Friday, December 23, 2011

Scott Watches WCW SuperBrawl IV

Oh I love the warped VHSness of the digital copy I have here. Fantastic. Tracking!

There's a bit at the start where we see Flair working out in a Gold's Gym. Obviously I know the man worked out, but I just never imagined Ric Flair working out in a gym and the visual surprises me. That's stupid, and I realize that, but damn. Running on the treadmill? Ric Flair?

Tony and Bobby are your hosts on February 20 at the Gray Civic Center in gorgeous Albany, Georgia. Tony shows us some clips of Johnny B. Badd getting cracked with a left hand by Michael P.S. Hayes on Saturday Night, so those two will rassle later. Heenan says that Badd has a weak chin.

Unfortunately Michael P.S. Hayes is out in a wheelchair, being led to the ring by Jimmy Garvin in a suit. A kid in a Nasty Boys shirt that was clearly handed out to him is like, "thumbs down ya fucker, thumbs down." Nick Bockwinkel and Mean Gene interrupt the entrance. Hayes congratulates Mr. Bockwinkel. The "Freebirds" can't get their story straight. Bockwinkel isn't buying this bull. Oh wait, there's a doctor's note. Hayes presents the note, while Garvin notes it's also killing him, and hey he'd love to get in there, he could whip Badd. Bockwinkel presents a flimsy story about contracts enforced for the Freebirds. "I'm retired," says Garvin. "...not for long," says Bockwinkel, smooth as silk. Bockwinkel orders Garvin to wrestle Badd tonight. If he doesn't, they'll be fined and suspended indefinitely.

So anyway, back to Tony and Bobby. And now back to the ring.

Harlem Heat vs Thunder & Lightning

Bobby notes that Harlem Heat is REALLY quick, which would not hold true for Stevie Ray much longer, if it were ever true at all, which is debatable. I like how Tony will call Heenan "Bob." Booker T starts and hopefully stays in for the two minutes this match deserves to last with the American Gladiator slugs being on the other side of the ring. Lightning works the arm a bit and then Booker tags in Stevie Ray to exhibit his great speed. Thunder takes the beatdown. It is as exciting as you might suspect.

Backstage, Flair and Arn Anderson sit around with Bockwinkel and Steamboat. So Tony Schiavone's big scoop he's been rambling about was that Flair is talking to people backstage. Boy. Eventually Booker T misses a flying elbow and Thunder makes an anti-climactic hot tag to Lightning. Katie, bar the door. A couple of twigs should do. Stevie Ray kicks Lightning in the head and Booker gets the pin. I forgot to mention that Heenan did a "Batman & Robin" thing for Thunder & Lightning during the entire match.

Mean Gene is backstage outside of Ric Flair's locker room, where there are police stationed. Vader intends to beat up Flair before the match. Vader's kind of a wimp.

The Equalizer vs Jungle Jim Steele

For the life of me I do not understand the Equalizer. Steel is from the Everglades, but he's some kind of jungle savage. I don't know. It's very WCW - very Jim Herd. Equalizer thrills the world with his "offense" and Jungle Jim is incredibly green and Power Planty. Major VHS fuzziness is the best thing about this match - Jungle Jim wins with a horrible Thesz Press. "Boy that was a surprise, Tony."

Let's move on and go back to Mean Gene Okerlund and his fuckin Hot Line. Gordon Solie and Larry Zbyszko are doing The Commentary on the Hot Line. You can just call in for a buck a minute and listen to those two yak for three hours. Why WOULDN'T you? It's only a $180 phone call. Nick Bockwinkel and Ricky Steamboat are here. Ric Flair has promised Steamboat a title shot if he's successful against Vader tonight. But now WCW has promised that Steamboat will face the winner, even if it's Vader. Good for Ricky. He's been losing his mind for six months or so and he deserves the title shot. It's been a while. "All the wrestlers back there are walking around on eggs."

Diamond Dallas Page (w/One of His Diamond Dolls) vs Terry Taylor

So Terry Taylor's getting back in the ring. DDP is still kinda fat. I mean, you know, thinner than I've been as a grown man, but fat for DDP. I think DDP is sort of awesome - he has taken a career in an industry that generally destroys the souls of men in the most recent generations, and turned it into nothing but good things for himself. That guy rules. Maybe it's because he's 70 years old and not truly from the generations, but whatever it is, at least he's not a sad mopey crying stupid shell of a human being by the time he was 50 in 1994. It all kinda reminds me of that King of the Hill episode where Cotton and the WWII vets can't afford the VFW hall anymore, so they have to invite Vietnam veterans in, but the Vietnam dudes are all group meeting nutjobs and the WWII guys are just old men enjoying what time they have left. It's a great episode, and I'm not meaning to get down on Vietnam boys or Scott Hall, but there's that difference in generations, and it's big. There's just a big gulf between the mindset and outlook of a guy like Harley Race and a guy like Chris Jericho and his terrible band, or a guy like Mick Foley and his emphasis on his kids, or a guy like Scott Hall who is, you know, Scott Hall, and does E60 features about his troubles. Not that I'm saying there's something wrong with any of those dudes -- they are who they are, and it is what it is, and that's just how it goes, and all that crap.

Anyway, Taylor is still 50 times better than Page and actually one of the best wrestlers on the roster just based on his performance here, but Terry Taylor has had his chances and now he's just a kickass enhancement talent. There are so many things Terry Taylor never was that he could have been, most notably I believe he could have been one of the great television champions. Taylor gets worked over and Page gets a little upset that he can't put this thing away. This is a pretty good match - Taylor is really terrific in there and I'm trying to imagine all the fun matches that could be made with someone who's less of a slug than 1994 DDP. Regal vs Taylor, Arn vs Taylor again, Flair vs Taylor, Taylor vs Eaton on Worldwide in a best 2/3 falls match, Taylor vs Steamboat, Taylor vs Booker T on Saturday Night.

I'm also trying to figure out right now if 1994 DDP is better than 1994 Rick Rude. Stylistically there aren't a ton of differences other than Page talks a lot more and Rude looks better so gives the illusion he is better. Taylor stays on the mat in DDP's incredible weardown holds for a good while, then elbows out, hits a crossbody block, and gets to his feet only to get laid out by a right hand from Page. Arrogant cover from DDP - very Rick Rude-like. Taylor wins on a fluke roll-up, then I think he shoves the Diamond Doll. That's kind of a dick move.

Back to Mean Gene, who's with Olivier Muffler of WCW International.

Johnny B. Badd vs Jimmy Garvin (w/Michael P.S. Hayes)

Fantastically, Garvin wheels Hayes out and does have his own wrestling gear, and gets his strut on a little bit. Jimmy Jam is looking damn old. Hayes is the highlight of the match barking out basic instructions as Badd and Garvin have a match of sorts.

As Garvin and Badd sleep it out in the ring, Hayes and Heenan shout across the ring to one another. "Hi, Bobby!" "Hi, Michael! I hope you feel better!" "Thank you!" Badd misses a left hook (that's the basis of his feud with Hayes) but hits a right uppercut. Flying sunset flip ends things. Badd starts stalking a man in a wheelchair but Garvin jumps him. Good. Hayes throws his boot in, Garvin whomps him and then hits him with a stunner (he called it the 911). I guess retired Jimmy Garvin had to get his heat back.

Backstage, Mean Gene gets cleared past security to head toward Vader's room. Vader's in there raising a ruckus. Vader, not wanting to speak to Gene, lightly throws a chair somewhere toward the door.

World Television Title: Arn Anderson vs Lord Steven Regal (c, w/Sir William)

Good to have Arn back in action. I really want that jacket that says ENFORCER on the back. Guess what this match has? Very tight, very strong wrestling from a couple of top-notch pro-fessionals who can fight and work body parts and punch and kick and put on holds and turn it up and slow it down. What can you talk about? Anderson was probably the greatest "meat and potatoes" wrestler ever, which I guess could sound like an insult but I think meat and potatoes kick ass, so I'm just saying he's fantastic. He's a beautiful baked potato and a top of the line ribeye.

Unlike the other PPV TV title matches that had 15 minute time limits this, uh, does not. They're battling with the time winding down. Regal cheats to win with 'six seconds remaining.' Right on. Can't argue with this match. Can't say a lot about it, but can't argue with it. Two of the all-time great TV champs.

World Tag Team Title: Cactus Jack & Maxx Payne vs The Nasty Boys (c)

Missy Hyatt is gone. Farewell, lovely Missy. Fun start with Maxx Payne making with the Wrestling and catching the Nastys off-guard. Nastys turn it around and Jack's all coughing up blood. Schiavone goes into Serious Voice. Jack takes a beating, Payne gets in, and the faces have it won, but Saggs hits Payne with a weird acoustic guitar that they brought to the ring, you know, for SOME reason, and it's a DQ. Match was pretty cool. Oh and Payne hurt his arm.

Blah blah blah, backstage with Gene. 1-900-909-9900. Ric & Ricky talk backstage. Arn Anderson is here, too. Buddies!!!!

Thundercage: Ravishing Rick Rude & Stunning Steve Austin & Paul Orndorff vs Sting & Dustin Rhodes & Flyin' Brian Pillman

So since they have no strong heels to turn to, Paul Orndorff breaks up his team with Roma to hang out with these guys in this match, and Dustin Rhodes is here too. Crowd is super hot for the first time all night and it's all for Sting. Pillman smacks Austin in the chest on the floor for another big reaction. This is really well-paced in the earlygoing and Pillman gets in there to take some licks including a wicked belly-to-back from Orndorff. Dustin shows SHADES OF his daddy when he gets in with some right hands. Dustin should be fatter. Then he'd be way cooler. Good, hot match, not much to do with the cage at all, just a good six-man tag, and Pillman pins Austin. Pillman clearly has Austin's number. After the match Rude slams the cage door on Sting's face and gives him the Rude Awakening - ON THE FLOOR!

Flair vs Vader video package. The clips of Vader beating the shit out of Steamboat are pretty good.

Thundercage for the WCW World Heavyweight Title: Vader (w/Harley Race) vs Ric Flair (c)

The Boss is here as special referee. Harley Race keeps growling out, "You don't need to worry about no lock, Boss!" while Boss locks the cage door. He's gonna ref with his nightstick at the ready. FUCK YES Flair beats the shit out of Vader in the corner to start the match! This feud should have main evented every PPV for a year and they never should have hired Hogan. Flair wearing Vader out and then cracks him outside with a chair, and then AGAIN!

Flair pulls Vader's mask off. Nobody has cared less about his mask in the history of wrestling then Vader. Vader pulls out a "holy shit" Flair flip in the corner, but that causes Flair to run right into Vader on the apron. And immediately, with one offensive move against him, Flair starts with the AHHWWW. OH. OH GOD. OH GOD. selling.

Vader misses his moonsault which indicates quickly that this match probably isn't going a good long time, since he's already busting that out. But it doesn't matter anyway - Flair is still in bad shape, and gets thrown ringside, where Race gets some work in as Vader distracts The Boss.

Race gets involved again outside, and The Boss catches it this time, and goes to handcuff Race to the cage. Instead, Vader jumps The Boss and handcuffs him to the cage. Now it's getting serious. Vader has the nightstick. Race is getting in now, and locks it again once he's inside. Somehow, despite it now being 2-on-1 and The Boss handcuffed, Flair makes a comeback and starts kicking some ass. Steamboat is out now, beating up the cage door with a steel chair.

Why doesn't he just climb the cage? Flair is going insane hitting everything with a steel chair. Oh Arn Anderson is here too. Vader and Harley take the advantage again, and then The Boss breaks his handcuffs and gets rolling, kicking Vader's ass. Nightstick to the knee, Race goes down, and Flair locks on the figure four and The Boss rings the bell. The infamous Albany Screwjob.

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