Hey everyone! Justin C from the PWMania Hot Tag and Watching Rasslin Podcast here! My goal was to get this column out in February, the month Superbrawl regularly took place. Unfortunately I could not but I am here to give it to you just a few days late!
Some people considered Superbrawl to be bigger than Starrcade. I think you could make that argument in the early years of both shows when you compare cards. So just like I did with Starrcade, I decided to rewatch every Superbrawl and ran them from best to worst!
11. Superbrawl 2000
Best Match: Ric Flair vs Terry Funk
Worst Match: Tank Abbott vs Big Al
Have you ever wanted to bash your head because you are watching something terrible? This show qualifies for that. Oh my gosh is this show terrible. Vince Russo is gone and Kevin Sullivan is back in charge here. As terrible as Russo was, at least his terribleness was wacky. Sullivan’s is just boring.
The final two matches, Hulk Hogan vs Lex Luger and Sid vs Jeff Jarrett vs Scott Hall, lasted less than a half an hour including entrances. There were multiple ref bumps in a triple threat match for reasons. Big T Ahmed Johnson is a thing because WCW in 2000. They talk about Kidman and Vampiro having good matches in the lead up to this but the match is too short to amount to anything. When Flair and Funk are having your best match on a show in 2000 you have problems.
Perhaps the funniest thing on this show is The Wall vs The Demon “Special Main Event” match because The Demon needed to be in a main event given WCW’s contract with KISS. They should have actually put this match in the main event, considering the reaction to the main event was about the same as the reaction to this match. Just terrible all around.
10. Superbrawl 1995
Best Match: Hulk Hogan vs Vader
Worst Match: Dave Sullivan vs Kevin Sullivan
That’s not gonna work for me brother. Hulk Hogan vs Vader should have been a money feud for WCW that lasted the first half of 1995. Hell, it could have lasted the whole year if done right. But Hogan was too preoccupied with keeping the title rather than making money. This first match was a sellout and did a good PPV buyrate. But the crap finish at the end ruined anyone wanting to see a rematch. If Hogan had any business sense, he would have let Vader kill him in this match to win the title. There is always more money in the chase for the face getting revenge on the heel. Uncensored could have been a draw. Then Hogan gets his title back in the summer. But Hogan at this point in WCW couldn’t see that.
The rest of the card is absolute crap as well. Nothing enjoyable whatsoever on it. Blacktop Bully wrestled a 16 minute match. Jim Duggan got 12 minutes. And Paul Roma was completely unprofessional in his match and made Alex Wright look awful. Take away the aura of the first Hogan vs Vader match and you get one of the worst PPV cards of all time for one of WCW’s big shows.
9. Superbrawl 2001
Best Match: Rey Mysterio vs Chavo Guerrero
Worst Match: Totally Buff vs Kronik
WCW was near the end here and they didn’t even know it. Throughout the show, the announcers kept talking about the new owners coming in. And it is clear they were building to the new owners coming in and bringing back all the faces Ric Flair and his group put out (Sting, Goldberg, Booker T and here Nash). But we never got that far with WCW.
One thing I will say about this show is that because the rumors of Eric Bischoff and his group taking over was there, everyone for the most part looked to put in some kind of effort. Both cruiserweight matches were good. DDP looked like he actually tried. Hell even Nash looked like he gave a damn too.
Of course there were some stinkers. I have no idea who the best wrestler by 2001 standards was in the Totally Buff vs Kronik match. Maybe referee Slick Johnson? Wall vs Hugh Morrus was rough but at least it was kept short. There is nothing terribly offensive on this show but there is also nothing on this show I would go out of the way to watch.
8. Superbrawl 1997
Best Match: Dean Malenko vs Syxx
Worst Match: Hollywood Hogan vs Roddy Piper
There are probably arguments that this show should be higher. This show took place when the nWo is still new and cool. They had not worn out their welcome yet and you can tell from the crowd that it is a hot show.
My problem with the show is that there are so many screwy finishes that it ends up hurting it overall. The Giant fights the Outsiders in a 2-on-1 match for the tag titles because Eric Bischoff won’t let an injured Lex Luger wrestle. Well Luger comes out and wins the match, so you know that is going to get reversed the next night. DDP beats Buff Bagwell by DQ after the rest of the nWo runs off DDP after he hits a Diamond Cutter, because heaven forbid DDP pin Bagwell. Prince Iaukea wants to literally give up the TV title after he finds out Regal helped him win the match.
But then there is the main event. Piper wins via the Sleeper, but Randy Savage pulls Hogan’s feet under the ropes AFTER THE MATCH IS OVER. The referee then determines he must have missed that, even though he had a clear view of it the entire time. Savage then helps Hogan win and joins the nWo, which is something that should have never happened in the first place given how much they tortured Savage the weeks prior. So maybe it is my personal bias getting in the way of Savage joining the nWo, but I just did not like this show and its screwy finishes one bit.
7. Superbrawl 1999
Best Match: Chris Jericho vs Perry Saturn
Worst Match: Roddy Piper vs Scott Hall
The rails have officially come off WCW by the time this show happens. A month ago, WCW thought it was a great idea to reform the nWo and run that back. The plan of course was for Goldberg to run through all of them to get revenge for losing the title. Too bad that story is already pushed to the side here.
This show is dominated in the second half by the nWo going over. Scott Steiner makes DDP look like a complete bitch, to the point where the crowd chants “DDP Sucks” while he is being stretchered away. Kevin Nash took Rey Mysterio’s mask for reasons. Someone thought it was smart to have 1999 Scott Hall wrestle twice in one night. And in the main event David Flair turns on his dad Ric, getting zero reaction doing it.
The only thing that saves this card a bit are the first few matches. The crowd is surprisingly hot for the Booker T/Disco opener. Jericho/Saturn is good outside of the finish. And despite what Nash and Hogan would tell you, Goldberg was still completely over here. It is a shame that WCW had already ruined Bam Bam Bigelow at this point so the match felt like a nothing burger.
6. Superbrawl 1991
Best Match: The Steiner Brothers vs Lex Luger and Sting
Worst Match: Oz vs Tim Parker
Jim Herd’s WCW everyone. The entrance and spectacle of Oz is just so bad. Can you imagine how much WCW paid to use the likeness of the Wizard of Oz’s characters here? Jim Herd’s idea of the Hunchbacks sounded better than this. Everything on this show is awful to average, outside of the Steiners/Luger and Sting. That match deserves all of the praise it gets. The ending stops it from being close to perfect but the balls to the wall action you see throughout somewhat makes up for it. Sid doesn’t even do a stretcher job in a stretcher match because he was on his way out. That isn’t even peak Sid. And the main event is a weird dynamic. People don’t really care about it until the end, mostly because they weren’t given a reason to care. It is rare to find a bad Ric Flair main event in this time frame but unfortunately this match fits.
5. Superbrawl 1996
Best Match: Randy Savage vs Ric Flair
Worst Match: Konnan vs One Man Gang
The Konnan vs One Man Gang match may be the worst match on these shows. Sure there were some bad squash matches. But this was for the US Title and these men looked awful. They were gassed early and had no chemistry whatsoever.
Aside from that, the show was a bit of a mixed bag. The Public Enemy/Nasty Boys opener was fun for the time and I enjoyed it. DDP/Johnny B. Badd was their usual work but by this point everyone had seen it so many times it was tough to care. Though it was funny listening to Bobby Heenan talking about wanting a date with the Diamond Doll the rest of the show. Savage vs Flair wasn’t their normal work but we got the Elizabeth heel turn we never thought we would see.
The Hogan vs Giant main event was awful. Slow, plodding, and the end was ridiculous. Hogan takes out the entire Dungeon of Doom by himself at the end with the weakest chair shots ever. I don’t care how bad that group was as a faction, the fact that Hogan ran through them like that was pathetic. Thankfully WCW only had a few more months of this bad version of Hogan left. Overall the show is watchable but some of the bad is really bad.
4. Superbrawl 1998
Best Match: Diamond Dallas Page vs Chris Benoit
Worst Match: Steve McMichael vs The British Bulldog
How does WCW clean up the mess of Starrcade 97? Well, they try to do it here. The Sting/Hogan rematch takes place with Sting going over with the help of Randy Savage this time. Honestly, had they not messed up the finish of Starrcade 97 everything after would have somewhat made sense with the nWo. You get tensions rising inside of it, started by crazy man Savage not trusting Hogan. You then could have had months of in-faction feuding while Sting rebuilt the WCW title in matches against the likes of DDP, Benoit, Luger etc. But that wouldn’t happen.
Scott Steiner joining the nWo I actually don’t mind given how he ended up playing out. It is okay to give the nWo some glimmers of hope during what should have been their downfall. The DDP/Benoit match was very good and it sucks none of the top guys ever wanted to work with him given the reactions he was getting. Juventud Guerrera gets unmasked in a let down moment but the match was still good. And the show started hot with the TV title matches, with the second one being called on the fly between Booker T and Saturn due to Rick Martel’s knee injury. Booker T looked like he would be a major player here given how hot the crowd was for him.
3. Superbrawl 1994
Best Match: Sixman Thundercage
Worst Match: Jungle Jim Steele vs The Equalizer
The first hints of Hulk Hogan to WCW are dropped on this show. We hear talk of Hulk Hogan being interested in the rematch between Ric Flair and Vader inside the Thundercage. By the way, I actually like this form of a steel cage here. Maybe tighten the cage up a bit and have the spaces not be as big, but otherwise it is fine to me.
Unfortunately, the Flair/Vader rematch doesn’t live up to the first match. The Boss, who Bobby Heenan calls Bossman a few times, ruins the match as the feud between him and Vader plays out. The six man match before this was better. The rest of the show? Meh. Arn Anderson and Regal go way too long and I hate saying that for a match between these two. Jimmy Garvin is brought in for a match despite now being an airline pilot. When the Nasty Boys are having the second best match on the show you know it is a problem. And Maxx Payne is in it too!
2. Superbrawl 1993
Best Match: Vader vs Sting- Strap Match
Worst Match: Dustin Rhodes vs Maxx Payne
This usually ends up as #1 on a lot of people’s lists when it comes to Superbrawl. But not mine. For one, while Vader and Sting always have great matches, I think this match is a tad overrated. It might come down to me just not liking Strap matches. It is still my favorite match on the show, with a bad Vader blade job, but I prefer their King of Cable match more.
We’re forced to watch Erik Watts and his uncalled for, no good, very bad push under his dad Bill. And he gets booed throughout the whole match. I mean who wouldn’t cheer Austin and Pillman over him? Chris Benoit and 2 Cold Scorpio have a banger in the second match. We get the debut of Davey Boy Smith here as well. Oh yeah, and the return of Ric Flair to WCW. That would help things for WCW in the months ahead. Overall, a very good show but it just misses out on my top spot.
1. Superbrawl 1992
Best Match: Brian Pillman vs Jushin Thunder Liger
Worst Match: Tom Zenk and Van Hammer vs Vinnie Vegas and Ricky Morton
How does a show with Van Hammer end up on the top of my list? How did I let this happen? Well, even his awful match couldn’t stop this from being at the top. The opening match between Liger and Pillman is the best match in Superbrawl history. The tag match from 1991 is close but this one has a clean finish so it gets the top spot. And knowing both men worked the match hurt and still put that performance on makes it even better.
Everything involving the Dangerous Alliance on this show is top notch. All three matches, if you like star ratings, were at minimum ***1/2 stars. Rick Rude was at his peek in 1992. And he didn’t even have his great entrance music yet. The main event is average, because Lex Luger has one foot out the door, but the crowd popped big for Sting winning which also gives it a bit of an edge over 1993. The crowd was into Sting more here. Even with one bad dud of a match this show was still the easiest watch for me.
Agree or disagree with my rankings? Hit me up on my Twitter @JCWonka and let me know!
What do you think? Share your thoughts, opinions, feedback, and anything else that was raised on Twitter @PWMania and Facebook.com/PWMania.