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We move onto WCW Slamboree 1995 - The Legends Reunion. WCW's annual throwback to the past which lines up nicely with the return to in-ring action of Ric Flair - who was reinstated in April after making Hogan and Savage's wrestling life so miserable it was better that he was inside the tent. Hogan and Savage were teaming against Flair and Vader in the main event, with Arn Anderson and Warrior knock-off The Renegade at ringside to complete the group.
The card was largely billed as a one match show, the other matches on the card had sufficient build but nothing spectacular. The show would also feature WCW's yearly Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and the "legends match" between Dick Murdoch (making his second PPV appearance of 1995 after entry into the Royal Rumble) against Chief Wahoo McDaniel.
Noteworthy on this show is WCW's continued use of Main Event (TV show) in the final hour before the show as a hook. We get a awkward promo segment between the six participants in the main event, and quite excellently the last minute appearance of Road Warrior Hawk who lays down a challenge to Meng. That match is a last minute addition to the card. Also The Blue Bloods (Lord Steven Regal and Earl Robert Eaton) attacked the Nasty Boys on Main Event.
The Nasty Boys vs Harlem Heat (w/ Sister Sherri)
The attack meant that Jerry Sags was charged with trying to win the Nasties "final chance" at the WCW Tag Titles on his own. A very well laid out match with some decent heat saw the Heat eventually take control, before Sags got his hope spot. On that moment Knobbs ran out with a little too much vigour for a man who had just been laid out, catches Sherri jumping off the top before throwing ther to the outside. He hits a running powerslam, Sags drops an elbow from the top and we have new tag team champions.
The Man With No Name (Butcher) vs Kevin Sullivan
Dull match, zero heat. The mach spills to the outside a couple of times but never really gets going. Eventually, Sullivan wins with a double stomp on Butcher's chest. A completely forgettable match, save for the post match angle where Kamala came on the video wall and convinced Kevin Sullivan to join what would become the Dungeon of Doom. Sullivan following Kamala's word blindly as he walked high into the crowd was at least a strong visual.
Dick Murdoch vs Chief Wahoo McDaniel in a Legends Match
The company turned the feed black and white for this match, which was probably its only redeeming feature. We should always remember that old wrestling (or even people wrestling an old style) are wrestling something that while may not be contemporary can and did work in the past. But it's really a stretch to imagine that this was a good representation of what came before it. A slow, plodding, awful match. It ended with a chop from the Chief. Not a moment too soon.
The Great Muta vs Paul Orndorff for the IWGP Championship
Paul Orndorff, really? What an odd choice for an opponent for Muta - who continues the run of he and Antonio Inoki as Japanese guys who've appeared as babyfaces on WCW pay per view and done very little to try and connect with the crowd. Strange match, which did surprisingly little to get Muta's great offensive range over. Too many rest holds, not enough heat. It did briefly get good when Muta got to the top, including a lovely moonsault. But too little, too late.
"Das Wunderkind" Alex Wright vs Arn Anderson
Alex Wright's best match to date (hardly a shock given his opponent). But the wrestlers (combined with the announcers) told a very good story of the young rookie trying to use offensive rest holds against the veteran. Eventually Anderson rallies with a spinebuster, then an excellent finish where Anderson shapes with a left, Wright ducks and as his head drops Anderson nails him with a DDT. Excellent finish to a surprisingly decent match. Wright's undefeated run is over, not before time.
Meng (w/ Col Robert Parker) vs Road Warrior Hawk
The kind of match with the kind of finish that suggested that the last minute addition of this match may have been a metaphor for how it was planned. No rythmn, not long enough, no story. The match spills to the outside and both ended up getting counted out. Wasn't expecting much, and it fell short of that. Suspect we get another match of these, would do well to be worse.
WCW Hall of Fame Inductions
Gordon Solie is on hand for the inductions. Inducted this year are Chief Wahoo McDaniel, Terry Funk, Dusty Rhodes, Antonio Inoki, Angelo Puffo and Big John Studd. Dusty, not surprisingly, gets the biggest pop of the night. WCW did a very strong job with these, and while it's a shame that Solie's shocked reaction wasn't genuine, but dare I say it the vast majority of the audience would've bought his reaction. Classy segment, but perhaps would've been better spread throughout the show rather than in one long block.
Big Bubba Rodgers vs Sting in a "Lights Out" Match
No, WCW never properly bothered explaining what a Lights Out match was. Essentially, it seems, it was a no DQ match, that got about as violent as WCW matches could get in this era. It also included the first ever table involved in a wrestling match that didn't get broken. That being said, decent action (both of these guys will work hard, if nothing else). Sting eventually locks in the Scorpion Deathlock and Rodgers submits - there goes hopes of Bubba's push.
Ric Flair and Vader (w/ Arn Anderson) vs Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage (w/ The Renegade)
The story of Hulk Hogan's main event run - a lot of star power (complete with Flair's PPV return) and decent action that was covered by a fair amount of smoke and mirrors. The action wasn't great but the presence of Anderson and The Renegade kept things busy. Vader hits a very snug moonsault, but Savage kicks out. Eventually Flair accidentally eats an axe handle from Anderson, Hogan drops the leg and wins.
After the match, the heels (who really should've won the match) end up attacking Randy Savage's father. They get ran off and Savage overreacts and calls for an ambulance after Flair puts Angelo Puffo in a figure four. This match was also signficant for the first sighting of Paul Wight (who would become The Giant and eventually The Big Show. Wight's debut wasn't especially significant, but he did appear on the aisle way).
Score Rating: 3.5/10
Go Back and Watch? Honestly? You’d be forgiven for skipping this entire show. Nothing offensive but nothing noteworthy. If ya wanna check it out – keep your estimations low and skip the three matches between the opener and Wright/Anderson.