Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Big Batch Of WCW

Arn Anderson v Great Muta (Power Hour, 1/12/90)

This is probably my favourite Muta match. It's also one of my favourite Arn matches, and there are a lot of Arn matches that I love a heck of a lot. Arn is the one getting the upper hand in the early stages causing Muta to take a powder after every exchange, so Buzz Sawyer hits the ring to play offensive coordinator and, well, Buzz Sawyer as your maniacal offensive coordinator for the evening is something there needs to be more of. Ross and Cornette on commentary start talking about how he's trying to instill a little Sawyerism into him, and sure enough Muta spin kicks Arn in the sternum really hard and takes over. He busts out a Cattle Mutilation at one point and it really takes me back to when a wrestler would bust out a cooky submission hold that the commentators haven't seen before and they refer to it as "that Oriental submission move" or a "submission move they learned in the Orient". Oriental submission moves were always the most dangerous. Love the swerve at the finish as well, with Arn eating a major cheapshot behind the ref's back, still kicking out ("AW YEAH!" - JR) and even managing to hit the DDT for the win and the TV Title. Definitely one of the best WCW TV matches of the year.

Scott Steiner v Bobby Eaton (Power Hour, 9/21/90)

This is the first match in Scott Steiner's gauntlet challenge. Eaton seems pretty happy to fly around for all of Scott's power stuff here, bumping all over the place and taking a running clothesline while he's sitting on the top rope that could've ended disastrously for the guy had he not managed to hold on. Match goes about 8 minutes and is as solid as you'd expect, but not anything I'd vote for in a top 100.

Scott Steiner v Ric Flair (World Championship Wrestling, 9/22/90)

Match #2 and probably my slight favourite of the three match series. Flair basically gives Steiner everything and it's one of those "Flair going out of his way to make the opponent look deadly" performances that you've seen countless times out of Ric. Flair's offensive flurries are basically limited to a few punches in bunches and a chop here and there, while the rest of his time is spent flying around and getting launched into stuff. Arn's out at ringside to run distractions and cheapshots, and there's a really good nearfall at one point as a result. Then Rick Steiner evens it up, takes Flair's head off with a monster Steinerline and Scotty moves on to match #3 against Double A.

Scott Steiner v Arn Anderson (Main Event, 9/23/90)

Actually this might be my favourite. I'm a big fan of the "Flair Show" where he can do what he's done for years and years and make a ten minute TV match out of it, but this has Arn being Arn and bringing all the shtick an Arn fan like me wants to see. He's too smart for his opponent, he's one step ahead, he's got it all figured out, then he's flat on his ass checking to see if he still has all his teeth. Like the last two matches, Scott controls most of this and gets to toss someone around, but Arn's as willing to make him look as good as Flair and Eaton are, plus I can't think of too any people that I would want to watch go out and make someone look good more than Arn. Actually did Scott ever wrestle Fuerza Guerrera? That would've been spectacular. Finish is pretty weak, but I can deal. All 3 of these gauntlet matches are good; not good enough that I'd expect anyone to vote for them in a top 100, but worth your time for sure.

Sting v Cactus Jack (Submit or Surrender - Power Hour, 11/16/91)

Last time I watched this I thought it was right there with their Beach Blast '92 match (Falls Count Anywhere on the Gulf Coast is a tremendous name for a gimmick match). Not sure I'd think the same once I get around to watching the Beach Blast match again, but this is still a great brawl that probably fits into the "hidden gem" category on account of the fact it never gets talked about. Sting's good in his role, hits his stuff well, and generally puts forth a performance that you can't complain about, but it's Cactus that's the star here. He comes across as a total lunatic at points, squealing like a nutter, laying into Sting with garbage cans and chairs, throwing him into the barricade, etc. The transition into his control segment is one of my favourite ever, as Sting hits the ropes and tries to leapfrog him, so Cactus waits until he's at the height of his jump and just headbutts him right in the nads. Some guy in the crowd even tries to wrestle a folding chair away from him so he can't use it to plaster Sting with, but Cactus winds up with it anyway and obviously wraps it around his dome. Then he shows his appreciation by giving the chair a big kiss. Finish has Foley taking a disgusting flat back bump off the apron that almost completely overshoots the mats and has him landing on the concrete itself, smacking the back of his head off the guardrail while he's at it. There's a lady in the front row that appears to be on the verge of throwing up at this point. Sting follows up with the Scorpion Deathlock, but Foley's out like a light so it's all pretty academic at that point, anyway. This is on youtube and people really aught to give it a look.

Chris Benoit v Brad Armstrong (Clash of the Champions XXII, 1/13/93)

This is a really bossy sub-ten minute match. I'm all about the bossy sub-ten minute matches. Not entirely sure but I think this is Benoit's first singles match where the big boys play. He comes out at the start and nobody really knows who he is and it's all pretty quiet, but by the end people are popping big for his stuff, especially Jesse on commentary. It starts out with a slick sequence that ends with Benoit casually sidestepping a dropkick and looking like a smug douche. Then for the next few minutes Armstrong schools him with a bunch of dropkicks and some nifty arm work. Eventually Benoit just says fuck it and front suplexes him onto the top rope, and then he hits one of the best looking slingshot clotheslines I've ever seen. Jesse is marking hard and I'm hitting rewind like a motherfucker. I had seen this match a while back when I got a hold of it on one of the Schneider Comps, and THAT clothesline was the spot that stuck out to me. It also starts the shift in fan support, and by the time he crushes Brad with a dragon suplex for the finish he's practically been turned babyface. Top stuff.

Eddy Guerrero v Syxx (Ladder Match, Souled Out, 1/25/97)

So I got to this match on Goodhelmet's Eddie set and I seemed to recall reading Eddie's book and him saying that it was basically a train wreck of suck. So I was sort of dreading watching it. Today I decided to man up and just get through it, and whether my expectations were just so low or Eddie was being too hard on it, I'm not sure... but I thought it was actively good. Bischoff's a blithering idiot on commentary from time to time so I wound up muting it about half way through, and the finish is pretty garbage, but considering I generally don't much care for ladder matches anymore, this was really easy to sit through. Syxx winds up getting cracked in the face with the ladder Joey Mercury style at one point and it looked pretty nasty. Obviously not as horrifically face-deforming as the one Matthews ate, but still, nasty is nasty all the same. Syxx also hits a crazy fly kick right to Eddy's head when they're both at the top of the ladder, although that doesn't have anything on the roundhouse kick square to the face right at the beginning. Crowd pop huge for the finish as well (I had un-muted it by this point), which I wasn't expecting considering how apathetic crowds seemed to be towards Eddy as a babyface since showing up in the company.

Eddy Guerrero v Dean Malenko (Nitro, 2/10/97)

Total sprint. Only about 6 minutes long, but I'd still rather watch this than any of their ECW matches. They actually manage to cram a bunch on stuff into that 6 minutes, but it had a real sense of urgency to it and I never felt like I was watching two guys run through a bunch of cool looking spots and sequences just to eat up time. Even the stand-offs didn't strike me as corny. And hey, no indy roll-up section, which might be a first in a Guerrero/Malenko match (although I think they tried it once and flubbed it... that actually makes me like it even more). Syxx hitting the ring and doing whatever that coke head does stopped this short, but what we got was definitely good stuff.

Eddy Guerrero v Chris Jericho (Superbrawl, 2/23/97)

Eh, didn't think much of this at all. I'm a HYUGE fan of their Fall Brawl match later in the year, but this just felt like Eddy told Jericho to run through as much cool shit as he could think of and they'd throw a random stand-off in there just to add to my displeasure. Granted, Jericho's cool shit was indeed cool, but they pretty much eschewed any kind of structure and the crowd was dead as shit and, and... not my thing. Jericho does slap the fucking TASTE out of Eddy's mouth at one point, though. Looked like he went to throw one of his overhand chops and completely missed the target (target being the chest). Maybe someone flashed a camera. Either way Eddy murders him with a powerbomb a short time later and all is right again. Fall Brawl is where it's at, Hell with this noise.

Eddy Guerrero & Chris Jericho v The Faces of Fear (Nitro, 2/24/97)

Aw fuck this was BOSS. I could watch 8 minute tag matches like this all damn year and not get bored. Meng and Barbarian are totally awesome big motherfuckers that will toss you around like you weigh 12 pounds, and Eddy and Jericho are totally awesome small motherfuckers that will happily BE tossed around like they're 12 pounds. Couple amazing spots in this, the best of which probably being Meng's MURDEROUS powerbomb on Eddy. Actually fuck that, it's Barbarian's MURDEROUSER back suplex on Jericho. Someone tell me there's a Faces of Fear comp out there. Please. Eddy and Chris are great as the underdogs having to hit hard and hit fast, double teaming when they can, striking in flurries, but it's their willingness to be welded onto the mat that's particularly special. Malenko's run-in at the finish (they mention something about Eddy accidentally costing him the cruiserweight belt the night before) has me hyped to see the Eddy/Dean Uncensored match again, too. Last time I was hyped about seeing a Guerrero/Malenko match? Fuck if I know. I do know this rocked my socks, though.

1 comment:

Brian said...

the blog I write for we did a Power Hour '90 project and that Muta v. Arn ended up pretty high overall