Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet with more long-term story-telling than NJPW! It’s time for WCW Superbrawl III where WCW enters the year of 1993 on PPV. This card looks a little rough, we have Dustin Rhodes as the WCW United States Heavyweight Champion taking on Maxx Payne? Cactus Jack vs Paul Orndorff in a Falls Count Anywhere Match and Great Muta vs Barry Windham for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. The PPV headlined by Vader vs Sting in a Strap Match with some fantastical whimsical name so we shall see how things go, Tony Schiavone steps up to the PPV plate as Jim Ross has sought greener pastures in the WWF.
The Hollywood Blondes vs Erik Watts & Marcus Bagwell
Austin and Pillman destroyed Douglas and Steamboat on the Clash after a fantastic tag match but now they are facing Watts and Bagwell? Bagwell has been directionless for some time now while Watts is far too high up the card with his inexperience. Austin and Bagwell begin, lock-up and stalemate. We have a heel crowd here tonight much like Anderson and Eaton’s experience at Halloween Havoc. Bagwell shoves Austin to the buckle, clean break but Austin shoves the face of Bagwell. Lock-up into an arm-drag from Bagwell, arm-bar from Bagwell. Wrenching arm-bar from Bagwell, Austin goes low and applies a top wrist-lock. Bagwell turns the tide and grinds down Austin with great wrestling, Austin pushes Bagwell to the corner and lands a massive elbow.
Right hand floors Bagwell, knees by Austin. Bagwell slips under two elbows and clubs Austin in the head. Bagwell throws Austin back in the ring, tag to Watts. Watts is hated by the fans, double back body-drop on Austin and double clothesline on Pillman. Pillman is in the ring now, Watts shoves down Pillman. Pillman goes low and lands elbows and chops, shoulder block by Pillman but Watts lands a Japanese arm-drag, dropkick and an arm-drag into the arm-bar. Bagwell comes in but Pillman rakes the eyes and in comes Austin, Bagwell lands a flying crossbody and dropkick on Austin. Side headlock takedown from Bagwell, tag to Watts who applies his own side headlock. Austin pulls the hair and shoves off Watts, Austin ducks his head too early and Watts lands a boot.
Abdominal stretch from Watts, tag to Bagwell. Bagwell applies the same hold, hip-toss and elbow counter from Austin. Tag to Pillman who lands chops before being caught in a military press slam, Pillman ducks a clothesline but eats another. Tag to Watts, Pillman shoves Watts into his corner. Austin lands a scoop slam and elbow drop, Watts blocks the splash with the knees. Oklahoma roll for two, Watts wants a Boston crab. It lands, Pillman steps in and boots Watts in the face. Austin makes the tag, Pillman stomps all over Watts. Chops from Pillman, Watts catches the boot and applies the STF but Pillman reaches the ropes. Pillman wants a time-out, Pillman cannot stand on his knee. Elbow in the ribs from Pillman, Watts is shit-canned to the floor. Pillman misses an apron axe handle and meets the guardrail.
Pillman pulls Watts into the buckle, tag to Austin. Double elbow from The Blondes, Austin tries an apron sunset flip after attacking Watts on the floor. Pillman clubs Watts from behind, tag to Pillman. Austin distracts the referee so the referee misses the sunset flip by Watts, Pillman rubs the face of Watts in the mat. Tag to Austin, middle rope elbow. Austin steps all over Watts, Austin nails Bagwell which allows the double-team, Watts is stretched all over the place. Watts blocks the rocket launcher from the Blondes! Austin lands a belly to back suplex for two, Austin whips Watts into the buckle. They bang heads from a whiplash effect and Austin misses smashing his knees off Watts on the ropes. Tag to Bagwell, right hands all around. Pillman begs for mercy, ten punches in the corner.
Powerslam, Austin rakes the eyes to make the save. Watts pairs off with Austin, Austin dumps Watts to the floor. Pillman clubs down Bagwell, Watts is distracted with the referee, Bagwell lands his Fisherman suplex but Austin comes off the top rope with an elbow to the ribs and Pillman picks up the win.
Apart from Austin and Pillman’s personalities, this one is fairly tame. I am not sure why we cannot have Austin and Pillman wrestling Douglas and Steamboat considering their last match was so good and it seems like a good way to have a great match on the PPV but sadly no, we have Watts and Bagwell.
Winners: The Hollywood Blondes over Marcus Bagwell & Erik Watts via Top Rope Elbow!
2 Cold Scorpio vs Chris Benoit
Benoit impressed in his PPV debut against Brad Armstrong while Scorpio impressed when bursting on the scene as the partner of Ron Simmons, Scorpio is pretty directionless though, this should be good.
Scorpio pushes Benoit to the ropes, headbutts and elbows by Benoit. Massive clothesline by Benoit, snap suplex from Benoit. Chop by Benoit, Scorpio counters with a middle rope crossbody for two, dropkick and spin-kick from Scorpio. We get down to business with some wrist-locks, Scorpio shows some fantastic athletics but Benoit is too quick, hip-toss into the arm-drag. Scorpio uses the ropes to escape, arm-bar from Scorpio. Benoit and Scorpio continue to trade counters before Scorpio lands a massive Japanese arm-drag and Benoit powders again. Test of strength, Benoit has Scorpio down and Scorpio is bridging before landing a monkey flip, Benoit tries a counter but Scorpio lands on his feet and dropkicks Benoit before landing an arm-drag into the arm-bar.
Benoit goes low and uses headbutts, they trade more counters before Benoit swats away a dropkick, Benoit misses an elbow drop. Superkick by Scorpio and another arm-drag, crucifix pin from Scorpio for two. Hammerlock from Scorpio, Benoit sends Scorpio to the buckle. More great counters before Benoit lands a clothesline, massive clothesline by Benoit. Back-breaker by Benoit, Scorpio knees away Benoit. Benoit lands a snap-mare into a reverse chin-lock, Benoit suplexes Scorpio onto the top rope. Forearm shots by Benoit, Scorpio shoulder thrusts Benoit but misses the missile dropkick as Benoit covers for two. Another chin-lock from Benoit, Scorpio fights back before eating a massive spine-buster and a Boston crab.
Benoit cannot make Scorpio tap so Benoit goes back to the chin-lock, Benoit chops at Scorpio. Benoit places Scorpio on the top rope, Benoit says it’s over. Belly to back Superplex from Benoit, both men are in tremendous pain. Benoit lands a powerbomb for a close two, Scorpio rolls through a powerbomb but too close to the ropes for a pin-fall. Scorpio is whipped to the buckle, knee and enzuigiri from Scorpio. Benoit ducks the spinning-kicks but Scorpio lands the clothesline, lefts and rights by Scorpio. Whip to the buckle and spinning splash, Twisting Moonsault for two. Irish whip reversed by Benoit, Scorpio tries a victory roll but Benoit face-plants him. Scoop slam and middle rope leg drop by Benoit for two, small package by Scorpio. Benoit tries the Dragon suplex but Scorpio counters with a victory roll for the win with a second left on the clock.
Good match here from these two, these two would hone and perfect their craft with more time but they are so young here and so athletic, they impress the fans with their counters and hard-hitting manoeuvres. A championship would add so much to this feud considering there is a light heavyweight championship or at least there might still be there. I think they could do a lot with a championship adding to the feud. Regardless, this had some really great moments in there and a sign of things to come with the cruiserweight division of WCW.
Winner: 2 Cold Scorpio over Chris Benoit via Victory Roll!
Wild Bill Irwin vs The British Bulldog
I like how Schiavone says Irwin returns to WCW, they are basically giving away that we brought him in just for the match. However, we are here to talk about the former Intercontinental Champion, The British Bulldog coming to WCW. Bulldog shoves down Irwin over and over, Irwin lands forearms but cannot rock Bulldog who lands shoulder block after shoulder block. Irwin is clotheslined to the floor, forearm and side headlock by Irwin. Hip-toss by Bulldog, Irwin kicks the ribs of Bulldog and clubs down Bulldog. Corner clothesline by Irwin and an elbow to the face, Bulldog kicks out at one.
Irwin sends Bulldog into the top rope and applies a sleeper but Bulldog clubs it out with Irwin, delayed vertical suplex from Bulldog. Bulldog lands a corner clothesline and a normal clothesline for two, whip to the buckle again and Irwin lands a boot. Middle rope dive into the Powerslam and this is over. Squash to establish Bulldog does the job.
Winner: British Bulldog over Wild Bill Irwin via Powerslam!
(Falls Count Anywhere Match) Paul Orndorff vs Cactus Jack
Orndorff’s post WWF career is certainly interesting, WCW did not work the first time around, the Gigante, JYD and Orndorff alliance against The Horsemen I would rather forget but here we have Orndorff with Vader going after the newly minted babyface in Cactus Jack. Cactus Jack attacks Orndorff in the interview area, Orndorff avoids the shovel and sends Cactus into the guardrail. Cactus fights back and headbutts, Orndorff meets the guardrail hard. Cactus slams Orndorff on the concrete, Cactus lands an elbow on the concrete for two. Cactus is on the middle rope, diving sunset flip onto the concrete. The sound of the flip is horrific, I cannot understand the logic here.
Orndorff kicks around Cactus in the ring, clothesline by Orndorff. They battle up the ramp and Cactus is whipped over two guardrails, Cactus is trading blows with Orndorff. Orndorff is sent back ringside, Orndorff suplexes Cactus over the guardrail. Orndorff attacks the braced knee of Cactus, shocking that it took this long to go there but here we are. Orndorff suplexes Cactus over the rope and onto the apron, Orndorff chokes Cactus with his knee-brace. Orndorff applies a figure-four, Orndorff sends the knee of Cactus into the concrete over and over. Orndorff grabs a chair, chair-shots to the injured knee. Quite brutal attacks here from Orndorff, good stuff as Orndorff calls for the piledriver on the chair but Cactus has the shovel. Orndorff is cracked between the eyes with the shovel and it’s over!
Ok I fell for Orndorff posing around the ring calling for the piledriver only to get waffled with the shovel, I forgot about the shovel so it was pretty clever how it was introduced in the beginning and didn’t play into the match until the finish. The attacks on the knee were brutal and was good stuff, shame there was not much heat for Orndorff but I liked this match, a decent effort from both men.
Winner: Cactus Jack over Paul Orndorff via Shovel To The Head!
(Smokey Mountain Wrestling Tag Team Championship Match) The Heavenly Bodies © W/ Bobby Eaton & Jim Cornette vs The Rock “N” Roll Express
How good it is to see Stan Lane and Bobby Eaton together once more, Eaton may only be on the floor for this one but such a nice sight. These tag matches were fantastic back in the day, always delivering when they would wrestle but this time, we have Tom Prichard in place of Bobby Eaton so will it make a massive difference? Also interesting to see Stan Lane after the Midnight Express because I am used to seeing Jimmy Del Ray in there with Prichard. Prichard and Gibson start, hip-toss and head-scissors from Gibson and a tag to Morton who lands a hurricanrana and a shot to the head of Lane.
Prichard makes a blind-tag but Lane runs into a hip-toss into an arm-drag into the arm-bar. Lane almost tags Prichard time and time again, Morton whips Lane into Prichard. Morton and Gibson continue to fluster The Heavenly Bodies, Cornette gets heat by hugging and consoling his boys. Prichard and Morton reset the match, to the corner we go with Prichard and Morton slugging it out. Morton continues to frustrate Prichard, atomic drop into Lane. Cornette is furious at ringside, Morton works the arm and tags in Gibson. Back-drop from Morton, Gibson lands an enzuigiri for two. Prichard begs for mercy, Morton comes back into the match.
Prichard pushes Morton to his corner, Morton fights out of the corner so The Bodies cannot double-team Morton. Cornette continues to talk strategy, Morton is talking to Cornette. Lane and Morton criss-cross, Cornette is chased by Morton and Lane knocks into Cornette. Big pop for that one, Morton is sent to the floor and Cornette stabs Morton with his tennis racket. Prichard throws Morton into the ring, Lane punishes Morton with the top rope. Clothesline and dance from Lane, Lane nails Gibson with a right hand so Prichard comes in and lands a diving axe handle. Scoop slam by Prichard, knee-drop for two. Prichard slaps on a reverse chin-lock, rest hold time boys.
Morton escapes but cannot avoid an axe handle from Lane, Prichard tags in Lane. Suplex and clothesline combination, elbow drop from Lane for two. Cornette is on the apron, Morton had a sunset flip but Prichard comes in for the boot. Morton fights back but cannot make it to Gibson, right hand after right hand. Prichard lands a sit-out powerbomb for two, tag to Lane. Morton lands a double DDT. Gibson gets the tag but its not much of a hot-tag, Prichard rakes the eyes. Back body drop on Gibson, double clothesline on Lane and double dropkick on Prichard. Lane and Morton are wrestling, Gibson yanks Cornette into the ring. Prichard lands a running bulldog, Gibson kicks out of the bulldog.
Lane and Morton are in the corner, Prichard back drops Gibson to the floor. Morton lands an inverted atomic drop on Prichard, the referee is arguing with Cornette. Bobby Eaton runs down and lands a diving elbow drop on Prichard by mistake, Morton knocks Eaton out of the ring and covers Prichard for the win.
Good tag team match, all the good stuff is here like Cornette getting involved, The Rock “N” Roll Express destroying Lane and Prichard before Lane and Prichard get the heat on Morton leading to a dramatic finish with lots of false finishes before sending the fans home happy. Great stuff here and a good advertisement for SMW.
Winners: The Rock “N” Roll Express over The Heavenly Bodies via Diving Elbow Drop!
(WCW United States Heavyweight Championship Match) Dustin Rhodes © vs Maxx Payne
Payne’s look is ridiculous, this was meant to be Rhodes vs Simmons but I have to ask where the fuck is Barry Windham? I know Rude was injured and had to vacate the championship but Rhodes vs Payne? Rhodes vs Simmons? Why is Windham battling Muta when the feud with Rhodes is there, I cannot even describe what I thought Payne would be wearing after seeing his gimmick but a black singlet with a thin blue stripe and no kneepads was not what I predicted. Rhodes is the quicker of the two, peppering Payne with right hands and roll-ups before Payne powders to the floor. Arm-bar from Rhodes, Payne shoves Rhodes to the ropes. Payne lands big knees, Rhodes lands another arm-drag.
Payne scrambles to the ropes, bearhug and slam to the corner from the challenger. Payne beats down Rhodes in the corner, snap-mare but Rhodes dodges the elbow drop. Rhodes works the arm, Rhodes is sent hard to the mat with a big slam. Arm-bar from Payne, Rhodes counters for his own hold but Payne reaches the ropes and lands a clothesline. Knee onto the arm of Rhodes, back body-drop by Payne. Rhodes fights back from his knees, boot to the head. Eye-rake by Payne, shoulder block with both men colliding. Flying crossbody does not work as Payne lands a scoop slam, Rhodes dodges the elbow drop.
Rhodes kicks back at Payne, flying clothesline from Rhodes. Rhodes suplexes the challenger for two, abdominal stretch from Rhodes. We sit in the stretch, Payne decides to pull the referee into Rhodes to escape the hold and we have a DQ. Payne continues to attack Rhodes, shoulder block from Payne on the floor and Rhodes is sent arm-first into the ring-post. Payne is sent into the ring-post, they keep fighting before it ends.
Garbage match really, who is Maxx Payne? What warranted him having that spot? Why was nobody else available for that match? It was really bad, I wish I didn’t have to sit through that because I should be enjoying an excellent program between Windham and Rhodes yet that is nowhere in sight. What gives WCW?
Winner: Dustin Rhodes over Maxx Payne via DQ!
(NWA World Championship Match) The Great Muta © vs Barry Windham
Muta is champion now defeating Chono at The Tokyo Dome show, Muta won the battle royal at Starrcade which I would rather forget because that event was a disaster but here we have the final two from the match doing battle for the championship. This is going to be interesting for me considering we have the NWA Championship being represented by The Big Gold Belt but by the end of the year the WCW World Championship will be back to being The Big Gold belt.
Fans chant for Flair who is watching at ringside, looks like these two have been overshadowed before locking up in that ring. Muta takes the back, Windham grabs the ropes. Windham shoves Muta, test of strength with Windham chants ringing out through the arena, the opposite of what they would want for a heel Windham. Side headlock by Muta, we will sit here for a while. We really do as Windham eventually sends Muta to the ropes, clean break before a roundhouse right from Windham. Shoulder block, dropkick from Muta back into the side headlock. We sit here for a while before Muta suplexes Windham, snap-mare into the Flashing Elbow.
Side headlock takedown, Windham elbows his way out of the hold. Muta misses a dropkick, big cheer from the fans. DDT by Windham, belly to back suplex on the floor. Suplex from the apron into the ring for two, scoop slam and knee drop from Windham. Make it two, two for Windham. Muta tries to fire up, sleeper from Windham. Windham uses the ropes for leverage before being caught, Windham lands a massive shot to the head. Muta is shit-canned to the floor by Windham, Muta rolls back into the ring. Muta begins to fire back at Windham, eye rake by Windham. Scoop slam and elbow drop for two, reverse chin-lock. Muta fights back, sunset flip goes awry as Windham lands a massive fist to the face.
Irish whip but Muta ducks and lands a flying crossbody for two, piledriver is blocked by Muta with a back body drop. Right hand by Windham, Windham continues to kick and punish Muta. Superplex time, Muta blocks the superplex with headbutts and chops. Diving chop from Muta, handspring elbow by Muta. Back-breaker and the moonsault misses for Muta, Muta lands a belly to back suplex. Back-breaker and the Moonsault is blocked with the knees, Windham lands a massive clothesline and the implant DDT for the win in the middle of the ring.
It's an interesting match for sure because the more you look at the WCW/NJPW relationship, you have to wonder was any of it good for NJPW apart from having The Steiners do business in their tag team division. Its been nothing but disasters for the likes of Muta and Chono since coming to WCW, the matches have been booed every time and it never works out for NJPW. This match was very boring, the headlocks were so drawn out and much like how Ric Flair had to wrestle like a blank canvas against Sting when portraying The Black Scorpion, I feel like Muta in WCW is stripped away of everything that makes him so much fun. Bad showing here for Windham!
Winner: Barry Windham over The Great Muta via DDT!
(White Castle of Fear Strap Match) Sting vs Vader W/ Harley Race
They are tied one a piece when it comes to matches, Vader defeated Sting for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship while Sting defeated Vader in the King of Cable Finals. Both matches were awesome because Sting puts over everything that Vader does like death, this is a strap match and normally, these are bottom tier gimmick matches for me because the finishes never vary. It is always some sort of oh the babyface was pulled in and touches it by mistake or the heel is crushed b the babyface and touches the buckle first. Sting lost his last strap match as Nikita Koloff was bounced into the buckle with the Stinger Splash.
This match starts with Vader pulling Sting around the ring, massive clothesline and elbow drop by Vader. Elbow drop to the groin by Vader, Vader wants a middle rope splash. It connects, Sting is dead already. Sting yanks the strap under the legs of Vader, right hands stagger Vader. Enzuigiri by Sting, Sting is on the middle rope. Diving clothesline by Sting, Sting is on the top rope. Diving top rope splash, second diving top rope splash. Sting wants to whip Vader, vicious shots to the spine of Vader. Race is on the apron and gets decked by Sting, Vader is down on the floor. Sting pulls Vader into the ring-post over and over.
Vader is bleeding on the back, Sting really went in on those strap shots. Scoop slam by Sting, Sting’s idea is to touch the posts on the outside as it is somehow easier to drag Vader. However, Vader sends Sting into the guardrail. Sting cannot maintain control as Vader kicks back Sting, Sting blocks the powerbomb and back-drops Vader. Sting misses his third diving top rope splash, splash from Vader. Vader Bomb connects, Vader whips Sting hard across the back. Avalanche Samoan Drop from Vader, Vader touches two corners but Sting survives by kicking Vader in the face. Vader climbs high again, Vader Bomb and Sting rolls out of the way. Vader climbs high again but Sting crotches Vader, Vader is yanked off the top rope.
Vader clubs Sting and wants a superplex, Vader connects with the superplex. Vader clubs Stings in the corner, Vader tries to pull Sting out but Sting lands a massive kick to the head of Vader. DDT by Sting, Sting is bleeding from Vader’s punches, shots in the corner by Sting who is looking like a different man. Vader is sitting down in the corner, unable to protect himself or fight back. Sting picks up Vader and touches three corners, the referee has been hit by a stray leg and Race pushes the referee in front of Sting who trips and does not reach the final turnbuckle. Vader drops all his weight on the ribs of Sting, Vader touches three corners with Sting fighting and fighting to stop Vader but the kick from Sting sends Vader into the final buckle.
This was a bloody war, we got to see another side of Sting here who is just unloading on Vader throughout the match. The visual of Vader’s back bleeding or Sting’s eyes as he smashed Vader in the corner was tremendous. These two have wonderful chemistry and I am guessing we have to have that championship match sooner rather than later because Sting overcoming Vader would be a fantastic story to tell considering how invested the fans are in the match and how much emotion Sting can draw from the fans when Vader is just smashing him around the ring. They don’t know how to have a bad match with one another, they always deliver and I am happy to see more of these two kick all sorts of ass in WCW.
Winner: Vader over Sting via Touching All 4 Buckles!
That was WCW’s Superbrawl III, a very up and down start to the 1993 PPVs for WCW, a lot of big names missing like Steamboat, Rude and Koloff leaves us with some less than stellar matches and we also have big matches that simply do not measure up to the hype. The Hollywood Blondes vs Bagwell/Watts is interesting only for Pillman & Austin, Bagwell has been left directionless not progressing from that rookie for a year now while Watts is being pushed beyond his capabilities. 2 Cold Scorpio vs Benoit is good in parts, both men are extremely talented and would improve greatly over the years but there are very solid here, they pop the fans and engage them in the match and also instead of giving us a draw, Scorpio gets the win at the last second which is a nice twist on the cliché draw finish.
Davey Boy picks up a big win in his debut in WCW, good star to have on your roster but can Davey Boy deliver with anyone not named Bret Hart at this stage in his career? Orndorff vs Cactus Jack in a Falls Count Anywhere match is quite fun, the finish was quite good I thought considering how the shovel had been introduced. Orndorff’s showmanship got a good laugh out of me and it continues to build momentum for Cactus Jack who is going to break through that glass ceiling in 1993. We have a solid tag match between The Bodies and The Express, all the good shenanigans I expected from Cornette and it still delivered but things take a drastic turn with what follows on from Cornette.
Dustin Rhodes vs Maxx Payne is horrific, really negative reaction to this gimmick from me. Seems out there and interesting, maybe a yin to Van Hammer’s yang but the guy looks like shit and wrestles like shit and I don’t know why champions in WCW have to have horrific opponents on PPVs especially in their first defenses, Rhodes could be getting the Simmons’ treatment here and that just makes me sad. Barry Windham winning the NWA World Heavyweight Championship should be a wonderful moment for me as a big Windham fan, this match sucked. It was headlock after headlock, no heat to it, no flow to it and the fans only gave a shit about Flair. The main event kicks ass though, Sting vs Vader have that undeniable chemistry with one another, they work magic with one another and I want to see them continue to feud. Ups and downs, new faces again in WCW but can they deliver a year where they can gain steam? We shall see, thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!