Sunday, March 2, 2014

WCW Slamboree '95

I really should watch Slamboree '95 - I never got to see it as a kid and loved the whole Legends Reunion/HOF deal. What the fuck, might as well do it now. Nastys-Heat starts off with a great Heat promo talking about delivering whoopings. WE'RE THE BOYS, WE'RE THE NASTY BOYS. Fun theme. Thank God, no Knobbs - this is actually a pretty fun little match. Knobbs as a hot tag-y works for me. Knobbs's catch of Sherri off the top was fine, THEN HE JUST THREW HER ONTO STEVIE OVER THE TOP ROPE. She had a rough landing against the railing and damn, this was vile. Nastys win with the powerslam>elbow. Punk's elbow MIGHT've been better than Sags'. EARL ROBERT OF EATON. I demand an on demand section of just wacky WCW skits with continuity. If Vince is really pissed at Mick, throw the Lost in Cleveland stuff in there. After years of TNA skits, they're honestly not all that bad after watching them on Worldwide via CoD. Sullivan's promo on the Butcher is pretty solid. Gene is much better though describing the Butcher  "Look at what you did to this man, HE'S NOW TOTALLY USELESS!" The Man With No Name is the Man With a Bad Theme and The Man With an Orange Tan. Sullivan's theme has sirens! More themes need sirens - Ryback's was so much better with a siren. Stuff. Sleeper is broken up with something generously resembling a jawjacker. Nice overhand slaps to the chest from No Name. Stinger splash misses, leading to the tree of woe knee strike to the belly welly and the double stomp for the win.

Hogan's cutting a promo about the MACHOMONSTERMANIACS BROTHER. Fuck Hogan. Poor Arn gets ANGELO POFFO as his foil for this whole deal. Angelo went from looking like a 50 year old in shape in Memphis to about 70 in '95. Now that's fair because he was, but damn did this make the heels seem weak. Nice little promo from Angelo though. The legends matches having a black and white filter absolutely sucks. This was never done in '93 and '94, and just makes everyone seem old. Wahoo hailing from "the University of Oklahoma" in the AWA was hilarious then, and even funnier many years later here. Heenan and Solie work shockingly well together, and you'd think that combo wouldn't work out well because they're so different, but it's great. Each one is still fantastic at their own style. Murdoch's body looks so much older here than in '93. Wahoo is aided by always looking 1,000. Hard to believe Murdoch was only alive for a year after this. Love the 3 Stooges selling of the chop from Murdoch. Murdoch doing a slow fall onto his ass to sell another one ruled. Murdoch was such a music between the notes kinda guy. He wasn't all about moves, but getting the most out of everything he did. So he may not make for a great video game character, but he's damned fun to watch. Murdoch's mouth is busted up. CALF BRANDING by Murdoch! Murdoch's elbows still look great. Wahoo wins with a chop. Wahoo did what he could here, while Murdoch ruled!

Passionate promo from Big Bubba Rogers - this suit look worked great for him. They should've just gone with this when he came over to WCW. MUTA'S OUTFIT IS AMAZING! And he's facing Orndorff...I sense a clash in styles. MUTA GETS A LIVE DRUM INTRO! Sadly no swank '89 theme for him here. And this is an IWGP Title match for God knows what reason. Muta's black and red paint looks great. Bischoff comes off really knowledgeable talking about Japan, jet lack, and the like. Holds. Holds. More holds. Thankfully, he finally hits the handspring elbow. Backbreaker moonsault combo gets the clean win. Muta just gets the generic WCW Japanese theme song, which is pretty solid, but nowhere near as cool as his '89 one. Great Arn-Wright video package. Boy was it a mistake to not give Wright the belt here. Arn just lost it a month later to the fucking Renegade, and Wright had no momentum for ages after this. Nice promo from Arn with Flair and Vader. Flair's in super-high pants and is apparently going to work in street clothes. I love Flair basically saying that Hogan and his buddies have ruined WCW by bringing WWF bullshit into it. Vader naming his biceps Itsy and Bitsy THE PYTHON EATERS is great. Terry Funk cuts a promo about not being sure if he's a Terry looks shockingly similar now to how he did here.

THE ALEX WRIGHT DANCE. Good lord, I thought that was just the coolest thing then. At least I was only 10 or so. Arn Anderson is THE MAN. He exudes tough working guy who will work hard and kick whatever ass needs to be kicked to accomplish a goal. I love the side headlock>rollup 2 count stuff. That's a really simple thing that should be brought back. Northern lights doesn't get a count because he gets up. Missile dropkick gets 2. Nice bodyshot by Arn in the corner. Great fakeout for the left hook leading to the snap DDT to a huge pop and a win. Arn's character was such that you may not like him, but you at least had to respect him. This network is so great for going on an Arn marathon. According to Heenan, THE FACE TEAM WAS FOUND BY SECURITY TRYING TO FLEE THE BUILDING VIA THEIR DRESSING ROOM WINDOW. Glorious.

Hawk-Meng is the SPECIAL SURPRISE BONUS MATCH! Hawk in his Hell Raisers gear is out. That gear ruled - easily the best overall look for the Road Warriors. THIS MATCH WOULD BE A MAIN EVENT IN ANY ARENA ON THE EARTH and it's here on WCW PPV as a bonus match. Yeah wow no way, Eric. "WCW and New Japan set the standard for pro wrestling" with the North Korea shows - well hell, might as well go big with that and put over what you can possibly take credit for. They clubber, they don't sell, and Hawk takes a helluva bump off a shoulder charge in the corner. Goes sailing right to the floor - it's a thing of beauty. YAY MORE CLUBBERING! Double countout. Whatever. Fun match.

Hall of fame time. Solie told a nice story about Wahoo getting seriously injured and put over him being an AWA and NWA tag champ. Wahoo's out in a nice shirt, tie, and blazer...and jeans. Pretty nothing speech from Wahoo though. Terry's next. Hard to believe he was already 51 here and is still working. Funk being in a bunch of Stallone movies is put over. HI MOM! Terry rules. He puts over his wife, daughters, and a 30 year career at that point. Damn, he's been working for nearly 50 fucking years. Solie somewhat sarcastically puts over Poffo for going into the HOF for doing situps. Lanny gets a mention, and he looks EXACTLY like his dad did in one of the historic photos. Terrible promo by Angelo about the main event. Solie's comparison of Inoki as being like a diamond - no matter what side you examine, his life reflects brilliance, was great. Ali-Inoki was put over as putting Ali in the hospital for 2 days. Collision in Korea clips are shown - including the card ceremony. Terrible echo for Solie here. Inoki is such a fascinating character, there's definitely no one else like him.

Solie breaks into tears talking about Big John Studd. His feud with Andre is put over, as is his focus on living in northern VA for 18 years. I was amazed to learn that when he died, he was only about half an hour away from me. Gordon's reading of a poem spoken at his service was fantastic. His son Robert is maybe 12-13 and is talking about his deceased father on global PPV and doing a damned fine job of it. Solie tells a story about Dusty digging ditches at 8 before being told then that there could be an American dream. Dusty's charisma is put over, as was the team with Dick Murdoch. A college course on the American dream was crafted due to Dusty. Dusty gets a MASSIVE POP with his arrival. CODY'S OUT THERE. He gives Cody the plaque and his daughter Teal the flowers. Puts over Dakota, Eddie Graham, his dad, and the fans. Dusty's scar tissue is honestly distracting even in '95. Dusty's surprise induction of Solie is amazing. Gene came out as a seeming fakeout. Gordon truly was amazing. He was a bit like Joe Friday in that he was so serious, but you took the man seriously when he said something. Gordon is in tears with this. Gordon's speech wasn't exactly smooth, but it was genuine and if there's one thing WCW did better than WWE does now is making the hall of fame seem genuine. It didn't have the pomp and circumstance, but dammit, it felt genuine and heartfelt.

Sting's an 11 out of 10 on the Roidy Magoo scale for this promo. LOLing at Gene saying IT'S TIME FOR TOTAL NONSTOP ACTION! Big Bubba's theme rules. Bubba brings out the world's oldest and shittiest-looking table to bonk Sting into. Bubba taps to the scorpion deathlock. "A Man Called Sting" isn't able to be used, so instead of using the vastly-superior "Turbo Charged", they go with generic shit. BOO! Main event time. WOO FLAIR! Flair's in purple, which helps him match Vader's purple trim. Fairly big pyro display for Flair. Vader looks like such a badass. This network is so worth it just to watch Vader demolish dudes whenever you want. I should really check out SuperBrawl V at some point just to see how Hogan-Vader actually turned out. The Mega Powered-Monster Maniacs get an even bigger pyro display. The Giant is shown briefly. HE'S THE KING OF HULKMANIA, HE IS HULK HOGAN! Perfectly fine little tag match here. Hogan and Vader works great in a tag match because Vader can do some stuff to him briefly, then get Flair in there to eat some offense. Vader's relying on way too many holds against Hogan - it's good for diversity's sake, but bad for the whole point of this character being to crush people. Vader bomb misses. Vader and Savage have some fine brawling outside - that'd be a fun singles match. Anderson's in...and that's not a DQ because why not. Big legdrop gets the win. Helluva return for Flair here. Great beating on Savage and Poffo. Poffo took a solid bump for the punches. Savage looks like he's ready to just wreck fuckers after this. As far as Hogan-era shows go, this was a pretty decent one. It had just enough of that WCW feel to not feel like WWF-lite even with that permeating into some aspects of the show.

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