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Chairshot Classics: NWA Starrcade ’88 – True Gritt

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Turner has officially taken over! Starrcade ’88 is still under the NWA banner, however Jim Crockett Promotions couldn’t keep up the battle with Vince McMahon and the WWF. We’re now called World Championship Wrestling and this is the first pay-per-view under Ted Turner’s ownership. With Starrcade traditionally a Thanksgiving night event, we have now moved into December to avoid the head-to-head competition. With that being said, let’s dive in, shall we?

In The Arena: Tony Schiavone & Magnum TA welcome us to the show and run down our card for the evening,  the send us down to ringside with Jim Ross & Bob Caudle for their thoughts before our opening contest.

Match #1 for the NWA United States Tag Team Championships: NWA United States Tag Team Champions The Fantastics (Bobby Fulton & Tommy Rogers) vs. Kevin Sullivan & ‘Dr. Death’ Steve Williams
The two teams clearly bring diverse styles. Sullivan and Fulton start the match. Sullivan powers Fulton to the corner with chops and punches. Sullivan whips Fulton, but Fulton comes back with a big boot and a near fall. They exchange shots but Fulton takes control. He lands a right to Sullivan and makes the tag to Rogers. Rogers delivers a back body drop, and the tag is returned to Fulton. Sullivan uses his strength to power Fulton toward the opposite corner so he can make the tag to Steve Williams.

The two slow down the tempo. Fulton grabs Williams with an arm bar and immediately tags Rogers back in. Williams tries to power out of it, but Rogers’ move set is too quick. Fulton is tagged back in. Williams reverses an Irish whip to the corner, but he misses Fulton with an attempted elbow to the head and he hits the corner hard. Their teammates rush the ring. Both members of the Fantastics take Williams over with a snap suplex. When the legal men are alone once again, Williams is able to deliver a military press to Fulton. Williams follows it up with a huge lariat and Fulton falls out to the floor. Once down there, Fulton rolls under Williams and delivers a dropkick.

Both Fantastics dropkick Williams after a run in, but Williams is easily able to recover with a quick belly to back suplex on Fulton. Williams misses an elbow drop and Rogers is tagged in. Rogers lands a drop kick but Williams is barely phased, he tags in Sullivan. The two double clothesline Rogers. Now on his on, Sullivan misses a clothesline and tumbles over the top rope. Once back in the ring, the two men tie up and Rogers puts on a side headlock. The two run the ropes and Rogers shows his agility by reversing a back body drop into a successful drop kick. Members of both teams are in the ring. Williams takes control driving heads into turnbuckles.

Sullivan comes back into the ring to take a cheap shot on Rogers. Williams and Fulton are the legal men in the ring and Williams is delivering stomps before getting backed off by the ref. Williams finally returns Fulton to the ring with a powerful vertical suplex but only gets a 2 count. Back to their feet, Fulton ducks an elbow and catches Williams off guard with a rollup. Williams is back in control and Sullivan rushes the ring for some more cheap shots. With no apparent legal tag, Sullivan is now the man in the ring for his team. A tag is made to Fulton and Williams. Williams delivers a knee to the face to Fulton and then catches him in a bear hug.

Fulton gets the crowd behind him as he tries to escape. He gives a thumb to Steve William’s eye and he makes a tag to Rogers. Sullivan rushes the ring after a tag and it’s now Rogers and Sullivan. Sullivan gets a knee up on his charging opponent but he is gorilla pressed from the top rope when he tries to follow it up. Now it’s Rogers’ turn to attempt a high risk move off the top rope but Sullivan gets his knees up. Tag is made back to Steve Williams who slowly pulls Rogers up. A quick clothesline from Williams as the crowd boos. Williams taunts Rogers and delivers more knees. Another tag is made to Sullivan.

Kevin whips him to the ropes and hits a clothesline but only gets a two count. The crowd is getting behind Rogers who is trapped in a headlock. Rogers fights back with a shoulder block, but he’s immediately taken back down to the mat and Williams is tagged back in. Dr Death drops him over the top rope and delivers a headbutt. Williams with a lateral press but he only gets a 2 count. Williams has Rogers trapped in a reverse chin lock on the mat. He fights his way to his feet and he breaks the hold. After a whip to the ropes he dropkicks Williams, but Dr Death is still quick to tag Sullivan back in and Kevin catches him before he can make a tag himself.

A body slam and stomps to the abdomen from Sullivan. A pinfall attempt but he only gets a two count. Rogers reverses Sullivan’s attempts at a vertical suplex and hits one of his own. Fulton is tagged in and hits Williams with a back body drop. Rogers squares up with Sullivan and Fulton hits Williams with punches at the turnbuckle as the crowd counts along. Williams tries to fight out but finds himself caught in a sleeper hold. Sullivan rushes the ring but Rogers catches him in a sleeper as well. Fulton attempts a Lou Thesz press but it backfires and he is thrown onto the ropes for a hot shot by Williams. A pin is made. He kicks out but it is a half second too late.
Winners and NEW NWA United States Tag Team Champions: Kevin Sullivan & ‘Dr. Death’ Steve Williams(Williams/Hot Shot)

  • EA’s Take: Solid opening bout between two teams who definitely have contrasting styles. This is our first look at The Varsity Club (Sullivan & Williams) in tag action, although the faction had started back in February when Mike Rotunda & Rick Steiner were brought into JCP. Sullivan was a bit of an outlier for the group in terms of his character, retaining his dark persona as the figurehead for The VC. Behind the scenes, legitimate issues between The Fantastics and Sullivan would arise. ‘The Gamesmaster’ would take over the book for WCW, so he was in control which forced The Fantastics to depart in 1989. We won’t be seeing them again on pay-per-view as a tandem, but they would continue teaming on the independents and Smoky Mountain Wrestling.

In The Arena: Tony Schiavone & Magnum TA go over replays of the finish between The Fantastics & Williams/Sullivan, speak on our next match and what’s to come later.

Match #2: The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane) w/Jim Cornette vs. The Original Midnight Express (Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose) w/Paul E. Dangerously
Eaton and Lane clear the ring and Cornette cuts a quick promo on Dangerously (Paul Heyman). The four men start to brawl as Lane and Eaton welcome the Originals into the ring with some force. Lane and Condrey kick it off and Lane immediately knocks Condrey out of the ring where he meets a shot from the tennis racket. Dangerously has big issues with it. Condrey and Lane lock up. Condrey hits a shoulder to the midsection and hammers him Lane some punches at the turnbuckle. This is reversed when Sweet Stan carries him back to the center for an atomic drop.

Rose enters the ring for the Originals and Cornette is up taunting on the ring apron. A tag is made to Eaton and the Express deliver a double teamed elbow. Eaton is taking control and knocking Rose out to the floor where he is now attacked by Cornette’s tennis racket. Dangerously is ringing the bell in protest. Rose tries to re-enter the ring but Eaton knocks him right back out. On the outside, Sweet Stan throws him into the ring post and then back into the ring. Rose wants a timeout but he doesn’t get one. The two tie up and Lane is tagged back in. They run the ropes and Lane ends it with a cross body press.

A tag is made to Condrey but Lane is quick on the attack. A tag is made to Eaton, but he’s slow to get in the ring as Condrey appears to be coming to life. Eaton knocks him to the mat and heads for the top rope. Beautiful Bobby hits an elbow drop from the top rope. Eaton knocks down Rose at the apron and tags Lane back in. Lane delivers a spinning kick and snapmare take down before holding Condrey in a headlock submission. The hold is broken and they are back to their feet. Lane locks up again, but he makes another smart tag to Eaton who catches Condrey in the midsection before hitting a bulldog.

Mercifully, Rose is tagged in but Eaton and Lane are really doing well with these quick tags. Lane lands an elbow. Rose is fighting back to little avail and Eaton is tagged back in. So much quick work by the Express here. A whip to the ropes and an elbow by Eaton. Irish whip to the corner but Condrey moves and Rose is tagged back in. Eaton finds himself trapped at the turnbuckle and he is double teamed by his opponents until his partner and Cornette save him. Back in the ring, it’s Condrey and Rose’s turn to enjoy the quick tags and Eaton is feeling the pain. Bobby is pulled down to the floor and Rose hits him with an ax handle from the turnbuckle.

Dangerously takes a cheap shot at Eaton on the apron and Cornette chases him around the ring but does not catch him. Everyone is back in their appropriate corners and Eaton is caught in a headlock. Eaton is whipped to the ropes but reverses the momentum with a swinging neck breaker. He immediately looks for a tag, but Condrey is able to make his first. Rose with a vicious clothesline to Eaton. He makes a pin but only gets 2. Eaton is caught in Rose’s reverse headlock as he reaches for Stan’s tag. Rose lifts him for a pile driver but Eaton reverses the attempt with a back body drop.

However, Condrey is the first to be tagged in and he goes to work with knees on Eaton’s back and midsection. Lane rushes in without a tag but he’s redirected by the ref as the Originals keep on Eaton. Beautiful Bobby is choked on the ropes and then he’s hung by his legs from the 2nd rope. From the apron, Cornette pleads with him to get out of there. More double team work, but the Originals miss their “Rocket Launcher”. This opens up the hot tag made to Stan Lane who is delivering shots to both of his opponents much to the dismay of Dangerously. Lane with many impressive kicks. He attempts a pin as Eaton drives Rose out of the ring.

Dangerously breaks up the pin attempt by hitting Lane on the back of the head with his phone. Cornette rushes the ring! The crowd goes wild as Cornette takes a shot at Dangerously and proceeds to chase him out of the ring. Condrey tries to take advantage of the knocked out Lane by pinning him but referee Teddy Long spots the phone. Off the distraction, Lane and Eaton execute the Double Goozle and get the pinfall before it can be broken up by Rose.
Winners: The Midnight Express (Eaton/Double Goozle)

  • After The Bell: All six men brawl and Cornette really takes a beating. Bobby Eaton is finally able to clear the ring out.
  • EA’s Take: Pretty unusual circumstance here with Eaton, Lane & Cornette all playing babyfaces for the first time on PPV. They continue using heel tactics as well, something that’s still rare for a “good guy”. We get our first look at Paul E. Dangerously, the only guy in the world who could make Corny a loudly cheered personality. The Original Midnight Express is in fact the actual original combination. Rose & Condrey are long in the tooth at this point, but the combination that really put the name of the team on the map (Eaton & Condrey) has broken apart when Condrey essentially left JCP like a thief in the night in 1987 with no explanation. Personally, I always found Lane & Eaton to be the most entertaining incarnation of the duo. This is the last we’ll see of these four going at it as Condrey would again up and leave prior to Chi-Town Rumble in February of ’89.

Match #3: The Russian Assassins (#1 & #2) w/Paul Jones vs. Ivan Koloff & Junkyard Dog
JYD and #1 start the action and Dog immediately gets a near fall off of a small package. JYD throws #1 into the ring post and follows with a clothesline. There is an attempted pin but Paul Jones pulls his foot on the ropes. #2 is tagged in he’s immediately sent over the top rope by JYD. Koloff throws the opponent back into the ring for a pinfall but Jones once again pulls the foot to the ropes. Ivan Koloff is tagged in and he has all the offense against #2 which includes a small choke slam. #2 tries to fight back and works Koloff over in the corner. He attempts an Irish whip but Koloff gets his boot up.

Koloff hits a Russian Sickle but Assassin #1 breaks up a pin attempt and is tagged back. Koloff delivers an elbow. He reverses an attempted back body drop with a sunset flip but the referee is distracted. JYD is tagged back in and A1 is hit with an elbow followed by a snap mare take down. JYD is rattled when he misses a headbutt and both men are slow to get up. A1 is able to tag A2 and the two work back and forth for a minute. JYD is victim to an Irish whip with a successful boot by A1. A tag is made to A2 and they attempt their Russian Missile but JYD moves. Dog is looking for a tag and he gets it. Ivan takes on both Assassins and Paul Jones gets knocked off the apron.

The Assassins are whipped together in the center of the ring. After the collision, Ivan is able to land a trademark Sickle. As this is happening, Paul Jones is giving the other assassin a foreign object to put in his mask. Ivan’s pin attempt is broken up by a headbutt using the foreign object. The ref did not see the headbutt and cannot distinguish which Assassin is #1 or #2, thus who is legal, and a pin is made.
Winners: The Russian Assassins (Foreign Object)

  • EA’s Take: Short, slow, plodding and boring. JYD is by far the best part of this match, but his best days are behind him and it’s only because he could still pop the crowd. Ivan’s well past his prime and he’s out the door less than a month later. Then, you’ve got The Russian Assassins that I don’t fully understand. For whatever reason, the Russian gimmick continues to be part of the go-to gimmicks, but The Cold War was nearing an end in the next couple of years. By this time, hatred towards the Russians was waning, as evidenced by face turns from Nikita & Ivan. We’ll get to see one of those Russian Assassins later on without his mask (Jack Victory), but the other (David Sheldon) is probably best known as the original Black Scorpion. So that shows you how well his career went.

Match #4 for the NWA World Television Championship: NWA World Television Champion Mike Rotunda w/Kevin Sullivan vs. Rick Steiner
There is a stipulation that Kevin Sullivan be locked in a cage suspended from the arena, much like Cornette was at a previous PPV. The two start with a shoving match that turns into a brutal punching match until Steiner knocks Rotunda out of the ring. Rotunda is slow back. The two lock up, Steiner reverses a wrist lock and follows it up with a fireman takedown. Another lockup and Steiner has some leverage. He holds Rotunda in a headlock. Try as he may, Rotunda isn’t quick to break it. They run the ropes and Steiner powers him down when they collide. The crowd barks as Rotunda rolls to the floor and tries to call for a timeout.

Sullivan glares on from the cage. Back in the ring, the two men lock up and Rotunda manages a drop toe hold. This doesn’t last long as Steiner offers a reversal back into a hammerlock. Rotunda breaks the hold and both men are back to their feet. Rotunda finally gets something going with a belly to belly suplex but he misses the follow up elbow drop. The two square each other up and Steiner works Rotunda to the corner. Rotunda fights back with a right hand. The two run the ropes and Steiner delivers a cross body. Both men are quickly up to regroup. The crowd is clearly behind Steiner and Rotunda wanders to the floor, bothered.

The two run the ropes and Rotunda sends Steiner through the middle rope to the floor. He follows him and hits a hot shot on the metal gate before pulling him back to the apron. Rotunda dropkicks him back out. As Steiner tries to return to the ring, he receives an elbow to the back of the head. Back in the ring, Rotunda is quick with a back body drop plus a flurry of of rights and kicks. Rotunda holds a relatively helpless Steiner in a headlock and he gets leverage from the ropes when the ref isn’t looking. The crowd reacts every time Teddy Long questions this, but Rotunda plays innocent. Long finally breaks it up.

Rotunda goes back on the attack. Steiner starts matching him, but Rotunda stays on offense with a big elbow. Rotunda only gets a 1 count and he immediately puts Steiner back in a chin lock. Steiner starts fighting back with some elbows but Rotunda stops him in his tracks with a huge clothesline after breaking the hold. Steiner is whipped to the ropes but he reverses Rotunda’s offensive attempts with a sunset flip. He only gets a 2 count. They run again and Rotunda misses a dropkick. The two lock up on their feet and Steiner almost catches him off guard with a small package. Steiner whips Rotunda to the ropes and hits a massive clothesline. The tides have turned and Steiner hits rights followed by a back body drop.

As this is going on, Steve Williams is in street clothes wandering slowly to the ring. Steiner hits a power slam and Rotunda barely kicks out at 2. Steiner hits a patented belly to belly suplex and the bell rings immediately. Steiner celebrates, but Teddy Long is saying no. Tommy Young is down to the ring to confer with Teddy Long. In the meantime, Sullivan is now out of the cage and down to the ring. Tommy Young says they need to continue the match. Rotunda makes the first move, but Steiner is able to whip him into Sullivan who is now standing on the apron. Steiner covers him with a lateral press for a 3 count. The crowd ERUPTS!
Winner and NEW NWA World Television Champion: Rick Steiner (Outside Interference)

  • EA’s Take: The former partners do battle here in what I’d call another solid match as Steiner gets the big win. Strange finish too where the bell seemed to ring unprompted since they didn’t ever show ‘Dr. Death’ as the man ringing it. If you go to a movie and the ending sucks, it doesn’t matter what else happened because that’s the lasting impression you’re left with..even if the crowd exploded for the pinfall. This finish wasn’t quite to that level, but it hurts it in my book. Rick is set for a big push and the people are loving him since he broke away from The Varsity Club. It won’t last long on his own however, as Scott is coming in the beginning of 1989 to form without question one of the best tag teams of all-time. For Rotunda and The Varsity Club, their road will continue on after adding Dan Spivey, as well as the previously seen ‘Dr. Death’ to the group not long before this match.

In The Arena: Tony Schiavone & Magnum TA again go through the action of the previous match

Match #5 for the NWA United States Championship: NWA United States Champion Barry Windham w/James J. Dillon vs. Bam Bam Bigelow w/Oliver Humperdink
The two lock up twice and break up with hostility. On the third lock up, Bam throws Windham across the ring. They lock up again and Windham uses his leverage to get BBB to the corner. He delivers some rights, but upon a whip to the corner, Bigelow catches him over his shoulder and delivers a crazy gut buster over his shoulders. After a consultation with Dillon, Windham is back in the ring and squares up Bigelow. They reach for a test of strength but instead, Windham goes on the attack with some rights and kicks.

Windham delivers a side suplex but Bigelow is back to his feet immediately. He scares Windham back to the floor and the crowd is loving it. JJ Dillon looks flustered. Windham is very slowly back to the ring. They lock up, run the ropes and BBB hits a shoulder tackle as Windham begs for mercy. Upon next lockup, Windham rakes the face and delivers some rights that only appears to make Bigelow angry. BBB delivers a military press to the delight of the crowd. They lock up, and Bigelow goes for big rights at the turnbuckle and Windham falls on his face as the crowd cheers. Bigelow delivers a dropkick and Windham tumbles over the top rope.

Dillon wants a DQ but the refs having none of it. Back in the ring, Bigelow lands some more kicks to the midsection and follows it with an impressive vertical suplex. Lateral press for a 2 count. Bigelow applies a reverse chin lock and Windham struggles. Windham slowly fights back and throws Bigelow out to the floor and he lands on his knee. The commentators acknowledge problems Bigelow has had with his knee. Windham is on the floor with some rights and the two make their way back to the ring. From the apron, Bigelow is able to take Windham down and he leaps over for a splash but he only gets a two count.

Bigelow lifts Windham for another military press and he heads for the top rope. BBB attempts an atomic splash but misses. Windham pulls Bigelow to his feet and delivers some chops and rights. Windham then delivers a brutal lariat and taunts the crowd. Windham delivers a side suplex and goes up for some punches at the turnbuckle. He whips Bigelow to the ropes and lands and dropkick that knocks Bigelow to the floor. Bigelow is run into the ring post and rolled back in the ring. Windham applies his patented claw and he taunts the crowd. Bigelow fights his way back to his feet but to no avail. The Claw is broken by the ropes.

Windham picks up Bigelow for a body slam and he goes for an elbow drop but misses! Bigelow is back to his feet delivering rights! They run the ropes and both end up over the top rope and down to the floor. Bigelow delivers an atomic drop, but is then ran into the post. Windham rolls back into the ring. Despite Bigelow rolling right back into the ring, and no clear audio of the referee’s counting, apparently Bigelow was counted out.
Winner and STILL NWA United States Champion: Barry Windham (Count-Out)

  • EA’s Take: I sound like a parrot with this one, but again, just solid and another confusing finish. I will say this though; it’s certainly true that time can help give someone perspective. Bam Bam Bigelow was such an underrated talent to the business. I allways liked the guy in real time, but never thought of him as the special talent he really was. Hardcore wrestling fans always acknowledge him for his agility given his size, but let’s parlay that onto the time when he broke in. Wrestling was starting to get slightly more creative during this time, but there weren’t many big men participating in the creativity. Therefore, The Beast From The East was special.

Backstage: Magnum TA is in the locker room with new NWA World Television Champion Rick Steiner, Rick saying that Mike Rotunda is a tough wrestler, but every dog has his day and today was his. He speaks about getting sick of being called stupid by Kevin Sullivan and dealing with his tricks.

Match #6 for the NWA World Tag Team Championships: NWA World Tag Team Champions The Road Warriors (Animal & Hawk) w/Paul Ellering vs. Sting & Dusty Rhodes
Upon the RW’s entrance to the ring, the four immediately start brawling. Rhodes and Sting clear the ring and the crowd loves it. The ring announcer gets to do his job and they finally settle down and start. It’s Animal and Sting. After a tie up, they run the ropes until Sting drop kicks Animal out of the ring. Back in, Sting holds a strong wrist lock and he tags in Rhodes. The Dream beats Animal down and to the outside of the ring once again. Slowly back to the ring, Animal tags Hawk. Rhodes and Hawk exchange blows. Dream tags Sting back in who holds Hawk in a wrist lock. Hawk battles out, and delivers a flurry of rights and kicks.

The two exchange more rights until the Stinger takes the upper hand. Sting whips him for a power slam and follows it up with an elbow drop. Once on their feet, he can’t prevent the tag made to Animal. Animal, immediately delivers a military press followed by a hot shot on the ropes. This doesn’t phase Sting as he comes back with some clotheslines and knocks Animal out to the floor. Sting climbs the ropes and takes a dive on Animal from that height. Back in the ring, a tag is made to Rhodes who immediately goes to work on Animal’s leg using the ring post as a weapon. Animal retreats to the ring and is able to make the tag to Hawk. All 4 men brawl in the ring once again. Hawk and Rhodes tumble out of the ring.

Hawk stomps on Rhodes until he finally stumbles back in. Now Animal is the legal man with Rhodes and he is right on him. Multiple rights, but it seems to be pumping Rhodes up and the Dream lands a dropkick. This kick knocks Hawk back into a tag with Animal who is starts working on Dusty. Animal holds him in a sleeper but Dusty does not give. Hawk comes back in with multiple chops. After a whip to the ropes, Dusty is caught in another sleeper but he’s able to break it with a chin breaker.

Hawk makes it to Animal but the hot tag is also made to Sting. He lands a Bulldog on Animal and follows it with a Stinger Splash in the corner. Sting is set up for the Scorpian Deathlock but Hawk breaks it up and throws Sting over the top rope. Rhodes is at the mercy of the RW double team but Sting is back up to the top rope. He lands a cross body from the top rope. Paul Ellering pulls the ref away from making the count and the bell rings.
Winners: Sting & Dusty Rhodes (Disqualification)

  • EA’s Take: Boy, a lot has changed in the tag team division since the last Starrcade. The Midnight Express are babyfaces and The Road Warriors are heels, which we saw at Great American Bash. Their turn came at the hands of Dusty, violently jamming one of the spikes from their shoulder pads into his eye. This would also lead to Dusty’s firing with Turner execs being less than pleased that he booked the bloody spot. This is probably why Sting carried the action for his side. The match was different because the people didn’t fully want to boo The Road Warriors and Dusty even got some boos from the LOD fans. This match also left me wondering why Sting didn’t continue going after the World Title following his Clash of the Champions match with Flair. I know they went with the Luger turning on The Horsemen angle, but we’ll see why I think that was the wrong call next.

Match #7 for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Lex Luger vs. NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair w/James J. Dillon
Flair wastes no time to strut and mock Luger. The two lock up, but Flair holds onto the ropes. The two lock up again and move to the corner. Luger retaliates on Flair’s chops, but the next time Flair holds the ropes he is clotheslined over the top rope. Flair paces the floor. They lock up again and Luger reverses Flair’s hammerlock submission. Luger immediately takes Flair from a side headlock to a shoulder tackle. Flair teases a test of strength and instead takes some cheap shots. They run the ropes and Luger lands a power slam. This is followed up with a gorilla press. Flair retreats to the ropes.

Luger executes an armbar submission as Flair yelps. After a whip to the turn buckle, Flair tries a chop but Luger is fired up. Referee Tommy Young redirects Luger to the ring and Flair lures him into a kick to the midsection. The Package doesn’t take kindly to this and he whips Flair to the turnbuckle and then catches him in a hammerlock. Luger hits several shoulder tackles and a hip toss. Flair reverses the momentum by raking Luger’s eye. Flair attempts to take some offense with chops but Luger is fired up and he chases Flair outside of the ring. Tommy Young is on the floor convincing Luger to take Flair back to the ring.

Lex takes some shots on the ring post and then rolls him back into the ring. Luger holds an armbar submission on Flair as he tries to fight out of it. After running the ropes, the two exchange shoulder tackles, but Luger can only get a two count. From the apron, Luger executes a vertical suplex back into the ring. Flair kicks out at two. Luger attempts an elbow drop but Flair moves. Back to their feet and Flair is taking some offense. He throws Luger through the middle rope and follows him down. Flair bashes Luger on the guard rail and JR reminds the crowd that a DQ could cost Flair a championship.

Back in the ring, Tommy Young gets physical while lecturing Flair. Luger is back in the ring, but Flair hits a snapmare takedown and follows it with a knee to the head. Flair with double feet to Luger’s midsection. The Nature Boy hits several chops, but those chops seem to be waking Luger up. The Package fights back and he catches Naitch in a sleeper hold. Finally, Flair is able to reverse the hold with a side suplex. Flair starts the offense with a quick kick, a snapmare and an attempted figure four, but Luger immediately reverses it into a small package. The pin is unsuccessful, and Flair jumps back on the offense.

He lands another snapmare and heads for the top rope. Luger catches him before he can do anything and superplexes him from the top rope. Luger gives Flair a taste of his own medicine and holds him in the Figure Four leg lock. Tommy Young is forced to break the hold as Flair is on the ropes. Luger nails some rights but Tommy Young is inadvertently hit. Luger flies with a cross body from the top rope, but the count is slow due to the position of the struck ref. Flair hits a shot to the midsection, but after a run to the ropes, Luger gets Flair over for a 2 count on a backslide. Luger is up on the 2nd turnbuckle for the punches as the crowd counts to 10. Luger sends him to the other turnbuckle and Flair only partially flips on it.

The Total Package brings him back to the ring with a vertical suplex but Flair kicks out at 2. Back to his feet, Flair delivers some ineffective chops before getting caught in a gorilla press slam. This is followed with a power slam, and then Luger is distracted with JJ Dillon as Flair rolls out of the ring. Flair trips Luger onto his back and uses a chair on Luger’s knee. Flair comes back to the ring and goes to work on that knee. Flair mocks the referee as he delivers more shots to Luger’s leg. Finally, Flair goes for the Figure Four leg lock.

The crowd is behind Luger as he screams out. Luger flexes in position and tries to turn the maneuver on him. He breaks the hold and both men are slow to get up. Flair takes him over once again with a snapmare and gets Luger’s leg once again. Flair goes to the top rope, but Luger catches him with a gorilla press. Back to their feet, Flair throws Luger to the apron, but Lex is pursuing Flair on pure adrenaline. He whips Flair for another military press slam. Once up, Flair is able to throw Lex out temporarily. Returning to the apron, Luger hits his shoulder to the midsection and comes back in with a sunset flip for a 2 count.

Luger intimidates Flair and backs him into the corner. He punches Flair for a count of 10, delivers an Irish whip and a clothesline for another 2 count. Luger follows it up with a power slam and puts Flair up into the torture rack. As the hold is on, Luger’s leg buckles from under him and Flair falls on top of him. Flair uses the rope for extra leverage and scores the pinfall.
Winner and STILL NWA World Heavyweight Champion: Ric Flair (Torture Rack Counter)

  • EA’s Take: PWI’s Feud Of The Year for 1988 is the main event of the NWA’s premier event and while I think Luger held his own again, just another decent match on this card. I must say, I was satisfied with Lex’s performances in the last two NWA main events, but of course some of that falls on Flair. I know the “Dirtiest Player in the Game” often had some trick up his sleeve, but the finish was odd on a night where there was just too much of that. There was no real explanation on how Luger’s knee randomly buckled and they could have told a better story/spent more time with Flair really working it over more than usual. This leads to Luger favoring it while using the Torture Rack and a better way to get into the counter that put it away. Lastly, why exactly does Luger NOT go over here? Is that not the point of the story, for the “good guy” to prevail on the biggest stage?

EA’s Finisher: While this show was certainly not bad by any means, it was just vanilla. I like vanilla, but not when it comes to my pro wrestling. It didn’t have any ridiculous gimmick matches and the talent on the card was pretty solid, but there’s that word again…just solid. Nothing standout whatsoever. The company seems to be coming apart already, The Horsemen are no more and they were really the backbone of JCP the past couple of years. Dusty’s on his way out and he was the heart of the company, plus all the other departures. WCW will be able to find new talent, but this is around the time they’d seemingly stop knowing how to build them or package them correctly. The WWF’s stranglehold on the business is in full effect now.

Top Three To Watch
1 – Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Barry Windham
2 – Lex Luger vs. Ric Flair
3 – Mike Rotunda vs. Rick Steiner


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Chairshot Classics

Chairshot Classics: WWF SummerSlam ’91

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Match #1: Power & Glory (Hercules & Paul Roma) & The Warlord w/Slick vs. Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat, ‘The Texas Tornado’ Kerry Von Erich & The British Bulldog
The Dragon will kickoff the action with Roma, they lock-up to a stalemate, Roma strikes first with a kick, then a slam, following with a dropkick. He climbs to the 2nd rope, Steamboat pulls him off with an armdrag, hangs on with a wristlock, Roma backs him into the corner and lands rights to break it. Irish whip across, Roma charges in, Dragon side-steps it and hits another arm drag, then a dropkick of his own. He snapmares Roma over, Roma slides to his corner and tags out, Hercules rushing in and getting flung with multiple arm drags.

Steamboat brings The Tornado in, he exchanges wristlocks with Herc, The Mighty One goes to the eyes and attempts to ram Tornado head-first into the top turnbuckle, but it’s blocked. Hercules meets the turnbuckle numerous times instead, Tornado climbing to the 2nd rope and delivering a flurry of right hands. He gains control with another wristlock, Herc back to the eyes and Warlord gets the tag as Bulldog comes in on the other side. Davey Boy hits the ropes and collides shoulders with Warlord, hits the ropes again, ducks a shot and staggers the big man with a clothesline, back to the ropes for another to drop him.

The Bulldog plants Warlord with a delayed vertical suplex, covers for a count of 2 and tags out, The Dragon coming in from the top with an overhand chop. He serves more chops in the corner, The Warlord reverses a whip across, Steamboat jumps to the 2nd rope, then over a charging Warlord. The Dragon with a monkey flip attempt, Warlord hangs onto the ropes to avoid it, makes a tag and Roma jumps off the top with a fist to the ribcage. He levels Steamboat with a clothesline and has some words with Tornado on the apron, Hercules with a cheap shot and Roma looks to follow with a slam.

Steamboat slips out, pushes into the ropes and gains a roll-up, Herc hits the ring to stop the count and distract the official, Warlord stepping in and flattening Dragon with a clothesline. Roma rakes the eyes, hits a snap suplex for a count of 2, then cracks Steamboat with multiple backbreakers before tagging out. Hercules re-enters and hammers away at the lower back, presses The Dragon over his head and slams him to the canvas. Warlord gets a tag and delivers a slam, tags out, Roma hitting the ropes and scores with a seated senton to the back. Herc comes in and sends Steamboat to the ropes, The Dragon slides between his legs and fires away with chops, attempts to send The Mighty One to the ropes and it’s reversed.

Herc drops The Dragon across the ropes with a hot shot, brings Warlord back in, clubbing blow to the back followed by another slam, Warlord to the 2nd rope and he jumps down to double boots to the face. Von Erich gets a hot tag and unloads with stiff rights, Hercules comes in and eats one of his own, then another for Roma on the apron. The Tornado shoots Warlord in for a back body drop, Warlord tries a sunset flip, Von Erich reaching out and making a tag.

Bulldog comes off the 2nd rope and gets caught in the air, Tornado assists in toppling Warlord over, Davey Boy falls on top and gets a 2 count. Roma tags in and rushes the ring, instantly gets caught on Bulldog’s shoulder and planted with a Running Powerslam, but only gets a count of 2. The Warlord tries to come in and is stopped by the referee, Steamboat heads up top and connects with a crossbody to Roma, covers and gets the 3 count without being tagged in.
Winners: Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat, ‘The Texas Tornado’ Kerry Von Erich & The British Bulldog (Steamboat/Top Rope Crossbody)

  • EA’s Take: A bit of a continuation here from WrestleMania between The Warlord & Bulldog, again with Davey Boy coming out on top. Slick’s stable of talent had really fallen off and was mainly undercard characters by now. Power & Glory would split soon after SummerSlam, Roma skipping off to WCW and oddly enough, becoming a member of the Four Horsemen. This would leave Hercules to jump back into singles competition, but without Slick at his side. The notable part here is the return of Ricky Steamboat who was simply billed as ‘The Dragon’. He had left WCW in 1989 over a contract dispute, deciding to wrestle in Japan instead. He would return on an episode of Superstars in early March, but was treated as a new character with very little reference to his previous run in the company. The comeback wouldn’t last as he would quit the company again as we head towards Survivor Series, supposedly because he was booked to be squashed by The Undertaker and didn’t want to do it.

Backstage: Sean Mooney is in the locker room with WWF Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect & Coach. The champion talks about his opponent tonight Bret Hart, stating the title says champion on it and to be a champion you have to be perfect. Bret Hart may be excellent, but he’s not perfect.

Match #2 for the WWF Intercontinental Championship: Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart vs. WWF Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect w/Coach
Collar & elbow at the start to a stalemate, they lock-up again and Bret with a side headlock, gets pushed into the ropes and scores with a shoulder knockdown. Back into the ropes, Perfect tries a hiptoss, The Hitman blocks and hits one of his own, the champion sliding to the outside to regroup. Back in the ring now, Hart with another side headlock, gets pushed into the ropes and puts The Perfect One in a crucifix, gains a count of 2 and takes the champion to the mat with another side headlock.

Perfect grabs a handful of hair to get to his feet, tries to push the challenger away and Bret turns the favor with a handful of hair to maintain the hold. The Perfect One finally breaks free, backing Hart to the ropes to bury a knee to the midsection, shoots Hitman to the ropes and is hit with a crossbody for another 2 count. The Hitman flies to the outside off the kick-out, quickly pulls himelf to the apron and drives a shoulder to the breadbasket, sunset flips in and gets another near fall, then takes Perfect back down with a side headlock.

The champion uses the hair once again to break the hold, whips Bret to the ropes for a boot, Hitman catches the foot and takes him down with a double leg, stomping away at the chest. The Perfect One reverses a whip to the corner and slams the challenger, Bret kicks up with both feet and returns the favor, then gets caught by a Perfect kick-up. Hart trips the champion and clotheslines him over the top, Mr. Perfect collects himself and then starts to take a walk to the back. The Hitman is out after him, rips his tights and rolls the champion back in the ring, Perfect seeking refuge in the corner and the ref steps in between.

They tie-up and Hart backs the champion into the corner, the official attempts to create a break and Perfect delivers a cheap shot to take control. He sends Hitman to the outside with kicks to the ribs, Hart pulling himself to the apron, only to get dropped back down. He pulls himself up again, Perfect pushes on the ropes and the challenger is sent into the barricade at ringside. Hart pulls himself into the ring and fires away with right hands, the champion reverses a whip to the corner and charges in, Bret hopping up and over for a roll-up that gets a 2 count. The Perfect One quickly goes to the eyes to stop the momentum, shoots The Hitman hard into the turnbuckles and covers for 2.

He hits his trademark neck snap for another count of 2, Hitman reverses a whip to the ropes for a back body drop, the champion has it scouted and delivers a kick, then a dropkick and Bret falls to the outside. Mr. Perfect gives chase, scales the corner and The Hitman is up to meet him, they trade punches, the champion gets the better of it, Hart falls to the mat and Perfect uses the ropes for a 2 count. He tosses the challenger across the ring by the hair, sends him into the ropes and locks in a sleeper hold, grinding Bret down to the canvas. The Hitman fights to his feet, hits the ropes for another crucifix, Perfect blocks it and plants Hart for a near fall.

The Perfect One serves up chops in the corner, shoots the challenger sternum-first into the turnbuckles and gains another count of 2 before calling for the finish. He delivers the Perfect-Plex, but still can’t get a 3 count, Hart building momentum with right hands to the midsection. He hits an atomic drop, then an inverted atomic drop and tosses Perfect by the hair, the champion attempts to slide out under the bottom rope and crotches himself on the ring post. The Hitman with a snap suplex for a near fall, gets another off a small package, then one more after a side russian leg sweep.

He splits the champion with a backbreaker, connects with an elbow drop from the 2nd rope and still can’t put Perfect away. Hitman has words with the official, allowing the champion to score a roll-up from behind, Hart kicks out at 2 and Perfect is sent to the outside off the kick-out. Bret rolls to the floor to get him, whips The Perfect One into the ring post, back in they go and he goes to work on the knee. The challenger drags Perfect to the middle of the ring for the Sharpshooter, Coach hops up on the apron and gets a right hand for his troubles, but gives the champion the opening for a low blow. The Perfect One drops a leg on the lower abdomen, tries it again and Hart catches the foot, counters into the Sharpshooter and we have a new champion.
Winner and NEW WWF Intercontinental Champion: Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart (Sharpshooter)

  • After The Bell: The new champion tears the rest of Perfect’s ring gear away. ‘Lord’ Alfred Hayes is in the crowd with Stu & Helen Hart, Bret makes his way to them and celebrates the win with his parents.
  • EA’s Take: Fantastic match here between two of the best workers in the company. Bret finally gets his big moment as a singles competitor, thus launching himself into Superstar status with the fans. The contest almost never happened, as Perfect was severely injured back in May with the affects still showing in this match. A broken tailbone and bulging discs actually forced Perfect to retire, only coming back for this one match to put over his friend The Hitman. You could tell he was hurting too, as we didn’t see the usual high energy from the former IC Champion. As Bret’s star would continue to grow brighter and brighter, Perfect would spend the next year-plus recuperating from his injuries, taking on the role of manager for a legendary performer who would soon come into the company.

Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund is joined in the interview area by The Bushwhackers & Andre The Giant. The Bushwhackers are worked up as usual and looking for revenge on The Natural Disasters after Earthquake attacked Andre’s knee with Jimmy Hart’s megaphone. They say when they’re done with them, Andre can feed on the rest, The Giant stating now is the time for revenge.

Match #3: The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon) w/’Mouth Of The South’ Jimmy Hart vs. The Bushwhackers (Luke & Butch) w/Andre The Giant
The Disasters go to the outside and have words with Andre, Bushwhackers come up from behind and tap them on the shoulder, then deliver eye pokes before rolling into the squared circle. The bell rings and The Disasters give chase, Bushwhackers rolling back out to enjoy a laugh with The Giant, order finally being restored with Butch & Typhoon starting off. Typhoon powers Butch into the corner off the lock-up, Butch ducks a big right and sinks his teeth into the big guy’s backside. He fires away with lefts and rights to the breadbasket, Earthquake steps in for a splash, Butch sees it coming and Typhoon gets squashed.

Luke comes in to lend a hand, they send Quake into the opposite corner, they shoot Typhoon into him, then use Earthquake’s head as a battering ram to take down his partner. Earthquake is dropped by a double clothesline, The Bushwhackers clearing the ring and marching around to the fans delight. Earthquake slides back in and levels Butch from behind, drives him spine-first into the turnbuckles and snapmares him over for an elbow drop. Butch avoids it, reaches for a tag, Quake prevents it by grabbing Butch’s foot and hammers the lower back with an elbow drop. Heenan leaves the announce position and heads to the back during this time, hearing that Hulk Hogan is rifling through his locker room.

Typhoon with a backbreaker off the tag, drives Butch’s back into the turnbuckles, then lifts him over his shoulder and makes a tag, Earthquake taking Butch off his hands into a bearhug. Butch breaks the hold with forearm shots, Quake cracks him with a backbreaker, Typhoon re-enters the match and gets a 2 count off of a back elbow, Luke making the save. The referee gets Luke back to the apron, Earthquake steps in for a right hand, Typhoon holding Butch up, but Butch slips away and Typhoon gets decked. Butch is able to crawl to a tag, Luke delivering forearms that stagger Typhoon, finally taking him down with a headbutt.

Earthquake tries to intervene and is cut-off by Butch, The Bushwhackers stagger Quake with the Battering Ram, then one for Typhoon. They knock Quake to the outside by whipping Typhoon into him, Luke gets a count of 2 as Earthquake hits Butch with a backbreaker on the outside. Andre has words with the ref, Quake stepping into the ring behind Luke’ s back and squashing him. Earthquake tags in now, flattens Luke with an Earthquake Splash and gets the win.
Winners: The Natural Disasters (Earthquake/Earthquake Splash)

  • After The Bell: The Disasters turn their attention to Andre and stalk him on the outside, The Legion Of Doom make their way out to step in, chasing them off with Butch.
  • EA’s Take: Per usual with a Bushwhackers match, organized chaos is the perfect term to describe the action. It’s never pretty and even with the best working opponents (which isn’t the case here), the entertainment value of the characters is relied upon for their segments. Tugboat had previously joined The Bushwhackers in a 6 Man Tag against Earthquake & The Nasty Boys, but turned on them and joined up with Quake, renaming himself Typhoon. The brief feud would end after tonight, as The Bushwhackers would again be used to elevate a new up-and-coming team while The Natural Disasters would remember LOD’s interference tonight. For Andre The Giant, this would be his final WWF PPV appearance. On January 27th, 1993 while in Paris to attend his father’s funeral, Andre would pass away from congestive heart failure. This legendary Superstar would become the first ever WWF Hall Of Fame inductee that same year, entering as the only member of his class.

Backstage: Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan leads a cameraman to Hulk Hogan’s dressing room, knocking on the door to deliver a message from the ‘real world’s champion’. Ric Flair would like to challenge Hulk for anytime and anyplace, but Heenan gets the door shut in his face.

Backstage: In the locker room is Sean Mooney with his guests ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase & ‘Sensational’ Sherri. Mooney reminds DiBiase of all the demeaning tasks he used to put Virgil through, The MDM saying the look on Virgil’s face during those jobs is nothing compared to the look he’ll have after tonight. DiBiase says they’re in a city full of gutters and Virgil can have his pick of which one he’s left in.

Match #4 for the Million Dollar Championship: Million Dollar Champion ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase w/’Sensational’ Sherri vs. Virgil
Virgil hits the ring and catches MDM jawing at the crowd on the 2nd rope, he pulls him down and we’re underway, Virgil delivering heavy rights in the corner. He sends DiBiase across and elevates him with a back body drop off the rebound, delivers multiple clotheslines and sends the champion over the top to the floor. Virgil jumps outside and drives The MDM’s head into the steps, rolls him in and drops him with lefts and rights, DiBiase flying back to the outside after an atomic drop.

The Brain returns to commentary as Virgil goes for a slingshot crossbody to the outside, MDM side-steps it, collects himself and tosses the challenger into the ring steps. Virgil’s head meets the steps once more, the champion throws him back in, sends him to the ropes and decapitates him with a clothesline. Patented fist drops from The MDM, he heads to the 2nd rope and connects with a double axe handle right between the eyes for a count of 2. DiBiase whips Virgil into the corner, hits a back body drop of his own off the rebound and gains another 2 count. Irish whip to the ropes, Virgil ducks a clothesline and uses DiBiase’s Million Dollar Dream against him, Sherri sliding into the ring and clobbers Virgil with her purse to break the hold, causing the official to call for the bell.

The referee explains that Sherri is ordered to the back and that the match will continue. WWF Officials escort The Sensational One to the locker room, both guys struggle to their feet back in the squared circle. The MDM looks to ram Virgil into the top turnbuckle, it’s blocked and the challenger introduces DiBiase’s head into it instead. Virgil with a flurry of lefts and rights, whips the champion into the corner and reigns down punches from the 2nd rope. MDM reverses a whip across, doubles Virgil back, the referee gets squashed in the corner and goes down.

DiBiase has some words for Piper at ringside, hits a vertical suplex, follows with another, then a third. The champion spikes Virgil with a piledriver and covers, but the official is still out of it. DiBiase exposes a turnbuckle and looks to bash the challenger’s head into it, Virgil turns the tables and the champion is introduced instead, both men doubling down. The ref comes to and starts the count, Virgil crawls to a cover and gets the 1-2-3.
Winner and NEW Million Dollar Champion: Virgil (Exposed Turnbuckle)

  • EA’s Take: When you add all the bells and whistles such as Sherri & Piper on the outside with the referee bump, this was a very entertaining match. Virgil’s in-ring skills are lacking and even with an opponent like DiBiase, it’s hard to put on a good match without the extras as evidence by their WrestleMania bout. By far the highlight of Virgil’s career, the feud would continue into the fall where The MDM would ultimately regain his Million Dollar title just before we get to Survivor Series.

Backstage: In the parking lot with The Mountie is ‘Mean’ Gene, with NYC Corrections Officers behind him. The Mountie promises to beat Boss Man tonight and see him off to jail for the night, berating the officers to not treat Boss Man like a New York cop, but a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Sean Mooney has Big Boss Man in the interview area, Boss Man stating The Mountie has the wrong idea. Instead of talking to NYC’s finest, he should be on his knees praying to the good lord above.

Match #5 is a Jailhouse Match – Loser Must Spend 24 Hours In Jail: The Mountie w/’Mouth Of The South’ Jimmy Hart vs. Big Boss Man
Mountie hands off his Shock Stick to Hart and here we go, has some words for Boss Man and gets layed out by a stiff right hand. The Mountie fires back with fists of his own, Boss Man sends him to the ropes and scores with a back elbow, following with a splash for a 2 count. He maintains control with headbutts, puts The Mountie over the 2nd rope throat-first, then lands on his back with a running senton. He slides to the outside and nearly gets ahold of The Mouth Of The South, turns and delivers another right to Mountie before rolling back in.

The Mountie goes to the eyes, climbs the 2nd rope and gets caught in the air, Boss Man planting him with a spinebuster, then utilizes a chinlock. Jimmy provides a distraction from the outside, Boss Man takes the bait, Mountie rolling out and pushes him into the steel steps. The Mountie tosses Big Boss Man back in, shoots him to the ropes and hits a jumping back elbow, drops fists between the eyes, then whips him hard into the corner. He slams Boss Man for a count of 2, Boss Man reverses a whip to the corner, charges in for a splash and The Mountie ducks out of the way.

He snapmares Boss Man over and drops multiple elbows for another 2, scores with a dropkick and again can only get a near fall, getting sent to the outside off the kick-out. Mountie drags Big Boss Man out and rolls inside, Boss Man rolls in and tries to build momentum with right hands, The Mountie stopping the comeback by biting the forehead. He spikes Boss Man with a piledriver, Hart grabs the referee’s attention on the apron, The Mountie gets his Shock Stick and looks to zap his opponent.

Big Boss Man avoids it and connects with an uppercut, Mountie sends him to the ropes, leapfrogs over and eats another big uppercut. The Boss Man shoots him to the ropes, plants him into the canvas with a Boss Man Slam, Mountie barely kicking out at 2. The Mountie brings Boss Man down with a leg sweep, hooks him for another piledriver, Boss Man powers to his feet and drives him to the mat with a spinebuster, makes the cover and picks up the victory.
Winner: Big Boss Man (Spinebuster)

  • After The Bell: Big Boss Man calls for the police, two officers come down to the ring and cuff The Mountie, dragging him off to the back. They pull him through the hallway and load him into a paddywagon, Boss Man slamming the doors and sending him off to the clink for the next 24 hours.
  • EA’s Take: I’d only call this match ‘decent’, a little underwhelming considering The Mountie is a good worker and for his size, Boss Man is too. This was the first time anybody had really gotten the better of The Mountie since his debut, the company really playing off the law enforcement vs. law enforcement gimmicks with this stipulation. This is the only Jailhouse Match in company history because it was the only time it really made sense for a storyline. Both guys would quickly move on to new opponents shortly after.

Backstage: Gene Okerlund is in the locker room when he’s interrupted by ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase & ‘Sensational’ Sherri. DiBiase is going off about tonight being the biggest rip-off in WWF history that shouldn’t have happened, claiming Virgil stole the title. In the interview area is new WWF Intercontinental Champion Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart alongside Sean Mooney. The Hitman talks about this being the greatest day for him, waiting a long time to show Mr. Perfect that perfection doesn’t exist. Back to Gene in the locker room with The Natural Disasters & Jimmy Hart. Typhoon warns Legion Of Doom they will chew them up and spit them out, Earthquake stating they stuck their nose in where it doesn’t belong. To the interview area again where Big Boss Man is with Sean, telling him the only bird that can’t fly is a jailbird which is what The Mountie is now. He promised everyone that he’s the law and order in the WWF and now it’s a fact. ‘Mean’ Gene heads into a private locker room to get a word with ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, but Savage is busy on the phone. Gene tries to sneak over and get a word with Elizabeth, but Macho stops him and says he can hangout with him.

On Location: The paddywagon pulls up to the correctional facility and The Mountie is dragged inside, kicking and screaming that he doesn’t belong there.

Backstage: Sean Mooney welcomes in WWF Tag Team Champions The Nasty Boys & Jimmy Hart. Jimmy is still beside himself over The Mountie, but it’s going to have to go on the backburner for now. Sags warns The Legion Of Doom that they’re on their way to Nastyville, Knobbs calling it the final ride. Gene Okerlund has The Legion Of Doomin the interview area, Animal speaking about no count-outs and no disqualifications being right up their alley. Hawk thinks The Natural Disasters bit off more than they could chew earlier, but they’ll get to them down the road. First and foremost, it’s about the championships tonight. Sean Mooney is still in the locker room, this time with Sgt. Slaughter, General Adnan & Colonel Mustafa. Mooney alludes to them being outnumbered tonight, but Slaughter thinks it’s the other way around for Ultimate Warrior & Hulk Hogan. Warrior & Hogan aren’t at 100% and things will be easier for them than they thought, promising another surprise for their match. Back to Gene in the interview area with the special ref for tonight’s main event, Sid Justice. Sid speaks about being asked over and over about where he stands tonight, but the answer is that he’s a man who stands alone. Okerlund shows some footage of earlier where Slaughter and his men tries to recruit Justice, but Sid disputes that he got stopped in the hall and hasn’t promised anything to anybody.

Match #6 is a Street Fight for the WWF Tag Team Championships: WWF Tag Team Champions The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags) w/’Mouth Of The South’ Jimmy Hart vs. The Legion Of Doom (Hawk & Animal)
The brawl is on quickly with both teams still sporting their entrance attire, LOD clears the ring and drops their pads, then heads outside. They pair-off, Animal & Knobbs on the inside, Animal delivers a kick to the midsection and plants Knobbs with a powerbomb, Sags breaking it up at 2. Hawk slides in and takes the ring with Sags, tries a kick and gets his foot caught, swings the other around and scores with an enzuigiri. He shoots him to the ropes and hits a shoukder tackle for a 2 count, Knobbs climbing in to get involved and Animal is there to drop him.

The official gets Animal back to the apron, Hawk with right hands for Knobbs, Jimmy Hart tosses in a can of spray paint to Sags and he sprays it in Hawk’s eyes behind the ref’s back. Hawk is blinded and moving around wildly, falls to the outside, Sags gives chase and decks him with a drink tray to the back. Back inside now, Knobbs tags in for a double boot to the breadbasket, he coaxes Animal into the ring and Sags chokes Hawk with the tag rope. Knobbs kicks Hawk under the bottom rope to the floor, Sags drops down and drives him head-first into the steps, tagging in and antagonizing Animal by spitting at him.

Knobbs with cheap shots to Hawk on the floor, Hawk drags himself into the ring and is driven into the top turnbuckle. Knobbs back in with rights, shoots Hawk in for a back elbow and covers for a count of 2. He brings Sags back in, frequent tags now and they work Hawk over in their corner, Sags whips Knobbs into a corner splash, Sags then drops an elbow from the top. Animal makes the save after a 2 count, Knobbs gets the tag and comes off the 2nd rope, jumping down into Hawk’s foot. He crawls and gets the tag, Animal with clotheslines for both Nasty Boys, delivers fists to Knobbs from the 2nd rope, sees Sags coming up from behind and gets him with a double axe.

He whips Knobbs to the ropes for a powerslam, Sags breaks the count after 1, Hawk hits the ring after him and gets dumped outside. The Nasty Boys with the double team on Animal now, Jimmy tosses in his helmet and Sags nails Animal in the back. Knobbs is only able to get a near fall out of it, gets sent outside off the kick-out, Hawk wrestles the helmet away from Hart and lays Knobbs out. He hops to the apron and hits Sags with it in the back of the head, LOD calls for the finish, connecting with the Doomsday Device, Animal covers and we have new champs.
Winners and NEW WWF Tag Team Champions: The Legion Of Doom (Animal/Doomsday Device)

  • EA’s Take: You almost have to put The Nasty Boys in street fight matches to explain the sloppyness of their work. A lot of stuff that didn’t make sense here such as The Nasty’s double teaming behind the official’s back. It’s a street fight, this is supposed to be no disqualifications. After disposing of Demolition, LOD was set to be the next face of the WWF’s tag team division, completing the championship trifecta with this win. The LOD would be the only team in history to hold the tag titles of the three biggest companies (WWF, NWA, AWA), solidifying themselves as arguably the greatest tag team of all-time. For The Nasty Boys, their title run was more transitional.

Match #7: Irwin R. Schyster vs. Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine
IRS with a wristlock off the tie-up, Valentine counters into one of his own, Schyster gains the ropes and they break clean. They lock-up again, The Hammer with a side headlock, IRS pushes him off to the ropes and gets knocked down by a shoulder, seeking a break in the corner. Valentine with another side headlock off the collar & elbow, gets shoved to the ropes again, The Hammer with another shoulder knockdown and Schyster complains to the official. Once again we go back to the same spot, this time IRS tries a hiptoss out of the ropes, Valentine blocks and hits one of his own, Schyster sliding to the floor to rethink his strategy.

Back in the squared circle now, Schyster buries a knee to the ribs, sends Valentine to the ropes for a back body drop, The Hammer counters with a sunset flip for 2, slams IRS and again he heads outside. Valentine gives chase this time, tosses Schyster in, but gets caught sliding in with kicks to the breadbasket. IRS locks in an abdominal stretch, uses the ropes for more leverage, the ref finally catches it and The Hammer with a hiptoss to break the hold. He can’t capitalize and gets leveled by a flying clothesline, Schyster drops an elbow and hooks the leg for a 2 count. He looks to ground Valentine with a rear chinlock, The Hammer gets to his feet to break it, but IRS cracks him with a backbreaker and heads up top.

The Hammer is there to meet him, slams him down to the canvas, fires away with heavy shots in the corner, IRS reverses a whip across and charges in for a knee. Valentine avoids it, works to soften up the knee and slaps on the Figure Four, Schyster reaching the bottom rope to force the break. The Hammer looks to drop an elbow and misses, IRS can’t take advantage and is hit with a kneebreaker, Valentine following with a headbutt to the abdomen. He tries for the Figure Four again, Schyster grabs a handful of hair to gain a small package and steals the victory.
Winner: Irwin R. Schyster (Small Package)

  • EA’s Take: Pretty standard stuff here, nothing overly exciting. Greg Valentine continues to put over up and coming and new characters to the company, this time doing it for the returning Mike Rotunda. Returning in April of 1991 and acting as a former tax collector, IRS was the character Rotunda had been searching for to combine with his technical prowess. This third run in the WWF would end up being the longest and most successful for Rotunda.

Backstage: Gene Okerlund is standing by in the interview area with Ultimate Warrior & WWF Champion Hulk Hogan. The champion says that Madison Square Garden is the appropriate place for ‘The Match Made In Hell’, stating he’s been searching for the feeling he has since defeating The Iron Sheik in 1984. Warrior talks about the strike of a cobra not being enough to keep down him or his Warriors. Hogan thinks they’ve got the momentum, claiming that the cobra’s bite lit a fire into The Warrior’s veins.

Match #8 – Special Referee Sid Justice: Sgt. Slaughter, Colonel Mustafa & General Adnan vs. Ultimate Warrior & WWF Champion Hulk Hogan
The champion and Sarge start our main event, Slaughter has his belt in hand and Sid rips it away from him, tossing it away from the ring. We finally get going and Slaughter goes to Hogan’s eyes, hammers him in the corner, Hulk reverses a whip into the corner and scores with a right hand. He plays back and forth with Warrior on the apron, unloads on Adnan & Mustafa, then tags The Ultimate One in for a double clothesline on Sarge. The Warrior with an inverted atomic drop, Hulkster gets the tag and they connect with a double boot out of the ropes, the champion then driving Slaughter head-first into the top turnbuckle.

Mustafa is in to break Sid’s count at 2, Hulk shoots Sarge to the ropes and drvies a point of the elbow to the head before tagging out. Warrior tags in for a kick to the abdomen off the irish whip, rams Sarge into Hogan’s boot and tags back out, Hulk scoring with a double axe from the 2nd rope for another count of 2. The champion sends Slaughter to the corner and charges in with a clothesline, chokes him and Sid steps in to create the break. Hogan goes back to it and again Sid admonishes him, this time Sarge taking the opening and driving the champion into Mustafa’s boot.

He looks to hit Warrior with a cheap shot on the apron and misses, tag to Adnan and they double team Hulk, Adnan delivering overhand chops and raking the back. He works the champ over in his corner, Mustafa tags and hits a gutwrench suplex, then locks in the Camel Clutch. The Ultimate One delivers a boot to the back of the head to break it up, Sarge tags in and splits Hulk with a backbreaker for a 2 count, then chokes him in the corner. Sid asserts his authority and steps in to stop it, Slaughter sends Hogan across, doubles back and Hulkster and Justice collide, neither man budging. They exchange words and Sarge clubs Hogan from behind, Adnan comes in with eye rakes and bites the face, brings Slaughter back in and he climbs upstairs.

Warrior comes around and pushes Sarge down to the mat, Hogan crawls to his corner and gets the tag, The Ultimate One unloading with clotheslines out of the ropes and shoulder knockdowns. He hits the ropes again, Slaughter ducks down and The Warrior collides with Sid this time, they jaw back and forth, Hulk gets involved and Sarge takes control by going to the eyes. Sarge tags out, Adnan with chops in his corner, brings Mustafa in and he hooks for a vertical suplex. The Ultimate One blocks and hits one of his own, Slaughter gets a tag and delivers a cheap shot to Hulkster on the apron, Adnan coming in for a double team behind Sid’s back.

Sarge flattens The Warrior with a short-arm clothesline, shoots him into the ropes for another clothesline, Warrior ducks it and scores with one of his own. He crawls over and gets the tag to the champion, Hulk with heavy rights to Sarge, then sends him into the ropes for the big boot. Adnan & Mustafa hit the ring and are met by The Ultimate One, he clears them out and chases them both to the back with a chair in hand, leaving the ring to Hulk & Slaughter. Hogan tosses a handful of powder in Sarge’s eyes as Sid is distracted, drops the big leg and gets the 3 count.
Winners: Ultimate Warrior & Hulk Hogan (Hogan/Leg Drop)

  • After The Bell: Hulk does his usual celebrating in the ring for the crowd, calls to the back and Sid comes back out. The champion invites him into the ring and tears away his referee shirt, both of them doing The Hulkster’s signature poses for the fans.
  • EA’s Take: Lots of behind the scenes to get to regarding this match, so I won’t go into how basic and predictable this was. So Mustafa is The Iron Sheik, returning to the company after a 3 year absence during which time he worked in Japan and WCW. Sid Justice is better known as Sid Vicious, previously working for WCW and debuting in May and instantly being placed near the top of the card due to his size. Initially, it was portrayed that nobody knew Sid’s intentions in the WWF, thus putting him as special referee for this match before ultimately siding with Hulk Hogan. Sgt. Slaughter would soon realize the error of his ways, splitting from Mustafa & Adnan and pleading for his country back. Behind the scenes, a major controversy was going down between the company and Ultimate Warrior. In early July, Warrior sent a letter to Vince McMahon demanding changes to his contract and more specifically a $550,000 payment for his performance at WrestleMania. In the letter The Warrior stated he would not make any appearances including the SummerSlam main event. McMahon would give in to the demands in order to keep his advertised main event, but would would suspend The Warrior indefinitely immediately following the match. Warrior attempted to give his resignation over the incident, but the company wouldn’t accept it as he was under contract until September of 1992, leading to a long hiatus from the WWF.

Video: After weeks of coaxing and going back and forth, ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage finally built up the courage to drop to a knee and ask for Elizabeth’s hand in marriage. She’d answer with an “Ohhh Yeeeah” of her own, then a special musical tribute is played dedicated to the history between the couple.

In The Arena: It’s time for ‘The Match Made In Heaven’, ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage making his way down to start the proceedings. Elizabeth comes out to a rousing ovation. The wedding goes off without a hitch, balloons falling from the ceiling as Randy & Liz seal it with a kiss.

  • EA’s Take: The WWF’s first love story (that people really remember, sorry Uncle Elmer) closes out the night with a happy ending, the last time a WWF wedding went off without any troubles. In reality, Savage & Liz had been married for years with the company never acknowledging it until now. Oddly enough, by this time their real-life marriage was very rocky to say the least, seperating the following summer.

EA’s Finisher: My favorite SummerSlam produced by the WWF thus far and my favorite when I was a kid, I remember renting this numerous times from my local video store. Bret Hart & Mr. Perfect stole the show with arguably one of the greatest matches of all-time, while the rest of the card showcased the change that would start to takeover the company. The Warrior controversy put the WWF in a tight spot, forcing them to drop and alter angles that were already taking place such as the Warrior/Jake Roberts/Undertaker storyline. Sid seems to be someone that they could build around for the future and the company clearly noticed by putting him in a prominent role here and moving forward. Unfortunately, Sid would suffer a biceps injury that would force him to miss Survivor Series. This would lead to more storyline changes with Justice unable to return until January 1992.

Top Three To Watch
1 – Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect
2 – Virgil vs. Ted DiBiase
3 – Slaughter/Adnan/Mustafa vs. Ultimate Warrior & Hulk Hogan


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Chairshot Classics: WWF SummerSlam ’90

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‘The Heat Returns’ with WWF’s SummerSlam 1990! We’re off and running with the new WWF Champion Ultimate Warrior looking to cement himself as the top name in the company, while a familiar foe has his sights set on putting the belt around his ‘Ravishing’ waist. As for the former champion, he’s got the 400+ pound Earthquake in his crosshairs, forming an alliance with an old heated rival to even the odds. Mr. Perfect defends his Intercontinental Title against a replacement for Brutus Beefcake and The Hart Foundation looks to regain tag gold in a 2/3 falls match. Let’s get to the action!

Match #1: Power & Glory (Paul Roma & Hercules) w/Slick vs. The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty)
The Rockers go after Slick on the outside during their entrance, Power & Glory go outside to meet them, Hercules taking Michaels out at the knee with his chain, Roma rolls Jannetty inside and the bell rings. He pummels Marty in the corner with clubbing shots, Jannetty reverses a whip across, charges in, Roma hops up and over, charges in himself and misses. Marty with a hip toss, catches Hercules with one too, Roma hits the ropes for a crossbody, Jannetty ducks and Herc catches his partner, Marty connects with a double dropkick.

He rams them together with a double noggin knocker, continues to fight them both off, but the numbers catch up to him. Power & Glory hammers away as Slick has the ref distracted, they whip Jannetty in for a double back body drop, he hits Hercules with a kick and rolls Roma with a small package that the referee doesn’t see. The ref turns around and counts 2, Herc breaks it up with an elbow drop, Marty dumps him over the top rope and Roma takes the advantage as Shawn finally pulls himself to the apron, only to get dropped by Hercules. Roma whips Jannetty hard into the turnbuckle, fires away with right hands, shoots Marty in for a back body drop, Jannetty with a sunset flip and Roma reaches back to tag out.

Michaels pulls himself to the apron only to get dropped again, Hercules planting Jannetty with a military press slam for a count of 2. Herc goes for a slam, Marty counters into a small package, Roma tagging himself in and he splits Jannetty with multiple backbreakers for a near fall. Jannetty reverses a whip into the ropes, plants Roma with a powerslam, hits Hercules off the apron with a superkick, then climbs to the top for a fist drop. He covers and Hercules comes in to break the count, Roma reverses a whip in, Marty slips out of a slam, pushes into the ropes and Hercules scores with a clothesline from the apron.

Power & Glory now with a double team, sending Jannetty into the ropes and elevating him high in the air for a flap jack. Herc takes the ring and takes Marty’s head off with a clothesline, props him on the top turnbuckle and makes the tag to Roma. Power & Glory combines to hit Jannetty with the Power-Plex, Roma puts a boot on Marty’s chest and gets the victory.
Winners: Power & Glory (Roma/Power-Plex)

  • After The Match: Roma rolls Michaels in the ring for the first time, Power & Glory pounding away at the injured knee until a gang of referees come out to restore order. The EMTs come out to the ring and they stretcher Shawn out of the arena.
  • EA’s Take: Paul Roma & Hercules were kind of thrown together as a team and weren’t ever meant to amount to much. This match would serve as the most significant moment they’d ever really have. After a beatdown of The Rockers, Power & Glory looked to use them as a stepping stone in the tag team division. Their victory here seems a bit odd and out of place, especially the way that it went down with Michaels not even getting involved in the match. In reality, Shawn was legitimately suffering from a knee injury and this story was used to give him some time off. Upon his return, The Rockers would seek revenge on Roma & Herc

Backstage: Sean Mooney is standing by with WWF Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect & Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan. Perfect talks about accepting The Texas Tornado’s challenge just 10 days ago, but for a perfect man like himself, he doesn’t need a lot of time to prepare. The Brain says if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. He believes The Texas Tornado has his head in the clouds, which means his feet aren’t on the ground.

Match #2 for the WWF Intercontinental Championship: WWF Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect w/Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan vs. ‘The Texas Tornado’ Kerry Von Erich
Collar & elbow to start, Tornado with the power edge shoves Perfect into the corner, the champion immediately going to the outside to convene with Heenan. Back inside they lock-up again, The Perfect One with an armdrag and he soaks in the accomplishment. Another tie-up and Perfect with a hip toss this time, The Brain wiping the sweat from the champion’s brow. Another collar & elbow, the champion backs Tornado into the corner, Tornado reversing a whip across and he hits Perfect with a hip toss coming back out.

He slams Perfect, clotheslines him over the top to the floor and the champion takes a breather. Back inside now, Tornado goes to a wristlock and works over the shoulder joint, Perfect breaking the hold with a clothesline and he takes control with right hands. He snapmares the challenger over, hits his patented neck snap, shoots Tornado into the corner and locks in a sleeper as he rebounds out.

Perfect breaks the hold on his own, placing Tornado in the corner and unloading with right hands while berating him. The challenger with an adrenaline rush, catapults Perfect into the corner, grabs him with the Iron Claw, then lays him out with the Tornado Punch and we have a new champion.
Winner and NEW WWF Intercontinental Champion: ‘The Texas Tornado’ Kerry Von Erich (Tornado Punch)

  • EA’s Take: In an unlikely turn of events, Mr. Perfect’s IC Title reign comes to an end rather abruptly. Originally, Brutus ‘The Barber’ Beefcake was scheduled to be the challenger, but suffered a legitimate brutal injury to his face in a boating accident and missing nearly 2 years of ring time. The Texas Tornado is Kerry Von Erich is a former NWA World Heavyweight Champion, a Texas wrestling legend and the most promising talent of the famed Von Erich family. After the fall of his father’s promotion WCCW, Kerry would stay in Texas for another year and a half before arriving in the WWF in July of 1990. Interestingly enough, Kerry wrestled from 1986 on with a prosthetic right foot that not many people knew about until years and years later. His foot was amputated following a devastating motorcycle crash that nearly took his life.

Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene is set to interview Sapphire, but she has yet to arrive to the building. Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan & Mr. Perfect barge in, Heenan beside himself and claiming The Texas Tornado broke every rule in the book. The Perfect One claims he has a lump on his head from the ring post, vowing to be back to claim what’s rightfully his.

Match #3: Queen Sherri vs. Sapphire
Sapphire’s music plays and she doesn’t come out, they play it again, but still no Sapphire. Somebody comes out from the back and gives Howard Finkel some info, The Fink announcing that Sapphire only has 30 seconds to get to the ring or she’ll be forced to forfeit. Sapphire still doesn’t show and Sherri is awarded the match.
Winner: Queen Sherri (Forfeit)

  • After The Bell: Gene Okerlund is in the locker room with ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes to shed a little light on Sapphire’s whereabouts, but he doesn’t know. Dusty states they arrived to the building together, but she disappeared 10 minutes later and nobody’s seen her. ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan walks in to inform The American Dream there’s still no sign of her, but everyone’s still looking. Rhodes talks about his concern with the lavish gifts Sapphire has been receiving lately, but he’s tried to stay out of it because it’s made her happy.
  • EA’s Take: Usually when I say “Move along, nothing to see here” that means the match wasn’t very good. This time, there is literally nothing to see here. This is all storyline as Sapphire has started to become corrupt due to the lavish gifts she’s been receiving. In reality, Sapphire would leave the WWF shortly after this. Rumor has it that she was such a Dusty Rhodes mark that when she was told they’d be splitting, she broke down and no longer had a desire to work for the company.

Match #4: The Warlord w/Slick vs. Tito Santana
Tito with a side headlock out of the lock-up at the start, Warlord lifts him in the air and throws him across the ring to break it. They tie-up again, Warlord pushes Santana into the corner, Tito fires out with right hands and goes to a wristlock, Warlord shoots him into the ropes and ducks down, Santana drops an elbow. Tito scores with multiple dropkicks to take the big man down, Warlord rolling under the bottom rope to the outside to huddle up with Slick.

He slides back in and Tito goes back to the wristlock to work over the shoulder joint, Warlord scoops Santana up and slams him, but misses a follow-up elbow drop. Santana hits the ropes, jumps onto Warlord’s shoulders and fires off right hands, taking him to the canvas in a pinning predicament for a 2 count. Santana gets tossed to the outside on the kick-out, Slick distracts the referee and Warlord hops outside, ramming Tito back-first into the ring post.

Warlord slides inside and takes the ref’s attention, Slick tries to sneak around ringside to nail Tito with his shoe, the referee stops him and Warlord hops out to bring Santana back inside. He clobbers away at the back of Tito, buries right hands to the breadbasket in the corner and whips him across. Warlord rushes into a Santana boot, Tito levels him with a clothesline and covers for 2. He fires off right hands, Warlord reverses a whip into the ropes, Santana ducks a right hand and connects with the Flying Forearm, hooks the leg and Warlord gets a foot on the rope at 2. Tito looks for a monkey flip in the corner, Warlord powers out of it, plants Santana with a running powerslam for the 1-2-3.
Winner: The Warlord (Running Powerslam)

  • EA’s Take: Thanks to Tito Santana, this match was at least watchable. The Warlord is nothing more than just a big guy with a good look and can’t work a lick. He was able to hide his deficiencies somewhat when he was in a team, but not so much during his singles run. Both of these guys have pretty well been relegated to the lower portion of the card by this time.

Backstage: Sean Mooney is standing by with WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition. Ax talks about their opponents not knowing which two members will defend the titles against The Hart Foundation. He explains that’s the advantage they have and The Hart Foundation will be demolished.

Backstage: Gene Okerlund is in the locker room with The Hart Foundation, Hitman talking about how confusing it’s been to not know which members they’ll face-off with. Gene wonders what Neidhart thinks, but he doesn’t get paid to think. It doesn’t matter to him which two it is, he doesn’t care. Bret states it’s like Phil Collins says, they’re two hearts beating as one.

Match #5 is 2/3 Falls for the WWF Tag Team Championships: WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition (Smash & Crush) vs. The Hart Foundation (Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart & Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart)
Bret & Smash to kickoff the action, some posturing to start, Smash grabs Hitman by the hand and pulls him towards his corner. Crush looks to enter the ring, the referee thwarts the attempt, allowing Neidhart to come in for a double back elbow on Smash. He counters an irish whip into the ropes, looks for a slam, Hitman slips out and rolls Smash up for a quick 2 count, then takes him over with an armdrag and grabs an armbar. Bret hammers at the shoulder joint, The Anvil with the tag and he maintains the hold. Smash shoots Neidhart into the corner, charges in and misses, The Anvil going back to the shoulder and tags Bret.

Hitman comes off the 2nd rope with a shot to the lower back, takes Smash over with an armwringer and drops a leg, going back to an armbar. Smash powers to his feet, slams Bret to break the hold and tags out. Crush with a slam, tries a follow-up knee drop and misses, Hitman attempts to work over his shoulder, gets sent into the ropes, Bret ducks a clothesline for a crossbody, but gets caught and slammed again. Crush works over Bret in the corner, whips him across, charges in and meets boots to the face. Hitman with a schoolboy for a 2 count, Smash & Neidhart tag in, The Anvil with a side headlock, gets pushed into the ropes and knocks him down with a shoulder. Back into the ropes he goes, Crush with a cheap shot from the apron and Smash takes control before tagging out.

Crush whips The Anvil into the corner, rushes in, gets laid out by a clothesline and we get tags on both sides. Bret with heavy right hands, irish whip into the ropes and he drops Smash with a clothesline, then catches Crush coming in with a dropkick. Hitman gets Smash in the corner, climbs to the 2nd rope to fire off right hands, sees Crush coming from behind and jumps on him, taking him to the canvas with punches.

He hits Smash with an inverted atomic drop, he whips him into his own partner, then plants him with a side russian leg sweep for a near fall. Bret splits Smash with a backbreaker, drops an elbow from the 2nd rope and covers, but Crush drops a leg to break it up. Smash tags out, they connect with the Demolition Decapitation and Crush makes the cover for the first fall.
First Fall: Demolition
Demolition double teams Bret as the referee gets Neidhart out of the ring, order is restored, Crush whips Hitman into the ropes and drives him to the mat by the throat. Smash tags in, plants Bret with a back suplex for a count of 2, then tags back out. Crush snapmares Hitman over and goes to a chinlock, Bret gains a vertical base, but gets dropped by a right hand and Smash re-enters. He drives Bret into the top turnbuckle, irish whip for a right hand, Hitman ducks it and scores with a clothesline.

He crawls to try and tag, Smash hangs on to prevent it, but Bret makes it and The Anvil comes in like a house of fire, laying out both of the champions. He levels Smash with a back elbow out of the ropes for 2, shoots him in again and plants him with a powerslam for another near fall. Bret tags in, The Hart Foundation with a double team spear in the corner, they hit Smash with the Hart Attack, Hitman covers and Crush jumps on the referee to stop the 3 count, but causes a disqualification.
Second Fall: The Hart Foundation
The Hart Foundation celebrate the pinfall, Crush ambushes Bret from behind and he goes spilling to the outside. Neidhart goes to the floor to check on him, Demolition holds the ref’s attention and Ax comes running out from the back, hiding himself under the ring.

Smash pulls Bret to the apron by the hair, Hitman with a shoulder to the midsection, slingshots in with a sunset flip and gains a 2 count. He hits an inverted atomic drop, The Anvil comes in for a double team move, Smash ducks away as Crush tries to enter the ring, distracting the referee. Neidhart lays Smash out with a clothesline, lifts Bret in a reverse powerslam and powers Hitman onto Smash with a splash for a count of 2. Hitman sends Smash to the outside with a right hand, Ax switches out behind the referee’s back and slides into the ring, clubbing away at Hitman. Bret battles back, shoots Ax into the corner and charges in, but gets flattened by a clothesline.

He slams Bret for a 2 count, plants him with a side russian leg sweep for another 2, then whips Hitman sternum-first into the turnbuckles, Neidhart breaking the count at 2. Crush switches out illegally as the ref gets The Anvil out of the ring, he cracks Hitman with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and Neidhart’s had enough. The Anvil tussles with Crush in the ring as Ax & Bret battle outside, Smash comes out from under the ring and they double team Hitman, swapping out again. Smash throws Bret back inside and hangs him on the middle rope, the ref finally gets Crush to the apron as The Legion Of Doom make their way to ringside, pulling Ax out from under the ring.

Crush & Smash set-up for the Demolition Decapitation again, Hawk trips up Crush on the top while the ref is busy with Animal. Smash turns his attention to The Legion Of Doom leaving Crush all alone, The Anvil slingshots into the ring with a shoulder tackle, Hitman with the trip and he covers Crush for the win.
Winners and NEW WWF Tag Team Champions: The Hart Foundation

  • EA’s Take: No contest as to what’s been the match of the night so far, very entertaining and it was great to involve Ax & The Legion Of Doom. Demolition added Crush as their 3rd member after Ax began having health issues, Crush was eventually to replace Ax full-time. When The Legion Of Doom (the team Vince supposedly created Demolition in the mold of) arrived in June of 1990 after leaving WCW due to heat with Jim Herd, it was an obvious choice for their first rivalry. This would be the 2nd go-around for The Hart Foundation with the tag titles.

Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene is back in the locker room with The Legion Of Doom. Animal talks about challenging Demolition week after week, he hopes they have their attention now. Hawk states Demolition have been running over everybody, but they’re here to run them over. The Hart Foundation come in, Bret claiming they won’t hide behind the titles and will take on all comers.

Backstage: Sean Mooney is outside Demolition’s locker room where there’s a mighty commotion going on. Mooney reporting that Demolition’s anger isn’t directed at The Hart Foundation, but Legion Of Doom.

Backstage: Gene Okerlund is now in the interview area with Queen Sherri. The Queen states that Sapphire has been seen throughout the day, but she may be smart to not show up to their match. Sherri has heard some rumors, but she won’t spill the beans for Okerlund. On the other side of the intermission, Gene welcomes in Big Boss Man. Boss Man talks about upholding the law in the match between Jake Roberts & Bad News Brown. He states that he’s not afraid of snakes or rats and will see justice prevail.

Backstage: Sean Mooney is joined by Nikolai Volkoff & ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan in the locker room. Duggan talks about presenting Nikolai with the American flag a few weeks ago, but tonight he’s proud to have him as a partner. Volkoff is happy to be joined by Hacksaw and calls him an idol, looking forward to meeting The Orient Express tonight.

Backstage: Gene Okerlund is with Earthquake, Dino Bravo & ‘Mouth Of The South’ Jimmy Hart. Quake claims there will be a disaster here tonight at SummerSlam, last time he was face to face with Hulk Hogan, Hulkster got carried out on a stretcher. Tonight, Hogan makes the most foolish decision of his career by stepping into the ring with him. He wonders where Hulk’s friend Tugboat is, reminding us he squashed him with an Earthquake Splash. Dino ensures Earthquake that he will handle Big Boss Man, Jimmy warns that Hogan & Boss Man will be carried out on stretchers side-by-side.

Backstage: Sean Mooney welcomes Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts in the locker room, wondering if he’s afraid of rats. Roberts states that he’s not afraid of rats and Damian is hungry. He wants to know how hungry Bad News Brown is, stating that hunger is what seperates a man like him from a mouse like Brown.

Match #6 – Special Referee Big Boss Man: Bad News Brown vs. Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts
Bad News attacks Jake from behind while Boss Man makes his entrance and the bell rings. He whips The Snake into the corner, charges in and Roberts side-steps him, looks for an early DDT and Bad News escapes under the bottom rope. Back in the ring, Jake with an armbar, Bad News breaks it with a right hands, whips Roberts into the ropes for a hip toss, then drops a leg and makes a nonchalant cover for a 2 count.

Brown argues with Boss Man about the count, Roberts gets to his feet behind him and attempts the DDT again, but Bad News rolls outside. The Snake goes out after him, Bad News with a right hand, grabs a chair and spears Jake in the breadbasket with it. Boss Man hops outside to restore order, Brown tosses Roberts back into the ring and whips him hard into the corner. He shoots Bad News hard into the opposite corner, then continues to punish The Snask with right hands, another hard irish whip to the turnbuckles and he follows with a clothesline.

Brown to the 2nd rope for a fist drop, Roberts rolls out of the way, gets sent into the ropes for a back body drop and scores with a knee lift. Jake drops Bad News with a short-arm clothesline, calls for the DDT, but Brown with a back body drop to counter it. He kicks The Snake under the bottom rope to the floor, grabs the chair and again rams it into Jake’s ribs, Boss Man calling for the bell.
Winner: Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts (Disqualification)

  • After The Bell: Bad News argues with Boss Man about the decision, Boss Man hops outside to check on Jake and Brown grabs the bag containing Damian. He tries too drop a leg on Damian, Boss Man pulls the bag out of the way and Brown ambushes him from behind. Jake slides in the ring, unveils Damian from the bag and chases Bad News out of the ring.
  • EA’s Take: This was pretty rough right here, none of it really made much sense to me. The feud here was pretty brief and rightfully so, it was made to be about Jake’s snake Damian vs. Bad News Brown’s ‘Harlem sewer rats’, although we never got any kind of appearance from the supposed rat. Bad News would leave the WWF following SummerSlam after a dispute with Vince McMahon, claiming Vince never came through on his promises to Brown. Roberts would turn his attention to an ‘arrogant’ Superstar, looking to deflate his over-blown ego.

Backstage: Gene Okerlund is joined by Demolition, who are still hot over losing the tag titles. They claim The Hart Foundation didn’t play fair, needing The Legion Of Doom to defeat them. They vow that LOD will regret the day they walked in Demolition’s shadows.

In The Ring: The red carpet has been rolled out in the squared circle for Brother Love. He talks about when the fans were all snot-nosed kids that were told what to do by their parents. Now that they’re all adults, they still need someone to boss them around because they are soft. Brother Love introduces his guest and just the man to give the orders, Sgt. Slaughter. The Sarge shakes Brother Love’s hand and gives him a big hug, stating there are only two reasons he came to Philadelphia. In his search for the one man deserving of the ‘Sgt. Slaughter Great American Award’, he Slaughter found that America had become weak. He presents the award to Brother Love, Brother talks about Nikolai Volkoff receiving a much smaller award previously. Slaughter says he’s declared war on Volkoff and is not happy that America has accepted ‘that commie’ into their hearts. Sarge warns that America having his back won’t help him as Nikolai is soft like the USA has become. Just like Saddam Hussein will kick the US’s butt, he will kick Volkoff’s. “And that’s…an order.”

Backstage: Joining Sean Mooney in the locker room is The Orient Express & Mr. Fuji. Fuji talks about the ‘superpower’ of the US and Russia joining together to face-off with Japan tonight. He warns Nikolai Volkoff & ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan that they will show no mercy and will clock Duggan so hard that he has two cross-eyes. Mooney interrupts for some breaking news and sends us to Gene Okerlund outside of a locker room as Sapphire enters, then shuts the door in his face.

Match #7: The Orient Express (Sato & Tanaka) w/Mr. Fuji vs. ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan & Nikolai Volkoff
Hacksaw & Nikolai sing ‘God Bless America’ prior to the match, the whole crowd singing along with them. The bell rings and Hacksaw sends out his thoughts to the troops in the Middle East. The Orient Express with an attack from behind, Nikolai & Duggan turn the table and hit atomic drops on both of The Express, bumping them into one another and then booting them out of the ring. Order is restored, Nikolai & Tanaka take the ring, collar & elbow tie-up and Volkoff uses his power advantage to toss Tanaka aside.

Tanaka hits the ropes and runs into a big shoulder, runs into the them again, ducks a clothesline and gets caught attempting a crossbody. Sato climbs to the top rope and delivers an overhead chop to Nikolai from behind. The Orient Express double team Volkoff in their corner, Duggan tries to help, but distracts the ref and Fuji delivers a cane shot. Sato tags in and delivers strikes, tags out to Tanaka who hits the ropes for a splash and misses. Hacksaw gets the tag and unleashes lefts and rights, gives one to Sato coming in, The Express attempts a double team move by shooting Duggan into the ropes and they get leveled by a double clothesline.

Hacksaw with a series of lefts and rights to both, rams them together with a double noggin knocker and drops them with clotheslines. Volkoff enters the ring, they whip The Express into each other from opposite corners, Nikolai disposes of Sato and Hacksaw goes into the 3 Point Stance and flattens Tanaka with a clothesline for the 3 count.
Winners: ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan & Nikolai Volkoff (Duggan/3 Point Stance)

  • EA’s Take: Complete squash match victory for the new team of Duggan & Volkoff. Nikolai had a change of heart following the fall of the Soviet Union and adopted the storyline of being a liberated Lithuanian. He and Hacksaw would enter into a feud with the retuning Sgt. Slaughter, who had done the opposite of Volkoff and denounced America. The duo would continue to see The Orient Express in competition into late 1990, as The Express sided with Slaughter.

Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene is standing outside Sapphire’s locker room as Dusty Rhodes pounds on the door for her to let him in. The American Dream doesn’t understand what’s going on with her, he needs her in his corner, but he has to head to the ring for his match.

Match #8: ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes vs. ‘Macho King’ Randy Savage w/Queen Sherri
‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase is on a microphone on the other side of the arena with Virgil, talking about how everyone has a price for him. DiBiase states that his money can buy anybody or anything, tonight it has purchased Dusty’s humiliation. He introduces Sapphire who comes out wearing a fur coat and expensive jewelry. She has a bag full of money and The MDM explains that he’s been showering her with gifts. It’s not Sapphire’s fault, she had her price. Rhodes tries to make his way after DiBiase, but gets ambushed from behind by Savage in the aisleway.

The bell rings and Macho tosses Dusty back inside the ring, climbs to the top and drops down with a double axe handle. He chokes The Dream, Sherri delivers a cheap shot behind the referee’s back and chokes him some more. Macho King unloads with stiff left hands in the corner, the ref forces Savage out and it gives Dusty an opening to turn the tables. He delivers a series of shots himself, drops elbows on the top of Savage’s head and then sends him to the outside with a dropkick.

Rhodes goes to the floor after him, Macho puts Sherri in between them and the ref steps out to break it up. Sherri hands Savage a foreign object before sliding in the ring to get Dusty’s attention, Macho clocks The Dream with something behind the officials back, covers and gets the W.
Winner: ‘Macho King’ Randy Savage (Foreign Object)

  • EA’s Take: A pretty disappointing match that should have been a lot better, especially considering the greatness of the workers involved. It’s too bad that the finale of this rivalry ended this way, as it was seemingly only used to transition Rhodes into his next feud with DiBiase. Dusty would drop the polka-dots after Sapphire’s departure and a new generation of The Rhodes Family would be introduced in the coming weeks to help his father battle the crooked Ted DiBiase. For ‘Macho King’, he’d look to gain back the company’s top prize as we head towards the new year.

Backstage: Sean Mooney tries to get a word from Ted DiBiase, Virgil & Sapphire, he explains that there’s nothing his money can’t buy. Dusty Rhodes runs to the back, but DiBiase & company load into a limousine and quickly take-off.

Backstage: Gene Okerlund is standing by with Hulk Hogan & Big Boss Man. The Hulkster remembers what it felt like when Earthquake crushed his ribs and the way Dino Bravo & Jimmy Hart enjoyed it, but most of all he remembers the outpouring of support he received from all his Hulkamaniacs. They may have taken out his buddy Tugboat, but tonight he has Boss Man watching his back. This match is dedicated to the ‘Tugster’. Another chapter in American history will be written tonight, as they chop Earthquake down like George Washington chopped down the cherry tree.

Match #9: Earthquake w/Dino Bravo & ‘Mouth Of The South’ Jimmy Hart vs. Hulk Hogan w/Big Boss Man
Collar & elbow tie-up and we have a stalemate, they lock-up again and Earthquake powers Hogan to the mat. Hulk charges into another tie-up and gets pushed back to the canvas, yet another lock-up and Hulk grabs a side headlock, Quake pushing him into the ropes and knocks Hulkster down with a shoulder. Hogan rolls under the bottom rope and has a conference with Boss Man, heads back inside and goes to right hands. Hogan attempts a slam, Quake blocks it and hammers down on the back with double axe handles. Earthquake whips Hogan hard into the turnbuckles, shoots him back across and runs in, meeting a boot to the face.

Hulkster with a clothesline, fires away with chops and right hands, but can’t get the big man off his feet. Dino & Hart hop on the apron, Hulk drops them with fists and finally puts Quake on his backside with a big right hand, Bravo & Jimmy get dropped off the apron again and Quake rolls out to take a break. The Hulkster doesn’t allow them to regroup, hops outside and goes to work alongside Boss Man. They rolls Dino & Quake into the ring, whip Bravo into the ropes and hit a double big boot, then the same for Earthquake. The referee tries to get Big Boss Man out of the ring, Dino attacks Hogan from behind and hits a double slam with Earthquake, the big man follows with an elbow drop for a count of 2 as order is restored.

Quake climbs to the top rope and comes down with a club to the back, then proceeds to stomp on Hogan’s hands before locking in a Boston crab. The Hulkster gains the bottom rope to force a break, falls to the floor and Dino delivers a slam behind the referee’s back, Boss Man arguing with the official on the apron. Bravo tosses Hogan back inside Earthquake with a slam, but misses a follow-up elbow drop. Hogan gets back to his feet and attempts a slam, can’t hold the weight and Quake falls on top for a 2 count. He puts Hulk in a bearhug, Hogan starts to fade, but finds a rush of adrenaline and breaks the hold with right hands.

He hits the ropes for a shoulder block, then another and he gets the big man reeling, hits the ropes for a crossbody, but Earthquake catches him in the air and plants Hogan with a powerslam. He makes an arrogant cover for a 2 count, then hits the ropes and delivers an Earthquake Splash, but doesn’t go for the cover. Earthquake connects with another, gets a count of 2 and Hogan gets another adrenaline boost, Hulking up. Quake’s right hands have no affect, Hogan fires off right hands, shoots Quake into the ropes and connects with a big boot.

He finally slams the big man off his feet, drops the big leg, but Dino is on the apron with the ref’s attention. Jimmy jumps in the ring and breaks up the cover, Hulk gets ahold of him and presses him over his head, tossing Hart onto Earthquake and they go to the outside. Boss Man disposes of Dino and they brawl, Quake drags the Hulkster to the floor, holds him for Jimmy to deliver a megaphone shot, but Hulk side-steps and Earthquake gets nailed. He slams the big man on a table, slides into the ring and the ref’s count reaches 10.
Winner: Hulk Hogan (Count-Out)

  • After The Bell: Dino & Earthquake hop in the ring as Hulk is celebrating and ambush him from behind, Boss Man slides in with a chair and clocks The Canadian Strongman. Quake holds Hogan in the air with a choke, Boss Man delivers multiple chair shots to the back and Quake finally relinquishes the hold. Dino & Earthquake surround Boss Man, but he pulls out his nightstick and they quickly retreat.
  • EA’s Take: Hulk gains a small measure of revenge after Earthquake (kayfabe) put him out of action with an injury. The fire that raged between these two was really just getting started, as they’d continue to do battle through the end of the year and into 1991 with Dino & Boss Man involved.

Backstage: Sean Mooney is standing by with ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude & Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan. Rude demands to be called the next WWF Champion, then speaks about Philadelphia being full of history. The story of Rocky vs. Apollo Creed was Hollywood and this is reality, a steel cage is his kind of match. When the door is slammed on the cage, it will symbollically shut the door on Ultimate Warrior’s title reign. The Brain reminds us that Rude has beaten Warrior for a title before, the only difference is this one’s in a cage.

Backstage: Dusty Rhodes is with ‘Mean’ Gene in the locker room, The Dream is overflowing with emotion. He’s fine with Sapphire taking the money, but she paid him back in scorn. The people may be wondering when he’s going to get mad and get even, that time has come. If DiBiase thinks everyone has a price, he’s about to pay a heavy one.

In The Arena: Lord Alfred Hayes is at ringside to give us the details on the steel cage as it’s being constructed. The crew is looking to beat their time for putting it together in about 8 minutes.

Backstage: Gene Okerlund is now in the interview area and welcomes in Hulk Hogan, the Hulkster stating the only thing left to do is ride up to WWF President Jack Tunney’s office to inform him that Hulkamania is alive. Hogan vows to defeat Earthquake across the country until Tunney makes him the #1 Contender to the WWF Championship. Hulk states there’s now 4 demandments; training, saying your prayers, eating your vitamins and now believing in yourself. He plans to ride the “title wave” straight back to the top of the WWF.

Backstage: In the locker room is Sean Mooney, surrounded by an irate Earthquake, Jimmy Hart & Dino Bravo.Quake vows that he’s not finished with him and the war has just begun, including Boss Man. Earthquake shows off the marks on his back from the chair, next time Hulk won’t be walking out on his own power. Dino talks about Boss Man needing a nightstick and a chair, but still couldn’t stop the Earthquake.

Backstage: WWF Champion Ultimate Warrior is with Gene Okerlund, Warrior cracking a joke about Rude, Heenan and the Liberty Bell. He talks about doing what our fore fathers did, stepping into a new frontier when he steps inside the steel cage. He’s prepared to make the sacrifice and has no fear of the unknown.

Match #10 is a Steel Cage Match for the WWF Championship: ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude w/Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan vs. WWF Champion The Ultimate Warrior
Rude climbs up the cage, Warrior climbs up from the outside and they meet, exchanging right hands, Warrior drives Rude into the cage and he falls to the canvas. The champion comes off the top with a double axe handle, rams The Ravishing One into the cage numerous times, charges in for a splash and tastes the steel himself. The challenger is busted open, scales the side of the cage, Warrior grabs a foot and gets kicked away, Rude coming off the top with a double axe.

The Ravishing One sends the champion into the cage over and over making Warrior bleed, they exchange right hands and Rude gets the better of it. He grinds The Ultimate One’s face on the steel, the champion tries to fight back, but takes a boot to the breadbasket. The challenger attempts the Rude Awakening, Warrior powers out and flattens him with a clothesline, looks to follow with a splash, but Rude gets the knees up. He connects with the Rude Awakening, climbs to the top of the cage and comes down with a right hand to the head.

Heenan pleads with Rude to leave the ring, The Ravishing One heads to the top of the cage again, but this time takes a right hand to the ribs on the way down. Warrior crawls for the door, The Brain grabs it and slams it on the champion’s head, Rude crawls to a cover and gets a near fall. He grabs a side headlock, The Ultimate One pushes him off into the ropes and they collide heads, both going down. The challenger crawls towards the door, Warrior grabs his foot as Heenan tries to pull Rude out, getting pulled into the cage himself.

The Ultimate One drops Heenan with a big right hand, sends him flying out of the cage with an atomic drop, but turns around into a clothesline from The Ravishing One. The champion with a rush of adrenaline, Rude’s blows have no affect and Warrior scores with multiple clotheslines. He presses Rude over his head and drops him, climbs over the cage and mocks the challenger as he drops to the floor.
Winner and STILL WWF Champion: The Ultimate Warrior

  • EA’s Take: We’ve definitely seen better out of these two in their previous rivalry, which is odd because Warrior is actually somewhat bearable in the ring by now. His previous encounters with Rude & Hogan have really helped him make his matches smoother, provided he has the right opponent of course. The champion would take part in a rivalry including other “brothers in paint” heading into the fall and later stages of the year, while this would serve as the final PPV match in the WWF for ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude. He’d take some time off and work a light independent schedule before returning to WCW in the fall of 1991.

EA’s Finisher: Meh. That would describe the entire event. You had matches that served little purpose or were meant to get over talent that had very little…well, talent such as The Warlord. Matches that could have and in all seriousness should have been, much better than they were. Perfect & The Texas Tornado could have given us a much better effort had they been afforded more time, the drama surrounding Sapphire far overshadowed the finale between Dusty Rhodes & Savage. I’d imagine Macho was probably not happy about that one as he was notorious for being a stickler when it came to the quality of his matches. Hulk got a little revenge on Earthquake, but it was a count-out victory and the Warrior/Rude match also seemed to be the victim of time. The only match that delivered tonight was by far the 2/3 falls, overall a most forgettable pay-per-view in the annals of history.

Top Three To Watch
1 – The Hart Foundation vs. Demolition
2 – Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude
3 – Hulk Hogan vs. Earthquake


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Chairshot Classics: WCW The Great American Bash ’89

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The war between NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair and Terry Funk heats up at The Great American Bash 1989! The WWF ‘s grasp of the mainstream attention remains, where WCW continues quietly bringing in foreign and young talent alike, while keeping themselves going with legends like Flair and the Funker. Turner’s organization has yet to get too silly, which we’ll see in the coming years, but this card has a load of names so let’s get to it!

Match #1 is a Two-Ring King Of The Hill Battle Royal: ‘Hot Stuff’ Eddie Gilbert, Terry Gordy, Scott Hall, ‘Wild’ Bill Irwin, ‘Flyin’ Brian Pillman, Ranger Ross, Sid Vicious, Mike Rotunda, Ron Simmons, Rick Steiner, Scott Steiner, Dan Spivey, ‘Dr. Death’ Steve Williams & ‘Gamesmaster’ Kevin Sullivan
RULES: All participants begin in ring #1. You may only eliminate your opponent in this round by throwing them over the top rope and into ring 2. This ring becomes a traditional battle royal in which any top rope is in play for elimination. The winners of ring 1 and ring 2 will have a match for $50,000. Sid Vicious and Brian Pillman are the final remaining participants in ring #1. The out-sized Pillman attempts a cross body, but Vicious ducks and Flyin’ Brian leaps over the top rope. Sid is the winner of ring #1.

Dan Spivey, Steve Williams and Mike Rotunda are the final participants in ring #2. Williams is fired up and wants to take on both heels. He whips Rotunda to the ropes for a power slam. Williams pulls his opponent up and Rotunda reverses a 2nd whip to the ropes. He tries to clothesline Williams over but misses and tumbles to the floor and is eliminated. Spivey wastes no time to capitalize on Williams, but Dr. Death reverses his Irish whip and hits him with a clothesline. Williams can’t seem to knock the big man over the top rope though.

There is a shoulder tackle from Williams, but on his 2nd attempt he is tripped by Rotunda who is standing on the floor. When Williams gets up, he’s distracted by Rotunda and is hit from behind. Steve Williams is eliminated and Dan Spivey wins ring #2. Outside of the ring, Teddy Long comes down with a microphone in hand explaining that he’s not stupid enough to let his tag-team partners fight. They will split the $50,000
Winners: Sid Vicious & Dan Spivey

  • EA’s Take: So this is a pretty unusual way to start the show, seeing as only a couple of guys in this match aren’t pulling double-duty tonight. It featured a cluster of eliminations in a quick timeframe, but hey, a hearty welcome to a steroid-bound, mustachioed version of Scott Hall! This was also the pay-per-view debut for Pillman, Simmons and Scott Steiner (in-ring).

Match #2: ‘Flyin’ Brian Pillman vs. ‘Wild’ Bill Irwin
Irwin wastes no time in attacking Pillman into the corner. He sends him with an Irish whip to the opposite corner, but Pillman uses the turnbuckle and leaps over his head. Pillman delivers a hip toss and follows it with a drop kick. He grabs Irwin with a side headlock and uses the turnbuckles for momentum to whip his opponent down to the mat. Irwin tries to reverse and roll him over for a pin, but Pillman hangs on to the lock and gets him back into position. The two men work to their feet and power to the corner.

Irwin delivers a few forearm shots. He whips Pillman to the opposite corner, but again Pillman lifts himself up from the middle turnbuckle and catches Irwin’s head. Irwin is flung out of the ring to the floor with a head scissor take down. When Irwin tries to stand up, he is hit by Pillman’s baseball slide. Irwin returns to the ring, and Pillman executes a few hip tosses and keeps him down on the mat with an arm bar submission. They work back to their feet, they run the ropes but it’s Irwin who regains control with a hiptoss. He tries to follow it with an elbow but Pillman moves.

Pillman is back to his feet and uses an arm drag and another arm bar submission. Irwin works his way back up once again and breaks the hold. They run the ropes, but he is hit by Pillman’s cross body tackle and it’s followed by another armdrag/armbar combo. Once the hold is broken, they run again. Pillman leaps over Irwin the first time but is caught by a side slam the second. Irwin follows it up with a vertical suplex and he taunts Pillman. Irwin throws Pillman through the middle rope taunting his desire to “fly”. Back to the apron for Pillman, and he’s met with Irwin’s forearm.

Irwin continues to bully Pillman. He slams Pillman into the turnbuckle, and follows it with a snapmare take down and into a reverse chin lock. The crowd begins clapping for Pillman who is struggling while trapped in the chin lock. Pillman works to his feet, but Pillman delivers shots to the side. Pillman comes back with shots of his own, but the momentum is stopped when he’s kicked on an attempted back body drop. Irwin delivers a vicious clothesline and gets a near fall.

He ties Pillman up on the middle rope, and Irwin lands a massive knee to his back. Irwin chokes Pillman on the rope until the referee gets him off. Pillman is once again thrown through the middle rope and Irwin continues to vocalize. Pillman comes back into the ring, dazed, and Irwin puts him right across the middle rope again. Irwin attempts another running knee to Pillman’s back but Pillman moves and Irwin bounces off the rope. Flyin’ Brian lands two drop kicks, and he whips Irwin to the ropes for a flying clothes line and a big splash.

Pillman covers for 2. Pillman chops Irwin to the mat and heads for the top rope. He misses a flying drop kick and lands on his back. Irwin stomps Pillman’s head and pulls him back to his feet. Side salto suplex by Irwin who only gets a two count. He pulls Pillman back up and throws him from ring #1 to ring #2. The referee stops Irwin from following him and Irwin begins to argue. Pillman gets up on the top rope of ring #2 and lands a flying cross body into ring #1 which is good enough for the pin.
Winner: ‘Flyin’ Brian Pillman (Top Rope Crossbody)

  • Off The Top: Here’s a great example of how WCW is upping the athleticism and youth on its roster, as Pillman really shines here. Coming out of Stampede Wrestling and a product of the famous Hart Family, this former Cincinnati Bengal brought something to WCW that we’ve really only seen out of Muta to this point. ‘Flyin’ Brian will always be remembered for his ‘Loose Cannon’ persona much later on, bu this version of Pillman was a pioneer. His “Goon” of an opponent is the veteran from Mid-South and WCCW, Bill Irwin, who only saw his real success in those promotions. If you didn’t get my Goon reference, spoiler alert; he ends up being The Goon.

Backstage: Paul E. Dangerously explains that he saw Jim Cornette fall off the scaffold in 1986 and he plans to target the knee.

Match #3: The Skyscrapers (Sid Vicious & Dan Spivey) w/Teddy Long vs. The Dynamic Dudes (Johnny Ace & Shane Douglas)
Spivey and Ace start the match. They lock up and Spivey takes several shots to the midsection. Johnny Ace hits him with a dropkick off the ropes, but Spivey is unaffected. Spivey delivers huge forearm shots and follows it with a clothesline. Ace tries to run at him, but he’s powered down by Spivey’s shoulder block. Ace is back to his feet, and he baseball slides under Spivey. Douglas comes into the ring untagged and they hit Spivey with a double drop kick. This is followed by a double Irish whip and a double monkey flip.

Douglas whips his partner into Spivey, but when he himself runs at him for a clothesline he is knocked down by Spivey’s big boot. Douglas ducks a clothesline when he is whipped to the rope. He spins over Spivey’s back while Ace heads for the top rope. Johnny hits a cross body as Douglas trips him from behind. The Dudes get a 1 count. They slow it down, and it’s still Ace and Spivey. They lock up, Spivey delivers straight lefts, Irish whips him to the corner and hits a clothesline. Vicious is tagged in and he delivers a double axe handle before a huge chop. Ace can’t fight back and Spivey is tagged back in.

Another huge clothesline delivered to Ace followed by a body slam. Ace moves on Spivey’s elbow and Douglas is tagged in. Douglas tries his best to go on the offense, but they run the ropes and he is caught with a side slam. The crowd chants “We Want Sid!”. Spivey lifts Douglas up for a powerbomb. Douglas is pulled back up, whipped to the ropes and is knocked out of the ring with a big boot. Teddy Long takes some liberties. Douglas is hit with a vertical suplex to re-enter the ring. Spivey gets a 2 count and Sid is tagged back in. The crowd pops for him.

Vicious delivers a big clothesline and soaks up the fans’ cheering. He chokes Douglas into the corner and knocks him down with an Irish whip. Vicious holds Douglas down on the mat, squeezing his lower back. He tags Spivey back in and the crowd boos. Side slam by the big Dan Spivey. Douglas attempts a cross body but he’s caught and put into a back breaker. Spivey goes to the top rope but misses a diving head but. Douglas escapes Spivey and a tag is made to Ace who goes to work with kicks to the midsection.

Johnny hits a flying clothesline from the top. He goes for the pin, but Vicious breaks it up. Douglas attacks Vicious, but Sid rakes the eyes and tosses him out to the apron. The Skyscrapers stand in opposite corners as Ace gets up to his feet slowly. They go for a double clothesline, but Ace ducks and the big men hit each other. The Dudes double drop kick Vicious and hit Spivey with a double hip toss. The ref demands Douglas leave the ring and while he’s distracted, Vicious pulls Ace to the mat hair first when he is set up for Spivey’s powerbomb. The ref turns back around and Spivey goes for another powerbomb. It’s very sloppy but it’s enough for the win.
Winners: The Skyscrapers (Spivey/Powerbomb)

  • EA’s Take: It’s still really early in his career, but the crowd was infatuated with Sid, likely for his unique size and look. He looked like a monster, but he wasn’t really involved much in the match and it seemed to disappoint the crowd. Unfortunately, he was only two years into the business after a chance encounter with Randy Savage and Lanny Poffo, so he was probably being protected here, which was the whole point of putting The Skyscrapers together.

Backstage: Jim Cornette explains that he doesn’t care if Dangerously breaks his leg, he’ll crawl and keep fighting. He accuses Dangerously of stealing all the tricks of his trade.

Match #4 is a Tuxedo Match: Paul E. Dangerously vs. Jim Cornette
Enormous pop for Jim Cornette’s entrance – better than any wrestler so far in the show. Cornette clocks Dangerously in the face and rips off his coat. Dangerously throws a powder substance in Cornette’s face and uses his phone to beat Jim’s knee. Cornette has lost his jacket. Paul E. with a right hand and delivers stomps to the bad knee. Paul E. wraps Cornette’s leg around the middle rope to apply more pressure before Cornette slaps him off. Paul E. uses his cumber bun to choke Cornette.

Jimmy delivers a low blow to break it up. He chokes Dangerously with his own cumber bun. Paul E. breaks it up in the corner. Cornette tries a kick as he’s struggling to stand and Paul E. spits in his direction. Cornette rolls out to the floor and Dangerously continues to strike the knee. Cornette is rammed shoulder first into the post and Dangerously rolls into the ring and taunts confidently. Cornette rolls back into the ring, but Paul E. slaps him down to the mat. Paul E goes for an elbow but Cornette rolls out of the way.

Paul E uses straight rights to Cornette, but Jim gets a burst of adrenaline and turns the momentum on him. Dangerously is pounded down to the mat with a series of right hands and he strips Dangerously of his shirt. Dangerously is whipped into the ropes, and the two men collide in a ridiculous shoulder tackle attempt. Dangerously appears to get more powder in his hand to throw at Cornette. Instead Jim kicks his hand and the plan backfires. Cornette rips off the pants and Dangerously sprints back to the locker room.
Winner: Jim Cornette

  • EA’s Take: I know Bra & Panties matches were popular during the Attitude Era, but the concept of two un-athletic dudes ripping each other’s clothes off is a strange draw in my book! Especially when Bob Caudle is saying things like, “OK, let’s see some clothes come off!”. Whatever melts your butter, Bob.

Backstage: Gary Hart is backstage explaining that the Great Muta isn’t doing an interview so he is not distracted. He reminds Sting that Muta is undefeated.

Match #5 is a Texas Tornado Match: The Varsity Club (Mike Rotunda & ‘Gamesmaster’ Kevin Sullivan) vs. The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott) w/Missy Hyatt
The teams waste no time to get the action rolling. Rick and Sullivan head for the floor while Scott hits a back body drop and clothesline. Rick is hit with a chair but it doesn’t effect him. He turns the table and hits Sullivan with it. The two continue to trade blows and Rick is hit with an atomic drop on the gate. Rick and Sullivan bash each other with a table while Rotunda gets a nearfall in the ring. Rick and Sullivan continue their back and forth shots while Scott has turned the momentum.

Scott with 10 punches to the head of Rotunda before launching him across the ring with a hip toss. Rick is rolled back in the ring as Scott is tossed to the floor. The Varsity Club take advantage of the 2:1 with a clothesline to Rick. Rotunda holds Rick for Sullivan but Scott is back in the ring so Rotunda redirects his attention. Sullivan hits Steiner with a clothesline off the middle turn buckle while Scott reverses Rotunda’s attempt to run his head into the far turnbuckle. Rick fights back against Sullivan and hits him with a belly to belly suplex. At the same time, Scott lifts Rotunda up and hangs him upside down at the far turnbuckle and delivers kicks to the midsection.

Rick hits Sullivan with a power slam and manages a 2 count. On the other side of the ring, Scott rolls Rotunda up into a small package and he also gets 2. Rick stands on the middle turnbuckle to deliver rights to Sullivan but he’s tossed over the top rope. Rotunda has also turned momentum and hits Scott with a snap suplex. Sullivan stomps Rick’s face from the apron while Rotunda holds Scott in place until he and Sullivan can deliver a double clothesline. The Club gets a 2 count. Sullivan attempts a back body drop which Rick tries to reverse into a sunset flip. When he can’t Rick uses his head for a low blow.

Rick hits Sullivan with a Steiner-line but Rotunda ties him up after. Scott Steiner sneaks behind Rotunda for a small package and a 2 count. Rick Steiner is tossed through the middle ropes by Sullivan. The Varsity Club hits Scott with a double back body drop. Rick Steiner rolls back into the ring with a chair but Sullivan steals it and hits him on the head with it while Rotunda tosses Scott out of the ring. The Club whip Rick to the ropes for a double clothes line. Rick ducks and Scott is on the apron and he pulls down the rope.

Rotunda tumbles over the top rope but Sullivan hits Rick with a clothesline on the way back. Sullivan pulls up Rick for a body slam, but Scott is on the top rope and he lands a crossbody. With both Steiners on top of him, Sullivan can’t kick out.
Winners: The Steiner Brothers (Scott/Top Rope Crossbody)

  • EA’s Take: It was pretty cool to see the start of one of the greatest tag teams to ever step into the ring, The Steiners. Scotty had been working previously, but only was in his 4th year as a pro by the time he hit WCW, starting off in some singles matches before pairing up with Rick. You could see early on, despite the fact that he did a lot of work with a guy who could help him along (Rotunda), Scott had a lot of potential.

Match #6 for the NWA World Television Championship: NWA World Television Champion Sting w/’Hot Stuff’ Eddie Gilbert vs. The Great Muta w/Gary Hart
The two men are in opposite rings and Sting does a flying plancha from ring 1 into ring 2. Stings rolls out to the floor to enter ring 1, where their match is supposed to take place. While he does this, Muta heads for the top rope to greet him with a judo chop. Another chop from Muta and he whips Sting to the turnbuckle and delivers a power elbow. A backbreaker from Muta, but Sting moves on the follow up moonsault. Muta misses a spinning kick, but hits Sting with his follow up kicks and Sting tumbles to the floor.

A flying crossbody over the top rope to Sting by Muta. Sting gets back up to the apron and meets Muta with a kick to the midsection and a clothesline. Sting goes for the top rope, lands a flying clothesline and gets a 2 count. Sting delivers a standing drop kick and Muta rolls out to the floor. Sting leaps over the top rope to the floor, but Muta isn’t there and Sting lands on his feet. Some rights from Sting before Muta rolls back into the ring. A body slam from Sting but he can only get a 1 count. Muta reverses a vertical suplex and applies an oriental sleeper hold on Sting.

Sting works out of it, but he’s still caught in a reverse chin lock. Sting gets to the ropes, but Muta stays right on him. Sting reverses a whip to the ropes and hits Muta with a military press. The Great Muta moves on Sting’s elbow attempt. Instead, Muta lands one of his own and he goes into a seated reverse chin lock with his knee on Sting’s spine. Sting strengths his way to his feet but Muta moves the hold into an abdominal stretch. Eddie Gilbert tells the ref that Muta is using the ropes for leverage. Muta rolls him down to the mat and gets a 2 count.

Muta hits an elbow to Sting’s neck and dumps him to the floor but the Stinger is immediately back into the ring ready to fight. Muta slows the momentum by getting his fingers in Sting’s eyes. Kicks to the midsection by Muta He attempts another Irish whip/elbow combination but Sting moves. Sting with tons of energy hits a series of clotheslines and completes it with a bulldog. Another standing dropkick by Sting and Muta rolls to the outside temporarily. They run the ropes. Muta attempts to spray his red substance into Sting’s face.

Sting ducks and it instead hits referee Nick Patrick. Sting grabs Muta, but Muta moves on the Stinger Splash. Snapmare take down by Muta who lands his moonsault. Referee Tommy Young is down to replace Patrick, but the delay results in only a 2 count. Sting ducks a kick and catches Muta in belly to back suplex. Sting gets the 3 count and ends Muta’s undefeated streak. Gary Hart is questioning whether or not Sting had his shoulders down as well. The referees consult and Hart gives Muta the belt. The two head back to the locker room with it as the confused crowd chants “Bullshit”.
Winner and STILL NWA World Television Champion: Sting (Bridging Back Suplex)

  • EA’s Take: Don’t mind my Sting bias, but this was really a great match. The Stinger is clearly a big part of the company’s future, but they really did him a disservice in the last two pay-per-views. This was a nice change after the previous 6 minute match with Butch Reed (which I swear featured 3 minutes of reverse chin locks) and the 2 minute match with The Iron Sheik. This was a nice showcase for the young Sting, who got to show he could go with someone other than Flair. The highly skilled Muta posed a different kind of challenge that fans here in the States had yet to see Sting face.

Backstage: Lex Luger demands that this match not be no DQ, or there won’t be a match.

Match #7 is No Disqualification for the NWA United States Championship: NWA United States Champion Lex Luger vs. Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat
The ring announcer verifies that this is a no-DQ match. Luger protests and demands Steamboat waive it or he will not get a chance at the belt, giving him 30 seconds. Steamboat obliges reluctantly. The two tie up aggressively and Luger shoves him off twice. The third tie up and Luger tries to take a cheap shot. Steamboat ducks the attempt and rolls up Luger for a 1 count. Back to their feet, they run the ropes Steamboat reverses a back body drop with an inside cradle. Steamboat hits Luger with 2 drop kicks and follows it up with some vicious chops.

Irish whip to the corner and Steamboat lands a back body drop. He chops Luger to the ground and Lex tries to escape to the floor. Steamboat gives chase and continues his chops and hits Luger with an atomic drop. Back on the apron, Luger slows the momentum with a knee with the midsection. Luger kicks Steamboat back out to the floor, follows him and delivers an axe handle followed by a clothesline. Steamboat fights back as they circle the ring. Steamboat hits Luger’s head off the commissioner’s table and rolls Lex back in. Steamboat attempts to come off the top, but Luger punches him in the stomach. Luger follows it with a side back breaker.

The Total Package works over Steamboats back with big fists. Luger with straight rights to Steamboat’s face before throwing him over with a military press. Luger continues to work on the back, this time with knees. Lateral press by Luger but he can only get 2. Luger argues with the referee, and Steamboat rolls him over for a surprise pin. Luger comes back with a few tough clotheslines and Steamboat fights to stay up but cannot. Luger pursues Steamboat and hot shots him off the top rope. Steamboat tries fight back with more chops. Referee Tommy Young stops Steamboat’s hand when Luger hits the corner and the Package takes a cheapshot while he’s tied up.

Powerslam by Luger and he gets a 2 count. Steamboat ducks Luger’s clothesline and delivers a cross body but cannot get 3. Luger lifts Steamboat for an inverted atomic drop and then taunts the first row of fans. Steamboat reverses an attempted back body drop with a swinging neck breaker. Steamboat lifts Luger up, but Lex lands on his feet behind him. He runs at Steamboat who hits the mat and Luger tumbles over the top rope to the floor. Back on the apron, Steamboat delivers straight rights to a frazzled Luger.

Steamboat pounds Luger’s chest. He attempts to lift Luger back into the ring with a power slam but Luger falls on top of him and gets a count of 2 and a half. Irish Whip by Luger but Steamboat jumps to the middle rope. He leapfrogs over Luger, but Lex gets his boot up to prevent Steamboat from attacking. Luger heads for the top rope, but Steamboat is up to his feet and delivers a military press. Luger works his way to his feet and Steamboat lands a big chop from the top rope. He covers him and gets a near fall. Luger pulls himself up.

Steamboat goes in for a clothesline but instead Luger hits a back body drop from ring 2 into ring 1. Luger follows him into ring 1, but he goes to the floor and finds a chair. The referee tries to stop him but can’t and he’s thrown out of the way. Steamboat grabs Luger by the legs and whips him into the turnbuckle which uses the chair against him. Referee Tommy Young comes back seeing Steamboat attempting to use the chair on Luger and demands that he doesn’t. Steamboat lightly shoves him out of the way which earns him a DQ.
Winner and STILL NWA United States Champion: Lex Luger (Disqualification)

  • After The Bell: To the fans’ delight, Steamboat attacks Luger with the chair, eventually chasing him all the way up the entryway.
  • EA’s Take: There was no way the match wasn’t going to end in a DQ after a big stink was made about it by Luger, so the obviousness of the finish hurt a little. This means no matter what, Luger was keeping the belt. I was incorrect on how I thought it would play out, as I just thought Luger would do something cheap, Steamboat would win and that’s how he’d keep it. It was surprising to see Steamboat, who is carrying the squeaky clean image, be the one who not only earned the DQ, but aggressively pursued Luger after. It did really pop the people though!

Match #8 is the War Games: The Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal), The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane) & ‘Dr. Death’ Steve Williams w/Paul Ellering & Jim Cornette vs. The Fabulous Freebirds (‘Gorgeous’ Jimmy Garvin, Michael ‘P.S.’ Hayes & Terry Gordy) & The Samoan Swat Team (Samu & Fatu) w/Paul E. Dangerously
Jimmy Garvin and Bobby Eaton will start the preliminary 5 minute round. The two lock up and exchange rights. In the corner, Garvin delivers knees, but Eaton fights back. They exchange Irish whips and Eaton hits a neckbreaker. He misses an elbow drop and Garvin takes over. Body slam by Garvin. The two run the ropes and Eaton catches him with an atomic drop. More back and forth offense before Garvin tosses Eaton face first into the cage. Terry Gordy pulls on Eaton’s hair from outside of the cage while Garvin stomps.

On their feet, Eaton reverses an attempt to hit his head on the turn buckle. He slaps Garvin and delivers a snap mare. He throws Garvin to the ropes but Jimmy outstrengths him on the shoulder tackle. Garvin holds Eaton on the rope in a reverse chin lock while Michael Hayes taunts him from the outside. Garvin hammers Eaton’s head. Eaton rakes the eyes and delivers a backbreaker on Garvin. A couple rights from Eaton and another back breaker. Eaton has the upper hand with a body slam as Garvin’s team is about to send another member in. Eaton locks in a Boston Crab and the bell rings.

Terry Gordy rushes the ring and takes Eaton down with a right. Gordy throws Eaton into the cage and the teammates take advantage of the double team. Eaton is completely incapacitated and is on the receiving end of a double elbow. The two Freebirds just mercilessly punch and stomp Eaton down on the mat. Garvin holds Eaton upright but Bobby ducks a punch and Jimmy is clocked. The 2 on 1 is too much though and Eaton is again double teamed into the cage. The bell rings and Steve Williams enters and heads right up the turnbuckles. He’s met quickly by the Freebirds. They brawl before Williams clotheslines both of them.

Gordy and Williams enter the other ring and Williams does reps with him in a military press. Garvin chokes Eaton between the rings and Gordy hits Williams with a clothesline. Eaton and Gordy exchange rights and Williams comes back with a clothesline of his own on Gordy. The clock counts down and Samu is the next to enter the ring. He immediately goes after Williams with an impressive karate kick. His teammates join in on the stomping. Samu and Gordy take turns elbowing Williams on the back as Garvin rips at Eaton’s face. A head butt from Samu on Eaton who is being held by Garvin. A double snap suplex is delivered on Williams as time is running down.

Animal is the next to enter the ring. The crowd is loving it and he immedaitely goes after Samu. He tosses Samu out of the ring and delivers two clotheslines to Gordy. Animal follows Samu into ring #2 and he delivers a series of rights. He throws Samu back into the other ring and follows him with a diving shoulder tackle. Eaton helps Animal deliver a vicious clothesline on Garvin. He does the same for Williams’ sake. Michael Hayes is outside of the ring instructing Fatu to “kill” when he gets in there. Animal holds Samu for Eaton and vice versa. The clock counts down and here comes Fatu.

He goes right after Animal and both Samoans head butt him in the corner. The Samoans double clothesline animal and stretch his hamstrings on the mat. Animal is getting stomped on the mat and the crowd is screaming for Hawk. Gordy holds Williams in a choke over the ropes, but Williams reverses it into a side slam. Garvin rakes at Eaton’s face, but Eaton fights back with punches to the kidneys and a head butt. The clock is counting and here comes Stan Lane. Lane comes in on fire, and slams all 4 of his opponents head first into the cage. This helps his teammates get the upper hand and the 8 men brawl. Michael Hayes realizes he has to go next and he sounds disappointed. Williams and Animal take turns with clotheslines on Fatu. Eaton uses the cage to swing and take a kick at Gordy.

The Samoans gang up on Animal until Eaton breaks it up. The countdown is on and Michael Hayes enters the ring. Hayes goes around and lands his DDT on several of his worn down opponents. He goes to the other ring to strut. He taunts Hawk before stomping on Animal more. The crowd chants “We Want Hawk!”. A few wide shots as the team of heels is in control. Stan Lane is able to reverse Hayes’ momentum with a spinning kick to the mid section and follows it by bashing his head off the turn buckle. Terry Gordy snaps Williams’ head back with a clothesline.

The countdown is on and here comes Hawk. He goes right to the top turn buckle and double clotheslines the Samoans. He hits a clothesline on Michael Hayes and heads for the other ring. He beats on Terry Gordy on the ropes, whips him to the opposite rope and Williams helps Hawk lay him out. He lifts Garvin over his head and hot shots him on the top turn buckle. In the other ring, Eaton hits a DDT on Michael Hayes. He follows it with a DDT on Samu. Hawk dives into the opposite ring with a shoulder block.

Eaton drives Hayes head first into the cage. Samu tries to get Dangerously’s phone but it won’t fit through the cage. Action happening all over with the babyface team in control. Michael Hayes is thrown into the cage again by Eaton while Hawk works on Garvin in the corner. Animal is alone in the ring with Gordy until Hawk joins him and they call for the Doomsday Device. Jimmy Garvin rushes over to break it up. Instead, Hawk hits Garvin with a flying clothesline. Animal hits shots on Gordy and the two work over and into ring 2. Hawk delivers a neck breaker on Garvin and then puts him in the hangman’s neck breaker. Garvin can’t take it and he gives up.
Winners: The Road Warriors, The Midnight Express & ‘Dr. Death’ Steve Williams (Hawk/Hangman’s Neckbreaker)

  • EA’s Take: I know I’m not alone in saying that the War Games concept might be the coolest thing NWA/WCW ever did and I always found myself enjoying them, no matter how much of a Gong Show they could turn out to be. The people are really clamoring for Hawk here, which is why I think he could have been a big star on his own had he A: wanted to be and B: had his head on straight. A lot of great foils here as well, one who really stood out to me was Terry Gordy.

Backstage: Ric Flair gives an uncharacteristically quiet interview and they discuss the condition of his neck. Funk injured Flair’s neck and they discuss the fact that he hasn’t even had a warm up match before going back out there. Flair says he requested matches, but they were not granted. Nonetheless, he feels ready.

Match #9 for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship: NWA World Heavyweight Champion ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk w/Gary Hart
Funk and Flair start by brawling on the outside. Flair gets the upper-hand and struts in the ring. Funk is frustrated and he pulls at the railing. Funk is distracted by a fan and Flair jumps off the apron with an axe handle. Back into the ring for Flair as Funk whips a chair in the ring. Flair backs the ref off and the two men finally tie up in the ring. Funk takes control with physical chops, but Flair returns the favor and chops him over the top rope and to the Flair. The champ delivers another axehandle from the apron. Funk lures him in and runs Flair into the ring post.

Funk is up on the apron kicking Flair in the face. Flair holds onto Funk’s foot; Funk punches him off. Funk is in the ring, and Flair is on the apron. Funk slaps Flair’s around before delivering a vertical suplex back into the ring. There is a 2 count. Funk cannot get Flair up for a follow up suplex. He holds Flair temporarily in a front face lock, but Flair rolls out to the floor. Back to the apron for Flair, and Funk delivers shots to the back of the neck. Flair fights back and sets up for a suplex to the floor. He gets Funk over but it’s sloppy.

The two exchange hard chops on the outside. Funk tries to roll back into the ring but Flair doesn’t let him. More chops before Funk rakes the eyes of Flair. They rolls back into the ring. Funk sets up for a DDT, but Flair lifts him for a back body drop outside of the ring. Flair gives chase and delivers a snapmare take down on the outside. Flair works over the neck of Terry Funk as Gary Hart looks on. They roll back into the ring and Flair is relentless on Funk’s neck. He drops a big knee on the back of Funk’s neck twice. Flair rolls him over for a lateral press but he can only get 2.

Flair lifts Funk and delivers a pile driver of his own. The crowd cheers as Flair does it again. Terry Funk falls backward out of the ring and crawls down the entry way. Flair gives chase and twists Funk’s neck once again. Flair rolls Funk back into the ring and slaps him in the face. Funk tries to fight back but the Nature Boy delivers a huge forearm. A belly to back suplex from the champ and he looks for the figure four. Flair locks it in. Gary Hart throws a branding iron into the ring and then gets the refs attention.

The ref doesn’t see the foreign object and Funk breaks the hold with its use. Flair is reeling and bleeding. Funk delivers a series a lefts to Flair’s head and sets up for a pile driver. He executes it and goes for the pin but Flair’s foot is on the rope. Funk goes to the floor and lifts the pad to expose the concrete. Funk unrolls the tape from his wrist and chokes Flair on the apron. He shoves Tommy Young away from him and sets up for the pile driver on the concrete. Flair reverses it into a back body drop. They’re both slow to get up and Funk is the first to return to the offense.

They roll back into the ring and Funk swings Flair over for several neck breakers. Funk yells for Flair to “SAY IT”. Funk pulls Flair up to his knees and hits him with more lefts. At the turnbuckle, Funk tries to use the branding iron again but Flair grabs it and hammers it on his head. Funk tumbles out to the floor and Flair slowly gives chase. Funk is rammed face first into the post before Flair pulls him back into the ring. Flair gets up on the middle turnbuckle to deliver a ton of rights and now Funk is bleeding. Funk falls backwards onto the mat and Flair stays on him.

More rights and elbows from the champ. Flair tries a big knee in the corner but Funk moves. Funk moves in for his spinning toe hold. Flair reverses it and pulls Funk down to the mat for the figure four. Funk reverses that maneuver into an inside cradle, but Flair pulls another reversal and pins Funk with an inside cradle of his own.
Winner and STILL NWA World Heavyweight Champion: ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair (Inside Cradle)

  • After The Bell: The Great Muta runs into the ring and blinds Flair with a spray to the eyes. Muta attacks Flair and holds him for Funk. Funk goes for a pile driver on a chair and it’s temporarily broken up by Doug DellingerSting rushes the ring to save Flair. They attempt to double team Sting, but Flair is back to his feet and they each choose a dance partner. Sting and Flair clear the ring. It seems like it’s over but Funk and Muta throw a chair into the ring and the 4 brawl in the entryway. Jim Ross attempts to give final thoughts but they’re not done yet, brawling behind them. Flair has the branding iron and Muta takes a beating with it.
  • EA’s Take: This sort of match makes you realize that Flair was quite adaptable. Terry Funk is a hardcore legend and this featured a lot of unconventional brawling, but Flair stood toe-to-toe. The Muta run-in was confusing at first, but when Sting got involved, the 4-man brawl made for a particularly fun ending to the show. Plus, Funk and Flair are just getting started and will continue battling into the late-fall.

EA’s Finisher: As we get closer to wrapping up 1989, this may be the promotion’s best show yet. The production quality was SO much better (thanks Billionaire Ted!), there really wasn’t a dull match and they did some unconventional things not yet seen in what was a seemingly more conservative company. I did take notice that Ricky Steamboat was the only babyface to lose (you could argue that the Dynamic Dudes also qualify, but the crowd was loudest for Sid in that match and gave a satisfied pop when the Skyscrapers won). WWF continues to have the larger-than-life characters, but it does seem that the better ring work still resides in WCW/NWA.

Top Three To Watch
1 – Sting vs. The Great Muta
2 – Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk
3 – The Steiners vs. The Varsity Club


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