February 29, 1992
Your Hosts: Jim Ross and Jessie Ventura
Opener: WCW Light-Heavyweight Title: Jushin Liger vs. Brian Pillman.
This match was so different from the American wrestling style people were used to in 1992, thus you can only imagine how people reacted seeing a match like this for the first time. Because the Ted Turner version is clipped, I found this match’s full version. After a fast start, Pillman slows down the pace via working on Liger’s arm. Liger goes to the outside to take a breather, though a baseball slide from Pillman puts Liger into the guardrail. Pillman heads up top rope, though Liger gets out of the way before Pillman can jump. Back in, Liger takes Pillman to the mat and then puts him in a leg bar. Pillman fights out of it and then throws Liger into the corner, though Liger drills Pillman with a moonsault press. ONE-TWO-NO. Liger dropkicks Pillman to the floor.
Back in, Liger brings Pillman to the center of the ring for a headlock, though Pillman manages to fight out. Liger distributes several shoulder blocks in the corner and then Liger nails a running dropkick. Pillman comes back with a crucifix pin. ONE-TWO-THRE-NO!. Wait, Liger rolls Pillman. ONE-TWO-THR-NO!!. Trying to slow down the match, Liger puts in a headlock, but Pillman reverses it with a back suplex. ONE-TWO-THR-NO!!!!. Pillman tosses Liger in the corner and charges, though Liger moves out-of-the-way. Liger delivers a shin breaker and puts in a Figure Four. Pillman fight out, and both get back to their feet where they trade slaps. Pillman charges at Liger, though Pillman gets backdrop to the floor. Liger heads up top and nails a senton. Liger goes for a suplex. He stops trying because he can’t, then tries a turnbuckle collision, but Pillman blocks the move and follows up with AIR PILLMAN . He gloats to the crowd.
He carries Liger out to the floor and comes off the top with a cross body block. He puts Liger up beside the guard rail and dives off the apron, though Liger moves out of the way and Pillman crushes his chin onto steel.
Back in, Liger tries a move off the top, but Pillman has other plans and drills him a dropkick. Pillman attempts a missile dropkick off the top, but Liger nails him on the way down WITH A DROPKICK OF HIS OWN!!!!. They both go for spinning heel kicks but both miss. Liger fights back but falls into a power slam. ONE-TWO-NO!!!
Pillman goes for a German suplex, though Liger blocks it and turns into a German Suplex…. WITH A BRIDGE. ONE-TWO-THRE-NO!!!!!! Liger tries a superplex off the top, though Pillman pushes him off and then hits a FLYING BRYAN BODY DROP. ONE-TWO-THRRRRRRRRR-NO! Pillman throws Liger into the ropes but gets drilled with a power bomb. ONE-TWO-THRRRRRRRR-NO! Liger goes for ANOTHER power bomb, but Pillman reverses into a FRANKEN STEINER. ONE-TWO-THRRRRRRR-NO!!!!! Pillman climbs up top only for Liger to hit a superplex. It’s over. ONE-TWO-THRRRRRRRR-NO. HE KICKED OUT!!! Liger fights back and goes for a HEADBUTT, but Pillman has six senses and rolls Liger up ONE-TWO-THREE!!!!!!!!!!! @ 16:59. After the match, Pillman gets a standing ovation. Liger and Pillman shake hands.
That match one highly competitive match. The spots, of course, do not age over time, but their ability to work the crowd certainly does. They did a wondrous job of bringing the match’s paced up and down in order to get the crowd on the edge of their seat and biting their finger nails. The main difference between this match and most spotty matches is simple. They inserted the high spots into the story they were telling opposed to trying to out-do the last spot with a bigger one. The way they structured the match made it feel like an athletic contest rather than a contrived stunt show. **** 1/2
Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes vs. Larry Zbyszko & Steve Austin (w/Madusa).
Windham is seeking retribution for Zbyszko slamming his hand in a car door at Halloween Havoc. Windham and Rhodes attack on the heels right away. Windham takes Zbyszko off the entrance way and then throws him face-first to the guardrail below. Austin comes off the top rope, but Rhodes nails him with a lariat for two. Austin runs away, thus Rhodes tags in Windham and Dustin goes outside the ring to throw Austin back in. Windham throws Austin into Zbyzsko. Zbyszko gets in and then throws Windham out on the ramp way.
He goes for a pile driver, but Windham backdrops him. Back in, Windham hits a DDT and then tags in Rhodes. They deliver a double-team backdrop together. Rhodes goes after Larry’s hand and then tags Windham for a gut wrench suplex, which gets two. Barry attempts a pile driver, but Austin creeps in and delivers a CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL! Rhodes comes in to argue with the ref, but that allows Austin to throw Windham out to the floor. Austin goes outside with him and then Larry smashes Windham’s crotch on the guardrail. Back in, Austin hits a clothesline followed by a suplex. ONE-TWO-NO!
Windham fights back and goes for another lariat, though Austin gets out of the way, sending Windham to go airborne to the floor. Back in, Zbyszko tags in and then hits a swinging neck breaker. ONE-TWO-THR-NO! Austin tags in and delivers a back suplex. Windham fights back with a back suplex, though Austin manages to make the tag to Zbyszko. Zbysko puts in a sleeper hold. Windham breaks out and then makes a hot tag to Rhodes. Rhodes comes in and then hits an inverted atomic drop, dropkick, and finally an elbow drop. ONE-TWO-THRRE-NO!!! Windham and Zbyszko start brawling up the ramp. Meanwhile, Austin drills Rhodes with CLOTHESLINE THAT ALMOST TAKES HIS HEAD OFF!!!!. ONE-TWO-THRRRE-NO!! Windham and Zbyszko cool down from their HEATED brawl and then head back to their corners. Zbyszko tags in and nails Rhodes with the swinging neck breaker. ONE-TWO-TH-NO! Rhodes tries to make a comeback, but don’t call it one, because he gets drilled with a DDT.
Larry tags in and nails a backbreaker, but he gets his suplex countered. RHODES tries to make a hot tag, but Austin cuts it off. Austin gets heat on Rhodes until Rhodes counters with an inside cradle, though the ref stops Windham from getting inside the ring. Austin puts in a chin lock, but Dustin punches out of it and nails Austin with a stun gun. Larry gets a tag……annnnddddd so does Windham!!! He nails Zbyszko with lariats while Rhodes and Austin fight outside. Windham tries to finish Zbyszko with the superplex, though Larry pushes him off the top rope. Zbyszko wants to come off the top, but Rhodes shoves Larry down to the floor. Windham goes up on the other side and then flies down on Zbyszko with a lariat. ONE-TWO-THREE @ 18:30.
They told an effective story, with Windham being too overzealous over the fact that he wanted to inflict so much pain on Larry Zbyszko. Although there were a few the issues with the match. It was too stretched out. It lacked heat because of the long segments, and it was a wee too formulaic. If they cut this match down to about 12 minutes, it would have been better. Overall, the match did its main job and was fun in the essential parts. . *** 1/4
Missy Hyatt tries to get an interview with Ricky Steamboat, but Ricky’s Ninja turns her . Madusa tries to sneak in, but he runs after her.
WCW World Tag Team Champions Arn Anderson & Bobby Eaton with Madusa vs. Rick & Scott Steiner
This was the Steiner Brothers’ first tag titles since they were stripped of the belts back in July due to Scott’s injury. Kip Frey bans Paul E. Security escorts him out of the ring area. Scott and Eaton start the match off. Scott tries to take it to the mat, but Eaton grabs the ropes. Eaton hits a swinging neckbreaker. He heads to the top rope, but Scott catches Eaton coming down with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Rick ends up lying down beside Arn, which freaks Arn out. Rick snaps off a power slam. Scott tags in and battles with Arn over an over-the-head wristlocks. Bobby comes in to help but Scott back flips out of it. Rick dashes in and double clotheslines the DA out to the floor. Back in the ring, Arn low blows Scott and then dumps him out but the Steiners nail them both with Steiner-lines.
Back in, Scott puts in a chin lock. Rick gets a tag and that leads to the Doomsday Device on Eaton. Arn gets in, but Rick nails him with a Steiner Bulldog for two. Arn recovers, makes a tags but Bobby tags back in and puts in a hammerlock. Rick elbows out, but Arn gets a blind tag and drills Rick with a back elbow for a two. Scott saves Rick from a double-suplex. Arn comes off the middle-rope, but Rick drills him. They start trading off punches, but Arn rams Scott’s skull into Bobby’s skull. Bobby tags in and hits a flying knee drop karate style. ONE-TWO-NO! Arn comes back in and nails a DDT for another near-fall. He attemps several pin attempts but doesn’t get them. He goes for a splash, but Scott reverses with a leg scissors. Arn turns it over into a Boston crab and then drags him over to tag in Eaton. He puts in a camel clutch, but Scott drags Eaton over to Rick. Eaton nails Rick and then both give him the Rocket Launcher outside. Bobby drills Scott’s face into the railing, but Scott stops the second try and then pays him back.
Back in the ring, Eaton manages cuts off the tag and then tags in Arn. He tries to drill Scott’s face into Bobby’s knee, but Scott counters by throwing Arn into it. Scott makes the hot tag to Rick and attempts a belly-to-belly superplex on Eaton, but Arn lifts Rick up on his shoulders for a Doomsday Device. Eaton flies on Rick, but he catches Eaton in mid-air. Steiner Bulldog on Arn, though Eaton breaks up the pin. Madusa hands Arn some powder to throw in Rick’s face. Rick Steiner by accident gives the ref a suplex and then backdrops Arn to the outside. A new ref runs down. Scott hits the tiger driver and the Franken Steiner on Eaton for 1-2-3! @ 22:07.The crowd goes wild for the Steiners. It doesn’t last long because Randy Anderson, the original ref, notifies the new ref that Rick gave him a suplex. Therefore, the winners via DQ are The Dangerous Alliance.
The Steiners were awesome around this time. What made them work was the dynamic of their team: Scott was a great technician. He would wrestle the majority of time and then would make the hot-tag to Rick, who was the psychotic untamed individual that went crazy after the hot tag. The finish did its job making the Dangerous Alliance look like lucky and wanting the fans to want to see the Steiner Bros give them the comeuppance they deserve down the road. The match was good ole southern tag team rasslin. *** 1/2
WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion Rick Rude vs. Ricky Steamboat with Ninja
Rude cuts a promo and the crowd shits all over it with a ton of boos. Steamboat chops, arm drags, choke-lifts, and face-slams Rude for two. Steamboat hooks on an arm bar, though Rude kicks Steamboat and drops him on the railing. He gives Steamboat a suplex. Rude nails a clothesline with his bad arm. Rude slows the pace of the match down with a chin lock, but Steamboat fights out only to get clotheslined by Rude. Rude takes a second for some disco fever dancing and drops an elbow on Steamboat. He hits a swinging neck breaker and delivers a pile driver. ONE-TWO-THR!? NO!!!!
Steamboat puts him in a headlock, but Rude pushes that off and hits a back suplex for two. Rude puts in a headlock, though Steamboat answers with a shin-breaker and goes for the Figure-Four. Rude drags himself to the ropes. Steamboat goes for it again, but Rude kicks him and nails him with a clothesline. Rude goes up top and comes down on Steamboat with a hard forearm. Rude attempts to do his dancing moves, but his arm is in too much pain so does it with one arm. Great psychology shown there. He goes up top then flies down on Steamboat with forearm for two.
Rude puts him in a chin lock and sits on Steamboat’s rear for more force, though Steamboat gets up and hits an electric chair drop. They both get on their feet punching away and then both knock their heads together. Steamboat puts in sleepers, though Rude gets out with a jawbreaker. Rude goes to the top, but Steamboat nails him a superplex for a near-fall. Steamboat nails Rude with a pair of clotheslines and then an enziguri. A backdrop and a seated clothesline get a two. Steamboat heads up for the flying chop and connects with it. He goes for another one, but then the ninja nails him with a phone. The ninja sprints to the back. ONE-TWO-THREE @ 20:23.
From a technically sound standpoint, the match was good. Moreover, it also had some rational psychology in it. However, unlike their other matches, this one was lacking in a “on the edge of your seat” feeling. It had too many fastballs and not enough curve balls. In other words, it was too straightforward. Don’t worry, though, they’d had way better matches in the future. ***
WCW Heavyweight Title: Lex Luger with Harley Race vs. Sting
There is some trash talking going on at the start. Ventura thinks they are saying, “Lets go home and forget about it.” Both men start shoving and then Sting delivers the Stinger Splash, but Luger no sells and comes running out of the corner with a clothesline. Luger delivers a power slam and goes for the T-Rack, but Sting flips out and gives Lex a German suplex. Sting has Luger up in the Rack and Luger escapes, but Sting nails a jumping DDT that makes Luger roll to the floor. Sting is pulled to the outside, though Sting sends Luger into the rail. Back in, Sting applies the Scorpion Death lock, though Luger makes to the ropes.
Luger takes over and pounds Sting on the mat until Sting starts to choke Luger in the corner, but Luger nails a low blow followed up by an inverted atomic drop. Luger hits a press-slam followed by a awful looking pile driver. Sting comes back and puts Luger’s face into the mat, though Sting misses a dive and flies out of the ring. Luger nails Sting’s face into the railing and heads back in the ring. Race goes for a pile driver on the floor but Sting backdrops him. Sting goes up top and surprises Luger with a flying body press. ONE-TWO-THREE! @ 13:09.
Luger’s title run was not working, so it was a good decision to put the belt back on Sting here . The match was too basic for a main event match. Luger did not put much effort into this match and Sting, while good, was not someone who could get the best out of nothing. So this was merely average at most. ** 1/2
Final Verdict: Apart from the main-event, the lowest match on the card was *** while the highest was **** 1/2. This was great effort by the wrestlers and another well-booked show by WCW at this time. I do not love the show as much as others do, but it was still a very good show to say in the least. This is a fun time in WCW history, and there’s more great stuff to come.