The SmarK Rant for WWE Vintage Collection – 09.30.11

The SmarK Rant for WWE Vintage Collection – 09.30.11

– Your host is Mean Gene.  The theme this week continues with the best of WCW Fall Brawl, which likely means Wargames.

The British Bulldog & Jim Neidhart v. Alex Wright & Disco Inferno

Really?  This qualifies as the “best”?  This is the opener at Fall Brawl 98, a legendarily awful show.  Probably one of the worst PPVs in history, in fact, certainly with one of the worst main events in the form of the Ultimate Warrior version of the Wargames.  JIP with Wright getting a monkey flip for two, and I’m pretty sure Davey’s bump off that was the one where he landed on the Warrior’s trap door and destroyed his back.  Wright misses a blind charge, but Disco comes in with an elbow off the middle rope for two.  Atomic drop, but Bulldog tosses him for some abuse from the Anvil.  Back in, Davey hits the chinlock, and blocks a sunset flip attempt.  This leads to a horribly messed up series of spots, concluding with Davey not being able to get Disco up enough to drop him on the top rope and nearly breaking his neck by dropping him on the middle rope instead.  Anvil immediately comes in to try to salvage things, aimlessly stomping on Disco and biting him in the corner, which is weird because I thought the Boogie Knights were supposed to be the heels.  Another horribly mistimed spot sees Bulldog trying to slingshot Anvil in for a clothesline, while Disco moves way too soon.  Hot tag Wright and he slams Davey a few times, and you can see the agony on his back.  Bulldog suddenly comes back and tries the powerslam, but the Knights double-team him in another sloppy spot.  The Knights collide and Bulldog barely gets Disco up for the powerslam to finish at 6:00.  Pretty much everything that could go wrong here, did.  -**

Diamond Dallas Page v. Chavo Guerero

From Fall Brawl 96, as Chavo is still mostly a jobber trying to avenge his Uncle Eddie.  DDP was still a couple of months away from turning on the nWo and exploding as a babyface.  Chavo tosses him to start and WHIPS HIM, WHIPS HIM LIKE A DOG, TONY with a belt.    Back in, a slingshot splash gets two.  Bodypress gets two and he takes DDP down with an armbar and holds that for a while.  Dusty thinks that DDP might “uncle” from this armbar.  Page finally breaks free from the devastating armbar and tosses Chavo into the railing to take over, and back in with an impressive flying clothesline.  That was cool, wonder why he didn’t work that one in more often?  We take a break, and randomly either  the Score or WWE inserts a Randy Savage video package during the commercials.  I thought that was a major no-no?  Far as I know, Savage’s name is unmentionable on WWE TV now that the tribute package has been aired and finished.  Back with Chavo evading a kneelift and coming back with a springboard bodypress.  To the top for a missile dropkick that gets two.  Back to the top, and DDP catches him, but Chavo turns it into a rana for two.  DDP nails him with an elbow out of the corner and gets two using the ropes, then chucks him into the second ring and they continue on over there.  Sideslam gets two.  Another try is reversed to a headscissors by Chavo, and a rollup gets two.  Crowd was deeply into that near-fall.  Page reverses a rana into a rotation powerbomb for two.  Another great near-fall there.  Diamond Cutter is blocked with a backslide attempt, but DDP finishes with the Cutter for real at 10:17.  This was a shockingly great match for this era of DDP.  ***3/4

Wargames:  Dusty Rhodes, Dustin Rhodes & The Nasty Boys v. Terry Funk, Arn Anderson, Bunkhouse Buck & Col. Robert Parker

This would be a crew where you’d look at them and say “Holy shit, people are gonna BLEED”.  But it’s 1994 WCW, so it’s gonna be toned down a lot.  This all stems from the awesomely predictable angle at Bash at the Beach where Dustin recruited Arn Anderson for his war with the Stud Stable and got betrayed as a result.  It was no shock to anyone, but that’s why it was so great.  So this starts with Dustin and Arn for the initial period, and Dustin hits him with a flying clothesline and sends him into the cage.  Arn blocks it, but Dustin runs him into the other side and adds an atomic drop and big boot over the ropes.  This allows Arn to work in his patented spot where he gets his head caught between the rings, a spot that takes a certain genius to come up with.  Dustin clobbers him with a flying clothesline over the ropes and puts him down with the big elbow, then slugs him down.  Arn should really be gushing blood by now.  Dustin stomps away until Arn finally hits a DDT out of nowhere, and we take a break.  Back with Arn suddenly existing only a series of still photos due to choking him out with wrist tape.  How can you show a WARGAMES match and then edit out the violence?  That’s like the network TV version of Goodfellas.  Oddly, the first period runs 6:00 by my watch, and Bunkhouse Buck is the next man in.

So now begins the traditional “beat the shit out of the babyface” segment, as the heels double-team Dustin and send him into the cage.  And we take another break.  Back with the heels holding a double crab on Dustin, but luckily Sags comes in to even things up.  He runs wild on them and sends both guys into the cage before piledriving Buck, and you just know Arn is dying to blade.  Dustin with a sleeper on Arn, but Terry Funk is in and armed with a boot.  So that turns things the way of the heels again and we get more quality cheese-grater on the cage and no blood.  Fans at ringside are getting anxious now and start chanting “We want blood”.  Yeah, keep chanting, guys, you’re not likely to have much luck.  Another fun spot sees Sags piledriving Funk onto the gap between the rings, and that brings Knobbs in.

The Nasties go to town on Arn, and there’s still no blood.  And we take another break.  Back with Sags using Funk’s purloined boot to dish out damage, and Parker is the only one left for the heels.  Funny that Robert Fuller is one of the best workers out of this whole group and he’s basically in here as comic relief to take the fall.  So things look bad now for the babyfaces, as Parker beats everyone with his belt, but Dustin steals it and beats the shit out of everyone.  They hardly need Dusty at this point.  So even though the babyfaces have things well in hand, Dusty is the last man in (to a huge reaction) and it’s heels lining up for elbows around the block.  Meng goes crazy trying to climb in and save Parker, but Dusty does his shitty figure-four for the submission at 18:56.  Strong start, but they just kind of meandered through the heat segments and didn’t build any kind of suspense.  Plus, no blood equals NO BUYS.  **1/2

One great match on this show, but the Wargames was one of the weakest ones they could have picked and I have no idea what drugs they were on when they picked that tag match as the best of anything.  Real mixed bag this time and a big disappointment for this show.

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