Friday, June 25, 2010

Brian's WCW Power Hour '90 ballot

Back in September of '09 myself, Jessie, and former NHO member Adam took on the massive project of compiling the top twenty five matches from WCW's show Power Hour in 1990 (the results are available here in the format of a three-part YouTube video countdown and text-based). I realized I still had sitting on my hard-drive my original ballot and comments and thought they'd provide an interesting read so prepare to get into my mind as I scribbled down notes in the middle of the night at my old apartment on good 'ol Westbrook Ave. and dig. We watched hundreds of matches but these are my favorites:

Brian's NWA/WCW Power Hour '90 ballot

1. Doom vs. Road Warriors - (2/23)
Awesome tag match -- tons of heat, fast-paced, everyone working hard, small, redneck-filled arena, this is why Doom is in HoF. Def. see it making my top 5.

2. Midnight Express vs. Tom Zenk and Brian Pillman - (4/20)
Wow.. the first match from this show that felt like an actual PPV match. Real hot stuff, with the faces just having the Express' number, loved it when Lane tried to retreat up the aisle and Cornette had to try to push him back, Eaton bumps to floor, great timing and energy by the faces - just terrfic

3. Sting, Ric Flair & Arn Anderson vs. Great Muta, Buzz Sawyer & Dragon Master (1/26)
Just insane crowd heat -- really everybody shined saved for Dragon Master who offered as much charisma as Michael Jackson's corpse, which is to say, only slightly more than the average dead body. The energy here is palpable and its a joy to watch so many talented performers create something together

4. Steiner Bros vs. Doom - (3/30)
One of my last viewings and holy shit I couldn't deny this - crowd is just so unglued for the Frankensteiner and I love all of this

5. Arn Anderson vs. Great Muta - (1/12)
Easily the most significant match of the series with Arn winning the TV title. Muta was such a breath of fresh (green-misted) air with his style, body langauge, aura, etc.

6. Doom vs. Tom Zenk and Brian Pillman - (6/16)
Good match but at tailend of packed episode. Cool fin where Zenk was on Simmons' back and Reed came off top with clothesline. Good while it lasted with the speed vs. power being a great story

7. Freebirds vs. Southern Boys - (6/23)
Not too long before having a MotY candidate at GAB '90 those wild-eyed Southern Boys had a good match w/ the 'Birds. Everything flowed well, but a Jim Cornette distraction led to a rollup win for the heels. Good stuff but too short to be too memorable.

8. Ric Flair vs. Robert Gibson - (4/6)
Flair bleds a bit, a ton of good legwork by Gibson, hot crowd, surprise roll-up finish

9. Michael Hayes v. Tracey Smothers - (7/14)
Got time, got over, and got screwed by bad finish

10. Tom Zenk vs. Galaxian II - (1/5)
Interesting and given more time than I'd expected - While in a headlock Zenk taps the mat w/ tip of boot, etc. little details I liked - Galaxian does some wild lucha-by way-of Tennessee bumps

11. Bobby Eaton vs. Tracy Smothers - (9/28)
Eaton was running the gauntlet and this got some time, nice slow start, built up nicely, top rope snapped, Cornette interfered leading to the Bobby victory but this was a satisfying main

12. Brian Pillman vs. Tim Horner - (9/14)
First-ever Gauntlet match and most "technical" match to date

13. Tommy Rich & Johnny Ace vs. Samu & Cuban Assassin - (3/30)
A late entry but a great time-limit draw that didn't have a lot of bullshit like the Cactus/Gilbert one, just Ace and Samu clubbing the hell out of each other, way more fun than it needed to be

14. Ole & Arn Anderson vs. New Zealand Militia - (1/5)
Could have been from AJPW's Real World Tag League '90

15. Midnight Express vs. Brian Pillman and Tom Zenk (6/9)
Pretty good but something missing, typical convoluted finishes, memorable for Pillman's ballsy victory roll and second attempt blocked and dropped hard

16. Ric Flair vs. Tommy Rich - (3/9)
Flair selling a whip into the guardrail is one of the best things of this set

17. Rock and Roll Express vs. MOD Squad - (6/23)
Ross puts over the Squad on commentary and I was quite impressed. Not a ton facially or emotionally from them, but take the RNR armdrags well, and look competent enough to fit in as a lower-tier team in the division just lacking character.

18. Midnight Express vs. Tim Horner and Tommy Rich - (7/22)
ME are good players, Horner had athletic build but no look/charisma, ending kind of came apart with ME doing blind ref switcheroo on pinfall

19. Doom vs. Rock & Roll Express - (7/1)
Time-limit draw but worked as such, not much out of first gear

20. Lex Luger vs. Samu - (3/23)
Pretty physical/fast-paced, good heat, liked Lex's bump to floor

21. Rick Steiner vs. Butch Reed - (4/20)
Got decent time - Butch seemed real confident, relaxed - mostly Rick eating stuff, but he doesn't give much in the selling dept. - ending saw each guys' partner run out

22. Cactus Jack vs. Eddie Gilbert - (3/23)
Time-limit draw, nice suplex on floor, dangerous Foley bump over rail, but Eddie using lame rest holds bugged me

23. Tom Zenk vs. Ric Flair - (2/2)
Mostly a Flair carry job but he did make Zenk's chest bleed like that stain on Luke Wilson's wall in that Henry Poole Is Here flick. Flair still tugs on the trunks even though he's supposed to be "face".

24. Cactus Jack & Kevin Sullivan vs. Ranger Ross & Tommy Rich (3/16)
Goes quite awhile with a lot of it being Ross holding headlocks but Rich does have some spirited facials and selling, Jack gets slapped around by Sullivan on the floor, and there's a fun brawl afterward w/ Norman and Rotunda

25. Brian Pillman and Tom Zenk vs. Freebirds - (3/2)
Not their best match together, felt like a preview, Firebirds customary stalling, aftermatch brouhaha w/ multiple teams fun


26. Ric Flair and Arn Anderson vs. Italian Stallion and Joe Barrett - (11/10) - 3
Ric stands at ringside in robe letting Arn take care of things for awhile - Arn is real crisp, lots of nasty stomps, comments at camera towards Doom, etc. - Gets a few minutes of the Horsemen just being nasty

27. Freebirds vs. Tommy Rich and Ricky Morton - (12/1) - 3
Pretty good but given little time, so no classic stalling, rallying, etc. Morton gets tripped and DDT'd

28. Cactus Jack vs. Keith Hart - (3/2)
Crazy squash, Jack does nutty shit, including an insane elbow drop from the apron all the way over the guardrail to the concrete

29. Stan Lane vs. Steve Armstrong - (11/10)
Gauntlet match, some filler with Cornette, Lane running around, etc. but got more time than most although wish a more full story could have been told/realized

30. Barry Windham vs. Johnny Ace (6/16)
Opener w/ crazy crowd heat that results in the Horsemen and the Dudes coming out, but fun while it lasts, as Ace stands up to Windham, one great face-off where Windham's eyes looked crazy

31. Freebirds vs. Todd Brewer & Paul Lee - (12/8)
Someone must have pissed in Garvin's coffee as he doesn't like the flamboyant jobber and just beats the shit out of him, stiff clothesline, bodyslams, and neck crushing German suplex. Fun to see the Freebirds going strong style..

32. Paul Orndorff vs. Dutch Mantell - (7/29)
Mantell surprisingly works over Paul mostly, gets more time, more physical than expected

33. Freebirds vs. Rock 'N Roll Express - (6/16)
Real abbreviated version of their matches with no Firebirds stalling and lame ending where Gibson hit a real ugly crossbody on Hayes for flash pin

34. Ricky Morton & Tommy Rich vs. Dutch Mantell & Barry Horowitz - (11/3)
Barry and Dutch were good on offense, esp. a Barry stomp right in RIch's face - with Rich's selling good - Barry's selling sucked, esp. during the opening fistacuffs vs. Morton

35. Freebirds vs. Johnny Ace and Paul Drake - (6/9)
Classic Freebirds, Ace looked good, got more time than I'd imagined, Drake musclebound midget that Hayes beats the shit out of, fun semi-squash

36. Brian Pillman vs. Basher - (9/28)
More athletic and fast-paced than the general squash

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