July 18, 2009
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

WCW World Heavyweight Champion Big Van Vader (w/Harley Race) vs. Ron Simmons – (Baltimore MD, 8/2/92)
This is not a request, but I don’t believe I’ve ever seen this in full. Maybe I have, but I’ve never done a review for it. Before they air the match, JR compares Simmons winning the world title to Barack Obama becoming the U.S. President. He continues on discussing how promoters treated African American wrestlers in the ’60s, ’70s and a lesser extent in the ’80s to set up the match even further. To set this up storyline-wise, Sting was supposed to get the shot here but Jake Roberts gave him a couple DDTs on a chair, allowing Ron Simmons to win a “random” drawing to earn himself the title shot instead. Vader shoves off a tie-up to start and then corners Simmons for a nasty beat down. Simmons fires back and BEATS Vader down into the corner for a change. With Vader reeling, Simmons runs him over with a clothesline. Back suplex and a jumping shoulderblock puts Vader on the floor to meet up with Harley Race. Side note: Harley Race made a “racist” comment in a pre-match promo about Simmons that guys like him used to carry his bags twenty years earlier. I’m paraphrasing, but that’s essentially what he said. Back in, Simmons catches Vader with a Spinebuster for 1-2-NO! Simmons tries a three point stance, but runs into a boot. Vader unloads on Simmons and hits him with an avalanche. Sick clothesline follows a splash for 1-2-NO! Vader delivers a suplex and a Chokeslam to set up a flying splash! Cover, 1-2-NO! Vader catches Simmons with another clothesline, but then Simmons counters a suplex. Simmons gets a backslide for 1-2-NO! Vader goes back on the attack with brutal forearms in the corner. Simmons avoids an avalanche and rolls Vader up for 1-2-NO! Oh, but Vader sits down on top of Simmons’ sunset flip. Vader’s ready to put Simmons away with the POWERBOMB, but Simmons slips out and catches Vader charging at him with a POWERSLAM! Cover, 1-2-3! (9:45) This is definitely one of WCW’s classier moments as the crowd goes completely insane over what just happened. And with this match, Ron Simmons becomes the first-ever African American world champion. What a great moment as a bunch of babyfaces come out to celebrate with him. It’s just too bad that his title win would be the pinnacle of his one and only world title reign. **˝

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