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[1994-05-28-WCW-Saturday Night] Steven Regal vs Larry Zbyszko

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I had never seen this before, so I was excited to finally see it. What a beautiful wrestling match. They almost entirely work holds, which I'd normally call a novelty, but there has been so much great wrestling and so much variety from WCW in 1994 that it's not really too novel. Still, this is classy. Great match.

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Watching this match as part of the yearbook makes me appreciate it a bit more since we get to see a variety of all types of wrestling. Regal has been great on this yearbook so far and he is here again. Both guys work a lot of holds and good looking counterholds. I don’t get why Sir William got up on the apron at the end with Regal was the one in control with the sleeper in the middle of the ring. Also, thought there was suppose to be a fifteen minute time limit on on Television title defenses. Regal would have a case here to be annoyed with this finish.

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Excellent match. This is one of my favorite matches ever. It's fucking Regal and Zbyszko going at it with holds and strikes. That rules. One of the Saturday Night greats.

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First time seeing this also and man did it deliver. Played off the Slamboree match wonderfully with Regal being more aggressive out of the gate but Larry still getting the edge. The crowd was molten for this and they mixed in wrestling holds with strikes so well. One of the best TV matches I have ever seen.

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Much better than the Slamboree match, which was already very good. Excellent matwork and counters, real smooth work on both parts. Zbyszko has been such an underrated worker for the longest time it's not even funny, probbaly another case of Meltz not liking his work and Skeith paroting him. It's also one of the first time Regal has showed his real mean streak, he's particulary stiff here, foreshadowing some of his matches in the future with you know who. Gotta give credit to Bill Dundee too, who had a tremendous timing with his interventions. Great match. The only minor issue I have with this match is that it's a TV title match that doesn't end in ten minutes nor even TV time remaining, which kinda negates the entire concept of this championship. But anyway, one of the best, if not the best, TV match of the year thus far.

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Best free-TV match of the year, I'd say. One of the best to air on any Yearbook so far, in fact. Great stuff that really plays off Slamboree and put over beautifully by Schiavone and the Brain. Regal was overconfident and arrogant at Slamboree, and here he's vicious and aggressive. Some of the holds are stuff that I haven't even seen since--Larry puts on a surfboard-type thing that's almost lucha-esque. The time limit stuff, as mentioned, doesn't really make sense, but it's not enough to diminish how great this was. INSANE crowd for this, too. It's incredible how over Larry Z is as a babyface--a theme that would continue for years to come, actually. I honestly have never quite understood it, but that's not really a complaint--he was a tremendous worker who deserved it, but he was also an older, mat-based heel who cut intellectual promos that were probably over the heads of much of the audience. But whether tearing it up with Regal or standing up to Scott Hall and the NWO, he somehow knew how to get a crowd behind him when he needed it.

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WCW @ Atlanta, GA - Center Stage Theatre - May 2, 1994

Larry Zbyszko pinned WCW TV Champion Lord Steven Regal to win the title

WCW @ Ft. Lauderdale, FL - War Memorial Auditorium - May 9, 1994

WCW TV Champion Lord Steven Regal defeated Johnny B. Badd

WCW @ Orlando, FL - Disney / MGM Studios - May 13, 1994

WCW TV Champion Larry Zbyszko vs. Terra Ryzing

WCW @ Orlando, FL - Disney / MGM Studios - May 15, 1994

WCW TV Champion Lord Steven Regal pinned Jim Steele

 

Yep.

 

I was taken aback by how good this was. Zybysko in the 90's had more of a reputation for stalling than snowflakes. I'm not overly familiar with his work from previous decades, but I'm guessing that the Living Legend turned back the clock. A nice face shine to begin as the veteran utilized sharp scientific offense. When Regal came back it was with a more roughhouse style, rather than his usual technical approach. It really was a stiff beatdown. The structure in the latter stages was free form and unpredictable. It culminated in a well worked pinfall for the surprise title change. What was going on with these WCWSN shows? Flair vs Steamboat and now this!

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WCW World TV Champion Lord Steven Regal vs Larry Zbyszko - WCW Saturday Night 5/28/94

 

A match about pride and winning. Zbyszko completely showed up Regal at Slamboree not only winning, but dominating the majority of the match. Regal came out hot, but Larry Z would not be denied. I loved Larry going for the Boston Crab early. No stalling, no easing into the match, he is here to win and the message has been sent to Regal. I loved Larry escaping from the Cravat into another Cravat and really wrenching it. Regal needs three moves to gain control: kneelift, somersault that Larry gets out of the way, but the heels of the boots hit him and then an European Uppercut. The match is dripping with struggle. It is not just about the title. There is a personal pride for both men to prove who is the better wrestler. Larry gets distracted by Dundee and puts him in a sleeper only for Regal to blast him from behind. Regal is incensed at this point. He feels humiliated. There is nothing that causes a human to be angrier than when you attack a core belief. Regal believes he is the best pure technical wrestler. When Larry Z not just challenges that, but shows he may be better, you can feel Regal's entire world crashing down around him. When you feel that way, you lash out and Regal did with wicked forearm blows to the head. He was not just stretching him; he was attacking him. But Larry Z is not going to go away because he has something to prove. It is about proving to himself that he still has it. I loved the struggle over the Butterfly Suplex with Larry Z hitting it. I think it encapsulates the match so well. Then Larry Z chokes Regal. I love how personal this is and it is completely over competition. Regal just starts rocking him with European Uppercuts and blasting him with forearms in the corner. Roundhouse kick by Zbyszko. This is a FIGHT! Zbyszko proving he can stretch with the best of him using a standing surfboard and then a standing reverse figure-4, which I love! Regal goes for the tights. He has tried wrestling, tried roughhousing and now he is outright cheating. Amazing! Stomping! Regal heabutts in the ropes and the TV show goes off the air. Now we go to next week for the conclusion of the match! This would never work now in the world of spoilers, but I like the idea. They knock heads. Sleeper, but Zbyszko pushes off Dundee to land on top to win to a MASSIVE POP!

I thought the finish was a bit flat, but the body match was incredible. It was not just the finish was a bit lame like why is Dundee on the apron, but the run up they seemed to lose a bit of steam. However, I love how personal this felt and it all in the spirit of competition and proving who is the best wrestler because it meant so much to the both of them. Incredible TV match, ****1/4

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