Friday, November 20, 2009

The Rise and Fall of WCW - Part 3

The Rock N Roll Express vs. The Midnight Express (Wrestle War ’90, 2/25/90) – 5
Lot of stalling and comedy in the first part of this one. Cornette and the referee did a spot where it looked like they were going to have a fight and both of them played their roles well in it. Terry Funk was on commentary for this and came across as somewhat annoying in parts. First thing you hear from him is where he’s trying to sing. Ew. There were numerous legal man issues throughout the match, not so much in the second part but the first part was totally littered with them. The second part of the match was really good with an extended, but very standard, face in peril sequence. Morton and Eaton had a nice punching exchange, or, as my notes said “blonde mullets exchange punches”, and then took a brutal powerslam on the floor by Stan Lane. The Midnights worked over Morton’s arm and shoulder really good for most of the face in peril sequence that I mentioned above. Lane’s punches and karate-type strikes were passable. Gibson got the hot tag and cleaned house and got the pin with a very sloppy looking roll-up. The second part kept this from getting a lower score but there are RnR/Midnight matches from the late-80s that are better.

The Midnight Express vs. The Southern Boys (Great American Bash ’90, 7/7/90) – 7
Brian pimped this match back when he reviewed this particular show, so I was anxious to watch it. Southern Boys started off hot by tossing the Midnights around the ring. I’m not used to seeing Smothers this “faaarred up”, as they would say in the south. Lane and Smothers had a spot where they did karate on each other that was pretty interesting. Smothers does the face in peril role well but nowhere near as good as Ricky Morton, but he did take a few hellacious bumps into the railing. The nearfalls had the crowd on their feet. Armstrong came in and cleaned house on the hot tag. A switcheroo from the Southern Boys got a very close nearfall and a loud reaction from the crowd. The crowd was definitely in favor of the Midnights as the Dixie-flag waving Southern Boys weren’t loved by the Notherners in Baltimore. Lane busted out a nice enziguri at the end that led into the roll-up pin. Wait, this ended with a roll-up? Hmmm, don’t think I like that. Fantastic match otherwise.

The Steiner Brothers vs. Lex Luger & Sting (SuperBrawl, 5/19/91) – 7
The first time I saw this match, I thought it was overhyped but it has since grown on me. A rare face vs. face match-up for the WCW tag team titles, here. The crowd was hot for all four guys, especially for Sting. Luger and Rick started off with a nice exchange that Luger seemed to control. Sting tagged in and hit a super swank dive which got the crowd on their feet. Not much selling in this one, just hard-hitting move after hard-hitting move. I just realized that all four of these guys were still in WCW in 2001 at that three of them were on the final WCW pay-per-view. Sting barely hit a dropkick off the top rope that Rick sold like crazy by taking a wild, hard bump into the opposite turnbuckle. Nikita Koloff ran down for interference to attack Luger but Sting took the hit for his teammate. All four guys went balls out in a wild 12-minute match.

Sting vs. Vader (Great American Bash ’92, 7/12/92) – 7
A while back I reviewed the Sting/Vader bloodbath from SuperBrawl III and this match, their first pay-per-view meeting, is equally as good. Sting was the WCW champion going into this and Vader had been running rampant through the promotion with Harley Race at his side. Sting is a great punching bag for Vader. He sells everything so well that you fear Vader could polish him off at anytime. Vader controlled almost the entire match, except for brief moments where Sting was able to fight back on defense. Vader took a wild bump over the top rope and smashed up against the rail. While watching this, you will notice that Jesse Ventura’s commentary has been edited out by the crack WWE production staff. There was a nice tease of Vader winning with Sting’s own submission hold. Sting managed to get off a few corner splashes off late in the match until he hit his head on the metal turnbuckle bolt. Vader then quickly finished him off with a powerbomb. Great match that set the stage for the wild matches they would have in the future.

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