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[1991-12-21-WCW-Saturday Night] Ricky Steamboat vs Steve Austin


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  • 4 months later...

Pretty sure this is the first match between these two. Austin still raves about the guy, and they seemed to be feuding with each other in some form or another for most of the next three years. They do a couple of intense staredowns off of collar-and-elbow tie-ups in the early stages. They work great stuff off the headlock, with Steamboat hanging on tenaciously, and Austin having to do two backbreakers to finally break the hold. Austin uses this opening to work over Steamboat's back. Steamboat does an awesome feed for a series of three fast clotheslines from Austin, which is usually a babyface offense spot, so that was cool. Great looking ref bump. Another ref comes in to count the pin for Steamboat, but you can tell that no one bought it as a finish, as the original ref sees Steamboat's foot under the top rope. He restarts the match, and Austin gets DQd for immediately throwing Steamboat over the top. Bobby Eaton runs out to help Austin with the beatdown. Barry Windham tries to make the save again but they beat him down until Steamboat chases the heels off with a chair. Really good match.

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  • 1 month later...

When Ross is on commentary solo he spends a good deal of time promoting stuff. Austin looked much better offensively than matches earlier in year. Both him and Steamboat looked excellent during the three consecutive clothesline section. The finish worked as we got the tease pinfall win for Steamboat for only decision to get reversed and then Austin DQ'd. Just continued things on. Windham makes yet another post match appearance but this time the Alliance get the better for him.

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Very old-school build, with Austin showing off some new offensive wrinkles like borrowing the Bobby Eaton/Billy Robinson backbreaker. I had to giggle at Steamboat bouncing up for a series of Austin clotheslines. It worked, but knowing the WWF StyleTM it was similar to a heel doing the ten-count punches in the corner. They run a fairly creative Dusty finish as both men collide with the referee, who takes a nasty bump. Steamboat hits the big chop off the turnbuckle but Austin's feet land under the ropes. A replacement ref counts three but Mike Atkins saw Austin's foot, and orders the match to continue. Austin immediately dumps Steamboat over the top rope for the DQ, but that was a DQ that makes sense instead of a typical Dusty Rhodes "don't give anything away whether it matters or not" non-finish. Too early to be jobbing out Steamboat but he doesn't need the TV belt either, plus Austin needs protected too. We get another tease of Steamboat hitting Madusa--this is a really great build for the big payoff when Steamboat finally does deck her, a fantastic angle that I think the '92 Yearbook missed. I'm digging Madusa's ditzy-badass work as a ringside second. The hot post-match continues as Austin and Eaton beat down Steamer, and then take Windham out when he tries to make a save. We go off the air with Eaton dropping elbows on Windham's hand and Steamboat coming in with a chair.

 

We're closing out 1991 with both of the Big Two on a major (artistic) hot streak, which is really the first time that's happened simultaneously on these two Yearbooks and might be the biggest collective peak since as far back as 1987.

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  • 1 year later...

This match really shows how a simple match with moves emphasized can really be effective. The headlock stuff was snug and interesting and then we get the backbreakers that people have mentioned that was really nice escape. Austin's control work on the back is done well and we get a clever DQ finish to boot setting up WIndham vs. the DA more and steamboat wanting to give Madusa what she has coming to her.

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  • 1 year later...

First in a series of 100. Austin gives Steamboat the respect he deserves. The faceoffs feel important in hindsight/cognitive bias. Austin is growing every week in this period, working with bunches of decent to excellent workers but rarely winning clean.

 

The epic headlock sequence could be in a training video. Austin moved into the back work so naturally I'm surprised he picked the sleeper for the rest/submission spot and not something more appropriate. Steamboat is excellent throughout here, continuing his MVP level run since his return. Fake finish and real finish are a bit messy but plenty of good stuff here.

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  • 2 months later...

It's not the result I have a problem with here. Pete's right; Steamer doesn't need the TV title as long as he and Dustin are the World tag champs. But the restart was pointless if it was only going to last five seconds; it needed at least a little more action before the inevitable DQ. I would have also liked to see Arn involved somehow, since he's the one teaming with Bobby at the Omni, not Austin. (I'm not exactly sure if Dustin was still supposed to be in Europe, but if he wasn't, he should have been involved too instead of Windham.)

 

I can see why Austin still has such glowing praise for Steamboat, because he singlehandedly turns around the way Austin works, even at this early stage of their situation. Austin works more methodically and scientifically than I've ever seen him here, culminating in the backbreakers that finally get Steamer to release the headlock/front facelock that he's had on forever, or so it seems. By the way, I've never seen a regular wrestler (as opposed to a muscleman or island savage type) maintain a side headlock after getting his own head rammed into the turnbuckle three times. Whoever thought of that spot deserves a little extra in their Christmas stocking.

 

I must have missed the Austin clothesline spot, but if it's what I think it is, I've seen Steamboat feed that way for Muraco and (possibly) Jake during their WWF feuds.

 

I wonder where Heyman was when this match was taped. Was this a planned absence so we could get the beginning of the Steamboat/Medusa situation, or was he in trouble with the front office over something (which wouldn't shock me in the least)?

 

Austin's back work is great too, and that's part of what Steamboat brings to the table when he's in there with young guys like Austin: the ability to ground them and encourage them to show off their skills. His selling also encourages that: "Gee, if I got a reaction like that out of Ricky and the fans with that move, let's see what this one does."

 

They can't keep teasing Ricky striking Medusa if they're not going to have it pay off somehow. Ideally, this part of the angle shouldn't happen at all, but if Hulk Hogan, the biggest hero wrestling's ever seen, can use Sherri Martel as a punching bag on a consistent basis, Steamboat should have no qualms about doing so with Medusa as long as Medusa initiates contact like she has the past two weeks.

 

I have no problem with JR promoting all the cards upcoming in WCW over the next week; in fact, I wish the WWF had done the same during the match commentary occasionally. One of the more annoying things about the WWF was that each house show existed in its own universe except for rare (by this time, almost nonexistent) title changes. No injury that took place at a house show was ever acknowledged, even when common sense dictated otherwise.

 

(I'm thinking of Dynamite Kid's severe back injury that occurred at a house show in Hamilton, Ontario in December of '86. Although they really could have made some hay out of it, specifically by putting over Muraco and Orton as the guys who caused the Bulldogs to lose the belts, thus giving themselves another major heel team, they chose not to. Instead, we got the title switch to the Harts with no ring intros- covering up the fact that Dynamite couldn't walk and had to be carried to the ring piggyback by Davey Boy- and Dynamite being knocked totally unconscious by a relative love tap from Jimmy Hart's megaphone when dead-on shots, even those that caused guys to lose matches, were usually shrugged off within seconds.)

 

Anyway, it's a nice little bit of hype for cards that may need it and really lends credence to the idea of WCW as a national promotion

 

Interesting that Dusty's pushing Scotty Steiner as a top contender to Austin's TV title. Even though Dustin and Steamer are the current champions, there had to be more money in the Steiners eventually getting the tag titles back somehow than there was in ultimately fruitless singles feuds, such as the one Rick had just finished with Luger. Put another way, it makes no sense for two primarily singles wrestlers to hold the tag team title while your best tag team is floundering around looking for something to do as singles wrestlers.

 

I guess Medusa will be something like Jimmy Hart, in that she'll have different outfits for every match, or at least different types of outfits for the different DA wrestlers: a suit for Eaton, a frilly dress for Austin, a backless dress for Rude, etc. One thing I'm wondering, though, between Arn and Larry Z, the two guys in the DA who could be considered blue collar, which one does she wear the T-shirt and jeans for?

 

I wonder if JR really went home to Oklahoma before taking in the Omni card on Christmas night?

 

As good as JR can be solo, I'm ready for The Bod to make his first WCW appearance; I'm interested to see if they mesh as badly to my ears as JR claims they did.

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  • 1 year later...

Man... Steamboat ruled this encounter. Just watch his facial expressions and selling of muscle fatigue while he worked that snug headlock on Austin. This should be required viewing for anyone learning how to work a headlock. He's phenomenal. Then watch his facial expressions as he fights off Austin's headlock. The way he sells the back drops and taking a minute to get himself together after he gets out of the headlock... (maybe it was after a lariat, but selling the affects). Austin was fine here, but this was the Steamboat show. I enjoyed it.

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  • 6 months later...

That headlock sequence was a thing of beauty. Austin going into the back work was great too. Steamboat popping up for the clotheslines was incredible. The finish is fine for what it was. Steamer puts on a wrestling clinic here and you can see Austin is drinking it all in the way he's working this match. More Ricky Steamboat please. :)

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  • GSR changed the title to [1991-12-21-WCW-Saturday Night] Ricky Steamboat vs Steve Austin

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