Still the most bitching entrance in wrestling history, probably.
I think it was Scott Keith who mentioned that WCW had such a bad PR department that they had a man dresses as a giant skeleton who hit people with chairs and then danced atop the chairs, yet failed to market him to children. And that anyone who failed in such a thing had no business promoting ANYTHING, much less wrestling.
So on that note, we have a new Dream Matches column, this time showcasing what Scott’s talking about as La Parka is set up as one of Goldberg’s many victims! Also more of the Best of Ice Train, as he and fellow “forgotten big guy” Roadblock fight on the D-show! Then one of the all-time lowest-tier matches ever, as the former “Squire” Dave Taylor fights MEAN MIKE of Disorderly Conduct! Also, a pair of 1995 WWF matches, as Bam Bam & Henry Godwinn take on Ted DiBiase’s teams- first Tatanka & Kama, then Sid & Kama, in successive B-shows. Good ol’ 1995 WWF! If you think any shows TODAY suck, take a look at ’95!
Then we end things with me looking at Mid-South of all things, as my search for One Man Gang matches sees him teaming with Ravishing Rick Rude against Bruiser Brody and the Missing Link… with the latter two being BABYFACES! Oh, and also a request, as Dustin Rhodes faces Bobby Eaton, with both guys being totally washed up in the dying days of WCW.
WCW US TITLE:
BILL GOLDBERG vs. LA PARKA:
(WCW Nitro, June 1st 1998)
* This is an epic one- La Parka is beloved online, but to WCW he was just a chair-wielding jobber, so here he is to be sacrificed to Goldberg on a Nitro in Washington, DC. And HOLY SHIT is Goldberg over, with the full regalia, fireworks and his bitching theme song and everything. And he hits the ring like a twitchy madman and the fans are going nuts already.
Immediately this is everything a Goldberg fan could ever dream, as the big man just dares La Parka to hit him with that chair, screaming “COME ON!!! COME ON!!”. And so La Parka DOES! And the ref rings the bell while Parka does that goofy dance, thinking his foe vanquished… and Goldberg just revs himself up more and more, no-selling the pain entirely, and then BOOM! Spear! And Washington comes FUCKING UNGLUED, people literally jumping up and down in a riotous frenzy. The Jackhammer ends it at (0:31), La Parka squashed in seconds (and apparently injured on the landing from the Spear).
There’s a lot of people out there who claim that you could have given any wrestler Goldberg’s push and done equally well with it. And ya know, I love those guys and respect them, but they know nothing about pro wrestling- Goldberg had IT, plain and simple. Physical intensity and charisma radiated off the dude. Where else can you see a talented, funny guy like La Parka crushed in seconds and the fans respond as if this was the greatest thing they’d ever seen? Like, if you’d asked Washington fans after the show if they got their money’s worth, they would have said yes just because of this.
Rating: 1/2* (just because the no-selling, Spear & Jackhammer may have been the best Goldberg Squash they ever ran)
I will be sad when I soon run out of Ice Train matches to review. He was due to learn a fourth move!
ICE TRAIN (w/ Teddy Long) vs. ROADBLOCK:
(WCW Worldwide, June 8th 1997)
* OH HELL YES!!! Almost a Fat Man Stand-Off! The Rick Fuller Division explodes as Train takes on Roadblock! Train will probably win given how often RB looks up at the lights, but still. Roadblock’s in black with his road block sign, while Train’s in a white and RED singlet this time!
Roadblock attacks Train as soon as he steps through the ropes, and we’re off- bodyslam, boots and a clothesline get two for RB. He actually catches Train in a bearhug and holds him up like that, which ain’t easy. Ice Train bearpaws his way free, hits two clotheslines and an avalanche to send Roadblock wobbling, and a clothesline off the second rope brings him down. Train tries a slam but fails, so Roadblock slams HIM, but Train just does his own after a punch, and hits the Train Wreck (jumping splash) for the pin at (2:13). Well that was kinda outta nowhere, but okay.
Rating: 1/2* (not much of a match- just soooooo abridged when it’s only 2 minutes long. Some basic shit, a comeback, then a finish)
Dave Taylor has an oddly long career in the Big Two for an uncharismatic Brit who’s the seventh best at his particular style, and it’s all from following Regal around.
DAVE TAYLOR vs. MEAN MIKE:
(WCW Saturday Night, Dec. 20th 1997)
* Another bizarre one, as the former “Squire”, now sorta orphaned and just treading water in the company (a position a LOT of dudes would be in), gets a squash against one half of Disorderly Conduct. Funny thing is Taylor’s “Masterpiece Theatre” theme song while looking like the meanest old cuss imaginable, face devoid of empathy or kindness.
Mean Mike actually wins a basic sequence as we spot the Flock with ringside seats and Tony & Dusty only talk about Sting vs. Hogan at Starrcade. Taylor easily reverses a headlock to a double-arm, and hammers Mike with European uppercuts to floor him. Mike manages some gut-punches to harry Taylor, but comes off with a 2nd-rope elbow and misses badly- Taylor hits another European uppercut and the Taylor-Plex (floatover butterfly suplex) for the pin at (2:32). Well that was quick.
Actually kinda weird, as MEAN MIKE gets the lion’s share of the offense, but Taylor still has an easy time of it, dodging that elbow and scoring a one-move-comeback for the win. I mean, Mike got more than a pure jobber would, but not much.
Rating: 1/2* (really just a handful of punches and forearms except for Dave’s comebacks)
TATANKA & KAMA (w/ Ted DiBiase) vs. BAM BAM BIGELOW & HENRY O. GODWINN:
(Sept. 23rd 1995)
* Oh good lord. Ted’s awful Million Dollar Corporation stable’s guys take on two guys he’s pissed off- Bigelow & Godwinn. Both of Ted’s guys are TERRIBLE heels, only having a “mean grimace” in their act. Meanwhile, the faces come down to HOG’s hillbilly theme.
Bam Bam wins a criss-cross and makes fun of Tatanka’s heritage, but gets beaten on a bit before taking out both guys with a clothesline. Godwinn knocks Kama around a bit, but the heels double-team Bam Bam and we come back from a commercial break with Tatanka’s elite array of punches and kicks while Psycho Sid comes down to ringside. Kama slam & elbow gets two, and Bammer & Tatanka collide for the double-KO. Henry slams Kama around but Tatanka pulls the top rope down and he hits the floor, where Sid POWERBOMBS him- he’s easily Counted Out at (6:02 shown), completely dead. Absolutely nothing match with basic offense, really. Tatanka in particular just had nothing to him, especially as a heel.
Rating: 1/4* (just a bunch of punching and kicking with the same-old same-old kind of running clotheslines from the faces)
PSYCHO SID & KAMA (w/ Ted DiBiase) vs. BAM BAM BIGELOW & HENRY O. GODWINN:
(Oct. 7th 1995)
* Here’s a revenge match, Godwinn & Bam Bam now fighting SID & Kama. Thankfully the faces now have Bam Bam’s theme.
Godwinn wins an exchange with Kama to start, missing a superkick and getting sent over the top. Kama wins a slugfest with “martial arts” and the heels slam Godwinn down, but Sid gets backdropped out of a Powerbomb. He comes back with a kick but gets bowled over by both faces (who are kinda in each other’s way), then Bam Bam runs into a boot but gets a clothesline for two. Sid manages a boot of his own and big boots Bigelow over the top so Ted & Kama can get their cheap-shots in. Punch… kick. Punch… kick. How is this not an Attitude Era match? Bam Bam fights out of a chinlock but actually gets caught on a cross-body and slammed down by Kama.
We’re back from break with a double-KO spot, and Sid keeps stopping Bam Bam’s comebacks. He finally misses a boot in the corner (WHY ARE THERE SO MANY BOOTS IN THIS MATCH?), and Bam Bam hits a Samoan drop… and goes up like an idiot, getting chokeslammed off. However, he manages to backdrop out of the Powerbomb and makes the most tepid hot tag ever to Godwinn, who cleans house until he turns around into Sid. But then Ted beats the shit out of Bam Bam on the floor while HOG gets the Slop Drop (inverted ddt) with no ref. Kama comes off the top with an elbow and Sid rolls over at (8:35 shown), needing help to beat goddamn HENRY GODWINN. 1995 WWF, everyone!
Jesus CHRIST this was a bad era for the WWF. You have Bam Bam with all heat drained off of him, HOG & Kama as un-over midcard guys, and even Sid can’t buy a reaction anymore. And this giant monster heel eats the finisher and needs help to pin this obvious midcard act, and none of the four are giving even half of an effort. Eight minutes of plodding garbage.
Rating: DUD (Hot Take: 1995 WWF was not very good)
An old-timey act I know nothing about- the Missing Link!
“RAVISHING” RICK RUDE & THE ONE MAN GANG (w/ Percival Pringle) vs. BRUISER BRODY & THE MISSING LINK (w/ Sunshine):
(WCCW, Jan. 1986)
* Okay, so I just looked for random Gang stuff and found this- a WCCW main event with him & Rude against journeyman Brody and the Missing Link, who is apparently a green-faced weirdo doing the old “uncontrollable wildman” gimmick. It occurs to me I’ve seen that name a lot, but never put a face to it. Pringle is of course a merely-200 lb. Paul Bearer with bleached hair. Shockingly, Brody & Link are BABYFACES here, such is the hate-ability of their foes. They make a huge deal out of Brody’s size on commentary but he looks soft and not much bigger than Rude.
Everyone brawls instantly and the ref just calls for the bell, Brody beating on Rude and hitting a big boot for two. Rude jaws with the fans and wants a test of strength, eventually getting armdragged, but he slugs away and Brody tags out- the Link knocks down everybody as he goes wild, but Rude goes to the eyes. But he holds him for the Gang and gets blasted himself, but Gang takes over anyhow. Rude’s back in but gets bearhugged and beaten on, then Gang interferes to turn the tide again. Elbowdrop gets two- Link saves, stunning Gang so Brody tees off on him repeatedly, hitting a big boot while Gang’s in the ropes, knocking Rude to the floor in the process. Link’s in with headbutts, taking over on Rude, too, then everyone hits the ring- Pringle smashes Link with his cane, luring him outside for a chase. Rude tosses Link over the top when chases Percy into the ring, then him & Gang double-clothesline Brody as the ref finally waves it off at (7:03) with too many people brawling around and Percy being in the ring. But pandemonium continues to break out, as Sunshine chokes out Pringle with a chain, Gang goes into the post, and Link knocks Rude off the corner! The heels stand outside and holler as Link smashes the chair into his own head, by far the most over man in the match.
Pretty unique sort of match, as I swear the momentum changed every twenty seconds or so- a guy would take over for a bit of brawling and then immediately get reversed. So despite the whole match pretty much being brawling, it never “settled” into guy just standing around and hollering as they rained blows down. Given the limitations of some of these guys (Rude took a while to get good, for example), this is probably for the best and can make the fans interested in a rematch.
Rating: ** (fast-paced match but a weak finish)
DUSTIN RHODES vs. BOBBY EATON:
(WCW Saturday Night, Feb. 26th 2000)
* More dying days of WCW stuff, as a washed-up, totally done, totally won’t have a fucking amazing comeback in 20 years Dustin Rhodes is taking on an aged, past his prime Bobby Eaton. Dustin’s in black leather pants and a black sleeveless shirt while chubby ol’ Bobby’s in black tights with green & white stars. Dustin has bleach blonde hair and a tiny brown sleazeball goatee, and is apparently an untrustworthy “loose cannon” at this point. This is apparently Bobby’s last televised match in WCW, ending a 15-year run.
Bobby gets a right hand, but is floored by Dustin’s, and they kinda do basic chain-wrestling while Larry Z talks about how Dustin’s “at that age” where he should be accomplished and wants the world title, but just can’t get it and so is frustrated. Bobby eats a shoulderblock and whines about a punch as they stall & stall, wasting a full minute before they lock up- Dustin hits the floor but hiptosses Eaton out there, then lariats him and hits Shattered Dreams (running testicle punt) in the ring. Eaton reverses a whip but puts his head down and takes a shitty-ass bulldog for… the pin (3:54)?? THAT got him? Good lord.
Bad night for Bobby- all he had was “heelish stalling” and “complaining to the ref”, and he could barely bump for Dustin’s loose offense and terribly-applied moves. What looks like a transition moves ends it, too. Who woulda ever guessed Dustin would be having **** matches occasionally in two more decades watching him be lazy, sloppy and messed up here?
Rating: 1/4* (another barely passable match- four minutes and probably two of them were stalling)