Friday, October 4, 2013

WCW SuperBrawl I

WCW SuperBrawl I
May 19, 1991 in St. Petersburg, FL
Announcers: Jim Ross and Dusty Rhodes

This is the home video version of the show, which has five matches edited out. Not sure how I’m going to live with myself not being able to see Big Josh’s dancing bears, the elaborate Oz entrance, or Ricky Morton battling Dan Spivey among other things.

1. WCW U.S. Tag Team Title: The Fabulous Freebirds vs. The Young Pistols - 6

For those who aren’t familiar with their WCW history, the U.S. Tag Team titles were basically a secondary tag team title for undercard teams. The reason they were vacant going into this match was because the Steiner Brother had won the World Tag Team titles and due to WCW’s rules at the time, a team could not hold both sets of tag belts. The Pistols are formerly known as the Southern Boys and are made up of Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong. Tracy got a nice nearfall right at the beginning on Hayes that got the crowd to pop huge. Tracy got a little bit crazy mid-match, taking a big bump over the top, getting dropped throat first across the railing, and all of that was followed by flying back first off the apron into the railing. Damn! The Birds seemed the gaining a lot out of doing very, very little. Garvin did a lot of the in-ring work with Hayes coming in and working the crowd. Pistols had some damn good offense that featured lots of double team manuevers and a lot of high risk with them diving off turnbuckles to the floor and doing big flying elbows off the top. Ref got bumped leading to a person dressed in a black bird suit coming in and giving the Pistols a swinging DDT each. Quite the fun little match to kick off the program.

2. Taped Fist Match: Brian Pillman vs. Barry Windham - 5

Not a lot in the first few minutes to speak of, except a lot of punching. Windham took a dropkick that knocked him off the top buckle and all the way to the floor in what was probably the wildest bump of the match. Pillman though, took this wild shot right into the ringpost that split him open. Not sure how Windham got that mean gash above his left eye but damn, it looked like something that might be seen in a UFC fight. I think they were rushed on time so it was only about six minutes long. The brawling was fine, nothing great, and there were moments that felt like a real heated match, other parts felt really flat.

3. Stretcher Match: Sid Vicious vs. El Gigante - 1

Watching Gigante sell Sid’s punches in a riot. He just leans backwards, fails his arms in the air, and gives this strange, bewildered look on his face. Two minutes later and we end with a knee to the face and Sid getting pinned with no involvement from a stretcher at all. Afterwards, we have a post-match brawl with One Man Gang and Kevin Sullivan wailing on Gigante. That was more entertaining that the match itself.

4. Steel Cage Match: Ron Simmons vs. Butch Reed - 4

It’s the big blowoff of the implosion of Doom! Apparently, to keep Teddy Long from interfering, he’s held in a shark cage above the ring for the duration of the match. Isn’t that the point of a cage match? To keep people from interfering? Anyway, speaking of the actual cage (not Teddy's shark cage), it looks like it could fall apart at any minute. Not a lot of memorable stuff to speak of here except for Reed hitting a sick piledriver. Simmons threw a lot of punches and Reed seemed content just to rely on basic manuevers. I liked the big shoulderblock off the top from Reed but that’s about the extent of the highlights. Simmons won with a spinebuster. Honestly, probably one of the most boring cage matches I’ve seen in a long time.

5. WCW World Tag Team Title: The Steiner Brothers vs. Lex Luger & Sting - 8

I should note that I've already reviewed this match once on the Rise and Fall of WCW DVD but it's so good that it gets a second review for this show! Luger and Rick start off feeling each other out but that doesn’t last for long as Steiner took a wicked shoulder block that just wrecked him. On commentary, Dusty quipped “he bounced off him like a ball on a wall!” Rick came back with a sick German suplex in which he pretty much threw Luger into next week and pissed him off. He was pissed so much that he doled out a super stiff lariat and a military press slam. All these guys seem seriously motivated, even Sting did a huge running dive to the outside on Rick. Seeing Scott and Sting tie up makes me wonder why WCW never did a main event match between Sting and Steiner during the dying days of the company. Guess that would’ve made too much sense. I could’ve listed and recapped every big move in the match but there were just too many things to keep up with. The match has just been chaotic, but in a good way, unlike sloppy indy tags or TV matches that just break down because of workrate, bad booking, etc. This was everything good about tag team wrestling … big high-impact moves, great nearfalls, stiff in-ring work … all rolled into one awesome match and it was a thing of beauty. The ending saw Nikita Koloff run down and try to hit Luger but Sting took the brunt and ended up getting pinned, thus setting up the Koloff/Sting match for the Great American Bash. This is one tag match that you have just got to see.

6. WCW Television Title: “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton vs. Arn Anderson - 6

Amazingly enough, this is Arn’s third stretch holding the TV Title and yet, the first time he’s actually defended it in a pay-per-view match. The chain wrestling to start off with led to a hard right hand by Eaton, to which Arn sold and had this amazed look on his face like “I can’t believe you actually did that!” Brawl on the ramp was fun with Eaton taking a header off the top rope right onto the ramp and then Arn taking a backdrop off a piledriver reversal. Arn controlled a lot of the match with some good solid mat work that concentrated on Eaton’s leg by wrapping it around the ringpost, continuously ramming it into the mat, and hooking on leglocks and holds. Arn got a real close nearfall off a stiff, stiff spinebuster. Eaton’s comeback, although rather short, was highlighted by a running neckbreacker and a big Alabama Jam legdrop, although in typical WCW fashion they missed the pinfall as the cameras were focused on a brawl between Pillman and Windham. Probably the biggest win of Eaton’s singles career and probably the peak of it.

7. WCW World Title: Ric Flair vs. Tatsumi Fujinami - 5

A big fight feel here even though there were absolutely no reactions from the crowd on either entrance. Right out of the gate, they just start tearing into each other. Interesting here that there are two referees, onf on the inside and one on the outside. I guess that has something to do with the previous encounter between these two in Japan but nobody really bothered to explain anything about that match or how this match came together. It was just treated as nothing really special. Flair got rocked with a big forearm for a nearfall. Flair got busted open on the brawl on the floor by eating the railing and then getting his head shoved right into the ringpost. The tempo in the first half seemed slow and deliberate but after Flair got busted open, it seemed the tempo picked up a bit. Finishing stretch was good with the match surprisingly ending on a roll-up instead of Flair getting a win with the Figure Four. Match itself felt sort of flat and I kept getting the feeling that these two just didn’t click for some reason.

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