April 21, 2010
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

WCW Light Heavyweight Champion Jushin Liger vs. Brian Pillman – (East Rutherford NJ, 12/27/91)
This is a great handheld version. Not sure how this should be considered a MOTYC by Dave Meltzer since it didn’t air on TV, but it is anyway. Liger had just won the Light Heavyweight title on Christmas night in the Omni. Apparently the guy and his friend are sitting up way in the rafters talking to each other about the match. It’s amazing that they knew about the New Japan Tokyo Dome show on January 4 and that Liger wouldn’t be defending the belt, but would be involved in a six-man tag, which is true. I understand that it was widely known that wrestling was fake by 1991, but HOW ARE THEY SO SMARKY? What are the chances? They even call Pillman a ‘flamer’ and to never mention Hulk Hogan ever again. Sheesh. Anyways, Liger and Pillman go through their feeling out process while they do the cool flips out of wristlocks. Pillman delivers a headscissors out of the corner and gets a victory roll for two. Liger comes back with an enziguri and a slingshot splash gets two. Pillman escapes a leg lock and snaps off a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. Liger spin kicks Pillman to the floor and teases a dive which pisses these smarks on the camera off. Back in, we see more mat stuff from both men. They head to the floor where Liger takes Pillman into the guardrail and then bashes his head on a ringside table. Back inside, Liger delivers an Edouard Carpentier (thank you Jesse Ventura!) flipping senton on Pillman and follows up with the Moonsault for 1-2-NO! Flying senton bomb gets two. Pillman monkey flips Liger out of a knucklelock, but runs right into a powerslam for 1-2-NO! Pillman dropkicks Liger off the top and then dropkicks him as he comes through the ropes! Pillman goes as far as bashing a chair over Liger’s back! WHAT. Liger backdrops out of a piledriver attempt and then busts out an ASAI MOONSAULT! Back on the apron, they tease a suplex spot until Liger has enough and spin kicks Pillman off the apron to the floor. As Pillman makes it back to the apron, Liger charges and gets nailed with AIR PILLMAN! He takes Liger over to the apron and gives him a suplex to the floor as Liger hits his back on the corner of the apron. Ouch. Back in, Liger blocks a missile dropkick with a standing dropkick of his own! Crucifix by Liger gets two. Pillman ducks a spin kick and comes back with a spin kick for 1-2-NO! Pillman telegraphs a backdrop and takes a LIGERBOMB for 1-2-NO! Pillman reverses a tombstone for 1-2-NO! They both leapfrog into a double-KO. What’s next? Liger sends Pillman face-first into the top turnbuckle to break up a sleeper hold. Now Pillman shoves off a superplex and tries a flying bodypress, but Liger ROLLS THROUGH for 1-2-3! (15:45) Well that made the two smark boys happy – even though they didn’t see their precious Shooting Star Press. These two constantly had their ‘can you top this’ matches and this was no different. While WCW would blow a lot of great opportunities for free throughout the ’90s, they did the right thing here by saving their big match for the PPV in February at Superbrawl II. ****¼

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