[TV Review] World Championship Wrestling – 3.16.91

Commentators: Jim Ross & Paul E. Dangerously

Six man tag team action this week on World Championship Wrestling as Sting teams with Lex Luger and El Gigante to take on new archnemesis Larry Zbyszko, Dan Spivey, and Barry Windham. Also on the show Bobby Eaton looks for revenge against Terrance Taylor, Hacksaw Higgins tries and fails to get Ron Simmons to have a competitive match, and OWEN HART of all people makes his debut. All that plus some stuff I missed because the recording cut out coming right after the jump!

Champion Roll-Call

  • WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair
  • WCW UNITED STATES CHAMPION: “The Total Package” Lex Luger
  • WCW WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPION: “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson
  • WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner)
  • WCW UNITED STATES TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner)
  • WCW WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Ricky Morton, “Wildfire” Tommy Rich, & The Junkyard Dog

The Lineup

  • VIGNETTE: Nikita Koloff’s Dungeon
  • The Fabulous Freebirds vs. Joe Barrett & Keith Hart
  • BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW: Jim Ross w/ Alexandra York & Mr. Hughes
  • Bobby Eaton vs. Terrance Taylor
  • Rick Steiner vs. Marc Mero (Mark Mero)
  • Dustin Rhodes vs. Pat Rose
  • RINGSIDE SEGMENT: The Danger Zone w/ Paul E. Dangerously & Big Daddy Dink
  • The Young Pistols vs. Steve Stax & Rip Rogers
  • SEGMENT: Wrestling Wrap-Up w/ Gordon Solie (Sting/Zbyszko and Simmons/Reed feud recaps)
  • Ron Simmons vs. Hacksaw Higgins
  • INTERVIEW: Lex Luger
  • Sting, Lex Luger, & El Gigante vs. Larry Zbyszko, Dan Spivey, & Barry Windham
  • Sid Vicious vs. Brett Wayne
  • RINGSIDE INTERVIEW: Sid Vicious
  • Owen Hart (?!?!) vs Mark Kyle
  • CLIP: Big Van Vader and Stan Hansen beat each other up (WrestleWar ’91)
  • Big Josh vs. Rob Morgan
  • One Mang Gang vs. Tommy Angel (not reviewed, tape cut out)

*****

-OPENING VIGNETTE: Nikita Koloff works out some more, tells Lex Luger the time is getting near.

-Ross welcomes the home audience alongside Dangerously and Missy Hyatt. Dangerously has a very special Danger Zone tonight with Big Daddy Dink. Hyatt says she has a BIGGER interview as she’ll be speaking with Sid Vicious. The two argue like kids as Ross takes it to the ring.

The Fabulous Freebirds make their way out for the opening contest along with Big Daddy Dink, Diamond Dallas Page, and one of his Diamond Dolls. Page gets on the house mic to introduce everybody, GOOD GAWD. Page and the Doll leave ringside, leaving Dink to road manage.

The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael “P.S.” Hayes & Jimmy “Jam” Garvin) [w/ Big Daddy Dink vs. Joe Barrett & Keith Hart

Barrett manages a crossbody and a sunset flip but Hayes kicks out of both. Hart tags in and grabs a twisting wristlock…which is broken with a right hand. The Young Pistols call for revenge on The Freebirds via insert promo. Hayes belts Hart with a clothesline and jaw jacks at Hart before covering. Hart kicks out and Hayes LOVES it because he gets to inflict more punishment…with a chinlock. Garvin tags in and folds Hart in half with a belly-to-back suplex. Hart manages to tag out to Barrett who manages a little BABYFACE FIRE including a weak-ass dropkick. Dink distracts the ref, Freebirds plant Barrett with a double DDT for the win. Hayes laughing at Hart kicking out was pretty fun at least. (4:50)

-Ross is standing by with Alexandra York and Mr. Hughes. York says Bobby Eaton was never considered to be part of the Foundation but he’s rude and unprofessional. As for the Z-Man York wants nothing to do with him as well and will announce some potential names in the future.

“Beautiful” Bobby Eaton vs. “The Computerized Man of the 1990s” Terrance Taylor [w/ Alexandra York & Mr. Hughes]

Taylor stalls right at the bell, trying to frustrate Eaton. Taylor teases a fist fight, bails to the corner so the ref is forced to get in between. Taylor bails from the ring Eaton follows so Taylor quickly re-enters the ring to annoy his opponent even more. Michael Wallstreet must have taught Taylor some tricks before leaving the company. Eaton with a hammerlock, bringing Taylor to the mat (causing Taylor to whine “ow, my aaaaarm”, that made me laugh). Taylor gets to the ropes and we reset. Eaton with a top wristlock, Taylor gets to the ropes and Eaton doesn’t play fair, decking him with a right hook. DEAL WITH IT. Taylor tries to hide in the corner, Eaton decks him with ANOTHER right hand and Taylor teases bailing on the match altogether. Eaton with a hip toss followed by a driving clothesline, Taylor rolls to the floor and the ref holds Eaton back from following. UGHHHH SO MUCH STALLLLLLING. Taylor with a cheap shot, Eaton responds with a series of jabs and a back elbow, but Taylor kicks out of the lateral press. Back to the hammerlock on the mat we go. Eaton transitions into an armbar, Taylor backs him into the corner and Eaton catches him with another right hand. Wristlock from the Beautiful One, Taylor lunges for the ropes but misses and Eaton goes back to the hammerlock after he crashes to the mat.

Taylor pulls Eaton out to the floor and sends him into the guardrail and ring post. Taylor breaks the count, Eaton with another right hook but Taylor responds with a right of his own and rolls Eaton back in. Taylor heads to the top and connects with a flying forearm and…the recording just skipped a few seconds? Huh. Taylor kicks out of a surprise sunset flip and drills Eaton with a piledriver for the 1…2…Eaton kicks out of the arrogant cover. Eaton counters a backdrop with a neckbreaker and heads to the top. Taylor shakes the ropes to crotch him, Taylor goes for a superplex but Eaton knocks him off with right hands and follows up with the Alabama Jam. Taylor immediately rolls to the ropes and grabs them/puts his foot on them but the ref counts till 2 anyway? The ref gets distracted for some reason, Taylor drills Eaton in the throat with the COM-PEW-TOR for the 1…2…3. Way too much stalling for my tastes but otherwise a perfectly okay match. The COM-PEW-TOR once again reveals its true potential! (10:32 or so)

  • RATING: *3/4

Tom Zenk immediately runs in and tries to tell the ref what happened, only to be drilled by Mr. Hughes who FINALLY DOES SOMETHING PHYSICAL. Hughes stands in between Eaton and Taylor, allowing the Computerized Man to escape unscathed.

Rick Steiner [w/ Scott Steiner] vs. Marc Mero

Lex Luger talks about going after Tag Team gold with Sting via insert promo. How about you defend your U.S. Title, dork? Mero with a right, Steiner hits back and it’s much more effective. STEINERLINE which Mero almost f*cking dies from. JEEZ. Steiner misses an elbowdrop on purpose for he is the dumb one, but finds his opponent and goes back to work. Steiner with a release overhead belly-to-belly suplex from the middle buckle for the 1…2…3. Short but entertaining. Props to Mero for taking that Steinerline like a champ. He’s a Baddddd maaan. (1:52)

“The Natural” Dustin Rhodes vs. Pat Rose

Rhodes counters a waistlock with a throw, Rose complains of a tight pull. Dangerously puts over Rose on commentary saying he takes a back seat to nobody, but I’ve seen him take a back seat to literally EVERYBODY since I started Legacy of WCW. I appreciate Dangerously giving him a little shine though. Rhodes shows off the Japanese armdrag into an armbar, Dangerously confused as to why a kid from Texas would know this (he’s wrestled in Japan before). Rose gets a tiny amount of offense but loses quickly with the Bulldog. Rhodes’ undefeated streak continues. Ross and Dangerously mention May’s SuperBrawl PPV for the first time. (2:58)

-Dangerously welcomes Big Daddy Dink and the Diamond Doll from earlier to ringside for this episode’s edition of The Danger Zone. The Doll plays with Dink’s hair and makes sexy faces at the camera while Dink says that he and DDP will make sure The Freebirds will be the champs once again. Dangerously gets distracted with the Doll, which I can’t blame him for. Dangerously calls the Doll more of a lady than Missy Hyatt could ever hope to be and Dink is the greatest manager in WCW history. THIS WAS A GOOD USE OF TIME I GUESS.

The Young Pistols (Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong) vs. Steve Stax & Rip Rogers

Rogers has turned some of his hair into DEVIL HORNS because he’s the coolest motherf*cker in WCW. Armstrong lights up Rogers’ chest with chops and tags in Smothers for a double chop. Rogers tries to hip toss Smothers out of the corner, Smothers blocks it and sends him to the mat BY THE DEVIL HORNS. Smothers follows up with a spinning calf kick and covers for two. BIG BOI Stax tags in, leading to a “LOSE SOME WEIGHT” chant from the Center Stage crowd. That’s rude, maybe it’s a thyroid thing you jerks. Admittedly Stax is a little on the slow side though, taking a little oomph out of The Pistols’ speed offense. Pistols do their thing and win with a flying shoulderblock from Smothers. Rogers and the Pistols were fun but Stax was slow and awkward, dragging it down a bit. (4:09)

Gordon Solie is here for this week’s Wrestling Wrap-Up, starting off with the breakup of Doom and Butch Reed’s attack on Ron Simmons on Pro. Sounds like DDP is on commentary, I keep forgetting the commentators varied by region (I’ve been reviewing the Chicago version in case Jack Brickhouse didn’t tip you off). Next up is the feud between Sting and Larry Zbyszko; the two will meet once again tomorrow night on Main Event.

Ron Simmons vs. Hacksaw Higgins

Simmons is ONCE AGAIN billed as one-half of Doom despite the team being done for weeks. Respect to Hacksaw Higgins for the great ring name; if I ever write a wrestling movie every character is going to be named after a 90s WCW jobber. Higgins makes the most of his time soon, his selling over the top but memorable, but gets way too much (weak and unsold) offense. Simmons tries for a lariat, but Higgins isn’t up for it yet so he MISSES, causing him to get real stiff with the second attempt. Dang. Simmons wins with a flying shoulderblock. Higgins wanted a competitive match but Simmons just didn’t have the passion or interest, which I totally get. I would have done the same thing. (4:25)

-Ross is standing by at the green screen with “The Total Package” Lex Luger to ask about Nikita Koloff. Luger says he’s ready to explode all over Koloff. Ew.

Sting, “The Total Package” Lex Luger, & El Gigante vs. Larry Zbyszko, “Dangerous” Dan Spivey, & Barry Windham

Ric Flair joins Ross on commentary, replacing Dangerously for this match as he’s left to stick his nose in Missy Hyatt’s upcoming interview. Sting and Zbyszko jockey for position to start, Zbyszko slaps Sting when the ref tries to break them up. Sting responds with a flurry of rights that drops the Living Legend. Windham tags in, Sting brings him to the mat with a side headlock, Windham quickly counters with a headscissors. Sting kicks out and Gigante tags in, smile on his face. Windham’s strikes do nothing, Gigante makes him pay with repeated scoop slams. Luger and Spivey tag in, doing battle for the first time since their damn good WrestleWar ’91 match. Spivey blocks a hip toss, Luger connects with a pair of shoulderblocks but gets dropped with a clothesline. Luger with a vertical suplex and lateral press, Spivey kicks out with emphasis. Luger tries an inside cradle; Spivey kicks out again so Luger switches gears into an armbar. Sting tags in and gets forced into the heel corner. Windham tags in, Sting slams him with a military press followed by an elbowdrop for a two-count. STANDING BEARHUG by Sting, Zbyszko breaks it up with a forearm from behind.

Heels cheat while the faces stupidly distract the ref, including a piledriver on the floor courtesy of Dan Spivey. Poor Stinger. Sting leap frogs Windham, Gigante gets the tag and Windham immediately pleads for mercy. Gigante goes a chokin’, Spivey attacks from behind. Luger attacks Spivey, Gigante connects with a vertical suplex. Luger tags in but misses an elbowdrop, allowing Spivey to get the tag and connect with a clothesline. Luger tries a crossbody, Spivey catches him in mid-air and counters with a fallaway slam. Flair LOVES it. He seems real excited about Spivey on commentary. What a Horseman he would have made. Heels continue working Luger over, Zbyszko settles into a front facelock. Luger tags Sting but the ref doesn’t see it and the distraction allows for more cheapshots. Luger takes Windham down with a sunset flip but Spivey gets the tag and kicks the unaware Luger from behind. Spivey with a Japanese armdrag, looks like somebody’s been watching Dustin Rhodes squashes in the locker room. Spivey hits two different versions of a neckbreaker but Luger manages to kick out of both pinfall attempts. Windham tags in and hits a lariat for the 1…2…Luger will not be stopped. Zbyszko tags in, Luger belts both he and Windham with a double clothesline. Sting gets the hot tag, all hell breaks loose as everybody pairs off. In the midst of the chaos Sting catches Zbyszko with a sunset flip from the apron for the 1…2…3. GOOD GUYS WIN. (12:42)

This might have been the longest TV match so far this year and it almost felt like a shock to the system to see a match go over ten minutes. I enjoyed it for the most part, everybody got their sh*t in and Sting getting the pin on Zbyszko adds fuel to their feud leading into Main Event tomorrow night.

  • RATING: **1/4

Flair “leaves” commentary and joins the brawl. He tries to hit Sting with a chair, Luger grabs it out of his hand and the champ bails from the ring. But does Gigante want the belt tho?

Sid Vicious vs. Brett Wayne

Brett Wayne and I appear to have the same diet, which is only a little sobering and heartbreaking. Apparently Brian Pillman has signed a contract to face Sid at some undetermined point in time. PLEASE BE ON TV IF IT HAPPENS, I WANNA SEE IT. Sid plays with his food a bit then mercifully ends things with the Power Bomb. (3:00)

The EMT’s put Wayne on a stretcher, Sid helps him to the back. Just kidding he attacks him because HE RULES THE WORLD.

-After a commercial Missy Hyatt is ringside with Sid. Sid asks everyone to smell the air because it smells like a Power Bomb. Uhhh what? Sid says he’s the real giant, planting seeds for a feud with another certain tall man WHO WANTS THE BELT. Apparently Dangerously didn’t get to crash the interview after all and rejoins Ross on commentary.

Owen Hart vs. Mark Kyle

OWEN HART?!? WHAT THE F*CK?!? Not that I’m complaining because it’s Owen by gawd Hart, but I did not see this coming, televised entrance and everything. This is so weeeeird. Hart shows off his aerial skills as Ross puts him over, connecting with a missile dropkick and IMMEDIATELY kipping up as soon as he hits the mat. Kyle briefly goes on offense after sending Hart chest-first into the buckles (wonder where he learned that?), but Hart quickly regains control and slows things down by focusing on Kyle’s left arm. Hart wins with a twisting crossbody, and HOLY SH*T OWEN HART HAD A WCW STINT. (4:13)

-A clip plays of the brawl between Big Van Vader and Stan Hansen at WrestleWar ’91. Ross announces a rematch has been signed…for a house show coming to an arena near you. OH WHAT THE FU-

Big Josh vs. Rob Morgan

This crowd is pretty lively-sounding considering everyone on camera appears to be sitting on their hands. Morgan takes advantage of Josh’s rule-abiding nature, angering the lumberjack. Josh has no time for cheaters and beats the hell out of Morgan. Josh is going to team with Tommy Rich next week to take on Ric Flair and Barry Windham. That could be good. Oh Josh wins with a seated splash. (2:23)

-Looks like my copy of this show cut out early. One Man Gang made his debut with a squash win over Tommy Angel, and there was a post-match interview with Gang, Theodore R Long, and Kevin Sullivan. I’m sad I missed that. Dammit.

*****

FINAL THOUGHTS: The second hour was much stronger than the first, but overall it was a decent episode of World Championship Wrestling. The two showcase matches were good and had actual story behind them, and seeing OWEN HART of all people make their debut blew my damn mind. I’m sad the tape cut out right before the debut of The One Man Gang, one of my low-key favorites from 80s-era WWF (Hercules being the obvious high-key favorite), but I hope it gets recapped somewhere on their other 5000 shows so I can see what I missed.

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