Ring Crew Reviews: WCW Superbrawl VI
• Scheduled Card:
1. Street Fight: Public Enemy vs. The Nasty Boys.
2. WCW World Television Championship: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Johnny B. Badd (c).
3. WCW World Tag Team Championship: Harlem Heat vs. Sting and Lex Luger (c).
4. WCW United States Championship: One Man Gang vs. Konnan (c).
5. “I Respect You” Match: Taskmaster vs. Brian Pillman.
6. WCW World Tag Team Championship: Road Warriors vs. The winners of Harlem Heat/Sting and Lex Luger.
7. Steel Cage Match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Ric Flair vs. Macho Man Randy Savage (c).
8. Unsanctioned Steel Cage Match: The Giant vs. Hulk Hogan.
• We start with Tony, Brain, and Dusty running down the sixth Superbrawl card featuring, not one but TWO cage matches: Hogan vs. Giant and Macho vs. Flair. Dusty says he can smell danger in the air tonight and Brain predicts the END OF HULKAMANIA TONIGHT! IT’S OVER! NO MORE HOGAN!
• Street Fight: Public Enemy vs. The Nasty Boys. GARBAGE TAG TEAMS COLLIDE! Grunge: “WHERE THE BIG BOYS PLAY!” Rock: “WE DON’T PLAY!” Dust: “We talking about a lot of clubberin’ going on in this big confrontation here… This is going to be a furniture-moving type situation here.” The Nasties actually come out to a face pop. The PE dump out both and then dance for a bit. They pair off with Knobbs/Grunge and Sags/Rock. Grunge eats ringpost as Rock is bringing over a concession stand table up the aisleway. Sags cuts him off entirely and starts blasting him with several chairshots and the fans love it. This IS 1996 after all. Sags now turns his attention to Grunge and waffles him with the chair. Grunge no sells to turn and beat Sags down with the chair. They now switch partners as Sags hit a clothesline on Grunge to a NASTIES CHANT! Unbelievable. Rock throws Knobbs into the ringpost and puts him on a table. Knobbs no sells to slam him off the apron through the table to a POP! 1, 2, Rock breaks up the cover with a chair. Sags now brings a trash can. Dust: “We see Sags now getting some plunder.” Brain: “NO NO! That’s his lunch pail, the slob.” Sags waffles Rock several times with a trash can lid. Tony: “CAPTAIN AMERICAN DOESN’T SWING A SHIELD LIKE THAT!” Knobbs now picks up the remnants of the table and throws them at Rock. Grunge is beat into the ring by Sags with the trash can. Rock comes back by sending Knobbs into the guardrail in the entranceway as Brain has some fun on commentary at Dusty’s expense. Dust: “He’s got some plunder he ain’t used yet. And look around, people are running for cover.” Brain: “Are you saying thunder?” Tony: “Plunder.” Dust: “Plunder.” Tony: “PLUNDER.” Brain: “A plunger is one of those things you use in a commode.”
• ANYWAY, Sags preps a piledriver on a trashcan on Grunge and hits it. He covers for 1, 2, Grunge gets the foot on the ropes. Rock and Knobbs continue brawling up near the set. Grunge comes back by waffling Sags several times with the trash can. Brain now wants Dusty to talk strategy: “Dusty, you’re a three-time heavyweight champion of the world, how do you prepare yourself if you know you’re in a street fight with the likes of the Nasties and Public Enemy?” Dusty: “Well, you just take yourself up and soak your arm in motor oil and go out there and go to it and try to take more plunder than they do.” Meanwhile, Knobbs suplexes Rock through a table at the “plunder” stand according to Dusty. Now, Sags and Grunge are brawling their way over their way over there again. Yes, this is another Tupelo concession stand brawl which is a questionable idea considering how WCW’s first ode to it went at Uncensored the previous year generally considered one of the worst matches ever. The PE finally get the advantage by blocking a soda shot with a trash can lid which Dusty refers to as blocking “acid” with a “shield.” The PE hit a bulldog on Sags on a chair and continue waffling Knobbs with the trash can lid. Knobbs no sells to hit several thousand more trashcan shots. Knobbs gets the trash can lid now as it’s just chaos with all four beating the shit out of each other and selling for MAYBE 3 seconds each. An entire Ken Burns documentary should be devoted to the commentary on this match alone as there are just too many regional colloquialisms for me to mention them all. Tony: “You’re going to have to find some new words, Dream. Clubberin’ just doesn’t describe it, does it?” Brain: “It’s a slobberin’. That’s what it is.” Dust: “What’s he got?” Tony: “Some sort of rubbermade trash can.” Dust: “RUBBERMADE AIN’T GON GET IT DONE! THE OTHER GUY GOT A REGULAR OLD TIN CAN!” Sags now suplexes a table down on Rock in a cool spot that gets a reaction. Knobbs waffles Grunge with a chair… again. Rock hits a bulldog on the floor as Tony talks up the great athleticism of all involved. Grunge with more trashcan lid shots and he puts Knobbs on a table. Rock has climbed into the stands and up a good 10 feet and he goes for a fucking SWANTON through the table but Knobbs moves and Rock eats it through the table. This is crazy. Knobbs waffles him with the table debris and covers for 1, 2, 3 at 7:52. Much better than either of the Nasties’ brawls with Harlem Heat at Uncensored 95 and 97. I was expecting a mess and got one but hell this is better than a lot of the ECW brethren it would be ripping off or emulating at the time. Just an absurd volume of spots and shots crammed into 8 minutes. If you want selling, look elsewhere. FWIW, I still haven’t seen the Nasties vs. Maxx Payne and Cactus Jack. ***1/2
• Meanwhile, Mean Gene is with Konnan dressed in a gold reflective conquistador’s outfit. He’s got OMG tonight for the US championship. Konnan says he wants to thank all the Latinos for writing in to him and speaks some Spanish. Gene wants to know how Konnan will deal with his size? Konnan says he’s faced OMG before and his gameplan will work out tonight.
• WCW World Television Championship: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Johnny B. Badd (c). The TV belt, Kimberly AKA Diamond Doll, and DDP’s kayfabe fortune of $6.6 million are on the line tonight. Back in October, DDP got between Mero and a US title shot so JJ made sure that DDP had to face him instead for the TV belt. They would feud and Mero would win the TV belt and Kimberly in some very solid matches, so I’m expecting good things here. Kimberly as Diamond Doll has a very 90s aerobics, breakin’ style intro as a second with splits and everything but she makes it work. DDP is carrying roses with him to try and win over Kimberly but he’s heel for those that don’t know.
• DDP grabs Kimberly by the arm when she won’t accept the flowers so Mero attacks him from behind on the floor and we’re underway. DDP comes back with the BLATANTTHUMBTOTHEEYE but Mero counters a whip and sends him into the guardrail. Back in, DDP cuts him off at the pass and hits the CLUBBINGBLOWS. Mero counters and snapmares him to the floor and hits a GOLDEN GLOVES HAMMER off the apron and poses to a big pop. Back in, Mero slingshots in with a guillotine leg drop. He covers for 1, 2, only 2 and DDP begs off. Hot start. DDP talks trash to someone in the front row trying to sweet talk his woman and now he tells the entire arena to SHADDDDUP for clapping and stomping along with Mero. DDP keeps trying a snapmare and goes to a chinlock but Mero slides under continually and goes back to a wristlock. Mero showing some lucha-ese by armdragging DDP over after a pseudo-La Magistral. Mero blocks a hiptoss and they tease a backslide before Mero gets him down for 1, 2, 2 ½. DDP goes back to the eyes but Mero counters with a small package for another nearfall. Tony wants to know what’ll happen to all that money if Mero wins and whether or not Kimberly will get it. Brain and Dusty battle wits over the answer. Brain: “He’s going to give the money to HER?! He’s going to go out there and bust his tail and sweat and risk physical injury and harm in the ring in a match with Diamond Dallas to win $6 million and to hand it to HER?!?! IS HE NUTS?!” Dusty: “Well, Bobby, everybody doesn’t think like you. The deal was made. Johnny B. Badd is in there not only to get his title, but the money will go back to her—WHAT—WHAT MONEY IS LEFT! That as you say, Dallas spent on BIRDS—SILVER-STRIPED BIRDS AND RED—RED–RED PIGEONS OUT IN AFRICA! And that ain’t gon happen. That didn’t happen. You made that up.” Brain: “I did not.” ANYWAY, after a leap frog and a matador by DDP, Mero gets dumped on the ropes with a hot shot by DDP. DDP attributes it to superior intelligence as he points to the ol’ noodle and boots away and then tells Kimberly that she’s comin’ home with him. DDP now drops the elbow low to the stones. DDP feigns ignorance to the ref and then mocks Badd before hitting a gutwrench gutbuster. DDP again mocks by doing Mero’s shtick and asking Kimberly for a perfect 10. Heel DDP is sweet, I don’t care if he mowed Bischoff’s yard and babysat his kids for a decade to get a job. He’s good. Deal with it. DDP tries to send Mero off but Mero collapses under the midsection work and he’s done. That’s a bit much, but I haven’t seen some unironic overselling in a while so I’m game. Mero tries a sunset flip but DDP blocks by stomping him. HA!
• So Mero tries again while DDP gloats, so DDP AGAIN punches his way free. He mounts by Mero after 3 tries finally rolls up him for 1, 2, 2 ½. Nice sequence. DDP is pissed and goes back to booting the ribs. DDP smacks around Mero and postures for the crowd: “I’M A REAL MAN!” Mero tries a hiptoss but DDP floats over into a SWEET DDT! Rather than cover, DDP takes a victory lap and even Brain is saying that’s terrible strategy but DDP doesn’t care because he’s only got eyes for Kimberly. He want just wants a ten from his lady: “GIMME A TEN, YOU IDIOT!” Kimberly instead gives him a zero. Well, that’s rather unsporting. She follows up heelishly by trying to swat him so DDP stumbles and trips over Mero into a school boy for 1, 2, 2.7. Gold, Jerry, gold. DDP comes back by booting the ribs and some BLATANTCHOKERY. Cover gets 1, 2, nearfall for DDP. Page applies a chinlock and Mero tries to fire up but DDP pulls him down using the ropes for leverage. I LOVE THAT! DDP now lays on him with the chinlock and continues using the ropes for leverage. Brain, Dusty, Kimberly and the crowd are AGHAST but Brain sets them straight. Heenan: “Hey ref, call what you see. Don’t ask the humanoids and don’t ask the Doll anything.” They work the rope spot a few more times before Mero elbows free. Tony: “DO NOT GIVE JOHNNY B. BADD A CHANCE FOR A COMEBACK! YOU MAY END UP REGRETTING IT!” Mero flips out of a back suplex and rolls up DDP for 1, 2, 2.9999! DDP covers back with his own for another 2 count. DDP: “1, 2, 3, YOU IDIOT!” DDP works the cover some more and continues mouthing off with the refs. Mero fires up and trips DDP and comes back with haymakers. Mero heads up top for the BADDDD HAMMER and hits it. He gets a 10 from Kimberly.
• Mero now pays DDP back with the low blow elbow drop. He heads up top again and a super sunset flip and rolls up DDP for 1, 2, 2.99999. This is some textbook stuff and well-executed but the crowd isn’t popping like they were early on. Mero hits a LigerBomb for another nearfall. DDP rolls to the apron and recovers with a Stun Gun. Mero avoids a charge in the corner and school boys DDP for 1, 2, still 2. DDP gets the elbow up in the corner and covers with the feet on the ropes for 1, 2, THREEOHNOHEALMOSTGOT’IM! Page tilt-a-whirls Mero into a Tombstone. 1, 2, kickout. Page goes to the Sleeper and now the crowd is back with them for the hope spot. Mero hits a jawbreaker and hooks DDP in the Sleeper. Mero goes to rear mount but DDP runs him back into the corner. A faint and fleeting “Boring” chant crops up but the hell ’em. This is quality stuff. Mero counters another Tombstone attempt with his own. Dusty: “WHIRLY BIRD HIM!” Cover gets 1, 2, 3 and the crowd is back with a big pop at 15:03. A strange crowd dynamic muddies the waters here a bit. A technically smooth, expertly crafted match with a well-told story but with a hot/cold/lukewarm spastic crowd. Everything connected in a way you’d hope for – the roll ups, the low blow, the tombstones, the ab psychology, Kimberly with the zero and the ten, etc. Very good stuff. ***3/4
• Post-match, Mero gets the giant Publisher’s Clearing House check and hands it over to Kimberly. Brain fantasizes about having dinner with Kimberly and discussing some “investments.”
• Meanwhile, Mean Gene is in the back with the Harlem Heat and they have Sting and Luger for the tag belts now. Stevie says it’s time to put his foot down and Mean Gene and all the other suckas out there know what he means. Fascinating. Book takes over and says these sissified suckas from college don’t know nothin’ about silver-dollar style, G style and tonight they taking the gold. Gene wants to know what they’ll do if they win and have to take on LOD later. Book says this ain’t 1976, it’s 1996, IF YOU KNOW WHAT HE’S SAYING. So apparently the LOD and WCW are racists and they won’t be held down like they were 20 years ago.
• Tony, Dusty, and Brain speculate about the dissension between tag champs, Luger and Sting.
• WCW World Tag Team Championship: Harlem Heat vs. Sting and Lex Luger (c). During the entrance, Brain makes fun of a kid in Sting facepaint. Brain: “Ugly kid.” Tony: “WOULD YOU PLEASE LEAVE OUR FANS ALONE?!”
• Luger seems a bit reluctant to even stand on the apron and is veering away from Stevie’s glare at ringside. Dust: “Luger SAASHAYED around IF YOU WHEEL!” Instead, Sting tries to reassure him by starting the match with Book. Rather than clean break, Book goes to the hip checks and right hands in the corner. Sting counters a whip and clotheslines him down. Tony: “THE STINGER! WHAT A FIGHTING CHAMPION HE IS! …. Speaking of fighting champions, former world champ Hulk Hogan…” Ahhhhh Tony, you bastard. Book goes to a headscissors to allow Tony some breathing room to put over Hogan. Sting kips out and it’s a stalemate after like 1 move a piece. Quite the strategic encounter thus far. Luger tags in with some forearms but runs into a boot in the corner. Book tags in Stevie for the double back elbow. Luger bails out after one move since these guys are clearly tapped out. Luger and Sting now have a meeting of the minds about how to overcome the barbarity of back elbows. Luger tags in Sting and Sting is a bit pissed. Stevie pounds down Sting and then knocks Luger off the apron. Sting comes back with a hiptoss and the Bluechipper dropkick. He covers for 1 as Stevie goes to the eyes and tags in Book. Book goes to a headlock and blows through Sting with a shoulderblock. Sting no sells to leapfrog and facesmash Book into the mat. TAG TO LUGER!
• Luger rakes the eyes down the ropes and hits a few boots and a Million Dollar knee lift for 1. Tony: “Let’s give Luger a lot of credit. He’s really keeping the pressure on since being tagged in.” Yes, yes, Luger’s been in the match approximately 30 seconds and half of that was a shitcan and Tony wants to give him a medal of commendation. Luger with a back suplex and covers for a fleeting 2 count. Luger goes for an elbow drop but Book avoids and takes over with a CLUBBINGBLOW. Side suplex and now Book whiffs on an elbow drop. He no sells to spinaroonie into an Harlem Sidekick. Stevie tags back in with a few bodyslams and some BLATANTCHOKERY. Dust: “Ya know, SOMETIMES… uh.. sometimes it is such an advantage when guys train together inside the ring. Where Luger and Sting are about themselves and individuals… but Harlem Heat live and eat and sleep in the same buildings, brother, and work on this thing because they want them world tag team titles.” Brain: “Well, they’re hungry. That’s it. They’re very hungry.” Dust: [To Tony] “Is he watching the same match that I’m watching?” Tony: “That’s what Dusty just said.” Brain: “Well, I KNOW that’s what he just said. That’s where you heard it from. But I’M talking about something else. I’m talking about Harlem Heat being hungry. DO YOU MIND?! You two talk about what you want to talk about and I’ll talk about what I want to talk about.”
• ANYWAY, Book with a Stun Gun off the apron on Luger and he’s toast. Stevie takes him down with a Liu Kang fireball fist for 2. Book back in with some MT knees but runs into a boot in the corner. Luger with a terrible clothesline to Book’s chest. Luger reaches for the hot tag but comes up short and Stevie tags back in to boot Luger all over the place. Stevie: “HUUHHHHH?!?!” The fans boo the hell out of him for that. Stevie with a powerbomb for 1, 2, 2 ½. This is slow as shit and now Stevie goes to a nerve hold. Sorry, Book, apparently it is 1976 to your brother based on that moveset. Luger tries to elbow out but goes down in a heap. Book with an Ax Kick and a front facelock. Book releases to waffle Sting and of course Stinger runs in to get Luger beat up some more. Brain’s all over it: “They suckered the dummy, Sting, in. While he got in there and was jawing with the referee Nick Patrick, they took Luger back to the corner and were [in Dusty-ese] clobbered him.” Dusty: “I beg to differ with ya. Sting is not a dummy.” Book reapplies the front facelock and Sting makes the blind tag but the ref doesn’t see it. Sting fires up and pounds down both members of HH anyway. Nick Patrick letting ALL of this go for reasons that escape me. Sting with a Stinger Splash but Book lowers the bridge and dumps Sting out. He got what he deserved in my view for, ya know, CHEATING. Tony: “AND STING GOES DOWN!” BUT WAIT! WE’VE GOT COMPANY! IT’S THE ROAD WARRIORS! Stevie goes for a powerbomb but Animal waffles him to the breadbasket. Luger awkwardly lands on top as Stevie sunset flips himself for 1, 2, 3 for Sting and Luger to retain at 11:48.
• Terrible. Just a lethargic pile of whatever for 10+ minutes. Book and Stevie are so slow and generic in terms of moveset and heat, no pun intended. This comes off that much worse in comparison the the Nasties and PE brawling all over the place in the first match. And the less said about the finish the better. Look at the bright said, at least the friction between Sting and Luger storyline was on-point and continued so that’s worth something. *1/2
• Mean Gene is with Luger and Sting. Gene wants to talk about the outside interference but Luger ignores him to gloat about how he told Sting they were going to win and how they are the TAG TEAM OF THE 90S! Luger is so melodramatically confident and transparently setting up to turn on Sting that I love it that much more because Sting STILL can’t see it coming. Luger is solid as a face, lazy as a heel, but PERFECT as a tweener. Sting is thrilled that they are still champs and says he’s with the program.
• Meanwhile, Brain talks up how much the Road Warriors are looking forward to the inevitable split between Luger and Sting during their match.
• WCW United States Championship: One Man Gang vs. Konnan (c). This is a return match. OMG is carrying a spiked dog collar even though this is a regular match. And the screen graphic says it’s “Konan.” I will say that OMG’s music which is really just the Dungeon of Doom music is pretty chilling stuff. It sounds similar to Mankind’s fed theme.
• Konnan turns his back stupidly so OMG pounds him down with several CLUBBINGBLOWS. Dusty likes OMG’s strategy because you have to be careful, you don’t want Konnan “to explode on ya.” Dusty also expects that by tonight, Konnan will be back in Mexico City celebrating with Pedro Morales. ANYWAY, Konnan flips out of the corner and tries clipping the knee. OMG won’t go down so Konnan hits a spinwheel kick and a dropkick off the top. OMG gets tied up in the ropes so Konnan crossbodies him out to the floor in a strange, clumsy spot. Konnan jumps on him again with a senton off the apron. Konnan figures since he’s the only one with a mile time this side of 45 minutes, he’ll have to up the workrate for both of them. OMG gets blown up trying to climb to the apron, so he Stun Guns Konnan. OMG is all forget this rolling in the ring horseshit, I’m taking the stairs and then screams at the cameraman who’s sniffed out his laziness: “GET OUTTA THE WAY!” As, we see OMG very labored in trying to even, I don’t know, WALK, Tony puts over how great the current product is. Tony: “WCW in 1996 is BIGGER, HOTTER THAN EVER!” Back in, OMG drops a few legs and then screams to crickets. He chokes for a bit and screams at nothing and no one in particular. OMG picks him up and walks around positioning for a sideslam before Tony calls him one of the greatest big men EVER. There is just such a jarring dissonance between Tony’s fellatio-ridden kayfabe here and the dreadful desperation in front of us. Dusty: “Who are you going to believe, us on commentary or your lying eyes?” OK, he didn’t say that, but he should.
• OMG with a hipcheck and more stomps and forearms. Konnan goes back to the legs so OMG kicks him down as this drifts on and on forever. Dusty starts fantasy-booking either Konnan or One Man Gang’s eventual world title runs. The guys in the production truck are bored, so they cut to the prestigious WCW Motorsports Driver Steve Grissom sitting frontrow and it’s fitting since since this is a car wreck. OMG continues some of the most boring heat this side of, well, OMG. Konnan finally comes back with a flurry and heads up top. He sentons into an awkward rana and dropkicks OMG a few more times. He goes for a third but short-legs it because he knows OMG can barely get out of the way and it looks awful. OMG hits a big splash for 1, 2, OMG stops his own count to pull him up in a completely useless spot given how boring the match is, how silent the crowd is, and that it’s designed to protect ONE MAN FUCKIN’ GANG! He heads up for a top rope splash and Konnan sidesteps easily at the amusing sight. Konnan hits another senton for 1, 2, 3 to retain at 7:26 but it felt like 30. The tag match was bad enough but still workmanlike. This, on the other hand, was abysmal. A horrifically-slow, style clash from the bell and a terribly heatless match with a finish that does nothing for either guy. Utterly worthless. -*
• The LOD are with Gene. Animal says their interference was payback for what Luger did to them on Monday so they could get their hands on them. Both fake an apology to Harlem Heat and then say, if they got a problem, get in line. Hawk says tonight, that Luger and Sting have a lot of problems and both of them are the Road Warriors.
• “I Respect You” Match: Taskmaster vs. Brian Pillman. Ah, yes, this one. Tony says it’s a combination of a strap match and an “I Quit” match. The match ends when one man says he respects the other. Pillman comes running out and they start brawling even before being strapped together. Sullivan shoots for a single leg so Pillman whips him with the strap several times across the back. Sullivan takes over with right hands and Pillman begs off and retreats to the referee. Pillman: “I RESPECT YOU, BOOKERMAN!” And it’s over at :55. Though, the bookerman part was edited out of the tape release. Everyone stands around a bit clueless as Pillman walks out. Tony: “Well… for about 45 seconds, WE HAD THE DARNDEST FIGHT YOU’D EVER SEE!” DUD
• Basically, the whole thing was a work that only Pillman and Bischoff knew about for sure. Sullivan may have known, but I’m not sure. Then once Pillman got his shoot release as part of an angle, he left the company to go to ECW as a double agent to eventually go back to WCW as a red-hot guy from the indies who worked everyone. However, once he got his release, Pillman just stayed in ECW and then went to the WWF. Loose Cannon Brian Pillman worked the workers.
• Arn comes out in street clothes from playing golf earlier in the day and takes one for the team by volunteering for the match.
• “I Respect You” Match: Taskmaster vs. Arn Anderson. They put on the strap and get to it. Arn starts pounding on Sullivan and whips him with the strap. Brain plays this up as Horsemen loyalty. I like that tie in. Arn chokes him around but Sullivan won’t give it up. Sullivan goes to the eyes and then low blows Arn with the strap. Sullivan goes to work whipping him several times. Arn comes back with the BLATANTLOWBLOWKNEE. Arn calls him a son of a bitch and now chokes Sullivan over the ropes on the apron. Sullivan escapes and pulls Arn out to the floor and then Arn politely allows him around so he can get sent into the ringpost. Arn counters by going to the throat and whipping Sullivan some more. Back in, Arn heads up top but Sullivan pulls him off. BUT WAIT! RIC FLAIR HAS COME OUT! He wants peace and says that they should come together and talk about taking out Savage and Hogan tonight. Flair now starts cutting a promo on anything moving and says the whole thing was a diabolical plot because of Hogan and Savage. TONIGHT, HULKAMANIA DIES! MACHO, TONIGHT, HE’S TAKING THE BELT AND LIZ! No contest at 5:00. * but what do you expect in an impromptu strap match.
• Meanwhile, Mean Gene is with Jimmy Hart and The Giant. Jimmy says that Hogan has an injured eye and tonight that won’t be enough to get past The Giant. Giant says this will be a day of reckoning and then gives some pretty grim stuff about maggots at the recesses of the soul because he’s seen it all and kept it all inside but tonight, he will end Hulkamania by unleashing all of his fury. Solid promo from Giant, one of the best of his early run.
• WCW World Tag Team Championship: Road Warriors vs. Sting and Lex Luger (c). Awesomely, Sting comes out a good deal in front of Luger since Luger is not eager to be in there with the LOD. In fact, Luger tries to reason with them and then says the hell with it, he’s taking a walk. Sting chases him down for a pow wow and Luger reluctantly agrees to come to the ring. Mild LOD chants. Lots of stalling from Luger as he jaws with fans telling them to get in the ring with the Road Warriors instead. The stalling from Luger goes on for FIVE MINUTES.
• Sting and Hawk to start. Hawk with a shoulderblock and a dropkick and Sting bails out. Dust calls this a major strategic move that turns the tide in important matches in history or something. Sting sends Hawk into the guardrail as he gives chase. Back in, Hawk goes for a neckbreaker but they botch it so Sting covers with a cover and they fight over counters to the cover. Finally, they get it straight with Hawk going to an STF. Sting gets the ropes so Hawk chops him and breaks in Animal. Dusty: “Luger is just hanging out.” Animal works an armwringer as Luger teases coming in from behind and Hawk scares him off. This is some effective cowardice from Luger even if this is kinda boring. Sting takes over and Luger tags in. He won’t even step foot in the ring without making Animal back off. Luger retreats into a neutral corner before hitting a few boots and sending Animal into the turnbuckle. Animal counters with the FOOT TO THE FACE! Powerslam gets 1, 2, only 2 for Animal. Hawk comes in with a running clothesline. Luger: “AAAAAAAWWWWWOHHHHHHH!” Hawk with another and Tony is losing it. Tony: “THE BIRD TAKES FLIGHT!” He’s Hawk, you see, which is a bird, so he’s taking flight by hitting a clothesline. ANYWAY, Hawk shitcans Luger out so Animal so send him into the guardrail. Back in, Luger goes to the eyes and hits a few rights and the STEEL-PLATED, PATENTED, BIONIC ILLEGAL FOREARM and then tags in Sting. Sting with a snap suplex for 2. Sting now goes to a laying headlock to slow things down. Dusty’s getting impatient and is ready to talk about Hogan. Dusty: “Not taking away from this match, but you can SMELL THE ANTICIPATION OF THIS CAGE THAT IS GETTING READY TO DROP IN A LITTLE WHILE!”
• Animal tags in but runs into a shoulderblock from Sting and even Sting sells the impact into a low blow on Animal. Luger tags in with ax handles and an inverted atomic drop after almost botching it. Luger tags in Sting and Sting hits a facesmash and heads up top. Sting goes for a big splash but Animal gets the knees up and Sting lands badly. Hawk tags in and takes over with a flying shoulderblock on Luger who also tagged in. Hawk with a legdrop for a 2 count. Hawk goes to a resthold and then switches to a Sleeper. Luger drops down and counters to a jawbreaker. Animal and Sting both tag in and it’s a stalemate until Sting hits a Stinger Splash. Sting goes for the Scorpion Deathlock but Hawk breaks it up. Luger is a bit late helping out Sting and Dusty jumps all over him. Hawk reapplies a resthold. Sting tries a sunset flip but Hawk levels him. Sting recovers long enough for a small package for 2 but Hawk lays him out with another LARIATO! Animal in for MOARRESTHOLD! Luger comes in to attack Animal from behind and now the match breaks down for a bit as Hawk pummels Luger. Sting hits a snap suplex. Animal no sells to hit one and Sting no sells that to Sting up. Animal with a dropkick and tags in Hawk for a double back elbow. Luger comes in to get his ass kicked. Hawk shitcans Sting out as Animal sends Luger into the stairs. Luger: “AAAAAAAHHWWWWWWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!” They continue brawling as the ref calls for the bell and it’s a double countout at 13:47. The match was going along fine until that nonfinish and it took a while to get there. If you know you’re going to a unsatisfying double countout, why have a vanilla tag match go 15 minutes? Maybe, they were trying to cover for the brevity of the strap match worked shoot, whatever. This was better than the last 3 or 4 matches but still not any good other than Luger’s saboteur tweener routine which is hamfisted and entertaining in a Razzies way. **
• In the back, Flair cuts another promo claiming that Hogan was behind Pillman taking a dive against Sullivan and then sending Arn out there. Flair then follows up with the usual. Gene, ever the broadcast journalist, wants to know who’ll be riding Space Mountain tonight. Flair says he’ll have Woman on his right and Liz on his left, but he won’t kiss and tell. WOOOOOOOOOOO!
• Macho and Liz are up next. STOP THE MUSIC! Macho talks about the reunion of the MegaPowers. He says Flair won’t know what to expect, but he does: COMPLETE MENTAL INSANITY! He’ll take it to another level. Don’t ask him how or why but he will. TO INFINITY AND BEYOND! THE MEGAPOWERS ARE COOL! AM I RIGHT, LIZ?! IT IS WHAT IT IS!
• Steel Cage Match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Ric Flair vs. Macho Man Randy Savage (c). Classic entrances for both guys. Dusty lays out the stakes: “This is what it’s like. It’s like when you were in high school and you had your girl and Bobby had his and I said, ‘Meet me down by the pond at the back of the old shed. We got an old chickenwire cage there. Let the girls stand outside and let’s get it on inside.’ And that’s what we gonna have, an old fashioned inside… that’s where we wanna keep it.” Brain: “Being from Beverly Hills, I never took a girl to the chicken coop or any place with chain link fence. And I didn’t fight for anything, I hired people to do it. Chicken coop?”
• Flair stalls on the floor and Tony calls it MIND GAMES! Flair gets the stick and tells Liz to send Macho home in a basket and come over and kiss a real man. Macho takes umbrage and steals the stick: “OHHHH NOOO!” Dusty: “There are more important things. Flair needs to get in the ring and get it on. We need to close the door and get on with this thing.” Brain: “See, but he knows Savage has a temper. He’s pushing his buttons is what he’s doing. He’s making Savage wait. Savage wants to fight. He’s up on that top rope. Look at him, he doesn’t know what to make of this. FLAIR IS PLAYING WITH HIM!” Now, fair’s fair and yes this is the same thing Luger was doing earlier but Flair > Luger and Brain on commentary is selling it much better than anything Luger was doing.
• Finally, Flair gets in the ring and we’re underway. Flair is immediately tackled by Macho who goes to the eyes and starts biting his nose. Macho mounts in the corner and starts pummeling Flair. Flair tries a chop but that goes nowhere as Macho continues kicking his ass. Macho covers for… nothing as the ref is busy locking the door. Flair with a snapmare and hits the big knee drop as Macho is reeling already. Flair sends him into the cage early and Macho is completely incapacitated… after taking a knee drop? Yes, that’s right. Flair waffles the ref just because and then boots him for good measure to a pop. Mach comes back with a back slide but of course the ref is down. These guys seriously just fast forwarded to the end of a 30 minute cage match after less than THREE MINUTES. The ref has now recovered to catch Macho hitting a backdrop and a few clotheslines for a 2 count. Macho goes to a choke and now he gestures to the crowd. They pop because Macho’s the man but this is… pretty strange so far. Flair counters and throws Macho into the cage again and Macho takes it like a man. Flair with a back elbow and he covers for 1, 2, only 2. Time to bring the leather as Flair wallops Macho in the corner: “KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT, PUNK!” Macho ducks another and is a house of fire but runs into a Flair back elbow. Flair gouges the eye and struts. Flair heads up top but Macho slams him off and locks in the Figure Four on Flair himself in a spot that has had zero build but still works for the most part. Flair takes a few two counts which the crew play as high drama. Flair crawls and reaches for the ropes and smartly the ref says that there are no rope breaks in a cage match. Macho finally just releases out of anger and Batista kicks the hell out of Flair. Macho lays out Flair with a haymaker for 1, 2, 2 ½. Macho with a slam and heads ALL THE WAY UP FOR THE MACHO ELBOW! He jumps off but lands in a shot to the breadbasket that flips him over. Macho has zero problems taking all the crazy bumps even late into his career. Flair follows up with a hanging vertical suplex for 1, 2, 2.7. Flair works several more two counts before sending Mach into the cage again WITH AUTHORITY! Dusty: “Flair, this is his motor reperendum (sic). He gets ya in a situation like this.” Brain: “Motor reperendum?” Dusty: “Yes.” Tony: “You’ll need to look that up in the Texas dictionary.” Brain: “There’s only one page in it.” HA!
• Meanwhile, Flair drops a knee and goes to the real deal F4. Flair grabs the ropes for leverage and then Macho grabs the ropes and the cage. The ref tells Flair to break the hold but Flair’s all THIS IS A CAGE MATCH, NO ROPE BREAKS, YOU SAID SO! Being no friend to objectivity and because, ya know, Flair waffled him earlier in the match, the ref tackles Flair and forces him to break the hold. That draws audible groans and slight boos from the crowd. Flair continues booting Macho and goes for it again but Macho rolls him up for 1, 2, 2 ½. Flair with more chops but Macho fires up with rights and sends Flair into the cage out of desperation but still manages to sell the leg. Macho sends Flair into the cage again and rakes his face across the chain links. Woman is losing her mind ringside in concern for Flair’s safety. Macho strangles Flair in the corner and then throws Flair into the cage TWICE! Brain: “BETTER GET THE MEAT WAGON!” Macho mounts in the corner as the fans count along for the 10 punches but Flair cuts him off at 5 with an atomic drop and then flops down. Flair tries to climb out but Macho grabs him for the moon spot and now the crowd is just losing it. Flair kicks Macho away but the ruckus still crotches him and he eats it down to the mat. Macho falls on top for 1, 2, 2.9999! The bell rings anway killing a bit of the match’s heat but Macho covers by strangling Flair again so Flair hits the BLATANTLOWBLOW! WOOOOOOOOOO!
• Flair struts and chokes Macho. Flair tries to climb out but they repeat the moon spot as the production on the home release is heavily edited in trying to avoid Flair’s ass or any blood since he probably bladed somewhere in there. Again, both wipe out to the mat. Flair throws him into the cage one more time but Macho no sells to cut him off. The door mysteriously opens up as Tony speculates that Arn Anderson may interfere any minute now. The truck now switches to an awful wide shot so we don’t even get a glimpse of Flair’s ass as they continue to brawl and Flair backdrops Macho into the cage. BUT WAIT! WOMAN HAS THE RAT POISON/BABY POWDER! She tries to throw it on Macho but he ducks back to safety. BUT WAIT AGAIN! LIZ SLIDES A SHOE IN TO FLAIR! Macho school boys Flair for 1, 2, 2.999. Flair waffles Mach with the shoe but the production is so god-awful you can’t even see it. Flair rolls on top for 1, 2, 3 to win the belt to a pop at 19:00. The camera awkwardly stays in a wide shot to guarantee the first 30 rows or so get a better view of everything than us. Arn is out to celebrate with Flair and Hogan comes rolling out because of course he does. He corners Flair in the cage with a chair to upstage Macho, the belt, and the match. Hogan waffles Arn a few times with the chair before he and Flair hightail it out of there.
• For a match that started out pretty lackluster, it really got over based on Mach’s willingness to sell for days and Flair’s plethora of go-to signature spots down the stretch and just the general fire both were bringing for leaping into the cage. But holy hell does that editing just destroy the momentum when you can’t even see much less enjoy what’s going on. ***3/4
• Post-match, Macho sells the stiletto waffle like a gunshot to the face. He has to be carried out by Doug Dellinger, Hogan, and a couple refs.
• Gene follows up with Cyclops Hogan. He’s riled up and says Liz is a turncoat and gave up Macho because they got divorced 4 years ago. And come to think of it, brother, Liz’s shoe came off pretty fast when Hogan got stabbed in the eye two weeks ago as well. Hogan says his match is different, IT’S UNSANCTIONED! THE REF IS ON THE OUTSIDE! THE ONLY WAY TO WIN IS TO CLIMB OUT! Hogan says tonight that God will be guarding his blind side.
• Unsanctioned Steel Cage Match: The Giant vs. Hulk Hogan. Buffer: “Part II of the Double Cage Rumble.” Giant is also coming out to the moody Dungeon of Doom theme accompanied by Bookerman Taskmaster and Jimmy Hart. Hogan comes out tearing up the cage like Warrior at Summerslam 90 and then climbs up the side to get in, also like Warrior at Summerslam 90.
• Hogan goes to the eyes early and sends Giant into the cage a few times as a vocal minority chant HOGAN SUCKS! It dies pretty quickly but there it is. Hogan bites the nose and now chokes Giant with the tape. He rakes the face and then rakes the back. Hogan mounts in the corner for a good 15 punches and then bites Giant again. Hogan tries to climb out but then stops to step on Giant and bite him some more. Hogan now chokes Giant with his shirt as Giant as gotten in nothing in the first few minutes. He finally blocks a slam and goes to the CLUBBINGBLOWS. Dusty: “The Giant has to be TWENTY TIMES BIGGER than he is I believe to beat Hulk Hogan.” More forearms and Giant starts stomping on Hogan’s hands. Giant locks in the test of strength. The crowd tries to rally behind Hogan a bit so Giant stomps him back down. Hogan bites again so Giant blocks and sends him into the cage and now Giant chokes him with the shirt. Tony, shockingly, is the first one to call them out on the fact that Hogan has ONE EYE and Giant has yet to target the bad eye socket. Dusty says he never got a chance because Hogan was busy rag-tagging him or some shit. Dusty: “You gotta remember he’s in there with Hulk Hogan.” Giant finally goes to the eye with some really intense pantomiming so Hogan goes down in a heap. Giant with a slam and the crowd is dead as a doornail. Giant whiffs on an elbow drop and Hulk Hulks up to a small reaction. Hogan hears voices in his head and they tell him that he can press slam the Giant, brother. Hogan can’t even bodyslam him before the back gives and Giant falls on top. Brain: “HE’S GOT TO GO AFTER THE EYE!” Tony: “Well he’s also got to weaken him to the point to where he’s defenseless and he can go after the eye.” Giant boots some more while Brain and Tony speculate about his shoe size. Giant spits some Khali-ese at the humanoids and hits a vertical suplex. Giant goes for the walkout but Hogan cuts him off so Giant hits a backbreaker. Brain: “HEAD FOR THE DOOR! HIT THE DOOR!” Brain is so good at this job that he makes everyone look bad because they’re not so good. Tony: “That’s just one of the reasons they’re here, one of their marks of strategy. They want to destroy Hulkamania. If you’re out of the door, HOW CAN YOU DESTROY HULKAMANIA?!” Brain: “Get out the door first, win the match, then bring out all your friends, lock the cage, and tear Hogan apart.”
• Hogan eats another cageshot. Another and Brain goes overboard trying to sell the severity of these shots saying that Hogan can’t see and how he’s fighting for his existence. Right on cue, Hogan WALKS OVER TO GIANT FOR THE BEARHUG SPOT! That’s either terrible wrestling or brilliant psychology or both. Brain: “Hogan could be stuck for five or six hours in the parking lot trying to find his car.” Giant stays on the hold long enough for the fans to try a rally clap but they wait too long and the fans run out of steam. Seasons change, entire species die out, Ric Flair and Terry funk continue wrestling, and this hold is still going on. Hogan punches his way free but Giant won’t go down from a shoulderblock. Giant clubs him back down and cues up the Slam Dunk Chokeslam. Giant says it’s over. Hogan no sells. Dusty: “YES! YES! SHAKE IT OFF!” Hogan hits several rights and throws Giant into the cage. Hogan bites Giant and levels him again with some cage violence several times. Brain: “C’MON, GIANT! BREAK HIS MOMENTUM!” Hogan with a big boot but Giant won’t go down. Hogan calls for the press slam but instead hits a bodyslam. THREE Atomic leg drops follow and granted the crowd is popping for it all. HA! Giant no sells all that to meet Hogan at the top. They chop it out and Hogan wins with a headbutt. Giant bumps to the mat from the top rope and Hogan drops out to win at 15:16. That wasn’t so bad. Better than the usual Hogan stinker and miles beyond their affront to good and bad taste at Havoc 95. Relatively inoffensive, some questionable lack of eye psychology, but Giant got to control for a while and even got to no sell three Hogan leg drops. However, we’re just getting started.
• As soon as Hogan hits the floor, Sullivan blasts him with a chair. Hogan of course no sells and corrals him and Giant into the cage together. Brain wants the Dungeon to come out and help. MENG HAS COME OUT! THE BARBARIAN! HUGH MORRUS! SHARK! ZODIAC! ONE MAN GANG! THE ENTIRE DUNGEON OF DOOM! Hogan fights them all off with paltry chairshots as Brain has a nerdgasm selling it as a John Wayne movie. Hogan fights off EIGHT MOTHERFUCKERS. BUT WAIT! HERE COMES THE LOCH NESS MONSTER! The rest of the Dungeon bail out and try to hold off Nessie as Hogan’s music plays. We’d have to wait til later for that disaster movie. Dust: “WHOAAA! HE-MAN!” ** for the match, DUD for the post-match segment that destroys the marginal goodwill of the match.
The 411: Some terrible junk in the middle but DDP twirling the mustache and a garbage brawl front-load the good while Macho and Flair hold up their end of the main event. Good enough for a mild recommendation.
|Final Score: 6.5 [ Average ] legend|