‘WWE Vintage Collection’ TV Report #154 – May 15th, 2011
Shown on Sky Sports in the U.K.
By Stephen Lyon.
This week: Part two of a multi-week series on the history of Saturday night wrestling on TBS. Today's show featured: WCW TV Champion, Chris Jericho vs Fit Finlay (October 1998); NWA U.S. Champion, Nikita Koloff vs NWA World Tag Team Champion, Bobby Eaton (September 1987); The Steiner Brothers vs the Amazing French Canadians (May 1997); and Dustin Rhodes & Barry Windham & Michael Hayes vs Stunning Steve Austin & Arn Anderson & Larry Zbyszko (November 1991).
1) WCW TV Champion, Chris Jericho wrestled to a time limit draw with Fit Finlay. This match aired on the October 17th, 1998 edition of 'WCW Saturday Night', taped in Gainesville, Georgia on October 6th, 1998. Announcers for this match were Mike Tenay & Scott Hudson. Match was joined in progress, with Finlay working over Jericho's left leg. Jericho responded by giving Finlay a vertical suplex, before grounding him in a chinlock. After a brief struggle, Jericho attempted a leapfrog spot off the ropes, but Finlay dropped an elbow on him. Finlay threw Jericho under the bottom rope and rammed his face into the framework of the ring apron. Outside the ring, Finlay attempted to use a chair, but as Finlay argued with referee Nick Patrick, Jericho jumped off the ring steps and caught Finlay with a clothesline. Back in the ring, Jericho executed a top rope dropkick, connecting with Finlay's arm. Jericho seized on this, slapping a cross-armbreaker on Finlay. The tough Irishman managed to reverse the move, and Jericho grabbed the ropes to break the hold. Finlay caught a second wind and unloaded with European uppercuts. Jericho attempted to place Finlay in a Liontamer, but Finlay twisted out of it. Finlay tried to give Jericho a tombstone piledriver, but Jericho managed to roll up Finlay for a nearfall. Jericho scored another nearfall after a slingshot bodypress from the ring apron, before another Jericho crossbody block took both Jericho and Finlay over the top rope and to the outside. At that point, the bell rang and the match was a ruled a 15 minute time limit draw. This was a good match.
2) NWA World Tag Team Champion, Bobby Eaton (w/Jim Cornette in his corner) defeated NWA U.S. Champion, Nikita Koloff via D.Q. This match aired on the September 12th, 1987 edition of 'NWA World Championship Wrestling', taped at the WTBS Studios in Atlanta, Georgia on September 2nd, 1987. Announcers for this match were David Crockett & Tony Schiavone. The bad news is that for the second time in two weeks on this show, as with the Tully Blanchard vs Sam Houston match last week, WWE post-production added the fakest sounding large arena crowd noise to a WTBS studio match. Honestly, I have no idea why they do this. If they think the studio sound or crowd reactions aren't loud enough, then why bother showing the match? It shouldn't be a hang up about 'WWE looking bad' or 'bush league', as they made it perfectly clear that this was a WCW/NWA match from the past.
The good news is that this was a decent match. Teddy Long was referee for this match, and actually had some hair on his head, albeit not on top. Koloff shoulder-tackled Eaton a few times, only for Eaton to respond with a flying clothesline of his own. Eaton grounded Koloff with a lengthy chinlock. They showed a young male fan in the crowd wearing a Phil Collins/Genesis t-shirt. After a commercial break, Eaton had Koloff grounded again in a sleeperhold. Koloff's arm dropped twice, before he began to make a gradual recovery to his feet. Koloff began throwing right hands and after a flying tackle off the ropes, Koloff had Eaton pinned. Jim Cornette climbed on to the ring apron and had referee Long distracted, which allowed Stan Lane to enter the ring and whack Koloff on the head with a racquet shot. Before Eaton could give Koloff the Alabama Jam legdrop off the top rope, Dusty Rhodes came out and threw Eaton off the top turnbuckle. Rhodes then put Eaton out with a sleeperhold, as Koloff snatched the racquet and stopped Lane or Cornette from making the save. After Rhodes released the hold, a bunch of jobbers came out and carried the unconscious Eaton to the back, as Lane and Cornette showed concern.
3) The Steiner Brothers defeated the Amazing French Canadians (w/Colonel Rob Parker in their corner). This match aired on the May 24th, 1997 edition of 'WCW Saturday Night', taped in Salisbury, Maryland on May 13th, 1997. Announcers for this match were Tony Schiavone & Dusty Rhodes. The Amazing French Canadians were the former 'Quebecers' of WWF fame, Jacques Rougeau and Carl Pierre Oulette. Colonel Rob Parker was dressed as a member of the French Foreign Legion army here, as the French Canadians' manager, which was amusing to see. Scott squared off with Pierre, hiptossing him and giving him an overhead belly-to-belly suplex to begin. Rick squared off with Jacques, which was basically a lot of stalling on Jacques' part and a lot of goofiness on Rick's part. Rick was chewing the bottom rope and barking at one point. Both Jacques and Pierre briefly double-teamed Rick, but Rick managed to double clothesline both, and both Steiners cleaned house on them. After a commercial break, Jacques and Pierre dropped Rick throat first across the top rope. This was followed by Jacques slamming his partner Pierre on to the prone body of Rick on the mat. The heels continued to double team Rick, until Pierre accidently clotheslined Jacques. Scott tagged in and cleaned house. He attempted a top rope move, only for Parker to nail him with the French Canadian flagpole. Jacques & Pierre then attempted their finisher on Rick, with Jacques slamming Pierre off the top and on to Rick. However Rick managed to get up in time, mid-move, and was able to turn Pierre falling back-first into a powerbomb. Scott then pinned Pierre for the win.
4) Dustin Rhodes & Barry Windham & Michael Hayes defeated Stunning Steve Austin & Arn Anderson & Larry Zbyszko (w/Lady Blossom in their corner). This match aired on the November 2nd, 1991 edition of 'World Championship Wrestling', taped at the Center Stage Theater in Atlanta, Georgia on October 21st, 1991. Sole announcer for this match was Jim Ross. Dustin Rhodes' grandmother was shown in the crowd, watching this match. This match was interesting, as it was taped before the Halloween Havoc ppv event (that took place on October 27th), at which in a backstage angle, Arn Anderson & Larry Zbyszko 'broke the hand' of Barry Windham, by slamming his hand in a car door. Subsequently, Windham would tape his fist and wear a light cast for a good six months afterwards, selling his injury. However, in this match, Windham's first appearance since the ppv angle, he was perfectly fine, not selling his injuries at all.
Rhodes started the match against Anderson, catching with elbow smashes to the head. Anderson stalled a little, then slapped Windham across the face in the corner and motioned that he wanted him in the ring. Rhodes tagged him in, and the former Horsemen squared off - something Ross even brought up on commentary, using the Horsemen name. The two brawled, whilst Zbyszko was the recipient of loud 'Larry Sux' chants on the ring apron. Rhodes faced the 'Living Legend' and side-suplexed him in the ring.
Michael Hayes then enter the fray, facing Stunning Steve. Hayes, with considerably more hair on the top of his head here than he had on this past weeks' edition of WWE Superstars as Tyson Kidd's new manager, nailed Austin with a big right hand and strutted to the corner, popping the crowd. After a commercial break, Rhodes was battling Austin. Rhodes clotheslined Austin over the top rope to ringside, but wasn't disqualified. Given that Ron Simmons had been DQ'd for doing the same thing to Lex Luger in the WCW ppv main event just six days earlier, this led to Ross on commentary struggling to explain why. Something about referee's making judgement calls. Back in the ring, Rhodes gave Anderson an atomic drop, but the two clashed heads. Hayes entered the ring and began throwing left hands at any heel that moved. Hayes gave Austin a DDT and had him pinned, but the referee was distracted by Anderson and Zbyszko. Lady Blossom handed Austin brass knux, who then used them to knock out Hayes and tossed them back to Blossom. Jimmy Garvin came out and snatched the knux off Blossom, throwing them to Rhodes. Dustin then knocked out Austin with the knux, and placed Hayes on top, with the Freebird scoring the winning pin. The finish was chaotic, but entertaining. This was another good match.
Closing thoughts: A very good show this week, with both Jericho vs Finlay and the six-man main event being good matches. Koloff vs Eaton and Steiners vs French Canadians were also decent matches too. The sound edits to the original WTBS studio matches remains the only negative when it comes to this show.
Quick plug: If you enjoy my weekly 'WWE Vintage Collection' tv columns such as this, then you may like to check out the latest May 2011 issue of 'Fighting Spirit Magazine' (Issue 66), with Triple H on the cover, featuring my 'Wrestling Round Up' TV Lounge column, recapping this past months' WWE & TNA tv shows, plus a TNA ppv review, and much more. Available this week, in all good newsagents in the U.K. & Ireland, and for fans worldwide, subscriptions are available here at: http://www.fightingspiritmagazine.co.uk/subscribe.asp !
1) WCW TV Champion, Chris Jericho wrestled to a time limit draw with Fit Finlay ('WCW Saturday Night': Gainesville, Georgia - taped on 06/10/98, aired on 17/10/98).
2) NWA World Tag Team Champion, Bobby Eaton (w/Jim Cornette in his corner) defeated NWA U.S. Champion, Nikita Koloff via D.Q. ('NWA World Championship Wrestling': WTBS Studios, Atlanta, Georgia - taped on 02/09/87, aired on 12/09/87).
3) The Steiner Brothers defeated the Amazing French Canadians (w/Colonel Rob Parker in their corner) ('WCW Saturday Night': Salisbury, Maryland - taped on 13/05/97, aired on 24/05/97).
4) Dustin Rhodes & Barry Windham & Michael Hayes defeated Stunning Steve Austin & Arn Anderson & Larry Zbyszko (w/Lady Blossom in their corner) ('World Championship Wrestling': Center Stage Theater, Atlanta, Georgia - taped on 21/10/91, aired on 02/11/91).
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.