Commentators: Jim Ross & Bob Caudle
Dusty Rhodes lets everyone know his plans now that he’s returned to WCW, El Gigante is in action, and Bob Holly makes a pre-WWF appearance to put The Fabulous Freebirds over. Okay there wasn’t a ton of interesting stuff here, but what are you gonna do?
- Lex Luger vs. Jim Corbett
- Ringside Interview: Lex Luger
- Doom vs. Tommy Angel & Harry Bronson
- The Steiner Brothers vs. Cruel Connection & Italian Stallion
- Tom Zenk vs. Chuck Coates
- Ringside Interview: Ric Flair
- The Fabulous Freebirds vs. Dave Johnson & Bob Holly
- Segment: Gordon Solie & Dusty Rhodes at the Omni
- Tommy Rich vs. Mark Kyle
- Ringside Interview: Terry Taylor
- Ricky Morton vs. Bill Ford
- El Gigante vs. Joe Cazana [Ric Flair on Commentary]
- The Master Blaster vs. David Isley
- Allen Iron Eagle & The Lightning Express vs. Arn Anderson, Barry Windham, & Sid Vicious
Show opens with The Four Horsemen’s attempted attack on El Gigante last week. It’s foiled by The Steiner Brothers. This week’s programmed is brought to us by Nintendo.
Hosts Jim Ross and Bob Caudle welcome the home audience and talk about Gigante’s desire to become WCW World Champion. In case you forgot he ‘WANTS THE BELT’. They also hype the upcoming feature interview between Gordon Solie and Dusty Rhodes, baby.
‘The Total Package’ Lex Luger vs. Jim Corbett
Luger’s United States Championship isn’t on the line for obvious reasons. Ross hypes Luger’s upcoming WrestleWar defense against Dan Spivey. I wonder if Spivey will actually show up on the weekly TV before the PPV happens. The crowd at Center Stage loves them some Flexy Lexy. That’s a terrible nickname that I can’t remember if I’ve used before but I’ll try not to use again. Luger tries to win with a roll-up at one point, giving Corbett a kickout. That’s nice of him. Anyway Luger wins with a powerslam. Shocked? (3:30)
- Final Rating: SQUASH
Ringside Interview: Lex Luger
After a commercial break Jim Ross joins Lex Luger at ringside for a promo. Luger first talks about Ric Flair’s conflict with El Gigante then the War Games match at WrestleWar he isn’t involved in. Finally he gets to Dan Spivey, he’s not scared of him because he’s faced big men before. That was…empty.
Doom (Ron Simmons & ‘Hacksaw’ Butch Reed) vs. Tommy Angel & Harry Bronson
We get a prerecorded insert promo from Doom who throw some shade at The Four Horsemen. Doom’s WCW World Tag Team Titles aren’t on the line here and Doom’s manager Teddy Long is nowhere to be found at all. Ross plays it off as Long focusing more on buying material possessions than the tag team to keep the slow burn dissension going. Doom are taking on Diamond Dallas Page’s mystery team tomorrow night on Main Event. Doom win after Simmons almost puts Bronson through the mat with a spinebuster. (4:04)
- Final Rating: SQUASH
The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) vs. Italian Stallion & Cruel Connection
Cruel Connection was supposed to face Brian Pillman on last week’s show but that was interrupted by the whole Flair/Gigante thing. I bet he wishes he was facing Pillman this week because The Steiner Brothers love eating jobbers alive and he’s quite the jobbery looking jobber. Hashtag jobber. The Fabulous Freebirds want the Steiners’ U.S. Tag Team Championship, according to an insert promo. Rick Steiner takes Connections’ cape and runs around “flying” because he’s a simple man with simple pleasures. Scott Steiner eats Stallion alive, Connection tags in and poses a whole bunch before Rick Steiner tags in and scares him into the corner. Connection is acting pretty similarly to Buddy Landell, I wonder if he’s under the hood. Connection coerces Rick Steiner into a criss cross, stopping to laugh until he’s belted with a Steinerline. Scott turns Connection’s mask around, blinding him and making him look like Green Man from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Rick finishes Connection off with a release overhead belly-to-belly suplex from the middle buckle to get the win. A squash match with personality, I dug it a lot. Cruel Connection made the most of his time in the spotlight. (3:50)
- Final Rating: FUN SQUASH
‘The Z-Man’ Tom Zenk vs. Chuck Coates
Chuck Coates’ last name changes spelling a lot but I’m sticking with this one, it looks better. Zenk cuts a prerecorded insert promo about his rematch against Terry Taylor scheduled for tomorrow on Main Event. A lot of hype for that show going on, I’m more interested in that one than the one I’m watching right now. That’s probably sad. Ross and Caudle can’t believe Taylor slapped Zenk last Sunday as we once again ignore the fact that Taylor turned heel and joined The York Foundation at Clash of the Champions last month. The TV needs to catch up with that storyline so I can hear my favorite nickname of all-time get announced week in and week out. Zenk and Coates try to do a fast running multiple leapfrog sequence but neither man is really built for it so it doesn’t go well and we’re back to headlocks. Zenk eventually wins with a Missile Dropkick. He gets a Nintendo instant replay because he’s so handsome. Anyway this was what it was. (4:50)
- Final Rating: SQUASH
Ross and Caudle segue into footage from Pro earlier in the week where El Gigante choked Ric Flair out while a bunch of babyfaces tried to pry the big man off the champ. Oh he also said that he wants the belt. That happened too. Take a drink.
Ringside Interview: Ric Flair
Paul E. Dangerously introduces Ric Flair to ringside for a promo. Flair is stylin’ and profilin’ in one of his best suits. Dangerously kisses ass as expected to start then tells Flair he’s afraid of his well-being now that El Gigante is coming after him. Flair’s wearing old man sunglasses but I’m sure they were cool in 1991. Flair brags about still having it and also the many women he’s banged as a segue into comments about Gigante. Flair says he has wrestled every bad apple that has walked the aisle and tells Gigante to remember that. Flair can’t pronounce his name correctly because he’s horrifically white.
The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael “P.S.” Hayes & Jimmy “Jam” Garvin) vs. Dave Johnson & Bob Holly
HEY LOOK ANOTHER FREEBIRDS MATCH GODDAMMIT. On the plus side though Bob Holly, yes the Bob Holly, is on the enhancement side of things. They spell his last name ‘Holley’ though. I’m sure he chopped the shit out of someone in the production department for that error. Johnson is allowed some arm-focused offense but that’s about the extent of it on his end. Holly tags in and has some better luck with an armdrag and a dropkick, but his second dropkick hits nothing but air. Hayes tags in and Holly rolls him up with a sunset flip for a one-count. Holly charges at Hayes, Hayes decks him with a left hook and both Freebirds take a trip to Chinlock City while the crowd wants a DDT and a merciful end to this match. Holly tries an inside cradle but Garvin blocks it by using the ropes. Hayes tags in and slaps on a sleeperhold. Nick Patrick is officiating this one and he’s already considered the company’s senior official. Overachiever. Garvin tags in and applies an armbar and WHY ISN’T THIS OVER ALREADY WE GET IT. Crowd chants ‘DDT, 911’ and finally Hayes puts Holly away with the DDT. Took long enough, goddamn. (8:54)
- Final Rating: DULL SQUASH
Feature: Gordon Solie Interviews Dusty Rhodes
We go to pretaped footage from the Omni in Atlanta where Gordon Solie is with ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes. Rhodes is thrilled to be back and to be talking with Solie. They segue to footage from Rhodes taking on Tully Blanchard in a First Blood Match at Starrcade 1986. That event took place at the Omni, hence why it was shown I guess. Solie asks Rhodes why he’s retiring from being in the ring; Rhodes says his body has worn out on him after twenty-one years. Rhodes is transitioning to the announce team and says he’ll be bringing insight as a former in-ring competitor to the role. Rhodes hypes his son Dustin Rhodes as the future of the business. Solie and Rhodes announce that he will officially retire in July at The Great American Bash. I’m sure that would have been cool but I don’t think it happens due to a certain high-profile departure from WCW (we’re getting to that super slowly). Rhodes in WCW always made more sense and felt more like a fit so it’s cool to see him back with the company. Too bad his final few years as a full-time wrestler were squandered in WWF doing absolutely nothing of note outside of having a cool theme song and infamous wrestling attire.
‘Wildfire’ Tommy Rich vs. Mark Kyle
Mark Kyle’s got himself a fly shiny blue jacket. ‘Boring’ chants from some vocal members in the audience. Agreed. Kyle does get a little offense though, which is nice but it doesn’t last long enough to be competitive. A Thesz Press ends it. K. (5:31)
- Final Rating: SQUASH
Ringside Interview: Terry Taylor
Missy Hyatt is standing by with Terry Taylor. We go to footage from Main Event last week where Taylor slapped The Z-Man after going to a time limit draw with him. Taylor says he paintbrushed Z-Man to get his attention, bring out Zenk himself. Z-Man says they’re going to settle things tomorrow. Taylor isn’t worried because he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to the top of WCW.
Ricky Morton vs. Bill Ford
Morton, Tommy Rich, and Junkyard Dog are fired up for their Six-Man Tag Team Championship match on February 17th at the Omni, according to an insert promo. If I was in the only actual team getting any attention leading into the crowning of those championships I’d be pretty fired up to. Morton is the actual star in this squash but he’s forever an underdog and he squeaks out the win with a roll-up after dodging a splash. (4:45)
- Final Rating: SQUASH
El Gigante vs. Joe Cazana
Ross and Caudle are joined by Ric Flair on commentary. Gigante unsurprisingly dominates with his limited moveset, winning with the Claw. Flair doesn’t really add much to commentary since the match is so short and there’s no post-match anything since the commentary is recorded after the fact. Thanks for coming, champ? (1:21)
- Final Rating: SQUASH
The Master Blaster vs. David Isley
Kevin Nash got the wrestle under his real name earlier in the day but here is being called The Master Blaster. WCW fans must have been driven insane back in the day if they kept up on all of the shows every weekend. Isley gets flung around for a bit then Blaster wins with a running shoulderblock. He uses a swinging Full Nelson before that, which would have been a cooler finisher. (2:45)
- Final Rating: SQUASH
Ross does some commentary over an AJPW match between Big Van Vader and Stan Hansen from 1990. The big rematch will be held at WrestleWar, which is a good get for WCW. This is the match where Hansen breaks Vader’s orbital bone and his eye pops out. Worth checking out the real match, WCW won’t show that footage for obvious reasons.
Allen Iron Eagle & The Lightning Express (Brad Armstrong & ‘White Lightning’ Tim Horner) vs. The Horsemen (Arn Anderson, Barry Windham, & Sid Vicious)
I don’t believe that the Horsemen ever slum it enough to go for the Six Man Tag Team Championship so don’t get excited about this one. Lightning Express took on Anderson/Windham last week in a good match so this is a continuation of that with an extra person one each side. Horsemen got Vicious, Lightning Express got…Allen Iron Eagle. The faces got hosed on this one.
Armstrong escapes a slam attempt from Anderson and takes him down with a drop toehold, ramming the left knee into the post. Anderson sends Armstrong into the corner and holds onto him so Windham can tag in and get a shot. Armstrong brings Windham into the face corner, tagging in Horner who slaps on a wristlock. Windham reverses, transitions into an armbar which Horner escapes with a hip toss. Eagle gets the tag and levels Windham with a dropkick. Horner and Anderson tag in for their respective teams, Vicious has yet to get involved. Anderson tries a monkey flip, Horner lands on his feet and hits Anderson with a dropkicking, surprising the Enforcer of the Four Horsemen. Vicious finally tags in and the Horsemen take over the contest as they methodically wear down White Lightning. Horner escapes a bear hug by biting Vicious but Windham quickly tags in and levels him with a clothesline to prevent any more damage. Eagle manages to get the tag but Vicious grabs him from behind so he doesn’t get a lot of offense in. Anderson distracts the ref so Windham can clothesline Eagle on the floor, Windham letting out a shout of glee at the carnage. Vicious tags in and whips Eagle into the ropes but Eagle forgets how that works and just sorta grazes them. Awkward. Vicious finishes Eagle off with a Powerbomb, pinning him with one hand. The Lightning Express don’t get try to break it up because they’re wusses. (12:18)
- Final Rating: *
Ross and Caudle talk about the Flair/Gigante feud and then my recording cuts out so I guess that’s how the show ends?
Final Thoughts: A watchable episode of WCW this week. No matches stood out but it was a breeze to get through and I’m interested in this Flair/Gigante feud mostly because I wanna see just what Flair has to do to get a watchable match out of a man notorious for being one of the worst wrestlers of all-time. I hope the match actually happens and it isn’t brushed under the rug because they got bored with it.