the announcers talk up a Sting vs. Vader match for the Great American Bash next month and yet Vader didn’t make any sort of appearance? Why did WCW not follow up on the Zybysko/Dangerous Alliance issues on PPV? This is listed by some as one of the best PPVs ever, but I can’t say that in good conscious. Some tweaks could have made this card much better.