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WWE Network Deep Cuts (June 18, 2014): Flair vs Piper at MSG, Team ECK vs Kentucky culture, Steiners vs Andersons, and more!

This week on Deep Cuts, an old NWA rivalry is renewed at Madison Square Garden, Team ECK pays tribute to Kentucky culture, the Z-Man executes a textbook flying crossbody to nobody, and more.

Hello, wrestling friends! It's that time of week again. Time for five matches from WWE Network that you can watch on WWE Network, or since it seems not that many people have WWE Network, maybe you'll just scour the internet trying to find these. But I really suggest getting WWE Network. It's basically the best thing on the planet.

I want to make clear that I'm not being paid by WWE Network. In fact, I'm not being paid at all to do this. I'm doing it from my soul, because it's good for me to talk to y'all about the wrestling at least once a week.

ALSO: There's a poll at the end of this post. VOTE IN IT! ROCK THE VOTE!

The Steiner Brothers vs Arn & Ole Anderson (WCW WrestleWar '90: Wild Thing)

Marvel at this meeting of tag team generations! Ole Anderson was well past his prime, but since Ole didn't do anything fast-paced or high energy, it doesn't matter as much as it might with some others. Like, in boxing, Roy Jones Jr may still deserve to be thought of as greater than Bernard Hopkins, but Jones' athletic style led him to a burnout. When reflexes and all that go on a guy like that, it's over. Hopkins, a gritty tactician, is still going strong at age 49.  Of course this opens up an entire debate about greatness and weighing prime greatly over everything else, which I think is generally fair, but not always. Anyway, the Andersons are very much an early 80s Mid-Atlantic team, while the Steiners are completely a team of the 90s. They aren't playing the same game. HOWEVER, Ole shows he can get up and with it for a match with the Steiners in 1990, which is kind of amazing and a big surprise, and this turns out to be a very good match. Can you imagine if Tully Blanchard hadn't failed that drug test, though? We would've had some Arn/Tully vs Steiners sweetness.

Z-Man vs Brian Lee (WCW Clash of the Champions XIII)

This is in no way a significant match, and it's only about three minutes long, but it's great fun to watch for a few reasons. I admit this one may be useful only to me, but:

  1. Jim Ross and Paul E. Dangerously are on commentary. They were great together. They would be great together later in the WWF when Jerry Lawler was gone. If only that could have stuck.
  2. Brian Lee (later known as Chainz and Fake Undertaker and, uh, Larger, Slower Brian Lee) was actually a hell of an athlete when he was younger, and showed some promise.
  3. That said, there's a "botch" here that probably falls on Lee's shoulders (unless Z-Man just randomly decided to do this move) that is truly kind of hilarious. Nobody gets hurt, commentators are left at half a loss, and it's all in good fun.

Ric Flair vs Rowdy Roddy Piper (WWE Old School - MSG, 10/28/91)

I'm including this for a few reasons:

  1. They're big stars, and that's always fun.
  2. The house shows are nice changes of pace sometimes.
  3. I feel like we're still at a point in our wrestling society X where we don't properly admit that Ric Flair was badly bungled by the WWF when he came in in '91. His first feud was with Piper, which makes some sense, given they had history, but that history was ancient, and a lot of WWF fans probably didn't know a damn thing about it, anyway. The fact that they never got around to Flair-Hogan makes it all even worse in retrospect.
  4. Also, it's worth noting this match isn't very good, so not exactly the best MSG showcase for their new superstar.
  5. Still, it's Flair and Piper being Flair and Piper. Even watered down and a little slow, it's not that bad.

Kurt Angle, Edge & Christian vs Rikishi & Too Cool (WWE Judgment Day 2000)

I really like six-man tag team matches, which is a big reason I'm so high on WWE in 2014, because there have been some absolutely great six-man tags. This is a really good one, partially comedy, partially just really good wrestling from six guys who could go. This opened up a great PPV in Louisville and set a nice tone. The Angle/Edge/Christian kinda-stable was a hoot, because on paper there weren't a whole lot of reasons for them to be friends. They just were, and it meshed.

Goldberg vs Scott Steiner (WCW Fall Brawl 2000)

This old fashioned fight might be Goldberg's best match. There was basically no hope of Goldberg and Steiner going out and having a good match otherwise, so they beat the living crap out of each other for a while. Of all of Goldberg's WCW matches, this is the one that most makes him look like an actual professional wrestling, in my opinion. The Streak was awesome and made him a big star, and I'm not trying to downplay how great it was, but that was pure gimmick. Once he lost, as I've said before, he became very, very normal, and it hurt him greatly, because he didn't have the skills to fall back on and find a new path to success. This style, though, was great for him, and Steiner was the right opponent. The quality of this brawl surprised pretty much everybody at the time. This was Goldberg going to a new level, and Steiner adapting to what his body had become.

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