Ricky Steamboat v Steve Austin (Main Event, 6/14/92)
I could watch a million of these ten minute Steamboat TV matches and be happy. This isn't as good as at least three of their other singles matches together in '92, but you can't really go wrong with these two getting ten minutes to do their thing. Steamboat controls early and I continue to love the little touches Austin's added to his bag of tricks from around this time, like shoving Steamboat into the corner out of a collar-and-elbow tie up a couple times with a smug look on his face, then trying it a third time and face planting himself on the canvas as Steamboat simply sidesteps it. Steamboat comes into this with his face taped up from a Dangerous Alliance mugging a ways back, so that means you get some typically great Steamboat selling as Austin goes to the face for cut-offs, punching him in the nose, raking his eyes, etc. Great moment where he fish hooks Steamboat's beak and just drags him all around the ring. Final few minutes make up the "both guys scrambling for the win" finishing stretch in these short time-limit matches, and this is all really solid stuff.
Barry Windham v Steve Austin (Worldwide, 6/14/92)
Still think this is their best match together. It's Austin's TV Title rematch and it's pretty terrific. Between this and the Austin/Rude v Barry/Dustin tag from the Bash a month later, Austin's shot right up there with Double A as my favourite guy selling Windham's knockout punch with the taped fist. As soon as this starts Barry chases him around the ringside area, and as Austin slides back in the ring, Barry's already there waiting for him, plastering him with a big right hand that Austin sells like a king. Windham controls the early stages of this by working the arm, and both guys are really good at working in and out of it, Austin looking for escapes and Barry looking for ways to keep the pressure on. When Austin gets on offence - following Barry's trademark kidney-crushing bump on the apron from a clothesline - he makes sure to sell the arm by hanging it at his side as if it's gone limp on him, constantly shaking it to get some feeling back into it, etc. Final few minutes are excellent and the finish is one of the best non-ref' bump belt shot finishes I've ever seen. There's one more match between the two that I'm yet to see, but so far this is only behind the Steamboat match from the September Clash event as my pick for Austin's best singles match of the year.
Rick Rude & Steve Austin v Z-Man & Marcus Bagwell (Clash XIX, 6/16/92)
When I saw this as a kid I thought it was like the best thing ever; Austin and Rude just murdering fools. I never got to see much WCW growing up, but I managed to catch this a couple years after it happened and seeing Rude maul a couple pretty boys like this was nothing like I had remembered seeing from him in the WWF (he was the poser being mauled by crazy Hellwig). 15 years later I still have a huge soft spot for it, and to this day it's one of my favourite competitive squashes. Austin ruling it again here; so animated, like a much less maniacal version of the Stone Cold character he'd become. Rude's the cockiest motherfucker on the planet and that pinfall at the end is glorious. Bagwell and Zenk are perfectly fine as a couple of good looking house o' fire babyfaces, but they're in way over their head and this is the Austin and Rude show.
WCW 1992 Project