Tuesday, March 4, 2014

WCW Slamboree 1993

The WWE Network preview for it hypes up Arn-Windham and Vader-Davey as the main events. After watching Barry and Arn against Doom, I'm far more hyped about this match because I haven't seen it in ages. My old tape of it stopped working during their match, so I haven't seen that match in full or any of the main event in at least a decade. The baseball diamond-esque logo looks so awesome for this - and while they changed it later, they kept with the baseball theme for the '98 logo. VERNE GAGNE AND NICK BOCKWINKEL ARE SIDE BY SIDE. Shame about Verne's green suit though. No part of it looks good. A guy with a high-top fade and a Sports Authority shirt is behind Larry and Tony - holy '93. Maxx Payne is out for the opener. I wonder if this'll be the full show or the Turner Home Video version. Maxx Payne's guitar playing is pretty good - he does actually seem to be playing and the giant leather jacket looks awesome. This leads to a giant caravan of oily guys bringing out a throne-ish thing. Inside, IT'S MOOLAH. Well, I have no memory of this at all so I think this must've been cut from the home video as well. Odd seeing her in WCW given that she was such a WWF fixture.

Eric and his dark black hair dye are with Missy and her dark red lipstick. Missy's still looking hot here. Eric and Missy get blacked out as they talk about Sting facing THE PRISONER later, instead of Scott Norton. Zero fucks were given by the crowd. A kid with a giant dirty blonde mullet and a Batman shirt seemed happy. Missy is stumbling horribly over trying to put over Vader. Missy bounced around and offered her services as a Hollywood Babe. Eric talking about the NWA vs. AWA match with Dory vs. Bockwinkel was fun - the only time he's ever seemed remotely genuine is talking about the AWA on that WWE DVD. He clearly has a lot of respect for Verne. Eaton and Benoit are out, so they're actually using the master for the full event here and not just the home video. Bagwell and Scorpio are out. I love them hyping up Bagwell as WCW Magazine's rookie of the year since they always did it and made it a point for him for a long time.

Benoit's zebra print tights are not the prettiest things ever. Benoit and Scorpio are starting out. Benoit in '93 compared to Benoit in '95 looks so different - he gained a ton of weight and looks much older facially just two years later. These two have fantastic chemistry, and I should really watch their SuperBrawl III match since I've only seen it clipped via New Blood on the Block. Scorp with an iffy flip dive over Bobby to get to Benoit - seemed like Bobby was blocking him a bit there. Double dropkicks from the faces send the heels out. Bobby's gear can best be described as a bright yellow birthday party hat. It's yellow with blue and red...things all over it. Bagwell with a backdrop to Benoit OVER THE TOP. Not a DQ. Larry says it could be due to him possibly just trying to get away and the backdrop being accidental. I like Larry putting over the young guys asking the legends for advice - it makes the plucky faces seem like they want to get better. It's an admirable trait and faces should have one. They talked about Greg Gagne and Brunzell being backstage, as are Snuka and Blackjack Mulligan. Benoit's nasty snap lariat hits Bagwell perfectly. Flying legdrop off the second rope from Benoit gets 2. Odd to have that be a transitional move when his partner's finisher is a flying legdrop off the top. Tony puts Eaton over as a WCW legend for being in the Midnight Express and being in a team with Arn as well. Snapmare into a figure four headscissors by Benoit. Everything is just so crisp. Heels cheat by holding hands! How dare the ref oppose them exchanging protein strands. Larry's talking about this event becoming a collector's item. Well, a version of it with all the matches might've been. Bagwell gets the knees up for the diving headbutt. Scorp bonks Eaton on the buckle on the outside, then kicks him in the cut while he's up on the ropes - nice spot there. Twisted splash gets 1. Tumbleweed legdrop hits Benoit and the faces win. He just smushed his face with his ass on that one. 

Tony talked about Col. Robert Parker debuting, and Van Hammer turning him down. Larry said that Van Hammer was RUDE for grabbing Parker and Tony agreed. VAN HAMMER'S THEME MAKES THE CUT! It is pretty awesome. His generic singlet, however, is not. He went from looking like a star in '92 with the leather getup to looking like a scrub here. You've got a guy who's all body and hide the body. Like with Ryback, it makes very little sense. Parker's off fresh from the KFC box. Parker's bringing out Van Hammer's new ride - a stretcher! Sid's back acting like a face. Maybe Hammer got his singlet from Sid. Hammer threw some bad punches before Sid hit him with one of his super-high kicks. Powerbomb. Hammer's RIP. This was beneath the Kronus squash, but perfectly fine for what it needed to be. Sid should've come in and killed someone. Of course, this does just make the face look like an idiot, but if you're going to make a face look weak, it might as well be Hammer.

Eric's with Red Bastein and Bugsy McGraw. Red's stache is amazing. Bugsy looks like a more dignified version of modern day Bill Watts. Bugsy's cutting a fine promo here putting himself, his look, and Sid over! He's also burying Eric for wearing too much makeup! Bugsy McGraw rules! The first legends match is up. It's a 6-man tag with Murdoch, Snuka, and Muraco as a team! They're up against Wahoo, Mulligan, and Jim Brunzell...it really should've been Greg Gagne as his partner in this. Snuka and Brunzell start this so it isn't glacial. Wow - Brunzell and Gagne were tag champs in '75 - about 18 years before this event. Shame that Killer Bees run turned him into a joke. Murdoch's busting out the elbows to the forehead on the apron. Mulligan hits a hiptoss! Murdoch's busy punched and/or elbowing the hell out of him. "If Wahoo wrote a book, you'd have to label it science fiction.". Apparently, you could say the same about Larry's book. Muraco was apparently an underwater photographer and they hyped up Lord James Blears getting him started. I love that they're giving the AWA so much love. The company's dead, so you might as well get whatever money you can out of making it seem like a big deal. Mulligan coming in with his big Frankenstein arms out pose to do a double choke is hilarious. Dropkick from Brunzell. That tie-dyed gear is simple terrible. The yellow and white gear would've been better. FLYING HEADSCISSORS from Murdoch! I remember that spot well. Still impressive. Snuka working heel in the corner seems weird. Thump-style powerslam from Muraco AND A LEGDROP! I'm shocked he left his feet. Muraco accidentally hits Snuka on the apron! Swinging neckbreaker by Murdoch to Brunzell gets 2. Murdoch slips going up for the Calf Branding, so he just goes up and does it again. Snuka distracted the ref and led to the flying bodypress from Brunzell only getting 2. Snuka's in and they're talking about him mainly being a face and also teaming with Stevens at one point. Snuka hits a running back elbow to Muraco accidentally. Now they're brawling and they do a double schoolboy spot. Now it's just a brawl. Wahoo's chopping the hell out of Snuka and it's a no contest. Wahoo's mid-ring chop sends Snuka kneeling down, THEN FLYING OVER THE TOP ROPE. Hilarious.

Missy's with the Assassin and Mad Dog Vachon. Mad Dog's voice is so gravely and awesome. Love him telling her HE'S NOT DONE-A TALKING! Jody's mask is way too ill-fitting for his face. He's got a giant double chin and the mask barely fits one of them. And now he's challenging Dusty. Oh thank God that never happened. Ivan Koloff and Baron Von Raschke are out as a team to face Thunderbolt Patterson and Bullet Bob. Bullet Bob was supposed to be his partner. Larry told a story about Mad Dog pulling a guy's eye out and stomping on it while Thunderbolt said he'd kick BOTH OF THEIR ASSES! Bob's out with a knee injury, leading to Brad coming out in street clothes. Thunderbolt's throwing some fine punches here. Nice and wacky. Bolt's in a shirt, which is best for all. Ivan's moving pretty well in there. Baron's selling is hilarious. It's hard to believe he's only 50 here - he always looked 50 no matter what. Bolt took the shirt off and Larry put over Bolt's wacky antics as beneficial for him since it makes it hard to lock up with him. Baron has absolutely no chest definition whatsoever. Love his wacky selling of being angry over a headlock failing. Larry's talking about Ivan dethroning Bruno in the Garden. Tony refers to the WWF Title as "that belt". Tony then talked about Baron being the first World TV Champion of the NWA due to all of the NWA promoters putting their TV champs in a tourney. Giant wacky punches from Bolt leads to Larry comparing him to Shemp. Big double throat thrust to Baron gets the win for Bolt. This was fun.

Tony hypes up THE ORIGINAL FOUR HORSEMEN reuniting tonight. The Flair For the Gold logo is pretty awesome. Flair's got a fairly gaudy bowtie and cummerbund combo. Fifi was quite the looker. Larry's saying HI JOHN for some reason. Flair's putting over Arn being NWA Champion tonight. Arn puts over his shot, HIS ONE SHOT and he'll make it good tonight. Flair said Blanchard wouldn't show up tonight, but the show's only getting better! Flair's putting over Ole nicely. They're blaming Barry for Tully not being there saying he got in his ear - that's about as perfect a way to bring that up and tie it into the night's event as you're gonna get. Flair's putting over THE NEWEST MEMBER OF THE HORSEMEN, using his jet-flying bit for him. PRETTY PAUL ROMA...more like Polite Applause Paul Roma. Roma's mullet is something else.

Tony and Larry are being joined by Johnny Valentine, who can barely be heard. It's time for Bockwinkel vs. Dory after a Beach Blast hype vid. I'll always remember that show because it was on my 10th birthday. I should really watch it. Dory's out with Gene Kiniski. DORY JR HAD A BEARD AT ONE POINT. Makes him look like an older version of Terry. They're hyping up Nick with limited AWA footage, and Nick's got Verne by his side. Now that just seems wrong. Visually, Nick looks about the same as he did in the clips aside from wearing the long black tights under the maroon gear. Uppercut forearms from Dory. Lots of basic holds here. Dory's got him  in a neck crank, resulting in Verne getting on the apron to cause a distraction. Gene just about comes in the ring for...whatever reason. Nick tries to fight out of the cravate but get hit with a snapmare instead. Nice long headscissors here from Bockwinkel. The crowd is not reacting to this at all. It's a slow-paced match, but everything in it is being made to seem important. Tony's talking about Johnny Valentine bringing a fish bowl full of silver dollars to TV and offering them up to anyone who could pin him - no one ever could. Back elbow by Dory lead to the uppercuts again. A boring chant's breaking out now. Nice forearms from Bockwinkel. Larry talked about asking Nick what time it was and being told how to make a watch. Gene pulled Bock out. Bock's going for a slow build to a Boston Crab, but Dory spins out of it. Back suplex gets 1 from Dory. Armbar from Dory and then a surfboard. They've got five minutes left in the time limit. Nick manages to reverse the surfboard and butterflies the arms. This is being paced nicely because it's the longest legends match by far and they don't have the crutch of it being a tag - they've got to carry the load and make sure they can go as long as possible and look good. Snapmare gets 2 for Bockwinkel. Sleeper with about three minutes left. Headlock by Bock leads to Dory teasing a knee breaker, but Bock avoids that by cranking on the headlock. Uppercut sends Bock to the ramp. Outside-in suplex from Dory after Gene grabbed Nick's leg.  Piledriver from Dory doesn't get a count due to a rope break. Butterfly suplex from Dory leads to a Bock backslide for 2. Single leg takedown leads to the spinning toehold, then a cradle from Bock for 2. Figure four from Bock and Gene runs in...no DQ there. Dory's in the ropes. Forearm exchanges. Cradle into the ropes. Dammit, Gene hurts yet another match without actually being a main guy in it. They went 15 minutes and didn't look bad, but a draw for the lone legends singles match sucked. For goodness sake, you've got an NWA Title match on here, have the NWA guy win it.

Eric's with Lou Thesz, who cuts a fine promo. He always seemed so dignified. Bob Giegel's there too. Rude and Orndorff are out to face Dustin and Sasake. Sadly, no "Simply Ravishing" theme here. Matching robes for Rude and Orndorff. Rude wearing the belt over the robe rules - but Paul just holding it in front of the robe looks a bit less ridiculous. Rude's still got the small U.S. belt. Dustin's replacement theme is terrible, and a kid doing the Rude hip swivel with his shirt over his head is disturbing. Sasaki and Orndorff have pretty good chemistry. Rude-Dustin time! Dustin's in his early 20s but looks at least 30 facially. Definitely the curse of looking like his dad. To be fair though, Rude looks much older than him. Both guys run into one another's knee in the corner. Paul SLAMMING DUSTIN'S FACE IN THE GUARDRAIL would be a DQ. My how times have changed. Dustin's got little bolos on the side of his tights - looks ridiculous. A Rude piledriver is countered and leads to Rude going for a tombstone, and then Dustin countered it into one for 2. Sasaki is larating the hell out of Rude. Sasaki presses Rude up and just chucks him down. Orndorff shoves him off the top, then Rude hits the Rude Awakening and holds him down desperately to win. The cover looks wonky, but I liked it - he appeared to be struggling to hold him down, which makes sense since so little was done to hurt him outside of the neckbreaker. Hall of fame is up.

Tony's putting Gordon over for helping him out with his career, and he'll be doing the inductions. Gordon's getting a solid crowd reaction and is asking for it to stop so he may resume - how quaint. His listing of legends who have passed on was classy and they even had a moment of silence for them. The first inductee is Lou Thesz - there's no better person for it. Gordon put over the HOF being in the CNN complex, which I would assume would have just had replica plaques up. Gordon talking about Thesz wrestling just two years before this is kind of crazy to think about. Verne's next up and he's about as perfect a second choice as you'll get. Gordon says he was AWA World Champion 14 times, while Verne says it was 9. Verne has thankfully changed into a nice suit and not one that appears ripped from an old car. Mr. Wrestling II is up and they're showing a photo with him and Jimmy Carter. He declined the inauguration in order to avoid having to be seen without his mask. Eddie Graham's going in and will be inducted by his son. Boy is this much sadder to watch given how everything turned out with him. Mike Graham has a puffy mullet and an earring. Yikes.

Missy is with John Tolos and Lord James Blears. WCW IS THE ONLY WAY TO SPELL WRESTLING. John's angling for another payday. Blears' suit is blinding. Sting-Prisoner is up next. Oh GOD! Kevin Kelly had something in the AWA, and man did he ever lose it at some point. He went from looking 20-something to looking at least 45. Prisoner's getting a giant Bossman chant. Frankenstein choke by Nailz on the ropes. Choke in the corner. Single-armed choke in the corner... BOOT CHOKE IN THE CORNER! GROUNDED CHOKE ON THE ROPE. For. Fuck's. Sake. DO SOMETHING ELSE. AN IRISH WHIP AND A BACK ELBOW! And then a choke. Okay. This is ridiculous. He finally throws some punches to...some part of Sting's face. Could've cracked an egg with one of them. Backbreaker and a 2! Kicks and back hand shots from Sting. Eye rake from Nailz. Cable choke from Nailz. His offense should in theory look credible if it's going to be so...lean in variety. Nope. It looks like shit. He's trying to hang him with the cable...well that's just a bad idea. It's impossible to think that Sting's the de facto top face and is in this nothing match. This would be a waste of a match on Worldwide, let alone a PPV. Sting hits a terrible clothesline for 2. Backdrop from Sting opens him up for a Stinger splash and...Nailz won't go down for a scorpion deathlock so he just covers for 2. Throat thrust from Naiz. MORE CHOKING. Nailz starts choking the ref, then gets hit with a flying clothesline off the top and pinned. Thank the lord above, this is over. The crowd pops and it has to just be due to it being over. Cage is going up for the tag title match.

It's DA CRUSHER and Ox Baker. Crusher calls Ox a bum, and well, his suit doesn't exactly refute that claim. I love Ox taking such visible offense to that claim. Crusher's rambling about his grandkids. Ox's giant eyebrows rule. I-AAA LOVE TA HURT PEOPLE! "Ya know Crusher, yer better lookin than me - JUST NOTICED THAT!" Ox Baker is amazing. Steamboat and "Shane Douglas" are out as the Dos Hombres in the most jobberiffic gear possible. YAY THE HOLLYWOOD BLONDS THEME IS INTACT! Brian's hair is far too dark for this moniker. Some agents right out of Saved by the Bell are watching the Blondes. Steamboat chops start things off. Armbar. Tony is having so much fun with Larry out there. It's so sad that the shitty product killed his love for wrestling, because he's great here. Larry talks about having the same laces in his boots since he debuted - they're parachute cords and don't wear down. MASSIVE toss into the cage to Austin. Goddamn the smack of that. ATOMIC DROP INTO THE CAGE. Now that's a spot that needs to come back. Crazy flip bump into the cage from Austin. Larry says he retired Bruno in Shea...yeah nah. Really iffy gut shot from Zenk to Pillman. Had to be Zenk since it didn't look good and Steamboat would make sure it was solid. PRESS SLAM FROM STEAMBOAT TO PILLMAN INTO THE CAGE! Big E should be doing that at some point. Nice left arm clothesline from Steamboat. Suplex into a tree of woe on the cage. STINGER SPLASH AGAINST THE CAGE! SWEET CHRIST DID THAT NOT GO WELL. The second splash was a crossbody and Steamboat landed right on Steve's head on the way down. Nice snap on the chops and back elbow from Austin. Elbow off the second rope from Austin gets 2. Nice bit with Austin holding onto the gear to pin whoever is in there with them in their corner. Pillman uses the towel to choke the guy out, then dab his head. Just perfect. Big splash off the second rope from Pillman is met with a big boot. Big rights by Zenk. Spinebuster from Austin leads to Larry saying he'll be in the hall of fame one day. Pillman splash gets knees to the gut. Steamboat comes in and hits the double chops. Moon spot by Austin leads to an electric chair drop. Pillman gets crotched on the ropes. Ouch. Double noggin knocker. "Double coconut time" from Tony led to "yeah, that's about the size of 'em after that..." which works for either of the last spots. Alternating team cage tosses. Steamboat goes up top and takes the mask off for a crossbody block. The cage was moving way too much for my liking there. False 3 count there. Double dropkicks from the faces get a 2. Stun Gun to Zenk gets the win. Easily the best match on the show so far. Love Larry on the replay saying the crossbody was a PERFECT IMITATION OF CAPTAIN PLANET.

Eric's with Stu Hart, Mr. Wrestling II, and Dusty. Dusty's answering the Assassin's challenge. HIS BIG ASS IS STANDING OUT HERE, SO COME AND GET IT BAYBEE! Mr. Wrestling II paid very little attention to the promo, and just said that whoever Dusty's after, he'll get. Stu's talking about his sons being wrestlers and his daughters all being married to wrestlers...it's amazing he lived as long as he did. He's here to support his son in law Davey for the world title tonight. Davey really felt like he should've won the title during this run since it was his first true main event run and he had some momentum. Arn's out in the thinnest Horsemen jacket in history. Barry and his gut are out with the big gold. Barry's no longer a Horseman, he's The Lone Wolf - that is an awesome moniker. Side belly to belly from Arn - I never remember him busting that out before. Nice shot from Barry to Arn. Chop from Arn leads to an iffy-looking snap DDT for 2. Love Barry yanking Arn out to the ramp to attack him. Barry's already breathing heavy and it's not even five minutes in. Double axehandle off the second rope from Arn led to him eating a nice clothesline. A guy is yelling at Arn to smack his face. Toss over the top and once again, it's not a DQ. Now it's due to him being on the apron. Just nix the rule if you're not going to enforce it. Head to the railing isn't a DQ because it's under NWA rules. Barry's busted open so his head matches his gear. Small package from Arn gets 2. Arn was not good at that move - it looks way too loose here and it had the same issue at Slamboree '95 against Alex Wright. Sleeper from Arn. Tons of blood on Barry. This match is perfectly fine, but not as good as it could've been. Arn is just not "on" here. DROPKICK FROM BARRY to Arn on the top. Nice spot there. Barry's '93 run was really iffy. He was fantastic in the '80s and early '90s, and then amazing again in '99, but the periods between that were underwhelming. Barry's head is just coated in blood. Flying lariat off the top from Barry was smooth and Arn bumped like a champ for it. Arn kicks out at 2. Nice grounded uppercut from Arn. Arn couldn't get the gorbuster, but Barry got the floatover suplex. No one ever done that as smoothly as Barry did. SPINEBUSTER FROM ARN but he can't cover - Barry rolls to the floor. They're talking about a possible blood stoppage again - I do love them referencing history to get you to think things could end one way. Barry tries to leave with the belt but Arn tosses him back. Arn threw the ref down and then got bonked with the belt and beat. Well, the finish played into the bit with Barry before and Arn costing himself the title, but man did that not get the revamped Horsemen off to a good start.

They're talking about Davey getting involved in Vader's public training session and now it's world title time. They never did call the NWA Title a world title. Davey's in his Union Jack BRITISH BULLDOG gear, so I guess this is before they got legal letters. Davey is jacked to the gills here. Vader's theme rules. VHOP - Vader's House of Pain - NOW SERVING PUNISHMENT wins for the best sign. Davey has tons and tons of fringe on every part of his gear. Between that and the corn rows though, it actually kind of works as a look for him. Davey no-sells a shortarm clothesline, which works visually because damn is he ever thick. Bodyshot and the bodyblock ALSO GET NO-SOLD. Wow. During the collar and elbow tie-up, Davey looks nearly as big as Vader here.  Vader's wider, but thickness is about even. Vader is resorting to just beating the fuck out of Davey's body, head, and neck. Nice choke from Vader. It's got some intensity, unlike everything from Nailz. Bodyblock on the guardrail misses and Vader flips over into the crowd. Walking slam from Davey to Vader. DELAYED VERTICAL SUPLEX TO VADER gets a huge pop. They are hyped up for Davey tonight. Bodycheck off the top is met with a powerslam! Clothesline over the top. They are rabid for Davey. Larry's talking about being super-huge making you less limber, quick, and making it harder to have stamina...yup that's definitely all hurting Davey. A whoop there it is chant breaks out. Davey goes for a crucifix, but Vader drops into a Samoan drop. Giant leaping elbow to the thigh area. Yet another one. Vader's making everything he does count. Big Vader bomb gets 2. Vader's grabbing the hair to hit some nice hooks. Vader's going up for a splash now. Nope, Davey gets up and then Vader hits the body block. Davey's nose is busted up, and now Vader's smacking him around. Vader's superplex gets countered into a super gordbuster and then takes himself out by headbutting Vader. Davey covers and only gets 2 because he didn't hook the legs. There's another little touch they need to talk more about. Sunset flip>ass splash miss spot gets 2 for Davey. Nice right cross from Vader takes Davey down in one shot. Giant splash from Vader hits oddly, leading to him just yelling SHIT! and holding his chest. Vader hits a stiff kick from a downed position to Davey. He tosses Davey out so Harley can do some damage. Big clubs from Vader take Davey down in the corner. Ass splash from Vader hits with ease. Camel clutch from Vader leads to an electric chair drop that has Harley frozen with shock. Davey's attacking with punches and clotheslines and FINALLY gets him down. Vader went for a crossbody in the corner and Davey caught him for the powerslam and got 2 thanks to Harley getting involved. Vader grabs Larry's chair and hits Davey for a DQ. Wow. A DQ for the main event world title match finish. Bagwell gets demolished by Vader. As does Scorp. Sting comes down to make a save and hits the clothesline off the top. Davey gets the win but not the belt. Logically, this should've set up Davey getting a shot with a DQ for Vader giving Davey the title.

Eric's with Magnum TA. Magnum looks basically the same here facially as he did in his wrestling days. Verne's hyping up how WCW has THE REAL WRESTLING TALENT. Yet another guy angling for a regular paycheck here - can't blame him. Larry and Verne sending the show off was something else. It was strange to see the AWA get so much love on a WCW show, but good to see. It also made perfect sense with Greg being in the company along with Eric, but the show as a whole wasn't very good. The cage match and WCW Title matches were great, but the NWA Title match underperformed and the rest of the card was nothing special. The hall of fame inductions were too low key and didn't feel very important. It was an interesting time capsule show because they just got Flair back, but he couldn't work and they were trying to bridge the past with the present and future by having the Horsemen reunite and that just didn't work out. Had Roma been say an IC-level guy in the WWF, he could've come in and worked as Tully's replacement. But as a guy in a C-level WWF tag team...yeah he was just doomed to fail.

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