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Buddy Rogers Top 10 Best Matches – Naturing The Original Nature Boy

“To a nicer guy, it couldn’t happen!” Most people nowadays only know Buddy Rogers as the first man to hold the WWE Title as well as the first to use the “Nature Boy” moniker. What they didn’t know, however, was that Rogers was an exceptionally fantastic worker inside the ropes, having influenced hundreds of wrestlers from future generations. If you’ve seen the original Nature Boy in action at least once before, you can clearly see the traits and qualities of his being adopted and borrowed by the likes of Ric Flair, Buddy Rose, Buddy Landell, and many, many more.

In this article, we will take you through the absolute best matches from Buddy Rogers’s long and illustrated career, which will include classics against legends like Lou Thesz, Pat O’ Connor, Killer Kowalski, and many, many more. Please note that matches that lacked a severe amount of footage won’t be included. So don’t you be expecting the 1979 Clash of the Nature Boys against Ric Flair! With all that said, it’s time we move on to the top 10 best matches of Buddy Rogers’s career!

10) Vs. Bruno Sammartino (WWWF World Heavyweight Title) – WWWF MSG, May. 17th 1963

IMG credit: Pro Wrestling Illustrated & WWE

The existing footage of this match only consists of a few images with Vince Jr.’s commentary in the background. However, the picture you see above is more than enough to paint a thousand words. Without this, there would be no Hulkamania. Without this, there would be no Attitude Era. Without this, there would be no WWE today. Rogers was forced to submit to Bruno’s crushing bearhug in a mere 48 seconds to reportedly keep him safe from his heart issue. And with that, we have a rising new star, Bruno Sammartino, standing tall over the fallen Nature Boy, Buddy Rogers, in one of the most impactful moments of our industry. I was skeptical about putting this one on the list at first. But looking back, its historical impact simply cannot be understated.

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9) Vs. Ash Mahoney – NWA Chicago, 1944

IMG credit: BuddyRogers.net (Facebook)

The exact date of this one is unknown. But what we do know is that this was Rogers’s first-ever match caught on tape. This is presumably the only time we will get to see the original Nature Boy as a babyface before his heel turn, and it was indeed a fascinating watch looking back. Rogers was presented as the exciting youngster here, whereas Ash seems to be the more experienced competitor. Although the younger of the two, Rogers wasn’t reluctant to land some nasty blows on the bigger athlete, showing that he can play rough even at a younger stage. The clever finish saw Buddy patting Mahoney’s back while in a pin to trick him that he won the match before blasting him with a barrage of offenses for the win.

8) w/ Jimmy Snuka Vs. Ray Stevens & Capt. Lou Albano – WWF on PRISM Network, Nov. 25th 1982

IMG credit: WWE & Rasslin’ History 101 (Twitter)

Buddy Rogers’s last-ever match to be telecasted, and I don’t think the man himself even knew it at the time. This was a fairly generic tag formula, but I would be lying to say it didn’t work. They smartly positioned Rogers as the face-in-peril to save his energy, but he sure wasn’t afraid to throw a dropkick or two when given a chance. Stevens & Albano kept him in their corner for the majority until he made a hot tag to Snuka that triggered one hell of a pop! It was a simple story but effectively told. And I bet Rogers must be having the time of his life in there, working a match this long and participating this much in what was probably forever.

7) Vs. Haystacks Calhoun (NWA United States Heavyweight Title) – NWA Chicago, Apr. 14th 1961

GIF credit: Chicago Film Archives & MrMichael80 (MakeAGif)
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While Haystacks Calhoun was never known for being a technical wizard inside the ring, his size and visual are more than enough to make him go far in the business. Here, he went one-on-one with the original Naitch for the US Title in what was a decently fun match overall. Rogers knew exactly how to work around Calhoun’s limitations, and he possibly gave him the best match of his career. There was one spot where Rogers tried escaping a headlock by shoving Calhoun to the rope, but he ended up getting his head hauled over instead! Rogers had to be extremely smart in order to outwit his much-larger opponent, and we got a scrap of those brain v. brawn bits here. This was lengthened out to a little over 10 mins, and it definitely benefited Haystacks by preventing him from gassing out first. Buddy won this oddball contest after firing away two frenetic dropkicks to send Calhoun out to the floor (and breaking the ring ropes!) for a cheap count-out victory.

6) w/ Johnny Barend & Magnificent Maurice Vs. Bobo Brazil, Dory Dixon & Art Thomas (2-Out-Of-3 Falls) – IWA, Mar. 15th 1963

IMG credit: Wrestling Films (YouTube)

Now here’s a match you might not think of. A six-man tag team bout contested under a best two-out-of-three falls rules! There’s a fascinating pool of talents in this one, and they actually got to mix and match very well too. Rogers, in particular, stood out in this one, though you have to give credits to Dixon as well; the man was flying all over the place like he was a WCW cruiserweight! The action here was certainly way ahead of its time, even featuring a headscissors (IN 1963!!!) from Bobo Brazil that literally had my jaw dropped. The finish was unfortunately anticlimactic, but so it goes in this era. Granted, it’s the only multi-man match on this ranking (and the only multi-man match involving Rogers, for that matter), but it was still a pretty darn great one. Give it a look, it’s worth it.

5) Vs. Cyclone Anaya (2-Out-Of-3 Falls) – NWA Chicago, Jan. 5th 1951

IMG credit: Chicago Film Archives & u/MRN9 (Reddit)

Looks like we found ourselves with another best two-out-of-three falls bout. Don’t be surprised if you see this a lot, though, as this stipulation was used frequently for most of the 20th Century. This was a very mat-heavy contest, but the mat wrestling that was presented is more than worth your time. These two worked holds quite like no one else, and you can see them trying to crank it on with as much pressure as possible. Cyclone won the first fall via a Cobra Twist submission after a fast-paced action sequence. However, Rogers retaliated with a nasty-looking piledriver that unfortunately forced a referee stoppage, as Anaya couldn’t continue anymore. Buddy’s piledriver was put over huge as a result. Both men put in a great effort, but it was Buddy Rogers who really shined in this one with his incredible mat-game and star aura. Afterward, Rogers showed a (surprising) sign of sportsmanship by helping Anaya up to his feet, signaling that he’s not a full-fledged heel… at least not yet!

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4) Vs. Killer Kowalski (World Heavyweight Title, 2-Out-Of-3 Falls) – NWA Chicago, Feb. 22nd 1963

IMG credit: ESPN
(Note: Not the actual match’s illustration)

This was a 2-out-of-3 falls match with only 12 minutes of runtime, but they managed to fill in all the action and falls without ever making it feel rushed. Kowalski went to town on Buddy’s leg right from the get-go, and he immediately scored a fall with a stacked pin. From there, Rogers was extra careful after the development of the first fall, working cautiously before coming back with a forearm smash to win the second fall. After Kowalski missed a flying knee drop on the last fall, Rogers quickly hit a brutal piledriver to wrap things up. The dynamic played out between the two was a real treat to watch – Rogers as the smug, unsportsmanlike sleazebag; Kowalski as the pissed-off, no-nonsense killer. Rogers could’ve sold his leg a bit more, but he made up for it with his feeding of Kowalski’s offensive onslaught. All in all, a great match that took place just a few months before Buddy’s unfortunate heart attack in May.

3) Vs. Lou Thesz (NWA World Heavyweight Title, 2-Out-Of-3 Falls) – NWA Chicago, Jan. 26th 1951

IMG credit: Chicago Film Archives
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This is a rematch from their June 1950 encounter – more on that one soon – and it’s definitely a step down from that one. The matwork was full of struggle, extremely rugged and forceful. The transitions between each sequence were very rhythmic and compelling. The actual work was very good for the most part. With all that said, however, the meat of the match couldn’t grab much of my interest, by association with the aforementioned match. The pacing was off as they spent too much time in holds. It was a great idea to let things breathe, but this felt a little too much. God bless Buddy for always trying to keep things interesting with his heel shenanigans. And God bless Thesz for upping the intensity when needed. But this was easily underwhelming to me. Thesz won the first fall with an airplane spin, while Rogers bounced back with a piledriver. They went to a full-hour time limit draw and shook hands afterward, which seems like diminishing returns. As great as this was, I can’t help but feel disappointed by it, especially when compared to their 1950 classic. Hence, the relatively “low” ranking on this list.

2) Vs. Pat O’Connor (NWA World Heavyweight Title, 2-Out-Of-3 Falls) – NWA Chicago, Jun. 30th 1961

IMG credit: Chicago Sun-Times & historyofwrestling.com

Buddy Rogers’s increasing popularity amongst fans allowed him to get voted into winning his first and only NWA Heavyweight Championship by the booking committee. Dubbed “The Match of the Century“, this famous title change took place at the Comiskey Park in front of over 38 000 fans, setting a new record for professional wrestling attendance that wouldn’t be broken until 1984. There was a big-match feel to this one right off the bat. The first fall was highlighted by Buddy’s continuous cheating and dirty tactics throughout. He blocked a charging Pat with a knee to score the first fall. The second fall, on the other hand, was the Pat O’Connor match. He controlled in large part with a toehold before tying the score up with his signature O’Connor roll. The third fall was more competitive than the two prior falls, with a more competitive back and forth nature. Rogers constantly getting his feet on the ropes to escape getting pinned was a nice way to put his ring awareness over, and it perfectly played right into the finish. Pat lost his cool after multiple failed pin attempts, went to the well once too often, and paid his price by missing a dropkick and crashing to the rope, giving Rogers the victory and the belt as a result.

1) Vs. Lou Thesz (NWA World Heavyweight Title, 2-Out-Of-3 Falls) – NWA Chicago, Jun. 21st 1950

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IMG credit: Chicago Film Archives & Enuffa.com

Seeing two wrestlers continuously doing everything in their power to win is literally my cup of tea, and that’s exactly what I got here. Rogers was the man in this match. His heel work was spectacular, doing little things like adding a closed fist while in a headlock, faking a clean break only to sucker-punch Thesz, bickering with the referee, etc. Thesz, on the other hand, was the badass defending champion, not hesitating to fight dirty too if the situation called for it. I’ve never seen a collar-elbow tie-up being done in a manner as violent as Rogers and Thesz; it was like two bulls locking horns in a wrestling ring! These two worked super-stiff here, as can be seen from Buddy’s vicious uppercuts and Thesz’s brutal knee lifts. It all came down to the third and final fall in the end, which saw Buddy being sidestepped by Thesz, crashing and burn into the rope, hanging himself out in a spot which Mick Foley would go on to replicate a couple of decades later. This was absolutely stellar, possibly one of my all-time favorite matches ever, as well as Buddy Rogers’s greatest match of all time.

And that will be it for today’s post. Thank you very much for reading, and make sure to stay tuned for my next work right here on the blog. Until then, have a wonderful day!

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Categories
Year-End Award

1990 – Best Matches And Wrestlers

Hello everyone and welcome to my final article on 1990. In this special piece, we will take a look back at some of the best matches in both the WWF and NWA/WCW. First of all, I will mention the top five matches for each company, followed by a top five list for both companies overall. After that, we will see who were the wrestlers in both companies (followed by overall, much like with the matches) that got more points. This will be according to the point system I use on every show, which you can see here.

Before starting, I have one last announcement regarding the point system. I thought it would be fair to award points to the wrestlers involved in the top five matches of the year, so I will. Here’s how it will be done: the wrestlers involved in the 5th best match of their particulary company get 1 point, those in the 4th best get 2 points, those in the 3rd best get 3 points, those in the 2nd best get 4 points, and those in the best match of the year will get 5 points. As for the overall list (both companies put together), the points will double – meaning the participants in the 5th best match will get 2 points, and so on.

TOP 5 WWF MATCHES

Note: The Royal Rumble match is not eligible for this list. I will always give the edge to regular wrestling matches, since it’s pretty hard (not impossible, but pretty hard) to see a Rumble match that isn’t fun. Thus, I don’t include it in order to open the door for other matches.

5) The Dream Team vs. The Million Dollar Team (Survivor Series)
IMG credit: WWE & WhatCulture

Kicking off the list is a very special traditional Survivor Series elimination tag match from the eponymous event. With Dusty Rhodes and Ted DiBiase as the respective team captains, some would say the match reached legendary status even before the opening bell sounded, with The Undertaker making his iconic debut. Even though that’s what people remember the most from this bout, the action in the ring that came afterwards was very good as well. Undertaker got to showcase his actual in-ring abilities and even got a pinfall win over the legendary ‘American Dream’, while Bret Hart and Ted DiBiase delivered a spectacular mini-match in the bout’s closing moments, with ‘The Million Dollar Man’ coming out on top. A very good match that elevated two future legends’ singles careers. (Rating: ***1/2)

4) Hulk Hogan vs. The Ultimate Warrior – WWF World & WWF Intercontinental Championships (WrestleMania VI)
IMG credit: WWE & wrestlemaniacos.com

In what unquestionably is the most memorable match from this year, Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior met for both the IC and World Championships in the main-event of WrestleMania. It truly is a bout for the ages, and will keep being talked about regardless of how much time passes. As is the case with most matches involving any of these two legendary names, it has many naysayers. And even though it’s a match elevated by the awesome crowd reaction, the actual in-ring match itself is good and easily one of the best in both Hogan and Warrior’s careers. I consider this to be Hogan’s finest hour in the ring, with him taking the relatively inexperienced and exhausted Warrior all the way to the finish line. Absolutely legendary, and obviously the #1 on this list if we were talking memorable alone. (Rating: ***3/4)

3) The Hart Foundation vs. The Rockers (Saturday Night’s Main Event April 28th)
IMG credit: WWE

After a disappointing WrestleMania that is only (rightfully) remembered for the aforementioned main-event, the WWF needed to start the new “season” with something good. Enter these four! Despite Demolition’s involvement causing a non-finish, the two awesome teams put on an exciting fast-paced contest that had every single fan in that arena on the edge of their seats. It showed that tag team wrestling, if done right, is fantastic and that both these teams deserved more than being in ten-second matches against the Bolsheviks at WrestleMania. And by the end of the year, they’d be going at it over the WWF’s tag team straps! (Rating: ****)

2) Mr. Perfect vs. Tito Santana – WWF Intercontinental Championship (Saturday Night’s Main Event July 28th)
IMG credit: WWE & enuffa.com

Here is what I’d probably call the WWF’s ‘hidden gem’ of 1990. Once Warrior had to vacate the IC title due to his World Championship win at WrestleMania, a tournament was held to crown the new champion. Perfect would best Tito in the final on Superstars to capture the gold, revealing Bobby Heenan as his new ‘perfect manager’ that night. The two would meet in a rematch at the following edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event, and to say they tore the house down would be the understatement of the year. It was a dramatic back-and-forth match, featuring a brilliant performance by Heenan as well, that had the crowd believing Tito (a veteran undercarder for years at this point already) would somehow shock Mr. Perfect and win. Perfect managed to weasel his way into a cheap victory in the end, but Santana looked like a million bucks for the first time in a really long time. Absolutely… perfect. Sorry, had to do it! (Rating: ****)

1) Demolition vs. The Hart Foundation – 2/3 Falls Tag Match for the WWF Tag Team Championship (SummerSlam)
IMG credit: WWE

In my honest opinion, when it comes to the WWF in 1990, this was the very best match. The story was that the recently-turned-heel Demolition had three members with the recent signing of Crush, and they would be waiting to pull a switcheroo at any point. Once the bell rang and the two great teams started going to work, the fans got lost in the action and completely forgot about the heels’ intentions. And that’s when it happened! After a dramatic and emotional final fall that ultimately saw LOD expose Demolition’s tricks, The Hart Foundation finally captured the belts back, for the first time as babyfaces. A spectacular match that is 100% worthy of this spot. Give it a look if you haven’t already! (Rating: ****)

TOP 5 NWA/WCW MATCHES

5) The Steiners vs. Doom – NWA World Tag Team Championship (Capital Combat)
IMG credit: WWE & culturecrossfire.com

We kick off the NWA’s side with an intense and physical fight between four badass wrestlers over the World Tag belts. The challengers Doom were coming off a really weird run as a “mysterious” masked team (even though everyone could tell who they were…) and thus needed to establish themselves as soon as possible. Add the fact that the Steiners were in the other corner of the ring, and you got yourself a battle of the bulls between four motivated guys determined to hit each other as hard as possible and to earn their spots at the very top of the card. Awesome match. (Rating: ***3/4)

4) The Midnight Express vs. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (WrestleWar)
IMG credit: WWE

This shouldn’t come as a shocker to anybody, as we’re talking about arguably the two teams with the best chemistry in the entire history of tag team wrestling. Is it the greatest match ever between them? Of course it isn’t, far from it. But even if there’s bad management and no clear direction, these two will always deliver inside the ropes. And not forgetting Jim Cornette’s awesome managerial work at ringside, always being able to make his presence felt at ringside without stealing the spotlight from the action going on. Great match between four (or five) workers who could have a classic with their eyes closed. (Rating: ****)

3) Ric Flair vs. Sting – NWA World Heavyweight Championship (The Great American Bash)
IMG credit: WWE & sportskeeda

This match is to the NWA/WCW in 1990 what Hogan vs. Warrior from WrestleMania is to the WWF. Unquestionably the first match that will come to mind of 99% of the fans, featuring the iconic moment that was Sting’s first World Championship victory. The technical aspect of the match itself was strong, way stronger than WWF’s Hogan/Warrior, with Ric Flair knowing exactly how to carry a story like this in order to make his opponent’s moment ten times more memorable than it would already be. By far the top NWA/WCW moment of the year, and one of the best matches as well. (Rating: ****)

2) Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger – NWA World Heavyweight Championship (WrestleWar)
IMG credit: WWE & thesewastedyears.wordpress.com

Speaking of Sting’s moment, it was actually originally set to take place at February’s WrestleWar PPV. However, earlier that month at Clash of the Champions, Sting suffered a serious injury during a segment with the Four Horsemen and the moment would have to be delayed. The reigning US champion Lex Luger was the one chosen to fill in that void left by the injured Sting, turning babyface and temporarily challenging Flair for the Big Gold Belt. They had two PPV matches while Sting was out, but WrestleWar is by far the greatest. Even though the match had a non-finish in order to protect both wrestlers, Flair did everything in his power to put Luger over like a billion bucks. Even though Luger didn’t win the title, he was off to the races afterwards as one of (if not the) most popular babyfaces on the whole roster that year. (Rating: ****1/2)

1) The Midnight Express vs. The Southern Boys (The Great American Bash)
10 Hidden WCW Gems To Watch On WWE Network – Page 5
IMG credit: WWE & WhatCulture

And finally, the greatest match of not only the NWA/WCW, but from both companies overall in the year 1990. The young duo of the Southern Boys, Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong, challenged the veteran duo of the Midnight Express for the US Tag Team Titles and put on a true masterpiece. Whatever you name it, this match had. The younger team upsetting the cocky champions in the beginning, forcing the heels cutting the ring in half and trying their best to always keep their team in control, the essential babyface comebacks and hope spots and even a number of entertaining spots. Particularly a martial arts exchange between Stan Lane and Tracy Smothers that saw the babyface (again) get the better of the cocky heel. And again, not to forget the awesome work of Jim Cornette at ringside. In the end, the legendary Midnight Express were able to steal a cheap win and retain their straps, but the young duo of the Southern Boys won the respect of many fans and critics. A classic! (Rating: ****1/2)

TOP 5 MATCHES OVERALL

5) Mr. Perfect vs. Tito Santana – WWF Intercontinental Championship (Saturday Night’s Main Event July 28th) [WWF]
Esta imagem tem um texto alternativo em branco, o nome da imagem é image-42.jpeg
IMG credit: WWE & enuffa.com
4) Ric Flair vs. Sting – NWA World Heavyweight Championship (The Great American Bash) [NWA/WCW]
IMG credit: WWE & sportskeeda
3) Demolition vs. The Hart Foundation – 2/3 Falls Tag Match for the WWF Tag Team Championship (SummerSlam) [WWF]
IMG credit: WWE
2) Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger – NWA World Heavyweight Championship (WrestleWar) [NWA/WCW]
IMG credit: WWE & thesewastedyears.wordpress.com
1) The Midnight Express vs. The Southern Boys (The Great American Bash) [NWA/WCW]
10 Hidden WCW Gems To Watch On WWE Network – Page 5
IMG credit: WWE & WhatCulture

TOP 10 WWF WRESTLERS

Note: this is based on my point system used throughout each and every show of the year

10) Dusty Rhodes (19.75 points)
IMG credit: WWE

We start our list with the American Dream Dusty Rhodes, baby! Even though Dusty is not a name that you associate with the WWF when thinking of him as an active wrestler, he had a solid 1990 mostly feuding with Randy Savage and Ted DiBiase. He might just be a common man, but he did just fine to earn a spot in our list! 

  • Dusty’s best match in 1990: Vs. The Million Dollar Team (Survivor Series)
9) Rick Martel (20.5 points)
IMG credit: WWE

Here’s the guy that was perhaps the most improved worker of the year. After turning heel on Tito Santana way back at WrestleMania V in 1989, Martel spent the rest of that year on stand-by while waiting for something to click. After a short-lived partnership with Slick that wasn’t really it, Martel finally got there once he debuted the “Model” gimmick. Apart from being a good worker in the ring, what made Martel stand out was Arrogance (his fragrance shown in the picture) and allowed him to have a very interesting midcard feud with Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts.

  • Martel’s best match in 1990: Vs. Tito Santana (The Main Event IV)
8) Tito Santana (23.5 points)
IMG credit: WWE

We’re going from one Strike Force member to the other! Santana spent most of his year as the veteran “jobber to the stars”, particularly losing to both former Powers of Pain members Barbarian and Warlord at WrestleMania and SummerSlam, respectively. He was even in the “final match of survival” in the main-event of Survivor Series, being eliminated by Ted DiBiase. However, what earns him this spot on the list is unquestionably his work with Mr. Perfect over the spring/early summer, having some fantastic matches (including our #2 WWF match of the year). Santana lost to Perfect multiple times for the Intercontinental Title, helping the rising star on his way to the top. Santana is one of the most underrated star-making performers of all time, and a legend in his own right. Arriba!

  • Santana’s best match in 1990: Vs. Mr. Perfect (SNME July 28th)
7) Mr. Perfect (26.5 points)
The Heenan Family Ranked - From Worst To Best – Page 13
IMG credit: WWE

Well, speaking of him! I swear I didn’t script the way this list would go!! Mr. Perfect’s presence on this list should come as no surprise to anyone with half a brain. And speaking of brains, the chemistry this man had with Bobby Heenan is absolutely beautiful to watch. It didn’t start that way, though, as Perfect went into 1990 still being managed by The Genius. That was already a good duo, but him and Heenan together are just pure gold. I expected Perfect to be even higher on this list, but the fact he criminally lost EVERY pay-per-view match he was apart of (Rumble match, Beefcake at WM, Tornado at SS, Team Warrior at SVS) kicked him all the way down to #7. His incredible in-ring ability and charisma allowed him to thankfully still be apart of this list, where he belongs. Why? Because this man was exactly what he said he was. Absolutely perfect!

  • Perfect’s best match in 1990: Vs. Tito Santana (SNME July 28th)
6) Demolition Smash (30.5 points)
Ax & Smash On What Led To The End Of Demolition, Possible WWE Hall Of Fame  Induction, More | PWMania.com
IMG credit: WWE (Smash is on the left)

Now here’s one you probably weren’t expecting. In a year of ups and downs that saw Demolition win the tag titles from Andre the Giant & Haku at WrestleMania, gaining a new third member in Crush, turn heel for the first time in two years, lose the belts to The Hart Foundation (in our WWF match of the year) at SummerSlam, briefly change their look only to quickly go back to the original facepaint and ultimately lose Ax after Survivor Series, the one constant was Smash. He deserves credit for doing so well in what was a weird year for Demolition, and for playing a huge part in that epic match at SummerSlam.

  • Smash’s best match in 1990: Vs. The Hart Foundation (SummerSlam)
5) Ted DiBiase (31 points)
10 Best Performances From Number 1 In WWE Royal Rumble Match – Page 6
IMG credit: WWE & WhatCulture

After a relatively timid 1989, ‘The Million Dollar Man’ quickly went back to being one of the highlights of the WWF in the first year of the new decade. He started the year off in the best possible way, putting on a respectful performance in the Royal Rumble match as its “iron man”. From there some of his most notables moments included buying Sapphire from Dusty Rhodes, facing the young Dustin Rhodes in a ten minute time-limit challenge in which he was humble enough to let the rookie survive, carrying The Ultimate Warrior to one of the greatest matches of his career in a bout for the WWF title, stealing the show with Bret Hart at Survivor Series and, of course, introducing the debuting Undertaker on that same show. For those wondering why someone else isn’t in the WWF’s top five for 1990 instead of DiBiase, always remember… everyone has a price!

  • DiBiase’s best match in 1990: Vs. The Dream Team (Survivor Series)
4) Jim Neidhart (37.5 points)
Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart Has Passed Away
IMG credit: WWE & in.ign.com

Jim Neidhart had a very strong year, being apart of some of the greatest matches alongside the likes of Demolition and the Rockers and having a good run as tag champ as a member of The Hart Foundation. The year didn’t start as well as it could’ve, with Anvil and Bret wrestling a twenty second match at WrestleMania against the undercard team of the Bolsheviks. From there things only went up, culminating with a fantastic match against Smash & Crush of Demolition at SummerSlam, which saw the legendary Hart Foundation capture the WWF tag belts for the second time.

  • Neidhart’s best match in 1990: Vs. Demolition (SummerSlam)
3) Bret Hart (39.5 points)
The Hart Foundation to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame – Bret Hart –  Official Site of WWE Hall of Famer Bret "The Hitman" Hart
IMG credit: WWE & brethart.com

After Neidhart, it’s only fitting that ‘The Hitman’ would join him on the list. There’s not much to add from what I already mentioned in Anvil’s entry, as they were a tag team for the whole year. Individually, Bret’s highlight of 1990 was his breakthrough performance at the Survivor Series against the legendary ‘Million Dollar Man’. Bret scored two more points than his partner due to him winning most of the falls in their tag matches after the Hart Attack, which is one of the way to earn an extra half a point in SmarKDown’s point system.

  • Bret’s best match in 1990: Vs. Demolition (SummerSlam)
2) Hulk Hogan (46.25 points)
IMG credit: WWE & WhatCulture

Hulk Hogan is always a top contender for these lists, participating in a lot of main-event matches and mostly scoring victories (and championships). In 1990, Hulk Hogan continued to be the undisputed top guy in the company by far, personally. Despite only holding the WWF Championship until WrestleMania, Hogan’s feud with Earthquake in the summer felt different from everything he’d been doing up to this point and had massive heat. You already know about the match and the feud with Warrior heading into WrestleMania, but some other highlights of Hogan’s 1990 include winning the Royal Rumble, the aforementioned feud with Earthquake and their often-forgotten SummerSlam match, being one of the “ultimate survivors” alongside Warrior at Survivor Series and a very fun match against Mr. Perfect (who else?) at SNME following WrestleMania.

  • Hogan’s best match in 1990: Vs. The Ultimate Warrior (WrestleMania VI)
1) The Ultimate Warrior (57.25 points)
IMG credit: WWE

And here he is, the number one WWF wrestler in 1990. It should come as no surprise to see Warrior ahead of everyone in the point system, considering he spent most of the year as champion and won pretty much every match he was apart of. Even though I am not a massive fan of his title reign, particularly before SummerSlam and until the feud with Randy Savage started being teased (that’s when it got better), I can’t deny that Warrior had a number of memorable moments. A repetitive feud with Rick Rude took a bit of a backseat to Hogan/Quake, but their match at SummerSlam was good. The feud with Randy Savage and Sherri late in the year also produced some quality segments. His title match with Ted DiBiase at The Main Event IV was another highlight and, of course, the feud with Hogan heading into WrestleMania is what everyone will always remember. I can see this being controversial, but be frank, it was ultimately inevitable!

  • Warrior’s best match in 1990: Vs. Hulk Hogan (WrestleMania VI)

TOP 10 NWA/WCW WRESTLERS

10) Steve Armstrong (26.5 points)
Wild-Eyed Southern Boy' Tracy Smothers left his mark on the wrestling  business | Wrestling | postandcourier.com
IMG credit: WWE & postandcourier.com (Steve is on the right)

As one half of the young and exciting tag team of the “Wild Eyed” Southern Boys, Steve Armstrong manages to earn a spot in the NWA/WCW’s list of top ten wrestlers in 1990. Even though the team was not being pushed above the elite teams such as Doom, the Horsemen, the Steiners, the Freebirds or many others, they got over with the audiences as babyfaces and were able to create some good moments when given the opportunity, including participating in the match of the year.

  • Armstrong’s best match in 1990: Vs. Midnight Express (The Great American Bash)
9) Sting (26.75 points)
IMG credit: WWE & thesportster.com

At a low ninth position comes Sting, the reigning NWA World Heavyweight Champion for pretty much the entire second half of the year. I can see many of you being surprised to see him in this spot, but remember he spent the first half of the year away due to injury. And once he finally came back and won the big belt, his reign wasn’t exactly one that would set the world on fire. A dumb, boring, confusing and just plain stupid storyline with the mysterious Black Scorpion is what he spent the majority of the time doing, with a PPV title defense against a greener-than-a-bean Sid Vicious sandwiched in the middle. The feud with Flair and the Horsemen was awesome though, injury aside. Let’s hope for better things for Sting in 1991, preferably with more logical storylines, so he can occupy a better spot.

  • Sting’s best match in 1990: Vs. Ric Flair (The Great American Bash)
8) Stan Lane (28.75 points)
IMG credit: WWE & ringthedamnbell.wordpress.com (Lane is on the left)

Even though Lane and Jim Cornette left the promotion immediately after Halloween Havoc, they were absolutely killing it even without the best management to support them. Each and every single one of the Midnight’s matches were good (at the very least), when not classics – The Great American Bash. Apart from being in that year’s greatest match with The Southern Boys, another memorable moments include the match against their arch rivals Rock ‘n’ Roll Express at WrestleWar, Ricky Morton & Tommy Rich at Halloween Havoc in their final night in the territory, or putting the up-and-coming Steiner Brothers over for the US tag straps in the summer. Not the best year creatively, but the Midnight Express showed that even with some shaky circumstances, they will keep knocking it out of the park and are unquestionably one of the greatest tag teams in history.

  • Lane’s best match in 1990: Vs. The Southern Boys (The Great American Bash)
7) Ron Simmons (29.75 points)
IMG credit: WWE & bwwe.fandom.com (Ron is on the right)

He might have made a career later on out of just saying “DAMN!” or as a member of the APA alongside Bradshaw in the WWF, but Ron Simmons was a fantastic wrestler in 1990 as a member of Doom with Butch Reed. With Teddy Long in their corner, Doom play the roles of badass thugs from the streets who are not afraid of anything and will beat you up as hard as they possible can. Doom had many great matches throughout the year against legendary opponents such as the Horsemen or the Midnight Express, but personally their best work was against the Steiners. They truly deserve to be on this list, and I highly recommend everyone who sees the future Faarooq as nothing but a ‘GIF’ and a funny undercarder playing poker and drinking beer backstage to check out this era of Ron Simmons as a member of Doom. It is THE tag team that I always associate Ron Simmons with, not the APA. More than deserving of a spot on this list.

  • Ron’s best match in 1990: Vs. The Steiners (Capital Combat)
6) Butch Reed (33 points)
IMG credit: WWE & bwwe.fandom.com (Reed is on the left)

From one Doomer to the other! Much like with the Hart Foundation on the WWF’s list, everything I said about Ron Simmons applies to his tag team partner, Butch Reed. Reed got more points because possibly he got more pinfalls and/or took less pinfalls in their tag matches. Reed also took on Ric Flair in a singles match in the main-event of Clash of the Champions XIII.

  • Reed’s best match in 1990: Vs. The Steiners (Capital Combat)
5) Bobby Eaton (33.5 points)
IMG credit: WWE & ringthedamnbell.wordpress.com (Eaton is on the right)

Being a member of The Midnight Express until very late in the year (October), I’ve also said pretty much everything there is to be said about Bobby Eaton in Stan Lane’s entry a while ago. Once his partner and manager left the company, Eaton settled as a singles competitor and defeated ‘The Z-Man’ Tom Zenk in the opener of StarrCade.

  • Eaton’s best match in 1990: Vs. The Southern Boys (The Great American Bash)
4) Scott Steiner (38.5 points)
IMG credit: WWE & prowrestlingstories.com (Scott is on the right)

Scott Steiner was easily the most exciting wrestler of both the NWA/WCW and WWF, putting on good matches regularly and being able to easily get everyone off their seats with his awesome FrankenSteiner. Alongside his brother Rick, Scott held two championships in 1990 – starting the year as the World Tag Team Champions and ending it as the US Tag Team Champions. Apart from the awesome work with Doom that I’ve already mentioned, they also had good matches against the Andersons (Arn & Ole), The Fabulous Freebirds, The Great Muta & Mr. Saito, The Midnight Express and others.

  • Scott’s best match in 1990: Vs. Doom (Capital Combat)
3) Rick Steiner (39 points)
IMG credit: WWE & prowrestlingstories.com (Rick is on the left)

It’s quite obvious Rick would follow Scott, isn’t it!? Scott might have been the highlight of the team, but the veteran Rick played his role brilliantly as the vicious ‘Dog Faced Gremlin”. The way Rick took the Steiners’ opponents’ heads right off their shoulders with his nasty Steinerline, or sent them flying into the other corner of the ring with his dangerously quick suplexes was awesome and made him stand out as a unique character himself.

  • Rick’s best match in 1990: Vs. Doom (Capital Combat)
2) Lex Luger (40 points)
IMG credit: WWE & keystonestatement.com

Speaking of exciting, very few people were as over as Lex Luger. Holding the United States Heavyweight Championship for most of the year (my personal favourite US Champion of all time), Luger cemented himself as one of the top up-and-comers of NWA/WCW. He had some fun tussles over the US title with Mean Mark aka WWF’s The Undertaker, Ric Flair or the brutal Stan ‘The Lariat’ Hansen, while also doing a tremendous job when asked to fill in the void left by the injured Sting in PPV World Title matches with the iconic Ric Flair. Another great year for Lex Luger and a much deserved second place.

  • Luger’s best match in 1990: Vs. Ric Flair (WrestleWar)
1) Ric Flair (52.25 points)
94 – Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger – NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match:  WrestleWar 1990 – 100bestWWEmatches
IMG credit: WWE & 100bestwwematches.wordpress.com

Who else could it be? Even though Flair had a more timid year compared to the greatness he produced throughout the 1980s, he was still involved in some of the best matches – including being in two of our top five overall list. As the NWA World Heavyweight Champion in the first half of the year, Flair was involved in bangers with Lex Luger and Sting before eventually putting the Stinger over for the belt like a true pro. Despite having a more quiet second half of the year, Flair was still involved in some really good matches with the members of Doom alongside his fellow Horsemen, particularly Arn Anderson. The less said about the whole Black Scorpion crap at StarrCade, the better. Ric Flair once again showing that, even with dumb creative, he is without any shadow of a doubt one of the greatest wrestlers that will ever live. WOOOOO!

  • Flair’s best match in 1990: Vs. Lex Luger (WrestleWar)

TOP 10 WRESTLERS OVERALL

10) Butch Reed – 33 points (NWA/WCW)
IMG credit: WWE & bwwe.fandom.com (Reed is on the left)
9) Bobby Eaton – 33.5 points (NWA/WCW)
IMG credit: WWE & ringthedamnbell.wordpress.com (Eaton is on the right)
8) Jim Neidhart – 37.5 points (WWF)
Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart Has Passed Away
IMG credit: WWE & in.ign.com
7) Scott Steiner – 38.5 points (NWA/WCW)
IMG credit: WWE & prowrestlingstories.com (Scott is on the right)
6) Rick Steiner – 39 points (NWA/WCW)
IMG credit: WWE & prowrestlingstories.com (Rick is on the left)
5) Bret Hart – 39.5 points (WWF)
The Hart Foundation to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame – Bret Hart –  Official Site of WWE Hall of Famer Bret "The Hitman" Hart
IMG credit: WWE & brethart.com
4) Lex Luger – 40 points (NWA/WCW)
IMG credit: WWE & keystonestatement.com
3) Hulk Hogan – 46.25 points (WWF)
IMG credit: WWE & WhatCulture
2) Ric Flair – 52.25 points (NWA/WCW)
94 – Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger – NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match:  WrestleWar 1990 – 100bestWWEmatches
IMG credit: WWE & 100bestwwematches.wordpress.com
1) The Ultimate Warrior – 57.25 points (WWF)
IMG credit: WWE

And there you have it! What are your thoughts on the lists and your opinions? Do you have any early predictions and/or expectations for 1991? Let me know via email at cunhatomas2001@hotmail.com

And with this article we officially leave 1990 in the archives of the SmarKDown blog, as we now move on to the second year of the 1990s beginning with the WWF’s Royal Rumble event. This also marked the last year of the NWA-WCW association, with the company officially becoming just ‘WCW’ in January 1991.

Thank you so much for you support and for reading! Make sure you don’t miss any article and keep following the blog so we can find out more about 1991 together. Stay safe, everyone!

Categories
NWA PPV

NWA/WCW StarrCade 1990 Review (Scorpion No More)

Welcome everyone to my review of StarrCade 1990, the very final PPV of the NWA’s association of WCW. The NWA would part ways with Ted Turner’s company in January 1991, and from there it would be known simply as ‘World Championship Wrestling’ (WCW). This show features a title-for-mask cage match in the main-event between Sting and The Black Scorpion, a Texas Lariat (Bullrope) Match for the US title between Lex Luger and Stan Hansen, Doom and the Horsemen in a tag team street fight and much more.

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

  • NWA World Heavyweight Champion: Sting [champion since July 7th 1990 – previous champion: Ric Flair]
  • NWA United States Heavyweight Champion: Stan Hansen [champion since Oct. 27th 1990 – previous champion: Lex Luger]
  • NWA World TV Champion: ‘Z-Man’ Tom Zenk* [champion since Dec. 4th 1990 – previous champion: Arn Anderson]
  • NWA World Tag Team Champions: Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed) [champions since May 19th 1990 – previous champions: The Steiners)
  • NWA United States Tag Team Champions: The Steiners (Rick & Scott Steiner) [champions since Aug. 24th 1990 – previous champions: The Midnight Express)

*Zenk’s title win was yet to air on TV

Enjoy the review!

IMG credit: WWE & culturecrossfire.com

The hosts are Jim Ross & Paul E. Dangerously
Live from St. Louis, MO

‘Beautiful’ Bobby Eaton vs. ‘Z-Man’ Tom Zenk
Classic Wrestling - Bobby Eaton vs Z-Man - Starrcade '90 - video Dailymotion
IMG credit: WWE

JR notes on commentary that Zenk was in the middle of a 35 match winning streak, and as you saw a moment ago he was even able to upset Horseman Arn Anderson to capture the TV belt. They feel each other out to start until Zenk lands on his feet as Eaton tries a monkey flip and Zenk starts running wild with a series of dropkicks. Eaton kills off that comeback and dumps Zenk. He tries a vertical suplex from the apron onto the ring, only for Zenk to reverse and suplex Eaton onto the ramp instead. Zenk then follows it up with a pescado to wake up the crowd. Eaton once again cuts off Zenk’s comeback and hits the Alabama Jam. He hits a neckbreaker and goes for yet another Alabama Jama, only to eat a superkick instead. Zenk follows it up with a missile dropkick but Eaton moves out of the way and steals the win at 8:45.

  • Rating: Well so much for the 35 match winning streak right before winning the TV title on television. Zenk would only hold the title for a cup of coffee before dropping it back to AA in January anyway. Good little opener here, as Eaton was trying to find his footing without fellow Midnight Expressers Lane and Cornette. **3/4
Pat O’Connor Memorial Tag Team Tournament Quarter Final Match – The Steiners (Rick & Scott, representing USA) vs. Colonel DeKlerk & Sgt. Krueger (representing South Africa)

The South African team consists of Rocco Rock and Matt Borne (the future Doink the Clown), two VERY proud South Africans from Philadelphia and Texas, respectively. A complete extended workout for the Steiners here, as we get all the signature moves. DeKlerk briefly tries a comeback and hits a pescado on Rick that he completely ignores and just drops DeKlerk on the floor like he’s an annoying mosquito. Hot tag Scott for a tilt-a-whirl slam right into the Frankensteiner for the easy win at 2:12.

  • Rating: Complete squash. The Steiners are cool though, so it’s a slightly better squash than usual. *1/2
Pat O’Connor Memorial Tag Team Tournament Quarter Final Match – Rey Misterio & Konnan (representing Mexico) vs. Chris Adams & Norman Smiley (representing the UK)

So yes, we’re actually going to get SIX pointless tournament matches (four quarter finals + two semi finals) all in the same night until we get to the SHOCKING Steiners win that nobody could see coming a mile away. Should have saved at least these quarter finals for TV, it’s going to be a LONG show… This is not the Rey you’re probably thinking of, by the way. It’s the original Rey, the uncle of the future WWE World Champ Rey Mysterio. I’m sorry about my lack of excitement for this, but this is just pure filler on PPV. They do some visually choreographed lucha while the English side works a more ground based style, which gets the crowd on their feet… to go get some nachos or something. In the end Rey literally has to remind Adams to charge him so he can move out of the way, while Konnan puts Smiley away with a suplex at 5:29… and then Rey dives at Adams after the bell. Weird.

  • Rating: I didn’t care about this at all. Add in the fact that it was really sloppy at a few points and the crowd wasn’t into any of it. It wasn’t horrible, just extremely unnecessary. *
Pat O’Connor Memorial Tag Team Tournament Quarter Final Match – The Great Muta & Mr. Saito (representing Japan) vs. Jack Victory & Rip Morgan (representing New Zealand)
IMG credit: WWE & keijimutohcentral.com

Muta gets a hero’s welcome, with him being a familiar face to this audience. Muta had been in the NWA the prior year and was a former TV Champion, having a memorable undefeated run that culminated with a feud with Sting. Which actually draws the question, since he had history with Sting: considering he’s available at this show in the first place, why not have HIM be the Black Scorpion? The Japanese dominate for most of the match, with Saito showcasing his suplexes and Muta running going through all his signature moves, which the crowd remembers and reacts to. Muta finishes Victory with a bridging German suplex at 5:41.

  • Rating: Quite similar to all the other quarter final matches, only this one has a face that the people recognize and therefore was more entertaining. Still, not much more than an extended workout to showcase the team that would eventually advance. *1/2
Pat O’Connor Memorial Tag Team Tournament Quarter Final Match – Salman Hashimikov & Victor Zangiev (representing Soviet Union) vs. Danny Johnson & Troy Montour (representing Canada)
IMG credit: WWE & alchetron.com

Note: Hashimikov was a pro wrestler for five years, most notably having one IWGP Heavyweight title run in 1989 after defeating non other than Big Van Vader himself. Before that, he won four gold medals in four freestyle wrestling championships (100+ kg division) in 1979-1983, winning all four that he participated in! Zangiev was a little bit less accomplished compared to his partner, but he was still a two-time gold medalist in junior World (Vancouver, 1981) and European (Leipzig, 1982) competitions as well as a silver medalist in the 1985 World Cup of wrestling, held in Toledo. Quite the pair here!!

This ends up being a weird clash of styles, though, with the Canadian Johnson not taking a flip bump on an overhead suplex and thus taking a scary bump right on his face. They tie up and then Hashimikov drops Montour with a belly to belly and does not let him go to advance at 3:54.

  • Rating: The Russians are quite the interesting pair, and I would personally love to see them go up against the Steiners in a battle of the suplexes. However, this quarter final match was, as JR would put it, bowling shoe ugly. 1/4*
Michael Wallstreet(w/ Alexandra York) vs. Terry Taylor
IMG credit: WWE & culturecrossfire.com

Rotunda at this point was already killing it with this gimmick, with York bringing a computer that predicted how much time it would take for Michael to win his match. In this case, 8:32 to beat the former rooster. Rotunda would soon move to the WWF, where he’d have his most notable run under a similar gimmick to WCW’s Michael Wallstreet, known as IRS.

We get a clock on the screen to see if Michael can indeed win in less than 8:32. Wrestling sequence gets us started, with Taylor having an early advantage and working a side headlock on Michael. The soon-to-be IRS catches Taylor with a backbreaker to turn things around and works the illegal rope-assisted abdominal stretch. The ref eventually catches him and Taylor starts making a comeback with about three minutes to go. TT gets an atomic drop right into a backdrop suplex with the crowd getting invested in it. Taylor manages to hit the Five Arm for the surprise win… actually never mind because Michael has his foot on the ropes. Rotunda catches him with a cheap stungun and follows it up with the Stock Market Crash (Samoan drop) for the win at 6:52.

  • Rating: This was quite fun. The bout was decent and the added foolishness of Rotunda’s gimmick made it fun and gave the match some extra drama that wouldn’t have been there without the computer thing. Good undercard bout. **1/2
THE EPIC REUNION OF THE SKYSCRAPERS! – The Skyscrapers (Sid Vicious & Danny Spivey) vs. Big Cat & The Motor City Madman
IMG credit: WWE & culturecrossfire.com

Sid is technically still a Horseman, but we get a one-off reunion of the former Skyscrapers for reasons. The Skyscrapers get a huge babyface reaction (by the Skyscrapers I mean Sid). Big Cat was originally supposed to team with The Nightstalker, but he got taken out because he was absolutely awful got injured by the big dudes in storyline.

We get a slugfest to start as Spivey dumps Madman. The Skyscrapers go to work on Cat and Spivey sends him into Sid for a kick to the gut, but Cat falls on his face instead and nearly eats a knee right in the nose. Oh good lord almight. Okay, end this already before someone gets hurt here. Madman comes in and eats corner shoulderblocks from both Skyscrapers, and then Sid finishes with a weird assisted Powerbomb (he couldn’t get Cat up, so Spivey pretty much put him on Sid’s shoulders) for the win at 1:01. After the match they are interviewed by Heyman, and they say maybe this is a one-off… and maybe it isn’t. Okay then. Them picking up Heyman by his throat was cool, though!

  • Rating: Very sloppy. Like really really sloppy. At least it was short and the crowd popped for everything Sid did, but apart from that I don’t get why he’s getting booked with fellow inexperienced workers instead of learning in matches with the Horsemen guiding him. 1/4*
The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin)(w/ Little Richard) vs. Ricky Morton & Tommy Rich(w/ Robert Gibson)
IMG credit: WWE & myjourneythroughwrestling.wordpress.com

The story here is that the Freebirds injured Gibson a few months earlier, and the babyfaces want revenge. Thankfully, St. Louis doesn’t cheer for the Freebirds like most crowds do, which makes the story much better. The babyfaces clear the ring to start, with even Richards taking his shot. Hayes takes Morton to the floor and gets all cocky, but Morton reverses a whip into the post and then Gibson gets his own shot which gets a huge pop. Back inside the Freebirds eat stereo figure fours but they make the ropes and get the hell out of there. Hayes gets a bulldog on Morton as the Freebirds try to break Morton’s leg, asking Richards to go up and splash it. Richards goes for the kill… but Gibson hits him with his crutch for the save! Richards goes flying into Garvin, who gets pissed and grabs Richards by the throat. This allows Morton to come in from behind with a roll-up for the win at 6:13. Garvin punishes Richards with the DDT after the match, which draws Rich and Morton back in to save the poor guy. This leaves the vulnerable Morton alone on the ramp with a broken leg, though, as the Freebirds run away, and you can pretty much feel the panic in the crowd. Morton limps and tries to defend himself, but the Freebirds get in a cheap double clothesline and run away before Morton and Gibson can get to them.

  • Rating: As a match it was really short and the finish was a bit lame according to the story they had, but the post-match angle made up for it and left money to be made on the table. The Freebirds play the chickenshit roles like few, and they know exactly how to make people want to see Gibson finally get his hands on them. **1/2
Pat O’Connor Memorial Tag Team Tournament Semi Final Match – The Steiners (Rick & Scott, representing USA) vs. Rey Misterio & Konnan (representing Mexico)
IMG credit: WWE & myjourneythroughwrestling.wordpress.com

Rick and Konnan feel each other out to start but then Scott tags in and shit gets real! Konnan eats a powerslam followed by the Steiners’ Doomsday Bulldog. He tags Rey in, who walks right into a Scott fallaway slam. Rick gets in and Rey makes a small comeback. He actually has the cojones to try a Frankensteiner on Rick, who completely no-sells and just drops Rey with a powerbomb to reach the final at 2:51.

  • Rating: Squash City, Population Lucha. 3/4*
Pat O’Connor Memorial Tag Team Tournament Semi Final Match – Salman Hashimikov & Victor Zangiev (representing Soviet Union) vs. The Great Muta & Mr. Saito (representing Japan)
Classic Wrestling Review: Starrcade '90 | CXF | Culture Crossfire |  culturecrossfire.com
IMG credit: WWE & culturecrossfire.com

Zangiev immediately drops Muta with a bridging backdrop suplex, with Saito saving the pin only to be put in a Boston Crab by Hashimikov. Saito then puts Zangiev in the Scorpion Deathlock/Sharpshooter (or as he calls it, sasurigatame) and we’re not wasting any time here! Muta gets tagged in and gets absolutely KILLED by the Russians, being thrown around from pillar to post with overhead suplexes. He even eats a back-to-belly piledriver. The heavier Saito gets the tag and he kills the party with a LARIATO. He then wrestles Zangiev down with the Saito Suplex, getting him down on his shoulders long enough to get the spot in the final at 3:08.

  • Rating: Easily the best match in the whole tournament thus far. The Russians dominated the light-heavyweight Muta, setting their own pace and not letting him get flashy. Once Saito came in it was a different story, as the Japanese managed to get the win. The decision is understandable, considering Muta was a familiar name to the WCW audiences, but I would’ve loved to see more of the Russians. Very solid work in just three minutes. **1/2
Texas Lariat Bullrope Match – NWA United States Heavyweight Championship: Stan Hansen(c) vs. Lex Luger
IMG credit: WWE

This is basically a “touch the four corners” bullrope match with the wrestlers tied to each other. To the younger folks, think of Eddie/JBL in 2004. I can’t think of more recent ones, shame on me. Luger is over like crazy as usual. He takes control to start but Hansen uses the rope to dump Luger. Hansen sends Luger into the rail and hits him with a chair. Back inside, Hansen hits a backdrop suplex and goes for the turnbuckles while Luger tries to kick him down. Hansen responds by wrapping the bullrope around Luger’s neck and literally hanging him on the apron. Luger eats some post on the floor and an elbowdrop back inside, as Hansen touches two turnbuckles this time around. Luger pushes the rope to prevent the third one, with Hansen still getting there only for Luger to explode with a clothesline as he pounds away. Hansen chokes him to stay in control, though, with Luger fighting back with knees to the skull. This is an absolute brawl and it’s awesome.

Luger returns the favor by sending Hansen shoulder-first into the post on the floor. Luger with three legdrops back inside before going for the buckles. He touches two and the crowd starts getting loud. Hansen tries to prevent him but goes nowhere, with Luger touching the third and the crowd getting REALLY loud! Luger literally tries to pull Hansen with him to reach the final buckle as the whole front row is standing up. Luger finally wins that test of strength and makes it to the final turnbuckle to a huge pop… but he takes out the ref as well in the process. Meanwhile out comes another referee in Nick Patrick, who apparently wasn’t watching the match and just starts the count all over again for Hansen after he cheapshots Luger, which the crowd boos heavily. Hansen literally drags Luger’s deadweight as he makes it to three. Luger with one last effort to pull and get back to his feet… only to immediately eat the Lariat. And Hansen touches the fourth buckle to retain at 10:13.

Actually never mind, as the original referee (Randy Anderson) comes back to life and says he saw Luger touching the buckle just before going down, giving Luger the win and the title with the crowd nearly exploding!

  • Rating: As far as a bullrope match goes, you’re not going to get much better than this. It was a violent and nasty fight on Hansen’s side, while Luger’s strategy was to use his power to try and stay alive. They also got a number of believable false finishes in and had the crowd on the palm of their hands for the whole bout. Really good stuff. ***1/4
Street Fight – NWA World Tag Team Championship: Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed)(c)(w/ Theodore Long) vs. The Horsemen (Arn Anderson & Barry Windham)
IMG credit: WWE & culturecrossfire.com

This was supposed to be Ric Flair teaming with Arn, but Teddy Long set him up to be attacked by Doom and took him out. They already start beating each other up with their belts and chairs, cutting each other up. Simmons sends Windham into the post, but fights back with a backdrop suplex on the floor while AA goes to work on Reed with a chair. Simmons hits a powerful spinebuster on Windham for a nearfall. Simmons press slams Windham and goes up only for Windham to… punch him right in the balls. This was extremely rare at the time, and gets a big reaction. Windham follows it up with the superplex while Reed nails Arn with a flying shoulderblock. Anderson charges at Simmons for a chair shot, with Ron blocking it and hitting Arn instead for two as Reed gives Windham a piledriver. Anderson goes up only to jump right into a violent Simmons clothesline. Reed surprises Windham with an inside cradle. Simmons puts his arm on top of Anderson. One. Two. Three? The bell rings at 7:19 with the bloodied wrestlers completely ignoring it and fighting all the way to the back. The official decision was a double pinfall, a draw, so Doom retains.

  • Rating: A street fight from the beginning until the very end. The draw sets up another rematch, but they had already done a non-finish at Halloween Havoc. The match was obviously good, but I would’ve liked a more decisive finish here. ***1/2
Pat O’Connor Memorial Tag Team Tournament Final Match – The Steiners (Rick & Scott, representing USA) vs. The Great Muta & Mr. Saito (representing Japan)
IMG credit: WWE & myjourneythroughwrestling.wordpress.com

The Japanese take over to start as they obviously play heels-in-peril in this one. Muta gets crotched and then shakes off the pain on the apron in a hilarious bit. The Japanese get their revenge by attacking the Steiners with the bell on the outside followed by Muta’s handspring elbow on Scott. He goes for a second one… but Scott just launches him off with a belly to belly. Sweet Mary mother of Jesus! Muta went flying all the way to the other corner of the ring. Saito hits a backdrop suplex on Rick but eventually walks into the Steinerline before Scott gets the hot tag. Scott follows it up with a double underhook powerbomb, but Muta chokes away to turn the tables. The Japanese hit a double aided piledriver on Scott. Saito works a sleeper on Scott, but Rick makes the blind tag and jumps in with a flying sunset flip on Saito to get the win and the trophy at 10:52.

  • Rating: Decent match. Keep in mind it was the third time watching these four wrestlers, so it was a bit repetitive. Decent, but not more than that. **3/4
Main Event Title For Mask Steel Cage Match – NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Sting(c) vs. The Black Scorpion – special referee: Dick the Bruiser
IMG credit: WWE

I call the Black Scorpion ‘BS’ because that’s what this whole angle was. Four Black Scorpions make their way down to the ring until the real one appears from a “spaceship”. JR and Paul immediately start apologizing for the lame reveal by saying that the Black Scorpion might have been lying the whole thing and has no association with Sting from his days in California. By the way BS walks around the ring and gives little slaps to his arms before the bell, you can tell exactly WOOOO it is already! Very slow start to this one, as the person under the mask has to work a completely different (shittier) style to fit this stupid gimmick. BS hits a gutwrench suplex and works a rope-assisted headscissors while the crowd starts a loud “NATURE BOY” chant. Oops.

BS with an inverted atomic drop and a corner clothesline as he works a chinlock. Sting fights back with a press slam before sending BS into the cage. BS rakes the eyes though, and now Sting gets to eat some cage. Sting fights back with a bulldog into the Stinger Splash. He goes for the Scorpion Deathlock and does it, with BS making the ropes. And? They get into a slugfest with STING REMOVING THE MASK TO REVEAL… another mask. I can see some blonde hair. Now I REALLY wonder WOOO this might be. They take the fight to the top of the cage, with BS winning but eventually crotching himself. Sting proceeds to ram BS into the cage a number of times to bust him open, and the high crossbody retains the title at 18:31.

However, after the match all the other four “messengers” get in and jump Sting to prevent the unmasking, with Bruiser helping him out and unmasking everyone (some local workers) while the Horsemen climb up and beat them up. The Steiners and Ricky Morton open the cage door and clear the ring, FINALLY allowing Sting to unmask the Black Scorpion as…

IMG credit: WWE & f4wonline.com

Ric Flair. They obviously had other things in mind, but none of them worked out and they ultimately turned to Flair. Lame.

  • Rating: I will admit, I had to watch this at least three times because I kept falling asleep. Granted, I watch most of the shows at night just before going to sleep after a day of work, but still this was pretty rubbish. A stupid angle, a stupid reveal and a really boring match. Sting won the belt (from Flair) back in July and this storyline started ALL THE WAY BACK IN AUGUST, really killing Sting’s momentum even more after his title win had been delayed due to injury. Sting dropped the belt at a house show (back to Flair) in early January 1991, which would eventually be the first ever WCW Championship reign. *

END OF THE SHOW

Final thoughts: So yeah, this was the very last main-event PPV match of the ‘NWA era’. The show has some good stuff such as the bullrope match and the street fight, and a few okay matches like the opener, the angle with the Freebirds/Rock ‘n’ Roll Express or Rotunda’s bout, but otherwise it was not fun to watch. The fact that we had EIGHT tournament matches didn’t help, making the show feel twice as longer. It has a few recommended matches, but overall I can’t recommend this show. Low 4/10

For comments and/or feedback, e-mail me at cunhatomas2001@hotmail.com

POINT SYSTEM

For more information about my point system, click here

WrestlerStar ratingsResultMain-eventingExtrasTotal
Rick Steiner53+1 for winning two falls9
Scott Steiner53+0.5 for winning a fall 8.5
The Great Muta6.751+0.5 for winning a fall8.25
Mr. Saito 6.751+0.5 for winning a fall
-0.5 for losing a fall
7.75
Lex Luger3.251+2 for winning a title6.25
Ron Simmons
Butch Reed
3.5+1 for retaining a title4.5
Sting111+1 for retaining a title4
Ricky Morton2.51+0.5 for winning the fall4
Bobby Eaton2.7513.75
Arn Anderson
Barry Windham
3.53.5
Tommy Rich
Michael Wallstreet
2.513.5
Salman Hashimikov2.750+0.5 for winning a fall3.25
Victor Zangiev2.750-0.5 for losing a fall2.25
Konnan 1.750+0.5 for winning a fall2.25
Tom Zenk2.75-11.75
Sid Vicious0.251+0.5 for winning the fall1.75
Michael Hayes
Terry Taylor
2.5-11.5
Danny Spivey0.2511.25
Rey Misterio1.750-0.5 for losing a fall1.25
Ric Flair1-111
Jimmy Garvin2.5-1-0.5 for losing the fall1
Sgt. Krueger
Rip Morgan
1.5-10.5
Stan Hansen3.25-1-2 for losing a title0.25
Jack Victory
Colonel DeKlerk
1.5-1-0.5 for losing the fall0
Chris Adams1-10
Norman Smiley1-1-0.5 for losing the fall-0.5
Danny Johnson
Motor City Madman
0.25-1-0.75
Big Cat
Troy Montour
0.25-1-0.5 for losing the fall-1.25

That’s all for 1990, thank you so much for following my work! Don’t miss the next piece, where I’ll be looking back at the top matches & wrestlers from both the WWF and the NWA/WCW. Stay tuned as we then move on to 1991. Stay safe!

Categories
Clash of the Champions NWA

NWA/WCW Clash Of The Champions XIII: Thanksgiving Thunder 11.20.1990 Review (The Eye Of The Tiger)

Hello everyone and welcome to my review of the very last Clash of the Champions of 1990. It’s also the last Clash in the history of the NWA, as they officially parted ways with WCW in early 1991. This show features Ric Flair vs. Butch Reed with very unique stipulations, to say the least! Also, the Steiners put their US Tag Titles on the line, and more.

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

  • NWA World Heavyweight Champion: Sting
  • NWA United States Heavyweight Champion: Stan Hansen
  • NWA World TV Champion: Arn Anderson
  • NWA World Tag Team Champions: Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed)
  • NWA United States Tag Team Champions: The Steiners (Rick & Scott Steiner)

Enjoy the review!

IMG credit: WWE & ringthedamnbell.wordpress.com

The hosts are Jim Ross & Paul E. Dangerously

Live from Jacksonville, FL

The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin) & Bobby Eaton vs. El Gigante & The Southern Boys (Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong)

Actually never mind, as apparently the Freebirds reveal they locked Gigante inside a box and sent it to Argentina which is WCW’s code for he sucks way too much to wrestle on national TV. The referee also kicks Eaton out and we get a regular tag match instead…

The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin) vs. The Southern Boys (Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong)

The babyfaces run wild with dropkicks to start. We get the classic mucho stalling from the Freebirds already as usual. This crowd is feeling it tonight. Smothers decides to go after Hayes but that earns him a trip to the railing. The Freebirds take over back inside, and Hayes distracts the ref which makes him miss the hot tag to Armstrong. That results in a massive brawl as it truly is BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA with bodies flying everywhere, and then Hayes trips up Smothers and allows Garvin to steal the win with the DDT at 4:50.

  • Rating: This was a short yet really fun opener with an excited crowd helping. Nothing special, just a fun match and for once NOT A TWENTY MINUTE SNOOZEFEST FROM THE BIRDS! **

Meanwhile, Sting is with Tony Schiavone. He is cut off by The Black Scorpion though who does some weird creepy shit and then disappears when Sting goes after him. I’m SO tired of this feud…

Flyin’ Brian Pillman vs. Buddy Landel

Landel jumps Pillman to start and drops the knee, only for Pillman to get a number of quick nearfalls with various different pinning combinations. Landel wants none of Pillman but Brian dumps him with a clothesline and meets him outside with Air Pillman, with the crowd eating it all up! Brian tries to follow it up with a piledriver right there on the floor, but Landel blocks it and sends Brian into the railing and the post to turn things around. Brian makes a comeback with a crazy springboard crossbody off the apron onto Landel but finds himself in Landel’s heel rope-assisted abdominal stretch. The ref finally catches him and forces the break, allowing Brian to try another crossbody, with Landel blocking it and turning into a backbreaker of his own for two. To the top they go where they get into a slugfest, won by Pillman, who then follows it up with the high crossbody for the win at 5:52.

  • Rating: This was good! It’s not surprising given the talent involved – I think both Pillman and Landel work their respective babyface and heel roles superbly – and they could’ve absolutely killed it with an extra four minutes or so. For a sprint with little to no story, this is about as good as you can get. ***
Big Cat vs. Brad Armstrong

For those of you who might not know, Big Cat is the future ‘Mr. Hughes’, bodyguard of HHH, Jericho and others. He’s going after Lex Luger, apparently. Yey? Cat throws Brad around with a number of backbreakers and slams until he misses a blind charge. That opens the door for a small Brad comeback that goes about as far as you’re expecting, as he misses a dropkick and Cat puts him away with Luger’s Torture Rack at 4:31.

  • Rating: Standard “sending a message to (future opponent) extended squash. 1/2*
‘Z-Man’ Tom Zenk vs. Brian Lee

Lee takes over to start. Zenk goes for a crossbody… but Lee doesn’t move an inch and Zenk crossbodies the air, which earns a major yawn from the crowd.

They then proceed to mess up simple hiptosses until Zenk finishes Lee with a missile dropkick at 3:10.

  • Rating: Wow was this BAD. DUD

Meanwhile Mike Rotunda has legally changed his name and he now is Michael Wallstreet.

Michael Wallstreet(w/ Alexandra York) vs. The Star Blazer

York is Terri Runnels and the Blazer is Owen Har… oops wrong Blazer. It’s Tim Horner here. Horner runs wild to start with a number of dropkicks forcing Mike to bail to think of some better strategy with York. Mike turns things around with a necksnap and he starts working the heel abdominal stretch. Horner escapes and makes a small comeback only to walk into a Boston Crab. The Samoan (Wallstreeter?) Drop ends Horner at 4:15.

  • Rating: This was a watchable bout. It features some nice character work from Rotunda, and it was a nice introduction to his new heel persona. *1/2

Meanwhile, Gordon Solie presents the brand new WCW top ten lists. Oh boy here we go!

  • NWA World Tag Team Titles top 10 list: 10) El Gigante & The Juicer (really?); 9) Big Cat & Motor City Madman (WOW….); 8) Tim Horner & Brad Armstrong (it keeps getting better); 7) ‘The Master Blasters’ Steel & Blade (…); 6) ‘The Southern Boys’ Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong (finally a worthy team); 5) Ricky Morton & Tommy Rich (okay); 4) ‘The Fabulous Freebirds’ Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin (this hasn’t been their greatest year but it’s a solid entry); 3) ‘The Nasty Boys’ Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags (obviously); 2) ‘The Four Horsemen’ Ric Flair & Arn Anderson (aren’t they technically #1?); 1) US Tag Champs The Steiners (sure) – the champions are Doom
  • NWA World Title top 10 list: 10) Bobby Eaton (way too low); 9) ‘Z-Man’ Tom Zenk (I guess that crossbody really impressed the higher ups); 8) Michael Wallstreet (way too early into the gimmick); 7) Flyin’ Brian Pillman (belongs on the list); 6) Terry Taylor (way too high for what he’s been doing aka nothing); 5) World TV Champion Arn Anderson (more than belongs here); 4) Ric Flair (ridiculously low spot); 3) Lex Luger (one of the most popular); 2) Sid Vicious (didn’t we just do this at Havoc?); 1) US Heavyweight Champion Stan ‘Lariat’ Hansen (how is he #1 contender when The Black Scorpion is booked to challenge next at StarrCade????) – the champion is Sting
Pat O’Connor Memorial Tournament Qualifying Match – African Qualifier: Sgt. Krueger & Col. DeKlerk vs. The Botswana Beast & Kaluha

The Beast & Kaluha are just announced as being from ‘Africa’, so that pretty much tells you who’s jobbing out here in case you had any doubts. Or even cared. Meanwhile in the other team, DeKlerk is Rocco Rock/The Executioner (from Philadelphia) and Krueger is Ray Apollo aka Doink the Clown (from Texas). Some proud Africans here. The Beast takes over to start and oh boy this crowd couldn’t care less. DeKlerk flies around the ring until the Beast catches him with a powerslam for two. Beast goes for another slam on Krueger but DeKlerk runs in with a dropkick for the win to advance to StarrCade (lucky me) at 4:48.

  • Rating: Apparently this was a thing that happened. Next, please. 1/4*

Meanwhile, Lex Luger is confronted by Big Cat

Lex Luger vs. The Motor City Madman

Big Cat jumps Luger before the bell but Luger makes quick work of him. Well so much for the big challenge. Luger slugs away to start while JR starts making his infamous bowling shoe ugly kind of quotes, basically indirectly apologizing for how shitty this might be. Madman turns things around with a sideslam but Luger just gets back up and finishes with a clothesline at 2:34. A clothesline!!!!

  • Rating: It was fun watching Luger completely overcoming these two heels like a bunch of geeks, but the match truly reeked of nothingness. And also he won with a clothesline. What is this, the Survivor Series!? DUD
The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags) vs. The Renegade Warriors (Mark & Chris Youngblood)

The Nasties work over Mark to start but Chris jumps in with a high crossbody to both. Chris goes to work on Knobbs’ arm until Saggs runs in and dumps Chris over the top rope for the ULTIMATE HEEL DICK MOVE™ which allows the Nasties to take over. Saggs hits a shoulderbreaker but then the Nasties just get DQ’d at 4:49. And then the Steiners run in to make the save and continue their feud, which was probably the best in WCW at the time.

  • Rating: More of the same. At least this wasn’t sloppy and told a story. 3/4*
Sid Vicious vs. The Nightstalker

The Nightstalker is future KroniKer Bryan Clark or Adam Bomb. They start up by completely fucking up a simple criss cross sequence as the Nightstalker works a bearhug. How exciting. Sid escapes and slugs away with some horrible potatoes as here comes the Big Cat AGAIN… Nightstalker grabs his axe but misses his shot, and then Sid just kinda friendly shoves him down with the axe for the win at 3:30.

  • Rating: What the fuck was this… I’ll tell you what it was, a big ol’ DUD

Meanwhile, The Freebirds celebrate their win in the opener… but now El Gigante is here. So he wasn’t actually sent back to Argentina? Lucky us!

NWA United States Tag Team Championship: The Steiners (Rick & Scott Steiner)(c) vs. Magnum Force (#1 & #2)

I have no idea who either of these guys are. The Steiners just run through these poor guys with the classic hits. Suplex to one, suplex to the other, Steinerline here, FrankenSteiner there and it’s all she wrote at 1:57. The Nasty Boys run in but the Steiner clean house to continue the great feud that… went nowhere because WCW forgot to sign the Nasties into contracts and they just went to the WWF a few weeks later. Great job, guys.

  • Rating: Extended workout for the Steiners, but that’s still more fun than most of the matches on this card. *

And now….

THE BLACK SCORPION’S MAGIC TRICKS

We get the dramatic evil music and Sting is our guest. He can’t do anything otherwise this show gets more interesting he’s suspended or something. BS takes a planted fan from the crowd and… turns him into a tiger. I wish I was making this up, trust me. This is so stupid that I won’t even bother saying anything. Ugh.

Time for the main-event match. One of the Horsemen (Ric or Arn) to meet one of Doom in a singles match, decided by a coin toss. If Simmons/Reed win, they get Ric Flair’s limo and yacht and the Horsemen don’t get any more shots at their belts. If Flair/Arn win, they get a title shot at StarrCade and Teddy Long has to be their chauffeur for a day. The coin toss decides that it’s…

Main Event: Ric Flair(w/ Arn Anderson) vs. Butch Reed(w/ Ron Simmons & Butch Reed)

And much like at Havoc they are still going with Doom as the babyfaces-in-peril, even though everyone loves the Horsemen. Can’t you do anything right? Not even this which WRITES ITSELF? Reed pounds away on Flair who begs for mercy already. Reed press slams him and they get into a brief slugfest on the ramp. Back in for a Reed dropkick… but Flair pokes him in the eye. Please save this show, Ric! Ron tries to get involved but Flair outsmarts the rookie (duh) and ends up sending Reed to the floor, where Arn adds in some shots of his own. Back in he goes for some Flair chops, which Reed no-sells before slugging away and putting Flair down off a Flair flop. Into the buckle for a Flair flip but Simmons knocks him down. However Flair quickly turns things around quickly and nails the classic kneedrop. A second one finds no water in the pool and Reed goes for a… figure four. Oh sure, that will get him over as a babyface in front of a crowd that loves the Horsemen! Flair makes the ropes to break and Reed misses a middle rope elbow. Ric ends up going nowhere as well though, and he finds himself eating a couple more press slams. Reed hits a flying shoulderblock to the knee but suddenly everyone gets involved and/or distracted. AA takes advantage of this and hits Reed with a chair, allowing Flair to steal the win and the title match at StarrCade at 14:13.

  • Rating: Solid main-event here. It didn’t set the world on fire nor was it spectacular, but it was more than enough to be the best thing on this awful show. ***1/4

END OF THE SHOW

Final thoughts: Well well well… I think you’ve already noticed how truly horrible this mess of a show was. Sure, there’s Pillman vs. Landel and Flair vs. Reed, but the rest of the card is just NOT worth your time. A couple of Americans won the right to represent Africa at StarrCade. The WCW top 10 lists mean absolutely nothing. Tom Zenk crossbodied the air. And The Black Scorpion turned a person into a tiger. Need I say more? 2/10

For comments and/or feedback e-mail me at cunhatomas2001@hotmail.com

POINT SYSTEM

Find out more about my point system here

WrestlerStar ratingsResultMain-eventingExtrasTotal
Ric Flair3.25115.25
Brian Pillman314
Scott Steiner11+1 for retaining a title
+0.5 for winning the fall
3.5
Jimmy Garvin21+0.5 for winning the fall 3.5
Butch Reed3.25-113.25
Rick Steiner11+1 for retaining a title 3
Michael Hayes213
Michael Wallstreet1.512.5
Buddy Landel3-12
Col. DeKlerk0.251+0.5 for winning the fall 1.75
Big Cat0.511.5
Sgt. Krueger0.2511.25
Mark Youngblood
Chris Youngblood
0.750.51.25
Sid Vicious
Lex Luger
Tom Zenk
011
Steve Armstrong2-11
Tracy Smothers2-1-0.5 for losing the fall0.5
The Star Blazer1.5-10.5
Brian Knobbs
Jerry Sags
0.75-0.50.25
Brad Armstrong0.5-1-0.5
Kaluha0.25-1-0.75
Brian Lee
The Motor City Madman
The Nightstalker
0-1-1
The Botswana Beast0.25-1-0.5 for losing the fall -1.25

Thank you so much for your time reading! Make sure you don’t miss the next reviews, including WWF’s Survivor Series and NWA/WCW’s StarrCade PPVs as we get closer to the end of 1990. Stay safe!

Categories
NWA PPV

NWA/WCW Halloween Havoc 1990 Review (How Many Stings Are There?)

Welcome everyone to my review of the second annual NWA/WCW Halloween Havoc PPV. Featuring Ric Flair in a rare Tag Team Title match alongside Arn Anderson against Doom, two young athletes Sting and Sid fighting over the World Title in the main-event, Lex Luger putting the US title on the line against Stan Hansen and much more.

Here is the list of champions in NWA/WCW heading into this PPV:

  • NWA World Heavyweight Champion: Sting
  • NWA United States Heavyweight Champion: Lex Luger
  • NWA World TV Champion: Arn Anderson
  • NWA World Tag Team Champions: Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed)
  • NWA United States Tag Team Champions: The Steiners (Rick & Scott Steiner)

Enjoy the review!

IMG credit: WWE & thegeekregistry.com

The hosts are Jim Ross & Paul E. Dangerously
Live from Chicago, IL

The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane)(w/ Jim Cornette) vs. Ricky Morton & Tommy Rich
IMG credit: WWE & culturecrossfire.com

This is the last match of the Midnight Express and Cornette in the company, as Corny and Lane finally got sick and tired of Jim Herd and left the territory just a few days later. Gibson was out hurt, so Rich is your Rock ‘n’ Roller-in-peril tonight! Eaton gives Morton a rare clean break only to then smash his elbow in the face. Eaton goes up but gets slammed off and then a criss cross sequence ends with Morton catching Eaton with a rana. Lane comes in with the usual double savate kick sequence to keep Morton in the Ricky Morton role! Slingshot clothesline into Eaton’s elbowdrop gets two. Morton makes a short comeback that goes nowhere and ends with him eating buckle on a blind charge. Lane dumps him and slams him on the ramp to set up Eaton for the Rocket Launcher, with Heyman going crazy for it on commentary! They throw him back in but it only gets a nearfall. Morton rolls up Lane and goes for the hot tag to Rich, but Eaton gets tagged in first and prevents it from happening by hitting a neckbreaker on Morton. Slingshot backbreaker gets two and then Cornette distracts the ref so Eaton can send Morton over the top rope for the ULTIMATE HEEL DICK MOVE! Eaton tries to send Morton into the post but ends up eating a rana on the floor. Another roll up on Lane gets two more as the heels prevent the hot tag once more. Off to Eaton for the Alabama Jam, but they don’t want to put him away just yet. They set up for a second Rocket Launcher… but Morton gets his knees up. HOT TAG RICH! He comes in running wild and the Thesz Press on Lane nearly does it already, but Eaton saves the pin. The ME get the ref distracted which allows Cornette to hit Rich with the racket, until out come the Southern Boys dressed as Jim Cornette – great idea by a genius who had other genius ideas such as the Ding Dongs, you’ve probably Herd of him – and they distract Cornette which allows Rich to steal the racket and use it on Lane for the pin at 20:49.

  • Rating: This did not feel like it went on for 20 minutes, even though 98% of it was Ricky Morton rolling around the mat like a clinically dead man, which shows why he is the greatest ever at playing said role. On the other hand, the finish was what it was. This was a fantastic opener, and the Midnight Express leaving was a major loss for the company at this time, as they were clearly one of the greatest tag teams in the organization and the whole industry at this time. ***1/2

Meanwhile, Tony Schiavone interviews Sting. He mentions the title match against Sid until The Black Scorpion appears and takes a young Sting fan, which leaves Sting very confused. Ugh….

What Happened When on Twitter: "Costumes, a fake Sting, and of course "black  magic" from the Black Scorpion! This is not a rib. This is Halloween Havoc  1990! Vote now!… https://t.co/oBTdrJHQ1o"
IMG credit: WWE
The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin)(w/ Little Richard Marley) vs. The Renegade Warriors (Chris & Mark Youngblood)
IMG credit: WWE & thewrestlingsection.blogspot.com

Hayes fixes his hair, moonwalks and stalls to start as usual. Mark chops away and Chris comes in with a flying double clothesline. The Freebirds turn things around and dump Chris so Richards can throw his own shots in as the crowd starts chanting for the Freebirds to hit the DDT because they don’t give two flying shits about the babyfaces. Garvin teases the DDT but Chris blocks it, which doesn’t impress the crowd. The Freebirds cheapshot Chris on the floor and then Hayes’ elbowdrop back inside gets two. Hayes goes up but gets slammed off, which sets up the “hot” tag to Mark that the crowd doesn’t react to whatsoever. Mark runs wild for a while until he goes for an O’Connor Roll on Garvin, as Hayes sneaks in and gives Mark the DDT which gets a big pop and allows Garvin to take the win at A WHOOPIN’ 17:28.

  • Rating: This was ridiculously long and just boring. The crowd didn’t give a crap about the babyfaces at all, yet the match just kept going on forever regardless. It went shorter than the opener yet it felt much longer. Bad match. *

Meanwhile, The Four Horsemen promise Ric & Arn will capture the tag belts while Sid will win the big World belt. Imagine that, Ric Flair and Arn Anderson taking a back seat to Sid LOL!

NWA United States Tag Team Championship: The Steiners (Rick & Scott Steiner)(c) vs. The Nasty Boys (Jerry Sags & Brian Knobbs)
IMG credit: WWE

This is going to be ugly one way or another! They get into a slugfest to start and it doesn’t take too long until Scott throws Sags off the middle buckle with an overhead superplex to a huge pop already. A double arm powerbomb by Scott is followed up with the Steiners’ Doomsday Bulldog for two, as Knobbs attacks Scott with a chair to the back of the head behind the referee’s back for two. That allows the Nasties to take control and Knobbs hits a powerslam for two. Gutwrench suplex gets two more. Knobbs works an abdominal stretch with some illegal assistance from Sags, until Scott decides he’s had enough and suddenly explodes his way out of it with a belly to belly. Rick joins the party with a few Steinerlines but he misses a blind charge and goes flying over the top rope and all the way to the floor. Meanwhile the Nasties hit a double spike piledriver on Scott until Rick comes in with the chair to clean house while the ref is again distracted removing Knobbs from the ring. Sags gets busted open and Scott gives him a backdrop suplex. Scott goes for the tag but Knobbs takes him down by the leg into a Boston Crab, which Scott powers out of WITH AUTHORITY BY GAWD! Knobbs still manages to prevent the hot tag a second time and this time works a camel clutch. Scott reverses that as well and then Sags misses a blind charge, finally allowing Scott to make the HOT tag to Rick! He runs wild with Steinerlines on both Nasties and a belly to belly on Sags gets two. All of a sudden everyone gets in and the Nasties dump Rick while IT’S BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA and Rick gets back in with a flying double clothesline to both heels back inside. Scott runs in with the FRANKENSTEINER on Knobbs for the pop of the night and the win to retain the straps at 15:24.

  • Rating: It’s like I said at the top of this match review, it was ugly in a good way. It was a stiff and hard-hitting match that didn’t always follow the rules and sometimes got a little bit sloppy in terms of execution, but it was exciting to watch. The Frankensteiner in the end in particular is a bit weird, as Steiner doesn’t get the move 100%, but it’s a fun street fight between four bulls. ***1/4

Meanwhile, the Steiners cut a promo on their win only to get attacked by the Nasty Boys dressed as staff workers. Good angle here until the Nasties left for the WWF a few months after this because… ahem… WCW never signed them under contracts to the promotion. What can I even say, it’s WCW…

NWA World Tag Team Championship: Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed)(c)(w/ Theodore Long) vs. The Horsemen (Ric Flair & Arn Anderson)
IMG credit: WWE & midwestterritory.com

It will be quite interesting to see how the Chicago crowd reacts to this rare all-heels scenario. Simmons wins an early slugfest with Arn, forcing him to bail. Back inside Flair strikes Simmons with a cheap knee to Simmons from the apron back inside, allowing Arn to backdrop suplex Simmons. Simmons pops right back up while Arn’s showing off though, and a powerslam is saved by Flair. Teddy Long so he can bitchslap Flair followed by a WOOOOO to Flair’s face while he’s hiding behind Doom. What a weasely prick! Flair takes out his frustrations on Reed, kicking away at his knee and some cheapshots as Doom are apparently the faces-in-peril here. Hmmm that’s challenging. Reed fights back with a press slam but Arn comes in to save the day. Back to Flair for a shoulderblock… but he’s the one who goes down! Reed slugs away and just beats the living crap out of Flair with lefts and rights. Flair reaches for the tag but he falls on his face with a Flair flop in a hilarious bit. Whip into the corner sets up the Flair flip and the stupid cameraman gets taken out in the process. Why would you be up on the apron close to the buckle when Ric Flair gets whipped into it? Flair stalls for a while and back in makes the tag to Arn. Simmons gets tagged in as well and Arn quickly takes advantage of Ron’s inexperience, turning things around with a cheapshot.

Arn puts Simmons in a Boston Crab while Flair adds the classic Flair kneedrop in a great tag spot. Arn follows it up with the Spinebuster for a nearfall WITH AUTHORITY BY GAWD (with an actual BY GAWD from JR on commentary!) but the heels keep working over Simmons. Flair takes the rookie to school (WOOOOO) with the backdrop suplex and starts stomping on the knee, with Arn coming in to assist him. Flair locks in the Figure Four with Arn holding Flair’s hands for leverage, drawing Reed in to distract the ref and allowing Arn to get in and stomp on Ron’s leg while he’s in the hold. Awesome! Simmons eventually turns around and reverses the figure four, but thankfully for Flair he’s close to his corner and easily tags in Arn to keep them in advantage. Very smart tag team wrestling. Simmons makes a brief comeback attempt that ends up with him missing a dropkick, and Flair falls on his ass attempting a shoulderblock! Arn comes in anyway to prevent the hot tag as they want to keep the less experienced wrestler in there. Can’t argue with the strategy. That is until Simmons suddenly explodes with a flying shoulderblock and heeeeeere’s Reed! He beats up everything that gets in front of him, and then takes Arn’s head right off his shoulders with a flying shoulderblock while Arn’s attempting a piledriver on Ron, but Flair comes in to break up the count at two. Anderson with a nasty spike DDT on Reed, but now Ron saves the count. We get a pier six brawl as then both teams take the fight to the floor and eventually get double counted out at 18:20 to keep the belts on Doom.

  • Rating: Technically flawless, this was a fantastic tag team match. The whole dynamic of Doom playing babyfaces against Ric Flair was really weird, and the crowd took their time before getting into it at 100%. And then there’s also the lame non-finish. Apart from that, great match regardless. ***1/2

Meanwhile, Stan Hansen spits some tobacco and promises to end Lex Luger’s US title reign. Stan is so disgusting that it’s great.

NWA United States Heavyweight Championship: Lex Luger(c) vs. Stan Hansen
IMG credit: WWE

Hansen attacks Luger before the bell but Luger fights back and forces Hansen to take a breather. Luger follows him out there and eats the post, only for Hansen to miss a blind charge back inside and Luger to slam him. Hansen cheapshots Luger and works a headlock but misses another blind charge and goes flying to the outside. That opens the door for a Luger comeback as he slugs away, but there’s no way he can beat Stan Hansen at his own game. Hansen brings him back down with a suplex followed by an elbowdrop for two. A kneedrop gets two more. Hansen goes up for some reason and obviously misses whatever he was going for, as Luger hits a dropkick and a suplex for two. Luger slugs away and again Hansen easily turns things around, pounding on him in the corner and even taking the referee down in the process as well. He’s thinking Lariat but Luger moves out of the way and actually hits his own for the pin… but there’s no ref. Cue the returning Danny Spivey to give Hansen the cowbell. Luger blocks that with a backdrop and sets up for the Torture Rack, but then the Lariat from out of nowhere ends the greatest US Championship reign of all time at 9:30. Maybe John Cena might have a thing or two to say about that (2015), but personally I’d go for Luger ’89-’90.

  • Rating: Simple yet fun match here. Hansen trying to cheat and being all nasty while Luger keeps fighting for dear life, with Hansen taking the belt in the end to set up a future rematch. Decent match. **1/4

Meanwhile, Teddy Long says Doom are through with Flair & Arn. No more rematches. Well there goes that babyface role from earlier down the toilet, thankfully.

Main Event – NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Sting(c) vs. Sid Vicious
IMG credit: WWE & tapemachinesarerolling.blogspot.com

They trade taunts like this is SmackDown vs. RAW to start until Sid jumps Sting from behind to take over early on. A Sid backbreaker is no-sold by Sting who goes for the Scorpion Deathlock already, but Sid bails and talks some trash with a few fans. He misses a blind charge back inside as Sting proceeds to work an armbar, with Sid completely ignoring it and yelling at some fans instead. Oh god! Sting follows it up with a sunset flip. He can’t quite get it and Sid shows off, which allows Sting to actually do it for two. Stinger Splash already but Sid’s out of there and Sting eats the post. Sid dumps him and pounds away on the apron, until for some reason he turns his back and gets back in. Sting follows him with an impressive dive all the way from the ramp into the ring for two. Sid bails but Sting meets him outside with a pescado. Sting hits a bulldog back inside until all of a sudden out come Flair and Arn. Sid takes Sting all the way to the back while the ref’s distracted with the Horsemen. They get back in and Sting goes for a slam, but Sid falls on top for one… two… THREE(?????) to give Sid the belt at 11:50.

  • Rating: Well this was certainly memorable. Sting’s title reign was really short but at least it was cool while it la…

Actually never mind as the real Sting comes out with a rope tied to his arm during Sid’s celebration and he hits the Stinger Splash to retain at 12:38.

  • De Facto Rating: I could be here all day discussing this match and this memorable finish all day, but I think you’d be better served checking out one fan in the front rows with the most “WHAT THE FUCK” reaction I’ve ever seen! The story here is obviously that the Horsemen tied Sting in the back and Barry Windham came out dressed as Sting to give Sid the title, but the whole thing was just so weird. Plus it’s not like Sting’s title reign wasn’t already weird to begin with, with the whole Black Scorpion shtick and all that. The match was a mess anyway, with Sid being green as a pea and Sting being relatively inexperienced as well. What a mess. I’ll take what I can get here, Sting’s dives were cool. I guess. *3/4

END OF THE SHOW

Final thoughts: Overall thumbs in the middle, slightly leaning up for Halloween Havoc 90. There are obviously some really fun matches, particularly ME vs. Morton & Rich, Doom vs. Horsemen and Steiners vs. Nasties, but then there’s also the REALLY boring Freebirds/Youngbloods match and this mess of a main-event. Watch it for the good stuff, and maybe the main-event as well just to laugh at how this company treats the World title scene. And they wonder why Sting’s first title reign was not a success… Anyway, still a good show with some really bad stuff in the middle. 6/10

For comments and/or feedback, e-mail me at cunhatomas2001@hotmail.com

POINT SYSTEM

Click here for more info about my point system.

WrestlerStar ratingsResultMain-eventingExtrasTotal
Scott Steiner3.251+1 for retaining a title
+0.5 for winning the fall
5.75
Rick Steiner3.251+1 for retaining a title5.25
Stan Hansen2.251+2 for winning a title5.25
Tommy Rich3.51+0.5 for winning the fall5
Ricky Morton3.514.5
Doom3.5+1 for retaining a title4.5
Sting1.2511+1 for retaining a title4.25
Ric Flair
Arn Anderson
3.53.5
Bobby Eaton3.5-12.5
Jimmy Garvin11+0.5 for winning the fall2.5
Jerry Sags33.25-12.25
Stan Lane3.5-1-0.5 for losing the fall2
Michael Hayes112
Brian Knobbs3.25-1-0.5 for losing the fall1.75
Sid Vicious1.25-111.25
Chris Youngblood1-10
Mark Youngblood1-1-0.5 for losing the fall-0.5
Lex Luger2.25-1-2 for losing a title-0.75

That’s all I got for you today, I certainly hope you enjoyed the review. Make sure you keep following the blog so you don’t miss any of the next reviews coming up, including WWF & WCW PPVs such as Survivor Series and StarrCade, and much more. Stay safe!

Categories
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NWA/WCW Clash Of The Champions XII: Fall Brawl 1990 Review (Sting Vs. The Black Scorpion)

Hello everyone and welcome to my review of the 12th NWA/WCW Clash of the Champions, featuring Sting taking on the infamous Black Scorpion for the NWA World Title, Ric Flair challenging Lex Luger for the US Title and more – including a rare ladies title match.

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

  • NWA World Heavyweight Champion: Sting
  • NWA United States Heavyweight Champion: Lex Luger
  • NWA World TV Champion: Arn Anderson
  • NWA World Tag Team Champions: Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed)
  • NWA United States Tag Team Champions: The Steiners (Rick & Scott Steiner)

Enjoy the piece!

IMG credit: WWE & thesmackdownhotel.com

The hosts are Jim Ross & Bob Caudle
Live from Asheville, NC

The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin)(w/ Buddy Roberts) vs. The Southern Boys (Steve Armstrong & Tracy Smothers)(w/ ‘Bullet’ Bob Armstrong)

Cappetta announces this as a six men tag match but then they just do a regular tag match with managers, so I’ll go with that instead. Smothers dominates both Hayes and Garvin with superkicks to set up the usual Freebirds stalling. They come back in to double-team Smothers but Armstrong comes in with a double high crossbody on both heels. And more stalling follows. Smothers dropkicks Garvin until a cheapshot turns things around. Hayes hits a bulldog for two. Smothers comes back with a sunset flip, but Hayes chinlocks him to stay in control. Garvin goes up only to get slammed off and we get the hot tag to Armstrong. He cleans house with dropkicks for a while until Buddy Roberts cuts him off, and then Bullet Bob does the same to Hayes which gets Armstrong two. We get a pier six brawl until suddenly the Boys pin both Freebirds at the same time with a double sunset flip at 8:34.

  • Rating: A short Freebirds match, with the stalling followed by the babyfaces’ comeback. Nothing special but not bad. **
‘Nature Boy’ Buddy Landel vs. Mike Rotunda

Rotunda is accompanied to the ring by the winner of some kind of WCW/Burger King competition. We get a nice armbar reversal sequence to start. Rotunda tries an armdrag but Mike blocks with a clothesline followed by an elbowdrop for two. Landel goes up but Rotunda catches him coming down. Rotunda works a facelock but Rotunda reverses into a backslide for the win at 5:39.

  • Rating: Watchable match albeit short. Nothing wrong with it. *1/2
The Master Blasters (Iron & Steele) vs. Brad Armstrong & Tim Horner

You might know this good looking Steele guy. It’s the official debut of a young gentleman who would later move on to win the World Championship in both the WWF and WCW as Diesel and Kevin Nash, respectively. You might have heard of him! Nash works the arm to start and then so does Iron. And yes I’ll keep calling him Nash during the reviews because it’s much easier. A Nash elbowdrop gets two and so does a powerslam. Nash goes for a sloppy looking elbowdrop that misses and then Iron COMPLETELY botches a headbutt, which misses by a mile and gets a big groan from the crowd. Good lord almighty what the fuck… about a minute later the big guys finish Horner with a flying double shoulderblock at 4:52.

  • Rating: Complete shit. The plan was obviously to make the heels look like badasses, but they left one of the parts at home and instead just looked “bad”. Or “asses”. You decide. DUD
The Nasty Boys (Jerry Sags & Brian Knobbs) vs. Terry Taylor & Jackie Fulton

This is one of Taylor’s first matches back in the NWA/WCW, which at least means no more Red Rooster. Finally! Taylor gets in an early swinging neckbreaker on Knobbs for two. A number of quick hiptosses keep the babyfaces in control and Fulton gets the tag. Back to Taylor who sends Sags into the post and a high crossbody back inside gets two. Taylor hits a backdrop suplex but Knobbs takes him down by the hair and allows Sags to jump in with a kneedrop to take over. Taylor gets in a quick sunset flip before making the hot tag to Fulton. He runs wild with bodyslams for both heels and a german suplex on Knobbs gets two. Knobbs reverses a crossbody into a powerslam though, and the Trip to Nastyville elbow puts Fulton away at 7:11.

  • Rating: Another simple match to showcase the Nasty Boys. It was also nice to see Terry back as himself and not as a chicken anymore. That alone earns this an extra quarter star! *3/4
Tommy Rich vs. Wild Bill Irwin

If you look for “filler” in the dictionary there should be a picture of this match there. Irwin hits a high knee but eats a backdrop suplex for two. They exchange headlocks, which is SO what this match needs. Irwin finally goes somewhere with a sideslam, only to get immediately kicked back down. Another sideslam is blocked by Rich and turned into a sleeper, and then an Irwin blind charge misses and Rich hits the Thesz Press for the win at 3:59.

  • Rating: It was okay. *

Meanwhile, NWA/WCW announces their top ten contenders lists for both the singles and tags’ World Championships. This should be interesting, let’s take a look:

  • NWA World Championship top ten contenders list: 10) Buddy Landel (good heel) ; 9) Tommy Rich (maybe in 1980) ; 8) Junkyard Dog (oh good god…) ; 7) Brian Pillman (nothing wrong here) ; 6) Stan Hansen (okay) ; 5) Sid Vicious (fine, he’s popular) ; 4) Barry Windham (nothing to say here either) ; 3) TV Champion Arn Anderson (same as Barry) ; 2) Ric Flair (WOOOO) ; 1) US Champion Lex Luger (logical) – the champion is Sting
  • NWA World Tag Team Championship top ten contenders list: 10) Mike Rotunda & Tim Horner (LOL) ; 9) ‘Dudes With Attitudes’ Junkyard Dog & El Gigante (oh please…) ; 8) Brian Pillman & Tom Zenk (former US tag champs, sure) ; 7) ‘Samoan SWAT Team’ Fatu & The Samoan Savage (okay) ; 6) ‘Fabulous Freebirds’ Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin (of course) ; 5) ‘The Southern Boys’ Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong (nothing wrong) ; 4) ‘Midnight Express’ Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane (4 is way too low) ; 3) ‘Four Horsemen’ Arn Anderson & Barry Windham (fine) ; 2) ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Express’ Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson (way too high for their current momentum) ; 1) US Tag Champs The Steiners (unquestionable) – the champions are Doom

Meanwhile, Stan Hansen doesn’t like his place on the list and promises to beat up people on his way to Sting.

Ladies Professional Wrestling Association Championship: Susan Sexton(c) vs. Bambi

This is my first time watching both of these ladies and I have no idea who either of them are. They get into a wristlock reversal sequence that ends with Bambi catching Sexton in a headscissors on the mat. Sexton eventually gets out of there with a bodyslam but Bambi rolls her up for one. She ends up eating elbow on a blind charge in the corner though, and Sexton drops an elbow for two. Bambi cradles her for two, only for Sexton to roll through into her own for the win to retain at 4:11.

  • Rating: This was a little bit sloppy at times, but otherwise decent and at least brought something different to this show. Not bad but way too short to be anything more. *1/2
The Steiners (Rick & Scott) vs. Maximum Overdrive (Tim Hunt & Jeff Warner)

Hunt runs away from Scott and stalls to start. Wise man. Back in for a wristlock by Scott and back out he goes. I have just about had enough of this show at this point. Finally Scott beats up both dudes and Rick comes in with Steinerlines. And they bail. AGAIN. Scott suplexes Warner and brings in Rick, but a cheapshot allows the jobbers to take over for a while. An elbowdrop gets two. Rick finally makes a comeback with a powerslam and a REALLY VIOLENT lariat followed by the double-team DDT for the win at 6:23.

  • Rating: Super boring and long, specially considering the rest of the card up to this point had been quite dull. One of the worst Steiners matches I can remember. 3/4*
Stan Hansen vs. ‘Z-Man’ Tom Zenk

After jobbing to the debuting Vader in a few minutes at the PPV, I wouldn’t put money on Mr. Z-Man here. Hansen suplexes poor Zenk and an elbowdrop gets two. Hansen then proceeds to beat the living shit out of Zenk from pillar to post. Zenk tries to make a comeback with a few dropkicks until Hansen nearly takes his head off with the lariat at 3:19.

  • Rating: Short, to the point and effective. *1/4
NWA United States Heavyweight Championship: Lex Luger(c) vs. Ric Flair

THANK GOD!!! This show is in the heart of Flair Country in the Carolinas and Luger still gets one of the biggest pops of the whole show. This company would have been NUTS not to put the belt on Luger eventually. Shoulder tackle takes Flair down to start but he’s still confident. Flair asks for a test of strength only to cheapshot him and take over. The chops in the corner are no-sold and a Luger press slam gets the crowd on their feet. Flair takes his time getting back inside. He cheapshots Luger once more but the chop still goes nowhere as Flair eats another press slam. Luger follows it up with a clothesline that dumps Flair over the top rope and to the floor, and then meets him outside with a clothesline on the floor. The over the top rope DQ rule was ignored here because it obviously wasn’t the finish. Flair snaps Luger’s throat on the ropes and turns his back to show off to the camera, but Luger no-sells and waits for the showing off to end before press slamming once more! Luger misses an elbowdrop though, and Flair takes this chance to catch his breath. This crowd is HOT for Lex! Flair chops away but eats a clothesline out of the corner. He lands hard on his shoulder though and even asks the referee to forfeit due to injury but… SIKE! A cheapshot turns things around and Flair sends Luger into the railing on the outside. Fantastic!

Flair pounds away back inside as he starts getting more confident. He even dedicates a chop to Ted Turner and Jim Herd. Yeah, I imagine he wanted Herd to be in Luger’s place! Back to the floor they go so Flair can throw Luger into the railing some more. Damn this crowd hasn’t stopped making noise for one second, you love to see it! Flair stomps the knee so you know IT’S TIME TO GO TO SCHOOL WOOOOO!! Flair pounds away on Luger’s leg but Luger fights back as they get into a slugfest. Luger wins that but Flair “accidentally” thumbs Luger in the eye while going down on a Flair flop. Amazing! A Flair hiptoss is block by Luger who powers him into a backslide for two. Flair fights back with chops but Luger slugs away in the corner and blocks an atomic drop with a clothesline for two. And all while selling the leg. Flair snapmares Luger and works the count a number of times to try and run Luger out of stamina. Flair goes up and SHOCKINGLY gets slammed off! Whip into the corner sets up the Flair Flip and Luger meets Flair with a clothesline on the apron. Luger press slam followed by a powerslam and good lord this crowd is SCREAMING for Luger! Beautiful superplex for the win but Flair gets his foot on the ropes. Luger pounds away in the corner until Flair cuts him off with another thumb to the eye. They take the fight to the floor once more and the pissed off #6 contender Stan Hansen is back to destroy Luger for the DQ at 15:28.

  • Rating: Well surprise surprise, these two just saved this show. This is not even close to being the greatest match Flair and Luger ever had, but it’s very fun to watch with an awesome crowd supporting it. Really good match. ***3/4

Meanwhile, The Black Scorpion says he’ll reveal his identity if Sting beats him. Sting says he has to win and know who it is in order to move on.

Main Event – NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Sting(c) vs. The Black Scorpion

HerdMania running wild, baby. They were actually teasing the Scorpion to be the then WWF Champion The Ultimate Warrior, with him only revealing that he is Sting’s former partner in California. No shit! To their credit Scorpion’s entrance does get the desired reaction, with the people not taking their eyes off him while he slowly walks to the ring. I’ll call The Black Scorpion “BS”, because that’s what this whole thing is. Slugfest gets things going and BS chokes away on the ropes. To the floor they go where Sting drops BS throat first on the railing. BS takes over back inside with more CLUBBING BLOWS! Sting fights back and tries to take the mask off but BS cheapshots him to stay in control. BS slams Sting on the floor and chokes away. We get it, you can choke. JR again mentions that BS is from California and he’s a man from Sting’s past in 1986. I’m starting to think it might really be Warrior!! Sting faceplants BS back inside and we actually get a CHOKEFEST OF DEATH as both guys try to out-choke each other. This is electrifying. BS takes over near the ropes with… wait for it… wait for it… CHOKING! Sting press slams BS and follows it up with a flying high crossbody for two. BS turns things around with chok… I mean a snapmare. Sorry, I forgot to turn the auto pilot mode off. Actually never mind it’s time to turn it back on because BS CHOKES AWAY!! Sting fights back with a clothesline and the Stinger Splash finishes BS to retain at 8:13. Sting then unmasks BS… but he has another mask. And then the REAL Black Scorpion appears on top of the ramp. So basically Sting didn’t beat the Black Scorpion and didn’t even wrestle him. Let the BS continue!

  • Rating: A complete waste of time. The angle is dumb and the match sucked too. But never mind, just wait until he’s revealed as The Ultimate Warrior! 1/2*

Sid Vicious challenges Sting for the title and beats him up before declaring himself as the next contender for Halloween Havoc to close the show. Nice way to make the top ten lists from THAT VERY SAME NIGHT completely pointless as well. We’re starting to move from the NWA to WCW more and more and that’s not particularly a good thing. At all.

END OF THE SHOW

Final thoughts: This show was bad and it never got into second gear. Watch the US title match between Luger and Flair but you can burn the rest of this show alive. 3/10 (all for Flair and Luger)

For comments and feedback, e-mail me at cunhatomas2001@hotmail.com

POINT SYSTEM

For more info about my point system click here

WrestlerStar ratingsResultMain-eventingExtrasTotal
Lex Luger3.750.5+1 for retaining a title5.25
Sting0.511+1 for retaining a title 3.5
Steve Armstrong21+0.5 for winning the fall3.5
Susan Sexton1.51+1 for retaining a title 3.5
Ric Flair3.75-0.53.25
Brian Knobbs1.751+0.5 for winning the fall 3.25
Tracy Smothers213
Jerry Sags1.7512.75
Mike Rotunda1.512.5
Rick Steiner0.751+0.5 for winning the fall 2.25
Stan Hansen1.2512.25
Tommy Rich112
Scott Steiner0.7511.75
Steele01+0.5 for winning the fall 1.5
Iron011
Jimmy Garvin2-11
Terry Taylor1.75-10.75
Michael Hayes2-1-0.5 for losing the fall0.5
Buddy Landel
Bambi
1.5-10.5
The Black Scorpion0.5-110.5
Tom Zenk1.25-10.25
Jackie Fulton1.75-1-0.5 for losing the fall0.25
Wild Bill Irwin1-10
Tim Hunt0.75-1-0.25
Jeff Warner0.75-1-0.5 for losing the fall -0.75
Brad Armstrong0-1-1
Tim Horner0-1-0.5 for losing the fall -1.5

That’s all I got for you today. Thank you so much for your time. Make sure you follow the blog so you don’t miss any of the next articles, including my reviews of the NWA/WCW’s Halloween Havoc and the WWF’s Survivor Series pay-per-views. Stay safe everyone!

Categories
NWA PPV WCW

NWA/WCW The Great American Bash 1990 Review (The Man Called… The Man!)

Hello everyone and welcome to my review of Great American Bash 1990, featuring the much anticipated meeting between Flair and Sting over the World title, the debuts of Big Van Vader (fuck yeah!) and El Gigante (…), and much more!

Here is the list of champions in the NWA/WCW 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: Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed)
  • NWA US Tag Team Champions: The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane)

Enjoy the review!

WCW The Great American Bash 1990 | Results - WCW PPV Event History | Pay  Per Views & Special Events | Pro Wrestling Events Database
IMG credit: WWE & TheSmackDownHotel

The hosts are Jim Ross & Bob Caudle
Live from Baltimore, Maryland

Flyin’ Brian Pillman vs. Nature Boy Buddy Landel
IMG credit: WWE & Jay Reviews Things

A chopfest gets us started. Landel tries every dirty tactic possible such as constantly taking Pillman down by the hair behind the ref’s back and not getting caught once (lost art) before Pillman hits a crossbody for two. A quick hiptoss immediately followed by a dropkick dumps Landel to the floor, who says it’s all part of his strategy and then does some purposely awful poses in a hilarious bit. Back in for a Pillman sunset flip, but Landel rakes the eyes and poses some more. The furious Pillman chops away until his emotions get the better of him, allowing Landel to move out of the way of a dropkick and get two. Pillman goes for a hiptoss that Landel blocks, and a clothesline gets two. Another chopfest follows but Landel takes Pillman down into a chinlock to stay ahead of the youngster. A suplex takes Pillman down, who then tries a blind charge but eats an elbow. Pillman finds an opening and goes up for the high crossbody, which connects but Landel rolls through on the mat and nearly steals it. Pillman goes for a roll-up instead only for Landel to grab the ropes, but then Pillman climbs back up real quick behind Landel’s back and catches him by surprise with a second high crossbody, which gets the win this time at 9:29.

  • Rating: I really enjoyed this opener. Pillman is always exciting to watch and a very safe choice to put in the opening contest. Buddy Landel made for a great midcard heel to work with the future Loose Cannon, trying everything and anything to cheat and take the younger Pillman off his game. Technically good and very entertaining as well. ***
The Iron Sheik vs. Mike Rotunda
Jay Reviews Things: WCW Great American Bash 1990
IMG credit: WWE & Jay Reviews Things

Please let this be short. Sheik chokes away with the flag to start as always, until Mike gets a sunset flip for two and a dropkick dumps Sheiky. Sheik gets back in to work an abdominal stretch that feels longer than the opener alone, before they start doing suplexes to each other. Sheik dumps Rotunda to the floor and goes for a (you guessed it) suplex back inside, but Rotunda grabs a backslide for the win at 6:46.

  • Rating: Choking, bad looking suplexes, slow roll-ups, repeat. Moving on. 1/2*
Dirty Dutch Mantel vs. Doug Furnas
Jay Reviews Things: WCW Great American Bash 1990
IMG credit: WWE & Jay Reviews Things

Oh boy. I’m starting to feel this will be a loooong undercard. Furnas runs over Mantel with a shoulderblock and then an effortless press slam. Mantel smartly decides that cheating might be an effective way to go against this kid, but then just walks into a dropkick. Oops, never mind then. Furnas goes to work on the arm which allows Mantel to cheapshot him and nail him with a forearm. Furnas slams him out of the corner and goes up only to miss a splash, which allows Mantel to hit a short arm clothesline for two. Mantel dumps Furnas for more punishment on the floor and back in a suplex gets two. Just get to the comeback already, this doesn’t need to be this long. Mantel works the count a couple of times only for Furnas to kick out WITH AUTHORITY BY GAWD and send Mantel flying. Furnas finally explodes with a clothesline and a powerslam to start making the comeback before they mess up something near the ropes. Yeah, this definitely didn’t need ten minutes. Furnas simply hits a belly-to-belly for the win at 11:18.

  • Rating: Not bad and it got the point across. Which also would’ve happened, and perhaps even more effectively, had the match been five or six minutes shorter. **

Meanwhile, Jim Cornette thinks the Southern Boys are great and will one day be the US Tag Team Champions. Just… not today. Hah!

Harley Race vs. Tommy Rich
Classic Wrestling Review: The Great American Bash '90 | CXF | Culture  Crossfire | culturecrossfire.com
IMG credit: WWE & culturecrossfire.com

And now, a World title match from ten years earlier. Good lord, they should have named this show The Great American NWA Class Of 81 Reunion Prom or something. Or maybe take out the ‘American’ part, we don’t want Sheik to be left out! Poor Harley is completely lost out there, wearing his WWF ‘King Harley Race’ attire for some reason, which JR eventually points out. Without mentioning the WWF or the gimmick, obviously. Rich sends Race’s arm into the post and goes to work on it, but Race responds with a high knee. Race takes him to the outside for a suplex on the ramp, but then Rich hits one of his own back inside followed by a fistdrop for two. Race takes over but then they botch a Rich slam. He follows that up with a high crossbody, but Race rolls through and that’s all at 6:32.

  • Rating: Technically okay aside from that one botch, but no one cared about this match. It was just another match on this card despite all its history, which is a shame. *1/2

Meanwhile, Paul E. Dangerously rants about Lex Luger while Mean Mark rips one of his shirts into pieces. That will get him over, I’m sure.

NWA US Tag Team Championship: The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane)(c)(w/ Jim Cornette) vs. The Southern Boys (Steve Armstrong & Tracy Smothers)
10 Hidden WCW Gems To Watch On WWE Network – Page 5
IMG credit: WWE & WhatCulture

The ME jump the challengers to start but they turn things around on Eaton with a double backdrop followed by a stereo double shoulderblock that sends the champs to the outside to think some strategy. Cornette gets all worked up with the cameraman, telling him “can’t you see I’m occupied, get away from me”. Eaton takes his time getting back in only to get armdragged. And he goes back to the corner to discuss with Lane some more. A lockup goes to the corner, where Eaton claims some hair-pulling behind the ref’s back which distracts him and allows Eaton to cheapshot Armstrong and take over. Eaton slams him and goes up, but Armstrong follows him and slams him off. Armstrong shoots him off the ropes and hits a slow yet great looking monkey flip followed by an impressive dropkick. Armstrong goes up and comes down with a flying clothesline as Eaton takes a breather. Smothers gets the tag and the Boys double chop Eaton, which sends him into the corner for some words with Cornette. Smothers tries a powerslam off a criss cross, but Eaton stops and hits Smothers in his exposed midsection. He tries a powerslam of his own but Smothers lands on his feet and hits Eaton with a palm strike followed by a savate kick. Cornette gets all pissed at ringside, saying “karate is not legal in professional wrestling” which starts a Cornette sucks chant. Awesome! Smothers backdrops Eaton and hits another savate kick, as Cornette begs Eaton to tag out of the match. He obliges and Lane gets in for an actual karate showdown with Smothers. Lane gets the first shots but Smothers catches his leg and fires away, hitting both heels with superkicks as the crowd goes absolutely nuts and Cornette has his eyes wide open, shocked that his boys lost the MR. MIYAGI SHOWDOWN OF DOOM. That was a lot of fun!

The match “restarts” with Smothers wrestling his way out of Lane’s headlock into a wristlock that gets Lane so pissed that he tags Eaton back in. The ME just can’t catch them on anything tonight, what a great story! Poor Eaton also gets outwrestled and eventually kicked to the floor, but Smothers gets caught with a cheapshot by Lane to finally put the ME in the driver seat. Actually forget it as Armstrong comes flying with a high crossbody to both Eaton and Lane to clean the ring yet again. What an awesome match! Smothers rolls up Eaton who manages to make the blind tag during the cover, as Lane comes in and shoves Tracy into the railing on the outside followed by a racket shot from Corny. Smothers gets back in only for Lane to send him into the railing yet again, only this time even harder. The Express go to work on Tracy’s back in the ring, with Eaton hitting a backbreaker for two. Smothers tries to make the comeback but Eaton slams him and follows up with the Alabama Jam. Lane gets the tag and chokes away but Smothers sunset flips him for two. A Lane savate kick + Eaton neckbreaker combo gets two for the champs. The ME toss Smothers over the top to the floor for the ULTIMATE HEEL DICK MOVE, and a Lane double arm suplex gets two back inside. The heels double-team Smothers on the outside some more but Smothers eventually escapes and gets a double sunset flip back in followed by the hot tag to Armstrong as the crowd goes crazy. Armstrong gets double-teamed briefly but he fires away with chops and the double noggin knocker. He hits a flying shoulderblock on Lane only for Eaton to break up the count as it’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA. The Boys hit their double-team flying dropkick but the referee misses the count. Meanwhile Armstrong goes up but Eaton shoves him off and the ME hit the Rocket Launcher for… a nearfall. Whaat! Smothers trades places with Armstrong behind everyone’s back and an inside cradle nearly gets it before Lane breaks up the count. The crowd are absolutely losing their minds at this point in the match! Smothers criss crosses but Lane catches him with a superkick right to the back of the head on the apron, allowing Eaton to cradle him for the win to retain at 18:14.

  • Rating: Holy cow I might need a vacation after that one. What an absolutely incredible match it was. The Southern Boys being able to outwrestle and outsmart the Midnight Express in every way in the early minutes was fantastic and put the babyfaces over like a million bucks. From there they were off to the races and had the crowd in the palm of their hands, as the action got faster and faster on their way to the finish. An absolute classic bout and one that is well worth your time and attention. Easy match of the year candidate right here. ****1/2

And just when I was saying I need a vacation after that…

THE DEBUT OF BIG VAN VADER – vs. ‘The Z-Man’ Tom Zenk
Big Van Vader debuts 1990 great american bash. - YouTube
IMG credit: WWE

I think I’ll save that vacation for later, thanks! Vader’s entrance nearly steals the whole show, already bringing a different aura to the room. Zenk smiles on his way to the ring, so please beat him up and take your time doing so, Vader! Vader pounds away in the corner and just completely kills the poor guy. A short arm clothesline sends Zenk to the outside. His brief jobber offense dies faster than his WWF run, as he literally bounces off Vader going for a move and falls on his ass. Vader press slams and drops an elbow. He hasn’t had enough fun yet, so he brings him back up for another short arm clothesline. He follows that up with a giant splash to put poor Z-Man away at 2:16.

  • Rating: Short. Sweet. Effective. *1/2
The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin) vs. The Steiners (Rick & Scott Steiner)
IMG credit: WWE & Jay Reviews Things

The Freebirds come out with makeup for this match because they’re funny that way. They jump Scott and beat him up to start. Not too long afterwards Scott starts showing life and Hayes bails as usual. Both guys tag off as Garvin walks into a backdrop and then eats a Steinerline from Rick for two. Hayes gets back in once again and he tries to run away once again, but Rick bites him right in the ass and brings him back inside. Scott comes in with quick dropkicks to both heels as they stall some more and the crowd loves it. Hayes tries his luck once more, this time with chops, only for Scott to explode with a butterfly powerbomb and a slam. And Hayes bails. This draws a huge ‘Michael is a bitch’ chant, which gets him all worked up! See, there’s a difference between boring stalling and Freebirds stalling, it doesn’t have to be boring. Back in the Freebirds send Rick over the top rope for the ULTIMATE DICK MOVE, and they follow up with a double suplex on the floor to make Rick your dog-in-peril. Hayes hits a bulldog back in for two. Garvin comes in for a chinlock that does what a chinlock usually does – nothing. Garvin goes up but Rick meets him there and manages to hit a bulldog for the double KO spot. He makes the hot tag to Scott who kills everyone. Powerslam to Hayes, slam to Garvin onto Hayes, he’s cleaning house like a French maid! He delivers the Frankensteiner to a fantastic reaction, only for Garvin to sneak in with a DDT while the ref is distracted. Rick takes down Hayes with a belly-to-belly as well, though, and he puts Scott on top for the win at 13:45.

  • Rating: Really fun match, with the crowd obviously playing a huge part by being invested in everything they did. This match is not for everyone due to the Freebirds’ STALLING OF DEATH, but you have to expect that in any Freebirds match. The Steiners are over as fuck as babyfaces and the same deal with the Freebirds as heels, so it simply clicked. Nice comeback from Scotty as well, like always. Good and fun little tag match here. ***1/4
The Four Horsemen (Arn Anderson, Barry Windham & Sid Vicious) vs. The Dudes With Attitudes (El Gigante, Paul Orndorff & The Junkyard Dog)

This is El Gigante’s major wrestling debut. El Gigante who would go to the WWF just a few years after this as Giant Gonzalez. Sigh. Okay, let’s get this out of the way so we can move on to better things. Sid clotheslines Paul to start as the cameras show a dude in the front row with a giant ‘SID RULES’ sign. He misses a legdrop however, and Orndorff backslides him for two. Off to Arn but he doesn’t do much apart from doing a great selljob of Gigante’s presence, and eventually JYD comes in for his usual headbutts on Windham. The former Widowmaker (good lord) catches JYD with a DDT, who no-sells it. Paul tries a piledriver on Arn only for Windham to hit him from behind and prevent that. Sid comes in with a powerslam for two and it’s off to Windham for a suplex for two. The Horsemen beat up Orndorff some more until he gets the hot tag to JYD… only for the heels to throw him over the top for the ULTIMATE HEEL DICK MOVE DQ at 8:53. Gigante comes in and his simple presence clears the ring.

  • Rating: So let me get this straight. This match was a thing for the simple and only purpose of getting El Gigante over as a monster, but he doesn’t get tagged once – ONE SINGLE SOLITARY TIME – during the whole match because he couldn’t wrestle at all. Arn Anderson was the clear highlight of this match, doing his best to try and get the big guy over. Apart from that, a complete waste of ten minutes. A giant sack of nothing. 3/4*
NWA United States Heavyweight Championship: Lex Luger(c) vs. Mean Mark Callous(w/ Paul E. Dangerously)
Mean” Mark Callous challenges U.S. Champion Lex Luger: WCW Great American  Bash 1990 | WWE
IMG credit: WWE

Stone Cold Luger gets another monster pop. They get into a wristlock reversal sequence to start that results in a stalemate as we get a “Paul E sucks” chant. Luger again goes after the arm, Mark drop toeholds him down and works a headlock but Luger reverses and goes back to the wristlock. Mark reaches the ropes to force the break. A lockup goes Luger’s way with an armdrag as Paul gets all worked up on the floor and says “he pulled the hair, he’s a football player, he’s not supposed to wrestle that good” which cracks up the announcers and some fans in the front row! Good stuff so far. Mark pounds away in the corner to turn things around. This was long before he became THE BEST PURE STRIKER IN SPORTZ ENTERTAINMENT, so Luger is able to easily comeback with a crossbody for two. Armdrag and back to working the arm goes Lex. Mark leapfrogs before they sort of botch a clothesline or the heart punch, so Mark hits the big boot instead.

Mean Mark chokes away and now he goes to work on Luger’s arm. Old School follows. Luger tries to fight back only to miss a charge and go flying into the floor. Luger tries to get up back inside, but Mark boots him into the railing and follows him outside. He sends him into the announcer’s table while Paul has the ref distracted. Back inside they go, where Luger gets a sunset flip for two. A slugfest in the corner follows and a Mean Mark delayed suplex is no-sold, which gets a big pop. Mark turns around and eats a couple of big clotheslines as the fans are literally standing and screaming. Luger actually gets the Torture Rack but Mark “accidentally” kicks the ref down and Paul hits Luger with the TELEPHONE SHOT OF DANGEROUS DEATH. Mark crawls over for one… two… false finish! And a great one at that. Mark pounds away some more and hits a bad looking clothesline. Mark sets up for the heart punch but Luger raises his boot, knocks Paul off the apron and clotheslines Mark for the pin to retain at 12:10.

  • Rating: Solid work between the two big dudes, with Heyman also playing a huge part on the outside. It was a bit sloppy at times as Mark was still trying to find his footing as a worker, and Luger was probably not the best choice to carry an inexperienced wrestler. But still, the match could’ve been much worse. It was solid enough and fun to watch. Just not as good as Luger’s matches around this time. ***
NWA World Tag Team Championship: Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed)(c)(w/ Theodore Long) vs. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson)
Classic Wrestling Review: The Great American Bash '90 | CXF | Culture  Crossfire | culturecrossfire.com
IMG credit: WWE & culturecrossfire.com

Simmons allows Gibson to leave in peace and forfeit the match, but that obviously goes nowhere. Ron beats him up to start until Gibson catches him with a roll-up that gets two. Butch comes in to continue the beating. A clothesline followed by a double-team elbow by Doom get two. Reed throws Gibson over the top for the ULTIMATE HEEL DICK MOVE. Back in Gibson tries to fight back only to walk into a neckbreaker for two. Morton comes in so he can be absolutely destroyed from pillar to post, but unfortunately the crowd do not care about this. It’s honestly a shame because this match could be great. Morton gets to run wild for a little bit until Simmons catches him with a clothesline from the apron, turning the tables as Morton can get to roll around like a clinically dead man. Ricky tries to make a brief comeback but that goes nowhere rather quickly as Reed pounds away. Even Long gets a shot in and Simmons comes in to hit a slam for two. That sets up a flying splash that only meets knees, allowing Morton to make the hot tag to Gibson. He makes the comeback for a little bit until eventually it BREAKS LOOSE IN TULSA, which allows Reed to get a cheapshot to the back of the head for the win to retain at 15:40.

  • Rating: This could’ve been so much better. The crowd just didn’t care about most of this match, and it just felt like it went on forever. It’s a shame because the action was solid and the content was there, with the usual heat spot on Morton to set up the hot tag to Gibson, just lacking the crowd participation. Maybe just put this match earlier in the card and have… I don’t know… Sheik vs. Rotunda here in the death slot before the main-event instead or whatever, but what do I know. **3/4
Main-Event – NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Ric Flair(c)(w/ Ole Anderson) vs. Sting(w/ The Dudes With Attitudes & Steiners)
Nick Patrick on Ric Flair vs. Sting from WCW Great American Bash 1990  (Exclusive)
IMG credit: WWE & sportskeeda.com

Finally here it is, what everyone came here to see. This is basically a lumberjack match to make sure the Horsemen does not interfere, and Ole Anderson is handcuffed to El Gigante at the top of the ramp. There’s a big fight feel in this one, the fans are literally standing up and screaming even before the bell. Staredown to start as Sting overpowers Flair twice on the lockup. They exchange WOOOOOs, and Sting’s is more popular of course. Shoulderblock by Sting while Flair already begs for Sting to take it easy on him. Flair with a cheapshot in the corner on the clean break and he chops away – the WITH EXTRA MUSTARD kind – but Sting no-sells and gets in Flair’s face before hitting a press slam. Flair bails… but Rick Steiner says not today, champ! That allows Sting to hiptoss Flair followed by a dropkick, only for Flair to bail on the other side of the ring. Sting meets him on the outside and Flair once again chops him, which again do nothing to Sting. Flair begs some more which earns him a hiptoss on the ramp, and a clothesline up and over the ropes puts him back inside the hard way as the crowd is getting loud. Flair gets on his knees and WHAM thumb right in the eye to finally put him in control. Flair with a snapmare takedown into the classic Flair kneedrop. Delayed vertical suplex… is no-sold by Sting which gets a HUGE POP. Sting runs wild with a couple of clotheslines and a high crossbody gets two. Flair bails and surprisingly this time the Steiners don’t have a problem with that. He gets back in to ask for a test of strength… only to kick Sting right in his surgically repaired knee. Classic Flair as now – WOOOOOO – we go to school!

Flair pounds away for a while only for Sting to explode with a clothesline but he misses an elbowdrop. Flair wants the Figure Four but Sting kicks him away with his good leg as we get a stalemate and another WOOOOOOO battle. Sting wins a test of strength and forces Flair to cheapshot him and a nasty chop takes the challenger down. Flair proceeds to toss Sting into the outside, who lands right on his legs. The champ brings him back inside and he goes to work on the knee along with some chops. The vulnerable Sting limps around the ring while Flair follows him with a smirk on his face, what a great heel. Sting manages to get Flair cornered and he just pounds away like there’s no tomorrow. Hiptoss out of the corner and a dropkick, but Flair blocks that and Sting goes right back down. Flair puts Sting’s leg on the ropes and just drops all of his weight on it. He tries it once again only for Sting to block it and Flair to drop on his ass! That only gets Flair more pissed off so he goes for the Flair kneedrop… but misses and injures his own knee! And now Sting locks in his own Figure Four as this crowd is just losing their collective shit. Flair manages to make the ropes and he pulls Sting to the floor for a huge chop followed by a trip to the railing which Sting no-sells. Sting follows Flair back inside the ring, where Flair begs for some mercy only for Sting to pound away. Flair gets in a cheapshot and goes up only to get slammed off, of course. Flair goes for a hiptoss but Sting rolls over and turns it into a backslide for a hot nearfall. Sting complains with the ref for a second, which gives Flair more than enough time to sweep Sting’s bad leg. Flair proceeds to just stomp on Sting’s leg for more punishment, and a few stomps right to the skull just to add some insult to injury. Flair goes for the Figure Four but once again Sting kicks him out with his good leg, but this time Sting is hurt and he can’t run wild allowing Flair to chop away in the corner.

Flair bitchslaps Sting which does nothing but wake up Sting. He proceeds to no-sell the next couple of chops as the crowd goes insane. Sting press slams Flair again and follows it up with a clothesline for two. That was a perfect spot in the match for the leg/knee to give out, but whatever. Flair Flip but Sting meets him on the apron with a clothesline to stop Flair in his tracks. A vertical suplex puts him back inside and gets two. Flair backs away only for Sting to completely ignore him and… STINGER SPLASH! The crowd is going completely nuts as Sting locks in the Scorpion Deathlock. Ole tries to do something but he’s tied up to Gigante and here comes the Horsemen for a fight with the lumberjacks. Meanwhile Flair manages to reach the ropes to force the break but he’s pretty much done. Flair gets a cheapshot on the apron and tries to steal it with his feet on the ropes… but Scott Steiner kicks him away! Roll-up by Sting gets two. Flair rakes the eyes and works the count only for Sting to overpower and bridge his way up into a backslide for a nearfall. Flair chops go nowhere as Sting goes for a high knee in the corner, only for Flair to escape and Sting to hit his knee right on the buckle. Flair goes for the Figure Four but Sting catches him and cradles him for the win and the title at 16:06 as the whole arena goes BATSHIT!

  • Rating: This is one for the ages. Not only was the match itself great from bell-to-bell, but the big moment and the atmosphere take this to a whole different level. Sting’s selljob of the leg was a bit shaky at times and that prevents me from rating this match a little bit higher, which I wanted to, but that’s not what people will remember from this match. The first Clash might be a better match, but this one will leave you with a big smile on your face and it’s one of those awesome moments that remind us why we love pro wrestling. Could have been better at times, but boy does this rock! ****

END OF THE SHOW

Final thoughts: You know what, not an easy one to rate. This big moment at the end is what everyone will remember from this show, as it couldn’t have ended at a higher note. And there’s also the even better (technically speaking) tag match between the Midnight Express and the Southern Boys, so there’s more than enough greatness on this card with two ****+ matches. Plus Vader’s debut. But then there’s the Great American NWA Class Of 81 Reunion Prom part of the show, which really drags on and takes this show down a few notches. At the end of the day, I recommend you to watch this show, but don’t watch watch the whole thing – specially if you’re not familiar with the undercard characters, it will REALLY drag for you. Still, the good more than outweighs the filler, so I’ll give this a 6/10. Nothing compared to GAB 1989, in case you want to compare both editions of the event.

For feedback/comments, e-mail me at cunhatomas2001@hotmail.com

POINT SYSTEM

Click here to read all about my point system.

WrestlerStar ratingsResultMain-eventingExtrasTotal
Sting411+2 for winning a title8
Bobby Eaton4.51+1 for retaining a title
+0.5 for winning the fall
7
Stan Lane4.51+1 for retaining a title 6.5
Butch Reed2.751+1 for retaining a title
+0.5 for winning the fall
5.25
Lex Luger31+1 for retaining a title 5
Ron Simmons2.751+1 for retaining a title 4.75
Scott Steiner3.251+0.5 for winning the fall 4.75
Rick Steiner3.2514.25
Brian Pillman314
Steve Armstrong4.5-13.5
Tracy Smothers4.5-1-0.5 for losing the fall3
Doug Furnas213
Big Van Vader1.512.5
Jimmy Garvin3.25-12.25
Ric Flair4-11-2 for losing a title2
Mean Mark3-12
Buddy Landel3-12
Michael Hayes3.25-1-0.5 for losing the fall1.75
Ricky Morton2.75-11.75
Harley Race0.511.5
Mike Rotunda0.511.5
Robert Gibson2.75-1-0.5 for losing the fall1.25
Paul Orndorff
Junkyard Dog
El Gigante
0.750.51.25
Dutch Mantel2-11
Tom Zenk1.5-10.5
Arn Anderson
Barry Windham
Sid Vicious
0.75-0.50.25
The Iron Sheik0.5-1-0.5
Tommy Rich0.5-1-0.5

That’s all for today, guys. Thank you so much for your time reading. Make sure you don’t miss the following articles, as we’re getting closer and closer to WWF’s SummerSlam. We have an edition of WWF SNME before getting there however, so make sure you don’t miss that either. Until then, stay safe!

Categories
Clash of the Champions NWA WCW

NWA/WCW Clash Of The Champions XI: Coastal Crush Review (Flair/JYD)

Hello everyone and welcome to my review of the eleventh NWA/WCW Clash of the Champions. This show is main-evented by Ric Flair vs. Junkyard Dog for the NWA World title, Mean Mark taking on Flyin’ Brian Pillman, Rock ‘n’ Roll Express vs. Midnight Express for the US tag straps, Doom vs. Steiners for the World belts and much more.

Here is the list of champions in the NWA/WCW 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: Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed)
  • NWA United States Tag Team Champions: The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane)

Enjoy the piece!

Grudge Match : CLASH OF THE CHAMPIONS XI: COASTAL CRUSH
IMG credit: WWE

The hosts are Jim Ross & Bob Caudle
Live from Charleston, SC

The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin) vs. The Southern Boys (Steve Armstrong & Tracy Smothers)

The crowd is super hot for everything before they even get going. The Freebirds jump the Southern Boys before the bell, but they turn things around and connect with stereo forearms followed by backdrops and shoulderblocks to clean house. The Freebirds stall and that allows Garvin to take control back in. Smothers charges but eats knee and Garvin gets one. Bodyslam gets one more. Hayes comes in for the double-teaming but Armstrong comes in with a high crossbody to both heels at the same time. And the Freebirds bail yet again. Hayes comes back in but stalls and stops to mock the crowd before asking for Smothers to tag in Armstrong. The latter gets the better of Hayes, but goes up and Garvin comes in to knock him down as Hayes follows it up with a clothesline. Garvin with a backbreaker for two. Hayes comes in and grabs a hold on Armstrong’s arm. Steve eventually blocks that, but Hayes quickly puts him back down and drops an elbow for two. Back to working the arm goes Hayes as the crowd wants the hot tag. Hayes goes up only to get slammed off à la Flair. Tag to Garvin and there’s the hot tag for the babyfaces as well. Smothers comes in with a backdrop and even Hayes gets some as Smothers is running wild. Flying back elbow to both followed by the good ol’ double noggin knocker. Armstrong gets in to help but only succeeds in distracting the ref and him missing his partner rolling up Garvin, while Hayes comes in and breaks up the pin with a clothesline. Garvin connects with a knee to Smothers and covers while the ref is distracted with Hayes, so Armstrong connects with a flying headbutt to Garvin’s back before putting Smothers on top for the win at 7:29.

  • Rating: Decent enough opening match with a really hot crowd. **1/2
Bam Bam Bigelow(w/ ‘Big Kahuna’ Oliver Humperdink) vs. Tommy Rich

Bigelow bullies Rich who keeps slugging away. Rich goes to work in the corner before Bigelow turns things around with an atomic drop out of the corner. Military press slam and Bam Bam chokes away, completely ignoring the ref’s count for the DQ at 3:46. Bigelow throws Rich around some more before saying at the camera “I kill everybody”.

  • Rating: Not much to say here. Just Bam Bam showing his superiority before the abrupt DQ ending. DUD

Big Van Vader is coming soon. Oh shit!

Meanwhile, the debuting El Gigante cuts a lovely babyface promo in Spanish. Oh joy, moving on.

Samoan SWAT Team (Fatu & The Samoan Savage) vs. Mike Rotunda & ‘Z-Man’ Tom Zenk

The Samoans jump the babyfaces before the bell much like the Freebirds in the opening match. Rotunda manages to block and hiptoss Fatu on the ramp, though. Savage comes in but ends up going nowhere as well, walking into a Zenk slam followed by a dropkick to send the Samoans bailing. Rotunda connects with a high crossbody to Savage, but he turns it around and gets two. Fatu works the usual Samoan nerve hold, before bringing him back up and hitting a clothesline. The Samoans double-team Rotunda before he escapes and manages to reach Zenk for the hot tag. Zenk goes for the double noggin knocker which obviously goes nowhere (why would you do that to a couple of huge Samoans). Savage then goes after the illegal Rotunda in the ring, who counters with a cradle that the ref counts anyway for the win at 5:25.

  • Rating: This was a major upgrade compared to the Samoans’ snoozefest at Capital Combat, with the crowd reacting to everything they did. The match was fine, the finish was stupid. **
Mean Mark Callous(w/ Paul E. Dangerously) vs. Flyin’ Brian Pillman

Mark throws Pillman into the barricade to start. Back in for more abuse, with Mark sending Pillman into the buckle and dropping an elbow for two. Pillman chops away only to get caught in a sideslam. Mark misses a charge and opens the door for a Pillman comeback, which ends up going nowhere as Mark powerslams him to stay in control. Legdrop follows but Pillman moves out of the way and connects with a dropkick. Mark tries to dump him over the top rope but Pillman skins the cat back in à la Steamboat and catches Mark with a missile dropkick. Mark puts Pillman away with a stungun at 5:40.

  • Rating: Another short match that did exactly what it had to do. Decent work while it lasted. **1/2
NWA United States Tag Team Championship: The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane)(c)(w/ Jim Cornette) vs. Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson)

Gibson and Eaton lockup to start. They get to the ropes and Gibson gives the clean break, but Eaton complains about some non-existant hair pulling. Another lockup goes Gibson’s way who gets in a quick armdrag. Eaton manages to hit a shoulderblock. Criss cross but Gibson leapfrogs over him, hiptosses him and follows it up with a flying headscissors. Gibson keeps him grounded with the headscissors for a while but Eaton manages to tag Lane in. The fresh Lane hits a savate kick and a superkick to the side of the head. Gibson tries a kick, Lane blocks and catches his foot, only for Gibson to surprise him with an enziguiri. And in comes Ricky Morton. Headlock by Morton, shoulder takedown, off the ropes and a hiptoss by Morton. Lane pounds away in the corner only to miss a charge and walk into a backdrop. Lane rakes the eyes and brings Eaton back in, but Morton armdrags him and keeps him on the mat with a hold on the arm. Eaton pushes Morton by the hair all the way to the ropes, and then whacks him on the clean break to take control.

Morton slides between Eaton’s legs and catches him with a surprise dropkick immediately followed by a hurricanrana. Eaton bails and goes over to Cornette to talk some strategy. Tag to Lane who walks into an armdrag. Off to Gibson, who also goes to work on the arm. Lane tries to escape by going after the hair, but that earns him an atomic drop that sends him all the way to his partner as they crack heads. Lane with a drop toehold takedown that Gibson turns into a headlock before tagging Morton in for a roll-up that gets two. Morton armdrag that Lane escapes by raking the eyes. Eaton easily pounds the vulnerable Morton down once he’s in. Eaton sits Morton up on the top rope for a superplex, but Morton lands on his feet and turns it into a backslide, which is broken up by Lane who comes in from behind to send Morton into the buckle. That draws Gibson in as well. The Midnight Express double-team the illegal Gibson with a double backdrop. They go for another one, but Morton sneaks in to backslide Lane while Gibson turns Eaton over into a sunset flip for a double pin that only gets two. IT’S BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA! Cornette gets up on the apron and brings the heels into the corner to slow down the babyfaces’ momentum, which actually works. Lane gets tagged in but gets armdragged by Morton. Cornette distracts the ref while Eaton climbs to the top rope for a double-team move on Morton, with Eaton jumping off the top and just taking Morton down with him by the hair! Eaton with a reverse vertical suplex as the Midnight Express cut the ring in half. Perfect necksnap by Lane immediately followed by an Eaton elbowdrop gets two. Eaton misses a charge though, allowing Morton to finally bring in Gibson for the hot tag. Lane gets the tag for his team as well but Gibson is in house-cleaning comeback mode. Nice kneelift takes Lane down and even Eaton gets a shot on the apron. Flying clothesline but Eaton comes in to break up the cover. Morton sacrifices himself to clean the ring, leaving it down to the legal men. Gibson works the leg while Morton slams Eaton throat-first into the railing. Lane sends Gibson crashing into Morton though, who goes flying off the apron to the floor. Meanwhile Eaton slowly gets back up to break up a Gibson sleeper with a shot to the back of the head, allowing Lane to fall on top while Corny has the ref distracted. It only gets a nearfall. The babyfaces connect with a double dropkick on Eaton, but Lane grabs the ref’s arm before he can count three, drawing a DQ instead so they can keep the belts at 12:08. The babyfaces give their comeuppance and stand tall afterwards to close the segment.

  • Rating: Unsurprisingly good match between perhaps the two teams with the strongest chemistry in the entire history of tag-team wrestling. The finish, despite being a little bit lame, makes sense psychology-wise as Lane kept the titles by doing what he did when he was never going to break up the pin in time to begin with. Though there are much better matches between these two teams – including earlier in this year – this was still a good showing. ***1/4
Barry Windham vs. Doug Furnas

Here he is. Barry Windham, returning from the WWF after that brief and weird run as ‘The Widowmaker’ that went nowhere. Good lord. A test of strength obviously goes Furnas’ way and a shoulderblock puts Windham down. Furnas sunset flip gets two and Windham is out of there for a breather. Windham rakes the eyes but gets backdropped, followed by a press slam and a lariat for two. Windham bails and Furnas brings him back in, only for Windham to respond with his own (even harder) lariat. Suplex gets two. Furnas plants Windham’s face and gets a couple of nearfalls with a number of power moves. Furnas completely misses a dropkick though, and Windham catches him with a backdrop suplex to steal it at 5:40.

  • Rating: Not bad power of the bulls here. Furnas was super green though, and it’s quite clear if you look at this match, but it’s fine otherwise. **3/4
Lex Luger vs. Sid Vicious(w/ Ole Anderson)

Stone Cold Lex Luger gets an insane pop on his way to the ring. Holy! Sid tries to attack Luger from behind, but Luger takes his head off with a clothesline for the win already at 0:26.

  • Rating: For your information, in case you don’t know, Sid was injured here. So that should explain it. I can’t rate a match that features a clothesline and a clothesline alone! N/R (no rating)
NWA World Tag Team Championship: Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed)(c)(w/ Theodore Long) vs. The Steiners (Rick & Scott Steiner)

Scott and Simmons start. Scott runs wild and hits an INSANE fallaway moonsault slam, followed by one to Reed as well. How is that possible? HOLY SHIT! Simmons takes advantage of the run-in and pounds away, but Scott responds with a Steinerline to the back of the head. Reed comes in and tries to leapfrog over Scott, but Scott immediately turns around and backslides Reed for two. Scott Steiner, calm down man! Apparently he doesn’t feel like doing so, slamming Reed over and over like he’s nothing. Reed wants NO part of Scott and tags Simmons back in, and so does Scott to Rick. Simmons cheats to take over but eats an overhead belly-to-belly. Rick roll-up gets two but he finds himself in the heel corner close to Reed, allowing Simmons to cheapshot him from behind and turn things around. Off to Reed who hits a spinning neckbreaker for two. A massive lariat nearly takes Rick’s head off. Rick goes for the hot tag but Doom throws him over the top rope behind the ref’s back for the ultimate heel dick move! He eats post on the outside as well. He tries to go for the comeback back inside, but Reed catches him with a suplex followed by an elbowdrop for two. Reed tries to work a chinlock for a while that goes nowhere and then misses a charge, allowing Rick to hit a middle-rope flying double axehandle. Here’s the hot tag to Scott who runs wild with some incredible looking dropkicks followed by the powerslam. Meanwhile Long gives Reed an illegal weapon while the ref is distracted with Rick. Reed punches Scott with the weapon, knocking him out and allowing Simmons to get the winning pinfall for the win to retain the belts at 11:19.

  • Rating: The sky is blue, the water is wet, the Steiners & Doom killed it again. This match was a bit different compared to the PPV match at Capital Combat, which was more physical and hard-hitting, but it was equally great in my personal opinion. Scott Steiner was just on another level at this time in his career, less than a year into his NWA/WCW run yet already one of the most unique wrestlers in the whole industry. He was the highlight and the most exciting part of any match he was apart of, and this was no exception. But make no mistake about it, all wrestlers played an important part and helped make this match be as good as it was. Incredible yet again. ***3/4
Arn Anderson vs. Paul Orndorff

Orndorff holds Arn’s TV title before the bell, trying to throw Anderson off his game. An early headlock is won by Orndorff who works over into a backslide for two. Orndorff holds Anderson in a sleeper, which Arn reverses only to get taken down into figure-four position for two. Orndorff goes to work on Arn’s leg but walks into the deadly AA spinebuster. Arn pounds the back and works an abdominal stretch. He grabs the ropes for some illegal assistance, stopping when the ref goes to check if he’s grabbing them before finally getting caught. I always enjoy things like these. They collide for a double KO spot, with Arn being the first to come back up as he hits an atomic drop. Orndorff comes back with a couple of kneelights and elbowdrops for two. Orndorff flying splash only meets Arn’s knees, who rolls him up to steal it only for Orndorff to reverse it and roll over to get the win for himself at 11:39.

  • Rating: Solid non-title bout between two experienced workers. Nothing out of this world, just competent enough work with a number of nice spots, such as Arn’s heel work holding the ropes during the abdominal stretch. Good enough. **3/4
Main-Event – NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Ric Flair(c)(w/ Ole Anderson) vs. The Junkyard Dog

Yes, JYD. In 1990. Yawn. Flair chops away but JYD sells none of them and keeps overpowering Flair down. JYD shoulderblock, Flair drops down… but JYD goes down as well and meets him with a headbutt on the floor. That was nice. A super weak “uppercut” dumps Flair who then Flair flops on the outside. Ric, your effort is appreciated, but that shot (if I can even call it one) looked horrible and is so not worthy of a Flair flop. Flair gets back in and begs for mercy on his knees, and a number of chops are no-sold. JYD “pounds away”, and then very… slowly… gets up on the ropes to pound some more. JYD follows that up with a horrible looking clothesline – basically Flair walking into it – while JR says “JYD is not being very scientific, he doesn’t know a wristlock from a wristwatch”. No need to apologize, Jim! Flair rakes the eyes to turn things around, and follows that up with a Flair kneedrop… which is no-sold. Oh gimme a break. Flair chops are completely ignored again as JYD pounds away for a second Flair flop. Backdrop and Flair has had enough. I don’t think you’re the only one, champ! Flair snaps the neck and grabs a chair for a shot to the head while Ole distracts the ref… and JYD no-sells it. End this, please. Flair asks for mercy yet again and JYD pounds away in the corner some more. Off to the corner for a Flair flip but he flies right into a JYD right hand. And another backdrop. Ole gets up on the apron and that earns him a shot, allowing Flair to cheapshot JYD from behind. Flair goes up but obviously gets slammed off. JYD headbutt but Ole runs in for the DQ at 6:37. Jesus christ.

  • Rating: Nope. 1/2*

Sting and Luger run in to save JYD from a Horsemen post-match beatdown, and Sting issues the challenge for The Great American Bash. Now we’re talking! Sting beats up Flair for a while to close the show.

END OF THE SHOW

Final thoughts: There is good stuff from this show that is more than worth your time. The highlight is another great Steiners/Doom encounter, but there’s also another good Midnight/RNR bout and nothing is actually bad… until the main-event. I challenge you to find a Ric Flair match from the mid 80s all the way up to the mid 90s that is even half as bad as this was. JYD looked horrible, out of shape, slow, and was way out of Flair’s league to be in the main-event with him at this point. This is one of those shows that is not bad, but does suffer a little bit from its negative ‘how you leave em’ effect. Low 6/10

For comments and/or feedback, e-mail me at cunhatomas2001@hotmail.com

POINT SYSTEM

Click here to read all about my point system.

WrestlerStar ratingsResultMain-eventingExtrasTotal
Ron Simmons3.7511 for retaining a title
0.5 for winning the fall
6.25
Butch Reed 3.75 1 1 for retaining a title 5.75
Tracy Smothers2.510.5 for winning the fall4
Ricky Morton
Robert Gibson
3.250.53.75
Bobby Eaton
Stan Lane
3.25-0.51 for retaining a title 3.75
Barry Windham2.7513.75
Paul Orndorff2.751 3.75
Mike Rotunda210.5 for winning the fall 3.5
Steve Armstrong2.513.5
Mean Mark2.5 13.5
Tom Zenk 213
Rick Steiner3.75-12.75
Scott Steiner3.75-1-0.5 for losing the fall2.25
Ric Flair0.5-0.511 for retaining a title2
The Junkyard Dog0.50.512
Arn Anderson2.75-11.75
Doug Furnas2.75-11.75
Michael Hayes2.5-11.5
Brian Pillman2.5-11.5
Jimmy Garvin2.5-1-0.5 for losing the fall1
Lex Luger11
Fatu2-11
The Samoan Savage2-1-0.5 for losing the fall1
Tommy Rich0.50.5
Bam Bam Bigelow-0.5-0.5
Sid Vicious-1-1

Thank you all for reading. Make sure you don’t miss the next review, of The Great American Bash. Stay safe!

Categories
No Category NWA PPV WCW

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!

Categories
NWA PPV WCW

NWA/WCW WrestleWar 1990 Review (Flair vs. Luger)

Welcome everyone to my review of WrestleWar 1990, featuring a Flair/Luger main-event title match and much more.

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

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

Enjoy the review!

WCW WrestleWar 1990 | Results - WCW PPV Event History | Pay Per Views &  Special Events | Pro Wrestling Events Database
IMG credit: WWE Network
The Dynamic Dudes (Johnny Ace & Shane Douglas) vs. Kevin Sullivan & Buzz Sawyer
WCW WrestleWar '90 Wild Thing Kevin Sullivan Buzz Sawyer vs. The Dynamic  Dudes - YouTube
IMG credit: WWE

Sawyer grabs a headlock on Ace to start, but Johnny uses people power to dump Sawyer with a dropkick followed by a dive. It’s sad how the crowd is just not into the Dynamic Dudes as babyfaces. Back in with the Dudes still in control, so Sawyer and Sullivan take a second to hit each other for motivation. Well, I’ve seen crazier things! This actually works as Sawyer takes over and pounds away in the corner only to miss a charge and eat the buckle. Douglas goes to work on the arm but Sullivan dumps him and Sawyer suplexes him on the floor. Buzz throws him back in for a belly to belly that gets two. Side suplex gets two more. Sawyer works in a bearhug, breaks the hold to knock Johnny off the apron to prevent the tag, and then tags Sullivan in for his own bearhug. Douglas ends up fighting back once and for all and makes the “hot” tag to Johnny. Johnny comes in running wild on both heels with dropkicks and a BAD flying headscissors. Sawyer catches him with a suplex and goes up top for a flying splash for the win at 10:15.

  • Rating: Weird choice for the opener. The match was watchable, but it was just way too long for what it was, and the fact that the Dudes are not over at all didn’t help. Not horrible or even bad, just skippable. *1/2
Cactus Jack Manson vs. Norman the Lunatic
Cactus Jack Manson V Norman NWA... - Old School Wrestling
IMG credit: WWE

Cactus chokes away to start and quickly hits an elbow for two. Norman turns things arounds shortly afterwards with a clothesline and puts Foley in a bearhug. Cactus fights back but goes nowhere and eats a Norman avalanche in the corner. Foley goes flying over the top to the outside off a Norman irish whip, and then takes a crazy back bump over the rail onto the concrete floor near the crowd. Because he’s Mick Foley, he’s nuts and he’ll do whatever just to get over. Bless you Mick, but you really are insane. Foley comes back in and manages to send Norman into the post, followed by a dropkick. Cactus bites away back inside before headbutting Norman for two. Foley chokes away and goes to a chinlock. Cactus goes for a piledriver but it misses because Norman is too fat, and then just to make sure we really get that point across, Norman just drops his ass right on poor Foley’s face for the pin at 9:33.

  • Rating: This wasn’t bad mostly due to Mick Foley trying everything and anything to get over. I’m not a big fan of the “he’s fat” finish, and the result is also questionable, but it was okay otherwise. *3/4
The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane)(w/ Jim Cornette) vs. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson)
The Rock 'n' Roll Express vs. The Midnight Express: Wrestle War 1990 | WWE
IMG credit: WWE

Lane and Gibson get things going for each team. Gibson starts off with an armdrag so Lane responds with a hiptoss. Lane goes for a leapfrog but Gibson easily reverses, which gets the heels all worked up and Cornette gets in to challenge referee Nick Patrick for a fight! Patrick accepts but then Corny just runs away and falls on his ass leaving the ring. I watched this show with five or six people from the SmarkDown discord server and we were all laughing so hard at this. Cornette was hilarious as a heel manager! Morton catches Eaton with an armdrag but Cornette trips Morton from the outside. That draws Ricky Morton to the floor to get into a tug-of-war with Corny, which ends with Cornette falling on his ass yet again and the babyfaces ramming the Midnight Express into each other with a classic double noggin knocker. Rock ‘n’ Roll follow that up with a double clothesline on Eaton back inside.

Ricky Morton come in and Lane goes after him, but Morton turns that around and sends Lane into the buckle instead. A Morton bodypress on Eaton sends both guys to the floor but the illegal Lane comes in with a slam on the floor. Eaton gets a backbreaker back inside and choking follows on the ropes, with Cornette adding a racket shot to Morton’s throat. And shockingly Ricky Morton finds himself playing… Ricky Morton! A double-elbowdrop by the Midnights gets two. Lane powerslam gets two more. Meanwhile Eaton draws Gibson in and allows that ref distraction to send Morton into the railing as the poor guy just continues to get beat like a drum. Morton manages to roll through into a sunset flip back inside, but Cornette quickly grabs the referee for a chat so he misses the pin. Morton turns the sunset flip into a regular roll-up, only for Eaton to come up behind him with a neckbreaker. Really nice!

Morton tries to fight but gets quickly sent into the turnbuckle arm-first. The Midnights go to work on the arm from there, whipping Morton’s arm into the buckle some more and slamming him right on his arm. Flying elbow by Eaton gets a nearfall. Eaton works a Divorce Court into a hammerlock in a really smooth transition. Morton manages to escape, but Lane quickly meets him there with a slam to prevent the hot tag. They go for the Rocket Launcher, but miss and heeeeeeeere’s Gibson! And the crowd goes crazy!! Gibson comes in running wild and eventually gets a hot nearfall with a sunset flip on Eaton, but then everyone comes inside for a brawl as IT’S BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA! That distracts the referee and allows Cornette to sneak in a nasty shot with the racket to Gibson. Eaton tries to steal the win but Gibson kicks out at two for a fantastic false finish. The heels go for a double flapjack, but Morton (being Ricky Morton!) sacrifices his own body to stop that while Gibson blocks it by rolling through into a cradle for the Rock ‘n’ Roll win at 19:31.

  • Rating: Absolutely incredible. Intelligent, great and smooth work between arguably the two teams with the most chemistry in the entire history of tag team wrestling. Cornette was his usual great self by being able to constantly get heat for the heels while making an idiot out of himself at the very same time. He was just the perfect chickenshit heel manager, especially working with the Midnights. Great great match, highly recommended. ****
Tag Team Chicago Street Fight: Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal)(w/ Paul Ellering) vs. The Skyscrapers (Mean Mark Callous & ‘The Masked Skyscraper)(w/ Theodore Long)
Classic Wrestling Review: WrestleWar '90 | CXF | Culture Crossfire |  culturecrossfire.com
IMG credit: WWE

Danny Spivey got injured and is replaced by ‘The Masked Skyscraper’, played by Mike Enos. The Road Warriors come out in street clothes for a street fight in a really nice touch. They all go at it to start with Hawk using the ropes to choke Masked. The recently unmasked Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed) come out to watch the action, as the Road Warriors clean house. The Skyscrapers choke away on the LOD, but they turn things around and finish Masked with the Doomsday Device in short order at 4:59. Doom go at it with the LOD to close the segment.

  • Rating: Uh, that was it? So we saw a massive heel beatdown angle by the Skyscrapers on the Road Warriors at the prior edition of Clash, even including rare chair shots to the head, only for LOD to win a street fight at the PPV in less than five minutes? Okay then. 3/4*
NWA US Tag Team Championship: Flyin’ Brian & The Z-Man(c) vs. The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin)
International Object: NWA United States Tag Team Champions (1990)
IMG credit: WWE

As I always say in their matches, I will call Flyin’ Brian “Brian Pillman” and The Z-Man “Tom Zenk” because it’s much easier for me and for you. The Freebirds take their time getting inside the ring as usual, so the babyfaces beat them up, steal their gears and mock their ‘Badstreet USA’ dance. That was nice. Mucho stalling from the Freebirds follows. They take their time locking up, with Hayes constantly running away from the action. Off to Garvin as the champs are finally able to get their hands on the heels, with Zenk hitting a number of quick dropkicks before he eventually misses one. Both wrestlers tag in their respective partners with Pillman going to work on Hayes’ arm. Back to Zenk for an armbar as the arm work continues for a while. This is all solid and all, but it’s also very boring. Pillman hiptosses Garvin and in comes Hayes with a flying bodypress that Brian rolls through for two. A double-team elbow by the Freebirds turns things around, though. A Pillman hope spot goes nowhere as this match just won’t end, and Pillman brings in Zenk for the hot tag. That ends up going nowhere as well, as Hayes catches him and sends him into the post to cut off the comeback. And in comes Garvin to work… a chinlock. Oh come on now.

Hayes comes in off the tag for a chinlock of his own, with Zenk reversing with a roll-through for two. That comeback ends up going anywhere as well, and the Freebirds go back to working chinlocks… Zenk fights back but eats buckle on a blind charge, and Hayes drops an elbow for two. Off to Garvin to stomp away and back in comes Hayes for a bulldog, with Pillman breaking up the pinfall. Freebirds go back to the chinlocks. I can tell this match can’t end via submission, because I tapped out a few minutes ago and this just won’t end. Pillman comes in off ANOTHER hot tag with a number of dropkicks and about a minute later Pillman ends the pain with a flying bodypress at a WHOOPIN’ 24:32.

  • Rating: Technically fine, but good lord this would even put a horse on 10 energy pills and 27 Red Bulls to sleep. Fine but super boring and ridiculously long. **
NWA World Tag Team Championship: The Steiners (Rick & Scott Steiner)(c) vs. The Andersons (Arn & Ole Anderson)
The Steiner Brothers vs. Arn & Ole Anderson - WCW Tag Team Championship: WrestleWar  1990 | WWE
IMG credit: WWE.com

The heel challengers play mind games to start, particularly Arn, but the Steiners beat them up anyway and clean house. And the crowd is way into the champs. Ole comes in to take on Rick but loses a slugfest and bails. Off to Arn for a leapfrog that Rick brilliantly counters and turns into a powerslam in mid-air, and AA bails. Back in with Arn dropping a knee on Rick and going up, only for Rick to meet him there and bring him back down the hard way. In comes Scott with an atomic drop into a figure four that Ole comes in to break up. Scott hits a belly to belly instead and follows that up with a kneedrop for two. Both guys tag in their partners with Ole making the mistake of ramming Rick’s face in the buckle, which Rick no-sells, but Ole knees him in the midsection and that gives the heels the edge anyway. Scott comes in only to find himself playing Ricky Morton in short order, with the Andersons sending Scott arm-first into the post and the barricade on the outside. Back in for an Arn hammerlock slam right on the injured arm (NICE!) followed by a vicious kneedrop to the arm. Arn goes for the kill but eats the Frankesteiner for a huge pop and in comes Rick off the hot tag. Ole comes in as well and tries to cut off the hot tag, but Rick surprises him with an inside cradle for the pin to retain the belts at 16:05.

  • Rating: Usual fun and hot Steiners match. Arn was feeling it and put on a great performance, as for Ole… not so much. I don’t know if he wasn’t motivated or what, but he just wasn’t putting any effort or energy like I’ve seen him do before. Scott did very good in selling for the heels while playing the team’s Ricky Morton, and Rick was a great hot tag guy like always. Solid match, but man Ole’s sort of half-assed performance here made me miss Arn’s chemistry with Tully Blanchard. Really solid match regardless. ***1/4
Main-Event – NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Ric Flair(c)(w/ Woman) vs. Lex Luger
WrestleWar '90 - Wild Thing | The Casual Geekery
IMG credit: WWE

Sting was originally Flair’s challenger in this match, but he got seriously injured and was thus replaced by the US Champion Luger. Sting shows up in crutches before the match. An early lockup is won by Luger with authority, and Flair complains with the ref about some hair pulling. Another one is obviously won by Luger yet again, and a shoulderblock sends Flair out for a breather. Back in for another lockup into a Luger clothesline. Flair has had enough and actually walks away, but Luger follows him and brings him back to the ring the hard way. Flair tries to turn things around with a necksnap on the top rope, but Luger no-sells that like an absolute monster and gets a crazy babyface reaction while Flair begs for mercy. Great stuff! Luger proceeds to press slam Flair and then no-sells Flair’s chops. Another press slam just to make sure Flair knows he has him. Flair tries to go after the eyes but not even that takes him anywhere, with Luger beating him up in the corner. Flair flop and he goes down, back up into a Luger hiptoss who tries to follow with a clothesline, but Flair blocks and Luger takes a bump to the floor. And for the first time the champ’s in the driver seat.

Flair goes to work by bringing the chops and running Luger into the rail. Back in for the classic Flair kneedrop. Another kneedrop, this one dedicated to Woman, gets two. They get into a slugfest which is won by Lex only for him to miss a blind charge, with Flair going to work on Luger’s arm – that has been a trend on this show. Luger ends up escaping though, and whips Flair into the buckle for a Flair flip to the outside. Luger follows Flair and brings him back in, working on a sleeper. Luger suplex before ramming Flair’s leg into the post. That sets up a Luger figure four (uh oh!) but Flair chops his way out of it. Luger hits a powerslam instead for two. Luger no-sells a couple more chops, so Flair runs the ropes for a rare flying forearm with authority… and it’s Flair who goes down off the impact! And the crowd comes alive!

They go outside for a while before coming back in for a Luger backslide that gets two. Flair catches him with the atomic drop right on Luger’s leg. You know what that means – time to take him to school, WOOOOOOO! A couple of flying doubles axehandles give Flair two. Luger manages to hit a clothesline for two in spite of the pain, so Flair gets really pissed and viciously attacks Luger’s leg. He drops the knee on the leg and locks in the figure four, complete with illegal assistance from the ropes. Sting makes his way down to ringside and tries to get Luger all fired up, including a slap to motivate him. That apparently works and gets Lex all worked up to set up the big comeback, and Flair wants noooo part of that – “nope sir, I’m out”! Luger slams Flair, who goes up only to get slammed off. Luger runs wild with the series of clotheslines while Flair tries to run for his life but just can’t escape. Luger hits a suplex followed by a powerslam to set up the Torture Rack. Luger locks it in but we get a ref bump. Cue the Horsemen (the Andersons) to confront Sting at ringside. The referee is starting to come back to life, at which point the Andersons grab Sting and force Luger to make a decision. Luger breaks the hold and decides to help the vulnerable Stinger, eventually being counted-out at 38:08.

  • Rating: What an awesome match. This was so great. Flair put Luger over here as a legit badass and a threat to his title, knowing exactly when to be the chickensh*t weasel champion and when to turn it on. Brilliant match. I can forgive them for the (weak) finish, as Luger was a substitute to the injured Sting and they wanted to keep the belt on Flair while also not giving Luger a decisive loss. The awesome action before the finish is way more memorable than the flat finish. Great main-event and an early match of the year contender already between two of the very best in the industry at the time. ****1/2

END OF THE SHOW

Final thoughts: This is a weird one to rate. There’s some bad stuff in here, but what is good is REALLY good. I would certainly recommend Flair/Luger and Midnights/RNR, and Steiners/Andersons if you wanna make it three. I think the good outweighs the bad, but it wasn’t on the level of any of NWA’s pay-per-views from the prior year. Still a good show. 6/10

POINT SYSTEM

You can check out how my point system works here.

WrestlerStar ratingsResultMain-eventingExtrasTotal
Ric Flair4.50.511 for retaining a title7
Rick Steiner3.2511 for retaining a title
0.5 for winning the fall
5.75
Robert Gibson410.5 for winning the fall5.5
Scott Steiner3.2511 for retaining a title5.25
Lex Luger4.5-0.515
Ricky Morton415
Flyin Brian211 for retaining a title
0.5 for winning the fall
4.5
The Z-Man211 for retaining a title4
Stan Lane4-13
Buzz Sawyer1.510.5 for winning the fall3
Norman the Lunatic1.7512.75
Bobby Eaton4-1-0.5 for losing the fall2.5
Kevin Sullivan1.512.5
Hawk0.7510.5 for winning the fall2.25
Animal0.7511.75
Michael Hayes2-11
Cactus Jack Manson1.75-10.75
Jimmy Garvin2-1-0.5 for losing the fall0.5
Shane Douglas1.5-10.5
Johnny Ace1.5-1-0.5 for losing the fall0
Mean Mark Callous0.75-1-0.25
Masked Skyscraper0.75-1-0.5 for losing the fall-0.75

That’s all from WrestleWar 90. As always, thank you so much for reading! Don’t miss the next article, as I review WWF’s WrestleMania VI. Stay safe!