Monday, March 27, 2017

WCW Spring Stampede 1994

This is one of my favorite shows of all-time, and there's a Wayback Playback for it - so let's have at it! WCW wasn't exactly on a hot streak here, as many of their house shows were cancelled before this show and Scorpio was fired after the Saturday Night tapings due to drugs. ECW was using WCW wrestlers as a make-good for When Worlds Collide being used by WCW, apparently, and Eaton and Arn had an ECW match that wasn't taped. Aaron Neville sings the National Anthem and Johnny B. Badd comes out in a bright red and white sequin cowboy getup. DDP is out in quite the ridiculous getup - a stogie, a GOOD GAWD vest, shades with fringe and a guy has a WE WANT CHRIS AND TAMMY sign. LOL.

DDP has a back brace with a zebra print side on it. Wowzers. DDP's fluffy mullet is something else, too. Long armbar from Badd after some actual exciting stuff. Nice series of dropkicks from Badd leads to DDP pulling him face-first into the buckle. The Chris and Tammy sign guy has a WHO BOOKED THAT sign, too. DDP gets 2 off a jackhammer, wow - I don't recall him doing that. A pescado hits by Badd and then a sunset flip off the top from Johnny ends it. Solid.

Bobby and Tony chat before Gene and Jesse chat and make jokes about him winning his WWF lawsuit. Michael Buffer is mid-ring for the TV Title match. Hearing him talk about Brian Pillman is something else. It's amazing to see Sir William and then realize A. he's STILL WRESTLING and B. he was the biggest actual draw in this match by far. Regal's cape is fucking amazing. Pillman starts with big overhand chops and punches in the corner via a sneak attack...and he's the face. So he'd fit right in in 2017. Regal begs off so Brian just kneels down and slaps the shit out of him. Awesome.

Pillman kicks his ass all around ringside and preps each side to cheer by saying he'll bring them over there and beat Regal up. Regal does a leg avalanche and then turns that into an STF seamlessly before crossfacing him. Bow and arrow by Regal is locked on snuggly. Nice elevated half-crab too - shockingly, Regal is good at this whole wrestling thing. Regal locks on...some kind of hold. Regal hits a nice, stiff boot. Pillman goes for a monkey flip as time comes close, which seems like a horrible move. Pillman goes for a crossbody and sends Regal out to the floor for a time expiration finish. Well, Pillman's plan was shall we say flawed. Okay, now the WHO BOOKED THIS sign is back and perfectly-timed.

Gene is backstage with Buck and Colonel Parker. Parker is such a perfect wacky Southern plantation owner act. Nasty Boys are out with NEW GEAR. Sorta. Saggs is Dusty's son in law and Knobbs is Hogan's buddy, so the Nastys are on about year 90 of their reign. Jack is out in flannel and a Superdad shirt. Well, this is something else. Knobs beats the fuck out of Jack with a pool cue. Jack hits him with the remnants of it a lot! Cactus clothesline sends his shirt up. Sags beats the fuck out of Jack with the cue right on the shoulder. Jack's ear is gone, so his head is taped up. Maxx and Knobbs walk and brawl a bit.

They brawl to the "concession stand", which is literally one table with a backdrop, about half a dozen pieces of merch up, and a goon in a green shirt holding up foam fingers. Nasty chair to Sags's head. Maxx tosses Knobbs through a table with shitty merch. Well, they did at least put prices by the merch - so 1 point for at least making it look enough like a concession stand, which is better than the 1995 Uncensored one with things like A STAND THAT JUST SAID HOT DOGS. The split screen cameras are now pointed at 99% the same thing. That's efficient. Sags brings up a thick, non-gimmicked table. Mick SUPLEXES THE TABLE RIGHT ON SAGS'S HIP! Knobbs HITS HIM WITH A SHOVEL! Saga and Mick break the table with sheer girth. Mick takes an ungodly sick bump off the ramp to the floor and would have gone splat if the camera was anywhere near him. Not even a replay for that. Jesus. Shovel to the head ends it. This was absolutely vile and stiff in a bad way - but very good for what it was. NO REPLAYS. Let's go to Jesse and Johnny B. Badd, covered in sweat, in his red and white sequined cowboy gear. He issues a challenge for the US Title and quotes Ali a few times.

Muta vs. Austin is up. Muta has his red getup while Austin comes out with Parker and both Jim and Pat chat about his allegedly huge cock. The Stunning Steve iron-on text is amazingly horrible. To build this up, Parker brought in guys like Pat Tanaka and Paul Diamond as Not Kato. Brilliant! Ab stretch by Muta. Headlock. Riveting. Brainbuster. Headlock. Dropkick. HEADLOCK. Austin locks on a loose headscissors.Thank God, we've got a hammerlock! Parker trips Muta and kicks him on the floor, revealing his bald spot. After a long abdominal stretch WITH LEVERAGE, we get a hiptoss, and then FINALLY a Muta elbow and then Muta tosses him over the top for a DQ.

Jesse interviews Dustin and this of course leads to Sting coming out to face Rude for the International Title with a ton of glitter on him and in a sequined black and silver jacket. Rude comes out just holding the belt up. He puts it on his shoulder and it looks a lot better there. He goes to tell the sweathogs to shut up, by Harley interrupts apparently representing Red Blazer Realty. Sting tosses Harley over the top, and I'm shocking he could take that bump here. Sting kicks his ass and begs off. Nick Bockwinkel is side by side with Heenan in a great bit of memory lane. 

Long front facelock spots lead to Rude hoisting him up and crotching him on the ropes. This isn't a DQ with the ref STARING RIGHT AT IT. Rude attacks the back and locks on a long camel clutch. Jim and Pat chat about how Rude cashed out a Lloyd's of London policy along with many other Minnesota guys who had "career-ending injuries" and magically came back to work. Electric chair by Sting leads to a back and forth...rimjob cradle that gets 2 for each. Long grounded sleeper by Rude. Rude releases the hold for...some reason to then punch him.

Rude gets his tights pulled down, then he eats a few atomic drops, a few inverted ones and sells them perfectly with half his ass hanging out before getting punched down. Rude takes a crazy ass over teakettle bump landing on his feet and knees for a backdrop. Ref's down, but Sting locks on the Scorpion and Sting TRIES TO WAKE UP THE REF - so he's actually showing a sign of intelligence for once. Harley and Vader jump him, but Sting gets his knee clipped. Vader goes for the finish, but Nick chats him up - so Rude has to kill time. Rude goes for the neckbreaker, but Harley misses and hits Rude. Sting is caked in blood and Rude is seemingly split open. Nick, I guess could stop Vader, the world champ on three nations, but not old man Harley.

Tony talks about Flair inviting Hogan to the show. But enough of that, it's time for the bunkhouse match. Buck's hair is astounding and I love all the KFC buckets being held up for Parker. Dustin runs down and lariats him over the top. Holy fuck, now that's a babyface! Dustin's white shirt with red text is about to get a lot more red fairly soon, I'm sure. Dustin's strategy of using a headlock in this bunkhouse match goes poorly and he misses a crossbody and goes to the floor. DUSTIN IS BLEEDING! Buck punches away with his gardening gloves and then hits a lariat on the ramp, leading to a Rikishi sell on the ramp by Dustin. Well, that probably hurt like a motherfucker. Dustin goes for punches, but misses due to the blood in his eyes.

Unlike Buck's punches when he got his eye poked, he actually throws good shots. Buck is also covered in Dustin's blood and of course, starts WORKING ON THE LEG. Dustin hits him with the baby powder, so I guess he wants to feel fresh in this bloodbath. Buck whips the shit out of Dustin's face and now Dustin's hair is covered in blood, too. Buck picks Dustin's leg up in the corner and just kicks him in the balls. Shattered dreams in '94...ish. Buck misses a kick and is stuck in the corner. This results in him getting kicked around a lot - and he'd sure have that happen a lot less if he'd stop holding onto the rope in various ways. Dustin wraps his belt around his hand and Buck blades. FLYING FISTDROP WITH THE BOOT!

Dustin destroys Buck's shirt and whips him. Big lariat sends him to the floor. CORNER BIONIC ELBOWS BY DUSTIN! I love that - that needs to be brought back, and put in the games ASAP. Bulldog hits and Parker gets suplexed. Dustin sends him over the top, so Buck hits a schoolboy here in this fight. Dustin has either a condom in his back left pocket or a weapon of some short. Buck hits him with knuckle dusters and STILL HIDES THE WEAPON IN THIS STREET FIGHT. Okay, that's either really stupid or him just being dastardly. Pat compares Buck to a drunk uncle at a wedding - well, he's not wrong.

Rude is interviewed by Ventura and Rude cuts a scathing, pissed off babyface promo on Harley and Vader. Regal and the Nastys separate them, and I could've done without seeing Sags without a shirt. Bobby, Tony, and Aaron Neville sit at ringside. Neville hasn't said a word here. We see the history of The Boss and Vader from SuperBrawl, with Vader in a new top. The Boss's getup just being black instead of light blue is amusing - and it's a better look than the Bossman. The Boss comes out and man is he big! Vader's giant pyro columns are awesome. Vader and Boss brawl and Harley holds Boss, but BOSS SIDESTEPS HIM AND VADER HITS HARLEY. Hell of a bump from Harley here.

Boss hits the palm strikes and some nice gut punches before a big boot. Stiff back and forth punches between them lead to a shortarm lariat on the ramp by Vader. Vader hits an over the top from the ramp to the ring world's strongest slam before running on the ramp and going for a splash, but Boss gets the knees up. Big lariat sends Vader over the top. Boss drops him gut-first on the guardrail. Corner avalanche hits Vader, who is busted open at the mouth. Big slam to Vader leads to Vader slugging away. They go for...I think a leapfrog, and Vader turns it into a backdrop over the top that really could've gone badly with a nasty landing on either the apron or necking himself on the rope.

Vader's eye is sliced open, and he gets 2 off a splash. Vader slugs away to the gut and face with punches in the corner. Boss back suplexes him down. Vader's eye is nasty now and he hits a stiff lariat. Vader goes for the pump splash, but doesn't look back and Boss hoists him up and just chucks him on his shoulder. Super DDT off the top by Boss gets 2. Falling sofa-esque shoulderblock by Boss gets 2. Take 2 leads to Vader powerslamming him off the shoulderblock attempt. Pump splash gets 2. VADERSAULT HITS AND GETS THE WIN and a huge pop. Vader has officially hit more moonsaults in this match than Angle ever did in his career.  Harley goes to hit Boss with the club, but Boss gets it and beats up both guys. Nick comes in to make peace. Vader yells that he is the man, and with this being prime Vader, he is THE MAN.

We get a graphic for Flair vs. Steamboat, but first, Nick is backstage with Boss and strips him of his name, billy club, and shirt - going point by point with Titan felt infringed on their rights I'm sure. It's actually amazing that WCW got away with this for FOUR MONTHS. Ray's selling of every part of this is absolutely perfect. Heenan goes from not being able to believe it to convincing himself it's right. Buffer walks around a bit and they hype up the prior Steamboat vs. Flair match in Chicago five years before. Steamboat breathing fire remains amazing.

Flair is out in black and white while Pat and Jim chat about Flair came off as the face in '89 due to having a bunch of women while Ricky just had his wife. Buffer has an earring in for God knows what reason and man does the black and white look incredible. Buffer's intros, when he got them right, does make the matches seem more important. Flair has the '92 to '94 WCW World Title that looks...okay, but not amazing. A guy has a WE WANT HOGAN sign next to the Chris/Tammy guy now holding up a PRETEND IT'S '89 sign.

Flair and Steamboat mat wrestle a bit, and while it's not super-fast it's fine. Steamboat's versatility allowed him to go into literally and division within the company and any part of the card and be just fine and credible in it. Heenan talks about how Flair trained with Verne and then they start slap fighting after a total wrestling-based exchange. Now it's heated and it's not just two friends going at it to determine the better man. Ricky's yellow and green getup is incredible and Steamboat hits a pair of beautiful headscissors out of the corner.

 Pat and Jim talk about what Steamboat's role would have been if he was active in the Monday night wars, and it's more likely he'd just do this - roam around any part of the card in either company and be fine. He'd have been very valuable in the WWF undercard to get guys over, but WCW had five billion guys in that role anyway. They chop away while a guy holds his wife tight during the chops - that's kinda romantic I guess.

Side headlock takes Flair down and he grinds away. Bobby talks about Ric buying drinks and meals for everyone, and Pat and Jim talk about what Flair must say to get women out of their clothes in public. Jim says it's probably "Hello, I'M RIC FLAIR!" Flair lands some nice chops and eats a hiptoss and a long headlock spot.

Shoulderblocks send Flair down, but Flair sends him out via a skit the cat leading to a cradle for 2. We get a full crowd shot and man is the building packed. Steamboat gets a long...kinda sideways noogie spot. Long front facelock from Steamboat. More chops lead to Flair begging off. Flair hits a crossbody and sends both of them over the top. Flair teases a piledriver on the floor, which Steamboat backdrops out of. Steamboat goes for a dive on the guardrail and misses. They fight up top and Steamboat hits a superplex for 2.

Steamboat hits chops on the apron and Heenan talks about how the superplex plays into Flair's broken back in the '70s. Steamboat is dominant here and it's a shift from the usual formula where he sells a ton. 20 minutes have gone by and Steamboat lands corner punches before a TON OF CHOPS. Flair grabs the tights and sends him to the floor. Flair avoids a sunset flip with a punch and goes for the figure four, but Steamboat locks it on! Steamboat grabs Flair's legs to add more pressure and gets several 2 counts.

Flair thumbs the eye because he's the heel of the 2. Back and forth bridges are a bit rougher than usual, which actually works n the story of the match's favor. Backslide gets 2 for Ricky. Flair begs off and the sky is blue. Ricky tells him "come on" and still falls for it - ha! Ricky chops him around the ring They go back and forth on suplexes in and out of the ring, but neither lands and Steamboat chops him from the ramp to the ring. Diving chop by Steamboat to the floor is met with a boot to the face.

Flair elbows him on the apron, but Steamboat hits the crossbody off the top. Steamboat hits the slam off the top, but he misses a superfly dive. FIGURE FOUR TIME FOR FLAIR! But Steamboat blocks it. A fan is in both the pink Sting shirt and hat, which look horrible. I love Flair slapping away when Ricky tries to sit up. Flair takes the knee out with a knee-based chopblock, which I haven't seen much. Steamboat gets a cradle off a figure 4 for 2 to play off the '89 series. The KVE backslide gets 2 and 30 minutes have now gone by. Superplex off the top hits and we get a double-down because the first superplex was off the middle rope, while this is off the top and thus a bigger fall.

Nick Patrick gets bumped to the floor and he gets up to still count 2 for the O'Connor roll. Ricky gets the double chickenwing for a back suplex double-down finish. Nick Patrick tells Bockwinkel that both men's shoulders were down. Nick Patrick raises Flair's hands and fans walk out. And that's that. No nothing here really. Flair clinging to the title for dear life is something else. Bockwinkel says that it's a draw and it was Steamboat's job to score a decisive victory within the confines of this one match, and he didn't do that. Fans hold up Einstein signs. Heenan sucks up to Nick and he gets called Sir Robert. A guy in a suit and trucker hat is something else.


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