NEWSLINE
WCW CLASSICS REPORT FROM UK
By: Lee Relph
7/10/2003 10:16:39 AM

Welcome one and all to the WCW Worldwide Classics report for 10/07/03 as seen on SKY SPORTS 1 in the UK.

Originally shown 16th of February 1991. Yep, you read that right. I don't know what Sky are playing at but they appear to have jumped a week so we miss out on the events on the 9th of February edition of Worldwide, which included the advertised Barry Windham vs Ron Simmons feature match. Oh well, onwards and upwards...

Show opens with a clip of Ric Flair yelling at EL Gigante (Oh boy...) informing the big man that if he wants the World title he has to go through the Nature Boy to get it. Jim Ross is holding the mic here so this looks to be from WCW Saturday Night. We then cut to Flair taking his jacket and tie off ready to fight whilst Brian Pillman is in the ring psyching El Gigante up for the confrontation.

Host Tony Schiavone is joined by the legendary Gordon Solie on the announce team and throughout the show, they are actually shown seated at the announce table at ringside. Tony announces that El Gigante will be in action this week. You have been warned...

We then go to a clip from WCW Pro Wrestling of Ric Flair taunting El Gigante from the ring whilst the big goof stand at ringside. To be fair, El Gigante's head came up to Flair's waist here which gives you some idea of how tall he was (and probably still is). Flair tells El Gigante that he better not let his big mouth override his ass (unbleeped!) then slaps the big guy across the face, who responded by curling his lip a'la Elvis Presley in an attempt to look mean and angry. The giant rips off his shirt and enters the ring to be met with some chops and (very light) punches from Flair which El Gigante doesn't sell cos he's a giant and they don't sell. Flair begs off so El Gigante grabs the Champ by the throat and chokes him, prompting a load of jobbers to run in to break it up by they are just swatted away like flies. Finally Brad Armstrong, Tim Horner and Terry Taylor manage to get him to break the hold just as the Horsemen arrive. Did I mention that the crowd were half asleep here? We leave the clip with El Gigante, hand in the air looking like he was setting up for the Claw.

Sting vs Samurai. Promo from Sting warning Flair that he has a problem with El Gigante. Yeah, like how is he going to get a good match out of the big goof? Samurai is a generic Japanese heel dressed in a black martial arts outfit and makes all the usual mystic Oriental gestures which of course Sting, being a Westerner, mocks to get a crowd pop. Headlock and Sting sends Samurai off the ropes, takes him down with a drop toehold then immediately locks in the Scorpion Death Lock by the Jap gets to the ropes. Lock up again and Samurai backs Sting into the corner and gets a few chops in. He charges but Sting gets a knee up and takes over, whipping Samurai to the opposite corner and hits a Stinger Splash before getting the Scorpion Deathlock on proper for a very popular win.

The WrestleWar 1991 promo airs for the first time in three weeks.

Tony and Gordon Solie then talk about the upcoming WrestleWar PPV match between Stan Hansen vs Big Van Vader, which leads us to clip of the match that started the feud from the famous Egg Dome in Japan, courtesy of New Japan Pro Wrestling (wasn't Hansen signed exclusively to All Japan Pro Wrestling at that time?) complete with original Japanese commentary. Not really much going on here in this short clip, Vader had Hansen backed up into the corner then went for a wristlock but Hansen fought and the two big men traded some VERY stiff slaps to the head. We then go to...

The Steiners vs Steve Stacks & Mike Samples. Scott starts out with Samples and gets an amateur take down into what may have been a Single Leg Boston Crab had Stacks not mad the ropes straight away. Lock up again and Scott is backed into the corner where Stacks uses his not inconsiderable weight to take the advantage. Scott is whipped to the opposite corner and Stacks charges only to eat a Steiner boot which Scott follows with a Belly to Belly suplex (or Soo-play as Solie calls it). Samples is tagged in as is Rick Steiner, who throws a few punches and a big Steinerline. Scott back in and he hoists Samples up onto his shoulders and Rick comes off the top with a Bulldog (named an Oklahoma Bulldog by Solie) for the win.

State Patrol vs Larry Santo & Jim Boss. The Patrol jump the jobbers at the bell sending Boss to the outside. Lt. James Earl Wright sends Santo off the ropes and headbutts in this gut. Schiavone and Solie are putting The Patrol over as "double tough" when in reality there were just glorified jobbers themselves. Boss is tagged in and he is met by Wright who then tags Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker in. Boss reverses a whip into the corner and charges but eats Parker's boot. Wright is tagged back in and Parker hits a BackBreaker on Boss then Wright comes off the top and splashes the prone jobber whilst still laid across Parker's knee. Quick tags by the Patrol and in one spot, they actual hit the Bushwhacker's Battering Ram with Wright as the ram! Parker back in and he drops an elbow on Boss with an assist from Wright (he lifted Parker up and dropped him on to Boss) for a two count. Shoulder Breaker by Parker then Wright is tagged in as Tony suggests that there isn't a team as impressive as the State Patrol as this point. Someone check his arm for any needle marks...Finish came when Wright held Boss up in a Vertical Suplex and Parker "speared" him from the top rope. Post match, the Patrol approached Tony and Solie at the announce table and began yelling (both at the same time which was very distracting) about how they will take on anybody and I quote: "even the giant" (sorry fellows but Paul Wight's WCW debut is some 4 1/2 years away), whilst Parker said they'll throw the book at any opponents. Without further ado we go straight to the next match which is...

Flyin' Brian vs J.W Wolf. Lock up and Wolf gets a wristlock so Pillman grabs the ropes, backflips and hits a hiptoss followed by a body scissors into an arm drag and a drop kick is thrown in for good measure. Pillman locks in an arm bar as Tony reckons Pillman is the underdog in the upcoming War Games being the smallest guy out there and because his team mates (Sting and The Steiners) have all had issues with the Horsemen (their War Games opponents) and he really hasn't. Solie then talks about Pillman's football career (so that's where Jim Ross gets it from?) and how his former Bengal Tigers coach named Pillman the fiercest man on the team, so War Games shouldn't be a problem for him. Wolf fights back with a rake to the eyes and whip into the corner but Pillman is too quick and hits a Head Scissors take down and another arm drag into an arm bar. They trade wristlocks until Brian hits a Monkey Flip but Wolf comes back and slams Pillman. The jobber then takes forever to climb the turnbuckles, taunting the crowd on the way and gets knocked off with a drop-kick for his troubles. Pillman kicks Wolf through the ropes and follows him outside where he delivers some stuff chops before rolling him back into the ring. One Flying Body Press off the top rope later and the three count is tolled.

Sid Vicious vs Tom Sawyer. Sid has ditched the singlet and has gone back to wearing just trunks. Sawyer was announced as hailing from the Everglades and not Mississippi. Sid opens up by lifting Sawyer off his feet with a double handed choke then after effortlessly throwing Sawyer into the corner, Sid hit the Helicopter Spin, starting in one corner then spinning around and throwing him all the way across the ring to the opposite corner! Sid crawls across the ring, laughing maniacally as he stalks his prey then it's Powerbomb time and Sawyer is done. The medical staff run out and quickly roll Sawyer out of the ring and on to a stretcher. Sid however, has other plans and sends the EMTs packing then knocks Sawyer off the stretcher before dumping said trolley on top of the hapless jobber. Big, bad, nasty heel Sid then played to the crowd who cheered him.

Tony interviews Sid at ringside, who calls a Tony "a stupid little worm". Anyway, Sid has a goal to rule the world in 1991 (wasn't that the same in 1990?) and if that means his opponents leave the ring on a stretcher then so be it.

Tony and Gordon then discuss Arn Anderson's latest TV Title reign and the legitimacy of the victory. We then see a clip of the finish from the title match of two weeks ago (last week for us Sky viewers) where Arn took the belt from Z-Man after getting the pin whilst his feet were on the ropes.

WCW TV Title Match - Arn Anderson (c) vs Beautiful Bobby Eaton. Lets see if these two can deliver the goods like they did a few weeks ago. Lock up and after a brief tussle Eaton gets a headlock but Arn sends him off the ropes only to be hit with a shoulder block and Eaton quickly goes for the cover, stunning Arn long enough for a two count. The Enforcer wasn't happy at that. Lock up and Arn is backed up against the ropes, ref calls for a break, Arn complies but Eaton gets a right hand shot in followed by a body slam and another cover. Kick to the gut and a Bulldog from Eaton causes Arn to seek refuge in the ropes. Anderson fights back with a knee to the gut and rake to the eyes with his boot laces and some stiff left hand shots. Eaton reverses a whip off the ropes and bends down allowing Arn to hit a Sunset Flip but Eaton kept his balance and unloaded with a series of right hands, which leads to Anderson scurrying out of the ring for a breather. Back in the ring for another lock up and Arn gets a headlock which he turns into a Hammerlock which Eaton breaks out of with an elbow to the face. Another lock up and Bobby is backed into the corner but Arn's attempt at a cheap is thwarted as Eaton blocks it fires back with some of his own, before sending Arn into the ropes. Eaton bends down but Arn grabs him and hits a Gourdbuster. Arn kicks Eaton out of the ring and introduces his face to the guard rail then posts him. Eaton makes it back onto the apron and Arn makes a grab for him but Bobby is too quick and drops Arn throat first across the top rope. Back in the ring and Eaton opens up on Arn with a kick to the gut and Swinging Neck Breaker which gets a two count. Bodyslam is followed by a knee drop to the head from the top rope by Eaton, which Arn sells like a 1000 volts of electricity had been shot into his testicles, and gets a two count as Arn was in the ropes. AA fights back and applies a headlock but is sent off the ropes by Bobby, who goes for a leapfrog but Arn kept his head up and butted Eaton in the gut, allowing Anderson to crawl over and roll Eaton up for the pin, although the replay shows that Arn had the tights. Another great match from these two!

Promo from Ric Flair. The Nature Boy is back! Just when we though everything was fine with Sting as champ, Flair hits the top spot in WCW for the 7th time and Slick Ric tells us like or not, it's a fact. Flair then tells El Gigante that he needs to learn some respect for the Nature Boy and that he's open to his challenge for the title. Flair closes by warning Sting that if he wants to take sides with El Gigante then he'll answer to the Horsemen. Whoooo!

El Gigante vs Mike Thor. This guy walks into a bar carrying a lizard, which he places on the bar next to him and says "A pint of lager for me and a whiskey for Tiny here.". "Why do you call him Tiny?" the barman asked, handing over the drinks. "Because," the man replied "He's my newt!" Okay, that joke was bad but it was infinitely better than this match. Solie described El Gigante as being as "serious as a heart attack" - and just as painful to endure too. Oh, the match? Well, the big guy whips Thor off the ropes and floors him with a chop. Thor is whipped off the rope again and the future Giant Gonzalez locks in The Claw, forcing Thor down on the mat for the three count. And that's it. It may have ben short but it still wasn't pleasant. However, things are going to pick up now because World Champ Ric Flair struts down to ringside and starts jaw jacking with the giant until Sting sneaks up from behind and throws Flair into the ring. El Gigante raises his hand for The Claw and Flair wisely rolls out of the ring and out of Dodge but not before he yells a few choice words at his opponents. Great heat for this segment by the way.

The WrestleWar 1991 promo airs again.

Tony and Gordon discuss the US Title match upcoming at the PPV between champ Lex Luger vs Dangerous Dan Spivey and we go to a clip from the Clash XIV where Sting and Luger are facing Doom when Spivey appears at ringside and attacks Luger leaving Sting to face the World Tag champs by himself.

Ron Simmons vs Dave Perry. No Teddy Long here because they are pushing Simmons as the no-nonsense, serious element in the Doom camp. Even an idiot could have guessed that a face turn for Simmons was imminent by the way Solie and Schiavone were putting him over big time here despite him being a heel at the time. Anyway, Perry jumps Simmons at the bell and we get our "Blown Spot Of The Week" straight away as Simmons is whipped off the ropes and Perry puts his head to allow to headbutt him in the back, but for some reason Perry decides to sell the move early and hits the mat before Simmons to could make contact. Doh! Big Ron unloads on Perry with some kicks and right hands then throws the jobber to the outside. Back in the ring and Simmons hits a big body slam followed with a leg drop and a sick sounding clothesline. Spinebuster follows and Perry is history.

During the last match, Tony mentioned that next week we should hear from the challengers to the World Tag Titles, the Fabulous Freebirds who have acquired the services of a new manager, one Diamond Dallas something....

The show closes with Tony and Solie reviewing the difference of philosophy in the Doom camp between Ron Simmons, Butch Reed and Teddy Long. They then hype a feature match for next week, which is Z-Man vs Terry Taylor, who Tony describes as the "computerized man of the 1990's" along with Alexandra York. This is because Michael Wall Street is history, so at the Clash XIV, Taylor turned heel during a match with Ricky Morton with York's help. Taylor was now the first member of the York Foundation - just like that.


Bottom Line: God knows what happened with Sky but we missed a week's worth of action that's to them jumping forward an episode. I'm assuming something big must have gone down last week in the Ron Simmons vs Barry Windham match for Simmons to work his match alone without Teddy Long in his corner this week.

Oh well, this week's show once again followed on with the format of the last few weeks of more wrestling and less chat although we did get a Ric Flair promo and the return of the WrestleWar promo. The wrestling this week ranged from the solid to the acceptable - with one notable exception - even if the squash matches were kept very short, but the TV Title match clearly the best thing on the show by a country mile. Three weeks and three great matches from Arn Anderson.

Nice to see the WrestleWar PPV build with some of the undercard matches get a look in. However, there are still a few gaps that need to be filled in such as the return of the Six Man Tag titles (held by Junkyard Dog, Ricky Morton & Tommy Rich), the arrival of Dustin Rhodes to WCW and the fact that Nikita Koloff will be at the PPV to present the winner of the US Title match with a new WCW belt.

Finally, no complaints from me on the choice of guest commentator this week. The late, great "Dean of Professional Wrestling" Gordon Solie is always a joy to listen on commentary. He really added so much to the viewing experience, as demonstrated during the Anderson vs Eaton match where he explained the actual psychology behind the wrestling and the reasoning behind the wrestlers actions. The other interesting aspect is that both he and Schiavone are play by play men, yet Solie had no problem with also playing the role of color man, giving Tony some room to work as well. If you think back to the ill-fated WWF Invasion angle of 2001 (I know you don't want to but please bear with me...), when both Jim Ross and Michael Cole - two play by play men - where picked to do all the announcing, it made for a very awkward situation as JR was clearly uncomfortable being Cole's colour man and Cole doesn't know how to be a colour man. Anyway, back to WCW circa 1991 and I hope that Gordon Solie sticks around for a while on commentary.

Anyway, another enjoyable show.

Until next week - thanks for reading.

Cheers

LEE RELPH, UK

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