Ah crap, they did it.....
|SuperBrawl V - Baltimore Arena - 2.19.95|
Welp, this was only two months removed from the dreadful Starrcade '94, at a time when Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff had taken everything that made WCW what it was and chucked it out the goddamn window (except Ric Flair, whom they kept around just to torture for seven more years). The result was a mostly horrible in-ring product with a bunch of recognizable stars from the old WWF, plus a few guys whose inclusion on the roster absolutely baffles me.
It should be noted that an Arn Anderson-Johnny B. Badd TV Title match was on the pre-show and got a whopping four-and-a-half minutes. Remember this as you read the list of luminaries that actually made the main card. Fuckin' hell.....
First up we have Alex Wright vs. Paul Roma, in what was a pretty nondescript opener apart from a few clever moves by Wright. Not sure why he was facing half of a tag team, but whatever. He had solid potential but never really lived up to it. Roma played a good douchebag but was more or less irrelevant by 1995. Wright won with a rollup after shoving Roma into Orndorff.
The less said about this next match the better. Jim Duggan vs. Bunkhouse Buck. Holy shit this match was boring. Two inept brawlers slogging through an eleven-minute match. What kinda generic-ass gimmick is Bunkhouse Buck? A farmer guy. That's it. Awful stuff. Duggan won with the lamest-looking clothesline ever.
I'm in hell. Next up is Kevin Sullivan vs. Dave Sullivan - also terrible. Dave Sullivan was of course Kevin's younger brother (not in real life), who moved as though in slow motion. Where did WCW get all these hack wrestlers in the mid 90s? Evad, Bunkhouse, The Renegade; all of them useless. This was just about as dull as the previous match and ended mercifully when Kevin rolled Dave up and hooked the tights. Who in God's name thought Kevin Sullivan was relevant enough in 1995 to have a singles feud with his pretend brother? Hilariously enough Brutus Beefcake, the main event challenger from Starrcade '94 two months earlier, was Kevin Sullivan's sidekick in the third match on this show.
|Seriously, who was shelling out 30 bucks to see this??|
This next match looked mildly promising on paper, but it too was a stinker. A Tag Team Title match between Harlem Heat and The Nasty Boys. Despite Harlem Heat's best efforts this was quite boring as well. The Nasty Boys simply were not adept in the ring. I'm still flabbergasted they got to win tag belts in every company they worked for. The Nastys appeared to have the match won but the ol' Dusty finish struck again, in a carbon copy of the Anderson & Blanchard-Road Warriors match from 1987. One referee counted the pin and then another disqualified the Nastys for throwing Booker over the top rope (God that rule was stupid).
I'm not sure how much more I can take. Gimme something good. Ooh, Dustin Rhodes! Ok that might work. Against The Blacktop Bully. Fuck. Shoot me. Another stupid 80s-style gimmick for the former Demolition Smash/Repo Man/Krusher Kruschev. And another stupid 80s WWF-style brawl. It's tragic how much WCW lost its identity in the mid 90s. This match went on forever, with nondescript punch-kick stuff until they recycled the exact ending of Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude from WrestleMania V. Rhodes suplexed Bully into the ring from the apron, and Col. Parker pulled Rhodes' leg and held it down as Bully pinned him. I wonder how Bobby Heenan felt having to call this match as they ripped off his schtick. So that's two matches in a row with endings copied exactly from two WAAAAAY better previous bouts.
|Blacktop Bully was a big rig driver, whose finisher was called Breaker 1-9.|
I shit you not.
The semi- (Saturday Night's) main event pitted Sting & Randy Savage vs. Avalanche & Big Bubba Rogers in, lord help me, another 80s WWF brawl. This was fairly short at least, and the babyfaces controlled most of it. But it wasn't pretty. Or memorable. Sting won with a powderpuff top-rope clothesline. In case you didn't catch my earlier reference, this played out like a weak Saturday Night's Main Event match.
Finally we get our main event WCW Title match, Hulk Hogan vs. Vader. This was easily the match of the night which, considering Hogan was in it, is really saying something. Not about him so much as about how godawful this PPV was. Really this was your typical Hogan vs. Big Guy match, except said Big Guy just happened to be the best super heavyweight of all time. Also Hogan shockingly made Vader look really strong. Vader dominated much of the match until Hogan's stupid "Hulk-up" ending, but after the feeble combo of Hogan's big boot/legdrop, Vader actually kicked out at one! Then there was a ref bump and Vader powerbombed Hogan, pinning him for a good ten seconds, but there was no ref to count. Once the ref woke up, Hogan hit Vader with a boot that knocked him out of the ring, and Ric Flair attacked Hogan, getting Vader disqualified. So a non-finish, but this was a fairly entertaining big fight, where Vader was presented as arguably better than Hogan. Sting and Savage eventually made the save and chased off the bad guys, leading to several rematches where Hogan made up for his generosity here by burying Vader a hundred feet beneath the earth. Oh well...
|It's safe to say Vader was easily the best "Goliath" Hogan ever faced|
Yeah this show was a calamity. WCW was in full-on 80s WWF mode, but with a host of aging stars whose acts were no longer novel or pertinent. The company would reinvent itself the following year, but in 1995 it was nigh unwatchable, case in point SuperBrawl V.
Best Match: Hulk Hogan vs. Vader
Worst Match: Jim Duggan vs. Bunkhouse Buck - It's sad when you have to actually think about which match stunk more than the others
What I'd Change: Jeezus....with the roster they had and all the rehashing of stuff Vince did better the previous decade I dunno how you save this turd. Maybe don't book guys like Buck, Duggan, Bully, the Sullivans, etc. on a PPV.
Most Disappointing Match: I guess I had slightly higher hopes for Harlem Heat vs. The Nasty Boys
Most Pleasant Surprise: That Vader didn't get totally chumped out on this show. That would come later.
Overall Rating: 1/10
Better than Starrcade '94? - Shockingly no, this was even worse overall.