Rick Rude v Brian Pillman (Main Event, 2/15/92)
Pretty excellent performance from Rude here. Pillman as the fired up babyface that isn't afraid to take risks is as good as always, but Rude had more or less perfected a hierarchy match formula in '92 (look at the Dustin match from Worldwide), and he carried this like a total pro. He starts out sort of toying with Pillman, offering a handshake, strutting around like he's expecting a walk in the park; imagine the shredded wide receiver in high school fucking with the captain of the debate club before he kicks his ass (or so he thinks, anyway). Rude has swagger and incredible tights. Pillman has a curly mullet and tiger panties. No sweat. He cranks on a side headlock at one point and there's a close up of him with a huge grin on his face; "I've got this in the bag." Then Pillman grabs a leg and just goes to town on it, wrapping it around the ring post, dropping elbows and stomps, and Rude, excuse the pun, wakes the fuck up and realises he's got a fight on his hand. Rude's selling all the way through is fantastic, always limping and showing damage, hitting a running Pillman with a knee to the gut and selling his own leg as much as Pillman is selling his ribs. He lets Pillman look great down the stretch, giving him a phantom pinfall and eating all of his offence like a trooper. There's a great moment where Rude tries to hit the Rude Awakening and Pillman just scrambles furiously to the ropes, practically jumping out of the ring to escape it. Finish is great too, with Pillman flying around once too often and getting caught with a nasty Stun Gun. Can't get away from the next Rude Awakening. My mind changes daily for who I'd pick as the best guy in WCW in 1992, but this is the kind of match that has me leaning towards Rude.
Sting, Nikita Koloff & The Steiner Brothers v Rick Rude, Vader, Jake Roberts & Super Invader (Clash of the Champions XX, 9/2/92)
I've seen this compared to the DX/Radicalz v Rock/Foley/2 Cool match from RAW quite a few times, and while I'd happily call this very good, there's no way I'd put it up there with the RAW tag. This is an elimination rules match, but it felt rushed on the whole to me. The Vader/Rick Steiner exchanges were tops, though. I wouldn't be interested in seeing a singles match between them (unless it goes 5 minutes or something), but they play off each other perfectly in tag matches. Vader's obviously a willing bumper; Rick has great suplexes; Rick tosses Vader around like he's a big beachball. What's not to love? In return, Rick is willing to eat the nastiest of Vader's strikes. I mentioned way back on here that nobody runs into a boot in the corner like Rick Steiner, and man alive does that guy have some weird fixation with being booted CLEAN full speed in the face; he really does not give a shit. Jake continues to bring the sleaze and I am loving it. Super Invader is Ray Fernandez aka Hercules Hernandez aka Hercules and he's started to get the distended abdomen after however many years of 'roiding himself silly. He's wearing a singlet here and it looks like someone's shoved a watermelon up it. He's also wearing what looks to be a pair of red tights over his face, sort of like Chainsaw Charlie, only you can see his little Hitler 'stache underneath. Thankfully he's eliminated pretty sharpish, because I won't lie, the idea of a watermelon smuggling, mustached 'roid head from Thailand or wherever the fuck they bill him from is awfully distracting. Rude also earns more points here for being kingsized. Plus he has a bitchin' moustache and he isn't hiding it behind a pair of head-pantyhose. And he's a cheapshotting fuck. I want more Rick Rude asap.
WCW 1992 Project