WWE Vintage Collection Report (09/04/11)

WWE Vintage Collection Report: September 4th 2011
By Shaun Best-Rajah.com Reporter
Hosted by: Mean Gene Okerlund

Welcome aboard, albeit a bit belatedly. We continue our “Month of Champions” theme this week with a U.S Title tournament from WCW TV in 1993.

Due to a neck injury sustained by reigning U.S champion Ravishing Rick Rude, an eight man tournament was set up to initially determine the #1 contender. Designed to buy Rude some recovery time, should he not be able to wrestle the winner on January 23rd, then Rude would be stripped of the title. An irate Rude comes out when this announcement is made (at the Starrcade 1992 PPV) accusing WCW of conspiring against him, and promising they aren’t going to take his title.

WCW Saturday Night: January 2nd 1993
Dustin Rhodes vs Vinnie Vegas
We join the match as Vegas escapes a side headlock, hitting a sidewalk slam to take control. Vegas focuses on the lower back of Rhodes. Vegas misses a corner charge. Rhodes tries a slam, but Vegas falls on top for a nearfall. Vegas busts out a gutwrench suplex, followed by a couple of bearhugs. Rhodes fights free and gets a sunset flip for two. Rhodes lands a flurry of punches, a flying clothesline and dropkick. Vegas cheap shots the throat. Rhodes slips down from an attempted slam to push Vegas into the corner. Rhodes connects with a running bulldog for the 1-2-3. The Natural advances. See you later Kevin Nash! Winner: DUSTIN RHODES.

Due to time constraints, the second quarter final match between Tony Atlas and “Heavy Metal” Van Hammer is shown in clip form. Atlas ally, Cactus Jack swipes Hammer’s leg as he has Atlas up for a suplex, causing Atlas to fall on top for the pin and advance to face Rhodes.

WCW Saturday Night: January 2nd 1993
Barry Windham vs Johnny B. Badd
We pick things up with Windham using chokes and a couple of suplexes to stay on top. Rick Rude’s valet, Madusa (aka Alundra Blayze) is out to scout the competition. Badd manages to block then reverse a suplex. Badd continues to fight back with kicks, a backbodydrop and backelbow. Windham begs off, suckering Badd in close enough to pull him into the corner. Badd comes back with a hurracanrana. Badd comes off the top rope attempting a sunset flip, but Windham rolls through, delivers a vicious clothesline then follows up with an implant DDT for the 1-2-3. Winner: BARRY WINDHAM.

WCW Saturday Night: January 2nd 1993
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs “Dangerous” Danny Spivey
We’re halfway into the match. Spivey punishes the Dragon with slams and an abdominal stretch. Spivey dumps Steamboat onto his back and drops an elbow. Spivey takes the fight to the corner. Steamboat fights back with elbows and chops. Spivey forearms Steamboat down and chokes him with his boot. Spivey follows a bearhug with a backbreaker. Spivey misses a corner charge, allowing Steamboat to back suplex the former Skyscraper. Steamboat floats over onto the apron only to eat a vicious clothesline. Spivey tries to run Steamboat’s head into the corner, but the Dragon puts the brakes on and reverses. Steamboat nips up top to land a cross body which is enough to put Spivey away. Winner: RICKY “THE DRAGON” STEAMBOAT.

WCW Saturday Night: January 9th 1993
Dustin Rhodes vs Tony Atlas
Rhodes starts off fast and aggressive, winning a slugfest and tackling Atlas to the mat. Rhodes delivers a series of armdrags and a dropkick, then utilises several leg takedowns to ground Atlas. Rhodes is sporting a soft cast to protect a (healing) broken wrist. Atlas focuses on that area with a slam and several holds. Madusa is out on a scouting mission once more. Rhodes uses his good hand to fight back. Rhodes slips down from a slam to land a dropkick and flying clothesline. Atlas rakes the face, slams, but misses an elbow. Rhodes catches Atlas cold with the running bulldog and that’s enough for the 1-2-3. Rhodes advances to the finals. Winner: DUSTIN RHODES. Atlas struggled to keep up with Rhodes in this one, particularly at the beginning.

WCW Saturday Night: January 9th 1993
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs Barry Windham
Joined in progress. Steamboat reverses a figure four, but Windham is close enough to the ropes to force a break. Windham attacks Steamboat’s leg. The Dragon crumples to the mat when Windham attempts an irish whip. Windham briefly goes outside to drive Steamboat’s leg into the ring apron. Steamboat turns a side headlock into an atomic drop on Windham’s leg. Now Steamboat gives Windham a dose of his own medicine, administering his own figure four. Windham clubs at Steamboat’s knee to escape. Windham gets a nearfall from a suplex. Steamboat turns a backbodydrop into a faceplant. Steamboat uses his martial arts skills to stay on the offensive. A swinging neckbreaker finds its mark from the Dragon, who then chops down Windham from the top rope. Steamboat scoops Windham up, but Windham’s legs catch referee Nick Patrick in the face, sending him out of the ring. Steamboat hits a top rope cross body, but there’s no-one to count the pin. Windham attacks and throws Steamboat over the top rope. This was a big no-no in Bill Watts’s WCW! Patrick has seen this go down and DQ’s Windham. Winner via DQ: RICKY “THE DRAGON” STEAMBOAT.

Windham continues the assault on the outside, slamming Steamboat onto the concrete. Steamboat’s tag team partner Shane Douglas comes out to prevent a DDT, then Dustin Rhodes comes out to attack Windham. The Hollywood Blondes come out to tangle with Douglas and Steamboat. Three referees come in, but are powerless to break up the scrap. As soon as Douglas and Steamboat get the upperhand, the Blondes bail.

Right before our final matchup, WCW Executive Vice President Bill Watts reveals that Rude’s doctor won’t clear him to return until March 1st. Since Rude hasn’t defended his title since November 14th, Watts strips him. The final is now for the U.S Title!

WCW Saturday Night: January 16th 1993
Dustin Rhodes vs Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Both shake hands to begin. Steamboat gets a slam in, but Rhodes comes right back with a powerslam. Steamboat rolls outside to favour his back and regroup. Rhodes is no longer sporting the cast on his wrist. Both trade a flurry of arm work as they go back and forth with holds and headlocks for several minutes. Rhodes backbodydrops Steamboat then delivers a series of hard slams. Rhodes traps Steamboat in an abdominal stretch as we head to a break.

Rhodes fights out of an armbar/chinlock combo to hit a cross body press for a nearfall. Rhodes goes back to work on the arm. Both clean break in the corner, then size each other up. Steamboat goes back to work on the arm. Rhodes prevents a backbodydrop and lands a clothesline. Both collide following a flurry of stopovers and leapfrogs. Steamboat kicks out of Rhodes’s running bulldog. Rhodes absorbs a suplex then kicks out from Steamboat’s patented cross body. Steamboat inadvertently wipes out the referee after Rhodes leapfrogs over Steamboat and the Dragon tumbles into him. Both wrestlers take a spill over the top rope from a Steamboat cross body. Rhodes manages to stay inside, while Steamboat is out on the floor. Behind everyone’s back, Barry Windham comes out to DDT Steamboat onto the concrete. Rhodes is none the wiser, nor is the referee who counts Steamboat out to give Rhodes the U.S Title. Garbage ending to what was otherwise a good babyface scrap. Winner: DUSTIN RHODES.

On the whole, the tournament was entertaining for the most part and would launch Rhodes into a heated feud with Rude once he returned from injury. Has anyone else noticed that Rhodes is getting a fair bit of Vintage TV time at the moment? He’s been on three of the last four shows.

See you next week!

Any comments or discussion points drop me a line at shaunmb1@hotmail.com.

Follow me on Twitter @Shaun_Best.

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