September 8, 2007
WCW Superbrawl II
February 29, 1992
The current WCW Champs were as follows:
World Champion: Lex Luger (7/14/1991)
U.S. Champion: Rick Rude (11/19/1991)
World Television Champion: Steve Austin (6/3/1991)
World Light Heavyweight Champion: Jushin Liger (12/25/1991)
World Tag Team Champions: Arn Anderson & Bobby Eaton (1/16/1992)
U.S. Tag Team Champions: Taylor Made Man & Greg Valentine (2/17/1992)
TURNER HOME ENTERTAINMENT VERSION ALERT!
Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jesse “The Body” Ventura!
WCW World Light Heavyweight Champion Jushin Liger vs. Brian Pillman
Forget Sting and Luger (no offense, you two)- this is the most anticipated match on the card because nobody in America (except for those in the Omni on Christmas day and the nerds who had tapes from Japan) knew what they were about to see. Pillman actually gets BOOED by the guys for the first half the match while the children and the ladies cheer “USA!”. They exchange wristlocks to start. Next, they run the ropes in between some leapfrogs and then we see some duel-dropkicks. Pillman decides to slow down the pace and work over Liger’s arm on the mat. Liger makes the ropes, but then runs into a headscissors takedown out of the corner and a dropkick puts Liger on the floor. Baseball slide from Pillman puts Liger up against the guardrail. Pillman heads up top, but Liger gets out of the way before Pillman can try anything. Back in, Liger takes Pillman to the mat for a legbar. Pillman fights out and whips Liger into the corner, but then Liger catches himself and nails Pillman with a moonsault press for 1-2-NO! Dropkick puts Pillman on the floor. Liger’s on the move, but he fakes Pillman out with a handspring off the ropes! Well now Pillman just feels like an idiot and comes back in to try and stretch Liger out with an ab stretch on the mat. Pillman then transitions over into a headscissors. Liger turns it over to escape and goes for the Surfboard, but Pillman knows its coming and scurries over to the ropes. Liger brings Pillman to the center of the ring and tries it again, but Pillman manages to escape once more. Liger delivers some shoulderblocks in the corner and follows Pillman in with a running dropkick, but then Pillman comes back with a crucifix for 1-2-NO! Liger gets a rollup for a near-fall. He grabs a headlock, so Pillman counters it with a SICK back suplex. Cover, 1-2-NO! Pillman whips Liger in the corner and charges knee-first, but Liger moves out of the way! Liger channels the spirit of Ric Flair and delivers a shin breaker and follows it up with a FIGURE-FOUR to pop the crowd. He gets a few near-falls out of that. They exchange a ton of slaps to the face while still in the hold and then Pillman goes for the reversal. Will he get it? YES HE DOES! But they’re in the ropes. Liger stays on the knee though and hooks on a half-crab, but Pillman then fights up and nails Liger with an enziguri! Pillman charges at Liger and snaps off a headscissors takedown. Finally! Someone who could take it correctly! Pillman charges again at Liger up against the ropes and takes a backdrop out to the floor. Liger seizes the moment and heads up top for a somersault senton on the floor! Nobody in America was doing that back then, so you can imagine how amazed the crowd was after something like that. Liger looks to suplex Pillman back in the ring. They fight over it, but then Liger gives up and tries a turnbuckle smash instead. Pillman blocks THAT and fires back in the ring with AIR PILLMAN! He takes a few seconds to gloat and doesn’t go for the cover. Instead, he brings Liger out to the floor with a suplex from the apron! Pillman then comes off the top with a crossbody block! He places Liger up against the guardrail and dives off the apron, but Liger moves out of the way and Pillman hits the steel chin-first! Back in, Liger tries something off the top, but Pillman catches him on the way down with a dropkick. Pillman tries a missile dropkick, but Liger catches HIM on the way down with a dropkick! Now they both try for a spinning heel kick, but both miss, naturally. Liger chops back, but then runs into a powerslam for 1-2-NO! Pillman wants a German suplex, but Liger blocks that and turns it around into a German suplex of his own. Bridge gets 1-2-NO! Liger wants a superplex, but Pillman shoves him off and hits him with a flying crossbody block for 1-2-NO! Pillman whips Liger into the ropes, but ducks his head too soon and gets nailed with a powerbomb for 1-2-NO!! Liger tries for another powerbomb, but Pillman blocks it with a ‘rana into a rollup for 1-2-NO! Now Liger makes the same mistake that Pillman did by telegraphing a backdrop, and pays for it with a DDT. Cover, 1-2-NO! Both go for crossbody blocks, but they end up cracking heads together. Pillman climbs up top, but Liger is there to stop him and get that superplex he wanted earlier. Cover, 1-2-NO! OHH MAN! Liger goes for the kill with a flying headbutt, but Pillman avoids that and cradles Liger up for 1-2-3!! (16:59) Turner Home Entertainment cut out around TEN MINUTES of this match, so I had to whip out my Brian Pillman DVD to give this match the coverage it deserves. This is arguably the best opener in PPV history. This match cracked the door open for high-flyers to come to America and introduced this style of wrestling that had been done in Mexico and Japan for YEARS to the American audience without doing too much in one match. Of course, politics got in the way, and this amazing, high-risk style wouldn’t take America by storm again until 1995 when Eric Bischoff (or Paul Heyman, both are responsible) brought it back. But for one night in 1992, the light weights ruled the wrestling world. ****¾
We go to Missy Hyatt for an interview with the Taylor Made Man, but his match with Bagwell is cut from the tape. He’s wearing a rip-off Ted DiBiase tuxedo, by the way. He explains to us the Reader’s Digest condensed version of his short feud with Bagwell, saying that he was going to take Bagwell under his wing and make him a winner, but since he refused, he’s going to teach him how to be a loser. Pointless since there is no match on this tape to go along with that.
Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes vs. Larry Zbyszko & Steve Austin (w/Madusa)
Windham’s looking for revenge for Zbyszko slamming his hand in that darn car door at Halloween Havoc, while Rhodes just plain doesn’t like Austin. Windham and Rhodes go BALLISTIC on the heels to start. Windham takes Zbyszko off the runway face-first to the guardrail below! Meanwhile in the ring, Dustin hits a bionic elbow, but Austin shoves off a monkey flip. Austin comes off the top, but Rhodes catches him with a lariat on the way down for two. Austin bails, so Rhodes tags in Windham and goes out to throw Austin back in the ring. Windham doesn’t want Austin though, so he throws Austin at Zbyszko for a tag. Crowd chants “Larry sucks” like crazy. Zbyszko finally has enough of that and gets in only to kick Windham out to the rampway. He tries for a piledriver out there, but Windham backdrops out. Back in, a lariat gets two. Windham hits a DDT and then tags in Rhodes for a double-team backdrop. Rhodes goes after Larry Z’s hand and then tags Windham for a gutwrench suplex for two. Barry wants a piledriver, but Austin sneaks in for the save with a clothesline. Rhodes comes in to argue with the ref, but of course it does more bad than good as Windham gets tossed over the top rope to the floor. Austin meets up with him for some guardrail action and then Larry comes by for an exclamation point by dropping Windham crotch-first on the guardrail. Back in, Austin hits a short-arm clothesline and a suplex for two. Windham punches back and goes for another lariat, but Austin ducks and Windham goes flying out to the floor on the wrong side of town. Back in, Zbyszko tags and hits a swinging neckbreaker for 1-2-NO! Austin tags in and delivers a back suplex for two, then hits the chinlock. Windham counters THAT with a back suplex, but Austin manages to make the tag to Zbyszko, who comes in for a sleeper. Jawbreaker ensues, and a double-KO spot follows. All the same, we get a hot tag to Rhodes. He hits an inverted atomic drop, followed by a dropkick and a big elbow drop just like his daddy does for 1-2-NO! Lariat gets another two. Windham and Zbyszko start fighting up the rampway while in the ring, Austin BLASTS Rhodes with a clothesline. After Windham and Zbyszko chill out and head back to their corners, Zbyszko gets a tag and levels Rhodes with the swinging neckbreaker for 1-2-NO! Rhodes fights back, but he ducks his head off a whip and takes a DDT. Larry must’ve been watching Pillman/Liger! Cover, 1-2-NO! Larry Z makes the same mistake and gets kicked in the head, but then Madusa slaps Rhodes and that causes him to give chase. It turns out to be a BAD idea, because he ends up getting DECKED with a clothesline by Austin. Back in, Austin hits the running straddle for 1-2-NO! Austin reverts to the chinlock. Dustin fights out and connects with a crossbody for 1-2-NO! As soon as Rhodes gets up though, he’s met with a hard clothesline from Austin. Larry tags in for a backbreaker, but then gets his suplex reversed. Austin cuts off the tag, which pisses off Windham enough to bring him in the ring to yell at the ref. Meanwhile, Rhodes has Austin in an inside cradle! The ref is too late though, as it only gets two. Austin grabs another chinlock and uses the ropes for leverage. Dustin punches out again and this time, catches Austin and gives him a STUN GUN! Larry gets a tag, but so does Windham! He punishes Zbyszko with lariats while Rhodes and Austin fight on the floor. Windham looks to finish off Zbyszko with the SUPERPLEX, but Larry pushes him off. Zbyszko wants to come off the top with something, but Rhodes sees it coming and shoves Larry down to the mat! Windham heads up on the other side and flies down on Zbyszko with a lariat that turns him inside out for 1-2-3! (18:23) Another fantastic tag match involving the Dangerous Alliance and Sting’s buddies. ****¼
In the back, Missy Hyatt tries to get into the men’s locker room area, which never goes well for her. She’s standing outside Ricky Steamboat’s locker room, but the ninja is guarding the door. Ninja says it’s okay for her to come in, but then she opens the door and Steamboat’s lighting candles and setting stuff on fire, so Ninja sends Missy away. Madusa just so happens to need to speak with Steamboat as well, but when the Ninja tells her no, he gets slapped in the face. For a ninja, he sure doesn’t have very quick hands. Ninja chases after Madusa and hilarity ensues. Yes, I believe that’s the appropriate cliché.
WCW World Tag Team Champions Arn Anderson & Bobby Eaton (w/Madusa) vs. Rick & Scott Steiner
This is the Steiners first major tag titles shot since they were stripped of the belts back in July when Scott had the bicep injury, but can they defeat the mighty members of the Dangerous Alliance? That’s the question. WCW VP Kip Allen Frey decides to ban Paul E from this match, as well as the Rude/Steamboat match, so Madusa takes over from here. Scott and Eaton kick things off. Scott wants to go on the mat, but Eaton keeps grabbing the ropes. Eaton stops that with a swinging neckbreaker and heads up top, but Scott isn’t that worn down to take anything off the top yet and catches Eaton coming down for an overhead belly-to-belly suplex! Arn and Rick tag in as Ventura makes fun of Michigan University graduates. They run the ropes for a bit, which ends with Rick laying down beside Arn and freaking him out. More running of the ropes until Rick snaps off a powerslam. AA’s had enough, so the champs have to regroup. Scott tags in and gets into an overhead wristlock-bridge with Arn. Bobby comes in to help out, but Scott flips away from the pressure and armdrags both guys. Rick runs in and double-Steinerlines the champs out to the floor. Back in, Arn goes low on Scott and dumps him out, but their plan backfires and the Steiners kill them both with Steinerlines. Back in again, Scott grabs a chinlock. He gets backed up into the wrong side of town with Bobby, but then comes back with a tilt-a-whirl slam on the RUNWAY! Holy crap! Back in AGAIN, Scott grabs a Steiner Recliner. “We want Flair” chants go up. Rick gets a tag, which leads to the Doomsday Device for Eaton. Arn gets involved, but Rick saves him from the Steiner Bulldog and catches Rick coming down for an inverted atomic drop. Looked like he really hit him hard in the ol’ twig and berries too. That gets two. Arn tags in for some stomping and then Bobby tags back in for a hammerlock. Rick elbows out, but Arn gets the blind tag and LEVELS Rick with a back elbow for 1-2-NO! Scott comes in and saves Rick from a double suplex and we get STEREO SUPLEXES instead! Arn comes off the middle-rope, but Rick nails him on the way down and makes the tag to Scott. Backdrop and a vertical suplex gets two. They trade blows, but then Arn rams Scott’s head into Bobby’s head to bring back some old school MWC memories and erase any memories Bobby would have had of this match. That gets two. Bobby tags in and hits a flying knee drop for 1-2-NO! Arn’s back in for the DDT that gets 1-2-NO! He tries for several pin attempts and tries for a splash, but Scott blocks with a leg scissors. I’m sure you’ve seen that spot before if you’ve ever seen an Arn Anderson match. Arn turns it over into a Boston crab and walks over to tag in Eaton. He grabs a camel clutch, but Scott walks Eaton over to Rick. Eaton lets go and nails Rick to draw him in so that he and Arn can deliver the ROCKET LAUNCHER on the rampway! That’s AWESOME. As if that wasn’t enough, Bobby then smashes Scott’s face into the guardrail. Scott blocks the second try though and returns the favor. Back in, Eaton still manages to cut off the tag and tags AA. He tries to smash Scott’s face into Bobby’s knee, but Scott sends Arn into it instead. HOT TAG TO RICK! Steinerlines abound! Rick goes for a belly-to-belly superplex on Eaton, but Arn comes by and lifts Rick up on his shoulders for a Doomsday device. Eaton flies onto Rick, but Rick catches Eaton in mid-air (sort of) for a belly-to-belly suplex for 1-2-NO!! Rick hits the STEINER BULLDOG on Arn and covers, but Eaton stomps him in the back of the head. Meanwhile, Madusa hands Arn some powder to throw in Rick’s face! The blind Rick Steiner accidentally gives the ref a B2B suplex and then backdrops Arn over the top rope, which would result in a DQ back in those days. As if giving a ref a suplex wasn’t enough for a DQ. Another ref runs down as Scott hits the tiger driver and the FRANKENSTEINER on Eaton for 1-2-3! (20:07) The crowd goes insane as the Steiners have finally regained what they feel they never should’ve lost and that’s the WCW World Tag Team Titles. BUT WAIT! The original ref Randy Anderson is now awake and informs the new ref Mike Atkins that he was given a suplex by Rick Steiner, which means the champs win by DQ and will retain their belts. Oh, that Virgil Runnels Jr - he’s always ruining something. I LOVE the match, but I HATE the finish. ***¾
WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion Rick Rude vs. Ricky Steamboat (w/his own personal NINJA~!)
The heat for Rick Rude is UNREAL here. It takes him a good long minute before he can even BEGIN to spout out his pre-match promo. It was that loud. Even after that, his voice is nearly drowned out by the boos. As I mentioned above, Paul E and Madusa are banned from ringside for this match. STIFF tie-up to start, as these guys roll all over the ropes. Steamboat chops, armdrags, choke-lifts and face-jams for two. After all that, then he hooks the armbar. But that’s not enough – he takes Rude and posts his arm several times, and then goes back to the armbar. It makes perfect sense when you factor in the Rude Awakening. He can’t pull it off if his arm is all banged up. Hammerlock slam follows and then a crossbody for 1-2-NO! Back to the armbar. Rude powers out and then they go for the big fallout on the floor, but they just end up crashing and burning. Rude kicks Steamboat anyway and drops him on the guardrail. He gives Steamboat a suplex back in, but Steamboat comes back chopping. Rude fires back and hits a clothesline, but that was his BAD ARM! Rude now looks to slow down Steamboat with a chinlock. He shoves out, but ducks low off a whip and takes another clothesline. Rude takes a moment for some hip-swiveling and then hotshots Steamboat. He follows up with a swinging neckbreaker and then delivers a piledriver for 1-2-NO! I love it when everything makes sense like this. Steamboat gets a burst of energy and grabs a headlock, so Rude shrugs that off with a back suplex for two. Rude grabs a headlock, but Steamboat counters with a shin breaker and goes for the Figure-Four. Rude makes the ropes. Steamboat tries it again, but Rude kicks him off and nails him with a clothesline. Rude heads up top and comes down on Steamboat with a clubbing forearm. Rude tries to do the double-bicep pose, but his arm hurts too bad to pull it off and just holds up the one arm. Now that’s commitment to narcissism if I’ve ever seen it. He heads up again and flies down on Steamboat with another forearm for two. Rude hits the chinlock and sits on Steamboat’s back for added pressure, but Steamboat stands up out of it and delivers an electric chair drop. They rise to their feet punching away and then they start up some leapfrogs, which ends with both guys knocking heads together. Back up, they trade sleepers, but Rude escapes with a jawbreaker. Rude climbs to the top again, but Steamboat catches him and gives him a TOP-ROPE SUPERPLEX! Ventura thinks it’s over. Cover, 1-2-NO! Steamboat drills Rude with a pair of clotheslines and then puts him down with an enziguri before a little bit of hip-swiveling of his own. Go on with your bad self, Ricky. You’ve earned it by being awesome. Backdrop and a seated clothesline gets two. Steamboat heads up for the FLYING JUDO CHOP and connects! He wants another one, but then the ninja goes crazy and bashes Steamboat with a big clanky phone. Hmm. The ninja waddles to the back and the ref somehow saw absolutely none of that. Rude covers for the 1-2-3. (20:02) Mixed reaction there from the crowd. When Missy tries to get a quick interview with Rick Rude in his dressing room after the match, the Dangerous Alliance are there along with Paul E dressed up in that ninja outfit. HEY WAIT A MINUTE! Awesome, awesome match though. I just loved the psychology behind Steamboat defending against the Rude Awakening by working on the arm and Rude doing everything he could to set up for the Rude Awakening with all the neck work. Just a tremendous effort from everybody. Even the ninja thing was brilliant, in my opinion. ****½
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Lex Luger (w/Harley Race) vs. Sting
In case you’re unaware, Luger had run out of obligated dates on his current contract and had not wrestled on WCW TV since Starrcade on December 29. His kayfabe reason was that he was getting geared up for an upcoming title defense and this was it. More like getting geared up to join the WBF, but that’s a whole other story for another show review. Anyways, Sting was the most popular guy on the freakin’ wrestling planet back then and who better to drop the title to than him, right? Most people say Sting couldn’t draw a dime as champion, which was why his title reigns were comparatively short. But let’s face it, WCW was always strongest when it had a heel champion because of so many strong babyfaces that could take the champ to the limit. In my opinion, you can’t really fault Sting for that. There’s some major stalling and jaw-jacking at the start of this thing. That leads to a shoving contest and Sting delivering the Stinger Splash only to have Luger NO-SELL and come charging out of the corner with a clothesline. Crowd loved that. Luger hits a powerslam and goes for the TORTURE RACK, but Sting flips out and gives Lex a release German suplex! Now Sting has Luger up in the Rack, but Luger escapes. Jumping DDT from Sting puts Luger out on the floor with Race. Sting gets pulled out though and Luger wants to slam his face into the guardrail, but Sting says NO and sends Luger face-first instead. Back in, Sting applies the SCORPION DEATHLOCK, but Luger quickly makes the ropes. Luger takes over and pounds Sting on the mat. Sting starts choking Luger into a corner, so Luger goes low and then delivers an inverted atomic drop before taunting the crowd. Press slam is followed by the PILEDRIVER, but its such a sloppy piledriver. Luger covers for 1-2-NO! Sting fires back and rubs Luger’s face into the mat, but then he misses a dive up against the ropes and flies out to the floor. Luger finally smashes Sting’s face into the guardrail and then heads back in the ring. Race attempts a piledriver on the floor, but Sting backdrops out. He heads up top and surprises Luger with a flying body press for the 1-2-3! (13:07) We’ve got a NEW World Champion! Sting regains the belt and everything is right with the world. This officially ends the Lex Luger era, but you could say it had been dead and buried since the Dangerous Alliance began and you would still be correct. **½
Final Thoughts: Wow, what a show. The only thing that keeps Superbrawl II from being on par with the Great American Bash ’89 is Luger’s lazy self. The main event was extremely anti-climatic workrate wise, but still satisfying with Sting winning the belt. All the same, this show definitely gets an easy thumbs up from me.