Sid Vicious has given his notice and will be leaving WCW after this PPV.
DOOM’s break up led to several brawls on TV to set up their cage match at SuperBrawl. Butch Reed was contemplating leaving WCW to join the rodeo circuit.
Sting and Larry Zbyszko had a mini-feud as they battled on TV several times.
Curtis Hughes switched from his “Big Cat” persona and began wearing a suit as the York Foundation’s bodyguard “Mr. Hughes”
Nikita Koloff was shown training hard for his matches with Lex Luger.
Then on TV Luger was attacked by Nikita again – this ended with Lex KO’d and Koloff trying to smash the US title on the ringpost.
Ric Flair spent most of the house shows defending his title against Sting and El Gigante. However he did travel to Japan where a controversial match finish with Tatsumi Fujinami saw the World title’s ownership come under dispute.
As I mentioned in my Wrestle War review last time, The Steiners beat The Fabulous Freebirds on TV for the World tag titles in under 5 minutes.
The US tag titles were stripped from the Steiners as they could not hold both sets of belts. WCW agent Grizzly Smith announced that the top two contending teams would clash for the titles at SuperBrawl.
In April WCW head honcho Evil Jim Herd announced that Dave Meltzer, Wade Keller and other wrestling journalists would be able to interview him via a 1-800 number.
Vader is about to sign a deal with WCW to come in for 100 dates for $1000 a match.
WCW tried to sign Burt Reynolds to come in for SuperBrawl to help give Ron Simmons the rub as both went to Florida State.
Dustin Rhodes was offered a spot in the York Foundation only hours before the PPV. He turned them down and a fracas ensued.
Owen Hart worked some TV tapings. He was intended to be a partner for Brian Pillman but then it was decided that Pillman would be getting a singles push instead. Hart quit soon after because WCW wanted him to cancel his April bookings for New Japan.
One Man Gang debuted – he was hired by Teddy Long to assist Kevin Sullivan with ridding WCW of Ron Simmons.
Buddy Landell was fired – Buddy was scheduled to feud with Bobby Eaton that was suppose to lead to a series of scaffold matches.
Black Bart, PN Newz, Mike Graham, and Scott Hall were all signed to join the active roster. Justin Liger came over from Japan for some matches as well.
SUPERBRAWL 91: Return from the Rising Sun May 19th 1991
Dusty and JR call the action.
Winners are the new US Tag team champions: The Young Pistols vs. Jimmy Garvin and Michael Hayes
Hayes stalls and goofs around with Steve –this gets him rolled up for a near pin. Hayes is shaken by the quick fall. Hayes and Garvin cheat to gain control so Tracy tosses them into Big Daddy Dink. Brad Armstrong comes down to protest and Brad and Dink are both tossed from ringside. The heels get very aggressive to show they aren’t thrown off by their roadie being sent away.
Steve attempts his across the ring dive but the heels finally figured out he does that every time these teams have met (and it’s been a lot) and they avoid the move. Hayes stalls some more to lure Smothers into a trap and Tracy is plummeted to the floor. Garvin drops him throat first across the railing in a vicious looking spot. The crowd inexplicably starts chanting for the ‘Birds.
Tracy remains trapped for several minutes until Steve finally can tag in. A four-way donnybrook breaks out and both faces miss top rope launches. Smothers recovers fast and manages to dump both heels to the floor. The bad guys are blasted by double-team moves until a masked man in a bird suit runs in and turns the tide while the ref is napping. The Birds are your new champions. The crowd is delighted. Match was fine.
The Bird was “Fantasia” aka Brad Armstrong. Disney came calling and soon he was renamed “Badstreet”.
Ricky Morton vs. “Dangerous” Dan Spivey
Spivey blitzes Morton at the bell and delivers some good-looking blows. Morton is all heart and fires back as best he can. Spivey powers through and tosses Morton to the floor along with delivering high impact power moves. Morton manages a deep arm drag but Spivey is too big and he recovers quickly and finishes with a powerbomb. Surprisingly quick and easy finish over the cagey vet.
Missy Hyatt announces her intentions to try and get a dressing room interview again like her debacle at the last PPV. She appears to be wearing a suit top with no under shirt as her bra is hanging out, that should help get her in some doors back there.
Tommy Rich vs. Nikita Koloff
The crowd chants for the Russian. Koloff hacks away at Rich with forearms. Rich locks on a headlock to buy some time to try and work out a new gameplan for himself. Tommy blows his follow up by charging into a corner. Nikita absorbs some fisticuffs but quickly finishes the action with a Russian sickle. Nothing to see here.
Johnny B. Badd debuts…and nothing of note happens other than his little promo.
Dustin Rhodes vs. Terrance Taylor
Taylor loses some early grappling exchanges. He quickly bails to check the computer program. Dustin keeps control so Taylor takes another break by the computer. Terrance tries to get aggressive and his young Texan opponent wins that strategy too with his fistic fury.
Dustin misses a crossbody and crashes onto the ramp. Taylor starts to unleash some offense but seems overconfident and Rhodes is able to catch him with a boot to the face to regain control. A bulldog KO’s Taylor but Alexandra York distracts the ref and Mr. Hughes grabs Dustin. Taylor gets some free shots, but Hughes tries to use a loaded glove and he accidentally knocks out his partner in crime and that allows Dustin to snag the win. A little plodding.
Big Josh vs. Black Bart
Bart is replacing Larry Zbyszko, who has a knee injury. Big Josh comes down with a bear on a leash in each hand. Dusty compares Bart to a sack of feed that is tossed haphazardly. Ok then.
Ugly match as they both be CLUBBERIN’. Dusty talks of these two wanting to win so they can be World champion someday. NO…. NO…. Actually Bart winning the World Class Heavyweight title in 1986 was an undeniable sign that WCCW was flat lining. A butt splash ends this after several brutal minutes. UGH.
Paul E. Dangerously interviews Stan Hansen. Hansen is upset that Heyman is dressed in cowboy gear. He calls out WCW’s young punks. Two awesome personalities and somehow the segment falls flat.
THE GREAT AND POWERFUL OZ vs. Tim Parker
Dorothy, The Scarecrow, The Tin Man and the Lion all follow Kevin Sullivan dressed as a wizard. Fireworks go off and OZ appears in front of a picture of a castle. He cuts a promo on the storybook characters and they run away. Amazingly bad and the crowd shits all over it.
Tim Parker is a jobber who almost became a Caveman in WCW at one point. A helicopter slam finishes the match in seconds. DUD.
Missy sneaks into the locker room and asks Terry Taylor some questions. Taylor is sulking over his loss and sends Hyatt to the shower to “find Tom Zenk”. Stan Hansen pops out in his boxers and spanks Missy, then chases her out of the locker room. Fun stuff.
Taped Fist: Brian Pillman vs. Barry Windham
Pillman uses his explosive speed to down Windham and then smacks him with a number of hard punches. Windham throws bombs into Pillman’s ribs to try and take away Brian’s air. Windham is dropkicked off the top rope and to the floor. Pillman flies off the top and into Barry. Windham sends Brian into the ring post and both men are bloody.
They brawl over to the ramp and Pillman is knocked off and into the railing. Hard strikes are fired back and forth. Their heads crack together back in the ring and both men crash to the mat. Pillman gets a suplex but a low blow by Windham sets up a superplex and that’s enough to get the pin. Gritty and fast paced fun.
DDP hosts “The Diamond Exchange”. His mic is turned on too soon and we hear him telling the Dolls or somebody to shut up. Then he asks “Are we live?” and suddenly DDP switches to his promo voice. DDP introduces Scott Hall as his new implement of destruction. “The Diamond Studd” is looking for Studdettes. Hall looks like he injected a locker room full of steroids. Yikes!
Stretcher Match: El Gigante vs. Sid Vicious
Gigante no sells some shoulder blocks. Sid tries chopping the giant down to size. Gigante’s facials are hilarious when he’s selling. Sid runs into a boot and a claw finishes him quickly.
One Man Gang runs in along with Kevin Sullivan and Gigante beats them both off. He slams OMG on the stretcher but Sullivan blinds him with powder and OMG hits him with the stretcher in a horrid looking spot. Gigante gets mad and the heels flee. The fans chant “Na-na-na-na Hey-hey- hey Goodbye!!” at Sid. A smarky crowd in 1991? Huh. Match was every bit of the disaster you’d expect.
ThunderDOOM cage match: Ron Simmons vs. Butch Reed
Teddy Long is trapped in a shark cage that is hanging from the ceiling. Both men are sent crashing into the mesh in the first minute. Simmons is bleeding already and Reed is confident and aggressive. Simmons rallies with his own street fighting skills but Reed ends that by sending Simmons into the unforgiving steel again.
Reed batters him with a piledriver and starts to claw his fingers into Simmons face. A flying shoulderblock wounds Ron badly but he manages to find the ropes with his leg to save himself the indignity of a loss. A double clothesline takes both men down and allows Long the chance to toss Reed a chain. Before it can be used, Simmons nails a spinebuster for the win. Highly under whelming. Reed had rodeo on his mind I guess.
World Tag Team Champions The Steiner Brothers vs. Sting and Lex Luger
When I was nine, this match was pretty much the equivalent of Warrior vs. Hogan at Wrestlemania 6 for me. They shake hands to start. Rick and Luger feel each other out. Luger uses his power; Rick uses his college wrestling skills. Lex bulldozes him with a shoulderblock, so Rick chucks him across the ring with a belly to back suplex. A Steinerline rocks The Total Package.
Luger runs him over again and presses Rick overhead. Sting tags in, sends Rick to the floor and planchas him. Sting misses a Stinger Splash and that opens the door for Scotty to deliver a number of suplexes. A belly to belly from the top rope has Sting in critical condition. Scott misses a charge, which allows Luger to tag back in, and he drives Scotty into the mat with several high impact moves.
Rick tags in and downs Luger with a flying bulldog. Sting comes in illegally with a flying dropkick. Sting and Scott both tag in. Both men are showing signs of exhaustion. Scott is Tombstoned and Stinger splashed but the ref is KO’d. Nikita Koloff comes in from the shadows. Sting saves Luger from a sneak attack but is whacked with Koloff’s chain instead because of it. Scott pins the unconscious former World champ.
Sting and The Steiners exchange pleasantries until Sting charges to the back to attack Koloff. They brawl out into the parking lot. The match went just a bit over 10 minutes and it really felt like it needed another 10-15 minutes to live up to its hype/potential. Match certainly had its moments though.
Bobby Eaton vs. TV Champion Arn Anderson
They go through a reversal sequence until Eaton cracks Arn with a wicked right hand. Eaton out wrestles Arn, but the cerebral heel makes sure he can reach the ropes to escape. Eaton is caught on the top rope and Anderson tosses him onto the ramp with a nasty looking bump.
Eaton rallies briefly but Arn manages a cheap shot to take control. Then The Enforcer wraps Eaton’s leg around the ringpost several times. More leg work wears down Eaton’s now tender extremity. The maimed Eaton attempts a comeback, but Anderson just cracks him in the leg and retakes control. Eaton unleashes a few bombs but he can’t plant his leg. Anderson continues to assault his limb and eventually drives him into the mat with a spinebuster. Eaton makes a final desperate rally and delivers a neckbreaker and an Alabama Jam for the win. Barry Windham attempted to interfere at the close, but Pillman saved the day.
Solid encounter. I wasn’t crazy about Eaton landing on his injured leg for the big finale without it being a factor in the finish.
World Champion Ric Flair vs. IWGP Champion Tatsumi “The Dragon” Fujinami
I like the realistic/pure sports element of an international champion vs. champion match – but the American audience wasn’t going to be receptive to the concept since US wrestling is predicated heavily on star power.
Flair is out wrestled and finds his face staring into the mat several times. They trade hard chops. The Dragon attempts several submission locks to wear down The Nature Boy. Fujinami delivers a suplex but botches a flying forearm so he repeats the spot. Flair goes low to buy himself some time.
Crowd is dead since they have no real babyface to rally behind since Fujinami is not established in WCW. Flair starts to work over his challenger’s leg and locks on the figure-four. Fujinami manages to reverse it and he locks Flair in a Sharpshooter. Flair escapes thanks to the ropes.
They exchange back suplexes. Fujinami tries a bride but can’t muscle Flair up. Nature Boy is busted open after several head shots into the railing. The exhausted men chop away at one another. The Dragon locks on an Octopus as the crowd decides that Ric Flair is now a babyface.
They exchange punches and Flair flops. Another exchange and both men collapse. Fujinami attempts several cradle pins unsuccessfully. Flair kicks Fujinami into the New Japan ref and rolls Tatsumi up with a handful of tights as the American ref counts the fall.
Match was fine but a dead crowd and an obvious winner really made the whole thing pretty flat for me.
When your main matches don’t deliver and your undercard is Wrestlecrap….well, you get this. Watch OZ for the laughs and find something better to do with your time after that. Sigh. I wanted to like this show too.