WCW celebrates twenty years on TBS. Who will make special appearances? Can Steamboat defeat Austin for the TV title? What happens with Brian Pillman? Included is a special BONUS match. What is it? Let's find out!
The show begins with a vintage promo featuring Gordon Solie with Andre the Giant. In addition to being the twentieth edition of COTC, this show celebrates the twenty years of wrestling on TBS. We then head down memory lane with clips of matches featuring "Cowboy" Bill Watts, the "American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, King Kong Bundy, the Spoiler, and "Nature Boy" Ric Flair.
Outside Center Stage Theater, Tony Schiavone, Missy Hyatt, Gordon Solie, and Andre the Giant welcome us to this extravaganza. Coming down the red carpet, WCW World champion Ron Simmons and his wife share some words with Schiavone. Next, Executive Vice-President of wrestling operations "Cowboy" Bill Watts and his wife emerge from a limousine.
Following that, Atlanta Braves executive and Hall of Fame slugger Hank Aaron exchanges pleasantries with Schiavone. The President of WCW Bill Shaw and his wife then exit a limousine. Immediately following, WCW senior consultant Jim Barnett, Executive Vice-President of WCW Bob Dhue, and Bruno Sammartino. Not to be outdone, Sting arrives on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
From the VIP room, Teddy Long stands alongside Watts, Dusty, and Atlanta city councilman Robb Pitts. As PItts shakes Watts' hand, he commemorates September 2, 1992 as World Championship Wrestling Day in Atlanta. Watts accepts the plaque, and Dusty is in fine form. Standing behind Watts are "Thunderbolt" Patterson, Magnum T.A., and Jody "The Assassin" Hamilton.
Megan Sheehan of Tulsa, OK sang the national anthem. Let's hope Bret doesn't sneak attack her. Johnny B. Badd escorted her to the ring.
Match 1 for the WCW World TV title (no-DQ): “Stunning” Steve Austin (champion w/ Uncle Paul) versus Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
In addition to the no-DQ stipulation, Uncle Paul was suspended above the ring in a cage.
Due to the injury sustained at Great American Bash '92, Steamboat had his ribs taped.
Call the WCW Hotline at 1-900-909-9900 to vote on the removal of the top-rope DQ rule.
While the Atlanta faithful chanted "Steam-boat," Ventura mocked Sammartino's age.
Upon giving Steamboat a hip toss, Austin delivered an elbow drop.
With Steamboat on the second turnbuckle, Austin joined and launched him down to the mat.
Austin then removed the protective tape and hit a pair of backbreakers for 2.
As Steamboat attempted a slam, his ribs prevented him from doing so.
Austin then gave Steamboat a clothesline and hooked an abdominal stretch.
When Steamboat escaped with a hip toss, Austin reversed a cross corner whip.
Steamboat then leaped to the second turnbuckle and hit a cross body block.
Instantly, Austin used momentum to land on top for 2.
After Austin missed a dropkick, Steamboat catapulted him face-first into the top turnbuckle for 2.
Austin then attempted to pin Steamboat with his feet in the ropes but only got 2.
As Steamboat tried a tombstone, Austin reversed it.
Steamboat then reversed it again and PLANTED Austin for 2.
While Austin hooked the tights during a roll-up, he got 2.
He then placed Steamboat atop the top turnbuckle, joined, and attempted a superplex.
However, Steamboat blocked and delivered a front suplex down to the mat.
From the second turnbuckle, Steamboat leaped but ate a shot to the midsection.
Austin then attempted a slam, but Steamboat countered with an inside cradle for 2.
When Steamboat hit a flying shoulder block, he got another 2.
Austin then tossed him over the top rope, but Steamboat skinned the cat back in.
Not to be shown up, Austin gave him a back elbow sending Steamboat over the top rope to the concrete floor.
Steamboat then crawled under the ring, emerged from the other side, mounted the top turnbuckle, and hit a cross body block.
WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!
Summary: Good opener with a title change enabling Austin to get to the next level. Austin did a good job with ring psychology by working on Steamboat's injured ribs.
Prior to the commercial break, we see a snippet of Mr. Wrestling II's knee lift enabling him to gain victory.
Afterward, we get an overview of tag team wrestling. First, we see the Assassins versus Dusty and Ole Anderson in a steel cage. As you might expect, Anderson double-crossed Dusty. Second, we see Jack and Gerry Brisco win in a squash. Third, the Freebirds destroy some jobbers in a six-man tag. Fourth, the Road Warriors, as heels, toss around a jobber. Fifth, the Rock'n'Roll Express double-dropkick Lee Peak on their way to victory.
Promo airs for Halloween Havoc '92 LIVE on PPV on 10/25. Are you ready to spin the wheel and make the deal? ORDER NOW!
Ventura then interviews Arn and Eaton with Hayes. To add to the nostalgia, Hayes name-drops the Midnight Express, Four Horsemen, and Freebirds.
Match 2: The “Enforcer” Arn Anderson & “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton (w/ Michael Hayes) versus “Dirty” Dick Slater & Greg “The Hammer” Valentine (w/ Larry Zbyszko)
Zbyszko had his left arm in a cast. How did that happen, you ask? Arn and Eaton broke his arm back on 8/8 (taped 7/27). Nefarious!
When Eaton and Anderson double-teamed Valentine, Slater joined the fray and gave Eaton an elbow smash.
Valentine and Eaton then gave Arn the same treatment so Eaton joined the fray to even the odds.
As tags were exchanged on both sides, Eaton reversed a cross corner whip but ate another elbow smash.
Slater then gave Eaton a swinging neckbreaker followed by a side Russian leg sweep.
Upon trying to pin Eaton with his feet on the ropes, Slater only got 2.
Tags were exchanged on both sides again while Valentine delivered a vertical suplex to Arn for 2.
Shortly after, Slater rammed Arn's leg on the apron. OUCH!
When Slater tried a second time, Eaton nailed him.
Valentine then hooked the figure-four leg lock on Arn, but Eaton elbow-dropped him to break the hold.
As Arn reversed an Irish whip, he gave Valentine a SPINEBUSTER for 2.
All four wrestlers were in the ring, and Valentine held Arn from behind.
While Arn escaped, Zbyszko inadvertently CREAMED Valentine with his cast.
Eaton then mounted the second turnbuckle and hit the Alabama Jam.
Arn and Eaton won.
Summary: Decent match between two heel tag teams. Unfortunately for Zbyszko, he couldn't exact revenge against his former Dangerous Alliance teammates.
Prior to the commercial break, we get an interview clip of Jim Cornette.
Afterward, Ross interviews Sammartino who thanks WCW and refers to the WWF as "that other league." He then calls them an "embarrassment." Ross then mentions that Sammartino will be involved at Halloween Havoc '92.
From the VIP room, Long stands alongside Andre and Solie. He then interviews "Bullet" Bob Armstrong who mentions the Armstrong legacy in WCW. Long then interviews Patterson who appreciates the invitation. Via satellite, Mr. Wrestling II congratulates Ted Turner and promotes WCW as "the best."
Speaking of Ted Turner, he offers appreciation to WCW for twenty years of wrestling on TBS.
Prior to the commercial break, we get a plug by the Road Warriors for TBS.
Schiavone then interviews Watts who mentions Brad Armstrong's knee ligament injury during a match against the Great Muta in Sapporo, Japan. He then strips Armstrong of the title and promises an upcoming tournament. None would be forthcoming.
Ventura then interviews Armstrong who is despondent about being unable to defend the title tonight. Suddenly, Brian Pillman interrupts with his disappointment by stating his fans wanted to see him regain the title. He then calls Armstrong a "gutless coward" and slaps him. WE HAVE A HEEL TURN!
Prior to the commercial break, we see a confrontation between "Wildfire" Tommy Rich and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.
We then get a retrospective containing Dusty, Stan "The Lariat" Hansen, Ron Garvin, Tony Atlas, Magnum T.A., "Mad Dog" Buzz Sawyer, Mr. Wrestling II, Great Kabuki, Ted DiBiase, Watts, "Chief" Wahoo McDaniel, the Masked Superstar, the "Boogie Woogie Man" Jimmy Valiant, King Kong Bundy, the Spoiler, the Iron Sheik, Tully Blanchard, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, Terry Funk, Rich, and Piper.
Promo #2 airs for Halloween Havoc '92 LIVE on PPV on 10/25.
Next, a video featuring Simmons airs.
Prior to a commercial break, we get a confrontation between Flair and former heavyweight boxer Earnie Shavers.
Match 3 for the WCW World title: Ron Simmons (champion) versus Cactus Jack
Wait a minute! Simmons won the World title? Yes, he defeated Vader in Baltimore (aired 8/16, taped 8/2).
Ole Anderson was the special referee for this match.
As Cactus delivered a flying head butt, he tossed Simmons down to the concrete floor.
Since Simmons landed on his feet, he denied Cactus the Cactus elbow.
After Simmons sandwiched Cactus in the corner, he ate boot on his follow-through.
Cactus then delivered a Cactus clothesline followed by a swinging neckbreaker on the concrete floor.
While the Atlanta faithful chanted "go, Ron, go," their hero blocked a double-arm DDT.
Cactus then gave Simmons a discus clothesline and a pair of standard clotheslines for 2.
When Simmons mounted the second turnbuckle, he face-planted Cactus for 2.
He then hit a pair of three-point stance forearms for another 2.
Upon giving Cactus a modified back drop, Simmons clotheslined him.
Cactus then tossed and slammed him on the concrete floor.
From the apron, Cactus hit the Cactus elbow.
Simmons then reversed an Irish whip and delivered a spinebuster.
Next, he powerslammed Cactus.
Summary: Definitely not a World title-caliber style of match where Cactus barely stood a chance to win. On the other hand, he performed well enough to make Simmons look good. Hopefully things improve for the World champion.
Prior to a commercial break, we see Eaton delivering a flying knee drop with Cornette on commentary.
We then see highlights and the post-match celebration of the NWA World title tournament final. More on this later. Following that, Rude cut a pre-recorded promo on Chono.
Promo #3 for Halloween Havoc '92 airs.
Cactus Jack with Barbarian cuts a promo on Simmons and introduces Reed.
Match 4: Barry Windham & the “Natural” Dustin Rhodes versus “Hacksaw” Butch Reed & the Barbarian
Cactus joined the broadcast table for this match.
As Windham tagged in, Dustin hooked a sunset flip so that Windham could deliver a lariat.
Reed came in, but Windham and Dustin double-dropkicked him.
After they double-dropkicked Barbarian, Windham rolled him up for 2.
Tags were exchanged on both sides, and Reed gave Dustin a cross corner whip.
When he charged, Reed ate boot.
Dustin then gave Reed a cross corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through. In fact, he fell to the concrete floor.
While Windham distracted referee Randy Anderson, the heels double-clotheslined Dustin.
Barbarian tagged in and delivered a backbreaker to Dustin.
As Reed tagged in, he gave Dustin a swinging neckbreaker for 2.
He then clotheslined Dustin and tagged in Barbarian.
Upon sandwiching him in the corner, Barbarian slammed Dustin. Make mine tuna, please.
Nonetheless, Barbarian hit an elbow drop for 2.
After Reed tagged in, he mounted the second turnbuckle and lowered the boom on Dustin.
He then attempted a piledriver but received a back drop instead.
Next, a double clothesline put both wrestlers down on the mat.
Hot tag Windham.
When he backdropped Barbarian, Windham followed with a dropkick.
He then delivered a lariat to Barbarian and placed him atop the top turnbuckle.
Upon hitting a superplex, Windham caught Reed atop the adjacent top turnbuckle.
He then slammed Reed down to the mat while all four wrestlers were in the ring.
As Windham and Dustin double-dropkicked Reed, Barbarian hit a Mafia kick.
Barbarian and Reed won.
Summary: Mild upset as Dustin and Windham have been gelling recently while Reed and Barbarian may have never teamed before this event.
Ross then interviews Cactus Jack, Reed, and Barbarian who have set their sights on Simmons. Unfortunately, Reed would be fired thirteen days later for no-showing Macon, GA. Perhaps Reed was makin' bacon elsewhere.
Prior to the commercial break, an interview of Dusty with Willie Nelson is shown.
Video featuring all eight wrestlers in the main event airs. Included were Vader's World title victory at Great American Bash '92, Roberts' WCW debut as he delivered the DDT to Sting on a chair (aired 8/9, taped 8/2), Sting's rebuttal, Koloff's attack of Rude in the locker room (aired 7/25, taped 7/16), and a Steiners double-DDT off the top rope in Japan.
Prior to the commercial break, a clip of a showcase match from Sting's early days airs.
Match 5 (elimination): Sting, The Steiners, & Nikita Koloff versus “Ravishing” Rick Rude, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Big Van Vader, & Super Invader (w/ Madusa & Harley Race)
Rick gave Vader a cross corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
As Vader delivered a short-arm clothesline, he gave Rick a cross corner whip followed by an avalanche.
Vader then clotheslined him, but Rick came back with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex.
While tags were exchanged on both sides, Koloff hit a cross body block for 2.
Tags were exchanged again as Scott delivered a double underhook powerbomb to Super Invader.
When he gave Super invader an overhead belly-to-belly suplex, Scott missed a Frankensteiner because Rude tagged in.
Rude then delivered a swinging neckbreaker, followed with a forearm smash, and got 2.
After Vader tagged in, he gave Scott a running body block. In the process, he knocked Roberts off the apron.
Rude tagged in, swiveled, but received a tilt-a-whirl slam from Scott.
As tags were exchanged on both sides again, Koloff gave Roberts a pair of cross corner whips followed by a back elbow.
He then slammed Roberts and delivered a flying shoulder block.
While Rude caught Koloff with a knee in the back, Roberts hooked a roll up.
Koloff was eliminated as the heels led 4-3.
When Sting came in, he backdropped, slammed, and elbow-dropped Super Invader.
He then face-planted and pinned Super Invader.
The match was tied at 3.
After Vader came in, Sting hit a discus punch and tagged in Rick.
Speaking of Rick, he gave Vader a Steinerline and a release German suplex.
He then mounted the second turnbuckle, but Vader caught and powerslammed him.
Upon chokeslamming Rick, Vader mounted the second turnbuckle and delivered a splash for 2.
Rude tagged in, and Roberts distracted referee Nick Patrick.
Due to the false tag, Vader tagged in and slammed Rick.
He then mounted the second turnbuckle and leaped. Subsequently, Rick caught and powerslammed him for 2.
As the Steiners attempted the Doomsday Device, Rick couldn't lift Vader upon his shoulders.
Despite that, Scott mounted the top turnbuckle and clotheslined Vader.
Patrick then disqualified Scott giving the heels a 3-2 advantage. Call the hotline now to rescind the rule please!
After a clothesline from Rick to Vader sent both wrestlers over the top rope to the concrete floor, Vader tried to piledrive him but received a back drop instead.
Sting and Roberts continued to battle in the ring while Rude gave Rick a Rude Awakening on the concrete floor. How dastardly!
When Rick was eliminated via countout, the heels led 3-1.
Vader then reversed a cross corner whip, but Sting hooked a su/nset flip.
As Vader tried to SQUISH him, Sting evaded him.
Roberts tagged in, but Sting face-planted him.
Upon giving Roberts a cross corner whip, Sting hit the Stinger splash.
He then hooked the Scorpion death lock, but Rude clotheslined him to break the hold.
When Rude tagged in, Sting face-planted him for 2.
He then delivered an inverted atomic drop and followed with a slingshot suplex.
While Vader mounted the top turnbuckle, he splashed both Rude and Sting.
Patrick then disqualified Vader as the heels led 2-1.
After Patrick sent Vader to the showers, Roberts dragged Rude to the heel corner. SNEAKY!
Roberts tagged in and gave Sting the DDT.
The heels won 2-1.
Survivors: Roberts and Rude
Summary: Excellent preview of the PPV main event along with other upper card players showcasing themselves well.
Prior to a commercial break, a promo by the Four Horsemen airs.
According to Ross, 88% of the voters from the WCW hotline want the top rule rescinded. Woohoo!
Promo #4 for Halloween Havoc '92 airs. Have you contacted your cable company yet?
Conclusion: Feel the nostalgia as WCW celebrated twenty years of wrestling on TBS. For longtime NWA/WCW fans, I wholeheartedly endorse this show. With the main event, the World TV title match, and the Pillman heel turn, the live portion stood well on its own alongside the historical clips. . Finally, this show marks the final pro wrestling TV appearance in the U.S. prior to his death.
**BONUS MATCH** for the NWA World title: WCW US champion "Ravishing" Rick Rude (w/ Madusa) versus Masahiro Chono
This match took place in Tokyo, Japan on 8/12 and is the final match of the tournament.
Despite the language barrier, Rude still cut his pre-match promo.
As the match began, the Tokyo faithful LOUDLY chanted "Cho-no." Talk about a home-field advantage.
Chono backdropped Rude and followed with a series of clotheslines.
While Watts and Dusty were shown among the Tokyo faithful, Chono gave Rude a cross corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
He then applied a sleeper, but Rude immediately countered with a jawbreaker.
When Chono reapplied it, Rude attempted another jawbreaker but came up empty.
Again, Chono hooked the sleeper, but Rude used leverage to put Chono's shoulders down for 2.
Shortly after, Chono countered a side head lock with a knee crusher.
Upon giving Rude another knee crusher, Chono hooked the figure-four leg lock.
Rude then reversed it while the Tokyo faithful chanted "Cho-no" again.
Feeling the support, Chono reversed the hold to his advantage.
Rude then made the ropes and clotheslined Chono.
As Rude mounted the top turnbuckle, Chono caught and slammed him down to the mat.
He then hooked a Fujiwara arm bar, but Rude escaped.
When Rude hit a piledriver, he got 2.
Chono then sought refuge outside the ring, but Rude followed and rammed him back-first into the steel railing.
Upon re-entering the ring, Rude mounted the top turnbuckle and hit an axe handle.
He then clotheslined Chono and swiveled to a chorus of jeers.
As the "Cho-no" chant grew louder, their hero countered a rear chin lock with an electric chair.
He then dropkicked Rude, mounted the top turnbuckle, leaped, but came up empty.
When Rude mounted the top turnbuckle, he delivered a missile dropkick for 2. Wow!
He then gave Chono the DDT for another 2.
Upon hitting a swinging neckbreaker, Rude couldn't get 3.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle again, but Chono joined and gave him a superplex for 2. In fact, the Tokyo faithful believed that to be the finish.
Nevertheless, Chono mounted the top turnbuckle, but Rude joined and delivered his own superplex for only 2. I'd never seen two superplexes in the same match prior to this one.
With the Tokyo faithful breathing a sigh of relief, Rude attempted a tombstone, but Chono reversed it.
Do we have a new champion?
While the Tokyo faithful chanted "S-T-F," Rude reversed an Irish whip and hooked a sleeper.
Chono then climbed and pushed off the ropes similar to Bret at WrestleMania VIII and got 2.
Upon hitting a Yakuza kick, Chono backdropped Rude.
He then secured the STF, but Rude made the ropes.
As Rude hit a second piledriver, he mounted the top turnbuckle and gave Chono a flying knee drop.
Can Rude win the title?
Due to Madusa's distraction of referee Tiger Hattori, he only earned a 1-count.
Chono came back with another back drop and reapplied the STF.
Again, Rude made the ropes and sought refuge outside the ring.
Chono then tossed him back in and delivered an enziguri for 2.
Upon hooking an abdominal stretch cradle, Chono got another 2.
Rude then used momentum to toss Chono to the floor.
Rapidly, Chono climbed to the top turnbuckle and hit a flying shoulder block.
WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!
Summary: Absolutely incredible match and probably Rude's best match. Chono's seemingly endless pursuit of the title coupled with Rude's reprehensible comebacks completely engrossed the Tokyo faithful to the point of ERUPTION at the finish. Let's hope their rematch is somewhere near the greatness of this match.
Afterward, the NWA World title belt is fastened around Chono's waist as he also receives an enormous check and the G1 Climax tournament trophy.