Paul Orndorff was in his 40s in WCW, but it’s still weird to me he has crossover with guys I associate with the late ’90s, like Disco.
Welcome back to more Dream Matches! This week, I have one of those crazy matches where you realize that ’80s star Paul Orndorff had crossover with late ’90s WCW comedy act Disco Inferno. Two separate squash matches from 1995, in fact! I’ll also take a look at another one of the Al Snow/Sabu indie wrestling series, plus the monster Meng vs. Saturday Night stalwart, Roadblock!
Oh, and you want an all-time “I can’t believe we were lucky enough to see that” Dream Match? Come check out MEAN MIKE of Disorderly Conduct against LIGHTNING FOOT Jerry Flynn! Then what’s advertised as a “HOT MUSCLE MATCH!” on YouTube, between Scott Steiner and rookie bodybuilder Chase Tatum. And we end things with future New Japan Ace, Yuji Nagata vs. the Chairman of WCW, La Parka! So it’s mostly a WCW-inspired one tonight, but then they always WERE the best source of weirdo disparate matches.
“MR. WONDERFUL” PAUL ORNDORFF vs. DISCO INFERNO:
(WCW Nitro, Dec. 12th 1995)
* Yes, Mr. Wonderful & Disco Inferno had some crossover. This is nuts to me, but indeed Paul lasted a while until his career faded away. Disco’s in white bell-bottoms (with a full Tony Manero pre-match outfit) and Paul’s in white trunks. He’s coming out to what sounds like the anthem for Anvilania in “Animaniacs” and looking in a mirror. When the voice gets REALLY high, Heenan declares that Gene Okerlund recorded this while sitting on a 40-lb. block of ice.
Disco attacks at the bell and just pounds and chokes away on Mr. Wonderful for a solid minute, but Paul gets his elbow up and works his “World-famous, if you know what I mean” left hands, according to Bischoff- is that a crack about him beating up Vader? Paul’s nerve damage is REALLY profound here- one arm looks like Chris Masters’, and the other looks like Adam Cole’s. He does a ridiculous dance to taunt Disco and still drops an elbow on his throat, then hits a big backdrop suplex… getting the easy three at (2:22), putting his foot on the rope even while Disco’s dead. Good heelin’! Match was largely nothing, but Disco’s selling was quite good, flopping around like a fish on every basic strike.
Rating: 1/4* (just a squash- finishing with a regular BACKDROP SUPLEX is also crazy-weird)
“MR. WONDERFUL” PAUL ORNDORFF vs. DISCO INFERNO:
(WCW Worldwide, Dec. 16th 1995)
* A rematch! From only a few days later! This from Worldwide. Heenan makes the same crack about the theme song being sung by Okerlund here, which is pretty lazy. Paul’s in orange trunks this time.
The bell rings, but Paul is still grunting at the sight of his own beauty, but is annoyed when Disco sneaks up behind him and tries to use the same mirror to preen and pose HIMSELF, over Paul’s shoulder. After literally a full minute of this, Disco gets too close and Paul elbows him and hits the Piledriver for the three (0:58). Okay that’s tremendous. Better yet, Disco recovers and begs the referee to check on his hair.
Rating: DUD (I almost wanna go higher because a full minute of posing leading to that is awesome)
SABU (w/ Ronnie Lott) vs. AL SNOW:
(AAPW, Jan. 28th 1994)
* Another Snow/Sabu match. I actually watched this AGES ago, but kept changing my mind about which review to put it on, haha. No idea who Lott is, but Sabu’s in yellow pants this time. Al’s in blue trunks, looking like the plainest dude ever. This is in some high school gym in Taylor, Michigan according to Cagematch.
They circle each other to start, not getting up to much of anything, and then do the fakest-looking armdrags I’ve ever seen, each flipping with zero effort or movement from the other guy. Sabu lands some punches but misses a slingshot legdrop, but Al misses his own thing. Wow, these commentators absolutely SUCK- just going on aimlessly and both having horrible accents. Al wins the International sequence and works the arm, but takes a spinkick and a slingshot tope con hilo to the floor. They’re milking all the moves big-time, clearly working down for the audience- often with 30-60 seconds between things while they sell or get into position. The Asai Moonsault, then a VERY new move, sorta hits and Al recovers first and posts Sabu- the commentator at least knows what the Asai is, putting over how maybe three guys know how to do it. Al uses a chair and some brawling, but Sabu hits a couple punches and his manager tosses in a chair for the Air Sabu launch (again, a very new thing). Sabu tries another and misses, so Al gets his own for two. Sabu punches back and hits the slingshot legdrop for two. Al soon catches him with a flying thing and a weak moonsault press off the second rope for two.
Al misses a punch and goes over, but Sabu tries a tope con hilo through a table, and goes through it himself! Al hits a big backbreaker in the ring, but tries another and Sabu headscissors him. Al wipes out Ronnie Lott on the floor, but gets to the apron and Sabu sunset flip powerbombs him off. They milk that for a while, but soon as Al hits the ring, he nails a sit-out powerbomb and both are out! Double-shoulderblock has the same result, and finally Sabu hits a pair of lightning-quick boomerang sentons off the middle rope. Slingshot splash gets two, but Al pops right back up for TWO sit-out powerbombs… for two! Is this the 1994 version of MOVEZ? Both are slow up as they finally sell some accumulated damage, but Sabu hits a clumsy backflip into a clothesline and a slingshot legdrop, hitting the Camel Clutch for a bit until Al just hits a Northern Lights suplex for two. Al misses a charge and Sabu hits that “springboard and flip off the top rope” moonsault and THAT gets the pin at (14:28). Lott talks s--- on the arena mic and so Al divebombs him, creating a huge crowd brawl that is EXACTLY the kind of thing that makes these podunk “high school gym shows” fun- you NEED one of these things to get your money’s worth, you know?
A very weird, fairly “indie” match (I mean, it’s an indie) with a lot of “lie around and sell, then pop up and one guy arbitrarily hits a move”, with Al frequently taking a move, then popping up and just hitting a sit-out powerbomb or two, then both guys sell and SABU does something. Every move was milked, which actually helped a bit as it justified the match length and made each move seem more impactful, but it came off kinda arbitrary when there were very few reversals- just guys hitting stuff. But yeah, for 1994 guys hitting sunset bombs off the apron, tope con hilos through tables, and Asai moonsaults… that was crazy. The way people talk about Rey Fenix today, people talked about Sabu back then. I mean, in retrospect he was pretty clumsy and every match has that “they lay in a hold or sell and then suddenly the next move comes out” but there’s ENERGY to it, you know?
Rating: *** (old Sabu matches are legit hard to rate, though- it’s hard not to be biased in favor of “well it was big THEN” with him in particular)
MENG (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. ROADBLOCK:
(WCW Saturday Night, May 10th 1997)
* Meng is in the midst of something with Chris Benoit at this point, having hit the Tongan Death Grip and refused to relinquish it, despite others attacking him. And now he’s taking on the biggest JTTS in WCW. Both dudes are in all black here.
Roadblock attempts to attack before the bell, but Meng dodges, slaps the bejeezus out of him, and hits the Tongan Death Grip for the win in less than a minute (0:23). haha, TREMENDOUS. Though it’s hilarious how even a 360-lb. guy is just SO weak that someone could do this to him.
Rating: DUD (almost no match!)
I feel that those nostalgic for WCW are blocking out a LOT of Lightning Foot matches.
“LIGHTNING FOOT” JERRY FLYNN vs. MEAN MIKE:
(WCW Saturday Night, Oct. 31st 1998)
* Holy god, they put on THIS match? What a show, that Saturday Night. Poor Mike just looks so sad coming out by himself without Tough Tom beside him. Flynn, in his baggy martial arts pants, is here to pick up the ever-rare solo win as they pretend he’s an actual value guy.
They do a basic bout as Mike Tenay actually says this is a “make or break” match for both guys, as a win would give them the opportunity for “more high-profile matches” in the future, then has the temerity to say that Flynn really took it to Bill Goldberg during one of their famous twenty-five matches together or whatever. Hudson even points out “a good many of those early victories came over Jerry Flynn” as he scores a running roundhouse kick in the corner. Mike takes a bunch of rapid-fire kicks, but gets his boot up in the other corner, only to jump off the second rope into another kick. Flynn has an easy time of things, just throwing a bunch of strikes here and there- lariat & reverse knife-edge get two-counts. Mike hauls him into the corner and does basic brawling, Flynn actually doing a bump off a corner whip. Mike goes up- Flying Shoulderblock gets two! But he doesn’t hook the leg, and puts his head down and gets kicked and put in a Cross-Armbreaker for the tap-out at (3:59). Lol, THAT was Flynn’s finisher?
Just… a match. One guy did a bunch of strikes, then the other guy did a bunch of strikes, then one was the winner. Mike didn’t show anything above your typical jobber, though neither did Flynn, really. Neither guy had a bit of charisma.
Rating: * (basic nothing bout- inoffensive but uninteresting)
Scott Steiner as “White Thunder”- a short-lived nickname.
HOT MUSCLE MATCH!:
SCOTT STEINER vs. CHASE TATUM:
(WCW Thunder, March 5th 1998)
* …. what? That’s what the YouTube video description says! This is right after Scott turned on Rick and joined the nWo- he’s wearing a shiny pure white singlet here, still formulating his heel look. But he’s got the short bleached hair and goatee he’d keep for the rest of his career. Chase, an absolute behemoth who even dwarfs SCOTT, is a Power Plant guy who was a totally jobber for his entire WCW run.
Scott immediately beats some ass, effortlessly tossing Chase with a T-Bone Suplex and runs him upside-down into the corner, where he chokes him from the floor. He beats Chase in and out of the ring, repeatedly doing a “boot to the gut & forearm to the back” move, then hits the Butterfly Bomb and the Steiner Recliner gets the submission at (2:07). hahahaha oh my god, poor Chase didn’t even get a single move!
Rating: 1/4* (literally only Scott doing moves!)
Nagata was just a young guy doing an excursion at the time, so it’s unfair to judge, but I always kinda had this “YUJI NAGATA? … REALLY?” reaction to his run as New Japan’s “Ace”.
YUJI NAGATA (w/ Sonny Onoo) vs. LA PARKA:
(WCW Thunder, Feb. 26th 1998)
* Nagata’s WCW excursion continues with a short Thunder bout against the Luchadore WCW couldn’t be bothered to push!
They do The International into Nagata ducking a roundhouse kick and doing his own. La Parka gets a clothesline out of another rope-run and does the same kick to Nagata while he’s in the tree of woe, but the crowd isn’t reaction. But then Nagata bails and La Parka brings in his chair, and hits an Air Sabu-style leap off of it into a Springboard Axehandle! Then he tosses Nagata into the steps, then hooks the chair to the ring apron and bashes Yuji into it while it’s hidden from the ref- okay, THAT’S new! Yuji gets whipped into it again and Nick Patrick ignores it, then Parka hits a corkscrew dive off the top onto Yuji’s back, but Nagata gets his foot in the ropes at “2”. Onoo distracts the ref while bitching about the chair being used, drawing in Disco Inferno, who hits the Chartbuster (stone cold stunner, because WCW was going “f--- you” to Vince by having their comedy wrestler use Austin’s finisher) on Onoo- Parka grabs the chair but Nagata uses the Yakuza Kick to put it into his face, then hits the Nagata Lock (figure-four, but like… he’s pointed differently and pulling on the extended leg) for the win at (3:05).
Rating: ** (Over quick, but entertaining for what we got- little wasted movement, high spots, LA PARKA using a springboard, chair usage, cheating and then the finish coming from using Parka’s own weapon against him)