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WCW PRO WRESTLING CHICAGO 08.03.1991 Recap + Review – Austin vs. Z-Man, Yellow Dog vs. Arn

COMMENTATORS: Tony Schiavone & “The Living Legend” Larry Zbyszko

WCW Pro this week features two big matches as Arn Anderson tries to take The Yellow Dog’s mask and Steve Austin defends the TV Title against former champ The Z-Man. Sting, One Man Gang, and others are also in action and this week Schiavone & Zbyszko do their remotes aboard the new luxury Chicago cruiseliner the Odyssey.

CHAMPIONS

  • WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: “The Total Package” Lex Luger
  • WCW UNITED STATES HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: Vacant
  • WCW WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPION: “Stunning” Steve Austin
  • WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Vacant
  • WCW UNITED STATES TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael “P.S.” Hayes & Jimmy “Jam” Garvin)
  • WCW WORLD SIX MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael “P.S.” Hayes, Jimmy “Jam” Garvin, & Badstreet)

LINEUP

  • Sting vs. Fred Avery (SQUASH)
  • BOUNTY FOR THE MASK: The Yellow Dog vs. Arn Anderson (**1/2)
  • One Man Gang vs. Chad Floyd (SQUASH)
  • Dustin Rhodes & Robert Gibson vs. Brian Carr & Paul Lee (SQUASH)
  • Steve Austin [c] vs. The Z-Man for the WCW WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP (**1/2)

*****

-Schiavone and Zbyszko welcome the home audience in front of the Odyssey, a ship used for a three hour cruise in I assume Lake Michigan. Schiavone begs Zbyszko to have a good time for once, Zbyszko says he will if the price is right, which it is because it’s free.

Sting vs. Fred Avery

Nikita Koloff vows to hurt Sting badly and says he rules WCW via interstitial promo. Avery tosses Sting out of the ring, Sting responds with a top rope flying clothesline/Thesz Press followed by a scoop slam. Avery backs away to the corner, Sting initially follows the rules but decides to clobber him anyway leading to a STINGAH SPLASH and the Scorpion Death Lock. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Sting defeated Fred Avery via submission (1:20) – SQUASH

”The Enforcer” Arn Anderson knows that The Yellow Dog is actually Brian Pillman and it’s time for the masquerade to be over which happens SHORTLY.

BOUNTY FOR THE MASK
The Yellow Dog vs. “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson

Anderson starts the match with lefts, Dog catches Anderson with a slingshot crossbody for a two-count. Zbyszko is biased towards his Enforcers tag team partner, of course. Dog grabs a wristlock, Anderson backs him into the corner and drives his shoulder into the midsection. Dog floats over in the opposite corner and fakes Anderson out before leveling him with a missile dropkick from the middle buckle (a spot you might have seen earlier in the day on Power Hour). Dog’s offense gets snuffed out courtesy of the spine on the pine from the Enforcer. Anderson continues working Dog’s back over with kneedrops and stomps to the spine. Anderson goes after the mask, Dog stops it with a jawbreaker but Anderson gets offensive control back with a suplex. Anderson goes after the mask again, Dog fights him off with a series of rights and kicks, Anderson counters a backdrop with a forearm to the spine and follows up with a slingshot into the bottom rope. Dog surprises Anderson with a sleeperhold in the middle of the ring, Anderson counters by launching Dog skull-first into the buckles. Dog and Anderson battle on the floor and ROLL UNDER THE RING as Zbyszko leaves the commentary table! Anderson emerges from under the ring with the mask but it’s too late and the ref calls for the bell.

The Yellow Dog & Arn Anderson fought to a double countout, I guess (5:53)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Perfectly acceptable wrestling. I enjoyed Dog countering his way out of Anderson’s attempts to remove the mask and the ending with them rolling UNDER the ring was…different. (**1/2)

Larry Zbyszko runs out to join his tag team partner. The Z-Man runs out as well and distracts Anderson as Dog pulls Zbyszko under the ring; Dog emerges with Zbyszko’s shirt wrapped around his head to conceal his identity and Z-Man drops Anderson with a superkick. Dog & Z-Man make a break for it, having gotten one over on the dastardly Enforcers! 

WCW TOP TEN (SINGLES) – Weekend of August 3rd & 4th

10. “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton
9. “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes
8. Johnny B. Badd
7. Diamond Studd
6. El Gigante
5. “Stunning” Steve Austin (TV Champ)
4. Ron Simmons
3. Sting
2. “Russian Nightmare” Nikita Koloff
1. Barry Windham

WORLD CHAMP: “The Total Package” Lex Luger

-Schiavone interviews the owners of the Odyssey while aboard the vessel. They are new to Chicago but have a lot to offer.

One Man Gang [w/ Kevin Sullivan & Black Blood] vs. Chad Floyd

El Gigante vows to cut One Man Gang’s hair for revenge via interstitial promo. That match happens August 25th at the Omni. Zbyszko returns to the commentary booth willing to testify Yellow Dog is actually Brian Pillman and vowing to sue him for the loss of his shirt. A new segment will debut later: WCW Magazine…with ERIC BISCHOFF. I’ve heard of that guy. OH RIGHT THE MATCH, Gang wins pretty easily with the 747. 

One Man Gang defeated Chad Floyd via pinfall (2:37)

POST-MATCH: Gang splashes Floyd once more and cuts his hair to further humiliate his foe.

-BRICKHOUSE BONUS: Chicago legend Jack Brickhouse gives his two-cents about The Steiner Brothers/Hardliners feud and their inevitable match once the Steiners heal up. No mention about the Tag Team Titles getting vacated.

Alexandra York announces that Mr. Hughes is no longer with The York Foundation, having left the company to work for Harley Race & new World Champ Lex Luger. She wishes him nothing but the best but it’s on to bigger and better things. Terrence Taylor and Richard Morton focus on a problem that needs erasing: Morton’s former tag team partner Robert Gibson. Morton says Gibson isn’t even a York Foundation prospect as they only take the best. Wellllll I guess it’s a matter of perspective.

“The Natural” Dustin Rhodes & Robert Gibson vs. Brian Carr & Paul Lee

Carr works Gibson over in the corner, Gibson sends Carr into a right hand from Rhodes and makes the tag to the Natural for a double backdrop and clothesline. Lee runs in and eats a double clothesline as well, Rhodes sends Carr flying with a Bionic Elbow and Lee tags in proper. Something Nature-like about this Boy, can’t quite place it. Rhodes & Gibson focus on Lee’s left knee, both making use of a standing toehold. Rhodes and Gibson send Carr off the apron with a double dropkick and Rhodes finishes Lee off with a Bulldog for the 1…2…3.

Dustin Rhodes & Robert Gibson defeated Brian Carr & Paul Lee via pinfall (3:19) – SQUASH

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: WCW is trying to find a spot for Gibson in a post-RNR world but it’s not going super well. He and Rhodes make a decent team though all things considered, they showed a lot of cohesion despite being a relatively new group. I don’t see it lasting though.

WCW MAGAZINE

Eric Bischoff welcomes everyone to this new green screen segment. Bischoff reads the 30 day rule every champion must follow and announces that a tournament has been set up to decide new World Tag Team Champions. Bischoff also announces that the U.S. Title has been vacated by Lex Luger following his World Title win at The Great American Bash and a one-night tournament will be held at the Omni on August 25th to decide the new champion. Bischoff takes it to a clip of Luger’s match with Barry Windham at the Bash where he won the World Title.

Bischoff then sends it to comments from Lex Luger, Harley Race, and Mr. Hughes. Race says Luger has made a minor adjustment and Windham was the first man to find out what the new Total Package is all about. Luger says becoming World Champion was never a question of IF, it was a question of WHEN, and vows to establish a reign of dominance the wrestling world has never seen. Windham was the first to feel the Piledriver, which Luger is calling the Attitude Adjustment. Luger says there’s a lot of pretenders to the throne but he’s the champ and will be for a long time to come.

Back to Bischoff for a final sell of the WCW Magazine, available on newsstands across the country and by subscription.

“Stunning” Steve Austin [c] [w/ Lady Blossom] vs. “The Z-Man” Tom Zenk for the WCW WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP

Zenk started 1991 as the World Television Champion, only to lose it back to Arn Anderson a few weeks into the year. Bobby Eaton then defeated Anderson for the title at WrestleWar ‘91 and Eaton’s reign was ended on TV by Austin within his first few appearances for WCW. Austin has held the title since then, taking on all comers. Can he overcome The Z-Man, who no doubt would love another run with the title? Let’s find out!

Austin and Zenk lock up, and end in a stalemate as Blossom yells “encouragement” for her man (none of what she said sounded like words). Austin leapfrogs Zenk, Zenk responds with a dropkick and a lateral press for the 1…2…Austin kicks out, Zenk rolls him up again with a jackknife for the 1…2…Austin kicks out. Austin gets a brief bout of offense and almost gets the win off a powerslam but can’t and they reset once again. Zenk grabs a top wristlock, Austin grabs the hair and counters into a side headlock, taking Z-Man to the canvas. Zenk escapes, Austin pumps the breaks to avoid a superkick and grabs a standing side headlock. Zenk escapes, catches a kick, and spins him around into an atomic drop followed by a clothesline and lateral press for the 1…2…Austin kicks out, Zenk slows it down with a side headlock takeover. Austin grabs the hair and counters into a headscissors, Zenk YELLING at the camera for someone to tell the ref he grabbed his hair. Schiavone and Zbyszko have no idea what to make of that. Zenk manages to escape, Austin goes back to the hair and reapplies the scissors. Zenk pries his head out and leaps into a side headlock, Austin backs him into the corner and connects with a cheapshot while referee Bill Alfonso (!!!) tries to get a clean break. Zenk counters a backdrop attempt with a kick and follows with a back elbow and slam for the 1…2…Austin kicks out. Blossom throws a foreign object in the ring, Zenk wins control of it and levels Austin for the 1…2…3! OH DIP!

Tom Zenk defeated Steve Austin [c] via pinfall to win the WCW WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP (7:00)

Lady Blossom rushes the ring and pulls the foreign object out of Z-Man’s tights. Alfonso angrily rips the title away and gives it back to Austin, reversing his decision. LAME.

Steve Austin [c] defeated Tom Zenk via reverse decision to retain the WCW WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP (7:00)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Poor Z-Man spent his match whining about Austin cheating, then cheats himself and gets caught anyway. That’s what you get for being a baby! Match was perfectly fine, the standard by the numbers TV Title defense. Glad it did not go to the draw which I always fear will happen when the time limit gets announced like that. I have no problem with Dusty Finishes when they’re done for lower-level titles/feuds. (**1/2)

-Schiavone and Zbyszko close the show aboard the Odyssey, Zbyszko at the helm of the boat. Pro won’t be airing next week in Chicago, but in two weeks it’ll feature a tag team match between PN News/Ron Simmons and Steve Austin/Johnny B. Badd. Cut to comments from both teams, Simmons calling Johnny B. Badd “JOANNA B. BADD” wakka wakka. 

*****

FINAL VERDICT
  • FAVORITE MATCH: The Yellow Dog vs. Arn Anderson
  • FAVORITE SQUASH: Dustin Rhodes & Robert Gibson vs. Brain Carr & Paul Lee

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