Subscribe to the podcast via: iTunes | RSS Feed | Email Newsletter
While it would be unfair to overlook Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko when looking at the best WCW matches of 1995, given that they only joined in September and barely made a scratch on the pay per view scene until Starrcade I think it's valid. Instead I present the "WCW Six" of 1995 – basically all of WCW's good matches involved one or more of the following guys:
- Ric Flair
- Arn Anderson
- Brian Pillman
- Johnny B Badd
- Alex Wright
The first three will come as no surprise. Flair and Sting wrestled at World War 3, Flair even wrestled Anderson at Fall Brawl, and Sting and Anderson interacted a lot despite not facing each other in one on one competition. The trio also featured in a fantastic tag team match at Halloween Havoc. Their inclusion in this list shouldn't come as a surprise.
The other three however might have your head scratching, but there's a good case to say these three deserve their place in this group just as much as the others. Pillman, well-known to be a great talent, had fantastic matches with both Badd (Fall Brawl – 29 minutes), and with Wright at The Great American Bash – that smashed new heights in June as the best WCW pay per view match of the year to date, an honour that lasted all of about two hours when Flair and Randy Savage had a great main event.
Badd is another interesting case. A generic babyface act, but one with a lot of charisma and fire inside the ring. It took a while for him to get going, but his run between September against Pillman, and the pair of matches against DDP in the two months that followed were all opening matches that deserved a far higher spot than they were given.
Wright is a fascinating tale. A 20-year-old German kid with a good look who WCW at the time had high hopes to be the next big thing. He was unbeaten headed into 1995 (as he would be until May) – he even beat Triple H in his only WCW Pay Per View match. One person who took objection to all of this was Paul Roma, who felt Wright was over pushed. Roma did the only logical thing, he no-sold all of his offence in a fascinating match at February’s Superbrawl. You can read more about the whole thing here.
Wright, though, while green, improved an incredible amount in 1995. He had a very good match against Arn Anderson in May. Wright, who trailed in experience what he trailed in years, wrestled a story of the young upstart using the veteran tactics against the much more experienced Anderson, keeping the match on the mat and slowing it down. Anderson would win, with a lovely feinted right -> Wright moved his head out of the way of the punch but straight into Anderson's left arm for a silky smooth DDT. The streak was over in what was quite possibly WCW's best pay per view match of 1995 at that stage.
There are many more encounters between this lot that are of note, but you can read all about them in my list of the ten best WCW matches of 1995. Most alarming about this story, and the direction of WCW at the time, is that come the end of 1996 neither Pillman nor Badd were in WCW. Tragically, within two years Pillman was dead.
Find These Matches On The Network:
- Alex Wright vs Paul Roma, Superbrawl (not a classic match, at all, but very interesting)
- Alex Wright vs Arn Anderson, Slamboree
- Brian Pillman vs Alex Wright, Great American Bash
- Vader vs Arn Anderson & Ric Flair, Clash Of The Champions 31
- Brian Pillman vs Johnny B Badd, Fall Brawl
- Ric Flair vs Arn Anderson, Fall Brawl
- Johnny B Badd vs Diamond Dallas Page, Halloween Havoc and World War 3
- Arn Anderson & Brian Pillman vs Sting & Ric Flair, Halloween Havoc
- Sting vs Ric Flair, World War 3
- Alex Wright vs Koji Kanemoto, Starrcade