Retro Review: WCW SuperBrawl 1996

JC is back with a double cage main event and the infamous “I respect you, booker man” match!

I have been on a mid-90s WCW kick lately folks. So that is what I am going to watch again this week. With the passing of Road Warrior Animal, I wanted to find a WCW show with the Road Warriors involved.

That lead me to SuperBrawl 1996. The Road Warriors are on this show, fighting for the WCW tag titles. Everyone remembers the Road Warriors in the NWA, and then as the Legion of Doom in the WWF in the early 90s and Attitude Era. But I think some people forget this mini WCW run they had. It started with just Hawk because Animal’s back was hurt. But Animal rejoined WCW and they reformed the tag team.

We are also in the ending part of the Dungeon of Doom/Four Horsemen (aka the Alliance to End Hulkamania) vs Hogan and Savage feud. We can only be so grateful.

Street Fight: Public Enemy vs The Nasty Boys

It really amazes me that WCW was able to get away with the theme song they used for the Nasty Boys. It has the exact same guitar rift that their WWF theme had.

This is a street fight. Somebody in the back was smart and realized an actual match between these two would be awful. The action immediately spills to the outside. Rocco Rock goes back towards the entrance to get a table. I guess tables weren’t readily available under the ring in 1996 like they are in 2020. Sags meets him up the ramp with a pretty stiff chair shot.

Both teams brawl in the entrance way as Rocco Rock goes through the table. Heenan asks how would you like these guys at your house warming party. I’d actually prefer them to help me move so I would have less stuff to throw out.

Sags piledrives Grunge in the ring on a garbage can. Dusty is getting a kick out of calling all the objects plunder. Knobbs puts Rocco through a plunder table as Dusty calls it. It is actually a souvenir stand.

All four teams brawl back to the entrance. They just keep hitting each other with chairs and garbage can lids. That’s it. Meanwhile, this poor man who was just there to set up what looks like pyro for the next match is just crouched there as action goes on around him. All that poor guy wants to do is set up the pyro and leave and he can’t.

Rocco Rock sets Knobbs up on a table and gets into the stands. He goes for a swanton off the railing but Knobbs moves. Knobbs drops a piece of the broken table on Rocco Rock and pins him for the win. The Street Fight stipulation made the match fun and watchable.

Mean Gene says on the Hotline that two former champions might be coming to WCW. Wonder what two outsiders he could be talking about?

WCW TV Championship: Johnny B. Badd (c) w/the Diamond Doll vs Diamond Dallas Page

So this is for the remaining money that Page wouldn’t give to Kimberly because she won it playing bingo I guess? That is what Schiavone just said. Bobby Heenan says a lot of Page’s money is tied up in overseas charities. I mean I believe it if Bobby reports it.

The referee is holding one of those big fake checks. It looks like someone cut out a piece of old cardboard and painted it blue. They couldn’t have gone to an actual printing place for one? And if they did it looks like crap. DDP tries to give Kimberly some roses but she walks away from him.

Johnny B. Badd’s time in WCW is coming to an end very soon. He will be in WWF in a little over a month. Unlike the last match we get some quick arm drags and near fall attempts early on. DDP catches a charging Badd and drops him right on the ropes to take control.

By this point I think you can kind of start seeing something there with Page. He’s improving in the ring and his character is growing even more. Heenan thinks if Johnny B. Badd wins, Kimberly will take the money and leave him too.

Johnny B. Badd keeps getting some near falls but DDP keeps slowing him down at every possible comeback attempt. DDP goes for a tombstone, but Badd reverses it and hits one of his own and gets the win. I bet Taker was pissed about that when he came over to the WWF next month. Badd hands Kimberly the check after the match. I mean, I don’t think you can take that check to the bank. Hopefully there is a smaller one somewhere.

WCW Tag Team Championship: Lex Luger and Sting (c) vs Harlem Heat

The winners of this match end up fighting the Road Warriors later tonight. Heenan accidentally calls them the Legion of Doom when talking about them waiting in the wings.

Positive: We get the great “Man Called Sting” theme song that the world wants and deserves. The negative: Those awful WCW tag title belts. I hate them. They may be my least favorite belts of all time. The middle plates just look so small and awful.

This is during that great time where Sting is face, but Lex Luger is a heel who sided with the Dungeon of Doom. But Sting trusts Luger because Sting always trusts everyone until they turn on him. Luger is actually pretty good during this time as far as a character too.

Luger is reluctant to get in the ring. He gets sent to the outside and takes his time getting back into the ring. So Sting ends up tagging in. Luger is quick to get back in once Sting takes out Booker T with a dropkick.

It is a Lex Luger match so we of course get the Luger “OHHHS” when delivering and selling offense. I really wish when I met him last year I would have asked him why he made those over the top noises all the time. We’re getting the selling version of those now as Harlem Heat as isolated Luger.

Luger finally makes a tag to Sting. But guess who the ref is? Nick Patrick. He’s distracted by Booker so he doesn’t see the tag. But then he lets Sting clean house and send Booker to the outside. Stevie Ray lifts up Luger, but out come the Road Warriors. Animal hits Stevie Ray with a piece of lead. Instead of falling, Stevie just flips over Luger off his shoulder and Luger gets the pin.

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Mean Gene interviews the winners as Luger goes over the top with the celebration. Mean Gene tries telling Sting what happened but Sting doesn’t care. The Road Warriors wanted to fight Sting and Luger later on.

WCW United States Championship: Konnan (c) vs One Man Gang

This was a time in WCW when Konnan was actually trying in the ring. He has a completely different outfit with a mask on coming to the ring. Think WCW’s version of Max Moon without the mask. One Man Gang is here because Hogan just had to make a phone call. He should have brought him back as Akeem instead.

The crowd has completely died for this match. One Man Gang’s slow plodding offense pretty much has everything to do with it. Konnan isn’t also anywhere close to over despite WCW’s best efforts. We cut to WCW’s NASCAR driver in the crowd. Bobby says he’d probably rather be driving a car in a circle at 200 mph now. A lot of people there would rather be doing anything else right now I’m sure.

Gang goes to the top and awkwardly misses a splash. Konnan goes to the top and flips off and lands on Gang to get the pin and win. So One Man Gang was offense 98% of the time then Konnan won. Konnan looks pissed after the match and goes right off high fiving fans with no expression.

Mean Gene once again tells us two former WWF champions might be coming to WCW. I guess they want to come where the big boys play. I mean look at the adjective, play.

Road Warriors come in. Hawk says they are sincerely sorry to Harlem Heat, NOT. Hawk says they are going to deviate some septums later tonight.

Leather Strap “I Respect You” Match: The Taskmaster Kevin Sullivan w/Jimmy Hart vs Brian Pillman

So these two hate each other, and the only way to win is by saying “I respect you.” Pillman charges the ring with the strap and these two look like they are actually fighting. About a minute in, Pillman grabs the mic and says “I respect you, booker man.”

This was during Pillman’s loose cannon gimmick. The problem is WCW failed to capitalize on it and let Pillman actually go without a contract and sign with WWF. Hogan wanted to work a program with Pillman when he started to get over but we all know how that would have gone.

Arn Anderson, looking like he just came from the golf course as Heenan and Dusty pointed out, comes to the ring. Sullivan goads him into taking the match.

At least the ref doesn’t keep saying something in the mic every time he puts it in the wrestler’s face. Both men take turns whipping each other with the strap. Ric Flair comes out with Jimmy Hart after a few minutes and tries to get these two to stop fighting.

Of course the Horsemen and the Dungeon of Doom are the Alliance to End Hulkamania. Flair goes nuts in the ring and eventually gets them to stop fighting.

Giant interview. He says he has looked into the deepest parts of a man’s soul where maggots crawl. Eww. Giant says the last thing that will go through Hogan’s mind is his fist.

WCW Tag Team Championship: Sting and Lex Luger (c) vs The Road Warriors

Getting to hear “Man Called Sting” twice in one night? A truly great show. Luger is super hesitant to get into the ring and backs away. The crowd starts a “L.O.D.” chant that Hawk encourages. I mean, Luger is kind of justified here? He has to wrestle two matches in one night and the Road Warriors didn’t.

Heenan says the Road Warriors were at a restaurant today with those spikes on and people put three coats and two hats on them. Luger won’t get into the ring until the Road Warriors take the spike pads off. I mean come on guys, just take them off already. This isn’t that hard.

The Road Warriors finally take the pads off, but Luger still backs away. Heenan begs for the ref to get control. The problem? The ref is Nick Patrick. Luger eventually gets on the apron and Nick Patrick calls for the bell. Sting starts the match because obviously Luger isn’t getting in there.

Hawk applies a STF early on. It is almost as bad as John Cena’s. Road Warriors are all over Sting early on, which makes sense since he wrestled a match earlier on. It would be even better if Luger was on the apron trying to get the crowd going to, just to see how he would act.

Luger finally gets tagged in as he slowly gets into the ring. It doesn’t matter because the Road Warriors get the upper hand immediately as Luger lets out a giant OHHHHH as Hawk clotheslines him in the corner, then slams him into the guardrail outside. A friendly security guard checks on Luger as lies there on the railing.

After a brief offensive spurt from Sting, Luger does what I wanted him to do earlier and jump up and down on the apron for a tag from Sting. Luger and Sting take it to Animal. But Sting makes the mistake of going up top and Animal gets his legs up as Sting comes down.

Both men make tags as Hawk and Luger come in. That’s brief though as Sting and Animal come back in. Sting goes for the Scorpion Death Lock but Hawk breaks it up. Both teams keep making tags but both teams just keep going right to rest holds when they come in.

Luger runs in with axe handles and OHHHS all over the place. Everything breaks down as all men brawl on the outside. Luger sells getting dropped on the steps like he’s been hit with a cannon. All four men brawl up the aisle causing a double countout. Well, that was a big let down as far as a match goes.

Ric Flair cuts a crazy Ric Flair promo like only he knows how. Flair said he is stealing Liz tonight. WCW’s cage lowering music isn’t as good as WWE’s. Mean Gene goes to interview Elizabeth but Macho Man interrupts. Liz is clearly frustrated. Savage says the Mega Powers are reunited now that Liz is back. Can they actually use that term? It doesn’t matter because Savage doesn’t give a shit and he has that Slim Jim money to solve all his problems.

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Steel Cage Match for the WCW Championship: “Macho Man” Randy Savage w/Elizabeth vs Ric Flair w/Woman

See, you have to have two cage matches because Hogan needs to main event. Flair won’t get in the cage. He asks Liz if she wants to come over and kiss a real man but Liz refuses. Flair eventually gets in the ring as the ref takes forever to lock the cage. And it isn’t even Nick Patrick!

Flair throws Savage into the cage, then decks the referee. The ref sells it for a bit then gets up. What a trooper. The announcers make a comment that the ref’s nose is busted open but I can’t really tell because there is no camera inside the cage.

Schiavone brings up Flair’s cage match against Hogan from 94. He fails to bring up the stipulation in that match: If Flair lost (which he did), he would have to retire from pro wrestling. Savage decks Flair and applies a Figure Four. Savage goes to the top of the cage and jumps off for an axe handle but Flair hits him in the gut. Yeah, I would never want to jump from that height and land on my feet. Savage is nuts.

This time it is Flair applying the Figure Four. Savage gets to the ropes and the ref tries pulling him off, despite the fact that the ref did not break Savage’s Figure Four earlier when Flair got to the ropes. That is some BS.

Savage starts throwing Flair into the sides of the cage, so of course Flair bleeds for the industry. Savage mounts Flair in the corner but Flair throws him off, then we get a Flair flop. Flair climbs the cage but Savage grabs his tights and the crowd gets a look at Flair’s ass, which might have gotten the biggest pop of the night.

Savage gets a two count and someone rings the bell. How did anyone think that was the actual finish? Heenan has a good line when he says “we have a lot more of Ric Flair to see tonight.” Savage pants Flair again. This is just a typical Sunday night at the Marriott for Flair at this point.

Flair throws Savage into the cage at this point and the door opens, so the ref goes to close it. Then for some reason we zoom out to a wide camera shot. Woman goes to throw salt in the eyes of Savage but Savage ducks. Elizabeth then opens the door and hands Flair her shoe. Flair uses it on Savage and gets the pin for the win.

Hogan comes out afterwards to chase everyone off. He protests about Liz’s shoe, which shouldn’t matter because anything goes inside a steel cage. Savage is carried out of the cage as we get some audible “Hogan Sucks” chants.

Hulk Hogan lets us know his cage match is unsanctioned (aren’t they all) and that the ref will be on the outside of the cage.

Steel Cage Match: The Giant vs Hulk Hogan

Michael Buffer actually says Hogan is the “King of Hulkamania” and not “Hulkmania” like he normally does. Hogan has his left eye covered after an attack on Nitro earlier this week. Hogan was over coming the odds well before Cena was with stuff like that.

We get the paint by the numbers Hogan vs big man match when Giant does a test of strength with him and Hogan is over powered on to his knees. Giant then goes right to a bear hug which Hogan bites his way out of. Giant throws him into the cage and then chokes Hogan with his shirt.

I think we are at ten minutes of Giant just throwing Hogan around and doing the slowest offense possible. The crowd, which has been mostly quiet all night, is in the same spot of silence. Giant goes back to another bear hug and we get some small “Hogan” chants from the little kids but even those don’t last too long. I just woke up an hour ago to finish this and I am already falling asleep again.

Hogan gets out of the bear hug but Giant hits a half assed boot and then chokeslam. But we get the classic Hulk Up and he throws Giant into the cage. Hogan hits the boot and three leg drops. Hogan goes to climb the cage but Giant gets up as they fight on the top rope.

We get a battle of chops until Hogan knocks Giant off. Hogan gets to the floor as Taskmaster hits Hogan with a chair. It doesn’t phase Hogan, who gets Taskmaster into the cage with Giant.

All of them members of the Dungeon of Doom come into the cage one by one, and Hogan hits all of them with a chair one by one. He literally fights off the Dungeon of Doom one by one. Jeezus.

The Loch Ness Monster comes down, but gets held back by the Dungeon of Doom. I guess they are now terrified by one man Hulk Hogan with a chair (he actually had to just stand outside the cage for a staredown as he was too big to get inside – Ed).

What an awful ending to a very subpar show. The Dungeon of Doom was a joke as it was, but to get beat 10-on-1 against Hulk Hogan was ridiculous.

A better crowd can make a subpar show good. But this crowd felt more like a church service than a wrestling show. There was nothing outright awful until we got to the main event , but there was nothing on this show that stood out as great.. The Street Fight was a fun brawl and the TV title match was good wrestling. Everything else gets a giant meh from me.

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