Steve Austin & Bobby Eaton v Brian Pillman & Z-Man (Main Event, 1/26/92)
Great, time for some Z-Man. I don't think anybody in wrestling history has a worse superkick than Zenk. Bischoff on commentary has to refer to it as a standing side kick on account of how not super it looks. My disdain for Zenk aside, this was good, which should surprise nobody. It was kinda messy in points and things didn't always come off looking as good as they should have, but I'm a guy that generally finds a bit of messiness in my wrestling to be a good thing; tonnes of stuff today seems so choreographed, so one guy going going for an Irish whip and the other guy saying "No, fuck that, you're taking this backbreaker and that's that" is cool with me. The Austin/Pillman exchanges here were pretty bossy, especially at the start with Austin bailing to the floor because Pillman's chopping him to shit. You can audibly hear him say "I'm fixin' to quit!" at one point. Pillman's FIP stretch is pretty nifty because he'll bump around all day and has no problem taking even the nastiest of Eaton's stuff. Bischoff on commentary starts rambling on about how managers in all sports are just like Heyman in that they talk to referees to distract them. I'll look out for Paul Scholes studding someone in the shins the next time Alex Ferguson starts bitching about only getting 8 minutes of stoppage time. Finish is kinda all over the place and is none too pretty, but this wasn't really a pretty match anyway. Good, sure. Pretty... look elsewhere.
Rick Rude v Brad Armstrong (Worldwide, 2/1/92)
For around five minutes, I thought this was really good stuff. Low-tech and very simple, but Rude and Armstrong working simple and low-tech is gonna result in something that's decent-at-worst 9 times out of 10. Right at the start Rude leapfrogs Brad and does his gyrating hips shtick only to turn around into a pair of atomic drops, and, well, a match with Rude taking a couple atomic drops is automatically worth watching. No seriously, it is. Armstrong works the arm for a couple minutes and Rude's great at selling it; there's a cool spot where he hits a clothesline with the bad arm, sells the shit out of it and turns around back into an armdrag and armbar. Not one of the must-see Rude matches of the year, but if you're like me then you'll want to get your hands on everything the guy did in '92, because he was sensational.
Arn Anderson & Bobby Eaton v Brian Pillman & Mike Graham (Saturday Night, 2/1/92)
Oh fuck, Arn was totally amazing in this, trashtalking people, getting pissed off at everything; he's really vocal and that's an aspect that's missing in today's wrestling. Starts out with Graham getting a little too eager for Arn's tastes so he has a word with the ref' about getting him to hold his horses a little. Then they go into a fuckin' criss-cross of all things and that almost lands Arn in a figure-four, and he wants no part of that. He backs into the corner and has a word with Heyman, pointing to Graham like "Get a load of this guy, would ya. A fuckin' figure-four." Of all the Dangerous Alliance guys, Heyman definitely had the best chemistry with Arn. Usually Heyman comes across as a total lunatic when he's out on the floor, shouting and whining and berating folks left and right, but with Arn you get the impression he's actually *managing* him, and Arn plays off that like a guy that's taking advice from his coach. He and Graham do another criss-cross spot a minute later, and this ends with Graham making the blind tag to Pillman who catches Arn unawares with a slingshot. Arn's up calling for time and bailing to the floor wondering what the fuck just happened, "Hey... no tag. Where was the tag." Heyman's right there to keep his boy's head in the game: "It's okay, it's okay. You're Arn Anderson. You're gonna let these jerks get you upset? Arn Anderson, the great Arn Anderson? You can't let them treat you like that." Anderson: "You're right", and back to work he goes. Great spot with Pillman, Eaton and Arn -- Pillman stands up on Eaton's shoulders while they're in a knuckle-lock, and when Arn comes in Pillman jumps from Bobby's shoulders to hit Arn with a cross body. He slips a little and doesn't get the jump right, so he winds up coming down on Arn's leg, twisting it in a really nasty looking way. Arn's pissed and immediately says to Eaton, "Tag me. TAG me." He's only in about 15 seconds before Pillman takes him over with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors, and Arn sells it with the BEST bug-eyed Arn sell ever. If I wasn't an idiot I'd so make a gif of that. Then he gets up and he's all "What was THAT?!" I get that this sort of thing probably appeals to me more than most, but fuck it, wrestling needs more guys doing stuff like that. Pillman and Graham are a perfectly solid babyface team, and I recall there being a couple other matches involving Graham from around this period that were also really fun. I mean, I'd rather watch him tag with Pillman than Zenk. This goes about half as long (if that) as the 1/26 match, but I prefer this one for the fact Arn and Graham add way more here than what Austin and Zenk did there. Don't just watch this because it's good; watch it for Arn.
Barry Windham v Steve Austin (Saturday Night, 2/1/92)
Only goes about five minutes, but it's pretty much perfect for what it is. Windham had taken Paul E.'s gigantic phone the week before and tried to break Austin's kneecap with it, so Austin comes out here with a massive bandage and is selling the leg like it's clearly fucked up. Aside from Austin whacking Barry's injured hand off the guardrail a couple times and trying to take the tape off, this is ALL Barry picking up where he left off. Everything he does is geared towards the knee and you get the sense he'd rather punish Austin than beat him for the title on the night. Austin's sell job is exactly what you want it to be. At one point Barry tries to whip him in into the corner and Austin doesn't even take one step before falling flat on his face. Finish has Barry locking in a figure-four and grabbing onto the top rope for extra leverage, not giving a shit if the ref' disqualifies him or not. Heyman's going INSANE calling for back-up, but even when three guys start putting the boots to Barry he won't release the hold. He's a man possessed, I tell ya.
Rick Rude v Z-Man (Saturday Night, 2/1/92)
More Zenk. Rude wrestling anybody is at least of SOME interest to me, though, so it's cool. Rude comes out all sportsman-like at the start here, shaking Zenk's hand, breaking clean in the corner, etc. He's a good guy deep down. Then by the end he's dropping Zenk throat-first across the guardrail, fish hooking him right in front of the camera and constantly taking digs at Steamboat who's not even in the arena: "COME ON, Steamboat!" "What'cha GOT, Steamboat?" As much as Zenk annoys me, he's a totally inoffensive wrestler for the most part, and he's pretty good selling the back here. He's really vocal too - "Ah my back, ref'! My back!" This gets a nice amount of time (almost 11 minutes), but I really wish it was Armstrong that got 10 minutes and Zenk got the 5. I thought the former was a better match even with half the time, but Armstrong's better than Zenk is anyway so another 5 minutes could've produced something great. Still, this was perfectly solid.
WCW 1992 Project