WCW Saturday Night – August 21, 1993: 40 Minutes Of Sting Vs. Flair. I’m Sold.

WCW Saturday Night
Date: August 21, 1993
Location: Center Stage Theater, Atlanta, Georgia
Attendance: 750
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Jesse Ventura

This was my first request via Twitter. I don’t usually do Saturday Night but the few I’ve done have gone pretty well. This is less than a month before Fall Brawl 93 so we have two world titles at the moment. Both champions are in action tonight. One has a squash, and the other has a 40 minute match against the guy who is probably his greatest rival. Let’s get to it.

Also this is three days after Clash of the Champions 24 but it was taped earlier, so we likely won’t hear much about the Clash.

Sid Vicious/Harlem Heat vs. Ron Simmons/2 Cold Scorpio/Marcus Bagwell

Harlem Heat has been around like two weeks at this point. They’re Kane (Stevie) and Kole (Booker) at this point and all three heels are managed by Colonel Parker. This is just after the Heat were changed from prisoners in shackles won by Parker in a card game to street thugs. How did this company not get sued into the ground? Apparently the commentary was recorded after after the Clash or the results were given to Tony and Jesse beforehand.

Booker and Scorpio start things off with Scorpio countering a kick into a fast rollup for two. Off to Bagwell and the arm work begins. The ring is divided into sections, almost like a bunch of gym mats hooked together. Stevie comes in but Bagwell suplexes him over anyway. That’s more power than I was expecting out of him. Bagwell gets caught in a slam but an elbow misses. While the match isn’t that great, the commentary does offer a good line. Jesse: “Why do they call it an Irish Whip? Did someone from Ireland invent it?” Tony: “Uh yeah Jess.”

Off to Simmons to make it power vs. power. Stevie takes him down with a clothesline but Simmons comes back with a botched spinebuster, making it look more like a shove. The heels bail to the floor and things stop for a bit. Sid comes in and wants a test of strength with Simmons, but as any good heel would do, he kicks Simmons in the ribs instead of going through with the test. Ron is cool with that and it’s time to go after the arm. Considering it’s 1993 and this is Sid vs. Scorpio, 2 Cold is dropped face first onto the buckle pretty quickly and the bad guys take over.

The Heat double team Scorpio on the floor with a clothesline and it’s back in to Sid for a one armed chokeslam, which Tony says is like a powerbomb. Off to Booker who yells at the camera a lot and tags Stevie in again. We head to the floor and Scorpio is dropped throat first on the barricade, making him sound like a cat coughing up a hairball. Back in and Scorpio avoids an elbow drop and it’s off to Bagwell. Everything breaks down and Sid powerbombs Bagwell to death for the pin.

Rating: C. Sid was on his way to the world title at this point and it’s pretty easy to see why. He was the perfect kind of monster giant and him vs. Vader could have been an awesome clash of the titans. Then he went insane stabbed Arn Anderson so we got Flair in the main event, which worked out fine. Harlem Heat would wind up being the most successful out of all these guys though, which shows you never know what you’ll get out of wrestlers.

The announcers talk about the Amateur Challenge, which is something kind of sort of like Tough Enough without an actual contest.

The Equalizer vs. Ron Preston

Equalizer is a big guy who would become “famous” as Dave “Evad” Sullivan. Here he’s just a big bad guy who didn’t really equalize anything. We have a two minute match here and about a minute of that is spent in a neck crank. Full nelson ends Preston.

We go to the Fall Brawl Control Center, which is the old way they used to promote the PPVs. Back then, they would actually take time to hype their matches and tell us why we should buy them, as opposed to today when they have both guys beat the other and then hope that gives us enough reason to want to see them fight a third time. We get some clips of past WarGames matches after the host of the segment says the wrong year for when the match started (it was 87, not 88).

Charlie Norris vs. Fury

So if you’ve read my stuff before from this time period, you know that I don’t really like WCW in 1993. Two of the big reasons for that are Equalizer and Charlie Norris. They were both big, strong, and absolutely AWFUL. Norris is an Indian and that’s about it. Norris hooks on an armbar as the match is ignored for the sake of talking about the PPV. In this case, I’m totally fine with that.

Fury, who is apparently part of a tag team called The Wrecking Crew, hits a clothesline and shoulder block before hooking a chinlock. Norris grabs a sunset flip for two before getting suplexed for the same. Back to the chinlock but Norris gets up, goes on the warpath, and hits a big chop for the pin. Fury by the way is Marcus Laurinitis, brother of John and Road Warrior Animal. He never did much of note.

Rating: D-. This was Norris’ Saturday Night debut, which basically would be his national debut. If that’s the case, why in the world would you have him get beaten down this long, and why would you have this match go nearly seven minutes? Like I said, 1993 in WCW was horrible and it would only go downhill from here for Norris.

We see Cactus Jack’s return promo from the Clash, which is him saying he’s back and he wants Vader. He talks about the look in the eyes of wrestlers when they face Vader. They used to look at him like that and he wants to earn that look again. This is another classic Jack promo.

Mike Thor vs. Johnny B. Badd

Badd has been injured recently and is wearing a mask as a result, but tonight he’s removing it. Badd is still at the point where his character is gay but we can’t say he’s gay because it’s 1993 and you can’t do that. Johnny knocks him into the corner to start and then down onto the mat with a headlock. Off to the arm as Jesse tries to figure out what the B. in Badd’s name stands for. After some near falls, Badd takes the mask off and reveals that he’s fine before hitting the big left hand (the Tutti Fruti) for the pin.

Rating: D. This was about four minutes of armdrags and armbars. Badd would get WAY better around 1995 but he was still developing at this point. To be fair, he was a lot better than he was a year before this, as he now had an actual offensive move set outside of the punch. Also, Mike Thor is a good name for an indy guy.

Badd insists he’s still pretty.

Ice Train vs. Rage

This is Train’s debut and he has a guy named Thunderbolt Patterson with him. Fury is the tag partner of Rage from earlier. Nothing match that Train wins in less than a minute with a powerslam. I always liked Ice Train.

Patterson and Train say Train wants to learn and improve.

Big Van Vader vs. JD Stryker

Chokeslam, punch, powerbomb, pin.

Vader, the WCW Champion, and his manager Harley Race, say they don’t care about what happens in the main event. Race wants to talk about WarGames, where Vader is going to destroy everything. A mystery partner is mentioned, who was already revealed to be the Shockmaster.

So we have almost fifty minutes to go in the show and this is all we have left.

NWA World Title: Sting vs. Ric Flair

I know why this was requested. This is one of those matches that is nearly impossible to screw up and you start at a higher rating than the usual. It’s not about will the match be good but how good will it be. A quick shoulder takes Flair down as Tony talks about the history of these two, without mentioning the original Clash for some reason. Sting wins a battle of a hammerlock as Tony messes up the date of the original Clash (he says April, it was March 27).

Sting controls with a wristlock on the champion (Flair has the belt coming in) and we’re still in the feeling out process here. Flair tries a Figure Four out of nowhere but Sting escapes before he gets close. Things speed up but they botch the gorilla press spot. Sting doesn’t panic though and throws on a chinlock, which is probably the best thing they could do in that situation. Now the press slam hits and Flair goes to the apron.

A suplex back in puts Flair down and there’s a Boston Crab. Flair taps but it doesn’t mean anything yet so he gets a rope and bails to the floor instead. Back in and Flair goes to the eyes before chopping away in the corner. Say it with me: those don’t work on Sting. A half crab works on Flair’s back again, followed by another gorilla press for two. Sting hooks an abdominal stretch and the champ is in trouble.

As is his custom, Sting misses the Splash in the corner and Sting gets his second wind. They head to the floor but Flair tries a piledriver and gets backdropped instead. Flair begs off in a corner and suckers Sting in like only Flair can do. Sting gets thrown to the floor but it just ticks him off. Flair fires off the chops but, say it with me, THOSE DON’T WORK ON STING.

The champ begs off again and walks to the floor for a breather. Back in and Tony calls Sting Steamboat before Sting misses a splash on the top rope, clotheslining himself. There’s the knee drop to the head from Flair and the champ has his third wind. I don’t know what it is about them but Flair does some of the best snapmares ever. Flair rolls up Sting about six times in a row, all for two.

Ric is in full heel mode despite being a face coming in. A cover with the foot on the ropes gets one and a suplex gets about twelve. We take a break and come back to Sting making a comeback. During the break Sting rolled through a top rope cross body by Flair for two. Both guys are down for a bit before Flair hits a belly to back suplex for another few two counts. He must have had seventeen near falls so far.

Flair goes up top…..and the forearm off the top actually connects. You never know what you’ll find in these old shows. A sunset flip gets two for Sting as does a backslide. There’s the Flair Flip in the corner and down to the floor he goes. Flair pokes him in the eye and goes up, only to get slammed down. It wouldn’t be a Flair match if that spot hadn’t happened. A clothesline gets a few two counts for Sting and he clotheslines Flair to the floor.

They head to the outside and Flair chops him against the railing. Even on the floor, THOSE DON’T WORK ON STING. Back in and Flair backs off again and Sting escapes a suplex into an O’Connor Roll for two. Flair pokes him in the eye and there’s the Figure Four (complete with a Whomp There It Is chant from the audience for no apparent reason). That finally gets turned over but Flair gets the rope.

Sid comes out to the commentary desk for no apparent reason as Sting gets a small package for two but the knee is in big trouble. Sid says this should be his title match and talks about bees. Flair chops him again because at times he really isn’t that bright. The gorilla press hits and a bulldog puts Flair down. Another small package gets two for Sting as does an atomic drop.

Probably the fourth gorilla press puts Flair down but the splash hits knees. Sting comes back with a clothesline and puts the Figure Four on Flair. Flair gets the rope and they trade rollups for two again. For the fifth time the chops don’t work on Sting so he superplexes Flair down. Eventually that gets two and gorilla press #5 puts Flair down again. Flair cross bodies Sting to the floor and both guys are down. Sid sneaks in and sends Sting into the barricade to give Flair the win by countout.

Rating: B+. This is one of those matches that it’s pretty much impossible to get wrong. They were getting pretty repetitive at the end though, with way too many rollups and gorilla presses. The first half of the match was great though with Flair trying to get Sting to use energy and Sting working on the back to set up the Scorpion. The ending kind of sucks but they couldn’t put either guy over clean here so I can certainly live with that.

Flair freaks out on Sid but Harlem Heat runs in before there can be another fight. Sting saves Flair and they knock Sid to the floor.

Post break Flair and Sting say that sucked but they’ll get Sid and the Heat later.

Overall Rating: B. It’s a two hour show and 1/3 of that is Sting vs. Flair for forty minutes. The rest of the show was standard 1993 WCW nonsense that no one wanted to see, but for free TV on their flagship show, this was pretty awesome stuff at the end. I don’t have anything else to say: it’s Flair vs. Sting for forty minutes. That sums everything up.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews

2 comments

  1. Doctor Who says:

    How would you rank this particular match in their series of matches? I sincerely believe that this Sting vs Flair match is right up there with the 1st Clash encounter. Despite the rather screwy ending, it’s pretty tight. It’s cool seeing Flair as a babyface and putting up more offense than usual against Sting. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoy this match and it would be nice to see it on a WWE DVD set featuring the best of the NWA/WCW in the future. Besides their 1st Clash encounter, I think it’s their best.

    Thanks for the review.

    The Doctor

    klunderbunker Reply:

    It’s definitely up there. The thing with Flair vs. Sting is more in the idea than the matches themselves. Sting vs. Vader had better chemistry and matches but yeah I’d be fine with this on the Clash’s level.