6. Chi-Town Rumble
Wrestling’s most famed trilogy began in the Windy City, even though they’d faced off many, many times previously. Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat’s rivalry for the NWA World Heavyweight title kicked off with a bang, a consensus five-star match that saw the beloved, hard-working Dragon snare the gold away from his long-standing rival.
Steamboat/Flair gets all the plaudits, but it wasn’t the only excellent bout of the night (though it’s head and shoulders above the remainder of the fray). Lex Luger and Barry Windham put together a top-notch US Title match centered on Windham’s injured hand, while the Road Warriors’ scuffle with Kevin Sullivan and Steve Williams over the tag belts was hard-hitting and brisk. Some matches on the show were way too long (Sting and Butch Reed for 20 minutes? Michael Hayes and Russian Assassin for 16?), but that’s what skipping ahead is far.
5. Slamboree 1994
Between this and Halloween Havoc 1989, WCW had two great Philadelphia PPVs, and ECW had one (Barely Legal) before WWE had even one that was abundantly awesome (Money in the Bank 2013). When you book Terry Funk and Tully Blanchard in a special legends match before the heel-centric Philly crowd, you’re clearly after their hearts (and it was a great match, to boot).
In the pre-Hogan WCW, the controlled outlaw flavour was still evident, as Cactus Jack and Kevin Sullivan’s riotous fight with Tag Team Champions The Nasty Boys set a high bar for even ECW to equal. Sting and Vader close out the night, delivering, what else, a quintessential Sting/Vader match over the long-forgotten WCW International Title. A lack of bad matches and a lot of heated, realistic battles was WCW in its most superb form.