Through the Years: WCW from SuperBrawl 3 to Slamboree 1993

Very early into March, with Bill Watts already gone and Jim Ross demoted, Ross decided that he was simply going to resign from WCW. WCW after SuperBrawl was very much in flux, and their programming in March was not very good as a result. As such, I won’t be reviewing too much of it. Also, as previously stated, my coverage of the Television Championship Tournament will only be of the final match. I’m also interested to see if Eric Bischoff increased his role now that he had more power, or whether he decided to wait.

– Taped to air March 13th, 1993, on WCW Saturday Night, from Center Stage Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia

Paul Orndorff vs. Dustin Rhodes for the WCW United States Championship

Pre-Match Thoughts: This sounds like classic, old-school wrestling. I totally approve of this. When there were no creative ideas for pretty much anyone at this point, this is the kind of thing they’d resort to. Wrestling matches to fill a lot of time, that is. The crowd is chanting Paula quite loudly. We have Schiavone and Ventura working this show now!

Match Review: After some stalling, these two finally lock up and Dustin slaps a headlock on Orndorff. Orndorff makes the ropes, and we have a clean break. I’m surprised. Back to the headlock, until Dustin misses a dropkick. Orndorff misses an elbow drop, so Dustin pops him with a right hand and we get more stalling. Orndorff goes for a knucklelock, but Dustin elbows him in the back of the head instead. Dustin grabs onto Orndorff with a wristlock, which Orndorff breaks by grabbing hair. Dustin grabs back on, and takes Orndorff down with a cross body for 2. Orndorff slaps a headlock on Dustin, and we go to a commercial as Dustin goes to a wristlock. That’s bad editing.

Back from the commercial, Rick Rude is on commentary. HE’S BACK! Orndorff has a wristlock on Dustin, who gets out and whiffs on a charge to the corner. Orndorff thumbs Dustin in the eye, then rakes his eyes on the top rope. That’s dirty fighting. Orndorff clotheslines Dustin down, then an elbow smash gets 2. Orndorff misses his own charge to the corner, but Dustin misses a clothesline and Orndorff capitalizes with another elbow smash. Orndorff puts a sleeper on Dustin, placing his feet on the ropes during it. He eventually lets go and tries to put it back on, but Dustin puts his own sleeper on the veteran. Orndorff gets out and kicks Dustin in the head a few times, then Dustin gets up and powerslams him. Dustin clotheslines Orndorff, boots him in the face, and dropkicks him for 2. Orndorff comes back and throws Dustin to the outside, then follows him for some punches. After they trade, Dustin takes Orndorff and posts him, leading to a DQ after about 14 minutes or so. Rick Rude was angry about Dustin doing that, so INTO THE RING HE GOES. He says IT’S TIME FOR DUSTIN TO SUFFER. YOU’RE A WHIPPIN’ BOY, NO KIND OF MAN. Some officials keep Dustin from getting in the ring, sadly.

My Thoughts: This match was acceptable, but the finish stunk and I don’t understand why Dustin’s character would have done something like that. Anyway, Orndorff was a good hand and definitely capable in the ring. Dustin as a singles wrestler was also capable, but I don’t know if I’d go any further. This was **1/4. Not exactly a great start to Dustin’s reign if I’m being honest.

WCW switched the title back from Vader to Sting while they were in Europe. Of course, it went straight back to Vader before that tour was said and done.

– Taped to air March 27th, 1993, on Worldwide, from Macon Coliseum in Macon, Georgia

The Hollywood Blonds vs. Ricky Steamboat and Shane Douglas for the WCW/NWA Tag Team Championships

Pre-Match Thoughts: I’m always cool with this match, and this isn’t the first match between these teams. Nor would it be the last, for that matter. Given this is on Worldwide, it’s hard to tell what the outcome would be. I assume they’d save a title change for the big show, right? Maybe I’m just wrong. Odds are this match is going to be awesome. The story is that Douglas has a bad knee.

Match Review: Austin and Steamboat will start things off. Very common, that pairing. They lock up, and Austin doesn’t break clean at all. They slap each other, and Steamboat cradles Austin up for 2. Austin reverses for 2, and Steamboat chops him down a lot, leading to Austin taking a chance and throwing Steamboat out of the ring. Steamboat backdrops Austin when he gets back in there, and dropkicks him too. Douglas makes a tag in for a double hip toss, and an assisted press splash that gets 2. Douglas puts an armbar on Austin, who throws him into the corner so Pillman can hit him. Pillman tags in for a double backdrop, but Douglas blocks that only to get chopped by Pillman. Pillman takes Douglas down, but gets kicked into the corner and rolled up for 2. Douglas hits Pillman with an enzuigiri, then tags in Steamboat, who gets elbowed in the face. Steamboat and Pillman chop each other, then Steamboat catches Pillman and catapults him into his partner. Steamboat follows with a back suplex, and brings Douglas in with a slingshot splash for 2. Pillman gives Douglas a jawbreaker, and we go to a commercial.

Back from that commercial, we have Austin in with Douglas, I don’t believe anything was cut from the match. Austin gets kicked out of the ring by Douglas, and is brought in with a suplex that gets 2. Austin wants a timeout, and takes the chance to hit Douglas down low. Douglas goes to an abdominal stretch, and tags in Steamboat to do the same. Austin hip tosses his way out, but Steamboat goes back to the hold anyway. Douglas tags in there, puts the hold on, and Austin trips Douglas, then sits on him. Pillman tags in there, shoulders Douglas down, and Douglas responds with a press slam. Douglas beats Pillman up in the corner, then clotheslines Pillman down. Austin gets clotheslined too, then Steamboat makes the tag in. Steamboat takes Pillman down with a kind of powerbomb or side slam that gets 2, then applies a chinlock. That turns into a surfboard, until Steamboat decides to tag in Douglas once more. Douglas lands a double axehandle from the top rope, but Austin’s able to tag in and go to work on him anyway. He rams Douglas into the buckle a few times, then picks Douglas up for a slam, only for Douglas to cradle him up instead. So, with the referee’s back turned, Pillman grabs Douglas with a towel and starts choking him with it. Haha. This crowd got MAD. Austin kicks Douglas to the outside for more choking with the towel, and we go to another commercial.

This time when we come back, Steamboat’s out of position for the tag, and Pillman clotheslines him to keep him from tagging. Pillman then tries to dive on Steamboat, but wipes out and hits the rail as Austin chokes Douglas with the towel. Pillman crawls back in to slam Douglas, then tags in Austin who misses a slingshot splash. Austin goes to a bear hug instead, and when Douglas gets out, he hits Austin with some right hands. He dives for the tag, but Austin SPINEBUSTERS him for 2. Douglas trips Austin and punches him, but he’s no closer to the tag until he drops Austin with a back suplex. This time, Steamboat was playing to the crowd, and Douglas couldn’t tag. Pillman back suplexes Douglas for 2, then heads up top for a ROCKET LAUNCHER. Douglas gets the knees up, dodges an Austin leapfrog body guillotine, and THERE’S THE TAG. Steamboat comes in with chops to both Blonds, then slams them both too. Dropkicks follow that, then a noggin-knocker. Steamboat throws Austin over the top, which is ILLEGAL. Now he goes to SUPERPLEX Pillman, and THERE IT IS. Steamboat says he’s going up top, and he comes down with a cross body that Austin breaks up by elbow smashing his partner from the top rope. Now Austin holds up the referee, as Steamboat has Pillman covered for 2. Douglas decides to take Austin out, flying to the outside with a PLANCHA! He slams Austin on the floor, as Pillman’s beating up Steamboat. Steamboat and Pillman collide with each other, then Austin grabs the tag title and WAFFLES STEAMBOAT WITH IT. He puts Pillman on top, and Pillman pins Steamboat for the tag titles after 19:20!!! THE BLONDS HAVE ARRIVED!

My Thoughts: The crowd was BEGGING for the Dusty finish there. That was so good. Can’t imagine these teams putting on a better match. They did the entire Southern style playbook to get heat, basically. This crowd was on fire by the end. Great booking with the finish, as they didn’t resort to Douglas’ knee being the cause of it or anything like that. I would have disliked the finish if that had been the case. Instead, the Blonds simply cheated to win. Can’t believe that match hasn’t been put on a WWE DVD given how much they like to show things from the Blonds era in those DVD’s. ****1/4. The Blonds got the crowd into the match just by choking someone with a towel. Imagine that.

– Taped to air April 3rd, 1993, on Worldwide, from Macon Coliseum in Macon, Georgia

WCW Television Championship Tournament Final: Paul Orndorff vs. Erik Watts

Pre-Match Thoughts: With Bill Watts gone, this result is a dead giveaway, isn’t it. I’m surprised WCW would push on with putting Watts in this match, but this show was taped just a few days after Bill Watts left WCW. This match was in the can for a whole month. I don’t really understand the logic there. The odds this will be good are small from my perspective, but with it being a tournament decider, I don’t have a choice. 15 minute time limit here.

Match Review: Orndorff and Watts lock up, and Watts uses a fireman’s carry on him. Orndorff comes back with a wristlock, which Watts reverses to a hammerlock. Orndorff counters with a headlock, and Watts counters with a hammerlock. Orndorff is doing a good job leading this guy through the match so far. Watts takes Orndorff down with an overhead throw, but Orndorff arm drags him and puts a hammerlock on the kid. Orndorff drops a knee on that arm, so Watts elbows him in the face and applies a wristlock. The crowd is bored. Orndorff goes for a hip toss, but Watts hip tosses him instead and misses an elbow drop. Orndorff goes back to an armbar, then Watts takes him down with a cross body for 2. Orndorff snatches onto the arm again, and this match is dying in front of this crowd. I don’t blame Orndorff for working it this way, though. Orndorff misses a dropkick, so Watts hits him with a terrible elbow drop. Watts goes to the hammerlock himself, and shoots the half for 2. The crowd can’t even chant at Orndorff, that’s how much they don’t care for Watts. Watts blocks a backdrop, applies an armbar. This is literally grueling, for the watcher that is. Watts shoulders Orndorff down, so Orndorff pops up and throws Watts out of the ring. Orndorff follows that with an elbow from the apron, and smashes Watts’ face on the floor. Watts crawls back to the apron, and sunset flips his way in only for Orndorff to block it. Orndorff follows that up with a clothesline, and he heads up top only for Watts to hit him on the way down. Watts hits Orndorff with some forearms, so Orndorff goes to the eyes and goes for a suplex, only for Watts to botch a cradle. Oh boy. Orndorff throws Watts head-first into the corner, and follows that up with a back suplex. Orndorff finishes Watts with the PILEDRIVER, and gets the pinfall at 12:17.

My Thoughts: I’m really glad to see that match end. There are no positives to be said. Watts just couldn’t carry his end of the match at all. Orndorff tried to work a style that would make Watts look decent as opposed to a style where he’d blow all of his moves. I really have no preference for either. The style I want to see, is no more Erik Watts. DUD. I was going to watch an Arn Anderson vs. Erik Watts match, but I just fucking can’t. Anyway, what happened, was that Bobby Eaton and Arn Anderson basically broke up. WCW left Arn Anderson on the shelf for 3 months. What can you say?

– Taped to air April 17th, 1993, on Worldwide, from the Memorial Coliseum in Shreveport, Louisiana

Steven Regal vs. Barry Windham for the NWA World Championship

Pre-Match Thoughts: That’s an unusual taping location for WCW. I read that they trotted Scott Norton out there with no build and he got no reaction whatsoever. Regal was supposed to be brought in as a gimmick-less, tough as nails babyface. Before the match, they aired the feud so far between Arn Anderson and Barry Windham. What happened is that Windham told “the rookies” to go get Arn Anderson, who was standing right behind Windham. Then they brawled! The crowd went nuts for this and appeared to buy Anderson completely as a title challenger. This might be a good match.

Match Review: Regal and Windham lock up, and Regal goes to an arm drag. Windham comes back with an armbar, then it’s a hammerlock. Regal elbows him in the mouth, and hits him with some EUROPEAN UPPERCUTS. Windham goes back to the arm, stomping on it. When Regal gets up this time, they fight over a wristlock, going into the ropes. Windham eventually resorts to kicks and elbows, then a HAMMERLOCK SLAM. Windham applies an armbar, then rams Regal into the buckle. Regal comes back with more EUROPEAN UPPERCUTS, then applies his own hammerlock. HE’S MAD. He drags Windham to the canvas with it, but Windham elbows him in the mush. Windham goes to the eyes next, and pops Regal with a big right to put him down. Regal grabs back onto the arm, and we go to a commercial.

Back from that, Regal pops Windham with a back elbow and misses a charge to the corner. Windham grabs Regal by the face and tosses him across the ring, then boots him in the head. Windham drops a knee on Regal, then takes him over with a suplex for 2. Windham elbows Regal, then picks him up and slams him. Windham drops a leg for 2, then beats Regal up in the corner with body shots. Windham drops Regal with a back suplex for 2, then Regal lands some big lefts, sending the champion reeling. Windham takes Regal down with a gutwrench suplex for 2, but Regal comes back with more punches. Windham rakes Regal’s face on the ropes, and Regal’s tired of that, but Windham clotheslines him for 2. Windham goes for a slam, but Regal cradles him up for 2. Windham goes for another slam, but Regal rolls him up again for 2. Regal pops Windham in the face a few times, then headbutts him in the gut. Regal follows that up with a cross body, and both guys fly over the top, with Regal hooking his foot in the ropes and going upside down. Regal rolls into the ring before the count of 10, but Windham hooks him up for the DDT and picks up the victory after about 12 minutes.

My Thoughts: It’s extremely strange to see Regal as a babyface, but it didn’t take me out of the match at all. This was a good match, with good strikes and some really good selling by Regal. The crowd didn’t get behind Regal too much, and obviously him being foreign had something to do with that. Regal definitely needed the gimmick they gave him, so it’s good they did. Otherwise, I’m not sure they’d have kept him around, despite being a great talent. Windham was still on a roll and this was no exception. ***1/4.

– Taped to air April 17th, 1993, on WCW Saturday Night, from Center Stage Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia

Cactus Jack vs. Big Van Vader (w/Harley Race) for the WCW Championship

Pre-Match Thoughts: They don’t get much better than this, folks. Have been looking forward to watching this for quite a long time. I’m watching the one with Mick’s own footage, even though that means no Jesse Ventura. This is one of the very few exciting things about WCW at this particular time. They weren’t exactly setting the world on fire. This DVD is pretty old, I’m surprised that it worked.

Match Review: Vader’s doing his full routine, which doesn’t have the novelty now that it used to have for me. Still love it, they lock up, and Cactus peppers Vader with forearms to knock him down. Vader gets up, and it’s punishment time. He clobbers Cactus with some punches to the face, basically busting his nose up immediately. Vader hits Cactus with forearms to the face too, and straight rights that bust Cactus wide open. Vader follows that with a splash in the corner, then he breaks Jack’s nose with even more punches. Why would he do this? Cactus picks Vader up and slams him, then drops a leg on him. Now Cactus goes up top, and comes down with a flying clothesline! Cactus returns the favor with forearms, then knocks Vader to the outside with a clothesline. Cactus then clotheslines Vader on the rail, knocking it down! He clotheslines Race next for good measure, getting a big pop from the crowd!

After a commercial, Cactus is beating Vader up as Vader sits on the apron. Vader gets back in there, and tastes some turnbuckle a few times. Cactus climbs on his back, so Vader decides to drop down and almost crush him to death. Oh shit. Vader’s mask is off now, so he punches Cactus in the nose to bust him open worse. WHO’S THE MAN? He beats Cactus up in the corner, and knocks him down with another right hand. Race chokes Cactus for good measure, like he really needs to be choked after what’s gone on. Vader then puts Cactus on his shoulders, and SAMOAN DROPS him. Vader follows up with the VADER BOMB, and a few more punches get in there. This guy. Vader throws Cactus out of the ring so Race can get in some punches of his own, and Race holds Cactus in place, only for Vader to clothesline his manager on accident. Vader boots Cactus in the face after that, and Cactus barely makes it back into the ring. Vader beats him up more, then clotheslines Cactus over the top. That was a little botched. Cactus makes it to the rail to be able to get up, then dodges Vader, who splashes the rail and falls over. Cactus gets up to the apron, somersaults off it onto Vader, and crawls back into the ring for the count-out victory at 13:28!

After the match, Vader throws the rail around, and cuts a promo where he said he’ll face Cactus ANYWHERE. WCW DOESN’T HAVE TO SANCTION IT, AND CACTUS JUST STARTED A WAR. He started smacking Race and Schiavone around, getting super heated. I loved this. They had the rematch the next week!

My Thoughts: This match was good for the punishment given and story told as opposed to the execution of things. I can’t believe Cactus let Vader do that to him. He’s crazy for signing up to do that. He must have really wanted a push. Vader’s promo was better than the match, you know. This was super realistic. Surprised they actually aired that, because this was so unlike WCW to do so. Great feud. ***, that’s as high I can go from a match quality perspective. Vader bludgeoned Foley’s face. That’s the match, pretty much.

– Taped to air April 24th, 1993, on WCW Saturday Night, from Center Stage Theatre, in Atlanta, Georgia

Ron Simmons vs. Paul Orndorff for the WCW Television Championship

Pre-Match Thoughts: Simmons and Orndorff were starting a little rivalry, and this is the most obvious choice in match to check out. For whatever reason, the title was only on the line for the first ten minutes of the match. I can’t explain that at all. Weird to see Simmons pushed so far down the card.

Match Review: The clock was running, as Simmons spent a lot of time taunting Orndorff before the match started. They finally lock up, and Orndorff claims that Simmons grabbed hair. Simmons says that’s a lie, and gets a Paula pennant to wave it around. WCW gave those away. That’s smart. Orndorff fires off some elbows on Simmons, and Simmons comes back with a cross body for 2. Simmons cradles Orndorff up for 2, then a backslide gets 2 as well. Orndorff goes to the throat area, then takes Simmons down for an elbow smash. Simmons gets up and blocks a charge to the corner, then takes Orndorff down with a clothesline for 2. Simmons follows with a backbreaker, then goes up top and comes down only for Orndorff to dodge him. Orndorff slaps a chinlock on Simmons, who gets out and Orndorff knees him in the gut for 2. Orndorff elbows Simmons a bit low, stomps on his head, and puts a sleeper on Simmons. Simmons runs Orndorff’s head into a turnbuckle to break it, but Orndorff dishes out a back suplex for 2. Orndorff follows that up with a DDT that gets 2, and a suplex also gets 2. Orndorff signals for the PILEDRIVER, but Simmons counters with a backdrop instead. Simmons follows that with a powerslam for 2, and Orndorff rolls out of the ring to preserve his title. Simmons elbows Orndorff in the corner, and gets 2 on the cover. There are only 10 seconds left. Simmons cradles Orndorff up for 2, so he’s not going to win the title. Instead, Simmons collides with Orndorff to knock him out of the ring. Dustin Rhodes walks out to throw Orndorff in the ring, and Simmons rolls Orndorff up for the victory at 10:32.

My Thoughts: This was a solid match, and it was a good idea to have Simmons pin Orndorff after the time limit. That way, it was obvious that Orndorff was vulnearable and Simmons had a chance. The odd thing is, they didn’t do this match at Slamboree or anything of the sort. Orndorff’s match was entirely different. ** is what I’ll go with. On the next week’s episode, they had Simmons beat Orndorff again, after Simmons had hit Orndorff with a foreign object. That result was overturned.

Cactus Jack vs. Big Van Vader (w/Harley Race) for the WCW Championship

Pre-Match Thoughts: I’m elated that we got a rematch the very next week. That wasn’t common in wrestling in those days. Cactus walked out with his nose taped up, and I don’t remotely expect that tape to remain on his nose for the whole match. Is Foley going to get himself hurt again? While Vader mugs for the camera, Race decides to attack Cactus, only for Cactus to pick him up and slam him.

Match Review: They head straight out to the floor, and Cactus nails Vader with some big forearms. Vader returns the favor with punches, and a headbutt follows that. They go into the dressing room and Cactus hits Vader with a chair, then beats him up and drops an elbow on the concrete floor. Has the match even started? I don’t think so. Cactus takes Vader off and peppers him with right hands, then he bites Vader. Cactus picks Vader up and suplexes him onto the rail, then runs over and slams Race on the floor! Cactus follows that up with the APRON ELBOW on Race, and throws Vader into the ring for the first time. I guess the match had started. Cactus beats Vader up in the corner, and we head to a commercial as the punishment continues.

Back from that commercial, Vader has control of Cactus, but Cactus drops him with a back suplex. Cactus goes to the second rope, and Vader catches him for a big bodyslam. Vader follows that up by dropping an elbow on Jack’s nuts, but Cactus comes back with some punches and choking. Vader punches him in the nose, boots him in the face, and knocks him down with that standing splash from the second rope. Vader follows that up with a SAMOAN DROP, then goes up to the second rope for the VADER BOMB. After that, Vader goes for another one, and crushes Cactus like a bug. Vader goes up to the second rope a third time, and down he comes with a missed double stomp. Cactus drops a leg on Vader, then takes him over the top with the CACTUS CLOTHESLINE. We’re on the floor, and Cactus slams Vader on it. Now Cactus goes up to the apron, and misses a somersault splash. Race peels up the padding from the concrete floor, and here comes something that’s a bit too far. VADER PICKS CACTUS UP, AND POWERBOMBS HIM ON THE FLOOR. The thud there, and the sweat stain where Cactus hit his head on the floor, that was terrible. Cactus gets counted out, but it doesn’t seem to matter. After a commercial, they have a neck brace on Cactus and stretcher him out of the building. This was obviously taken super seriously, with even Jesse Ventura helping out with the stretcher.

My Thoughts: This was a better match than the first one, and this was a better angle afterwards as well. This match wasn’t exactly as physical as the first one, but that’s okay because no match should be as physical as the first one. Cactus gave as well as he took in this one, until the end which was one of the stupider bumps I’ve seen. He could have had his head split open. The angle was for Foley to take some time off to deal with all his injuries from working so hard. Obviously, he needed that time off and nobody can say differently. ***1/2 for the match and finish, even though with the concussion he had, he shouldn’t have been working.

– Taped to air May 1st, 1993, on WCW Saturday Night, from Center Stage Theatre, in Atlanta, Georgia

A Flair for the Gold with Harley Race and Big Van Vader

I can see why they built up to using Flair in the ring, although I’d much rather see him wrestle. FIFI THE MAID IS THERE. This looks extremely low-rent. I like it. Fifi and Vader’s interactions are quite interesting. Flair’s questions were bothering Vader a whole lot. Eventually Vader grabbed Flair, but Flair didn’t do anything. Vader’s promo here was awesome. Flair was asked who the man was, and didn’t exactly answer that. Vader said that when Fifi was tired of running with a boy, she could come find a man. Vader challenged Flair to a match after that, also with no answer.

– Taped to air May 8th, 1993, on Worldwide, from the Municipal Auditorium in Columbus, Georgia

2 Cold Scorpio and Marcus Alexander Bagwell vs. The Hollywood Blonds for the WCW/NWA Tag Team Championships

Pre-Match Thoughts: This match was determined via computer, which supposedly picked the Blonds challengers. If you believe that, I don’t know what to say. This could be a nice match though. I’m not passing up chances to see the Blonds against legitimate competition. I should also point out that Scorpio had been in WCW for six months and hadn’t done a damn thing. Putting Scorpio with Bagwell was both a good and bad idea, I think. Good because Bagwell wouldn’t be as boring, bad because Scorpio could do better.

Match Review: Bagwell and Pillman start the match off, and Pillman grabs a foreign object immediately after making the referee check Bagwell. Now the referee checks Pillman, but he hid the foreign object well and put it back away. After giving it to Austin, Pillman and Bagwell lock up, which leads to Bagwell having a cradle blocked, Pillman missing an elbow drop, and Bagwell dropkicking him. Austin makes a tag in and lands some rights, but Bagwell comes back with a drop toe-hold. He takes Austin down with a headlock, but Austin gets up and boots him in the gut. Austin goes for a suplex, but Bagwell flips out and taunts Austin. Haha. Bagwell takes Austin over with his own suplex, getting 2 on the cover. Scorpio tags in and applies a headlock on Austin, then he takes Austin down with a cross body for 2. Scorpio follows with a dropkick that gets 2, but Austin comes back with a jawbreaker. Pillman tags in there, and Scorpio hip tosses and dropkicks him. Scorpio follows that with a baseball slide, as Pillman struggles to get back in the ring. Scorpio suplexes him back in to help him with that, and Austin walks away from the tag for some reason. Pillman and Austin start arguing, and we go to a commercial.

Back from that, Austin goes for a side slam on SCorpio, only to get sunset flipped for 2. A Scorpio cradle gets 2 as well, then a jackknife pin picks up a 2 count. All those were close falls. Scorpio goes for a flying head-scissors, but Austin counters by grabbing the ropes and forcing Scorpio to wipe out. Pillman gets in there, and hits Scorpio with some chops, so they trade for a while. Pillman takes Scorpio down with a flying head-scissors, then throws him to the outside. Pillman goes for a dive, but Scorpio dodges and Pillman flies into the railing. Bagwell and Austin make tags in, and Bagwell cleans house with clotheslines and back elbows. Pillman chokes Bagwell with the towel to cut him off, and it wasn’t spotted at all. That got great heat. Pillman and Austin keep choking Bagwell from time to time, and Pillman makes a legal tag in there. Bagwell takes Pillman down with a springboard cross body, which Pillman kicks out of at 2. Pillman forearms Bagwell for 2, then brings in Austin for a bodyslam. Austin goes up to the second rope, and comes down with a splash that lands on Bagwell’s knees. Austin goes to hit Scorpio to stop the tag, and it’s time for more choking dished out by the Blonds. Pillman tags in, and distracts the referee so that he can throw Bagwell over the top. Pillman puts Bagwell in an abdominal stretch when he gets back in there, and once again the Blonds cheat. Their shtick is PERFECT. Bagwell hip tosses his way out, but Austin cuts him off from the tag and slams him. An elbow smash gets 2, and there are apparently two minutes left on the time limit. Austin goes to a chinlock on Bagwell, and clotheslines Bagwell when he breaks it. Austin holds Bagwell up for an AIR PILLMAN, but instead Pillman takes his partner out! Scorpio makes the hot tag in, hitting Pillman and Austin with big kicks to the head. Scorpio shoulders Pillman down, then slams him and goes up top for a twisting moonsault. The referee can’t count because everyone else is in the ring, but he does count Scorpio’s cradle until Austin clotheslines Scorpio. Pillman clotheslines Austin and Scorpio rolls Pillman up, but the time limit hits after about 17 minutes and the Blonds keep their titles.

My Thoughts: Great match, but I didn’t like the finish all that much. However, the Blonds had completely refined their routine in the ring, and as such just about any match they could have would be a quality one. Their tactics were great, and there was no shortage of quality opponents for them to try them out on. They should have kept the Blonds together a lot longer and I think everyone agrees with that. Bagwell carried his end up too, he didn’t have any big spots for himself, but he really didn’t need to have any. There’s always a spot in a tag match for a hard worker who doesn’t have that repertoire. ***3/4, that was a lot of fun.

– Taped to air May 15th, 1993, on Worldwide, from the Civic Center in Montgomery, Alabama

Rick Rude vs. Dustin Rhodes for the WCW United States Championship

Pre-Match Thoughts: This is another computer challenge. The computer had spit out Kensuke Sasaki’s name, but Sasaki was supposedly injured. In reality he wasn’t even in the country at the time this was taped. I’m not complaining because I’d much rather watch this. It was announced that at Slamboree, Rick Rude and Paul Orndorff would be teaming up to face Dustin Rhodes and Kensuke Sasaki. Therefore, the US title wouldn’t be on the line at the show. That means anything can happen here. Glad that Rude was back from his injury, he’s a welcome addition to the show. Rude said that Montgomery wasn’t worth wasting his breath on, so no routine this week.

Match Review: Dustin has his shoulder taped up, so I think it’s likely the match will center around that. Rude points at Dustin and talks trash to him, then they lock up and they don’t break all that cleanly. Rude drives his shoulder into Dustin a few times, then throws him hard into the corner on the other side. Rude does that again, and Dustin comes back with a flying clothesline from the second rope for 2. Dustin throws Rude hard into the corners himself, then takes Rude down with a gutwrench suplex for 2. Dustin backdrops Rude, then puts a chinlock on him while sitting on him. Unfortunately, we go to a commercial.

Back from that, Rude has Dustin in a bear hug. Dustin bites him to break it, and Rude goes for a suplex but can’t dish it out. They clothesline each other, and Rude gets up first to dish out a powerslam for 2. Rude goes up top, and drops a knee on Dustin’s head. That was supposed to be illegal. Rude covers for 2, and follows that with a TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER attempt, only for Dustin to reverse to his own that gets 2. Dustin goes up top, and comes down only to get kicked in the face. Rude clotheslines him, then goes up top again only for Dustin to dodge him and give him a DDT for 2. Dustin puts a sleeper on Rude, who gets out with a jawbreaker. Rude does another one, then goes up top for the third time. This time, Dustin slams him on his stomach. That was…different. Dustin nearly kills Rude with a flapjack, so Rude goes to the eyes. He’s clearly hurt. Rude throws Dustin into the referee, so out goes the referee. Rude rolls Dustin up, but nobody can count the cover. Rude backdrops Dustin over the top onto the referee, so Randy Anderson comes out as a replacement. Rude goes to suplex Dustin back into the ring, but Dustin cradles him up for 2. Dustin then takes Rude down with a back suplex and everyone’s shoulders are down, but both guys lift theirs before the 3 count. We have one referee who saw Dustin lift his, and another who saw Rude lift his. Rude was awarded the title and celebrates with it, but obviously we have a problem here.

My Thoughts: This match was pretty good, although Rude was very obviously hurt and didn’t want to take any bumps on his back after the early going. He did as well as he could with that problem. The title was held up for a long time, as these two would have many more matches over it. I’m okay with that for now. **3/4, even with Rude’s injury, he worked hard. Rude and Rhodes had pretty good chemistry, but the finish was absolutely terrible. I almost never approve of that kind of finish.

– Taped to air May 15th, 1993, on WCW Saturday Night, from Center Stage Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia

A Flair for the Gold with the Hollywood Blonds

This video repeats, so don’t watch it twice. Now they have Arn Anderson playing Flair’s sidekick during this. This set is so bad, and the production is worse. Now Missy Hyatt shows up, and she did something bad to her hair. Missy’s terrible in this. The Blonds finally showed up, and they started off by calling Flair and Anderson old. This is ice cold. Pillman said his great-grandmother was a big fan of the Nature Boy. The Blonds talked about their cage match at Slamboree, but they would much rather talk about the old timers being flown in at Slamboree. Eventually Arn had enough of their shit. Flair and Arn got ready for a fight, but Austin was killing these guys with words. Can’t believe his talking ability and never have been able to. Flair and Arn eventually said some stuff about this being Flair’s show, so the Blonds left. This was great for building toward their match.

Bobby Eaton vs. Arn Anderson

Pre-Match Thoughts: I suppose this brings finality to the dissolution of their team. Eaton was hardly used at this time, and Arn was on his way to a title shot against Barry Windham. Sounds great to me. These two should be able to put on a great match even if it isn’t that long.

Match Review: They tie up, and Eaton starts kicking Arn’s legs. Arn knocks him down and stomps on his face, because you don’t get to kick Arn Anderson. Arn has a headlock on Eaton, but runs into a back elbow. Eaton misses an elbow drop, and Arn rolls to the outside. Arn gets kneed in the face, but rams Eaton into the buckle. Arn goes up top and stops Eaton from slamming him down, then puts a sleeper on Eaton until being crushed in the corner. Eaton drops an elbow on Arn’s leg, wraps it around the apron, and clips the knee as well. Arn breaks up a little leg-lock that Eaton had going, then he and Eaton wind up on the floor, where Arn backdrops him. Arn goes for a bodyslam, but his knee hurts and he falls down. They get back in the ring, and Arn drops Eaton with a DDT! Arn catapults Eaton’s throat into the bottom rope, then has a charge to the corner blocked. Eaton rushes out of the corner, so Arn drops Eaton with the SPINEBUSTER, covers, and picks up the victory at 4:33.

My Thoughts: This was a pretty standard match, not really befitting of their breaking up as a team. Should have been longer. They kept Arn strong for Slamboree, and he was supposed to be a legitimate challenger so that was completely necessary. For the time given, they got a lot of stuff in there. **1/4.

That’s going to do it for this time. I didn’t cover certain subjects, and there’s a good reason for that. The Dos Hombres scenario wasn’t covered because I couldn’t find it, but I’ll talk about that when I review Slamboree. I didn’t talk about the Davey Boy Smith title challenge of Vader because they hardly built the match up. The only time they really did was on the last Saturday Night before Slamboree. There were a lot of terrible things about WCW at this time too. They had brought Scott Norton in to face Sting at Slamboree, but instead some guy named Nailz was given a spot on the show. Tons of jobbers all over the place. No more Cactus Jack. They brought Col. Robert Parker in, but he hasn’t been on anything I’ve covered. Can’t wait until he is. Next up for me is WrestleMania IX.

Best: Hollywood Blonds title win over Ricky Steamboat and Shane Douglas. Simply a fantastic match, there were quite a few here.

Worst: Using Ric Flair in the form they did. I don’t get this.

Written by Sage Cortez

Sage is a boisterous Los Angeles sports fan. Unsurprisingly, like many other loudmouth LA fans, he also likes the Raiders and a range of combat sports.