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Opening Matches on Major Cards


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1998 WCW was famous for some really strong openers. A couple of which involved "He Who Must Not Be Named."

 

Starrcade had the Kidman/Juvi/Rey match that led to Kidman/Eddie. I would count that all as one segment and thus an "opener" to another major card that WCW decided to bogey.

 

Superbrawl had the back to back Booker vs. Martel and Booker vs. Saturn matches that I absolutely enjoyed.

 

Great American Bash concluded the Booker/Benoit best of 7.

 

I think Slamboree had a good Finlay/Benoit match as well.

 

This is all going off of years old memories.

The Lucha 8 man tag at Souled Out 98 was a personal favorite of mine.

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I loved the opener of Souled Out 99 as well, with Kidman vs Rey vs Juvi vs Psychosis.  For some reason, I laughed very hard at Psychosis saying "Thank you Juvi"!  It's still a running gag of mine.

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If you're not concerned about the "major card" qualifier, you could probably pick about half of WCW's ppvs from the NWO era.

 

BATB 96: Rey vs. Psicosis

Fall Brawl 96: DDP vs. Chavo

Havoc 96: Dean vs. Rey

WW3 96: Rey vs. Ultimo

Starrcade 96: Dean vs. Ultimo

Superbrawl 97: Dean vs. Syxx

Uncensored 97: Dean vs. Eddie

Slamboree 97: Regal vs. Ultimo

BATB 97: Glacier/Miller vs. Mortis/Wrath

Fall Brawl 97: Jericho vs. Eddie

Souled Out 98: Juvi/Lizmark/Calo/Chavo vs. La Parka/Psicosis/Silver King/El Dandy

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I really enjoyed the Rich/Morton vs MX match from Havoc '90 as well when I saw it a few days ago. It really surprised me because I had zero expectations going in. I didn't recall Tommy Rich from the period being any good; I saw him on old AWA shows from around the same time and he was way out of shape but he was very good in this match and seemed, excuse the phrase, fired up.

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Worst opening match has to be that PN News/Eaton vs. Taylor/Austin scaffold match (which ended up being a capture the flag match) at Bash 92.

 

Bash 1991. And OH MY GOD did that whole fucking card suck! And to your point of that opening match, first of all why would you even have a scaffold if no one's gonna take the bump off of it? And second, Eaton and Austin could've been a good match just by itself, or if they had to have Taylor (who wasn't a bad worker, just not on the level of Austin or Eaton) and Fat Ass Yo Baby Yo in the match, Eaton and Austin and maybe Taylor could've carried it and worked 85% of the match.

 

Someone mentioned Ultimo and Nagata opening Halloween Havoc 1997, that was a solid match as well, and I think it would've been better had they been given more time.

 

 

Yeah it was Bash 91. Got my timeline mixed up. I think there was supposed to be a bump but they brought the wrong kind of scaffold. It was too high or too unstable or something equally as WCWish like that. Austin mentioned it in his podcast but I can't recall which show or the exact details.

 

Another crappy opener was the Bossman/Bull Buchanon vs. Godfather/D-Lo match at Mania 2000. Why would you open with that? People would pop for the ho's and the catchphrase but nothing else.

 

 

Godfather/The Ho Train was the designated opener for most of 1999/early 2000. It worked more times than it didn't work, but that crowd in Anaheim could be poison sometimes. 

 

There's better choices, but honorable mention to Rockers/Orient Express. Which was hands down the best opener of any show I attended.  

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I'm watching Clash Of The Champions 33 from August 1996, and it's Rey defending the Cruiserweight title against Malenko. Not on the level of their match from the Great American Bash, but it was awesome.

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Brock-BS from the rumble is my favourite Brock match ever until SS vs Punk. The ultimate strength monster freakshow . You can imagine my disappointment at the rematch 11 years later

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Which is also in the conversation, but one was a great exhibition of pro wrestling and the other was a great story told that also happened to be a great match along with it.

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Angle - Rey at Summerslam 02. Fun sprint with angle being a mobile trampoline for Rey.

Bret - Owen at WM 10. Jaw dropping. Sheer brilliance. Right man won as well.

Cena - Show from WM20. That was a decent lil match.

Rey - Eddie from WM21. It was a good match with decent back story.

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Bret-Owen. Everything else is playing for second.

 

Agreed. In my humble opinion, anything other than Bret/Owen is wrong. Amazing story and amazing match. I love how Owen is such a little shit that you actually want to see the big brother whoop the little brother's ass and put him in his place.

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Bryan/HHH is kind of an interesting one. It was the first match on the show (and a great one), but the Hogan/Austin/Rock promo was actually the "hot opener" in terms of card structure. Matter of perspective I guess, but it seems to me like saying Bryan/HHH opened WM 30 is like saying saying one of those Sheamus/Miz type matches that is last on the card main events Raw when there is a big promo segment to end the show.

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