On This Day: September 9, 1995 – WCW Saturday Night: So Long Vader

WCW Saturday Night
Date: September 9, 1995
Location: Center Stage Theater, Atlanta, Georgia
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Dusty Rhodes, Bobby Heenan

This is from five days after Nitro debuted, meaning Saturday Night is still the most important show in a lot of fans’ eyes. We’re closing in on Fall Brawl and Lex Luger has just returned to shock everyone in sight. Hogan is reigning on high and feuding with the Dungeon of Doom, which was a vastly underrated stable for reasons I’ll get into at another time. Let’s get to it.

The opening sequence is the same as it always was: a laboratory building a cyborg which grows flesh and becomes a wrestler.

We open with a recap from Nitro with Luger wanting a title shot at Hogan.

Vader vs. Bobby Starr/Scott D’Amore

Yes that Scott D’Amore from TNA. Vader is WAY over and starting with Starr, easily pounding him into the ropes. There’s the Vader Bomb but D’Amore makes the save for some stupid reason. The moonsault ends Scott a few seconds later. To the best of my knowledge, this is Vader’s last match before being suspended for a backstage fight with Paul Orndorff. He would be in the 1996 Royal Rumble.

Muscular Dystrophy sucks!

Cobra vs. The Grappler

Grappler is a generic masked guy and Cobra is a military themed guy. The match is a squash but we actually get a backstory to Cobra: he was in the Gulf War with Sgt. Craig Pittman but Pittman left him behind and reported Cobra AWOL, destroying Cobra’s military career. Cobra is back for revenge. Here’s the thing: yeah it’s a one note idea, but is it that much worse than stuff we hear about today in WWE? Cobra wins with a cobra clutch slam in like a minute.

Post match Cobra says Pittman will pay for breaking the code. Pittman comes in and says it was Cobra who broke the code. The match at Fall Brawl wouldn’t even last 90 seconds.

We go to the Fall Brawl control center to talk about the upcoming WarGames match with Hogan’s team (Sting/Savage/Vader) vs. the Dungeon of Doom (Kamala/Meng/Shark/Zodiac) which is as one sided of a match as you’ll ever see. Other matches include the only Flair vs. Arn Anderson PPV match that I can ever remember and a forgotten classic between Johnny B. Badd and Brian Pillman.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Eddie Jackey

Eddie jumps him to start but misses a high cross body. Page hits a gutbuster and the Diamond Cutter gets the pin in maybe 35 seconds.

Post match Page says he’ll win the TV Title, which is true.

We go to the Dungeon of Doom to hear from the Dungeon of Doom about WarGames. The leader Kevin Sullivan talks to his boss the Master (played by old wrestler King Curtis Iaukea, who never appeared in an arena I don’t think) about the army of evil he’s produced to attack Hogan inside the cages. It’s like the biggest collection of 1980s monster jobbers you can ever imagine.

Zodiac/Shark/Kamala vs. Julio Sanchez/Rod Thompson/???

This “match” lasts about 30 seconds with the Dungeon destroying everyone. Zodiac (Brutus Beefcake) drives a knee into the back of Thompson’s head for the fast pin. The third jobber was never named.

We look at the rules of WarGames which aren’t important enough to list here. In short, it’s a two ring cage match and you alternate sending in one man at a time, first submission wins.


Highlight package from Nitro.

Johnny B. Badd vs. Dick Slater

This is a co-main event tonight if you need an idea of what sort of stuff you would get here. Slater is half of the tag champions at this point. Badd has a very simple yet effective way to get the fans on his side: he throws them Frisbees and blows confetti onto them. This is a lost art in modern wrestling for some reason, but fans love nothing more than to be acknowledged by the fans. Look at people like Austin, Flair, Sting, Rock and Hogan. All of them played to the crowd and the fans loved every one of them. It’s so simple but not many people do it anymore for reasons I’ll never understand.

Slater wants to throw punches to start, which is just fine with former Golden Gloves champion Johnny B. Badd. Dick finally elbows him down and gets in some left hands as Heenan is panicking about Dusty Rhodes returning to the commentary booth in the near future. A swinging neckbreaker gets two for Slater but Badd gets in a hard right hand to put Dick down.

Badd drops him again with a running knee lift but here’s Sister Sherri, who has a crush on Slater’s manager Colonel Robert Parker. Slater backslides Badd and puts his feet on the ropes but Sherri breaks it up with her crutch. Dick’s partner Bunkhouse Buck comes out for a cheap shot to Badd, but the referee is with Sherri, allowing Harlem Heat (Buck and Slater’s opponents at Fall Brawl) come out and hit Slater, giving Badd the pin.

Rating: D. There was nothing to the match itself but they managed to have four people interfere in less than four minutes. That has to be a record for a non-Russo match but it doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. I kid you not at one point the Bunk/Slater vs. Heat match was the only thing that could put me to sleep for a good while. That’s how dull these guys were.

Arn Anderson’s wife is concerned about his issues with Flair. Arn gets mad at the camera crew for talking to his wife instead of him.

We get a clip from WCW Pro (the C/D-Show) of what was supposed to be Flair vs. Brian Pillman. For some reason Flair isn’t here so we go to the back where Anderson and Flair can be heard shouting at each other in a dressing room. Apparently Flair has left, meaning Pillman wins by forfeit.

Disco Inferno is coming.

Brian Pillman vs. Barry Houston

Another squash that lasts 45 seconds with Brian winning via a tornado DDT. What else do you want me to say about something that short?

Pillman (not even breathing hard) says he’s friends with Johnny B. Badd but their match is about the US Title shot so it’s all business.

Blue Bloods vs. Sting/Randy Savage

The Blue Bloods are Steven Regal and Robert (Bobby) Eaton. For no apparent reason, Sting (the US Champion) comes out in Savage’s hat and jacket. Savage has his face painted which is a bit more normal for a Sting partner. Savage and Regal get us going with Randy grabbing a quick headlock. Regal takes him over into the corner for the tag off to Eaton, only to have Randy elbow him in the face.

Off to Sting for some arm cranking followed by a monkey flip to send Eaton over to Regal for another tag. Sting cranks on Regal’s arm just as easily but Regal goes to the eyes to take over. Sting grabs a backslide for two so Regal bails into the corner, drawing Savage in for no apparent reason. Eaton gets punched a few times but goes to the eyes as well.

Savage will have none of this being on defense though and punches both Blue Bloods in the jaw. Randy punches Regal to the floor, only to miss a dive to the concrete. Regal hooks a chinlock for all of two seconds, only to have Savage come back with a suplex to escape. The Blue Bloods take over for just a few moments but Regal backdrops out of a suplex attempt to make the tag to Sting. House is cleaned and the heels collide, setting up the Splash on Eaton followed by the elbow for the pin.

Rating: D+. There isn’t much to say when the match lasted five minutes and the good guys were on offense for about four and a half of those minutes. To be fair though, was there ever any doubt as to who was winning here? It wasn’t much of a match but it gave Savage and Sting some practice together before the PPV.

Taskmaster comes out to ask Sting and Savage if they can trust Vader. Vader comes out and says you can trust him to end the show. Not that it would matter as Vader wouldn’t make the show, because there’s nothing stupid about suspending a guy a week before a PPV match where he’s the only intriguing part right?

Overall Rating: C-. This wasn’t much of a show but it definitely keeps moving and doesn’t get dull. They did a good job of keeping things interesting and even hyped up the PPV fairly well. There’s nothing needed to be seen here, but with Nitro around this show’s days of mattering were numbered anyway.

Here’s Fall Brawl if you’re interested:


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