It’s the eve of Superbrawl, and that’s gonna be live, tomorrow night, call your cable operator for availability! Twenty-eight years ago!
Tony and Bobby are hosting, joined quickly by the Boss, who’s going to protect and serve, call it right down the middle, and if Vader pushes him then he’s pushing back!
Jungle Jim Steele vs. Ron Vegas
So, he’s a Tarzanogram, but he’s from the Everglades? Did they just think of the first outdoors place of note that they could? Understated in the opposing corner, from Las Vegas, Nevada, is famous indie guy Diceman Ronnie Vegas, who might be a sleazy, chubby, shlub, but he’s put the effort in with the gimmick and outfit. Even Bobby’s questioning the Everglades origin. Powerslam and avalanche quickly set up the Steele Trap for the win.
Gene speaks to Cactus Jack and Maxx Payne, dressed in their best chic scruff. The Nasty Boys are going to get mutilated and Missy Hyatt needs to take care of her bad breath. I’m sure there are other crevices she’s need to fix first.
Tony and Bobby throw back to Starrcade, twenty minutes into the main event, with Vader dropping elbows on Ric Flair’s groin and mauling him in the mat. Vadersault misses and Harley hits his own man with the diving headbutt… and that’s it?
Nasty Boys vs. Larry Santo and Otis Apollo
The fans annoy Missy with pretty well synchronized “Brush your teeth!” chants. Santo is for once wearing a combo of tights and boots that aren’t an eyesore, white and white. The Nastys run him down and slam him around. Elbow misses, but Apollo isn’t in quick enough and gets clotheslined in the corner by Knobbs. Extended beating before they powerslam him and give him an elbow off the top for the win. That one was slightly lower than Vader’s in the highlights just.
Superbrawl Control Center, with special focus, via promos, on Lord Steven Regal against Arn Anderson. The accents could not be more different.
Gene speaks to Nick Bockwinkel and the Boss. Gene: “Are you going to condone the Boss getting sideways with Vader?” Nick: “Not really, but I think he’ll be unbiased.” And snow’s not white and coal’s not black. Boss says he’ll call it down the middle. OK…
Ricky Santana vs. The Patriot
Santana actually gets music and an intro and praise from Tony. I know where Larry Santo’s garish gear went, Santana’s got it on. Regal cuts an inset promo to talk about Patriot as an upcoming challenger to show Arn’s got no chance of leaving with the belt. Without checking, I’m pretty sure it went to a draw. Santana gets a nice spinning heel kick after escaping an arm wringer and follows with a corner charge. Second one misses and Patriot clotheslines him down. Flying shoulderblock and headbutts. Santana goes up and misses with a dive and Patriot finishes with a full nelson slam (later Uncle Slam). Energetic squash, Patriot was certainly someone with something about him but his own demons coupled with bad timing meant it never came together.
Harlem Heat vs. 2 Cold Scorpio and Marcus Alexander Bagwell
This is the debut of the leather look for Booker and Stevie. Bobby: “I can see you towing around on your big hog like that. By the way, Tony doesn’t have a motorcycle, he just has a big hog!” Shoving match to start. The Heat already look so much more like stars than they did with the previous gear with the tights and tops. Stevie said in an interview that they went to a strip club where the girls were wearing that material and they got their own stuff made by their tailors. They had exclusivity on it until Kimberly Page started working in clubs with girls with the same attire and passed on the word to DDP to get his own tights made out of it. Booker’s actually still Kole and Stevie’s Kane, but I’ll go with their more commonly known names. Some energetic cradle and flip moves with Booker and Bagwell to start, which they neglected to pull out on Raw seven years later. Scorpio comes in and gets slammed, but trips Stevie. Stevie goes for a press slam, Scorpio jumps out, then jumps into a powerslam. The faces keep the Heat on their toes (and asses) with stereo dropkicks as this is going really, really well so far. Reset with Bagwell and Stevie, who pounds away. He misses a big, clumsy elbow and gets his legs worked on. Scorpio takes over, but gets swatted and Booker comes in and takes over on him. Scorpio tries and enzuigiri and misses one way, so flips Booker the other way and takes an armbar. Booker misses a dropkick into the corner, almost taking out the camera man, but flips over into a clothesline. Stevie in, missing more elbows, and it’s Bagwell in. Bagwell walks into a boot and Booker comes in. Stevie adds a clothesline behind the ref’s back as Teddy Long gripes about it. Bagwell leaps into Stevie’s arms, but Scorpio dropkicks them over for two. Booker tags in with his flying forearm and is doing a lot of screaming at this point. Elbow misses again, allowing Scorpio in. He takes care of both with flying kicks, half of which connect. Moonsault onto Booker, but Stevie breaks up the pin. Ron Simmons comes out to gripe about something and gets dropkicked by Bagwell, followed by Scorpio diving onto him and almost going through the guard rail, knocking him out. And that’s a count out, in the best sense of one. Simmons buddies up to the Heat, which if he’d stuck around longer for would’ve been an awesome combo with him as their mentor and them the new generation of what he represented. Great match.
Gene speaks to Vader and Harley Race. Recap, with Vader in his Ribera Steakhouse jacket, of Vader turning up early at Starrcade to prepare for Flair. Vader reminds Flair that last time they wrestled he walked the aisle in and then crawled up it out. Race says it’s workout time again.
Vader vs. Jobbers
Vader comes in and quickly eliminates the likes of Chris Sullivan, Bill Payne and Otis Apollo, back for more punishment. Kinda bad continuity with a jobber from earlier in the show coming out again with little sign of having taken a beating. Apollo gets the worst of it, taking the Vaderbomb and the powerbomb. The other jobbers come out from the locker room to scoop up the victims, lucky they don’t get taken out too.
Back to the Main Event from last Sunday, with Diamond Dallas Page and the Diamond Doll (Kimberly) doing a fishbowl gimmick, where Page picks the name of his next opponent out of it. He’s just taken out the Z-Man and is complaining about having to face Terry Taylor at Superbrawl. Taylor comes out to defend himself, recalling his title reigns from YEARS ago, and Page gets a cheap shot in on him before Arn Anderson of all people wanders out to see him off.
Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker and Ron Oakes vs. Thunder and Lightning
Sarge gets a musical intro too. Oakes is Jerry Lawler’s Sting ripoff the Hornet as well as the “California Surfer Dude” if you’re a young Dave seeing him wrestle at the Prince of Wales Theatre in Cannock in 1993. Lightning (Cobra/nWo Sting) starts with Parker. Great look, but awful footwork. Thunder’s a little bit better and smoother. Parker wipes his face on the ropes and brings Oakes in. Thunder almost gets a monkey flip on him, but Parker holds onto him to save him, and tags in with a kneedrop. Rope walk elbow for two. Oakes gets a nice clothesline for one. Parker misses a charge, and that brings Lightning in with a tag. He runs amok over them and gets Oakes up in the backbreaker to set up the flying forearm finisher from Thunder. Oakes actually looked fairly capable alongside Parker there, a shame they didn’t make him the big muscle of the State Patrol or repackage him some way.
Gene speaks to Rick Rude, Paul Orndorff, Steve Austin and Colonel Parker. Orndorff pretends (?) to blank on the names of his opponents. Strong promo from all three, particularly from Austin. This was basically him and his hunting buddies as an on-screen team.
The Boss vs. Jake Stevens
Stevens is a pretty jacked guy with a nineties mullet. Can’t find much on him, but there’s a Marcus Bagwell vibe with him and he looks like he should’ve been someone. Boss pounds away and gets a big boot, Papa Shango shoulderbreaker and clothesline out of the corner. Boss Man slam finishes. A quick look on YouTube reveals in the comments section that Stevens went on to be a guy called Big Daddy Hammer and still looks well.
Paul Orndorff vs. Matt Shepherd
Mr. Wonderful comes over and shakes Bobby’s hand and blows off Tony and Gene in the background. Shepherd isn’t especially jacked, but is doing the “can’t get my arms to my side because my lats are so big” deal. Paul puts the boots to the jobber like he’s Vader in a locker room. Tony brings up how Bobby used to manage Orndorff (in the WWF), with Bobby even referencing their splits, but calling it water under the bridge. Back suplex and clothesline. Paul takes a front facelock and then drives it down into a surprising DDT. Piledriver finishes, with arrogant one foot pin and pose on top.
The Mongolian Mauler vs. Flyin’ Brian
Incongrously, Mauler comes out to Steve Austin’s music. Mauler had a good gimmick for the independent scene, but no real legs for TV, black eyes aside. I believe he went on to become a nightclub comedian. Pillman can’t get anywhere with punching him in the gut, so he slaps him to trigger him into charging and trips him. Mauler resumes control and rams Brian’s face into his curly boot, with Brian doing a great sell like the point has gone into his eye. Clotheslines won’t work on Mauler either, so Pillman pokes the eyes and stomps the toes, but then makes the mistake of running Colonel Parker off. An awkward bit with Mauler not selling a move off the top, but then sitting on Pill off a sunset flip attempt. Pill won’t sell walks over his stomach in response. Big legdrop, then he goes to a rear chinlock. Arm drops twice, but Brian keeps it up on the third one and comes up. Elbow to the gut won’t work, so back down they go. Actually a nice bit of psychology there. He walks on the stomach again, which Pillman does sell this time, but misses a charge and a kneedrop. Pillman throws some stiff chops, as I notice the stitching on Mauler’s trousers – Mr. M. Mauler. Pillman gets a missile dropkick off the top for the win. Weird but interesting match.
Finally, Ric Flair joins Gene for last words before Superbrawl. More clips from Starrcade, with Vader press slamming and superplexing Flair amongst other things. Flair repeats Vader’s earlier words that it was a Christmas miracle that he beat him and goes into his flawless, fired up go home promo, placing himself as someone who knows how to survive.
The meltdown: One more to go, which will be up next week before I take a break and possibly pivot to something else. Be interesting to see how the post-Superbrawl action is covered.