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The Top Ten 4.10.07: WCW Matches


HEIDENREICH

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HEIDENREICH

Poneje ima dosta fenove na tazi federacia tuk (az ne sum sred tiah) eto edna dosta goliama klasaciika na bai Julian.Enjoy!

Honorable Mention: Chris Benoit vs. Kevin Sullivan (Great American Bash '96)

What makes this match so memorable is not only that it was an insane brawl that went all over the arena, but also because it felt so real due to the real-life issues between both men. At the time, Kevin Sullivan was a booker in WCW and thought it would be a great idea to put himself in a feud with Chris Benoit in order to elevate his own status. He made the basis of their feud an alleged affair that Benoit would have with Sullivan's real-life wife, Nancy Sullivan aka Woman. Life imitated art in this case because Benoit was in fact having a real-life affair with Mrs. Sullivan. Needless to say, these two men did not like each other due to the real-life situation involving Woman. That hatred was apparent in this match as the two men just stiffed the hell out of each other in a brutal battle that went everywhere, even the men's bathroom! Some memorable spots in this match include Benoit getting kicked down some concrete steps, Sullivan slamming (and I mean SLAMMING) a bathroom stall door into Benoit's unprotected head, and Benoit giving Sullivan a superplex off of a table propped up in the corner of the ring for the three count. The post-match antics were memorable as well as it had been teased for weeks that Arn Anderson would leave The Four Horsemen to join up with Sullivan's Dungeon Of Doom stable and Anderson hit the ring after the match, but attacked Sullivan instead of Benoit and the two men proceeded to stomp The Taskmaster HORSEMEN STYLE! This match also features one of my favorite calls ever from Dusty Rhodes as Sullivan and Benoit are fighting in the men's bathroom and a woman joins the men to cheer the two on: "There is a lady! There is a lady in the men's bathroom! Whoa Baby!!" Classic.

Honorable Mention: Cactus Jack & Maxx Payne vs. The Nasty Boys (Spring Stampede '94)

If anybody tries to tell you that a great match can't be done in under 10 minutes, refer them to this match and then watch as they shut the hell up. This match was just absolute action for the entire duration as all four men fought all over the arena, including by a souvenir stand (which they destroyed). This was just brutal shit that was completely ahead of its time and wasn't seen in any mainstream promotion at the time. These guys hit each other with some STIFF chairshots and basically just beat the shit out each other for our perverse enjoyment. The match ended when Saggs pushed Cactus off of the OLD SCHOOL entrance ramp head first to the concrete below and then cracked him in the head with a shovel for the three count. This was just an awesome brawl packed into less than 10 minutes, but the pace is so frenetic that you never even notice how short it is.

Honorable Mention: The Midnight Express vs. The Southern Boys (Great American Bash '90)

The Southern Boys, if you're wondering, were Steve Armstrong and Tracy Smothers. The Midnights were in the twilight of their run together and people started to wonder if they could still perform how they used to, but on this night Sweet Stan and Beautiful Bobby proved why they were one the best tag teams ever. Jim Cornette even called this match one of the Midnights best matches EVER and considering some of their classic matches, that is a high compliment to this match. The Southern Boys were pretty much seen as fodder before this match, but after this impressive showing, they immediately became big time contenders in the tag team division. This was just a great match that saw The Midnight Express dominate for most of it by secluding Smothers into their side of the ring. Smothers was eventually able to get the hot tag to Armstrong and then it all broke down from there with The Midnights hitting The Rocket Launcher and doing the OLD SCHOOL switch-a-roo, but The Southern Boys just couldn't be put away. The ending came when Sweet Stan nailed Smothers in the back of the head with a kick from the apron which allowed Beautiful Bobby to roll him up for the win. This is definitely a forgotten classic and should be looked up by anybody who loves great tag team wrestling.

Honorable Mention: Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk (Clash Of The Champions 6)

Five Letters. Two Words. I Quit. Those words spoken by the great Gordon Solie made it seem like uttering those words would be so simple, but these two warriors would engage in an intense battle before either one even thought to say it. Flair dominated early with some wicked chops, but Funk proved himself to be a tough son-of-a-bitch by absorbing those stiff blows and fighting back. Funk would then dominate the next portion of the match with some hard left hand shots and some insulting slaps to the face. Those slaps were enough to awaken Flair and from that point on, all hell broke loose. Flair chopped the hell out of Funk all around ringside and tried to get his hands on Funk's manager, Gary Hart, which enabled Funk to gain control. Then in a great little sequence, Funk asked Flair if he remembered about his injured neck (from the plane crash) and told the ref to ask Flair to quit before he piledrived him and when Flair refused to quit, Funk not only piledrived him in the ring, but piledrived him on the floor as well. Brutal stuff at the time. Funk continued to dominate and tried to set up a table, but Flair fought back and then, in one of the coolest spots ever, Flair threw Funk across the table and headfirst into a steel chair. It's hard to describe, but awesome to look at. Flair dominated the rest of the match, but Funk showed incredible resiliency by taking the onslaught by Flair and not quitting until Flair locked in the Figure-4 in the middle of the ring and Funk had no choice but to quit. A great, intense brawl that set the standard for all I Quit matches that followed.

Honorable Mention: Sting vs. Cactus Jack (Beach Blast '92)

This was a falls count anywhere non-title match(Why they made it non-title when Cactus didn't win anyway is beyond me) that pitted the dangerous Cactus Jack against the World Champion Sting. This match was insanely fast paced with both men taking some very vicious bumps. Sting won the match after delivering a flying clothesline to Cactus from the top rope onto the ramp. Mick Foley often refers to this match as his favorite pre-WWE match and considering some of the crazy shit he did in ECW as well as Japan, that's saying a lot.

10) Vader vs. Cactus Jack (Halloween Havoc '93)

This was the blowoff to a rather forgettable feud, but even the writing team couldn't screw up the great match that these two men would go on to produce. This was a Texas Death Match (which was like a glorified Last Man Standing match) and the action in this match was absolutely brutal. These two blasted each other with steel chairs, Cactus got tossed repeatedly on the concrete, both men bled profusely, Vader fell backwards ONTO Jack, and Jack got zapped with a tazer before this insane brawl was over with. This was just classic Cactus Jack shit and given the fact that he was in there with a man that was more than happy to stiff the hell out of him, you know this match was fantastic.

9) Jushin "Thunder" Liger vs. Brian Pillman (Superbrawl II)

This match is one of the greatest opening matches ever and is only eclipsed in my eyes by Bret/Owen at Wrestlemania 10. These two were two of the best light-heavyweights in the world at the time so to see them lock up and get a sufficient amount of time was a great treat for all true wrestling fans. This was a match over the Light Heavyweight Championship and these two men gave a performance that automatically gave some legitimacy to the belt. Liger was an outsider from Japan so the crowd didn't know what to expect from him, but he quickly won them over through some impressive moves. Pillman more than held his own by delivering some high risk maneuvers that proved why his nickname was "Flyin" Brian. This match had it all with high flying action, technical wrestling, and submission holds. The ending saw Liger so for a diving headbutt and miss which allowed Pillman to roll him up for the win and become the first WCW Light Heavyweight Champion. This is a perfect, timeless match. If you haven't seen it, please do so immediately.

8) Bret Hart vs. Chris Benoit (Nitro, 10/4/99)

This was the most emotional match of both men's careers as they fought in an exhibition match in the honor of the late Owen Hart in the same building that Owen tragically passed away in. The match started off with some great mat wrestling exchanges and the respect that each man had for one another was apparent. As the match wore on, though, that respect was replaced with a competitive spirit and both men started going all out. The crowd respected both men, but they were solidly behind Bret in this case and who could blame them. This was such an evenly contested match as both men threw their best stuff at each other and the other would kick out of it. Benoit hit Bret with a Tombstone Piledriver and Bret would kick out, Bret would drive Benoit on his head and Benoit would kick out, Benoit would throw Bret all around the ring with German Suplexes and Bret would kick out, Bret would suplerplex Benoit and Benoit would kick out. It seemed that neither man would ever get a decisive advantage over the other. Benoit was able to reverse the Sharpshooter into the Crippler Crossface and nearly got Bret to tap out until he reached for the rope. Bret would eventually fight off another attempt at the Crossface and lock in The Sharpshooter in the middle of the ring which forced Benoit to tap out. This was just a great, emotional match that is required viewing for fans of either man.

7) The Steiner Brothers vs. Sting & Lex Luger (Superbrawl '91)

This was a rare babyface/babyface tag team matchup that featured four of the biggest stars in the company at the time. The Steiners were without a doubt the most popular tag team at the time, Sting was as popular as ever, and Luger was motivated which meant that he could put on some damn good matches. The match started with some mat wrestling exchanges between Rick Steiner and Luger, but that was just the calm before the storm. Things picked up when Rick tried to go for a flying shoulderblock and bounced off Luger like a pinball as Lex just ran right through him. Rick would then recoup with a SWANK german suplex and a Steinerline, but Luger would get right back up and nearly decapitate Rick with a clothesline of his own. Sting then got tagged into the match and instantly brought the awesome by diving to the outside onto a dazed Rick Steiner. After a missed Stinger Splash in the corner, Rick was able to tag in Scott who ran in (this was pre-roided up freak) and delivered a gorgeous Tiger Driver to Sting, followed by a tilt-a-whirl slam which made the crowd become unglued. There was so much action that followed that, it is virtually impossible to call it all. Just some of the great spots included Rick delivering a bulldog to Luger from the top rope, Sting dropkicking Rick in the back from the top rope, and Sting reversing a tombstone piledriver attempt by Scott Steiner into one of his own (and the announcers actually called it the tombstone piledriver, that surprised me). The ending came when Nikita Koloff came down to ringside to try to attack Luger, but Sting pushed him out of the way and got nailed with a steel chain by Koloff. That allowed Scott to cover for the three pin and retain the Tag Team Championship. Despite the screwy ending, this was an unbelievable match that has to be seen to be fully appreciated.

6) Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat (Chi-Town Rumble '89)

This was the first encounter between Flair and Steamboat in their legendary 1989 series of matches and this match gave a sign of all the greatness that was to follow. Steamboat was a family man who wanted to bring honor and prestige back to the World Heavyweight Title and Flair was the stylin', profilin' Champion that thought of Steamboat as a bore. Steamboat was able to dominate early by winning some lightning quick exchanges and surprised Flair by just how quick he was. Flair was able to regain control later in the match with some wicked chop. Then these two men had one of the best exchanges I've ever seen as Flair flipped over the top rope and climbed to the top for a crossbody, but Steamboat was able to counter into a roll up for a two count and when both men got up, Flair was able to hit a reverse atomic drop and apply the Figure-4. That's the kind of stuff that leaves you breathless as a fan, just a terrific exchange. Steamboat was able to get to the ropes to break the hold and after both men exchanged some stiff shots, Flair ran the ropes and crossbodied Steamboat over the top rope. Flair dominated from that point on and seemed to be on the verge of retaining his title until Steamboat fought back and came off the top rope with a crossbody that knocked not only Flair out, but the referee as well. With the ref out, Flair tried to take advantage, but Steamboat was able to roll him up to pick up the three count and the World Heavyweight Championship. Despite the ref bump, this match was absolutely flawless but who knew that these two would go on top this terrific performance.

5) Sting, The Steiner Brothers & Brian Pillman vs. The Four Horsemen (WrestleWar '91)

This was a WarGames match so you instantly know that it was a good match, but once you see the combatants involved, it goes from being just a good match to a classic match. The match started with Barry Windham and Brian Pillman, as Pillman wanted revenge on Windham who had injured his shoulder. Pillman dominated the much bigger Windham with a variety of aerial moves and some inventive uses of the cage. It wasn't too long until Pillman busted Windham wide open and had the match well in hand until the coin toss, which gave The Horsemen the advantage which allowed Flair to come in. Pillman fought valiantly despite being at a disadvantage, but soon the numbers game caught up to him and he was sent flying into the cage (injured) shoulder first. For the next few minutes Flair & Windham dominated Pillman, until the time period expired and Sting made his way into the cage to a HUGE ovation and proceeded to beat the hell out of both Flair and Windham. Larry Zybszko was the next one in and Sting greeted him into the match by flying from one ring to the other and onto The Living Legend. The Horsemen once again had the advantage until Rick Steiner came in and gave a Steinerline to everyone standing in his way. Rick threw ‘Naitch head first into the cage and Flair joined Windham as another bleeder in the match. Sid Vicious came in next and didn't have as big of an impact as you'd think as Sting's team was still able to not be dominated despite the odds being against them. The last man is was Scott Steiner and he came in on fire by Steinerlining Flair and Windham and giving a Tiger Driver to Zybszko. All hell broke loose from that point on in a great spot, all 4 members of Sting's team locked in a Figure-4 to all 4 members of The Horsemen which made the crowd go NUTS. The Horsemen were able to stave off that close call and Sid Vicious would soon focus on the smallest man in the match, Brian Pillman, and delivered a powerbomb that looked like it should have killed Pillman right there. If that wasn't enough, Sid picked Pillman back up and delivered another powerbomb, but at least this time he didn't nearly MURDER him. Pillman was completely out of it and that brought out his friend, El Gigante, who threw in the towel for Pillman and as a result, Sting's team. This was just a brutal, unforgettable affair that is certainly one of the best WarGames ever.

4) Rey Mysterio vs. Eddy Guerrero (Halloween Havoc '97)

When you talk about a perfectly wrestled and flawless match, you don't have to look any further than this classic between Rey Mysterio and Eddy Guerrero. On this night, these guys hit everything and I mean EVERYTHING. All their spots and moves were perfectly timed and perfectly executed. There was never a down moment in this match as it was non-stop action for nearly 14 minutes straight. Eddy played the asshole heel role to perfection in this match as he was constantly pounding on the smaller Mysterio, but Rey was able to hang in their with some absolutely unbelievable moves. The match ended when Rey countered a Splash Mountain attempt into a hurricarana for the three count. This was thought of by many to be the best match of 1997 and that's VERY impressive considering the numerous amount of great matches that took place in 1997, namely the first ever Hell In A Cell match. If you've never seen this match, what the hell are you waiting for?!?

3) Steve Austin, Rick Rude, Larry Zybszko, Arn Anderson & Bobby Eaton vs. Sting, Barry Windham, Ricky Steamboat, Nikita Koloff, and Dustin Rhodes (WrestleWar '92)

This is considered by many to be the greatest WarGames match ever and it's hard to disagree with that statement. This match was the culmination of the Dangerous Alliance angle, which if you think about it was very similar to the nWo storyline except that it didn't go on forever. Sting's team represented WCW who were trying to rid WCW of the Dangerous Alliance for good. This match was insanely bloody with particularly Austin and Rhodes bleeding all over the place. The ending saw Sting lock in an armbar to Eaton, who had already severly hurt his arm in the match, for the submission. This was an absolutely fantastic, classic, can't miss match.

2) Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat (Clash Of The Champions 6)

This was the rematch to their classic encounter at Chi-Town Rumble and this match was contested under 2/3 falls rules. The first fall was intense as both men slapped each other in the face and chopped the shit out of each other before getting down to some frenetic action. The chops that these two gave each other sounded like gunshots going off, they were just absolutely VICIOUS. The first fall ended after Steamboat missed a missile dropkick which made Flair go for the Figure-4, but Steamboat was able to counter into a roll-up, but then Flair REVERSED that into a roll-up of his own for the three count. Steamboat started the second fall feverishly knowing that his back was against the wall. He delivered some wicked chops before dropping about 14 or 15 elbows in a row onto Flair's knee. Flair seemed dead to the world by that point until Steamboat locked in a Boston Crab which had Flair screaming in agony. Flair was able to fight out of it and get back into the match until Steamboat was able to hoist him up into a Double Chickenwing and that proved to be to much for Flair as he submitted and lost the second fall. That was monumental not only because it tied the match up, but because it was the first time Flair had ever submitted. Flair realizing that he was in bad shape, immediately went after Steamboat knee in the third fall and was soon able to cinch in the Figure-4. Steamboat was able to make the ropes, though, much to Flair's chagrin. Then, in one of my most markish moments ever, Steamboat sends Flair to the buckle but Flair does the Flair Flip and when he tried to run over to the other turnbuckle, Steamboat chops the shit out of him and knocks ‘Naitch down on the apron. I jumped out of seat and applauded the first time I saw that, great stuff. The fall continued with some great back and forth exchanges until Steamboat got Flair up in the Double Chickenwing again, but this time Steamboat's legs had sustained too much damage and they buckled underneath him. This made Flair land on top of Steamboat, put seeing that his shoulders were down, the referee counted the three count against Flair, despite the fact that his leg was under the bottom rope. Thus, Steamboat retained his championship, albeit under controversial terms. This classic match would then be followed up by…..

1) Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat (WrestleWar '89)

Many people prefer their Clash VI match, but I still think that this match is the best wrestled match I've ever seen. This match also had a clean finish unlike their two previous encounters, which ended in controversy. This match also started to signal a babyface turn for Flair as the crowd was behind Steamboat, but you heard some very audible cheers for The Nature Boy. This was a great back and forth contest where it seemed like either man at any given moment was going to pick up the win. The near falls left you breathless because they were so believable. The ending was great and an homage to Steamboat's match against Randy Savage as Steamboat scooped up Flair for a slam, but Flair was able to counter the slam into a rollup for the three count. The carnage that followed this match is equally as memorable as Terry Funk, who was a ringside judge, went on a vicious assault of Flair (including a piledriver on a table) for not granting him a title shot. All in all, this is one of the greatest matches ever wrestled for one of the greatest feuds ever and, in my opinion, it is easily the best match in the history of WCW.

 

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