This week I’m doing something a little different, folks! Instead of finding a WCW pay per view on the WWE Network, I have found something the Network does not currently provide….(shout out to Rassle Reel on YouTube for the upload)
No, not Thunder.
I’m of course talking about WCW Saturday Night!
From 1983 to the debut of WCW Monday Night Nitro in 1995, Saturday Night was the flagship weekly program for NWA/JCP/WCW. Or rather, the “Mothership,” if you will.
1993 is an interesting period for WCW. Here in June, WCW had recently booted Bill Watts out of his position of power in favor of a new, young television marketer turned television announcer, Eric Bischoff
Talent wise, Vader was the reigning WCW Heavyweight Champion, often defending against the likes of Sting, Cactus Jack and Ron Simmons. Ric Flair had returned to the company a few months prior, but had yet to return to in-ring competition. WCW had also recently realigned with the NWA. Though they were still apart of the National Wrestling Alliance from their inception until later this year; they had been recognizing the WCW Champion as the top guy in the company, while the NWA Champion would travel to different promotions around the world.
The NWA World Heavyweight Champion at this time was Barry Windham, holding the Big Gold Belt. When WCW left the NWA, the Big Gold Belt became known as the WCW International Heavyweight Championship, often being defended in New Japan Pro Wrestling along with WCW. Both world titles were unified in the Summer of ’94.
When you think of iconic intros in wrestling history, what comes to mind? Raw is War from ’98-’01? Sure. Nitro from ’95-’99? Of course.
Well, what about the cheesy late night talk show open we got here!? No!? Piss on you then, this shit is tremendous! Seriously, watch this intro and tell me it doesn’t seem like Leno or Letterman is going to pop out at any second.
We’re shown a video from last week showing Ron Simmons saving Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat from an attack at the hands of “Mr Wonderful” Paul Orndorff and “Dirty” Dick Slater, or as our friends at OSWReview call him, “Filthy” Phallus Slater.
Dusty Rhodes is going to be a guest on Ric Flair’s talk show, “A Flair for the Gold,” answering the charges of The Assassin tonight whichs makes me very happy. What charges? I don’t know! But I’m sure it will all be hilarious.
Match #1 – Arn Anderson and Paul Roma (The Four Horsemen) vs Don Brodie and Warren Quinn
Ahh yes, Horseman Paul Roma. I may love Paul Roma more than any heterosexual man should love another, but even I’ll admit that he was not a very good choice to be the 4th Horseman in the 1993 reboot of the group.
Worth mentioning that our commentators for the evening are Jesse “The Body” Ventura and Tony Schiavone, which continues my streak of mentioning Schiavone at least once every article.
Roma starts off against Warren Quinn, taking him down to the canvas and kneeing him in the back before quickly tagging in Arn Anderson. The two men double team Quinn by punching him in the gut at the same time. Quinn is fairly tall with a decent body, but a plain black singlet did him no favors, I’m sure. Double A snapmeres Quinn across the ring, who quickly tags in his partner, Don Brodie.
Brodie looks wayyy more like a generic and hilarious jobber that I would expect from WCW. He’s wearing a zebra striped singlet over capri length black tights and has an amazing mullet that even Dave Meltzer would give 4 stars. Anderson treats him like a little bitch though, choking him on the top rope.
Anderson tags in Roma and when he does a large portion of the crowd boo. Even in ’93 people knew Roma wasn’t Horseman material. It’s evident in the match that Roma was not 1/100th as over as The Enforcer.
Ventura points out that at the current moment there are only three Horsemen (Arn, Roma and Flair) before Schiavone reminds him that Ole Anderson is still around and is taking calls on the WCW Hotline. The Body shoots this down by reminding us that Ole is retired and “older than Mark Twain.”
The crowd chants “We Want Arn,” so nice guy Roma tags him in. Keep in mind the Horsemen are supposed to be HEELS at this point. Arn stomps away at Brodie to an ovation from this bloodthirsty crowd and follows it up with a suplex.
Anderson tags in Roma then hits a Double-A spinebuster on Brodie, allowing Paul Roma to climb to the top rope and splash Brodie for the three count and the victory.
We see the Horsemen celebrate as their music plays and that’s the end of that. This was a fine, quintessential squash match.
Cut to Tony and Jesse. Ventura has this big ass goatee and is bald EXCEPT for this tiny tuft of hair flowing out of the back of his head. The only thing more hilarious than the hair itself is knowing that Ventura spent a lot of time and money to dye it that particular shade of black. Tony hypes up Beach Blast, which will feature Sting and Davey Boy Smith vs Vader and Sid Vicious, the “masters of the powerbomb.” Ventura said if he were Sting and Smith, he would have rather retired than face Vader and Sid. Church, bro.
We then have the BEACH BLAST CONTROL CENTER, featuring the President of WCW Eric Bischoff wearing sunglasses and a Hawaiian shirt. This is some of the most amazing shit I’ve ever seen. He hypes the main event tag team match as well as the U.S Heavyweight Title match between Dustin Rhodes and Rick Rude, which is a 30-minute Iron Man Match. Easy-E tells us The Hollywood Blondes will defend their tag team titles against Anderson and Roma and oh my God, I have to watch this show next summer now. Bischoff the confuses the hell out of me by announcing Barry Windham will be defending the NWA WORLD TITLE against Ric Flair? What the hell? The NWA title!? Didn’t WCW leave the NWA like two years before this?
Cut to a video from WCW Worldwide (which aired on Saturday mornings and is this site’s namesake, in case you couldn’t tell) where we see Barry Windham running into Flair’s dressing room. Flair flees out to the ring and tells Barry Windham to bring it on, who obliges. The two men brawl, showing that WCW did their big angles in the morning and left squash matches for prime-time. Logical. We see the two men brawling in the parking lot and Bischoff signs off from the control center. Well, I won’t lie, I really want to watch this show now. Good job, Uncle Eric.
An extremely early 90’s commercial advertising upcoming WCW live events. Surprise! They’re all in the south. Yee-haw!!!
Tony Schiavone is standing by with Theodore Long, wearing an amazing all-red suit. He tells us his team, Marcus Bagwell and 2 Cold Scorpio, couldn’t be here tonight due to weather. A team called the “Wrecking Crew” confront Long. I honestly can’t tell who the Wrecking Crew are, but I’m pretty sure one of them is Al Greene. They evidently attacked Bagwell and Scorpio at some point prior. They’re both terrible promos. Long tells us Bagwell and Scorpio are training and… that’s it. Alright.
Update: After some research, the identities of the Wrecking Crew have been discovered. One of them is indeed Al Green, former Master Blaster alongside Kevin Nash. The other is Marcus Laurinaitis, brother of Johnny Ace and ROAD WARRIOR ANIMAL. The talent disparity in this family is staggering.
Match #2 – Maxx Payne vs Dave Hart
Maxx Payne out first playing a beautiful purple guitar. I’m not sure if it’s the quality of the recording or if it’s supposed to sound like that but yeah…it’s atrocious.
Dave Hart is of no relation to any other Hart, which hopefully goes without saying.
We see a video from Clash of the Champions where Payne shot Johnny B Badd point-goddamn-blank in the face with the cannon Badd uses to shoot confetti in the crowd. It looked brutal, my God.
Payne hammers away at Hart and gives him the ol’ vertical suplex. Payne is wearing some weird ass grunge t-shirt and fat man tights that extenuate his various folds and rolls. Not exactly flattering. Payne applies an armbar called the “Payne-killer.” Hart taps, and that’s the match.
The “Payne-killer” is a kick ass name. The match? Not so much.
A Flair for the Gold
The intro to this segment is goddamn gold. Flair comes out on the set wearing a Canadian-tuxedo and a cowboy hat; an outfit that Dusty Rhodes would wear. Flair mentions that if he beat Windham at Beach Blast he would become a 10-time world champion. Ahh, still so much time left.
Ric Flair brings out Dusty Rhodes on his talk show. There’s a hell of a sentence. Ironically, Dusty is wearing a suit, it’s like their dry cleaning got mixed up. Dusty compliments Flair on FiFi the maid’s hotness. He ain’t wrong. Dusty buttons the top button on his shirt, making it look like his head is going to pop.
Dusty says, “Dustin Rhodes…oh he’s out of my own loins!.”
Suddenly the doorbell rings and FiFi answers the door. It’s right here I think to myself, some people don’t like wrestling. And it’s right here that I’m reminded some people are freaking wrong.
Who’s that at the door? The Assassin! The man under the mask was the head trainer at the WCW Power Plant, Jody Hamilton. Hamilton was one half of the tag team called the Assassin’s and the father of referee Nick Patrick. What’s he doing here? Well, he’s here to confront Dusty Rhodes about being a corporate sell out, and being retired. Dusty stands up and Flair tries to make peace. Dusty looks annoyed as the Assassin continously lays into him, repeatedly calling him “jelly bean” and “creme puff.”
The Assassin says he called Dusty’s Mom and that he is going to rekindle the fire in Dusty. Rhodes gets fired up however, and a shouting match begins before security seperate the men and we’re off to break.
We come back to…not A Flair for the Gold? Why!? That was the first entertaining thing on this damn show! Come back!!!
Match #3 – Master’s of the Powerbomb (Sid Vicious and Big Van Vader) vs Unnamed Men
In the ring, Vader and Sid are already there. Yep, two of the biggest stars in the company get a jobber entrance. That’s what happens when your show is 43 minutes long.
Sid begins destroying one of the jobbers, who is wearing a hideous singlet. Sid straight up kicks this bastard in the head as hard as he can. Yikes. Vader gets tagged in and squashes the innocent man in the corner like he was a hardened criminal sent to the gallows. Sid then kicks the ever loving SHIT out of this boy. RIP jobber.
His partner in the corner steps in without being tagged and Vader destroys him with a clothesline. This match is glorious. On the outside, Sid throws the original dead jobber on to the guardrail. Vader hits the second jobber with a powerbomb for the 1-2-3. You could have counted to 1,000,000. Vader and Sid laugh in each other’s face. I love this man. By the way, I honest to God did not catch the name’s of either jobber. Tony nor Jesse ever said it, and they didn’t have a name graphic. When WARREN QUINN is presented as a bigger star than you, you’re in trouble.
Back from commercial, Tony and Jesse tell us that Cactus Jack is still missing and OH MY GOD, THIS IS LOST IN CLEVELAND.
Okay, quick backstory. Dusty Rhodes revealed on The Rise and Fall of WCW documentary in 2009 that Ole Anderson (then booker of WCW) hated Cactus Jack. Dusty however, saw something in him and wanted to make his character more compelling. In an effort to do so, Cactus was injured by Vader and subsequently lost his memory. He escaped from the mental institution and never returned home. WCW correspondent Catherine White tracked down his location to Cleveland, Ohio. What ensued were vignettes of Cactus not knowing who he is, living as a bum in Cleveland. THIS IS ONE OF THOSE SEGMENTS.
We see White being guided by a man named Swampy down an alley. It took me 45 seconds to type that as I’m currently weak with laughter. Swampy bribes Catherine for another $50, but she says he can’t have it until they see Cactus Jack. Swampy says, “You’re learning.”
Fade to a shot of Cleveland…fade back to the alley. For some reason. We find Cactus Jack quoting (I’m pretty sure) Moby Dick. I’m howling. Catherine addresses him as Cactus Jack, but he’d rather be referred to as “Captain.” Jack says Swampy is going to spend the $50 on booze and calls him his government name, Wendell. Swampy retorts by calling him Jack. Worth mentioning the Foley is clean shaven and looks hella weird.
Cactus says there must be someone out there who looks like him. Jack’s girlfriend, Bang-Bang (right hand to the man, that’s really her name) asks who Catherine White is. She responds by saying, “I’m a reporter for the WCW.” Which doesn’t sound as elegant as, “I’m Chris Hansen with Dateline NBC, and we’re doing a story on computer predators.”
Jack’s girlfriends says, and as God is my witness I quote, “Well, I hoped you learned some wrestling moves at THE WCW, cause if you don’t get out of here I’m gonna…!” Sadly, Jack intervenes before she can finish her sentence. Jack retreats into his house as Catherine White asks, “Will he ever return home? And just who the heck is this ‘Bang Bang’ person? This is Catherine White, signing out.”
That. Was. Amazing.
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and Ron Simmons vs “Dirty” Dick Slater and “Mr Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
Back from commercial, we see a closeup of a dragon’s eye. This could mean the arrival of only one man… Dick Slater.
I kid of course, Steamboat is out first, holding his torch and wearing his amazing dragon wings… uh… thing. It truly is the highlight of this show so far. The Dragon’s music is pretty great too! Much more epic than the generic Asian garbage he was given in his 2009 WWE run. Seriously, he’s a Native American with a Hawaiian gimmick and he is given… Asian music?
Don’t worry, we get our fill of racism with Ron Simmons’ entrance, as the camera crew cuts EXCLUSIVELY to black audience members showing support for Simmons upon his arrival. Also, his music sounds like something so cheesy and 90’s that even Will Smith wouldn’t rap to it.
Slater and Orndorff are out next together. The two of them making a single entrance allows me to officially refer to this team as, “Wonderful Dicks.”
Slater and Simmons start the match, as Tony and Jesse continue to speculate about whether the guy in the alley was really Cactus Jack or not. Because there are sooo many 300 pound men, with long hair and that exact same voice bopping around the damn planet.
Simmons takes down Slater early for a two-count. Slater seems to be taken aback by this and slowly re-approaches the future Farooq. Filthy Phallus is ran into the corner, and after giving Dicky Boy a hip toss, Ron tags in Steamboat. The Dragon flies (pun entirely intended) off the top with a big double axe handle.
Steamboat works over Slater’s arm as Jesse again brings up Cactus.
“I still just can’t get over the filth of Cactus Jack.” – Jesse
“Well, I wish you would get over it.” – Tony
An underrated duo, in my opinion.
Now it is to my understanding that Ricky Steamboat is known for having a tremendous arm-drag, but i swear to God, he gave Dick Slater without question, the sloppiest, slowest, arm-drag I have ever seen. It’s kind of remarkable. He gets a two count out of it, however, which completely kills the little big of credibility Dick had. And we all know; Dick doesn’t have much credibility. (Send your hate mail to @joeyflannel on Twitter)
Ricky makes up for it with a beautiful back slide that Slater kicks out of. “Dirty” Dick retreats to the corner and tags in the current WCW World Television Champion Paul Orndorff. It’s really weird to see a show where the World Champion is in a squash match, while the TV champion is working a 15 minute main event.
It’s worth mentioning that Orndorff’s right thigh is heavily taped. “Mr Wonderful” dives into the corner with an elbow, but Steamboat moves and tags in Ron Simmons. The Dragon and Simmons then take turns tagging one another in, while continuing to attack the arm of Orndorff. Old school is cool. It’s all for nothing though, and Paul runs Steamer into the corner and tags Slater back in. The two men double team The Dragon while the ref is distracted with Simmons.
Slater destroys Steamboat’s knee on the apron. In the ring, both Slater and Orndorff target The Dragon’s knee, in the same manner the babyfaces targeted Mr Wonderful’s arm. Out of desperation, Ricky nails Wonderful with a beautiful enzuguri, and both men are down.
The knee pain is too much for Dragon, as Orndorff tags in Slater, who then charges Simmons in the corner, knocking him off the apron. The referee is once AGAIN distracted by Simmons, allowing Orndorff to destroy Steamboat’s knee with the ring post.
A spinning toe hold on Steamboat from Slater seemingly spells the end, until Dragon counters into a small package on Dick (giggity) for a two count. Steamboat’s momentum doesn’t last, as Slater tags in Wonderful who continues to target the knee. Ricky thwarts Wonderful’s attempt at at figure four, kicking him in the ass and sending him into the turnbuckle. Ricky Steamboat gives the hot tag to Ron Simmons who kicks Wonderful’s ass; before vaulting up to the top rope and nailing Wonderful with a shoulder block.
Slater breaks up the pin attempt. For some reason, both men tag in their partners. Steamboat, STILL SELLING THE KNEE, is screwed when Dick locks him in the figure four. Ron Simmons to the rescue however, breaks up the submission. All hell breaks loose, and the four men brawl.
Orndorff Irish whips Simmons at the exact same time Steamboat Irish whips Slater, allowing for Simmons to nail Dick with a shoulder block. Steamboat takes advantage, and pins Dirty Dick for the victory!
The show isn’t over yet, folks!
Cut to Schiavone and Ventura interviewing The Hollywood Blondes, “Stunning” Steve Austin and “Flyin'” Brian Pillman. Pillman is wearing amazing American flag shorts. Pillman says that Flair brought this upon himself, by crawling out of the Nursery home. He says next week, he and Austin were going to debunk the myth of the Four Horsemen.
Steve Austin says the following; “You know, Schiavone…a lot of people think The Hollywood Blonds are just a couple of punks. So I want you to know, what I’m about to say comes from the heart. Arn Anderson, you’re a fat pig!”
The greatest of all time, ladies and gentleman.
Austin the alludes to the fact that no one knows who Paul Roma is. He says that while he and Brian respect them, “A fat man, an old man and an idiot, don’t stand a chance against The Hollywood Blonds!”
Schiavone tells us that the main event next week will be a six-man tag team match: The Horsemen (Flair, Anderson, Roma) vs Barry Windham and The Hollywood Blonds.
WHY DIDN’T I WATCH THAT SHOW INSTEAD!?
And that, folks was your typical episode of WCW Saturday Night in 1993!
I have to tell you, while parts of it bored me to tears, a lot of it made me want to watch more. If this show did anything, it made me want to watch WCW Beach Blast and the following week’s episode of Saturday Night!
At the end of the day, that’s what wrestling is about; making people excited for what is coming next. Why do you think the WWE will often allude to or downright announce their plans for the next year’s WrestleMania the night AFTER that year’s Mania. You have got to give your audience a reason to stay tuned. Even on this show, which was honestly pretty lackluster, WCW was building to their future shows. Honestly, that’s pretty remarkable in this day-in-age. It’s something WCW was always pretty good at, even in their final years.
Overall, I’m happy I watched this show, but I don’t plan on putting it into my weekly viewing habits. Even if it were in higher quality on the WWE Network, it is not the most riveting thing around. A couple episodes a few times a year will scratch that itch.
Fire up your YouTube machines this Saturday Night and watch a fun hour of WCW action!
White hummer enthusiast, Tony Schiavone super-fan and the youngest WCW fan on the internet! Though my memories of watching WCW live are very few, my love and admiration for the company and brand run deep. I’ll be writing all sorts of interesting (hopefully) columns and opinion pieces about various WCW shows, many of which I may be watching for the first time. Proud to be on the website, where the big boys play!