In the Arena: Tony Schiavone checks in with Bill Watts. Watts knows Rick Rude will choose Harley Race as his referee. He says both men are qualified and experienced. They discuss the controversy over the US Title. Rude needs to defend the championship, but he also has his match with Chono. Nothing is black and white anywhere and Rude has chosen Big Van Vader to wrestle Koloff on his behalf for the championship. Watts tells Rude that even though Vader is wrestling, it’s still one fall, Madusa is still banned from ring side and if Vader loses, he drops the belt.
Match #3 for the WCW United States Championship: Big Van Vader w/WCW United States Champion ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude & Harley Race vs. Nikita Koloff
Vader is wrestling on Rude’s behalf. Senior Official Ole Anderson passes on that not only will Madusa be banned from ringside, but also Rude and Race. Collar and elbow tie up and a quick break. Another tie up, Vader with a big right hand. A third tie up, Koloff taking shots, Vader is backed into the corner but he switches up the momentum and clubs the challenger. Irish whip and a splash in the corner by Vader, Koloff is clubbed with a vicious clothesline. Headbutt by Vader and down goes Koloff. Koloff is dumped to the floor, but he’s quickly back in blindsiding Vader.
He goes to the ropes for some rights, eventually takes him all the way down, lateral press for two. Nikita locks in with a reverse chin lock. Vader is back to a vertical base, he breaks the hold and works Koloff in the corner. Irish whip, Koloff moves and he schoolboys Vader who gets his shoulder up. Diving crossbody by Koloff and Vader is forced to regroup on the floor. Koloff chases Vader, Vader reverses a whip into the steel railing. Vader resets the count and hangs Koloff up on the railing. The surrogate champ grabs a steel chair and catches him on the back of the head. From the apron, Koloff tries a sunset flip but Vader drops all his weight on his sternum.
They hit the ropes, big clothesline by Vader. Koloff fights from his knees, he tries shots to the gut but Vader is untouched. Chokeslam by Vader who heads for the 2nd turnbuckle. He lands a big splash and Koloff manages to kick out. Vader grabs a reverse chin lock and he’s got it locked in well. The ref drop checks the arm and Koloff keeps the arm up. Koloff struggles his way to his feet, he tries a belly to back suplex but can’t get the big man over. Front face lock by Vader, Koloff blocks a suplex and takes Vader over with a modified suplex. Koloff with adrenaline, goes to work. He hits Vaders with rights in the corner. He goes for a shoulder tackle but can’t take him over the first two times.
A third is enough and the big man is down, he gets two and a half. Scoop slam by Koloff and Vader kicks out again. Koloff drops an elbow and still can’t hold him in the lateral press. Koloff clotheslines Vader over the top rope and out to the floor. Koloff doesn’t want Nick Patrick to make the count because he can’t win the title that way. Koloff goes for a sickle on the floor, Vader moves and he runs into the steel post. Koloff gingerly gets back into the ring. He tries fighting with one arm. He’s sent for the ride, knocked to the mat and he eats an elbow. Vader lifts the challenger up for a power bomb and he helps Rude retain the US Title.
Winner: Big Van Vader (Powerbomb/Rick Rude Retains)
- EA’s Take: Interesting choice here. I wouldn’t be shocked if it ultimately led to a Vader vs. Rude program for the United States Championship, with Vader pointing to how he was the one to win the match and ultimately allowing Rude to move on to other things. He’s already lost the World Title by now, even though its barely three months after winning it.
Backstage: Teddy Long is getting a word with ‘Stunning’ Steve Austin and ‘Dr. Death’ Steve Williams. Long asks if Williams is as confident having Austin as a partner as opposed to Terry ‘Bam Bam’ Gordy. Trick or Treat – the treat is that Austin is his new partner, the trick is that their opponents have to beat them to retain the tag team championships.
Backstage: Missy Hyatt is standing by with the unified tag team champions, Barry Windham and ‘The Natural’ Dustin Rhodes. Windham wants to dispel any rumors that he and Rhodes have problems. He compliments Steve Austin, saying Williams couldn’t have picked a better partner.
Match #4 for the WCW & NWA World Tag Team Championships: WCW & NWA World Tag Team Champions Barry Windham & ‘The Natural’ Dustin Rhodes vs. ‘Dr. Death’ Steve Williams & ‘Stunning’ Steve Austin
Williams and Rhodes start us off. Collar and elbow after some measuring, side headlock by Rhodes, they hit the ropes and collide in the middle of the ring three times. They stare each other down and jaw in the middle of the ring. They get in football stances, collide and still can’t move one another. Rhodes wants to do it again, Williams leapfrogs him and hits a clothesline. Then he takes him out at the knees with a football tackle. Williams tries again and The Natural catches him with a lariat. Rhodes with a wristlock and a tag is made to Windham who stays on the arm. They jockey for control, Doc with a chop on the ropes.
They run and Williams hits a football tackle. Next time around Windham gets a drop kick and an arm drag. Windham hangs onto the shoulder, Williams back to vertical. They flip around and Rhodes is tagged back in. Rhodes with a wrist lock into a hammerlock. Williams breaks it with a short elbow and works Rhodes down to the mat. Rhodes somesaults to his feet, they counter each others’ wrist locks, Rhodes breaks the hold by leaping over the top rope. Drop kick by Rhodes and a tag is made to Austin. Collar and elbow tie up and a quick tag is made to Windham. Barry with straight rights, Austin breaks it up with a thumb to the eye. Windham is introduced to the turnbuckle and Austin hits him with a drop kick. Snapmare by Austin and Windham kicks out.
Windham reverses the whip, Austin tries to counter but Windham gets a drop kick in. They run the ropes again and Austin is dropped by a right and he rolls to the floor. Austin is slow to the return, Windham kicks the mid section and here comes Rhodes. Side headlock takedown and The Natural hangs on. Austin tries rolling him over for a pin but can’t get it. Up to vertical, Rhodes tries using his leverage. They hit the ropes, standing switch by Rhodes but Austin lands a boot to the gut. Rhodes tries a suplex, Austin lands on his feet, double leg pick up and he stretches Rhodes’ hamstring. Irish whip by Austin, Rhodes catches him with an elbow and only gets two. Irish whip by Rhodes, and Austin lifts the boot.
Austin goes for a monkey flip, he can’t get it and is instead caught by a clothesline. Austin gets the shoulders up at two and Windham is tagged in. Austin is sent for a big clothesline and he once again kicks out. Windham with position in the corner, front face lock and he gets Austin with a vertical suplex. Austin rakes the eyes out of desperation and tags in Williams. Dr Death is met with a drop toe hold, they fight for position, Williams gets it and he buries his shoulder in the mid section. They exchange rights and chops, Windham taking the advantage. He sends Williams for the ride, goes for a diving lariat, Williams moves and Windham rolls out to the floor. Windham tries to get up to the apron and he’s kicked in the chest.
Slowly back up, Windham reverses the vertical suplex, tries a victory roll but Williams holds the ropes, he gets him down on the second effort. Tag is made to Austin, Williams and Austin with some teamwork. Scoop slam by Stunning Steve followed by an elbow from the second rope; Austin lands a vertical suplex and gets two with a lateral press. More teamwork shown as Williams offers his boot and is tagged back in. Williams with some clubbing forearms, Windham reverses the whip and he grabs a sleeper. Williams breaks it by running into the turnbuckle and he hits a crossbody. Williams with some submission work on the mat. Austin is tagged back in, he takes Windham down to the mat for a hammerlock. Pinning predicaments, but no three count. Scoop slam by Austin but he’s booted in the face.
Windham goes for a tag but he’s in the wrong corner, instead Williams enters as the legal man for Austin. Windham fights from his knees, Williams returning with some kicks. Windham is sent for a power slam and he somehow kicks out. Modified chin lock on the mat by Williams, Windham reaches toward his corner. Barry works to a seated position and is slow to his feet, he breaks the hold with a chin buster. Austin is tagged in, he prevents the opposite tag, sets Windham up for a superplex but Barry fights him off. He stands up for a flying clothesline and Austin kicks out. They hit the ropes and collide with simultaneous shoulder tackles, both men are down and slow to get up.
Tag is made to Rhodes and The Natural goes after both challengers with bionic elbows. Austin is sent for the ride and a big lariat. Irish whip and a bulldog to Austin, Williams breaks up the pin. Windham fights him off and is corralled to the corner. The ref gets Windham out, but Williams is still in the ring for a cheap clothesline. Austin tries to capitalize but Dustin kicks out. A tag is made to Williams, shots to the kidneys on The Natural. Rhodes tries fighting back in the corner but Williams keeps the advantage. Irish whip and a big splash by Dr Death who spins the kid into a Boston crab. Austin is tagged in, he drives a knee to the back of the head.
Austin sets up for a back breaker, Windham tries to break the hold and can’t. Rhodes flips his way down though and counters with a back body drop. Austin bridges out of a pinning predicament. Austin goes for the backslide but it’s Rhodes with the leverage. Up to their feet and its Austin with a clothesline. Tag is made to Williams who kicks to the midsection. Rhodes fights from his knees, they exchange rights, Doc runs through him and tags in Austin. Stunning Steve and The Natural exchange shots, Rhodes gains control until Austin catches him with a huge right. He tries a pin and can’t get it. Williams is tagged in, he hits a snap suplex for two. Rhodes is cut open at this point, Dr Death hangs him over the second rope and punishes him with rights. Rhodes blocks a shot to the turnbuckle, but he can’t make a tag.
Instead, Austin is back in, snapmare and a reverse chinlock is applied. Rhodes works back to his feet, he breaks the hold with some elbows. Austin reverses a whip to the ropes and a hits a power slam. He goes for an elbow, Rhodes moves. They’re slow up and Rhodes catches Austin with an inside cradle for two. Tag is made to Williams, he stomps on Rhodes’ face. Belly to belly suplex by Dr Death gets another two count. Williams with another belly to belly and Rhodes kicks out again. Reverse chin lock is applied by Dr. Death. Rhodes works to his feet, he breaks the hold but Williams maintains advantage with a knee. Tag is made to Austin who greets Rhodes with a double axe handle from the second rope.
Half crab by Stunning Steve, Rhodes tries pounding Austin’s quad, Steve breaks the hold, he rushes Windham on the apron which is enough for Rhodes to take some control with rights and elbows. Rhodes goes for the tag but he’s cut off by a single leg pick up. Rhodes kicks Austin in the face which is enough to make the tag. The ref didn’t see the tag and won’t allow it. Windham argues while Austin and Williams double team Rhodes. The Natural is thrown over the top rope while an incensed Windham attacks both of the challengers. Austin is lifted for a scoop slam and Randy Anderson is struck, knocking him out of the ring.
Another ref has come to ringside while Windham is double teamed inside the ring. Austin covers Windham and the substitute referee rolls in and counts to three. Randy Anderson comes back to the ring dismissing the call. Confusion is at hand as Rhodes comes in for a victory roll that gets two by Anderson. The bell is ringing and a melee ensues with around 90 seconds left in the match. Windham and Williams fight on the outside while Rhodes and Austin legally do battle inside. Big lariat by Rhodes and Austin kicks out. Windham and Williams roll back in with their brawl, Rhodes drops an elbow on Austin, Stunning Steve kicks out once again.
Austin reverses momentum, he lifts Rhodes on his shoulder, The Natural with a switch and he hits a tombstone piledriver. Rhodes tries a pin, Williams breaks it up and the time runs out on the match. This match is a draw so Rhodes and Windham retain the unified tag team championship.
Winners: Time Limit Draw
- EA’s Take: Iron man match here, but after the tag team tournament this was probably nothing to Rhodes and Windham. There was a backstory that tensions may be brewing with the babyface champs, but no story of that nature was told here other than dispelling it backstage. This was where we originally were supposed to get the Gordy & Williams/Steiner Brothers clash, but Rick had torn his pec, therefore Windham and Rhodes were given the titles to set up a rematch. Gordy no-showed because of WCW’s ties to New Japan, while he and Williams were loyal to All-Japan, ultimately leading to his departure the company.