Tuesday, 14 December 2010

So I Guess We Can Just Call This WCW Month?

Lord Steven Regal v Johnny B. Badd (Main Event, 10/10/93)

This was way niftier than I was expecting. Badd is way more fun controlling things early than I was expecting. Regal acts like Regal, which I was expecting. I dig how he's a dude that is never afraid to rough you up if things aren't going his way, or how he'll drag you into the corner and plaster you with forearms in between batches of grinding things out on the mat. Badd has a bunch of cool counters and escapes for Regal's holds early and has really sweet armdrags, plus he's all "YEAH, BABY! HERE WE GO!" and the crowd are behind him like I like to see. Regal saying "fuck this nonsense" and elbowing him in the gut to take control was great. I'm a big fan of the Regal TV Title formula where he'll take his time and just grind you down. If it goes the distance then he keeps the belt, so at some point in the match the opponent will usually have to really push things or else they come away with nothing, and by extension that means we get to see "put it in the deep freeze" Regal where he'll just try and survive until the time runs out. This one does go to the time limit and Badd's flurry at the end is pretty choice. I was hardly expecting this to be a crappy match, but I was still surprised by how much I dug it.

Lord Steven Regal v Davey Boy Smith (Halloween Havoc, 10/24/93)

First 6 or 7 minutes of this are a blast. Davey had that awesome World of Sport match with Finlay on Goodhelmet's Finlay comp where he was busting out all the tricked out Euro style matwork, so I was psyched at the prospect of more of the same here, because I could count on one hand the number of instances I've enjoyed watching Davey more than the match opposite Finlay. It's not like I hate Davey or anything; just that I reeeealy dug that WoS match. Matwork isn't as great here as it was in the Finlay match, but they have plenty of cool exchanges. Regal seems bewildered at a few points because he's come into this expecting Davey to be a muscled up freak that shouldn't bring too much in the way of out-wrestling the Lord. Problem is, Davey brings plenty. He'll flip out of an armbar, cartwheel out of an arm-wringer, and there's a great spot where Regal keeps trying to snapmare him only for Davey to reverse it into a hammerlock every time, eventually forcing Regal to go to the ropes. That's pretty much the final straw, so Regal goes to his plan B of blasting this Whoopi Goldberg looking motherfucker with European uppercuts and digs to the ribs. Regal basically spends the rest of the match grinding him down and working the ribs, until the last minute or so when Davey gets his second wind. Actually thought Badd was better at showing urgency and selling the previous beatdown better than Davey was, but I thought this had a better "one second too late" finish. I'd say this is the better match overall, though. Aaaand it was good.

Lord Steven Regal v Johnny B. Badd (Clash of the Champions XXV, 11/10/93)

Maybe I've just been selling Mero short for the last ten years, but I thought this was a totally bossy little match. They had a match on Worldwide 4 days earlier (that I would've talked about if I could remember enough about it to actually warrant a "review") that ended with Regal scraping a win by pulling the tights, so this is Badd's chance for some payback after being robbed by this scoundrel. Regal is a stuck up prick that won't even lock up because he doesn't want to be a victim of second hand body oil or something, so instead he slaps him GOOFY in the first five seconds. Badd was all "OH MOTHRFUCKER YOU GON' DIE NOW," but then settles down and starts working a headlock. At this point I was ready to wash my hands on the whole thing. "He just fucking SLAPPED you. HIT HIM. He won't mind. It's fuckin' REGAL there, Johnny. PUNCH HIM IN THE FUCKING FACE." Unfortunately didn't happen (just you fuckin' wait, though), but I was able to regain my composure when they started working in and out of a headlock. Badd was great here, just a ton of fun. Regal was as good as you'd expect once he took over, but I actually preferred the Badd working the headlock. Short finishing stretch here is good as well, and definitely had my favourite "babyface pulling out all the stops as the time limit is winding down" spell of the three matches. Actual finish is awesome as Badd FINALLY SMACKS REGAL RIGHT IN THE FUCKING FACE with a huge haymaker, looks to have KO'd him (I bought it as being legit for a few seconds), but Sir William puts Regal's foot on the ropes before the ref' counts three. Badd is pissed and chews him out, but Regal's playing possum and rolls him up with a chunk of tights for the win. Much better than I expected, and this is after seeing their first match that I thought was good in its own right, so naturally I expected this to follow suit. Although I'm probably overrating it on account of the fact they got me hook, line and sinker with that big revenge punch that they waited the whole match to deliver on. I marked hard for that shit.

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