‘WWE Vintage Collection TV Report #68 – September 20th, 2009
Shown on Sky Sports in the U.K.
By Stephen Lyon.
This week: Lots of WCW action. Stunning Steve Austin vs Ricky Steamboat from WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 is the main event. Other action includes: Robbie V vs Scotty Flamingo from 1993 (Rob Van Dam & Raven before they found greater fame); Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes & Nikita Koloff vs Cactus Jack & Jake Roberts & The Barbarian (1992); Sabu (with the Original Sheik in his corner) vs Mr J.L. (Jerry Lynn) from 1995; and from the second of the infamous consecutive-day Tacoma Dome shows in July 2001 that essentially killed off WCW as a WWF project, Billy Kidman vs Gregory Helms.
This show continued the streak of fun and interesting shows.
1) Robbie V defeated Scotty Flamingo. This match was from the ‘WCW Worldwide’ tapings in Columbus, Georgia, taped on February 13th, 1993. This match also featured on the WWE-produced ‘Rob Van Dam: One of a Kind’ DVD release a few years ago. Announcers for this were Tony Schiavone & Jesse Ventura. As you would imagine, both V & Flamingo looked very different from how they looked when they later found greater fame. V was wearing an amateur wrestling singlet and was wrestling barefoot, doing a martial arts/kickboxing gimmick. Flamingo was doing a heel pretty boy gimmick. He had no tattoos at all, and was bare-chested, wearing tight wrestling shorts and standard kneepads and boots. The announcers played up V’s kickboxing background, with V showing great agility, balance and high-flying ability. He dominated Flamingo, using lots of spinkicks, and backflipped off the ropes several times, hitting picture-perfect moonsaults. At one point, Flamingo threw V to the ringside area, which was the bare concrete floor with no protective mats – this was during the Bill Watts era, of course. Finish of the match came when V nailed Flamingo with another spinning kick in the corner, and pinned him after a split-legged moonsault off the ropes. This was a fun, all-action match.
2) Cactus Jack & Jake Roberts & The Barbarian defeated Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes & Nikita Koloff. This match was from the September 20th, 1992 edition of the ‘WCW Main Event’ show, and was taped at the Center Stage in Atlanta, Georgia on August 24th. What was really good about this match was that it had a sole announcer – Jim Ross. He did a tremendous job, both in calling the action, but also touching on many different aspects of WCW business at the time – such as main events at upcoming house shows, and noting that Dustin Rhodes vs Jake Roberts would be featured on the following weekend’s Saturday Night show. He even mentioned that Bruno Sammartino would be appearing on an upcoming WCW tv show as well. He really got you sold on the product, or at least slightly more interested. As for the match itself, both Windham and Rhodes worked over Cactus Jack’s left arm to start off. Jake Roberts tagged in, but surprisingly the faces, Dustin and Nikita, managed to get the better of him. Koloff and Barbarian squared off, and it wasn’t pretty, each testing their power moves against each other. Windham & Rhodes gave Jake a double dropkick leading into a commercial break. Second half of the match saw Jake use a reverse chinlock on Nikita, gained leverage with his feet on the bottom rope. Jack & Barbarian put the boots to Koloff, before he was able to make the hot tag to Barry Windham. The big man from Sweetwater, Texas backdropped Jack and gave him a big lariat clothesline. The finish saw a big brawl, with Jake Roberts on the outside grabbing the bag containing his snake and taunting the approaching Koloff with it. Inside the ring, as Windham was about to piledrive Jack, Barbarian nailed Windham in the face with a big boot, then pinned him for the win. This was a fairly entertaining match.
3) Sabu (w/The Sheik in his corner) defeated Mr J.L. This match was from the ‘WCW Halloween Havoc 1995’ pay-per-view event, held in Detroit, Michigan, on October 29th, 1995. Announcers for this match were Tony Schiavione & Bobby Heenan. This was during Sabu’s brief stint with WCW, at the tail end of 1995. The Sheik appearing in Sabu’s corner was a one off in WCW for this match, and was fitting given he was such a legend in Detroit. Mr J.L. was Jerry Lynn, under a mask. This was a very short, but highly entertaining and chaotic spotfest of a match. Perhaps the most memorable spot came at the very beginning, as Sabu ran to the ring, threw J.L. to the outside, then executed an Asai moonsault off the ring apron that knocked down both J.L. AND the then-69 year old Sheik. J.L. recovered to whip Sabu into a guardrail, then dove off the ring apron on to Sabu. The two traded moonsaults, with Sabu missing with his, and J.L. managing to connect with his. The two brawled to the outside, which saw the Sheik suddenly brandishing this monster sword. Finish saw Sabu pin J.L. after a springboard moonsault off the ropes. This was a memorable match.
4) Billy Kidman defeated Gregory Helms to win the WCW Cruiserweight title. This match took place during the time when WCW matches and segments aired on WWF tv, complete with WCW ring apron, referees, on-screen graphics (this segment was billed as ‘WCW Smackdown’) and announcers – this match was called by Scott Hudson & Arn Anderson. The downside was that this match took place at the Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, Washington, taped on July 3rd, 2001 and airing two days later. The live crowd – like they had done during the Booker T vs Buff Bagwell match the previous night on Raw – utterly crapped on the WCW matches, regardless of how good or bad the action was. Here, the action was good; this was also Kidman and Helms’ debuts on WWF tv. Kidman hit a crossbody plancha on Helms for a nearfall, as WWF Light Heavyweight Champion, X-Pac, was shown watching the match on a monitor backstage. Helms recovered to throw Kidman to the outside, then monkey-flipped him into the ring post. A sign from the crowd came into shot: ‘WCW – Bankrupt for a Reason’. Back in the ring, Kidman tried for a running bulldog, but Helms blocked it. Kidman gave Helms a sitdown powerbomb for a nearfall. Helms connected with a superkick, but Kidman quickly recovered, missing a shooting star press off the top. Helms gave Kidman the ‘Nightmare on Helms Street’, but Kidman kicked out at two. He tried for the vertebreaker, but Kidman reversed the move and gave him an Unprettier for the title win. Despite all of this great action, the crowd barely popped. Scott Hudson closed the match with a hell of a line: “This invasion is on and WCW is on one hell of a roll!”
5) WCW U.S. Champion, Stunning Steve Austin retained the title, defeating Ricky Steamboat. This match was from the ‘WCW Bash at the Beach 1994’ pay-per-view event, held on July 17th, 1994, in Orlando, Florida. Announcers for this match were Tony Schiavione & Bobby Heenan. Of course, this match was on the undercard of a show built around Hulk Hogan’s in-ring WCW debut, vs Ric Flair. During this match, you could clearly see Linda Bollea and their children , 6 year old Brooke and 4 year old Nick in the front row. ‘Stunning Steve’ had ‘Dragon Slayer’ written on the back of his black trunks, and was clearly pumped for this match. Austin attacked Steamboat straight away, aiming kicks at Steamboat’s left leg. Steamboat recovered enough to throw Austin into the ringpost and buy some time. Steamboat came back, able to ‘walk the top rope’ whilst holding on to Austin (a la Undertaker) and came down with a big chop. He followed up with a dropkick in the corner, which resulted in Austin ending up tied up, upside in the corner of the ring. Austin sold that his knee had been hurt, and asked for a time out. The wily Austin was playing possum however, and pulled Steamboat to the outside, where he exchanged chops with the Dragon. Steamboat chased Austin around the ringside area and back into the ring, where Austin placed him in a sleeperhold going into a commercial break.
The second half of the match saw Steamboat down, with Austin giving him a kneedrop from the second turnbuckle to the back of his head. Steamboat came back, catapulting Austin into the corner and rolling him up for a nearfall. The pace picked up as the two exchanged more chops, with Austin repeatedly trying to pin Steamboat and getting two counts. Austin became overly-cocky, and Steamboat responded by dropping him throat-first across the top rope. The two scored nearfalls on each other before the finish – Austin picked up Steamboat for a piledriver, and Steamboat reversed the move. The two reversed the move twice more, before Steamboat finally managed to hit the piledriver. In a desperation move, Austin tried to throw the referee down. The referee was about to disqualify him, but Steamboat pleaded with him to let the match continue. Almost immediately, Austin rolled up Steamboat and scored the pinfall win.
This was an excellent match.
A very entertaining show this week. It’s always fun to see matches featuring ‘stars before they became famous’. The six man was very good in spots, particularly when Windham was in with Roberts. Sabu vs Mr J.L. was a memorable spotfest. Kidman vs Helms was both interesting and sad for obvious reasons. The main event, Austin vs Steamboat was an excellent match.
1) Robbie V defeated Scotty Flamingo (‘WCW Worldwide tapings’ – Columbus, Georgia: 13/02/93).
2) Cactus Jack & Jake Roberts & The Barbarian defeated Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes & Nikita Koloff (‘WCW Main Event’ – Atlanta, Georgia: taped 24/08/92, aired 20/09/92).
3) Sabu (w/The Sheik in his corner) defeated Mr J.L. (‘WCW Halloween Havoc 1995’ pay-per-view event – Detroit, Michigan: 29/10/95).
4) Billy Kidman defeated Gregory Helms to win the WCW Cruiserweight title (‘WCW Smackdown’ – Tacoma, Washington: taped 03/07/01, aired 05/07/01).
5) WCW U.S. Champion, Stunning Steve Austin retained the title, defeating Ricky Steamboat (‘WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 pay-per-view event – Orlando, Florida: 17/07/94).
Please note: I DO NOT sell DVDs or tapes of any of these shows. Sorry!
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Until next week, have a good week.
St Helens, England, U.K.