SuperBrawl 1997

Superbrawl
VII
Date:
February 23, 1997
Location:
Cow Palace, San Francisco, California
Attendance:
13,324
Commentators:
Dusty Rhodes, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
I
had a request to do Uncensored 97 and since I have every show from
Beach Blast 93 through Souled Out 97 and there’s one show in
between Souled Out and Uncensored, I figured I’d do that one show
(Superbrawl) and then Uncensored. Wow that was a long sentence.
Anyway the main event here is Hogan vs. Piper for the title because
for absolutely no apparent reason, Starrcade was non-title. Let’s
get to it.

We
open in Alcatraz. As in inside the closed prison with Piper in a
cell. Apparently he’s escaping to go to the arena to face Hogan.
How much do you think this cost them to make? He had these videos
playing for a long time so his shirt is in tatters and all that jazz.
He gets on a sail boat and shouts at the city. That’s WCW for
you.
We
recap Malenko vs. Syxx. The idea is that Syxx has been stealing
belts that don’t belong to him such as Eddie’s US Title and
Dean’s Cruiserweight Title.
Cruiserweight
Title: Syxx vs. Dean Malenko
Syxx
has the belt itself but Dean is champion. There’s a huge space
between the entrance and the aisle. Dean is all ticked off to start
and hits a leg lariat for two but pulls Syxx up. Brainbuster gets
two. Powerslam gets the same as this has been one sided for the
first few minutes. Syxx gets caught in the Tree of Woe as this
aggressive Dean is kind of cool. Doesn’t suit him at all but it’s
kind of cool.
Cloverleaf
doesn’t work so a cross body sends both guys to the floor. Back in
the ring and Syxx finally gets a kick to the face to take Dean down.
Syxx hits that three kick combination of his in the corner to set up
a Bronco Buster. We hear about Barry Bonds coming to San Francisco
which doesn’t mean much but the match is going kind of slowly and I
need something to talk about.
Sleeper
goes on for a bit as Malenko counters with a belly to back for two.
Dean’s neck is messed up so Bobby suggests neckbreakers or
piledrivers. Syxx goes with a brainbuster instead and follows with a
guillotine legdrop for two. Love that move. Back to the sleeper as
we talk about Hogan and Piper now and how everyone is concerned about
Piper. Dean throws on a sleeper for irony I guess but they ram into
each other and down they go.
The
announcers debate trains for awhile and how they crash which is
annoying as my grandmother is currently heading to Washington via
train. Syxx gets crotched on the top but reverses a belly to back
off the top into a cross body to put Dean down. Syxx goes for the
belt and Eddie IMMEDIATELY sprints out to stop him. Tug of war winds
up sending the belt into Dean’s head for the pin and the NWO’s
third title.
Rating:
C. Pretty good match here which set up Eddie vs. Dean later I
think. This was fine with the Cruiserweight formula of mat based guy
(well kind of) being a heel vs. the fast paced guy (again kind of)
being the face. Nothing very good here and not the best choice for
an opener but I’ve seen far worse before.
DDP
has a match with someone in the NWO tonight but doesn’t know
against who so he runs down the list of the possible opponents. Gene
thinks Buff Bagwell and what do you know he gets word that it’s
him.
Konnan/La
Parka/Villano IV vs. Ciclope/Super Calo/Juventud Guerrera
Not
sure if this is trios rules or just a regular match. Calo’s team
is the face team. Villano vs. Ciclope to start us off as we talk
about Ray Stevens who passed away about 10 months earlier. Villano
apparently means villain which is named after a character that all
the Villanos’ father played in an El Santo movie back in the 50s.
These guys are a bit bigger than most luchadores but it doesn’t
matter as we’re off to Konnan and Juvy.
Rolling
clothesline puts Guerrera down but a springboard dropkick changes
momentum. And never mind as Konnan remembers he’s the real star
here and beats up everyone to bring in Parka to face Calo. It’s
moving too fast here to really keep track of it. Calo sends him to
the floor and hits a slingshot Swanton. Parka puts him in a chair as
selling is completely forgotten here and crashes into him.
Villano
vs. Ciclope again as we’ve started all over apparently. Ciclope
TOTALLY botches a moonsault to the floor as he veers to the left and
lands hard. Off to Parka vs. Juvy with Parka hitting what we would
call a Whisper in the Wind. Slingshot rana by Juvy gets two.
Villano and Konnan get what was supposed to be a Doomsday Device on
Juvy and follow it with a double leglock.
Everyone
goes in and it was a six man submission hold/pin attempt at the same
time. Everything breaks down and they all get tossed around with
Konnan and Villano left standing. They do a four person leg hold
called the Star and Parka puts Juvy in a surfboard in the middle.
Triple suicide dive by the faces with Juvy completely missing Konnan
but he tried. Back in the ring Konnan gets two on a Power Drop
(Razor’s Edge into a sitout powerbomb) but they call it three
despite Juvy’s arm being up maybe a second early.
Rating:
C. Well that was something. I have no idea what it was but it
was something. This was just another random Mexican Cruiserweight
match which wasn’t very good but they were trying to pop the fans a
bit. Not enough dives to make the fans care but it definitely got
your attention. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not though.
TV
Title: Rey Mysterio vs. Prince Iaukea
WCW
put their midcard title on a Samoan by beating a blueblood just after
Rocky Maivia did in the WWF. No reason given why Iaukea, who meant
nothing, popped up to become a champion but I’m sure it wasn’t
copying WWF. Not at all. Rey is still young and awesome here with
both knees intact. Technical stuff to start with no one being able
to get an extended advantage.
The
Prince misses a springboard shot but gets a kick to the face for two.
Off to the floor as Dusty talks about becoming a king. Bobby wants
to know what he’s a prince of, suggesting Omaha. Big dive by
Iaukea takes Rey down on the floor and he takes over. The fans get
distracted by something in the audience as he hits a suplex on Rey
and we hit the chinlock.
Iaukea
is more or less the default heel because only an idiot (or Russo)
would try to make Rey a heel. Prince tries to come off the top but
gets caught by a dropkick and a rana takes Iaukea to the floor. In a
SICK bump, Rey lays him on the floor and gets a running dive through
the ropes with a front flip to land on Iaukea (not a Swanton but more
of a back splash).
Back
in the ring and a spinwheel kick and falling moonsault (he stood on
the top and dropped down onto the rope for the moonsault) get two for
Rey. The Prince comes back with what would become known as an Angle
Slam off the top as Regal, the former champion, comes down. They
botch a top rope rana so they try a modified version of it. Regal
pulls Rey down and his face goes into the apron, allowing Prince to
pin him. He didn’t see Regal drop him on the apron.
Rating:
C. Not bad here and the reason for Regal is Rey distracted Regal
on Nitro to cost Regal the title. Not much of a match as the third
straight cruiserweight style match got a bit tiring. Iaukea went
nowhere after losing the title while Rey would go on to become Rey
Mysterio. Always cool to see two different paths like this here.
Iaukea
tries to give Rey the belt when he figures out Regal cheated but Rey
doesn’t want it. So no one wants to be champion? I’ve heard of
worse ways to kill a belt.
The
Giant talks about how the Outsiders like to play mind games but
tonight it’s his game at his speed. He has a handicap match later
since Luger is hurt.
Buff
Bagwell vs. Diamond Dallas Page
DDP
is in the middle of the push of a lifetime by being the first guy to
turn down the NWO so this could have been a stuffed panda in an NWO
shirt and DDP would have fit in perfectly. Page isn’t quite the
People’s Champion yet as he still has the cigar but it’s shaping
up quickly. Very slow start as Page his some basic stuff, including
a neckbreaker that Bagwell would use as a regular move in a few
years.
Out
to the floor as Bagwell gets a shot in and Dusty talks about various
rambling things. Bagwell hasn’t been heel that long at this point
so he doesn’t have his stuff down yet. Small package gets two for
Page but he walks into a clothesline to take him down. The referee
gets in Bagwell’s face in a funny bit. Discus clothesline and both
guys are down. Heenan sounds drunk again.
Here
comes the comeback as Bagwell is just a step above a jobber so it’s
not much of a comeback. Helicopter bomb gets two even though it
would be a propeller that didn’t spin that much. Diamond Cutter
doesn’t work as Bagwell hits his Fisherman’s suplex finisher but
wants the referee to count Page out for ten instead of covering him.

When
that of course fails he tries a neckbreaker which is reversed into a
Diamond Cutter to bring the crowd straight to its feet. And here’s
the NWO G-Team of Mr. Wallstreet, Nick Patrick and Syxx for the save.
Page actually runs from them because nothing spells fear like IRS
and a referee. Page wins by DQ because we can’t have Buff Bagwell
get pinned to hurt his credibility right?
Rating:
D+. Just a match really with nothing of note going on. DDP could
have realistically challenged any NWO person at this point so Bagwell
was just the opponent of the night for him. The ending is pretty
freaking stupid as the fans wanted to see Page win with the Diamond
Cutter and it’s not like this was against Hogan. It’s against a
lackey and a new one at that. What’s the point?
US
Title: Chris Jericho vs. Eddie Guerrero
Gee
think this will be good? The graphic says TV Title because WCW is
stupid. Eddie is champion here and Jericho is still relatively
unknown here having debuted in August but only doing random
cruiserweight stuff. Let’s give him a shot at the second biggest
title in the company on PPV! Tony says the wrong year for the first
Superbrawl (it was 91).
Technical
stuff to start and Eddie works on the legs a bit. Dusty rambles a
lot and after we talk about the new generation we better talk about
Hogan and Piper again. Crowd is DEAD because this is just a random
title match with no particular rhyme or reason. Test of strength
doesn’t prove anything and more technical stuff follows. Very back
and forth match with no one getting an advantage.
Spinebuster
sets up the Liontamer which doesn’t have a name yet and the
announcers criticize it because they don’t get it yet. Off to a
chinlock as Jericho has been winning for the majority of the match.
Eddie is a bit off because he cost Dean the title earlier. Jericho
gets a backbreaker on him which is more or less a torture rack. He
drops down into another backbreaker for two.
They
speed things up a bit and Jericho misses a cross body out of the
corner and Eddie gets a powerbomb for two. Brainbuster looks to set
up the frog splash but he rolls through it and Jericho gets a NICE
release German to put both guys down. Things slow down a bit now and
Eddie reverses a bunch of stuff before an overhead belly to belly
gets two for Jericho. Eddie gets crotched on the top and a
springboard dropkick puts him on the floor so Jericho can hit a
pescado.
Back
in Eddie catches him in an atomic drop as Chris comes off the top.
They both try kicks (drop for Eddie, spinwheel for Jericho) and
Jericho might have hurt his knee. They collide again and we’re
both down again. Powerslam gets two for Jericho. Suplex reversal
gets two for Eddie but he walks into a superkick and La Magistrol for
two. Jericho counters a tornado DDT into a northern lights suplex
for two. We get a reversal sequence and Eddie comes out with a
sunset flip for the surprise pin.
Rating:
B. Very good match here which is exactly what you would expect.
Both guys worked very hard out there and I’d be shocked if this
isn’t the runaway match of the night. That being said, neither guy
would get anything out of it as Eddie dropped the title a month later
and Jericho wouldn’t do anything until June when he won the
Cruiserweight Title and was in that division for like a year.
Faces
of Fear vs. Harlem Heat vs. Public Enemy
This
was supposed to be a four corners match with the Steiners but the
Outsiders and Syxx ran their car off the road to injure them, filmed
it, and AIRED IT ON NITRO. Naturally the Steiners said let us win
the titles in a match instead of, you know, PROSECUTING THEM AS
FELONS! This isn’t for the #1 contender spot because the Steiners
aren’t in it if that makes sense.
Rocco
Rock is bald now. Rock and Barbarian start us off. Powerslam gets
two for the Samoan/Tongan/stereotype of the island monster. Stevie
comes in and Rock gets beaten up a bit more. Grunge comes in and
Heat takes him down with ease. Booker gets the axe kick for two on
Grunge. Dusty is of course losing his mind over everything here and
won’t shut up.
Booker
gets a side slam and a Spinarooni to set up the Harlem Side Kick to
take Grunge down. Meng comes in and beats on Booker a lot, including
hitting a dropkick of all things. Clubberin commences and Booker is
in trouble. Belly to belly superplex gets two for Barbarian. Meng
hits a Piledriver on Booker for two. The Islanders hit their
signature powerbomb combo for two and everything breaks down. Public
Enemy hits a double team move off the top with no tag whatsoever and
the referee is like whatever and gets the pin on Barbarian. Sure why
not.
Rating:
D-. So this was a bad match with nothing on the line and the
ending was completely against tag team rules. Well of course it was.
And this made it to PPV. Having Tony remind us that even though
Public Enemy won a big tag team match but ARE NOT #1 contenders
really points out how stupid this was.
Jeff
Jarrett vs. Steve McMichael
Mongo
is a Horseman and if Jarrett wins, he gets to be the fifth Horseman,
which would be Benoit, Flair, Anderson, Mongo and Jarrett. This is
when Jarrett had long hair, country music and not a shred of
credibility. Flair and Anderson are out with injuries at this point
so this is more or less an attempt to build up a new generation.
Also Debra is in the middle of all this.
Someone
keeps ringing a cowbell at ringside. Jarrett gets a hiptoss and
struts a bit. Powerslam gets no cover for Mongo. Debra stops Mongo
and here comes Jarrett. Out to the floor again and it’s all Mongo.
Terribly boring stuff here as Jarrett has no heat and Mongo isn’t
anything good at all. It would be about a year and a half before
Jarrett got anything resembling credibility which seemed to happen
when he cut his hair.
Lots
of choking and slow moving stuff here like walking around. Sleeper
by Mongo and Jarrett gets a suplex to escape. Debra isn’t sure who
to help. Cross body gets two for Jarrett and the referee goes down
on the kickout. Mongo wants his briefcase but Debra says no,
throwing it over his head so Jarrett can clock Mongo with it and
become a Horseman.
Rating:
D. This is one of those matches that is technically ok but at the
same time there was nothing going on. They were in slow motion
almost all the time and the stakes meant nothing as no one bought
either guy as a Horseman. Weak match overall and of course they
feuded forever, eventually over the US Title.
Chris
Benoit vs. Kevin Sullivan
This
is a death match which means street fight. Jackie is with Sullivan
and Woman is with Benoit. The chicks will be strapped together for
no apparent reason. These two feuded FOREVER and it never
particularly went anywhere other than giving us one or two great
matches and then the guys trying to redo the matches over and over
again which never worked. This would be (I think/hope) the final
one.
Both
pairs start brawling and it’s a nice pop for that surprisingly.
The women are the focus here of course as Benoit and Sullivan have
the most basic match you can have that is still classified as pro
wrestling. They’re suplexing each other, as in butterfly/regular
varieties, in a DEATH match. Woman crotches Sullivan with the strap
and the girls get unattached. Benoit gets hung, which I guess you
could call foreshadowing?
Dusty
freaks out because a woman is doing something so this is turned into
a total joke. The girls beat on the guys as I want this to end very
badly. The guys watch the girls then wake up and beat on each other.
The girls get left in the ring as the guys fight up the aisle. It’s
split screen time because WCW enjoys doing that for some reason.
The
guys fight into the back and we’re on one screen now. They throw
stuff at each other and it’s time to go back into the arena after
about a minute or so. The referee, ever the genius, stayed with the
girls instead of going to the back where a pin could have happened.
Back in the ring and Benoit gets caught in the Tree of Woe, which is
one of Sullivan’s finishers.
Woman
saves and Benoit pops up to piledrive Sullivan. Jackie doesn’t hit
Woman but she falls down anyway. It’s table time which wasn’t a
well known wrestling thing yet so it was still a fairly big deal.
Sullivan goes on the table, Jackie gets on top of him for the sake of
protection, Benoit is like screw it and dives on both of them, the
table doesn’t break, Sullivan is pinned under the table.
Rating:
D. Terribly boring stuff here as this was a DEATH match and it
was a comedy match. No idea what they thought the appeal to this
would be but it didn’t work in the slightest. This feud was
straight up played already so they kept going with it for months and
months on end. Weak match, feud sucked, wasn’t funny.
LONG
post match stuff sees everyone in the back not known as a wrestler
comes out to help them and everyone goes out on a stretcher. Eats up
like 6 minutes. Naturally Dusty says Hogan and Piper could end up
like this. Can you imagine either of them either coming off the top
or going through a table? Give me a break. Woman doesn’t look bad
with her hair pulled back.
Tag
Titles: Outsiders vs. The Giant
Ok
so there’s a backstory here. Giant and Luger are partners but
Luger has a broken hand/arm and couldn’t get a doctor’s clearance
in time so Giant has to go this alone. Syxx is with the champs.
Hall starts off here with the idea being to tick Giant off. Hall
hammers away which seems to just be getting him in trouble. One
armed slam by Giant and it’s off to Nash. This was the teased
match for an entire year which didn’t happen until the following
January because Nash didn’t want to job to Giant.
Giant
gets a dropkick to send Nash to the floor and manhandles him with
ease, including ramming him into the post. Elbow gets two back in
the ring. Nash gets in a shot with the Cruiserweight Title and Hall
adds what was supposed to be a bulldog but Hall manages to wind up
behind Giant, making it more like a Zig Zag.
Basically
this is 3-1 and that’s about what was expected. Nash misses the
running pelvis to the head with Giant on the middle rope in a 619
position. That move REALLY needs a name. Off to Hall again who
hammers away in the corner. Giant fights them off as Syxx comes in
and slips the belt to Hall who drops Giant with it. Nash manages to
powerbomb Giant in a cool spot as somehow we haven’t had a DQ yet.
Here’s
Luger with a cast on to clean house. He Racks Nash who hurt his back
on the powerbomb. That rings a bell for a submission somehow but
wait, Nash wasn’t legal. Therefore Giant (illegal) chokeslams
Hall, the legal man, and pins him for the definitive pin. Naturally
this was overturned the next night on Nitro for literally no reason
other than “that wasn’t legal” but it was a stupid moment so I
can forgive it.
Rating:
D+. Match was junk for the most part but that powerbomb was
indeed awesome. Nash vs. Giant would FINALLY get blown off 11 months
later because WCW saw no problem with Nash screwing over a PPV
audience at Starrcade. Anyway, this was more stupid stuff that meant
nothing if you were paying attention but it’s WCW so there you go.
We
really have to do the main event now don’t we?
WCW
World Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Roddy Piper
WCW
didn’t do video packages at all and it took a bit to get used to
it. Ok so Piper debuted at Halloween Havoc because a mere four years
since he meant anything were seen as nothing I guess. Piper got to
set up the contract at Starrcade so for some reason he made it
non-title. Piper then went to Alcatraz for a week because WCW
thought we would care. Piper has said he’s not WCW for whatever
reason but it’s not like anyone cares again. Let’s get this over
with.
Piper
is of course covered in a dirty shirt which is full of holes as they
actually tried to make us believe he was in a closed prison for a
week. Hogan stalls, apparently channeling his inner Memphis. Piper
chases him in the aisle and goes after his eye for no apparent reason
back in the ring. There’s a low blow as this isn’t going to be
wrestling is it?
Total
brawl of course and Piper no sells a low blow. NWO people come out
and Piper beats them up like Sting, Luger, Savage and Giant couldn’t
because he’s old I guess. Piper no sells everything and brawls,
using eye pokes (nyuk nyuk nyuk), punches, biting and choking. Hogan
gets crotched on the top to add to the “comedy” of this match I’m
guessing.
Here
come Sting and Savage, who were hanging out at the time. Savage
leaves Sting there but Sting stops him. Hogan finally gets a shot in
as Savage is chilling on the floor. The fans LOUDLY cheer for Sting
as Hogan gets two. Sting just leaves as Hogan beats on Piper. At
this time it wasn’t clear whose side Sting was on so this was
normal for him. Bear hug by Hogan as we see that Savage has
lightning bolts on his clothes just like Hogan. Gee, foreshadowing
much?
Another
low blow sets up the sleeper by Piper and out of absolutely nowhere
we’re done. It’s as abrupt as it sounds. And then after Piper’s
hand is raised, Savage pulls Hogan’s feet under the ropes even
though the referee could see the 10 inches plus between the feet and
the ropes. Savage slips something on Hogan’s hand, Piper gets
drilled, Savage is in the NWO and Hogan keeps the title while no one
really gets what’s going on at all. The idea is Savage was thrown
out of WCW so it was NWO or nothing else.
Rating:
F. The match sucked as neither guy could move in the slightest so
they were put in back to back PPV main events. The ending is
completely stupid as no one got what was going on and it’s designed
to make Hogan look even weaker than before. Terrible main event and
one of the worst ever. Tony not mentioning Savage pulling him under
the ropes after the match doesn’t help either as we saw Savage pull
him.
Piper
gets beaten down post match and it’s a huge moment or something
because Piper was the big savior I guess. Beating ends the show.
Overall
Rating: D. There’s some watchable stuff on here
but the pacing really hurt this show. They had all their exciting
matches at the beginning so after the Guerrero/Jericho match they had
nothing else they could go with to pick the crowd up. Not the worst
WCW show ever, but nothing worth seeing at all because it’s more
NWO dominance as they get stronger with Savage now. Another weak
show.

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