1) Freebirds v. Young Pistols- 6
2) Ricky Morton v. Dan Spivey- 4
3) Tommy Rich v. Nikita Koloff- 2
4) Dustin Rhodes v. Terrence Taylor- 4
5) Black Bart v. Big Josh- 4
6) Oz v. Tim Parker- 1
7) Brian Pillman v. Barry Windham (Taped Fist)- 6
8) Sid Vicious v. El Gigante (Stretcher Match)- 1
9) Butch Reed v. Ron Simmons (Steel Cage)- 6
10) Steiner Brothers v. Sting/ Lex Luger- 7
11) Bobby Eaton v. Arn Anderson- 7
12) Ric Flair v. Tatsumi Fujinami- 7
This was a boatload of a huge, fun show and I'm digging that I've finally seen it after 17 years of deprivity(not sure if this is a word.) We start off with a really fun tag featuring the always prissy Freebirds and the Pistols and it's amazing because I remember that Tracey Smothers could work when he was young! There were a ton of stiff lefts by Hayes and some really high impact offense. The finish was so strange, yet it worked when a literal "Freebird" dressed in black feathers came in and handed out these cool flying DDT's like AOL startupdiscs to everyone involved. Spivey must have just come from a tour of All Japan becuase he just brutalized Morton as soon as he stepped into the ring. Morton was fighting back with Superman punches to the head but to no avail. Quick but really stiff. Rich sporting some really gnarly unwashed beach hair tries to grab side headlocks and slow Nikita down, but Nikita didn't come to play anyways, opting for slow in ring work; Rich did a couple aftersells but this wound down fairly quickly.
Rhodes and Taylor had a good rhythym and worked well together; Rhodes was just reckless though, diving and bumping all over the place. They botched a few things incl. Mr. Huges standing on the apron a good 30 seconds before his cue so this could have been better, and with seasoning I'm sure Rhodes and Taylor did down the line somewhere. Josh came down to ringside with two bears in harnesses who were walking right alongside him. I nearly spit out my Pepsi when the image came on my screen. Josh was like a veteran trainer, just wrenching on armlocks on the nasty Bart who fired back with some decent shots. Josh also had a nice haymaker that he broke out as well as the ever famous logroll. Then, we go to the entrance of OZ: They had a huge backdrop of a castle hung up on the entrance way, then they had smoke machines working overtime while some freak wearing a giant old man face with beard came down calling himself the Wizard and sure enough behind him were Dorothy and the whole gang (of course they never get too close so you can get a good look at their faces) and he leads them back to the entrace where OZ stands in a giant green cape. The production values of this were lower than an inner city church youth group's production of "Jonah and the Whale" where they use an old hollowed out bathtub as the whale. The crowd audibly shits all over this as soon as it starts and then OZ makes quick work of his jobber opponent with a crazy spinning powerbomb. I almost didn't have the heart to write this, but hopefully you have the courage to watch it.
Now, we get to the good stuff....Windham and Pillman had been embroiled in a semi-lenghty feud and it's all about Pillman trying to earn respect. These guys work the gimmick correctly; throwing tons of big haymakers and crosses but they also incorporate great bumping and dramatic highspots incl. Windham taking his car crash bump to the outside and Pillman just being his usual great workhorse self. This only garnered a 6 due to it's length. The Argentenian giant makes real quick work of Sid, quicker than his old softball coach at West Memphis University did after practice one Wednesday afternoon. Sid's oversells were admirable but completely unnecessary since he was going to get buried anyways. I have a huge newfound respect for Doom after seeing several of their PPV matches from the 90's recently and this is the blowoff to their split and it's everything you want it to be. Two guys just slugging it out and throwing their already scarred faces into steel mesh. Several big marquee powermoves highlight the middle sections but the cage seems awfully small and cramped. These guys deliver the goods here.
This match garnered Match of the Year in PWI for 1991 and it's easy to see why: It's just one long car crash event from the bell. Each and every time two guys square off here a major power move just absolutely destroys the other person and they trade big moves through the whole bout. There's really no rest sections so it doesn't feel like a normal tag match, more like a Lucha style bout with Japanese type offense. This was definitley on the 8 range until Nikita Koloff came staggering down like he'd had too much vodka and interfered. But, at least he and Sting had a backstage brawl to commemerate it, even if it did blow chunks. Next you had a classic scientific match that was going to be Eaton's coming out party as a singles competitor. Anderson is so good here you really can't believe he wasn't a robot programmed to wrestle; he comes in as a no nonsense killer and totally switches gears and makes you believe Eaton is going to be the next world champion. From everything he does for Bobby, like pulling out of armlocks to backing away after taking one stiff right hand to getting frustrated when he can't get the pin, this is how you truly make someone and the crowd and the announcers were buying it big time. Someone came down at the end and got involved but Eaton's picture perfect legdrop negated their presence. This was an awesome encounter. Now, the main event: This match was much better than their match at Egg Dome for the Supershow. This one had hatred invovled. Both guys were laying their stuff in, I mean, fighting like they were trying to escape a concentration camp circa 1940's Germany. Flair bled early and hard, I'm talking about that dark red syrupy stuff and Fujinami didn't back down. They had some great near falls and both guys were in really good shape. The two refs didn't really get in the way and they teased their controversial finish from the first match a few times. They both had good near victories with their signature submission moves and the finish made both men come out strong.
Top to bottom, this was a tremendous card. There were some ridiculous gimmicks but the fun thing about the show is that everyone from Fujinami to Morton were laying in their shots and making me believe and that's what it's all about.