Super Brawl 1992: Sting’s Final Boss Battle

Super BrawlII
Date: February 29, 1992
Location: Mecca Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance: 5,000
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jesse Ventura

This show is based around one thing and one thing only: Lex Luger vs. Sting. This had been THE feud for the better part of a year and tonight it came to a head. Luger had destroyed Sting’s knee and then sent Cactus Jack and Abdullah the Butcher to injure him. This was more or less a given Sting win, but the match was required much like Austin vs. Michaels. The key to this feud was Luger being in a way selfish.

His contract required him to work a certain amount of dates. He worked said dates and said he was done until the title match, and legally that was fine. It kind of screwed over the fans, but it was perfectly legal for him to do so. The thing that it did though was make Luger seem mythical.

We never saw the champion anymore, but we knew Sting wanted him. Immediately after this show he would head to the WWF, debuting on camera at Mania 8. Other than that, there really just isn’t much here. The card is remembered fondly though, so let’s get to it.

The intro is running down the card and it sounds pretty decent. A bit lackluster, but decent nonetheless. Eric and Tony disagree over the main event. This was when Eric was just a commentator with a solid on air presence instead of being very annoying. Missy Hyatt is in the back, complete with bad grammar.

We go to Jim Ross who has a new broadcast partner: JESSE FREAKING VENTURA debuts on a motorcycle and this show just went WAY up in value. If there has ever been a better announcer at playing to the crowd while being completely honest, I want to meet them and buy them a ham sandwich. Ventura says Ross should wear a cowboy hat. WOW.

I’m freaking pumped for this show. This is just feeling awesome.

Light Heavyweight Title: Jushin Thunder Ligervs. Brian Pillman

This title is famous for two things: A guy named Scotty Flamingo holding it (he would change his name to Raven in about a year and a half) and this match. This match is considered to be right up there with Bret and Owen as the best PPV opener of all time. You have to keep in mind that the styles here were just not seen at this time. Everything was mat work and a clothesline off the top was a big time move.

If you know anything about these two, you know what’s coming. They start very fast and hot before slowing it down a bit but you can tell the fans are noticing them. They mention that K. Allen Frey is the WCW President at this time. This was his first and only PPV as he was let go because he was making good TV shows. They were far more exciting and fast paced, and since no one wants to be excited, Frey was out and Bill Watts came in.

His best idea was this: if you work hard, you get a bonus. Seriously, THAT was considered a bad idea. Everything was about cost cutting back then, as they even got rid of the mats at ringside, It also produced some of the most boring wrestling of all time, but hey, who cares that buyrates and attendance were both down? WE ARE SAVING MONEY!!!

They hit a leglock for a few seconds and then are like screw this nosense. They pop up and Liger runs at the corner and hits a moonsault to get a big OOO from the crowd. Two months after this that would have ended the match on a DQ as top rope moves were banned. Apparently the leglock that had them chanting boring isn’t as intriguing as a moonsault followed by a dropkick. What do they know?

They’re just the people buying tickets to the shows. Liger sets for the Surfboard and the crowd reacts to it huge. For 5000 people, this crowd is awesome. We get a George Michael’s Sports Machine reference. He passed away on Christmas Eve. Without him, you likely wouldn’t have SportsCenter.

Pillman misses a knee and Liger works on the knee to give us some psychology. And note: it’s the knee he worked on earlier, giving us some continuity. He throws on a figure four to a great pop. They get into a big slap fight which is amusing. Crowd is WAY into this. Pillman goes to the floor thank to Jushin and Liger jumps to the top and puts him down with a sweet looking front flip. Pillman comes back in with a springboard clothesline after they fight over a suplex on the apron.

Brian follows that up by suplexing Liger over the top to the floor. This is very high impact and fast paced. Now they’re just throwing out the high spots which works well as a contrast to the leg work. It’s turned into a high spot match and that’s fine.

Like I said, you have to remember that this kind of thing is just completely unheard of as no one has ever seen anything close to this. Pillman hits a hurricanrana and then a DDT. The pace is just ridiculous for the time. Liger misses a top rope splash after a suplex and Pillman does a weird pinning combination for the title.

More or less he looked like he was going for a camel clutch but hooked his feet under Liger’s arms and rolls over so that Liger goes with him and then bridges back for the pin. He raises Liger’s hand afterwards and they share the standing ovation.

Rating: A+. EPIC match. This was just completely off the charts compared to what people were used to. These two worked very hard and had a classic. After about ten minutes of this seventeen minute match, they just went completely nuts out there and were flying all over the place.

It looked awesome and the crowd bought every bit of it. Find this match right now as it’s more interesting and entertaining than what I’m going to write. And remember, none of this would be legal inside of two months in favor of LEG LOCKS AND ARM BARS BABY!

Missy is with Terry Taylor who is all of a sudden rich. He’s still boring as all goodness and worthless, but he’s now boring and worthless WITH A BAD CHARACTER! He’s fighting Marcus Bagwell tonight. That’s about it.

Terry Taylor vs. Marcus Bagwell

Some kid gets to be the announcer. He’s booed out of the building. He looks like Cameron from Ferris Bueller’s Day off mixed with Urkel. Terry is the Taylor Made Man now. Oh just take me now. Bagwell is a rookie now and has more or less no idea what he’s doing. Taylor and Greg Valentine have the US Tag Titles here. Why this is a one on one match is beyond me but whatever. Ross says Bagwell is too naïve to lie.

This is already boring. Granted it could be that Taylor just freaking sucks. This feels like a bad TV match and considering the time period we’re in, that’s saying a lot. Taylor hits a nice gutwrench sitout powerbomb. I love moves like that.

They botch a sunset flip as Bagwell jumps too far but it wasn’t that bad I guess. I know I don’t usually do this much play by play but that’s all there is for this match. There’s no story here or anything and it’s just old guy vs. rookie. Bagwell gets a quick pin on a rollup and then Taylor hits the Taylor Made Forearm afterwards. Yep, that’s his big devastating move: a forearm.

Rating: D+. This just wasn’t interesting at all. It was relatively short, but still I just have no interest in this match at all after what I saw before it. This was what Watts wanted I guess. The fans weren’t into it at all, but hey, what do they know right?

On an aside, here’s the BRILLIANCE, yes BRILLIANCE I say of WCW. Ok, tonight is a PPV right? PPVs back then started at 7 instead of 8. WCW’s second biggest show was called the Main Event and it aired from 6:05 to 7:05 on Sunday nights. So what do the geniuses do?

They book a FREAKING TITLE MATCH as the main event of the TV show that coincides with the first five minutes of the PPV. The dumber part: THEY CHANGE THE TITLES. Yes, instead of having that, oh I don’t know, ON THE FREAKING PAY PER VIEW, they gave it away for free on TV, but to see it you had to miss the first five minutes of the PPV. And people wonder why WCW isn’t around today.

Missy is trying to get Luger but finds Harley Race instead. He looks like a high school math teacher for some reason.

Ron Simmons vs. Cactus Jack

Jack was just a freak at this point, having been brought in to fight Sting for Luger. Simmons was just a face that was over but not that great yet. He would be world champion in six months. This is the kind of match that is just so crazy it could be ok. Cactus gets his neck caught in the ropes and Jesse says he would help Cactus if his opponent were in that position. That’s a joke as Jesse liked that spot and used it a lot.

Take a guess as to what he did. Hey Junkyard Dog is here. I don’t care either. We hit the floor and the Cactus Elbow hits. This is more or less a brawl. Simmons hits a spinebuster on the ramp that just had to freaking hurt. Simmons catches Jack coming off the top with a powerslam for the pin.

Abdullah comes out and nails Simmons for the double team. Here’s JYD for the save. Again, I love how fans can just get up and get camera time like this. At least security tries to stop him so that’s better than nothing. Why in the world was this guy over?

Rating: C-. Ok so I was wrong about it working but it wasn’t terrible. It was too short to really make much of it, but Cactus wasn’t a legit big time wrestler for the majority of his career. He was there to make others look good like he did here so that’s fine. Simmons was about to get the push of his life so this was really just grooming him for it I guess.

We go to Tony and Bischoff who go back to the ring.

Ricky Morton/Vinnie Vegas vs. ZMan/Van Hammer

Vegas is more commonly known as Kevin Nash. Van Hammer was a guy that was RIDICULOUSLY over but had no talent. For the life of me I never got that, but I was a huge fan of his too. Hammer was challenging Sting for my spot as favorite wrestler in WCW at the time and Sting is more or less second only to Foley for me all time. Ventura mentions that Zenk is a former Mr. Minnesota in bodybuilding and Ventura says there’s no money in bodybuilding.

Vince was just starting the World Bodybuilding Federation at the time, so that’s very likely a shot at McMahon. When it’s Jesse talking you have to just call him McMahon. Nash was playing a greasy sleazy guy with no morals. It’s so easy when you can play yourself. Good night Hammer could get the crowd into a match. He’s beating up Ricky Morton so there’s nothing wrong with that.

It’s hard to believe that Nash wound up being about 100x more successful than all these people. Again, Hammer sucks in the ring but he’s over here. Z-Man’s tights are pink by the way. There’s no real point to this match which was a real problem back in this era. The good thing was they got a lot of solid matches anyway.

They point out that Z-Man has been teaming with Bagwell lately, begging the question of why he’s teaming with Van Hammer here that of course won’t be answered or addressed. In one sequence we have two things that just shouldn’t stun the heck out of me: Ricky Morton being on long term offense in a tag match, and KEVIN NASH JUMPED. You read that correctly. Kevin Nash, the most generic big man (in the mid to late 90s not named Sid) JUMPED.

They’re beating the tar out of Hammer, the most popular guy in this match because it makes SO much more sense to have Z-Man get the hot tag instead of Van Hammer, the big power guy right? They point out that Nash played pro basketball in Nevada which is odd.

We get a Tark the Shark reference followed by ones to Aerosmith, Van Halen and Twisted Sister. Jesse Ventura is freaking awesome. We get the hot tag to the guy in the pink tights, because that works SO much better than tagging in the big power guy that’s ridiculously over. Z-Man rolls up Morton out of nowhere to get the fast pin.

Rating: C+. This was the definition of formula stuff but it works well. Nash and Van Hammer were showcasing themselves here and there’s nothing wrong with that at all. They were the bigger stars here by far and the far more interesting characters. This was fine and a decent match, dumb as meat booking aside.

Promo for WCW/Japan Supershow II. We’ll get to that one. It was taped the month prior to this though.

Tony and Eric recap The Enforcers (Zbyszko and Arn) breaking Barry Windham’s arm at Halloween Havoc with a car door. Tonight is the revenge match with Dustin Rhodes as Barry’s partner.

Barry Windham/Dustin Rhodes vs. Steve Austin/Larry Zbyszko

For no apparent reason, Anderson isn’t here but Austin is. They’re all part of the mega stable known as the Dangerous Alliance though so that works out fine. As generic as it is I kind of like Windham and Rhodes’ look. They have the same color tights and boots and leather jackets on and they walk stride for stride. Not bad. The faces just beat the living tar out of the heels at first just for the heck out it.

They touch on Larry and Sammartino’s feud which I have to get to at sometime. This is more or less just about Windham beating the living tar out of the heels for awhile and that’s all they’ve done for about three minutes or so. Austin is still Stunning Steve here, meaning he wears tights that look like bicycle shorts and have a bunch of colors on them and he has shoulder length blond hair. It’s hilarious considering what he would be in four years.

Nabisco finally takes over and beats down Windham. At least I think it’s Windham as it’s kind of hard to tell them apart. Jesse and Ross get into an argument about football, with a great line from Jesse: Oklahoma is the only school where you take a pay cut when you go to the NFL. That’s hilarious. Dustin gets the hot tag as this match is just kind of a mess. Larry just isn’t that good at all.

His offense is weak, he can’t sell that much and he’s just plain boring as anyone I’ve ever seen. Ross thinks the heels might have planned some evil deeds. Get this man an award! Hey, Dusty Rhodes returns at the Japan show. I already said I would review that one didn’t I? Blast it. Dustin gets a small package and Larry thinks about making the save but realizes that would require doing something so he doesn’t.

Austin kicks out, but more importantly, Larry didn’t have to do anything so all is right with the world. Austin uses the Flair move of the feet on the ropes which never gets old. Austin takes his own move, a Stun Gun, onto the ropes. I say onto the ropes because they mess it up and Austin’s face hits the ropes instead of his throat. Windham and Larry come in and a clothesline off the top gets the pin for Windham.

Rating: B-. While not great, this was pretty good. It was a tad long but that was WCW’s style for tag matches. It’s certainly not bad at all. Windham beat Larry which was the main thing and he started feuding with Austin soon after this. There’s not much here but it’s pretty good overall if that makes sense.

Eric, now wearing a Michigan jacket, is going to be for the Steiners next I guess. Their resumes are actually pretty good. We go to Missy who is looking for Steamboat but finds a Ninja. Yep, you heard that right. Instead she runs into Medusa who talks to the Ninja also. This was just out there. She slaps him and since you never slap a Ninja, he chases her away.

Tag Titles: Arn Anderson/Bobby Eaton vs. Steiner Brothers

The champions are also part of the Dangerous Alliance. That thing was freaking huge but it would go down next month at WrestleWar in an EPIC War Games match. Heyman just looks completely evil here and it’s amazing how much ECW made him age as far as looks go. He’s barred from ringside here which results in a classic Heyman freak out. The Steiners are the favorites here as they never actually lost the belts before as Scott was injured.

They say the Steiners have never lost the titles in a match, except for that time when Doom freaking killed them but we can’t mention that of course. Scott just shows off his technical stuff here as it amazes me how far he fell. He was going to be the prototype of the 90s but something fell through in his head and it never happened. Anderson is just awesome in case you didn’t know. Rick comes in and let the barking begin. Jesse can’t stand the Steiners for some reason.

There’s a recap of the show tonight on the Hotline. Why? If you’re watching the PPV you don’t need a recap and you won’t hear the ad if you’re not watching the show. That’s brilliant but I guess it made money so whatever. Scott is freaking impressive as the Steiners are dominating and the fans are way into it. Jesse is mayor of a small town in Minnesota at this time so we keep getting political jokes from Ross.

The fans want Flair. Sorry, he’s the WWF Champion at this point and being praised for his greatness like he should be instead of jobbing to Luger. The Steiners use a Doomsday Device of all things which looked decent. Eaton goes low to take control back. Scott comes in and they just suplex the heck out of the heels. That never gets old. Neither team is really keeping an advantage here and it’s making the match a lot better as a result.

Eaton hits a knee from the top as we finally have the heels in control for more than 45 seconds. It’s a nice touch that I kind of like. Anderson hits a DDT which would have won this had it been two years later or so. In a nice counter, Scott wraps his legs around Anderson, I guess thinking he’s one of his freaks, and Arn just casually grabs them and turns him into a Boston Crab. I like that.

In a nice touch, Arn and Bobby hit the Rocket Launcher which was the Midnight Express’ finisher. Somehow this revitalizes Scott but whatever. The heels set Rick for a Doomsday Device of their own but Bobby uses a cross body instead which Rick catches, which I use that term loosely, into a belly to belly suplex, which I use even more loosely. It was much better against the Headshrinkers at Mania 9.

Medusa hits Steiner with powder and Rick suplexes the referee by mistake. Scott gets the Frankensteiner for the pin but of course it’s overthrown because of the suplex. Yeah Dusty is definitely back. Yeah I freaking hate this.

This was a GREAT match, but dang that whole give the fans the moment they popped like crazy for because it makes sense to put the titles back on the Steiners nonsense. No no no. We need to do the title switch a month and a half later at a freaking house show. YEAH BABY! Screw this PPV nonsense. It’s all about HOUSE SHOWS!

Rating: A-. This was AWESOME. It the finish hadn’t been such nonsense, this is an A or an A+ with ease. They worked great out there for 20 minutes of back and forth awesomeness. The Steiners were awesome but they were in there with two of the best tag team wrestlers of all time, meaning there was no way this was going to be bad.

But yeah, the ending was just complete and utter garbage as the fans clearly wanted the title change and there was no way they would have a better moment. But it’s Dusty booking so what do you expect?

Ad for WrestleWar.

We recap the Steiners match which also had an over the top DQ and neither guy involved with the pin were legal so there we are. Yeah the ending still sucks. We go back to Missy again and Missy watches the Ninja and Steamboat go to the ring.

US Title: Ricky Steamboat vs. Rick Rude

This was quite the awesome feud back in the day. Rude had shown up at Halloween Havoc and been a major signing for the company so they put him with Steamboat for the US Belt and it worked very well. Steamboat has the masked Ninja to guard him from the Alliance and make sure things are fair. The heat for Rude is AWESOME. This has been an awesome crowd all night and it’s made this a great show.

Steamboat of course starts by working the arm since that’s really the thing he did best. It works if nothing else and it helps here as it would take away the Rude Awakening and some of Rude’s power. They slow it down a bit which is fine as they’re going for the slow build. I know they’re not tired already as these two both had great cardio. Ventura again says Ross should wear a cowboy hat and also starts calling him JR.

Oh how I bet he wish he copyrighted that. Rude sells the arm from earlier because he just rocks. All the cool kids are selling the arm today so you know you should too. Ventura advocates Rude putting his hand over Steamboat’s nose and mouth. Good to know that the governor of Minnesota advocates attempted murder. Rude uses his offense but can’t use his arm much at all and pauses because of the pain after every move.

He’s also working on Steamboat’s neck which he injured at the last Clash of the Champions. Oh how I love PSYCHOLOGY. Steamboat gets a figure four which makes NO sense but it’s WCW so the move gets a huge pop anyway. Rude goes to pose after getting the advantage back but can’t do it because of the arm, prompting another jab at the bodybuilding company. Rude goes up top but since the company is being run by someone sane it isn’t a DQ.

We keep getting shots of the Ninja, meaning that he’s going to factor into the ending. Not to mention we keep seeing him, meaning he completely fails as a Ninja. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a bad Ninja. Steamboat hits a top rope suplex and the kick outs are getting great now.

Steamboat does Rude’s hip swivel which is just amusing. Steamboat has his rolling but as he’s going to the top, the Ninja hits him with a really big phone, which was Heyman’s (who remember is called Paul E. Dangerously at this point) trademark.

Rating: B+. This was a solid match. They worked very well out there as all matches have done tonight. They would have a rematch at Beach Blast without the title being on the line in an Iron Man match which was great as well. Either way, this was a very good match with these two having great chemistry together and the psychology was definitely here, making it a very good match.

We go to Missy outside of Rude’s locker room. Missy, acting worse than even Stephanie and Linda do, is SHOCKED that Heyman is in the Ninja outfit.

WCW World Title: Lex Luger vs. Sting

Like I said, this was just a formality at this point as Luger was ready to go up North and Sting was ready to be the guy. Also, there was this guy named Vader that had just started working full time. With Luger gone, Sting needed someone to feud with, so he got the biggest feud of his career. Sting doesn’t even have music here which is very odd. This is Luger’s first match in about two months other than a match that was taped and won’t air until next month at the Japan show.

They have the staredown which is awesome if nothing else. They stand there and stare at each other for about a minute or so. I wonder what they’re talking about. FREAKING DO SOMETHING! Hey a minute and a half in we get a shove and then more talking! There’s a second shove at two minutes! Ooo a lockup. Ok there’s building tension and then there’s STUPIDITY.

Sting hits the Splash and of course Luger no sells it because Luger doesn’t care about making Sting look credible or anything stupid like that. To be fair though, did he really need to? Just because he can, Sting puts Luger in the rack. I don’t think anyone ever did that to him so that was kind of cool. They point out that Sting’s cardio is far better and he almost gets the Scorpion but not quite. Luger takes over and they try to cover up his completely not caring at all by saying he’s arrogant.

In reality it was that he was just walking through the match without the slightest bit of effort at all. You know, because being world champion in WCW is nowhere near as great as being a midcard joke in the WWF. It turned out he got out at the right time though as Watts took over and ran the company into the ground.

They eventually can’t cover it up anymore and say how odd it is that he’s just walking around with his hands on his hips. Luger hits his finishing move, the Piledriver, and Sting kicks out to seal how awesome he is. It gets NO pop though as Luger has managed to kill one of the best crowds in company history.

Sting begins his comeback with that odd as heck striking style that he had. Seriously, do you remember anyone having the method of striking that Sting did? Watch one of his matches and notice how he hits and kicks. It’s just different looking and I don’t remember anyone else ever did it that way. We hit the floor and Luger continues to move very slowly. Coming back in, Sting hits a cross body to get the pin and the title and a great pop.

Rating: D+. And that’s ALL on Luger. This was just completely unprofessional as he was walking around most of the time and making the crowd just be bored. I get that it’s your last day, but dude, a little effort isn’t going to kill you. Like I said this was just a formality though so it was all about the moment and not the match itself which is ine at the end of the day. Luger was a jerk like always so there’s no shock there.

Sting tries to leave but the fans applaud him back to the ring. All four guys talk to close us out.

Overall Rating: A-. This was a GREAT show. If nothing else, this show is the proof that you don’t need a huge crowd to have a great show. Like I said, that bonus policy was in force here and guys like Nash were working hard. What does that tell you? What a shocking concept: give the guys a reason to work hard instead of guaranteeing them money and letting them do whatever they want.

Think about later in WCW when the money was all guaranteed. How many GREAT matches or shows do you remember in the late 90s? The Cruiserweights would work hard but the main event was nothing. Hogan only had to wrestle once every other month and got a huge salary anyway. Here though: you work hard, you get paid. I think the way it actually worked was match of the night got a bonus kind of like in the UFC today.

That’s working well and it worked here. Naturally though Bill Watts was brought in because the company was losing money and clearly the two months that Frey had was a good indication of what the company would be like for years to come. This was the last great WCW show for a very long time, so take a look at it because it was downhill from here for awhile other than WrestleWar to an extent. If you can find this show somewhere, DEFINITELY take a look at it as I had a lot of fun watching it.

 

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1 comment

  1. abhilash mendhe says:

    this reminds me of the Lesnar-Goldberg Mania match where the 2 wrestlers did the same thing as Luger did here