Wednesday, November 7, 2007

WCW Wrestle War '90: Wild Thing Co-Review

Brian: During the show's opening there's a ridiculously bad "rap" song. Jim Ross and Terry Funk are our commentary team. This should be fun.

1. Kevin Sullivan and Buzz Sawyer vs. Dynamic Dudes (J:4 B:4)

Jessie: At first glance, you may think you've seen Buzz down at your local trailer park, but no, he's dead as a dodo. anyways, Sawyer is the magnet of this match; his mannerisms are so strange you keep your eyes on him, even though Sullivan is sporting a long green ponytail made of neon shoestrings, when they were still popular. The heels have no real teamwork per se but Ace throws a mean dropkick. The pace is all off in this thing because you have two different styles here and neither are bending to help the other team out. The heels are pretty bland in their facial expressions and there are really no big spots to speak of. Sawyer's limp splash is the finish, which kind of comes out of nowhere. not very good.

Brian: Buzz was definitely uglier than I recalled. I dig how Sawyer wrenches his headlock, and later, he takes a tasty spill to the floor between the ropes after a dropkick. Ace does a plancha that I was feeling. Buzz suplexes Douglas on the floor, and later, delivers a wicked belly-to-belly suplex. Ace attempted a headscissors on Sawyer but botched it. The finish saw Sawyer get the win after a big splash off the top. Story is the old rugged dicks versus young hopefuls. The heels were mean and stiff, and the Dudes could have potentially been a decent team, as they ate stuff well and were sympathetic, but it was never to be.

2. Cactus Jack Manson vs. Norman the Lunatic (J:5 B:4)

Brian: Norman's sporting one wrestling boot, one dirty Reebok. Cactus takes his first patented floor bump randomly off of a pinfall kickout by Norman. On the floor, Jack no sells his head being smashed into the apron. Then, Cactus gets backdropped over the guardrail and onto the concrete floor. Guess he let that night's prostitute do all the work. Cactus does a reckless dropkick off the apron that the cameras hardly capture. Back in the ring, Norman's corner splash looks better than Sting's ever did. Terry Funk drops a Farhat reference. The end comes when Jack's piledriver is reversed, he attempts a sunset flip, but Norman blocked it and sat on Manson's face for the finish. Norman is way better than Eugene who reminds me of a contemporary version. I guess those years in Stampede did the trick, it's just too bad he never got to work a program with Triple H and we had to sit through Eugene's. Norman was very audible when selling which I thought was terrific. The story was that they were both crazies.

Jesse: Compared to the opener, this match succeeded. Jack took numerous sick bumps, but all reasonably within the realm of the story. i was thinking watching it that how many guys during that time killed themselves to get over Norman the Lunatic? Probably as many that saw "Grindhouse" in the theaters. Norman was pretty expressive in his sells and was really good paired with Cactus because he has a lot of dirty tricks to use. The finish made absolute sense and Kudos to Foley for selling it. That hooker had her work cut out for her that night, Brian.

3. Rock 'N' Roll Express vs. Midnight Express (J:5 B:5)

Jessie: While I enjoyed this match, it was not without it's share of problems. The Midnights being embarrassed section was pretty lengthy and knowing these two teams had fought so many times before, it felt like a rehash of stuff and spots used over and over again. That being said, these two teams worked like oil in an engine together, just knowing each other's spots, great timing, and the heels were bumping great. All 4 had solid strikes and the Midnights had wonderful double teaming stuff. The hot tag to Gibson worked better than Cornette's viagra and the false finish with the tennis racket was pretty unexpected. The finish was a botched hot shot that the R & R's reversed and it came off looking pretty bad. I know these guys have better matches in them together, and for the record, i've always enjoyed the Midnights and the Fantastics matches better.

Brian: I agree that this wasn’t one of these teams’ better matches pared off against each other. Jim Cornette and the referee paired off early on, which was one of many cheap heat antics used to get this crowd molten. Eaton and Morton both go over the top to the floor, then Stan Lane slammed Morton on the ground, which guaranteed at least one extra pain killer later that night. Midnight Express sold stuff largely well, like Lane after a fistdrop. Long build to a Gibson hot tag, which lead shortly to the finish, as he rolled up Lane as Morton tackled Eaton. This was satisfactory but not something you need to see.

4. Road Warriors vs. Skyscrapers - Chicago Street Fight (J:3 B:3)

Brian: I've been to Chicago three times and never saw anything like this. Masked Skyscraper (a last-minute replacement for injured Dan Spivey) eats a big boot from Hawk. Later, Hawk does a clothesline from the apron outside onto Mark Callous (Undertaker). Ron Simmons and Butch Reed (later known as Doom) show up at ringside in tuxedos. Both of the Road Warriors' clotheslines and dropkicks looked tremendous. Callous is thrown outside and decides to just walk away. The Warriors hit the "Doomsday Device" on Masked Skyscraper for the relatively quick victory. Afterwards, Theodore R. Long gets in the ring and the Warriors chuck him out over the top rope at Reed and Simmons like a Nerf ball. This leads to a big, wild brawl that featured little cooperation. There's a great visual of Hawk ripping open Butch Reed's tuxedo top and doing a number on his chest in the corner. This was fun, but about as substantial as a meal from McDonald's.

Jessie: This was a short brawl that the Warriors pretty much dominated. Feel bad for the Masked Skyscraper, whatever big, juiced out dude was hanging around the back, eating a chili burger, hoping to get squashed by Ranger Ross, then he gets thrown to the lions. Yeah, the Dropkicks were spot on and the clothesline on Taker outside was a highlight. Doom was looking awfully spiffy in their white tuxes and that brawl was just all kinds of unprofessional. Simmons was hit with his own foreign object, but it had as much effect on him as a paperwad.

5. Tom Zenk and Brian Pillman vs. Fabulous Freedbirds (J:5 B:5)

Jessie: This seemed to run pretty long. Hayes on offense is pretty limited, even though he can dance well and shake his cottage cheese hips. Garvin's hair was as preposterous as OJ's "If I did It" book. Pillman and Zenk were all over their much older counterparts as far as offense and the energy they put out carried much of the match's momentum. All the girlies in the crowd were practically already pregnant by these two. But, the match dragged out way too long and with Zenk on defense, it felt eternally agonizing. His selling was really awful, as he either adjusted his trunks or wiped the sweat from his eyes, as if he was working hard laying on his ass in a rear chinlock. I'm not sure why this match was decided to go this long but it suffered from it and during the finish, all 4 guys were confused and stumbling around like they were trapped in that stupid house from Saw 2. Moderately recommendable.

Brian: I don’t have many notes on this one, because as Jessie noted, it wasn’t the easiest thing to watch. I don’t mind matches that run long, as long as it fits the context and helps propel the story to that next level, but this just sagged during the second half like any of Jerry Lawler’s failed marriages. I do recall Pillman getting caught with a deliciously stiff Michael Hayes straight left punch in the corner. A flying crossbody by Pillman on Garvin lead to the end, putting this thing away quicker than this weekend’s local indy worker puts away Pillman’s kids now so he can spend six minutes sweating on top of Pillman’s old lady.

6. Stiener Bros. vs. Ole and Arn Anderson (J:5 B:6)

Brian: The crowd is hot early for the Stieners. Scott Stiener botches an atomic drop, forgetting to leave a knee out, leaving nothing there for Arn to drop on. Ole cranks his headlocks like the cagey vet he is. Scott does a wild suplex on Ole where he holds him in mid-air, kind of cradling him, and then just tosses him over his head. Arn eats a back elbow by Scott and falls out to the floor. Arn ignores Scott's attempt at ramming him into the stairs, then dodges a Stiener clothesline, leading to Scott's arm drilling the ringpost in an ugly spot. The Andersons both do a lot of work on the arm. Scott executes a breathtaking Frankenstiener. The Andersons whip Rick into the ropes, duck to presumably bodydrop him, but he puts on the breaks, kicks Arn, then does a quick roll-up on Ole for the surprise victory. While this is neither team's top shelf stuff, it's largely inoffensive, and especially recommendable for fans of the Steiners.

Jessie: Brian pretty much covered the majority of the big spots in this match. The Steiners were apparently pretty hyped up to whip on the old boys because they hurt Sting. Arn was pretty entertaining in this, outsmarting Scott and giving himself to be destroyed by Rick in an early spot. I loved one part where Rick punched Ole, but he dropped down hooking his legs onto Rick's ankles then kind of basked in what he had done as Rick desperately reached out for the tag, but coming up short. They had been building towards a finish, but it still came pretty suddenly. Arn was just young enough to bump well and hard for the Steiners and Ole was just old enough for me to wonder why he was still wrestling. overall, decent stuff.

7. Lex Luger vs. Ric Flair (J:5 B:6)

Jessie: As good as Flair is, I still say Luger had his prime in a series against Pillman. This match was long, longer than a story from your grandmother and had it's moments. The announcers even admitted it was booked on the fly due to Sting's injury, and you could tell because Flair transformed into Larry Zybyzsko by stalling for large amounts of time here. He did a lot of work with an armbar and Luger did some chinlock that was as boring as a Sunday church service when you're 5 years old. A really lame countout finish while Luger badly brawled with the Andersons left a real sour taste in my mouth and i was not pleased with this look into the past. On the positive side, Flair showed some really good psych by letting Luger build to his power spots, and i thought the crowd seemed pretty into it. But, overall this didn't jump out and grab your attention, nor did it really use that slow burn effect to make you unknowingly really get into this match despite it's long ring time. I enjoyed their Bash 88 match much more as they both showed more passion rather than a lackadasical attitude, even though their was another lame finish to that one.

Brian: Speaking of old ladies telling stories, did anyone ever find that shit hackneyed in Edward Scissorhands? I think I dug this more than Jessie, but very much akin to the earlier Rock ‘N’ Roll versus Midnight Express match, this wasn’t their best stuff by far. Luger’s neon green trunks were stunning. Flair picked apart Lex like a surgeon; funny story, Flair was once called Dr. Giggles in Greensboro after he dropped acid with a chesty waitress and seduced her in a trashy motel. She found out that night “Space Mountain” was in reality much more like “It’s A Small World After All.” Lex sells a back suplex like he woke up from a nightmare. There was some kind of botch on a powerslam where Luger fell on his ass like a chubby girl at a skating rink. A Luger powerslam led to the pin, but Woman reached in and slapped Lex like she did Benoit as he was choking the life out of her. Story is Lex had the title won, but abandoned it to fight in the aisle with the Andersons in an attempt to save Sting. The crowd helped make this match a little more memorable.


Adam said...

Ole & Arn vs. The Steiners was very underwhelming. Actually, I think the same could be said for the whole show.

Adam said...

By the way, just to add to Jessie's note on the match length, the time of the Luger/Flair match was 38:08 (and most of that was pretty pointless.)

The hard sell for this show, Clash #10, is way, way better.