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[1993-01-02-WCW-Saturday Night] Special Report: WCW World title change recap

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Eric Bischoff, who is a pretty bad narrator, tells us that Vader beat Ron Simmons at Baltimore Arena on December 30, as we see still pictures of them on the screen.

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Vader beats Simmons to become new WCW champion. No clips or photos from this mach? Maybe it makes the whole idea of anything could happen on house shows but there has to be someone ringside who could have snapped a couple photos of a big title change.

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Vader beats Simmons to become new WCW champion. No clips or photos from this mach? Maybe it makes the whole idea of anything could happen on house shows but there has to be someone ringside who could have snapped a couple photos of a big title change.

The title change was actually scheduled to take place the night before in Philly. Bill Watts was there, a camera crew was sent...and Simmons no-showed the card. That necessitated the change in Baltimore (symmetry!) instead, and if the dwindling gates under Simmons' reign as champ wasn't enough to knock him out of the top babyface spot for good, that little stunt surely did.

 

So, yeah, we get Eric Bischoff breathlessly reciting play-by-play of the match over still photos of Simmons and Vader. Underwhelming, but WCW simply couldn't continue with Simmons as champion.

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They actually did a nice, subtle job building up Simmons' vulnerability: the Rude medical report "controversy", plus getting distracted by things like the arm wrestling tournament and too many other people's battles, like helping Dustin vs. Barry.

 

In the finish, which we see next week, Vader wins with a shoulderbreaker off a caught crossbody attempt.

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Arm wrestling contest? I just finished the '92 Yearbook, and no one ever mentioned Simmons participating in an arm wrestling contest. Could someone please explain?

 

The finish was a nice tie-in to the whole thing Rude brought up about Simmons' bad shoulder.

 

One question: If the cameras were in Philly the night before, why didn't Watts simply take them to Baltimore? I understand that Turner probably didn't want them trailing Simmons until he finally decided to show up, but one more short trip wouldn't have hurt much. If he still doesn't show and you have to bring the cameras home, simply make up an injury, declare the title vacant, and have a match between Sting and Vader on the spot for it. You can go whichever way you want on the booking, since they'll be meeting at SuperBrawl anyway.

 

It's going to be interesting to see where Simmons' career can possibly go after such a public act of unreliiability. I don't think you'll see him hold even a minor belt ever again, so what could there be left for him except a permanent upper midcard "gateway to the title" role similar to the one that guys like Jake and Beefcake filled at various times for Hogan?

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Arm wrestling contest? I just finished the '92 Yearbook, and no one ever mentioned Simmons participating in an arm wrestling contest. Could someone please explain?

 

Sure. Jesse ran the Body's Strongest Arm contest, Simmons participated, got beat in the finals by Van Hammer (who also went over Vader in the semis). They referenced it occasionally as a distraction that the world champion really didn't need to take on. None of it would or should have ever made the Yearbook, ha.

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So this was all a plot by Jesse to distract the World champion, huh? Damn that Ventura! :D

 

Seriously, they used a contest like this to give Van Hammer a rub? You'd think it would have been a cakewalk for the World champion, who still needed to prove himself as the cornerstone of the company and number one babyface. Od course, this is WCW we're talking about, so I guess we're lucky that they didn't put over Lee Scott or Zan Panzer.

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