The Best of Sting - WWE 3-DISC DVD COLLECTION
by Scrooge McSuck
- Previously featured on the Best of Sting: Winning his 1st World Heavyweight Championship from Ric Flair at the 1990 Great American Bash, winning his 1st Television Championship from Mike Rotundo, one of his earliest televised matches teaming with "Rock" as "Flash" as the Bladerunners, and then a bunch of random, obscure matches against the likes of Stan Lane, Ron Simmons (pre-Doom, or pre-anything relevant, period), and Dirty Dutch Mantell. Odd ball selections aside, a good start to the 3-disc set. We pick things up in the Spring of 1991 and carry us through to the Mid-90's.
THE BEST OF STING... DISC 2:
Sting vs. Nikita Koloff:
From the Clash of the Champions XV (a.k.a Knocksville, USA) special from June 14th, 1991. It was at SuperBrawl (the 1st) where Koloff cost Luger and Sting a match against the Steiners (a classic featured on other sets, so I'm OK with excluding it), and somehow transitioned from a rather dull program with Luger to an equally dull program with Sting. Sting rushes the ring and quickly gets pounded down. Whip to the ropes and Koloff with an elbow, followed by a slam and diving shoulder tackle. To the floor, with Sting being introduced to the security rail. Sting tries a comeback with a Piledriver, but Koloff no-sells it and continues to dominate with clubberin'. Koloff with a Tombstone Piledriver, but a lazy cover only gets two. Whip to the ropes, Sting goes for a sunset flip, but Koloff blocks. He gets too cocky with it, allowing Sting to eventually take him over for two. Koloff with a back breaker for two. Koloff with more pounding. Sting teases another comeback until taking a knee to the chest. Koloff with a snapmare and elbow drop. To the floor again, this time with Koloff getting sent to the rail. Back in the ring, Sting with a Tombstone. He unloads with chops, rights, and boots, waking up the crowd. Whip to the corner, but a Stinger Splash misses. Koloff goes for the Russian Sickle, but Sting ducks up and rolls him up for the three count at 9:27. Way to make one of your top babyfaces look like crap. *1/4 Lackluster, dull, and a seriously curious choice considering Sting was made to look like a jobber for most of the match.
Sting & The Great Muta vs. The Steiner Brothers:
From the January 4th, 1992 WCW/New Japan Supershow II held in Tokyo, Japan, and a welcome change from that last stinker. Muta gets a flashy entrance... for 1992. Jim Ross actually recognizes Muta's "split personalities", wrestling as the Great Muta, as well as under his real name, Keiji Mutoh. Scott Steiner and Muta start. Its blue mist today... I wonder if that means anything. Scott with a double leg pick-up and slam. Whip to the ropes and Muta comes back with a jumping heel kick. Muta misses a dropkick and quickly tags out to Sting, as does Scott to Rick. Rick with a hip toss and Steinerline. He goes to the top rope and connects with his signature bulldog, but Sting kicks out at two. Whip to the corner, and Sting comes exploding back with a clothesline and bulldog of his own. Sting with a running slam into the corner. Whip across the ring, and he misses the Stinger Splash. Scott with a double underhook into a Ligerbomb. Whip and a tilt-o-whirl slam for a two count. Scott goes for a Tombstone Piledriver, but Sting counters with his own for a two count. Muta with a snapmare, followed by his signature snap elbow drop. Scott retaliates with a modified T-Bone suplex. Rick in with a release belly-to-belly suplex from the second turnbuckle! Release German Suplex gets a two count. Scott with a Pumphandle Slam.
Scott sets Muta across the top turnbuckle and takes him down with what essential would be known today as the Olympic/Angle Slam. Scott with a Dragon Sleeper. He lifts Muta up across his shoulders, and Rick comes off the top with an elbow for a two count. Rick with the running slam into the turnbuckle for another two count. Scott with a belly-to-belly suplex, followed by an elbow. He tosses Muta to the floor, where Rick gives him another belly-to-belly suplex. Back in the ring, and Muta comes back with a twisting back suplex. Sting tags in, pounding away on Rick. Whip to the corner and the Stinger Splash connects. Muta sends Rick to the opposite corner for the handspring elbow, but Rick catches him in the air and takes him down with a German Suplex! Chaos erupts, with Sting and Muta dominating. They double bulldog Scott, and Sting press slams Muta onto Rick, knocking them to the floor. Sting heads to the top rope, and follows with a body press on Rick! Muta with a plancha on Scott. Back inside, the Steiners climb the same turnbuckle for a double clothesline! Scott with a tilt--whirl, but Sting counters with a head scissors and covers for three at 10:36, despite Rick having Muta pinned following a belly-to-belly suplex. Everyone shakes hands afterwards. ***1/2 Too short for me, but it was nothing but fast, hard hitting action, with an explosive finish. Sometimes PBP can ruin a match, but the timely recognition of Sting and Muta's lack of experience as a team was perfect when the Steiners were doing everything a strong tag team should be doing. It's the little things.
Sting vs. Big Van Vader (w/ Harley Race):
From the February 9th, 1992 episode of WCW WorldWide. Listed as a "Bounty Match", which seems very vague (probably to do with Lex Luger, Sting's opponent for SuperBrawl II). The pre-match filler hyped their PPV matches (Bash '92, Starrcade '92, SuperBrawl III), but it's nice to see something a bit more obscure from these two. Lockup, and Vader with a bitch slap. They do it again, same result. Vader with clubbing blows in the corner. Sting comes back with rights. Whip to the corner and the Stinger splash connects! He sends Vader to the floor with a clothesline, then follows him out, only to get dropped throat first across the security rail. Back inside, Vader quickly takes him down with a back suplex. Whip to the ropes, Sting ducks under a clothesline, but runs into the second attempt. That sounded vicious. Sting tries for a sunset flip, only to get crushed. Vader sends him to the corner and follows in with an avalanche. Powerslam and a Splash gets two. Sting reverses a whip, but unwisely gos for a slam. Vader escapes with a headbutt and sets up for a suplex. Sting counters, taking Vader down with a German Suplex! Sting scoops him up and plants him with a slam! He heads to the top rope and connects with a splash, but it only gets two! Sting to the top rope again with a missile dropkick! The impact sends Vader out, but Sting follows. They slug it out again, with Vader dominating until ramming himself into the post. Sting rolls back in, picking up the victory by Count-Out at 6:12. Post-match, Race tries to get involved, only to get laid out with the Stinger Splash and have the Scorpion Deathlock applied. Sting releases it almost immediately and takes Vader out with a plancha! **1/2 Criminally short considering the participants, but laid the foundation for the template these two would follow for the majority of their matches.
Sting, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, Barry Windham, and "The Natural" Dustin Rhodes vs. "Ravishing" Rick Rude, "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton, Arn Anderson, and Larry Zbyszko (w/ Paul E. Dangerously):
From the February 22nd, 1992 episode of WCW World Championship Wrestling. Again, they could've gone the easy route and recycled the WarGames Match from WrestleWar '92, but we get this little gem, instead. What's with the mysterious Foot Soldier in Ricky Steamboat's corner? Jim Ross and "The Taylor Made Man" (Terry Taylor in yet another awful gimmick) are your oddball PBP team. [Side Note: At this point, I finally give up on my old reliable lap-top and switch to my newer model… with a keyboard I absolutely hate, so I’m going to have to double check for mistakes. At least now I have spell-check included in my Word Documents.] Brawl to start with Sting and buddies clearing the ring. Windham and Eaton start once things clam down. Arn cheap shots from the apron, but Windham manages to fight them off. Windham sends Eaton to the corner and takes him over with a back drop. Anderson tags in and instantly pisses Steamboat off. Anderson pounds away until getting caught by surprise with a reverse crescent kick. Eaton runs in and takes another beating. Anderson tries pulling the hair of Steamboat to keep him grounded, but he nips up and lays into Anderson with a reverse kick. Zbyszko tries his luck, and it’s all bad. Rhodes in with a diving clothesline for two. Side headlock and shoulder tackle by Dustin, followed by an arm drag. Rude and Sting tag in for the biggest confrontation of the match. They trade blows, with Sting getting the upper hand. Whip to the ropes and a back drop, followed by a clothesline. Sting with an atomic drop, an inverted atomic drop, and a smack of the nose. Rude muscles him into the corner, but he fights off all four members of the Dangerous Alliance! Press slam on Zbyszko, press slam on Eaton. Windham with a dropkick on Zbyszko. Rhodes in with a double clothesline for two. Windham with a hip toss on Eaton, but a head scissors is countered by being hung up across the top rope.
Rude and Zybszko with cheap shots on the floor while the referee plays dead. Back in the ring, Eaton clips the knee. Rude with knees to the injured leg. He takes Rhodes over with a snapmare and comes off the top rope with a missile dropkick! He takes the time to pose before covering for a near fall. Anderson in, planting Rhodes with the DDT, but Sting prevents the pin. Eaton with his turn to punish the knee. The crowd keeps chanting “We Want Sting.” Rude goes for the Rude Awakening, but Steamboat creates a distraction, allowing Rhodes to counter with a DDT. Eaton tags in and applies a Figure-Four, and yes, he does get help for added leverage. Anderson with a spinning toe hold, but Rhodes escapes by kicking him off into the corner. He puts the boots to Zbyszko and pounds away with rights. Steamboat with the hot tag, unloading on everyone with chops. Slam to Zbyzsko, followed by a flying chop from the top rope. Chaos erupts, leaving Dustin and Zbyszko in the ring. Steamboat sneaks back in with the Flying Body Press from the top rope, and it’s good for three at 15:34. Post-match, Rude gives Steamboat the Rude Awakening, and we’re out of time. **1/2 Standard formula match, with a decent heat segment on Rhodes, and a quick, hot finish. Obviously the point was hyping SuperBrawl, featuring Rude vs. Steamboat for the US Title, Windham and Rhodes against Zbyszko and Austin, and Sting getting set to challenge for the World Heavyweight Title.
Sting vs. Diamond Dallas Page:
From the June 13th, 1992 episode of WCW Saturday Night. Sting is the reigning WCW World Champion, having defeated Luger for the belt in the latter’s final match with the company at SuperBrawl II. He’s only a few weeks away from dropping it to Vader in a fantastic Main Event at the ’92 Great American Bash. DDP was a nothing at this point: a bottom of the card sub-par worker who was mostly known for being a manager. Definitely one of those “how did he go from this to that” careers. DDP tries to attack before the bell, but Sting shrugs it off and goes to work on the arm. Sting with a slam, but he tries doing Vader’s second-rope splash, and ends up metting the knees. DDP with a slam, but an elbow drop misses. Sting with a back drop, dropkick, and bulldog. He slaps on the Scorpion Deathlock, and it’s over at 1:50. Wow… that was a squash. I should note Cactus Jack joined Jim Ross on commentary for this one. Nothing here to really rate.
Sting vs. Barry Windham:
From the February 6th, 1993 episode of WCW Saturday Night. We’re up to the “Man Called Sting” era of awful theme music, for those into that sort of thing. Over in WWF Land, WWF Superstars featured a fairly awesome (and controversial) beatdown on Jim Duggan at the hands of Yokozuna. Windham was nearing the end when it came to being motivated (and watchable) in the ring. Sting is still feuding with Vader, and scheduled to face him in a Strap Match at SuperBrawl III (White Castle… OF FEAR!). To no surprise, that’s an awesome match, too. I guess there was an incident the previous week, and Sting wants revenge. He unloads before the bell and throws Windham across the ring with a hip toss. Windham thumbs the eye, but Sting blocks a suplex attempt and counters with his own. Windham tries hiding in the corner, but Sting nails him, anyway. He no-sells a back suplex and continues to beat the crap out of Windham. Whip to the ropes, Sting with a back drop, followed by an elbow drop for two. Whip to the corner and the Stinger Splash misses. Windham to the top rope with a flying clothesline! Windham with a hip toss, followed by a float-over suplex for a two count. Whip to the ropes, and Sting comes back with a snap suplex. Windham quickly regains control, planting Sting with a DDT for another near fall. Whip to the ropes, and Windham grabs a Sleeper. Yes, he does use the ropes for leverage. The referee eventually sees it and forces a break. Windham with a delayed back suplex and a knee drop for two. Gutwrench suplex gets another two count. He sets Sting up for his signature Super-Plex, but Sting manages to fight free and knock Windham down. He comes off the top with a flying clothesline and unloads with rights and chops. The referee gets bumped and Windham knocked to the floor. Harley Race shows up, giving Windham a leather strap. Sting wrestles it out of his hands and lays him out with it for the three count at 9:37. Post-match, Sting hangs Windham with the strap, forcing the referee to reverse the decision… despite never giving the instructions to the ring announcer. *** Cheap finish, but with lots of intensity, Windham worked a smart heel formula, and Sting’s aggressive efforts leading to a tide-changing spot is always a cool way to kickoff the heat segment on the face.
Sting vs. “Stunning” Steve Austin (w/ Col. Robert Parker):
From the January 8th, 1994 episode of WCW Pro Wrestling… yeah, 1993 REALLY sucked, so no surprise we pretty much skipped over the entire year. WCW Pro isn’t exactly “Saturday Night” in terms of importance, but this is one of those matches I’m sure the curious smart fans are happy to see included. I know Sting and Austin have had a handful of matches during the 4 years they were in WCW together, but never really had a singles match on a PPV or Clash, so they’re all lost to obscurity. Gordon Solie and Larry Zbyszko is your odd couple commentary team. Austin is the reigning US Champion, but this is Non-Title. Lockup to the corner and Austin gives a surprisingly clean break. They fight over an overhead wristlock, with Sting backing Austin into the ropes to force a break. They trade wristlocks. Austin picks the leg, but Sting sends him to the floor with a boot to the butt. We return from a commercial with Sting holding a side headlock. Austin escapes, applying a head scissors. Another fight over a wristlock, Austin grabs a headlock, and this time Sting switches it to a head scissors. Austin floats over to escape, Sting bridges up, and takes him back over with a back slide for two. Austin goes for a suplex, but Sting counters with his own for a near fall. Austin muscles his way out of a headlock, setting Sting across the top turnbuckle, and taking him down with a Super-Plex for two. Austin with a step over applied to the left elbow and wrist. Sting escapes with a flurry of rights. Austin goes for a slam, but Sting shifts his weight to land on top for a two count. Austin goes for the arm again, but Sting keeps fighting him off with roundhouse rights. Whip is reversed and Sting with a back drop. Sting with a cradle, but suddenly Brian Pillman shows up, chasing Parker into the ring, and slugging it out with Austin to trigger a Disqualification at 11:25. Post-match, Sting teases the Scorpion Deathlock, but is talked out of it by the referee. **1/2 Felt like they were working towards 20-minutes, but we went from chain wrestling to an abrupt bullshit finish way too quickly to really get it into the next gear.
Sting vs. Ric Flair:
From the November 6th, 1995 episode of WCW Monday Nitro. Yeah, we just jumped almost two years. Once Hogan came to WCW, Sting was pushed down into meaningless programs with former WWF names like Earthquake (as Avalanche) and Big Boss Man (as Big Bubba Rogers). Flair turned face, tried to convince Sting he was a changed man, and turned heel on him in one of the most obvious “you stupid moron” moments. This was also part of a “Fan Interactive” Poll, where fans called in to choose a match between guys from two groups of options. Sting attacks before the bell and mounts Flair with a flurry of rights. Whip to the ropes, Sting with a press slam, followed by mounted punches in the corner. He sends Flair to the corner, flipping him to the apron, and knocking him off with a clothesline. Sting follows him to the floor, sending him into the rail and no-selling his chops. Flair with a cheap shot and suplex on the floor, but Sting pops up like nothing happened, only to miss a Stinger Splash and dropping himself across the security rail.
We return from commercial break, with Flair working over Sting in the corner. He takes Sting down with a back suplex and slaps on the Figure-Four. He uses the ropes for extra leverage until Sting starts to feel the adrenaline, pulls Flair away from the ropes, and turns over the pressure. Flair comes off the ropes with a kick to the knee, but Sting stands tall. Chops? Nothing. Sting begs for me, backing Flair up. Whip to the ropes, and Sting with another press slam. He sends Flair across the ring with a hip toss, followed by a dropkick. Flair thumbs the eyes to slow him down and tosses him to the floor. Flair comes off the apron with a double axehandle and unloads with a pair of brutal chops. Flair grabs a chair, but the referee pulls it away. Back in the ring, Flair levels Sting with a right and tries to use the ropes to score a pinfall, unsuccessfully. Flair with a headlock takeover, countered with a head scissors. Flair floats over for a bridge spot, and Sting takes him over with a back slide for two. Flair goes to the eyes again and climbs the ropes, only to get slammed off. Sting backs him into the corner and unloads with rights and chops. The referee gets in the way, so Sting carries him away. Meanwhile, Flair whips out a "foreign" object and KO's Sting with it. He takes his sweet time before dropping an elbow, but it only gets two! Whip to the ropes, and a chop doesn't phase the Stinger. He no-sells everything Flair has to throw at him, and again takes Flair over with a slam. He sets Flair across the top turnbuckle and takes him down with a Super-Plex! He slaps on the Scorpion Deathlock, and Flair submits at 9:16! Sting keeps the hold applied until Lex Luger shows up to talk Sting into letting the hold go. ZUH?! ***1/2 You could probably call a Sting/Flair match move-for-move in your sleep, but it's still a guaranteed pretty good/great match if they have the time and motivation.
Sting vs. Arn Anderson:
From the July 8th, 1996 episode of WCW Monday Nitro held outdoors at Disney’s MGM or whatever. Another leap, as we’ve moved into the phase of Sting’s career where he ditched the bleach blonde hair, letting his natural hair color come through, but still rocking his signature colorful tights. We’re 24 hours removed from the ’96 Bash At The Beach, featuring the famous heel turn of Hulk Hogan. Arn offers a handshake, but Sting isn’t falling for it. Lockup into the corner, Sting gives a clean break. Sting with a side headlock and shoulder tackle. Arn grabs a headlock, then turns it into a hammerlock. Sting counters, hooking an armbar. Arn tosses him to the floor and goes for a Piledriver, but Sting counters with a back drop. We return from commercial, with Sting in control. Whip to the ropes, and Arn turns the tide with his signature Spinebuster. Hard whip to the corner, followed by some choking. There’s strong concern over the arrival of “Special Guests”, and a lack of security to keep them at bay because of their outdoor location. Sting escapes an abdominal stretch with a hip toss, but meets knees on a splash attempt. Sting catches Arn in a body scissors, only for Arn to turn him over with a Boston Crab. Arn to the second turnbuckle, leaping into a clothesline. Sting with rights and boots. Whip to the corner, he takes Arn over with a back drop, then comes off the top rope with a clothesline. Meanwhile, Hall and Nash make their presence felt. The action in the ring comes to a stop, and here comes Randy Savage for whatever reasons. Arn tries to DDT Sting, but he hangs onto the ropes and locks on the Scorpion Deathlock for the victory at 9:08. **1/2 Weird finish to an otherwise solid match. Gene Okerlund hops in the ring to get an interview from the Stinger concerning the events that took place the previous night. He runs down Hogan for betraying the fans and the little kids he preached to say their prayers and believe in themselves, and now they can’t believe in him anymore.
Sting & “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. The Nasty Boys:
From the July 27th, 1996 episode of WCW Saturday Night. Really… a Nasty Boys match from 1996? Talk about random. This was before the Nasty Boys’ failed efforts in joining the New World Order. Savage and Saggs start without the bell ever ringing, with Saggs pounding away with rights. Whip to the corner is reversed and Savage lays him out with an elbow. Saggs catches him off the ropes and plants him with a Powerslam. Knobbs misses an elbow, and Sting tags in, unloading with rights. Whip to the ropes and Sting with a clothesline, followed by a dropkick for two. Sting with a slam, but a splash meets the knees. The Nasty’s with clubberin’ in the corner. Knobbs tosses him to the floor and bops him with Savage’s briefcase while the referee’s back is turned. Back in the ring, the Nasty’s with a double shoulder tackle for two. Sting gets a boot up on a charge attempt and takes Knobbs down with a bulldog. Savage gets the hot tag, cleaning house. During the chaos, Sting returns the favor of bashing Knobbs over the head with the briefcase. Savage comes off the top rope with the flying Elbow Smash, and the three count is made at 3:40. * Nothing to see here. Unusual choice, unless it falls under the rarity category, and even then, Sting vs. the Nasty Boys wasn’t something that just didn’t happen.
Disc 2 Final Thoughts: With the lineup promised for this portion of the set, I’m not surprised to see it churn out mostly good-great matches. Once again, the easy and obvious choice of matches (anything from PPV vs. Vader, WarGames vs. the Dangerous Alliance) are excluded in favor of more obscure television matches that I’m sure even hardcore fans didn’t remember taking place. Nothing is making the “Greatest Hits” List, but you’ve got a very good match between Sting and Flair (I know, shocker) and the Dream Tag Team Match from the WCW/NJPW Supercard highlighting the list. Matches with Vader, Stunning Steve, and Arn Anderson don’t light the world on fire, but are entertaining in their own ways, and quite honestly, other than the stinker opening the disc with Nikita Koloff, nothing on here is really bad. Sure, the matches with DDP and the Nasty Boys are more about padding than anything out, but are so short it wouldn’t affect my opinion on the set. 2 down, 1 to go… I have a feeling it’s going to be the toughest to sit through.
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