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NWA/WCW Capital Combat 1990 Review (Flair Vs. Luger And… Robocop)

Hi everyone, I hope you are all safe. Welcome to my review of the first and only Capital Combat pay-per-view event. Featuring Ric Flair putting his World title on the line against US Champ Lex Luger in the main-event, a hair vs. hair match and much much more. Yes, including Robocop. Sigh.

Here is the list of champions in the NWA heading into this show:

  • NWA World Heavyweight Champion: Ric Flair
  • NWA United States Heavyweight Champion: Lex Luger
  • NWA World TV Champion: Arn Anderson
  • NWA World Tag Team Champions: The Steiners (Rick & Scott Steiner)
  • NWA US Tag Team Champions: Flyin’ Brian & The Z-Man

Enjoy the review!

Classic Wrestling Review: Capital Combat '90 | CXF | Culture Crossfire |  culturecrossfire.com
IMG credit: WWE

The hosts are Jim Ross & Bob Caudle
Live from Washington, DC

The Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal) & Norman the Lunatic(w/ Paul Ellering) vs. Bam Bam Bigelow, Kevin Sullivan & Cactus Jack Manson(w/ ‘Big Kahuna’ Oliver Humperdink)
The Wrestling Insomniac: WCW Capital Combat 1990
IMG credit: WWE

The soon-to-be-departed LOD take turns beating up Cactus like a drum, who flies all over the ringside area as usual. Hawk no-sells a number of stuff before shoulderblocking ensues. Animal dumps Bam Bam with a clothesline and then Foley goes flying as well and nearly kills himself on the floor. And then goes flying into the crowd because he’s funny that way. Or in other words, he’s insane. Norman takes control back in but Cactus manages to make the tag to Sullivan. He turns things around to finally take control, and Bigelow comes in to hit a suplex for two. Back to Foley who actually gets to run wild for a while before he and Norman knock each other out for a double KO spot. Norman makes the hot tag to Hawk and all of a sudden everyone gets in as hell is breaking loose. In the middle of the confusion, Hawk finishes off Kevin with a flying clothesline to give the babyfaces the win at 9:38.

  • Rating: Really hot opener to start. The Road Warriors were always one of the most over acts no matter where they went, and Foley was just determined to bump for everyone and their pets to try and get over. **3/4
Mean Mark Callous(w/ Theodore Long) vs. Johnny Ace
Mean Mark vs Johnny Ace (WCW, 5-19-1990) | Tape Machines Are Rolling
IMG credit: WWE

So yes, this is The Undertaker vs. John Laurinaitis on PPV you’re looking at! Mark pounds away to start, but Ace dumps him and takes him down with a dive. Back in Ace hits a high crossbody for two before going to work on the arm. Mark pounds away some more and that allows him to take control. A suplex gets two. Johnny stops to go after Teddy and Mark catches him with a clothesline. A legdrop gets two more. The elevation by Mark on that legdrop is insane (he went higher than the top rope) and just shows you how athletic the future Undertaker was – specially for a man his size. Johnny rolls him up for two and goes for a dropkick only to miss miserably and fall on his ass. Mark gets two off that. Choking follows. Come on guys, time to go home instead of choking, this is getting a bit too long already. Ace hits a monkey flip from out of nowhere but Mark catches him with a great looking heart punch that knocks Johnny out cold. He follows that up with an insanely athletic ropewalk elbowdrop (just because he can) for the win at 10:41.

  • Rating: This was ultimately way too long, about four or five minutes longer than it should’ve gone. Still the work was decent enough and it put Mark’s moveset over, though a quicker win would’ve made a bigger impression. **
The Samoan SWAT Team (Fatu & The Samoan Savage) vs. Mike Rotunda & Tommy Rich
Classic Wrestling Review: Capital Combat '90 | CXF | Culture Crossfire |  culturecrossfire.com
IMG credit: WWE

The Samoans stall for a reaaaaally long time after the bell to start. The match finally starts proper and… the Samoans bail some more. Oh come on. Rotunda has had enough and nails some dropkicks on the Samoans… until they bail and stall. AGAIN. Ughhhhhhhh. Savage powerslams Rotunda only for Fatu to miss a flying headbutt, allowing Rotunda to take over with restholds. Good lord. A cheapshot turns things around and Fatu works over Rotunda with a chinlock that goes on for nearly FOUR MINUTES because these guys are apparently on a mission to try and make me fall asleep during this incredibly boring match. Rotunda FINALLY escapes that and makes the hot cold tag to Rich. He puts Fatu in a sleeper but Savage comes in with a cheapshot on Rich from behind and Fatu lands on top for the pin to FINALLY END THIS SNOOZEFEST AT A WHOOPIN 17:54.

  • Rating: I think I’ve made my thoughts clear enough. Moving on. *
Hair vs. Hair Match: Paul Ellering vs. Theodore Long
10 Things You Didn't Know About Teddy Long – Page 9
IMG credit: WWE

Teddy Long comes out with ridiculous attire to “protect” himself. Ellering knocks him out at 1:57 and we get through the Long hair-cutting segment in rather quick fashion. They must’ve been having some time issues. Might have had something to do with a seventeen minute match filled with nothing but restholds and stalling. Just saying.

  • Rating: This was what it was. It was too short to rate. N/R
NWA US Tag Team Championship: Flyin’ Brian & The Z-Man vs. The Midnight Express (Stan Lane & Bobby Eaton)(w/ Jim Cornette)
Classic Wrestling Review: Capital Combat '90 | CXF | Culture Crossfire |  culturecrossfire.com
IMG credit: WWE

This is finally more like it. Cornette has to be locked inside a cage. He doesn’t want to get locked inside of it, so the referee beats him up and puts him in there in a really funny bit. Eaton and Pillman get into a slugfest which ends with the babyfaces doing a slingshot into a flying clothesline to clean house. Off to Lane who also falls victim to the champs’ quickness, until Lane bails and goes to Cornette for some advice. Back in for a great wrestling sequence with Pillman nearly catching Eaton on a sunset flip. Pillman misses a charge and goes flying to the outside though, and Eaton follows him out there for a neckbreaker outside. Lane knees Pillman and he goes flying HARD into the rail. Thankfully those fans in the first row moved out of the way, Pillman took it like a man. Back in for a springboard clothesline immediately followed by a Lane elbowdrop for two. Off to Eaton again for a double-team Lane drop toehold into an Eaton elbowdrop for two. The Midnight Express take turns double-teaming Pillman and beating him up. Pillman goes for a slam off the top but Eaton rams the eyes and hits the Alabama Jam for two. Pillman finally gets a break with a slam and gets the hot tag to Zenk. That ends up going nowhere though, as the Midnights catch Zenk and hit the Rocket Launcher for two. Pillman joins as all hell breaks loose and everyone goes at it, allowing Lane to enziguiri Zenk in the back of the head behind the ref’s back to give Eaton the pin and them the titles at 20:20.

  • Rating: This was finally more like it. One of the greatest tag teams in the entire history of the business and two hungry young wrestlers (particularly Pillman who killed it here) with their working boots on. The result was obviously a really good match. Also, the second great match for the Midnight Express on PPV in 1990… and this is just the second PPV of the year! ***1/2

Meanwhile, Robocop saves Sting from his cage… Thanks Jim Herd. MOVING ON.

Corporal Punishment Match: The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin) vs. Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson)
The Wrestling Insomniac: WCW Capital Combat 1990
IMG credit: WWE

Basically there are four straps on each buckle and they’re legal to use as a weapon. Michael Hayes moonwalks and does his shtick to start. The babyfaces soon get tired of it and jump the Freebirds with the straps already. Nice spot with the Express switching places on a chinlock behind the referee’s back while the other Freebird complains with the ref, making the ref miss the other team’s cheating and thus helping them. Soon the Freebirds are able to turn things around and cut the ring in half to work on Gibson. Garvin drops Gibson on the top rope and gets two. He dumps him for a beatdown on the outside. Gibson manages to tag Ricky once he gets back in only to walk into a Hayes cheapshot to start playing Ricky Morton already. Hayes spends too much time in the ring though and the ref misses Garvin’s cover. Hayes works a chinlock, which Morton briefly escapes only to get punched back down. Know your role, Ricky! Elbowdrop gets two and it’s back to the chinlock. Morton again escapes, only for Hayes to quickly transition into a bulldog for two. And now poor Ricky gets his ass handed to him with the strap, which you just knew had to be coming sooner or later. Garvin makes the mistake of going up, which allows Morton to slam him off and go for the tag… in the Freebirds’ corner! Hayes grabs him for a second bulldog, but Ricky shoves him off and heeeeeere’s Gibson! He gets caught and double-teamed as well, with Morton getting a blind tag. Hayes hits Gibson with the DDT and gets all cocky, allowing Morton to come in with a sunset flip for the win at 18:33.

  • Rating: Good match here, as you would expect looking at these two teams on paper. Ricky was the highlight as usual, just by being Ricky Morton and knowing how to get destroyed better than anyone else in history. A more brutal beating would’ve put this on another level, but it was good already as it was. ***1/4
NWA World Tag Team Championship: The Steiners (Rick & Scott) vs. Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed)(w/ Theodore Long)
Classic Wrestling Review: Capital Combat '90 | CXF | Culture Crossfire |  culturecrossfire.com
IMG credit: WWE

Scott shoves the referee in a very babyface-ish move. Scott and Ron to start. A shoulderblock is no-sold. A second one goes Scott’s way and a third one as well. Off to the ropes for a powerslam as now Reed wants some of Scott. That does provide a distraction though and allows Simmons to take over. He pounds away in the corner but a whip into the other buckle is reversed by Scott right into a german as the fans are WAY into it. Off to Reed to show off his biceps. Headlock into a wristlock by Reed who goes to work on Scott’s arm. He twists the arm but Scott blocks it, turns it around, puts Reed down and then just stomps him right in the jaw. Ouch. Off to a stalemate and we get another double shoulderblock spot. Reed asks for another one. Scott obliges and Reed leapfrogs, but Scott is already waiting for him behind his back with a great dropkick right into a backdrop and a Steinerline. Simmons comes in and he eats one as well as Doom bails. Off to Rick for the champs and Reed hesitates. A knee to the gut puts him in control though. Rick tries a Steinerline but he’s the one who goes down and Reed dumps him. Rick gets back in to block a hiptoss, and this time the Steinerline connects. Reed bails yet again but this time Rick meets him there and slams him on the outside before ramming him into the rail.

Off to Simmons and Rick starts with his unique mind games. Ron headbutts him in the gut and pounds away, but Rick blocks a backdrop and turns it into a piledriver immediately followed by a Steinerline that dumps him. Scott meets Ron on the outside and rams his head into the rail in another fantastic classic babyface move! Both guys tag in their partner. A headlock goes into the corner and Scott scores with an armdrag followed by a powerslam right into the buckle and then into a shoulderbreaker for two. Scott works a chinlock but changes his mind and decides to throw some stiff knees to the face instead before tagging Rick back in. Rick pounds away in the corner but Reed grabs him by the singlet and dumps him. Ron gets a couple of shots on the outside and puts him back inside. Rick brings in Scott but Reed catches him with a great high knee to the face. Reed draws Rick in to distract the ref and then throws Scott over the top rope just to be a prick. Simmons rams him into the rail and puts him back in for a Reed clothesline. Ron gets the tag and Doom hits a double-team elbow for two before choking away.

A charge in the corner only finds Scott’s boot though, but Ron manages to tag in Reed to keep the heels in control. Reed hits a swinging neckbreaker for two. Reed dumps him and then goes for a suplex back in, but Scott uses his power to block it and hits one of his own. Ron gets the tag though and jumps Scott with a hard knee to the gut that sends Scott all the way to the floor. Teddy gets some shots on Scott and it’s back in for Ron to snap Scott’s throat on the bottom rope. Simmons clothesline gets two. Reed in for a bulldog that gets two more. He hits a piledriver and brings Simmons back in for a great shoulderblock. Scott backdrops him and hits the always awesome Frankensteiner as the crowd goes absolutely bananas. Scott crawls for the tag and Reed gets in as well. Steinerline followed by a powerslam but Simmons breaks up the pin. Scott gets in as well to get rid of Ron and the Steiners hit a double suplex. Doom hits a double-team flying clothesline for two. Ron sends Scott into the post to take him out of the match and then gets back in while Rick is going for an overhead suplex off the top, pulling Rick all the way down to the mat by the hair with Reed falling on top for the win and the titles at 19:14.

  • Rating: Even though this is far from being the greatest match aesthetically, it’s one heck of a fun hard-hitting affair. A violent, brutal, ugly (in the good way), nasty match between four wrestlers determined to go out there and hit each other as hard as they possibly could. A great tag title match as the Steiners continue to be on a roll and Doom are already doing much better than during the stupid masked gimmick. Really good battle of the bulls here. ***3/4
Main-Event – Steel Cage Match – NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Ric Flair(c)(w/ Woman) vs. Lex Luger
IMG credit: WWE

No escape rules here. Also Luger is still replacing Sting here due to injury. Before the match even starts, the ref checks on both wrestlers and then Flair gets all paranoid when he asks to check on Woman. And turns out she had an illegal weapon on her left arm. Very nice touch, I love stuff like this. Hard lockup to start with Flair getting a chop in, which only infuriates Luger as Flair bails already. Back in for a hard Luger shoulderblock and he pounds away. Flair tries to turn things around but Luger comes out of the corner with a nasty clothesline that nearly takes Flair’s head off his shoulders. It gets two. Luger catches Flair trying to run away and gives him a vertical suplex off the apron as Flair bails. Flair comes in asking for Luger to take it easy! They go at it until Luger catches Flair in a gorilla press slam. And a second one as Flair bails yet again.

Flair chops away back in, only for Luger to no-sell it and come out of the corner all fired up. Luger hiptosses him out of the corner and follows it up with a clothesline. Flair again for chops and Luger responds by doing the dancing pecs moves! That humiliates Flair who gets all worked up and starts climbing the cage to run away from this badass monster of a man! Luger tries to meet him there but Flair kicks him away and climbs back down for a nasty chop. The with extra mustard kind. He rams Luger into the cage a few times and throws a few more chops as well. Back in to start working the leg already followed by another chop. Snapmare sets up the classic Flair kneedrop. And he WOOOOOOOOs! Vertical suplex by Flair… is no-sold with Flair showing off to the crowd with his back turned to Luger, who’s waiting for him right behind him as the fans go crazy. Flair turns around and eats a clothesline. Into the corner where Luger pounds away with the people counting along. Irish whip into the other corner, up goes Flair with the Flair flip only to jump into a Luger clothesline. Flair goes down off the Flair flop and he bails. Luger goes after him and once again Flair tries to climb the cage and escape, this time with Luger joining him and ramming Flair’s head into the cage up there. Luger rams Flair’s head into the cage and the post back down and Flair is busted open.

Flair once again tries to run away, but he has no energy and Luger just puts him back inside the ring. The bloody Flair asks for mercy on his knees in the corner, and Luger responds by unloading on the cut with punches in the corner. Flair tries to block that with an atomic drop out of the corner, which Luger blocks by landing on his feet and hits a clothesline instead for two. At this point Flair’s hair has turned red. He tries to run away from Luger yet again, only for Luger to meet him up there yet again and ram his head into the cage once more. Flair chops away back down and tries to ram Luger’s head into the cage this time, but Luger blocks it and reverses. Good lord what a beating! Flair tries to fight back with chops back inside. He goes for a flying forearm but he’s the one who goes down while Luger just stands there looking like a million bucks. Luger picks Flair up and puts him on the top rope. Luger hits a superplex but hurts his right knee on the way down. Oh no, you better get ready to be taken to school Luger! And indeed Flair is back up and all over that injured knee. He stomps away on Luger’s right knee. Snapmare into a Flair kneedrop to the knee. Now Flair is more confident. To the bottom rope for an assdrop on the knee. And another Flair kneedrop to Luger’s injured knee. Flair pounds away some more before taking Luger down with a backdrop suplex. It’s figure four time as poor Luger just tries to hang on while Flair gets some illegal rope assistance. The ref eventually catches him and forces the hold to be broken, and the Andersons join us at ringside. The Andersons manage to raise the cage a little bit but here comes Sting to even the odds and beat them up. Poor Luger can barely walk but he starts making his big comeback… and suddenly the returning Barry Windham sneaks in and beats up Luger for the DQ at 17:21.

  • Rating: Once again, much like at WrestleWar, I can understand the finish. The company was booked against a corner not because of dumb/illogical/lazy/stupid booking, but because Sting got injured when he was already feuding with Flair and Luger is nothing but a substitute. Though he’s too valuable to be doing clean jobs and a champion as well, so you get this finish. The match itself is your usual great Flair vs. Luger bout, though not quite as good as either WrestleWar or StarrCade 89. Still a great main-event with a lame (yet understandable) non-finish. ***3/4

END OF THE SHOW

Final thoughts: Even though not at the level of the pay-per-views the NWA was delivering in 1989, this was still a pretty good show. The opener was solid, the next three matches were a bit boring (the Samoans’ match was just plain awful) and it looked like the show was going downhill, it picked right back up afterwards. There’s plenty of stuff on this event that are worth your time, particularly Flair Luger – be warned for the finish – and above all Doom Steiners. Good show overall. 7/10

For feedback/comments, email me at cunhatomas2001@hotmail.com

POINT SYSTEM

You can read about how my point system works here.

WrestlerStar ratingsResultMain-eventingExtrasTotal
Butch Reed3.7510.5 for winning the fall
2 for winning a title
7.25
Bobby Eaton3.510.5 for winning the fall
2 for winning a title
7
Ron Simmons3.7512 for winning a title6.75
Stan Lane3.512 for winning a title6.5
Ric Flair3.75-0.511 for retaining a title5.25
Lex Luger3.750.515.25
Ricky Morton3.2510.5 for winning the fall4.75
Robert Gibson3.2514.25
Hawk2.7510.5 for winning the fall4.25
Animal
Norman the Lunatic
2.7513.75
Fatu110.5 for winning the fall2.5
Jimmy Garvin3.25-12.25
The Samoan Savage112
Michael Hayes3.25-1-0.5 for losing the fall1.75
Cactus Jack
Bam Bam Bigelow
2.75-11.75
Kevin Sullivan2.75-1-0.5 for losing the fall1.25
Paul Ellering11
Scott Steiner3.75-1-2 for losing a title0.75
Flyin’ Brian3.5-1-2 for losing a title0.5
Rick Steiner3.75-1-2 for losing a title
-0.5 for losing the fall
0.25
The Z-Man3.5-1-2 for losing a title
-0.5 for losing the fall
0
Mike Rotunda1-10
Tommy Rich1-1-0.5 for losing the fall-0.5
Theodore Long-1-1

Thank you so much for your time reading. Don’t miss the next review, which will be an edition of NWA/WCW Clash of the Champions. Following that, The Great American Bash. Also from the WWF’s side of things, SummerSlam is the next PPV. Stay safe!