[TV Review] Worldwide – 2.23.91

Commentators: Tony Schiavone & Gordon Solie

It’s the shortest month of the year and WCW will have managed to squeeze in FIVE Z-Man/Terry Taylor matches by the end of it. Crazy. Worldwide this week is pretty killer otherwise though with The Lightning Express taking on Arn Anderson & Barry Windham in the main event plus a handicap match between El Gigante and The State Patrol and a War Games warm-up for Sting, Brian Pillman, and The Steiner Brothers.

The Lineup

  • Tom Zenk vs. Terry Taylor
  • Ringside Interview: Ric Flair
  • Handicap Match: El Gigante vs. The State Patrol
  • Sting, Brian Pillman, & The Steiner Brothers vs. Rip Rogers, Jeff Stone, & Magnum Force
  • Michael Hayes vs. Terry Bronson
  • Sid Vicious vs. Rick Hardrock
  • The Lightning Express vs. Arn Anderson & Barry Windham

*****

Schiavone and Solie welcome the home audience. Tonight we’re gonna see Sting, Brian Pillman, and The Steiner Brothers in a War Games warm-up match as well as El Gigante taking on The State Patrol in a handicap match. Segue into footage recapping the feud between Tom Zenk and Terry Taylor.

‘The Z-Man’ Tom Zenk vs. ‘The Computerized Man of the 1990s’ Terry Taylor [w/ Alexandra York]

ARE YOU SERIOUS WITH THIS. This is the fourth match between these two in four weeks, and the first of two this weekend. This has to end in a fuck finish, right? There’s no reason for either one to go over definitively if they’re battling on PPV tomorrow night. Taylor doesn’t have the dyed hair/ponytail look for this one. Zenk catches Taylor with a crossbody for two, Taylor immediately bails to the floor and reconvenes with York and her COM-PEW-TOR for guidance. Zenk connects with a couple of dropkicks, Taylor lures him in and throws him out to the floor for a guardrail shot. Taylor connects with a kneedrop but only gets two. Zenk counters a Vader Bomb with a pair of knees. Taylor tries to punch Zenk, Zenk absorbs it and fires back with a back bodydrop. Zenk pummels Taylor with a series of rights in a full mount position, pushing the referee away. No DQ is called though. Zenk hits a superkick and goes back to a series of rights. They fight into the corner and Zenk shoves the ref for a third time, giving Taylor the DQ win. This was way better than their Main Event match. Hell it pretty much was their Main Event match, same ending and everything. (4:27)

  • Final Rating: **

Ringside Interview: ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair

Schiavone invites the WCW World Heavyweight Champion to ringside for an interview. He’s decked out in a killer suit but is wearing old man dad sunglasses so that kills the cool factor a little bit. Nerd. Flair hits the same ‘everyone thought I was done but I’m back’ bullet points he has been hitting since the beginning of the year then turns his attention to El Gigante. He pronounces the hell out of the G’s in Gigante’s name. He throws a little shade but nothing too intimidating.

Handicap Match
El Gigante vs. The State Patrol (Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker & Lt. James Earl Wright)

Flair gets on the house mic and asks Gigante if he thinks he’s ready to be World Champion and tells him to do something about it. Flair gives The State Patrol a little bit of a pep talk, looks like he’s managing for the night. Gigante dominates as expected, scoop slams for both of them and a reeeeeal shitty double clothesline that sends them out to the floor. Yikes, that was awful. State Patrol go for the legs, Gigante shrugs them off and tosses them out of the corner. Gigante locks in the Claw on both men and brings them to the mat for the pinfall victory. Gigante being terrible aside I enjoyed this. State Patrol were game to make Gigante look good and they accomplished it as well as they could have. (1:46)

  • Final Rating: FUN SQUASH

Flair scales the turnbuckles to stare and jaw at Gigante. Gigante walks over, Flair thinks better of things and heads to the back.

Sting, ‘Flyin’ Brian Pillman, & The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) vs. Rip Rogers, Jeff Stone, & Magnum Force (Rick & Speedy)

Sting and company are getting in a warmup match before War Games tomorrow night, much like the Horsemen did earlier in the day. Rogers is easily the best man on his team, despite my irrational love of Magnum Force. Rick Steiner goes limp-wristed to make fun of Rogers because it’s 1991 and pro wrestling has an uncomfortable past. Rogers and Pillman start for their respective teams, trading chops. Pillman catches Rogers with a flying axhandle followed by a dropkick that sends him to the floor. Rick Steiner measures the dazed Rogers and trucks him with a Steinerline before rolling him back in. Scott Steiner tags in, hits a tilt-a-whirl powerslam. Stone draws the short straw and tags in, as does Sting. Stone gets a couple of forearms in, Sting brushes them off and connects with a back bodydrop on his much larger opponent. Rick Steiner tags in and the crowd barks in excitement. He muscles Stone up and rams him stomach-first into the turnbuckles, yikes. Pillman tags in and gets brought to the heel side. All eight men start brawling, Sting gorilla presses Pillman onto Stone for the victory. That was fun. Good showcase for Sting and friends. (3:33)

  • Final Rating: FUN SQUASH

Schiavone and Solie segue into footage from the Vader/Stan Hansen match last year in Japan. Rematch happens tomorrow night and probably won’t get as violent. Still pumped for it though. WrestleWar looks damn good on paper, honestly.

Michael ‘P.S.’ Hayes [w/ Jimmy ‘Jam’ Garvin] vs. Terry Bronson

A rare Freebird singles match. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense as to why it’s happening but it’s whatever, let’s just power through. DDT ends things quickly. Better than most Freebirds tag team matches and much shorter. I approve. (1:56)

  • Final Rating: MERCIFULLY SHORT SQUASH

Sid Vicious vs. Rick Hardrock

Hardrock has returned and has new gear with him, yay! Sid throws some double axhandles to the back and Hardrock sells like he’s in a ‘Battle of the Tough Guys’ fight from No Holds Barred. Hardrock tries to throw some punches but Sid brushes them off and wins with a Power Bomb. (1:50)

  • Final Rating: A SQUASH THAT RULES THE WORLD

Sid’s EMT crew try to wheel Hardrock out but Sid attacks him instead.

In-Ring Interview: Sid Vicious

Sid reenters the ring for an interview with Schiavone. Sid asks Schiavone if he can feel it. His plan for 1991 is to force all of his opponents to leave on a stretcher because he rules the world. Rude.

The Lightning Express (Brad Armstrong & ‘White Lightning’ Tim Horner) vs. ‘The Enforcer’ Arn Anderson & Barry Windham

This is a return match, these two teams previously having fought on the 2.2.91 edition of World Championship Wrestling. Armstrong and Horner, despite having an established team name and wearing matching trunks, continue to not be introduced as The Lightning Express. They did get an entrance though, so that’s something. Armstrong and Anderson start for their respective teams, the latter using the hair to send the former to the mat. Armstrong comes back with a hip toss followed by a pair of dropkicks that force Anderson to the floor for regrouping purposes. Windham tags in and Armstrong quickly escapes the heel corner to prevent a double team. Nice. Windham with an Irish whip, Armstrong with a crossbody and a series of dropkicks followed by an armdrag into the armbar. Horner tags in and The Lightning Express drop Windham with a double chop. Horner with a hammerlock, Anderson tags in. They trade holds, Horner ending up with a side headlock. Anderson counters with an overhead wristlock. Horner bridges down and uses his leg strength to come back up. Windham comes in for a double wristlock and Horner flips them both to the mat and connects with a double dropkick to send the Horsemen back to the floor, leading to a commercial break.

Back live Horner gets distracted with Windham and Anderson picks him up from behind, Windham dropping him throat-first on the top rope. Horsemen are the smartest wrestlers in the game. Windham tags in and counters a hip toss attempt with an elbow to the shoulder blade. Windham goes for a leap frog but can’t get all the way up so he decks Horner instead, then hits a slam for a two-count. Anderson tags in and Horner connects with a series of rights and makes the hot tag to Armstrong who is a house of fire. Anderson tries a sunset flip, Windham clotheslines Armstrong to send him down, and the Horsemen get the pinfall victory. Solid match, breath of fresh air among all the squashes/meh matches I see every television block. Liked this one a lot. Lightning Express would have made solid U.S. Tag Team Champions. (7:23 shown)

  • Final Rating: ***

Schiavone and Solie close the show by hyping next week’s show, which may or may not feature Lex Luger defending the U.S. Title against Sid Vicious; Luger still has to retain against Dan Spivey at WrestleWar first. Title or not that should be a fun hoss fight. Maybe.

*****

Final Thoughts: Great main event and a bunch of fun squashes plus some big star power. Worldwide kills it once again. This might be my favorite of the weekly WCW TV shows, I’m looking forward to next week…unless another goddamn Zenk/Taylor match happens.

 

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