There’s a little bit of debate about what WCW’s biggest show of the year is. While the WWF/WWE always pegged WrestleMania as the culmination of a year’s worth of stories, different people have different opinions about WCW’s. Obviously, Starrcade – the first real supershow – is an important part of the calendar year. But so was the Great American Bash, until the company ditched it one year for Beach Blast, which became Bash at the Beach. And then you have Halloween Havoc, which Eric Bischoff has said was the company’s biggest show.
I never understood that opinion at all.
A low-key contender, though, is SuperBrawl, which had a lot of big moments for WCW over the years. Sting beat Lex Luger for his second WCW Championship at SuperBrawl II in 1992 and then battled Vader in what is likely the last great strap match the next year. The early-90s SuperBrawls produced a lot of great cards and memorable matches for WCW.
Unfortunately, this was not one of them.
Best Match: WCW World Championship Match: Hulk Hogan (c) beat Vader by disqualification – The first two months of 1995 has so far not produced a whole lot of great matches, but putting Hulk Hogan in a big match situation with one of WCW’s most notable monsters is a sure-fire way to pop a reaction. A showdown between the two was one of the most anticipated things about Hogan’s debut in WCW, and the company did a great job building to it. Throw in a little gaga with the still-retired Ric Flair at ringside, and you have a pretty exciting match. It wasn’t enough to save the show from being a dumpster fire otherwise, but it was still fun.
Worst Match: Kevin Sullivan defeated Dave Sullivan – This match, on the other hand, was the complete polar opposite of fun. It was a battle of “brothers” divided by Hulkamania: Dave was a Hulkamaniac, Kevin wanted to destroy HULKAMANIA. It was also the only match on the show to go less than 10 minutes, and its 7-minute run time was still about 5 minutes too long. Dave Sullivan was just terrible and nothing Kevin Sullivan could do would save it, including sacrificing the reconstructed face of The Butcher Brutus Beefcake to get himself a win.
A Change Is Gonna Come, Eventually – WCW is still about a year and a half away from the debut of the nWo, and 7 months away from the debut of Monday Nitro, the show that changed the professional wrestling landscape. While the Hogan-Vader program should have been ridiculously hot, it’s mired by the involvement of Flair, who Hogan “retired” the previous October. WWF castoffs like Jim Duggan, Bubba Rogers (the former Big Bossman), Avalanche (the former Earthquake), Paul Roma, The Nasty Boys and Blacktop Bully (the former Repo Man) are all over the card. Some of them could go, sure, and provide a fun match here and there, but none of them provided any reason to care about a program where they were involved. Things would eventually get better, but this was a pretty low point for the company creatively.
Ranking the SuperBrawl V Matches:
1 – WCW World Championship Match: Hulk Hogan (c) beat Vader by disqualification
2 – Sting and “Macho Man” Randy Savage defeated Avalanche and Big Bubba
3 – WCW World Tag Team Championship Match: Harlem Heat beats the Nasty Boys by disqualification
4 – The Blacktop Bully defeated Dustin Rhodes
5 – Alex Wright defeated Paul Roma
6 – “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan defeated Bunkhouse Buck
7 – Kevin Sullivan defeated Dave Sullivan
*DISCLAIMER* The Top 10 rankings are for discussion purposes only and in no way reflect an official or authoritative list. It is simply my opinion. If you disagree, let me know in the comments. New arrivals to the Top 10 are in bold.
1 – WWF Championship Match: Diesel (c) and Bret “Hitman” Hart battle to a draw – ROYAL RUMBLE 1995
2 – WCW World Championship Match: Hulk Hogan (c) beat Vader by disqualification – SuperBrawl V
3 – WCW TV Championship: Arn Anderson (c) defeated Johnny B. Badd – CLASH OF THE CHAMPIONS XXX
4 – Hulk Hogan and “Macho Man” Randy Savage defeated the Butcher and Kevin Sullivan – Clash of the Champions XXX
5 – WWF Tag Team Championship Tournament Final Match: The Kid and Bob “Spark Plug” Holly defeated Bam Bam Bigelow and Tatanka – Royal Rumble 1995
6 – Sting and “Macho Man” Randy Savage defeated Avalanche and Big Bubba – SuperBrawl V
7 – The Undertaker defeated Irwin R. Schyster – Royal Rumble 1995
8 – Sting defeated Avalanche by submission – Clash of the Champions XXX
9 – WCW World Tag Team Championship Match: Harlem Heat defeats The Patriot and Marcus Alexander Bagwell – Clash of the Champions XXX
10 – Intercontinental Championship Match: Jeff Jarrett defeated Razor Ramon (c) – Royal Rumble 1995
The WCW train continues next month with Uncensored ’95, which may actually be a worse show than this one. Maybe this project wasn’t the best idea…