Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Friday, 25 November 2022

EVENT REVIEW: ECW Heatwave 1994

ECW Heatwave 1994 Review - event dvd cover

July 16, 1994,
ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

ECW Heatwave '94 saw Eastern Championship Wrestling on the cusp of something groundbreaking

The company had gone from strength to strength since a lacklustre 1993, with each major show they produced throughout 1994 adding more and more of the 'extreme' elements that would make the company legendary and -perhaps as a direct result- producing shows which got better and better every time. 

By the time Heatwave rolled around, the company were only one month away from rebranding themselves as Extreme Championship Wrestling, but we'll get to that another time. 

Here's what went down on this fateful July night back in the summer of '94.

The Bad Breed (Ian & Axl Rotten) vs. The Rockin’ Rebel & Hack Meyers

I honestly expected to hate this match, but it was surprisingly good.


ECW Heatwave '94: Hack Myers prepares for battle



With Rockin’ Rebel playing the role of the babyface, he and Hack Myers gave a good account of themselves while Ian and Axl Rotten proved that they could actually wrestle rather than just brawl, something Joey Styles reminded us of on multiple occasions.


The match wasn’t anything particularly special or unique, but it was a solid and enjoyable opener which ended with a win for The Bad Breed courtesy of a top rope bulldog to Myers.

Your Winners: The Bad Breed


Post match, Rebel berated Hack for the loss. The two appeared to make up as Joey Styles gushed over what a great team they could be, only for Rebel to immediately burst Style’s bubble by attacking Myers.


This being ECW, the two then gave us the obligatory brawl to the back before our next match.


Eastern Championship Wrestling Television Championship

ECW TV Champion Mikey Whipwreck vs. Chad Austin


Chad Austin had apparently turned heel recently and aligned himself with manager Jason, who he introduced before the bell.


ECW Heatwave '94 Review - Mikey Whipreck battles Chad Austin


Once the match got started, Austin and reigning champion Mikey Whipwreck gave us one heck of a match.


Usually, Whipwreck would get whooped around a bit and then find some fluke way to win, but that wasn’t the case tonight.


Both champ and challenger looked evenly matched, resulting in an exciting contest that only got better the longer it went on.


After a great back-and-forth, Austin drilled Whipwreck with a guillotine leg drop to win the title.

Your Winner and New ECW TV Champion: Chad Austin


In a bizarre move (especially for a bad guy), Austin took to the mic after the match and announced that he had cheated to win by using brass knuckles, even though he hadn’t.


That prompted the referee to reverse the decision, meaning Mikey retained via DQ.


As everyone scratched their heads wondering why the new champion would have willingly given up the gold, he and Jason beat down on Whipwreck because ECW were incapable of booking a match that didn’t have some kind of post-match violence.


Joey Styles tried to explain the dumb booking here by saying that Austin hated the fans so much he didn’t want them to enjoy seeing a title switch hands.


Right then.

Tommy Dreamer vs. Steve Richards (w/ Angel)


Steve Richards and his mullet were newcomers here, going up against Tommy Dreamer in a decent but entirely forgettable match.


ECW Heatwave '94 Review - Tommy Dreamer gets set to face Steven Richards


Richards looked good, but was easily beaten by his more experienced opponent.

Your Winner: Tommy Dreamer


Post match, Dreamer ejected Richards from the ring then took to the microphone and called Shane Douglas a “no good piece of Pittsburgh sh*t.


ECW Heatwave '94 Review - Tommy Dreamer calls out Shane Douglas



This brought Douglas to the ring along with Mr. Hughes, who promptly stepped between the ropes for an impromptu match with Tommy.

Tommy Dreamer vs. Mr. Hughes (w/ Shane Douglas)

Despite Hughes’ limitations, this was a marginally more entertaining affair than Dreamer’s last match.


The man formerly known in WCW as Big Cat attacked Dreamer and beat him down in the corner, only for the valiant babyface to make a strong comeback.


Alas, such comeback was short lived. Douglas blasted Dreamer across the back of the noggin as he ran the ropes.


Hughes made the pin, and that was that.

Your Winner: Mr. Hughes


After the bell, The Franchise congratulated Hughes, then called on Angel (who was still helping Richards outside the ring) and invited her between the ropes.


Douglas asked Angel to be in his corner for his match tonight. The young manager accepted, after which Douglas vowed to prove that he -not Sabu- was the future of wrestling.


ECW Heatwave '94 Review - Shane Douglas (w/ Mr. Hughes) makes an offer to Angel

Naturally, Shane couldn’t resist having a pop at Ric Flair too, and he also verbally slammed Hulk Hogan for good measure.


Let’s all Just Brawl


Up next, we were supposed to see The Tazzmaniac teaming with a mystery partner to take on The Pittbulls.


However, ECW Commissioner Todd Gordon came out and announced that, since Tazmaniac’s partner couldn’t make it due to travel issues, he was postponing the match.


ECW Heatwave '94 - The Pittbulls (w/ Jason)



The Pitbulls didn’t much like that idea, and set about attacking Taz, while outside of the ring, a bunch of wrestlers randomly appeared.


Rockin’ Rebel and Chad Austin came out to help their manager Jason and their stablemates The Pitbulls, Mr. Hughes came out and brawled with somebody unknown, and then 911 answered the fans who were chanting his name by putting in an appearance.


The problem was that ECW was still shooting everything from a single hard camera which meant that you couldn’t really see what was happening outside the ring other than a group of wrestlers hanging around.


Worse yet, there was no Joey Styles on commentary (at least not on the Network version of this event), so there was nobody to try and help you as a viewer make sense of it.


The result was a confusing mess that ended when Sabu ran in to help Tazzmaniac and the bell randomly sounded.

Dueling Singapore Canes
The Sandman (w/ Woman) vs. Iron Man Tommy Cairo (w/ Peaches) 

The Sandman and Tommy Cairo had been feuding since the dawn of time. Tonight, the two looked to settle their lengthy, bitter, and violent rivalry once and for all by basically smashing the crap out of each other with singapore canes for ten minutes.


ECW Heatwave '94 - Woman (Nancy Sullivan)


If you were expecting actual professional wrestling here, you’d be greatly disappointed, but if you’re the sort of person who enjoys the kind of extreme brutality that helped set ECW apart in the 1990s, you’ll find a lot to like here. 

Neither man held anything back as they wailed on one another with cane shots that only got louder and more punishing as the match went on.

I must admit, it was a joy to watch. 

After a good bit of violent fun, Sandman knocked Cairo down, at which point Woman and Peaches both entered the fray and the referee got knocked down.

As Sandy took peaches to the corner, Cairo threatened to bash Woman’s head with the cane, only Sandman to come to her rescue and take out Cairo with the cane.

That was enough for Sandman to pick up the win.

Your Winner: The Sandman

Post-match, Woman lit Sandman’s victory cigarette and the two posed with singapore canes before taking to the microphone to ask Cairo who had won their war. 


ECW Heatwave '94 - Woman and The Sandman


When Iron Man was unable to respond, the victor smacked him across the back one last time and declared “I guess you haven’t paid your bill,” a reference to the fact that this whole thing started because Sandy insisted Tommy should pay him money for sleeping with his wife, Peaches.

Eastern Championship Wrestling Heavyweight Championship 
ECW Heavyweight Champion Shane Douglas (w/ Mr. Hughes and Angel) vs. Sabu (w/ Paul E. Dangerously and 911)

Billed as a match to determine which man was the future of professional wrestling, this heavyweight title match between reigning champion Shane Douglas and former champion Sabu was -in this writer’s humble opinion- the best thing on the show so far. 


ECW Heatwave '94 - Sabu vs. Shane Douglas


Starting off with some mat-based offence and technical wrestling, the bout eventually spilled outside and into the crowd for the kind of wild brawl that was a hallmark of ECW’s product before the two men got back between the ropes for more old-school wrestling.

Add in Sabu’s usual death-defying offense and some good work from Paul E. Dangerously on the outside, and this was exactly what you’d want a heavyweight title match to be.

It was entertaining, compelling, and a lot of fun to watch.

Towards the end, Sabu went for a moonsault off the apron to the outside, but missed his opponent and crashed into a propped up table.

That was enough to knock the challenger out, leading the ref to award the match to Douglas by technical knockout.

Your Winner and still ECW Champion: Shane Douglas 

Post match, Paul E. clocked Mr. Hughes with his ever-present cell phone, but the burly brute simply popped back up and laid waste to the loud-mouthed manager. 

That brought in 911, who first took out Douglas with a chokeslam then went to do the same to Mr. Hughes.

Hughes seemed to have no idea how to take the move, and at one point, you visibility saw 911 (himself not the most gifted of workers) having to put Hughes into position and give him some instructions before sending him down to the mat like the proverbial sack of potatoes.

Finally, 911 took out Angel with another chokeslam, causing the crowd to errupt and chant his name. Yes, a guy who wasn’t even in the match emerged as the most over dude in the whole thing. 

Barbed Wire Match for the ECW Tag Team Championship
ECW Tag Team Champions The Public Enemy (Flyboy Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge) vs. Terry Funk & Dory Funk Jr.

Proving how hardcore they were, all four men came to the ring wearing about 29 layers each to protect them from the barbed wire.


ECW Heatwave '94 - The Public Enemy vs. Terry Funk & Dory Funk Jr.


The Public Enemy further showed what bad asses they were by hiding in the eagle’s nest until Terry Funk called them cowards and the match was on.

I’ll admit, I’m not the biggest fan of these types of matches and it took me a while to get into it, but I can’t deny that it was a fun, wild, and incredibly violent brawl:

At one point, Terry called for a chair from the crowd, who responded by tossing almost every chair in the arena into the ring.

It was a cool scene, but clearly dangerous, so dangerous in fact that the ring announcer had to declare that the match would be stopped if the fans continued to throw chairs.

Public Enemy won the match to retain their titles by piling on Terry as The Funker lay writhing on the mat in a tangled mess of barbed wire.

Your Winners and Still ECW Tag Team Champions: The Public Enemy

Post match, Terry and Dory Funk Jr. battered Flyboy Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge I til the two could no longer stand as Joey Styles wished us a good night.


Heatwave 1994 wasn’t the best ECW show I’ve reviewed so far, but from the enjoyable opener to that crazy and bloody barbed wire main event, there was certainly a lot to like here.

The Sabu/Shane Douglas match was the highlight of the night, though the TV title match and Singapore cane matches in particular also helped make this a very good show. 

Thursday, 17 November 2022

PPV REVIEW: WWE No Mercy 2003

WWE No Mercy 2003 Review

October 19, 2003,
1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, Maryland.

Introduction - Smackdown had been the better brand since split PPVs had come into place -0 would they stay that way tonnight.

Vince McMahon is an Abusive Father

Tonight's opening video package focused primarily on the rivalry between Vince McMahon and his daughter, Stephanie, a rivalry which was basically all about Mr. McMahon being an evil and abusive father who booked himself in a match against his daughter even though it was the last thing Stephanie wanted. 

The McMahon story dominated this opening, after which about 30 seconds was given over to hyping the WWE Championship match between reigning champion Brock Lesnar and his challenger, The Undertaker.


From there, we got the usual crowd shots and pyro as an overly enthusiastic Michael Cole welcomed us to the show. I swear, as Cole bounced giddily in his chair while introducing his colleague, Tazz, it seemed like he'd snorted several lines of coke just before going on air. 

Tazz and Cole then gave us a wave to the Spanish announce table before getting on with our opening match.

WWE Cruiserweight Championship
WWE Cruiserweight Champion Tajiri vs. Rey Mysterio

Before the bell, Rey Mysterio had referee Brian Hebner check Tajiri's mouth for the Evil Japanese Mist of Doom, something more wrestlers really should have been doing given Tajiri's reputation for spraying it everywhere.


From there, the two locked up and gave us a thrilling opening contest that combined fast-paced action with a solid ground game. The whole thing got better the longer it went on, building towards a climatic finale complete with some dramatic near falls.

At that point, a "fan" rushed the ring and distracted Rey, allowing the champion to capitalize and steal the victory.

Of course, the "fan" wasn't a fan at all, it was debuting superstar Jimmy Yang, who was joining the company as an ally of Tajiri.
Your Winner and Still WWE Cruiserweight Champion: Tajiri

Out in the back, a nervous Josh Matthews interrupted Mr. McMahon to ask him about his match tonight.


As captivating a presence as he always was, Vince cut a strong promo in which he claimed that he was sad about what he'd have to do tonight but was going to do it anyway because the issue was mostly personal but also partly business. 

McMahon wrapped up by warning that anybody who got involved and tried to help Stephanie would never be employed ever again, not just in WWE, but anywhere, 

That was good stuff from the chairman of the board.

A-Train vs. Chris Benoit

Though it took a while to build up momentum, this one gradually developed into a solid match which must undoubtedly go down as one of A-Train's better performances of his career.

Like I've said about countless matches before, this wasn't the greatest thing you'll ever see, but it was perfectly good enough and was compelling without being overly dramatic. 

After the better part of 10 minutes, Chris Benoit locked A-Train in a sharpshooter in tribute to the Hart Family after the then-recent passing of Stu Hart

A-Train tapped and that was that.
Your Winner: Chris Benoit 

Backstage, Matt Hardy searched for his buddy Shannon Moore and found him being choked out by Heindenriech


Hendenreich was annoyed that Matt Hardy had thrown his WWE tryout tape in the garbage, but Matt promised that wasn't actually the case and he would give Heindenreich's tape to the new Smackdown GM, assuming there'd be one after Stephanie faced Vince.

To be honest, I didn't really understand what was going on here and it wasn't very entertaining.

Zach Gowan vs. Matt Hardy V1 (w/ Shannon Mooore)

Though this was the shortest match on the card so far, it was still pretty fun. The Matt Hardy V1 character was always entertaining and when you combined that with the simple story of the plucky underdog trying to get the better of the arrogant heel, it came off well. 


After a decent enough match, Zach Gowan scaled the top rope and landed an impressive moonsault to pick up his first win in WWE. 
Your Winner: Zach Gowan

Back in Vince's locker room, Linda McMahon begged her husband not to wrestle their daughter tonight. 

Vince refused to reconsider but did change up the rules, making it a no-holds barred match and decreeing that while he could only win via submission, Stephanie could win by pin or submission. 

The APA (Farooq & Bradshaw) vs. The Basham Brothers (Doug & Danny Basham)

As Bradshaw greeted some military personnel in the front row, a flashback to Smackdown showed us him decapitating The Basham's manger, Shaniqua.


That led to Doug and Danny Basham getting some revenge by destroying Bradshaw with a chair, leading to the bald-headed duo's WWE PPV debut here tonight against Bradshaw and Farooq.

Since Shaniqua had been taken out, she didn't accompany her boys to the ring, leaving them alone to wrestle what was a pretty boring match until the last minute or so. 

At that point, Bradshaw started tossing out Last Calls to his opponents, only for Shaniqua and her new breasts to run in and clobber JBL over the head, giving the win to her team.
Your Winners: The Basham Brothers 

Out in the back, The Bashams fondled Shaniqua while she told Josh Matthews that JBL's attack on her had made her chest swell and that it would be permanent. 

In other words, it the attack and subsequent time away from TV was a way to give her a break to get a boob job

Up next, we got a video package hyping the first ever Father vs. Daughter I Quit Match in which Stephanie would lose her job as Smackdown GM if she lost.

I don't know why anybody would want to see Vince vs. Steph, but here we are. 

I Quit Match
Stephanie McMahon (w/ Linda McMahon) vs. Mr. McMahon (w/ Sable)

This was awful. 

I don't mean in the sense that the wrestling wasn't any good. Weirdly enough, the crowd were into the whole thing and it was the hottest match of the night so far. 


I just meant that the whole storyline was in too poor taste for this writer's liking.

I know, call me soft or old-fashioned or whatever  you want, but even in the fake world of scripted pro wrestling, I don't find anything entertaining about a man physically abusing his daughter and then his wife.

That's precisely what happened here. 

Vince beat up Steph, Steph got hold of a steel pipe that Sable had thrown in the ring and destroyed her Dad with it to the delight of the crowd, but then Vince made a comeback and choked his daughter out with the pipe until she passed out and Linda threw in the towel. 


I know there'll be people who liked that, but I just didn't enjoy a second of that. 
Your Winner: Mr. McMahon

Afterwards, Vince grabbed Linda as she tended to Stephanie, muzzled her with his hand around her face then threw her to the floor before snogging Sable. 

As all this was going on, Stephanie looked upset that her mum had thrown in the towel, but handed her exit gracefully, waving goodbye to the fans as she was helped to the back.

John Cena vs. Kurt Angle 

After weeks of basically battle-rapping against one another, John Cena and Kurt Angle finally locked up as the former looked to prove that he was a bigger star than the latter.

For the most part, he almost accomplished that goal as he and Angle waged war  in an absolutely tremendous match.

This was very similar to Cena's match against The Undertaker at Vengeance 2003 in that Cena ultimately lost the match but took his opponent right to the very limit and looked like a true star in the process.

It was clearly a tactic that was paying off as the crowds became divided between "Let's Go Cena!" and "Let's Go Angle!" chants despite Cena being the babyface. 

Of course, I've made this whole match review about The Doctor of Thuganomics, but that's not to discredit or downplay Angle's contributions. 

The Olympic Gold Medalist was on fine form as always, helping to create what had to the match of the night before finally snatching victory the jaws of defeat thanks to an ankle lock/leg lock combo.
Your Winner: Kurt Angle 

Up next, we were shown a video package of the rivalry between Eddie Guerrero and Big Show which basically revolved around Guerrero spraying Show with a waste from a waste truck and Show getting revenge by punching Eddie's car window through.

WWE United States Championship
WWE United States Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. The Big Show

The last time we saw Eddie, he was heading into full-on heel mode, but the crowd loved him so much that he was cheered throughout the contest.


His body scarred and torn from a recent attack by The Big Show, the reigning champion entered into a good contest with his larger challenger. 

Though this was never going to claim match of the night honors (especially not after Angle/Lesnar), both men played to their strengths and looked good in the process. 

Big Show survived getting hit in the face with both brass knuckles and the US title belt as well as frog splash, but still lived to fight on and chokeslam his way to a US title win.
Your Winner and NEW US Champion: The Big Show 

Post-match, Chavo Guerrero came down and tried to console his uncle by reminding him that the two were still tag team champions, but Eddie was furious and didn't want to hear about it.

Backstage, Josh Matthews caught up with the new US champion who gloated that he'd done exactly what he told everybody he was going to do in beating Eddie Guerrero. 

A video package then aired for our main event and then it was back to the ring.

Biker Chain Match for the WWE Championship
WWE Champion Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker

In case you're wondering what a biker chain match is, it's basically a "chain on a pole" match.

That was the plan anyway. The truth was that the actual chain didn't come into play until the closing moments of the match. 

Before that, we got 20+ minutes of a long, tired slog that never seemed to kick it up into the higher gear you knew both Lesnar and 'Taker were capable of. 

The two had a great battle back at Unforgiven 2002, and when they met in a Hell in a Cell match a year earlier at No Mercy 2002, that was awesome too.

This though, just wasn't. 

It wasn't terrible in the sense that the wrestling was bad or anything. Both men were capable performers who worked well together, it's just that nothing they did was all that exciting or interesting. 

Watching them, you kept waiting for some kind of big spot or match-changing move that would up the intensity and take us into the typical WWE-style main event finish.

Instead, things just plodded and plodded along until The FBI randomly ran in. 

The Undertaker destroyed them and went for the chain, only for Vince McMahon to pop up and push the challenger off the turnbuckle so that he crotched the ropes. 

At that point, Brock grabbed the chain (which had fallen to the ground when Vince attacked 'Taker), smashed his opponent in the face with it, and won the match.
Your Winner and Still WWE Champion: Brock Lesnar

Post-match, Brock celebrated with his title as 'Taker writhed in agony.

No Mercy 2003 wasn't the greatest show of all time. The Angle/Cena match was the best thing on the card and the opening cruiserweight match was also a lot of fun.

However, the main event was disappointing, the APA tag match was boring, and the Vince/Steph saga was awful in all kinds of ways. 

Not the Smackdown brand's finest hour then, but to be honest, I've seen much worse PPVs. 

Sunday, 13 November 2022

PPV REVIEW: WCW Starrcade 1991 - Battlebowl - The Lethal Lottery

WCW Starrcade 1991 - Event poster

December 29, 1991,
Norfolk Scope in Norfolk, Virginia

Growing up as a kid in the UK,  my access to early 90s WCW was limited to the brief number of Disney tapings that aired on ITV on Saturday afternoons.

To be honest, I don’t remember anything about those shows apart from the fact that they inexplicably made me the biggest fan of Ice Train.

So it’s been fun to go back and watch WCW from its earliest days. Even when the shows suck (as many of them did), I’ve enjoyed seeing so many of the things the company did back then which I’d previously only ever read about.

Battlebowl/Lethal Lottery is one of the things I’ve been looking forward to the most.

Well, kind of.

On paper, the idea of wrestlers “randomly” being thrown together in teams to compete for a space in a main event battle royal sounds like an idea that really appeals to me, though something tells me that this is one of those times when the idea is way better than the execution.

Still, there’s only one way to find out for sure, so let’s head down to Starrcade ‘91 and figure out whether this thing was any good or not.

Welcome to Battlebowl

There was nothing fancy about tonight’s opening. 

A basic video package ran down some of the bigger names in tonight’s event as a voiceover reminded us that we’d see 20 tag teams drawn at random.
WCW Starrcade 1991 - Tony Schiavone & Jim Ross called all the action


Cameras then cut to the Norfolk Scope Arena which looked genuinely cool, especially as it seemed to be packed.

As the camera panned down, Jim Ross welcomed us to the show before he and Tony Schiavone explained the Battlebowl rules:

The ten teams who won their matches would compete in a two-ring battle royal.

Wrestlers would be dumped from one ring into the next then out on the floor until there was one man left in the school ring.

They would then go at it to determine a winner.

Honestly, that sounds way more complicated than it needed to be, but since this was the brainchild of the same Dusty Rhodes who gave us the Bunkhouse Stampede nonsense a few years earlier, it was hardly surprising.

WCW Starrcade 1991 - Eric Bischoff, Missy Hyatt, and Magnum TA draw the Lethal Lottery pairings

The announcers then sent it to Eric Bischoff who was standing by with the ever-lovely Missy Hyatt and former US Champion Magnum T.A. Who was our commissioner for the evening.

A huge black curtain then lifted to reveal the entire WCW roster standing on the stage as pyro exploded in front of them. 

Bischoff, Hyatt, and Magnum then drew the first two tag teams, putting Michael 'P.S' Hayes together with Tracy Smothers against Jimmy 'Jam' Garvin and newcomer Marcus Alexander Bagwell

Hayes looked annoyed about having to team with Smothers, though whether that was because he had to team with long-standing 'Young Pistols revival Tracy Smothers or because he had to fight his own partner I couldn't say. 

What I could say is that while Hayes looked upset, Garvin himself looked super excited. 

Lethal Lottery Match #1
Michael 'P.S' Hayes & Tracy Smothers vs. Jimmy 'Jam' Garvin & MArarcus Alexander Bagwell 

WCW Starrcade 1991 - Tracy Smothers squares off against Buff Bagwell

Making his PPV debut, Marcus Bagwell spent the first few minutes stalling around with Tracy Smothers.

The two would lock up, hit a basic sequence, stall, and repeat, making for quite a boring start to the match.

Eventually, things picked up with Bagwell and Garvin making frequent tags while Smothers did all the work for his team.

Inevitably, Hayes finally tagged in and we got a Freebirds showdown which consisted of him and Garvin locking up a few times and hitting an arm drag each before Hayes got a two-count from a roll-up on his opponent. 

More lackluster action continued until all four men ended up in the ring. 

At that point, Hayes accidentally struck Garvin and the two argued while Bagwell caught smothers coming off the top rope with a couple of knees and put him away with a fisherman's suplex.

That put an end to a pretty underwhelming opening match that could have easily been five minutes shorter.
Your Winners: Marcus Bagwell & Jimmy Garvin 

Up next, Missy, Magnum, and Eric drew Dangerous Alliance teammates Stunning Steve Austin and Ravishing Rick Rude as partners against Van Hammer and Big Josh
WCW Starrcade 1991 - Eric Bischoff, Magnum TA, and Missy Hyatt


The camera then stayed on the trio for far too long as they stood around awkwardly doing nothing. While they did that, it gave me a moment to reflect on how WCW wasn't even trying to convince anyone that these drawings were "random."

Seriously, two partners "randomly" facing off in one match and then two more partners being matched up in the second one?

Yeah, sorry WCW, you're going to have to try harder. 

Stunning Steve Austin & Ravishing Rick Rude (w/ Paul E. Dangerously) vs. Van Hammer & Big Josh

This was technically better than the last match from an actual wrestling standpoint, but it still wasn't very interesting or entertaining. 
WCW Starrcade 1991 - Rick Rude prevents Van Hammer from making a tag to Big Josh


Seriously, the sole highlight here was when Big Josh stomped on Rude's belly but Rude showed that he was impervious to it because his abs were rock hard. Josh struck Rude twice more in the abs but to the same effect. It was basically a "headbutting The Samoans never works" thing, except with Rick Rude and his abs. 

It was fun, but when that's the best thing in the match, it doesn't say very much.

To the surprise of no one, the Dangerous Alliance members won when Rude hit Van Hammer with the Rude Awakening.
Your Winners: Steve Austin & Rick Rude 

More names were drawn next. I won't say much about these drawings unless anything legitimately interesting or unusual happens, which so far hasn't happened.

The Natural Dustin Rhodes & Richard Morton vs. El Gigante & Larry Zybysko (w/ Madusa) 

Again, things got marginally better here, but mostly because it was funny to hear Larry Zybysko barking orders at El Gigante and the giant Argintian completely ignoring him.
WCW Starrcade 1991 - Larry Zybysko & El Gigante vs. Richard Morton & Dustin Rhodes


This wasn't a great match by any stretch, but Zybyso, Dustin Rhodes, and Richard Morton could all go, and helped guide Gigante through a service contest. 

It all ended when Gigante got fed up with Zybysko and shot him into a double dropkick from Dustin Rhodes and Richard Morton, sacrificing his own place in the Battlebowl for the sake of taking out Big Bad Larry.
Your Winners: Dustin Rhodes and Richard Morton

As the stars for the next match were introduced, Larry and Richard Morton made their way to the back and got into a minor shoving contest. 

Bill Kazmaier & Jushin 'Thunder' Liger vs. Diamond Dallas Page & Mike Graham

For those paying attention, this was Diamond Dallas Page's debut PPV match. He was still super green here, so trainer Mike Graham was paired with him to help him out. 
WCW Starrcade 1991 - Bill Kazmaier watches on as his partner Jushin Liger squares off against Mike Graham


Graham was a solid wrestler but he had all the personality of a neglected toilet brush which was a shame because he wrestled most of the match for his team.

Fortunately, Jushin 'Thunder' Liger was here with his awesome mask and helped make this one marginally more entertaining than it might have been.

I'll be honest with you, I'm finding this show kind of dull so far, but at least we're already an hour in.

Liger and Kazmier won when the latter hurled the former on top of Page for the three count.
Your Winners: Bill Kazmaier & Jushin Liger 

Before the next match, we got a commercial for the upcoming Superbrawl PPV which had me excited because, as I think I've mentioned before, it's one of my favorite WCW events.

WCW Champion Lex Luger (w/ Harley Race) & Arn Anderson vs. Terrence Taylor & The Z-Man

Tony Schiavone called this the best tag team match of the night so far and I have to say I agree with him.
WCW Starrcade 1991 - The Tailormade Man wrenches the arm of The Total Package

One of the few matches to hold my attention from start to finish, this one featured Arn Anderson and Terrence Taylor as the standout performers while Lex Luger played his part well and Z-Man (other than falling flat on his fooking arse at one point) was OK too.

After a genuinely good effort, the world champion took out Taylor with the Attitude Adjustment Piledriver for the win.
Your Winners: Lex Luger & Arn Anderson

With five matches down and five to go, JR looked at those men who had made it to Battlebowl before Tony Schiavone expressed how eager he was to see The Steiners face each other.

Up next, Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker was drawn as Cactus Jack’s partner for a match against Ricky Steamboat and Todd Champion, but Abdullah The Butcher took exception to that and destroyed Parker in the dressing room.

I can’t explain why, but I found that completely random attack to be hilarious.

Abby and his boobs then made their way out to tag with his buddy Cactus but the WCW referees stopped him and sent him to the back.
WCW Starrcade 1991 - Abdullah The Butcher destroys Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker


As he got to the entranceway, Abby met Buddy Lee who was trying to make his way to the ring so he attacked him for a second time while screaming like crazy.

Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat & Todd Champion vs. Cactus Jack

All that left Cactus to go it alone against his opponents.

He started off with Ricky Steamboat and the two had a genuinely enjoyable back-and-forth together that made you wonder how good a straight-up singles match could be between them.
WCW Starrcade 1991 - Todd Champion gets the better of Cactus Jack


Even when Todd Champion got involved, Cactus was good enough to keep this match entertaining

As the out-numbered Cactus continued to hold his own, Sarge crawled painfully to the ring to the point that the fans were genuinely starting to get behind him.

He propped himself up on the corner, only for Cactus to tag him in and then literally hurl Sarge's lifeless body into the ring where he mounted a valiant babyface-style powerup, only to be immediately taken out by a Ricky Steamboat crossbody.
Your Winners: Ricky Steamboat & Todd Champion

Honestly, I enjoyed the heck out of that. Cactus wrestling Ricky Steamboat was great and the whole stuff with Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker honestly had me laughing my ass off.

Sting & Abdullah The Butcher vs. Flyin' Brian Pillman & Bobby Eaton

This was a chaotic mess of a match in the best possible sense.
WCW Starrcade 1991 - Bobby Eaton works over Sting


Abdullah The Butcher came down grinning like a lunatic and even extended his hand to Sting, only to immediately turn on him and beat him down with that stick he always carried. 

Fortunately for Sting, his opponent, Brian Pillman, actually came to his rescue and attacked The Butcher, only for Bobby to even the score.

Once in the ring, this became a unique match where Sting basically wrestled a one-on-one match with Bobby Eaton while Abby kept attacking him and Pillman kept coming to Sting's aid and beating up Abby even though it was to the detriment of his own team. 

It wasn't great from a technical wrestling standpoint, but it was a good little story that ended when Cactus Jack came down and accidentally whacked Butcher with The Big Weird Stick of Doom.

Sting then got the cover, the count, and the fall.
Your Winners: Sting and Abdullah The Butcher

Post-match, Abby and Cactus brawled to the back.

Rick Steiner & The Nightstalker (w/ Diamond Studd) vs. Big Van Vader & Mr. Hughes

The Diamond Studd had originally been drawn as Rick Steiner's partner, but he had a sling on, so he was replaced by The Nightstalker (Bryan "Adam Bomb" Clarke), which makes you wonder why the injured Studd was included in the drawing in the first place.

WCW Starrcade 1991 - Vader prepares to smash Rick Steiner's face in

Not caring who his partner was, Steiner entered into a strong performance with Vader that was a lot of fun to watc until Mr. Hughes got in the ring and dragged everything down to a snail's pace.

Things got even worse when The Nightstalker tagged himself in. Steiner either didn't realize or didn't care that a tag had been made and headed to the top rope. '

Stalker encouraged him, but he was so busy looking at The Dog Faced Gremlin that he didn't even notice Vader running towards him with a Belly Bump of Death. 

Steiner then hit Hughes with a bulldog and made a cover, but the official refused to count because Steiner wasn't the legal man. 

Vader then splashed right onto 'Stalker's head and pinned him, but Steier kept his cover on Hughes and thought he'd won the match too.

It was a cluttered finish that spoiled what was otherwise a decent little match.
Your Winners: Vader & Mr. Hughes

Another Superbrawl commercial followed, after which it was back to the action. 

Scott Steiner & Firebreaker Chip vs. Johnny B. Badd & Arachnaman 

Arachnaman = Brad Armstrong in a purple and yellow Spiderman costume. Somebody came up with that and thought it was a good idea to put it on TV. 

I'm honestly shocked that I can't find an entry on Wrestlecrap about it anywhere.

WCW Starrcade 1991 - Firebreaker Chip works over Archnaman's arm

Anyway, this was the only match that featured four babyfaces, but the crowd didn't really care about that and only came alive whenever Scott Steiner got involved.

That was a shame, really, because you could tell that all four men worked as hard as they could but the match fell completely flat, probably because the audience had no time for matches involving such low-rent indie gimmicks as a fake Spiderman.

To be honest, I don't blame them, especially given how dumb the spider looked. 

At one point, he and Firebreaker Chip crisscrossed the ropes, Chip made a tag to Steiner then slid outside and Steiner just watched Armstrong as he ran back and forth between the ropes like an idiot.

Honestly, it looked like that goofy spot some wrestlers used to do on Saturday Morning Slam

Thankfully, Steiner eventually put everybody out of our collective misery by pinning ArachnaGoof following a big power slam.
Your Winners: Scott Steiner & Firebreaker Chip

At last, we got our final tag match of the evening.

Ron Simmons & Thomas Rich vs. Steve Armstrong & PN News

This started decently enough, dragged down in the middle, and then picked up towards the end as Ron Simmons predictably got the win for his team.
WCW Starrcade '91 review - Ron Simmons & Thomas Rich vs. Steve Armstrong & PN News


To be honest, most of these tag team matches were way too long for what they were and the show felt so repetitive that by the time this match happened, Starrcade 1991 had pretty much drained the life out of me. 

Thank goodness there's only the Battlebowl match left to go:

Battlebowl Battle Royal
Featuring: Jimmy Garvin, Marcus Alexander Bagwell, Steve Austin, Rick Rude, Bill Kazmaier, Jushin 'Thunder' Liger, Dustin Rhodes, Richard Morton, Arn Anderson, Lex Luger, Ricky Steamboat, Todd Champion, Mr. Hughes, Vader, Sting, Abdullah The Butcher, Thomas Rich, Ron Simmons, Scott Steiner, Firebreaker Chip

I'm not one of those fans that write off all battle royals before they even get started. Just because it's a lot of brawling doesn't mean it can't be entertaining.

Fortunately, this one was pretty decent but was hampered somewhat by the fact that the wrestlers kept forgetting they were supposed to throw people into the second ring rather than to the arena floor.

That part of the match was good enough, but it was when Sting and Lex Luger ended up as the final two men that things really hotted up. 

At that pointk we got an exciting brawl that ended when Sting dumped Luger to the outside,
Your Winner: Sting

Post-match, pyro exploded as Sting celebrated before Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone signed off for the night.


Man, am I glad that one was over. 

Truth be told, Starrcade 1991 wasn't entirely terrible. 

The Anderson/Luger vs. Zenk/Taylor match was solid and that whole thing with Cactus Jack, Abdullah The Butcher, and poor old Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker was entertaining, but the rest of it was too mediocre to make it a truly good show. 

Honestly, this all felt like it was done more to set up various storylines than to actually be what was supposedly WCW's flagship show of the year.

About half way through, the amount of uninteresting stuff made me completely zone out and it was a chore to get through the rest of the event. 

Hopefully things pick up soon as, despite having never seen early 1990s WCW before I began this blog, I hear the company really had a great year in 1992.

Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.