[TV Review] Pro – 2.16.91

Commentators: Tony Schiavone & Larry Zbyszko

The Ric Flair/El Gigante feud continues, Dustin Rhodes makes his WCW in-ring debut, and Sid Vicious destroys a jobber with a very 80s teen movie villain name. Fun episode of Pro is what I’m saying.

The Lineup

  • Sting & Lex Luger vs. Magnum Force
  • Tom Zenk vs. Lt. James Earl Wright
  • Footage: Riki Choshu [c] vs. Tatsumi Fujinami for IWGP Championship (Tokyo, Japan)
  • The Royal Family vs. Dave Johnson & John Peterson
  • Sid Vicious vs. Thad Clark
  • In-Ring Segment: The Danger Zone w/ Paul E. Dangerously
  • Dustin Rhodes vs. Joe Cruz
  • El Gigante vs. Barry Windham

*****

Schiavone and Zbyszko welcome us to another Nintendo-sponsored episode of Pro. They run down the show, including the announcement of today’s main event: El Gigante vs. Barry Windham. That should be…short and full of interference, probably. Segue into footage from Dan Spivey’s attack on Lex Luger during Clash of the Champions.

Sting & ‘The Total Package’ Lex Luger vs. Magnum Force

Magnum Force have reunited and updated their wardrobe! They aren’t doing a biker gimmick anymore it looks like. Before the match starts we get pre-recorded comments from Sting and Luger talking about their respective WrestleWar matches. The Magnum Force fellas don’t have their names on their tights anymore, oh no now I can’t tell them apart. Sting and Luger are challenging for the WCW World Tag Team Titles the Friday before WrestleWar at a house show in Chicago but they aren’t successful. Spoilers, I guess. Scorpion Death Lock ends the match. Love seeing Magnum Force reunited as they should be but that’s me and I’m weird. (2:32)

  • Final Rating: SQUASH

As stated previously in these recaps this is the Chicago version of Pro so they run down the big Friday event at the UIC Pavilion, which will include an untelevised match for the Television Championship and Ric Flair defending the World Title against El Gigante. Aw man are we never actually getting the match on tape?

‘The Z-Man’ Tom Zenk vs. Lt. James Earl Wright

Zbyszko talks about how this ‘New World Order’ of younger wrestlers is never going to work. He’s right, the New World Order only works with established older dudes as we’ll see in five years. An insert promo from Terry Taylor and Alexandra York planning victory at WrestleWar against Zenk. Apparently that match is happening on the PPV and not Main Event like I thought; I guess I heard ‘next Sunday’ and assumed the TV show not the PPV. It’s going to be a No-DQ match to boot, building off the ending to their last match. I underestimated WCW’s build capabilities. Glad to see Taylor actually in a suit and with York, a stark contrast to the TV leading up to the event. Wright has a bout of offense but misses a flying headbutt. It’s all Z-Man from there and he wins with the Miss…SLEEPERHOLD?!? That’s weird. (3:20)

  • Final Rating: SQUASH

El Gigante wants the belt.

Schiavone and Zbyszko segue into footage of a match between Tatsumi Fujijnami and Riki Choshu for the IWGP Championship. We get seven minutes worth of the match, which Fujinami wins. It makes him the international #1 contender to Flair’s World Championship. Antonio Inoki presents Fujinami with the IWGP Title. This match is going down next month at the first WCW/NJPW Supershow, but that won’t air in the states until April. Awesome. Nice change of pace from the usual WCW stuff and gives me something to look forward to post-WrestleWar. The Japan Supershows aren’t available on the WWE Network but it so happens I have them in my possession so Legacy of WCW won’t have to skip them. Yay!

The Royal Family (Rip Morgan & Jack Victory) vs. Dave Johnson & John Peterson

Peterson doesn’t even get a ring introduction, poor guy. Dave Johnson is higher on the food chain than he is. This is The Royal Family’s second appearance of the year, their first coming last month on an episode of World Championship Wrestling. They’re on the lower end of the tag team totem pole. Jack Victory is about seven years from having his biggest success in the states as Justin Credible’s crony in ECW. Oh right the match, my bad: Royal Family wins with a double front suplex. (2:56)

  • Final Rating: SQUASH

El Gigante is here again. He wants the belt. Glad he cleared that up.

Sid Vicious vs. Thad Clark

Thad? THAD? What an 80s-movie rich boy name, jesus. Sid plays with his food then puts Clark out of his misery with a Powerbomb. (2:03)

  • Final Rating: SQUASH

Arn Anderson and Barry Windham come out as Sid’s EMT crew and beat on Clark a bit alongside their Horsemen brother. Windham’s hair is perfectly slicked back.

In-Ring Segment: The Danger Zone

Paul E. Dangerously introduces his guests: WCW World Tag Team Champions Doom. Butch Reed says The Fabulous Freebirds weaseled their way into a title match at WrestleWar but won’t weasel their way out of the beating that’s coming to them. Reed starts talking about his condos so Ron Simmons interrupts to get Reed’s head back in the game and trash talk the Freebirds once more. Reed says they’re going to stick together till the end. FORESHADOOOOOOWING.

Dustin Rhodes cuts a pre-recorded promo to introduce himself to the WCW audience. It sounds like he’s doing an impression of his father Dusty Rhodes. Yikes. He gets better though, I promise.

‘The Natural’ Dustin Rhodes vs. Joe Cruz

Oh snap I thought we were going to have to wait until WCW or something to see Rhodes make his in-ring debut. Rhodes sends Cruz bailing to the floor after a series of dropkicks but he chases him back in quickly to keep on the attack. Schiavone and Zbyszko talk about the pressures of being a second-generation wrestler and I can’t imagine the pressure Dustin was under given how famous Dusty is/was/forever will be. He and Cruz are both wearing cowboy wrestling boots. Best friends. Rhodes wins with the Bulldog to begin his WCW career. (2:11)

  • Final Rating: SQUASH

Schiavone and Zbyszko segue into footage from last week’s Worldwide where Sting threw Ric Flair in the ring with El Gigante then celebrated with his 7’7” friend.

El Gigante vs. Barry Windham

We have like three minutes left on this show so don’t expect anything crazy. Bell rings and Ric Flair immediately shows up at ringside to distract Gigante, allowing Windham to poke him in the eye. Gigante recovers quickly and pulls Windham off the buckles with the Claw. Flair runs in and attacks Gigante to cause a DQ. (0:38)

  • Final Rating: NOT RATED

Gigante and Sting scare the Horsemen away from the ring to end the show.

*****

Final Thoughts: Solid episode of Pro that continued to build the Flair/Gigante feud, one that matters more for this Chicago-based show since they’re main eventing a Chicago event. We also got a big debut in Dustin Rhodes and a fun moment with Anderson and Windham playing the parts of Sid’s EMT crew. No Brickhouse Bonus though, sadly.

 

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