Tuesday 3 January 2017

WCW Superbrawl 1997 Review

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Good evening little pukesters to the only internet wrestling review series that proves that cream always rises to the top: Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews! Oh Yeah! I am feeling a little funky so it time to take a look back at WCW’s Superbrawl 1997. I shall remind you I am critiquing WCW in chronological order so I had to sit through last month’s Souled Out and I am praying to all of the gods that I never have to watch a WCW show as bad as Souled Out 1997 until I hit WCW in 2000! Anyways, Superbrawl is seen as one of WCW’s big pay per views along with the likes of Starrcade, Halloween Havoc, Bash at The Beach etc. There are some big matches on this card, we have a rematch from Starrcade as Roddy Piper takes on Hollywood Hulk Hogan, we have The Outsiders battling The Giant and Lex Luger, DDP will be battling Buff Bagwell and if all else fails, we have the cruiserweights to make this show watchable. So, let us waste no more time and dive into WCW’s Superbrawl 1997!

Opening Promo

I believe Piper was in Alcatraz cutting a promo on Hogan, I have no idea of the reason but Piper appears on a boat telling Hogan that Hogan is extinct, an endangered species and Piper is going to wipe out Hogan. Cheesy but I’ll let it pass but wait, Tony Schiavone is telling me Piper has stayed locked up in Alcatraz for the past seven days. That’s a tad much for me, thank you very much.

(WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match) Syxx vs Dean Malenko ©

Syxx aka X-Pac aka The 1-2-3 Kid jumped to WCW as the little arrogant punk who would hide behind his buddies Hall and Nash. Syxx had quite the gimmick going at the time as Syxx would love to steal championship belts. Syxx had stole Eddie Guerrero’s United States Championship and now, Syxx stole Malenko’s championship. Malenko comes down to the ring and calf kicks Syxx’s head off, Malenko wants to punish Syxx. Schiavone brings up Syxx was trained by Malenko’s father so this feud has a little extra spice to it, Malenko brainbusters Syxx and slaps the piss out of the challenger. Malenko throws some massive forearms, stomps to the face by Malenko. Malenko catches Syxx with a massive powerslam, cover and a two count. Malenko stomps all over Syxx, Syxx is caught in the tree of woe before Malenko dropkicks the challenger. Malenko attempts the Cloverleaf.

Syxx kicks off Malenko, Malenko regains control and both men are on the floor after a crossbody from Malenko. Malenko grabs his championship and parades the championship before clotheslining Syxx on the floor. Malenko chokes Syxx across the middle rope, Syxx ducks a clothesline off an Irish whip and nails Malenko with a boot to the face, Syxx clutches his leg in pain selling what Malenko had done to the challenger. Spinkick in the corner by Syxx and we have a bronco buster. Snapmare and a leg drop by Syxx, cover and a two count for the challenger. Sleeper hold by Syxx but Malenko runs Syxx’s head into the turnbuckle to stop the hold. Syxx goes for the sleeper again and is successful on the second attempt. Malenko counters with a big back suplex, Malenko drapes the arm over Syxx for a two count. Syxx chops Malenko hard in the corner, Syxx drops to the apron and scores with an elbow to the neck.

Vertical suplex from Syxx, Syxx climbs to the top rope and nails a leg drop. Cover and a close call for Malenko who stays in the match barely! Another sleeper by Syxx, Malenko battles out of the sleeper and briefly applies a sleeper on Syxx before a collision leaves both men down. Syxx climbs for what appears to be a moonsault, Malenko crotches Syxx and Malenko attempts a back suplex. Syxx turns the tide in mid-air by squishing Malenko. Syxx grabs the championship belt, here comes Eddie Guerrero. Guerrero tries to take the belt from Syxx and Guerrero screws up as Guerrero lets go of the belt and it smacks Malenko square in the face, Syxx covers for the win.

Very good match with a flat finish, the beginning was great. Malenko was embarrassed by Syxx so Malenko storms to the ring and proceeds to punish Syxx. Syxx gets back into the match and takes it to Malenko but Syxx cannot beat Malenko. Syxx goes to cheat by using the belt, Eddie tries to do the right thing but ends up screwing Malenko by mistake. The finish was good in theory but the execution was poor, Syxx and Guerrero are having a tug of war and Malenko grabs Syxx’s hair which makes Malenko look like a fool, I mean why did he not just roll-up Syxx instead of grabbing him by the hair? Overall, a good match and it deserved a better ending.

Winner: Syxx over Malenko via Belt Shot!

Konnan/La Parka/Villano IV vs Ciclope/Super Calo/Juventud Guerrera

The Professor Iron Mike Tenay joins the announce table  to take us through this lucha libre match. Ciclope and Villano IV lock-up, they trade armlocks and chain wrestle, many hiptosses and arm drags to no reaction. Now we have Konnan and Juventud, Konnan nails his rolling lariat to wipe out Juvi. Seconds later, we have a headscissors takedown from Juvi, springboard dropkick by Juvi. Konnan elbows Juvi and wipes out the babyfaces with powerbombs and clotheslines. In comes La Parka and Super Calo, spinning heel kick by Parka on Calo. Calo dodges the second attack, headscissors by Calo but Parka clotheslines Calo seconds later.

Baseball slide by Calo and a tope atomico, Parka dodges a springboard crossbody and grabs a chair. Parka places Calo on a chair and Parka nails a tope suicida. Ciclope and Villano are legal, clothesline by Villano, dropkick by Ciclope. Huge moonsault botch from Ciclope, Ciclope completely misses Villano and hits the mat hard. Juvi is legal, scoop slam and  450 splash from Juvi. Villano kicks out at two, spinning heel kick by Juvi. Chops in the corner, Juvi misses a corner clothesline and La Parka nails Juvi with a twisting senton. Parka and Juvi are on the top rope before Juvi crotches Parka and nails a springboard hurricanrana. Konnan breaks up the pin and we have a doomsday device on Juvi. Double spinebuster on Juvi, double submission on Juvi which leads to a six man spot that does not really work because the fans have no idea what is happening.

Konnan throws Juvi to the floor, Konnan and Villano do the wishbone split on Ciclope and Calo. Romero special by Parka on Juvi in the middle of the wishbone split, babyfaces kick out the heels and we have synchronized tope suicidas. Konnan and Juvi are the only two in the ring, victory roll by Juvi gets a two count before Konnan drops Juvi with Splash Mountain. We have a botch in the ending too as Juvi gets his hand up before the count so, it looks like that was not the finish.

Really fun match to watch, some sloppy moments with botches but they were going so fast, it is almost expected. A match like this is served best as opening the pay per view but once again, it is clear that the cruiserweights are the ones to watch in this company as they are putting on the matches that make the fans pop.

Winners: Villano/Konnan/La Parka over Calo/Juvi/Ciclope via Splash Mountain!

(WCW Television Championship Match) Rey Mysterio vs Prince Iaukea ©

Iaukea had beaten Regal for the championship on a previous Nitro so Iaukea is the champion but the underdog in this match against Mysterio. Iaukea and Mysterio mat wrestle with the champion showing that he can keep up with Mysterio. Mysterio dropkicks Iaukea down, superkick by Iaukea gets a two count. Iaukea nails a crossbody onto Mysterio. Leg drop from Iaukea, hammerlock slam for a two count. Delayed vertical suplex from Iaukea, Iaukea slaps on a sleeper. Backbreaker by Iaukea who begins climbing to the top rope, Iaukea looks for another crossbody but Mysterio dropkicks Iaukea in mid-flight. Mysterio nails a hurricanrana that sends Iaukea to the floor, baseball dropkick by Mysterio. Mysterio climbs into the ring and nails a tope con hilo through the middle rope and squishes the champion.

Mysterio rams Iaukea into the top turnbuckle, springboard moonsault. Spinning wheel kick by Mysterio, snapmare and a split legged moonsault for a two count. Drop toehold by Mysterio, forearms by Mysterio. Mysterio tries climbing to the top rope but Iaukea is too quick. Samoan drop from the top rope by Iaukea, here comes Lord Steven Regal. Mysterio evades an Iaukea dropkick, hurricanrana by Mysterio. Regal pulls Mysterio off the apron with Mysterio smashing his face into the apron. Iaukea pins Mysterio after Regal throws Mysterio into the ring for the win.

Decent match, first I have seen of Iaukea on pay per view. The finish does little to help the champion though, the focus is on Regal vs Mysterio with Iaukea in the background. What also does not help is the face vs face dynamic as Iaukea does not look like a great champion in the eyes of the fans because he took the cheap win even though it was not his intention.

Winner: Iaukea over Mysterio via Shenanigans!

Diamond Dallas Page vs Buff Bagwell

DDP had turned down the NWO’s offers to join the group and by doing so, had become a thorn in the faction’s side. Buff Bagwell steps up to take down the rebel DDP. Bagwell spits on DDP and it looks like we are going to get it on, slap by DDP and drop toehold to Buff Bagwell. DDP grabs the arm but Bagwell counters DDP, DDP answers with his own counter and Bagwell jumps to the ropes. Restart with DDP being hair-pulled to the mat by Bagwell, Bagwell dives to the ropes. Side headlock by DDP, shoulder block and a neckbreaker. Bagwell powders and lures in DDP for a stungun. Bagwell chokes DDP across the bottom rope, Bagwell smashes DDP into the top turnbuckle and scores with a tornado DDT. Bagwell begins posing for the camera and stomps all over DDP. Reverse elbow from Bagwell brings a two count.

Small package from DDP for two, schoolboy for another two count. Bagwell clotheslines DDP and the referee begins a shoving contest with Bagwell. DDP regroups to land a few punches, discuss clothesline from DDP. Right hands from DDP, inverted atomic drop and a jab floors Bagwell. Spiral Bomb for a two count, DDP motions for The Diamond Cutter. DDP rams Bagwell into the turnbuckle, Bagwell blocks with an elbow and puts the foot on the ropes on the pin. Two count for Bagwell, Bagwell was looking for a ten punch but DDP drops Bagwell face first on the turnbuckle. Diamond Cutter is turned into a backslide by Bagwell, two count for Bagwell.

Bagwell goes for a fisherman suplex, Bagwell breaks the pin and wants to win by a ten count over DDP. Bagwell looks for a neckbreaker after much posing but DDP drops Bagwell with a Diamond Cutter. The NWO come running to ringside and DDP bolts it through the crowd. DDP wins the match by disqualification. Average match, Bagwell as a narcissist makes me laugh all the time, Bagwell was entertaining even if the matches did not match his character work, DDP is a solid worker so it was a fine match for the time given.

Winner: DDP over Buff Bagwell via Disqualification!

(WCW United States Championship Match) Eddie Guerrero © vs Chris Jericho

Judging off the reactions and mannerisms of both men, we have another babyface vs babyface match which I have little confidence in WCW booking properly based on my experiences with this company. Guerrero armdrags Jericho, Jericho takes the back. Guerrero counters and wrenches the arm, Guerrero snaps down Jericho and applies a sleeper before Jericho slips out and takes the arm. Leaping calf kick by Guerrero and a nice back suplex. Jericho answers with his own back suplex. Abdominal stretch by Jericho, a test of strength which ends in a stalemate.

Jericho counters a hurricanrana from The Liontamer, it is not Jericho’s finish yet so no reaction or heat for the struggle. Reverse chinlock by Jericho, Guerrero fights back before Jericho counters with an Argentine Backbreaker. Two count for Jericho, Jericho misses a crossbody. Guerrero nails a clothesline, powerbomb with a cover for two. Brainbuster by the champion, Jericho dodges the frog splash to nail a nasty German suplex. Jericho begins toying with champon, hard forearms from Jericho. Guerrero blocks a tilt-a-whirl and a monkey flip but Guerrero cannot an overhead belly to belly suplex. Jericho crotches Guerrero on the top rope and dropkicks Guerrero to the floor. Plancha onto Guerrero on the floor. In the ring, Guerrero recovers to backslide Jericho for a two count.

Both men bang heads with Jericho scoring with a powerslam. Superkick by Jericho, La Magistral by Jericho gets a two count. Guerrero misses a tornado DDT and Jericho nails a Northern Lights suplex. Guerrero gets his foot on the ropes at two, Jericho misses a powerbomb. Guerrero slides out the back for a sunset flip and the win!

Good match but it lacked the heat and tension of the cruiserweight championship match. Similar to the TV championship match, you have tow babyfaces, one established and one not as over with the audience. It leads to a quiet crowd and a match that lacks the intensity it should have for a title match.

Winner: Eddie Guerrero over Chris Jericho via sunset flip!

Public Enemy vs The Faces of Fear vs Harlem Heat W/ Sister Sherri

A match with little importance as The Steiner Brothers are the number one contenders. Rock begins with Barbarian, powerslam by Barbarian. Stevie Ray tags in off Barbarian. Rock is smacked around by Ray, military press slam by Ray bring a two count. Grunge and Ray go out at it briefly before Booker T takes a cheap shot at Grunge. Scissors Kick by Booker T, tag to Ray who nails a clothesline. Sidewalk slam by Booker, leaping Harlem sidekick. Barbarian nails Booker from the apron and Meng tags himself into the match. Dropkick by Meng, Ray saves Booker. Tag to Barbarian who double clubs Booker.

Barbarian nails a top rope belly to belly suplex, Meng is legal. Piledriver on Booker, Grunge breaks up the pin. Meng clubs Public Enemy and The Faces of Fear land a double headbutt on Booker. Powerbomb by Barbarian on Booker, Stevie Ray makes the save. Grunge blind tags into the match, match breaks down. Finish occurs as Barbarian is preparing to powerbomb Rocco Rock but Grunge dives onto his partner and Barbarian with Rock pinning Barbarian who is crushed underneath him.

A largely boring match with not a lot going on, Public Enemy were a non-factor until the end, their win seems like a surprise too as I have not seen them since Bash at The Beach which seems like a long time ago now. I can’t say much more because it did not last much longer than I have described.

Winners: Public Enemy over Everyone Else!

Jeff Jarrett vs Mongo W/ Debra McMichael

Jeff Jarrett wants to be a Horseman, Flair has believed in Jarrett but nobody else cares for Jarrett apart from Debra. This should be the culmination of the war of The Horseman as if Jarrett wins, Jarrett is in The Four Horseman. Jarrett outwrestles Mongo in the opening seconds, Mongo lands hard on his ass. Jarrett armdrags Mongo and sits on the top rope rubbing his hands. Jarrett is toying with Mongo but Mongo catches Jarrett and nails a powerslam. Mongo begins chop-blocking Jeff Jarrett. Mongo and Debra have a little argument which leads to Jarrett taking over on Mongo. Abdominal stretch by Jarrett, Mongo nails a hiptoss but misses a leg drop. Military press slam by Mongo, right hands and a clothesline to the floor by Mongo.

Debra shows concern for Jarrett with by wiping Jarrett with a towel, Mongo slides out and chokes Jarrett with the towel. Mongo lowers his head on an Irish whip and Jarrett mat slams the former football player. Mongo is draped across the rope. Mongo takes a knee to the back of the skull, short-arm clothesline by Jarrett. Sleeper by Jarrett, Mongo locks in his own sleeper. Back suplex by Jarrett, Debra does not know who to help in this match. Mongo starts swinging at Jarrett, sidewalk slam by Mongo.

Side saito slam by Mongo brings a two count, eye poke by Jarrett. Scoop slam and Jarrett is up top. Crossbody by Jarrett, Mogo kicks out. The referee takes a bump and Mongo asks Debra for the briefcase. Debra is reluctant and tosses the briefcase to Jarrett. Mongo is cracked with the briefcase and Jarrett is now a Four Horseman.

Not the worst match, I have seen worse from Mongo. Angle is interesting to see where it goes next between Jarrett and The Horseman. Mongo might be one of my favourite wrestling personalities though, the guy made me crack a smile at least three times during this match.

Winner: Jarrett over Mongo via Briefcase Shot!

(San Francisco Death Match) Kevin Sullivan W/ Jacqueline & Jimmy Hart vs Chris Benoit W/ Woman

Yes, it seems The Dungeon of Doom are still around in some shape or form with Benoit battling against The Taskmaster. The two valets will be strapped to one another. Match begins with a catfight and the two men killing one another. Sullivan is hammering away at Benoit, back body drop by Sullivan. Benoit chops away at Sullivan, scoop slam. Benoit tries climbing the top rope but Sullivan shoves down Benoit, Sullivan lays waste to Benoit while Woman whips Jacqueline. Woman using the strap to smack Sullivan in his privates, Benoit tries to save Woman but Sullivan and Jacqueline choke and whip Benoit. The two valets begin slapping and low blowing the men.

Sullivan and Benoit are in the crowd while Woman and Jacqueline are just whipping one another. Sullivan scoop slams Benoit onto a truck, Benoit drills Sullivan with a trash can. Jacqueline is choking Woman in the ring, Sullivan and Benoit are making their way to the ring. There is a slugfest on the floor, Sullivan throws Benoit into the ring. Benoit is in the tree of woe, Sullivan nails a huge running knee. Double stomp by Sullivan but Woman saves Benoit. Benoit nails a nasty piledriver, Benoit looks for some sort of weapon and pulls out a table. Table has been placed on the table, Jacqueline cannot stop Benoit diving so Jacqueline lies on the table to protect Sullivan.

Benoit dives onto the table, it does not break but the damage has been done. Benoit walks away with the win. Match was entertaining and fun, the women fighting was laughable for such a serious feud but I really dug this match.

Post-match, Jacqueline, Sullivan and Benoit have to be stretchered out of the arena. Amazing to see a table bump kill three people when nowadays, they would not even be fazed by falling through 3 or 4 tables.

Winner: Chris Benoit over Kevin Sullivan via Splash!

(WCW Tag Team Championship Match) The Outsiders © W/ Syxx vs Leg Luger and The Giant

At Souled Out, The Outsiders lost the tag team championships to The Steiner Brothers but the referee’s decision was overturned due to the referee not being the original referee. The Outsiders are the champions once more while The Giant could be facing The Outsiders alone as Lex Luger is not cleared to compete.

Hall squares up to The Giant, toothpick to the face by Hall. Hall slaps and ducks The Giant, knees to the ribs by Hall. Giant shakes off Hall, Giant palms Hall who regroups with Nash. Hall tees off on Giant, Giant changes the momentum. Huge chops by Giant and a super scoop slam. Hall spits in Giant’s face and tags in Nash. Nash throws the forearms and a massive  corner clothesline, Giant takes the clothesline and knocks down Hall and Nash. Giant dropkicks Nash to the floor and slams Nash into the ringpost. Elbow drop by The Giant, Hall saves Nash.

Syxx enters the ring and clocks Giant with the cruiserweight championship, big boot by Nash and Hall nails a diving bulldog. Giant kicks out at two, Nash nails knees in the corner and chokes Giant with his boot. Crowd is crying out for Luger. Nash chokes Giant across the rope while Hall drops a leg drop. Even Syxx gets in a few cheap shots. Tag to Hall, Hall works the ribs and face of The Giant. Hall attempts a ten punch but Giant shoves down Hall and wipes out Nash. Giant throws Syxx at Nash but Hall has the cruiserweight championship, Hall smacks Giant with the belt. Nash nails The Giant with a powerbomb, crowd pops huge and Nash collapses in a heap on the canvas.

Wait, here comes Luger in street clothes and a cast. Giant makes the tag and proceeds to hit all three NWO members with his cast without selling any injuries. Nash is put in the Torture Rack and taps instantly. We have new tag team championships in Luger and Giant.

An average match, Giant was ok in the ring which is an accomplishment. I was worried that this could have been much worse with Giant working so much of the match but it was fine, Luger seemed huge over. It is no surprise that Luger would soon win The WCW Championship off Hogan, Luger deserved it based off of the reactions he was getting from the fans. Hall and Nash were entertaining as always but I am waiting for that standout match from these two men, I know they can do it but I have not seen that great match just yet.

Winners: Luger & Giant over The Outsiders via Torture Rack!

(WCW World Championship Match) Hulk Hogan © W/ Vincent & Ted Dibiase vs Roddy Piper

So, Piper had beaten Hogan at Starrcade, clean as a sheet in the middle of the ring but that championship was not up for grabs so this time, the championship is up for grabs. Piper had supposedly stayed in Alcatraz prison for the past seven days to prepare himself for this match.

Match begins with Hogan stalling, I am tired of Hogan’s routine by this point. Piper runs up the ramp to kill Hogan, we are in the ring and Piper begins gouging the eyes of Hogan. Low blow by Piper, guess there is no disqualifications. Piper chokes Hogan with his t shirt and proceeds to choke Hogan with his shirt. Piper smacks Hogan with a steel chair right between the eyes, Hogan low blows Piper but it has no effect. Piper rakes the eyes, bites Hogan and pulls apart Hogan’s face. Wallstreet and Vincent appear on the apron and Piper knocks them both down.

Hogan powders and starts working on Piper’s leg, Piper seems to no-sell and continues punching Hogan. Piper crotches Hogan on the top rope, Savage and Sting are walking down to the ring when Sting decides it is not worth it and Savage is here at ringside. One eye rake by Hogan and it seems Hogan is in control. Hogan rams Piper back first into the ring post. In the ring, Piper and Hogan are duking it out on their knees. Hogan asserts himself with a bearhug, Piper does not give up in the bearhug and Hogan applies a choke.

Piper has the sleeper on Hogan, Savage watches Hogan fade and Hogan’s arm drops three times. Savage puts brass knuckles on Hogan’s hand and Hogan wallops Piper to retain the championship? What happened? Savage knocks out Piper and Savage is now part of The NWO

The match was garbage like all Hogan’s main events so far as a heel. At least it was brief but what was that finish? Piper choked out Hogan and the referee rang the bell, they gave no real reason for not declaring Piper the winner apart from a half-assed reason from Schiavone claiming Hogan’s feet were under the ropes. That begs the question though: Why would the referee check Hogan’s arm if Piper could not win the match? Stupid booking from WCW.

Winner: Hulk Hogan over Piper via Brass Knuckles!

WCW’s Superbrawl of 1997 was the same old WCW by this point. A few undercard matches stuck out as being very good while the rest of the card specifically the main event was like the hangover you get after a two-day drinking session. The cruiserweight championship match was a good match, the cruiserweight 6 man was entertaining as was the match between Benoit and Sullivan.

The other title matches were plagued by lack of heat, interest and under -developed characters which the fans were not invested into at that point. The triangle tag team match seemed like an excuse to have those teams on the pay per view and DDP had a decent match with Buff Bagwell.

The main event was as bad as I make it out to be, no action for the first five minutes. Hogan stalls and makes over the top facials, Hogan dominates and then the finish is here with Savage turning on WCW to become part of The NWO. It will be a tough ride to Starrcade when we have Hogan vs Sting but even that is not going to be a fun match to watch!

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