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  • Connor Ewens

Every WCW PPV Reviewed & Ranked: Part 3

Buongiorno and welcome to part 3 of the WCW R'N'R. You should probably check out the previous entries if you haven't already, it'd be pretty silly to start a new series on episode 3. We're still in the darker depths of WCW's PPV catalogue, swimming through seas of faecal matches & shitty stories in the search of a shiny garnet hidden amongst the soil. Let's just jump right back into it shall we?

#119: The Great American Bash, July 6th 1985. 28.8%

Here we have the inaugural 'Bash event produced by NWA & Jim Crockett. It's a Dusty Rhodes invention, as are most of the good things about WCW in their formative years. The event had a 1 hour musical performance from David Allan Coe, a controversial country singer who claimed to be an outlaw and committing several serious felonies, although legitimacy of the crimes he committed has been called into question.

Our opener is Jimmy Valiant vs Paul Jones in a dog collar match. Valiant might be the most over, worst wrestler of all time. He is agonisingly awful. Jones was a wrestler turned manager. No, this wasn't good (0.25). Manny Fernandez teams with Sam Houston & Buzz Tyler to face Abdullah the Butcher, Billy Graham & Konga the Barbarian. Very little worth talking about here, former megastar Graham got rolled up by relative newcomer Houston for a shock pop (0.75). Buddy Landell vs Ron Bass next. This was again nothing much to talk about. Just some classic brawling and for what it was, if was fine (1). The Andersons take on Buzz Sawyer & Dick Slater with national tag gold on the line. This was a decent little tag match, Andersons are always fun to watch but Sawyer & Slater held their own competently also (2.5).

World Tag gold up for grabs next, Ivan Koloff & Krusher Krushchev vs The Road Warriors. There's some okay stuff in this match but it falls a little short due to a screwy finish, because how dare anyone suggest Hawk or Animal eat a pinfall (1.75). Magnum TA defends the US title against Kamala. Another DQ finish here, significantly worse because Kamala is as entertaining as watching your son drown (0.5/5). Ric Flair defended the NWA title against Nikita Koloff. The match is alright, a formulaic 80's Flair match but the finish was poorly botched by Koloff. We nearly saw a riot when the Russians attacked Flair post-match (2.5). Our unsanctioned main event is a cage match for the TV title between Tully Blanchard & Dusty Rhodes. This was pretty fun but it shouldn't have closed the show, it was purely closing due to Rhodes booking it to fuck with Flair. It was pretty formulaic but it lacked the energy that a Ric Flair type would have in one of these matches (2.25). This show had stinker written all over it if it wasn't for a trio of okay matches, saving this from bottom tier. It's still not good though.

MOTN- The Andersons vs Buzz Sawyer & Dick Slater

#118: Clash of the Champions 33, August 15th 1996. 28.8%

With the nWo storyline fresh and in full swing, WCW were starting to get the ball rolling in their hottest period in company history. Not only that, but the WCW mid-card was starting to fill up and the Cruiserweight division was immerging. Our main event is predictably Flair vs Hogan, both are champions but only Hogan's world title is on the line. This is the antepenultimate COTC show and the last one for the year of '96.

We kick off in remarkable fashion, Dean Malenko vs Rey Mysterio for the cruiserweight title. This is the best match we've covered so far. While both guys would have better matches in their run, this is a hidden gem between two of the best. High work rate, great blend of technical wrestling and high-risk offence, this was a true joy to watch (3.75). From extreme highs to depressing lows, next we have VK Wallstreet vs Jim Duggan. Not fun, objectively just a bad match with its highest praise being it was under 4 minutes. Even that felt too long (0.25). Next we have Konnan vs Ultimo Dragon. On paper, I thought this could be good. It was not. To be fair to Ultimo, he pulled out some cool moves. However, no chemistry between them and Konnan looked absolutely horrific in the ring. He wrestled like it was his first day in training (1). We're supposed to get Savage vs Meng but 'Macho Man' isn't here tonight, he's selling an injury. Boo, advertising a popular star and not having him appear on the show? Never heard that happen before... We get Bull Nakano vs Madusa next. This was another one I looked at and thought it could be a good match. Shame they were only given 3 minutes to do anything. They couldn't do much, they tried but the match was focused on Sonny Oono and his involvement more than the ladies (0.75).

Eddie Guerrero vs DDP next. Again, some decent stuff but they got less than 5 minutes to work with and that isn't much time at all. DDP was starting to really improve his game by this point but Guerrero was on form (2). The Giant squashes Chris Benoit in about 21 seconds, which would be enough for me to leave Atlanta and walk to Connecticut for a new job (0). Harlem Heat defend their tag titles against the Steiner Bros as well as Sting & Lex Luger. There's a lot to like here, 5 very accomplished wrestlers and also Stevie Ray was there, so expectations were high. It was decent with everyone getting good spots in to shine. It all fell apart at the finish though. The Outsiders just walked out, the referee spotted them and called the match off! Isn't that absolutely stupid. Ruining a solid match. They're building story of him being a crooked referee but save this bullshit for Nitro my guy (2.25). Main event time, Hulk Hogan defends the WCW Title against Ric Flair. Weird this. Flair still wrestled like a heel and Hogan as a face, even though he was definitely a heel at this point. This wasn't great but it was watchable, it was just nice to see some changes to Hogan's character and personality for the first time in like 10 years. A DQ finish, because of course (1.5). An incredible start to the show but a very long downhill slope from then onwards.

MOTN- Dean Malenko vs Rey Mysterio

#117: Road Wild, August 14th 1999. 28.9%

We have entered the section of the list where the cards are mostly mediocre/bad matches, however there is usually at least one good match to talk about. Hooray? This is the last ever Road Wild, which was a good decision considering the lack of investment the Sturgis crowd seemed to show. Some big matches here though, most notably Dennis Rodman vs Randy Savage as well as Kevin Nash putting his career on the line. Will either of those be our match of the night? Let's see, but I think you know the answer.

Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero & Billy Kidman team up to face Vampiro & the Insane Clown Posse. For those unaware the ICP are a weird horror hip-hop duo featuring Violent J & Shaggy 2 Dope, who also entered into the world of pro-wrestling with sporadic matches and even starting their own promotion which still exists to this day. ICP definitely aren't for everyone. Not my thing musically and they aren't good wrestlers. 1 team consists of immense talent so this had some good moments but went too long for a featuring featuring 2 non-wrestlers, and Vampiro (2.25). The Jersey Triad defend tag gold against fecently reformed Harlem Heat. Nothing necessarily bad here but it was so boring I could feel my blood move around my body (1.75). The Revolution vs the West Texas Rednecks. 3 tag matches to open the show, what is this a New Japan show? I jest. A battle of talent and experience here, it was basic but sometimes less is more and less is better than shit (2.5). Buff Bagwell vs The Cat was a crap match full of bad comedy and bad wrestling (0.25). DDP and Chris Benoit fought in a No DQ match for the US title. This was pretty good, DDP was overflowing with charisma and was on top of his game whilst Benoit was always good. The rest holds in-between dragged this down a bit but the wrestling around it was good, DDP is so fun to watch (3.25).

Sid Vicious vs Sting, this was pretty boring tbh. Sting normally works well against bigger opponents, but guys struggled to pull a decent match out of Sid in his "prime" nevermind in the late 90s. The finish looked pretty sweet though (1.25). Next is Goldberg vs Rick Steiner. This could have been at least entertaining, but in typical WCW style it was ruined by ridiculous booking as both guys put in minimal effort (1). Dennis Rodman vs Randy Savage. Boy. Usually Savage would be a reliable choice for a non-wrestler to work with, but he's well past his prime at this point. Even in his prime though I doubt he could have saved this much. This was bad, the tried to paint over the glaring cracks with overbooked nonsense but it was clear both guys put on a bad show. Rodman tried I'll give him that, this was gruesomely long (0.5). Our main event is somehow worse than a 10+ minute Dennis Rodman match. Hulk Hogan vs Kevin Nash, Title vs Career. Hogan brought back the red and yellow and is full face here. What? When? How!? This was terrible. This was a vintage Hogan match from the 80s which was passable then but not in 1999. A match filled with nothing spots, a powerbomb and a leg drop. Somehow, the crowd ate this up, which really has me questioning wrestling fans tastes (0.25). Some of this isn't awful, but even the good stuff is pulled down by WCW crapness.

MOTN- DDP vs Chris Benoit

#116: Clash of the Champions 7, June 14th 1989. 29.5%

The Clash was still viewed as important programming in the early years, so WCW certainly tried to pull out all of the stops. Whilst no title matches are scheduled, we're treated to big matches such as Steamboat vs Funk, Gordy vs Williams and a tag title tournament involving some great tag teams. We're also treated on this show to WCW's most iconic debut of the best tag team not only in WCW history, but in wrestling history. Can you remember who?

First though we have a semi-final in the tag title tournament between the Fabulous Freebirds and Dynamic Dudes. This would be Jimmy Garvin's first appearance as a freebird, though he has been secretly working a a freebird for a few years. Dynamic Dudes are the totally radical Johnny Ace & Shane Douglas. This was fine, nothing much to it but the crowd were certainly hot (2). Ranger Ross defeats "The Terrorist" in a minute to put over America. Waste of time (0). Next it's that debut I was talking about. Cougar Jay & George South must face a debuting team, a team that we all fear. The Ding-Dongs. Yes, maybe I overhyped this debut a little. Jim Herd's finest creation. They come out in masks looking overly phallic and bells around their wrists and ankles, making any match they wrestle obnoxiously annoying. They also have a bell in their corner to ring to encourage their partner. Needless to say this was infuriating, for everyone. This only goes 3 minutes, the fans booed it out of the building. We wouldn't see much from the Ding-Dongs in future (0.25).

Our other semi-final match is the Midnight Express vs Samoan Swat Team. This was a decent little match, although neither team appeared to be at their best, wrestling in 100° heat might do that to ya. The Road Warriors run out to get involved in the finish as the Midnight Express advance into the finals to face the Freebirds (2.25/5). 'Dr Death' Steve Williams vs Terry Gordy. This could have been a fun fight between two hosses. We get some hossing around, but it's repetitive and ends in a double count out which SUCKS (0.5). Norman the Lunatic defeats Mike Justice in about 40 seconds. This is Norman's debut and he would eventually morph into like an early evolution of Eugene aaaand it bombed (0). Steiner Brothers face Kevin Sullivan & Captain Mike Rotunda. They did well with the time they were given, Scott takes an absolute beating and Rick has a thrilling hot tag. Could have been even better with a few extra minutes (2.75).

Sting defends his TV title against Wild Bill Irwin. Bill was better known as 1 half of the Super Destroyers. He also wrestled as the Black Scorpion one time. By the time you have read all of this, Sting has retained his title, a glorified squash (1). Before the next match, we have a great segment from Ric Flair and JR having a chat, really selling the "injury" Flair received at the hands of Terry Funk and casting doubt over his return. The finals of the tag team tournament next, Freebirds and Midnight Express fighting over the gold. Midnight Express were a formidable force with their superior tag team style but the Freebirds utilised their sneaky heel tactics to get themselves a win. Not bad at all (2.5). Our finale sees Terry Funk vs Ricky Steamboat. Funk is pissed that he's ranked 10th whilst Steamboat is 1st, so the idea here is that the winner will be 1st and the loser 10th. These guys get 14 minutes to work their magic and they do so beautifully. Funk takes the fight to him aggressively but Steamboat more than holds his own. Funk gets progressively more violent which leads to a DQ, which is usually cheap ending but it fit the storyline parameters. Also we saw a Lex Luger heel turn, how fun. Thoroughly enjoyable main (3.5). There's actually enough on this show to make this somewhat watchable, at least the bad was kept short, but there was a lot of it.

MOTN- Terry Funk vs Ricky Steamboat

#115: Halloween Havoc, October 25th 1998. 30%

I imagine you were wondering how long until this show would crop up on the rankings. The thing about this show is that a lot it isn't awful, it's not good but mainly just short and meaningless. There is a pair of good matches here too. But there is one match on this show that is so disgustingly terrible that many would call for this show to be lower. This show ran over time so many fans missed the main event finish which must have been infuriating, especially considering how awful the last whole match they watched was.

We start in good spirits however, Chris Jericho defends the TV title against Raven. 2 former ECW talents collide. Raven has been on a bit of a losing streak since his Flock disbanded, a story which would continue on past this show. Jericho is far from his peak but he has a few years of experience and his excellence shines in this one. Good match to start, though they could have not had 10 minutes worth of promos beforehand (3.25). Wrath and Meng fought in a big boy brawl of a match which ended in about 5 minutes. Too short for it to become anything of note (1). Disco Inferno vs Juventud Guerrera, with the winner going on to face Billy Kidman later in the show for the cruiserweight title. This was a decent little match although rough around the edges. Guerrera is a great performer but Disco is so-so, they're a few miscommunication here. However, a lot of the spots landed and it was energetic mostly, surprised to see Disco pick up the W here (2.75). This show is littered with promos but the next one is fantastically bad. Scott Steiner (because of course) talks about shagging birds, going for "3 days and 30 nights". Numbers has always been his weakness hasn't it? Ireland vs Germany next as Fit Finlay faces Alex Wright. Again some good action but it's short and ends abruptly, not allowing much to come from it. If you're strapped for time just remove some of the matches! I'm sure the crowd aren't going to be pissed when they don't get to see Finlay vs Wright, or Meng vs Wrath (1).

The same can be said for our next match, Perry Saturn vs Lodi which Saturn wins in 3 minutes. Why?! What's the point? I mean, the action was alright I guess but it's another meaningless match (0.25). Billy Kidman defends his cruiserweight title against Disco Inferno. Kidman has raised his stock since the Flock disbanded, becoming a star in a declining cruiserweight division. A strong showing by both guys, even Disco, but Kidman was the star as he has been for a little while now (2). Scott Steiner & The Giant defend the tag championships against Rick Steiner & Buff Bagwell, if Scott & Giant lose the match then we're getting a Steiner vs Steiner match straight after. The action was okay but nothing too special, Buff turned on Rick but he still won so he was able to get his hands on his brother (1.75). Scott vs Rick was short and an overbooked mess, with Buff turning heel during the previous match and then coming out again here to distract and again Rick Steiner overcame the odds to win. Why can't we just get a classic Steiner vs Steiner without all the extra trimmings? (1). Scott Hall vs Kevin Nash next, this was more about the story rather than the match but neither were particularly that good. The real-life alcoholism Scott Hall was suffering being played out on camera just didn't make for good television. Nash looked dominant but after multiple powerbombs he just leaves, and Hall wins by count out? Why? (1.25). Sting and Bret Hart fought over the US Championship next. This was disappointing but it wasn't awful. I just think they made Hart too much of a chickenshit heel which prevented this being a wrestling classic we could have had (2.25).

Here we go, it's time to take about Hulk Hogan vs The Warrior. The only reason this was booked was because Hogan wanted his win back. The build for this was terrible, all of the hokey smokey magic the Warrior used and that godawful Wargames match. Things weren't looking good. But I went in with an open mind "surely people are being too critical and dramatic" I said full of naivety. "-5 stars? That's a bit ridiculous I think". Well I'm here to tell you that the -5 star rating is justified. This is HORRENDOUS in every way. It's 15 minutes of nothing. Just staredowns, lockups and the same 3 or 4 poorly executed moves used over and over again. Then we have of course a plethora of interferences because sure. The tripe flavoured cherry sitting atop this disgusting cake is the flash paper spot, where Hogan "shoots" fire at Warriors face. Except, it barely catches and it reacts no where near Warrior and it looked stupid. Hogan got his win back, but he needed a chair shot from HORACE FUCKING HOGAN to do it. I'm not sure this victory is something to brag to your parents about, brother (0). At least the show ends well, with one of the best world title matches WCW were able to put on. DDP challenged Goldberg for the gold and the crowd were HOT for both guys. This was just big move after big move, with no clear indication of who will win. The reversal of a Jackhammer into a Diamond Cutter is absolutely gorgeous (3.5). I can't recommend this show given the amount of filth in the middle, but at least go check out the main event because it's a brilliant demonstration of what WCW could have been if they cut out all of the stupidity they surrounded themselves in.

MOTN- Goldberg vs DDP

#114: Fall Brawl, September 12th 1999. 30.6%

First of all, the artwork for this PPV is absolutely shocking, even for late 90's standards. I know its from on old VHS tape but they're teetering on looking like caricatures. Secondly, Fall Brawl has a hit and miss record but a staple of it's success as a show for drawing PPV buys was the yearly tradition of the Wargames match. Whilst I'm not a fan of themed PPV's where wrestling companies think "well its October, time for a Hell in a Cell match I guess", there was something special about Wargames because it was a yearly tradition in since '91 but in this year they decided against having it. Fair enough, so when will we see WarGames again? Oh, not until next year? On bloody Nitro?!? Not my circus.

Vampiro teams with the Insane Clown Posse once again facing the Filthy Animals (Mysterio, Guerrero & Kidman). This was an enjoyable match, the ICP impressed me with some good offence. The Animals were the stars though with their usual exciting displays of talent (3). Lenny defends his cruiserweight title against Kaz Hayashi. Just a guy called Lenny, former Flock member. Such a shit name. The match isn't bad though, quite fun actually. Unfortunately, no one cared much about either guy so it lacked investment but these guys put in a good effort nonetheless (2.75). Brian Knobbs & Hugh Morrus vs Shane Douglas & Dean Malenko in a No DQ match. Just an extended brawl, emulated the most uninteresting parts of ECW, not even providing an opportunity for Malenko to show off his excellence (1). Rick Steiner defends the TV Championship against Perry Saturn. Weird that WCW waited until '99 to push Rick as a singles guy again. I know both Steiner's wanted to be successful together for a while but '99 feels a few years too late for Ricky. This was decent mostly, quite a stiff match but Rick was past his best resulting in a few lull moments (1.75). Berlyn vs Jim Duggan next, do I have to say anything? Terrible, Berlyn is a new gimmick and he had a tough battle with old Hacksaw which derailed any momentum they thought they had. The action sucked since Wright lost all of his flashy moves in favour of being a full foreign heel (0).

West Texas Rednecks defend tag gold against Harlem Heat. This was dull. Barry Windham was waaaay past his prime, and Kendall unfortunately wasn't as talented as the rest of his family. As almost always, Booker impressed but struggled to carry all of the weight himself (1.25). Sid Vicious vs Chris Benoit was surprisingly not horrible mainly thanks to the brilliance of Benoit. A battle of sizes and Benoit looked great even in defeat. Questionable choice to put a belt on Sid but he was weirdly popular (2). DDP vs Goldberg next. We just talked about their brilliant match last entry but this was for from that. Littered with overbooked decisions when they've already proven they can just have a fun match together without all of the pageantry. There was some okay stuff, just disappointing overall (1.5). Main event time, Hulk Hogan defends the WCW Title against Sting. These guys are both faces at this point, kind of allies which is ridiculous considering the story in WCW over the last couple of years. This was blander than white wallpaper. Hogan just throws punches all match, Sting works somewhat but they both seem so unmotivated. An insane amount of interference, even by WCW standards as half the global population come out to invade the match. Sting turns heel on Hogan in the finish which was surprising I'll admit although I can't say it's a good decision. Massively underwhelming (0.5/5). A good start, but gradually falls from grace until its stuck in the familiar muddy waters.

MOTN- Vampiro & ICP vs Filthy Animals

#113: Clash of the Champions 5, February 15th 1989. 30.7%

This show is called St. Valentine's Day Massacre, even though its on the 15th of the month. This is interesting because I never knew there was a show named this before the WWE PPV in the late 90's. We are 5 days away from the Chi-Town Rumble (one of my favourite WCW shows) so we'll see how things play out in the lead up to Flair vs Steamboat.

We kick off with the Midnight Express vs Russian Assassins. The ME are definitely in the conversation for greatest tag team of all time, they could have good matches with anyone. Here is a good example, the Assassins aren't good but the Express walk them through a solid, digestible encounter (2.5). Steve Casey faces Butch Reed in a 15+ minute match, which should have landed the booking team in wrestlers court. Not executed badly however a ridiculous length and incredibly dull (1). After an entertaining segment between Flair & Steamboat where Flair literally offers women in exchange for a forfeit, we have Lex Luger vs The Blackmailer. The Blackmailer is one of the Russian Assassins, double pay I guess. Another match that went longer than it should have, an extended squash win for Luger that took more than 10 minutes to clean up. The action was decent, but again BORING (1.5). The Varsity Club defend their US tag titles against the Fantastics. I think the Fantastics were an underrated team, there's a match of theirs later in the series which I'm excited to talk about. This one was just fine but I expected more with the talented names involved (2).

Ricky Steamboat takes on Bob Bradley. A squash match basically to further to story of Flair trying to avoid another match with Steamboat (1.25). Rick Steiner defends the TV title against Rip Morgan. Before the in-ring debut of his brother Scott, Rick was mega over as a singles guy. This was yet another squash, a showcase for Rick Steiner (1). Our main event is scheduled as the Road Warriors & Genichoro Tenryu vs Sting, Michael Hayes & Junkyard Dog. However, Varsity Club rush the ring and attack the challengers. The referee seemingly accepts this and now the Varsity Club are challenging. After some back and forth, Sting & his team return to the ring and a big ol' 9 man brawl ensues causing a double DQ. A hot finish to the show but not much of a match (1.5). A very mid show with nothing awful on it but nothing remarkable either.

MOTN- Midnight Express vs Russian Assassins

#112: Clash of the Champions 21, November 18th 1992. 30.7%

Haven't got much to talk about for this one so I'll drop a fun fact about WCW. Did you know that one of the greatest wrestlers of the modern day wrestled for WCW? AJ Styles was one half of a cruiserweight tag team called Air Raid, they worked for WCW only a few months before WWE bought their competition. It's reported he was offered a developmental deal but he declined, choosing to carve his path and his historic legacy away from the big Dub until he finally showed up in WWE in 2016. Anyways, on with the show.

Brian Pillman defeats Brad Armstrong in a quarter of a minute by faking an injury and attacking him. A good little slice of character development (0.25). Arn Anderson & Bobby Eaton take on Erik Watts & Kensuke Sasaki. The legendary tag wrestlers Arn & Bobby tried to piece together a good match but they couldn't hide how inexperienced Watts was. Not bad but it was awkward at times (1.75). After a hilariously awful promo from Kevin Nash -sorry- "Vinnie Vegas", we have a boxing match between Johnny B. Badd and Scotty Flamingo, who is a young Raven. Boxing matches in wrestling usually suck, whilst this did suck at least it was kept short and it progressed a story between Badd & DDP (0.75). Next up, Ron Simmons & 2 Cold Scorpio vs Tony Atlas, The Barbarian & Cactus Jack. Simmons' scheduled partner and protege Robbie Walker is injured so Scorpio makes his WCW debut here. He has a fantastic showing, displaying offence that is ahead of its time for '92. The rest of the guys put in a fine effort but the star is Scorpio and his 450 splash. Another great talent that WCW would inevitably squander (2).

One of the most hyped matches on the show, a "Battle of the Sexes" between Paul E. Dangerously and Medusa. As a match, this is horrendous and has very little good to talk about. However, it was bloody entertaining and the crowd were hot so I'll give it something. Paul E manages to survive a 5 minute time limit and runs away (0.25). Next we have the King of Cable semi finals between Rick Rude and Sting. We have 3 judges in case of a time limit draw. It goes to a 20 minute time limit, so there were some moments of lull but overall this was a good match which built well towards the finish. I have deducted points for the nonsensical finish. The judges scored in favour of Sting 2-1, which is absolute BS since Rick Rude was in control of this match for 75% of it. Rude got screwed here, Sting winning on the scores made zero sense (2.75). Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes defend the NWA & WCW tag titles against Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas. Two face teams here, which provides us with a clean wrasslin' contest. A good match with some great storytelling as Dustin is more concerned with the opponents wellbeing whereas Windham wants to win at all costs. This leads to them losing the match and Windham turning on Rhodes afterwards. A good way to close out the show (3).

MOTN- Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes vs Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas

#111: Starrcade, November 22nd 1984. 30.9%

The second ever Starrcade had some big boots to fill. After the astounding success of the inaugural wrestling event on the closed circuit the previous year, Jim Crockett Promotions billed this show as 'The Million Dollar Challenge'. This was all built towards a highly anticipated showdown between Ric Flair & Dusty Rhodes, not only the NWA World Championship is up for grabs but so is $1 million, which is equivalent to just under $3 million today. Similarly to how Wrestlemania 2 was a huge decline in quality compared to its predecessor, Starrcade '84 was a disappointment in almost every way with poor match quality as well as poor production.

Mike Davis defends the Junior Heavyweight title against Denny Brown. The wrestling is solid but there is zero heat and zero storyline so it lacked engagement (1.5). Mr Ito vs Brian Adias next, except the production team tells us it's "Brian Adidis", which sounds like a shoe brand from Temu. This was here for a few minutes and was a thing that happened. Yep (1). Jesse Bar defends the Florida Heavyweight Championship against Mike Graham. This one actually gets some time and it isn't bad. Both guys sons of legends Eddie Graham & Art Barr respectively. A lack of investment again but they piece together a nice little match that I didn't hate (2). The Assassin & Buzz Tyler team up against the Zambuie Express in an elimination match. The ZE are like the polar opposites of the Midnight Express in every way, from physical appearance down to in-ring talent. They crammed a lot into 5 into minutes but most of it wasn't very good. 4 matches in, each featuring wrestlers I've never heard of (1.25).

Black Bart defends the Brass Knuckles Championship against Manny Fernandez. It is what it says in the tin, matches for this belt are contested with Brass Knuckles. The gimmick didn't catch on across the territories. I was expecting this to suck but it was actually pretty decent, a bloody brawl that was more exciting than all the previous matches added together (2). Paul Jones vs Jimmy Valiant in a Tuxedo 'Loser Leaves Town' match. This was fucking terrible, predictably, however the silver lining is Jimmy Valiant lost so he's gone for good! Hooray! Except no he's not, he'd return with the gimmick Charlie Brown from Outta Town to conceal his identity. Oh no! (0). Ron Bass defends the Mid-Atlantic Championship against Dick Slater. This felt like just another match which is a shame because Bass is underrated, his WWF run was poor but he had great success in Florida. A boring match with a crappy DQ finish (1.25). Ole Anderson & Keith Larson face Ivan & Nikita Koloff. The crowd are a alive for this one, and it's a solid match. Ole is a legend of tag wrestling and the Koloff's were always sound. I know nothing about Larson, sorry Keith (2).

Tully Blanchard defends the TV Championship against Ricky Steamboat. Finally, something worth watching on this show. A great match, between two of the greatest wrestlers of the 80s. Steamboat has been gunning for Tully for MONTHS and endured a lot of adversity. He sold the injuries and finally managed to get it done against his bitter rival. Except, no he didn't he fucking lost. I really disagree with that decision, especially when Tully would later drop the title in quick fashion to a certain booker, more on that later (3.5). Wahoo McDaniel defends the US title against Billy Graham. Billy knows Kung-fu, apparently, a bad match but at least it was short (0.5). Our main event, with the NWA title and 1 million buckaroos on the line, Ric Flair vs Dusty Rhodes. Famous boxer Smokin' Joe Frazier is the special referee. This was a big disappointment, just a bunch of scrappy offence with a BULLSHIT ending as Smokin' Joe stops the match due to Dusty bleeding too much. BRO. Have you seen other Ric Flair matches? He would lose every time if this rule was enforced. Lame ass finish to a decent but hugely disappointing main event (2). A 1 match show, and even that one had a taste of dissatisfaction within it.

MOTN- Tully Blanchard vs Ricky Steamboat

#110: Bash at the Beach, July 12th 1998. 31%

This show has one of the weirder PPV taglines; Like Skinny Dippin' In The Shark Tank, Somebody's Goin' Down. Why would anyone go skinny dipping in a shark tank? Why would anyone enter a shark tank anyways except for maybe a trained professional to feed or interact with it? If you don't pose a threat to the shark then you won't go down at all, they'll just swim around being wary of you. Moving on, this PPV received a ton of media attention. Is it because it was really well booked? Is it because the wrestling and storylines were at an all time high? Not a chance. It's because two stars of the NBA Dennis Rodman & Karl Malone, who were on opposing teams in the NBA finals the previous month, are scheduled for action in our main event alongside Hogan and DDP. We haven't had a great record with WCW celebrity matches so far, we'll see if the tune changes here.

Perry Saturn vs Raven is our opener, under Raven's Rules which means no DQ. Saturn was a part of the Flock until recently. This was an ECW-style brawl which was entertaining. If you're a whore for technical wrestling, this is not for you. This wasn't much of a match but it was fun. One spot looked bad though, Raven rolls off the tables before Saturn jumps, but he jumps anyways which makes him look stupid (2). Kidman takes on Juventud Guerrera next. This was a good match, Kidman is pretty new to WCW at this time however he would continue to gain popularity over the next year. Well worked and a good effort from both men (3.25). Stevie Ray faces Chavo Guerrero next, with Eddie Guerrero hoping Stevie will weaken him ahead of his match with Chavo after. This ends quickly when Chavo asks for a handshake, and immediately submits when they touch. I'm not going to rate this, some people hate this but I thought this was a genius play by Chavo and was a good bit of character development. I've never seen something like this before (NR). Now it's Eddie Guerrero vs Chavo Guerrero, hair vs hair. This was a good match which felt like a blow off to the feud however it never really got out of third gear. I would have liked to have seen the intensity escalate further but it was still good. This would soon begin Chavo's loss of sanity and switch to being a heel down the line (3).

Disco Inferno vs Konnan. Konnan is over with the crowd but he's well past his use-by. These two have a podcast together in real life, which is cute. This was a 2 minute squash win for Konnan and it wasn't very good (0.25). The Giant takes on former NFL linebacker, Kevin Greene. Greene has wrestled previously and did okay but nothing that warrants him to be a regular fixture. This was meh, Greene did okay and got a lot of offence in but the result was inevitable (1). Chris Jericho defends the Cruiserweight title against Rey Mysterio. I had high expectations for this however they barely got much time to piece together a barn burner they're capable of. The action was still good though, Rey is coming back from injury and was a little rough but not to a damaging extent. Malenko's involvement furthered his storyline with Jericho which was good. They would have far superior matches together in the WWE (2.5). Booker T defends the TV title against Bret Hart. Another decent match that I had high hopes for, but again it got less than 10 minutes. The action was crisp but the finish sucked and made Hart look dumb. Then again, WCW's entire booking of Bret Hart made him suck which is heart-breaking. This could be great with an extra 5/10 minutes (2.5).

Goldberg defends the WCW Title against Curt Hennig. Basically a squash match, the action was fine but we've seen too many Goldberg squash matches at this point, feeding Hennig to him in less than 5 minutes felt like a disservice (1). Well if you're wondering why some of the matches felt a little short this evening, all the time went into our 20+ minute main event. Hulk Hogan & Dennis Rodman vs DDP & Karl Malone. This fucking sucked. Who's idea was it to give non-wrestlers over 20 minutes of action? You can hide someone's weaknesses within a tag match but it should be quick and explosive. This dragged out longer than necessary. I'll admit this was a huge draw for WCW, but the execution was piss poor, one of their worst matches (0). This could have been a good show without that main event, distribute the 20 minutes across the short decent matches and boom! A good show. This was not though.

MOTN- Kidman vs Juventud Guerrera

#109: Uncensored, March 14th 1999. 31.1%

The 3 previous Uncensored we've talked about are easily in the conversation for worst PPV in WCW history. The quality significantly improved for the previous 2 years of the show, however in '99 WCW returned to their usual form of bad matches and bad booking. You could consider Uncensored an early prototype for WWE's Extreme Rules PPV, though both are clearly heavily influenced by the largely popular ECW.

We start with cruiserweight action as Billy Kidman defends the title against Mikey Whipwreck. This is Mikey's debut match, on a PPV for a championship which I think is a big endorsement, seemingly WCW forgot about that. This is a real good match though, Whipwreck impressed with his unique wrestling style which blended well with Kidman's offence. It remained fast paced and was a perfect way to start the show (3.5). Next, a Harlem Street Fight between Stevie Ray & Vincent for leadership of nWo Black & White. This was the pits. They walked and punched through the crowd and back but they did nothing of interest. Stevie sucked, Vincent sucked, so this naturally sucked too. The only thing that fit the Street Fight stipulation was staying out of the ring longer than a 10 count, as well as an interference. They could have at least used some weapons (0). Kevin Nash takes on Rey Mysterio. This was okay, a pretty standard big vs small match but worse because Nash had lost a step. Rey sold really well and his offence was decent too (1.5). The Cat teams with Sonny Oono to face Jerry Flynn, not to be confused with Jerry Lynn. Who gives a fuck? Far from worthy of a PPV slot. Sonny only got in the ring to deliver a kick and also eat the pinfall. This was mostly awful (0.5).

Raven's Rules match, Bam Bam Bigelow vs Hak vs Raven. Hak = The Sandman if I haven't covered that previously. He didn't come near success in WCW. This was a mess of a brawl with a plethora of random weapons being used in each other. It was entertaining I'll admit but not very good as a match. It's fun enough to be given a decent rating, but it's nothing compared to what ECW could deliver (2). Dean Malenko & Chris Benoit representing the Horsemen face Curt Hennig & Barry Windham for the tag titles in a Lumberjack match. Old school vs New school here and it was fine. Hennig seemed motivated for the first time in a while, probably because he's working with talent he actually wants to work with. A well structured matched that worked well with the stipulation (2.5). Chris Jericho vs Perry Saturn in a dog collar match. These two usually work well together but this was boring unfortunately. The action was fine but these two weren't able to create a compelling match with the limitations of the collar. I didn't enjoy this at all (1).

Scott Steiner defends the TV Championship against Booker T. This was a solid match, these two have good chemistry. Buff got involved waaay too much. I mean, any Buff Bagwell is too much at this point but he got involved A LOT without any real ramifications. But, Booker overcame the odds so all is well (2.25). Our main event is between two of the companies youngest talents, Hulk Hogan & Ric Flair in a Barbed Wire, Steel Cage, First Blood match. Not only is the WCW Title on the line, but the WCW Presidency is too AND Ric Flair's career. A classic tale of an overbooking match before the bell even rings. Usually it's bad to ever bet against Hogan but the sheer amount of stipulations almost guaranteed a Flair victory here. So, before the match Flair again tells the referee the match must only stop when one of them us gushing with blood. The referee is on board as are the fans.

After about 5-10 minutes, Flair is busted open. Does the match end? NOPE. It continues onward and eventually Hogan is bleeding. Does the match end? FUCKING NOPE. It keeps on going until the Horsemen assist Flair getting the win, who defeats Hogan via PINFALL. Fuck you WCW, you insult our intelligence over and over and over and this is a perfect example of how shitty your backroom team is. The action was fine I guess if it was still the 1980s. The rule change can go fuck it self, as can WCW (0.75). Whilst not the worst main event ever, the audacity of WCW to just do what the fuck they want angered me beyond belief.

MOTN- Billy Kidman vs Mikey Whipwreck

#108: Starrcade, November 27th 1986. 31.3%

This is the longest Starrcade in event history at around 4 hours. That's quite long for an 80's show. Wrestlemania 4 & 5 were after this were just over 3 and a half hours long and both of those felt long. This show felt the same, except it felt longer obviously. They copied WWE's Wrestlemania 2 idea and they're broadcasting from multiple locations. It's still a dumb idea, even if it's just two locations instead of 3, but alternating is a far better idea than 3 back to back shows like the WWF did. The first match takes place in Greensboro, the second from Ohio and it continues to alternate as such. Starrcade was called 'The Night of the Skywalkers', because one of the heavily promoted matches on the card was a Scaffold match. I'll talk more about it later but I'll say this, it's another gimmick match that I think sucks.

Tim Horner & Nelson Royal team up against Don & Rocky Kernodle. Kernodle is one of those satisfying names to say, go on and try it. Fun right? This was a good way to open the show, a solid tag match that follows a basic formula but gets the crowd ready for the evening. Now they can sit and watch a match on a screen with all their excitement, lucky fellas (2.5). Brad Armstrong vs Jimmy Garvin next. This was decent but it went to a 15 minute time limit draw meaning it was rather reliant on rest holds. The action in between was good but it couldn't maintain momentum for long (2.25). Hector Guerrero and Baron Von Raschke take on Shaska Whatley & The Barbarian. What a weird mix of folks. This feels like Dusty closed his eyes, span around a room and chose 4 people to compete in this match. This wasn't all that but I'll give Guerrero credit for being a highlight in an otherwise dull match (1). The Russian team defend their US tag titles against the Kansas Jayhawks. An incredibly creative name for Krushchev & Koloff. This is a No DQ match so it's predominantly brawling. This was alright but the wrestlers looked dumb for following the referees orders to stop cheating. There's no disqualifications! Do what you want you idiots! (1.5).

Wahoo McDaniel faces Rick Rude in an Indian Strap Match. Boooooring. They don't hit any moves on each other for nearly 10 minutes and it ends with a finish that makes Wahoo look fluky and Rude a dumb asshole (0.75). There's a funny segment here with the Russians and Krushchev (who is really American) just talks normally in his American accent. Good kayfabe there mate. Next up, Sam Houston defends the Central States title against Bill Dundee. This had some decent sequences but it all goes flat with a DQ finish (1.25). Hair vs hair match between two guys I really can't be arsed to talk about. Yes it's another Jimmy Valiant vs Paul Jones match. It's a dud, okay? Big Mama's hair is on the line apparently, whoever the fuck that is. Why is she called Big Mama? I can only assume its because of her big ol'...mamas? Jimmy Valiant looks like an Alabama Santa who has just decided to stop smoking crack. There is my analysis (0). Bubba Rogers faces Ron Garvin in a Louisville Street Fight. This was very boring for a street fight. The weapons used were a roll of quarters, Jim Cornette's tennis racket & a Coca-Cola. Outside of that, an empty match (0.5).

Dusty Rhodes defends the TV Championship against Tully Blanchard in a First Blood match. A lot of stopping and stalling as the referee is constantly asked to check for blood by the competitors. Why? You'll be able to see for yourself surely? Weak match considering the talent however I enjoyed the finish, a good way to give Tully a cheap victory (1.5). Time to climb the scaffold! Midnight Express vs Road Warriors, in what could be a good match under normal circumstances. Not here though. See, you're very limited in what moves you can do when you're stood on a small, unstable platform 20+ feet in the air. What makes it even more limiting is that the Midnight Express felt uncomfortable even going up, especially Jim Cornette who was terrified of the height which I totally empathise with. Yes this was a spectacle, but not a very entertaining one. Poor Cornette crushed his knees taking a nasty bump to the mat. Not worth it Jim you crazy bastard (1). We've been good, patient little boys and we've been rewarded this Christmas. Rock 'N' Roll Express defend their tag gold against the Andersons in a cage match. 4 of NWA's best tag wrestlers ever in one match? Yes please sir. This was 20 minutes of excellence. They switch between scientific wrestling and violent fighting almost seamlessly. The Andersons held a vice grip over the match, making the reaction for the inevitable comeback nuclear but even then the Andersons cut it short and maintained control. This was a great match, saving this show from being a total waste (3.75). Ric Flair defends the NWA title against Nikita Koloff in our grand finale. This was a good match as you'd expect from 80s Ric Flair, however the finish was really flat and left a bad taste to end the show. Having your marquee match at your marquee event end in a double DQ is a bad call. It didn't even make sense. Flair was knocked into the first referee by Koloff, Koloff accidentally clocked the second referee and then Koloff intentionally shoved the third. Flair didn't do anything! Dumb ending to an otherwise good contest (2.75). Flair vs Magnum TA was initially planned for the event until Magnum's unfortunately car crash which retired him. That would have made for a banging main event.

MOTN- Rock & Roll Express vs The Andersons

#107: Superbrawl 6, February 11th 1996. 31.3%

After some dark times for WCW and wrestling in general, 1996 would be a significant turning point which saw us enter the most popular and lucrative era in wrestling history. In the summer we would see the famous Hogan heel turn, giving WCW a head start over WWE in terms of excellent programming. Whilst WWE would slowly but surely modify their product for a more adult fan base, WCW made a drastic shift in their programming almost overnight with the immediate success of the nWo. We're still a little while from that moment, this being the first PPV of the year, a very mixed bag overall.

We open with a tag team street fight between Public Enemy and the Nasty Boys. This was chaotic and hard to follow at times but it was a lot of fun. This was one of the rare times when WCW emulated ECW successfully. Plenty of weapons, that table spot near the end looked painful (3). Johnny B. Badd defends the TV Championship against Diamond Dallas Page. DDP's manager the Diamond Doll as well as $6.6 million is up for grabs too. These two have great chemistry and have put on good matches previously and this is more of the same. A near 15 minute match with no dull moments and plenty of great sequences and callbacks. Maybe the amount of stakes is a little silly but it fit the narrative (3.25). Besties Sting & Lex Luger defend the tag championships against Harlem Heat. This was a decent match, pretty standard. A good showing for Booker but not much from Sting weirdly. The ending was weird with the Road Warriors getting involved but it didn't harm the match too much (2). A good start but now we hit the bad part of the show, seriously bad. First, One Man Gang vs Konnan for the latter's US title. Why are we still watching OMG matches in 1996? This was awful and had zero crowd heat. Konnan was a hugely popular import from AAA but he wasn't yet too familiar with the US crowds. This was sloppy and uninteresting (0).

Next we have a "Respect" Strap match between the Taskmaster & Brian Pillman. This is essentially like an I Quit match, but the first person to say they respect their opponent loses. This was an interesting angle, because after a minute Pillman says "I respect you, bookerman!" then leaves. A break of kayfabe here exposing Taskmaster (AKA Kevin Sullivan) as a booker for WCW. This would be Pillman's last match before leaving WCW, an agreement made with Eric Bischoff so Pillman could basically become an inside guy for WCW in other companies such as ECW and WWF. I suggest seeking out the full story because it's brilliant, but Pillman absolutely swerved Bischoff & WCW by actually being released from his contract or real which allowed him to sign for the WWF. I'm not going to rate this because it wasn't much of a match but I liked it as a segment because I'm a smark (NR). Arn Anderson comes out and we get an impromptu "Respect" Strap match. This was just a lot of whipping until Ric Flair comes out, breaks it up and the match just, stops? Bad segment (0).

Tag title match number 2, Luger & Sting defend against the Road Warriors. This was a long, boring match that was 90% brawling and ended in a count out. I hated this a lot because it achieved nothing, built nothing and contained almost nothing (0). Randy Savage defends the WCW title against Ric Flair in a Steel Cage match. These two have been feuding for a little while now, exchanging wins and passing the title between each other. This was a near 20 minute war and whilst it wasn't a classic we might have got from these guys 5 years ago, this was still a good match. It was an intense match with a genuine shock ending, as Miss Elizabeth turns on her beloved Macho Man to help Flair win the gold (3.25). Our main event is, another cage match? Hulk Hogan vs The Giant, because Hogan not competing in the main event is sacrilege. We've already talked about this previously, but having back to back cage matches doesn't improve your card, it diminishes the stipulation and the second cage match almost always suffers. There isn't a lot of variety with cage offence, especially from two guys who lack technical ability. A boring 15 minutes, with the Giant dominating for a long time before Hogan makes his inevitable comeback. The Giant got up quickly from 3 leg drops though, which is unheard of (1). A show that was equal parts good and equal parts terrible.

MOTN- Johnny B. Badd vs DDP

#106: Clash of the Champions XXX, January 25th 1995. 32%

You would think with this being the 30th Clash that WCW would put the effort in to have a stacked card. However, their significant lack of interest in the Clash shows was prominent as this just felt like another TV show. Couple of title matches but also some rematches and a continuation of a story that no one cares about. Hooray.

Our opener is a TV title match between Johnny B. Badd and Arn Anderson. They didn't get much time but they utilised it the best that they could. Good storytelling and good psychology (2.5). Bobby Eaton vs Alex Wright next. This is purely to get Wright over and choosing Eaton is an excellent idea because he's an incredible veteran. A basic match but it was well worked by them both (2). Harlem Heat defend their tag titles against Stars & Stripes. One of Buff Bagwell's many bad gimmicks. This was alright but there was an evident lack of chemistry between the two teams. When Sherri is a better performer than most of the wrestlers you know there's something wrong (1.75). Sting vs Avalanche with The Guardian Angel as special referee, FKA Bubba Rogers FKA Big Bossman. This was 5 minutes long and it was about as good as it could have been (1). Our main event is Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage vs Kevin Sullivan & The Butcher. Not good. The most entertaining part of this is when Hogan is out after a sleeper, so Macho hits him with a diving elbow drop which REVIVES HIM. I'm not fucking around. Hilarious, but also terrible and goes against everything wrestling has built. Some stuff from Savage was good but this was mostly awful, with a revive spot that has never been done ever again. I wonder why (0.75). We end on a happy note as Vader enters to murder everyone. Delightful.

MOTN- Johnny B. Badd vs Arn Anderson

#105: Fall Brawl, September 17th 2000. 32%

We haven't talked about the year 2000 for a while. I was happy staying out of the dark, dangerous depths of WCW's darkest year. Unfortunately, sometimes even though you know there's dogshit ahead, you still step in it. That's a dumb analogy. This is the final Fall Brawl since the company would fold in about 6 months. I'm so used to talking about how awful 2000 was but there is some decent stuff on this show, as well as the expected.

Eli Skipper defends the Cruiserweight title against Kwee Wee. Kwee Wee is a bad name. The cruiserweight division had plummeted in quality by this point. The action was decent but the pacing was all over the place, very abrupt ending (2). Three Count vs The Misfits. The boy band gimmick is cheesey as hell but it actually kinda works? They're easy to hate and oddly entertaining, it helps they're talented wrestlers too. Chavo & Lash put I'm a great effort too, The Wall was aight. This was an action packed 10 minutes that exceeded expectations (3). The Harris Bros take on Kronik in a First Blood chain match. The most boring first blood match I've seen. The crowd didn't react at all even when everyone is pouring crimson (0.25). Lance Storm faces General E. Rection for the Canadian title. Jim Duggan, a life long all American, is the special enforcer in this match. Because its WCW, we get a Swerve and Duggan betrays America to help his new Canadian friend. Didn't make sense but the match was alright, mainly because Storm is great (2.25).

The Natural Born Thrillers vs Filthy Animals, Big Vito & Paul Orndorff. Bro, Orndorff be looking ancient. This is a 15+ minute elimination tag match aaaaand it was pretty boring. We go though the entire motion of the match, 7 eliminations for it to end in a no contest? Don't waste my time WCW (1). Lucky us we have a Scaffold match, in the 21st fucking century. Shane Douglas & Torrie Wilson vs Billy Kidman & Madusa. It's short at least, props to Madusa for taking a horrid bump from the scaffold. The match sucked real bad (0). Triple threat action; Sting vs Vampiro vs Great Muta. A battle between spooky-ish dudes. This was a bad 5 minutes. Muta is getting on, Vampiro sucks and Sting looks completely demotivated. The fans didn't even care about this at all (0.25). Jeff Jarrett faces Mike Awesome in a Bunkhouse match. Awesome was accompanied by Gary Coleman, the guy from Diff'rent Strokes. Of course, he's not just going to be in attendance. He, alongside the Buffalo Bills at ringside, all jump in to aid Awesome in victory. The overbooked ruined this a bit, but these two put on a good match before the chaos (2.5).

Scott Steiner faces Goldberg in a No DQ match. First the bad, Vince Russo got involved A LOT which damaged the match quality. Fuck off Russo. Outside of that, these two put on a very good match. It was hard-hitting and action-packed from bell to bell (3.5). Kevin Nash defends the WCW Title against Booker T in a Caged Heat match. It felt like a rushed match, Nash wasn't too great in this however Booker put in a solid effort and look another world title win for Booker T! I'm all for that (1.25). For 2000 WCW, this is a good show. In reality, this is bad.

MOTN- Scott Steiner vs Goldberg

#104: Starrcade, December 29th 1991. 32.3%

We get to talk about the Battlebowl again, oh the joys. This is the first Starrcade under the WCW banner, the show being dubbed Battlebowl - The Lethal Lottery. Yes it's "random" pairings of teams going head to head for an opportunity to compete in the Battlebowl main event. No title matches, no singles matches. Just 10 tag matches and 1 battle royal. This can be a fine B show, but for your premier show of the year? I don't think it's all that.

First we have Michael Hayes & Tracey Smothers teamed up against Jimmy Garvin & Marcus Bagwell. Oh look, tag partners on opposite teams! What could possibly happen! This is okay, but the Freebirds don't fight each other and just have a strut-off, which is lame. Bagwell actually has skill here but he's a newbie so no one really cares (1.75). Steve Austin & Rick Rude face Van Hammer & Big Josh. Oh wow, the dangerous alliance are teamed together, HOW RANDOM! I promise I'll stop, but I hope my point is getting across that you can't just keep recycling the same trope and expect us to believe its randomised, you morons. This was alright at times but also quite slow, Hammer & Josh weren't that good and Rude had grown to become a very boring wrestler by this stage (1.5). Larry Zbyzsko teams with El Gigante against Ricky Morton & Dustin Rhodes. It's an El Gigante match, what are you expecting? Not even being surrounded by legendary talent could hide his ugly abilities (0.75). Diamond Dallas Page and Mike Graham vs Bill Kazmaier & Jushin Thunder Liger. This was a bad idea. Liger is extremely talented, in there with less talented individuals who don't have a clue how to work with a Japanese style (1.25).

Lex Luger & Arn Anderson are paired against Terrence Taylor & Tom Zenk. I'm sure Arn could pull out good tag matches in a coma. Easily the best thing on this show. Great wrestling and a narrative that made sense with each wrestlers character. Zenk & Taylor are good talents and hey even Luger contributed good here so an all-round well done lads (3.25). Ricky Steamboat and Todd Champion face Cactus Jack and Buddy Lee Parker. Abdullah the Butcher wipes out Parker early so Cactus goes it alone for most of the match. It gets him over pretty strong which is good. Steamboat does well but there isn't much to this match except the story of Cactus (1.5). Sting & Abdullah the Butcher vs Bobby Eaton & Brian Pillman. Sting is a dumb babyface so doesn't immediately know Abdullah is going to fuck him up. Pillman helps Sting out so essentially we have a tag match within a tag match. It's the first real demonstration of the Battlebowl concept and it's okay mostly, but the match is a mess and whilst it develops characters, it devalues the importance of the Battlebowl (1.75). Vader & Mr Hughes team against Rick Steiner & The Nightstalker. Steiner + Vader = good. Hughes + Nightstalker = bad. Too short to give Steiner & Vader too many points (1.5).

Scott Steiner & Firebreaker Chip vs Johnny B. Badd & Arachnaman. Ahh, another one of Jim Herd's brilliant ideas. It's such a horrid name. A spider-man rip off sucks enough but the name makes it so much worse. Arachnaman is poor Brad Armstrong, a real harbinger of awful gimmicks thanks to WCW. This couldn't be saved from obscurity no matter how good Scott & Johnny can be (1.25). Ron Simmons & Tommy Rich face Steve Armstrong & PN News. Probably the blandest thing on this show (1). Our Battlebowl main event. 20 men in one ring, you're eliminated when you're thrown into a second ring, and THEN thrown to the outside. If you think that sounds convoluted for no reason, you would be correct. This goes 25 minutes which is ridiculously long, but there were some good moments in this. Vader being a monster and dominating everyone, Steamboat & Arn mixing it up, miscommunication within the Dangerous Alliance, Sting being the most popular man in the company. This is all essentially a long story to build to a Sting vs Lex Luger match in the near future. As battle royals go, pretty decent however super long (2.25). Very little in terms of good wrestling, but relatively good for storyline progression. Oh, and of course your friendly neighbourhood Arachnaman.

MOTN- Lex Luger & Arn Anderson vs Terrence Taylor & Tom Zenk

#103: Bunkhouse Stampede, January 24th 1988. 32.5%

It's inarguable that Dusty Rhodes is one of the greatest minds in wresting history. He's responsible for Wargames, The Great American Bash & can be credited for the success of NXT after it stopped being a reality show. However, even geniuses make mistakes. Dusty has never been perfect and has made plenty of booking errors, I mean he was behind all things good and bad from the late 90s till the early 90s. The Bunkhouse Stampede is another one of his creations, which was another flop. There have been 3 Bunkhouse Stampede matches on record prior to this, all 3 won by Dusty. Talent didn't really like this but surely the first match on a PPV would be a different result right? Right?

Nikita Koloff defends the TV Championship against Bobby Eaton, who is a US tag champion. This went to a 20 minute time limit draw, I'm sure Eaton is capable on putting on an exciting 20 minutes but Koloff not so much. This was slow and littered with rest holds. Boring and time-wasting (1). Barry Windham defends the Western States Heritage title against Larry Zbyzsko. Hey it's another match 20 minutes long, at least this had a winner and some offence. Another long match however it had a decent finish (1.5). Ric Flair defends the NWA title against Hawk. Another 20 minute match but this one was good. I always thought the Road Warriors sucked so I had low expectations, but Flair carries him to a good match even if it had a dumb screwy finish. A road warrior shall never lose clean (3).

So the main event already. A Bunkhouse Stampede match inside a Steel Cage. We have Dusty Rhodes, Arn Anderson, Ivan Koloff, Lex Luger, The Barbarian, Animal, Tully Blanchard & The Warlord. You win by throwing your opponent over the top of the cage. That's very silly. It's an important rule however, because people exiting and entered through the cage door without consequence! What?! This was largely boring, 25+ minutes of awkward brawling and waiting until its time to eliminate. Nothing really happened. Nice story build between the Horsemen & Luger, I guess? Mostly bad, and guess who won? Dusty fucking Rhodes. He got a lot of shit for this, and we never saw a Bunkhouse Stampede match again. Good riddance, it's a bad gimmick match that purely exists to stroke Dusty's ego (1). This definitely deserves a lower position in the list, but it's saved by its short card and short PPV run time.

MOTN- Ric Flair vs Hawk

#102: Clash of the Champions 15, June 12th 1991. 32.7%

Knocksville USA is the tagline for the show, because we're in Knoxville. Punny. That's about as much as I have to say about this show. This would be Flair's last Clash for a while because of Jim Herd being GREAT at his job and stripping him of the title, resulting in Flair's defection to the WWF. This show has 11 matches, which is ridiculous for a clash. 11 matches could be considered excessive for a PPV, nevermind a TV special.

6-man tag to start, as the Freebirds take on the Young Pistols & Tom Zenk. This is short but we get some fast paced action from the Pistols & Zenk. This was about as good as it possibly could be for the time given (2). Oz vs Johnny Rich next. 90 seconds long and not good at all. Oz never fails to make me laugh, for all the wrong reasons (0.25). Danny Spivey vs Big Josh, another short match that isn't very good. Little chemistry but some of what Spivey did looked aight (0.75). Dustin Rhodes vs Terrence Taylor in theory could be a pretty good match. Unfortunately, they were given under 5 minutes and a DQ finish to work with sooo they tried (1.5). Sting takes in Nikita Koloff next in an actual match now. Pretty solid, well booked match as Nikita dominated for 90% of it but the resilient Stinger manages a roll-up victory. Both guys look good, match was decent and neither character is damaged, win-win-win (2.5).

'Loser Leaves Town' match as Arn Anderson & Barry Windham face El Gigante & Brian Pillman. The final match for El Gigante and you know what, it might just be his best. This wasn't good, don't get me confused, but it was only 3 minutes and for what we got it was decent. Probably because we see no moves from the tall one. Well, bye bye Gigante, what a fantastic investment you were. Pillman wouldn't be gone for long as he began wrestling under the persona "Yellow Dog". Or is it a fursona? Probably not (1.5). The Steiners defend their tag titles against Masahiro Chono & Hiroshi Hase. Fantastic this, they get under 10 minutes to work and BOY do they work. This is pretty much their classic at the WCW/New Japan Supershow condensed into 8 minutes. Great action, hidden gem I highly recommend watching (3.75). Diamond Studd faces Tommy Rich next. 2 minutes long, not very good. Same shit, different wrestlers (0.5).

Lex Luger vs The Great Muta, the winner will be the number 1 contender for the world title. This was again under 5 minutes but quite entertaining. I quite liked the spot of Luger protecting his eyes with the mist, smart Lexie. Luger wasn't too good here but Muta has talent pouring out of his follicles so it's still fun (1.75). Steve Austin faces Joey Maggs next, and by the time you've read this sentence Austin hit a stun gun and won within 20 seconds. What's the point in that? (0). 2/3 Falls main event for the world title, Ric Flair defends against Bobby Eaton. I don't think anyone expected Eaton to win, but everyone expected this to be a good match. It was good, very good to be fair. I can't help but think how good it could have been if it wasn't rushed to finish in 15 minutes. A 30 minute classic would have been awesome and done wonders for Eaton as a singles star. Still, this was real good. An old school formula but a formula that worked (3.5). 2 matches worth checking out here, the rest is either fine or bad but definitely not worth spending time on. Most of it is too short.

MOTN- The Steiners vs Masahiro Chono & Hiroshi Hase

#101: Slamboree, May 9th 1999. 32.8%

The May tradition since '93 continues with Slamboree. Remember when it was a show to honour legends? I always thought that was a great idea with the correct execution. Now it's just another PPV, which isn't the worst thing ever but a legends tribute gave the PPV schedule a touch of variety. This is the last PPV with WCW's current logo, they would introduce the weird new one that looks carved out of tin foil.

Rey Mysterio & Kidman defend the tag championships against Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko as well as Raven & Saturn. The best choice for an opener with some of WCW's most exciting talent facing off. A lack of tag psychology but we knew that would happen, they all went out and put together a thrilling encounter (3.25). From that we go to one of the worst WCW matches ever, Konnan vs Stevie Ray. This was an excruciating 6 minutes of wrestling. It was like watching toddlers squabble over a toy. They had zero chemistry, making their offence worse than usual which was already pretty sucky. You can see why they quickly put Stevie back into a tag team shortly after (0). Brian Knobbs faced Bam Bam Bigelow in a Hardcore match. Another clone of old ECW here, though I'll admit they incorporated a bit more wrestling than the usual hardcore match. This was pretty fun to watch even if it was uninspired (2).

Booker T defends the TV Championship against Rick Steiner. Another okay outing though Rick was a step behind I thought. He still hit some good offence but it was Booker who looked like the star here. Interesting decision to put the title on Rick, the first time he's won singles gold since Starrcade '88. I liked how his brother helped him, mirroring how Booker won the title. Not bad (1.5/5). Next we have Charles Robinson, referee turned Lil Naitch, taking on Gorgeous George who is flanked by Randy Savage, Madusa & Miss Madness (who would become Molly Holly in future). I thought that George was a celebrity when I first watched this due to the crowd reactions, but nah she's just a wrestling valet for Macho Man. For a match between two non-wrestlers, this was entertaining. Hard to call it good, but I didn't want to turn it off at any point which is a plus for WCW. Hogan should take notes. Fun fact, Gorgeous George was part of a Horror Punk/Heavy metal band called Gorgeous Frankenstein. That's usually something I'd be into but they're not all that great (1). Scott Steiner defends the US Championship against Buff Bagwell next. This was alright, the feud was pretty hot and Bagwell was weirdly over but the match didn't live up to the excitement of the rivalry. We're getting the Steiner's back together though, so that's a win (2).

Ric Flair vs Roddy Piper next, with the WCW Presidency on the line once again. I've already talked about their bad match at Great American Bash '99, this happened a few months prior. This one wasn't as bad, but it wasn't good either. It was a fine clash of legends which again ended in a DQ finish. It's a shame really, but we do have a good Flair-Piper Clash to talk about in the distant future (1.25). Next we have Sting vs Goldberg. They ran through the motions, about as basic of a match as can expect from these two. I was surprised that there was little fan response for these guys, but I guess even they smelt shit in the air. This was alright but it ended in a No contest after a Bret Hart interference. A show loaded with interference finishes and DQs made this finish feel even more cheap (1.75). Diamond Dallas Page defends the WCW Title against Big Sexy, Kevin Nash. This was decent for a while, they had alright chemistry. DDP going for a pin on the outside made him look stupid. Also we got ANOTHER DQ finish, but our lord and saviour Eric Bischoff came out and restarted it and it just felt flat afterwards. Also, why did you decided not to restart any of the other matches? Bit biased I think. Nash win the title here. That means in the space of a month DDP won the title, lost the title, won back the title, turned heel, and lost it again. That's like a year's story in 1 month. Standard WCW (2). Downhill from match 1, this felt like a TV episode rather than a PPV.

MOTN- Mysterio & Kidman vs Benoit & Malenko

#100: Souled Out, January 25th 1997. 33.1%

Finishing off today's article we enter the top 100 shows in WCW's history. This show was the first to be advertised as an nWo show. The nWo has exploded with success in the final months of '96, it was the coolest thing in wrestling. In storyline, the nWo were bullying WCW to give them what they want or they're going to take it. Part of that was having their own PPV. It's such a good idea, the nWo breathed a much needed breath of life into Western wrestling creativity. Whilst the nWo vs WCW story was bubbling hot, this show unfortunately was not. How old is it going to get seeing a crooked nWo referee officiate every match on this card? Or having nWo on commentary? Or hearing the same nWo theme song over and over and over? Great idea but somewhat sloppy execution.

First up we have nWo representative Masahiro Chono vs Chris Jericho. The action between these two was decent as expected, but the story here was referee Nick Patrick ruling against Jericho making it unfair. Perfectly average show opener (2.5). We have a Mexican Death match between nWo's Big Bubba & Hugh Morrus. This is essentially a last man standing match. This was a clunky brawl between two below average workers at the time. Again we have the story of Patrick favouring the nWo by turning a blind eye to interference and counting slower for Morrus. This isn't good, though props to Morrus for bumping for a motorcycle, it looked rough (1/5). Next we have Jeff Jarrett vs nWo's M. Wallstreet. This is a bad match, with the same trope of the referee being biased that has quickly gotten old by this point. This was disappointing considering what both guys are capable of. The bigger story was the involvement of Debra and McMichael, the latter being pressured by the former to help Jarrett score the win. It wasn't that interesting to be honest (0.5). Former teammates collide as nWo's Buff Bagwell faces Scotty Riggs. These two made up the American Males, a subpar tag team with a shitty but funnily catchy theme. This match had heat and exceed my expectations though I admit they were low. The action was decent but dragged down by the continuation of Patrick being a douche (1.75).

Diamond Dallas Page faces nWo's Scott Norton. This was less about the match and more about nWo wanting to recruit DDP. They have a decent back and forth until Bagwell & the Black & white gang appear and offer Page a spot in the group. He appears to accept but he drops Norton with a cutter, clears the ring and legs it through the crowd. The angle was solid to getting DDP over but the match wasn't all that (1.5). nWo founders Scott Hall & Kevin Nash defend the tag gold against The Steiners. This was a solid tag match between 2 established teams. The Outsiders looked real strong but the Steiners were the stars here. It had the usual Nick Patrick bullshit but he was knocked down, allowing WCW referee Randy Anderson to emerge from the crowd and count the pinfall for the good guys. They had to vacate them the next night due to Randy's actions, but whatever (2.5). Eddie Guerrero defends the US title against Syxx in a ladder match. Match of the night by a country mile. This was a real unexpected gem of a match. It starts off as a solid match but ramps up into an exciting daredevil contest. Also, it was refreshing to watch a match that Patrick had little involvement in. I liked the finish too, with the title falling to the floor and Guerrero being the first to pick it up. I don't think I've seen a match end in that way before or since. Great stuff (3.75).

They've been running a Miss NWO pageant throughout the show inbetween matches. It's been dreadful, loads of corny questions and corny answers that the fans really didn't care about. It was so badly organised, the women didn't seem to have anything prepared so it was just off the cuff lines that didn't land and often wasn't even picked up by the microphone. It gets worse, as they all dance around and eventually some "mature" lady is chosen as the winner. What a blast. A horrendous series of segments that would have been fine with any sort of care and organisation. Our main event is between two nWo members for the world title, Hulk Hogan defends against the Giant. The Giant won WW3 so got this opportunity, he's been teasing a split from the nWo for a little while. Another bad main event between these two. Anytime these two fought they kept referencing Hogan vs Andre from Wrestlemania 3. Why? Sure it was iconic but the match SUCKED. I guess because this also sucked, a phoned in match with no redeeming factors. It ends in a no contest too because they're booked into a corner (0). In storyline, having the nWo want their own PPV is a great idea however in execution its very limiting and it ultimately backfired.

MOTN- Eddie Guerrrero vs Syxx

Whew, another 20 down. Talking about the really bad matches is fun, it's the mediocre matches between two nobodies that are the hardest to talk about, because who cares? We're slowly getting better and better though, soon we'll be talking about 5 star classics I can feel it. Thank you for reading, tune in next week for part 4. If you want to stay in then loop follow my socials I promptly post after an upload. Until next time, see ya!


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