- Bradshaw v. Freddie Joe Floyd (07/13)
Great rematch, both guys used things from the first to make this one better, aggressiveness from both guys, Bradshaw showed great ring skills by controlling pace, ugly lariat at the end, Freddie threw a wild snap kick that totally reminded me of something from my old martial arts training, this was just a cool match that had no business being this good but it was and would stand up to much of the fare I've seen on any American TV this year
- Steve Austin v. Fatu (02/10)
Some awesome sequences, incl. the ducked super kick with chop block then Fatu’s crazy spin sell. Austin was so great with all his stuff, very calculating, everything hitting well. Superplex near the end was just balls out for such a big guy to take.
Owen Hart/ British Bulldog v. Duke Droese/ Bob Holly (05/11)
This was the best worked tag match I saw on this set so far, Bulldog and Owen managed to give these two “characters” all the offense a main eventer would want sold for them while still maintaining an air of legitimacy, back and forth was great, Holly looked real sharp and the heels were bumping like guys on trampolines
Davey Boy Smith v. Bob Holly (04/20)
Just a lot of things worked in this match, the spotty beginning I saw Davey do with Eddie some near decade later, the crazy crotch spot on the top rope, spot on dropkick, and Holly’s big comeback, rest spots and Davey’s strange bumps weren’t so hot but great formula and and excellent match for a sat. morning offering
Doug Furnas/ Phil La Fon v. Headbangers (12/8)
Both teams got their chance to shine, Can-Am’s with a lot of Japanese moves they learned in AJ and Headbangers also stood up, Thrasher with some nice uppercuts, really innovative front layout from the top too, the end rocked my shorts, one of the craziest German’s seen by these baby browns in a spell
- Vader v. Savio Vega (09/22)
Classic Vader, all the great brutal things you remember him for and Savio eats them as well as anyone ever could, especially those paralyzing suplexes. Love how the big man sells those savate kicks for him, cool near fall off back suplex from ropes, and finishing power bomb is the stuff of stretchers and emergency rooms,
Shawn Michaels v. Salvatore Sincere (11/10)
This was a nice layered match, good beginning, but Sincere when on offense really performed, some nice stuff we hadn’t seen from him, then they got spotty but it all worked, a nice back and forth contest, leading up to the end which is always a fun spot to watch
- Owen Hart v. Aldo Montoya (02/10)
Owen’s just on another level, especially as a heel, he gives Aldo so much and sells it very well. Great go behind segments, and the belly to belly he pulled off was so choice. Good ending sequence as well.
- Owen Hart/ Davey Boy Smith/ Crush v. Marc Mero/ Jake Roberts/ Savio Vega (12/01)
Owen’s opening sequence against Mero & Savio both were as refreshing as the pink bite after eating sushi, thought it would be a big mess, and was at points, Crush was really strange, oversold some and didn’t sell at other points, Jake was old and flabby but Owen made this more watchable than I thought it would be
Bart Gunn/ Freddie Joe Floyd v. Billy Gunn/ TL Hopper (11/10)
This match got a lot of time and it was for the better, I don’t think a 5 minute time limit would have done this justice, they all took their time and let the match unfold really well, Bart was selling well and Billy had some good spots, Freddie kept up and Hopper did his same old offense, plus after match angle was pretty good.
- Razor Ramon v. Jeff Jarrett (02/03)
This was the Double J show, Ramon seemed only to do punches over and over again, but if Jarrett didn’t sell them so interestingly, I would have been bored a lot quicker. He just has great old school heel instincts, like the Tully back suplex he used too.
- Godwinns v. British Bulldog/ Owen Hart (10/13)
Discounting Jim Cornette’s incessant rambling, this was a good old fashioned tag match that I was digging. There is no better guy that can put over any move or wrestler than Owen hart, period. Saying that, Bulldog seemed out of it, possibly in a Gas-induced state but for their part the Godwinns played the ending really well, and the surprise ending was treated as such by both announcers and fans alike.
- Shawn Michaels v. Justin Bradshaw (09/22)
Bradshaw played Simpson pinball with Shawn’s body and it was quite enjoyable; Michaels was giving him everything, the comeback spot at the end worked just as well here as it did on any ppv title bout he did. Nasty big boot from Bradshaw, only hindrance, he seemed to run out of things to do to Shawn and Shawn’s kicked nearly miffed.
Owen Hart v. Barry Horowitz (03/02)
Not sure how this one slipped through the cracks but this was not in the script so to say. Both guys use what they learned in Inoki’s gym to breeze through the opening sequence or 6 with beautiful reversals and fine wrestling. Only complaint was like a good dessert I just wanted more of what they were serving. Horowitz also played to crowd really well playing underdog.
- Jake Roberts v. Justin Bradshaw (06/15)
Jake played his role perfectly, withered old man, labored breathing, only fighting back when Bradshaw made a mistake, incll. Trying DDT several times, thought the story of the match worked but the beat down went on too long, but Bradshaw also looked really good here as bully
- HHH v. Barry Horowitz (02/17)
Barry continues to impress, HHH gives him more offense here than would ever be conceivable nowadays, esp. liked the NL suplex for a near fall; a big bonus is Horowitz sold the pedigree better than anyone else in the year of ‘96 on Superstars.
- Marc Mero v. Leif Cassidy (10/01)
Really a great performance by both men, good sequences, Both guys showed something new as well, but only problem was everything seemed a little unfinished, or sloppy at times, but Leif I think is a guy willing to try more out of the barrel things than a guy like HHH so this combination of opponents worked well together.
Steve Austin v. Bart Gunn (11/24)- 4
Austin continues here in the later half of 96 to turn it up in singles matches, he gets a lot out of Bart, except accurate selling during several parts, but all the brawling was good and the back and forth was as fun as changing tempo during “My Sharona” on Rock Band.
- Pierroth v. Matt Hardy (12/22)
Pierroth isn’t your usual Luchadore, he barely left his feet actually, but I liked parts of his performance more, the chops, the big power moves, and Matt was more than eager to kill himself so someone would notice him, guess the hideous tights weren’t doing it. But he also got a chance to show some skills himself, liked the dualing planchas too.
- Marc Mero v. HHH (07/20)
Beginning was really slow, way too many arm drags, Marlena pointless appearance, Helmsley started feeling it on selling and just gave his body up a few times, some miscues though, good near falls near end
- Steve Austin . Fatu (05/25)
I dig these guys in the ring together! No fucking audio though, what a rip, this is so much cleaner and impact than all that hackneyed shit they did in 2000, Fatu sells the shit out of Austin’s flying elbow, more so than any other guy I can remember right now, and they start out hot and confident and end the same way.
Bradshaw/ Zeb v. Vega/ Floyd (08/17)
Love Hawk and floy’d chemistry together, had a great series of matches earlier in the year and they continue their chemistry here that’s better than anything you can find on Match.com Vega kept up but wasn’t the real star here, Zeb I’ve never been a fan of and didn’t bring much to remember to this either, but there were some really well worked near falls here.
- Headbangers v. Alex Porteau/ Aldo Montoya (11/24)- 4
Bangers made this a competitive squash for much of it, but didn’t feel like it at points, they kept it competitive and showed off their wares, much of which now years later feels completely passe. Montoya’s great selling on display but toned down and Porteau had quick moments but wasn’t fully released here, could have made this much better
- Alex Porteau v. Barry Horowitz (07/13)- 3
Really cool little amateur stuff worked into a 6 minute NJ Juniors match with awesome reversals, Horowitz is looking like top dog on the mat so far in this set, Porteau can be lead
Ahmed Johnson v. Gary Lee (04/20)
Un-freakin-believable dropkick from ahmed that made this jobber do 2 backflips off the top buckle to the outside in probably the craziest spot of this Set! Enough to make this preliminary list alone
The Other Stuff
- Shawn Michaels v. 123 Kid (04/27)-
Pretty fun match to watch, became nearly a squash for a good portion of the bout with Kid taking a hellacious beating, the posting, the hiptoss outside, the nasty piledriver, I liked the beginning more so because what they had hyped (speed v. speed) they had actually delivered but it didn’t last long.
Steve Austin v. Carribbean Kid (04/13)
I enjoyed the technical aspect of this one, a little sloppy at times but both men had a built in chemistry and were able to work off each other despite problems. Austin took a crazy bump from the 2nd buckle that def. lead to his terrible neck problems but I really liked the surprise ending too.
Owen Hart v. Fatu (04/27)- 3
The beginning was stumbling like Lindsay Lohan at Sunday Mass after the sacramental wine and sex from the rear in the coat closet, but they reeled it in, even if it was hard to buy Owen flipping Fatu with clothesline and beating him with sharpshooter; dug the missile dropkick and subsequent sell though
Duke Droese v. Wild Bill Irwin (03/16)
Irwin was such a workhorse during this short match, loved the flying front snap kick he pulled off, and the crazy spill ouside, he brought the moves and sold his butt off even though he couldn’t get u pfor the finish move
- Smoking Gunns v. New Rockers (10-/27)
The Gunns implode, as Bart hangs on after taking a nasty beating, some good selling on his part too, especially the ribs, Rockers looked sharp too, some good misdirection with the double teams, and the finish was surprising and cool
- Steve Austin v. Zip (10/01)
Really well timed back and forth bout between two former USWA boys, Austin gave this ridiculous guy way more offense than most any other guy in this Superstars run, cool double cross body right out of a NJ Juniors match that bred a near fall that even had Pillman sweating on commentary,
Owen Hart v. Henry Godwinn (01/13)
A little bit ago a wrestling blog online made the claim that Chris Masters is a better wrestler than Owen hart, which is as blasphemous as a statement as you could make, and was also thought his TV output would be better; But go back and watch Owen’s TV matches, as evidenced here: on the first shoulder block he sells it like LT just hit him on the 6 yard line going for the game winning goal. Owen works so well with the big brute throughout, selling like no other and also busting out some awesome stuff, incl. 2nd rope Elbow.
- Billy Gunn v. Bob Holly (11/17)
Billy was super enthusiastic on all his bumps, especially the big hiptoss right off the bat. Loved his driving force, it kept the match flowing, the neck breaker counter was a cool spot too. Holly kept up, his usual dropkick best spot he pulled off but wasn’t as near charismatic as anyone could be.
- Savio Vega v. HHH (09/08)- 3
The match flowed well for sure, Helmsley used to be a bumper back in his day too, he just flopped over after every move. Their sequences made sense and were back and forth but no story, kind of felt like they were just waiting for Perfect spot
Barry Horowitz v. TL Hopper (08+/03)
I loved the strikes these two twere throwing even for a match that wasn’t about strikes at all, Hopper’s were big and nasty and Horowitz made every count, esp. the Lifters he was using. Couple big power moves kept this simple and short but w/o flaws
Barry Windham v. The Goon (09/22)
A brawl, from the beginning, nothing pretty here, Barry had to throw heavy to keep Goon off of him, loved Goon’s ridiculous bump outside, and control section, Windham’s suplexes are unique and always love a super plex, I'm always a sucker for a good Windham scrap
Smoking Gunns v. Techno Team 2000 (05/11)
As old fashioned as your grandma’s apple pie and strap-on in her dresser bureau, Techno’s were doing fine keeping pace and I think the trip takedown was one of the best spots of Watts career. The ending move looked really stupid and the brawl preceeding it was as aimless as a Warrior promo
- Aldo Montoya v. TL Hopper (09/22)- 3
Another good performance from Jock Strap head, bumped around really well and Hopper actually doled out some nasty offense, suplexes and rough clotheslines and the surprise finish gave it just another notch up,
Salvatore Sincere v. Aldo Montoya (09/01)
A quick match but one that flowed so smoothly it gets a spot, Montoya is most charismatic and exciting in his career, selling like a champ, full of energy, loved his spots off the ropes, wish this had 5 more minutes
Bradshaw v. Freddie Joe Floyd (-6/29)
Fun amateur style trips and takedowns in beginning, nasty boot Smothers ate like some Garbage Fries, liked his flying reverse kicks, finish was totally botched.
- The Goon v. Dan Jesser (07/20)
Stiff beat down, Goon totally into the Hockey gimmick where he doesn’t know how to wrestle, finish was realistic and painful, cool little match
- Godwinns v. Nick Barberry & Roy Raymond (11/24)- 3
Sometimes you just love watching two guys get the holy shit beat out of him and the Godwinns were truly the ones to do it, what a sick clothesline from Henry as the jobbers struggled to get a hold of what was going since they were so obviously green as the Godwinns brutalized them at every turn.
Steve Austin v. Jason Arndt (06/08)
I like this measured beat down of Austin, he really took his time, made each attack mean something, each punch and kick, and Arndt is a astandout seller among all the jobbers employed by the McMahons in this year
- Grimm Twins v. Wildo & Ingus Jinx (10/01)- 3
Hardys are the perfect young guys to get over a giant bumbling team, especially Jeff taking some nasty power slams and a bump off the top rope. Besides that the match was just a bump fest for the young future Hardys to wear some ridiculous Mardi Gras costumes.
- Sid & 123 Kid v. Aldo Montoya & Avatar- (01/20)
Avatar v. Kid was cool junior weight wrestling, with some neat counters, Aldo was expressive as you can be wearing a jock strap, Sid was perfect monster
- Hakushi v. Buddy Wayne (02/03)- 3
Wayne throws a dropkick while rocking a Flock of Seagulls haircut? He bumps like a madman for savate kick and springboard shoulder block, fuck, every piece of offense Shinzaki offered up, fun squash
Skip v. Rad Radford (01/06)
Fun quick sprint that never slowed down and both guys showed ability beyond their years, good chemistry with each other as well
- Shawn Michaels v. Tatanka (01/23)- 3
Structure was perfectly fine, and super kick to end was sick, but Shawn didn’t make me believe; more like he was trying t show up al the boys in the back instead of wrestling; both guys felt like they coasted
Justin Bradshaw v. David Haskins (10/27)-
Another really nasty squash, Bradshaw took lots of liberties on this guy and he was game to eat everything, liked some of the near falls he gave the jobber too, the lariat knocked him straight out of his boots too
- Justin Bradshaw v. Chris Harris (09/01)- 3
Nasty destruction of future Tna fatty Harris, big boot was decapitating or damn near, Bradshaw made no bones about what he was there for and what a fun match to watch
Savio Vega v. Marty Jannetty (08/06)
Vega performs very well again, playing a good face in peril even against a smaller guy, Jannetty is really good at making transitions and gong from one spot to the next, cool little ending sequence but my god was Jannetty annoying me with all the prancing around
- Savio Vega v. Who (07/06)- 3
Savio’s selling was key and made match watchable, Who is not good bumper so not good job guy, controlled pace well though, mask steals all of Neidhart’s charisma
- Duke Droese v. Brooklyn Brawler (06/29)- 3
Fun simple mindless brawl type match, both guys trade big shots, Duke pulls off nice fin