[TV Review] Pro – 4.6.91

Commentators: Tony Schiavone & Larry Zbyszko

Pro kills it this week with a great match between Brian Pillman and Barry Windham, story development for THREE feuds, and a whole lot more. Pro gives me LIFE.

CHAMPION ROLL-CALL

  • WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair
  • WCW UNITED STATES HEAVYWEIGHT 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: Vacant
  • WCW WORLD SIX MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Ricky Morton, “Wildfire” Tommy Rich, & The Junkyard Dog

THE LINEUP

  • The Junkyard Dog vs. Jim Sexton
  • Sid Vicious vs. Randy Starr
  • ANNOUNCEMENT: Grizzly Smith speaks on the U.S. Tag Team Title situation
  • Sting & Lex Luger vs. Rip Rogers & Doug Vines
  • SEGMENT: Brickhouse Bonus w/ Jack Brickhouse
  • CLIP: Tom Zenk vs. Terrance Taylor (Pro – 3.30.91)
  • IN-RING SEGMENT: Larry Z’s Legends w/ Larry Zbyszko & El Gigante
  • CLIP: Nikita Koloff attacks Lex Luger (WrestleWar ’91 – 2.24.91)
  • VIGNETTE: Nikita Koloff works out in the Dungeon
  • Brian Pillman vs. Barry Windham (***1/2)
  • RINGSIDE INTERVIEW: Barry Windham
  • PROMO: Theodore R. Long
  • Ron Simmons vs. Joe Cruz

*****

-SPLIT SCREEN PROMO: Brian Pillman challenges Barry Windham, Windham tells Pillman to be happy he’s still able to walk. They meet on today’s episode. Pillman’s shoulder is back to being taped up.

-Schiavone and Zbyszko welcome the home audience, the latter wearing a White Sox hat this week to go against his Cubs gear from last week. El Gigante (“El Gigantos”) will be on Larry Z’s Legends this week.

The Junkyard Dog defeated Jim Sexton via pinfall with the Big Thump (1:16)

  • Schiavone and Zbyszko talk about the White Sox’s new baseball park and other Chicago-related things. DID YOU KNOW THIS WAS FOR THE CHICAGO MARKET?

Sid Vicious defeated Randy Starr via pinfall

  • INSERT PROMO: Sid Vicious talks about being the only giant in WCW because he rules the world. Yes sir, whatever you say sir. Please don’t hit me.
  • Sid is teaming with Stan Hansen to take on The Steiner Brothers for the Tag Team Title at the UIC Pavilion on April 28th. Please tell me somebody Fan Cam-ed that hoss fight because I doubt WCW did anything.
  • POST-MATCH: Sid does his stretcher thing to Starr, turning it over and sending Starr flopping to the floor. EMTs put him back on, Sid runs it all the way up the aisle and sends it shooting to the back. YESSSSS.

-PROMO: Board of Directors member Grizzly Smith (the father of Jake “The Snake” Roberts) announces that the U.S. Tag Team Titles have been vacated (THANK YOU!) and the new champions will be decided at SuperBrawl. Smith will announce which two teams will vie for the gold next week.

Sting & “The Total Package” Lex Luger defeated Rip Rogers & Doug Vines when Luger made Vines submit to the Torture Rack (2:54)

  • INSERT PROMO: Sting & Luger want to better themselves and want to win the Tag Team Titles. Oh hey we’re back to that again. Okay.
  • Rogers & Vine are entertaining enough foils, the former especially.

-BRICKHOUSE BONUS: Jack Brickhouse tells everyone to be ready for Dustin Rhodes, who’s coming along nicely and will totally be as good as Dusty Rhodes no pressure.

-CLIP: Terrance Taylor beats Tom Zenk via nefarious means last week.

-LARRY Z’S LEGENDS: Zbyszko is joined by El Gigante (called “AL GIGAN-TAY”, what a white boy). Zbyszko tries to make a Munsters joke but Gigante no-sells it because Argentina hates The Munsters (probably). Zbyszko mentions that Gigante wants the belt and asks if he understands what he’s saying, Gigante says he doesn’t like what happened to BRIAN PILLLLMAN. Sid Vicious shows up, rolling a gurney behind him. Sid says if Gigante (“stupid man”) gets in his face one more time he’s going to get a man-made stretcher to fit him. Gigante’s response is that his giant hand rules the world. K. I hope they have a match that goes the full Broadway.

-CLIP: Nikita Koloff attacks Lex Luger (WrestleWar ’91 – 2.24.91). WE GET IT, GUYS. PLEASE STOP.

-VIGNETTE: Nikita Koloff does manly sit-ups in his manly dungeon. AGAIN, WE F*CKING GET IT. PLEASE. STOP.

Barry Windham defeated Brian Pillman via pinfall with a roll-up (9:47 shown)

Windham backs Pillman into the corner, but Pillman quickly escapes before he meets the business end of a right hand. Windham clobbers Pillman with rights and forearms, Pillman fights back with a pair of armdrags broken up by a dropkick. Pillman works over Windham’s left arm/shoulder, trying to injure it the way the Horsemen injured his. Windham blocks an O’Connor roll and dodges a charging Pillman, Pillman skins the cat and sort-of clips the top of Windham’s head with a clothesline. Pillman drops an elbow, Windham kicks out of the lateral press and begs off. Windham with a cheap shot, Pillman shrugs it off and goes back to the armbar. Windham tries to escape via armdrag, Pillman rolls through and keeps the hold applied. Windham escapes, Pillman catches him with a back elbow and goes back to it after an armdrag. Arm stuff, the things WCW TV matches are made of! Windham with a corner Irish whip, Pillman floats up and takes him to the floor with a headscissors…as we go to commercial? TAPE MACHINES ARE ROLLING. This might be the first match I’ve seen on this show broken up by a break.

Back to the match and Windham throws Pillman off the top rope then goes right to work on Pillman’s injured left shoulder. Pillman fights back with his good arm, connecting with a chop, Windham rakes the eyes and connects with a faceslam while also sending the shoulder crashing awkwardly into the canvas. The ref checks on Pillman, who refuses to give up. Windham slams Pillman on the injured arm and applies a crooked armbar, grabbing the top rope for extra leverage. Pillman tries to fight back, Windham clobbers him down and hits a belly-to-back suplex but doesn’t go for the cover, he wants to hurt the arm more. Windham drives some knees into the shoulder and tells the ref to ask him if he wants to give up. He does not. Windham removes the shoulder brace but can’t remove the strap (“SAME!” – Windham’s ex-girlfriends). Pillman with a leapfrog and a leaping clothesline. Pillman goes for an O’Connor roll, Windham rolls through and grabs the tights for the 1…2…3!

  • Well hot damn, now that was a good match! Much better than their World Championship Wrestling encounter the previous month. Pillman’s babyface comebacks and show of courage fighting the odds were great here, as was Windham’s unrelenting assault/attempt to reinjure the shoulder. Windham picking up the win via cheating opens it up to another rematch and also gives Pillman an out for losing, which I appreciate. Heck yeah. More of this on TV, please. I probably won’t get it but I can hope. (***1/2)

Windham drives Pillman’s arm to the mat once more to add insult injury.

-Zbyszko is ringside with the victorious Windham (is that a different shirt from the opening?). Windham barely gets a thought about before Pillman attacks him with a double ax from the top turnbuckle! Action moves back into the ring, Windham targets the arm some more, and rolls out to Zbyszko to finish his promo. Windham says Pillman is through but then gets grabbed from behind, as Flyin’ Brian refuses to stay down! Windham back into the ring with a scoop slam and some stomps to the shoulder. El Gigante runs out to check on Pillman as Windham talks some more with Zbyszko. Windham sees Gigante and decides to leave instead of attack some more. THIS F*CKING RULED.

-PROMO: Theodore R. Long has a big surprise for Ron Simmons today, and he should have never turned his back on his brothers. Lots of talk about a bounty being placed on Simmons’ head, so I guess that’s why One Man Gang showed up.

Ron Simmons defeated Joe Cruz via spinebuster (2:28)

  • Simmons is announced as being ½ of Doom. COME ON, MAN. Will someone on the post-production team please pay some attention?
  • Theodore R. Long shows up at ringside to taunt Simmons, crowd chants “PEANUT HEAD” at him. Kevin Sullivan shows up as well.
  • POST-MATCH: Sullivan shows up and cowers in the cower while begging Simmons to come at him. The One Man Gang runs out and attacks Simmons from behind. Schiavone is SHOCKED to see him like he hasn’t been on TV for the past few weeks. Long and Sullivan holds Simmons’ limbs so Gang can hit multiple 747 splashes. Long and his new best friends leave the ring as a host of jobbers check on Simmons. That’s the show!

*****

FINAL THOUGHTS: I’ve been skipping this section lately as all of these shows have been pretty one-note, but goddamn Pro killed it this week. Pillman/Windham was a banger and the post-match angle with Pillman repeatedly interrupting Windham’s interview to fight some more was tremendous. A really well-done piece of television from WCW. One Man Gang showing up to squash Simmons was cool too, and would have been a great debut…if this didn’t air weeks after Gang showed up on the main shows. Still a good way to end the show, and much love to Pro for being the bastion of storyline development every week.

 

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