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Vader vs Sting (WCW SuperBrawl III 02/21/93, Strap Match)

WCW SuperBrawl February 21 1993 Strap Match Vader Sting Vader vs Sting 4.5* Asheville NC

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#1 Loss

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 11:19 PM

Talk about it here.

#2 Loss

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 04:41 PM

I love Vader's old WCW theme music. I think one of my favorite things about this is Race blading Vader's back. This is generally accepted as the best strap match of all time, and for good reason. The Koppo kick from Sting when Vader pulls him in with the strap is great too. Sting actually carrying Vader on his shoulders is an amazing moment. Lots to love. Sorry, Benoit/Scorpio, but your reign as best WCW match on the set was short-lived.

#3 benj

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 09:26 PM

Vader is what a world champion should look like. Brutal stuff with a great struggle. Loved Sting's spinning back chop and kick to the face. Vader's ear getting ripped up was painful looking. I like the tease finish with Sting tripping over the ref (does Nick Patrick get paid for a non-sanctioned match?), and the finish was well done. Easily WCW #1 so far.

#4 soup23

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 04:01 AM

The argument to me that the main reason Miz is not getting over as champion because of inability to win clean matches and not look like a legit tough guy are conflicted by Vader in arguments sense. Vader definitely looked menacing, won many clean, great matches against top level opponents and still this was one of the low periods buyrate wise for PPV.

#5 shoe

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 07:21 AM

The blade job on Vader's back was sick. I loved the build on t.v to this match. (Except for the WCOF movie) The match paid off in spades. What a tremendous match up and just a brutal hard hitting strap match.

#6 KB8

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 05:14 PM

I got all long-winded and shit and rambled about this on my blog earlier. ----- The build up video packages to this are truly too spectacular to describe. Totally ridiculous and hilarious and there's Cheatum the Evil Midget. The build up as a whole was legitimately really good (the video packages are awful, but in the best way possible). Vader kills a jobber on an episode of Saturday Night, smears face pain over him and starts whipping him with a strap. There's a tag match from late January where Race holds Sting down and Vader whips him across the back. A week later Sting has a match with Barry Windham (Vader's partner in the aforementioned tag) and he winds up trying to hang him with the strap. And there's Cheatum the Evil Midget and a tug of war over a burning dinner table. Actual match has always been my favourite of the Sting/Vader matches, and I didn't change my mind this time around. Really feels like one of the definitive violent masterpieces in wrestling history. Vader just yanks Sting across the ring with the strap a couple times at the start, and you get the sense he's gonna enjoy fucking around with him like this. Sting is a strong dude, but can he do much of anything when he's literally attached to Vader? Dragging him around the ring so he can touch all four corners is akin to towing a horsebox up a hill with a BMX. And even if he can possibly overcome the GIRTH, there's still the fact Vader will punch your fucking face through the back of your head if you get close enough to him. And well, the strap means you can't really NOT get close to him. The early stages are all Vader and before long he's whipping Sting like a mule, using the strap to draw him in close so he can squash him, dropping big elbows (there's one where he blatantly elbow drops Sting in the nuts), splashing him, etc. Sting takes over by essentially using the strap to force Vader into punching himself in the balls, and he goes on a great run of offense. You can clearly see Harley taking the blade across Vader's back after Sting's whipped him a bunch of times, and the visual of Vader stumbling around with his back all cut up was always a crazy violent image that stuck with me from the first time I saw the match. Love the spot where Sting uses the strap to draw Vader face-first into the ring post, and Sting trying to touch all four posts *outside* the ring is something I've always thought was really cool. Sting torpedoing head-first into the barricade is another nasty spot in a match full of nasty spots. Then we hit the final third and the brutality ramps way up. Vader's big paws open a cut in Sting's forehead and it's anybody's guess as to whether or not his stumbling around the ring is a sell job or not. Because Vader is really laying in the big paws. Feels like I've said that about Vader's punches a million times since I started this blog, but they're honestly as repulsive here as I've ever seen them. Sting's comeback is really tremendous. The German suplex is always a great spot in their matches, but the moment of the match for me is Sting's return onslaught in the corner. I don't think of Sting as a great puncher, but he threw some awesome punches earlier on when both guys were teeing off on each other (while they were on their knees. It fucking ruled), and the close up image of him rifling Vader with HUGE punches while Vader's crumpled like a lifeless sack in the corner was fucking amazing. He kind of collapses after he's punched himself out like a man who's just been pushed to commit horrific violence he never knew he had in him. And then he follows it up with one of the most impressive feats of strength I can recall seeing in wrestling when he carries Vader on his shoulders around the whole ring only to have Nick Patrick accidentally trip him up (after a really good ref' bump) six inches before touching the last turnbuckle, leaving Vader's entire dead weight to drop on top of him when he hits the mat. So close yet so far. Vader's back is all cut up, his ear is mutilated, he's covered in blood...he looks much worse off than Sting does. But Sting just towed a horsebox up a hill on a BMX before getting a freak puncture. Now he's got nothing left. Doesn't matter if he holds onto the ropes for dear life, doesn't matter if he tries to kick and claw and fight it. That stumble at the last hurdle has beaten him. Just an epic piece of pro-wrestling.

#7 El-P



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Posted 16 September 2012 - 04:18 PM

Vader vs Sting is easily one of the best feuds of the 90's. They add a gimmick a manage to work it in a way to get yet another great match. Brutal match. The ending is a bit deflating to the audience, but it makes sense that Vader would finally win this one. Great visual of Sting beating down a bloody Vader after the match. Strong strong MOTYC.

#8 Zenjo


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Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:17 PM

Vader intended to punish Sting in the 'White Castle of Fear'. Despite the result it was he that took the worst beating. Blading the back was an inspired idea and he was also bleeding from the ear by the end. Brutal match and they used the format really well. There was plenty of Government Muling. It wasn't paced like your regular match with high powered moves at the beginning. Really good match in this outstanding rivalry, it just needed a bit of a hotter crowd by the end.

#9 Kevin Ridge

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 01:03 PM

Vader has to be the most intimidating guy to be on the opposite end of a strap. Different approach as they are doing the four corner touch outside the ring with Sting dragging Vader around. Vader with the big fallaway slam off the middle rope. What is a valid corner touch never seems to be consistent as Sting kicks Vader into a third corner but referee considers this to be an interruption. Sting shows impressive strength carrying Vader around to three corners. So Sting kicks Vader off into the fourth corner for the Vader win. Which again doesn’t make sense and shows referee as being inconsistent. Still a strong match though as these guys were just made for each other.

#10 PeteF3

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 07:26 PM

Lights out, not sanctioned by WCW--truly a Bill Watts show to the end, even weeks after his departure. A great gimmick to make Sting the biggest underdog in the world, having to drag Vader around the ring to win. This is an absolute fucking war, with both guys doing a terrific job of putting this stip over as Vader's "home." Sting hits some big offense but every bit of it feels earned--the build to and execution on the big German suplex is tremendous, and I too loved Sting's koppo kick. That and a whole lot of other stuff is set up beautifully, as spots build on each other and there are callbacks to earlier sequences in the match. Not to mention both guys beat the absolute shit out of each other. This is Sting at his absolute most vicious, in a manner that I don't think we'll ever see again. Honestly, this may eclipse the Regal/Finlay wars for total brutality--I don't know if that blood gushing out of Vader's ear was a blade job or Sting being just that ferocious. MOTY anywhere in the world through the first two months. This was the first WCW PPV I ever ordered and even with Watts gone this show couldn't have been clearer in spelling out the points of difference between it and the WWF. We had two southern tags, a Japan-style cruisers match with a dash of American influence, guys from multiple promotions, a garbage brawl between Cactus and Orndorff, and a brilliantly worked gimmick match all on one show. Pity that Muta and Maxx Payne had to kill the pace or we'd be discussing one of the all-time perfect PPVs.

#11 DMJ

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 12:04 PM

I have never been a big fan of strap matches so, to be honest, I've kind of avoided watching/re-watching many of them, especially the ones in the WWE that I'm most familiar with (Austin/Vega and HHH/Rock spring to mind), but I watched this today and thought it was quite good. 


After watching 3 Sting/Vader matches from WCW PPV 92'-93', I'd rank them this way:



1) Starrcade 92' - This has found its way into my Top 10 matches ever.


2) Great American Bash 92' - Loved the finish and felt like it was indecisive enough to make it clear these two were only getting started.


3) SuperBrawl III - It might just be that the 9 year old kid in me came out while I was watching and just wanted to see Sting win, but I can see myself putting this at number two after I finish crying. 



As others pointed out, SBIII had several good-to-great matches (for example, Orndorff vs. Jack is really fun, but boy did I hate the finish), but it also had some real letdowns (underutilized Flair, Windham/Muta). The ending of this match obviously sends the fans home a little unhappy, but its still a good show to watch on the Network with the aid of hindsight and fast forward.

#12 WingedEagle

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 10:14 AM

Not much one can add to the discussion here. Just hard shots throughout while effectively delivering monster vs. babyface and making great use of a gimmick that can often be a hindrance.  I still think Vader was the best big ever at bumping and selling while not compromising his credibility or aura.  I loved Vader bailing only for Sting to use the strap to pull him into the post and then slam him him on the floor.  Sting looking to touch the posts while on the outside is a cool wrinkle to this match.  Sting's fiery comeback with the koppo kick, German and DDT was awesome.  Throw in the visual of Sting lugging Vader's carcass around and blood from both and you've got an all time gimmick match, as well as a finish that keeps both strong without feeling like a cop out.  One of the 2 best matches of the year's first quarter.



#13 soup23

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 11:03 AM

Wow, this match gets better and better every time I watch. I think it has been enhanced with some of the great WWE gimmick matches that I have watched recently. I liken it just one step below something like Brock vs. Cena from Extreme Rules. Sting feels like a true ace for once and was vicious and stiff with his offense while also looking graceful. Vader is a bully but he is tough as shit and you have to respect that in a champion. I just eat this stuff up and was completely engaged when Vader has the blood gushing from his ear. This is gritty, violent, dramatic and outstanding in every facet. ****3/4

#14 BruiserBrody

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 06:00 AM

After their two previous amazing one on one efforts on PPV, I was fearful that the strap stip would limit these two, instead the violence level was upped and an incredible PPV had one of the best main events possible. 

#15 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 02:32 PM

DId anybody think the sound effects for this match were a little quiet for this match? That took me out of it ever so slightly. 


I'll post a full review soon. 

#16 Bierschwale

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 12:02 PM

The finishing run doesn't kill it for me or anything, but Sting not getting to the fourth corner because of a banana-peel ref bump and Vader then winning because Sting just pretty much accidentally kicks him into the corner which should have broken his count is too much to me. I love the work of it, incredible bomb-throwing, LOVE Sting's inertia bump into the rail, the back-blading really is brutal, can never complain about Vader's right hands.


I'd go GAB, SuperBrawl, Starrcade. I'd call GAB the most "Cena-Lesnar"-like. I kind of feel like that the matches get less decisive as they go on, too.

#17 TheU_2001

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Posted 04 December 2015 - 08:03 PM

I watched this match again about a week ago, and as others have stated, it almost gets better after repeated viewings. This in my opinion was Sting's best rivalry. This match is just brutal from beginning to end. Vader bleeds from the back and the ear (and called Sting out on it on a recent Table for 3 on the Network). This was their second best match in my opinion as well. I would rank their first big three matches as:
1. GAB
2. Super Brawl 3
3. Starrcade 1992.

GAB felt very much like Cena vs Lesnar from Summer Slam, and has been one of my favorite matches since my youth.

This match was a great stipulation match though. Vicious shots taken and given out by both guys. And the vignettes leading up to it, were also kinda funny. Stinger!!!! Come to my White Castle of Fear!!!!!


#18 garretta

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Posted 29 June 2016 - 03:16 PM

I had a post ready to go about what a brutal fight this was, what great storytelling was involved, how the match covered both men in glory. That post is out the window; the ending killed it. Took a classic and turned into time-wasting crap that I wish I hadn't seen.


That's a pattern with WCW, unfortunately, if bad announcing doesn't make matches unwatchable, bad booking robs them of all common sense and makes people why they bothered to follow the promotion in the first place. I'll say it again: to me, announcing and booking count every bit as much in a match as the moves guys perform in the ring. In fact, without good booking, wrestling is just sweaty guys in tights groping each other for no reason.


Here may be the ultimate case in point: Sting has taken perhaps the most brutal beating from an opponent that I've seen which didn't involve weapons (other than the strap, of course). He's had his ribs caved in by a Samoan superdrop, taken a superplex, been pummeled like a punching bag to the point where Nick Patrick had to intercede to save his life (one of the few times I approve of a rules-enforcing spot in an anything goes match), and still has Vader knocked out and ready to be dragged around, with an ear bleeding so badly that his face and chest are covered with it. He hoists Vader to his shoulders and, with an effort that has to be seen to be believed, gets halfway to the fourth corner and then gets tripped. Not by Harley (though you can see him swipe at Sting's legs and miss), but by Patrick, who either picked the wrong spot to fall after being bumped or was booked to trip Sting for some ungodly reason I can't fathom.


Once that's over, does Vader have to deal with a wriggling, clawing Sting in an effort to win the bout? No, indeed. He simply ties Sting's feet up, and it's easy as you please. He touches the first three buckles with authority, then we have the old "opponent unknowingly kicks the winner into the fourth corner" routine. Normally, that would be okay, but Tony and Jesse have just spent the entire match telling us that a man has to be dragged along with the strap in order for a touch to count. Spots have been done based off of this rule for the whole match. So why in the hell is Sting lying in the opposite corner barely moving? Even if the fourth corner was supposed to be a surprise, couldn't Harley have provided one last momentary distraction so Vader could at least move Sting a foot or two and make it look good?


For one final indignity, now that Sting has been decisively beaten, fourth corner aside, does he take his loss like a man and vow to start up the contender's ladder again, since he shouldn't see Vader across any ring from him for a good six months at least? He does not; he whips Vader like a dog in a vain attempt to keep their program at least semi-hot. This was Hogan at Survivor Series '87-levels of sore losing, only this time Sting actually got physical with Vader. Some top babyface. Some paragon of virtue.


What should have happened instead? It depends on whether they wanted Sting to ultimately win the title and lead the company. Since the answer was obviously yes, he should have gone over here. Then, since he's conquered Vader's game, he gets a title match, only he gets to name the stip. I know it's only been seven months, but Slamboree should have seen a redo of "Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal". It doesn't matter which match is selected, because Sting goes over clean again and takes the title for good. What happens after that depends on Windham; if he stays healthy, we get a title unification series. If not, run face Sting vs. face Flair until either another challenger asserts himself or Vader's fresh enough for another push.


Since I've ragged on the commentary in the last two matches, I have to mention here that Tony and Jesse were at main event level for this one. They were masterful at putting over all the touches that made this match so good from bell to bell, including the ins and outs of the match (such as dragging the opponent to all four corners, and its psychology. The one false note was Jesse talking about how Vader whipped Sting like Tony whipped his kids, which earned a well-deserved "You shut up!" from their father. Look, Jesse, he says enough dumb stuff that you can get after him for during the course of a match. We don't need you talking trash about his home life just to get a rise out of him.


It's a shame that Bischoff and whoever booked this (Dusty? Ole?) couldn't be bothered to give this match a good finish, because it sure deserved one. As it was, a set of great performances was utterly ruined. I'd say I was looking forward to seeing how they'll redeem themselves, but I'd be lying. Good in-ring action or no good in-ring action, this is the worst American promotion right now by far.

#19 PeteF3

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Posted 29 June 2016 - 04:29 PM

Clearly "dragged with the strap" meant that you couldn't just detach yourself and race around hitting all 4 turnbuckles, or drag Harley Race to all four corners instead. After all, Sting attempted to *carry* Vader to all 4 posts earlier in the bout and that was allowed.

#20 garretta

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Posted 29 June 2016 - 07:14 PM

Thanks for reminding me about me about Sting carrying Vader around the ring, Pete. I just added it to my review.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: WCW, SuperBrawl, February 21, 1993, Strap Match, Vader, Sting, Vader vs Sting, 4.5*, Asheville NC

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