This is based on another recent request. As Greg, who suggested Byrd said, he’s about five foot five and built like a brick shithouse.
Adrian Byrd vs. Brad Armstrong
Video Length: 4:59 Link
This is from “WCW Pro” in Sept. 1997. Commentators are Scott Hudson and Larry Zbyszko. This is shortly after Armstrong’s heel turn in which he was determined to destroy the Armstrong curse. Armstrong is very aggressive and comes out of a lockup with an arm ringer. Byrd reverses and Armstrong makes the ropes to break. Byrd works a headlock. Armstrong throws him into the ropes to break and they do a crisscross sequence ending with a shoulder block by Byrd. Armstrong bails. Back in the ring, Brad wants a test of strength, but cheap shots Byrd as they go to hook up. Armstrong telegraphs a backdrop and Byrd gets a backslide for two. Armstrong rolls to his feet and into a clothesline for two. He goes to a rear chinlock. Armstrong lets go and throws Byrd into the ropes to miss a back elbow. Byrd hits a dropkick and follows with an arm drag and a shoulder block. He covers for two. A scoop slam gets two. Byrd throws Armstrong into the ropes and seems confused on what he wants to go for, so Armstrong punts him in the ribs and finishes with a side Russian leg sweep. ** That was a very good and fast paced match for “WCW Pro” with Armstrong allowing Byrd all kinds of offense. As one might remember from our “Many Faces of Brad Armstrong” YouTubular special Armstrong was a master at getting other guys over. The finish was too much out of nowhere, but the rest was about as good as you could hope for from a match less than five minutes long.
This is from July 1997, but I wanted to open with the good stuff. This is also from “WCW Pro” with Hudson and Larry Z on commentary. Meng starts by chopping and kicking Byrd into oblivion. Meng hits a piledriver and covers for the sure win, but Byrd puts his leg on the bottom rope. Meng hits a backbreaker and stomps the lower back. Meng hits an inverted atomic drop. I like how Byrd keeps trying to fight back, but Meng is just no selling him. As Larry Z says, Byrd’s offensive tries are like “bullets bouncing off Superman.” Byrd is beaten down in the corner. He kicks Meng on a backdrop try and sends him into the ropes, but Meng hits a clothesline. Meng goes into ninja mode and hits a spinning kick to set up the Tongan Death Grip for the submission. Meng looked particularly unmotivated. ½*
Adrian Byrd vs. The Barbarian
Video Length: 3:59 Link
This is from “WCW Saturday Night,” but with Hudson and Larry Z still on commentary. This would be from March, 2000. The Barbarian with dreadlocks is just crazy looking. Barbarian muscles Byrd into the corner to start and chops him. Barbarian whips Byrd to the far corner and misses a charge. Byrd punches and kicks Barbarian, but then makes the mistake of slamming him head first into the top turnbuckle. This causes him to Barbarian-up Buzzkill is seen in the audience with a sign reading “I need a miracle.” Buzzkill was played by Brad Armstrong. It’s the circle of life. Byrd is caught off the ropes for a body slam. Barbarian works an arm ringer and then gets an elbow to the back of the head. A clothesline gets two. Barbarian hits a side slam, but misses an elbow drop. Byrd impresses with a body slam on the Barbarian, but is less impressive as he comes off the second rope like a dying swan. Barbie catches him for a belly to belly suplex. He loads up the boot and finishes with the Kick of Fear. ½* Barbarian was a little crisper than Meng, but it still seemed like he was running at half speed.
This is from “WCW Saturday Night” with Hudson and Tony Schiavone on commentary. Green clubs Byrd at the bell and knocks him to the floor. Green follows to slam Byrd into the apron and then into the ring post. They go back to the ring for Green to nail a clothesline. Green then pitches Byrd out of the other side of the ring. Byrd meets the other ring post and then says hello to the guardrail. Back in the ring, Green catches Byrd’s foot on a kick and then goes ground and pound. Byrd staggers up and Green nails a haymaker for the win. The energy and aggression from Green are worth ½* as he got himself over as a beast.
Adrian Byrd and Bobby Blaze vs. Sid Vicious
Video Length: 7:10 Link
This is from “WCW Thunder” with Mike Tenay and Larry Z from Sept. 1999. I like that Blaze and Byrd are color coordinated in purple. They blitz Vicious to start and he blocks them both. He throws Byrd to the floor and choke slams Blaze. Byrd comes back in to take a powerbomb. Sid pins him for the win. For fun, he then powerbombs Blaze and pins him. DUD.
Sid gets a microphone and proclaims he will defeat Chris Benoit for the U.S. Title. He’s the Millennium Man. It’s hard to hear Sid because his music is playing and he’s not holding the mic close enough. He screams several times that he has no equal. Use Sweet ‘n Low then.
This is from “WCW Saturday Night” with Mike Tenay and Scott Hudson on commentary. La Parka is over like Justin Bieber at a Girl Scout camp. La Parka’s mugging for the crowd while standing on a chair before the bell is worth a star alone.
La Parka dances and cups his hand to his ear to hear the crowd. Byrd charges with a shoulder tackle, because things were getting too awesome for him. Byrd ends a crisscross sequence with a clothesline. Byrd goes arm dragging and then kicks Parka to the floor. La Parka times it so he slides back into the ring as Byrd is coming out. Then Byrd goes back in and La Parka catches him as he enters. La Parka gets serious and takes off his glove for a punch. He dances. He whips Byrd into the corner and charges into a foot. He gets a second head of steam and does it again, but then Byrd runs into a clothesline. Cover for two. Byrd elbows out of a try at an O’Connor roll, but then runs into a scoop slam for two. A missile dropkick gets two. La Parka dances, then hits a body slam. La Parka comes off the top into an outstretched boot. La Parka reverses a whip, but takes a sunset flip for two. La Parka moves on a charge into the corner and charges himself. Byrd up ends him to the apron and La Parka nails Byrd with a shoulder from in between the ropes. La Parka comes off the top with a corkscrew senton for the win. * ½ La Parka was bringing the painia like Castlevania at this point. WCW was such a mess they just let him do whatever he wanted and he got himself crazy over, but nobody cared.
Adrian Byrd vs. Evan Karagias
Video Length: 9:32 Link
Before you lose your skull thinking they gave Byrd and Karagias almost 10 minutes, about four minutes of the video is a previously taped segment of Lex Luger beating up Jimmy Hart to send Hulk Hogan a message before SuperBrawl 2000. Then another four minutes is Three Count dancing. This is from “Saturday Night” with Hudson and Bobby Heenan on commentary.
Byrd punches and clotheslines Evan to start. Evan reverses a whip, but then runs into a big boot. Byrd has his clothesline countered into a full nelson. Evan transfers into a leg sweep. Byrd takes back over with a dropkick. Evan pitches Byrd to the floor and distracts the referee so his buddies Shannon Moore and Shane Helms can beat him up. Byrd fights them off, but is nailed by Evan with a springboard cross body to the floor. Back in the ring, Evan swings through a body scissors into a bulldog. Evan wastes time and Byrd comes back with a backdrop suplex and a big clothesline. Byrd hits a power slam. Moore distracts the ref so Helms can hit Byrd with a giant green circle. It is made of expensive plywood, according to Hudson. A corkscrew body press ends it. Evan was just a spot machine, but the match was fun and watchable. * Three Count dances to celebrate.
Adrian Byrd vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Video Length: 4:36 Link
This is probably the only title match Byrd ever received. Bigelow is the Hardcore Champion and brings a cart of plunder to the ring. This is from “Saturday Night” with Larry Z and Hudson on commentary. Bigelow tosses a bunch of crap into the ring and Byrd looks lost. Byrd seems to want to try a regular match, but Bigelow smashes him in the head with a gas can. Bigelow beats Byrd down in the corner. Bigelow whips Byrd to the far corner for an Avalanche. Byrd comes back with two clotheslines as Bigelow tries to grab a trashcan. He gets the can up, but Byrd dropkicks Bigelow and he finally goes down. Byrd hits a DDT and retrieves the trashcan Bigelow dropped over the ropes to the floor. Byrd drops the can as he enters the ring, because it doesn’t fit between the ropes, and turns around into a cookie sheet shot. Bigelow ends it with the Greetings from Asbury Park. Brian Knobbs then runs out and attacks Bigelow with a cast on his arm. Then Finlay comes out and knocks out Knobbs with a cast on his arm. DUD. Byrd had the chance for the upset of a lifetime, but they didn’t milk it enough.
The 411: The number one thing I like about Adrian Byrd is that he never gives up. Even when getting his ass handed to him by the monsters of WCW, he continues to punch and kick away. The Armstrong match let him show a pretty good, if not basic, offensive arsenal. Sorrowfully for Byrd, if WCW wasn’t going to push “vanilla midgets” they probably weren’t going to push a chocolate dwarf either. Unfortunately there are a couple embarrassing moments for him here as well with the Bigelow and Vicious matches. However, that just shows what a team player Byrd was. Byrd might actually be one of the most well-rounded complete wrestlers the WCW Power Plant produced.