Into the Vault: WCW World War 3 1995
WCW World War 3 1995 was the first event in the PPV series and the answer to WWE’s Royal Rumble. It was meant to be bigger and therefore better. Watch your step, mind the ceiling, we’re heading Into the Vault!
Let’s go through the bouts that just didn’t hit it out of the park. The taped fist match between Big Bubba and Jim Duggan just wasn’t going to do it. It had the right length, wrong players. Bubba is fine, there’s just something about late 90s Duggan that didn’t work for me.
Luger vs. Savage could’ve been much better. These 5-minute PPV matches are just not where it’s at. Of course, they’re both in the main event battle royal. As a matter of fact, everyone in a match but the women wrestlers were in the World War 3 main event. Ultimately, it’s a matter of not tiring everyone out.
That is unless your name is Johnny B. Badd, DDP, Sting, and Flair. On that note, the main event match should’ve been better. This was the company’s first time running the match, they’ve both three rings, they’ve moved the crowd to accommodate the rings and get at least 10,000 in the Norfolk Scope. WCW World War 3 required some planning, folks.
But they left out how to present the action. They just had the rules and progression. Anything else and it was down to battle royal pacing. The camera work just wasn’t working here and while the match was only 30 minutes, it seemed like it was about ten minutes longer. This probably would’ve been a mid-tier match with just two rings.
The women’s tag match featuring Bull Nakano and Akira Hokuto against Mayumi Ozaki and Cutie Suzuki would be considered a GAEA offer match. Basically, a match where another company’s talent appears on a company’s show but they only wrestle each other.
It ranged between solid to pretty good depending on if you knew these wrestlers coming in and if you don’t mind there’s involvement/story heading into this PPV match.
If there’s no story and you don’t know them, they have to wow your drawers off with stuff you hadn’t seen before. Or else, the match could’ve opened the show. Fortunately, Bull Nakano was there, and fans knew Nakano. The pace of the match is my preferred pace for a bout. With a little more time and some stakes, this would’ve been higher.
The U.S Title bout between champion Kensuke Sasaki and Chris Benoit was pretty good but it lacked something. Wrestlers that Sonny Onoo managed usually weren’t involved in major stories. At the minimum, they just showed up to wrestle. It wouldn’t be until he got Ultimo Dragon and started managing Bull Nakano against Madusa that his charges became involved in stuff.
And that’s the missing ingredient: involvement. This was just another match that could’ve been on WCW Nitro. The stakes were there but it was an exhibition bout with a title on the line. A belt below the U.S Title—the World TV title—had stakes, involvement, and it was a really good match.
Sting vs. Ric Flair had been done so many times by 1995 that the two had a flow to their matches. They worked extremely well together and the match itself was a near-flawless Sting-Flair match. Or rather, it was a flawless Sting-Flair B-game match. Remember, these guys had another match after this.
I just touched on this match but Johnny B. Badd defending the WCW TV Title against DDP rocked WCW World War 3 1995. The match had a long-running story going in, DDP put his manager up as collateral against Badd’s belt, and the two of them just work so well together. They put on some good, enjoyable matches. If Badd had stayed, DDP probably would’ve had his career rival in WCW.
This match further sets up the riches-to-rags-to-riches story for DDP.
WCW World War 3 1995 Verdict: 5.5/10
Overall, this was an acceptable PPV. There was more decent than bad but not my much. It’s like a 4-3 game as far as matches that are at least decent. Diamond Dallas Page and Johnny B. Badd held it down at two consecutive shows while Badd has a three-PPV exotic-tier streak.
Maybe these two should’ve been pushed a bit harder earlier? Both were extremely hard workers and they fought over the Television title as if it was World title. If you didn’t know DDP was a later starter, you’ll think this was the textbook young and hungry feud.
WCW Halloween Havoc 1995 Score: 5/10
SUBSCRIBE NOW: Get The Overtimer’s Hottest Stories, Breaking News and Special Features in your email, CLICK HERE!