Sources have told this reporter that AEW’s long-awaited videogame Fight Forever is due to hit all our favorite consoles sometime within the next couple of months. I can’t wait as I absolutely love wrestling videogames. Always have. I’ve seen them develop from the most basic computer stuff (Bop n Wrestle, I’m looking at you) to arcade classics (WWF Superstars, one day people will realize you are indeed superior to WWF WrestleFest) to pretty much every console game both here and in Japan (All Japan Featuring Virtua on the Sega Saturn is an untapped gold mine…even if its brain damage meter (!!!) would never fly today).
The reason I am bringing up all these past gems is that they offered something unique – you could pit anyone on the roster against whomever you wanted. Heck, if your favorite wrestler wasn’t in the same company, you could use the now standard Create-A-Wrestler feature and bring them in. The sky was the limit and being able to create dream matches always has been and always will be a good time. After all, how else could you get, say, an in his prime Sabu taking on a comedy doofus like Disco Inferno?
Wait, you’re telling me this match ACTUALLY HAPPENED?
Why yes, yes it did. So let’s roll back in time to October 30, 1995 for Monday Nitro and go over this trainwreck in all its glory!
Now to be fair, WCW would do this quite often on Nitro (and even more so years later on Thunder), giving us matches that were seemingly names drawn randomly out of a hat. While that unpredictability gave the show an unquestionably unique feel, more often than not it simply left fans scratching their heads. And this may be the all-time best example.
You see, about this time, Sabu was one of the hottest young stars in the entire business. He’d made a name for himself in ECW and various Japanese promotions before arriving in WCW a few weeks earlier. His reckless style was an odd fit to say the very least in this company…indeed, many were questioning how many major stars such as Hulk Hogan or Randy Savage would actually be willing to get into the ring with him, fearing either injury or being ‘shown up’ by a completely new and unique type of wrestling. Even nearly thirty years later it’s still bewildering to see SABU of all people headed to the ring via a Nitro entrance ramp (and his horrific entrance music sure didn’t help matters).
SPEAKING OF MUSIC…next up we get is what I’d argue one of the best themes the company ever had as the Disco Inferno makes his way to the ring. If you’ve never actually seen Disco in the ring…well, you might look at that cornball entrance and expect him to be just as goofy once the bell rings.
And yeah, that was pretty much the case. That said, no one could deny that the man wasn’t giving everything he had to the gimmick. When you’re willing to plaster Monday Nitro Fever to your fanny, you have my undying respect. He’d have wacky sayings like that on his tights all the time and I’d always laugh.
But still…we have a guy who was largely a comedy figure taking on the man Paul Heyman would give never ending hype as a homicidal, suicidal, genocidal death-defying maniac. Surely this means Sabu going through him like a hot knife through butter, right?
C’mon kids, you know better than that – this is WCW we’re talking about!
As the match starts, Disco dances away from Sabu’s lunges. However, one dance move too many earns him a shot right to the jaw. You can almost detect a bit of “what on earth am I doing here” going through Sabu’s mind as he lays in that punch with just a bit of extra mustard.
Quickly, we get more of what everyone was expecting – Sabu using his aerial tactics to obliterate Disco. And you know what, good on Glenn Gilbertti for selling as he is here. The more people we get flopping around like fish out of water in a wrestling ring, the better. Heck, at this point this is less an induction than a SQUASH of the Week. It’s just what it should have been.
But of course that can’t last. Instead Disco grabs Sabu by the hair and takes control as the crowd goes mild.
Again, nothing really against Disco – he was a great midcard wrestler. But the company has brought in a guy with a ton of hype in Sabu and has him going toe to toe with the dancing fool? That just doesn’t make a lot of sense.
And it continues! Here Disco waylays Sabu with a clothesline then struts around like he’s at Club 54. John Travolta eat your heart out. This really is now resembling one of my old matches on WCW/nWo Revenge where I would take poor Casey down at will, then taunt him nonstop to torment him further (whilst also building up my meters for special moves!).
On and on we go with Disco controlling the match, choking Sabu on the ropes then whipping him backwards to the mat. If you didn’t live through all those crazy ECW matches Sabu had, you really can’t comprehend just how baffling seeing Disco Inferno of all people making him look like a jobber.
Like let’s say you brought Will Ospreay to WWE and within a month you had him laying on the mat for minutes on end with R-Truth pummeling him. Imagine the outrage of those fans who knew who had seen him doing top notch stuff elsewhere. That’s exactly what was happening at the time and the hardcores were TICKED.
But hey, Disco makes a blind charge to the turnbuckles and Sabu is able to move out of the way in the nick of time. A somersault legdrop and this fiasco comes to an end, with Sabu at least eeking out the win if nothing else. I guess even WCW couldn’t do something as dumb as having Sabu lose.
But then the real fun begins.
So Disco goes outside and starts fixing his hair and dancing a bit. Sabu ain’t having none of that and leaps over the rope right at the poor guy’s head. Looking at it from this angle, it appears he is going for a Frankensteiner (I call it by the correct name, Scotty!) but instead simply lands full force on Disco’s shoulder as he collapses to the ground. Holy smokes that looks like it totally sucked.
Sabu channels his uncle The Sheik and picks up a table and throws it right at Mr. Monday Nitro Fever. At this point, fans were at least getting to see a bit of what Sabu was all about. And as he lay Disco on the table outside the ring, it appeared they were in for a real treat, as Sabu got back in the ring, and vaulted himself at his hapless foe.
Wellllllll…two problems there. For starters, Disco simply popped up and scooted away making Sabu look like a total dingbat. But the larger issue by far is that Sabu hit the table and this thing did not give AT ALL. I mean, there isn’t even a hint of a crack on the top of that bad boy. No idea what that table was made of but sweet Christmas almighty did that look ridiculously painful.
Disco runs for the hills as Sabu launches the table, followed by the ring steps, followed by nonstop laughter by the ringside fans. It was such an utter disaster that Sabu had to be thinking he needed to get the heck out of this promotion as fast as he possibly could. And that, kids, is exactly what he did – this was the last time Sabu ever appeared in a WCW ring. In the span of less than two months, he’d had enough and departed the territory, likely burning that indestructible table in the parking lot on his way out.
Do you have any memories of baffling match ups like this one from WCW’s glory days? If so, leave them in the comments below. We always need new induction ideas, you know!