Friday, October 28, 2016

Random Network Reviews: Slamboree 1993

Slamboree 1993
May 23rd, 1993 | The Omni in Atlanta, Georgia | Attendance: 7,008

Here is a timeframe that I am not all that familiar with. I do know that in this year, Davey Boy Smith had joined WCW and was in the midst of a pretty big push, even getting a title shot on this show. Looking at the card, there is also a dark match that features 2 Cold Scorpio and Chris Benoit on opposite, which I would have liked to see. Interestingly, this would be the first ever Slamboree Pay-Per-View event, and the WCW would continue to use the name until going out of business.

The show starts with the ring filled with a bunch of legends. Tony Schiavone and Larry Zbyszko introduce the show and send it to Maxx Payne and his guitar, Norma Jean. Some incredibly oily men in speedos carry someone out to the ring in a cart. It is revealed that the person is the Fabulous Moolah, who is the “Queen of Slamboree 1993.”

Okay, I guess those dark matches are on this thing.

Bobby Eaton and Chris Benoit vs. Marcus Bagwell and Too Cold Scorpio
Just how I’d want it, Chris Benoit and Too Cold Scorpio start the match and instantly go into a quick exchange that is pretty fun. I’m guessing Benoit and Eaton are the heels as they cheat early but Scorpio and Bagwell weather that and hit some stereo dropkicks. The heels continue to use underhanded tactics to take control. Everything that Benoit does looks incredibly fluid. The heat gets worked on Bagwell. It takes Bagwell getting his knees up on a Benoit splash to lead to the hot tag. Scorpio’s work is fun, as he’s just a joy to watch. The heels miscommunicate, allowing Scorpio to hit the Tumbleweed on Benoit and win.

Winners: Marcus Bagwell and Too Cold Scorpio in 9:22
I am glad that this was included. It was a fun opener as both teams gave a good effort. Benoit and Scorpio were the show stealers here, as one would expect. ***

Col. Robert Parker brings out the returning Sid Vicious to basically kill Van Hammer, who he had issues with.

Sid Vicious vs. Van Hammer
Sid pounds on Van Hammer and powerbombs him. That’s it.

Winner: Sid Vicious in 0:36
Hard to really rate this due to how short it is but it made the impact they wanted. NO RATING

Now the show moves into some “Legends Matches.” Oh boy.

Dick Murdoch, Don Muraco and Jimmy Snuka vs. Blackjack Mulligan, Jim Brunzell and Wahoo McDaniel
Were these teams just randomly chosen? Regardless, everyone gets their turn here as each guy gets to give the fans a treat. Things don’t get remotely interesting until Jim Brunzell hits a nice move. He then becomes the face in peril. It doesn’t really lead anywhere though as soon, Snuka and Muraco get into it despite being teammates. This ends up leading to a brawl between everyone that causes a double DQ.

Double Disqualification in 9:26
Honestly, that wasn’t as bad as I expected. They did their best to just have some fun and get the crowd to pop. Nothing to write home about, but nothing awful. 

Ivan Koloff and Baron Von Raschke vs. Thunderbolt Patterson and Brad Armstrong
More legends stuff here. Bob Armstrong is supposed to wrestle here, but had surgery, so his son Brad takes his place in street clothes. Von Raschke looks like he is dying. Armstrong does most of the work for his team, which makes sense. Baron applies the dreaded CLAW but it doesn’t end things. The tag comes to Thunderbolt who does some mild stuff. He hits a double chop to Baron’s throat, which is sold terribly, to end this.

Winner: Thunderbolt Patterson and Brad Armstrong in 4:40
While I thought the first match was a good effort that wasn’t greatly executed due to the abilities of those guys, this featured neither. It wasn’t an enjoyable contest, but at least it was kept short. ½*

We now go to a live edition of “Flair for the Gold.” Flair claims that tonight will see the return of the Four Horsemen. He brings out Arn Anderson first, dressed in a suit. Ole Anderson is out next and Flair tells them to get comfortable. He brings out the “special addition” to the Horsemen, Paul Roma. This would prove to be a flop as Roma, along with Mongo later on, is considered by many to be the worst Horseman ever.

Dory Funk Jr. w/ Greg Kiniski vs. Nick Bockwinekl w/ Verne Gagne
This is billed as AWA vs. NWA. Johnny Valentine joins the commentary booth for this. Both competitors are in their 50’s here. They just say forget anything exciting, we are going to mat wrestle you all to death. I mean, technically, it is some fine stuff, but the crowd doesn’t seem to care at all. Ten minutes in and nothing of note has happened. I get that they are playing up both being technicians and evenly matched, but it’s just dull. The crowd finally reacts to something when Dory tries the spinning toe hold. They go to the time limit draw.

Time limit draw in 15:00
Despite being dead for the entire match, the fans give them a bit of a standing ovation. I understood the idea behind the match and why they did what they did, but it was painfully dull at points. Well executed for the most part though. **

Dustin Rhodes and Kensuke Sasaki vs. Paul Orndorff and Rick Rude
Dustin Rhodes’ “Natural” theme is pretty bad. Man, Sasaki is short. Rick Rude makes fun of his look before posing on his own. From what I’m reading online, it looks like Orndorff and Sasaki were both working through injuries, which kind of limits things. The bout is a basic tag match, made slightly better by Rude and Orndorff adding trash talk to draw heat. Sasaki gets a warm tag and works over Rude, who sells this stuff hilariously. Orndorff tosses him from the top, leading to the Rude Awakening and that’s all folks.

Winners: Paul Orndorff and Rick Rude in 9:43
Man, I was disappointed by this. Granted, I know that two of the guys were injured, but then they should have let Rhodes and Rude handle the heavy lifting and put on a good match. Instead, they all seemed to just go through the motions. 

Gordon Solie hosts the first ever WCW Hall of Fame now, inducting Lou Thez, Verne Gagne, Eddie Graham and Mr. Wrestling II.

The Prisoner vs. Sting
Yup, the Prisoner is Nailz. In his exact attire from WWF. This was supposed to be Sting vs. Scott Norton I guess, but Norton no-showed. They try and saw that the Prisoner ran into Norton and beat him up. Wanna know what Prisoner’s offense is? Choking. That’s pretty much it. When he gets tired of using his hands, he tries to hang Sting with some wires. Sting rallies and wins with a flying clothesline.

Winner: Sting in 5:16
What the hell was this? Was Nailz really the best they could find? He was awful and having him choke Sting for a vast majority of this match was dull. DUD

WCW Tag Team Championship Steel Cage Match
The Hollywood Blondes (c) vs. Dos Hombres

So the story goes that Ricky Steamboat and Shane Douglas weren’t allowed another shot at the Tag Team Titles, so they dressed as “Dos Hombres” and won a non-title match. They are even introduced under their names here but the gimmick stuck because Douglas had quit WCW and they had to do this match. From what I’m reading, it was Tom Zenk filling in. Steamboat, I think, just tosses the Blondes into the cage multiple times. Austin sells it well. He even takes a suplex into the cage and gets stuck in a TREE OF WOE UP THERE! Steamboat hilariously parodies their camera taunt. The Blondes turn things around and Zenk plays the face in peril for a while. Steamboat gets the hot tag and does his thing. The crowd was pretty dead before this, as I’m guessing the legends style matches really killed them. Steamboat removes the mask and climbs the cage, bringing the crowd even more to their feet and flies off onto both Blondes with a massive cross body. He covers and the bell rings though he only gets a near fall. It’s confusing. The faces hit stereo dropkicks for two. Steamboat gets hit with a DDT right after Zenk takes a stungun. That gets Austin the 1-2-3.

Winners and Still WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Hollywood Blondes in 16:09
Along with the opening contest, this is easily the best thing on the show. It was a bit disappointing though since I thought that it would be better. The dead crowd and having to replace Douglas hurt this one for me. **¾

NWA World Heavyweight Championship
Barry Windham (c) vs. Arn Anderson

This is during that odd time where there was the NWA World Title and the WCW World Title. They feel each other early, with neither gaining a clear upper hand since they know each other so well. The fight spills to the ramp for a bit and Anderson tries to come off the top, only to be hit with a clothesline. It’s as if Arn knows he’s never won the big one and is trying to go out of his comfort zone to finally get it. Outside, Arn slams Barry face first into the guardrail, which would have been a DQ under WCW rules, but this is the NWA BAYBAY! Windham is busted wide open. Like, it’s bad. Arn again tries to go up but Barry meets him with a big dropkick. Windham gets some near falls inside until Double A busts out the spinebuster! He takes a bit to cover, allowing Windham to roll outside. Windham then tries to leave but Anderson brings him back. After a ref bump, Windham lays him out with a belt to retain.

Winner and Still NWA World Heavyweight Champion: Barry Windham in 10:57
I rather liked this match. The story of these two knowing each other well and Anderson going out of his comfort zone was interesting. I think the blood definitely added something to the match, though I was disappointed by the finish. ***

WCW World Heavyweight Championship
Big Van Vader (c) w/ Harley Race vs. Davey Boy Smith

It always surprised me how hard Davey Boy Smith was pushed in WCW. It’s like, because he did huge business at SummerSlam 1992, they thought he was a legit main event player. He no sells some Vader stuff early, showing that he’s a threat. They spill outside where Davey slams him in an impressive feat. Vader gets tired of selling for him and starts to kick his ass, causing Smith to bleed from the mouth. Smith nearly wins after Vader falls on his ass, literally, but only gets two. Smith starts the rally, picking up some near falls along the way but Vader is just too big and bad. Finally though, he is able to hit the big powerslam but Race grabs him and pulls him outside. Vader then takes a chair and whacks Bulldog.

Winner via disqualification: Davey Boy Smith in 16:18
Solid power match between two really strong guys. It lulled at certain points and definitely could have been better though. I also wasn’t a fan of that finish considering the previous match ended in unclean fashion. ***

After the match, Too Cold Scorpio and Marcus Bagwell try to make the save, but it’s Sting who actually stops Vader.

Overall: 3/10; Poor. Man, some of the things on the show are absolutely dire. To get the good stuff out of the way first, the main event, NWA Title match, opener and Tag Title match are all solid to good matches. That’s four watchable things but the rest of the card is pretty awful. The legends stuff did not work and effectively killed the entire crowd for the relatively good stuff later. This was a chore to get through. Next on “Random Network Reviews” will be Royal Rumble 1998!