Segunda Caida

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

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

My Favorite Wrestling: WCW Worldwide 10/1/95

Disco Inferno vs. Barry Houston

ER: Did you know that Disco once got a Goldberg-type security entrance? I sure didn't, but it happened here. His music played for awhile, and he wasn't coming out, and we cut to the back to see Doug Dillinger knocking on his dressing room door. The door opens and Disco is combing his hair in the mirror like Tony Manero, and then he breaks out a hilarious "Ayyyyyyyyy, I'm not done combin' muh hair ova heeya", and then he does some dancing in the mirror, and then we get the long walk of Disco from his dressing room to the ring, where he takes forever to fully undress (he is also wearing the Tony Manero white suit during this era) and the music has been playing for minutes on end and Rachel calls from downstairs "What are you watching up there?" and I yell back "I'm watching WCW and it's an extremely long Disco Inferno entrance obviously!" Barry Houston is always a guy you want to show up on TV, and this is no exception. The match honestly wasn't much, all Disco quickly running through some simple spots and winning with a swinging neckbreaker. But it really made me go on an outloud tangent about how Barry Houston should have got some kind of larger role somewhere. He was too talented to wind up where he wound up, as occasional WCW TV wrestler. He got a lot of WWF attention and I remember reading about him being in their Dory Funk dojo, he was a guy clearly on everybody's radar, who never broke through. Do we know why? Is Barry Houston the best non-Gambler surprise choice for SCI? I want answers!

Kurasawa vs. Scott Armstrong

ER: I love the idea that some WCW writer took a film class in college that showed Rashomon, and a few years later gave the newest evil foreign heel the name, presumably because he couldn't remember   the name Mifune. And my god I was in. to. this. Kurosawa was really cold here, and then explosive in the right moments. He oddly had a kind of Jake the Snake vibe, but replace more of the mind games with bullying. And Armstrong is a great guy to be a bully against, because he'll fight back believably and have nice babyface comeback punches. Kurosawa caught a crossbody that wasn't easy to catch, low around his knees, and then hoisted up Armstrong in one clean and jerk, really no help from Armstrong, just yoinked him up over his shoulder. Kurasawa hits a nasty shoulderbreaker, and it's a move he could have finished with. Instead he throws Armstrong into the ropes and catches him in a great Fujiwara armbar, and holds it for 7 seconds after the ref calls for the bell. There was something incredibly satisfying about seeing that shoulderbreaker set up --> Fujiwara finish.

Alex Wright vs. The Grappler

ER: I don't think I know who the Grappler is here. I think it might be Vern Henderson, but it could be someone younger. I don't remember Grappler as a regular, so it has to be someone pulling double duty. This is kind of messy, but they pulled out some things I didn't expect, and the crowd was amped for Alex Wright, which was fun to see. Also, Bobby Heenan kept making amusing jokes the entire match implying that 19 year old Alex Wright was wearing a hairpiece.

Bobby: "How do you think he keeps his rug on when he does those armdrags?"
Tony: "He's 19 years old! He's not wearing a piece!"

It was a genuinely funny bit they were doing. There are a couple cross ups in the match, at one point Wright just runs into Grappler and get tangled up as Grappler just falls over. But he whips off fast armdrags, gets incredible height on his nice hooking heel kick (crowd especially reacted to that), he  front suplexes Grappler onto the top rope in super impressive fashion, then plants him with a great superplex. It was cool that WCW gave Wright the shot that they did.

Goddamn there have been three commercials for Jade during this episode of Worldwide and I've NEVER SEEN IT and I now really want to make it a point to watch Jade. The 90s was filled with that steamy crime trash, and it's all bad and always makes me want to see more. And Jade was like the penultimate 90s trashy detective romance sleaze, and I know that I will be watching straight to video Jade ripoffs before I ever watch Bicycle Thieves or Tokyo Story.

Big Bubba vs. Johnny Drayton

ER: This goes about 40 seconds, and is the kind of beatdown that makes me proud that this guy was one of my childhood favorites. He was a big fat guy whose belly hung over his pants in the exact same way my dad's belly did, so Bossman to me looked like my dad as a big cool wrestler instead of as a smart, polite dentist. It makes me so happy that Bossman holds up. We've all liked a ton of things at various points in our life that do NOT hold up. I'm sure we've all enjoyed things within the past 5 YEARS that don't hold up today. So 38 year old me still enjoying a wrestler that 8 year old me enjoyed? That's a special thing. I am not familiar with Drayton, but he gets attacked pretty early by a grizzly and we don't recognize the body afterwards. Bubba throws some great uppercuts and a heavy lariat, hits that polo punch lariat you wanted to see, then absolutely STICKS Drayton with the Bubba Slam. You work a 40 second match, you work it like this.

Arn Anderson vs. Sting

ER: Arn is wearing a cool gray/black scheme that I don't remember seeing him in. Looks awesome. He comes out like the best version of "guy bringing cups to a cookout" meme, just raising his hands and apoplectic at the Worldwide crowd's boos. This feels like a really big match to have on Worldwide, and there's a ton of time left in the episode. Now, this doesn't wind up going 15 minutes. Pillman runs in and jumps Sting 5 minutes in, and then Flair comes out to run them off. But up to that point we get the greatness you'd expect, with Arn being someone you couldn't take your eyes off. He stooged and fell on his butt, traded Beat It punches with Stinger, dropped a great elbow onto the top of Sting's head, and the feeling out process alone would be something you'd be into. We even get the great spot where Arn goes for the DDT but takes a hard back bump as Sting holds onto the ropes. Sting hits one of his most joy filled leaping elbowdrops afterwards. He was like a kid jumping into his swimming pool at his already-deemed-kickass 10th birthday party.

We end the show with an absolute barnburner of a promo from Flair. Flair is up on the Worldwide stage with Sting and Okerlund (and they rarely did promos from the Worldwide stage this late, in fact I don't think I've ever seen it on Worldwide after this), begging Sting to be his friend. Sting doesn't trust Flair for a second and Flair is doing all of this incredible foot stomping and demanding Sting shake his hand, begging from his knees, jumping to his feet to have a fit that Sting won't shake his hand. Flair even tries to settle for a high five and Sting won't let him have it, and we fade out with Flair finishing one of his all time great moments in comedic timing. This was no hyperbole one of the best Flair promos I've seen, total megastar. He knew the right amount of seriousness, bombast, and comedy.


COMPLETE AND ACCURATE WCW B-SIDES

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