The SmarK Rant for WWE Vintage Collection – 10.14.11

The SmarK Rant for WWE Vintage Collection – 10.14.11

More on the “Good Friends, Better Enemies” theme.

Rick Steiner v. Scott Steiner

From the atrocious Fall Brawl 98 PPV, this was the blowoff to a feud that no one wanted to see.  Joined with Rick beating on Scott outside, but Scott takes over with a pair of nutshots back in the ring.  They brawl outside again, as thankfully Scott was at least reasonably mobile at this point and didn’t have a fused ankle.  Back in, Scott clotheslines him down and tries the butterfly powerbomb, but Rick figths out of it and DDTs him.  Scott’s life partner Buff Bagwell interferes, however, and they brawl outside AGAIN.  Back in, Rick pounds Scott down in the corner while the ref tends to Buff (who was faking a neck injury) and they stop the match while WWE pipes in boos after the fact for some reason.  Why are they covering for WCW’s shitty booking?  Anyway, no finish, as Buff is taken out on a stretcher and into an ambulance.  At which point Scott and Buff burst out of the ambulance and attack Rick again.  Just awful on every level.  -**

The Smoking Gunns v. The New Rockers

From Superstars, October 1996, and it’s the end of the line for the Gunns.  They work Cassidy over in the corner, but get into an argument and allow Jannetty to tag in as a result.  Marty works a headlock on Billy and it’s more arguing from the Gunns, as Billy walks out of the match and into a singles push.  So Bart is alone, and Jannetty misses a blind charge but gets bailed out by a clothesline on the apron from Cassidy.  The Rockers suplex Bart onto the top rope and trade off with knees, but Bart rolls up Cassidy for the pin at 4:29.  Pin him, pay him.  *

Rockabilly Gunn v. Bart Gunn

From RAW, June of 1997, as the blowoff got delayed for months by a Billy Gunn neck injury.  Billy attacks outside and hits Bart with a clothesline out of the corner for two.  Bart comes back with an elbow, but makes the timeless error of going “Woo!” and suffers a fameasser as a result.  Neckbreaker finishes for Rockabilly.  You’d think this was the low point for Bart Gunn’s career…but no.  DUD

WCW World tag titles:  Harlem Heat v. Sting & Lex Luger

From Nitro, January 1996.  Interesting match selection on this show, to say the least.  Luger misses a blind charge and suffers the CLUBBING FOREARMS of Stevie Ray, possibly the best such in the business.  Luger comes back with the STAINLESS STEEL FOREARM OF DEATH for two, but Stevie knees him down for two.  Luger tags out to Sting, who quickly hits both Heat with Stinger splashes.  This was during that awkward phase between surfer Sting and Crow Sting, which just looked weird.  Scorpion Deathlock, but Booker T hits him with an axe kick to break it up, and the Heat take over.  Getting the heat, so to speak.  Booker goes to an armbar while Bobby Heenan’s discussion of the Road Warriors is edited out for some reason.  Who even knows anymore.  The Heat continue with their rather dull heat segment on Sting, who is the painted face in peril, but he makes the comeback just as I’m getting bored, only to get cut off by Booker.  And we take a break.  Back with another resthold from Stevie, and Booker drops a knee for two.  Double suplex and Booker goes up, only to miss the Harlem Hangover.  Hot tag to Luger, thank god, but the ref didn’t see it.  This allows Jimmy Hart the opportunity to deliver an international object to Lex Luger.  Finally he gerts the real tag, knocks out Booker with the roll of coins, and pins him to win the tag titles at 9:05.  Coins are strewn everywhere, but thanks to the Larry Zbyszko Precedent of 1987, they are inadmissible as evidence and the victory stands.  As paint by numbers as they come.  **1/4

US title:  Lex Luger v. Sting

This is from World Championship Wrestling in late 1989.  Talk about a rarity.  Sting misses a charge and Luger goes up, but gets slammed for his troubles.  Luger bails and we get the chase, but Sting gets the best of that and runs him into the railing a few times.  Back in, Sting kicks him like the proverbial dog and follows with a backdrop suplex for two.  Sting works the arm, but Luger slugs him down to escape.  Sting comes back with a bodypress for two and goes back to the arm as we take a break.  Back with Sting now choking Luger on the ropes, before jumping out of the ring and head-faking him before going up with a high cross body for two.  Neat spot.  Luger catches him with a stungun, however, and Sting takes a nice bump to the floor and appears to be in trouble.  Luger beats on him outside to take over, and a suplex back into the ring gets two.  Military press follows, but Sting punches him in the face on the way down, which delays Luger’s cover long enough that it only gets two.  Nice subtle touch.  Luger arrogantly clotheslines him down, but Sting no-sells it and makes the comeback.  Backdrop out of the corner and a dropkick sends Luger to the floor, where he grabs a chair and charges.  That misses, and Sting rolls him up for two.  Stinger splash, but he hits the chair and Lex gets disqualified at 11:04. Luger was FEELING IT here.  ***1/2   Ric Flair hits the ring to attack Lex, followed by the J-Tex Corporation, and suddenly it’s a giant brawl and we’re out for the week.

This show is like pizza – even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.

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