[TV Review] World Championship Wrestling – 3.9.91

Commentators: Jim Ross & Paul E. Dangerously

This week’s Flagship features El Gigante in handicap action, a co-opted Danger Zone as the feud between Missy Hyatt and Paul E. Dangerously continues, the return of The Z-Man to televised action, and JOEY MAGGS coming out of nowhere to have possibly the best match I’ve seen this month on WCW TV. I’m as surprised as you are.

Champion Roll-Call

  • 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 Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner)
  • 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 Lineup

  • CLIP: Nikita Koloff attacks Lex Luger (WrestleWar ’91)
  • Big Josh vs. Jim Boss
  • Larry Zbyszko vs. Tim Parker
  • The Young Pistols vs. Lou Fabiano & Dave Johnson
  • INTERVIEW: The Junkyard Dog
  • Tom Zenk vs. Buddy Landell
  • SEGMENT: Wrestling Wrap-Up w/ Gordon Solie
  • Barry Windham vs. Pablo Crenshaw
  • RINGSIDE INTERVIEW: Buddy Landell
  • Ricky Morton vs. Joey Maggs
  • HANDICAP MATCH: El Gigante vs. Pat Rose & Ned Brady
  • RINGSIDE SEGMENT: The Danger Zone w/ Paul E. Dangerously, Missy Hyatt, & Theodore R. Long
  • CLIP: Nikita Koloff does sit-ups in sweatpants like a TOUGH BOY
  • Lex Luger vs. Joe Cruz
  • Sid Vicious vs. Tommy Angel
  • Ranger Ross vs. Rip Rogers
  • RINGSIDE INTERVIEW: Ranger Ross

*****

-CLIP: Nikita Koloff attacks Lex Luger (WrestleWar ’91)

Jim Ross welcomes the home audience, joined by Paul E. Dangerously and Missy Hyatt. Dangerously hypes his Danger Zone segment with Theodore R. Long. Hyatt looks on the production sheet and says SHE’S supposed to interview Long. Hyatt borrows Dangerously’s phone to call and complain.

Big Josh vs. Jim Boss

Josh and Tommy Rich hype the former’s match against Dan Spivey at tomorrow night’s Omni show via insert promo. LET ME WATCH IT, WCW. LET ME TOUCH SOMETHING. Josh shoulderblocks Boss to the floor, Josh checks on him and rolls him back into the ring. Boss reciprocates Josh’s niceness with cheapshots, Josh easily fights it off though because of course he does. Josh catches a kick and knocks Boss’ teeth out with a right hand followed by a scoop slam and log roll. Josh stops to hang out with the fans, Boss plays dirty and rakes the eyes to go on (weak) offense. Josh makes Boss pay for his rulebreaking and toys with him until the seated splash. Didn’t need to go almost five minutes, they got their point across before then, but we’ve got time to kill apparently. (4:38)

Larry Zbyszko vs. “Powerhouse” Tim Parker

Ross says Sting and Zbyszko will have their Power Hour rematch next week when Main Event returns. THREE MINUTES GO BY before they even make contact, Zbyszko too busy antagonizing the audience. Parker dodges Zbyszko, the Living Legend almost falling out to the floor. This is Mike Rotunda-levels of stalling. Parker takes Zbyszko down with a pair of shoulderblocks but runs into a knee to the gut. Zbyszko picks Parker up, Parker with an inside cradle but Zbyszko manages to kick out. Zbyszko counters a headlock with a belly-to-back suplex and is all offense going forward, Dangerously explaining his SLOOOOOW offense as “playing a game of human chess”. He’s an old-school dude so I get it but doesn’t mean I’m not bored to tears. FINALLY Zbyszko ends it with a Piledriver and we can move on with our day. Jeeeesus. (7:59!!!)

The Young Pistols (Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong) vs. Lou Fabiano & Dave Johnson

Fabiano and Johnson are much bigger than The Pistols, but they’re geeks so it doesn’t really matter. “SHAVE YOUR BACK” chants for Fabiano, who is quite the hairy man. He’s the only one who actually mounts any semblance of offense, but it’s fleeting as the Pistols are quick and hard-hitting. Johnson tags back in and does a fun flop after Armstrong corner clotheslines him. Match goes on longer than it should, Pistols clear Fabiano out with a double dropkick and finish Johnson off with the doomsday flying elbow for the win. (6:45)

The Junkyard Dog is interrupted by Missy Hyatt, who forces herself into an interview. JYD spends his time talking about the Ron Simmons/Butch Reed match scheduled for the Omni tomorrow night. JYD begs Simmons to stay on the “right” side and throws his support behind him.

“The Z-Man” Tom Zenk vs. “Nature Boy” Buddy Landell

After losing the Television Championship (much quicker than he should have, THANK YOU), Zenk has barely been on television. Almost forgot about the guy. Zenk and Landell trade hammerlocks, Landell forces a rope break but Zenk adds insult to injury by messing his hair up. IT’S ON NOW. Zenk floats over in the corner and connects with a hip toss followed by a dropkick that sends Landell begging off in the corner. Crowd still loves the Z-Man, still can’t believe WCW got cold feet on him so quickly. Landell brings Zenk to the corner and tries a cheap shot, Zenk blocks it and hits one of his own and they reset once again. Zenk with a standing hammerlock, Landell gets in the ropes and we get another clean break. Ross hypes a big house show happening next weekend in the Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis, the last wrestling event that will happen at the historic venue before it’s torn down. Zenk catches Landell with a missile dropkick, but Landell escapes via rope break and bails to the floor, where Terrance Taylor, Alexandra York, and Mr. Hughes show up to give him advice. Landell isn’t a full member of The York Foundation yet, but he’s pledging. Landell kicks out of a crossbody, Landell bails out of the ring again to consult the magical COM-PEW-TOR.

Zenk blocks a hip toss and turns it into a backslide for the 1…2…Landell kicks out and BAILS FOR A THIRD TIME FOR MORE CONSULTATION. Zenk gets distracted with Taylor, Landell attacks from behind and goes on the offensive including a rope walk elbow to the back. Nice. Zenk fights out of the corner, Landell counters a backdrop with a kick and applies a rear chinlock. Zenk escapes, Landell brings him back to the mat with a knee and tries to cover with his feet on his ropes but Zenk kicks out. Landell catches a charging Zenk with an elbow but Zenk once again kicks out of the lateral press and we’re back to a chinlock. Zenk escapes and mounts a comeback, connecting with a Superkick for the 1…2…Taylor interferes and Landell is DQed. Good match for what it was, Landell is so much better than his Nature Boy rip-off gimmick. (10:12)

  • RATING: *3/4

Taylor and Landell attack until Bobby Eaton makes the save. Zenk and Eaton go back to back, clearing The York Foundation from the ring. DID THEY JUST BECOME BEST FRIENDS?!? Not really but an uneasy partnership does appear to be forming.

Gordon Solie is here with the latest edition of Wrestling Wrap-Up, covering The Steiner Brothers winning the World Tag Team Titles by beating The Fabulous Freebirds earlier in the day on Pro. The Steiner Brothers now have both the World and U.S. Tag Team Titles, Solie mentions a tournament may be in order to crown new U.S. Tag Team Champs as they can’t defend both. Honestly I’m glad they’re recognizing the title change instead of repurposing the match for another show. Eh who am I kidding they might do that anyway.

Barry Windham vs. Pablo Crenshaw

Crenshaw manages a little offense, countering a headlock with headscissors but getting decked in the teeth for his troubles. Windham goes to work, showing off his hops with a standing dropkick and clotheslining him on the floor. Crenshaw tries to fight back, Windham stops that with a hard-hitting lariat and a belly-to-back suplex Crenshaw damn-near takes on his head. Superplex ends it. (4:58)

-Ross is ringside with “Nature Boy” Buddy Landell. Landell says he’s in negotiations with The York Foundation but nothing is official yet. Landell leaves, Missy Hyatt shows up and says she has been given the okay to join Paul E. Dangerously in the Danger Zone. Dangerously threatens her with violence if she tries. Hyatt whines and says she has to call somebody. Why WCW makes Hyatt an annoying bottom feeder opportunist while also trumpeting her as a woman taking charge is beyond me and makes no sense and HAS NOT AGED WELL.

Ricky Morton vs. Joey Maggs

Maggs has recovered nicely after being slaughtered by Sid at Dixie Dynamite. Morton is used to being an underdog, leading to Maggs controlling the match early. Morton is apparently facing Stan Hansen at tomorrow’s Omni show and OH MAN that sounds awesome. Morton reverses an Irish whip and sends Maggs to the mat with an armdrag takeover into an armbar. A very long armbar broken up only briefly with bouts of Maggs trying to escape. I’m surprised neither man fell asleep. Maggs gets frustrated and shoves Morton out of frustration, the ref stepping in between them to cool the situation down. IN A WRESTLING MATCH. Morton with an armdrag, Maggs once again shoves Morton out of frustration. Maggs gives up on having a clean match and cheap shots Morton, raking his back and dropping him with a clothesline. Maggs connects with a neckbreaker and covers, Morton kicks out. Maggs tries again, Morton kicks out once more.

Maggs keeps the pressure, dropping an elbow and applying a reverse chinlock. Morton rolls Maggs up with a sunset flip, but Maggs kicks out and connects with another clothesline for the 1…2…Morton kicks out and Maggs goes back to the chinlock. Morton reverses a corner Irish whip but Maggs dodges a splash and Morton goes shoulder-first into the ring post. Maggs goes to work on said shoulder/arm, bringing him to the mat with a Fujiwara Armbar. Maggs misses a corner splash, Morton mounts his comeback with a pair of dropkicks and a headscissors takeover into a roll-up for the 1…2…3!

Holy sh*t what a surprise this match was. A damn good back and forth encounter and I loved the story of Maggs going from rule-abiding nice guy to cheapshot artist as soon as he realized he needed a new gameplan if he was going to stand a chance. This could have easily been a long squash that Morton dominated but he wanted a good match and dammit he got one. A welcome breath of fresh air seeing an enhancement talent actually get a truly competitive match. Hell yeah. (10:19)

  • RATING: ***1/4

HANDICAP MATCH
El Gigante vs. Pat Rose & “Nasty” Ned Brady

Sting hypes his Omni cage match tomorrow night via insert promo. Gigante is the special guest ref for that one. Gigante easily dominates, throwing Rose into Brady and applying a DOUBLE CLAW to get the win. (0:58)

-Dangerously hosts The Danger Zone from ringside, his guest this week being Theodore R. Long. Missy Hyatt quickly hijacks the interview and tries to ask a question about the Doom break-up, Long tells her to step back. Long says Ron Simmons cost him the Tag Team Championship and a whole lot of money. Dangerously segues to Hyatt’s interview with Simmons last week of Hyatt palling around with him due to their FSU connection. Long tries to insult her but out comes Ron Simmons to protect her and cut a nonsensical promo about tomorrow’s Omni show. That’s that, I guess.

-CLIP: Nikita Koloff is still working out in preparation to challenge Lex Luger for the U.S. Championship. This time around he does sit-ups in sweatpants, a weight behind his head. WE EVEN GET SLO-MO FOOTAGE. Koloff finishes his workout and says he’s coming for Luger. A lot funnier than he probably wanted it to be.

“The Total Package” Lex Luger vs. Joe Cruz

Luger is still carrying around the NWA United States Championship since this was taped before he got a new belt at WrestleWar ’91. Luger absorbs some weak shots and wins with the Torture Rack. Luger defends the title against Sid Vicious at the Omni tomorrow. (1:42)

Sid Vicious vs. Tommy Angel

Sid wins with a shooting star press. Just kidding it’s a Phoenix Splash. Just kidding again it’s a Power Bomb. (3:05)

Sid’s EMT geeks roll Angel out on the stretcher, Sid clobbers him from the apron with a flying double axhandle, sending it over. Sid then grabs the gurney and drops it on the poor bastard, for he RULES THE WORLD.

Ranger Ross vs. Rip Rogers

Lots of Rs in this match. Rip Rogers’ hair is ON FLEEEEEEEEK. Chain wrestling to start as both men counter one another’s moves until Ross slows things down by working over Rogers’ left arm. Lots of visible empty seats on camera side, I think the crowd is burned out. Rogers misses a corner splash, hurting his arm further. SO MANY ARMBARS AND ARMDRAGS. Rogers sends Ross to the floor and connects with a flying double axhandle from the top turnbuckle. Rogers whips Ross into the apron and belts him with a chop. Back in the ring Rogers hammer throws Ross into the buckles and connects with a scoop slam for a two-count. Rogers goes for another, Ross counters into an inside cradle for the 1…2…Rogers kicks out and sends Ross back to the floor. He tries another flying axhandle, Ross counters with a strike to the gut (or a clothesline or something?) and goes on the offensive, winning with the Combat Kick (Superkick). Boooooy I was not into this one, Rip Rogers’ hair aside. Not exactly a worthwhile main event. Should’ve been Morton vs. Maggs. (6:28)

  • RATING: ½*

-Ross is ringside with Ranger Ross. Before he can say anything, Ric Flair shows up and lays him out. Flair takes over the interview and goes NUTS, ripping his expensive clothes and saying no one humiliates him. Final sell for tomorrow’s Omni show and we’re done.

*****

FINAL THOUGHTS: A decent show with a honest to god surprise in the Ricky Morton/Joey Maggs match. So good. Matches like that are why I love doing this series. That aside a lot of the action today was forgettable, with Zbyszko’s squash match taking WAY TOO LONG and the Ross/Rogers main event having little to no energy. But I can forgive it because JOEY FREAKIN’ MAGGS, man.

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