Commentators: Jim Ross & Paul E. Dangerously
World Championship Wrestling this week features championship action, as The Fabulous Freebirds defend the Tag Team Titles against The Lightning Express. A whole lot of other folks are in action as well, and Magnum Force technically main events WCW’s flagship show so I’d call this a win overall! Helluva return after a two-year hiatus that was totally on purpose and not because I lost my external hard drive and was too lazy to look for it.
- WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair
- WCW UNITED STATES CHAMPION: “The Total Package” Lex Luger
- WCW WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPION: “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson
- WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael “P.S.” Hayes & Jimmy “Jam” Garvin)
- WCW UNITED STATES TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner)
- WCW WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Ricky Morton, “Wildfire” Tommy Rich, & The Junkyard Dog
- The Young Pistols vs. Brian Carr & Snake Watson
- Ranger Ross vs. Buddy Landell
- INTERVIEW: Brian Pillman
- Sid Vicious vs. Marc Mero
- SEGMENT: Wrestling Wrap-Up w/ Gordon Solie
- The Fabulous Freebirds [c] vs. The Lightning Express for the WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
- RINGSIDE INTERVIEW: Ron Simmons
- Bobby Eaton vs. Ricky Nelson
- Big Josh & Tommy Rich vs. The State Patrol
- VIDEO: Nikita Koloff Trains
- Lex Luger vs. Doug Vines
- RINGSIDE INTERVIEW: Lex Luger
- The Steiner Brothers vs. Joe Bruce & John Peterson
- RINGSIDE SEGMENT: The Danger Zone w/ Paul E. Dangerously & Sid Vicious
- Dan Spivey vs. Larry Santo
- Dustin Rhodes vs. Jeff Sword
- Sting & El Gigante vs. Magnum Force
-Footage from the Omni opens the show. Barry Windham hits Ron Simmons with a superplex, in runs Butch Reed and…I guess we’ll finish it later. You already know what happened though, they showed it on the other shows earlier in the day.
–Jim Ross welcomes the home audience, joined by Paul E. Dangerously and his nemesis Missy Hyatt. They run down the show, Dangerously and Hyatt throw jabs at each other about being REAL journalists.
The Young Pistols (Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong) vs. Brian Carr & Snake Watson
SNAKE WATSON. Love it. Smothers uses his quickness on Carr, Carr complains of a hair pull. He does have nice pullable hair, in his defense. Smothers with the pseudo martial arts and he clears the ring. Watson tags in, and boy does he look like what you would picture a journeyman wrestler to be. Armstrong tags in as well and almost drops Watson on his head with a scoop slam. Yikes. Pistols do their double team/quick tag thing for the bulk of the match, showcasing just how much more exciting they are than most of the tag team roster. Six-Shooter from Armstrong (missile dropkick while Smothers holds Watson Hart Attack-style) gets them the win. The Young Pistols are really fun to watch, and the fact they aren’t in the conversation of all-time great teams is a real black mark on WCW’s legacy. (5:58)
- FINAL RATING: A SQUASH, PARDNER
Ranger Ross vs. “Nature Boy” Buddy Landell
Ross had an absolutely AWFUL match at Dixie Dynamite, WCW trotting him out there due to his armed forces roots and playing off the comically-fanatical patriotism of the time. Landell is a much better worker than the fake Cuban he fought then, so hopefully we’ll get something better here. Landell is teaming with Bobby Eaton and Terry Taylor tomorrow night to challenge for the Six-Man Tag Team Championship. That should be something.
Landell brings Ross to the mat with a headlock, Ross escapes via headscissors and now we’re back to square one. Ross with a headlock takeover of his own, Landell uses the tights and shifts his weight to try and get a quick pinfall but Ross kicks out. Ross with martial arts chops followed by a back bodydrop, Landell bailing to the floor to slow it down. Landell breaks the sound barrier with a vicious chop, Ross absorbs it and connects with a hip toss into a lateral press for a two-count. Armbar time! Landell falls to the mat, acting like Ross pulled his hair but it doesn’t work. Alexandra York, Terry Taylor, and Mr. Hughes (not named by commentary as they don’t know who he is yet) show up at ringside to take notes and scout him for The York Foundation (via COM-PEW-TOR of course). Landell goes on the offensive, connecting with a straight right hand out of view of the ref and fish hooking Ross’ mouth. Second-dirtiest player of the game, right here. Landell traps Ross in an abdominal stretch, using the ropes for leverage until being caught and forced to break. Ross rolls Landell up for the 1…2…Landell kicks out and Ross is sent to the floor. Taylor attacks Ross as Landell distracts the ref then rolls him in so Landell can finish him with the corkscrew elbowdrop for the 1…2…3. Good TV match, much better than expected. Buddy Landell seriously rules. I’ve said that so much on this site already. (7:41)
- FINAL RATING: **
-Ross is with a taped up Brian Pillman, still feeling the effects from WrestleWar ’91. Pillman says the Horsemen may have physically hurt him, but they haven’t extinguished his flame and sets his sights on the man who hurt him during War Games: Sid Vicious…who’s in action next.
Sid Vicious vs. Marc Mero (aka Mark Merro)
Sid is hungry. Sid must be feed. Mero tries a crossbody, Sid throws him to the mat like nothing. Mero dodges a legdrop but gets turned inside out by a clothesline. Sid sends Mero to the floor and drops him ribs-first into the guardrail. Sid tells the camera he don’t give a damn about nobody. SHUCKITY DANG DONG. Sid hits the Power Bomb and it’s all over just like that. Fun squash from Sid as usual, the crowd cheering him is fun too since Ross and Dangerously flat out ignore it to further his standing as a heel. (2:49)
- FINAL RATING: A SQUASH THAT RULES THE WORLD
Sid’s personal EMT team try to whisk Mero away on a stretcher, but Sid cracks Mero in the back with a chair and pushes it over. WHAT A JERK, ALSO LET ME CHEER HIM.
-Cut to Wrestling Wrap-Up with Gordon Solie. We get footage from Japan of Tatsumi Fujinami’s win over Riki Choshu, giving him the right to face Ric Flair for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. The match will occur on next month’s PPV Japan SuperShow, which ACTUALLY took place in December of 1990. Solie then pivots to WrestleWar ’91 talk, covering the Doom break-up, Nikita Koloff’s return and heel turn, and Brian Pillman’s performance during War Games.
-New Tag Team Champs The Fabulous Freebirds make their way out with Diamond Dallas Page. Page gets on the mic and introduces the Freebirds’ road boss Big Daddy Dink all over again in case no one saw the PPV last week (or, say, if this episode was shot BEFORE the PPV).
WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael “P.S.” Hayes & Jimmy “Jam” Garvin) [c] [w/ Big Daddy Dink] vs. The Lightning Express (“White Lightning” Tim Horner & Brad Armstrong)
Armstrong with hip tosses both Freebirds followed by a headscissors takeover on Garvin. Hayes tags in and moonwalks for the crowd after taking Armstrong down with a drop toehold. Horner tags in and connects with a back bodydrop. Hayes bails to his corner and makes the quick tag back to Garvin. Nice chain wrestling between the two ending with a headscissors to Garvin. Hayes tags in and catches Horner with a GREAT left hook followed by a bulldog. Crowd chants for the DDT, as we are in pro-Freebirds territory apparently. Gross. Garvin and Horner knock heads, Armstrong gets the hot tag and goes all house of fire on the champs. Armstrong rolls Garvin up but the ref is tied up with Horner, allowing Hayes to sneak in a DDT so Garvin can get the 1…2…3! Real basic stuff but watchable and quick, so I didn’t hate it. (5:57)
- FINAL RATING: **
-Video plays from the Omni of Butch Reed costing Ron Simmons his match against Barry Windham. Reed and Teddy Long turn on Simmons, ending Doom a week before they teamed once again to lose the Tag Team Titles on PPV.
-Cut to ringside where Missy Hyatt introduces Ron Simmons as her guest. Simmons says Doom was supposed to be a family but Reed and Long couldn’t handle the work it takes to be a success. Hyatt connects with Simmons as they both like the same college football team. That was unnecessary.
“Beautiful” Bobby Eaton vs. Ricky Nelson
80s mullet vs. 90s mullet, feud of the year. Nelson shows off some hops early, connecting with a monkey flip and a dropkick in short order. GO RICKY GO! Nelson with a toehold, Eaton escapes and counters with a chinlock. Eaton misses a corner splash, Nelson catches Eaton with a flying crossbody but Eaton rolls through with a lateral press for a one-count. Nelson regains control and slows things back down with an armbar. Eaton blocks an O’Connor Roll and drives Nelson to the mat with a clothesline. Nelson tries a sunset flip from the apron but Eaton nails him mid-flip and follows up with a backbreaker. Eaton stops a comeback with a thumb to the eye and connects with a slingshot backbreaker into a chinlock. Action moves to the floor and once again Eaton drops Nelson with a clothesline. Nelson catches Eaton with a dropkick and back elbow. Eaton counters a backdrop with a neckbreaker and finishes things off with the Alabama Jam for the 1…2…3. Props to Eaton for giving Nelson some shine in this one and being unselfish, but this went on a little TOO long for my tastes given the level of competition he was facing. (8:47)
- FINAL RATING: *3/4
Big Josh & “Wildfire” Tommy Rich vs. The State Patrol (Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker & Lt. James Earl Wright)
Josh and Rich say nothing worthwhile in their insert promo. Rich is control early, punking out Parker, while Josh is busy shaking hands at ringside. Josh tags in and flips Wright repeatedly to the mat with a twisting wristlock. Josh knocks Parker off the apron and decks Wright with a pair of left hands, forcing The State Patrol to regroup on the floor. Wright tries a side headlock, Josh easily tosses him off. Parker and Rich tag back in, Parker misses an elbowdrop and Rich hits an armdrag takeover. Josh runs in to congratulate Rich, distracting the ref and allowing Wright to get a cheap shot in…that does absolutely nothing. Well then. Rich sends Parker to the floor with an elbow, Josh rolls him back in and decks Wright with a right hand. The ref admonishes Josh, allowing Wright to trip Rich. The State Patrol continually double team Rich, but Rich manages to kick out of the one pinfall attempt the ref actually sees. Josh finally gets the tag and sends Parker into Wright. Josh with a running left hook to Wright followed by a double axhandle and the sitdown splash for the 1…2…3. Match did what it needed to do, too many distracted referee spots from Josh though. I get what they were going for, he’s new to pro wrestling and doesn’t understand how it works so he keeps getting involved, but they went to that well one too many times. State Patrol’s double team moveset is ON POINT, though. (6:24)
- FINAL RATING: *1/2
-Ross segues into footage of Nikita Koloff attacking Lex Luger last Sunday at WrestleWar ’91. Ross then cuts to footage Nikita Koloff sent in of him lifting weights while staring at a USSR flag. He looks HUUUUUUGE. Lots of grunting and grimacing and, uh, fog for some reason.
“The Total Package” Lex Luger vs. Doug Vines
Vines and I have the same body-type. I should work out eventually. Luger easily overpowers his portly challenger and wins with the Torture Rack. Short and sweet, thanks Lex. (1:50)
- FINAL RATING: TOTAL SQUASH-AGE
After a commercial break we go back to ringside where Ross has joined Luger to ask about Nikita Koloff. Luger admonishes Nikita for throwing away the love and respect of his fans, and if he wanted a title shot he could have just asked. He’s ready for The Russian Nightmare.
The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) vs. Joe Bruce & John Peterson
Rhubarb Jones doesn’t acknowledge the Steiners as U.S. Tag Team Champions for some reason, even though they have the belts with him. How rude. Steiners throw shade at The Freebirds via insert promo. They want the World Tag Team Titles in addition to the titles they already hold. No punches are pulled here as Rick & Scott treat their jobbers like a real inconvenience. Did they sh*t in their cereal before the match or something? JEEZ. Frankensteiner for the quick win. The Steiner Brothers are SO DAMN GOOD. (2:10)
- FINAL RATING: SQUASHENSTEINER
-The Danger Zone takes place at ringside as Paul E. Dangerously introduces his guest Sid Vicious, who rolls out a stretcher with him. Sid says he’s sorry that Pillman was able to walk out of the hospital at WrestleWar ’91 and turns his attention to El Gigante. Sid says Gigante isn’t the giant of WCW, HE is, and threatens to have him carried out on a stretcher if he gets in his business again. Sid’s goal for 1991: to rule the world.
“Dangerous” Dan Spivey vs. Larry Santo
Spivey attacks before the bell, brushing off Santo’s attempts at offense and winning in short order with a Side Slam. He didn’t even bother to take off his entrance gear. Boss move. (2:28)
- FINAL RATING: “SQUASHEROUS” SQUASH SQIVEY (this was terrible, I’m so sorry)
“The Natural” Dustin Rhodes vs. Jeff Sword
Rhodes is all offense as expected, throwing in a Japanese armdrag in the middle of his Dusty-looking offense, and winning with a Bulldog. A little messy as Rhodes is still a rookie, but you can’t deny he had talent to back up the nepotism. (2:48)
- FINAL RATING: A NATURAL SQUASH
Sting & El Gigante vs. Magnum Force (Rick & Speedy)
Sting and Gigante do their thing as Ric Flair and Barry Windham show up at ringside to throw some shade. Gigante walks over to Flair. HE WANTS DA BEEEEEEELT. Windham attacks Gigante from behind, Gigante attacks. Meanwhile Sting wins the match single-handedly with a Scorpion Death Lock. Magnum Force will get ‘em next time, no worries. (1:27)
- FINAL RATING: NOT EVEN A MATCH, C’MON
Sting helps Gigante, Flair gets sent into the ring and Sting rolls him up with a Sunset Flip, Gigante counting the pinfall (?!?). The bell rings (?!?) and Sting/Gigante leave the ring, Flair throwing a temper tantrum as the episode ends.
FINAL THOUGHTS: A very packed edition of World Championship Wrestling, filled to the brim with squash matches and even a couple of competitive ones. Not sure what to make of that last segment with Sting getting a fake pin on Flair, but the crowd enjoyed it so that’s something I guess. WILL SOMEONE GET GIGANTE HIS DAMN BELT ALREADY?!?