Live from St. Petersburg, FL
Airdate: May 19, 1991
Attendance: 6,000 (4,887 paid)
Hosted by Jim Ross & the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes
Can Flair regain the NWA World title? Or can he retain the WCW World title? Confused? Read on!
Live from St. Petersburg, FL
Airdate: May 19, 1991
Attendance: 6,000 (4,887 paid)
Hosted by Jim Ross & the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes
Can Flair regain the NWA World title? Or can he retain the WCW World title? Confused? Read on!
Date: February 18, 2001
Location: Nashville Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson
I’m still not sure what the REVENGE subtitle is referring to but it might be due to the fact that we’ve seen several of these matches on TV in recent weeks. The main event is Kevin Nash challenging Scott Steiner for the World Title in a match we saw just six days ago on Nitro. Let’s get to it.
Which was the bigger rematch?
“Hollywood” Hogan versus “Rowdy” Roddy Piper at SuperBrawl VII
Hogan versus Sting at SuperBrawl VIII?
Date: February 20, 2000
Location: Cow Palace, San Francisco, California
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden, Mike Tenay
Well the TV shows have been some of the least interesting things I’ve ever had to sit through, so maybe the pay per view will be the complete opposite and be entertaining. I mean, stranger things have happened right? The main events tonight are Sid Vicious defending the World Title against Jeff Jarrett and Scott Hall in a three way, plus Hogan vs. Luger and Funk vs. Flair because they haven’t replaced the Radicalz, but these old guys are still going to be fighting each other no matter who else is on the card. Let’s get to it.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
Enjoy the Saturday night show! Let me know your thoughts on one of the greatest WCW PPVs.
(2013 Scott sez: It occurs to me that I never actually posted this followup to the original drunk version.) The Netcop Retro Rant for Superbrawl VIII Quick background: I originally did a rant of this show from the live PPV broadcast, and I was both somewhat drunk and very annoyed at the time, so I gave it a bad rating. To make matters worse, the review was HORRIBLE, done in an experimental format that proved to be one of the worst reviews I’ve ever done. (Re-reading it now, it’s not so bad. I count my revamped RAW reviews in 2005 as worse than that.) So I felt I always owed this show a second look, and here it is… – Live from San Francisco, CA. Original airdate, Feb. 22 / 1998. – Your hosts are Tony, Bobby and Iron Mike. – Opening match, TV title: Rick Martel v. Booker T. Newsflash: I just heard that Jim Duggan fished the TV title out of the garbage on the WCWSN tapings, so there’s another title going from dead to worse. (Yes, this was a thing that REALLY HAPPENED. There’s a top 5 list for someone to follow up with on Wrestlecrap – Top 5 Worst Ways A Title Was Awarded. HHH still wins.) Meanwhile, two years ago, it actually meant something. Martel won the thing from Booker on Nitro shortly before this, and Booker was feuding with Saturn at the time, so it ended with this as a rematch for the title first, and the winner gets Saturn immediately after in another title match. (Today they’d just have Teddy Long make a three-way after all three guys lost to the other secondary champion in Beat the Clock qualifiers.) Booker goes after Martel quickly, clotheslining him to the floor. Raven and the Flock join us at ringside and do nothing of note all night. Booker works the arm. Leg lariat and kneedrop gets two for him. Martel actually draws heat, getting a “Martel sucks” chant, as Booker blocks a rollup and superkicks him for two. Back to the arm. Blind charge misses and Martel backdrops him to the floor. Booker gets up but ends up bumping onto the railing. Back in, and Booker hits a quick slam and breakdances up. Martel gets a powerslam on him for two to break up that comeback. Spinebuster sets up the Quebec Crab, which Booker escapes easily. Martel hits a crossbody, which Booker rolls through for two. Rollup for two from Booker. Martel hits a quick lariat for two. Booker comes back with a flying forearm and ax kick, the usual sign that the end is near. Spinebuster sets up a flying bodypress, which misses. Martel goes to the second rope, but gets caught with a leg lariat on the way down and Booker gets the pin and the title at 10:31, his second. ***1/4. Sadly, Martel landed REALLY badly coming off the ropes and ripped his knee apart, and had to retire as a result, right in the peak of his comeback. Saturn leaps out of the crowd and attacks, and we’ve got… – TV title match #2: Booker T v. Saturn. Saturn applies the Rings of Saturn right off the bat. Booker escapes and gets a sunset flip for two. Booker rolls out and gets whipped to the railing. He returns the favor right away. Back in and Booker blocks a clothesline and powerslams Saturn. He gets tossed out again, and Saturn follows with a pescado and a pump splash from the apron to the floor. Back in, Booker recovers enough for a flying forearm. Blind charge misses – nice looking bump off that one. It gets two for Saturn. Super backdrop suplex follows, and Saturn follows up with a regular superplex, but Booker blocks it and comes crashing down with a wicked stiff missile dropkick. He hits a leg lariat, but Saturn nails an exploider suplex for two. (That was during the brief period when I cared about trendy move naming vis-a-vis ECW enough to use “exploider” instead of just calling it a “suplex” or just the Americanized “exploder”.) Belly to belly gets two. He hits a Lionsault, but it leaves both guys down and out. Saturn goes for choking on the ropes. Booker tries a flying cross body, but misses. It gets a two count for Saturn. Back up, both collide for a double knockout. Saturn misses a blind charge of his own, and gets spinebusted. Ax kick flattens him, but the Harlem Hangover misses. Saturn hits a Northern Lights suplex for two. German suplex gets two, but Booker comes back with one last burst and hits a quick sidekick for the pin to retain at 14:20. Tough match. ***1/2 – La Parka v. Disco Inferno. No real angle here. Parka gets a quick chairshot and a powerslam to start. And now we dance. Disco comes back with two running corner clotheslines for two. Parka hits a leg lariat to knock Disco out and follows with a corkscrew plancha. Brawling sees Parka whip him into the rail and clothesline him. Back in, Parka gets a two count. Flying splash misses and they brawl outside again. Disco gets the better of it this time. Back in, Parka gets a head kick for two. Majastral cradle gets two. Resting abounds. Blind charges misses, cue the Disco comeback (on second thought, let’s not…). (Too bad, he did in fact make a comeback with TNA a few years after this was written.) Disco puts his head down and gets kicked in the face, however. Parka uses a headscissor to take Disco to the floor and hits a tope suicida. Back in, he hits the ringpost and Disco comes back again. He shoves the ref, allowing Parka to find his chair and sit Disco in it. They end up fighting on the top rope, where Disco tosses La Parka off, headfirst into the chair, followed by the Stone Cold Apocalyptic Chartbusting Last Stunner Dance for the pin at 11:39. Dull but solid. *** (That’s a hell of a rating upgrade.) – Brad Armstrong v. Goldberg. Before he was Buzzkill, he was just roadkill. (RIP) Spear, jackhammer, and we be outta here at 2:23. ½* – Cruiserweight title v. Mask: Chris Jericho v. Juventud Guerrera. FINALLY, THE JUICE HAS…oh, wait, wrong gimmick. Jericho refuses to take the belt off, so they start the match with him wearing it. (There’s a Ziggler gimmick waiting to happen.) Juvy kicks him in the belt, and he removes it. Jericho dominates, but gets caught with a springboard leg lariat. Juvy follows with a rana off the apron to the floor. Jericho acts dead and tries to take the countout, which is a REALLY funny spot that he never does anymore. (Really, why wouldn’t more champions try that tactic? Not outright walking out on the match like the lame-o writers come up with twice an episode sometimes, but actually putting the onus on the challenger of winning the belt? Leave the ring, force the other guy to chase you and MAKE you get back into the ring. That’s heel psychology!) Juvy tosses him back in and chops away. He flips out of a german suplex and gets dropped on the top rope. They hit the floor and Jericho tries to springboard off the steps, but ends up running into the railing instead. Back, and Jericho gets a piledriver fro two. Arrogant cover gets two. Juvy hits a victory roll for two. Delayed suplex and senton gets two. They fight on top and Juvy comes off with a rana but Jericho counters with the electric chair. Juvy dropkicks Jericho to the floor and follows with a springboard elbow. Back in, Juvy hits a tombstone and 450 for the pin…but Jericho was in the ropes, so we continue. Jericho clips him, but Juvy rolls him up for two. Jericho gets a lariat for two. Powerbomb is reversed by Juvy to a DDT for two. He goes for a top rope rana, but Jericho blocks. Juvy sets up again and this time hits a springboard variation and gets two. Jericho gets an inverted suplex, but the Lionsault misses. Liontamer is attempted, but reversed to a rollup for two. Juvy tries to finish with another rana, but this time Jericho blocks and applies the Liontamer for the submission at 13:27. Whew, great finish. ***3/4 Juvy unmasks after some taunting by Jericho, and the Juice we all know and love is revealed at last. Jericho, of course, steals the mask for his trophy case. (The only case where WCW unmasking someone helped him out. Before there was no connection with the fans or empathy, and once he was unmasked we got all the great babyface expressions and emotions from Juvy during the matches. Unlike, say, Psicosis, where the initial “Put the mask back on him!” joke reaction from Heenan was probably the correct one.) – The British Bulldog v. Steve MacMichael. This is a feud that started with one of the all-time great bad lines, supplied by Mongo on an episode of Nitro: “Don’t stand there drinking coffee when a man’s talking to you!” Mongo gets the quick advantage. Bulldog goes for the Sharpshooter (doing very badly at it), but Mongo continues his, ahem, blistering offensive onslaught. Some of the punches even make contact. Almost. Brawl on the floor, where Mongo punches the ringpost. The ringpost actually does a better sell job than Mongo is usually capable of. Bulldog works on the wrist, in order to prevent the three-point stance. Well, I guess it’s a *kind* of psychology. And sure enough, Mongo goes for the three-point stance, but his wrist is too sore to stay in the down position. Why he couldn’t just lean on the OTHER wrist I’ll never know. (Because SCIENCE!) Anyway, the wrist is now crippled or something, and Bulldog applies a wristlock (which Mongo mistakes for a wristwatch) and gets the submission at 6:10. But see, Mongo protests that he never tapped out, thus protecting his spot or something. Yup. DUD – US title match: Diamond Dallas Page v. Chris Benoit. This was just before DDP’s big feud with Raven, and his sudden revelation that adding the word “scum” to anyone’s name could make him sound cool. (Much like Steve Corino, I guess.) This mini-feud with Page was actually a neat bit of politicking on his part, as he saw the incredibly heated Raven-Benoit feud and decided he wanted a piece. So he had Benoit moved into a “respect” feud with himself (which had the advantage of giving the illusion that he was a great wrestler) and then phased Raven into the feud as a result of that previous Raven-Benoit rivalry. Once Raven was in, he then segued the feud into DDP-Raven, and sent Benoit crashing back down to the undercard again. Isn’t backstage politics fun? Have I mentioned recently that Benoit beat the Rock on RAW last week? Who’s Page beaten recently? (Well, in the grand scheme of things, DDP is a hell of a guy who will always have my admiration now for what he’s done to help people, so 1999 Scott should probably shut up with that comparison now.) Anyway, Page works the arm to start here. He whips Benoit into the corner and gets a rotation gutbuster. Benoit suplexes him onto the top rope in retaliation. Quick crossface attempt, but Page makes the ropes. Pinfall reversal sequence, then DDP gets a backdrop suplex. Benoit dodges the Diamond Cutter by rolling out. He gets back in and they have a staredown, and it occurs to me that the natural progression would be for Benoit to slap the smirk off DDP’s face, and HE DOES! A really loud one, too, that gets the crowd ooo-ing and aaah-ing. They get into a slugfest, and Benoit hits a cheapshot. Rollup gets two. DDP counters that with an ocean cyclone suplex for two. Benoit dropkicks the knee and goes back on offense. He uses a cobra sleeper, but DDP escapes with a jawbreaker. Benoit hammers on him in the corner, to a big pop. DDP responds in kind. Benoit pulls out the snap suplex for two. I love it when he uses that. Back to the sleeper. DDP escapes, but Benoit tenaciously goes right back at it. DDP dumps him over the top in desperation. Benoit goes to the top, but gets crotched. DDP gets a superplex for a double knockout spot. Slugfest follows as they get up, and DDP mounts a comeback. Spinning lariat gets two. DDP goes upstairs and hits a flying clothesline for two. Suplex attempt is suddenly reversed to a crossface, and the crowd goes NUTS. DDP makes the ropes. Suplex attempt again, this time reversed to a cradle for two, and again reversed by DDP for two. Page gets a belly to belly for two, but Benoit comes back with the rolling suplexes for two. The crowd is DEEPLY into this. Double knockout, then DDP comes back with a jumping DDT for two. Diamond Cutter attempt, but Benoit blocks and goes for a backslide, which Page flips out of and hits the Diamond Cutter out of nowhere, and it’s academic from there. He retains at 15:43 in an awesome match for Page. ****1/4 Lodi offers sage advice via a sign: “Benoit, We Knew You’d Lose”. (Better advice: “Lay off the unprotected headshots and don’t fuck someone else’s wife.”) Work, shoot, it’s all the same thing. I panned this match in my original go-around because of my initial bitterness at Benoit’s loss, but time has mellowed me to it, because really it’s all worked out just fine for Chris, while all the jerks who held him back are busy sinking with the Titanic right now. Instant karma IS gonna get you. (It sure got Benoit.) – Randy Savage v. Lex Luger. This is no-DQ. I believe it’s also stipulated as being “no-workrate” and “no-heat”, but I could be wrong. Luger has heavily taped ribs. HUGE “Luger sucks” chant, so I guess San Fran is nWo country. (In all fairness, he did suck at this point.) This was during the initial stages of the drawn-out and boring angle that would eventually lead to the Wolfpac and thus destroy WCW completely. Although to be fair hindsight is 20/20 and all that. (Just look at the Page-Benoit review for proof.) Savage kicks him in the ribs all over the place a bunch. They fight outside, and back in, where Luger suddenly ignores the crippling injury, makes the comeback, and fights off nWo interference to get the rack for the submission at 7:20. Whatever. * The Savage-Hogan split is furthered here, leading to their epic battle (Age in the Cage III) at Uncensored the month after, which of course we will get too next month when I bite the bullet and slog through all of those wretched shows. – WCW World tag title match: The Steiner Brothers v. The Outsiders. After 6 long months of incredibly screwy title changes, backstage politics, boneheaded substitutions to prevent certain people from jobbing, and match after incredibly bad match, this was finally the one that ended the feud. Scott Steiner’s long-awaited heel turn and singles push had been teased ENDLESSLY leading up to this, to the point where every match he was involved in from Halloween Havoc 97 onward was “the one where he’s gotta turn”. And FINALLY, here it is. Thankfully, they don’t draw it out any longer than needed – about a minute into the match, the Steiners clear the ring and do their standard “barking pose”, and Scott suddenly turns on Rick and destroys him. Rick’s heart is thus ripped out, and the Outsiders squash him and finish it with an Outsider’s Edge at 4:14 to regain the titles. Nash, of course, did nothing. ½* Scott made his re-debut on Nitro the next night as “White Thunder”, and took another year to get over. (Scott Steiner is another example of the philosophy of not giving up on something you want to get over. They did something like a dozen minor repackages and re-pushes of the guy before it finally took at the main event level, and they could have given up right after WHITE THUNDER and didn’t. Maybe they should have, but they DIDN’T.) – WCW World title match: Sting v. Hulk Hogan. This was as a result of the incredibly screwy finish of Starrcade 97. The title ended up being held up and put up for grabs here. Hogan chokes him out with the WEIGHTLIFTING BELT OF DOOM to start. Then he chokes him with Sting’s own coat. Alleged brawling outside follows. Helpful hint for Hogan: Most streetfighters don’t utilize back rakes as part of their offense. (Unless they’re a secret assassin like Remo Williams.) Back in, Hogan continues squashing Sting with the usual. Sting comes back and whips Hogan with his own belt. What irony. It’d be almost Shakespearean if the match didn’t suck so much. Hogan runs away, and we get more brawling outside. Back in, and Sting gets the stinger splash and scorpion deathlock, but Hogan makes the ropes. Ref gets bumped on a second splash. Hey, a ref bump, that’s just what this match needed. Hogan’s legdrop gets two as another ref comes in. Half-assed suplex gets two. After some resting, a rollup gets two. Back outside, more brawling. No way these guys need this much time for this match. Sting takes over, but good ol’ Ballshot #1 turns the tide. He manages two stinger splashes, but now we have yet another ref bump. An nWo run-in follows, but Sting fights them off and hits the deathdrop on Hogan. But because Hogan won’t job to Sting’s finisher, we have Savage do a BONUS run-in (2 for the price of 1!) and hit the already unconscious Hogan with…something…and that’s enough for Sting to get the pin and the title at 16:30. Waaaaaaay too much Hogan offense and general screwiness. ¼* Sting spraypaints “WCW” on Hogan as the announcers declare this the big triumph for WCW, blah blah blah. Hogan would have the title back around his waist a mere two months later, thus making the announcers look like idiots (In all fairness…), as per the status quo in WCW. The Bottom Line: The great thing about the 97-99 period for WCW was that the nWo/”main event” group and the mid-card were both segregated into their own little niches on the card, and thus the chances of having a talentless lunk stink up a perfectly good Benoit match were minimal, and thus you ended up with some damn good wrestling on WCW PPVs. (It’s true! Which is why it might actually be a good thing for the Main Event Superfriends to have their own mini-division these days.) And that, my friends, is why I continued watching through the wretched nWo years. Do like I do and ignore the crap that managed to float it’s way to the top of the booking toilet like so much diarrhea, and this is a great show with four matches breaking ***, an easy thumbs up no matter how you slice. Recommended show, but as always stop before the main event.
The Netcop Rant for WCW/nWo Superbrawl VIII (2013 Scott sez: I haven’t done a Scott Sez redo for a while, and I decided all by myself without suggestion from anyone to do Superbrawl VIII. This was the original version of the rant, written and posted basically while the show was airing, and I was pretty drunk at the time, but I thought it was interesting enough to keep in the archives, I guess. So we’ll do a compare and contrast.) Live from the Cow Palace in San Francisco, thus guaranteeing a built-in fanbase for Raven’s Flock. (Maybe Lodi should have been holding red equals signs.) We start with another lame black & white promo, which is ironic, considering… (I don’t really get what’s ironic about that.) Hosted by Eeny, Meeny and Miney. Mo is delayed at LAX due to weather problems. Okay, I was of two minds during a show more than a few times, so for a lot of the matches, I’m going to divide my review into Good (net)Cop and Bad (net)Cop. Try and follow my lead. Opening match: TV Title match #1: Booker T v. Rick Martel. Martel is once again in full heel mode and my interest in him is gone because of it. Booker is OVER. The Flock’s entrance at ringside is highlighted at one point during the match. They really get some time to stretch out here, moreso than on Thunder or Nitro, and they don’t really take advantage of it. It was just kinda slow, that’s all. Goes about 18 minutes before Martel comes off the second rope with whatever and Booker nails a Harlem sidekick in mid-air to block, which puts Martel’s lights out. And we have a two-time champion in Booker T! Yah! *** (Martel was actually on a pretty good run here in his comeback bid.) TV Title match #2: Booker T v. Saturn. Saturn charges in immediately after the previous match and they start it up right away as Saturn hammers on Booker. The announcers inform us that Martel tore some ligament, which will hopefully mean I won’t have to watch him wrestle for a while (I hate the heel Martel). (In fact Martel’s career was basically over following that injury.) Match is very lethargic as Booker seems winded and Saturn just sucks. Lots of time spent outside the ring, as Booker gets virtually no offense in. Tony blathers on about who the referee for the main event will be. (Yeah, their whole practice of hyping a main event for a show we already bought, or stole in our case, really was stupid.) Finally it gets good about 12 minutes in as both guys exchange some high-impact stuff. Booker goes for the Hangover and misses, but Saturn can’t capitalize as Booker hits the Harlem Sidekick and gets the pin to retain the title. *1/2 (Yeah, I know I underrated this one, as the redo will show.) Good Cop sez: I liked the booking, which put Booker over as a bigger badass than ever and really established him as a top face, and hopefully put an end to this triangle feud. Time to move onto Eddy. The matches were pretty disappointing, however. Bad Cop sez: Who cares about the match quality? BOOKER T RULZ! Consensus: Good opening. La Parka v. Disco Inferno. Fans are pretty into La Parka now. (Not that they did anything with him.) He whips the chair at Disco before the bell, nearly getting him right in the head. Total “charisma over talent” match as both guys dance, stall, play to the crowd, and basically do everything *but* wrestle. And as a result, the crowd is pretty dead. And of course NOW Tony talks about the match. Sheesh. Finally, La Parka brings in the chair, but Disco…very….slowly….stops him from coming off the top rope and using the chair, slamming him off the top onto the chair, then hitting the Stone Cold Chartbuster for the pin. * Good Cop sez: Really poor match for both guys, and putting Disco over made no sense on several levels, unless they’re priming him for another run at the TV title. This sucked. Bad Cop sez: BOR-RING. And La Parka didn’t even get to hit him with the chair afterwards. This sucked. Consensus: This sucked. (I bet the redone version has a higher rating.) JJ Dillon reinstates Nick Patrick with no conditions, but tells him that he will, under no circumstances, be involved in the main event. This, of course, tells us that he’ll be involved in the main event. Patrick actually kisses Mean Gene in his happiness. That’s a bit too much information… Brad Armstrong v. Bill Goldberg. We take a pool to bet on how fast Goldberg will destroy Brad Armstrong. Estimates range from 46 seconds (me) up to 3:16 (CanSen). Time of the match: 2:25, which means that Zenon wins. Oh, yeah, the match: Goldberg does some sloppy, dangerous moves which I’m sure RSPW will cream over, spear, jackhammer, yada yada yada. (Goldberg used to be a smark darling for some reason.) Good Cop sez: I’m sick of Goldberg and I don’t need to see him squash Brad Armstrong on a major PPV. (Get ready for MORE Goldberg!) Bad Cop sez: GOLDBERG SUCKS! Consensus: Save this crap for Nitro. (I kind of think the lack of Nitro in Canada meant that us Canadianites didn’t have the same love for Goldberg that the US did. Really, Canada was hardcore WWF territory, which was demonstrated by that Nitro in Toronto where Goldberg was booed like crazy.) Cruiserweight title v. Mask: Chris Jericho v. Juventud Guerrera. Jericho leaves the belt on until Juvy kicks him there. Tony, at one point, calls a Juvy move a “flying body attack,” which may be *the* most generic move description in the history of wrestling. (I’ve been mocking that one ever since.) If you don’t know, just let Tenay call it, dude. Some other stuff happens, and then Juvy hits the 450, but Jericho has, like, 3 of his appendages in the ropes, although the announcers nevertheless act like it was a close call. Then it’s a super hot ending, as a flurry of offense from both guys nearly gives each the win before Jericho blocks a rana into the Liontamer for the tap-out. D’oh! **1/2 Jericho makes fun of Juvy as he removes his mask, which ruins the whole Juvy mystique for me. Sigh. (Juvy ruined his own mystique just fine later on. Hindsight says that unmasking him was actually the right move, because he went from generic luchador to literally a babyface star.) Good Cop sez: I think Jericho is on the bottom rung of the whole Cruiserweight talent ladder, but he continues to get a bigger push based on his whining in the ring and in real life. I didn’t like this match, and their styles aren’t really compatible. It just never clicked for me. (What the hell was my problem with Jericho? I certainly changed that tune later on.) Bad Cop sez: Cruiserweights suck. But unmaskings are cool. Consensus: Disappointing. Steve McMichael v. The British Bulldog. This was *so* bad. Not as bad as the main event, but still pretty wretched. After hearing me complain about lack of ring psychology, Mongo proceeds to sell a wrist injury to the point of stupidity (I mean, not being able to do a three-point stance because of the wrist injury?) before Bulldog puts him in an armbar for the submission, although the announcers act like he never gave up. -* Good Cop sez: It makes me sick to my stomach to watch Davey Boy Smith deteriorate before my eyes like this. (Yeah, it would get worse once he went back to the WWF.) And Mongo hasn’t had a good match since WarGames. (He pretty much disappeared soon after this, in fact. Like, literally just walked out of the promotion and they had no idea where he went.) Bad Cop sez: BOR-RING! Consensus: Save this crap for Nitro. (Or Thunder.) [Note: The crowd is just dead silent by this point.] US Title match: Diamond Dallas Page v. Chris Benoit. And they blow it again. Terrible match for Benoit. Restholds galore, and the only markout moment of the match was the triple german suplex which Benoit seems to be adding to his usual repertoire now. (Yup, it became a signature move, of course.) WHOMP ASS~! But it’s for naught, as DDP reverses a Benoit move into the Diamond Cutter for the pin. FUCK! ** (Oh, now you’re just letting emotions and alcohol influence your rating, 1998 Scott. I bet it’s like **** on the redo.) Good Cop sez: Benoit jobs again. And the match did nothing to advance the Raven storyline or give Benoit more credibility as a title contender. DDP just can’t keep up, it’s that simple. Bad Cop sez: BOR-RING! Consensus: Disappointing, but at least it was clean. Tony says by the way, Giant won’t be here tonight after all, but tune into Nitro because he’ll be there. Hey, more WCW bullshit. Whoo-hoo! No-DQ: Randy Savage v. Lex Luger. Oh, like you need me to tell you a) How bad it was; b) Who won or c) Who ran in, but I will anyway. a) It was pretty horrible. b) Luger wins with the Rack. c) The nWo runs in and beats up Savage so Luger can win. –** (That sounds harsh.) Good Cop sez: Why did Luger win? Savage is the one getting the push. (BECAUSE SCIENCE!) Bad Cop sez: Bounce, Liz, bounce! Consensus: Save this crap for Nitro. [Note: The crowd is almost comatose right now.] “Unified” tag team title match: The Steiner Brothers v. The Outsiders. Yeah, unified, sure, whatever. (It was supposed to be “unifying” the WCW and NWO tag titles, see.) Thankfully Scott punks his brother a mere two minutes in, thus saving me having to watch these four stink up the ring again. (That was a weird turn. Also set up one of the most dramatic makeovers in wrestling history.) Dibiase gets creamed by Dusty and the nWo do everything but play catch with the carcass of Rick Steiner before pinning him to regain the titles yet again. It did, however, completely reawaken the crowd. DUD Good Cop sez: Finally Scott turns. Thank god. Match was incredibly bad, of course. (Yeah, they had been teasing that turn out FOREVER.) Bad Cop sez: Hey, I liked it. I thought it was cool to turn him right at the beginning of the match, and I liked watching Rick get killed. Concensus: None, really. Bad match with a fun angle that was three months too late. Uncensored promo which directly rips off the Game Boy commercials. Main Event: “Unified” World title: Hulk Hogan v. Sting. And what the FUCK does it unify, huh? And what the hell happened to Sting? (18 months in the rafters and no steroids happened to him, DUH.) This is a HORRIBLE match, featuring not one, but TWO ref bumps, and Sting has been reduced to Lex Luger’s level: Take an ass-kicking, then come back with a repeated move (the Stinger splash) and a lame finisher (Deathdrop) to get the win. Which is what happens, as the entire nWo runs in, but Sting fights them off as Randy Savage bops Hogan with something and allows Sting to get the pin. Nick Patrick makes the count, of course. -** Sting claims the belt, then spraypaints “WCW” on the fallen Hogan, end of show. (Yeah, that should have been how Starrcade went.) Good Cop sez: I never, ever want to watch Sting wrestle again if this is his ceiling. (He’d get a little better, but yeah, that 18 months off was basically the end of top-level worker Sting.) DDP was able to carry Hogan to a better match than his kick-and-punch festival. Dallas fucking Page! And why couldn’t they do this ending at Starrcade, when it would have been appropriate and meant something? Bad Cop sez: YEAH! STING KICKS ASS! nWo SUX! STING FINALLY WINS! Concensus: Wretched match with an ending they should have done three months ago. The Bottom Line: Wrestling wise, this was easily the worst PPV I’ve seen in quite some time. There was no match I’d even classify as “good” after the opener, and even the Martel-Booker T match was on the fringes of being “good” and was flirting with “okay”. The only thing, and I mean the ONLY thing that saved this show was some really good angles that were long overdue. If Hogan had gone over in the title match, it would have been a cinch as “Worst Show of the Year”. On the other hand, I kind of liked the show on a markish level, as Sting finally got his revenge and Scott turned in a cool way and Juvy unmasked. So it wasn’t all bad. Just most of it. Later. (Way too harsh, 1998 lush Scott.)
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The Netcop Retro Rant for WCW Superbrawl – Live from St. Petersburg, Florida. – Your hosts are Jim Ross and Dusty Rhodes. – Opening match, US tag titles: The Fabulous Freebirds v. The Young Pistols. The titles were vacated when the Steiners “won” the World titles (Hey, wanna annoy the Rick? Write and ask him to explain the Freebirds’ title reign in 1991…) and this is to fill the vacancy. (Was there a more pointless repackaging than going from “The Southern Boys” to “The Young Pistols”? I can only assume that there was some fear of racism in the previous name, because they were doing exactly the same act after the name-change regardless of them “paying tribute to Bob Armstrong” or whatever nonsense reason they gave at the time.) Standard action to start and then a pier-six erupts and Brad Armstrong arrives at ringside to even the odds. Big Daddy Dink gets sent back to the dressing room and Brad follows. The Pistols double-team Garvin. We head outside the ring and Tracy Smothers takes a nice bump as he gets dropped on the STEEL railing. He gets on the ring apron and then takes the Bret Hart bump into the STEEL railing again. Tracy plays Ricky Morton for the Freebirds’ shitty offense. Steve Armstrong gets the hot tag and cleans up with a tope on both Birds, and then they hit their double-team jawjacker on both Birds. Ref gets bumped when they do it again. Brad Armstrong runs out dressed as “Fantasia” (later renamed Badstreet) and nails Smothers with a tornado DDT, and Hayes gets the pin to win the US tag titles at 10:19. *1/2 (No idea why they never went anywhere with the Badstreet thing as a gimmick whereby he’d get unmasked as a traitor to his family. Could have been a fun payoff, actually.) – Dan Spivey v. Ricky Morton. This is still prior to Morton’s heel turn. Spivey tosses Morton around the ring like a child in the standard big man v. little man formula. Morton makes a brief comeback but gets powerbombed out his boots and Spivey pins him with one foot at 3:11. 1/2* – Nikita Koloff v. Tommy Rich. Fresh off attacking Lex Luger at WrestleWar 91, Koloff needed a reason to be here to interfere later in the night, so he squashes Rich and finishes it with a sickle at 4:07. * (Never apologize for squashing Tommy Rich.) – Special interview with Johnny B. Badd. This is Badd’s debut, and he turns the Fag-O-Meter up to 11. Badd finishes the interview with that classic line “I’m so pretty, I should have been born a little girl.” Man, isn’t that Dusty Rhodes a friggin’ GENIUS? Only he could come up with a blatantly homosexual character and not get it over. It should be noted that Johnny, who was gayer than Lenny and Lodi combined, predated them by a good 8 years. (You’ll note that Badd of course got over by completely eliminating the gay portion of his character and just being Marc Mero.) – Terrence Taylor v. Dustin Rhodes. Taylor has the repackaged Big Cat with him as the bodyguard Mr. Hughes. Oddly that particular gimmick would stick with Hughes for the rest of his career. (To bring up the previous post about guys who were best cast in their characters, Mr. Hughes was the PERFECT role for Curtis Hughes.) Stalling and punching to start. Taylor keeps rolling out to consult with the “computer”. To review: Alexandra York would go on to marry Dustin Rhodes and is currently known as Terri, manager of the Hardy Boyz. (And then they’d have a nasty divorce and she’d date New Jack instead before having a nasty Facebook breakup with him as well. The question of course is how Jerome Young keeps getting all this quality action.) Taylor keeps control with more knees and punching until Dustin makes the supercow comeback. Dustin gets the bulldog but the ref is distracted with Ms. York, which allows Hughes the opportunity to get onto the apron and, of course, hit Taylor by mistake with an international object. Rhodes gets the pin in 8:05. * (At this point it was all hands on deck to bump for Dustin Rhodes and justify the push from daddy the bookerman. Obviously he turned into a good worker in the long run, but that was a LONG ways away.) – Big Josh v. Black Bart. Bart doesn’t have the other two Desperadoes with him, unfortunately. Speaking of bad gimmicks, man was THAT one like a huge car wreck. Two months of vignettes for a six-man group consisting of Dutch Mantell, Randy Culley and Black Bart, whose ultimate goal was not to win matches or anything (because god knows they failed hideously enough if it was) but to find Stan Hansen. Another Dusty brainchild. (Sadly, they never found Stan, even though he’s IN THE NEXT SEGMENT.) This would be a nacho break match, as Bart is subbing for Larry Zbyszko. Sadly, this is probably a better match than Zbyszko would have provided. Josh completes the squash in 3:46 with the log roll and the Northern Lights butt splash. DUD – Paul E. Dangerously presents…the Danger Zone. He’s the only true cowboy in New York, you know. The designated verbal victim this time: Stan Hansen. Well, not quite, as Hansen commandeers the microphone and yells threats to Dustin Rhodes and his fat father. Oddly enough, the Desperadoes don’t do a run-in here, despite the pursuit of Stan Hansen being their, you know, life and everything. – And while Hansen talks, the stage hands set up the entranceway for the debut of…you know who. Yes, folks, before he was Big or even sexy, Kevin Nash walked the yellow brick road as the Great and Powerful Oz. With his manager, the Great Wizard (Kevin Sullivan in a goofy mask). I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. See, Ted Turner had recently bought the rights to the MGM movie catalogue, and in one of those mental leaps that only people from the southern US and network executives make, he wanted to hype the debut of the Wizard of Oz on his TV stations by having a character based on the movie. (Much like if a WWE show ended up on the Sci-Fi network and it was decided that they needed to have a zombie and vampire character on that wrestling show in order to justify it being there.) Kevin Nash was appointed. – Oz v. Tim Parker. 40 second squash as Nash finishes it with the helicopter slam. DUD 8 years later and the guy is WCW World champion. Go fig. – Missy Hyatt goes into the locker room for an interview with Terrence Taylor, but inevitably she finds Stan Hansen in the shower and more hilarity ensues. (Can you imagine if Hansen was around today as a top guy in WWE? I’d pay money to see the conversation that resulted when someone tried to give him a script to read and asked him to do a 10 minute promo on live TV about “The WWE Universe.” ) – Taped fist match: Brian Pillman v. Barry Windham. Total brawl, as they spill outside and Windham starts bleeding right away. Pillman briefly launches his flurry of offense, but Windham drops him on the STEEL railing to a big pop to take over. Windham hammers on Pillman, who makes the comeback, but gets caught with a lowblow on the top rope and superplexed for the Windham pinfall. Big pop for that. Alarmingly short match at 6:08, however. **1/2 (Things would get worse for Pillman in this feud.) – The Diamond Mine with DDP. (Two interview segments! On a PPV!) We get pre-taped comments from Luger and Sting for whatever reason, and then DDP brings out his newest find…The Diamond Studd. Hey yo, this gimmick sucks. Scott Hall would go on to refine the gimmick into Razor Ramon. (Get it…REFINE…?) – Stretcher match: El Gigante v. Sid Vicious. (I take it back, bring back the interview segments instead!) This would be the “let’s get this over with so I can go to the WWF” match for Sid. Conspiracy theory: El Gigante disappeared in 1994. Paul Wight made his debut in 1995. El Gigante is Spanish for “The Giant”. Coincidence? Well, anyway, Gigante finishes Sid off with the clawhold after about two minutes of non-action, but One Man Gang attacks Gigante before Sid can be loaded onto the stretcher. The fans sing “Na na na na, hey hey hey goodbye” for Sid. -*** – Thunder-doom cage match: Ron Simmons v. Butch Reed. (I should note that this is a full cage over the ring six years before WWE “innovated” the idea with Hell In The Cell. WWE, in all fairness though, did come up with the idea of letting good workers take crazy bumps off the cage and using it to draw money, which WCW never would have thought of doing.) Teddy Long is in a cage above the ring. This would be the blowoff for the feud that started at Wrestlewar when they lost the tag titles to the Freebirds. This was a very transitional show, as Long dumped Reed and moved on to Johnny B. Badd, and DDP dumped the Freebirds in favor of the Diamond Studd. (They both backed the correct horse in those races.) Both Reed and Simmons use the same music. Simmons hammers Reed early but misses a charge to the cage and Reed takes over. Ross is once again dubbing him “Hacksaw” Butch Reed. Simmons blades. More boring offense from Reed. Simmons takes about 10 minutes of punches and kicks. Why would Reed still have the “D” on his boots? At least Ron Simmons moved on with his life. Simmons makes the superbro comeback, but Long tosses an international object into the ring. Reed spends too much time jawing with the referee, and Simmons catches him with the spinebuster for the win at 9:39. Yawn. 1/2* – WCW World tag team titles: The Steiner Brothers v. Sting & Lex Luger. There was no real build to this match — Sting and Luger basically just asked for a title shot at one point. Luger and Rick start out slow, but it builds fast once Luger no-sells a Steinerline. Rick blitzes him with a pair of suplexes and a clothesline, but Luger responds with his own. The crowd is torn. Sting’s turn, as he clotheslines Rick out of the ring and hits a gorgeous running tope. Sting does Rick’s own body-vice-into-the-corner ramming move on him, but the Stinger splash misses. Scott in with a butterfly powerbomb to a huge pop. Tilt-a-whirl and the crowd is going nuts. Sting reverses a whip into a stungun and Luger’s in. Another quick tag to Sting, but Scott with an atomic drop and a belly-to-belly superplex for two. Over to the other corner, but Scott misses a charge and goes over the top rope. Luger tags in and suplexes him in for two. Scott blocks a powerslam with a uranage, but Lex comes back with the powerslam. He goes for the rack, but Scott counters to a russian legsweep. Rick tags in and comes off the top with the bulldog and an elbowdrop for two. Sting dropkicks Rick off the top rope and a brawl erupts. Luger and Rick do the double knockout. Sting and Scott get the hot tags and Sting hits a belly to back on Scott. They do the tombstone reversal spot and Sting gets it. Two count. Another brawl erupts as Rick and Luger fight outside. Sting with the Stinger splash on Scott…but Nikita Koloff skulks to ringside with a chain wrapped around his arm. He swings at Luger but Sting pushes him out of the way and takes the shot himself, falling prey to a Scott Steiner pin at 11:09 to retain the titles. Ab fab. ***** A great match with a great angle, great intensity, and completely non-formula. (Still one of my favorite matches ever. Also the last really great Steiner Brothers match in the US before Scott’s arm went to shit.) – World TV title match: Arn Anderson v. Bobby Eaton. They trade headlocks to start as Eaton has morphed into a babyface since the last PPV. Arn gets a cheapshot but Eaton with a clothesline out of the corner and move #103 (arm-BAR). Eaton to the top but Anderson slams him onto the rampway. Eaton reverses a piledriver on the ramp to a backdrop. Eaton with a double-axehandle on Anderson as he comes into the ring. Eaton mixes it up with move #949 (ARM-bar). A AA cheapshot and posting turns the tide. He applies a leglock and holds the ropes for leverage. Although the way he has it applied, the ropes wouldn’t really help much. Eaton breaks free and rams Arn to each turnbuckle 8 or 9 times each. Another cheapshot allows Arn to go to work on the knee again. Eaton tries a suplex but the knee gives way. They trade shots and Arn goes for the pump splash but Eaton gets the knees up. Spinebuster gets two. Anderson to the second rope and he gets a shot in the gut, of course, and does the somersault sell. Eaton with the neckbreaker, and he goes to the top for the Alabama Jam to win the World TV title at 11:50, his first and only singles title. It would last about a week before he dropped it to Steve Austin. Eaton is so happy that he hugs Nick Patrick while taking the belt. Eaton and Anderson must have like working together, because they went on to win the WCW World tag team titles in early 1992. ***1/4 (Eaton is of course one of the nicest guys in the business, and it was really nice to finally see him get his moment in the spotlight as a singles star, even if it didn’t last for long. He got this and then the match with Flair the next month and I don’t think he even would have wanted anything else as far as a singles push went.) – WCW World title match: Ric Flair v. Tatsumi Fujinami. This was actually a match to settle a dispute between NWA World champion Fujinami and WCW World champion Ric Flair after Fujinami pinned Flair for the NWA title in Japan and WCW refused to recognize it. Flair isn’t using “Also Sprach Zarathustra” here for some reason. Tiger Hatori is the in-ring ref, and Fonzie is the backup outside. They trade some stuff to start and Fujinami ends up with the first advantage with a bow-and-arrow. Then a Boston Crab. And an indian deathlock. Geez, this is rather 20 years ago. Fujinami gets two off a flying forearm. Another one sends Flair over the top to the floor. They fight a bit and Flair ends up crotching Fujinami on the STEEL railing. Flair tosses him in and goes to work on the knee. Figure-four but Fujinami makes the ropes. Fujinami gets a scorpion deathlock but Flair makes the ropes. Belly to back gets two. Flair with his own, followed by the kneedrop. They do some headlock stuff and then fight outside, where Flair blades. Fujinami with chops on Flair back in the ring. Flair to the top, but Fujinami slams him off and puts on a modified abdominal stretch. Slugfest, which leads to the inevitable Flair Flop, and a double knockout which leaves Fujinami on the floor and Flair on the ramp. Back in and Flair’s knee gives out on a slam for a Fujinami two. Small package for two. Fujinami with a rollup, but Tiger Hatori gets bumped. Luckily Bill Alfonso is there to count Flair’s reversal for three at 18:39. The WCW and NWA title are thus reunified. And everyone who cared was pretty much sitting at the broadcaster’s table. Off night for both guys. **3/4 The Bottom Line: Well, the first couple of hours was pathetic crap, but everything from the tag titles on was great. Not a must-see show, but definitely check out the tag title match. (What he said. And they fit all this into the same amount of time as a WWE PPV today!) Mildly recommended.