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Random Network Reviews: SuperBrawl II

May 1, 2015 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Random Network Reviews: SuperBrawl II  

SuperBrawl II
February 29th, 1992 – Milwaukee Theatre at the MECCA in Milwaukee, Wisconsin – Attendance: 5,000

This is a show that I’ve never seen as I missed a lot of early 90’s WCW Pay-Per-Views. A rarity here as the show airs on leap year day. The opening video promotes the four title matches on the card. Simple and effective. Lex Luger was the WCW World Heavyweight Champion at this time, but had nearly done all of the required dates on his contract so he sat out most of the end of 1991. This left Sting to build the feud for our main event by himself.

Tony Schiavone and Eric Bischoff introduce us to the show and discuss the WCW World Title match for a bit. Missy Hyatt is backstage to tell us that she will be around all night backstage. So that was pointless. Commentary is Jim Ross and Jesse Ventura, which is always a treat. They also talk in the ring and we are five minutes into the show and have yet to see a wrestler.

WCW Light Heavyweight Championship
Jushin Thunder Liger (c) vs. “Flying” Brian Pillman

The Light Heavyweight Title was a precursor to the WCW World Cruiserweight Title that became a big deal in the mid 90’s. Quick start from both guys that ends in a standoff. People forget how good Brian Pillman was during his prime. He does a head scissors takedown and baseball slide, causing the champion to regroup. Inside, Liger gets two with a moonsault before dropkicking Pillman outside. He goes for a dive outside, but Pillman dodges, so Liger just does a handspring into the ropes and taunts. The fans actually appreciate this, which I didn’t expect since things like that weren’t very common around this time period. They do some mat work to show they aren’t just acrobats. Pillman gets two with a crucifix, before Liger gets two with a sunset flip. Back suplex from Pillman with serious IMPACT gets two. He misses a high knee in the corner, as Liger quickly and wisely starts attacking the leg. Genius. He applies a figure four too “Woos” from the crowd and it lasts a while until Pillman gets the ropes. Pillman snaps off a flying head scissors but is taken outside, leading to a pretty front flip from the top by Liger. He comes back in with a springboard flying clothesline, while people continue to lose their minds at this kind of offense. He does a suplex from the apron to the outside. This is seriously some unheard of stuff. He leaps from the top onto the Champion but he tries again and hits the guardrail. Inside, Pillman tries a missile dropkick but Liger does one two and they collide in mid-air. The same happens when try both try a spinning heel kick, which is a good way of showing how equal the playing field is here. A beautiful German from Liger earns a near fall. A superplex is countered as Pillman front suplexes Liger from the top and follows with a cross body for two. More near falls after a Liger powerbomb and Pillman reverses the next into a pin. A DDT nearly ends it but Liger grabs the ropes to break the pin. They bump heads in the middle of the ring before Pillman goes up top, only to be crotched. Liger goes up with a snap superplex for two somehow. Liger misses a splash and Pillman rolls him up with a creative pin to secure this.

Winner and New WCW Light Heavyweight Champion: Brian Pillman in 16:57
Well that is how you get off to a hot start. Easily one of the better opening contests I’ve ever seen as both guys went out and did things that were uncommon in this time period. Both guys looked strong, the finish made sense, commentary was excellent throughout and we get a title change. ****¼

After more talk from Tony Schiavone and Eric Bischoff, Missy Hyatt interviews the “Taylor Made Man” Terry Taylor. He badmouths Marcus Bagwell and makes Missy Hyatt moist.

Marcus Alexander Bagwell vs. Terry Taylor
It’s so odd thinking that Marcus Alexander Bagwell would go on to become Buff Bagwell. We start with some basic stuff until they go out onto the aisle. Bagwell hits some old school atomic drops before going back inside with a headlock. Strange series of moves here. Taylor uses his superior ability to try a suplex, but Bagwell surprises commentary by slipping out with a sleeper hold. Taylor plays the wily veteran by sending Bagwell outside and working him over out there. A well sold jawbreaker and slaps draws Taylor some heat. He is now just beating up the rookie, and being sloppy with his pin attempts, which I expect to cost him. Taylor uncharacteristically climbs up top and hits an UGLY splash for two. From out of nowhere, Bagwell gets a sunset flip and scores the win.

Winner: Marcus Alexander Bagwell in 7:38
Relatively dull bout. They tried to use the veteran teaches the rookie a lesson, but it didn’t come off well and the finish was so abrupt that the crowd didn’t care. *

Terry Taylor lays out Bagwell after the match, before we go to Missy Hyatt backstage. She speaks with Harley Race, who hypes up Lex Luger.

Cactus Jack vs. Ron Simmons
I watched these two wrestle for the WCW World Title on a Clash of the Champions that I reviewed. It was solid but nothing I’d pay to see again. Early on, Cactus Jack does his signature spot where he gets stuck in the ropes by his neck. Ron Simmons gets him out and Cactus attempts to escape through the crowd but is caught. Inside, a scoop slam and leg drop gets Simmons two. The headband he’s wearing looks ridiculous. Cactus fires back and doesn’t hook the leg on a pin, which Jim Ross wisely covers by stating that technical things are not part of his game. He does slam Simmons outside and connects with his second rope elbow to the outside. BANGBANG! Jack slows things with a chin lock inside, but Simmons fights out. He tries a big shoulder block, only to miss and go onto the aisle. Jack charges but is caught with a sick looking spinebuster right on the runway. It looked like his head bounced off hard. It doesn’t matter though as once he’s inside, he hits a bulldog. He dives off the turnbuckle but is caught with a powerslam to end it.

Winner: Ron Simmons in 6:34
Despite both guys being relatively big names, the crowd didn’t seem into this. It had no heat and just seemed like two guys going through the motions. **

Abdullah the Butcher comes out, as slowly as possible and attacks Ron Simmons. Cactus Jack joins in but the JUNKYARD DOG, in a white blazer, calmly walks in from the crowd and takes out both guys. Okay, this has the crowd pumped now. We go to Eric Bischoff and Tony Schiavone for more “insight.” This is as bad as the WWE Pre-Show Panel we have nowadays. But at least that has Renee Young.

Richard Morton and Vinnie Vegas vs. Van Hammer and Z-Man
Okay, Richard Morton and Vinnie Vegas are one strange looking duo. Also, every single early 90’s WCW show I watch has Z-Man on it. Van’s face looks messed up as he starts with Morton. Vinnie gets the tag and, despite wearing suspenders, something about him gave off the vibe of having loads of potential. He tries a leap frog, but it seems like Van wasn’t sure he was supposed to duck and just runs into his crotch. Z-Man gets tagged shortly after and hits a missile dropkick for two. Things spill outside and Z-Man hip tosses Morton on the outside, which looked pretty good. We get some more basic stuff as this has been boring and is lasting too long. I will admit that Morton and Vegas actually seem to have some chemistry. Oddly enough, Van, the bigger man, is playing the face in peril. I guess the crowd would get more hype for Z-Man. The hot tag FINALLY comes to Z-Man, and he hits a back body drop before whiffing on a dropkick to Vegas. Z-Man gets a near fall on a powerslam, before a rollup finishes this.

Winners: Van Hammer and Z-Man in 12:01
Who the hell thought this should get more than ten minutes? I was impressed by Vinnie Vegas but this lasted too long. Also, three rollup finishes in four matches is not great. *

Back to Tony Schiavone and Eric Bischoff, who do a quick and I mean quick recap for the upcoming grudge match.

Grudge Tag Team Match
Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes vs. Larry Zbyszko & WCW World Television Champion “Stunning” Steve Austin w/ Madusa

Steve Austin’s trunks look dumb as they are shorts with confetti or something similar on them. The match starts with a bit of a brawl, before it comes down to Goldust vs. Stone Cold. Austin unwisely goes up top and it backfires. Barry Windham gets tagged and wants Larry. Things stay intense as Larry tries a piledriver on the runway but it’s reversed into a back body drop. Shortly after, Larry throws Windham outside, allowing Austin to toss him into the guardrail. Jesse Ventura suggests the heels go after Windham’s heavily taped hand. He misses a big lariat and his momentum takes him over and out, where Larry gets in some cheap shots. The heels continue to work over Windham while he plays face in peril. Windham uses his length to bring in Dustin and he comes in roaring. An elbow earns him two but his next pin is blocked by Larry. Windham then takes Larry out and they do battle on the runway. Inside, Austin turns Dustin inside out with a big clothesline. Now it looks like Dustin may need to make a hotter tag. Larry hits a neckbreaker and DDT, both for two. It’s still baffling that Dustin is in better shape in 2015 than at any other time in his career. Madusa slaps Dustin, so he stalks her, allowing Austin to clothesline him on the runway. Commentary questions why Paul E. Dangerously isn’t out here when he’s only banned from the US Title match later. Dustin gets hit with a third big clothesline from Austin. He does roll up Austin and Larry could have broken it up but he just comes halfway in and stares at it. He seems too out of shape to do anything about it. Dustin finally nails the EDDIE GILBERT hot shot and gets the hot tag. Windham comes in firing away, while Austin and Dustin fight outside. Windham goes up top and connects with a flying lariat on Larry to win.

Winners: Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes in 18:23
As far as grudge matches go this was pretty well done. Parts of it were very intense, which made sense, but it was a bit too slow at times. Overall though, it was a damn good match with some fine workers. ***½

You know, I’m really tired of Tony Schiavone and Eric Bischoff at this point. Bischoff is a total Steiner Brothers mark as he has a Michigan letter jacket and hat on. Cut to Missy Hyatt, who looks drastically different than she would a few years later. She tries to interview Ricky Steamboat, who is meditating with fire or something. Madusa tries to see Steamboat, but the “ninja” stops her by saying” YOU GO!” Madusa even offers sushi. This is kind of stereotypical. She slaps the ninja who chases her. What the hell was that?

WCW World Tag Team Championship
Arn Anderson and Bobby Eaton (c) w/ Paul E. Dangerously vs. The Steiner Brothers

Man, the Dangerous Alliance was pretty damn stacked. Before the bell, it is announced that Paul is barred from ringside here too, and he is replaced by Madusa. Great, more Madusa. Commentary is doing a good job of selling the Steiners as a team who never lost the belts. Bobby Eaton and Scott Steiner begin by trading holds. Dual tags as Rick barks and runs around the ring, while Arn Anderson stays back. They trade stuff until Scott comes in. Scott gets put in dual wristlocks by his opponents, but flips over and takes them down with arm drags. Rick clotheslines the Champions out and the crowd erupts. I’m glad the crowd is still into this though because three straight tag matches can be a rough watch. Scott hits a pretty tilt-a-whirl slam on the runway. That’s getting a lot of use tonight huh? Eaton tries to go up top, only to end up on Rick’s shoulders and Scott nails a big Doomsday Device like STEINERLINE! Seriously, the Steiners are super over. A low blow turns the tide for a bit until we get stereo suplexes from the Michigan boys. Eaton comes back with a top rope knee for two. I love the little heel tactics the Dangerous Alliance does, like at one point Anderson applies a Boston crab and Eaton pushes back on him for added leverage. Scott and Eaton go outside for a short while. Rick gets the tag, which the fans are molten hot for. However, he ends up in bad position when the champs try a doomsday device but Rick supposedly catches him with a powerslam. He doesn’t as he botches it, but it’s billed that way. Anderson throws powder into Rick’s eyes and he accidentally suplexes the official. Scott gets the tag and wins with the Frankensteiner, counted by a new official but he didn’t pin the legal man. The referees confer and say it’s a DQ.

Winners via disqualification: Arn Anderson and Bobby Eaton in 20:06
I was having fun with this match until the ending. I do understand that it keeps both teams strong but it’s still not a finish I’m a big fan of. Up until that point though, I enjoyed this and the crowd was red hot. ***¾

WCW United States Championship
Rick Rude (c) vs. Ricky Steamboat

I remember seeing these two meet at the 1988 Royal Rumble and being underwhelmed. Hopefully, this is better. Ricky Steamboat does his two handed choke and a facebuster for an early two. Steamboat works the arm by wrapping it around the ring post, which is cool. Rude fights back with some offense before Steamboat hits a cross body and goes back to the arm. They mess up a cross body that was supposed take them over and out. Rude ends up stomping him outside and drops him throat first onto the guardrail. I wonder if Ricky’s throat is still messed up from his 1987 feud with Macho Man. A suplex brings Ricky back in, but Rude is still selling the arm work like a champ. Rude nails a piledriver, which is odd to see considering it’s been banned over the years. Rude is too arrogant with his pin attempts, allowing Steamboat to apply a figure four. I’m not a fan of this though as he worked the arm for the whole match. He gets out and nails a top rope move before posing and it’s worth noting that he only used one arm due to the arm work. Rude applies a camel clutch, only for Steamboat to get to his feet and electric chair drop him down. After colliding in the middle of the ring, Rude locks in a sleeper. Steamboat reverses but eats a jawbreaker. They go up top and Ricky hits a badass superplex for a near fall. Its Steamboat rally time as he hits a clothesline and flapjack before going up top. He comes off with a big chop but the “ninja” that was helping Steamboat earlier cracks him with a phone, allowing Rude to pick up the pin.

Winner and Still WCW United States Champion: Rick Rude in 20:02
When I noticed the ninja outside, I expected him to get involved in the finish. I didn’t mind this as it again, kept Ricky Steamboat strong in a loss. This was better than their 1988 Royal Rumble match and I really liked it. ***½

Guess where we go next? Tony Schiavone and Eric Bischoff, before moving to Missy Hyatt, who tries to interview someone in the Dangerous Alliance and she walks in on Paul E. Dangerously under the ninja mask! Her acting is shameful.

WCW World Heavyweight Championship
Lex Luger (c) w/ Harley Race vs. Sting

I have stated before that I am not a Lex Luger fan. I’ve only seen him have one or two good singles matches, so hopefully this adds to that list. We get a long stare down before any actual wrestling occurs. Luger is in control early but gets hit with the Stinger Splash, only to come back out with his signature screaming clothesline. Sting gets out of the early torture rack attempt with a German suplex. Sting does a torture rack of his own before a jumping DDT causes Luger to regroup outside with Harley Race. Jesse Ventura points out that Luger is sweating and Sting isn’t, which tells you who has more stamina. Scorpion Death Lock is attempted but Luger reaches the ropes. A classic eye poke from Luger puts things in the champion’s favor. Luger nails an atomic drop and a gorilla press slam. He then hits a piledriver, which Jim Ross states is the move he used to win the title last July, but Sting kicks out. Despite this match not being that long so far, Sting has lost a ton of facepaint. He rallies with a facebuster before going a bit heel with some back rakes. He tries a cross body or something and falls over the top and outside. Race tries a cheap shot and gets taken out by Sting. Sting climbs up top and nails Luger with a cross body that wins it.

Winner and New WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Sting in 13:02
The ending was odd, especially since Lex Luger got to his feet instantly after the bell. The match itself was decent but seemed to have no heat which was surprising since it featured two big stars. **½

The final score: review Good
The 411
I enjoyed most of this show. It started incredibly with an awesome Liger/Pillman match that was one of the best openers I can remember. After that though, we got three matches that weren’t anything of note. The main event was rather disappointing, but I liked the two big tag matches and the US Title match. If those middle three matches and the main event were better, this could have been an absolute classic.

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SuperBrawl II, WCW, Kevin Pantoja