Vader Vs Ricky Steamboat – Saturday Night 16/10/1993
Already seen this match, and reviewed it, but fuck it, it was so awesome I wanna do it again!
This is a Human Cage Match, which is just a Lumberjack match. Why the stupid name? Fuck knows lol. Also, how come these two men didn’t have a PPV match? This is the 3rd title match between the two to take place on TV. Then again, I guess with only a couple of PPV’s in the year, they were just filling the time between them with something awesome, and then saving Cactus/Vader for the PPV.
The match starts much slower than their other matches, with Vader shoving Steamboat around but not causing any damage. One push sends Steamboat out of the ring to the heel side, and things nearly kick off as Steamboat wants to get back in the ring himself but the heels want to throw him back the hard way, causing the babyfaces to come to his aid.
Once back in the ring, Vader decides that playtime is over, and face caving time has begun! My god the shots Vader throws out are just so awesome. It has been said before, by me, Andy, and everyone else on here that watches Vader matches, but the shots in THIS match just seem so much better than usual.
I mentioned in my previous review about the Rocky movie similarities, and I still get that feeling this time around. Steamboat takes those shots in the corner, but keeps getting up and asking for more, and Vader is more than happy to keep them coming. The Dragon takes everything the champ gives him, and keeps coming back. He eventually moves out of the way of a Vader Splash on the outside, and Vader does his signature guardrail bump, and Steamboat finally gets a break!
Having already faced Vader on a couple of occasions, Steamboat knows he needs to throw everything he can at the champ if he even hopes to win. A sort of superplex (looks more like a DDT from the ropes lol), a DDT, a figure four and a huge back suplex are all high impact or highly painful moves, but not even those can keep Big Van Vader down!!! The booking of Vader as a beast and champion in 1993 was beyond epic. From what I have seen of his 1993 so far I’d probably consider him to be one of the better World Champions EVER. He dominated and looked unbeatable, but at the same time he could make you believe that his opponents would have a shot at taking the title from him when they were having a comeback etc.
Speaking of believable, it’s amazing that I can actually believe and accept and whatever other word for it you wanna put, that Steamboat can take Vader’s punches to the head and fire his own shots back, get to his feet and actually back Vader into a corner and out punch the guy! Again I go back to the Rocky similarities, with Rocky being out matched in power against guys like Clubber Lang and Ivan Drago, but managing to take their shots and come back with his own and even get the better of them as time goes on because he has more heart and more stamina too. Steamboat is the Rocky Balboa of wrestling.
The Human Cage stipulation comes into play for the finish which I really like. Vader is sent out of the ring, and everyone runs around to try and get him in, and the faces and heels get into it a little while doing this. Sid however, decides to let everyone else deal with Vader, and while the ref is distracted by all that, Powerbombs Steamboat in the ring, allowing Vader to get the 3 count!
Just an awesome match, and I’m really glad it made it on a DVD too (Rise & Fall of WCW I think? Or the Steamboat set? One of the two lol). Vader’s shots look better here than I’ve ever seen them look. Steamboat takes them like a man, and his selling is nothing short of incredible. Hard to believe that I like this more on a rewatch, because I fucking loved it the first time around lol. There is a spot in my top 10 for this match, no matter what else I watch!