The SmarK Rant for WWE Vintage Collection – 08.25.11

The SmarK Rant for WWE Vintage Collection – 08.25.11

Clash of the Champions opening!  NERDGASM!

The theme this week:  WCW Clash of the Champions matches.

WCW TV title:  Arn Anderson v. Johnny B. Badd

From January 1995, and we’re JIP with Johnny getting an enzuigiri for two.  Arn tries the same thing and Badd ducks it and rolls him  up for two.  Badd tries to dodge a blind charge, but Arn catches him and drops him with Snake Eyes to take over, then tosses him.  Back in, Arn with a forearm and he stomps him down for two.  Arn hits the chinlock, then cuts off a comeback attempt with an elbow for two.  Badd slugs back, but misses a blind charge.  Great spot as Arn goes up and Johnny puts up his foot for the spot I hate most, but Arn simply moves out of the way!  Awesome!  Johnny comes back anyway and gets a flying headscissors to set up the knockout punch, but Arn is smart enough to take the fall outside.  Col. Parker revives Arn with a pitcher of water, which allows Meng to send Arn back in and a DDT to finish at 4:37.  That was quite the slick finish.  Most impressively, Arn declares he did it “All by myself” after the match.  Real fun match.  ***

Sting, Dustin Rhodes & The British Bulldog v. Rick Rude, Vader & Sid Vicious

From June 1993, as this was building up to the disasterous PPV with the midget blowing up the boat and such.  Sting wallops all of the heels to start and blocks a Rude slam attempt with a small package for two.  Over to Dustin, who elbows Rude down for two and then watches Vader accidentally splash Rude.   Sid beats on Bulldog, but gets caught in the face corner and triple-teamed, bumping like crazy for Sting’s clotheslines from the apron.  Well, he’s trying.  Dustin goes with Vader next and pummels him into the corner, as the crowd is just going crazy for all of this.  Dustin with a suplex and series of elbows, and he goes up and misses another elbow.  Vader pounds him with a clothesline and follows with the pump splash for two.  So now it’s over to Rude for a front suplex that gets two.  We take a break and return with Dustin getting his own front suplex, but Sid tags himself in.  He tosses Dustin around and drops him with a clothesline for two.  Over to Vader, and he returns the pummelling to Dustin in a nice little callback, but comes off the top and gets caught with a powerslam.  Rude comes in to cut off the tag, however.  Tombstone is reversed by Dustin for two, but now the ref is distracted and doesn’t see the tag to Sting.  Regardless, it’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA, and Vader clobbers Dustin with a briefcase for the pin at 9:00.  Kind of disappointing that we never got to the hot tag.  Still, the initial segment with the babyfaces beating on the heels was great fun.  ***1/4

US title:  Stunning Steve Austin v. Ricky Steamboat

From August 1994, in what would end up being the match that ended Steamboat’s career.  JIP with Steamboat holding an armbar, which turns into a nice little mat segment.  Austin tosses him out and they brawl outside, with Austin turning into a footrace before running into a chop.  Back in, they trade sleeper attempts, but Austin escapes with KICK WHAM STUNNER…or just a jawbreaker, whatever. Austin throws chops in the corner, but gets hiptossed before missing a charge and hitting the post.  Steamboat walks the ropes to hurt the arm, and follows with the flying chop for two.  Austin comes back with a kneedrop for two and slugs away on the ropes.  He goes to the chinlock and we take a break. Back with Austin getting a suplex for two.  They fight on the top and Steamboat goes down, but crotches Austin.  He fights for a superplex, but Austin hits it instead.  Steamboat keeps coming and nails Austin coming off the top, however.  Steamboat back up, but the flying bodypress misses and Austin sends him facefirst into the mat.  He doesn’t follow up, though, slapping him around instead of pinning him, which allows Steamboat to fight up again.  Steamboat is PISSED and fires away, chopping Austin down for two.  Spinebuster gets two.  Electric chair gets two and Steamboat’s back is killing him, you can see it.  Small package gets two.  Rollup gets two.  Backslide gets two.  Sunset flip gets two.  Austin finally ends the rally with a clothesline and dumps him, but Steamboat pulls himself in and gets a rollup for two, then finishes with a small package at 10:30 to win the US title.  That finishing sequence, with Steamboat’s babyface comeback and the series of insane near-falls on a desperate Austin,  was some of the best American pro wrestling you will ever see.  ****1/4

WCW World title:  Lex Luger v. Rick Steiner

From November 1991, a really REALLY bad period for WCW.  I mean, Rick friggin’ Steiner was challenging for the World title here.  Big stall to start as Luger keeps going to the ropes.  Steiner grabs a headlock and powerslams Luger for two, then puts Luger out with a clothesline.  We take a break and return with Luger dropping Steiner on the top rope and following with a clothesline.  He stomps Steiner down and rakes him on the ropes, but Steiner comes back with a suplex.  Luger slams and drops an elbow for two, then tosses him.  Back in, that gets two.  JR notes that this is an illustration of the action you’ll see on TBS every week.  No wonder their ratings were so bad.  Steiner finally fights back with a powerslam for two and the top rope bulldog for two.  Top rope belly to belly  as Scott Steiner brings Mr. Hughes in for a Frankensteiner, but Luger hits Steiner with the belt to retain at 9:16.  Kind of a mess.  *1/2

Damn, three great matches and one dull one?  I’ll take that any day.

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