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  • Connor Ewens

Every WCW PPV Reviewed & Ranked: Part 5

Nǐ hǎo and welcome back to our WCW series of ranking and reviewing. We're slowly crawling towards better matches and better shows. No 5 star rating today unfortunately, but we will discuss some great matches and some interesting circumstances. Let us continue with another 20 entries into the WCW Ranked & Reviewed.

#79: Halloween Havoc, October 25th 1992. 37.1%

"Spin the wheel, make the deal". Great tagline for a great concept. I honestly don't know why WCW didn't keep this as a yearly tradition. They did it for this show and the next one, but never again. It's a great idea, it creates intrigue and teases many possible scenarios with nearly all of them exciting. Unfortunately on this night, one of the worst options was chosen.

Before that though, we have 6-man tag action. Michael Hayes, Bobby Eaton & Arn Anderson take on Tom Zenk, Johnny Gunn & Shane Douglas. 3 veterans of tag wrestling against 3 younger up and comers. It's a decent contest, the veterans do a carry job here but the young "faces" put in a good effort. I quote faces because the youngsters got showered in boos, I assume because the legends were more over with the usually smark Philly crowd (2.5). Ricky Steamboat vs Brian Pillman next. A great pairing, Steamboat is an easy to cheer face against Pillman playing a massive dick. Good wrestling that put Pillman over even though he lost, he looked good (3.25). Vader defends the US title against Nikita Koloff under no DQ rules. Rick Rude is the champion, but he's challenging for the World Heavyweight title later in the evening and he filed a lawsuit to prevent him from wrestling twice. Smart heeling. This was essentially a squash, but my god was it entertaining. I can't rate it too high for how short it was but I really enjoyed this. Vader murdered him in entertaining fashion (2.75).

Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes defend both the NWA & WCW tag titles against Steve Williams & Steve Austin. A lot of plan changes here. Initially, this was Steve Williams & Terry Gordy vs The Steiners, but Rick obtained an injury so the titles were put on Windham & Rhodes to face Williams & Gordy. THEN, Gordy left WCW to not damage his relations in Japan. The Steiners worked for New Japan, Gordy worked for All-Japan and out if loyalty he pulled out. So Austin subs in instead. This goes to the 30 minute time limit, it had some dull moments because of this but also it had great psychology and good action. This would have been rated much higher if it was 10/15 minutes shorter (3). This has been a pretty good show thus far, unfortunately all that changes from now. Masahiro Chono defends the NWA Heavyweight title against Rick Rude. AWFUL match. 20+ minutes of rest holds, zero psychology and zero excitement. I was going to give this a low rating until the BS finish. There's two referees, one for each wrestler. Chono chose Kensuke Sasaki and Rude chose Harley Race. Sasaki gave Chono the victory via submission, however Race overrules him and rules a DQ win for Rude because Chono threw him over the top rope, a stupid rule WCW used for too long. It doesn't even make sense because the match is under NWA rules which does NOT include the stupid over the top DQ. Biggest waste of time ever (0). Ron Simmons defended his WCW Title successfully against The Barbarian. A basic match that was barely TV quality. Great for Simmons winning the belt but he was given shit opponents during his reign (1).

Main event time, Sting vs Jake Roberts. Earlier, Sting span the wheel. Some very exciting options on there; Barbed Wire match, Cage match, Dog Collar match, I Quit match, First Blood match, Texas Death match, Texas Bullrope match and a Spinners choice. Some questionable options on there too; Russian chain match, Prince of Darkness match (what?), Lumberjack with belts match (WHAT?). The option that it landed on was possibly the worst option, a Coal Miners Glove match. It's basically a "...on a Pole match" but it's supposed to be a lethal weapon, but no one sells being hit by it like it should so no one buys that it's a worthwhile prop. This is a painfully slow match, just back and forth trying and failing to grab the glove with little in between. Eventually, Jake is given his snake by Cactus Jack but Sting has the glove and he punches Roberts, falling and suffering the snake bite while Sting pins him. Dumbass finish to a dull-ass match (0.5). The show started off quite strong, but completely fell off in the final third and it drags the show right down.

MOTN- Ricky Steamboat vs Brian Pillman

#78: Road Wild, August 9th 1997. 37.2%

The inaugural Road Wild show here, last year at Sturgis it was called Hog Wild. Eric Bischoff defends the Sturgis show in an attempt to boost PPV buys, which is fair enough. However, running a PPV event where you're expecting to make next to nothing on ticket sales is not a smart business plan. They blame expenses on its failure, which is another fair point, however you wouldn't have to worry about expenses if you made MORE MONEY. Road Wild was a terrible PPV idea that was just a small corner piece in a larger puzzle of WCW needlessly haemorrhaging money. Also, the crowds sucked because some of them aren't wrestling fans but they're willing to check out a show that isn't costing them any money.

Our opener is Vicious & Delicious (Scott Norton & Buff Bagwell) vs Harlem Heat. Average tag match to start, not bad but not exciting either (2). Konnan faces Rey Mysterio in a Mexican Death match, which is essentially a no DQ match. Konnan is often remembered for his bad performances in WCW, however with the right opponent he could go. Mysterio is the right opponent for pretty much anyone. A good match however no use of the no DQ stipulation questions why it was even advertised as such (3). Steve McMichael & Chris Benoit, representing the Horsemen, take on Dean Malenko & Jeff Jarrett. A decent tag match built around the everlasting Mongo vs Jarrett feud over the lovely Debra. Any match featuring Malenko & Benoit would be difficult to call bad (2.25). Alex Wright defends the Cruiserweight title against Chris Jericho. A competitive match, Y2J really brought out the best in Wright as this is one of his better outings. I still don't find Wright particularly interesting to watch (2.75). Ric Flair vs Syxx next, FKA 123 Kid, AKA X-Pac. Did Sean Waltman call himself Syxx because 1+2+3=6? That's kinda genius. A pretty average match but it's intention was to give Syxx a brush alongside greatness. It wasn't bad, but I don't think Syxx was a particularly good matchup for Flair. The nature boy got the loudest reactions of the show so far (2).

An okay start to a show that declines from here. DDP takes on Curt Hennig next. It's not bad, but the two ref bumps and Flair interfence felt a bit excessive and detracted from the match. I love both these guys, I think they could have a better match than this (1.75). Randy Savage takes on The Giant. Good psychology I guess, as Savage spends 90% of the match avoiding the Giant and 10% kicking his leg. Giant remains dominant and wins with a chokeslam pretty quickly. Easy pass on this one (0.5). The Outsiders defend the tag titles against the Steiners. Ahh I was disappointed by this, many times we've seen the Steiner's win but be stripped of the titles after and guess what? It happens AGAIN! A solid match but for 15 minutes of a slow beatdown segment for the same finish as Steiners win by DQ instead of a pinfall, it was really cheap to me (1.75). Our main event is for the WCW title, the champion Hulk Hogan...sorry, hold on. *checks notes* The champion LEX LUGER defends against the challenger Hulk Hogan. That's weird to say in this time. Yes on the 1000th episode of Nitro, Luger beat Hogan for the belt and defends it in a rematch here 6 days later. Take a guess, do you think he retains? Of course he fucking didn't!! I don't know why they did the title change, to pop a rating maybe? Reward Luger? At least the match circumstances were different for a change. The match though, was not. Your usual long, boring Hogan main event match with a crap finish. "Sting" comes out and betrays WCW, helping Hogan regain the title. Obviously, this wasn't Sting, it was an imposter later known to be nWo Sting. A weak finish because it blatantly was not Sting (0.75). Half okay and half bad, not helped by an awful crowd that was quiet for 80% of it.

MOTN- Konnan vs Rey Mysterio Jr.

#77: Clash of the Champions 32, January 23rd 1996. 37.5%

2 years after this show, I was 1 day old. A tiny little bean in my mother's arms. This show is very mid, but there are some very interesting moments here to talk about. The majority of this show is dominated by the wedding of Sister Sherri & Colonel Robert Parker. Wrestling weddings never go to plan so of course some tomfoolery went down. During the opening dark match, Steven Regal wrestled Chris Benoit. It was a cursed match, as Regal would injure his knee whilst Benoit bled from his eye. For a match only seen by a couple thou! Also during the last match of the show, a dark match between One Man Gang & Disco Inferno, apparently at least 75% of the crowd left before it finish. That's funny. I don't blame them.

We open with Public Enemy vs Nasty Boys. As expected just a brawl. It was okay if dull at times. They put each other through tables and the referee calls for a double DQ. This was short at least (1.5). Dean Malenko vs Alex Wright. Short and sweet. Malenko is so smooth in the ring, Wright just had to be in the ring at Malenko can spin a solid match around him. Shame Wright couldn't resist fucking the finish by kicking out when he shouldn't have (2.5). We're supposed to get Disco Inferno vs Kevin Sullivan but "unfortunately" Disco isn't here, he's attending the wedding. THANK GOD. Inferno sends an Elvis impersonator, who Sullivan beats up. Elvis impersonators never have, will or be entertaining. At the Chapel, Bunkhouse Buck & Dick Slater arrive but no sign idea Col. Parker. Ru-roh. After promos from Sting, Luger & Orndorff we go back to the Chapel. Parker finally shows up and he tries to borrow 50 bucks from Mean Gene. He gambled all his money in Vegas. He receives a phone call and we believe it's Sherri, asking about if the wedding is happening or not.

Brian Pillman takes on Eddie Guerrero next. Pillman is deep into his infamous Loose Cannon gimmick, which generates some very entertaining moments in his final days in WCW. An iconic moment during this match, when Pillman shoots as he walks past Bobby Heenan, grabbing him and pulling off his jacket. This led to Heenan loudly proclaiming "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?" Live on air. Hilarious, I do feel for Heenan who was concerned for his wellbeing due to a neck injury, but he gave us a brilliant moment here. Outside of Pillman's entertaining antics, this was just average. Didn't get much time and the time it had was spent too much on Pillman being a loon (2). Sting & Lex Luger defend the tag titles against the Blue Bloods. A formulaic tag match that was below average, Luger botched a couple moves quite badly and it lost all steam after that (1.5). Back at the Chapel, Harlem Heat are there complaining. Sherri arrives and is upset upon hearing about Parkers money issues. She gets more upset when their trailer is inaccessible thanks to Buck & Slater locking the keys in there. Parker suggests a cheaper option of a drive-thru wedding. Yikes.

Konnan faces Psychosis, for the Mexican title? What Mexican title? He wasn't the AAA champion, and WCW didn't have a Mexican championship. Did WCW just make up a title? Probably. Psychosis did some great stuff here, whereas Konnan did some bad stuff. Psychosis looked slick whilst Konnan exposed how choreographed the match was. Not bad thanks to one person, but not good thanks to another (2). Back to the Chapel, AGAIN, one final time. Parker tries to get money out of Mean Gene again. Gene offers to give Sherri away. After a break, we have the wedding ceremony. Sherri isn't in white, she's in red. Sherri denies the claim that she spoke to the Colonel on the phone earlier. Hmm. Whilst Harlem Heat, Buck & Dick Slater sing the wedding march, Disco Inferno dances. The Madusa appears and attacks Sherri! Parker tries and fails to break it up. The wedding falls apart, and all of the time spent of segments was for almost no pay off. We close with Randy Savage & Hulk Hogan vs Ric Flair & The Giant. A below average match, but not as bad as most Hulk matches around this time. I'm happy that Flair & Giant didn't lose, I'm surprised they didn't do the job, brother (1.75). Nothing stands out on this show, the most entertaining thing was Heenan saying FUCK. Not worth the watch just for one sweary man.

MOTN- Dean Malenko vs Alex Wright

#76: Superbrawl: Revenge, February 18th 2001. 37.5%

Ahh 2001, an amazing year for pro wrestling, unless you're a WCW fan. This was the second to last PPV that WCW produced before their purchase by Vinnie Mac's Wrestling Shack. Just prior to this show, WCW lost a deal with potential buyer Fusient Media. The deal was made between the two companies and seemingly confirmed, with Eric Bischoff set to be president of WCW going forward. However, FM quickly realised how much debt WCW had put themselves in. Their initial big of $70 million quickly dropped to $6 million. The sale was cancelled due to this. Funny enough, WWE would only pay $4.2 million for WCW as Turner executives decided they wanted rid of the wrestling company at any means.

We start with cruiserweight action, a 6-man, 4 corners match. That makes zero sense. It's a 6-man eliminator featuring Shane Helms, Evan Karagias, Kaz Hayashi, Jamie Knoble, Shannon Moore & Yun Yang. 3 sets of tag teams in this one but it's every man for themselves. A very fast opener with plenty of exciting action, unfortunately the score is lowered by botches mainly in the form of Moore being shit. Plenty of fun here though and a good win for Shane Helms who has a bright future (3.25). Hugh Morris vs The Wall next. On the positive side, at least this isn't General E. Rection vs Captain AWOL. That's all the good I can say. A painful 10 minute match (0.5). Chuck Palumbo & Sean O'Haire defend the tag titles against Mark Jindrak & Shawn Stasiak, as the Natural Born Thrillers explode. 4 of WCW's younger talents in decent tag action. They're all still a touch green but they put in a decent effort (2.25).

Chavo Guerrero defends the Cruiserweight title against Rey Mysterio Jr. Rey dons little devil horns instead of a mask now, because horns are definitely cooler and more marketable than a stupid mask right? A very good match, although not immune to a few slips and botches. Chavo particularly looked great in this one, it's a shame WWE never really fully capitalised on his ability (3.5). Rick Steiner defends the US title against Dustin Rhodes. I often forget about Dustin's return to WCW. He initally returned as 'Seven', a character that apparently wasn't some form of child abducting creepy even though it definitely seemed that way. He actually wrestled as 'The American Nightmare', years before his little brother would use the moniker. An average match between an out of shape Rhodes and a out of shape, past his prime Rick Steiner (2). Totally Buff vs Kronik next. If you think it's insane that Lex Luger was still wrestling PPV's in 2001, you would be right. He would have been 42, he still looked muscular but he was so far from in-ring shape. Terrible match between two terrible teams, Brian Clarke wasn't even cleared so it was a handicap match really. Only 6 minutes but that is 6 minutes too much (0.25).

Lance Storm vs The Cat for the commissioner role, because all jobs should be regularly contested in fights. Mainly a brawl, which is weird considering neither guy are brawlers. One is a great wrestler, the other is Ernest 'The Cat' Miller. Not very good (1). Kanyon takes on Diamond Dallas Page. Enjoyable match until the screwy finish, which isn't surprising. Not a bad feud for the time, but yeah, not a very fulfilling finish (2.5). This leads directly into our next match, which is DDP vs Jeff Jarrett. I enjoyed this a little more than the last. It was riddled with interference and overbooked to shit but it was fun. Could have been a barn burner without the excessive booking though (2.75). In our main event, Scott Steiner defends the WCW Title against Kevin Nash, who is defending his career. How sad it would be to not see Nash anymore in WCW. He was known for having such epic encounters with....oh, nevermind. A bad main event with crazy levels of overbooking for Steiner to win, bear in mind he's being advertised as a freak of nature powerhouse. I guess big sexy gotta be kept looking strong. It's almost hilarious this match, it's like Steve Austin vs Dude Love when Vince keeps changing the rules, except significantly worse. FAR WORSE (0.75). A couple good matches, but a triad of dogshit wafts an awful smell throughout the show.

MOTN- Chavo Guerrero vs Rey Mysterio

#75: Superbrawl 8, February 22nd 1998. 37.5%

After absolutely butchering the first attempt, we have the second attempt at Sting vs Hogan for the WCW title. Although it's advertised as Sting vs Hogan II, it's actually Sting vs Hogan III. They had a rematch on Nitro which ended in a no contest. An unnecessary lie. Another unnecessary lie is that this show aired in San Francisco. It aired from Daly City, just south of San Fran. I guess Daly City isn't a cool place to air a wrestling show. Will Sting vs Hogan III suck just like the previous two?

We start with Rick Martel defending the TV title against Booker T. I also forgot about Martel's brief run in WCW. He was a 25 year pro at this point and racked up a few injuries so he wasn't at his best. He Still did pretty good though, being a good heel and putting over Booker well. A solid opener (2.75). Booker T will now face Saturn with the title on the line, Saturn sneak attacked him before hand. I thought this match wasn't as good as the first, but still an enjoyable match. Booker T wins two matches back to back to start and that puts him over strong (2.25). La Parka vs Disco Inferno next, the winner will be able to say they're the better dancer. What high stakes. La Parka is the superior dancer, but unfortunately he loses here so he can't claim to be. A pretty solid match, the crowd was quite but it didn't detract too much from La Parka being the coolest guy in WCW. Inferno was alright (2.5). Goldberg squashed Brad Armstrong next, entertaining standard Goldberg match (1).

Cruiserweight championship Chris Jericho faces Juventud Guerrera in a title vs mask match. These two had a great rivalry which produced some great matches. This is one of them. It remained exciting from start to finish. Jericho was in great form both as a worker and a heel (3.75). From that we go to Steve McMichael vs British Bulldog. What a mess. They had zero chemistry and the match had no rhythm or structure. The worst thing on this show, a diabolical match that doesn't reflect well on either man (0). We get back on track when DDP defends the US title against Chris Benoit, a hard fought battle between two of WCW's best talents. Back when WCW didn't force interferences and overbooking on match-ups that are great without all the theatrics (3.75). Randy Savage vs Lex Luger under no DQ rules. Not very good. Mainly an angle to further the dissension between Savage and the nWo. Savage dominates for 99% of this match, and it's unfortunately barely fun. Luger finally goes on a comeback, racking Savage but the nWo come out to target Luger. I think the match is ruled a submission, but I'm not quite sure (0.5/5).

The Steiner Brothers defend the tag titles against the Outsiders. More of an angle again but a better one. After a couple minutes, Scott turns on his brother and attacks him. Rick surprisingly kicks out and manages to fight a small comeback but eventually wars an Outsiders Edge and loses. Soon, we would be introduced to 'Big Poppa Pump' (1.25). Time to finally crown a world champion, Sting vs Hulk Hogan. Is it better than the previous two matches. I'd say yes. Is it by much? Not at all. I'd still avoid this one. A usual Hogan match with his bad wrestling and bad selling, Sting's offence looked decent. But sooo much overbooked nonsense, because I ain't never losing clean, brother. The entire nWo came out during a ref bump but it was Savage attacking Hogan which dealt the killing blow (1). Not an awful show, there's some enjoyable stuff in the first 2/3s.

MOTN- Chris Jericho vs Juventud Guerrera

#74: Clash of the Champions 11, June 13th 1990. 38.5%

We're building towards the Great American Bash show, with the main feuding surrounding Sting against Ric Flair and the Horsemen. Clash: Coastal Crush is headlined with the old JYD challenging Flair for his world title. Should Junkyard Dog be getting world title shots in the 90s? Not at all. Should he be getting world title matches at anytime? Not really.

We open with the Fabulous Freebirds vs Wide-Eyed Southern Boys. A well executed match, Smothers & Armstrong are good workers against the veterans (2). Bam Bam Bigelow takes on Tommy Rich. A weird match, it's short and it's almost a squash for Bigelow but he gets DQ'd for choking to protect Rich for some reason. Bad match and bad booking (0.5). Samoan Swat Team faces Mike Rotunda & Tom Zenk. An average tag match with a below average finish, how can Rotunda & Zenk swap places they don't even look the same? (1.75). IT'S THE UNDERTAKER!! Pre-dead version. Mean Mark Callous faces Brian Pillman. A short match but an enjoyable one. Pillman bumps like a pro and Mark is solid in the ring, it lacked meat to make this a good match though (2). Midnight Express defends the US tag titles against the Rock 'N Roll Express. Two of the best tag teams ever mixing it up, of course it was good. A shitty DQ finish but the action was good if a little simple (3).

Doug Furnas vs Barry Windham next. Furnas is usually a solid worker but he has zero charisma. This is a good match, but I mark it down for a couple of botches in this by Furnas which unfortunately disrupts the flow a little. Windham did his best to cover the weaknesses (2.75). Lex Luger defeats Sid Vicious in SECONDS with 1 clothesline. What the fuck is this? (0). Doom & the Steiners battle over the NWA tag titles. A very enjoyable match, the Steiners brought the best out of both Simmons and Reed in this one. Two beefy teams going at it and it was great (3.25). Paul Orndorff vs Arn Anderson next. Two veterans here and it's as good as expected. A classic old-style wrasslin' match, it's kept simple and it works (3). Our main event is Ric Flair defending the world title against the JYD. Not very good. The Dog's offence looked bad, at least Flair bumped like a pro. After a short while it ends in a DQ and we get a big brawl between the Horsemen & Sting's team of allies the Dudes with Attitudes. More of a segment to build the Flair vs Sting storyline (1).

MOTN- Doom vs The Steiners

#73: Sin, January 14th 2001. 38.5%

As WCW limped towards its seemingly inevitable death, it was around this time when there was a glimmer of hope that WCW would be saved my investors. The rumoured purchase of the company by Fusient Media provided a much needed boost to continue production as usual. Judging of the names of these shows, I think WCW were planning PPVs names relating to the 7 deadly sins or acts of sin in general. Sin replaced Souled Out which ran for 4 years. Good riddance, it freshened up a PPV schedule that desperately needed it, and the Souled Out shows were mostly bad anyways.

Chavo Guerrero defends the Cruiserweight title against Shane Helms. From '96 until '98 the WCW cruiserweight division was one of the great things in western wrestling. It fell off in '99 due to bad booking and bad wrestlers, but it had a resurgence in the mid-to-late noughties. Here is an example of some of the best cruisers WCW have to put on an exciting opener (3.5). Big Vito vs Reno next, which absolutely blew away my expectations. This was a tough brawl with stiff shots. Two below average wrestlers pulled out an enjoyable match (2.5). The Jung Dragons face Jamie Knoble & Evan Karagias. What a good match this is. A speed-run tag match with plenty of spots. Close to an excellent match if it wasn't for the botched pin finish (3.75). The Cat takes on Mike Sanders, role of commissioner on the line. Two bad wrestlers here, but surprisingly not the worst match in the world. The crowd was hot into this but it was sloppy a lot of the time (1.5).

Team Canada take on the Filthy Animals in a 'Penalty box' match. Jim Duggan is the referee, former ally of Canada now turned face again. The rules are if you're caught breaking the rules, you are put into the penalty box for a period of time. It's a very distracting stipulation that detracts from the match. However, a 10+ minute match with Lance Storm, Mike Awesome, Rey Mysterio & Billy Kidman all featuring is hard to fuck up. Convoluted booking but an entertaining match (2.75). Terry Funk defends the hardcore title against Meng & Crowbar. Your usual weapon-filled brawl. Pretty enjoyable. Meng is a bad ass (2). The Insiders defend the tag titles against the Natural Born Thrillers, the good two, Palumbo & O'Haire. Nash got less and less enjoyable to watch as time went on, but I rather enjoyed his pairing with DDP. This was a decent bout, tarnished by it's overbooked conclusion. Too many run ins as 5 people ran out, including Lex Luger who looks more like the old lady who wants chocolate in Spongebob (2.25). General Rection defends the US title against Shane Douglas. Avoid this. Bad wrestling combined with a dumb stipulation, a first blood chain on a Pole match. Atrocious (0.25).

Bill Goldberg & DeWayne Bruce vs Totally Buff. A match featuring awful wrestler DeWayne, bad wrestler Bagwell, old mediocre wrestler Luger & wrestler who knows 5 moves Goldberg. The action isn't good but it's survivable, until we see a plant of a fan spray stuff in Goldberg's eyes which leads to the finish. Some ideas you just don't do (0.75/5). Scott Steiner defends the WCW Title against Sid, Jeff Jarrett and a mystery man. We don't see the man until later. Thank god this is under 10 minutes because this SUCKS. It looked like 3 kids wrestling on a trampoline. This is the match where Sid famously does diving big boot from the top rope. The move is now widely banned. Why? Because here, Sid fucked it and snapped his leg upon landing. The mystery man appears with a mask on and attacks Sid helping Steiner pin him. The reveal is...Roadwarrior Animal. CHRIST! Forget anything I said about WCW turning things around in 2001, what an outdated booking choice. Fully awful (0). Very solid show at first, but a wheel fell off at the end of Insiders vs NBT, then the car exploded.

MOTN- Jung Dragons vs Evan Karagias & Jamie Knoble

#72: Superbrawl 9, February 21st 1999. 38.9%

Reliance on the past is a recurring theme on wrestling, and it's a recurring theme of WCW quite often. Remember the dream match for 1992? That would be Ric Flair vs Hulk Hogan. Then, we finally got that dream match 3 years later thanks to WCW. Now, 7 years after the original call for that dream match, Flair vs Hogan is still the marquee main event of a WCW show. That, is one of WCW's biggest internal problem was. Not moving forward with new guys, holding on to the old guard.

Before our geriatric main event we have a so-so undercard. A fun opener with super over Booker T facing super hated Disco Inferno, not a classic but a great warm up (2.25). Chris Jericho took on Perry Saturn in an exciting match weighed down by a weak screwy finish. It made sense in terms of storytelling, it just was a lame finish (2.5). We continue the good start as Billy Kidman defends the Cruiserweight title against Eddie Guerrero. A competitive match that would only be better if they were given more time. All good stuff (3). We're crowning new tag titles after they were vacated when Rick Steiner was injured. He won those titles originally with Buff Bagwell, who turned on him so he chose Kenny Kaos, who got injured so he chose...Judy Bagwell. Mama Buff? Wrestling's STUPID. Barry Windham & Curt Hennig vs Dean Malenko & Chris Benoit. This is a 2-of-3 falls match, kinda, but only Malenko & Benoit need to? It's too confusing to explain. This was long but for the most part it was decent. A near 20 minute match with Malenko & Benoit getting a win, aaaand then losing the second fall and the titles in about 30 seconds. Quite a let down of a finish (1.75). A classic infamous WCW moment next, the Outsiders take on Konnan & Rey Mysterio, hair vs mask. This is the last time we see Rey wearing his mask in WCW, possibly the stupidest idea from creative based off one thing. They did this to make him more marketable. MORE? By making just him another guy instead of a Masked superhero? With Rey being a part of WWE for decades, they will have certainly earned MILLIONS maybe even BILLIONS of cash from his merch sales. Anyways, the match is decent and Rey bumped like a god for his adversaries, just a shame about the booking. Nash put the mask on though which was kinda funny (2.5).

Scott Steiner defends the TV title against DDP. Another good match here, mildly marred by Buff Bagwell's interference but Steiner was in beast mode and DDP was a white hot face. I liked the pass out finish, I think it complemented both characters (3). And now, we arrive at the shit part of the show. Nothing good follows this. Roddy Piper defends the US title against Scott Hall. Terrible match. Both men are past their prime, Hall is in the depths of personal troubles and WCW try to cover all that with intense overbooking. A sad watch (0). Hoss fight next, Goldberg vs Bam Bam Bigelow. It goes over 10 minutes which isn't a good thing for a change. Bigelow was always a great worker so he tries to carry it, with this being 80% Bigelow beatdown until the Goldberg comeback. Not good (1). Main event time. Hollywood vs the Nature Boy. Flair vs Hogan, gold on the line. This was as good as it could have been. A standard Hogan vs Flair match, they ran through all of the usual tropes and sequences. Then, Hogan gets a screwy victory thanks to interference from an attractive lady (who would be Torrie Wilson) and a mask man. Who could it be? It's the son of Ric, David Flair. I didn't care, because David was not a good wrestler or performer. Below average, as good as it could be (1.5). Another case of a decent undercard and underwhelming final third.

MOTN- Billy Kidman vs Eddie Guerrero

#71: Clash of the Champions 3, September 7th 1988. 39%

Trilogies are hard. When the first movie slaps so hard, you try your best to top it with the sequel, which seemingly has a 50/50 chance of bettering or worsening a franchise. The third movie usually is the wackiest, as ideas are slim but the potential income is still high, so it's a case of throwing it all at the wall and seeing what sticks. Usually this leads to the third entry being the worst entry. The third ever Clash follows this by being worse than both 1 & 2, but instead of throwing MORE at the wall they threw less, leading to an unremarkable show. This is the inaugural 'Fall Brawl'.

Mike Rotunda defends the TV title against Brad Armstrong in a competitive match that goes the full 20 minute time limit. Brad Armstrong puts in a great showing, and it was nice storytelling that Rotunda felt like he needed to put away Brad, that a draw felt like a loss to him. Some minor stalling but otherwise good (2.75). The Sheepherders take on Nikita Koloff & Steve Williams. Sheepherders were far better before they landed in WWF and became comedy wrestlers. Apparently they used to be amazing heels in their early years. This was a basic tag match, majority of this was Williams & Koloff kicking Kiwi ass and it was alright (2). Dusty Rhodes vs Kevin Sullivan under no DQ rules. These two had some bloody battles in the early 80s, but this was a farcry from any of that. 7 minutes of punching and kicking, some outside interference then Dusty wins by pinning Gary Hart. Nonsensical (0.75). Ivan Koloff fights Ricky Morton in a Russian Chain match, a fine brawl but a boring one. Lots of the same usual chain offence. I don't usually like chain matches that much, they fall under the strap match umbrella (1.5). Barry Windham defends the US title against Sting in the main event. A good match that follows a simple yet effective heel vs face formula. Shame about the finish, weak ending to the show. Windham wins by using a chair behind the ref's back but San Francisco 49er John Ayres (who is special enforcer) tells the referee and Sting wins by DQ. I mean good for Sting I guess but it doesn't change anything really (2.75). Mediocre, decent opener and main event but nothing outstanding.

MOTN- Sting vs Barry Windham

#70: Clash of the Champions 26, January 27th 1994. 39.2%

Following the events of Starrcade '93, Flair and Vader continued their feud over the world title whereas Sting has entered into a feud with Rick Rude. Two major feuds happening simultaneously? Well wrestling law states that these two feuds must be paired up into a mega tag match! Which is our main event tonight. This is the on-screen debut in WCW for Bobby 'the Brain' Heenan, probably the best non-wrestler acquisition from the Fed WCW ever got.

We open with a pair of Paul's, Roma & Orndorff, taking on 2 Cold Scorpio & Marcus Bagwell. This is pre-pretty wonderful. They should have had a Paul team name. The North Pauls? Pauldancers? There's a good one somewhere. An average match uplifted by Scorpio being entertaining (2). Ron Simmons ran though Ice Train in a couple of minutes. A hoss match but not a very good one. After losing the world title, Simmons floundered around WCW until eventually leaving to the Fed (0.5). After a hilarious Steve Austin promo, Steven Regal defends the TV Championship against Dustin Rhodes. Another one of those time limit Regal matches, almost always decent but also almost always not that exciting. It's always dumb to see the challenger using restholds when they're in a time limit to win (2.25).

Nasty Boys take on Cactus Jack & Maxx Payne, a non-title match. Jack & Payne will earn a title shot if they win, and they do. It started off with a hot brawl and gradually got worse. Not very good, but these 4 would generate two bangers later on in the year (1.75). Colonel Robert Parker takes on Brian Pillman. I expected this to suck because managers wrestling usually does, but Parker was a 20 year veteran before becoming a manager only the previous year. It told a solid story I just wish Pillman went off a bit more, he went for a win rather than a beating on Parker. Not bad though (2). Ric Flair & Sting take on Vader & Rick Rude, elimination tag. This match has two halves, first we have a war of two heated rivalries. Flair & Vader end up getting double counted out, leading to the second half where Sting takes on and overcomes the International Champion. A good main event with a lot of heat, I was disappointed to see Flair & Vader gone early but it fit the narrative (3.25).

MOTN- Ric Flair & Sting vs Vader & Rick Rude

#69: Clash of the Champions 17, November 19th 1991. 39.4%

Closing off a trifecta of Clash reviews, this show is the first since the inaugural one to not have a tagline or second name or whatever you want to call it. Like the last two, it's a VERY mid show. However, it's upheld by one excellent match.

Before we get to that though, we must talk about the rest of the wonderful card. Tommy Rich vs Big Josh in a mediocre brawl of a Lumberjack match anyone? (1.75). How about Bobby Eaton vs Firebreaker Chip in a 5 minute showcase for Bobby? (1). The Diamond Studd squashing Tom Zenk in just over a minute? (1). Steve Austin defending his TV title against PN News in just under 5 minutes? (2). That last one was actually decent thanks to Austin being great. There's just so little to say about these matches, they're all short and lacking substance. Like the next one, Cactus Jack runs through Van Hammer in a couple of minutes. Not bad but too short to be considered worthwhile (1.5). Every match so far is 5 minutes or less, which is okay for weekly TV but the Clash is supposed to be a big TV special with marquee matches. It was still considered important in 1991. Also, there was a segment where Sting opens a final "mystery box" which is revealed to Medusa...until actually its Lex Luger who attacks him. Sting has opened 2 mystery's prior to this and was attacked by heels, so I have no sympathy for this face-painted dumbass.

The Enforcers Arn Anderson & Larry Zbyzsko defends the tag titles against Dustin Rhodes and a mystery partner, replacing the injured Barry Windham. It's....RICKY STEAMBOAT. Great surprise, I'm conditioned for disappointment so this was great. The place is nuclear for Steamboat, Arn & Larry sell Ricky's appearance beautifully. The Enforcers were a great team, Rhodes & Steamboat had killer chemistry, all of these guys worked so flawlessly together. 15 minutes of tag team excellence, it's well paced with a loud crowd and a happy ending. Big recommendation for this match (4). The rest of the show is fine but no where near on the same level. Brian Pillman defends the Light Heavyweight title against Johnny B. Badd, a 5 minute match with good action but it was rushed through the moves (2). Sting defends the US title against Rick Rude in ANOTHER 5 minute match, it was solid and sold the story of Sting suffering with his injury thanks to Lex Luger and his "gifts" (2.5). We close with Lex Luger defending the WCW Title against Rick Steiner. Another average match but at least it goes over 10 minutes for a change. Steiner puts in a great showing to cover for Luger who was confusingly bad throughout this year, but the Bulldog gremlin can only cover so much (2). That tag match is so fucking good, probably Dustin Rhodes' best match until the 2010s.

MOTN- Dustin Rhodes & Ricky Steamboat vs The Enforcers

#68: Souled Out, January 17th 1999. 39.4%

We've talked about January & February a few times in this article. What is it about post-Starrcade shows being largely mediocre. The January-April period of WCW is like September-December for WWE. This show follows the controversial Starrcade the previous month where Nash defeated Goldberg via stunning shenanigans. That would inspire our stun-gun ladder match main event.

Mike Enos faces Chris Benoit to kick off the show. A predictable outcome for sure, but it was a decent match. Enos never broke out bigger than a lower midcarder. Fine showing for Benoit but not a match to remember (2.5). Norman Smiley wrestled Chavo Guerrero for over 15 minutes in near silence. Who booked this? The action was solid but there was negative levels of heat, it felt sounded like pandemic wrestling (1.75). The crowd stayed dead, because they had to watch Fit Finlay vs Van Hammer, a painfully boring match. Hammer's offence looked crap and Finlay sat around in holds mostly (0.25). Wrath vs Bam Bam Bigelow next. Wow, are you trying to send the audience home early? Some nice power moves from Bam Bam but it cruised in first gear from bell to bell (1.25). Lex Luger vs Konnan next in a backwards match. It started hot with the crowd solidly behind Konnan. As time went on and both men failed to be competent or compelling, they fell back into silence again. Not too good (1).

Chris Jericho vs Perry Saturn, the loser must wear a dress. HA, men wearing women's clothing? What hilarity. The action was okay, the referee had been sort of feuding with Saturn recently so it was blatant that there was going to be a screwy finish. Saturn had it won, but the ref rolled Jericho over and fast counted. I don't like that (2). We're finally rewarded for our patience, sitting through a weak card with some excellent cruiserweight action. Kidman defends the gold against Juventud Guerrera, Psychosis & Rey Mysterio. This is a four corners match, where only two are legal and you must tag in or out to participate. A fast-paced spot fest of course, but a change of pace the show desperately needed. Outside of mild botching between Guerrera & Psychosis, all these guys had great sequences with each other. Kidman absolutely killed it in '99 and this was another example of it (4). Curt Hennig & Barry Windham take on Ric & David Flair. David's first ever match and for what it's worth he wasn't too bad. He primarily took a beating and he landed a few moves in the later stages. He's in there with veterans so he's in good company. He never improved from here though (2.25).

We close with Scott Hall vs Goldberg in the stun gun ladder match. You win by, well, tasing your opponent. This was quite the fight, they should have put Goldberg in more no DQ matches, his limited moveset can be covered by usage of weapons and brawling. Hall put in a great effort here, bringing his ladder match expertise to get the best he could out of Goldberg. Why did Bam Bam run out? He ran out whilst Goldberg won via stunning, then Hall grabbed the gun and stunned both men and the show just, ended? What? (2.75). Stop me if you've heard this before, but this was mediocre at best.

MOTN- Juventud Guerrera vs Rey Mysterio vs Kidman vs Psychosis

#67: Starrcade, December 13th 1989. 39.6%

Back to the 80s now, Starrcade has solidified itself as a popular yearly tradition in South-eastern US. WCW decided to mix it up for this years edition of Starrcade. They would try, and fail, to make to Starrcade have a theme for the next couple of years. We've talked about the Battlebowl and the Pat O'Connor tournament, both being underwhelming and overfilling the card with matches. Here we have the Iron Man AND the Iron Team Tournament, two separate round-robins featuring 4 men and 4 teams. 20 points for a pin or submission, 15 for a count out win, 10 for a DQ win, 5 for a draw and 0 for a loss. Is the scoring system unnecessarily complex? 1000%. Will having an entire show around 8 men/teams get old quickly? Yeah.

Our first match is Doom vs The Steiners. Pretty good mostly, the Steiners are awesome. The match spilled outside and Rick narrowly beats the count, winning via CO. 15 points to the Steiners. This was fine (2.5). Sting vs Lex Luger, pretty average with a dusty finish which almost looked like a botch but I don't think it was. Intentionally bad finish? Who knows, Luger gets the pin though so he earns 20 points (2). Doom takes on the Road Warriors next. Weird they wouldn't have the Wild Samoans out for their first match yet. This was pretty boring. Doom control for a bit until the Warriors comeback and win. Meh (1.5). Ric Flair vs Great Muta. "This should be good" I said to myself eagerly. 80s Flair is peak Flair and Muta is an undefeated star at this point. Flair beat him in under 2 minutes. WHAT. Seriously? Who the fuck decided this?!? I mean, the action we got was good but jobbing Muta out to Flair in under 2 minutes? 20pts to Flair. Disgraceful booking (0.5). The Steiner's take on Road Warriors next. SERIOUSLY WHY HAVE THE SAMOANS NOT WRESTLED YET?!?! I hate this. My autism cannot handle. It's a decent match between two legendary teams, could have been bigger and better if it wasn't a throwaway match in a tournament. After a back suplex from Animal to Scott, both men shoulders are down but Scott just lifts them up in time to take the victory and 20pts (2.5). Next up we have Sting vs The Great Muta. These two had some very good encounters previously, but I had doubts they would replicate the same here. It was good, but it felt rushed and missing something. Maybe it was the crushing defeat Muta suffered earlier in the night. Muta loses here again, giving Sting 20pts (2.75).

Wild Samoans finally wrestle a match, their first being against Doom. A 3 minute squash win for the Samoans. This tournament feels like a big FU to Doom & Muta at this point. 20pts to Griffindor. I mean – the Samoans (1). Lex Luger vs Ric Flair next, in a basic Flair vs Luger match but it worked. This went to a time limit draw and it didn't feel like it was blatant so that's good. Best match of the night so far, they earn 5pts each (3). We're down to our final 4 matches so I'll do a quick run down. For the singles; both Luger & Flair have 25, Sting has 20 & Muta has 0. For the tags; Steiners have 35, Warriors & Samoans have 20 and Doom has 0. Samoans vs Steiners next. This nearly goes the distance, but the Steiners are DQ'd in the final minute I guess for Rick being in the ring illegally? Dumb finish which made Steiners look dumb. Such contrived booking. The action was decent (2.25). Luger vs Muta, another decent match with an awful finish as Muta just intentionally DQs himself with the mist. I mean, fair since he was not going to win but its such wasteful booking. They made the rules so specific and booked it so specifically which was bound to cause problems (2).

Entering our final matches. Road Warriors need to defeat the Samoans via pinfall or submission to win. If I'm the Samoans, I immediately grab a chair and DQ myself to win. Of course this doesn't happen, Warriors get a clean victory in an awful 5 minute match riddled with botches. Worst match of the night. Congratulations Road Warriors I guess (0). Our final match, the entire purpose of this whole tournament, is Sting vs Ric Flair. The whole purpose was to develop the Flair/Sting feud for next year, they're both faces within the 4 Horsemen. A lot of faff for one feud. Sting must pin or submit Flair to win. Flair can pin, submit or countout. A tie means Luger wins, but a DQ means we're getting a Flair vs Luger tiebreaker. Luckily, this is indeed the last match. Even better, this match delivers HARD. A great match with great storytelling. It's face vs face but Flair shows brief moments of heeling, getting progressively more and more heel as the match progressed. Sting prevailed reversing the figure four into a small package to win the match and the tournament. Really liked this (3.75). The Horsemen are all still on good terms...for now. Sting would be forced out soon enough. A terribly booked show with a couple good matches and 1 great match. Starrcade would continue to be poorly booked until 1996.

MOTN- Ric Flair vs Sting

#66: World War 3, November 24th 1996. 40%

War! (duh-duh) Huh! (duh-duh) God God! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing! Well, this war has 1 good thing but the rest is pretty much take it or leave it. This is the first WW3 to introduce what we call the "Royal Rumble rule", with the winner getting a World title opportunity. It was already a blatant attempt to copy and surpass WWE, might as well double down.

We peak at the start tonight, Rey Mysterio challenges Ultimo Dragon for his J-Crown Title. The J-Crown is a unification 8 championships across the world, including the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title and the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship. This means technically Ultimo Dragon was a WWF champion whilst working in WCW. He also would go on to win the WCW cruiserweight title and NWA Middleweight title too, carrying 10 titles at once being the most decorated wrestler in history, a record still unbeaten. This is a rematch from 3 months ago, which was a very good match, but this one is even better. Rey takes a beating but shows great babyface fire. Cruiserweights being reliably the best thing on the show, once again (4). Everything else on this show is largely inferior to the opener. Chris Jericho defeated referee Nick Patrick with one hand behind his back. I don't really understand why this was needed. It didn't make Jericho look particularly impressive because sure he won, but Patrick ain't a wrestler (1.25). The Giant wrestles Jeff Jarrett in a largely boring David vs Goliath match. Jarrett looked good, but the real story was the mystery of Sting and his allegiances. He helps the Giant here, so is he pro-nWo? We'll find out (1.5). We get a contract signing segment, which really didn't belong on PPV. A drawn out TV quality segment, but at least it set up a marquee Hogan vs Piper match for Starrcade. The downside here is that it became less about icon vs icon, or sellout vs renegade. It became about Piper and his dodgy hip, because he's old.

The Amazing French Canadians vs Harlem Heat. Hey it's PCO! It's crazy how this guy peaked in 2016, he's a legend. If the Heat win, Sherri gets a match immediately with the Colonel. A basic tag match, nothing more or less (2). Sherri kicks the Colonel's ass for a minute before he and the AFC escape. Dean Malenko defends the cruiserweight title against Psychosis. 2nd best match of the night. The action was good but I can't lie that Psychosis' botch derailed the match for a while. An unfortunate slip that looked painful (2.75). The Outsiders defend the tag titles against the Nasty Boys & the Faces of Fear. A clusterfuck, the referee had zero control of the match and all these guys just did what they want. It's like early AEW tag wrestling, but between significantly less athletic performers (1.5). The 60 man WW3 battle royal closes the show. I'll just run through some of the highlights. Oh wait, there isn't any! As usual it's impossible to watch until we're down the final 20. The final 10 has 4 nWo members and 6 WCW wrestlers. The Giant launches Rey for an elimination which looked cool. WCW guys are eliminated one by one but Lex Luger fires up and eliminates the nWo one by one. Luger & Giant are left and the Giant quickly eliminates him to win. A standard, boring battle royal with almost zero spots (1). I can't believe it took WCW 4 years to realise how shit WW3 was.

MOTN- Ultimo Dragon vs Rey Mysterio

#65: Superstars on the Superstation, February 7th 1986. 40%

BONUS SHOW!!!! Because I'm so giving. This show was recorded on the 2nd and released on delay. This was a special event 2 years before the first ever Clash of the Champions. This was a first attempt at a supershow on Turner's network. Jim Crockett really needed this to succeed and it clearly did to some degree, although it didn't relieve any financial strain. They have some big names in attendance. Willie Nelson, Benny Parsons & Gaylord Perry were all interviewed throughout the show. This is a pretty historic show for the company as it inspired the Clash events which would run for a decade. The matches were dream matches voted on by the fans.

Only 4 matches to talk about. We open with Midnight Express vs Rock 'N' Roll Express for the NWA tag titles. A great match between 4 great wrestlers representing two great teams. Stellar tag psychology and an invested audience (3.5). The Russians Ivan & Nikita Koloff take on the Road Warriors. A weaker match, significantly. Poor in-ring work mixed with the usual no selling BS from the Road Warriors. Why were these so popular? A generational divide. I really don't like them. Oh, also it ended in a DQ, of course (1). Dusty Rhodes takes on Tully Blanchard with the NWA National title on the line. Somehow, an even worse match!! An ugly 20 minute time limit match, that was 15 minutes of stalling, 3 minutes of submissions and maybe 2 minutes of brawling. Horrendous (0.5). Ric Flair defends the NWA World title against Ron Garvin. Good match, a standard Flair outing but he usually got good matches out of Ronny G. Ron has his foot on the rope when pinned, setting up a future rematch (3). Short and sweet, good beginning and end but a vile midcard.

MOTN- Midnight Express vs Rock N Roll Express

#64: Great American Bash, July 12th 1992. 40%

They wouldn't hold another Bash for 3 years after this event. They would keep Beach Blast as their Summer event for another year, later introducing Bash at the Beach. This show is built around two things. The Vader/Sting feud as well as crowning the inaugural NWA World Tag Team Champions. I'm surprised it took the NWA so long to establish their own tag belts, opting to use other companies championships for their programming.

We open with the team of Brian Pillman & Jushin Thunder Liger taking on Nikita Koloff & Ricky Steamboat in our first quarter final match. Great opener here that would have been better if Koloff wasn't involved as he killed the pace at times. Steamboat mixing it up with Pillman & Liger is all I wanted from a 20 minute opener (3.5). The tournament continues with the Fabulous Freebirds vs Shinya Hashimoto & Hiroshi Hase. Shinya is considered 1 of the '3 Musketeers' who dominated and excelled in New Japan in the 80s and 90s. Hase is one of few men to learn under both Antonio Inoki & Giant Baba. He is a current governor who still sporadically wrestles. The Freebirds can't hang with these two at all, but the match is alright (2). Rick Rude & Steve Austin take on Dustin Rhodes & Barry Windham. Another 20 minute match but far from the quality of the opener. Long periods of rest holds and low effort as the winners were saving themselves for the rest of the tournament (1.5). We're already into the semi-finals as Koloff & Steamboat are up against Steve Williams & Terry Gordy. Gordy & Williams defeated the Steiners prior to this show in a QF match. Why wouldn't they have that match on a PPV? Another 20+ minute match that is hella boring. Steamboat can only carry Nikita for so long. Way too much mat work and not enough action. Very dull (1).

Hase & Hashimoto take on Rhodes & Windham. Once again, another match full of mat work and rest holds. Why bring in stars like Hase & Hashimoto if no one is willing to work an exciting, competitive match with them? Dull but at least it's 15 minutes instead of 20 (1.5). Mercifully, we take a break from the tournament as Sting defends the WCW Title against Vader. This is like a blueprint for that excellent Lesnar vs Cena match at Summerslam. Sting isn't prepared for what's coming and he gets decimated for the majority of it. Sting's unpreparedness cost him. They have a better match we'll talk about at some point, but this was still a real good match (3.5). Main event time, crowning the tag champs. Williams & Gordy vs Rhodes & Windham. Fuck me. Same shit as before. 20 minute snoozefest. Bill Watts really sucked the fun out of WCW. Williams & Gordy are at their best when they're throwing stiff strikes and big power moves, not lying on the mat for 20 minutes. Williams & Gordy, who already hold the WCW titles, win this match because Watts has a huge stiffy for his former AWA boys. Disappointing doesn't cover it (1). This is a tough show to watch, everything is so long and booooooring.

MOTN- Sting vs Vader

#63: Clash of the Champions 18, January 21st 1992. 40%

This show would see the debut of Jesse 'The Body' Ventura for WCW, a very early defection from the Fed. It made sense since Ventura spent a lot of the time in the AWA, a place ran by current WCW booker Bill Watts. We're on the road to Superbrawl and with a Flair-less main event we're building toward a Sting & Lex Luger feud. Surprisingly no Luger at all on this show. Good way to build up a feud Bill.

We open with a power move extravaganza as The Steiners take on Vader & Mr Hughes. A non-stop motion of big moves and hard strikes. Probably the best Mr Hughes match ever (3.25). The goods continue rolling when Tracey Smothers & Terry Taylor team up against Marcus Bagwell & Brian Pillman. This is just good tag wrestling, didn't overstay it's welcome and showcased all 4 men's best qualities. No complaints (3). Richard Morton vs Johnny B. Badd next. It's under 5 minutes, but it's not very good. Morton was in his singles heel run and it didn't work for him. He spends most of the match trying to runaway but he gets rolled up (0.5). DDP vs PN News is another match under 5 minutes. I enjoyed this one a bit more, there was more moves at the very least. DDP was entertaining to watch even if he wasn't clean in the ring yet (1).

Cactus fights Van Hammer in a falls count anywhere match. This was great fun, Cactus made Hammer look great which speaks to how talented Mrs Foley's baby boy was. They brawl from the ring to the back into the rodeo arena. Eventually the world's most scarred cowboy Abdullah the Butcher appears to wack Cactus with a shovel but misses hitting VH instead. Foley has had far more superior and exciting no DQ matches than this, but this was still good (3). The Freebirds sing a song, it's not very good, before they face Brad Armstrong and Big Josh. Hey look, another short match that is terrible! This one is especially bad, Armstrong does some decent stuff but everything from Josh and the Oldbirds is borderline unwatchable (0). Afterwards, Tommy Rich & Vinnie Vegas try to raise the bar by having a worse match in less time! They succeed. This is Vegas' (AKA Kevin Nash) debut and he sucked. He wouldn't do much good in the ring until he showed up as HBK's bodyguard years later (0).

Dustin Rhodes, Barry Windham & Ron Simmons join forces to fight the Dangerous Alliance (Arn Anderson, Beautiful Bobby & Larry Zbyzsko). This is one of the best 6-man tags under 10 minutes long. Excellent psychology, it helps when you have 4 men in their with excellent track records of tag wrestling. No one outshines the other, all 6 play their parts to a tee (3.75). Our main event sees Sting & Ricky Steamboat team up against Rick Rude & Steve Austin. Sting & Steamboat are two of WCW's best babyfaces, taking a beating before mounting a thrilling comeback. The action was great, the finish was a bit weak but it doesn't damage how much I enjoyed the match (3.5). Honestly, this show deserves a higher position. There's 4 bad matches but they're all under 5 minutes long, and other 5 matches are all really good. I recommend this show highly.

MOTN- Dangerous Alliance vs Rhodes, Windham & Simmons

#62: Capital Combat, May 19th 1990. 40.6%

1990 was a tough year for WCW and it saw them take a few leaps of faith to freshen up their product. This show features a rather infamous leap of faith. The tagline reads "The Return of Robocop", which should give you enough information on what we're in store for this evening.

Bam Bam Bigelow, Kevin Sullivan & Cactus Jack team up against the Road Warriors and Norman the Lunatic. Norman has evolved from violent crazed person into a more Eugene-like character. It's terrible. The match isn't too bad though, it was quite action-packed and well paced despite the inconsistent level of talent involved. Of course the Warriors score the win. Not a bad opener (2.5). Johnny Ace takes on 'Mean' Mark Callous next. Future Head of Talent Relations vs future Undead Deadman. Not too great, Callous was far from the level we're familiar with and Ace didn't bring much excitement to this one either (1.25). Tommy Rich & Mike Rotunda team up against the Samoan Swat Team. Boring. Boring. Boring. It went nearly 20 minutes. The fuck?! I could feel my skin aging through this one (1). Paul Ellering faces Teddy Long in a hair vs hair match. Two managers having a wrestle almost guarantees this a dud rating. I'd give it pity points if it was at least funny but there is nothing redeemable here except that it's short (0).

Brian Pillman & Tom Zenk defend the US Tag Titles against the Midnight Express. Now we're talking. During this period of WCW, you can rely on these 4 to be enjoyable to watch. 20 minutes and they filled the time with plenty of action. This is tickety boo. Good in-ring work and hilarious Cornette antics who was locked in a cage (3.5). We're told that he is here. Suited up gents rush out with a finger to their ear, as if they're receiving the longest assignment instruction ever. Smoke fills entranceway. Out comes...Sting. He is attacked by Sid & the Anderson's and put in the cage, but ROBOCOP MAKES THE SAVE. Actual- fucking- Robocop. He takes a century to get down to the ring and rips off the door. The heels run away in fear. Sting & his android bro leave and that's it! That's all we get from Robocop. One of the funniest things WCW has ever done, in tandem one of the worst. Like, at least the Shockmaster botch was an accident. This went down EXACTLY as planned.

Moving on from cybernetic policemen, the Rock N Roll Express take on the Freebirds in a 'Corporal Punishment' match. Why isn't it a Capital punishment match? I guess that would mean someone would need to be executed. The rule is that both teams have a whip and can use it. I can't tell if this is better or worse than a strap match. Equally as mediocre I think. The action was decent, they used the whips like 3 or 4 times which renders the entire promotion of this match pointless (2). The Steiners defend the World Tag Titles against Doom. Our 5th tag match tonight. Another good tag match but not as good as the US title one. They all worked hard, I just think it was missing a little something for this to be rated higher (2.75). Our main event sees Ric Flair defend the World title against Lex Luger inside a Steel Cage. These two fought each other loads of times, with their matches ranging from great to bad. This is a good one. Actually great match until a stupid DQ finish. Great action then the Horsemen ran down to help Flair. Sting returns to make the save and he's brought his friend! No- not Robocop. It's debuting El Gigante! He saunters down to the ring and does nothing. For some reason the cage has been lifted so in swoops Barry Windham to attack Luger for a DQ. What a flat ending (3.25). No one will take this show seriously thanks to Robocop, but it's not a bad show. There's definitely better. But the US tag title match is fun and the main event is great until the end.

MOTN- Midnight Express vs Brian Pillman & Tom Zenk

#61: Starrcade, December 27th 1995. 40.6%

It's Starrcade season and after spending 2 years not having a broken format to riddle their biggest annual event, they must have forgotten how bad it worked for them previously and tried again here with the Wrestling World Cup. 7 matches pitting WCW stars against New Japan stars. Not a sole winner here, but a promotion will win overall. WCW is booking, producing and distributing this show so you can place a comfy bet on which side is going to come out as winners here. No tag matches tonight, only singles and a triple threat match. The main event is technically Kensuke Sasaki defending the US title against One Man Gang, although it's a dark match. Imagine that. One Man Gang main eventing your biggest show of the year

We begin with Chris Benoit vs Jushin Thunder Liger. They crammed so much into 10 minutes and it never felt rushed. Liger is insanely quick and is able to stay a beat ahead of Benoit who is a technical masterclass. Kevin Sullivan costs Benoit the match. You're a WCW man Kev, what you doing? Very good way to start (3.5). We continue with Alex Wright against the IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion, Koji Kanemoto. This was a competitive back and forth, Wright responding to Koji's stiff strikes with high flying moves and it was good. Better than I expected. Wright really did have potential, he would have benefited greatly if he did Japanese tours for a few years. Another win and another point for New Japan here they lead 2-0 (3). Lex Luger vs Masahiro Chono next. This was running through the motions if I ever seen it. Disappointing really. Luger's quality of matches totally depended on who he worked with. Chono is great, but the Japanese style does not compliment Luger at all. Lots of rest periods and dull moments. Weak match. At least the torture rack was over. Luger uses the rack to win (1).

TV champion Johnny B. Badd takes on Masa Saito. Yikes. This suuuuucked. 7 minutes of nothing. Weak offence and restholds from the opening bell. Plus, it ended in a DQ because in this time of WCW throwing your opponent over the top was illegal. One of WCW's most braincell deficient rules. 2-2 now. (0.5). Eddie Guerrero takes on Shinjiro Otani. I didn't know anything about Otani before watching this match, but after the final bell I was a fan. This match RULES. High octane wrestling from bell to bell. Otani has a picture perfect missile dropkick, it was pure elegance. Guerrero had some great showings in ECW before this, but this was his first classic in WCW. They exchange pin attempts until Otani keeps him down to win. How can WCW come back from 3-2 down? (4). The WCW champ Randy Savage faces Tenzan. Savage will defend his title tonight against either Flair, Luger or Sting so it's double duty for Macho Man. Another underwhelming match, I think it was hurt by the fact it was so obvious Savage was winning. Even then though, this just didn't click for me. Tenzan, dominated, Savage came back and won. Paint by numbers (1).

It's down to this, all tied up and Sting takes on Kensuke Sasaki. Sting lost to Sasaki previously, dropping the US title to him. I enjoyed this, Sasaki was dominant and Sting came back to win. A similar structure to the Savage/Tenzan match but these two had significantly better chemistry. This could have been great with an extra 5+ minutes (2.75). Sting & other WCW personnel celebrate winning the world Cup. WCW shamelessly patting themselves on the back, winning a tournament that they booked is hilarious to me. Moving on, we have a triple threat number 1 contender match between Ric Flair, Lex Luger & Sting. Flair has the advantage with this only being his first match tonight. This goes nearly 30 minutes, which is insanely long. Because of this, and Luger & Sting already working prior to this match, this was painfully boring at times. Plenty of stalling and rest periods. It was okay execution wise and everyone came out looking good booking wise but it was a snoozefest. Flair won, which was predictable and didn't need 30 minutes to get there (1). Randy Savage comes out and it's main event time. It goes under 10 minutes, and because Flair has just wrestled for about 30 minutes he's too gassed for this to be much of a match. They put in a good effort but again too much stalling and rest periods bringing down the quality for me (1.5). A weird show. Some great matches and some boring ones. If the card and matches were structured better, I think it would have made a big improvement. Cut 15 minutes off the triple threat, give 10 extra to the main event and spread to 5 to the other tournament matches. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

MOTN- Eddie Guerrero vs Shinjiro Otani

#60: Slamboree, May 18th 1997. 41.1%

Our final entry today sends us back to WCW's peak era of popularity and storytelling. The nWo is as hot as ever, the Cruiserweight division is dishing out banger after banger, the mid/upper card has plenty of great talent. WCW is rolling. With Hogan away doing Hollywood things, it's good time for the rest of the nWo to take advantage of space at the top of the card.

We begin with the TV Championship as Ultimo Dragon defends against Steven Regal. This was a technical affair. It worked a slow pace but the quality of the wrestling was good enough to keep it engaging. These two had good chemistry together, I would have liked to see more of these two together. Onoo turned on Ultimo which was a shock. Good match (3.25). Madusa vs Luna Vachon. WCW never understood how to market women to their audience. The best they came up with was the Nitro girls. These two were good workers for the time so this is gold for 90s women's wrestling, but still not actually that good (1.75). DDP rips on Randy Savage in an entertaining promo before our next match, Yuji Yasuraoka vs Rey Mysterio. Yuji only wrestled for 7 years before retiring, winning a few championships for WAR wrestling. He even won tag gold with Lance Storm & Tomohiro Ishii. A very good match as you'd expect from Mysterio in 1997, who could have pulled a good match out of Jim Duggan's ass. A good back and forth to put Rey over (3.5).

Mortis vs Glacier. The weird Mortal Kombat feud continues. This doesn't even last 2 minutes before Wrath comes in to cause a DQ. What's the point of that?! A TV segment, and even for TV this is terrible. A "fan" comes to save Glacier from the beatdown, who ends up being Ernest Miller. Security should have never let this turd back in an arena (0). Dean Malenko defends the US title against Jeff Jarrett. Another technical match up. Not as good as the opener but still good. I forget how good a worker Jarrett is before Russo's WCW reign (3). Meng vs Chris Benoit in a death match. I've reviewed their last "death match" and it was similar to this. These aren't too fun to watch. It's like a last man standing but they have rope breaks. Benoit loses by passing out to the Tongan death grip. A boring fight that overstayed it's welcome but Benoit has some good offence (2.25). Konnan & Hugh Morrus team up against the Steiners. Why? I don't know. Scott & Rick have been feuding with the Outsiders but this time they're facing these two morons. The match is fine, a filler match to give the Steiners a win (2).

Steve McMichael takes on Reggie White. White is an NFL player brought in by WCW. Something they did quite a lot. I know a lot of former football players get into wrestling, that doesn't mean ALL footballers can. This is proof. This is awful. One of the worst matches in WCW history. White has no experience so he needs a ring General to lead him through a match. Mongo is a weak wrestler who is okay when he's around legends like the Horsemen. He cannot lead a match, nor should he. Sloppy, unorganised, boring, SHIT (0). Our main event sees the nWo (Kevin Nash, Scott Hall & Syxx) vs Ric Flair, Roddy Piper & Kevin Greene. Great, more NFL wrestlers. In fairness, Greene had a bit more talent than the other two. This was pretty decent, the crowd were hot for this at least. Greene pulled out some impressive moves. It's none of the other 5's best performance but it did the job. A Nick Patrick run in backfires on the NWO (2.75). A mixed bag for sure. They should have ran another Savage vs DDP match here.

MOTN- Yuji Yasuraoka vs Rey Mysterio

Thanks for tuning into another entry into every WCW show ranked and reviewed. Nearly 100 shows down, only 3 more entries left before we crown the best major WCW show of all time. We're getting closer and closer to the precipice. Check out my socials below to keep in the loop. Until next time, see ya!


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