Superstar Sleeze Posted June 6, 2014 Report Share Posted June 6, 2014 I have been watching a lot of 92 WCW. Since the WWF and WCW were both in a state of transition, I thought it would be interesting to do a little compare and contrast between where WCW was at the time of SuperBrawl II and where WWF would be a month later at Wrestlemania VIII. I went back and forth on the criteria I would use to judge who had the advantage. First and foremost, I am a fan so in-ring quality and entertainment are the most important factors to me. However, drawing power, booking and just overall star power were taken into consideration on how the talent would contribute to the overall health of the promotion. Top Talent Leaving Hulk Hogan/Sid Justice/Jake Roberts/Roddy Piper vs Lex Luger In one fell swoop, the WWF lost two out of three top babyfaces and heels coming off Wrestlemania VIII. Jake Roberts was just hitting his stride as a sinister heel in the Savage feud and would have served well as a No. 2 heel under Flair to facilitate the rise of talent. Sid is a strange cat. You just can't put your finger on why he is over, but he always finds a way to get over with the live audience. He could have went either way as a main event face or heel and would have given WWF a big man option when it was about get a lot smaller. Finally, you have the two cornerstones of the Hulkamania Era. You can go either way on their departure. You never want to lose big time talent like Hogan and Piper that have a history of drawing. However, they were able to parlay Piper's exit into a big time Wrestlemania victory for their now number 2 face, Bret Hart. Hogan's rub for Sid even if half-assed was moot because of Sid leaving shortly after Hogan. When the main event of your biggest show does not even stick around for Summerslam, that's going to send the WWF reeling. 1992 was a time of transition by the time Hogan returns in early 1993 it is evident that Vince could not stop the bleeding and they had careened into the Dark Ages. WCW also had a main event leave after SuperBrawl II, but Luger for all intents and purposes had been written out of the storylines. He was just there to put over the new top dog, his buddy, Sting. Going into Luger's 1991 WCW World Title run is a whole another blog, but suffice to say Vader had everyone saying Lex Who? EDGE: WCW. WWF had way too much top talent leave all at once. WCW was better prepared for their exit building around the Dangerous Alliance and gaining Vader and Miracle Violence Connection. Ace Face Sting vs Randy "Macho Man" Savage Up until the '97 Crow Sting character, this was Sting at his height in terms of crowd reaction and card positioning. He was feuding with Cactus Jack, Luger and the Dangerous Alliance all at once and holding his own. He was on his way to the historic Sting/Vader series, one of the few WCW series that gets talked on the same level as WWF series by WWF fanboys. Still there was seemingly no light at the end of the tunnel for WCW in terms of business. Was that Sting's fault or WCW's business direction? A lot of folks have poked holes in Sting's WON Hall of Fame candidacy due to his inability to draw. However, that is hindsight coming out of SuperBrawl II and looking towards Vader, it seems like the sky is the limit for WCW and the main event scene. On the other hand, things look bleak for Savage as the remaining bastion of the Hulkamania yesteryear gone by. His story from Wrestlemania II to Wrestlemania VIII (just tracked by Wrestlemanias) is amazing and climaxed him with getting his girl back, returning from retirement and winning the World Title. Unlike movies or TV, wrestling never ends, but it should have ended there for Savage. Don't get me wrong Savage had plenty left to give, the way story arc was setup it was hard to go anywhere. He had a dearth of opponents. They seemed content to let Flair work on top for the rest of 92, but never be The Man. They lost Sid and Roberts leaving a newly minted singles Shawn Michaels to be the number two heel. The fact that story felt like Savage was an old man coming back for one last hurrah and just not having any opponents made this a bad situation for Savage. EDGE: WCW. Savage had two things going for him. He was a better wrestler than Sting and he had Vince McMahon. The WWF promotional machine could buoy Savage even if he did not have much in the way of talent. Sting had his charisma and better opponents and booking. As a businessman, I'd take Savage and Vince, but I am not a businessman. I am a fan and give me Sting and Vader. Nuclear Heel Rick Rude vs Ric Flair Flair in WWF was just weird. I need to do some more research on Flair's post-Wrestlemania run up until his departure in January of 1993. He was definitely the top heel in the promotion, but was seemingly never really featured again. He was just an odd fit in the WWF. I know he would regain the title and have two great matches with Bret, but it just did not seem right. Rick Rude on the other hand was just hitting his stride. The heat he was getting at SuperBrawl II and how well he was wrestling. Rude's 92 is on par with just about any single year heel runs. I am talking Flair in '85 or '86 or Savage in '86 heel run level. EDGE: WCW. This is a slam dunk. Flair is Flair, but WWF was not letting him run the show. Rude was getting to Flair levels in '92. He was besting him at his own game. Biggest Return Ricky Steamboat vs Ultimate Warrior The fan in me says this is an easy decision. Steamboat all day, BABY! However, in the sea of departures, Warrior was the lone bright spot for the WWF. He was young enough not to be considered to be a part of the old guard, but old enough to have veteran experience working in Wrestlemania main events. He was a huge boon to Vince to utilize him with Savage to give Savage a partner and opponent on his level. However, Warrior was also batshit crazy and would flame out anyways. Steamboat was cool and calm. Every week, you knew Steamboat was going to have a great match with anybody. He was a great utility player helping out Dustin and Douglas as a tag partner, Austin as a opponent or carrying the company as the top feud with Rude. EDGE: WCW. Closer than you would thinking going in, but Steamboat offers too much flexibility and proved to be able to work on top with Rude. Warrior is just too unstable. Rising Heel Steve Austin vs Shawn Michaels This is where WWF starts to pick up the slack. It is almost like 1992 was this role reversal. For years, WWF was so strong on top while WCW could claim a higher amount of good working depth. However, WWF had a strong crop of young talent. Austin would end up being one of the biggest crossover superstars of all time and destroying Shawn Michaels, but in 1992 there was no way you could tell that. He barely had any offense. He was strong in the fundamentals, but still too green. Shawn has been kicking ass with the Rockers since 1986 and was a veteran at this point. Yes, he was in a new role as a singles heel, but having watched a shit ton of Rockers footage this guy could flat out go. He was thrusted into a number two heel role that he was not really ready for, but still had great matches with Savage and Bulldog on the year and main evented Survivor Series '92. Not too shabby for a tag team specialist, right Gorilla. EDGE: WWF. Hindsight, give me Austin every time. In 1992, this is a slam dunk, HBK crushes Stunning Steve. Rising Babyface Ron Simmons vs. Bret Hart WWF may have had a bleak present, but the future was so bright that their next top talent needed to wear shades during promos. Ok, that cant all be gems. In Simmons' defense, he was a decent power wrestler. I would need to see more of his promos to gauge his charisma. He was overpushed too soon to attempt recreate Junkyard Dog's magic, but I think he was a solid hand. Bret offers a Steamboat like flexibility with a promotional machine that could manufacture Sting-like charisma. Bret did have charisma, it was subtle and mostly demonstrated in the ring, but McMahon is a genius because his booking and promoting extracted the most out of it. EDGE: WWF. The future is bright from a fan's perspective for WWF. Creepy Character Catcus Jack vs Undertaker This one is the toughest of the match ups. Undertaker had a great mystique and character. The matches, which in part were due to his opponents, were just bad. The wild man Cactus was having better matches and also being pushed harder in the main event. He was Sting's opponent at Beach Blast and the main thorn in Simmons side (he was injured and forced to be a manager). EDGE: WWF. However, at SuperBrawl II, Cactus seemed like a niche character, before being pushed up the card. Whereas, Undertaker seemed like a huge deal beating Jake at Wrestlemania VIII before being put in his own little world where he fights strange monsters. So just looking at the two events I would take Taker, but down the road I would say Cactus. Top Heel Tag Team Arn Anderson/Bobby Eaton vs Money Inc. As much as I hate to say, Anderson & Eaton are overrated on name value. If they stayed together longer or positioned better than maybe they could be an all-time great tag team. Instead they are dream team that does not live up to the hype. They felt behind the Rude/Steamboat, Austin/Windham and Windham/Zbyszko feuds in the Dangerous Alliance pecking order. Whereas, Money Inc carried the shallow WWF tag division through '92 into '93 even being Hogan's opponents for his return at Wrestlemania IX. EDGE: WWF. Money Inc. was a solid ace heel tag team and a good use of DiBiase and Rotundo in the twilight of their careers. Anderson & Eaton should be better on paper, but were overshadowed by their fellow Dangerous Alliance members. Top Face Tag Team Steiners vs Natural Disasters I don't care how many people tell me the Steiners are just spot monkeys. They are my kind of spot monkeys. Two big Michigan Men throwing around jabronis. I don't know if they make my top ten tag teams of all time, but they are two of my favorites. I don't care how many people tell me John Tenta is not that bad. One half of the Natural Disasters is the fuckin Shockmaster! EDGE: WCW. GO BLUE! Did WWF have anymore tag teams? Dustin Rhodes/Barry Windham vs Field LOD/Nasties were horribly misused by the WWF, which could have had a deeper tag division. The WCW was downright shallow by their standards, but I wanted to spotlight how good the Dustin/Barry team was because they are so neglected. They had classics against Zbyszko/Austin, Rude/Austin and Miracle Violence Connection. I would actually say they were a better tag team than Steiners in '92. Also, what a great learning experience for Dustin and a way to protect him from a singles run too soon and a great way to keep Barry relevant and help out the kid. EDGE: WCW. Definitely check out a lot of Windham & Rhodes in '92. Overall: WCW wins 6-4, but in an uncharacteristic fashion. WCW, to me, has always been the deeper promotion. In this comparison, they won based on their strength on top. Sting, Rude, Steamboat and later Vader is a murder's row of main event talent. However, WWF has a stronger midcard with Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels waiting in the wings to rise to the top. Austin and Dustin were a lot greener than Hart and Michaels, but were certainly promising prospects. The tag division in both promotions were much more shallow than they had been in the 80s, but Dustin & Windham still turned in a year really strong year as a team. WWF struggled to find a groove in 1992. WCW had a remarkable first half to 1992 before strange booking decisions (hey it is WCW, after all) torpedoed any momentum. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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