Classic Wrestling Review: SuperBrawl III

(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)

SuperBrawl III

February 21, 1993

Asheville Civic Center

Asheville, North Carolina

The Bill Watts era has ended in quite an unexpected way. An old interview came to light in which Watts had defended a restaurant owner who closed his business rather than accept racial integration. Mark Madden, who was working behind the scenes for WCW, brought the interview to the attention of Turner employee and baseball legend, Hank Aaron. He demanded that Watts be fired, so Bill’s reign came to an end. Now, the reins of WCW have been passed to an unlikely candidate in Eric Bischoff. He had a lot of ideas that Turner executives liked. Eric quickly cut costs by moving TV tapings to a sound stage in Disney-MGM Studios and lowering the number of house shows. He also restructured WCW’s TV deal to funnel more money into WCW’s budget. Bischoff had his naysayers backstage, but he soon showed that he knew how to run a tight ship. However, not everyone was so happy about the new boss.

Jim Ross no longer had a close ally in Bill Watts and he knew that Bischoff didn’t care for his commentary. Eric tried to move him into an office job, so Ross decided to leave the company. He would sign with the WWF, but Ross still had his Turner-sponsored radio program. J.R. would use it to help the WWF plug their upcoming WrestleMania. He even invited Vince and other superstars onto the show. (I can only imagine how Bischoff and WCW reacted to this.) Meanwhile, Watts and Ross weren’t the only departures from WCW. Paul E. Dangerously was also fired for supposedly falsifying road expenses to get more money. Paul would not return to WCW this time. He would instead head to join his buddy, Eddie Gilbert, in Philadelphia to help book a company called, Eastern Championship Wrestling. (Don’t worry. We will get to them soon enough.)

SuperBrawl is the first PPV under the Bischoff regime, but Watts had already planned most of it. You can still see his fingerprints on the show, despite the return of the protective mats outside the ring. Dusty Rhodes is still booker, which means there’s still a bit of over-the-top silliness involved, including one of WCW’s infamous mini-movies. They produced a short film called “The White Castle of Fear” to promote the main event Strap Match between Vader and Sting. (I posted the video on the Facebook page. I’ll provide a link to the page at the end of the review.) It’s good cheesy fun and includes one of my favorite overlooked characters in WCW, Cheatum the midget. The White Castle amounted to nothing more than a cave in the Rocky Mountains, where Sting and Vader would play tug-of-war over an open fire. I highly recommend watching this mini-movie. It’s awful in the best way possible.

I have a couple of other notes before I begin the review. First, Ric Flair wasted no time in returning to WCW. However, he has a no-compete clause which prevents him from wrestling for a while. Ric would fill that time by hosting an interview segment called “A Flair for the Gold.” He would also introduce a new character to his entourage, his personal maid, Fifi. She is played by a woman named Wendy Barlow, who is now Flair’s current wife. (It’s funny how Ric’s life has come full circle.) Fifi would debut after this PPV, but Flair does make an appearance on this show. The second bit of news is that Big Van Vader is once again WCW Champion. Ron Simmons’ title reign was sadly a flop because WCW didn’t give him good opponents. They decided to put the title back on Vader after the disappointment of Starrcade. The switch happened on a house show shortly after the last PPV.

The show opens with footage of Vader whipping Sting with a strap, while Harley Race and Barry Windham hold him. A narrator talks about the struggle between dominant powers in WCW, while they show Vader hanging Sting with the strap. He then says that the rivalry has escalated, but he doesn’t say whether it was quick or not. Finally, the narrator claims that Vader has issued a dangerous challenge and Sting is on a quest to conquer the White Castle of Fear!

Eric Bischoff welcomes everyone to the show. He’s with Missy Hyatt and he says he has to address the U.S. Title situation. Ron Simmons is out with a shoulder injury, so Maxx Payne will take his place in the title match. (WCW was plagued by last-minute substitutions during this time period. Also, if you’re wondering, Maxx Payne isn’t the video game character. In fact, he would sue the makers of the game over the use of the name. He’s the future Man Mountain Rock and he plays the gimmick of a metal head. He legitimately can play the guitar, so you know Van Hammer is feeling nervous about his spot.) Then, Eric asks Missy about her agenda for the night. She says she’s going to pull off a coup by getting a special interview, but Bischoff doesn’t bother pressing her for more details. He chooses to introduce Johnny B. Badd as their guest. Johnny enters to his awesome “Here Comes Johnny B. Badd” theme, which means the Slam Jam album has been released. (It’s filled with some awesomely bad themes that WCW will use for years.) Johnny says he’s so outrageous that he’s contagious and then talks about the card. He finishes by saying it’s a good place to be a bad man.

Next, they go to the commentary team of Jesse Ventura and Tony Schiavone. Jesse talks about being in WCW for a year and Tony mentions the White Castle of Fear Match. Jesse says he’s not sure that Sting can drag Vader to all four corners. Tony then talks about the U.S. Title Match and says Maxx Payne promised to bring Norma Jean with him tonight. “What’s that?” Tony asks before sending it to Gary Cappetta for the answer. Gary introduces Maxx Payne, who will play the national anthem on Norma Jean, which is his electric guitar. He does a pretty good job and the crowd even cheers, which is odd since he’s a heel. Even Ventura seems to dig it.

Stunning Steve Austin & Flyin’ Brian vs. Erik Watts & Marcus Alexander Bagwell

Brian Pillman has already moved on to a new team, but this one will stick. Austin was reluctant at first because he had been promised a singles run by Dusty Rhodes. Steve’s first reaction was that the team was a demotion, but he quickly grew to like the idea. They would soon become known as the Hollywood Blonds, but they don’t have the name yet. However, Austin has already started doing the taunt where he pretends to film their opponents with an old-school crank video camera. (The pieces are falling into place and this team would soon become quite good.) They’re facing a team that isn’t quite as good. Bill Watts might be gone, but his lump of a son is still under contract and the fans still hate him. Before the match, Jesse calls Austin & Pillman the uncrowned champs and refers to the current champs as, “Steamboat—and his partner.” (Did Jesse not like Shane Douglas? I wouldn’t blame him if he didn’t.)

The fans immediately chant Austin’s name, so he does his best to antagonize them. He starts the match with Bagwell, who keeps getting the advantage. Bagwell & Watts take turns locking Austin in holds, including trading off on an abdominal stretch. Pillman tries his hand, but Bagwell press slams him and surprises him with a clothesline. Watts keeps tagging in and the fans keep booing, so Ventura asks why. Tony tries to cover by saying they’re woo’ing, but no one is buying that. Austin & Pillman try some double teaming, but Watts does a sloppy Oklahoma Roll and locks Austin in a Boston Crab. Pillman breaks it up and illegally swaps with Steve, but Watts attempts an STF. Brian answers by feigning a knee injury and sending Watts to the floor, but he crashes into the guardrail on a dive. However, Austin & Pillman finally take control with double teaming and ref distractions. They eventually go for a Rocket Launcher, but Erik raises his knees. He finally tags Bagwell after colliding with Austin and moving out of the way of a running knee attack on the ropes. Bagwell comes in on fire until all four men brawl. Marcus even manages to hit a Fisherman’s Suplex, but the ref is distracted and Austin hits him with a flying axehandle. Pillman then covers Bagwell for the win.

This wasn’t a good match. It’s not Austin & Pillman’s fault. They played their parts well, but their opponents were a bad fit. It was slow and sloppy when Watts was in control and the fan reactions were backward because they hated Watts. You can tell that Austin & Pillman work well together, but they need better opponents. Thankfully, they will soon be working against Steamboat & Douglas.

Winners: Austin & Pillman (16:34)

Next, they show a brief clip from the mini-movie before going back to Eric and Johnny. Eric says there have been rumors going around, but they are no longer rumors. Ric Flair will be there tonight! He then sends it to Missy, who is standing in front of a white limo. She claims she will get the first ever interview with Nature Boy, Ric Flair. (I’m pretty sure that’s factually incorrect.) Then, she says, “Here’s his limousine and, ooh, is it big!” (That’s what she said! Wait—that IS what she said.) She approaches the car, but security, including Doug Dillinger, escort her away and a cop frisks Missy. She says, “Usually I’m getting kissed when this happens!” (It’s a female cop, so at least we know Missy is open-minded.) Some women exit the limo, so Missy pulls one of them aside—only to miss Flair emerging and entering the arena with security. Missy returns and stamps her feet in frustration when she realizes what happened. Meanwhile, the fans in the arena are chanting, “We want Flair.” Jesse says it’s been a long time coming for him and Flair to be in the same place.

2 Cold Scorpio vs. Chris Benoit

Well, I guess it’s finally time to address the elephant in the room. I will cover Chris Benoit matches the same way I always do. This is not condoning what he did. Ignoring him would be nearly impossible. Besides, if I wanted to avoid talking about the unsavory people in wrestling, I might as well give up doing this blog. The business is filled with them. Benoit had already appeared on WCW TV in 1992, but this is his PPV debut. They picked a good opponent for him. Benoit walks to the ring in a leather jacket and does some vaguely Bret Hart-like poses, which I’m sure is a nod to his time in the Hart Dungeon. Scorpio then enters to an awesome theme and dances, so Schiavone refers to Fred Astaire. (That’s a Vince McMahon-level outdated reference.)

They feel each other out and then Benoit hits some hard strikes and snap suplex. Then, they reverse through some holds with a lot of flourishes and take turns trying to monkey flip each other. They continue showing off on reversals and the crowd applauds out of respect, but Scorpio soon takes it to the mat. Control goes back and forth until Scorpio misses a missile dropkick and Benoit wears him down, which Ventura questions. Chris locks him in some holds, including what looks like Jericho’s Liontamer, before hitting a super back suplex off the top rope. However, Benoit hurts himself in the process. He recovers and continues with a Russian leg sweep and back suplex, but Scorpio surprises him with a cross body and a sunset flip. Benoit manages to avoid some spin kicks, but Scorpio hits a spinning splash in the corner and a twisting moonsault for two. Chris answers with a reversed victory roll and a second-rope leg drop. The seconds begin ticking down in the time-limit, so both men reverse through some pin attempts until Scorpio gets a three-count with one second left! (Wow, that’s some picture-perfect timing!)

This was a fun match with some innovative offense for the time. There was a section in the middle where it dragged a bit, but it wasn’t enough to ruin the match. It was still quite solid and the crowd appreciated what they were doing. You can tell these two have great chemistry and I’d love to see more between them. Also, that finish was pulled off about as flawlessly as can be. I was impressed. On a side note, Tony & Jesse did their best to ruin it by constantly bickering on commentary. I know that J.R. never got along with Jesse, but their commentary was never this distracting. It, unfortunately, continues throughout the show.

Winner: 2 Cold Scorpio (19:59)

Bischoff then plugs the WCW Hotline, where Michael Hayes and Gordon Solie are speaking with wrestlers. They’re with Dustin Rhodes, who is speaking with a fan. However, Eric is with Rhodes’ opponent, Maxx Payne. Eric talks about Simmons being unable to compete and says that Payne had his attorneys secure him a title shot. Payne finally has enough of Bischoff’s rambling, so he asks when he’s going to get to talk. Payne then sarcastically says he got a cordial introduction and says he proved earlier that Norma Jean is real, just like Simmons shoulder injury is real. He calls it an unfortunate incident, but he says what happens to Rhodes won’t be unfortunate. He claims he has an epitaph to play for Dustin and then randomly looks to the sky and mutters, “Mother!?” (Is he hearing voices?) Then, Maxx plays “Taps” on his guitar, so Eric says he thinks they got the point. (There were elements of a good promo in this, but Maxx spoke too quietly and stumbled a couple of times. I get what they’re going for, but the character needs work.)

Davey Boy Smith vs. Wild Bill Irwin

The WWF fired The British Bulldog, but WCW had no issue hiring him. (I hope they don’t test for HGH.) WCW decided to primarily refer to him by his name, rather than The British Bulldog, although they mention the nickname. (I believe at this point Davey himself owned the copyright, so it’s probably more an issue of setting themselves apart from the WWF.) They picked an odd opponent for Davey’s PPV debut, unlike with Benoit. Irwin comes to the ring cracking a bullwhip and threatens the ref. (What a goon.) Then, the Bulldog makes his entrance to some rather generic music. (Couldn’t they have at least tried to get something British sounding?)

Davey keeps shoving Bill around the ring, so Irwin complains of hair-pulling. Davey then answers with some shoulder blocks and they do a criss-cross, but Irwin tries to fake out Bulldog. Davey isn’t buying it and clotheslines Bill out of the ring. He returns, so Davey press slams him and Irwin tumbles outside again. He returns and finally gets the advantage with some shoulder blocks, forearms, and a corner clothesline, but Davey powers out of his pin attempts. Then, they begin throwing wild punches at each other until Bulldog hits a delayed suplex and some more clotheslines. He then catches Irwin on a cross body and hits the running powerslam for the win.

This was an uninteresting semi-squash match. They could have picked a better opponent and that’s coming from someone that has liked Bill Irwin in the past. He seemed unmotivated. I didn’t see the personality he showed me last time. Davey looked strong enough and the crowd loves him, but this wasn’t a great showcase.

Winner: Davey Boy Smith (5:49)

Next, they show some more footage from the mini-movie before going to Tony, who is with Davey Boy Smith. Davey talks about the fans welcoming him and says he came to WCW to become, “The world championship—heavyweight championship of the world!” (Oh, Davey. You tried.) Then, Davey says he’s looking forward to Vader’s match tonight, “With the Sting—with the strap!” (This is becoming embarrassing, but it’s quite amusing.) He then tells Vader that he better keep his belt because the Bulldog is in WCW and he’s hungry! He says he’s going to eat Vader up, which I don’t think came off as he intended. (I almost feel bad for Davey, but this is highly entertaining for how awful it is.) He then finishes by saying he will win with the support of the fans. (I love how Davey didn’t even humor the idea of Sting regaining his title. He specifically said he wants to face Vader. I realize the main event is non-title, but in kayfabe, Sting should be annoyed by this.)

Then, they go to Johnny B. Badd and Missy. Johnny talks about the upcoming U.K. tour and says they will be mingling in England. (He somehow made those rhyme.) Missy whines that she can’t go on the tour, so Johnny tells her to hush and sends it over to Bischoff. (Why can’t Missy go on the tour? Is she banned from England?)

Eric is with Paul Orndorff. Eric asks him about his upcoming Falls Count Anywhere Match with Cactus Jack. He replies that he’s beaten Cactus everywhere they’ve been, but then he’s interrupted by the sound of Cactus swinging a snow shovel. Jack chases Orndorff through the curtain and their match begins.

Falls Count Anywhere Match: Cactus Jack vs. Paul Orndorff

Cactus Jack has finally turned babyface. The crowd reactions were growing, so WCW realized he couldn’t stay a heel. The story was that Harley Race was looking for someone to replace Rick Rude in the U.S. Title Match. He told Cactus and Orndorff that they could face each other and the winner would get the match. However, Race made his choice clear when he and Vader interfered to give Orndorff the win. Vader then squashed Cactus, but Jack later returned with a shovel and attacked everyone. (The story goes that Race told Cactus to hit them as hard as possible or he’d come backstage and hit Jack with the shovel. Cactus took him too seriously and gave Vader a minor elbow injury in the process.) Now, Orndorff is looking for some revenge in a Falls Count Anywhere Match.

Jack chases Paul around the ring and misses some shovel swings, so Randy Anderson takes the shovel away from him. (Isn’t this No DQ?) Orndorff takes advantage of the opening and rams Cactus into the guardrail before choking him with some cable. (Tony & Jesse argue over whether it’s camera cable or electrical wire. Someone make them stop!) Jack returns the favor and then proceeds to wreck his body by pulling up the mats and hitting both a Cactus elbow and a flying sunset flip. (I hurt all over watching this.) They fight in and out of the ring and Paul ends up whipping Jack clear over two guardrails before they brawl into the aisle again. Orndorff then suplexes Jack onto a guardrail (OUCH!) and rams his face into the metal. They finally head back to the ring and Orndorff removes Jack’s knee-brace to attack his knee. He locks him in a Figure Four and Jack punches his way out of the hold. Then, he takes Cactus to the floor and rams the knee into the concrete. They return to the ring and Paul gets a chair before motioning he’s going to piledrive him on it. However, Jack grabs his shovel and knocks Orndorff out for the three-count.

This was a great violent brawl. Jack took his usual bumps, but I was also impressed by the intensity of Orndorff. This is the most motivated I’ve seen him in a long time. You could tell he enjoyed working this match. Also, it’s nice to see Jack get a win for once. He almost always lost as a heel. Both men played their parts well in this match and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Winner: Cactus Jack (12:17)

They go back to Eric, Johnny, and Missy. Bischoff talks about the remaining card and hands it to Missy for knowing Flair would be there, but he points out she didn’t get the interview. She counters by saying she found out Flair would make an appearance on the show. (That’s not new information. He technically already appeared!) Eric then talks about Dustin Rhodes vs. Maxx Payne. Johnny says he might be the bad man, but Payne is the scary man and he’s going to give Rhodes the fight of his life. Then, there’s an odd edit on the network before the next match. (I wonder what was cut.)

The Rock n Roll Express vs. The Heavenly Bodies (w/ Jim Cornette)

Bill Watts set up a working agreement with Jim Cornette’s Smoky Mountain Wrestling before he was fired. The idea was for a talent exchange, but this would be the only PPV they would work. Bischoff didn’t want to continue the agreement, so Cornette would look elsewhere. However, WCW would honor their word for this show. These two teams were both working in SMW, but substitutions plague even this match. Tony says that the Wrecking Crew was originally supposed to be in it. (I’m okay with getting this match. This is an acceptable substitution.) This version of the Heavenly Bodies is the original team of Tom Prichard (Bruce’s brother) and Stan Lane, but the next time we see this team it will be different. Stan Lane will soon retire and be replaced by Jimmy Del Ray. The Bodies come to the ring with both Cornette and Bobby Eaton, who is an unofficial third member. Cornette taunts the crowd, but the ref informs him that Eaton has to leave.

Gibson and Prichard start the match and both members of the Express take Tom over with hip tosses and head scissors. Lane tags in and gets much of the same before all four men brawl. The Express keep sending the Bodies crashing into each other and then double team Prichard. The Bodies try to return the favor, but Morton fights off the attempt. Then, they do a criss-cross, but Morton exits the ring and chases Cornette into a charging Tom Prichard. Jim hilariously bumps around and the Express start nailing everybody. However, Cornette answers by tripping Ricky and the double teaming begins. The Bodies use ref distractions so Cornette can attack and they start wearing down poor Morton. They hit multiple tandem moves and then Cornette distracts the ref when Ricky tries to make his comeback. Prichard gives Ricky a nice sit-out powerbomb and Lane hits a powerslam, but Morton breaks up another double team with a double DDT. He then finally makes a hot tag to Gibson and the match turns into a four-way brawl. Prichard hits a bulldog on Gibson and Cornette distracts the ref again. The Bodies back drop Gibson over the ropes and then Eaton returns to try and interfere, but he hits Prichard by mistake. Gibson then makes the cover for the win. (The Bodies argue with Eaton after the match.)

This was a really fun match. It felt like the old-school tag matches as opposed to the formulaic ones that WCW was doing during this era. Plus, Cornette is always good at making things entertaining. The fans reacted well to it. It’s kind of a shame that the SMW/WCW agreement fell through because their tag division could use the help. However, I can think of another company where the same is true.

Winners: Rock n Roll Express (12:52)

We get another few seconds of the mini-movie before Tony and Jesse talk about the rest of the card. Tony compares Rhodes having to face Payne without preparation to Vader having to do the same against Ron Simmons.

U.S. Title Match: Dustin Rhodes (c) vs. Maxx Payne

Maxx Payne is introduced as being from the state of euphoria. (I think that’s Rob Van Dam’s home state too!) Jesse compliments Payne on his coat, which is pretty snazzy. (However, it’s ruined when he takes it off to reveal a very bland singlet. I guess it’s better than the sweat pants and ratty t-shirts he would later wear.) The ref then gets a mic and explains that this match will be contested under WCW rules. (It’s odd they’re doing that, but I guess it’s supposed to give it a big match feel.)

Rhodes takes early control with forearms, a lariat, and arm drags, so Payne keeps regrouping. Then, Dustin starts working the arm. Maxx tries to take control, but Dustin returns to the hold until Payne yanks him to the mat and locks in an armbar. He holds onto it through some reversals and then hits a clothesline before returning the favor for Dustin’s arm work. Dustin fires back until Maxx catches him on a cross body and slams him. However, Payne misses an elbow drop and Dustin mule kicks him before hitting a lariat. He follows that up with a surprising suplex and locks Maxx in an abdominal stretch. (Wait, who is supposed to be the heel here? Why is Dustin getting all the heat?) Maxx finally breaks the hold by pulling the ref into Dustin, but that results in a DQ. (Oh, nevermind.)

This was an awful match. You could tell that Maxx wasn’t ready for this. He’s much more suited for chaotic brawls, but it would take a while for WCW to find that niche for him. They tried to have Payne do straight wrestling and it doesn’t work for him. This match also had no heat because Rhodes controlled most of it. I guess they knew Payne couldn’t carry the match.

Winner: Dustin Rhodes (by DQ) (11:28)

Eric, Johnny, and Missy talk about the remaining matches and Bischoff says Missy is batting a thousand because she said Flair would be there and there would be a surprise. Missy says, “I told you so,” and Johnny echoes her sentiment before Bischoff sends it to Gary Cappetta. He introduces Flair, to a great reaction, and Ric enters with a security escort. He also has some ladies with him. Tony welcomes Flair to the announce table and Ric says a picture is worth a thousand words. He then says he’s back to rock & roll. Tony says that Flair will do commentary for the NWA Title Match, so Flair responds that the lights are bright and the city is on fire because these men are wrestling for a belt he never lost.

NWA World Title Match: Barry Windham vs. The Great Muta (c) (w/ Hiro Matsuda)

The Great Muta won the Battlebowl and then went on to win the NWA Title from Chono at the WCW/Japan Supershow. However, WCW is building towards another match, so this would be a short-lived reign. Also, Muta apparently worked this match with the flu, which shows in the match quality. During the entrances, Flair introduces himself to Jesse Ventura, who sounds genuinely thrilled to meet him. Then, Randy Anderson explains that this match is under NWA Rules, but the fans nearly drown him out with a, “We want Flair,” chant. (Anderson is holding the NWA Title while he speaks and he’s so small that the belt is almost bigger than his torso.)

They feel each other out early, but Muta soon takes it to the mat—for a while. Every time Windham tries to fight back, Muta takes him down with kicks and keeps going back to a headlock. He throws in a snap-elbow drop, but he favors the headlock. Barry finally takes control when Muta misses a dropkick. He hits a DDT and suplexes Muta both in and out of the ring. Then, he hits multiple knee-drops and locks Muta in a sleeper hold for a long time. Windham uses the ropes for leverage, but he eventually gets caught. Muta recovers and they trade chops, but Barry rakes the eyes and he too grabs a headlock. Muta attempts to fight back with a sunset flip, cross body, and a back-kick, but Windham keeps regaining control. However, Muta blocks a superplex and hits a flying chop. He then hits the handspring elbow and a backbreaker, but he misses the moonsault. He gets another chance at it after reversing a suplex, but this time Windham raises his knees. Then, Windham capitalizes by hitting a lariat and a DDT for the win.

This was a dreadfully dull match. I get that Muta was sick, but I’m not sure what Windham’s excuse was. They’re obviously setting up a Windham/Flair match, so they got where they needed to go, but this wasn’t good. They lost the crowd, except at the finish. However, they may have been cheering the fact it ended.

Winner: Barry Windham (New Champion) (24:10)

After the match, Flair presents Barry with the title and tries to strap it around Windham’s waist. Barry pulls away when he realizes what’s happening and glares at Flair. Ric gets the hint and leaves the ring, so Barry poses with the belt.

Bischoff calls it a tense moment and then speaks with Johnny and Missy about the main event. Missy talks about how Vader is big and says it’s scary. (Somewhere, Vader has a big grin.) However, Johnny thinks Sting will kick some booty. (Oh, is Ed Leslie in this match?)

White Castle of Fear Strap Match: Big Van Vader (w/ Harley Race) vs. Sting

This match is unsanctioned, which means it’s non-title. (You know that has to be held over from Watts’ decisions. It sounds like something he’d do with the title.) Gary Cappetta explains the rules of the match. It’s a regular strap match, despite the silly name. You have to drag your opponent around and touch all four corners in succession to win. Vader makes his entrance in that awesome white fur cloak from the mini-movie. (I wish he kept this look.) Then, Sting enters to his new “Man Called Sting” theme. (I preferred his old one, but he would use this song for years.) The two men then get in each other’s faces, while a graphic tells us this match is unsanctioned by WCW.

They start with a tug-of-war, but there are no flames this time. Vader pulls Sting off his feet a few times and whips him with the strap before hitting a second-rope splash. Sting answers by pulling the strap into Vader’s crotch while he poses and then knocks Vader off his feet. Sting then returns the favor by hitting some flying splashes and starts whipping both Vader and Race. Vader rolls outside and you can see that he’s bleeding from the back. Sting follows and pulls Vader into the post. Then, Sting tags two posts, which counts as touching a corner, but Vader pulls him into the guardrail to stop the momentum. They head inside and trade moves. Sting hits a Samoan drop, but Vader hits some avalanche attacks. Sting answers by back dropping Vader on a powerbomb attempt, but he misses a flying splash. Vader takes advantage with Samoan drops on the mat and from the turnbuckles, as well as a Vader Bomb. He also manages to hit two corners, but Sting stops him. However, Vader attempts another Vader Bomb—and misses. Sting even crotches Vader on the top rope and pulls him into the ring, but Vader wins a slugfest and hits a superplex. He then hits three corners, but Sting latches onto the bottom rope. Vader works Sting over in the corner again, but Sting surprises him with a rolling kick, a DDT, and some stiff punches! (I’m guessing Vader asked him to bust him open the hard way because those were brutal and Vader started bleeding badly from the ear.) Sting lifts Vader and starts touching the corners, but Vader’s foot clips the ref. He gets to three, but Sting trips over the ref and Vader sits on Sting. Then, Vader drags Sting to three corners and Sting tries to fight the last one, but he inadvertently kicks Vader into the fourth for the win.

This was an awesome bloody brawl, despite the silly build for it. These two beat the hell out of each other. I was surprised at the amount of blood for this time period, but it definitely added to the match. I don’t think these two are capable of having a bad match against each other. Also, the finish was a great way to keep both men looking strong.

Winner: Vader (20:54)

After the match, Sting immediately starts whipping Vader with the strap until Vader rolls outside. Then, they go back to Eric, Johnny, and Missy. Bischoff calls the match amazing and talks about the after-party. Missy says that she and Johnny were invited, so they leave to get ready. (Poor Eric. Did they not invite him?) Barry Windham steps into the frame after they leave and Eric congratulates him on his win before talking about Flair. Barry says it was an intense moment for Flair and then says he’s going to remove Muta’s name from his belt. He also warns everyone that he’s on the prowl and no one’s championships are safe. Bischoff then proceeds to show he wasn’t listening by asking what’s next on Barry’s agenda. Windham simply repeats himself and then leaves.

Finally, they go back to Tony and Jesse, who says he’s tired and barely has a voice left. Schiavone replies, “Give me a break.” He then tells everyone goodnight and they go to the credits.

The Good:

– The main event was great.

– Cactus/Orndorff was good fun.

– Benoit/Scorpio was quite good.

– The Bulldog promo was entertainingly bad.

– The RnR Express/Heavenly Bodies match was fun.

The Bad:

– The NWA Title Match was bad.

– Bulldog’s squash was uninteresting.

– Rhodes/Payne was awful.

– I’m going to give Erik Watts a permanent spot on this list until he’s gone.

– Tony & Jesse’s bickering really ruined the commentary for this show.

Performer of the Night:

I’m giving it to Vader because he took a thrashing in that match and still looked strong. He was bleeding pretty badly by the end of it, which made him look even more badass.

Final Thoughts:

This was a fairly solid PPV, but I’m not sure I will give it as much praise as I see some people doing online. There was definitely some good to great matches, but there were also some pretty bad ones. I would still rank it as being above average, but I feel the bad parts brought the show down a notch. However, this could still end up being the best PPV from WCW this year because there’s some bad stuff coming.

Thank you for reading. You can like and follow the Facebook page for this blog by clicking here and the Twitter page by clicking here. I look forward to your feedback and be sure to check out the White Castle of Fear mini-movie on the Facebook page.

My next review will be—oh, no. It’s WrestleMania IX. This one’s gonna hurt. Look for it next Saturday.

 

Written by Paul Matthews

I am chronologically reviewing all the pre-network era WWF/WCW/ECW PPVs from Starrcade '83 to WrestleMania 30. Join me on this journey every Saturday!
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