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Chairshot Classics: NWA Starrcade ’83 – A Flair For The Gold

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Let the nostalgia begin with the start of this new series covering classic NWA and WCW pay-per-views! We will be opening things up where it all really began, the first ever “supercard” produced by the National Wrestling Alliance and Jim Crockett Promotions. This event was actually before the advent of what we know today as “pay-per-view” and the broadcast was mostly only available in southern states through closed circuit television. For those wanting to see it live, you’d buy tickets to show up at local arenas and watch on a big screen. Quite a far cry from today where everything we get is streamed directly into our homes and honestly, crazy to think you’d ever have to do that with all of our current luxuries.

There’s nothing showy, we get no pomp and circumstance to begin the show and head directly into the ring where the combatants for our first match-up are ready to go…

Match #1: The Assassins (#1 & #2) w/Paul Jones vs. Bugsy McGraw & NWA Mid-Atlantic Champion Rufus R. Jones
Bugsy and Assassin #1 start things off. They lock up, #1 with a side headlock, irish whip into the ropes and shoulder knockdown on Bugsy. Back to the ropes, Bugsy with a hip-toss. He misses an elbow, but #1 misses one of his own and Bugsy hits a body slam. He goes for the mask, but #1 rolls out of the ring and takes a breather. The ref only gets to 3 before #1 is back in the ring. Another lockup, as #1 takes the advantage with a knee. Irish whips Bugsy into the ropes, Bugsy ducks a backhand and hits a jumping elbow knocking The Assassin down. He goes for the mask again, both men back up and we get a slugfest with Bugsy getting the better end of it. #1 is down and he makes the tag to #2. They lockup and go into the same spot that started the match except Bugsy ends it with another body slam followed by a hip toss.

Tag into Rufus R. Jones and he’s a house of fire, connecting with rights, chops and an elbow while shucking and jiving. Irish whips #2 and connects with a big gut punch that gets a 2 count. Rufus picks #2 back up, hits a hip toss and follows with a wrist lock. #2 tries to break free with a right hand to no avail. Rufus keeping the pressure on tags Bugsy back in who maintains the wrist lock. #2 gets in some rights before backing Bugsy into his corner and tagging in #1. Bugsy fights off a double team with rights and an elbow. They lock up and #1 grasps Bugsy in a wrist lock. Bugsy counters with one of his own and tags Rufus back in who keeps the wrist lock going. He keeps working the arm with headbutts. Rufus breaks it and a knockdown on #1. Backs #1 into the corner and a big irish whip to the opposite corner takes #1 down. #1 able to gain an advantage with some eye rakes.

He tags in #2 who continues to go after the eyes. Right hands on Rufus, but he shakes them off and mounts a comeback with rights and headbutts. Rufus crawls to his corner and makes the tag to Bugsy who goes to work on both Assassins with rights and elbows. Big right on #2 knocks him down and now #1 and Rufus jump into the ring and we get a brawl. Bugsy with an atomic drop on #2 as Rufus shoulders #1 back out to the apron. Bugsy with an irish whip followed by a back body drop on #2. #1 comes into the ring from behind with a schoolboy roll-up on Bugsy and gets a 3 count for the win.
Winners: The Assassins (Assassin #1/Schoolboy)

  • EA’s Take: I’m going off the assumption that anyone reading this is not overly familiar, if at all, with either of these duos. Not unless you watched late-1980’s/early-1990’s WCW when one of The Assassins was a manager. In a time before the big, bold characters that the WWF would present, Bugsy plays some of that role and serves as the entertainment for this contest. There was some decent action throughout with McGraw really pushing the pace early. Rufus wears one of the most forgotten about titles in history and comes off as a poor-man’s version of Junkyard Dog if this is your first time seeing him. A lot of striking fills out Rufus’ move-set (which there will almost certainly be a lot of throughout the show) and the inevitable, but confusing, switch from The Assassins gets them a win. Which literally happened right in front of the official.

Match #2: Johnny Weaver & Scott McGhee vs. Kevin Sullivan & Mark Lewen w/Gary Hart
Sullivan and McGhee start us off. Sullivan with a waist lock takedown. They quickly go into the ropes, Sullivan goes for a back body drop, but McGhee hops over and hits consecutive dropkicks. Sullivan tags in Lewen. They lock up and Lewen backs McGhee in the corner, but he ducks an elbow and escapes. Lewen tags Sullivan back in. They lock up, McGhee with a side headlock as he tags in Weaver. Weaver continues with a side headlock. Sullivan irish whips Weaver to the ropes and they go into a criss-cross. Weaver feigns a big right, but Sullivan hangs onto the ropes to avoid it. Tag back into Lewen. Lewen and Weaver lock knuckles with Lewen applying a wrist lock only to be countered by Weaver into one of his own. He works Lewen’s arm with a couple elbows and tags in McGhee.

Double axe handle to Lewen’s arm and McGhee continues the wrist lock. Lewen with a brief counter into one of his own, but McGhee escapes. They lock up and Lewen with a top headlock tags in Sullivan. Sullivan with a snapmare into a wrist lock and he works over McGhee’s arm. He tags Lewen back in who connects with a chop to McGhee’s arm and goes back into a wrist lock. Another quick tag to Sullivan who comes in with a running knee to McGhee and goes back to a wrist lock. Another tag to Lewen and he applies a version of a bow and arrow. McGhee makes a tag, but Sullivan had the ref distracted and he sends Weaver back out. Sullivan and Lewen with a double team behind the ref’s back with Sullivan nailing a nice looking jumping knee. Sullivan comes in without making a tag and goes back to a wrist lock. They’re really working that arm of Scott McGhee.

Tag back to Lewen who hooks a front face lock. Yet another tag to Sullivan. McGhee tries to mount a comeback, but is stopped by a headbutt from Sullivan. Tag to Lewen who rakes the back of McGhee and then applies a nerve hold. McGhee crawls to his corner to tag, but Lewen stops him by grabbing the hair and pulling him back to his own corner. Another tag to Sullivan. Sullivan goes to ram McGhee’s head into the turnbuckle, but he blocks it and rams Sullivan. He makes the hot tag to Johnny Weaver who knocks around Sullivan and Lewen with right hands. Into the corner and Weaver hits a running bulldog on Sullivan for a 2 count. Lewen breaks it up.

Weaver goes for another running bulldog, but Sullivan counters and pushes him off. Lewen in with a couple kicks on Weaver before heading back to the apron where Sullivan tags out, making Lewen the legal man. Lewen with a few kicks and he tags Sullivan back in. Wrist lock on Weaver and another tag to Lewen who maintains the wrist lock. Tag to Sullivan, still maintaining the hold and we get a brief double team wrist lock on Weaver. McGhee comes in to stop the double team, but distracts the ref which allows it to continue. Lewen with a top rope knee drop on Weaver while Sullivan holds the arm. Lewen goes for the cover and gets 3 for the victory.
Winners: Mark Lewen & Kevin Sullivan (Lewen/Top Rope Knee Drop)

  • After The Bell: Scott McGhee comes in and attacks the heels, hitting a dropkick on Gary Hart in the process. Hart pulls something out of his boot and Sullivan and Lewen go to town on McGhee’s head, busting him open. Angelo Mosca comes in to help, but he gets lacerated with the object as well. McGhee is bleeding profusely as Lewen and Sullivan continue the beating until Mosca gets back to his feet and clears the ring.
  • EA’s Take: Clearly, Kevin Sullivan is the most remembered name in this contest and was very well known at this time for his dark persona, mostly in Florida. One thing you will continue to see a lot of in comparison to what the WWF would be doing is the pacing. I mentioned it in my take for the first match and we saw some more of the same early before it would slow down. Beginning with two straight tag matches is a bit of a puzzler, but you’ll also notice the classic tag team tactics which seem to be lost at times on today’s talents. You know, the kind of stuff that The Revival is always badgering on about!

Match #3: Carlos Colon vs. Abdullah The Butcher
Collar and elbow tie up with Abdullah getting Carlos into the corner. Abdullah appears to have pulled a foreign object from his tights already and he lays Carlos out with it. Abdullah with rights and headbutts followed by a choke in the corner. More rights and headbutts with Carlos unable to get anything going. Irish whip to the ropes and Abdullah hits a clothesline and follows with an elbow drop for a count of 2. Abdullah with a throat shot and he rakes at Carlos’ face. Carlos finally able to mount some offense with a series of rights, backing Abdullah into the corner. Carlos grabs the foreign object from Abdullah and gives him a taste of his own medicine.

Carlos works Abdullah over with it, busting him open. More rights to the cut and he even bites Abdullah on the forehead. Carlos is really beating Abdullah with that object, making Abdullah the proverbial crimson mask. Irish whip to the ropes and Carlos knocks Abdullah down with a big right to the gut. Jumping leg drop and elbow drop to Abdullah for a 2 count. As Abdullah kicks out he throws Carlos onto the referee. With Carlos still on top of the ref, Abdullah goes for an elbow drop, but Carlos moves and Abdullah nails the referee. Referee is laid out as Carlos hits a succession of right hands followed up with a drop kick, taking Abdullah down. Carlos now working on Abdullah’s knee and he applies a figure four. Somebody just entered the ring and smashed Carlos. It was Hugo Savinovich. Abdullah crawls over for the cover and gets the 3.
Winner: Abdullah The Butcher (Interference)

  • EA’s Take: From the “shining star” of the Caribbean comes the WWE Hall Of Famer Carlos Colon, father to Primo and Carlito, uncle of Epico. This is a classic rivalry in Puerto Rico where Carlos is essentially the embodiment of pro wrestling. It makes sense that the NWA would want this a part of their “supercard”. The kind of violence it presented, albeit a little tame compared to their work on the island, is not common place (Yes, I realize we’ve already seen this is now multiple blade-jobs. Different matter altogether). Do yourself a favor and peep some highlights of any Butcher/Carlos matches from Puerto Rick if you can find them. You’ll see the difference.

Match #4: Chief Wahoo McDaniel & Mark Youngblood vs. Dick Slater & Bob Orton Jr.
Wahoo and Slater begin the match. Collar and elbow tie up the corner with Slater getting a small advantage. Wahoo whips him into the corner and Slater hops up over the corner to the apron. Back in the ring another collar and elbow tie up. Slater with a wrist lock, but Wahoo counters into one of his own and drags Slater to his corner to tag in Youngblood. Youngblood with a leg drop to Slater’s arm and he applies a wrist lock. Slater counters with an irish whip, but Youngblood then counters and hits a body slam. Back up, Slater with a double leg takedown rolls over into a cover for a 2 count. Both men up and we get a standoff. Collar and elbow tie up into a hammer lock by Slater, countered into one by Youngblood. Slater picks the leg, but Youngblood kicks him off and over the top rope to the apron. Slater wants a DQ for going over the top, but the ref won’t give it to him. Youngblood and Slater lock knuckles as Slater gets the advantage and executes a Russian leg sweep on Youngblood.

Front facelock as he backs into his corner and tags Orton in. Orton off the ropes with a big knee to Youngblood. Orton grabs Youngblood in a military press and drops him down into a backbreaker, tossing Youngblood away like a rag doll. Wahoo begins to come in, but is quickly stopped by the ref. Orton with a snapmare and he hits the ropes looking for an elbow drop, but Youngblood moves. Orton slides to the outside and Youngblood gives chase. Orton off the ropes, but Youngblood with a hip toss. Orton with a quick strategy session with Slater in the corner. Collar and elbow tie up into a side head lock by Orton. Irish whip into the ropes and they go into a short criss-cross with Orton making a blind tag to Slater.

Orton with a backbreaker as Slater enters the ring and hits an elbow with Orton propping Youngblood up. Slater hits some big punches followed by a gutwrench suplex for a count of 2. Slater throws Youngblood to the outside where Orton takes advantage and works him over with boots. Wahoo tries to intervene, but again the ref stops him. Orton grabs Youngblood into a backbreaker over the steel barricade. Wahoo checks on Youngblood who gets into the ring with Slater laying in wait. Slater with a headbutt and a boot, then tags Orton in who applies a crossface type move. Youngblood is able to get out with shots to the gut and hits the ropes for a shoulder knockdown on Orton. Back to the ropes, but Orton counters with a big boot to the mush, knocking Youngblood back down. Orton with a side head lock tags in Slater. Youngblood with a short comeback, but is prevented from making the tag by Orton.

Slater sends Youngblood to the ropes and hits a big elbow. Slater follows it up with a vertical suplex for a 2 count. Slater attempts a piledriver, but Youngblood counters with a back body drop. Youngblood into the ropes and he runs into Slater, colliding heads. Both men are down, as Youngblood crawls towards his corner to try and tag. Orton comes in to stop it, but he’s too late and in comes Wahoo McDaniel. Big chops to Orton and Slater, followed by a noggin knocker. Irish whip to Orton in the corner followed by a big gut shot. Inverted atomic drop on Orton and Wahoo is really cooking now. Irish whips Orton and hits a body slam for a 2 count. Orton is able to get to his corner and tag in Slater who stops the onslaught by Wahoo. Slater and Wahoo exchange rights with Wahoo gaining the advantage until taking a shot to the gut by Orton on the outside.

Slater hits a belly to back suplex for 3 consecutive 2 counts. Tag back to Orton for a double team back elbow. Orton driving the point of his elbow and knee onto a prone Wahoo for a 2 count. Tag to Slater who goes to the top while Orton holds Wahoo. Wahoo moves and Slater nails Orton. Wahoo with an atomic drop on Slater, sending him flying into the wrong corner where Youngblood is waiting with right hands. Tag to Youngblood and he and Wahoo hit a double team chop on Slater. Orton comes in with a knee to Wahoo’s back sending him to the outside as Youngblood works on Slater.

Slater gets a tag to Orton who slows Youngblood down, but not for long as he hits multiple dropkicks to Slater and Orton. Slater and Wahoo brawl on the outside as Youngblood irish whips Orton into the ropes. Youngblood goes for another dropkick, but Slater grabs Orton from the outside which prevents Youngblood from connecting. Slater jumps in and he and Orton double team Youngblood, propping him onto the turnbuckle. Orton goes up with Youngblood and hits a superplex, followed by a cover and a 3 count giving his team the win.
Winners: Bob Orton Jr. & Dick Slater (Orton Jr./Superplex)

  • After The Bell: Wahoo is in going to work on Slater and Orton. Slater gains the advantage on Wahoo and they double team him. Slater holds Wahoo’s arm under the bottom rope as Orton climbs the turnbuckle and hits a knee onto Wahoo’s arm on the outside.
  • EA’s Take: That’s three tag matches out of the four to start the show, an interesting route to take to say the least. If you’re going to have a “supercard” however, I guess you want to get as many guys on the show as possible. Seems to me like they should be a little more spread out though. Also, the heels have now one four straight…possible foreshadowing? Regardless, I’d find it hard pressed for anybody to not take notice of Slater, but more particularly Orton. Dick Slater is certainly a forgotten star and a guy who could really do it all. Orton on the other hand, even being a WWE Hall Of Famer, is still vastly underrated in my eyes (Do I smell a future Underrated Files? Perhaps). Of course he would be most known for playing Roddy Piper’s sidekick in years to come, but he is about as smooth in the ring as they get. Just watch everything Orton Jr. does here and you will clearly see that his son, Randy, did not get his gifts from the man upstairs, but from his family.

Match #5 is a Title vs. Mask Match for the NWA Television Championship: ‘Downtown’ Charlie Brown vs. NWA Television Champion The Great Kabuki w/Gary Hart
Charlie Brown is actually Jimmy Valiant for those that are not aware. Charlie kicks it off with big rights sending Kabuki to the outside. He slams Kabuki into multiple ring posts and then goes to work on Kabuki with a chair. Rolling Kabuki back in, Charlie wraps Kabuki’s legs around the post and crotches him on it. He drags Kabuki by the legs to the center of the ring and connects with a low blow behind the refs back. Irish whip into the ropes and Charlie locks on a sleeper on Kabuki. Charlie has it locked on good as Kabuki appears to be going out before escaping with a rake of the eyes. Charlie ducks a chop by Kabuki and goes right back into the sleeper, dropping Kabuki down to the mat again.

Gary Hart reaches into the ring and rakes Charlie’s eyes behind the refs back to help Kabuki escape the hold once again. Both men up and Kabuki nails a couple martial arts kicks before sending Charlie into the ropes and applying a claw hold. Charlie gets out of it as both men go into opposite ropes with Charlie hitting multiple back body drops before Kabuki ends the run with a martial arts kick. Kabuki to the second rope and he comes down on Charlie with another claw hold to the head. Kabuki really has it locked in. Charlie finally fights back to his feet before hitting right hands and a boot. Irish whips Kabuki into the corner and follows him in, but Kabuki hits a boot to stop the threat. Kabuki up to the top rope comes down on Charlie with yet another claw hold. The ref checks Charlie’s arm and it hits the mat twice. Ref gets a count of 2 before Charlie kicks out.

Kabuki lets go of the claw, climbs the top rope and comes down with a chop to the head for another 2 count. Kabuki is going for Charlie’s mask, but the referee stops him. Both men up, but Kabuki with a knockdown off another martial arts kick. Kabuki with rights, but Charlie starts to come back as he hits the ropes and gets a knockdown off a right hand. Charlie irish whips Kabuki into the corner, but Kabuki reverses sending Charlie in. Kabuki tries to follow with a kick, but Charlie moves and Kabuki hits the mat. Charlie off the ropes with an elbow drop on Kabuki and he picks up the pinfall and the W.
Winner: New NWA Television Champion ‘Downtown’ Charlie Brown (Elbow Drop)

  • EA’s Take: Very unique stipulation to this match with the TV Title being on the line against the mask, but only for the first fifteen minutes if I understood the ring announcer correctly. I suppose that doesn’t matter since we finish up around the ten-minute mark. So here’s the spoiler alert of the century; Charlie Brown is Jimmy Valiant, who had previously come up short in a Loser Leaves Town match against Kabuki. Thus, we get Valiant in a mask and everyone who has working eyes is aware it’s him. This gives the match a little bit of entertainment value because of the over-the-top charisma from Charlie Brown. The in-ring work’s not great and the finish is a bit confusing since you don’t really know if there was a title change with no time updates from the announcer.

Match #6 is a Non-Title Dog Collar Match: ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper vs. NWA United States Champion Greg Valentine
Both men have a leather collar around their necks with a steel chain attaching to one another. They start off with a tug of war of sorts using just their necks before starting to pull in on the chain. Piper with a quick shot on Valentine with the chain and they back off to opposite corners again. Both men coming in close again and Valentine misses multiple shots on Piper with the chain before they both back off once again. Standoff in the center of the ring and they exchange rights before backing off again. Both men creep in before Piper hits a chain shot pushing Valentine into the corner. Multiple rights and chain shots on Valentine. Valentine gets tangled with the chain going between his legs, Piper picks up the slack real quick delivering a low blow on Valentine. Another chain shot to Valentine and he falls to the mat. Back up and Valentine takes control with rights, elbows and chain shots. Snapmare on Piper with the chain and Valentine wraps the chain around Piper’s face, dragging it across his eyes.

Valentine with a couple shots in the corner, but Piper counters with the chain and a knee lift. Snapmare on Valentine and now Piper wraps the chain around Valentine’s mouth. Piper over to the corner and he wraps the chain around the post, using it like a winch choking Valentine in the corner. Piper is vicious right now with right hands and even biting Valentine in the corner. Valentine’s been busted open, but he comes out of the corner with a vengeance, choking Piper with the chain. Both men to the outside and they start to whip each other with the chain. Piper up on the apron and he takes the tension up on the chain, hanging Valentine by the neck. Valentine is able to counter with a chain shot that catches Piper in the ear, but also knocks down the referee.

Still out on the apron and Valentine is going to work on Piper’s ear using right hands, the chain and even the steel ring post. Piper’s bleeding bad from his ear. Valentine rolls back into the ring as Piper has trouble standing on the outside. Valentine pulls Piper back in the ring and continues working on the bloodied ear of Piper with the chain. Piper finally gets back to his feet only to be pummeled by Valentine on the ear in the corner. Valentine sets Piper up for a suplex, but Piper counters with the chain wrapped around his hand. It’s a short comeback as Valentine goes back to the ear, laying Piper out again. Valentine with an elbow drop gets a count of 2. Another elbow and another 2 count. Valentine goes for a third elbow, but Piper tightens up on the chain and drops Valentine.

Piper back to his feet charges Valentine and tackles him to the mat, following it up with a flurry of right hands and boots. Piper sees the blood coming from his ear and begins to go berserk on Valentine with the chain. Valentine goes back to the ear, but Piper comes back with more rights to stop Valentine in his tracks. Valentine back up wraps the chain around Piper’s neck. Irish whip and Valentine knocks Piper down with a clothesline. Big knee drop by Valentine for back to back 2 counts. Valentine goes for a suplex, but Piper counters into one of his own and they double down. The ref gets to 8 before both men are up and we get a slugfest. Valentine whips Piper into the corner and follows it up with a sleeper hold. Piper wraps the chain around his fist while in the sleeper and connects on Valentine to break the hold. Valentine up to the second rope comes down with an elbow. Valentine up to the second rope again, but this time Piper pulls him off using the chain, lasso’s Valentine’s legs up and covers for a count of 3.
Winner: ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper (Chain-Assisted Pinfall)

  • EA’s Take: Aside from the main event, this is by far the most remembered match from the inaugural Starrcade and if you were to introduce someone new to wrestling with a list of matches to check out, this should be on there. A little unusual that the title’s not on the line, but it was about more than that. The issues between Piper and Valentine were personal and this brutal dog collar match fully encompassed that. In case you don’t know the story, Valentine legit busted Roddy’s ear drum and lose at least 50% of his hearing. Valentine was quoted in the WWE Roddy Piper documentary as saying, “Roddy Piper is a tough guy. He may not look it, but that is a tough guy”. Piper would also add, “To do another one of those man…whew, that’s tough”. For the younger readers out there who may wonder why Greg Valentine is a Hall Of Famer, I present to you Exhibit A. Also, this is a perfect example of how to have a hardcore-like match and still tell a great story.

Match #7 for the NWA World Tag Team Championships w/Special Referee Angelo Mosca: Jay Youngblood & Ricky Steamboat vs. NWA World Tag Team Champions The Briscos (Jack & Jerry)
Steamboat and Jack kick it off with a collar and elbow tie up, with Steamboat backing Jack in a corner and getting a clean break. Another collar and elbow with Jack putting Steamboat into a side head lock. Irish whip into the ropes and Steamboat with a couple of hops over Jack before going for a chop, but Jack saw it coming and hangs onto the ropes. Another lockup and Jack with a wrist lock, tags in Jerry who keeps the wrist lock on before a drop toe hold by Steamboat. Jerry quickly tags Jack back in who gets control with a hammer lock. Steamboat gets out by flipping backwards over Jack and hits an arm drag. Jack back tags Jerry in. Another lockup and Jerry gets the advantage, backing Steamboat in the corner and hitting right hands. Mosca in between to break it up, but Jerry back in with a front face lock on Steamboat. Mosca gets in the middle of it again to break it up.

They lockup in the center with Jerry whipping Steamboat in the corner. Steamboat counters and hits a couple chops before a side head lock on Jerry and a tag to Youngblood. Youngblood with a side head lock takedown on Jerry and then they get backed into the corner before Mosca breaks them up. They lock knuckles and Youngblood gets a hammer lock on Jerry. Jerry goes for a body slam, but Youngblood hangs onto the arm and gets a 2 count before dragging Jerry over to tag in Steamboat. Youngblood has the arm as Steamboat climbs to the top and hits a big chop. Another quick tag back to Youngblood who hits a chop off the top of his own for another count of 2. Into the opposite corner, Youngblood knocks down Jack on the apron before ramming Jerry into the turnbuckle and tagging Steamboat.

Steamboat charges Jerry, but he counters with boots before tagging Jack. Jerry holds Steamboat for Jack to hit some right hands. Jack has Steamboat over his shoulder and throats him across the top rope. Rear chin lock by Jack on Steamboat. Steamboat fights back to his feet, before getting out of it with a couple elbows. Shoulder knockdown on Jack, Steamboat into the ropes again as Jack leapfrogs him and then hits a back body drop. Jack tags Jerry who comes in and hits a double underhook suplex. He follows it up with a waist lock into a bridge for consecutive 2 counts on Steamboat. Steamboat back up again, but Jerry with a hip toss into a key lock. Steamboat gets up to his feet and he uses brute strength to lift Jerry off the mat into a slam to escape the hold. Jerry tags Jack and tries to prevent Steamboat from tagging, but he gets there anyway and in comes Youngblood.

Youngblood really working over Jack, goes for a suplex but Jack counters and hits one of his own. Tag to Jerry and we get a double team, irish whipping Youngblood into the ropes for a double shoulder tackle. Jerry comes in and gets a 2 count, but Youngblood’s foot was on the ropes. Jerry with a vertical suplex for another 2 count. A couple left hands by Jerry, then into an abdominal stretch pinning combination for a count of 2. Jerry is upset with the referee, Angelo Mosca, so he gives him a shove. Mosca doesn’t appreciate it and shoves Jerry back, knocking him to the mat. This gives Youngblood a chance to recover and make the tag to Steamboat.

Steamboat to the top with a chop to Jerry. Jack comes in, but he catches a right hand for his troubles and Steamboat goes back to work on Jerry. Irish whip into the ropes and Steamboat nails Jerry with a double chop. Tag to Youngblood and they double up on Jerry, sending him into the ropes for tandem chops. Tag back to Steamboat, they send Jerry into the ropes. Steamboat picks Youngblood up for a dropkick on Jerry, before Youngblood goes back on the apron. Chop to Jerry and another tag to Youngblood. Steamboat with a body slam to Jerry, Youngblood hits the ropes and Steamboat picks him up into a military press over Jerry’s prone body. Steamboat drops his partner into a splash onto Jerry and Youngblood gets a count of 3 and we have new champs.
Winners and NEW NWA World Tag Team Champions: Jay Youngblood & Ricky Steamboat (Youngblood/Combo Press-Splash)

  • After The Bell: Jack comes in and attacks everyone except for his brother Jerry, including referee Angelo Mosca. The Brisco’s double team Mosca, sending him into the steel post. Jerry locks a figure four onto Steamboat while Jack hits a big splash. Jack now up to the top goes for another big splash, but Mosca is back up and catches Jack in the air. Youngblood is back in the ring, now he and Steamboat go to town on The Briscos and clear the ring.
  • EA’s Take: The recipe for wrestling goodness; you take some Ricky Steamboat, add a pinch of the lesser known ingredient called Jay Youngblood, then top it off with a helping of The Briscos. Three out of four Hall Of Famers comprise the combatants and if it weren’t for his unexpected, premature death, Youngblood had a shot at being one too. Steamboat’s accolades speak for themselves, but not many are familiar with how good of a tandem he formed with Youngblood. They meshed perfectly with the veteran Briscos, both of whom were winding down their in-ring runs. Jack and Jerry aren’t completely done after a post-match ambush, but two former NWA World Champions just put over two younger stars. That’s how it should be!

Match #8 is a Steel Cage Match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship w/Special Referee Gene Kiniski: ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. NWA World Heavyweight Champion Harley Race
We’re finally set for the main event of the evening. Collar and elbow tie up and Flair takes the advantage with a side headlock takedown. Race escapes and we get a brief standoff. They lockup with Flair taking control with another side headlock. Race backs him into the ropes and Kiniski forces a clean break. Another lockup and Flair hits a knee followed by a snapmare into a rear chin lock. Race turns into it, making it a side headlock. He whips Flair into the ropes and hits a jumping knee, knocking Flair down. Race goes for his patented falling headbutt, but Flair moves, hits a chop and gets a cover for a 1 count. Flair in control again with a side headlock takedown as he grounds Race. Race rolls Flair over into a pinning predicament, but only gets a 1 count before Flair rolls back over putting the pressure back onto Race.

Flair floats over and gets a 2 count, before turning it into a front face lock. Race counters and hits a vertical suplex for a count of 2. Race with an attempt at an elbow drop, but Flair moves. Flair goes for a body slam, but Race shifts his weight into a pin and gets another 2 count. Race starts working over Flair with knees and a choke until Kiniski grabs Race and pulls him away. Race rams Flair into the turnbuckle and hits some clubbing blows before going back to the choke. Kiniski again gets involved, shoving Race off of Flair. Race sets up Flair for a piledriver and he hits it. Elbow drop on Flair followed by a cover and a 2 count. Race with a swinging neck breaker only gets a 2 count again. More knees to the head of Flair, then Race lets Flair up only to ram him face first into the cage. Race picks Flair up and hits a slam for another 2 count.

Flair starts to fire back with gut shots, but Race stops him with a head butt, followed by a falling headbutt to a laid out Flair. Flair gets smashed into the cage multiple times and now he’s been bloodied. Race is choking Flair in the corner, but Kiniski pulls Race out of the corner once again which allows Flair to get a couple shots in. To the other corner and now Kiniski pulls Flair out, which lets Race get a shot in and take the advantage. Race with a whip into the corner, but Flair reverses sending Race into the cage. Now Race is busted open and Flair starts his assault with shots to the cage. Snapmare on Race, followed by Flair’s knee drop.

Flair with a piledriver of his own, but he only gets a count of 2. Flair with a neck twist, then a double underhook suplex for a 2 count. Race goes face first into the cage a couple of times and Kiniski is getting involved yet again, which gives Race time to gain control. He drags Flair’s face across the cage like a cheese grater before Kiniski drags Race off. Flair is sent into the cage yet again, but this time he gets a rush of adrenaline and fights Race off. Flair gets a 2 count before going to town with right hands on Race and giving us a “Woo!” followed by a strut. Flair gets Race in the center of the ring and locks in his patented figure four leg lock. Race is able to turn it over, switching the pressure onto Flair, before Flair rolls it back and they’re in the ropes. Kiniski breaks the hold and both men are back up now. Race goes for a vertical suplex, but Flair switches the momentum landing on top of Race for a 2 count.

Race stalls Flair with a headbutt, then heads to the second rope and connects with his trademark diving headbutt for a count of 2. Vertical suplex on Flair, but he only gets 2 again. Race is getting frustrated as he begins to pummel Flair with left hands to the forehead. Flair attempts a comeback, but being rammed into the cage stops him in his tracks. Race with a choke on Flair and Kiniski grabs Race by the hair to break it. Race goes for another vertical suplex, but Flair blocks and connects with his own. Race gets a side head lock on Flair, but Flair pushes him off and Race rams heads with Kiniski. Kiniski goes down, as Flair and Race battle in the corner. Flair with rights and chops gets Race to back off. Flair to the top rope hits a cross body, as Race falls backwards over the referee. Kiniski rolls over and counts 3 as we have a new World Champion.
Winner and NEW NWA World Heavyweight Champion: ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair (Top Rope Crossbody)

  • After The Bell: All the babyfaces jump in the ring and we get a big celebration for Ric Flair in his home state. Flair cuts an emotional promo about how much the night meant to him and the show comes to a close.
  • EA’s Take: That is all the pageantry we’re going to get with those entrances and if you couldn’t tell by him getting fireworks AND music over the defending champion, Flair has the proverbial “rocket pack” strapped to his back. The stories of Harley and his toughness are that of legend, but the future King Of The WWF’s best days are quickly coming to an end and he knew it. It’s not Flair’s first go-around with the strap, but he’s even admitted that he wasn’t ready and with a stamp of approval from Race this time around, he was a made man. This was the finale of a long build to get The Nature Boy there and it doesn’t take a physicist to figure out that it was certainly the right call anointing him the “flag bearer”. The match is a bit lethargic at times with bursts of speed, eventually breaking into a slugfest with the cage finally coming into play. If you want great Flair matches then this is good because of its significance in history and his career, but there is absolutely better work to come. Space Mountain is officially open for business.

EA’s Finisher: As with most firsts, there are always things to improve on. Too many backstage segments involving the same people, too many meaningless fan interviews asking who they thought would win. This was in North Carolina, of course they all wanted Flair to win! Most of the matches had little to no build-up as the whole show was almost completely built around the Flair/Race match. It WAS entitled ‘Starrcade ’83: A Flair For The Gold’ after all. Was there ever any doubt that Flair would not win? Aside from the main event and the tag team title match, Piper and Valentine quite possibly stole the show. That was a really vicious bout that a lot of people had never seen the likes of. This event that was the brainchild of Dusty Rhodes was the first of its kind and through tech issues like some audio and kinks to be worked out, without it there may have never been a WrestleMania (or at least a blueprint for it to follow). This was still a historic night, but admittedly some of it can be hard to get through. Don’t expect offensive innovation, just the dawn of an era and one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) performers the business has ever seen.

Top Three To Watch
1 – Roddy Piper vs. Greg Valentine
2 – Ric Flair vs. Harley Race
3 – Dick Slater & Bob Orton vs. Wahoo McDaniel & Mark Youngblood


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Chairshot Classics: WWE Survivor Series 2015

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With all signs pointing to The Brothers Of Destruction teaming up at WWE’s Crown Jewel on November 2nd, today we’re looking back at another time The Undertaker partnered up with his brother Kane, Survivor Series 2015! It was a celebration of 25 years of ‘The Deadman’ on this evening, but The Wyatt Family looked to spoil the party. Could ‘The New Face Of Fear’ defeat The Brothers Of Destruction and take his place as WWE’s newest evil?

Kickoff Show Match – Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: The Miz, Bo Dallas, Stardust & The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) vs. Neville, The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von), Titus O’Neil & Goldust

  • Gold & Stardust will kickoff the action, Stardust tries a boot, Goldust catches the foot and they slug it out, The Cosmic One falling back into his corner and tagging out. Viktor hits the ring, charges right into a powerslam, Goldust with the cover and he scores an early elimination. Viktor has been eliminated.
  • Konnor steps in and has words for The Bizarre One, Titus calling for the tag and he gets it. Collar & elbow lock-up, Konnor backs O’Neil into the corner, doesn’t break clean and hammers away with right hands before celebrating prematurely, Titus turning the tables and unleashing a series of his won. Konnor reverses a whip across, charges in, O’Neil hops up and over and delivers a slam, following with a leg drop before tagging out. D-Von enters the match, connects with a couple of rights and brings in his brother, Bubba hitting a slam and calling D-Von to the top, hitting the Wazzup Headbutt. Bubba gives the orders for tables, Stardust and Miz charge the ring, only to get clotheslined to the outside. The Man That Gravity Forgot comes in, sees Dallas running in and elevates him out to the floor, hits the ropes and flies to the outside with a moonsault plancha as we go to a break….Konnor whips Bubba into the ropes for a back body drop when we come back, drops a big elbow and covers for 1. Bubba ducks a right hand and plants Konnor with a uranage out of nowhere, hooks the leg and gets a sneaky 3 count. Konnor has been eliminated.
  • Stardust rushes the ring and runs into a hiptoss, D-Von tags in and takes a knee to the breadbasket, The Cosmic One tagging out and Miz pummels D-Von in the corner. Bo tags and does more of the same, quickly tags out and Stardust rips at D-Von’s face. The A-Lister re-enters the match, snapmares D-Von over and hits the ropes for a running boot that gets a count of 2. He goes to a front facelock, D-Von battles to his feet, Miz with a kneelift, hits the ropes and D-Von plants him with a spinebuster. Stardust gets a tag, climbs to the top for a double axe handle and catches a right hand to the midsection on the way down. D-Von crawls to a tag, The Man That Gravity Forgot spingboards into the ring over Stardust, takes down Dallas and Miz on the apron, then connects with a flurry of kicks to The Cosmic One. Neville scores with an enzuigiri, shoots him in for a back body drop and Stardust with a kick to the chest. He charges Neville in the corner, The Man That Gravity Forgot side-steps it, Bo makes a blind tag and plants him with the Running Bo-Dog, Miz with a blind tag, follows with the Skull Crushing Finale and finishes Neville off. Neville has been eliminated.
  • The A-Lister runs his mouth at The Dudleys on the apron, Goldust slides in from behind with a schoolboy and gets the 1-2-3. The Miz has been eliminated.
  • Miz can’t believe it and argues with the referees on his way out, Goldust is distracted and Stardust takes advantage as we go to another break….Bo has Goldust on the floor when we return, rolls him back inside and covers for a 2 count before going to a rear chinlock. The Bizarre One finds his footing, breaks the hold and hits the ropes, running into a dropkick by Dallas for another count of 2. Stardust tags, clobbers away at Goldust on the apron, feigns going for a table and changes his mind, stomping away at his brother in the ring. The Cosmic One grabs a crossface chickenwing, pulls Goldust up for a suplex, The Bizarre One counters to a small package for a count of 2, but gets immediately laid out by a clothesline. Stardust with some early celebration, Goldust takes advantage with a schoolboy for 2, The Cosmic One angrily pounding away and bringing Dallas back in. The Inspirational One continues the onslaught, levels Goldust with a short-arm clothesline for a near fall, then goes back to the rear chinlock to wear him out. Bo slams him to the mat trying to get to his feet, Stardust tags and they split The Bizarre One with a wishbone, then drops The Dudleys & Titus off the apron. The Cosmic One runs at Goldust in the corner, meets a boot to the midsection and The Bizarre One plants him with a sunset flip bomb. Bo gets the tag as Goldust reaches Titus, O’Neil with a shoulder to Dallas, squashes Stardust in the corner, then clotheslines Bo and shoots him in for a back body drop. The Inspirational One sees it coming and hits a kick, but gets dropped by a big boot, Titus turning around and catching Stardust coming off the top into multiple backbreakers. O’Neil stacks them in the corner, squashes them both and Goldust & Bubba enter the ring with synchronized Dusty tributes, Clash Of The Titus to Bo and we’re down to 4 on 1. Bo Dallas has been eliminated.
  • Stardust realizes he’s all by himself, drops off the apron and tries to take a walk. O’Neil goes out to meet him, Goldust comes up from behind and catches a back elbow, The Cosmic One tries to run away, slides in the ring and runs into a 3D to finish it.

Winners & Sole Survivors: The Dudley Boyz, Titus O’Neil & Goldust

  • EA’s TakeI think Renee Young is overblowing just how ‘good’ this match really was. To me it was just an appetizer, a time-filler, something to get the people in the arena a little more hyped up for the main show. The match was not bad by any means, but it was merely a bunch of thrown-together parts and the only significance was the return of Goldust.

Open: Everyone rises to their feet in the arena, as Lilian Garcia is in the ring to sing our National Anthem.

Video: “Once in a generation there comes a phenom. An individual not measured in seconds, days, weeks or even years, but by the legacy he’s built. A presence that’s risen above all challenges and gone head-first into the unknown. But, when a Phenom joins a Demon from the depths of Hell, only time will tell us what the future will bring.” Tonight marks the 25 year anniversary of The Undertaker in WWE, as he and his brother, Kane, look to cement their spot as the keepers of the darkness over The Wyatt Family. A change is coming, as tonight we crown a brand new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. “History is written, by the survivors.”

Match #1 – WWE Title Tournament Semi-Finals: Roman Reigns vs. WWE United States Champion Alberto Del Rio w/Zeb Colter
Collar & elbow tie-up to start, Alberto backs Roman into the corner and they break clean. Another lock-up, Reigns with a side headlock, Del Rio pushes him off into the ropes and gets knocked down by a shoulder, re-thinking his strategy. The champion with a leg kick, backs Reigns into the corner for more to the ribs, then fires off right hands from the 2nd rope. Roman powers out of the corner with Alberto on his shoulder, flipping him to the mat, Del Rio coming right back by pulling Reigns to the outside. The Big Dog drags Alberto out by the foot, looks to drive him into the barricade, Del Rio counters and Roman is sent into the wall, then rolled back inside.

Alberto comes off the top with an overhand chop for a count of 2, Roman reversing a whip into the corner, climbs to the 2nd rope with right hands, Del Rio pushes him off, charges in and gets planted by a tilt-a-whirl powerslam for 2. Roman drives the champion into the top turnbuckle, whips him hard into the corner, charges in and gets elevated to the apron, Alberto hanging him across the top rope and dropping him to the floor with an enzuigiri. Del Rio heads out and rams Reigns into the steel steps as Triple H watches from the back. Back in the arena, El Patron tosses Roman inside, heads up top for another overhand chop and goes to a rear chinlock.

The Big Dog battle to a standing position, whips Del Rio into the corner, rushes in and misses, hitting the ring post shoulder-first. The champion keeps the pressure on with kicks and right hands, charges for a running dropkick, Roman avoids it and Alberto flies through the ropes to the outside. Reigns rolls outside, catches Del Rio climbing up the apron with the Drive-By, bashes his head off the apron and announce desk, then rolls him back in the ring. Alberto tries a clothesline, Reigns ducks it and connects with one of his own, then clobbers the champion in the corner with a flurry more before hitting the ropes for a big boot. The Big Dog calls for the Superman Punch, El Patron ducks out of the way and scores with a Backstabber, makes the cover and gets a near fall.

Del Rio goes back to kicks in the corner, spikes Roman with a DDT for another count of 2, arguing with the ref about the count. The champion sets his sights on a superkick, The Big Dog ducks out of the way, plants Alberto with a Samoan Drop and gets 2. Reigns props Del Rio on the top turnbuckle, attempts a superplex, Alberto with headbutts, gets Reigns in the tree of woe and tries the double stomp. Roman avoids it, Del Rio’s knee buckles on the landing, Reigns coming back with a Superman Punch and positioning himself for the Spear, Alberto countering with a superkick for a near fall.

The champion thinks it’s time for the Cross Armbreaker, Reigns counters into a schoolboy powerbomb, Alberto kicking out at 2. Both men struggle to get to their feet, Alberto grabbing a Cross Armbreaker out of nowhere on the canvas, Reigns powers Del Rio up to a vertical base, but the champion hanging onto the hold in the ropes. The referee finally forces the break, El Patron heads to the top, jumps over Roman who’s getting to his feet, turns around and takes a Spear, Reigns covering to advance.
Winner: Roman Reigns (Spear)

  • EA’s TakeDel Rio clearly still hasn’t quite gotten his footing back yet, there were some mix-ups at the beginning of the match that were glaring, things were a bit choppy for a bit there. They were able to turn it around towards the end of the match, but I’ve had Roman as a lock for the finals since the tournament was announced. Nothing surprising here in a match that was similar to a Raw main event.

Backstage: Jojo brings in Roman Reigns for some words, Dean Ambrose coming right in and congratulating his friend on the victory. Roman tells Dean that all he has to do is win and it’ll be them for the title, Ambrose walking away. The Big Dog tells Jojo that once Dean’s done, it will be best friends fighting for the championship. Kevin Owens comes in to remind Roman that he’s not eliminated yet, telling Reigns he’s been close before and tonight, he’s the guy that will stop him. KO walks off, Reigns stating that Owens is about to get his ass whooped.

Match #2 – WWE Title Tournament Semi-Finals: Dean Ambrose vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens
Ambrose with a hammerlock to start, switches to a side headlock, Owens fighting out and grabbing one of his own. The Lunatic Fringe pushes KO into the ropes and gets dropped by a shoulder knockdown, Owens back into the ropes and Dean with multiple armdrags. The champion reverses whip into the ropes, Ambrose with a schoolboy for a quick 1, gets a waistlock and Owens with a back elbow, using a schoolboy for a quick 1 of his own. KO with shoulders to the midsection in the corner, shoots Dean across and charges in, The Lunatic Fringe hops up and over, hits the ropes and takes Owens down with a forearm.

He rakes KO’s face on the top rope, clotheslines him to the outside and flies with a slingshot crossbody to the floor. Ambrose sends the champion back inside, charges him in the corner with a forearm, follows with a running bulldog and covers for 1. The Lunatic Fringe heading upstairs, Owens hits the ropes and crotches Dean, dropping him to the mat with right hands and scoring with the Cannonball that gets 1. The Prize Fighter utilizes a rear chinlock, Ambrose gains a vertical base and breaks the hold with jabs and chops, Owens countering a whip into the corner and Dean goes in sternum-first.

The champion plants Dean with a torture rack neckbreaker for a 2 count, hits the ropes for a running senton and gets another count of 2. He chokes Ambrose on the middle rope, levels him with a short-arm clothesline, fires away with heavy rights, sends Dean into the ropes for a back elbow and gets another near fall. KO back to the rear chinlock, again Triple H is watching from the back as The Lunatic Fringe fights to his feet. Owens catches him in a sleeper, Dean counters to a back suplex, then avoids a running senton, hits the ropes and they double down off a double clothesline. The Lunatic Fringe tries Dirty Deeds, KO blocks it, they exchange right hands, Ambrose hits the ropes and Owens hangs him on the top rope.

He splits Dean with a gutbuster, heads up top for a moonsault and misses, The Lunatic Fringe scaling the corner to follow with a diving elbow drop and a near fall. Ambrose props Owens on the top turnbuckle, hooks for a superplex, KO blocks it and drops Dean back to the mat. The Lunatic Fringe fires back up to attempt a superplex, the champion counters and powers him into a 2nd rope fisherman’s buster, but still can’t get a 3 count. Owens yells at Dean to stay down, sends him into the ropes for a Pop-Up Powerbomb, Ambrose rebounds off the middle rope and scores with the Lunatic Lariat, KO rolling to the outside.

Ambrose flies through the ropes with a suicide dive, tosses the champion in, Owens rolls out the other side and Dean tries another suicide dive, but gets caught. KO drops The Lunatic Fringe on the announce table, tosses him back in for a Pop-Up Powerbomb, Dean avoids it and lands on his feet turning around into a superkick. Ambrose rebounds off the ropes for another Lunatic Lariat, walks into another superkick, the champion attempts the Pop-Up Powerbomb again, Dean counters with a hurricanrana, then spikes Owens with Dirty Deeds to head to the finals.
Winner: Dean Ambrose (Dirty Deeds)

  • EA’s TakeA better match, a lot cleaner than our first semi-final. I had a hard time believing Ambrose wouldn’t win this, but figured the odds were greater than that of Reigns, so it definitely helped make the match more interesting. I’m hoping for something more interesting to happen in the main event, as everything thus far has been expected.
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Chairshot Classics: WCW Halloween Havoc ’92 – Spin The Wheel, Make The Deal

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Open: Tony Schiavone & Bruno Sammartino introduce the show, specifically talking about the “Spin the Wheel – Make the Deal” match between Sting and Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts. WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ron Simmons must be cautious of The Barbarian, and there has been some conflict between Dustin Rhodes and Barry Windham. Missy Hyatt is backstage to figure out whether or not Rick Rude has decided who his choice of guest referee will be for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship match. She has no information at this time and sends it off to the commentary team.

Match #1: Arn Anderson, ‘Beautiful’ Bobby Eaton & Michael ‘P.S.’ Hayes vs. ‘Z-Man’ Tom Zenk, Johnny Gunn & Shane Douglas
Anderson and Gunn get us going. Collar and elbow tie up, Anderson with position, the veteran with some condescension before beating the young kid down. Irish whip, Gunn puts on the breaks and lands a drop kick. Anderson gets a knee to the midsection after a distraction by his teammate, he goes to the top but the Z-Man takes care of him with a drop kick of his own. Anderson’s team regroups on the floor, Double A comes back to the ring. Collar and elbow, Gunn with a wristlock and a tag to Z-Man. Zenk with an elbow and he grabs the wrist. Anderson with a drop toe hold and he tags in Eaton.

Beautiful Bobby with some rights. Zenk reverses the Irish whip and Eaton digs his heels in giving Z-man a shot. They hit the ropes and Zenk executes a high elevation back body drop. He follows it with a drop kick back to Eaton’s corner and Michael Hayes is tagged in to a big pop. Hayes with a side headlock, Z-Man forces him on the ropes, they run and Zenk delivers a hip toss. Hayes slows it down. Collar and elbow tie p and Zenk makes a quick tag to Douglas. Shane twists the wrist, they hit the ropes and Shane is quick with an arm drag. He hangs on with an arm bar until Hayes gets a knee to the gut and tags in Eaton. Shane greets him with an arm drag and he locks in.

Bobby gets position with a vertical base, he moves to the corner for a break but takes some liberties. Douglas reverses the Irish whip and elevates with the back body drop. Headscissor takedown by Shane followed with a single leg takedown. A tag is made to Zenk and he goes right to work on Bobby’s leg. Eaton is able to crawl his way to his corner and tag in The Enforcer. Arn with a forearm and a side headlock, they hit the ropes, Double A gets a shoulder tackle but he’s caught in a sleeper hold on the comeback. Anderson escapes it with a belly to back suplex. Hayes is tagged in and he hits a quick elbow, followed with a fist to the face before grabbing a reverse chin lock. Z-Man fights out with elbows to the gut, he hits the ropes but Hayes catches him with a kick.

Swinging neckbreaker by Hayes and he gets two. Eaton is tagged back in, Z-Man trying to fight him off. Z-Man lifts Eaton for an atomic drop, unaware Eaton tagged in Anderson. Eaton reverses the Irish whip, Z-Man ducks his clothesline but runs into the elbow of the legal man. Anderson with a lateral press and he gets two. Anderson feeds Z-Man to the corner and he tags in Michael Hayes. The Freebird locks in a modified camel clutch, he breaks it, goes for a vertical suplex but it’s reversed. Hayes tags Anderson while Zenk tags Douglas. Shane goes to work on all of his opponents. A front face lock is placed on Anderson, and Eaton cheap shots him at the knees.

Double A goes to work on the leg that was clipped, Eaton is tagged in and he enters with some flying knee to knee contact. Beautiful Bobby locks in the figure four and he gets some help from Michael Hayes. Douglas tries to roll it over and Eaton smartly tags in Anderson. Arn sends him for an Irish whip, he comes off the ropes and catches Double A with an atomic drop but both men knock heads and they’re down. Anderson crawls and tags in Hayes but Douglas is able to tag is Gunn right after. Johnny sends Hayes for the ride and a back body drop, he’s rushed by Eaton who gets a scoop slam and a melee breaks out. While all six competitors brawl, Johnny Gunn hits a Lou Thesz Press on Michael Hayes and they pick up the win!
Winners: ‘Z-Man’ Tom Zenk, Johnny Gunn & Shane Douglas (Gunn/Lou Thesz Press)

  • EA’s Take: This match felt like a collection of guys with nothing meaningful to do storyline-wise (which is basically the case), but they still delivered a perfectly fine opening bout. With three grizzled vets on the other side of the ring, I’m not sure who they’re trying to put over here, if anyone. No one on the winning team stood out, but I sincerely enjoyed the match all the same.

Backstage: Missy Hyatt is still outside Rick Rude’s locker room. She can’t get in, but here comes Harley Race. The former World Champion is just here to watch a championship match and he won’t let Hyatt into the locker room.

Match #2: Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat vs. ‘Flyin’ Brian Pillman
Collar and elbow tie up, Pillman gets position and chops away. Steamboat retaliates with a chop of his own, they hit the ropes and Ricky takes Pillman down with a shoulder block. He tries another and gets a two count. Pillman tries flipping Steamboat over the top rope but The Dragon hangs on and grabs a victory roll for two. Off the kickout, Steamboat hits the turnbuckle and Pillman scoop slams him. Pillman taunts and Steamboat plays possum, baiting him into an arm bar. Pillman up to a vertical base, they hit the ropes, Steamboat with a shoulder tackle and a hip toss. Deep arm drag by The Dragon and he hangs on.

Steamboat moves to the wrist and he puts a lot of power on it. Pillman reverses with a drop toe hold, he can’t grab the chin lock and Steamboat reverses back into the hammerlock. Steamboat with knees to the kidneys, they’re up to vertical. Pillman fights back with forearms and Steamboat retaliates with chops and a back body drop. Scoop slam by Steamboat, but he’s met with a slow blow, an eye rake and a clothesline. Pillman hangs Steamboat on the ropes and throws him back. Steamboat is sent for the ride, he leap frogs Pillman and catches him in a choke on the comeback. Pillman meets the turnbuckle, Steamboat tries to send him for the ride but Brian drops down. The ref backs Steamboat off and Flyin Brian takes a cheap shot.

Brian rubs Steamboat’s face into the canvass. Steamboat fights back with some chops and sends Pillman into the turnbuckle. They run the ropes and Pillman counters with a head scissor take down. Pillman takes Steamboat to the middle rope, he sends The Dragon for the ride and he counters into a back slide and a two count. Pillman quickly hammers Steamboat’s head into the canvass and chokes him out. Ref breaks it up. Pillman sets Steamboat on the top turn buckle and slaps him in the face. He sets up for a superplex, Steamboat blocks it and throws Pillman to the canvass. Steamboat comes off the turnbuckle but he runs into a drop kick by Flyin Brian.

Pillman says its over, Steamboat gets his shoulder up on multiple covers. Brian checks in with the ref and is victim of a belly to back suplex. The ref starts his 10 count, Steamboat is up first, Pillman reverses the whip to the ropes and catches The Dragon in a sleeper. Steamboat drives into the corner, Pillman hangs on, but not the second time. From the apron, Pillman snaps Steamboat’s neck off the top rope. He climbs the turnbuckles, Steamboat catches him with a gorilla press. Steamboat is fired up, Pillman escapes to the floor. Ricky gives chase and chops him on the outside. Pillman is rolled back in, Brian regains the advantage with a knee to the face and some chops.

Steamboat is sent into the turnbuckle, The Dragon fights back with chops. Steamboat tries to grab him, again Brian rolls to the floor but he’s followed again. Irish whip by Steamboat and he runs into a knee. Pillman with a cross body press from the 2nd rope and he gets a two count. Standing switch into a back breaker by Steamboat who heads for the top rope. A big sunset flip earns him two. Pillman counters the pin, but The Dragon flips him back and he picks up the 3 count.
Winner: Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat (Roll-Up)

  • EA’s Take: This was exactly what you would expect, Pillman is showing some heel behavior. He’s also taken quite a few losses, albeit to legitimate opponents, you’d hate to see his talent get buried. Unfortunately, this is kind of his road until a partnership that wasn’t fondly remembered until years after Pillman’s early passing.
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NWA-TNA Episode 11: Going Out With a Bang? (Part 2)

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This week, TNA has a couple of mysteries that need solving: Who is the Masked Bullet that Bob Armstrong brought in to fight Jeff Jarrett and what the hell is Brian Lawler’s problem with Jarrett? The Miss TNA challenge is open again, God help us all, Sonny Siaki will take on Monty Brown, and Lo-Ki, AJ Styles, and Jerry Lynn will meet up in a ladder match that has to be seen to be believed. Let’s check out what’s going on this week!

Opening: We get the usual opening, crowd seems hot. We see Goldilocks trying to talk to Brian Lawler about what Jarrett allegedly did since Slash jumped Lawler before he could tell us last week. Lawler is about to tell us when Jarrett jumps him from behind and we STILL don’t know.

Kid Kash vs Amazing Red: Kid Kash is out first and gets a good pop since he’s from Johnson City, Tennessee. Amazing Red doesn’t get as good a pop. This was an interesting match-up. Every match I’ve seen of Amazing Red’s seemed to be more about high spots than wrestling, however this match had some pretty decent wrestling. Red makes the mistake of calling Kash an old man (Kash isn’t exactly a ‘kid’) and Kash doesn’t appreciate it and the spot fest starts. Kash calls on his ECW experience and throws a chair and NAILS Red with a great throw, but only gets two.

Kash does such a good job of being the heel in this, he actually reminds me of 80s Roddy Piper. Red does a good job of hanging with him, but it’s clear, at least to me, that Red is better at hitting high spots than wrestling because when it goes to the mat, he’s not nearly as good. There’s a really lame spot where Kash ‘accidentally’ pushes the ref into the ropes and the ref either didn’t hit the ropes hard enough or what, but Red’s ‘slip’ to nut shot himself on the turnbuckle was pathetic.

Kash gets the victory after hitting the Bankruptcy, a cradle Argentine Rack. Red goes for a handshake but Kash isn’t having it and takes Red out. The Maximos come to Red’s aid and take Kash, and maybe themselves, out.

Winner: Kid Kash by pinfall.

Comment: That was really good.

Backstage, Goldilocks is trying to get an interview with Sonny Siaki. Siaki is still in his Elvis gear, for some reason. Siaki doesn’t like Goldi asking him, admittedly very impatiently, to turn around and says he’ll turn around when he’s ready. They trade barbs, because Goldilocks is clearly tired of being insulted by the wrestlers. Siaki warns her to not be a smart ass and that the only thing Elvis did right was slap Priscilla. (Oh, HELL no!) He then says if Goldilocks keeps it up, she won’t get to have her way with him. Siaki says he’s bigger than the Super Bowl. Siaki makes Goldilocks do her ‘Sonny Siaki has left the interview’ thing, but she’s PISSED and I don’t blame her.

Sonny Siaki vs Monty Brown: Siaki gets an okay pop, as does Brown. Brown cuts a promo on Jarrett about Jarrett using chairs and promises to take Jarrett apart if he ever gets his hands on him. You know that feeling you get when you can tell from the start that something’s not going to be good? I got that feeling during the first lock up of this match. This match was awful. Monty Brown has a lot of power, but his skill level is not the best. He’s an incredible athlete, but it always seems like he got the absolute minimum training on how to wrestle outside of hitting power moves (and even those seem like a struggle in a few spots) and it really shows with guys who have more experience. Siaki did a great job of selling, but this match was just blah.

Siaki finally turns the tide after a dominate performance by Brown by utilizing the low blow after Jarrett causes a distraction. As Jarrett runs his mouth, Bob Armstrong and a masked wrestler that is referred to as ‘The Bullet’ come out, armed with a steel chair. While Jarrett is distracted by that, Brown attacks him. While Jarrett sells Brown’s whiffed punches, Lawler comes out and starts choking Jarrett with his belt. Jarrett and Lawler have an actual fight before being separated by security.

Winner: Sonny Siaki by pinfall.

Comment: Brown could really be a great wrestler if he could learn to do more than power moves.

Goldilocks is with Slash and a guy who looks like he was just pulled out of a bar. Slash laughs at the idea of this guy being his friend and introduces the guy as his brother in pain, Cobain (oh, lord) and that suicide is what he lives for (oh, LORD!) and his ecstasy comes from his own pain. Cobain finally says something, he says that he overdoses on the sweet nectar of his own pain. This interview gets increasingly weird and I’m glad it’s over.

Four Team Elimination Match: The Backseat Boys vs Slash/Cobain vs The Hot Shots vs James Storm/Chris Harris: The Backseat Boys are out first and they look like Dollar Store versions of 3 Count from WCW. Slash and Cobain are out next and they don’t inspire confidence. Hot Shots don’t get much of a reaction either.  We’re told that whoever gets the final pinfall will be the final entrant in the Gauntlet for the Gold match in two weeks. Storm and Harris get a good reaction and Storm still has his pop guns.

This match was pretty good…once Backseat Boys and the Hot Shots were eliminated. Backseat Boys were more interested in spots than wrestling and were quickly eliminated. I’m not sure how much training or experience Cobain had before TNA, he just seems to be there for Slash to have a partner because Malice is MIA. While this is going on, Ron Harris and Brian Lee are at commentary, griping about being left out of the match, and I’m almost on their side. This match was super rough towards the end, but it was a lot of fun. Harris and Storm get the victor, but suffer a beat down by Harris and Lee, which brings out the rest of the tag division.

Winner: Chris Harris and James Storm by pinfall.

Comment: That got really good, eventually.

Backstage, Jarrett is arguing with Bob Armstrong. For some reason, Jarrett seems to think he’s in charge and tells Armstrong to either get things running smoothly or he’s taking matters into his own hands. Armstrong tells Jarrett to shut up and that Jarrett’s going to get everything he deserves tonight. Jarrett says that what he deserves is a title shot, the tag titles, and that he’s going to reveal who the Masked Bullet is and promises to beat his ass. Armstrong isn’t happy, but Jarrett seems to have already figured out who the Masked Bullet is.

Bruce vs April Hunter: Here we go again. I still want Bruce’s dress but other than that, I really wish this storyline was over.

Winner: Bruce

Comment: Who is actually wanting this match on every week?

Goldilocks is interviewing the remaining Elvises and brings up Siaki. Neither Yang nor Estrada are all that upset about Siaki going solo. It also seems that Yang doesn’t seem to remember Elvis’ best lines. ANYWAY, the gist is that it’s being made clear that Siaki won’t be welcomed back to the Heartbreak Hotel any time soon.

Speak of the Devil and he shall appear, Siaki pops up with some big news: He’s the new #1 Contender for Truth’s NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

Maximos vs Jimmy Yang and Jorge Estrada: Maximos get little reaction. Tenay informs us that we will finally find out what Brian Lawler’s issue with Jarrett is after this match and that poor Goldilocks has the job of doing the interview. On to the match. This was an okay match. Neither the Elvis’ nor the Maximos are the most exciting parts of the X-Division and this match was slow. The Maximos, like Amazing Red, are really great as long as they can do their high spots, but they struggle when it comes to mat wrestling. Yang and Estrada pick up the victory, while Siaki looks on from the ramp.

Winner: Flying Elvis’ by pinfall.

Comment: Eh

Now for what we’ve all been waiting for: What is going on with Brian Lawler? Goldilocks gets a lot of appreciation from the crowd, but not Brian Lawler, who calls her a piece of trash and Goldi leaves, to the dismay of the crowd. He demands that Jarrett come out, but Jarrett doesn’t show up. Before we finally get an answer, Truth comes out, apparently still pissed about Lawler hitting him with a chair last week. Truth doesn’t think it was an accident, though Lawler swears otherwise and that he and Truth are still good, they have a common enemy, Jeff Jarrett. After Truth warns Lawler that the Asylum is Truth’s house, he leaves, and we get back to business. Apparently, this whole thing is about Jarrett doing something with or to Lawler’s girlfriend, who is sitting at ringside. Lawler realizes that a photographer is taking pictures of her because that’s his job, and goes ballistic.

Comment: This whole thing seems to be leading up an angle where Lawler is being used by his girlfriend to attack people, but the set up is weird.

We get a recap of Jarrett’s encounter with the Masked Bullet.

Jeff Jarrett vs The Bullet: Jarrett comes out to an okay pop, as does the Bullet. This isn’t much of a match. It’s a brawl. It’s pretty obvious who the masked man PROBABLY is, just judging by the guy’s selling and the way he moves. Jarrett’s really in the doghouse, if you get my drift. If not, well, we’ll all find out together.

Jarrett finally gets tired of playing with Bullet, handcuffs him to the ropes, and goes to get a chair, vowing to reveal who the masked man is, but is stopped by Bob Armstrong, who gets a couple of shots in before saying hello to Jarrett’s little friend. Jarrett continues to pummel Bob while the Bullet can only watch. Armstrong is bleeding from the lamest blade job ever and is eventually laid out by a weak chairshot (Jarrett barely touched him). After all that fun, Jarrett’s finally going to reveal who the mystery man is. Before he can, security runs in and stops him. I guess we’ll find this out next week.

Winner: No Contest.

Comment: Good grief.

Don West pumps us up for next week’s episode, provided there is one and he’s more excited than the crowd.

We get a recap of Lynn and Styles’ epic 2 out of  3 falls match and why we’re having a Triple Ladder match.

Triple Ladder Match For the X-Division Championship: Lo Ki vs AJ Styles vs Jerry Lynn: All three guys get a pretty good pop. Ladder matches are hard for me to follow and type but this was a really great match. All three guys worked like it was their last chance, which was a very real possibility at the time. Styles seemed a little hesitant during this match, but Lynn’s veteran experience really helped the match along.

If you’re used to ladder matches with a lot of crazy spots involving the ladder, this isn’t the match for you. There were some ladder spots, but the focus was on wrestling. I’m not sure if it was that none of the guys had done ladder matches before or what, but the lack of ladder spots didn’t hurt the match.

Winner: Jerry Lynn is the NEW X-Division Champion.

Comment: That was fantastic!

Overall Comment: So how was episode 11 of TNA? It was okay, all things considered. In doing some research, I found out that due to Health South pulling out as backers of TNA, episodes 10 and 11 were filmed on the same day, which means almost everyone worked at least two matches, and Styles and Lynn did four. This explains why the crowd seemed not as interested in the proceedings as earlier. TNA took a couple of weeks off after this in order to try and find another backer.

My issues with the treatment of women are still there, and I still say someone needs to get Vince Russo help to deal with this apparent hatred of women. The Miss TNA thing needs to be scrapped and never mentioned again.

Jeff Jarrett’s position in the company is still confusing. It honestly feels like there’s a fight every week over whether or not he’s a heel and it seems no one can make up their mind. His actions and attitude should make him a heel, but the NWA’s actions make him seem like a babyface and as much as I like Jarrett, he isn’t cut out to be a Stone Cold type character. Plus, he’s fighting against NWA reps who are mostly older men past their prime, not a boss that pushes himself to lift more weight than his wrestlers and doesn’t hesitate to take nasty bumps to put someone over. Not saying Armstrong, Steamboat, and the others weren’t willing to take bumps, because they were, but it seems like the idea of treating them like lot of WWE superstars treated Vince was deemed too disrespectful to men who had once been NWA champion.

Stinkers: Bruce vs April Hunter. Someone PLEASE stop putting this on TV.

Snoozers: Flying Elvis’ vs Maximos. Boring and slow is the best way to describe it.

Match of the Night: Triple Threat Ladder Match.

Final Thoughts: Overall, I think this could’ve been a really great episode if they hadn’t been forced to tape two two-hour shows in one day. As anyone who has griped about crowd reaction at a WWE PPV will know, it’s hard for even the best performers to keep a crowd engaged after four hours.


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