Thursday, July 14, 2011

WCW SuperBrawl 5

Preamble: A few years back, we decided to go back and review WCW's big annual event, Superbrawl and we killed it! And also found some awesome matches along the way. Much to my surprise, I stumbled upon this long lost gem and promptly looked up the match listings and realized this was never even brought up when we were doing that project, so now, I'm not letting it slip through the cracks any longer.

1) Paul Roma v. Alex Wright- 5

Okay, weird opener here, booking wise. Roma was still part of the ultra hot tag team Pretty Wonderful at the time, but this was when the WCW upper brass were giving everyone that famous line about "go out and let this 18 year old German kid show everyone what he can do." Kind of a funny dynamic here as Roma still looks young but you know he was 34 and a chain smoker. Both guys are in great shape, arguably better than anyone else on the show, so they get the time to show it. As cocky as I've heard Roma is, he backs some of it up by walking up the top rope backwards, then dropping a SSSSIIICCCKKKK fucking elbow halfway across the ring. Wright looked to be puking up some sauerkraut on the mat. Both these guys have pretty dropkicks too. Orndorff wandered down to ringside, wearing full gear and robe, like he had Alzheimers and forgot he wasn't wrestling and was the catalyst of the abysmal 80's finish where partners run into each other. Wright botched a hiptoss and let Roma all dead on his face like he was riding a bronco and it promptly bucked him off. Really good opener though.

2) Bunkhouse Buck v. Hacksaw Jim Duggan- 3

I believe it was Oscar Wilde who said, paraphrasing, "sometimes you just want to see two humans hurt each other." Could have been Micahel Schiavello, my mind is on the fritz. When you book these two to have a match, you have no illusions of what is going to happen. Never been a big fan of Duggan's punches, they look like Popeye's, but with the right guy selling them they work. Buck was that guy. He had this big dopey look on his face before the punch and then after, would give this bug eyed look like Don Flamenco. Duggan does these weird knee drops where he basically teabags a guy and they look so weak. One part that worked (usual Buck spot) was Duggan ripping off his suspenders and thermal shirt off like he was about to film a rape scene for a low budget porn scene. Remember Sticker Books? That would have been an awesome sticker for a WCW issue. Aftermatch was better than the finish, Meng comes in looking pimp-fucking-tastic with his suit & shades and makes Duggan eat his toes as a late night snack; sorry, he was all out of Cornflakes.

3) Kevin Sullivan v. Evad Sullivan- 2

Brother v. Brother- funny when pundits and announcers bring up famous family feuds, this one's left out. Evad is really Dave (who was really a shitty guy named Equalizer). His gimmick is he's not bright (they never really said if he was mentally instable/ lower iq/ mentally handicapped) and that he loves Hulk Hogan. He loves Hogan so much he actually tries to grow a skullet (grow isn't the right word; i'll say "engineer") and fight his enemies. Kevin is def. unleashing some repressed shit here as he pundles Dave over and over in the head and he sells it like a goose wandering across the street, seemingly unaware traffic is bearing down on it (this happens frequently where I work.) Dave doesn't do anything well at all and I'm having a hard time trying to figure out why he is even a wrestler. Thankfully this isn't long.

4) Harlem Heat v. Nasty Boys- 4

This is the match I really thought I'd like but who the fuck told the Nasty Boys to go out and do a standard tag match with no brawling? Not that this didn't have it's share of fun moments, such as a really stiff back elbow from Booker that reeled Sags. Brian was just telling me Stevie Ray mentioned in his shoot how much he disliked this series; well the beginning wasn't any better. Much preferred their wild brawl the next month at Uncensored to this.

5) Dustin Rhodes v. Black Top Bully- 4

So middle of the show now and we settle in for a long one. Overall this harkened back to the glory days of long matches with not a lot happening that will pop the people but some solid work. Bully was Smash then Repo Man, so here he's working on his 3rd completely different gimmick and he looks worn down. Rhodes is putting much more effort into what he's doing, from taking bumps to locking down the arm. Parker is at ringside sweating up a storm, being tremendous. Dustins' famous punch is there. There's some good stuff to see here but none of it makes this match recommendable. Dustin flying through the ropes on a bump and Heenan asking Tony Schiavone if he would claim Dustin as his son were among the highest peaks.

6) Sting/ Randy Savage v. Avalanche/ Big Bubba- 5

Pre match interview is historic- Gene mentions, earnestly as he possibly can despite feeling like wrestling's car salesman for 20 years, this among the 4 or 5 greatest ppv's he's been associated with. Ha. Savage comes in, grabs the mic and intensely barks "I'm not talking!" God damn we miss you Macho. Then Sting fumbles through 3 minutes of talking as if he's never had to do it before. Far, far cry from his Ledger-esque ramblings today.

The match looked to be the most underwhelming on the card to me (save the Sullivan travesty) but you know what, big time performers are just that for a reason. Now, don't get me wrong, this wasn't technical by any means, nor was it long, maybe about 9 minutes but it had moments by god! One of the first was Savage hopping around Bubba, outsmarting him, then so ever so slyly, spinning around in front of Avalanche and slapping him so hard Elizabeth from 1985 felt it. This rightly pissed the big shit off, so he stepped in the ring, and Savage did it again, even stiffer this time. I was admiring Savage brightly at this point, beaming even. The faces danced around the big guys for most of this match, with the heels never really getting a lot done but that energy carried this match much farther than if they had just ploddingly beat on Sting & Savage for 15 minutes. Finish was hot, people were going nuts like they were from Cleveland watching Lebron kiss his championship chances goodbye this year.

7) Hulk Hogan v. Vader- 4

They had built this up all night, Vader had terrorized the back like a gaudy high school killer with a gimmick all night, and Nature Boy Ric Flair was at ringside. He was so badly oozing the finish of this match it may as well have unrolled in the form of a scroll from his mouth and stretched across the whole audience. Vader played nice for a good portion of this but also got his shots in. Hogan did his drop toe hold and go behind spots he always pulls out when he's in with a badass dude than can drop him quicker than Linda cashes his alimony checks these days. Vader had 2 pieces of business here that were significant; 1st he broke Hulk in half with a powerbomb and 2nd he kicked out of the legdrop at 1. Those two things are huge in putting him over, something I'm surprised Hulk was so cool with. This may sound like a good match but it was more like a class in punching and sweating as that's the bulk of what happened. Vader looked like the world beater he still was here but this power play combined with Micheals in WWF the next year seemed to have sapped this monster of his dominance. Too fucking bad because he was a beast.


Brian said...

yea.. i remember Roma doing that flying back elbow during our WorldWide '94 project.. - good point about Vader kicking out at 1 (or at all) from the leg drop.. - i like it when that happens in matches to up the dramatic ante.. Foley doing it to HHH at Rumble '00, the Jeff Hardy/HHH stuff, Aries/Joe, etc.

Jessie said...

Yep....unfortunately there was a bunch of shit with Flair going on so it was almost barely noticed...