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[1992-07-12-WCW-Great American Bash] Big Van Vader vs Sting

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The only problem I have with the match is the part where Vader goes to the top rope for no reason. It'd be one thing if Harley Race had the ref distracted, but he didn't. It was a pretty blatant example of a "to hell with logic, it's time to move the match along" spot.

 

Regardless, awesome match. Sting was pretty much the perfect opponent for Vader. A good enough bumper and seller to make Vader look like a killer with strong enough offense for his comebacks to be credible. Come to think of it, that's also a description of the ideal Flair opponent. So why is it that Sting/Vader was mostly awesome while Sting/Flair was largely underwhelming?

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Not really news that this is a tremendous match. It's been summarized well before. Sting has never looked as good as he looked in these matches. What I will add is that Jim Ross is absolutely phenomenal here. He has bugged me at times on this yearbook, but this is a tremendous call, maybe his best.

 

Sting/Vader was better than Sting/Flair because Flair felt like they had a match that worked and saw no reason to deviate from it. Sting tended to give his best when he was challenged.

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Sting was a perfect natural foe for Vader. He was of course a charismatic babyface who could sell and take a beating. But more importantly his power spots looked impressive with Vader and Vader's big bumping style looked more organic and less ridiculous against a guy as "strong" as Sting.

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This was an excellent bout. These guys have incredible chemistry with one another. I remember buying this show in 92, one because I was a Sting mark, and 2 Liger was on the show and he blew me away at Superbrawl 2. Going into this as a fan I was like their is no way Vader is winning. We were taught through the years that fat guys can be monsters but never hold the title. We saw Bundy, Andre, Bigelow, Earthquake, Bossman etc never win the title. So the finish was a holy shit moment for me, and you could see it in the crowd at the Bash. On a sidenote I always prefered his music here and from the 80's compared to his man called Sting theme.

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What can be add ? Awesome match, really Sting's first defining performance, he was indeed the perfect opponent for Vader, the chemistry between this two is like magic.

I agree Ross suddenly is awesome calling this match, while he could be very annoying at the same time period, especially when he would just totally no-sell his color men. Gotta love the subtle jabs at WBF as Ventura is talking about Vader's muscle definition.

MOTYC again. What a year for WCW.

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The only problem I have with the match is the part where Vader goes to the top rope for no reason. It'd be one thing if Harley Race had the ref distracted, but he didn't. It was a pretty blatant example of a "to hell with logic, it's time to move the match along" spot.

Yeah, this stuck out for me with all the talk about the rules on why Vader as the challenger is climbing to the top rope. Match as a whole is very good though. Vader wins relatively clean with the powerbomb which surprises me with him being heel.

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I had completely forgotten about Vader's steaming headgear. Vader with big forearms to start. Vader with great bumping and selling for Sting's comebacks, taking a back suplex & lariat over the top. At least for me, Vader was the perfect opponent for Sting more than the other way around. He managed to look like a monster even while selling Sting's offense. Loved the clean finish with Sting blading himself after missing the splash in the corner and eating Vader's power bomb. Strange to think such a dominating and clean win for a monster heel was just geared for a transition, but I guess that's Watts.

 

****1/4

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Great match, as we all know. Sting got to toss Vader around but as the match wore on they did a terrific job of selling those moves as great feats of strength that also wore Sting down. Yeah, there was that turnbuckle spot, but the Samoan drop was done so well that it didn't matter. WCW MOTYC for sure, and this is a hell of a card. By the way, while Ross was excellent here and very good throughout the night, this was a standout match and a standout PPV for Jesse. I know he hated working with Ross and he probably didn't take too well to Watts' ideas for his job as a color man, but he's executing very well. I daresay he's better in this setting than he was in 1990. This was a really great "table-setting" match with Sting continually bouncing off and being cut off by Vader, getting over the idea that Sting couldn't possibly beat him without changing strategies. After that little episode with Terry Funk in '89, Sting developed into one of the least selfish main event babyfaces ever, at least until The Rock came along.

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Although it didn't hit the heights of their later matches there were plenty of positive signs of things to come. It's easy to forget how tall Sting was. That combined with a fairly powerful build made him look a credible adversary for the Maskadon. The face showed some early explosiveness before the Vader beatdown. They had a proper stretch plus the heel went over clean. They did have a ref bump so there was controversy. That always sucks and there was a couple of other nitpicks. Nothing they wouldn't iron out next time.

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I really liked this.

 

They presented Vader as a monster, like I feared they would, but they also did such a good job selling Sting's strength and guts in the face of adversity that I could buy that he'd try his best to throw Vader around even if he knew it would tire him out and perhaps cost him the match later. Every lift spot was impressive, and that teetering Samoan drop might have been the most dramatically executed move in wrestling so far this year.

 

Vader was able to maul Sting when the situation called for it, but he was also able to execute holds, particularly the scorpion. (Kudos to Sting for allowing himself to be put in his own hold and have a submission actually seem possible; this is what Pete meant by an unselfish main-event babyface.) The top rope thing was just done so Sting could punt Vader a few times, and the kicks looked extra impressive. Harley was okay outside the ring, but nothing especially brilliant; his strength lies in the idea that someone with his track record knows all the tricks and can lead anyone to the World title at any time, not necessarily in his work at ringside.

 

JR and Jesse were in full main event mode here, which meant very little BS and lots of good strategic discussion. Even as Sting was appearing to throw Vader around relatively easily at the beginning of the bout, they warned that doing so could put too much pressure on Sting's recently injured ribs and sternum and tire him out more easily, and that's exactly what happened, as Sting was dragging toward the end even before he hit his head. Jesse harped on what he felt should be Sting's game plan: stick and move and wait until Vader tires out (which, of course, he didn't). There was a minimum of "THIS IS WCW!"-type stuff from JR, as for once he was content to let a match speak for itself. The only digressions were a brief argument over whether Harley should be made to stay in an assigned corner early in the bout and the aforementioned talk about Vader as a possible bodybuilder, which was more of a direct shot at the WBF than anything else. JR also mentioned Vader's football background, but that was before the match started, so it wasn't bothersome to me.

 

The finish was a nice sort of compromise; Vader went over about as cleanly as possible under the circumstances, but Sting's supporters could claim that he got a bad break when he knocked himself out and showed that he could dominate Vader fairly easily early on. With a bit more rest for his still-healing ribs and sternum and a little better luck, who knows what could happen next time? (By the way, the replay showed that Sting caught his shoulder on the post, not his head. Still, a blow like that even to the shoulder would be enough to stun most people, especially when followed by a Vader powerbomb.)

 

I'm definitely looking forward to more of this series, and I wasn't sure that I'd be able to say that when I first sat down to watch this match.

 

Lines of the segment: JR and Jesse's discussion of Vader's posing, particularly Jesse's "There ain't no money in it either!"

 

I didn't know that Vader had actually injured Sting's ribs and sternum in a match as opposed to an attack. Did this match make tape, and if so why didn't it make the set?

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http://placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-200-151/

 

#191

 

Always love the Sting GAB gear. Probably my personal favorite in-ring feud of all-time. I can watch these two guys go anytime. So much has already been described and stated here, and I agree with most of it. I'll add that I think this match is incredible. What a moment. What a match. They deliver hard-hitting action. They let the moments breathe. Sting is full of fire. Vader is a beast. The crowd is alive and soaking in every moment. ****3/4

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Sting really sells the enormity of Vader (although, realistically, he’s not THAT much bigger) and Vader does a great job of making Sting’s lighter offense look more impactful. Sting really sells the hell out of Vader's punches and I never knew Sting was capable of delivering German suplexes -- that was a cool surprise. I liked the finish with an overzealous Sting busting himself open and Vader putting him down with the big powerbomb. Really good stuff. 

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WCW World Heavyweight Champion Sting vs Vader - WCW Great American Bash '92

What I love about this trilogy is that any order of the matches is the correct order they are all so awesome in their own way. For me, when I first watch these as a teenager, it was Starrcade '92 that stuck out to me. Then in college it was the brutality of the Strap match, but for the past couple years it is this one that is my favorite. In my mind, this is the perfect David vs Goliath match. You always believed Sting, but in the end he does himself in. These matches are always so selfless. Vader gives as much as he gets. Sting puts over the new monster heel huge. Early on when Sting is getting rocked, that does so much for Vader's credibility and makes him a mountain for Sting to climb. When Vader misses the charge and Sting explodes with the suplex and then big clothesline, the place comes unglued. Because he earned it. They made Vader an unstoppable force and here was Sting overcoming that challenge. I loved Sting's response to Vader's knucklelock challenge to stomp the foot. It made so much sense for Vader to reset and force Sting into his game, but Sting outfoxed him. It leads to another great flurry. Also, I love how much struggle. Vader just doesn't take it. He still hits that Vader body attack. He is giving a lot to Sting and making Sting look like a superstar, but also getting his. Then comes the massive sitdown splash. You can hear the air not just evacuate Sting's lungs, but the building. How about that for an emphatic transition to a heat segment? You all know I am a mark for transitions and that has to go down as one of the best. Vader's posing was always one of my favorite things. FEEL NO PAIN! Vader is so great working on top and bruising. He makes clobbering an art. Stealing the Scorpion Deathlock was a great spot especially letting Sting muscle out. Sting's fiery comeback coming out of the corner with fists of fury when all hope looked lost was rousing. KAPPO KICK! That always gets me. What a great fucking move! DDT! I love that Sting is going for headshots to rock the Big Man. He has taken a lot of punishment he needs home runs. The Fireman's Carry is just damn impressive. German Suplex with Bridge looked fantastic. Your blood is really pumping during all this. You really believe Sting has a chance to slay the monster. Stinger Splash. I love how kicks Vader into the back to set up the next. He is so keyed up he overshoots his target and busts himself open on the turnbuckle. Wow! What a finish! Vader throws him down with a powerbomb to seal the deal. It is funny that Vader was just a one month transitional champion for Ron Simmons, but in the short term that's all this was. The match is so great and Sting/Vader trilogy has become the stuff of legend that this match seems so much more important than it actually intended to be. That is a true testament to the workers in this match who gave an A+ effort bell to bell. Sting was the consummate babyface looking the monster in the eye, marching forward and never backing down. Vader is the stuff of nightmares that Wooly Mammoth that can KO you in one shot. I loved how smartly the shine was built with Sting overcoming Vader early in raucous fashion. Then that transition to the heat segment where the sitdown splash was a metaphor for how every fan in that building felt. Then that absolutely tremendous finish so much excitement and drama. When pro wrestling is done this well, it is hard to beat. *****

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Crowd was not super into Vader right away.  I like Sting giving Vader a bunch of offense to make him credible before the shine.  I loved this match as David vs. Goliath, with David getting a little too ambitious for his own good when he had Goliath on the ropes.  Awesome stuff and probably my MOTY so far.

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The babyface world champion faced his biggest challenge yet in form of the behemoth Vader. Great start as Sting got absolutely pummeled whenever Vader got a chance to corner him. But he possessed enough strength and athleticism to knock Vader off his feet. Sting made use of some clever tricks to gain the advantage but primarily relied on high impact offense to topple his opponent before Vader’s brutality crushed him. But Sting’s strategy was a double-edged sword due to the high risk, high reward nature of the maneuvers. He ended up going for one move too many and hit his head on the post, which allowed a rattled Vader to recover and put him down. Maybe the model David vs. Goliath type matchup. ****1/2

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