Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

My Favorite Wrestling: WCW Worldwide 5/30/98

Johnny Attitude vs. Disco Inferno

ER: You wouldn't think you could get farther down the pecking order than Johnny Attitude, but that guy holds wins over The Gambler, Barry Horowitz, and Lenny Lane. That's right, LENNY LANE. Horowitz and Gambler might be lower than luchadors around this time.  Disco is face here and several moms and children in the audience do some disco dancing and I don't remember him as a beloved face in 1998. And you know who I'm wrong about? Johnny Fucking Attitude. He comes off like a 0.9 Bull Pain here, with a hard back elbow and full force running shoulder blocks, big ass powerslam, really cool body shots in the corner (plus he wears black gloves, and wrestling punches look impossibly cool when performed while wearing black gloves). He's a big guy and still makes Disco look good (though Disco worked nice hard stomps to the chest and dug in on contact moves) misses a big elbow off the top and bumps big for a Disco flying shoulderblock and runs face first into a Disco back elbow. Johnny Attitude looked like the queen of the fucking neighborhood in this match, totally turned me into an Attitude fan. Disco plants him with a great piledriver to win, and really this isn't far off from being a Worldwide classic. Maybe Attitude started to suck when he shaved his head bald? Here he had the cool mullet with baldspot, which is infinitely cooler. I believe most of the Attitude I've seen was from 1999, when he had the shaved head, so we might have a lost WCW superworker here...will do future investigation...

Jerry Flynn vs. The Cat

ER: Flynn would have been a bigger deal if he had turned that mullet into a crew cut earlier. Yeah, I know literally one second ago I was saying Johnny Attitude was better with a mullet. But Johnny Attitude wasn't going to be accepted by fans as "a guy", so he might as well have some character, and a mullet is more character than a shaved head. Jerry Flynn was good, a good heel, a good 5 o'clock shadow mug, nice kicks, nice positioning, nice kneedrops, no problem leaning into kicks; Flynn was good and his looked played too much like a Canon Films karate villain in a pre-irony/pre-nostalgia TV world. And this match is a good one. The Cat tried out a couple kick combos and Flynn knew how to make them look good. Cat had a nice springboard and the match ending Feliner looked like something that should end a match. Flynn positioned himself really well for Cat's offense, missed his own offense with aplomb (with a big missed elbowdrop, a nice missed chest-first charge into the corner), and a nice kneedrop to the temple. I wonder how much of Flynn's team with Finlay exists on tape?

Damian/Ciclope vs. High Voltage

ER: Damian is so skinny here it's insane. He's super slender and isn't wearing faceprint, and looks like Pablo Marquez (in build and in general appearance). And this whole match rules. It's surprisingly competitive and they never come up for air, so the fans are into it the entire time. Damien gets a nice run of offense after ducking some Kaos Klotheslines, hits a nice spinning heel kick, gets caught on a crossbody but gets a nice nearfall when Ciclope dropkicks him over. Ciclope lands a nice stiff missile dropkick and it's great seeing HV bumping around for the luchadors and not treating them like flippy Mexicans. But any generosity paid by High Voltage gets paid in full by Damian and Ciclope. We got High Voltage weirdly working a mat game by targeting Ciclope with half crabs and a snug if not charmingly clunky STF. High Voltage stock is going way up with me lately. I always weirdly liked Rage's early 2000s NJPW run, and liked the premise of Kaos tagging with Eaton for a bit, but I've been enjoying them a lot lately. Kaos was even doing cool little things in this match like missing low on back elbows and a lariat, a cool stop-momentum powerslam, all nice. Oh, and we got to see some crazy suplexes, as if Rage was just ad libbing ways to potentially shift a man's spinal column.

At one point Rage lifts up Damian in the most flat out pornographic, tender embrace. He lifts Damian up for what I think is going to be a bearhug, but ends up cradling Damian with both hands clasped under his buttocks. They pause there, in that accidental seeming embrace, making eye contact, Rage refusing to admit that he accidentally started holding him by his butt, cradling him like a lover he's about to lay on a bed. You give me 5 chances to open up a random page of any 70s Viva magazine, and I bet you one of those 5 will reveal a couple holding this same position. Is this the suplex version of that thing where someone misjudges a handshake and ends up punching someone in the boob while someone has a half hug on them? But Rage is gripping under those buns, and - if you want a sweeter visual - and it's almost as if now Damian is Rage's child, pulled sleeping from the backseat of the family auto, asleep after a long day driving back from grandma's. And Rage lifts him out of that backseat, and Damian isn't totally asleep, but he's tired and likes being carried by his father, who he heard adults sometimes address as Mr. Robert Rage. But then, his short but hulking gassed out dad named RAGE just throws him over his head, as far as he can! Yeah, Rage held Damian seemingly accidentally under the buns, and then said "No. I can still make this a suplex!" Maybe even briefly thought, as he was propelling Damian by the buttocks, future merch sales flashed through his head as time stood still, picturing shirts and Slim Jim style commercials where High Voltage yells "Make it into a SUPLEX!"

He tosses Damian FAR with this butt throw, and then, does the exact same thing the exact same way with Ciclope. I played in a few jazz combos in college, and a jokey trope I always heard was that if you play a brown note during a solo, go back to hit that sour note another time or two, make any know it alls in the crowd think that it was your intention to squawk right there and also there. It always felt like the only carny trick I was ever taught. I'd love to think that Robbie Rage was also taught this jazz con, and after chucking Damian across the ring he thought, "Well, better do it again, to this other guy, and also more dangerously close to the ropes." I love this little match! Skinny Damian taking splatty backdrop bumps High Voltage's big springboard Doomsday Device lariat, a tough Kaos press slam and powerslam, and of course, that one special moment we all got to share.

Super Calo vs. William Worthy

ER: Worthy is not a guy I remember at all, and before he was introduced (already in the ring) I just assumed Ice Train's original run went WAY longer than it actually did (before they weirdly brought back Ice Train during the promotion's death years). Worthy is smaller than Train, but muscular, and looks good. He makes Calo look really good, whips himself really fast into a sunset flip and goes over hard and low on the match winning top rope headscissors, also misses a big elbowdrop with great height. I want to see more of Worthy. Also, how many singles matches was Super Calo winning at this point? I had never heard of Worthy before this match but I figured "eh he has a good build and some symbol on his tights, probably a guy who is going to beat Super Calo in a singles match."

Brian Adams vs. Bobby Eaton

ER: This doesn't even go 2 minutes, which is a real damn shame. Because for less than 2 minutes, it was really fun. Eaton throws some big punches, Adams drops a nice legdrop (which Eaton actually shifts to bring the leg closer to his throat), Eaton almost gets his teeth kicked on on a huge Adams big boot (Adams was raising it right as Eaton was ducking and the toe of Adams boot swung up about 2" away from Eaton's swinging down face, could have been realllllllly ugly) and hits a nice powerslam, but that's it! What a drag, feels like it suddenly got the call home, but it's a taped show so who cares how long they run? This could have been so much more, and they cram a lot into a very short runtime, but under two minutes in a main event? Get out of here with that.


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