Review: WWE Network’s Best 100 Matches: #89 The Nasty Boys vs Cactus Jack and Maxx Payne (WCW Tag Team Title, Spring Stampede 1994)

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(SPOILERS AHEAD)

In the words of the commentator, “there’s not much to talk about…except for carnage!” in this match. The Nasty Boys were renowned for their brawling ability, and Cactus Jack was renowned for his ability to take punishment. Maxx Payne was a video game, I think…Anyway, this street fight starts out as quite a jolly brawl before descending into unabated violence. But is that enough to recommend it, to validate it’s appearance on the WWE Network’s 100 Greatest Matches?

For the first five minutes or so, it’s a rough and ready brawl, involving pool cues and chairs. In 1994, it was probably daring and surprising, but to the modern wrestling viewer, it will seem quite tame.  It’s when the brawl reaches the souvenir stand that it becomes something more sinister. The action and the violence increase steadily until it is hard to watch. I mean that literally, and figuratively: due to the separate brawls happening, there is a split screen. Unfortunately, the split screen makes proceedings difficult to follow. Of course, it emphasises the hectic nature of the brawl, but reminds me of the shaky cam effect in action movies. How can I appreciate something when I can’t visually follow it?

However, the brutality shines through the split screen in the final minutes of the match. The souvenir stand is absolutely destroyed by bodies being hurled through it/on to the stand’s table. A shovel is introduced, which introduces the more wince-inducing aspects of the match. After a table spot is botched, one of the Nasty Boys simply hurls Cactus Jack from the ramp onto the concrete floor. Simple but hard to watch, as Jack’s back hits the floor with a terrible thud.

It's a strange place to have a souvenir stand! The crowd aren't allowed into that part of the arena!
It’s a strange place to have a souvenir stand! The crowd aren’t allowed into that part of the arena!

At least for the last five minutes or so of the match, it’s well worth watching. If you fancy a spot of the old ultra-violence, then the shovel spots and Jack’s brutal bump to the floor will more than satisfy you. Apart from that, however, it’s a typical wild brawl, hampered by the split screen nature of things.

VERDICT: 7/10. It’s ugly to watch, in more sense than one. A light-hearted brawl that descends into ultra-violence, and the ultra-violence is the part that makes it deserving of a spot in the WWE Network’s Best 100 Matches.

Leave your thoughts/comments below!

(Click here for my review of #89: Adrian Neville vs Sami Zayn vs Tyler Breeze vs Tyson Kidd, NXT Fatal 4 Way)

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