WCW Saturday Night / Main Event – January 20, 1991
by Scrooge McSuck
- I’m in the middle of another kick with my WCW viewing habits. There’s one match featured here that I’ve been looking forward to watching again, and it happened to take place across two WCW programs that aired back-to-back as part of a special broadcast (maybe they didn’t want Saturday Night running opposite the Royal Rumble? I don’t know). We’ve escaped 1990 and the GOD AWFUL Black Scorpion saga, but things have changed. Ric Flair, the man who was supposed to be pushed down the card, regained the WCW World Championship from Sting in front of 200 people in New Jersey’s Meadowlands (there was a terrible blizzard, so the fact they ran the show at all is a surprise… and no, the attendance wasn’t that low).
- Jim Ross is our host in front of a green screen, hyping a SUPER-SIZED Eight-Man Tag Team Match, as well as a Television Title defense, plus tons more. Matches for this edition of Saturday Night were taped on January 7th, 1991 from Perry, GA.
WCW Television Championship Match:
This isn’t getting us off on the right foot. In standard WCW style, Z-Man won the title from Arn Anderson at a TV taping, but wasn’t recognized on TV until a few weeks later, meaning he does clean jobs the entire time on TV, and then he jobs it back to Anderson at another TV taping about a week after it’s televised, but again the tape delay means Zenk is running around as a fake Champion, losing the title two weeks BEFORE this episode of Saturday Night. Confused yet? Oh… uh… Spoilers? Lockup, Zenk grabs a side headlock. He comes off the ropes with a shoulder tackle, but it has no affect. Blade poses, gets surprised by a dropkick, and knocked out of the ring with a clothesline. Back in the ring, Z-Man with an arm drag into an arm-bar. Blade powers out and connects with a clothesline. Blade with a slam, followed by choking. Zenk fights out of a chinlock, surprises Blade with a boot in the corner, and comes off the top with a missile dropkick for the three count at 4:03. Post-match, Bobby Eaton attacks from behind, gives him the Swinging Neck Breaker, and comes off the top with the Alabama Jam. ¾* Just a handful of spots and nothing more. I was more interested in the post-match attack, which helps build toward their match at the upcoming Clash of the Champions.
The Z-Man © vs. Master Blaster Blade:
- Vote for the WCW Sexiest Wrestler Contest. I guess this appeals to the 5% of WCW’s audience that consists of women. (Commercials are included on this recording featuring ads for Star Tropics for the NES, Subway (now with OSCAR MEYER Ham and Roast Beef), and Greyhound Bus for less than 30 Bucks).
Michael Wallstreet (w/ Alexandra York) vs. Mike Hart:
Squash Match! Before the match, Ms. York informs Hart that the Computer Program predicts Wallstreet (or Wall Street) will be victorious in less than 6-minutes. I give it less than 3-minutes, but maybe I’ll be wrong. Wallstreet with a quick waist-lock takedown and some scuffling. Wallstreet with a wristlock, quickly turned into a hammerlock. Wallstreet with a slam and more working on the arm. The crowd chants “Wal-Mart” at Wallstreet, which I guess is supposed to get under his skin. Jim Ross hypes the return of the American Dream, Dusty Rhodes, at the upcoming Clash of Champions. Wallstreet with the Stock Market Crash for the three count at 3:31. I swear, had this gone 6-minutes, I would’ve put my head through the television. No rating for standard squash matches, by the way.
- Highlights from “Last Week” with Paul E. Dangerously makes fun of Missy Hyatt for various things and kind of accuses her of sleeping around to keep her job with WCW, almost bringing her to tears. We cut to a video of Paul E. preparing for an Arm-Wrestling Contest with Hyatt, hanging out in a weight room. PAUL E. DANGEROUSLY working out? Seems unlikely, but naturally, all he does is talk, so he’s all mouth, as usual. He vows to set the American men free from the control of women.
Terry Taylor vs. Dave Johnson:
Squash Match! Lockup and they trade wristlocks. Taylor with a mule kick, and Johnson somehow finds the balls to complain about a hair pull. Whip to the ropes, Taylor with a shoulder tackle, followed by a side headlock takeover. Taylor has complaining lately about a lack of Championship Matches. This should set off the alarm for “upcoming heel turn”, since Taylor is far better off as a heel. He’s facing Ricky Morton at Clash of Champions. Johnson grabs a headlock of his own, already doing better than Mike Hart. Taylor with chain wrestling. Whip to the ropes and Taylor with a dropkick, followed by a jaw buster. Taylor with a slam and knee drop across the forehead. Johnson fights back with clubberin’ blows and a slam. Whip to the corner, Taylor gets a boot up on a charge, and finishes with a suplex and diving forearm for three at 4:18. I’m surprised Taylor gave up so much offense to a scrub.
- Paul E. Dangerously is at ringside to interview Terry Taylor, who is again over-looked for a Championship Match while Tom Zenk gears up for a TV Title defense against Arn Anderson. Taylor complains about having to wrestle a tag team specialist like Ricky Morton and how it won’t get him into title contention. This brings out Morton to call Taylor out for running his mouth. Taylor backs down from what he says, but I have a feeling that this face vs. face match won’t stay that way for long.
Doom (WCW Tag Team Champions) (w/ Theodore R. Long) vs. Ray Diamond & Brian Morley:
Squash Match #3 of the broadcast. Teddy Long with an inset promo on Sting and Lex Luger, the scheduled opponents for Doom at the upcoming Clash of the Champions. Butch Reed starts by pounding away on Morley. Whip to the ropes and a clothesline. Reed stomps on the face of Morley and follows up with a swinging neck breaker. Ron Simmons tags in and continues to dish out the punishment. Simmons with an awkward press slam, but the referee won’t count while he has Morley pinned with a choke. He throws him into the corner, allowing his partner to tag in and earn his payday. Reed with a double axehandle from the second turnbuckle. Reed with a short-clothesline and knee drop. Simmons with a spinebuster. Reed to the top rope for his signature diving shoulder tackle, and it’s over at 4:04. Standard stuff from Doom. Watchable.
- Paul E. Dangerously is standing by with the Fabulous Freebirds (Michael P.S. Hayes and Jimmy “Jam” Garvin for those new to WCW programming). They run down the Lightning Express, Tim Horner and Brad Armstrong. It seems like they’re broken up and put back together on a month-by-month basis from 1987-1991.
(Commercials for M & M’s, The Comedy Zone on TBS (re-runs of the Brady Bunch, Good Times, The Jeffersons, The Beverly Hillbillies, Happy Days, Sanford and Son, and the Andy Griffith Show), 25th Anniversary of the Super Bowl Program and Pin Sale, and a bunch of second-runs of commercials we’ve already seen)
- Flashback to last week, where the Horsemen (Arn Anderson & Barry Windham) interrupted an interview with the Renegade Warriors. God, the opposite ends of the spectrum there… the awesome duo of Arn and Windham, and the garbage pile known as the Renegade Warriors.
The Renegade Warriors vs. Magnum Force:
Great, it’s the second time I have to sit through a match with Magnum Force. The Renegade Warriors (Mark & Chris Youngblood) take on Windham and Anderson at the upcoming Clash of the Champions. Lockup into the corner and Rick of Magnum Force with cheap shots on Mark. It’s no sold, Mark comes back with an atomic drop and chops. Chris Youngblood takes over Speed of Magnum Force with a back drop and hip toss, then clears the ring of both members of Magnum Force with slams. Whip to the ropes and Mark Youngblood with a dropkick. He goes to work on the arm and takes Speed over with a body throw. Chris with a back suplex. Whip to the ropes and the Youngbloods with a double chop. Mark comes off the ropes with a leg drop. How is this match still going?! Rick tags back in and takes Mark over with a Powerslam. Mark recovers and the Youngbloods connect on a double team big boot. They hit Rick with a double chop and a press slam splash finishes at 5:17. ¼* Poor work from all involved. The Youngbloods were terrible.
- Sting and Ric Flair with promos hyping the upcoming Super-Sized Eight-Man Tag Team Action. With less than 5-minutes of broadcast time left on this edition of WCW Saturday Night, the promised Main Event is about to begin… and run into the next hour that includes WCW Main Event. That’s so cheap to keep fans watching, expecting the match to start much earlier than at the top of the hour.
Sting, The Steiner Brothers, and Flyin’ Brian vs. Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Barry Windham, and Sid Vicious:
This is the match we’ve all been waiting for. The Steiners are the reigning U.S. Tag Team Champions and Ric Flair has recently won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, but this was taped a week before the title switch, so he obviously doesn’t come to the ring with the belt, nor introduced as the Champion. Anderson and Sting start. Sting gets sent to the Horsemen corner and quickly fights them all off. Arn gets sent into Sting’s corner, and he gets nailed by everyone. Flair tags in. Lockup to the corner, Sting no-sells chops, and that’s all the time we have for Saturday Night (on Sunday Night), two minutes shown.
… and now let’s begin WCW Main Event, hosted by Jim Ross and Missy Hyatt, the latter of which promises to show us HER workout video… PG Version, of course.
Sting, The Steiner Brothers, and Flyin’ Brian vs. Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Barry Windham, and Sid Vicious:
Since WCW loves it’s fans so much, we get the entire match instead of Joining in Progress. Anderson and Sting start. Sting gets sent to the Horsemen corner and quickly fights them all off. Arn gets sent into Sting’s corner, and he gets nailed by everyone. Flair tags in. Lockup to the corner, Sting no-sells chops. Criss-cross sequence ends with a press slam. Sting with mounted punches in the corner. Whip to the corner, Flair flips to the apron, and knocked off by Scott Steiner.
We return from a commercial break, with Windham and Rick Steiner tagging in. Lockup, Windham with an arm drag. He grabs a headlock, sent to the ropes, and Rick with a Steinerline. Whip to the ropes and Steiner with a Powerslam for two. Windham thumbs the eye and takes Rick over with a suplex for a near fall. Sid tags in for the first time, with his usual clubberin’ offense. He plants Rick with a slam, but misses an elbow. Scott Steiner and Anderson tag in. Anderson goes for a slam, Scott counters, ducks under a clothesline, and takes him over with a Powerslam. Remember, at Clash of Champions, Scott Steiner challenges Ric Flair for the WCW World Heavyweight Title! Scott sends Arn into the corner with an atomic drop. Flair tags in for a sneak preview at the upcoming Clash Main Event. Flair with elbows. He grabs a headlock and comes off the ropes with a shoulder tackle. Scott counters a second attempt with a drop toe hold, and slaps on the Figure-Four. Everyone runs in, and with the exception of Sid and Rick Steiner, it’s Figure-Four’s for everyone! Once things calm down, it’s back to Flair and Scotty. Steiner bridges up and takes Flair over with a back slide for two. Pillman tags in for the first time and trades blows. He sends Flair across the ring with a hip toss and follows with a dropkick. They trade blows again, with Flair falling face-first as he goes to make a tag.
We return from another commercial break, and it’s Pillman and Anderson in the ring. Lockup to the corner, Anderson with a knee to the midsection, followed by a pair of lefts. Whip is reversed and Pillman takes him over with a back drop. Dropkick to Arn, dropkick to Windham, and a flying body press on both men to clear the ring. Back inside, Arn lures Pillman to the floor, allowing Windham to surprise him with a clothesline. Sid drops him across the rail, to give the illusion that he’s done any work in the match. Back inside, Arn with a snapmare and stomps to the face. Pillman comes back with a sunset flip, but Sid gets the tag and pounds away. Whip and Sid with a Powerslam. Windham with a diving clothesline for a two count. Pillman mounts a comeback against Flair and makes the hot tag to Scott Steiner. He takes Flair over with a back drop, and lays everyone out with clotheslines. Everyone gets involved again. Rick plants Sid with a belly-to-belly suplex in the neato spot of the night. They all take it to the floor and it’s a Double Disqualification at 21:42. ***1/2 The finish was a disappointment, but an obvious out considering Wrestle War ’91 is about a month away, and all these men were scheduled to compete. Nonstop action, fun spots, and the limited workers (cough: Sid :cough) were kept out of the ring for practically the entire match.
The Southern Boys vs. George South & Ed Brock:
Ahh, good ol’ George South. Consistently getting work as enhancement talent for over 40 years. Southern Boys are Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong, by the way. Smothers starts with South. He comes off the ropes with a shoulder tackle and connects with an atomic drop. Illegal double team diving shoulder tackle from the Southern Boys to clear the ring. Armstrong grabs a wristlock but gets a thumb to the eyes. Criss-cross, Armstrong with a pair of hip tosses, and again some illegal double teaming. So… they did the exact same match with jobbers that they do with the Freebirds? Armstrong sends Brock to the corner and follows in with a clothesline. Smothers with a diving back elbow. Armstrong with a clothesline and vertical suplex. Smothers works the arm, because standard squashes need to be this long. We finally finish with Armstrong holding Brock up for Smothers’ top rope diving elbow at 4:35. Same stuff, different opponents.
- Paul E. Dangerously is standing by with the Danger Zone. We throw it to clips from the Meadowlands on January 11th, with Ric Flair celebrating his winning the WCW World Heavyweight Title for a 7th time. He picks a fight with Scott Steiner, hyping up the Clash of the Champions on January 30th. So he knew of the title defense immediately after winning it? Back to the green screen of doom with a fresh interview from Flair. Standard promo.
The Lightning Express vs. The Fabulous Freebirds:
(Tim Horner & Brad Armstrong vs. Michael P.S. Hayes & Jimmy “Jam” Garvin)
This is our “television Main Event”, and to be fair, the Eight-Man Tag wasn’t part of this taping, so I’ll let it slide. Armstrong is still billed as the Candyman. I’m pretty sure that was dropped not long after this. Armstrong and Garvin start. Lockup to the corner and a not-so-clean break. Garvin with a waist lock takedown. Criss-cross, Armstrong with a hip toss, followed by a pair of flying head scissors. Hayes and Horner have a go next. They blow a criss-cross sequence. Horner with a dropkick and diving body press. Garvin tags in, gets taken over with an arm drag, and Horner hooks an arm-bar. Double elbow, snapmare, and elbow drops from the Lightning Express. Garvin with a distraction, allowing Hayes to take over on Armstrong. Funny… the way J.R. is burying Garvin and Hayes’ musical abilities reminds me of WWF’s attempts at a Rhythm & Blues “push” around the same time. Armstrong blocks a suplex and counters with his own. Horner with the hot tag, unloading on both Freebirds. Horner tries a roll up, but Hayes interrupts. He goes for the DDT, but Armstrong interrupts that, too. All four men brawl in the ring until the Freebirds toss Armstrong and Horner over the top rope for a cheap Disqualification at 5:45. Post-match, the Express clear the ring with body presses and dropkicks. *1/4 Not much to this. Horner and Armstrong are fine workers, but the Freebirds are just garbage.
- We get a video of Missy Hyat working out… and no, it’s not what you were probably expecting. It’s really just her working out, with more close-up’s of her wrist and bicep than anything perverted. Seriously, best swerve in WCW history (in 1991).
Final Thoughts: With the exception of the Eight-Man Tag Match (which was really fun, by the way), not a whole lot of quality wrestling here. Lots of dull squash matches (4-6 minutes, compared to standard WWF times of 2), and the non-squashes featured such talentless lugs like a Master Blaster and the Fabulous Freebirds. On the plus side, they did a good job of hyping the upcoming Clash of Champions, featuring talent mostly booked for that TBS Special. Growing up a WWF fan, watching old weekly WCW programming has a different feel for me, but even though match quality wasn’t what I was hoping for, it still breezed by.
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