Wednesday 8 June 2022

WCW Superbrawl 1994 Review!


Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that is more gruesome than Cody Rhodes’ torn pec muscle! It’s time for WCW Superbrawl IV headlined by Thundercage matches featuring Vader vs Ric Flair for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship and we also have a six-man Thundercage match featuring Rick Rude, Stunning Steve Austin and Paul Orndorff taking on Sting, Dustin Rhodes and Brian Pillman! We also have the tag team championships on the line as The Nasty Boys take on Cactus and Maxx Payne while Arn Anderson challenges Lord Steven Regal for the WCW Television Championship! Let’s get it on, the big news going into this one is that Ric Flair has taken over from Dusty Rhodes as booker so can Flair turn this tide?


Harlem Heat vs Thunder & Lightning

They might be Kane and Kole but for me they are Booker and Stevie Ray, these two burst onto the scene in WCW during The Shockmaster debacle and proceeded to job out during Battle Bowl and possibly Halloween Havoc but I am not so sure they made more than one PPV appearance after the collapse of their alliance with Sid as Sid was released by WCW due to the Anderson stabbing incident. They are taking on two men in singlets and tassels, I cannot imagine this will be a long match. Booker starts the match slapping one of the men, it is Lightning. Booker works the arm with a wristlock before Lightning turns the tide, Booker rolls through and kips-up into his own hammerlock. Lightning reverses and Booker goes to the ropes, Booker takes the back.


Lightning takes the back and applies a hammerlock, snap-mare and tag to Thunder. Top wristlock from Thunder, Booker uses an eye-rale and tags in Stevie Ray. Arm-drag, Thunder and Lightning use quick tags to mess up Stevie Ray. Stevie Ray punishes Lightning with rights, tag to Booker and back to the arm-drag. Tag to Thunder, gut punch and knee-lift for two. Thunder is tapped on the back by Stevie Ray, Booker clotheslines Thunder to the floor. Stevie Ray sends Thunder into the guard-rail, Booker is begging the boy to come back into the ring. Tag to Stevie Ray, quick tags by Harlem Heat. Flying forearm by Booker, stomps to the chest and face from Booker for two. Snap-mare and neck crank from Booker, Thunder escapes and lands a sunset flip but Booker had tagged in Stevie Ray who clubs down Thunder. Booker misses a diving top rope elbow, can Thunder make the tag? In comes Lightning, right hands for both. Scoop slams and dropkicks, Booker eats a belly to belly suplex with Stevie Ray making the save. Match breaks down, Thunder is with the referee. O’Connor roll from Lightning but Stevie Ray kicks Lightning right in the head and Booker covers for the win.


Standard tag team match, Harlem Heat have some really good looking gear here for the first time and their personalities shine through but still very rough around the edges while I have no idea who Thunder and Lightning are but I hope they no longer grace my computer screen on PPV because there is nothing remotely interesting about these two guys.


Winners: Harlem Heat over Thunder & Lightning via Kick to The Head!


The Equalizer vs Jungle Jim Steele

Everyone’s favourite groupie The Equalizer who was passed down from Rick Rude to Paul Orndorff to Harlem Heat to whoever was unlucky enough to not have any friends in the company against the man that would become Wolf Hawkfield in AJPW. Steele lands two arm-drags and Equalizer is not happy, kicks to the ribs from Equalizer and Steele is rammed off the buckle. Equalizer is rammed off the buckle over and over, Steele works the arm. Roll-up for two, Steele goes back to the arm. Steele almost lands a monkey flip but Equalizer holds onto the ropes, scoop slam and leg drop by Equalizer. Steele is tossed to the floor, Equalizer continues to dominate in the ring. Steele tries a crucifix pin, two for Steele. Equalizer is whipped to the buckle, boot counter from Equalizer. Equalizer rakes at the face and sends Steele to the floor, Steele lands a shoulder block. Equalizer meets the buckle, atomic drop. Ugly dropkick,  clothesline by Steele. The Steele trap which is a Lou Thesz Press and it is over!


Oh boy that was rough, why must WCW insist on feeding me these rough matches at the start of their shows? Thunder and Lightning followed by Jungle Jim Steele? Can you stop taking the piss WCW? Thanks, this was about 6 minutes and it felt triple that, it’s time for Equalizer to go.


Winner: Jungle Jim Steele over The Equalizer via Steele Trap!


Diamond Dall Page W/ The Diamond Doll vs Terry Taylor

What is going on here? These two I have not seen for two years, DDP has not be seen since managing The Freebirds while Terry Taylor is no longer Terrence Taylor and The York Corporation is a distant memory. DDP tries throwing a boot but Taylor catches it and lands massive right hands, spinning kick to the face. Taylor lands a gut-wrench for two, wristlock from Taylor. Cross arm-breaker from Taylor, DDP reaches the ropes and rolls to the floor. DDP slaps the arm trying to recover, the doll helps with poor DDP’s arm but Taylor goes to work and wrenches the arm over and over. Knees to the arm, Taylor continues working the arm. Side headlock by DDP, clothesline by Taylor for two.


Elbow counter by DDP, Taylor is bounced off the buckle. Shoulder thrusts from DDP, DDP kicks the ribs of Taylor and talks some serious trash. DDP lands his gut-wrench and Taylor crumbles on the canvas, elbow drop from DDP for two. Cobra clutch from DDP to wear down Taylor, Taylor shakes off DDP. Clothesline by DDP for two, sleeper from DDP but Taylor slips out for a belly to back suplex. Dropkick by Taylor, Taylor lowers his head off an Irish whip so DDP counters with a face-buster. Reverse chin-lock from DDP, Taylor escapes and lands a flying crossbody for two. DDP lands a massive right hand, two for DDP. Irish whip to the buckle, DDP lands a shoulder thrust to the ribs. DDP whips Taylor to the buckle, Taylor dodges the corner splash and rolls-up DDP for the win.


Oh boy the hits keep on coming don’t they? DDP is as green as they come at this point in his career so it is up to Taylor to make this compelling, it’s alright at the end of the day but after the previous two matches I had to watch, my patience is running quite thin with the old WCW. This is your way to kick off 1994 PPV? Come on WCW do better!


Winner: Terrence Taylor over DDP via Roll-Up!


Johnny B. Badd vs Jimmy Garvin W/ Michael P.S. Hayes

Oh my good lord, Jimmy Garvin??? What is going on with WCW? Originally, we were meant to have Badd vs Hayes which would have been wild because I haven’t seen Michael Hayes since 1992 as the manager of Bobby Eaton and Arn Anderson after The Dangerous Alliance went belly-up. Jimmy Garvin left before that so seeing Garvin is a shock also, what is going on with this company?


Side headlock takedown by Badd, Garvin counters with a head-scissors, on my lord they are stalling like they always use to do during their matches. Side headlock by Badd, hammerlock into a side headlock takedown. Badd works the arm and Garvin continues to scream out in pain, they trade hammerlocks and arm-bars for the next three minutes with Garvin stalling and using the hair to escape when possible. Garvin shoves Badd to the corner, knees in the corner and right hands by Garvin. Whip to the buckle with Badd reversing, boot to the face from Garvin. Snap-mare into a reverse chin-lock from Garvin, Badd escapes but runs into a massive knee. Badd comes back into it with kicks and right hands, back body-drop. Garvin gets caught with an uppercut, Badd climbs to the top rope. Diving sunset flip for the win.


Dull and lifeless, I honestly not sure what I have done to have so many bad matches in a row to kick off a PPV, why is Garvin putting over a new finish called the 9-1-1? The guy is retired, what is this all about? What was accomplished here? Badd’s popularity continues to baffle me, the relentless assault of arm-bars sucked me right out of this match, I am hoping things pick up eventually.


Winner: Johnny B. Badd over Jimmy Garvin via Diving Sunset Flip!


(WCW Television Championship Match) Lord Steven Regal © W/ Sir William vs Arn Anderson

Arn Anderson’s career after the end of The Dangerous Alliance has been interesting, the man teeters on being important and irrelevant which is crazy considering how reliable his work is and how Anderson can be used to get over new talent. From teaming with Bobby Eaton to jerking the curtain to teaming with Flair to teaming with Roma to being left off PPVs, Arn Anderson’s career certainly is interesting in those last few years.


Regal has his left leg taped up, Regal has beaten back the likes of Bulldog and Steamboat but a lot of victories were time-limit draws, I sincerely hope I am not in for another draw because I might just give up on reviewing this PPV for a while. They lock-up and Anderson hurts the neck and ears of Regal, Anderson looks at Regal as if to say, “Are you for real brother?”. Regal and Sir William talk strategy, side headlock by Anderson. Regal’s ears are sore now, Regal is not happy with Anderson. Regal uses his skills to work the arm, Anderson reverses the hold and trips up Regal. Kicks to the arm from Anderson, Regal is not happy. Test of strength, Anderson kicks the ribs and trips up Regal and more arm-work from the challenger.


Regal uses his leg to take down Anderson and works the arm, hammerlock with a face-lock. Hammerlock counter from Anderson, hammerlock scoop slam by the challenger. Regal asks for the time, they lock-up with Anderson pushing Regal to the corner. Shoulder thrusts from Anderson, hammerlock with knees to the arm. Regal has his arm sent into the ring-post, Anderson chases down Sir William. Regal asks for the time again, Regal re-enters the ring and rocks Anderson with a forearm, Regal has a cravate-hold on Anderson with Anderson struggling to escape the hold. Back body-drop by Anderson, two for the challenger.


Anderson stretches the arm, Regal tries rolling to the floor to waste more time. Classic Regal, Anderson gives Regal a breather before grabbing that arm. Regal has his arm smashed over the top rope, Regal hooks the ropes to avoid being pinned. Eye-rake by Regal, headbutt by the champion. Sir William lands an umbrella shot to the throat of Anderson, Regal applies a single leg Boston crab with the ropes for leverage. Regal is caught in the act, Regal maintains control and looks for The Regal Stretch or at least an early variation of the hold with Sir William helping the champion. Anderson survives the onslaught, shots to the side of the head from Regal. Anderson trips up Regal and stomps that leg, Anderson stomps away at the leg. Figure Four but Regal kicks off Anderson, Regal has Anderson out on the floor.


Anderson sends the leg of Regal into the ring apron, Anderson begins to bend the leg of Regal. Regal regains control and applies a reverse chin-lock, Anderson is back after reaching the ropes. European uppercuts and left hand blows by both men, test of strength with Anderson applying a body-scissors but Regal looks for a Boston crab. Anderson twists off Regal, sleeper and a roll-up for two. Small package by Anderson for two, double underhook suplex is blocked by Anderson. Spinebuster plants Regal, Regal has the hand of Sir William. Anderson is distracted by Sir William, Anderson is on the apron. Slingshot sunset flip, Regal uses the umbrella of Sir William to counter the hold and retain his championship.


Hit and miss for me in this match, both men can work that technical style and make it very interesting which they do in the early parts of this match but I cannot help but think the whole time that Anderson works the arm and hurts Regal, why is he not attacking the taped up leg until the last 7 minutes? Arn Anderson who is a veteran of his craft and is not going to go after that leg? Hard to believe, they make it work for the most part but we get down to those final 10 minutes and the plethora of rest-holds just wear me down to the point where I can’t begin to be interested because I know we are going down to the wire and we almost do with six seconds remaining. I didn’t think the match needed to be this long, if it was shorter it could have been a lot tighter and a lot more enjoyable but still good from two men I enjoy watching.


Winner: Lord Steven Regal over Arn Anderson via Roll-Up!


(WCW World Tag Team Championship Match) The Nasty Boys © vs Cactus Jack & Maxx Payne

Missy Hyatt is gone from WCW so the Nasty Boys have lost the one redeeming part of their gimmick, Payne and Knobbs to start and we start with a German suplex with Knobbs being dropped right on his head. In comes Sags, Sags rakes the eyes but eats a belly to belly suplex. Knobbs comes back in, right hands but Payne drops Knobbs with a uranage and Sags runs into a powerslam. Big start for the big man, Cactus is tagged in now. Flying forearms to the face, scoop slams all around. Elbow drop combination by the challengers, Sags makes the save. Cactus rips at the face of Sags, the match breaks down immediately. Knobbs and Sags powder, the challengers are whooping ass.


We reset with Cactus and Sags, eye-rake and tag to Knobbs. Elbow by Cactus, apron leg-drop from Cactus. Tag to Payne, face-buster from Payne for two. Arm-bar by Payne but Knobbs rakes the eyes, Payne reverses an Irish whip and the shoulder block does not work on Payne but Sags comes in for a vicious chop block. Sags drops an elbow to the groin and works the injured leg, knees to the hamstring and a tag to Knobbs. Wishbone-split by the champions, Payne kicks off Knobbs. Payne scoop slams Knobbs but misses a leg drop, Knobbs regains control and drops elbows. Middle rope leg drop misses for Knobbs, tag to Cactus. Right hands by Cactus, knee-lift and a shot to Knobbs. Cactus is running wild, Cactus clothesline on Knobbs. Sags attacks Cactus on the apron, the protective mats have been ripped up and Sags shoulder blocks Cactus onto the concrete and you can hear the splat! Disgusting bump from Cactus, Knobbs applies a Boston crab in the ring.


Payne eventually pulls Cactus to his corner, why not attack Knobbs? Sags distracts the referee so the referee misses the tag, Payne clubs Knobbs anyways. Cactus lands a double DDT on the champions, could now be the time for the tag? Payne comes in and lands massive clotheslines and belly to belly suplexes Knobbs. Headbutts all around, Painkiller in the middle of the ring but Sags grabs the guitar for the DQ.


Surprisingly good, was not expecting to have that much fun with a match like this but Payne starts off using his strength and size to batter The Nasty Boys, German suplexes and uranages are always a fun time for me, the plunge bump from Cactus is horrific. Could be used as a great way to build sympathy but we rushed our way into the finish, if they could have stretched out the sympathy there they could have elicited a major reaction from the fans but good stuff and the finish leaves us open to a rematch.


Winners: Cactus Jack & Maxx Payne over The Nasty Boys via DQ!


(Six-Man Thundercage Match) Rick Rude/Stunning Steve Austin/Paul Orndorff vs Sting/Dustin Rhodes/Flyin’ Brian Pillman

The Dangerous Alliance runs again as Rude and Austin team together while Paul Orndorff continues to get the big matches are you kidding me? Anyways, it looks like Rude is continuing to do battle with Sting while Austin has problems with both Pillman and Rhodes but Orndorff is here ladies and gentlemen. As much as I rag on Orndorff, every single match for the past number of PPVs, there have been Paula chants every time he steps inside of the ring. Sting and Rude to start, back drop and three clotheslines from The Stinger. Rude curls up in the ropes, I can’t believe they are going to work a traditional six-man tag in the cage. The match type is made for brawls, Rude takes the arm and tags Orndorff. Orndorff wrenches the arm and applies a Fujiwara arm-bar. Knees to the arm for good measure, Austin comes in and says his knee is hurt.


Scorpion Death-Lock but Austin and Orndorff manage to stagger Sting, Sting is back on his feet though. On the floor, Sting sends Austin into the cage. Pillman chops Austin against the cage, Sting sends Austin into the cage again. Pillman tags in and kicks Austin in the ribs, shoulder block by Pillman. Austin sends Pillman to the floor, Pillman chops Austin all over. Austin runs and runs before flap-jacking Pillman into the cage wall. Orndorff sends Pillman into the cage, Pillman is bleeding from being sent into the cage. Rude has Pillman in the ring, Pillman eats elbows to his cut. Tag to Orndorff, right hands and stomp from Orndorff. Pillman fights back before Orndorff delivers a sickening belly to back suplex. Tag to Rude, Rude lands a diving knee-drop to the head. Two for Rude, tag to Austin. Austin lands a middle rope diving elbow, Orndorff lands a cheap-shot to add insult to injury.


A bloody Pillman escapes Austin and tags in Sting, Rhodes has done nothing yet. Sting clotheslines everyone, Orndorff eats a clothesline. Orndorff meets the cage and is bleeding and Rhodes comes in, Bionic Elbows everywhere. Right hands to the head of Orndorff, Orndorff pulls Rhodes into the buckle. Rude comes in, Rhodes rocks Rude with right hands. The Bulldog is countered though, Rude crotches Rhodes on the top turnbuckle. Super belly to back suplex from the middle rope, Rude comes down with a right hand to the head. Bearhug from Rude, Austin comes in but Rhodes knocks down Austin. Rhodes dropkicks Austin into the thunder-cage. Orndorff lands a stomp and Austin regains control, Rhodes meets the buckle hard. Whip to the opposite buckle, Rhodes lands a middle rope elbow to knock down Austin.


Tag to Pillman, chops to the chest of Austin. Back body-drop and dropkick to Rude & Orndorff, right hands all around and the match breaks down. Sting dumps Rude and Orndorff to the floor, Austin tastes a back body-drop and Pillman is body-pressed onto Austin by Sting for the win.


After all that, that’s the finish? The big six-man war in the cage with all these men who hate one another ends like that, Pillman gets the pin over Austin when Austin was looking like the man to challenge Ric Flair? I was expecting more to be honest with you, it started great and had some really good moments to kick us off with Sting running wild but then it never kicked into the next gear, the violence and drama wasn’t there. How are we still doing this Sting? How can we not have a championship around his waist? How many more tags before Sting has a championship match? It just feels like filler and considering how many champions are in the match, I wanted more.


Winners: Team Sting over Team Rude via Military Press!


(WCW World Heavyweight Championship Thunder-cage Match) Ric Flair © vs Vader W/ Harley Race

The Starrcades of the 80s and Bash tours were always interesting to me for the reason that we would have to watch a tag team cage match before a main event cage match, it was the fitting way to blow-off feuds from that time but I always found it hard to watch the same type of match twice. I think that might be an issue here with having to watch another Thunder-cage match again. Flair had been injured by Vader on the Clash before this, can Vader come after the champion and regain his championship?


The Boss is the referee, Vader charges and misses a splash. Flair punches and chops Vader, chair-shot on the floor. Chops and the mask is off, right hands in the corner. Vader catches Flair and drills him with a boot, elbows to the groin area. Short-arm clothesline, Vader clubs Flair down. Vader Bomb? No Moonsault and Vader lands on his feet! What a freak! Flair eats a clothesline, Vader dumps Flair to the floor. Race chokes Flair through the cage, Flair fires up in the ring but Vader clubs him down. Flair chokes Vader but Vader goes to the eyes. Vader Hammer knocks Flair to the floor, Race lands a headbutt through the cage. Vader lands a superplex, Flair is on the floor rolling away from the attacks of Vader. Race tries to interfere again, The Boss captures Race and handcuffs Race to the cage but no Vader splashes The Boss.


The Boss is in the handcuffs, who will be the referee now? Vader has the nightstick, Flair is in serious trouble. Race has the key and Race enters the cage, rights and lefts in the corner. Race holds Flair, Vader lands shot after shot. Splash by Vader, Arn Anderson is coming to ringside. Vader is on the top rope, Flair dodges and Vader clotheslines Race. Right hands all around, chops onto Race. Steamboat is here, breaking the lock on the door. Flair cracks Race with the chair, Vader is cracked with the chair too. Vader clotheslines Flair, The Boss wriggles free from the handcuffs and slaughters Vader with his nightstick. Flair locks on the Figure Four Leg-Lock, Vader taps out from the hold. Or does he? The commentators say he never gave up so The Boss screwed him?


For a WCW main event featuring two men who tore it up the previous month with tonnes of drama, it’s incredible how different this match is to the Starrcade match. The drama just is not there, you don’t feel Flair’s struggles or pain. It’s like he conquered Vader so it’s all just a formality, the cage never really comes into play which is disappointing considering how you have put time and effort into the gimmick. You think it would be laid out where Flair has to run and gun because Vader has him like a cat toying with a mouse but no, Flair waffles Vader around the ring, only losing advantage when The Boss is handcuffed to the cage. It was more about The Boss and Vader than Flair and Vader by the end, what an absolute mess especially with Anderson and Steamboat standing around like cheerleaders. Not a fan of this at all.


Winner: Ric Flair over Vader via Submission!


That was WCW’s Superbrawl 1994, another terrible WCW PPV. We kick the show-off with 4 matches that are not PPV quality, it’s laughable. We have Thunder and Lightning, Jungle Jim Steele, Terry Taylor and Jimmy Garvin? Some of these guys should have never made PPV while the others haven’t been seen regularly on WCW TV in 2 years. It’s insane how poorly this PPV kicked off, things get better with Anderson vs Regal, two guys who can sell and work the crowd very well, I don’t really like the time-limit draw style of wrestling because I feel sometimes the limb work can almost be pedestrian like they are going through the motions and Anderson’s refusal to attack the leg of Regal which is taped-up is definitely a head-scratcher. The surprise and highlight of the night is the tag match, Payne was lots of fun in this one which is a complete 180 from my view on him in all previous times I have seen him. Maybe something has clicked but I enjoyed this and the prospect of a rematch is not a terrible thing in my eyes. The two Thunder-cage matches I would label underwhelming, Sting continues to be super popular but wasted in tag matches on PPV, I know we are getting to Sting vs Rude but it’s taking it’s sweet time to get us there. Austin’s role has diminished while Dustin Rhodes is in recovery mode. Not a big fan of the thunder-cage, definitely not a fan of a six-man being worked in the traditional style when you can have blood and involve the cage, I mean it’s just crying out for chaos and you don’t get that. Speaking of chaos, the main event looks to be chaotic but not in a fun way. The image of Vader as an all-conquering force is being stripped away and I don’t like it. My feelings aside, it was just not main event level quality and almost cartoony, I thought the company would walk that line with Hogan in there but even before Hogan, we are having a little tip-toe into the wacky. I haven’t enjoyed one thing Bossman has done since joining WCW, it’s a disaster really and I am unsure where Vader will be slotted in as his initial run of dominance ends in WCW. WCW in 1994 looks a lot like WCW in 1993 but let’s put on a brave face and cut them a little slack its only the beginning of the year, let’s see where we are in 11 months time right? Thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!

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