This Week In 90’s Wrestling: April 5th – April 11th


Ric Flair and Woman were Jim Cornette’s guests during his Louisville Slugger segment on WCW Power Hour. Woman mentioned that she was on a manhunt and Cornette offered the services of the Midnight Express. This idea was dropped quickly, but the original plan was for Cornette to “loan” the Midnights to the Horsemen, which would eventually lead to a feud between the two factions. The politics that prevented this from playing out are described in fascinating fashion in Jim Cornette’s Midnight Express Scrapbook.

All Japan Pro Wrestling held a card in Osaka which included a **** Championship Carnival match between Jumbo Tsuruta and Toshiaki Kawada.

The USWA announced that future Monday night shows would take place in a different arena than Mid South Coliseum. The USWA and Mid South Coliseum management were at odds over the building raising their charge for security, raising weekly rent, adding a $2 parking fee and almost tripling ticket surcharges, in addition to negotiating with WCW to run 7-8 shows there per year. Reconciliation finally happened in September.

WCW Pro featured an excellent, if short ***3/4 match between Barry Windham and Brian Pillman. In the post-match angle, Larry Zbyszko attempted an interview with Windham, who was repeatedly interrupted by a Brian Pillman who continued to fight back.

WCW Worldwide featured an excellent ***1/2 main event when Ric Flair teamed with Barry Windham against Ricky Morton and Tommy Rich.

All Japan continued their annual Championship Carnival with a show in Osaka, where Stan Hansen and Toshiaki Kawada faced off in a **** match.

New Japan held a card at the Sumo Hall in Tokyo, which include a ***1/4 junior heavyweight match, as Jushin Liger teamed with El Samurai against Ultimo Dragon and Norio Honaga. In the main event, Riki Choshu avenged his Tokyo Dome loss to Genichiro Tenryu, defeating him in a **** match.

All Japan held a card in Okayama where Mitsuharu Misawa faced Toshiaki Kawada. Remarkably, Kawada broke Misawa’s orbital bone with a stiff shot in the first minute and Misawa still delivered a **** match and went to the 30-minute time limit draw just as planned.

WCW presented Spring Stampede on pay-per-view live from Tupelo, MS, in front of 8,356 fans. Diamond Dallas Page received the biggest break of his career when he faced Randy Savage in the main event of the show and earned a victory. The Savage-DDP feud would continue through most of 1997 and make Page a bonafide star. Also on the show, Lex Luger defeated The Giant, Booker T and Stevie Ray in a four-corners match to earn a WCW World Title shot later in the year, and NWO dissension was further teased to conclude the show. The show’s undercard looked great on paper with Rey Misterio Jr. vs Ultimo Dragon and Chris Benoit vs Dean Malenko, both matches that had delivered in a big way on shows just a few months earlier, but they were unable to reach that level a second — or in the case of Rey-Ultimo, third — time around. However, the show may be most remembered for a slip of the tongue from Booker T, where he may or may not have directed a racial slur at Hulk Hogan. The show did just over 204,000 buys, and you can watch it on the WWE Network.

WWF Monday Night RAW aired a show taped on March 31 in Syracuse, NY. The Austin-McMahon feud continued to take center stage, this time around with Vince revealing a “new and improved” Steve Austin, who wore a suit and tie before taking it off and giving the owner a stunner. Also on the show, Mick Foley delivered one of his best interviews, hinting at his upcoming heel turn by taking shots at the fans for chanting Austin’s name when DX attacked Funk and him the week before. The show scored a 4.7 rating, a major upswing from the week before and their highest number in two years. This also broke the 83-week winning streak of Nitro, as RAW narrowly edged out Nitro for the evening, which delivered a 4.6 rating.

In The “To Watch” Queue:
Stan Hansen, Giant Baba & Yoshinari Ogawa vs Johnny Ace, Dan Kroffat & The Eagle (AJPW 04/06/95)
Kenta Kobashi vs Takao Omori (AJPW 04/06/95)
Akira Taue vs Jun Akiyama (AJPW 04/06/95)