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Chairshot Classics

Chairshot Classics: WCW Starrcade 1995 – USA’s Toughest Meet Japan’s Best

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Starrcade 1995
Our weekly Chairshot Classics WCW PPV series continues with Starrcade ’95!

Open: “As countries from across the globe compete for global dominance, World Championship Wrestling has accepted the challenge from New Japan Pro Wrestling in a best of seven battle for the World Cup of Wrestling. It’s Starrcade 1995.”

Match #1 – Best Of 7 Series for the World Cup Of Wrestling: ‘Crippler’ Chris Benoit vs. Jushin Thunder Liger w/Sonny Onoo
Collar & elbow tie-up to start us off, Benoit powers Liger to the canvas, they lock-up again with the same result, The Crippler avoiding a third lock-up with a kick to the midsection. He grabs a side headlock and Jushin sends him off to the ropes, gets run over by a shoulder block, Benoit goes back to the ropes, slides under Liger and surprises him with a double leg takedown. Jushin uses his legs to toss The Crippler away, scores with multiple arm drags, follows with a dropkick and Benoit rolls to the outside to regroup. Liger doesn’t give him a break and connects with a baseball slide, flies off the apron with a somersault senton, then allows the official to count.

The Crippler steps back inside and they go in for a test-of-strength, Benoit muscles Jushin to the mat, Liger bridges back up, but is forced down again. The Crippler hauls him to his feet, gets caught by a headscissors takedown, Jushin delivers the Abisegeri, then goes to shoot him to the ropes. Benoit reverses it, cracks him with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a 2 count, sets for a powerbomb, but Liger counters into an arm drag. The Cripper pops right back up and charges, Jushin leapfrogs over him, hits an overhead belly-to-belly suplex, drills him with a dropkick and Benoit spills to the outside. Liger hits the ropes for a head of steam, feigns an outside dive, The Crippler takes a breather, comes back in and calls for another test-of-strength, but suckers Jushin into a kick to the ribs.

He slams him with a snap suplex, follows up with a back suplex, whips him to the ropes for a big clothesline and slaps on an elevated Boston crab. The Crippler releases the hold and covers for 1, fires off stinging chops, Liger comes back with a series of palm strikes, Benoit decks him with a right hand, plants him with a bridging german suplex and gains a near fall. He quickly tries another cover for 2, looks to drag Liger back up, Jushin surprises him with a double leg takedown, flips him over and locks him in a Romero special. He switches to a modified dragon sleeper, Benoit rips at the mask to break free, Jushin stays on him, grounding The Crippler with a camel clutch.

Benoit powers his way up with Liger on his shoulders, drives him down with an electric chair, hooks him for another back suplex, Jushin switches his weight and falls on top, but only gets a count of 2. The Crippler quickly lifts him for a tombstone piledriver, Liger reverses it, plants him with an inverted belly-to-belly slam, then heads to the high-rent district. Benoit drills him with a right hand, climbs up and hits a superplex, crawls into a lateral press, but still can’t put it away. He scoops Jushin up for a body slam, ascends the corner to the top turnbuckle, takes flight for a Diving Headbutt, but nobody’s home. Liger drags The Crippler to his feet, shoots him into the corner, charges in with another Abisegeri, then connects with a Liger Bomb that nearly finishes it.

He hauls Benoit up and spikes him with a Brainbuster, The Crippler barely gets the shoulder up at 2, Jushin argues with the official about the count, attempts to shoot Benoit to the ropes, but it’s reversed. Liger ducks under a back elbow, gets flattened by a clothesline, The Crippler hooks him for a pair of german suplexes, plants him with a powerbomb, then goes back upstairs and hits the Diving Headbutt. The Taskmaster & Jimmy Hart run down to ringside, Sullivan climbs onto the apron, distracts Benoit, The Crippler turns around, gets surprised by a hurricanrana and Jushin steals the victory.
Winner: Jushin Thunder Liger (Hurricanrana)

  • EA’s TakeSay what you will about some of the cheesy gimmicks and behind-the-times angles going on in WCW’s main event scene, but I’ll tell you, they sure figured it out with how to kickoff a pay-per-view using their undercard. It’s been multiple PPVs now that WCW has put on an excellent opener, really setting the tone with their younger, more athletic stars. The people are behind Benoit all the way here despite the fact The Horsemen are heels, backing WCW in this international clash courtesy of their working relationship with NJPW, so for the most part feuds are on hold, however The Taskmaster showing up will lead us to an excellent on-screen rivalry with Benoit that also led to scandalous behavior in real life. Also, isn’t a co-promotional PPV so strange to think about now, at least on this big of a scale? Could you ever imagine WWE doing something like this today with another company? Especially with New Japan being hot again like it was during 1995?

Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund is joined in the locker room by Eddie Guerrero, Eddie says what just happened to Chris Benoit doesn’t sit well with him, claims The Taskmaster had no business out there and should have stayed away. Guerrero states it’s an honor to be here representing WCW in the World Cup of Wrestling, speaks about Shinjiro Otani being a tremendous athlete, so he had to put the hours in the gym to bring his best tonight. Eddie proclaims he will go out and give it his best like always and hope for a win.

Match #2 – Best Of 7 Series for the World Cup Of Wrestling: IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Koji Kanemoto vs. ‘Das Wunderkind’ Alex Wright
They lock-up to a stalemate to start us off, go in for another collar & elbow with the same result, they tie-up once more and this time Wright hooks on a hammerlock. Koji reverses to one of his own and takes Das Wunderkind to the mat, Alex counters out with an arm drag, slaps on a wristlock and Kanemoto slips away after an arm drag of his own. Another lock-up now and the champion gains a side headlock, switches out to a drop toe hold, starts to work over the left knee, Wright finds his footing, then clocks him with an enzuigiri.

Das Wunderkind unloads with European uppercuts, goes back to a wristlock to punish the left arm, Koji reverses to one one of his own, Wright cartwheels through for a hip toss, then grounds him with an armbar. Kanemoto works to a vertical base and gets sent off to the ropes, Alex catches him with an arm drag follows with multiple headscissors takedowns, then scores with a dropkick. The champion staggers to the ropes, Das Wunderkind buries shoulders to the breadbasket, builds a head of steam for a crossbody and both guys spill over the top to the floor. Wright uncorks another uppercut and slides back inside, Koji tries to pull himself up to the apron, gets knocked back down with a baseball slide, Alex hits the ropes, then takes flight with a crossbody plancha.

Kanemoto loses his cool and yells at a fan in the front row, takes a minute to regroup before stepping into the squared circle, they tie-up and Wright snapmares him over for a rear chinlock. He releases the hold and delivers a dropkick to the spine, slaps the rear chinlock back on, the champion finds a standing position, backs him into the corner and scores with stinging chops. He snapmares Wright over and drives down an elbow to the top of the head, brings him up for a series of leg kicks, rocks Alex with a spinning wheel kick, then planks him across the top in the corner. Kanemoto hammers him with shots to the abdomen, drops him to the canvas with a dropkick, powers Das Wunderkind to the apron, wants to suplex him back inside, can’t pick him up and instead sends Alex to the floor with a dropkick.

Koji climbs up top for an outside dive, Wright sees it coming and quickly takes a walk, the champion stays in pursuit, slingshots over the top with a crossbody, then goes to whip him into the barricade. Das Wunderkind turns the tables and sends Kanemoto into the guardrail instead, heads back in and allows the champion to get a breather, Koji hops back to the apron, gets caught by a kick and Alex tries to suplex him back in. Kanemoto slides out of it, sets for a Bridging Tiger Suplex ant hits it, but Wright gets a foot on the ropes at 1. Koji scoops him up for a front slam, scales the corner for a moonsault, doesn’t go for the cover and puts the boots to Das Wunderkind.

He shoots Wright to the corner and follows him in, Alex hops up-and-over, plants him with the Bridging German Suplex, but still can’t find a 3 count. Wright drags him up, staggers him into the corner with a jumping heel kick, drives shoulders to the abdomen, sends him across and charges in with a back elbow. He drops Kanemoto with a front slam and steps out to the apron, slingshots in for a splash, utilizes a lateral press to cover, but the champion finds the ropes to stop the count at 2. Alex looks to upstairs for a missile dropkick, Koji tries to cut him off with a dropkick of his own, both guys are off-target, fall to the mat and double down.

They stumble back to their feet and Das Wunderkind looks to shoot the champion into the corner, Kanemoto reverses, Wright springs to the top rope for a crossbody, but still can’t put it away. He hooks Koji for another Bridging German Suplex, Kanemoto fights out with back elbow, decks Alex with a spinning back kick, delivers a body slam, then springs off the 2nd rope with a corkscrew senton. The champion with a lackadaisical cover that only gets 2, he climbs back to the high-rent district for a crossbody, Das Wunderkind meets him in mid-air with a dropkick, ascends the corner and connects with a missile dropkick, props him on the top turnbuckle.

He climbs up and hits a superplex for a near fall, wants to whip the champion to the corner, Kanemoto reverses it, catches Alex trying to hop up-and-over, then drops him face-first on the top turnbuckle. He sweeps the legs with a double leg takedown, jackknifes over into a cover and picks up the win.
Winner: Koji Kanemoto (Jackknife Cover)

  • EA’s TakeTwo more young talents here in a match that was a little bit similar to the first one, but not nearly as crisp. Kanemoto has a good amount of charisma for a Japanese star, something which was not the norm for this time, while Das Wunderkind is still a clean-cut babyface who was remarkably only 20-years old, but was already considered to be a veteran. He’s still pretty “white meat” as a character though and it appears WCW is using their younger stars to put New Japan over, likely allowing the bigger names to get them back into the series through the night.

Backstage: Gene Okerlund is in the locker room and plugs the WCW Hotline, welcomes in Sonny Onoo and Sonny claims the World Cup of Wrestling will soon be out of hand for WCW. Onoo says after New Japan’s victory he might try to purchase WCW, Okerlund tells him that’s assuming someone’s willing to sell it, but Sonny states that in America, everything is for sale.

Match #3 – Best Of 7 Series for the World Cup Of Wrestling: Masahiro Chono w/Sonny Onoo vs. ‘The Total Package’ Lex Luger w/Jimmy Hart
Big pop for Luger as he enters the ring, the bell sounds and they exchange words, The Total Package fires first with right hands, then slaps on a side headlock. Chono pushes him off to the ropes and gets run over by a shoulder block, Lex muscles him up for a military press drop, buries kicks to the ribs, then shoots him to the ropes. Masahiro ducks under a clothesline, scores with multiple flying forearms, goes back to the ropes and connects with a Mafia Kick, sending Luger retreating to the outside. He gets some advice from Jimmy Hart, Chono steps out and stalks him around ringside, they meet back in the squared circle and Masahiro calls for a test-of-strength.

The Total Package baits him into a knee to the breadbasket, drives Chono coast-to-coast into the turnbuckles, puts the boots to him in the corner, then sets for a suplex. Masahiro blocks it and delivers a snap suplex, unloads with knees to Luger in the corner, chokes him, then snapmares Lex out and starts ripping at his face. The Total Package fires up with heavy forearms, irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Chono catches him in a sleeper hold, plants Lex with a reverse DDT, then locks on the STF. Luger drags himself to the ropes to force a break, Masahiro argues with the official, batters The Total Package with right hands, Lex tries to battle back, hits the ropes and gets split by an inverted atomic drop.

Chono builds a head of steam and drills Luger with another Mafia Kick, climbs to the top turnbuckle and flies off, but gets surprised by a back elbow to the jaw. Lex finds his footing, powers him up into the Torture Rack and Chono submits.
Winner: ‘The Total Package’ Lex Luger (Torture Rack)

  • EA’s TakeIf you just jump into this match without knowing any of the angles going on in WCW at the time, you might think Luger is a babyface because he was very over with the crowd. Part of that is the fact that he’s the first “top star” they’ve seen in the ring so far, but another part is his association with Sting I think. He’s supposed to be a heel, but the people don’t seem to want to boo him. Like I had said about the last match, it looks like the younger stars will be doing the heavy lifting in the squared circle for the most part, this match being pretty short and to the point. Chono is a legend in Japan that we’ll certainly be seeing more of in the future, had the match-ups been different tonight then I’d argue he should have been one of the NJPW guys to get a win.

Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene is joined by Sting in the locker room, The Stinger says it’s now 2-1 in favor of New Japan, claims Johnny B. Badd is about to even the score and believes WCW is coming on strong. Okerlund reminds Sting that Kensuke Sasaki defeated him not long ago for the United States Title, The Stinger states that was a bad day and the championship isn’t up for grabs tonight, but pride certainly is. He speaks of Sonny Onoo wanting to buy WCW, says it will happen over his dead body, then talks about tonight’s Triangle Match. Sting says he is friends with Lex Luger, reminds us things got a little edgy with ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage last week, but he patched that up. The Stinger states that he has to do what he has to do tonight and expects Luger to do the same thing.

Match #4 – Best Of 7 Series for the World Cup Of Wrestling: WCW World Television Champion Johnny B. Badd w/The Diamond Doll vs. Masa Saito w/Sonny Onoo
Sonny grabs a microphone and says he doesn’t think The Diamond Doll should be here, states she should be home cooking and doing dishes, thinking that’s what is wrong with America. The Doll swipes the mic away, informs him this isn’t a Japanese bathhouse and she’s not a geisha girl, then wonders if wrestling is for men, why is Sonny here. Everyone gets set now and we’re underway, they lock-up and Saito backs Badd to the ropes, breaks clean and takes a bow. The champion looks puzzled, ducks under a collar & elbow for a hammerlock, switches to a wristlock and Masa hurls him over with a hip toss.

He catches Johnny coming back in with a modified STO, grounds him with a seated cobra clutch, transitions to a rear chinlock, Badd finds his footing, but gets ripped down by the hair. The champion pops right back up, they go into another tie-up, Saito breaks free and scores with stinging chops, Johnny fires back with some of his own and they continue trading shots. Masa hooks in a side headlock to slow things down, delivers a chop to the throat, drives Badd head-first into the top turnbuckle, then chokes him over the bottom rope. The official finally backs him off, Sonny uses his flagstaff to get in some more choking, Masa follows with the Saito Suplex, goes for a cover and gets only 2.

He whips the champion to the ropes, levels him with a clothesline for another 2, grinds him down with more choking across the 2nd rope, then distracts the ref for Onoo to some more in. Saito hits a side russian leg sweep for a count of 2, hauls Johnny up, the champion starts to battle back, shoots him to the ropes for a kick to the abdomen, then drops him with a knee lift. Badd ascends the corner and comes off with a high double axe handle, climbs upstairs again and hits a sunset flip, but Masa just barely kicks out at 2. Johnny scores with a kick to the chest, ducks under a clothesline, unleashes a series of lefts-and-rights, then hooks Saito for a snap suplex. Masa kicks out fast at 1, Sonny hops to the apron to create a distraction, Badd grabs him by the jacket and Saito clobbers him from behind, dumps the champion over the top and that’s a disqualification.
Winner: Johnny B. Badd (Disqualification)

  • After The Bell: The Diamond Doll climbs into the ring and Saito stalks her, Johnny rolls in from behind, batters Masa with fists, then clears him outside with multiple dropkicks. He slingshots onto Saito with the Badd Mood, chases Sonny around ringside and then slides back in to celebrate with The Doll.
  • EA’s TakeI think I’d have to go with this one over Luger/Chono now for worst match so far. It looked like there were communication issues between Badd & Saito, so this felt really choppy at some points, had little build to anything and the finish was bad. I always thought the over the top DQ was the dumbest “rule” and if you’re going to book a DQ, had much less meaning than say, outside interference or use of a foreign object. However, for storyline purposes it does tie things up now 2-2. We’re getting seven matches in this World Cup Of Wrestling “no matter what”, so it’s not too hard to figure how this will go down.

Backstage: Gene Okerlund is in the locker room with Lex Luger & Jimmy Hart, The Mouth of the South talks about The Taskmaster having a short fuse and that’s why he got involved with Chris Benoit’s match earlier in the night, warning The Four Horsemen they are in a lot of trouble. The Total Package speaks of WCW being all about the big match, believes the moment has arrived and talks about facing Sting and Ric Flair tonight. He says it’s all for the top prize and that’s ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage’s WCW Title, states that Savage is pathetic as a champion and he’s coming right at him, reminding us that he’s had Macho in the Torture Rack many times. Lex tells Jimmy he needs to go out tonight by himself for just this one time, Hart says he’s here for a good time and not a long time, saying Luger just needs to bring the title home.

Match #5 – Best Of 7 Series for the World Cup Of Wrestling: Shinjiro Otani w/Sonny Onoo vs. Eddie Guerrero
The crowd gets into it with some “Eddie” chants as we start out, Otani looking very cautious, continuously backing to the corner as Guerrero approaches. They finally tie-up and Eddie grabs a side headlock, Shinjiro counters with an arm drag into an armbar, Eddie gets to a standing position, but gets pulled back down by the hair. He works back up and looks for an arm drag, Otani blocks it, rips away at Eddie’s face, Guerrero slipping free before regrouping. They tie-up again and Otani backs Eddie to the ropes, doesn’t break clean and grabs for his nose, Guerrero finds some space, Shinjiro picks the leg and gets rocked by an enzuigiri.

Otani takes a break in the corner, they go in for another lock-up, Eddie snapmares him over, grinds the bottom of his boot in Shinjiro’s face, looks to haul him up and gets surprised by a single-leg takedown. Otani locks on a heel hold, tries to transition to a front facelock, Guerrero counters to a rear chinlock and Shinjiro fights to his feet. He shoots Eddie to the ropes for a back body drop, Guerrero backflips over him, turns around and gets launched by a monkey flip. Both guys pop back up quick, Eddie avoids a clothesline, irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Otani elevates him into the air, but gets caught by a headscissor takeover. Shinjiro rolls to the floor for some council from Sonny, heads back into the ring and they go in for a test-of-strength, but Eddie explodes into a dropkick.

He scoops Otani up for a body slam, steps to the apron, slingshots in with a somersault senton, then looks for the submission with a Boston crab, then switches to a single-leg crab. Shinjiro pulls himself to the bottom rope to force a break, Eddie hauls him up, plants him with a powerslam, stacks Otani and gains a near fall. He spikes Shinjiro with a brainbuster and tries another cover, Otani gets a foot on the ropes at 2, Eddie drags him back up, shoots him to the corner and follows in with a clothesline. He drives Shinjiro head-first into the top turnbuckle, sends him to the opposite corner, rushes in for a splash, Otani slips to the apron to avoid it, then springboards in with a missile dropkick.

Guerrero gets sent to the outside, Shinjiro springboards off the top with a crossbody, throws him into the squared circle, then steps in and sends him to the ropes for a dropkick. Otani chokes Eddie with the bottom of his boot, uses the bottom rope to get in some more, puts the boots to him and proceeds to tear at Guerrero’s face some more. He hooks in a rear chinlock, Eddie fights to a standing position, plants him with a Saito suplex, then rolls into a cover for 2. Guerrero sets him up for another brainbuster, Otani slides out it, hits a bridging german suplex for a count of 2, then quickly crawls to the apron. He springboards in with a spinning wheel kick, delivers a body slam, heads to the high-rent district, but Eddie’s there to meet him with right hands.

Guerrero climbs up for a super hurricanrana, still can’t finish it off, powers Shinjiro up for a sit-out crucifix powerbomb and again Otani kicks out at 2. Guerrero pulls him to his feet for a waistlock, they exchange standing switches, Shinjiro sweeps the legs, slaps on a modified ankle lock and Eddie reaches for the bottom rope. The official has to force Otani to break the hold, Guerrero pulls himself up using the ropes, Shinjiro rushes in, gets dumped to the floor and Eddie heads out in pursuit, driving him into the barricade. He drops Otani on the floor with a body slam, climbs up to the apron, springboards off the top with a crossbody, then deposits him back inside.

Eddie climbs back to the apron and looks to suplex him to the floor, Shinjiro blocks it, hits a suplex of his own to bring Guerrero into the squared circle, then rolls to the apron. He springboards in, connects with a missile dropkick to the back of the head, says that it’s finished and attempts his patented Bridging Dragon Suplex. Guerrero fights it off and hits the ropes for a hurricanrana, Otani rolls through for a cover, they trade-off pinning predicaments and Shinjiro finally holds him down for a 3 count.
Winner: Shinjiro Otani (Roll-Up Counter)

  • EA’s TakeI think I still would pick Liger/Benoit over this one, but man, that was a pretty good match. Lots of high-flying, which I didn’t really expect from Otani, plus some really high impact moves. Especially those powerbombs by Eddie, a move he really seemed to excel at which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s seen him perform. Unfortunately for Guerrero, Savage & Sting are still left to wrestle in this and if New Japan is going to pick up a win out of the three of them, Eddie is the odd man out. He’s still getting a solid push still in WCW and would continue to rise up the ranks over the coming year, gaining popularity despite being “cookie cutter” with no real on-screen persona.

Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene is back in the locker room and welcomes in WCW World Heavyweight Champion ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, informing him that it’s all up to him now with New Japan up 3-2, then the Triangle Match. Savage tells him to forget about the Triangle Match, claiming the pressure is on him with WCW’s back against the wall. He speaks about thinking Sting is cool still, speaks of Luger’s win earlier in the night and says they are in a team situation until later. The champion states he’s wrapped up in the moment, plans on taking advantage of it and tells Tenzan he is coming to get him. Okerlund says he just got off the phone with Hulk Hogan who is suspended, tells Savage that Hulk wants to know what frame of mind he’s in, Macho stating that he’s in the zone and that’s what makes him different.

Match #6 – Best Of 7 Series for the World Cup Of Wrestling: Tenzan w/Sonny Onoo vs. WCW World Heavyweight Champion ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage
The fans are getting behind Savage as the bell sounds, collar & elbow tie-up begins things, both guys jockey for position and the champion backs Tenzan to the corner before the official forces a clean break. They lock-up again with the same result, Tenzan catches Macho with strikes this time around out of the corner, batters him into the canvas, then rams him face-first off the top turnbuckle. He grinds the champion’s face into the turnbuckle padding, shoots him to the ropes for a clothesline, hooks the leg for a 2 count, then slaps on a front facelock.

Tenzan rakes Savage’s eyes, puts him in the corner and unleashes a barrage of chops and headbutts, chokes him with the bottom of his boot and then celebrates. Macho surprises him with a kick, drives him head-first off the top turnbuckle, uncorks a series of right hands, Tenzan absorbs it all and returns fire with a headbutt. He rakes the champion’s eyes and looks to wear him down with a nerve hold, clobbers him across the back, Savage rips at Tenzan’s nose to stop the onslaught, then whips him to the ropes. Tenzan reverses it, connects with a spinning wheel kick, puts the boots to him, then rocks him with more headbutts.

Macho rolls out to the floor and Tenzan comes outside in pursuit, rams him off the steel post, drives him into the barricade and deposits him back in the ring. Tenzan climbs inside, continues to batter Savage with kicks and headbutts, sends him to the ropes for a fireman’s carry slam and goes to the top rope. He scores with a Diving Headbutt and hooks the leg, the champion barely kicks out at 2, Tenzan picks him up for a body slam, climbs back up top for a moonsault, but nobody’s home. Macho sends him to the apron with a clothesline from behind, reaches over the ropes to suplex him back inside, drops him stomach-first on the top rope, then heads upstairs. He soars off the top with the Diving Elbow Drop and hits it, makes the cover and WCW ties it up.
Winner: ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage (Diving Elbow Drop)

  • EA’s TakeIf you enjoy a lot of choking and throwing punches, this is definitely for you. This is nearly 1996 and the days of Savage/Steamboat performances from WrestleMania 3 from Macho have been over for a while. At the same time however, he’s still Randy Savage and ‘Over’ like he was a Drake single. I found it dry and boring, but that was all because of Tenzan as he controlled basically the entirety of the match. Plus, like I said after the last match, it was very predictable. All negatives in my book and besides, the more interesting parts of the night for Savage are yet to come.

Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene is still in the locker room and talks about a meltdown taking place in the wrestling world, which you can hear about on the WCW Hotline. He reminds us of the score in the World Cup Of Wrestling, brings in Ric Flair and The Nature Boy speaks about WCW vs. New Japan, but it’s all about the WCW World Title. Flair claims he will style and profile, reminds Sting & Lex Luger they have to beat the man to be the man, stating they will both have wrestled already while he is fresh.

Match #7 – Best Of 7 Series for the World Cup Of Wrestling: WCW United States Champion Kensuke Sasaki w/Sonny Onoo vs. Sting
Sasaki goes on the attack as Sting finishes his entrance to the squared circle, the bell rings to make it official and he unloads with kicks to the midsection, then chokes him over the 2nd rope. Kensuke bludgeons The Stinger across the back, sends him head-first into the top turnbuckle, scoops him up for a body slam and make a lackadaisical cover for 1. He hooks in a rear chinlock, Sting battles his way back up, sends the champion to the corner for a Stinger Splash, then tries to shoot him across. Sasaki reverses, hits the ropes and plants The Stinger with a running bulldog, goes back to the ropes for multiple clotheslines, attempts another and it’s off-target.

Sting explodes up with a dropkick, clotheslines Kensuke over the top to the floor, the champion clears the cobwebs, steps back up to the apron and Sting sets to suplex him back in. Sasaki slides out into a waistlock, gets decked by a back elbow, The Stinger rushes in, gets planted by a powerslam and the champion says it’s over. He spikes Sting with the Northern Lights Bomb, doesn’t go for a cover and plays to the crowd, puts the boots to The Stinger, then slaps on an armbar. The arena fills with “USA” chants, the champion releases the hold and peppers Sting with more kicks, whips him to the ropes for an arm drag takeover, goes into a lateral press and finds a 2 count.

He hooks The Stinger by the legs and puts him in a Scorpion Deathlock, Sting powers out of it, goes for a kick, Kensuke blocks it and makes him pay with a dragon screw leg whip. He grabs the leg to go for another, The Stinger drills him with an enzuigiri, both guys stumble back to their feet, Sasaki props Sting on the top turnbuckle, then puts him over his shoulder. He charges across the ring to drive him into the turnbuckles, Sting slips out of it, pushes Kensuke into the corner, flattens him with a clothesline, goes downstairs with a kick and hits the ropes for a one-handed bulldog. He quickly goes for the legs, turns the champion over into the Scorpion Deathlock, Sasaki crawls to the ropes, but gets dragged back to the center of the ring and submits.
Winner: Sting (Scorpion Deathlock)

  • After The Bell: ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, Eddie Guerrero, Alex Wright, Johnny B. Badd & Lex Luger make their way to the ring to congratulate The Stinger, Gene Okerlund steps into the squared circle, Chris Benoit has arrived and the trophy is in the ring. ‘Mean’ Gene calls for a round of applause for Team WCW as the winners of the World Cup Of Wrestling, gets a word from Sting, he says he’s still got more work to do tonight, but for now just wants to say “USA”.
  • EA’s TakeFor as quick of a match as this was, compared to the earlier contests from Luger & Savage, it was the more entertaining. The pacing was solid and didn’t get too slow, but again, it was very predictable. You’re basically killing two birds with one stone here as Sting gets a win back from Sasaki after losing the US Title to him, getting him away from contending for it and puts the finish on the World Cup Of Wrestling. So maybe it should be three birds with one stone. He’s of course still to come in the Triangle Match, while the champion would lose his title against One Man Gang in I suppose what would be the dark match main event. Why would you even have a dark main event at Starrcade, let alone that one you may ask? Because WCW is all I can tell you.

Video: “Three men, one title. Three of the top superstars in the history of WCW will vie for the chance to face WCW World Champion ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage. Macho won the title at World War 3 when he was in the last man in the ring…or was he? Regardless, Savage is the champion. The contenders? Lex Luger, who returned to WCW in September and made his intentions clear, claiming he is the uncrowned champion. The other, Sting, who has kept friendship with Luger intact even after Luger’s bizarre actions over the past few months in WCW. However, many have been wondering about Sting. As one of WCW’s most popular athletes, he has been involved in many bizarre incidents as well causing many, like Hulk Hogan to question his allegiance. Finally, there is ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair, a man with a definite advantage as Luger and Sting will wrestle earlier in the night. A coin toss will decide which two men will start the Triangle Match. A man can tag out at any time, however the man who scores the pinfall will go on to meet Savage.”

Match #8 is a WCW World Heavyweight Championship #1 Contender’s Triangle Match: ‘The Total Package’ Lex Luger vs. ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. Sting
Referee Nick Patrick does our coin toss and Luger is the odd man out, Flair drops to a knee and poses to taunt The Stinger, does a strut and belts out a “Woo!”. Sting gives us one of his own, they lock-up and The Stinger backs Flair to the corner, they break clean and Sting shouts out to the people again. The Nature Boy looks for a test-of-strength, suckers Sting in for a kick to the gut, looks to send him to the ropes, The Stinger reverses, delivers a military press slam, then flattens him with a clothesline for 2.

He quickly attempts the Scorpion Deathlock, The Nature Boy is too close to the ropes, slides outside for a breather, then comes in and they tie-up again. Flair hooks on a hammerlock, uses the ropes for extra leverage and gets caught, the official forces him to release it and The Nature Boy hits right hands and chops in the corner. He goes right back to the hammerlock to grind Sting down, brings him up to shoot him into the corner, connects with another big chop and does a strut, but it has no affect. He turns around and The Stinger does a strut of his own, launches him out of the corner, connects with a dropkick, then sends him to the ropes for another military press slam.

The Nature Boy tries to beg off in the corner, Sting climbs to the 2nd rope, rains down heavy hands, bites Flair on the forehead, then hits the ropes for a one-handed bulldog. Flair rolls back outside to seek refuge, catches The Stinger coming out with a boot to the breadbasket, whips him into the guardrail, but Sting rebounds back out with a clothesline. Flair tries to do it again and The Stinger absorbs it, chases The Nature Boy back into the squared circle, then tosses him out of the corner again. He looks to follow with a dropkick again and it’s off the mark, Flair taunts Luger, hits the ropes for a kick to the midsection, decks him with a stiff punch and goes back downstairs with more kicks.

He baits Lex into the ring, the ref is distracted and Flair tosses Sting over the top to the floor, steps out and scores with knife-edge chops against the barricade, then heads back inside. The Nature Boy drags Sting to the center, connects with a knee drop for multiple counts of 2, does another strut and buries kicks into the ribs, then hooks The Stinger for a delayed vertical suplex. He mocks The Total Package by flexing and Sting bounces right back up, unleashes a flurry of right hands, props Flair on the top turnbuckle, The Nature Boy rakes the eyes, shoots him to the ropes, but Sting reverses for a third military press slam.

He positions Flair back on the top turnbuckle, climbs up to deliver a superplex, crawls into a cover, Luger steps in to break it up, but Sting spots it and stops him in his tracks. They exchange words and Lex goes back to the apron, The Nature Boy ambushes Sting from behind, he falls into the corner and The Total Package tags himself in. Flair runs away to the outside and walks up the aisle, Lex gives chase, carries him back to the squared circle and The Nature Boy tries to beg him off. Luger uncorks with fists, Flair goes to the ribs with a kick, buries punches into the midsection and hits the ropes for a shoulder block.

He runs into a brick wall and falls to his backside, hits the ropes for another try and gets the same result, Luger shoots him back in and powers him up for his own military press slam. The Total Package corners Flair and goes to the 2nd rope for a barrage of punches, The Nature Boy collapses face-first to the mat, Lex delivers an elbow drop and gets a 2 count. Flair sticks a thumb to the eye to buy some time, cuts Luger down with a chop block, stomps away at the left leg, drapes his legs over the apron, Sting has words with the ref, The Nature Boy grabs a chair on the floor and cracks Lex across the knee. He steps back in and continues to work over the left knee, struts to taunt The Stinger and hold the official’s attention, The Nature Boy takes the opening for a low blow to Luger, then wraps him in the Figure Four.

Flair uses the ropes for more leverage out of the ref’s sight, The Total Package works over onto his stomach to reverse the pressure, The Nature Boy gains the ropes, crawl out to the apron and tries to set for a suplex to the floor. Lex blocks it, brings Flair inside with a suplex of his own, crawls into a lateral press for 2, The Nature Boy staggers back to his feet first, then makes his way up top. Luger tosses him to the canvas with a military press slam, Flair fires away with fists and chops that have no affect, hits the ropes for a shoulder block, but The Total Package doesn’t budge. The Nature Boy gets angered, challenges Sting & Lex to bring it on, tags himself out and now The Stinger must enter the match.

Sting & Luger exchange words, they shake hands which earns some boos, they tie-up and Lex backs The Stinger to the corner, but breaks clean. Another collar & elbow and this time Sting drives Luger to the corner before a clean break, they go for a test-of-strength, The Total Package instead delivers a kick to the abdomen, rams The Stinger head-first off the top turnbuckle and puts the boots to him in the corner. He drives Sting back off the top turnbuckle, tries again and it’s blocked, The Stinger returns the favor heads to the 2nd rope for a series of punches, Luger powers his way out for an inverted atomic drop, but it doesn’t connect and he gets laid out by a clothesline.

The Stinger follows with another and Lex calls for a timeout, regroups in the corner, they lock-up again and The Total Package clubs Sting to the mat. He drives him spine-first into the turnbuckles, buries shoulders to the breadbasket, whips Sting across and charges in, but eats a boot to the jaw. The Stinger rushes out with a high knee, shoots him to the corner, The Total Package explodes back out with a clothesline, drops him throat-first across the top rope, then stomps away and Sting rolls to the outside. Lex steps to the apron and flies off for a double axe handle, The Stinger buries a right hand into the midsection, deposits him back inside, ascends the corner to the top and connects with a crossbody for a near fall.

He scoops Luger up for a body slam, slingshots off the 2nd rope with a splash, The Total Package gets the knees up, drops multiple forearms and hooks the leg for another2 count. He delivers a series of elbow drops and goes for a cover, Sting’s too close to the ropes and there’s no count, Lex hauls Stinger up for kicks to the ribs, Sting blocks one and drills him with big rights. He grabs the legs for the Scorpion Deathlock, Lex hooks the ropes to avoid it, sneaks in a low blow, splits Sting with an inverted atomic drop, then picks him up for a body slam. The Stinger surprises him with a small package for a near fall, The Total Package quickly sends him to the ropes for a back body drop, Sting counters with a sunset flip and still can’t put it away.

He can’t capitalize and Luger looks for a suplex, The Stinger blocks it, hits a snap suplex, both guys struggle back to a vertical base and Lex sends him to the ropes to try again for the back body drop. Sting prevents it with a kick, plants him with a one-handed bulldog, whips him to the corner for a Stinger Splash, sets for another, but this time nobody’s home. The Total Package muscles him up for the Torture Rack, Sting’s leg takes out the official on the way up, Flair steps in from behind, takes Luger out at the knee, then dumps them both to the floor. The referee comes to, puts the count on them both and neither man can make it back inside, giving The Nature Boy the match.
Winner: ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair (Count-Out)

  • After The Bell: Jimmy Hart comes to the ring and has a conversation with The Nature Boy,
  • EA’s TakeSo I definitely do not remember that count-out rule ever being talked about. You know why? That’s because it wasn’t and for a match that was the real selling point of Starrcade, a pretty lackluster way to finish it off. Of course I understand it’s a way to garner heat for Flair, but it seems more like it was done to protect Sting & Luger. This is a time when babyfaces very, VERY rarely lost clean in big matches, so doing anything otherwise would have really been an out of the box kind of thought, especially for WCW booking. This was certainly the most intriguing match in terms of storyline leading into the night, the focus primarily surrounding Sting & Luger to make Flair’s victory more of a surprise.

Match #9 for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship: ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. WCW World Heavyweight Champion ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage
Jimmy Hart
 is staying ringside for this one, Michael Buffer makes our introductions with both combatants already in the squared circle, the bell sounds and they go into a collar & elbow, the challenger quickly goes to the abdomen with a knee, then looks to shoot Savage to the ropes for a hip toss. The champion blocks it, counters to a backslide for an early 2 count, Flair retreats to the corner and Macho tears off his shirt, then throws it in the challenger’s face. They tie-up again and The Nature Boy backs Savage to the corner, scores with a big chop, the champion fights back with stiff rights and lefts, drops Flair with more heavy hands and ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Paul Orndorff comes down to ringside in a neck brace for a closer look.

Savage tears at The Nature Boy’s nose in the corner, climbs to the 2nd rope to rain down with fists, the challenger brings him out for an inverted atomic drop, then tries for the Figure Four. Macho kicks him away and slaps on a front facelock, Flair backs him to the corner, doesn’t break clean, but Savage fires back with more punches. He drives the challenger face-first off the top turnbuckle and shoots him across, The Nature Boy gets turned inside-out, flips over the top and falls to the floor. The champion ascends to the top rope and takes flight with a double axe handle, Flair catches him mid-flight with a shot to the breadbasket and we see WCW’s Head Of Security Doug Dellinger escorting Orndorff to the back.

Back at ringside and The Nature Boy drives the champion off of the guardrail, sends Savage’s bad arm into the ring post, Flair peppers him with stinging chops, then heads back inside. He distracts the official and Jimmy gets in a cheap shot on the champion, Macho crawls back to the squared circle, the challenger drags him in from the apron, then grounds him with a hammerlock to the taped-up arm. The Nature Boy uses the ropes for extra leverage out of the official’s sight, stomps away at Macho’s elbow, then continues punishing the injured limb with a wristlock. He grinds the champion back to the mat, delivers a knee drop to the arm, Savage pulls himself up in the corner, Flair goes right back to a wristlock and Macho scores with right hands to break free.

He hits the ropes and runs the challenger over with a shoulder block, goes back in and The Nature Boy drops down, pops back up and grabs the champion in a sleeper hold. Macho looks to drag Flair throat-first into the top rope, the challenger has to release it to put on the brakes, drags Savage to his feet and hits the ropes for a right hand. The champion blocks it, delivers a stiff punch of his own, falls into a cover for multiple near falls, whips The Nature Boy into the turnbuckles and elevates him with a back body drop off the rebound. Savage starting to build momentum now, connects with multiple clotheslines, uses a lateral press for another 2 count, rocks Flair with more big fists and then heads up top for a double axe handle.

Jimmy Hart hops on the apron and gains the ref’s attention, Macho jumps off and again catches a shot to the midsection. The Mouth of the South tosses Flair his megaphone behind the referee’s back, the challenger tries to waffle Savage, it’s blocked and Macho drills the challenger instead. The Nature Boy has been busted open and the champion makes the cover, the official is still busy with Jimmy Hart, Savage decides to climbs upstairs and scores with the Diving Elbow Drop. He makes another lateral press, The Mouth of the South is still holding the official, Brian Pillman sprints down to the ring and heads to the top turnbuckle.

Macho sees it, launches him off the top as Chris Benoit hits the ring, they collide and the champion chokes Flyin’ Brian in the corner. The ref’s involved now, Arn Anderson slides into the ring, decks Savage with a loaded fist, puts The Nature Boy on top, the official finally turns back to the action and we have a new champion.
Winner and NEW WCW World Heavyweight Champion: ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair (Outside Interference)

  • EA’s TakeBig pop for the title change, The Horsemen are supposed to be heels, but they were finding loads of cheers by this time. We’ve seen these two square-off multiple times now in both WWF and WCW, so you almost have no choice expect to give it all kinds of bells and whistles like interference in order to make it different. Personally, Flair is the greatest ever, however he will be the first to tell you that his standing in history is not due to his offense. As I said earlier, Macho’s best days are also certainly behind him, so this was middle of the road for me. Ultimately, this title change wouldn’t mean a whole lot as Savage would win it back heading into SuperBrawl in February. Macho will be bringing back his old flame Miss Elizabeth in January however, basically giving us a rehash of the Flair/Savage feud from the WWF in 1992.

EA’s FinisherSo we get a new World Heavyweight Champion, all the top guys competed twice in the same night, but for what is supposed to be WCW’s equivalent to WrestleMania, you didn’t get a few of their “big boys” on the card. Of course, this is due to the format of the World Cup Of Wrestling (Hogan also likely didn’t want to work two days after Christmas either and was therefore suspended on television. Pure speculation on my part), which I felt was an interesting concept that was used in Japan previously. New Japan didn’t have the following in America then like it does today, but for those who were familiar with their stars, I’d imagine you would be pretty stoked of the concept. As we head into 1996, the tides of the Monday Night Wars will be taking a drastic turn, as will the wrestling business overall, however there’s still a few more months of what we’re getting now storyline-wise before that happens.

Top Three To Watch
1 – Chris Benoit vs. Jushin Thunder Liger
2 – Eddie Guerrero vs. Shinjiro Otani
3 – Lex Luger vs. Ric Flair vs. Sting


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Chairshot Classics

Chairshot Classic: Andrew’s 2019 AEW Double or Nothing Ratings & Analysis

Take a look back at AEW’s first PPV effort, the 2019 Double Or Nothing in Andrew’s Retro Ratings and Analysis!

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AEW Double Or Nothing 2019AEW Double Or Nothing 2019

Take a look back at AEW’s first PPV effort, the 2019 Double Or Nothing in Andrew’s Retro Ratings and Analysis!

With AEW Double Or Nothing–the 2022 edition–on the horizon, enjoy this trip down memory lane as Andrew Balaz reviewed the inaugural Las Vegas AEW pay-per-view…spectacular?

Well this is history boys and girls. Good, bad or indifferent, it’s the first show of the IWC’s favorite t-shirt company. What becomes of Hangman since he’s injured and PAC cancelled? What surprises will we get?

We all sit here with bated breath. Some want it to fail, many want it to succeed. Me? I just want it to not suck.

Let’s see what we got!

Ratings:

  • Casino Battle Royal: Hangman Page wins @10:45 – **
  • Sammy Guevara vs Kip Sabian: Sabian wins Argentine Facebuster @9:55 – ***
  • So Cal Uncensored vs Strong Hearts: SCU wins via Best Meltzer Ever @14:00 – *** 1/2
  • Britt Baker vs Nyla Rose vs Kylie Rae vs Awesome Kong: Britt Bakers wins via Kneecap Brainbuster @11:05 – ***
  • Best Friends vs Angelico & Jack Evans: Best Friends win via Strong Zero @12:55 – ** 1/2
  • Riho, Hikaru Shida &  Ryo Mizunami vs Aja Kong, Yuka Sakazaki & Emi Sakura: Hikaru wins via Three Count @13:10 – *** 1/4
  • Dustin Rhodes vs Cody Rhodes: Cody wins via Crossroads @22:35 – *****
  • AAA Tag Team Championship: The Young Bucks (c) vs Lucha Brothers: Bucks retain via Meltzer Driver @25:00 – *****
  • Kenny Omega vs Chris Jericho: Jericho wins via Judas Effect @23:50 – **** 1/4

Analysis:

This was definitely a mess. A few spots, a bunch of messy spots and just generally awkward moments. Flying Brian Jr had a few decent spots, Luchasaurus looked good and Orange Cassidy is awful. Hangman being the 21st entrant made a lot of sense, but probably already upset a few people since it wasn’t CM Punk or Jon Moxley. Of course Page won. He can fight with a bum leg, cause he has three of them. So yeah, not an awful match, but it had a lot of issues.

Sabian looked tremendous in this match. Guevara definitely did too much. Shooting Star onto Sabian draped over the outside barricade, a bad double Moonsault and standing Shoot Star hurt the match a little. But Sabian’s technically proficient, charismatic and can hang in the air a bit too. So Sabian was the star here. Solid match.

Well now, this was great. Strong Hearts trio pulled off some great fluid offense and SCU did fantastic. This was just a great match, I can’t really accurately describe more than great match. Best Meltzer Ever is a little dumb when it comes to names, but damn was this a good match.

So Brandi comes out in her gear to swerve us that she’s adding herself to the match, but instead she adds Awesome Kong! So the Triple Threat turns into a Fatal 4 Way and it’s not bad. A lot of the early portion is focused on taking out Kong, then Nyla becomes the target. Britt and Kylie are the ones left in the ring after the collateral damage. Kylie looks to be firing up for a finish, but Britt catches her in a Kneecap Brainbuster (Adam Cole’s Last Shot in ROH).

Excessive spots, excessive near falls, I knew to expect it to a degree with these four, but that doesn’t make it better. This was definitely an ‘Indie style” match, but the crowd seemed to enjoy it. There was a lights out attack on both teams from…some team, with masked minions. The “Who Are You” chant kicks up and commentary doesn’t lend any information. So that’s really not helpful.

Everyone got their stuff in, we got to see a lot of personality from the different women and the action was solid. I also appreciated Emi Sakura trying to rally momentum doing We Will Rock You stomps (since she was dressed as Freddy Mercury). Save for the big mess up with the bell ringer calling the end of the match when the referee obviously held up 2 and said 2, just messed up the flow and gave away the finish since Hikaru’s music played. Not bad, just the ending did kind of take the air out of a pretty good match.

Wow. Dustin and Cody brought it, Dustin bladed pretty deep, I think even Dusty would’ve blushed. New moves from Dustin like the Misawa style Apron Senton, a Code Red and a few classics. The blood, the desire to keep fighting, this was everything wrestling should be. It made sense for Cody to win the match of course, but wow after the match was a beautiful moment. Also call of the night might have to go to Excalibur when Cody hit a Pump Kick aka Bicycle Kick and you hear him say something like ” He hit him with a BICYCLE”.  In a huge homage to Dustin and Dusty’s Heart to Heart promo, Cody tells Dustin he can’t retire, because he needs a partner. He doesn’t just need a partner, he needs his big brother. This was a great way cap off such a hard hitting personal match. Wow.

Belt reveal with a few extra curricular and Bret Hart. Much like Bret Hart, the belt doesn’t do anything for me. It looks a lot like Big Gold, but it’s so ostentatious it’s hard to love it. Just too shimmery or whatever. It’s not bad, but I in no way love the belt.

I’m very happy there was the unveiling ceremony between the Rhodes match and this one. Cause this was a great match and moving it out too quick could’ve hurt the crowd immersion. Great tandem moves, a decent thread of the ring rust playing a part against the Young Bucks early on and just generally great spots. There definitely was a lot of stuff, big spots and it was “spot monkey” style, but it all worked. The Lucha Brothers pulled out crazy moves to try and get the AAA belts back and the Bucks were trying to prove they still had it with most of the year off. Just really really good.

Well now Jericho and Omega pick back up where they left off. Referee Paul Turner allows for a lot of out of the ring shenanigans. Jericho busts Omega open, tries to use a table as a shield, but Omega still throws himself at Jericho.Jericho focuses on Omega’s face with the Triangle Dropkick, a Lionsault went high and this was pretty damn solid. A few missteps and Jericho not countering the first One Winged Angel was car crash worthy, but aside from that, this was nice. Multiple Codebreakers followed by the new Judas Effect, leave Omega laying for the 1, 2, 3.

Jericho says AEW is for him not for fans, and he deserves a thank you. When the crowd pops, Jericho thinks it’s for him, but Jon Moxley makes his debut through the crowd! Almost as if it were a reference to Lex Luger showing up on the first Nitro, it looks like Jericho basically says “You don’t work here”. Dirty Deeds to Jericho, Dirty Deeds to referee Paul Turner and Omega manages a burst of energy to brawl for a little bit. They end up on the poker chips, Moxley hits Dirty Deeds and then just dumps him off, onto some other stage item.

Overall Score: 8.5/10

Well damn, I was skeptical since All In didn’t rate as highly for me as other fans, but this was great. Aside from a few personal gripes, and not really enjoying the cluster that was the Battle Royal, this was one of the better shows of the year thus far. Good surprises like Awesome Kong, Bret Hart and Jon Moxley. Jericho winning the main event breaks up The Elite getting the clean sweep, so that shows it’s not as predictable as All In.

Oh and yes, I can’t express how good the Rhodes match was. The match itself, the story it told, the promo after, everything was just beautiful. That is my number 1 match of the year personally, cause it was just too damn poignant.

Good job AEW. Great show, and the symbolic moment where Cody used the sledgehammer to break the replica throne Triple H used for his WrestleMania 22 entrance. It was awesome.


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Chairshot Classics

Chairshot Classics: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. The Rock from WWE Backlash 1999

Ahead of WrestleMania Backlash, Chris King takes a stroll back to WWE Backlash 1999 as Stone Cold Steve Austin defends his WWE Championship against The Rock. 

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WWE Backlash 1999 Steve Austin The Rock

Ahead of WrestleMania Backlash, Chris King takes a stroll back to WWE Backlash 1999 as Stone Cold Steve Austin defends his WWE Championship against The Rock.

Let’s set the scene for a minute, you’ve got “The Texas Rattlesnake” and Corporate Rock going one-on-one at WrestleMania XV. Austin wins the championship and the McMahon family is livid. Stone Cold wants his Smoking Skull Championship belt back, and Vince and Shane McMahon are trying to keep it from him by hook or by crook.

Damn, things were different during the Attitude Era, The Rock threw Stone Cold over a bridge and held a funeral for his rival. The storytelling was captivating and exciting, and it kept you guessing what would happen next. Keep in mind this match was conclusively built around a championship belt, something that would never work in the current product.

It was a high-octane no disqualification match with Shane as the special guest referee for their latest encounter. Austin began the match running straight into the ring for a brawl which spilled out all over the arena.  I miss how exciting these two superstars were. Rock hit a vicious Rock Bottom through the Spanish announce table and then got on commentary to talk some smack.

The arrogant challenger took the camera to talk trash while Austin laid on the other announce table, and ate a Stunner through the table. Man, the WWE Universe was on fire throughout the entire match. I feel like both superstars can’t put on a bad match because they have such strong in-ring chemistry.

The finish of the match came when Austin had Rock set up for the three-count but Shane refused to count. Vince came down and struck Shane with the Smoking Skull belt. Austin hit another Stunner and decked the challenger with the belt for the victory. Vince then tossed his rival his precious Smoking Skull Championship.


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