Well, a year and three months later I am posting a review. I had watched the rest of SuperBrawl III so I figured I polish it off even though I had seen this match a couple times before. I turned up the volume and it made it a lot better.
Vader vs Sting - SuperBrawl III Strap Match
Often it is overstated when a commentator says a wrestler is trying to end his opponent's career, but here you really feel that to be the case. Vader is the World Heavyweight Champion, but this is a non-sanctioned strap match. Just as Vader lured Sting into the White Castle of Fear, he lured him into this match. With no championship to lose, Vader could all out assault Sting, his archnemesis, and effectively eliminate him from the title hunt. Like in the other Sting vs Vader encounters, Sting had to survive and find a way to thrive in this environment.
I love the elimination of a babyface shine at the outset. They set the tone that this is Vader's match and he will dominate Sting. He was throwing him around and whipping him at will and splashing him. NO PAIN! WHOS DA MAN! FLEX CITY! Vader's bully arrogance is his fall and Sting pulls the strap causing Vader to punch himself in the balls. Why you punching yourself? Sting with some nice punches and a big splash from the top of his own. Time for Vader's receipt with the lashes of the strap (he could have hit him harder). One of the more famous moments is when Harley blades Vader's back. Sting throws Vader down on the outside. This establishes Sting is strong enough to carry Vader to all four corners. In a neat moment, he attempts to do just that around the outside, but Vader uses the strap to pull him into the railing hard. OW! Sting hits a Samoan Drop, but he is clearly worse for wear and Vader hits some his Vader Body Attacks. Sting misses his top rope flying splash and finally Vader takes over.
I think that is what this match does so well is it takes so much for one man to earn control. Vader had to whip Sting into railing, hit two body attacks and get out of the way of the splash. During Vader's control, Vader missed a VaderBomb, crotched on the top rope and did a somersault off the top. It made the match feel like a real war of attrition. Sting felt desperate. The way Vader arose from each big bump made him feel like a massive monster. Vader was kicking the dogshit out of Sting. He did not settle for just one VaderBomb, never really attempting to win the match, but rather pounding Sting at every turn. Victory for Vader meant the end of Sting not just touching four corners. Vader hits a massive superplex and finally looks to try to win the match, but Sting hooks the bottom rope with his feet. Vader beats Sting mercilessly in the corner and then pulls him for more Vader Body Attacks, but on the third one Sting hits a KAPPO KICK! The great equalizer that kick has stunned Vader before. Release German! A Beauty! DDT! Everything is to the head to destabilize him. Sting SNAPS~! He beats the shit out of Vader in the corner who blades his ear, which even nastier than his back! Sting hoists the big man onto his back and the ref is bumped. Sting carries around three corner, but trips over the ref on the fourth corner. Damn! Sting has collapsed after that surge of energy. Vader lands with his ass right down on Sting's lifeless carcass. Vader feeling he had destroyed Sting carries him around three corner, but on the fourth Sing holds onto dear life and kicks Vader into last corner. Vader may have won the match but it is Pyrrhic at best as he is a bloody mess and does not look like a winner.
Vader escapes with a win is not the finish I would have gone with. I think a Sting victory makes a lot of sense here especially since Sting never got that big victory over Vader. The story they were telling was Vader trying to destroy Sting and Sting desperate to survive. In my opinion, either Sting survives the beating and takes the victory OR he falls short Vader squashes with his ass and wins the match. This whole trying to protect Sting was lame, Vader already looked like a bloody mess the kick back into the corner was just lame. A total war of attrition and really compelling and dramatic. Loved all of Sting's hope spots and Vader just keeps getting back up. You really feel a sense of hopelessness before the Kappo Kick. It is hard to generate that in wrestling knowing a comeback is coming, but here they do a great job. Sting's comeback is AWESOME! Definite classic and easy 1993 US Match of the Year! ****3/4