This site needs some actual wrestling content again so let’s fill that gap by going into the WWE’s expansive vault- with their monthly wrestling programming.
This time we go back to February of 1993 for WCW Superbrawl 3.
For the record I wrote this review before all the Benoit nonsense started so I do speak glowingly of him as a wrestler during my comments on the second match. I thought about editing the comments out but I still stand by my thoughts of him as a performer so I left them in.
This month on WWE 24/7 they are showing the WCW Superbrawl 3 pay per view from 1993 in Asheville, North Carolina. It’s notable to me becasue it is the first WCW pay per view I ever saw live. So let’s go back memory lane.
-Maxx Payne is out first to play the National Anthem on his guitar. It is actualy pretty good which makes me think he is air playing it.
- First match is Brian Pillman and Steve Austin (pre Hollywood Blondes moniker) versus Marcus Alexander Bagwell and Eric Watts. Even this early into their run there were signs that the two had real good chemistry in the ring. It’s a shame they were ever broken up for political reasons. It’s also odd that they have reached almost a cult like status despite the fact that they only teamed together for about 8 months.
Watts is entirely hated by the fans, somewhat unfairly. It wasn’t his fault he was the son of Bill Watts. It wasn’t his fault his dad pushed him as much as he did. It is his fault he didn’t improve more than he did, but he wasn’t embarassing like some guys currently with less than a year under their belt. Heck he was better than some guys are currently that have been around for years.
Bagwell is one of those guys who had the greatest opportunities to become something and just pissed it all away.
Watts is just getting unmercifully booed for every move he does. It kind of ruins all the babyface comeback stuff. The finish comes when Bagwell hits the fisherman’s suplex on Pillman but Austin comes off the top and breaks that up. Pillman covers for the 3 count and the Blondes get the win.
- We get the first of many looks at the White Castle of Fear vignettes with Sting and Vader.
- Johnny B. Badd is interviewed by Eric Bischoff and says very little of note.
- Missy Hyatt is in the back as a limo pulls up. She is thwarted in her efforts to get an interview and then out steps Ric Flair. Kind of odd to watch a backstage segment and not hear the crowd react to it as they weren’t using video walls at this time.
- Next match is Chris Benoit vs 2 Cold Scorpio. This should be a good match.
WWE does some funny editing on these old shows. For example, during Bagwell’s entrance they overdub whatever music he used with the American Males theme. Also, they are overdubbing Gary Michael Cappetta’s voice on some intros with Justin Roberts. However, they have him doing a GMC impersonation which just sounds awkward.
I don’t think Benoit gets the credit he deserves for being a heel at the start of his career. At this point he had wrestled maybe 5 matches tops on WCW television and the crowd is clearly reacting to all his heel actions.
Lots of really good mat wrestling and hold exchanges. The story of the match is Benoit controlling the action until Scorpio hits some hope spots. He then goes for a big move and misses which puts the match back in Benoit’s favor.
Really hot last couple minutes of the match with the two exchanging 2 counts. Finish comes when Scorpio slides out of a German suplex attempt and rolls up Benoit for the 3 count at 19:59 of a 20 minute match. Good finish.
- Interview with Maxx Payne as we find out he is subbing for Ron Simmons in the US Title match against Dustin Rhodes. Payne had a very odd promo style but it really works. He sounds completely delusional and believeable. He tells Dustin him and Norma Jean (the guitar) have written a euology for Rhodes then proceeds to play “Taps” on his guitar.
- Out for the next match we have “Wild” Bill Irwin taking on teh debuting “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith.
The crowd is Asheville gives him a really nice round of applause. I may be mistaken but I think this was the first major jump from the WWF to WCW during that timeframe. This was a guy who was the Intercontinetal champion in the WWF and was coming off I think the 1992 Match of the Year to their promotion.
It is essentially a squash match as they let Bulldog showcase his offense and Irwin does his best to bump and keep up with him.
Afterwards Smith gives an interview that says he is coming after Vader. They did a really good job of making Vader a monster and having all the faces chase him throughout the year. That is most likely by accident.
- Paul Orndorff is in the back being interviewed when Cactus Jack comes out and chases him with a shovel.
This is your Jack bump around like a madman for a guy match.
I think Mick Foley is really underrated as far as being to lay out a match and work it so the other guy comes off looking better regardless of the outcome of the match It could just be becasue he is so comfortable working that style that he knows how to succeed at it. This match for instance- Orndorff wasn’t really known for his brawling ability, here his offense though looks entirely believeable as Foley is flying around for him.
As I write that sentence Foley got suplexed onto a ringisde railing that was standing upright. It looked brutal.
Finish comes when Orndorff motions to the crowd he is going for the piledriver. Behind him Jack picks up his shovel off the announcer’s table and when Orndorf turns around he gets pasted with it and gets pinned. Really good brawl.
- Bischoff is interviewing Missy Hyatt and Johnny B. Badd. Badd sounds more like Wolfman Jack here than Little Richard.
- Up next we have the Smoky Mountain special as Jim Cornette’s Heavenly Bodies (The Stan Lane/ Tom Prichard version) battle the Rock and Roll Express.
During the first couple minutes the Rock and Roll’s hit every 80′s style tag team spot you can think of. Seriously- think of one now than watch this match.
The crowd is popping huge for everything too as they reminisce about the old Jim Crockett run NWA and the Great American Bash tours of the 80′s. I seem to remember them having this same exact match at Surviror Series that year in the WWE and the crowd just completely being bored by it and even chanting, “Boring.” That has always fascinated me how 2 guys could wrestle the same match in 5 different arenas and get 5 completely different reactions. It’s what makes it fun to watch.
“Beautiful” Bobby Eaton comes out to help the Bodies but there is some miscommunication and it leads to the Express getting the 3 count.
- Back to the White Castle fo Fear vignette. It’s getting silly because it is really only about 20-30 seconds of film.
This was the exact segment:
(Sting surrounded by women)
Sting: This is feeling very familiar
(Cut to Vader and Race)
That was it.
- Ric Flair is brought out for the first time in 19 months and the crowd gives him a nice response. Not as big as you would think though surprisingly. Flair gives an interview saying he is back and looking forward to wrestling again in WCW.
- NWA Title match time as Barry Windham takes on The Great Muta.
Muta is a fascinating guy to watch. He never really had much build up in WCW outside of his run in 1989, mini run in 1989, and various appearances during the Monday Night Wars. Yet he always got a great reaction from fans. That shows a great appreciation and reverence for a guy.
As great as Muta was in Japan, sometimes he seemed to be motivated at times after his 1989 run in WCW. The match he had with Steve Austin at Spring Stampede was kind of disjointed as they didn’t really click together.
This was also during a rejuvination time for Windham. He was a big time youngster in the sport and many thought he would be a huge player for the NWA. Eventually though he went to the WWF and became “Widowmaker” Barry WIndham and got buried in obscurity. He came back and bounced around the NWA before becoming fully motivated again by his heel turn on Dustin Rhodes and his run as a heel champion. Even his run with Dustin as a tag champ was vintage Barry, where he looked like the star he was programmed as
This match is high energy and despite the seeming mismatch they work well together.
Muta hits his handspring elbow and then goes into the backbreaker looking for the moonsault. Windham moves out fo teh way but Muta’s knee catches him on the way down. Windham stalks him and then goes for a suplex but Muta counters into a belly to back suplex.
Again Muta tries for the moonsault but Windham brings up the knees. He picks Muta up and hits him with his Spike DDT. He picks the guy up about halfway for a suplex then DDT’s him. That gets the 3 count. Still love that finishing move.
- Because I don’t care what Bischoff, Hyatt, or Badd has to say I’ll mention that the camera work during that last match was excellent. During one part Muta and Windham were fighting on the top rope and the camera was almost underneath them looking up. It was a really cool shot.
- White Catle of Fear time- essentially a strap match- with Big Van Vader versus Sting. Should be their normal 4 star match.
Two ineresting characters to me. Vader was such a great monster heel. With that mask he was scary looking, he carried himself so well for a big guy, and he did enough agile things like the moonsault and Vader Bomb where as a fan you had to think- he can do it all, ho do you beat him? His career however was pretty much undone when Hulk Hogan no-sold his powerbomb on the Clash. It ruined the whole monster heel aura that was built over a two and a half year period. Then he started picking fights with Orndorff in the locker room, went to the WWF, and became a joke and completely out of shape.
Sting, wrestled primarily in a territory where the fans were more into heel acts. Yet Sting almost always got huge pops despite the goofy nature they gave him booking wise sometimes. As I’ve often said too- Sting was not ever the greatest wrestler but he is entertaining to watch. He engages the crowd, and knows how to play to them that they are always behind him. He was the most entertaining wrestler that had a lot of 3 star matches.
Really good brutal style brawl. Vader’s back is cut open from being whipped by Sting.
The main story of the match is how can Sting overcome the 200 mpound weight advantage and drag Vader to all 4 corners.
Couple of Vaderbombs and Sting looks like he is done for as Vader starts dragging him to the corners.
Vader sets Sting up top and hits the superplex and starts dragging Sting again to the buckles. He gets three but Sting kicks him down which means Vader has to start over again. Sting makes his comeback with a german suplex and a DDT. He then throws Vader into the corner and starts hammering him with right hands.
Sting picks up Vader in a fireman’s carry but Vader’s foot knocks out Nick Patrik. Sting gets to 3 corners but Race pushes the ref in front of Sting and they go down. Vader hogties Sting and begins dragging him to the corners. He gets to three but Sting does his best to hold on. He kicks Vader which knocks him back into the 4th corner which means Vader wins. Sting then gets up and starts strapping Vader who bails to ringside.
Just a brutal match with Vader bleeding from his ear and Sting from his forehead.
- Bischoff is back to interview Badd and Hyatt who say they are going to a party. Then he brings in Barry Windham for an interview where he says he is after all the titles in WCW.
- Back to ringside as Tony and Jesse wrap up the evening for us and sign off. I really like that little last 5 minutes as it almost served as a post game for the pay per view. It would be a nice change sometimes to end the current crop of pay per views like that.
Overall really good show. Jack-Orndorff, Benoit-Scorpio, R-n-R Express-Heavenly Bodies, Muta-Windham, and Sting-Vader were all really good matches. Plus you get the big Bulldog jump, the return of Flair, and the beginning of the Hollywood Blondes run. Easily recommendable PPV.