May 23, 1993
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA (The Omni)
Announced attendance: 7 008
PPV buys: 100 000 (up 5.26% from SuperBrawl 1993’s 95 000 buys; down 4.76% from WrestleWar 1992’s 105 000 buys)
Welcome everyone to my review of the inaugural WCW Slamboree. The theme of this PPV is the return of multiple legends of the business, hence the tagline Slamboree 93: Legends Reunion. The main event features ‘The British Bulldog’ Davey Boy Smith going after Big Van Vader’s WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Additionally, Barry Windham defends the NWA World Heavyweight Title against Arn Anderson, while the returning Ric Flair tries to bring The Four Horsemen back together.
Here is the list of WCW champions heading into Slamboree:
- WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Big Van Vader [67th day of his 3rd reign] – previous champion: Sting
- NWA World Heavyweight Champion: Barry Windham [91st day of his 1st reign] – previous champion: The Great Muta
- WCW United States Heavyweight Champion: Dustin Rhodes [132nd day of his 1st reign] – previous champion: Rick Rude, before it was vacated
- WCW World Television Champion: Paul Orndorff [82nd day of his 1st reign] – previous champion: Scott Steiner, before it was vacated
- WCW/NWA Unified World Tag Team Champions: The Hollywood Blonds (Stunning Steve Austin & Flyin’ Brian Pillman) [82nd day of their 1st reign] – previous champions: Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas
Note: in title matches, the defending champions are underlined
Enjoy the review!
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & Larry Zbyszko
The event kicks off with all the legends in the ring, while Larry & Tony welcome us. Schiavone explains Jesse Ventura is missing because he’s in the hospital.
We get a live performance from Maxx Payne, as Fabulous Moolah gets introduced and joins all the other legends in the ring.
Eric Bischoff & Missy Hyatt tell us Sting’s match against Scott Norton is off. Sting will be taking on a mysterious newcomer known as ‘The Prisoner’. Hmm, I wonder who that might be.
2 Cold Scorpio & Marcus Alexander Bagwell vs. Bobby Eaton & Chris Benoit
Benoit and Scorpio start it off in a replay of their singles match at SuperBrawl earlier that year. They get into a fast criss-cross sequence that Scorpio gets the better of, and Benoit begs off. Eaton comes in for the double team, but Scorpio leapfrogs over Eaton and hits a springboard crossbody on Benoit, but Eaton breaks up the pin. The heels go for the double teaming on Scorpio, only for Bagwell to come in and clean house with stereo dropkicks alongside Scorpio. It’s off to Bagwell and Eaton as the legal guys. Benoit gets involved and grabs Bagwell on a criss-cross, and Eaton charges but ends up getting backdropped by Bagwell over both himself and Benoit. Pretty cool spot right there, as the heels take a powder. Back in, Bagwell takes control over Eaton, but Benoit attacks from the apron once more. This time it finally gives his team the edge, as Eaton goes up top for a flying knee to Bagwell’s chest. Onto Benoit, who comes in with a clothesline followed by a flying legdrop for two. Eaton & Benoit cut the ring in half and bring all the classic heel tag team tricks (choking behind the ref’s back, Eaton assisting Benoit’s submissions for extra leverage, etc) as they continue doing a great job building Scorpio’s hot tag. Benoit slams Bagwell and goes up for the Diving Headbutt, but Bagwell moves out of the way and… hot tag 2 Cold! Scorpio runs wild on both Eaton & Benoit, eventually setting up the latter for his spinning flying splash thingy, but Eaton is there to break it up. However, a heel miscommunication leads to Bobby punching Benoit by mistake, ultimately leaving him open to Scorpio’s Moonsault Legdrop at 9:22.
- Rating: Right choice for the opener. Eaton and Benoit did a good job at building up 2 Cold Scorpio’s hot tag, who excited the audience with his unique moveset near the end. Real solid tag team match. ***1/4
We’ve got an extra match up next, featuring Van Hammer up against Col. Robert Parker’s brand new (unknown) client. It turns out to be…
Van Hammer vs. Sid Vicious (w/ Col. Robert Parker)
Of course, Sid gets a monster pop when he’s introduced. Sid jumps Van Hammer right off the bat, clotheslines him and Powerbombs him for the quick win at 0:35.
- Rating: Sid is at his best in these short squashes. This was a fine way to reintroduce him to WCW after his brief WWF run. N/R
Now onto our three legends matches of the night – a six man tag match, a tag team match and a singles match.
Jimmy Snuka, Don Muraco & Dick Murdoch vs. Wahoo McDaniel, Blackjack Mulligan & Jumping Jim Brunzell
I can’t take Brunzell seriously in this match… the guy was jobbing on RAW to Damien Demento of all people just a month or so before this show. When you job to Damien Demento, you don’t deserve to be in a legends match! Snuka and Brunzell take it to the mat to start. Brunzell quickly brings in Mulligan, the father of the then-reigning NWA World Champion Barry Windham. He wastes no time going after Snuka’s arm, but gets cut off by a cheapshot from Dick Murdoch. Blackjack scores with a sequence of armdrags, and Murdoch drops an elbow for two. It’s off to Muraco vs. Wahoo, with the latter running wild with a number of powerslams. Brunzell with a dropkick to Murdoch, who responds with a FLYING HEADSCISSORS!!! Murdoch then takes Brunzell over to his corner for the heat spot, which is strange after that amazing spot. Plus, Snuka was still fairly popular in 1993. Plus, no one gives a f-ck about Brunzell to begin with! Muraco inadvertently hits Snuka, but Dick Murdoch keeps the team in control with a swinging neckbreaker. Then Murdoch takes Brunzell up top and drives a knee onto Brunzell’s back. Damn, Murdoch is FEELING IT here. Snuka with a powerslam on Brunzell, but misses a knee and Brunzell cradles him for two. Snuka collides with Muraco by mistake, who gets pissed and it leads to a DONNYBROOK. The referee calls it off for the stupid ending at 9:06.
- Rating: This was entertaining and served its purpose, although it did go a bit longer than it perhaps needed to. Dick Murdoch was into it and tried some crazy spots, but the ending was very underwhelming. *3/4
The legends tag match is up next. Thunderbolt Patterson gets a huge pop, being a huge star in the South in the ’70s and early ’80s. He announces his partner Bullet Bob Armstrong couldn’t make it due to injury, and instead his son Brad Armstrong takes his place.
Thunderbolt Patterson & Brad Armstrong vs. Ivan Koloff & Baron Von Raschke
Brad and Thunderbolt go to work on the foreign heels to start. Brad gets rid of Koloff with a series of dropkicks, while Patterson slowly slugs away on Baron. Patterson escapes a bunch of headlock attemps with his unique dancing moves. The heels double team Brad over in their corner, while Tony and Zbyszko talk about Ivan Koloff’s historical win over Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF World Title in 1971. Baron locks in the Iron Claw on Brad, who’s been trying to bump for four people in this match, but Patterson comes in to break the hold. Thunderbolt runs wild on both Ivan & Von Raschke, Brad joins him for some corner punches on Koloff in the corner, allowing Thunderbolt to finish Baron with a weak looking throat thrust (I guess) at 4:39.
- Rating: This wasn’t that fun, at least compared to the previous match, in which Dick Murdoch looked great. Here, the legends looked old and the result was a really slow, plodding match, despite Brad Armstrong’s efforts. At least the fans were massively into Thunderbolt Patterson. 1/4*
“A Flair For The Gold” w/ the original Four Horsemen
This was heavily promoted on television in the weeks leading up to Slamboree, on WCW Saturday Night. Ric Flair was on his way back from the WWF, so this is what they came up with to feature him on TV in spite of his no-compete clause. Naitch starts up by introducing “the next NWA Champion” Arn Anderson. Next up, Ole Anderson, who claims he’s never trusted Barry Windham. Finally, to replace the absent Tully Blanchard, Flair introduces the brand new member of the Horsemen… wait for it…. wait for it……. wait for it.
And that sound you hear is the guy in row 12 spitting his beer with laughter. Flair finishes the promo by throwing a challenge to The Hollywood Blonds, who had recently mocked the Horsemen on a previous edition of Flair For The Gold. Flair announcing his return to the ring was cool, but this version of The Horsemen was short-lived and turned out to be very forgettable. I wonder why.
Beach Blast is the next WCW PPV coming up on July 18.
Meanwhile, one of the greatest US Champions ever Johnny Valentine joins commentary for the singles legends match, the final on the card.
Nick Bockwinkel (w/ Verne Gagne) vs. Dory Funk Jr. (w/ Gene Kiniski)
They hype this as NWA v. AWA on commentary, with Zbyszko explaining the political issues between both companies, and why this is considered an impossible dream match because of it. Although they did wrestle each other once in Japan in 1980, but still. Slow start to the match as both veterans feel each other out. Dory whacks Bockwinkel with an uppercut, but Bockwinkel turns a Dory wristlock into one of his own. Dory locks in a headscissors and Bockwinkel wrestles his way out of there. Bockwinkel with a powerslam, Dory kicks him off and powerslams in turn. Dory unloads with the uppercuts until Nick goes down the hard way, and that gets two. Bockwinkel comes back by stunning Funk with a series of stiff forearms, but Kiniski pushes Bockwinkel out of the ring for the save. They get into an extended wrestling sequence, as Gary Cappetta announces there’s 5 minutes left. No one can get the upper hand and we get a stalemate in this classic ’70s style match. Bockwinkel takes Dory into the corner for some forearms to the midsection, and down to the mat for a side headlock. Dory escapes with a knee and pops Bockwinkel all the way to the outside with a sick uppercut. Kiniski tries to get involved, but Dory suplexes him off the apron into the ring for two. Piledriver gets two, as Bockwinkel gets his foot on the ropes to break. Both men fight over a backslide, won by Nick for two. Dory preps for the spinning toehold with only a minute left, but Bockwinkel cradles him for two. Bockwinkel with the figure four, the managers try to get involved and Dory makes it to the ropes. Slugfest with only seconds left on the clock, and Bockwinkel slams Dory for two. Dory cradles Bockwinkel, but his body is on the ropes and that invalidates the pinfall, leading to the 15:00 time limit draw. The crowd gives both men a standing ovation, which is more than deserved.
- Rating: A great technical wrestling match with a lot of physicality and good looking stiff shots between two of the all-time greats. While Dory Funk was still going at the time (and was still wrestling in 2018 as per cagematch.net), Bockwinkel was already semi-retired, and this turned out to be his final match. Both men could still go and delivered a fantastic match for their age, earning the respect of the fans in attendance. ***
Rick Rude & Paul Orndorff vs. Dustin Rhodes & Kensuke Sasaki
Although Rude carries the US Title belt in his entrance, Dustin Rhodes was still recognized as the official champion at this time. This happened after Rude seemingly beat Rhodes in a title match, but both men had their shoulders down for the count. The title would be vacated the following week, and Rude was never recognized as an official champion.
Rude plays some mindgames with Sasaki to start, but Sasaki overpowers Rude and catches him by surprise. Sasaki goes to work on Rude’s arm, and eventually Orndorff’s too. Off to Rhodes for some shots of his own, as he and Sasaki take turns punishing Paul’s arm using quick tags. Paul stops the attack by hiding in the corner, and Rude comes in for the awaited showdown with Rhodes. The crowd wants to see them go at it. They slug it out and Dustin scores with a backdrop. Blind charge only finds Rude’s knees, but the same happens to Rude immediately afterwards. Dustin charges for a clothesline, but Rude moves out of the way and Dustin flies all the way to the outside. Orndorff knocks him into the railing behind the ref’s back, and throws Dustin back in so Rude can hit a swinging neckbreaker for two. Paul with a back elbow smash, while the crowd tries to get under Orndorff’s skin with the usual ‘Paula’ chants. Back to Rude for a tombstone piledriver, but Dustin reverses and turns it into his own tombstone for two. Double KO spot as Rhodes and Orndorff collide, which leads into the hot tag to Sasaki. He comes off the top with a flying clothesline. Atomic drop featuring Rude’s classic awesome oversell of that move, and Sasaki goes all Ultimate Warrior on Rude with a series of running clotheslines followed by the gorilla press slam. A big schmoz ensues, though, and Sasaki gets knocked off the top rope by Orndorff right into the Rude Awakening at 9:25.
- Rating: Solid action, albeit a random match. Sasaki’s hot tag sequence was pretty good and gave the match some life in its final minutes. **3/4
Meanwhile, Gordon Solie inducts Lou Thesz, Verne Gagne, Mr. Wrestling II & Eddie Graham into the WCW Hall of Fame.
Sting vs. The Prisoner
And indeed Sting’s mystery opponent ends up being Nailz of all people. The crowd chants ‘Bossman’ during his entrance, which is quite hilarious. The Prisoner easily manhandles Sting with his patented choking. He takes Sting out of the corner for more choking, and then hits a backbreaker for two. Sting ducks a blind charge and goes for the comeback, which The Prisoner cuts off in short order. Prisoner takes Sting outside, where he… guess what… chokes him! But he does it with the TV cable this time around, which counts as in-ring psychology in a Nailz match. Back to the ring, where Sting finally comes back with a weird running clothesline that only gets one. Sting with an awkward backdrop, with zero elevation from Nailz’s part, who instead falls on the mat like a dead fish. His feet nearly hit Sting’s face on the way down. Sting follows it up with the Stinger Splash, but Nailz no-sells it. Then Sting takes him to the middle of the ring for what seems to be the Scorpion Deathlock, but instead just throws him down and pins him for two. What the f-ck is this match? Sting misses an elbowdrop as this match MUST continue. The Prisoner chokes Sting in the corner, but then stops to choke the referee as well, allowing Sting to come off the top with a flying clothesline for the merciful pin at 5:16.
- Rating: Terrible, just an absolutely horrible match. Nailz is beyond awful in the ring, and Sting is definitely not the one to carry a sh-tty worker to something good. Both men were visually lost out there and the whole thing died rather quickly. DUD
Meanwhile, Crusher & Ox Baker say whatever while they put the cage together for the next match.
Steel Cage Match – WCW/NWA Unified World Tag Team Championship: The Hollywood Blonds (Stunning Steve Austin & Flyin’ Brian Pillman) vs. Dos Hombres (Ricky Steamboat & “Shane Douglas”)
“Shane Douglas” is actually Tom Zenk, as Douglas had already left the company during this program. Austin goes after the mask of one of the Hombres right off the bat. The guy uses chops to escape that predicament, so you can tell it’s Steamboat. Atomic drop to Pillman, as Steamboat goes to work on his arm. He fires away with the armdrags, and Austin gets the same treatment once he tags in. Off to Zenk, who rams Austin’s head and back into the cage with gusto. Steamboat then gets backdropped onto the cage, atomic dropped onto the cage, and finally thrown onto the cage by Steamboat. Man, Austin is taking a BEATING out there tonight. Stunning Steve desperately rakes Steamboat’s eyes and brings in Pillman, who also rakes the eyes after failing to take control immediately. However, Pillman gets double-teamed by both Dos Hombres, and Steamboat gorilla press slams Brian straight into the cage. Steamboat teases a suplex, but instead hangs Austin upside down on top of the cage and shoots himself onto Austin’s body. Zenk tags in so he can do the same, but Austin sacrifices himself as he unties his legs and falls on his face, but that sends Zenk flying into the cage face first. That finally allows Austin to take over, but his back is so destroyed he can’t even do the camera roll taunt! Awesome touch.
Flying elbow off the top from Austin gets two. The Blonds use a towel to choke Zenk in the corner, but a raised boot stops a flyin’ Brian in his tracks! Pun absolutely not intended. Austin gets back in, only to eat a dropkick for his troubles. He gets caught in the wrong corner and abused by Dos Hombres, who take turns beating him up. Zenk tries to leap over Austin for the hot tag to the Dragon, but Austin drops Zenk with a spinebuster. It’s off to Pillman for the Rocket Launcher, but Zenk raises his knees and Steamboat finally gets the hot tag. Steamboat sends poor Austin into the cage once again, and Pillman tastes it as well. Austin has had enough of this carnage and tries to leave the cage, but Steamboat catches him and brings him down with an electric chair drop. Pillman tries to leave as well, but Zenk raises the ropes and uses them to low blow Pillman. Dos Hombres with the 10 corner punches in stereo, before knocking the Blonds into one another in the middle of the ring. Steamboat eventually takes his mask off, and climbs to the top of the cage for a DOUBLE HIGH CROSSBODY! The bell rings, but both Blonds clearly kicked out at 2, which the referee points out to the timekeeper. Dos Hombres with dropkicks in stereo for a nearfall in stereo. Dos Hombres go for the collision in the middle once again, but this time Pillman reverses and sends Zenk into Austin, who catches him with the Stungun in a great sequence. Pillman grabs ahold of Steamboat and DDTs him while Austin gets the pin to retain at 16:08.
- Rating: It started off weird due to the masks and all, but it eventually turned into a spectacular match near the end. The Hollywood Blonds took a hell of a beating in here (particularly Austin) and Steamboat took the crowd to the next level with that crazy double high cross off the top of the cage. The false finishes that followed were red hot, and the finish was really well done. The masks were goofy, but the wrestling turned out to be great. ***3/4
Meanwhile, Dusty Rhodes, Mr. Wrestling II and Stu Hart talk to Eric Bischoff while staff remove the cage. Stu is rooting for his son-in-law Davey Boy Smith to become the new World Champion.
NWA World Heavyweight Championship – Barry Windham vs. Arn Anderson
Arn with a quick shoulderblock for a one count. Leapfrog by Barry, but Arn catches him with a belly to belly suplex for two. AA is wasting no time in his first World Title shot ever. Backdrop gets two more, but the visually anxious Arn slaps the mat in frustration, and that allows Windham to uppercut him. Arn comes back with a DDT for two though, and Windham bails to think it over. Not wanting to waste any time, Arn goes after Barry on the outside, only to get caught by Barry. Arn goes up on his way back to the ring, getting caught with a clothesline from Windham in mid air. Anderson is letting his emotions get the better of him. Barry DDTs him and drops an elbow for two. Arn takes the fight to the outside though, sending Windham into the railing to regain control. And Windham is busted open from that shot. Arn goes to work on the cut as he rams Barry’s head into the top rope, then cradles Windham for two. Headlock by Arn. He drops an elbow on Barry’s bloody face and goes up top, but Windham dropkicks him down onto the outside.
Anderson hurts his knee on the landing, and Windham suplexes Arn on the outside. Back in, flying clothesline by Barry followed by a kneedrop to the back of Arn’s head gets two. Arn attempts a comeback, but Windham cuts him off and hits a floatover suplex for two. Man, Barry is bleeding like crazy here. SPINEBUSTER BY ARN… but Windham rolls to the outside, grabs his belt and tries to walk away. Anderson forces Barry back to the ring though, but lets his emotions get the better of him once more and he shoves the ref while punching Barry in the corner. Arn realizes his mistake, ultimately allowing Windham to knock him out with the belt to steal the win and retain the strap at 10:55.
- Rating: The story was well told in this one. Arn Anderson really put this over as the biggest opportunity of his career, being aggressive right from the get go. Eventually, that caused his own demise, as Windham smartly picked his spots throughout the whole match. In the end, he found a way to escape with the championship. Great bladejob by Windham as well. Although I wouldn’t call this a classic, it was great wrestling. ***1/2
WCW World Heavyweight Championship – Big Van Vader (w/ Harley Race) vs. Davey Boy Smith
Davey Boy takes it to Vader on a lockup to start. Short clothesline is no-sold by Bulldog, and Vader can’t believe it. Vader tries a running clothesline, still nothing. That earns a big reaction from the crowd. Vader slugs away viciously in the corner, and that takes Davey Boy down to one knee. Harley Race attacks Smith on the outside, setting him up for a huge running splash by Vader, but Davey moves out of the way and Vader lands in the front row. And then Bulldog picks Vader up OVER THE RAILING and powerslams him on the outside. What a crazy display of power by Davey. Back in, Davey picks Vader up for about five seconds before bringing him down with a vertical suplex. The crowd is well into this one! Bulldog eats Vader’s boot on a blind charge in the corner, but then Bulldog catches a flying Vader with a powerslam in mid air!! What is going on here!? Bulldog dumps Vader, who takes a second to discuss some strategy with Harley. Back in, Vader blocks a crucifix pin attempt by Davey Boy, taking him down with a Samoan drop to take over.
Vader drops a huge elbow on Bulldog’s leg. Up to the second rope goes the champion, and the Vader Bomb gets two. Vader pounds away on Davey Boy Smith, and goes back to the second rope for a standing Stinger Splash of sorts. Vader continues the beating in the corner and takes Davey up for a superplex, but Davey hangs on and slams Vader off. Bulldog follows it up with a diving headbutt, but it seems to hurt Davey as much as it does Vader, resulting in a double KO spot. Bulldog seems to have a broken nose, but he still slams Vader down ass-first and gets two. Sunset flip is blocked by Vader, who tries a buttdrop splash but misses and Davey Boy gets two. Vader still has the upper hand though, slamming Davey down and going up top for a scary flying splash. Bulldog lands outside, where Harley drops a knee just to be a dick. Vader pounds away in the corner back inside, and Davey Boy is just DONE by now. Vader slams Bulldog and this time the buttdrop splash connects. However, Vader refuses to go for the cover, choosing to hurt Bulldog some more. That costs him big time though, as Bulldog escapes a headlock with an ELECTRIC CHAIR DROP. Good grief how is that even possible?? Davey Boy explodes as he makes the comeback, taking Vader down with a clothesline for two. Vader whips him into the buckle and charges, but Bulldog catches him and turns it into the Running Powerslam in MID AIR. Race saves the pin by pulling Bulldog to the floor though, and Vader uses a chair to save Race from Davey Boy at 16:16.
Vader goes for the post match attack much like he did to Cactus Jack a few weeks earlier. Marcus Bagwell and 2 Cold Scorpio try to stop it, but they get knocked down rather easily. Vader sets Bulldog up for the Powerbomb… but STING is here! And Vader walks away with the championship belt, wanting none of the Stinger. Sting and Bulldog stand tall to close the segment.
- Rating: Amazing power match, with British Bulldog coming across as a serious threat to Vader’s WCW Title. Some of the sequences in this were absolutely incredible, particularly Davey Boy’s unbelievable reversals in mid air. I would’ve loved to see a clear finish in this one, but it did open the door for future rematches, as it seemed like Bulldog had Vader’s number. Very good stuff. ***1/2
Verne Gagne talks with Tony & Zbyszko one final time, who close the show immediately afterwards.
END OF THE SHOW
Final thoughts: Fine PPV overall, albeit far from being spectacular. The worst part about it was Sting’s match. Was Nailz really the best last-minute opponent they could find? If so, Sting would’ve been better off teaming with some of the legends instead. The theme of this PPV was all about the legends of wrestling, so I didn’t mind the several moments they had throughout the night. In fact, Bockwinkel and Dory even had a heck of a legends match, which was really cool to see. There was some forgettable stuff like the Rude/Orndorff vs. Dustin/Sasaki tag match, but the show ended on a high note since the final three matches delivered. The cage match was spectacular in spite of the stupid ‘Dos Hombres’ gaga (although Shane Douglas’ departure does somewhat excuse it), Windham/Arn was a great old-school match with a great story to boot, and Vader/Davey was a heck of a hoss fight. This PPV was, as they say, fine enough for government work. 6/10
That’s all from me today. Thank you for reading, make sure you don’t miss any of the upcoming reviews, both from WCW/WWF PPVs or episodes of WWF RAW. Until next time!