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[1991-02-24-WCW-Wrestle War '91] Lex Luger vs Dan Spivey

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Surprisingly good match, with Luger working hard. He's added a lot of muscle since 1990 and is about to enter the phase where he looks ridiculous and slows down, but this is a good outing for sure. Spivey also works hard. I've always liked this show.

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I thought this was a smartly worked match . I thought Ross helped by explaining the psychology of the match. I'm shocked how smooth the finish was. Both of these guys don't have the rep of being smooth.

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This is probably the second best Spivey singles match I've seen behind his match with Kawada. I know we've all said it plenty, but Luger was damn good from 1989 until right about this point. He worked hard, made his opponents look great with his bumping and selling, showed a lot of fire on his comebacks, stayed over regardless of the booking. He's clearly a guy whose rep in the business seems way out of line with what the tapes show.

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Years back -- we're talking long before the DVD era, the guy I bought tapes from was kind of to put together an awesome Luger comp at my request. Started with a couple early Flair matches from Florida and culminated before he was given the title after Flair left. Really wish I still had that.

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I have a good 12-disc Luger comp from a guy who used to trade as BNewt. Starts with some Florida stuff and runs through the Superbrawl match with Sting in '92.

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Luger continues his unbelievable PPV hot streak--a better streak than Flair's at this time, in fact. Spivey busts out all kinds of cool offense centered around Lex's neck. Not all of it is executed great but in some cases that just adds to the danger effect. In particular his reverse flying elbow looks absolutely devastating--I daresay more devastating than any Tenryu elbow. Dan works hard but is pretty charismatically challenged--Luger works hard and has the crowd way into this. The end result is one of the great synergy matches in wrestling history.

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Spivey gets the Tombstone piledriver. Spivey gets a lot of offense in and seems an even match for Luger which kind of surprised me. Good match with Luger winning off a reversal too. Spivey was a serious challenger here.

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Don't know what all Spivey did to earn this shot and he has looked absolutely awful in the 1989 stuff so I was kind of pessimistic going in. Spivey is still somewhat reckless here although not as reckless as we have seen and the match actually builds to an exciting climax and they pull off a lot more complicated moves than I would have figured. Pleasant surprise and big testament to Luger.

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Jump someone on TV in a tag Title match, get shot at person's singles title on next PPV.....its in the rule book!

 

The really is Luger's last big stage match as mobile and limber Lex, before stiff, too big, and not very limber Lex took over...

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I was especially impressed by Spivey here. This was the biggest single match of his career, at least in America, and he wrestled like it. I loved him busting out all the offense on Luger's neck, which made it seem like he had a real game plan. Most big guys don't wrestle methodically as often as they should; they just try to pound people into submission. You can tell that Dusty liked what he saw, too. If Spivey had chosen to stay here full-time, he might have gotten a pretty big push.

 

We're not used to seeing Luger on the defensive, but he took to that role pretty easily. He absorbed his beating well, then executed the finish flawlessly. That's not a finish that's done often with two real heavyweights, mostly because they're not coordinated enough to do it. Seldom has Luger had to pull victory from the jaws of defeat like he had to here.

 

JR and Dusty were really good, but I think I caught one of the reasons Dusty didn't do much commentary. Early on, JR starts talking about Luger and Spivey's football backgrounds, as he often does, and Dusty cuts him off in a way that suggests Virgil Runnels the booker telling his announcer to shut up. I don't think JR cared for it much, although he didn't let it show on the air. Dusty did just one more pay-per-view (SuperBrawl) with JR before Tony Schiavone took over the color role. Knowing how much Dusty liked being out front, I wonder if that was his decision or if JR complained to the suits that Dusty was cramping his style. Remember, JR was also working for the Falcons at this time, so he may not have appreciated having his more legitimate sport being dismissed so rudely, even by his boss.

 

I thought that the wrestlers could use either ring to fight in when the arena was set up for WarGames, but apparently not. You can hear Nick Patrick forcefully telling Spivey to bring Luger back into this ring (the one they began the match in) and starting a DQ count when Luger lands in the other ring as a result of some Spivey offense Strangely enough, I've seen other regular matches on other cards with multiple-ring setups go back and forth between the rings without a peep from the ref. Maybe Nick just didn't feel like going back and forth.

 

I wish we'd had time for a rematch, as this feud looked like it had some staying power and the potential for more solid matches.

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Spivey is surprisingly good here. I can't be too surprised by Luger after the bright spot he was in 1990. Did not expect the match to be worked as smartly as it was. Pretty solid show WCW put on if you ask me.

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Thanks to Matt Franklin who assigned me this match to watch in the Secret Santo thread.

 

Upon watching this, I learned that this match was set up by Spivey's interference at Halloween Havoc between Lex Luger and Stan Hansen (I obviously didn't watch Halloween Havoc 1990 so there you go). From the footage I saw from that period of time, I strongly believe that Lex Luger was at his peak and looked so good, especially later in the year when he's paired with Harley Race as his manager. It's also interesting to see Luger facing off someone physically bigger than him with Spivey being 6 foot 8 and Luger 6 foot 6. While it's the typical Luger match we're getting on offense, I thought the way he sold Dan Spivey's made Spivey look like a million bucks. You don't expect to see big guys like them work so smoothly because it's not their typical pattern of work but that's exactly what we got. What started as a typical Luger match ended up in a more unusual finish with a win by the skin of his teeth so in that regard, I was really pleasantly surprised. It's a bit sad that afterwards, Spivey kinda vanished as he probably was working mostly in Japan (All-Japan?) because one could've argued that Spivey's stock had risen from this match, with all the pieces of the puzzle clicking together that night to make this an excellent match for both men involved.

 

Overall, that's a solid 3 1/2 *** in my book.

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