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The Law
May 13th, 2013, 1:10 PM
I've always loved WCW. As an eight year-old in late 1997, WCW was the company that introduced me to wrestling. I was fascinated by the stories I was seeing on my screen. At the time, WCW was on top of the wrestling world. They were beating Vince McMahon like no one else in history had ever done. They had risen from a regional promotion to the most successful wrestling company in the world. And then, less than four years later, they were out of business. This is the story of how that happened.

WWE has a version of this story. In their version, WCW did a few good things but was mostly an incompetent company that only did as well as they did because of Ted Turner's money and Eric Bischoff's underhanded tactics. I'm going to tell you the real story. I'm going to tell you the story of the company that created the pay-per-view supercard with the first Starrcade in 1983. Oh, you didn't really think that Wrestlemania was the first pay-per-view, did you? I'm going to tell you the story of the company that truly embraced global wrestling, bringing in stars from all across the world and putting them on top. I'm going to tell you the story of the company that brought Vince McMahon to his knees, and how they threw it all away.

I started this project because I want to show everyone that WCW is more than just the Shockmaster, the Black Scorpion, and David Arquette. Far from a joke, WCW produced many of the greatest wrestling matches the world has ever seen. I want everyone to understand the greatness of the Flair/Steamboat trilogy, of War Games, of the Cruiserweight division. I want everyone to know the story of the Dangerous Alliance, of the New World Order, and the Four Horsemen. This is the story of Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat, Sting and Lex Luger, Hulk Hogan and Goldberg. Of Diamond Dallas Page and Booker T, of the Steiner Brothers and the Road Warriors. This is the story of one of wrestling's greatest companies. This is the story of World Championship Wrestling.

Cewsh
May 13th, 2013, 1:13 PM
So excited. Have at it, Law. :yes:

The Law
May 13th, 2013, 1:14 PM
Chi-Town Rumble 1989
February 20, 1989
Chicago, Illinois
UIC Pavilion

Welcome to the WCW Pay-Per-View Flashbacks! I’m choosing to start with Chi-Town Rumble because this is the first show after Ted Turner bought out Jim Crockett Promotions from Jim Crockett. First, allow me to briefly recap the events that brought us here: Jim Crockett Promotions was one of many regional wrestling companies in the United States. When Vince McMahon took the WWF national in the early 1980s, Crockett emerged as his top competitor. Vince owned the north, Crockett owned the south. Crockett began to consolidate talent and buy out other southern promotions, seeking to go national in his own right.

Crockett beat Vince McMahon to the punch on pay-per-view when he promoted the first Starrcade on Thanksgiving night 1983. The show was broadcast on closed-circuit television to the arenas around the south that JCP ran. Starrcade was a major success, and became an annual tradition. The WWF launched Wrestlemania in 1985, giving JCP competition in the pay-per-view business. That competition really heated up in 1987 when the WWF ran the first Survivor Series on Thanksgiving night, seeking to undercut Starrcade. McMahon also informed the pay-per-view providers that any company who aired Starrcade would not be allowed to broadcast Wrestlemania. This led almost every pay-per-view provider to decline to broadcast the show, resulting in financial disaster for Crockett.

McMahon pulled the same dirty trick in early 1988 when he scheduled the Royal Rumble to air on USA opposite Crockett’s Bunkhouse Stampede pay-per-view. Crockett struck back by airing the first Clash of the Champions, featuring Sting fighting Ric Flair to a 45 minute time-limit draw, opposite Wrestlemania IV. That contributed to a disappointing buyrate for Wrestlemania. But that was too little and too late. Desperately in debt, Crockett looked for someone to buy him out. His prayers were answered when the billionaire Ted Turner, founder of TBS, TNT, and CNN, made him an offer he could not refuse. Thus, Turner bought out Jim Crockett Promotions and renamed it “World Championship Wrestling.” And the stage was set for the titanic collision between WCW and the WWF, the war that defined professional wrestling in the 1990s. So here’s the status quo as we begin 1989:

NWA Champion-Ric Flair
United States Champion-Barry Windham
Television Champion-Rick Steiner
Tag Team Champions-The Road Warriors
United States Tag Team Champions-Kevin Sullivan and Steve Williams

Pretty solid collection of talent there. The previous PPV, Starrcade 1988, featured Flair retaining the NWA Championship by defeating Lex Luger in the main event. Tonight is Ricky Steamboat's big shot at the NWA Championship. The build to the match has focused on the contrast between the humble family man Steamboat and the flashy, cocky womanizer Flair. However, many fans loved Flair so much that they chose to cheer for him over Steamboat. Anyway, let's get to the action:

Jim Ross and Bob Caudle are our hosts.

They open with an interview with Steamboat who talks about his love for his family. He's joined by his wife and young son.

Butch Reed vs. Sting

Reed is billed as "Hacksaw." Only one man in wrestling should be allowed to have that nickname. Reed is an African-American power house, in many ways reminiscent of Ron Simmons, with whom he would later form a tag team. Sting gets a huge pop upon his entrance. This is after his great battle against Flair at Clash of the Champions in 1987, so it's well-known that he's the future of WCW. Long stall session to start. The announcing is already in contrast to WWF events: the announcers are analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the wrestlers and how they match up. This is a battle of Sting's athleticism against Reed's power. Reed rolls outside after a dropkick from Sting. JR puts over Sting as a revolutionary wrestler who has both size and leaping ability, comparing him to Magic Johnson.

Sting applies a long Headlock. The PA announcer says that five minutes have passed. Before the match they announced it as having a 45 minute time-limit, which is an interesting way of making it seem more like a legitimate sport. Sting works on the arm. This is very boring so far, nothing but basic mat wrestling. Reed bails again. He gets back in, hits some power stuff, but Sting regains control and goes back to the arm. Sting applies a long Armbar. Reed eventually makes his way to his feet and throws Sting to the floor. Reed starts a heat segment at ten minutes in. It's really just punches and boot grinding. Reed applies a chinlock. He proceeds to hold it for several minutes. Sting finally fights out and starts his comeback. Sting tries a Vader Bomb, but Reed gets his knees up. Reed ends up applying another Chinlock. Sting gets out with a Jawbreaker. Sting hits a big clothesline and the crowd goes crazy. Sting's comeback is stymied when Reed throws him to the floor. Sting gets to the apron and executes a Sunset Flip for the win at 20:04.

Result: Sting by pinfall

Analysis: 1/2*. Sweet Jesus was that boring. Twenty minutes of rest holds. No idea what the point of that going 20 minutes was.

Backstage we hear from Paul E. Dangerously and the Midnight Express. Paul E. Dangerously is, of course, Paul Heyman. He's young and has all his hair here. He introduces Jack Victory, who will be replacing Dennis Condrey in this upcoming match. Condrey Randy Rose will face the new Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane) with the loser having to leave the NWA.

The Midnight Express (Randy Rose, Jack Victory, and Paul E. Dangerously) vs. The New Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton, Stan Lane, and Jim Cornette)

We hear from Cornette and the New Midnight Express in the back. Classic Cornette promo, lots of yelling. The individual who gets pinned in this match has to leave the NWA. Randy Rose and Dennis Condrey were original members of the Midnight Express, Lane and Eaton are the best-known incarnation of the team. Lane starts against Rose. Rose goes up top early but gets caught and slammed. Lane clotheslines Rose to the floor. Rose tags out to Victory. Lane tags to Eaton, then hits a Drop Toe Hold. Both Lane and Cornette drop elbows. Quick tags by Lane and Eaton as they control. Rose tags back in. Eaton ends up getting thrown from the apron onto the guardrail in a devastating bump for the time. Dangerously tags in and beats on the wounded Eaton. As soon as Eaton gets up, Dangerously runs to tag Rose. Cornette tags in and demands Dangerously tag in. Worth noting those two hate each other in real life, although I don't think that had developed yet. Rose slams Cornette and tags Dangerously. Cornette makes a comeback, but Dangerously tags out to Rose. Rose and Victory both pummel Cornette.

Cornette makes the hot tag to Lane. Victory manages to take Lane down after Dangerously distracts him. Rose tags in and works over Lane. Rose throws Lane to the floor and hits a Fist Drop from the top rope. Back in the ring Rose continues to dominate. Rose tries a Piledriver but gets backdropped. Victory tags in as Cornette rallies the crowd. Lane blocks a corner charge and tags in Eaton. He slams Victory and goes up top. Missile Dropkick! Eaton grabs Victory's hand and tags Dangerously! Cornette tags in! Cornette beats down Dangerously, but his pin is broken up. Rose and Lane tag in. Lane slams Rose and misses the Alabama Jam Leg Drop from the top rope. Rose eats a Double Flapjack and is pinned by Lane at 15:54.

Result: New Midnight Express by pinfall

Analysis: ***1/4. Good match. The crowd was really into it and the hijinks with Cornette and Dangerously were a lot of fun.

Ric Flair interview in the back. Flair says he's beaten every great wrestler in the world and he'll beat Ricky Steamboat tonight.

NWA World Television Championship: Rick Steiner (c) vs. Mike Rotunda

Backstage, Rick introduces his brother Scott. This is Scott Steiner's WCW debut. Scott says Rick got in a car accident, which explains his bizarre behavior. Rotunda is best known for playing IRS in the WWF in the early 1990s. Both guys here have backgrounds as amateur wrestlers. Rotunda wrestled at Syracuse, Steiner at Michigan. They exchange basic holds early. Rotunda ditches the amateur stuff and starts hitting Steiner with forearms. Steiner ends up Clotheslining Rotunda out of the ring. Back in the ring Steiner hits another clothesline and plays to the crowd. Rotunda manages to lock in an Abdominal Stretch while holding the rope. He holds it until Teddy Long catches him. Rotunda rides Steiner and locks in an arm lock. Back to their feet, Steiner shoots Rotunda to the ropes and Back Drops him.

Steiner goes up top. He misses a Splash. Steiner makes his way to the feet and hits a big Power Slam. He doesn't go for the cover because he gets confused. Kevin Sullivan emerges from the locker room and says he likes Steiner's dog. Rick is distracted, but ultimately goes back into the ring. Rotunda hits a suplex, but Steiner kicks out. Rotunda misses a Drop Kick and Steiner applies a Sleeper Hold. Steiner lays back for leverage and is pinned by Rotunda. Rotunda wins the TV Title despite being out cold at 15:27.

Result: Mike Rotunda by pinfall (New Television Champion)

Analysis: ***. Good traditional wrestling match. Both guys were very good mat wrestlers and they did a good job of playing up Rick's character and simplistic nature.

Backstage we hear from the Road Warriors and Paul Ellering.

NWA United States Championship: Barry Windham (c) vs. Lex Luger

This stems from Windham turning on Luger to join the Four Horsemen months ago. They run the ropes and Luger locks on a Sleeper. Windham powers out with a Back Suplex. Luger no-sells and hits an Atomic Drop. Military Press from Luger and the crowd goes wild. Luger Backdrops Windham. Luger goes up top (!) and misses a Cross Body Block. Windham pounds on Luger outside the ring. Suplex from the apron into the ring. JR says Luger was an offensive lineman in football. He's right; Luger washed out of Penn State and the University of Miami before playing in the Canadian Football League and USFL. He actually played with Ron Simmons on the Memphis Showboats. Anyway, Windham is still working over Luger. He misses a punch, hits the ring post, and appears to have broken his hand.

Windham applies The Claw, a head squeeze. But his hand is broken, so he can't hold it. Windham hits a Front Powerslam, but Luger kicks out. Windham connects with the Superplex. Luger kicks out. Windham hits a German Suplex and bridges into the pin. His shoulders are down, but Luger raises his shoulder before the three count and gets the pin at 10:44.

Result: Lex Luger by pinfall (New United States Champion)

Analysis: **3/4. Decent match. Could have used more hope spots from Luger. Kind of a strange way for Luger to win the title as a babyface.

Windham throws a tantrum after the match and Piledrives Luger on the title belt.

Backstage we hear from the new Television Champion Mike Rotunda. He says maybe he was lucky tonight, but all anyone will remember is that he won.

NWA Tag Team Championship: Road Warriors (c) vs. Varsity Club (Steve Williams and Kevin Sullivan)

Road Warriors are out to "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath and a huge pop from their kayfabe hometown crowd. Sullivan and Williams are members of the Varsity Club, a stable of former amateur wrestlers. Sullivan starts against Animal. Sullivan goes up top early. Animal sloppily catches him and slams. Sullivan tags out to Williams. Animal shoots him to the rope, Powerslams him, and tags in Hawk. Williams hits a very impressive Press Slam. Double Clothesline from the Road Warriors. Sullivan tags in and he and Williams double team Animal. Sullivan hits Animal with a chair behind the referee's back. Arm work from Williams and Sullivan as they tag in and out. Eventually Hawk gets out, they do a double KO spot and Animal tags Hawk. Hawk comes off the top with a Shoulderblock while Williams simultaneously pins Animal. Hawk and Sullivan were the legal men, so the Road Warriors retain at 8:27.

Result: Road Warriors by pinfall

Analysis: **. Not bad, but needed more time.

Backstage, we hear from Lex Luger. He's honored and humbled to be the new United States Champion.

NWA Championship: Ric Flair (c) vs. Ricky Steamboat

Steamboat is out first with his wife and son. Flair has a group of trumpeters play him out. He also has a group of beautiful women. Love how the entrances build this up and a big match and establish the character of the men involved. Flair gets a lot of cheers. Steamboat with a quick Shoulderblock and cover. Steamboat gets another two count off a roll-up and Flair bails. They exchange hard chops. Steamboat chops Flair in the face and knocks him down. Steamboat keeps control with a headlock. He's confident and in control. Flair repeatedly rolls Steamboat into a cover. JR puts over Steamboat as the common man whereas Flair is from an affluent background and attended boarding school as a child. Flair bails after another near fall.

They run the ropes and Steamboat knocks Flair down with a double chop. Flair rolls out of the ring. Back in, Steamboat hits a Hip Toss, Headscissor, and a Dropkick. Flair catches Steamboat with a back elbow, but Steamboat gets back up and knocks him out of the ring. Steamboat climbs to the top rope, but the referee won't let him jump off at Flair. Steamboat goes outside and Flair takes over with a rake to the eyes. He slams Steamboat into the guardrail. Back in the ring, Flair hits a Snapmare and drops a knee. Double Underhook Suplex by Flair. They trade chops. Flair is thrown to the corner, does the Flair Flip, runs to the opposite turnbuckle, and dives off with a Body Press. He connects, but Steamboat rolls through for a two count. So don't let anyone tell you Flair never hit a top rope move after Starrcade 1983. Steamboat goes for a 10 Punch, but gets an Atomic Drop and Flair applies the Figure Four.

Steamboat hits the mat repeatedly. Today, that would be considered a tap out, but this is when submissions were only signaled verbally. Flair grabs the ropes for leverage. The referee eventually catches Flair and forces him to break the hold. Flair attacks the legs. Steamboat fights back with chops. Flair hits a Body Press and both guys fly over the top rope. Flair sends Steamboat flying into the ring post. Flair Suplexes Steamboat from the apron into the ring. Back Breaker by Flair. Flair applies a chinlock while using the ropes for leverage. Steamboat rolls up Flair, but he kicks out. Steamboat tries a Flying Body Press from the top rope but misses. Nice mat series and a Double Underhook Suplex by Steamboat. Steamboat blocks a Hip Toss and counters with a Backslide. Clothesline from Steamboat puts both guys down. Steamboat goes up top and hits the Flying Chop. He goes up top again and hits a Body Press, but knocks the referee down in the process. Flair rolls Steamboat up, but there's still no referee. Steamboat goes up top while Flair checks on the referee, but misses a Flying Body Press. Flair goes for a Figure Four, but Steamboat rolls him up with a Small Package to win the NWA Title at 23:18.

Result: Ricky Steamboat by pinfall (New NWA Champion)

Analysis: *****. One of the great wrestling matches of all-time. These guys were both phenomenal wrestlers in every aspect of the game, and gelled perfectly. They went at it here non-stop for over 20 minutes. The crowd was hot, the moves were crisp, the story was perfect. Absolutely phenomenal stuff from both of these guys.

Steamboat celebrates with his wife and son in the ring to the standing ovation. He got some boos during the match, but the response after is mostly positive.

Backstage, we hear from Steamboat. Luger, Steiner, and the Midnight Express bathe him in champagne to celebrate his win. That's a nice little touch that we never see anymore. Steamboat tries to deliver his promo despite the fact that he has champagne in his eyes, which burns. He promises Flair a rematch. The announcers close it out by noting that three out of four championships changed hands.

Overall: Great show. The main event is an all-time classic and all the matches other than Sting/Reed were good to very good. This is the first WCW show and it was a great way for the company to get started.

Grade: A-

The Law
May 13th, 2013, 1:14 PM
Whoops, double post. Anyway, I'll be posting these every few days. I would definitely appreciate feedback on whether you want more or less recapping, more/less focus on storylines, more/less historical context, more/less comparison of what was going on in the WWF at the time.

Kimura Kid
May 13th, 2013, 1:49 PM
As an eight year-old in late 1997

I seriously should have applied myself more in School. I assumed you were my elder by at least a decade. I'm 5 years your elder....And no one would be able to tell by comparing forum posts.

Ringo
May 13th, 2013, 1:58 PM
I have loads of WCW PPVs on my hard drive - all up until around '96 I think. May well join you in rewatching some of these shows and watching others for the first time if you recommend them.

Cewsh
May 13th, 2013, 2:03 PM
Same here. WCW from 89-94 is a big gooey mystery for me, for the most part.

The Law
May 13th, 2013, 2:10 PM
I'm only up to mid-1992, but there's been a lot of awesome stuff. Great American Bash 1989 might be the best PPV ever: Sting vs. Muta, Luger vs. Steamboat, a WarGames Match with the Road Warriors, The Midnight Express, and Steve Williams against the Freebirds and Headshrinkers, and Flair vs. Funk in the main event. I rate all those matches four stars or above. There's a few decent matches on the undercard too.

SuperBrawl 1992 is another great show. Liger and Pillman absolutely tear the house down in the opener, Steve Austin and Larry Zbyszko have an awesome tag match against Barry Windham and Dustin Rhodes, Arn Anderson and Bobby Eaton have another really good tag match against the Steiners, and Steamboat and Rude have a match that's exactly as good as you would expect. Only downside is that Sting and Luger didn't really do much in the main event.

WrestleWar 1992 is also fantastic. The WarGames match in the main event is a master showcase of brutality. Pillman and Tom Zenk have a really good match and the Steiners have one of the stiffest matches I've ever seen against Tatsumi Fujinami and Takayuki Iizuka.

Ringo
May 13th, 2013, 2:26 PM
Have you been watching the early Clash shows as well or just the PPVs? Got to watch COTC man. So many great matches and moments.

Panther52
May 13th, 2013, 3:52 PM
thanks for starting this thread i really enjoyed the first edition. bringin back some good memories. and some there were buried in my forgetful brain at that.
quite honestly i still think the 3 best rivalries i've ever seen were in NWA/WCW. Sting v Flair (first clash of champs match still my fav match ever), Flair v Muta and Sting v Muta. obvsiouly there's several others that are up there to most people like Flair v Steamboat, Sting v Vader, Magnum TA vs Tully, Rhodes v Flair and many more.

JT4104
May 13th, 2013, 6:46 PM
I love WCW from 87-89 or so....I remember my mom would take me to the video store in the early 90's and I would rent the same PPV's time after time. I'd bet I have seen Havoc 89 and GAB 89 at least 10 times each.

Peter Griffin
May 13th, 2013, 7:00 PM
Fuck WCW

Cewsh
May 13th, 2013, 7:16 PM
Why?

Peter Griffin
May 13th, 2013, 7:20 PM
I'm a WWF guy :squint:

Jimmy Zero
May 13th, 2013, 7:26 PM
Fuck WCW

What stunning and worthwhile insight.

G-Fresh
May 13th, 2013, 7:27 PM
Ya'll are making WCW out to be way better than it was. It was all downhill from 1995 on. I try to watch Nitro on WWE Classics and that shit is fuckin boring. Even the Best of Nitro DVD was fuckin awful for the most part. I had a broken H card and then a broken HU card so I could watch PPVs for free and still didn't waste my time watching the shit.

At least Doink & the other goofy gimmicks in WWF were entertaining.

Peter Griffin
May 13th, 2013, 7:29 PM
What stunning and worthwhile insight.

Thankyou

JRSlim21
May 14th, 2013, 12:08 AM
Welcome back to my childhood. Once I see Chamber of Horrors, we'll see where JR Slim's childhood took off (back then, there was no such thing as a shit match to me).

Cewsh
May 14th, 2013, 12:23 AM
Ya'll are making WCW out to be way better than it was. It was all downhill from 1995 on. I try to watch Nitro on WWE Classics and that shit is fuckin boring. Even the Best of Nitro DVD was fuckin awful for the most part. I had a broken H card and then a broken HU card so I could watch PPVs for free and still didn't waste my time watching the shit.

At least Doink & the other goofy gimmicks in WWF were entertaining.

We're talking about 1989 - 1994, primarily.

The Law
May 14th, 2013, 12:26 AM
Ya'll are making WCW out to be way better than it was. It was all downhill from 1995 on. I try to watch Nitro on WWE Classics and that shit is fuckin boring. Even the Best of Nitro DVD was fuckin awful for the most part. I had a broken H card and then a broken HU card so I could watch PPVs for free and still didn't waste my time watching the shit.

At least Doink & the other goofy gimmicks in WWF were entertaining.

Really? I thought Nitro in the 1996-1998 range was the best wrestling show ever produced. The quality of wrestling you were getting every week was incredible-you had the cruiserweights putting on two or three good matches every week, the Steiners still going strong in the tag division, and guys like Benoit, Regal, Booker T, and Konnan in the midcard. I loved the variety you'd get every week: A lucha match, a tag match, a technical match, a Japanese-style match. You also had the big names at the top of the card: Hogan, Hall, Nash, Savage, Flair, Sting. The NWO angle was the hottest and best thing in wrestling in that timespan. Even 15 years later, it's absolutely captivating to watch those guys invade the company and take over. Hollywood Hogan was one of wrestling's greatest heels, and he never gets the credit for it. Obviously, his matches at that point generally weren't great, but the heat he drew was unreal and his promos were top-notch. I don't think any wrestling show has ever topped mid-90s Nitro.

OD50
May 14th, 2013, 3:04 AM
We're talking about 1989 - 1994, primarily.

Those were great years. From the moment Hogan made his first in-ring appearance at that Clash of the Champions event (XXVI?) in 1994 my enjoyment of WCW went down the shitter. :(

I know it was good for them financially, but the product for the most part became complete garbage.

takerson
May 14th, 2013, 11:59 AM
Really? I thought Nitro in the 1996-1998 range was the best wrestling show ever produced. The quality of wrestling you were getting every week was incredible-you had the cruiserweights putting on two or three good matches every week, the Steiners still going strong in the tag division, and guys like Benoit, Regal, Booker T, and Konnan in the midcard. I loved the variety you'd get every week: A lucha match, a tag match, a technical match, a Japanese-style match. You also had the big names at the top of the card: Hogan, Hall, Nash, Savage, Flair, Sting. The NWO angle was the hottest and best thing in wrestling in that timespan. Even 15 years later, it's absolutely captivating to watch those guys invade the company and take over. Hollywood Hogan was one of wrestling's greatest heels, and he never gets the credit for it. Obviously, his matches at that point generally weren't great, but the heat he drew was unreal and his promos were top-notch. I don't think any wrestling show has ever topped mid-90s Nitro.

That may be so, if you're watching the shows in their entirety and as they happened, but the "Best Of Nitro" DVD IS pretty bad/off-putting. I bought it, so excited to see what the hype was about, and NO JOKE... Nearly EVERY MATCH on the DVD ended in interference or DQ. Every fucking match. The joke with me & my brother is "Monday Night Interference" now. Unfortunately, that's my only experience with Nitro. I appreciate the good, like I know how big the nWo thing is/was for wrestling history. As a matter of fact, quick story, My high school graduation was held in the Daytona Beach Ocean Center, the same arena that the Hogan turn that formed the nWo happened in.... I was sat about mid-arena for the ceremony.... here I am, graduating HS, one of the milestones in life.... and all I can think about is "OMG, I'm sitting RIGHT where Hogan turned heel and changed wrestling forever. RIGHT HERE. WHERE I'M SITTING". :lol:


And THE LAW, this thread is awesome. I'm looking forward to you helping me catch up on this era of WCW. I wouldn't change much about it at all. Maybe a LITTLE more opinion added to the mostly straight up play by play. :yes:

The Law
May 14th, 2013, 12:26 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO9zxsRzN-M

One of the greatest moments ever in wrestling. And holy shit, did he ever nail that promo. He had to knock it out of the park, and he did. If I had been Bischoff, I would have been legitimately concerned about Hogan's ability to play heel at that point, considering he hadn't done it in over 15 years. Turns out, he need not have worried. Hogan proved to be one of wrestling's greatest heels. It's a perfect trope: the narcissistic, self-centered athlete who thinks he's better than the fans. And the best part is that it was totally logical: He had been getting a lot of boos from the fans from the start of his run in WCW. So it made sense that he would betray them. Hogan was the perfect third man. The other choices (Sting, Savage, Bret Hart) just wouldn't have worked.

Cewsh
May 14th, 2013, 12:30 PM
For whatever may have been wrong with Nitro era WCW, I don't think anyone could say that on screen Hogan was part of it. His heel work was completely amazing.

Kneeneighbor
May 14th, 2013, 12:41 PM
Hogan was great in that promo except for calling it the New World Organization twice.

Panther52
May 14th, 2013, 1:55 PM
That may be so, if you're watching the shows in their entirety and as they happened, but the "Best Of Nitro" DVD IS pretty bad/off-putting. I bought it, so excited to see what the hype was about, and NO JOKE... Nearly EVERY MATCH on the DVD ended in interference or DQ. Every fucking match. The joke with me & my brother is "Monday Night Interference" now. Unfortunately, that's my only experience with Nitro.

Here's a lil advice I'll give to you reguarding watching WCW or even more importantly learning facts of the world. History is typically REWRITTEN by the victors. If you really want to know about something don't just take one source. Do the work and learn about it from multiple angles.

G-Fresh
May 14th, 2013, 2:00 PM
I reckon I'll watch some oldschool PPVs tonight. Halloween Havoc 1989 is one of my favorites. I watch the Thunderdome match regularly.

JP
May 14th, 2013, 2:24 PM
Here's a lil advice I'll give to you reguarding watching WCW or even more importantly learning facts of the world. History is typically REWRITTEN by the victors. If you really want to know about something don't just take one source. Do the work and learn about it from multiple angles.

:lol:

We're talking about WCW mate, not the American Civil War.

And he's right, WCW had an over reliance on dodgy finishes, thinking erroneously that it protected people better than a competitive loss.

Cewsh
May 14th, 2013, 2:45 PM
People who loved the Nitro era think back and remember 1996-1998. The rest of us remember 99-01.

The Law
May 15th, 2013, 12:56 AM
http://cdn102.iofferphoto.com/img3/item/505/672/122/nwa-classic-wrestle-war-1989-wcw-6a0d.jpg

WrestleWar 1989: Music City Showdown
May 7, 1989
Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville Municipal Auditorium

Welcome to WrestleWar 1989! When we last left off, Ricky Steamboat had defeated Ric Flair in an instant classic to become NWA Champion. He would proceed to defeat Flair in a rematch at Clash of the Champions on April 2. That match was 2 out of 3 falls and went nearly 60 minutes. This match at WrestleWar would be Flair's last chance and the final battle in a great series of matches. Let’s get to the action:

Jim Ross and Bob Caudle are our hosts for the evening.

The Great Muta vs. Doug Gilbert

Muta is out first to generic Asian-sounding music. Muta is billed as undefeated in the NWA. Muta immediately drops Gilbert with a thrust kick to the ribs. Muta throws Gilbert to the floor and slams him into the ring post. Back in the ring, Gilbert hits a pair of clotheslines and Muta bails out. Muta rakes the eyes with the assist of his mist. Snapmare and elbow drop by Muta. Muta hits a Tumbling Body Press into the corner. Nerve Hold by Muta. Gilbert mounts some offense but takes a Back Breaker. Muta misses a Moonsault but lands on his feet. Body Press to the floor by Muta! Rib Breaker and Moonsault by Muta get the win at 3:16.

Result: Muta by pinfall

Analysis: **1/2. Really good for such a short match. Muta was doing stuff here that was light-years ahead of most American wrestlers.

Butch Reed vs. Ranger Ross

Ranger Ross is an Army Ranger and patriot. He gets a big entrance featuring members of the various branches of the armed forces. He also does a nice little wiggle, Rick Rude style, before the match. Not sure how that fits with his character. JR bills Ranger as a martial artist. Ranger starts off with some strikes until being Suplexed by Reed. Reed goes up top and hits a Diving Shoulderblock for the win at an announced 6:51, although the match must have been edited on my tape because we only saw about two minutes.

Rating: Dud. Really just a squash.

Bull Rope Match: Bob Orton vs. Dick Murdoch

These two guys are way past their primes. No cast for Orton, apparently the arm finally healed. Murdoch is billed as "Captain Redneck." They are both connected by a rope with a bell on it. You win by pinfall or submission. Murdoch hogties Orton, drops an elbow, and pins him. Again, I think this match was edited because the announced time is 4:54.

Result: Dick Murdoch by pinfall

Rating: Dud. Again, too short to rate.

Orton beats up Murdoch after the match.

The Dynamic Dudes (Johnny Ace and Shane Douglas) vs. Samoan SWAT Team (Samu and Fatu)

The Dynamic Dudes are skateboarders. That's a truly abysmal gimmick. The Samoan SWAT Team is the Headshrinkers. The Samoans are managed by Paul E. Dangerously. He needed someone new to manage after the Midnight Express was forced out of the NWA at Chi-Town Rumble. Ace slams both Samoans. He applies an armbar to Samu. Big Powerslam from Samu. The Samoans double team Ace. Nondescript heat segment goes on for several minutes. Ace finally makes the tag to Douglas. He hits a series of Dropkicks. Then he gets leveled by a stiff Clothesline. Flying Splash off the top by Samu is broken up by Ace. Same goes for a Powerslam, but Ace Dropkicks Shane in the back off the top rope. He falls into a pin for the victory at an announced 11:02.

Result: The Dynamic Dudes by pinfall

Analysis: *3/4. Formulaic tag match, but the Samoans stiffness and the Dude's energy was entertaining.

NWA United States Championship: Lex Luger (c) vs. Michael Hayes

Luger won the title from Barry Windham at Chi-Town Rumble. Luger is billed as a heavy favorite here. Hiro Matsuda accompanies Hayes to the ring. Hayes controls early with a Headlock. Lot of stalling early. Luger slaps the vain Hayes across the face repeatedly. Hayes goes for a DDT but Luger powers out. Hayes proceeds to stall for awhile. Luger works on the arm. Back up, Luger no sells a Clothesline and does a choke followed by a ten punch. Luger tries a Diving Shoulderblock but ends up flying over the top rope. Hard fall to the floor. Hayes clubs Luger down on the floor. Hayes Suplexes Luger back into the ring. Hayes applied a Chinlock. Back on their feet, Hayes hits a Bulldog. Hayes throws Luger to the floor. He distracts the referee and Matsuda attacks Luger. Hayes applies another Chinlock. Luger fights out and repeatedly slams Hayes into the turnbuckle. Thumb to the eye by Hayes. He tries a Bulldog but gets sent flying. Corner punches and a Hip Toss by Luger. Military Press by Luger. Hayes pops up with a DDT out of nowhere and both men are down.

The referee gets bumped. Terry Gordy emerges from the crowd and pushes Hayes on top of Luger. He gets the pin to the win the U.S. Title at 16:06. The crowd is absolutely stunned.

Result: Michael Hayes by pinfall (New NWA United States Champion)

Analysis: **3/4. Not a bad match. A little too much stalling. This loss was used to set Luger up for a heel turn.

NWA Television Championship: Sting (c) vs. The Iron Sheik

Pretty sure this is the only thing of any note that Sheik did in the NWA. Sheik gets the jump on Sting before the bell. Sting no-sells. He chokes Sheik with his headdress. Clothesline. Sheik hits a Gutwrench Suplex. Sting revs up and hits a Stinger Splash. He applies the Scorpion Deathlock for the submission at 2:12.

Result: Sting by submission

Analysis: 1/2*. Total squash. Modestly entertaining for what it was. It would have been nice to see them do more with Sting at this point. He was clearly the future of WCW. This was two years after his great match with Flair at Clash of the Champions, but he hadn’t really moved up the card.

NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Ricky Steamboat (c) vs. Ric Flair

They're doing this in the middle of the card to make sure they have time to get it in. Nice bit of realism there, not assuming that the final match will end with 20 minutes. This match has a 60 minute time-limit. In the event it goes the distance, the winner will be determined by the judges: Pat O'Connor, Lou Thesz, and Terry Funk. Flair comes to the ring accompanied by 46 women. He's only a five-time champion here, so he had 11 more to come. Steamboat is accompanied by his wife and son, who ride a horse to the ring. A lot of boos for Steamboat here. They just didn't buy him as the common man. Or they loved Flair so much that they hated Steamboat for beating him. Boxing style introductions with both men in the ring. They're doing a very good job of building this up as a special match. JR says that some are calling this Flair's last chance.

They exchange slaps early. Flair hits some of the hardest chops I've ever seen, and Steamboat responds by chopping even harder. Flair bails out after a Backdrop. They claim Steamboat is the only man to ever make Flair submit. That sounds dubious. Steamboat works on the arm. He won the first fall at Clash of the Champions with a Chicken Wing. Steamboat hits one of his great Armdrags and locks the Armbar. Flair is really selling the arm work here, screaming every time Steamboat applies a hold. Flair chops his way out of an arm-wringer. Steamboat goes back to working on the arm. In most matches, this would be a dull segment but Steamboat is so vicious and Flair sells it so well that it's captivating. Monster chops by Steamboat and Flair collapses face-first. Steamboat locks in another Armbar. Flair picks Steamboat up and sets him on the top rope. Steamboat jumps off and sends Flair flying with a Hip Toss. He follows that up with a Dropkick, sending Flair out of the ring. Total domination from Steamboat so far. He's clearly ahead on the judge's scorecards. Another Armdrag by Steamboat and another Armbar. Clearly, his strategy is to soften the arm to set up the Chicken Wing. Flair manages to take Steamboat down with a Hip Toss. He misses an Elbow Drop and Steamboat connects with another Armdrag.

Flair hits a series of body tackles in the corner. JR reports that the judges have Steamboat ahead after 15 minutes. Flair hits chops and forearms. Steamboat answers with chops of his own. Flair throws Steamboat to the floor, but Steamboat jumps right back in and gets Flair in the corner for a Ten Punch. Flair is thrown into the corner and ends up in the Tree of Woe. Steamboat charges Flair but is thrown to the floor. The referee rules that Flair didn't intend to throw Steamboat over the top, so there's no disqualification on that. Flair chops Steamboat over the guardrail. Back in the ring, Steamboat hits a Springboard Chop from the top rope. Steamboat shoots Flair to the corner. Flair flips over, tries to run to the other turnbuckle, but eats a big chop. Snapmare by Steamboat, followed by another Armbar. Steamboat goes for a Diving Shoulderblock, but Flair ducks and Steamboat falls over the top to the floor. Back Suplex by Flair. Steamboat kicks out at two. Flair drops a knee. JR tries to claim the crowd is taunting Flair when they're clearly cheering for him. Double Underhook Suplex by Flair. Steamboat charges, but Flair drops him, throat-first, across the top rope. Flair is getting cocky.

Flair Suplexes Steamboat on the floor. JR gets the second round of scorecards from the judges: Funk favors Flair, O'Connor favors Flair, Thesz favors Steamboat. Clearly, Flair controlled the second portion of the match. Steamboat rolls Flair up off a Suplex attempt. Good near fall there. Steamboat sends both guys to the floor with a Body Press. Flair throws Steamboat in and goes up top, but Steamboat throws him off. Steamboat beats on Flair, poses, and is heavily booed. Steamboat gets another near fall off a cradle. Steamboat goes for a Superplex and connects! Steamboat goes for the Chicken Wing, but Flair gets the ropes. Steamboat goes up top and hits a Flying Chop. Steamboat goes up again, but Flair hits the ropes and Steamboat falls to the floor. JR says that if Steamboat is counted out the judges will decide the winner. Steamboat's knee is clearly hurting. Flair immediately targets the knee. Vertical Suplex from Flair. Flair applies the Figure Four. He really wrenches it in. Steamboat eventually gets to the ropes. Flair works the leg, but Steamboat takes him down with an Enziguri. Steamboat picks Flair up for a Body Slam, but Flair rolls through into a Cradle for the victory at 31:37.

Result: Ric Flair by pinfall (New NWA World Heavyweight Champion)

Analysis: *****. I can't praise that match enough. Psychological, physical, intense, technical. It was everything you could possibly ask for in a wrestling match. Steamboat worked on the arm viciously and Flair sold it like his arm was about to fall off. Flair's heat segments were just as intense, and he targeted the knee immediately after Steamboat hurt it. In the end, it was the knee injury that cost Steamboat, as Flair managed to roll through his slam and pin him. One of the greatest matches in the history of American wrestling.

Flair is announced as champion and the crowd goes wild. Fireworks explode above the ring. Steamboat is classy in defeat and raises Flair's arm in victory. They shake hands. JR interviews Flair in the ring. Flair puts over Steamboat as the greatest champion he's ever faced. Terry Funk jumps in the ring to congratulate Ric Flair. Funk calls Flair the greatest wrestler in the world today. JR and Flair try to get Funk out of the ring, but he sticks around and challenges Flair to a match for the title. Flair brushes him off, saying Funk hasn't been wrestling and that he's not a ranked competitor. Funk takes offense at Flair's dismissal. Funk punches Flair out and throws him to the floor. Funk beats on Flair pretty viciously, acting like a crazy person. Funk Piledrives Flair on the judge's table, which everyone sells like a gunshot. Funk hits Flair in the head with a chair. Really hot angle there. That kind of violence was pretty shocking at the time. Flair is stretchered out as the announcers express their shock and disgust at Funk's actions.

NWA World Tag Team Championship: The Varsity Club (Steve Williams and Mike Rotunda) (c) vs. Road Warriors

So the downside to realistically putting the championship match in the middle of the card is that someone has to follow them. Steve Williams and Mike Rotunda represent the Varsity Club, with Kevin Sullivan as their manager. Road Warriors hit the ring and attack right away. Nikita Koloff is the special referee. Teddy Long turned heel by quick counting the Road Warriors to screw them out of the tag titles, so a special referee has been appointed. Sullivan is quickly ejected from ringside after getting in Koloff's face. Back and forth action early. The Road Warriors rely on power, Williams relies on Power while Rotunda relies on quickness. Animal is thrown outside and both men double team him. Hawk tags in and hits an Atomic Drop and a Dropkick! Rotunda is thrown out of the ring and the Road Warriors hit the Doomsday Device on Williams. Sullivan reappears along with Dan Spivey and they attack Koloff. That prevents the pinfall and instead the Varsity Club are disqualified at 6:06.

Result: Road Warriors by disqualification

Rating: *1/2. Not much going on there.

NWA United States Tag Team Championship: The First Family (Rick Steiner and Eddie Gilbert) (c) vs. The Varsity Club (Dan Spievey and Kevin Sullivan)

So here's your main event. Steiner gets taken out by the Varsity Club before the match, so Gilbert has to wrestle on his own. Sullivan and Spivey work a long, basic heat segment on Gilbert. After what seems like an eternity, Steiner gets onto the apron and takes a tag from Gilbert. But the referee didn't see it. Steiner Clotheslines Sullivan and Gilbert falls on top of him for the pin at 6:41.

Result: First Family by pinfall

Rating: 1/4*. Garbage.

Overall: Total one match show. Flair and Steamboat wrestled one of the greatest matches ever. The Muta match was a nice short contest, Luger and Hayes had a decent match, but everything else was terrible. Not really any reason to check out anything here other than the Flair/Steamboat classic. Fortunately, things would get much, much better at the Great American Bash in July.

Grade: C-

takerson
May 15th, 2013, 11:58 AM
This was actually the only show from this era that I HAVE seen. I got the original VHS for $2 at a flea market, after my VCR died, and I got the ONE MATCH worth watching from the show on the 3 disc Flair DVD, I decided to sell it. Got $25 for it on ebay. Not a bad investment. :yes:

OD50
May 15th, 2013, 12:58 PM
I've always found it interesting that WCW signed up lots of former 1980's WWF stars at this time and did pretty much nothing but job them out and then release them. Talking about Billy Jack Haynes (Black Blood), Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine, The Iron Sheik, Cowboy Bob Orton, Hercules (Super Invader) and the One Man Gang, probably some others too. Jake 'The Snake' Roberts and JYD had.. Interesting early 90's runs in WCW too.

JP
May 15th, 2013, 1:07 PM
Valentine had an alright run as far as I can remember, from around 92 all the way up to later day Nitros.

I specifically remember him appearing a lot on Worldwide with an angle based on a knee plate with gave him an unfair advantage when applying the figure-4 and battling for the US Tag Titles.

Cewsh
May 15th, 2013, 1:33 PM
I've always found it interesting that WCW signed up lots of former 1980's WWF stars at this time and did pretty much nothing but job them out and then release them. Talking about Billy Jack Haynes (Black Blood), Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine, The Iron Sheik, Cowboy Bob Orton, Hercules (Super Invader) and the One Man Gang, probably some others too. Jake 'The Snake' Roberts and JYD had.. Interesting early 90's runs in WCW too.

In fairness, Jake's run was an enormous success. It just only lasted one month since he was so bombed out on drugs.

The Law
May 15th, 2013, 1:37 PM
There was quite a bit of WWF talent coming in and getting jobbed out at this time. I'll get to Jake Roberts eventually, but I just watched Halloween Havoc 1992 recently, and it was a hysterical disaster creatively. On the other hand, it apparently drew a phenomenal buyrate that was only surpassed once Hogan showed up.

The "Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal" match consisted of Sting spinning a cartoony gigantic wheel with different match types on it. He spun it and it landed...on the Coal Miner's Glove Match. Internet legend says the wheel wasn't gimmicked and it was actually a random draw that went horribly wrong. I have my doubts about that, but whether they chose that match or left it to chance they're complete morons.

Also, here is the classic vignette they produced to promote the match:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgT5ta5oWCc

Roberts got fired right after this match. He was clearly starting to succumb to his demons at that point and also had legitimate heat with Bill Watts, who was the man in charge at the time. Still, it's a shame he couldn't stick around longer, because even a drug-addled Jake the Snake was pretty damn good.

OD50
May 15th, 2013, 1:40 PM
Valentine had an alright run as far as I can remember, from around 92 all the way up to later day Nitros.

I specifically remember him appearing a lot on Worldwide with an angle based on a knee plate with gave him an unfair advantage when applying the figure-4 and battling for the US Tag Titles.

His original 1992 WCW run was super short. He returned to the WWF in 1993 (he was one of HBK's 'Knights' at SS '93) and participated in the 1994 Rumble. But yeah, I remember seeing him from time to time on Nitro, probably around 96-97.

The brace on his leg was a re-hash from his 1989-1990 WWF feud with Ronnie Garvin. It was centered around Valentine's 'Heart Breaker' and Garvin's 'Hammer-Jammer'.

OD50
May 15th, 2013, 1:41 PM
In fairness, Jake's run was an enormous success. It just only lasted one month since he was so bombed out on drugs.

I thought it had something to do with his problems with Bill Watts as well.

/Law already mentioned that I see.. :yes:

Cewsh
May 15th, 2013, 1:46 PM
I assume those go hand in hand.

OD50
May 15th, 2013, 1:53 PM
However, before he could officially join WCW, he had to wait almost 90 days. According to the Pick Your Poison DVD, Roberts had initially signed a lucrative contract under Kip Allen Frey, who was running WCW at the time. On the 87th day, Frey stepped down and was replaced by Bill Watts, for whom Roberts had legit heat with back in his days at Mid-South Wrestling. Ultimately, Roberts estimates that he went from making about $3.5 million a year to approximately $200,000 a year

I can imagine Jake not being too happy about that.

Cewsh
May 15th, 2013, 2:05 PM
Really hard to side with Watts there, when Jake took some hokey bullshit and pulled the best buyrate of the first half of WCW's history.

JP
May 15th, 2013, 2:08 PM
Really hard to side with Watts there, when Jake took some hokey bullshit and pulled the best buyrate of the first half of WCW's history.

Forget the Halloween specialness, it was the booking and execution on Jake's debut that got that buyrate. Masterful stuff, all round.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37D569R_XbU

The Law
May 15th, 2013, 2:12 PM
If Jake Roberts had been the Black Scorpion it would be remembered as a classic angle. The guy can make anything work.

Doesn't that video seem like a precursor to the NWO? The jumping of the railing, the "he doesn't work here," the locker room emptying to protect Sting.

JP
May 15th, 2013, 2:15 PM
From the wiki entry on Halloween Havoc 95


After the match The Yeti came to the ring and assisted Giant in hugging Hogan, so that they were both hugging Hogan at the same time.

:lol:

OD50
May 15th, 2013, 2:16 PM
Lovely stuff, Jake really was something special.

Steiners/Sting/Jake/Rude/Windham/Cactus.. Quite a bit of talent in that ring. :panic:


From the wiki entry on Halloween Havoc 95



:lol:

Yeah, that was one of the last straws as for me watching WCW. It was so fucking ridiculous. Even Lex Luger seemed embarassed about that shit.

That whole event pretty much sucked. I remember enjoying the pre-show match though, Benoit/Malenko vs. The Blue Bloods. DDP/JBB was pretty ok too.

The Law
May 15th, 2013, 2:33 PM
And it wasn't "The Yeti," it was "The Yet-ay."

I won't deny that WCW did some of the stupidest shit ever in the history of wrestling. I've already sat through the Black Scorpion, "Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal," and Robocop. I'm looking forward to Vader's White Castle of Fear, the Dungeon of Doom ("It's not hot!"), the Yet-ay, Hogan throwing Giant off of Cobo Arena and him returning uninjured an hour later, Chucky coming to life and taunting Rick Steiner, the whole deal. It's part of the package. Honestly, most of that stuff is so bad and stupid that it's actually funny.

OD50
May 15th, 2013, 2:37 PM
Thanks, I had managed to blank out those things ever happening..

Aw, man all of that Dungeon of Doom crap pisses me off. Kevin sullivan running around in some jungle yelling about his daddy and Hogan getting teleported to that crummy looking cave..

And uh, the Doomsday triple cage match or whatever the hell it was called at Uncensored '96..

Let's stick to 89-92, please.. :lol:

JP
May 15th, 2013, 2:53 PM
Vader's White Castle of Fear

I had never heard of this before.

I just googled.

Fuck me.

Cewsh
May 15th, 2013, 2:55 PM
Dude, you have to see the Beach Volleyball Terrorist Attack by Vader and Sid from the rematch.

JP
May 15th, 2013, 2:55 PM
Dude, you have to see the Beach Volleyball Terrorist Attack by Vader and Sid from the rematch.

I think a section of my brain just melted reading that sentence.

Cewsh
May 15th, 2013, 3:03 PM
There's also a midget involved.

JP
May 15th, 2013, 3:04 PM
Yep, just lost algebra.

Cewsh
May 15th, 2013, 3:06 PM
THE MIDGET'S NAME IS CHEATUM.

CHEATUM.

Cewsh
May 15th, 2013, 3:08 PM
WATCH THIS IMMEDIATELY

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xs60sy_wcw-beach-blast-1993-countdown-show_sport#.UZPc6qLU9vI

OD50
May 15th, 2013, 3:11 PM
I had never heard of this before.

I just googled.

Fuck me.

Yeah, same..

I have always heard about the White Castle of Fear stuff but never bothering to check it out.. The tug o' war was pretty epic though. :freak:

I'll see if I can find the Fall Brawl '95 video, that was kind of uh, interesting too..

/Can't find it anywhere.. :\

The Law
May 15th, 2013, 3:22 PM
How about the fact that when Harlem Heat originally debuted, they were brought to the ring in chains by Col. Buddy Lee Parker and they said they were escaped prisoners that he had won in a card game. They quickly dropped that aspect of the characters after someone pointed out the terrible visual of two black men being led around in chains by a southern white man.

Peter Griffin
May 15th, 2013, 3:25 PM
How about the fact that when Harlem Heat originally debuted, they were brought to the ring in chains by Col. Buddy Lee Parker and they said they were escaped prisoners that he had won in a card game. They quickly dropped that aspect of the characters after someone pointed out the terrible visual of two black men being led around in chains by a southern white man.

:rofl:

:nono:

Cewsh
May 15th, 2013, 3:33 PM
Fun Fact: The idea for Booker and Stevie to be brought in as two black guys managed by a domineering white guy actually belonged to Sid Vicious. His idea was for them to be vicious ex-cons doing time for murder who were on loan from the prison, (like occasionally happens for exceptional athletes in prison), and for Buddy Lee Parker to be the prison warden who had to stop them from hurting people too badly. It's still very racially charged, but you can kind of see an interesting edge in that.

WCW hired them on his recommendation, and promptly turned them into actual slaves. WCW!

OD50
May 15th, 2013, 3:36 PM
Don't think the gimmick ever made television though.

The Law
May 15th, 2013, 3:43 PM
It's amazing that WCW managed to take an idea from Sid and make it even worse. It's kind of like when Kane was in jail after he attacked Linda McMahon and being led to the ring in chains. Except for the part where Kane isn't a black man being used as property by a southern man in a southern wrestling company performing in front of a nearly all-white southern audience.

And yes, no one was being oversensitive here: they were actually Buddy Lee Parker's slaves. His property. This, from the company who had recently had to fire Bill Watts after he said this:


"If you want a business and you put money in, why shouldn't you be able to discriminate? It's your business."

"If free enterprise is going to make or break it, you should be able to discriminate? It should be that, by God, if you're going to open your doors in America, you can discriminate. Why the fuck not?"

"That's why I went into business, so that I could discriminate. I mean, really. I mean I want to be able to serve who I want to. It's my business. It's my investment ... I can't tell a fag to get the fuck out. I should have the right to not associate with a fag if I don't want to. I mean, why should I have to hire a fuckin' fag, if I don't like fags? Fags discriminate against us, don't they? Sure they do ... Do blacks discriminate against whites?"

"Who's killed more blacks than anyone? The fuckin' blacks. But they want to blame that bullshit Roots that came on the air. That Roots was so bullshit. All you have to do if you want slaves is to hand beads to the chiefs and they gave you slaves. What is the best thing that has ever happened to the black race? That they were brought to this country. No matter how they got here. You know why? Because they intermarried and got educated. They're the ones running the black race."

"You go down to the black countries and they're all broke. Idi Amin killed more blacks than we ever killed. You see what I mean. That's how stupid we are. But we get all caught up in this bullshit rhetoric, And so, it's ridiculous what's happening to our country."

"Lester Maddox (former Georgia governor and defiant restaurant operator) was right. If I don't want to sell chicken to blacks I shouldn't have to. It's my restaurant. Hell, at least I respect him for his stand."

Source: http://pwchronicle.blogspot.com/2006/01/history-statement-that-sent-cowboy.html

Cewsh
May 15th, 2013, 3:44 PM
Sigh.

OD50
May 15th, 2013, 3:47 PM
Just to be picky... Colonel Robert Parker, not Sgt Buddy Lee Parker, two very different peeps.

Sinner
May 15th, 2013, 3:51 PM
If the infamous Third Man would have been Bret Hart...

Hulk Hogan became Hollywood Hogan. Would Hart have been. Toronto Hart?

Peter Griffin
May 15th, 2013, 3:53 PM
He's from Calgary :squint:

Cewsh
May 15th, 2013, 3:56 PM
And Hogan's from Florida. But the bright lights and disdain are elsewhere.

Peter Griffin
May 15th, 2013, 3:58 PM
I thought Hogan was from the Hollywood area, well Venice beach, that is California right? :shifty:

OD50
May 15th, 2013, 4:02 PM
Hulk Hogan is from Venice Beach. Terry Bollea is from Tampa, Florida.

He's actually born in Augusta Georgia it seems.

JP
May 15th, 2013, 4:06 PM
You know the amazing thing about Bill Watts? He's not racist in the slightest.

JP
May 15th, 2013, 4:07 PM
Well, mostly not racist, just totally libertarian in his mental views, with a little old boy, don't get why it was such an issue southern mentality racism thrown in.

JP
May 15th, 2013, 4:09 PM
Well, not racist in an...who the fuck am I kidding.

OD50
May 15th, 2013, 4:09 PM
Wasn't he getting in trouble with some old fart southern racists for pushing JYD back in Mid-South or something? Maybe I'm remembering wrong, not sure..

turdpower
May 15th, 2013, 4:17 PM
FAO BRITS:

What channel was WCW on for us? and the PPVS?

I didn't watch it at the time, but still have all the NITROS on my harddrive that I did intend to watch, but probably never will...

Peter Griffin
May 15th, 2013, 4:18 PM
Early WCW i.e early nineties was on ITV Saturday afternoons, how I got into wrestling :yes: , pretty sure we didn't get ppv's

The Law
May 15th, 2013, 4:39 PM
So the paradox of Bill Watts is that on one hand, he has made many extremely offensive racist statements, but on the other hand, he spent his time as booker pushing African-Americans to the top of his promotions. He put JYD on top in Mid-South and put the WCW Title on Ron Simmons. He was also very close friends with Ernie Ladd and has said to have been really broke up when he died. How do you reconcile these things? It begins with the fact that racism isn't all-consuming. Someone can be racist against a particular group and still be completely friendly with that group. We all know the guy who gets in trouble for saying something racist and then mentions all of his black friends. Bill Watts could both hold negative opinions of black people in general and be friends with some black people and employ them. Viewing racism as a brightline rather than a scale is a mistake, because it allows us to think that the racists are a group of easily identifiable bad people with whom we don't associate. But sometimes it turns out that those people are our friends, our coworkers, our family members. There are probably a lot of racist people who voted for Barack Obama for president. It seems impossible, but it's totally plausible.

turdpower
May 15th, 2013, 4:49 PM
Early WCW i.e early nineties was on ITV Saturday afternoons, how I got into wrestling :yes: , pretty sure we didn't get ppv's

I do remember vaguely flicking it on in late 2000 on channel 5.

It was some story line involving a black bloke called The Cat? and there was a stable that had every WCW title within it.

Peter Griffin
May 15th, 2013, 4:50 PM
Yeh WCW worldwide was on in the early 00's. but to be honest the company had turned to utter shit buy that point.

Cewsh
May 15th, 2013, 5:09 PM
So the paradox of Bill Watts is that on one hand, he has made many extremely offensive racist statements, but on the other hand, he spent his time as booker pushing African-Americans to the top of his promotions. He put JYD on top in Mid-South and put the WCW Title on Ron Simmons. He was also very close friends with Ernie Ladd and has said to have been really broke up when he died. How do you reconcile these things? It begins with the fact that racism isn't all-consuming. Someone can be racist against a particular group and still be completely friendly with that group. We all know the guy who gets in trouble for saying something racist and then mentions all of his black friends. Bill Watts could both hold negative opinions of black people in general and be friends with some black people and employ them. Viewing racism as a brightline rather than a scale is a mistake, because it allows us to think that the racists are a group of easily identifiable bad people with whom we don't associate. But sometimes it turns out that those people are our friends, our coworkers, our family members. There are probably a lot of racist people who voted for Barack Obama for president. It seems impossible, but it's totally plausible.

It sounds less altruistic when it is pointed out that Junkyard Dog made him boatloads of money.

The Law
May 16th, 2013, 1:52 PM
http://cdn103.iofferphoto.com/img/item/932/868/96/o_0FtjFIwTt7qOfXo.jpg

Great American Bash 1989: The Glory Days
July 23, 1989
Baltimore Arena
Baltimore, Maryland

When we last left off, Ric Flair had just defeated Ricky Steamboat in a classic match to win back the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. He turned babyface after showing respect for Steamboat. Immediately, he was challenged by Terry Funk. Flair declined Funk's challenge, stating that he had not been in wrestling and had not earned a shot. Funk took this poorly and ended up Piledriving Flair through a ringside table. Flair demanded to fight Funk, and thus he was granted a shot at Flair's title.

Lex Luger won back the United States Championship from Michaels Hayes and turned heel shortly afterward, insisting that he deserved a shot at the NWA Championship before Ricky Steamboat or Funk. He beat down Steamboat to make his point. Steamboat was granted a shot at the U.S. Title for this show.

The Varsity Club was stripped of the tag team championship after attacking the referee at WrestleWar. A tournament was held to crown new champions. The Fabulous Freebirds ultimately won the tournament by defeating the Midnight Express in the finals. Rivalries developed among the Road Warriors, Midnight Express, Freebirds, and Samoan SWAT Team over the course of the tournament. This led to a WarGames match between the Road Warriors, The Midnight Express, and Steve Williams facing The Freebirds and Samoan SWAT Team. Let’s get to the action:

Jim Ross and Bob Caudle are our hosts tonight.

We start with a cheesy opening video package featuring a synthesizer and clips of wrestling interspersed with graphics of the American flag. Pure 80s.

King of the Hill Two Ring Battle Royal

Participants: Bill Irwin, Brian Pillman, Dan Spivey, Eddie Gilbert, Kevin Sullivan, Mike Rotunda, Ranger Ross, Rick Steiner, Ron Simmons, Scott Hall, Scott Steiner, Sid Vicious, Steve Williams, Terry Gordy

Lot of future big names in this one. The winner wins $50,000. There are two rings side-by-side, but they will all fight in one ring. Eliminations take place when someone is thrown into the other ring. Then there will be an ongoing second battle royal in the second ring, where eliminations take place over the top rope. Then the two survivors fight each other. Got all that?

A predictable mess of a fight to start. Apparently they had 14 of these in the lead-up to the show. I assume they took place at non-televised shows, because that would be staggeringly boring to see on TV over and over. Ranger Ross is the first man thrown into the second ring. Ron Simmons is thrown second, so he and Ross go at it. Simmons is ultimately eliminated by Ranger Ross. A blonde Scott Hall is thrown into the second ring, followed by Bill Irwin. The second ring is quickly filling up. Spivey hits a Powerbomb on Ranger Ross. We're down to two in the first ring: Sid and Pillman. The crowd is really into Sid, who had only recently debuted. He and Spivey are tag team partners, known as the "Skyscrapers." Pillman tries a Body Press, but Sid ducks and Pillman flies into the second ring. Sid is the winner of the first ring, so he'll stand around and wait for someone to win in the second ring.

The second ring has already winnowed down to Steve Williams, Mike Rotunda, and Spivey. Williams has left the Varsity Club, so it's two on one. Rotunda misses a Clothesline and flies over the top. Williams unsuccessfully tries to Clothesline Spivey out. Rotunda distracts Williams, who is then thrown out of the ring. So it's down to Sid and Spivey, tag team partners. Teddy Long, their manager, quickly interrupts and says they're not going to fight each other. Instead, they'll just split the money.

Result: Sid Vicious and Dan Spivey

Analysis: *1/2. Run of the mill battle royal.

We get pre-recorded comments from Terry Funk. He talks about endangered species, referring to himself as the most endangered, because he's one of a kind. He promises to beat Flair tonight.

Brian Pillman vs. Bill Irwin

Nice pop for Pillman. He's Flyin' Brian at this point, long before his psychotic character had taken hold. Irwin is thick, so it's his power against Pillman's quickness. If you've only seen Pillman's work in the WWF in 1997, you've missed out: he was amazing before injuries destroyed his athleticism. He controls early with fast-paced offense. Pillman works on the arm for a bit until Irwin takes over. Irwin works a generic heat segment consisting of punches and rest holds. Pillman starts his comeback with a series of Dropkicks. A Splash gets two. Pillman misses a Dropkick off the top rope. Gordbuster by Irwin. Irwin throws Pillman into the other ring. He argues with the referee while Pillman goes up top. Pillman hits a nice Flying Crossbody for the win at 10:18.

Result: Brian Pillman by pinfall

Analysis: **. Not bad. Pillman was a lot of fun to watch and they did a good job building up to his comeback.

Gordon Solie interviews Paul E. Dangerously, who will face Jim Cornette in a Tuxedo Match later tonight. He's not here to win tonight, he's here to take Cornette out. He promises to work on the knee that Cornette blew out at Starrcade 1985. Good promo from Heyman, as you would expect.

Skyscrapers (Sid Vicious and Dan Spivey) vs. Dynamic Dudes (Johnny Ace and Shane Douglas)

Skateboarders versus monsters. Spivey starts against Johnny Ace. Spivey works his methodical offense, interspersed with Dropkicks from Ace. Ace makes a tag and he and Douglas both get their asses kicked by Spivey. Spivey eventually tags in Sid, who gets a pop. Unfortunately, Sid quickly tags back out. Big Boot by Spivey sends Douglas to the floor. Sid tags back in. Sid plays to the crowd while not doing much in the ring. Sid tags back out and Spivey hits a Sidewalk Slam. Ace ends up mounting a comeback and getting a two count after a Flying Clothesline. That's for naught, as Sid and Spivey hit a double Spinebuster for the pin at 9:14.

Result: Skyscrapers by pinfall

Analysis: *. Long and dull squash. Could have been done in three minutes.

Gordon Solie interviews Jim Cornette, who is typically hysterical. He promises to beat Dangerously, even if he breaks both of his legs.

Tuxedo Match: Jim Cornette vs. Paul E. Dangerously

Huge pop for Cornette. To win, you have to strip your opponent. Dangerously gets Cornette with powder to the eyes. He grabs his massive cellphone and beats on Cornette's knee. Dangerously screams like a mad man while ripping off Cornette's jacket. Dangerously works on the knee. Good selling from Cornette here. Dangerously chokes Cornette with his cummerbund. Cornette mounts a comeback and chokes Dangerously. Cornette's knee gives out and Dangerously stomps on him. Cornette hulks up (basically) and takes down Dangerously with a right hand. Cornette gets Dangerously's shirt off. Dangerously tries the powder to the eyes again, but Cornette counters and throws the powder into Dangerously's eyes. Cornette rips off Dangerously's pants and wins the match at 6:22.

Result: Jim Cornette by stripping

Analysis: **. That was actually quite entertaining. Great heat, and right to the point. Both guys know how to work a crowd and it made up for their lack of technical prowess.

Solie interviews Gary Hart, manager of the Great Muta. He's challenging Sting for the Television Championship tonight. Hart points out that Muta is undefeated and says that won't change tonight.

The Varsity Club (Mike Rotunda and Kevin Sullivan) vs. The Steiner Brothers

This is the pay-per-view debut for the Steiners are a tag team. The Steiners enter to "Welcome to the Jungle." They are accompanied by Missy Hyatt and get a nice response from the crowd. This is tornado rules, no tags. Sullivan and Rick brawl on the floor and Rick no-sells a chair shot to the head. Atomic Drop on the guardrail by Sullivan. Scott hits a ten punch in the ring. Scott gets thrown to the floor and Rotunda and Sullivan double team Rick. Overhead Belly to Belly Suplex by Rick. Powerslam by Rick. Rick gets dumped to the floor during a ten punch. Double Clothesline on Scott. Rick gets back in and drops Sullivan with a Steiner Line. Double Backdrop on Scott. Sullivan goes for a slam on Rick, but Scott flies off the top with a Crossbody for the win at 4:22.

Result: Steiner Brothers by pinfall

Analysis: ***. That was a really fun brawl. Very short, but it was non-stop action. Hardcore wrestling wasn't very common at this point, so this was a nice novelty.

Solie interviews Sting. He's excited for his defense against Muta tonight. Eddie Gilbert will be managing Sting tonight.

NWA Television Championship: Sting (c) vs. Great Muta

Muta is undefeated in the NWA. Hart distracts Sting, so Muta hits him with a flying chop from the top rope. Muta hits a Tumbling Body Press into the corner. Scoop Slam Back Breaker by Muta. He goes up top and misses the Moonsault but lands on his feet. Muta knocks Sting to the floor with a Thrust Kick. Plancha to the floor by Muta. Damn, they're flying. Sting goes to the top and hits a Flying Clothesline. Dropkick by Sting sends Muta to the floor. Muta drops out of Suplex and locks on the Sleeper. Sting breaks it and connects with a Military Press. Sting misses an elbow and Muta apples a chinlock. He transitions that into an Abdominal Stretch. Muta rolls into a cradle for two. Muta shuts down Sting's comeback attempt with an eye rake. Muta misses a corner splash and eats a pair of Clotheslines from Sting. Dropkick. Bulldog by Sting. Dropkick sends Muta to the floor. They run the ropes and Muta accidentally Mists the referee. Sting misses a Stinger Splash. Muta hits the Moonsault, but Sting kicks out at two on a delayed count (new referee Tommy Young ran in to replace Nick Patrick). Muta misses a kick and Sting hits a Back Suplex for the pin at 8:40.

Result: Draw

Analysis: ****. Great match. Both guys went all out and played their roles excellently. Sting was the high-energy, all-American babyface and Muta was the cocky foreigner.

Turns out both referees counted the pin for different men. Muta takes the Television Championship. The title would be vacant for several months after this until Muta defeated Sting in September to become the champion.

Solie interviews Lex Luger, who is scheduled to face Ricky Steamboat in a No Disqualification match tonight. Luger says he won't compete unless they wave the No DQ stipulation.

United States Championship: Lex Luger (c) vs. Ricky Steamboat

Steamboat enters to "Sirius" by the Alan Parsons Project, best known as the entrance theme for Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Steamboat is carried out on a platform and holds a Kimono Dragon in his hands. Cool entrance. Luger gets on the microphone and repeats that he's not competing unless the get rid of the No DQ stipulation. Steamboat agrees, and we have a normal contest. JR acknowledges that the fans are still cheering Luger. They were trying really hard to get him over as a heel and it wasn't working. The story is Steamboat's speed and technique against Luger's power. Steamboat hits Dropkicks and chops early. Steamboat continues to control on the floor. Atomic Drop by Steamboat. Luger catches Steamboat with a big knee and takes over. They continue to fight on the floor. Steamboat's chops are so stiff that even Luger has to sell them. Steamboat goes up top for the big chop but takes a shot to the stomach. Back Breaker by Luger. Luger lifts Steamboat for a Military Press.

Luger argues with the referee and gets rolled up for two. Luger hits a series of Clotheslines. So far, his power has proven to be too much for Steamboat. Powerslam by Luger. He follows that with an Inverted Atomic Drop. Luger telegraphs a Backdrop and is hit with a Swinging Neckbreaker. Luger tries a Clothesline and ends up going flying to the floor. Luger goes up top but gets thrown off. Steamboat goes the top and hits a big chop for two. Steamboat charges Luger but is Backdropped into the second ring. Luger goes outside and grabs a chair. Steamboat manages to get it away from him and hits him with it for the disqualification at 10:26.

Result: Lex Luger by disqualification

Analysis: ****1/4. Damn, that was really good. I don't think there was a single rest hold in this entire match. Both guys just went at it the whole time. Luger's power kept him in control, but Steamboat wouldn't quit. Luger ultimately took the easy way out to keep his title.

Steamboat beats on Luger with the chair after the match. Steamboat chases Luger to the back.

We hear from the Freebirds and Samoan SWAT Team, competitors in the upcoming WarGames match. Quality coked up promo from the Freebirds.

We then hear from an equally coked up Steve Williams. To cap it off, we hear from the Road Warriors, who can yell louder than anyone in wrestling history.

WarGames Match
Stan Lane, Bobby Eaton, Steve Williams, Hawk, and Animal vs. Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy, Jimmy Garvin, Samu, and Fatu

So, to recap the rules of WarGames:


Two men start, one from each team. They fight for five minutes at the start of the match.
After five minutes, a coin toss determines which team gets to have a man enter the match first. From there, they alternate entrances every two minutes. In practice, the heel team always wins the coin toss and gets the advantage.
After all ten men have entered the match the contest continues until someone submits. The match is won only by submission, no pinfalls or disqualifications. The first submission wins.
Cages surround both rings. Competitors can move about the rings freely.

"Freebird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd appropriately plays as the heel team enters. The faces enter separately. All ten men will be at ringside during the match. They huddle to determine who will start the match. Garvin is selected by the Freebirds. Bobby Eaton is picked for the faces. They have a new innovation this year: a camera inside the cage. That was big technology at the time. Eaton and Garvin go back and forth, neither man getting much of advantage. Terry Gordy is the second man in. As always, the heel team won the coin toss and got the advantage. Gordy and Garvin control their two minute advantage period. Steve Williams is in next. He goes house on fire on Garvin and Gordy. Williams bench presses Gordy into the cage roof repeatedly in an incredible display of strength. Samu is the next entrant. He swings the advantage back to the heels.

Garvin is stretching Eaton's face. Meanwhile, Gordy and Samu beat on Williams. Animal is in next. Animal beats on all three men in an exciting segment. He even hits an impressive diving Shoulderblock from one ring to the other. Fatu is the next entrant. The Samoans double team Animal. Garvin works on Eaton. Gordy and Williams brawl in the other ring. Stan Lane is the next entrant to even things up. Lane beats on everyone, sending them all into the cage. Hayes is the final entrant for the Freebirds. Hayes DDTs everyone. He then prances around the ring to huge heat. The heels are in control. Hawk enters as things look dire for his team. Double Clothesline from the top rope by Hawk. Hawk and Williams double Clothesline Gordy. Garvin gets slammed. Hawk turned the tide. Eaton starts DDTing everyone.

All ten men are brawling in the same ring. Everyone seems pretty gassed at this point. Hawk gets Garvin in a Hangman and he gives up at 22:18.

Result: Road Warriors, Midnight Express, and Steve Williams by submission

Analysis: ****. Great brawl. No blood, but plenty of good violence. Lots of big guys throwing their bodies around the ring. Not the best WarGames match, but very good nonetheless.

We hear from Ric Flair in the back. Solie wants to know why he's wrestling even though he's risking serious injury to his neck. Flair says he can't do anything other than wrestle. With knowledge of his later financial problems, that's poignant and true.

NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Ric Flair (c) vs. Terry Funk

Funk is out first, accompanied by Gary Hart and a large contingent of police officers. Flair is second, complete with fireworks. They start off brawling outside the ring. Flair gets control and beats on Funk. In contrast to the Flair/Steamboat series, this is not a technical contest. Instead, they just beat on each other. That's good, because I always hate it when two guys are supposed to hate each other and then just come out and wrestle a normal match. Obviously, these guys are capable of having a great scientific match. But that wouldn't fit the storyline. Funk gets control with a Vertical Suplex. Flair tries to Suplex Funk from the apron to the floor, but slips and they both tumble. Not sure if that was a botch or not.

Back in the ring, Funk tries a Piledriver but gets Backdropped over the top rope to the floor. Flair cranks Funk's neck. Revenge. Knee Drop by Flair. Flair Piledrives Funk! He does it again! Funk tumbles out of the ring. Flair chases him down and throws him back in. Surprising domination from Flair so far. Flair locks in the Figure Four. Hart hands Flair his branding iron and he hits Flair in the face. Hart had distracted the referee. Flair is busted open. Funk goes outside and throws the mats up. Funk goes for the Pildriver on the concrete! Flair Backdrops out of it. The announcers speculate about the state of Flair's neck. Swinging Neckbreaker back in the ring by Funk. Another one. The announcers want the referee to stop the match to protect Flair. Back Suplex by Funk. Funk yells at Flair to give up.

Hart distracts the referee again and Flair hits Funk with his branding iron. Funk rolls out to the floor. Flair drags him back in. Funk is busted open too. Flair misses a knee strike in the corner and Funk applies the Spinning Toe Hold. Flair picks the leg and goes for the Figure Four, but Funk cradles him with a Small Package. Flair reverses into a Small Package of his own and gets the pin at 17:23.

Result: Ric Flair by pinfall

Analysis: ****1/2. Awesome match. Great intensity and storytelling from both guys. Funk worked on Flair's injured neck and Flair assaulted Funk like a mad man out for revenge. That felt like a real fight. The finish was smart because it sets up a re-match, as there's obviously more money to be made with these two. Fantastic match to cap the show.

Flair is attacked by Muta. He spits the mist into his face. Funk and Muta double-team Flair. Hart gets a chair. Funk goes for a Piledriver on the chair but is interrupted by Sting! Flair and Sting clear the ring and stand tall. They chase Funk and Muta into the crowd and the brawl continues. Flair says he's just getting started with Funk, and promises to wear his ass out. Sting and Flair celebrate together. Hot ending to a great show.

Overall: Excellent show. One of the best pay-per-view events I've ever seen. The undercard wasn't anything special, but those last four matches were all great. Four four star matches? I don't think any other show has ever matched that. This show also had great variety, with brawls, technical matches, high-flying, power moves, everything you could want. If you haven't seen this show, track it down. You won't regret it.

Rating: A

Ringo
May 16th, 2013, 2:07 PM
I've started.

Thought I'd begin with Starrcade '88, headlined by the famous Flair/Luger match. It's a good line up and I'd never seen the undercard. Obviously Flair/Luger is fantastic and never gets old but there's some other really good stuff too. Bazza/Bam Bam for the US title is great, it's quite scary how Bam Bam was before he even hit 30. Great work in Memphis, New Japan and here in WCW. Hell of a Dusty promo that they air during the pre show countdown. I also really enjoyed Rick Steiner taking the TV title from his former Varsity Club ally Mike Rotundo. The dastardly Kevin Sullivan is suspended in a cage above the ring. There's a false finish and Rotundo thinks he's won. Tommy Young overrules (I believe) Teddy Long and Steiner ends up winning and sprints around the ring with the crowd loving every second. Two enjoyable tag matches to open the show as well - two of the best tag teams America has ever seen, The Fantastics and Eaton/Lane Midnights in their prime.

Next up I'll watch Clash of the Champions V: Valentine's Day Massacre. Features a couple of squashes, the Flair/Steamboat brawl as a taster for their match at Chi-Town and hopefully some good Dr. Death/Mr. Puroresu interaction in the 6-man main event.

Then onto CT Rumble and I can follow along with The Law's reviews. I've seen most of the '89 and '90 shows but I'm all for rewatching the good ones.

OD50
May 17th, 2013, 3:28 AM
I'm actually tempted to rewatch some good ol' JCP/WCW shows as well. I have every Clash of the Champions and every PPV from 1983 onwards, so there's quite a bit to choose from. GAB 1989 is a really stellar show as mentioned above, might just go watch it again.

Currently I'm going through Herb Abrams UWF television show (Fury Hour) though, and honestly it isn't half-bad.. Just watched a tremendous brawl between David Sammartino and Cactus Jack. Tons of former NWA/WWF talent on there; Nikita Koloff, Dr Death, Mr Wonderful, Billy Jack Haynes, Bob Orton, Ivan Koloff, B. Brian Blair, Danny Spivey, Ken Patera and others. I wonder how well (South African) Colonel DeBeers refusing to wrestle with a black guy refeereing would go over today.. Yikes.

JP
May 17th, 2013, 5:46 AM
When you think of Rikishi's career, and I actually can't believe I'm going to say this, but he's actually a HoF candidate.

takerson
May 18th, 2013, 12:58 AM
He can start his speech with. "I did it..... for da Rock..... I did it..... for da people."

The Law
May 20th, 2013, 3:21 PM
Halloween Havoc 1989
October 28, 1989
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia Civic Center

Welcome to the first Halloween Havoc! This was always one of my favorite shows, mostly because the sets were always so cool. The primary storyline bridging us the Great American Bash to this show was the feud between Ric Flair, Sting, Terry Funk, and The Great Muta. Flair and Sting formed an alliance to combat the Gary Hart International stable, which was headlined by Terry Funk and The Great Muta. Sting and Muta fought for months over the vacant Television Championship until Muta finally defeated Sting in a No Disqualification Match at a house show in September. Tonight, we "settle the score" between Sting, Flair, Funk, and Muta in a Thuderdome Cage. Anyway, let's get to the action:

The Z Man vs. Mike Rotunda

Good heat for Rotunda. I loved the Varsity Club. The Z Man is Tom Zenk. Apparently he's undefeated at this point. My tape is edited and they skip from the beginning portion of the match to Rotunda applying an Abdominal Stretch. Referee Nick Patrick catches Rotunda grabbing the rope and forces him to break the hold. Rotunda applies a Sleeper Hold. Zenk breaks out and hits a Shoulderblock. He follows that with a Body Press for the three count.

Result: The Z Man by pinfall

Analysis: *. Hard to tell how good it was because of the editing. According to Wikipedia it actually went 13 minutes.

The Midnight Express and Steve Williams vs. Samoan SWAT Team and Samoan Savage

A continuation of a feud that had been going since the Tag Team Championship tournament back in the Spring. The Samoan SWAT Team comes out to a remix of the theme from "Halloween" which is awesome. They also perform a cool fire dance with torches during their entrance. Oliver Humperdink is their manager here, which is new. The Samoan Savage is the Tonga Kid. Once again, the match is clipped. We jump to Fatu working on Bobby Eaton. He then applies a long Nerve Hold. The heat segment goes on, consistent of headbutts and stomps. Samoan Savage tags in and hits a Sidewalk Slam. Samoan Savage misses a Splash and tags in Dr. Death. He slams everyone. Powerslam on Samoan Savage. Lane tags in. He hits a sloppy Neckbreaker. Enziguri. Cornette slugs Humperdink to a big pop. Samoan Savage knocks Lane into Cornette (he was standing on the apron) and rolls him up for the pin.

Result: Samoan Savage and Samoan SWAT Team by pinfall

Analysis: *1/2. Nice comeback by Dr. Death. Rest of the match was pretty dull. Not upset that they clipped it.

The Cuban Assassin vs. Tommy Rich

Tommy Rich was voted most popular wrestler in 1981, according to JR. He's pretty far over the hill. Assassin rakes the eyes and JR comments that it's a "common shortcut for people of his ilk." Does he mean heels or Cubans? This match is incredibly boring. Nothing but punches and rest holds. The crowd is chanting "boring," and they were a lot more patient back then. Rich hits the Thesz Press to win at 8:26. Why couldn't they have clipped this match?

Result: Tommy Rich by pinfall

Analysis: Dud. Total garbage.

The Steiner Brothers vs. Doom (Butch Reed and Ron Simmons)

Simmons and Reed are masked without their identities being revealed. They are managed by Woman, who is the future Nancy Sullivan and Nancy Benoit. Doom enters to a Bob Seger song, which doesn't really fit them at all. The Steiners start with stereo German Suplexes and the crowd goes crazy. Stereo Clotheslines send both members of Doom to the floor. Scott and Reed (I think) start. Scott hits a Clothesline and Doom stalls some more. Rick tags in. On commentary, JR says Scott almost became a school teacher. I find that possibility absolutely hilarious for obvious reasons. Scott tags in and hits a Flying Clothesline from the second rope. Rick tags in and gets a Stunner (basically) from Simmons. Big Clothesline from Reed. Steiner sold that with a backflip. Simmons tags in. Scott hits a German Suplex. A cheapshot by Reed (who is on the apron) allows Doom to gain the advantage. Double Ax Handle from Reed.

Doom's heat segment meanders on. They do some cheap heat segments (choke, double team, missed tag). Neckbreaker from Simmons. Rick finally manages to tag in. He beats down both guys. Scott hits an awesome Frankensteiner. Woman helps Reed load up his mask. He hits a Headbutt for the win at 15:26.

Result: Doom by pinfall

Analysis: *. Super boring. Thankfully, Doom would get worlds better.

NWA Tag Team Championship: The Fabulous Freebirds (c) vs. The Dynamic Dudes

The crowd completely shits on the Dudes and cheers the Freebirds. Hey, it's Philadelphia. Hayes and Garvin are representing the Freebirds tonight. No sign of Gordy. Jim Cornette is managing the Dudes, presumably to try to get the crowd to cheer them. Didn't work. Ace starts against Gordy. Really impressive Headlock Takeover/Headscissor combination by Ace. Despite the terrible gimmick, both Ace and Douglas could work. The crowd chants "You Suck" at Ace. Hayes hits a cheap shot on the outside and gets cheered for it. The crowd is the only entertaining thing about this match. "Freebirds" chant breaks out. Hayes tries the DDT but Ace manages to counter. The crowd is very disappointed in that. Douglas tags in. His comeback is roundly booed. The Dudes tries a Double Atomic Drop, but Garvin rolls into a bridge for the pin at 11:28.

Result: Freebirds by pinfall

Analysis: **. Entirely for the crowd. Watching them shit on the Dudes and cheer the Freebirds was awesome. The announcers refused to acknowledge it because this was before fan rebellions were allowed.

NWA United States Championship: Lex Luger (c) vs. Brian Pillman

This should be good. Luger was on fire in 1989 and Pillman was a beast before injuries. Pillman gets a big entrance with cheerleaders as JR recaps his football career: two time All American at Miami, Ohio and special teamer for the Cincinnati Bengals. The crowd chants for Luger even though he's a heel. That's not a Philly thing, he was getting cheered everywhere. Pillman pops the crowd with his tenacity early. He hits a Dropkick and Luger bails. He follows that with a Baseball Slide. Pillman continues to control with high-flying offense and then gets an Armdrag and an Armbar. Pillman misses a top rope Splash and Luger takes over. Luger drops him across the top rope. Luger hits a series of Clotheslines. He follows that with an impressive Stalling Suplex. Pillman manages a Sunset Flip for a near fall.

Pillman tries a Ten Punch but Luger counters with an Inverted Atomic Drop. Pillman counters a Superplex attempt and hits a Sunset Flip for two. Pillman hits his Springboard Diving Clothesline, but Luger gets the rope to break up the pin. Pillman misses a Dropkick off the top. Luger drops Pillman across the top rope and gets the pin at 16:48.

Winner: Lex Luger by pinfall

Analysis: ***3/4. Really good match. Both of these guys were at their peak and their styles worked very well together. Pillman put up a great fight but his recklessness and inexperience cost him. Luger just barely survived Pillman's onslaught. I like Luger going over clean, too. Luger is a top guy and Pillman isn't there yet. He shouldn't have to cheat to beat him.

The Road Warriors vs. The Skyscrapers

Not expecting a classic here. Spivey starts against Animal. They botch a Clothesline that was supposed to send Spivey over the top. Animal manages to knock him down with a diving Shoulderblock. Not much selling in this match. All four guys just kind of shrug off the others' offense. A test of strength results in a Monkey Flip from Hawk to Sid. More boring offense follows. Sid hits an interest Spiral Bomb type maneuver. The match continues for several more minutes until Teddy throws a metal key to Spivey. He hits Hawk with it for the disqualification at 11:39.

Result: Road Warriors by disqualification

Analysis: 1/4*. Super slow and boring. Went on far too long. Bad combination.

Thunderdome Cage Match: Ric Flair and Sting vs. Terry Funk and The Great Muta

Okay, so here's how this works:

-The Thunderdome cage is huge. They claim it's 30 feet high. It surrounds the ring and ringside. It has no top, but it slants inward and the upper portion is "electrified."

-The match is won when the cornerman for one of the teams throws in the towel. No pinfalls, submissions, or disqualifications. Gary Hart is the cornerman for the heels, Ole Anderson for the faces.

Bruno Sammartino is the referee. Not that he's needed, since the match is only won by surrender. Flair and Funk start. Apparently, they're going to observe normal tag team rules here even though there are no disqualifications. Not much of interest happens in the first few minutes. Flair and Sting work over Funk. Flair hits some of the hardest chops I've ever seen (or heard) on Muta and Funk. Sting Military Presses Muta onto Funk. This is one of those cages that doesn't make any sound when someone hits it but probably hurts like hell to get thrown into. Worst of both worlds. Muta and Funk double team Sting in the ring after Funk takes out Flair on the outside. Sting hits a nice one-handed Bulldog on Funk.

Everyone starts climbing the cage, for some reason. Muta gets "shocked" by the electrified portion of the cage. Flair and Funk fight outside while Sting and Muta are in the ring. Sting holds Muta up for a Military Press for a solid minute. Not really sure if someone was supposed to happen there. Funk is still climbing the cage for no particular reason. Flair locks Muta in the Figure Four in the ring. Sting swings on a rope connected to the cage and Dropkicks Funk. Flair breaks the hold on Muta, inexplicably. Funk ties Sting to the cage while Muta hits Flair with an Enziguri. Muta gets Flair in an Indian Deathlock. Muta and Flair work on Funk while Ole tries to untie Sting from the cage. Spike Piledriver on Flair. Sting dives from the cage into the ring! Huge Crossbody. Great spot, highlight of the match so far.

Muta climbs all the way to the top of the cage. Why? Flair hits the Kneebreaker on Funk. Flair applies the Figure Four. Sting Splashes Funk from the top rope. He does it again. Muta goes after Bruno and gets decked. Hart throws in the towel to prevent further injury to Funk at 21:55.

Result: Ric Flair and Sting by surrender

Analysis: **1/2. Disappointing. A few decent spots, but ultimately not very good. They didn't use the cage very much or effectively. The climbing of the cage made no sense because you couldn't win by escape. Pretty much the worst match those four could possibly have.

Overall: Bad show. One good match (Luger vs. Pillman) and nothing else of any note. Huge letdown after the amazing Great American Bash show. The cage match probably ended up detracting from the main event because they didn't know what to do with it and there were no near falls. A straight-up tag match probably would have been better.

Grade: D+

The Law
May 22nd, 2013, 1:37 PM
So who's reading these?

Slare
May 22nd, 2013, 1:50 PM
Me. Enjoying them very much actually. It's a period I've got a decent knowledge of but I haven't seen them, really finding your write-ups interesting.

Cewsh
May 22nd, 2013, 1:57 PM
Same here. I've read all of them. And I'm just waiting until you've built up a bit of a backlog before I start putting them on the main page. :yes:

Mills
May 22nd, 2013, 2:38 PM
I like them, I loved that Luger Pullman match too, it was on the Pillman DVD too IIRC

The Law
May 22nd, 2013, 4:20 PM
Starrcade 1989: Future Shock
December 13, 1989
Atlanta, Georgia
The Omni

The NWA had a good year overall in 1989. Their main event scene was hot, featuring great performances from Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Lex Luger, Sting, Terry Funk, and Muta. Starrcade 1989 looked like it could be a banner show. They had lots of options: blow off the long feud between Terry Funk and Ric Flair? Pit Flair against Lex Luger in a rematch from the previous year? Pull the trigger on the big Flair vs. Sting match and put the title on Sting? Even Flair vs. Muta would be a reasonable option.

Instead, they choose to do something totally different. In an experiment, the show would feature two Round Robin tournaments: a singles tournament featuring Ric Flair, Sting, Luger, and Muta and a tag tournament featuring the Steiner Brothers, the Road Warriors, Doom, and the New Wild Samoans. There was a points system for the matches: 20 points for a pin or submission win, 15 for a count out, 10 for a disqualification, 5 for a time-limit draw, and zero for a loss. The team and individual with the most points at the end of the night would win. Their reward? Nothing. Just a trophy. This is one of the first signs of real incompetence from WCW, and there were certainly more to come.

So, to recap the events from Halloween Havoc to now: Flair blew off his feud with Funk by beating him in a classic "I Quit" Match at Clash of the Champions in November. The Steiners won the tag team titles from The Freebirds. Arn Anderson returned and reformed the Four Horsemen with Flair, Ole, and Sting. Let's get to the show:

The Steiner Brothers vs. Doom

The Steiners are recently crowned tag team champions and a big deal here. Doom consists of Ron Simmons and Butch Reed, still masked and unidentified here Scott starts out against Simmons. He gets a quick near fall off a Powerslam. Rick tags in and we get some stalling. Rick hits a big Belly to Belly Suplex. The Steiners tag in and out, controlling the match. JR and Cornette continually put over how "innovative" the tournament is and note that the crowd is "late arriving." Doom is managed by Woman and "Nitron," who is Tyler Mane. Mane would later play Sabertooth in the first "X-Men" movie and Michael Meyers in the Halloween remakes. Not a ton happening in this match. Doom is now in control and works over a pretty basic heat segment. Scott hits a Belly to Belly Suplex and tags in Rick. Rick hits a big Steiner Line and a Powerslam. The PA announcer announces that there are under two minutes left in the match. Nitron grabs Rick's leg as he hits the ropes, so Rick Clotheslines him. All four men brawl on the floor and Rick sneaks back into the ring to win by count out at 12:24.

Result: Steiner Brothers by count out

Analysis: **. Basic tag match. They can't afford to go all out because they both have two more matches to wrestle tonight.

That's 15 points for the Steiners and zero for Doom. Two more matches to go for each team.

Lex Luger vs. Sting

Funk is commentating the singles matches with JR. They brawl on the floor to start. Back in the ring, Sting hits a Slingshot Splash from the apron for two. He follows that with a series of Clotheslines. All Sting to start. They brawl on the floor again. These matches have 15 minute time limits. Sting counters an Inverted Atomic Drop with a Clothesline and applies an Armbar. Sting goes for a Crossbody, but Luger catches him with an Inverted Atomic Drop. Luger keeps control with some boring offense. Sting makes him comeback with punches, but Luger shuts it down with a Powerslam. He tries the Torture Rack but Sting escapes. Sting makes his comeback with two minutes left. Sting charges Luger an applies a choke. That was kind of a strange spot. They roll to the floor with one minute left. Sting Clotheslines Luger into the ring, but Luger comes down on top. He grabs the ropes and gets the pin at 11:31.

Result: Lex Luger by pinfall

Analysis: **1/4. Not terrible. A little slow, but once more both guys have two more matches tonight and need to conserve their energy. The time-limits add some drama, even if they're obviously not accurate.

Luger scores 20 points, Sting is awarded zero for his loss.

The Road Warriors vs. Doom

Reed and Animal start. They exchange power moves. Animal misses a charge, hits the post shoulder-first, and falls to the floor. Doom takes over with a dull heat segment. Reed hits a second rope Elbow Drop. Most impressive move of the match so far. Hawk makes a hot tag to Animal. He hits a Powerslam. Cheapshot results in Reed going for a Piledriver, but Hawk hits a second rope Clothesline for the pin at 8:31.

Result: Road Warriors by pinfall

Analysis: 1/2*. Boring.

Road Warriors take the lead with 20 points, Steiners have 15, and Doom has zero.

The Great Muta vs. Ric Flair

Muta is still undefeated. He comes out hot, hitting kicks, a tumbling elbow, and an Elbow Drop. They trade chops. Inverted Atomic Drop from Flair. Kneebreaker. Figure Four! Quick start here. Buzz Sawyer and the Dragon Master charge the ring but are stopped by Arn and Ole Anderson. Muta hits a Backbreaker and goes for the Moonsault, but Flair gets his knees up. Flair cradles Muta for the pin at 1:55. Wow. That's Muta's first NWA loss.

Result: Ric Flair by Pinfall

Analysis: 1/4*. Good action for that two minutes that it lasted. This could have main evented the show. Instead, it's a two-minute match. See what's wrong with this tournament format?

Flair and Luger tie for the lead at 20 points, Sting and Muta both have zero.

The Steiner Brothers vs. The Road Warriors

First meeting and one of the only. Scott and Hawk start. Hawk hits an Enziguri early. A better booked show would have featured these guys in the sub-main event. Rick tags in and gets hit with a big clothesline by Hawk. Animal tags in for a Double Back Elbow. Rick gets a Clothesline for his own. Rick follows it with a Belly to Belly Suplex. Scott tags in and is Military Pressed by Steiner. Scott takes over with a series of Suplexes. Hawk hits a nice Gutwrench. Scott botches a Belly to Belly from the top rope and drops Animal on his head. Hawk tags in. He applies a Bearhug. Animal tags in and continues to control, but all four men end up brawling. Scott gets hits with a Back Suplex/Flying Clothesline combination. Hawk bridges for a pin, but Scott pops his shoulder up to get the win at 7:27.

Result: Steiner Brothers by pinfall

Analysis: *1/2. Decent, but slow. This is definitely a match that would have befitted from a storyline and more time.

That gives the Steiners 35 points, Road Warriors 20, Doom and Samoans zero. Notably the Samoans have yet to wrestle a match. Also, Doom is now mathematically eliminated from winning the tournament.

Sting vs. The Great Muta

Re-match of their excellent contest at the Great American Bash. Basic stuff to start: chops, headlocks, the like. They run the ropes and Sting levels Muta with a Clothesline. Atomic Drop from Sting. Sting tries the Scorpion Deathlock but Muta gets the ropes. Muta rolls out and gets his chest sensually massaged by Gary Hart. That was a little strange. Muta takes over with an eyerake. He gets Sting down and applies the Cattle Mutilation! That's unexpected. Sting manages to roll out of it and takes over with punches. Military Press from Sting. Sting applies a chinlock. Just when things were picking up. Muta drives Sting into the corner. Muta hits a Rib Breaker. He misses a Moonsault but lands on his feet and drops Sting with a kick to the face. Muta goes up top, but Sting hits a Dropkick. Sting Superplexes Muta for the win at 8:41.

Result: Sting by pinfall

Analysis: **1/2. Decent, but not nearly as good as their previous matches. Two losses in a row really kills Muta's heat.

This gives Luger, Sting, and Flair 20 points each and Muta zero. Muta is mathematically eliminated from the tournament.

The New Wild Samoans vs. Doom

The New Wild Samoans are Rikishi and the Tonga Kid. Here, they're going by Samoan Savage and Fatu. They were last-minute replacements for The Skyscrapers after Sid suffered an injury. My tape clips most of this match. Everyone brawls in the ring. Samoan Savage collides with Doom #2 and he covers him for the win. According to Wikipedia, this ran 8:22. As long as Sting vs. Muta and 8x as long as Flair vs. Muta. Oy.

Result: New Wild Samoans by pinfall

Analysis: 1/4*. Too heavily clipped to really judge, but I'm guessing what we missed wasn't very interesting.

This gives the Steiners 35 points, the Road Warriors 20, and the Samoans 20. Doom is out after scoring zero points.

Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger

My tape clips this to five minutes left, which means the first ten minutes are gone. When we pick up Luger is stomping Flair. Big Military Press from Luger. Luger tries to Suplex him, but Flair reverses into a Suplex of his own. Flair gets a backslide for two. Luger shoots Flair into the corner and Flair does the Flair Flip. Luger catches him with a Clothesline as he comes off the top. Flair gets a Sunset Flip for two with two minutes left. Flair goes to the top but gets thrown off. Flair comes back with a Back Suplex and applies the Figure Four. Time expires. Wikipedia says it ran 17:15, but they announce fifteen minutes. Both men are awarded five points.

Result: Time Limit Draw

Analysis: **. What we saw wasn't bad.

This gives Luger and Flair 25 points each, Sting 20, and Muta zero.

The Steiner Brothers vs. New Wild Samoans

Wild Samoans control early as Scott plays Ricky Morton. Rick keeps trying to help out, but it just distracts the referee and allows the Samoans to double team. Scott hits a Frankensteiner with one minute left in the match. Rick gets in and pounds the Samoans, but the referee didn't see the tag. The Steiners get disqualified because Rick is in the ring illegally. Wikipedia says this went 14:05, but my tape showed less than five minutes.

Result: New Wild Samoans by Disqualification

Analysis: *1/2.

Standings: Steiner Brothers 35, New Wild Samoans 30, Road Warriors 20, Doom zero. Road Warriors need a pinfall victory in the final for an outright win.

Lex Luger vs. The Great Muta

We're clipped to Muta hitting a Handspring Elbow. Muta manages to apply the Muta Lock, but Luger gets out. Muta is really working the leg after Luger was in the Figure Four earlier. Lex starts his comeback with a Clothesline. He blocks a Sunset Flip attempt. Luger hits a Powerslam and goes for the Torture Rack, but his leg gives out. He gets up and Muta... Mists him for the DQ. What? That made no sense at all.

Result: Lex Luger by disqualificaiton

Analysis: **1/4. Pretty good match before the terrible finish.

Luger leads with 35 points, Flair has 25, Sting 20, and Muta zero.

The Road Warriors vs. The Wild Samoans

Road Warriors need a pin or submission to win. Hawk and Fatu slug it out early. Animal tags in and hits a Powerslam. They follow that with a very sloppy and confused exchange. Things continue to be ugly during a Wild Samoans heat segment. Hawk makes a comeback and hits a Flying Clothesline for the win at 5:18. Road Warriors win the tournament.

Result: Road Warriors by pinfall

Analysis: 1/4*. Really sloppy and boring.

Final Standings: Road Warriors 40 points, Steiners 35, Wild Samoans 30, Doom zero.

Ric Flair vs. Sting

Okay, so here are the scenarios: if Sting wins by pin or submission, he wins the tournament. If Flair wins by pinfall, submission, or count out he wins the tournament. If they go to a time limit, Luger wins. If Sting gets disqualified, Luger and Flair would be tied and wrestle a tiebreaker to determine the winner. Got all that?

They're friends here, both being members of the Horsemen. This being wrestling, we all know that's not going to last. Sting controls early with basic wrestling moves. Flair bails out, but Sting runs him down. They fight on the floor. Back in, Sting hits a Backslide for two. Flair gets back in it with a series of chops. Outside Flair sends Sting into the guardrail. The JR and Funk both notice Flair's unsportsmanlike behavior. Flair gets a roll-up for two and argues with the referee. Sting starts to Hulk Up, but Flair blocks a Sunset Flip attempt. Flair chops Sting, but he no-sells. Sting flips out and hits the Stinger Splash, followed by the Scorpion Deathlock.

Flair gets the ropes. He makes his way to his feet and hits a Kneebreaker. Flair applies the Figure Four. Sting manages to get the ropes. He struggles to his feet and is hit with another Kneebreaker. Flair hits a Splash to Sting's injured leg. He follows that up with a Figure Four attempt, but Sting counters into a Small Package for the win at 14:55.

Result: Sting by pinfall

Analysis: ***1/2. Nice match. Would have been much better with a real build and story, but that could be said of every match at this show.

Flair seems pissed. Arn and Ole make their way down to ringside. We're all expecting them to turn on Sting, but instead they congratulate him on the win. Sting wins the tournament with 40 points. Luger is second with 35, Flair 25, and Muta zero.

Overall: Not a very good show. Too many matches featuring the same guys. Too many guys getting left off the show: No Pillman, no Funk, no Midnight Express, no Freebirds. They dumped this format the next year in favor of a single-elimination tag team tournament. Unfortunately, every Starrcade between here and 1996 features some kind of gimmick as the center of the show. This is really the first major sign of WCW's tendency to overdo gimmick matches and not book logical wrestling. Not the worst show, but definitely not a good way to end the year.

Grade: C-

Panther52
May 22nd, 2013, 5:32 PM
I'ma readin em

The Law
May 22nd, 2013, 6:02 PM
So Starrcade 1989 was the first real crack in the armor for WCW under Turner. The rest of 1989 was solid to excellent. Starrcade was a huge misfire. Given the talent on their roster, they easily could have put together a killer card. Instead, they opted for that tournament for reasons that bewilder me. I guess they didn't think they had enough time to build up Flair vs. Sting, so they did the tournament as filler instead? I think they could have gone into the match with Flair and Sting both faces, but some tension between them with Flair being a little upset that Sting would challenge him. Flair can be dirty during the match, but not totally turn. Sting can get his big win, and then Flair can turn on him and we're off and running for 1990 with Sting vs. The Horsemen. Which is basically what we ended up getting, albeit with a detour because of Sting's knee injury and subsequent rehabilitation.

Here's how I would have booked this show:

NWA World Heavyweight Championship
Ric Flair (c) vs. Sting
Winner: Sting (New NWA World Heavyweight Champion)

NWA World Tag Team Championship
The Steiner Brothers (c) vs. The Road Warriors
Winners: The Steiner Brothers

NWA United States Championship
Lex Luger (c) vs. Arn Anderson
Winner: Luger

NWA World Television Championship
The Great Muta vs. Terry Funk
Winner: Muta

The Midnight Express vs. The Fabulous Freebirds

Doom vs. Brian Pillman and Tom Zenk

The New Wild Samoans vs. The Southern Boys

Sid Vicious vs. Brian Pillman

Throw in a filler match or two and you've got a full card, and a damn fine one. Point is, there are probably ten cards you could come up with that would be dramatically better than what they actually did. They really did choose the worst of all options with those tournaments.

JRSlim21
May 22nd, 2013, 9:11 PM
I've enjoyed all of these. Patiently awaiting Chamber of Horrors.

Mills
May 23rd, 2013, 12:31 AM
that was said for the first time ever.

The Law
May 23rd, 2013, 1:17 PM
I'd love it if we could get more flashbacks going. There's so much wrestling history that deserves to be covered. I've got WCW and someone new has taken up the mantle of the WWF/WWE flashbacks, but there's still ton more than could be done: Saturday Night's Main Event, Clash of the Champions, Raw, Nitro, ECW (Hardcore TV or major events or PPVs), or go back to the territory days and cover World Class, Jim Crockett Promotions, Georgia Championship Wrestling. Internationally, it would be great if someone would do All Japan and New Japan, or AAA. I thought this would be a daunting task, but it's proven to be a ton of fun so far. It's really not work to watch wrestling and jot down some thoughts about it.

Mills
May 23rd, 2013, 1:53 PM
I'm attempting to launch a raw flashback thread/blog with Kneeneighbor which can (hopefully) start in the next week or so.

The Law
May 23rd, 2013, 2:02 PM
That's awesome. Once you get to September 1995 it would be great if someone else would step up and do Nitro. Then we could have dueling Monday Night War reviews.

Peter Griffin
May 23rd, 2013, 2:10 PM
Sorry if you have mentioned this Law, but where are you watching all these events? despite my previous post, im actually getting pretty interested in watching these shows.

The Law
May 24th, 2013, 11:44 AM
Wrestle War 1990
February 25, 1990
Greensboro, North Carolina
Greensboro Coliseum

When we last left off, Sting defeated Ric Flair to win the Iron Man Tournament at Starrcade. Unsurprisingly, Flair subsequently turned on Sting and kicked him out of the Horsemen. Sid Vicious took Sting's place in the group. That set up the big championship match for this show, Sting vs. Flair. People had been waiting for this ever since the first Clash of the Champions, when Stick went to a 45 minute time-limit draw with Flair. Everything was set and then...Sting blew out his knee climbing a cage at Clash of the Champions. Tough luck. So Lex Luger turned face (no one was really booing him anyway) and took Sting's place in the match against Flair. Perfectly fine replacement, and another match with history behind it. Let's get to the action:

Kevin Sullivan and Buzz Sawyer vs. The Dynamic Dudes

The Varsity Club has dissolved at this point and Sullivan has become the madman that he would play for the rest of his career. Sawyer is also crazy, so they make a good team. Johnny Ace beats up both guys early. Sullivan manages to throw Douglas outside, where he gets suplexed by Sawyer. Sullivan and Sawyer run a basic heat segment on Douglas until he breaks out of a Bearhug and tags in Ace. The Dudes clean house until Sawyer surprises Ace with a Snap Suplex and then hits a top rope Splash for the pin at 10:22.

Result: Sullivan and Sawyer by pinfall

Analysis: **. Basic tag match.

Cactus Jack Manson vs. Norman the Lunatic

Mick Foley's PPV debut. Norman the Lunatic is the Bastion Booger. Foley is incredibly skinny here. Norman looks a lot like Foley does today. The exchange punches and elbows early. Norman applies a Bearhug. Norman sends Cactus into the corner and he tumbles to the floor. Norman's gimmick seems to be that he's an escaped mental patient. Makes sense with the name. Cactus charges Norman and gets Backdropped over the railing onto the concrete floor. Cactus sends Norman into the ring post. Cactus hits a Dropkick off the apron! Not something you'd see from him in later years. Unfortunately, the camera didn't really catch it. Back in the ring, Cactus applies a chinlock. Cactus headbutts Norman, but it doesn't hurt him because he has no brain. Or something. Cactus grabs another chinlock. Norman powers out into an Electric Chair Drop. Norman shoots Cactus into the ropes for a Backdrop. Cactus tries a Piledriver, but Norman Backdrops out. Cactus tries a Sunset Flip, but Norman sits down on his chest for the win at 9:34.

Result: Norman the Lunatic by pinfall

Analysis: **. Surprisingly entertaining brawl. Remarkable to see Foley so young and thin and mobile here.

We go backstage to hear from Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express. He says some things never change: The Midnight Express is still the best tag team in wrestling.

The Rock N Roll Express vs. The Midnight Express

Last hurrah for two of the greatest tag teams of the 1980s. JR says he thought Cornette was a homosexual. Things that wouldn't fly today. Gibson and Lane kick it off. Gibson controls early and Cornette ends up getting into it with referee Nick Patrick. Cornette actually gets into the ring to challenge him to a fight but chickens out. Morton tags in and controls things for a little while. Cornette trips up Gibson and ends up getting punched out for it. Morton and Gibson double team and send Eaton crashing to the floor with a double Clothesline. Morton tags back in so that he can play Ricky Morton. Eaton and Lane go to work. Same match, different decade.

JR says that Ricky Morton "has been known to take a great deal of punishment." No shit. Morton gets a Sunset Flip that should get the win, but Cornette distracts the referee. The heat segment rolls on. Eaton hits a Diving Elbow Drop off the top, but Gibson breaks up the pin. Lane tags in and continues his arm work. Morton manages to get his knees up to block a Splash by Eaton. Morton tags in Gibson. Gibson goes house on fire. Gibson gets blasted by Cornette's tennis racket but kicks out at two. Good nearfall there. Eaton goes for a Flapjack, but Gibson counters into a Small Package for the pin at 19:31.

Result: Rock N Roll Express by pinfall

Analysis: ***1/2. Same formula as ever, but the formula is really good. These guys had worked together so much at this point that they could have done this match with their eyes closed.

We go backstage to hear from the Road Warriors and Paul Ellering. They've been sleeping in alleys in Chicago to prepare for this match. Also, they put 16 people in the hospital.

Chicago Street Fight: The Road Warriors vs. The Skyscrapers

Sid and Dan Spievey are both injured, so the Skyscrapers tonight consist of Mark Callous and The Masked Skyscraper. The Masked Skyscraper is Mike Enos, who was part of the Beverley Brothers in the WWF. In case you are unaware, Mark Callous is Mark Callaway, The Undertaker. One of many talents that WCW wasted over the years. According to JR, the Road Warriors are undefeated in Chicago Street Fights. Even here, you can see Callaway's talent. He moves remarkably well for a big man. Big brawl to start with the Road Warriors getting the better of it. In the midst of the match, Ron Simmons and Butch Reed walk down to the ring looking snazzy in tuxedos. First time we've seen Doom without their masks on pay-per-view.

The Skyscrapers are now in control with punches and chokes. Really not much of interest going on here. Hawk hits a nice Diving Clothesline off the ring apron. And then a Dropkick! Damn, Hawk brought his working boots. Callous gets Backdropped to the floor and the Warriors hit the Doomsday Device for the win at 4:59.

Result: Road Warriors by pinfall

Analysis: *. At least they kept it short.

Doom gets in the ring and we get a brawl. The Warriors get the better of it and Doom retreats to the back.

United States Tag Team Championship: Brian Pillman and Tom Zenk vs. The Fabulous Freebirds

The U.S. Tag Team Titles were recently reactivated and Pillman and Zenk beat the Freebirds in the finals of a tournament. The first ten minutes are all Zenk and Pillman as the dominate with fast paced offense. There's some kind of commotion in the crowd (I think someone jumped the rail) so the match gets bogged down as Pillman works an Armbar. Pillman misses a Dropkick and gets worked over by the heels. After a long heat segment he manages to tag in Zenk, who cleans house. Zenk applies a Sleeper on Hayes, but Garvin drops him with a Double Ax Handle off the top. Now Zenk gets worked over. Zenk manages to land a DDT on Hayes and makes the tag to Pillman. All four guys end up in the ring and Garvin goes for a DDT on Zenk. Pillman comes off the top rope with a Crossbody for the pin at 23:15.

Result: Brian Pillman and Tom Zenk by pinfall

Analysis: **1/4. Some nice action, but really dragged. Probably longer than it really needed to be. The number of tag matches is really starting to get repetitive here.

NWA Tag Team Championship: The Steiner Brothers (c) vs. Arn Anderson and Ole Anderson

Arn gets pounded by both Steiners. He tags in Ole, who doesn't really fare any better. Arn tags back in and gets Powerslammed by Rick. Rick, being an idiot (in storyline) allows Arn to get to his corner and the Andersons take over. Scott tags in. The Andersons isolate Scott and work him over. Naturally, they work his arm. Just like in every other Arn and Ole match. Scott eventually hits a Frankensteiner and makes the hot tag to Rick. Rick hits multiple Steinerlines on both Ole and Arn and then gets Ole in a Small Package for the win at 16:04.

Result: Steiner Brothers by pinfall

Analysis: **1/4. Another by the numbers tag match. I'd really love to see a tag match that didn't follow the formula of faces controlling early, heels cheating to get the advantage, and then faces making the hot tag and comeback. All the tag matches tonight really got repetitive following the exact same formula.

NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Ric Flair (c) vs. Lex Luger

Luger took Sting's place after he injured his knee. Sting comes out on crutches to a huge pop before the match. They do a long lead-in to the match with the referee patting down both men and giving them instructions. Basic chain wrestling to start. Luger holds his own with superior strength despite being less skilled technically. Flair challenges Luger to a test of strength and is thoroughly beaten. Flair gets Clotheslined and bails to the floor. Luger hits an impressive Military Press. Then another. He grabs a Bearhug. Ten Punch from Luger and a Flair Flop. Luger misses a Clothesline and tumbles to the floor. Flair gets the advantage down on the floor. Flair drops a couple knees back in the ring. Luger misses a charge in the corner and hurts his arm. Flair goes to work on that arm with a Hammerlock. The arm segment goes on until Luger gets pissed and grabs Flair by the throat. Luger throws him to the floor and goes to work. Back in the ring, Luger grabs a Sleeper Hold. Flair manages to get the ropes and then hits a Belly to Back Suplex. Luger makes it to his feet first and makes a very confused attempt to apply the Figure Four. Flair manages to escape as JR points out he clearly has no idea how to do the Figure Four. Luger hits a big Powerslam for a two count.

Flair counters a Ten Punch with an Inverted Atomic Drop. Flair applies a Sleeper. Flair works on the leg and applies the Figure Four. Sting makes his way to ringside. Luger manages to reverse the hold. Sting gets in Luger's face and tells him to get his shit together. Luger complies and Flair bails out of the ring. Luger stops selling. Military Press by Luger. Flair pokes him in the eye and goes up top. Naturally, he gets thrown from the top. Luger hits a series of Clotheslines. Luger Clotheslines Flair over the top rope. Isn't that a disqualification? Apparently not. Luger Suplexes Flair from the apron into the ring. Powerslam by Luger. He signals for the Torture Rack. Woman distracts Luger and Flair hits him from behind, bumping the referee. Luger hits a Clothesline and has Flair pinned, but there's no referee to count it. Superplex by Luger. Arn and Ole hit the ring. Luger beats them both out of the ring. Luger gets Flair in the Torture Rack! Ole and Arn accost Sting outside the ring. Luger sees this and goes outside to save him. Luger fights Ole and Arn and is counted out at 38:08.

Result: Ric Flair by count out

Analysis: ****1/4. Really good match. Slow in parts, but a good story and quality action. The count out is a little frustrating, but you want to keep Luger strong and keep the belt on Flair so that Sting can win it from him when he comes back.

The Steiners hit the ring and clear the Horsemen out after the match. They replay the end of the match. Basically, this is the one time Luger did the right thing and it cost him the world title.

Overall: Decent show. Nothing terrible on the card and a really good main event. Also some fun history with the pay-per-view debuts of Mick Foley and the Undertaker. They really showcased the tag division to the point where the matches got repetitive. Having eight tag teams wrestle in matches plus another interfere in a match puts nine tag teams on the card, which is remarkable. Main event was great, especially considering they had to throw it together at the last second due to Sting's injury. Luger was really, really over. The fans absolutely loved the guy even though he had been playing heel for almost a year.

Grade: B-

The Law
May 28th, 2013, 12:10 PM
Capital Combat 1990: The Return of Robocop
May 19, 1990
D.C. Armory
Washington, D.C.

This is Capital Combat, better known as The One Where Robocop Shows Up. To promote the upcoming release of "Robocop 2," WCW did a crossover where they pretended Robocop was real and would appear at the show alongside Sting. But we'll get to that later. This show is mostly a continuation of the last one where Lex Luger lost to Ric Flair by count out because he saved Sting from being attacked by Arn and Ole Anderson. To prevent interference in their rematch tonight, the match will take place inside a Steel Cage. Anyway, let's get to the action:

Six Man Tag Match: The Road Warriors and Norman the Lunatic vs. Kevin Sullivan, Cactus Jack Manson, and Bam Bam Bigelow

This is the Road Warrior's last night with the company, as they would depart due to issues with Executive Vice President Jim Herd. They wouldn't be the last ones, either. Good use of them on their way out to give the rub to Norman, who the crowd is surprisingly into here. The Varsity Club has disbanded now, so this is Sullivan's new "Slaughterhouse" stable. Cactus and Animal start. Cactus plays pinball for both members of the Road Warriors for a few minutes. Bigelow and Sullivan get thrown around when they tag in. Bam Bam gets the advantage on Norman and the heels go to work. Good sympathy heat for Norman. Norman manages to make a tag to Animal. He levels all three men. Hawk and Norman hit the ring and brawl. Hawk catches Sullivan with a Flying Clothesline for the pin at 9:38.

Result: Road Warriors and Norman the Lunatic by pinfall

Analysis: **. Pretty standard tag match, albeit with some great talent in the ring here.

Johnny Ace vs. Mean Mark

Johnny Ace is John Laurinaitis, future backstage WWE stooge. Mean Mark is the Undertaker. He's billed as being from Metropolis. JR puts over Mark's intelligence, pointing out that he has a degree in Sports Management from Texas Wesleyan. Never heard about that when he was playing Undertaker. Ace is aggressive early, knocking Mark out of the ring with a Dropkick and jumping him outside the ring. Back in the ring Ace hits a top rope Crossbody for two. Ace is getting in way too much offense here for my tastes. Mark gets control and works some pretty generic offense, although he does display some impressive agility. Ace makes a comeback to a mixed reaction. Actually, it's more just outright boos. Ace misses a Missile Dropkick and gets hit with a Heart Punch. Mark goes up top and does a rope walk before hitting an Elbow Drop for the win at 10:41.

Result: Mean Mark by pinfall

Analysis: *1/2. Nothing great here.

Gordon Solie is in the back near Sting's locker room, where there is security to protect Robocop. One of the greatest wrestling announcers ever shilling for Robocop and pretending he's real. Wonder how he felt about that.

Tony Schiavone interviews the Rock N Roll Express, who are heavily booed here. They talk about their upcoming "Corporal Punishment" match against the Freebirds. All four men will have leather straps in the match.

Samoan SWAT Team vs. Tommy Rich and Mike Rotunda

This is Fatu (AKA Rikishi) and Samoan Savage (AKA Tonga Kid), not the original Samoans. Lots and lots of stalling early. Rotunda and Rich control the early portions of the match. Rotunda gets Heabutted and the Samoans take over. They work a long heat segment with lots of restholds. Rotunda makes a hot tag to Rich, who applies a Sleeper Hold but gets hit with a Double Ax Handle from the top rope and is pinned at 17:54.

Result: Samoan SWAT Team by pinfall

Analysis: *. Wow, that went on forever.

Tony Schiavone interviews the Steiner Brothers.

Hair vs. Hair Match: Paul Ellering vs. Teddy Long

So notably neither of these guys has much of any hair. Teddy Long is amusingly in full sparring head gear and has boxing gloves on. Turns out the boxing gloves are loaded, as Ellering gets one off and decks Teddy with it for the pin at 1:57.

Result: Paul Ellering by pinfall

Analysis: 1/4*. Too short to be anything. Crowd enjoyed it.

We hear from the Four Horsemen, consisting of Flair, the Andersons, and Sid. Amusingly, Sid is wearing a horribly fitting tuxedo. Flair, Arn, and Ole explain how they are going to kick Luger's ass later.

NWA United States Tag Team Championship: Brian Pillman and Tom Zenk (c) vs. The Midnight Express

Jim Cornette, manager of the Midnight Express, will be locked in a cage at ringside to prevent him from interfering. Pillman and Eaton start things off and Pillman goes through his normal high-flying offense. Zenk gets in and continues the dominance with Dropkicks and Armdrags. Pillman tags back in and does some arm work on Eaton. Zenk tags in and the arm work continues. Ten minutes in it's been all Zenk and Pillman, so Eaton and Lane bail and consult Cornette. Eaton and Pillman do a nice mat wrestling sequence that ends with Pillman misses a Clothesline and tumbling over the top to the floor. As he tries to climb back into the ring he gets knocked off the apron and hits the guardrail.

Cue heat segment from the Express. The target is Pillman's neck because he landed on it and was hit with a Neckbreaker outside the ring. Pillman connects with a Sunset Flip that would get the win, but the referee is distracted by Zenk. Eaton hits a top rope Elbow Drop for a nearfall. He follows that with the Alabama Jam (top rope Legdrop) for another nearfall. Pillman reverses a gutwrench into a slam and tags in Zenk. Zenk applies a Sleeper Hold, but it's reversed into a Russian Legsweep. The Express hit the Rocket Launcher (One throws the other from the top rope for a Splash) for two. Lane hits Zenk with a kick to the back of the head and he gets rolled up into a Small Package for the pin at 20:20.

Result: Midnight Express by pinfall (New NWA United States Tag Team Champions)

Analysis: ****. Perfect execution of the classic southern tag formula by two great teams. It might not be original, but it's damn entertaining when it's two teams with this much talent doing it.

We go to Gordon Solie in the back and Sting and Robocop emerge from their locker room. Sting enters the arena to a huge pop. Robocop gets some heat. Fuck the police. The Horsemen jump Sting and throw him into the cage that Cornette was in. Robocop stumbles down the aisle and the Horsemen bail. Robocop bends the bars of the cage and tears the door off. Yeah, this was exactly as stupid as it sounds.

Tony Schiavone interviews a returning Junkyard Dog. He calls out all the heels: Flair, Horsemen, Mean Mark. Jim Cornette appears and complains that Midnight Express is having their spotlight stolen by JYD.

Corporal Punishment Match: Rock N Roll Express vs. The Fabulous Freebirds

There are leather straps attached to all four corners of the ring. Garvin and Morton start. Unsurprisingly the faces dominate early. JR and Caudle both reminisce about being whipped by their fathers growing up. Gibson ends up getting beat on and JR assumes it's Morton, because he's always the one getting his ass kicked. Morton fights back until Hayes drops him with a big right hand from the apron. This leads to the typical heat segment. It goes on for several minutes until Morton reverses a Bulldog and slams Garvin. Gibson comes in and beats down both guys. He ends up getting Clotheslined and DDTed by Hayes. Rather than cover Hayes goes for another, and Morton catches him with a Crossbody Block for the pin at 18:32.

Result: Rock N Roll Express by pinfall

Analysis: **1/2. Pure formula. Straps basically didn't get used.

Tony Schiavone interviews Doug Furnas, billed as "The World's Strongest Man." He's big, but I doubt he could beat Mark Henry in an arm-wrestling contest. He says he thinks Luger will beat Flair tonight and win the championship.

Sting is next to be interviewed by Schiavone. He says Luger is hurt, but the match means too much to pass up. He too predicts a victory for Luger.

NWA Tag Team Championship: The Steiner Brothers (c) vs. Doom

Doom no longer has masks on. It's nice that I'll be able to tell which one is which. Teddy Long is managing Doom and wearing a doo-rag to cover his shaved head. Rick steals it before the match. Scott and Simmons start. Scott levels Simmons with Shoulderblocks and then hits a Powerslam. Scott quickly follows that with a Release German Suplex. JR mentions that Scott wanted to be a school teacher. That anecdote never fails to make me laugh. He also says Scott wrestled at 191 pounds in college. That was before steroids. Reed Leapfrogs Scott, then gets a Dropkick, Backdrop, and Steinerline all in succession. Rick tags in and Reed takes over. Rick gets a Clothesline that sends Reed to the floor, where he slams him. Back in the ring, Simmons tries a Backdrop but Rick reverses into a SICK Piledriver. Dropped him right on his head. He dropped to his knees instead of onto his butt, which seems dangerous.

Reed and Scott both tag in. Scott quickly hits an Oklahoma Stampede. Impressive power moves all around here. Rick tags in and gets thrown to the floor by Reed. Simmons jumps Rick from behind. Rick no-sells it and tags in Scott, who gets hit with a jumping knee to the chest by Reed. Scott gets worked over outside by Simmons. Reed tags in Simmons. Scott manages to tag Rick, who cleans house. Double Suplex by the Steiners. Rick follows that with a Powerslam. All four men brawl until Rick attempts a Superplex. He gets taken down by Simmons and Reed falls on top for the pin at 19:13.

Result: Doom by pinfall (new NWA Tag Team Champions)

Analysis: ***1/4. Fun power match. A little sluggish and a few botches, but entertaining overall.

Schiavone interviews the new tag team champions.

NWA World Heavyweight Championship Steel Cage Match: Ric Flair (c) vs. Lex Luger

This is a Hell in a Cell-style cage, so it surrounds ringside. However, it's made of bars instead of fencing. There's no roof, but it's curved at the top so you can't climb out. Flair tries chops to start but Lex no-sells. Flair bails out, but he has nowhere to go because of the cage. Lex beats the crap out of Flair in the ring with Clotheslines and punches. He Suplexes Flair from the apron into the ring. Flair bails out again. He comes back in and gets caught with a Military Press. Flair rakes the eyes and hits some chops, but Luger again no-sells. Flair hits more chops and Luger does a pec bounce. Flair bails and tries to climb out. Luger tries to pull him down and gets kicked in the head. That allows Flair to get control and he goes to work out on the floor. Chops, punches, throws into the cage. Flair hits a Knee Drop and a Suplex back in the ring. Luger fights back with a Ten Punch and decks Flair after a Flair Flip. Flair bails and tries to climb the cage. Luger chases him up and rams his head into the cage over and over until he falls to the floor.

Flair blades. He tries to climb out of the cage again and gets pulled back down. In the ring, Flair begs for mercy as Luger poses. Another Ten Punch from Luger. A cover gets two after a Clothesline. Flair again climbs the cage so Luger can slam him into the cage. Third time they've done that spot. Getting a little repetitive. Luger is straight-up destroying Flair. Entertaining stuff. Shades of the Michaels/Undertaker Hell in a Cell match. Luger Superplexes Flair but hurts his knee in the process. Flair targets the knee immediately. Flair hits a Back Suplex and locks on the Figure Four. Luger manages to escape, but the damage is done. At this point the Horsemen emerge from the locker room and head down to ringside. Luger takes over with Clotheslines. Another Military Press from Luger. Sting runs in and goes after the Horsemen. At this point El Gigante (Giant Gonzales) enters the picture and takes out the Horsemen.

Ole Anderson gets to the cage controls and raises it. Barry Windham (another member of the Horsemen) gets into the ring and breaks up the Torture Rack, causing the referee to call for a disqualification at 17:21. A DQ in a cage match?

Result: Lex Luger by disqualification

Analysis: ****. Really good match with a bad finish. Of course, they had to keep the title with Flair so he could lose it to Sting, but there was definitely a better way to do it than a DQ in a cage match.

The Horsemen work on Luger in the ring until the cage is raised and Sting fights them off. The Horsemen retreat as Flair leaves with his title.

A bloody Flair is interviewed by Tony Schiavone. He rants and raves incoherently until Sting attacks him. The Horsemen bail as the tape goes out.

Overall: Pretty good show. The tag division was extremely deep at this point, and they showcased it. The main event was a very good match that probably could have been great with a better finish. The silliness with Robocop was brief and didn't really detract from the show.

Grade: B+

Kneeneighbor
May 28th, 2013, 12:48 PM
These are great

JRSlim21
May 28th, 2013, 7:46 PM
Agreed. Fantastic stuff

Mills
May 29th, 2013, 1:40 AM
I think cewsh reviewed this one too

Cewsh
May 29th, 2013, 1:18 PM
Yep, sure did. One of my favorites.

http://cewshreviews.blogspot.com/2012/05/wcw-capital-combat-1990.html

The Law
May 29th, 2013, 11:46 PM
I feel like Capitol Combat is very representative of WCW as a whole. All anyone remembers is Robocop, but that took up just a few minutes of a three hour show. Overall, the show was actually quite good. I don't think you can watch the show and feel like Robocop really took away from the show at all. In particular, the main event was a borderline classic and the Doom/Steiners and Midnight Express/Pillman and Zenk matches were very, very good. Unfortunately, the stupid decision to have Robocop on the show overshadows all of that in most people's eyes. It makes you wonder, if the WWF had lost the Monday Night War and gone out of business, would we remember Survivor Series 1990 for the Gobbledy Gooker instead of the Undertaker?

Mills
May 29th, 2013, 11:50 PM
To be fair, the Robocop thing was being mocked before WCW went out of buisness

The Law
May 30th, 2013, 4:28 PM
Great American Bash 1990: The New Revolution
July 7, 1990
Baltimore Arena
Baltimore, Maryland

Welcome to the 1990 edition of the Great American Bash. After months of waiting, Sting is finally ready to return to the ring and face Ric Flair for the NWA Championship. That's the only real story of note going into this show, so let's get to the action:

Note: This is a review of the commercially released version of the show, which cut the opening four matches of the night. Based on what I've ascertained, none of them were particularly good. Brian Pillman defeated Buddy Landel, Mike Rotunda defeated The Iron Sheik, Doug Furnas defeated Dutch Mantel, and Harley Race defeated Tommy Rich.

NWA United States Tag Team Championship: The Midnight Express (c) vs. The Southern Boys (Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong)

Tracy Smothers would later wrestle in the WWF as the jobber Freddie Joe Floyd and in ECW as part of the Full Blooded Italians. Steve Armstrong is part of the Armstrong wrestling family, the son of Bob Armstrong and brother of Brian Armstrong, better known as the Road Dogg. The Southern Boys have Confederate Flag tights. It was the south and a different time. Southern Boys start fast with double team moves. Cornette yells at a fan to "sit down and wipe that ugly off your face, you pig-faced moron." I found that so funny I had to transcribe it. Armstrong works over Eaton to start. Smothers tags in and levels Eaton with a Superkick. Eaton tags out to Lane, who challenges Smothers to a Karate fight. Smothers gets the better of it and drops both Lane and Eaton with Superkicks. Eaton tags back in and ends up getting Dropkicked to the floor.

Armstrong hits Eaton and Lane with a Crossbody Block from the top rope. The Midnight Express get control after a blind tag, as Lane throws Smothers over the top rope to the floor. He then gets slammed into the guardrail, followed by a shot from Cornette's racket. The Express hit a nice Atomic Drop/Backbreaker combination. They begin a heat segment targeted on Smothers' back. Eaton hits the Alabama Jam and tags out to Lane. Smothers manages a Sunset Flip for two. Eaton tags back in and hits a Superkick followed by a Swinging Neckbreaker. The Express continue the heat segment, tagging in and out quickly. Smothers Sunset Flips both guys and tags out to Armstrong. He decks both members of the Express with jabs. The Southern Boys hit a Spinebuster/Missile Dropkick combination, but the referee is distracted and doesn't count. By the time he turns around, Eaton has thrown Armstrong off the top rope. The Express hit the Rocket Launcher, but Armstrong shocks everyone by kicking out. Shortly thereafter Lane rolls Armstrong into a Small Package for the pin at 18:14.

Result: Midnight Express by pinfall

Rating: ****1/4. Awesome tag team match. The southern tag formula is very simple, and its success depends on the talents of the teams involved. This was near perfect execution of the formula, as the high-flying babyfaces gave everything they had but were ultimately defeated by the superior experience of the cheating heels. Great, great match.

Gordon Solie interviews the Freebirds, who are sporting mascara and sequined outfits tonight. You can understand why southern crowds hated them.

Big Van Vader vs. Tom Zenk

Vader! Definitely a welcome arrival on the scene. This is his first appearance in WCW. He enters in with a big Mastodon-esque headgear on. The thing shoots steam, which is pretty awesome. This is a pure squash as Zenk barely gets in any offense. Vader stiffly beats the crap of out of him and gets the pin after a big Splash at 2:16.

Result: Vader by pinfall

Rating: *. Fun squash. Made Vader look good.

Gordon Solie interviews the Four Horsemen. They promise to put a hurting on the "Dudes with Attitudes" tonight.

NWA Tag Team Championship: The Steiner Brothers (c) vs. The Fabulous Freebirds

The Steiners work both members of the Freebirds over for the first five minutes or so with the typical routine: Suplex, Shoulderblock, Steinerline. The crowd has a lot of fun heckling the Freebirds, who do a very good job of acting pissed off. The Freebirds get the advantage and work a fairly dull heat segment. Punch, punch, punch, resthold. Rick eventually makes the hot tag to Scott, who gets in and bounces both guys around the ring. He hits the Frankensteiner to a huge pop. Garvin manages to hit a DDT while the referee is dealing with Hayes, but Rick sneaks in and hits a Belly-to-Belly Suplex and puts Scott on top for the pin at 13:45.

Result: Steiner Brothers by pinfall

Analysis: ***. Good match. The Steiners were so good and over at this point this was about as bad as they could get. This combination of the Freebirds at this point in time bordered on useless other than their ability to get the crowd riled up.

Paul Orndorff, Junkyard Dog, and El Gigante vs. Arn Anderson, Barry Windham, and Sid Vicious

Sid is wearing a singlet here. That's the only time I can ever remember that. El Gigante is staggeringly huge. He appears to be a solid 18 inches taller than Orndorff or JYD. Sid beats up Orndorff to start and gets cheered for it. Orndorff proceeds to take out all three members of the Horsemen with Knee Lifts and Hiptosses. El Gigante gets in the ring and the Horsemen bail. JYD and Anderson face off and JYD hits him with Headbutts. Windham tags in and gets hit with more Headbutts. JYD no-sells a DDT by Windham. As in, he gets hit with it and then immediately stands back up like nothing happened. Orndorff tags in, goes for a Piledriver, and gets hit with a Double Ax Handle by Anderson. The crowd chants "We want Sid!" and Anderson obliges by tagging him in. The heels work over Orndorff. Orndorff eventually manages to tag in JYD, who gets triple-teamed by the Horsemen and thrown over the top rope for the disqualification at 8:53.

Result: Paul Orndorff, Junkyard Dog, and El Gigante by disqualification

Rating: *. Uninspiring. Not much of any selling from the faces. Thankfully, Gigante never tagged in.

Gordon Solie interviews Lex Luger.

NWA United States Championship: Lex Luger (c) vs. Mean Mark

Paul E. Dangerously is back from his first firing and managing Mean Mark. Once again, Mean Mark is the Undertaker. Luger and Mark do some mat wrestling to start. Not what I expected. That doesn't really go anywhere and they end up slugging it out instead. That's more like it. Luger does some arm work. I guess that weakens the arm Mark uses for the Heart Punch, but that might be being a little generous here. Mark does a Leapfrog and follows it with a Big Boot. Wow. How did WCW not realize what a talent they had in Mark Callaway? A 6'9, 300 pound guy that athletic should have been in the main event. Mark does the Rope Walk Clothesline. Luger fights back but misses a Clothesline and tumbles over the top to the floor. Mark slams him into the (wooden) steps down on the floor. Luger manages a Sunset Flip for two back in the ring. Mark hits more right hands the announcers speculate that his glove may be loaded. Luger no-sells a Vertical Suplex and hits a series of Clotheslines. Luger gets Mark in the Torture Rack, but Mark's foot hits the referee and knocks him out. Dangerously climbs into the ring and blasts Luger with his brick-sized cellphone. Mark covers and Luger kicks out at two. Mark goes for the Heart Punch, but Luger boots him in the face and hits a big Clothesline for the pin at 12:10.

Resul: Lex Luger by pinfall

Analysis: **. Okay match. Would have liked to see some more varied offense by Mark.

Gordon Solie interviews Sting.

NWA Tag Team Championship: Doom (c) vs. The Rock N Roll Express

Typical formula here: Express starts out hot until Morton gets hit with a cheapshot. Doom proceeds to work Morton over, tagging in and out and using their superior size and power to keep control. Reed applies a long chinlock. Lots of forearms and restholds from Doom in thsi match. Surprisingly, the crowd seems to be behind Doom. They've been cheering a lot of heels tonight. Morton finally manages to make a tag to Gibson, who comes in hot and takes out both Reed and Simmons. All four men end up brawling in the ring. Gibson gets hold of Teddy Long, but turns around into a Shoulderblock from Reed for the pin at 15:40.

Result: Doom by pinfall

Analysis: ***1/2. Solid execution of the standard tag match.

NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Ric Flair (c) vs. Sting

We've been waiting years for this, ever since Sting took Flair to a 45-minute time-limit draw at Clash of the Champions I in 1987. Sting is accompanied to the ring by Junkyard Dog, El Gigante, Paul Orndorff, and the Steiners. They are tasked with preventing the Horsemen from interfering. Ole is handcuffed to El Gigante. Also, there are no disqualifications or count outs here. It's all on the line and the crowd is hot. This is Sting's first match back from his knee injury, and naturally Flair targets the knee. Flair chops Sting early, but he no-sells. Sting hits a big Military Press. Flair tries to bail, but Rick Steiner stops him. Sting hits a Dropkick and Flair rolls to the ramp (it's connected to the ring). Sting Hip Tosses Flair on the ramp and then Clotheslines him back into the ring. Flair gets a thumb to the eye and takes over. Snapmare, Knee Drop, Suplex. Sting just gets right back up after the Suplex. He Clotheslines Flair and goes up top. Crossbody gets two.

Flair kicks Sting in the knee and Sting sells it. Flair goes for the Figure Four but is blocked. Flair targets the knee with kicks. He sells it but then comes back with a Hip Toss and Dropkick attempt. Apparently the knee is fine? Flair hits chops, but Sting stops selling. Military Press by Sting. He gets a Clothesline for a near fall. Sting hits the Stinger Splash and locks in the Scorpion Deathlock. The Horsemen charge the ring but are stopped by the Dudes with Attitudes. Flair gets to the ropes. Flair tries a pin with his feet on the ropes, but Scott Steiner breaks it up. Sting misses a knee in the corner. Flair goes for the Figure Four, but Sting rolls him up for the pin at 16:06.

Result: Sting by pinfall (New NWA World Heavyweight Champion)

Analysis: ***. Decent, but a bit of a disappointment. Flair really never got any heat on Sting here. He no-sold almost all of Flair's offense and ignored the knee whenever he was on offense. Would have much preferred to see Flair work over the knee and Sting actually sell it.

Sting celebrates with all the babyfaces after the match. It's a cathartic moment for the crowd, as Flair had been champion for 15 months at this point.

Overall: Pretty good show, but it could have been better. This is the worst Flair match in quite some time, which really says something about how good he was at this point. The tag matches ranged from excellent to very good and Vader's debut was fun. If the singles matches had been better this would have been a great show.

Grade: B

Peter Griffin
May 30th, 2013, 4:31 PM
Sorry if you have mentioned this Law, but where are you watching all these events? despite my previous post, im actually getting pretty interested in watching these shows.

:squint:

:heart:

Kneeneighbor
May 30th, 2013, 9:55 PM
To be fair, the Robocop thing was being mocked before WCW went out of buisness

I just remember him ripping the door off of that little cage.

https://i.chzbgr.com/maxW500/5878548480/hCB7C52BF/

Kimura Kid
May 30th, 2013, 10:22 PM
Dude, you have to see the Beach Volleyball Terrorist Attack by Vader and Sid from the rematch.


I think a section of my brain just melted reading that sentence.

Hahaha!! This thread is great!!

I haven't been reading this thread at all but I got this far and I gotta crash!! Gives me something to look forward to tomorrow at work.

The Law
May 30th, 2013, 10:49 PM
I want to talk about the young talent WCW wasted. You think I'm talking about Jericho, Benoit, Guerrero, and the rest of the crew from the late 90s. I'm not. I'm talking about the guys they had in the early 90s: Undertaker, Mick Foley, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall. They had four genuine superstars under contract in the early 1990s, and wasted all of them. They did it in different ways: they saddled Nash with a series of horrible gimmicks. They never really gave Hall anything to do (He had a PPV match or two, but never anything of significance). They just inexplicably let Undertaker leave in 1990, apparently seeing no potential in a 6'9 guy who could walk the ropes and perform top rope moves. Foley was the most complicated, as he actually wrestled several big matches, including a main event against Vader at Halloween Havoc 1993. But then they wasted his insane concrete floor bump against Vader with the terrible "Lost in Cleveland" angle and sent him back to the tag team division. He got so fed up with Ric Flair's booking that he quit the company, turning down hundreds of thousands of dollars in guaranteed money.

How different would history be if they had used these guys properly? Very. Imagine the WWF in the mid-1990s without Undertaker, Diesel, or Razor Ramon. Imagine Mick Foley being a WCW guy. No Mankind. WCW in the mid-1990s rolling with Taker, Nash, Hall, Foley, Sting, Flair, Rude, and Steamboat would have been pretty damn solid. I'm too tired right now to think of exactly what the WWF would have looked like without those guys, but WCW would have been in fantastic shape.

Ringo
May 31st, 2013, 5:36 AM
I have a hard time including Foley in that category given the Sting match, Vader matches and tag matches with MAXX PAYNE are some of the best matches he ever had. WCW Foley was pretty awesome for me.

And Undertaker is such a tricky one. He sucked back then. He was green as hell. That gimmick changed his life, made his career. Very hard to say what if.

stylepoints
May 31st, 2013, 12:32 PM
[QUOTE=The Law;7127624]I want to talk about the young talent WCW wasted./QUOTE]

You mean like this guy?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsprdYthBNk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Art Barr in WCW. yeah, great idea taking off that kid's shirt, Art. I love the way the other guy sell for the silly string. You think he'd just got hit by a Stan Hansen Lariat.

JRSlim21
June 1st, 2013, 8:45 AM
Don't forget Regal & Trips.

Here's a belief I have that says more about the current state of wrestling than how it was in the past. If the 80s 4 Horsemen debuted in this climate, Arn Anderson and Ric Flair I'm sure would feud over the World Title. I think similar to when Orton beat man-that-is-erased-from-wwe-history and then feuded with Trips for going above the group

The Law
June 3rd, 2013, 10:30 AM
Halloween Havoc 1990
October 27, 1990
UIC Pavilion
Chicago, Illinois

Welcome to Halloween Havoc 1990. When we last left off, Sting had just defeated Ric Flair to win his first NWA Championship. With Sting having disposed of Flair, a new rival was needed for the new champion. For this particular show, Sid Vicious would fill that role. However, a larger feud was brewing. Starting in August, a mysterious figure in black robes and a mask appeared on WCW television. He called himself the Black Scorpion, and said he had come to WCW to destroy Sting. He revealed little about himself beyond implying he was someone from Sting's past. In theory, this sounds like a decent storyline. Unfortunately, the execution was quite botched as the Scorpion performed silly parlor magic tricks, like making "members of the audience" (actually plants) disappear. Sting faced the Black Scorpion at Clash of the Champions in September and tried to unmask him, but failed when another Scorpion emerged at the top of the entrance ramp and distracted Sting. Tonight, Sting defends the NWA Championship against Sid, but the Black Scorpion is sure to get involved. Let's get to the action:

Jim Ross and Paul E. Dangerously (in a vampire costume) are our announcers. This announce team would be reunited in the WWF in 2001.

Tony Schiavone (dressed as the Phantom of the Opera) interviews Ricky Morton and Tommy Rich.

Tommy Rich and Ricky Morton vs. The Midnight Express

Rich is filling in for the injured Robert Gibson. Rich briefly held the NWA Title in 1981 and is pretty far over the hill at this point. The Express are, as always, accompanied by Jim Cornette. Good fast-paced sequence to start between Morton and Eaton, including Morton busting out a Hurricanrana. Rich tags in and dominates with power moves. Cornette gets up on the apron and gets decked by Morton. Crowd loved that. Ten minutes in Eaton and Lane are still getting dominated and start getting in each other's faces. Ricky Morton tags in and unsurprisingly gets his ass kicked. The Express hit a nifty Backdrop/Powerslam combination to take over. Classic Express heat segment ensues: quick tags, double team moves, and holds. Morton gets slammed on the ramp and then hit with the Rocket Launcher. Morton gets thrown over the top to the floor, which always got great heat in these days. Morton connects with an impressive Headscissor down on the floor. Morton continues to get worked on in the ring. This heat segment has gone on for a long time, but the less Tommy Rich wrestles is definitely the better.

The Express go for the Rocket Launcher again, but Morton gets his knees up. He makes the hot tag to Rich. Rich goes up top, but Cornette tags him with the tennis racket. At this point the Southern Boys (Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong) come out dressed as Cornette. With the ensuing distraction, Rich grabs Cornette's racket and blasts Eaton with it for the pin at 20:49.

Result: Tommy Rich and Ricky Morton by pinfall

Analysis: ***1/2. Same match we've seen a hundred times, but it's always good. Keeping Rich out of the ring was definitely the way to go as the other three worked their magic.

This would be the last night in the company for the Express, as Cornette and Eaton would leave to start Smoky Mountain Wrestling. Shame to see them go. Their work has been some of the most enjoyable stuff on these reviews so far.

Terry Taylor vs. Bill Irwin

Slow match as Taylor works a headlock. Irwin fights back with some generic brawling. Taylor just keeps going back to the headlock. Crowd is completely dead. Irwin grabs a chinlock and a "boring" chant starts. Taylor fights out with an Atomic Drop and German Suplex. Irwin hits a Tombstone Piledriver and Taylor kicks out. That's not cool. Of course, former WCW talent Mark Callous would be making his debut as the Undertaker in the WWF a few weeks after this show. Taylor comes back with a Snap Suplex. Irwin hits a Spinebuster, but Taylor rolls him into a pinning combination for the win at 11:47.

Result: Terry Taylor by pinfall

Analysis: *1/2. Got better as it went on.

Tony Schiavone interviews Sting. They're interrupted by the Black Scorpion. He drags a female "fan" into a magician's box and makes her disappear. She and he both reappear on the other side of the stage. Scorpion then runs away from Sting. Oy, this was bad. JR and Dangerously try to put this over as best as they can, but it doesn't work.

Brad Armstrong vs. J.W. Storm

Storm is a big muscleman who is newly debuted and undefeated to this point. JR mentions that Armstrong has a brother serving in the Marines stationed in Saudi Arabia for Desert Storm. That would be Brian Armstrong, better known as the Road Dogg. My tape is of poor quality here, so it's a little hard to tell what's going on. Storm is controlling with some generic big man offense. Long chinlock by Storm. He breaks the hold and hits a Powerslam. He follows that with a Gutwrench. Armstrong gets a Small Package for the win at 5:04.

Result: Brad Armstrong by pinfall

Analysis: 1/4*. Nothing there. Storm never accomplished anything and spent several years as a jobber.

Tony Schiavone interviews Jim Cornette, who is dressed as a Civil War Confederate general. He yells about the Southern Boys and Sting and then goes to join JR and Dangerously on commentary.

The Master Blasters (Blade and Steel) vs. The Southern Boys (Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong)

Steel is Kevin Nash. The Master Blasters are blatant Road Warriors knock-offs, with the same face paint and haircuts. Nash gets handled by Armstrong, who is half his size. Blade tags in and hits some power moves. Cornette is rambling about his family tree on commentary instead of talking about the match. Blade goes for a Splash from the top rope but gets a foot to the face. Armstrong tags in for a heatless comeback. Blade gets a Missile Dropkick/Spinebuster combination, but Cornette distracts the referee and Nash hits a Clothesline for the pin at 7:17.

Result: Master Blasters by pinfall

Analysis: 1/2*. Dull, formulaic tag match. The Blasters never made another pay-per-view appearance, as Nash would soon be repackaged as Oz.

Tony Schiavone interviews Brad Armstrong about his win earlier. The crowd boos him. Tough crowd.

The Fabulous Freebirds vs. The Renegade Warriors (Chris Youngblood and Mark Youngblood)

JR spends most of this match ranting about how the Freebirds injured Robert Gibson. Meanwhile, nothing of any interest is happening in the ring. Lots of stalling and headlocks. The Freebirds get the advantage and things don't get any better. Hayes gets thrown off the top rope and one Youngblood makes a "hot" tag to the other. This might be the quietest crowd I've ever heard. Hayes gets a DDT behind the referee's back (to cheers) and Garvin gets the pin at 17:28.

Result: Fabulous Freebirds by pinfall

Analysis: 1/4*. Excruciatingly long and boring.

Tony Schiavone interviews the Horsemen. No Barry Windham, just Flair, Arn, and Sid. Arn runs down Doom, who he and Flair are facing later. Flair says they're going to win the titles and that Sid is going to beat Sting. They let Sid talk. He says he rules the world. No disaster there. Disappointing.

NWA United States Tag Team Championship: The Steiner Brothers (c) vs. The Nasty Boys

Pay-per-view debut for the Nasties. All four go at it on the floor to start. Sags hits Scott with a chairshot to the back of the head. Not something you'd see today. Sags tries a Superplex but it gets reversed into a breathtaking Belly-to-Belly off the second rope by Scott. Double Underhook Powerbomb by Scott. Steiner Bulldog! Apparently it's the first time they've done it. A chair shot behind the referee's back gets two for Knobs. Scott gets his back worked on. Pump Handle Slam by Sags. He follows that with a Gutwrench Powerbomb. Seems like we're getting a lot of innovative offense (for the time) tonight. Sags applies an Abdominal Stretch. Rick breaks it up, so Sags goes with a Bearhug. At least the restholds make sense psychologically. Scott reverses into a Belly-to-Belly Suplex and both men are down. The Nastys hit a Spike Piledriver on Steiner, but the referee is distracted. Rick blasts Knobs with a steel chair. Somehow, the referee misses all of this. Scott hits a Back Suplex but is blocked from making the tag.

Another Bearhug. Knobbs applies a Boston Crab. Once more, targeting the back. Scott breaks it, but still can't make the tag. Camel Clutch by Knobbs. Scott powers out, but once again can't make the tag. Scott gets an Inverted Atomic Drop. Scott finally makes the tag. Rick Steinerlines both Nastys. All four men brawl. Rick hits a Double Flying Clothesline. Scott hits the Frankensteiner for the pin at 15:24.

Result: Steiner Brothers by pinfall

Analysis: ***1/2. Solid match. The Nastys heat segment featured a few too many restholds, but at least they made sense in the context of the match. The Steiners were by far the best tag team in the world at this point, and it showed here.

Schiavone interviews the Freebirds. They gloat about the fact that they injured Robert Gibson.

Junkyard Dog vs. Moondog Rex

Rex is a former WWF Tag Team Champion, part of the Moondogs tag team. He was also the original Smash in Demolition, but was replaced by Barry Darsow after his contract expired. Typical JYD match here: Headbutt, Shoulderblock, rinse and repeat. JYD gets the pin with a Headbutt at 3:19.

Result: Junkyard Dog by pinfall

Analysis: 1/4*. Weak. JYD couldn't work much in his prime, and he was well past it here.

Tony Schiavone interviews the Steiner Brothers. It's just Scott, and he gets jumped and beat down by the Nasty Boys. This is designed to set up a rematch that never happened because the Nastys jumped ship to the WWF in December.

NWA Tag Team Championship: Doom (c) vs. Ric Flair and Arn Anderson

This is really heel vs. heel, but the Horsemen are default faces in that case. Simmons overpowers Arn to start. Flair catches Reed with a cheapshot and takes over. Reed quickly fights pack with punches and a Military Press. Flair gets absolutely worked over by Reed, as he decks him with big jabs. Arn tags in and doesn't fare much better. Flair and Arn cheat to get the advantage and take over on Simmons. Arn hits his signature Spinebuster, but Simmons kicks out at two. Flair gets a Back Suplex and locks on the Figure Four. Simmons eventually turns it over and Flair tags out to Arn. Arn applies a leg hold of some kind. Heyman points out on commentary that no matter how much you work out, you can't build up your knees. Got to say, Heyman has been a huge improvement from Bob Caudle on commentary tonight. He and JR have had some good banter going and he's been solid at calling the match and putting over the performers.

The Horsemen continue to use their wily veteran tactics to beat on Simmons. Anderson distracts the referee while Flair attacks Simmons on the floor. Simmons gets a Sunset Flip, but Flair tags in so the pin doesn't count. The PA announcer calls "20 minutes," which isn't correct. However, that's apparently the signal for Simmons to take Flair down and tag in Reed, who levels both Horsemen. Arn goes for a Piledriver, but Reed comes from the top rope with a Shoulderblock to break it up. That gets a two count. Arn catches Reed with the DDT, but Simmons breaks it up. All four men brawl out on the floor, where they are counted out at 18:20.

Result: Double count out

Analysis: ****. Fantastic match. Great example of storytelling and psychology: The Horsemen were overmatched physically, but they were able to keep the advantage with superior ring savvy. Unfortunate that it didn't have a better ending.

We hear pre-recorded comments from Stan Hansen, who will challenge Lex Luger for the United States Championship next.

NWA United States Championship: Lex Luger (c) vs. Stan Hansen

Luger's held the title for approximately 18 months at this point. Hansen is a legend in Japan but never really got over in America. Slugfest to start. Not much action to call here as it's really all punches. Luger mostly controls, although Hansen gets some shots in. Hansen gets control and hits a Suplex and more punches. Hansen hits a Bulldog for two. Hansen misses an elbow off the second rope and Luger starts his comeback. The referee gets bumped as they do a double KO. Dan Spivey (who is a tag team partner of Hansen's in Japan) runs in and throws Hansen his bull rope. Luger catches him with a Clothesline. Luger goes for another Clothesline, but Hansen counters with his signature Lariat for the pin at 9:30.

Result: Stan Hansen by pinfall (new United States Champion)

Analysis: **. Decent brawl. Hansen was pretty limited in the ring, but they did the best they could with it.

Tony Schiavone interviews Teddy Long, manager of Doom. He says Doom proved they are the best tag team in the world tonight.

NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Sting (c) vs. Sid Vicious

Sid is introduced as being "from anywhere he darn well pleases." Not clear if anyone has pinned Sid to this point in his career. Sting goes for a Figure Four early and Sid bails. They brawl on the floor. Back in the ring Sting goes to work on Sid's arm. Sid comes back with a Clothesline. Sid applies a Nerve Hold. Sting gets out of it and misses a Stinger Splash. Sid gets a chinlock. The guy might have been over, but he really couldn't do anything in the ring at this point. Sting hits a Bulldog. Sting charges, but eats a boot. They fight out to the ramp. Sid goes back to the ring to break the count and Sting charges down the ramp and hits a Flying Clothesline into the ring. They fight back outside and end up brawling backstage. No cameras back there, so we can't see what's going on. They come back and Sting goes for a Scoop Slam, but he collapses and Sid pins him to win the championship.

Or not. The real Sting emerges from the locker room. Turns out it was an imposter Sting that Sid pinned there. I believe it was Barry Windham playing him. The Horsemen's plan was for Sid to fight backstage with Sting, where they would switch places with their fake Sting. Not a bad idea. Anyway, Sting gets back in the ring, hits Sting with the championship belt (right in front of the referee), and then hits the Stinger Splash followed by a Small Package for the pin at 12:38.

Result: Sting by pinfall

Analysis: 1/2*. Pretty miserable match. Sid really didn't know how to work at this point (he didn't get that much better as the years passed). This was almost entirely punches and restholds.

JR does a quick interview with Sting, who calls out the Black Scorpion.

Overall: Average show. A couple nice tag matches, as per usual. But the main event was weak and the Black Scorpion stuff overshadowed the rest of the show. When the main event is bad, it really drags everything else down with it. Unfortunately, things weren't about to get better as Starrcade would feature the showdown between Sting and the Black Scorpion.

Grade: C+

Peter Griffin
June 5th, 2013, 7:12 PM
Chi-Town Rumble 1989
February 20, 1989
Chicago, Illinois
UIC Pavilion


Apparently the opener was a PS Hayes match, but I cant find it anywhere on the net. Was the match cut from subsequent broadcasts or something?

The Law
June 5th, 2013, 7:31 PM
The WCW home video releases in the early years of the company were usually clipped. Sometimes entire matches were cut, sometimes they were just clipped down. In the case of the Hayes match, it wasn't on the version I saw at all. Based on some of the reviews I checked out, other reviewers seem to have seen at least part of the match. In some cases the full versions of shows aired on WWE 24/7 at some point, and that's where many of the digital versions of the show come from.

In the case of that particular match, it sounds like one version had it cut out and another version had it edited. Either way, based on the reviews I've read it doesn't seem like it was much of a match.

Peter Griffin
June 6th, 2013, 3:16 AM
Fair enough, was just curious. Started watching it last night, only managed the Reed/Sting match , intend to watch the rest today :D

MikeHunt
June 6th, 2013, 4:40 AM
I think you should fire through the In Your House -PPV's once you've finished with this stuff, which is really good.

The Law
June 7th, 2013, 11:10 AM
WCW Starrcade 1990: Collision Course
December 16, 1990
Kiel Auditorium
St. Louis, Missouri

Welcome to Starrcade 1990. Sting has dominated WCW throughout 1990, so it's only fitting that he would be featured in the main event of the biggest show of the year. His opponent? The mysterious Black Scorpion. Scorpion has been tormenting Sting for months and now Sting will finally get his hands on him inside a Steel Cage. It's Mask vs. Title, so the Scorpion has to unmask if he loses.

Once again, Starrcade will feature a tournament. Last year, it was the Iron Man and Iron Team round robin tournaments. This year, it will be the Pat O'Connor Memorial International Cup Tag Team Tournament. Pat O'Connor was a legendary singles wrestler who held the NWA Championship for two years. He was also one of the owners of the St. Louis Wrestling Club, which promoted wrestling shows in the Missouri/Iowa/Kansas area during the territory days. He died in August of 1990, so this tournament is in his honor. It will feature eight teams representing eight different countries. The participants:

1) Team USA: The Steiner Brothers
8) Team South Africa: Sgt. Krueger and Col. DeKlerk

4) Team Mexico: Rey Misterio and Konan
5) Team United Kingdom: Chris Adams and Norman Smiley

3) Team Soviet Union: Victor Zangiev and Salman Hashmanov
6) Team Canada: Troy Montour and Danny Johnson

2) Team Japan: Mr. Saito and The Great Muta
7) Team New Zealand: Rip Morgan and Jack Victory

Why is a tag team tournament being held to honor a singles wrestler? Not really clear. I like this as a concept, but just like last year it really doesn't belong on the biggest show of the year. Let's get to the action:

Legendary promoter Sam Munchnick, one of the founders of the National Wrestling Alliance, starts the show with a tribute to Pat O'Connor and an ode to the sport of professional wrestling. A very nice way to kick off the show. Munchnick is one of the most important people in the history of professional wrestling and it's a real shame that many current fans, most of whom get their view of wrestling history from WWE, have no idea who he is.

The Z Man vs. Bobby Eaton

Eaton is receiving a singles push now that his tag team partner Sam Lane has left the company. Z-Man (Tom Zenk) is billed as on a 35 match winning streak. A few weeks after this he would defeat Arn Anderson to win the Television Championship. In case you're wondering, Arn has had the TV Title for almost a year now and hasn't defended it on a PPV. This is a fun match and a good choice for the opener. Zenk hits some high-flying offense to start and then locks in a Hammerlock. Eaton gets out and gets caught with a pair of Dropkicks. Eaton locks on a Wristlock. He tries to Suplex Zenk from the apron to the ring, but ends up getting Suplexed on the ramp instead. Zenk follows that with a dive over the ropes. Back in the ring, Eaton hits a Bulldog. He hits the Alabama Jam off the top rope, but follows it by missing a charge into the corner. Zenk gets a Dropkick for two. Eaton counters a telegraphed Backdrop with a Swinging Neckbreaker. He goes up top and tries a dive, but ends up eating a Superkick. Zenk proceeds to miss a Missile Dropkick from the top rope. Eaton cradles Zenk with a Small Package for the pin at 8:45.

Result: Bobby Eaton by pinfall

Analysis: ***. Good opener. Eaton was known as a tag wrestler, but he could go in singles too. Same with Zenk.

Tournament Quarterfinal: Team USA (The Steiner Brothers) vs. Team South Africa (Sgt. Krueger and Col. DeKlerk)

Col. DeKlerk is actually "Flyboy" Rocco Roc from the Public Enemy and is, as far as I know, not South African. Krueger is Matt Borne, the original Doink the Clown. Also not South African. The "South Africans" enter to an intimidating theme song and wear military fatigues. This is actually a very fun squash as the Steiners obliterate both men with Steinerlines and Suplexes. Notably, Rocco tries a Somersault Plancha to the outside and gets caught and slammed by Rick. Scott gets the pin after the Frankensteiner at 2:12.

Result: Steiner Brothers by pinfall

Analysis: **. Fun squash. The Steiners were absolutely amazing in this time period.

Tournament Quarterfinal: Team Mexico (Rey Misterio and Konan) vs. Team United Kingdom (Norman Smiley and Chris Adams)

The Rey Misterio in this match is the uncle of Rey Mysterio Jr, who would start tearing up WCW about five years after this match. Konan is Konnan. This is before his run in the WWF as Max Moon. He'd make a much greater impact a few years after this in WCW as a United States Champion and member of the New World Order. Chris Adams is a classic technical wrestler who spent most of his career in World Class Championship Wrestling down in Dallas. Norman Smiley is best known for his comedy run as Hardcore Champion in WCW in the late 1990s, but is also a great mat wrestler. Suffice it to say this is an interesting match.

Misterio and Smiley start with a mat-wrestling sequence. Adams tags in and hits a monster Superkick to knock Misterio to the floor. Konan tags in and exchanges takedowns with Smiley. Adams tags in and applies a Chinlock. Adams Superkicks Konan into a German Suplex by Smiley. Good work from Adams and Smiley. They're very fluid. Konan hits a Reverse Suplex off the top rope for the pin at 5:29. That kind of came out of nowhere.

Result: Mey Misterio and Konan by pinfall

Analysis: **1/2. Good clash of styles. Abrupt ending and short, or it could have been really good.

Alexandra York, who is played by Terri Runnels, is interviewed in the back. She introduces Michael Wallstreet, played by Mike Rotunda. This is the York Foundation, a group of upper-class wrestlers. They relied on advanced computer technology to tell them how beat their opponents. Tonight, the computer says that Wallstreet is going to beat his opponent, Terry Taylor, in 8:32.

Tournament Quarterfinal: Team Japan (The Great Muta and Mr. Saito) vs. Team New Zealand (Rip Morgan and Jack Victory)

Mr. Saito is a former WWWF Tag Team Champion alongside Mr. Fuji. Jack Victory is actually from New Jersey, but he and Rip Morgan had been portraying a tag team known as the Royal Family, billed from New Zealand, for some time at this point. A year ago, Muta was Television Champion, undefeated, and wrestling in the singles tournament. This year, he's part of a tag tournament that no one really cares about. Shame they screwed that up.

Muta outwrestles Victory to start and hits a Flying Clothesline from the top rope to the outside. Lots of punching and kicking from Morgan and Victory. Saito tags Muta back in and the match improves significantly. Saito tags in and goes for a Sharpshooter, but Victory breaks it up. Morgan gets a Back Suplex and Victory tags in for a double elbow. Morgan misses and elbow and Muta tags in. He hits the Handspring Elbow in the corner. Muta hits a German Suplex and bridges for the pin at 5:41.

Result: Mr. Saito and Muta by pinfall

Analysis: *1/2. Not much there. Muta is the only guy in the match who could work, and he spent most of the match on the apron.

Dangerously interviews Muta and Saito. Saito cuts a good promo about how they are going to win the tournament.

Tournament Quarterfinal: Team USSR (Victor Zangiev and Salman Hashimikov) vs. Team Canada (Troy Montour and Danny Johnson)

The Russians were both competitors in New Japan, and rivals. Not clear if they were ever a tag team before tonight. As far as I can tell, this is the only appearance for either man in America. Neither "Canadian" even has a Wikipedia page, so it's fair to say that they're probably two jobbers. Obviously, the Russians are the heels here. The Cold War might be winding down at this point, but wrestling always runs years behind the times. The Russians wrestle a very entertaining shoot-style that the crowd doesn't understand. Lots of takedowns and submissions. The "Canadians" are completely worthless. Haskimikov pins Montour after a Belly to Belly Suplex at 3:54.

Result: Zangiev and Hashimikov by pinfall

Analysis: **1/4. Good, innovative stuff by the Russians. Shame they didn't have better opponents here. Looking forward to their match with the Japanese later.

Okay, so we're through the first round of the tournament. The Steiners will face Team Mexico and Team Japan will face Team USSR. I have to admit I'm surprised by how much I enjoyed those first round matches.

Michael Wallstreet vs. Terry Taylor

Amusingly, Terry Taylor would take Rotunda's place in the York Foundation when Rotunda left for the WWF shortly after this show. The York Foundation supercomputer says that Wallstreet will win at 8:32, so we get a countdown in the corner of the screen during the match. Really showing off those cutting edge graphics. This match is basically all mat wrestling and stalling. Both guys are quite talented as mat wrestlers, but the lack of action in this match is pretty depressing. Wallstreet wins the the "Stock Market Crash" (a Samoan Drop) at 6:13. Man, he beat the computer's projection.

Result: Michael Wallstreet by pinfall

Analysis: *1/2. Nice mat wrestling, but too slow for my tastes.

The Skyscrapers (Sid Vicious and Dan Spivey) vs. Big Cat and Motor City Madman

Not really sure why the Skyscrapers are back to tagging up here. Big Cat is Curtis Hughes, future bodyguard of Shane Douglas, Triple H, and Chris Jericho. Motor City Mad Man is Mike Moore, who had a run in World Class and never really amounted to much. Anyway, this match is a pure squash and the Skyscrapers get the win with a Double Powerbomb in just 1:01.

Result: Skyscrapers by pinfall

Analysis: Dud. Pure squash.

Dangerously interviews the Skyscrapers. As you would expect, they rant and rave incoherently.

The Fabulous Freebirds vs. Ricky Morton and Tommy Rich

The Freebirds broke Gibson's leg a few months ago and this is the culmination. Gibson is out on crutches to accompany Morton and Rich. That's his first TV appearance since they put him on the shelf. Typical formula here: Faces start out hot until Morton makes a mistake and gets cheapshotted. Freebirds work a heat segment on Morton, really stretching him with various restholds. Morton manages to roll Garvin up for the pin at 6:13.

Result: Ricky Morton and Tommy Rich by pinfall

Analysis: *1/2. Uninspired formula match.

The Freebirds turn on their manager, Little Richard Marley, and beat him down. Morton and Rich make the save and the Freebirds bail. However, this means they left Gibson alone at the top of the ramp. Gibson gets assaulted by the Freebirds until Morton and Rich realize what's going on and chase them off. Better segment than match.

Tony Schiavone interviews Stan Hansen about his Bullrope Match with Lex Luger.

Tournament Semifinal: Steiner Brothers vs. Misterio and Konan

Konan manages to get Rick down and apply an Inverted Indian Deathlock. Rick escapes and tags in Scott. Scott hits a Powerslam. Rick and Scott hit the Steiner Bulldog and Konan tags in Misterio. Scott counters a Headlock with a T-Bone Suplex. Rick tags in and hits a Powerbomb for the pin at 2:51.

Result: Steiner Brothers by pinfall

Analysis: **. Fun for the short time it lasted. Would have been nice if there was time for a real match, but the format of the card doesn't really allow that.

Tournament Semifinal: Great Muta and Mr. Saito vs. Team USSR

The nationalist crowd isn't sure whether to cheer for America's former enemy or current one. Great amateur wrestling and suplexes by the Russians. Hashimikov gets a takdown and Boston Crab, but gets kicked in the head by Muta. Saito applies a Sharpshooter. Muta and Hashimikov both tag in. HUGE Belly-to-Belly Suplex by Hashimikov! Wow. Saito catches Zangiev with a Clothesline and a Back Suplex for the pin at 3:08. Damn, that's the last we'll see of the Russians.

Result: Great Muta and Mr. Saito by pinfall

Analysis: *3/4. Another match that could have been great if it had gotten any time.

Schiavone interviews Doom and Teddy Long.

Texas Bull Rope Match for the NWA United States Championship: Stan Hansen (c) vs. Lex Luger

Luger and Hansen will be attached at the wrist by the bull rope. You win by touching all four corners, no pinfalls or submissions. Luger controls early with Clotheslines and a Body Slam. Hansen fights back and whips Luger with the rope. They slug it out and head to the floor. Hansen gets the better of it as they head back into the ring. Luger levels Hansen with a big Clothesline. He gets the first two turnbuckles but gets Suplexed by Hansen. Hansen hangs Luger over the top rope. Hansen gets the first three turnbuckles, but Luger hits a Clothesline. Luger throws Hansen to the floor and they fight outside. Luger slams Hansen into the ring post. Back in the ring, Luger hits a pair of Legdrops. Luger gets three turnbuckles. He manages to get the fourth, but his lunge knocks down the referee. Hansen blasts him with his boot and hogties Luger. A second referee runs in and Hansen touches all four corners, but the original referee wakes up and awards the match to Luger at 10:13.

Result: Lex Luger by four corners (new NWA United States Champion)

Analysis: ***. Good brawl. Better than their match at Halloween Havoc. Crowd was really into Lex.

JR interviews Luger, who yells about winning the title back.

Street Fight for the NWA World Tag Team Championship: Doom (c) vs. Arn Anderson and Barry Windham

Flair was originally scheduled to compete in this match, but has pulled out due to an injury. Hmm. All four men brawl on the ramp. Anderson whips Simmons with a belt while Windham and Reed battle in the ring. Simmons gets the belt and beats Anderson with it. Doom are accompanied by an unknown large man. Windham gets slammed into the ring post and blades. He fights back with a Back Suplex on the floor. Anderson whips Simmons and chokes him with the belt. This is really violent. Seems like a real fight. Anderson blasts Reed with a chair on the floor while Windham uses the belt on Simmons in the ring. Simmons hits a HUGE Spinebuster on Windham. Simmons hits a very impressive Military Press on Arn. Simmons goes up top and gets hit with a low blow by Windham. Windham hits the Superplex for two. Reed comes off the top rope with a Shoulderblock on Anderson. Windham hits a DDT. Simmons drops Anderson with a chair shot.

Reed Piledrives Windham. Incredible pace here. Windham cradles Reed with a Small Package at the same time Simmons covers Anderson for a double-pin at 7:19.

Result: Draw

Analysis: ****. One of the best short matches I've ever seen. They just went all out from the very beginning. Absolutely brutal. Blood, weapon shots, stiff work. Not crazy about the finish, but I understand it. As with every other match on this card, I wish they had more time.

Tournament Finals: Steiner Brothers vs. Mr. Saito and Great Muta

Muta drops Scott early with an Enziguri. Rick tags in and gets hit with a Spinning Back Kick by Muta. He responds with a big Steinerline. Saito tags in. Rick gets a Dropkick and crotches Muta on the top rope. Muta hits the Handspring Elbow on Scott in the corner. Scott follows with a Belly-to-Belly Suplex. Nice pace here. Rick tags in and applies a Headlock, but ends up getting Suplexed. Muta tags in and goes to work on Rick. Muta throws Rick outside and blasts him with the ring bell. Saito stretches Rick as the heat segment rolls on. Muta tags in and is hit with a Steinerline. Scott tags in and goes house on fire. Northern Lights Suplex. Tiger Bomb! Saito breaks up the count. Saito tags in and hits a Side Suplex. Spike Piledriver by Muta and Saito! Saito applies a Sleeper Hold, but Rick tags in (I think) and comes off the top rope for a Sunset Flip to get the pin at 10:52.

Result: Steiner Brothers by pinfall

Analysis: **1/2. Something was missing from that match. Rick didn't sell the heat segment very well and the ending was very abrupt. It's not at all clear that Rick actually tagged in before the pin.

Tony Schiavone interviews Rick and Scott, who are presented with a massive trophy for winning the tournament. It's literally taller than either of them.

Steel Cage Match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Sting (c) vs. The Black Scorpion

Once again, if Scorpion loses he has to unmask. Dick the Bruiser is the referee. Scorpion enters first, followed by three more Scorpions. Interesting. Then a spaceship/pod thing descends from the ceiling and another Scorpion comes out. Then the Scorpion voice comes over the PA and says that this is the real Scorpion and the other four are simply "messengers." Alright, then.

Sting hits the ring and we're ready to go. So here's what we know about the Scorpion: He's a bit shorter than Sting, White, and has blonde hair. Also, he's obviously Ric Flair. As in, the fans are chanting "Nature Boy" 30 seconds into the match. The opening segment of the match is very generic, as Sting feels out the Scorpion and Scorpion tries not to reveal his identity. This makes sense psychologically, since Sting doesn't know who he is wrestling. But it also makes for a very boring match. Scorpion fights back with a Clothesline and a Gutwrench Suplex. Scorpion then goes for a dirty pin with his feet on the ropes. Well, that makes it a little obvious. Scorpion follows that with a chinlock, putting his feet on the ropes for leverage. Sting breaks out and hits a Military Press.

Sting tries a Crossbody but misses and hits the cage. Scorpion puts Sting into the cage. Scorpion gets a Piledriver for two. Sting fights back with his one-handed Bulldog. Sting Splash! Sting goes for the Scorpion Deathlock, but Scorpion escapes. Sting puts Scorpion into the cage and removes the mask to reveal...that he's wearing another mask underneath. Nice tease there. Sting puts Scorpion into the cage again, then goes up top for a Crossbody Block and gets the pin at 18:31.

Result: Sting by pinfall

Analysis: **1/2. Not a terrible match, but the storyline clearly overshadowed it. Flair was forced to work very generically to try to conceal his identity. Basically, this is the worst match Sting and Ric Flair could possibly have had at this point.

All four Scorpions charge the ring and get beat up by Sting and Dick the Bruiser. Windham and Anderson hit the ring and beat up Sting. The Scorpion gets a chair and wails on Sting with it. Ricky Morton, Terry Taylor, and Tom Zenk try to climb into the cage but are stopped by the Horsemen. The Steiners run in with bolt cutters and get into the cage. Sting manages to unmask the Scorpion, revealing to the five fans who hadn't figured it out that he's Ric Flair. Starrcade goes off the air as Jim Ross rants and raves about how dastardly Ric Flair is.

Overall: Decent show that was let down by the booking. The tournament was a fun concept, but trying to dull a full card plus a tournament was a mistake. Having 14 matches on the card meant none of the matches got the time that they deserved. Also, the crowd didn't care about anyone in the tournament other than the Steiners. The other matches ranged from bad to great. Really a mixed bag.

And the main event. I don't hate the Black Scorpion concept. The idea of someone from Sting's past messing with him and Sting not knowing who it is was interesting. The goofy voice and cartoonish magic tricks were definitely a mistake. Going into the angle without knowing who was going to be under the mask was probably the biggest mistake of all. A mystery angle is only as good as its reveal, and they didn't have one here. At its core, this storyline undermined the brand WCW had built in 1989: the adult alternative to the WWF. The WWF did wrestling for casual fans and kids better than anyone possibly could have at this point in time. Trying to compete with them on that front was a waste of time, because WCW couldn't possibly beat them at that game. The "We Wrestle" brand was a solid idea and the product it was producing was quality. Business was probably not great, but it takes time to build a company. Admittedly, the Black Scorpion angle seemed to get over with the crowd. But once you reveal that Flair was the man under the mask, it's all for nothing and everything goes back to where it was before the Scorpion came on the scene. They would have been much better off just building a match featuring Sting and one of their established talents, with Lex Luger probably being the best choice. That would have been WCW's version of the Ultimate Challenge. Anyway, this is a good show to wrap up an uneven year for WCW. Unfortunately, there was a year of turmoil ahead.

Grade: C+

Rajah
June 8th, 2013, 1:00 AM
This is some fantastic work - well done! :yes:

The Law
June 10th, 2013, 11:01 AM
WrestleWar 1991: WarGames
February 24, 1991
Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Phoenix, Arizona

Welcome to WrestleWar 1991! We last left things with Ric Flair being revealed as the Black Scorpion after Sting defeated him to retain the NWA Championship. With that turd of a storyline behind them, WCW went back to its comfort zone by having Flair defeat Sting to win the title at a house show in early January. This show features a continuation of the long-running Sting/Horsemen feud, as Sting leads a team of Brian Pillman and the Steiner Brothers against the Horsemen (Flair, Barry Windham, and Sid Vicious) and Larry Zbyszko.

The other big news for this show occurred behind the scenes as WCW prepared to leave the National Wrestling Alliance. Basically, WCW had outgrown the NWA, which was a shell of its former self as wrestling territories were gradually put out of business by the WWF and WCW. There was no need for the NWA name to legitimize WCW, as it had clearly established itself as the #2 wrestling promotion in America. Thus, the titles were all rebranded as WCW championships. Ric Flair was still recognized as the NWA Champion, for what that was worth. Behind the scenes, tensions were beginning to come to a head between Flair and Jim Herd, the president of WCW. That tension would come to fruition in the summer, but to this point Herd had already driven off the Road Warriors, Jim Cornette, and Stan Lane. They wouldn't be the last ones to leave due to differences with Herd. But let's get to the action:

WCW World Six Man Tag Team Championship: Junkyard Dog, Tommy Rich, and Ricky Morton (c) vs. James Earl Wright, Buddy Lee Parker, and The Big Cat

So the Six Man Tag Titles had recently been revived, as JYD, Rich, and Morton beat Buddy Landel, Dutch Mantel, and Dr. X at a house show to win them. They'd been abandoned in 1989, and wouldn't last long here either. Wright and Parker are the "State Patrol," two southern police officers. The Big Cat is Curtis Hughes, bodyguard to many wrestlers in the WWF as Mr. Hughes. An African-American man being in a tag team with two southern sheriffs is greatly amusing to me. At least they're not bringing him out in chains like Parker would do with Harlem Heat a few years after this. Faces dominate to start, with all three guys getting in and hitting their basic stuff. All three heels tag in and none of them manages to get anything going. Eventually Morton tags in and gets hit with a nightstick while the referee is distracted. This allows Morton to do what he does best: get beat up. James Earl and Parker hit a Demolition Decapitation on Morton for a nearfall. The heels tag in and out working on Morton, hitting some pretty cool double team moves in the process: A Drop-Toe Hold and Elbow Drop, a Backbreaker/Slam combination, and a double battering ram. Eventually, Rich misses a charge in the corner and Morton tags in JYD, who headbutts everyone. JYD hits a Powerslam on Parker and Morton, who is not the legal man, covers him for the pin at 9:54.

Result: Junkyard Dog, Tommy Rich, and Ricky Morton by pinfall

Analysis: **1/4. Surprisingly good opener. The heels did some nice, innovative work. Six man tag titles are actually kind of an interesting idea, but they wouldn't last long here.

Alexandra York and Terrance Taylor (taking Mike Rotunda's place in the York Foundation) cut a promo on Tom Zenk.

Brad Armstrong vs. Bobby Eaton

They trade Arm Drags, Dropkicks, and Headscissors to start. Armstrong works on Eaton's arm. They break, but Armstrong goes right back to the arm. They head outside and Armstrong slams Eaton into the guardrail and ring post. Amstrong applies another Wristlock once they get back in the ring. This arm work is really starting to drag. Eaton tries a Slingshot Suplex, but Amstrong lands on his feet and hits his own Suplex. Eaton drops Armstrong with a Clothesline after another Wristlock. Eaton hits a nice Lifting Side Backbreaker, very similar to Sheamus' Irish Curse. Eaton applies a Chinlock. Eaton follows that with a Slingshot Backbreaker. Eaton applies another Chinlock. This match might set a new record for restholds. Armstrong elbows out and gets thrown to the floor. Eaton drops Armstrong on the guardrail. Back in the ring, Eaton applies an Abdominal Stretch. The referee catches Eaton holding the rope, so he has to break the hold. Eaton misses a charge to the corner and eats a Dropkick. Armstrong gets a Russian Legsweep. Armstrong shoots Eaton into the ropes, but he counters with a Swinging Neckbreaker. Eaton hits the Alabama Jam Legdrop for the pin at 12:51.

Result: Bobby Eaton by pinfall

Analysis: **1/4. Some good action, but too many restholds in-between spots.

Tony Schiavone interviews Missy Hyatt, who says she's going to go into the men's locker room and get an interview. I believe that's a reference to the Lisa Olson/New England Patriots scandal.

My tape seems to not include the women's match. For those curious, Itsuki Yamazaki and Mami Kitamura defeated Miki Handa and Miss A in 6:47. They are all New Japan wrestlers, so this match was done to promote the upcoming WCW/New Japan Supershow.

Dustin Rhodes vs. Buddy Landel

This is Dustin's PPV debut. Dustin is only 22 here, and billed as "The Natural." Dusty gushes about his son on commentary. Dustin gets a Backdrop to start and follows with a Dropkick. Dustin gets chopped, but counters with a series of ten elbows in the corner. Hip Toss by Dustin. Clothesline. Dustin gets an Arm Drag and applies an Armbar. He's green, but you can see the talent. Landel fights out and goes up top, but ends up getting thrown off. Landel gets the advantage and does some Knee Drops. He follows that with some arm work. Landel gets a Sleeper, but Dustin reverses into his own Sleeper. Landel quickly escapes. Dustin Clotheslines Landel over the top to the floor. Isn't that a disqualification in WCW? Back in the ring Dustin hits a Press Slam and a Bulldog for the pin at 6:33.

Result: Dustin Rhodes by pinfall

Analysis: *. Snoozer. Dustin wasn't ready for primetime and Landel didn't have much to offer either.

Missy Hyatt goes into the locker room and is immediately thrown out by Stan Hansen. Considering Lisa Olson was sexually harassed by members of the Patriots, this was in fairly poor taste.

The Southern Boys (Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong) vs. The Royal Family (Jack Victory and Rip Morgan)

Total formula match. The Southern Boys start out fast until Amstrong gets hit with a cheap shot. Victory and Morgan proceed to work him over in the most generic and boring way possible as the crowd goes to sleep. Eventually, Armstrong manages to tag Smothers, who comes in hot and cleans house. The heels attempt a Double Suplex, but Armstrong hits a Dropkick and Smothers falls on top for the pin at 12:05.

Result: Southern Boys by pinfall

Analysis: 1/2*. Pure formula, and not a very inspired attempt at that.

My version does not include the Terrence Taylor vs. Z-Man match. Taylor won at 10:59 with a roll-up. It was a No Disqualification match.

Big Van Vader vs. Stan Hansen

These two had some legendary battles in Japan, including a match that featured Hansen knocking Vader's eye out with an especially stiff punch. They immediately brawl out onto the ramp. Hansen hits a Lariat and sends Vader back into the ring. Vader drops Hansen with a big forearm. Vader applies a chinlock. They fight outside and Vader comes off the apron with an Ax Handle. Back in the ring, Vader hits more punches. He misses a corner charge and Hansen hits a Back Suplex. They end up brawling outside and hitting each other with chairs. Vader drops Hansen rib-first onto the guardrail. They brawl back into the ring and the referee tries to break it up. He gets thrown to the floor and calls for a disqualification at 6:21.

Result: Double disqualification

Analysis: *1/2. Some decent brawling, but too short to get going. Definitely a disappointment.

Post-match Vader hits a big diving Clothesline and they end up brawling up the stage to the back. It may have been planned for this feud to continue, but Hansen would leave the company shortly after this due to creative differences with Jim Herd.

WCW United States Championship: Lex Luger (c) vs. Dan Spivey

Luger gets a Backdrop to start off. He follows with a series of Shoulderblocks. Luger counters an Atomic Drop into a Back Suplex. Luger gets a Hip Toss, then misses a Clothesline and tumbles over the ropes into the other ring (two ring set-up for the WarGames match). Spivey Suplexes Luger back into the original ring. Spivey hits a Tombstone, but Luger kicks out. Not a fan of that being used as a mid-match move. Spivey gets a Neckbreaker and applies a Chinlock. Spivey's neck work continues with a DDT. Once again, not a fan of that being used in the middle of the match. Spivey misses a charge to the corner and Luger rolls him up for two. Spivey immediately goes back to work, but Luger blocks a Suplex attempt and hits a Suplex of his own. Spivey hits a Body Slam and follows with an Elbow Drop from the top rope. Wow, Spivey's really bringing it tonight. Neckbreaker by Spivey for two. Piledriver by Spivey, and Luger kicks out again. Luger gets a few punches, but Spivey counters with a Belly-to-Belly Suplex. Chinlock by Spivey.

Luger fights his way out and charges, but gets hit with a Japanese Armdrag by Spivey. Spivey charges Luger and gets dumped on the top rope. Luger goes to the second rope and hits a Flying Clothesline. Powerslam by Luger. Spivey blocks a Sunset Flip and they double a double KO spot. Luger goes up top and gets slammed, but Luger rolls through into a pin for the victory at 12:52.

Result: Lex Luger by pinfall

Analysis: ***3/4. Really good match. It might be irritating for moves like the Tombstone and DDT to not get the win, but it still makes for an entertaining match. Spivey threw everything he had at Luger, but it just wasn't enough. Both guys come out of that one looking good.

Post-match Luger is presented with a new U.S. Title belt by Nikita Koloff, a former U.S. Champion. Nikita compliments Luger on his victory, but then turns on him and blasts him with the belt. Koloff says he wants to be a world champion, and he's going to beat Luger in order to do it. Good angle there.

WCW Tag Team Championship: Doom (c) vs. The Fabulous Freebirds

Diamond Dallas Page accompanies the Freebirds. I doubt anyone thought he was a future WCW Champion at this point. DDP gets on the mic before the match and introduces Oliver Humperdink as "Big Daddy Dink." So the Freebirds are stacked up with two managers plus girls accompanying them. As with any Freebirds match, there's lots of stalling to start. Hayes blocks a Simmons charge with a jab and Bulldog. Simmons gets back with a Powerslam, then he catches Garvin coming off the top rope with a Powerslam. Garvin tags in and demands Reed get in the ring with him. Garvin quickly gets leveled with a Clothesline. Hayes tags in and gets Press Slammed, though he tagged Garvin first. Garvin gets hit with a Backbreaker. Reed gets a Double Arm Suplex. Simmons tags in and he and Reed hit a double back elbow. Basically no offense so far for the Freebirds. Reed tags in, telegraphs a Backdrop, and gets hit with a DDT. Reed manages to tag in Simmons, and he hits a Spinebuster and a Powerslam. Humperdink gets up on the apron to distract the referee. Simmons holds Garvin, and Reed loads up his fist with a foreign object. Garvin ducks and Reed hits Simmons! Hayes rolls Garvin on top of Simmons for the pin at 6:56.

Result: Fabulous Freebirds by pinfall (New WCW Tag Team Champions)

Analysis: *3/4. Decent power moves from Doom, but not much else.

After the match Reed beats down Simmons with the brass knuckles as Teddy Long eggs him on. And that would be the end of Doom.

WarGames Match: The Four Horsemen (Ric Flair, Barry Windham, and Sid Vicious) and Larry Zbyszko vs. Sting, Brian Pillman, and the Steiner Brothers

Zbyszko is a replacement for Arn Anderson, who was unable to compete due to an injury. Barry Windham starts for the Horsemen, Brian Pillman for the faces. Pillman has a kayfabe injured shoulder due to an attack from the Horsemen the night before this. His shoulder is heavily taped. Pillman hits a Dropkick while grabbing the top of the cage and follows it with a Headscissor. Pillman gets a Missile Dropkick off the second rope. Pillman misses a Body Press but hits a low blow. He runs Windham into the cage. He runs him into the cage another ten times and then grates his face. Pillman's not messing around tonight. Windham blades. Pillman is just wasting Windham here. He goes up top and hits a Flying Clothesline. Pillman throws Windham into the other ring and then sends him into the cage. Pillman is tiny, but his intensity is so impressive that it doesn't seem out of place that he beats down Windham like this. Windham gets Backdropped out of a Piledriver as the first five minute period comes to a close.

Naturally, the heels win the coin toss. Flair is the second man in. Flair and Pillman trade chops until Windham jumps him from behind. They slam his bad shoulder into the ring post and then run him shoulder-first into the cage. Flair and Windham work on Pillman's shoulder. Sting enters the match. He takes out both Flair and Windham. All four guys trade the advantage over the course of two minutes. Zbyszko enters the match. I'll refer to him as "Larry" for simplicity. Sting dives from one ring to the other and knocks Larry down with a Flying Shoulderblock. Meanwhile, Pillman has Windham in the Figure Four. Flair stomps Pillman's shoulder to break the hold.

Rick Steiner enters the match. He takes out Flair and Windham with Steinerlines. He follows that with a Belly-to-Belly Suplex on Flair. He puts Flair into the cage and Flair blades. Sid enters the match, the final member of the heel team. Sid holds Rick and Flair kicks him in the groin. Sid and Sting pair off with Sid getting the advantage. Meanwhile, Flair is still getting destroyed by Rick Steiner. Scott Steiner enters, and the match beyond begins. Now the match can be won by submission. Scott comes in hot. He Clotheslines Flair and Windham, then hits Larry with a Tiger Bomb. He drops Sid with a Steinerline from the second rope. Meanwhile, Sting hits Flair with a Stinger Splash and applies the Scorpion Deathlock. Larry breaks it up. Sid rips the tape off Pillman's shoulder and chokes him. All four babyfaces end up applying Figure Fours to the heels: Sting on Flair, Scott on Zbyszko, Rick on Windham, and Pillman on Sid. The faces all break their holds at the same time.

Sting Military Presses Flair into the cage roof. The match starts breaking down as everyone seems exhausted. Flair and Pillman exchange stiff chops. Scott hits a sloppy DDT on Windham. Everyone but Sid and Pillman clear out of one ring, leaving those two alone. You've probably seen the clip of what happens next, but here it is anyway:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stG6tW5iJbw

Sid goes for a Powerbomb on Pillman, but can't get him all the way up because the cage roof is too low. Rather than do the sensible thing and put him down and try it again from a different angle, Sid drops Pillman right on his head. Pillman appears to have been genuinely knocked silly by that. Sid doesn't know what to do, so he picks Pillman back up and Powerbombs him again. The second one is executed much better. At this point El Gigante emerges from the locker room, rips open the cage, and surrenders on behalf of the face team. Not sure what was actually supposed to happen there, but Pillman definitely appeared to be legitimately knocked out.

Result: Four Horsemen by surrender

Analysis: ****3/4. Awesome match. Classic Wargames action. The ending was legitimately terrifying, but that just adds to the spectacle and brutality of the match. How big of an idiot is Sid for Powerbombing Pillman a second time after almost killing him with the first one? A pretty big idiot. The fact that he was able to deadlift a knocked out Pillman was very impressive.

Nothing really happens after the match, as everyone just kinds of mills around the rings. Probably confused about what happened and concerned about Pillman.

Overall: Pretty good show. The main event was a classic, Luger and Spivey was really good, and there were some other decent matches on the undercard. The company was in something of a holding pattern at this point as they continued to run with what had worked in the past: Four Horsemen vs. babyfaces. Unfortunately, that pattern was about to be upset in the near future. But we'll get to that when the time comes...

Grade: B

Slare
June 10th, 2013, 11:25 AM
Awesome write-up as usual Law.

OD50
June 10th, 2013, 12:22 PM
I've never understood wtf Sid was thinking there. There's a fairly low roof up there you know, Mr Eudy. :dunce:

The Law
June 10th, 2013, 12:58 PM
I mean, the second Powerbomb was executed pretty well other than the fact that he had just totally planted Pillman square on his neck and head. That's also a demonstration of how incredibly strong Sid was, because Powerbombing someone without their cooperation seems like it would be almost impossible. Maybe Pillman was so fucked up that he was just on autopilot and jumped anyway.

I really do enjoy Sid, at least more than most smart fans. He had an amazing look and tons of charisma. He was one of those guys that got over as soon as he got in front of a live audience because he was just so damn impressive looking. His promos, while usually nonsensical, generally fit his insane character. And when he fucked up, it was in a truly hysterical way. Like the time he forgot a promo was live and asked to do another take. Or the time he told Kevin Nash that Nash "Was half the man I am. And I have half the brain you do!"

On the other hand, he was in the bottom tier of workers. Like, Great Khali bad. Somehow, he just never really learned how to work. Guys like Hart and Michaels could drag a watchable match out of him, but against anyone other than a legend it was pretty much guaranteed to suck.

Peter Griffin
June 10th, 2013, 1:04 PM
Or the time he told Kevin Nash that Nash "Was half the man I am. And I have half the brain you do!"



:rofl: Gets me every time I see it, Nash's face for fuck sake :lol:

The Law
June 14th, 2013, 12:53 PM
SuperBrawl I: Return from the Rising Sun
May 19, 1991
Bayfront Arena
St. Petersburg, Florida

Welcome to SuperBrawl I. This would become one of WCW's flagship events and continue until the company's demise. The main event tonight will feature Ric Flair facing Tatsumi Fujinami, the reigning IWGP Champion (the primary title of New Japan Pro Wrestling) AND current NWA Champion. How did he win the NWA Title? Well, there was some screwiness involved. WCW and New Japan worked together closely throughout their history and held a series of pay-per-views together. The first WCW/New Japan Supershow took place in March, although it did not air in the United States until April. In the main event, Flair faced Fujinami. Depending on who you believe, either both the NWA and WCW titles were on the line, or only the NWA Title was. It seems like it was announced that only the NWA Title was on the line in the arena, but the later broadcast billed it as both titles on the line. Anyway, Fujinami pinned Flair to win one or both of the titles. However, earlier in the match he had thrown Flair over the top rope. In WCW, that's a disqualification. For this reason, it was stated that he had only won the NWA Championship. Tonight, he faces Flair in a rematch with both titles on the line. Let's get to the action:

WCW United States Tag Team Championship: The Fabulous Freebirds vs. The Young Pistols (Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong)

The titles are vacant because the Steiners forfeited them after winning the World Tag Team Championship from the Freebirds in February. DDP and "Big Daddy Dink" (Oliver Humperdink) are still managing the Freebirds. The Southern Boys were renamed the Young Pistols for reasons unknown to me. Armstrong rolls Hayes up while he's doing his moonwalk routine and gets a quick two count. The Pistols control early with fast-paced offense. The Freebirds take control when Garvin pulls down the top rope on Smothers and he crashes to the floor. The Freebirds proceed to work their typical heat segment. Garvin tags in and gets hit with a Superkick, at which point Smothers manages to tag in Armstrong. Armstrong hits a series of slams, followed by the Pistols both missing Dropkicks at the same time. The Freebirds throw the Pistols to the floor and pose a little bit. Meanwhile, Armstrong hits a Flying Clothesline followed by a Crossbody Block from Smothers. The Pistols hit a variation of the Doomsday Device that involves a Missile Dropkick instead of a Flying Clothesline. Unfortunately, the referee gets bumped in the process. Brad Armstrong in a bird suit (later known as Bradstreet) comes down and DDTs both men, followed by Hayes getting the pin at 10:19.

Result: Freebirds by pinfall (New WCW United States Tag Team Champions)

Analysis: **1/4. Pretty standard Freebirds tag match, albeit with better opponents than usual.

My tape clips the next five matches. Dan Spivey defeated Ricky Morton in 3:11, Nikita Koloff defeated Tommy Rich in 4:27, Dustin Rhodes defeated Terrance Taylor in 8:05, Big Josh defeated Black Bart in 3:46, and Oz (Kevin Nash) defeated Tim Parker in 26 seconds. Can't say I feel like I missed a ton there.

Missy Hyatt tries to get into the locker room for an interview but ends up being thrown out by Stan Hansen. Again.

Taped Fist Match: Barry Windham vs. Brian Pillman

Both men have their fists taped so they can punch harder without breaking their hands. Windham has been putting beatdowns on Pillman for the last few months, starting shortly before WrestleWar. Pillman start out hot, but Pillman gets a shot to the ribs to take over. He goes up top, but Pillman knocks him to the floor with a Dropkick. Pillman gets a Fistdrop and Windham blades. Windham gets Pillman up and drops him throat-first on the guardrail. They go back in and Pillman connects with a Spin Kick. Windham responds with an eye rake and drops Pillman on the top rope. They trade chops until Windham hits a Back Suplex. They do a double KO spot. Windham tries a Suplex, but Pillman blocks it and hits a Suplex of his own. Pillman goes to the top rope, but Windham follows him up and hits the Superplex for the pin at 6:08.

Result: Barry Windham by pinfall

Analysis: ***. Good match that needed more time.

Stretcher Match: Sid Vicious vs. El Gigante

Oh, bother. This match is a result of Sid injuring Pillman with a Powerbomb at WrestleWar and Gigante wanting to get revenge on him. And presumably the bookers of this match wanting to get revenge on us for being wrestling fans. Also, this is Sid's last match in WCW before he left for the WWF. He'd be back, but not for a few years. This might be the only match Sid has ever wrestled where he was the better worker. Gigante comes out with the stretcher. Apparently, this is just a normal match other than the fact that the loser has to be carried out on a stretcher afterward. They do the generic big man spots (lock up and go nowhere, run into each other with shoulderblocks) to start. Gigante knocks Sid down with a Clothesline and Sid rolls out of the ring. Sid kicks at Gigante's legs and gets booted after a charge into the corner. Gigante applies the Iron Claw (head grab) for the submission victory at 2:13.

Result: El Gigante by submission

Analysis: Dud. But that was probably the best possible outcome.

After the match Kevin Sullivan and Black Bart attack Gigante. He dominates them until Sullivan throws powder in his eyes and they hit him with the stretcher.

Thunder-Doom Cage Match: Ron Simmons vs. Butch Reed

Doom explodes! This is the blow-off to Doom breaking up after losing the tag titles at WrestleWar. Teddy Long is in a cage hanging above the ring to prevent him from interfering. Also, there are no special rules here. It's just a standard cage match. Simmons hits a Clothesline and then misses a dive and hits the cage. Simmons reverses an Irish Whip and then hits a Back Suplex. Simmons charges, but Reed gets his boots up. Reed hits an Elbow Drop from the second rope. He puts Simmons into the cage. He grinds Simmons' face into the cage. Reed hits an Ax Handle from the second rope. Simmons reverses a throw into the cage and then hits a series of jabs. Reed manages to slam Simmons into the cage. Reed drops Simmons across the top rope. Reed applies a Chinlock. Simmons elbows out, but telegraphs a Backdrop and gets hit with a Swinging Neckbreaker. Reed goes up top and hits a Flying Shoulderblock. Reed tries a Splash, but Simmons gets his knees up. Simmons connects with a Backdrop. Reed stops the comeback with a knee to the face. A double Clothesline puts both guys down. Teddy Long drops a chain into the ring. Reed gets it, misses a punch, and gets hit with a Spinebuster. Simmons gets the pin at 9:39.

Result: Ron Simmons by pinfall

Analysis: *1/2. Yawn.

WCW World Tag Team Championship: The Steiner Brothers (c) vs. Sting and Lex Luger

This is happening because Luger and Sting needed a break from feuding with the Horsemen. They start with a video package highlighting the contestants. That was a novelty at the time. Luger and Rick start things off. Rick out-wrestles Luger with several takedowns. Luger simplifies things and drops Steiner with a Shoulderblock. He follows that with a Powerslam. Luger misses a corner charge and Rick gets a Release German Suplex. He follows that with a Steinerline. Rick Backdrops Luger. Luger explodes out of the corner with a Clothesline, then picks Rick up for a Military Press. Sting tags in and Clotheslines Sting over the top rope. He follows that with a Plancha to the floor! Back in the ring Sting hits a one-handed Bulldog. Sting picks Rick up into an Argentine Backbreaker position and drops him stomach-first into the corner. Sting misses the Stinger Splash and Scott tags in. Scott hits a huge Double Underhook Powerbomb. He follows it with a Tilt-a-Whirl Slam. Sting drops Scott across the top rope and tags in Luger. Vertical Suplex by Luger. Sting tags back in and Scott gets an Inverted Atomic Drop. He sends Sting off the top rope with a Super Belly to Belly Suplex! Scott goes for a Steinerline, but misses and tumbles over the top rope. Luger Suplexes Scott back into the ring. Scott counters a Backdrop attempt with a throw of some kind. Lex hits a Powerslam and tries the Torture Rack, but Scott counters with a Russian Legsweep. Rick tags in and hits a Bulldog from the top rope! He covers for 1........2.......... kick out! Sting hits Rick with a Missile Dropkick. Lex and Rick slug it out in the center of the ring and then they do a double knockout.

Both guys make tags. Sting gets a Back Suplex. Scott goes for a Tombstone, but Sting counters with a Tombstone of his own. Sting covers and Rick breaks it up. Luger knocks Rick out of the ring, taking out the referee in the process. Sting hits the Stinger Splash. At this point Nikita Koloff, who was feuding with Luger, makes his way down and decks Sting. Scott crawls on top for the pin at 11:09.

Result: Steiner Brothers by pinfall

Analysis: ****1/2. Fantastic tag match. Non-stop back and forth action. The Steiners were at their peak here and were absolutely the best tag team in the world. Sting and Luger were also in their prime and always made a pretty good tag team in their own right. I wish we had gotten a series of matches between these teams, but fate had other plans.

Schiavone interviews Nikita Koloff backstage. He gets jumped by Sting and they brawl out of the building.

WCW World Television Championship: Arn Anderson (c) vs. Bobby Eaton

So Anderson has held the TV Title for the past 17 months and this is the first time he's defended it on a pay-per-view. Really not the way to give credibility to a title. Eaton keeps countering Anderon's headlock takdowns, and then Eaton decks Anderson with a right hand. Anderson tries a couple charges, but keeps getting booted by Eaton. Eaton hits a big Clothesline for a two count. Armbar by Eaton. Eaton goes up top, but gets thrown off to the outside onto the ramp. Ouch. Arn tries a Piledriver on the ramp, but Eaton counters with a Backdrop. Eaton Backdrops Anderson over the top rope into the ring. He comes off the top with a Double Ax Handle. Eaton goes back to the arm. Arn breaks the hold, knocks Eaton down with a punch, and then wraps his leg around the ring post. Arn goes to work on Eaton's leg. Arn tries the Figure Four but gets booted into the corner. Eaton rams Anderson's head into the turnbuckle about fifteen times.

Arn goes back to the leg. Eaton blocks a Suplex and hits his own Suplex. His knee gives out so he doesn't get all of it. Arn works the leg. Arn tries a Vader Bomb, but Eaton gets his knees up. Eaton hits the ropes, but Anderson gets him with a Spinebuster. Eaton kicks out at two. Arn goes for an Ax Handle but Eaton catches him with a shot to the gut. Eaton hits a Swinging Neckbreaker. He goes up top. Barry Windham hit the ring, but he's cut off by Brian Pillman. Pillman and Windham fight to the back as Eaton comes off the top rope with the Alabama Jam and gets the pin at 11:50.

Result: Bobby Eaton by pinfall (New WCW World Television Champion)

Analysis: ***1/2. Solid match. Slow, but smart. Anderson worked Eaton's leg ruthlessly and he sold it well. After years of being a tag wrestler Eaton adapted well to singles competition.

WCW World Heavyweight Championship and NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Ric Flair (c) vs. Tatsumi Fujinami

I'm not familiar with Fujinami beyond him being a legend in Japan. That's probably more than most of WCW's fans knew at this point, making this match a curious choice to main event a pay-per-view. This match has two referees: a Japanese referee inside the ring and a WCW referee outside the ring. We'll see if that comes into play. Nice mat wrestling sequence to start. They trade chops. Fujinami gets a Backdrop. Fujinami locks in a Bow and Arrow. They trade chops until Fujinami puts on a Boston Crab. He transitions into an Indian Deathlock. Flair gets out and hits a Suplex. Fujinami Suplexes Flair from the apron to the ring. Fujinami Clotheslines Flair over the top rope. For some reason that's not a disqualification. Flair drops Fujinami on the guardrail. He throws Fujinami into the ring. Chop block by Flair. Kneebreaker. Flair hooks the Figure Four. Eventually, Fujinami turns it over.

Fujinami gets Flair down and applies a Sharpshooter. Flair gets to the ropes. Fujinami hits a Back Suplex. Fujinami grabs a Headlock, but Flair reverses with a Suplex. That leads to a mat wrestling sequence. Flair throws Fujinami to the floor. Flair gets slammed into the guardrail and the ring post. He blades. They go back to the ring where Fujinami focuses on the punch. Flair stops a Fujinami charge with a boot. He tries an Oklahoma Roll, but Fujinami doesn't go with it. Flair rolls to the floor, where he flops. Flair gets up and goes to the top rope. Unsurprisingly he gets thrown off. Fujinami applies an Octopus Stretch. "USA" chant from the crowd. Flair gets out and they do a double KO spot. Flair tries to slam Fujinami, but he falls on top for a two count. Fujinami gets a Small Package for a two count. Fujinami gets knocked into the referee, taking him out. Flair takes the opportunity to roll Fujinami up and grab his trunks for a three count (by the American referee) at 18:39.

Result: Ric Flair by pinfall (New NWA World Heavyweight Champion, retains WCW World Heavyweight Championship)

Analysis: ***. Good match. The crowd was mostly dead because they didn't really know who Fujinami was or care about him. He also worked a style that wasn't very familiar to American audiences, slow-paced and heavy on submissions. They popped for Flair's antics and not much else. Still, an solid and entertaining match between two great workers.

JR and Dusty put over how great a match that was as we play out.

Overall: Pretty good show. The clipped version cut out the boring matches and left us with some pretty good stuff. The tag match was phenomenal, and everything else was watchable other that Sid/Gigante, which lasted three minutes. WCW was still chugging along here on the back of a talented roster. They were doing just fine when they didn't try to outsmart themselves. Unfortunately, storm clouds were on the horizon. By the time the next pay-per-view rolled around, WCW would be a very different place.

Grade: B

The Law
June 17th, 2013, 7:44 PM
The Great American Bash 1991
July 14, 1991
Baltimore Arena
Baltimore, Maryland

Ric Flair had been the bedrock of Jim Crockett Promotions/WCW for a solid decade in 1991. He had wrestled in the main event of every Starrcade to this point and spent the vast majority of that time period as NWA/WCW Champion. What Hulk Hogan was to the WWF, Ric Flair was to WCW. He was the franchise player. But controversy was brewing behind the scenes. Jim Herd was the Vice President of WCW and exerting substantial control over the creative direction of the company. Herd's style had driven off a number of wrestlers to this point: the Road Warriors, Jim Cornette, Stan Lane, Stan Hansen, Sid. But perhaps his greatest clash was with Ric Flair. Flair was openly disdainful of Herd. Legend has it that Herd proposed to Flair that he shave his head and become known as "Spartacus" in order to "change with the times." Flair’s contract was coming up, and Herd was trying to force him to take a large paycut. Flair was obviously not happy about that. Finally, two weeks before this show, Herd had enough and fired Flair.

This produced a number of problems: First, Flair was WCW's biggest draw. Second, he was the WCW Champion. And third, he was scheduled to wrestle in the main event of this show. Out of spite, Herd refused to return a $25,000 deposit that Flair had put down on the NWA Title. That deposit was designed to prevent a wrestler holding the title from refusing to lose it and keeping it while leaving for another promotion. When Herd refused to pay Flair his money, Flair took the title with him to the WWF. A lawsuit resulted, but what matters for the purpose of this show is that they didn't have Flair, the WCW Title, or a main event.

To rectify this, they replaced the Flair vs. Lex Luger WCW Title Steel Cage Match with a Luger vs. Barry Windham Steel Cage Match for the now vacant WCW Title. And lacking a physical title belt, Dusty Rhodes provided an old belt from Florida Championship Wrestling. And with all that, the stage was set for the Great American Bash...

Oh, it's also notable that this is broadly considered one of the worst pay-per-views in history. I might need beer to get through this.

Tony Schiavone and Jim Ross are on commentary. Eric Bischoff will handle interviews. This is his WCW pay-per-view debut.

Scaffold Match: PN News and Bobby Eaton vs. Steve Austin and Terry Taylor

Okay, so this incarnation of Steve Austin isn't anything like "Stone Cold" Steve Austin: He doesn't drink beer, isn't bald, doesn't wear black boots and black tights, isn't a brawler, doesn't have facial hair. He's a blonde pretty boy who wrestles a technical style. He's also a fantastic performer. It's a shame that Austin's WCW run is largely overshadowed by his time with the WWF. He was excellent in WCW, and would have been a main eventer and world champion if they hadn't had their heads up their asses. But we'll get to that later.

This isn't one of those Scaffold Matches where someone gets thrown off. Instead, the object is to walk across the scaffold and capture the other team's flag. I consider the Scaffold Match the worst gimmick match in wrestling history. It's guaranteed to produce a terrible match and almost guaranteed to get someone hurt. At least Kennel from Hell was safe. PN News is a rapping wrestler. I guess the joke there is that his initials are PNN, like CNN. Austin and Eaton start off and don't really do anything. There's a few punches and jockeying for position, but that's it. PN News challenges Austin and he backs off. Taylor takes his place. Again, nothing happens. A little bit of punching and jostling. Austin and PN News fight on one end while Eaton and Taylor fight on the other. Then they all go fight on the same end. Eaton gets the heel flag. He's free to walk to the other end and win, but doesn't for some reason. Austin gets a bottle of spray and sprays Eaton's eyes. He does the same to PN News. The crowd doesn't react to any of these. Either they can't see what's going on or don't care. At this point, Eaton and PN News are announced as the winners. Not sure why. Then they all climb down and Eaton and PN News drive the heels out of the ring. No response from the crowd or the announcers to any of this. Jesus, what a piece of shit match that was. Eaton and PN News get the win at 6:19.

Result: Bobby Eaton and PN News by capture

Analysis: Dud. I don't believe in negative stars or I would have dipped into them for that. In the entire time that match went on, nothing happened. Awful concept and terrible execution.

Eric Bischoff interviews Paul E. Dangerously and Arn Anderson.

The Diamond Studd vs. Tom Zenk

The Diamond Studd is Scott Hall. He's accompanied here by Diamond Dallas Page. Zenk runs down the ramp, dives over the top, and Clotheslines both Stud and Page. He hits the ropes, but Page pulls down the rope and Zenk falls to the floor. Stud jumps Zenk from behind and beats him down. Zenk hits the guardrail and falls into the crowd. Back in the ring, Stud runs through some generic offense. Zenk gets back with a Crossbody. Stud comes back with some punches. Stud applies an Abdominal Stretch. He holds it for a really long time. Stud breaks the monotony with a Chokeslam. The crowd is very sleepy during this match. Zenk hits a Superkick. Stud rolls outside and gets whipped into the guardrail. Zenk hits a Missile Dropkick from the top rope. Page gets involved, so Zenk decks him. This allows Studd to come from behind with a Back Suplex into a bridge for the pin at 9:00.

Result: Diamond Studd by pinfall

Analysis: 1/2*. Bad match. Hall was really green here and Zenk didn't do much of anything of interest.

Oz vs. Ron Simmons

Oz is Kevin Nash. Except he's a wizard. Or something like that. I think the story here is that Turner got the rights to show "The Wizard of Oz" and someone decided that they should have a wrestler with that gimmick to promote the movie. Oz is accompanied by his manager, The Great Wizard. A couple lock-ups go nowhere. Oz works a Headlock. They run into each other. They hit the ropes again and Oz hits a big boot. Simmons tries a Drop Toe Hold. Nash botches it. Oz hits a few punches. JR comments on Oz's "simplistic offense." The crowd chants "boring." Simmons Clotheslines Oz over the top rope. That actually got a pop out of the crowd, first of the match. A test of strength spot lasts for two minutes. Simmons gets a throw. Oz drops him with a Clothesline. Holy shit, does this match suck. Side Slam by Oz. That's his first move of the match. The Great Wizard takes a cheap shot on Simmons to no response from the crowd. I'm laughing. Simmons hits a Dropkick. He hits a couple Three Point Stance Charges. Shoulderblock. That's enough for the pin at 7:55.

Result: Ron Simmons by pinfall

Analysis: Dud. Awful, awful match. No flow, no action, no psychology. Nash had no idea what he was doing out there and honestly Simmons wasn't a ton better. By the way, Simmons is wrestling in the main event of the next pay-per-view. After a performance like that, how could he not?

They announce the "WCW Top 10" for this week. Not sure whether this stuck around or not. For fun, let's look at it:

10) Johnny B. Badd
9) Ron Simmons
8) Diamond Studd
7) El Gigante
6) Arn Anderson
5) Bobby Eaton
4) Steve Austin (WCW World Television Champion)
3) Sting
2) Barry Windham
1) Lex Luger (WCW United States Champion)

What did Windham do to become the #2 contender? Basically have a pulse. Everyone else was booked in matches already.

Eric Bischoff interviews the Young Pistols. They're ready for a fight tonight.

Richard Morton vs. Robert Gibson

That's right, they turned Ricky Morton heel! One of the worst ideas ever. He joined the York Foundation, so he's a corporate sell-out. Except he still has the exact same haircut and tights. They probably could have tried a little harder on this one. They fight up on the rampway to start. Then Morton starts stalling. And stalling. And stalling. Gibson gets Morton in the corner and hits some punches. He ends up getting slammed into the turnbuckle. Morton slams Gibson's knee into the ring post. That's the knee he had surgery on last year. He then works on the leg. And works on it. And works on it. For ten minutes straight. Finally, Gibson hits a desperation DDT and they both go down. Gibson tries a Backdrop, but his knee buckles. He follows that with an Enziguri that knocks Morton over the top onto the ramp. They go back into the ring and Alexandra York slides Morton her laptop. He hits Gibson with it and gets the pin at an excruciatingly long 17:03.

Result: Richard Morton by pinfall

Analysis: 1/2*. For the psychology of working the knee. This match was excruciating to watch. I swear I had a birthday watching this thing.

Yellow Dog vs. Johnny B. Badd

Okay, so Yellow Dog is Brian Pillman under a mask. He lost a "Loser Leaves WCW" match to Barry Windham at the last Clash of the Champions, so he's come back with an absurd gimmick. If Dog loses this match, he has to unmask. If he's revealed to be Brian Pillman, he's banned from WCW forever. Which wouldn't make a ton of difference, since he's already fired. Johnny B. Badd is Marc Mero, future WWF Intercontinental Champion and first husband of Sable. He's a Little Richard impersonator in this gimmick. Pillman comes out with a yellow dog. Literally. Is that supposed to be clever? Badd is managed by Teddy Long. He's a heel here, but that didn't last long. Pillman looks at the camera and says, I quote, "Not Johnny B. Badd, Johnny B. Gay!" That's probably the highlight of the show so far. Pillman gets a right hand and knocks Badd to the floor. Pillman gets a Sunset Flip. Some time passes after that without much happening. Eventually, Pillman hits a Dropkick. Pillman stalks Teddy Long but gets cut off with a Clothesline. Back in the ring Pillman misses a Crossbody Block. Johnny hits a Sunset Flip from the top rope for two. Badd applies a Chinlock. He tries to remove Pillman's mask, but he gets Headbutted. Pillman ducks a hook and hits a German Suplex. Pillman hits the ropes and connects with a Spinning Heel Kick. Pillman hits a Crossbody from the top rope. Teddy Long breaks up the pin and Badd is disqualified at 6:00.

Result: Yellow Dog by Disqualification

Analysis: *3/4. It was okay. Badd was still developing. Pillman was fine, but not at the top of his game. The crowd didn't care at all.

Bischoff enters the women's locker room. He finds Missy Hyatt in the shower. She yells at him and he runs out. That wasn't worth the two minutes it took.

Lumberjack Match: Big Josh vs. Black Blood

Big Josh is Matt Osborne, the original Doink the Clown. Here, he's Big Josh, a lumberjack. Black Blood is Billy Jack Hayes in an executioner's outfit. Josh gets thrown to the floor and he gets beat up by the heel lumberjacks. Josh hits chops and a Hip Toss. Then a Dropkick. Blood gets thrown to the floor, but the heels just pick him up and put him back in. Josh hits a Clothesline. He knocks Blood to the floor. The faces throw him back in. They exchange punches in the ring. Josh gets thrown out. The faces protect him, which leads to a scuffle with the heels. That escalates to a brawl. It breaks down and Dustin Rhodes hits Black Blood with an Ax Handle, allowing Josh to get the pin at 5:39.

Result: Big Josh by pinfall

Analysis: *. Boring but short.

Elimination Match: The Young Pistols and Dustin Rhodes vs. The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes, Jimmy Garvin, and Badstreet)

The Freebirds are the Six Man Tag Champions, but those titles aren't on the line here. Presumably because Dusty is booking and wants to put his son over but doesn't want to put the titles on him. Badstreet is Brad Armstrong. The chants here a combination of "We Want Flair" and "Freebirds Suck." Better than silence, I guess. Dustin quickly clears the ring and the Freebirds regroup. All six men hit the ring and the Freebirds get taken out again. Smothers and Armstrong tag in and out while controlling things. Hayes eventually gets Smothers with a jab and takes over. Hayes and Garvin tag in and out while working on Smothers. Both guys work Sleeper Holds. Badstreet gets in and hits a nice Swinging Neckbreaker. Hayes tags in and tries the DDT. He gets Backdropped and Smothers tags in Armstrong. Armstrong hits everyone with Dropkicks as all six guys hit the ring. Badstreet and Hayes hit a Double DDT on Amstrong and he's eliminated at 13:49. That was an incredibly long time for the first elimination. Smothers charges Hayes and gets Backdropped to the floor. Thus, Hayes is disqualified at 14:04. The heels work on Smothers and eats a Double DDT. He's eliminated at 15:16. Wow, they're dropping fast now. Dustin enters the match and immediately plants Garvin with a Lariat and pins him at 15:24. Badstreet enters and works on Dustin with Clotheslines. Badstreet goes up top, but Dustin catches him with a Lariat. Rhodes follows that with a Bulldog for the win at 17:10.

Result: Young Pistols and Dustin Rhodes by pinfall

Analysis: *1/4. Standard issue Freebirds match. It would have helped to space out the eliminations a little bit.

El Gigante vs. One Man Gang

Sweet Jesus, what did I do to deserve this? El Gigante seriously makes The Great Khali look like Bret Hart. Kevin Sullivan is managing One Man Gag and leads him out on a chain. Definite S&M motif here. Bischoff interviews Sullivan, who spouts some Satanic shit. El Gigante comes out with a group of midgets. Not sure why. Gigante hits some slow, sloppy punches. OMG tries to run, but Gigante throws him back into the ring. OMB bails. They conduct a very slow speed chase around the ring. Gigante hits a Hip Toss. JR sounds genuinely surprised he could execute that. OMG comes off the second rope with a Clothesline. OMG hits Gigante with a wrench while Sullivan distracts the referee. He hits a series of wrench shots while the idiot referee is continually distracted. The next few minutes are nothing but One Man Gang punching Gigante while he crawls around the ring on his knees. One Man Gang goes up top and just kind of stands there until Gigante remembers he's supposed to throw him off. Gigante hits a Suplex. Gang tries to throw powder in Gigante's eyes, but Gigante throws it into Gang's eyes. Gigante hits a Clothesline to the back of the head and that's enough for a pin at 6:13.

Result: El Gigante by pinfall

Analysis: Dud. Gigante was awful. Schiavone claims he "showed a lot of wrestling skill in this match." I totally disagree.

Russian Chain Match: Nikita Koloff vs. Sting

Just to recap, we've had seven matches and the best one has been *3/4. Unfortunately, I'm not expecting things to get a ton better here. Nikita is way over the hill at this point. This is like a Strap Match, where you win by touching all four corners, but they're connected by a chain. Lots of punching and kicking to start. Hard to do much else when you're chained together. They go outside and Sting drops Koloff on the railing. Back in, Sting rams Nikita into the turnbuckle. They go outside again. Sting chokes Koloff with the chain. Sting touches the first two corners before Koloff stops him. They go outside again. Nikita hits Sting with the chain. Nikita loads his fist with the chain and hits Sting in the gut. Sting comes back and slams Koloff into the rail and then the ring post. Back in the ring, Nikita does some chain shots. He chokes Sting with the chain. It's incredible how quiet the crowd is. This feud was hot during the lead-in, but the Flair debacle has the crowd silent all night. Sting takes over with a chain shot. Koloff gets him down and touches the first three turnbuckles. Sting stops him from touching the fourth. Nikita gets a Bearhug. They both touch the first corner while in the hold. And the second. Sting breaks the hold and Nikita hits a low blow. Sting hits a low blow of his own. The referee still hasn't reset the touching. They simultaneously touch the third. The crowd doesn't seem to care. Sting goes for the fourth buckle but Nikita holds him back. Nikita hits Sting with the Russian Sickle Lariat. Minutes have passed without the referee resetting the touching. Sting hits a Stinger Splash, but he knocks Koloff into the fourth turnbuckle and Koloff gets the win at 11:38.

Winner: Nikita Koloff

Analysis: *. Slow, boring, no heat. Screwjob finish too.

Post-match, Sting beats down Koloff. More edge that you would expect from the Stinger.

Steel Cage Match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Lex Luger vs. Barry Windham

I have to point out that this is the first and only title match on the show. No idea how that happened. The "We Want Flair" chants are absolutely thunderous here. By far the loudest the crowd has gotten. They exchange punches for awhile to start things off. They exchange Clotheslines, Shoulderblocks, punches, all the basics. Eventually, Luger goes the top rope and gets thrown off. Nice tribute to Flair. Windham goes up top and hits some kind of one-legged kick. That's definitely different. Obviously a tough situation for these guys to be in, being thrown in there cold with no feud and having to replace Flair. The crowd is hostile, alternating between booing and Flair chants. Naturally, the announcers don't acknowledge any of this. In the high point of the match, Luger tries the Torture Rack but Windham kicks off the cage and escapes it. That's pretty cool. Windham hits a Back Suplex and follows it with a Flying Lariat. Luger no-sells. Windham hits another Lariat, but he can't keep Luger down. Windham goes to the top rope again and hits a Missile Dropkick for a nearfall. They're actually starting to get the crowd into the match now. At this point, Harley Race and Mr. Hughes make their way down the ramp. Race tells Luger "Now's the time." Mr. Hughes distracts Windham and Luger comes from behind with a knee to the back. He picks up Windham and hits a Piledriver for the pin at 12:25.

Result: Lex Luger by pinfall (New WCW World Heavyweight Champion)

Analysis: *3/4. Lifeless match for the most part. Crowd definitely hurt it. Luger's heel turn really came out of nowhere, but that's because they clearly weren't planning it until two weeks prior. Not really any time to foreshadow in that case.

Steel Cage Match: Arn Anderson and Paul E. Dangerously vs. Rick Steiner and Missy Hyatt

Oh right, there's another match. No idea at all why this is going on last. This was originally supposed to be Arn, Windham, and Dangerously vs. Rick, Scott, and Missy Hyatt. Then Windham got moved into the title match and Scott got hurt. So we're left with this. As Steiner is climbing into the cage, Dick Slater and Dick Murdoch grab Missy and drag her to the back. Okay, no loss there. Rick does his usual stuff on Arn for a minute or so. Then Rick hits Paul E. with a Steinerline and pins him at 2:08.

Result: Rick Steiner by pinfall

Analysis Dud. Nothing there.

Overall: I think this is the worst pay-per-view ever. There wasn't a single good match on this show. On top of that, a couple matches were offensively bad (Gigante vs. One Man Gang, Oz vs. Simmons, the Scaffold Match). The Rock N Roll Express match and Freebirds matches were both excruciatingly long and boring. Just a show without any redeeming qualities. Terrible matches, some questionable booking decisions, and a totally dead crowd. I think this is worse than December to Dismember or any of the Russo era shows.

Grade: F

JP
June 17th, 2013, 7:57 PM
Really getting into a good flow with your writing style matey, best read yet. :yes:

JRSlim21
June 17th, 2013, 7:58 PM
Wow. What is there to say?

The Law
June 17th, 2013, 8:34 PM
This show gives me hope that I can make it through the Russo years. Because at least those were terrible in a hysterical way, whereas this was more terrible in a boring way.

LOCONUT
June 17th, 2013, 11:46 PM
Awesome. Great work here.

Panther52
June 19th, 2013, 2:34 PM
thanks for doing this. i'm enjoying every read. :)

The Law
June 19th, 2013, 2:50 PM
Halloween Havoc 1991: Chamber of Horrors
October 27, 1991
UTC Arena
Chattanooga, Tennessee

Welcome to Halloween Havoc 1991! We last left off with Lex Luger finally breaking through and winning the WCW Championship at the Great American Bash. In doing so, he sold his soul and turned heel. Subsequently he would be accompanied to the ring by Harley Race and adopt an arrogant persona. He switched his finisher from the Torture Rack to a Piledriver that he called the "Attitude Adjustment." So apparently that's where John Cena got the name of his finisher. Anyway, for Luger's first pay-per-view title defense the booking team selected Ron Simmons. An interesting choice, considering Simmons was just starting out as a singles wrestler. Anyway, to build the match they had Luger offer Simmons a position in his stable...as their driver. Very clear racial overtones there. Let's get to the action:

The show starts with Eric Bischoff greeting Abdullah the Butcher and Cactus Jack as they arrive at the arena. DDP and the Diamond Studd also roll in. At this point, Barry Windham and Dustin Rhodes arrive. Arn Anderson and Larry Zbyszko show up and slam Windham's hand in the car door, taking him out of the Chamber of Horrors Match.

Chamber of Horrors Match: Sting, El Gigante, and The Steiner Brothers vs. Abdullah the Butcher, Cactus Jack, The Diamond Studd, and Big Van Vader

Vader replaces Windham. Quite a collection of talent in this match. Sting, the Steiners, Abdullah, Cactus, Hall, and Vader are all Hall of Famers in my book. And then there's El Gigante, who might be the worst professional wrestler I've ever seen. So this match takes place inside a large steel cage. The object of the match is to place one of your opponents in an electric chair, which descends from the ceiling five minutes into the match, and then throw the switch, electrocuting them. An intriguing but cartoony idea. Clearly, WCW has strayed far from the NWA days at this point. I can't imagine Gordon Solie calling this match.

Sting gets jumped by Cactus Jack during his entrance. They brawl on the ramp. Meanwhile, everyone else fights in the ring. Sting gets into the cage and beats everyone with a Kendo Stick. Notably, we have a camera shot from the referee's point of view via a helmet camera. It's helpful here because it's hard to see through the cage with the wide shot. Everyone just kinds of mills around brawling. Sting Clotheslines Vader over the top rope. Sting goes over the top rope with a Plancha on Vader. The chair very slowly lowers. That gets a slight pop from the crowd. The lever to turn the chair on is mounted on the cage, about eight feet up. Sting hits Cactus with the top of a casket (there are caskets all around ringside). Cactus gets rammed into the cage by Rick Steiner and blades. Someone in a mask popped out of a casket earlier and is now handcuffed to the cage. Not sure who it was or why it happened. Still not very much happening. The lever falls down into the "on" position and a referee climbs the cage to flip it back. This all happens in the background, but on-camera. Pretty symbolic of how this match is going. Cactus climbs the cage and the switch falls again. The camera pans away.

Rick Steiner gets double-teamed by Diamond Studd and Abdullah and thrown into the chair. Regrettably, no one throws the switch and the match goes on. Abdullah knocks him back in. This time, Cactus goes for the switch. Steiner manages to throw Abdullah into the chair as Cactus throws the switch. Abdullah gets electrocuted as sparks, fire, and smoke emerges from the chair at 12:33.

Analysis: 1/2*. Garbage match. Not a good concept for a match and especially poor execution. The entire match featured zero memorable spots as everyone just milled around the ring fighting. There was no teamwork, no story, no flow. Awful.

Abdullah wakes up and beats up Cactus and the EMTs sent to assist him.

My tape clips the following matches: Big Josh and PN News defeated The Creatures (Joey Maggs and Johnny Rich) in 5:16 and Bobby Eaton defeated Terrance Taylor in 16:00.

Johnny B. Badd vs. Jimmy Garvin

Badd is still a heel here, managed by Teddy Long. The Freebirds have turned face. Rope-running starts us off, and then Garvin Hip Tosses Badd over the top rope. Garvin beats on Badd back in the ring and knocks him to the floor with a running elbow. Badd gets back in the ring and Garvin works on his arm. Teddy Long distracts the referee, allowing Badd to choke Garvin with a towel. Badd gets a very botched Sunset Flip for two. Badd goes up top and hits an Elbow Drop. He goes up top again and gets caught with a shot to the gut as he comes off. Badd tries a corner charge and ends up missing and tumbling to the floor. Back in, the do a Double KO spot. Badd misses a left hook and gets DDTed. Long distracts the referee, and Badd catches Garvin with a left hook for the pin at 8:16.

Result: Johnny B. Badd by pinfall

Analysis: *1/2. Pretty standard match with a few botches.

WCW World Television Championship: Steve Austin (c) vs. Dustin Rhodes

They prominently announce the 15 minute time-limit at the start of the match. You know what that means. They exchange basic holds and mat wrestling to start. Headlocks, Armdrags, takedowns. Dustin ends up Clotheslining Austin over the top rope. Again, I have no idea why that isn't a disqualification. Austin Suplexes his way out of Headlock. Dustin tries a Bulldog, but Austin shoots him into the corner. Long Headlock sequence follows. Dustin gets a Crossbody for a two count and we go back to Headlocks. Dustin tries another Crossbody, but misses and goes over the top to the floor. Austin follows him outside and beats on him on the floor. Dustin is busted open. Austin goes from the top rope to the floor with an Ax Handle. Back in the ring, Dustin fights back with right hands. Austin rakes the eyes and hits a Gutwrench Suplex. Austin applies a Chinlock and sits on it for awhile. JR mentions the time limit. Dustin gets out and hits a Clothesline.

The ring announcer announces three minutes left. Austin misses a dive into the ropes and Dustin hits an Atomic Drop. Dustin throws Austin to the floor. Austin gets thrown into the guardrail and blades. Two minutes left. Powerslam by Dustin gets two. Dustin mounts Austin for punches. Bionic Elbow for another two count. One minute left. Ten Punch by Dustin. 30 seconds left. Dustin goes up top and hits a Flying Clothesline. He gets the cover and three count, but time expires at 15:00.

Result: Time Limit Draw

Analysis: **3/4. Decent match. A little slow, but solid technically.

My tape clips the following: Bill Kazmaier defeated Oz in 3:59, Van Hammer defeated Doug Somers in 1:13, and Brian Pillman defeated Richard Morton in 12:45 to become the first WCW Light Heavyweight Champion. Too bad they clipped that last match. I'll have to track that down.

The WCW Phantom vs. Tom Zenk

The Halloween Phantom is an unknown masked man. The Phantom dominates and hits a Snap Neckbreaker for the pin at 1:27. Like a moron, Tony Schiavone says that the Neckbreaker looks a lot like the Rude Awakening. Good work, Tony. Way to keep that secret in the box.

Result: WCW Phantom by pinfall

Analysis: Dud. Basic squash.

WCW World Tag Team Championship: The Enforcers (Arn Anderson and Larry Zbyszko) (c) vs. The Patriots (Firebreaker Chip and Todd Champion)

The Patriots are United States Tag Team Champions, but those belts aren't on the line here. Larry and Chip start out. They exchange Abdominal Stretches. Chip hits a Scoop Slam. Anderson tags in. Anderson and Chip exchange some basic holds. Champion, the bigger man, tags in and hits an Ax Handle from the second rope. Anderson takes over and gets some stomps. Anderson gets thrown to the floor and Champion slams him. Jesus, these guys are ridiculously green. Back in the ring, Champion applies a Bearhug. Double Clothesline by Champion. Zbyszko tags in. Larry gets chased around the ring. Anderson makes a blind tag and that allows him to get the advantage on Chip. Zbyszko tags back in. Swinging Neckbreaker by Larry. Champion ducks a punch and hits an Atomic Drop, but Arn made a blind tag. Arn cuts Champion's legs out. Larry tags back in and gets Suplexed. Arn and Chip both tag in. Chip goes house on fire, taking out both guys with Dropkicks. Chip slams Arn, but Zbyszko breaks up the pin. Chip gets hit with the Spinebuster and the champs retain at 9:51.

Result: The Enforcers by pinfall

Analysis: *1/2. Pretty boring tag match. I like the idea of Arn and Larry as a tag team, but they really need some better opponents to work with than those two jabronis.

Eric Bischoff interviews Paul E. Dangerously at ringside. Bischoff is dressed as Dracula, by the way. Dangerously comes out with Madusa. He reveals that he was recently fired as a commentator for being too "controversial." Dangerously declares war on WCW. He says he still has his manager's license and he's going to bankrupt WCW by destroying its top stars: Sting is singled out in particular. He says he told Madusa to find the man to destroy Sting. The Phantom comes out. He unmasks, revealing himself as RICK RUDE. Awesome debut for Rude, and a great start to the Dangerous Alliance Storyline. This was basically the NWO before the NWO.

They show a montage of Ron Simmons training before the main event.

2 out of 3 Falls Match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Lex Luger (c) vs. Ron Simmons

Luger is accompanied by Harley Race, Simmons by Dusty Rhodes. If you think that it seems to be a little soon for Simmons to be getting a title shot in the main event of a pay-per-view, you're probably right. JR, always one to talk football, mentions that Luger and Simmons were teammates for the Tampa Bay Bandits of the USFL. Lots of stalling to start. Luger telegraphs a Backdrop and gets his face slammed into the mat. Powerslam by Simmons. Spinebuster! Simmons gets the first fall at a quick 4:54. Simmons 1, Luger 0.

Simmons is one fall from the championship. They impose a one minute rest period. Simmons gets a Snap Suplex. He gets a Backdrop. Luger sends Simmons into the corner, but gets hit with a Back Elbow. Simmons gets a Small Package for two. Luger throws Simmons to the floor. He's doing a suspiciously good job of selling his back. I think he might be hurt legit. Simmons gets a Sunset Flip and then a Clothesline. Simmons goes for another Clothesline, but misses and falls to the floor. Luger takes over. Mostly chokes from Luger. He hits a Powerslam for a two count. Luger shuts down a Simmons comeback with a Big Boot. Suplex by Luger. Luger applies a Chinlock. Simmons fights out and hits a Clothesline. Luger misses a charge to the corner and gets rolled up for a good near fall. Race distracts Simmons and gets decked by Dusty. Luger charges Simmons and gets Backdropped over the top rope. Simmons is disqualified and Luger wins the second fall at 16:26. Simmons 1, Luger 1.

Next fall wins. Luger plays possum and gets a cheap shot. Luger wails on Simmons, but he stops selling. Simmons beats down Luger with a Ten Punch. Luger tries an Inverted Atomic Drop, but Simmons blocks it and hits a Clothesline. Backdrop by Simmons. Simmons gets an Inverted Atomic Drop. Simmons puts Luger on the top rope and hits a Superplex! Luger kicks out at two. Powerslam by Simmons. Simmons goes the to the second rope and hits a Diving Shoulderblock, but Luger rolls out to the floor. Simmons follows him out and puts Luger into the guardrail. Simmons tries a three point stance charge, but Luger ducks and Simmons hits the post. Back in the ring, Luger hits the Attitude Ajdustment Piledriver and gets the pin at 21:59.

Result: Lex Luger 2-1

Analysis: ***. Pretty good match. Third fall was especially exciting. Interesting that Luger went over clean. I won't complain, it's nice to see a heel champion be booked strongly. Simmons took Luger to the limit, so he doesn't come out looking bad.

JR and Schiavone recap the match to end the show.

Overall: Bad show. The main event was okay, nothing else was much above average. Dusty's run as booker was not good, and this show is prime example of that. Simmons really wasn't ready to be champion, so there isn't a ton of sense in putting him in a championship match. The Chamber of Horrors match took up a ton of talent and put them in a situation they couldn't succeed. Poor show, the second one in a row.

Grade: D

Mills
June 19th, 2013, 8:59 PM
I rented this as a kid about 80 times. I loved it because of the rude reveal and the chamber of horrors match. I think Steiner almost got flattened by the chair being lowered?

The Law
June 19th, 2013, 9:17 PM
I laughed my ass off watching the Chamber of Horrors. Just an epic, hilarious disaster. There was no feud going into the match, just a team of faces and a team of heels. None of the guys in the match seemed to give much of a shit about it, they all just kind of milled around brawling. The fact that the lever for the chair kept falling down in the background and one of the referees had to climb the cage to move it back up made it even better. One of the dumbest gimmick matches I've ever seen. And seriously, look who was in that match: The Steiners, Mick Foley, Vader, Scott Hall, Abdullah the Butcher, Sting... and El Gigante. Seven legends and one irredeemable piece of shit. I don't know what the fuck Dusty was thinking with this match. Just a regular eight man tag with those guys probably would have been really good. At least it wouldn't have embarrassed the company.

Mills
June 19th, 2013, 11:53 PM
You forgot the stage that looked like a fifth grade Halloween party

JP
June 20th, 2013, 7:02 AM
It's interesting to see how Heyman's interview style has evolved through the years. He was still good when introducing Rude there, but my God, the shouting.

The Law
June 21st, 2013, 10:40 AM
Starrcade 1991: The Lethal Lottery
December 29, 1991
Norfolk, Virginia
Norfolk Scope

Welcome to Starrcade 1991! Since we last left off, the major development is that Rick Rude defeated Sting to win the United States Championship at Clash of the Champions with an assist from Lex Luger. Rude made his WCW debut by joining Paul E. Dangerously to form the Dangerous Alliance, and Sting was their immediate target. That feud would go on for sometime.

WCW had screwed up the last two years by doing experimental formats instead of a standard supercard, so they naturally decided to try another experimental format. This is the first ever Battlebowl, a random drawing tag team competition followed by a two ring King of the Hill battle royal. Follow that? Let's take this piece by piece.



First, they take the names of 40 wrestlers and conduct a random drawing to determine the 20 teams competing.
Then there is a series of ten matches pitting pairs of teams against each other.
The winning ten teams (20 individuals) advance to a two-ring battle royal. It's not a tag team battle royal; it's every man for himself.
The battle royal takes place in two stages. In the first stage, wrestlers are eliminated by being thrown into the secondary ring. The last man standing in the first ring gets to hang out there until all but one man has been thrown out of the second ring. Then the two remaining competitors face each other in the finale.


What does the winner get? Nothing. A ring. So why should we care? We shouldn't. Anyway, here are the twenty teams and the matchups for the first round:


Marcus Bagwell and Jimmy Garvin vs. Michael Hayes and Tracy Smothers
Van Hammer and Big Josh vs. Steve Austin and Rick Rude
Dustin Rhodes and Richard Morton vs. Larry Zbyszko and El Gigante
Diamond Dallas Page and Mike Graham vs. Jushin Liger and Bill Kazmaier
Lex Luger and Arn Anderson vs. Terrance Taylor and Todd Zenk
Cacuts Jack and Buddy Lee Parker vs. Ricky Steamboat and Todd Champion
Brian Pillman and Bobby Eaton vs. Sting and Abdullah the Butcher
Big Van Vader and Mr. Hughes vs. Rick Steiner and The Nightstalker
Arachnaman and Johnny B. Badd vs. Scott Steiner and Firebreaker Chip
Ron Simmons and Thomas Rich vs. Steve Armstrong and PN News


According to legend, they actually did draw the teams randomly rather than gimmicking it. I have no idea, but I really wouldn't put anything past the guys running the company at this point. Let's get to the action:

Video package to start, highlighting that WCW's top 40 stars will compete tonight. Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone, our hosts for the night, start off by explaining the rules. It takes awhile.

Eric Bischoff, Missy Hyatt, and Magnum TA draw the names to determine the teams for the first match.

Michael Hayes and Tracy Smothers vs. Marcus Bagwell and Jimmy Garvin

Intrigue right off the bat here with Hayes and Garvin on opposite sides. Also, the Freebirds and the Young Pistols had several matches over the course of this year. Given that all that's on the line is bragging rights, is there really any reason for Garvin and Hayes to fight each other here? Bagwell and Smothers start. Lots of stalling. Hey, it's a Freebirds match, even if they're on opposite teams. Bagwell gets a few takedowns. Smothers runs the ropes and get Hip Tossed, then Dropkicked, then Arm Dragged. Smothers should tag out, but he doesn't because him and Hayes don't like each other. Bagwell tags out to Garvin. Garvin struts and gets cheap shotted by Smothers. Garvin Dropkicks Smothers to the apron, and then kicks him in the face, knocking him off the apron and into the guardrail! Smothers offers Garvin a handshake, but then tries to kick him. Garvin catches his foot and hits a Back Suplex. Garvin wrings the arm and tags in Bagwell, allowing him to hit a Double Ax Handle from the top rope. He goes to work on the arm. Smothers finally tags in Hayes. He gets a Back Elbow and struts.

Hayes goes to work on Bagwell's arm and tags Smothers. Bagwell works Smother's arm. He slams Smothers and tags in Garvin. Garvin tags in Hayes. Freebird vs. Freebird. The crowd wants to see this. Lots of stalling and posturing. Hayes get a roll-up for two. And then they both strut to their corners and tag in Bagwell and Smothers. Smothers misses an Elbow Drop and Garvin tags in. He wrings the arm and tags in Bagwell, who hits a top rope Crossbody. All four men hit the ring and we get a brawl. Hayes decks Smothers and they argue. Meanwhile, Bagwell hits a Fisherman Suplex for the pin at 12:45.

Result: Marcus Bagwell and Jimmy Garvin by pinfall.

Analysis: **1/2. Fun match. Not a ton of action, but Hayes and Garvin did a really good job of working the crowd and keeping them interested.

Steve Austin and Rick Rude vs. Van Hammer and Big Josh

I think I know which team is going to win this match. Austin and Hammer start out. Paul E. Dangerously is accompanying his guys to ringside. Hammer slams and Suplexes Austin to start. They mat wrestle and Austin tags in Rude. Rude gets heat on Hammer. Austin tags in and hits a Gordbuster. Rude tags in and the heat segment rolls on. Hammer manages to tag in Big Josh, who comes in hot and knocks Rude down with a Clothesline. Big Josh slams Austin and Rude's heads together and they roll outside to regroup. Austin tags in and gets dropped on the top rope and Clotheslined. Rude gets a cheap shot on Josh and tags in. He hits an Ax Handle from the top. Austin and Rude tag in and out, both working on Josh. Josh eventually tags in Hammer, who hits a Powerslam on Austin. He follows that with a Back Suplex and Shoulderblock. Rude gets a blind tag and hits the Rude Awakening for the pin at 12:56.

Result: Steve Austin and Rick Rude by pinfall

Analysis: **. Standard tag match, but with too many restholds for my tastes.

Larry Zbyszko and El Gigante vs. Dustin Rhodes and Richard Morton

JR points out that Gigante doesn't really speak any English, putting him and Zbyszko at a disadvantage. Zbyszko and Rhodes start. Dustin outwrestles Larry to start. Morton tags in, as does Gigante. Morton immediately tags Rhodes back in. That was pretty funny. El Gigante slams Morton. That might be the first move I've ever seen him execute. Zbyszko continually yells at Gigante and then tags back in. He works on Dustin. Gigante yells at Madusa, drawing the biggest pop of the match. Dustin tries his Bulldog finisher but gets slammed. Gigante tags in. Larry yells at him for not going after Rhodes and then slaps him! El Gigante slams Zbyszko, who then gets hit with a double Dropkick and is pinned at 5:54.

Result: Dustin Rhodes and Richard Morton by pinfall

Analysis: *. Not much there. Fun interactions between Zbyszko and Gigante, though.

Mike Graham and Diamond Dallas Page vs. Bill Kazmaier and Jushin Liger

First pay-per-view match for DDP. Also the PPV debuts of Liger and Graham. Graham and Liger start. Graham applies an arm wringer and Liger flips his way out of it, impressing the crowd. Graham is technically sound but doesn't have much personality. Liger hits a Headscissor and tags in Kazmaier, billed as the "World's Strongest Man." Unsurprisingly, Kazmaier overpowers Graham. Graham proceeds to tag in Page. Page is Graham's opposite: lots of personality but not much ability in the ring at this point. Kazmaier throws Page all around the ring. He misses a Splash from the second rope, although he impressively managed to jump 3/4 of the way across the ring. Liger tags in. Liger hits a Spinning Heel Kick on Page, who tags in Graham. Liger runs circles around Graham with fast-paced offense. Kazmier tags in. He drops DDP with a Clothesline. Graham tags in. Neither is having any success against Kazmaier. Liger tags in and gets Graham in a Mexican Surfboard. Graham gets a takedown and applies a Boston Crab. That's followed by a series of pinfall reversals. Kazmaier and Page both tag in. Nothing really happens, and Liger and Graham tag back in. Liger hits a series of kicks to the ribs and tags in Kazmaier. Liger tags back in. Graham misses a corner charges and tumbles over the top rope to the floor. Liger comes over the top with a Somersault Plancha! Back in the ring, Liger hits a second-rope Moonsault. Page tags in and Kazmaier Military Presses Liger onto Page for the pin at 13:08.

Result: Bill Kazmaier and Jushin Liger by pinfall

Analysis: ***. Good match with a lot of nice spots by Liger.

Lex Luger and Arn Anderson vs. Terrance Taylor and Tom Zenk

Zenk and Anderson start. Anderson rolls outside and gets sucker punched by Taylor. Zenk controls the early portion with fast-paced offense. Anderson tags Luger in and gets worked over by Zenk. Zenk makes a tag to Taylor, who works on Luger's arm. Luger gets a Military Press, but Taylor responds with a Snapmare and Swinging Neckbreaker. Taylor gets a Sunset Flip, but Anderson tags in and catches him by surprise. Taylor takes Anderson down with an elbow and hits a Vader Bomb. Zenk tags in. He hits the ropes, but Harley Race trips him and Anderson drops him with a DDT. Taylor breaks up the count. Heat segment on Zenk ensues. Zenk teases a few comebacks but keeps getting shut down. Eventually, Zenk tags Taylor. Taylor drops both guys. He hits a Gutwrencher Powerbomb on Luger, but Anderson breaks the pin up. Taylor goes to the ropes, but Anderson cheap shots him from behind, allowing Luger to hit the Attitude Adjustment Piledriver for the pin at 10:25.

Result: Lex Luger and Arn Anderson by pinfall

Analysis: ***1/4. Solid match. All four of these guys could go. Enjoyable heat segments and comebacks in every combination that they tried.

Ricky Steamboat and Todd Champion vs. Cactus Jack and Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker

They show the announcement that Parker is teaming with Cactus. Abdullah the Butcher flips out that he's not teaming with Cactus and destroys Parker, ramming him into a locker. Abdullah comes down and tries to act as Cactus' partner, but the referees send him to the back. Parker crawls out to try to get to the ring, but Abdullah beats him with a giant stick. This is very entertaining to watch. Meanwhile, Cactus has to wrestle a handicap match. Cactus and Steamboat work an entertaining segment with their predictable clash of styles. Steamboat tags in Champion so he can stink up the ring. Lots of Chinlocks and Bearhugs follow. Meanwhile, Parker is still crawling down the ramp. Cactus throws Champion to the floor and hits a second-rope Elbow Drop to the floor. Parker has made it to the other ring! He's making progress. Him crawling to the ring is far more entertaining than watching Todd Champion wrestle. Cactus goes up top and gets caught with a shot to the stomach. Cactus tags in Parker and throws him over the top into the ring. Steamboat tags in and hits a Flying Bodypress from the top rope for the pin at 7:48.

Result: Ricky Steamboat and Todd Champion by pinfall

Analysis: *. A singles match between Cactus and Steamboat would have been really fun. Unfortunately, Champion was involved too.

Sting and Abdullah the Butcher vs. Brian Pillman and Bobby Eaton

Abdullah jumps Sting on his way down the ramp and beats him with his stick. Pillman makes the save and goes after Abdullah. Eaton hits Pillman, which allows Abdullah to thrown Pillman off the ramp. Eaton and Sting make it into the ring, where Eaton works on Sting's leg. Eaton tries a charge and gets Backropped over the top onto the apron. Sting follows that with a diving Clothesline. Eaton takes over and works on Sting. Abdullah takes a pencil from the announce table and jabs Sting in the throat with it! Pillman saves Sting, despite the fact that he's on the other team. Again, if there were something real on the line then that wouldn't make sense, but who cares about winning this thing? Pillman gets in and SLAMS ABDULLAH! He hits a top rope Splash. Pillman won't tag to Eaton, so Eaton tries to tag Abdullah. Obviously can't do that. Sting tries a Tombstone and botches it horribly. Could have really hurt Eaton there. Cactus shows up and tries to attack Sting but gets Dropkicked out of the ring. Sting comes off the top rope and hits Eaton with a Body Press for the pin at 5:55.

Result: Sting and Abdullah the Butcher by pinfall

Analysis: **3/4. Really entertaining match. That was what they were going for tonight: craziness. Both teams hated each other and spent as much time fighting themselves as the other team.

Meanwhile, Cactus and Abdullah brawl. Security tries to break it up and they get beat down too.

Rick Steiner and The Nightstalker vs. Big Van Vader and Mr. Hughes

They actually drew Diamond Studd as Steiner's partner, but he's injured, so Nightstalker replaces him. Nightstalker is Bryan Clark. For such a unique name, Nightstalker doesn't seem to have any gimmick. He's just a big guy in generic tights. Vader doesn't have his mask tonight for some reason. He doesn't look very cool without it. Steiner and Vader start. Vader impressively kicks the crap out of Steiner. JR says Vader was a #1 pick by the Los Angeles Rams, which isn't true. He was picked in the third round. Steiner Steinerlines Vader, which is an impressive visual. Steiner tries to Suplex Vader from the apron to the ring, but needs to bounce him off the top rope to do it. Hughes tags in and wrestles in sunglasses. Steiner Backdrops Hughes! Hughes is clearly 300+ pounds here. He slimmed down later. German Suplex by Steiner. Steiner tags in Nightstalker, who goes up top. He sort of hits a Diving Shoulderblock, knocking Hughes back to the corner. Vader tags in. Meanwhile, Steiner hits the Steiner Bulldog on Hughes. Nightstalker is watching this happen, so Vader drops him with a huge Clothesline. Vader hits a Splash for the pin at 5:05.

Result: Vader and Mr. Hughes by pinfall

Analysis: *1/2. A few impressive moves by Steiner, but not much else.

Scott Steiner and Firebreaker Chip vs. Johnny B. Badd and Arachnaman

Alright, and now we have one of the worst gimmicks in the history of professional wrestling. Arachnaman is Brad Armstrong in a Spider-Man suit. They changed the colors, but he looks just like Spider-Man. So much so that Marvel Comics threatened to sue WCW and they dropped the character shortly after this. Johnny B. Badd works on Chip with a series of punches. Chip comes off the top rope with a Body Press. Arachnaman tags in, as does Steiner. Alright, this is probably about to get ugly. Arachnaman's Spidey Sense starts tingling knowing Big Poppa Pump is about to kick his ass. Scott throws him around the ring until Badd tags back in. The crowd is crazy into Scott here. He slams Badd in various ways and then tags in Chip. In comes Arachnaman! And he goes on offense! Arm Wringer! Hammerlock! Unfortunately he tags Johnny B. Badd back in after that. Scott comes in and Steinerlines Badd. Double Underhook Powerbomb! That one had some stank on it. Arachnaman gets back in. He and Chip proceed to trade some really boring offense. Badd tags in and runs a heat segment on Chip. Arachnaman runs the ropes for awhile, and then Steiner tags in and kills him with a Steinerline. A huge Belly to Belly Suplex gets the pin at 11:16.

Result: Scott Steiner and Firebreaker Chip by pinfall

Analysis: *3/4. I perversely enjoyed watching Scott beat up Arachnaman. Other than that, not much here.

Ron Simmons and Thomas Rich vs. Steve Armstrong and PN News

This match is clipped on the tape and I can't find the full version anywhere. Probably not much loss, it doesn't look great from the highlights. Simmons and Rich get the win after Simmons hits Armstrong with the Spinebuster. With that, we have our final qualifiers for the battle royal.

Battlebowl Battle Royal

The participants are: Jimmy Garvin, Marcus Bagwell, Steve Austin, Rick Rude, Dustin Rhodes, Richard Morton, Bill Kazmaier, Jushin Liger, Lex Luger, Arn Anderson, Todd Champion, Ricky Steamboat, Sting, Abdullah the Butcher, Big Van Vader, Mr. Hughes, Scott Steiner, Firebreaker Chip, Ron Simmons, and Thomas Rich.

To reiterate the rules: There are two rings. In the first stage of the match, the goal is to throw your opponent into the second ring. Once guys get thrown into the second ring, they fight in there and participants are eliminated by being thrown over the top rope. The match proceeds until there is one man left in each ring. Then the two fight each other, with the winner being the man who throws his opponent over the top rope. Winner wins the prestigious Battlebowl Ring.

We get things started with twenty men in the ring. Twenty men in one ring is a lot. Kazmaier gets thrown over the top by Vader and Hughes, but he's not eliminated because he wasn't thrown into the second ring. Would it be an advantage to be the first man thrown into the second ring? You would just get to hang out there for awhile and rest. Vader and Steamboat fight out on the ramp. They get back in the ring and Vader throws him over the top onto the ramp. Dustin Rhodes and Arn Anderson are fighting down on the floor. Thomas Rich gets thrown into the second ring. So he can just hang out there for awhile. Sting and Luger pair off in the corner. Good that he's finally getting his hands on him. The crowd loves that. Really should have been the main event of this show. Bagwell gets thrown into the second ring. Hughes throws Firebreaker Chip into the second ring. Then Liger and Morton both end up in ring two. Didn't see how it happened.

Liger hits some awesome offense. Unfortunately, he hits Morton with a Body Press and they both go over the top rope and are eliminated. Hughes gets thrown into ring two. Thomas Rich gets eliminated off camera. Vader is beating on Rhodes on the floor. Anderson and Steamboat get into ring two. No one knows why. Champion goes into ring two. Camera didn't catch it. Garvin is in there two. Abduallah and Austin are next. They're starting to spill over fast now. Garvin gets Backdropped out. Kazmaier goes into ring two. Voluntarily, it appeared. Simmons gets thrown into ring two. It's down to just Sting, Rude, Vader, and Luger in ring one. Sting and Rude get it on. They both tumble into ring two. Vader dominates Luger. The crowd isn't as into Vader beating on Luger as I thought they would be. Firebreaker Chip gets eliminated. Luger throws Vader into ring two. He's the last man standing in ring one and gets a long rest. Steamboat chops Abdullah over the top. Anderson goes up top, but gets Dropkicked to the floor by Dustin Rhodes. He's out. Ron Simmons Clotheslines Mr. Hughes out and goes over as well. They're both gone. Steamboat and Sting double Clothesline Vader out. Marcus Bagwell gets thrown out. I think it was Rude.

Alright, we're down to four in ring two: Sting, Rude, Austin, and Steamboat. They pair off, faces and heels. Austin and Steamboat go at it while Sting works on Rude. Rude double-crosses Austin and Clotheslines him out. Steamboat gets thrown out, skins the cat, and eliminates Rude with a Headscissor. Rude runs back in and hits Sting with the Rude Awakening. Looks like Rude pulled Steamboat down and eliminated him too. So we're down to Sting and Luger. Sting is out of it, Luger is rested. Luger cockily beats on Sting. He throws Sting between the ropes to the ramp. Race tries a cheap shot on Sting, but he blocks it and knocks out Race. Luger throws Sting off the ramp into the guardrail. Sting counters Luger and slams him into the guardrail. They go back in the ring and Sting stomps Luger as the crowd goes crazy. Race gets into the ring and gets Suplexed by Sting. Sting misses a Stinger Splash, but narrowly stays in the ring. Sting hits a One-Handed Bulldog. He Clotheslines Luger, who hands onto the top rope. Sting hits the ropes and dumps Luger to the floor to win the Battlebowl at 25:10.

Winner: Sting

Analysis: ***. Pretty good battle royal. They definitely made the right choice having it come down to Sting, Rude, Austin, and Steamboat and then Sting vs. Luger. This leads in nicely to Sting vs. Luger for the title at SuperBrawl.

Sting celebrates his victory. Ross and Schiavone speculate about a future matchup between Luger and Sting. The credits roll and Starrcade 1991 is in the books.

Overall: An okay show. Obviously, it's a waste of Starrcade for the show to have this kind of gimmick instead of a supercard. I'd much rather have seen Sting vs. Luger, Steamboat vs. Rude, Austin vs. Simmons, and the Steiners vs. Cactus and Abdullah or Anderson and Zbyszko. But we got some pretty good tag matches and a solid main event, so I won't complain too much about the show. Sting beating Luger is a good way to continue to build the anticipation for their match, and we'll get the payoff at SuperBrawl in February.

Grade: C

Cewsh
June 21st, 2013, 10:42 AM
The first one of these is going up on the main page today. So eyes open, kids.

MOSHanTHRASHER
June 21st, 2013, 7:17 PM
Saw the first post on the front page and it was great. I have wanted to get educated on the early WCW.

Great write up, I felt like I had a pretty good grasp on the history of wrestling from the 80's to now, so I am pretty disgusted in the fact the WWE had me to believe Wrestlemania was the first of its kind for PPV. I wish Flair kept the Trumpet entrance for big events that sounds great. :yes:

OD50
June 22nd, 2013, 2:53 AM
WrestleMania wasn't even the first WWF PPV.

Bill Kazmaier/Jushin Liger.. Most random team ever. :lol:

LOCONUT
June 22nd, 2013, 4:14 AM
The first one of these is going up on the main page today. So eyes open, kids.

Love the forum linking. :yes:

The Law
June 23rd, 2013, 3:17 PM
SuperBrawl 1992
February 29, 1992
Milwaukee Theater at the MECCA
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Welcome to SuperBrawl 1992! We last left with Sting winning the inaugural Battlebowl at Starrcade. In doing so, he defeated Lex Luger and positioned himself as the obvious top contender for Luger's WCW Championship. He would get his shot at this event, in a match-up that fans had been looking forward to for years. Beyond that, the Dangerous Alliance of Paul E. Dangerously, Rick Rude, Steve Austin, Arn Anderson, Larry Zbyszko, and Bobby Eaton were continuing to dominate the midcard. Rude was the United States Champion, Austin the Television Champion, and Anderson and Eaton the tag team champions. Also, this is the first pay-per-view after Jim Herd was fired as Executive Vice President. His tenure had been a rocky one, and he had driven away several major stars, including Ric Flair. I don't think anyone was sad to see him go. His successor was Kip Frey, whose is best known for instituting a bonus system that paid out to the wrestlers he felt had put in the most effort in their match on a particular night. Watching this show, it definitely seems like that had an effect. Anyway, let's get to the action:

Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jesse Ventura, making his first WCW pay-per-view appearance.

WCW Light Heavyweight Championship: Jushin Liger (c) vs. Brian Pillman

Alright, that's a good way to start a show. Nice pops for both guys. The crowd is definitely anticipating this one. They both fly around the ring to start with neither getting an advantage. Pillman applies an Armbar. Pillman gets shot to the corner, but slings and hits a Headscissor. Liger rolls to the floor and gets hit with a Baseball Slide. Liger takes down Pillman and gets a Toe Hold. Pillman escapes and shoots Liger to the corner, but he jumps up top and hits a Moonsault! Pillman gets a Snapmare and applies a modified Abdominal Stretch. He transitions into a Headscissor. Liger frees himself and tries for the Surfboard, but Liger gets out. Liger sends Pillman to the corner and hits a Dropkick. Pillman gets a Crucifix for a two count. Liger gets a Sunset Flip for two. Big Back Suplex by Pillman. Another two count. Pillman misses a charge and Liger works on the knee. Liger locks on a Figure Four! I guess he's allowed to do that since Flair is in the WWF at this point. Pillman fights and manages to turn it over, but Liger rolls them over again. They get to the ropes.

Liger zeroes in on the knee. Pillman nails an Enziguri, but his leg is too hurt to get up. He charges Liger, but gets Backdropped to the floor. Liger comes off the top rope with a Somersault Splash to the floor! Wow. Pillman limps to the ring apron. They fight over Suplex attempts until Pillman slams Liger's head into the turnbuckle. He comes off the top with a Springboard Clothesline! Pillman goes to the apron and Suplexes Pillman over the top to the floor! Ventura puts this over as one of the greatest matches he's ever seen, and he's not lying. Pillman hits a Plancha to the floor. Pillman tries a dive from the apron, but ends up impaling himself on the guardrail. Back in the ring, Pillman hits a picture perfect Dropkick. He goes to the top and he goes for a Missile Dropkick. Liger tries a Dropkick of his own, and they both hit. Both men down. They make their way up and Pillman gets a Powerslam. German Suplex by Liger for a very close nearfall. Liger takes Pillman up to the top rope, but Pillman counters the Superplex attempt and drops him on his face. Pillman hits a Crossbody for another close nearfall. This 1992 crowd has never seen a match anything like this. Pillman sends Liger into the ropes and telegraphs a Backdrop. Liger counters with a Powerbomb! That gets another two count. Liger tries another Powerbomb, but Pillman counters with a pinning combination that I can't even begin to describe. That gets two. Liger telegraphs a Backdrop and gets DDTed. Liger grabs the rope to break up the pin. They run the ropes and do a Double KO. Pillman rolls to the apron and goes up top. Liger crotches him.

Liger Superplexes Pillman for another two count. Wow. Liger goes to the top and misses a Splash. Pillman takes advantage and cradles him for the pin at 16:57.

Result: Brian Pillman by pinfall (New WCW Light Heavyweight Champion)

Analysis: *****. Holy shit. That's the best opening match I've ever seen. This is a match years ahead of its time. How many Americans had ever seen that kind of action at this point? They just went all out. Non-stop action for 17 minutes. Not really a story beyond both guys putting everything they had into it to try to get the win. The crowd showed great respect for both guys and were totally won over by the end of the match. In a few years, Rey Mysterio and company would be putting on similar matches routinely, but this was years ahead of its time. There's a reason they picked these two guys to wrestle the first match in Nitro history a few years after this.

Marcus Bagwell vs. Terrance Taylor

Don't think these guys are going to be able to match the opener. The savvy veteran Taylor takes on the enthusiastic rookie Bagwell. We get comments from Taylor before the match, where he expresses disdain for Bagwell. Some basic stuff ends with Bagwell hitting a Hip Toss. Shoves and punches follow. They fight out to the ramp and Bagwell hits an Inverted Atomic Drop, followed by an Atomic Drop, followed by a Clothesline back into the ring. Bagwell goes to the top and hits a Cross Body for two. Taylor bails. Back in, Taylor tries a Suplex but gets caught in a Sleeper. Taylor gets the ropes and dumps Bagwell to the floor. Taylor beats up Bagwell on the floor. Back in, Taylor counters a Backdrop attempt with a Gutwrench Powerbomb. Ventura makes a comment about Bagwell crying for his mother that is oddly prescient. Taylor hits a top rope Splash for a two count. Bagwell counters a Piledriver attempt with a Backdrop. Bagwell follows that with a roll-up for the pin at 7:38.

Result: Marcus Bagwell by pinfall

Analysis: **1/4. Basic match. Good heat, good job working the crowd by Taylor.

Missy Hyatt interviews Harley Race, who says Luger is ready to go.

Ron Simmons vs. Cactus Jack

Slugfest to start. Cactus charges Simmons but gets hung up into the ropes. Simmons slams Cactus into the guardrail. Ventura points out that Simmons is being a dick, and JR can't really disagree. Cactus counters a charge with a back elbow. He follows that with a Double Arm DDT. Cactus gets a Leg Drop for a two count. He throws Simmons to the floor and slams him into the guardrail. He slams Simmons and drops the elbow from the second rope. Back in, Simmons misses a Dropkick. Simmons escapes a Chinlock and hits a Dropkick. He charges, but misses and flies out onto the ramp. Cactus follows him and gets hit with a Spinebuster on the ramp. Back in the ring, Cactus rakes the eyes and hits a Bulldog. He goes to the second rope and comes off, but Simmons catches him with a Powerslam for the pin at 6:34.

Result: Ron Simmons by pinfall

Analysis: **1/2. Fun brawl.

Abdullah the Butcher hits the ring and jumps Simmons. He beats him down with his giant stick. Junkyard Dog hits the ring and drives Cactus and Abdullah from the ring. JR throws in some uncomfortable references to JYD "being ready to street fight, just like in the hood."

Van Hammer and Tom Zenk vs. Vinnie Vegas and Richard Morton

Vinnie Vegas is Kevin Nash, repackaged with another terrible gimmick. He really couldn't catch a break in his first run. Ventura comments that "there ain't no money in bodybuilding" a shot at the fact that Vince McMahon was starting a bodybuilding company. Of course, Luger was leaving after this show to join it. I love Ventura. Hammer and Morton start. Unsurprisingly, Morton gets the crap beaten out of him. Even as a heel, he's still Ricky Morton. Nash tags in and gets hit with an Arm Drag. Nash is wrestling in dress pants, a dress shirt, and suspenders. He looks completely ridiculous. Nash tries a leap frog(!), Hammer gets him with a Headbutt to the groin. Wow, he really got up there. Nash reverses a ten punch by running Hammer into the opposite turnbuckle. Zenk tags in and goes up top. He hits a Missile Dropkick. Morton tags in and gets Clotheslined over the top to the floor. Zenk follows that with a Plancha to the floor.

Morton gets back in the ring in tags in Nash. Hammer tags in. Nash gets a Side Suplex. Morton tags in and, for perhaps the first time in his life, works a heat segment. Nash tags in, hits a big boot, and riles up the crowd with a dice rolling motion. I'm not being sarcastic when I say I can't believe WCW didn't see potential in him. He's flying around the ring here and has obvious charisma. Nash hits a diving Shoulderblock. Him and Morton actually make a pretty good tag team. Hammer hits a shoulderblock and manages to tag in Zenk. Zenk hits a Powerslam, then reverses a corner charge into a Sunset Flip for the pin at 12:01.

Result: Van Hammer and Tom Zenk by pinfall

Analysis: ***. That was shockingly good. Everyone was working hard. It's incredible how much better Nash looked here than in his last match on PPV (against Ron Simmons at Great American Bash last year).

Steve Austin and Larry Zbyszko vs. Barry Windham and Dustin Rhodes

Austin and Zbyszko are both members of the Dangerous Alliance. This is Windham's first PPV match since having his hand broken by Zbyszko and Arn Anderson at Halloween Havoc last year. Rhodes fought Austin to a time limit draw for the Television Title at Halloween Havoc, so plenty of history here. All four guys brawl to start with the faces getting the advantage. Windham and Zbyszko brawl on the ramp while Austin and Rhodes fight in the ring. After things calm down, Austin and Rhodes start the match. Austin comes off the top and gets caught with a Lariat. He rolls outside to catch his breath. Windham tags in. He Dropkicks Austin and then forces him to tag in Zbyszko. They end up out on the ramp, where Zbyszko tries a Piledriver but gets Backdropped. They head back to the ring where Windham hits a DDT. Rhodes tags in and he and Windham team up for a Double Backdrop. He goes to work on Zbyszko's arm. Windham tags in and hits a Gutwrench Suplex. He tries a Piledriver, but Austin Clotheslines him. Zbyszko throws Windham over the top behind the referee's back.

Zbyszko Atomic Drops Windham on the railing. Ouch. Austin tags in and goes to work on Windham. Austin and Zbyszko tag in and out, both controlling Windham. Windham manages a Back Suplex out of a Headlock, but can't make the tag. Ventura zings JR's Oklahoma Sooners, saying their players are the only guys take a pay cut when they go from college to the NFL. JR doesn't really have any response, as Oklahoma was notorious dirty at the time. Zbyzsko locks on a Sleeper. Windham escapes with a Jawbreaker. They do a Double KO and both men make tags. Rhodes gets an Inverted Atomic Drop and follows it with a Dropkick. Rhodes was really fluid and technically sound at this point, but he hadn't developed the in-ring personality that would later make him famous as Goldust. Austin levels Rhodes with a Clothesline and he does the full 360 spin sell. Zbyszko tags in. I enjoy watching him work-he just comes off as very nasty in the ring. It looks like he's really trying to hurt his opponent. Rhodes telegraphs a Backdrop and gets hit with a DDT.

Rhodes goes after Madusa and get cut off by Austin on the ramp. Austin gets a Chinlock back in the ring. Dustin gets out and hits a Crossbody. Austin comes back with a Clothesline and tags in Zbyszko. He works over Rhodes. Austin tags back in and continues the heat segment. Austin charges Rhodes, who drops him on the top rope. Rhodes tags in Windham! He lights up Zbyszko with right hands. Windham gets Zbyszko up on the top rope, but Larry throws him off. Rhodes knocks Zbyzsko off the top rope as Windham goes up to the opposite turnbuckle. Windham comes off with a Flying Clothesline and gets the pin at 18:23.

Result: Barry Windham and Dustin Rhodes by pinfall

Analysis: ****. Awesome tag match. Austin was a much better tag wrestler than people remember. Him and Zbyszko were textbook heels here, ruthlessly working over both babyfaces. Windham and Rhodes did a great job of engaging the crowd in their comebacks. Forgotten gem right here.

WCW World Tag Team Championship: Arn Anderson and Bobby Eaton (c) vs. The Steiner Brothers

Alright, it's another Dangerous Alliance tag match. Anderson and Eaton beat Ricky Steamboat and Dustin Rhodes to win the belts in January. Steamboat and Rhodes had won the belts from Anderson and Larry Zbyzsko, who won a tournament for the vacant belts after the Steiners were stripped of them due to Scott's bicep injury. This is the Steiner's first championship opportunity since then. Paul E. Dangerously accompanies Anderson and Eaton to the ring. These are four of the greatest tag team wrestlers in history, so my expectations are pretty high here.

Dangerously is ejected right off the bat. The crowd loves that. Eaton and Scott start off. Scott throws him around. Scott telegraphs a Backdrop and gets hit with a Neckbreaker. He goes to the top. Eaton tries an Ax Handle, but Scott catches him and hits a Belly to Belly Suplex. Arn tags in, as does Rick. Anderson tries a leap frog and gets Powerslammed. Scott tags in, leading Eaton to hit the ring. Eaton and Anderson both get Clotheslined over the top rope by Rick. Long stalling session follows. Finally, Arn gets back in the ring. He throws Scott to the floor, but his attempts to double team out there end with him and Eaton being slammed head-first into each other. Scott applies a Chinlock on Anderson inside the ring. Scott gets baited outside by Eaton, so he goes out and hits a Tilt-a-Whirl Slam on the ramp. Wow. Scott applies a Camel Clutch. Of course, that would become his finisher during his singles run. Rick and Scott hit the Doomsday Device on Eaton while the referee is distracted. Rick goes to the top and comes off, but Eaton gets him with a low blow. That allows Anderson to start the heat segment. Scott breaks that up by coming in and hitting a Belly to Belly Suplex.

Anderson comes off the second rope and gets hit with a Lariat. Scott tags in and hits a Backdrop. He Suplexes Arn, but ends up getting thrown into Eaton by Anderson. Eaton and Anderson work on Scott. Eaton hits a Knee Drop from the top rope. Anderson tags in and DDTs Scott. Anderson applies a Boston Crab and tags in Eaton. Eaton grabs a Chinlock. Scott gets thrown onto the ramp, where Eaton and Anderson team up to hit the Rocket Launcher. Back in the ring, Scott hits a desperation Clothesline and tags in Rick. Rick lights up both Anderson and Eaton. Rick goes for a Superplex, but Arn stops him and sets him up in the Electric Chair. Doomsday Device by Eaton, but it turns out Rick caught him and turns it into a pin! Wow, never seen that before. Rick hits the Steiner Bulldog on Arn, but the pin gets broken up. Arn gets powder from Madusa and throws it in Rick's eyes. He's blinded, so he accidentally grabs the referee and Suplexes him. He then throws Anderson to the floor. Scott hits his Double Underhook Powerbomb. Scott hits the Frankensteiner on Eaton for the pin at 20:06.

The referees huddle for several minutes and end up ruling that it's a disqualification because Rick attacked the referee and threw Anderson over the top rope. The Steiners would get the belts a few weeks later at a house show.

Result: Arn Anderson and Bobby Eaton by disqualification

Analysis: ***3/4. Really good match. The Steiners weren't quite at the top of their games here, but it was still very good.

WCW United States Championship: Rick Rude (c) vs. Ricky Steamboat

Rude comes down the ramp cutting his typical pre-match promo and the heat is so loud you can barely hear him. Steamboat is out with a masked ninja accompanying him. Steamboat starts fast with chops and a Face Driver. Steamboat works on Rude's arm. He ends up wrapping it around the ring post. Rude fights his way out of an Armbar and pounds on Steamboat in the corner. Steamboat goes right back to the arm. He Hammerlocks the arm and Body Slams Rude. Always loved that move. Steamboat gets a Body Press for two. Arm Drag, Armbar. Rude fights out and hits a Cross Body. I think they were supposed to go over the ropes, but the ropes are so tight that it doesn't happen. On the outside, Rude drops Steamboat on the guardrail. Up on the apron Rude hits some forearms. He hurts his arm more in doing that. Back in the ring Rude hits a Clothesline, again hurting his arm. Rude applies a Chinlock. Steamboat gets out and Rude drops him on the top rope. Rude hits a Piledriver. That gets a two count. Rude Back Suplexes Steamboat. Another Chinlock from Rude. Steamboat gets out with a Kneebreaker. He locks on the Figure Four. Rude gets out and drops Steamboat with a Clothesline to the back of the head. Rude goes up top and hits a big fist. He flexes, but only with his uninjured arm. Rude goes back up top and hits a forearm to the back of the head. Another Chinlock from Rude. He transitions that into a Camel Clutch. Steamboat lifts him into an Electric Chair Drop! Wow.

They run the ropes and do a Double KO. Rude gets a Sleeper and locks the legs in. Steamboat's arm drops twice, but he fights his way out. Steamboat locks in a Sleeper of his own. Rude gets out with a Jawbreaker. Rude goes to the top, but Steamboat crotches him. Superplex by Steamboat! Rude gets out at two. Steamboat drops Rude with a kick to the back and mocks his hip-gyrating dance. Steamboat gets a Flapjack and goes up top. He hits the Flying Chop! He goes to the top rope again. As he does, the ninja climbs up on the apron and smacks Steamboat in the head with a cellphone. Dangerously was in the ninja costume! Nice twist. He had been banned from ringside. Rude gets the pin to retain at 19:57.

Result: Rick Rude by pinfall

Analysis: ****. I really enjoyed that. It was definitely methodical, but they both did a good job of selling. Crowd was absolutely rocking by the end. Everyone remembers Rude for his character, look, and promos, but I don't think he gets enough credit as a worker.

WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Lex Luger (c) vs. Sting

Fans have been anticipating this one for years. Sting comes out with a big entrance, complete with fireworks and smoke. Luger is out second with Harley Race. Staredown and trash talk to start. Pretty good atmosphere as the crowd cheers all through the several minutes of jawing. Luger hammers Sting early. He misses a charge and Sting hits the Stinger Splash. Luger answers that with a Clothesline. Powerslam by Luger. He signals for the Torture Rack, but Sting drops out and gets a Back Suplex. Sting Racks Luger! Sting counters a Backdrop attempt with a jumping DDT. Luger rolls outside. Sting follows him out and puts him into the guardrail. Back in the ring, Sting gets a Backdrop and applies the Scorpion Deathlock. Luger quickly gets the rope. He takes over with some shots to the ribs. Sting chokes Luger and gets hit with a low blow. Luger hits an Inverted Atomic Drop. He follows that with a Military Press. Luger goes the for the Attitude Adjustment and hits it. Sting kicks out at two. Sting fights back with right hands and a Face Buster. Sting drops Luger on the top rope. Sting rakes the back. Sting misses a charges and falls to the floor.

Race tries a Piledriver behind the referee's back. Sting Backdrops out of it. He climbs to the top rope and hits a Flying Bodypress to get the win and become new WCW Champion at 13:02.

Result: Sting by pinfall (New WCW Champion)

Analysis: **1/2. Kind of a phoned-in performance from Luger. He was on his way out of the company to join Vince McMahon's disastrous World Bodybuilding Federation. He wouldn't return to the company until 1995.

Sting celebrates with the belt as the show ends.

Overall: Great show. Not a single bad match on the entire show. Everybody worked hard, everyone managed to do something decent. The main event wasn't great, but the stuff on the undercard more than made up for it.

Grade: A

JRSlim21
June 23rd, 2013, 3:43 PM
I remember watching WCW Saturday Night and going "sure why not?" as a kid. Then Chamber of Horrors came on and it appealed to the "I'll watch anything since I'm a kid" side of me. I remember watching Pillman/Liger and thinking "Pillman is the greatest." Probably the best series of matches to watch as a kid. While they were no Sting (he's the greatest, duh!) they were just flat out amazing.

The Law
June 23rd, 2013, 11:25 PM
I comment on this in the reviews, but it's shocking how bad JR and Ventura were together. They're two of the best wrestling announcers ever, but they just didn't mesh at all. JR had only briefly worked with Heyman, and other than that had always been with generic babyface announcers before this. He wouldn't sell any of Ventura's jokes, wouldn't banter with him, and instead just sat there silently whenever Ventura made a crack. They're still pretty enjoyable to listen to because they're both so good as individuals, but it's really disappointing that they worked together so poorly.

LOCONUT
June 23rd, 2013, 11:32 PM
Ventura really needs to ditch politics and get back to doing color.

The Law
June 24th, 2013, 11:33 AM
WrestleWar 1992: War Games
May 17, 1992
Jacksonville Memorial Coliseum
Jacksonville, Florida

Welcome to the 1992 edition of WrestleWar! We last left off with Sting winning his second WCW Championship by defeating Lex Luger. With Luger gone, it was only logical that Sting continue his feud with the Dangerous Alliance. To that end, the main event of this show is a classic WarGames match between "Sting's Squadron" and the Dangerous Alliance. Joining Sting on his team will be Barry Windham, Dustin Rhodes, Ricky Steamboat, and Nikita Koloff. The Dangerous Alliance consists of Rick Rude, Arn Anderson, Larry Zbyszko, Steve Austin, and Bobby Eaton. That should be a good one.

Jim Ross and Jesse Ventura are our hosts tonight.

WCW United States Tag Team Championship: Terry Taylor and Greg Valentine (c) vs. The Fabulous Freebirds

These belts had really fallen in prestige after the tag team mass exodus of the last few years. This would be the last time they were defended on pay-per-view before being deactivated. Valentine had a short run in WCW here, only about six months. This is debut of the Freebird's new entrance theme, "I'm a Freebird, What's Your Excuse?" Not as good as "Badstreet, USA" in my opinion. The Birds spend the early part of the match working the arm of both Taylor and Valentine. They also do a decent amount of cheating, despite being faces. Taylor fights out of an Armbar and throws Hayes onto the ramp. He tries a Piledriver but ends up getting Backdropped back into the ring. Garvin gets thrown to the floor and Valentine beats on him. Heat segment on Garvin ensues. Eventually, Garvin fights out of a Chinlock and they do a Double KO. That leads to a hot tag to Hayes, who comes in and cleans house. Hayes goes for the DDT on Valentine, but Taylor breaks it up. Valentine tries a Splash, but Hayes gets his knees up. Taylor tags in and hits a Gutwrench Powerbomb for a two count. Nice looking move there. Valentine tags in and does some leg work. He goes for the Figure Four, but Garvin breaks it up. Hayes manages to hit a big left hand on Taylor and tag in Garvin. Garvin cleans house and hits the DDT on Taylor for the pin at 16:01.

Result: Freebirds by pinfall (New WCW United States Tag Team Champions)

Analysis: **3/4. A formulaic tag match, but an especially hot and well-executed one at that.

Johnny B. Badd vs. Tracy Smothers

Badd has now turned face. He controls the early portion of the match with takedowns. He does some arm work. Smothers blocks a corner charge and hits a Dropkick to take over. Smothers follows that with some generic heel tactics (back rake, grinding face into the ropes). Smothers goes to the top rope and hits a Diving Elbow. Smothers goes up top again and hits a Body Press. Badd rolls through into a cradle for a two count. Smothers applies a Chinlock. Badd fights his way out and connects with a high knee. Badd hits a Powerslam. He goes to the top and connects with a Sunset Flip for two. Badd hits a left-handed knockout punch for the pin at 7:03.

Result: Johnny B. Badd by pinfall

Analysis: *1/2. Standard match. Not a ton of heat or action.

Missy Hyatt interviews the Freebirds

Scotty Flamingo vs. Marcus Bagwell

Scotty Flamingo is a very young, very clean looking Raven. These guys are both in the Light Heavyweight division. Give it a few years and that would definitely not be the case. They exchange face slaps until Flamingo tackles Bagwell and pummels him. Bagwell hits a Belly to Back Suplex. Bagwell counters a Flamingo Suplex attempt with a Vertical Suplex of his own. Flamingo throws Bagwell to the floor. Back in the ring, Flamingo hits a sloppy Back Suplex. Flamingo goes to the second rope and hits a fist drop. Long series of Chinlocks by Flamingo follows. Flamingo hits a Crossbody and they both go over the top. Back in the ring, Bagwell hits a Hip Toss and a Clothesline. Bagwell goes to the second rope and connects with a Double Ax Handle. Bagwell hits a Fisherman Suplex, but Flamingo grabs the rope. Flamingo reverses a Bagwell cradle into a pinning combination of his own and grabs the tights for the win at 7:11.

Result: Scotty Flamingo by pinfall

Analysis: *1/2. Basic match. Both guys were pretty green and stuck to the basics.

Ron Simmons and Junkyard Dog vs. Cactus Jack and Mr. Hughes

Cactus jumps JYD during his entrance. They brawl down on the floor and Cactus drops the signature Cactus Jack Elbow Drop from the ramp to the floor. After officials carry JYD to the back Simmons hits the ring and Clotheslines both Cactus and Hughes. Cactus stays on the floor and it's apparently going to be Simmons vs. Hughes one-on-one. Simmons hits Hughes with a Hip Toss and he stalls down on the floor. Hughes hits some punches and clubs. That goes on for several minutes. Simmons breaks up the heat segment with a Sunset Flip, but then Hughes goes back to work. Simmons gets a Hip Toss. More clubs from Hughes. Hughes misses a straddle and gets Clotheslined. Simmons hits the Spinebuster for the pin at 5:27.

Result: Ron Simmons by pinfall

Analysis: 1/2*. Pretty dull. Just lots of Mr. Hughes' boring offense.

The Super Invader vs. Todd Champion

Super Invader is Ray Fernandez, best known as Hercules from the WWF. Harley Race needed someone new to manage after Luger left, so they stuck him with Invader. Invader pounds on Champion to start. Invader utilizes various martial arts strikes. He hits a few slams. No offense from Champion so far. Chinlock from Invader. Invader hits a Body Slam and comes off the top rope, but Champion gets his foot up. Champion gets dropped on the top rope, then Powerbombed at pinned at 5:26.

Result: Super Invader by pinfall

Analysis: 1/4*. Long squash. The quarter star is for Invader's Powerbomb.

Big Josh vs. Richard Morton

Josh overpowers Morton to start. Morton gets a cheap shot and a knee lift. Josh keeps pounding on Morton. Morton gets an Inverted Atomic Drop. Morton working a heat segment seems very strange. It turns out he's not very good at it. Josh manages a Scoop Slam. Morton continues to work on Josh's arm. Josh hits a Belly to Belly Suplex. Double Underhook Suplex by Josh. Morton comes off the second rope, but Josh catches him with an Inverted Atomic Drop. Josh hits a running Butt Splash and gets the pin at 7:33.

Result: Big Josh by pinfall

Analysis: 1/2*. Boring. Morton makes a terrible heel.

WCW Light Heavyweight Championship: Brian Pillman (c) vs. The Z Man

These guys are former tag partners. Both are babyfaces, but Zenk seems to be jealous of Pillman's singles career success. Ventura keeps asking Ross who will resort to cheating first. They exchange fast-paced offense to start. Pillman gets Zenk on the mat and works on his arm. They're doing a good job of playing up how well they know each other: simultaneous Dropkicks, stereo Arm Drags, lots of counters. Zenk works on Pillman's arm. Pillman gets a nice Head Scissor Takeover and goes to work on Zenk's arm. Zenk gets a series of two counts from pinning combinations, then Pillman smacks him across the face. Pillman works a Toe Hold. Pillman misses a Senton Splash, which re-aggravates a back injury. Zenk goes to work on the back with a Vertical Suplex. He puts his knees into Pillman's back. Zenk gets a Backbreaker and tries a Vader Bomb, but Pillman gets his knees up. Pillman goes after Zenk's leg with another Toe Hold. Very clear story developing here. Half Crab from Pillman. Zenk gets the ropes, then misses a knee into the corner. Pillman applies the Figure Four! He and Zenk slap each other while the hold is on. Zenk manages to turn the hold over, reversing the pressure. Pillman gets the ropes.

Zenk should have the advantage now, as Pillman has both a bad back and a bad knee. Pillman tries a Body Press but get Powerslammed. Pillman gets a Crucifix for a near fall. Ventura begs for someone to cheat. Pillman gets Zenk on the top rope, but Zenk counters the Superplex and throws Pillman off. Cross Body from the top rope by Zenk gets a two count. They both try simultaneous leap frogs and knock heads. Zenk takes over with a Back Drop. Pillman tries to send Zenk to the ropes, but Zenk's knee gives out. Pillman instead goes to the top rope, but it turns out Zenk was playing possum and he hits a big kick while Pillman is on the way down. Zenk goes to the top and tries a Missile Dropkick, but Pillman dodges and then rolls Zenk up with a Jackknife Cover for the pin at 15:27.

Result: Brian Pillman by pinfall

Analysis: ****. Great work. Good combination of fast-paced offense, psychology, mat work, and storytelling. Ventura and Ross did a good job teasing a heel turn by one of them, though it didn't happen.

The Steiner Brothers vs. Tatsumi Fujinami and Takayuki Iizuka

The Steiners are WCW Tag Team Champions, but their titles aren't on the line here. Instead, it's for a shot at the IWGP Tag Team Titles. Scott and Fujinami start off. Ventura makes some comments about Japanese automakers displacing American autoworkers. Nice foreshadow of his future political career there. Scott manages a pair of takedowns early. Scott botches a Fallaway Slam... but then Iizuka gets in the ring and he hits him with a Standing Moonsault Slam. That needs to be seen to be believed. He decks Fujinami with a Steinerline. Iizuka tags in. He gets a Spear into the corner and slams Scott. Second rope Elbow Drop, followed by a Somersault Plancha from the top! Iizuka locks in a Boston Crab. He follows that with a Jackknife Cover. Scott answers with his signature Double Underhook Powerbomb. He then puts Iizuka on his shoulder like he's going for the Dominator, but instead tags Rick, who drops an Elbow from the top rope! Wow, never seen that before.

Fujinami tags in and gets hit with a brutal German Suplex by Rick. Landed right on his shoulders as he turned over. Scott tags in and locks on a Single Crab. Fujinami makes it to the ropes. Rick tags in. Fujinami gets him up in the Electric Chair and Iizuka comes from the top rope with a Body Press. Nice variation of the Doomsday Device there. Except then it turns out Rick caught him and it ends up being a slam. Holy crap. Fujinami tags in and works on Rick's legs. Iizuka tags in and continues the leg work. Rick powers out and tags in Scott. Scott whips Iizuka to the ropes and hits a Tilt-a-Whirl Slam. He follows that with a big Belly to Belly Suplex. Rick tags in and wrenches Iizuka's leg. Scott tags in and goes with a Pump Handle Slam. Scott gets a very cool pinning combination, but Iizuka manages to tag out. Fujinami gets Scott from behind, then nails Rick to trigger a pier six brawl. The referee clears the ring and Fujinami locks in an Abdominal Stretch. Scott gets out and Rick tags in. Fujinami drives Rick into the corner and tags Iizuka. Rick hits a Belly to Belly Suplex. He tags in Scott.

Fujinami tags in. Scott manages to hit a Double Japanese Arm Drag on both men and then Rick comes off the top rope with a Double Flying Clothesline. Scott goes for a Superplex on Iizuka but gets thrown off the top. German Suplex by Iizuka. He tags in Fujinami. Spike Piledriver on Scott! Missile Dropkick by Iizuka. Fujinami applies a Dragon Sleeper, a move he invented. Scott gets the ropes. They do a Double KO and both make tags. Belly to Belly Suplex by Rick, but the count is broken up by Fujinami. Rick hits Iizuka with a Super Belly to Belly Suplex that shakes the ring! That's enough for the pin at 20:01.

Result: Steiner Brothers by pinfall

Analysis: ****. Wow. Awesome tag match. Physical and intense. Those guys just pounded on each other. All kinds of slams and stiff shots throughout the match. I love that they kept trading the advantage instead of doing a typical formula.

WarGames: The Dangerous Alliance (Rick Rude, Arn Anderson, Larry Zbyszko, Steve Austin, and Bobby Eaton) vs. Sting's Squadron (Sting, Barry Windham, Ricky Steamboat, Dustin Rhodes, and Nikita Koloff)

Oh boy. I've heard awesome things about this match. We'll see if it lives up to those expectations. I'm not going to go over the rules of the match again. Google it if you don't know how it works. Paul E. Dangerously and Madusa accompany the Dangerous Alliance. Austin and Windham kick things off for their respective teams. Windham had recently defeated Austin to win the Television Title. Windham tries a Pildriver but gets Backdropped. Windham puts Austin into the cage and then DDTs him. Austin Clotheslines Windham from one ring into the other. Austin tries to do a swinging kick while holding the top of the cage, but ends up getting slammed. Windham puts Austin into the cage and grinds his face. Austin is busted open. That didn't take long. The ring announcer announces one minute left in the first period. Windham drags Austin to the camera, tells him to "smile for momma" and bites his forehead. Wow. The Alliance win the coin toss and Rick Rude enters the match. He catches Windham from behind and pounds on him. The intensity and physicality of this match is as impressive as any I've seen before. Austin hits Windham with a Clothesline from the second rope. Austin and Rude put Windham into the cage. Rude applies a Chinlock as Steamboat enters the match.

Steamboat goes into a frenzy and hits DDTs on Austin and Rude. Steamboat hits a Hurricanrana on Rude and pummels him. Arn Anderson is the next man in. He DDTs Windham. He hits Steamboat with a HUGE Spinebuster. Anderson and Rude lock a Double Boston Crab on Steamboat. Windham breaks it up but ends up getting worked on by Rude and Anderson. Rude Piledrives Steamboat. JR: "This looks like a car wreck on the interstate." He's right about that. Dustin Rhodes enters the match. He lights up Austin and Anderson. Meanwhile, Steamboat has the Boston Crab on Rude in the other ring. Rhodes gets Austin with an Electric Chair Drop. Windham traps Anderson's head between the two rings. Never seen that before. Steamboat now has Rude in a Figure Four. Everybody is working here, even when the camera isn't on them. Larry Zbyszko is the next entrant. Rhodes meets him at the door and beats him down. Madusa climbs up onto the roof of the cage and drops Dangerously's cellphone into the ring. Anderson nails all of the faces with it. Meanwhile, Sting climbs to the top of the cage and sends Madusa scurrying back to the floor.

Heels firmly in control now. Sting enters the match. He explodes with offense on the entire heel team. He Military Presses Rude into the roof, then Backdrops Austin into the cage wall. Sting grinds Anderson's face into the cage. It's just a mess in there, bodies are flying everywhere. Eaton enters the match. That's the entire Dangerous Alliance. There is blood everywhere. Eaton picks over the exhausted face team. Zbyszko and Rude loosen one of the turnbuckles. Koloff enters the match and the Match Beyond begins.

Nikita puts Anderson into the cage and the sound reverberates through the arena. Sting and Nikita level Anderson and Austin with Clotheslines. Crowd is going absolutely wild now. Rude is still working on the turnbuckle. Sting has Anderson in the Scorpion Deathlock, but Eaton breaks it up. The turnbuckle has now been removed completely from the post. Windham gets Zbyzszko in the Figure Four. Rude breaks it up. Austin gets his face slammed into the turnbuckle by Nikita and blood flies everywhere. Dustin misses a top rope Elbow Drop. Zbyzsko gets the steal hook from the turnbuckle and prepares to use it on Sting. Eaton holds Sting in place. Zbyzsko swings, but Sting ducks and he hits Eaton in the shoulder. Sting locks Eaton in an Armbar on his injured arm and he gives up at 23:27.

Result: Sting's Squadron by submission

Analysis: *****. Amazing match. Just absolute pure brutality. Everyone worked with tremendous intensity. It felt like a riot going on in the ring. There was blood, submissions, stiff work. The crowd was hot, there was a great storyline, and all ten of those guys went after it. It seemed like you were constantly catching something interesting going on in the background of the shot, whereas these matches usually feature two guys working at a time and everyone else stalling. That's probably the greatest WarGames match ever and one of the best wrestling matches I've ever seen. If you've never seen this, you should absolutely look it up.

Dangerously berates Zbyzsko for screwing up. They tease that Larry's about to get beat-up, but nothing comes of it.

Overall: Great show. There's a lot of useless filler on the undercard, but the last three matches were all excellent. As I've said before, a show really rises and falls with its main event, and in this case the main event is absolutely amazing. The Steiners tag match and Pillman/Zenk were also excellent. Nothing else is all that notable, although the Freebirds match was fun. The bad stuff was kept short so that most of the show was taken up by great matches. I highly recommend this show to anyone out there who likes wrestling. That's back-to-back excellent shows for WCW, a nice recovery from their post-Flair funk in 1991. Things are going to keep rolling at Beach Blast next month, as Sting battles Cactus Jack and Ricky Steamboat collides with Rick Rude in a 30 minute Iron Man Match for the United States Championship. Stick around, things are heating up down south.

Grade: A

LOCONUT
June 24th, 2013, 1:50 PM
Best thread ever. Thanks again.

Fanny
June 24th, 2013, 2:53 PM
it really is a top, top thread and great content for the main page - more contributions like this from other posters on the forums, put out on the main page and linking back to the boards is such a great step forward. Well done The law :yes:

Cewsh
June 24th, 2013, 2:55 PM
I'm always looking for more too, in case anyone gets inspired by this thread. We have Cewsh Reviews on Wednesday, Defrost Reviews on Thursday and WCW Flashbacks on Friday, not to mention the Mailbag and the WWF Flashbacks, which don't link to the forums, but are still cool features.

Fanny
June 24th, 2013, 2:58 PM
link them to the forums you piece of shit

Fanny
June 24th, 2013, 2:59 PM
actually that's not a bad idea - you could have a Mailbag thread each week to discuss that week's mailbag post on the main page. You're welcome.

:cool:

Cewsh
June 24th, 2013, 3:09 PM
link them to the forums you piece of shit

I DON'T DO THE WWE FLASHBACKS AND I DON'T POST THE MAILBAGS SO THERE. I AM YELLING.


actually that's not a bad idea - you could have a Mailbag thread each week to discuss that week's mailbag post on the main page. You're welcome.

:cool:

That actually is an interesting idea, though I don't know how much it would get used.

Fanny
June 24th, 2013, 3:10 PM
it's an amazing idea and it would get used loads. There's your answer.

Cewsh
June 24th, 2013, 3:11 PM
I'm holding you to that. If nobody posts in there, you're required to ask a new question every day FOREVER.

Fanny
June 24th, 2013, 3:34 PM
oh, I will. LIKE THIS

"So when you said that Val Venis, while being a solid company workhorse, could never legitimately had a run at main event level, was that purely taking into account his pornstar gimmick of the time, the fact that he'd always be carrying that as baggage, or from a purely in-ring skill and moveset point of view? Because there's no question of his abilities on the stick, surely."

Still got it.

Cewsh
June 24th, 2013, 3:44 PM
It's because his face was stupid.

The Law
June 26th, 2013, 11:34 AM
Beach Blast 1992
June 20, 1992
Mobile Civic Center
Mobile, Alabama

Welcome to Beach Blast 1992! WrestleWar 1992 was the culmination of the Dangerous Alliance storyline, as they were defeated by Sting's Squadron in a brutal WarGames match. With no new contender immediately available for Sting's title, WCW decided to have Sting blowoff his long-running feud with Cactus Jack. Back at Clash of the Champions in November, Cactus Jack was paid off by Lex Luger to attack Sting. They've been feuding on and off ever since, and tonight is the final battle in a Falls Count Anywhere match. Rick Rude will defend the United States Championship against Ricky Steamboat in a much-anticipated 30 Minute Iron Man Match. And finally, the Steiners will defend the WCW Tag Team Championship against the Miracle Violence Connection of "Dr. Death" Steve Williams and Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy, one of Japan's most respected and feared tag teams. Let's get to the action:

Jim Ross and Jesse Ventura are our hosts.

WCW Light Heavyweight Championship: Brian Pillman (c) vs. Scotty Flamingo

Yes, there was a time where Raven was thin enough to be a Light Heavyweight. According to Ventura, Flamingo is undefeated. It's really amusing to see Raven play a pretty boy. Honestly, he looks a like lot Carlito with his curly afro and pink tights. Chain wrestling sequence to start is won by Pillman and he works over Flamingo's arm. Pillman goes off the ropes and connects with a Swinging Sunset Flip. Pillman stays on the arm. Flamingo manages to counter an Armbar into a Toe Hold, but Pillman kicks him back down and re-applies the Armbar. They go back up and Pillman hits a Dropkick that sends Flamingo to the floor, which has no mats. This is near the beginning of Bill Watts' run in charge of WCW, and one of his first major initiatives was to remove the mats from the floor. I really can't tell you why he would consider that a good idea. Maybe he just really wanted the guys to get hurt. He also banned moves off the top rope, which pretty much destroyed the Light Heavyweight division. Pillman hits a Double Ax Handle off the apron. Pillman goes up top, but is stopped by the referee and then thrown to the mat by Flamingo. Flamingo throws Pillman to the floor.

Flamingo goes over the top with a Plancha onto the concrete. Ouch. Concrete in wrestling is a pet peeve of mine: it hurts like hell to land on, but the crowd doesn't really care because there's no sound or image. When you land on a mat, it doesn't hurt as much but seems like a greater impact because of the sound it makes. Good wrestling entails people pretending to get hurt, not people actually getting hurt. Flamingo is working over Pillman in the ring. Flamingo applies a Chinlock. Pillman fights out, but Flamingo catches him with a knee to the gut. Flamingo misses a corner charge and both men are down. Flamingo goes back to the Chinlock. Pillman breaks out and applies a Sleeper. Flamingo gets out by running Pillman head-first into the turnbuckle. Flamingo comes off the second rope, but gets caught with a Dropkick to the face. Pillman follows that with a Spinning Heel Kick. Flamingo counters a charge with a Powerslam. Flamingo poses on the second rope and is hit with a Belly to Back Suplex. Flamingo telegraphs a Backdrop and is slammed face-first into the mat. Pillman Clotheslines Pillman over the top rope onto the ramp. He tries a dive over the ropes, but misses and splats on the ramp. Pillman crawls into the ring and is hit with a Knee Drop from the second rope and is pinned at 17:29.

Result: Scotty Flamingo by pinfall (New WCW Light Heavyweight Champion)

Analysis: ***1/2. Good match. They worked around the limitations of the new rules well. There were a few slow portions, but I enjoyed the totality of their work.

Johnny B. Badd is out to host the Beach Blast Bikini Contest between Madusa and Missy Hyatt. I'm not going to recap these segments, as there was no point to them.

Ron Simmons vs. Terrance Taylor

Simmons overpowers Taylor to start. Simmons gets a pair of Three Point Stance Tackles, but Taylor manages to throw him through the ropes to the ramp. On the ramp, Simmons hits an Atomic Drop and Military Presses him over the top rope back into the ring. A Clothesline sends Taylor to the floor. Simmons drags Taylor back into the ring and slams him. Simmons locks on a Bearhug. Taylor fights out, but can't get anything going. Simmons misses a Three Point Stance Charge and tumbles out onto the ramp. Taylor brings Simmons back into the ring and hits a Jawbreaker. Chinlock by Taylor. He breaks the hold and hits a Backbreaker. Simmons reverses an Irish Whip and hits a Spinebuster. Backdrop by Simmons. Simmons hits a big Powerslam for the pin at 7:10

Result: Ron Simmons by pinfall

Analysis: **1/4. Basic but entertaining match.

Ross interviews Simmons. JR puts Simmons over. Clearly, they're grooming him for big things. Simmons says he wants to be the best.

Marcus Bagwell vs. Greg Valentine

The young lion versus the grizzled veteran. Bagwell runs through his basic offense: Hip Toss, Body Slam, Arm Drag. Valentine catches Bagwell with a forearm to the neck when he drops down for a Backdrop. Valentine tries a Piledriver but is Backdropped. Bagwell hits an Atomic Drop and a Dropkick. Valentine bails to the floor to regroup. Valentine blocks a Hip Toss and drops Bagwell with a Clothesline. Chops from Valentine. Valentine misses a second rope Elbow Drop. Bagwell misses a Knee Drop and Valentine goes to work on the leg. Bagwell blocks a Figure Four attempt. Valentine tries it again and gets rolled up for a two count. Valentine goes back to the leg. Bagwell manages a couple roll-ups, but that's it. Valentine hits a Kneebreaker and locks on the Figure Four for the submission victory at 7:17. Guess that's the end of Bagwell's push.

Result: Greg Valentine by pinfall

Analysis: **. Standard wrestling match. Amusing to watch most of the crowd boo Bagwell and cheer Valentine.

They recap Cactus Jack's previous hardcore exploits: he brawled out of the arena during a Falls Count Anywhere match against Van Hammer at the last Clash of the Champions.

Falls Count Anywhere Match: Sting vs. Cactus Jack

Sting's WCW Championship is not on the line. This is where I have to point out that TNA put these guys against each other in a pay-per-view main event 17 years later, in 2009. That match was actually pretty good. Cactus enters and waits at the bottom of the ramp rather than enter the ring. Sting enters and he and Cactus exchange blows on the ramp as the crowd goes wild. Sting shoots Cactus into the ropes and Backdrops him on the ramp. He plants Cactus face-first on the ramp. Sting misses a diving Clothesline and straddles the top rope. Cactus throws Sting to the floor and drops the Cactus Jack Elbow from the apron. Looks like he legitimately hurt his knee there as he landed on the concrete. Cactus hits a Swinging Neckbreaker on the floor and his head snaps off the concrete. Cactus comes off the apron with a Sunset Flip and splats onto the floor. That's just stupid. Sting slams Cactus into the railing. Cactus charges Sting but gets Backdropped over the railing into the crowd! Suplex on the concrete by Sting. Cactus gets whipped into the railing and tumbles over it.

They enter the ring. Cactus drops Sting with a Clothesline and they're both down. Cactus takes over and works on Sting. He focuses on the ribs that Vader broke a few months ago. Cactus locks on a Chinlock and applies Body Scissors. Ventura thinks it's brilliant that he would catch Sting off-guard by using wrestling holds in this type of match. Sting fights out and lights up Cactus with right hands. Cactus hits a Cactus Jack Clothesline on Sting and they both fly over the top to the floor. Again, they hit the concrete floor. I ask, would this match be any less enjoyable with mats on the floor? Definitely not for me. Cactus puts Sting into the guardrail. Cactus grabs a chair. He gets a hard shot to the back on Sting. Cactus Headlocks Sting, but Sting counters with a Back Suplex on the floor. That's sick. Sting tries a Stinger Splash but gets dumped on the railing. Cactus Piledrives Sting. Cactus goes to the second rope and misses the Elbow Drop. They fight up onto the ramp and Sting slams Cactus. Sting hits Cactus with a series of chair shots, including one to the knee. He tries the Scorpion Deathlock, but Cactus trips him and they both fall off the ramp. Double Arm DDT on the ramp by Cactus. Sting hits a Clothesline, then a Flying Clothesline from the top rope for the pin at 11:24.

Result: Sting by pinfall

Analysis: ****. Great match. True brutality, to the point that parts of it made me uncomfortable. I think the number of falls on concrete here were idiotic, but it was also fun to watch. This should have been the match that made Cactus a star, but WCW would proceed to drop the ball on him in truly immense fashion.

30 Minute Iron Man Match: Rick Rude vs. Ricky Steamboat

Most falls in 30 minutes wins. Rude escaped with his title due to Paul E. Dangerously's interference at SuperBrawl. Now they're going to determine who the better man is. Rude's title is not on the line here, it's just about pride. Both Dangerously and Madusa have been barred from ringside. Rude is out first to huge heat. He goes through his typical routine on the mic in the ring. Steamboat is out second with his wife and son.

Fall One:

Steamboat hits a Rib Breaker to kick things off. Rude sells it like death and Steamboat goes right after the ribs. Steamboat applies a Bearhug. Rude gets out and knees Steamboat in the face. Nice shot to Steamboat's previously broken nose. Steamboat gets Rude down and locks on a Bow and Arrow. Ventura says Rude should tap out to avoid further damage and save his strength. Rude gets out after a thumb to the eye. Steamboat locks on a Boston Crab. He holds it for a few minutes before Rude gets the rope. Steamboat hits a Splash to the back. We're six minutes in. Steamboat hits a series of kicks to Rude's ribs. He was one of the best ever at working a body part, even as a babyface. Steamboat slams Rude with a Reverse Suplex. Rude counters a corner charge with a knee to the face and then grabs the tights for a pin with 22:18 left.

Rude 1, Steamboat 0

Fall Two:

No rest period, they just go right back to it. Rude immediately hits the Rude Awakening for another pin with 21:20 left.

Rude 2, Steamboat 0

Fall Three:

Rude hits a Back Breaker and goes to the top rope. He comes off with a Splash and is disqualified to lose the fall with 20:15 remaining.

Rude 2, Steamboat 1

Fall Four:

Rude immediately rolls up an incapacitated Steamboat for another pin with 19:39 left.

Rude 3, Steamboat 1

Fall Five:

Steamboat fights back and slams Rude face-first into the mat. He's too hurt to follow it up and Rude applies a Camel Clutch. Ventura points out that it's in Rude's favor to waste time now that he has the lead. Rude holds the Camel Clutch for a few minutes until Steamboat powers out into an Electric Chair Drop. Steamboat tries a Splash, but Rude gets his knees up. Rude tries a series of pins, but Steamboat keeps kicking out. Rude applies a Chinlock with fifteen minutes left. Rude goes for a Tombstone Piledriver, but Steamboat manages to reverse into a Tombstone of his own and gets the pin with 12:22 left.

Rude 3, Steamboat 2

Fall Six:

They both slowly get to their feet. Rude slams Steamboat into the turnbuckle and goes to the top rope. Steamboat stops him from coming off and Superplexes Rude! Not really clear why that's legal but jumping from the top isn't. Steamboat finally covers, but Rude kicks out. They do a Double KO as the clock ticks under 10 minutes. Rude lays on top of Steamboat for a lazy cover, but Steamboat gets a Crucifix Pin to win the fall with 9:38 left.

Rude 3, Steamboat 3

Fall Seven:

Steamboat tries every pin combination he can think of, but can't get a three. Rude headbutts Steamboat to slow him down and they're both out. Rude makes it up first and slams Steamboat's face into the mat. Rude works Steamboat over with Body Slams and Fist Drops. Rude chokes Steamboat. Rude goes for the Rude Awakening, but Steamboat powers out and hits his own Neckbreaker! Rude gets his foot on the rope at two. Steamboat drops knees with five minutes to go. Vertical Suplex by Steamboat. Back Suplex by Steamboat. Rude reverses an Irish Whip and locks in a Sleeper Hold with four minutes left. Steamboat runs Rude into the turnbuckle to try to break it, but he can't. Rude still has it locked in with three minutes left. Rude pulls Steamboat back from the ropes. Steamboat goes down to a knee with two minutes left. The referee checks the arm, but Steamboat keeps it up with one minute to go. Steamboat climbs up the second rope, kicks off, and bridges back into a pin 35 seconds left.

Steamboat 4, Rude 3

Rude goes desperation, hitting Steamboat with everything he has. Steamboat keeps kicking out. Rude gets a Body Slam with five seconds left, but Steamboat kicks out and wins 4-3.

Result: Ricky Steamboat 4-3

Analysis: ****1/4. Excellent match. I'm not a huge fan of the Iron Man Match as a concept because I feel like it sucks a lot of the drama out of all but the final minute of the match. However, these two worked so well together that they managed to entertain me throughout. I thought this match displayed excellent psychology in the way they worked on body parts and Rude sacrificing a fall to be able to pin Steamboat multiple times. Great effort by both men.

Arn Anderson, Bobby Eaton, and Steve Austin vs. Dustin Rhodes, Nikita Koloff, and Barry Windham

This match pits the Dangerous Alliance against three of the men they fought in the WarGames Match at WrestleWar. Paul E. Dangerously accompanies his men to ringside. Ole Anderson is the special referee for this match. Austin and Windham start, just like at WrestleWar. Austin has won back the Television Title from Windham at this point. Austin goes to the second rope, but is thrown off with a Japanese Arm Drag. Dustin Rhodes tags in and hits Bionic Elbows on Austin. Dropkicks by Rhodes. Rhodes locks on an Armbar and Austin tags in Eaton. Eaton wrangles Rhodes and tags in Arn Anderson. Anderson jaws with Koloff and slaps him. That leads Rhodes to tag Koloff into the match. Anderson gets Koloff down and goes to the top. Ole forces him back down. JR says that some people have criticized the rule, saying that they "just don't understand." Strong defense there by JR.

Koloff Russian Sickles Arn in the back and he falls over the top to the floor. For reasons defying logic, that's not a disqualification. I actually like the over the top rule, but it's ruined by the fact that guys do it right in front of the referee with no repercussion. Windham tags in and hits an Atomic Drop. That results in Anderson's head hitting the turnbuckle and bouncing back into Windham's head. They're both down. Anderson hits a shot from the second rope. Windham bounces back and applies a Sleeper. Anderson Jawbreakers his way out. Anderson tags in Rhodes. Rhodes goes after the heels but gets cheap shotted by Anderson. Austin tags in and hits the Stun Gun on Rhodes. Rhodes manages to tag in Windham, who cleans house. We get a pier six brawl and Windham Superplexes Austin. Anderson hits a top rope punch on Windham and the Dangerous Alliance is disqualified at 15:32.

Result: Dustin Rhodes, Nikita Koloff, and Barry Windham by disqualification

Analysis: **1/2, Surprisingly weak. Seems like the heels never really got any heat going and just got beat up the entire time. Weak finish as well with the disqualification. I probably would have preferred for the heels to get the win there, but it seems like the Dangerous Alliance was coming to a close at this point.

Eric Bischoff interviews Ricky Steamboat. Steamboat says he is looking forward to facing Rude for the United States Championship in the near future. Paul E. Dangerously interrupts and informs Steamboat that Rude will never defend the title against him. Cactus Jack then attacks Steamboat and they brawl until referees separate them.

WCW World Tag Team Championship: The Steiner Brothers (c) vs. The Miracle Violence Connection (Steve Williams and Terry Gordy)

Big tag team showdown here between two of the top tag teams in the world. Gordy and Scott start. They do a mat wrestling series to start. It doesn't really go anywhere. Bam Bam finally smacks Scott and a fight breaks out. Scott shoots the legs and pummels Gordy. Dr. Death tags in. Amateur wrestling sequence ensues. Scott ducks a corner charge and gets a Sunset Flip. Scott applies a Headlock and tags in Rick. Rick hits a Belly to Belly Suplex and Williams rolls to the floor. Williams gets back in and slams Rick. Rick counters a Three Point Stance with a Steinerline. Gordy tags in and jumps Rick from behind. Gordy hits a Back Suplex. Rick counters a Headlock with a Back Suplex. Williams tags in and throws Rick through the ropes to the ramp. Williams dives over the ropes with a shoulderblock. Rick goes over the top rope into the ring with a Sunset Flip. Gordy tags back in.

Gordy applies a Half Crab. He transitions into a Spinning Toe Hold. Rick hits a Belly to Belly Suplex and tags in Scott. Scott gets Gordy down into a bridging pin, but Williams is able to tag in. Williams boots Scott in the head. Gordy tags in and Scott connects with a Crossbody for a two count. Gordy and Williams double team Scott with chops. Williams kicks Scott's leg out from under him and Gordy goes right after the knee. Heat segment on the knee ensues. It goes on for a solid seven minutes. Scott manages to crawl all the way to his corner while Williams has him in the Boston Crab and tag Rick. Rick Powerslams Williams. Rick hits the Steiner Bulldog! Scott comes in and they go for the Double Steiner Bulldog, but Gordy knocks Scott off the top rope. Meanwhile, Williams blindsides Rick with a Clothesline. Gordy hits Rick with a Front Powerslam from the second rope. Gordy and Williams work on Rick. The ring announcer announces five minutes left in the match.

Gordy hits a Back Suplex on Rick. Four minutes left. Williams applies a Chinlock. Three minutes left. Rick fights out but gets hit with the Doctor Bomb. Rick kicks out at two. Williams grabs a Front Facelock. Steiner escapes the Oklahoma Stampede and hits a Steinerline. Gordy tags in. Rick catches him with a Steinerline. One minute left. Rick tags in Scott! Scott Backdrops both Williams and Gordy. He slams them both. 15 seconds. Scott hits the Double Underhook Powerbomb. He hits the Frankensteiner as time expires at 30:00.

Result: Time limit draw

Analysis: ***1/4. It was good, but not great. Longer than it needed to be and the time limit draw was pretty lame. I don't think this should have gone on last for the simple reason that there was no ending. Sting and Cactus or Rude and Steamboat would have been a better choice for the main event. The WCW crowd wasn't really that into Gordy and Williams, as they probably hadn't seen them team much before. These teams would meet again in the quarterfinals of a tournament for the NWA Tag Team Championships two days later at Clash of the Champions. Williams and Gordy would win that match.

Overall: Another very good show. Not a single bad match on the card and a couple excellent ones. WCW was really rolling along at this point with a hot champion and a major heel stable opposing him. But Sting's greatest challenge was a man not featured on this card, a man who would challenge him for the WCW Championship at the Great American Bash: The Man They Call Vader.

Grade: A-

JRSlim21
June 26th, 2013, 8:52 PM
Missed the last review you did and I'm all caught up. That Sting's Squadron/Dangerous Alliance match was my 1st WarGames match, and naturally my favorite. Epic stuff.

Kneeneighbor
June 27th, 2013, 1:58 PM
Who won the bikini showdown?!?!?!?!?!?! :panic:

Mills
June 27th, 2013, 3:01 PM
well, Missy was the face and Medusa was the heel.....

The Law
June 28th, 2013, 10:36 AM
Great American Bash 1992
July 12, 1991
Gray Civic Center
Albany, Georgia

Sting was on top of the world in the summer of 1992. He ended 1991 on top of WCW by winning the Battlebowl at Starrcade. He followed that by winning his second WCW Championship by defeating Lex Luger at SuperBrawl. Then he led his team to a victory in WarGames over the Dangerous Alliance. Finally, he defeated Cactus Jack at Beach Blast in a Falls Count Anywhere match, ridding himself of a long-time rival. Everything was going the Stinger's way. But little did he know, it was all about to come crashing down.

Harley Race needed a new meal ticket after Lex Luger left WCW. He quickly found it in Big Van Vader, the 400+ pound monster who had been dominating Japan for years. Vader had been in WCW on and off for several years, but was just now coming into his own. Feeling overconfident, Sting agreed to put the WCW Title on the line against Vader at this event. He was making one of the biggest mistakes of his career.

Meanwhile, some real stupidity was playing out in the tag division. WCW had separated from the NWA in early 1991, but there were still remnants of a working relationship. In mid-1992, the NWA decided that they wanted to recognize world tag team champions for the first time. Previous NWA tag team championships had been solely regional titles. For some reason, WCW agreed to host a tournament crowning the champions. Most of the previous Clash of the Champions show was focused around the first round of the tournament, the rest of it would play out on this show. Meanwhile, the Miracle Violence Connection of Terry Gordy and Steve Williams defeated the Steiner Brothers at a house show a few days before this show to win the WCW World Tag Team Championship. This came after they defeated the Steiners in the quarterfinals of the NWA Tag Team Championship Tournament. Thus, Gordy and Williams are trying to unify the titles tonight. Let's get to the action:

Jim Ross and Jesse Ventura are our hosts.

Tag Team Tournament Quarterfinals: Brian Pillman and Jushin Liger vs. Nikita Koloff and Ricky Steamboat

Steamboat and Koloff defeated Joe and Dean Malenko at Clash of the Champions to advance, Pillman and Liger defeated Chris Benoit and Biff Wellington. Pillman and Koloff start. Koloff quickly powers out of a headlock. Koloff knocks Pillman down with a Shoulderblock. Pillman grabs a Facelock, but Koloff lifts him off the mat. Koloff gets an Inverted Atomic Drop. Pillman tags in Liger, who comes off the top rope. This is contested under "NWA Rules," so that isn't a DQ. Pillman quickly tags back in. He and Liger both work on Koloff's arm. Koloff powers out of an Arm Wringer and tags in Steamboat. He drops Pillman with a Dropkick and then attacks Liger unprovoked! Nice heel work from Steamboat. Steamboat works on Pillman's arm. Steamboat catches Pillman on a leap frog and hits an Inverted Atomic Drop, followed by a Clothesline. He goes back to the arm. Pillman counters and tags in Liger. They hit a Double Dropkick. Steamboat quickly tags in Koloff. He slams Liger. Steamboat tags back in and gets Pillman in a Headlock. Pillman gets out and Backdrops Steamboat. Pillman grabs a Headlock and tags in Liger. Liger hits a Backbreaker and a Moonsault from the top rope. Liger Tombstones Steamboat! Steamboat comes back with a Back Suplex and tags out to Koloff. Koloff grabs a Chinlock. Koloff hits a Kitchen Sink knee and tags in Steamboat.

Backbreaker by Steamboat. Another one. A third, then a Running Powerslam. Pillman breaks up a pin. Steamboat and Koloff hit a double back elbow. Koloff applies another Chinlock. Steamboat comes back in and hits a chop from the top rope. Liger kicks Steamboat in the face after he telegraphs a Backdrop and tags in Pillman. Pillman slams Steamboat and applies a Headlock. Liger tags in and hits a Missile Dropkick from the top rope. Koloff tags in and overpowers Liger. Pillman tags in and Dropkicks Koloff. Koloff catches Pillman as he attempts a Crossbody, so Liger Dropkicks Pillman down into a pin on Koloff. Pillman hits a Springboard Flying Clothesline and then a top rope Missile Dropkick. Pillman grabs a Sleeper, but Koloff escapes with a Jawbreaker. Koloff tags in Steamboat. Liger tags in as well, and spikes Steamboat with an Enziguri. Pillman tags back in blind and hits Steamboat with a Diving Shoulderblock. Double KO spot follows. Pillman goes up top, but Steamboat stumbles into the ropes and crotches him. Pier six brawl follows. Pillman hits a Crossbody, but Steamboat rolls through into a cradle for the pin at 19:27.

Result: Ricky Steamboat and Ivan Koloff by pinfall

Analysis: ***3/4. Quality tag match. Koloff was clearly the weak link, but his overpowering presence gave the match some variety. The Liger/Steamboat segments were excellent.

Eric Bischoff interviews the Steiners. They want their rematch against Gordy and Williams.

Tag Team Tournament Quarterfinal: The Fabulous Freebirds vs. Shinya Hashimoto and Hiroshi Hase

The Freebirds defeated El Texano and Silver King in the first round. Hase and his original partner, Akira Nogami, defeated The Headhunters. Nogami is injured, so Hashimoto is his replacement. Hashimoto is the muscle, Hase is the technical wrestler. This is the last Freebirds match of any significance in WCW. Hase starts against Hayes, who works the crowd up with some strutting. The Freebirds control early with Headlocks and arm work. Garvin gets his arm worked on by Hase. Hashimoto tags in and hits some kicks. Garvin tags in Hayes, who works on Hashimoto's arm. Hase tags in and works on Hayes. Heat segment on Hayes follows. Nothing of much note happens. Hase and Hashimoto miss a Double Clothesline and Hayes drops them both with big left hands. He tags in Garvin, who goes house on fire. He slams both Hase and Hashimoto. Hashimoto hits a big kick behind the referee's back, followed by a Northern Lights Suplex by Hase for the pin at 9:17.

Result: Shinya Hashimoto and Hiroshi Hase by pinfall

Analysis: *. Pretty dull and generic tag match.

Schiavone and Magnum TA interview Bill Watts. He explains that there will be a tournament to crown a new NWA Champion in Japan next month featuring wrestlers from WCW and New Japan. Again, there's really no reason for WCW to be involved with the NWA championships at this point. Watts says he wants to see the winner of the tournament face Sting to unify the titles.

Tag Team Tournament Quarterfinal: Rick Rude and Steve Austin vs. Barry Windham and Dustin Rhodes

Austin and Rude defeated Marcus Bagwell and Tom Zenk to advance. Windham and Rhodes defeated Arn Anderson and Bobby Eaton, who probably deserved to get further. Austin and Windham start. Austin staggers Windham with right hands and gets him down with a Backslide. Austin gets caught with a right hand and knocked out of the ring. Ventura rants about Windham's taped fist. I love how he points out the faces cheating. It's staggeringly common. Austin gets popped by both Windham and Rhodes and rolls out to the floor. Rude tags in. Rhodes tags in and gets Rude from behind. Rhodes get a Back Suplex and works on Rude's arm. Rude gets out and grabs a Chinlock. Rude tries a Tombstone, but Rhodes reverses into his own Tombstone! Rhodes goes for a Splash, but Rude gets his knees up and tags in Austin. Austin hammers Rhodes with punches and kicks. Rhodes gets a Knee Lift and an Abdominal Stretch. Rhodes tags Windham, who comes off the top with a Flying Clothesline. Austin gets a Backdrop and tags in Rude.

Back Suplex by Rude. Austin tags back in and tries a Superplex, but Windham fights out. Windham hits the ropes and Rude yanks him down by his hair. Rude hits a Missile Dropkick from the top rope! Never seen that from him before. Rude Piledrives Windham and Rhodes breaks up the pin. Rude tags in Austin, who comes off the top with a Double Ax Handle. Austin Suplexes Windham. Rude and Austin tag in and out working on Windham. Windham manages a Small Package for a two count and then does a Double KO with Austin. Austin cuts off a tag attempt with a Back Suplex. Windham gets an Inverted Atomic Drop on Rude and does another Double KO. Windham finally manages to tag in Rhodes, who lights up both Rude and Austin with elbows and Dropkicks. Austin tries to Piledrive Windham, but Rhodes comes off the top rope with a Flying Clothesline and gets the pin at 19:17.

Result: Barry Windham and Dustin Rhodes by pinfall

Analysis: ***1/4. Solid old-school tag match. Heat segment was a little long, but did a good job building the anticipation of the hot tag.

Bischoff interviews Big Van Vader and Harley Race. Race says Vader is the uncrowned world champion.

Tag Team Tournament Semifinals: Terry Gordy and Steve Williams vs. Ricky Steamboat and Nikita Koloff

Gordy and Williams are the WCW Tag Team Champions, looking to unify the WCW and NWA titles. Gordy and Steamboat start. Gordy grabs a Headlock and holds it for the first few minutes of the match. Williams tags in and Steamboat goes to work on his arm. Koloff and Gordy both tag in. Koloff does arm work on Gordy. Williams tags in and takes over on Koloff. Chinlock goes on for awhile. Gordy and Steamboat tag in. Really not a ton happening here. Lots of and lots of holds. Williams tags in and levels Steamboat with a Clothesline. Steamboat gets up and hits some chops. Gordy tags in and dominates Steamboat. Heat segment on Steamboat ensues. The crowd really doesn't seem to care about Gordy and Williams. Problematic, considering they're being pushed as the top team in the division at this point. After a solid five minutes of getting worked on, Steamboat hits a DDT and tags in Koloff. Koloff gets on the offense for about five seconds before being stopped. Gordy tags in and locks on an STF. Williams tags in and applies the Boston Crab. Williams follows that with a Powerslam and tries the Oklahoma Stampede, but Koloff escapes. Koloff tags in Steamboat. Steamboat hits a Back Suplex on Williams and goes up top. Gordy pushes Steamboat off, where Williams catches him and hits a modified Spinebuster version of the Stampede for the pin at 21:41.

Result: Terry Gordy and Steve Williams by pinfall

Analysis: **. Not a huge fan of that. It was basically a 20 minute squash match. Gordy and Williams really didn't sell much and as a result, it never seemed like Koloff and Steamboat posed any threat to them.

Tag Team Tournament Semifinal: Shinya Hashimoto and Hiroshi Hase vs. Barry Windham and Dustin Rhodes

Man, I'm really getting tired of this tournament. I'll be brief in my recap here: Both teams trade arm holds and the advantage for the first ten minutes of the match. Rhodes ends up getting worked over and hit with a Spike Piledriver. Hase goes up top for a Knee Drop, but misses and Rhodes tags out to Windham. They all brawl in the ring and Windham drops Hase with a Lariat for the pin at 14:56.

Result: Barry Windham and Dustin Rhodes by pinfall

Analysis: *1/2. Formulaic tag match. Every match on this card has been booked exactly the same.

Tony Schiavone and Magnum TA interview Ron Simmons, who is wearing a nice white suit tonight. He wants to fight the winner of the Sting/Vader match.

WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Sting (c) vs. Big Van Vader

Back in April, Vader attacked Sting and busted up his ribs. We'll see if that plays a role in this match. Vader is out first with Harley Race. He's still wearing his ridiculous Elephant smoke mask. Sting is out second in red, white, and blue. JR points out that Sting has beaten Flair, Sid, and Luger. AKA the WWF's main event. Vader drives Sting into the corner and hits some stiff forearm shots. Sting gets a few shots in, but Vader no-sells. Vader misses a corner charge and Sting Back Suplexes him! Sting Clotheslines Vader to the floor! Vader challenges Sting to a test of strength, which he stupidly accepts. Sting chickens out and thumbs Vader in the eye, then drops him with right hands. Dropkick sends Vader to the apron, and Sting Suplexes him back into the ring. It's impressive for Sting to throw Vader around like that, but I think it would have made more sense to wait longer in the match for it to happen. A spot is better when you build up to it, and it really takes away a lot of Vader's mystique for him to be thrown around that much. Sting gets a cradle for a two count and Vader rolls out to talk to Race. Sting tries a Sunset Flip but gets butt splashed.

JR and Ventura both make snide references to bodybuilding not making money. A shot at Vince McMahon's failing World Bodybuilding Federation. Vader hits a big Splash for a two count. Step Over Toe Hold from Vader. Vader transitions into the Scorpion Deathlock, but Sting powers out. Vader levels Sting with a right hand and then a Clothesline. Front Powerslam from Vader. Sting is getting absolutely dominated now. Sting fights back with punches and some kind of rolling kick. Sting DDTs Vader. Crowd is hot for the comeback. Sting knocks Vader onto the apron with a Shoulderblock, but seems to hurt himself more than Vader. Vader goes to the top rope, but Sting catches him with a kick to the ribs. Sting gets Vader on his shoulders, holds him there for 30 seconds, and then hits a massive Samoan Drop that shakes the ring. Vader goes for a Back Suplex, but Sting drops out and bumps the referee. Sting hits a German Suplex for two. Delayed count cost Sting there. Sting hits a Stinger Splash, then sends Vader to the other corner. He hits a second Stinger Splash, but slams his head into the turnbuckle in the process. Sting appears to be knocked out, but kicks out of a cover. Vader nails a Powerbomb for the pin at 17:15.

Result: Big Van Vader by pinfall (New WCW World Heavyweight Champion)

Analysis: ***1/2. Good match. They didn't put Vader over as strongly as I thought they would: Sting controlled a lot of the match and threw Vader around the ring. In the end, Vader won because Sting caught a bad break and hit his head on the ring post. Would have liked to see Vader win in more dominant fashion, but it would become apparent why they did this the way they did in a few weeks.

They replay Sting hitting his head and then referees and Nikita Koloff come out to help him to the back.

Bischoff interviews Vader and Harley Race. Race calls Vader the greatest athlete on the planet and says he killed the myth of Sting tonight.

Tag Team Tournament Finals: Steve Williams and Terry Gordy vs. Barry Windham and Dustin Rhodes

The Steiners come out to confront Williams and Gordy but are forced to the back by security. I can honestly say I'm not into Gordy and Williams as a tag team. They're both big, impressive specimens, but they just don't wrestle with much intensity. Leg work early from both teams. Crowd is dead silent. I feel like they pretty much checked out after Sting lost. Rhodes gets trapped in an STF by Gordy. He fights out and locks in a Sleeper Hold, but Williams tags in blind and hits a Double Ax Handle from the top. Rhodes gets worked on for awhile until he manages to tag in Windham. Windham's comeback is shut down and he gets worked on. Double KO leads to a hot tag to Rhodes. His comeback also gets shut down by a Double Ax Handle from Williams. Williams goes for the Oklahoma Stampede, but Windham hits a Dropkick to break it up. Rhodes goes for a Bulldog, but gets slammed and then hit with a Lariat for the pin at 21:11.

Result: Terry Gordy and Steve Williams by pinfall

Analysis: **. Yawn. Again, Williams and Gordy totally dominated their opponents, and not in an especially interesting way. Bill Watts really wanted the belts on his favored team, and so he built this tournament all around them. I'm confused as to why they would put both sets of belts on Gordy and Williams rather than having the Steiners hold one and set up the big match between the two down the line.

Overall: Not a very good show. Sting/Vader was good, as were a few of the earlier tag matches. But most of the tag tournament was boring and heatless. The tag tournament for a set of belts no one cared about took up six of the seven matches on this show, and that's too many. Obviously, this was an improvement on last year's disastrous show, but not by as much as it should have been. This was a major step-down from a series of very good shows.

Grade: C

JRSlim21
June 28th, 2013, 10:28 PM
I still have this PPV on a VHS at my parents' house. I think this tournament is cool to look at for nostalgia purposes for a who's who involved.

The Law
June 28th, 2013, 11:24 PM
I may have been harsh on this show. It probably deserved to be more in the B/B- range. I was just annoyed that they spent the entire show putting over Gordy and Williams, particularly in light of the fact that they're both gone from the company within a few months. Also, the fact that the show was almost all tag matches and the matches were all booked exactly the same got really old. I guess this was a show that was less than the sum of its parts, because there are a few pretty awesome matches in there.

Mills
June 29th, 2013, 12:27 AM
I remember watching this show on wwe on demand. I loved the finals of the tag title tourney and the title match.

Kneeneighbor
June 29th, 2013, 10:03 AM
WcW seemed to spend a lot of their PPV time putting on pointless tournaments.

The Law
July 1st, 2013, 1:07 PM
Halloween Havoc 1992: Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal
October 25, 1992
Philadelphia Civic Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

After Vader's victory over Sting at The Great American Bash, it appeared he was set to be WCW's new dominant long-term heel champion. However, a funny thing happened: it turned out that wasn't the plan at all. Instead, Vader lost the title to Ron Simmons on August 2, only 21 days after winning it. Thus, Simmons became the first African-American world champion in wrestling history. Bill Watts, who was running WCW at this point, had a history of building his promotion around African-American babyfaces. He had done it with Junkyard Dog and Ernie "Big Cat" Ladd in Mid-South Wrestling, and he was trying to do it again with Simmons. I think I'll explore the logic that as a business move separately, because I have a lot of thoughts.

The major feud going into this show did not involve Simmons at all. Rather, it involved Sting being challenged by a new nemesis: Jake "The Snake" Roberts. Roberts was newly signed from the WWF. Roberts immediately attacked Sting and then led his team to victory over Sting's team in an elimination tag match at Clash of the Champions in September. This led to their big showdown here, in a "Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal" match. The stipulation of the match would be determined at random by a spin of a wheel with different stipulations on it.

For fun, here's a terrible mini-movie that WCW produced to promote the match:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgT5ta5oWCc

Oscar caliber stuff there. Pretty sure they just found Roberts hanging out at that sketchy bar and decided to shoot it on the spot.

Also, Steve Williams and Terry Gordy lost the WCW Tag Team Championship to Dustin Rhodes and Barry Windham in September. I only mention it because WCW had put them over huge by having them beat the Steiners and win the tag team tournament that took up almost the entire Great American Bash card, then pulled the plug in less than two months. Not totally sure what the deal was, but both Gordy and Williams would be gone shortly after this show. Let's get to the action:

Jim Ross and Jesse Ventura are our hosts. Tony Schiavone and Bruno Sammartino will be providing insight between matches.

So the opener here was Tom Zenk, Johnny Gunn, and Shane Douglas vs. Arn Anderson, Michael Hayes, and Bobby Eaton. It's clipped from the tape and I've been unable to locate it anywhere on the internet. So no review of that. Zenk, Gunn, and Douglas won in 11:02 after Gunn hit Hayes with a Thesz Press.

Ricky Steamboat vs. Brian Pillman

Pillman had turned heel a few months before this show. He's now a pretty boy with a bad attitude instead of the courageous little man he was previously. They trade chops and Steamboat hits a Shoulderblock to start. Steamboat skins the cat and rolls up Pillman for a two count. Pillman's kick out is so violent Steamboat hits the turnbuckle. Steamboat goes to work on the arm. That's fine, but I want to see these guys fly. Steamboat stays in control with a Backdrop and some slams. Nice "Brian Sucks" from the Philly crowd. Steamboat gets Pillman up for his two-handed choke. Ironic that a guy who was also such a squeaky clean babyface would use that as part of his repertoire. Pillman gets a cheap shot and then a Head Scissor Takeover. Pillman gets Steamboat up on the top, but gets thrown off while attempting a Superplex. Steamboat comes off the second rope and is Dropkicked by Pillman. Pillman argues with the referee and gets Back Suplexed. Pillman gets a Sleeper Hold. Steamboat breaks it and Pillman hits a Hangman. Pillman goes up top and gets thrown off. Everybody is Ric Flair in Bill Watts' WCW.

Pillman bails and gets beaten up down on the floor by Steamboat. Back in the ring, they exchange chops. Steamboat hits a Rib Breaker and goes up top. He does a Sunset Flip, which Pillman counters into his own pin, which Steamboat counters into his own pin for the three count at 10:34.

Result: Ricky Steamboat by pinfall

Analysis: ***. Good match, but not at the level I was expecting from those two. It was much slower than I would have anticipated. Pillman was still getting used to working as a heel here and unfortunately seemed to have phased out of a lot of his more entertaining offense.

We go to Bill Watts, who has various announcements: 1) The NWA Championship match between Masahiro Chono and Rick Rude will feature two referees, one picked by each man. One referee will be in the ring, one referee will be outside the ring. Chono picks Kensuke Sasaki, Rude picks Harley Race. 2) Terry Gordy has been "suspended" (read: fired/quit due to financial disagreements). Steve Williams has picked Steve Austin as his replacement partner tonight. 3) Rick Rude refuses to wrestle twice tonight, so Vader will defend the United States Championship for him. Also, Harley Race and Madusa are barred from ringside.

No Disqualification Match for the WCW United States Championship: Big Van Vader vs. Nikita Koloff

If you ordered the show for Rude vs. Koloff, you really got screwed here. Vader pounds on Koloff early. JR claims Vader "has a Super Bowl ring from the Los Angeles Rams." Ventura correctly points out that the Rams had never won the Super Bowl (at this time). Another case of JR exaggerating the football accomplishments of wrestlers. Vader did play in the Super Bowl with the 1980 Rams, but they were defeated by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Vader's still kicking Nikita's ass. Vader poses for the crowd and Nikita jumps him from behind. Nikita immediately goes to a Chinlock. That's exactly what this match needed. They go outside and Nikita misses a Sickle attempt and slams into the ring post. Vader brings him back into the ring and hits a Powerbomb for the win at 4:34. Wikipedia says it went 11+ minutes, so this must have been edited. Koloff suffered a career-ending neck injury shortly after this, so this was his last PPV match.

Result: Big Van Vader by pinfall

Analysis: *. Nothing much happened in the part that they showed.

Teddy Long interviews Steve Williams and Steve Austin. Williams says it won't be a problem that he and Austin have never teamed before.

WCW World Tag Team Championship: Barry Windham and Dustin Rhodes (c) vs. Steve Williams and Steve Austin

Austin and Williams are JR's wet dream team. Also notable that both of them are actually named "Steve Williams." Apparently there's been tension between Windham and Rhodes during the run up to this show. Jesse rags on JR about Oklahoma losing to Kansas in football. JR no-sells it, like he always did with Ventura's jokes. For two great announcers, they really didn't make a very good combination. JR just didn't work with Ventura. Rhodes suckers Williams in and hits him with a Lariat. Windham tags in and goes after Williams' arm. Rhodes comes in and gets his arm worked on. Dustin breaks out and hits a Dropkick, leading Austin to tag in. Austin quickly gets knocked out of the ring with a right hand by Windham. Rhodes tags in and works an entertaining back-and-forth segment with Austin. Windham tags in and levels Austin with a Lariat. Williams tags in and overpowers Windham. Windham misses a Lariat and falls to the floor.

Austin and Williams start a heat segment on Windham. It goes on for several minutes. Windham fights out of Superplex attempt and hits a Flying Lariat, then manages to tag out to Rhodes. Rhodes hits Bionic Elbows and the Bulldog for a two count on Austin. Williams gets a cheap shot on Rhodes to break up his comeback. Another heat segment coming up. Highlight is Austin getting Rhodes in an Argentine Backbreaker and Ventura going crazy on commentary because that used to be his finisher. Williams hits a nice Snap Suplex and rolls into a pin. Always loved the way that looked. Rhodes has been in the ring for a solid ten minutes at this point. Doc and Austin continue working on him, but he keeps kicking out. Austin tags in and applies a Half Crab. Rhodes fights out with three minutes left to time limit. Dustin makes the tag, but the referee was distracted by Williams, so he doesn't allow it. Austin throws Rhodes over the top to the floor and the referee gets bumped. Windham gets Clotheslined and pinned by Austin as a new referee runs in. He counts the three, but the original referee corrects him that Rhodes is still the legal man. Then the bell rings again for no reason. It's getting confusing here. One minute left. Austin is still working on Rhodes with time running out. Thirty seconds left as Rhodes Tombstones Austin. Williams breaks up the pin, but it doesn't really matter anyway because time has run out.

Result: Time Limit Draw

Analysis: ***. Pretty good match undermined by poor booking. First, it was too long. The heat segments just went on forever here. Rhodes worked the last fifteen minutes of the match. Second, booking a time limit draw with face champions makes no sense. There's no drama with the clock because it doesn't matter if time runs out. If time runs out, the faces keep the belts. The crowd was sitting on their hands at the finish, whereas they would have been on fire if the roles had been reversed and Windham and Rhodes were racing the clock to try to win the belts. I did really like Austin and Williams as a tag team. Shame they never teamed up again after this.

Tony Schiavone is with Paul E. Dangerously. He brags out having the idea for Vader to substitute for Rude. Madusa interrupts him and Dangerously flips out. Paul E. says he's in charge of the Dangerous Alliance because he's a MAN. He says he only hired her because "the other hooker I had in mind had a previous obligation." Wow. His misogynistic rant goes on for awhile until he slaps her. She responds by kicking him right in his fat fucking face and beating him down! That's amazing. The crowd goes absolutely wild for that. Dangerously challenges her to a fight while she's being held back by security, then she breaks away and he makes a run for it. Phenomenal segment.

And now it's time for Sting to spin the wheel and make the deal. The wheel rises from the floor while ominous music plays and smoke is emitted. There are even fireworks. Sting pulls a giant cartoonish lever and the wheel spins. Fireworks continue to explode as it spins. And it stops on... a Coal Miner's Glove Match. Ventura repeats that disbelievingly. Everyone at home shakes their collective head. That's absolutely hilarious. For comparison, the other choices on the wheel were: Russian Chain Match, "I Quit Match," Dog Collar Match, Steel Cage Match, Barbwire Match, Lumberjack Match, Prince of Darkness Match, Texas Death Match, First Blood Match, Texas Bull Rope Match, and Spinner's Choice. So basically, it landed on by far the worst possibility. According to internet legend, the wheel was ungimmicked and actually just landed on Coal Miner's Glove. I don't know whether to believe that or not. On one hand, it's hard to believe they would leave it to chance and some of the matches seem like unlikely choices (what the hell is a "Prince of Darkness" match?). On the other hand, it's hard to believe they chose Coal Miner's Glove.

NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Masahiro Chono (c) vs. Ric Rude

Chono defeated Rude in the finals of a tournament to win the title. He was the first champion since Flair was stripped of the title when he left for the WWF last year. Both guys got to pick a referee. Chono choose Kensuki Sasake, Rude chose Harley Race. Race wins the coin toss to determine who gets to be the referee in the ring. Sasake has to referee on the outside. Rude talks trash to Chono despite the fact that he doesn't speak much of any English. Jesse claims that all Minnesotans speak Japanese. Long feeling out process to kick things off. We're a couple minutes in and nothing has really happened. Just lots of generic holds. Rude grabs a Chinlock and holds it for awhile. Chono tries an STF but can't get it hooked in. Instead he just holds the Toe Hold for awhile. Rude gets out and Piledrives Chono! Alright, here we go. Rude goes to the top rope and misses a chop. Rude takes him down and... applies another Chinlock. Sigh. Rude eventually locks on a Sleeper. He holds it for awhile and suddenly the crowd starts going crazy. There must have been a fight in the crowd or something. This Sleeper Hold has been going on for almost five minutes. Rude breaks it and goes to the top rope. He...misses a Missile Dropkick? Can't really tell. Rude sells it like he missed, but Chono sells it too. Hmmm. Chono goes off the ropes and tries a Yakuza Kick, but Rude dodges and Race gets hit. Race is knocked out of the ring.

Chono throws Rude over the top to the floor. Rude reverses a Suplex attempt into the Rude Awakening. He has Chono beat, but there's no referee. Rude misses a Knee Drop from the top rope. Chono locks in the STF. Sasaki calls for the bell. He's supposed to be the outside ref, but he came into the ring. Not clear who the winner is here. Race says Chono is disqualified for throwing Rude over the top rope. That seems to be the official decision. It was a DQ win or a submission loss by the challenger. Again, who cares which way it goes? Sasaki slams Race and hits Rude with a Dropkick. Match ran 22:23.

Result: Rick Rude by disqualification

Analysis: 1/2*. Absolute shit. 20 minutes of restholds and a bullshit finish. The crowd doesn't care about Chono because they have no idea who he is. It's the same mistake they made with Flair and Fujinami at SuperBrawl last year. If you're going to bring in a guy from overseas, he either has to be a Liger type that the crowd can quickly get behind because of his style, or he has to work heel. They're not going to cheer a guy they don't know. Here, it was a guy they hated against a guy they didn't care about, but were negatively inclined towards because he was Japanese. The illogic of that booking really makes my head hurt.

We get a montage of the Barbarian training for the next match. He breaks lots of concrete blocks. As Bruce Lee once said, “Boards don’t hit back.”

WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Ron Simmons (c) vs. The Barbarian

Barbarian is best known for being part of the Powers of Pain, a mediocre WWF tag team. So he's getting a world title match on PPV because... I don't really know. Cactus Jack accompanies Barbarian to the ring here. Cactus would have been a much better choice to challenge Simmons here. Simmons has an entourage with him for his entrance years before Goldberg did it. He doesn't get much of a response. Teddy Long appears to be managing him. Barbarian controls with power to start. Simmons fights back and Barbarian bails. He comes back in and drops Simmons on the top rope. Barbarian puts Simmons into the post outside the ring. Back in the ring, Simmons gets a Sunset Flip for a two count. Barbarian grabs a Chinlock. He slams Simmons and goes up top. He misses an Elbow Drop. No mention of the fact that he would have been disqualified if he had hit it. Simmons hits a Spinebuster for a two count. Simmons is distracted by Cactus and is kicked to the outside. Barbarian goes up top and hits a Diving Headbutt. Apparently they've rescinded the no top rope rule. Simmons kicks out at two. Barbarian charges Simmons and he hits a Powerslam for the pin at 7:24.

Result: Ron Simmons by pinfall

Analysis: 1/4*. Yeah, that really sucked. Just a lot of punching and generic power moves. They really should have put Simmons in there with someone who could work for his first PPV defense.

Coal Miner’s Glove Match: Sting vs. Jake Roberts

Okay, so the coal miner’s glove is hanging from a post in the corner of the ring. If you pull it down, you can punch your opponent with it and it would really hurt. As terrible as Vince Russo was in WCW, not even he ever did an On a Pole match in the main event of a pay-per-view. Jake is looking pretty pale here. His personal demons were starting to catch up to him. Jake goes straight for the glove and gets thrown off the top rope. The pole is really, really tall. Like, they're really going to have to shimmy up it to get to the glove. Sting misses a Dropkick and Roberts work on the back. Roberts throws Sting over the top to the floor. No disqualifications here. Sting slams Roberts into the ring post. Sting goes for the glove, but Roberts gets there and hits a Back Suplex. Jesse rhetorically asks if either man would have chosen the Coal Miner's Glove Match. I can tell you no wrestling fan would have.

Roberts gets a Hip Toss and climbs again. Sting crotches him. They fight outside and Roberts hits Sting in the back with a chair. Roberts chokes Sting with his wrist tape. The referee breaks that up despite this being an unsanctioned match. Roberts misses a Knee Lift. Sting misses the Stinger Splash and Roberts hits his signature Short Arm Clothesline. He hits the DDT! Big pop for that. Roberts starts to climb, but Sting comes from the apron, swings around the pole, and headbutts him. That was pretty cool. Cactus Jack appears and throws Jake's snake bag into the ring. Sting has climbed the pole and retrieved the glove, but Jake has his cobra. Sting gets a shot with the glove and rolls Jake into the pin at 10:36.

Result: Sting by pinfall

Analysis: *. That was pretty miserable. These two probably could have had a decent match with the right gimmick, but this was definitely not it. Roberts was sluggish and the crowd was pretty silent for most of the match.

Roberts gets bitten in the face by the cobra. They mostly use long shots, so it's hard to say if it's actually biting him. Jake stumbles to the back, and that's the last we would ever see of him in WCW. Bill Watts canned him shortly afterward. It's worth noting that this show is said to have done a tremendous buyrate, WCW's best ever pre-Hogan. People were definitely pumped to see Roberts and Sting, and they were probably intrigued by the wheel concept. Too bad they got totally screwed over by either bookers or random chance.

Overall: This is one of the worst booked shows I've ever seen. Whether it was the decision for the tag match to go 30 minutes and have the faces retain by time limit draw, or the decision to have Barbarian face Simmons instead of Cactus Jack, or the decision to have a Coal Miners Glove Match (or not rig the wheel) be the main event, there were just terrible decisions all around. The tag match and the Steamboat/Pillman match were good, but everything else was so offensively bad and stupid that I'm giving this show an F. It wasn't as bad match-wise as Great American Bash 1991, but it was terrible in a whole different way.

Grade: F

The Law
July 1st, 2013, 1:33 PM
The word document I keep these in today told me that there are too many spelling and grammatical errors in the document to continue to display them. I'm considering that a victory. I'm up to 135,000 words written. And it's not stopping anytime soon.

LOCONUT
July 1st, 2013, 5:04 PM
I really love you.

Cewsh
July 1st, 2013, 5:06 PM
This really is great stuff, Law. Really glad you decided to run with it.

LOCONUT
July 1st, 2013, 5:26 PM
This will be fun when we get to the Lucha period and they were putting on 4 and 5 star matches with zero build that no one really gave a shit about until years later.

LOCONUT
July 1st, 2013, 5:27 PM
And I REALLY hope we make it to my favorite gimmivk stable ever, The Dark Carnival.

JRSlim21
July 1st, 2013, 7:48 PM
You should put them in a Google doc for preservation. Epic stuff all around.


I feel as though a Prince of Darkness match has been done at some point in WCW. Pretty sure it's just a blindfold match

The Law
July 3rd, 2013, 10:06 AM
Starrcade 1992
December 28, 1992
The Omni
Atlanta, Georgia

The year 1992 was a tale of two halves for WCW. The first half of the year was excellent, as the Dangerous Alliance storyline dominated the show. SuperBrawl, WrestleWar, and Beach Blast were all excellent shows featuring both interesting stories and good wrestling matches. And then things took a sudden turn for the worst. Clash of the Champions XIX and Great American Bash were both devoted mostly to a tournament for the NWA Tag Team Championship that fans didn't seem to care about. Steve Williams and Terry Gordy were pushed to the moon, defeating the Steiners multiple times and winning both the WCW and NWA titles, also wrestling in back-to-back pay-per-view main events. The Steiners were de-emphasized, although Scott got the Television Title, probably in a last-ditch effort to get him and Rick to re-sign when their contracts expired (didn't work, they jump to the WWF in early 1993). Rather than roll with Sting or Vader on top, Ron Simmons was given the title despite a lack of big-match experience and overness. Jake Roberts was brought in despite being an unreliable drug addict. Unsurprisingly, his run was brief.

This all lays at the feet of Bill Watts, the man in charge of WCW throughout most of 1992. The more he got control, the worse things got. To the relief of many fans, Watts was fired in early 1993 after making some staggeringly racist remarks in an interview. It's definitely ironic that a man who spent his entire career promoting African-American wrestlers would espouse such views, but racism is quite complicated. Anyway, this is the last pay-per-view with Watts in charge. WCW didn't have a ton going for it at this point, so they revived a concept that had debuted at Starrcade 1991: the Battlebowl. The Battlebowl this year would be smaller, featuring only 16 wrestlers and eight teams instead of the 40 wrestlers and 20 teams from last year. This means there's room for several other matches on the show, which is definitely for the best. The show will also feature Sting getting his shot at redemption against Vader in the finals of the King of Cable Tournament, Ron Simmons defending the WCW Championship against Steve Williams, Muta challenging Masahiro Chono for the NWA Championship, and Ricky Steamboat and Shane Douglas defending the WCW Tag Team Championship against Barry Windham and Brian Pillman. Let's get to the action:

Jim Ross and Jesse Ventura are our hosts.

Here are the teams competing tonight:

Van Hammer and Dan Spivey vs. Johnny B. Badd and Cactus Jack
Keksuke Sasaki and Dustin Rhodes vs. Big Van Vader and The Barbarian
Brian Pillman and 2 Cold Scorpio vs. The Great Muta and Barry Windham
Steve Williams and Sting vs. Jushin Liger and Eric Watts

Battlebowl: Johnny B. Badd and Cactus Jack vs. Van Hammer and Dan Spivey

Total clip-job here. They jump to Cactus and Spivey brawling. Spivey cheat shots Badd, tags in, and hits him with a Boss Man Slam. They then jump to Van Hammer covering Cactus and Badd dropping an elbow to break it up, but Hammer moves and Badd hits Cactus. Jack and Badd get in an argument and Hammer rolls up Cactus for the pin. According to Wikipedia, this went 6:51, of which less than two minutes were shown.

Result: Van Hammer and Dan Spivey by pinfall

Battlebowl: Big Van Vader and Dustin Rhodes vs. The Barbarian and Kensuke Sasaki

Also clipped. Barbarian runs into Sasaki on the apron and Dustin rolls him up for the pin. Wikipedia says it went 6:56.

Result: Big Van Vader and Dustin Rhodes by pinfall

Battlebowl: Barry Windham and The Great Muta vs. Brian Pillman and 2 Cold Scorpio

Starting to look like all the tag matches are clipped. Awesome to see Scorpio in WCW. Pillman and Windham are teaming later tonight to face Steamboat and Shame Douglas for the WCW Tag Titles, but they're on opposite sides here. Shame this is cut, because all four of these guys are workers. We see Scorpio hit a Springboard 450 Splash. Windham hits the DDT on Scorpio and Muta hits the Moonsault for the pin. Wikipedia says it ran 6:59. Nice match from the highlights.

Result: Barry Windham and The Great Muta by pinfall

Battlebowl: Sting and Steve Williams vs. Erik Watts and Jushin Liger

Which guy doesn't belong? I'm sure Erik Watts got his job because he deserved it. This match is famous for a horrifically botched Dropkick by Watts. Unfortunately, I can't find a clip of it. Here's a GIF:

http://www.wrestlecrap.com/induction%20files/teknoteam2000/dropkick.gif

Never forget. Doc pins Watts after a Stun Gun. It ran 9:08, which sounds way longer than it needed to be.

Result: Sting and Steve Williams by pinfall

NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Masahiro Chono (c) vs. The Great Muta

Stalemate to start. A lot of feeling out. The crowd likes Muta and seems disinterested in Chono. Five minutes in, they're stilling feeling each other out. Muta escapes an Abdominal Stretch and locks on an Armbar. They fight over the arm for awhile. Muta goes to a Headscissor, which Chono reverses to some kind of leghold I don't have a name for. Chono gets a Hip Toss and goes upstairs. Muta Superplexes him off! Muta grabs a Half Boston Crab. Jesse says that's called the Hiroshima Crab in Japan. As always, JR refuses to sell Ventura's stuff. Muta transitions into the Muta Lock. Chono gets out and Suplexes Muta. Nice Spinning Back Kick from Muta. Muta hits the Springboard Elbow into the corner. Muta hits a Rib Breaker and goes up top. He misses the Moonsault but lands on his feet. He seems to hurt his knee, and Chono goes right after it. Double Dropkick puts both guys down. Chono hits a Back Suplex. Chono counters a Dropkick into the STF and gets the submission victory at 12:49.

Result: Masahiro Chono by submission

Analysis: *1/2. Really slow. The last few minutes were pretty good, but the lead-up was painfully dull.

Rick Rude comes out to complain about being too injured to compete tonight. He had a legitimate back injury, and unfortunate forerunner to the injury that forced him into retirement in 1994. He was supposed to face Simmons here and internet legend holds he was going to win the title. He rightfully complains that Sting was injured and failed to defend the WCW Title for over 30 days earlier this year but was not stripped. However, he has been threatened with being stripped of the United States Championship if he fails to defend it within the next few weeks. He was, in fact, eventually stripped of it after a 378 day reign, the longest in the history of the title.

WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Ron Simmons (c) vs. Steve Williams

Simmons theme music is awesome. He gets a nice pop, too. Long feeling out process to kick things off featuring lots of headlocks and Armbars. Then things get real and they slug it out. Simmons drives Williams face-first into the mat. Unfortunately, Simmons goes back to the arm. I don't mind body part work, but I have a strong feeling that it's not going to factor into the outcome of this match. In that case, it's just filler. Simmons comes off the top rope and misses a Body Press. He sells a knee injury and Williams goes after it. Half Crab by Williams. Williams breaks and continues the knee work. Williams shuts down a Simmons comeback with a Backbreaker. Williams grabs a Bow and Arrow. He releases and starts going through Football Tackles. Simmons reverses a whip and hits a Spinebuster. Simmons does his Football Tackles. Doc knocks Simmons to the floor, where they brawl until both are counted out at 15:12.

Result: Double Count Out

Analysis: *3/4. Long and not terribly interesting. I wanted to see those guys throw each other around, not work body parts for 15 minutes.

They brawl after the bell. Williams ultimately gets the better of it. They end up announcing it as Williams being disqualified for his actions after the match. Seems designed to set up a rematch, but Williams left WCW shortly after this.

WCW World Tag Team Championship: Ricky Steamboat and Shane Douglas (c) vs. Barry Windham and Brian Pillman

Windham turned heel by attacking Steamboat and Douglas with a chair after they beat him and Dustin Rhodes for the titles at the last Clash of the Champions. Windham and Pillman are the original Hollywood Blondes, but Austin soon replaced Windham for the better known incarnation of the team. Neither Pillman nor Douglas can gain the advantage in the early portion of the match. Douglas gets a series of Dropkicks on Pillman and Windham and ends up clearing the ring. Steamboat and Pillman tag in and out working on Windham. Steamboat Body Slams Windham on the floor. Then he slams him on the ramp. This is a pretty entertaining heat segment from the faces, at least when Steamboat is in the ring. Windham counters a Chinlock with a Jawbreaker and tags Pillman, who goes to work on Douglas.

Douglas gets Pillman on the apron and Dropkicks him into the guardrail. Douglas goes up top, but gets Dropkicked off the top rope and falls to the floor. Windham then Clotheslines him behind the referee's back. Ouch. Windham tags in and beats Douglas' ass. Windham throws Douglas to the floor with so much force he hits the guardrail. Steamboat grabs a chair and blasts Windham! Referee didn't see it. Man, Steamboat has been a real dick the last few shows. Pillman and Windham keep working over Douglas. Douglas eventually blocks a punch and manages to tag in Steamboat. Steamboat goes nuts on both Windham and Pillman with Dropkicks, Chops, and Slams. But Windham shuts it down with a Powerslam. Pillman throws Steamboat over the top behind the referee's back. Fair game after that chair shot. Then Windham puts him into the ring post. Steamboat comes back into the ring with a Springboard Chop to the head. Pillman quickly takes over and tags in Windham. Windham misses a chop from the top and gets hit with a Facebuster. Douglas and Pillman both tag in. Douglas hits a Powerslam and pins Pillman at 20:02.

Result: Ricky Steamboat and Shane Douglas by pinfall

Analysis: ***3/4. Really, really good tag match. It was pretty basic in style, but there was a lot of added viciousness that I really liked. They did a good job of making it seem like they were really trying to hurt each other rather than just going through the motions.

King of Cable Tournament Final: Sting vs. Big Van Vader

Sting's chance at redemption after losing the WCW Title to Vader in the summer. Sting defeated Brian Pillman and Rick Rude to reach the finals. Vader defeated Tony Atlas and Dustin Rhodes. Sting gets some punches, but Vader doesn't sell. Vader quickly takes over with power moves. Vader really had great ring presence. It reminds me a lot of Brock Lesnar today: he works methodically and toys with his opponent. It's unnerving to watch a guy just throw his opponent all around the ring so easily. Sting takes Vader down with a rolling kick to the face. Sting German Suplexes Vader! Holy shit. He Clotheslines Vader over the top and goes over with him. Sting hits a Plancha to the floor. Vader rips his mask off. Alright, now we're getting serious.

Vader takes over and stiffs the crap out of Sting. Sting goes for a Stinger Splash but eats Vader's boot. Sting gets a DDT. Holy shit, he just Superplexed him. That was jaw dropping. Sting locks on the Scorpion Deathlock, but it's right by the ropes. Vader bails and Sting stalks him for the Stinger Splash, but he misses and goes right into the guardrail. Vader's firmly in control now. He's talking trash, too. This reminds me a lot of the Triple H/Lesnar matches, which I loved. Vader hits a Splash and goes for a Chinlock. Sting manages a Backslide but can't get the pin. Vader goes back to pummeling Sting. JR says the referee should think about stopping the match. Sting reverses a Headlock into a Back Suplex, but Vader recovers first. Vader goes back to the Chinlock, but he seems to be running out of gas now. He hits more punches and forearms, then sets Sting up on the top rope. Sting fights back and knocks Vader from the top rope. Again, Vader makes it up first.

Sting starts to Hulk Up. He challenges Vader. It starts to become apparent he's doing a rope-a-dope and trying to get Vader to punch himself out. And, in turn, Vader is weakening. Sting takes Vader down with a series of right hands. Samoan Drop by Sting. Sting hits a Superfly Splash from the top rope, but Vader kicks out. Race distracts Sting, allowing Vader to take over. Chokeslam by Vader. Vader hits the Splash from the second rope. Wow. But he didn't get all of it. Vader goes up top again. He dives at a standing Sting, who catches him for a Powerslam! Oh man, that was awesome. That's enough for Sting to get the pin at 16:50.

Result: Sting by pinfall

Analysis: ****3/4. Holy hell, I loved that match. Both guys played their roles perfectly: Vader as the overconfident and dominant monster, Sting as the plucky babyface who wouldn't quite. That match made perfect sense psychologically, as Sting allowed Vader to punch himself out like Ali did with Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle. Awesome match, very reminiscent of the Cena/Lesnar match from Extreme Rules 2012.

Battlebowl Battle Royal

The competitors: Dan Spivey, Dustin Rhodes, Great Muta, Barry Windham, Steve Williams, Van Hammer, Sting, and Vader. All but Spivey and Hammer are competing in their third match of the night. I definitely think the eight man battle royal will be an improvement on the 20 man version they did last year. Much more space to work and easier to keep track of what's going on. Sting and Vader rumble on the floor while the other six fight in the ring. Sting and Vader make it back into the room and everyone fights. Five minutes in, almost everyone has collapsed from exhaustion. Van Hammer is the first man eliminated, Clotheslined out by Williams. Meanwhile, Rhodes Bulldogs Windham on the ramp. Sting Backdrops Spivey over the top. Sting gets a Stinger Splash on Vader to save Muta from elimination. Vader Clotheslines Sting over the top and tumbles over himself. Down to four: Williams, Rhodes, Muta, and Windham. After a long stretch where nothing really happens, Doc tries to throw Rhodes out and they both go over the top rope. Down to Muta and Windham. Crowd is wild for Muta. Windham works on Muta for awhile, then throws him over the top. Muta skins the cat back in Dropkicks Windham over the top. Muta wins the Battlebowl at 14:01.

Winner: The Great Muta

Analysis: **. Okay battle royal. Could have used a little more creativity. However, I'm sure everyone was gassed after working two previous matches.

Roll credits.

Overall: A decent show. Again, the Battle Bowl definitely hampered it. Luckily, this would be the last time they did the Battlebowl at Starrcade. Instead, they would give it is own pay-per-view next year. Definitely not looking forward to that. Sting/Vader was amazing, the second best match (behind WarGames) of the year in WCW in 1992. The tag team title match was really good, but nothing else was of much note. Really just an okay show to finish an uneven year. But big, big changes were on the horizon for 1993, as a legend was about to return home.

Grade: C+

JRSlim21
July 5th, 2013, 8:36 AM
I do remember this show not being memorable

The Law
July 5th, 2013, 11:39 AM
SuperBrawl III
February 21, 1993
Ashville Civic Center
Ashville, North Carolina

Early 1993 was a time of change for WCW. Executive Vice President Bill Watts was fired after he made some incredibly racist remarks in a published interview. Eric Bischoff was promoted to fill his spot and would be the man in charge of WCW until 1999.

On-screen, Vader defeated Ron Simmons to win the WCW Championship. He continued his feud with Sting. WCW produced a sequel to the awful "Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal" mini-movie which revolved around Sting taking a trip to Vader's "White Castle of Fear." Yes, White Castle. Like the fast food restaurant. Not sure if that was a shot at Vader's weight or not.

Elsewhere, Muta defeated Masahiro Chono to win the NWA Championship, and Dustin Rhodes won the vacant United States Championship in a tournament because Rick Rude was injured. That's pretty much it.

Except for one other thing: Ric Flair's WWF contract expired. Jim Herd, the man who had driven him out of WCW, was gone. This meant there was nothing stopping Flair from returning home, and he showed up on Worldwide shortly before this show. Except his WWF contract included a non-compete clause, so he had to wait several months before he was allowed to wrestle. To give him something to do, he hosted a talk show called "A Flair for the Gold."

Eric Bischoff kicks things off by announcing that Ron Simmons is injured and cannot face Dustin Rhodes tonight as scheduled. Maxx Payne will take his place.

Tony Schiavone and Jesse Ventura are our hosts. Bischoff's first act in power was to fire Jim Ross. Asshole. It's astounding how many times JR has been fired in his career.

The Hollywood Blondes (Steve Austin and Brian Pillman) vs. Erik Watts and Marcus Bagwell

Erik Watts is the dipshit son of Bill Watts, for some reason still employed despite his dad having been canned. This is the PPV debut of the Hollywood Blondes, one of WCW's greatest tag teams. This is a pretty standard tag match other than the part where Watts is incompetent. The faces control early, the heels get the advantage by cheating, Watts makes a hot tag to Bagwell, Austin breaks up a pin with an elbow from the second rope and the Blondes get the win in 16:34.

Result: Hollywood Blondes by pinfall

Analysis: **. Totally standard tag match.

Missy Hyatt tries to get an interview with Ric Flair in his limo, but security cuts her off.

Chris Benoit vs. 2 Cold Scorpio

Oh yeah. Benoit quickly takes over and hits a beautiful Snap Suplex. He whips Scorpio to the corner, but Scorpio jumps up to the top and comes off with a Flying Bodypress. Benoit quickly goes to work on Scorpio's arm, and then Scorpio responds with arm work of his own. They do a breathtaking rope-running sequence that ends with Scorpio hitting a Japanese Armdrag. They do a really entertaining test of strength segment that features both of them bridging to avoid pins. A sequence of flips and kip ups ends with Benoit leveling Scorpio with a Clothesline. Benoit goes into a Backbreaker Hold. Chinlock from Benoit. He drops Scorpio right on the top rope. Scorpio goes up top, but misses a Missile Dropkick. Another Chinlock from Benoit. The ring announcer announces five minutes left in the match. Benoit does the throat slash and hits a Belly to Back Suplex from the top rope.

He comes down on the back of his head and both men are down. Scorpio counters a Back Suplex into a pin. Powerbomb by Benoit! Benoit tries another Powerbomb, but Scorpio reverses with a sloppy Sunset Flip. Enziguri from Scorpio. Benoit ducks kicks but gets dropped with a Clothesline. Spinning Stinger Splash from Scorpio. Scorpio goes up top and hits a Corkscrew Moonsault! Scorpio tries a Victory Roll, but Benoit counters by slamming Scorpio's face into the mat. 45 seconds left. Second rope Legdrop from Benoit. Benoit tries a Tiger Suplex, but Scorpio gets a Victory Roll for the pin at 18:23. They announced it as 19:59, one second before the time limit, but they were fudging it.

Result: 2 Cold Scorpio by pinfall

Analysis: ***3/4. Really, really good. Needed an extra gear and more of a story to be great. A lot time spent on holds that didn't really go anywhere. Still a match well ahead of its time.

Bischoff shills the WCW hotline, where you can waste your parents' money talking to WCW wrestlers. He then interviews Maxx Payne, who is facing Dustin Rhodes for the U.S. Title tonight as a substitute for Ron Simmons. Payne plays "Taps" on his guitar. Apparently he's going to kill Rhodes.

Davey Boy Smith vs. Bill Irwin

This is Bulldog's WCW debut. He was fired from the WWF because they caught him getting shipments of HGH. This is right about the time the steroid scandal was starting to heat up, so major changes were coming to wrestling in the near future. Davey gets a big pop. Nice bonus for the crowd. Davey throws Irwin all around the ring. It's the stuff you would expect: Clothesline, Powerslam, Stalling Suplex, Running Powerslam. Smith gets the win in 5:49.

Result: Davey Boy Smith by pinfall

Analysis: *1/2. Modestly entertaining squash. Nice surprise.

Schiavone interviews Bulldog.

Falls Count Anywhere Match: Cactus Jack vs. Paul Orndorff

Bischoff tries to get a few words in with Paul Orndorff before the match, but Cactus shows up with a shovel and chases Orndorff down to the ring. The referee takes the shovel from Cactus and Ordnorff gets a cheap shot. Orndorff beats on Cactus on the outside for awhile. Cactus takes over and throws up the mats at ringside, exposing the concrete floor. Cactus slams Orndorff and drops the Cactus Jack Elbow. Cactus does a Sunset Flip from the second rope and slams onto the concrete. That move makes zero sense to me, but stuff like that is why Mick Foley had to retire at 34. They go back in the ring and Orndorff takes over. They fight into the aisle. Orndorff Suplexes Cactus onto the guardrail. Orndorff works on the knee and then drags Cactus back to the ring. Schiavone: "I don't have to describe what you're seeing here." Glad he's here. Ventura points out that it's Schiavone's job to describe what's happening. Orndorff keeps working the knee. He hooks the Figure Four. Orndorff keeps working on the knee, including hitting it with a chair. This is legitimately pretty nasty. Orndorff signals for the Piledriver, but Cactus gets hold of his shovel from earlier and blasts Orndorff in the face with it. That's enough for the win at 12:17.

Result: Cactus Jack by pinfall

Analysis: ***1/2. Really entertaining brawl. Much more psychological and focused than your typical hardcore match. I really enjoyed the work Orndorff did on Jack's knee.

The Heavenly Bodies (Tom Pritchard and Stan Lane) vs. The Rock N Roll Express

These guys are all from Smokey Mountain Wrestling, Jim Cornette's promotion. I think this is pretty much the extent of the working agreement between the two companies. The Bodies are the heels, and Cornette is their manager. Always fun to see him. Bobby Eaton was out with the Bodies, but he gets kicked out by the referees before the match begins. Morton and Gibson outwrestle Pritchard with their typical fast-paced offense. Cornette gives Pritchard a big hug out on the floor. That was nice of him. Ventura says Cornette may be able to serve in the military due to President Clinton's reforms. Jokes that no one would be allowed to make today. Morton manages to Atomic Drop Pritchard into Lane. Five minutes in and it's been all Express. Cornette gets in the ring and gets run over by Pritchard. Morton hits the ropes, but Cornette grabs his foot to trip him up. Pritchard gets him from behind, knocking him out of the ring. That allows Cornette to blast him with the tennis racket behind the referee's back.

And Morton gets worked over. This is the exact same match we've seen a hundred times before, but it works every time. Just playing the crowd's basic psychology. Pritchard stops a telegraphed Backdrop with a Powerbomb. Morton fires up for a comeback, but Lane cuts him off with a Powerslam. Morton manages a double DDT and tags in Gibson. Gibson goes house on fire. The Bodies cut him off with a Backdrop. But the Express come back with a Double Clothesline and Double Dropkick. Cornette gets pulled into the ring, but Pritchard saves him with a Bulldog to Gibson. That gets a near fall. Cornette distracts the referee so that Pritchard can Backdrop Gibson over the top rope. Meanwhile, Morton hits an Inverted Atomic Drop on Lane. He has the pin, but the referee is still distracted. Eaton tries to interfere, but he accidentally hits Lane and Gibson gets the pin at 12:53.

Result: Rock N Roll Express by pinfall

Analysis: ***1/4. Nothing new, but still entertaining after all these years. Always appreciate seeing Cornette.

WCW United States Championship: Dustin Rhodes (c) vs. Maxx Payne

Rhodes starts out hot and then settles into an armwork segment. That's followed by Payne getting the advantage and working on the arm for awhile. Rhodes comes back and hits a Lariat, followed by a Suplex, and then locks on an Abdominal Stretch. Payne escapes the hold by grabbing the referee and is disqualified at 11:27. Wow. That's a comically terrible finish.

Result: Dustin Rhodes by disqualification.

Analysis: 1/2*. That was pretty brutal. Slow-paced, no heat, no action, and a garbage finish.

NWA World Heavyweight Championship: The Great Muta (c) vs. Barry Windham

Flair comes out to do commentary for this one. Bit of a feeling out period to start. Windham wins a test of strength, which isn't surprise since he's twice Muta's size. Muta grabs a Headlock and works it for awhile. Is there some kind of requirement that these NWA Title matches have to be really long and boring? Windham escapes and hits a DDT. Muta ends up on the floor, where Windham Back Suplexes him. Back in the ring, Windham slams Muta and drops a knee. Windham grabs a Sleeper. He uses the ropes for leverage, which Flair naturally loves. Muta fights back and hits a Body Press. Muta Backdrops out of a Piledriver. Windham goes for the Superplex, but Muta fights out and hits a Chop from the top rope. Muta follows that with the Handspring Elbow, a Backbreaker, but misses the Moonsault. Windham goes for a Suplex, but Muta escapes and hits a Back Suplex. Muta goes for the Moonsault again, but Windham gets his knees up. Windham hits the DDT and gets the win at 24:10.

Result: Barry Windham by pinfall (New NWA World Heavyweight Champion)

Analysis: **1/4. Not a bad match, but too slow. Cut that first ten minutes and get to the back-and-forth part and it would have been pretty good.

Flair presents the title to Windham. He then gives him a look that lets him know he's coming after the title he never lost.

White Castle of Fear Strap Match: Vader vs. Sting

The WCW Title is not on the line here. Vader overpowers Sting and then whips him with the strap. Vader hits a Splash from the second rope. Sting manages to force Vader to low blow himself with the strap. He fires up with right hands and hits a Dropkick. Sting hits a Flying Clothesline from the second rope. Top rope Splash from Sting. He follows it with another one. He pulls down Vader's straps and whips him. Vader rolls to the floor and gets put into the ring post. Sting slams Vader on the floor! He starts touching the posts outside. Never seen anyone do that. Vader runs Sting to the guardrail. Back in the ring, Sting hits a Samoan Drop. He tries a Stinger Splash, but Vader knocks him down. Vader tries the Powerbomb, but Sting Backdrops out of it. Sting misses a top rope Splash. Vader hits a Vader Bomb. Vader whips Sting as Ventura jokes about Schiavone beating his kids. Vader hits a Samoan Drop from the second rope. Vader misses the Vader Bomb. Vader goes to the top, but Sting manages to crotch him. Vader gets a Superplex. Vader starts touching corners, but Sting stops him. Vader pounds on Sting in the corner. Sting gets back in it with a German Suplex. DDT! Sting gets Vader on his shoulders and walks around the ring touching corners. He knocked down the referee when he picked Vader up, and he trips on the referee on his way to fourth corner. Vader hogties Sting and drags him around the ring touching the corners. Sting fights back. He holds the bottom rope, then kicks Vader and knocks him into the fourth corner. Vader wins at 20:57.

Winner: Vader

Analysis: ***3/4. That was quite good. Not at the level of their match at Starrcade, but still quite entertaining. Once again, if I had a complaint it would be that Sting throwing Vader around the ring the way he did hurts the big man's mystique and credibility. There's a reason Hogan didn't slam Andre until the end of their match at Wrestlemania III.

Bischoff interviews Barry Windham to wrap things up.

Overall: Solid show. No truly great matches, but several very good ones. The U.S. Title match was pretty boring, but everything else was at least watchable. Definitely a time of change as Vader solidified himself as the man on top, Ric Flair returned from his WWF stint, and Bulldog made his debut. I don't think that the two championship situation was working out very well as the NWA Title matches had all been pretty heatless so far, but Flair showing up and pursuing the title should help change that. Also, it gives Flair a reason to not be going after Vader right away as he wants to win back the title that he never lost. They never really get around to it, but I think an NWA vs. WCW Championship match would have been a nice draw. Also, I love that they gave Benoit and Scorpio 20 minutes. Neither guy was particularly established and there was no feud or storyline, but it was such a good match that they managed to hook the crowd anyway.

Grade: B

Peter Griffin
July 5th, 2013, 11:44 AM
You sure Flair's contract with WWF expired? I thought he asked for his release? Seems strange to sign him to a little over a year contract.

Kneeneighbor
July 5th, 2013, 4:56 PM
Yes Flair was told when he signed with Vince that if he ever wanted out he could end it. And since he was being moved away from the title scene and things had changed over at WcW he decided to head back.

The Law
July 7th, 2013, 9:43 PM
Slamboree 1993: A Legend's Reunion
May 23, 1993
The Omni
Atlanta, Georgia

Welcome to the first WCW Slamboree! This is WCW's "old school" show, featuring appearances from various wrestling legends as well as inductions into the WCW Hall of Fame. Also, there's a baseball motif running throughout these shows. I always thought this made for a cool concept and wouldn't mind WWE doing something similar.

On the news front, not a ton has happened since SuperBrawl. The Hollywood Blondes (Steve Austin and Brian Pillman) won the WCW Tag Team Championship from Ricky Steamboat and Shane Douglas in March. Also, Rick Rude won back the United States Championship from Dustin Rhodes. Other than that, nothing to report, so let's get to the action:

Tony Schiavone and Larry Zbyszko are our hosts tonight. Not sure where Ventura was.

Tons and tons of legends in the ring to start things off.

Bobby Eaton and Chris Benoit vs. 2 Cold Scorpio and Marcus Bagwell

Benoit and Scorpio kick things off with a very enjoyable segment. Scorpio mostly out-wrestles Benoit and hits a Flying Body Press. Eaton tags in and gets his arm worked over by Bagwell. Bagwell manages to Back Drop Eaton over the top rope, and isn't disqualified for unclear reasons. Benoit gets a cheap shot on Bagwell and Eaton throws him over the top rope while the referee is distracted. Eaton hits a top rope Knee Drop and tags in Benoit. Benoit slams Bagwell and hits a Leg Drop from the second rope. A pretty entertaining heat segment ensues as both Benoit and Eaton work on Bagwell. Bagwell manages to get his knees up to counter a Diving Headbutt attempt by Benoit and tags in Scorpio. Scorpio slams Benoit and hits a spinning Splash. Scorpio follows that with a Corkscrew Leg Drop for the pin at 9:22.

Result: 2 Cold Scorpio and Marcus Bagwell by pinfall

Analysis: ***1/2. Very entertaining tag match and good opener. I have no idea why WCW didn't hold onto Benoit and Scorpio.

Stretcher Match: Van Hammer vs. ???

Col. Robert Parker debuted and wanted to manage Van Hammer, but Hammer didn't want his services. So Parker says he has an opponent for Hammer tonight. Van Hammer is out to mostly boos. He does some nice fist pumping, the lamest babyface move ever. Parker introduces his opponent: SID VICIOUS! Sid's back after quitting WWE rather than serve a suspension for failing a drug test. Sid completely obliterates Parker and Powerbombs him for the win in just 35 seconds.

Result: Sid Vicious by pinfall

Analysis: 1/4*. I've always had a soft spot for Sid.

Dick Murdoch, Don Muraco, and Jimmy Snuka vs. Wahoo McDaniel, Blackjack Mulligan, and Jim Brunzell

Bring on the legends. They tag in and out quickly, letting everyone get a chance to show their stuff. All of them are well past their primes, but all look decent. McDaniel really gets the crowd going with his signature chops. Wahoo gets worked on, then Murdoch gets in and hits Brunzell with a Headscissor Takeover. Murdoch hits a top rope Facecrusher. Snuka accidentally Clotheslines Muraco, his old rival. All six men hit the ring and brawl and the referee calls for the bell at 9:06.

Result: Double Disqualification

Analysis: *1/2. It was fun for a few minutes, but it went on too long.

Snuka takes a really intense bump over the top rope and hits the announce table. Ouch.

Thunderbolt Patterson and Brad Armstrong vs. Ivan Koloff and Baron Von Raschke

Armstrong is a substitute for his dad, "Bullet" Bob Armstrong, who apparently had to have knee surgery. Faces dominate to start. Raschke looks incredibly old here. Like, thin, pale, and sickly. Patterson is so charismatic that he gets pops without really doing anything. Armstrong and Koloff tag in after Raschke and Patterson stall for a few minutes. Raschke gets Armstrong in The Claw, his finisher. Armstrong gets out and tags in Thunderbolt. Patterson two-hands Raschke in the throat and pins him at 4:40.

Result: Brad Armstrong and Thunderbolt Patterson by pinfall

Analysis: 1/2*. Those guys couldn't really do anything.

We go down to Ric Flair's "A Flair for the Gold" talk show. Flair still wasn't allowed to wrestle, so they had him hosting a talk show to give him something to do. They've promised a reunion of the Four Horsemen. In fact, they insistently use the words "The Original" Four Horsemen. Flair brings out Arn Anderson, Ole Anderson, and... Paul Roma. It seems that Tully asked for more money than they were willing to pay him at the last minute, so they had to come up with a replacement. Roma is an old shame of the Horsemen, and publicly disowned by Flair.

Dory Funk Jr. vs. Nick Bockwinkle

Final legends match of the night. This would have been a huge match 15 years before this. Bockwinkle is a former AWA Champion, Funk was NWA Champion for over four years in the 1970s. Unsurprisingly, this is a pretty basic match featuring lots and lots of headlocks and other holds. They're obviously both very sound technically, it's just that this isn't very interesting to watch without anything on the line. After about ten minutes of technical wrestling, Funk Suplexes Bockwinkle from the apron into the ring. Funk hits a Piledriver with two minutes left in the time-limit. Bockwinkle gets a Backslide for a two count. Funk goes for the Spinning Toe Hold, but Bockwinkle rolls him into a Small Package. That's another two count. Bockwinkle gets the Figure Four, at which point Gene Kiniski runs in and stomps on Bockinkle. Strangely, that doesn't result in a disqualification. Time expires at 15:00.

Result: Time Limit Draw

Analysis: **1/4. Pretty dull first ten minutes, but the last five were good. They got a nice standing ovation at the end, so the crowd appreciated it.

Bischoff interviews Lou Thesz.

Rick Rude and Paul Orndorff vs. Dustin Rhodes and Kensuke Sasaki

Rude won back the United States Championship from Dustin Rhodes last week on WCW Worldwide in controversial fashion. Sasaki and Rhodes both work on the arms of Rude and Orndorff. Rhodes blocks a Rude corner charge with his knees, but then misses a Clothesline and sails over the top rope. Rhodes gets slammed into the rail by Rude, and then Rude and Orndorff work a heat segment on Rhodes' back. Rude goes for a Tombstone Piledriver, but Rhodes reverses it and tags in Sasaki. Sasaki hits a Backdrop and Inverted Atomic Drop. Sasaki Press Slams Rude, but doesn't really get him up. Sasaki goes up top, but gets thrown off and Rude hits the Rude Awakening for the pin at 9:44.

Result: Rick Rude and Paul Orndorff by pinfall

Analysis: *1/2. Generic tag match. Really seemed like everyone was just going through the motions there.

We go to Gordon Solie for the WCW Hall of Fame inductions. Inductees are: Lou Thesz, Verne Gagne, Mr. Wrestling II, and Eddie Graham. The segment goes about ten minutes. A lot of time taken up by the legends tonight.

Sting vs. The Prisoner

Apparently Sting was supposed to face Scott Norton, but he's hurt and can't compete. The Prison is Kevin Wacholz, best known as Nailz from the WWF. Nailz was fired from the WWF after physically assaulting Vince McMahon. He later testified for the prosecution in the steroid trial against McMahon, but was so unconvincing as a witness that he was probably the key to Vince's acquittal. I believe this was his only appearance in WCW. Prisoner chokes Sting for several minutes to start. If you've ever seen Nailz work, you know that's pretty much all he has to offer offensively. Sting comes back with a Clothesline and a Backdrop. He hits the Stinger Splash, then an awkward cover for a two count. Sting goes to the top while Prison is yelling at the referee and then hits the Flying Clothesline for the pin at 5:16.

Result: Sting by pinfall

Analysis: 1/4*. That was pretty miserable. Just Prisoner choking Sting for four minutes and then Sting's comeback.

Steel Cage Match for the WCW World Tag Team Championship: The Hollywood Blondes (c) vs. Dos Hombres

So Dos Hombres as Ricky Steamboat and Tom Zenk under masks and full body suits. After Austin and Pillman won the belts they refused to give Steamboat and Shane Douglas a rematch, so Douglas and Steamboat disguised themselves. Then Douglas got fired from WCW, which meant they had to sub Zenk in here. Amusingly, the announcers aren't at all fooled by the ruse and just call them Steamboat and Douglas, pretending Douglas hasn't been fired. Steamboat gets his signature Arm Drags on Pillman to start. Both Zenk and Steamboat work on Austin's arm. Steamboat tags in and puts Austin into the cage repeatedly. Austin manages to make a tag to Pillman, who works over Zenk. Austin gets hung upside down on the cage after a Suplex by Steamboat. Pillman gets a tag and works over Zenk some more. Austin cuts off a tag attempt with a Spinebuster. The Blondes go for a Rocket Launcher, but Zenk gets his knees up. Hot tag to Steamboat, who levels Austin with Clotheslines and chops. Pillman comes in and gets sent into the cage. Austin tries to climb out and gets Electric Chair Dropped by Steamboat. Steamboat goes all the way up to the top of the cage and hits a Flying Body Press onto both Pillman and Austin! He only gets two, but the bell rings. Steamboat DDTs Pillman. Stereo Dropkicks by Steamboat and Zenk. Austin hits the Stun Gun on Zenk and pins him at 16:09.

Result: Hollywood Blondes by pinfall

Analysis: ***. Solid tag match. Zenk and Steamboat would have made a good tag team.

Eric Bischoff interviews Dusty Rhodes, Stu Hart, and Mr. Wrestling II. Dusty says "ass," which definitely wasn't allowed at the time.

NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Barry Windham (c) vs. Arn Anderson

Arn's one and only pay-per-view world championship match. Arn gets a quick Belly to Belly Suplex to start. Arn follows that with a Backdrop. Windham lines up a right hand, but Anderson counters with a DDT. Wow, lot of big moves for Arn early. Windham rolls outside to catch his breath and Arn follows him out. They brawl out on the ramp. Arn goes to the top rope but gets thrown off. Anderson manages to dump Windham over the top rope. That's not a disqualification under NWA rules. Arn then slams Windham into the guardrail, which also is not a DQ because of NWA rules. It's nice that they differentiated between the titles like that. Windham is bleeding pretty heavily. Arn focuses on the cut over Windham's eye. Anderson goes up top again, but gets Dropkicked to the floor. Windham takes over. Arn comes back and tries for a Suplex, but Windham counters with his own Suplex. Windham hits the ropes, but Anderson is ready with the Spinebuster! Windham rolls out before Arn can cover.

Windham tries to walk away with his title, but Anderson catches up and throws him back into the ring. The referee tries to stop Arn from attacking Windham in the corner, so Arn throws him aside. While the referee is down, Windham grabs the NWA Title belt and hits Anderson with it. He pins Anderson at 10:57.

Result: Barry Windham by pinfall

Analysis: **3/4. Pretty good match. Nothing special, but they entertained me for ten minutes.

WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Big Van Vader (c) vs. Davey Boy Smith

Apparently, Davey is after Vader because he's injured so many people. He had recently Powerbombed Cactus Jack on a concrete floor, setting off the dreadful "Lost in Cleveland" angle. Vader hits some shots that Davey doesn't sell. Vader proceeds to stiffly beat down Davey in the corner. Davey rolls outside and gets hit by Harley Race. Vader misses a Splash and lands on the guardrail. Davey slams Vader on the floor. Would prefer to see that happen later in the match. Back in the ring, Davey hits his signature Stalling Vertical Suplex on Vader. Wow. Vader blocks a corner charge and comes off the top rope, but Davey catches him with a Powerslam. Davey Clotheslines Vader to the floor. Crowd is going absolutely wild here. Davey tries a Crucifix but gets Samoan Dropped.

Vader hits the Vader Bomb, but Davey kicks out at two. Vader slams Davey and hits a Body Block from the second rope. We really just take his ability to fly and move around for granted, but it's very impressive for a man his size. Vader goes for a Superplex, but Davey throws him from the top. Davey hits a Headbutt and both men are down. Davey goes for a Sunset Flip and then rolls out of the way of a Butt Splash. Vader goes up top and hits a Frog Splash! Seems to hurt Vader as much as Bulldog. Actually, Smith is right back up so apparently it only hurt Vader. Vader throws Davey to the floor so that Race can cheap shot him. Vader grabs a Camel Clutch, but Smith Electric Chair Drops out of it! Wow. That's a feat of strength. Vader tries a Splash in the corner, but Davey catches him and hits the Running Powerslam! Holy crap, that was impressive. Race pulls Smith off to break up the pin. Bulldog goes after Race and Vader hits him with a chair. That results in a disqualification at 16:18.

Result: Davey Boy Smith by disqualification

Analysis: ***1/4. Solid match. I'm a sucker for feats of strength, and this one featured a lot of them from Davey Boy. Overall, this was a surprisingly fast-paced match given who it featured.

Vader beats on Davey after the match. Bagwell and Scorpio run down to try to stop Vader, but they both get laid out. Vader goes to Powerbomb Davey, but Sting shows up and hits a Flying Clothesline to break that up. Vader heads to the back as Sting and Davey celebrate together to end the show.

Overall: Average show. The legends matches took up a lot of time and didn't accomplish anything. The main event was good and there were a few other decent matches, but this show as a whole failed to accomplish much of anything.

Grade: C

Beer-Belly
July 8th, 2013, 4:31 AM
These are excellent.

The Law
July 8th, 2013, 10:31 AM
Beach Blast 1993
July 18, 1993
Mississippi Coast Coliseum
Biloxi, Mississippi

Welcome to the 1993 edition of Beach Blast! Not a ton has happened since Slamboree. One major development is that Ric Flair's non-compete clause has expired and he will return to the ring to face Barry Windham for the NWA Championship tonight. The other is that the United States Championship has been vacated and Rick Rude will face Dustin Rhodes in a 30 Minute Iron Man Match tonight to determine the undisputed champion.

Also, this is the show featuring the notorious Midget Speed Boat Orphan Beach Volleyball Terrorist Attack. Check it out:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xs60sy_wcw-beach-blast-1993-countdown-show_sport?search_algo=2

These mini-movies were excruciatingly bad. I don't necessarily think wrestling has to be super serious all the time, but these went way too far and turned wrestling into a joke. It's supposed to be reality TV, not bad fiction. Also, they each cost over $500,000 to produce. Making movies is expensive. That $500,000 is far more than this show grossed in ticket sales.

Our hosts are Tony Schiavone and Jesse Ventura, decked out in totally absurd beachwear.

WCW World Television Championship: Paul Orndorff (c) vs. Ron Simmons

The fans chant "Paula" at Orndorff. That gets him riled up. If Orndorff is disqualified, he loses the title. After a couple minutes of stalling, Simmons goes to work on Orndorff's arm. Orndorff eventually grabs a Sleeper Hold and Back Suplexes Simmons. Orndorff goes to the top and misses a Knee Drop. Simmons changes his focus to the knee. Simmons goes for the Figure Four, but Orndorff slithers out. Orndorff gets a cheap shot as Simmons comes after him outside the ring. Back in the ring, Orndorff sits on a Chinlock for a little while. Simmons gets out and Powerslams Orndorff. Simmons gets a Suplex, but can't keep Orndorff down. Orndorff thumbs the eye and goes for the Piledriver, but Simmons Backdrops out of it. Unfortunately, he sends Orndorff over the top rope and is disqualified at 11:15.

Result: Paul Orndorff by disqualification

Analysis: *1/2. Not terrible, but a little slow. I actually like that finish because Simmons looks strong and Orndorff gets more heat.

2 Cold Scorpio and Marcus Bagwell vs. Tex Slazenger and Shanghai Pierce

Slazenger and Pierce are Dennis Knight and Mark Canterbury, best known as the Godwinns from the WWF. Here, their gimmick is that they are outlaw bandits. Actually better than hillbillies. The masked Shanghai Pierce starts against Bagwell. Scorpio and Bagwell control the early portion with double teams and high-flying offense. Cheap shot results in the heels taking over. Their heat segment focuses on Bagwell's arm. Unsurprisingly, it's not a very interesting segment. Bagwell manages to make a tag and Scorpio goes nuts. He hits a top rope Splash, but the pin is broken up. Bagwell hits a Backdrop and Scorpio connects with a 450 Splash for the pin at 12:48.

Result: 2 Cold Scorpio and Marcus Bagwell by pinfall

Analysis: *1/2. Pretty standard tag match, although it went on longer than it really needed to given what these teams had to offer.

We get an interview with Paul Orndorff, who whines that Simmons should be fired for throwing him over the top rope.

Lord Steven Regal vs. Erik Watts

Pay-per-view debut for Regal. He would be a fixture in WCW up until his firing for drug use in 1998. Not sure why Erik Watts continued to have a job after they canned his dad. Watts works on Regal's arm in the beginning of the match. Arm segment goes on for awhile. Not clear if Watts knows anything other than basic holds. They go an entertaining pinfall reversal sequence. Watts goes back to the arm. Regal hits some European Uppercuts. Regal misses a Knee Drop and Watts locks on the STF. Sir William, Regal's manager, slaps Watts. He breaks the hold and Regal rolls him up (with a handful of tights) at 7:31.

Result: Steven Regal by pinfall

Analaysis: *. Totally basic match with no action or heat. Regal would go on to better things. Watts would not.

Ventura interviews Regal. Regal quotes Churchill in challenging Paul Orndorff for the TV Title.

They replay Maxx Payne shooting Johnny B. Badd in the face with Badd's confetti gun. That set up the upcoming "Super Grudge Match."

Maxx Payne vs. Johnny B. Badd

Badd is wearing a mask due to his facial injuries. Badd misses a corner charge and falls to the floor. Payne takes over and pounds on Badd. Payne applies an Armbar and then hits a Backbreaker. Badd dumps Payne to the floor and hits a Plancha. Back in the ring, Badd hits a Body Press from the second rope for the pin at 4:54.

Result: Johnny B. Badd by pinfall

Analysis: 3/4*. So Badd was apparently fired up to get revenge, but he showed absolutely no fire in that match. And he won by a fluke pin. Not really the kind of match you would expect given the build.

WCW World Tag Team Championship: The Hollywood Blondes (c) vs. Arn Anderson and Paul Roma

Yes, Paul Roma, the former jobber turned member of the Four Horsemen. Ric Flair has disowned Roma as a Horsemen, but back in 1993 the farce proceeds. Lot of stalling from the Blondes in the beginning as they troll the crowd. A couple minutes in, nothing has happened in the very literal sense of the word. Pillman claims that Roma has a loaded fist, so the referee checks it out. Nothing there. Anderson gets Backdropped by Austin. Anderson knocks Austin out onto the ramp. Austin offers Arn a handshake, so Arn cheap shots him. Horsemen cheat regardless of whether they are faces or heels. Roma tags in and works on Austin's arm. Roma counters a Bearhug with a Sunset Flip. Never seen that before. Roma stays on Austin's arm. Pillman tags in and hits some chops before getting choked by Roma. Arn tags in and works Pillman's arm.

Pillman fakes a knee injury. That allows him to dump Arn to the floor. Pillman misses a Plancha and hits the railing. Pillman could easily stay on the floor, get counted out, and keep the titles. Instead, he rolls back into the ring. Roma goes outside and Austin drops him on the railing. Meanwhile, Pillman's tights are wedgied in such a way that you can see half of his ass. Trying to give you the experience I'm having while watching this. Roma gets worked on by both Austin and Pillman. Roma eventually blocks a Pillman Missile Dropkick attempt with a Dropkick of his own. That brings in Anderson, who goes off on both Pillman and Austin. DDT to Pillman. Roma accidentally distracts the referee, so no pin there. Austin cheap shotted Arn while the referee was distracted, so Arn is now the face in peril. Austin tries to Piledriver Arn on the floor but gets Backdropped. Back in the ring, Austin drops Arn on the top rope.

Double KO spot occurs with Pillman and Austin. Austin gets tagged in and manages to cut-off Arn with a Back Suplex. Arn Suplexes Austin over the top to the floor. Arn crawls for the tag, but Pillman cuts him off. Pillman hits a nice Headscissor Takeover. Pillman comes off the second rope and Anderson catches him with a chop. Hot tag to Roma! Roma slams both Austin and Pillman. Spinebuster by Anderson on Austin! Austin just barely kicks out. Roma rolls up Austin behind the referee's back, but Pillman Clotheslines him and Austin bridges into a pin at 26:16.

Result: Hollywood Blondes by pinfall

Analysis: ***3/4. Long, but very good. Mostly a standard formula tag match, but with three excellent workers and Paul Roma. Arn Anderson might be the best individual tag wrestler ever. How many guys did he have great tag matches with and against? He did a great job in this match in both the Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson roles.

30 Minute Iron Man Match for the WCW United States Championship: Rick Rude vs. Dustin Rhodes

The title was held up after a double pinfall in a match between these two, so this match is to determine a new champion. Rude is out first, doing his usual shtick.

Fall One: Not much action for the first few minutes. A lot of stalling and feeling out. Rhodes focuses on Rude's back with a series of clubbing blows. He grabs a Chinlock and holds it for awhile. Five minutes in. Rude fights his way out and goes to the top for a Flying Chop. Rude's really selling the back here. Unfortunately, there's a decent chance he really was hurting as a series of back injuries ended his career. Rude grabs a Bearhug. Then a Chinlock. Restholdapalooza here. Rhodes escapes with an Electric Chair Drop. Ten minutes gone. Rhodes goes after Rude's knee. Kind of an inexplicable shift in body part focus there. Rhodes grabs a Leg Lace. Leg work continues for several minutes. Rude hits a Backbreaker and follows it with the Rude Awakening to win the first fall with 16:41 left. Rude 1, Rhodes 0.

Fall Two: Rude comes off the top with a Flying Clothesline. Fifteen minutes left. Rude throws Rhodes out on the ramp. Rude grabs a Chinlock. Logical for him to stall and try to run out the clock. Rude goes for a Tombstone, but Rhodes reverses it and hits his own Tombstone. Rude kicks out at two. Rude throws Rhodes back to the floor. Rhodes slowly climbs back in and gets Suplexed twice. Dustin blocks a third Suplex and hits a Suplex of his own. Ten minutes left. Rude goes to the top and hits a Flying Chop. Rude hooks a Sleeper Hold. Dustin gets a Jawbreaker to escape. Five minutes left. Rude spits on Rhodes! Four minutes left. Dustin spits on Rude, and Rude shuts down a comeback with a big punch. Dustin gets a Bulldog for the three count with 3:04 left. Rude 1, Rhodes 1.

Rhodes goes up top and hits a Flying Bionic Elbow. Two minutes left. Piledriver by Rhodes. Rude gets his foot on the ropes. 90 seconds left. Dustin drops a big, Dusty-esque Elbow. One minute left. Lariats by Rhodes. He still can't keep Rude down. Sleeper by Dustin. Rude Jawbreakers out and goes to the top rope. Twenty seconds left. Rude comes off and misses Dustin, who proceeds to DDT him and make the cover. Time expires before the three count and we have a 1-1 draw. Rude 1, Rhodes 1.

Result: Draw

Analysis: **1/2. Really slow-paced and not as much drama as you would hope for. It might be more realistic to only have two falls in 30 minutes, but it doesn't make for a very interesting match. Rude would eventually win the title at a house show in August. I suppose they wanted to sell more house show tickets rather than do the change on PPV.

NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Barry Windham (c) vs. Ric Flair

Flair's non-compete clause has finally expired and he's back to challenge for the title he never lost. They trade chops and punches to start, then Windham levels Flair with a Lariat. Windham beats on Flair, mostly with punches. Windham Clotheslines Flair to the floor. Suplex from the apron to the ring by Windham. Flair chops back. Flair rakes Windham's eyes and then hooks a Sleeper. Windham runs Flair into the turnbuckle to escape. Windham hits a Powerslam. Flair gets a Forearm and a Jackknife Cover. A Crossbody from Flair sends Windham falling over the top to the floor. Windham slams Flair on the floor. 10 Punch from Windham, but Flair counters with an Inverted Atomic Drop. Flair goes for a Suplex, but Windham plants Flair on the top rope and Superplexes him!

Windham misses a Diving Elbow from the top. Flair gets a Small Package. Flair does the Flair Flip and runs to the opposite corner before connecting with a Cross Body from the top rope! He hit it! Flair only comes off the top successfully as a face. Back Suplex by Flair. Windham escapes a Figure Four attempt. Flair hooks the Figure Four! Windham's shoulders go down and the referee counts the three. Strange finish. Flair wins the title at 11:27. That's his tenth world championship.

Result: Ric Flair by pinfall (New NWA World Heavyweight Champion)

Analysis: **1/2. Not a great match. Probably needed more time to really get going. There was a decent story that they touched on with Windham knowing all of Flair's moves and countering everything, but they didn't have enough time to really play it up.

Ventura interviews Flair. Flair proclaims himself the real World Heavyweight Champion. Seems like a tease for a champion vs. champion match that they didn't really get to.

Big Van Vader and Sid Vicious vs. Sting and Davey Boy Smith

The "Masters of the Powerbomb" vs. "The Superpowers." Sting dominates Sid to start. Face Slam by Sting. Another one. Chokeslam by Sid! They're not messing around. No feeling out process here. Sid gets Sting back in his corner so he and Vader can work him over. The heels pose and the faces take the opportunity to hit Stereo Flying Clotheslines from the top rope. Vader and Davey in the ring now. Davey hits his Stalling Vertical Suplex on Vader. Vader comes back with a huge Clothesline. Sid tags in and grabs a Chinlock after a Big Boot. Vader tags in and continues the heat on Davey Boy. Vader blocks a Sunset Flip but misses a Butt Splash. Davey crawls for the tag and Vader cuts him off. Sid tags in and comes off the second rope with an Ax Handle. Fortunately, no broken leg. Nerve Hold from Sid. Davey slams Sid but can't make the tag.

Race holds Davey for a Body Avalanche, but Davey moves and Vader knocks Race to the floor. Davey tags in Sting! Sting gets rights and lefts on both Vader and Sid. Vader shuts down Sting's comeback. Head segment on Sting ensues. Second rope Body Avalanche from Vader. Vader goes for a Superplex, but Sting fights out. Sid tags in and keeps working on Sting. Sid misses and Elbow Drop and Davey Boy tags in. Sid shuts down Davey's comeback with a low kick. Samoan Drop by Vader. Vader hits the Vader Bomb! Sting breaks up the pin, so Sid throws him to the ramp. Vader goes back up top and hits a MOONSAULT! HOLY SHIT! Meanwhile, Sting has slammed Sid on the ramp. Sting comes back in and flies over the top rope to break up Vader's pin. Davey gets a Crucifix and gets the pin at 16:43.

Result: Sting and Davey Boy Smith by pinfall

Analysis: ***1/4. Solid tag match main event. The heat segments from the heels were actually pretty entertaining, and Vader's Moonsault was absolutely amazing.

Overall: Not a bad show, but just thoroughly mediocre. The Hollywood Blondes match was good, and the main event was pretty good. Other than that, nothing of any real note. Feel free to skip this one.

Grade: C

JRSlim21
July 8th, 2013, 10:11 PM
Was this the show that screwed up Davey Boy's back?

The Law
July 10th, 2013, 11:26 AM
I don't think so. His really bad back injury was at Fall Brawl 1998. He took a bump, landing on Warrior's trap door, and got completely fucked up. Had an infection post-surgery too. Almost killed him then, and unfortunately led to his painkiller addiction.

The Law
July 10th, 2013, 6:38 PM
Fall Brawl 1993
September 19, 1993
Astro Arena
Houston, Texas

Welcome to the first pay-per-view edition of Fall Brawl! This show would become a WCW mainstay and the home of the War Games match. Tonight's show features a showdown between Team Vader and Team Sting. Joining Vader would be Sid Vicious and Harlem Heat, making their pay-per-view debuts. Joining Sting would be Davey Boy Smith, Dustin Rhodes, and... THE SHOCKMASTER! Yes, one of WCW's greatest fuck-ups. Almost everyone knows about The Shockmaster, but I'll recap anyway. WCW wanted to debut a new big babyface to join Sting for the match. For some reason, they decided to go with Fred Ottman, who had previously portrayed Tugboat in the WWF. They decided to have him wear a goofy silver Storm Trooper helmet with jeans and a black vest. So he was going to make his debut at Clash of the Champions in August, and this disaster occurred:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5oMiqJRVqs" target="_blank">
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5oMiqJRVqs
Please note:

-Booker T: "Who is that motherfucker?"
-Davey Boy Smith: "Jesus, he fell on his ass! He fell flat on his fucking ass!"
-Sid, somehow, being the most professional of the bunch and staying in character. Dude was doing everything he could to try to sell this even after it had gone to shit.

Yes, that's Ole Anderson doing the voice. Shockmaster and Black Scorpion. They really shouldn't have let him do voices. It never ended well. After this, they turned Shockmaster into a joke. He started dressing as a construction worker and the announcers constantly made fun of him for falling down. Honestly, there's no way this character was ever going to get over anyway, but this is one of the most infamous moments in WCW history for good reason.

Also, WCW finally withdrew from the NWA. Bischoff started booking NWA Title changes without informing or getting permission from the committee. Both sides mutually parted ways. WCW was much, much bigger than the NWA at this point. They still owned the physical big gold belt, so they just renamed it the "WCW International World Heavyweight Championship." This was the primary championship of the fictional "WCW International." I actually kind of like the idea of pretending that the champion is traveling all over the world defending the title. They could have really done something interesting with this, making it the championship that foreign wrestlers and specific styles of American wrestlers competed for. Instead, it just became a secondary world championship and made the other titles less valuable, Anyway, let's get to the action:

WCW World Television Championship: Ricky Steamboat (c) vs. Lord Steven Regal

Really anticipating the mix of styles in this one. Regal is new to the company, but his heel act is already quite over. Steamboat won the title from Paul Orndorff at Clash of the Champions in August. Steamboat has injured ribs after Regal beat him with an umbrella on Saturday Night. They exchange punches and chops, and then Steamboat throws Regal over the top onto the ramp. Confusingly, that isn't a DQ. Steamboat hits a chop from the top rope, but goes down clutching his injured ribs. Regal works on the ribs until Steamboat drops him with a Karate Kick. Steamboat grabs a Hammer Lock. Regal manages to elbow out and goes back to the ribs. Steamboat plays possum and gets Regal down with an Arm Scissor. Steamboat continues working on Regal's arm. Rope-running sequence ends with Steamboat getting a Body Press but not being able to cover because of his ribs.

Steamboat grabs an Armbar and holds it even after Regal powers out. Regal Backdrops Steamboat to take control. Regal pounds on Steamboat's ribs. Somersault Senton by Regal. Steamboat Electric Chair Drops out of a Camel Clutch, but catches Regal's knees while attempting a Splash. Regal applies an Argentine Backbreaker. Steamboat escapes and hits a Big Chop to the head. Regal quickly comes back with a Drop Toe Hold and a Surfboard. Regal hits an Underhook Suplex. Steamboat catapults Regal into the corner. Steamboat tries a slam but can't get Regal up. Regal applies another hold. Regal tries a Tombstone, but Steamboat reverses and hits his own Tombstone. Regal attempts a Back Suplex, but Steamboat counters into a pin for a two count. Suplex by Steamboat, but a delayed cover because of his ribs. Unbelievable selling by Steamboat. Steamboat hits a Flying Bodypress from the top, but Regal manages to roll Steamboat off. Regal throws Steamboat over the top, but he skins the cat. As he's doing so, Regal's valet Sir Williams hits Steamboat in the head with the umbrella. Regal follows with a Bridging German Suplex for the win at 17:05.

Result: Steven Regal by pinfall (New WCW World Television Champion)

Analysis: ***1/2. Really good match. Fantastic psychology and selling from both guys. Steamboat sold his ribs the entire time, and it clearly affected the outcome of the match. This should be required viewing for wrestling students.

Charlie Norris vs. Big Sky

Norris is probably most notable for being part of a racial discrimination lawsuit against WCW. Big Sky is Tyler Mane, who played Sabertooth in the first "X-Men" movie. This is strange, because you would expect the guy with the Indian gimmick to be named "Big Sky," but it's Charlie Norris wearing the feathers. Norris works on the arm while the crowd chants "boring." Norris eventually hits a big kick and gets the win at 4:34.

Result: Charlie Norris by pinfall

Analysis: Dud. Boring short match.

2 Cold Scorpio and Marcus Bagwell vs. Paul Orndorff and The Equalizer

The Equalizer is Bill Danenhaur, who would later go on to play the dyslexic Hulk Hogan fan/brother of Kevin Sullivan Dave "Evad" Sullivan. Bagwell starts with a series of blows to Equalizer, but can't knock him down. Scorpio comes in and then take him off his feat with a Double Dropkick. Bagwell and Scorpio stay in control until Equalizer pulls down the top rope on Bagwell and he tumbles to the floor. Cue heat segment on Bagwell. After what seems like forever, Bagwell breaks out of a Bearhug and hits a Back Suplex on Orndorff. Bagwell makes the hot tag to Scorpio, who cleans house. Orndorff accidentally hits Equalizer, which allows Scorpio to hit the 450 Splash for the win at 10:46.

Result: 2 Cold Scorpio and Marcus Bagwell by pinfall

Analysis: *1/2. Basic tag match. Add a half star for Scorpio's 450.

Ice Train vs. Shanghai Pierce

Shanghai Pierce and Tex Morgan are the Godwinns, dressed up as cowboys instead of hillbillies. Pierce is Mark Canterbury, the future Henry Godwinn. Ice Train was a large, muscular African-American man. He was employed by WCW for an astounding 11 years, from 1990 until they went out of business in 2001. In that time, he did little of any note. His peak was either teaming with Scott Norton or playing "M.I. Smooth," a member of the New Blood. If you wanted a great example of WCW's fiscal irresponsibility, this is a good one. They paid this guy for 11 years, several of which he spent not being on TV. Anyway, this is a short, basic match. Train overpowers Pierce and pins him after botched interference and a Powerslam in 3:27.

Result: Ice Train by pinfall

Analysis: 1/2*. Really not pay-per-view worthy.

WCW World Tag Team Championship: The Four Horsemen (Arn Anderson and Paul Roma) vs. The Nasty Boys

This is a surprise return to WCW for the Nasties. Schiavone calls Missy Hyatt a "social climber," and Ventura points out that he wishes she'd "social climb you." Schiavone doesn't sell that one. Lots and lots of stalling and feeling out. Arn works on Sags' leg for several minutes. Roma does the same. It goes on and on and on and on. After several minutes, Roma gets stuck in the Nasties corner and worked over. Lots of restholds from the Nasties ensue. Eventually, Roma manages to Electric Chair his way out of a Chinlock and tag in Arn. While the referee is distracted, Sags blasts Arn with a chair. Nasties take over. Long Abdominal Stretch from Knobbs. Then a Bearhug. This match has been 99% holds. Anderson dodges a Clothesline and tags in Roma. The Nasties get Roma up for a Steiner Bulldog, but Arn throws Sags off the top while Roma badly botches a Victory Roll. Anderson hits Sags with the Double A Spinebuster. Roma hits a Splash and has the pin, but the referee is distracted putting Anderson out of the ring. Knobbs drops an elbow and Sags gets the pin at 23:58.

Result: Nasty Boys by pinfall (New WCW World Tag Team Champions)

Analysis: 3/4*. Boring as hell. Who booked a 25 minute Nasty Boys match?

Cactus Jack vs. Yoshi Kwan

Oh dear. "Lost in Cleveland." Cactus got Powerbombed on a concrete floor by Vader a few months back. During his time off, they did a series of vignettes portraying him as having amnesia, being homeless, and thinking he was a sailor. A serious angle with Cactus returning from his injuries and seeking revenge on Vader would have been a sure-fire moneymaker and most likely star-making angle for Cactus. Instead, they turned it into a joke. Yoshi Kwan is Chris Champion. Vader and Harley Race have put a bounty on Cactus, hoping someone takes him out before he gets to Vader. Also, Harley Race is carrying a leather bag that apparently belongs to Cactus, but no one knows why he wants it or what's in it. Cactus Clothesline sends both guys to the floor. Cactus goes after Race and that allows Kwan to take over. They go back in the ring gets the Double Arm DDT for the win at 3:38.

Result: Cactus Jack by pinfall

Analysis: 1/2*. Squash.

After the match, Cactus Suplexes Race into the ring and gets his bag back. Not sure if we ever found out what was in there.

WCW International World Heavyweight Championship: Ric Flair (c) vs. Rick Rude

This was set up by Fifi, Flair's french maid and presumably mistress, rejecting Rude's advances when he appeared on A Flair for the Gold. This was going to be the for the NWA Championship, but then WCW withdrew from the NWA because they were unhappy Bischoff was going to put the title on Rude without their permission. The International Championship is even faker than most wrestling championships because the promotion is purports to represent doesn't actually exist.

Rude works a Headlock for awhile to start the match. That's not a good sign. Rude misses a top rope Knee Drop and Flair hooks the Figure Four, but Rude quickly grabs the ropes. Rude quickly Clotheslines Flair over the top rope. Flair proceeds to work an Armbar and Wristlock for five minutes or so. There are a few breaks, but he just keeps going back to the arm. Rude hits a Back Suplex and sits on a Chinlock. Then a Bearhug. Minutes pass. Rude gets a Hot Shot on Flair and they're both down. Rude hits a Big Fist from the top rope. Flair counters another Fist attempt and hits a Back Suplex. Double Underhook Suplex from Flair. Rude counters a corner charge with a knee to the face. DDT by Rude. Flair escapes the Rude Awakening and hits a Rude Awakening of his own! Wow. Stealing moves wasn't common back then. Flair counters a Sleeper Hold with a Knee Breaker and then performs a Knee Wrench from the top rope. Rude blocks a Figure Four attempt, then Rude gets a Small Package. Outside, Flair drops Rude across the guardrail. Flair does the Flair Flip and gets hits with a Clothesline while coming off the top rope. Top rope Knee Drop from Rude. Rude gets slapped by Fifi and then forces a kiss. Flair sneaks up behind him and gets a Backdrop. Flair locks in the Figure Four! The referee gets distracted by Fifi and Rude hits Flair with a foreign object for the pin at 30:47.

Result: Rick Rude by pinfall (New WCW International World Heavyweight Champion)

Analysis: ***. Took awhile to get going and was a lot longer than it needed to be, but the last ten minutes were really, really good. Rude wins his first world championship, if you want to consider the fake title that.

War Games Match: Sting, Davey Boy Smith, Dustin Rhodes, and The Shockmaster vs. Big Van Vader, Sid Vicious, and Harlem Heat

Harlem Heat are "Kane" and "Kole" here, but I'm just going to call them Booker and Stevie for simplicity. Animal is accompanying the faces. I believe Hawk was dealing with both injuries and drug issues at the time. Animal's stay with the company would be brief and then they wouldn't return until 1996. Dustin goes rogue and enters the cage without consulting his team. He's banged up from a beating he got from the heels on Saturday Night, so of course he wants to start. For some reason the injured babyface is always an idiot and wants to go in first. Vader starts for the heels. Vader quickly takes over and beats on Dustin. Vader hits the Vaderbomb, but Dustin quickly comes back with a DDT. Rhodes takes off his boot and beats Vader with it. The heels win the coin toss and Stevie Ray enters the match. Stevie and Vader pummel Dustin. After a two minute beatdown, Sting enters the match. Vader and Stevie meet him at the door. Smart strategy, but it doesn't work. Sting Clotheslines them both and sends Stevie into the cage. Sting handles Vader in one ring while Dustin controls Stevie in the other. Eventually, Sid enters the match. Vader Chokeslams Sting. Sid and Vader double team Sting. Dustin and Stevie are still going at it in the other ring. Davey Boy enters the match to even things up. Bulldog Clotheslines Sid and then slams Vader off the middle rope. Stevie jumps Sting from behind and the heels take control. Booker T enters the match and slams Davey Boy off the top rope. Heat segment goes on until the Shockmaster enters the match and the Match Beyond begins.

Shockmaster quickly grabs a Bearhug on Booker. Everyone on Booker's team just kind of meanders around the ring, not helping him. Booker gives up and Sting's team wins at 16:39.

Result: Sting, Davey Boy Smith, Dustin Rhodes, and The Shockmaster by submission

Analysis: **. Worst War Games Match I've seen so far. Just didn't have the energy or urgency of the others. Shockmaster winning is a very confusing decision after they had consciously turned him into a joke.

Overall: That sucked. Good opener, decent Flair/Rude match, a weak War Games match, and a bunch of squash matches. Way too much filler on this card. This wasn't as bad as Great American Bash 1991, but it was different: it was just boring instead of offensively bad. In some ways, boring is worse. Really weak offering from WCW here.

Grade: D

Defrost
July 12th, 2013, 12:57 PM
There are some bad Wargames matches, actually in a sorta secret way most of them are, but when I reviewed a series of Wargames matches the 1993 one was by far the worst and I was harsher toward it than you were. That may have been the context of watching it right after the 1992 Wargames though which is by far the best. I don't envy you when you get to the Hogan and Friends vs the Dungeon of Doom Wargames. I just outright refused to watch that one.

The Law
July 12th, 2013, 1:35 PM
This was kind of the end of WarGames. The 1996 one was pretty good (NWO vs. WCW, Fake Sting) but other than that none of the ones after this really landed. I did think the one they did on Nitro in 2000 was pretty good. I think it was Booker T, Goldberg, Kronik, and Sting against Nash, Jarrett, Scott Steiner, and the Harris Brothers. I always liked the Triple Cage, and the part where you had to climb to the top, get the belt, and then fight your way back down the cage and leave with it was a nice idea. I'm pretty sure the ending of the match was stupid, but that was to be expected in Russo-era WCW.

The Law
July 12th, 2013, 1:41 PM
Halloween Havoc 1993: Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal
October 24, 1993
Lakefront Arena
New Orleans, Louisiana

Welcome to Halloween Havoc 1993! We left Fall Brawl with three new champions. In the main event, Vader will battle Cactus Jack in the second "Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal" Match. This one features either a gimmicked wheel or less incompetent bookers, because they will not be facing off in a Coal Miners Glove Match. Let's get to the action:

We start with a mini-movie. This one is a forgotten classic. Kids come to Trick or Treat at Tony Schiavone's house, where he creepily invites them inside. He then rips off his skin to reveal himself as a monster. That was actually pretty well done, though it had nothing to do with wrestling.

Our hosts are Tony Schiavone and Jesse Ventura. Amusingly, Tony is dressed as Ventura.

Ice Train, Charlie Norris, and The Shockmaster vs. The Equalizer and Harlem Heat

Oy, rough way to start the show. Unsurprisingly, this match is not good. The heels work on Norris for awhile. The only real highlight is Booker busting out the Scissor Kick. No Spin-a-roonie, though. Booker misses a Splash, Shockmaster comes in, and he gets the pin after some kind of Bearhug Slam at a borderline excruciating 9:45.

Result: Ice Train, Charlie Norris, and Shockmaster by pinfall

Analysis: 1/2*. Didn't belong on PPV.

Paul Orndorff vs. Ricky Steamboat

Orndorff is accompanied by Assassin #1. The crowd riles up Orndorff with "Paula" chants. Orndorff gets the early advantage by jumping Steamboat while he's removing his dragon wings. Steamboat tries to run all the way down the aisle to hit a Body Press, but Orndorff sees it coming and dodges. Steamboat hits some kind of Spinning Armdrag and works on Ordnorff's arm. He eventually starts slamming Orndorff's arm into the post. I think they were teasing a Steamboat heel turn at this point, because he had been cheating a lot in his last few matches. Couple minutes go by with Steamboat continuing to work on the arm. Orndorff yanks Steamboat off the apron while he's talking to the referee and quickly takes over. He pounds Steamboat on the outside and then throws him into the crowd. They go back in the ring and Steamboat throws Orndorff out to the ramp, then hits the Flying Chop from the top rope. Running Atomic Drop by Steamboat. Another Flying Chop from the top rope. Orndorff counters a Backdrop by slamming Steamboat into the mat. Steamboat Backdrops out of a Piledriver attempt. Steamboat gets a Belly to Back Suplex and goes up top. Flying Body Press, but the Assassin distracts the referee to prevent the pin. Orndorff Backdrops Steamboat to the mat behind the referee's back, and then Assassin loads up his mask and headbutts Steamboat. Steamboat is unable to get back into the ring and is counted out at 18:36.

Result: Paul Orndorff by Count Out

Analysis: ***. Solid match. Pretty much what you would expect from these two.

WCW World Television Championship: Lord Steven Regal (c) vs. Davey Boy Smith

Regal doesn't want to lock up because Davey is covered in baby oil. I'd have the same reaction. The first few minutes are an entertaining series of mat wrestling counters. Davey Boy even does a front flip at one point. The story is that Regal is a snooty aristocrat and Smith is a commoner, so it makes sense as a story for Davey to try to show-off and out-wrestle Regal. Bulldog ends up locking in a Surfboard. Regal gets a knee to the gut after Davey hits the ropes to take over. Regal busts out a Somersault Splash. Regal goes to work on Davey's arm. Five minutes left in the match. Bulldog gets a Clothesline with four minutes to go, but Regal shuts down his comeback with a knee to the midsection. Regal continues to work holds with under two minutes to go. Smith comes back with one minute to go. Clothesline, Suplex. 30 seconds left. Running Powerslam! Regal kicks out. Wow. I think they botched the timing on that one, because it would make more sense for that to be the last move. Davey hits a Piledriver, but time expires at 15:00.

Result: Time Limit Draw

Analysis: ***1/2. Good match. Really enjoyed the mat wrestling from these two. And I've always been a sucker for time limit draws. Great way to build heat on the heel and build up anticipation.

Vader comes out to spin the wheel and determine the stipulation for his match tonight. It lands on the Texas Death Match. Definitely an improvement on the Coal Miners Glove.

WCW United States Championship: Dustin Rhodes (c) vs. Steve Austin

Austin dicklishly slaps Rhodes across the face to start. Austin controls the early portions of the match. Lots of punches, elbows, and headlocks. Rhodes makes a comeback mostly consisting of punches and ramming Austin's head into the turnbuckle. Austin misses a corner knee and tumbles over the top to the floor. Rhodes goes right to the leg with a Toe Hold. Austin manages to distract the referee and kick Dustin straight in the nuts. That'll put him down. Austin drops a few knees and then grabs a Chinlock. Dustin tries to throw Austin into the corner, but he manages to hit a Knee Drop instead after bouncing off the corner. Rhodes gets going with a Backdrop. Austin counters a Bulldog attempt by crotching Dustin on the top rope. Austin gets Dustin in the tree of woe, but the referee lets him out. Dustin fights his way out of the Stun Gun and they trade Sunset Flips. Austin does a Double Leg Takedown and pins Dustin with his feet on the ropes, but the referee spots it. Austin thinks he's won, so Dustin sneaks up behind him and pins him at 14:25.

Result: Dustin Rhodes by pinfall

Analysis: **1/2. Too slow for my tastes. Finish really came out of nowhere too.

A frustrated Austin blasts Dustin in the face with the belt and leaves with it.

WCW World Tag Team Championship: 2 Cold Scorpio and Marcus Bagwell (c) vs. The Nasty Boys

Bagwell and Scorpio beat the Nasties on Saturday Night the night before this to win the belts. Bagwell force kisses Missy Hyatt, and the crowd roars for the sexual assault. Stay classy, professional wrestling. Loud "Whoomp, there it is!" chant from the crowd. It's definitely 1993. A quick Flying Body Press from Scorpio takes down both Saggs and Knobbs. The Nasties bail and Scorpio takes them out with a Plancha to the floor. Scorpio and Bagwell control the next portion of the match with double teams and high-flying offense. Bagwell ends up getting dumped over the top to the floor and the Nasties take over. Saggs hits a Back Suplex out on the floor and then the Nasties roll their heat segment on Bagwell. Knobbs telegraphs a Backdrop and Bagwell slams him to the mat by his hair. That allows Bagwell to tag in Scorpio, but the referee didn't see it. Bagwell counters a corner charge and makes the tag to Scorpio. Scorpio Spin Kicks and Dropkicks both Nasties. Moonsault by Scorpio! Pier six brawl in the ring as Missy Hyatt and Teddy Long get into it on the apron. Scorpio hits the 450 Splash on Knobbs, but Saggs pulls of his boot and blasts Scorpio in the head with it. That's enough for the pin at 14:40 as the Nasties regain the tag team titles.

Result: Nasty Boys by pinfall (New WCW World Tag Team Champions)

Analysis: **3/4. Fun tag match. The Nasties heat segment was pretty dull as per usual, but Scorpio and Bagwell were a lot of fun with their offense.

Eric Bischoff interviews Sid and Col. Rob Parker. Sid still rules the world.

Sting vs. Sid Vicious

Let's see if they can top their stinker from Halloween Havoc 1990. This match is being billed as determining who is the "franchise" of WCW. Sting immediately slams and Clotheslines Sid to the mat. Again, I would prefer it if he actually built up to that rather than just doing it immediately. Sting follows Sid to the floor and knocks him over the guardrail. They brawl into the crowd, which was a novelty back then. They get back into the ring and Sting hits a Flying Clothesline from the top rope. Parker grabs Sting's foot while he hits the ropes and Sid hits a Chokeslam. Lots of choking and stomping ensues. Sid hits one of the weakest chair shots I've ever seen on Sting. Beahugs and Chinlocks from Sid. Sting finally elbows his way out and hits a Stinger Splash, then another. Parker tries to trip Sting, but accidentally takes down Sid instead. While Sid yells at Parker, Sting rolls him up for the pin at 10:42.

Result: Sting by pinfall

Analysis: 1/2*. That was pretty bad. Just tons of restholds from Sid after Sting's initial flurry.

They tease Sid turning on Parker, but he ends up walking away. They were planning a Sid face turn and a run against Vader for Starrcade, but then Sid went and stabbed Arn Anderson and got himself fired. More on that later.

We get a shot of Vader and Cactus Jack preparing for their match. Cactus sits holding himself in the style that Foley would as Mankind later in his career. Vader warms up by throwing punches.

WCW International World Heavyweight Championship: Rick Rude (c) vs. Ric Flair

Terry Taylor is acting as outside enforcer here. Flair goes on offense right away. Rude blocks a corner charge and goes up top. He misses a Knee Drop, leading Flair to hit a Kneebreaker and lock on the Figure Four. Rude makes it to the ropes after about a minute. Flair wraps Rude's leg around the ring post. Flair gets back in the ring and keeps working the leg. Rude eventually manages to throw Flair to the floor. Flair gets back in and hits a Body Press, sending them both over the top to the floor. Flair ends up coming off the top rope and hitting a Forearm. Flair tries it again, but Rude hits him with a shot to the gut. Rude goes for a chair and Taylor rips it away from him. Rude sits into a Rear Chinlock. After some gyrating, he goes to the top rope and hits a Forearm. After a LONG Chinlock, Flair does the Flair Flip and gets caught with a Clothesline while running the apron. Rude Suplexes Flair from the apron to the floor. Rude hits another Forearm from the top rope. Rude shuts down a Flair comeback attempt with a Clothesline and locks on a Bearhug. Rude goes to the top and misses a Forearm. Flair hits the Rude Awakening! Only gets two.

Flair hits a Suplex and goes up top. He comes off the top and eats Rude's boots. Rude whips Flair into the corner and knocks down the referee in the process. Dusty was booking at this point, so we all know what's coming. Taylor gets into the ring to referee and immediately gets bumped. Rude takes a swing at Flair with a loaded fist, but Flair ducks and hits a Back Suplex. Flair gets hold of the foreign object and hits Rude in the face with it. Flair covers and appears to get the three count, but Randy Anderson calls for the DQ from the floor at 19:22.

Result: Rick Rude by disqualification

Analysis: **3/4. Finish definitely hurt the match. I mostly enjoyed the action, but the crowd deserved a definitive finish.

Fight ensues after the match when Rude tries to kidnap Fifi.

Texas Death Match: Big Van Vader vs. Cactus Jack

Rules of the Texas Death Match:

-Pinfalls and submissions count anywhere.
-No disqualifications or count outs.
-After being pinned or submitting, the man who was pinned has a ten count to rise to his feet. If he does, the match continues.
-30 second rest period between falls.
-The match ends when one of the competitors cannot answer the ten count.

So it's a Last Man Standing Match, but you have to get a pin or submission to trigger the ten count. I think I like this format more because it means the action is less broken up. In the typical LMS rules, there's too much standing around waiting for one of the guys to get up. The WCW Championship is not on the line here. This has been building since April, when Vader Powerbombed Cactus on a concrete floor and put him out of action for months. While WCW horribly botched the build to this match, the fans are still excited to see it. Vader is out first with Harley Race. Cactus is out second and he and Vader rumble out on the ramp. Vader quickly removes his mask. This shit is going to get real in a hurry. Jack puts Vader into the ring post and hits him with a chair. Cactus hits Vader with another chair shot. They go into the ring and Vader blocks a corner charge. Stiff punches from Vader in the corner. Vader knocks Cactus out onto the ramp with a right hand. Vader tries to Suplex Cactus into the ring, but Cactus reverses and Suplexes Vader over the top onto the ramp.

Cactus is busted open. Might have been the hard way. Back Suplex by Cactus on the ramp. Another chair shot by Cactus. They've fought all the way to the top of the stage and end up rolling into a grave. Man, Cactus is really bleeding out of his eye. Definitely not a blade job. Vader comes out of the grave bleeding. Cactus is there to meet him with a Clothesline. Cactus gets the pin. Vader is up by three, but gets hit in the face with a prop cactus from the stage. That sends him off the ramp onto the floor, and Cactus hits the Cactus Jack Elbow from the ramp to the floor. That's good for another pin. Vader is up by four. Vader gets a second wind and starts beatin down Cactus. Cactus throws a table into the ring. Vader gets whipped into it, but it doesn't break. Vader stumbles out of the ring, so Cactus comes flying off the apron with a Sunset Flip attempt. Vader blocks it and tries a Butt Splash, but Cactus moves. Cactus knocks Vader over the rail into the crowd and tries a Somersault Splash, but Vader moves and Cactus splats onto the concrete.

Vader hits Cactus with a chair. We see that Race has a tazer. Vader slams Cactus and hits the TOP ROPE MOONSAULT! That's a pin for Vader. Cactus makes it to his feet at three. Probably should have drawn that out until nine. Vader beats on Cactus in the corner and throws him out onto the ramp. Cactus gets Vader in a Sleeper and climbs up onto his back. Holy shit, Vader just jumped backwards and landed with all his weight on Foley. Fuck, that could have killed him. According to Have a Nice Day, Foley was actually intending to get injured there so he could cash in his insurance policy and retire. Didn't happen, because his body is unbreakable. Vader blasts Cactus in the face with a chair and then DDTs him on the chair. Cactus is out and Vader pins him. Vader ignores the rest period and pulls Cactus to his feet. Cactus comes back and DDTs Vader on the chair! They're both down and the referee starts counting. Cactus makes it to his feet, but Race tazes him and Cactus goes down. Vader is on his feet and Cactus is out. Vader wins at 15:57.

Winner: Vader

Analysis: ****1/2. Amazing brawl, one of the best and most realistic I've ever seen. Those guys were just beating the piss out of each other. No regard for safety or health. It's cringe inducing, but also damn entertaining. I didn't care for the way the match was booked. I don't think I would have let Cactus pin Vader. It rubs me the wrong way that Cactus pinned the WCW Champion twice, especially knowing that they didn't intend to do much of anything with Cactus afterward. I didn't think the finish made a ton of sense, as Cactus had already risen to his feet during the rest period. Definitely would have made more sense if he hadn't gotten up and DDTed Vader. Anyway, my quibbles aside that was a phenomenal match and should have resulted in Cactus being solidified as a main eventer. Unfortunately, this would be his last PPV main event in WCW, as he would slide back into the midcard after this.

Jack gets back up and hits the Double Arm DDT on Race. Vader doesn't seem concerned about that and just takes off. Credits roll.

Overall: Pretty good show. A big improvement on the previous 1993 shows. The main event was outstanding, and several of the undercard matches were pretty good too. The Sting/Sid match and the opener both sucked, but everything else was at least watchable.

Grade: B

JP
July 12th, 2013, 2:19 PM
Brilliant walk through of Vader/Cactus.

After that match and the reaction it got from the live audience how they didn't see the potential in Foley is incredible.

Atty
July 12th, 2013, 7:53 PM
Very good review. Watched Vader/Cactus after reading it and, while it's good I really didn't like the format of the Texas Death Match. Namely the 30 second break after a fall before they would do the LMS count. It threw off the pacing, but that may be retrospect speaking, as I have seen many LMSs in my life.

Defrost
July 12th, 2013, 8:00 PM
This was kind of the end of WarGames. The 1996 one was pretty good (NWO vs. WCW, Fake Sting) but other than that none of the ones after this really landed. I did think the one they did on Nitro in 2000 was pretty good. I think it was Booker T, Goldberg, Kronik, and Sting against Nash, Jarrett, Scott Steiner, and the Harris Brothers. I always liked the Triple Cage, and the part where you had to climb to the top, get the belt, and then fight your way back down the cage and leave with it was a nice idea. I'm pretty sure the ending of the match was stupid, but that was to be expected in Russo-era WCW.

I remember 1997 being good too. The one where Hennig turned on the Horsemen. I may be wrong since I haven't watched it in forever because of Benoit though.

Tainted Eclipse
July 12th, 2013, 8:39 PM
The one at Fall Brawl 94 is really good. Maybe the best, I thought it was when I watched it about 4 years ago though I haven't rewatched it.

Defrost
July 12th, 2013, 9:01 PM
Is that the one with the Nasty Boys and Bunkhouse Buck?

Tainted Eclipse
July 12th, 2013, 9:20 PM
yeah. just looked for it and cant seem to find it on youtube or dailymotion anymore.

Atty
July 12th, 2013, 10:50 PM
I was actually looking for that one this morning, unrelated to this, and couldn't find it.

The Law
July 15th, 2013, 8:54 PM
Battlebowl 1993
November 20, 1993
Pensacola Civic Center
Pensacola, Florida

Alright, so WCW had run the Battlebowl at the last two Starrcades. Neither was particularly entertaining or commercially successful, so they decided... to give it its own pay-per-view. Sigh. This year, there will be 32 wrestlers competing on 16 teams in eight matches. I'm not going over all the rules, so here are the teams and matchups:

Charlie Norris and Kane vs. Vader and Cactus Jack
Brian Knobbs and Johnny B. Badd vs. Erik Watts and Paul Roma
The Shockmaster and Paul Orndorff vs. Ricky Steamboat and Steven Regal
The Equalizer and Awesome Kong vs. Dustin Rhodes and King Kong
Sting and Jerry Sags vs. Ron Simmons and Keith Cole
2 Cold Scorpio and Maxx Payne vs. Ric Flair and Steve Austin
Rick Rude and Shanghai Pierce vs. Tex Slazenger and Marcus Bagwell
Davey Boy Smith and Kole vs. Road Warrior Hawk and Rip Rogers

Notably, the teams are drawn by Gene Okerlund, who is making his WCW pay-per-view debut.

Charlie Norris and Kane vs. Vader and Cactus Jack

Obviously, Vader and Cactus make for strange bedfellows after they've been trying to kill each other for the last few months. Kane is Stevie Ray, which I will be calling him henceforth. Vader and Cactus brawl on the ramp to start, then Stevie and Norris got after their opponents. Norris fights with Vader on the ramp while Stevie and Cactus brawl in the ring. Unsurprisingly, Cactus and Vader continue to not get along. Vader tags in and quickly hits the Vaderbomb on Norris. Vader throws him to the floor so that Cactus can hit his Somersault Splash from the apron. Cactus tags in and ends up getting worked over. Cactus ducks a Clothesline and hits the Double Arm DDT. Both men make tags. Vader hits a Body Avalanche and then a sloppy Powerbomb for the win at 7:36.

Result: Vader and Cactus Jack by pinfall

Analysis: *1/2. Vader and Cactus were a fun combination, but they really needed better opponents.

Paul Roma and Erik Watts vs. Johnny B. Badd and Brian Knobbs

Yuck. Watts is mysteriously still employed. Roma was a jobber who they tried to make into a member of the Horsemen. Badd was green. Knobbs was a Nasty. Little of interest happens here as the match drags on and on. Eventually, Watts get a hot tag and hits a Crossbody, but Knobbs rolls through and grabs the tights for the pin at 12:57.

Result: Johnny B. Badd and Brian Knobbs by pinfall

Analysis: 1/2*. Way, way too long for what these four had to offer.

The Shockmaster and Paul Orndorff vs. Lord Steven Regal and Ricky Steamboat

Regal and Steamboat would have made an excellent tag team. Here, they're on opposite sides of the face/heel divide and feuding after Regal beat Steamboat for the Television Championship at Fall Brawl. Steamboat wrestles circles around Orndorff to start. A Double KO off an Atomic Drop results in Regal and Shockmaster tagging into the match. Shockmaster slams Regal and tags Orndorff back in. Orndorff and Regal, both being heels, wrestle respectfully and shake hands. Steamboat tags himself in and gets hit with a Hot Shot. Ordnorff tags in Shockmaster. Shockmaster misses an Elbow Drop and Regal tags in. With the referee distracted, Regal tries to take out Shockmaster with his umbrella. Steamboat grabs the umbrella and hits Regal with it! Shockmaster hits a Splash and pins Regal at 12:26.

Result: Shockmaster and Paul Orndorff by pinfall

Analysis: **1/2. That was pretty good. Ricky Steamboat is the Ned Stark of wrestling: far too noble for his own good.

Mean Gene announces that Starrcade will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina this year. Flair Country.

Awesome Kong and The Equalizer vs. King Kong and Dustin Rhodes

Obviously, this Awesome Kong is not Kharma from the WWE. The two Kongs are tag team partners. Dustin and Equalizer do some mat wrestling as Tony and Jesse tune out on the match. The Kongs both get tagged in but refuse to fight each other. They know what's up. The Battlebowl isn't worth it. The Kongs are two of the fattest guys I've ever seen in a wrestling ring. Eventually, everyone starts brawling in the ring and Rhodes hits a Bulldog on Awesome Kong for the win at 5:56.

Result: King Kong and Dustin Rhodes by pinfall

Analysis: 1/4*. That was pretty worthless. At least they kept it short.

Sting and Jerry Sags vs. Ron Simmons and Keith Cole

Keith is one half of the Cole Twins with his brother Kent. Simmons hasn't been doing much since losing the WCW Title to Vader at the start of the year. Here, he beats down Saggs and then tags in Cole. Cole, to Simmons' frustration, doesn't go for the pin and instead does some arm work. Saggs refuses to tag to Sting until Simmons tags in, at which point he has no problem getting out of the ring. Simmons gets a cheap shot on Sting and chokes him. Yeah, Simmons was heading for a heel turn at this point. Simmons hits a Powerslam and tags in Cole, who goes back to the arm. Simmons gets pissed and tags himself back in. He catapults Sting throat-first into the bottom rope. Simmons once again tags in Cole and tells him to finish Sting. Instead, Sting fights back and hits the Stinger Splash. Sags makes a blind tag and hits an Elbow Drop for the pin at 13:15.

Result: Sting and Jerry Sags by pinfall

Analysis: **1/2. That was pretty good. Not a ton of action, but good story-telling to build up to a heel turn by Simmons. He kept getting more and more frustrated with the fact that his younger partner wouldn't go for the kill.

After the match, Simmons hits a Spinebuster on Cole. He had been teasing a heel turn for awhile, and that made it official.

Ric Flair and Steve Austin vs. Maxx Payne and 2 Cold Scorpio

Good talent in the ring here. Payne overpowers Austin to start. Austin wants to tag out to Flair, but Flair WOOS in his face instead. Scorpio works over Austin until Flair finally tags in. Short sequence from Flair and Scorpio leads to Payne tagging in and slamming Flair off the top rope. Everyone tags in and out without much happening until Scorpio hits a Stinger Splash and then a Standing Moonsault on Flair. Austin tags in gets Superkicked. Scorpio goes up top, but Austin crotches him and hits a Superplex! Flair and Austin end up getting into a scuffle because Flair won't let Austin cheat. That's rather hypocritical of him. They reconcile and double team Scorpio. Scorpio manages a Spinning Heel Kick on Flair and then tags in Payne. Payne slams Flair and goes for a Corner Splash, but he ends up hitting his knee. Flair quickly locks on the Figure Four for the submission victory at 14:32.

Result: Ric Flair and Steve Austin by submission

Analysis: ***1/2. Good match. Really enjoyed Scorpio working with Flair. That would have been a fun combination to see more of.

Rick Rude and Shanghai Pierce vs. Marcus Bagwell and Tex Slazenger

The Godwinns explode! Not a single person was looking forward to seeing that. Bagwell gets worked over for most of the match. Eventually, Pierce hits a Gutwrench Powerbomb. Slazenger breaks up the pin and tags in. Slazenger and Pierce go at it! Surprisingly, the crowd is really into this. Rude makes a blind tag and hits the Rude Awakening for the pin at 14:49.

Result: Rick Rude and Shanghai Pierce by pinfall

Analysis: *. Way too long. Slazenger and Pierce going at it was fun, but I could have done without the rest of the match.

Pierce and Slazenger reconcile by beating up Bagwell after the match.

Road Warrior Hawk and Rip Rogers vs. Davey Boy Smith and Kole

Hawk levels Rogers on the ramp. I think it was because he was being too enthusiastic. Davey and Booker both stomp Rogers on their way to the ring. Guy can't catch a break. Rogers spends the rest of the match crawling towards the ring in hilarious fashion. Hawk has to wrestle by himself. Booker gets in and performs the Spinaroonie. Unsurprisingly, Hawk gets into trouble trying to wrestle two men at once. Booker misses an Elbow Drop from the second rope, and Hawk throws Rip Rogers (who had just made it to the ring) onto him for the pin at 7:55.

Result: Road Warrior Hawk and Rip Rogers by pinfall

Analysis: 3/4*. The highlight was Rogers crawling down to the ring.

The Battlebowl

It's finally here. Our participants: Cactus Jack, Vader, Johnny B. Badd, Brian Knobbs, Paul Orndorff, Shockmaster, Dustin Rhodes, King Kong, Sting, Jerry Sags, Ric Flair, Steve Austin, Rick Rude, Shanghai Pierce, Hawk, and Rip Rogers. Unsurprisingly, Rogers is the first elimination as he gets dumped by Johnny B. Badd. Shanghai Pierce is Backdropped over the top by Cactus Jack. Flair and Austin fight out to the floor. Johnny B. Badd gets thrown out onto the ramp, which isn't an elimination for stupid reasons. He comes back in and immediately gets Backdropped out by Paul Orndorff. Cactus tries to Superplex Vader and gets thrown to the floor and eliminated. Not surprised that didn't work. Rhodes Clotheslines Orndorff out. Shockmaster Clotheslines Kong over the top. The Nasty Boys sneak up behind Shockmaster and dump him. Vader Press Slams Sting onto the ramp. Again, not an elimination. Long lull without any elimination. Austin throws Rhodes to the floor and then slams him into the ring post. Dustin blades. Back in, Rhodes eliminates both Nasty Boys and then gets dumped by Austin. Hawk Backdrops Rude out and Vader eliminates Hawk.

Final Four: Vader, Sting, Flair, and Austin. They pair off into Sting vs. Austin and Flair vs. Vader. Sting goes after Vader and Austin jumps him from behind. Meanwhile, Flair is stretchered off from being beaten so badly by Vader. Sting goes wild and slams Vader. He fights as hard as he can, but Vader and Austin overwhelm him. Austin sets Sting up to be Vaderbombed. Austin goes for a Splash but misses. Austin holds Sting for a Body Avalanche, but Sting moves and Austin gets hit. Sting throws Austin out! He went onto the apron, but his momentum carries him to the floor so he's eliminated. Sting balances Vader on the top rope and tries to kick him over. Doesn't work. He goes for a Stinger Splash, but Vader moves and Sting falls to the floor. Vader wins the Battlebowl at 25:35.

Winner: Vader

Analysis: ***. Slow start, but the final four segment was excellent. Vader destroyed Flair, setting him up as the underdog for their match at Starrcade next month. Vader comes out looking like an unstoppable champion, having survived 15 other men.

Overall: Not a great show, but a little better than I thought it was be. The main event was pretty good and there were some other decent tag matches on the show. I wouldn't recommend this show, as there just isn't anything terribly important here. The show notably drew a terrible buyrate, leading WCW to not run this show again next year. Can't say I blame anyone for not ordering it.

Grade: C

The Law
July 17th, 2013, 3:43 PM
Starrcade 1993
December 27, 1993
Independence Arena
Charlotte, North Carolina

WCW had their Starrcade main event set well in advance: Vader vs. Sid Vicious for the WCW Title. We know this because they shot months of footage with Sid as WCW Champion. This was during the "Disney Tapings" when months TV would be shot at a time down at Disney World. It saved money, but also resulted in spoiling title changes and major angles to smart fans who read wrestling magazines and newsletters. Anyway, Sid and Vader had been teaming and losing throughout to year, which would have led to them facing off at Starrcade and Sid going over.

And then Sid tried to murder Arn Anderson.

During a tour of the UK, Sid and some other wrestlers, including Anderson, were drinking in a hotel bar. Things got boisterous and an argument between Sid and Anderson began. Accounts differ as to what it was about, but they eventually went their separate ways without things escalating too much. Sid then followed Anderson back to his room, where things got out of hand. Sid got hold of a pair of scissors and stabbed Anderson repeatedly. Sid apparently suffered a few stab wounds as well, although not nearly as serious. Anderson was rushed to the hospital and survived. Sid was sent home from the tour and then fired after several wrestlers threatened to quit if he wasn't let go. He wouldn't return to WCW until 1999. Somehow, Sid never faced criminal or civil charges for this. Maybe Arn was so old school that he didn't want to expose the business even if Sid had tried to kill him. This turn of events left WCW without a main event for Starrcade and with months of unusable footage of Sid as WCW Champion. And that, as Jay Walter Weatherman from "Arrested Development" would say, is why you don't tape months of shows all at once.

So WCW needed a new main event for Starrcade. Obvious solution? Sub Ric Flair into the match and have him challenge Vader. And that is how we got a main event that was infinitely better. Also, Flair has vowed to retire if he loses tonight. Game on.

On a separate note, Bischoff would years later reference the Sid/Anderson incident on TV in one of the most hilariously stupid Vince Russo moments ever. It was the night in 1999 when WCW vacated all of their titles. Sid was WCW Champion and refused to give up his title at first. Bischoff got in his face and said "What's the matter Sid, can't find your scissors?" No one in the crowd reacted, because 99% of them had no idea what he was talking about. Thinking that they hadn't heard him, Bischoff repeated the line. Once again, no one in the crowd responded. Because they didn't know what the fuck he was talking about, because most of them didn't read wrestling newsletters back in the early 1990s. And that is why you don't reference backstage occurrences without first providing background on what happened. Also, that is why you don't hire Vince Russo to write for your company. But we'll get to that later.

We start with a package showing Vader training and Flair saying goodbye to his family. Flair's family is afraid for his safety against the monster.

Pretty Wonderful (Paul Roma and Paul Orndorff) vs. 2 Cold Scorpio and Marcus Bagwell

Scorpio and Bagwell dominate early, sending both men to the floor. They then alternate arm sequences on both guys. Bagwell grabs a Sleeper, but he gets too close to the opposing corner and gets decked by Orndorff from the apron. Roma goes to work with a pair of Backbreakers. Heat segment rolls on until Roma misses a Splash from the top rope, allowing Bagwell to tag in Scorpio. Scorpio goes on offense until The Assassin (Orndorff's valet) loads up his mask and headbutts him. Orndorff covers and gets the pin at 11:46.

Result: Pretty Wonderful by pinfall

Analysis: **. Standard tag match. Good choice for the opener.

The Shockmaster vs. King Kong

Both Kongs double team Shockmaster before the match. Kong tries a corner charge, but eats a boot and gets slammed. Shockmaster covers and gets the pin at 1:34.

Result: Shockmaster by pinfall

Analysis: 1/4*. At least they kept it short.

WCW World Television Championship: Lord Steven Regal (c) vs. Ricky Steamboat

These two had an enjoyable series of matches over the last few months. As with all Television Championship matches, there is a 15 minute time limit. Steamboat's in a nice pair of orange tights that I've never seen him wear before. Long series of lock-ups and positioning to start. Regal works on Steamboat's arm. A Hip Toss reversal sequence ends with Steamboat getting a Jackknife Cover. They run the ropes and Steamboat rolls Regal up for two. Regal gets Steamboat down and applies a Toe Hold. Steamboat gets out and hits an Enziguri, which Regal sells with a front flip! Steamboat comes off the top with a Flying Chop and then grabs an Armbar. Steamboat continues to work on the Armbar as the announcer calls five minutes left. Steamboat switches to a Hammerlock with four minutes left. Regal escapes a Headscissor and gets knocked to the floor by a Dropkick with three minutes left. Steamboat goes after Sir William and gets blasted by a Dropkick from Regal. Regal blocks a Headscissor with two minutes left. Steamboat goes Arm Drag crazy and then gets a Headscissor. Regal bridges out and Steamboat hits a Double Underhook Suplex with one minute left. Regal bails and gets his head slammed into Sir William with 30 seconds left. Hangman from Steamboat. Steamboat goes up top with 15 seconds left. He misses the Flying Body Press. Steamboat hits a German Suplex and bridges, but time expires. They call it 15:00, but it was actually closer to 13.

Result: Time Limit Draw

Analysis: ***. I enjoyed that. The time-limit draw was overdone with the TV Title, but I still think it makes for good drama. This match was a bit slow, as you would expect from these two, but still pretty entertaining and the last five minutes were fun.

Cactus Jack and Maxx Payne vs. Tex Slazenger and Shanghai Pierce

Payne and Pierce start off. Pierce gets a huge Shouderblock and knocks down Payne. Payne comes back with a Body Slam and tags in Cactus. Cactus and Slazenger trade punches. Payne tags in, does an Arm Wringer, and then tags Cactus back in for a Single Arm DDT. Cactus levels Slazenger with a Clothesline and he bails. Payne misses a corner charge and gets hit with a Face Buster. Pierce tags in and Payne hits a Sunset Flip, which is actually kind of impressive from a 300+ pounder. Cactus tags in and beats down Pierce. Cactus Clothesline sends both guys to the floor. Cactus throws Tex to the floor, then gets Backdropped over the top by Payne onto Tex. In the ring, Pierce comes off the top, but gets caught with a shot to the guy by Payne. Payne applies the Payne Killer (Armbar), but Tex breaks it up. Payne Clotheslines both guys and tags in Cactus. A botched Clothesline leads to a Double Arm DDT and Cactus gets the pin at 7:50.

Result: Cactus Jack and Maxx Payne by pinfall

Analysis: **. Nice little tag match. Good, physical action. Cactus and Payne were primed for a push and would put on some real classics in the coming year.

Gene Okerlund interviews NASCAR's Kyle Petty.

2/3 Falls Match for the WCW United States Championship: Dustin Rhodes (c) vs. Steve Austin

Fall One: Feeling out ends with Rhodes getting Austin in a Headscissor. Rhodes then catches Austin with a Bionic Elbow after he hits the ropes. Rhodes works over Austin's arm. Jesse makes some comments about Rush Limbaugh and smoking, foreshadowing his entry into politics. Actually, he was already mayor of a small town in Minnesota at this point. His run for governor was still a few years off. Rhodes has totally dominated this match so far, but hasn't been able to keep Austin down. Austin finally gets control and hits some elbows. A Clothesline from Rhodes sends both guys tumbling to the crowd. Back in the ring, Austin offers a handshake and Rhodes decks him with a right hand. Poor sportsmanship there. Austin gets a cheap shot in the corner and goes to work. Schiavone says these two will dominate WCW for years to come. Actually, they'll both be fired within the next year or so. Rhodes manages to hit a Dropkick on a charging Austin. Austin comes back with a Back Suplex. Whip to the ropes leads to a Double KO. Back up, Austin hits a slam and then misses a Knee Drop from the second rope. Bionic Elbow from Rhodes. He follows that with a Lariat and a Powerslam. Col. Parker gets up on the apron to yell at the referee. Rhodes throws Austin into Parker and Austin tumbles over the top rope. That's a disqualification at 13:31 for our first fall of the contest. Austin 1, Rhodes 0.

Fall Two: There's supposed to be a 30 second rest period, but Rhodes is hot and goes outside to beat down Austin. Parker is helped to the back by event staff as Rhodes puts Austin into the ring post. Rhodes gets Austin back into the ring as the lights go out. There's a spotlight on the ring, so you can still see what's going on. Rhodes hits a Clothesline in the corner as the lights come back on. Rhodes hits a ten punch, but Austin rolls him up as he comes down. That's enough for the pin at 16:18 and Austin wins the title.

Result: Steve Austin 2-0 (New WCW United States Champion)

Analysis: **1/2. Pretty slow and didn't build to much of anything. Finish came totally out of nowhere. Austin got busted open when he hit the ramp, so it's possible they pulled the plug because he was bleeding. But I can't complain too much about Austin winning the title.

WCW International World Heavyweight Championship: Rick Rude (c) vs. The Boss

The Boss is the Big Boss Man, in a gimmick that very clearly infringes on the WWF's intellectual property. He would change the gimmick after the WWF threatened a lawsuit. WCW really seemed to struggle with the concept of trademarks in the early 90s, it seemed like they were always blatantly ripping something off. Apparently this was supposed to be Rude vs. Davey Boy Smith, but WCW fired Smith due to a combination of an assault allegation from a Calgary bar fight and no-showing some dates. Nothing really happens in the early going, just a lot of posturing and jostling. Rude hits a few forearms. Big Backdrop from Boss sends Rude flying. Big Boot by Boss. On the outside, Boss gets Rude in a Tree of Woe on the ropes. Never seen that before. Rude escapes the Tree and gets caught in a Bearhug. Rude bites Boss on the nose to escape. Rude goes up top, but gets popped in the face as he comes off. Boss misses a Hangman and crotches himself. Rude rolls him up for the three count at 9:08.

Result: Rick Rude by pinfall

Analysis: *. Another finish that came out of nowhere. That match ran nine minutes and it seemed like half of it was positioning.

WCW World Tag Team Championship: The Nasty Boys (c) vs. Sting and Road Warrior Hawk

Animal was dealing with a back injury that almost ended his career and collecting a nice insurance payout, so Hawk was the only one actively wrestling at this point. I think they should have come up with something better for Sting to do than a tag match. Lots and lots of stalling to begin. Sting quickly cleans house and then gets Body Pressed by Hawk over the top and onto the Nasties. Hawk gets in and beats down both Nasties. Sting and Hawk take turns working on the arm of Brian Knobbs. Hawk misses a corner charge, hits the post, and gets slapped by Missy Hyatt. Knobbs and Sags take turns working on Hawk's arm. Too many holds for my taste. Hawk manages to tag out to Sting. Sting hits Dropkicks and the Nasties bail. They grab the belts and try to walk out, but Sting and Hawk run them back to the ring. Sting goes for a Splash from the top, but gets caught with knees up. Knobbs comes off the top rope and awkwardly hits Sting. It looks like Sting was supposed to move, or at least Knobbs thought he was going to. Knobbs throws Sting over the top rope. That's supposed to be a DQ and it was right in front of the referee, but everyone ignores it. Must have been a mistake.

Missy Hyatt whips Sting on the outside. Sting gets back in the ring and the Nasties work on his ribs. Lots of rest holds ensue. Eventually, Knobbs goes for a second rope Splash and awkwardly connects. I think Sting was supposed to get his foot up there. Naturally, Knobbs proceeds to do the exact same Splash and this time Sting gets his foot up. Sting manages to make a hot tag to Hawk, who Shoulderblocks everyone. Sags and Hawk fight to the floor. In the ring, Sting hits a Stinger Splash on Knobbs. Missy Hyatt gets up on the apron, so Sting sexually assaults her. Doomsday Device on Knobbs! Sting covers, and Missy Hyatt comes into the ring to break it up. In the process, she pops out of her top. Well, they botched everything else tonight. The referee calls for the DQ at 28:56.

Result: Sting and Hawk by disqualification

Analysis: 1/2*. Wow, that sucked. Tons of botches, almost no action, and a bullshit finish. And we couldn't even see anything when Missy popped out. On another note, Missy was fired shortly after this because she went over Bischoff's head to complain about being sexually harassed. I'm very confused by the fact that the Nasties seem to be getting booked in 30 minute matches on every PPV now. I have no idea how anyone could possibly consider that a good idea.

WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Vader (c) vs. Ric Flair

Alright, the match we've all been waiting for. The most dominant wrestler in the world today versus the man who has ruled WCW for a decade. Does Flair have what it takes to topple the mastodon? Flair has to retire if he loses, and Vader has promised to beat him so badly that he won't be able to go back on that promise. HUGE pop for Flair. Long, boxing-style introductions from Michael Buffer. This crowd is definitely ready to rumble. The crowd's been pretty quiet so far tonight, but they're definitely giving this one the big fight atmosphere. Vader just throws Flair down when he tries to lock up. Vader wrings Flair's arm and he screams in pain. Vader no-sells some chops and then pounds Flair in the corner. Vader presses Flair over his head and holds him there for 30 seconds. Flair bails and Vader drops him across the guardrail. Total domination by Vader so far.

Then Flair unleashes a flurry of punches and chops on the floor. He posts Vader, but Harley Race gets a cheap shot from behind. Vader's back in control in the ring. Stiff shots by Vader in the corner. Vader whips Flair into the corner. He does the Flair Flip and tries to run to the other turnbuckle, but his equilibrium is gone and he just collapses. More stiff punches from Vader in the corner. Big Powerslam from Vader. He's just rocking Flair all over the ring. Vader comes off the second rope with a Clothesline. Vader tries a Splash and misses. Flair hits three consecutive Fist Drops off the top rope. You can feel his desperation. He finally gets Vader off his feet and the crowd goes wild. Knee Drop from Flair, but he hurts his knee and Vader is back up first. Clothesline from Vader. Vader Superplexes Flair! Vader has the match won, but he toys with Flair instead of ending it. Vader shuts down a Flair comeback attempt with a Body Avalanche. Vader throws Flair to the floor, where Race stomps on him. Flair drags himself back into the ring and hits some chops. Vader misses a corner charge and Flair goes with more chops. Vader crushes Flair with a Body Avalanche in the corner.

Vader is just pounding Flair in the corner. But he fights on. Rights and lefts from Flair. He drops him to the knee, then to the mat! Flair posts Vader's knee. Race argues with the referee, giving Flair the chance to nail Vader's leg with a chair. Vader's unmasked now, and Flair hits punches a face chop. Flair gets a chair shot to the head. The tables have totally turned here. Flair is just lighting up Vader with right hands. Flair collapses from exhaustion. Flair goes to work on Vader's leg and busts out the strut. Now he's feeling it. Vader blocks the Figure Four. Flair rolls out of the way of the Vaderbomb. Figure Four! Vader makes the ropes. Flair charges into the corner, but Vader drops him with a boot. Vader goes up top, but Flair rolls out of the way of the Vadersault. Vader doing a Moonsault will never cease to amaze me. Race tries to break up the pin, but accidentally hits Vader. Flair charges Vader but gets dropped by a Body Avalanche. Flair picks Vader's ankle and rolls him up for the pin at 21:05!

Result: Ric Flair by pinfall (New WCW World Heavyweight Champion)

Analysis: ****1/2. Outstanding match. Great crowd, tremendous intensity from both guys. You could just feel Flair's desperation and he tried to survive being in the ring with the monster. Vader just beat the piss out out of Flair, and Flair was every bit as intense when he got on the offense. Despite the loss, Vader comes out looking like a beast. He took the greatest wrestler ever to his absolute limit, and only lost because Flair got lucky.

Fireworks go off as Flair celebrates for his hometown crowd. Confetti falls from the ceiling. That's a great way to crown a new champion. This is Flair's 11th championship reign, although that number is always a little sketchy because of all the times they didn't acknowledge him losing the title and winning it back or it being vacated and him winning it.

Overall: Pretty good show. They made a wise choice to streamline the card, going with only eight matches, and also not have a gimmick like they had the previous four years. Main event was a classic, a few other matches were pretty good. The tag match was pretty boring, as was Boss Man vs. Rude. But, as always, a show rises and falls with its main event, and this one is a true classic. So going into 1994, Flair is back on top. Things are about to get very interesting, as 1994 would see a debut that would change the face of WCW and professional wrestling forever. Buckle up, folks. We're just getting started here.

Grade: B-

LOCONUT
July 17th, 2013, 4:14 PM
B- for one good match?

JRSlim21
July 17th, 2013, 8:01 PM
Loved these 2 shows.

The Law
July 19th, 2013, 7:20 PM
SuperBrawl IV: Flair vs. Vader II
February 20, 1994
Albany Civic Center
Albany, Georgia

Welcome to SuperBrawl IV! This show flows pretty naturally from Starrcade, as Flair will face Vader in a rematch inside a Steel Cage. Also, Ric Flair has definitely taken over booking by now, which will show during the course of this card. Nothing else to go over, so let's get to the action:

Generic opening video runs down the big matches tonight.

Tony Schiavone and the debuting Bobby "The Brain" Heenan are our hosts tonight.

We start with Michael Hayes, in a wheelchair, being interviewed by Gene Okerlund. Hayes was supposed to face Johnny B. Badd tonight, but he's feigning injury to avoid it. Newly appointed WCW Commissioner Nick Bockwinkle decrees that Jimmy Garvin will substitute for Hayes tonight. Hey, it's the Freebird Rule.

Harlem Heat vs. Thunder and Lightening

I really don't know who Thunder and Lightening are. The Wikipedia Page for "Thunder and Lightening" is about a Puerto Rican team that didn't debut until 2000. Harlem Heat is still going by "Kane" and "Kole" here, but they have the same music as ever. Nothing really happens in this match. Whoever Thunder and Lightening are, they seem very green and their offense is totally basic. Just lots of wristlocks and takedowns. Match ends when Stevie Ray boots one of the guys in the head after he rolled up Booker. That's enough for a weak finish at 9:47.

Result: Harlem Heat by pinfall

Analysis: *. Boring opener, basic tag match except without much heat.

We go to Gene Okerlund in the back. He shows us how close together Flair and Vader's locker rooms are. There are lots of police officers there to keep them apart. That's actually a decent way to hype the match.

"Jungle" Jim Steele vs. The Equalizer

Oh lord. Equalizer is Dave "Evad" Sullivan. Jim Steele has no Wikipedia page. He's a generic savage. That's an incredibly dated gimmick even in 1994. This is a very generic and terrible match. Nothing of any note happens until Steele hits a Thesz Press for the win at 6:31.

Result: Jim Steele by pinfall

Analysis: Dud. No way this belonged on PPV.

Gene Okerlund shills for the WCW Hotline. You can call in for only 99 cents per minute. Sweet Jesus, what a scam. He then introduces Ricky Steamboat, who has been promised a WCW Championship match against the winner of the Flair/Vader match tonight.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Terry Taylor

DDP's heel act is amusing, but he makes a much better face. I've never found Terry Taylor's wrestling style very interesting. He's like Steven Regal without the viciousness or any of the quirks. Taylor spends the first several minutes of the match working on Page's arm. Page is still pretty green here, but at least he's working hard. Page's offense consists mostly of strikes. He does hit an interesting Suplex/Powerslam hybrid and a Gutwrench Rib Breaker. DDP hits a Cobra Clutch Slam of sorts, then holds the submission after Taylor kicks out. Taylor gets the crowd behind him and fights out, but Page drops him with a Clothesline. They do the same spot again with Taylor fighting out of a Chinlock. He Suplexes Page for a Double KO. Once again, Page shuts down the comeback and applies a hold. Again, Taylor escapes and goes through some offense until Page shuts him down with a Clothesline. We've done that same sequence three times now. Page misses a corner charge and is rolled up for the pin at 11:45.

Result: Terry Taylor by pinfall

Analysis: *. Basic match. The hold/escape/clothesline sequence definitely got repetitive and the finish really came out of nowhere.

Gene chats with an announcer from "WCW International." Which doesn't actually exist. I assume this was just the guy they got to do the announcing for the German broadcasts of their shows. Assuming they were broadcasting in Germany at this point.

Johnny B. Badd vs. Jimmy Garvin

Really thought we had seen the last of the Freebirds. But that dream has been thwarted. Garvin stalls to start. Badd proceeds to out-wrestle him for the first several minutes. After a clean break, Garvin poses and gets showered with boos. That was actually pretty funny. This is another match with a lot of holds. Endless Arm Bars and Headlocks that don't really go anywhere. Badd manages to Backdrop his way out of a DDT attempt. Badd follows that with a Headscissor Takeover. He sets up for his big punch finisher, but Garvin ducks. Badd coolly lands an uppercut and goes to the top. Sunset Flip gets the win at 10:48.

Result: Johnny B. Badd by pinfall

Analysis: *. Another totally basic match. The last two minutes were fine, but everything before that was about as dull and generic and possible.

Badd goes after Hayes and ends up getting beat down by Garvin after the match.

WCW World Television Championship: Lord Steven Regal (c) vs. Arn Anderson

Arn in a PPV title match? Flair is definitely booking. No complaints on this one. This match will be contested with a 30 minute time-limit instead of the normal 15 minutes. The first few minutes is all jostling for position and stalling. They then trade holds for several minutes, with Arn targeting Regal's leg, which is taped up. Regal works on Anderson's arm when he is on offense. Anderson also does some arm work, including a Hammerlock Slam. We're about ten minutes in and not a ton has happened yet. Arn gets the edge back and wraps Regal's arm around the ring post. Long Facelock by Regal. The announcers point out how strange it is that Arn isn't going after Regal's taped up leg more. It's Arn Anderson, he always works the arm. The PA announcer calls 15 minutes left. Arn is still hammering Regal's arm. Arn gets hit with Sir William's umbrella in his throat. 10 minutes left. Regal grabs a Half Crab and grabs the ropes for leverage. Regal applies the Regal Stretch, although I don't think it's his finisher yet so they don't call it that. Arn picks the leg to escape Regal's hold and tries for the Figure Four, but Regal kicks his way out. Arn rolls out and gets hit with the umbrella again. Five minutes left. Regal's in control, stomping Anderson. Regal grabs a hold and tries to run out the clock. Arn gets to his feet and they trade blows. Arn wins the slugfest and grabs a Sleeper Hold. Arn rolls Regal up for two. One minute left. Regal kicks out of a Small Package. Double Underhook Suplex from Regal. 45 seconds. Spinebuster from Anderson! 30 seconds. Arn is distracted by Sir William and doesn't cover. Sunset Flip by Arn, but William distracts the referee. Regal reverses and gets the pin at at legit 27:32 (announced 29:58).

Result: Steven Regal by pinfall

Analysis: **1/2. Okay match that went a lot longer than it really should have. They had about 15 minutes of action and stretched it out to fill almost 30 minutes. I like both of these guys, but they are both so methodical that their styles don't make for a very interesting match when mixed together.

WCW World Tag Team Championship: The Nasty Boys (c) vs. Cactus Jack and Maxx Payne

Cactus and Payne beat the Nastys at Clash of the Champions to get their title shot. The Nastys can't do a ton, but brawling is right in their wheel house, so I'm hoping this is pretty wild. Payne immediately starts by German Suplexing Kobbs. Sags tags in and gets hit with a T-Bone Suplex. Knobbs tags back in and gets hit with an Uranage. Then Payne Front Powerslams Sags for good measure. Cactus tags in and Clotheslines both Nastys. Cactus and Payne clear the ring. Cactus beats on Knobbs and then Leg Drops him while his throat is across the bottom rope. Payne tags in and continues the domination. The Nastys take over after a cheap shot and go to work on Payne. Payne fights back with a Body Slam but misses a Leg Drop. Knobbs misses a Leg Drop from the second rope. Sags and Cactus both tag in. Cactus hits a Knee Lift, then knocks Knobbs to the floor with a Clothesline. Knobbs pulls back the mat on the floor, so Sags Shoulderblocks Cactus and he falls to the concrete floor. That was fucking sick. Knobbs locks Cactus in the Boston Crab. Sags tags in and applies his own Crab. While the referee is distracted, Payne drags Cactus to the corner so he can tag out. I like that. But the referee didn't see it? Seemed like he was looking right at it. Cactus Double DDTs both Knobbs and Sags! Huge pop for that. Cactus tags in Payne, who levels both guys. Payne hits something I've never seen before: He grabs Knobbs like he's going for a Belly-to-Belly, but instead just drops him right on his face. That looks like it would hurt. Payne locks on the Payne Killer, his Armbar finisher. Sags blasts him with a guitar for the disqualification at 12:37.

Result: Cactus Jack and Maxx Payne by disqualification

Analysis: ***1/2. That was fun. Just four guys going at it in the most violent way possible. Does a good job of setting up future matches.

Okerlund interviews Ric Flair, who is hanging out with Ricky Steamboat backstage. Gene says Hulk Hogan is watching the match tonight.

Thundercage Match: Steve Austin, Rick Rude, and Paul Orndorff vs. Sting, Brian Pillman, and Dustin Rhodes

Fireworks precede the lowering of the cage. This is the bar cage that surrounds ringside, so they can fight outside. Sting goes crazy on Rude to start, nailing him with Clotheslines. Orndorff tags in and locks in an Armbar. Austin tags in and stays on the arm. Sting escapes and a rope-running sequence ends with Austin hurting his knee. Sting goes for the Scorpion Deathlock, but Orndorff jumps him. Sting ducks a Clothesline and forces Orndorff out of the ring. Austin drags Sting to the floor and gets whipped into the cage. Pillman tags in and goes to work on his former tag team partner. They brawl outside and Austin Hot Shots Pillman into the cage. Back in the ring Rude and Orndorff work on Pillman. Orndorff hits a Belly to Back Suplex. Austin comes off the second rope and Pillman catches him in the jaw with one of the most beautiful Dropkicks I've ever seen. He caught him when he was at the peak of his jump, whereas most guys land it when they're almost down to the mat. Orndorff and Sting both tag in. Sting Clotheslines everyone and then stiffly slams Orndorff into the cage. Dustin tags in and goes Bionic Elbow crazy. The crowd is HOT. Orndorff manages to slam Dustin into the turnbuckle and tag in Rude. Rude hits a Super Back Suplex on Rhodes. Bearhug by Rude. Rude transitions that into a Belly to Belly Suplex. Austin tags in and gets Dropkicked from the apron into the cage. He gets his leg stuck and ends up hanging upside down. Austin crawls back into the ring as Dustin tag Pillman. Pillman Dropkicks both Rude and Orndorff. We get a literal pier six brawl as everyone gets into the ring. The ring clears to just Sting, Pillman, and Austin as Austin gets Double Backdropped. Pillman hits a Splash and pins Austin at 14:36.

Result: Sting, Brian Pillman, and Dustin Rhodes by pinfall

Analysis: ***3/4. That was pretty great. Just hot action from all six guys. They spaced things out well, giving Sting the hot opening segment, Pillman the sympathy segment, and then letting Dustin clean house.

After the match, Rude slams Sting into the cage and then hits the Rude Awakening out on the floor. I think I know who's fighting at the next show.

Video package shows what has happened between Vader and Flair. No referee was willing to officiate the match, so The Boss was named as special referee. Flair opens up on Vader to start. He's much smaller, but so intense that it seems believable. An elbow sends Vader over the top to the floor. Chair shot to Vader! Another! Flair's not fucking around tonight. Boss Man is counting out Vader. In a cage match. That's idiotic. Flair shoots Vader into the corner and Vader...does the Flair Flip. Wow. It wasn't graceful, but he pulled it off. Flair charges Vader and gets hit with a Body Avalanche. Nice inversion of how that spot usually goes. Vader hits the Vader Bomb. Vader goes all the way up top and misses the Moonsault. No matter how many times I see him do that, it still makes my jaw drop. Vader throws Flair to the floor and Race chokes him in the cage. Vader stiffs Flair out on the floor. They're back in the ring now and Flair is fighting back. Punches, then a choke. Vader just swats him away like a fly. Vader Superplexes Flair. Race chokes Flair through the cage. Boss catches him and tries to handcuff him to the cage, but Vader drops Boss. Vader proceeds to handcuff Boss to the cage.

So how does he plan to win the match with the referee handcuffed to the cage? Race gets the keys to the cage and enters. Vader Splashes Flair. Arn Anderson runs down, but can't get into the cage. Flair manages to Clothesline Race into Vader, taking them both down. Now Steamboat is trying to break through the lock with a chair. Flair has a chair and waffles Vader and Race with it. Boss finally manages to break the handcuffs and goes after Vader with his nightstick. Flair locks on the Figure Four and Vader gives up at 11:32.

Result: Ric Flair by submission

Analysis: ****. That match was on fire. Not long, but action the whole time. Vader was great at beating people up and Flair was great at taking punishment. Some might claim it was overbooked, but I really enjoyed the chaos of it. Not wild about Flair making Vader tap out. I would have much preferred a roll up.

Heenan claims Vader never gave up and Vader is absolutely going crazy at ringside after the match.

Overall: Decent show. The first half stunk, but things started turning around with Regal vs. Arn. The last three matches were all very entertaining. Not necessarily a must-see show, but not a chore to watch either.

Grade: B-

The Law
July 22nd, 2013, 3:19 PM
Spring Stampede 1994
April 17, 1994
Rosemont Horizon
Chicago, Illinois

Welcome to Spring Stampede 1994! We last left off with Ric Flair defeating Vader with the help of The Boss. With Vader disposed of, Flair would move on to an old rival: Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat. Flair was booking, and unsurprisingly he used his booking power to push himself and all of his friends. I can't complain too much, since it results in us getting another Flair/Steamboat match here. There aren't many other major developments to speak of, so let's get to the action:

A video package of little note opens the show.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Johnny B. Badd

The crowd is actually pretty into Badd and his confetti gun. Page jumps Badd from behind before the bell rings, though the camera is focused on Kimberly and doesn't catch it. Badd quickly responds with a Clothesline out of the ring and some work on Page's arm. It's a pretty basic match here, as both guys stick to mat wrestling for the most part. DDP gets a Back Suplex after throwing Badd into the turnbuckle. Page follows up with a Gutwrench Rib Breaker and a Snap Suplex. Badd escapes a Chinlock and connects with a Back Suplex. Mero follows that with a sloppy Back Drop and a Headscissor Takeover that drops Page on his head. He hits his big left hand punch finisher, which drives DDP out of the ring. Plancha by Badd! Back in, Badd connects with a Sunset Flip from the top rope for the win at 5:55.

Result: Johnny B. Badd by pinfall

Analysis: *1/2. Nothing particularly wrong with it, but it looked like a match you would see between two students at a wrestling school. Page would get much better. Badd never really would.

Gene Okerlund talks with Jesse Ventura about the matches we're going to see tonight. Nice to see Jesse still around.

WCW World Television Championship: Lord Steven Regal (c) vs. Brian Pillman

This will be contested under the standard 15 minute time limit. Pillman starts hot and beats Regal all over the ring. Pillman connects with a Japanese Arm Drag and Regal bails. Pillman slams Regal's arm into the guardrail several times. Regal's selling is fantastic. It's expressive, but not too over the top. Regal takes over and does some work on Pillman's arm. The TV Title suits Regal well: the 15 minute time limit makes his methodical style make sense and really builds drama. Regal stays in control and then does a really cool rolling leg vine into the Regal Stretch. Regal lets Pillman out of the hold, which always bothers me. In a real fight, you wouldn't give up a hold. Regal then transitions into some kind of Surfboard hold, except he has his knees in Pillman's back. Regal goes for an Underhook Suplex, but Pillman counters into a Hurricanrana. Regal gets control back with a Rolling Samoan Drop. Regal locks on a Bow and Arrow. Pillman punches his way out, but Regal picks his leg and goes to a Half Crab and then an Indian Deathlock. Five minutes left in the match. Regal still has a hold on with four minutes to go. Pillman hits a Dropkick with three minutes left. Pillman blocks a Boston Crab attempt with two minutes to go. Enziguri by Pillman. Regal blocks a Monkey Flip with one minute left. Regal goes off top, but gets Dropkicked as he comes off. Third seconds. Backdrop by Pillman. They both spill over the top with fifteen seconds left. Time expires as Pillman Suplexes Regal back into the ring.

Result: Time Limit Draw

Analysis: **1/2. I liked Regal's heat segments, but this match could have used more offense from Pillman. He really just got his ass kicked the entire match, and spent most of his desperation period lying on the mat.

Chicago Street Fight for the WCW World Tag Team Championship: The Nasty Boys (c) vs. Cactus Jack and Maxx Payne

Oh fuck yeah. Never seen this before, but heard very good things about it. This match is also Falls Count Anywhere. Payne slams Sags in the ring while Cactus and Knobbs fight on the ramp. Cactus bashes Knobbs in the head with a pool cue. Cactus Clothesline over the top rope! Sags blasts Payne with an unfolded chair. Then he hits Cactus with a nasty chair shot to the back. Cactus gets the chair and drops Sags with it, then gets taken down by Knobbs. Sags Clotheslines Cactus into the ring from the ramp. Sags knocks Cactus over the top with the pool cue. Knobbs and Payne are fighting out by a souvenir stand in the crowd. Cactus and Sags fight into the crowd and Cactus takes a chair shot to the head. Cactus gets the chair and hits Sags with it. None of this looks gimmicked. I think they're just actually hitting each other full force. Payne slams Knobbs through a table. Knobbs gets hold of one of the table legs and beats Payne with it. At this point, Cactus and Sags make their way to the souvenir stand where Payne and Knobbs have been fighting. Cactus gets thrown into a railing and takes a nasty bump onto the concrete floor. Knobbs slams Payne through a table.

Meanwhile, Sags gets hold of a table and repeatedly bashes Cactus over the head with it. Cactus hits the Double Arm DDT on the ramp. He takes the table and basically Suplexes it onto the downed Sags. Fuck, that sounded like it hurt. Knobbs grabs a shovel and heads over to Cactus, then proceeds to hit him with a sickening shot to the head. Sounded like he just whacked him full force. The Nastys had a well-deserved reputation for stiffness, and they are earning it here. Payne gets the shovel away from Knobbs and beats his ass with it. Meanwhile, something happens that causes Sags and Cactus to fall through the table. I think Sags was trying to Piledrive Cactus, but it was hard to tell. The crowd is just absolutely roaring at this point. Sags casually throws Cactus off the stage onto the concrete floor. And that's why Mick Foley had to retire when he was 33. Sags blasts Cactus in the head with the shovel and mercifully pins him at 8:54.

Result: Nasty Boys by pinfall

Analysis: ****. Jesus, that was like watching a series of car crashes. That was one of the absolute stiffest matches I've ever seen, to the point where it's hard to call it a wrestling match. It was more like a cooperative fight. Those four just absolutely beat the shit out of each other, with Cactus taking the brunt of the punishment. I feel like Cactus and Payne should have gone over, but that's a pretty small complaint. Really great brawl, and way ahead of its time. This was like an ECW match before anyone knew that ECW existed.

WCW United States Championship: Steve Austin (c) vs. The Great Muta

Tough act for these guys to have to follow. Nice to see Muta again. The feeling out process goes on for several minutes. Five minutes it and it's been almost all Headlocks. The Headlocks continue until Muta lands a Dropkick and Austin bails. Then Muta...grabs another Headlock. Sigh. Austin cheap shots Muta to the outside and drops him on the railing. Back in the ring, Austin locks in an Abdominal Stretch. Austin gets Muta down and connects with a Forearm from the middle rope. Muta blocks a Suplex attempt and slams Austin into the corner. Spin Kick by Muta. Backdrop. Austin dodges a Missile Dropkick and locks in a Toe Hold. Muta escapes and hits Austin with the Stun Gun. Handspring Elbow by Muta! Muta sets Austin up on the top rope...and hits a Hurricanrana! Rob Parker gets up on the apron, so Muta Superkicks him. Austin charges Muta and is Backdropped over the top rope. That's a disqualification at 16:20.

Result: Steve Austin by disqualification

Analysis: **. The last couple minutes were really hot, but everything before that was super boring. The crowd was so into Muta they really should have mixed it up more and given him more offense. Or just worked a shorter match.

WCW International World Heavyweight Championship: Rick Rude (c) vs. Sting

Rude really just wants all those fat, out of shape Chicagoans to sit down and shut their mouths. Alas, they refuse. Sting interrupts him and knocks him to the floor. Sting beats on Rude before he can even get his robe off. Sting gets Rude in the ring and grabs a Front Facelock. This Facelock goes on for several minutes. Finally, Rude lifts Sting and crotches him on the top rope. He then Clotheslines him off the rope to the floor. Rude gets Sting back to the ring and Back Suplexes him. Rude applies a Rear Chinlock. Sting eventually Electric Chairs out, but Rude gets a Victory Roll to counter. Sleeper Hold by Rude. Rude breaks the hold voluntarily so he can beat on Sting some more. Rude lands some punches, but Sting stops selling and Hulks Up. Atomic Drop, then an Inverted Atomic Drop. Sting Backdrops Rude and he does a full 450 in the air. That was risky. Sting throws Rude into the corner and sandwiches the referee, then follows it up with a Stinger Splash. Sting locks on the Stinger Splash while the referee is down. Harley Race and Vader both hit the ring. Sting knocks Vader out of the ring and gets his knee clipped by Rude. Race tries to chair shot Sting, but ends up hitting Rude instead. Sting rolls Rude up for the pin at 12:50.

Result: Sting by pinfall (New WCW International World Heavyweight Champion)

Analysis: **1/2. Decent match with too many holds. Unfortunately, this would be Rude's last pay-per-view match as he would suffer a career-ending back injury during a match with Sting in Japan a few weeks after this.

Bunkhouse Match: Bunkhouse Buck vs. Dustin Rhodes

Most of us would probably recognize Bunkhouse Buck as the guy who played Jack Swagger dad a few times in 2010, if we recognized him at all. My understanding of the rules is just that it's a Street Fight. Not sure if falls count outside the ring or not. Dustin beats on Buck at the start. They exchange punches out on the floor. The go back in the ring, where Dustin misses a Body Block and falls to the floor. Buck beats on Dustin with some kind of wooden stick. Buck takes off his suspenders and uses them to choke Dustin. Dustin is bleeding everywhere now. Dustin fights back with some kicks and then throws powder into Buck's eyes. By the time Rhodes gets to his feet Buck has recovered and beats Dustin with a leather belt. Buck proceeds to straight-up kick Dustin in the balls. Nice. Dustin dodges a corner kick and hits some punches in the corner. Dustin takes his belt off, wraps it around his fist, and knocks out Buck. Dustin takes his boot off, goes to the middle rope, and drives the heel of the boot right into Buck's face. Dustin pulls Buck's shirt up and whips him with his belt. Dustin Clotheslines Buck over the top to the floor. Dustin hits an Atomic Drop, then loads up his fist and does a Ten Punch, and caps it with a Bionic Elbow. Dustin hits the Bulldog, but gets distracted by Rob Parker. Dustin wears Parker out with his belt, but gets rolled up by Buck. That only gets two. Dustin hits a big punch and Buck kicks out... at one. That's a little strange after all the punishment he's taken. Parker passes Dustin a pair of brass knuckles and he drops Dustin with them for the pin at 14:11.

Result: Bunkhouse Buck by pinfall

Analysis: ***. Another surprisingly intense brawl. Lots of good, stiff action here.

Vader vs. The Boss

The ring announcer labels this a "gigantic grudge match." I guess the guys involved are pretty big. Boss jumps Vader in the aisle, then boots him once they get into the ring. There's some serious clubbering going on here. Vader's mask has already come off, so you know this is going to get ugly. Vader slams Boss over the top into the ring. He then runs down the ramp and jumps over the top for a Splash, but Boss gets his knees up. Boss Clotheslines Vader over the top to the floor. He then whips Vader into the guardrail, causing Vader to tumble into the crowd. Impressive bump by the big man. Boss drops Vader on the railing. Back in the ring, Boss slams Vader. Vader gets up and stiffs Boss with some punches. Vader Backdrops Boss over the top rope. Race stomps Boss while the referee is keeping Vader from leaving the ring. Vader Suplexes Boss back into the ring. Big Splash by Vader. Vader hits some more punches that don't really appear to be pulled. Vader has a pretty nasty gash over his eye. Vader Clotheslines Boss and goes for the Vader Bomb, but Boss grabs him and throws him off the middle rope. Boss hits a sloppy DDT off the top that was so bad Schiavone refers to it as "kind of a DDT." Boss goes up top and hits a Shoulder Block. Boss comes off again and gets Powerslammed. Vader drags Boss to the corner and hits the Vader Bomb, but Boss kicks out. Huh? Vader goes the top again... and hits the Vadersault! That's enough for the win at 9:02.

Result: Vader by pinfall

Analysis: ***1/2. Really solid match. These guys were huge, but could both move and managed to put on a great fast-paced match.

After the match, Boss dickishly beats Race with his nightstick. Nick Bockwinkle steps in and forces him to the back.

Gene Okerlund shills for the hotline, which apparently will have Sting on it after the show.

We go backstage, where Jesse Ventura is with Nick Bockwinkle and The Boss. Bockwinkle takes away Boss's handcuffs and nightstick, then declares that he is "no longer 'The Boss.'" Oh, also the WWF was threatening to sue them for trademark infringement because the gimmick was too similar to The Big Boss Man.

WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Ric Flair (c) vs. Ricky Steamboat

Five years after their classic series in 1989, these two great old rivals lock up one last time. Not to mention, they're in the same city they were in when Steamboat defeated Flair at Chi-Town Rumble to win his only world championship. Steamboat doesn't look Flair in the eyes during introduction, refusing to let himself get sucked into Flair's mind games. Little things make a difference. They run through a mat wrestling sequence for the first several minutes. It's incredible how fluid these two are. Then Steamboat slaps Flair right across the face. Rope-running sequence ends with a Steamboat Press Slam, the a Flying Headscissor and a Dropkick that sends Flair over the top. Steamboat immediately throws Flair back into the ring (can't win the title out there) and then connects with a Flying Chop from the top rope. Flair rolls out for a breather.

Flair heads back in starts with the chops. Steamboat then hits the hardest chop I've ever seen and knocks Flair down. Steamboat then grabs a Headlock, going as far as the run up the ropes to get the momentum to take Flair down. Flair gets out, but quickly gets Headscissored and put back into the Headlock. Flair throws Steamboat over the top, but Dragon skins the cat and rolls Flair up for two. Steamboat goes back to the Headlock. Flair escapes and hits some shoulder tackles in the corner. Flair goes to work with chops. Knee Drop by Flair. Steamboat chops his way back and then Flair connects with a Body Press that sends both guys over the top rope. Flair tries to Piledriver Steamboat on the floor but Steamboat escapes with a Backdrop. Steamboat goes for a Body Avalanche, but misses and lands on the guardrail. Back in the ring, Steamboat Superplexes Flair. Steamboat throws Flair to the floor.

Steamboat springboards off the top rope and Chops Flair. Steamboat completes a 10 Punch and then chops Flair. Flair counters a Sunset Flip attempt with a big fist and then connects with a Knee Drop. Wait, Steamboat caught the leg and locks on the Figure Four! Flair thumbs Steamboat in the eye to escape. Flair goes for a Suplex,but his knee gives out. Bridge leads to a Backslide leads to a two count for Steamboat. Steamboat shoots Flair to the corner, resulting in a Flair Flip and Flair falling all the way to the floor. Steamboat comes off the apron, but Flair gets his foot up. Flair gets back into the ring and Steamboat connects with a Flying Body Press from the top rope. That gets two. Flair immediately connects with a Back Elbow and then goes up top, where he is thrown off by Steamboat. Steamboat goes to the top rope, but misses a Superfly Splash. Flair immediately hooks the Figure Four. Steamboat blocked it, but Flair kicked him in the face and cinched it in. Steamboat gets the the ropes. Flair goes for the Figure Four again, but Steamboat reverses into a Small Package for a two count.

Steamboat chops Flair and sets him up for the Superplex. He hits it! Flair is convulsing on the mat, but Steamboat landed on his head and is knocked silly. Steamboat finally covers and Flair just barely kicks out. A Steamboat pinning combination knocks down the referee. He has Flair pinned, but by the time the referee gets over to make the county Flair has recovered and kicks out. Flair goes for an Atomic Drop, but Steamboat escapes and lands on his feet. Steamboat grabs the Double Chicken Wing, the hold he made Flair tap out with at Clash of the Champions in 1989. Steamboat drops to his knees, then bridges back into a pin. The referee counts three at 32:19.

Result: ?

Analysis: ****3/4. Another great match, but not quite at the level of their previous encounters. They were five years older and couldn't quite match the pace of their previous matches, resulting in a slower middle section. Still an absolutely pleasure to watch, with tremendous action, execution, and psychology. Flair and Steamboat are two of the greatest wrestlers ever and they worked together about as well as two guys possibly could. In that respect, it's not surprising that it was a classic every time they hooked up.

Everyone thinks Steamboat won, but a second referee comes in to argue with Nick Patrick. We overhear the conversation between the two referees and Nick Bockwinkle, where Patrick insists both men's shoulders were down. Flair is announced as the winner, but the title would later be held up. Flair defeated Steamboat in a rematch on Saturday Night to become undisputed champion.

Overall: Great show. Classic main event, a couple really good hardcore matches on the undercard, and a surprisingly good match between Boss and Vader. I would definitely recommend checking this one out, as it offers a couple great matches and some really good variety. This show was definitely the highlight of Flair's run as booker, as his strategy of pushing himself and his friends resulted in one really great night of action.

Grade: A-

Tainted Eclipse
July 22nd, 2013, 3:47 PM
Cool stuff. I watched the Vader/Flair Starcade match some time ago and thought it was pretty boring. Just watched the follow up cage match for the first time though and thought it was a lot of fun and a cool brawl. Flair's jabs might be my favorite punches in wrestling.

The Law
July 22nd, 2013, 4:40 PM
They really were awesome. It's kind of odd, because I feel Flair has a reputation as a guy who didn't throw punches and only chopped, but those jabs in the corner always looked absolutely wicked.

The Law
July 26th, 2013, 10:40 AM
Slamboree 1994: A Legends' Reunion
May 22, 1994
Philadelphia Civic Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Welcome to Slamboree 1994! This is once again a "legend's reunion" featuring inductions in the WCW Hall of Fame. Since Spring Stampede, Ric Flair has solidified himself as WCW Champion by defeating his old rival Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat. Other than that, little of note has happened, so let's get to the action:

Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan are our hosts tonight.

Gene Okerlund introduces the legends being honored at tonight's show. I won't do the list, but it's long and impressive.

Nick Bockwinkel awards Sting the WCW International Heavyweight Championship. He had lost it to Rick Rude in Japan on May 1st. In storylines, the reason given was that Rude had used the belt as a weapon and performed a top rope Knee Drop (which was kayfabe banned at the time). The real reason is that Rude had suffered a back injury that ended his career during a match against Sting and could no longer compete. Unfortunately, he would never wrestle against and died of heart failure in 1999. Another fallen member of the tribe. Sting refuses to accept the title and says he wants to face Vader for it tonight. Bockwinkel agrees, and we have a bonus match.

WCW United States Championship: Steve Austin (c) vs. Johnny B. Badd

Badd gets a surprisingly big pop from the Philly crowd. Austin quickly locks in a Sleeper, but Badd hits a Jawbreaker to escape. They proceed to trade Armbars for the next few minutes. Austin hits a nice Running Back Suplex. Austin goes for a Flying Elbow, but Badd gets his knees up. They do a false finish where Badd rolls up Austin for two, but the bell rings. Badd goes to the top and connects with a Sunset Flip for a two count. He'd been finishing people with that in the last few months. Badd sets up for his Left Hook finisher, but Austin rakes his eyes. Badd goes for a Back Suplex, but Austin falls on top for the pin at 16:16.

Result: Steve Austin by pinfall

Analysis: **. Austin did the best he could, but it's hard to get much out of Marc Mero.

Gene Okerlund interviews Ernie Ladd and Wahoo McDaniel. Then we go to pre-recorded comments from Dusty Rhodes, who claims he was working on something in Hollywood and couldn't make it to the show. That seems dubious to me.

Terry Funk vs. Tully Blanchard

This should be fun. This is part of the legend's theme tonight, but these guys can go about as well as anyone on the roster. And they're both super over in Philly. Gordon Solie replaces Schiavone on commentary for this one. Funk goes outside to hang out with the ECW Hawaiian shirt guy. Tully jumps him before he can get back to the ring and they slug it out. They go into the ring long enough for Blanchard to Suplex Funk. Funk rolls outside and connects with an Atomic Drop. Back in the ring, Funk hits a Neckbreaker. They fight onto the ramp and the camera picks up Funk calling Blanchard a "son of a bitch." Funk gets a board from somewhere and hits Blanchard over the head with it. Funk Piledrives Blanchard through the board! Funk DDTs Blanchard out on the ramp. He's just kicking Tully's ass. Another Piledriver by Funk. Funk goes up top and goes for the World's Oldest Moonsault, but Blanchard rolls out of the way. An Irish Whip goes array as Blanchard is whipped into referee Nick Patrick. Funk brings a chair in, sets it up, and then goes for a TOP ROPE PILEDRIVER. Funk kind of slips and just ends up falling into the chair. Patrick tries to stop Blanchard from leaving the ring, so Blanchard decks him. That distraction gives Funk a chance to beat Blanchard with his branding iron. Bell sounds for the disqualification at 7:15.

Result: Double Disqualification

Analysis: **1/2. That was pretty fun. More offense from Tully would have been nice, as it was more of an extended squash match. But the level of violence in that match was pretty entertaining.

In the back, Jesse Ventura interviews Ric Flair. Flair has a WCW Championship match tonight, but he doesn't know who his opponent will be. Rob Parker says he has a 6'7, 300 pound former World Champion in his stable. Who could that be?

Lord Steven Regal vs. Larry Zbyszko

Title's not on the line here. Larry got sick of Regal running down America and smacked him around to set this up. It's an epic stalling period to start this match. They finally lock up and Zbyszko works on Regal's arm. Regal breaks out and pounds Larry with a series of forearms. Best non-Vader forearms in wrestling. More hold-trading follows. Someone tries to start a boring chant, and it sounds like most of the crowd boos him for it. Regal counters a Backslide with a Surfboard/Bow and Arrow combination. They trade some very stiff shots until Larry hooks a Sleeper Hold. Regal gets a Jawbreaker, then Sir Williams smacks him with his umbrella. Regal goes for a Double Underhook Suplex, but Larry counters with a bridging pin and gets the win at 11:47.

Result: Larry Zbyszko by pinfall

Analysis: **1/4. Decent but slow match. These guys work such similar styles that their matches are inevitably going to be a little plodding.

In the back, Gene interviews Terry Funk. Funk says he skipped the legends introduction at the start of the show because he's not "a" legend, he's THE legend.

Gordon Solie is in the ring to introduce the inductees for the WCW Hall of Fame. They are: Harley Race, The Crusher, Ernie "Big Cat" Ladd, The Assassin, Ole Anderson, and Dick the Bruiser. They play short video packages highlighting their career achievements as Solie introduces them. Nice little segment. I always liked the Hall of Fame theme of this show, though I'm not sure it continued after this year.

Jesse is in the back with Col. Rob Parker. He says he has a 6'7, 300 pound, blonde former World Champion to beat Flair tonight.

Bull Rope Match: Dustin Rhodes vs. Bunkhouse Buck

They're tied together with a rope, but you just win by pin or submission like a normal match. Dustin repeatedly chokes Buck at the start of the match. Then he attacks Buck's knee with the cow bell. Rhodes wraps Buck's leg around the ring post. Buck does a hockey move and pulls Dustin's shirt up over his head, allowing him to beat him with the bell. Then he ties Dustin to the post to beat on him some more. Buck goes to the top, but Rhodes throws him off. Parker tries to hit Rhodes, but Dustin knocks him off the apron and then KOs Buck with the cow bell for the pin at 12:32.

Result: Dustin Rhodes by pinfall

Analysis: **. Decent brawl, but not as good as their match last month.

After the match, Terry Funk jumps Rhodes and beats him down with his branding iron. Funk is dragged to the back as Dustin lies in the ring bleeding.

WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Ric Flair (c) vs. ?????

Parker introduces his surprise: Barry Windham. Meh. Nothing to get excited about here. We haven't seen Windham since he lost the NWA Title to Flair at Beach Blast last year. They exchange punches to start. Jesse has replaced Heenan on commentary for this match. Flair chops Windham, who counters with a big Lariat. Windham shoots Flair to the corner and he Flair Flips out of the ring. Flair gets back to the ring, where Windham goes for a 10 Punch but gets hit with an Inverted Atomic Drop. Windham quickly grabs Flair, sets him up on the top rope, and Superplexes him off. Flair comes back with a Suplex and applies the Figure Four. Windham gets the ropes, so Flair goes to the top and comes off with a Flying Fist. Flair hits a Flying Body Press and both guys fall to the outside. They go back in and Flair gets whipped to the corner, then Flair Flips and runs to the opposite turnbuckle. He comes off with a Flying Body Press and hits it for the pin at 13:23.

Result: Ric Flair by pinfall

Analysis: **1/2. Decent match, nothing special. Crowd wasn't very excited to see Windham. This was the last time we'd see Flair on PPV as a face for a long time.

Broadstreet Bully Match for the WCW World Tag Team Championship: The Nasty Boys (c) vs. Cactus Jack and Kevin Sullivan

It was supposed to be Kevin and Dave "Evad" Sullivan, but Dave is hurt so Cactus is subbed in. Major improvement. Former Philadelphia Flyer goon Dave "The Hammer" Schultz is the referee here. Buckle in, this one is going to get wild. The Nastys barely make it to the ring before the rumble starts. Sullivan and Kobbs pair off while Sags beats Cactus with a chair. Cactus and Sags are already in the crowd, where Cactus gets hold of a chair and hits Sags. Knobbs hits chair shots on Sullivan. Back in the ring, Sullivan connects with a Dropkick. Sags and Cactus have fought to the top of the ramp, where Sags hits Cactus with a fire extinguisher. On the ramp, Sullivan Piledrives Knobbs. Meanwhile, Cactus hits Sags with a trashcan. They do a switch as Cactus pairs off with Knobbs and Sullivan with Sags. Cactus puts Knobbs on a trashcan, then comes off the second rope to the floor with an Elbow Drop, but Knobbs rolls out of the way and Cactus crashes on burns. Knobbs throws a chair at Cactus' prone body. Knobbs hits Cactus with the trashcan while Sags beats Sullivan with a chair. STIFF chair shot from Knobbs to Cactus. Sags takes down both Cactus and Sullivan with trashcan shots. They're all fighting on the ramp now, by the way. A Cactus Clothesline sends Cactus and Knobbs INTO the ring.

Sullivan hits an Ax Handle from the apron to the floor on Knobbs. Meanwhile, Sags throws Cactus off the ramp through a table. Wow. Sullivan hits chair shots on Knobbs. Sags beats up Cactus with a studio light. More chair shots from Sullivan to Knobbs. Sags hits Cactus with a board. Sullivan and Knobbs make their way to the top of the ramp to join Cactus and Sags. Sags is beating Cactus with a trashcan lid. Sullivan gets hold of it and lays into Sags. Something just happened in the background with the fire extinguisher going off, but I couldn't really see. Sags drags Cactus back to the ring. Sags goes up top and hits a Flying Elbow Drop. Sags shoves Dave Schultz and grabs the hockey stick he brought to the ring with him. Schultz takes the stick away and beats down Sags, then pulls his shirt up over his head. Cactus grabs the stick and blasts Sags with it, then covers for the pin at 9:36. Great pop for Cactus and Sullivan winning.

Result: Cactus Jack and Kevin Sullivan by pinfall (New WCW World Tag Team Champions)

Analysis: ****. Very good brawl. Just wild and crazy and stiff and insane. A very ECW match.

The Nastys go after Cactus and Sullivan, but Maxx Payne emerges from the back and El Kabongs Sags with a guitar. Knobbs tries to run, but Dave Sullivan emerges from the back and knocks him the fuck out with his crutch. The crowd is just on fire right now.

WCW International World Heavyweight Championship: Sting vs. Vader

Another battle between these two great rivals. We get a LONG introduction from Michael Buffer to start. A cat and mouse game ends with Vader destroying Sting in the corner. I really do love watching Vader club people. Sting fights back with punches and ends up kicking Vader out of the ring. Vader's mask comes off. Shit is about to get real. Sting Suplexes Vader, hurting his back in the process. Vader regains control with a Body Avalanche. Vader spends the next few minutes meticulously wearing Sting down. He cinches in a Leg Grapevine for a few minutes. Then Sting Hulks up and pummels Vader, knocking him to the mat. Sting drops an elbow but seems to hurt himself. Vader makes it up first and takes over. Sting goes for a Flying Clothesline, but Vader ducks and Sting ends up knocking out the referee. Chokeslam by Vader. He has him beat, but there's no referee to count. Harley Race grabs a chair and goes to hit Sting, but Sting ducks. Race hits Vader. DDT by Sting. Long two count. Sting Clotheslines Vader over the top, then Suplexes him back into the ring. Sting goes for a Body Block, but Vader catches him and hits a Front Powerslam. Vader doesn't cover and instead goes for the Vadersault. Sting moves! Sting covers, but then rolls out of the way as Harley Race comes off the top rope for the Diving Headbutt. Race hits Vader instead. Sting hits a Splash from the top rope and gets the win at 13:54.

Result: Sting by pinfall (New WCW International World Heavyweight Champion)

Analysis: ***1/4. Good match, but not up to the level of their previous encounters. A little to slow and not enough hope spots from Sting. Not as good a story as their Starrcade 1992 match either.

Sting's reign as champion would be brief as he would lose a unification match to Ric Flair at the next Clash of the Champions. I don't think anyone missed the fake heavyweight title after it was gone.

Heenan and Schiavone wrap things up and the credits roll.

Overall: Good show. No bad matches and several good ones. The only thing I'd really recommend looking up is the tag match. Other than that, nothing was terribly notable. Regardless, WCW seemed to be finding its footing after a shaky 1993. But by the time Bash at the Beach rolled around, WCW would have announced a signing that would change the company forever. Hulkamania, brother. It's coming.

Grade: B

Slare
July 26th, 2013, 10:58 AM
Law I cannot express to you how many boring shifts at work these have helped me get through, great stuff again.

JRSlim21
July 27th, 2013, 9:50 AM
Well this just made my Saturday morning.

The Law
July 27th, 2013, 4:13 PM
Hey loyal readers...

I decided I wasn't watching and reviewing quite enough wrestling, so I've created a blog for me to watch and reminisce about old wrestling shows. I'm hoping to watch shows from different promotions and different eras. As we're coming up to Summerslam, I thought it would only be appropriate that I start with the very first Summerslam, which took place in 1988. This show featured the Mega Powers (Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage) facing off against the Mega Bucks (Ted DiBiase and Andre the Giant). Was it good? Bad? Just okay? Click the link to find out.

http://wrestlingflashbacks.blogspot.com/

JP
July 28th, 2013, 1:28 AM
New bookmark. :yes:

The Law
July 29th, 2013, 10:57 AM
Alright, here we are: Bash at the Beach 1994, one of the turning points in WCW history. Enjoy. And while you're at it, go take a look at my Wrestling Flashbacks Blog, where I just posted my recap of Summerslam 1992: http://wrestlingflashbacks.blogspot.com/

Bash at the Beach 1994
July 17, 1994
Orlando Arena
Orlando, Florida

Hulk Hogan. A name as big as professional wrestling itself. By 1994, Hulk Hogan was by far the most famous professional wrestler in the world and in history. He was a former five time WWF champion. He was the man who built Wrestlemania. He was the man who made the WWF wrestling's first national superpower. And he was a free agent. Hogan's contract with the WWF expired in mid-1993 and was not renewed for a variety of reasons. Business was softening, Hogan wanted too much money and was burnt out, Vince McMahon's steroid trial was looming and he wanted to move the company in a different direction. Hogan spent a year trying to make it as an actor. It didn't work out. So when Eric Bischoff came calling with millions of dollars of Ted Turner's money, Hogan jumped at the chance. He signed an enormous contract that guaranteed him a light schedule and creative control. And WCW would never be the same again.

WCW didn't mess around: they immediately unified the WCW and WCW International titles, putting both on Ric Flair. They turned Flair heel, and immediately booked the ultimate dream match for Bash at the Beach: Hogan vs. Flair. It was the match that Vince McMahon had never delivered on a national stage. Bischoff had finally gotten one over on Vince McMahon. The war was beginning. Let's get the action on this historic night in wrestling history:

Opening package focuses on Flair vs. Hogan, billed as "The Match of the Century." They're not lying.

We get a video recapping Sting being gouged in the eyes by Sensational Sherri, which is why he won't be competing tonight. Johnny B. Badd will replace him against Steven Regal.

WCW World Television Championship: Lord Steven Regal (c) vs. Johnny B. Badd

Man, I'm tired of watching Marc Mero wrestle. I find it suspicious that Sting was removed from the card for Hogan's debut. Were they worried he would outshine Hogan? Or did they figure that they could give him the night off knowing that Hogan would draw anyway? They start with a fun series of Arm Wringer counters. A nondescript few minutes of counters and arm work follows. At a certain point, I start to wonder if Mero knows how to do anything other than Arm Drags and Arm Wringers. After more Hammerlocks from Badd, he hits a Headscissor Takeover, a Backdrop, and "The Kiss That Don't Miss," a left hook. Regal rolls out of the ring to avoid being pinned and Badd hits a Plancha. Regal counters a Badd Sunset Flip with a pin and gets the win at 10:45.

Result: Steven Regal by pinfall

Analysis: **. Competent opener. Like most of Mero's matches, it looked like something you'd see in a wrestling school.

Gene Okerlund presents Antonio Inoki with a lifetime achievement award. Regal interrupts, causing Inoki to rip his jacket off and challenge him to a fight. The crowd actually pops big for that.

Vader vs. The Guardian Angel

The Guardian Angel is the Big Boss Man with a trademark-friendly gimmick. Angel starts things off by punching Harley Race and throwing him out of the ring. Classy guy. Vader hits punching a Spinning Back Kick. Wow. Boss Man ducks a Clothesline and hits a Back Suplex. He follows that with a Body Slam. They go outside, where Vader stiffs Angel. Vader hits a really big Body Avalanche in the ring, then goes for a Sunset Flip off the top rope, which Angel escapes. Vader applies a Step Over Toe Hold. He then slams Boss and hits the Vader Bomb. He goes all the way to the top and hits the Vadersault. He hurts his ribs and can't cover. Race goes up top, but gets thrown off by Angel. Vader and Boss rumble out on the floor. Back in the ring, Race hands Vader a baton. Angel slugs Vader and gets the baton. He pauses to consider hitting Vader, but the referee turns around, sees him holding it, and disqualifies him.

Result: Vader by disqualification

Analysis: **3/4. Pretty good match with a lame finish. Sometimes it's just fun to watch two huge guys beat the crap out of each other. Also, these are two of the most agile big men in history, so they make a good pairing.

Tony asks Jesse who will win the Flair/Vader match tonight. He disinterestedly says Flair. Ventura hates Hogan and was gone from the company shortly after this.

We get replays of the Terry Funk vs. Dustin Rhodes feud. Dustin turned to Arn Anderson for help and he agreed.

Dustin Rhodes and Arn Anderson vs. Terry Funk and Bunkhouse Buck

Meng is here, on the side of Col. Parker and thus Funk and Buck. Jesse reminisces about wrestling Funk to a one hour draw in 1976. Dustin beats down Buck, so he ends up tagging in Funk. Dustin knocks Funk to the floor, then punches him off the apron when he tries to get in. Funk quickly takes over once he gets back in the ring, but Dustin quickly comes back and throws Funk over the top rope (referee was attending to Buck). Then Dustin dumps Buck. Dustin proceeds to Atomic Drop both guys. Funk catches him with a Back Suplex and tags out. Dustin misses a Body Block and falls all the way out of the ring, down the steps, and onto the ramp. Funk cheap shots Dustin and slams him into the rail. Dustin makes it back in the ring so Buck can get some heat on him. After a few minutes of being worked on, Dustin fights his way out of the corner with Bionic Elbows. Strangely, he doesn't tag out and instead beats up both Funk and Buck. Dustin hits a Lariat on Funk, then crotches Buck on the top rope and throws him off onto Funk. Parker gets up on the apron, so Dustin decks him. He FINALLY tags in Arn...and he DDTs Rhodes! Double cross! Wow, that was a surprise. He throws Funk on top of Rhodes and he gets the pin at 11:36.

Result: Terry Funk and Bunkhouse Buck by pinfall

Analysis: ***1/2. Solid match. I really enjoyed the heat segment on Dustin, his comeback, and Arn dropping him with the DDT. I mean, it would have been more realistic if Arn had just turned on Dustin at the start of the match, but that never happens in wrestling.

Arn stomps on Dustin's hand, presumably breaking it.

We go backstage, where Okerlund interviews Flair. He cuts a typical great Flair promo.

WCW United States Championship: Steve Austin (c) vs. Ricky Steamboat

Austin's tights say "Dragon Slayer" on the back. Austin jumps Steamboat before the bell and goes right after his knee. Steamboat fights back and puts Austin's shoulder into the ring post. Steamboat does the Undertaker Rope Walk. They slug it out until Austin goes to the second rope. Steamboat catches him with a Dropkick and Austin ends up hanging from on the ropes with his knee. Steamboat beats on Austin while he's in the Tree of Woe. Steamboat settles into a segment focusing on Austin's arm. They run the ropes and Austin collapses clutching his knee. Steamboat isn't fooled and stomps a mudhole in Austin. He follows that with a Hip Toss and a Dropkick. Austin falls to the floor, where he again claims to have injured his knee. He drags Steamboat out of the ring, then ends up running from him. They go back in the ring and Steamboat locks on a Sleeper Hold. He releases that to roll Austin up for a two count. Steamboat grabs an Armbar and they grab a breather.

They pan the arena and it appears to be full. That was rarity for WCW at the time. Austin escapes the Armbar by kicking Steamboat in the groin. They do a series where Austin keeps Clotheslining Steamboat but he won't stay down. Austin hits a Vertical Suplex, then goes for an Atomic Drop. Steamboat escapes and picks Austin up in a two-handed choke. Steamboat gets an Arm Drag and applies the Armbar. They do a rope-running sequence that gets confused when both guys try to leap frog. Steamboat smoothly transitions into a Jackknife Cover. Steamboat hits the ropes and ends up getting planted with an Alabama Slam. Austin poses rather than cover. Steamboat trips up Austin, then Catapaults him into the turnbuckle and rolls him up. That gets two. Austin Clotheslines Steamboat and then hits a series of Shoulder Tackles. Backdrop by Austin. Austin applies a Rear Chinlock, which Steamboat counters with an Electric Chair, but Austin punches his way out of it. Austin repeatedly covers Steamboat, getting frustrated. Steamboat bridges and ends up kneeing Austin in the abdomen. Austin staddles Steamboat against the middle rope, then charges Steamboat and gets hit with the Stun Gun. They fight to the apron and Austin throws Steamboat into the rail. Steamboat counters by slamming Austin into the post. Steamboat comes off the top rope with the big chop, then wails on Austin with punches. Backdrop by Steamboat. Austin tries to throw Steamboat over the top rope, hoping to get disqualified, but Steamboat keeps skinning the cat back in. A series of pinning combination by Steamboat get two. Shades of Wrestlemania III. Austin goes for a Tombstone, but Steamboat reverses, then Austin reverses Steamboat, then Steamboat reverses and hits the Tombstone. Steamboat goes up top for the Flying Chop, but Austin pulls the referee into the way. The referee considers disqualifying Austin, but Steamboat convinces him not to.

Steamboat hits a Body Press, but Austin rolls through and gets the pin with his feet on the ropes at 20:16.

Result: Steve Austin by pinfall

Analysis: ***3/4. Really good match. Definitely inspired by Steamboat/Savage at Wrestlemania III. They told a good story with Austin being cocky early, then slowly realizing that Steamboat had his number and trying to get disqualified. I actually would have preferred if one of Austin's attempts had succeeded.

Okerlund tries to get a word with Arn Anderson. The Stud Stable is too busy drinking champagne to answer any questions. Funk rambles a little bit. Arn says he promised Dustin the old Arn Anderson, and that's what he gave him.

WCW World Tag Team Championship: Cactus Jack and Kevin Sullivan (c) vs. Pretty Wonderful

Lots of stalling and posing from the heels to start the match. Cactus and Sullivan settle in and work on Orndorff's arm. Orndorff manages to get Cactus in the corner and drives some knees into his ribs. He tags in Roma, who hits more knees. Cactus counters a Suplex and tags Sullivan. Cactus and Sullivan proceed to do more arm work. The crowd has now started doing the wave, which really tells you everything you need to know about how this match is going. A pier six brawl ends in Orndorff hitting a Piledriver on Sullivan. Roma drops an elbow from the top rope. A heat segment on Sullivan ends with Roma misses a Splash and Sullivan making a hot tag to Cactus. Cactus hits the Double Arm DDT on Orndorff. He has the pin, but the referee is distracted. Cactus hits the ropes, but Roma trips him and then holds his feet down while Orndorff gets the pin at 20:13.

Result: Pretty Wonderful by pinfall (New WCW World Tag Team Champions)

Analysis: *1/4. That wasn't very good. Foley would leave the company shortly after this, disgusted with the way he was being booked. He turned down a ton of money to do it, and it worked out for him in the end.

WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Ric Flair (c) vs. Hulk Hogan

Alright, it's the match we've all been waiting for. Many fans had been dreaming of this match for a solid ten years at this point. Lots of introductions here: Nick Bockwinkel, Shaq (gets a monster pop from the Magic fans in the crowd). Then Flair makes his way out with Sensational Sherri. He gets a mixed response, but definitely more cheers than WCW was probably hoping for. Finally, Hogan makes his way out with Jimmy Hart and Mr. T. Hogan gets a John Cena response: lots of cheers and lots of boos. Michael Buffer does LONG introductions. Finally, the bell rings and we are underway.

They lock up and Hogan drops Flair with a Shoulderblock. They lock up again and Hogan throws Flair to the mat. Hogan mocks Flair's strut. Flair grabs a Hammerlock and proceeds to twist Hogan's arm. Hogan finally escapes and applies a Cross Armbreaker. Wow, never seen that from him before. It was a little sloppy, but he landed it. Flair bails to the floor and uses Sherri as a human shield. They go back to the ring and Hogan levels Flair with right hands. Hogan goes for the Big Boot, but Flair escapes the ring and hides behind Sherri. Flair runs back to the ring and then catches Hogan with a knee as he's climbing back in. Punches and chops from Flair. He hits a Knee Drop, but Hogan no-sells. Ten Punch from Hogan. Corner whip and a Clothesline. Sherri grabs Hogan's leg and Flair gets a cheap shot. A chop from Flair sends Hogan over the top. Sherri tries to hit Hogan with a chair, but Hart grabs it. Flair slams Hogan into the railing.

Back in the ring, Flair hits an Ax Handle from the top rope. Knee Drop. Hogan fights back with chops, then a Clothesline. Flair gets a Snapmare and applies a Chinlock. He transitions to a Sleeper and they tease a Hogan pass out. He Hulks Up, then hits a series of Shouderblocks. Flair Flip ends with Flair getting Clotheslined off the apron. Hogan follows him outside and hits a Back Suplex. Hogan Suplexes Flair from the apron into the ring. Hogan goes for the Leg Drop, but Flair rolls out of the way. Flair goes for the Figure Four, but Hogan rolls him up for two. Hogan boots out of another Figure Four attempt. Flair Suplexes Hogan, but he stands right back up. Punch, punch, punch. Big Boot. He covers, but Sherri pulls the referee out at two. Flair chops Hogan's knee. Sherri Splashes Hogan from the top rope. Flair locks on the Figure Four. Hogan gets to the ropes. Sherri pulls a belt from somewhere and chokes Hogan with it behind the referee's back. Flair stays on Hogan's leg. Flair chops Hogan in the corner, but he shakes it off. Flair counters a Clothesline attempt with a back elbow. Sherri goes for another Splash, but Hogan rolls out of the way. Flair goes to the top, but Hogan throws him off. Clothesline from Hogan. Hogan locks on an Inverted Figure Four (similar to the one Shawn Michaels used).

Sherri tries to throw Flair brass knuckles, but bungles the exchange and they drop to the floor. Meanwhile, Mr. T drags Sherri to the back. Flair recovers the brass knucks and hits Hogan. Hogan kicks out at two and Hulks Up. Punch, punch, punch. Big Boot. Leg Drop, 1-2-3. Hogan is the new champion at 21:56.

Result: Hulk Hogan by pinfall (New WCW World Heavyweight Champion)

Analysis: ***1/2. That was a lot of fun. Pretty typical Hogan match, but with a better opponent that usual. Flair bumped his ass off, and Hogan was working hard too. Great heat, and a chaotic atmosphere at ringside.

Hogan is awarded the title by Shaq and then poses for several minutes. We get a shot of young Nick Hogan, long before he was a manslaughterer.

We go backstage, where Hogan is congratulated by Jim Duggan and then interviewed by Gene Okerlund.

We go back to Tony and Brain for a wrap-up, and the credits roll.

Overall: Solid show. The only thing I have any complaints about is the tag match. Everything else was good, and Austin/Steamboat was especially good. The Hogan/Flair match is an important moment in wrestling history, the first meeting of the two biggest wrestlers of the generation. It looked like WCW was really turning a corner, but it was a false hope. We'll see why in the next few shows.

Grade: B+

Slare
July 30th, 2013, 9:02 AM
The Nick Hogan manslaughterer line was tremendous. Great write-up as usual.

LOCONUT
July 30th, 2013, 10:05 AM
I remember this match pretty well but for some reason I don't remember Shaq handing him the belt at all.

The Law
August 2nd, 2013, 9:02 PM
Fall Brawl 1994: WarGames
September 18, 1994
Roanoke Civic Center
Roanoke, Virginia

Welcome to Fall Brawl 1994! After Bash the Beach 1994, Hulk Hogan is firmly entrenched as the top guy in WCW. So he's...not wrestling on this show. His contract guaranteed him limited dates, so he's not working tonight. The only major development since Bash at the Beach is that Ricky Steamboat beat Steve Austin for the United States Championship. Unfortunately, he suffered a back injury in the process and was forced into retirement. That situation will be rectified tonight in the worst way imaginable. Also, we will see the culmination of the Rhodes/Stud Stable feud, as Dustin Rhodes leads his team of The Nasty Boys and Dusty Rhodes into battle against Terry Funk, Arn Anderson, Bunkhouse Buck, and Col. Robert Parker. Not the best line-up for a WarGames match, but we'll see how it goes. There are some huge changes to WCW coming tonight, so let's get started:

Bobby Heeanan and Tony Schiavone are our hosts tonight.

WCW World Television Championship: Lord Steven Regal (c) vs. Johnny B. Badd

Regal comes down in a ridiculous jacket and powder wig. Stereotypes are fun for everyone, especially in wrestling. Regal has basically held the TV Title for a year at this point, only dropping it to Larry Zbyszko for a few weeks. Badd focuses mainly on Regal's arm in the early going. They do a lot of pretty enjoyable chain wrestling that is hard to transcribe. Badd busts out an Airplane Spin, then a Plancha to the floor after Regal bails to regain his balance. Badd misses a Body Block, planting himself on the top rope. Regal enjoyably grinds him down. Badd escapes a Chinlock and plants Regal with a Knee Lift. Regal hits a European Uppercut to regain control. Badd escapes a Full Nelson and hits an Atomic Drop. He follows that with a Backdrop and a Headscissor Takeover. Sir William tries to hold Badd in place, but he escapes and Regal ends up hitting Sir William. Badd takes Regal down with a Backslide and gets the win at 11:08.

Result: Johnny B. Badd by pinfall (New WCW World Television Champion)

Analysis: **1/2. Decent opener. About as good a match as Marc Mero would ever have.

They show a replay of Hulk Hogan being assaulted by a masked man at Clash of the Champions. He hit Hogan in the knee with a pipe.

Loser Leaves WCW: Kevin Sullivan vs. Cactus Jack

This is Foley's swan song in WCW. Things get wild right away as both guys brawl on the floor. Cactus throws the mats up at ringside and goes to the second rope, but ends up getting thrown off onto the concrete. That's a pretty crazy bump to be taking at the beginning of a match. Sullivan Body Slams Cactus on the concrete. Sullivan concentrates on the area of the head where Cactus' ear used to be. Cactus fights back and tries to Piledrive Sullivan on the floor, but ends up getting Backdropped on the concrete. Cactus throws a chair into the ring. Heenan and Schiavone aren't sure whether or not this is a no disqualification match. Dave Sullivan (accompanying his brother to ringside) stops Cactus from using the chair. Sullivan slams Cactus into the stairs. Sullivan tries to use a chair on Cactus, but Dave stops him. He's conflicted. Cactus tries to hit Sullivan, but ends up hitting Dave and knocking him off the apron. Sullivan very sloppily rolls up Cactus for the pin at 6:08.

Result: Kevin Sullivan by pinfall

Analysis: *1/2. That was shockingly tame for an encounter between these two. No weapons? Ending was very abrupt as well.

Mean Gene interviews the Stud Stable backstage.

Steve Austin comes out dressed to wrestle. Ricky Steamboat comes out in street clothes. Nick Bockwinkel announces that Steamboat will not be able to compete tonight and will be stripped of the title and it will be awarded to Austin. Austin gets to talk, and it's great. Maybe the booking team should have noticed that Austin was one of the best wrestlers in history. Bockwinkel informs Austin that he will be defending the title...right now.

WCW United States Championship: Steve Austin (c) vs. Jim Duggan

Austin argues with Bockwinkel. He turns around and gets Backdropped by Duggan. Duggan hits a Splash and gets the win in 35 seconds. Yeah, that actually happened.

Result: Jim Duggan by pinfall (New WCW United States Champion)

Analysis: Fuck that shit.

WCW World Tag Team Championship: Pretty Wonderful (c) vs. Stars and Strips (Marcus Bagwell and The Patriot)

This is the same The Patriot who showed up in the WWF for a few months in 1997 to feud with Bret Hart. This match takes a really long time to start. There's a lot of just standing around. Heenan spends a lot of time talking about how these guys are real athletes, not bodybuilders. Presumably, this was Heenan taking shots at Hogan, because Hogan is the definition of the wrestling bodybuilder. Patriot and Bagwell work on Orndorff's arm. They've mastered basic tag psychology and know to keep the match in their corner when they're on offense. Roma tags in and gets his arm worked on too. Bagwell gets yanked down by the hair as he hits the ropes and Pretty Wonderful take over. They do some basic heel cheating while the referee is distracted. At one point, Bagwell is thrown outside and gets a cooler full of ice dumped on him. That's the first time I've seen that. Bagwell eventually manages to tag in Patriot, but the referee didn't see it. Patriot proceeds to beat up both Orndorff and Roma. Meanwhile, Bagwell gets Piledriven on the floor by Orndorff. Roma covers Bagwell and gets the win at 12:54,

Result: Pretty Wonderful by pinfall

Analysis: **1/2. Standard tag match. Sticking to the formula was probably the right choice, given who was involved.

Triangle Match: Sting vs. The Guardian Angel vs. Vader

This is not a triple threat match. Instead, it's a pair of singles matches. They flip coins to determine who gets to sit out the first round, and that person will face the winner of the first match. The winner here will become #1 contender to the WCW Championship. They flip coins and Sting is the odd man out, so Vader and Guardian Angel will fight in the first round.

Vader cheap shots Guardian Angel during a test of strength. Vader follows that with a Body Avalanche in the corner. Angel ducks a Clothesline and Back Suplexes Vader. He drops an elbow that appeared to land dangerously close to Vader's groin. Angel comes off the top and just kind of leaps onto the top rope. It was supposed to look like Vader dodged, but it came off poorly. Vader misses a corner charge and gets rolled up for a two count. Vader hits a Cactus Jack Clothesline, sending both men to the floor. Race holds Angel and ends up getting decked by Vader when Angel dodges a big punch. Angel hits an Enziguri! He slams Vader. He straddles Vader and hits the Boss Man Slam, but the referee gets bumped. Harley Race headbutts Vader, who follows with a Vader Bomb for the pin at 7:06.

Result: Vader by pinfall

Analysis: **1/4. Good short match. These two had really nice chemistry.

Round Two: Sting vs. Vader

Vader quickly overpowers Sting, but he doesn't sell anything. Sting puts Vader down with a Dropkick. Sting charges Vader and gets knocked down with a Body Avalanche. Vader hits the Vader Bomb, then goes for another and gets kicked off the ropes by Sting. Vader knocks Sting down with a big Clothesline. Vader misses the Vader Bomb, then misses a Butt Splash and gets knocked to the floor. Sting attacks Vader out on the floor. Race tries to Suplex Sting. That fails and he gets Suplexed. Sting Suplexes Vader. He goes to the top and hits a Splash. Vader plants Sting and misses the Vadersault. Sting Superplexes Vader! Sting hits a Samoan Drop and then the Stinger Splash. German Suplex on Vader! Sting just can't keep him down. Vader gets punches and a Clothesline, then Sting no-sells. Sting Clotheslines Vader as they call four minutes left in the time limit. Sting hits more Clotheslines and a top rope Splash. Vader fights back with some punches as the ring announcer calls two minutes left. Vader goes to the second rope with one minute to go. Sting catches Vader in the air and hits a Powerslam. Sting hits a Clothesline and locks in the Scorpion Deathlock. Time expires. It's been a little over 20 minutes between the two matches. The match is going into a five minute overtime period.

Sting attacks Vader during the rest period and gets beat up for it. Suplex by Vader. Four minutes left. Vader tries a Superplex, but Sting fights him off with three minutes left. Sting is gassed and just kind of falls off the top. He can't lift Vader and collapses to the mat. Vader goes to the top and gets thrown off with two minutes left. Vader clubs Sting down and then slams him. One minute left. Splash by Vader. Vader hits the Powerbomb, but time expires during the pin. Now we're going into sudden death overtime. Apparently that means that the first person knocked off their feet loses, a stipulation I've never seen in wrestling.

Vader hits punches. Crowd is on their feet. Vader keeps clubbing Sting. Short-Arm Clotheslines from Vader. Sting grabs the rope to keep from collapsing. Sting fights back. Guardian Angel prevents Race from interfering, which distracts the referee. Vader goes down, but the ref doesn't see it. The masked man who attacked Hogan hits Sting with his pipe and he goes down. The referee turns around, sees Sting down, and calls for the bell at 23:18.

Winner: Vader

Analysis: ***1/2. Really good match with a crummy finish. Too many time limits, too many rules. It's Vader and Sting. Just let them go at it. Anyway, Vader wins a world title shot that he wouldn't get for awhile.

Hogan and Flair do their confrontation. Neither is in the arena. Both appear via satellite. Hogan is working out at his place in Florida, Flair is partying in Las Vegas. Flair claims to be the real world champion because he beat Hogan by countout at Clash of the Champions. Hogan challenges Flair to a Steel Cage Match at Halloween Havoc where the loser has to retire and Flair accepts. This segment went over ten minutes to establish what I just wrote in a few sentences. Way too long.

WarGames Match: Team Rhodes (Dusty Rhodes, Dustin Rhodes, and the Nasty Boys) vs. The Stud Stable (Terry Funk, Arn Anderson, Bunkhouse Buck, and Col. Robert Parker)

Dustin and Arn kick things off. Dustin beats him all over both rings, including hitting a great jumping Lariat from one ring to the other. The Studs win the coin toss and Bunkhouse Buck enters the match right as Arn DDTs Rhodes. Buck and Arn beat on Dustin's arm for the rest of the two minute period. Jerry Sags is the next entrant. He sends both guys into the cage. Sags hits a Piledriver on Buck. Dustin locks in a Sleeper Hold on Arn. Terry Funk is the next entrant and he beats down both Dustin and Sags with a cowboy boot. Sags jumps Funk from behind and Piledrives him between the two rings! Brian Knobbs is the next entrant. He sends both Funk and Anderson into the cage. Sags and Knobbs team up to slam Arn into the steel. Sags then gets hold of Funk's boot and beats him with it. Col. Parker is the next entrant. He punches Dustin in the face and hurts his hand in the process. Parker kicks all of the babyfaces while they are down and the heels remove their belts. Some country whippins ensue. Dusty enters the match and the Match Beyond begins.

Dusty Bionic Elbows everyone in sight. Parker gets hit with Splashes by both Nastys. Dusty locks in the Figure Four on Parker and he gives up.

Winners: Team Rhodes

Analysis: ***. Good match, though one of the weaker WarGames offerings to date. No blood, reflecting changing standards in the company. Also a lesser field of talent than usual.

Overall: Pretty good show. It's also a definite sign of changing times in WCW: Cactus Jack is gone, Austin's push is over, Steamboat is done, and Sting and Vader met for the final time of pay-per-view. Hogan is on top now, and things are changing to accommodate him. Other than the Austin debacle everything was fine, and the Sting/Vader match was quite good.

Grade: B

Tainted Eclipse
August 2nd, 2013, 10:56 PM
Man, I just watched that Wargames again and loved it. Great brawling, Terry Funk being Terry Funk, the opening Dustin/Arn stuff being a pretty great five minute match in itself, the ultra hot crowd, and DUSTY. Dusty entering as the climax was awesome and the crowd was out of control. I never followed the feud or anything but I'm sure it was very satisfying to see the Colonel get absolutely decimated to end it.

Kneeneighbor
August 2nd, 2013, 11:57 PM
I never got Duggan's appeal. Why did the guy keep finding jobs? Also, what was with the USA chants?

Tainted Eclipse
August 3rd, 2013, 12:17 AM
He was a pretty great wrestler and a big deal in Mid South, and was also very charismatic.

Kneeneighbor
August 3rd, 2013, 12:23 AM
Great Wrestler? Was this pre WWF? Cause when he was there he was nothing special.

Mills
August 3rd, 2013, 12:30 AM
Yes, years before wwf

The Law
August 3rd, 2013, 1:33 AM
Duggan was a top guy in Mid-South/UWF in the mid-1980s. By the time he got to WCW he was 40 and really didn't have a ton going for him other than his ability to generate a cheap pop with "USA" chants. There was clearly no planet where he should have been beating Steve Austin at all, much less in 30 seconds. But as soon as Hogan came in, Austin's push totally disappeared. I can't say for certain that it was because of Hogan, but it's not an unreasonable hypothesis. Either Hogan was threatened by Austin or, more generously, didn't think he had what it took to be a big star. Austin fights Duggan in a rematch at Halloween Havoc, then doesn't appear on another WCW pay-per-view until being fired in mid-1995. He went from being U.S. Champion to nothing overnight. Apparently if Flair hadn't gotten canned as booker he was planning on giving Austin a run against him later this year. How different would wrestling history be if WCW hadn't fired Austin?

LOCONUT
August 3rd, 2013, 2:27 AM
Duggan was ridiculously over in Mid South and WWF but I wouldn't use great wrestler to describe him. I do recall watching him win the first Royal Rumble which was free on USA.

OD50
August 3rd, 2013, 2:47 AM
I think Duggan is kind of underrated, sure he wasn't any technical marvel but he was a really good brawler. But yeah, he was getting older and slower during his WCW run.

Austin and Duggan had another US title (re)match at the Clash of the Champions following Halloween Havoc, problem was that Austin's knee was completely destroyed prior so the match lasted like 30 seconds before Vader ran in, attacking ol' Hacksaw.

Cewsh
August 5th, 2013, 2:02 PM
Hey Law, have you mentioned yet that you have your own CATEGORY on the Main Page?

Fanny
August 5th, 2013, 2:50 PM
Whoah Whoah Whoah Whoah Whoah Whoah Whoah Whoah Whoah Whoah Whoah Whoah Whoah Whoah Whoah Whoah. Whoah. Whoah. Wwwwwwwhoah. Whoah. Whoah. Lois this is not my Batman glass

The Law
August 6th, 2013, 2:12 PM
Halloween Havoc 1994
October 23, 1994
Joe Louis Arena
Detroit, Michigan

Really nothing to go over here, so let's jump right in:

Opening video package focuses on Flair and Hogan.

Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Gene Okerlund go over tonight's matches.

WCW World Television Championship: Johnny B. Badd (c) vs. Honky Tonk Man

Apparently Honky is friends with Hogan. I can't imagine a scenario in which this would be a good match. Badd works on Honky's arm. Badd hits an Atomic Drop and messes up Honky's hair. Now shit's on. Honky takes over and things get boring. They pan the crowd and show that Muhammad Ali is there. He lives somewhere in Michigan, but I can't remember where. Not a whole lot is happening in this match. Thankfully, it's a ten minute time limit. Honky just keeps holding Chinlocks. Honky goes for the Shake, Rattle, and Roll, but Badd Backdrops out. Honky keeps stalling even though he's the challenger and time is running out. Stupid wrestling. Makes me mad. Honky ducks the left hook and hits a Back Suplex. They just slug it out as time runs out.

Result: Time Limit Draw

Analysis: Dud. What the fuck? They can't put Badd over the fucking Honky Tonk Man? That makes me really cranky. The time limit draw thing really doesn't work when a face is champion. Oh, and that match was basically what I expected it to be.

WCW World Tag Team Championship: Stars and Stripes (c) vs. Pretty Wonderful

Stars and Stripes won the belts on Main Event the week after Fall Brawl. Bagwell and Patriot control the early portions of the match and work on the arm of both heels. Bagwell screws up and gets worked over. Bagwell fights back and hits a Fisherman Suplex, but the referee is busy putting Patriot out of the ring. That allows Roma to come off the top rope with an Elbow Drop, and Orndorff pins Bagwell to win back the titles at 13:45.

Result: Pretty Wonderful by pinfall (New WCW World Tag Team Champions)

Analysis: *1/2. Generic tag match. This is the second year in a row that a Bagwell team won the tag titles shortly before Halloween Havoc and them lost them back to the former champions at the show.

Kevin Sullivan vs. Dave Sullivan

Sullivan Brothers Explode. Dave is a huge Hulk Hogan fan, and that upsets his "brother" Kevin. Dave's theme is "I Wanna be a Hulkamaniac." This match is most Kevin beating the crap out of Dave. Multiple Double Stomps, one of wrestling's worst finishers. Kevin goes to the top, but Dave catches him and throws him off. Dave Hulks Up. They fight to the floor, and Dave makes it back in at nine to win by count out.

Result: Dave Sullivan by Count Out

Analysis: Dud. "Whenever Poochie's not on screen, all the other characters should be asking "Where's Poochie?"

Dustin Rhodes vs. Arn Anderson

Arn complains that Dustin pulled his hair and Schiavone points out he doesn't have any. They end up trading punches, dropping an pretense of sportsmanship. Atomic Drop, then a Lariat to the back of the head by Rhodes. Rhodes goes to the top and gets crotched. Arn tries for a Superplex, but gets thrown off and hit with a Flying Clothesline. The fight to the outside, where Dustin slams Arn into the ring post. Dustin works on Arn's arm, revenge for all the times in the last few months that Arn tried to break his arm. Dustin stays on the arm for the next few minutes. Dustin hits an Atomic Drop, then misses a Lariat and goes flying over the top to the floor. Arn starts stomping the crap out of Dustin's arm. Dustin tries to wrap Anderson with Body Scissors, but Anderson just Catapaults him into the bottom rope. They trade punches and then do a Double Clothesline. Dustin wins a slugfest and hits another Lariat. Dustin telegraphs a Backdrop and Arn goes for a DDT, but Dustin gets out by grabbing the rope. Stun Gun by Dustin. Dustin rolls down his knee pad and misses a Knee Drop intended for Arn's shoulder. Arn connects with a Sunset Flip and grabs the ropes, but the referee catches him. Dustin rolls Arn up for the pin at 9:50.

Result: Dustin Rhodes by pinfall

Analysis: ***1/4. That was a good match. Arm work is very common in wrestling, especially in an Arn Anderson match. But here it meant more because of the intensity both guys put into it, as well as the history behind it. Arn Anderson does so many great little things in the ring that he's an absolute pleasure to watch.

WCW United States Championship: Jim Duggan (c) vs. Steve Austin

Let's play: Can Steve Austin Drag a Good Match Out of Jim Duggan in 1994? Austin opens up more aggressive than we've seen him, punching and kicking the hell out of Duggan. Duggan responds with Clotheslines and a Body Slam. Duggan applies a Sleeper, then goes for a Back Suplex. Austin falls out and lands on his feet, then goes straight for Duggan's knee. Austin misses a sit-down attempt on the leg and is hit with an Atomic Drop. Austin bails out as Duggan leads the crowd in a "USA" chant. Duggan refuses an Austin handshake offer. Austin gets an Ax Handle off the second rope, then another. He tries a third and gets hit with a Lariat. Austin grabs the referee, then kicks Duggan in the balls when he comes to grab him. The ref threatens to DQ Austin and he begs him not to. Austin hits a Diving Second Rope Elbow on a downed Duggan. He goes for another and misses. Duggan beats up Austin and goes for the Three Point Stance. Austin Backdrops Duggan over the top rope and is disqualified at 8:02.

Result: Jim Duggan by disqualification

Analysis: **1/2. Pretty good. Austin worked his ass off. I don't understand the finish. Having the heel get DQed in cheap fashion when he's the challenger really doesn't do anything.

Vader vs. The Guardian Angel

These guys have been feuding all year. It's produced some pretty good matches, so I won't complain. Vader gets Angle in the corner and slugs the crap out of him. Clothesline sends Angel over the top rope. Angel reverses a whip and sends Vader into the railing. Angel throws Race into the ring and slams him. Then he beats him up. That's pretty heelish for the nominal good guy. Angel slams Vader onto Race. Angel hits a Leg Drop right onto Vader's groin. Corner Splash by Angel. Angel Suplexes Vader. Vader hits a stiff series of jabs. Vader comes off the second rope and gets caught and slammed by Angel! Enziguri by Angel. He's just showing off now. Angel Clotheslines Vader over the top. Vader catches Boss with a Clothesline. That looked strange, I think Angel might have been going for the Boss Man Slam. Vader slams Angel and hits the Vader Bomb. Angel kicks out, so Vader goes for it again. This time, Angel gets his knees up. Big Splash by Angel. Spinebuster by Angel. Boss Man Slam! Angel chases Race, then Suplexes him into the ring. While Angel is still on the ground, Vader hits a Splash and gets the pin at 8:18.

Result: Vader by pinfall

Analysis: ***. Another fun match between these two. Two big men who could move and take a big pounding resulted in a good series of matches.

The Nasty Boys vs. Terry Funk and Bunkhouse Buck

Strap in, there's going to be some clubberin' here. Knobbs beats up Funk to start. Sags tags in and sits on Funk's face. Literally. Knobbs and Buck both tag in. Sags tag in and the Nastys double team in the corner. Funk and Buck both bail and spend some time yelling at the fans. Sags knocks Funk to the floor, where Buck grabs him from behind and chokes him. Funk hits some stiff punches and throws Sags back into the ring. Sags slams both Buck and Funk into the canvas and tags in Knobbs. Knobbs hits the ropes and gets tripped by Buck. We see Buck load up his glove. The referee sees it and tries to get it away from him. Meanwhile, Meng climbs onto the apron and tries to punch Sags, but accidentally hits Funk instead. Sags brings a pumpkin into the ring(?) and Piledrives Funk on it. Knobbs covers for the pin at 7:57.

Result: Nasty Boys by pinfall

Analysis: 1/2*. That was strange. Funk and Buck never got any heat on the Nastys. Like, they'd hit a few punches and then Knobbs or Sags would just go back to beating them up. I was looking forward to the Nastys working as faces because I thought it would mean less of their boring offense. Unfortunately, that proved not to be that case here.

Steel Cage Retirement Match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Hulk Hogan (c) vs. Ric Flair

Both men's careers, as well as the WCW Championship, are on the line. Mr. T is the special referee. He's known to be a friend of Hogan, but they've been teasing an alliance with Flair. Hogan gets a good response. Detroit was a strong WWF town, which made a big difference at this point in time. This cage is more like a current WWE cage, made of chain link instead of bars. It's also the type that goes right around the ring, so they can't fight outside. It's fairly short, probably only eight feet high. I'm not sure if they can win by escape here or not. Brutus Beefcake comes out with Hogan for his entrance, then heads to the back.

Mr. T forces Hogan to break. Come on, it's a cage match. Hogan shoots Flair to the corner and Backdrops him. Hogan and T get in each other's faces. Hogan blocks Flair's attempt to put him into the cage and slams Flair. Flair gets a low kick and Hogan goes down. Now T gets in Flair's face. Flair slams Hogan into the cage. Snapmare, Knee Drop by Flair. Hogan reverses a whip to the corner and Clotheslines Flair. Hogan slams Flair into the cage. Hogan javelins Flair into the cage and chokes him with his shirt. Flair goes to the top and hits an Ax Handle on Hogan. Suplex by Flair. Flair chops, but Hogan no-sells. Flair tries to escape the cage, but Hogan follows him and slams his head into the cage. Hogan charges in the corner, but Flair catches him with a boot. More chops, more no-selling. Flair tries to climb out again, but Hogan drags him back in. Hogan grabs a Headlock, but Flair counters with a Knee Breaker and locks on the Figure Four.

Hogan manages to turn it over, but the damage is done. Hogan accidentally hits T. He's down and out. Back Suplex by Flair. Flair gets frustrated and stomps on T. Sensational Sherri starts climbing the cage. Jimmy Hart follows her and rips off her skirt. Sherri shoves Hart into the camera and climbs back up. Sting cuts her off and pulls her back down. Then the masked man (the one who attacked Hogan at Clash of the Champions) emerges from under the ring and knocks Sting out with a pipe. Sherri climbs into the ring and hits Hogan with a weak Ax Handle from the top of the cage. Flair handcuffs T to the cage. Flair slams Hogan into the masked man's pipe. Flair stomps on T some more. How is he supposed to win the match with no referee? Flair Suplexes Hogan. Hogan stands right back up. Hogan Clotheslines both Sherri and Flair. He slams Sherri. 90s wrestling, when violence against women was cool. Hogan Backdrops Flair, then throws Sherri off the top as she tries to escape the cage. Hogan slams Flair into the cage. Hogan Big Boots Sherri. This is starting to border on exploitation. Hogan Hulks Up. Big Boot. Leg Drop. T wakes up and counts the pin at 19:20. Thunderous pop for Hogan's win.

Result: Hulk Hogan by pinfall

Analysis: **1/2. Terribly overbooked. Their simpler match at Bash at the Beach was much better. Way less interference and other nonsense would have been nice here. It also seems like WCW was really spitting in the faces of their hardcore fans by having Hogan dismantle Flair in a retirement match. There was obviously no way the retirement was going to stick and he was back by mid-1995.

Hogan celebrates for awhile after the match. Then the masked man returns and tries to attack Hogan. Hogan stops him and rips the mask off to reveal... Brutus Beefcake. AKA The Butcher AKA The Zodiac AKA Brother Bruti AKA The Booty Man AKA The Man With No Name AKA The Disciple. Kevin Sullivan and Earthquake (now known as Avalanche) hit the ring and attack Hogan. And here we have the primary WCW feud of the next 18 months. Yay? Ed Leslie, by virtue of being Hogan's buddy, gets the Starrcade main event instead of Vader. And that's how things went wrong in WCW.

Sting shows up and clears the ring. Everyone uses their shocked serious voices to explain the betrayal of Beefcake. Meanwhile, Heenan tearfully thanks Flair for his great career. Yeah, that's really getting lost in the shuffle here, the fact that WCW's greatest wrestler just got retired. Oy. Long road ahead. How long until the NWO shows up?

Overall: Not good, and some really troubling trends. Ric Flair is gone (temporarily). Steve Austin is getting jobbed out. Cactus Jack is gone. Ricky Steamboat is gone. Hogan's buddies are showing up and getting the pushes. This show is pretty decent in terms of the action, but you can definitely see trouble on the horizon. Not quite as good as the last few shows.

Grade: D

LOCONUT
August 7th, 2013, 11:18 AM
Wow.

LOCONUT
August 7th, 2013, 11:19 AM
You forgot AKA THE BARBER.

JP
August 7th, 2013, 11:31 AM
I can't believe that Hogan vs. Beefcake was a main event for the World Title. At fucking Starcade.

91-92 and 96-98 were really just complete luck weren't they? Just utterly clueless.

Fanny
August 7th, 2013, 11:55 AM
The WCW over the top rope DQ rule always hurt my brain a bit.

LOCONUT
August 19th, 2013, 4:05 PM
More please. :)

JRSlim21
August 19th, 2013, 8:57 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48-tcRiBNj4&amp;feature=c4-overview-vl&amp;list=PLxgUkHTvXNoYSV9JR0UdjV-YEYaHVYssQ

The Law
August 22nd, 2013, 12:03 AM
Since I've been negligent in posting these lately, let's do a double header:

Starrcade 1994: Triple Threat
December 27, 1994
Nashville Municipal Auditorium
Nashville, Tennessee

Sheer, rank nepotism was in the air in WCW in late-1994. Hulk Hogan was the man, and Hogan's friends were taking over. This show is just about the Hoganiest show I can imagine: Jim Duggan, the Nasty Boys, John Tenta, Mr. T, and Brutus Beefcake all featured prominently. Seriously, Hogan vs. Beefcake is the main event. I guess they had to build Vader up a little more before he could job to Hogan for all of 1995.

Oh, one other thing happened: Randy Savage signed with WCW. Yet another friend of Hogan, except this friend is one of the greatest wrestlers ever. And he could still go at this point. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing his work. Savage had a really good run in WCW, which I feel is generally overlooked when people are discussing his career. Here's his debut:



We don't yet know whether Savage is on Hogan's side or against him. He's played both roles in the past, and the only that's sure with Randy Savage is that nothing's for sure. At least that adds some intrigue tonight.

WCW United States Championship: Jim Duggan (c) vs. Vader

They go at it in the aisle way before Duggan can get to the ring. Duggan levels Vader, then goes into the ring and beats up Harley Race. Duggan throws Vader into the railing. 10 Punch, then a Clothesline from Duggan. Duggan Clotheslines Vader over the top rope. Duggan hits a Cross Body when Vader gets back into the ring. Duggan slams Vader. Duggan hits another Clothesline and applies a Chinlock. Can Vader get some offense here, please? On cue, Vader escapes the Chinlock and boxes Duggan's ears. Duggan gets up and hits another Clothesline. Duggan misses an Elbow Drop from the second rope. Vader clubs Duggan in the back and sends him over the top. Vader beats up Duggan and then hits the Vader Bomb. That doesn't get the pin, so Vader goes for it again, but gets kicked off by Duggan. Vader stops the comeback with a Body Avalanche. Vader drops Duggan with a right hand and goes for the Vadersault, but Duggan rolls out of the way. Duggan counters a corner charge with a Clothesline, leading to a double down. Duggan hits the Three Point Stance Clothesline, but Race gouges Duggan's eyes. Vader comes off the second rope, but Duggan catches him with a Powerslam. That spot will never stop being impressive. Duggan goes for another Three Point Stance Clothesline, but Vader grabs him and throws him into Race. Vader grabs Duggan and slams him, then covers for win at 13:06.

Result: Vader by pinfall (New WCW United States Champion)

Analysis: **3/4. Best Jim Duggan match I've ever seen. Vader was having a great run at this point. This match was very similar to previous matches against Sting, Bulldog, and Boss Man.

Mean Gene interviews the "3 Faces of Fear," Kevin Sullivan, The Butcher, and The Avalanche.

Jean-Paul Levesque vs. Alex Wright

Yup, it's Triple H on a WCW pay-per-view. I think this is his only WCW PPV appearance. His opponent is "Das Wunderkind" Alex Wright, who is all of 19 years old here. Wright was always had good technique but not a ton of charisma in the ring. So they gave him a silly dancing gimmick. HHH's gimmick is very much a precursor to Hunter Hearst Helmsley, as he's wearing the same attire. Only difference here is that he's supposed to be French. Wright does a nifty cartwheel to escape a Wrist Lock and then a Headscissor Takeover. This is a pretty basic match: mostly holds and some chain wrestling. Crowd is pretty silent. Eventually, Triple H has enough and just starts pounding Wright. I always like that. Triple H always seemed to want to be a technical wrestler, but his real calling was as a brawler. Nice Spinning Heel Kick by HHH. Not a move you would see from him in later years. They run a long sequence where HHH throws Wright out of the ring and then won't let him get back in. HHH continues to dominate with a Powerslam. Long Chinlock follows. Wright gets out and is hit with a Tilt-a-Whirl Backbreaker. HHH misses an Elbow Drop from the top rope. Wright makes his comeback and hits a Hip Toss and Backdrop. Shoulderblock leads to a double down. Wright slings over HHH in the corner and then bridges into a pin to get the win at 14:03.

Result: Alex Wright by pinfall

Analysis: **. Pretty solid outing for two young guys. A lot more time than I expected them to get. The match was best when HHH was beating up Wright. Somehow, he got stuck with a snob gimmick that didn't really suit him for years after this. It's very surprising that WCW didn't see potential in him, but this was a time when generally the only way to get pushed was to be a friend of Hogan.

WCW World Television Championship: Johnny B. Badd (c) vs. Arn Anderson

This was supposed to be Honky Tonk Man's rematch, but he left WCW over a pay dispute. So they replaced him with someone infinitely better. Always nice when that happens. Lots and lots of Armbars in this match. Given the proclivities of the competitors, that's not very surprising. Arn's mannerisms make this match entertaining, even if there isn't a ton of action. Heenan on Mero: "He was a great boxer. He used to put two dozen oranges in a crate in 30 seconds flat." Once again, Arn claims he had his hair pulled. Which is physically impossible. Things pick up when Arn hits a picture perfect Spinebuster. Arn slows things down with an Abdominal Stretch. I think Mero just fucked up a bridge spot and Arn covered by dropping an elbow on him. Because Arn is a pro. Badd escapes a Chinlock and hooks a Sleeper Hold. Arn gets out with a Jawbreaker. Badd gets a Headscissor Takeover. Badd hits a Knee Lift and then goes up top. He executes a Sunset Flip for two. Arn bridges into a pin with his feet on the ropes and thinks he's won. Unfortunately, the referee catches him. Arn doesn't realize it and begins to celebrate. Badd rolls him up for the pin at 11:22.

Result: Johnny B. Badd by pinfall

Analysis: **1/2. That was fine. Arn is such a pro that he made it work. I hate Arn jobbing to Marc Mero. Fortunately, WCW rectified this and Arn won the TV Title a few weeks later.

We get the first of several announcements of Pro Wrestling Illustrated awards tonight. The Nasty Boys are named Tag Team of the Year. The awards are kayfabe, so it's not a judgment on how well the teams did in terms of wrestling good matches.

The Nasty Boys vs. Harlem Heat

Ugh. Kill me now. Unfortunately, this is the first of many meetings between these two teams over the next few years. Everybody brawls with everybody at the start of the match. Sags quickly connects with a Pump Handle Slam on Booker. Booker hits a Flying Forearm, but then gets Powerslammed. The Nasties tag in and out while working on Booker's arm. Another brawl breaks out, and Stevie Ray and Sags fight on the floor. Stevie hits a Bicycle Kick and then a Shinbreaker onto the guardrail. Harlem Heat take over as Booker hits a Spin Kick. Stevie tags in and grabs... a Nerve Hold. Come on, man. Sags fights out, and Booker tags in and hits the Scissor Kick. It wasn't his finisher at this point. Booker grabs a Chinlock, which Sags escapes with a Jawbreaker. Long Bearhug ensues. Booker gets booted on a corner charge and then hit with a Clothesline. Stevie jumps Knobbs and knocks him off the apron to prevent the tag. The Heat go for a Double Backdrop, but Sags cuts them off with a Double DDT. Knobbs tags in and everyone brawls. Booker and Sags fight to the floor. Booker gets slammed off the top and hit with a Flying Elbow by Knobbs. Sherri tries to Splash Knobbs from the top, but he rolls out of the way and she hits Booker. Harlem Heat wins by DQ at 17:48. Huh?

Result: Harlem Heat by disqualification

Analysis: *. Ugh. Slow, crappy match with a really awful finish.

Sting is named PWI's Most Popular Wrestler.

Kevin Sullivan vs. Mr T

Fuck this shit. I'm not recapping this. T wins in 3:51 after Sullivan gets hit with Jimmy Hart's megaphone.

Result: Mr. T by pinfall

Analysis: Dud. What is Mr. T doing wrestling on a PPV in 1994?

Sting vs. Avalanche

Avalanche is John Tenta, best known for playing Earthquake in the WWF. Sting tries some punches and kicks, but it doesn't work. Avalanche ends up overpowering Sting and controlling the match. Sting tries to slam, but Avalanche blocks it. Sting fires up with some punches and kicks, so Avalanche bails out to regroup. Back in, Avalanche grabs a Headlock. Another Powerslam by Avalanche. Bearhug. Sting manages to get out and hook a Sleeper, but Avalanche backs him into the corner. Sting jumps off the second rope and reapplies the Sleeper. He's got him down to a knee. Avalanche makes the ropes. Sting goes for another slam, but can't get him up. Sting hits a big Clothesline that takes him down. Sting goes to the top and connects with a Flying Fist. He Dropkicks Avalanche, which squashes the referee in the corner. Sting Splash! The referee's out, because the force of the Splash drove Avalanche into him. Sting slams Avalanche to a huge pop. Sting goes for the Scorpion Deahtlock, but Sullivan jumps him. Avalanche hits the Butt Drop and Hogan comes down the aisle with a chair. That clears the ring. The bell rings. Avalanche is disqualified at 15:27.

Result: Sting by disqualification

Analysis: **1/2. Not bad. I appreciated that Sting didn't just throw Tenta around the ring and they instead built up to the slam spot. I loved Sting's matches with Vader, but I felt like he spent too much time slamming him and otherwise making him look like any other wrestler. This didn't have the best action, but I appreciated the way they worked the crowd.

Jimmy Hart is awarded PWI's Manager of the Year award.

WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Hulk Hogan (c) vs. The Butcher

Brutus Beefcake in the main event of the biggest show of the year. Hell has frozen over. Beefcake turned on Hogan because he claims he became a bad friend after he got famous. Honestly, I can believe that. Slow, sloppy offense from both guys to start. They fight to the floor, where Butcher rakes Hogan's back and chokes him with a cord. Jimmy Hart prevents Butcher from hitting Hogan with a chair. Hogan grabs a chair and hits Butcher with it right in front of the referee. For some reason, that isn't a disqualification. Hogan is supposed to be wild and out of control here, but he isn't really selling it with his body language. Butcher hits a High Knee when Hogan gets into the ring. Butcher misses a Diving Elbow Drop and Hogan pops back up. Hogan levels Butcher with punches and then bites him. Clothesline from Hogan. More punches. More biting. Hogan telegraphs a Backdrop and Butcher hits him with a shot to the throat. Nerve Hold from Butcher. Hogan fights out and hits a terrible Shoulderblock. Butcher responds with a Sleeper Hold. Hogan's arm drops twice, then a third time. Butcher releases the hold, thinking he's won. Actually, he has. But then Hogan reveals he was playing possum. Butcher covers the prone Hogan, then gets thrown off. Hogan Hulks Up. Punch, Punch, Punch. Sullivan and Avalanche hit the ring, but Hogan fights them off. Hogan hits the Leg Drop and pins Butcher at 12:07.

Result: Hulk Hogan by pinfall

Analysis: *1/2. Basic match.

The heels beat up Hogan, at which point Savage emerges from the locker room. Savage teases attacking Hogan, then joins him in beating up the Faces of Fear. Well, there goes that potentially interesting storyline. Instead we get to watch Hogan and Savage kick everyone's asses for the next year. Bring on 1995.

Overall: Not a very good show. Basically, the matches ranged from "not good" to "fine." Nothing of any particular interest here, other than Triple H's first PPV appearance being entertaining for historic purposes. I liked this more than the Battlebowl shows, but not by much.

Grade: D

The Law
August 22nd, 2013, 12:04 AM
SuperBrawl V
February 19, 1995
Baltimore Arena
Baltimore, Maryland

Welcome to 1995! WCW was very much in the midst of the Hogan era at this point, and my guess is that the next few shows are going to be pretty much unwatchable. Not much of note has happened since Starrcade, so let's jump right in:

We open with a series of bizarre and terrible skits about the Nasty Boys doing tourist things in Baltimore. I have no idea why this was on the show.

We then cut to "exclusive footage" of a limo arriving. Turns out it was Vader and Ric Flair arriving together. Interesting. Then Vader sees another limo pull in and thinks it's Hogan. Turns out it was Tony Schiavone. Whoops.

Alex Wright vs. Paul Roma

This match is infamous, and we'll see why in a bit. Roma beats up Wright before the bell. Wright counters with some basic mat wrestling. Wright works an Armbar... and Roma doesn't sell it at all. Hmm. Wright keeps countering his way out of a Wristlock and Roma keeps on knocking him back down. Wright goes back to the Armbar and the camera cuts to the back so they don't have to show Roma sitting there calmly like nothing is happening. Paul Orndorff makes his way down to ringside. Wright goes back to the Armbar and Roma yells at the referee instead of acting like he's in pain. Roma drops a couple stiff looking elbows after escaping the hold. Roma hits a series of Backbreakers, taking time to pose after each one. Roma hits more stiff shots and does more posing. Roma applies a Chinlock. Wright gets out and tries a Dropkick, but Roma grabs the rope and Wright ends up on the mat. Roma hits a big Flying Elbow Drop. Rather than pin Wright, Roma goes to high five Orndorff and pose. He then covers and pulls Wright up at two. Roma misses a corner charge and Wright badly botches a Hip Toss. Or Roma didn't cooperate. Sloppy Spinning Heel Kick gets only a one count. Wright gets a Top Rope Crossbody for two. Wright Dropkicks Roma into Orndorff, then rolls him up for the pin at 13:21. Oh, and Roma actually kicked out before the three count. Dick.

Result: Alex Wright by pinfall

Analysis: *. Boring match that was entertaining mostly for Roma going out of his way to make Wright look bad. Roma was gone from the company shortly after this, presumably because he acted like such an asshole here.

Bunkhouse Buck vs. Jim Duggan

Lots and lots of punching and kicking in this one. Duggan works a few Armbars and Chinlocks in there. Eventually, Duggan hits the Three Point Stance Clothesline to get the win in 11:57.

Result: Jim Duggan by pinfall

Analysis: 1/2*. Borderline painful to watch.

Kevin Sullivan vs. Dave Sullivan

So Kevin had The Butcher bust out his old clippers and cut Dave's hair because it looked like Hulk Hogan. And Kevin Sullivan hates Hulkamania, dammit. Just lots of slow and sloppy brawling here. After a few minutes, Butcher gets up on the apron. Kevin runs Dave into him, then rolls him up for the pin at 7:18. Good thing they settled their hate-filled feud with a fluke finish.

Result: Kevin Sullivan by pinfall

Analysis: 1/4*. Really, really bad. Just some of the dullest brawling I've seen in a long time.

WCW World Tag Team Championship: Harlem Heat (c) vs. The Nasty Boys

Oh man, this is the worst run of three matches I can remember on a show. After some brawling to start, Booker misses a jumping kick and crotches himself on the top rope. The Nasties proceed to work on his crotch for the next bit of the match. Psychology? Booker manages to get a thumb to the eye and tag out to Stevie Ray. Stevie misses a corner charge and gets beat up for awhile. The Nasties work on his knee. Stevie eventually gets to his feet and Dropkicks Sags over the top. More generic brawling ensues. Steve Clotheslines Sags off the apron. Harlem Heat work Chinlocks for the next few minutes.Sags gets out and hits a Powerslam, then makes the tag to Knobbs. Knobbs hits some Clotheslines, then gets kneed in the back by Booker. Booker and Steve go for a Double Backdrop, but Knobbs counters with a Double DDT. Sags tosses Booker over the top rope. That should be a disqualification. Sherri tries to hit Knobbs with her shoe, but he ducks and Stevie gets hit instead. Knobbs rolls him up for the pin at 17:09. But wait, another referee runs down and tells the original referee that Sags threw Booker over the top rope. Thus, the Nasty Boys are disqualified and Harlem Heat keep their titles.

Result: Harlem Heat by disqualification

Analysis: *1/2. Pretty standard tag match. These teams didn't have much chemistry, but there weren't really any other tag teams left in the company at this point, so we got to see them fight for the rest of the year.

Dustin Rhodes vs. Blacktop Bully

Blacktop Bully is Barry Darsow. Meng, the bodyguard for the Stud Stable, is ordered to leave ringside before the match. Rhodes slams Bully's shoulder into the ring post early in the match and proceeds to work on his arm for what seems like forever. Bully eventually hits a Clothesline to turn things around. Chinlock follows. Rhodes fights out, then misses a Crossbody and goes flying over the top rope. Bully comes off the top, but Dustin hits him and then connects with a Bulldog for a two count because Col. Parker puts Bully's foot on the ropes. Rhodes Suplexes Parker into the ring. Rhodes goes for a Suplex on Bully, but Parker trips him and Bully falls on top for the pin at 16:10.

Result: Blacktop Bully by pinfall

Analysis: *. I feel like tonight's theme is matches going much longer than they need to. Fortunately, next month they have a match in the back of a moving semi-truck.

Ric Flair makes his way into the arena and takes a seat in the front row.

Sting and Randy Savage vs. Avalanche and Big Bubba Rogers

Big Bubba is the Big Boss Man with yet another new name. Muta is in the front row. Sting starts against Avalanche. Sting hits Clotheslines and a Dropkick but can't bring the big man down. Bubba cheap shots Sting and then tags in and beats him up. Bubba hits a Backbreaker, then goes up top and gets crotched by Savage. Sting Superplexes Bubba! Sting knocks Bubba out of the ring and Savavge hits an Ax Handle from the top rope. Savage tags in. Savage gets distracted by Flair and gets worked over by Bubba. Savage dodges a Butt Splash, then slaps Avalanche. Avalanche tags in. Savage goes for a slam, but can't get Avalanche up. Avalanche misses a corner charge. Sting tags in and Chops Blocks Avalanche. Bubba breaks up the Scorpion Deathlock and we get a pier six brawl. Sting hits Stinger Splashes on both Bubba and Avalanche. Avalanche catches Sting goes for another Splash and slams him down. Avalanche misses a corner charge and Sting slams him. Bubba gets a cheap shot on Sting and we have a double down. Savage tags in and hits an Ax Handle from the top rope. Savage slams Big Bubba, then hits him with the Flying Elbow. Sting hits a Flying Clothesline on Avalanche for the pin at 10:19.

Result: Sting and Randy Savage by pinfall

Analysis: **. Decent tag match, but just not that interesting. I think the most obvious problem was that no one thought that Tenta and Boss Man were going to be able to beat Sting and Savage. Flair really needs to come out of retirement. Like, right now.

WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Hulk Hogan (c) vs. Vader

This should be interesting. Vader no-sells some Hogan punches. Hogan backs Vader into the corner and slaps the shit out of him. Hogan Clotheslines Vader and he shakes it off. Vader laughs at him. Hogan applies a Cross Armbar. Vader steps on Hogan's face, forcing him to break. Vader gets Hogan in the corner and beats his ass. Corner Avalanche by Vader and Hogan bails. Hogan whips Vader into the railing, sending him flying into the crowd. Vader ends up tumbling into Ric Flair. A pissed off Vader proceeds to throw the guardrail out of the way. Hogan gets Vader into the corner and connects with a Ten Punch. Hogan levels Vader with a Clothesline! Hogan hits a Big Boot, but Vader stays up. Hogan Clotheslines Vader over the top rope. Hogan beats on Vader, then tries to slam him and fails. Shades of Wrestlemania III. Body Avalanche by Vader. Vader strangles Hogan, then hits the Vader Bomb! That only gets two, so Vader goes back up and tries the Vadersault. Hogan rolls out of the way. They both roll outside, where Hogan levels Vader with a chair. And, for some reason, the referee doesn't care. Doesn't anyone care about the rules of professional wrestling anymore? Back in the ring, Vader Chokeslams Hogan. Vader does some clubberin' in the corner, then Suplexes Hogan. Hogan Hulks Up. Eight punches, then a Big Boot. Leg Drop! Vader kicks out! At one! Wow. Hogan argues with the referee, so Vader hits a Body Avalanche. That knocks down both Hogan and the ref. Vader plants Hogan with the Powerbomb and has him pinned, but there's no one there to count it. Ric Flair jumps the railing and counts the pin for Vader, as if that means anything. Vader Splashes Hogan as the referee wakes up. That gets two, and Hogan Hulks Up again. Big Boot, and Hogan Clotheslines Vader over the top. Flair jumps Hogan from behind and Vader is disqualified 15:10.

Result: Hulk Hogan by disqualification

Analysis: ***1/2. Good match with a weak ending. It made sense in this context to set up Uncensored next month, which is the show of all No DQ matches. Vader looked incredibly strong there. He kicked Hogan's ass. Kicked out of the Leg Drop. Had him pinned with the Powerbomb.

Hogan Big Boots Flair, then gets jumped from behind by Vader. Flair locks Hogan in the Figure Four as Savage and Sting run in and clear the ring. Roll credits.

Overall: Last two matches saved this show from being a total disaster. Vader was still on fire, and him and Hogan had a very good match here. The booking for the first half of the show was a total mystery to me, and most of the performances were subpar. Regardless, this show avoided catastrophe with a solid main event. The catastrophe was being saved for next month.

Grade: C-

Defrost
August 22nd, 2013, 12:18 AM
The booking of the Hogan vs Vader thing was less of a deal where they were setting up a rematch as much as both guys refused to job to the other. Hogan was Hogan and Vader was making way more money in UWFi than in WCW and losing to Hogan would hurt that. There was even a rumor that UWFi offered him six figures to shoot on Hogan in this match. Later when Vader did job to Hogan it was by escaping the cage not a pin or submission. Uncensored was such a clusterfuck that can't possibly be considered a job. Hell barely consider it a match.

The Law
August 23rd, 2013, 10:35 AM
Uncensored 1995
March 19, 1995
Tupelo Coliseum
Tupelo, Mississippi

Welcome to the first edition of WCW Uncensored! In storylines, this is an unsanctioned show in which the WCW authorities have no involvement or liability. Thus, we're getting a card of all gimmick matches tonight. Because it's an unsanctioned show, no championships will be on the line tonight. This is a decent concept that WWE would alter copy with the One Night Stand/Extreme Rules show. Unfortunately, these shows were generally complete and total disasters. This one is no exception, as it is generally considered among the worst professional wrestling shows ever. We'll see if it can reach the depths of the Great American Bash 1991, but I have faith. Tonight's main event is a rematch of last month, as Vader battles Hulk Hogan for the WCW Championship in a Strap Match.

Oh, one other thing. Hogan is calling in reinforcements for his battle against Vader and company. What he's deemed the "Ultimate Surprise." No wrestling fan could hear that and not assume he was talking about the Ultimate Warrior. Also, they showed a silhouette of a guy with long hair and tassels on his arms. So WCW had signed the Warrior, right? Nope. Maybe that was their intention, or maybe they were just trying to rip everyone off, but the Warrior does not appear in WCW until 1998. We get something entirely different and amazingly stupid tonight.

King of the Road Match: Dustin Rhodes vs. Blacktop Bully

And we start with the most bizarre match of the night. In this contest, Dustin Rhodes and Blacktop Bully will fight in the back an 18 wheel truck that is driving around the streets of Tupelo. To win the match, one must climb to the top of the trailer and sound the horn. Obviously, this is terrible for the people who are at the show because they just have to sit and watch the match on a video screen. The bed of the truck is fenced in, so no risk that they will fall out. The bed is loaded with bails of hay. Because it hurts less to get slammed on one of those than wood. The truck is clearly not driving very fast, though they claim it's going 55. They have a helicopter following the truck, and give us some wide-angle shots. Seriously, Eric Bischoff was willing to try anything. Okay, they're fighting. Some punches, some slams into the fencing. That's pretty much it. Also, Dustin bladed early in the match. The company didn't allow blood at the time, so they compensating by shooting the match from all sorts of goofy angles so as not to show Dustin's face.

I think Rhodes just hit a Piledriver, but they're shooting from so far away that it was hard to tell. Heenan: "What would happen if the door came open?" They would die, the match would be over, and I would be much happier than I am right now. All joking aside, shooting this was probably genuinely dangerous for the crew involved. A helicopter, a truck driving along the side of the 18 wheeler to shoot, cars following. They're still fighting. Dustin just hit a Back Suplex. The truck just made a big turn. That's all I have to report. Dustin just hit Bully with a trough.

The truck has to stop to let a church bus through. Jesus, not even Vince Russo would have booked this shit. Bully is straddling the edge of the cage, and is halfway out of the truck. That's legitimately dangerous. People are putting their lives on the line for a match that can't possibly be any good. That's not funny, it's just stupid. It feels like this match has been going for 30 minutes. In the big finish, Bully knocks Dustin from the top of the truck and sounds the horn to get the win at 12:35.

Winner: Blacktop Bully

Analysis: Dud. I don't believe in negative stars, or I would have used them here. This was absolutely one of the worst wrestling matches that I've ever seen. Nothing even remotely exciting or interesting happened. It was dangerous. It had no heat, because it was a pre-tape. The editing was atrocious and confusing, because they had to hide the fact that both guys were bleeding. Just an absolute steaming pile of shit.

Notably, both Dustin and Darsow were fired for blading. Dustin would quickly get scooped up by the WWF and become Goldust, one of the greatest and most revolutionary characters in wrestling history. So that's the one good thing that came from this match.

Martial Arts Match: Jim Duggan vs. Meng

I laughed out loud when I read this. Martial Arts? Jim Duggan? Apparently that's what's going to happen here. Sony Oono is the guest referee here. I think you can win by pinfall, submission, or knockout. Duggan refuses to bow to start the match. After way too long, he mockingly bows and we can start. Meng immediately kicks him in the face. Duggan hits some punches, then Meng fires back with some backhand strikes and a kick. Nerve Hold from Meng. Duggan took his boot off and hit Meng with it. More punches from Duggan. Another Nerve Hold from Meng. Meng knocks Duggan down as he attempts a Shoulderblock. Meng gets Duggan down and gouges his eyes. Third Nerve Hold of the match by Duggan. Duggan tries to Heabutt Meng. Dumbass. Throat Thrust by Meng. Duggan moves out of the way of a couple Meng Elbow Drops, then fires back with punches. 10 Punch from Duggan, then the Three Point Stance Clothesline. Meng no-sells that and stands right back up. Duggan punches out Col. Parker, and is stopped by Sonny Oono. Meng uses the distraction to hit a Thrust Kick and pin Duggan at 7:05.

Result: Meng by pinfall

Analysis: 1/2*. That was pretty terrible. Felt much longer than it actually was. Just a series of strikes and holds. At least Meng went over.

Boxer vs. Wrestler Match: Johnny B. Badd vs. Arn Anderson

Arn's TV Title (that he won from Badd) is not on the line here. Badd has boxing gloves on and has to follow boxing rules, so he can't grapple or kick. Arn has no gloves and has the full array of wrestling holds available to him. Badd can only win by knockout. The match will be contested in ten three minute rounds. Somehow, I don't think this one is going the distance.

Badd gets some jabs and Arn bails out of the ring. Not much offense from Arn in the first round, just punches from Badd. Round two is pretty much the same. Between rounds, Arn jumps Badd and hits him with the DDT. Arn starts round three by throwing Badd over the top rope. No disqualifications tonight. Arn takes over and slams Badd repeatedly. Col. Parker sets up Arn's stool in the corner and Arn whips Badd into it. Spinebuster by Arn! Badd's manager jumps into the ring and attacks Arn. He's quickly thrown off and the fight resumes. Arn again jumps Badd during the rest period. Badd's trainer cuts off the boxing gloves. Literally, the gloves are coming off. Arn threatens the trainer, then gets the spit bucket put on his head. Badd levels Anderson with a left hook and wins by knockout at 30 seconds into the fourth round.

Result: Johnny B. Badd by knockout

Analysis: *. That was actually kind of fun, considering the limitations of the concept.

Randy Savage vs. Avalanche

Savage sticks and moves to start. Heenan: "If an avalanche hit this town, they could apply for federal aid...maybe get 18, 22 bucks." Avalanche levels Macho Man with a Shoulderblock. Savage manages to dump Avalanche over the top rope, then comes off the top and hits a Cross Body to the floor. Schiavone: "Remember, anything goes. The referee is just there to count a winner and loser." Remember that quote. Savage tries to slam Avalanche and can't do it. Avalanche hits some big man offense, then a 500 pound Dropkick. Savage dodges an Elbow Drop, but gets thrown to the outside and hits the rail. Avalanche slams Savage into the post. Savage keeps trying to get back into the ring, but Avalanche knocks him off the apron. Finally, Savage gets a Hangman, then hits an Ax Handle from the top rope. Savage goes for a Sunset Flip and gets Butt Splashed. Savage goes for an Ax Handle, but gets caught and slammed into the corner. Powerslam by Avalanche. Avalanche misses a Splash from the second rope. Avalanche rolls out of the ring, so Savage hits him with a Double Ax Handle from the top. A "female fan" jumps the railing and attacks Savage. It's Ric Flair. In drag. Schiavone: "Remember, this is Uncensored, so the match will continue." Avalanche Splash. Hogan hits the ring and Avalanche and Flair bail. Savage is awarded the disqualification win at 11:44. Yup, a disqualification on the no disqualification show. After they repeatedly stressed that it was no disqualifications.

Result: Randy Savage by pinfall

Analysis: *. Not terrible, but a really horrible ending. If you're billing the match as No DQ, it can't end in a disqualification.

Sting vs. Big Bubba Rogers

Sting just beats Bubba all over to start the match. The beating continues outside the ring. Finally, Bubba stands up during a Sting leapfrog. Sting goes down holding his knee. Bubba proceeds to work over the knee. Bubba tries a Piledriver, but Sting Backdrops out. That hurt his knee, and he stays down. These knee segments are starting to drag. Bubba goes up top and simply falls off. Looked like he just slipped. Sting comes off the top with a Big Chop. Sting slams Bubba. Sting hooks in a Sleeper Hold. Bubba escapes with a Jawbreaker. Sting gets a big German Suplex, then goes to the top rope and hits a Splash. Sting tries to slam Bubba, but his knee gives out. Bubba falls on top for the pin at 13:47.

Result: Big Bubba Rogers by pinfall

Analysis: *1/2. Standard match that relied on basic wrestling psychology. Not sure why they had Bubba go over.

Texas Tornado Match: Harlem Heat vs. The Nasty Boys

The tag titles aren't on the line. I'm getting really tired of watching these guys fight each other. Harlem Heat jump the Nasties from behind to start. Booker hits a Harlem Sidekick. Then he comes off the apron with an Ax Handle. Booker and Stevie botch a Spike Piledriver. Just totally mistimed and looked awful. The Nasties turn things around as Sags slams Booker on the floor. The Nasties grab Sherri and rub her face in their armpits. That allows Harlem Heat to take over. They brawl out of the ring and quickly proceed to a concession stand in the crowd. They're hitting each other with popcorn and cotton candy. They're slipping all over. This is supposed to be chaotic, but it just looks stupid to me. Now the Nasties hit Booker and Stevie with a big thing of mustard. They're covered in it. Just more generic fighting now. Knobbs gets thrown into the funnel cake booth and it collapses on him. Then the bell rings and the Nasty Boys are announced as the winners. The camera didn't catch the pin, and the announcers have no idea what happened.

Result: Nasty Boys by pinfall

Analysis: Dud. That was an affront to the art of professional wrestling. A comedy match that wasn't funny? Or a hardcore match that wasn't hardcore? Hard to say.

Mike Tenay interviews Vader and Ric Flair, who has mascara on.

Strap Match: Hulk Hogan vs. Vader

Unfortunately, this isn't a Yapapi Indian Strap Match. That would come at Uncensored 2000. Hogan's WCW Title isn't on the line. Jimmy Hart has apparently been kidnapped by Vader, because he's been missing all day. Hogan's "Ultimate Surprise" is revealed as... The Renegade. The Renegade was some dude named Rick Wilson. He was a terrible wrestler, even worse than the real Ultimate Warrior. He gets a decent pop, probably because the live crowd can't see him that well and think he's the Warrior. Flair accompanies Vader to the ring. Hogan beats the crap out of Vader outside after Renegade chases off Flair. They go into the ring and Hogan continues to beat up Vader. Hogan whips Vader, then whips Flair. Renegade beats up Flair. Vader takes over and slams Hogan. Vader Bomb. Vader beats Hogan with the strap. It occurs to me now that there is no referee. Vader gets a chair, but Jimmy Hart appears and yanks it away from him. Hogan gets hold of it and smacks Vader.

More strap whipping, then more chair shots. The camera goes wide every time someone gets hit with a chair. Yeah, this show is edgy. Hogan slams Vader into the ring post. They go into the ring so Hogan can whip Vader more. They fight to the outside and Hogan slams Vader. This is turning into a squash match. Hogan touches two ring posts outside. Again, there's no referee. This confuses me. Vader hits Renegade and he doesn't sell it. Back in the ring, Vader Chokeslams Hogan. Tony now mentions that there is no referee because "WCW wiped its hands of this event." But there were referees for all of the other matches. Hogan stands right up and starts beating up Vader. Clothesline, Leg Drop. If they just wanted them to have an unsanctioned fight, that would be fine. But why a Strap Match? That's the most rule intensive of all gimmick matches. Hogan gets three turnbuckles, then gets interrupted by a masked man. Flair comes from behind and hits Hogan with a chair. Flair hits Renegade with a chair and he goes down. I hope he hit him stiff. Vader gets three turnbuckles, then Flair stops him and demands he Splash Hogan. Hogan rolls out of the way. Flair gets a wooden chair and hits Hogan with it. That wakes Hogan up. Hogan gets the strap off Vader and whips Flair with it. Hogan beats up Flair, then attaches the strap to his arm. Hogan drags Flair around the ring and touches all four turnbuckles to win. I guess. I mean, there's no referee to provide the decision. That it at 18:43.

Winner: Hulk Hogan

Analysis: 1/2*. Garbage. Just sheer confusing, messy, overbooked, nonsense garbage. So it's unsanctioned and there's no referee, but it's a strap match where you win by touching all four turnbuckles. But there can't be a winner with no referee. Everyone always complains about Hogan dragging Flair around, but that complaint misses the fundamental point that this wasn't a real match anyway. This really should have just been a street fight if they wanted an unsanctioned brawl. This was so much worse than last month's offering.

Vader attacks Hogan after the bell. Renegade hits the ring, as does the masked man. Arn Anderson emerges from the back all tied up, in the same gear as the masked man. The masked man rips off his mask to reveal that he's Randy Savage. So he switched places with Arn. Awesome? I guess? Actually, I don't really care. Flair, Vader, and Arn beat it. Hogan, Savage, Renegade, and Jimmy Hart celebrate the win. Probably would have made more sense to have Vader win there to build intrigue for a blow-off next month. But not much at this show made much sense.

Overall: This show was a steaming pile of fucking dog shit. Nothing even made two stars. Every match was below average. A few of them were offensively awful and stupid. It was boring, the matches were bad, the booking didn't make sense. Sweet Jesus, this was a total abomination. Not quite sure if it was worse than Great American Bash 1991, but it's in the same range. The people who booked this show completely failed in every aspect imaginable. The talent did their best, but were betrayed by the stupidity of the stipulations and booking decisions. And Sting has to do a clean job to the Big Boss Man, and Savage can't go over Tenta clean, but Hogan can't job to fucking Vader to setup a blow-off match between them.

Grade: F

JP
August 23rd, 2013, 10:50 AM
:lol:

WCW, this is why I love you so.

LOCONUT
August 23rd, 2013, 12:10 PM
Amazing.

The Law
August 23rd, 2013, 1:56 PM
This show was the good kind of bad. Like, I enjoyed this about as much as any WCW show I've watched. It was so horrible it was funny. So ill-conceived it was endearing. I'd much rather watch a train wreck like this than a typical C-level show. Seriously, check this out. It's just fucking hilarious how horrible it is.

Defrost
August 23rd, 2013, 2:37 PM
I think you'll find as these go on that there was no PPV as consistently terrible as WCW Uncensored year in year out

The Law
August 23rd, 2013, 2:53 PM
Yeah. The one exception was Uncensored 1997. Wasn't a great show or anything, though it had a really awesome Malenko/Guerrero match. Sting finally revealing his alliegance and destroying the NWO made the night. Absolute goosebump moment there.

StoneColdWWE316
August 23rd, 2013, 5:23 PM
I was watching Fall Brawl 1999 again yesterday and despite the mess they were behind the scenes (Bischoff getting fired the week before) its actually a pretty fun Show.

The Law
August 31st, 2013, 8:44 PM
Slamboree 1995: A Legends' Reunion
May 21, 1995
Bayfront Arena
St. Petersburg, Florida

Welcome to Slamboree 1995! WCW skipped over Spring Stampede this year, replacing it on the PPV line-up with the disastrous Uncensored show. Because that was one of the worst shows ever, this one is sure to be better. How much better remains to be seen. Like past Slamborees, this show will feature the induction of legends into the WCW Hall of Fame. The one major storyline development is that Hulk Hogan allowed Ric Flair to go back on their retirement stipulation from Halloween Havoc 1994 in order to get his hands on him. Thus, Hogan and Randy Savage will face Vader and Flair in the main event tonight.

Eric Bischoff and Bobby Heenan are our hosts tonight. Bischoff is filling in for Tony Schiavone, who apparently took time off to have neck surgery.

WCW World Tag Team Championship: Harlem Heat (c) vs. The Nasty Boys

The seemingly never-ending series between these two teams continues. No Brian Knobbs to start the match. Unless I missed it, they don't explain his absence. Sags wins a slugfest with Booker to start. Sags Double DDTs both Booker and Stevie. He then throws Sherri off the apron. Pump Handle Slam by Sags. Couple low shots by Sags follow. Booker and Stevie take over as Stevie attacks Sags on the floor. A rather uninteresting heat segment from Harlem Heat follows. It goes on for a really, really long time. Sags catches Booker going for a Backdrop and hits him with a stiff-looking Piledriver. They're both down as Brian Knobbs runs down the ramp. Hot tag to Knobbs, who takes down both Booker and Stevie with Clotheslines. Bulldog on Booker. Knobbs catches Sherri coming off the top rope and slams her. Knobbs hits a Running Powerslam and Sags follows it with an Elbow Drop for the pin at 10:52.

Result: Nasty Boys by pinfall (New WCW World Tag Team Champions)

Analysis: *. Pretty much the boring tag match you expect from this pairing. At least it was shorter this time.

We see that Steven Regal and Bobby Eaton (now known as "Earl Robert Eaton") are watching the Nasty Boys.

We get an interview with Kevin Sullivan.

Kevin Sullivan vs. The Man With No Name

The Man With No Name is Ed Leslie/Brutus Beefcake. I guess this is a play on how many gimmicks he's had throughout his career. This is the explosion of the 3 Faces of Fear that no one was anticipating. Beefcake quickly hits a Jumping Knee and drives Sullivan to the floor. He beats on Sullivan and slams him into the railing. Beefcake continues the beatdown by slamming Sullivan into the turnbuckle and hooks in a Sleeper Hold. Sullivan escapes with a Jawbreaker. They fight to the outside again. Just more punching. Piledriver by Beefcake. They fight to the outside again and Sullivan slams Beefcake into the post. Sloppy Clothesline by Beefcake. The crowd is silent here. Sullivan gets Beefcake in the Tree of Woe and knees him in the abdomen. That gets the win at 5:24.

Result: Kevin Sullivan by pinfall

Analysis: Dud. That sucked.

Someone appears on the video screen and tells Sullivan to form the Dungeon of Doom. It's a guy with white skin, a bald head, and cobwebs. Again, silence from the crowd for this.

Wahoo McDaniel vs. Dick Murdoch

I believe this is the last Slamboree to have matches featuring the legends. They change the picture to black and white for this match, in case we were to forget that it's a match featuring old guys. Gordon Solie replaces Bischoff on commentary for this match. Wahoo gets an Armdrag and Murdoch appears to throw out his back. These guys are way too old to be in the ring. Wahoo hits a big chop. More slow, generic offense follows. Crowd is dead. Murdoch hits a sloppy knee from the top rope that looks like it could have hurt Wahoo. Crowd is starting to boo. Wahoo hits a chop and gets the win at 6:18. That was about five minutes too long.

Result: Wahoo McDaniel by pinfall

Analysis: Dud. Absolutely terrible. Wahoo was pushing 60 and Murdoch was dead a year after this. Putting these guys in the ring was not only a waste of valuable PPV time, it also risked disaster.

IWGP Heavyweight Championship: The Great Muta (c) vs. Paul Orndorff

Muta works on Orndorff's arm. He lands a big kick and Orndorff rolls out of the ring. Orndorff manages to grab a Hammerlock and works it for awhile. Orndorff gets a Clothesline and misses an Elbow Drop. Chinlock from Muta. Orndorff gets out and connects with a Back Suplex. Orndorff throws Muta to the floor, where he hits the guardrail. Orndorff chokes Muta with a camera cord. Back in the ring, Orndorff drops an elbow. Man, this is another weak offering. Long Chinlock from Orndorff. Muta misses a Dropkick and Orndorff grabs a Facelock. Muta gets out with an Inverted Atomic Drop. He hits a Clothesline, then an Elbow Drop from the second rope. Orndorff gets some kicks and a Fist Drop. Muta Backdrops out of a Piledriver attempt. Muta whips Orndorff into the corner and hits the Handspring Elbow, then a Bulldog. Muta hits a Backbreaker, then a top rope Moonsault for the win at 14:11.

Result: Great Muta by pinfall

Analysis: *. That was a crowd killer of a match. Just a bunch of rest holds on top of each other. There was no issue between these two (as far as I know) and it was for a championship that most of the crowd didn't know about or care about.

WCW World Television Championship: Arn Anderson (c) vs. Alex Wright

Save us Arn Anderson, you're our only hope. Wright is still undefeated. Anderson will surely do a better job of making Wright look good than Paul Roma did at SuperBrawl. Wright out-wrestles Anderson at the start of the match. Wright lands a Dropkick and works a Headlock. Arn gets out, then gets caught with an Enziguri. Back to the Headlock. Arn gets out and gets hit with a Dropkick this time. Back to the Headlock. Arn tries an Enziguri, but Wright ducks and then hooks on an STF. Arn makes the ropes and bails out of the ring. Wright hits a nice Plancha and then slams Arn into the ring post. They go back to the ring and Wright works on the arm. Wright goes for a Ten Punch, then blocks an Inverted Atomic Drop and gets hit with a Spinebuster. Arn goes to work and tries for the Figure Four, but Wright boots him into the corner. Arn comes off the second rope for an Ax Handle, but Wright catches him with a shot to the gut. Spinning Heel Kick from Wright, then a Snap Suplex. Wright comes off the top and connects with a Missile Dropkick. A series of pin reversals follows. Awesome finish here: Arn feigns a left hook, then nails Wright with the DDT when he ducks. That gets the win for Double A at 11:36.

Result: Arn Anderson by pinfall

Analysis: **3/4. Solid match that did what it was supposed to do: make Wright look legit while having Anderson come out on top with superior experience. That match wasn't a ton better than average, but it was so much better than anything we've seen on this show so far.

Road Warrior Hawk vs. Meng

This was a really short run for Hawk in WCW. This was his only match of any significance. I assume Animal was dealing with his back injury at this point. The real question of this match is who will no-sell more? Meng lands some punches and kicks to start. Meng connects with a Clothesline, then a Piledriver. Hawk just stands right up. Hawk hits a Neckbreaker, which Meng no-sells. Uh, cool? Hawk misses a Shoulder Tackle in the corner, slams into the post, and falls out of the ring. Col. Parker gets some cheap shots on Hawk while he's down. Hawk gets in the ring and is immediately hit with a Backbreaker. Hawk hits some running kicks that Meng doesn't sell. Meng drops Hawk with a shot to the throat. Bischoff: "Big Bubba and Sting later on. Hopefully, they put an end to that long-running feud." Yes, that's what we're all hoping for as well. Hawk takes down Meng with a Clothesline, then connects with a Shouderblock. Hawk slams Meng, then misses a top rope Splash. They brawl out to the floor, where they are both counted out at 4:41.

Result: Double Count Out

Analysis: *. Not bad for a short power match. Selling would have been nice, but I understand it's part of their characters.

WCW Hall of Fame induction segment follows. Inductees are: Wahoo McDaniel, Terry Funk, Angelo Poffo, Antonio Inoki, Big John Studd, Dusty Rhodes, and Gordon Solie himself. Unfortunately, this would be the final year for the WCW Hall of Fame. I really enjoyed this feature of the show, even if the legends' matches tended to not be very interesting. Instilling fans with a sense of the history of professional wrestling and honoring the past is always a good thing.

Mean Gene interviews Sting. He says tonight's going to be different than Uncensored.

Lights Out Match: Sting vs. Big Bubba Rogers

"Lights Out" just means No DQ. Sting brings a table down to the ring, so you know things are about to get real. Minutes pass before they finally lock up. Sting quickly knocks Bubba to the floor with a Dropkick. The referee is counting Big Bubba, so apparently there are count outs in this match, which doesn't make a ton of sense to me. Bubba chokes Sting with his tie, but Sting breaks out and hits another Dropkick. Bubba does some clubberin'. They go to the floor, where Bubba slams Sting into the steps. Sting slams Bubba into the table, then Body Slams him onto it. Bubba throws powder into Sting's eyes, then slams him into the table. Bubba throws the table and Sting into the ring. Bubba slams Sting into the table while it's propped up against the corner. Sting Backdrops his way out of a Piledriver. Sting whips Bubba into the table, then misses a Stinger Splash. Bubba takes off his belt and whips Sting with it. Boss Man Slam follows. Bubba goes up top, but Sting catches him and throws him off. Sting slams Bubba, then goes to the top and hits a Splash. Sting puts the table on top of Bubba and double stomps him. Sting locks in the Scorpion Deathlock and Bubba gives up at 9:29.

Result: Sting by submission

Analysis: *1/2. Just okay. Surprisingly slow and pretty choppy. The crowd was really dead for this.

Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair and Vader

Renegade comes out with Hogan and Savage. This time, he gets no pop because every knows he's not the Warrior. Arn Anderson accompanies Vader and Flair. Vader gets Hogan into the corner and clubs him. Hogan explodes out of the corner with a Clothesline that knocks Vader down. Vader bails to the floor and Savage hits a Double Ax Handle from the top. Vader manages to Clothesline both Hogan and Savage down. Flair goes after Savage on the outside and throws him into the crowd. They go back to the ring, where Flair chops. Savage responds with jabs. Flair charges Hogan on the apron and gets a Big Boot. Savage Backdrops Flair and Clotheslines him over the top rope. Savage hits more jabs and tags in Hogan. Hogan no-sells and chop and Flair pleads for mercy. Hogan Backdrops Flair, then Clotheslines him. Flair gets an eye poke, then goes to the top and gets thrown off. Hogan locks on an Inverted Figure Four. Vader distracts the referee so that Arn can break Flair out of the hold. Flair connects with a Snapmare and a Knee Drop. The yet to be named Giant emerges from backstage and stands at the top of the ramp to watch the match. Vader tags in and works on Hogan's knee. Vader shuts down a Hulk Up attempt with a Body Avalanche. Vader crushes Hogan with a Body Avalanche and then hits a Vader Bomb. He goes for another from the top rope, but Hogan moves. Savage and Flair both tag in. Backdrop by Savage, who then gets caught with a Back Elbow by Flair. Flair goes up top and gets thrown off.

Savage goes to the top and hits the Flying Elbow. Arn pulls Savage out of the ring during the pin. That allows Vader to take Savage down with a Body Avalanche. Flair goes to work on Savage in the ring with a Knee Drop. Vader tags in and hits the Vadersault! Hogan breaks up the pin. Kudos to Savage for taking that, because it has to hurt. Flair tags in and they do a double down. Savage tags in Hogan, who goes wild. Hogan slams both Flair and Vader. Arn gets up on the apron and gets decked. Arn then trips Hogan as he hits the ropes for the Leg Drop. Vader Splashes Hogan. Savage and Vader fight on the floor as Hogan Hulks Up in the ring. Arn comes off the top rope and accidentally hits Flair. Hogan hits the Leg Drop for the pin at 18:58.

Result: Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage by pinfall

Analysis: **1/2. Average main event tag match. Nothing we haven't seen or didn't expect.

Hogan, Savage, Jimmy Hart, and Renegade all celebrate. Vader, Arn, and Flair attack. Savage's dad, Angelo Poffo, gets in the ring and gets in Flair's face. Flair and Arn jump him and Flair locks in the Figure Four. Hogan and Renegade get back to the ring and clear things out. That sets up a Savage vs. Flair main event for Great American Bash next month.

Overall: Not very good. An improvement on Uncensored, but still pretty weak. Nothing broke three stars, which means nothing was much above average. Nobody's hot right now, none of the feuds have any real momentum. Nothing was going on here that really makes me want to tune in. WCW was just stuck in a rut that they would continue to be in for the rest of 1995.

Grade: D

Defrost
August 31st, 2013, 8:51 PM
The Man With No Name is Ed Leslie/Brutus Beefcake. I guess this is a play on how many gimmicks he's had throughout his career.

Actually it was because the WWF was suing WCW because the gimmick he came in with was too close to Brutus Beefcake


Also that IWGP Title match is not recognized by New Japan because Keiji Muto was IWGP Champion and kayfabe wise Keiji Muto and Great Muta are two different people

JRSlim21
September 1st, 2013, 11:00 PM
King f'n Iaukea. What a way to come out of obscurity (for those who don't know, he was the Master; the voice that guided Kevin Sullivan to form the Dungeon of Doom).

The Law
September 6th, 2013, 8:41 PM
Great American Bash 1995
June 18, 1995
Hara Arena
Dayton, Ohio

Welcome to the return of the Great American Bash! After a two year hiatus, WCW brought back one of their signature events for the summer of 1995. This month is a Hogan-free card, as Randy Savage and Ric Flair will be going at it in the main event. To my knowledge, this is their first one-on-one encounter since Flair beat Savage for the WWF Championship after Summerslam 1992. There's nothing else of much note to cover, so let's get to the action:

Alex Wright vs. Brian Pillman

This is Pillman's first PPV appearance in a long time. Pillman's an Ohio guy, so the crowd is firmly in his corner. They start by trading Armbars. Pillman connects with a Headscissor and we get a clean break and a handshake. More Armbars and Wristlock counters. Wright misses an Enziguri and Pillman locks on a Bow and Arrow. Nice Tilt-a-Whirl Headscissor by Pillman, but Wright blocks a Dropkick and locks him in a Boston Crab. Wright gets a series of pin combinations for nearfalls, and Pillman gets frustrated and slaps Wright across the face. Alright, now things are going to get real. Pillman bails to the floor, then drags Wright out with him and chops him. They go back to the ring, where Wright hits a Facebuster. Wright tries a Splash, but Pillman gets his knees up. More chops from Pillman, then a Rib Breaker. Pillman drops Wright on the top rope, then tries to Suplex him back into the ring, but Wright counters and Suplexes Pillman to the floor. Baseball Slide by Wright. They go back in, where Wright hits a nice Missile Dropkick. Pillman throws Wright out of the ring and then connects with a Suicide Dive. Back in, Wright misses a Body Press. Pillman goes for a Superplex, but Wright blocks it, then connects with a Cross Body for a two count. Wright goes up top again, but Pillman lands a Dropkick while he's on his way down. Pillman goes up top and gets crotched. A series of switches leads to a German Suplex by Wright for a two count. Wright blocks a Pillman Sunset Flip attempt and gets the pin at 15:26.

Result: Alex Wright by pinfall

Analysis: ***1/2. That was the best match I've seen on WCW show in awhile at this point. Nice precursor to the Cruiserweight Division, which would bloom next year around this time. Wright looked much better in there with someone his size who could wrestle at his pace.

Arm Wrestling Match: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Dave Sullivan

On the line: if Page wins, he gets Sullivan's pet rabbit. If Sullivan wins, he gets to go on a date with Kimberly. Shenanigans with Maxx Payne result in Sullivan getting the win. Total waste of valuable time.

Sgt. Craig Pittman vs. Jim Duggan

Hilariously, this was supposed to be Marcus Bagwell instead of Duggan, but Bagwell suffered a rupture of his calf implant. Not a whole lot happens here. Pittman spends most of the match working on Duggan's knee. Eventually, Duggan hits the Three Point Stance Clothesline, but Pittman no-sells it and gets him down into his Code Red Armbreaker. Duggan gets to the ropes, and Pittman won't break, leading to a disqualification at 8:14.

Result: Jim Duggan by disqualification

Analysis: 1/2*. If those two could never wrestle each other again, that would be great. Also, note that Pittman spent the entire match working on Duggan's knee even though his finisher is an Armbar.

Harlem Heat vs. Bunkhouse Buck and Dick Slater

Oh man, WCW's tag division sucked at this point. How long until the Steiners come back? This match is happening because Col. Parker force-kissed Sherri on Main Event. As far as I know, Harlem Heat are still heels, making this a heel vs. heel match. The crowd mostly cheers for Heat. Nothing really happens until Stevie gets Buck in a Small Package. The referee is distracted, so Col. Parker runs in and reverses the cradle. Then Sherri runs in and reverses the cradle again and Harlem Heat get the win at 8:41.

Result: Harlem Heat by pinfall

Analysis: 1/2*. Dull match with an absurd finish.

We get a recap of the happenings on the pre-show, in which Vader attacked Nick Bockwinkel and Hogan made the save with a steel chair. If they were going to recap that on the show, they probably should have just done the segment on the show.

Now we hear from Bockwinkel, and he announces that Hogan will face Vader in a Steel Cage Match at Bash at the Beach next month.

Gene Okerlund interviews Ric Flair backstage.

WCW World Television Championship: Arn Anderson (c) vs. The Renegade

Oh man. WCW didn't know when to quit with Renegade. Actually, they mostly quit once the WWF threatened to sue them for trademark infringement because he was such a rip-off of the Ultimate Warrior. That was when they took away his face paint, the Warrior music, and his push. But that hasn't happened yet, so we're subjected to one of the best wrestlers ever doing a job for a no-talent hack on pay-per-view. Sorry, had to vent for a second there.

Arn jumps Renegade from behind. Renegade hits a crappy Clothesline/Body Avalanche. Renegade no-sells some punches and then Clotheslines Arn over the top rope. Renegade grabs a Headlock. Arn gets out and Renegade blocks a Hip Toss. More Headlocking from Renegade. Arn gets out and hooks an Abdominal Stretch. Renegade turns it around. Heenan: "He knows some wrestling holds." I love when Heenan tells the truth, but obscures it through his character. Arn gets out and hits an Enziguri, which Renegade doesn't sell. By the way, the crowd is stone silent as all of this is happening. Renegade charges Arn in the corner and gets caught with a Back Elbow. Arn hooks a Sleeper, which Renegade immediately breaks before applying his own Sleeper. Arn counters with a Back Suplex. Arn chokes Renegade on the middle rope. Chinlock from Arn. Renegade telegraphs a Backdrop, so Arn kicks him in the face. He doesn't sell it. Spinebuster by Arn! Renegade kicks out at two. Renegade ducks a Clothesline and hits an Atomic Drop. Double down leads to Arn going to the top rope, where he gets crotched. Renegade hits what is essentially Ryback's Shellshock (not sure what the proper name for the move is). Renegade goes to the top and hits a Splash for the pin at 9:07.

Result: Renegade by pinfall (New WCW World Television Champion)

Analysis: 1/2*. The Renegade doesn't know how to wrestle and has no heat. Perfect guy to win a championship.

For the first time tonight, we see that The Giant is in the front row. He's still really, really big.

WCW World Tag Team Championship: The Nasty Boys (c) vs. The Blue Bloods (Lord Steven Regal and Earl Robert Eaton)

The highlight here are Regal and Eaton's facial expressions after having their faces rubbed in the Nasty Boys' armpits. The Nasties beat Regal and Eaton all over ringside for the first few minutes of the match. Eventually, Knobbs misses a corner charge and the Blue Bloods take over. Regal beats on him for a bit, then Eaton misses a corner charge and Knobbs tags in Sags. Regal manages to throw Sags over the top rope behind the referee's back. Eaton hits a top rope Knee Drop for a two count. Eventually, Regal misses a Senton Splash and and Sags makes the tag to Knobbs. Regal and Knobbs bang heads, which allows Eaton to hit the Alabama Jam. At this point, Harlem Heat and Sherri make their way down to ringside. Stevie and Sherri distract the referee while Booker T hits the Harlem Hangover on Kobbs. Eaton goes for the pin, but Sags hits him with an Ax Handle and the Nasties get the win at 15:04.

Result: Nasty Boys by pinfall

Analysis: **1/4. Better than I expected it to be.

WCW United States Championship: Sting vs. Meng

The title was stripped from Vader because he was so out of control. Also, he wasn't defending it because he was feuding with Hogan. This is the finals of a tournament that had been going for awhile. Meng hammers Sting with some martial arts strikes. Sting gets a Dropkick, but he can't take Meng down. Meng hits some kicks, then some chops. Sting misses a Clothesline and falls over the top rope. Meng follows him outside and throws him into the guardrail. Back in the ring, Meng hits a Sitdown Powerbomb. Shoulderbreaker by Meng. Nerve Hold. Meng throws Sting to the floor, where Col. Parker gets in some cheap shots. Sting goes for a Sunset Flip, but can't get Meng down. Meng grabs another Nerve Hold. A series of reversals ends with Sting propelling himself backwards off the second rope into Meng. That finally got him down. Meng hits a Diving Headbutt off the second rope for a two count. Sting hits a jumping Clothesline, which drops Meng. Face Buster by Sting. Inverted Atomic Drop, then a Cactus Jack Clothesline that sends both guys to the floor. Meng charges on the outside, but Sting ducks and Meng slams into the ring post. Back in the ring, Sting hits a Fist Drop and applies the Scorpion Deathlock. Meng powers out. Sting clips Meng's knee, then hits a Flying Clothesline from the top rope. Top rope Splash can't finish it, so Sting hits a Jumping DDT for the pin at 13:37.

Result: Sting by pinfall

Analysis: ***. Good match. Meng carried himself well and Sting did a good job of building him up as an unstoppable force. Sting had to throw out everything he had to beat him.

Gene interviews Savage, who rants and raves more crazily than usual.

Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair

Savage is accompanied by his father, Angelo Poffo. Savage is always at his best when he's unhinged, so I have high hopes for this one. Savage just beats the fuck out of Flair all over the ring to start things off. He Clotheslines Flair over the top and then hits an Ax Handle to the floor. Flair manages to slam Savage into the ring post after being Backdropped on the floor. Flair hits an Ax Handle off the apron. Back in the ring, Flair Snapmares Savage and then hits a Knee Drop. Savage comes back with his signature jabs. Flair bails out, but Savage follows him. Savage slams Flair into the railing. Flair goes to the top rope, but Savage throws him off. Savage sends Flair into the corner, where he Flair Flips to the floor. Flair landed on Poffo, so Savage goes to check on his dad. Flair takes the opportunity to clip Savage's knee, then hit a Shinbreaker on the railing. Back in the ring, Flair chops Savage's knee again. Flair does more damage to the knee, then hooks on the Figure Four. Savage manages to turn it over and escape. Flair goes to the top rope, but misses. Flair pops right back up, then gets thrown to the corner, Flair Flips, runs to the other corner, and gets caught with an elbow coming off the top. Savage slams Flair and hits the Flying Elbow. He pulls Flair up at two. Savage grabs a bell from under the ring(?), but the referee gets it away from him. Savage goes up top again, then crashes and burns against the guardrail when Flair moves out of the way of an Ax Handle. Flair goes after Poffo and gets choked with his cane. Flair takes him down and gets jumped from behind by Savage. Flair nails Savage in the face with the cane and pins Savage at 14:42.

Result: Ric Flair by pinfall

Analysis: ***1/2. Nice match. Enjoyed the brawling and crazed way both men acted. Also, Flair getting the win is the right move because people will pay to see Savage kick his ass at Bash at the Beach. Maybe Hogan should try doing a job sometime.

Overall: Best show of 1995, though there isn't a ton of competition. Nothing spectacular, but several solid matches. A pretty huge improvement on the last few shows. We'll see if the upward trend continues next month at Bash at the Beach.

Grade: B

The Law
September 21st, 2013, 11:10 AM
Bash at the Beach 1995
July 16, 1995
A Beach
Huntington Beach, California

Welcome to the second annual Bash at the Beach! It's been a year since Hulk Hogan debuted in WCW, and tonight he faces Vader in a final showdown Steel Cage Match. Also, Randy Savage has a chance for revenge on Ric Flair in a Lifeguard Match. What the fuck is a Lifeguard Match? I guess we'll find out. Also, this show takes place at an actual beach. They just set up a ring and bunch of places for people to sit. I wonder if they charged them get in, or if this is a $0 gate like the Road Wild shows. Anyway, let's get to the show:

Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan are our hosts tonight.

WCW United States Championship: Sting (c) vs. Meng

Start things off with a rematch from last month's show. Sting was pretty firmly entrenched as the #3 face in the company at this point, behind Hogan and Savage. Thus, he's a midcard champion. Meng pummels Sting in the corner. Sting's punches have no effect on Meng. Meng is firmly in control, and lots of holds ensue. Meng shrugs off multiple Sting Clotheslines. Meng slams Sting, then misses a Flying Headbutt. Sting hooks the Scorpion Deathlock, but Sting breaks it when Col. Parker gets up on the apron. Three Backbreakers in a row by Meng. Tony claims there are "hundreds of thousands" of people in attendance. He's lying, it's probably in the 10,000 range. Meng locks on an Abdominal Stretch. Meng goes for a Sunset Flip, but Sting Butt Splashes him. That's an interesting inversion. Meng applies a variation of a Boston Crab. Sting gets the ropes, then rolls out of the way of a Meng Elbow Drop. Sting hits a Back Suplex, then Clotheslines Meng down three times in a row. Backdrop by Sting, then a Chop block. Sting hits a Thesz Press for a two count. Sting reverses a Powerbomb attempt with a Hurricanrana. Twisting Body Press off the second rope gets two. Sting goes for the Stinger Splash, but Meng wrecks him with a big kick to the face. Meng slams Sting and hits a Splash from the second rope. Meng goes for a Thrust Kick, which Sting ducks. Sting rolls up Meng for the pin at 15:30.

Result: Sting by pinfall

Analysis: **. Decent match, nothing more. Sting's comebacks were entertaining, but Meng's heat segments, which were the vast majority of the match, were quite boring.

Meng threatens Sting, but Hawk comes out and Meng backs down.

Mean Gene interviews Jimmy Hart and Renegade.

WCW World Television Championship: Renegade (c) vs. Paul Orndorff

Tony mentions that Renegade recently defeated Steve Austin. That makes me hurt inside to think about. Orndorff goes on offense quickly. Renegade comes back with some Shoulderblocks. Orndorff falls to the floor, then all the way off the platform onto the sand. Renegade works a Headlock. I've never seen a face do so many Headlocks, but I don't think he knows that many other moves. Renegade hits an abortion of a Dropkick. Orndorff rolls outside, grabs some sand, and throws it into Renegade's eyes. Orndorff connects with a Back Suplex, then gouges Renegade's eyes. Orndorff hits a Dropkick, then sets up for a Piledriver. Renegade Backdrops out, then hits two more horrible Dropkicks. Really needs to stop trying to do that. Renegade hits a Powerslam. The crowd is dead fucking silent for his comeback. Orndorff throws Renegade out of the ring and the crowd cheers. Renegade escapes a Suplex and hits a Back Suplex for the pin at 6:12. Boos all around for Renegade's win.

Result: Renegade by pinfall

Analysis: Dud. Renegade was absolutely horrible.

Orndorff Piledrives Renegade after the match to wild cheers. Renegade no-sells it, then hits a Cross Body off the top rope.

Dungeon of Doom promo airs before the next match. Kevin Sullivan has become "The Taskmaster." He's still a little fat guy from Boston. His father, the cobweb guy, presented him with Kamala, the Ugandan Giant.

Gene Okerlund is with "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, who still loves America.

Kamala vs. Jim Duggan

Wow. I think this match is showing on the Wrestling Channel in Hell. Duggan wins a slugfest, then takes down Kamala with a Clothesline. Duggan tries to slam Kamala, but can't get him up. Bearhug from Kamala. Lord, what did I do to deserve this? The Bearhug makes no sense at all as a wrestling move. The guy's arms are free. There's nothing stopping him from punching the guy hugging him. Duggan breaks the Bearhug and gets Kamala into the corner, but Kamala dodges a charge. Kamala...grabs Duggan's nipple. I think. I guess. That's the most bizarre hold I've ever seen. Duggan bites Kamala's ear. What the fuck is this bullshit? Duggan hits a Clothesline, then slams Kamala. The crowd has totally died at this point. Three Point Stance Clothesline from Duggan. Sullivan gets up on the apron, which distracts Duggan long enough for the Zodiac (Brutus Beefcake, back with Sullivan for some reason) to run in hit Duggan with Kamala's mask. Kamala gets the pin at 6:08.

Result: Kamala by pinfall

Analysis: Dud. Another horrible match. I've never seen that many restholds in a six minute match.

We get a video package recapping the DDP/Dave Sullivan feud. DDP won $13 million playing Bingo. This video package is as long as this match is going to be.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Evad Sullivan

And the great card continues. Sullivan jumps Page from behind. Sullivan Suplexes Page from the apron to the ring. Atomic Drop by Sullivan. Shoulderblock. It's generic offense palooza. Snap Suplex by Sullivan. Sullivan is distracted by Kimberly at ringside, allowing Page to get the advantage. Sullivan ducks a corner charge. This match is going nowhere. I think someone just threw a bottle into the ring. Sullivan blocks a kick and hits a Clothesline. Maxx Muscle (friend of DDP) distracts Sullivan and DDP hits the Diamond Cutter for the pin at 4:24.

Result: Diamond Dallas Page by pinfall

Analysis: 1/2*. At least it was short.

We get a moderately entertaining series of vignettes of Steven Regal and Bobby Eaton visiting tourist destinations in Hollywood.

Triangle Match for the WCW World Tag Team Championship: Harlem Heat (c) vs. The Nasty Boys vs. The Blue Bloods

First three-way tag match in WCW history. Rules are standard: two men in the ring at a time, anyone can tag anyone, one fall to a finish. Knobbs and Booker start, but it immediately dissolves into a pier six brawl. The Nasties clear the ring and Regal gets his face rubbed in the Nasties armpits. Then Eaton gets it. Knobbs spends Booker spinning through the air with a Clothesline. Regal tags in on Knobbs and immediately gets dropped with a Crescent Kick. Stevie tags in. Eaton tags in and gets Backdropped. Sags blind tags in on Eaton and jumps Stevie Ray. Clubbering ensues. Knobbs and Sags tag in and out, working on Stevie. Sags intentionally tags in Regal, which is a stupid thing to do. He can't win the match on the apron. The tags are so constant here that there's no real flow to the match. Even Schiavone knows that it's dumb to intentionally tag to another team in this match. Heenan keeps saying he has no idea who the legal men are or what's going on. Knobbs gets worked over for awhile, then makes a hot tag to Sags. Sags Backdrops Booker onto Regal, and then Knobbs Splashes Booker. That gets the pin at 13:12, but who won? Turns out it was Harlem Heat, because Booker and Regal were the legal men.

Result: Harlem Heat by pinfall (New WCW World Tag Team Champions)

Analysis: *. Whoever put that match together had no understanding of its psychology. Guys were constantly intentionally tagging out, which makes no sense from a strategic perspective. And the action wasn't anything special to begin with, before we get to the psychological flaws.

Lifeguard Match: Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage

So what's a Lifeguard Match? A lumberjack Match, except the lumberjacks are dressed as lifeguards. Savage pounds Flair to kick things off. Flair is Clotheslined over the top. The heel lumberjacks throw him back in without incident. Flair counters a Ten Punch with an Inverted Atomic Drop. Flair dumps Savage. He gets thrown in without anything happening. Savage catches Flair with an elbow as he charges. Savage does some punching and kicking. This is surprisingly listless so far. Savage reverses a Flair suplex and sends Flair to the floor. Savage Backdrops Flair. Flair hooks in a Sleeper, which Savage escapes by backing Flair into the corner. Flair comes off the top rope and bangs heads with Savage. That didn't look right and would probably actually hurt quite a bit. Savage grabs a Sleeper, but Flair quickly counters with the Shinbreaker. Flair wrenches the knee for a bit, then locks on the Figure Four. Savages is able to turn it over. Flair connects with a Stalling Vertical Suplex. Savage fights back with a Ten Punch, then blocks an Inverted Atomic Drop and sends Flair to the floor. Flair tries to run, but the lumberjacks force him back to the ring. Backdrop by Savage. Savage goes to the top and nails the Double Ax Handle. Arn Anderson jumps into the ring and gets decked by Savage.

Savage Backdrops Flair over the top rope, which for some reason doesn't result in a disqualification. Arn nails Savage with a DDT and Flair gets a two count. Savage gets two off a Backslide, but gets caught with a back elbow during a charge. Flair goes to the top and gets thrown off. Savage hits a top rope Ax Handle. Flying Elbow by Savage gets the pin at 13:58.

Result: Randy Savage by pinfall

Analysis: **1/2. Disappointing match. Just never really got going and didn't feature anything you wouldn't expect from these guys. Might be the worst match these two ever had together.

Steel Cage Match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Hulk Hogan (c) vs. Vader

Hogan is accompanied by Dennis Rodman, a prelude to his wrestling for WCW in the 1997-1999 period. This is a fence cage, a smaller one that doesn't allow them to fight outside. Hogan goes after Vader immediately and chokes him with his torn shirt. Hogan puts Vader into the cage, then hits a Ten Punch. Hogan climbs up the turnbuckle and stomps Vader's face! Ax Handle by Hogan. Hogan rakes Vader's eyes to win a slugfest, but gets slammed into the cage. Hogan slams Vader into his mastodon mask, then puts it on and hits some weak headbutts. Vader reverses a whip and squashes Hogan in the corner. Vader Bomb. Another! Hogan kicks out, then gets javelined into the cage. Vader clubs Hogan in the corner, then Backdrops him. Hogan slams Vader into the cage. Vader blocks a Hogan slam and drops him with a Knee Lift. Vader comes off the top and misses a Senton Splash. That looked like it would have killed Hogan.

Hogan Clotheslines Vader, then tries to slam him but falls over. Vader applies a Chinlock. Hogan fights out and takes Vader down with a Clothesline. Hogan slams Vader! He threw his back out doing it. Vader connects with a Clothesline, then a Body Splash from the middle rope! Hogan Hulks Up. Vader slams Hogan into the cage, but he shakes it off. Hogan rocks Vader with some punches and slams him into the cage. He goes it five or six times in a row, then lands the Big Boot. Vader stays up, so Hogan hits another. Zodiac and Taskmaster try to break into the cage, but Rodman slams them into the cage and fights them off with a chair. Hogan hits a Leg Drop, then another. Hogan goes to climb out, but Vader recovers and catches him at the top. They battle on the top rope until Hogan knocks Vader down and climbs out of the cage at 13:13.

Result: Hulk Hogan by escaping the cage

Analysis: **1/2. Decent match, but nothing special. Basically the same thing we've seen between these two guys. This would be Vader's last WCW pay-per-view appearance, as his contract expired and he jumped ship to the WWF in late 1995. Sad to see him go, because his run has been one of the best things about doing these reviews.

Overall: Not a very good show. The undercard was hideous and the main event matches were just okay. The outdoor venue was cool, but that was pretty much the only point of intrigue for this show. WCW was in a slump, but they were also on the verge of something very big: by the time Fall Brawl rolled around, the Monday Night War would have begun with the first broadcast of WCW Monday Nitro.

Grade: D+

The Law
September 21st, 2013, 11:12 AM
WCW Monday Nitro Debut Episode
September 4, 1995
Mall of America
Minneapolis, Minnesota

These have been pay-per-view flashbacks so far, but this is such an important moment in the history of professional wrestling that I want to cover it in full. On September 4, 1995 the Monday Night War began. As the legend goes, after WCW signed Hulk Hogan they were still lagging behind the WWF. Ted Turner called Eric Bischoff into a meeting and asked him what it would take to compete with the WWF. Bischoff said he needed an hour of primetime, live TV every single week. Preferably on Monday night, opposite Monday Night Raw. Bischoff was stunned when Turner agreed to the request on the spot. It helps when the owner of the company owns the TV station. Thus, WCW Monday Nitro was born. Nitro was an audacious experiment in wrestling: a live weekly broadcast featuring top-tier matches every single week. WWF Raw was live only once a month at this point, with all four shows for a month being shot on the same night in the same arena. Raw also featured almost all squash matches. Nitro was going to change the game. For their debut, they selected a week in which Raw would be preempted by tennis. Thus, Nitro would be free to make its first impression without competition from the WWF. Let's get to the action:

I always liked the Nitro intro, in which a flame ran through city streets while images of WCW wrestlers appeared on the buildings.

Our hosts tonight are Eric Bischoff, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, and former Chicago Bears star Steve "Mongo" McMichael.

The arena really doesn't look impressive. It's just a ring set-up in the middle of the mall, which a small crowd in the 2,000-3,000 range.

Opening Match: Jushin "Thunder" Liger vs. Brian Pillman

Awesome choice for an opener. These two tore the house down at SuperBrawl in 1993. Liger gets Pillman into the corner and hits a Rolling Kick. Liger comes off the top rope with a sloppy Moonsault and then applies a Chinlock. Pillman slings up on the turnbuckle and connects with a Headscissor Takeover. Pillman blocks a charge with his boots and then hits a Hurricanrana off the second rope! Liger gets a Drop Toe Hold and then a Surfboard. Liger whips Pillman to the ropes, but he comes back with a Headscissor Takeover. Liger Backdrops Pillman over the top rope and then comes off the apron with a Front Flip Kick. Pillman blocks Liger's Suplex attempt and Suplexes him to the floor. Pillman comes off the top rope with a Cross Body. Pillman goes to the top again, but Liger crotches him. Superplex by Liger! Liger comes off the top rope, but Pillman catches him with a Dropkick. Liger catches Pillman telegraphing a Backdrop and hits him with a Powerbomb. Liger gets Pillman on the top rope and hits a beautiful Hurricanrana that somehow only gets two. Liger gets Pillman on the top rope, but Pillman comes off with a Tornado DDT! Pillman gets a Victory Roll off a standing switch for the pin at 6:55.

Result: Brian Pillman by pinfall

Analysis: ***1/2. Awesome TV match and the perfect choice to kick off the show. There was no one in the WWF at this time doing anything like this, and if there was you wouldn't be seeing it on Raw.

We get brief prerecorded comments from Sting before kicking it to commercial.

Segment Grade: A

Mean Gene shills for the WCW Hotline. Huckster.

We come back with a pre-taped segment showcasing Hogan's Pastamania, his failed restaurant at the Mall of America. Waste of precious TV time.

Sting vs. Ric Flair

Good choice to draw in the casual fan-showcase two of wrestling's biggest stars. I don't think Sting's US Championship is on the line here. Before the match starts, LEX LUGER walks down the aisle. Luger had been gone from WCW since 1992. He had wrestled at Summerslam and week before this and just appeared at the WWF house show the night before this. This was a huge surprise to everyone in wrestling, including Vince McMahon. Luger had been working without a contract and was eager to get out of the WWF, seeing that they didn't have any real plans for him. Huge coup by WCW and a great way to showcase the fact that anything can happen on live TV.

Rope-running sequence ends with a Military Press by Sting. Sting follows that with another Military Press. Hip Toss by Sting, then a Dropkick. Flair bails. He gets back in, goes to the eyes during a test of strength, and then hits some chops. Sting comes back and Military Presses Flair again. A Body Press sends both guys over the top rope. Flair charges Sting on the floor and gets Military Pressed back into the ring. Flair counters a Stinger Splash attempt with a Back Elbow. We go to commercial with both men down.

Segment Grade: B+. Solid wrestling and a huge surprise. Only dragged down by the Pastamania stuff.

We come back with Flair in control. Nature Boy goes to the top, but gets thrown off. Sting Military Presses Flair for like the fifth time in this match. Arn Anderson makes his way down to ringside. Flair and Arn have been on the outs lately, so we don't know who he's here to help. Sting misses a Splash from the top rope. Vertical Suplex by Flair, which Sting no-sells. Clotheslines by Sting. A Flair Flip ends with Flair getting Clotheslined off the apron. Ten Punch by Sting. Sting gets a Hip Toss, but then gets pushed off the top rope while attempting a Superplex. Bridge spot goes to a Backslide by Sting. Sting Superplexes Flair. Sting talks trash to Arn and gets Chop Blocked. Flair applies the Figure Four. The referee catches Flair holding the ropes for leverage. Arn gets into the ring and the match is immediately thrown out at 8:43.

Result: No Contest

Analysis: **1/2. Solid TV match. Sting just kind of threw Flair all over, which got a little repetitive. I would have liked to see Flair get more heat on Sting.

Arn goes after Flair and beats his ass. He was fed up with carrying water for him for years and never getting any glory or world title shots. Flair bails and heads out of there.

Scott Norton shows up and gets in Mongo's face. Not really sure what that's about. Randy Savage shows up and goes face-to-face with Norton. Savage challenges Norton to fight right now, but Bischoff and security break it up. Live TV. Anything can happen.

Video package for Sabu.

Segment Grade: B. The conclusion of a good match, then a nice little segment with Norton and Savage.

Back from commercial, Mean Gene announces the winner of a Harley Davidson contest.

Bischoff plugs WCW Saturday Night, featuring Johnny B. Badd vs. Dick Slater and Sting and Randy Savage vs. The Blue Bloods.

Promo from Michael Wallstreet in the back. This is Mike Rotunda, AKA IRS. He takes a shot at the WWF New Generation, calling it the "few generation." He also makes a sly reference to the IRS watching him closely.

WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Hulk Hogan (c) vs. Big Bubba Rogers

Bubba grabs a Headlock. Hogan fights out and hits a Shouderblock. Bubba gets a low kick and punches Hogan in the corner. Body Avalanche by Big Bubba. Mongo calls Hogan a technician, proving he knows nothing about wrestling. Hogan slams Bubba into the turnbuckle, then performs a Ten Punch. Backbreaker by Bubba. Bubba charges Hogan in the corner and gets booted. Bubba catches Hogan with an uppercut and then straddles him. Bubba goes after Jimmy Hart on the outside, but Hogan cuts him off. Ten Punch from Hogan. Hogan Clotheslines Bubba in the corner and then slams him. Bubba comes back and slams Hogan. Bubba misses a corner charge and then catches Hogan with the Boss Man Slam. Hogan Hulks Up, then hits the Big Boot and the Leg Drop for the pin at 7:10.

Result: Hulk Hogan by pinfall

Analysis: *1/2. Standard Hogan match.

Hogan and Hart celebrate, then get jumped by the Dungeon of Doom. Luger joins him and they clean house together. They go face to face. Sting and Savage hit the ring and try to calm things down. We go to commercial with tension in the ring.

Segment Grade: B+. The match wasn't fantastic, but Hogan main eventing was definitely the right call for this show. I like Luger saving Hogan and teasing a brawl between the two, and going to commercial with them face to face is a good way to keep fans from changing the channel.

When we come back, Gene Okerlund is in the ring. As always, he doesn't know what's going on. Hogan says Luger has no business being here. Luger says he's there because he wants to be WCW Champion. Hogan says there's no way Luger's going to beat him. He says he'll put the title on the line next week. Luger and Hogan shake hands and we have a monster main event for next week. In case you're curious, the match went to a No Contest after interference from the Dungeon of Doom. Afterwards, Hogan was suspicious of Luger because the Dungeon guys only attacked Hogan. Regardless, Hogan asked Luger to take Vader's place on Hogan's team for WarGames and Luger accepted.

We go back to the announce table, where Bischoff, Heenan, and McMichael preview next week's show.

Overall: Tremendous first episode. No complaints at all, perfectly booked. Hot opening match, a second match between two legends, then a main event featuring the biggest star in wrestling. Luger's shock debut, the confrontation with Hogan, and setting up the main event for next week. All perfect. It's hard to think of a way they could have done a better first episode than this. I know Vince McMahon was watching tonight, and I bet he realized he had his work cut out for him.

Grade: A

JRSlim21
September 21st, 2013, 3:57 PM
Ahhh... the man is back and he gives us a double shot. Well done

LOCONUT
September 21st, 2013, 3:59 PM
Love it

Defrost
September 21st, 2013, 4:00 PM
Bash at the Beach was free since you asked

The Law
September 27th, 2013, 11:06 AM
Fall Brawl 1995
September 17, 1995
Asheville Civic Center
Asheville, North Carolina

The battle between WCW and the WWF had mostly been a cold war since Ted Turner bought WCW. The days of head-to-head competition were gone, replaced by subtle shots at each other and the companies competing for talent. That all changed on September 4, 1995 as WCW broadcast the first WCW Monday Nitro live from the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The show was a smashing success both critically and commercially, drawing a 2.5 rating. That was with Raw preempted. On September 11 the shows went head-to-head for the first time, and Raw edged out a narrow victory, drawing a 2.5 rating to Nitro's 2.4.

The primary feud for this show is Hulk Hogan and his super friends vs. The Dungeon of Doom. Hogan has essentially been feuding with the Dungeon on and off since Halloween Havoc last year. Lex Luger saved Hogan from a beating at the hands of the Dungeon and agreed to join his time for WarGames. The storyline is that no one is sure if Luger can be trusted. That storyline goes on for almost a year. Sorry to spoil that one. Anyway, tonight's WarGames Match pits the Hulkamaniacs (Hogan, Luger, Sting, and Randy Savage) against The Dungeon of Doom (Kamala, The Zodiac, The Shark, and Meng). That's clearly the biggest mismatch in WarGames history, and a great example of what was wrong with WCW's booking of Hogan at this point: there were no heels who could credibly threaten him. When Hogan's team wins, he gets five minutes alone with Kevin Sullivan, the leader of the Dungeon of Doom.

Johnny B. Badd vs. Brian Pillman

The winner gets a shot at the United States Championship. Badd targets Pillman's arm during the feeling out process. Schiavone says that Sting trained Johnny B. Badd, which Wikipedia disagrees with. According to Wikipedia, it was the Malenko family. Things are pretty slow in this match. Lots of holds. Business picks up when Pillman hits a Headscissor Takeover, but he goes right to a Chinlock. More holds ensue. Pillman escapes a Headlock with a Backbreaker. Pillman locks on the Boston Crab, which he then breaks and hits a punch. Small thing, but the first man to break the rules is the heel. Badd reverses a whip and hits a Tilt-a-Whil Backbreaker. Badd follows that with... leg work. Marc Mero doesn't know how to wrestle. That transitions to a modified Surfboard, which makes more sense. Pillman gets Badd into the corner and hits some punches, starting to generate some heat. Badd gets some jabs and Pillman bails. Pillman gets back in and offers a handshake, which Badd refuses. Badd knocks Pillman down and hits a Slingshot Leg Drop in from the apron. Pillman escapes a Chinlock and they do a double down. A headbutt leads to another double down.

Badd Suplexes Pillman from the apron to the floor. Badd hits a Plancha. Back in the ring, Badd comes off the top rope and is hit in the face with a Dropkick. Pillman telegraphs a Backdrop and Badd connects with a Sitdown Powerbomb. Pillman responds with a Tombstone Piledriver. Badd counters a Tornado DDT attempt by throwing Pillman off. Now Badd applies an Armbar. There's two minutes left in the match, and he's back on the arm. Pillman gets out and hits a Russian Legsweep, then applies the Koji Clutch. Badd hits a Face Slam, then decks him with a big left hook. Pillman makes the ropes. Pillman pops right back up(?) and hits Air Pillman. That gets two, and time expires at twenty minutes. The match will continue. They fight outside and Badd gets thrown into the railing. Pillman comes off the top for a Missile Dropkick, which Badd counters with a Dropkick, and both guys go down. Pillman hooks a Sleeper Hold. Badd makes it to the ropes and applies a Sleeper of his own. Pillman counters with a Back Suplex. Why is this match so long? Badd blocks a Superplex attempt and throws Pillman off. He connects with a Body Press for a two count. Pillman counters a Powerbomb attempt with a Hurricanrana. Pillman goes for a Crucifix, but Badd counters by slamming him. Badd takes Pillman up top and hits a Super Hurricanrana! Wow. He goes for another, but Pillman counters with the Tornado DDT. They're both down.

Pillman goes to the top, but Badd crotches him and then Badd throws him off, with Pillman hitting his chest on the guardrail. Badd hits a Somersault Senton over the top rope. Pillman blocks a Slingshot Splash with his knees. Pillman plants Badd across the top rope, then hits a Suicide Dive to the floor. How is this match still going? Pillman tries a Springboard Dropkick, but crotches himself. Simultaneous Crossbodies end with Badd on top, and he gets the win at 29:59.

Result: Johnny B. Badd by pinfall

Analysis: **1/2. I looked at other reviews and a lot of people liked that match, but it didn't click with me. They hit some impressive offense, but there wasn't really anything in between the spots. They abandoned the early story of Pillman slowly giving into his worst instincts. And mostly, I just find Marc Mero to be a horrible wrestler. Anyway, you might really like this match, but it wasn't for me.

Sgt. Craig Pittman vs. Cobra

Cobra is Jeff Farmer, the NWO's fake Sting. The story here is that Cobra and Pittman were in Vietnam together, and Pittman left Cobra behind during a mission. A fake Pittman (I think it's Prince Iaukea) comes down the entry way while Pittman rappels from the ceiling behind Cobra. Pittman chokes out Cobra with a belt, then throws him to the floor. Pittman dives off the apron onto Cobra. Cobra reverses a whip and Pittman hits the ring post. Pittman dodges a Diving Shoulderblock and applies the Code Red Armbar for the win at 1:22.

Result: Craig Pittman by Submission

Analysis: Dud. Although I appreciate the creativity of the entrance.

WCW World Television Championship: Renegade (c) vs. Diamond Dallas Page

How is this Renegade experiment still going on? DDP jumps Renegade from behind and hits a Russian Legsweep. Renegade runs through his typical Headlocks and Clotheslines. Renegade misses a Crossbody and DDP hits a Swinging Neckbreaker. DDP misses a Shoulder Tackle in the corner, but then catches Renegade telepraphing a Backdrop with a kick to the face. Lots of Clotheslines, then Renegade hits a Springboard Elbow! Wow, that's by far the best thing he's done so far. Double Ax Handle from Renegade gets a two count. DDP counters a Hip Toss attempt with a DDT. DDP goes for a Diamond Cutter, but gets rolled up. Renegade hits a Powerslam, then goes to the top rope. Rather than hit DDP, he jumps off at Maxx Muscle, DDP's valet. Renegade gets back in, but gets tripped by Maxx Muscle right into a Diamond Cutter! DDP gets the win at 8:07, and Renegade's reign of terror has ended!

Result: Diamond Dallas Page by pinfall (New WCW World Television Champion)

Analysis: *. Hey, that sucked less than Renegade's other matches! This was pretty much the end of his run, as he'd lose the Ultimate Warrior gimmick and sent down for more training after this. He'd make a few appearances after this, but accomplished little before tragically committing suicide in 1999. And then WCW spelled his name wrong on the graphic when they did a tribute to him.

WCW World Tag Team Championship: Bunkhouse Buck and Dick Slater (c) vs. Harlem Heat

It seems like every show begins with Harlem Heat having lost the belts and then winning them back. I guess that's how they had 11 title reigns in a two-year span. They trade boring heat segments to start. Unless I'm missing something, these teams are both still heels. Making this match a terrible idea. This match just drags on and on and on. Finally, Booker makes a hot tag to Stevie and a pier six brawl ensues. Col. Parker and Sherri, now madly in love for some reason, start making out in the middle of the ring. This distracts the referee, allowing the Nasty Boys to run in and hit Slater with his boot. Stevie covers, and Harlem Heat win back the tag titles at 16:51.

Result: Harlem Heat by pinfall (New WCW World Tag Team Champions)

Analysis: 1/2*. That was pretty horrible. And obscenely long. And this Sherri/Parker storyline is really stupid.

Ric Flair vs. Arn Anderson

This might be the first time they've ever fought. Arn got tired of fighting Flair's battles and getting nothing in return, so they're going to have a match to determine the better man. Hey, friends fight. They one up each other and mock the other's poses to start. Arn slaps Flair after knocking him down with a Shoulderblock. Arn goes to work on Flair's arm. Arn slaps Flair again. Flair sells it like he hit him with a chair. They exchange holds, with Anderson continuing to focus on the arm. Flair gets out and knocks Anderson down with a chop. Arn blocks a corner charge with a back elbow. Back to the arm for Arn. Arn wraps Flair's arm around the ring post. Single Arm DDT by Anderson. Flair gets out of an Armbar and hits a huge chop. In a great spot, Flair does the Flair Flip, but then pulls down the rope when Anderson tries to Clothesline him. Arn spills to the floor. That's fantastic. Flair hits chops, then a Hangman across the top rope. Back in the ring, Flair hits the Knee Drop. Arn reverses a whip and hits a Backdrop. Flair hits a low blow while the referee is distracted. Flair throws Arn to the floor, then gets Backdropped on a charge. Flair Suplexes Arn. Back in the ring, Flair connects with a Stalling Vertical Suplex. Arn dodges a Flair punch as a counter to a Sunset Flip, then shoots Flair into the corner. Flair ends up in the Tree of Woe and gets stomped by Anderson. Arn goes for the DDT, but Flair grabs the top rope and Arn crashes down on his back. Flair flops and both guys are down. Flair goes to the top and gets thrown off. Flair counters an Ax Handle from the second rope with a Clothesline and locks on the Figure Four. Arn spits in Flair's face and turns it over! Flair breaks it.

What a match. Chopblock by Flair, but Arn rolls him up to counter the Figure Four. Flair continues to work on Anderson's leg. At this point, Brian Pillman jumps up on the apron. He hits Flair with a sucker punch, and Flair responds in kind. Flair turns around and is hit with the DDT! Anderson covers and gets the biggest win of his career at 23:05.

Result: Arn Anderson by pinfall

Analysis: ****1/4. Outstanding match. Not the greatest action, but so intense and psychological that it more than made up for it. I loved the way they worked on each other and how the spots in this match referenced how well they knew each other. Just tremendous work from two of the greats.

Anderson limps to the back with Pillman's assistance.

WarGames Match: The Hulkamaniacs (Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Sting, and Lex Luger) vs. The Dungeon of Doom (Kamala, The Zodiac, The Shark, and Meng)

This is clearly the most lopsided WarGames in history. Four legends against four midcarders. Hogan's team is wearing military fatigues and camo face paint. Sting and Shark start. Choosing the 500 pounder to go 20 minutes is odd, but more justifiable when you look at the rest of his team. Shark overpowers Sting, but then Sting slams Shark out of nowhere. Way to build up to that one. Sting tries another slam, but can't lift and Shark falls on top of him. Shark grabs a Bearhug and holds it for awhile. Shark fails at jumping over the ropes for a Splash and gets kicked for it. Sting applies the Scorpion Deathlock as the first five minutes expires. Dungeon of Doom win the coin toss and Zodiac enters second. They get heat on Sting for the next two minutes until Savage enters the match. Savage punches and crap out of both guys. Kamala is in next. The heels retake the advantage and nothing interesting happens. Luger is in next. He takes out all the heels as the crowd goes wild. Luger misses a Clothesline on Zodiac and hits Savage. They start to fight as Meng enters the match. Dungeon of Doom beat down the faces as the crowd waits for Hogan to enter. Hogan hits the ring and throws powder in everyone's eyes. Well, it's WarGames. Anything goes. Hogan throws everyone into the cage, then applies a Camel Cluth to Zodiac, who gives up at 18:48.

Result: The Hulkamaniacs by submission

Analysis: *1/2. Yup, worst WarGames ever. I think. I haven't seen the 1998 one where all the rules are different. But we'll get there. Nothing of any interest happened in this match, there was little talent on the heel side, and the outcome was absolutely never in doubt.

Security drags Kevin Sullivan into the cage. Hogan gets five minutes with him. Hogan beats him down until the Giant makes his way down the aisle. He's still unnamed, known only as an enormous human being. Giant enters the cage and grabs Hogan. Hogan punches him to no effect. Hogan's doing a good job of selling his fear of the big man. Giant chokes out Hogan until Sting, Savage, and Luger make the save.

Overall: One match show. Flair and Anderson did some awesome work in the second to last match, but nothing else delivered. I'd recommend tracking down the Flair/Arn match, but nothing else stands out here. Next month, things are going to get weird as Hogan and the Giant face off and Hogan murders him. Also, in the run up to the match Hogan dresses in all black and calls him "Stinky Giant." It's a good time.

Grade: D+

The Law
October 7th, 2013, 8:30 PM
Halloween Havoc 1995
October 29, 1995
Joe Louis Arena
Detroit, Michigan

Welcome to Halloween Havoc 1995! Since Fall Brawl, we've had a milestone in the Monday Night War as WCW won the battle for the first time. On October 23, Nitro beat Raw by posting a 2.6 rating to the WWF's 2.2. Apparently, viewers were responding to this super hot Dungeon of Doom storyline. More ridiculous Dungeon of Doom vignettes took place in the lead to this match. However, the Giant was legitimately generating intrigue. He was an enormous man, though much smaller than he is today. At this point, they were billing him as Andre the Giant's bastard son. I'm sure Andre's family was wild about that. Anyway, the Giant is Sullivan's latest monster to battle Hulk Hogan and attempt to end Hulkamania forever. The build to this match has actually been kind of interesting, as Hogan went "to the dark side" and began to wear all black clothing. Definitely a foreshadow of his future Hollywood Hogan persona. Also, for some reason Giant and Hogan are going to have a monster truck sumo match on the roof before their match tonight. I hope no one gets murdered. We'll see how that goes. Not a ton else has happened, so let's go to the show:

Before we begin, I want to note that Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, and Chris Benoit all wrestled on the pre-show. We're getting closer to the midcard that started lighting WCW on fire next year, but it's not quite here yet.

Intro focuses on the monster truck battle between Hogan and Giant.

WCW World Television Championship: Diamond Dallas Page (c) vs. Johnny B. Badd
I'm seriously counting down the shows left until Marc Mero leaves for the WWF. A fake Johnny B. Badd comes down the ramp as the real Johnny comes through the crowd and jumps DDP from behind. Page quickly bails out, but Badd follows him to the floor and keeps beating him up. Back in the ring, Badd settles into his typical arm work. Page counters a Ten Punch by dropping Badd onto the turnbuckle. Page works over Badd and hits a Back Suplex. Page hits a Front Pancake for a two count. Badd blocks a Hip Toss with a Backslide and then levels DDP with a Clothesline. DDP comes back with a Powerslam and then settles into a Chinlock. DDP undoes the tape on his wrists and chokes out Badd. Badd escapes with a Back Suplex. He follows it with an Atomic Drop, then hits a right hook. Headscissor Takeover by Badd, then an Ax Handle off the top rope. Sitdown Powerbomb by Badd gets a two count. Page hits a DDT out of nowhere and they're both down. Badd blocks the Diamond Cutter by holding the ropes. They both spill over the top rope as Badd attempts a Ten Punch. Somersault Plancha by Badd! Badd hits his Splash from the apron, then loads up for the big left hook. DDP ducks, but then gets Dropkicked into Maxx Muscle and rolled up for a good nearfall. Maxx Muscle accidentally Clotheslines DDP and he gets rolled up for the pin at 17:02.

Result: Johnny B. Badd by pinfall (New WCW World Television Champion)

Analysis: **1/2. Decent, but way longer than it needed to be. I don't know why they insist on booking Mero in such long matches.

Randy Savage vs. The Zodiac

This was supposed to be Savage vs. Kamala, but he left. Presumably over a pay dispute, but I'm not sure. Savage has switched to the awesome electric guitar version of "Pomp and Circumstance." A fan jumps into the ring and gets tackled by the referee. Meanwhile, Savage and Zodiac fight on the floor. They go back to the ring and Zodiac slams Savage. Savage comes back with his own slam and hits the Flying Elbow. He covers and gets the win in 1:32.

Result: Randy Savage by pinfall

Analysis: 1/4*. I'm glad that was short. No complaints here.

Mean Gene interviews the new Television Champion, Johnny B. Badd.

Road Warrior Hawk vs. Kurasawa
Kurasawa broke Hawk's arm at Clash of the Champions back in August. Hawk immediately runs through the typical Road Warrior routine on Kurasawa. He hits his Neckbreaker for two. Hawk hits one of the hardest chops I've ever seen or heard. Gordbuster by Hawk. Powerbomb by Hawk! Col. Parker distracts Hawk and Kurawawa slams him. Kurasawa goes to the top and misses a Flying Elbow. Hawk hits Col. Parker with a Diving Clothesline off the apron. He misses a charge and slams him arm into the ring post. Kurasawa gets a Samoan Drop and pins Hawk at 3:18.

Result: Kurasawa by pinfall

Analysis: 1/2*. Not bad for the length. Definitely surprising for Hawk to get pinned, especially in three minutes.

Mean Gene interviews Randy Savage about his win over Zodiac and his upcoming match against Lex Luger. Savage tells Gene his mustache is crooked, and Gene responds that Savage's beard is off-kilter. That was genuinely hilarious, and probably unscripted, given Macho Man's nature.

Sabu vs. Mr. JL

Sabu is accompanied by The Original Sheik, a Detroit wrestling legend. Mr. JL is Jerry Lynn under a mask. JL immediately hits an Enziguri and knocks Sabu to the floor. Sabu immediately throws JL into the guardrail and then hits a Asai Moonsault to the floor! Wow, he went all the way to the ramp there. Knocked down Sheik too. Sabu misses a top rope Moonsault, then JL hits his own top rope Moonsault. Sitdown Powerbomb by JL. JL misses a corner charge and Sabu hits a Springboard Leg Drop. JL German Suplexes Sabu off the top rope. Sabu connects with a Victory Roll off the top. Sabu goes to the top and gets Dropkicked to the floor by JL. Hangman by Sabu. A Moonsault gets a three count at 3:26.

Result: Sabu by pinfall

Analysis: **. Short, but tons of really good stuff there. It's fun to see WCW slowly realizing that they can make a lot of money by featuring smaller wrestlers going at it in their own styles. The Cruiserweight Division is coming. Also, this was Sabu's only WCW PPV appearance. He returned to ECW almost immediately after this show.

Sheik hits JL with a fireball! Just for the lolz, apparently. The fireball was one of Sheik's signatures back in the day. Apparently, he was the first wrestler to do it.

They recap the Hogan/Giant feud. Yeah, they're claiming Giant is Andre's son. An amazingly stupid and poorly acted Dungeon of Doom vignette follows. Just lots of screaming from Kevin Sullivan and the other guy. Also, the "Yet-ay," as Tony Schiavone calls him, has apparently made his debut. He's the Dungeon of Doom's "insurance policy" tonight.

Lex Luger vs. Meng

All Luger early. Meng counters a telegraphed Backdrop and takes over. Meng hits a Shoulderbreaker and then a Piledriver. Luger fights out of a Chinlock and hits a Crossbody, Back responds with a Back Suplex. Luger comes back with a Suplex and Clotheslines. Powerslam by Luger. Luger signals for the Torture Rack, but gets stuck in the throat by Meng's golden spike. Which is a spike. A gold spike. That happened right in front of the referee, but he doesn't DQ Meng for some reason. Meng covers and Luger kicks out. Then Kevin Sullivan jumps in the ring and stomps Luger, resulting in Meng being disqualified at 13:13.

Result: Lex Luger by disqualification

Analysis: 1/2*. Seem like a short recap for a 13 minute match? Nothing really happened for most of it. No idea why they thought Lex and Meng going 13 minutes was a good idea. And the ending was really confusing. I guess Sullivan really wants Luger to have to face Savage tonight? That would make sense, but they don't explain it.

Ric Flair and Sting vs. Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman

Yeah, Sting is clearly gtting turned on here. This is a continuation of the Flair/Anderson feud, and Flair has turned to Sting for help. Sting, in his infinite stupidity, has agreed. Apparently Flair has been attacked by Arn and Pillman and can't compete. Oh man, Sting is such an idiot. Arn gets Sting in a Full Nelson and he boots Pillman off the apron. Arn gets Clotheslined and bails out of the ring. Rope running ends with a Bulldog by Sting, then some punches that knock Arn to the floor. Pillman tags in and gets Clotheslined, as does Anderson. Pillman offers and handshake and gets Military Pressed. Pillman tags in Arn, who gets the drop on Sting. Pillman goes up top, but gets crotched when Sting Catapaults Arn into him. Then Sting throws Pillman off the top and he takes a sick bump on the guardrail. Arn slams Sting's head into Pillman. Classic Anderson move. Flair runs down to the ring and is restrained from going after Arn. Flair takes his place on the apron. Meanwhile, Pillman slams Sting into the railing.

Arn and Pillman get heat on Sting. They go for a Rocket Launcher, but Sting gets his knees up. Arn tags in and cuts off Sting with a Back Suplex. Arn gets hold of Sting's ankle to stop him from tagging. Arn grabs an Abdominal Stretch. Pillman tags in and stays on the advantage with a Half Crab. They pretty much pull every heel tag spot you can think of for the next few minutes. Arn hits a big Spinebuster. Now they start to work on Sting's leg. Sting slams Pillman into Arn, and everyone goes down. Sting FINALLY makes the hot tag to Flair and the crowd goes fucking nuts. Flair... immediately decks Sting. All three guys beat down Sting. The referee is forced to stop the match at 17:08.

Result: No Contest

Analysis: ***1/2. Really enjoyable match. It was slow, but that was the point. They worked that heat segment for as long as they possibly could, to the point where the tag blew the roof off the arena.

Gene labels this "the most disgusting thing I've ever seen in wrestling." He interviews Flair, Arn, and Pillman. Flair cuts a great Flair promo, ranting and raving about "the rules." So that's three of the new Four Horsemen together. "Reunited, and it feels so good!"

Alright, it's monster truck time. They're on the roof of Cobo Hall. The goal is to push the other man's truck out of the circle with your own truck. It actually goes on for several minutes, with Hogan eventually winning. You've probably seen what happens next, but here's the video anyway:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xdds9n_hogan-kills-the-giant-big-show_sport (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xdds9n_hogan-kills-the-giant-big-show_sport)

Yup, Hogan killed Giant. It was an accident, but he threw him off the roof of Cobo Hall. Zero percent chance of survival there. Hogan's going to want to find a safehouse or a relative close by, because he's definitely wanted for murder. In seriousness, this is one of the stupidest and most tasteless wrestling angles I've ever seen and it's deservedly become infamous. Simulating death is way outside the bounds of professional wrestling. There were kids watching this who thought Hogan had killed the Giant. WCW failed to grasp that wrestling is supposed to be reality TV, not fiction. Portraying death in fiction is fine because people know and understand that the characters are dying, not the actors. Wrestling isn't like that: the actors and characters are one in the same.

Lex Luger vs. Randy Savage

So I guess this show set the precedent that led the WWF to continue Over the Edge 1999 after Owen Hart died. Did I really just make that joke? Luger offers Savage a handshake and gets booted in the stomach for it. Lex Clotheslines Savage. Luger stomps and chokes Savage as Jimmy Hart makes his way down to ringside. They fight to the floor and both guys get thrown into the railing. They go back in and Luger catches Savage with a shot to the gut as he tries an Ax Handle. Hart gets up on the apron to yell at the referee, at which point Savage throws Luger into him and then hits the Flying Elbow for the win at 5:23. Huh. That was short.

Result: Randy Savage by pinfall

Analysis: *1/2. Not terrible, but it was five minutes long. Approximately as long as the monster truck match. Misplaced priorities.

WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Hulk Hogan (c) vs. The Giant
Hogan comes out and pleads innocence in murdering Giant. And then he gets off the hook, because it turns out Giant is totally fine. He walks down the aisle with Kevin Sullivan totally unharmed despite being thrown off the side of an arena less than an hour ago. Alright, guess we're going to have our championship match. Hogan is wearing all black, the same look he'd sport as leader of the NWO. Giant chases Hogan around the outside. They get into the ring and hits some punches, then tries a slam. Can't get him up. Giant hits some punches, then they do a test of strength where Giant forces Hogan to his knees. Giant slams Hogan but misses a Leg Drop. Ten Punch from Hogan, then a backrake and some Clotheslines, the final of which knocks Giant over the top to the floor. Sullivan and Giant start to walk away, but Hogan runs them down and slams Sullivan's head into Giant's chest. Giant grabs Hogan for the Chokeslam, but Hogan rakes the eyes to escape. Backbreaker by Giant. Bearhug. Hogan punches his way out, so Giant slams him. Giant goes back to the Bearhug.

Hogan fires up, punches out, but Giant gets him by the throat. Chokeslam. Hogan kicks out and Hulks Up. Punches, then the Big Boot. Giant doesn't go down, so Hogan slams him. It's not that impressive a feat, Giant was pretty slim back then. Still gets a nice pop. Leg Drop, but Jimmy Hart decks the referee with his megaphone. Hart knocks the referee down again, then hits Hogan with the megaphone. Swerve! The match is over as Hogan has been disqualified at 17:02.

Result: The Giant by disqualification

Analysis: 1/2*. Pretty horrible. Giant had only been training for a few months at this point. He had absolutely no business wrestling on television, much less in the main event of a pay-per-view. He did the best he could, but it wasn't very good. And Hogan is certainly a competent wrestler, but he basically rises to the level of the guy he's working with. He's not the type who is going to carry an inferior worker to a good or great match.

Hogan goes after Hart, but Giant traps him in another Bearhug. Luger and Savage run down to make the save, but Luger attacks Savage. At this point, the "Yet-ay" emerges from the dressing room. He's not a yeti, which is a bear-like creature. He's a mummy. Wrapped in what appears to be toilet paper. Yeti joins in on the Bearhug, and it's the feared Double Bearhug. Really, it just looks like they're humping Hogan. Luger gets in on the act and puts Hogan in the Torture Rack. Then he Racks Savage. The show plays out with Hogan and Savage having been decimated.

But wait, there's more. On Nitro the next night it would be revealed that Jimmy Hart inserted a clause into the match contract stating that Hogan would lose the title if he were disqualified. This made Giant the new WCW Champion. He was immediately stripped of the title due to Hart's cheating. The title was held up, it was determined that the winner of the 60 man, three ring World War 3 Battle Royal would be the new champion. So we have that to look forward to next month.

Overall: I can't hate this show too much. The Giant death angle was idiotic, but entertaining because it was so stupid. The main event was pretty bad, but at least they established Giant as a legitimate and credible threat, even if Hogan did have him beat at the end. This really isn't a show worth looking up, other than the Horsemen reunion. If you're a big fan of old-school tag team wrestling, check that match out. Otherwise, just skip over this one.

Grade: D

Defrost
October 7th, 2013, 10:39 PM
Ah yes. World War 3. Where Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage burned a copy of the Wrestling Observer because Meltzer reported that Savage had a torn bicep. Which was obviously untrue since Savage worked that show. Just pay no attention to the fact Savage's arm was wrapped like a mummy's and was much smaller than his other one.

JP
October 8th, 2013, 5:27 AM
IT'S THE YETAY!

:lol:

For anybody who hasn't had the pleasure;


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcLNY_2v4Xg

Nash Diesel
October 8th, 2013, 10:50 AM
I remember watching this ppv live and for a second thinking holy shit, that wasn't planned and we just saw The Giant die. Then reality snapped back and we were trying to figure out how they did the stunt, which for the time was actually pretty cool and original.

I remember watching WCW in 1995 wondering when the fuck they were going to stray from the Dungeon of Doom. It was getting pretty out of hand and even worse with the Yeti. 100x worse when Yeti and Giant pretended Hogan was Christy Mack and did the DP to him. I'll be honest, I didn't mind the fingerpoke of doom because compared to the outcome of this match it wasn't that bad. I think the only title wins that were worse than this were David Arquette and Abyss beating Sting in TNA via DQ. Plus, I don't think that they made the fact the title could magically change hands via DQ until after the fact.

The ppv as a whole going back probably was not very good, but at the time it was a pretty awesome show, especially the Flair turn. I don't think I had watched a ppv of WCW's prior to this since Uncensored with that crazy cage match and Sting/Booker T v. Road Warriors falls count anywhere. I can definitely respect it getting a "D" because a lot of WRESTLING in general in 1995 was terrible, even guys who could produce great matches had a hard time in 94-95 really stepping up and bringing 5 star matches consistently.

Giant winning the World title in his first WCW match via DQ sucked but he made up for it by winning it from Ric Flair in one of the coolest endings I had seen where he was in the figure 4 and grabbed Flair by the neck and chokeslammed his old ass.