[TV Review] Pro – 1.19.91

wcw-pro

Commentators: Tony Schiavone & Larry Zbyszko

This week on Pro we get a couple of fun squash matches (including one that makes Minotaur of all people look good), an actual competitive match between Brian Pillman and Lt. James Earl Wright, and a vignette from Arn Anderson & Barry Windham that…hasn’t aged well, to say the least.

The Lineup

  • The Master Blasters vs. Tim Parker & Scott Allen
  • Rick Steiner vs. Mike Samples
  • The Danger Zone w/ Paul E. Dangerously & Ric Flair
  • Brian Pillman vs. Lt. James Earl Wright
  • Brickhouse Bonus w/ Jack Brickhouse
  • Terry Taylor vs. Joe Barrett
  • Minotaur vs. Keith Hart
  • The Southern Boys vs. Ed Brock & George South
  • Vignette Time: Arn Anderson & Barry Windham Go ‘Back to the Basics’

*****

Tony Schiavone and Larry Zbyszko talk about Flair’s World Championship win last Friday. Zbyszko is all about it. We then get a quick rundown of who will be on the show this week: The Master Blasters, Rick Steiner, Brian Pillman, Terry Taylor, Southern Boys, and…Minotaur.

The Master Blasters vs. Tim ‘Powerhouse’ Parker & Scott Allen
Parker’s nickname is pretty funny considering how tiny he looks against The Master Blasters. Zbyszko, who was all about Flair earlier, now says The Nature Boy has never had the guts to wrestle him. Who’s side are you on, man?!? Allen tags in and Master Blaster Steel has fun beating on him like a wrestling buddy. The double shoulderblock of doom finishes this jobber team off. Yup, still a dull finisher. (2:25)

  • Final Rating: SQUASH

We segue into a hype video for tomorrow’s big house show at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago (this is a Chicago-based TV show after all). Luger is defending his U.S. Title against Sid. Hopefully Sid lasts longer than the other time they wrestled at Clash of the Champions (Luger won in 10 seconds with a lariat).

Rick Steiner vs. Mike Samples
Samples has some trash to talk but Steiner laughs it off. We go to picture-in-picture comments from The Master Blasters who vow to come down and smack him in the face during his match. Steel initially says they’re smack ‘them’ in the face but corrects himself. Why this wasn’t edited out is beyond me. Steiner does some rasslin’ and, as promised, out come The Master Blasters. Steel wants to fight but Blade holds him back, despite the fact that he just mentioned their numbers advantage. Wouldn’t he want to beat up Rick Steiner if it’s 2 on 1? The security team led by the legendary Doug Dillinger force The Master Blasters to the back and Steiner goes back to his match, winning with his release overhead belly-to-belly suplex from the middle buckle. (2:47)

  • Final Rating: SQUASH

The Danger Zone
Paul E. Dangerously is standing by with new World Champion Ric Flair. Flair references his verbal confrontation with Scott Steiner backstage at the Meadowlands (did they not actually record this?) and now they’ve got a match at Clash of the Champions. Flair calls Steiner an underrated punk and tells him to shut his mouth if he doesn’t like what he says. To Flair’s credit he switched this up from his Power Hour segment while also hitting the same bullet points, which is nice. Much better of a promo too if we’re being honest.

‘Flyin’ Brian Pillman vs. Lt. James Earl Wright [w/ Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker]
Pillman is all dropkicks and speed so Wright bails to the floor to get some words of advice from Parker. Parker yells at the top of his lungs at Wright, something I’m sure the Power Plant graduates remember and still have nightmares about. Pillman catches a charging Wright with a headscissors and out Wright goes once again. Pillman slingshots him back in but gets hit from behind by Parker behind the ref’s back. I CAN’T BELIEVE HE WOULD DO THAT I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING SARCASM IS FUN WHEN CAPITALIZED. Wright distracts the ref so Parker can choke Pillman on the rope. Snap suplex from Wright nets him a two-count. Wright connects with a clothesline and sends Pillman to the floor so Parker can get in even more shots of cheapness. Pillman sends Wright’s head into the buckles and hits a flying axhandle to begin the comeback. Parker climbs the apron, Pillman decks him. Wright sends Pillman to the apron, Pillman responds with a springboard clothesline for the victory. I dug this one, weirdly enough. (6:18)

  • Final Rating: **

The State Patrol attack Pillman after the bell but they’re the friggin’ State Patrol so Pillman easily fights them off to stand tall.

Brickhouse Bonus
Jack Brickhouse talks about the birth of television and wrestling’s role during its golden age, and also how he used to commentate wrestling three times a week as well as boxing. That’s nice, I guess.

Terry Taylor vs. Joe Barrett
Barrett’s committed to his beach-blonde mullet and I respect him for it. Alexandra York shows up at ringside to update the files on her COM-PEW-TOR. Taylor accuses Barrett of working with York and gets taken off his game for a moment. Taylor escapes a side headlock and connects with a jawbreaker that Zbyszko absolutely loves. Barrett manages to kick out of a couple pinfall attempts and gets a few of his own but a belly-to-back suplex stops that nonsense. Taylor hits a piledriver and a spinebuster before finishing Barrett off with the Five Arm, a move less interesting than the two other ones. I liked the story of this one with York getting into Taylor’s head a little bit but at the same time…I didn’t know these two had beef? Must have been something left over from 1990. (4:04)

  • Final Rating: *1/2

Minotaur vs. Keith Hart
Keith Hart was previously seen bouncing off concrete in a tag team match so he’s a good choice to make Minotaur look good. Hart tries a missile dropkick but Minotaur just sort of looks at him and goes right on the attack. Minotaur tosses Hart to the floor and he once again bounces off the floor. Mintoaur then drops Hart face-first on the floor and he bounces again. Keith Hart is the MVP jobber of WCW. Minotaur channels the half-bull part of his person and bites Hart, then finishes him off with a lariat using his leather-covered arm. Much better than his debut. Much much better. He worked quicker and had a guy willing to take hard bumps to make him look strong. Respect. This is probably going to be Minotaur’s standout match when we’re all said and done. (2:58)

  • Final Rating: FUN SQUASH

The Southern Boys vs. Ed Brock & George South
Steve Armstrong is making his return after a brief absence. Larry Zbyszko mentions his record ‘Boo On Me’ which is one of the greatest songs in the history of American music so go search that out as soon as possible. Smothers gets fancy with a leapfrog and eats a right hand, then dodges South’s leapfrog and sends him into Brock. Flying double shoulderblock to South and the heels bail from the ring to regroup and reset. South rakes the eyes to escape an armbar from Armstrong but eats a double dropkick and once again the super quick Southern Boys stand tall in the ring. Brock tags in but doesn’t fare much better, getting kicked right in the sternum from Smothers. Zbyszko makes fun of the Southern Boys for being mad about losing the Civil War, which is a joke I would’ve also made so I can’t hate. Southern Boys pick up the win. They’re a fun tag team that never really get their due from WCW despite being more exciting to watch than most of their compatriots. I wonder what Brad Armstrong is going to do now that he’s not subbing for his brother. (4:36)

  • Final Rating: FUN SQUASH

Vignette: Anderson & Windham Go Back to the Basics
Arn Anderson and Barry Windham are shown walking around a “ghetto” talking about how much tougher they are than punks in bandanas. Anderson makes sure to reiterate that nothing they’re going to do is going to be illegal, just immoral. Such a dumb thing that undermines their whole schtick. Windham mentions that this is a place where Doom would live and Teddy Long would own, further driving home that black people are poor uneducated people. This is…uncomfortable to say the least. More talk about a “new” Four Horsemen, complete with haircuts for Windham and Flair. Sid doesn’t have time for this haircut nonsense though.

Schiavone and Zbyszko quickly mention Flair being the new World Champion again and sign off.

*****

Final Thoughts: A good match from Pillman/Wright plus a couple of fun squashes, some storyline stuff between Taylor and York, and a good, if super uncomfortably racist, vignette from Anderson and Windham were the highlights of this episode. I enjoyed it. Taking bets now on if the Steiners/Master Blasters thing actually goes anywhere.

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