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Steve Austin vs Ricky Steamboat (WCW Saturday Night 03/12/94)

WCW Saturday Night March 12 1994 Steve Austin Ricky Steamboat 3.75* Atlanta Austin vs Steamboat Flair vs Steamboat

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#1 Loss

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 05:25 PM

Talk about it here.



#2 Loss

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:56 PM

Austin finally gets the time and quality opponent he needs to pull off the excellent match he's been teasing for months. Still, at 15 minutes, I think it could have easily gone twice as long, but Steamboat is much better at pacing a match than Sting or Pillman. The matwork at the beginning has this fluid urgency to it - for lack of a better way to describe it - that seems fitting for two guys that are fighting for a world title shot. They cut a crazy pace. Everything just looks amazing. I guess in some ways they were familiar opponents since they had been on opposite sides in multiple singles and tag team programs before this. But it still stands out to see two guys in their first singles match at the start of a fresh run clicking like this. Austin works an abdominal stretch, which Steamboat finally fights out of before being caught with a great spinebuster. They are really doing a great job of cutting off Steamboat's comebacks at just the right time. Steamboat was never really less than good, but he wasn't exactly setting the world on fire in singles matches throughout 1993, so it's great to see him getting back in top form in preparation for another main event run. Fantastic (Really!) nearfall stretch in the last 3-4 minutes, on par with Wrestlemania III. Steamboat winning the match by DQ when he needs to challenge for the world title on the next PPV sort of sucks, but this was still a tremendous match. I love the post-match angle with Flair and Steamboat, as Flair tries to help Steamboat fight off Austin and Parker and gets accidentally decked for his troubles. Pretty obvious Flair has the book when you see himself, Steamboat and Austin in the top mix.

#3 Chess Knight

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:09 PM

I went through a ton of WCW earlier this year and thought I saw every Steamboat/Austin, but I didn't know this one existed. BATB and Clash in 94 are awesome matches. How does this compare with those (and while I'm at it, the 92 Clash one)?

#4 Loss

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 05:28 AM

Blows away the '92 Clash. Need to see Bash at the Beach and the Clash again to see how they compare.

#5 Tim Cooke

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 01:14 PM

Great match, hadn't heard it talked about at all prior to Loss watching it. Finish sucks but the rest is excellent. Steamboat was very fired up and Austin was up for the challenge. How WCW missed what they had in Austin is another one of those wrestling "what if's?"

#6 Childs

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 03:02 PM

Great, great TV match. Every moment felt competitive as hell and wrestlers should watch this as a textbook on how to do hope spots and cutoffs. They had a studio crowd hanging on every nearfall. The DQ finish was a slight letdown after both guys had fought so hard, but at least the Flair run-in planted seeds of tension for the PPV match. I've long thought Austin-Steamboat was a great pairing. What a pleasure it was to catch this chapter for the first time.

#7 Kevin Ridge

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 11:15 AM

Yeah, I knew Steamboat was winning but they really had me going in the last few minutes. Great near pinfall exchange. Best of the Austin matches so far. Parker sure didn't have a whole lot of confidence in his man to interfere that quickly. Austin and Steamboat were still fighting over the backslide. So not the best ending but still an enjoyable match overall.

#8 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 05:00 AM

Decent match. These guys had some good matches but it was never really a match up that excited me. Whenever I watch a match like this, I try to imagine what it would be like to have seen it on a random Saturday night instead of placing too great an expectation on it. In that regard it was entertaining, but it only really kicked into high gear for me with the finishing stretch. Would've liked to have seen a pin.



#9 Exposer

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 01:25 PM

Great tv match here. The pace is really fast and that's what makes this so good. The cutoff spots were brilliant and very impressive considering the speed of the match. Th near falls towards the end were tremendous and the crowd was really into it. The finish is blah but the post-match stuff was a neat way to kick things off in the Flair-Steamboat program.

#10 soup23

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 08:51 AM

Austin has been a great bumper in all of his matches this year but this had the structure and pace to take this match tot he next level. Finish is dumb as hell but at least it does set up Flair/Steamboat in a good way of old enemies turned friends with understated resentment for each other.

#11 El-P

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 01:38 PM

I fail to see how this is a great match. It's a good to very good TV match, with an exciting finishing stretch, but they didn't make it anything special. Austin vs Pillman on the main event was more exciting. But I understand it's the first match of the program, so it's understandable that Steamboat would pace it as such, and it shows he's a pretty great worker. That being said, I thought his matches with Regal in 1993 blows this one away, hell he even had a much better match than this against Orndorff. I feel like it has been way overrated because it's Austin and Steamboat. As far as the booking goes, Flair gets way too much credit from the "workrate fans" during this short period before Hulk comes in. Yes, it is nice to see Steamboat get a main event feud one last time, but did it build toward the future ? Not at all. On this show you had Pillman work a long, competitive match against Tex Slazenger in the opener, then challenge Regal from nowhere for the TV title. Pillman was feuding with his former partner Austin on the B-shows and then, whoop, got demoted to an undercard feud. Then Austin get to work a match with Steamboat but doesn't get the match against Flair at the PPV which should have happened. Instead, it's Steamboat's turn which makes no sense kayfabe wise since his last single title was a short TV title reign, and it's clear that, as he's getting the shot in storyline because he's friend with Flair, well, it's the same thing in actual reality. And this we get the first Hogan promo on WCW TV on the same show, already referring to Flair, it's also obvious Flair was killing time booking his friends on top waiting to have his big program with Hogan. Austin was never destined to go higher than he already was, and the impending arrival of Hogan garanteed that he wouldn't anyway.

#12 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 07:54 PM

Steve Austin vs Ricky Steamboat - WCW Saturday Night 03/12/94 No. 1 Contender's Match

 

Austin gives his best individual performance up until this point and The Dragon is on form to deliver a great match. I loved the opening chippiness from Austin. It really felt like two men trying to win a match so they could challenge Flair for the title He has really found himself in the ring. He is such a cocky bastard now. You can definitely see that edge he would later exploit to become a megastar. I really had not seen that spark until this match right at the beginning. In his podcast, he loves talking about the opening collar-and-elbow tieup will tell so much about how the way the match will go and think his wristlock and Steamboat's headlock were worked so tight that you knew this was going to be a great match. I thought they spiced up Steamer's headlock well they teased the bridge/backslide sequence and took a left turn back into the headlock. Or when Steamboat goes for his first highspot a crossbody, but Austin uses his own momentum to get a pinfall attempt. The transition to Austin's heat segment was a little vanilla just a headbutt, but the ab stretch had the fans going crazy. Again, they were spicing up the heat segment with great hope spots and cutoffs like Austin's badass spinebuster. Finally they kick into the crazy nearfall finish stretch that is a Steamboat trademark. You will be out of breath just watching these guys. Steamboat tries every pinning predicament in the book, but can't finagle a win. Eventually, Col. Parker in a pure Jack Swagger dumbshit move just interferes triggering the disqualification. I think DQ have their place in the world, but not in a No. 1 Contenders match especially when there will be no return match. They could have had Parker jump The Dragon after the match and then have Steamboat chop Flair by accident. Still, my God, they cut one helluva pace, Austin seems to have finally found himself, but The Dragon would not be denied. ***3/4



#13 PeteF3

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 11:49 PM

One of the most balls-to-the-wall TV matches I've ever seen. After the headlockery and work over Steamboat's ribs, they cut a WM3-esque pace with some great bumping from Steamboat, some timely interference from the Colonel, and a ridiculous run of near-falls. Austin absolutely creams Steamboat with a spinebuster/Alabama slam thing, in a great transition. Not really a psychological masterpiece, though the opening matwork is quite good, but an awesome sprint. By the end the antiseptic Center Stage crowd (and my God, do I hate every facet of this new set-up) is losing their shit. Awful finish (what is with Col. Parker constantly getting his men disqualified in #1 contenders matches?), but the post-match angle is so good that I forget about it as soon as it happens.



#14 Zenjo

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 03:04 PM

The build here was decent without being standout. Steamboat controlled the mat early on with a series of side headlocks. Austin then took control with the help of a little rule breaking along the way. The stretch got hot in a hurry with some exciting near falls before the retarded finish hurt it bad. Totally unnecessary and the kind of thing that drives me nuts. Just like that you've fallen 20-30 spots on global MOTY lists and for what? The point of a #1 contenders match is to push someone and losing by a flash pinfall to Steamboat does nothing to hurt Austin's status.

#15 JKWebb

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 04:32 PM

Loss listed this match as #494 on his Top 500 Matches of the 90s article: 

 

placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-500-451/    

 

Austin always talks about "getting in there" and working "tight" and "snug."  I wonder if working with Ricky Steamboat helped develop his passion and/or mindset in regards to that.  I love watching Ricky Steamboat lock in a headlock or submission.  I remember when he came back to face Jericho after all those years of being away....he threw some armdrags and locked in a headlock... I came out of my seat.  I was thinking... oh yeah!  That's what that is supposed to look like!  I love this starts off with some pushing to get heated, and it gets intense with those vicious looking full arm dragon twist from Austin.  The headlocks, as always look great from steamboat, and the match has a great intense feel and pace.  I really enjoyed the matwork.  There wasn't a dull moment for me.  The only thing I didn't really enjoy that much was the bearhug, but I've never really enjoyed that spot.  However, the Steamboat comeback totally makes up for it.  The finishing stretch is awesome.  "They are out of their seats here"  I agree with the sentiments that this a great TV match accomplishing exactly what it needed to, and that this match is "textbook on how to do hope spots and cutoffs."  I think the ***3/4 is probably about right.  Really fun stuff here.



#16 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 06:13 PM

Decent match. These guys had some good matches but it was never really a match up that excited me. Whenever I watch a match like this, I try to imagine what it would be like to have seen it on a random Saturday night instead of placing too great an expectation on it. In that regard it was entertaining, but it only really kicked into high gear for me with the finishing stretch. Would've liked to have seen a pin.

 

Loss' #494. For once I agree with myself from four years ago. The match is decent but it's very much an aging Steamboat against a less experienced and more limited Austin than his WWF peak. Some of the action is good but there are small lulls too like Austin's bear hug. And a finish like that just makes the past 10-12 minutes seem inconsequential. The ode to WM III was a neat touch and something I didn't pick up on four years ago. 



#17 ajtroma

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 10:19 AM

I remember thinking back then that Steve Austin was going to be the next Ric Flair. Of course, he became the biggest thing in the business but it was like two different people. Terrific TV match but wouldnt Austin fire Col. Parker on the spot for such blantant stupidity?







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: WCW, Saturday Night, March 12, 1994, Steve Austin, Ricky Steamboat, 3.75*, Atlanta, Austin vs Steamboat, Flair vs Steamboat

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