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

Showing posts with label Buff Bagwell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Buff Bagwell. Show all posts

Wednesday, 29 March 2023

PPV REVIEW: WCW WrestleWar '92

WCW WrestleWar 92 Review - Event Poster

May 17, 1992
Jacksonville Memorial Coliseum, Jacksonville, Florida
WCW WrestleWar '92 was the last of four WrestleWar PPVs produced by the company, and man, what a way to go out. 
For months, Paul E. Dangerously's determined efforts to destroy World Championship Wrestling had seen him assemble a small army of the promotion's best heels known as The Dangerous Alliance. While the group's primary target was World Heavyweight Champion, Sting, in gunning for that target, they'd also acquired a gang of enemies who were hungry for revenge against Dangerously's Alliance for multiple acts of ner-do-wellery. 
Tonight, The Dangerous Alliance would finally face all of their rivals -banded together under the leadership of Sting and dubbed Sting's Squadron- in a War Games match for the ages.
Here's what went down. 

Are You Ready for War Games?

The final ever WrestleWar PPV kicked off with a very basic video centered around the upcoming War Games match between Sting’s Squadron and The Dangerous Alliance.

From there, we went live to the arena where Tony Schiavone and Eric Bischoff not only put over the magnitude of tonight’s match but also questioned whether champion Sting was fully recovered from a recent rib injury.
WCW WrestleWar 92  - Jim Ross & Jesse 'The Body' Ventura

Down on the arena floor, announcer Jim Ross and Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura gave us further hype for the main event, the latter reminding us that he was a legit Vietnam war veteran and thus someone who knew what real war was all about.

Ross and Ventura were also pumped for our opening contest, with The Body favoring US tag team champions Taylor Made Man & Greg Valentine because, as he put it, The Fabulous Freebirds had been spending too much time singing rock ‘n’ roll and not enough time wrestling.

WCW United States Tag Team Championship
WCW United States Tag Team Champions The Taylor Made Man & Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine vs. The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael ‘P.S’ Hayes & Jimmy ‘Jam’ Garvin)

As he marched to the ring with his partner, The Taylor Made Man, Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine looked pissed off that he even had to be there.
WCW WrestleWar 92  - Terry Taylor & Greg Valentine

By the end of this one, I started to feel exactly the same way.

Don’t get me wrong, this was a decent match competently performed by four guys who knew what they were doing,  but in this writer’s mind, it just went on for far, far too long.

Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin had the upper hand in the early going, countering the champion’s every attempt at mounting an offensive by working over their arms.

It wasn’t until Taylor and Valentine, unable to simply out-wrestle their opponents, resorted to dirty heel tactics that they were able to mount any kind of momentum, cutting Hayes off from his corner and working over.
WCW WrestleWar 92  - Bill Alfonso stands ready as Michael Hayes squares off agaisnt Greg Valentine


As I say, there was nothing wrong with it, but the match never seemed to really go anywhere despite the fans being heavily invested in it.

The ending was telegraphed not by any of the competitors or even referee Bill Alfonso but by a stagehand who cameras accidentally captured placing the tag team titles in the corner of the ring, meaning they’d be ready for the champions to grab once the bell rung.

From there, Garvin outsmarted his opponents, knocking Valentine on his butt and planting Taylor with a DDT to bring the gold to Bad Street USA.
Your Winners and New United States Tag Team Champions: The Fabulous Freebirds 

Prior to the next match, Bischoff and Schiavone analyzed the Freebirds’ win and discussed Johnny B. Badd’s relative lack of major wins in WCW.

Hopefully, Badd would be able to pick one up as he went into battle against Tracy Smothers.

Young Pistol Tracy vs. Johnny B. Badd

Badd danced and prances his way to the ring and then stopped at the guard rail so that young kids could stuff dollar bills into his garter because, apparently, nobody thought that was inappropriate in the early 90s.
WCW WrestleWar 92  - Tracy Smothers vs. Johnny B. Badd

From there, the future Wild Man went at it in a reasonably exciting match with Tracy Smothers, who was clearly just there to make his opponent look good.

It wasn’t that The Young Pistol didn’t make a good account of himself, he got in a fair amount of offense, taking Johnny Down with a succession of dropkicks and slapping him in a chin lock, but it was obvious from the get-go that the whole point of this match was to get Badd over.

To that end, it succeeded.

Given how well Johnny was presented here, it came as no surprise when he knocked Smothers on his ass with a punch and pinned him.
Your Winner: Johnny B. Badd

Last seen standing by Ronnie Garvin’s side at The Great American Bash 1988, Precious was apparently now back on the fold, accompanying her man and Michael ‘P.S’ Hayes for a backstage interview with Missy Hyatt to celebrate their big US title win.
WCW WrestleWar 92  - Missy Hyatt interviews The Fabulous Freebirds


Hayes and Garvin really said nothing of note. The latter reminded us that the Fabulous Freebirds had done exactly what they said they were going to do, while the former got really excited about Lynyrd Skynyrd and just basically shouted about southern rock ‘n’ roll for a bit.

Back in the arena, Bischofe and Schiavone gave us their insights into the upcoming match between Scotty Flamingo and Marcus Alexander Bagwell.

According to our analysts, Bagwell’s rookie year was over and he now had a lot to prove against a man who had been picking up wins left and right on WCW TV.

Marcus Alexander Bagwell vs. Scotty Flamingo

Flamingo came strutting to the ring wearing ripped jeans, a hat, and a long, white coat with a picture of himself on the back. Drenched in charisma and showcasing a kind of arrogant flamboyance, the man stepping through the ropes here at WrestleWar ‘92 was a million miles removed from Scott Levy’s most famous creation.
WCW WrestleWar 92 Review - Scotty Flamingo prepares to face Marcus Bagwell

A good few years before he got all moody and started skulking around in bingo halls, Flamingo went at it with the future Buff Daddy in a match that had some good action but was largely devoid of heat.

As Jim Ross repeatedly stressed the fact that the match would have implications for the light-heavyweight division (and thus who would eventually challenge Brian Pillman for the title), the two men traded the advantage several times until Bagwell planted Flamingo with a fisherman's suplex.

Scotty got his foot on the ropes and got back to his feet as his opponent celebrates a little too soon, thinking he'd won the match.

From there, a simple shot into the corner, a roll-up, and a handful of tights were enough to put Scotty Flamingo one step closer to light-heavyweight gold.
Your Winner: Scotty Flamingo

A quick promo for our next WCW PPV, Beach Blast '92 aired next, promising us lots of exciting action and -I quote- plenty of "bodacious babes."

Ah, the '90s.

JYD IS Taken Out

Ross and Ventura then took us back to Superbrawl 2, when Junkyard Dog returned to WCW and saved Ron Simmons from a beatdown at the hands of Cactus Jack and Abdullah the Butcher.

That was supposed to lead to a tag team match tonight in which Simmons and JYD would seek revenge against Cactus and Mr. Hughes.

Before the Dog could even get to the ring, however, he was viciously assaulted by the man from Truth or Consequences and forced to return to the back.

Ron Simmons vs. Mr. Hughes

Simmons eventually returned to the ring and took out both Hughes and Cactus with a double clothesline, after which referee Bill Alfonso ordered Jack to stay outside the ring.
WCW WrestleWar 92 - Cactus Jack & Mr. Hughes

Apparently, we were now getting a singles match.

Foolishly, this was never actually announced to the crowd. Even Ross and Ventura spent most of the match in a state of confusion, questioning what the hell was actually going on.

The match was precisely what you'd expect from Ron Simmons versus Mr. Hughes.

Whether that's good or not probably depends entirely on how much of a fan you are of both men.

As for me, well, let’s just say I’ve seen worse matches.

To the shock of no one, Simmons picked up the win with a three-point tackle.
Your Winner: Ron Simmons

As Jesse Ventura teased a surprise for Beach Blast, we moved straight on to our next match.

Todd Champion vs. Super Invader (w/ Harley Race)

As a kid living in England during the early 90s, I didn’t get to see much World Championship Wrestling on TV. So, for years, the only way I ever saw Super Invader was through magazines and a WCW sticker album which I still have in my parent's loft back in the UK.
WCW WrestleWar 92 - Super Invader overpowers Todd Champion

(As soon as I get it back, I'm totally reviewing that sticker album!)

From the pictures alone, I thought Super Invader (Hercules Hernandez with red pantyhose on his face) looked cool as shit.

Many, many years later, writing this WrestleWar ‘92 review finally gives me an opportunity to watch my first-ever Super Invader match.

Even now, I think he looks pretty badass, though I do question how WCW expected us to believe that this clearly very white dude was from Bangkok, Thailand.

Although this wasn’t a great match by any stretch, I still say this guy could’ve been a contender in early 90s WCW had he been paired up with better caliber workers who could get a good match out of him.

Alas, Tod Champion wasn’t one of those workers. Despite breaking away from the awfully-named Firebreaker Chip, Champion was still billed as hailing from “WCW Special Forces.”

Not that he had much force at all in this one-sided affair where his entire offense consisted of catching Invader coming off the ropes with a foot to the mush, getting in a couple of punches, and then going right back to getting his ass kicked.
WCW WrestleWar 92 - Super Invader and Harley Race


For the third match in a row, the winner was never in doubt. Super Invader picked up another win.

He looked cool, especially for the time, but would eventually fade into obscurity.
Your Winner: Super Invader 

Up next, a match that I’m not sure anyone wanted to see:

Richard Morton vs. Big Josh

Ricky Morton had become bland, boring, and directionless since turning heel. Every time he took over the match, it was straight down to the mat for a bunch of lifeless rest holds that failed to get the audience excited.

WCW WrestleWar 92 - Ricky Morton vs. Big Josh

Big Josh faired a little better at popping the crowd, throwing his weight around and knocking seven shades of shite out of the former Rock ‘n’ Roll Expresser.

The result was a match that didn’t actually suck or anything but just kind of happened, a decent filler bout but nothing more.

Of course, Jesse Ventura spent the whole match talking about Big Josh’s lack of hygiene, so I had to laugh when Josh hit his Northern Exposure finisher (think Earthquake splash), and all Jesse could think about was “Josh’s big, stinking dirty pants, right in Ricky Morton’s face.”
Your Winner: Big Josh

Before the next contest, Tony Schiavone and Eric Bischoff gave their thoughts and predictions on our upcoming light heavyweight championship match between former prime partners, The Z-Man and Brian Pillman.
WCW WrestleWar 92 - Tom Zenk and Brian Pillman exchange words

This took us to an exchange between the two on WCW Saturday Night in which the upcoming challenger got angry about being attacked by Tracy Smothers and “Scotty The Flamingo” but promised to give them a title shot down the line.

Naturally, this raised the ire of the champion, who was none too happy about being overlooked.

The two “best friends” almost came to blows in an enjoyable segment where Pillman in particular, looked impressive:

That match was next.

World Championship Wrestling World Light Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Light Heavyweight Champion Brian Pillman vs. The Z-Man

This was a genuinely exciting contest that may well have been Tom Zenk’s finest hour.
WCW WrestleWar 92 - Tom Zenk and Brian Pillman (this referee, lol)

After a somewhat frosty handshake, the two former US tag team champions proved themselves to be fairly evenly matched in terms of speed, agility, and ground-based offense until the pretense of friendship wore off, and each man went all out to win.

Enjoyable from start to finish, this light heavyweight contest really made you believe that tonight was going to be Z-Man’s night, the challenger getting a couple of near falls that popped the crowd in fine fashion.

Alas, it wasn’t to be.

Zenk came off the top, hoping to end the match with a top rope drop kick. However, the champion moved and jackknifed his opponent into a cover, a count, and a victory.

This was a fantastic, compelling match that combined quality wrestling with masterful storytelling.

Definitely worth a watch.
Your Winner and Still Light Heavyweight Champion: Brian Pillman

Before moving on to anything else, another Beach Blast commercial featured more bodacious babes and promised us that the event would be, ahem, “beachin.”

WCW World Tag Team Championship
WCW World Tag Team Champions The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Takayuki Iizuka

If The Steiners win, they get a shot at the IWGP tag team titles.

As good as the earlier lights heavyweight title match was, this hard-hitting clash between reigning WCW tag team champions The Steiner Brothers, and their Japanese challengers Tatsumi Fujinami & Takayuki Iizuka was even better.
WCW Wrestlewar 92 - The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Takayuki Iizuka

Thoroughly enthralling from bell to bell, this lengthy match saw both teams holding nothing back as they tried to mangle, maim, and destroy one another.

An early highlight came when the challengers set Rick Steiner up for a doomsday-like move. With the Dog-Faced Gremlin perched on Fujinami’s shoulders, Iizuka dove off with a crossbody, only to be caught by Rick and powerslammed in mid-air.

It was beautiful.

The rest of the time, the two teams either took it to the mat with some solid submission moves, clobbered one another, or suplexed the ever-living shit out of one another.

No matter what they did, it made for a fantastic match that ended with a win for WCW’s finest when Rick drilled Iizuka with a match-winning belly-to-belly superplex.

If you came to wrestling late and the only things you know about The Steiners are Big Poppa Pump, Steiner Math, and the fact that Rick Steiner exists, do yourself a favor:

Track down this match, their incredible contest against Hiroshi Hase & Kensuke Sasaki from the first NJPW/WCW Supershow, as well as their outing against Hase and Masa Chono from Clash of the Champions 15. You’ll soon see this team we’re practically untouchable in their prime.
Your Winners and Still WCW Tag Team Champions: The Steiner Brothers

Finally, it was time, almost.

As the stage was set for this battle for the ages, Jim Ross and Jesse Ventura talked up the War Games main event before sending it to Schiavone & Bischoff for some last-minute analysis.

Other than noting Sting’s recent rib injury (a prime target if ever there was one), their main focus was on the fact that Sting’s Squadron was a team of five individuals, whereas The Dangerous Alliance was (despite some vague ‘recent controversies’ noted by Bischoff) a cohesive unit.

Would that be the difference maker?
Would Sting’s Squadron be able to trust Nikita Koloff?
And who would surrender or submit in The Match Beyond?

Our announcers wanted all of these questions answered, so they threw it to Gary Michael Capetta to get things underway.

War Games
The Dangerous Alliance (Ravishing Rick Rude, Stunning Steve Austin, The Cruncher Larry Zybysko, The Enforcer Arn Anderson, and Beautiful Bobby Eaton w/ Paul E. Dangerously & Madusa) vs. Sting’s Squadron (WCW World Heavyweight Champion Sting, Barry Windham, Dustin Rhodes, Nikita Koloff, and Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat.

I’m willing to go on record and say that this was the best War Games match ever, a thrilling brawl for the ages in which everyone played their roles perfectly.

Barry Windham and Steve Austin kicked things off for their respective teams, with Windham gaining a clear advantage in the opening five minutes and beating Austin until he was a bloody mess.

The heels then won the coin toss (obviously), meaning Rick Rude could come to his partner’s rescue.

Rude was followed by Ricky Steamboat, who picked up his rivalry with Rude until he was attacked by our next entrant, the War Games veteran Arn Anderson.
WCW Wrestlewar 92 - Paul E. Dangerous prepares the Dangerous Alliance for War Games


A fired-up Dustin Rhodes came next, taking out Double A and Austin with a fire and intensity that delighted the crowd, though not as much as when Windham turned Anderson upside down and jammed his former tag team partner’s head between the two rings.

Larry Zybysko then entered the fray. As he did so, Madusa climbed to the top of the cage and threw Dangerously’s phone down to Anderson to use as a weapon, but Sting also climbed up and forced her to bail.

Speaking of the Stinger, he was next to enter the ring, followed by Bobby Eaton and, finally, Nikita Koloff.

Koloff’s loyalties had been questioned in the build-up to this match, teasing the possibility that he may turn on Sting.
WCW Wrestlewar 92 - Sting vs. Nikitta Koloff


Fortunately for the world champion, those fears were alleviated when Koloff saved Sting from the clutches of Arn Anderson and -after a brief but intense stare-down- embraced him.

The duo then proceeded to lay waste to everyone in sight, and the Match Beyond was officially on.

All ten men waged war on each other in an exciting and bloody battle that kept the crowd utterly enthralled.

The match was so hard-hitting that one of the turnbuckles came loose. Bobby Eaton seemed to spend about two hours putting together the metal bar that connected the buckle to the ring post, then handed it to Zybysko and grabbed hold of Sting.

Big Bad Larry then swung at Sting, but the champ ducked, and Eaton took the full force of the metal bar across his shoulder.

At that point, Sting took out Zybysko and took advantage of Eaton’s now-damaged shoulder, applying a simple arm bar that forced the former Midnight Express star to tap out.
Your Winners: Sting’s Squadron

Battered, weary, and soaked in blood, the victors made a triumphant return to the locker room while, in the ring, The Dangerous Alliance all berated Zybysko for costing them the match.

Before we could see them turn on him, we got some final words, first from Schiavone and Bischoff, and then from Ross and Ventura, the latter duo promising us even more action when WCW returned to PPV with Beach Blast ‘92 later that June.

On the whole, I’d say WrestleWar ‘92 was a good show.

Sure, with the company’s ten biggest stars all competing in the main event, the undercard was a little lacking in star power, leaving us with underwhelming bouts like Ricky Morton vs. Big Josh.
However, from the light heavyweight title match onwards, this show delivered. Pillman/Z-Man was compelling, the tag team title match proved why The Steiners were the best team in the world back in the early 90s, and the War Games match was truly one for the ages.

Thursday, 2 March 2023

EVENT REVIEW: WCW Clash of the Champions XIX

WCW Clash of the Champions XIX review - NWA World Tag Team Title Tournament


June 16, 1992
McAllister Field House, Charleston, South Carolina

Taped on June 16th before a capacity crowd of 4,600 and airing on TBS a week later, WCW Clash of the Champions 19 revolved almost entirely around a tournament to crown new National Wrestling Alliance World Tag Team Tournaments.

Over the proceeding few years, the relationship between World Championship Wrestling and the NWA had been tenuous at best, but with old-school stalwart Cowboy Bill Watts now in charge of WCW, the two brands were gung-ho about giving that relationship one last shot.

Of course, it wouldn't last, but until then, shows like tonight would at least provide us with some quality wrestling.

Here's what went down on that fateful night in South Carolina.

The Best in the World Converge on WCW

Our show tonight began with a short promo for the NWA World Tag Team Title tournament that would dominate this show.
WCW Clash of the Champions XIX review - Tony Schaivone, Missy Hyatt, and Magnum T.A


From there, we quickly went to the trio of Tony Schiavone, Missy Hyatt, and Magnum TA.

Between Tony and Magnum putting over the magnitude of tonight’s event, Missy Hyatt informed us that New Japan Pro Wrestling was going to be hosting a tournament to crown a new NWA World Heavyweight Champion.

Missy would be bringing us more details about that later in the show, but first, Schiavone gave us a brief interview with then-WCW boss Cowboy Bill Watts, who put over both the NWA’s rich sense of tradition and the upcoming tournament’s number one seed, The Steiner Brothers.
WCW Clash of the Champions XIX review - Jim Ross and Jesse 'The Body' Ventura called the action


Finally, we got comments from our announcers, Jim Ross & Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura, before heading to the ring for our opening contest.

Joe Malenko & Dean Malenko (Europe) vs. Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat & Nikita Koloff

First off, hell yeah! Dean Malenko!
WCW Clash of the Champions XIX - Dean Malenko takes it to Ricky 'The Dragon' Steamboat


Here, the future Man of 1,000 Holds and his brother Joe Malenko represented Europe as they went up against Ricky Steamboat and Nikita Koloff in a tremendous opening match.

Steamboat and Koloff dominated most of the contest, but the Malenko brothers certainly looked impressive too.

In fact, if I were booking WCW back then, I’d absolutely sign those boys up and push them into a feud with The Steiner Brothers.

Alas, as impressive as they may have looked, tonight wasn’t to be Joe & Dean’s night.

The two lost the match when Koloff hit Dean with the Sickle for the pinfall.
Your Winners: Ricky Steamboat & Nikita Koloff

After a quick commercial break, it was back to the action.

The Z-Man & Marcus Alexandra Bagwell vs. The Dangerous Alliance (WCW US Champion ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude & WCW TV Champion ‘Stunning’ Steve Austin w/ Madusa)

Our second match of the night was nowhere near as good as the first, but if you ever wanted to see Steve Austin and Rick Rude just demolishing their opponents, this was the match for you.
WCW Clash of the Champions XIX - The Dangerous Alliance celebrate a win of Buff Bagwell and Z-Man


Marcus Alexander Bagwell and The Z-Man stood no chance here. The duo’s offense was brief and ineffective compared to that of a Dangerous Alliance team who controlled 99.95% of the match.

After around seven minutes, this glorified squash match ended with Rude drilling Bagwell with the Rude Awakening for the three count.

I read from multiple sources that the babyface’s burial was all due to Booker Bill Watts having a problem with pretty boy babyfaces.

Whatever the reason was, it sure didn’t look good for Bagwell and Zenk.
Your Winners: The Dangerous Alliance

Backstage, Eric Bischoff recapped the results of the show far before turning his attention to an interview with Terry Gordy and Dr. Death Steve Williams.

Both men seemed to fluster their way through an awkward promo. 

To begin, Gordy ranted that nobody cared about Australians (their upcoming opponents, The O’Days, were from Down Under), insisting that all anybody wanted to see was Gordy & Williams against The Steiners.
WCW Clash of the Champions XIX - Eric Bischoff interviews Dr. Death Steve Williams and Terry 'Bam Bam' Gordy


This didn’t make Dr. Death too happy as he next claimed that he was so sick of hearing about Rick & Scott that it gave him a headache.

To wrap things up, Williams called The Steiners a homophobic slur that I won’t repeat here, then said “I know I can’t say that on TV,” but apparently he could as it’s still shown on the Peacock version of this event.

The O’Days (Larry & Jeff O’Day) vs. Terry ‘Bam Bam’ Gordy & Dr. Death Steve Williams

I don’t know much about the father-son duo of Larry & Jeff O’Day, but I do know that they were doomed from the moment they stepped through the curtain.

Father Larry looked like a college art professor who had never seen the sunlight, and son Jeff couldn’t have looked less like a star if he’d tried.

Unsurprisingly, the Aussies were pulverized by Gordy and Williams in two and a half minutes.
Your Winners: Terry Gordy & Steve Williams

Up next, Jesse Ventura conducted an in-ring interview with a tuxedo-clad WCW Champion, Sting.

Well, I say interview.
WCW Clash of the Champions 19 - Sting

Ventura basically goaded Sting about Big Van Vader hurting him and coming after the title. In response, Sting likened his story with Vader to that of David vs. Goliath, insisting that since he had the fans on his side, he felt like Goliath and was ready to take on Vader.

This was followed with a quick commercial for Great American Bash ‘92 where the two would meet, and then it was back to the ring.

‘The Natural’ Dustin Rhodes & Barry Windham vs. The Dangerous Alliance (Beautiful Bobby & ‘The Enforcer’ Arn Anderson w/ Paul E. Dangerously)

I’m writing this just days after it was announced that Barry Windham had suffered a heart attack and was in ICU.
WCW Clash of the Champions 19 - Paul E. Dangerously leads Arn Anderson and Bobby Eaton into battle


I sincerely pray that we’ll all have heard more positive news on Windham’s situation by the time you read this review.

Tonight, he and Dustin Rhodes went at it in a solid match with Arn Anderson and Bobby Eaton.

There was nothing fancy or elaborate about this one. It was just good, old pro wrestling the way it’s meant to be done.

After a strong performance, Rhodes moved out of the way of Eaton’s Alabama Jam attempt and took him out with a match-winning bulldog.
Your Winners: Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes

A plug for the WCW poster book led us into a commercial break, after which we went back to Eric Bischoff, Missy Hyatt, and Missy’s gorgeous legs.
WCW Clash of the Champions 19 - Missy Hyatt and her gorgeous legs

Missy told us that not only would the NWA World Heavyweight Championship tournament be taking place in Japan that August, but also that all four members of The Dangerous Alliance would be competing in that tournament.

She then left as Gordy and Williams returned to talk about a ‘terrible accident’ that had happened backstage involving The Steiner Brothers’ upcoming Puerto Rican opponents.

Fired up and incredibly animated, Bam Bam and Dr. Death told us that the accident was so awful, The Steiners would have to get a bye to the next round as a result of a forfeit and ultimately go on to face The Miracle Violence Connection in their next match.

This being wrestling, neither Eric nor anyone else seemed concerned with checking on the validity of Gordy & William’s claim and simply accepted it as fact.

The Silver Kings (Silver King 1 & Silver King 2) vs. WCW United States Champions The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael ‘P.S’ Hayes & Jimmy ‘Jam’ Garvin)

The Fabulous Freebirds’ US tag team titles were not on the line here as they went up against the Mexican duo of The Silver Kings.
WCW Clash of the Champions 19 - The Silver Kings


If you’re wondering, The Silver Kings were Juan Jauregui, who was better known as El Texano and Cesar Gonzalez, who was the guy who you may remember wrestling as Silver King later on in WCW.

The company didn’t care enough about either man to use their names, so they were simply referred to as Silver King 1 & Silver King 2.

That’s a shame, really, because both Jauregui and Gonzalez had some pretty impressive offense to deliver.

The problem was that their way of wrestling was completely at odds with the way Jimmy Garvin & Michael Hayes wrestled, resulting in a clash of styles that made for a really messy match.

After stumbling awkwardly through a six-minute contest, The Silver Kings pounced on The Freebirds outside the ring but couldn’t follow up.

Immediately after, Hayes rolled up one of the kings in the ring and this one was over.
Your Winners: The Fabulous Freebirds

Post-match, Ross & Ventura confirmed that The Steiner Brothers’ opponents really were unable to compete, and thus we’d be seeing The Steiners vs. Gordy and Williams at The Great American Bash.

Elsewhere in the arena, Tony Schiavone and Magnum T.A. also confirmed this. Ole Anderson showed up, too, though all he did was triple-confirm what had happened.

Flyin’ Brian & Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger vs. Chris Benoit & Beef Wellington

Yes, Canadian grappler, Biff Wellington was known as Beef Wellington here, and I personally found that so funny that I had to take a break and compose myself before watching this match.
WCW Clash of the Champions 19 - Biff Wellington stares down Brian Pillman


Anyway, I’m glad I was able to settle down and eventually pay attention because this tremendous contest turned out to be the best thing on the show so far. 

As some long-time fans may recall, Wellington and Chris Benoit had been tag team partners in Stampede Wrestling, Weirdly, they both later died on the same day, but let's not get bogged down into all that right now because this was a damn fine match.

Benoit and Jushin Liger kicked things off with a fine display of wrestling before Benoit tagged out to his beefy partner for an exchange with Brian Pillman.

From there, things got better and better. All four men bust their asses, whipping the crowd into a frenzy in one hell of an exciting match.

After 11 minutes of action, Liger caught Wellington with a moonsault to put his team through to the next round.
Your Winners: Jushin Liger & Brian Pillman

Up next, this:

The Head Hunters (Head Hunter 1 & Head Hunter 2) vs. Hiroshi Hase & Akira Nogami

The Head Hunters were not the huge guys you probably know from Japan, ECW, and their appearance at the 1996 Royal Rumble, but rather Arn Anderson and Bob “Masked Superstar #2” Cook wearing generic masks.
In fact, I'm entirely certain at least one of these masked was used by Rick Rude when he debuted back at Halloween Havoc 91.
WCW Clash 19 - Hiroshi Hase and Akira Nogami


Their match with Hiroshi Hase & Akira NoGami was…well…let’s just say that in all the time I’ve been watching pro wrestling, I’ve never seen a match have less heat.

The two teams wrestled to absolute silence, and even the announcers found other things to talk about, like this gem from Ventura:

Ross had mentioned the phrase ‘agony in defeat,’ to which Ventura replied:

“What are you talking about, agony in defeat? You have your shoes on, you don’t have agony in the feet.”

I spent the rest of the match laughing at that and paying almost no attention to the lifeless excuse for pro wrestling going on in the ring. 

It was a shame, because I like Hase & Nogami, but this match was incredibly boring.

The Japanese team won with synchronized bridging German suplexes shortly after the five minute mark.
Your Winners: Hiroshi Hase & Akira Nogami

After the break, Jesse Ventura interviewed Ron Simmons about Simmons' quest to become the first black world champion.

After vowing to overcome all the odds, Simmons was interrupted by the arrival of Harley Race and his charge, Super Invader.
Clash of the Champions 19 - Harley Race and Super Invader confront Ron Simmons


In a promo with heavily racist overtones, Race wanted Simmons to be an errand boy and tell Sting that Vader was after him.

Big Ron refused, so Harley told him that when he was a seven-time champion, he had a boy like him carry his bags.

From what I’ve read elsewhere, Race actually used the word “negro” here, but someone at WWE did a nifty job of replacing it with the word “boy.”

Anyway, Simmons destroyed both Race and the useless Super Invader and that was that.
WCW Clash 19 - Tony Schiavone interviews Bill Watts


After that, Bill Watts told Tony Schiavone that we’d be starting round 2 of the tag team tournament right now with Steiners vs. Gordy & Williams

Dr: Death Steve Williams & Terry ‘Bam Bam’ Gordy vs. WCW World Tag Team Champions The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner)

I was really looking forward to this match, but, to be honest, it was a bit of a letdown.
Clash 19 - Rick Steiner squares off against Steve Williams


Things started with both teams trading amateur wrestling moves and a couple of stiff shots. I can’t say for certain that they were shooting at each other, but it certainly looked that way and made for boring viewing.

Then, Dr. Death turned Rick Steiner inside out with a clothesline, signaling a turning point in the match in which the action picked up and we got the kind of quality match I’d been expecting.

Then, it all kind of ended when Scott Steiner, Steve Williams, and Terry Gordy all collapsed in a heap on top of one another and Williams pinned Steiner.
Your Winners: Steve Williams & Terry Gordy

The duo would go on to The Great American Bash ‘92 to face Steamboat and Koloff. This is one of the rare instances where I’ve reviewed shows out of order, so you can go right ahead and read my Bash ‘92 review here.


Things may have deteriorated for WCW in the Bill Watts era after this event, but there’s no denying the cowboy’s reign started strong.

The opening match and that excellent Pillman/Liger vs. Benoit/Wellington match more than made up for the lackluster action elsewhere on the show, and while the resulting match was disappointing, the storyline running through the night of Williams & Gordy wanting The Steiner Brothers was well played out.

Not the best Clash of the Champions ever, but certainly a decent show by all accounts.

Other Clash of the Champions Reviews:
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Friday, 13 January 2023

PPV REVIEW: WCW Superbrawl II (1992)

WCW Superbrawl II (1992) Review _ Event poster

February 29, 1992
Miller High Life Theatre, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Suprbrawl II came at a time when the company's unfortunately short-term president, Kip Allen Fry was doing his damnedest to get WCW out of the creative and financial pit it had fallen into over the past several years of horrible management.

As the story goes, one of Fry's initiatives to turn WCW around was awarding a $5,000 bonus to the wrestlers who put on the night's best match. 

Suddenly incentivized and sufficiently motivated, many of the company's stars began upping their game between the ropes, leading a sharp uptake in match quality.

Personally, that gets me pretty excited. 

I've always loved the Superbrawl Pay Per View, and I may have mentioned in the past that it often felt more prestigious and important than WCW's marquee PPV, Starrcade.

I've never actually seen Superbrawl '92 before today, so combine that with the fact that this was my favorite WCW PPV and the promise of some good quality matches, I honestly can't wait to dive into it.

Welcome to Superbrawl II

Our show tonight began with one of WCW’s better opening videos which did a fantastic job of selling marquee matches, including Brian Pillman vs. Jushin 'Thunder' Liger, Rick Rude vs. Ricky 'The Dragon' Steamboat, and Sting vs. Lex Luger.

WCW Superbrawl II- Tony Schaivone and Eric Bischoff


Already I’m pumped for this show. Surely there’s no way a card featuring such an awesome line-up could possibly fail, right?

The video segued into a live shot of the crowd as pyro exploded and Tony Schiavone welcomed us to tonight’s event.

Remember what I said about Superbrawl feeling like a bigger deal than Starrcade?

This exciting opening certainly made it feel that way.

Anyway, Schiavone and broadcast colleague Eric Bischoff were both equally as geared up for tonight’s event though the duo couldn’t agree on who would win tonight’s tag team title match.

Eric’s money was on The Steiners, while Schiavone backed the duo of Bobby Eaton & Arn Anderson.

WCW Superbrawl 1992 - Missy Hyatt conducted backstage interviews all night


In the back, Missy Hyatt was so giddy about her role as a backstage interviewer that she promised her interviews would be better than the matches themselves.

I’m only a few minutes into this, but somehow I doubt it.

Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura Debuts in WCW

Out in the ring, Jim Ross welcomed his broadcast partner for the evening, none other than the one and only Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura.

WCW Superbrawl 1992 - Jim Ross and Jesse 'The Body' Ventura


Last seen calling the action (I think) at Wrestlemania 6, Ventura made his WCW debut by riding a motorcycle to the ring and then eliciting a huge pop for name-checking Harley Davidson.

He and Ross then ran through tonight’s card before the promo finished with The Body saying, “you know, if you wore a cowboy hat, you’d look just like JR Ewing.”

Ventura then turned to the camera and smirked, “which is funny because his initials are JR.”

So there you have it, Jesse Ventura came up with Jim Ross’s cowboy hat gimmick.

Finally, we got a little bit more rambling from Bischoff and Schiavone, and then it was down to our opening contest of the evening.

World Championship Wrestling World Lightheavyweight Champion Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger vs. Flyin’ Brian Pillman lol

A precursor to many of WCW’s fondly remembered Cruiserweight classics, Brian Pillman and Jushin Liger tore it up here in a tremendous opening contest.

WCW Superbrawl 1992 Review - Jushin Liger vs. Brian Pillman


The two spent the early part of the match trading the advantage on the mat, occasionally picking up the pace to pop the crowd with some aerial attacks before returning to submission holds again.

As things progressed, champ and challenger upped the ante, battling back and forth towards a crescendo of dramatic near falls and victory for Pillman.
Your Winner and New Lightheavyweigh Champion: Brian Pillman

Out in the back, Missy Hyatt was super excited to be interviewing Tailor-Made Man, Terry Taylor.

WCW Superbrawl 1992 Review - Terry Taylor does his best Ted Dibiase impression


Cosplaying as Ted Dibiase in a shiny black and gold suit, Taylor cut a confident promo deriding his upcoming opponent, Marcus Alexander Bagwell, for not taking him up on his offer to become Taylor’s protege and promised to make an example out of the future Buff Daddy.

Marcus Alexander Bagwell vs. The Tailor-Made Man Terry Taylor

I mean, seriously, the only difference between Taylor’s pre-match attire and Dibiase’s famous suit is that the latter always had dollar signs on it.

Speaking of attire, our guest ring announcer was a young man from Syracuse University named Barry Abrams, who had won a contest to do the introductions for this match.

WCW Superbrawl II (1992) - lol


Curiously, Abrams looked to be wearing a tuxedo until the camera pulled out to reveal that he was wearing a tuxedo on the top half and basketball shorts on the bottom.

I can’t say for certain, but I wonder if his outfit choice was why a large portion of the audience booed the crap out of him.

Whatever you’re doing these days Barry, I hope you’re doing well!

On another note, JR mentioned that Taylor and Greg Valentine were the new US tag team champions, but those belts were apparently so insignificant that Terry didn’t even bother to bring his with him.

WCW Superbrawl II (1992) - Marcus Alexander Bagwell


As for the actual match, I’ll be honest that I wasn’t really expecting much from it, but it soon turned into a decent veteran vs. rookie bout.

Other than Taylor capsizing off the top rope with a poor-looking splash, the action was solid enough, but you got the feeling that the fans didn’t yet care enough about Bagwell to really root for him as the underdog.

As such, when -after he’d spent most of the match getting his ass whooped- he pulled a flash pinfall out of nowhere, few people seemed to give a damn.
Your Winner: Marcus Alexander Bagwell

Post-match, Taylor beat up on Marcus, though Ventura reminded us that even though he was dead in the middle of the ring, M.A.B would still be headin’ to the proverbial pay windah.

Lex Luger Is Going to Be The Champion Because He is The Champion

Yes, I know that subheading sounds dumb, but that’s exactly what Harley Race told us in our next backstage interview with Missy Hyatt.

WCW Superbrawl II (1992) - Missy Hyatt interviews Harley Race


Race told Wyatt (and all of us) that his man, Lex Luger, was in the best shape of his life before finishing his short promo with the sentence, “Lex Luger is going to walk out the champion tonight and he’s going to be the champion tomorrow because he is the world heavyweight champion, Lex Luger.”

So there you have it.

Cactus Jack vs. Ron Simmons

Though it was slow in parts, the clash of styles between Ron Simmons and Cactus Jack made for an enjoyable match.

WCW Superbrawl II (1992) - Cactus Jack gets the better of Ron Simmons


During one lull, the camera panned to the crowd where Junkyard Dog was seen chilling out in a white tuxedo with a face that bore all the emotion of a catatonic brick.

Back in the ring, Simmons got the early advantage by attacking Cactus after getting his head stuck between the ropes, prompting Jesse Ventura to rightly call out the supposed crowd favorite for using such underhand tactics.

Jack eventually made his comeback and pulled out the rest of his usual repertoire, including a big-time elbow from the corner to the outside and a bunch of DDTs, but that wasn’t enough to put away the man who WCW had been pushing pretty heavily since he split from Butch Reed.

Somewhat predictably (at least if you follow this period of WCW history), Simmons picked up the win with a power slam.
Your Winner: Ron Simmons 

Afterward, Abdullah The Butcher came down to start the next phase of his on-again-off-again alliance with Cactus Jack as the two beat up on Simmons.

Eventually, JYD took his sweet time sauntering through the crowd, casually head-butted two security guards, and then sent Cactus and Abby packing with some fake-looking tights and lefts.

You have to wonder if this angle would have been more effective had Junkyard seemed in a hurry about saving Big Ron, especially when Jim Ross told us that the two were friends.

After some quick post-match analysis from Bischoff and Schiavone, it was onto our next contest.

There’s No Money in Bodybuilding

As Van Hammer and Z-Man made their way to the ring for our next match, Jim Ross pointed out that Zenk and Ventura were both Minnesotans.

“That’s right,” said Jesse. “In fact, Z-Man was a former Mr. Minnesota who came over from body building to pro wrestling because we all know there’s no money in body building.”

After a beat, he continued:

“In fact, the big guy Vinnie probably knows there’s no money in bodybuilding.”

If you don’t know why that jab was hilarious, you need to leave this review immediately and go Google something called The World Bodybuilding Federation.

Vinnie Vegas & Richard Morton vs. Van Hammer & The Z-Man

This match kinda sucked.

Given the crowd reaction and the comments in another Superbrawl 2 review that I read, I may be in the minority as far as my assessment goes, but I certainly didn’t have a good time watching this one.

WCW Superbrawl II (1992) - Check these guys out right here


Sure, the brief exchanges between Zenk and Richard Morton were terrific, but despite those two being the better workers, Vinnie Vegas and Van Hammer spent 90% of the match working exclusively with each other.

Vegas certainly oozed charisma and was over with the audience, but it took him and Hammer a good while to gel, and their early exchanges looked horrible.

Though I’m genuinely a fan of Kevin Nash, I can’t deny that in the early moments, at least, he looked like he’d never taken a bump in his life.

Things got better towards the end, but by that point, watching Vinnie Vegas wrestle Van Hammer for the better part of 10 minutes had completely killed any interest your writer had, and it was a relief when Z-Man came in for the hot tag followed by a match-winning roll-up.
Your Winners: Van Hammer & The Z-Man

Up next, Schiavone and Bischoff took us back to Halloween Havoc 1991, when Arn Anderson and Larry Zybysko destroyed Barry Windham’s hand as he arrived for the show with Dustin Rhodes.

Tonight, we were told Windham was out for revenge in our next contest.

The Dangerous Alliance (WCW TV Champion Stunning Steve Austin & Larry Zybysko w/ Madusa) vs. Dustin Rhodes & Barry Windham

Though I personally preferred Rhodes & Steamboat vs. Zybysko & Anderson from the previous month’s Clash of the Champions, this was still a solid match.

WCW Superbrawl II (1992) - Larry beats up Barry


The longest bout on the card so far, things started fast and furious as Windham dove straight for Zybysko in front of a hot crowd.

Things slowed down somewhat in the middle, but even then, all four men gelled beautifully to deliver a smooth, compelling performance.

After a very good outing, Windham destroyed Zybysko with a big-time flying lariat and got the win.
Your Winners: Dustin Rhodes & Barry Windham

As the victors made their exit, Ross and Ventura sent us over to Schiavone and Bischoff.

WCW Superbrawl II (1992) - Eric Bischoff explains why he loves The Steiners so much


Wearing a Michigan State jacket, Eric marked out hard for The Steiner Brothers and couldn’t wait to see them win their next match.

Before we got to that, however, there was this.

Ricky Steamboat’s Ninja Bodyguard

Backstage, Missy Hyatt attempted to get an interview with Ricky Steamboat.

On arrival at his dressing room, she was greeted by a grunting ninja who I guess was Steamboat’s…I don’t know…bodyguard or something. 

WCW Superbrawl II (1992) - Madusa confronts a ninja


The ninja bodyguard opened the dressing room door, but when it revealed Steamboat meditating with some candles, he quickly shut it again and shooed Missy away with yet more grunting.

Hyatt wasn’t away for long, as she bumped into Madusa who also wanted a word with The Dragon.

The ninja flat-out refused, so Madusa slapped him but then ran off when he chased after her.

I honestly have no idea what I’ve just watched.

World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship
WCW World Tag Team Champions The Dangerous Alliance (Arn Anderson & Beautiful Bobby w/ Paul E. Dangerously) vs. The Steiner Brothers

Prior to the bell, Garry Michael Capetta informed us that WCW boss Kip Allen Fry had banned Paul E. Dangerously from the ringside.

WCW Superbrawl II (1992) - Arn Anderson gets the better of Scott Steiner


The Dangerous Alliance boss had already been banned from the upcoming US title fight, so naturally, he was pretty pissed about this, but he reluctantly went anyway after being ushered out by a gaggle of referees.

Maybe they should have gotten Steamboat’s ninja to help them.

Once the bell rang, the match was almost as good as you’d imagine it would be.

After an excellent wrestling display by Scott Steiner and Bobby Eaton in the opening moments, both teams traded the advantage before Scotty succumbed to his opponents and did a great job as the face-in-peril.

I say this was only almost as good as you’d imagine because of the convoluted finish.

Arn Anderson threw powder in Rick Steiner’s eyes. The referee apparently didn’t see that but did see a now-blinded Dog Faces Gremlin coming towards him, mistaking him for Anderson and blasting him with a suplex.

With the official referee down, a second one ran to the ring to count a pinfall after Scott hit Bobby with the Frankensteiner, even though Eaton wasn’t the legal man.

The bell rang. The Steiners grabbed the title belts, only for Nick Patrick to officially declare the result as a disqualification victory for The Dangerous Alliance due to Steiner hitting the referee.

That was kind of messy, but everything before it was great.
Your Winners via DQ and Still Tag Team Champions: The Dangerous Alliance

After a quick commercial for the upcoming WrestleWar PPV, Ross and Ventura recapped the controversial finish to the tag team title match.

Backstage, Missy Hyatt watched as a stoic Ricky Steamboat left the dressing room and headed towards the ring for what Hyatt promised would be “the best US title match ever.”

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship
WCW United States Champion ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude vs. Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat (w/ The Ninja)

Paul E. Dangerously is banned from ringside

Meeting for the first time on PPV since the 1988 Royal Rumble, Rude and Steamboat gave us a strong match that started slow but got better and better as it went on.

WCW Superbrawl II (1992) - Rick Rude vs. Ricky Steamboat


Rude was so despised by the fans that it took him a good while to get through his usual pre-match shtick, with every fan interruption riling up the champion more and more.

Steamboat then came out with his ninja in tow as Ventura questioned why that was allowed, but Paul E. Dangerously had to stay backstage.

If you know anything about pro wrestling, you’ve probably already learned that the masked ninja was a member of The Dangerous Alliance and would inevitably turn on Steamboat.

That was obvious from the opening bell, but despite a predictable finish, it was still a damn fine match that built up from a lot of mat-based offense into a dramatic closing sequence.

In the end, Steamboat looked to have the match in had. He scaled the ropes, but the ninja whacked him one with a suspiciously-familiar cell phone.

The interference allowed Rude to get the cover, the count, and the fall.
Your Winner and Still US Champion: Rick Rude

After some post-match analysis, we went backstage to Missy Hyatt who burst into Rick Rude’s lockerroom to find -quell surprise- Paul E. Dangerously wearing the ninja outfit.

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Lex Luger (w/ Harley Race)

Lex Luger was on his way out of the door here and didn’t seem too concerned about leaving on a high note.

WCW Superbrawl II (1992) - Sting contemplates his next move against Lex Luger


As such, his lackluster did dampen things and drag the match down at certain points, but it was still an enjoyable contest for what it was.

The match started hot, dragged in the middle as the unmotivated champion worked over his opponent’s knee, then picked up the pace again towards the finish.

After being dumped on the outside, Sting reversed a Harley Race piledriver attempt, and back-body dropped the former NWA champion on the mat. He then scaled the ropes and flattened The Total Package with an awesome flying crossbody off the top to regain the world title.

Yes, I know, in an age where we see wrestlers doing multiple flips and all kinds of ariel wizardry, a simple crossbody may not sound all that impressive, but trust me, this one was a thing of beauty.
Your Winner and New World Heavyweight Champion: Sting

As Luger disappeared from view and went off to focus on bodybuilding, Sting grabbed his newly-won title and celebrated with the audience while Jim Ross and Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura called time on what had been a mostly great show.

I mean sure, the Vegas/Morton vs. Zenk/Hammer match wasn’t good, but it was the only match on the card that I didn’t enjoy.

Even the likes of Taylor/Bagwell and Simmons/Cactus delivered in their own way, while the opening Liger/Pillman match, the two tag bouts and the US title matches all helped to make Superbrawl 2 one of the best WCW PPVs you’re likely to see from this time period.

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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.