WCW SuperBrawl III – February 21, 1993
Commentators: Tony Schiavone and Jesse Ventura
Eric Bischoff opens the show explaining that Ron Simmons in injured and cannot wrestle Dustin Rhodes for the WCW United States Championship, so Maxx Payne is stepping in. Missy Hyatt claims she’s going to get the interview with a mystery wrestler.
Johnny B. Badd comes out as Bischoff’s guest, and Badd hypes The Great Muta vs. Barry Windham.
Alas, Jim Ross’ WCW tenure comes to an end, but we all know that ends relatively well for Ross as he becomes the most well known commentator in wrestling history (and probably the best in wrestling history).
Maxx Payne plays the American national anthem on his guitar, which I imagine is the Norma Jean he referred to on Saturday Night. He actually plays really well (and legitimately!).
Steve Austin and Brain Pillman vs. Erik Watts and Marcus Bagwell
A really good opening match here as all four guys put on an exciting show, even Erik Watts, who, despite the nepotism of his dad, was a half decent wrestler who was pushed too fast. With that being said, I still hate his promos from this time. The guy should be nowhere near a mic, at least not without a manager, at this stage in his career. I know from his TNA work later on that he did improve greatly in that regard. Watts takes some tough bumps from Austin on the outside of the ring in this one, and gets an Austin chant. Yep, the fans were cheering one of the biggest heels in the company (if I heard the crowd properly). This shows how much the fans didn’t want to see Erik Watts. I’m afraid his dad pushed him too hard, too early, and poor Erik had his career completely damaged because of it.
Austin and Pillman carry the majority of this match and do their best to make the younger two wrestlers look good. Erik Watts accidently distracts the referee towards the end as Bagwell hits a fisherman’s suplex on Pillman, but Austin hits an elbow of the top rope and Pillman pins Bagwell as the ref turns around.
Eric Bischoff announces that Ric Flair has made his return to WCW (followed by a huge pop) and Missy Hyatt is outside to interview him, but security take her away, and Flair emerges from the limo that just pulled up. They cut back to the arena to a “We want Flair” chant. Indeed we do WCW fans, indeed we do. I can’t wait to see what the Nature Boy does!
Christ Benoit vs. 2 Cold Scorpio
Oh my, I’m looking forward to this one. Two great wrestlers, so this should be a really good match. It’s clear from the beginning of this match that these two have a lot of chemistry in the ring. The first 2 or 3 minutes contains a lot an exchange of a lot of holds and counters, and it’s truly fun to watch. These two can do it all in the ring, and this match has plenty of it all. Mat wrestling, high flying, hard strikes, and a great crowd. All of these ingredients make for a classic match. Scorpio works over the arm of Benoit for the next few minutes and Tony and Jesse argue about what to call wrestlers. Tony likes to call them athletes, and while Jesse acknowledges that they are athletes, they are wrestlers (in other words, all wrestlers are athletes, but not all athletes are wrestlers). Preach it Jesse. Let’s do away with this not calling wrestlers “wrestlers” nonsense. Tony, rather amusingly, makes deliberate effort to call them wrestlers after this.
Benoit gets a great reaction from the audience after kicking Scorpio out of the ring.
“Tony: High impact blows with the foot, and Scorpio rolls off, right onto the floor on the far side.
Jesse: High impact blows with the foot? Why don’t you just say he’s kicking the heck out of him?
Tony: I don’t know. Sometimes I got to say a lot of words or you won’t let me talk.”
Benoit locks Scorpio in a chin lock after Scorpio misses a top rope dropkick. Benoit locks in the Lion Tamer Boston Crab after hitting Scorpio with a spinebuster. Soon after this Benoit hits a huge back suplex on Scorpio from the top rope, and follows it with a Russian Leg Sweep. Benoit goes for a back suplex again, but Scorpio reverses it into a pin attempt. Benoit hits a powerbomb, but Scorpio kicks out. Both men go for high impact moves as the time ticks closer and closer to the 20 minute time limit. With 60 seconds left Scorpio hits a big splash, but Benoit kicks out. Benoit hits a big 2nd rope leg drop with 15 seconds left, but Scorpio kicks out, and Scorpio counters Benoit’s Dragon Suplex to get the 1-2-3 with at 19:59. It was one second short of a draw. Beautiful ending.
Awesome match from these two. It’s all that can be said. Best match of the night thus far.
Eric Bischoff interviews Maxx Payne, and Payne introduces his guitar, Norma Jean. Payne claims that Norma Jean and himself are going to beat Dustin Rhodes. He plays his guitar some more.
Bill Irwin vs. The British Bulldog
Bulldog comes out to a huge pop. The WCW audience welcomes Davey Boy Smith with open arms. As to be predicted, it doesn’t last long, but Tony and Jesse offer this piece of commentating gold:
Jesse: Why do they call it an Irish Whip, Tony?
Tony: It started in Ireland in 1863, a wrestling match there.
Jesse: It’s amazing, you’ve been doing your homework.
Tony: I sure have.
Tony: You gotta be prepared.
Jesse: No one is more prepared as an announcer than you Schiavone. You know some people could lose their jobs, not being prepared.
The match ends right after this as he catches Irwin with a powerslam.
Tony Schiavone interviews The British Bulldog. Bulldog is pumped to be in WCW, and he wants to become the World Heavyweight Champion.
Cactus Jack vs. Paul Orndorff
Eric Bischoff interviews Paul Orndorff about his No DQ match, but Cactus attacks him with a shovel before be can even finish what he’s saying. It doesn’t take long for this one to spill all over the ringside area, and in fact, it doesn’t even really make it into the ring! Cactus lifts up the ring mats around the ring and slams Orndorff on the floor. He follows this with his trademark elbow. Cactus climbs the middle rope and does a sunset flip onto the concrete floor and tries to pin Orndorff. Ouch. Seriously Foley, you must be insane to take a bump like that. Cactus’ back is clearly hurting as they get back in the ring, but Cactus continues to take punishment from Orndorff.
Orndorff takes it back outside the ring and sends Jack over two guardrails in another brutal bump. Holy cow, this is awesome. Orndorff suplexes Jack on the guardrail and Jack spills over it onto his face on the floor. Man this match is brutal. Orndorff proceeds to beat the life out of Cactus for the next little while, with particular focus on the knee. The action gets back to the ring and Orndorff continues his assault on Cactus’ leg by removing his knee brace and locking in a figure four. Schiavone says it’s ironic that Ric Flair is back in the company tonight, and they see Orndorff doing the first figure four in a very long time. Really Tony? Steamboat was doing one the night before on Saturday Night to Brian Pillman (With that being said, I still love Tony Schiavone. He’s far from the worst commentator ever and is actually pretty decent, in my opinion).
Another bad bump for Cactus comes after Orndorff hits Cactus with a knee brace and sends him from the apron to the floor. Orndorff gets a chair and brings it into the ring and attacks Cactus’ knee with it. Brutal shots here. Orndorff calls for a piledriver on the chair, but Cactus nails him with a shovel and gets the 1-2-3.
Wow. Great match. Absolutely brutal, but in a good way. Mick Foley is insane, but we already knew that.
The Heavenly Bodies (w/ Jim Cornette and Bobby Eaton) vs. The Rock and Roll Express
Bobby Eaton is sent out by the referee and Gibson and Prichard lock up to start the match. This is a match where I don’t want to give too much away if you haven’t seen it, so my commentary on it is going to be limited. The reason for this: You need to see this match. It’s awesome. This is an example of what tag team wrestling should be. There’s one hilarious spot when Ricky Morton and Stan Lane start running the ropes in a crisscross, but Morton slides out of the ring and Lane keeps running back and forth without noticing what happened. Meanwhile, Morton chases Cornette into the ring and he collides with Lane. Hilarious. The ending comes when the referee is distracted by Cornette and Bobby Eaton accidently nails Tom Prichard and Gibson gets the pin.
Another awesome match. WCW is hitting all the right spots in this show. You need to see this match.
Dustin Rhodes vs. Maxx Payne for the WCW United States Championship
Dustin opens this match by taking it right to Maxx Payne. Once Payne gets back in the ring, Dustin slows it down with some headlocks and armdrags. Dustin works over Payne’s arm with a tonne of armbars. This match is quite the slow down from the previous one, but that’s okay as it helps keep the audience from burning out. Payne eventually reverses the momentum and works on Dustin’s arm, obviously working him over for his armbar finisher.
While this match does provide the cool down for the audience, it’s a pretty bad match. Dustin wins by DQ after Payne shoves the referee.
After the last first 4 matches, this one seems like a major letdown in comparison.
Ric Flair makes his return to a massive pop. Woooooooooooooo! The man is back in WCW. Schiavone informs the audience that Ric will be at ringside for the NWA Heavyweight Championship match.
Barry Windham vs. The Great Muta for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship
The fans chant “We want Flair” as the ref holds up the belt. This match is a significantly slower pace that many of the previous ones (not including Dustin and Payne), which is not to say that it’s bad, because it isn’t. It’s an old school match that is gruelling physically, and the kind of style you’d expect out of Barry Windham. I admit that I was surprised that Muta didn’t use a faster paced offence, but oh well, it’s still a decent match. After wrestling for a little over 20 minutes, the pace picks up, and Muta goes for a moonsault, but Windham gets his knees up and while Muta is doubled over, Windham hits the DDT and gets the pin. We have a new NWA World Heavyweight Champion!
Tony: Do you live just to embarrass me?
Jesse: Sometimes. Then again, you embarrass yourself most of the time.
Decent match, but a bit slow paced for two guys that can go fast, so that was a bit perplexing. Nonetheless, a good match. Not great, but not bad.
Sting vs. Big Van Vader – Non-Sanctioned Leather Strap Match
Holy cow, what a match. Vader bleeds a fair amount in this match (his back mainly), so if you’re a bit squimish about blood in wrestling, this might be hard to watch. With that being said, this match is awesome, so if you think you can handle it, watch it. Sting and Vader beat each other around the ring a fair amount in this match, and it’s awesome. The psychology at work here is brilliant. Sting desperately tries to overcome the size and strength of Vader in this match, attempting to drag him around the ring to touch the four corners in succession to win multiple times, but every time Sting gets close, Vader uses his immense strength to pull Sting back. The two work back and forth in this brutal match, with Sting giving everything he got to try and take out the bigger man. This match isn’t a fast paced one, but it’s absolutely brutal and the story telling in the ring on display here is nothing short of brilliant.
Every time Vader tries to take Sting to the four corners, Sting grabs the rope and kicks Vader to stop him from touching the next corner, and every time Sting tries to take Vader to the corners, Vader uses his strength to pull him back. A little while after Sting is busted open by Vader, he hits a massive German Suplex on Vader, and Vader takes the bump hard. He then hits a DDT and continues to beat on Vader. He picks Vader up on his shoulders and attempts to touch all four corners. He hits the first three, but as he goes for the fourth, Sting trips over the referee, who got knocked down when Sting picked up Vader. Vader lands on Sting, gets up, and begins to drag Sting around the ring. He gets to three corners, and Sting holds on the ropes for dear life. Sting kicks Vader like he did before to escape, but Vader falls backwards in the fourth corner, a bloody mess, and barley wins the match. Sting then straps Vader repeatedly as he rolls out of the ring a bloody mess. A bloody mess, but a winner nonetheless.
Awesome match. Brutal, hard hitting, and bloody. Not at fast paced as other matches on the card, but it didn’t have to be. Not every match needs to be quick, as this one shows. Sting and Vader take their time to tell their story right in this match, and it’s fantastic.
OVERALL RATING: 4/5
Great show overall. Probably one of WCW’s best PPV’s ever. It certainly showed that WCW could bring it when it counted, and man, did they ever bring it on this show. This was a great show from top to bottom (except for one match). A lot of people on the internet these days give WCW a lot of flack for being subpar compared to the WWF/E. but that was really only the case in WCW’s last few years. For most of their run, their in ring product and presentation were easily just as good as the WWF/E (and it seems that today (in 2014), the WWE is recognizing that with the WWE Network and their promotions of old WCW events.), and this PPV shows that easily. I could go on, but I’ll leave that for another article sometime.
Best Match: Sting vs. Vader, with Benoit vs. Scorpio being a close second.
Worst Match: Maxx Payne vs. Dustin Rhodes
Highlights: Ric Flair returns to WCW! Woooooo! Vader vs. Sting, Cactus Jack is crazy, and so many other things.
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