August 26, 2009
Matt Peddycord

The Rise and Fall of WCW – Disc Two
Released: 8/25/2009

Ric Flair vs. Magnum TA – $1000 Challenge Match (NWA World Championship Wrestling, 6/15/85)
Before the match, Flair comes out for his usual classic promo and tells the world that none of his top challengers can beat him. Magnum TA interrupts and puts down $1000 if Flair can beat him before the show ends. LET’S GET IT ON. They tie-up to start. Magnum catches Flair with a shoulderblock and a dropkick to send Flair begging off. Flair draws Magnum into the corner and kicks low, but Magnum reverses a corner whip and answers with a backdrop. Flair goes low again and dumps out Magnum, but he comes right back in ready to fight. Ole and Arn Anderson join Tony Schiavone on commentary to talk about their “cousin” Ric Flair. Magnum reverses a suplex for a nearfall, so Flair resorts to going low on him again to take control. Knee Drop connects to bust open Magnum. Flair delivers a gutwrench suplex for two. Now Flair goes to an ab stretch and grabs the ropes for leverage. Magnum hiptosses out and surprises Flair with an inside cradle for two. Flair Flip lands him on the floor. He makes his way up to the apron and hotshots Magnum. Flair follows up with a flying double ax handle. OH SNAP, Flair is serious now. Flair sees the Andersons and thinks that working the arm might not be a bad idea. Down on the floor, Flair posts Magnum’s shoulder and brings him back inside for the stepover armbar. Magnum fights out and shows Flair what working the arm feels like. O’Connor roll from Magnum gets two. Another trip into the corner sets up a backdrop for two, but then Magnum hits knees off a splash. Just when Magnum looks defeated, he grabs a backslide for 1-2-NO! He has some trouble with the press slam, but pulls it off on Flair for 1-2-NO! Flair begs off into the corner, but avoids a dropkick. One minute left! Magnum whiffs on a crossbody block, but slams Flair off the top. Magnum grabs the Figure-Four and works on that hold until they reach the time limit. (10:00) Flair attacks when Magnum turns his back and takes an atomic drop. In come the Andersons for the beat down. They even do the knee drop to the arm socket! Buzz Sawyer and Dick Slater run in for the save. Huge TV main event for the time considering Flair was the NWA world champ and Magnum TA was the NWA U.S. champ, meaning the supposed #1 and #2 wrestlers in the world are wrestling right before your eyes. Just seeing what they did with 10 minutes makes me wonder how good it would be with 30 minutes. ***¼

Ric Flair, Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard (w/JJ Dillon) vs. Sting, Lex Luger & Barry Windham – (NWA Main Event, 4/7/88)
I couldn’t pass up a chance at recapping this one. This is shortly after the first Clash where Sting went 45 minutes with Flair and Luger & Windham defeated AA & Blanchard for the NWA world tag belts. These are all the ingredients for complete 100% AWESOMENESS as the crowd is molten hot. Tony Schiavone and Jim Ross are on commentary. Windham and Blanchard start the match. Windham hiptosses Blanchard into his corner for Sting to pop him one good time. Blanchard backs Windham into the Horsemen corner, causing him to fight his way out. That brings everybody in for a stand-off. Looks like about a four-minute edit job as we cut to see Luger standing over Blanchard. Windham tags back in and gives Blanchard a powerslam for two. They head to the floor where Windham continues the violence. Back inside, Windham grabs a sleeper. Flair manages a tag, but runs into a sleeper! Oh, but Flair counters into a back suplex. Flair misses an elbow drop, which cues the headscissors-into-a-backslide sequence. Windham fires away on Flair and punches him over the top rope to the floor. He considers leaving, but Arn calms him down. Back inside, Arn Anderson stalls a bit before locking up with Windham. Sting gets a tag and leapfrogs over Arn before taking him over with a slam. Flair tries to come down on Sting from the top, but naturally gets caught and slammed to the mat. Here comes Blanchard to give Sting a try. Sting hiptosses Tully out of the corner and delivers a flying headscissors. Tag to Luger, he whips Blanchard hard into the corner for a shoulder-first bump. He follows up with a stalling suplex. Blanchard blocks a corner charge with a knee, but leaps off the middle rope into a bearhug. Flair runs in and kicks Luger in the back of the knee to break it up. Arn tags in and catches Luger with a DDT! Cover, 1-2-NO! Luger presses Arn off him, but Flair runs in to prevent the tag with a rake to the face. Rolling Knee Drop connects to bring about horrific shrieks from the crowd like Lex is going to die tonight to a knee drop. Back to Arn, he rakes and chokes Lex in the ropes. Tully tags and tosses Lex to the floor as Flair goes to work on him. Back inside, the Horsemen continue to ravage Luger as the crowd cheers him on. Arn drills Lex with a Spinebuster for 1-2-NO! Luger powers up to his feet from a knucklelock position, but Arn’s smart enough to move into his own corner to get a save from Tully. Reverse neckbreaker to Lex. Tully draws in Sting for a double-team as Arn comes in to have himself some more fun. Luger elbows out of a chinlock, but runs into a knee. Tag to Flair, he stops another tag and hits a stalling suplex of his own. Oh snap, Luger NO-SELLS and runs Flair over with a clothesline. WHITE HOT TAG TO WINDHAM! He cleans house on the Horsemen. Powerslam to Tully, but then Windham misses the LARIAT and flies over the top rope to the floor. Anderson and Luger brawl on the floor while Tully tries to suplex Windham back inside, but he flips out and O’Connor rolls Blanchard for 1-2-NO! Flair makes the save, which brings Sting over to beat him up in the corner. Meanwhile, JJ Dillon tosses Tully some taped knux. Barry ducks the swing, but Tully nails him with several wide open shots as Windham lifts him up for a back suplex. Windham is out cold as Blanchard makes the cover for 1-2-3. (12:52 shown) This is what made main event six-man tags in the NWA so awesome because they had workers who could pack so much incredible, heat-filled action into a short period of time for TV. Just an awesome match. ****

NWA U.S. Heavyweight Champion Barry Windham (w/JJ Dillon) vs. Dusty Rhodes – (Great American Bash 1988)
Big Dust was stripped of the belt and suspended after he hit Jim Crockett with a baseball bat two weeks before Windham SHOCKED THE WORLD and turned on Luger and everything that is good and honest in the world. Well, then Windham faced some nobody named “The Midnight Rider” in the NWA US title tournament (which he won as you can plainly see here) who nearly beat him. That nobody turned out to be Dusty Rhodes, and now we have this match because these two HATE each other. Windham tries to charge at Dusty on several occasions, but all he has to do is lift up his arm to tease the elbow to ward off the attack. Rhodes delivers a shoulderblock and Windham takes five out on the floor. Back in, Dusty delivers a press slam followed by a DDT! Rhodes heads up top (OH MY GOSH!) and connects with a FLYING CROSSBODY for 1-2-NO! Everyone is in DISBELIEF that Windham has just kicked out of that! Barry takes another breather and I can’t really say I blame him. Back in again, Rhodes is all over Windham with lefts and then JJ gets nailed on the apron. Windham suckers Dusty in with a test of strength and kicks him down for it. They brawl out to the floor where Windham tries a piledriver, but Dusty backdrops out of it and puts Windham down with a clothesline. Back in, Windham takes Dusty into the corner and gets his first real flurry of offense by just pummeling the big guy down in the corner, but then Dusty flips Barry out to the floor from the apron. Dusty follows him out and slams Barry down on the floor. JJ Dillon distracts Rhodes long enough for Windham to blindside him for control of the match. Windham connects with an elbow drop and applies the CLAWHOLD. Windham gets a few nearfalls off that, but then Dusty starts SHAKIN IT LOOSE! Dusty finally elbows out and tries for the Figure-Four, but Windham counters it with the CLAWHOLD! Dusty makes the climb up in the corner to prevent Windham from having the leverage advantage, but then Windham releases the hold and goes for the SUPERPLEX! Can he follow through with it? No! Dusty shoves Windham down into the ref! Dusty hits the BIG ELBOW! He covers for- wait there’s no ref! What? Ronnie Garvin comes in out of nowhere and turns Dusty around and punches him down! JJ wakes up the ref as Barry reapplies the CLAWHOLD for the 1-2-3. (15:58) So yeah, Ron Garvin is a heel now. It wouldn’t matter much since he’d be running off to McMahonLand by the end of the year. Few men could ever carry Dusty to anything over ** and Barry Windham ‘88 is one of those guys. **½

NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair (w/Hiro Matsuda) vs. Ricky Steamboat – (NWA Chi-Town Rumble, 2/20/89)
Arguably the most consistently great rivalry ever in the NWA and possibly even as far as North American wrestling goes is Flair vs. Steamboat. This is their first televised one-on-one match since Steamboat returned to the NWA back in January. Steamboat works the headlock to wear down Flair to start and gets in as many nearfalls as possible. Steamboat gets the better of a SICKENING chop-fest and gets 1-2-NO! Flair rolls out to slow down the momentum. Back in, he screws with Steamboat by teasing a test of strength and then backs away and calls Steamboat to come to the center of the ring. That’s just awesome enough to get an ovation from the crowd. Flair puts Steamboat in the corner, but he leaps out over Flair and delivers some headscissors takedowns and goes back to the headlock for a CLOSE nearfall. The crowd begins to chant “Steamboat sucks”, which seems truly unfair at this point. Flair chops out to escape, but its Steamboat who chops Flair out to the floor! He regroups a little bit, but then plays possum like only Flair can do until he draws Steamboat over to him and pulls him out to the floor and into the guardrail. Flair now has the advantage and brings Steamboat back in the ring for the rolling knee drop for two. He gets another two. And another. Butterfly suplex follows for another two count. A Flair chop wakes up Steamboat! He whips Flair across for the Flair Flip. Flair runs down the apron and climbs up top for a crossbody block, but Steamboat rolls through for 1-2-NO! Its matches like these where you know JR is loving his job. Steamboat wants a ten-count corner chop, but Flair counters into an atomic drop and hooks on the FIGURE-FOUR! The crowd goes nuts. Flair blatantly grabs the ropes as the crowd turns and begins to SCREAM for Steamboat! Flair even grabs the TOP ROPE and Tommy Young still doesn’t catch him. Steamboat will just not give up or be pinned in this hold. Tommy Young finally catches Flair cheating and calls for the break. The damage is done though as Flair works the knee, but Steamboat chops back. Flair ducks a big double-chop and comes off the ropes to collide with Steamboat to send them both to the floor. They chop at each other on the floor until Steamboat gets sent into the ringpost. Flair gives Steamboat a beautiful stalling suplex back in for 1-2-NO! Another cover, 1-2-NO! One more, 1-2-NO! Flair hits a back suplex for another near-fall and gives Young a tongue lashing because he’s not counting to three. Flair follows up with a backbreaker and puts his feet on the ropes for 1-2-NO! The crowd is becoming irate! Flair tells them to shut up, so Steamboat sneaks up behind with a rollup for 1-2-NO! Steamboat tries a crossbody out of the corner, but Flair ducks out of the way. Headlock sequence leads to a Steamboat butterfly suplex for 1-2-NO! Steamboat counters a hiptoss with a backslide for 1-2-NO! Flair chops back, but so does Steamboat. Flair whips Steamboat into the corner, but Steamboat EXPLODES out with a clothesline. Steamboat goes for it all with the JUDO CHOP and connects! Can he hit the FLYING BODYPRESS? Oh no! He catches Flair, but he nails Tommy Young on the way down as well! While Steamboat tries to help Tommy Young, Flair grabs him by the tights and rolls him up, but there’s no ref. Flair dumps Steamboat, but he catches himself on the apron and climbs to the top unbeknownst to Flair. FLYING BODYPRESS? NO! Flair moves out of the way. Here comes ref Teddy Long out to ringside. Flair goes for the FIGURE-FOUR to finish, but Steamboat pulls him down into an inside cradle as Teddy Long slides in and counts 1-2-3! We’ve got a NEW champion! (23:18) It’s Flair-Steamboat ‘89 part 1! If you can’t get into this match, you’re not a wrestling fan. Call yourself what you really are and that’s a sports entertainment fan. There, I said it. *****

The Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette) vs. The Rock N Roll Express – (Wrestle War 1990)
The Midnights had recently turned on the Dynamic Dudes in an attempt to get the Dudes over as a popular babyface team, but it ended up giving the Midnight Express just the positive reaction they needed after a lackluster year in 1989. After the Rock N Roll Express had retreated back to Memphis in 1989, Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson returned to the NWA and rekindled their old feud with the Midnight Express at just the right time. By the way, there’s a guy in the front row with a “We have Herd enough” sign. Gibson starts off with Lane trading armdrags. Gibson nails Lane with a shoulderblock and Lane protests to the ref about a closed fist. Dramatics like that is just forgotten nowadays. They run the ropes for a bit until Lane telegraphs a monkey flip and pays for it with a fist drop. Lane takes a breather down on the floor and then the referee Nick Patrick starts arguing with Cornette! Cornette throws off his jacket and wants to fight, so Patrick pulls out his tucked-in shirt and wants to throw down. Of course it doesn’t happen and the action settles down, but the crowd goes crazy for it. Morton gets a tag. He flips out of a slam and then atomic drops Lane into Eaton to send them both flying all over the place. Lane actually SHOVES Eaton down, but Cornette smoothes it over with Lane. See, in 2007, Lane would probably walk out on Eaton and we’d have a six-month feud that goes nowhere. Back in, Lane punches Morton down and tags in Eaton for the first time. Immediately, Eaton runs into a pair of armdrags. They do the test-of-strength spot where Morton climbs up Eaton’s body and jumps off his shoulders into Lane. Awesome. Cornette grabs Morton’s ankle as he comes off the ropes, which causes Morton to give chase and trip Cornette into the ring. Morton gives the Midnights a DOUBLE-NOGGIN KNOCKER followed by a right hand for Cornette. Gibson tags in and Eaton takes a double-backdrop while Lane receives a double-clothesline and then Eaton takes a clothesline out to the floor. Back in, Lane gets a tag and then gets tagged with a double-back elbow. Morton and Lane go to the floor. Morton blocks a post-smash and returns the favor to Lane. Eaton tags and they end up falling out to the floor, so Lane comes by and slams Morton down on the floor. Eaton rolls back in to try and get the countout win, but Gibson helps Morton back in the ring. Eaton delivers the Billy Robinson backbreaker (which I LOVE!) and then tags Lane and follows up with the double-team leapfrog backbreaker. Lane hits some savate kicks and tags Eaton for the drop-toehold/elbow drop combination for two. Eaton hits a nice-looking twisty suplex on Morton for two. Lane tags in for a powerslam that gets two as Gibson makes the save. Lane nails Gibson off the apron to bring him in and distract the ref so that Eaton can drop Morton chest-first on the guardrail. Eaton even tries to smash Morton’s face into the ringpost, but Morton blocks and sends Eaton instead. Back in the ring, Morton gets a desperation sunset flip, but the ref is busy with Cornette. Gibson comes in for another save, but it just means more punishment for Morton. Morton slips out of another slam and rolls up Lane off the ropes, but Eaton gets a blind tag and surprises Morton with a swinging neckbreaker! Morton attempts a comeback, but Eaton ends up tossing him into the corner to slow him down. Eaton talks some junk and then gives Morton an short-armbreaker before applying a hammerlock on the mat. Morton fights up and elbows out, but Lane gets another blind tag and catches Morton with a double-throat thrust. Lane stomps him on the mat. Morton punches back, so Lane tags out. Eaton sets up Morton for a flying elbow drop and it connects! Eaton covers for 1-2-NO! Lane tags in and applies an armbar after Cornette pokes Morton with his racket handle into the already injured arm. Morton actually armdrags out of it and Eaton tags in again to reapply the hammerlock on the mat. Morton elbows out again, but then they run into each other. Lane gets a tag and catches Morton with a side slam. Eaton tags for the ROCKET LAUNCHER to put Morton away, but Morton gets the knees up on Eaton! Hot tag to Gibson! He goes crazy on the Midnights and gets a Jack Brisco rollup out of the corner on Eaton, but Lane saves at two. Now all four-men are in the ring. Gibson comes off the ropes, but Cornette nails him in the back with the racket. Eaton covers for 1-2-NO! The Midnights go for the kill on Gibson with the DOUBLE-FLAPJACK, but Morton breaks it up and Gibson cradles Lane for the 1-2-3! (23:25) The usual great stuff from these two teams. The storytelling was great too, with the RNR dominating the Midnights at the beginning because of their familiarities. ****

NWA U.S. Tag Team Champions The Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette) vs. The Southern Boys – (Great American Bash 1990)
The Southern Boys were Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong dressed up in cheap-looking Confederate army uniforms with Confederate flags printed on their tights. In other words, a gimmick for a face team that’s 130 years behind. Clearly Maryland could care less for these guys. It doesn’t help that they’re facing the best tag team ever in the Midnight Express. This is definitely one of the best matches of the ’90s and a true standout match in the legendary career of the Midnight Express. The Midnights attack first, but the Southern Boys gain the advantage and punish Eaton with double-teams. Eaton slows the pace down and corners Armstrong for some closed-fist action. Eaton heads up top, but Armstrong slams him down. Armstrong follows up with a monkey-flip and a dropkick. A flying clothesline puts Eaton out on the floor for a breather. Back in, Smothers tags and nails Eaton into the Midnights corner. Smothers tries to catch Eaton coming off the ropes for a powerslam, but Eaton puts on the brakes and jabs Smothers in the gut. How often do you see that?! Smothers now out-maneuvers Eaton and fights back with some karate! Eaton has enough of that and tags in the former karate teacher, Stan Lane! Out of nowhere, Smothers and Lane do a karate standoff! Haha. Lane catches Smothers in the face a couple times, drawing some awesome face pops from the crowd. Lane proceeds to kick away at Smothers, but then turns away for the big knockout savate kick when Smothers blocks it and kicks Lane down. Eaton runs in and he takes a savate kick! Crowd goes ballistic! Smothers and Lane go back to wrestling, so Lane thumbs out of a hammerlock and tags in Eaton. Smothers remains one step ahead of Eaton and dropkicks him out to the floor. Smothers goes out onto the apron, flips BACK into the ring, and drops Eaton with a sliding kick through the ropes. The Midnight Express are sick of this and try a double-team whip into the corner on Smothers. He avoids the splash in the corner and baits the Midnights in for a HIGH flying crossbody block from Armstrong! That was awesome. The Southern Boys try the double-pinfall spot on the Midnights, but when that doesn’t work, they just give the Midnights a DOUBLE-NOGGIN KNOCKER instead. The action settles and turns into the Midnights’ favor once Lane gets a blind tag and tosses Smothers out to the floor. Smothers tries to get back in, but he gets shoved from the apron SPINE-FIRST into the guardrail. I thought that only happened in WCW/nWo Revenge, not in real life! Back in, Smothers takes an atomic drop into a Bobby Eaton-style backbreaker. Talk about working on your back. Smothers attempts to fight back, but Eaton drills him with a clothesline. We see more sadistic work on the back of Tracy Smothers as the Midnights deliver the leapfrog/backbreaker move that Benjamin/Haas use today. After Lane karate, Eaton tags and hits the ALABAMA JAM (guillotine legdrop)! Eaton doesn’t cover though and tags in Lane instead. Smothers gets a desperation sunset flip, but it only gets two. Eaton tags and catches Smothers with a swinging neckbreaker and then throws Smothers out to the floor just to be a jerk. Back in, Lane hits a butterfly suplex for two. Smothers gets sent back out to the floor, but then pulls Eaton out from the apron. He heads back in to possibly tag Armstrong, but Lane is there to meet him with a clothesline. The Midnights go for a double-backdrop, but Smothers counters and rolls them over to set up the HOT TAG TO ARMSTRONG! The Southern Boys deliver their finisher to Lane (Smothers lifts up the opponent, Armstrong delivers a missile dropkick) Since there’s no name for it, we’ll just call it the SHOT ON FORT SUMTER. Smothers doesn’t get out of the ring in time for the ref to count though. Armstrong heads up top again, but Eaton walks over and shoves Armstrong down. He makes this look SO freakin’ easy. That sets up the ROCKET LAUNCHER! It connects and the ref counts this time even with Lane and Smothers in the ring! Cover, 1-2-NO! Armstrong got a shoulder up! Cornette and Lane argue with the ref, so the Southern Boys switch. Smothers surprises Eaton with an inside cradle, but Lane breaks it up at the VERY last second. Lane gets nailed out onto the apron, but still manages to catch Smothers with an enziguri! Eaton cradles up Smothers and gets 1-2-3! (18:16) Just an amazing match that showcases the best of what the Midnight Express had to offer. Plus, you’ve got a credible new tag team in the Southern Boys who will quickly be changed into the Young Pistols to garner more national looooove. ****¾

WCW World Tag Team Champions Rick & Scott Steiner vs. Lex Luger & Sting – (Superbrawl I, 5/19/91)
No build necessary when you put four of the top ten biggest stars of 1991 anywhere in the world together in the same ring. Rick and Lex start it off with a real stiff tie-up. They’re all buddy-buddy, so there’s no cheapshots happening in this one. Rick takes Lex to the mat several times, but Luger always finds his way to the ropes. Luger speeds it up with a shoulderblock and boy did he ever ROCK Rick Steiner. Luger follows up with a powerslam for 1-2-NO! Rick avoids a corner charge and nails Luger with a release German suplex and then delivers a Steinerline for two. Rick cross-corner whips Luger, but Lex explodes out and blasts Rick with a huge clothesline. Lex delivers a press slam and tags in Sting for the first time in this match. Sting catches Rick with a clothesline out to the floor and follows him out with an awesome tope! Back in, Sting hits the face slam. Rick NO-SELLS, so Sting kicks him in the gut, lifts Rick up and then drives him stomach-first into the corner ala Scott Steiner. Sting stalks Rick in the corner and wants the Stinger Splash, but Rick moves out of the way and tags in Scott. He immediately runs in and kills Sting with the butterfly powerbomb to pop the crowd. Tilt-a-whirl slam follows. Man, Scott is freakin’ PUMPED for this one. It’s like he’s got some serious roid rage going on even back in ‘91. During all that commotion, Sting regroups and reverses a whip to set up Scott for a hotshot. Luger tags in for a suplex and then brings Sting back in the match. Scott catches him with an inverted atomic drop and then puts Sting up on the top turnbuckle for a Belly-to-Belly Superplex for 1-2-NO! Scott sets him up in the corner again and then looks like he wants to give Sting a Steinerline out to the floor, but Sting avoids it and Scott falls out on top of JR and Dusty. Lex gets another tag and gives Scott a suplex back in for 1-2-NO! Lex hits a powerslam and wants the TORTURE RACK, but Scott counters into a Russian legsweep. Blind tag to Rick gets Luger decked with the TOP-ROPE BULLDOG for 1-2-NO! Sting hits Rick with a missile dropkick as he stands up out of the pin and sends him flying chest-first into the corner. Rick and Luger trade blows, which ends in a double-KO spot. Sting gets the tag as does Scott. Sting ducks a clothesline and drops Scott with a back suplex, but then he telegraphs a backdrop. Scott wants a tombstone piledriver, but Sting reverses into one of his own. Cover, 1-2-NO! Rick makes the save. Luger runs in to get Rick out of the ring, but the ref gets stuck in between them and he’s down. In the ring, Sting hits the Stinger Splash on Scott. He wants the SCORPION DEATHLOCK on Scott, but Sting notices that Nikita Koloff is running towards Luger with a chain. He shoves Lex out of the way and takes the chain to the face. The damage is done, so Nikita leaves as Scott covers for 1-2-3. (11:09) At the end of the day, they’re all still friends. Phenomenal match with only a few minor problems with some botched moves. Other than that, this is one of the best standard tag matches of the ’90s in American wrestling. ****½

WCW World Heavyweight Champion Sting vs. Big Van Vader (w/Harley Race) – (Great American Bash 1992)
Ross makes a point to say that Sting has beaten Flair, Luger and Sid. I think we all know what JR means by that. As I said earlier, this is the big revenge match for Vader busting up Sting’s ribs and bruising his sternum in the Omni back in April. Without a doubt, Sting’s biggest challenge ever. Vader stiffs Sting around and NO-SELLS his stick-and-run offense until he misses a charge in the corner. Sting hits a back suplex out of nowhere and clotheslines Vader out to the floor! Vader regroups on the floor with Race and then tempts Sting with a test of strength. Sting accepts the challenge, but wisely thumbs Vader in the eye before he gets nailed and dropkicks Vader out to the apron. Sting gives him a suplex (!) back in for 1-2-NO! Sting charges at Vader, but that’s like running into a truck. Vader quickly telegraphs a backdrop, so Sting takes advantage with a bunch of kicks and gets an inside cradle for 1-2-NO! Vader rolls out for another conference with Race. Back in, Sting tries a sunset flip, but Vader comes down on top of Sting instead. Ha, Vader does a double bicep pose and JR makes an off-handed remark saying that bodybuilding wasn’t doing so good these days. Take THAT, Vince. Vader hits a splash for 1-2-NO! Choke-lift on Sting is followed by a Scorpion Deathlock from Vader, but Sting actually POWERS OUT of the hold. Vader continues the punishment with straight rights and stiff clotheslines. Powerslam gets two. Sting gets a burst of energy and fights out of the corner with right hands. He ducks a clothesline and comes off the ropes with a cannonball-flip kick to Vader! Sting knocks Vader out on the apron, but he’s too spent to follow up. Vader climbs to the top rope, but the DQ-rule is in effect. Sting kicks Vader’s feet out from under him and Vader winds up laying across the corner. Sting gets in as many open field goal kicks as ref Randy Anderson will allow before he lifts Vader up on his shoulders and Samoan drops him down! That took so much out of Sting, so he’s slow to cover. It still gets two. Sting flips out of a back suplex and kicks the ref by accident, but somehow manages a bridging German suplex! Sting has Vader down for the three, but Anderson’s slow to make the count for 1-2-NO! Sting hits the Stinger Splash! He tries another to the back this time, but Vader lowers his head and Sting splashes headfirst into the ringpost. Oh man, Sting’s busted open. He is done. Vader covers him for 1-2-NO!! Sting kicks out!! Vader knows he’s got Sting beat though when Sting swings at him and he falls flat on his face. Vader delivers a POWERBOMB and that will do it for the 1-2-3. (17:15) The Vader era has begun. This was Vader’s first match that really made the WCW fanbase take notice; thanks to the amazing chemistry Sting and Vader had with each other. Vader would dominate the main event scene for the next 18 months in WCW and destroy everybody in his path. Well, all except for one man. I’ll give you one clue as to who I’m talking about: he’s a limousine ridin’, jet flyin’, kiss stealin’, wheelin’ dealin’ son of a gun. ****

WCW International World Champion Rick Rude vs. Sting – (Spring Stampede 1994)
So Rick Rude had been ducking Sting and when a hot blonde came along and tricked him into signing the contract for the match when all he thought he was doing was signing an autograph, Sting finally got the title match he wanted. Harley Race interrupts Rude’s pre-match spiel and challenges the winner of the match for Vader. He takes a swing at Sting and pays for it. Rude uses that to try and attack Sting from behind, but Sting ducks *that* and takes a clothesline out to the floor. Sting follows him out for a suplex. Back in, Sting whips Rude from pillar to post and delivers a back suplex. Info that becomes important later, Commissioner Nick Bockwinkel is sitting at ringside. Sting hits a trifecta of Jumping Elbow Drops. Rude moves Sting around while he’s stuck in a front headlock and crotches him on the top rope to escape, followed by a clothesline to the floor. With Sting hurting, Rude goes to work on the back with a flurry of forearms and a back suplex. Rude poses and sits down on a chinlock. You know, the usual Rude offense. After all these years, when Sting tries to counter with an electric chair drop, Rude learns from past mistakes and counters with a victory roll for 1-2-NO! Sting rolls back and tries to get a pin for another two. Sting runs into a sleeper, but Rude releases the hold when he had him down and Sting starts to STING UP! Rude tries to escapes, but Sting pulls him back in by his britches, revealing some Rude butt. Sting delivers an atomic drop, a bunch of clotheslines, and a backdrop. Ouch, Rude really fell funny on his ankle that time. Ref Randy Anderson gets bumped by Rude and Stinger Splashed as well. Here comes the SCORPION DEATHLOCK! Harley Race runs down, but Sting sees him coming and flips him into the ring. Vader follows, but Sting takes care of them both. Rude clips Sting from behind and looks to put Sting away with the Rude Awakening. Harley Race steals Heenan’s chair, but Bockwinkel gives him a stern look. But Nick, it’s the predetermined FINISH. Race hops in the ring with the chair in hand and when Rude turns Sting over to execute the Rude Awakening, Sting moves and Race hits Rude in the back of the head. Sting kicks Race out and covers Rude as the ref wakes up and counts 1-2-3! (13:03) We’ve got a NEW International World Champion. This match was more like the Sting/Rude feud coming to a sad halt due to injuries instead of the classic **** match it should have been. Never really wanting to drop the belt to Sting in the first place, Rude won the belt back in a couple weeks over in Japan. Rude would injure his neck in that match, proving to be the final match of his wrestling career. **½

WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair (w/Sensuous Sherri) vs. Hulk Hogan (w/Jimmy Hart) – (Bash at the Beach 1994)
SHAQ IS HERE! It’s cool because we’re in Orlando. He’ll award the winner with the strap. The crowd is split right down the middle I’d say. Maybe 60 Hogan/40 Flair at best. They get in each other’s faces until Flair shoves Hogan back. Hogan shoulderblocks Flair down a bunch. Flair dodges a tie-up and struts, so Hogan does the same. Of course in Hogan’s case, he looks a lot dumber doing it. Flair grabs an arm wringer until Hogan reverses into a cross armbreaker. Flair stomps on Hogan’s face and retreats to the floor to stand behind Sherri. She doesn’t care though. Sherri DARES Hogan to take a swing at her. Back in, Hogan gets Flair up against the ropes and paintbrushes the back of his head. Hogan hits the corner clothesline and goes for the Big Boot, but Flair sneaks out to the floor and hides behind Sherri again. Back in again, Flair’s catches Hogan with a knee and takes over with chops. Flair hits the Rolling Knee Drop, but Hogan NO-SELLS. A ten-count corner punch is followed by a clothesline. Sherri grabs Hulk’s leg, which allows an opening for Flair to chop block him. Flair chops him out to the floor for Sherri to bash Hogan with a chair, but Jimmy Hart makes the save. Back in, Flair drops a single sledge and another Rolling Knee Drop. This time Hogan sells the knee drop, but comes right back with chops out of the corner. Flair goes low with a rabbit punch and snapmares Hulk over for a chinlock. Eventually, Hogan elbows out and delivers a pair of shoulderblocks. Hogan unloads and whips Flair into the corner for the Flair Flip out to the apron where Hogan floors him with a clothesline. On the floor, Hogan delivers a back suplex and then gives Flair a suplex back in, but misses the LEG DROP. He shouldn’t have been cupping his ears for the humanoids. Flair tries twice for the FIGURE-FOUR, but Hogan kicks him off. Hogan NO-SELLS a perfect vertical suplex. Oh geez. Hogan hits the Big Boot and covers for 1-2-NO! Sherri pulls ref Randy Anderson out and slings him into the guardrail. Jimmy Hart takes a shoe to the face! Hogan looks over at Sherri and takes another chop block to the back of his knee. Sherri splashes Hogan before Flair locks in the FIGURE-FOUR. Now we have ref Nick Patrick officiating. Hogan makes the ropes, but gets choked with Sherri’s hose. Flair stays on Hulk’s knee and starts chopping until he begins to no longer sell. Hogan runs into a back elbow from Flair. Sherri and Flair both head up top. Hogan rolls away from another Sherri splash while Flair is slammed down to the mat. Sherri’s back up on the apron and right before Mr. T runs down and carries her out, she slips some knux to Flair. WHAM! Hogan gets nailed as Flair covers for 1-2-NO! It’s HULK UP time. One punch, two punch, three punch. Big Boot. LEG DROP. (21:56) We’ve got a NEW WCW world champion. Afterwards, Hogan celebrates with his two black friends Shaq and Mr. T before posing for several more minutes with Jimmy Hart jumping around like an idiot. It’s Hogan/Flair. What more do I need to say? Who hasn’t seen this match? ***¼

Final Thoughts: Well if the documentary leaves you wanting more, the matches surely will fill that void. This second disc just makes me all kinds of happy and bumps this up to a DEFINITE thumbs up for the set.

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