(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31673703/?contentId=31673703&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=starrcade)
One of the pleasures of trawling through a Best 100 List for anything is finding gems that you otherwise wouldn’t have had the chance to find. For me, going through the WWE Network’s Best 100 Matches has shown me the delights of WCW. I’m familiar with most of the WWE matches on the list, but when it comes to WCW (and ECW), I’ve only seen ones that have been included on WWE DVDs. #55 was yet another delight from early ‘90s WCW that I doubt I would have come across without this list!
Sting and Vader are in the prime of their careers at the time of this match, and it shows. Vader is the ultimate bully, with the bulk and strength to batter any opponent. Sting is full of energy, whizzing around the ring at 100 mph. They tell a story that’s timeless in the ring, yet is fresh and dazzling in their hands. Sting puts up more of a fight than you think, even managing to execute an awe-inspiring German Suplex on Vader near the beginning of the bout. However, Vader keeps on coming, pummelling Sting with his massive forearms. But, in the grand tradition of Rocky Balboa, Sting takes the abuse, hoping that Vader will punch himself out. You’re left guessing right until the very end as to who will emerge the victor…
Sting gives us high-flying moments, but Vader is not averse to climbing the top rope, either. For a man of his size, he was incredibly agile. Sting leaps over the top rope onto Vader on the outside; later on, Vader splashes Sting from the top rope with a grace unbecoming of a man his size. Sometimes, the roles are reversed: not only does Sting hit Vader with the German Suplex, but later pulls off a back suplex and a Samoan Drop (which the announcers call a Fallaway Slam, for some reason!). I’ve only seen a fraction of Vader’s matches, but it’s strange yet thrilling to see Vader being hurled around the ring! Unlike most of the WCW matches on this list, there is no outside interference or shenanigans that spoil the end of the match. It’s a clean finish. That’s the icing on the cake, as they say.
Just like in his match against Cactus Jack in the Best 100 list (click here for my review!), Sting looks like a star. He oozes charisma and wrestling ability. He stands toe to toe with one of the most dominant forces in wrestling and matches him with power. Of course, the story told is one of Sting taking a beating but refusing to give up. However, the story is given twists and turns with Sting’s incredible feats of strength. Vader is a force to be reckoned with, but a force that almost punches himself out. What a match!
VERDICT: 9/10. A brilliant match between two men in their prime. Vader and Sting batter each other from bell to bell. It’s the story of a young man fighting a dominant force, and a match that deserves to be seen!
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Click here for my review of #56 The Undertaker vs. Triple H (Hell in a Cell, WWE Wrestlemania XXVIII)