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[1993-06-16-WCW-Clash of the Champions XXIII] Barry Windham vs 2 Cold Scorpio

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Not much to say about this match that hasn't been said before. Great vet vs young guy dynamic, and a match that is an interesting comparison to Bret/Perfect seeing both next to each other, because it shows the difference between WCW and the WWF. Bret/Perfect is in the top handful of WWF matches post-Backlund and pre-Austin, while as good as this is, there are plenty of better WCW matches during those same years. I'm also not sure which of the two is better, I have to think about it some more. But this whole match is really good, but the finishing stretch just puts the match over the top for me because Windham gave Scorpio so much. Also, I guess this could be considered Barry's last hurrah, as it was his last great match.

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A fantastic match that has been talked about a great deal over the years. Really good vet vs young flyer story, and one of Scorpio's best ever singles matches. Barry was great in building towards the hot run of near falls atthe end, as he took enough of the match previous that fans were buying the upset towards the end.

 

I don't know if you can draw direct coparisons between this and Bret/Perfect, as I feel like there were two very different stories being told in the matches. As far as being great US matches within days of each other, I feel like they both have some really strong points. Barry/Scorp had the hotter finish run, but I feel that Bret/Perfect had a more 'complete' match with a stronger body. I would probably give the nod to the Bret match, though it depends on the type of match that you like. The Barry match was a more traditional NWA champ letting the youngster shine and get hope spots, where the Bret match was contested more evenly, with two top stars going back and forth trying to outdo the other. Both are fantasic matches and really stand out as US MOTYC's.

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Scorp brings the offense, but Barry is the one putting it together. He's been consistently excellent to great as soon as he turned heel, and it's not like he was any worse than very good as a face before. MOTYC, probably Barry's swan song. Windham has probably been the best worker in WCW in the span of the three years since he came back in 1990.

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Jesse having trouble with the name of the building they are wrestling in. Probably my favorite Scorpio match. I thought he would get too excessive in ECW and hated his hitting big moves and never going for covers during those matches. Barry reigns him in and we get an excellent match. Windham just looks great and when Scorpio starts to fly the crowd are so into match by that point. I liked it being a clean match with the better man Windham getting the victory. He didn’t need to cheat and really added more to him being one of the best guys in 1993.

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Oh goody, it's Michael Buffer's debut. Man your battle stations indeed. But the match itself is every bit as good as its rep, and a real feather in the cap for Windham to get a classic NWA title match structure with someone who works the style of Scorpio. Windham dictates the pace for most of the match casually unleashing big suplexes and bombs before letting Scorpio get off one of the greatest runs of near-falls you'll ever see. His near-killing of Chris Benoit at Slamboree notwithstanding, it's incredible how smooth and effortless the execution is on Scorpio's big moves, in comparison to a contemporary darling like Sabu. I still don't know how the hell he did that 450 splash from the apron. Great finish as Windham creams Scorpio with an uppercut out of mid-air to set up the leaping DDT. Windham was not a "traveling champion," but this match was still worked as such, and thus may be the final time we see the classic NWA World title formula.

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I'm a bit surprised this is loved so much. It's executed technically well, but Scorpio was a tag worker with no chance of winning here, which takes some luster off the match. Then Windham dominates, cutting off any comeback attempts Scorp even considers, while the announcers bury 2 Cold for not being able to get anything off. This felt like a 93 123 Kid match w/o the plucky surprise win,

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I remember watching this live as a fledgling smart fan (we'd just gotten the old Prodigy service in our house with a Wrestling section in the Sports BB). I gave 2 Cold no chance going in, knowing the endgame was Windham vs. Flair, but during his last flurry I seriously thought they were going to swerve us and change the title.

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This match was great. First off, I have critiqued Jesse a bit in the past few weeks but he was fantastic here. He got over the strategies of Scorpio that could be success while also poking fun at him and Norfolk. Tony engages his quips with a usual one liner but the focus remains on the match. Barry worked over Scorpio well with just a plethora of offense. This was all a set up for the big Scorpio comeback and even though I knew the result, I was still glued and excited watching the dive and roll up near fall. BW is able to compose himself, hit his great implant DDT and pick up the well earned victory. Matches like this is why NWA/WCW is one of my favorite promotions of all time. ****

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Terrific match. On previous viewings I thought Barry was eating up Scorp a bit too much but I didn't see it this time for whatever reason. One of my favorite things about viewing this match in the present, when people complain about move-move-move being the dominant style, is that it's a bombfest *for storyline reasons*. Barry throws bombs because he can do so at will and doesn't have to work patiently to dominate, and Scorpio throws bombs because it's his only chance to win the match.

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I thought the latter part of the match was good, but overall I dunno...

There were times it seemed like Windham wasn’t happy with Scorpio’s slow start. 2 Cold looked very lethargic out there early on, so much so that even Schiavone points it out. Once it was time for the comeback though, all was forgiven. Scorpio's unique aerial offense always woke the crowd up, no different here. Unfortunately, it was the only time in the match 2 Cold looked good. Barry was wise to control the duration, he was a true natural in the ring. I expected a LOT more from this match, but Scorpio was having an off night. If not for the hot and fast finish and Windham working his butt off to make the match look good, this could have really flopped. This was no classic, but I was really happy they were able to turn things around and kudos to Windham for making Scorpio stay with him.

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NWA World Heavyweight Champion Barry Windham vs 2 Cold Scorpio -WCW Clash of the Champions XXIII

 

Between this and Regal match, we see what Windham's vision for the NWA World Champion would have been. It is a champion in control, confident and mean, but one that grows more and more frustrated and overly confident allowing his challenger back into it. These have been great NWA World Champion travelling matches but very different from the manic Flair matches and bump-a-thons that Race would run. The beginning of this match is what puts this behind the Regal match. They seem to trouble getting on the same page. In both matches, the faces did not really get shine, which I thought it was interesting. I love the transition to the heat segment with each feigning punches only for Windham to kick him to the gut. Love that flying lariat. How about Windham getting up to hit Scorpio in the head with a dropkick from a standing position. I will say I never noticed how small Scorpio was until he was in the ring with Big Barry & that Nick Patrick (a big dude) was taller than him. This was an incredible showcase of Windham's offensive prowess just like the Regal match. Would have liked some more hope spots, but the slingshot Thesz Press was a good one. When it came time for the finish stretch, Scorpio killed it. He throws Windham off on the superplex and then just dazzles from there! The slingshot 450 Splash was wicked!!!! I don't think I have ever seen that in any other match. Great finish with Windham punching Scorpio out of the sky with a right to the jaw and then hitting his DDT. Windham was in such a groove. Crying shame about the injury. The finish felt very WWE 2010s with Windham hitting someone out of the air. Dug it. Scorpio was great in the closing stretch, but this was the Barry Windham show and we all were along for the ride and it was badass. ****

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This didn't impress me much.

 

First of all, laet me say that Barry was tremendous here. This is what he could have been for his whole career if he'd wanted it badly enough, and with his varied offense and ability to make his opponents look good he would have been a first-rate NWA World traveling champion. Unfortunately for him, he was too young to credibly beat Harley, and Flair at his peak had everyhring Barry had and a winning persona besides. There was just no place for Barry at the top until now.

 

Unfortunately, Scorp wasn't the best choice to challenge him on this night. Who knows if he really went to Japan before this match or not? It doesn't matter, because he looked terrible except for one or two minutes toward the end where he crammed in all his offense and managed to make himself look like he belonged in the ring with Barry. He should have been on the offensive from start to finish, making everyone in attendance actually believe that he could not just pin Barry, but beat him decisively. We never got close to that, though, and on balance, Barry handled him with ease. Someone like Bagwell could have given Barry almost the exact same bout, except that his aerial offense wouldn't have looked as good. Hell, stick Roma in there with him to build the issue between him and Flair. He might not have deserved to be on such a big stage, but Scorp didn't either, and even Tony and Jesse knew it.

 

Speaking of whom, they were at their near-best. Not quite main event level, as Jesse throws in a few too many bad jokes about Norfolk and the name of its arena, but close enough, Tony's learning the art of bemused tolerance for the Bod that Gino and JR had before him, and that he himself showed when they teamed in the WWF. That makes Jesse better and more willing to talk about the matches. I liked him calling out Barry for perhaps taking Scorp too lightly, but also for putting Barry over in every possible way, including as a near-equal to Scorp in the air. There was a bit too much talk about Johnny B. Badd and Maxx Payne for my taste, but that's because I haven't seen that angle.

 

Michael Buffer was better here than I remembered him being later, much closer to a real boxing announcer and not just Mr. "LET'S GET READY TO RUUUUUMMMMMMMBLLLLLE!" I thought at first that he gave Barry the "Lone Wolf" nickname himself just for the intros, but it turns out that WCW really was pushing him that way. Too bad; if they'd been smart, they would have changed plans and stuck Barry back with the Horsemen until they could find a better fit than Roma was, then worked a turn angle on Flair in time for Starrcade (which, of course, Barry missed anyway due to his knee injury).

 

Line of the Night: Nothing really stood out above the rest, but I got a kick out of Jesse sticking up for his old friends in the Navy: "At least there aren't many jarheads (Marines, I'm assuming) or Army grunts here in Norfolk."

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This was really good! Barry looked awesome, and I thought Scorpio was excellent on the back stretch. I also really enjoyed the commentary. The finish is perfect. I don't think it hits quite the same level as Perfect/Hart from KOTR 93. ***3/4

 

#435 - placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-450-401/

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