Welcome everyone to Review Roulette. You never know what’s going to pop up when I hit the lever. This time it’s 1999 WCW, yet on top of that, everyone’s favorite weekend programming–Saturday Night! On the eve of Halloween Havoc ’99, let’s see what Saturday Night has in store for us. Note: this isn’t even on the award-winning WWE Network.
•Scott Hudson and Larry Zbyszko are on commentary, with one more match announcement for Halloween Havoc awaiting us.
Juventud Guerrera def. Dave Burkheadshrug
Guerrera is fresh off a tag match with Silver King on Thunder “48 hours” back. A workhorse of the WCW lucha roster. This wasn’t anything special at all to open up Saturday Night. Burkhead (also known as Knuckles Zandwich) is typical “slow you down” big man while Juvie was teasing, not really executing his high-flying style. In the quick time this got, it was simply okay. Completely skippable as Burkhead got control segments that were filler, only for Juvie to get some shine in. Finally the Juvie Driver was hit and that was all she wrote. The most interesting thing of note is that Burkhead was wearing Zack Ryder colored gear.
•Zbyszko and Hudson are on the Saturday Night set. The main event is set tonight: Steve Regal & Dave Taylor vs. Brad & Scott Armstrong vs. Brian Knobs & Hugh Morrus vs. Jim Duggan & Erik Watts with Fit Finlay and Jimmy Hart ringside. Also, Sid Vicious vs. Goldberg is officially announced for Halloween Havoc.
Villano IV & Vilano V def. Disorderly Conductit worked
MORE LUCHA! One of my favorite things about WCW C-shows is the fact that we got so much luchadores all over the place. From Lizmark Jr. to Ultimo Dragon to Villano’s, etc. This match was so ridiculous, but it worked. The Conduct unit managed to somehow be good bases for Villano’s. It went all over the place. One minute the Villano’s were hitting dives, or out smarting Disorderly, but then the rudos would have control. Another breezy match that was much better than the opener. It built surprisingly well to a great finish. Conduct thought they were smart by reversing a small package with the ref turned, only for Villano V to do the same in a switch-switch-switch comedy ending to the match. The Villano’s get the win in slick fashion. Commentary was asking why they weren’t pulling a “switch-a-roo”, as they got something kind of like it. Just wonderful maestro thinking.
•Mean Gene made his first appearance of the night, shilling Halloween Havoc live on pay-per-view.
Kid Romeo def. Jamie Howardsprint
Jamie Howard is fresh out of the WCW Power Plant, as funky Kid Romero is a huge test for him~! The camera spent a good 30 seconds zooming in on two people with glow sticks up in the nosebleeds. Gotta get the man over somehow. Analysis of this match: SPRINT, SPRINT, SPRINT. This was a Power Plant showcase, almost like: “come train at our school, and you can go freaking crazy like these two on Saturday Night”. I’d even go as far as to call this a mini hidden gem, because it’s just such a fun match. The two were presented as equals with counters, moves, and athleticism coming at about 200 miles per hour. When you expected Romeo to hit the final blow, Howard hit a hurricanrana and then did push-ups on the cover like an amazing villain! Romeo missed a swan dive leading to a huge powerslam. Romeo funks away with a win. The running theme of Saturday Night Obsurce combines with off-the-wall young trainees for a blast of a match. Larry Z talking about the trainees going too fast and playing beat the clock instead of their opponent was line of the night up to this point.
•A bunch of video packages, commentary on the set talking, and previews regarding Halloween Havoc. Call the WCW Hotline at 1-900-909-9900!
Vampiro def. Devon Stormholy shit, watch it
Vampiro takes on Devon Storm, who has a mean-streak according to commentary and a previous iteration of this broadcast. WTF? The match starts with Storm hitting a basement dropkick and plancha only to get destroyed by Vampiro. This is why I love Saturday Night. The psyche of this match was incredible as Storm would just keep bringing it to Vampiro, which made for high octane shoots. They were working so fast that Storm almost did the TNA ref table bump jitter thing, where he just shakes as a sell before moving into the next spot. Storm went insane once again catching Vampiro in a slam, hitting various moves capped off with a slingshot flipping leg drop. Storm had a clutch on but that was reversed into an STO that saw the ropes grabbed. MY. GOODNESS. Vampiro hit the laziest death valley drop ever throwing Storm like a rag-doll. THE TORNADO DDT WAS COUNTERED INTO A NORTHERN LIGHTS FOR A KICK OUT! The match made me go into play by play mode as I’m a mark for it. Vampiro hit the Michinoku Driver for the win. This is an even bigger hidden gem and a great TV match. What the heck? Note: I only now just realized that Storm was Crowbar. Am I going to love Crowbar because I loved this match? I’ll stop with the questions.
Kaz Hayashi def. Allan Funksolid story
Kaz Hayashi is awesome and he blesses this episode along with other great folk. Yet another good-at-minimum. Yet another surprising performance from Allan Funk, someone I’d never have heard of until viewing this match. The story was snug, with Funk keeping on the offensive nearly the entire time. Hayashi only got important shine in the lead-up to him winning, but Funk managed to get over decently as a dick heel, someone that would pick Hayashi back up instead of getting the honorable pin. This all lead to Allan missing a top rope leg drop. Hayashi hit an enzuiguri for the victory. An all around good match again, even if it was super short.
•More Halloween Havoc video packages. They hit they nail on the head when it comes to combining storyline recaps and spooky things.
Billy Kidman def. Chris Adamsthe crowd reacted
USA chants were rallied about, as The Gentleman didn’t seem to be too happy about. He was too busy showing off to show it though. The short match/variety (always) get your shit in theory placed upon Saturday Night booking serves as a compliment to the program a lot of the time–especially considering the sheer amount of talent on the show. Yet again this was a solid match, that got the biggest reaction out of the crowd so far in the show. Whether it was USA chants or the crowd rallying behind Kidman, it did the best in that sense. The work was nothing bad. Adams spent 85% of the match dominating, getting to show a bit of finesse with some moves. However Kidman came back, kicking out of a superkick. He reversed a powerbomb and hit a diving elbow drop for the win.
•If you order Halloween Havoc on pay-per-view, you get a complimentary YO-YO! As long as you pay the $3.00 shipping and handling fee, it’s all yours. I just proceeded to do an eBay search. Also, Scott Hudson said STRAPS on WCW programming. Recap aired of Filthy Animals beating Harlem Heat for the WCW Tag Team Titles.
Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Blitzkriegcome on, it's Rey Jr.
Once again a favorite wrestler of mine appearing on Saturday Night. Like it says in the heading, it’s a Rey Jr. match. What else could you want? However this is unmasked Rey and that makes me sad. Imagine being so incompetent that you’d unmask him. Oh, wait, yeah. It’s odd to see Blitzkrieg work over Rey for nearly the entire time, only for a few moves to happen, and bam, the match it over. But it’s typical wrestling formula. It’s Rey Jr. though, so you’d expect more domination or shine or excitement. I’m not saying it was bad though. Blitzkrieg looked good in his dominance, but at the same time there also wasn’t that many near falls or submissions. Mostly moves and holds that didn’t really lead anywhere except to get to Rey’s comeback. With that being said it was still a solid Cruiserweight match. Rey hit the bronco buster followed by the top rope hurricanrana for the win. Filthy Animals win their back to back matches ahead of their tag team title defense on Halloween Havoc.
•The fact that this main event is happening, is weird in itself–but the build to it was so WCW. Lots of yelling, shoots on the mic, and cheesy pro wrestling things. I love it though.
Steve Regal & Dave Taylor def. Brad & Scott Armstrong, Brian Knobs & Hugh Morrus, Jim Duggan & Erik Wattscar crash programming
I won’t even attempt to fully explain this. The charm is in the stupidity, like a lot of late WCW. This was one of the shorter matches on the show even though it was the “featured” match of the evening. From the beginning this was a car crash with too much happening to keep track of. The highlight of the match had to be Jim Duggan getting the most offense in out of anyone else, going from Regal to Morrus to others. Speaking of Morrus, he was on the flipside, getting beat up the most, whether Regal and Taylor were working over the arm, or he was missing a leg drop. This went by too fast to remember much else, other than the fact that the finishing stretch/actual finish was peak WCW. Everyone found themselves in the ring including people at ringside, which led to Hugh Morris pinning Armstrong after Hart hit him with a megaphone, yet Finlay’s cover on Hart (BOTH MANAGERS NOT EVEN IN THE MATCH) being counted instead. Therefore, your winners of tag team turmoil, Steve Regal and Dave Taylor. I’m glad you never changed, late-era WCW.
WCW SATURDAY NIGHT 10/23/99
Strong Effort - 7/10
This episode of Saturday Night ended up being on the positive side of critique. I'm glad the roulette hit this iteration, as we got a lot of star-power in Juvie, Villano IV & V, Vampiro, Devon Storm, Kaz Hayashi, Billy Kidman, Rey Jr. and the car crash main event. Along with that came surprises in Kid Romeo vs. Jamie Howard and future Crowbar, Devon Storm, being AMAZING against Vampiro. This all made for a super fun to watch, breezy edition of Saturday Night. Until the next pull of the lever.