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by on April 8, 2011


Tony & Bobby start the show. Bobby says we now have a new meaning for the phrase “Thundercage”. Is there really a way to re-define a phrase as clear as that one. 


Ricky Steamboat cuts a promo for the main event against Vader. Unlike past weeks, this one was filmed in front of a chroma wall with a funky music bed. It’s a credit to Steamboat’s immense talent that people took a dude who looked like a history teacher in a Halloween costume seriously.


-It’s weird how differently guys worked in the little studio as opposed to big arenas, and I don’t think anyone worked differently than Badd. On the big shows in the arenas, he has these big, broad movements and wacky, huge facials, but at Center Stage, he just casually strolls out and occassionally waves his arms around.
-Schiavone and Heenan explained the Michael Hayes/Badd storyline from Worldwide that set up the Badd/Jimmy Garvin match from Superbrawl IV (Hayes turned on Badd in a tag on Worldwide the previous weekend, then showed up to Superbrawl in a wheelchair, so Commisioner Nick Bockwinkel made Garvin (who hadn’t wrestled since 1992) work in his place. I appreciated the effort since I completely forgot that happened (mostly since Saturday Night seems to be in its own world), but it was more to put over Nick Bockwinkel’s authority on commentary.
-Badd goes over with a crucifix pin, which was weird. 99% of the time, you finish the job guy off with your finisher, not some random hold.
-I didn’t notice it until the finish, but Payne’s singlet totally rolled up so that it looked like a 50’s women’s bathing suit. 




-Yep, that’s the Road Dogg with his dad’s redneck jheri curl and a Ribera jacket. Oddly enough, he got entrance music even though he got no entrance. Luckily, it was the awesome Armstrong family guitar-heavy song.
-WHAT THE FRICK? Unless this is the same taping as they’ve been showing matches from the past couple of weeks, the Mauler being brought back might be the dumbest talent move they made in 1994 (and they pushed Brutus Beefcake as the top heel!)
-You can tell how huge everyone in the WWF was in the late-90’s when the Road Dogg (an average-sized guy by their standards) looks like the Great Khali on this show.
-I’ve never seen a man slam another man’s head into the canvas as lazily as Mauler did to Armstrong. He barely moved.
-It’s crazy that Armstrong had better punches than 90% of wrestlers both then and today in his rookie year.
-Tony Schiavone just referred to the Mauler’s pointed boots as “Mongolian house slippers”.
-The Mauler wins with a standing elbow drop. Abdullah the Butcher got more air on his elbow than the Mauler. 

Gene Okerlund’s in the crowd and he has a secret about Paul Orndorff and Paul Roma. I’m almost positive this hotline shill was meant to insinuate that Gene was going to out them as a homosexual couple. 

We then see highlights of Thundercage from Superbrawl IV. When they dropped the “electrified” part of the gimmick, how did anyone take the cage seriously? The gap between the bars was so big that smaller guys could TOTALLY climb out through them if they wanted. Also, did Vader ever wear his Superbrawl IV gear again? 


-It’s weird: I swore Missy Hyatt was gone by this point (and Gene Okerlund even did a Hotline about it weeks prior), but she’s there this week.
-The high-five kid from last week apparently lives in Center Stage, as he’s now brushing his teeth during shows… 


-Mike Winner really was the best enhancement talent name ever. Total pro wrestler name with a shade of irony.
-Whatley is a hero of mine. Only he could take a slow, TIIIIIIIIMBER bump after a gorgeous dropkick.
-I’m guessing WCW Magazine was defunct by this point, as Schiavone was hyping the new edition of Pro Wrestling Illustrated on newsstands with Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan on the cover.
-The Nasty Boys and the Equalizer win the match with Saggs’ nasty top rop elbow drop. The story of the match was the Nasties completely ignoring the Equalizer through the match, which I’m guess set up the Sullivan brothers tag team coming in to feud with the Nasties. 

They re-enforce the point in a post-match promo where they keep telling Equalizer to shut up whenever he butts in, then attack him. The Equalizer teases that his big brother’s coming in to take out the Nasty Boys when he gets to his feet, so it looks like I was right. 



-Yep, Larry Santo got an entrance with an AWESOME synthed-up walkout song.
-This was taped before they changed Ryzing’s name, as ring announcer Gary Michael Cappetta announces him as “Terror”, but the graphic has the new spelling. 

-HHH looked big, but the announced 281 pounds is kind of ridiculous.
-Heenan: “Equalizer has a BIG brother? Is he a giraffe?”
-Ryzing keeps flicking off imaginary sweat off of himself like a nervous tic.
-Ryzing wins with his awesome inverted Indian Deathlock. 

Non-Title: Lord STEVEN REGAL (w/Sir William) vs THE PATRIOT
-The story is that Regal won’t put the title on the line, but is mad enough about being taken to the limit a few weeks ago that he wants the rematch.
-Does anyone know what was wrong with Regal’s thigh around this time? He seemingly had it taped all the time around this time of his career.
-Whatever’s wrong with it, they’re bringing it into the match, as the Patriot’s working the thigh to get the advantage.
-It’s always screwy to see guys tapping out in submission holds before tapping out was a form of submission in pro wrestling.
-The Patriot threw a series of thrust kicks during his comeback that aren’t going to make Low Ki jealous anytime soon.
-The Patriot wins by reversing a sunset flip into a folding press pin. Decent match, but Regal got way more out of Patriot in their first match.
Gene Okerlund’s standing by with Patriot, where Patriot sets up the title rematch with Regal. 

-They announced big changes to the WCW Main Event show set, so I’m guessing the new Saturday Night entrance is coming also.
-I always thought Fidel Sierra was a shorter guy, but he’s about as tall as 6’3 Jack.
-Foley busted out the running apron elbow drop, which he never did around this time on TV, it seems like. 


-Jack & Payne win the match after a legdrop to the back of the head by Jack onto Sierra.
Gene’s with Payne & Jack to set up the famous Philadelphia streetfight (they only called it a streetfight and didn’t refer to a date, but I’m assuming this is where it was going). Payne obviously used metal to get ideas for promos, as he used big words like “depravity” and “extinction” that were regular terminology in every early-90’s dark metal song. 


Gene’s in the crowd, claiming to talk about women with these Boy Scouts. Uber-creepy. He says he has news on Miss Elizabeth on the hotline. 

RICKY “The Dragon” STEAMBOAT vs VADER (w/Harley Race)
-Vader exposed that they did commentary in post-production by walking over to the supposed announcers’ table and taking the empty chairs at it.
-They promised the match in its entirety, went to commercial, and came back in progress.
-Vader was great at making babyfaces look like supermen when he needed to. Steamboat’s working this match like a madman possessed and Vader selling for him like he’s a giant helps it a lot.
-It’s weird to see Steamboat throw multiple chairshots to Vader like he was in a pre-ECW world (Harley Race had the referee distracted, so no disqualification).
-Vader just hurled Steamboat like a sack of shit on a suplex. All toss and Vader didn’t bump for it with Steamboat.
-Vader trying for a second rope sunset flip and Steamboat sitting down to block it just looks wrong, like they flip-flopped who was supposed to do the spot or something.
-Steamboat got a visual fall, but Harley Race distracted the referee.
-Steamboat suplexed Harley Race in and Vader accidentally splashed him. Steamboat ends up having to fight both Race and Vader off, which cost Vader the match by disqualification. The Boss ended up saving Steamboat from certain doom. 

The show ends off hot, as the main event got the crowd going NUTS. It seemed like a lot of stuff thrown together just so they had a TV show for after Superbrawl, but the Steamboat/Vader match was really strong. I’m not saying anything no one knows, but Steamboat was an incredible come-from-behind babyface and Vader was a king monster heel, so the ingredients were perfect for a hot match. They closed the show by hyping the new entrance, so that’s something to look forward to… 

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