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Spin the wheel, make the deal. Spin the wheel, make the deal. Spin the wheel, make the deal.  Spin the wheel, make the deal. Man, forget the goofy concept, what a shitty promo.  Ha

Fall Brawl  September 19th 1993  Houston, Texas  As you can see there, Hawk was meant to be in the War Games main event. Doesn’t quite go down that way though... Usual opening wa

@Loki I’m probably being a tad harsh, to be fair. I was also a Big Ron fan so maybe him losing to Lex soured it for me. Looking up the show now it had the aforementioned Austin vs Rhodes plus Rick Rud

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Continuing on here from this post in Random Thoughts, as it's probably more suited to this thread.

I've slowly been making my way through this set and I finished Disc 1 last night. Cracking stuff all round (mostly). Here are my random thoughts on what I've just watched (over the past month);

So I bloody love Kenta Kobashi.

Seriously, I think he may be my favourite wrestler of all time now and I never really knew. This is the first time I've really watched a bunch of his matches and I absolutely understand why he's so well regarded. 

I'm way too late to the Kobashi party but I'm happy to have finally arrived. Fashionably late, I say. I had a feeling that I'd really love this man (I also ordered a Best Of Kobashi '91 set along with this) so I'm glad that he's lived up to the hype.

A proper fucking wrestler. Built like a proper fucking wrestler, hits hard like a proper fucking wrestler, and take his lumps like a proper fucking wrestler. I cannot wait to get to know him more as I hurtle down this rabit hole. I turn 31 in April for fucks sake.

I've also never seen Samoa Joe vs Kobashi because it never appealed to me, but now I feel I can actually appreciate it when I finally get round to it.

Kobashi matches from Disk 1 were; Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi (NOAH 3-1-2003), Kobashi vs. Takayama (NOAH 25-4-2004), Kenta Kobashi vs.Jun Akiyama (NOAH 10-07-2004), Kenta Kobashi vs. Kensuke Sasaki (NOAH 18-07-2005)

The Misawa match is the famous 5 stars one that everyone and their dog raved about. The one with the suplex off the ramp and was often played in the Wrestling Channel bumpers. It was bloody great but I very much preferred his match with Akiyama. Just two big fucking blokes knocking seven layers of shit out of each other. 

Elsewhere on the disc...

Disappointing NOAH tags. 

KENTA & Marufuji vs Kanemaru & Hashi (12-09-2003), KENTA & Marafuji vs. Hidaka & Fujita (08-05-2005)

Yeesh, these don't hold up too well. The crowd is molten for both of these but it wasn't enough to make me enjoy much of these two promising matches. I mean, it's pre-WWE Kenta and a young Marafuji! You'd think these two matches would be spirited, hard-hitting affairs with dashes of flying and athleticism.

But it's not to be (or not for me, whatever works). Both have fun starts but they quickly die down into reeeeaaallllyyyyy long heat segments that don't do much but bore me to tears, The audience are really into it, however it's not enough to bring these matches to the boil. 

When the action does pick up, I'm all ready tuned out and just want the thing to end as quickly as possible. The crowd are rallying behind the guys like it's the glory days of Memphis though, so I actually feel worse for thinking it's a bit shit in the first place.

But it is. I just don't think they hold up well and it's the first time in this deep dive that something feels worse off for having being dug up fifteen years later.

New Japan vs All-Japan

Kawada vs. Sasaki (29-10-2000), Nagata & Iizuka vs. Kawada & Fuchi (14-12-2000), Kawada vs. Keiji Muto  (24-02-2002)

Talking of disappointing tags, it's a mixed bag here. There's so much history going on that some recaps and a brief history lesson could've helped everything along. But even then, after I Wiki'ed and done some post-match bedtime research, I still felt kind of cold coming out of these.

On it's own, Kawada vs Sasaki was great. Sasaki has a superstar look and I bought into his legitimacy instantly. He reminds me of Roman Reigns, not just in terms of his appearance but in the way he carries himself. You know this guy is a big deal. Lovely stuff throughout this!

But then the tag match brought all that momentum to a halt. I was looking forward to seeing how a young Nagata goes about things, and I really liked what I had seen of Iizuka so far, and you can't really go wrong with Kawada, but this old fart Fuchi wasn't up to their standards (I'm probably shitting on a lot of puro history with that one). I couldn't buy into him laying into Iizuka for bloody ages, or anything he did with Nagata either.

The match dragged. Another overly long heat segment that the crowd loved but I struggled to raise an eyebrow over. And it went to a time-limit draw to really push my buttons.

Kawada vs Muto was a good for what it was. My first time seeing Muto, or any of his other alter-egos for that matter, so again it was case of not really understanding the context. It was still an enjoyable match, I just felt like I should've gotten more out of it. In fact I'm struggling to think of anything from that match to latch onto.

The Speed Of Sound
Ryo Saito, Dragon Kid & Genki Horiguchi vs. CIMA, Don Fujii & Naruki Doi

To finish off the disc was this astounding, 20 moves a minute, manic spot fest. Fucking fantastic, absolutely barmy and everyone in the audience was going wild. AND SO WAS I. Won't (can't) say much else as there was genuinely way too much to chat about. I love all these men and I love mid-00's DragonGate.

Edited by Accident Prone
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I forgot after just watching how bad the finish was to Bret Hart vs Yokozuna at Wrestlemania XI. Yokozuna built up as this unstoppable monster and only gets the win after Hart puts him the the sharpshooter and Mr Fuji throws salt in his eyes, and Yokozuna does nothing on top off that action besides lay on him for the count off 1,2,3. I'm assuming the reason for that and the Hogan stuff afterwards was to safeguard Bret and go with Hogan vs Hart at the King of the ring PPV a few months down the line?

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8 hours ago, Gooner said:

I forgot after just watching how bad the finish was to Bret Hart vs Yokozuna at Wrestlemania XI. Yokozuna built up as this unstoppable monster and only gets the win after Hart puts him the the sharpshooter and Mr Fuji throws salt in his eyes, and Yokozuna does nothing on top off that action besides lay on him for the count off 1,2,3. I'm assuming the reason for that and the Hogan stuff afterwards was to safeguard Bret and go with Hogan vs Hart at the King of the ring PPV a few months down the line?

I think Summerslam was the plan. Bret (I think in his book) has detailed a photoshoot that was either planned, or actually happened where the two were pictured in a tug of war over the belt on a beach. 

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Big Kev vs Joe from Turning Point 2008 is the bomb. Nash pinballing around for Joe is a sight to behold, Joe looks strong AF, even in defeat, only just about being kept down after chairshots, Jackknives, exposed turnbuckle shots and a low blow. Top big man match.

Their on-again, off-again mentor/enemy dynamic made for some fine telly earlier in the year. I'd like to revisit that and the Nash/Angle x2 Nash/AJ street fight from around the same time if the TNA on demand thingy ever puts all the Impacts up.

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Just watched WCW Spring Stampede 1994. Bloody good show I thought. Not seen it in years.
Hot Chicago crowd, a crazy brawl with the Nasty Boys and Maxx Payne & Cactus Jack [Jack flat back bump off the stage is particularly brutal], a bloody Bunkhouse match between Dustin Rhodes and Bunkhouse Buck, a good battle of the big men between Vader and The Boss [Man] where they just pagger the crap out of each other and some good 1990's style matches between Rude andSting and Muta and Austin, Flair v Steamboat is a good main event [as you would expect] and I really enjoyed the whole show.

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I’ve got a free month of the Network and an urge to watch some early 90s WCW so I’m going to start working my way through the PPVs and Clash Of The Champions from 1992. 

Clash Of The Champions 18

January 21st 1992

Topeka, Kansas 

So this took place just 2 days after the Royal Rumble, which wasn’t fair to Flair. It’s pretty much a preview show for the Superbrawl II PPV coming up. Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone are on commentary duties. Gary Michael Capetta is your ring announcer. 

Steiner Brothers vs Big Van Vader & Mr Hughes 

Perfect way to kick this off. I knew I’d enjoy this. Absolutely loved the Steiners in this period. Thankfully this is mostly the Steiners and Vader knocking the shite out of each other. Rick chucking Vader about like a sack of spuds is always fun to watch.  

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Hughes’ involvement is kept to a minimum but when he does get in he also gets thrown around and then Vader clobbers him with a stray clothesline meant for Scotty and Rick puts him down with a sweet top rope bulldog for the 3 count. Good stuff. 

Flyin’ Brian Pillman & Marcus Alexander Bagwell vs Taylor Made Man & Tracy Smothers 

Inoffensive enough. Taylor and Smothers strikes me as such an odd pairing though and I keep expecting Taylor to do his rooster strut. For all the criticism that Red Rooster gimmick got, I honestly preferred it to this dull Taylor Made thing. Pillman was at his best in 92 so it was good whenever he was in. Bagwell was getting the ‘rookie of the year’ hype here and gets the fall on Smothers with a sunset flip. 

Johnny B Badd vs Richard Morton 

Nothing match, couple of minutes and Badd wins with a roll through off a cross body. 

Teaser alert. We’ve got PN News vs Diamond Dallas Page now and this sounds like a treat;

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Maybe I will. Let’s see. 

”It’s the first Clash in 92. 

And have I got a surprise for you?

Come on, Page, let’s see what you got. 

I know you’ll fight fair...

NOT! 

Yo baby, yo baby, yo!”

Well I didn’t clap. 

Anyway. The match is too short to be really bad, and News is deceptively agile for a fat cunt, but it’s not the best. It’s early DDP when he was dressing in what looked like Brutus Beefcake’s hand-me-downs so it’s not that surprising when the ‘Rapmaster’ belly flops him for the W here. Although it is mad to think Page would be main eventing PPVs with Randy Savage just 5 years later. Good God! 

Schiavone interviewing Kip Frey now, they have the contracts for Luger vs Sting for the title at Superbrawl II. Frey then announces that, for an event like Superbrawl, he wanted a big personality to give the show some oomph. Bit harsh saying that to Schiavone’s face, like. We want someone with personality to replace you on the PPV, Tony. You take the day off. 

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Anyway, it’s only Jesse The Body! Poncing about in his feather boa like some 50p tart (Regal™️). 

Sting then comes out and they hype up his match with Luger. 

Cactus Jack vs Van Hammer - Falls Count Anywhere match 

They were still persisting with pushing Van Hammer here. And god he looks fucking ridiculous. 

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It’s rare that Jesse Ventura isn’t the worst dressed man in the building but Jesse looks quite dapper in comparison to this. Pat Butcher would be proud. 

Mick Foley when he could still put his own socks on. It’s no surprise he’s knackered now, everyone remembers him flying off cages and stuff but it’s still madness to me when you see him here doing a fucking sunset flip off the second rope onto the concrete floor. For Van Hammer in a midcard free TV match. Doing stuff like the Hell In A Cell with Undertaker is one thing. Still stupid but at least that was a big career defining match. But it’s when you see him doing those mental bumps in throwaway matches like this that everyone forgot a week later that you really shake your head. 

Whatever. This is entertaining for what it is and moreso than anything involving Hammer has any right to be. He does hit a cracking powerslam on the ramp at one point in fairness. Then Cactus takes a bloody hiptoss off the ramp. Splatting his arse, hip and tailbone onto the concrete.

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Again, for Van Bastard Hammer. What the fuck? They end up in the car park and Abdullah The Butcher pokes his fat nose in. Missy Hyatt is out there doing the roving reporter bit as well. Nick Patrick has a Tom Selleck ‘tache. They’re in some rodeo pit now. There’s too much going on here.

Cactus wins after Abdullah hits Hammer with a shovel. Abdullah then dunks Missy in a big water container and she runs off squealing. He then does the same to Cactus as they go to break. My head hurts. 

Fabulous Freebirds vs Brad Armstrong & Big Josh 

We come back and these lot are already in the ring and it’s just got underway. Love me some Brad Armstrong but he’s getting smacked about here by PS Hayes and Jimmy Jam. JR mentions that Armstrong will be going to Japan to face Liger soon and I’ve just realised I’ve never seen that match. I need to. He gets some nice offence in towards the end of the match but falls to a double DDT. The Freebirds win. 

Vinnie Vegas vs Thomas Rich 

Big Sexy is here.

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I know it was going nowhere but watching it back now I love the Vinnie Vegas gimmick. There’s shades of Nash’s NWO cocky prick traits there and I even like the cheesy entrance music. It was certainly better than that Oz shit anyway. 

“300lbs from Nevada. A high roller indeed”, says Jim Ross. 

Vegas squashes Rich here. Just gives him sod all. Nearly takes his head off with the Snake Eyes in about a minute.

Dustin Rhodes, Barry Windham & Ron Simmons vs Arn Anderson, Beautiful Bobby Eaton & Larry Zbyszko - 6 Man Tag 

This can’t be bad, can it? Windham and Eaton kick it off and waste no time going after it. Proper high pace right from the off. Big Barry has his hand all taped up from when Zbyszko slammed a car door on it back at Halloween Havoc. Eaton here is probably in the best shape I remember seeing him in. Simmons with the feats of strength and power moves. Zbyszko and Double A are bouncing all over the place. Rhodes and Eaton have some quality exchanges as well. Basically, you can’t go wrong with pretty much any combination out of these six. Windham gets the hot tag, he’s battering everyone and he catches Eaton as he’s coming off the top with a big punch with the taped fist for the pin. Really fun match, that. 

Sting & Ricky Steamboat vs Ravishing Rick Rude & Stunning Steve Austin 

Main event time and this should be another good one. They’ve dubbed over the Dangerous Alliance music on the Network though. Pricks. 

Rude doing his ”What I’d like to have right now...” bit and calls the viewers “cable watching couch potatoes” 😆 Jesse says if he was 20 years older Rude and Austin could be his sons. OK? 

Steamboat and Austin start things off. These 2 always had such great chemistry. Austin still in his long blonde hair and jazzy tights phase here. Like the 6 man, these guys aren’t fucking about. Lots of Sting vs Rude as they were in the midst of their feud as well. Rude and Austin work over the Stinger for a bit before the Dragon tags in for a hot stretch. Sting and Steamboat win and Jesse is going off because they both pinned Austin despite Sting not being the legal man. He’s right, to be fair. But the Alliance win the war as they lay a beatdown on the babyfaces and leave them laying as the show goes off the air. 

Enjoyed pretty much all of that. Even PN News’ rapping.

 

NOT. Yo baby, yo baby, yo. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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I had (still have, actually) Superbrawl II on video (the only WCW release I owned until I picked one of the 1999 ppvs up in Poundland in about 2002) & I always thought that was Jesse's WCW debut. The way Jim Ross announces him at the start of the show makes it seem like a surprise, IIRC.

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Wandshogun09 you are really good at doing your write ups especially the MMA stuff, you should get some work on a website, UFC should hire you to their write ups for their events.

Please do some more WCW 1990's reviews as I enjoyed reading this one.

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@Statto Same! Superbrawl II was one of the first WCW PPVs I ever saw and I always just assumed that was Jesse’s debut because of the way he was introduced at the start of the show. It was his first full show as colour commentator though. He just did the main event at Clash 18. 

@TRSL Haha cheers but I don’t think they want some little Brummie hanging around and using words like ‘cunt’ and ‘bollocks’. 

Anyway, on we roll. Like Statto, I had the video of this show. The first wrestling I remember ever watching was WCW Worldwide on ITV on Saturday afternoons and I was obsessed with this sticker book for a bit;

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But I always wondered why we never got to see all these big PPV matches they talked about on Worldwide. My Dad came in from work with Starrcade 90 one night and I watched the fuck out of that so much I think he was sick of it so he started getting me new ones. And that’s when I got this bad boy; 

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This was more up to date with what I was seeing on Worldwide at the time and I absolutely loved this show. It’s still an old favourite of mine but I haven’t seen it in yonks, got to be 20 years, so I’m really looking forward to this. 

Superbrawl II

February 29th 1992

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 

As mentioned, Jim Ross introduces Jesse Ventura at the top of the show. He comes down on a motorbike in a load of tassels and tie-dye. I wouldn’t have noticed, or cared, at 7 years old but looking back now it’s obvious Luger was leaving. Jesse is here going ”The champion Lex Luger, he’s gone into hiding. He won’t talk to the press, he won’t even talk to me if you can imagine that.” Considering Jesse used to bum the heels, it’s quite telling that he’s saying Lex has been “hiding”. And of course, just weeks after this show Lex was doing an interview on WrestleMania VIII and signing with the WBF and WWF. 

A clean cut Tony Schiavone and a young Eric Bischoff with his Colgate smile run down the card and we’re off. 

Jushin Thunder Liger (c) vs Flyin’ Brian Pillman - WCW Light Heavyweight Title 

Ahh, this. What a way to start the show. This match completely blew my mind as a kid. It was for me what I imagine the Tiger Mask vs Dynamite Kid matches were for fans a decade previous in the early 80s. Looking at it now it’s just a good, standard New Japan juniors style match but when you’ve never seen anything like it before and you’ve basically only really watched squash matches on Worldwide, it’s a real eye opener. 

The backstory here was that Liger had beat Pillman for the belt on a house show on Christmas Day 1991. This was the big rematch. I was familiar with Flyin’ Brian from Worldwide on ITV. I’d never even seen Liger before. 

Match itself is just fantastic. Both were on top of their game here. Everything looked good and there were some really cool looking spots with both going for the same moves and countering each others’ counters. 

”You know, Liger when I look at that headgear, he reminds me of the Predator when I had to fight him back in 87.” - Jesse Ventura 

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Liger takes to the air. Back and forth stuff here. Liger works the leg a bit and lands a nice dive to the floor. Pillman rallies back with a sweet springboard clothesline. 

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Pillman really building momentum now but Liger gets a near finish with a bridging German suplex. Pillman with a top rope cross body for his own near fall. Then Liger gets a 2 and 9/10ths with a powerbomb. Pillman back with a DDT. Liger superplex. Every time you think one is in control the other comes back and the crowd is well into it. Then Liger misses a diving headbutt off the top and Pillman hooks him in some weird bridging pin for the 3 count. Flyin’ Brian holds the gold once again. Great match. 

When you think of best PPV openers you think of Bret vs Owen at WrestleMania X, Rockers vs Orients at Royal Rumble 91, Kid vs Hakushi at SummerSlam 95 and so on. But this is right up there for me. Definitely one of the best PPV opening matches WCW ever had. 

Marcus Alexander Bagwell vs Taylor Made Man 

Is what it is. Not bad but nothing to write home about. Bagwell was still really green here. Taylor nails ‘arrogant overconfident twat’ to perfection. Wonder why? Story here is he’s winning, gets too cocky and the rookie Bagwell scores the upset with a roll up. Seemed like they messed up the finish and Bagwell didn’t know it was over. Looked well weird. 

Ron Simmons vs Cactus Jack 

This was short and sweet. Only about 5 or so minutes. Decent enough match. Cactus does his ‘head stuck in the ropes’ spot that would cost him an ear a year later. And of course, the old Cactus elbow drop to the floor;

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Bang bang. That’s the noise his hips make when they hit the floor. 

JR banging on about Simmons’ football career again. Big Bad Ron hits a spinebuster on the ramp. Christ, Foley really was determined to destroy his body back then wasn’t he? I’m only 2 shows in and he’s landing on all sorts already. Simmons wins when Jack jumps off the second rope and gets powerslammed for his troubles. Cactus and Abdullah The Butcher beat down Simmons after the match and the Junkyard Dog makes the save. 

Z-Man & Van Hammer vs Richard Morton & Vinnie Vegas 

Again, I love Vinnie Vegas! Just watching his walkout and I’m grinning like fuck. He looks such a twat swaggering out in his big white suit jacket here that you can’t help but get a kick out of him. Zenk and Hammer come out looking like Bill & Ted on steroids. This could be awful. Such a mish-mash of styles. And Hammer who’s just total cack. Morton as a heel just never worked either, did it? Vegas vs Hammer bits are as good as you’d expect. Hammer is terrible. Looks like a heart attack waiting to happen here as well with his hot dog skin and veins everywhere. He has one facial expression as well. That face when you’ve got a hot chip in your mouth. He’s so shit. But Z-Man and Morton keep it from being too bad and Jesse speculating if Vinnie Vegas knows Frank Sinatra is quality. Match ends with Zenk pinning Morton with a sunset flip type thingy out of the corner. 

I’m sure those last 3 matches were cut from the VHS actually. Pretty sure it just went from Pillman vs Liger to this;

Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes vs Stunning Steve Austin & Larry Zbyszko 

This will be a vast improvement on that last one. Austin’s red sparkly robe is class in its own campy 90s way. And Madusa looks well hot here. Jesse agrees. ”Her chest is looking great!” Calm down, Jess. JR responds with a wooden ”A lot of bench pressing, I’m sure.” Anyway, this was a tremendous match. Windham and Rhodes were such a good team and they couldn’t have much better dance partners here than Austin and Zbyszko. Windham is still taping his fist here as a result of the Larry Z attack at Halloween Havoc. And Jesse is outraged that he’s allowed to punch with the taped fist. Regardless, Windham and Rhodes win when Barry hits Larry with a diving lariat off the top. Top stuff from all involved here.

Arn Anderson & Beautiful Bobby Eaton (c) vs Steiner Brothers - WCW World Tag Team Titles 

From one great tag match to another. They announce before the match that Kip Frey has barred Paul E Dangerously from ringside. Paul E goes nuts as he’s dragged to the back. Like the last tag, these 4 all wrestled each other so much and had so much chemistry you can’t go wrong here. Finish comes when Arn throws powder in Rick’s eyes, Rick can’t see and belly-to-belly suplexes the ref thinking it’s Arn. In the meantime Scott hits the Frankensteiner on Beautiful Bobby and another ref counts 3. The Steiners are celebrating with the belts but Nick Patrick comes in and yanks the rug from under them. The Steiners are disqualified, Arn and Bobby retain. Bastards. 

Early 90s Missy Hyatt ( :love: ) has been trying to interview Ricky Steamboat throughout the show but he’s been in his dressing room meditating all day or some bollocks, with some nob in a mask called ‘The Ninja’ guarding the door. He finally appears as his match his up next. 

Ravishing Rick Rude (c) vs Ricky Steamboat - WCW United States Title 

This crowd hates Rude. They boo the shit out of him and won’t let him talk for ages. When he does he calls them all “Milwaukee Meatheads”. Steamboat out with this Ninja gimp now as JR lists all the Dragon’s accolades. This is exactly what you expect out of these two. Excellent match, both were in incredible shape, Steamboat sold the neck like he was dying and Rude was bumping like a madman as they got towards the finish. 

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Closing stretch is great with Steamboat really bringing it. But swerve...right when it looks like the Dragon has Rude where he wants him, the ‘Ninja’ betrays Steamboat and hits him. With a big fuck off early 90s mobile phone. There’s no mystery who it was as JR screams that it “must be Paul E Dangerously”. It was. 

Crazy thing is, as good as this was, I wasn’t a huge fan of the finish and I remember their Ironman match at Beach Blast being even better so I can’t wait to revisit that.

Lex Luger (c) vs Sting - WCW World Heavyweight Title 

Main event time. ‘BEST FRIENDS NOW BITTER RIVALS BRAWL FOR IT ALL’ is what the tagline for this event was. Luger has Harley Race in his corner. Jesse is impressed by Luger’s physique, saying he looks to have bulked up even more than usual. To which Ross responds ”How does a guy bulk up that much in 30 days, Jess?” Ooh, catty from the puppy killer.

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This was better than I remembered. Nothing earth shattering but it hit the spot and didn’t outstay its welcome. Luger hits one of the weakest piledrivers you’ll see in this match. Harley Race tries a piledriver of his own on the floor, presumably to show Lex how it’s done. But Sting backdrops Harley, turning the tide and he hits a cross body off the top to put Luger away and win the gold.

War Games next! 

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i remember the old run of WCW VHS tapes, i had to chose 1 as a kid when i was out with the parents one time and went for this one...

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until i started tape trading at around 16 that, along with the Chambers of Horrors show which a mate had were the only WCW PPV's id ever seen. There's a goldmine of stuff left there for me to discover.

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That’s the first one I got as well. It was Starrcade 90, Starrcade 89 with the ‘Future Shock’ tournament, the Halloween Havoc with the ‘Chamber Of Horrors’ and Capital Combat with Robocop that I think were the most widely available over here. Then there were others I used to get in the local video rental place like Beach Blast and Starrcade 92. 

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My first one was Halloween Havoc 90. Was well happy when my mom, a teaching assistant at the time bought that Starrcade 90 tape of some kid at school for me. I'd been left wondering who the black scorpion was for about 2 and half years. 

I did have another one in the mean time and holy fuck was is turgid. Had Lex on the cover pointing. Feel for any kid who got lumbered with that.

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