Live from Atlanta, GA
Airdate: May 23, 1993
Hosted by Tony Schiavone and Larry Zbyszko
All the legends are in the ring as fireworks explode to open the show. Tony and Larry welcome us to a legend’s reunion!
Match 1: “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton and Chris Benoit versus 2 Cold Scorpio and Marcus Bagwell
Benoit and Scorpio start with an excellent rope sequence culminating with a Scorpio dropkick and armdrag. Tony refers to the match Scorpio and Benoit had at Superbrawl as “one of the greatest matches…in WCW on PPV.” Benoit suckers Bagwell into the ring so that Eaton can Pearl Harbor Scorpio. They double cross-corner whip Scorpio, but he jumps to the second turnbuckle and leaps over Eaton. After Benoit ducks a clothesline Scorpio delivers a springboard high cross body to him. Eaton tries to drop an elbow on Scorpio to break the pin but hits Benoit instead. A double dropkick by Scorpio and Bagwell send their opponents reeling to the outside.
Eaton tags in and receives a hammerlock for his troubles. Bagwell tags in and works the arm. Meanwhile Tony explains Jesse “The Body” Ventura’s absence with a hospital stay in Minnesota. Bagwell and Eaton begin another rope sequence until Benoit puts a knee into Bagwell’s back. He holds his arms so that Eaton can double-team him, but Bagwell vaults Eaton over the top rope instead.
Unceremoniusly Bagwell brings Benoit in the hard way then he and Scorpio whip him off the ropes into Eaton on the apron. Bagwell follows up with a pair of forearms and a dropkick. Again Benoit retreats to ringside. Eaton comes in but Bagwell grabs a hammerlock. Eaton counters and they hit the ropes again. Viciously Benoit delivers a clubbing forearm to the back of Bagwell.
While Benoit distracts the referee Eaton tosses Bagwell over the top rope to the floor. Upon Bagwell’s return Eaton slams him then comes off the top rope with a knee to the chest. Benoit tags in and gives Bagwell an excellent running clothesline. After working Bagwell over with some kicks and punches Benoit slams him, comes off the second rope with a leg drop, but only gets a 2 count.
Eaton tags in and gives some knees to Bagwell. After distracting the referee by choking Bagwell on the second rope Benoit drapes his leg over Bagwell’s neck. Benoit tags back in and gives Bagwell a belly-to-back suplex. That gets a 2 count. He gives Bagwell a snapmare then applies a figure-four headlock. While the referee checks to see if Bagwell wants to submit Eaton provides assistance by holding Benoit’s arms and pulling.
Upon breaking the hold Benoit delivers a spinning neckbreaker to Bagwell. He then slams Bagwell and mounts the top turnbuckle. He attempts a swan dive splash but hits only knees. Scorpio gets the hot tag and goes to work on both Benoit and Eaton.
Bagwell rejoins the party as Scorpio gives Benoit a back body drop then mounts the top turnbuckle. He delivers the flying splash while changing direction mid-flight. He appears to get the pin but Eaton saves. That sequence didn’t look crisp. However, after some heel miscommunication Scorpio gives Benoit the moonsault leg drop for the victory! **1/2
Tony and Larry relate the story of Colonel Rob Parker dismissing Van Hammer as a meal ticket. Subsequently Van Hammer put his hands on him, so Parker found another meal ticket in…
Match 2: ??? (w/ Colonel Rob Parker) versus Van Hammer
Parker states that Van Hammer “bruised his feelings,” so Parker asks for the gurney to be brought out. Then he introduces Sid Vicious to a big pop! Hammer blocks a punch and lands three of his own until Sid kicks him in the midsection. Next he comes off the ropes and delivers a huge running clothesline. The crowd is definitely behind Sid here. He plants Van Hammer with the powerbomb and gets the pin. DUD
Match 3: Dick Murdoch, Don Muraco, and “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka versus “Chief” Wahoo McDaniel, Blackjack Mulligan, and “Jumping” Jim Brunzell
This is the first match from the Turner Home Entertainment version of this show. Initially Brunzell and Snuka start. They tie up a couple of times and exchange hammerlocks. Brunzell executes a drop toehold then works the arm. Mulligan tags in and continues to work on Snuka’s arm until Murdoch grabs ahold of Mulligan’s hair and lays in some blows.
Murdoch comes in and begins a rope sequence with Mulligan. It culminates with a Mulligan hiptoss. They stall for a bit then Murdoch works him over. He snapmares Mulligan then drops the elbow. I had completely forgotten how similar Dusty Rhodes’ and Dick Murdoch’s styles were until I recalled their tag team partnership.
Anyways, Muraco and McDaniel tag in. A headlock segues into a rope sequence that Wahoo wins with his famous chop to the chest. He then slams Muraco twice before “The Rock” retreats to his corner. Murdoch tags back in after getting McDaniel in the heel corner along with some heel shenanigans. McDaniel and Murdoch exchange chops and punches respectively with Wahoo winning that battle.
Brunzell tags in and immediately delivers his patented dropkick to Murdoch. Another rope sequence leads to a Murdoch hiptoss followed by a flying headscissors! Unfortunately for Murdoch Brunzell comes back with an armdrag to ruin his celebration. He bars Murdoch’s arm then whips him off the ropes. Brunzell then applies a sleeper, but Murdoch backs him into his corner.
The heels work over Brunzell in the corner until Muraco tags back in. He slams Brunzell then gives him two leg drops. He applies a front facelock in order to deter Brunzell from tagging out. A false tag occurs. Muraco comes off the ropes supposedly to clothesline Brunzell but hits Snuka instead! Murdoch tags back in as Snuka wonders what’s going on. Murdoch gives Brunzell a swinging neckbreaker for a 2 count. Next he cross-corner whips Brunzell and gives him the knee to the back of the neck from the top rope! He slipped on the way up, but, hey, he’s a legend! Give him a pass for it. He only gets a 2 count because the faces make the save.
Muraco tags in and whips Brunzell off the ropes. After ducking a clothesline Brunzell delivers a high cross body to Muraco. Snuka finally tags in and slams Brunzell. He comes off the ropes but misses a diving headbutt. He tries to slam Brunzell, but receives an inside cradle for a 2 count. After taking Brunzell back to his corner via a front facelock Muraco holds him so that Snuka can chop him. Snuka then comes off the ropes to chop him again but hits Muraco instead!
Pushing and shoving from the heels occur until McDaniel rolls up Snuka for a 2 count. Everyone is in the ring now and referee Randy Anderson has seen enough so he throws the match out. Boo! *
Match 4: Ivan Koloff and Baron Von Raschke versus Thunderbolt Patterson and “Bullet” Bob Armstrong
Patterson comes to the ring alone. He gets on the microphone and states that Armstrong had a knee operation and isn’t able to wrestle. He threatens to take out both foreigners himself while Zbyszko tries to decipher street lingo. Koloff and Von Raschke badmouth Armstrong for wimping out of the match so Brad Armstrong comes to his father’s defense and accepts his partnership with Patterson!
While Patterson chokes Von Raschke in the corner Armstrong gives Koloff a back body drop and a dropkick. It should be noted that Armstrong is not dressed to wrestle as he competes in “jeans and Reeboks” according to Tony. The match starts properly as Patterson and Raschke start. The Baron tries a couple of side headlocks, but Patterson easily wiggles out of both of them.
Koloff tags in but Patterson works his arm. Armstrong tags in and applies an armbar. As if it was 1971 all over again Koloff takes over with a snapmare and a kneedrop. Baron tags in and they double-team Armstrong. While Schiavone rattles off wrestling history better than a Sunday afternoon on Long Island with Bill Apter Raschke whips Armstrong off the ropes and gives him the claw. Unlike the Von Erichs Raschke would put his forearm on the back of the neck in order to apply better pressure.
Armstong gets out of it with a single leg takedown and tags in Patterson. Koloff tags back in but wants no part of Patterson. The Atlanta faithful get behind their hometown hero. Patterson works over both evil foreigners with headbutts and punches until he and Armstrong whip them into one another. While Armstrong gives Koloff the 10 punches from the second rope Patterson whips Raschke off the ropes and nails him with a double thrust to the throat for the victory? Isn’t that a DQ? Oh well. Patterson won his “retirement” match. DUD
“A Flair for the Gold”
Decked out in a tuxedo with a black and white bowtie Flair welcomes to the live presentation of “A Flair for the Gold.” He promises a “reunification” of the Four Horsemen. Before business can take place though Fifi gets to “walk that aisle.” Flair then introduces Arn Anderson to a pop. According to Flair, Anderson is “stylin’ and profilin’” tonight. Anderson cuts a quick promo on Windham promising that he’s going to “make (his one shot) good.”
Flair then relays the bad news to Anderson. Not only Windham snubs them but also Tully Blanchard snubs them. He invites Arn to join the ladies but stay dry until after his match. Flair then introduces “our mentor” Ole Anderson. Ole badmouths both Windham and Blanchard. Flair invites Ole to “get his feet wet” while he makes his next introduction.
The “special addition” to the Four Horsemen is introduced and it’s “Pretty” Paul Roma? What? The guy may have had the look. He may have had the cockiness. But in no way, shape, or form is he a Horseman. I wish this was a rib, but it isn’t.
After Flair issues a challenge to WCW World Tag Team champions Brian Pillman and “Stunning” Steve Austin he declares that “the Four Horsemen are reunited again.”
Back to ringside Tony introduces “the greatest US heavyweight champion of all time” Johnny Valentine to add color commentary for the upcoming match. He then informs us of the next WCW PPV: Beach Blast ’93 on Sunday, July 18!
Match 5: Dory Funk, Jr. (w/ Gene Kiniski) versus Nick Bockwinkel (w/ Verne Gagne)
The terms “legendary” and “classic” are coined quite often in professional wrestling; however, with these 2 combatants “legendary” fits the bill with all the NWA and AWA title reigns between them. Unfortunately we cannot turn the clock back to 1975 to watch these guys in their prime so this will not be a “classic.”
Zbyszko wastes no time mentioning that he retired Bockwinkel. Funk and Bockwinkel tie up and exchange blows several times until Bockwinkel grabs a hammerlock and takes Funk down to the mat. Funk gets to his feet and takes him to the corner. He fires a series of forearms and snapmares Bockwinkel to the mat.
Both Kiniski and Gagne get on the apron to distract the referee while Funk works on Bockwinkel’s neck. He gives him another snapmare and tries to give him a headlock. Instead Bockwinkel counters into a headscissors. He maintains the hold until Funk can twist out of it. Funk confers with Kiniski to waste some time.
They tie up again and Bockwinkel grabs an armbar. Funk slams him to counter but gets kicked in the face when trying to follow up. Bockwinkel then slams him so Funk retreats for more consulting with Kiniski. Upon Funk’s re-entry they tie up and again Bockwinkel grabs an armbar. Funk shoots him off then gives him a back elbow.
Funk delivers a couple of forearms yet gets a 2 count when Bockwinkel puts his foot on the bottom rope. Funk grabs a headlock and takes Bockwinkel to the corner. Nick makes his comeback with some forearms that send Funk to the other side of the ring. Bockwinkel tries to cover, but Kiniski runs interference.
Upon Bockwinkel’s re-entry they tie up once more until Funk grabs a headlock. He shoots the half but Bockwinkel counters. In turn Funk counters and the hold is broken. Bockwinkel then gets a double leg takedown and tries to turn him over for a Boston Crab. Funk counters again. Bockwinkel grabs a headlock but Funk gives him a belly-to-back suplex to counter and gets a 1 count.
When both men return to their feet Funk grabs and maintains an armbar. Tony remarks on the great condition of both athletes as we reach the 10 minute mark. Valentine offers his first bit of insightful commentary as he says that he can see these men “going all night like this. They’re great athletes.” Funk grabs a surfboard while Bockwinkel tries to counter. They go back and forth until Bockwinkel finally has the advantage. While Funk drops down to counter the hold I break out into a golf clap.
Another tie-up leads to a side headlock by Bockwinkel. Funk takes him to the corner and puts some forearms into his midsection to break the hold. He then delivers a forearm to the head. However, Bockwinkel switches and delivers some forearms to the midsection himself. He follows with a snapmare for a 2 count.
Bockwinkel maintains the headlock while Funk tries to counter as he grabs the knee. Instead Bockwinkel cinches in harder but gets taken to the ropes. Funk breaks the hold with a knee to the midsection then delivers two forearms to knock Bockwinkel to the ramp. While the referee shoos Kiniski from trying to grab the leg of Bockwinkel Funk suplexes him back into the ring for a 2 count.
With 2 minutes remaining in the match Funk gives Bockwinkel a piledriver. A foot on the ropes by Bockwinkel prevents the pinfall. Funk tries to give him the double underhook suplex, but Bockwinkel counters into a backslide for another 2 count. Funk then whips him off the ropes and gives him a back elbow.
Funk gets a double leg takedown and applies the spinning toehold to Bockwinkel. In lieu of submitting Bockwinkel gets an inside cradle for 2. With time running out Bockwinkel cinches in the figure-four leglock. Again Kiniski runs interference, but the referee lets it go. Funk reaches the ropes to break the hold with less than 30 seconds left!
Bockwinkel slams Funk and gets another 2 count as Cappetta runs off the last ten seconds of the match. Funk grabs an inside cradle but they are in the ropes to end the match. The crowd gives them a standing ovation! The official decision is a time-limit draw. Wow! A technical classic! I retract my earlier assessment. ***1/2
Match 6: U.S. Heavyweight champion “Ravishing” Rick Rude and World Television champion “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff versus “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes and Kensuke Sasaki
Before Rhodes and Sasaki are introduced Rude stops the music and badmouths the “inner city sweathogs” of Atlanta. Perhaps he didn’t like his burger from the Varsity. Rude and Sasaki start as Rude is embarrassed by Sasaki’s lack of physique. He shoves Sasaki and poses in classic Rude fashion. Sasaki returns the favor and shoves Rude back into his corner.
As Tony mentions Sasaki’s former tag team partnerships with Hiroshi Hase and Road Warrior Hawk Rude goes to work on Sasaki. Rude whips him off the ropes but misses a clothesline. Sasaki grabs the arm and yanks on it. He then gives Rude a wristlock to maintain control. Rude is able to tag out, but Orndorff receives an armbar upon his entrance.
Rhodes and Sasaki tag in and continue to work on Orndorff’s arm. Rude tags back in, and Rhodes wants revenge for Rude stealing his title. A brawl between them breaks out until Rhodes whips him off the ropes and gives him a back body drop. He cross-corner whips Rude but hits knees when he charges in. Rude receives the same treatment when he tries the same; however, when Rhodes charges out of the corner Rude uses his momentum to send him over the top rope to the floor!
Orndorff works over Rhodes at ringside as Rude suckers Sasaki in to distract the referee. A swinging neckbreaker by Rude gets a 2 count. Orndorff tags in and continues to lay the punishment on Dustin. Rude tags back in and tries a piledriver on Rhodes. Rhodes escapes, but Rude then tries to tombstone piledrive him. Rhodes counters that into his own tombstone piledriver!
Sasaki tags in and gives Rude a top rope elbow and a second rope clothesline. He whips Rude off the ropes and gives him an inverted atomic drop. He mimics Rude and delivers three running clotheslines. Orndorff comes in, but that brings in Rhodes. Dustin takes Orndorff to the ramp as Sasaki mounts the top turnbuckle.
With the referee distracted Orndorff launches Sasaki off the top rope. Rude grabs him with some difficulty and gives him the Rude Awakening for the pin. **
Gordon Solie is in the ring to present the WCW Hall of Fame induction. To begin Solie mentions the legends who have passed on. The first inductee is Lou Thesz. He won the title for the first time in 1937 and is a six-time NWA champion. The second inductee is Verne Gagne. The third inductee is Mr. Wrestling II. Interestingly he had to decline an invitation to Jimmy Carter’s inauguration because the Secret Service required him to remove his mask. The fourth inductee is Eddie Graham. His son Mike Graham accepts the award on his behalf.
Match 7: Sting versus Scott Norton
Instead of Scott Norton who reportedly would not be at Slamboree as of the previous afternoon the Prisoner will wrestle Sting. He comes out in an orange jumpsuit with a nightstick. The fans chant “BossMan” at him. For those unfamiliar with him he portrayed Nailz in the WWF. When the bell rings The Prisoner immediately starts choking Sting almost incessantly.
The Prisoner then whips Sting off the ropes and delivers a back elbow. He pounces on him and chokes him some more. Next he cross-corner whips Sting and goes to work on him in the corner. Afterwards he gives him a backbreaker. Next He cross-corner whips Sting but Sting evades him charging in. They exchange blows until the Prisoner tosses Sting to the outside.
At ringside the Prisoner grabs a video cable and chokes Sting with it. Back in the ring he whips Sting off the ropes, but Sting delivers a high cross body for a 2 count. He whips the Prisoner off the ropes and gives him a back body drop. He follows with the Stinger splash and then covers him for a 2 count. Next he slams him but misses the running elbowdrop.
The Prisoner then works Sting over in the corner some more until the referee gets in his face. This allows Sting to mount the top turnbuckle and deliver a top rope clothesline for the pin out of nowhere. Even referee Nick Patrick was happy to end this dreck. Prior match planning is one thing, but methinks wrestling Kevin Wacholz is whole ‘nother ballgame. DUD
Match 8 for the WCW World Tag Team titles in a steel cage: The Hollywood Blonds (champions) versus Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and Shane Douglas
Woah! Wait a minute! Even Gary Michael Cappetta is surprised as I am to see two masked wrestlers wearing sombreros coming to the ring. While it may appear to be a coup to play switcheroo on the tag champs, in reality Shane Douglas moved on to another famous NWA territory Eastern Championship Wrestling prior to this match. From there a <cough>“legend”<cough> was born. In actuality Tom Zenk was substituting for Douglas here. Steamboat announces them as Dos Hombres.
While the Blonds make their way to the ring Pillman is carrying a clapperboard but no imaginary cameras are rolled. They mean business. Two men in sunglasses take notes at ringside. Austin and Hombre #1 start. Austin takes him to the turnbuckle immediately and then tries to rip the mask off. After a couple of chops it’s obvious that #1 is Steamboat. Austin heads for cover and tags in Pillman.
Unceremoniously Pillman receives a drop toehold from #1. Initially #1 grabs an armbar, but when Pillman leads him to the corner he goes to work on #1. Pillman whips #1 off the ropes but gets punted when he sets up for a back body drop. Pillman tries to ram his head into the cage, but #1 blocks it. A rope sequence leads to an armdrag by #1.
Austin tags in and receives an armbar from #1. Hombre #2 tags in and continues to work on Austin’s arm. When #2 has Austin in a hammerlock Austin tries to snapmare out of it, but #2 hangs onto the hammerlock. He then tries to ram Austin’s head into the cage. Inexplicably Austin goes to the apron, but that enables #2 to ram him back first into the cage!
Hombre #1 tags back in and continues to work on Austin’s arm. Zbyszko informs us that during his 18 year career he kept the same laces for his wrestling boots. I hope he washed them often. After a rope sequence Austin gets backdropped onto the bottom two ropes in a wicked spot. He then picks Austin up and gives him an atomic drop. Austin’s momentum sends him directly into the cage face-first!
Hombre #1 then tosses Austin into the opposite side of the cage. Hombre #2 tags in and hammers Austin’s back with a double sledge from the top rope. Tony and Larry continue to discuss the cage match between Sammartino and Zbyszko from Shea Stadium in 1980. Austin gets a quick advantage with an eye poke and tags in Pillman.
Immediately Pillman rams #2’s head into the top turnbuckle to maintain control. After a missed elbowdrop #2 takes over and tags in Hombre #1. After a rope sequence #1 military presses then tosses Pillman directly into the cage! Say what you want about Zbyszko’s color commentary but his reactions add emphasis to moves such as this.
As Pillman retreats to his corner he suckers #1 in and tags Austin. An attempted slam by Austin is thwarted by Austin’s back acting up. Instead #1 chops away at Austin. #1 then suplexes Austin and hangs him feet first from the top of the cage. He then mimics Austin’s imaginary camera rolling. To continue punishing Austin’s back #1 comes off the ropes and launches himself at Austin’s chest ramming his back again into the cage! Excellent psychology!
#2 tags in. He whips #1 who reverses and tries to whip #2 into Austin, but Austin falls and #2 hits the cage! Austin grabs #2’s boot and tags in Pillman. He gives #2 a jawbreaker and goes to work on him. Austin tags in and rolls his imaginary camera at #2. He whips #2 off the ropes and gives him a back elbow. After a snapmare Austin delivers his patented second rope elbow to #2.
Pillman tags back in and goes to work on #2. Quickly Austin tags back in and continues to work on #2 in his corner. When he distracts the referee Pillman uses the towel to choke #2. When Austin turns around he rolls #2 over but the foot is on the ropes. Just for the sake of cruelty he drops down across the leg on the bottom rope. That’ll teach him not to do that again!
Pillman tags in and gives #2 a snapmare. He mounts the second rope but hits a well-timed boot on the way down. Austin tags back in and keeps #2 from making the tag. Another rope sequence finishes with #2 giving Austin a dropkick. Austin gets up first but in the wrong corner. He gets pinballed between #1 and #2. After giving Austin a couple of right hands #2 sends Pillman back to his corner and makes a leaping attempt at a tag. Austin catches him and delivers what resembles Faarooq’s Dominator.
As if Zbyszko is a soothsayer he claims Austin will be receiving awards and accolades down the road should his body hold up. Excellent prognostication there, Larry! The Blonds try the Midnight Express Rocket Launcher but Pillman hits the knees. #1 finally gets the hot tag and delivers chops’o’plenty to Austin. After he sends Austin face-first to the cage Pillman comes in to get chopped.
Hombre #1 sends Pillman face-first to the cage and beats his chest like Tarzan. Did Turner tell him to do that in order to woo Jane Fonda perhaps? Nah. Too simple. Austin retreats up the turnbuckles, but #1 catches him by the seat of his pants then gives him the electric chair. Pillman tries to escape the cage but gets crotched on the top rope! OUCH!
Stereo 10-punch counts in the corners are given by Dos Hombres. They cross-corner whip the Blonds into one another. Then they whip them off the ropes. Pillman reverses and #2 goes into the cage but so does Austin. #1 dropkicks Pillman then takes off his mask and it’s Hulk Hogan! No, it truly is Ricky Steamboat.
Steamboat climbs to the top of the cage and delivers a high crossbody to both Blonds! It would appear Dos Hombres are the champs, but the Blonds kick out at the very last instant! Steamboat gives Austin a DDT and covers him. The referee is preoccupied with telling the timekeeper the match isn’t over and is late to count the pin. Thus it only gets 2.
Steamboat then gives Pillman a DDT but only gets a 2 count. #2 comes in and they whip the Blonds off the ropes and deliver the double dropkick! Are they the champs yet? NO! Both Blonds kick out at 2! Steamboat and #2 cross-corner whip the Blonds, but Pillman reverses so that Austin can catch #2 and stungun him! As Pillman controls Steamboat with a DDT Austin pins #2! The champs retain! Wow! *****
Match 9 for the NWA World Heavyweight title: Barry Windham (champion) versus Arn Anderson
A quick rope sequence begins the match and smartly Arn goes for the cover off a shoulderblock. A second rope sequence has Anderson giving Windham a belly-to-belly suplex for another 2 count! They tie up again and Windham gets the advantage, and cross-corner whips Anderson, but Arn reverses it. Windham comes out of the corner and receives a back body drop.
Methodically Windham delivers two right hands to Anderson, but the third one misses and Arn gets the DDT! Is Arn wearing the big gold belt? Not yet, as he only gets 2. They fight on the ramp, but when Anderson tries to re-enter the ring he gets a well-placed knee to the head. Windham tries to ram Anderson’s head into the pole, but Arn blocks and rams his head into the top turnbuckle.
Anderson mounts the second rope but when he attempts the double axehandle Windham clotheslines him. He follows with a DDT of his own and an elbowdrop for a 2 count. Next he tosses Anderson outside and elbows him in the mush. When he tries to bring Anderson in the hard way Anderson changes the momentum and sends Windham to the outside.
Anderson follows Windham and rams his head into the steel railing. Windham is busted open. Arn rakes his eye across the top rope and gets a pop from the crowd. He then hooks an inside cradle but only gets 2. After a snapmare he continues to work on the cut. After another snapmare and a knee drop Arn heads to the top turnbuckle. Unfortunately for Anderson Windham dropkicks him out of the ring!
Wow! Windham is a bloody mess. He meets Anderson at ringside and gives him a suplex on the mats. When Arn gets back in the ring Windham delivers a top rope clothesline. A knee to the small of the back gets another 2 count for Windham. Anderson gets a shot to the midsection then nails him with an uppercut.
Anderson goes for the gourdbuster but can’t get him over. Windham counters with a vertical suplex and his sweet floatover for a 2 count. They get to their feet and Anderson whips Windham off the ropes. He then gives him his patented AA spinebuster! Cover him! Get the gold! Oops, sorry…I’ll try to contain my partiality here.
Smartly Windham rolls to the outside. He grabs his championship belt and starts to leave the ring. Arn tosses the referee down and goes after Windham. He nails him and tosses him back into the ring over the top rope. Next he tries to keep punching Windham but the referee keeps getting in his way. Anderson has had enough and tosses the referee again out of frustration.
Anderson realizes his mistake as Windham rolls out of the ring again. Windham grabs his belt again and wallops Anderson in the head. The referee didn’t see that, but he sees Windham’s cover of Anderson and counts the pin. Damn, Arn was so close. ***1/2
Match 10 for the WCW World Heavyweight title: Big Van Vader (champion w/ Harley Race) versus The British Bulldog
Tony informs us that Bulldog is dedicating this match to Cactus Jack, Joe Thurman, Sting, and Ron Simmons due to all the carnage that Vader unleashed upon them. They tie up and it’s a stalemate. Vader tries a short arm clothesline but it does not affect Bulldog. Another tie-up gives Vader the advantage, so he comes off the ropes with his standing splash. Bulldog still won’t go down.
Vader takes Bulldog to the corner and destroys him with a series of punches. As Bulldog goes down to a knee Vader mauls him to the outside. While there Race puts a few shots into him. With the Bulldog leaning against the steel railing Vader charges but misses and flies over the railing! ECW! ECW! Oh, wait, wrong promotion.
Amazingly when Vader tries to return over the railing Bulldog hoists him up and slams him on the mats. When both men return to the ring he gives Vader his patented delayed vertical suplex. Impressive! He misses a blind charge, but when Vader comes off the second rope he catches and powerslams him! Vader gets to his feet but Bulldog clotheslines him out of the ring!
As the crowd chants “Whoomp! There it is!” Bulldog gets a crucifix on Vader but falls victim to a Samoan drop. Vader then drops a couple of elbows into Bulldog’s quadricep. Next he mounts the second rope and drops the Vader Bomb! Bulldog kicks out at 2 though. Vader goes back to work on him and slams him. He mounts the second rope and gives him another standing splash!
Vader hoists Bulldog onto the top turnbuckle and tries to superplex him; however, Bulldog counters and suplexes Vader face-first to the mat. Not so intelligently he channels the Dynamite Kid and gives Vader a head butt to the shoulder. Both men are down. With a broken nose Bulldog plants Vader butt-first on the canvas.
After a clothesline Vader whips Bulldog off the ropes. A sunset flip is tried by Bulldog, but Vader tries to sit on him. Fortunately Bulldog avoids getting squished like a bug. Vader then snapmares him and goes to the top rope. This time Bulldog cannot avoid getting squished as Vader delivers the top rope splash. Stick the fork in Bulldog! He’s cooked!
On the other hand Vader appears to have hurt his sternum so he tosses Bulldog to the outside. He regroups while Race drops a knee to Bulldog’s head. When Bulldog gets back in the ring Vader pounds him into Alpo. After he slams him he gives him a butt splash. Vader applies a reverse chinlock, but ultimately Bulldog counters with an electric chair!
Bulldog makes a comeback with some fists and a clothesline for a 2 count. He tries to cross-corner whip Vader but gets reversed. When Vader attempts to splash him Bulldog catches him and gives him the running powerslam. While being near the ropes Race pulls Bulldog to the outside. While Bulldog beats up Race Vader grabs Zbyszko’s chair and creams Bulldog. The referee calls for the DQ. Boo!
After the match wrestlers from the back come out to protect Bulldog but get destroyed by Vader. Before Vader can powerbomb Bulldog Sting hits the ring and gives Vader a top rope clothesline. A couple of discus punches by Sting send Vader to the showers. ***
Tony and Larry wrap up the show while interviewing Verne Gagne. Verne practically wishes he was the owner of WCW with all the “excitement” he saw tonight.
Overall this show really surprised me. The main event was a pretty good power match. There was no way Smith was walking out of the Omni with the title so the ending made sense. The NWA title match was great based upon Anderson’s efforts. It’s a shame he never got a World title run. I cannot give enough praise to that tag team match in the cage. Those guys worked their asses off and gave the audience its money’s worth.
While not for everyone the Funk-Bockwinkel match was an amazing performance from two great legends. A time-limit draw made perfect sense and its story was told beautifully. With the return of Sid Vicious WCW looked like a juggernaut heading into the stratosphere. We’ll see on Worldwide where the direction heads from here.
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