• Match of the Week: Sting vs. Rick Steiner (The Great American Bash, 1999)

    Many sites have a match of the week but ours is a little different. These matches are the ones that are fun to watch… in the non-traditional way.

    This week, we’ve chosen Sting vs. Rick Steiner from WCW’s The Great American Bash ’99. Members of the site @TimWelcomed, @typicalROHfan and @TomBlackett give their (lack of) expertise on the action (and look, we’re sorry for the DailyMotion link but we couldn’t find it on YouTube!)

    Part 1: The entrances.

    rick-steiner-sting1

    Tim:

    Rick Steiner is first out. He was the TV Champion for some brilliant reason at this time. I love the set for this Great American Bash. It screams “we may not care about this like we used too.”

    I’ll always respect Steiner for putting dog-shaped hood ornaments on his ring jacket.
    Next up we have Sting’s entrance. No fancy ring jacket. Still coming out to that depressing music (Seek and Destroy was better). His hair is as wet as something that a lot of water has touched.

    typicalROHfan:

    I always thought Rick Steiner underwent a large change in his look when turning heel but seeing this makes me realize all he really did was lose the headgear and add “bad ass” things such as an airbrushed leather jacket, a bandana, the all important sunglasses and a blonde streak in his facial hair. He basically looks like a member of Aces and Eights.

    WCW Sting <3

    Tom:

    I can never get over how cheap PPV sets looked back in the late 90s, especially WCW’s. Rick Steiner’s jacket is incredible though. It took me a while to realise that the things on his shoulders were little chrome dogs, and I thought they were ice cream scoops or something. Why would he have ice cream scoops on his shoulders? LOOK, I DON’T KNOW.

    WCW is the worst at choosing which signs to zoom in on. The first reads “He’s back in black. Tammy.” which I don’t get at all (is it a Tammy Lynn Sytch reference? Whuh?), while the other is tiny grey text on a pink background, so it’s completely impossible to read.

    “He’s mysterious. We don’t know where he’s coming from.” says Tony Schiavone of Sting, even though we just heard him as being announced as from Venice Beach, California. Come on, Tony!

    Part 2: The match begins!

    rick-steiner-sting2

    Tim:

    Instantly, the match begins. They almost instantly go to the outside and brawl. It’s actually a pretty good and seamless “all-over-the-place” type of brawl. Stings sends Rick over the guardrail and Plaid Shirt Dad loves it. He even pats Sting on the shoulder. I used to go crazy over Stinger Splashes into the guardrail and get really upset when people moved.

    It’s become a little more slow-paced (WHERE’S THE WORKRATE?!) but I’m still enjoying it. Steiner’s blonde strip on his beard keeps making me think he has ice cream dripping down it. Sting gets a little turnbuckle crazy for awhile here, ending it with a big splash. Schiavone says “rear end,” so enjoy that that like I did.

    We get a Jericho sighting when they fight up to the WCW.com booth, which is by the entrance for some reason. They then head backstage.

    typicalROHfan:

    Sting has superior legs.” – Tony Schiavone (1999)

    I can see why Rick Steiner turned heel. With good guys like Sting stealing drinks from paying fans, wasting them for fun and unfairly blinding their opponents with it, what honor is left in WCW? In this match, Steiner is basically 1997 Sting.

    Not sure what is swooning me about 1999 Sting more – his long hair or his high spots. Long haired, second rope high spot Sting is criminally underrated in the Sexy Wrestler Of The Week polls. Perhaps we need a retro edition.

    Tom:

    Sting does a dropkick, in case we needed a reminder that this match is from 15 years ago. This match might set a new record for guys being smashed into barricades.

    Rick takes a full soda to the face from Sting, which is tremendous.I love seeing guys take drinks to the face. I might be a mark for all fluids in wrestling, which sounds gross but look buddy, you know what I mean. Bring back PPVs set near swimming pools!

    Sting takes a piledriver to the exposed concrete, but he might as well have not bothered as the commentary team pretty much ignores it so OH WELL.

    They eventually return to the ring and, even with Sting jumping around like crazy, it’s pretty dull! However, it’s not long until they’re outside and on their way to the back (only pausing to make a detour at the confusingly placed WCW.com booth).

    Part 3: TO THE BACK, where things get ruff for Sting.

    rick-steiner-sting3

    Tim:

    As soon as they reach the curtain Tank Abbott (pre-3 Count fame) attacks and chokes “The Stinger” Steve “Sting” Borden. Sting collapses taking the white rag Abbott was choking him with to the ground. WITHOUT HESITATION, Scott Steiner is there sending dogs to attack Sting. Sting is back to his feet instantly with the white rag conveniently around his fist where the first dog is biting him. The other dog is ripping at what I think we’re supposed to think is Sting’s tights. This all happens so fast and is indeed the second darkest day of Sting’s career. The Joker/Sting mash-up in TNA is number one.

    My absolute favorite part of this is right when they show the Steiner telling the dogs to get him they cut to Sting fighting off the dogs but Scott is now leaned up against the wall like nothing crazy is happening. This is edited so bad. Security comes and they take the cameras off of the dog attack. Two Dobermans and a Rottweiler, because dog stereotypes, right?

    The Steiner Brothers come to the ring. Scott says he understands that the match was “Fawns Count Anywhere.” DEER DON’T EVEN HAVE FINGERS, SCOTT. Steiner says so many golden things here. Schiavone says it was “1, 2, 3, Dogs.” I don’t know. I really don’t. This was outstanding.

    typicalROHfan:

    Good god. Why is FRIENDS guest star Tank Abbott helping the Steiners? How did WCW let Scott Steiner have control of vicious dogs? Imagine how many times head of security Doug Dillinger let out a Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon “I’m too old for this shit” pipe bomb when working for WCW.

    The crowd booing for not being able to see a scorpion of a man get bitten to death by rabid canines. Maybe Scott Steiner was right in calling them the “shittiest town in America.”

    What I took most from this match is that WCW missed a golden opportunity to book The Steiners and Tank Abbott vs. 3 Count, which would have been the best way for Tank to turn and join his future love interests in 3 Count.

    The “Bring In Rob Van Dam & New Jack” sign and Rick Steiner giving out his memorable “You don’t like me? Bite me” ends this match perfectly. God bless WCW and great American bashes.

    Tom:

    Hey look it’s Tank Abbott and OH MY GOD SCOTT STEINER IS ALSO THERE WITH RABID DOGS. Sting’s suddenly got a rag around his hand and, since the dogs seem to identify that as his weak spot, they go right for it!

    The image of like fifteen security guys stampeding down the corridor to rescue the Stinger is FANTASTIC:

    security-run

    Tony is hilarious in his reactions. “I pray and hope they pull these animals off Sting! This transcends a wrestling match!” You said it, Tony! “Oh that was so frightening!” Haha, oh man. “We pray that those yellow-shirted security guys were… the dogs… oh my god.” It’s too much for poor old Tony!

    We’re then treated to a Scott Steiner promo, as if this couldn’t get any better. “We’re just trying to protect the WCW franchise!” he says. Okay? He swaps the mic back and forth with Rick, and at first, the Dog-Faced Gremlin is CLEARLY the inferior Steiner when it comes to promo skills but HAHAHA, he manages to prove himself as Scott’s equal by shouting “who’s the shittiest town in America? Baltimore!” to end things. We love unnecessary swearing on live wrestling shows.

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