The Furious Flashbacks – WCW Superbrawl V
Posted by Arnold Furious on 11.09.2006
Hogan v Vader and Paul Roma ruining his career
The Furious Flashbacks – WCW Superbrawl V
Hogan v Vader and Paul Roma ruining his career
To give you an idea of how large the lag time is on video reviews I’m reviewing this the same day as No Mercy is on to kill some time in the afternoon. All the video review guys seem to be on this unstoppable tear that produces content at a shocking rate. I try to keep about five or so reviews in the system awaiting release on the unsuspecting public at all times. This is made somewhat trickier by my slow descent into alcoholism. Speaking of slow descents – WCW was on one in 1995. Hogan had been champion for 6 months already and his only major opponent, Ric Flair, had been retired. Randy Savage had arrived but it was clear to see that WCW was heavily relying on purchased talent and not promoting talent from within. Vader was the only strong heel the company had so that’s your title match. Keep that in mind because the way it plays out becomes very important later when WCW has no strong heels at all and has to buy two more. Luckily for them they were the Outsiders and their signing kickstarted the whole nWo angle that saved the company.
February 19th 1995. We’re in Baltimore, Maryland. Hosts are Fat Tony & Bobby Heenan. Okerlund is on interviews.
We kick off with the Nasty Boys touring Baltimore in a series of embarrassingly poor skits demonstrating what a terrible, terrible actor Brian Knobbs is. If I rated segments this would be -****1/2. At ringside the commentary crew talks about Vader-Hogan. Heenan is surprisingly incoherent. Looks like he’s officially slipped over into not giving a shit.
BACKSTAGE, earlier, Vader’s limo arrives and a shot reveals that Ric Flair was riding with him. Another limo turns up and Vader thinks its Hogan’s limo so he threatens the driver and breaks a window. Vader is so intense he comes out during Main Event Live to threaten Eric Bischoff. Then Vader goes and destroys all the guys in the ring. Stars & Stripes v Romeo Valentino and Dino Casanova (great names, eh?) are those dismantled if you were interested. Powerbombs all round!
Alex Wright v Paul Roma
This would be a rather famous match for the wrong reasons. Roma was stuck in here to job and make Wright look good. But Roma considered himself to be a lot better than that and didn’t want to lose. He took being booked as a jobber personally and decided to not cooperate. Roma attacks Wright during his dancing, which gets a pop for all the men in the crowd. Wright takes a beatdown and Roma does a mock dance to make fun of the rookie. Wright tries for a comeback but gets cut off and beaten down again. Wright with a sunset flip for 2 before a few armdrags lead to an armbar. Roma reverses out and pulls the hair. The ref sees it but Roma just doesn’t care and won’t break the hold. Wright uses the ropes to flip out and goes back to the armbar. Roma practically ignores it and argues with a fan while in the hold. Paul Orndorff comes out here to take a look. Armbar continues at length and Roma sits there talking to Orndorff. Could he be anymore disinterested? Roma beats Wright down and drops some elbows. Backbreakers from Roma and he’s deliberately doing flashy stuff and posing. He thinks he’s the star here. Roma tosses Wright out and poses some more. Orndorff doesn’t interfere and Roma beats Wright down some more. Wright goes to slingshot back in but Roma moves and punches him in the stomach making him look like a total putz. Wright with a backslide…for 1 then Roma pounds Wright back down again. Roma deliberately gouges the eyes and fish hooks the mouth right in front of the referee. He’s almost begging for a DQ just to totally ruin the credibility of the match. Orndorff covers for Roma putting his feet on the ropes. Roma gives Wright a kicking and hits the Savage Elbow after a long pause. Then he runs around celebrating to a pop. Then doesn’t even let Wright kick out by pulling him up after the two count. Roma then fucks up a hip toss to make Wright look like total shit. Wright with a spinning heel kick and a high crossbody gets 2. Although Roma made a point of falling under the ropes to make everyone but him look like an idiot again. The heels collide on a conference and Wright gets the roll up for the win at 13.21. Roma didn’t even stay down for the 3 count kicking out just after 2. What a prick. He was fired right away and got promptly blackballed from working in big companies ever again. *. Terrible match made even worse by Roma’s behaviour.
BACKSTAGE Harlem Heat & Sherri get promo time. Okerlund gets Stevie Ray & Booker T mixed up. Booker says they have a new move to debut tonight.
Bunkhouse Buck w/Colonel Parker/Meng v Jim Duggan
Duggan tried very hard against an uncooperative Vader at the tail end of 1994 to get a continued run in the spotlight. This starts out as a brawl, which is what you’d expect from two guys who specialise in brawls. Buck takes a clothesline to the floor and we get our first extended piece of stalling. Duggan gets run into the ringpost but doesn’t bother selling it. Back inside Duggan goes to a dynamic chinlock with added chanting. Feel the workrate! Duggan rips up Buck’s shirt and works on the arm. Back to the chinlock. I’m feeling somewhat sleepy. Tony says almost exactly what I typed about these guys both being brawlers. Somehow the referee manages to miss Buck using a length of rope to choke Duggan. He takes a spill to the floor where he gets a kicking off Colonel Parker. Back in for, guess, a chinlock. This time from Buck. Into the corner and Duggan works the ribs. His psychology here has been so all over the place it’s hard to know what he’s doing. He’s certainly going for chinlocks and they go into a messy chinlock, which leads to a real mess of torn shirt and the kind of wrestling you see from drunk tramps fighting over a kebab. I wonder if Jimmy Golden is on that bumfights DVD. Duggan with a devastating slam and a kneedrop gets 2. Back to the chinlock. Now I’m not even kidding I’m genuinely feeling sleepy. Duggan then almost absent mindedly works a hammerlock. Parker gets on the apron but Duggan floors him. I notice him signalling the spot before it takes place and it’s BLATANT. Buck eats the Three Point Stance to take the loss at 11.57. DUD. So very boring.
POST MATCH Meng pops in the ring to just destroy Duggan and set up their match at the next PPV. Heenan sounds even less coherent in explaining the finish.
BACKSTAGE Scheme Gene gets a word with the Nasty Boys. Haven’t we seen enough from these guys? Saggs tells Harlem Heat they’re getting taken to Nastyville. Is that in Alabama? This show needs less Nasty Boys and more polar bears.
Kevin Sullivan w/The Butcher v Evad Sullivan
Lots of sympathy on Evad but no talent. Butcher goes from main eventing Starrcade to being a cornerman for Kevin Sullivan. Evad starts fast with horrible gimmicked punches. The Evad thing has gone so far that Dave Sullivan even has “EVAD” on his tights. Kevin takes over and tries to beat some sense into Evad to no avail. Kevin puts the boots in and the crowd just doesn’t give a shit. Heenan meanwhile is seeing how far he can push Tony telling him that “half your kids aren’t even yours”. That’s the only entertainment I’ve had out of this bout. Kevin just kicks and punches away with no real purpose. He booked this shit too. It’s not like he has anyone to blame but himself. Kevin throws Evad out to Butcher who also gives him a beating. This match is just nothing. After about 5 minutes of heat Kevin misses in the corner allowing Evad some offence. No one cares, still. I mean really, nothing. No reaction whatsoever. Butcher jumps on the apron but Kevin runs Evad into him to get the roll up win at 7.17. -*. Truly awful stuff. The finish btw was designed to segue the Butcher into his next gimmick “The Man With No Name”. The idea being that he got bashed so hard in the head at the end of that match that he gained amnesia and forgot who he was. You couldn’t make this shit up. At least he didn’t get lost in Cleveland.
BACKSTAGE Scheme Gene chats to Avalanche & Big Bubba Rogers. They’re tagging tonight against the babyface duo of Sting & Randy Savage. Avalanche is pissed because he’s not getting to Hogan because of the other guys in tonight’s match. Rogers doesn’t seem to have a reason for fighting them though. He just likes beating people up.
Tag titles – Harlem Heat (c) w/Sister Sherri v Nasty Boys
Here’s a re-match I simply didn’t want to see. First contact comes at 1.21 on my clock. That’s some serious stalling. Booker gets worked over in a reverse heat segment that goes on for a while. The idea being they take out Booker’s legs so he can’t do all his kicks thus eliminating the best offensive weapon the champs have. Which would be a nice idea if it didn’t rumble on for five minutes. Saggs gets run into the rail and that turns the tide back towards the champs but Booker misses a legdrop thus further hurting his leg. So it’s right back to the reverse heat, which is heatless and has now been going on for about 7 minutes. This time Stevie Ray absorbs some abuse. Saggs gets thrown outside where Booker kicks him in the face thus rendering the entire heat segment worthless. Sherri punches him between the eyes and now the champs are finally on top. Only Saggs dodges an elbow and goes out after Sherri but Stevie Ray comes off the apron with a clothesline. Stevie hooks up a chinlock on the fallen Saggs and that drags but at least the crowd bites on a “Nasties” chant started by Knobbs. More boring heat on Saggs thanks to Stevie Ray and his fucking chinlock. This match has been so badly put together. The only good thing out there is Booker T and his offence so naturally Booker has got in no offence in this thing. Just as I’m complaining about that Booker tags in and hits a leaping sidekick for 2. Saggs comes back with a desperation powerslam. Hot tag to Knobbs who wails away on the heel champions. “Clotheslinamania” according to Tony. It’s running wild! Double DDT from Knobbs and he hits a splash for 2. Everyone in for a brawl, which is why the match at Uncensored was a Texas Tornado match. There’s an over the top rope DQ, which the ref doesn’t see and Sherri miscues off the top knocking out Stevie Ray to allow a Knobbs roll up at 17.05. New champs right? Wrong! We’re back in Dusty Rhodes booking territory as Randy Anderson runs in to point out that Saggs threw Booker over the top rope thus drawing the retroactive DQ. ½*.
BACKSTAGE Scheme Gene blatantly lies placing this show in his top 5 PPV’s he’s been involved in. Savage runs in to say he’s not talking. Isn’t that talking? Sting is more up for making a few comments.
Blacktop Bully w/Colonel Parker/Meng v Dustin Rhodes
Just to remind everyone Blacktop Bully is Barry Darsow formally of Demolition. Nick Bockwinkle comes out to get rid of Meng because he attacked Duggan earlier. Big brawl to start and Dustin hits a flying clothesline. Which Bully stands there waiting for. Bully then throws himself onto the buckles and Dustin punts him off to the floor. The crowd apathy has officially returned because no one gives a shit about Darsow either. Although these guys aren’t helping matters by wrestling such a boring match. Dustin nearly legitimately knocks Bully out when he can’t get over on a leapfrog and just knees Bully in the head. That and a few other spots make this look somewhat amateurish. It seems that Dustin had lost his motivation around this sort of time. His push had also stalled thanks to the arrival of Hogan and his cronies. Dustin with a springboard, sort of, back elbow. That spices up what he been a very vanilla bout. Dustin with a suplex for 2. Dustin can’t get a monkey flip so Bully clocks him with a clothesline that Dustin does a huge 360 sell despite Bully barely connecting. Dustin gets thrown outside where Parker puts the boots in. Bully with a back suplex for 2. This has now crept over the 10 minute mark. It keeps creeping as Bully hooks a chinlock. Dustin seems to take offence and drags Bully into the ring post groin first. Elbow drop misses though with Bully rolling out of the way. Bully with a suplex and Dustin sold that elbow miss more than Bully sold the ringpost. Bully dives off the top but Dustin clips him with a clothesline. Match is still crawling on. Did they determine how long matches were on this show by throwing darts? Dustin with a bulldog but Parker puts Bully’s leg on the rope. Parker gets dragged up onto the apron by Rhodes who smells the cheating. He suplexes the Colonel into the ring. Bully walks around doing nothing and misses a clothesline. Dustin goes to suplex him back inside but Parker grabs his feet to allow Bully the pin at 16.09. Looks like Dustin Rhodes is pretty good at darts. Otherwise horrendous. ½*.
BACKSTAGE Scheme Gene goes to chat with Vader who’s all pissed off and throwing chairs around. He’s lost Harley Race by this point because the former world champion injured himself badly in a car crash. “I’d have ended this thing right here and right there” – Vader. Um. He claims that Hogan, last time he got a beat down, called Vader “the man”.
FRONTSTAGE Scheme Gene is out to interview Ric Flair in front of the live crowd. He says he wasn’t in Vader’s limo. He’s here in WCW for the party. WCW is “what’s happening” according to Flair who talks about Randy Savage being here in WCW. The very mention of Hogan gets booed. Flair is sitting front row tonight with five pretty local women. He’ll be partying at the Marriott all night long after the show.
Avalanche/Big Bubba Rogers v Randy Savage/Sting
This would be Savage’s first PPV appearance in 1995. Tony yaks about WCW being “where the stars are”. The WWF would retort by pointing how old WCW’s main guys were, which worked fine until two of their younger guys went over there too. Lots of stalling to kick things off. Mostly posing from both heels and faces. Avalanche pounds on Sting who comes back with a few clotheslines and a dropkick. Avalanche won’t go over and Rogers cheap shots Sting to stop his momentum. Rogers hits a backbreaker and goes up but Savage stops him and crotches him. Erm, isn’t that cheating? Sting hits a superplex as a result. Those boys from New York always seemed a little eager to cheat. Bubba gets a beating in the ropes before falling to the floor and Savage follows with the patented axe handle to the floor. Sting & Savage make an explosive team. Savage gestures to Ric Flair encouraging him to get in the ring, motherfucker. Yeah, those wrestling retirements always stick. Bubba takes advantage but not for long. Savage slaps Avalanche and REALLY upsets the big man. He jumps in the ring and Savage does it again! He just shoves Savage so Savage goes for a slam and Avalanche falls on top for 2. Savage dodges in the corner and Avalanche gets caught on the ropes where Sting administers a beating. Avalanche comes down so Sting kicks his legs away into the Scorpion Deathlock. He can’t quite get it and everyone piles in for a brawl. Stinger Splash for Bubba! And one for Avalanche. He goes for another but Avalanche just catches and slams him. Flair seems upset about something and he’s shouting at Savage. He goes over and gets in his face. He’s just in the audience, Randy! You can’t touch him. Sting gets a beatdown because Savage is distracted. Avalanche misses in the corner and Sting slams him. Big reaction for that. Bubba punches him in the jaw and Sting accidentally falls headbutt first into Avalanche’s groin. OUCH. Savage tags in with the double axe handle. He cleans house at speed. Everyone in the ring again. Savage slams Bubba and looks for the SAVAGE ELBOW! Referee points out Bubba isn’t legal. So Sting goes up and flying shoulderblocks Avalanche over the fallen remains of Bubba for the pin at 10.17. BUT STING WASN’T LEGAL EITHER! What the fuck is that? **.
The announcers plug the main event some more and Heenan is still loaded. They’ve been making sly jokes about it all night but every now and again it’s really obvious. Worrying, really.
BACKSTAGE Hogan gets a promo talking about Vader Time being rampant here in Baltimore but this is the final test for the Hulkster. He’s putting the immortality of Hulkamania on the line as Vader will have to bury him to win the title and his fans. It’s a “brother” heavy promo including a “dude, brother”. There are at least a dozen brothers. I think he may well have been going for a record. I’m tempted to go back and count. It could well be pushing 20.
WCW title – Hulk Hogan (c) w/Jimmy Hart v Vader
Vader already has two world titles having beaten Sting & Ron Simmons. He also held the IWGP title on 3 occasions. Flair & Hogan’s domination of 1994 has left him without any title opportunities in a year. He’d go on to win two Triple Crowns as well. He’s regarded as one of the great big men in wrestling history. Hogan has always been the big babyface guy but here the crowd isn’t totally in support of him. Audible “Vader” chants. Vader takes his mask off as he totally no sells a few punches. Hogan resorts to slapping him and Vader just looks pissed off. He strolls away from a beating in the corner looking like a killer. And he hasn’t even done anything yet. Vader continues to let Hogan do stuff and Hogan goes to the little bit of wrestling he knows to take Vader to the mat. Vader still hasn’t done a thing. He stands up out of an armbar and steps on Hogan’s face THEN lets him back up. As if to say he wants to kick his ass fair and square. Again there are audible “Vader” chants. He backs Hogan into the corner and HAMMERS him. Short arm clothesline and Hogan pops back up but he looks unsure of himself. Avalanche! Hogan bails because he’s getting such an ass kicking. Hogan reverses Vader into the rail and he lands in Flair’s seat! Flair just about managed to dodge that. Vader looks a touch miffed. Hogan jumps Vader as he comes into the ring and pounds him in the corner. This time Vader is in more of a mood to let Hogan look like an equal. Hogan hits a clothesline and Vader is down. Big boot BARELY connects so Vader stays on his feet and Hogan opts instead to clothesline him outside. Vader gets back in but Hogan pounds him again and chokes with his boot. Hogan goes for a slam but Vader falls on top. This leaves both guys down doing some fatigue selling. Vader Attack mysteriously called a “Vaderbomb” by Tony. Erm. Hmm. At least Jim Ross gets similar stuff confused sometimes and has things he has trouble with like two people with the same first name but Tony just made random mistakes. Hogan gets himself slammed in the corner and Vader mounts the buckles for what is now renamed “the Vader drop” by Schiavone although that is, in fact, the Vaderbomb. That gets 2. Vader calls for the buckles again and goes all the way up. VADERSAULT…misses. He doesn’t have a manager to blame that on either. Hogan drags him outside seeing an opening and bounces Vader’s head off the rail. Hogan grabs a chair and waffles Vader with it. HEY! THAT’S A FUCKING DQ! REF! Another illegal chair shot and Hogan throws some punches. Come on ref! Stop this bullshit! Back inside Vader decides he’s had enough of this shit and chokeslams the champ. No cover with Hogan immobile and an elbow drop leaves him twitching. Suplex gets 2. Now Hogan decides to Hulk up. Vader pounds him but he’s in serious comeback mode. He’s shaking. IT’S A FIT! No, it’s just Hogan. Big boot. It looks to be over as Hogan poses a bit ahead of the legdrop. There’s the legdrop…FOR ONE! YES! KICKOUT OF DESERVED DISRESPECT. Ref gets bumped and Vader hits the powerbomb. It’s OVER. Hogan is done for at least three. Flair jumps into the ring and counts three himself but it doesn’t matter. Flair puts a boot to Hogan on his way out of the ring but somehow that’s not a DQ. Vader splashes Hogan for 2 but Flair jumps back in there to pound on Hogan drawing the stupid DQ finish that no one wanted at 15.08. ***1/4. Damn fine match until the finish. Remember when Vader went over Sting clean and in the process created a rivalry and a series of great matches that lasted over two years? THAT should have been the finish here.
POST MATCH Hogan boots Flair over but we’ve seen that feud already. Vader holds Hogan for Flair to beat him up but, once again, we’ve seen that. FIGURE FOUR! Seen that too. Vader goes up top but Savage & Sting run out here to make the save. Vader & Flair’s high five shows that they had some form of alliance BUT Flair cost Vader the match! Vader was winning. If it wasn’t for a ref getting in the way Vader would have won the world title.
I’m not doing Uncensored ’95 because I don’t have it. But here’s what happened at that event…
• King of the Road match where they had Dustin Rhodes v Blacktop Bully in the back of a flatbed truck. Pre-recorded and badly edited it’s generally considered a negative stars showing. Bully wins but they both blade during the match and get fired for it. Which is just bizarre because it was pre-recorded. As soon as Dustin got colour someone would have shouted “cut” surely?
• Meng beats Jim Duggan in a “martial arts match”.
• Johnny B. Badd beats Arn Anderson in a boxer v wrestler match.
• Randy Savage beats Avalanche on DQ despite the fact that the match itself with no disqualifications. In fact the entire show was billed as a no DQ show. The DQ was a result of a run in by Ric Flair in drag. WCW, eh?
• Bubba Rogers goes over Sting.
• Nasty Boys finally get their win over Harlem Heat
• Hogan beats Vader in a strap match where he wins by tying up Flair and dragging him around to touch all four corners. Yeah. Once again, that should have been a re-match with Vader having the belt. Then if they wanted to do that stupid finish they could have and the belt wouldn’t have changed hands.
Terrible PPV by all counts so I’m not missing anything. In fact I think I’m relieved at missing it.
The 411: The last couple of matches are pretty good but the booking is a disaster. The rest of the card sucks. Avoid.