The SmarK DVD Rant for Brian Pillman: Loose Canon, part two

The SmarK DVD Rant for Brian Pillman Loose Cannon (Part Two)

– Onwards and upwards, with the bonus disc of matches this time.

Wargames: Sid Vicious, Barry Windham, Ric Flair & Larry Zbyszko v. Sting, Brian Pillman, Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner.

Although I watched the match again to update the rating, the PBP is essentially the same so here’s my last version of it.

Pillman’s shoulder is all taped up, due (kayfabe-wise) to a Horsemen attack covered in the pre-match video. Pillman starts with Windham and gets a flying clothesline with the good arm, and uses the roof of the cage for leverage as he takes Windham down with a rana. He chops away in the corner, and headfakes Windham into taking a missile dropkick. He misses a splash, however, but comes back with a low blow. All’s fair in love and Wargames. Barry hits the cage and starts the blood flowing early, so Brian gives him some extra treatment on the cage. Jawbreaker and he bites the cut and hammers it in the corner. Hiptoss and he goes ground and pound, and back into the cage goes Windham. Pillman goes up with a flying clothesline and another jawbreaker, and he tosses Windham into the second ring and into the cage again. Windham is just selling like nuts for Pillman here. Spinkick puts Windham down and Pillman goes to work on the leg, but Windham comes back and slugs it out with him. Windham tries a piledriver, but Pillman reverses and comes off the top with another shot. The first period expires and the heels win the coin toss (duh), so Flair is in next. They exchange chops, which Pillman WINS, but the Horsemen double-team him and send him into the cage shoulder-first. Windham spikes him into the cage and Flair holds the arm while Windham pounds it, and they dump him into the other cage.

They work over the shoulder until Sting makes the save. He goes nuts on both of the heels, and gets a double-clothesline that sends the crowd into the atmosphere. Sting pairs off with Flair with a bulldog while Pillman keeps at Windham, but Brian gets crotched and the two-on-one commences on Sting. Pillman comes back to save while Sting no-sells Flai’s chops, but Larry Z is next in. Pillman puts Windham in a figure-four, and Sting dives from one to the other with a clothesline on Zbyszko. Flair & Larry go after Sting, and Flair breaks up Pillman’s figure-four. The Horsemen take over and pound on Sting, but Rick Steiner is in next to save. He clotheslines everyone and pounds Flair in the corner, into a belly-to-belly. Flair meets the cage and starts bleeding. Meanwhile, Pillman pounds Larry in the other ring until getting hung in the Tree of Woe and stomped. Sid Vicious is next in, and he goes right for Pillman’s injured shoulder. He then helps Flair out by holding Rick in place for a low blow, and clotheslines Sting. Pillman keeps pounding Flair into the cage, as does Rick. Poor guy. Larry sends Rick into the cage, but he no-sells it. The heels take over on Pillman & Steiner, but Scott Steiner is the last man in and clotheslines both Flair & Windham. Butterfly bomb on Larry, and he nails Sid with a flying clothesline (blatantly called on camera by Sid and Rick) as Sting puts Flair in the Scorpion deathlock.

Sid works on Pillman’s shoulder, ramming it into the corner and ripping the bandages off it. Pillman fights back, however, and goes low, and soon it’s four figure-fours on the Horsemen as the crowd goes insane. They all escape, but Sting presses Flair into the cage roof in a cool visual stolen from Steve Williams. Pillman chokes out Zbyszko while Sid stomps Rick Steiner and the Horsemen double-team him. The Horsemen go after Pillman, but he keeps fighting Flair with chops. Scott DDTs Windham, but Sid lays him out. And then the spot that makes this a famous match — Sid faceplants Pillman, and then powerbombs him, catching his feet on the roof on the way up and dropping him right on his neck, nearly killing him. Then, he does it AGAIN, legitimately injuring him and drawing El Gigante out for improvised finish whereby he surrenders the match on his behalf to give it to the Horsemen at 22:05. Most assumed Pillman’s career to be over at that point. That obviously was not supposed to be the finish.

(Four Horsemen d. Sting/Pillman/Steiners, Pillman surrenders, 22:05, *****) Typically great and bloody Wargames, and still one of the best WCW matches of the 90s. Last time I deducted 1/2* for something or other, but I think it warrants re-inclusion in the Full Monty Club again. Why? Because I write the rants, that’s why.

WCW Light Heavyweight tournament finals: Brian Pillman v. Richard Morton

From Halloween Havoc 91, notable only for the sight of Nick Patrick wearing a hockey helmet with a camera in it, which brings to mind the episode of the Simpsons where Homer goes undercover at the Qwik-E-Mart. Morton gets a pair of armdrags to start and runs away, consulting with the computer for strategy. It tells him “Pay your alimony, deadbeat,” so he ignores it and heads back in. Morton slugs away, but gets slammed when trying his fancy armbar reversal, because babyface superhero powers don’t work anymore once you turn heel. Keep that in mind, kids, next time you try to no-sell a chairshot after turning on your best friend and/or stealing his valet.

Again, Morton’s reversal tricks don’t work and Pillman nails him with a double axehandle after head-faking him, and a shoulderblock gets two. He works the headlock and they do some pedestrian mat stuff, which was never really Morton’s strong point. That’s the whole problem with his heel turn, because he was at his best when getting clobbered by a heel, not controlling the match. Morton misses an elbow and Pillman stays on the headlock. And they wondered why this title didn’t get over. Morton finally breaks free with an inverted atomic drop and he starts to work on the shoulder, which had been injured as of WarGames earlier in the year. Pillman rolls him up for two, but Morton takes him down with a clothesline for two. And we get an exciting armbar.

So that goes on for a while as I wonder if Mike Graham laid out this match just to annoy everyone. “OK, so this is for a new title with a style no one is accustomed to, so we want you to go out and stink up the joint with a boring match so people don’t get threatened by it.” Come to think of it, that’s actually kind of likely. Pillman finally comes back with an enzuigiri and backdrop, and they collide and fall out of the ring. That’s one deadly shoulder tackle. Pillman gets run into the ringpost, but comes back in with a bodypress off the top to finish.

(Brian Pillman d. Richard Morton, high cross — pin, 12:45, *1/2) Major yawner.

Barry Windham & Arn Anderson v. Brian Pillman & El Gigante (Loser Leaves WCW)

I don’t even know where that stipulation came from. The Horsemen pound on Pillman to start and Windham DDTs him for two. Arn comes in and knees Brian in the corner, but gets dropkicked to the floor. Pillman follows with a pescado and Gigante chokes Arn out. Back in, Brian gets a high cross on Windham for two. Powerslam for Arn and he goes up, but Windham trips him up and then boots him in the head for the pin. Hell of a way to end a career.

(Windham & Anderson d. Pillman & Gigante, Windham kick — pin Pillman, 3:06, *) This was almost a squash by the Horsemen, as Pillman would resurface as “The Yellow Dog” in a part tribute to Barry Windham’s old gimmick and a part tribute to Dusty Rhodes’ old gimmick. I think the funnier visual gag would have been Gigante losing the fall and coming back as El Perro Amarillo, with the announcers struggling to place the mysterious masked man, but I take my amusement where I can get it. Not even sure why this one was included on the DVD, tell ya the truth.

Brian Pillman & Barry Windham v. Tom Zenk & Johnny Gunn

This is from WCW Saturday Night, on Boxing Day 1992. Gunn is Tom Brandi, aka Salvatore Sincere, aka the Patriot II. No relation to Billy or Bart that I’m aware of. Pillman had just turned heel and was obviously enjoying it. He attacks Zenk to start and gets backdropped for his troubles, but thumbs Zenk in the eye and goes up. Zenk superkicks him on the way down and it’s a pier-six already, as the heels bail. Back in, Gunn overpowers Windham and slams him, grabbing an armbar. Gunn and Zenk do some double-teaming on Windham in the corner and then Zenk grabs a headlock on Pillman, but Windham gives him a primo cheapshot from the apron. The heels work the back and Windham follows with a backdrop suplex. Pillman drops an axehandle and then misses a bodypress, and it’s hot tag Gunn. Elbow for Pillman and he slugs away on both guys, and it’s the old double noggin knocker. Things threaten to break loose in Tulsa, but they finish Gunn with the High-Low.

(Windham & Pillman d. Gunn & Zenk, Windham lariat — pin Gunn, 4:55, *1/2) Short and inoffensive, but I don’t know why they didn’t put the Starrcade match on there instead.

WCW tag team titles: The Hollywood Blonds v. Los Dos Hombres

This is a cage match from Slamboree 93, with the joke being that it’s supposed to obviously be Steamboat and Douglas under masks, but in actuality Douglas was gone and they were false-advertising Tom Zenk in his place. This is probably the worst of their lengthy series, and I can name about three matches they had which were nearly ***** and more worthy of inclusion than this one. Pillman gets frustrated by Steamboat’s armdrags, as does Austin, and Zenk comes in to work on Austin’s arm. Austin tries sending him into the cage, but Zenk gives him some steel instead and dances in celebration. Steamboat comes in and goes back to the arm and backdrops Austin into the cage, which looked like a nasty bump, and gingerly picks him back up and atomic drops him into it. Austin appears to be fine, so he takes another bump into the cage and the Hombres go to work on the back.

Pillman comes in and goes to Zenk’s eyes to take over, but Steamboat comes in and presses him into the cage. Austin comes in, but his back is hurt and Steamboat hangs him on top of the cage and whips Zenk into him, at which point Austin falls down and Zenk splats into the cage. Dunno if that was deliberate or not, but it’s the perfect time for the Blonds to take over. They work Zenk over and Austin chops him to set up a running elbow. Flying elbow gets two. Over to the corner, where Pillman chokes him out with a towel, but comes off the top and lands on a foot. You know my feelings on that spot.

Austin cuts off a tag, but gets dropkicked, and the Hombres double-team him instead of making the tag. This proves costly as Austin is able to take Zenk down and bring Pillman back in with a Rocket Launcher, which misses. Hot tag Steamboat, and it’s chops for everyone. Austin tries to run, so Steamboat brings him down with an electric chair and crotches Pillman. Noggins are knocked and we’re BONZO GONZO. Everyone gets run into the cage and Steamboat goes up to the top of the cage and unmasks, coming off with a flying bodypress on both for two. The bell rings and everyone goes nuts, but the ref calls it off. He DDTs both Blonds and gets two, but Austin stunguns Zenk and sneaks off with the pin.

(Hollywood Blonds v. Steamboat & Zenk, Austin stungun — pin Zenk, 16:23, ***) Overly long with no real story to tell, and Zenk just didn’t mesh with them. Obviously the people who put these things together weren’t watching the product back then.

Thundercage: Brian Pillman, Sting and Dustin Rhodes v. Paul Orndorff, Steve Austin and Rick Rude

This is from Superbrawl IV, a good choice in that it’s a rarity that was never released on home video, and also because it’s one of the few times where Pillman gets the win in a major match. Rude attacks Sting to start, but gets backdropped as a result. Orndorff comes in and works on the arm, and Austin tries faking a knee injury as his strategy. Sting slaps him in the Scorpion Deathlock to answer that one, but Rude breaks it up and Austin cradles for two. Sting sends him into the cage outside and they head back in.

Pillman brawls with Austin on the floor, and a chase proves unwise as Austin turns around and sends him into the cage a couple of times, drawing a weak-ass bladejob from Pillman. Back in, Rude pounds him and Orndorff works the cut, then cuts off a comeback with a backdrop suplex. Rude comes off the top with a flying knee for two. Austin also goes up and adds an elbow for two. Geez, Pillman is just giving them whatever they want in terms of offense. Austin goes to the well again, but this time gets hit with a dropkick to block him, and it’s the first hot tag for Sting.

Tony declares it “Clothesline-O-Mania,” which just goes to show why they had Dusty name the PPVs. Big brawl and Sting sends Orndorff into the cold, unforgiving steel to draw some blood, and Dustin follows with elbows until he gets rammed into the turnbuckles. Over to Rude, but Dustin fights back with a bulldog attempt, which Rude blocks by carrying him over to the corner and then suplexing him off the top. Bearhug gets turned into a belly to belly, but Austin comes in and takes yet another bump into the cage. Hot tag #2 to Pillman results, as he dropkicks everyone and it’s breaking loose in Tulsa! Sting and Pillman double-team Austin and Sting tosses Pillman at him for the win.

(Sting/Pillman/Rhodes d. Rude/Austin/Orndorff, Pillman bodypress — pin Austin, 14:36, ***) The sad thing is that even at 15 minutes, we barely got anything from Rude, Orndorff or Rhodes and they probably could have kept going and stretched it to 30 with no trouble. This kicked off a pretty bad period for Pillman, as much of 94-95 was aimless jobbing after this.

Brian Pillman v. Jushin Liger

This is match #1 from episode #1 of Nitro in 1995. Liger catches a kickin the corner and a moonsault press gets two. Pillman takes him down with a headscissors for two. Rollup gets two. Liger comes back with a bow-and-arrow, but Pillman gets another headscissors before missing a charge and landing on the floor. Liger follows with a senton off the apron, but Pillman suplexes him off the apron and follows with a cross body to the floor. Back in, they fight on top and Liger superplexes him for two. Back up, but Pillman dropkicks him for two. Pillman comes back with a swinging DDT for two and reverses a suplex attempt into a victory roll for the, well, victory.

(Pillman d. Liger, rollup — pin, 6:42, **1/2) Too quick to be worth anything by itself, but it was an atomic bomb dropped on the wrestling landscape in 1995, kicking off a whole new style that had previously been limited to ECW and independents, and it forced the WWF to actually use cruiserweights in a role that was more than jobbing on Saturday morning TV shows for once.

Brian Pillman v. Dean Malenko

This is post-turn for Pillman, which leads me to wonder why they didn’t stick the Pillman/Anderson v. Flair/Sting match from Halloween Havoc 95 in there to show why he was suddenly all crazy and a member of the Horsemen. They trade armbars and Dean hiptosses him and tries the Cloverleaf, so Pillman bails. Back in, Pillman beats him down and gets a suplex for two. He adds a slap, however, prompting Malenko to clothesline him into a brainbuster for two. Pillman catches him in the corner with a swinging DDT. They brawl outside, and Pillman goes up and tries another DDT, which Malenko blocks. Gutbuster and Malenko comes back with an anklelock. However, his foot gets caught in the ropes and Pillman pins him there. What a ludicrous finish.

(Pillman d. Malenko, ropes — pin, 6:16, **) Pretty pedestrian stuff.

Brian Pillman v. Eddie Guerrero

From the Clash of Champions in January 1996, notable as a match not at all, just for one spot. Pillman gets in Eddie’s face and then runs away and jaws with the fans, smacking Tony around a bit for fun. Back in, Eddie grabs a headlock and dropkicks him out, but Brian bails and hides behind Heenan to block a highspot, which has Heenan totally freaked out, to the point where he drops an f-bomb on live TV and walks away to compose himself. Back in, more stalling from Pillman. Eddie chops him into a backbreaker as poor Bobby apologizes for his life, and then goes right back to cheering Pillman without missing a beat. Pillman hits the chinlock, but Eddie dropkicks him and gets a swinging DDT for two. Pillman uses the ropes for two. Eddie rolls him up for two and gets a crossbody, which Pillman rolls through to finish.

(Pillman d. Guerrero, rollup — pin, 5:58, *1/2) Nothing match, obviously, but it was vital as far as Pillman’s character.

Brian Pillman v. Steve Austin

Welcome to the WWF era. From RAW, June 97. Personally I would have done the Clash match between them if they needed a good Austin-Pillman match, but whatever. Austin attacks and gets an atomic drop, but Pillman chops back until he gets stungunned. Pillman offers a handshake, but Austin clobbers him and slams him off the top, which sends Pillman to the floor. Pillman grabs a chair and gets that back in the face, but keeps coming with an attack from behind and some choking with a TV cable. We take a break and return with Pillman pounding away on Austin while gushing blood from a broken nose. Austin goes low, but Pillman beats him down for two. We hit the chinlock and Pillman shifts to a sleeper, but Austin escapes with a jawbreaker. Pillman smacks him down again and spits blood on him, so Austin takes him down and stomps a mudhole. KICK WHAM STUNNER for the ref for no adequately explored reason, so Pillman goes low and uses a set of brass knuckles on him. No better time. That gets two. Meanwhile, the Hart Foundation runs in for a DQ of someone that is never announced.

(Pillman ??? Austin, 8:17, ***) Pretty good brawl from a deteriorated Pillman, although the style is totally different than anything else on this DVD.

Goldust, Ken Shamrock, The Legion of Doom and Steve Austin v. Brian Pillman, Jim Neidhart, British Bulldog, Owen Hart and Bret Hart.

Everyone from the US team gets SERIOUS heel heat. Steve Austin is nearly booed out of the building. The Hart Foundation is introduced one-by-one, with the ovation building with every guy, until the roof is nearly ready to blow off the place when Bret comes out. It gives me a lump in my throat to watch it. Austin & Bret start. Oh, by the way, the announcer make mention of a little documentary being shot at ringside. Something about “wrestling” and “shadows” or something like that. Bret beats the hell out of Austin, drawing INCREDIBLE face heat in the process. The crowd literally boos Austin’s every move. I mean, literally, when the guys MOVES they boo him. Austin quickly gets the cobra clutch, and they do the reversal spot in the corner for two. Austin misses the rope run, and Anvil tags in. Austin gets the Thesz press and tags Shamrock in. Zen sighting #3: He gets my masterpiece, “What’s Kayfabe?” on screen for a good chunk of time, and then had it confiscated by Adam (of George and Adam fame) about 10 seconds later. Shamrock controls easily, so Pillman tags in. He uses a blatant cheapshot and gets CHEERED for it. I know wrestlers always say that they like playing a heel and riling up the crowd, but Pillman had a grin about 4 miles wide on his face the entire match because of the babyface heat he was drawing.

Backbreaker gets two. Shamrock hits a belly-to-belly, and everyone tags out. Owen & Goldust go. Enzuigiri gets two for Owen. Crowd starts with a VERY loud “Austin sucks” chant, and Austin wisely plays off it for fun. Hawk comes in with a legdrop on Owen for two. Flying splash gets two. Owen quickly comes back with the Sharpshooter, but Animal breaks. Big heel heat. Bulldog comes in with a hanging suplex and powerslam for two. Bret & Animal go next, and Bret kicks his ass. Goldust comes in and gets his ass kicked, too. Then he gets caught in the corner and a mass-beatdown results and the crowd is rabid and I’m nearly standing up and cheering even now. Owen comes in and hits the post on a blind charge, but comes back with a leg lariat on Animal and a missile dropkick. Rana is reversed into a powerbomb and powerslam. The LOD hits the Doomsday Device fro two, and another brawl erupts. Austin posts Owen and smashes a chair into his knee, then takes a shot at Bruce Hart in the front row. Crowd lets Austin know how much he sucks as Owen heads to the back for medical attention.

Austin gets pummeled in the corner to the delight of the crowd, but he fights free. Austin and Pillman go and a quick stunner ends that fight pretty quick. Bret bails him out and posts Austin, then smashes a chair into HIS knee and applies the ringpost figure-four as the announcers gasp in shock at the bloodthirsty crowd. Back in the ring, Bulldog crotches Hawk on the top rope for two. Austin heads to the back for medical attention, too. Animal & Anvil get into a test of strength. Anvil wins and the Harts double-team Animal. Bret gets caught in the corner, but Shamrock plays to the crowd and Pillman sneaks in and clotheslines him. Hey, Ken, you’re a HEEL here.

Shamrock then gets caught in the Hart corner and sent to the floor, where Pillman gleefully launches him into the Spanish table. Pillman is just having the time of his life out there. Sadly, this would be the last great match of his career. It’s nice to actually see a smile on his face for an entire match, ya know? Hart gets the russian legsweep for two. Bulldog comes in and pulverizes Shamrock, but a low blow turns the tide. Ah, now you’re catching on, Kenny. Goldust comes in to clean up with a bulldog on Bulldog and the Curtain Call, but Pillman interferes again. Goldust goes aerial and gets superplexed down for two. Austin makes his return. It’s Bret v. Austin again, and Austin wins this round. Suplex gets two. Bret DDTs him and goes for the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM. Sleeper is escaped with a jawbreaker, and it gets two. Bret comes back and gets the Sharpshooter, but Animal saves, and the crowd is PISSED. Austin does his own version, and Owen returns now to make the save. Austin clotheslines him out to the floor and they fight there. Austin takes a shot at fomer referee Wayne Hart, and they end up brawling as Wayne jumps the railing. Bret comes over and nails Austin for hitting his brothers, then rolls him into the ring. Austin has some choice words for Bret, which lets Owen roll him up for the pin. Like you need to ask what this gets.

(Hart Foundation d. Goldust/LOD/Austin/Shamrock, Owen rollup — pin Austin, 24:30, *****) Keep in mind much of this match’s rating is sentimental value for me, so your mileage may vary.

Goldust v. Brian Pillman.

From Ground Zero, the first three-hour In Your House. This was the big match in the “Dakota is my love child” feud (booked by you-know-who) that involved Pillman revealing that he was actually the father of Dustin & Terri’s baby girl. This was also Pillman’s last match on PPV, and might have been his last match, period, because I don’t recall him doing anything outside of the “XXX Files” video skits after this. I’m probably wrong on that one, however. Winner gets the services of Marlena for 30 days, which would be about how long Pillman had to live. Pillman chops away to start, but Goldust gets an atomic drop and a clothesline. Goldust turns the 10 PUNCHES OF DOOM into 20, thus forcing everyone in the arena to take off their shoes and socks.

Pillman comes back with more chops and a weak elbow. THIS is the guy who used to do ****3/4 matches with Jushin Liger? Man, accumlated injuries are SO sad to watch. Pillman chases Marlena around and gets dumped on the stairs by Goldust. Back in, Pillman tries a bulldog and gets crotched. Pillman looks completely lost here. Brawl on the ramp leads to a Goldust suplex there. Back in, Goldust posts Pillman, and works on the knee. Bulldog is blocked by Pillman, and he backdrops Goldust. Pillman goes into the cheap heel tactics to control. Goldust escapes with an electric chair, but a blind charge misses and Pillman goes up, but gets crotched and he goes flying into the railing below. Back in, Pillman blocks a superplex, but misses whatever off the top. Curtain Call bumps the ref by mistake, and Marlena “accidentally” loses her loaded purse to Pillman, who nails Goldust for the pin.

(Brian Pillman d. Goldust, purse — pin, 11:04, **) Decent match, no thanks to the rapidly deteriorating Pillman. The original plan called for Marlena to turn on Goldust and join Pillman at Badd Blood (a plot which Russo would go on to repeat about 18 times) but”¦you know.

Light heavyweight title: Jushin Thunder Liger v. Brian Pillman.

Pillman works the arm, and they each flip out of a wristlock. Leapfrog exchange sees détente on a dropkick attempt. Pillman goes back to the arm. Liger pound away, but gets headscissored and bails. Pillman does a sort of baseball slide and Liger stalls for a bit. Back in, Liger goes to the mat with a toehold. Pillman goes cheap to break into the corner for some CANADIAN VIOLENCE. Liger moonsaults out for two, and dumps Pillman with a dropkick. Highspot fakeout time, and a frustrated Pillman heads back in and goes to the mat with a form of the abdominal stretch. Liger reverses, but Pillman makes the ropes. He tries again, but Pillman breaks again.

Liger follows him into the corner with a NASTY dropkick, but Pillman gets off a crucifix for two. Liger comes back with a sunset flip for two. Pillman hits a backdrop suplex that’s totally missed by the crack camera crew. Blind charge misses and Liger works on the knee. Figure-four in the centre of the ring gets several two counts and they channel Flair-Luger and slap each other around to see who would get control of the move. Pillman gets fired up enough to reverse, but Liger keeps pounding the knee once the move is broken. Pillman’s selling is awesome. He fights back with an enzuigiri and headscissors, but Liger calmly dumps him and hits a spectacular somersault senton off the top. Crowd is just shell-shocked by this stuff. Liger tries to suplex him back in, but Pillman blocks and nails Air Pillman. He suplexes Liger onto the floor (!) and heads up for a plancha. He misses another dive off the apron and takes his trademark chinfirst bump to the railing.

Back in, Liger goes upstairs but gets stunned by a mid-air dropkick from Pillman. Pillman tries his own aerial move but Liger uses the same tactic on him. Dueling leg lariats both miss. Pillman comes back with a powerslam for two. Liger reverses a german suplex with one of his own for two. They go to the top, and Pillman blocks a superplex and hits a flying bodypress for two. Liger powerbomb gets two. Another try is reversed to a rana-rollup for two. Pillman DDTs him for two. Criss-cross leads to the double-KO. Pillman recovers first and goes upstairs, but gets superplexed for two. Liger goes for the Benoit headbutt to finish, but misses, and Pillman gets a fluke cradle for the pin and the title.

(Pillman d. Liger, rollup — pin, 16:57, ****3/4) They do the handshake of respect and the crowd goes apeshit for both. This being WCW, both guys were buried weeks later.

The SmarK DVD Rant for Brian Pillman: Loose Canon, part two

The SmarK DVD Rant for Brian Pillman Loose Cannon (Part Two)

– Onwards and upwards, with the bonus disc of matches this time.

Wargames: Sid Vicious, Barry Windham, Ric Flair & Larry Zbyszko v. Sting, Brian Pillman, Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner.

Although I watched the match again to update the rating, the PBP is essentially the same so here’s my last version of it.

Pillman’s shoulder is all taped up, due (kayfabe-wise) to a Horsemen attack covered in the pre-match video. Pillman starts with Windham and gets a flying clothesline with the good arm, and uses the roof of the cage for leverage as he takes Windham down with a rana. He chops away in the corner, and headfakes Windham into taking a missile dropkick. He misses a splash, however, but comes back with a low blow. All’s fair in love and Wargames. Barry hits the cage and starts the blood flowing early, so Brian gives him some extra treatment on the cage. Jawbreaker and he bites the cut and hammers it in the corner. Hiptoss and he goes ground and pound, and back into the cage goes Windham. Pillman goes up with a flying clothesline and another jawbreaker, and he tosses Windham into the second ring and into the cage again. Windham is just selling like nuts for Pillman here. Spinkick puts Windham down and Pillman goes to work on the leg, but Windham comes back and slugs it out with him. Windham tries a piledriver, but Pillman reverses and comes off the top with another shot. The first period expires and the heels win the coin toss (duh), so Flair is in next. They exchange chops, which Pillman WINS, but the Horsemen double-team him and send him into the cage shoulder-first. Windham spikes him into the cage and Flair holds the arm while Windham pounds it, and they dump him into the other cage.

They work over the shoulder until Sting makes the save. He goes nuts on both of the heels, and gets a double-clothesline that sends the crowd into the atmosphere. Sting pairs off with Flair with a bulldog while Pillman keeps at Windham, but Brian gets crotched and the two-on-one commences on Sting. Pillman comes back to save while Sting no-sells Flair’s chops, but Larry Z is next in. Pillman puts Windham in a figure-four, and Sting dives from one to the other with a clothesline on Zbyszko. Flair & Larry go after Sting, and Flair breaks up Pillman’s figure-four. The Horsemen take over and pound on Sting, but Rick Steiner is in next to save. He clotheslines everyone and pounds Flair in the corner, into a belly-to-belly. Flair meets the cage and starts bleeding. Meanwhile, Pillman pounds Larry in the other ring until getting hung in the Tree of Woe and stomped. Sid Vicious is next in, and he goes right for Pillman’s injured shoulder. He then helps Flair out by holding Rick in place for a low blow, and clotheslines Sting. Pillman keeps pounding Flair into the cage, as does Rick. Poor guy. Larry sends Rick into the cage, but he no-sells it. The heels take over on Pillman & Steiner, but Scott Steiner is the last man in and clotheslines both Flair & Windham. Butterfly bomb on Larry, and he nails Sid with a flying clothesline (blatantly called on camera by Sid and Rick) as Sting puts Flair in the Scorpion deathlock.

Sid works on Pillman’s shoulder, ramming it into the corner and ripping the bandages off it. Pillman fights back, however, and goes low, and soon it’s four figure-fours on the Horsemen as the crowd goes insane. They all escape, but Sting presses Flair into the cage roof in a cool visual stolen from Steve Williams. Pillman chokes out Zbyszko while Sid stomps Rick Steiner and the Horsemen double-team him. The Horsemen go after Pillman, but he keeps fighting Flair with chops. Scott DDTs Windham, but Sid lays him out. And then the spot that makes this a famous match — Sid faceplants Pillman, and then powerbombs him, catching his feet on the roof on the way up and dropping him right on his neck, nearly killing him. Then, he does it AGAIN, legitimately injuring him and drawing El Gigante out for improvised finish whereby he surrenders the match on his behalf to give it to the Horsemen at 22:05. Most assumed Pillman’s career to be over at that point. That obviously was not supposed to be the finish.

(Four Horsemen d. Sting/Pillman/Steiners, Pillman surrenders, 22:05, *****) Typically great and bloody Wargames, and still one of the best WCW matches of the 90s. Last time I deducted 1/2* for something or other, but I think it warrants re-inclusion in the Full Monty Club again. Why? Because I write the rants, that’s why.

WCW Light Heavyweight tournament finals: Brian Pillman v. Richard Morton

From Halloween Havoc 91, notable only for the sight of Nick Patrick wearing a hockey helmet with a camera in it, which brings to mind the episode of the Simpsons where Homer goes undercover at the Qwik-E-Mart. Morton gets a pair of armdrags to start and runs away, consulting with the computer for strategy. It tells him “Pay your alimony, deadbeat,” so he ignores it and heads back in. Morton slugs away, but gets slammed when trying his fancy armbar reversal, because babyface superhero powers don’t work anymore once you turn heel. Keep that in mind, kids, next time you try to no-sell a chairshot after turning on your best friend and/or stealing his valet.

Again, Morton’s reversal tricks don’t work and Pillman nails him with a double axehandle after head-faking him, and a shoulderblock gets two. He works the headlock and they do some pedestrian mat stuff, which was never really Morton’s strong point. That’s the whole problem with his heel turn, because he was at his best when getting clobbered by a heel, not controlling the match. Morton misses an elbow and Pillman stays on the headlock. And they wondered why this title didn’t get over. Morton finally breaks free with an inverted atomic drop and he starts to work on the shoulder, which had been injured as of WarGames earlier in the year. Pillman rolls him up for two, but Morton takes him down with a clothesline for two. And we get an exciting armbar.

So that goes on for a while as I wonder if Mike Graham laid out this match just to annoy everyone. “OK, so this is for a new title with a style no one is accustomed to, so we want you to go out and stink up the joint with a boring match so people don’t get threatened by it.” Come to think of it, that’s actually kind of likely. Pillman finally comes back with an enzuigiri and backdrop, and they collide and fall out of the ring. That’s one deadly shoulder tackle. Pillman gets run into the ringpost, but comes back in with a bodypress off the top to finish.

(Brian Pillman d. Richard Morton, high cross — pin, 12:45, *1/2) Major yawner.

Barry Windham & Arn Anderson v. Brian Pillman & El Gigante (Loser Leaves WCW)

I don’t even know where that stipulation came from. The Horsemen pound on Pillman to start and Windham DDTs him for two. Arn comes in and knees Brian in the corner, but gets dropkicked to the floor. Pillman follows with a pescado and Gigante chokes Arn out. Back in, Brian gets a high cross on Windham for two. Powerslam for Arn and he goes up, but Windham trips him up and then boots him in the head for the pin. Hell of a way to end a career.

(Windham & Anderson d. Pillman & Gigante, Windham kick — pin Pillman, 3:06, *) This was almost a squash by the Horsemen, as Pillman would resurface as “The Yellow Dog” in a part tribute to Barry Windham’s old gimmick and a part tribute to Dusty Rhodes’ old gimmick. I think the funnier visual gag would have been Gigante losing the fall and coming back as El Perro Amarillo, with the announcers struggling to place the mysterious masked man, but I take my amusement where I can get it. Not even sure why this one was included on the DVD, tell ya the truth.

Brian Pillman & Barry Windham v. Tom Zenk & Johnny Gunn

This is from WCW Saturday Night, on Boxing Day 1992. Gunn is Tom Brandi, aka Salvatore Sincere, aka the Patriot II. No relation to Billy or Bart that I’m aware of. Pillman had just turned heel and was obviously enjoying it. He attacks Zenk to start and gets backdropped for his troubles, but thumbs Zenk in the eye and goes up. Zenk superkicks him on the way down and it’s a pier-six already, as the heels bail. Back in, Gunn overpowers Windham and slams him, grabbing an armbar. Gunn and Zenk do some double-teaming on Windham in the corner and then Zenk grabs a headlock on Pillman, but Windham gives him a primo cheapshot from the apron. The heels work the back and Windham follows with a backdrop suplex. Pillman drops an axehandle and then misses a bodypress, and it’s hot tag Gunn. Elbow for Pillman and he slugs away on both guys, and it’s the old double noggin knocker. Things threaten to break loose in Tulsa, but they finish Gunn with the High-Low.

(Windham & Pillman d. Gunn & Zenk, Windham lariat — pin Gunn, 4:55, *1/2) Short and inoffensive, but I don’t know why they didn’t put the Starrcade match on there instead.

WCW tag team titles: The Hollywood Blonds v. Los Dos Hombres

This is a cage match from Slamboree 93, with the joke being that it’s supposed to obviously be Steamboat and Douglas under masks, but in actuality Douglas was gone and they were false-advertising Tom Zenk in his place. This is probably the worst of their lengthy series, and I can name about three matches they had which were nearly ***** and more worthy of inclusion than this one. Pillman gets frustrated by Steamboat’s armdrags, as does Austin, and Zenk comes in to work on Austin’s arm. Austin tries sending him into the cage, but Zenk gives him some steel instead and dances in celebration. Steamboat comes in and goes back to the arm and backdrops Austin into the cage, which looked like a nasty bump, and gingerly picks him back up and atomic drops him into it. Austin appears to be fine, so he takes another bump into the cage and the Hombres go to work on the back.

Pillman comes in and goes to Zenk’s eyes to take over, but Steamboat comes in and presses him into the cage. Austin comes in, but his back is hurt and Steamboat hangs him on top of the cage and whips Zenk into him, at which point Austin falls down and Zenk splats into the cage. Dunno if that was deliberate or not, but it’s the perfect time for the Blonds to take over. They work Zenk over and Austin chops him to set up a running elbow. Flying elbow gets two. Over to the corner, where Pillman chokes him out with a towel, but comes off the top and lands on a foot. You know my feelings on that spot.

Austin cuts off a tag, but gets dropkicked, and the Hombres double-team him instead of making the tag. This proves costly as Austin is able to take Zenk down and bring Pillman back in with a Rocket Launcher, which misses. Hot tag Steamboat, and it’s chops for everyone. Austin tries to run, so Steamboat brings him down with an electric chair and crotches Pillman. Noggins are knocked and we’re BONZO GONZO. Everyone gets run into the cage and Steamboat goes up to the top of the cage and unmasks, coming off with a flying bodypress on both for two. The bell rings and everyone goes nuts, but the ref calls it off. He DDTs both Blonds and gets two, but Austin stunguns Zenk and sneaks off with the pin.

(Hollywood Blonds v. Steamboat & Zenk, Austin stungun — pin Zenk, 16:23, ***) Overly long with no real story to tell, and Zenk just didn’t mesh with them. Obviously the people who put these things together weren’t watching the product back then.

Thundercage: Brian Pillman, Sting and Dustin Rhodes v. Paul Orndorff, Steve Austin and Rick Rude

This is from Superbrawl IV, a good choice in that it’s a rarity that was never released on home video, and also because it’s one of the few times where Pillman gets the win in a major match. Rude attacks Sting to start, but gets backdropped as a result. Orndorff comes in and works on the arm, and Austin tries faking a knee injury as his strategy. Sting slaps him in the Scorpion Deathlock to answer that one, but Rude breaks it up and Austin cradles for two. Sting sends him into the cage outside and they head back in.

Pillman brawls with Austin on the floor, and a chase proves unwise as Austin turns around and sends him into the cage a couple of times, drawing a weak-ass bladejob from Pillman. Back in, Rude pounds him and Orndorff works the cut, then cuts off a comeback with a backdrop suplex. Rude comes off the top with a flying knee for two. Austin also goes up and adds an elbow for two. Geez, Pillman is just giving them whatever they want in terms of offense. Austin goes to the well again, but this time gets hit with a dropkick to block him, and it’s the first hot tag for Sting.

Tony declares it “Clothesline-O-Mania,” which just goes to show why they had Dusty name the PPVs. Big brawl and Sting sends Orndorff into the cold, unforgiving steel to draw some blood, and Dustin follows with elbows until he gets rammed into the turnbuckles. Over to Rude, but Dustin fights back with a bulldog attempt, which Rude blocks by carrying him over to the corner and then suplexing him off the top. Bearhug gets turned into a belly to belly, but Austin comes in and takes yet another bump into the cage. Hot tag #2 to Pillman results, as he dropkicks everyone and it’s breaking loose in Tulsa! Sting and Pillman double-team Austin and Sting tosses Pillman at him for the win.

(Sting/Pillman/Rhodes d. Rude/Austin/Orndorff, Pillman bodypress — pin Austin, 14:36, ***) The sad thing is that even at 15 minutes, we barely got anything from Rude, Orndorff or Rhodes and they probably could have kept going and stretched it to 30 with no trouble. This kicked off a pretty bad period for Pillman, as much of 94-95 was aimless jobbing after this.

Brian Pillman v. Jushin Liger

This is match #1 from episode #1 of Nitro in 1995. Liger catches a kickin the corner and a moonsault press gets two. Pillman takes him down with a headscissors for two. Rollup gets two. Liger comes back with a bow-and-arrow, but Pillman gets another headscissors before missing a charge and landing on the floor. Liger follows with a senton off the apron, but Pillman suplexes him off the apron and follows with a cross body to the floor. Back in, they fight on top and Liger superplexes him for two. Back up, but Pillman dropkicks him for two. Pillman comes back with a swinging DDT for two and reverses a suplex attempt into a victory roll for the, well, victory.

(Pillman d. Liger, rollup — pin, 6:42, **1/2) Too quick to be worth anything by itself, but it was an atomic bomb dropped on the wrestling landscape in 1995, kicking off a whole new style that had previously been limited to ECW and independents, and it forced the WWF to actually use cruiserweights in a role that was more than jobbing on Saturday morning TV shows for once.

Brian Pillman v. Dean Malenko

This is post-turn for Pillman, which leads me to wonder why they didn’t stick the Pillman/Anderson v. Flair/Sting match from Halloween Havoc 95 in there to show why he was suddenly all crazy and a member of the Horsemen. They trade armbars and Dean hiptosses him and tries the Cloverleaf, so Pillman bails. Back in, Pillman beats him down and gets a suplex for two. He adds a slap, however, prompting Malenko to clothesline him into a brainbuster for two. Pillman catches him in the corner with a swinging DDT. They brawl outside, and Pillman goes up and tries another DDT, which Malenko blocks. Gutbuster and Malenko comes back with an anklelock. However, his foot gets caught in the ropes and Pillman pins him there. What a ludicrous finish.

(Pillman d. Malenko, ropes — pin, 6:16, **) Pretty pedestrian stuff.

Brian Pillman v. Eddie Guerrero

From the Clash of Champions in January 1996, notable as a match not at all, just for one spot. Pillman gets in Eddie’s face and then runs away and jaws with the fans, smacking Tony around a bit for fun. Back in, Eddie grabs a headlock and dropkicks him out, but Brian bails and hides behind Heenan to block a highspot, which has Heenan totally freaked out, to the point where he drops an f-bomb on live TV and walks away to compose himself. Back in, more stalling from Pillman. Eddie chops him into a backbreaker as poor Bobby apologizes for his life, and then goes right back to cheering Pillman without missing a beat. Pillman hits the chinlock, but Eddie dropkicks him and gets a swinging DDT for two. Pillman uses the ropes for two. Eddie rolls him up for two and gets a crossbody, which Pillman rolls through to finish.

(Pillman d. Guerrero, rollup — pin, 5:58, *1/2) Nothing match, obviously, but it was vital as far as Pillman’s character.

Brian Pillman v. Steve Austin

Welcome to the WWF era. From RAW, June 97. Personally I would have done the Clash match between them if they needed a good Austin-Pillman match, but whatever. Austin attacks and gets an atomic drop, but Pillman chops back until he gets stungunned. Pillman offers a handshake, but Austin clobbers him and slams him off the top, which sends Pillman to the floor. Pillman grabs a chair and gets that back in the face, but keeps coming with an attack from behind and some choking with a TV cable. We take a break and return with Pillman pounding away on Austin while gushing blood from a broken nose. Austin goes low, but Pillman beats him down for two. We hit the chinlock and Pillman shifts to a sleeper, but Austin escapes with a jawbreaker. Pillman smacks him down again and spits blood on him, so Austin takes him down and stomps a mudhole. KICK WHAM STUNNER for the ref for no adequately explored reason, so Pillman goes low and uses a set of brass knuckles on him. No better time. That gets two. Meanwhile, the Hart Foundation runs in for a DQ of someone that is never announced.

(Pillman ??? Austin, 8:17, ***) Pretty good brawl from a deteriorated Pillman, although the style is totally different than anything else on this DVD.

Goldust, Ken Shamrock, The Legion of Doom and Steve Austin v. Brian Pillman, Jim Neidhart, British Bulldog, Owen Hart and Bret Hart.

Everyone from the US team gets SERIOUS heel heat. Steve Austin is nearly booed out of the building. The Hart Foundation is introduced one-by-one, with the ovation building with every guy, until the roof is nearly ready to blow off the place when Bret comes out. It gives me a lump in my throat to watch it. Austin & Bret start. Oh, by the way, the announcer make mention of a little documentary being shot at ringside. Something about “wrestling” and “shadows” or something like that. Bret beats the hell out of Austin, drawing INCREDIBLE face heat in the process. The crowd literally boos Austin’s every move. I mean, literally, when the guys MOVES they boo him. Austin quickly gets the cobra clutch, and they do the reversal spot in the corner for two. Austin misses the rope run, and Anvil tags in. Austin gets the Thesz press and tags Shamrock in. Zen sighting #3: He gets my masterpiece, “What’s Kayfabe?” on screen for a good chunk of time, and then had it confiscated by Adam (of George and Adam fame) about 10 seconds later. Shamrock controls easily, so Pillman tags in. He uses a blatant cheapshot and gets CHEERED for it. I know wrestlers always say that they like playing a heel and riling up the crowd, but Pillman had a grin about 4 miles wide on his face the entire match because of the babyface heat he was drawing.

Backbreaker gets two. Shamrock hits a belly-to-belly, and everyone tags out. Owen & Goldust go. Enzuigiri gets two for Owen. Crowd starts with a VERY loud “Austin sucks” chant, and Austin wisely plays off it for fun. Hawk comes in with a legdrop on Owen for two. Flying splash gets two. Owen quickly comes back with the Sharpshooter, but Animal breaks. Big heel heat. Bulldog comes in with a hanging suplex and powerslam for two. Bret & Animal go next, and Bret kicks his ass. Goldust comes in and gets his ass kicked, too. Then he gets caught in the corner and a mass-beatdown results and the crowd is rabid and I’m nearly standing up and cheering even now. Owen comes in and hits the post on a blind charge, but comes back with a leg lariat on Animal and a missile dropkick. Rana is reversed into a powerbomb and powerslam. The LOD hits the Doomsday Device fro two, and another brawl erupts. Austin posts Owen and smashes a chair into his knee, then takes a shot at Bruce Hart in the front row. Crowd lets Austin know how much he sucks as Owen heads to the back for medical attention.

Austin gets pummeled in the corner to the delight of the crowd, but he fights free. Austin and Pillman go and a quick stunner ends that fight pretty quick. Bret bails him out and posts Austin, then smashes a chair into HIS knee and applies the ringpost figure-four as the announcers gasp in shock at the bloodthirsty crowd. Back in the ring, Bulldog crotches Hawk on the top rope for two. Austin heads to the back for medical attention, too. Animal & Anvil get into a test of strength. Anvil wins and the Harts double-team Animal. Bret gets caught in the corner, but Shamrock plays to the crowd and Pillman sneaks in and clotheslines him. Hey, Ken, you’re a HEEL here.

Shamrock then gets caught in the Hart corner and sent to the floor, where Pillman gleefully launches him into the Spanish table. Pillman is just having the time of his life out there. Sadly, this would be the last great match of his career. It’s nice to actually see a smile on his face for an entire match, ya know? Hart gets the russian legsweep for two. Bulldog comes in and pulverizes Shamrock, but a low blow turns the tide. Ah, now you’re catching on, Kenny. Goldust comes in to clean up with a bulldog on Bulldog and the Curtain Call, but Pillman interferes again. Goldust goes aerial and gets superplexed down for two. Austin makes his return. It’s Bret v. Austin again, and Austin wins this round. Suplex gets two. Bret DDTs him and goes for the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM. Sleeper is escaped with a jawbreaker, and it gets two. Bret comes back and gets the Sharpshooter, but Animal saves, and the crowd is PISSED. Austin does his own version, and Owen returns now to make the save. Austin clotheslines him out to the floor and they fight there. Austin takes a shot at fomer referee Wayne Hart, and they end up brawling as Wayne jumps the railing. Bret comes over and nails Austin for hitting his brothers, then rolls him into the ring. Austin has some choice words for Bret, which lets Owen roll him up for the pin. Like you need to ask what this gets.

(Hart Foundation d. Goldust/LOD/Austin/Shamrock, Owen rollup — pin Austin, 24:30, *****) Keep in mind much of this match’s rating is sentimental value for me, so your mileage may vary.

Goldust v. Brian Pillman.

From Ground Zero, the first three-hour In Your House. This was the big match in the “Dakota is my love child” feud (booked by you-know-who) that involved Pillman revealing that he was actually the father of Dustin & Terri’s baby girl. This was also Pillman’s last match on PPV, and might have been his last match, period, because I don’t recall him doing anything outside of the “XXX Files” video skits after this. I’m probably wrong on that one, however. Winner gets the services of Marlena for 30 days, which would be about how long Pillman had to live. Pillman chops away to start, but Goldust gets an atomic drop and a clothesline. Goldust turns the 10 PUNCHES OF DOOM into 20, thus forcing everyone in the arena to take off their shoes and socks.

Pillman comes back with more chops and a weak elbow. THIS is the guy who used to do ****3/4 matches with Jushin Liger? Man, accumlated injuries are SO sad to watch. Pillman chases Marlena around and gets dumped on the stairs by Goldust. Back in, Pillman tries a bulldog and gets crotched. Pillman looks completely lost here. Brawl on the ramp leads to a Goldust suplex there. Back in, Goldust posts Pillman, and works on the knee. Bulldog is blocked by Pillman, and he backdrops Goldust. Pillman goes into the cheap heel tactics to control. Goldust escapes with an electric chair, but a blind charge misses and Pillman goes up, but gets crotched and he goes flying into the railing below. Back in, Pillman blocks a superplex, but misses whatever off the top. Curtain Call bumps the ref by mistake, and Marlena “accidentally” loses her loaded purse to Pillman, who nails Goldust for the pin.

(Brian Pillman d. Goldust, purse — pin, 11:04, **) Decent match, no thanks to the rapidly deteriorating Pillman. The original plan called for Marlena to turn on Goldust and join Pillman at Badd Blood (a plot which Russo would go on to repeat about 18 times) but”¦you know.

Light heavyweight title: Jushin Thunder Liger v. Brian Pillman.

Pillman works the arm, and they each flip out of a wristlock. Leapfrog exchange sees détente on a dropkick attempt. Pillman goes back to the arm. Liger pound away, but gets headscissored and bails. Pillman does a sort of baseball slide and Liger stalls for a bit. Back in, Liger goes to the mat with a toehold. Pillman goes cheap to break into the corner for some CANADIAN VIOLENCE. Liger moonsaults out for two, and dumps Pillman with a dropkick. Highspot fakeout time, and a frustrated Pillman heads back in and goes to the mat with a form of the abdominal stretch. Liger reverses, but Pillman makes the ropes. He tries again, but Pillman breaks again.

Liger follows him into the corner with a NASTY dropkick, but Pillman gets off a crucifix for two. Liger comes back with a sunset flip for two. Pillman hits a backdrop suplex that’s totally missed by the crack camera crew. Blind charge misses and Liger works on the knee. Figure-four in the centre of the ring gets several two counts and they channel Flair-Luger and slap each other around to see who would get control of the move. Pillman gets fired up enough to reverse, but Liger keeps pounding the knee once the move is broken. Pillman’s selling is awesome. He fights back with an enzuigiri and headscissors, but Liger calmly dumps him and hits a spectacular somersault senton off the top. Crowd is just shell-shocked by this stuff. Liger tries to suplex him back in, but Pillman blocks and nails Air Pillman. He suplexes Liger onto the floor (!) and heads up for a plancha. He misses another dive off the apron and takes his trademark chinfirst bump to the railing.

Back in, Liger goes upstairs but gets stunned by a mid-air dropkick from Pillman. Pillman tries his own aerial move but Liger uses the same tactic on him. Dueling leg lariats both miss. Pillman comes back with a powerslam for two. Liger reverses a german suplex with one of his own for two. They go to the top, and Pillman blocks a superplex and hits a flying bodypress for two. Liger powerbomb gets two. Another try is reversed to a rana-rollup for two. Pillman DDTs him for two. Criss-cross leads to the double-KO. Pillman recovers first and goes upstairs, but gets superplexed for two. Liger goes for the Benoit headbutt to finish, but misses, and Pillman gets a fluke cradle for the pin and the title.

(Pillman d. Liger, rollup — pin, 16:57, ****3/4) They do the handshake of respect and the crowd goes apeshit for both. This being WCW, both guys were buried weeks later.

The Inside Pulse
So overall, it’s missing some stuff (the Horsemen turn, a good Blonds match, the “Bookerman” match with Sullivan) but for your money, no release from the WWE since the Flair compilation gives you more bang for your buck than the second disc, with two matches I had at ***** and one so close that you couldn’t quibble with giving it that if you wanted to.

Strongly recommended, for both the doc and the bonus matches.

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