After WrestleMania, I am mostly likely done writing about current wrestling, so chances are I will be doing a lot of retro reviews to relive the times when wrestling wasn’t so frustrating to watch. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy these as much as I did.
February 29, 1992
Your Hosts: Jim Ross and Jessie Ventura
WCW Light-Heavyweight Title: Jushin Liger vs. Brian Pillman.
This match was an alternative to the American wrestling style in 1992 because its fast-pace and creative spots, so you can imagine how hard fans marked for this. Since this is the Ted Turner version, I decided to go out and find this match’s full version. Out of all the matches on this card they could’ve clipped, they chose the best one.The crowd does not know if they should boo or cheer Liger because they don’t know what role he’s playing and never seen him wrestle before in the states. After a quick start, Pillman slows down the pace by working on Liger’s arm. Liger goes to the outside to take a breather, but a baseball slide from Pillman puts Liger into the guardrail. Pillman heads up top rope, but Liger gets out-of-the-way before Pillman can jump. Might as well jump! Back in, Liger takes Pillman to the mat and puts him in a leg bar. Pillman fights out of it and throws Liger into the corner, but Liger drills Pillman with a moonsault press. ONE-TWO-NO. Liger dropkicks Pillman to the floor.
Back in, Liger brings Pillman to the center of the ring for a headlock, but Pillman manages to fight out. Liger distributes several shoulder blocks in the corner and then Liger nails a running dropkick. Pillman comes back with a crucifix pin. ONE-TWO-THRE-NO!. Wait, Liger almost rolls Pillman. ONE-TWO-THR-NO!!. Trying to slow down the match, Liger puts in a headlock, but Pillman reverses it with a back suplex. ONE-TWO-THR-NO!!!!. Pillman tosses Liger in the corner and charges, but Liger moves out-of-the-way!!!!! Liger delivers a shin breaker and puts in a Figure Four. WOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!. Pillman gets out, though, and both get back to their feet where THEY TRADE BITCH SLAPS!!!!! Pillman CHARGES at Liger, but Pillman gets backdrop to the floor!!!!!!!!! Liger heads up top. What’s he gonna do brothers? Oh my, he NAILS A SENTON! Liger goes for a suplex but gives up because he can’t and then tries a turnbuckle collision, but Pillman blocks the move and follows up with AIR PILLMAN . He gloats to the crowd. PIN HIM INSTEAD! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
He carries Liger out to the floor and comes off the top with a cross body block.He puts Liger up beside the guard rail and dives off the apron, but Liger moves out-of-the-way and Pillman crushes his chin on to STEEL more pure than Jake Robert’s crack. Back in, Liger tries a move off the top, but Pillman has other plans and drills him a dropkick. Pillman attempts a missile dropkick off the top, but Liger nails him on the way down WITH A DROPKICK OF HIS OWN!!!!. They both go for spinning heel kicks but both miss. Liger fights back but falls into a power slam. ONE-TWO-THREE! IT’S OVER. WAIT, THAT WAS 2!!!!!!!! Pillman goes for a German suplex, but Liger blocks it and turns into a Friggen German Suplex…. WITH A BRIDGE. ONE-TWO-THRE-NO!!!!!! Liger tries a superplex off the top, but Pillman pushes him off and then hits a FLYING BRYAN BODY DROP. ONE-TWO-THRRRRRRRRR-NO! Pillman throws Liger into the ropes but gets drilled with a power bomb. ONE-TWO-THRRRRRRRR-NO! Liger goes for ANOTHER power bomb, but Pillman reverses into a FRANKEN STEINER. ONE-TWO-THRRRRRRR-NO!!!!! Pillman climbs up top only for Liger to hit a superplex. It’s over. ONE-TWO-THRRRRRRRR-NO. HE KICKED OUT!!!!! YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. WAIT, PELE OUT OF NOWHERE!!!!!!!Okay, I made that last bit up.Liger FIGHTS back and goes for a HEADBUTT, but Pillman has six senses and rolls Liger up. ONE-TWO-THREE!!!!!!!!!!!. IT’S OVER AT @ 16:59.
After the match, Pillman gets a standing ovation. Liger and Pillman shake hands! THE RESPECT WAS EARNED! That match right there my friends was one highly competitive match. The spots don’t age great over time, but their ability to read the crowd certainly does. They did a compelling job of bringing the match’s paced up and down to get the crowd on the edge of their seat biting their finger nails. The difference between this match and most spotty matches is they inserted the high spots into the story they were telling instead of trying to out do the last spot with a bigger one. As a result, it made it feel like an athletic contest than a contrived stunt show. **** 1/2
Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes vs. Larry Zbyszko & Steve Austin (w/Madusa).
Windham is looking for retribution for Zbyszko slamming his hand in a car door at Halloween Havoc. Windham and Rhodes attack on the heels off the bat. Windham takes Zbyszko off the entranceway and throws him face-first to the guardrail below. Austin comes off the top rope, but Rhodes nails him with a lariat for two. Austin runs away, so Rhodes tags in Windham and Dustin goes outside the ring to throw Austin back in. Windham throws Austin into Zbyzsko. Zbyszko gets in and throws Windham out to the ramp way. He tries a pile driver, but Windham backdrops him. Back in, Windham hits a DDT and then tags in Rhodes where they deliver a double-team backdrop. Rhodes goes after Larry’s hand and then tags Windham for a gut wrench suplex that gets two. Barry attempts a pile driver, but Austin creeps in and delivers a CLOSELINE FROM HELL! Rhodes comes in to dispute with the ref, allowing Austin to throw Windham out to the floor. Austin goes outside with him and then Larry smashes Windham’s crotch on the guardrail. Back in the ring, Austin hits a clothesline followed by a suplex. ONE-TWO-NO!
Windham fights back and goes for another lariat, but Austin gets out-of-the-way and Windham goes airborne out to the floor. Back in the ring, Zbyszko tags in and then hits a swinging neck breaker. ONE-TWO-THR-NO! Austin tags in and nails a back suplex. Windham comes back with a back suplex, but Austin manages to make the tag to Zbyszko. Zbysko wretches in a sleeper hold. Windham breaks out and then makes a hot tag to Rhodes. Rhodes comes in and hits an inverted atomic drop, dropkick, and an elbow drop. ONE-TWO-THRRE-NO!!! Windham and Zbyszko start brawling up the ramp. Meanwhile, in the ring, Austin drills Rhodes with CLOTHESLINE THAT ALMOST TOOK HIS HEAD OFF!!!!. ONE-TWO-THRRRE-NO!! Windham and Zbyszko cool down from THEIR HEATED BRAWL and head back to their corners. Zbyszko tags in and BLASTS Rhodes with the swinging neck breaker. ONE-TWO-TH-NO! Rhodes tries to make a comeback, but don’t call it one because he gets nailed with a DDT.
Larry tags in and nails a backbreaker but gets his suplex countered. RHODES IS TRYING TO MAKE THE TAG…..but Austin cuts it off. Austin gets heat on Rhodes until Rhodes counters with an inside cradle, but the ref is stopping Windham from getting inside the ring. Austin puts in a chin lock but Dustin punches out and then nails Austin with a stun gun. COPYRIGHT MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU RHODES?Larry gets a tag……annnnddddd so does Windham!!! He DRILLS Zbyszko with lariats while Rhodes and Austin fight outside. Windham tries to finish Zbyszko with the superplex, but Larry pushes him off the top rope and says not today. Zbyszko wants to come off the top but Rhodes shoves Larry down to the floor. BIG BUMP! Windham goes up on the other side and then flies down on Zbyszko with a lariat. ONE-TWO-THREE @ 18:30. The story was centered around Windham wanting to inflict pain on just Larry Zbyszko but the issues with the match were it was too stretched out, lacked heat because of the long segments and too formulaic. If they cut this match down to about 12 minutes, it would’ve been more packed and had less filler. All and all though, the match did its job and was entertaining in the essential parts. It just could’ve been better, especially with the heat and talent involved. *** 1/4
Missy Hyatt attempts to get an interview with Ricky Steamboat, but Ricky’s NINJA turns her away. Madusa tries to sneak in but he runs after her NINJA-STYLE!
WCW World Tag Team Champions Arn Anderson & Bobby Eaton with Madusa vs. Rick & Scott Steiner
This was the Steiner Brothers’ first tag titles ever since they were stripped of the belts back in July because of Scott’s injury. Kip Frey bans Paul E. Security escorts him out of the ring area. Scott and Eaton start things off and Scott tries to take it to the mat, but Eaton grabs the ropes. Eaton hits a swinging neckbreaker and then heads to the top rope, but Scott catches Eaton coming down with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Rick ends up lying down beside Arn, which freaks Arn the hell out. Rick rapidly snaps off a power slam. Scott tags in and battles with Arn over an over-the-head wristlocks. Bobby comes in to help but Scott back flips out of it. Rick dashes in and double clotheslines the DA out to the floor. Back in the ring, Arn low blows Scott and then dumps him out but the Steiners nail them both with Steiner-lines.
Back in, Scott puts in a chin lock. Rick gets a tag and that leads to the Doomsday Device on Eaton. Arn gets in, but Rick nails him with a Steiner Bulldog for two. Arn recovers, makes a tags but Bobby tags back in and puts in a hammerlock. Rick elbows out, but Arn gets a blind tag and drills Rick with a back elbow for a two. Scott saves Rick from a double-suplex. Arn comes off the middle-rope, but Rick drills him. They start trading off punches, but Arn rams Scott’s skull into Bobby’s skull. Bobby tags in and hits a flying knee drop karate style. ONE-TWO-NO! Arn comes back in and nails a DDT for another near-fall. He tries several pin attempts but doesn’t get them so goes for a splash, but Scott reverses with a leg scissors. Arn turns it over into a Boston crab and drags him over to tag in Eaton. He puts in a camel clutch, but Scott drags Eaton over to Rick.
Eaton nails Rick and then both give him the Rocket Launcher outside. Bobby drills Scott’s face into the railing but Scott stops the second try and then pays him back. Back in the ring, Eaton manages cuts off the tag and then tags in Arn. He tries to drill Scott’s face into Bobby’s knee, but Scott counters by throwing Arn into it. Scott makes the hot tag to Rick and attempts a belly-to-belly superplex on Eaton, but Arn lifts Rick up on his shoulders for a Doomsday Device. Eaton flies on Rick, but he catches Eaton in mid-air. Steiner Bulldog on Arn, but Eaton breaks it up. Madusa hands Arn some powder to throw in Rick’s face. Rick Steiner by accident gives the ref a suplex and then backdrops Arn to the outside. A new ref runs down. Scott hits the tiger driver and the Franken Steiner on Eaton for 1-2-3! @ 22:07.The crowd goes wild for the Steiners. It doesn’t last long because Randy Anderson, the original ref, is now conscious and notifies the new ref that Rick gave him a suplex, this the winners are by DQ The Dangerous Alliance. The Steiners were awesome around this time. I loved the dynamic of their team: Scott was the technician that wrestled most of the match and then would make the hot-tag to Rick who the psychotic untamed individual that just went bat shit crazy during his comeback. The finish was had too many shenanigans, but did its job by making the Dangerous Alliance look like lucky bastards and created anticipation for the rematch. The match was a good southern-style tag match. *** 1/2
WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion Rick Rude vs. Ricky Steamboat with Ninja
Rude cuts a promo and the crowd shits all over it with A LOT of boos. Steamboat chops, arm drags, choke-lifts, and face-slams Rude for two. Steamboat hooks on an arm bar, but Rude kicks Steamboat and drops him on the railing. He gives Steamboat a suplex. Rude nails a clothesline with his bad arm. Rude slows the pace of the match down with a chin lock, but Steamboat fights out only to get clotheslined by Rude. Rude takes a second for some disco fever dancing and drops an elbow on Steamboat. He hits a swinging neck breaker and delivers a pile driver. ONE-TWO-THR!? NO!!!! Steamboat grabs a headlock but Rude pushes that off and hits a back suplex for two. Rude puts in a headlock, but Steamboat answers with a shin-breaker and goes for the Figure-Four. WOOOO!!! Rude makes it to the ropes. Steamboat tries again, but Rude kicks him and nails him with a clothesline. Rude goes up top and comes down on Steamboat with a hard forearm. Rude tries to do his dancing moves, but his arm is in too much pain so does it with one arm. Great characterization shown there. He goes up top and flies down on Steamboat with forearm for two.
Rude puts in a chin lock and sits on Steamboat’s rear for more force, but Steamboat gets up and hits an electric chair drop. They both get on their feet punching away and then both knock their heads together. Steamboat puts in sleepers, but Rude gets out with a jawbreaker. Rude goes to the top, but Steamboat nails him a superplex for a near-fall. Steamboat nails Rude with a pair of clotheslines and then an enziguri. A backdrop and a seated clothesline get a two. Steamboat heads up for the flying chop and connects. He goes for another one, but then the ninja nails him with a phone. The ninja sprints to the back. ONE-TWO-THREE @ 20:23. The match was good from a technically sound standpoint and had rational psychology in it, but unlike their other matches, this one was lacking in the “on the edge of your seat” feeling. The structure of the match was all fastballs without many curve balls. They’d go on and have way better matches. ***
Missy Hyatt goes in Rude’s locker room to get some scoop but sees Paul E in a Ninja suit. Paul E entertainingly overreacts as if no one expected it was him and then gets head from Hyatt and Al Snow’s gimmick was made once Heyman got an idea after he stated everyone needs head.
WCW Heavyweight Title: Lex Luger with Harley Race vs. Sting
There is some trash talking in the start. Jessie thinks they are saying, “Lets go home and forget about it.” This match blows so I agree with Jessie: let’s just go home. Both men start shoving and then Sting delivers the Stinger Splash, but Luger no-sells and comes running out of the corner with a clothesline. Luger hits a power slam and goes for the T-Rack, but Sting flips out and gives Lex a German suplex. Sting has Luger up in the Rack and Luger escapes, but Sting nails a jumping DDT, which makes Luger roll to the floor. Sting is pulled to the outside, but Sting sends Luger into the rail. Back in the ring, Sting applies the Scorpion Death lock. Luger makes to the ropes.
Luger takes over and pounds Sting on the mat until Sting starts to choke Luger in the corner but Luger nails a low blow followed up by an inverted atomic drop.Luger hits a press-slam followed by a bad-looking pile driver. Sting comes back and puts Luger’s face into the mat, but Sting misses a dive and flies out of the ring. Luger nails Sting’s face into the railing and heads back in the ring. Race goes for a pile driver on the floor but Sting backdrops him. Sting goes up top and surprises Luger with a flying body press. ONE-TWO-THREE! @ 13:09.
Luger’s title run didn’t work out because he started becoming an afterthought due to Dangerous Alliance and couldn’t compare to them in terms of being a heel and dogged his matches, thus it was a good business decision to put the belt back on Sting. The match wasn’t great because Luger was half-assin’ it and Sting is only as good as his opponent. **
Final Verdict: Aside from the main-event, the lowest match on the card was *** and the highest was **** 1/2. This was good effort by the boys (except Luger) and another well-booked show by WCW’s committee . I didn’t love the show as much as others, but it was still a good show to say in the least. Needless to say, but this show shows how important it is to finish strong. If Liger-Pillman ended this show, it would’ve been A LOT better. Of course, they wouldn’t end the show with an exhibition match over a title match, but it’s just the principle . Anyway, this is a very fun time in WCW history and there’s more great stuff to come.
Tags: Lex Luger, Paul Heyman, Rick Rude, Steamboat, Sting, WCW