June 20, 1992
Live from Mobile, AL (Mobile Civic Center)
Announced attendance: 5 000 (capacity: ca. 10 112)
PPV buyrate: 70 000 (-35 000 compared to WrestleWar 1992’s 105 000)
Hello everyone, I’m Tomás. Welcome to my review of the first PPV of WCW’s new era. Yep, another one already! Cowboy Bill Watts had recently been hired as the company’s new Executive Vice President, replacing Kip Allen Frey, who himself was only in the job for five months – having taken over Jim Herd’s previous spot (thank god!) that January.
Granted, Watts’ old-school mentality had its positive aspects, namely booking clean finishes regularly rather than nonsensical gaga. However, he also had some very questionable decisions, such as making top-rope moves automatic disqualifications, or going back to WCW’s old partnership with the NWA and bringing back their titles. The regime wasn’t popular amongst the wrestlers and, as we will see, the whole NWA thing became very confusing real soon and didn’t last that long. Ultimately, neither did Watts’ run.
Anyway, onto the PPV…
The list of champions heading the event is as follows:
- WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Sting [112th day of his reign] – previous champion: Lex Luger
- WCW United States Heavyweight Champion: Rick Rude [214th day of his reign] – previous champion: Sting
- WCW World Television Champion: Steve Austin [28th day of his reign] – previous champion: Barry Windham
- WCW Light Heavyweight Champion: Brian Pillman [112th day of his reign] – previous champion: Jushin Thunder Liger
- WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Steiners (Rick & Scott) [48th day of their reign] – previous champions: Arn Anderson & Bobby Eaton
- WCW United States Tag Team Champions: The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin) [34th day of their reign] – previous champions: Greg Valentine & Taylor Made Man
Enjoy the review!
The hosts are Jim Ross & Jesse Ventura
Bill Watts gets interviewed by Bischoff and Schiavone to open the show. He reminds us of the new strict rules in WCW, but the Sting/Cactus Falls Count Anywhere match is unsactioned, so those rules don’t apply to them tonight. Thanks for clarifying, Cowboy!
WCW Light Heavyweight Championship – Flyin’ Brian Pillman(c) vs. Scotty Flamingo
Remember: thou shalt not jump from the top rope! Lockup to start ends in a stalemate. Scotty gets a single leg takedown and celebrates as if he’d won the World Series. Pillman’s hammerlock is countered with a drop toehold, but Pillman quickly rolls through right back to the hammerlock. Now Pillman strikes with a drop toehold of his own, and starts throwing knees on Scotty’s arm while he’s got him in the hammerlock. Flamingo finally escapes after a bunch of cheapshots, but misses a clothesline and Pillman gets a crucifix for two, as Scotty bails. He’s able to comeback with yet another cheapshot in the corner, but Pillman hiptosses him out of the corner and transitions right into a short armscissors. Flamingo nicely rolls out of that predicament into a roll-up with a handful of tights that gets two, but Brian rolls him right back onto the hold. Scotty escapes and they go to a criss cross sequence that ends with a Brian hiptoss, as Flamingo begs off. Pillman stretches the arm and goes to work on it some more, with Scotty getting visually frustrated. Scotty makes it to the ropes and cheapshots him again, and Brian responds with a flying headscissors followed by a dropkick. Flamingo gets caught upside down on the ropes, and Pillman dumps him on the concrete floor.
Pillman then fakes a suicide dive and jumps off the apron to the floor instead. Pillman goes up back inside, but since thou shalt not jump from the top rope, Flamingo slams him off for two! Flamingo dumps Pillman in returns and meets him with a dive. Brian tries to go back after the left arm back inside, but Flamingo keeps him down and goes up for a flying fistdrop for two. But he did it off the second rope because… well you know by now! Flamingo charges into a Brian high crossbody off the apron, but Scotty immediately clotheslines him and the ARROGANT COVER gets two! We hit the chinlock. Pillman escapes with a shoulderblock only to eat a high knee, and Flamingo goes back to the chinlock and chokes away a little bit for good measure. Brian works a sleeper, but Scotty runs his head into the buckle to escape and they hit each other for a double KO spot. Flamingo throws another cheapshot, and Pillman finally has enough and responds in the same manner. Flamingo goes up but eats a dropkick in mid-air, followed by a spinning heel kick. Brian runs wild and slugs away in the corner, but Flamingo catches a charging Brian with a scoop powerslam for two. Pillman plays possum as his knee seemingly buckles twice, allowing him to german Flamingo off the second rope for two, with Scotty putting his foot on the ropes. Pillman tosses Scotty over the top with a clothesline (not a DQ, take a drink). Brian follows it up with a dive, but misses and lands on his head to take himself out in the process instead. That looked sick. Back in, Flamingo gets the academic pin and the title at 17:29.
- Rating: Really fun opener, especially considering their hands were tied with these new rules. I dug the story they told, with Pillman outwrestling Flamingo for large portions of the first half of the match, until Flamingo’s constant cheating eventually took Pillman’s head off the game and made it more even. Good finish too that protected Pillman in defeat. ***1/2
Johnny B. Badd hosts the first part of the Madusa/Missy Hyatt bikini contest. Cool, I guess. I finish my comments on the previous match.
Ron Simmons vs. Taylor Made Man
Simmons easily overpowers Taylor to start. A number of cheapshots in the corner cuts him off, but Taylor stops to celebrate and gets run over with a pair of chop blocks. Taylor grabs Ron by the tights and dumps him, but Simmons gorilla presses him onto the ring and clotheslines him back outside. The poor DQ rule gets ignored as always. Simmons pounds away and works a bearhug, which Taylor escapes with the greco-roman thumb to the eyes. Simmons turns a Taylor hiptoss attempt into one of his own, but goes flying all the way to the ramp on a missed shoulderblock. Taylor pounds away back inside and the Mr. Perfect necksnap gets two. Backbreaker gets two. Simmons comes back with the spinebuster followed by a backdrop, a shoulderblock and finally a powerslam for the win at 7:10. Ron cuts a short babyface promo afterwards.
- Rating: It was effective but nothing spectacular. Still, another nice win by Ron Simmons on his slow way up the card. *1/2
Greg Valentine vs. Marcus Alexander Bagwell
An early wrestling sequence to start is actually won by Bagwell, who then counters a Hammer piledriver with a backdrop. Bagwell scores with an atomic drop followed by a couple of dropkicks, and Valentine takes a powder. Valentine finally has enough of the rookie and clotheslines his head off his shoulders. He put a little bit of mustard on that one. Greg takes the kid to school with the chops, but misses a flying elbowdrop. Did it off the second rope too, because thou shalt not jump from the top rope! Bagwell slams Valentine but misses a follow-up kneedrop, and Valentine goes to work on the knee immediately. Greg tries the figure four but gets kicked off, and then cradled on a second try for two. Bagwell turns a slam into a roll-up for two. Backslide gets two. Greg’s suplex gets countered into one by Bagwell that gets two more. Backdrop gets another nearfall. Bagwell lands on the bad knee on a leapfrog, though, and Valentine hits a kneebreaker followed by the figure four for the submission win at 7:17.
- Rating: Quite good undercard match between veteran and rookie with some strong psychology. Also, it’s nice to see Greg get a singles win on a PPV for a change. His first one since the submission match with Ronnie Garvin at Royal Rumble 1990, I believe. **3/4
Falls Count Anywhere Match – Sting vs. Cactus Jack
This is ‘unsactioned’ by WCW, therefore non-title. We’re wasting no time tonight as it’s underway on the ramp, where Sting backslides him for two. Speaking of wasting no time, Cactus takes his first crazy bump in the form of a backdrop on the ramp. Sting follows it up with a bulldog for one. He tries the Stinger Splash onto the post, but takes himself out and eats the Cactus elbowdrop for two. Cactus follows it up with a SWINGING NECKBREAKER ON CONCRETE FOR TWO!! The crazy sunset flip off the apron gets two on the floor, and Sting rams Foley’s head onto the railing to finally take control. Cactus gets sent flying into the crowd with a backdrop, where Sting gives him a suplex on the concrete for two. And then Sting whips him back to ringside, with Cactus taking another insane bump ON CONCRETE AGAIN. This is insanity. Sting brings the fight back to the ring, but eats a clothesline there. Cactus hits a running knee in the corner and… works a bodyscissors??? That’s it, I’ve seen it all now! That obviously goes nowhere as Sting easily escapes, only to take the Cactus Clothesline onto the floor. Cactus whips him into the railing and beats him up with a chair, but Sting comes back with a backdrop suplex ON FUCKING CONCRETE for two. Holy cow. Sting goes for the Stinger Splash on the railing, which Cactus turns into a stungun onto the railing in mid-air. Piledriver on the floor gets two. The Cactus Elbow misses though, as Cactus eats concrete once more, and Sting runs wild with the chair. The Scorpion Deathlock on the ramp gets blocked, however, and Cactus hits the double-arm DDT for a false finish. Sting makes the comeback with a clothesline on the ramp and goes up for a flying clothesline to finish Cactus Jack on the ramp at 11:24.
- Rating: Craziness. That’s what this was. Sting and (especially) Foley went out there on a mission to kill each other, and that’s exactly what they did in what was one heck of a street fight. Some of the bumps are quite uncomfortable to watch and I understand that it’s not everyone’s cup of coffee, but they deserve big props for going out there and taking no shortcuts. This had a different flavour than anything else on the show and I really liked it. ****1/4
30 Minute Iron Man Match – Rick Rude vs. Ricky Steamboat
This is also non-title because reasons. I can understand it in the previous match since the whole point about it was that it hadn’t been sanctioned by the company, but not so much here.
Steamboat goes right after Rude to start and an early gutbuster hurts Rude’s ribs. Steamboat wastes no time going after said body part with a shoulderblock in the corner that further damages Ravishing Rick, before Steamboat literally kicks the ribs as if he’s Maradona trying to score a final-minute 30 yard winner in the World Cup Final as hard as possible! Steamboat works a bearhug for a while before taking Rude back into the corner for more shoulderblocks to the ribs, until he eats a knee to the nose that stops him. Rude pounds away but the ribs are already too hurt, and Steamboat slams him down and applies a nasty armbar while he’s got a knee on Rude’s ribs for extra pressure. Rude rakes the eyes to escape, but gets caught in a Boston Crab from Ricky until Rude finally breaks by making it to the ropes. Steamboat drops him right on the bad ribs, though, and follows it up with a splash and a knee to the back. Ricky then teases a vertical suplex but drops him on his ribs instead. Awesome! Steamboat eats a second knee to the face on a missed blind charge, however, and Rude grabs a handful of tights to steal the first fall at 7:42.
Rick Rude 1-0 Ricky Steamboat
Now it’s Rude going after Steamboat’s previously broken nose with a few elbows. He immediately follows it up with Rude Awakening to get another fall against the tide at 8:39 (all while selling the bad ribs).
Rick Rude 2-0 Ricky Steamboat
Rude smartly slows down the pace from here, hitting a neckbreaker. He goes up for a flying kneedrop… which is a DQ at 9:46 because THOU SHALT NOT JUMP FROM THE TOP ROPE, dammit!
Rick Rude 2-1 Ricky Steamboat
It’s the classic “give up a fall to knock him out” trope, though, and Rude immediately scores again with an inside cradle at 10:11.
Rick Rude 3-1 Ricky Steamboat
Steamboat goes after the ribs looking for an opener, but Rude quickly cuts him off with a faceplant and smartly works a chinlock to kill some precious time. He releases the hold just as Steamboat is about to make the ropes and hits an assdrop to the back, but the injured ribs don’t allow the hip swivel in an amazing little touch. Rude goes back to the chinlock which Steamboat powers out of with an electric chair drop, but he misses a splash and Rude works the count a few times. Back to the chinlock we go just as we hit the halfway mark. Rude takes his time beating up Steamboat all over the ring and a piledriver gets a nearfall. Rude tries a tombstone next, but Steamboat reverses into his own and falls on top for his second decision at 17:39.
Rick Rude 3-2 Ricky Steamboat
Rude sends Ricky into the buckle before he can continue the comeback, but then he makes the mistake of going up again, this time with Steamboat following him and bringing him down with a superplex. Which now isn’t a DQ because… who knows. Take a drink! A pinfall reversal sequence sees a backslide give Steamboat the equalizer at 20:23.
Rick Rude 3-3 Ricky Steamboat
Steamboat runs wild with virtually every pinning combination imaginable giving him numerous nearfalls until Rude cuts him off with a jawbreaker. He follows it up with a couple of faceplants right on the bad nose for two. Steamboat fires away with the chops until Rude again goes to the eyes to break, and a hard clothesline takes the Dragon down. This time Rude completes the pose but only by using one arm. Rude maintains control by slugging and choking away on the ropes. He goes for the Rude Awakening, but Steamboat blocks and comes back with…. A RUDE AWAKENING(!!!) to go ahead, but Rude’s got his foot on the ropes to break the pin. We’re now in the final five minutes, as Ricky Steamboat hits a backdrop suplex for two. Rude jumps on his back with a sleeper, which Steamboat tries to break by smashing his face into the buckle twice, but Rude doesn’t let go and eventually drops Steamboat down to the mat to put the crowd fully Steamboat. Just as we enter the last minute, Steamboat climbs up on his knees and kicks the turnbuckle away as a last ditch effort, putting all his bodyweight on top of Rude’s shoulders long enough to pin him and get another fall at 29:26.
Rick Rude 3-4 Ricky Steamboat
Now Rick Rude is beyond desperate with only 30 seconds to go. Clothesline gets two. Shoulderblock gets two. Clothesline gets two. Fifteen seconds! Inside cradle gets two more. Ten seconds!! Rude hits a quick powerslam for the final pin attempt, but Steamboat kicks out and we eventually reach the 30:00 mark.
- Rating: Wow! That right there was worth the price of admission. A true wrestling clinic between two of the very best with monumental storytelling and in-ring psychology but, above all, just f*cking perfect selling by both pros. It’s truly brilliant and while my heart is desperately telling me to give this the full monty, the new dumb top rope rule did give way to a few nonsensical spots. Plus the non-title caveat. However, I completely understand those of you who might give it five stars, because it was absolutely flawless otherwise. ****3/4
How do you follow THAT up!? With more of the Madusa/Hyatt bikini thingy, apparently. How much I love you, my dear fast-forward button!
Advert for The Great American Bash 1992 coming up on July 12th.
The Dangerous Alliance (Arn Anderson, Steve Austin & Bobby Eaton)(w/ Paul E. Dangerously & Madusa) vs. Barry Windham, Nikita Koloff & Dustin Rhodes – special referee: Ole Anderson
Take just a second to check out the talent over on the heel side. Craziness. TV Title rivals Austin and Windham kick us off with some sweet basic tradeoffs on the mat, and Windham even pulls off a Japanese armdrag off the second rope. Dustin gets introduced to the match via an Austin thumb to the eye, but he responds with a dropkick on a criss cross sequence. Dustin gives him another and goes to work on the arm, but Austin’s too close to his corner and Eaton reaches in for the tag. Bobby catches Dustin with a knee to the gut and a roll-up gets two, before bringing in Arn Anderson. AA comes in with a bitchslap to Nikita, who then asks for the tag, and Anderson climbs to the top to run away from him. He thankfully remembers that thou shalt not jump from the top rope in time, but eats Nikita’s Sickle back in the ring and gets dumped. AA takes a powder before bringing in Eaton, who ends up running into a bearhug from Koloff. Arn comes in to break it up, but Nikita cleans house with an atomic drop that sends Eaton onto Arn, and a powerslam to Steve Austin. Windham takes over on Arn with a series of slams, and Arn tries to cut him off with a cheapshot, but Windham atomic drops him onto the buckle to cause a collision for a double down.
They get into a slugfest back up and Windham catches him with a sleeper, which Arn escapes with a backdrop suplex. Rhodes runs wild on all three heels off the hot tag, until he eventually gets caught in their corner where Arn sends him into Eaton for a double noggin knocker. Austin immediately steps in to pick up the pieces and he pounds away on Rhodes. The Dangerous Alliance keep it basic to maintain control close to their corner, making frequent tags and cutting the ring in half. Austin hits a running clothesline for two. We get one more minute or so of the Alliance working over Dustin, until he blocks a slam from Austin into an O’Connor roll for two, but then it’s back to the heat spot. Austin seems to hit the stungun for the finish, but instead it backfires as it catapults Rhodes all the way to the other side of the ring and allows Windham to reach for the hot tag. He comes in running wild until it eventually turns into a PIER SIX BRAWL BY GAWD. Windham finishes Austin with the Superplex, but Arn breaks up the pin… by jumping off the top. It’s a stone cold DQ finish (pun very much intended) at 15:32 to put over the new dumb rule.
- Rating: This was really solid for the most part, even pretty good at some points, but overall I have to say it did lack that little extra juice. After seeing the Dangerous Alliance knocking it out of the park for months in main events, watching them in a throwaway six-man tag match designed to kill some air time and ultimately get over the top rope move just feels off. It was obviously solid given the awesome talent involved, but also forgettable. All six guys are capable of doing a lot better and worthy of a higher spot on the card. **3/4
Ricky Steamboat addresses his win over Rick Rude in the Iron Man Match earlier, but Paul E says no more title shots and… Cactus Jack jumps Steamboat. Now THERE’S a dream match you never knew you needed!
Bikini contest finale – Missy Hyatt is declared the winner.
Main Event – WCW World Tag Team Championship – The Steiners (Rick & Scott)(c) vs. Dr. Death Steve Williams & Terry Gordy
Scott and Gordy take it to the mat to start. Gordy no-sells Scott’s shoulderblock and they get into a slugfest from there. Doc comes in for an amateur sequence with Scott on the mat, until he misses a charge. Scott goes for the german but Williams blocks it, only to miss another blind charge in the corner and Scott sunset flips him for two. Steiner works a headlock for a while and it’s off to Rick vs Williams in a battle of the former Varsity Club members, which JR covers on commentary. They feel each other out for a second until Rick explodes with a belly to belly suplex, and Doc bails. Doc retaliates with a powerslam back inside. He hits a chop block to start going after the leg, followed by a second one, but a failed third attempt earns him a Steinerline for two. Gordy with a backdrop suplex for two. Back to Williams for a slugfest, and he dumps Rick by the tights before shooting him off with a huge shoulderblock! Rick comes back in with a sunset flip off the apron for two, with a little assist from his brother. Gordy picks up where Williams left off earlier by locking in a half crab on Rick, who literally powers his way into a pair of nearfalls and explodes with a belly to belly. Scott finally gets back in with a violent t-bone suplex. He wrestles Gordy down with a front facelock, but luckily it’s near the corner and Doc reaches in for the tag to save.
We get the call for the final 15 minutes while Williams works a chinlock, and Scott comes back with a crossbody to Gordy for two. Doc cuts him off with a clip to the knee behind the ref’s back, though, and Gordy follows it up with a modified STF. Steiner won’t quit and Gordy knows it, choosing to release the hold and instead take his head off with a clothesline for two. Doc misses an elbow in the corner but Scott can’t follow up because of the knee, and Gordy goes back to the leg submission. Williams works a Boston crab that he turns into a half crab, and we’re in the last ten minutes. Gordy gets the STF a second time, and so does Doc with the Boston crab. Rick comes in off the hot tag with a powerslam for two. Flying fulldog (off the second rope) sets up the Doomsday Device (off the second rope!!!), but Gordy clotheslines Scott off the corner to stop that and Doc hits one to Rick. Gordy powerslams Rick off the second rope for two. Dropkick gets two more as we only have five minutes left on the clock. Gordy gets a backdrop suplex for two. Doc pounds away for a while and hits a nice gutwrench sitout powerbomb that gets two. Rick’s Steinerline is blocked and turned into Doc’s Oklahoma Stampede, but Rick escapes as well and this time hits the Steinerline. Gordy comes in only to eat a Steinerline himself too, and we have just one minute left. Hot tag Scott who runs wild with slams and Steinerlines abound. The tiger driver to Gordy sets up the Frankesteiner for the… time limit draw at 30:00, keeping the straps with the Steiners.
- Rating: From a technical standpoint it was a strong match. As a main event that had to follow the Sting/Cactus falls count anywhere and the Rude/Steamboat iron man from earlier, though, it did feel somewhat underwhelming due to the tired audience. This was ultimately a really, really good match with potential to reach other levels had it not gone 30 minutes without a proper finish. ***3/4
END OF THE SHOW
Final thoughts: High recommendation. Nothing in this show sucks or even comes close to it for that matter. Rude/Steamboat and Sting/Cactus are two absolutely epic classics in their own different ways, and everything else ranges from watchable to decent to really good. Despite the complicated booking decisions and rules throughout the whole show, it’s a very complete pay-per-view with lots to offer from top to bottom. A high 8/10.
Click here to find out how the point system works.
|Wrestler||Star rating||Result||Main eventing||Extras||Total|
|Ricky Steamboat||4.75||1||–||+2 for earning 4 falls|
-1.5 for losing 3 falls
|Scotty Flamingo||3.5||1||–||+2 for winning a title||6.5|
|3.75||–||1||+1 for retaining a title||5.75|
|Rick Rude||4.75||-1||–||+1.5 for winning 3 falls|
-2 for losing 4 falls
|Brian Pillman||3.5||-1||–||-2 for losing a title||0.5|
|Taylor Made Man||1.5||-1||–||–||0.5|
If you could take a second to share your feedback with me on this review, I’d be very thankful!
And that’s all for today’s post. I’d like to apologize for taking a bit longer than usual to post because of personal and health reasons. Make sure you don’t miss the upcoming reviews of WCW’s GAB featuring Sting vs Vader for the title, WWF’s SummerSlam from the UK featuring Bret Hart vs Davey Boy, and an edition of Clash coming up next that includes the WCW debut of Chris Benoit. Until then, everyone. Have a kickass year!