DATE: May 19, 1991
VENUE: Bayfront Arena (St. Petersburg, FL)
COMMENTATORS: Jim Ross & “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes
The first annual SuperBrawl features the end to the controversy as Ric Flair takes on Tatsumi Fujinami to decide who the real World Champion is (even though WCW has already said who it was many times over). Also on the show we get an absolute classic of a tag team match, two regular debuts and one absolutely insane debut, and Bobby Eaton gets his big shot at singles stardom.
- WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair
- WCW UNITED STATES HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: “The Total Package” Lex Luger
- WCW WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPION: “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson
- WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner)
- WCW UNITED STATES TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Vacant
- WCW WORLD SIX MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Ricky Morton, “Wildfire” Tommy Rich, & Junkyard Dog
- The Young Pistols vs. The Fabulous Freebirds for the vacant WCW UNITED STATES TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (**)
- Ricky Morton vs. Dan Spivey (*1/2)
- DEBUT PROMO: Johnny B. Badd & Teddy Long
- Tommy Rich vs. Nikita Koloff (*3/4)
- Dustin Rhodes vs. Terrence Taylor (**1/4)
- Big Josh vs. Black Bart (*1/2)
- THE DANGER ZONE w/ Paul E. Dangerously & Stan Hansen
- Oz vs. Tim Parker (SQUASH)
- TAPED FIST MATCH: Brian Pillman vs. Barry Windham (**3/4)
- DIAMOND MINE w/ Diamond Dallas Page & The Diamond Studd
- STRETCHER MATCH: El Gigante vs. Sid Vicious (DUD)
- THUNDERDOOM CAGE MATCH: Ron Simmons vs. Butch Reed (**3/4)
- The Steiner Brothers [c] vs. Sting & Lex Luger for the WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (****1/2)
- Arn Anderson [c] vs. Bobby Eaton for the WCW WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP (**3/4)
- Ric Flair [c] vs. Tatsumi Fujinami for the WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (***)
-Pyro and ballyhoo. National recording artist Brandy (Brandi?) Brown performs “America The Beautiful”. I assume she’s a country singer because this is WCW and they SOUTHERN AS F*CK. Even more pyro! Luckily the flag doesn’t catch on fire.
-Ross and Rhodes welcome the audience at ringside. We’ve got TWELVE matches on tonight’s card, so strap in. You can talk to Sting & Lex Luger on the WCW Hotline, CALL NOW.
–Diamond Dallas Page hypes up The Fabulous Freebirds during their entrance via headset mic. Lots of “GOOD GAWD”s.
The Young Pistols (Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong) vs. The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael “P.S.” Hayes & Jimmy “Jam” Garvin) [w/ Big Daddy Dink] for the vacant WCW UNITED STATES TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
The Steiner Brothers vacated the U.S. Tag Team Championship after beating The Freebirds earlier in the year for the World Tag Team Championship. Rhodes is confident this match is going to be “FUNKY”. Perhaps like a monkey.
Hayes draws first blood with a hip toss but takes time to dance instead of follow-up and Armstrong almost sneaks out a win with a roll-up. Hayes tosses Armstrong to the floor, Freebirds send him into Dink but he ducks the clothesline and drops both Birds with a double clothesline of his own. Hayes reverses a whip, Dink trips Armstrong. Out comes Brad Armstrong to stick up for his younger brother, sliding into the ring and wanting to FIGHT. Referee ejects both Brad and Big Daddy Dink from ringside to get things back on track. Pistols clear the ring, Smothers sends Garvin into the guardrail with a baseball slide. Pistols connect with a double shoulderblock for a two-count, Smothers and Hayes tag in for their respective sides. Hayes leapfrogs Smothers, Garvin pulls the top rope down to send him flying to the floor, Birds drop him sternum-first on the guardrail. Smothers climbs the apron, Garvin sends him crashing back into the guardrail with a running kick.
“BADSTREET” chant from the crowd, Ross acknowledges this instead of pretending it’s not happening. I respect that. Smothers fights out of a chinlock, Garvin catches him with a kick followed by a running knee to the temple. Hayes tags in, Smothers with count-a-long rights in the corner. Smothers dodges the inverted atomic drop but does not duck the left hook and down he goes. Garvin tags in, Smothers catches him with a superkick (or “karate kick” according to Ross). Armstrong gets the hot tag, backdrop to Hayes, scoop slams to both Birds. All four men in the ring, Pistols miss stereo missile dropkicks. Smothers gets tossed to the floor, “DDT” chants but instead Armstrong gets tossed out as well. Smothers comes out of nowhere with a top rope double clothesline followed by a double clothesline out to the floor, Armstrong follows up with a top rope crossbody. Armstrong rolls Hayes in, Smothers hits the flying elbow (Six-Shooter it’s sometimes called). Smothers picks Garvin up, Armstrong hits a missile dropkick but they land into the ref. This allows a MASKED MAN IN FEATHERS NAMED FANTASIA to show up and drill both Pistols with DDTs, Hayes covers Armstrong for the 1…2…3.
The Fabulous Freebirds defeated The Young Pistols via pinfall to win the WCW UNITED STATES TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (10:20)
- DDP and The Freebirds had dropped the idea of a third member of their team over the past few weeks on TV but it was so subtle that I actually forgot about it until the dude showed up. Can’t hate on the match too much as The Young Pistols are arguably WCW’s most exciting tag team, but oh boy this felt like Freebirds on autopilot. Figured they would have a little more energy since they were winning a championship but nah. Also boo to the ref for not seeing all of the feathers Fantasia left behind in the ring. (**)
The video replay messes up so instead we cut to the announce table where Rhodes describes it like nothing is happening.
Ricky Morton vs. “Dangerous” Dan Spivey
Morton sticks and moves to start but gets caught with a DDT from Spivey when he attempts a backdrop. Spivey follows it with a clothesline for a two-count, then hits a proto-Razor’s Edge. Morton fights back with right hands, Spivey catches him mid-air and turns a crossbody attempt into a fallaway slam. Spivey drops the leg and covers, Morton kicks out at two once again. Morton dodges a corner splash and rolls Spivey up for the 1…2…Spivey kicks out and dodges a dropkick but misses an elbowdrop. Morton and Spivey share an awkward moment of nothing then Spivey hits his version of the power bomb, covering Morton with one boot for the 1…2…3.
Dan Spivey defeated Ricky Morton via pinfall (3:12)
- Morton kept it competitive and did a great job making Spivey look like a killer, but this was ostensibly felt like a squash match. Morton has been all over TV and is 1/3 of the Six Man Tag Team Champions (THEY ARE REAL I PROMISE) but got punked out in short order to a guy who has barely been on TV since getting beat by Luger at WrestleWar ’91 back in February. Lame. I don’t even know where Spivey fits in with WCW right now, honestly. Yeah he’s tall and wins short matches but like…where do we go from here? (*1/2)
-ENTRANCE RAMP: Tony Schiavone and Missy Hyatt is with “The Z-Man” Tom Zenk. Zenk is recovering from a biceps injury and is here to thank the fans for their support. No mention of this injury was ever on TV, and he’s also been on the shows wrestling over the past six weeks. Schiavone announces that Hyatt will get to go in the men’s locker room again tonight. Cut to a clip from WrestleWar ’91 where Hyatt was chased out of the men’s locker room by Stan Hansen. Back live Hyatt admonishes Schiavone for laughing and says it’s 1991 and she has the right to interview men in their locker room. She then flirts with Zenk to undermine her desire to be taken seriously.
“Wildfire” Tommy Rich vs. “The Russian Nightmare” Nikita Koloff
Rich is also a Six Man Tag Team Champion but has spent most of his time teaming with Big Josh or other babyfaces, and also getting trounced by One Man Gang. Koloff is embroiled in a long-standing feud with Lex Luger over the United States Championship stemming from an attack at WrestleWar in February, but both men are in different matches instead at the PPV so…cool, I guess? I don’t know, feels like this could’ve been a match on Pro/Power Hour or something.
Rich ducks a back elbow and catches Koloff with a crossbody for an early two-count. Koloff backs Rich into the corner and clubs him over the back with a series of forearms, Rich dodges a corner splash and rolls him up for another two-count. Rich connects with a running elbow in the corner but Koloff dodges the next and he hits nothing but steel. Koloff brings Rich to the mat with a snapmare, following with an elbowdrop for a two-count. Rich fights back with an uppercut and some count-a-long corner rights. Koloff dodges a middle-buckle crossbody and hits the Russian Sickle for the 1…2…3.
Nikita Koloff defeated Tommy Rich via pinfall (4:06)
- Unspectacular but gives Koloff his highest-profile win since returning in February. As I said in the opening would have been right at home on a C-show. (*3/4)
-ENTRANCE RAMP: Schiavone welcomes the debuting Johnny B. Badd and his manager Teddy Long for an introduction interview. Absolute spitting image of both legendary rock & roll pioneer Little Richard and enhancement talent Mark Merro. Strange. Badd says it’ll be a blessin’ to teach PN News a lesson. Long says Badd has the fastest hands in pro wrestling and is the only REAL man in World Championship Wrestling. Badd adds that he’s so pretty he should’ve been born a little girl and he’s a baaaaadd man. He gets better, I promise.
–“The Natural” Dustin Rhodes gets a pyro-heavy entrance, almost like his dad is the head booker or something. The York Foundation’s newly elected board applauds Terrence Taylor, Alexandra York, and Mr. Hughes as they head to the ring. I actually like this entrance a lot, for some reason.
“The Natural” Dustin Rhodes vs. “The Computerized Man of the 1990s” Terrence Taylor [w/ Alexandra York & Mr. Hughes]
The York Foundation has been trying to recruit Rhodes into their organization, but Rhodes wants none of it and has no idea how a computer works. He also apparently doesn’t understand what money is, either. Cappetta gets Taylor’s nickname right which is a breath of fresh air after MONTHS of Rhubarb Jones messing it up on TV. This was billed as a “Computer Match”, wrestled under a time limit decided by the COM-PEW-TOR, but there’s no mention of it here so it looks like we’re getting a regular ol’ match.
Rhodes with a shoulderblock, Taylor quickly kicks out of the lateral press and bails to the floor to get some COM-PEW-TOR assistance. Dusty is such a proud papa on commentary. Taylor with a hip toss, Rhodes kicks him away and controls things with an armbar. Taylor’s cheapshot is blocked so he bails back to the COM-PEW-TOR. Taylor backs Rhodes into the corner and connects with a right, Rhodes fires back with multiple rights of his own followed by a hip toss and a side headlock takeover into an armbar. Taylor slams his way out but gets caught back into the armbar after missing an elbow. Rhodes blocks a suplex and hits one of his own, into the lateral press for a two-count. Taylor ducks a crossbody and Rhodes hits nothing but mat, rolling out to the ramp. Taylor uses the bottom rope and suplexes Rhodes back in, following up with a kneedrop for the 1…2…Rhodes kicks out. Taylor takes too long gloating and Rhodes counters his middle-rope nothing with a boot. Rhodes hits a series of rights followed by a backdrop and running clothesline. Rhodes hits the Bulldog but York distracts the ref. Rhodes gets in her face, Taylor attacks from behind and holds him for Hughes. Hughes swings, his fist in a black glove, but Rhodes moves and Taylor gets knocked out, allowing Rhodes to cover for the 1…2…3.
Dustin Rhodes defeated Terrence Taylor via pinfall (8:05)
- In 1991 I’m sure wrestling fans found it unbearable but watching this now I actually dig hearing Dusty being a proud dad on commentary. Maybe I’ve grown soft in my old age. A very good well-wrestled match with some green jank from The Natural but nothing that torpedoed anything. A very convoluted way to get to the finish though, both to keep Rhodes’ undefeated streak alive and to give Taylor an out for losing. Does this mean they’re going to fire Hughes? Is Hughes about to be a big ol’ babyface?!? Eh probably not. (**1/4)
–Big Josh makes his entrance with two muzzled bears that look absolutely TERRIFIED. Jesus. Those poor fellas. The bear handler quickly gets them out of there before anything bad can happen and also because he has a heart.
Big Josh vs. Black Bart
Josh was initially slated to face Larry Zbyszko and had been promoted as such for weeks, but is apparently dealing with a knee injury so Bart is here instead. I wonder if they’ll make mention of this on Pro next week; part of me hopes they recorded the commentary already and Zbyszko will talk about having this match like he was supposed to.
Josh connects with a pair of hip tosses followed by a clothesline and the log roll. Bart rakes the eyes and buries a thumb to the throat but Josh no-sells it and potatoes the heck out of him. Josh slows things down with an armbar, holding on and maintaining control through a hip toss. Bart goes to the eyes once again and rams him into the buckles. Bart and Josh trade fists, Bart rakes the eyes for a third time and chokes him on the top rope. Josh quickly regains control and finishes things off with a seated splash.
Big Josh defeated Black Bart via pinfall (3:47)
- What could’ve been a competitive match, and potential big win for Josh, went out the window once Zbyszko was out of the contest and that’s a shame. I did appreciate these two holding nothing back though, they clobbered the sh*t out of each other. (*1/2)
-THE DANGER ZONE: Cappetta introduces Paul E. Dangerously who comes out in yuppie clothing (pink polo, khaki shorts) plus a cowboy hat as he’s the only real cowboy from New York. After some mic trouble he introduces his guest Stan “The Lariat” Hansen. Hansen is unimpressed with Dangerously’s attempts to be a cowboy, and is here because he wants to fight somebody. He focuses especially on Dustin Rhodes, saying he’s ready for him. Dangerously rambles on then QUITS due to the messed up mic. Absolutely f*cking pointless.
-ENTRANCE STAGE: Smoke fills the arena and a green light flashes as generic tense music. The Great Wizard, a dude in an old man mask, leads Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion towards a castle backdrop, repeatedly saying “WELCOME TO OZ!”. A giant of a man slowly turns around, proclaiming himself the Great and Powerful Oz and he will show everyone who Oz REALLY is. Generic guitar music kicks up as Oz makes his way to the ring, also wearing an old man mask. What the fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. I think it’s hilarious now but oh man I can imagine wrestling fans in 1991 wanting to immediately find another hobby after this.
Oz [w/ The Great Wizard] vs. Tim “Powerhouse” Parker
Oz removes his robe and old man mask, revealing himself to be…former Master Blaster Steel with dyed grey hair and green trunks. Parker runs into him and falls over like he hit a brick wall. Oz throws Parker to the mat with a helicopter spin and covers with one boot to get the easy victory.
Oz defeated Tim Parker via pinfall (0:30)
- WELCOME TO OZ! WELCOME TO OZ! WEEEEEEEEELCOME TO OZZZZZZ! (SQUASH)
-BACKSTAGE: Missy Hyatt is standing outside of the men’s locker room for her second attempt to get an interview. Hyatt walks in, looking for the “cute” wrestlers. Hyatt asks Terrence Taylor about the feud with Dustin Rhodes, Taylor says it’s not over but is more upset that a WOMAN is in the MEN’S locker room. Hyatt asks if The Z-Man is in the shower, Taylor tells her to take a look. Out comes Stan “The Lariat” Hansen to continue this running joke, spanking her with his cowboy hat while wearing boxers. Who wears boxers when they’re showering? An embarrassed Hyatt signs off to the amusement of Ross and Dusty. Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
TAPED FIST MATCH
“Flyin” Brian Pillman vs. Barry Windham
Pillman has been at war with the Horsemen since WrestleWar ’91, vowing revenge on every member for the injuries he suffered during the War Games match. These two have met already on TV a few times in singles and tag team action but now the fists are taped so they mean BIDNESS. And yes Sid is the one who actually injured Pillman so he should be in this match and not Windham but I digress.
Windham uses his size at the outset, Pillman counters it with speed and connects with a hip toss followed by a shoulderblock. Pillman lays it in with his taped fists, ref forces separation in the corner. Windham catches Pillman with a kick and focuses his taped fists on the ribs. Windham heads to the top, Pillman dropkicks him off and to the floor, then follows up with a flying fist from the top buckle, busting him open. Windham goes tit for tat and draws blood from Pillman via ring post. Pillman connects with a spinning heel kick followed by rough open hand slaps to the chest, Windham raking the eyes to stop the onslaught and dropping him throat-first across the top rope. Pillman and Windham noggin knock each other, Pillman counters a vertical suplex with one of his own. Pillman heads to the top, Windham shoves the ref out of the way and connects with a low-blow and the SUPERPLEX for the 1…2…3.
Barry Windham defeated Brian Pillman via pinfall (6:09)
- Well that was a lot shorter than I was expecting but I can’t say I’m mad about it. Fast-paced match, both men bled and beat the hell out of each other, and the hatred radiated off the screen. Finally some ENERGY. (**3/4)
Windham buries some more rights and a boot to add insult to injury.
-THE DIAMOND MINE: Diamond Dallas Page asks if they’re live (HA) and launches into his GOOD GAWD spiel on the entrance stage, surrounded by a pair of Diamond Dolls. Page brags about The Freebirds winning the titles earlier and about his new talk show, the greatest in WCW history. I’ll be the judge of that! He segues into pre-recorded comments from Sting & Lex Luger about tonight’s Tag Team Title match. They’re very ready for this. Back live Page says they weren’t brilliant enough for the first edition of the Diamond Mine and brings out the debuting Diamond Studd (aka Scott Hall aka Razor Ramon). The Dolls strip Studd of his leather pants to further show off the body, Page announces they will be holding auditions across the country for Studd’s valet. Okay then. That’s THREE debuts on this show so far, props to WCW for using a PPV to introduce new potential stars and also Oz.
El Gigante vs. Sid Vicious
Gigante and Sid are fighting over the title of the true “giant” in WCW and given that Sid’s whole gimmick is having his opponents taken out on a stretcher it has led to this Stretcher Match. The loser must leave the ring on a stretcher…though Rhodes does mention that being pinned is JUST AS BAD so keep that in mind.
Gigante overpowers Sid to start, easily shoving him back when they lock up. Sid catches Gigante with a kick, Gigante reverses a whip and drops him with a clothesline. Sid goes after Gigante’s legs and works him over in the corner, Gigante catches him with a kick when he tries a splash and locks in the Claw for the 1…2…3. IN A STRETCHER MATCH.
El Gigante defeated Sid Vicious via pinfall (2:14)
- Super short but still pretty bad. Uncoordinated and awkward. This is Sid’s final PPV appearance, and possibly final WCW appearance unless he was at the tapings held before this, until 1993 as he would debut in the WWF later in the summer as Sid Justice. (DUD)
Sid rolls out of the ring and out of WCW as One Man Gang runs in for a sneak attack. Gigante overpowers Gang, in comes Kevin Sullivan who gets thrown around as well. Gigante clotheslines Gang to the ramp and throws him on the stretcher as Sullivan holds it in place (that seems counterproductive). Sullivan throws powder in Gigante’s eyes and whips him with a chain while Gang attacks him with the gurney. An angry Gigante sorta sells the powder as Gang and Sullivan walk off. Well that’s one way to brush Sid under the rug quickly.
-The ThunderDOOM Cage lowers to the ring as pyro shoots out from the top of it. Looks like a regular cage to me.
-SUPERBRAWL CONTROL CENTER: Gordon Solie is here with a surprise Control Center to hype the next PPV, The Great American Bash, scheduled for July 14th and the Great American Bash Tour that’ll take place from July 3rd-August 25th across the country.
-Back to the Bayfront Center for more pyro now that the cage is on the ground. “Hacksaw” Butch Reed makes his way out first, Teddy Long comes out after to be put in the shark cage above the ring. Long is naturally terrified and mad about it, but it’s not like he didn’t know. The shark cage raises as Ron Simmons makes his way out next. Everyone is using the same theme so we get the long version of the sexy sax Doom song and I’m very okay with that.
THUNDERDOOM CAGE MATCH
Ron Simmons vs. “Hacksaw” Butch Reed [w/ Teddy Long in a shark cage above the ring]
Simmons and Reed dominated 1990 as the tag team of Doom, but then Reed and Long got too greedy and unfocused and they lost the Tag Team Championship at WrestleWar ’91. In typical heel fashion Reed and Long blamed Simmons and turned their back on him. Reed has mostly been off TV since then outside of a couple of brawls and a tag team match, while Simmons has been decimating jobbers and embroiled in a mini-feud with One Man Gang and Kevin Sullivan who Long brought in as backup.
Simmons and Reed throw bombs right at the bell, Simmons connects with an atomic drop followed by a clothesline. Simmons whips Reed into the cage, Reed ducks a charging Simmons who goes head-first into the mesh. Simmons reverses a corner whip and connects with a belly-to-back suplex. A bloodied Simmons eats a pair of knees during a corner splash attempt and Reed uses the cage to further lacerate his former partner. Reed tells Long not to worry and drops Simmons with a double axhandle. Simmons lays in some shots but misses a dropkick and Hacksaw quickly regains control, dropping a pair of fists right on the cut. Simmons connects with jabs and forearms, Reed grabs the tights and sends him crashing back into the cage. Reed continues using the cage to his advantage, running Simmons into the steel like a battering ram and follows up with a series of jabs before slowing it down with a chinlock.
“GO RON GO” chant from the FL crowd wakes Simmons up; he escapes the chinlock but his backdrop attempt is countered with a neckbreaker. Reed follows up with a top rope shoulderblock, his finisher, for the 1…2…Simmons gets his foot on the rope. Simmons counters a splash with a pair of knees and gets his second wind, sending Reed to the canvas with a back bodydrop. Reed connects with a high knee, but a double clothesline sends both former Doom members down. Long throws a chain down to the ring, Reed wraps it around his hand, Simmons ducks the roundhouse right and connects with the spinebuster for the 1…2…3!
Ron Simmons defeated Butch Reed via pinfall (9:39)
- High intensity brawl save for that random chinlock spot, but I dug this overall. Simmons overcoming the attempted interference and picking up the win was a good way to end it, and now he can move on with his life…but probably not against One Man Gang, who is now focused on El Gigante for some reason. I wonder if Reed sticks around after this; now that the Doom feud he was barely present for has concluded I don’t know where he goes from here. (**3/4)
-Ross and Dusty segue into the Steiners/Sting & Luger music video that we’ve all seen seven hundred times by now.
The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) [c] vs. Sting & “The Total Package” Lex Luger for the WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Crowd is HYPED UP and so am I, let’s doooo this. The Tag Team Titles still have the NWA logo on them, they should get around to making some new belts.
Rick and Luger lock up and jockey for position in the corner. Rick breaks clean because they’re all best friends. Luger catches Rick with an armdrag, Rick brings him to the back with a waistlock and Luger forces a rope break. Luger with a side headlock takeover, Rick counters with headscissors. Rick takes him back to the mat with a double leg, another rope break. Rick bounces off Luger like nothing, Luger connects with a powerslam for a two-count. Luger with a corner whip, Rick dodges the splash and connects with a release German suplex followed by a Steinerline. IT IS DEAFENING RIGHT NOW. Rick covers, Luger kicks out. Rick backdrops him out of the corner, Luger gets whipped into the corner and comes running out with a clothesline (Lugerline?) followed by a military press slam. Sting tags in and clotheslines Rick out to the floor followed by a plancha. Sting rolls Rick in and hits a bulldog, Rick POPS RIGHT BACK AND STARTS BARKING. Sting picks Rick up and rams him into the corner in an inverted backbreaker position. Sting measures but misses the Stinger Splash.
Scott tags in and immediately drills Sting with a gutwrench power bomb, the CROWD AND SCOTT STEINER ALL GOING APESH*T. Irish whip, tilt-a-whirl slam. Sting reverses an Irish whip and connects with a stun gun, Luger tags in and connects with a vertical suplex. Sting tags back in, Scott connects with an inverted atomic drop and A GODDAMN OVERHEAD BELLY TO BELLY FROM THE MIDDLE BUCKLE for the 1…2…Sting kicks out. Scott charges, Sting dodges, and the Steiner Brother lands on the announce table. Luger suplexes him back in and covers for the 1…2…Scott kicks out. Scott throws Luger to the mat, Luger reverses an Irish whip and connects with a powerslam. Luger signals for the Torture Rack, Scott counters with a Russian Legsweep (sorta). Rick tags in and catches Luger off-guard with a top rope bulldog followed by an elbowdrop for the 1…2…Luger kicks out and Sting catches Rick with a missile dropkick. Rick and Luger throw bombs and collide heads, knocking one another down. Sting and Scott both tag in and they LAY INTO EACH OTHER, Sting connects with a waistlock slam. No wasted breath here, man. Scott counters a backdrop with a HARD FOREARM. Sting counters a Tombstone with one of his own for the 1…2…Rick breaks it up. Luger attacks Rick, sandwiching the ref in between. Sting connects with a Stinger Splash, out comes Nikita Koloff. Koloff charges, Sting pushes Luger away and eats chain. Koloff runs to the back, a confused and out of it Scott covers for the 1…2…3.
The Steiner Brothers [c] defeated Sting & Lex Luger via pinfall to retain the WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (11:08)
- After the initial feeling out process it was just MOVE AFTER MOVE as these two teams threw bombs at each other, the crowd going absolutely insane and the wrestlers feeding off that energy. Goddamn what a match. This is considered one of the best matches in WCW history and I’m inclined to agree, this has made sitting through what has mostly been a slog of a PPV worth it. Hot damn. Koloff interfering was a little lame but they needed a way out so I get it, and it doesn’t tarnish the 11 minutes we got before this. This match didn’t make a whole lot of sense on paper but OH BOY did they deliver. Hell yeah. HELL YEAH. (****1/2)
Luger and The Steiners check on Sting, who has been busted open.
-BACKSTAGE: Schiavone is standing by with Nikita Koloff. Koloff says Sting was at the wrong place at the wrong time, Sting runs in and they brawl all the way to the outside of the building. The situation sucks sure, but Luger is probably happy to get Koloff off his back now.
“The Enforcer” Arn Anderson [c] vs. “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton for the WCW WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP
This is Eaton’s first shot at a singles championship after spending most of his career winning every Tag Team title under the sun. Anderson has made it known he doesn’t think Eaton can get it done by himself but we are about to find out. I kinda feel bad for these guys though, having to follow up an amazing match like we just saw. They could’ve used a buffer here, like that Big Josh/Black Bart thing or something. Loud “BOBBY” chants from the FL crowd. Yes. Yes good.
Anderson and Eaton counter one another to start until Eaton stops the wrestling with a Greco-Roman right hand to the jaw. Anderson takes control, raking Eaton’s eyes across the top rope and a series of lefts to the ribs and head. Eaton reverses a corner whip, Anderson floats over but eats a clothesline when he charges back in. Eaton slows it down with an overhead armbar. Anderson backs Eaton into the rope so he can hit a cheap shot when the ref tries to break it up. Anderson and Eaton fight on the apron, Eaton climbs the buckles and gets launched onto the ramp. Anderson goes for a piledriver, Eaton counters with a backdrop. Anderson charges, Eaton backdrops him again back into the ring and follows up with a top rope double axhandle to the shoulder blades for the 1…2…Anderson kicks out, Eaton goes back to the armbar. Anderson trips Eaton up and works his leg over using the post and a toehold, using the rope for leverage. Eaton kicks Anderson into the corner and rams him repeatedly into all three buckles, Anderson clips the knee to regain control and rams it across the apron. Eaton hobbles to his feet and connects with a series of rights that drop Anderson after some prolonged overselling. Respect. Anderson crawls over and grapevines the leg to further weaken it, then drapes it over the top rope and splashes it.
Anderson drags Eaton into the center of the ring and stomps the knee into the canvas; Eaton counters a suplex with one of his own, but it was ugly as his knee gave out halfway through. Anderson goes back to the knee, Eaton creates some separation and decks him with a right hand. Anderson with a snapmare, Eaton counters a Vader Bomb with a pair of knees but runs right into a spinebuster for the 1…2…EATON GETS THE SHOULDER UP. Anderson comes off the middle buckle, Eaton catches him with a right hand to the gut. Eaton connects with a neckbreaker and scoop slam, and hobbles to the top. Barry Windham runs out, Brian Pillman attacks and chases him to the back as Eaton hits the Alabama Jam for the 1…2…3! BOBBY DID IT!
Bobby Eaton defeated Arn Anderson [c] via pinfall to win the WCW WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP (11:51)
- BOBBY FRIGGIN’ EATON, Y’ALL. Good match, little slow in spots and the Windham/Pillman thing was absolutely unnecessary, but can’t argue with the result. Eaton is one of the best of all-time and I loved seeing him get that big win. (**3/4)
Eaton celebrates with the title and high fives the ref in celebration. WHOLESOME. At least the replay shows the Alabama Jam.
-BACKSTAGE: Schiavone is outside the dressing room of Tatsumi Fujinami. Schiavone gives us a recap of the Flair/Fujinami feud and gets some words from Hiro Matsuda, who says they will bring the World Title back to Japan.
-A line of Japanese women in kimonos lay flowers down on the ramp. Out emerges Tatsumi Fujinami, flanked by a fellow NJPW wrestler I don’t know the name of. “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair is out next, putting his watch on the silver tray held by his…maid I guess? I don’t really understand this entrance, I guess he brought his help with him to see him win?
“The Nature Boy” Ric Flair [c] vs. “The Dragon” Tatsumi Fujinami for the WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
The roles of the referees are reversed for this one: Tiger Hattori is the official of record inside the ring, Bill Alfonso is the backup on the outside.
Flair brings Fujinami to the mat with a drop toehold, Fujinami quickly reverses into a hammerlock. Flair lays into Fujinami with chops, Fujinami trades back and connects with a backdrop out of the corner. Fujinami brings Flair to the mat with a drop toehold followed by a bow and arrow over his knees. Flair chops Fujinami, Fujinami drops him with a return chop and applies a Boston Crab to continue working the previously broken back of The Nature Boy. Fujinami ties up Flair’s legs, Flair escapes and connects with a suplex. Flair thumbs him in the eye, Fujinami ducks a back elbow and hits a flying forearm for the 1…2…not yet. Flair rolls to the apron, Fujinami suplexes him back in. Fujinami sends Flair over the top rope with another forearm, Flair drops him crotch-first on the guardrail. Flair rolls Fujinami in after a chop and goes after his left leg en route to the Figure Four! Fujinami suffers, Flair slaps him repeatedly in the face waking him up and causing a reversal until the ref forces a break. The two trade chops, Fujinami with a double leg into the Scorpion Death Lock, but Flair crawls under the rope to cause a break.
Fujinami drills Flair with a Saito suplex for the 1…2…Flair kicks out. Fujinami grabs a side headlock, Flair counters with a belly-to-back suplex and follows up with a measured kneedrop. Fujinami tries to bridge up repeatedly but Flair deadweights him and sends him crashing back to the mat. Fujinami tossed to the floor, Flair tries to ram him into the guardrail but it’s blocked and the champ eats nothing but steel. Fujinami follows up with a shot to the ring post and he’s BUSTED OPEN. Back in the ring Flair shoves Fujinami, Fujinami responds with a forearm. Flair goes around the world in the corner, Fujinami connects with a karate chop to the head and hip tosses the champ out of the corner. Flair kicks Fujinami and tries for an Oklahoma Roll but, uh, it doesn’t happen. Awkward. Flair rolls to the floor and flops on the mat. Flair thumbs the eye and heads to the top, SHOCK AND AWE he gets slammed off and Fujinami applies an Octopus hold. “USA” chants from the crowd (UGH) to wake Flair up, who manages to escape but collapses to the mat instead of following up. The two trade bombs, both run into each other and fall to the ramp/floor, respectively.
Alfonso helps Flair to his feet and he rolls back into the ring, while Fujinami rolls in as well. Flair goes for a slam, Fujinami shifts his weight and lands on top for the 1…2…FLAIR GETS A SHOULDER UP. Fujinami catches Flair with an inside cradle for the 1…2…FLAIR KICKS OUT AGAIN. Fujinami with an O’Connor Roll, Flair kicks out and sends him into Hattori, Flair rolls Fujinami up with a handful of tights and Alfonso counts the 1…2…3!
Ric Flair [c] defeated Tatsumi Fujinami via pinfall to retain the WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (18:38)
- The politics around this match were very apparent here as we get another screwy finish with the backup referee making the count much like at Japan Supershow. Theoretically this would result in a rubber match but it doesn’t, so I guess Flair has proven he’s the REAL World Champion. Good for him. I won’t say this one was particularly exciting, but it was a definite slugfest and I appreciated that both men were pretty much spent by the end of it and throwing hail marys trying to win. Now onto a World Title program that WCW fans will actually care about hopefully! (***)
Flair stumbles to the back, dragging the title, while Fujinami and Hattori argue in the ring. Fujinami wants to fight again but Flair no-sells it completely. Cappetta makes the finish official and pyro goes off at the entrance stage.
-Cut to Ross and Dusty at ringside. We get a shot of an angry Fujinami and his bruised up chest. Dusty puts over The Steiners/Sting & Luger as the match of the night. Ross and Dusty look at the closing moments of Flair/Fujinami and hype July’s Great American Bash PPV as we sign off.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I won’t beat around the bush: for all intents and purposes SuperBrawl is a one-match show. Steiners vs. Sting & Lex is an absolute banger and holds up as one of WCW’s greatest matches ever; it’s definitely the best match I’ve seen from this era of the company so far. Outside of that this show does have some historical significance (three debuts, Bobby Eaton winning a singles title) but a lot of the card is…mediocre, to say the least. Pretty much everything before the Oz squash (which is mostly a thing you just need to see to believe) is skippable, and most of the stuff after is just merely okay (again outside of the tag match). I am glad Flair/Fujinami is wrapped up though; it’s been weird to see the World Title have next to nothing going on this year and I want Flair to have something worth sinking my teeth into…you know, before it all comes crashing down in a month or two.
- MATCH OF THE NIGHT: The Steiner Brothers vs. Sting & Lex Luger
- MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: The Oz debut. Again it’s awful but it was INSANE and I will always pop for insanity.