Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The Dogs On Main Street Howl For 1992 WCW

Arn Anderson, Steve Austin & Bobby Eaton v Dustin Rhodes, Barry Windham & Nikita Koloff (Beach Blast, 6/20/92)

This was disappointingly forgettable. It's not even so much a case of them only having ten minutes, because there's a ton of short matches between these guys in some variation over the course of the year that manage to still be really good. It's just that this was pretty messy and never kicked into gear the way I was hoping. It did have some great Arn, though. I mentioned a while back in a Double A of the Day that Arn loves to do the spot in these multi-man matches where he'll get tagged in and walk over to the babyface corner so he can pick someone to taunt, and he has a different taunt for just about anybody you could think of. This time he gets in and walks over to Nikita, but instead of taunting him he just slaps him in the mouth. You also get the double noggin' knocker transition spot and a couple variations of his top rope shtick, so if nothing else this is something for the Arn completest. Not a terrible match by any means, but on a PPV as good as Beach Blast, you really want more from this.

The Steiner Brothers v Steve Williams & Terry Gordy (Beach Blast, 6/20/92)

I was sort of sceptical about this; I hadn't seen it in a long time and I wasn't sure how I'd feel about it now after watching their Clash match again and thinking it was about as good a "Steiners Match" as I've ever seen. That one went about 12 minutes and really had everything you want out of a match like that. This goes more than twice that length and I wasn't sure how interesting things would be in between them tossing each other around and shit. I still think the Clash match is comfortably better, but this is pretty great in its own right. Gordy and Williams are in control for large spells, which is the usual fare with their WCW run, but they're good at stretching the Steiners and laying a beating, cutting off the ring really well, etc. The main selling point is the big heavyweight bombs, and they're as big and nasty as they should be. Rick gets dumped right on his neck with a back suplex early on, Gordy takes one right back shortly after, the Steiners are throwing monster lariats, Doc and Gordy are tossing them around with suplexes, Rick and Scott toss them right back; it's your Steiner Brothers/Williams and Gordy bomb-fest stretched out over a long-ish period of time, basically. Thought Doc and Gordy could've brought a little more urgency towards the end, but after Scott gets the hot tag with about 2 minutes to go things pick up like they should. Also liked how Gordy Hansen'd Scotty in the head with a lariat at the death so they could try and put Rick - who had taken a pretty big pasting the whole match - away. Probably longer than it really needed to be, but this is Wattsville after all.

Ricky Steamboat v Brian Pillman (Halloween Havoc, 10/25/92)

I've covered a shit ton of Pillman stuff for this project, but this is the first heel Pillman singles match I've spoke about so far. It's been a while since I've watched any of his heel run in the final quarter of '92, but I remember being pretty down on it and not enjoying him nearly as much as I do as a babyface. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, but I might wind up changing my opinion of heel Pillman (at least in '92) after I've finished the project, because I thought this was a blast and a really good performance from Pillman. He's great as a smarmy little dick here, and his flashy stuff feels like it's coming from a guy that's doing it because he's good and he knows it, as opposed to a Shelton Benjamin who seemed like a guy doing all these flashy babyface moves as a heel because he didn't know how to work any other way and just kinda wasn't very good in general. Cool thing about this match is that it's Steamboat working against guy who's got the "speed advantage" so Steamboat can then be guy who gets to rough up opponent. Usually it's Steamboat bringing the flash and speed, but here he busts out some of the power stuff you don't see from him very often; at one point he just grabs Pillman around the throat at hoists him above his head, and that's a Steamboat spot I always love. Pillman's douchebaggery must've gotten too much for him, I guess. Also liked Steamboat playing possum early and yanking Pillman into an armbar only for Pillman to return the favour later by acting as if he's concussed or something and then elbowing Steamboat in the temple. Indy roll up sequence at the end was sort of a WTF moment, but it leads to the finish so I didn't hate it (I can't stand the indy roll up nearfall sequence. It needs to die a swift death). Whole match feels like your PPV opening match and as far as PPV opening matches go, this was a good one.

Ricky Steamboat & Nikita Koloff v Steve Austin & Brian Pillman (Main Event, 11/8/92)

Above average 10 minute tag, which means above average in '92 WCW means it's well worth checking out. Pillman impressed me again here, bumping around, acting like an ass, etc. I was especially impressed with how he'd run distractions and get heat off of simple cheating spots like getting in the ref's face while Austin chokes Steamboat across the ropes (although, to be fair, that's not just Pillman's doing). Steamboat takes a turn as FIP like you'd expect and he's good at it, which should be shocking to absolutely no one. Nikita is good as your house o' fire beatstick and, going back to what I said earlier, Pillman is ready and willing to bump like a trooper for him. Gotta imagine a 15 minute match between these guys could rule it somethin' fierce.

Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas v Diamond Dallas Page & Vinnie Vegas (Saturday Night, 11/14/92)

Nash is pretty green here, but it's interesting to see how much he'll bump for Shane Douglas in comparison to how much he'd bump for just about anybody the size of Douglas once he got to the WWF. That's obviously got a lot to do with Vince's booking of him, of course. His interactions with Steamboat are pretty fun here. I never really cared for much Shane Douglas after this stint in WCW, but uber-babyface partnered with Steamboat is a Shane Douglas that's okay with me and he's a solid FIP in this. Page is pretty unspectacular for the most part, but he's fine as your scuzzy cheapshotting heel when he needs to be. I liked the finish quite a bit with Steamboat catching Nash unawares with a crossbody off the top while Douglas trips him up from behind playground style.

WCW 1992 Project

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