–Eric Bischoff and Bobby Heenan are doing studio duties for today’s broadcast. They briefly discuss Ric Flair’s reinstatement.
–Bischoff hypes WCW’s rubber action figures. Heenan uses the Vader figure to knock the Hulk Hogan figure off his desk.
–Heenan puts over how Diamond Dallas Page is thirteen million dollars richer. Bischoff, who exposed how Page was living a less than optimal lifestyle months ago, is a skeptic.
–Bischoff and Heenan debate whether Ric Flair will interfere in the Arn Anderson-Alex Wright match at Slamboree.
–Television Championship Match: Brian Pillman (11-0) defeats Arn Anderson (Champion w/Ric Flair) (9-7-2) via disqualification when Flair interferes at 8:00:
Tony Schiavone and Dusty Rhodes call this match. Entrances confirm that Anderson is no longer part of the Stud Stable as Flair accompanies him to the ring. That is quite a loss for Colonel Robert Parker, but he said on Saturday Night that Meng was his top priority. Anderson’s offense is fairly basic against Flyin’ Brian, with Flair getting most of the shine in the match by interjecting when Pillman is tossed to the arena floor. Flair also factors in the supposed finish of this basic match as Anderson holds on when Pillman backdrops him out of a piledriver attempt and Flair gives Anderson leverage to win. However, Alex Wright comes out with referee Nick Patrick and the match is restarted, with Pillman having the title won after a flying bulldog only to have Flair run in and cause a disqualification. Is this finish necessary? Pillman’s “California” character is going nowhere and Anderson is in the need of some credible victories to build toward Slamboree. The idea of a future Pillman/Wright vs. Flair/Anderson tag team match is appealing, though. Rating: *½
–Bischoff tells fans that a bout in the United States Championship Tournament will be featured on next week’s show.
The Last Word: The feature match was very basic as Pillman and Anderson were content to do a very toned-down match that meant very little in storyline terms. The mess of a finish brought it down and made this show forgettable, a pattern that is becoming all too familiar with Main Event. The United States Championship Tournament might change that, though.
Backstage News*: Lord Steven Regal wrestled IWGP Champion Shinya Hashimoto in Japan, with Hashimoto winning by submission with a cross armbreaker. Johnny B. Badd is also working Japan dates, facing the likes of Takayuki Iizuka, Black Cat, and El Samurai, with Badd going over in every encounter.
*WCW is concerned that the recent deaths of Eddie Gilbert and Big John Studd might cause news and sports publications to investigate steroids in pro wrestling. Compared to the WWF, WCW has done little to test for banned substances and Frank Andersson’s two-year suspended sentence for purchasing HGH leaves them open to criticism.
*In talent relations news, Road Warrior Animal appears content to receive payouts from a disability policy rather than return to the ring, meaning that Road Warrior Hawk might be coming to WCW without him. The Steiner Brothers are expected to debut at The Great American Bash in June. WCW has also sent Kenny Kendall and the Gambler to the USWA for additional training and both have received pushes on Memphis television. And it appears that Steve Austin and the Butcher may not be cut from WCW’s payroll after all, with Hogan campaigning to save the Butcher’s contract. Austin may be kept around in a midcard role, although he is not programmed on television with the new stable of Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, and Vader as originally predicted.
*Gene Okerlund is not in good health as his body rejected a donated kidney and he was hospitalized for blood clots in his legs. His condition appears to have stabilized, though, and he filed his latest hotline report from the hospital.
*The main event of the Great American Bash appears to be Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage and Arn Anderson might be facing the Renegade.
*Backstage sources suggest that Vader was recently asked to turn babyface, which might be part of Hulk Hogan’s politicking since Vader could job to turn and then Hogan would never have to return the favor. Finally, Avalanche will likely be repackaged after taking some time off.
*Backstage news provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for April 24.
Up Next: WCW Pro for April 22!