Tuesday, August 26, 2014

WCW Slamboree 1994

The F4W board is having a bit of a viewing part for this show, so let's cue it up! Slamboree '94 has always been a favorite of mine, and it's neck and neck with Spring Stampede '94 for me. Gene brings out hte legends. Ole looks fantastic. Penny Banner looks good for her age too. Tully looks 50. DA CRUSHER is aided by always looking 50. Don Curtis looks fine. Terry's no-show was hilarious. Verne looks the same as ever. HARD BOILED HAGGERTY! Now there's a man! Larry Hennig's out with "Henning" on the graphic. Kowalski's toupee is hilarious. Love seeing Ladd out there. WAHOO! WAHOO! Mosca out in a shirt doesn't fit everyone else in a suit. Harley looks like Harley. Ray Stevens looks slimmer than he did in the AWA at the end. LOU THESZ looked the same forever. Weaver looks okay. Mr. Wrestling II looks the same as ever. Tommy Young is calm and collected out there. Bobby and Tony hype up the card. It's hard to believe Flair was feuding with COLONEL PARKER.

Nick Bockwinkel with Heenan is always fun, and he looks fantastic with the Big Gold Belt. Sting's red blazer, pants, and wacky tie are something else. They show clips of Rude-Sting from Japan, but not the injury, and explain the vacating of the title being due to Rude cheating by using the belt and diving off the top. Sting doesn't want to get the title by decision, he wants a match! JOHNNY B. BADD gets a Michael Buffer intro, which seems bizarre. One big upside to using Buffer for every title match is that every title felt important. The Badd Blaster is a fantastic little prop - someone should bring it back. it would be fitting for Stardust. Buffer introduces THE DEFENDING UNITED STATES CHAMPION, STUNNING STEVE AUSTIN. This establishes that simply defending the title is important. I love the close-ups of the ref holding the title up - I used to make cardboard replicas of belts out of folders, and would use those closeups to make the titles. Steve's black and gold shiny velvet vest look good. Steve's "US Champ" text on the back of the gear looks like crap, although he had better iron-on text that were cocky and actually fit the character.

I love Steve getting flustered and Heenan telling him to take the 9 count and regroup. HEY BOBBY, THERE'S SHERRI MARTEL SENSUOUS SHERRI! I love Tony pointing out that no matter what, it comes back to wrestling and how Steve has held the title since the last event of '93 - making a five month reign seem so much more important. Tony ranting about how the rules have changed for a break off of cheating is just amazing given how much more erosion has happened with that. Heenan saying that Wahoo is out there selling blankets is something else. Tony is really fantastic at this point in time, and WCW's more realistic presentation of everything helps. Heenan saying that Steve should just grab two of Johnny's fingers and bend them back until they touch - then he can't hit ya! Sound logic. They're just exchanging random holds for seemingly eons, getting a boring chant in the process. Love Tony schooling Bobby on baseball. More holds. Big lariat from Johnny! Dropkick! Big kneelift gets a Mr. Wrestling II mention from Tony. Johnny gets a visual pin off an Oklahoma roll and Johnny gets a schoolboy and a 2.9, but the bell rings! Super sunset from Johnny gets a 2.9! Austin hits a thumb to the eye, Johnny gets a back suplex, but Austin holds onto the g-string and gets the win with a crappy cradle and cover. And he gets KOed by the punch anyway. Gene hypes up THE HOTLINE and if Cactus should be banned from WCW or not. Wahoo, Gene, and Ladd are together for a promo. Ladd talks about how nice it is to be honored by his sport. Gene puts over THE SPORT being better for having Ladd, while Gene talks about the blanket joke from Heenan. Wahoo says THEY'RE GOOD BLANKETS, and Heenan might need a good one when he's buried. Everything's great from Wahoo, ditto Gene. Dusty is "IN HOLLYWOOD!" via green screen to cut a promo. Dusty's in his PRIIIIMMMMEEE! Life is like a winding railroad.

Tully looks so old. TERRY FUNK'S THEME IS AMAZING! And he even gets pyro. "WE'RE HERE, YA DAMN RIGHT WE'RE HERE!" Ah, I remember loving this match for the ECW stuff that goes on. An ECW chant begins IMMEDIATELY. Tully's got more fire in his punches than he has hair. Great slap exchange on the floor. Solie and Heenan are an odd mix in theory, but work well together as total opposites. A PAIR OF CRUTCHES are thrown, resulting in great amazement from Solie. Terry hits a shitty atomic drop on the floor. Terry just hits a perfect hangman's neckbreaker - absolutely perfect. Terry hits some hard chops on Tully on the ramp "YOU SON OF A BITCH!". Terry breaks off a piece of wood to piledrive Tully through it, but he just puts his ass through it. Terry's selling of a DDT on the ramp is something else. Solie puts over Nick Patrick as a young wrestler who blew a knee out and become a great referee. A "we want blood" chant broke out. TERRY DID THE MOONSAULT and landed on his back for a 2 count from Tully. Tully is laying his punches in something fierce here. Gotta give Tully credit - he's being forced to step his game up and is doing so. Terry sets up a chair for a super piledriver, but lands on it, so Tully flips out of it and Terry just hits windmill punches. Tully hits the ref, Terry hits Tully with the branding iron. This was a total clusterfuck, but a lot of fun. A bullshit chant breaks out. Terry grabs Hat Guy's hat and elbow drops it, then hands it back. It's a double DQ.

Jesse's backstage with no hair on the top of his head, but a ponytail on the back. Wow. Flair is in the most '90s shirt ever. They show clips of the BLONDE SIX FOOT SEVEN, FORMER WORLD CHAMP attacking him last night. Flair cuts a fantastic promo on Terry Funk about him wanting back in the big-time door. Larry Zybisko's theme is pretty fantastic too. They've got a really intricate purple and gold balloon setup on the side of the ramp that I've never noticed before. Bill Dundee as Sir William is so weird. Regal's cape is amazing. Larry's in really good shape here and gets the lead with a trip and calls him a piece of crap. Hat Guy tells Sir William to go back to Memphis. Spinning back kick sends Regal to the floor. Regal's facial expressions are body language are already amazing at this point. Regal is so very tentative, and it's perfect for his character. Regal goes for an abdominal stretch, but LARRY GETS IT ON AND CHEATS to the cheers of the fans. Given that the whole story here is him outsmarting Regal, this works. Regal hiptosses out and gets 2 while Sherri takes notes and a fan with a shirt, bow tie, and giant pink W on his shirt are behind her. Heenan says she could be after Regal's crown jewels, resulting in an immediate request for a clarification from Tony. Sir William told Regal to "PLEASE KNOCK HIM OUT QUICKLY, SIR - THE QUEEN WANTS YOU!" I like how quick Larry is here, and how he's using Regal's only sneaky tactics against him. He's a rare example of a guy who can work dirty as a face and make it work out perfectly for the character. Tony puts over the hall of fame later, and Bobby asks what you get for it. Tony says "nothing". WAY TO PUT THAT OVER. Regal's got an odd almost Russian legsweep-looking armlock on with a leg trap. Someone dares chant boring, resulting in Larry firing up. Larry gets a tight sleeper on, but loosens it, gets a jaw jacker and Regal goes for a butterfly suplex after an umbrella shot resulting in a win when Larry reverses the move and traps him. Gene talks about THE HOTLINE and brings in Terry Funk - he didn't come out before because HE'S THE LEGEND in Philly. TERRY FUNK IS IN TOWN AND HE'S A HARDCORE WRESTLER! Terry points out that he's live, so he could talk for hours if he wanted to and they couldn't make him leave. AND HE HATES THAT EGG-SUCKING DOG DUSTY, BUT SINCE HE'S OLD, HE'LL ATTACK THE SON OF A SON OF A CARPENTER! Terry is so amazing. Gordon's out so it's HoF time.

Gordon says the HoF crosses all companies. Thesz is out as the first Hall of Famer, who will hand everyone their plaques tonight. Harley's the first one out, and Solie puts him over for coming back from a massive car-train accident, he eventually beat Thesz's record. He's also the only man to beat Dory and Terry Funk for the NWA World Title, and his last reign ended at Starrcade getting a huge WOOO chant even then. DA CRUSHA is next! Crusher saying HOW 'BOUT THAT while getting his plaque and chomping a stogie is amazing. Ladd is inductee #3, and really put him over as a sports legend. Gordon Solie puts over the physical hall of fame location at CNN Center. The Assassin is #4. Ole's 5 and it's amazing how well he's aged, outside of severe illnesses. The sixth inductee has passed away, and is Dick the Bruiser - well, when you've got The Crusher in, you've gotta put him in too. His mother apparently ran for Congress in the '50s - wow. Gordon's going to quote his grandson, which is going to be tough to get through. Yup, it was. Wow was that just emotionally exhausting.

Jesse talks with Col. Parker about Buck facing Dustin and the SIX FOOT SEVEN, BLONDE FORMER WORLD CHAMPION! I love how pissed Jesse is at not being given the scoop. Chael Sonnen should've used "The Natural" for his theme. I always loved Heenan calling Buck a nut - THE HEAD CASHEW in fact. DUSTIN AND BUCK BE CLUBBERING to start. We get a hanging spot to start, and in a comedy spot to boot. How very odd - only in wrestling is a hanging played for comedy. This is like a strap match, but with pins and not that corner bullshit. Dustin teases a ball stomp and delivers. Dustin does a drop-down resulting in Buck placing the rope by his crotch and BOOM, the rope gets pulled. Sometimes, predictable is so very good. A huge WE WANT BLOOD chant breaks out. Fans are squawking for whatever reason. Buck tears Dustin's shirt so he can beat him with the rope and bell. I like Buck using the rope to tie Dustin up to the post. Buck beats him, but eats a ball shot. They beat each other up some more and Buck gets a full nelson so Parker can attack. Dustin attacks with a '60s Batman kick to send Parker down and nails Buck with the bell to win. Funk comes in and beats him with the branding iron. They fuck up a spike piledriver TWICE! Terry gets a huge chant for this beating.This was fun, but the post-match stuff hurt it.

Gene's with Red Bastien and Ray Stevens, who still sounds fantastic. Flair's out in a gold robe out first, which Tony points out is odd, and is due to Col. Parker demanding it. Parker's out to the theme that the Horsemen would later use. Parker prevents Buffer from doing the intro, which is fine by him - I'm sure he gets paid the same either way. Barry Windham and his saggy man boobs came down. Jesse says that Barry lost the WCW World Title to Flair...well, I guess he didn't want to use the NWA name here. Odd to not just use the International title name though. Flair got his intro and they showed a fan in a Flair robe in the crowd. They start off with some basic chops and punches before Barry misses a big spinning elbow. Barry eats some corner chops, but comes back with a lariat. Tony hypes up Hogan and says Flair could be arrogant going into this match and believing his own hype. That's a very subtle heel tease - much like the month before with the Steamboat match. Barry's got a chinlock and is using the rope for leverage. Barry chucks him into the buckle for a Flair flip. Barry gets the floatover superplex, but it's not seamless and gets 2. Flair chops and punches him down into a Flair flop! Flair gets a delayed suplex. Jesse points out that a suplex does harm to the guy doing it, so he prefers a slam. Flair picks the leg for the figure four and gets it, while Barry makes it to the rope thanks to Parker. Flair goes for again, but eats an eye rake. Third time's the charm and Flair gets it again, but he was too close to the ropes. FLAIR GOES UP AND HITS A FLYING CHOP! Kneedrop to the head gets 2. They do a Cactus-style over the ropes crossbody spot. Jesse talks about Sensuous Sherri being there. Flair gets a good right resulting in a beg-off. Great corner punches from Flair set up a mid-ring haymaker. FLAIR WITH A JACKKNIFE PIN GETS 2! Low headbutt from Barry sets up a toss to the Colonel that backfires with a chop. More heel miscues lead to a Flair flip and a shitty-looking crossbody off the top for 3! A goofball BATB video aired. Heenan was actually a comedy act here, so it was kinda funny. Gene's with DA CRUSHER and Don Curtis.  DA CRUSHER cuts a great promo about murdering dem bums, a barrel, and DA DAMES!

Dave Schultz cuts an awesome promo about being the ref for the next match. Schultz and the face team have the same theme. They start off, shockingly, with brawling. Someone's chucked into the crowd, a chair is thrown, and crutches are used in the first minute. Sags uses a fire extinguisher on Cactus's back. Kevin hits a crappy piledriver on the ramp on Sags. Schultz is just getting the fuck out of here and staying on the ramp - smart. He's just going to let them do whatever and not get in the way. Cactus elbow off the second rope TO A TRASH CAN misses, and Cactus hits his head on the barricade. Sags is beating Cactus with a camera! Sags smashes Cactus with a chairshot to the head. Sags is just wailing on dudes with the destroyed trash can. OUTSIDE-IN CACTUS CLOTHESLINE. Schultz just has no idea what to make of this. Sags has a table and no wind. Beale to Cactus off the ramp through a table on the floor! Sags hits Cactus with a light stand, so Cactus suplexes the table on him! Sags beats him with a can lid, so Sullivan goes after the group with Knobs and attacks them with it. Sags tosses Jack in and hits the elbow! Sags pushes Schultz, so Schultz attacks him with punches, does some hockey shots and lets Cactus KO Sags with the stick. Huge pop for all that. This was a crazy-fun brawl and I love Jesse's pure rage over A REFEREE ATTACKING A WRESTLER! Payne returns to a polite reaction to bonk Sags with a guitar and the faces trap him with Dave hitting him with crutch on the ramp. A fan holds up a sign saying that WCW is too tough for Hulk Hogan. I love that they're talking about this afterwards and letting all of the carnage breathe. Tony plugs the program and shirt package - YOU CAN CELEBRATE THE GARBAGE CAN MATCH!

They recap the Sting-Rude issue and Sags is STILL OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RING! This is a heck of a sight and with Jesse putting them over as fighting all the odds, it would've made for a great babyface turn right after - or at least a way to set them up as character babyfaces. Gene plugs the hotline about banning Cactus Jack, who is actually a face here. Gene talks about the tag title fiasco and watching it with Lou Thesz and Verne Gagne - what a sight to see them together on-screen together. The only thing that would've made this better was Nick being on-screen with them too. Lou says that instead of a point system, they used sharp objects - nice little pun there. IT'S VADER TIME! I love Vader's little hunched-over stomping thing he does. Race saying IT'S VADER TIME is just terrifying - his gruff voice fits Vader perfectly. They had fantastic on-air chemistry, and it's amazing that the WWF ever put him with Cornette, who is just a visual clash for him. Both Vader and a very tan Sting get pyro. A very pale guy with a mustache yells VADER TIME while doing the sign. Buffer has a fine blue blazer on. They do an overhead shot of the crowd that is just awful - it looks like 90% of the building is either empty or blanketed in darkness. Vlad yells about Sting being the next champion, baby!

Sting's orange and blue gear looks really good on him - it's an odd color combo, but it works. Vader shoves Sting against the ropes and gives him a clean break, followed by a bow! Fans are yelling STING MUST DIE. Yup - it's Philly. Vader gets him in the corner and clubs away. I love how Brock is basically a modern-day Vader with those, and yet so few games have really ever gotten it right. The Aki games did though. Sting is rattled and he eats a shortarm clothesline. Sting fights back with Vader's own strikes and sends him to the floor. Sting gets a suplex and sells his back from the pain. Vader hits a bodyblock, but Sting absorbs it and tries his luck - he eats it and is taken down. Vader drops an elbow to the leg and slaps him - ha! Vader Bomb hits and gets 2. A second one hits and they get a perfect angle for it - showing Sting's body violently rattling from it. Vader locks on a weird leglock with an abdominal stretch of sorts too. Vader gets tired of this and just nails some mounted shots. Heenan says that the second Harley heard about the change in plans, he got Vader up to train and plan strategy. I just love things being treated seriously and a picture being painted in your mind that you can believe. Vader gets another leglock, but Sting gets out and goes to the corner. Vader lifts him up to beat him up and eats some shots, including his signature backhand shots and a big windup punch. Vader gets an elbow to the back. Sting goes for a flying lariat, but his Randy Anderson, so Vader can't get a win off a chokeslam. Race goes to hit Vader with a chair, but Sting moves and Vader goes down to both that and a DDT. Vader gets up at 2, but gets clotheslined to the floor. Vader catches him in a Stinger Splash and hits a powerslam. Vader's moonsault misses and Sting gets 2, but Harley's headbutt misses and Sting's flying splash off the top gets the win! Heenan shows highlights and a fan holds up a Dave Meltzer sign. Vader is pissed and starts swinging a chair around. What a great show - not so much bell-to-bell classics, but it's a really fun show to watch from top to bottom.

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