WCW Saturday Night – January 1, 1994 – Sting vs. Austin

WCW Saturday Night
Date: January 1, 1994
Location: Center Stage Theater, Atlanta, Georgia
Attendance: 750
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Jesse Ventura

This is the first of five straight shows that I have from this series. Saturday Night was the top show for WCW at this time and this is a very interesting time for them. The company is throwing out a bunch of young guys and getting some awesome results but Hogan is looming. It’s certainly more good than bad at this point though so let’s get to it.

The opening video is the same one they used for years: a high tech computer/robotics system building what appears to be the perfect wrestler or something like that.

Tonight is the followup show to Starrcade 1993.

The announcers plus Mean Gene welcome us to the show and talk about everything new that’s going on now. Jesse is talking about running for Senate so he’s in a suit and tie.

We get a video of Flair as a kid with a bunch of photos of him when he was a kid. This turns into a career highlight video.

TV Title: Steven Regal vs. Terry Taylor

They tie up to start and fight to the corner for a break. After a quick standoff they head back to the technical chain style. Taylor gets a nice bridge to break out of a wristlock but Regal pulls him right back to the mat. The fans chant USA because Regal is an evil dirty foreigner. Back to the mat and Regal nips up to get out of a test of strength position. This is going to be a mat based match and I didn’t expect anything else.

Taylor hooks a body scissors with his legs which goes on for awhile. Tony talks about Flair being the new world champion, which is interesting when you consider this was taped about three weeks before Starrcade. Taylor keeps control and goes after the arm. Regal nips up again but Terry takes him right back down. They go back to the mat and Taylor works the arm even more.

The fans aren’t exactly thrilled with this, but then again they all got in free which was a very common practice at this time. The mat based technical stuff isn’t helping anything here. Regal takes over and it’s more arm work. Now for a change of pace, Taylor works on the arm! Regal gets up but Terry hooks a rollup for two. We’ve gone 12 minutes (not quite) out of the 15 and they fight over a butterfly suplex. They fight over a backslide which gets two for the challenger. That’s Taylor if you weren’t sure of it. Off to a pinfall reversal sequence with Regal getting the pin off a handful of trunks.

Rating: D+. Technically this was fine but at the same time the match itself was really boring. The arm work is a very scientific style but as you can see with the crowd like this, they don’t want to see technical stuff. I love the old school style but stuff like this gets very boring. These TV Title matches were usually a lot like this one though, which is why the big showdowns were much better.

Colonel Parker says the big stuff is coming for Steve Austin. Austin is listed as US Champion here but hadn’t won the title when it was taped.

Paul Roma/Paul Orndorff vs. Brady Boone/Scott Studd

Boone isn’t well known but he graduated from Robinsdale High School with guys like Rick Rude and Curt Hennig and some others who all became wrestlers. Studd is Scotty Riggs. The Pauls have the Masked Assassin with them. The fans chant Paula and Jesse wants to know who is getting the chants. Orndorff vs. Boone gets us going. The fans want Flair.

Boone takes him to the mat but Orndorff takes over with relative ease. Jesse and Tony are talking about Nebraska vs. Florida State for some reason. Boone gets a rollup for two. A double tag brings in Roma vs. Studd and it’s even more arm work. Roma powerslams him for two. Orndorff comes in for the piledriver and Roma pins him with one finger.

Rating: D. Just a long squash here but good grief the team that would be known as Pretty Wonderful got old fast. When the team is called just ok, how seriously can you actually take them? Boring match with more arm work which wasn’t interesting in the first match, nor is it here.

Here’s part of the WCW Amateur Contest, which is where you send in clips of yourself cutting promos.

Gene is in the Control Center and talks about Starrcade, meaning we get clips and highlights of it. Austin took the US Title from Rhodes two falls to one and we get part of the match. Check the Starrcade 93 review is you want the play by play of it. The lights going out during the biggest show of the year is so WCW. We get a clip of Teddy Long winning Manager of the Year and then of Flair vs. Vader. This includes part of a post match interview with Sting and Flair.

Johnny B. Badd vs. Tony Zane

Zane looks like Jerry Lawler from the 70s if you don’t look at his face. Nothing match and Badd wins with his top rope sunset flip.

Badd says he’s pretty and puts a pair of lips on Gene Okerlund. Badd talks about a great tag wrestler coming out of retirement to team with him. That would be Michael PS Hayes. Shanghai Pierce and Tex Slazenger come out to yell.

Cactus Jack/Maxx Payne vs. Mark Kyle/Robbie Eagle

Jack and Eagle start us off and Jack dominates quickly. Off to Maxx who drops an elbow for two. Back to Jack who hits the discus clothesline to take Kyle down. The flip dive to the floor by Cactus kills Kyle. Back in the Painkiller (Fujiwara Armbar) ends Kyle quick. Total squash.

Cactus and Payne say they’re perfect together.

Colossal Kongs vs. Scott D’Amore/Ben Jordan

The Kongs are big fat guys in masks managed by Harley Race. Race calls out Flair in an inset interview. A double splash ends this in about 40 seconds.

Shockmaster vs. JL Sullivan

Sullivan charges into him twice and goes down both times. He hits a few splashes in the corner and a spinebuster ends this. Literally a squash.

Brian Pillman vs. Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker

Parker is a short dude with Napoleon Syndrome and he trained Goldberg. Basic back and forth stuff to start as they fight over arm work. Parker comes back and hammers on him but a headscissors sends him to the floor. Back in Parker works on the leg to slow things down again. Pillman comes back, beats on him a lot and a missile dropkick finally ends this.

Rating: D+. Pillman is fun but man this was boring. A lot of arm work here which isn’t a good thing, especially when we’ve seen it in three matches tonight. This was more about pushing the split of the Blondes and showing that Pillman still had it. Parker was short and nothing interesting but somehow he became the head trainer at the Power Plant. Go figure.

Brian has a chicken suit which is a plot point around this time.

2 Cold Scorpio/Marcus Bagwell vs. Pat Rose/JD Wolfe

Wolfe is half of PG-13 and I’ve heard Rose’s name before but I can’t place him. Scorpio and Rose get us started. Wolfe comes in and I really don’t think this is the same Wolfe. He’s a fat guy here while Wolfe of PG-13 was a cruiserweight style guy. Yeah this guy is just a jobber from what I can find. Scorpio hits a shoulder to put Wolfe down. Bagwell splashes him for two. Monkey flip sends Wolfe flying and a double elbow keeps him down. 450 ends this easily. Total and complete squash.

The winners and their manager Teddy say they want to face the Pauls next week.

Sting vs. Steve Austin

If this was 1998, the money would be through the roof. Austin is the new US Champion but doesn’t have the title on him. He does have words US Champion under his name in his graphic though. Austin takes him into the corner and taunts him early on. They fight over a top wristlock with Sting getting in a right hand. Austin complains but the referee doesn’t seem to care.

The fans are all behind Sting and yell at Parker the whole time. Sting takes over with a headlock and goes to the mat with it. Sting gets a backslide for two and Austin bails to the floor. Austin’s suplex is countered and Sting hooks a headlock. Sting goes up but gets crotched and Austin superplexes him for two. Sting comes back with a splash for two but his arm is hurting due to some quick arm work by Steve.

Steve goes after the arm so Sting hammers him in the head. Things speed up and Sting backdrops him a few times. Brian comes out and chases Parker around. He gets in the ring and beats up Austin for a DQ which is a shame because this was getting really good until that point. Sting was about to hook the Scorpion when it happened too.

Rating: B-. Sting vs. Austin doesn’t really need an explanation does it? Sting was still awesome and Austin was flying up the ladder every week. Then Hogan arrived and decided that he should be champion for a year and Austin should job to Jim Duggan for some reason. And the rest is history.

Parker says he’s not worried about Pillman and Austin had Sting beaten. He says he’ll be getting Rude involved for a tag match.

Overall Rating: C-. This was a pretty boring show but the main event was solid. This is still the feature show and we had a big main event. They were still a mostly squash show but the squashes were long and boring. Some of them were short thankfully but it’s still a pretty dull show. Austin vs. Sting more than makes up for it though.

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