It’s time to watch a show where there was absolutely no way to sell the main event. It’s the first edition of SuperBrawl! There are also a LOT of new additions on this show. Some debuting here, some I haven’t talked about yet. Most interesting is that they held a show where, like I said, they couldn’t sell the main event. No matter how hard they tried, there was no way to make anyone care about a Tatsumi Fujinami match. It will be interesting to see how the crowd reacts to it. I assume Ric Flair will be the default babyface. We also have DOOM EXPLODING inside of a steel cage. Who doesn’t want to see that?
– May 19th, 1991, from the Bayfront Center in St. Petersburg, Florida
Before any matches, we have someone singing ‘America the Beautiful.’ I didn’t catch the name and WCW didn’t have a graphic to tell me. Jim Ross is on commentary with Dusty Rhodes once more, which could save this show by itself. Dusty’s promo hyping up the card was really good.
The Fabulous Freebirds (w/Diamond Dallas Page & Big Daddy Dink) vs. The Young Pistols for the WCW United States Tag Team Championships
Pre-Match Thoughts: This should be presented as a different feud entirely to make people forget about the Southern Boys and their Confederate stuff. It probably won’t be. The Freebirds have been getting worse and worse, so I’m not exactly enthusiastic about this match. These titles were vacated, because the Steiners had too many tag championships and didn’t need this one. DDP’s entrance thing, with the Diamond Dolls and all that, is a great gimmick. He also has a headset and microphone where he does his “GOOD GOD” bit. Unbelievable. This does make WCW feel like more of an event, an atmosphere that was really lacking in previous years.
Match Review: Michael Hayes and Steve Armstrong will get this going, and of course Hayes struts around the ring. When they finally lock up, Hayes uses an arm drag. Armstrong comes back with a roll up that gets 2, and gets thrown out of the ring. Big Daddy Dink tries to clothesline him, but Armstrong clotheslines both Freebirds instead. Back inside, Dink trips Armstrong, so Hayes goes to work. Brad Armstrong is at ringside now! He gets in the ring with his brother, and it looks like he wants a six-man tag. If only. He leaves, and Big Daddy Dink gets kicked out from ringside too. Tracy Smothers and Jimmy Garvin tag in there, and Garvin takes Smothers back to the corner for some punches. Smothers gets out, clotheslines Hayes to the outside, and something happens with Armstrong and Garvin that I can’t see. Smothers then gives Garvin a baseball slide, settling things down until Garvin gets back in the ring. Armstrong makes a blind tag, has a cradle blocked, and the Pistols fire off a double shoulderblock for 2. Hayes tags in, and he wants some of Smothers. Hayes tries to get the fans on his side, but that’s not going to happen. Garvin pulls the rope down on Smothers and he flies over the top, then Garvin hotshots Smothers onto the guardrail! Smothers makes the apron and gets booted back into the rail, and slammed by Garvin when he gets back in the ring. Garvin puts a chinlock on Smothers, who gets out of it, only to get booted. Hayes is back in, chops away at Smothers, but gets punched in the corner. Smothers misses a clothesline, so Hayes hits him and back out he goes. Garvin gets superkicked by Smothers, who makes the tag! Armstrong backdrops Hayes, and the Birds start bumping off punches. He slams both opponents, and all four are in there now. The Pistols signal for something big, and both head up top for missile dropkicks that miss. Smothers gets thrown out of the ring, and so does Armstrong, as the Birds celebrate. Smothers comes off the top with a double clothesline!, and clotheslines them both over the top as well. Now Armstrong heads up top, and flies to the outside with a cross body that takes them both out! Armstrong brings Hayes in the ring, and we get a great looking flying back elbow from the top by Smothers. Garvin gets brought in the hard way, and Armstrong dropkicks Garvin into the official. Now a MASKED MAN is at ringside, and clotheslines both of the Pistols. That’s followed with elevated DDT’s to both Pistols, and after the referee wakes up, Hayes pins Smothers for the victory and titles at 10:11!
My Thoughts: Nice costume change by Brad Armstrong. He got in that awful masked getup fairly quickly, didn’t he? I don’t even know how to describe it. He was wearing feathers, pink pants, and a black mask and shirt. Why did the Freebirds need a sixth person added to their act? Such questions will forever remain unanswered. The match here was good and deserved better than that finish. Lots of nice spots, and they worked really hard once the structure broke down. The crowd also got fairly involved in the match, and popped when the Birds won it. **1/2. One of their best matches as a team, I think. At least in the post-match it was established that this individual was named Fantasia.
Dan Spivey vs. Ricky Morton
Pre-Match Thoughts: I don’t understand the point of this match. Is it to make Morton look bad? It would be extremely funny if Morton won this match. It’s being pushed as a huge mismatch and seems somewhat unfair. Spivey was also presented as being super impressive, with Jim Ross hyping up his legitimate athletic background. Good luck, Ricky.
Match Review: Spivey cracks Morton in the face a few times, and throws him out to the floor. Morton gets back in, gets thrown back out, and back in again. Spivey finally follows him to the outside, but Morton gets back in first, only to be given a DDT. Spivey hits Morton with a clothesline that gets 2, and Spivey follows that with…a toss powerbomb. This poor bastard. Morton starts to fight back, but tries a cross body and gets caught for a fallaway slam. Spivey follows that with a leg drop, and that gets 2. Spivey slams Morton again, but Morton comes back with an arm drag. Morton dodges a charge to the corner, and rolls Spivey up for a close 2 count. Morton misses a dropkick, Spivey misses an elbow drop, and they totally botch a spot. Spivey then powerbombs Morton, and pins him with his foot for the win at 3:11.
My Thoughts: I don’t know why the match was booked in this way. I also don’t know how they got Morton to agree to do the job in this fashion. There was really no point to this, anyway. Spivey would be asked to do a job in Chicago that he refused to do, and subsequently left WCW. Morton turned heel, and got his edge back. Pointless match. *.
Tony Schiavone, Tom Zenk, and Missy Hyatt are doing a hosting role here. Zenk tore his bicep, and I guess they wanted him involved in some way. Looks like Missy Hyatt is going in the men’s locker room once again. Nice of WCW to show what happened the first time, when Stan Hansen went nuts. Still really funny.
Nikita Koloff vs. Tommy Rich
Pre-Match Thoughts: It’s very funny that Koloff attacked Luger at the last big show, and this is the big match he gets on the PPV he returns at. I know I’m not the only one who sees the problem there. At least it took three matches to get to one like this where people didn’t care about one of the acts involved. At least these guys have all had entrances that allow me to type this stuff out without pausing the show. That counts for good presentation.
Match Review: Rich slaps a headlock on Nikita, and tries a cross body that gets 2 after being shot into the ropes. Nikita comes back with clubbing blows, but misses a charge to the corner and gets rolled up for 2. Rich is getting a lot of offense here. He hits Nikita with a running elbow in the corner, and Nikita dodges the next charge. Now Nikita needs to dominate. He bodyslams Rich, and chokes him with the top rope. Nikita then drops an elbow on him for 2, and Rich tries to come back with punches in the corner. Rich misses a cross body from the second rope, and Nikita hits him with the SICKLE for the victory at 4:08.
My Thoughts: This wasn’t completely terrible, but I’m having a hard time thinking of any redeeming factors. This is usually what I default to when rating a match like this one. Did they make the heel they want to push look good? No. After that, did they have any plans to push the babyface? No. Was there a reason for this match to happen? No. Lastly, did they try? Yes, they actually did. 1/2*.
Tony Schiavone is now supposed to be with a new WCW performer. IT’S JOHNNY B. BADD. YES. The only kayfabe explanation that makes any sense, is that after Sid booted Marc Mero in the head, he forgot who he was. When Mero woke up the next day, he thought he was gay. This Dusty booking, man. Where did he come up with these ideas? Teddy Long was Johnny’s manager, and he wanted to talk some trash about PN News. Oh dear. I’m embarrassed to be watching this with other people in the room. I like how Schiavone was hiding his laughter behind Long. I laughed so hard at Johnny’s line about being so pretty he should have been born a girl. How do you not laugh at that? Dusty thinks it’s hilarious too. Ross is trying so hard not to laugh. This has made the show in some ways. Truly a surreal segment. He was presented as black, gay, and I don’t know what to make of what I saw. When I was a kid I thought Mero was black. I know I’m not the only one.
Terrence Taylor (w/Alexandra York & Mr. Hughes) vs. Dustin Rhodes
Pre-Match Thoughts: This is a good way to get things moving on this show. I’m fairly certain Taylor could get a good match out of the kid. The only thing of obvious concern is that Taylor could have gotten a great match out of somebody else at this time. Putting him with Dustin is a bit of a problem, of course. Dustin was definitely being pushed at this time because he was the booker’s son. That being said, he did improve a lot, and fairly quickly at that. He was also very over.
Match Review: The match begins, and they do a little amateur wrestling before Taylor goes over to the computer. Dustin takes Taylor down with a shoulderblock that gets 2, and these two tease a boxing match. Don’t quite know what to make of that. Anyway, they lock up, and Taylor takes Dustin down with a hip toss. Dustin comes back with an arm drag, and Taylor takes another break. When he gets back in there, Dustin pops him with an elbow, and hip tosses Taylor this time. They botch a spot in very strange fashion, so Dustin takes Taylor down with a headlock. No idea what that was supposed to be. Taylor comes back with a bodyslam, but Dustin goes back to the arm. Taylor tries to suplex Dustin, but it gets reversed and Dustin covers for 2. Dustin misses a cross body and spills out to the aisle, so Taylor follows him and beats him up. Taylor suplexes Dustin back into the ring, and that is followed by a knee drop that gets 2. Taylor slams Dustin, and goes up to the second rope for a flying nothing, causing Dustin to boot him on the way down. Dustin then backdrops Taylor, and follows with a clothesline. Dustin gives Taylor an inverted atomic drop that gets 2, and there’s the BULLDOG. Now York gets on the apron, and Mr. Hughes gets up there too. Taylor attacks Dustin from behind, and Hughes grabs hold of Dustin. Dusty is getting pissed. Hughes has a glove, and accidentally hits Taylor with it, so Dustin covers Taylor for the win after 8:06!
My Thoughts: This was nothing special, following the pattern of the last two matches. Perhaps I shouldn’t say that as it was better than those. What I liked about the match was the action. What I didn’t like was the way Dustin was destined to win every match, even getting pushed with an undefeated streak. Didn’t need to see or hear that. **, it was solid enough. Dustin was still super green and needing improvement.
Black Bart vs. Big Josh
Pre-Match Thoughts: I can’t think of a lamer WCW PPV match yet, outside of Starrcade 1990 and that tournament. Oh yeah, and another one that’s on this show. Black Bart was replacing Larry Zbyszko, who had a knee injury. I wonder if Larry would have had to do a job if he took part in this match. Honestly, I have no idea. The Big Josh gimmick is super stupid, I mean seriously. They had Big Josh enter by bringing two bears to the ring, and they were walking on their hind legs. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Dusty really seemed to like it, which explains everything.
Match Review: These two lock up, and into the ropes they go. Josh hip tosses Bart twice, and clotheslines him. Dusty is talking some absolute stuff right now. My goodness. Josh punches Bart with a big left hand, and puts a wristlock on him. Not a lot going on here. Bart chops away, takes Josh down, and rakes at his face. That is the extent of the action. Bart goes for a clothesline, but Josh takes him down with an armbar or something. Josh follows that with a double axehandle, and a BUTT SPLASH gets the victory at 3:47.
My Thoughts: Not a whole lot to say about this one. Following the template I laid out earlier, all the questions would be answered with a no. Hence, it’s a DUD. Nobody cared, not even the two guys in the ring.
Excellent, we have an edition of the Danger Zone with Stan Hansen. Paul E. is dressed like a moron. Hansen scared the shit out of him. Can’t believe they brought Hansen in for this and not a match. He challenged Dustin Rhodes, and the more I see this, the more I like watching it. I take back what I said. Paul was good too. So far, this would have to count as a bright spot.
OZ (w/THE GREAT WIZARD) vs. Tim Parker
Pre-Match Thoughts: I’ve heard fantastic things about this entrance, but I’ve never seen it for myself. They constructed some thing up at the stage, and it looks like a castle. I hear Kevin Nash cutting a promo over the intercom. Now characters from the Wizard of Oz are going up to the entrance, and there’s a giant guy standing up there. I don’t know how to describe this shit. Poor Kevin Sullivan and poor Kevin Nash. Somebody thought this belonged on television. I laughed hard at how Oz reacted when taking off his mask.
Match Review: Oz slams this poor jobber, follows that with a HELICOPTER TOSS, and that’s it after 29 seconds.
My Thoughts: I got absolutely nothing for this. It’s one of the most embarrassing things to happen in wrestling. How would you explain this to any part-time watcher? It’s one of those things that make people not even want to watch it. -**, and it’s not because of the match, but because of the sheer stupidity on display. I enjoyed seeing it for the first time though!
Missy Hyatt is in the locker room again, just like at the last PPV. She starts talking to Terrence Taylor, and she’s looking for Tom Zenk too. Now she notices Stan Hansen’s stuff. Taylor directs her to the showers, and STAN HANSEN IS THERE. His reaction is genuinely one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. He grabs Missy, spanks her, and throws her out of the locker room.
Barry Windham vs. Brian Pillman in a TAPED FIST MATCH
Pre-Match Thoughts: Really been looking forward to this after their matches on TV leading up to it. Also, it’s not like this show can get worse. They’ve already went through all the stuff I expected to be poor. The thing is, with how hard they’ve pushed Pillman, he really needs to go over. This should have been treated more like a street fight, I think. Jeans and tanktops brother.
Match Review: Windham shoves Pillman to the canvas, and I guess we’re ready for war. He takes Pillman down with a shoulder, and goes for a slam. Instead, Pillman hip tosses Windham, and follows with a shoulderblock. Now Pillman starts punching Windham, which helps get the gimmick over. Windham comes back with some of his own, and takes Pillman down with a slam. Windham heads up top, and Pillman dropkicks him all the way to the floor! Pillman follows with a punch from the top turnbuckle, and Windham has juiced! He posts Pillman, and now Pillman is bleeding. Windham throws Pillman out to the ramp, and takes him into the rail. That was sick. Windham punches Pillman back into the ring, and Pillman hits him with a spinning wheel kick. Windham comes back with a turnbuckle shot, then drops Pillman throat-first on the top rope. Windham gives Pillman a back suplex, and the guys then collide with each other. When they get up, Windham goes for a suplex, but Pillman takes him over instead. Pillman now heads up top, and Windham hits him with a low blow after distracting the referee. Windham SUPERPLEXES Pillman, and that gets the 3 count at 6:09.
To further put over the point, Windham beats up Pillman after the match.
My Thoughts: Windham got put over super strong here. I don’t really know what the logic there was after all the things that had been said about Pillman being a warrior. He lost this feud fairly definitively, and in a short match at that. It was too short, despite how good it was. To see blood in a 6 minute match is a little jarring, and they could have allotted their time far better. Like, for example…why did they need to have that long Oz introduction? *** for the match. Don’t really know how Pillman could have been pushed any harder than that, after that. Windham also got cheered a lot.
Diamond Dallas Page is in the arena again, and he has two Diamond Dolls this time. Looks like a promo spot here. More of this GOOD GOD stuff. Haha, I wonder who told him to keep saying that. This talk show is called THE DIAMOND MINE. Sting and Lex Luger had a taped promo during this, and they were talking about their match against the Steiner Brothers. Now DDP starts saying they weren’t big stars, and he’s going to bring out a big star. THAT’S RAZOR RAMON! Just kidding, it’s the DIAMOND STUDD. Hall was heavily on the roids, can’t remember him ever looking this big later in his career.
Sid Vicious vs. El Gigante in a STRETCHER MATCH
Pre-Match Thoughts: Main event anywhere in the country, brother. If anyone thought this would be good, I don’t know what they’d have been thinking. This match does sound so bad that it’s worth watching in any case. Sid really didn’t want to show up to this show, and there was speculation and talk that he wouldn’t. Yet, there he was. Gigante carries the stretcher to the ring, which gets the fans much more hyped than you’d expect.
Match Review: They make it sound like someone can get pinned in this match. Anyway, these two stare each other down, and do some collision spots where nobody moves. Sid wants a test of strength, but he can’t even reach the guy’s hand. Sid kicks Gigante as a result, leading to some hilarious selling. Gigante comes back with a clothesline, causing Sid to duck out of the ring. Great camera shot of his anger too. Sid kicks Gigante in the balls, and starts working on the big man’s knees. Sid tries a charge to the corner, but runs into a boot and Gigante puts THE CLAW on Sid for a pinfall victory after just 2:14.
Now Kevin Sullivan and the One Man Gang run down to the ring. Did I mention they were in WCW now? Maybe I forgot. Gigante picks Sullivan up and throws him around, then clotheslines Gang over the top. Now Gigante slams Gang onto the stretcher, quite incorrectly at that. Sullivan throws powder at Gigante, beats him with a chain, and Gang beats Gigante up with the stretcher. This was so bad.
My Thoughts: So much for the stipulation. Sid got right up and left the ring when the match was over. -* for ignoring the stipulation, and nothing positive happened to bring it back to the land of matches that aren’t super shitty. At least it was short! Gang vs. Gigante sounds like something that could break the negative scale. Sid was out of WCW after this, and in his short run in the WWF, did far more interesting things.
Butch Reed vs. Ron Simmons in a STEEL CAGE MATCH
Pre-Match Thoughts: DOOM EXPLODES. Butch Reed wanted to go work at rodeos, so this was intended to launch a singles push for Simmons. I’m surprised by all the gimmick matches here, very reminiscent of Starrcades that Dusty booked. There is just way too much going on during this show. Speaking of that, they have Teddy Long being put in a cage that hangs over the ring. Didn’t know about that stipulation, but doesn’t that just say it all about what we’re seeing here?
Match Review: These two argue for a while, before the match starts and the cage is locked. Simmons knocks Reed down with right hands, and follows that with an atomic drop and clothesline. Simmons then throws Reed into the cage, but misses a charge and flies into the cage himself. Simmons does come back with a back suplex, but misses a second charge at Reed, running into knees this time. Reed hits Simmons with an elbow drop from the second rope that gets 2, and throws Simmons into the cage for a second time. Of course, Simmons is bleeding now. Outside of Abdullah the Butcher, I haven’t seen many black wrestlers bleed. Honestly. Reed works Simmons over with punches, and follows with a double axehandle. Simmons tries a dropkick and misses, so Reed drops a fist on him. Simmons throws Reed into the cage, so there’s some offense! Reed returns the favor, and he’s still in control. He drops Simmons throat-first on the top rope, and gets a 2 count on the cover. Reed then PILEDRIVES Simmons, but that only gets 2. Reed picks Simmons up and drives him into the cage, which also gets 2. Reed goes to a chinlock, and when Simmons gets out of it, he drops Simmons with a swinging neckbreaker. Reed heads up top for some reason, and down he comes with a flying shoulderblock that doesn’t get 3. Reed’s control segment is really, really slow. He misses a splash, and it’s time for Simmons to do work. He backdrops Reed, but Reed comes back with a high knee. So, I guess it’s not time. They clothesline each other, and Teddy Long throws a chain into the ring. Reed gets it first, wraps it around his hand, and Simmons ducks out of the way. He gives Reed a SPINEBUSTER, and that’s good enough for the pinfall at 9:40!
My Thoughts: I think Reed’s style, and the deliberate way he carried it out, was a perfect example of something that was acceptable for wrestlers at the start of the 90’s, but not the end of the decade. The match was acceptable as well. They didn’t tear the house down or anything like that, and they had a problem with getting the crowd involved. I don’t think the crowd cared much for either of these guys. It’s not like the crowd had been given a list of babyface things to cheer Ron Simmons for. He didn’t do anything in that regard, he just got turned on. So far, anyway. **1/4.
Sting & Lex Luger (WCW US Champion) vs. The Steiner Brothers for the WCW Tag Team Championships
Pre-Match Thoughts: The first time I watched this match, I thought it was one of the best tag team bouts I had seen. I’m similarly excited to check it out again. They had saved three title matches for the end of the show, and it’s a hell of a way to close this thing out. Nice hype video for the match, can’t think of one of these on a WCW PPV before.
Match Review: These two teams shake hands, so we’re getting a RESPECT type of match here. Luger and Rick will start this, and they tumble into the corner. Clean break, and Luger follows with an arm drag. Rick then trips him, and into the ropes again. Luger takes Rick down with a headlock, Rick comes back with a trip, and they make the ropes again. The next time, Rick tries a shoulderblock and Luger runs him over. Luger follows with a powerslam that gets 2, and Rick dodges a charge to the corner, giving Luger a German suplex afterward. He follows that with a STEINERLINE, and it gets 2. Rick backdrops Luger, but Luger comes back with a clothesline. Too tough to beat down. He press slams Rick, and tags in Sting. Sting clotheslines Rick over the top, and follows with a GIGANTIC RUNNING DIVE TO THE OUTSIDE. WOW. Sting then smashes Rick’s face into the canvas when they get back in there, but it’s NO SELLING TIME. Sting picks Rick up and slams him tree of woe style into the corner, but misses the STINGER SPLASH. Scott Steiner makes a tag in, and takes Sting down with a TIGER BOMB! Scott follows that with a tilt-a-whirl slam, so Sting has to use a hotshot to get back into the match. Luger tags back in, and gives Scott a big suplex. Sting tags in and is given an inverted atomic drop, and Scott follows that with a BELLY TO BELLY THROW from the second rope that gets 2. Scott puts Sting in position for another shot, but he misses a clothesline and flies over the top. Luger tags in, and suplexes Scott in from the apron for 2. Scott takes Luger down with an arm drag after a failed spot, and Luger comes back with a powerslam. He signals for the TORTURE RACK, but instead Scott uses a Russian leg sweep. Rick makes a blind tag, and BULLDOGS Luger after leaping from the second rope. Somehow Luger kicks out at 2, and Sting flies in with a MISSILE DROPKICK. Sting claims that he tagged in, and when he leaves the ring, Rick attacks him from behind. It’s brawling time! After a major collision spot, both guys make tags, and Scott’s in there with Sting. Sting back suplexes Scott, and Scott clocks him to stop his momentum. Scott goes for a TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER, but Sting reverses it to his own for a 2 count! Luger then runs over Rick and the referee tumbles to the outside too, and while that’s going on, Sting hits Scott with the STINGER SPLASH! NIKITA KOLOFF IS HERE, THOUGH! Luger is on the ramp, and Sting pushes Luger of the way of his attack, so Nikita clotheslines Sting with his STEEL CHAIN. Scott covers Sting, and that gets the win at 11:10! Sting was busted open as a result of the clothesline, but the four men still shake hands at the end, with Koloff long gone.
My Thoughts: This isn’t as good as I previously thought, but this is still a great match. The way I see it, to get a sprint this good, with so many big moves hit, is fairly rare. The finish is really bad, though. Nikita running out there was telegraphed, the fans knew it was going to happen as soon as the referee went down. Of course, it’s a bit sloppy, but I don’t always judge wrestling based on the execution. The content matters more. They also eschewed the formula and didn’t have hot tags or any of that mess. I’ll never stop loving or apologizing for this match. It’s just not as good as the 5 star match I thought it was when I watched it late at night for the first time. ****1/4. Some of the bumps these guys took were absurd, and it made the whole thing for me. When you get clotheslined by a powerful guy, you should fly far.
Nikita Koloff is in the back with Tony Schiavone, and starts talking shit about Sting, so Sting attacks him! They do a brawl through the arena, and into the parking lot they go. Nikita has a chair, Sting takes it from him, and Nikita runs away.
Bobby Eaton vs. Arn Anderson for the WCW Television Championship
Pre-Match Thoughts: I’ve wanted to see this followed up on too. It probably won’t measure up to the last match, but it’s nice to see Arn get a chance to work by himself on a PPV. It’s not like WCW was giving him that chance, even though he had left the WWF to return there. Eaton has pants without the Midnight Express rainbow on them now! This title belt really needed an update.
Match Review: Arn takes Eaton down with a headlock, but Eaton gets out of it quickly. Three times in fact. He hits Arn with a right hand, putting a stop to it. Arn comes back with punches of his own, and moves out of the way of a charge to the corner. Arn then charges to the corner, gets kicked, and Eaton clotheslines him too for 2. Eaton puts an armbar on Arn, but they go into the ropes so Arn can knock him to the outside. Arn follows him to the apron, and winds up on the ramp, then throws Eaton onto the ramp! What a sick idea. Arn goes for a PILEDRIVER on the ramp, but Eaton backdrops him. Arn tries to clothesline Eaton back into the ring, but Eaton backdrops him into it. Eaton hits Arn with a double axehandle from the top, and it gets a 2 count. After Eaton holds Arn in an armbar, Arn gets out with a punch, and wrenches Eaton’s knee into the post. Arn works on that left leg for a while, until Eaton kicks him into the corner. Eaton finally gets up, and smashes Arn’s head into all three of the turnbuckles in that corner. I dig that spot. Eaton is selling his leg very well, and even though he lands some punches, it’s not like his leg is coming back to him. Arn locks it up, sits on it, and does all that kind of stuff. Arn even smashes it into the mat. Arn tries a suplex, but Eaton reverses it into a weak one of his own. Arn gets up first, and it’s back to the leg again. Eaton kicks him with his right leg to stop it, and smacks Arn around, only for Arn to take him down again. Arn goes for a pump splash, but lands on Eaton’s knees. Arn follows with the SPINEBUSTER anyway, but Eaton kicks out at 2! Arn decides to go up the turnbuckles again, but this time Eaton hits him on the way down. Eaton follows with a neckbreaker, and gives him a bodyslam. Now Eaton climbs up top, but Barry Windham is at ringside! Brian Pillman stops Windham from interfering, Eaton hits Arn with the ALABAMA JAM, and Eaton picks up the win and title at 11:50! HE DID IT.
My Thoughts: I liked seeing a babyface stop one of these heels from interfering. About damn time. Obviously, Pillman got some redemption and his feud with Windham was not supposed to be over. This was a solid match. Nothing spectacular, but solid. The downside was that it was on the wrong part of the show. After a match like Luger/Sting and the Steiners, it’s best to put in a match people can take a break during without feeling like they were missing anything. Instead, they took a break during a match that should have meant something. I think the match was also too slow for this spot on the show. Nice to see a clean finish as well. **1/2 for the second time on this card. One more match to go!
Tatsumi Fujinami (IWGP Champion) vs. Ric Flair for the WCW Championship
Pre-Match Thoughts: To sum this ridiculousness, the point is that nobody knew exactly who the champion was supposed to be, and it would be decided here. I don’t like doing follow-up angles from cheap PPV’s that took place in other countries and aired on tape later. In terms of their main event scene, I honestly think WCW was creatively bankrupt and couldn’t have come up with anything better than this. For some reason, during Flair’s entrance, there was a maid, a hot lady, a butler, and a chef standing by the entrance. What is this bullshit? Once again, we have two referees for a match between these two. Bill Alfonso and Tiger Hattori are those officials.
Match Review: Flair and Fujinami shake hands, and it’s time to get to it. Fujinami knocks Flair down with a shoulderblock, and Flair comes back with a trip, only for them to go back to square one once again. Flair uses a drop toe-hold, but Fujinami puts a hammerlock on him. Flair hits Fujinami with chops on the way out of it, but Fujinami backdrops him. Fujinami uses a drop toe-hold of his own, and puts a bow and arrow lock on Flair. Don’t see that much! Flair kicks Fujinami away, and they do a strange pinning combination that gets 2 for Flair, but Fujinami chops him. Fujinami tries a Boston crab, and turns that into another leg lock. Flair uses a suplex to end that part of the match, and pokes Fujinami in the eye. Fujinami comes back with a flying forearm for 2, and follows that with a suplex. Fujinami then charges at Flair, and sends Flair over the top with another forearm. Fujinami follows, and Flair crotches him on the rail. The crowd got into it with that spot. Back on the inside, Flair clips Fujinami’s leg, so it’s time for Flair to have a turn working on the leg. Flair uses a shin-breaker, and puts the FIGURE-FOUR on his challenger. Awfully early, though. Flair slaps Fujinami while keeping the hold on, but Fujinami reverses it and Flair has to grab the ropes. They trade chops for a bit, until Flair gets tripped and put in the SCORPION DEATHLOCK. Just calling it the way Jim Ross did. Flair makes the ropes again, and Fujinami takes him down with a back suplex for 2. Flair returns the favor with his own, and drops a knee on his foe. Flair takes Fujinami down with a headlock, and Fujinami fails to bridge out to a backslide. Well, that didn’t go too well. Flair throws Fujinami out of the ring, but Fujinami sends him into the guardrail. Poor Flair. Fujinami posts Flair, and he’s bleeding. He was bleeding before the post shot, too. They go in the ring again, and Fujinami beats Flair up a bit. He throws Flair upside down into the corner, and Flair doesn’t do his apron bit as he didn’t quite make it. This is a good match, but there are some funny mistakes that are kind of taking me out of it. Fujinami keeps beating flair up, takes him down with a hip toss, and Flair comes back with a boot. Flair misses an Oklahoma roll, and heads out to the apron. I don’t know what’s going on here. Flair leaves the ring, flops down on the floor, and perhaps he tweaked his neck or something. He pokes Fujinami in the eye and heads up top, and of course Fujinami slams him down. Laughing hard at Flair putting Fujinami’s hand in the right spot. Fujinami now puts Flair in the OCTOPUS STRETCH, which Flair flips him out of. Fujinami and Flair then trade shots, and they do a collision spot where both guys spill out of the ring. Bill Alfonso helps Flair up for some reason, which is bordering on cheating if you ask me. Flair goes for a bodyslam, but Fujinami falls on top for the closest of 2 counts. Fujinami cradles Flair up for 2, and tries a second one. Flair kicks Fujinami into Tiger Hattori, rolls Fujinami up with a grab of the tights, and Bill Alfonso counts the fall for Flair at 18:39!
My Thoughts: There was a lot wrong with this match, despite the good work these two were doing. I can’t believe the finish either. I expected it, because it had to be justified in Japan I guess. The fans didn’t react to anything for a lot of reasons. One is that there was just too many matches on the show and the crowd had been sapped by this point. The match also wasn’t built towards. Despite the good work, namely the selling and Flair’s usual spots, it just didn’t come off like the wrestlers wanted it to. I’ll still give this **3/4. It was good, but there were so many mistakes.
The first and most obvious thing to take away from this show was that WCW with Ric Flair on top had some serious issues. They had nobody to put on top with him, and didn’t really know what to do in any case. It was for the best to have Ric Flair leave, although the reprecussions of that did hurt WCW in other ways. They needed Flair’s drawing power and couldn’t replace it, and they also needed his notoriety. However, watching this, it’s easy to see why things went down the way they did. This was a really good, yet flawed show. There were too many matches on it, and it killed the crowd dead as a result. The fans were also more interested in the tag title match than the main event. They also made it a bit difficult to be interested in what’s ahead. How would anyone know what’s next for Flair or the Steiners? Strangely booked show. Next, I’m going to find out what’s going on with Flair and the Steiners, as I bridge up to Clash of the Champions 15.
Wrestling Time: 1:26:44. With 12 matches, that seems ridiculous if you ask me.
Best: The Steiner Brothers vs. Sting and Luger. Great match, not as great as I previously thought, but it was a hell of a lot of fun.
Worst: The Oz thing. I can’t get over it, never will be able to get over it.
Card Rating: 7/10. Good show despite the flaws, definitely worth checking out today.