Tuesday, September 22, 2009

SUPERBRAWL VIII, half hearted review.

Upon a request for some good Booker T matches, I was told to check out his work on SuperBrawl VIII. I checked out the card and decided to watch the whole damn thing. I'll say right now I was not a WCW fan. I didn't watch a lot of it, as I've been firmly a part of McMahon Church nearly my whole life. Anything else was practically heresy to watch.
WCW SuperBrawl VIII
February 22, 1998
The Cow Palace in San Francisco, CA
Gate: 12,620

Booker T vs. Rick Martel
There are really two things I remember about the little WCW I watched. One was Booker T's work with the TV title, facing guys like Martel and Benoit. The other was Chris Jericho vs. Anybody. This match was hella good. The back story was Booker and Saturn were supposed to face off for the title but Martel won it. So now Booker is getting a rematch with the winner facing Perry Saturn later in the SAME NIGHT. Doesn't favor the champion which is kind of lame but makes for an exciting scenario. They get a lot of time and it's a really really great build. The audiences is definitely down with the whole affair and make it a much better experience. Honestly Rick Martel is probably one of the best dance partners Booker could ever have and seemed like they could have had so many more matches better than this.

Apparently Martel ripped his MCL in this match and they called an audible for Booker to win. Sadly this would be the beginning of the end for Martel as he'd come back from this only to be injured again with Stevie Ray, and then retiring. Still a damn classy match that should be checked out by anyone.

Booker T vs. Perry Saturn
Perry comes in and immediately locks in the Rings of Saturn which is a favorite sub of mine. The match hasn't started yet officially so the ref tells him to break the hold. The match starts after that and Booker gets it taken to him for a while. There's something really weird about Perry Saturn. He just has a bizarre arsenal. Big power throws and weird dives, like the spring board splash off the middle rope to a prone Booker T. And oddly it got little reaction. Neither did the Lionsault style moonsault he did to a standing Booker. Just randomly doing moves. Booker gets it handed to him for a long time and the crowd seemed to be less into it as it went on. Booker some how nails a spin kick for the win and retains his newly won title. Not as good as the first match, but not awful really. Just not memorable.

Disco Inferno vs. La Parka
Not good at all. La Parka made fun of Disco a lot. The finish came after the ref got thumbed in the eye. Parka brought in a chair and set Disco in it. He went up top to do something but Disco got up. By this time the ref was fine and just allowed the chair to sit there despite seeing Disco sitting in a chair. Disco tossed La Parka from top rope onto the sitting chair and then finished him with the Chart Buster. The ref of course removed the chair before counting. Lame.

Bill Goldberg vs. Brad Armstrong
Goldberg beat up Armstrong real good.

Cruiserweight Champion Chris Jericho vs. Juventud Guerrera
Nifty little match but certainly not one of early Jericho's best. They both work well together and I really wish Juvi's last run with the WWE worked out, as a reprise of them could have done well much like Jericho and Rey's recent feud. One of the big shockers of the match was Juvi's 450 didn't put Jericho away as he was able to grab the bottom rope. I like little details like that, as it shows that the moves doesn't always translate into a win since the opponent is position so close in order for it to hit. Tenay was selling loss of a mask as practically instant death to a wrestler's career. Worth checking out as for the historical nature, but it's not really near the best of either guy. And they'd have a much better match at Road Wild in August of the same year.

The British Bulldog vs. Mongo McMichael.
Not as bad as you'd think it would be. Bulldog looked very out of it, as was probably the case. At one point he put on an awful Sharpshooter as a shot out to his buddy Bret coming to the company. Mongo eventually was put into an armbar. He didn't actually give up or tap out, the ref just called it. WEIRD. He even got up and said he didn't give up. The announcers acknowledged it too. Could have been a story development in reference to Hart coming from the WWE post Montreal, but it feels doubtful as no one seemed committed to it as storyline.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Chris Benoit.
This is the first time I've watched Benoit since the tragedy I think. It's weird. The match is pretty good as Benoit brought a great game plan. Sometimes I'm able to watch it as just another match, but anytime the camera closes up on Benoit's face I come back to reality. Page ain't down with selling the arm that Benoit spends nearly the whole time working on but just acts generally worn out. The Diamond Cutter spot was nice and Benoit sold it like Tyson just had a free shot at him. Page retains in a good match, if you can sit through it.

Lex Luger vs. Macho Man Randy Savage.
Not very good at all. I couldn't tell you what the point of it all was but neither guy looked really interested in being there. Luger especially. Lex got Macho up for the rack and Elizabeth interfered. Then the NWO came down annnnnnnd attacked both guys. Hogan came down called the troops off, while Luger locked on another Rack for the win. Then they all walked away.

The Steiners vs. The Outsiders
They kind of telegraphed the turn of Scott especially Bobby Heenan. Scott had a good look of concern that could have been taken as focus on his tough opponents. But Heenan was like, "Hey, did you see that Scott didn't talk to Dibiase....HMMMMM....I wonder...." Heenan is just too damned smart I guess. Anyway Scott turned on Rick and the Outsiders finish him off for the win.

Sting vs. Hulk Hogan
Pretty fun match actually with a weird flaw. Charlie Robinson admonished Hogan for holding onto the ropes while Sting had him in the Deathlock, which was the stupidest thing ever. He actually kicked his hand away and said, "You gotta let go." He said nothing to Sting for holding onto the ropes. Hogan acted like Charlie Robinson's kick hurt his hand and while Robinson was checking on him Sting just splashed both of them in the corner. I mean Hogan didn't even have to pull the guy in. So Sting looked like a dick. Robinson is out so this brings out Nick Patrick who may or may not be in the NWO's pocket. We quickly realize the answer is "NOT" as he played it down the middle much to the chagrin of Hogan, who said, "But it's me...HOLLYWOOD." Loved that. Eventually Nick Patrick got bumped and the NWO came down but were fended off by Stinger. Macho came down to and nailed Hogan with a spray can and left it there. Sting made the cover and Patrick counted him down. Sting then picked up the spray can, and Patrick lifted the hand holding it in victory. I've seen matches reversed with less evidence than this. Anyway, Sting became the champ and spray painted WCW on Hogan's belly. GO HOME!

Despite the really bum over booking that protected Hogan, who needs ZERO protection, even at this point in his career. Still it was fun to watch. Hogan is a great heel and Sting's come backs were rocking the joint.

OVERALL SHOW: Booker/Martel was the best match. The rest of the card can be hit or miss. And if you look at it you can probably tell where the misses are. HINT: Disco Inferno.

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