Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Scott Watches WCW Spring Stampede '94



Hello. My name is Scott and I am a human being who wastes a lot of his life on stupid projects like this.

We left off at SuperBrawl IV, which was posted on December 23, 2011. I started this project on December 15, 2010, with the first Clash of the Champions. My original goal was just to watch all the Clashes -- that's what I collected first. But being the type of idiot that I am, that was never realistic. What was realistic was every PPV. And then every PPV + some weekly TV shows. That's why it's June 2012, and I'm in mid-1994. Hogan hasn't even shown his bald head in WCW yet, and it's been a year-and-a-half of this. With some lengthy breaks, of course, because I have a job and shit. Unfortunately. (Not that I dislike my job.) If someone would pay me to do this, that'd be great.

If anyone wants to, get in touch.

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They are hanging from the rafters here tonight, woooowww. Get ready for this one. ........ alright, now here's fuckin Aaron Neville to sing the national anthem. This is a godawful national anthem. Just godawful.

April 17 from the historic and famous and highly important Rosemont Horizon in Chicago (Rosemont). It's Tony and The Brain! MOTHERFUCK

Johnny B. Badd vs Diamond Dallas Page (w/His Diamond Doll)

It's been a while but I recall having been sick of Johnny B. Badd when I left off, and I'm sick of him upon return. But I'm being open-minded for about the first half of this show, and then I'll return to my normal self. Page with the "ground the flying guy" approach, but Badd storms back into the match with a shitty looking left hand that knocks DDP to the floor, and then there's a crossbody to the floor, and then Page rolls back in and falls victim to the devastating flying sunset flip.

Gene and The Body have a steak dinner bet on Flair vs Steamboat. They've never met with the prestige on the line here tonight, says Ventura. Arguably greatest load of shit he ever spewed. To that point.



World Television Title: Flyin' Brian vs Lord Steven Regal (c, w/Sir William)

Tony brings up the 15-minute time limit early in the match so I'm already terrified of another fucking 15-minute time limit draw. To me, the 10-15-minute draw is just the worst. 30, 60, 90, 120, whatever -- I can deal with that. You can have a great, great match with that much time. But in 10-15, sure you can have a great match, but the time limit almost always means that it's a rush job or just a slow burn through 10 minutes of build-up to an actual great match. Tony talking by himself as Heenan stepped on his headset cord and he hasn't been able to do anything. Being as it's Regal, Pillman is not afraid to light it up with his chops, and being as it's Pillman, Regal is able to be rugged asskicker instead of wussy technical wrestler. There's Regal the badass, who does the technical stuff, and then there's Regal who has to work light and it turns him into a softie.

This isn't great, but it is pretty decent. I live in fear continually of the 15-minute time limit. I actually don't remember the winner or if there was one in this match. I mean, I know Pillman didn't ever win the TV title, so I'm good there, but I don't know if we've got a DQ or time limit or countout or cheap pinfall or what. Sir William informs the Brain there are five minutes left. And of course we're just starting to have a good match, as Pillman, worn down by Regal's holds, begins firing back. Regal did the 10/15 limit as well as anyone -- at least it made sense, with Regal perfectly happy to go that limit and keep guys in holds. Yeah we get the time limit, as they both fall over the top rope at 15 seconds, and that's about where we leave it. It was fine to watch, but as usual an exercise in inevitability.

World Tag Team Title, Chicago Streetfight: The Nasty Boys vs Cactus Jack & Maxx Payne

As Paulie Walnuts would say, it's fuckin mayham. This is the absolute best possible use of the Nastys and Payne, as they're all getting the rub from Cactus Jack's craziness. Actually, to be perfectly fair, the Nastys could brawl with just about anyone, and had a hell of a match with the Steiners at Halloween Havoc '90, too. Really they were surprisingly useful in WCW during their stints there. Sometimes anyway. They were used for things they could handle.

Concession stand gets involved, though why it's in an area where no one can buy anything is beyond me. Through a table goes Jellyfish Knobs. Highlight of the match is Knobs absolutely leveling Jack in the side of the skull with a fucking shovel. Sags puts Jack on a gimmicked table for a piledriver through it, his legs start to buckle, and it never happens because they just slip through the table. Jack takes the plunge from the ramp onto the concrete. Absolute insanity. Fucking insanity. Cactus Jack is the motherfucking best. He is pinned by Sags. Maxx eats half a table after the pinfall. You watch a match like this, and you forget all the old man sellout lame ass Foley footage since 2006. You even feel bad -- if you're me -- for shitting on his appearances so relentlessly. I do it mostly as nonsense (I don't really give a crap what Mick does nor do I feel betrayed by his wienery TV persona), but still. This guy used to kill himself. Jesus Christ. Twenty stars.

United States Heavyweight Title: The Great Muta vs Stunning Steve Austin (c, w/Col. Parker)

Chyron just says MUTA. Muta is over, but we're closing in on the end of the years when Muta could show up in WCW and matter, before he became Chono's nWo tag team partner. Heenan says he's never seen Muta wrestle live, as if he's genuinely looking forward to it. Stunning Steve has the Marty Jannetty 1998 music. We are already beyond the time when Muta was a regular lunatic that wowed U.S. audiences with his incredible innovation. But he is crisp here, dominating Stunning Steve in some respects, but Austin wrenches up on him and tries to figure out a plan of attack. Col Parker becomes involved, tripping Muta and choking him outside. Austin goes into a long abdominal stretch and these two frankly just don't have the chemistry. Heenan is astounded that Chicago roots for a foreigner. Muta makes a comeback with a couple rights but Austin avoids a dropkick and drops an elbow from the second rope. Muta with another brief comeback and this time it's a flying dropkick that cuts him off. Austin goes for the Hollywood and Vine (inside toe-hold), but can't get it, and Austin eats a stungun from Muta, then looks around as if to say, "can you believe me?" I can't believe Muta wastes the time. Handspring back elbow gets the crowd up, and Muta showboats before the huracanrana from the top rope, after which he spin kicks Col Parker in the face and backdrops Austin over the top for the incredibly shitty DQ. Plancha to the floor but it doesn't matter now.

"International World" Title: Sting vs Rick Rude (c)

Like Johnny B. earlier, I recall that I had grown tired of Rick Rude. Harley Race comes out and interrupts Rude's spiel. He challenges the winner to face Vader. Then he tries to jump Sting, which backfires. Race, 50 years old, flies to the floor. Rude tries to take advantage, doesn't happen. Sting suplexes him on the floor. Long front facelock. Fuck this is your typical Rude garbage. That brief watchable period he had early in his WCW run was not going to last forever, but fuck does he get boring once he's settled in and comfortable with his position.

Rude takes over, so we go to a fuckin camel clutch, of sorts anyway. Sting is loungin' in that thing. BOY this match sucks a dick and a half. Rude is of the worst wrestlers on the roster at this point, doing absolutely nothing. It's to the point he keeps a sleeper on for so long that he has to just break it because, well, it's that or Sting's dead. Rude wakes Sting up with a few right hands, then gingerly tries to escape the ring and Sting exposes his ass and drops some atomics. Even this is crap. Harley Race runs in and takes more bumps than Rude. Vader runs in. Randy Anderson lays on his stomach, watching it all unfold. Vader out, Race out, and Rude's back up with an exciting chop block. Race back in and accidentally hits Rude with one of the worst chair shots in history. Randy Anderson continues to observe, then counts three. Sting wins the belt, would drop it back to Rude on May 1 in Japan, and then Rude got hurt and retired. It's really no surprise watching him moving the way he was at this point.

Bunkhouse Match: Bunkhouse Buck (w/Col. Parker) vs Dustin Rhodes

Dustin flies in, leaping the top rope with a clothesline. Dustin having the strong start, putting a pretty good beating on Buck, and they trade some nice punches on the floor. Buck cracks a bit of wood over Dustin's back. Buck berates ringside fans: "Siddown, you geek! Siddown, you silly bastards!" Dustin bloodied after a stick jab to the forehead. Dustin's bleeding everywhere, as he is his daddy's son.

Goddamn, Dustin is bleeding so much that a glance would honestly lead you to believe that really is just Dusty in there, until you get below the neck. This is real good. Buck carries his end and Dustin has an actual direction and some purpose in life after kind of floating for a while, being competent but uninspired in various tag teams and the like. Buck bloodied up now. Tony won't say "they're bleeding," he refers to both as "hurt." He said that dustin was "hurt," and now says Buck is "hurt as well." What's that about? Was blood itself OK to see but not to say? Buck's bladejob is maybe 1/30th Dustin's. Dustin rips the shirt and lays in with belt shots on Buck's exposed back.

This match kicks ass, Chicago loves it, because they should. Heenan is FUCKING EXCITED! "This is the way I like it! This is the way I was raised in this great sport! You get out there and you use whatever you can! You hit a man with anything! If you bust somebody open, big deal! I like this brand of wrestling!" Buck loads his glove but misses a swing, and Dustin threatens to lay in a ten-count of elbows, which he does. Nick Patrick is there saying, "Hey stop it," but my understanding is that Nick Patrick has no real say there. Dustin sets for the bulldog, lands it, and then the Col. distracts Rhodes and brings him to the apron. Suplex on Parker and some whipping for him, too, and now we wait...wait...Buck's up and ... does not hit him with the loaded fist, but rolls him up. Now he's laying in rights, and apparently the loading is over. Buck to his knees. Dustin hits him between the eyes.

THIS MATCH KICKS ASS! Buck hits him with the foreign object finally and wins the match. Nearly as good as the more glorified Nastys tag from earlier.

Backstage, marginalized Jesse Ventura catches up with Rick Rude, who's bleeding out of his nose to cut his promo on Race and Vader. Vader comes in, Rude shoves him, and the other heels, including the Nasty Boys (featuring a badly overacting Knobbs and Sags in NOTHIN BUT A TOWEL), have to break it up.

The Boss vs Vader (w/Harley Race)

Boss jumps on Vader on the ramp, and Race gets involved as he holds the Boss' arms, and of course gets creamed by Vader for his efforts. Harley Race is the toughest motherfucker to ever walk the earth. These two are THROWIN HEAVY LEATHER. Fuck this show is the best! Vader's mask is gone quick, and he flattens Boss on the ramp, slams him back into the ring, and then goddamn but that enormous motherfucker gets a running start and jumps over the ropes, eating knees on a splash attempt. JESUS this is good. Boss was still bringing it so hard, and Vader, as Tony notes, has met a big man ready to whip his ass, and not someone he can bully. Headbutt, and not some big deal headbutt like some Chris Hero-Arik Cannon shit, but a headbutt just because a headbutt is a thing you might do there. Vader comes back with potato shots to both sides of Boss Man's head, because, well, that's what kinda shit this is. Vader dangerously dumps Boss over the top rope from too damn far away on a backdrop, Boss quickly catching himself just a bit. Vader's eye busted open, bleeding from the mouth a bit too. Holy Jesus I love this match. I love this fucking show. Vader unloads with shots in the corner, Boss fires back out of the corner, and we've got a slugfest, Vader winning out for a moment on a right hand, but then Boss drops him with a back suplex. Vader takes over again - Vader Bomb lands, but only two. Vader with a MOOOOOOOONSAULT and that is enough to get the win, clean and clear. Good Lord almighty what a big fat load of fun.

After match, Race and Vader try to cuff 'im n' stuff 'im, but Boss gets his stick and beats the shit out of race. Commissioner Nick Bockwinkel gets involved and Vader basically dares Boss to take a swing, standing over Race. Backstage, Bockwinkel strips Boss of his gimmick. "As far as I'm concerned, personally, you're no longer The Boss." Tremendous. Fantastic. Wrestling.

World Heavyweight Championship: Ricky Steamboat vs Ric Flair (c)

Michael Buffer, for once, adds big fight feel to the ongoings, noting that five years ago in this very city, Steamboat beat Flair for the world title. Prior to this match, Steamboat had been a bit "off" in recent months, frustrated, kind of out of character. Getting a little meaner than usual. Taking things personally.

Right here we've got two great athletes, beyond familiar with one another, ready to hook it up one more by God time. WRESTLING, SON! IT IS WRESTLING!

Somewhat choppy start, with a couple of dropkicks from Steamboat looking just that hair bit "old," and then they start in with the chops. They're remembering '78 and '89. It's all coming back as they separate into a deep, prolonged stare. Flair goes out to the turnbuckle. Steamboat allows it.

Schiavone and Heenan tell nostalgic-type Flair stories, like they're calling a farewell. To say that these two cannot match Jim Ross and Bob Caudle in '89 is an enormous understatement. Steamboat really working those headlocks, grinding them. Steamboat skins the cat and goes back into a headlock, and we take a look at the crowd.

The match carries on for 15 minutes as more or less a straight pro wrestling match, two guys looking for the advantage, still matched up about 50-50. Steamboat had a great trick when he was on the defensive where he'd get hit and sort of shove a guy away, just trying to buy time and some breathing room. Steamboat was never afraid to look like he was truly reeling, which is lost on most of today's top babyfaces. I'm not asking everyone to be Ricky Morton, but John Cena never looks truly desperate to me. He looks Hulk Hogan desperate, all overacting and "OH MY GOD I HAVE BEEN BEATEN UP but now I am ok!" Fuck Hulk Hogan and everything he did and everything he established as OK for others who came after him to do.

Steamboat would flail back with these last-ditch effort kind of chops, looking for anything to turn the tide of a match. It winds up working here, as they head to the outside and Steamboat finally takes a quick advantage, but then crashes into the guardrail when Flair dodges some kind of leaping body attack.

Flair is 45 here, Steamboat 41. And they're not that far off from their '89 matches, when they were 40 and 36, by then extremely seasoned veterans. The difference is really in the pace. They can't cut the tempo they used to, and that is obvious. Steamboat gets the figure-four, and Heenan starts openly rooting for Flair harder than he has all night, and Flair punches Steamboat right in the eye to break the hold. Steamboat ate that one hard and has to go outside. Flair on weak legs in the ring, and the left leg gives out as he tries to suplex Steamboat back in.

And then they start going into a chain exchange. And then they CHOP CHOP CHOP and Steamboat, as Tony notes, throws his legs into it, which Flair can no longer do. 25 minutes in and they're just turning it up. Steamboat nearly suplexed out onto the ramp, but slips down and chops Flair back inside. Flip in the corner and down to the floor. Steamboat drops a chop from the apron, but takes a foot to the chest instead.

Flair, discombobulated, staggers around the ring trying to get on a roll. Steamboat presses him off the top, but misses a flying splash, damaging his knee. Flair clamps on the figure-four, but Steamboat blocks it partially, but can't hang on to that. Steamboat down, takes a few two counts. Ricky swings away at Flair, trying to do what Ric did earlier. When Steamboat pops up after that, Flair slaps him away. Steamboat fighting incredibly hard, and he finally makes it to the ropes. "WOOOO!" says Chicago as Flair is in control. Chicago was always a Ric Flair town.

Back to the center of the ring, and Flair goes for it again. Steamboat rolls him up this time, two count. Steamboat going for the backslide, doesn't get it.


There's the double chicken wing, and they're down, and there's a pin there, and it's counted, and it is assumed Steamboat has won. Flair believes he's won. Randy Anderson is in. Bockwinkel gets involved. Patrick says both were down. Patrick raises Flair's hand. Tie goes to the runner? Steamboat is livid, or as livid as he gets. Fireworks!

What a kickass great show.

2 comments:

  1. Goddamn do I love reading this, if only to validate that what I thought when I was 12 years old is validated here; specifically that The Boss was...well, The fuckin' BOSS during this stretch. I still remember that match he had with Rude when he debuted on WCW Saturday Night and remembering thinking it was one of the best matches I've ever seen. Not sure it would hold up, but goddamn. Great stuff and the last time I can remember seeing a Rick Rude match I liked.

    Goddamn I miss '93 and '94 WCW.

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