After nearly a year and a half, it’s time for another WARGAMES match. About damn time. It’s weird that the other matches on this show were actually built up. I’m trying not to get my expectations for this watch too high, but it’s probably too late for that. I am really confused about this show being in Phoenix, that seems well out of the way for WCW, not in one of their best areas, and not in a place where they could sell a lot of tickets. The WWF did run a house show the night before, and appeared to draw as many people at this did.
– February 24th, 1991, from the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Arizona
They made Phoenix look quite nice in the introduction, but the building is clearly not full when they cut down to the show. Tony Schiavone runs down the matches, during which he looks at his hand. He almost got away with not getting caught. Almost. Dusty Rhodes and Jim Ross are the commentators, and I expect some good stuff from them.
Big Cat and the State Patrol vs. Tommy Rich, Ricky Morton, and the Junkyard Dog for the WCW 6-Man Tag Team Championships
Pre-Match Thoughts: I’ve deliberately avoided talking about these titles for as long as possible, because frankly they’re pretty dumb. In a promotion that can’t keep lower card guys around for very long, it’s foolish to keep titles on three of those guys and try to have feuds between six of them. The State Patrol looked like such dorks. The champions don’t even have belts, which makes this looks so low-rent. Not only because of that, but because the babyfaces don’t have matching attire or anything.
Match Review: Big Cat and JYD start the match, and talk trash to each other, until JYD hits Big Cat with a clothesline. Big Cat makes a tag out to James Earl Wright, and Morton gets in as well for a double back elbow. They need to stop using one of these camera shots, it shows way too many empty seats. Morton hip tosses and arm drags Wright a few times, and brings in Rich for a double clothesline. Rich bodyslams Wright, and takes him down with an arm drag. Wright comes back with his own bodyslam, and brings in Buddy Lee Parker for an elbow drop that misses. Rich arm drags him, and follows that with some shoulderblocks and a hip toss. Morton tags in, and gives Parker an inverted atomic drop. Wright runs in for an atomic drop, which is given to him, and he takes a big bump to the outside. JYD tags in, as does Big Cat, and they tease a test of strength. JYD loses it, but trips Big Cat and headbutts him. Big Cat knocks him down and drops an elbow on him for 2, and Parker tags in. JYD sells nothing he does, and tags in Morton, who gets hit by Wright as he runs the ropes. Wright then tags in, and the State Patrol does a backbreaker and flying headbutt combo for 2. They follow that with a double shoulderblock that gets 2 for Parker, and he tags in Big Cat, who drops an elbow on Morton for 2. Big Cat dropkicks Morton for 2, and it is announced that Arn Anderson won’t be in WarGames. NO, NO, NOOOOO. Big Cat slams Morton, and misses an elbow drop on him. Parker tags in, and powerslams Morton for 2. Wright tags in again, and they give Morton a battering ram, bulldog, and Wright drops an elbow for 2. Interesting double teams. The State Patrol does a double backbreaker and double elbow drop for 2, and bring Big Cat back in to smash Morton’s face into the mat. Big Cat then catches Morton, and gives him a backbreaker of his own for 2. The heels work on some triple teams, and Wright puts a chinlock on Morton. Parker misses a charge to the corner, and Morton makes the tag out to JYD. JYD cleans house on the State Patrol, and drops Parker with a powerslam. All six are in after Big Cat interrupts the count, but Morton merely falls on top of Parker for the quick victory at 9:54.
My Thoughts: The double team moves the State Patrol pulled out were quite nice to see and gave the match some legitimacy. Big Cat and JYD didn’t really do shit, neither did Rich, so it was Morton in there against the two State Patrol guys. That was the only way this match could be watchable. I thought the finish was a little demeaning in that Parker was on the canvas for quite some time before being pinned for the count. **1/4.
Terry Taylor and Alexandra York are at the interview podium, and Taylor looks like a much better fit in this gimmick. He said that Zenk doesn’t have killer instinct and that’s why he’ll lose. The match will take less than 15 minutes and 28 seconds according to York.
Bobby Eaton vs. Brad Armstrong
Pre-Match Thoughts: This is a nice way to keep things moving, and I’m sure this match is going to be good. Eaton has been a tweener for the last little while, or at least that’s the impression I’ve gotten. Will he get cheered here? I have no idea. I see no Candyman lettering on Armstrong anymore. Eaton still has the piped in chants, I don’t know what that’s about.
Match Review: Eaton attacks Armstrong at the start, so I guess he’s the heel. Armstrong fights back, and gives Eaton a flying head-scissors. That’s followed by an arm drag, and the armbar is held for a little bit. Eaton gets out of it with a big right hand, but gets thrown into the corner and given a monkey flip. Armstrong takes Eaton back down with an arm drag, but Eaton gets up and throws him out of the ring. Eaton heads out to the floor, and gets thrown into the rail and post. Armstrong brings him back in and keeps the armbar on, but Eaton makes the ropes. Time for another test of strength, perhaps a nod to the earlier match, who knows. Eaton wins it, but Armstrong gets up, climbs on top of his shoulders, and runs over to the second rope for a cross body that gets 2. That was nice. Armstrong goes back to the arm again, and Eaton hits him in the face. One way to break it. Into the buckle Armstrong goes, and Eaton follows that with a slingshot suplex attempt that gets reversed into a suplex by Armstrong. Very nice. Armstrong locks on the armbar for what I expect to be the last time, and when Eaton gets out, he hits Armstrong with a clothesline. Eaton is also starting to get cheered. He gives Armstrong a sick backbreaker and it gets 2, then follows with a bodyslam. Eaton drops an elbow on Armstrong for another near fall, and he puts a chinlock on after that. Oh shit, the Great Muta is in the building. I WONDER WHY? Armstrong works up to his feet, elbows his way out, and gets kneed in the face. Eaton gives Armstrong another backbreaker, it gets 2 again. Eaton goes back to the chinlock while sitting on Armstrong’s back, a subtle move that isn’t mentioned for some reason. He’s working the back after all. When Armstrong gets up this time, Eaton hits him with a back elbow, and kicks him out to the floor. Eaton follows, and drops Armstrong throat-first on the rail. Armstrong crawls back into the ring, and Eaton puts him in an abdominal stretch and cheats by using the ropes. Dusty talks some absolute mess about the pain Armstrong is going through, and Eaton misses a charge to the corner, crotching himself on the turnbuckles. Armstrong hits Eaton with a great dropkick, and follows with a Russian leg sweep for 2. Armstrong then stupidly puts his head down, so Eaton gives him a neckbreaker. Eaton heads up top, and down he comes with THE BIG LEG DROP for the pinfall win at 12:52.
My Thoughts: This was just a good wrestling match, with some nice cheating done by Eaton. Solid work all around. I was very much into this by the end, and never bored regardless of the slow start and the two chinlocks. I thought this got Eaton over pretty well, both for the fans in the arena and for anyone who was watching this match on PPV. He looked very good. ***.
Miki Handa & Miss A. vs. Itsuki Yamasaki & Mami Kitamura
Pre-Match Thoughts: Okay, this is going to be a problem. I hope the outfits here and the looks are demonstrably different as I need that for any match between four people I’ve never seen before. Sometimes in trying to appeal to everyone, WCW would do things that made no sense. Like having a joshi match in Phoenix. Looks like I can tell these girls apart, which is good.
Match Review: Now Ross and Dusty just have to tell me who’s who. Miss A. and Handa attack at the start, but they get dropkicked and the match normalizes immediately after that. There’s a great flying arm drag done against Miss A., and a nice sunset flip from the top rope to follow by someone I don’t know. This is bad commentary. After some stiff shots, I just don’t know what the fuck to say here. What can I even do? I’m about to start guessing. The one in orange will be called Kitamura, and the one in the green will be called Handa. I have edited my previous comments to reflect this. She bodyslams Kitamura for 2, and tags in Miss A. for a big suplex. She drops an elbow on Kitamura’s knee, but Kitamura hits her with a big flying back elbow from the second rope. Yamasaki tags in and lands some dropkicks, and goes for a TIGER BOMB, but instead it’s a double-underhook suplex for 2. The crowd is getting into this. Kitamura tags in and gives Miss A. a back suplex for 2, and Handa tags in. She hits Kitamura with a big forearm, but Kitamura cradles her up for 2. Handa comes back with a suplex that gets 2, but Kitamura dropkicks her in the corner anyway. She follows with a bulldog, and Yamasaki tags in for a big headbutt. She follows that with a gutwrench suplex for 2, and Miss A. tags in to save her partner. She hits Yamasaki with super stiff kicks, quite a lot of them in fact. Yamasaki comes back with a sunset flip that gets 2, so Miss A. sits on her. She then gives Yamasaki a NORTHERN LIGHTS SUPLEX for 2, and folds her up with a back suplex for 2. She’s getting over with the commentary team. WHAT A HOSS. Handa tags in with a fisherman’s suplex that gets 2, and Kitamura makes her way in. So does Miss A., and they run Kitamura over with a double shoulderblock. A double suplex follows, but Kitamura makes a blind tag and Yamasaki gives both heels a dropkick from the top rope! Yamasaki then tries a sunset flip from the top, but can’t take Miss A. over until Kitamura flies off the top with a clothesline that gets 2. Miss A. blocks a charge and clotheslines Yamasaki for 2, but Yamasaki comes back with a victory roll that gets the victory at 6:47.
My Thoughts: The work here was solid, but it was lacking crowd backing and the cohesiveness that comes with it. There was also no build from move to move. There’s nothing wrong with that, I’m just pointing it out. They did a lot of cool things, and the stiff kicks were awesome. **3/4, it was a fun watch. Very interesting to see such a different style in front of this crowd.
Missy Hyatt is with Tony Schiavone, and they talk about her going into the men’s locker room later in the show. That might be interesting. It might be terrible. I don’t know.
Buddy Landell vs. Dustin Rhodes
Pre-Match Thoughts: The two L’s were back for old Buddy, and we have a really strange situation here, at least for me. Buddy and Dusty just died, and Buddy is facing Dusty’s son…I don’t know, it’s weird. I’m interested in seeing how Dusty comments on one of his son’s matches. I’ve never seen it before. In the WON it said that Landell was going to get a push. I don’t think that wound up happening.
Match Review: Landell slaps Dustin, so he comes back with punches and backdrops him. He knocks Landell down with a dropkick that gets 2, and Landell evades contact for a little bit. He eventually knees Dustin in the gut, and Dustin goes up into the corner for some BIG ELBOWS. Landell is pretty much talking him through the match. Dustin hip tosses him, and follows with a clothesline that gets 2. Dustin arm drags Landell and keeps an armbar on him, but he takes a knee to the gut and Landell bodyslams him. Landell heads up to the top, but Dustin slams him down. Weird bump taken there. Dustin misses a charge to the corner, and goes shoulder-first into the post, so Landell takes over. He hits Dustin with some hard chops, and covers him for 2. Landell puts a wristlock on Dustin, so I guess they’re not going to do anything cool during the control segment. He rakes Dustin’s eyes and does stuff like that, then bodyslams him for a second time for a 2 count. They botch an Irish whip, and Landell puts a sleeper on Dustin. Dustin reverses, but gets rammed into the turnbuckles. Landell misses a charge to the corner, and gets hit with a clothesline that sends him over the top rope. This match has fallen apart, I think. Dustin gives Landell a press slam, follows that with the BULLDOG, and that’s it at 6:34.
My Thoughts: This was a tough match, not a lot going on at all. They also missed a spot or two, and Dustin looked really green. Still no judgment as to whether or not his push was unwarranted, I won’t be saying anything about that for a while more. Landell didn’t make him look all that good, and Dustin needed to gain a little more strength by the look of it. *.
Missy Hyatt is about to go in the men’s locker room, this should be something to see. Looks like Stan Hansen is there! He spits tobacco juice everywhere, and chases her out of the room. That was worth watching.
The Royal Family vs. The Young Pistols
Pre-Match Thoughts: The Royal Family are also known as the New Zealand Militia, Jack Victory and Rip Morgan. The Young Pistols are a rebranding of the Southern Boys because that was correctly deemed the wrong kind of thing to have on television. It’s weird to see Morgan and Victory wearing these stupid hats, they look like clowns. This Young Pistols thing just doesn’t look right.
Match Review: The Family attacks, but the Pistols do a dosey-do to stop from running into each other…only for both of them to get clotheslined. Armstrong gets thrown to the outside, but comes back in with a cross body from the top that takes out both opponents. Stereo dropkicks take place after that, and the Pistols have cleared the ring! For some reason, the lights have gone out, so these guys will wrestle under spotlights. Oh dear. Morgan and Smothers are in there, and Morgan puts a hammerlock on Smothers to drive him into the turnbuckles. Smothers reverses to a wristlock, Morgan to a headlock, and Smothers takes Morgan to the corner for a monkey flip. Armstrong tags in, and there’s two double dropkicks to clear the Family back to the outside. Morgan gets back in and slams him, then Victory tags in and is given an arm drag. Victory gets up and comes back with a big shoulder, and Smothers makes a blind tag that leads to a double shoulderblock that gets 2. He puts an armbar on Victory now, and tags in Armstrong for a double chop. Armstrong follows that with a cross body that misses completely, and the heels exchange tags while stomping away at the kid. Morgan hits Armstrong with a back elbow for 2, and makes another tag out. Victory misses a charge to the corner, and Armstrong makes the switch out. Smothers hits both opponents with superkicks, and hits Morgan with a flying back elbow. Morgan kicks him in the back to stop his momentum, and Victory clotheslines Smothers over the top. Morgan rams Smothers’ back into the post, and sends him back in for Victory to beat him up. Victory rushes over and hits Armstrong to draw him in, and the heels make an illegal switch. Morgan puts a bear hug on Smothers, and follows that with a spinebuster that gets 2. The Royal Family then gives Smothers a double back suplex, they have Victory hit Smothers with a clothesline that gets 2 again. Armstrong is in there and the referee is distracted, but Morgan hits Smothers with a flying back elbow anyway. The Family goes for a double gourdbuster, but Armstrong dropkicks Victory, Smothers falls on top of Morgan, and that gets a pin at 12:05.
My Thoughts: For some reason I was just bored by this, and I tried really hard to pay attention to it. The work was fine, but this match felt like it meant nothing and the work in the previous match had brought the show to a stale crawl. At least that’s how I feel. They tried but it didn’t do anything for me, *3/4.
Hey, Diamond Dallas Page is here for an interview, and talks a lot about Teddy Long. Really talked some shit about him, and says the Freebirds are going to win tonight. This is a good interview, you know. Teddy Long comes out there, and tells DDP that he’s full of it, and a low down BACKSTABBER.
Terry Taylor (w/Alexandra York) vs. Tom Zenk in a NO DISQUALIFICATION MATCH
Pre-Match Thoughts: I hope there are things in this match that merit the stipulation, but I’m not so sure that’s going to happen. These two don’t seem like guys who belong in this kind of match either. Maybe someone else will join the York Foundation. One can hope! Zenk was so unlikeable, except to this kid in the front row that had long hair. Poor kid.
Match Review: These two lock up, and Taylor decides to duck outside the ring to stall. When Taylor gets back in there, Zenk takes him down with a hip toss and a dropkick. Zenk then slaps Taylor, which makes him angry. They then trade punches, and Taylor ducks to the outside. He gets back in and taken down with a headlock, and when he gets back up, he ducks out of the ring again to look at the computer. Eventually he climbs back into the ring, and Zenk backdrops him for 2. Back to the headlock for Zenk, running up the turnbuckles in order to get the momentum to take Taylor down. Taylor gets out with some headbutts, and gives Zenk a back suplex. Oh shit, Nikita Koloff is in the crowd sitting next to the Great Muta. Wonder if he’ll have an impact. Taylor takes Zenk to the floor and rams him into the rail, then chokes Zenk with a cord. Back in they go, and Taylor thumbs Zenk in the eye. He follows that with a backbreaker that gets a 2 count, and Zenk tries to come back with a sunset flip, which gets 2. Taylor regains control with a clothesline, and he puts a chinlock on him. Zenk gets out and clotheslines Taylor over the top, so Taylor pulls him to the outside for a brawl. Taylor rams Zenk into the rail again, and pushes him back into the ring for a cover that gets 2. Taylor drops a knee on Zenk for another 2 count, and follows with a clothesline that gets 2 again. That’s a lot of near falls, but none all that dramatic. Zenk gives Taylor a neckbreaker, and follows that with a superkick for a 2 count. Zenk powerslams Taylor for 2 again, and he gives Taylor an enzuigiri as well. Zenk heads up top, and York gets on the apron. Zenk’s cross body from the top is unable to be counted, so Zenk gets off Taylor and grabs the referee. Taylor rolls Zenk up while grabbing the tights, and it gets the victory for him at 10:59!
Zenk points at York after the match, so Taylor tries to attack him from behind. Zenk then hits him with an atomic drop, which clears him from the ring.
My Thoughts: The computer was right again! This was a solid match, good intensity, but it started slowly and like I said, the near falls weren’t dramatic. Good wrestling is good wrestling though. I do not see the point of the stipulation as nothing happened to merit it, so I’m going to give this **3/4. Could have been better, could also have been worse, and I’m happy with how it went.
Looks like El Gigante is about to enter THE DANGER ZONE. This should be fun! Paul E. Dangerously decides to wear a sombrero and cape down to the ring, looks like a cheap way to get heat. Yeah, that’s the route he goes, saying there are a lot of illegal immigrants in the building. Big time anti-Mexican promo. This guy’s not even Mexican! Once El Gigante comes out, he just walks around while Paul berates him. Gigante says he doesn’t speak English, then Paul throws the sombrero in his face. Gigante picks him up and bodyslams him, and puts the sombrero on. His head is so big that it looks like the time Kurt Angle put a mini-sombrero on.
Hiro Matsuda and the Great Muta are with Tony Schiavone, and they’re talking about the big Tokyo Dome show I’ll be reviewing a lot of matches from. By they, I should say Hiro was talking.
Stan Hansen vs. Big Van Vader
Pre-Match Thoughts: This is a great thing to be showing on American TV, and that’s no exaggeration. The kind of match I’d look for and watch on my own time. Vader’s entrance was just as awesome as when he did it at Great American Bash ’90. Hopefully it’s as good as the match where Vader’s eye pops out, but for some reason I doubt that. The shoulderpads and helmet gimmick is the best.
Match Review: Hansen meets him in the aisle, and they brawl to the delight of the crowd. Hansen clotheslines Vader back into the ring, where Vader hits him with a big one of his own. Vader gets 2 on the cover, and hits Hansen with a big splash in the corner. Vader drops an elbow for another 2 count, and puts a chinlock on Hansen for a little bit. That was fast. He throws Hansen out of the ring, and follows him out with a leap from the apron onto him. They start stiffing each other, not that they ever weren’t, and Vader headbutts Hansen to send him back into the ring. Vader goes for another splash in the corner, but this time Hansen moves and drops him with a back suplex that gets 2. He drops some elbows on Vader for another 2 count, and takes Vader to the outside where he hits Vader with a crate. Vader comes back with a chair shot, and Hansen hits him with one of his own. This is fun. Hansen throws Vader back in the ring, and Dusty drops some knowledge about his Courvoisier being knocked over. Best commentary moment so far. Hansen knocks Vader outside again, and Vader winds up picking him up and dropping him on the rail. Vader follows that with an elbow drop, and Hansen barely makes it back into the ring. Or not. He pulls Vader to the outside again, throws him into the wooden steps, and that sounds like a bump that hurt. Hansen drops a knee on Vader, and they go into the ring where they start hitting each other with forearms. The referee tries to break them up, so Hansen throws him out of the ring and both guys get disqualified at 6:21.
They keep fighting anyway, and Vader knocks Hansen down with a clothesline. He heads up top, and down he comes with a massive flying clothesline! He goes for a splash, but Hansen rolls out of the way and runs him over with a shoulderblock. He grabs the BULLROPE, and starts choking Vader with it! He decides to throw Vader out to the ramp, and I guess they’re headed to the back. Not before Vader breaks free and drags Hansen to the back, though! Hansen grabs Vader’s mask, returns the favor, and that’s about it.
My Thoughts: This was fun, and both guys got over big time. Bad finish, but to be expected given that WCW wasn’t their home base. I don’t think it was too short in that the post-match was long enough to make up for it, but as an actual match, it was close to being too short. The brawling was very entertaining, and the commentary was good in part because Jim Ross was getting really pissed off as they were fighting next to him. ***, so we’re tied for the best match thus far.
Dan Spivey vs. Lex Luger for the WCW United States Championship
Pre-Match Thoughts: This kind of needs to steal the show, because although there have been a lot of good matches, we haven’t had one that really gets me going. I want to get going. Luger needed to put on a good performance for many reasons, but I think the biggest was that there were so many babyfaces on the card here. There have been hardly any heels, and Luger’s one of the more obvious candidates to flip sides so WCW could get some. Luger looked well into bulking up to be a bodybuilder, even for him. His body was almost too thick to move properly as he walked down the ramp.
Match Review: Time for the match to start, and they tumble into the corner where Spivey pops Luger in the face. Luger comes back with a backdrop and a shoulderblock, then takes him down with a clothesline. Spivey comes back with an atomic drop, but it turns out that Luger blocked it and gave him a back suplex for 2. Spivey tries to splash Luger in the corner, but runs into a big boot and Luger knocks him down with some punches. Luger gives Spivey a hip toss, then goes for a charge and winds up flying into the other ring. Spivey drags Luger back to the apron, and suplexes him in. Spivey drops Luger with a TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER for 2, and fires off a neckbreaker for 2 as well. Spivey goes to a chinlock, but winds up wrenching the neck instead. Spivey plants Luger with a DDT that gets another 2 count, and stunts the comeback by headbutting him. Spivey now clotheslines Luger in the corner, and it gets 2 as well. This is a lot better than expected! Spivey misses another charge to the corner, so Luger rolls him up for 2. Spivey goes back on offense, but Luger turns the tide with a suplex. Or not, because Spivey makes it to his feet first. He slams Luger and heads up top, coming down with a big ELBOW DROP that gets 2. Spivey uses another neckbreaker, and it gets 2 once again. He puts a head-scissors on Luger, and follows that with a big boot that gets 2. Spivey goes for another piledriver, and drops Luger with it for yet another 2 count. This is making Luger look very tough. Luger eats a few more punches, and I think he’s done with the selling thing for a bit. He gets kneed in the gut and given a belly to belly suplex, which gets yet another near fall. Spivey puts a chinlock on Luger again, which Luger has to fight out of, only to be taken down with an arm drag. He then runs Luger over, but Luger and Spivey botch a hotshot, with Spivey nearly falling over the top. Instead he lands on the apron, and Luger heads up to the second rope for a flying clothesline. Luger powerslams Spivey, and Luger goes to the outside. Didn’t see how. He comes back in with a sunset flip attempt, and Spivey punches him in the face. Spivey and Luger take each other out with a double clothesline, and fight their way back up to their feet. Now there’s a double shoulderblock, and Luger decides to head up top for the first time. Spivey gets up to slam him down, but Luger holds on with a cradle that gets the victory for him at 12:56!
My Thoughts: This was a fun match, probably the best so far and certainly one of the better matches I’ve ever seen Spivey in. They did tell a good story with Spivey punishing Luger for the whole match and Luger pulling the win out of nowhere. I liked Spivey’s usage of the tombstone and Dusty’s reaction to it, which was funny given that Dusty had done a match where the Undertaker used it. All in all, this was just good, exciting wrestling that was needed more and more on shows as they entered a new era. Good job. ***1/2. I should also mention that the crowd was into this match the whole way.
Nikita Koloff is at the interview podium, and I assume he’s going to present Lex Luger the new US Championship belt. The only thing is, the way he gives it to him is by hitting him in the face with it! Nikita then says he’s tired of sitting in his gym, and that HE WANTS HIS TITLE BACK.
The Fabulous Freebirds (w/Diamond Dallas Page) vs. Doom (w/Teddy Long) for the WCW Tag Team Championships
Pre-Match Thoughts: DDP being part of the Freebirds act is so funny. This entrance is amazing. I don’t know if the Birds are supposed to be babyfaces or not. DDP got the microphone, and cut a promo which was pretty good. This was the definition of nostalgia filled. For some reason, DDP called out Oliver Humperdink as BIG DADDY DINK. WHY, THEY’RE RUINING IT. NO. NO. NO. I have no expectation for the match now with all the nonsense going on. With the Diamond Dolls there, there were no less than eight people in the ring before Doom made their way out there.
Match Review: The crowd turned on the Birds, so I guess they aren’t babyfaces. Simmons shoves Hayes to the canvas, and sends him into the corner a few times, before giving Hayes a spinebuster for 2. Simmons misses a charge to the corner, so Hayes bulldogs him for 2. Simmons fires off a powerslam, and Garvin tries to attack him from the top rope with a cross body, but Simmons powerslams him too. The Birds take a break on the outside, and Garvin makes a legal tag in. He wants to fight with Reed, who also tags in, and Garvin gets hit with a big clothesline as a result. Garvin sunset flips Reed for 2, and Hayes wants in. Hayes makes a blind tag before being given a press slam, and Garvin runs in there, also being picked up for a press slam, but Hayes punches Reed in the mouth. Reed comes back with a backbreaker on Garvin, and follows that with a double-underhook suplex for 2. Simmons tags in for a double elbow, and drops a leg on Garvin’s back. Simmons then throws Garvin out of the ring, for a Reed bodyslam on the floor. Garvin heads back in and Simmons beats him up, then makes a tag out. Reed puts his head down for a backdrop, but Garvin plants him with a DDT. Simmons tags in first and cuts Garvin off, then levels him with a massive SPINEBUSTER. Simmons powerslams Garvin as well, but it only gets 2 thanks to Hayes breaking the cover. All four are in now, and Doom sets Hayes up for a double team. Teddy Long sends in BRASS KNUCKLES, but Reed accidentally hits Simmons. NO. Garvin covers Simmons, and the Freebirds are champions again after 6:57!
After the Birds leave the ring and celebrate with DDP, we pan back to the ring, where Simmons and Reed are arguing. Simmons pushes Long down to the canvas, and Reed starts tooling Simmons up with the brass knuckles. This is not cool, man. So, Doom is done, and Ron Simmons is a babyface.
My Thoughts: This whole situation is funny. Even though the Freebirds just won the titles, they had already lost them. How absurd and ridiculous is that? Makes WCW look extremely bush league. Other than that, the match was fine. Taking some off for the finish and post-match, as I really didn’t want to see Doom break up. *3/4.
Larry Zbyzsko, Barry Windham, Sid Vicious, and Ric Flair (WCW Champion, w/Arn Anderson) vs. Sting, Brian Pillman, and the Steiner Brothers (WCW US Tag Team Champions) in WARGAMES
Pre-Match Thoughts: Arn was injured, WCW knew it, and decided to advertise him in the match anyway. Larry Z is actually a good replacement, you know. The night before this event, the Horsemen attacked Pillman and messed up his shoulder. Classic Horsemen beatdown. I’ve never seen this WarGames, and it’s supposed to be one of the best. Of course, I’ve been looking forward to this to a ridiculous degree. It’s no surprise Dusty would bring that gimmick back as soon as possible. Big fireworks display with the cage as it was being lowered.
Match Review: Pillman and Windham start the match, which is a hell of a way to do it. Pillman hits Windham with a flying clothesline, and follows that with a cage assisted dropkick. He takes Windham down with a cage assisted flying head-scissors, and hits him with a dropkick from the second rope! Great way to start the match. Pillman misses a cross body, but hits Windham with a ball shot, and tosses him into the cage. He rams Windham into the cage repeatedly, and Barry is busted open. Pillman gives Windham a jawbreaker, and bites Windham, getting blood all over his mouth. Gross. A hip toss takes Windham down again, and back into the cage he goes. Pillman heads up top, and down he comes with a flying clothesline. There’s another jawbreaker, and Windham takes a huge bump in being thrown over to the other ring. He’s wearing a CRIMSON MASK! A spinning heel kick takes Windham down again, and Pillman goes to work on the left leg. He has completely dominated the opening segment of this match. Windham tries a piledriver, but Pillman backdrops him and hits him with a punch from the second rope.
Time for the coin toss, and THE HEELS WIN. RIC FLAIR RUNS IN, and goes to work on the young man with some chops. Pillman returns the favor, but he gets double teamed and launched into the cage at full speed. Windham hoists Pillman up for a TORPEDO SHOT, and the Horsemen go to work on the shoulder. Pillman takes a big bump into the other ring, as the Horsemen are trying to separate Pillman’s shoulder.
The next man in is STING, who meets Flair and Windham with some kicks. This crowd is on fire. He hits the Horsemen with a double clothesline, and focuses on Windham, as Pillman is paired with Flair. He smashes Windham’s face into the mat, and drops Flair with the same. This rules. Windham crotches Pillman on the top rope, and Sting gives Flair a backdrop. Pillman then comes back with a tackle of Windham, and I presume a ball shot even though it wasn’t shown on camera. Pillman hits Windham with a headbutt down low, and Sting hits Flair with the STINGER SPLASH,
Larry Zbyzsko enters the ring, and right as he does, Sting hits him with a flying leap from one ring to the other. Larry comes back with some knees, and he looks like he belongs in the match! Pillman had a figure-four on Windham, but Flair broke it with a kick to the shoulder, and launched Pillman into the cage. Some of these bumps are unreal. Sid intimidates the guy holding the camera, right as Windham smashes Sting’s face into the mat.
Rick Steiner is the next man in, and the Horsmeen try to double team him. Instead, he hits Windham and Flair with STEINERLINES, and beats up Flair in the corner. This is chaos. Steiner takes Flair down with a belly to belly suplex, and throws him face-first into the cage. Will he bleed now? Looks like it! Flair tries to run away from Steiner, and Sting gets rammed into the cage by Windham. We have Pillman paired off with Zbyzsko, as Flair is taking the punishment of a lifetime.
SID ENTERS THE MATCH, and I can’t wait to see what he does. He goes straight for Steiner, and throws him full speed into the cage. Flair kicks Steiner IN THE NUTS, and Pillman rams Flair into the cage a few more times. Sid knocks a bloody Sting down with a clothesline, as Steiner NO-SELLS A CAGE SHOT AND RAMS LARRY INTO IT. This is ridiculously fun. Sid throws Sting into the other ring, and Steiner continues to no-sell these cage rams. It’s great gimmick work on his part. Windham gives Steiner and Pillman a noggin-knocker, and it’s time for the last man in!
THE MATCH BEYOND STARTS AS SCOTT STEINER enters the cage like a house of fire, and goes right for Windham. Scott gives Flair and Windham a DOUBLE STEINERLINE, and follows that with a TIGER BOMB on Zbyzsko. Sid and Rick have been calling their spots too obviously, but Scott hits Sid with a flying STEINERLINE from the top. He rams Sid into the cage, and Sting gives Flair another STINGER SPLASH. He goes for the submission with the SCORPION DEATHLOCK, as Zbyzsko kicks Scott in the balls. Sid gives Pillman a HAMMERLOCK SLAM, and sends him shoulder-first into the buckle. Sid is now choking Pillman, and Scott throws Zbyzsko into the cage. Pillman drops Sid with something, and kicks him in the nuts. All the babyfaces have STEREO FIGURE-FOURS on the heels, this is amazing. Eventually the holds are broken, and Sting presses Flair into the cage a few times before slamming him. Sid hits Rick with a big clothesline, and tosses Rick into the corner, but Rick comes back with a STEINERLINE. Sid stomps him anyway, and teams up with Windham for a double clothesline. Zbyzsko is being stomped on with his head between the cage and apron, and Pillman then turns his attention to Flair for some chops. Zbyzsko goes head first into the fence, and we have to be nearing the end, these guys are dead tired. Sid drills Scott with a big boot, and I guess it’s time for the finish. Sid flapjacks Pillman after pressing him into the cage, and picks him up for the POWERBOMB. OH NO HE DROPPED HIM ON HIS FUCKING HEAD. He picks Pillman up, and they DO IT AGAIN, but this time it wasn’t on his head. I guess Sid wrecked him. Pillman looks knocked out, and out comes EL GIGANTE. EL GIGANTE RIPS THE DOOR OPEN, and the referee climbs into the ring to stop the match at 22:11. After all, Pillman was completely out and unable to get up. THE HEELS FINALLY WIN WARGAMES! El Gigante carries Pillman to the back, and I’m in shock at how good that was.
My Thoughts: This was one of the best matches I’ve ever seen, capped off by an absolutely brutal finish that served to make everyone look great. The match was as good as you could have expected, there’s no way it could have been any better. That first powerbomb looked like it really messed Pillman up, and I’m sure that wasn’t planned. The best thing about the match was that it was entirely unpredictable. You couldn’t have expected a babyface loss here, I sure wouldn’t have. The heels never won WarGames, after all. ***** and recommended. It was so much fun, I was making audible noises for some of the spots in this match. That’s what wrestling is supposed to be about. Zbyzsko not doing the job was obviously a big surprise, and it turned out that they had big plans for him. It says in the WON that one of the objectives of this match was putting Pillman over. They unquestionably did that.
Nick Patrick then is interviewed about the finish, and says he stopped the match because Pillman was completely unresponsive. Dusty and Ross talk about the events of the show, and that’s it!
This was a great show, you know. Not only in terms of the main event, but with all the good matches that were on it. How many matches here were boring? One? That makes this worth watching for sure. You won’t find many better WCW PPV’s. Unfortunately for WCW, I don’t think this show was a success. According to the Wrestling Observer, only 4,300 fans paid to see the show. You might have the best touring group in the world, but if nobody pays to see it, you have a problem of sorts. Still, I was excited to see the show, and even though Flair leaves in the upcoming months, excited to see all the stuff that happens after this. Next up for me, it’s time for the WWF matches leading into WrestleMania VII!
Wrestling Time: 1:47:36. Plenty of wrestling here, and almost all of it was good. I dig it.
Best: WARGAMES. Like, duh? It was almost too good, I’m looking forward to what comes next.
Worst: Doom breaking up. On a creative level, I didn’t understand this. I know Reed was going to start working rodeos, but there had to be a better way. It wasn’t pleasing to see.
Card Rating: 8.5/10. It’s definitely in the upper echelon of wrestling PPV’s. It’s also a great time capsule in that it happened right before guys like Bobby Eaton, Ron Simmons, and Ricky Morton changed things up.