Thursday, 15 July 2010

Sir William, Is That Tea Ready?

Barry Windham v Steve Regal (WCW Power Hour, 4/24/93)

Definitely the best Regal match I've seen up to this point. He's still a babyface here and I always thought he looked much more comfortable as a heel, so there's a few awkward moments (although they come about more as a result of him and Barry not being totally on the same page rather than Regal being a babyface, so whatever), but fuck that noise because Windham's pissed off and surly enough for twelve. Love the arm work at the beginning; hooking in an arm bar and digging his own elbow into Regal's tricep, using his left foot to keep Regal's arm extended on the mat and stomping on it with his right, keeping a hold of a wristlock as Regal tries to toss him all the way across the ring and coming back to crank on it even more, etc. Regal even busts out some nice trickery of his own, but fuck THAT noise as well because Windham puts a stop to it by blasting him in the ear with a big dirty palm thrust. He throws tonnes of great strikes in this, from David Louiseau style elbows to a flurry of rapid fast corner body punches to a fuggin' Khali-like chop right to Regal's neck. Great moment towards the end where he's catching a breather in the corner and Regal punches the mat like he's all "Come on, motherfucker!" so Windham bolts out of the corner and fuckin' lariats him in the face. Haven't even mentioned the nasty little touches like grating Regal's eyes across the ring rope. AND I think Nick Patrick pissed in his Wheetos because Windham's all over him at various points. "I'm ABIDIN' by the rules, DAMMIT!" "I'm BACK, ain't I!?" "Will you COUNT, DAMMIT?!" This is worked like a hierarchy type match so Windham controls the majority of it, but it means you get Regal hanging tough and coming close to weathering the storm. They never really had anyone believing that Regal could actually pull it out, though, even with a nice small package nearfall. Also like the spot with boys guys taking a tumble over the ropes and Regal getting his leg caught up in the ropes, letting Barry recover enough to plant him with a big DDT. Regal was perfectly fine here, but this was a total Windham show and it was terrific; gritty and manly as Hell. Between this and the Anderson match from 6/6/92 that I watched a couple days ago, I'm definitely back on a Windham kick. Great match.

Steven Regal v Marcus Bagwell (WCW Clash of the Champions XXIII, 6/16/93)

Regal's no longer plain ol' Steve; now he's the Blue blood, Steven Regal. With Sir William, who's Bill fuckin' Dundee. This was alright, not nearly as good as the Windham match, but Regal's working heel now and he seems WAY more comfortable. Match only goes about 5 minutes so there isn't much to it, but Regal has now taken the same big bump two matches in a row where he gets launched across the ring by his arm or head where he waits until the last second before rotating over and doing a back bump off of a flip, so I'm interested in seeing if he whips it out regularly so I can start calling it a Regal bump and thus not bother trying to explain it like an idiot - because let's face it, that wasn't a good explanation and if you can picture what I mean in your head then you're a greater man than I - every time he does it. Because it's a really cool bump. His facial expression when he's taking it rules, too. Finish is sort of botched and the crowd don't seem to know what happened exactly, but both guys looked good here and there was enough going on for it not to be bad at all.

Steven Regal v Ricky Steamboat (WCW Main Event, 8/1/93)

Oh fuck this was awesome. They more or less bullshit their way through the first five minutes and I had to check they actually HAD gone five minutes, because it was way too fucking fun. Match as a whole completely flies by. Regal's in full on snob mode where he won't even shake Steamboat's hand because he's a dirty commoner and there's a great moment where Steamboat gets hiptossed and draws his legs up to kick Regal away, except Regal spots it and tells Steamboat to trot on because he isn't fooling anybody. Peasant. Regal wags his finger at Steamboat for having the audacity to try something so ridiculous and insulting so Steamboat grabs his finger and starts twisting it while Regal dances around like he's stepping on hot coals. Then Steamboat starts prancing around the ring, seemingly implying Regal has tits and wears a bra or something and Zbyszko's giving it all "no comment" on commentary. That's the first half of this match. It. Was. Glorious. They decide to start that wrestling nonsense around this point, but the actual wrestling manages to live up to the shticking. The thing I remember loving about these ten minute Regal matches from around this time is that there would be something in practically every single one that I hadn't seen before. This one has a great struggle over a three quarter nelson where Regal sort of grabs Steamboat's face and twists his neck whenever Steamboat seems to be close to reversing it. Also love Steamboat missing a dropkick and landing on his arm, selling it like someone just stabbed him in the funny bone with a screwdriver. That guy's somethin' else, man. Post-match is great with Regal and Dundee cutting the most stereotypical upper class Englishman promo since... I dunno, another Regal/Dundee promo, refusing Steamboat's challenge to a rematch by saying he has a rugby game the next week (this was after telling Schiavone the initial match was just a cricket warm-up for him). Steamboat slaps him with a pair of gloves and Regal wants the fuckin' papers. Oh shit they're gonna fuck each other up and I can't wait. I LOVED this. Million stars.

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