[TV Review] World Championship Wrestling – 3.23.91

Commentators: Jim Ross & Paul E. Dangerously

This week on World Championship Wrestling we’ve got a big tag team match as Big Josh and Tommy Rich (and Ricky Morton?!?) take on World Champ Ric Flair and Barry Windham. Also on the show Owen Hart makes his second appearance, The One Man Gang makes a statement against Ranger Ross, and Dustin Rhodes shows us how NOT to turn down a job offer.

CHAMPION ROLL-CALL

  • WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair
  • WCW UNITED STATES HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: “The Total Package” Lex Luger
  • WCW WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPION: “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson
  • WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner)
  • WCW UNITED STATES TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Vacant(?)
  • WCW WORLD SIX MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Ricky Morton, “Wildfire” Tommy Rich, & The Junkyard Dog

THE LINEUP

  • Big Josh & Tommy Rich vs. Ric Flair & Barry Windham (**1/4)
  • Sting vs. Lou Fabiano
  • RINGSIDE INTERVIEW: Sting
  • Dustin Rhodes & The Young Pistols vs. Dutch Mantell & The State Patrol (DUD)
  • The Junkyard Dog vs. Jim Boss
  • RINGSIDE INTERVIEW: The Junkyard Dog
  • CLIP: Bobby Eaton vs. Terrance Taylor (WCW – 3.16.91)
  • Tom Zenk vs. Mike Thor
  • SEGMENT: Wrestling Wrap-Up w/ Gordon Solie
  • Owen Hart vs. Joe Cazana
  • PROMO: Nikita Koloff (from his “Dungeon”)
  • Lex Luger vs. Terry Bronson
  • RINGSIDE INTERVIEW: Lex Luger
  • The Fabulous Freebirds vs. Larry Santo & Greg Sawyer
  • Terrance Taylor vs. Joey Maggs (**)
  • RINGSIDE INTERVIEW: The York Foundation
  • RINGSIDE SEGMENT: The Danger Zone w/ Theodore R. Long, Kevin Sullivan, & The One Man Gang
  • Ranger Ross vs. The One Man Gang (*)
  • Sid Vicious vs. Mike DeBacco

*****

Jim Ross welcomes the home audience, joined as usual by Paul E. Dangerously and Missy Hyatt. Dangerously will have Kevin Sullivan and The One Man Gang on The Danger Zone to talk about last week, which I missed due to the tape cutting out. I’m interested in seeing what they have to say. Hyatt, meanwhile, will be interviewing Lex Luger. Will Luger find another way to say the same thing he’s been saying for the past few weeks about Nikita Koloff? We’ll find out!

Big Josh & “Wildfire” Tommy Rich vs. “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair & Barry Windham

Rich all offense to start on Windham with a series of armdrags and a scoop slam. Flair tags in, Rich backs him into the corner and slaps him across the face. OH IT’S ON NOW. Rich blocks a hip toss and connects with one of his own. Josh is way too excited about this, Flair calls for him to be tagged in. Josh obliges, Flair slaps him in the face and charges but gets dropped with a shoulderblock. They lock up, Josh easily throws him to the mat. Flair pokes Josh in the eye and connects with strikes and chops, Josh no-sells until his eyes get raked. A wrestler’s true weakness. Windham runs in, Josh drops both with a double clothesline and the Horsemen bail to the floor to slow things down and talk strategy. Josh wrenches in a side headlock, Windham tags in to break it. More vague talk by Ross and Dangerously about the “controversy” from the Tokyo show as Josh reverses Windham’s suplex with one of his own. Rich tags in but misses a dropkick and the Horsemen go on the offensive. Flair applies an abdominal stretch, Rich reverses it and Windham tags in breaking it up with a double axhandle from the middle buckle. Windham lures Josh in to distract the ref so the Horsemen can double team and phantom tag. The Horsemen focus in on Rich’s right leg to soften it for a potential Figure Four. Rich counters a piledriver with a backdrop and Josh tags in.

Josh takes on both Horsemen, sending Flair to the floor with a corner Irish whip and dropping Windham with a clothesline. Flair puts Rich in the Figure Four on the outside, Josh leaves the ring to attack and Windham hits him from behind with a double ax from the apron. Windham brings Josh back into the ring, Flair hurts Rich’s knee with Josh’s (literal) axhandle and he’s carried to the back by a pair of unnamed jobbers. Flair pummels Josh, out runs Ricky Morton who is now Josh’s partner?!? WCW refs will allow anything.

Josh fights back, Flair holds the leg to prevent a tag while Windham tags in to keep the offense going. Windham connects with a running lariat. Josh gets backdropped but tags out to Morton. Morton peppers Flair and Windham with all of the right hands and a backdrop to the latter. Morton rolls Windham up with a sunset flip but Rich shows up at ringside again, distracting the ref. Flair hits Morton from behind and Windham covers for the 1…2…3. (12:15)

I enjoyed this one, mid-match substitution and all. Almost felt like Rich and Josh didn’t want to take the pin so they injected Morton into the match to do it for them. Strange.

  • RATING: **1/4

Flair and Windham keep their attack going until El Gigante makes the save. Gigante puts the claw on Windham, Flair jumps on his back and Sid Vicious comes in to help his friends. Josh runs in with his axhandle and clears the ring, saving Gigante.

Sting vs. Lou Fabiano

Sting settles into an armbar in record time. Fabiano fights out and goes a clubbin’ but Sting no-sells it all and returns to offense with a whole lot of right hands followed by a back elbow. Sting connects with another right, Fabiano sells it by jumping five feet in the air. Sting wins with a flying splash off the top rope, showing a new non-submission finisher. Beautiful execution too. (2:18)

-Ross goes to the ringside for a post-match interview with Sting. Sting rambles about cage matches and World Title rematches, admitting he’s not mentally well. COOL?

“The Natural” Dustin Rhodes & The Young Pistols (Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong) vs. “Dirty” Dutch Mantell & The State Patrol (Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker & Lt. James Earl Wright)

Big Daddy Dink and Diamond Dallas Page have a “surprise” for The Young Pistols according to an insert interview. Dangerously tries to sell Mantell & The State Patrol as legitimate contenders to the Six Man Tag Team Championship which TOTALLY EXISTS, bless his heart.

Rhodes and Wright start off, Rhodes doing his babyfire thing then The Young Pistols start working over the cop’s arm. Wright clobbers out and connects with a slam, Parker tags in and immediately gets backdropped/caught in an armbar. Smothers trash talks The Freebirds in the hard cam as he has time to kill. Parker breaks out and tosses Smothers over the top, Smothers skins the cat and Parker sends himself out to the floor after missing a shoulderblock. Rhodes tags in, takes Parker to the mat with a fireman’s carry, and keeps that exciting armbar offense going. Parker backs Rhodes into his corner, Rhodes quickly fights out and Mantell tags in. Smothers tags in, Mantell counters a crossbody with a backbreaker but misses the follow-up kneedrop. Rhodes tags in and once again fights out of the heel corner as Wright tags in. OH MY GOD SO MANY ARMBARS, PLEASE STOP. Heels finally manage some offense, which results in ANOTHER ARMBAR C’MON. Criss cross, Parker trips Smothers and Wright drops an elbow to the back of the head for a two-count. Mantell tags in and connects with a short-arm clothesline but can’t put Smothers away. Smother counters a piledriver with a backdrop and tags in Armstrong who connects with a powerslam for the 1…2…Parker breaks it up. Rhodes tags in, all six men end up brawling, Rhodes hits the Bulldog on Wright for the 1…2…3. (8:45)

Match did its job making Rhodes look strong, scoring the pin and always brushing off the heels’ attempt at offense. Besides that though this bored me to damn tears. NOTHING HAPPENED EXCEPT ARMBARS. I know I’m watching this decades later, but I mean jeeeeesus.

  • RATING: DUD

The Junkyard Dog vs. Jim Boss

JYD gets right to it before the bell even rings with headbutts and football tackles…then slows it down with a bearhug because reasons? Dude you’re dominating the match, no need. Boss fights out, JYD no-sells his jabs and wins with the Big Thump. (2:08)

-After a replay we go ringside where Missy Hyatt is with The Junkyard Dog. Dog has useless opinions on Ron Simmons, Butch Reed, and Theodore R. Long until Long interrupts. Long tells JYD not to knock the brothers, JYD threatens him for putting his hands on him. Long walks off, JYD calls him the nastiest man he’s ever seen from his “side of town”. Why shoehorn JYD into this? Oh wait, I know. Sigh.

-CLIP: the end of Bobby Eaton vs. Terrance Taylor from last week’s World Championship Wrestling. Taylor uses the COM-PEW-TOR to win, Tom Zenk comes out to complain and gets dropped by Mr. Hughes. He deserved it, to be honest.

“The Z-Man” Tom Zenk vs. Mike Thor

Ross says that Zenk told him he wants absolutely nothing to do with The York Foundation. Well they don’t want you either, nerd. Zenk does his Z-Man thing, Dangerously and Ross make fun of Thor’s haircut, QUALITY TELEVISION CONTENT. Thor tries to leave the ring to avoid all those armdrags and dropkicks, Zenk rolls him back in and wins with the Missile Dropkick. (3:21)

Terrance Taylor tries to sneak attack Zenk, but Zenk superkicks him. Mr. Hughes steps in the ring and stares Zenk down, distracting him so Taylor can give The Z-Man his receipt. Bobby Eaton runs in to make the save, getting between Zenk and Hughes. Hughes calmly exits the ring, staring Eaton down the entire time. Not worth his time.

Gordon Solie is here for this week’s edition of The Wrestling Wrap-Up. Solie says Ric Flair is still the World Champion after the Tokyo show, but the tape of the match is still under review and Solie will show it next week. There might have been more but the footage I’m watching started stalling and I had to fast forward to get to the watchable part.

Owen Hart vs. Joe Cazana

Dangerously puts over Cazana as a tougher competitor than Hart’s opponent in his debut last week, but we all know he playin’. Yes I’m still flabbergasted at seeing OWEN HART ON A WCW SHOW. Hart shows off both his technical skill and his agility, winning with a twisting crossbody ACROSS THE DAMN RING. (3:54)

Nikita Koloff has sent in another workout video, this time lifting weights with his neck. Koloff says he’s training hard for Lex Luger so he can bring the U.S. Championship back home. Koloff then grabs a Lex Luger Galoob and BITES THE DAMN HEAD OFF like Ozzy Osbourne for extra intimidation. Dude that’s probably worth money now, his loss.

“The Total Package” Lex Luger vs. Terry Bronson

Luger is much bigger and better than Bronson but decides to show off some rasslin’ skill instead of just running the dude over and turning him into a grease spot on the canvas. Bronson gets a few shots in, but Luger easily shakes them off and gets the win with the Torture Rack. (2:47)

-After a replay we go ringside where Hyatt is with Luger. Luger has had enough of Nikita Koloff’s workout videos and wants to fight already. SAME. Well sorta. I don’t want to actually fight anybody, I just want to watch. So I guess same isn’t-you know what roll commercial, get me out of this.

The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael “P.S.” Hayes & Jimmy “Jam Garvin) [w/ Big Daddy Dink] vs. Larry Santo & Greg Sawyer

Diamond Dallas Page handles the in-ring introduction for The Freebirds and introduces Dink, then walks off to go do other stuff. Smoke cigars probably. Young Pistols throw shade at the Freebirds via insert promo. Freebirds do their thing as Ross and Dangerously hype various other matches scheduled for tonight and tomorrow’s Main Event program. Can’t blame them, Hayes and Garvin give them nothing worth talking about. Crowd sound like they’re doing duel chants, which might be a first that I’ve heard from older wrestling. Garvin picks up the win with the DDT. (5:02)

Freebirds and Dink attack after the bell and clear the ring, then out come The Young Pistols for the…save, I guess? Not much of a save if both men have already been tossed out. Pistols clear the ring of The Freebirds and stand tall as we go to commercial.

“The Computerized Man of the 1990s” Terrance Taylor [w/ Alexandra York & Mr. Hughes] vs. “Jumping” Joey Maggs

Ross compares Alexandra York to Leona Helmsley; I have no idea who that is. Taylor with an armbar, Maggs counters with a hip toss, and Taylor begs off to get some COM-PEW-TOR assistance. Taylor connects with a hip toss, Maggs kicks him away and a shoving match breaks out. YEAH, GET ‘EM JOEY MAGGS. Taylor goes for a cheap shot, Maggs blocks it and Taylor hides behind the ref so he can’t get hit back. More COM-PEW-TOR consultation, Maggs catches Taylor with a crossbody for a two-count. Maggs with a side headlock, Taylor quickly counters with a belly-to-back suplex and goes on a bit of offense. Maggs hangs in there though, catching Taylor with a sunset flip but a right hand takes the starch out of his comeback. Taylor drills Maggs with a gutwrench sit-out power bomb, which shocks Ross and Dangerously on commentary. Taylor follows up with a Piledriver but decides to sit around all lazy-like instead of going for the cover. That’s pretty funny. Maggs tries another comeback, Taylor caves in his chest with a corner clothesline that sounded BRUUUUUUTAL. Taylor finally puts Maggs away with the Five Arm and that’s all she wrote. (6:41)

A squash on paper but Maggs showed enough fire and Taylor sold enough to make this one somewhat competitive, especially at the beginning when Maggs was frustrating the Computerized Man and forcing him to consult with York and her program. Joey Maggs once again bringing the thunder this month on WCW TV!

  • RATING: **

-After the replay we go ringside where Ross is standing by with Taylor, Hughes, and York. York says she’s looking at Larry Zbyszko for potential employment in the Foundation, as well as “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes. Rhodes comes out and says he would NEVER join her Foundation. Way to be a dick dude, she was just saying nice things about you. Better ways to turn down a job than that. York is unfazed though and is still interested, saying The York Foundation can change attitudes.

-We go ringside for The Danger Zone, where Dangerously is joined by Kevin Sullivan, The One Man Gang, and Theodore R. Long, who has brought them in to put a hurting on Ron Simmons. Sullivan and Gang’s eye makeup are on point, as is Sullivan’s goofy ass nonsensical promo.

Ranger Ross vs. The One Man Gang [w/ Kevin Sullivan & Theodore R. Long]

Gang uses his size and weight advantage to dominate Ross at the outset, Sullivan controlling him from ringside as they apparently have some sort of demonic connection. Ross fights back with as many jabs as he can muster, but Gang shakes them all off and squashes him in the corner. Ross hits Gang with the Combat Kick but it does nothing. Gang catches Ross mid-flight during a crossbody attempt, slams him, and hits the 747 Splash for the win. (3:50)

  • Dominant win for the Gang over a guy who’s slightly above jobber status. No selling Ross’ best moves made Gang look even more powerful. (*)

Gang hits two more 747s as Sullivan and Long hold Ross’ arms down. Ron Simmons runs in, picks Long up and throws him at Sullivan and Gang…but they don’t catch him as he hits nothing but apron. YIKES. Gang tries to charge in, Sullivan holds him back by the hair.

Sid Vicious vs. Mike DeBacco

Sid beats the ever-loving sh*t out of DeBacco, winning in short order with the Power Bomb. (2:10)

Sid’s EMTs put DeBacco on the gurney, Sid knocks him off and beats him with the metal part of the gurney as the show concludes.

*****

FINAL THOUGHTS: That trash bag of a six man tag aside, this was a good episode of World Championship Wrestling with a fair share of competitive matches and some interesting storyline developments. I loves me some One Man Gang and I’m glad to see him in WCW, weird occult gimmick or not. Anything is better than Akeem, if you think about it. The show also had a good bookended feel, starting with a good tag team match and ending with a BRUTAL Sid squash. Fine way to spend a couple hours.

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