June 20, 2009
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdrive Review

Ricky Steamboat vs. Brian Pillman – Lumberjack Match (WCW Saturday Night, 2/20/93)
We are in the middle of the Steamboat & Douglas/Hollywood Blondes wars of ‘93. The babyface lumberjacks include an injured Shane Douglas (which explains why no unified tag titles match at Superbrawl III), Marcus Bagwell, Too Cold Scorpio, Cactus Jack, Robbie V (DAM!), Lord Steven Regal (when he was a America-friendly Brit), and one of the Cole twins. The heel lumberjacks are Steve Austin, Tex Slazenger, Shanghai Pierce, Scotty Flamingo, Vinnie Vegas, and Maxx Payne. But that only equals thirteen lumberjacks. Hmm. Something isn’t right here. Real tentative start until Austin grabs hold of Steamboat’s ankle. He jumps inside to get at Steamboat, but a one-legged Shane Douglas comes in to stand by his championship partner. Awesome stuff as the Blondes try to attack when Steamboat and Douglas have their backs turned. Pillman slides out to safety amongst his heel buddies as the babyfaces all try to get Pillman back inside. Back in, Pillman cheapshots Steamboat and works a headlock. Awesome spot as Pillman complains about hairpulling and then yanks Steamboat down to the mat by the hair when the ref comes up behind him to regain the advantage. Pillman sticks with the headlock until Steamboat fights out, leapfrogs, and nails Pillman with a series of dropkicks. Pillman escapes out to the babyface side of town and gets quickly pushed back inside. Rollup by Steamboat gets two. Another escape by Pillman is thwarted by the good guys. In the ring, Pillman begs off and wants a handshake. Commercial break! AND WE’RE BACK! Pillman delivers a back suplex for two. They show a split-screen replay of Steamboat whiffing on a crossbody and giving himself a hotshot during the commercial break to give the match that *live* feel. Pillman dumps Steamboat out to the bad guys. The bigger dudes hold off the faces while Austin gives Steamboat what for. On the apron, Austin stops a Steamboat suplex with a forearm shot to the back. Steamboat tries to fly in on Pillman, but eats a dropkick on the way down. Cover gets two. Steamboat wins a chopfest, but runs into a side slam. Pillman gets a bunch of two counts. He continues to work over Steamboat’s back with Austin helping out with some leverage on a Boston crab. Cactus Jack tries to break it up, but Vegas and Flamingo hold him back. Steamboat’s back gives out during a slam and Pillman falls on top for 1-2-NO! Pillman applies the ab stretch and gets more leverage help from Austin. This is just classic stuff. Steamboat fights out and kicks Pillman back, but gets caught with a jawbreaker. Pillman proceeds to rub Steamboat’s face all over the mat. Pillman catches a back elbow in the mush for it. Austin cheapshots Steamboat, causing him to lunge on top of Austin. Now the lumberjacks are fighting! Steamboat’s back in the ring with Pillman too! Speaking of those two, Pillman has Steamboat down in a camel clutch. Steamboat starts reaching for his partner Shane Douglas and manages the strength to counter the hold and take Pillman over with an electric chair drop! Sweet. Another commercial break happens, and we come back to see that the match has ended! That NEVER happens. JR and Larry Z show us what happened. Both guys take a NASTY bump off a double-crossbody spot. Pillman begs off and gets choked down in the corner. Wow, Steamboat is going as far as to CHOKE somebody. That’s serious. Pillman misses a knee drop, causing Steamboat kick at the knee. As Pillman begs off, he baits Steamboat and yanks him out to the bad guys for a big beatdown. All the lumberjacks start fighting again. Meanwhile, Austin comes in to double-team and heel miscommunication ensues. Steamboat rolls up Pillman for the 1-2-3. (19:53) Believe it or not, this was even better than their Halloween Havoc match. It was a more convincing rivalry at this point than back in October when Pillman was still a fresh heel who was mainly always an underdog to the heavyweights beforehand. ****

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