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[1996-10-12-WWF-Tacoma,WA] Steve Austin vs Savio Vega

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This is another one with a pedestrian start that gets going and becomes really good. The finishing stretch is one of the best all year from the WWF. It's pretty impressive, given that at this point in the year Austin was way, way above Vega and I doubt anyone actually believed he'd lose. I like Savio; he had a pretty good 1996, although he doesn't have a lot to show for it.

 

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Austin actually described this match on his 100th podcast episode--Austin was out of shape when he first started working Vega, but Vega was a machine who was "going to get his shit in" and Austin had to bump around for him despite sucking wind. A few months into their program and they "blew the roof off the Sea-Tac Arena." The opening is very WWF house-showy, but all the usual tricks (Austin threatening to walk, using the ropes on a chinlock) get good heat. 1996 was a year of some great house show successes for the WWF and some utter disasters (particularly after they junked syndication), but every handheld I've seen indicates a pretty darn hot product. Austin spices up the usual resthold segment by actually busting out a lucha-style surfboard, then a bow and arrow. Yeah, the closing stretch of this is really fun--it's a treat to watch two guys gelling so well together and being on the same page. Vega takes some awesome bumps and each guy sets the other up for the next spot seamlessly. One of those matches that would look like a **** affair if you watched it JIP.

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