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1994 WCW Blogject: 1/8/94

by on March 17, 2011

So, I recently…um…*acquired* this lovely season set of every episode of WCW Saturday Night that took place in 1994. Why, you may ask? I mean, after all, it gets a bad rap for being the year that the ship fell head-first into the group after Hogan came in and ruined the television shows. What I’m thinking is that there’s NO way this show can be as bad as people say it got. They still had Flair hot off the Vader match, Sting in his prime, Vader in his prime, Austin, Steamboat, Dustin Rhodes, the list goes on and on…

So, we’ll get to see together. You and me. There’s just one issue: I watched the first episode before I even thought about doing this. Instead of ruining the point of the concept and just re-watching it, here’s a recap: Sting & Brian Pillman had a schmozz with Rick Rude & Steve Austin after a bitchin’ Austin/Sting match, Brian Pillman thinks Col. Robert Parker is a chicken, and Lord Steven Regal defended the TV belt successfully in a good match against Terry Taylor. Got it?

(Editor’s note: I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to do these…probably not daily, maybe not even weekly, but I’m going to try and push through until I get every single episode for 1994 in the books…or blog, rather. Also, big ups to Jae at http://www.http://jaedmc.blogspot.com for the inspiration to try this, with his awesome WWF New Generation blog.)

Let’s go!

January 8, 1994

THUNDER & LIGHTNING vs BOB COOK & BOB STARR

I *LOVE* Bob Cook. Best right-handed punch ever and he was shockingly incredible for a guy that looked like your mom with a beard (screencap above). Bob Starr is probably most notorious for being part of a rib described on an Ian Rotten shoot interview, where Ian called (I believe) Virgil under the name “Hollywood Bob Starr”, then proceeded to bust out every racist term in the book. One of the Thunder & Lightning gents, Jeff Farmer, went on to be nWo Sting. Thunder & Lightning were the stereotypical muscleheads that the big companies would bring in right out of training in the mid-90’s and try to push due to the size of their biceps. The difference between these guys and the others were that they looked like VERY normal guys, just with huge muscles. They had REALLY well-combed hair, actually. The match itself was highlighted by a REALLY high dropkick (Bob Cook was probably slightly over six feet tall and Warner went OVER HIS HEAD) and their finish was this double-team Dominator/clothesline that looked like it KILLED poor “Hollywood Bob”.

Promo from Sting & Brian Pillman, hyping up the big main event against Rick Rude & Steve Austin. Sting really is the most over wrestler of all-time to wear a band-leader jacket.

Before the next match, they go to the announcers for a stand-up, which is only notable for Jesse Ventura wearing a nicely put-together three-piece suit. I think this was around the time he decided he was going to run for US Senate, so he cut out the wacky bandanas and such.

“THE NATURAL” DUSTIN RHODES vs BILL PAYNE

The above screenshot represents everything right with studio wrestling. Some little girl probably made that sign and felt the pressure to get her entire message out to Dustin Rhodes, but couldn’t afford a big enough piece of posterboard to make a full sign. Do not fret, little girl, for Center Stage is cozy enough that they WILL find you and they WILL get your sign on TV.  I hate Bill Payne just because of his name. Bull Pain’s not a WWE Hall of Fame-level guy, but he went a ton of places and got his name out. I’m sure he was in Puerto Rico by this point, so people within wrestling knew who he was, including Bill. Don’t ape the dude.

That being said, Bill knows how to eat crap on missed avalanches in the corner. Right as I say that, he took a VICIOUS bump on his head for a lariat. OH-EM-GEE, they’re literally hyping a Lord Steven Regal TV Title match tonight against LARRY SANTO and acting like there’s a real shot that Santo, who’s never won a match in his life, could go to Clash of the Champions to face Dustin for the belt. #ILoveWrestling. Dustin wins with a great bulldog, which is a move that more guys should do in 2011 (especially the Pounce-style version where Dustin would run catty-corner from the guy. That version looked easy and killer.

“A Battle For Manhood”: 2 COLD SCORPIO & MARCUS BAGWELL vs PRETTY WONDERFUL (Paul Orndorff & Paul Roma)

That’s literally how they billed it. A BATTLE FOR MANHOOD. The winner takes home a penis, I guess. I tried for almost five minutes to screencap this shot of a dude who looks like the assistant from “Arli$$” doing the Scorpio dance in the crowd, but it comes out all blurry. So, stop reading for a second, imagine that dude in a denim shirt dancing, then come back. The Assasain (Jody Hamilton) is at ringside, managing Pretty Wonderful. When I was little, I thought he was Japanese since he was evil, wore a mask, and his fat squished up his eyes in the mask to where his eyes looked very Asian-like (I swear, I’m not racist).

Scorpio gets credit (and rightfully so) for being a tremendous high-flier in the mid-90’s (some of his stuff, like the somersault standing legdrop, still looks beautiful and great compared to modern high-flying). But that sadly overshadows some of his other great aspects, such as the fantastic punches he busted out in this match. It absolutely blows that his WWE run in ’06 didn’t work out because he’d be the best Smackdown veteran in the history of life. This match also featured what I’ll dub “The Fantastically Awful White Dude Elbow Drop Challenge”, where Paul Roma and Marcus Bagwell both dropped some of the ugliest damned elbow drops in history in succession. Some would say Bagwell’s elbows were “handsomely strange”.

Orndorff pins Bagwell when the Assasain headbutts Bagwell with something in his mask. How the hell did the physics of that ever make sense? If I wear a headband with a metal plate and headbutt you in the forehead with it, it’s not going to hurt much more than a straight-up headbutt, let alone the piece of folded-up paper that Hamilton put in his mask. Nonetheless, the match was actually quite decent and Paul Orndorff was shockingly great at showcasing Scorpio’s offense.

THE SHOCKMASTER vs OTIS APOLLO

This was during the point where Shockmaster was silly “Uncle Fred” the construction worker, making light of the Shockmaster blunder from September. Every time I see Shockmaster/Typhoon, it blows my mind how tall he is. He’s so round that I always envision him being a short dude, but he was probably 6’7ish. Early in the match, Shockmaster busts out this RIDICULOUS Beale toss where he barely tossed Apollo, but the dude FLEW and spun like he was Pat Tanaka throwing the flying forearm. Shockmaster finishes Apollo off with a bearhug slam.

Shockmaster cuts a promo with Gene Okerlund after the match, where Gene introduces him as “The guy who’s been practicing his moves in the ring, but needs work on the guitar”. Shockmaster and J.T. Southern performing dueling guitars would be amazing. We go to a via-satellite promo for the SUPER SHOCKMASTER, which is regular Shockmaster in a Power Ranger costume.

ICE TRAIN vs JOHNNY STEVENS

Ice Train was effin’ OVER with the folks at Center Stage. I can never hate the man for one reason, and it’s this:

Ice Train unfortunately wins too quickly for it to be funny. But hey, he’s shaped like a milk dud. That’s chuckle-worthy, eh?

We go to WCW Control Center, which is one of the best ideas WCW stole from the WWF, especially once Gene Okerlund jumped. If you’re going to hire Mean Gene, he HAS to do a Control Center. When God put the man on this planet, he deemed him the only man able to properly do a Control Center. It’s how it is. The best line of the segment was Gene deeming that the upcoming Ron Simmons/Ice Train match at the Clash was “for the very astute wrestling fan”.

Well, that is until his hotline plug. “A prominent female wrestler was recently seen in Atlanta with a prominent male wrestler and…let’s just say THINGS GOT STEAMY!” So, we have to call the hotline so Gene can read us Greg Valentine/Madusa literotica? “Madusa opened up her Blayze and Valentine SLID IN THE HAMMER SLOWLY! For the rest of the details, call back next week! 1-900-909-9900!”

HARLEM HEAT (Kane & Kole, aka Stevie Ray & Booker T.) vs JASON JOHNSON & BOBBY WALKER

Yep, that’s “Hard Work” Bobby Walker. I really hope, on one of these three-hour Raws with the wacky retro skits, Booker T. busts out the tied-off flame shirt and fire skull cap. It’s funny that I write the joke about Gene dealing smut on the Hotline because Jesse goes off on a rant about how creepy it was during this match.

The Harlem Heat deal was weird because they always hyped them as being these thugs from the streets who brawled, yet most of their offense consisted of more savate and thrust kicks than a Glacier/1-2-3 Kid Ironman Match. Stevie Ray in 1993 will blow your mind if all you remember is fat Stevie Ray from 1999, because the dude was kind of athletic. Booker T. also threw the most effortless superkick EVER during this match. He BARELY moved and it connected perfectly. Harlem Heat finished off Johnson with the EXACT SAME MOVE as Thunder & Lightning used for their finisher. Mumble-mumble-ROH needs more road agents-mumble-mumble.

A Harlem Heat promo with Gene after the match. Booker shoved in far too many Harlem street references and rap lyrics for this promo to be anything but goofy. Also, you know that deal that white people do when they scream “WHAT? YEAH!” during the generic white person goofy ghetto-dweller impersonation that all white people do? Booker T. did this without a hint of sarcasm and irony during this promo.

WCW WORLD TV TITLE: “Lord” STEVEN REGAL vs LARRY SANTO

If Larry Santo and Bob Cook ever teamed up (and I know they have, since I’ve seen plenty of tag squashes of both on Youtube), they should have called themselves the Soccer Moms.

For some reason, Santo decided to wear these tights that were an awkward combination of Cruel Connection and the Christmas Monster gimmick that Glen Jacobs did in Smoky Mountain. He also jumps REALLY high for a guy who can’t do a dropdown without almost killing himself. I will always praise Regal for being tremendous at the little things, like most people, but he did this cravate during the match that I’m sure was barely different than any cravate ever, but the way he applied it made it look like it MURDERED the poor guy. Of course, Regal follows it up with the worst dropkick ever and it was like someone telling a kid that Santa Claus is fake. Regal wins in short order with an abdominal stretch into a cradle that Schiavone called “The Regal Roll”, so I’m guessing he used it as a finisher for a while. It’s a really cool, simple move that, like the bulldog, more guys should use these days.

Gene interviewed Pretty Wonderful (including Paul Roma wearing his Young Stallions jacket…how did he get away with it? Was he too poor to buy another one?).  Orndorff, at one point, called Scorpio and Bagwell, “Salt & Pepper”. How do I word it…um…that’s kind of racist.

STUNNING STEVE & RICK RUDE vs STING & BRIAN PILLMAN

Before the match began, a WCW Hotline commercial aired where Missy Hyatt said, and I quote, “Let’s do some name-calling…and other fun stuff too!”. So, you dial one for Uncle Gene’s Sex Talk and two for Missy Kinks It Up.

One thing that this match blatantly points out is that there’s an art to making things seem fast and chaotic. I don’t mean to go into a “Guys these days…” rant, but modern wrestlers go REALLY REALLY fast and do lots of neat things, but the way these guys are moving around makes this match seem one-hundred times more action-packed than it is. For a dude that seemed to be pretty much crippled by pain at this point, Rick Rude got some air whenever either babyface tossed him in this match.

Of course, Tony Schiavone says right after I said that, that “the referees these days enforce the rules a LOT less strict than they did in my day”. They’re hyping up who the new WCW Commissioner would be on commentary and, while they were great and really over in their day, how the HELL could these guys think that hyping Red Bastien and Ray Stevens as candidates would get people excited?
Right before the heat starts, Austin takes this RIDICULOUS jumping bump on the edge of the apron that I’m surprised didn’t destroy his spine right then. A super-subtle little thing that I enjoyed was when they did the “face makes the tag, but the heel in the corner distracts the referee so he doesn’t see it” spot, Austin snuck out of the corner VERY slowly and subtly so the camera didn’t see him until after the tag and you didn’t see it coming. There’s a freakin’ AWESOME nearfall where Austin tries knocking Sting down with a punch from the corner after Sting escapes Rude’s clutches, but it knocks Sting down on top of Rude for a pin. The kickout leads to a SUPER HOT TAG to Pillman, but it gets cut off short after interference from Col. Parker and the heels get the win. GREAT match that makes me hopeful for the rest of the project.

I should be back soon with the next week’s edition of WCW Saturday Night. I hope you all enjoyed this and, until next time…

TOM.

 

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