WCW Saturday Night
April 24, 1993
Commentators: Tony Schiavone & Jesse Ventura
2 Cold Scorpio & Marcus Bagwell vs. Tony Vincent & Paul Lee
The show opens with Scorpio & Bagwell making their way down to the ring dancing with fans, including having some kids dance in the ring with them. This match was a quick paced one, highlighting the fact that Scorpio and Bagwell are climbing the ranks towards a title shot against The Hollywood Blondes.
After the match, the Cole Twins come out to celebrate, but The Wrecking Crew and Tex Slazenger and Shanghai Pierce attack all four men and start to brawl.
Cactus Jack makes his way out for a promo. Cactus talks about how he is going to step in the ring with Vader again, even though he got beaten up. He talked about having a wife and child, and how they are begging for him to not go back in the ring with Vader. Cactus says he has to do though, but that this is the last time, and if he can put Cactus Jack down, he should do it.
Jesse Ventura talks about Shane Douglas not being here, due to having trouble with travel. So Ricky is going to be going it alone against one of the Wrecking Crew tonight, rather than having a tag match.
Ricky Steamboat vs. Fury (w/ Rage)
Steamboat opens this match armbars and his classic arm drags on Fury, however, the fact that Rage is on the outside makes a difference as Steamboat cannot keep an eye on everything, and when the ref’s back is turned, Rage pushes Steamboat off the top rope. Fury sends Steamboat to be outside and Fury distracts the ref so Rage can attack. Fury starts to use his size advantage by attacking with a bearhug.
Steamboat tries to slam Fury, but he can’t support the weight and collapses. Fury goes back to the bearhug. Steamboat struggles, but hits some strikes and manages to finally break free. Steamboat follows up with some good chops and skins the cat as Fury tries to send him over the top rope. Steamboat kicks Rage on the outside and pulls down the rope, sending Fury over the top onto Rage. Ventura comments that that could be a DQ, due to the over-the-top-rope rule where wrestlers are not allowed to toss someone over the top rope in WCW (which is a stupid rule), but the ref ignores it. As Steamboat gets back into the ring, Rage grabs him and Fury goes for an elbow, but Steamboat ducks and Fury hits Rage. Steamboat rolls ups Fury, and gets the 1-2-3.
RATING: 2/5 I give this a solid 2, as Steamboat gave Fury plenty of offence and made him look good befor getting to the finish.
Rick Rude vs. Ben Jordan
Rude comes out and gets Gary Michael Cappetta to announce that that the fans aren’t worth his breath. Jordan jumps Rude in an attempt to get the advantage, but Rude just destroys him quickly, ending with a Rude Awakening.
Tony Schiavone interviews Rick Rude and asks him why he’s been looking around into the audience lately, and Rude says that it’s none of Schiavone’s business. Rude begins to cut a promo on Dustin and how he’s going to rip his head off. Rick Rude is the man.
Eric Bischoff is there to hype Slamboree 93: A Legends Reunion, where he announces that Vader will face The British Bulldog for the WCW Heavyweight Championship and Arn Anderson vs. Barry Windham for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Bischoff then gives it over to Gordon Solie, who talks about the legends that will be there.
Bobby Eaton vs. Erik Watts
Erik Watts is booed out of the building. Watts is fired up and tries to take it to Eaton sending him back to the corner in retreat. Watts actually controls a good portion of the match, including locking in a STF on Eaton. However, Watts is soon hit by a flying headbutt from Chris Benoit, so Watts wins due to DQ. As they beat on Watts, Arn Anderson makes his way out for the save!
Tony Schiavone interviews Arn about why he saved Watts: he has more guts than he thought, and he doesn’t need to pay for the sins of his father. Anderson talks about how he might need to team with Watts to take on Eaton and Benoit. He then talks about Windham and how he’s coming for him. He even manages to plug his match the next night with Tex Slazenger the next night on Main Event. Folks, you’re going to get tired of hearing this, but Arn Anderson is the man. One of the absolute best promos ever in wrestling, and very underrated.
Paul Orndorff vs. Ron Simmons – WCW Television Title (Only for the first 10 minutes of the match)
As this is a TV title match, there is a time limit on the title portion of the match to 10 minutes. However, I wasn’t sure the match could actually extend beyond the 10 minute limit, however, it seems that in this match it can.
Simmons grabs a Paula flag and waves it around to cheers from the crowd. Orndorff goes nuts, getting even more heat. I wonder if Orndorff made merch money of those flags, because if he did, he’s a genius. Simmons even pulls out a Paula shirt, but the announcers note that he’s wasting time
Simmons is taking it to Orndorff early in this match, but Orndorff barely escapes a pinfall every time. Orndorff manages to get control with a cheap shot by tripping Simmons from the outside of the ring, and then hitting a throat strike. Orndorff takes Simmons to the corner and starts laying in the punches. Simmons hits the opposite corner and nails Orndorff with a clothesline. Simmons hits a back breaker and goes to the top rope, but he misses a dive and goes crashing to the mat.
As Orndorff gets control with choking, sleeper holds, and basic wrestling, the time is ticking downward and the 2 minute warning is sounded by the ring announcer. Simmons decides to pick up the pace before the time runs out, but he can’t pin Orndorff before the time limit is up. After the limit, Orndorff goes to the outside, but Dustin Rhodes sends him back in, Simmons rolls up Orndorff and gets the pin!
RATING: 2/5 – This was a strange match with the time limit for the title to be on the line, instead of being just being the limit of the match in general. The confusing stipulation makes it a bit difficult to give it a high rating, but the match itself wasn’t too bad and sets up future matches for Orndorff with Simmons and Rhodes.
Scott Norton vs. Johnny Gunn
Norton destroys Gunn here pretty quickly after a big powerslam.
The Hollywood Blondes vs. Larry Santo & Joey Maggs
Austin & Pillman beat both men around the ring, cheating even though they don’t need to, and hitting a series of great offensive moves. They get the win with a Rocket Launcher after a few minutes.
Tony Schiavone interviews the Blondes, and they talk about how they’re one of the hottest acts in Hollywood. They talk about Ricky Steamboat & Douglas. Steamboat comes out and says that Steamboat has been a tag team champion 8 times over, and he forgot more about tag team wrestling that they will ever know. Pillman attacks Steamboat, and they all roll into the ring as Steamboat takes on both men. The number eventually win out, and they start the beat down on Douglas. Douglas makes his way to the ring with his suitcase and he chases Austin and Pillman off.
Cactus Jack vs. Vader (w/ Harley Race)
As Cactus comes out, the announcers comment on the pouch Cactus brings to the ring and how he holds everything dear to himself in it. While Vader is arguing with the camera man Cactus Jack attacks Harley Race and it spills backstage very quickly. Cactus smashes Vader wit ha chair, and starts smashing Vader with strikes.
The crowd goes crazy as Cactus takes it to Vader. Cactus pulls of Vader’s headgear and continues to beat on Vader. Cactus hits Vader with a front suplex on the guard rail! Cactus then slams Harley Race on the floor and hits a flying elbow off the apron onto Harley Race. Cactus beats the tar out of Vader in the ring, and it looks like he was ready for Vader. Vader tries to get back into the match, but Cactus will have none of it, including hitting a big back suplex on Vader.
Vader hits a big elbow on Cactus and Vader starts trying to strike back, but Cactus still takes it to Vader with headbutts and elbow strikes. The aggressiveness of Cactus seems to have thrown Vader off his gameplan. Cactus runs at Vader, but Vader finally manages to hit his Vader Charge, knocking Cactus down. Vader finally is able to start taking control of the match.
Vader goes for a Vader Bomb, but doesn’t pin him. He picks him up and goes for another and nails it. Vader goes for a third splash, but misses! Both men spill to the outside of the ring again when Cactus hits his Cactus clothesline, and Cactus slams Vader on the floor. Cactus misses his flip dive from the apron, and Harley Race picks up the mat and tells Vader to powerbomb Cactus on the concrete. Vader hits the powerbomb on the concrete! Cactus is counted out as they go to break.
RATING: 3/5 – This was a great match, with a crazy finish. However, people – DON’T REPEAT THIS FINISH. It was amazing to see, but please, don’t take a powerbomb on the concrete. There’s a reason Mick Foley tells people to take it easy now-a-days, and this is part of why.
When they come back, they are taking Cactus out on a stretcher, including putting a neck brace on him. Jesse Ventura leaves the announcers booth to go and check on Cactus to see if he can help. Tony does too. The crowd goes silent. The crowd gives Cactus a standing ovation as they take him out into an ambulance as the show fades to black. Folks, this is how to sell a serious injury as something important. What an angle. I do not recommend doing something as crazy as a powerbomb on the concrete floor, but this is how you make an injury angle mean something. Well done WCW.
RATING: 4/5 – The rest of the show is incidental due to the closing angle. The angle was so good and memorable that I don’t think I’m going to forget it anytime soon. They sold the seriousness of the situation so well, and made me feel worried for Cactus. 24 years later, and I was worried for Cactus Jack and had that sinking sensation in my stomach. The announcers sold it perfectly, and helped me feel the emotion from the audience, even as the camera focused on the worried people in the crowd. WWE, please take note. Crowd shots at every finish diminishes the effect of the crowd shot. Since WCW pretty much never did this, it meant more when you saw the shocked look on their faces and sold how crazy this angle was. I repeat, please do not do a powerbomb on the concrete floor again, but please sell angles like this again. I felt real emotion for Cactus here, and this episode is worth watching for this angle alone.
Time posted: 6:05 PM