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It should have just been a basic, forgettable PPV opener that gave Alex Wright another good looking singles victory on his ascent (seemingly) up the WCW card, but Paul Roma had other ideas. What followed, while perhaps innocuous to most watching was Roma breaking one of the basic principles that two wrestlers can have between each other - never go into business for yourself.
Roma's frustrations were perhaps understandable. Wright was a 19-year-old German kid with a good look, but at that stage in his career that was about his only calling card. His wrestling was very clunky, his promos just weren't up to the standard (even if English was his second language), and his dancing - the major part of his gimmick, was very contrived. In 2015 Wright wouldn't have stood a chance - a comparison to Fandango would be unfair (Johnny Curtis is far more talented) - but imagine Fandango without the entrance music: he'd have died a death.
Wright was more fortunate. The wrestling climate twenty years ago wasn't quite the same and many of the issues that would've sunk him without a trace in 2015 were patchable. Want to get him over as a ladies man? Simple - just pay a load of plants to be in the front row at Centre Stage and go nuts on his entrance. Put him in the ring with good workers and limit his talking to an absolute minimum and he might have a shot. Singles victories over Jean-Paul Levesque at Starrcade and Beautiful Bobby at The Clash suggested things were on the right track. Roma was next at Superbrawl - read our full review here.
Wright put Roma in an arm submission, rather than sell it Roma just shouted abuse at a member of the audience in the front row. Roma then put Wright in an arm submission, Wright impressively did a kip up onto his feet, Roma immeadiately slammed him back down again. Kip up – slam again. Double kip up – slam again. Wright covered Roma – Roma kicks out at one. Wright bounces Roma off the ropes for a simple arm drag, Roma makes the move look as botched as possible. Oh, and in amongst all of that Roma hits a top rope elbow drop that Randy Savage would have been in awe of. Roma celebrated it like he'd just won the title – a reaction fitting of the move.
Wright would eventually win the match after Roma and Paul Orndroff (Roma's “Pretty Wonderful” tag partner who had wandered to ringside mid-match) got into a discussion, Wright played off the distraction and rolled Roma up. Roma kicked out, if I'm being generous, at two and a half, but the referee carried on anyway and awarded Wright the match. Bobby Heenan being Bobby Heenan asked for a replay, Tony Schiavone rejected the suggestion and we quickly moved on.
The irony in amongst all this is that the storyline that setup the match was about Roma being jealous of Wright. In storyline, it was about Roma being jealous of Wright's looks. Roma came out and asked one of Wright's female “fans” (plants) what they saw in him that they didn't see in Roma. And, if we're going to be objective, he probably had a point. Roma was (probably) better looking, had better hair and a better body. And that may have been Roma's real life problem – what did Wright have that I didn't?
Roma would be fired the next day, running out the next month or so of his contract by jobbing on syndicated televsion and on live events. The real shame with Roma was that in some areas he was very, very good. That top rope elbow could've been his calling card, and he had random bursts of athleticism that didn't seem to translate into anything further. Also, and while it's hardly the point, Paul Roma going into business for himself is far more entertaining than normal Paul Roma.