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Jushin Liger vs Brian Pillman (WCW SuperBrawl II 02/29/92)

WCW SuperBrawl February 29 1992 Jushin Liger Brian Pillman 4* Milwaukee

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#1 Loss

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 08:53 AM

Talk about it here.



#2 Loss

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 02:02 PM

Great match for its time, and it still looks really good in context of the matches surrounding it. It's not an MOTYC, but I understand why it came across as one, as it was unique for the time. It is still really enjoyable with a hot final stretch.

#3 Tim Evans

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 02:23 AM

Might not be a MOTYC but it's damn good and a nice introduction to the style in WCW. Jesse marking out for Liger's moonsalt was great.

#4 shoe

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 01:29 AM

At the time this was amazing. Still is a great one. I bought this show hoping that my man Sting would take the title along with Steamboat defeating Rude. Yet it was the Liger match that syuck with me and got me into tape trading. My 1st tape I got was best of Liger and got to see the Sano feud for the 1st time.

#5 El-P

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 10:45 AM

Really doesn't hold a candle to the great Liger matches from NJ to me. That said, it still made a strong statement about what the Light Heavyweight division should be as opposed to boring Brad Armstrong vs Ricky Morton matches with a bunch of headlocks. Really good stuff still, but 4 years too soon sadly for Pillman.

#6 Matt D

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 10:54 AM

Honestly, if you could come up with one match that would be considered the most important one of my youth, it'd either be this or Bret vs Perfect from Summerslam 91.

#7 El-P

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 10:57 AM

Honestly, if you could come up with one match that would be considered the most important one of my youth, it'd either be this or Bret vs Perfect from Summerslam 91.


Mine would be either the Royal Rumble 92 or Flair vs Savage from WM8.

#8 Kevin Ridge

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 07:41 PM

Finishing sequence was some great stuff and I like seeing the crowd be so appreciative towards the wrestlers. I think the match holds up pretty well with all the cruiserweight matches that happened after in WCW. I'd have been blown away watching this match live back in 92. Also liked the post match handshake. Hell of a way to start off the show.

#9 MikeCampbell

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 10:28 PM

This isn't great, but it's good. Like was already said, this was ahead of its time in the U.S. but doesn't hold a candle to what was going on in Mexico and Japan during the same time frame. Pillman's dropkick to Lyger while he was in the air was the most direct hit I've EVER seen someone make doing that spot.

#10 Zenjo

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 06:16 PM

Beforehand I may have dismissed the hype over this match as semi educated 90's fans seeing a very good match and thinking it's the best thing since sliced bread. Liger was unknown coming in but spent little time getting over with the popcorn munchers. They worked a more even pacing than they would do in Japan, whilst still retaining a good structure. It was aerial warfare with both Ju... Light Heavyweights flying all over the place. Aside from the odd spot you'd have thought they'd have worked together more. Liger was amazingly versatile and one of the all time great carriers. Not that Pillman was bad but this was way above his normal level. Impressive action and seeing the fans being educated was most fulfilling. Watching it back now it does have the feel of a classic match, if not necessarily the quality of a great one. Top 20 for the year.

#11 WingedEagle

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:25 AM

I think there's a case to be made that this match is both overrated and underrated for its import in featuring LHW's in a major promotion. While not the classic it was looked as that night, this still holds up really well and is a great match. One thing that doesn't hold up are the production values, as this looks much darker and more minor league compared with what WWF was putting out at the time. Liger works over Pillman's knee early with a figure four and kneebreaker before breaking into the high spots, including a dive on the floor that Ventura calls a moonsault. They build to a spectacular finishing stretch with Liger nailing a German suplex, power bomb and superplex while Pillman hits a sweet flying cross body and dive to the floor before bringing the LHW title back to WCW. ****1/4

#12 PeteF3

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 01:02 AM

It's a nitpicky thing to bring up, but man, Liger gets the most absurdly stereotypical Charlie Chan entrance music ever. Even the WWF let Great Sasuke use his standard entrance theme. This was more of a spotfest than the handheld match which was worked almost totally New Japan-style, in terms of pacing. Here we get some nasty legwork that's blown off in favor of high spots. Which is fine--they didn't fly Liger over here and put him on a PPV opener to work like Jushin Anderson. But for token throwaway matwork it's really quite good, and I liked Pillman having the impactante scouted and countered. Then it turns into a spotfest but all the spots hit and they're spots that most U.S. fans had never seen. This is going to be an absolutely loaded year for great WCW matches and as of now I think I have this at #2 behind the eight-man. Which means that it will probably drop, maybe even before this show is over. But it's a fine match and almost a sad one at the same time, as it shows just how good and valuable a juniors division could be in creating a point of difference from the WWF. From a purely artistic standpoint, reviving the concept was probably the best thing Bischoff did for the company while killing it for four years was probably Watts' worst.

#13 xlynwoodx

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 10:46 PM

The Milwaukee Auditorium is an interesting looking building. This is the first time I've watched a match with Ventura doing commentary in years, I forgot how much I liked him. He would always point out little things that made the matches come across as more of a competition, such as getting on Pillman for hitting Liger while he was outside the ring or explaining why wrestlers work on their necks so much. Good back-and-forth early. Liger spends some time working on Pillman's knee which leads to nothing. Crowd really picks up when Liger hits a flip dive from the top rope to the outside. The big moves start after this with Pillman showing that anything Liger throws at him, he can throw right back. High impact moves are traded until Pillman surprises Liger with a quick cradle-esque pin for the win. Fun match, great way to open a PPV.

#14 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 11:33 AM

WCW Light Heavyweight Champion Jushin "Thunder" Liger vs Brian Pillman - WCW SuperBrawl II

 

I have this match on the Brian Pillman DVD set and have always thought it was great, but at the time they were editing out Jesse's commentary. I have to say I was really impressed with The Body and how much he put over Liger. Dusty, God bless him, I think really did like the luchadores, but just did not take them seriously. The less said about Heenan and the Luchadores the better. Here, Jesse was putting over how intimidating Liger looked, how great he was both on the mat & the air, and how he had earned the respect of the crowd and that the USA chants were just out of reflexive patriotism. I used to think it was a close call between Jesse and Heenan, but the more and more I watch the more it is becoming a no contest in favor of The Body.

Watching the match this time around, it definitely came off more as an exhibition and showcase of Liger and Pillman's talents as athletic wrestlers. I would not call this an out and out spotfest because the transitions were still pretty tight, but it was clear that story was to WOW. After the early establishment that they were equals, I did like that Pillman was wrestling his usual rugged style (dropkick to the outside, chops, matwork) as a contrast to Liger's moonsault and back handspring (nice pop for that one). It was weird they did not payoff the Liger surfboard attempts. It is always great when an opponent has something scouted and give maximum effort to avoid it, but I thought after wearing him down more that we would get the surfboard for a good nearfall type spot. There were some parts of the match that I did find too back and forth. Like Pillman hitting a nasty back drop driver and then pretty much immediately taking heat to the knee. I thought Pillman had been working pretty effectively as the subtle heel so maybe this was to reestablish him as the babyface, which seemed to work because in the figure-4 was when the U-S-A chants started. After the figure-4, Pillman starts to mount a comeback, but Liger drops him over to the floor and heads to the top. It was cool to watch the crowd all stand and be stunned by the somersault from the top to the floor. This is an example of why I would not say this was a total spotfest at this point they has demonstrated that Liger is a high-flyer so they want to showcase Pillman in that role so they have an epic struggle over a suplex back into the ring and ends up with Pillman running Liger's head into the turnbuckle leaving him prone to Air Pillman. Sure, Pillman blows off the legwork, but hey at least he did not just hit Air Pillman they actually bothered working a transition. Now Pillman hits a suplex over the top rope to the floor, which I always mark out for because it is so rare and then a cross body from the top to the floor. Two can play at that game, Mr. Liger. Here again is where it gets a little spotty with Pillman taking signature chin bump on the railing (always nasty), but then meeting Liger with a dropkick (pitch perfect) as he came off the top.

 

Too often you will only see wrestlers establish they are equals by going for the same moves early on, but I like they continued that thread later into the match with both going for dropkicks and spinning wheel kicks. It felt like you were watching the two of the best in their respective styles. They do a really hot Japanese-style finish stretch with a ton of bombs and nearfalls that is very reminiscent of the Pillman/Badd finish stretch at Fall Brawl '95. I am not going to do a laundry list of moves as it much better to watch it yourself, but I will give them praise for their urgency and struggle they gave these spots. Also shout out to Liger for taking that super front suplex hard on his stomach. The build to the superplex was well-done and when it did not get Liger the fall, it got a nice pop. Liger going for the kill with the diving headbutt, but crashing and burning was an excellent finish. You live by the sword, you die by the sword. I am surprised my man, Jesse The Body did not bust out that cliche because that was a perfect way to sum up the finish. ****1/2  



#15 drew wardlaw

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 01:27 PM

this was a huge match for me when I finally saw the vhs as a kid. I had seen a Liger promo video on a Clash or TV show or something and really had him built up in my mind. The summersault to the outside was really game changing. It was my first instance of having a favorite match. I think the work holds up still.

#16 garretta

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 06:46 AM

This is a match that has to be seen to be believed. Not that we Yearbook watchers haven't seen a lot of these spots before; most of them are staples of Japanese junior matches. But seeing them done in front of an American crowd that had never seen them done before makes them seem almost new.

 

It took a while for Pillman and Liger to figure out how exactly things were going to go; early on, they seemed to want to wrestle a typical North American bout, but couldn't decide who wanted to play the face and who wanted to play the heel. Each man subtly heeled for the other at various points, but things just didn't feel like they were clicking, so they decided to pretend they were in Japan and just put on a show, and boy, did they ever. I won't critique each spot; as Sleeze said above, it's better that each viewer form their own impressions. But there was a crispness and a sense of danger to each move which really energized the crowd. I'm not sure that it was just patriotism that led to the "USA" chants- Pillman being a longtime crowd favorite had something to do with it too- but Jesse had it right when he said that the fans came away with a new respect for Liger, and he earned every bit of it.

 

JR and Jesse took a while to get into things too; JR insisted on putting over Pillman's football background right off the bat, and the references continued through the match. It was almost as if he didn't quite understand what he was seeing, so bringing things back to college football made him feel more comfortable. In fact, I kept waiting for him to make up a football background for Liger just because he could. Jesse tried to make a few cracks early on (like the one about Liger's mask making him look like the Predator), but ditched them once the action got hot and delivered one of the best pure wrestling calls I've heard from him. He seemed genuinely dazzled by Liger, and I liked how he put over the idea of a light heavyweight division in general. It kind of surprised me, although it shouldn't have, since his (supposed) all-time favorite wrestler besides himself and Adonis (Savage) could have been a legit light heavyweight for most if not all of his career.

 

Did Liger drop the IWGP title before coming to the States? We last saw him defend successfully against Benoit on 2/10, so if he lost the belt as JR claimed he did, it didn't make the set.

 

This was a hell of a pay-per-view opener and a tough act to follow for whoever was next. Steamboat/Rude will have to be yet another classic to replace this one as the match of the night



#17 andrew79

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 01:19 PM

Did Liger drop the IWGP title before coming to the States?


No. He won it from Honaga on 2/8/92 and dropped it to El Samurai on 6/26/92.

#18 garretta

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 02:56 PM

Thanks, Andrew. I don't know why JR or the production crew would make that mistake; you'd think they'd want to advertise Liger as a champion to make Pillman's victory seem like a bigger deal.



#19 andrew79

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 03:51 PM

Maybe for that reason New Japan didn't want them to.



#20 garretta

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 03:30 AM

You could be right. Or maybe New Japan was mad that WCW was talking to Gordy and Doc, two guys from All-Japan, about coming in instead of two New Japan guys.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: WCW, SuperBrawl, February 29, 1992, Jushin Liger, Brian Pillman, 4*, Milwaukee

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