Commentators: Jim Ross & Missy Hyatt
Main Event immediately follows World Championship Wrestling this week so luckily for us we’ll actually get to see the entirety of that 8-man tag between between Sting, Brian Pillman, & The Steiner Brothers and The Four Horsemen. Also on the show The Lightning Express reunites (I didn’t know they were even a team that broke up) to take on The Fabulous Freebirds and Missy Hyatt works out in preparation for her Arm Wrestling match with Paul E. Dangerously at COTC: Dixie Dynamite. There’s only about 40 minutes not including commercials on this episode so let’s see how they pack it all in.
- Sting, Brian Pillman, & The Steiner Brothers vs. The Four Horsemen
- The Southern Boys vs. Ed Brock & George South
- The Danger Zone w/ Paul E. Dangerously & Ric Flair
- The Lightning Express vs. The Fabulous Freebirds
- Video: Missy Hyatt’s Workout
Our hosts Jim Ross and Missy Hyatt welcome the home audience instead of, I don’t know, going right to the match that was going on when WCW ended. I guess they’ve got a show to hype though so let’s waste some precious time.
Sting, Brian Pillman, & The Steiner Brothers vs. The Four Horsemen
Before the first commercial break we even get to see the first two minutes of the match that concluded WCW, making that match’s inclusion on the previous show completely pointless. Dumb dumb dumb. Arn Anderson sends Sting into the heel corner, Sting fights out and sends Anderson into the face corner who takes some punishment and all 8 men enter the ring for a little standoff. Sting wants Ric Flair, Flair obliges and Sting no-sells his chops in the corner. Sting leapfrogs Flair and connects with a miltary press slam. Flair tries another chop and Sting backs him into the corner for some corner mount punches. Scott Steiner, Flair’s opponent at Dixie Dynamite, decks Flair and the other 7 men charge into the ring. Back from the break and five minutes have apparently gone by. Not by my count but whatever. Rick Steiner and Barry Windham are the legal men now, the former hitting a Steinerline because of course he does. Windham connects with a vertical suplex, Rick kicks out and Sid tags in. Sid misses an elbowdrop and Scott Steiner tags in. Sid quickly tags out to Anderson who eats a powerslam. Anderson ends up in the face corner again to take more punishment and in tags Flair, a preview of Dixie Dynamite. Scott puts Flair in a Figure Four and everyone charges the ring, everyone confused as to who’s the actual legal man. Scott bridges out of a pinfall attempt and goes for a backslide but Sid breaks it up. Pillman, former protege of Flair, tags in and lights up Flair’s chest with chops. Flair goes for a tag but Flair Flops instead. Anderson cautiously tags in as we go to another commercial break. Sorry for all the detail folks but this is the first ‘real’ match I’ve been given on these TV shows and I’m all in.
Pillman hits a crossbody on both Anderson and Windham but Sid breaks the count. Anderson bails to the floor and calls for a timeout so the Horsemen can talk strategy. Side note it’s nice to hear the Center Stage crowd being fully into this one instead of just being casually into the action. Pillman ends up on the floor and Sid drops him sternum-first on the guardrail behind the ref’s back. Pillman manages a sunset flip but Anderson tags Sid so a pinfall isn’t counted. Sid no-sells Pillman’s offense and hits a powerslam. Rick Steiner attacks Sid and the ref forces him out. Windham tags in and hits a clothesline but Rick Steiner breaks the count. Pillman fights off Flair with chops and makes the hot tag to Scott Steiner. Steinerlines for every Horsemen and the crowd goes wild. And once again we’ve got an 8-man brawl, giving the ref an excuse to end the match on a Double DQ. Dumb ending but not that surprising given that Ross was yelling “THEY NEED A WAR GAMES-LIKE THING TO SETTLE THE SCORE, I WONDER IF WE HAVE ANY WAR GAMES-LIKE MATCHES COMING UP, WAR GAAAAMES” the whole damn time (I’m paraphrasing, obviously). Ending aside though this has been WCW’s best match on TV by far, with ample time given and featuring the biggest stars they have on the roster. I enjoyed this immensely. Their War Games match is going to be killer. (15:51 shown, more or less)
- Final Rating: ***1/4
The Four Horsemen bail from the ringside area as Ross hypes that their rivalry will be settled at WrestleWar so I guess this match is official for War Games. Well that’s certainly an offhand way to mention the main event of your next PPV.
The Southern Boys vs. Ed Brock & George South
Brock & South are teaming up once again to finally achieve that illusive first win. Call me a pessimist but I don’t like their chances. Ross is joined by Hyatt on commentary for the rest of the show, the poor guy. The Southern Boys clear the ring with double dropkicks to Brock and South. Brock tags in but he doesn’t fare much better and the Boys win with their Doomsday Flying Back Elbow finisher. (4:35)
- Final Rating: ENERGETIC SQUASH
Ross makes fun of Hyatt’s bad commentary over the replay of the finish. IT’S A SHOOT.
Segment Time: The Danger Zone
Paul E. Dangerously segues into footage from backstage at the Meadowlands where Ric Flair is cutting a victory promo. He mouths off to Scott Steiner and they have to be separated, Flair saying Scott has his shot at Clash of the Champions. FINALLY THEY SHOW THAT FOOTAGE, GODDAMN. Why wasn’t this the first thing they started showing on the shows this weekend? Would’ve given some context for some of these segments. Dangerously is standing by with Flair who hypes the match some more.
The Lightning Express vs. The Fabulous Freebirds
The Lightning Express are Tim Horner and Brad Armstrong, who spent most of the 80s and 1990 teaming with one another. Hat tip to Wikipedia for this information. How crappy was the Internet before that site? Armstrong takes it to Garvin with a series of headscissors to flummox the Freebirds and in tags Hayes, who’s wearing purple glitter pants. Hyatt says her dress at Capitol Combat was made of the same material and insinuates that he stole it. Hey that’s actually a decent joke, awesome. Horner tags in and traps Hayes in an armbar. Hayes escapes with an eye rake and Garvin tags in just to fall into an armbar himself. As usual the offensive flurry is stopped with a left hook from Hayes, the great equalizer of the tag team division. Armstrong blocks a buckle shot and rams Hayes into it repeatedly but he’s stopped with a chop (almost rhymes, I’m almost a poet). Armstrong counters a suplex with one of his own and makes the tag to Horner. Dropkicks and right hands for everyone. Corner mount rights for the Freebirds, Garvin clotheslines Armstrong. Hayes tosses Armstrong over the top rope and the ref calls for a DQ. Stupid rule, cheap way to end a match they don’t have an ending for. It’s not like The Lightning Express are a big deal, they couldn’t take a pinfall loss? Fun match regardless, Horner and Armstrong are pretty good. (5:47)
- Final Rating: **1/2
Vignette Time: Missy Hyatt’s Workout
Unlike Dangerously Hyatt is taking this Arm Wrestling contest seriously and her workout video is actually of her working out while giving herself a pep talk in the mirror.
Ross and Hyatt conclude the show after a pointless interruption by Dangerously.
Final Thoughts: A banger of an opening match, a more fun than expected television main event. I’d say this was a good episode overall and probably the best episode of TV so far wrestling-wise. Granted there were only three matches so the grading is a little curved but shut up nerd.