Can Chono/Rude II live up to the hype? How will Simmons fare against Barbarian? What will be the result of "Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal" and will Sting give Roberts his comeuppance? Let's find out!
Tony Schiavone and Bruno Sammartino welcome us to the show. While they describe the "Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal" match, a list of potential matches is shown. They then discuss the WCW World title match as Cactus Jack provides a training session for the Barbarian.
We then revisit WCW Saturday Night when Rhodes and Windham argued and slapped one another (aired 10/10, taped 10/5). Following that, we revisit the 10/17 episode when WCW Executive Vice-President Bill Watts threatened to pull Rude out of the NWA World title match if he didn't defend the US title against Nikita Koloff on this show.
Match 1 (six-man): The “Enforcer” Arn Anderson, “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton, & Michael “P.S.” Hayes versus Z-Man, Shane Douglas, & Johnny Gunn
For those unaware, Johnny Gunn was portrayed by Tom Brandi.
Arn gave Gunn a cross corner whip, but Gunn floated over and dropkicked him.
As Arn mounted the top turnbuckle, Z-Man dropkicked him all the way down to the concrete floor.
Tags were exchanged on both sides while Eaton nailed Z-Man much to the delight of the Philly faithful.
After a leap frog, Z-Man backdropped and dropkicked Eaton.
Tags were exchanged on both sides again as Douglas mounted the second turnbuckle and lowered the boom on Hayes.
When Eaton tagged in, Douglas reversed a cross corner whip and backdropped him.
He then gave Eaton a flying headscissors followed by a dragon screw leg whip.
As Z-Man tagged in, he and Douglas broke the wishbone on Eaton. OUCH!
Arn tagged in, but Z-Man hooked a sleeper.
After Arn countered with a belly-to-back suplex, he tagged in Hayes.
Speaking of Hayes, he gave Z-Man a swinging neckbreaker for 2.
Eaton tagged in but received an atomic drop from Arn.
When Eaton reversed a cross corner whip, Arn leveled Z-Man for another 2.
Hayes tagged in and attempted a vertical suplex; however, Z-Man blocked it and delivered one of his own.
Ice cold tag Douglas.
While Hayes distracted referee Mike Adkins, Eaton chop-blocked Douglas who was tied up with Arn. How dastardly!
Eaton tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, and hit a knee drop to Douglas' knee with Arn's assistance.
As Eaton hooked a Hayes-assisted figure-four leg lock, Z-Man distracted Adkins.
Douglas reversed the hold, but Arn tagged in.
After Douglas gave Arn an atomic drop, he and Arn's heads collided.
Tags were exchanged on both sides yet again while Gunn backdropped Hayes.
When Eaton came in, Gunn slammed him.
All six wrestlers were in the ring, and Z-Man backdropped Arn over the top rope to the concrete floor.
As Z-Man superkicked Hayes, Gunn hit a Thesz press.
Gunn, Z-Man, and Douglas won while the Philly faithful booed them out of the building.
Summary: Intriguing opener as the Philly faithful despised the babyfaces and rooted for the heels. For example, Arn played to them often and received a favorable response each time.
Hyatt remains outside Rude's locker room and asks Harley Race for access. To her dismay, he denies her request.
Schiavone and Sammartino claim shenanigans.
Match 2: Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat versus “Flyin’” Brian Pillman
Wait a minute! Why doesn't Steamboat have the TV title? Oh, he lost it to Scott Steiner on WCW Worldwide (aired 10/17, taped 9/29).
By the way, where are the Steiners?
Pillman tossed him over the top rope, but Steamboat skinned the cat back into the ring.
When he rolled up Pillman, Steamboat got 2.
Pillman's kick-out sent Steamboat face-first into the top turnbuckle so Pillman slammed him.
As Steamboat blocked a hip toss, he delivered one of his own.
He then backdropped Pillman and followed with another slam.
While the Philly faithful chanted "Brian sucks," Steamboat leap-frogged and gave Pillman a standing choke.
The Philly faithful then chanted "Cincinnati sucks" as Pillman delivered a flying headscissors for 2.
Upon countering a hip toss with a backslide, Steamboat got 2.
Pillman then placed Steamboat atop the top turnbuckle and joined him.
When he attempted a superplex, Steamboat blocked it and gave Pillman a front suplex down to the mat.
He then leaped from the second turnbuckle but ate a dropkick from Pillman for 2. Neat visual!
As Steamboat saw him distracted by referee Randy Anderson, he gave Pillman a belly-to-back suplex.
Pillman then reversed an Irish whip and hooked a sleeper.
To counter, Steamboat sent Pillman face-first into opposite top turnbuckles.
Pillman then guillotined him with the top rope.
After PIllman mounted the top turnbuckle, Steamboat caught and slammed him down to the mat.
Pillman then sought refuge outside the ring, but Steamboat joined and chopped him.
Upon his return to the ring, Steamboat ate a knee lift.
When Pillman sought refuge outside the ring again, Steamboat followed and rammed him face-first into the apron.
He then gave Pillman a cross corner whip but ate knee on his follow-through.
As Pillman mounted the second turnbuckle, he hit a cross body block for 2.
Steamboat then rebounded with a backbreaker, mounted the top turnbuckle, and hooked a sunset flip for 2.
During a pinfall reversal, Steamboat pinned Pillman.
Summary: Pillman tried to outfox the fox which is never a good idea. Great match!
From the locker room, Long interviews Chono with Hiro Matsuda, Kensuke Sasaki, and NWA President Seiji Sakaguchi. Matsuda states that Sasaki will be one of two referees for the NWA World title match.
Schiavone then interviews Watts who mentions that Race will be the second referee in the NWA World title match. Watts then notes that Terry Gordy has been suspended indefinitely for breach of contract. What Watts failed to mention was that Gordy had ties to AJPW and wouldn't wrestle for NJPW despite the contract stipulation. Nonetheless, Steve Williams has chosen "Stunning" Steve Austin to replace him. Furthermore, Rude has designated Big Van Vader to substitute for him in the US title match. What? Italian Stallion wasn't available?
Match 3 for the WCW US title (no-DQ): Big Van Vader (champion w/ Harley Race & "Ravishing" Rick Rude) versus Nikita Koloff
In addition to the no-DQ stipulation, Madusa was barred from ringside.
Senior official Ole Anderson then barred both Rude and Race from ringside.
As Vader gave Koloff a cross corner whip, he followed with an avalanche.
He then clotheslined Koloff which resulted in a 360° sell. Woohoo!
After Vader tossed him outside the ring, Koloff returned and took him down for 2.
Vader then gave Koloff a cross corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
When Koloff rolled him up, he only received a 1-count.
He then hit a cross body block for 2.
As Vader sought refuge outside the ring, Koloff joined and rammed him face-first into the apron.
Vader then reversed an Irish whip sending Koloff back-first into the steel railing.
Upon guillotining Koloff with the steel railing, Vader HAMMERED him with a steel chair.
Koloff then re-entered the ring via sunset flip, but Vader SQUISHED him.
GET OUT THE SPATULA!
When Vader clotheslined him, he chokeslammed Koloff.
He then mounted the second turnbuckle and hit a splash for 2.
While a portion of the Philly faithful chanted "Ni-ki-ta," Vader blocked a belly-to-back suplex.
Koloff then blocked a vertical suplex and delivered one of his own.
As he gave Vader the ten-punch count-along, Koloff hit a flying shoulder block for 2.
He then slammed Vader for another 2.
Upon giving Vader an elbow drop, Koloff couldn't get 3.
He then clotheslined Vader over the top rope to the concrete floor. In the process, Vader tasted the steel railing. It must have tasted like the GBS at McNally's.
When Koloff joined and leaned Vader against the post, he inadvertently HIT THE POLE.
Back in the ring, Vader gave Koloff a running body block and an elbow drop.
He then powerbombed Koloff.
Summary: This match marks the final supershow appearance of the "Russian Nightmare." Either during this match or their series in the following weeks, Koloff suffered herniated disks in his neck which ultimately led to his retirement. His final TV appearance happened on WCW Worldwide when he lost to Vader during Ventura's Strongest Arm tournament.
Promo airs for Starrcade '92. It will be LIVE on PPV on 12/28. Order NOW!
Backstage, Long interviews Williams and Austin.
Elsewhere backstage, Hyatt interviews Windham and Rhodes.
Match 4 for the NWA/WCW World tag team titles: Barry Windham & the “Natural” Dustin Rhodes versus “Dr. Death” Steve Williams & “Stunning” Steve Austin
Wait a minute! The last time we saw Windham and Rhodes was when they lost to Reed and Barbarian at Clash XX. What happened (aired 10/3, taped 9/21)?
After a leap frog, Williams clotheslined Rhodes.
He then hit a pair of three-point stance tackles but ate a clothesline on a third attempt.
As Windham tagged in, he mounted the second turnbuckle and lowered the boom on Williams.
He then leap-frogged Williams and followed with a dropkick.
When Rhodes tagged in, the Philly faithful began a "We Want Flair" chant. Snarky!
Rhodes then dropkicked Williams, but Austin tagged in.
After Windham tagged in, Austin dropkicked him. Wow! I don't think I've ever seen Austin do that before.
Austin then reversed an Irish whip but ate a dropkick from Windham.
As Windham nailed him, Austin fell to the concrete floor.
Rhodes tagged in, but Austin gave him a cross corner whip.
Unfortunately for Austin, he ate a back elbow on his follow-through. Rhodes then got 2.
He then gave Austin a cross corner whip, but Austin forgot to raise his boot.
When they repeated the spot, Austin correctly followed the script.
Rhodes then blocked a monkey flip attempt and delivered a lariat to Austin for another 2.
After Windham tagged in, he turned Austin inside-out with his own lariat for 2.
He then suplexed Austin for another 2.
As Williams tagged in, Windham missed a second lariat and fell to the concrete floor.
Windham then tried to re-enter the ring, but Williams dropkicked him. This is one of the few times that I've seen each of the four wrestlers in a tag match deliver a dropkick.
When Windham escaped a suplex back into the ring, he struggled but eventually rolled up Williams for 2.
Austin tagged in, slammed Windham, mounted the second turnbuckle, and hit a forearm smash for 2.
After he delivered a vertical suplex, Austin got another 2.
Williams tagged in, but Windham reversed an Irish whip and hooked a sleeper.
To counter, Williams sent Windham face-first into the top turnbuckle.
He then hit a cross body block for 2.
As Austin tagged in, he gave Windham an Anderson slam.
Windham mistakenly tagged Williams, so Austin did him a favor.
When Williams guillotined Windham with the top rope, he powerslammed Windham for another 2.
Windham then countered a rear chin lock with a jawbreaker.
After Austin tagged in, he placed Windham atop the top turnbuckle and joined him.
To counter a superplex, Windham nailed Austin sending him down to the mat.
Windham then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a third lariat for 2.
As a mid-ring collision put both wrestlers down on the mat, Windham made the simmering tag.
Rhodes then delivered a series of bionic elbows to the challengers followed by a lariat to Austin.
When he gave Austin a cross corner whip, Rhodes hit a bulldog for 2.
All four wrestlers were in the ring while Rhodes leap-frogged Austin only to eat a clothesline from Williams for 2. SNEAKY!
After Williams tagged in, he gave Rhodes a cross corner whip followed by an avalanche.
He then hooked a Boston crab and tagged in Austin.
As Austin struggled to hook an over-the-shoulder backbreaker, Rhodes used the ropes for momentum to back drop him.
He then hooked a backslide for 2.
When Austin clotheslined him, he got 2.
Shortly after, Austin saw the Flip, Flop, and Fly coming and nailed Rhodes to the glee of the Philly faithful.
Williams tagged in, hit a snap suplex, and got another 2.
While Rhodes bled hardway above his left eye, Ventura mocked Ross for seeing a chiropractor for croquet-related injuries. HA!
Austin then reversed an Irish whip and powerslammed Rhodes.
After Austin missed an elbow drop, Rhodes hooked an inside cradle for 2.
Williams tagged in, delivered a belly-to-belly suplex, and got 2.
As he gave Rhodes a second belly-to-belly suplex, Williams got another 2.
Five minutes remained in the match while Williams hooked a sleeper.
When Austin tagged in, he mounted the top turnbuckle and lowered the boom on Rhodes.
He then hooked a single-leg crab, but Rhodes escaped.
Next, a false tag occurred as Williams distracted referee Randy Anderson.
The heels then tossed Rhodes over the top rope to the concrete floor while Windham distracted Anderson. Nefarious!
During a slam attempt by Windham, Austin's legs knocked Anderson out of the ring.
Windham then hooked another roll-up on Austin for a false pin.
While referee Nick Patrick checked on Anderson, Williams clotheslined Windham.
Austin then covered Windham, and Patrick counted the pin.
WE HAVE NEW CHAMPIONS!
Hold on a second! Anderson returned to the ring and waived off the pinfall. After all, Windham wasn't legally tagged in.
As the house lights illuminated, Rhodes rolled up Austin but only got 2. In the meantime, the timekeeper got confused and rang the bell again.
With all four wrestlers in the ring, Rhodes delivered a bionic elbow to Austin for 2.
He then hit a second lariat to Austin for another 2.
After Rhodes gave Austin an elbow drop, he couldn't get 3.
Less than a minute remained while Austin attempted a tombstone.
As Rhodes reversed it, he hit his own tombstone for 2. Backstage, Chono allegedly was biting his lip.
The bell rang for a third time, and Anderson ruled the bout a draw.
Rhodes and Windham retained.
Summary: What a convoluted finish to an otherwise entertaining tag match. Seriously, I don't get why neither team played to the Philly faithful. The only time the crowd reacted was Austin's brief celebration. The lack of crowd support along with the aborted Dusty finish hurt the match while the workrate helped the match tremendously.
On the podium, Schiavone interviews Vader, Race, and Uncle Paul. Speaking of Uncle Paul, he mentions that he gave Vader and Race "half of the winner's purse." While he flaunts his ego, Madusa interrupts much to Uncle Paul's chagrin. He then berates Madusa in an extremely misogynistic way. To insult her further, he tells Madusa that "the other hooker had a previous obligation."
He then F-I-R-E-S Madusa diminishing her intelligence in the process. When Uncle Paul strikes her, Madusa delivers a standing side kick knocking him down. She then pummels Uncle Paul until officials separate them. As he grabs the microphone, Uncle Paul calls her a "bitch" and wants to beat her "with one hand tied behind (his) back." She then chases him off the stage calling him a "bastard." Nuclear segment!
HOT TAKE: First, this awakened the Philly faithful from a deep slumber and was the most entertaining part of the show thus far. Second, is it me or does Uncle Paul shine in Philadelphia? Hmmm...it's like he belongs there for some reason.
As the wheel rises to the podium, Sting spins it, and "Coal Miner's Glove" represents the stipulation for the unsanctioned main event. Let that simmer for a moment...
This was the rematch between the NWA World title tournament final combatants. Unfortunately, since that match, Chono suffered a serious neck injury upon receiving a tombstone piledriver from Austin (taped 9/23). I wonder if that'll affect Chono.
After the special referees received their introductions, Madusa accompanied Rude to the ring. From a storyline perspective, this made no sense, but perhaps her presence will affect the match.
Sans-mustache, Rude performed his customary pre-match routine on the microphone.
Ole Anderson then tossed a coin, and Race won becoming the interior official. Sasaki became the exterior official and stood in a neutral corner.
As the match began, a LOUD "We Want Flair" chant erupted among the Philly faithful. I realize that Ric Flair was synonymous with the NWA World title, but he was under contract to the WWF at this point. The smarks knew it yet chanted regardless of the fact.
Chono reversed an Irish whip and hip-tossed Rude.
When Chono countered a side head lock with a belly-to-back suplex, Rude slammed him.
He then delivered a forearm smash for 2.
After Chono gave him a series of kicks to the back, Rude sought refuge outside the ring.
Madusa then massaged Rude's kidneys, but Sasaki took exception.
With Rude on the apron, Chono suplexed him back in.
He then gave Rude a pair of HARD cross corner whips while continuing to work the back.
As Chono hooked a Boston crab, Rude made the ropes.
Rude then delivered a jawbreaker as the Philly faithful grew tiresome.
When Chono attempted a sunset flip, Rude made him eat a knuckle sandwich.
He then gave Chono a swinging neckbreaker for 2.
Upon applying an extremely elongated head lock, Rude blocked an STF attempt.
He then hit a piledriver but only got 2.
As he mounted the top turnbuckle, Rude leaped, but Chono evaded him.
Rude then hooked a sleeper, and a fight broke out in the Civic Center.
Not like THAT although it would be more entertaining than this match.
To say the fight got more of a positive reaction than this match would be a gross understatement.
Nevertheless, Rude mounted the top turnbuckle and grazed Chono with a missile dropkick.
When Rude ducked, Chono inadvertently DEMOLISHED Race with a Yakuza kick.
Sasaki then checked on Race, and Chono tossed Rude over the top rope to the concrete floor. In the process, Rude bowled over both Sasaki and Race.
After Rude escaped a suplex from the apron, he hit the Rude Awakening.
Do we have a new champion?
No, both officials were still HURTIN' FOR CERTAIN on the concrete floor.
Rude then mounted the top turnbuckle but missed a knee drop.
As Chono applied the STF, Sasaki re-entered the ring and called for the bell.
Did Rude submit?
Sasaki then raised Chono's arm in victory, but Race lowered it in favor of Rude.
When Cappetta announced the decision, Race declared that Rude won by DQ.
Summary: This is one of the worst World title matches in pro wrestling history. Unlike in Tokyo, Chono never leaves his feet except for a sunset flip. Rude then bores the Philly faithful to tears with rest holds. To make matters worse, the Dusty finish screws over not only the Philly fans but also the PPV customer. What's WCW thinking? Better options exist to protect Rude than this. Any points for psychology used by each wrestler (Chono-back/Rude-neck) get nullified by the god-awful finish.
After the match, Sasaki and Race shove one another until Sasaki slams Race. Meanwhile, the Philly faithful eats it up with a spoon. Sasaki then dropkicks Rude and clotheslines him over the top rope to the concrete floor. To completely overshadow both World title competitors, Sasaki clotheslines Race to a raucous ovation. Following a suplex, Race seeks refuge elsewhere. How pointless!
Promo #2 for Starrcade '92 airs.
We then see taped footage of Cactus Jack breaking cinder blocks over Barbarian's back.
Match 6 for the WCW World title: Ron Simmons (champion) versus the Barbarian (w/ Cactus Jack)
Teddy Long led an entourage to the ring alongside Simmons but didn't second him during the match. I'm surprised Lou Duva wasn't included.
After shoulder blocks and double clotheslines put neither man down on the mat, Simmons hit a flying shoulder block to take Barbarian off his feet.
He then delivered a dropkick and a flying forearm to Barbarian.
Shortly after, Barbarian guillotined Simmons with the top rope.
He then gave Simmons an elbow drop and tossed him outside the ring.
When Barbarian joined him, he made Simmons HIT THE POLE.
He then leaned Simmons against the ring post and clotheslined him. Hey! That move finally worked!
As Barbarian sent him back-first into the steel railing, Simmons came back with a sunset flip for 2.
Barbarian then hooked the shinninomaki just to piss off the Philly faithful.
Remember, folks, this match was for the WCW World title.
After Simmons escaped, Barbarian slammed him, mounted the top turnbuckle, but missed an elbow drop.
Barbarian then reversed an Irish whip but fell victim to a spinebuster for 2.
When he clotheslined Barbarian twice, Simmons slammed him.
He then hit a three-point stance shoulder block and nailed Cactus on the apron.
Seeing Simmons distracted, Barbarian hit a Mafia kick. That sent Simmons between the ropes to the concrete floor.
Upon Simmons' re-entry, Barbarian mounted the top turnbuckle and hit the diving head butt.
Do we have a new champion?
As Barbarian clotheslined Simmons, he got another 2.
Simmons then rebounded with a powerslam.
Summary: Definitely not as bad as the previous match but certainly not World title material. Methinks the Simmons as champion experiment has failed. GET THE TITLE OFF HIM STAT!
Schiavone and Sammartino interview Erik Watts. Simmons joins Watts, and they embrace. In his effort to elevate Simmons, Sammartino congratulates him on the victory. Putting it mildly, Philly does NOT like Erik Watts.
Match 7 (coal miner’s glove/unsanctioned): Sting versus Jake “The Snake” Roberts
At the onset, Roberts climbed the turnbuckles to get the glove.
Sting then slammed him twice and made his attempt at the glove.
When he leap-frogged Roberts, Sting missed a dropkick.
Roberts then tossed Sting over the top rope to the concrete floor and joined him.
Next, Sting made him HIT THE POLE thrice.
He then climbed the pole, but Roberts stopped him.
As he gave Sting a belly-to-back suplex, Roberts grimaced due to shoulder pain.
He then hip-tossed Sting over the top rope, but Sting landed on the apron.
After Roberts made another attempt at the glove, Sting crotched him on the top turnbuckle. OUCH!
Roberts then used momentum to send Sting outside the ring, joined, and WALLOPED him with a steel chair.
When he attempted a running knee lift, Sting evaded him sending both wrestlers down to the mat.
Sting then gave Roberts a cross corner whip but missed the Stinger splash.
As Roberts delivered a short-arm clothesline, he signaled for the DDT.
He then hit it to a raucous ovation, climbed the turnbuckles, but Sting stopped him.
After Sting swung around the pole, he gave Roberts a back elbow.
Cactus Jack then came to the ring and tossed Roberts the snake bag and glove.
In the meantime, Sting climbed the turnbuckles and pole to retrieve the coal miner's glove.
Sting then HAMMERED Roberts with the glove while the cobra bit Roberts' face. Ick!
Summary: Here are my two cents on the stipulations:
A coal miner's glove match was antiquated but unique in 1992. First blood and barbed wire matches were not going to happen because Sting had already bled at Great American Bash '92, and PPV companies wouldn't authorize a barbed wire match. Steel cage matches, although rare, wouldn't have drawn as well as expected.
Had the stipulation for the match been set before the PPV, the Philly faithful may not have chosen to attend the show. The mystery behind the stipulation translated to both the biggest paid crowd for a WCW show in '92 as well as a big buyrate.
As far as the match goes, Roberts had three moves—knee lift, short-arm clothesline, and DDT. Trying to sustain a main event match with those limitations caused the match to suffer. Since it was a grudge match, I didn't expect Sting to apply submission moves, but the wrestling in the match was merely confined to Sting's shoulder work. It took an actual snake bite to effect a pinfall. Ponder on that one.
After the match, Roberts has tremendous difficulty separating the snake from his face. Eventually, he removes the snake, and Cactus pulls him backstage for medical attention. This match marks Roberts' sole WCW supershow appearance because Roberts sought treatment at the Betty Ford Clinic on 11/10. Ultimately, that led to his release.
Conclusion: Where to start? First, three of the first four matches are worthwhile. If you absolutely need to see Koloff's last supershow match, add the fourth. However, secondly, and more importantly, the last three matches stunk on Melba toast because the NWA match was a chore to watch and an unmitigated disaster. Also, the WCW World title match was anything resembling one while the main event wasn't a thrilling gimmick match whatsoever. I can only hope that Clash XXIL and Starrcade '92 make me forget this dreck.
Stay tuned for WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event XXXI!