Welcome to the first round of the NWA World tag team tournament. Who will advance to the quarterfinals? What else does "Cowboy" Bill Watts have in store? Let's find out!
Tony Schiavone, Magnum T.A. and Missy Hyatt welcome us to the show. According to Missy, New Japan Pro Wrestling has been awarded the tournament to crown a new NWA World heavyweight champion. Schiavone then interviews Executive Vice-President "Cowboy" Bill Watts who states that the tag team tournament is held under NWA rules rather than his "strict rules and regulations." Woohoo! Long live the top rope!
Match 1 for the NWA World tag team titles (first round): (#7) Dean & Joe Malenko (Hungary) versus (unseeded) Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat & Nikita Koloff (USA/Lithuania)
Dean tagged in, and the Malenko brothers double-leap-frogged Steamboat.
As Koloff tagged in, he gave Dean a cross corner whip followed by a bear hug.
He then placed Dean atop the top turnbuckle, but Dean flipped down to the mat.
When Dean received another cross corner whip, he floated to the apron causing Koloff to come up empty on his follow-through.
Dean then mounted the top turnbuckle and attempted a cross body block.
On the other hand, Koloff caught him.
On the flip side, Joe came in and dropkicked Dean atop Koloff for 2.
In fact, Koloff's kick-out sent Dean between the ropes to the concrete floor. Despite being under NWA rules, no mats were placed around the ring.
Upon Dean's return, he dropkicked Koloff and delivered a vertical suplex.
Much to Dean's dismay, Koloff no-sold it.
He then gave Dean a flapjack and tagged in Steamboat.
After Joe tagged in, Steamboat attempted a flying headscissors, but Joe countered with a guillotine on the top rope.
Dean tagged in, and the Malenkos hit a belly-to-back suplex/clothesline combo. Sweet!
Since Koloff distracted referee Mike Adkins, Dean only got 2.
Shortly after, Joe tagged in and clotheslined Steamboat for another 2.
Steamboat then face-planted Joe and tagged in Koloff.
As Koloff gave Dean a back elbow, he delivered a flying shoulder block.
Joe came in, but Koloff gave him an inverted atomic drop and a Russian sickle.
When Dean got to his feet, Koloff delivered another Russian sickle.
Koloff and Steamboat advanced.
Summary: Good opener where a young Dean Malenko paid his dues.
Match 2 for the NWA World tag team titles (first round): (#6) US champion “Ravishing” Rick Rude & World TV champion “Stunning” Steve Austin (w/ Madusa) (USA) versus (unseeded) Marcus Alexander Bagwell & Z-Man (USA)
Austin tagged in, but Bagwell mounted the second turnbuckle and hit a double axe handle.
As tags were exchanged on both sides, Rude dropkicked Z-Man and provided the Charleston faithful with a swivel.
Watch out, fellas. Annie's lookin' for some fresh meat.
Nevertheless, Rude suplexed Z-Man for 2.
When Austin tagged in, Z-Man hooked an inside cradle for 2.
Bagwell tagged in, gave Austin a cross corner whip, but ate boot on his follow-through.
After Rude tagged in, he delivered a belly-to-back suplex to Bagwell.
Z-Man tagged in, but Rude face-planted him.
As Rude piledrove Z-Man, he got 2.
Austin tagged in and guillotined Z-Man with the top rope for another 2.
While Bagwell distracted referee Randy Anderson, the Dangerous Alliance double-clotheslined Z-Man. SNEAKY!
Z-Man then grazed Austin with a superkick and tagged in Bagwell.
When he backdropped Austin, Bagwell hit a cross body block for 2.
Austin came back with a backbreaker for 2.
After Rude tagged in, Bagwell attempted a sunset flip while Madusa distracted Anderson.
Bagwell then dropkicked Rude but missed a second one.
Upon delivering the Rude Awakening, Rude pinned Bagwell.
Austin and Rude advanced.
Summary: Despite Z-Man and Bagwell being in line for a US tag title shot, they were overmatched by the singles champions.
After a commercial break, Eric Bischoff interviews Gordy and Williams. Immediately, Gordy discredits the O'Days and pushes the matchup between the Steiners and the MVC. Williams, meanwhile, is obsessed with the Steiners.
Match 3 for the NWA World tag team titles (first round): (unseeded) Larry & Jeff O’Day (Australia) versus (#4) the Miracle Violence Connection (Japan)
According to Meltzer, Larry O'Day was a member of the NWA Board of Directors while Jeff was his son.
Gordy hooked a single-leg crab on Larry and tagged in Williams.
As Williams gave Larry a cross corner whip, he came up empty on his follow-through.
Jeff tagged in but received a belly-to-back suplex from Williams.
When Gordy tagged in, he gave Jeff a cross corner whip followed by a corner clothesline.
Jeff then hooked a sunset flip and got 2 on Gordy.
After Larry tagged in, Gordy delivered a vicious belly-to-back suplex.
Williams tagged in, and the MVC hit a double three-point stance shoulder block on Larry.
As Williams rammed Larry into opposite turnbuckles, he hit the Oklahoma Stampede.
The MVC advanced.
Summary: Showcase match for the MVC.
In the ring, Ventura interviews WCW World champion Sting. As Sting makes his entrance wearing a tuxedo, footage from World Championship Wrestling airs showing Vader demolishing Sting (aired 3/28, taped 3/18). Sting then cuts a promo on Vader for their match at Great American Bash '92.
Match 4 for the NWA World tag team titles (first round): (#1) WCW World tag team champions the Steiners (USA) versus Miguel Perez, Jr. & Ricky Santana (Puerto Rico)
More on this later.
REAL Match 4 for the NWA World tag team titles (first round): (#3) The “Enforcer” Arn Anderson & “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton (w/ Uncle Paul) (USA) versus (unseeded) Barry Windham & the “Natural” Dustin Rhodes (USA)
While the Charleston faithful berated Uncle Paul, Windham nailed Arn sending him down to the mat in a heap.
He then gave Arn a cross corner whip but ate knee on his follow-through.
As Arn mounted the top turnbuckle, Windham dropkicked him all the way down to the concrete floor.
Tags were exchanged on both sides while Ventura ran down Rhodes' father.
When Rhodes attempted a leap frog, Eaton nailed him in the midsection.
Rhodes then delivered a series of bionic elbows and booted Eaton over the top rope to the concrete floor.
After Arn tagged in, Rhodes gave him an atomic drop, and Windham hammered him.
Windham tagged in, but Eaton caught him with a boot to the head from the apron.
As Eaton tagged in, he backdropped Windham for 2.
Rhodes then distracted referee Mike Adkins while Arn guillotined Windham with the top rope.
When tags were exchanged again, Rhodes delivered a lariat to Arn.
Uncle Paul then got up on the apron to distract Adkins so Arn attempted the DDT.
Unfortunately for Arn, Rhodes blocked it yet got nailed by Eaton.
After Eaton tagged in, Rhodes attempted a cross body block, but Eaton evaded him.
Rhodes then fell all the way down to the concrete floor where Uncle Paul WALLOPED him with the cell phone. How dastardly!
As Eaton mounted the top turnbuckle, he hit a flying knee drop for 2.
Arn tagged in, hooked a rear chin lock, but Rhodes countered with a jawbreaker.
When Eaton tagged in, he delivered a bulldog for another 2.
He then made a second attempt, but Rhodes shoved him off.
After a false tag, all four wrestlers were in the ring.
Arn then gave Rhodes a SPINEBUSTER, but Adkins was distracted by Windham and Eaton.
As Eaton re-entered the ring, he got 2.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle but missed the Alabama Jam.
When Rhodes hit the bulldog, he pinned Eaton.
Windham and Rhodes advanced.
Summary: Extremely hot tag match that grabbed and maintained the Charleston faithful's attention. Three of the four wrestlers showcased themselves well with the exception of Windham.
Promo for the WCW Magazine poster book airs.
After a commercial break, Missy details the upcoming NWA World title tournament commencing on 8/6 in Shizuoka. For those unaware, that is where Mount Fuji is located. The finals will be held at Sumo Hall in Tokyo on 8/10-12. Also, all four members of the Dangerous Alliance will be involved.
Next, the MVC interrupt, and Gordy describes "a bad wreck" and "a couple of Puerto Ricans." After Williams takes responsibility for it, Gordy points out that the Steiners earn a forfeit pitting them against the MVC in the quarterfinals.
Match 5 for the NWA World tag team titles (first round): UWA World tag team champions the Silver Kings (Mexico) versus (unseeded) WCW US tag team champions the Freebirds (USA)
After El Tejano tripped Garvin, Silver King dropkicked Hayes.
Hayes then reversed a cross corner whip sending Silver King into a missile dropkick by El Tejano.
As Hayes delivered an elbow drop, he got 2 on Silver King.
Tags were exchanged on both sides as Garvin reversed an Irish whip, leap-frogged El Tejano, and attempted a sunset flip.
Upon giving Garvin a knuckle sandwich, El Tejano slammed Garvin.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle but missed a senton splash.
When Garvin suplexed El Tejano, he got 2.
Tags were exchanged on both sides again while El Tejano gave Hayes a backbreaker.
Afterward, Silver King hit a springboard senton splash on Hayes.
El Tejano tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, and the Silver Kings delivered a suplex/elbow drop combo for 2. Nifty!
As Silver King tagged in, the Silver Kings gave Hayes simultaneous spinning heel kicks to each side of him.
Hayes came back with a back drop and tagged in Garvin.
When tags were exchanged on both sides yet again, El Tejano dropkicked Hayes.
Speaking of Hayes, he leap-frogged El Tejano who tagged in Silver King.
After Silver King mounted the top turnbuckle, he gave Hayes a missile dropkick for 2 with assistance from El Tejano.
While Garvin broke up the pin, Silver King hit another spinning heel kick sending Garvin down to the concrete floor.
Hayes then tripped Silver King and hit a stinging left.
With all four wrestlers in the ring, this match transformed into a train wreck.
Sorry, Lindsay, I meant something entirely different.
The Silver Kings then rammed the Freebirds into one another and dropkicked them out of the ring.
When they both faked out the Freebirds, El Tejano attempted a plancha, but Hayes caught him.
Hayes then tried another stinging left but nailed Garvin instead of El Tejano.
As Silver King mounted the top turnbuckle, he inadvertently hit El Tejano instead of Hayes.
Back in the ring, Hayes hooked an inside cradle on Silver King.
The Freebirds advanced.
Summary: As the match progressed, it became more and more of a styles clash.
Not THAT kind of styles clash!
Promo for WCW Magazine airs.
Schiavone and Magnum T.A. then discuss two upcoming quarterfinal matches:
Steiners versus MVC
Rude/Austin versus Windham/Rhodes
Meanwhile, Ole Anderson joins them and affirms that the Steiners have a bye to the quarterfinals.
Match 6 for the NWA World tag team titles (first round): (unseeded) Jushin “Thunder” Liger & “Flyin’”Brian Pillman (USA) versus (#8) Chris Benoit & Beef Wellington (Canada)
After Benoit and Liger achieved a stalemate, tags were exchanged on both sides.
Pillman then reversed an Irish whip, leap-frogged Wellington, and gave him a monkey flip.
Next, a dropkick sent Wellington down to the concrete floor.
With Wellington on the apron, Pillman dropkicked him back to the concrete floor.
To re-enter the ring, Wellington hit a springboard clothesline.
He then gave Pillman a snap suplex and tossed him down to the concrete floor.
Instead of Wellington suplexing Pillman back into the ring, Pillman suplexed Wellington to the concrete floor.
Tags were exchanged again as the Canadians broke the wishbone on Liger.
Upon giving Liger a vicious clothesline, Benoit delivered an enziguri.
While Wellington tagged in, Benoit distracted referee Bill Alfonso. That enabled Wellington to toss Liger over the top rope to the concrete floor. Nefarious!
He then attempted a plancha but Liger evaded him. As a result, Wellington hit the concrete floor HARD.
Back in the ring, Liger gave Wellington a cross corner whip followed by a monkey flip.
Again, tags were exchanged on both sides as Pillman used momentum to send Benoit through the ropes to the concrete floor.
Benoit then tried to re-enter the ring via the top rope, but Pillman caught him.
After Pillman joined him, he gave Benoit a belly-to-back superplex. Wow!
He then mounted the opposite top turnbuckle and hit a missile dropkick.
When Benoit sought refuge outside the ring, Pillman delivered a cross body block from the apron. Amazing!
Once again, tags were exchanged on both sides while Wellington gave Liger a cross corner whip. Upon charging Liger, Wellington came up empty and spilled over the top rope to the concrete floor.
Liger then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a tope to Wellington on the concrete floor. Fantastic!
As Wellington reversed an Irish whip, Liger hooked a crucifix.
Wellington then countered with a Samoan drop for 2.
After Benoit tagged in, he placed Liger atop the top turnbuckle, joined, and attempted a belly-to-back suplex from the top rope. In mid-air, Liger used momentum to land on top for 2.
He then gave Benoit a spinning heel kick, noticed Benoit on the concrete floor, and hit an Asai moonsault.
Afterward, Pillman tagged in but ate a kick from Wellington in the corner.
Wellington tagged in and slammed Pillman.
When he mounted the top turnbuckle, Wellington missed a missile dropkick.
Hot tag Liger.
As he gave Wellington a belly-to-back suplex, Liger couldn't receive a count thanks to a save by Benoit.
All four wrestlers were in the ring until Pillman followed Benoit to the concrete floor and rammed him face-first into the apron.
After Liger and Pillman rammed the Canadians together, Pillman dropkicked Benoit out of the ring.
Liger then slammed Wellington, mounted the top turnbuckle, and delivered a moonsault.
PIllman and Liger advanced.
Summary: incredible match where all four competitors showcased themselves extremely well. Great job, guys!
Match 7 for the NWA World tag team titles (first round): (unseeded) The Headhunters (Dominican Republic) versus (#2) Akira Nogami & Hiroshi Hase (Japan)
For those unaware, the Headhunters were portrayed by Bob Cook and Joe Cruz. The real Headhunters no-showed for political reasons. Or perhaps they were too busy marketing this:
#2 gave Nogami a cross corner whip and followed with a corner clothesline.
Immediately, #1 came in and followed suit.
After Nogami escaped a suplex attempt, he gave #2 an enziguri.
#1 tagged in, caught Nogami during a leap frog, and delivered a stungun.
As he gave Nogami a backbreaker, #1 got a 2-count.
Nogami came back with a spinning heel kick and tagged in Hase.
When Hase gave him a standing heel kick, he slammed #1. Following that, Nogami mounted the top turnbuckle and splashed #1.
Hase then mounted the adjacent top turnbuckle but missed a double knee drop.
After a clothesline, #1 delivered a sidewalk slam to Hase for 2.
#2 tagged in, and the Headhunters hit a double vertical suplex on Hase for another 2.
As #2 gave Hase an elbow drop, he couldn't get 3.
Hase came back with a superkick, and Nogami came in to deliver a dropkick.
They then double-clotheslined #2 as all four wrestlers were in the ring.
Simultaneously, Nogami gave #1 a German suplex while Hase delivered a Northern Lights suplex.
Nogami and Hase advanced.
Summary: Showcase match for Hase and Nogami. They will face the Freebirds in the quarterfinals.
After a commercial break, Ventura interviews Ron Simmons in the ring. Simmons promises to become the first African-American World champion in WCW history. Suddenly, Harley Race and Super Invader interrupt him. When Race calls him an "errand boy," Simmons tells him where to go and supplies directions.
Race then directly insults him, so Simmons attacks him. As Super Invader joins the fray, he and Race double-team Simmons until Simmons escapes. He then clotheslines Super Invader and tackles Race. Upon clotheslining both heels consecutively, Simmons clears the ring.
Schiavone then interviews Watts in the ring who mentions that the NWA President will "resign." Hmmm...the last NWA President was Jim Herd who left earlier in the year. Nonetheless, he infers that the MVC eliminated the Puerto Rican team so that they could face the Steiners. He then declares that the MVC and Steiners will face one another TONIGHT rather than at the PPV much to the delight of the Charleston faithful.
Match 8 for the NWA World tag team titles (quarterfinal): (#1) WCW World tag team champions the Steiners (USA) versus (#4) the Miracle Violence Connection (Japan)
Scott tagged in and gave Gordy a T-bone suplex.
Shortly after, Rick delivered an overhead belly-to-belly suplex to Williams.
Speaking of Wiliams, he slapped Rick who took him down for some ground'n'pound.
Williams then clotheslined Rick who provided a 360° sell. Woohoo!
As Gordy tagged in, he clotheslined Rick for 2.
He then gave Rick a cross corner whip followed by a corner clothesline.
When he gave Rick a second cross corner whip, he attempted a belly-to-belly suplex.
Conversely, Rick blocked it and delivered one of his own.
Scott tagged in and backdropped Gordy.
Upon giving Gordy a Steinerline, Scott delivered a double underhook powerbomb.
He then missed a dropkick so Gordy hooked a single-leg crab.
After Gordy tried to convert to a modified STF, Williams tagged in.
Williams then knelt on the mat, and Gordy tossed Scott into a gutbuster. OUCH!
Upon giving Scott a pair of backbreakers, Williams got 2.
Gordy tagged in and powerslammed Scott.
As Williams tagged in, the MVC delivered a double three-point stance shoulder block to Scott for another 2.
Hot tag Rick.
When Rick gave Williams a Steinerline over the top rope to the concrete floor, he and Gordy brawled like a pair of goons on Hockey Night in Canada.
Rick then powerslammed Williams, but referee Randy Anderson disallowed the pinfall attempt.
On the concrete floor, Williams took out Scott's knee.
Back in the ring, he military-pressed Scott into a powerslam.
Can the MVC advance to the semifinals?
While Scott attempted a belly-to-belly suplex on Williams, Gordy gave him a chop block.
The MVC advanced.
Summary: The match got hotter as it grew longer, but, even against the Steiners, the MVC didn't get the crowd to disfavor them. While there were a lot of amateur wrestling moves early in the match, Gordy and Williams dictated the pace basically neutering the Steiners. On another note, Scott sold the knee extremely well in an effort to provide some realism.
Conclusion: This was entirely a concept show that K. Allen Frey negotiated with the NWA prior to his departure. Since Watts felt the need to put his own stamp on it, he chose to put the Steiners-MVC quarterfinal as the main event rather than keep it on the PPV. With that being said, the remainder of the tournament will occur at the PPV along with the World title match.
As far as my opinion of the show goes, the Anderson/Eaton versus Windham/Rhodes match along with the Pillman/Liger versus Benoit/Wellington match are worth seeking out. Please avoid the Freebirds/Silver Kings match at all costs.