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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

My Favorite Wrestling: WCW Pro 6/22/96

Billy Kidman vs. Jushin Liger

ER: Weird little match that I did not remember happening. Does anyone remember heel Liger working a mini run on the WCW D show? This is short but plenty of fun, Kidman was a good guy to get beat around, and Liger had no issue beating Kidman around. We get some slippery wristlock roll throughs to start, but Liger tires of that pretty quickly and lands a handspring elbow and drops him with a great brainbuster. It is kind of odd that he worked the brainbuster into the match so early, as he ends up winning the match with a superplex/bodyslam/top rope splash, which all looked tough but that brainbuster is a thing of beauty. He also hits that fantastic rolling kick into the buckles. Perhaps the oddest thing about the match is right smack in the middle of it, Kidman hits one of the best shooting star presses he's ever hit. It was short, quick to the mat, and landed really nicely right across Liger's chest. The fans went nuts, right when it was hit, Liger kicked out at 2. I didn't realize a shooting star press (done against Liger!) in 1996 was a kicked out of move in the states, or anywhere. Also odd that Liger immediately went back on offense right after such an awesome move. So the structure and layout was all over the place, but the match itself was really fun, which is basically what I watch these shows for.

Disco Inferno vs. Johnny Boone

ER: I love when Boone shows up, he's a big bumping jobber and he usually looks like a slightly cleaner cut Jamie Dundee. That has never been more true than in this match. He's wearing turquoise tights/singlet top, and the tights have purple and pink tassels. He has the same kind of shaved sides short mullet, but no dirty mustache, instead the beginnings of an IT guy goatee. Boone is a great guy to have on a roster though, he'll take a Hot Shot painfully, he'll throw a dropkick that's one of those great Memphis dropkicks, like Lawler's, and he'll hold a schoolboy tight. I should think of a different way to phrase that last part, so that SVU crimes bots don't find this site and begin tracking down me AND Boone. So let me explain that when Johnny Boone really holds a schoolboy tightly, what I mean is that he holds that schoolboy so deep and tightly that it's very difficult to escape or kick free. Fixed it.

Steve Armstrong vs. V.K. Wallstreet

ER: "Let me talk to you about Mutual Bonds, Steve Armstrong." There's nothing that confuses these Florida tourists more than one of those stock market tycoons. Wall Street was in theaters so many years before this match. Armstrong is really great here. He's the same size as Wallstreet and works like it, which is a nice twist on a jobber match. Armstrong holds a snug headlock, takes a big bump through the ropes and that hard stage, big flipping bump on the low knee. Steve Armstrong is also a man who holds schoolboys tightly. This match is fantastic because Wallstreet does all his most bullshit bullshit, holds an abdominal stretch in the ropes at weird time, holds a couple of nice chinlocks, but the fans respond in a HUGE way! ALLLL of Wallstreet's stuff gets the crowd absolutely rabid for Armstrong, which is wonderful. The fans are going crazy for an Armstrong sunset flip and a roll up, and is going nuts when Wallstreet eats boot in that stupid spot where a guy is apparently going for an axe handle to a lying down opponent. Armstrong even hits a great stiff arm southpaw lariat for a nearfall. But Wallstreet quickly ends the fun and just hits a big samoan drop for the win. Fired up fans for heavyweight Steve Armstrong? Yes please. Match ruled for that.

Nasty Boys vs. Public Enemy

ER: Did the Public Enemy live in the studio where they taped Pro? I swear these guys never leave, they just haunt MGM Studios in Orlando. And this is babyface Nasty Boys, which is weird but it's kind great to see them coming out and slapping hands with fans. Sags is even chatting with fans in the front row. He totally makes this chubby white kid's day, leans in and asks him "how are you doing buddy?" while rustling the kid's cap (white shirt with a white baseball cap, like he had been out whitewashing fences earlier that day) and the kid excitedly yells "ALRIGHT!" This kid's eyes were beaming, totally made his vacation. The match itself wasn't great. It's weird seeing Sags as a face in peril, with Rocco working wristlocks on him. It gets plenty of time and it wasn't awful, but it PE weren't very interesting on heel offense, you get clumsy moments like Knobbs not really rolling out of the way of a Drive By, but everybody acted like he was. Plus, if you're watching a Nasty Boys match you kind of just want to see them be unprofessional. I don't want a very sympathetic Nasties team. They're from Nastyville. The breakdown was pretty good, with Knobbs finally in and throwing a big lariat to both PE. But the out of the ring stuff that ended the match was great, with both teams brawling to a double DQ, and Knobbs getting hiptossed off the apron through a table, but instead bounces off and over the table, onto the stage, and down the two steps of the stage to the floor. Knobbs hits like 5 hard surfaces on his way down, then got up punching. So we ended as strongly as possible.


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