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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Superbrawl I: Return of the Rising Sun

December 20, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Superbrawl I: Return of the Rising Sun  

Superbrawl I: Return of the Rising Sun
by J.D. Dunn

  • May 19, 1991
  • Live from St. Petersburg, Fla.
  • Your hosts are Jim Ross and Dusty Rhodes.

  • Opening Match, Vacant U.S. Tag Titles: The Fabulous Freebirds (w/Diamond Dallas Page & the Diamond Dolls) vs. The Young Pistols.
    The U.S. Tag Titles were vacated when the Steiners won the World Tag Titles. The Young Pistols are the renamed Southern Boys. Big Daddy Dink (Oliver Humperdink) interferes early, tripping Tracy up. Brad Armstrong comes down to even things up and dares Dink to get in the ring. The ref sends everyone but the actual participants back to the locker room. The Pistols do a lot of tandem offense. Pretty cool. Hayes gets sick of watching them doubleteam Garvin and yanks down the ropes, sending Steve Armstrong spilling to the floor. Garvin drops him on the railing for good measure. Tracy plays face-in-peril but DIIIIVES into a tag. Steve cleans house, and the Pistols hit the double noggin-knocker. They both miss missile dropkicks, but Smothers clotheslines the Freebirds over. That sets up their flying elbow finisher. Like idiots, they don’t go for the pin and hit Garvin with the dropkick version of their finisher instead. Suddenly, a goofy looking guy comes down and DDTs both of them. The Freebirds crawl on top and get the pin and the titles at 10:13. The crazy guy that looked like the gay Gobbledygooker was actually Steve Armstrong’s brother Brad who got tossed early in the match. **1/4

  • Lots of stuff cut out here, including Kevin Nash debuting as Oz.
  • In the back, Missy Hyatt finds Terrance Taylor and asks him what’s going on between him and Dustin Rhodes. She really wants to find Z-Man and Brian Pillman, though. Instead, she finds Stan Hansen in his boxer shorts. In a hilariously silly moment, Hansen grabs his hat and puts it on, presumably so as not to look foolish. He spanks her and tosses her out of the locker room. And yet they had to say “international object.”
  • Taped-Fist Match: Brian Pillman vs. Barry Windham.
    It’s back and forth until Barry takes Pillman out to the ramp and tosses him off into the railing. Both guys are bleeding. Pillman comes back with a spinning wheel kick and chops his way back into the match. They collide for a double KO. Pillman goes up but gets lowblowed. That leads to a superplex from Barry at 6:10. Good while it lasted. Just seemed like it was getting started when they cut it off. **1/4

  • Stretcher Match: El Gigante vs. Sid Vicious.
    I wish Giant Gonzales had been around when the Rock was cutting promos back in 1999-2000. The match is mercifully short as Sid actually tries to carry the match, but Gigante’s version of selling is rolling his eyes back in his head and screaming “PORQUE!” Gigante blocks a charge and finishes with the Claw at 2:13. After the match, Kevin Sullivan and The One Man Gang attack Gigante. He makes his own save, though. 1/4*

  • Thunderdoom Cage Match: Butch Reed vs. Ron Simmons.
    Reed’s manager Teddy Long is suspended above the ring. Simmons destroys Reed early but gets overzealous and rams himself into the cage. Simmons is busted open. Reed slowly works over the cut. A piledriver gets two. Reed unleashes the soupbones and grabs the rope-assisted chinlock (except he’s too far from the ropes). Simmons hulks up but takes a neckbreaker. FLYING SHOULDERBLOCK! ONE, TWO, THR-Simmons gets his foot on the ropes. Reed goes for a splash, which he almost never does, and Simmons gets his knees up. Reed hits the high knee, but they double clothesline one another. Long takes the opportunity to toss an “international object” into the ring. Reed grabs the chain, wraps it around his fist and swings. Simmons ducks, though, and hits a spinebuster for the win at 9:35. Not exactly the epic blowoff the team deserved. Reed is pretty slow with his offense, and they tried to wrestle a little more than they were capable of. A slugfest and power moves would have been much more appropriate for these two. **

  • WCW World Tag Titles: The Steiners vs. Lex Luger & Sting.
    All of these guys are babyfaces, but Lex and Sting needed a break from feuding with Flair for a while. The Steiners, by the way, were approaching their peak. I don’t think any team in history has had the number of quality matches that they had from, say, 1990-1994. In fact, if you look at the Wrestling Observer, they had three of the top five matches that year – and this one was lowest! Lex and Rick start out with a little wrestling just to show that they’re both babyfaces and they want a good, clean contest. Lex totally no-sells a shoulderblock, bouncing Rick to the mat. Luger gets a powerslam for two, but he misses a charge and gets German Suplexed. Steinerline for two! Luger gets pissed and roars out of the corner with a lariat that knocks Rick for a flip. That sets up a press slam. Sting tags in and clotheslines Rick to the floor. PLANCHA~! The crowd is popping for *everything* at this point. Back in, Sting picks up Rick in a bodyvice and plants him in the corner. Ross mentions Sting and Rick’s old partnership back in the UWF. Sting misses the Stinger splash, allowing a PUMPED UP Scott to tag in. BUTTERFLY BOMB~! Scott is REALLY pumped up now. That sets up the tilt-o-whirl sideslam. Sting hotshots him, but Scott shrugs it off and hits the belly-to-belly superplex. Scott misses a clothesline and tumbles out onto the announce table. Back in, Scott and Lex trade slams, and Scott counters the Torture Rack to a Russian Leg Sweep. Rick gets the blind tag and hits Luger with the bulldog off the top. Sting hits a missile dropkick, drawing the ire of Scott. Rick and Lex knock heads for a double KO. Sting and Scott tag in and slug it out. Sting gets a backdrop suplex and reverses a Tombstone to his own. Rick makes the save, so an overly enthusiastic Luger tackles him to the floor (and takes the ref with him). That allows Luger’s nemesis Nikita Koloff to run down. He goes for the chain-assisted Sickle on Luger, but Sting shoves Luger out of the way and takes the move himself. That allows an unknowing Scott to crawl into the pin at 11:06. Just a fantastic match with wall-to-wall action. The crowd was pumped, cheering each and every move from all four guys. Even the ending was great because it integrated an outside storyline – Luger and Sting were still regular singles wrestlers – into the match. ****3/4

  • WCW TV Title: Arn Anderson vs. Bobby Eaton.
    Bobby gets a decent pop, but the fans kind of have a “love to hate him” relationship with Arn. It’s solid back-and-forth until Arn slams Eaton off the top onto the ramp! Eaton blocks a piledriver and knocks him back into the ring. Eaton comes off the top with a flying double ax-handle for two. Bobby tries to work the arm, but Arn counters and goes after Bobby’s leg. Eaton slugs his way back but runs right into a spinebuster from Anderson for two. Eaton slugs back again and hits a neckbreaker. That sets up a slam. Bobby goes up, but Barry Windham runs down to interfere. Brian Pillman intercepts him and keeps him away. YOU’RE ALL CLEAR, KID! NOW LETS BLOW THIS THING AND GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE! Bobby finishes with the Alabama Jam for his first major singles title at 12:46. This is about as solid and professional as matches get. Nothing over-the-top spectacular – just two guys doing what they do and doing it well. ***

  • WCW Heavyweight Title: Ric Flair vs. Tatsumi Fujinami.
    This is the result of some screwiness involving WCW, the NWA and New Japan. Tiger Hatori is the inside referee; Bill Alphonso is on the outside. Flair heels it up early, refusing to break in the corner and laying in the chops. Fujinami drop toeholds him down and puts him in the Indian Deathlock. Flair struggles to the apron, but Fujinami suplexes him back in. Fujinami hits an awkward flying headbutt. A second sends Flair over the top. Fujinami follows him out but gets dropped on the railing. Back in, Flair goes to work on the leg to set up the figure-four. Flair locks in the hold and slaps Fujinami around a bit. That fires Fujinami up, and he rolls Flair over. Flair makes the ropes. To the floor, Fujinami slams Flair’s face into the railing, busting him open. Back in, they slug it out, and Fujinami goes after the cut. Flair flip! Fujinami locks in the Octopus Stretch, but Flair powers up. They both fall to the floor. Flair staggers in and goes for a slam, but he collapses. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Fujinami small packages him for two more. Fujinami gets an O’Connor Roll, but Flair’s kick out sends him into Hatori. Flair rolls up Fujinami as Fonzie hops in. ONE, TWO, THREE! Flair unifies the WCW and NWA Titles (as far as WCW is concerned) at 18:31. Kind of an odd match for Flair because he couldn’t play heel or babyface. Certainly not a bad match, but the crowd didn’t have much reaction until the end because they were only rooting against Fujinami. **1/2
  • The 411: This starts a tradition of Superbrawl being one of the best shows of the year in terms of wrestling quality. The Steiner Bros. match with Sting and Luger is one of the all-time classics, and it's easily worth finding this one for. And to think, that was only their third best match so far that year! The other matches are hit or miss unless you're really into the politics of the NWA and WCW.

    Thumbs up for the tag match.

    Final Score:  7.0   [ Good ]  legend

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