Written By: Matt Peddycord
WCW Slamboree 1993
May 23, 1993
The current WCW & NWA Champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: Big Van Vader (3/17/1993)
NWA World Champion: Barry Windham (2/21/1993)
WCW U.S. Champion: Rick Rude (5/15/1993)
WCW/NWA World Tag Team Champions: The Hollywood Blondes (3/2/1993)
WCW World Television Champion: Paul Orndorff (3/2/1993)
Matches that aren’t included on the tape:
Too Cold Scorpio & Marcus Bagwell beat Bobby Eaton & Chris Benoit (9:22) after Scorpio pinned Benoit.
Sid Vicious pinned Van Hammer (0:35) after a powerbomb.
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & Larry Zbyszko. Jesse must’ve been busy filming “Demolition Man” at the time.
LEGENDS GALORE! Lots of legendary legends meet in the ring at the beginning of the show because this is the legends reunion, so that’s why there’s all these legends around. LEGENDS ARE EVERYWHERE!
Dick Murdoch (age 46), Don Muraco (age 43) & Jimmy Snuka (age 50) vs. Wahoo McDaniel (age 54), Blackjack Mulligan (age 50) & Jim Brunzell (age 43)
Everybody in this first legends match was still pretty regular wrestlers on the $50-a-night scene anyways. They all get their turn in the ring, but it really gets going with the youngest Brunzell playing face-in-peril in his tie-dye tights from ’69, says Larry Z. The highlight of the match comes when Murdoch delivers a flying headscissors to Brunzell. They do some of the old tag-team games like the false-tag spot. Murdoch drives Brunzell down to the mat off the top-rope using his knee and drops an elbow for a near-fall. Muraco and Snuka have some heel miscommunication problems and they go nose-to-nose. That turns into a pier-six brawl causing the ref Randy Anderson to throw the match out completely. (9:26) This was actually pretty fun. **
Ivan Koloff (age 50) & Baron Von Raschke (age 53) vs. Thunderbolt Patterson (age 51) & Brad Armstrong (age 31)
Brad subs for his daddy Bullet Bob since he couldn’t wrestle because of some emergency knee surgery. Thunderbolt Patterson who was a mainstay in Georgia and Florida is one of those charismatic black wrestlers who Dusty Rhodes can claim as an inspiration. Von Raschke has not aged well at all. He looks like he’s been sick or something. Armstrong works most of the match, which is a good thing considering how limited the old folks were here. Baron gets the CLAW on Brad, but Thunderbolt makes the save and knocks down Baron for the 1-2-3. (4:40) This, on the other hand, was not fun. CRAP
It was right around here I believe that the ‘Flair for the Gold’ segment aired where Paul Roma was introduced as the newest member of the Four Horsemen. Tully Blanchard was all but promised to show, but wanted more money than WCW was willing to give and decided to pass on the opportunity. Just think how much better 1993 could have been for WCW had this worked out and how many older fans who might’ve stopped watching might have tuned in again if they had heard that Flair, Arn and Tully were back together. Keep in mind that Tully was only around 40 years old at the time. He wasn’t too old and washed up by any means, so it could’ve been a decent run if only for a year or so. It would’ve been leaps and bounds better than Paul Roma as a freakin’ Horsemen.
Dory Funk Jr. (age 52) (w/Gene Kiniski) vs. Nick Bockwinkel (age 58) (w/Verne Gagne)
Interesting considering Dory Funk Jr. finally retired recently in what should be for real this time. Wow, Bockwinkel actually looks in better shape physically than Flair at that age. This was billed as an inter-promotional match only its fifteen years too late. Dory Funk of course a captain of the NWA while Bockwinkel dominated the AWA. Johnny Valentine joins Tony and Larry on commentary for this match. Lots of back and forth mat wrestling here. Nothing wrong with it, just not very exciting. We finally an actual nearfall around the twelve-minute mark when Funk gives Bockwinkel a suplex from the apron into the ring. Dory follows up with a piledriver. They fight over a backslide, which Bockwinkel wins for two. Dory applies the SPINNING TOE HOLD and the crowd responds to it! With a minute left, Bockwinkel breaks free and hooks on the FIGURE FOUR. Gene Kiniski runs in and stomps Bockwinkel, but there’s no DQ for it and no break on the hold. Why did that just happen? Dory makes the ropes and cradles Bockwinkel up for another two-count as the time-limit expires. (15:00) Very good technical match, but it’s really for naught because neither are at their prime and there’s no real issue other than meaningless pride. **½
Rick Rude & Paul Orndorff vs. Dustin Rhodes & Kensuke Sasaki
Tony mentions the controversial US title change between Rhodes and Rude a week earlier on Worldwide. Rude’s announced as the US champion, but the title would soon become vacant setting up the 30-minute ironman challenge at Beach Blast. More on that in my next WCW review. Meanwhile, Orndorff has a pulled groin, which limits the match to a degree. Sasaki is also working through an injury, so they’re all just trying to get through this match. Lots of jaw-jacking from Rude to Sasaki. I mean, Sasaki doesn’t really speak enough English to technically be jaw-jacking with anyone. The faces work the arms of the heels for a while. Rhodes misses a charge at Rude and goes flying out to the floor so that Orndorff can throw him around into the guardrail. Back in, Rude and Orndorff work over Rhodes in their corner. Rhodes reverses a tombstone piledriver on Rude. Tag to Sasaki, who goes nuts on the heels. He heads up top, but Orndorff shoves him off to set up the RUDE AWAKENING. And that’s a wrap. (9:44) Pretty uninspired match, but expected under the circumstances. *
Gordon Solie hosts the first ever WCW Hall of Fame. The inductees include Lou Thesz, Verne Gagne, Mr. Wrestling II and Eddie Graham (award received by Mike Graham just like at WrestleMania 24).
Sting vs. The Prisoner
I’ve heard two different reasons for why Scott Norton didn’t show for this match: 1) he had a knee injury 2) he knew he was jobbing to Sting and wasn’t booked for the next TV taping. Nevertheless, WCW hired Nailz for one night only. Ironically enough, Prisoner has a nightstick with him. This match is basically just choking. Prisoner kicks out of the Stinger Splash during the comeback, but a flying clothesline gets the job done. (5:17) Definitely Sting’s worst match on PPV to date. What a trooper for sticking it out though. CRAP
WCW/NWA World Tag Team Champions The Hollywood Blondes vs. Dos Hombres – Cage Match
After the Blondes finally beat Steamboat and Douglas for the tag belts, they decided there would be no rematches. Steamboat and Douglas don some Mexican masks and beat the Blondes in a non-title match on the Main Event to earn a tag titles shot here at Slamboree. However, Shane Douglas had already quit/been fired from WCW and in order to continue the illusion just to get through this show, the Dos Hombres gimmick stuck even after Douglas left and somebody had to sub for him. Brad Armstrong originally replaced Douglas under the mask, but he had to sub for his father in the earlier legends match. Tom Zenk, who had nothing else to do, became Shane Douglas for a night. Steamboat dominates the Blondes early on with armdrags. From there, Steamboat uses the cage quite a lot on the Blondes. He backdrops Austin right into it and press slams Pillman straight into the steel. Steamboat gives Austin a suplex onto the cage in almost like a CAGE OF WOE if you will. Zenk splashes Austin a couple times until he falls in between the ropes. Austin does a great job of selling the back for the rest of the match. Pillman tags in and Zenk plays face-in-peril for a while. Zenk gets choked from the Hollywood Blondes towel, which is a must in ALL Hollywood Blondes matches. Then he hits Pillman coming off the top with a boot. Austin cuts off the diving tag attempt with a spinebuster. The Prophet Larry Zbyszko predicts that Austin will be receiving legends awards in the next century if his body holds out. Rocket Launcher hits knees and Zenk makes the HOT TAG TO STEAMBOAT! Austin tries to climb out and takes an electric chair drop. On the other side, Pillman does the same and gets crotched. DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER! The Hombres whip the Blondes into one another. Steamboat heads up top and I mean the TOP OF THE CAGE! He rips off the mask and comes off with a FLYING BODYPRESS onto the Blondes! Cover, 1-2-NO! Steamboat on the top of the cage was like an alarm clock going off on this sleeper crowd. The Hombres deliver STEREO DROPKICKS to the Blondes! They go for another double-whip, but Pillman reverses Zenk into Austin for a STUNGUN. Pillman DDTs Steamboat as Austin covers for 1-2-3. Champs retain. (16:09) I think the first hour of the show put the crowd to sleep for real. Honestly, no one really reacted to much of anything until Steamboat was on the corner of the cage. This was sub-par compared to what they had been doing on the syndies and their Clash match though. If you haven’t seen this, its on the Pillman and the latest Austin DVD sets if you’re interested. ***
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Barry Windham vs. Arn Anderson
Regardless whether the belt still really meant anything or not to WCW, this was Arn’s one and only world title match on PPV. AA tries to get the quick win on Windham to start. Windham tries to slow it down with right hands, but AA hits a quick DDT for two. Windham takes a walk and pulls Arn out with him to the rampway. Arn blocks a turnbuckle smash and comes off the top back into the ring, but Windham pops him in the gut. And people say Flair never made it off the top – at least he did when he worked face. AA doesn’t even make it work then. Now Windham hits a DDT of his own. They go to the floor where Arn smashes Windham’s face into the guardrail. Apparently in WCW rules, that was still considered a DQ under the Bill Watts policy. But this is NWA RULZ, baybee! Windham’s busted open pretty bad now thanks to that guardrail smash. Back in, Arn’s feeling pretty good and thinks he has things in control. Arn works the cut, but then Windham dropkicks him off the top rope for a spill on the floor. Windham gives him a suplex out there and brings him back in for a Flying Lariat. Jumping knee drop to the back of the head gets 1-2-NO! Arn goes low and tries for the GOURDBUSTER (!!), but Windham reverses into a suplex and floats over into the cover for 1-2-NO! Windham’s in control, but AA hits the SPINEBUSTER out of nowhere! Windham rolls out to the floor and decides to take his belt and go home. Arn’s not allowing that and brings Windham back in the ring. He corners Windham and keeps pounding away. Arn shoves the ref away in the heat of the moment, so Windham brings the Big Gold Belt in the ring and NAILS Arn with it! Cover, 1-2-3. (10:57) Not as boring as I remembered actually. ***
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Big Van Vader (w/Harley Race) vs. Davey Boy Smith
Davey Boy’s doing this for Cactus! After Vader delivered a powerbomb to Cactus Jack on the concrete, Davey Boy Smith (?!) is here for revenge and hopefully to become a world champion while he’s at it. Talk about an opportunist! WCW really rushed into pushing Davey Boy Smith to the top just because he sold out SummerSlam in own homeland, which is exactly the kind of logic TNA uses that they don’t seem to learn from at all. Not the exact same logic, but they’ll take any WWE leftovers and push them above their own original talent. While Davey Boy Smith delivered some good matches during his WCW tenure in my view, he was paid a load of money when he was never much of a main-event draw here in the States. DBS NO-SELLS Vader to begin things. That is until Vader corners him and unloads. I mean, who can stand up to that? They go to the floor where Vader tries to splash DBS up against the guardrail, but Vader must have Sting Syndrome tonight because Davey Boy moves and Vader winds up in the front row. Davey Boy slams him on the floor and gives him a hourglass suplex in the ring. I can’t help but mark out for that. He catches Vader coming off the middle rope for a powerslam and clotheslines him back out to the floor. Back in, Vader falls back on a crucifix and starts with the elbow drops in between the legs. Vader hits the Pump Splash for 1-2-NO! Vader stiffs DBS a few times in the nose – causing him to bleed. DBS blocks a superplex and drops a diving headbutt on Vader, but that knocks him out too. DBS moves out of the way from a butt splash when he tries a sunset flip and gets two. Another straight right puts Davey Boy Smith down on the mat for a flying splash. Vader connects but apparently hits his ribs or his sternum on the way down. While Vader recovers, Davey Boy gets dumped out to Race. Back in, Vader stiffs Davey Boy some more and sits on his back for a chinlock. Davey Boy Smith stands up out of that and delivers an electric chair drop. Now he unloads on Vader for 1-2-NO! Vader reverses a corner whip and goes for an avalanche, but Davey Boy catches him for a RUNNING POWERSLAM! Davey Boy covers, but Race pulls him out to the floor by his dreads. Race gets beat down as Vader grabs Larry’s chair and nails him from behind for the DQ. (16:18) Hate the finish, but I don’t guess they really had a choice in order to protect both men. Bagwell and Scorpio try to save Davey Boy Smith from a post-match beatdown, but that’s not going to work. As Vader attempts a powerbomb, Sting runs down and comes off the top with a clothesline to break up the powerbomb and get rid of Vader for the biggest reaction of the night. Man, Sting and that clothesline are on tonight. I wonder if the WCW bookers were thinking, “Hmm, maybe we should’ve just done that again instead.” Nah, good power match between these two. ***¼
Final Thoughts: Aside from the idiotic Cactus Jack “Lost in Cleveland” segments, this was the first swing-and-a-miss for WCW in 1993. The legends idea may look acceptable on paper because WCW liked to stick with tradition and pay homage to its legends from back in the day, but it really sucked to have sit through it. That’s not to discredit the people involved though because they are all certainly legends. The last three matches are all pretty good, but there is still no reason to ever watch this show. Especially when you can still catch one of them on more modern and more entertaining DVD sets. Thumbs down for Slamboree ’93 – the first one of the year from me.