If you ever hear someone make fun of what a dunce Jim Herd is, this would be the PPV that demonstrates that truism.
July 14, 1991
Live from Baltimore, Md.
Your hosts are Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone (who has his hair lightened).
Skywalkers II Scaffold Match: PN News & Bobby Eaton vs. Steve Austin & Terrance Taylor (w/Lady Blossom).
Taylor bares a resemblance to Frankie Kazarian at this point. PN News is Paul Neu who was given the gimmick of a jolly rapper by Dusty Rhodes. Think Heavy D. Speaking of rappers from the era, anyone remember one-hit wonder Biscuit? IIRC, he was a bodyguard for New Kids on the Block. Nothing's happening in the match, by the way. No one can move because the scaffold is so narrow. Finally, Eaton grabs the heels' flag and takes it across for the win. No one in the crowd realizes it until Gary Michael Capetta announces it at 7:17. NARAL wouldn't even support this abortion. O
Eric Bischoff debuts as the ringside interview guy. He gets a word with Paul E. Dangerously and Arn Anderson. Arn looks REALLY pissed. He implies he's going to rape Missy Hyatt.
Tom Zenk vs. The Diamond Studd (w/Diamond Dallas Page).
The Diamond Studd is Scott Hall with a stupid Rick Rude-ish gimmick. Zenk hits a flying clothesline from the ramp, but Page yanks down the ropes, spilling him to the floor. Sluggery follows. Zenk comes back with a crossbody for one. Studd grabs a rope-assisted abdominal stretch. He gets caught, so he chokeslams Zenk. He poses while covering, though, and gets rolled up for two. Zenk comes back with a missile dropkick, but Page breaks up the pin. Zenk drags Page in, but Studd backdrop suplexes Zenk for the win at 6:57. Z-Man was game, but Hall really didn't have much of a coherent arsenal. *
Oz (w/The Great Wizard) vs. Ron Simmons.
And from one Outsider to another. Oz is Kevin Nash in a gimmick designed to promote Turner's purchase of The Wizard of Oz. The baseline to Oz's music sounds suspiciously like "Another One Bites the Dust." The Great Wizard is Kevin Sullivan in a stupid mask. Ross recounts Simmons' football career again. That story about Barry Switzer gameplanning for Simmons must be his favorite story ever. I wouldn't be surprised if he told it during a toast at his daughter's wedding. He also says both guys probably bench press in the 500-pound range. Well, Nash probably lets someone else do it for him. The crowd gets bored, so Simmons clotheslines Oz over the top to wake them up. Back in, Oz challenges Simmons to a test of strength. He wins, but Simmons backdrops him over with the knucklelock. Don't see enough of that anymore. Oz tosses Simmons to the floor and lets the Wizard kick him. If you wanted to promote the movie, wouldn't it be better for Oz and the Wizard to be babyfaces? By the way, you know what would be an awesome gimmick the Scarecrow. Not the one from The Wizard of Oz, more like the one from Batman. Anyway, Simmons gets pissed, hits three shoulderblocks and gets the pin at 7:56. Just horrible. Imagine an unmotivated Kevin Nash. 1/2*
WCW Top 10:
10 Johnny B. Badd
09 Ron Simmons
08 Diamond Studd
07 El Gigante
06 Arn Anderson
05 Bobby Eaton
04 Steve Austin
02 Barry Windham
01 Lex Luger
World Title: Vacant
Robert Gibson vs. Richard Morton (w/Alexandra York).
This would be the blowoff between the fractured Rock 'n' Roll Express. Morton sold out to the York Foundation. His heel makeover entailed changing his name from "Ricky" to "Richard" and nothing else. They missed the boat by not calling him "Dick" Morton. Gibson was on the shelf for months with a leg injury, so Morton goes after it to be an asshole. He locks in the figure-four, and that goes on forever, probably because it's so shoddily applied. Gibson comes back with a DDT but misses a dropkick. They brawl to the outside, and both men miss dropkicks. York hops up on the apron to jaw with the official, leaving the computer behind so Morton can grab it and nail Gibson for the win at 17:28. That's way too long for that finish. At least Morton could have smashed the computer into Gibson's leg and finished with the figure-four to pay off the previous fifteen minutes. Started okay but dragged on with too much of the same thing. *1/2
Six-Man Elimination: The Fabulous Freebirds (w/Big Daddy Dink) vs. Dustin Rhodes & The Young Pistols.
Badstreet (Brad Armstrong) is the Garvin and Hayes' other partner in the Six-Man team. This, oddly enough, would be the brightest spot on the card so far. The babyfaces energetically clean house, but the Freebirds do the cool double leapfrog thing (that needs to come back to mainstream wrestling) and Badstreet yanks down the ropes, spilling Smothers to the floor. A "smart" contingent in the crowd starts to get behind the Freebirds because the Pistols are basically low-rent pretty boys. Smothers plays face-in-peril. Great spot where he pummels Hayes in the corner, misses a swing and gets punched right in the face. Simple, yet effective. Scott Armstrong gets the hot tag and unleashes the dropkicks including one to his brother. It breaks down into a donnybrook, and in all the chaos Hayes and Garvin DDT Armstrong for the elimination at 13:42. Oh, but then Smothers charges Hayes and gets backdropped over the top, so the ref disqualifies Hayes at 13:50. Smothers gets caught in the wrong corner, and Dustin gets conned into hopping in the ring and distracting the ref. That allows the remaining Freebirds to hit the double DDT on Smothers at 15:18. Dustin flies in and nails Garvin with a flying lariat at 15:30. That leaves Dustin Rhodes, son of the bookerman, against uberjobber Brad Armstrong. Badstreet gets in a few flying moves, but Dustin punches him in the gut. Dink distracts the ref, allowing Badstreet to kick out once, but Rhodes hits a bulldog for the win at 17:03. Energetic and fun, but I hate it when they don't do any eliminations for a long stretch and then they come fast and furious. **1/4
Bounty Match: Johnny B. Badd (w/Teddy Long) vs. Yellow Dog (w/"Man's Best Friend").
See, his name is Yellow Dog, and he comes out with a yellow dog. Yellow Dog is Brian Pillman, who lost a loser-leaves-town match and thus has to wrestle under a mask. If Badd wins, Dog has to unmask, and, if it is Pillman, he's out of WCW. Badd stalls a lot. Dog gets his crucifix into a sunset flip ah, yes, the vampire slayer special. He dropkicks Badd into Long but makes the mistake of going after Long for no reason. Badd attacks from behind, but Dog hits a spinning wheel kick. That draws Teddy Long into the ring for the DQ at 6:00. Long goes after the mask, hoping to claim the bounty, but Dog makes his own save. 3/4*
In the back, Eric Bischoff catches up with Missy Hyatt in the shower, but she chases him off. Oh, the irony. See, she kept going into the men's locker room and well, you get the idea.
Lumberjack Match: Black Blood vs. Big Josh.
Big Josh is Matt Borne (the future Doink the Clown) doing a lumberjack gimmick. Black Blood is Billy Jack Haynes in a hangman gimmick, one recently resurrected in ROH. The match is really pretty good and probably would have been better if not for the silly gimmicks. I'm not sure why an executioner would even have a problem with a lumberjack. I guess, it's axe envy or something. Josh unloads some stiff chops and a dropkick. Eventually, the heel and face lumberjacks get into a huge outside brawl. That distracts the ref, so Black Blood grabs his fake axe and prepares to cut off Josh's head. Dustin Rhodes is Johnny-on-the-spot, though, and nails Black Blood in the knee with an ax-handle to put an end to that. Josh small packages Blood for the win at 5:39. It seems like these two feuded in Portland at some point. At any rate, they had good chemistry in the limited time they were in there. Btw, in Billy Jack news, it was recently revealed that the reason for his assault several months ago was that he was skimming off the top from his job as a cocaine mule. See, now *that* would be a marketable feud! **
Bizarre Kevin Sullivan promo (is there any other kind?) about the "Lady with the Third Eye" building a "death wagon."
El Gigante vs. The One Man Gang (w/Kevin Sullivan).
This'll pick things up. Gigante brings four midgets to ringside with him, turning what could have been a blood feud between two monsters into a comedy match. Sully and Gang attacked Gigante after Gigante vanquished Sid, and then they shaved his head. They go with a bit of an Abdullah the Butcher versus Giant Baba formula with Gang stabbing Gigante with some sort of hidden international object. Gang goes up but gets slammed off. Gigante suplexes him and then does the double noggin-knocker. Gang tries to use international powder to come back, but Gigante kicks it back in his face and finishes with the Northern Lariat at 5:42. Pretty bad. Gigante's bizarre selling is entertaining in a perverse way. 1/4*
Recap of the Koloff-Luger feud spilling over into Koloff-Sting.
Russian Chain Match: Sting vs. Nikita Koloff.
This was very disappointing considering the feud was pretty hot. Neither guy gives much effort. It's just "hit 'em with the chain and drag 'em." Tony Schiavone actually comes up with a good strategy: work over the leg until the opponent is incapacitated and then drag them around. Then he ruins it by pointing out that neither guy is really smart enough for strategy. They each touch a couple of the buckles off a stiff tie-up, but neither of them realize it. Koloff goes low to cut off the momentum. He lackadaisically touches three of the buckles (with the referee employing a liberal interpretation of forward momentum). Sting follows him around and touches the buckles, but when he tries to leap over Koloff, he knocks Nikita into the last one. Nikita gets the win at 11:37. Aimless match with too many ballshots to get any momentum going. **
Vacant WCW Heavyweight Title, Cage Match: Lex Luger vs. Barry Windham.
You've heard the story by now. Jim Herd wanted Ric Flair to get an ear ring or dress up like a gladiator. Ric Flair wanted dignity. The two simply couldn't co-exist, so Herd demanded Flair drop the title to Lex Luger. Flair refused because he thought Luger wasn't good enough to carry the company, so Herd stripped Flair of the title and sent him packing up to Titanland. Big "We Want Flair!" chant. Let me put it in a metaphor Herd could understand it's like the crowd ordered pepperoni, and Herd delivered anchovies. This is about as half-assed as you can get, or in Tonyspeak "a great athletic contest." The first few minutes are "hold, break, stare, circle" repeated about half a dozen times. Luger avoids a flying elbow and puts Windham in the Torture Rack. Windham flips out of it, though. The flying lariat gets two. Harley Race and Mr. Hughes walk down, and Race says, "Now's the time." Luger pops up, hits the piledriver, and picks up the win and the title at 12:25. The announcers don't have any idea what's going on, and, since Race didn't really do anything heelish, the fans don't know Luger has turned heel until he walks out with Race and Hughes. *
Mixed-Tag: Arn Anderson & Paul E. Dangerously vs. Rick Steiner & Missy Hyatt.
Missy looks weird with dark hair. The Hardliners (Dick Slater & Dick Murdock) run down and kidnap Missy Hyatt, making it a two-on-one. Basically, it's Arn versus Rick, but Arn keeps playing defense as Rick goes after Paul E.. They doubleteam him, but Rick makes his own save and knocks Arn silly with a Steinerline. Rick pins Paul E. after a Steinerline at 2:08. 1/4*
The 411: This is widely regarded as the worst mainstream show ever. Given King of the Ring 1999 and some of the later WCW PPVs, it might have a run for its money. Still, it's a race to the bottom, and this one has an anchor tied around its neck. The Flair situation leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth, and the effort from a roster that's rightly pissed off at management just isn't there.