WCW aired one of their better pay-per-view efforts ever, SuperBrawl III, live from Asheville, NC, before 6,500 fans. In the main event, Vader defeated Sting in a ****1/2 strap match that may be the best match of its kind. The show also featured a **** match between Chris Benoit and 2 Cold Scorpio with an excellent finish that came when Scorpio scored the pin with only one second left on the clock. Cactus Jack and Paul Orndorff also had a **** brawl while the Rock & Roll Express faced the Heavenly Bodies in a ***1/2 match. The event also marked the return of Ric Flair to WCW. He did commentary in a title match between NWA champ The Great Muta and Barry Windham and teased a feud with Windham in a post-match angle. Despite being a great show, it happened during a period of managerial turmoil for WCW and only did 121,000 buys. You can watch it on the WWE Network.
The WWF aired a special Saturday edition of RAW in Dallas, TX, before a sellout 13,296 fans. A mostly forgotten but cool angle happened, as the WWF aired various clips of the Freebirds in World Class to present Michael Hayes as the legend returning to Texas. Kane attacked him quickly after he came out. Hayes did not get the pop you might think, which suggests that Austin did more to create new fans than bring back old ones, at least in the Dallas market. Also on the show, The Rock presents each member of The Nation with nice gifts, only for Faarooq to receive a self-autographed photo in a funny angle to foreshadow Faarooq’s upcoming turn. Later in the show, Faarooq punches a hole in the picture and Rock is stunned in a funny moment.
RINGS held a card in Yokohama which included the retirement match of Akira Maeda, as he faced Alexander Karelin. A great video retrospective of Maeda’s career was included on the commercial release, to the tune of Sid Vicious’ “My Way”.
WCW aired SuperBrawl IX live on pay-per-view from San Francisco, CA, in front of 15,880 fans. In the main event, Hulk Hogan defeated Ric Flair in a surprisingly strong match marred by a bad finish, as David Flair turned on his dad to join the NWO. Speaking of bad finishes, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash defeated Rey Misterio Jr. and Konnan. As a result of the pre-match stipulation, Rey was forced to unmask. Eric Bischoff actually thought Rey would be more marketable without the mask in one of the more puzzling opinions in wrestling history. Continuing the heel victories, has-beens Curt Hennig and Barry Windham won the WCW World Tag Team Titles, defeating Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko in the finals while Scott Hall won the U.S. Title, defeating Roddy Piper. Hall’s foot was run over in the parking lot after the show, which led to his absence for several months. The show did a whopping 426,000 buys, the last hugely successful WCW pay-per-view ever. WCW tried to run the Flair-Hogan match again and recreate the magic, but heel Flair against babyface Hogan meant very little by comparison. You can watch it on the WWE Network.