With Bill Watts out of the picture, watching this show seems like it would be extremely interesting. I wonder if he booked it. Did he put together the finishes? Did he put together some of the finishes only for somebody else to change them? These are interesting questions that I don’t know the answer to. That being said, this card looks excellent on paper. Vader and Sting in a strap match, Barry Windham against the Great Muta, the Heavenly Bodies and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, and many other matches. Really looking forward to it.
– February 21st, 1993, from the Civic Center in Asheville, North Carolina
Looks like WCW was getting back to their roots with this location. The opening video features Windham and Vader whipping Sting, as well as the video where Vader hangs him. Great promo by Vader in it too. WHITE CASTLE OF FEAR TIME, BROTHER. Eric Bischoff is hosting the show, and he’s with Missy Hyatt. Apparently Ron Simmons won’t be able to face Dustin Rhodes tonight, so Maxx Payne will. Don’t know why they’re bringing out Johnny B. Badd. They had him run down the card, for no reason at all.
Tony Schiavone is going to host with Jesse Ventura, in large part because Jim Ross is out of the picture. For some reason they had Maxx Payne play the national anthem. Isn’t this guy supposed to be a heel? I’m confused.
The Hollywood Blonds vs. Erik Watts and Marcus Alexander Bagwell
Pre-Match Thoughts: It’s safe to say there’s no way Austin and Pillman will lose this, so I’m happy to see this match. That babyface team is absolutely terrible, though. I don’t know why anyone would ever cheer for these guys. Maybe I just have a hard time understanding, but I think I have a good time understanding and that I’m right. This building was full, by the way.
Match Review: Austin and Bagwell lock up, and Austin is getting some positive chants. I dig it. Austin pushes Bagwell in the face, then Bagwell arm drags him. Bagwell holds onto an armbar, and Austin gets out for a wristlock. Bagwell puts Austin on the canvas with it, so Austin elbows him. Bagwell comes back with a right hand, and Austin tumbles out of the ring. Watts makes a tag in to resounding boos, and they give Austin a double backdrop. Watts then fights out of the heel corner, and Pillman tags in, getting shoved to the canvas. Watts hits Pillman with a terrible dropkick, then arm drags him. Bagwell tags back in, and Pillman hits him with a knee. Austin gets back in, and Bagwell takes him down with a cross body for 2. Bagwell dropkicks Austin, then takes him down with a headlock. This may be a long match. Watts tags back in with a double axehandle from the second rope, and he puts an abdominal stretch on Austin, tagging out afterward. Bagwell applies that hold too, so Austin hip tosses him to get out of it. Pillman gets in there, and comes off the second rope with his own double axehandle. Bagwell picks Pillman up and press slams him, then takes Pillman out with a clothesline for 2. Watts tags back in, as does Austin, who slams Watts. Austin follows with an elbow smash, but misses a splash attempt. Watts uses an Oklahoma roll for 2, then puts a Boston crab on Austin. Pillman breaks it, then tags in and chokes Watts with his boot. After that, Pillman gets his foot caught, tripped, and put in an STF, but he quickly makes the ropes. Pillman starts playing possum over a knee “injury,” but he elbows Watts and throws him out of the ring. Pillman teases a dive, but misses and goes straight into the guardrail. Pillman gets thrown back in there and makes a tag, at which point he rams Watts HARD into the buckle. The Blonds hit Watts with a great double elbow to knock him over the top, and Austin gets a stomp in to keep him out of the ring. Austin then slams Watts on the floor, which with Bill Watts gone is now padded again. Watts tries to sunset flip Watts, but Watts blocks it, so Pillman attacks Watts from behind. Pillman makes the tag in, and Austin chokes Watts with his boot. Good heel work going on here. Watts sunset flips Pillman for 2, then he gets rammed into the mat. Austin tags in and lands a big right from the second rope, then he stands on Watts. That’s funny. The Blonds choke Watts a little more, then Austin slams him. Pillman tries to come in with a ROCKET LAUNCHER, but Watts gets his knees up. Austin cuts Watts off with a back suplex, and it gets 2. Austin and Watts then collide with each other, and Austin wipes out when trying to jump on Watts from behind.
Bagwell and Pillman make tags in, and Bagwell lands some goofy right hands. Bagwell follows those up with a powerslam of Pillman, but the cover is broken up. Everyone’s in the ring now, but Watts gets dumped to the outside. He gets back in and ties up the referee, as Bagwell gives Pillman a fisherman’s suplex. Austin comes in with an elbow smash off the top, Pillman covers, Bagwell, and they get the win at 16:35. The crowd popped big for the Blonds winning, which says it all.
My Thoughts: Bagwell and Watts didn’t do a whole lot, so this match could only go as far as Pillman and Austin would take it. They couldn’t take it too far, but they did their best. This featured a lot of basic heel work, but not too many big spots or anything that would require experience or skill for their opponents to complete. As such, the match didn’t go to any great level and it was no better than **1/4. I am extremely confused as to why Ricky Steamboat and Shane Douglas weren’t on this show facing these two.
Time for part of the WHITE CASTLE OF FEAR video! I’ll take as much of that as they’re willing to give.
Bischoff is with Johnny B. Badd again, and apparently RIC FLAIR IS IN THE BUILDING. Missy Hyatt is trying to find him, which is a great gimmick. His limo was pulling in, but she’s not allowed to interview him. It’s like she’s a stalker. THE NATURE BOY IS ON THE SCENE THOUGH. Big “WE WANT FLAIR” chants following that.
Chris Benoit vs. 2 Cold Scorpio
Pre-Match Thoughts: This match has a reputation for being so much different than anything else going on in big North American wrestling at the time. Time to see if that reputation is legitimate or not. Interested to see how the crowd reacts because WCW had really done nothing to get either of these men cheered. This match has a time limit of 20 minutes, just like all these non-title matches seem to have.
Match Review: Scorpio’s dancing rules, but there are a lot of good ol’ boys in this crowd who don’t seem that enthused. The bell rings, and Benoit refuses to break clean, headbutting Scorpio instead. Benoit hits Scorpio with a back elbow, then snap suplexes him. In response, Scorpio does an amazing springboard cross body for 2, then kicks Benoit to the outside. Benoit gets back in, and we get some great wristlock reversals and counters. Benoit hip tosses into an armbar, which Scorpio flips out of for a nice overhead throw. Scorpio has a hammerlock on Benoit, and wrenches the arm, getting some boos. Told you guys about this crowd. Scorpio does a great hammerlock counter, a great cradle counter, then arm drags Benoit across the ring. Dude. Now they do a test of strength, and each guy takes a turn bridging out. Scorpio money flips Benoit down, and Benoit tries to return the favor, with Scorpio then dropkicking and arm dragging him. Some of these spots are unreal. Scorpio drops a leg on the arm of Benoit, who gets up and goes for a trip, only for Scorpio to get up and miss a dropkick. Benoit misses an elbow drop, so Scorpio superkicks him and it’s back to the arm. Benoit gets up and rams Scorpio hard into the buckle, then goes for a monkey flip only for Scorpio to cartwheel out of the way. So, Benoit clotheslines him. Benoit follows with another, and there’s a backbreaker. Scorpio grabs hair to break the submission attempt, but Benoit goes to a chinlock. Benoit picks Scorpio up with a suplex and drops him on the top rope, then stomps him out to the floor. Scorpio goes up top on the way in, but misses a dropkick and Benoit covers for 2. Benoit goes back to the chinlock, which Scorpio breaks with some elbows. Benoit takes him down with a SPINEBUSTER, then applies a great looking Boston crab. He lets go of it, then applies the chinlock again. Benoit lets go again, and takes Scorpio down with a ridiculous BACK SUPERPLEX that gets 2. A Russian leg sweep follows that, and Benoit covers for 2. Benoit goes for another back suplex, but Scorpio falls on top for 2. Scorpio goes for a backdrop, but Benoit stops that and POWERBOMBS him for 2. Benoit goes for another, but Scorpio goes for a sunset flip and they tumble into the ropes. Scorpio blocks a charge to the corner, then hits Benoit with an enzuigiri. Scorpio misses some spinning kicks, so he clotheslines Benoit instead. Scorpio hits him with a spinning splash in the corner, then sets Benoit up for his finish. Up top he goes, and comes down with a twisting moonsault for 2. That was something. Scorpio goes for a victory roll, but Benoit drops him down on the canvas. Benoit slams Scorpio, then goes up to the second rope for a leg drop that gets 2. Scorpio cradles Benoit up for 2, as the countdown begins. Scorpio blocks a dragon suplex by dropping down into another victory roll, and he wins the match one second before the time limit at 18:19. Hell of a finish.
My Thoughts: They did cut them short, but in some ways, I think that was good. Benoit was already starting holds only to let them go, which I thought was a bit pointless. Some of the spots in this match were outrageous. These two had incredible chemistry and the finish was excellent. They also built to that finish basically perfectly. What more could you want? The only thing I don’t understand is why these two weren’t pushed after putting on such a great match. I mean, what did they have to do? They gave them nearly 20 minutes on PPV and dropped them. That’s typical WCW. ****, I totally understand if people are unable to watch this now, but this is a great wrestling match.
Dustin Rhodes was on the WCW Hotline, as Eric Bischoff was supposed to debut Maxx Payne. This gimmick looks smart, but really unlike WCW at the same time. His promo was too quiet, he needed to talk a bit louder. He played TAPS for Dustin Rhodes. This is a great gimmick.
Wild Bill Irwin vs. The British Bulldog
Pre-Match Thoughts: I suppose this is a decent way to debut Davey, but really, they should have put him over somebody who worked there. Can’t figure out why they didn’t. I believe WCW wasn’t even allowed to use the Bulldog name at this particular time, but not sure. There was a dispute of some sort over it.
Match Review: Bulldog shoves Irwin back towards the ropes, then down to the canvas. Irwin tries some forearms, but Bulldog shoulders him down a few times. They do a criss-cross, and Bulldog winds up clotheslining Irwin over the top. Irwin gets back in, and Bulldog press slams him. Irwin tumbles out of the ring, gets back in, and puts a headlock on Bulldog. Bulldog hip tosses Irwin, but Irwin comes back with a clothesline in the corner. Irwin hits Bulldog with a back elbow for 1, and Bulldog gets up selling pretty much nothing. Irwin clotheslines him with the top rope for 2, then goes to a chinlock. They trade punches when Bulldog gets up, then Bulldog picks Irwin up with a delayed vertical suplex. Bulldog hits Irwin with a clothesline for 2, then Irwin blocks a charge to the corner. He tries to jump off the second rope, but Bulldog catches him and drops him with the RUNNING POWERSLAM for the victory at 5:50.
My Thoughts: This was a squash and nothing more. I think they didn’t do an amazing job making Bulldog look great, but otherwise the match was fine. Not a lot to say, this was no better than *1/4. I haven’t watched anything else Bulldog did in WCW.
After the match, Tony Schiavone interviewed Davey Boy Smith. Davey sounded quite zonked. He bungled his promo, then called out BIG VAN VADER.
Paul Orndorff vs. Cactus Jack in a FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE MATCH
Pre-Match Thoughts: It’s the Mick Foley specialty! Can’t complain at all about this, it sounds awesome to me. Other than the main event, it seems like the bout most likely to deliver. It seems like Cactus and Orndorff were programmed together quite a bit during their runs in WCW. Bischoff interviewed Orndorff, and HERE COMES CACTUS JACK!
Match Review: Jack has a shovel, and he chases Orndorff into the arena with it, missing every attempted shot with that shovel. He chases Orndorff around the ring for a while, until Mr. Wonderful kicks him in the head. Orndorff works Cactus over for a while, ramming him into the rail. Orndorff chokes Cactus with a cord, then it’s back into the rail. Cactus blocks a rail shot, headbutts Orndorff, and it’s his turn to taste the rail. Cactus pulls up the padding at ringside and slams Orndorff, then he elbow drops him for 2. Cactus goes to the second turnbuckle, then sunset flips Orndorff for 2. THIS GUY IS SICK. The crowd went dead silent at hearing Cactus splat on the ground. Orndorff puts Cactus in the ring for the first time, then stomps on him for a little bit. Orndorff clotheslines Cactus, then an elbow smash follows that. He throws Cactus back to the floor, and follows with an elbow from the apron. Orndorff walks Cactus down the aisle, then throws Cactus into a rail, which sends him upside down and into another rail that puts him on the concrete. They trade punches for a while, until Cactus throws Orndorff back over the rail. Orndorff then suplexes Cactus onto the rail, which makes him land face-first on the floor! Orndorff rams Cactus into the rail a few more times, then they walk back to ringside. Into the ring, Orndorff elbows Cactus from the top, and starts stomping on the knee of Cactus Jack. Orndorff suplexes Cactus out to the apron, and starts choking him with his own knee brace. Orndorff puts a FIGURE-FOUR on Cactus, and Cactus breaks the hold with some punches. Orndorff clotheslines Cactus over the top, then rams his knee into the concrete. That probably hurt. Cactus gets his face rammed into the concrete too, then Orndorff waffles him with the knee brace, causing Cactus to take a terrible bump on the floor. Orndorff gets a chair, and hits Cactus in the knee with it a few times. Orndorff signals for the PILEDRIVER, but Cactus had his trusty shovel on the ring apron! He hits Orndorff with it, covers, and picks up the victory at 12:19!
My Thoughts: I loved the finish to that match, it was perfectly done. They worked a good story here too. Orndorff was so convinced he had Cactus beat that he totally took it for granted. The stipulation was necessary to give the match extra juice, but it was cool that the thing finished in the ring. This wasn’t quite what you’d expect, yet it was great at the same time. A good clash of styles. ***3/4. When a wrestler and a brawler have a Falls Count Anywhere match, you get that, plus some wrestling and weapon shots revolving around whatever body part the wrestler was working on. I dig it.
The Heavenly Bodies (SMW Tag Team Champions, w/Jim Cornette) vs. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express
Pre-Match Thoughts: I absolutely love the idea of having a touring match that’s so good it gets exported to other promotions. The RnR’s and Midnight Express were particularly famous for them. Another notable one is Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Psychosis. It would be nice if wrestling was still able to provide things like that on a big stage. Bobby Eaton was tagging along with the Bodies, but Tom Prichard and Stan Lane were the participants. Jesse Ventura commentating on a match like this is so weird. Eaton got sent back to the dressing room before this could start.
Match Review: Gibson and Prichard start this one, and Prichard goes for a hip toss that Gibson reverses to his own. Gibson follows with a flying head-scissors, then tags in Ricky Morton for a hurricanrana! Prichard tags out of there, and Lane gets hip tossed quickly. Morton takes Lane down with an arm drag, and holds onto a wristlock until Prichard runs in and Lane gets thrown into him. Lane comes back with a karate kick, then Prichard runs over to block a throw into the corner and gets brought in, eventually getting Lane’s ass rammed into his face. Lane then backdrops Prichard on accident, and the Bodies leave the ring. Prichard makes a legal tag in, and trades punches with Morton for a while, until they do a counter spot where Prichard gets atomic dropped into Lane. Gibson tags in for a double backdrop, but Prichard blocks that, only for Morton to backdrop him himself. Gibson hits Prichard with an enzuigiri for 2, then Morton makes the switch back in. Morton winds up in the wrong corner and fights his way out of it, and Cornette distracts Morton, so Lane can attack him from behind. They do a criss-cross, and Morton leaves the ring, but Lane keeps running. Morton chases Cornette into the ring, so Lane knocks him over. That’s a good bit. Gibson runs over and gives the Bodies a noggin-knocker, then he punches Cornette off the apron. Cornette trips Morton in response, and Lane knees Morton to the outside. Cornette hits Morton with the TENNIS RACKET, then Lane clotheslines Morton down to the canvas. Lane and Prichard get in some double teams, and Prichard picks Morton up and slams him. Prichard follows with a knee drop for 2, then Lane tags in for a neckbreaker that gets 2. Prichard and Lane choke Morton for a bit, then Prichard puts a chinlock on him. Lane and Prichard keep the double teaming up, this time with a double suplex. Lane drops an elbow for 2, then Cornette distracts the referee as Morton has Lane sunset flipped. Prichard makes the switch in, and he POWERBOMBS Morton for 2. Lane tags in and powerslams Morton for 2, then tags right back out. Morton gives the Bodies a DOUBLE DDT, and Gibson makes the big tag in.
Gibson cleans house, backdropping Prichard and beating Lane up pretty bad. Lane helps Prichard get in his own backdrop, but they try that again and the RnR’s hit Lane with a double clothesline. Prichard gets hit with a DOUBLE DROPKICK, and Cornette gets brought into the ring the hard way by Gibson. Morton and Lane have their own thing going, but Prichard runs up on Gibson from behind and BULLDOGS him. The referee counts, but Gibson kicks out at 2. Prichard backdrops Gibson over the top, then Morton gives him an inverted atomic drop. The referee can’t count again, so Bobby Eaton runs out to ringside. He knee drops Prichard on accident, Morton throws him out of the ring, and covers Prichard for the victory at 12:52. After the match, Prichard and Eaton shove each other for a little bit.
My Thoughts: This match was pretty solid, I was a bit surprised that it stood the test of time. I’m a little bit bummed out that whatever plans they had for this feud in WCW weren’t fleshed out because Watts and Cornette’s agreement didn’t matter any longer. The routines in this style of tag match never get old, the spots were tried and tested in front of smaller crowds, which makes it no surprise they worked in front of bigger ones. That’s how wrestling is supposed to work. ***1/4, they didn’t hit any super high points, but this was very fun.
Maxx Payne vs. Dustin Rhodes for the WCW United States Championship
Pre-Match Thoughts: I’d much rather have seen the original match with Simmons challenging Rhodes. They put in someone who didn’t even deserve a shot at a title. The question is whether or not Payne could put on a decent match. I don’t know. He should have played his own entrance, though. For some reason they had the referee’s instructions on microphone. Don’t see that much.
Match Review: Payne’s ring gear doesn’t fit his look even slightly. These two lock up, and Dustin beats him up to knock him out of the ring. Dustin brings him back in for a clothesline, and back out he goes. Payne gets back in there, and this time, Dustin rolls him up for 2. Dustin follows with an arm drag, and Payne stalls again. Dustin goes to an armbar, then arm drags Payne into the ropes. After another arm drag, Payne gets up and drives Dustin hard into the corner. Payne misses a splash in the other corner, so it’s back to the arm drag for Dustin Rhodes. Payne breaks the armbar and chops away, then misses an elbow smash. To the arm again, and Dustin eats an elbow on a charge to the corner. Dustin blocks Payne’s charge to the corner, but Payne takes him down via the arm. Payne puts his own armbar on Dustin, who reverses to a head-scissors. Payne is in the ropes, and comes up with a clothesline. Payne knocks Dustin out of the ring with a double axehandle, and waits for him to get back in there, where he backdrops him. Dustin fights up to his feet and boots Payne in the head, then Dustin goes for a cross body only for Payne to catch and slam him. Payne misses an elbow drop, and Dustin comes back with a clothesline. Dustin takes Payne down with a suplex, and it gets 2. Dustin goes to an abdominal stretch, then we have a terrible ref bump because Payne grabs him. The bell rings for a DQ at 11:26, and Payne slams Dustin on the floor. Payne then posts him, but Dustin returns the favor. He throws Payne into the ring, and basically, he beats Payne up, clearing him from the ring.
My Thoughts: This finish was totally nonsensical. In the end, Dustin goes over by clearing the ring. Why not just have him pin Payne? The match was terrible too, and that’s no exaggeration. I’m not entirely surprised by that, because Dustin was a better tag wrestler than singles guy, and Payne straight out sucked. DUD.
Before the next match, Ric Flair was brought out to make his WCW return! Tony Schiavone interviewed him, and he was going to sit at ringside for the next match. He pointed out that he never lost this title.
Barry Windham vs. The Great Muta (w/Hiro Matsuda) for the NWA Championship
Pre-Match Thoughts: On paper, this looks like it could be a great match. That being said, I don’t know what kind of effort Muta will give. He had a bad habit of giving substandard efforts in his United States appearances at this point. Windham on the other hand had been having one great match after another on TV every week. Flair was going to do commentary, which put him on there with Jesse Ventura. What a team!
Match Review: Muta goes behind Windham to start, but into the ropes they go. They lock up, and go into the ropes again. Time for a test of strength, and the crowd is solidly behind Windham. Windham takes Muta down with an overhead throw, but Muta comes back with a headlock. He takes Windham down with it, and when they get up, Muta kicks Windham in the face and goes back to that headlock. Windham breaks it and clocks Muta, who comes back with a dropkick. Muta goes back to the headlock, but this time Windham gives him a back suplex. Muta holds the headlock even still, then blocks a suplex to give Windham his own. Muta follows with an elbow drop, and goes back to the headlock again. Windham tries to power out with a wristlock, but he can’t. He gets out of the headlock with elbows, then dodges a dropkick. Windham DDT’s Muta, but he’s in no shape to cover. Windham knocks Muta out to the floor and follows him out there, giving Muta a back suplex on the floor! Windham suplexes Muta back into the ring for 2, then takes him down with a bodyslam. Windham drops a few knees, covering for 2 again. Windham applies a sleeper, and puts his feet on the ropes for leverage. The referee eventually catches Windham, who drops some fists on Muta’s head. Windham follows with elbows for 2, and a gutwrench suplex also gets 2. Windham throws Muta to the outside, and smacks him around a little bit for good measure. Muta gets in and they trade punches for a while, until Windham goes to the eyes. Windham slams Muta and drops an elbow for 2, then goes to a chinlock. Muta fights out of that, and goes for a sunset flip only for Windham to block that. Muta comes back with a cross body for 2, but Windham puts Muta’s face into his boot. Windham decides to go for a PILEDRIVER, but Muta reverses to a backdrop. Windham comes back with some punches, then drops the leg for 2. Muta fires off a spinning kick, then Windham decides to try to go for the SUPERPLEX. Muta blocks it, and headbutts Windham down to the canvas. Muta comes off the top with a flying chop, then the HANDSPRING ELBOW in the corner follows. Muta gives Windham a backbreaker, and follows that up with the MOONSAULT, only for Windham to move. Windham grabs Muta for a suplex, but Muta counters with a back suplex. Muta gives Windham another backbreaker, and this time Windham gets his knees up on the MOONSAULT. Windham clotheslines Muta, DDT’s him, and we have a new champion after 24:09! Flair decides that he’s going to present the title to Windham, who seems angry that Flair gave it to him. That’s good build for a feud, there.
My Thoughts: To be diplomatic, this match was just not good. It was so slow, and Muta didn’t seem too into the match at all. The crowd wasn’t into it either, but the way things started, it wasn’t like the two guys did anything to get them into it. Flair didn’t provide much on commentary either, he hardly talked. Seemed far more interested in watching the match than talking about it. Anyway, lazy performances like Muta’s get bad ratings. *.
Big Van Vader (WCW Champion, w/Harley Race) vs. Sting in a NON-SANCTIONED, WHITE CASTLE OF FEAR STRAP MATCH
Pre-Match Thoughts: I’ve never understood the non-sanctioned matches. It’s too old-school for me. People paid/pay to see title matches, especially when the champion is on the show. It being for the title would have given the match even more juice. Of course, this being a strap match, the winner must touch all four corners consecutively. Vader had a really cool new robe. Vader’s theme was perfect for him too. I have to get used to hearing “Man Called Sting” again. That’s going to take a while.
Match Review: They play tug-o-war to start, only for Vader to drag Sting across the ring. That happens again, and Vader does the “WHO’S THE MAN” routine afterward. The third time, they get close to each other, and start talking trash. Vader clotheslines Sting, then drops a big elbow on him. Vader drops an elbow on Sting’s nuts, then he gets to whipping the Stinger. Vader goes up to the second rope, and down he comes with a BIG SPLASH. Sting winds up getting the strap between Vader’s legs, and hurts his nuts, leading to some big right hands that knock Vader down! Sting kicks Vader in the face, then goes up to the second rope, coming down with a flying clothesline. Sting then goes up top, and comes down with his own BIG SPLASH. Sting goes up again, and there’s a second big splash. Vader looks unconscious, so Sting decides to whip him with that strap. Race gets hit with the strap too, and Vader decides to leave the ring. Sting then gets the strap around the post, and he pulls Vader into the post a few times! Vader has blood all over him and I don’t know why. Looks like he bladed his back somehow. Sting slams Vader on the floor, then decides to touch some posts outside the ring. Never seen that before. Vader uses the strap to throw Sting into the rail, but they get back in the ring and Sting SAMOAN DROPS him. Sting runs into Vader a few times, going down each of those times. Vader goes for a POWERBOMB, but Sting backdrops him instead. Sting decides to go up top again, and his third big splash misses. Vader splashes Sting, and I suppose it’s time for PUNISHMENT. Vader gives Sting his own SAMOAN DROP, then he hits Sting with the VADER BOMB. Vader whips Sting a little more, this time quite harder than before. Vader puts Sting on his shoulders again, and this time he gives Sting a SECOND ROPE SAMOAN DROP. Vader gets to touching corners, dragging Sting with him. Vader gets to two, but Sting kicks him in the head. Vader decides to go up to the second rope again, but this time Sting dodges the VADER BOMB. Vader heads up top, and Sting pulls the strap, crotching him. He pulls Vader down from the top, but Vader gets up first and starts punching Sting. Sting comes back with his own, but Vader pokes him in the eye. Vader decides to put Sting on the top rope, and he goes for a SUPERPLEX. Vader touches some corners again, and gets stopped after the third one by getting kicked again. Vader smacks Sting around, then hits him with those standing splashes. Sting comes back with a rolling kick to the head, then a GERMAN SUPLEX. Sting is bleeding from the head now, as he drops Vader with a DDT. He beats Vader up in the corner, then rips Vader’s mask off. Now Sting puts Vader on his shoulders, and Vader kicks the referee on accident. Vader’s bleeding from his ear, as Sting’s touched three of the corners. Sting trips over the referee before touching the fourth, and Vader basically crushes him. Vader’s bleeding from basically everywhere. Vader decides to crush Sting with a BUTT SPLASH, then ties Sting up by his feet. Vader drags Sting from corner to corner, getting three of them. Sting holds on for dear life and Vader pulls him, but when Sting kicks Vader, Vader’s able to touch the corner this time and pick up the victory after 20:55! Sting beats Vader with the strap after the match, but a win is a win, as they say.
My Thoughts: The strap match isn’t my favorite gimmick, but that being said, there are quite a hell of a lot of good ones. This one in particular was great. The visual of Vader gushing blood from his ear while being carried on Sting’s shoulders from corner to cornet was perfect. It seemed like the crowd wasn’t too hot, but this was an excellent match. Lots of big moves in the match, some drama with the strap, and good whipping. I think Sting tripping over the referee was a little unnecesssary, but it’s rare to see a heel go over completely clean in a match like this. I get it. All in all, this was the best match on the show. ****1/2. Violence is good!
Barry Windham cuts a promo on Ric Flair, and that’s the show!
This was a fantastic outing for WCW, but it’s sad given that this was planned out before Ole Anderson took over, and when he did take over, things got pretty bad. Still, I can’t think of many PPV’s with this amount of quality matches. Good wrestling all over the place, they gave the people what they wanted to see. For whatever reason, this show didn’t do great business for WCW, although I can see why as what they had advertised didn’t exactly look like something that would draw in a lot of dollars. We’ll see what’s ahead for them soon. Like, for example, what are they doing with the British Bulldog and Ric Flair? Next up, it’s WWF matches and angles leading into WrestleMania.
Wrestling Time: 2:02:25. Lots of wrestling on this show, not surprising. Hard to come up with something creative when nobody knew who was in charge.
Best: Big Van Vader vs. Sting. Of course it was, come on. Won’t find a better strap match.
Worst: Dustin Rhodes vs. Maxx Payne. It was painful how boring that was.
Card Rating: 8.5/10. Wrestling is what’s on the marquee, and this was high on great wrestling.