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Brian Pillman vs Tom Zenk (WCW Wrestle War 05/17/92)

WCW Wrestle War May 17 1992 Jacksonville FL Brian Pillman Tom Zenk 3.75*

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#21 garretta

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 04:04 PM

This really dragged at first, but picked up in the middle about the time Pillman missed his somersault on Zenk's leg. Then business (and the crowd) started picking up, and the last eight or ten minutes really clicked. It's almost like they tried to tell the "former partners and friends wrestling cleanly" story, found it wasn't working, and decided to just go at it like any two opponents would, which turned out to be a very smart choice. 


Thus match was very much influenced by the Japanese juniors, as you can tell by spots like the double missed dropkick, the superplex, and even Zenk sticking his foot in Pillman's face to counter his leap from the top. I've even seen swatted dropkicks turn into nearfalls, although I don't think I've ever seen one actually lead to a winning fall  I'm surprised Zenk was able to keep up as well as he did in such a style, since Pillman's the one who's been spending his time wrestling Liger recently.


It seemed like they were teasing heel turns for each guy at various points. I'm not sure Zenk would have been much of a heel unless he was given a Model-type gimmick, which would of course have been a blatant ripoff of Zenk's former tag team partner Rick Martel. Maybe it's because I know that Pillman eventually had several successful heel runs, but he seems more of a natural in the role to me.


Okay, now to the commentary. It had its flashes, but it was never as good as the match itself, and that's mostly JR's fault. He seemed to get in a snit over "NOSE TACKLE?" and never really got out of it. I've said before that Jesse really shouldn't argue football with a diehard like JR, but in that case he was only saying what a lot of fans were probably thinking. Pillman's thin as a rail here; it is difficult to believe that he once played the same position as 350-pound William Perry. JR then repeats the old "They don't play much football in Minnesota" bit that he's tried before. News flash, JR: Jesse was one of the voices of the Vikings during this time, the same as you were with the Falcons, so don't make him out as not knowing what a football looks like; you just sound hurt because Jesse interfered with one of your standard (and overused) spiels.


The other major story Jesse tried to push was that one of the two would begin to cheat during the match to gain the advantage. It never really happened, which Jesse admitted himself several times, but JR not only specifically no-sold that notion (and admitted on the air that he was doing so, which was terrible form on his part), but did everything but warn Jesse to shut up and stop interfering with his broadcast or else whenever he brought it up. (You could hear the warning in his voice, in fact.) There were also several times when Jesse made perfectly good, solid points that JR petulantly refused to respond to, and the silence was deafening. To his credit, Jesse soldiered on, but I wouldn't have blamed him if he'd tried to give JR whatever the broadcasting form of a receipt was. Of course, JR would have liked that, since it would have meant he was flying solo, which is what he wanted anyway.


All of the booth pettiness wasn't enough to ruin this match, though. I hope we get to see a rematch at some point, because they really showed in the second half of this match that they can be as spectacular going against each other as they were teaming with each other.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: WCW, Wrestle War, May 17, 1992, Jacksonville FL, Brian Pillman, Tom Zenk, 3.75*

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