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Rock Star Gary reflects on...WCW Halloween Havoc 1993

So after reading your suggestions and making the Mello Yello move from 1993 WWF to 1993 WCW I offer a hopefully more readable review of one of WCW's delicious bites from 1993.

Live from New Orleans, LA

Airdate: October 24, 1993

Attendance: 6,000

Hosted by Tony Schiavone and Jesse “The Body” Ventura





The opening sequence begins with children trick-or-treating. “Dracula” wants to pick the next house much to his friends’ dismay. He points toward a mansion behind a steel gate. At the same time a man’s hand is shown awaiting his visitors. Upon their entrance the steel gate closes behind them frightening the other children.  “Dracula” continues onward and rings the doorbell which rings as a high-pitch squeal. Obviously they’re taken aback by that.

The door opens and Tony Schiavone answers. He offers the children some cookies. “Dracula” obnoxiously tells Tony that he wants to see something scary. He offers them a bloody Sid with a pair of scissors! Oh wait, that happened AFTER this show in England. Alternatively he offers “Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal” for the Vader-Cactus Jack main event. Still dissatisfied “Dracula” asks for something even scarier. Tony calls his wager, peels back his mask, and transforms into a hideous monster. The children try to escape, but the door is locked. Suddenly the door opens and the wheel appears.

With the exception of Tony’s horrendous acting this wasn’t that bad. It was actually pretty good according to WCW’s mini-movie standards.

Inside the arena Eric Bischoff welcomes us to the show dressed as General George Custer. Tony disguises himself as “Jesse Ventura” as Jesse wears an old doctor’s costume complete with mask. He informs Tony that he is “Bourbon Street’s #1 gynecologist.” He even pulls the thermometer trick on him. This show is off to an ominous start.

Match 1: The Shockmaster, Ice Train, and Charlie Norris versus Harlem Heat and the Equalizer

Highlights:

·         For those who are unfamiliar the members of Harlem Heat used to be named Kane and Kole instead of Booker T (Kole) and Stevie Ray (Kane).
·         Additionally Charlie Norris was WCW’s awful version of the Native American stereotype in response to Tatanka in the WWF.
·         Tony informed us that Too Cold Scorpio and Marcus Alexander Bagwell won the tag team titles “last night.” Considering the schedule for the infamous Disney tapings in July this acted as a swerve to smart fans back in 1993.
·         Meanwhile in the early portion of the match Ice Train popped the crowd with his power maneuvers.
·         In an effort to continue to humiliate the Shockmaster gimmick Jesse buried him on commentary.
·         Tony stated that “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff will substitute for the injured Yoshi Kwan later in the show.
·         The crowd chanted Tag Team’s “Whoomp There It Is.”
·         Booker T, er, I mean Kole really showed that he’s the cream of the crop in this match.
·         Shockmaster applied the bear hug on Kole and slammed him for the pin.

 

Rating: ½*

Summary: This match was the drizzling shits. At least Booker T looked good in spite of his eating the pin.

After the match Shockmaster and the Equalizer “brawl” in the ring. I’m sure this entertained the 300 or so fans that occupied the average attendance at house shows during this time.

Bischoff interviews the second referee for the Rude- Flair match--Terry Taylor. He’s going to call it “right down the middle.”

Match 2: Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat versus “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff (w/ the Assassin)

Highlights:

·         The Assassin was Joe Hamilton, father to WCW referee Nick Patrick.
·         Not so ironically Patrick was the referee for this bout.
·         Steamboat sold everything like death, even a slam on the ramp.
·         He attempted a cross-body block from the ramp into the ring, but Orndorff evaded him.
·         While Orndorff worked on Steamboat’s back Ricky concentrated on working on Paul’s arm.
·         Outside the ring Orndorff launched Steamboat over the steel railing.
·         Top rope elbow to Steamboat’s head from Orndorff.
·         After Steamboat tossed him onto the ramp he delivered a chop to the head from the top rope.
·         Running atomic drop by Steamboat sent Orndorff over the top rope back into the ring.
·         Steamboat gave Orndorff a flying body press from the top rope, but the Assassin occupied the referee’s attention nullifying the pin attempt.
·         Aggressively Steamboat pushed Patrick out of the way but went over the top rope when Orndorff lowered it.
·         The Assassin loaded the mask and head butted Steamboat in the back of the head knocking him out.
·         Orndorff won by countout.

 

Rating: ***

Summary: Countout finish aside this match was a hard fought battle with some good work rate. I truly enjoy Steamboat’s thirst for a pin attempt several times during a match as it gives a sense of realism.

Tony and Jesse discuss the Big Gold Belt and WCW’s upcoming European tour. I bet Arn Anderson and Sid Vicious regret going on that tour. According to Tony the WCW International Board of Directors recognize Rude’s title as a World title.

Let me add something here: Back in July WCW taped months of matches for their Worldwide syndicated program basically giving away the results of title changes to the members of the audience. The NWA got wind of this and was none too pleased with the complete breach of kayfabe surrounding their prestigious title. Consequently WCW withdrew from the NWA on September 1, 1993. Furthermore, the breach of kayfabe was exposed in an article in the Charlotte Business Journal according to the history of WWE website hence notifying its readers of the result of a match at an upcoming PPV event. Yikes!

Why WCW decided to keep the Big Gold Belt and recognize it as a World title is beyond comprehension. After all once they decided to leave the NWA, Vader’s status as the WCW champion should have skyrocketed. On the contrary they have two World titles confusing the audience and devaluing the WCW title altogether.

Match 3 for the World Television title: Lord Steven Regal (champion w/ Sir William) versus “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith

Highlights:

·         Michael Buffer performed the introductions and calls it the “Battle of Britain.”
·         To DBS’ credit he was able to go counter for counter against the wily Regal here.
·         DBS applied a Mexican surfboard to Regal.
·         Rolling senton by Regal.
·         European uppercut/high knee combination by Regal.
·         DBS gave Regal a clothesline and a vertical suplex.
·         Upon his attempt at a powerslam Regal’s feet knocked Sir William off the apron.
·         DBS hit the powerslam, but Regal kicked out at 2.
·         In the final seconds DBS gave Regal a piledriver, but time ran out before referee Randy Anderson could count the pinfall.
·         Time-limit draw.

 

Rating: ***

Summary:  Obviously Regal was the ring general here based upon the numerous submission and mat-based styles contained within the match. In spite of the close call draw for the TV title DBS had been drawing recently as a WCW World title contender. In fact, on the WCW European tour DBS performed in the main event for the WCW title against Vader numerous times.

Time to spin the wheel! Vader spins it and it lands on…                      

Steel cage match? No.

Barbed wire match? Nope.

Coal Miner’s Glove match? Nah uh, not this year.

Texas Death match? Yes!

Match 4 for the US title: “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes (champion) versus “Stunning” Steve Austin

Highlights:

·         Extremely prolific sign at ringside claimed “Stunning” Steve Austin as the wrestler of the 90s. If only WCW had listened.
·         Continuing the introductions to title matches only Buffer did the honors.
·         At 261 pounds he was “The Natural.” Since he’s currently 232 pounds can we refer to him as “The Natural Light?”
·         In lieu of a buzz or crew cut Austin wore the high and tight hairstyle here. 2 years later he wouldn’t have enough hair to do so.
·         Cross-corner whip by Austin followed by a blind charge; however, Rhodes evaded him, and Austin tumbled over the top turnbuckle to the floor “injuring” his knee.
·         Rhodes seized the opportunity when Austin re-entered the ring.
·         As Rhodes went for the bulldog Austin caught him and crotched him on the top rope.
·         After a double leg pickup Austin pinned Rhodes with his feet on the ropes, but referee Nick Patrick instructed Rhodes to continue the match.
·         Thinking he had the victory Austin went to the announcer’s table to get the belt but got rolled up for the pin.

 

Rating: **1/2

Summary:  Without question I have to deduct a half-point for that finish. Although Austin getting pinned was the right finish, a lame distraction finish wasn’t the right decision. Perhaps Austin can find something down the road to get an edge against Dustin. Stay tuned!

After the match Austin decimates Rhodes with a belt shot to the head busting him open. Now both men have a reason to face each other in the coming weeks.

WCW Battlebowl 1993 will be on November 20! Its rant has already been scheduled.

Match 5 for the WCW World Tag Team titles: Marcus Alexander Bagwell & Too Cold Scorpio (champions w/ Teddy Long) versus The Nasty Boys (w/ Missy Hyatt)

Highlights:

·         Back on October 9 Bagwell and Scorpio upset the champs in a non-title bout on WCW Saturday Night (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCamUmKLVCs). The rematch was set for October 23 where they scored another upset and won the titles (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sa7nHegv8LY).
·         Buffer announced Missy Hyatt as the Nasty Boys’ escort. Insert your own joke here.
·         Before the match Bagwell planted Hyatt with a liplock. Tastes like mackerel, or so I’ve heard.
·         Tag Team back again! “Whoomp, there it is!”
·         Nasty Boys missed a double boot then Bagwell dropkicked them. They missed again and Scorpio gave both men a flying body press.
·         Plancha by Scorpio with the assist of Bagwell.
·         Bagwell took a long drop to the floor courtesy of a Nasty Boys’ double-team.
·         Long jumped on the apron wearing a black bandana with a white X.
·         Meanwhile Saggs held Bagwell so that Missy could slap the taste out of his mouth.
·         False tag so referee Randy Anderson escorted Scorpio out.
·         Nasty Boys missed their patented slingshot avalanche.
·         Hot tag to Scorpio led to a leg lariat to Knobbs.
·         A Scorpio dropkick put Knobbs down then a leg lariat put Saggs down.
·         Moonsault by Scorpio.
·         Missy got on the apron, but Long tried to pull her down.
·         Saggs knocked Long off the apron, but Bagwell rammed Missy and Saggs’ heads together.
·         Scorpio hit the 450 splash, but Saggs nailed Scorpio with a boot.
·         Knobbs made the cover, and we have new champions!

 

Rating: ***

Summary:  Unfortunately the end result was a given because the taping schedule would not be denied. Regardless, to say that Scorpio and Bagwell carried the Nasty Boys here should go without saying.

Bischoff interviews Sid with Colonel Rob Parker. Sid refers to himself as “Psycho Sid.” Truer words were never spoken two nights later.

Match 6: Sid Vicious (w/ Colonel Rob Parker) versus Sting

Highlights:

·         This match determined who the franchise of WCW was.
·         After Sting clotheslined Sid on the apron he suplexed him back in the hard way.
·         They brawled into the crowd. Wait! Was this 1993 or 1999?
·         Back in the ring Sting gave Sid a top rope clothesline.
·         After the Colonel distracted Sting Sid chokeslams him.
·         As Sid occupied the referee the Colonel choked Sting with his handkerchief.
·         Funny bit where Sid not only picked up a CUSHIONED chair but also hit Sting with the cushion!
·         Sid used the steel railing to clothesline him.
·         Powerslam by Sid followed by a bear hug.
·         Sting rang his bell but got caught with a boot to the midsection.
·         Sid with a second bear hug.
·         Sting rang his bell again, caught the foot this time, and layed in a beating.
·         Stinger splash!
·         A second Stinger splash!
·         The Colonel got nailed off the apron.
·         Mistakenly the Colonel grabbed Sid’s foot rather than Sting’s.
·         Sid pointed out the error and lifted him onto the apron.
·         Sting rolled Sid up for the pin.

 

Rating: **1/2

Summary: Nothing spectacular, but is there dissention between the Colonel and Sid?

After the match Sid begrudgingly forgives the Colonel.

Back in the locker room Vader boxes Harley Race’s hands. Meanwhile Cactus Jack meditates with his bag and yells out “You can’t hurt Cactus Jack!”

Match 7 for the WCW International World title: “Ravishing” Rick Rude (champion) versus “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (w/ Fifi)

Highlights:

·         The crowd erupted when the “Nature Boy” and Fifi make their way to the ring.
·         Buffer rumbled.
·         Second referee Taylor was positioned on the floor.
·         Rude climbed the top turnbuckle and missed the knee drop.
·         Flair with the knee crusher followed by the figure four! YES!
·         Tag Team back again! “Whoomp There it is!”
·         Rude grabbed the ropes to break the hold.
·         Flair grabbed the ankle and rammed the knee into the post.
·         Taylor did nothing to stop it, so Jesse complained about it.
·         After Rude tossed Flair between the ropes to the floor Flair re-entered via sunset flip.
·         Rude dropped to his knees and held the ropes. Taylor put a stop to it immediately.
·         Flair’s high cross body sent both men to the floor. Rude got the worst of it.
·         Flair went to work on Rude outside the ring. Again Taylor did a piss poor job of stopping him so Jesse ranted and raved about it some more. Funny stuff.
·         Flair with a forearm from the top rope to the floor! Wow!
·         Again Flair tried the forearm from the top rope, but Rude caught him in the midsection.
·         Rude tried to nail Flair with a chair, but Taylor stole it from him.
·         Rude made Flair taste the steel. Needs Tabasco.
·         Rude with a backbreaker then taunted Fifi.
·         Rude hit the forearm from the top rope but hurt his knee further.
·         Flair flip in the corner caught the cameraman and a clothesline from Rude.
·         Sleeperhold by Flair.
·         Rude again climbed to the top rope but jumped over Flair.
·         Flair hit the Rude Awakening!
·         Backslide by Flair got a 2 count.
·         Flair came off the top rope but ate boot.
·         Double reversal on a cross-corner whip knocked Randy Anderson out of the ring.
·         Rude clothesline received no count; hence, Taylor entered the ring.
·         Flair knocked Rude into Taylor.
·         Rude pulled out the brass knuckles, but Flair ducked and delivered a belly-to-back suplex.
·         The knuckles fell off Rude’s hand, and Flair retrieved it despite a crew member’s interference.
·         Flair knocked Rude silly with the brass knuckles.
·         Taylor counted 2, but Anderson stopped the count and raised Rude’s hand.
·         Flair lost by disqualification.

 

Rating: ***1/2

Summary:  Excellent match! It was way too soon for Rude to lose the belt. He and Flair had good chemistry and told a great story.

After the match Flair grabs the title belt and holds it high. In the meantime Rude goes after Fifi. He carries her down the ramp until Flair catches him from behind to rescue her. Flair tries to slap the figure four on Rude on the ramp, but the referees stop him.

Tony and Jesse discuss the rules of the Texas Death match:

1.       No disqualification
2.       Falls don’t count. That means a pinfall does not decide the match.
3.       30 second rest period between falls.
4.       Falls occur anywhere in the building.
5.       Match continues until one man can’t get to his feet before the 10 count.

Match 8 Texas Death: Big Van Vader (w/ Harley Race) versus Cactus Jack

Highlights:

·         Back on April 17 Cactus Jack upset Vader by countout. Vader asked for a rematch for the following week. During the match Vader powerbombed Jack on the concrete knocking him out of action until September (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VN0kM0aKJk).
·         A series of vignettes were filmed by WCW searching for Cactus Jack. To say that they were terrible theater is an insult to the term theater. Amnesia and a little bag were used as plot devices, but the story was utter tripe. Hopefully this match delivers to cover for it.
·         Jack jumped Vader on the ramp to begin the match.
·         As Vader punched Jack he removed the head gear.
·         One punch too many hit post.
·         Jack used a chair.
·         Moments later, Jack received a camera from a fan and nailed Vader with it.
·         Unprotected chair shot to the head by Jack.
·         Vicious clothesline by Vader.
·         Tony informed us that the WCW title was not on the line.
·         Jack is busted open.
·         Jack with a belly-to-back suplex on the ramp.
·         Race lumbered over with a chair, but Jack caught him.
·         Protected chair shot from Jack.
·         Chair to the back by Jack in the graveyard.
·         They rolled into the grave marked for Vader.
·         Jack emerged and his eye looked grotesque.
·         Soon after Vader emerged and was busted wide open as well.
·         Running clothesline put Vader down for 3.
·         30 second rest period.
·         As Vader made it to his feet Jack hit him with…a cactus!
·         Vader fell to the floor, and Jack hit him with an elbow drop for another 3 count.
·         30 second rest period and Vader made it to his feet.
·         Jack threw a wooden table into the ring.
·         Cross-corner whip by Vader reversed by Jack into the table. Only got a 2 count.
·         In a loud and sick thump Jack with a sunset flip from the apron to the floor.
·         Vader nailed him with the legs of a cushioned chair.
·         Race was shown with a taser. So that’s where Scott Hall got it!
·         After a slam Vader climbed to the top turnbuckle, HIT THE MOONSAULT, and pinned Jack.
·         After the rest period Vader threw Jack onto the ramp.
·         Jack jumped on Vader’s back, but Vader fell back with a very loud SPLAT! Ouch!
·         Vader with a semi-protected chair shot followed by a DDT onto the chair.
·         Trainers checked on Jack, but Vader chased them off.
·         After clearing debris Vader pinned Jack.
·         During the 30 second rest period Race grabbed the taser.
·         Jack then DDTs Vader on the chair.
·         Both men were down. As Jack rose to his feet Race shocked him with the taser!
·         Vader got up before the count of 10 and was declared the winner.

 

Rating: ***1/2

Summary:  This match serves as an excellent precursor to what ECW became in the mid- to late-90s. Even though it was a great bloody brawl what was the point of Vader’s victory here? Jack had been hospitalized, put through the ringer with the WCW mini-movies, and then lost the blow-off match?

After the match Jack grabs Race and DDTs him on the chair on the ramp. Small victory for Jack there.

Conclusion:  Minus the opener each match hovered around 3 stars. To me that’s a great show. The main event made Cactus into a star. Unfortunately it would take another five years before anyone put the World title on him, but that’s neither here nor there. Flair made Rude look great in the semi-main event. Rude’s definitely world champion caliber in spite of the “title” he held here. Sid’s loss meant more here than Sting’s victory due to the scissors incident in Blackburn, England two days afterward. The Nasty Boys’ victory had to happen. There was no other way around it due to the taping cycle. Austin made Rhodes look good in their match and hopefully subsequent matches. Bulldog would get opportunities against both Vader and Regal while on tour in Europe so the time-limit draw didn’t hurt him. The match between Steamboat and Orndorff was a house show dream match. It’s a crying shame that WCW was barely drawing flies at their shows in 1993. I blame the promotion of the events rather than the talent as I lived in the Southeast during this time and didn’t hear much if any local promotion of WCW.

Anyways, find three hours and watch this spectacle. I’m hoping the Clash and Battlebowl, which are next on my plate, are this good.
For more information on me please visit http://rockstargary.com.

Comments

  1. Why did Tony Schiavone come across like such as pedophile in the into?

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  3. CruelConnectionNumber2July 29, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    Orndorff sucks in WCW but that Steamer/Paul match was pretty damn good for a 2nd match with a lame finish.

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  4. That's the second-best Texas Death Match of all time behind Dr. Hillbilly vs. The Iron Yuppie.

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  5. Has Regal ever not been the grizzled ring veteran? He was 25 years old with 5 years less experience than DBS (and way less experience wrestling on the big stage), yet there he leading Davey around.

    I swear Regal was 40 when he was born and hasn't aged much since.

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  6. All I can say is that once you receive the "ring general" label it sticks with you throughout your career.

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  7. DAMMIT I DON'T WANT NONE.

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  8. Nikol Kidman, I doubt that's your real name!

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  9. I think they kept the big gold belt around because they had months of footage of "World Champion Rick Rude."

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  10. One year later Duggan beats Austin in 20 seconds.

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  11. Look at that fucking roster! It's amazing they drew as poorly as they did because this talent roster is filled with some top notch guys.

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  12. You mean after they split from the NWA again in September?


    Probably right, but you still have to do a proper unification match and that's hard to do with a Heel Rick Rude & Vader. Maybe Sid vs Rude in early '94 was "pencilled" in for this unification that never was?

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  13. Had Sid not stabbed Arn, the plan was to unify the titles at SuperBrawl IV according to internet lore.

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  14. Booker T = up-and-coming superstar paying his dues
    Paul Orndorff = former WWF superstar who could put butts in seats
    Ricky Steamboat = same boat, different harbor
    Steven Regal = wrestling technician trying to climb the ladder
    Davey Boy Smith = see Orndorff
    Steve Austin = great wrestler trying to climb the ladder
    Dustin Rhodes = booker's son who didn't totally suck
    Marcus "Don't call me Buff yet" Bagwell = young up-and-comer who needed more seasoning
    Too Cold Scorpio = Offered seasoning that Bagwell didn't buy, great midcard wrestler
    Nasty Boys = see Orndorff minus putting butts in seats
    Sting = franchise player who knew how to put butts in seats
    Sid = decent follower with power arsenal and loved by smarks back in '93
    Rude = see Orndorff but with more potential for growth
    Flair = puts butts in seats at every show
    Cactus Jack = not yet a name but got made here until to slide down the card
    Vader = monster who supplied good matches but couldn't draw well


    Yes, that is quite the stacked roster. WCW's ability to promote such a roster to their shows (mostly in the Southeast in '93) was awful. They could have made more money had they promoted themselves better.

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  15. Austin didn't like hearing that "Hogan's Heroes" were taking his spot. A torn tricep was a blessing in disguise for him at this point.

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  16. That's what was "promised" to Sid had he not tried to murder Arn Anderson.

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  17. CruelConnectionNumber2July 29, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    Tons went wrong in 93. Rude had his worst year ever, probably. Rhodes and Flair ruled, IMO, but they didn't gel with Rude and the feuds were not well received. The summer got built around a tag team match main event at Beach Blast (ugh) and a game but not established Bulldog facing Vader. The Horsemen reunion bombed. The Blondes got broken up. The Nasty Boys and Missy Hyatt were atrocious. So much to hate even by my WCW diehard standards.

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  18. CruelConnectionNumber2July 29, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    The Colonel Parker stuff... I liked the dude but the shtick was SO Memphis and turned me off. WCW was trying to look "more big time" but this southern plantation slave owner or whatever suddenly being the Big Bad Heel of WCW and calling the shots was very minor league. He eventually became great in 1994 but I wasn't feeling his sudden rocket push.

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  19. As much as I liked both wrestlers, I wasn't a big fan of the main event. I've seen people nearly give it 5 stars, and I just don't see it. Good brawl, but at times it was disjointed.

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  20. Only *** 1/2 for the main event? Ehhh...

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  21. To me the taser finish was cheap and unnecessary. Five stars for a bloody brawl is extremely difficult. Cactus and HHH accomplished that at RR 2000, but I don't think Vader and Cactus did here.

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  22. Compare this match to Foley's match with HHH in 2000. The RR match overshadows this match tremendously. The taser finish hurt it for me too.

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  23. I apologize. Perhaps the "puts butts in seats" is a bit extreme; however, he was a name you would recognize on the poster if you saw it advertised at the local watering hole down south.

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  24. I was never a big fan of Colonel Parker, but perhaps he played his character so well that it just rubbed me the wrong way like a heel manager should. I could see where his character wouldn't work too well north of Oklahoma or Maryland though.

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  25. CruelConnectionNumber2July 29, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    Finish SUCKS but at the time this was a brutal classic. I don't think your rating is too far off.

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  26. An easy **** for me, if it matters.

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  27. I agree completely with all of your opinions. Well assembled! If only booking had been better, 1993 WCW could have been a pretty huge year.

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  28. If taking scissors away from arn and almost dying means Sid tried to murder arn, I guess that's accurate.

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  29. Are we sure Davey needed "leading around"? Despite his look and style in '93, he came up the same way Regal did working the same style against the same guys like Finlay and Jim Breaks.

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  30. According to sources Arn Anderson was stabbed about 20 times. I don't believe this was an act of self-mutilation.

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  31. Everyone agrees that arn introduced the scissors and that Sid had a cut artery.

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  32. Oh I'll take RR2000 with Hunter anyday of the week, but for instance I have the 4Way from Battleground at about ***1/2 and I cant see ANYONE watching that over Foley/Vader

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  33. He wasn't great at calling matches, apparently; every great match in seen him have, someone else was usually calling .

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  34. Most of his great matches are as a babyface or in a heel-heel match against his brother-in-law. As a rule, heels call matches.

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  35. I watched this a few months ago and i hate Charlie Norris. He was just turrible. Maybe my least favorite wrestler that's not late 80s Ken Patera.

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