WCW Wrestle War 1992 5/17/1992

Written by: Matt Peddycord

WCW WrestleWar
May 17, 1992
Jacksonville, FL
Jacksonville Coliseum

The current WCW Champs were as follows:
World Champion: Sting (2/29/1992)
U.S. Champion: Rick Rude (11/19/1991)
World Television Champion: Barry Windham (4/27/1992)
World Light Heavyweight Champion: Brian Pillman (2/29/1992)
World Tag Team Champions: Rick & Scott Steiner (5/1/1992)
U.S. Tag Team Champions: Taylor Made Man & Greg Valentine (2/17/1992)

Once again, our friends at Turner Home Entertainment have cut off some of the fat from this show and that leaves it nice and trim! Here are the results of the matches that have been edited off my tape to show you what you missed or didn’t miss. Credit goes to ProWrestlingHistory.com.

Johnny B Badd pinned Tracy Smothers (7:03) with the Kiss That Don’t Miss.
Scotty Flamingo pinned Marcus Bagwell (7:11) after reversing a rollup into one of his own.
Super Invader pinned Todd Champion (5:26) with a powerbomb.
Big Josh pinned Richard Morton (7:33) after the Northern Exposure (seated senton splash).

Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jesse Ventura!

WCW U.S. Tag Team Champions Taylor Made Man & Greg Valentine vs. The Freebirds

Taylor and Valentine seem like such a weird combo to me. Anyways, Hayes and Taylor start things off with some posing and strutting. You know, the usual stuff. Blind tag to Valentine off a headlock turns ugly for the champs as they collide and Valentine nearly gets pinned with a rollup from Hayes. Hayes delivers a hiptoss, but Valentine blocks the second one and chops away. Hayes comes back with clotheslines for two. Garvin tags in and works an arm wringer. Valentine breaks loose momentarily only to miss a corner charge and run shoulder-first into the ringpost. The ‘Birds do an illegal switch even though they’re the faces and continue working on the arm. Valentine breaks free and tags in Taylor, who gets caught on the wrong side of town for some arm work. Eventually, Taylor knees out of an armbar and throws Hayes out on the rampway. Taylor follows him out, but then takes a backdrop back in the ring and an elbow drop gets two. Garvin tags and grabs the armbar again, but gets yanked out to the floor with Valentine there to do a little damage. Back in, Valentine gets a tag, but quickly charges into a boot to set up his patented face-first flop to the mat while Garvin crawls over for a tag to Hayes. Can he reach his corner? No! Valentine still manages to cut off the tag by knocking Hayes off the apron. He wants a suplex, but Garvin counters into one of his own. Taylor gets a tag before Garvin can and then punishes him with a corner clothesline for two. Taylor grabs a chinlock, which Garvin elbows out into a double-KO spot. HOT TAG TO HAYES! Double-Noggin Knocker to the champs! Hayes goes for the DDT on Valentine, but Taylor stops that with the FIVE-ARM! Cover, 1-2-NO! Hayes kicks out. Valentine does a little work on Hayes’ back with slams and backbreakers for a few near-falls. Valentine tries to earn the pinfall with the knucklelock and goes for the Arn Anderson splash, but that of course always hits knees. Taylor gets a tag and hits the Gutwrench Powerbomb for 1-2-NO! I love that move. Valentine tags in and works the leg to set up the FIGURE-FOUR, but Garvin causes the break with a kick to the face. Valentine whips Hayes from corner-to-corner and then tags in Taylor. He goes for a bunch of turnbuckle smashes, but Hayes blocks them all and fires back with turnbuckle smashes of his own. I mean, why does he keep trying to do that move when Hayes blocks it every time? Silly Rooster. Hayes sneaks in the Left Jab and makes the HOT TAG TO GARVIN! He’s a house o’ fire in there until Valentine trips Garvin up for a knee drop from Taylor for 1-2-NO! Hayes interrupts the count. Garvin fires back and sets up for the DDT on Taylor, backdrops Valentine over to Hayes, and finishes off Taylor to win the gold! (16:01) Wow, what a HUGE pop. That was one pretty hot formula match. The U.S. tag belts would have one last title change before they were abandoned on July 31. **¾

Ron Simmons & Junkyard Dog vs. Mr. Hughes & Cactus Jack

So JYD came in through the crowd and saved Ron Simmons from a Cactus Jack/Abdullah beatdown back at Superbrawl, but now Abdullah is gone and Hughes is his replacement. After he makes his entrance, Cactus sneaks off to the side of the stage so he can sneak attack JYD when he makes his way to the ring. They brawl on the concrete until Cactus injures JYD to the point he can’t compete with a flying elbow drop off the rampway! Instead of just throwing the match out, the “head official” says JR, changes the match to a one-on-one match with Simmons taking on Hughes.

Ron Simmons vs. Mr. Hughes (w/Cactus Jack)

Simmons gets rid of Cactus and then controls Hughes with clotheslines and hiptosses. Hughes takes a breather and gets some advice from Cactus before heading back in the ring. He takes over on Simmons with a cheapshot and then really SLOWWWWS the pace down with his usual clubberin’ offense. The tide turns when he misses a Bossman straddle. Simmons hits a clothesline, SPINEBUSTER, and a three-point stance gets the 1-2-3. (5:27) I am a Simmons mark, but this was just too much Hughes. ¾*

WCW Light Heavyweight Champion Brian Pillman vs. Tom Zenk

Zenk’s gotten a little jealous of his former partner’s success and Pillman doesn’t care for that too much, so now they’re going to settle this in the ring instead of huggin’ it out. Both guys know each others moves so well, there’s not much control being maintained in the early going by either man. Pillman finally takes over after he snaps off a headscissors and applies a headscissors on the mat. Zenk makes the ropes and gains several nearfalls on the champ. Pillman chops back and then goes after the knee. He misses a senton splash, which bothers his previously injured lower back. Zenk hits a suplex and buries his knee into the back a whole bunch. He connects with a backbreaker and goes for a splash out of the corner, but he falls on a pair of knees instead. Pillman goes back to the knee and talks a whole bunch of trash. I see a heel turn in your future! Half crab is applied, but Zenk fights up into an enziguri for two. Zenk whips Pillman into the corner and charges knee-first, but of course Pillman moves and Zenk runs his knee into the turnbuckle, so Pillman seizes the moment and hooks on a figure-four! They exchange slaps and then Zenk reverses the hold into the ropes. Pillman flips out onto the apron off a corner-whip and tries a slingshot shoulderblock, but Zenk sees it coming and catches him for a powerslam for 1-2-NO! Zenk chops back, but Pillman comes off the ropes with a crucifix for 1-2-NO! Pillman wants a superplex, but Zenk shoves him off and hits a flying crossbody for 1-2-NO! Zenk whips Pillman into the ropes and they both try a leapfrog for a double collision. Zenk gets a face slam out of nowhere for 1-2-NO! Pillman tries to pick up Zenk, but his knee buckles a couple times, so Pillman heads up top instead. BUT WAIT! Zenk’s playing possum and he catches Pillman on the way down with a kick for 1-2-NO! HOLY CRAP. Zenk heads up top for the MISSILE DROPKICK, but Pillman avoids that and a jackknife rollup gets 1-2-3!! (15:27) That was one INTENSE match with tons of awesome nearfalls. Slow start, but it really picked up in the last five minutes or so. ***¾

WCW World Tag Team Champions Rick & Scott Steiner vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Takayuki Iizuka

Winner gets a shot at the IWGP tag champs Bam Bam Bigelow & Vader. If you know anything about Puroresu, you probably know who Tatsumi Fujinami is. As for Iizuka, he still competes regularly for New Japan as Takashi Iizuka and is nicknamed the “Submission Master” for being one of the most technically sound wrestlers in New Japan’s history. In other words, a Samoa Joe/Takashi Iizuka match might be pretty interesting. Anyways, the Steiners have yet to have a bad match with Japanese people as far as I’ve seen, so I’m excited. Scott starts off in a stiff tie-up with Fujinami. He takes Fujinami to the mat and then delivers a fallaway slam. He even has one for Iizuka! Fujinami takes a clothesline and then tags in Iizuka. He controls Scott with a flying elbow drop followed by a flying cannonball for two. Boston crab is applied and then he changes over into a jackknife rollup for two, but Scott bridges up into a butterfly powerbomb. Scott lifts Iizuka up on his shoulder and tags in Rick for an elbow drop. When they make contact, Rick slides across and falls on Iizuka’s face and causes his nose to bleed and his eye to get all swollen. Fujinami tags in and controls with a headlock until Rick escapes and delivers a release German suplex. I mean, Fujinami landed on his freakin’ head. Scott tags in and hooks on a half crab while Iizuka bleeds on the apron. Fujinami makes the ropes, but gets caught in the Steiner corner as Rick tags. Fujinami fights out and lifts Rick up in an electric chair drop position. He tags Iizuka who climbs up top, but Rick catches him on the way down in a belly-to-belly suplex like we saw at Superbrawl! JR~ “I’ve never seen that before in all my life!” Iizuka can hardly defend himself because of the extent of his head injury, but he’s still giving it his all against the Steiners. They don’t seem to be lightening up on him either. Fujinami has to tag back in because Iizuka is really hurt. Fujinami kicks Rick down and hooks on a modified spinning toehold. Iizuka tags in again and applies the same hold, but then Rick slips away and tags in Scott, who comes in and gives Iizuka a tilt-a-whirl sideslam. Man, that’s just MEAN. Scott tries to gain the pinfall with amateur holds, but Iizuka will not die. Rick tags back in and rams Iizuka’s gut into the corner and then tags Scott for a pumphandle slam. Cover gets two. More amateur stuff from Scott gets a couple nearfalls. Iizuka makes a blind tag and Fujinami lowers the boom on Scott. Fujinami draws Rick in and they start brawling while Iizuka puts the boots to Scott. Order is restored, and Fujinami hooks on an Oklahoma Roll for 1-2-NO! Scott overpowers Fujinami and tags in Rick. He’s backed into the Japanese corner for a tag to Iizuka, but Rick overpowers him as well and a belly-to-belly suplex gets 1-2-NO! Scott and Fujinami tag and an overhead wristlock calls in Iizuka for a double-overhead wristlock, which Scott flips out and armdrags both men into a double flying Steinerline! Iizuka tags and hits a German suplex for two. The Japanese deliver a SPIKE PILEDRIVER and an assisted missile front dropkick before Fujinami applies the DRAGON SLEEPER! Scott makes the ropes. Fujinami goes for it again, but Scott kicks him in the face and hits a clothesline. Double KO-spot ensues. HOT TAG TO RICK! Steinerline on Iizuka gets two. Belly-to-belly suplex gets two. Scott grabs hold of Fujinami while Rick one-ups himself with a BELLY-TO-BELLY SUPERPLEX for 1-2-3! (18:16) The Steiners earn the IWGP tag titles shot. Man, they really stiffed Fujinami and Iizuka. I mean, wow. Great match. ****

Sting’s Squadron (Sting, Ricky Steamboat, Dustin Rhodes, Barry Windham & Nikita Koloff) vs. The Dangerous Alliance (Rick Rude, Steve Austin, Arn Anderson, Bobby Eaton & Larry Zbyszko) (w/Paul E. Dangerously & Madusa) – Wargames Match

The feud that has been keeping WCW alive (or had brought WCW back to life; both are valid points) in ’92 has come to a fever pitch and has to be settled in the most violent structure ever devised – WARGAMES! I personally LOVE this match. There’s tons of blood, tons of action, and there’s not one weak worker involved. If you’ve never seen a Wargames match, I’ll fill you in on what’s it all about. First off, it’s two rings put together side-by-side with a roofed cage long enough to fit over both rings. It comes from the mind of Dusty Rhodes, but it’s one of those rare good Dusty ideas. Two guys from each team start for five minutes. There’s a coin toss to decide who comes in next. The winning team picks another guy to enter Wargames for a two-minute period. After those two minutes are up, a guy from the other team enters and then the teams alternate bringing new people in every two minutes. Once all team members from both sides are inside the cage, it’s submission or surrender. There’s no other way to win. It’s that serious. If you’re wondering about Nikita, he returned back in April to save Sting from yet another Dangerous Alliance attack and was turned face instantly. Not only that, but when Sting was out with his hurt ribs thanks to Vader, Nikita basically subbed for the Stinger and now he’s here to be a part of Sting’s team. He would hang around WCW for the rest of 1992, which ended up being his final year in WCW. As for the Dangerous Alliance, they are at a point where its put up or shut up for them, as their power over WCW began dwindling away after losing both the WCW World Tag Team titles and the WCW World Television title. Austin and Windham kick things off for the first five minutes. This was interesting because Windham had just defeated Austin for the TV belt not too long before this match, and would lose it right back to Austin not too long after this match. They get into a huge slugfest. Windham runs the ropes and Austin tries to sidestep and send Windham into the cage, but NAH UH. He puts on the brakes and attempts a piledriver, but Austin backdrops out. Windham still has his hand taped up from when Larry Zbyszko slammed it in the car door back at the end of October! Jesse finds that ludicrous, and who can blame him. Windham brings Austin into the other ring for a DDT. He wants to grind Austin’s face into the steel, but Austin punches back and clotheslines Windham into the other ring. Austin tries to swing off the cage, but Windham avoids that and brings Austin down all awkward on the mat. Windham finally takes Austin to the steel for our first sight of blood. I mean, our first sight of BLOOD! YESSS! The Dangerous Alliance wins the coin toss (rule #9 for Wargames –the heels ALWAYS win the coin toss) and they send Rick Rude in to make it 2-on-1. Austin rests while Rude goes insane with shoulder blocks in the corner. Windham looks to come back on Rude, so Austin walks over and nails him to put a stop to it. They take Windham to the steel as Ricky Steamboat enters Wargames. The crowd is going mental as Steamboat destroys Rude and Austin with DDT’s. He kicks away Austin using the roof of the cage and then ranas Rude and mounts him for some punches. Windham throws Austin into the other ring and follows after him as Arn Anderson enters the cage. DDT to Windham! Spinebuster to Steamboat! Just like that, the DA regain control. Rude joins AA in a double-Boston crab on Steamboat! OUCH! Windham makes the save, but he’s outnumbered and can’t do a whole lot to help. Rude delivers a piledriver to Steamboat and then throws him clear over into the other ring. They KO each other as Dustin Rhodes enters the cage. Bionic elbow to Arn! Bionic elbow to Austin! Clotheslines too! Austin tries to flip out of the corner, but he’s caught and takes an electric chair drop instead. Meanwhile, Windham is trying to get Arn’s head stuck in between the two rings! HOLY CRAP! In the other ring, Steamboat has a figure-four on Rude and there’s nothing that can stop him. Larry Zbyszko makes it 4-on-3 now. Rhodes meets him at the door for some pounding. Uh oh, Madusa has climbed up on top of the cage and slips Paul E’s phone inside the cage to Arn. On the other side of the cage, Sting climbs up to make sure Madusa gets the F down from there. Steamboat takes the phone to the face and that’s about all we see of the phone. Windham’s busted open now as Austin fires away on him. Rude has a sleeper on Steamboat as Sting enters the cage! He presses Rude into the cage a bunch and then slams him down. Sting makes sure Arn eats the steel and then backdrops Austin into the cage ala Benoit at Wargames ’97. Sting grinds Arn’s face into the cage and busts him open. Zbyszko and Windham punch each other down and Steamboat and Sting make-a-wish on Rude who’s stuck in between the rings. Awesome. Here comes Bobby Eaton! He’s the last Dangerous Alliance member to enter Wargames. Bobby just kind of kicks away at what’s left of Sting’s Squadron. Dustin Rhodes does his father proud with that blade job, by the way. Crimson mask is an understatement. These guys are just brutalizing each other as the last man enters Wargames. The Match Beyond begins! Submission or surrender! Koloff immediately saves Sting to show loyalty to his team. Such a key point in the match since there was some speculation as to what Nikita would do when he’s in the cage because of their past. Boy, this crowd is going ballistic for everything! Sting hits Arn with the Stinger Splash and puts him in the SCORPION DEATHLOCK, but Eaton is there for the save. The DA twists off the steel connector that connects the turnbuckle to the ringpost to use as a weapon. The other guys continue seriously hurting one another in the other ring. Meanwhile, Zbyszko grabs the steel rod and swings at Sting while Eaton holds him, but Sting moves and Zbyszko hits Bobby in the arm instead. Sting beats down Zbyszko and violently cranks on an armbar on Eaton for the submission! (23:22) The good guys win in the end, and the DA are PISSED at Zbyszko for screwing everything up. Things don’t look good for the Dangerous Alliance. The match, however, was just as good and intense as the original in ’87. Wargames in WCW would never reach this level of intensity ever again. Nope, not even the one from ’96. *****

Final Thoughts:
Another great show by a motivated WCW. Not as good as Superbrawl by any means, but still a great show. Sadly, Bill Watts would make some strange moves and kill the majority of that motivation dead, which we’ll look at more later as we dig into the second half of ’92. Anyways, while the PPV version has some crap on it that would make me like this show less, three out of five great matches isn’t a bad ratio, so I’ll go with thumbs up for WrestleWar ’92.

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