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Chairshot Classics

Chairshot Classics: WCW WrestleWar ’89 – Music City Showdown

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We’ve hit the beginning of the final year of the 1980’s and another new pay-per-view for WCW and the NWA, WrestleWar 1989! After venturing into the month of January in 1988 and being opposed by the inaugural Royal Rumble on cable television, this year WCW waits until early May, just over a month after WrestleMania V where the Mega Powers exploded. A questionable decision to have a PPV on the heels of one of WWF’s most successful? The Magic Eight Ball is telling me it’s likely. Regardless, let’s get to the show!

Open: Jim Ross & Bob Caudle are ringside to welcome us to the show before sending it to the ring. Ring Announcer Gary Michael Cappetta introduces The Oak Ridge Boys for our National Anthem. We go back to Ross at ringside, JR explaining that the NWA has stepped in and disallowed he stipulation of Hair vs. Hair for the US Tag Titles, however we will still see those titles on the line. He then sends us to a video package to run down the entire card.

Match #1: The Great Muta w/Gary Hart vs. Doug Gilbert w/Eddie Gilbert
The Great Muta lures Gilbert in and delivers a kick to the mid section. Another karate kick to the chest from Muta before dumping Gilbert outside. Gilbert is thrown face first into the gate. Back to the ring, and they run the ropes. Gilbert is able to land a high cross body and a clothesline. Muta rolls to the floor to regroup. Back in the ring, they lock up and Muta rakes Gilbert’s eyes several times before landing an aggressive elbow.

Irish whip to the rope, and Muta does a handstand roll and splashes him in the corner. They run the ropes again – Muta looks for a cross body but Gilbert reverses it and slams his face into the mat. Muta reverses the momentum with another eye rake. He goes to the top rope but misses a moonsault. He lands on his feet though and drop kicks Gilbert to the outside. Muta goes flying with a body press and he rolls Gilbert back to the ring. Muta delivers a back breaker. This time he lands the moonsault and gets the pin.
Winner: The Great Muta (Moonsault)

  • EA’s Take: Really basic stuff here to begin the show and other than some high-flying from Muta, it’s essentially a squash match. Keiji Mutoh (or The Great Muta) had arrived in WCW less than two months prior alongside Gary Hart, who proclaimed Muta was the son of The Great Kabuki who he previously managed. He immediately embarked on an undefeated streak and gained a push. Doug Gilbert, the younger brother of Eddie…well, that’s primarily all he’s known for. He was a solid worker and we’ll see him make his way around multiple companies like the WWF, USWA and ECW, but really he was another in a long line of people that got into the business because they were related to someone in the business.

Match #2: ‘Hacksaw’ Butch Reed vs. Ranger Ross
Ranger Ross comes to the ring with a color guard. The two men circle – they lock up and break it off. Side headlock takedown by Ranger Ross and he holds the submission on the mat. They work to their feet and run the ropes. Ross can’t move Reed with a shoulder tackle, but he delivers a hiptoss. Reed holds the ropes in the corner but Ross pulls him off. Another side headlock by Ross.

Reed works him to the corner, Ross reverses an Irish whip but Reed comes off the turnbuckle with a clothesline. Snapmare takedown by Reed who follows it with a stomp to the head. Teddy Long is now ringside and scouting the match. Ross delivers a bunch of right hands, but Reed comes off the ropes with a kick to the chest. Snapmare takedown and several heavy elbows by Reed. He applies a lateral press but only gets a 2 count. Reed keeps Ross on the mat with a reverse chin lock and uses the ropes for leverage.

The referee checks the arms but he only gets 2. Back to their feet, and Ross delivers some elbows to the midsection but Reed pulls him back down. The referee finally catches Reed’s foot on the ropes and breaks the hold. Reed stays on him with rights. They run the ropes and Ross is able to get a European take down. 2 huge dropkicks and knocks Reed out of the ring, and Ross gives chase by leaping over the top rope.

Reed is rolled back in the ring, but he catches Ross with a cheapshot as he was trying to enter. Reed delivers a vertical suplex from the apron and goes to the top rope. Ross gets up to his feet but he’s stunned, and Hacksaw flies at him with a shoulder tackle. This is enough to get the pin.
Winner: ‘Hacksaw’ Butch Reed (Shoulder Tackle)

  • EA’s Take: Ranger Ross was surely athletic, but it’s funny how Reed had a way to burn match minutes with long reverse chin locks. This is clearly the start of a new managing gimmick for Teddy Long as he scouts the ring from the outside, which there will be more of in the future. Ross obviously comes from a military background and got his start with Continental in Tennessee, but to say he’s not remembered may be an understatement. Reed is fresh off his run with the WWF, but toiled in the mid-card of WCW upon his arrival, which is exactly what he was doing in New York.

Match #3 is a Bullrope Match: ‘Cowboy’ Bob Orton w/Gary Hart vs. ‘Captain Redneck’ Dick Murdoch
The two play tug of war with the rope and Murdoch bests him first. Orton is cornered and Murdoch threatens him with the bell. He swings and misses but he’s able to land some rights with the fist. Orton turns the tables and replies with shots of his own. Orton tries to use the post to his advantage but Murdoch rolls out to the floor to meet him. Orton tries to run away but he’s stopped by the pull of the rope. Muroch rolls into the ring.

Orton tries to get away but he’s pulled in. They two exchange blows but Orton takes control with some kicks and an elbow. Murdoch is down in the corner and Orton stays right on him with knees. Orton is able to land a straight right with the cowbell in hand. Orton continues to stomp Murdoch and he gets a 2 count. Murdoch backs Orton off with a right hand to the midsection but he’s slow to get up. Instead Murdoch takes off his cowboy boot and uses it as a weapon. The crowd enjoys that move. Orton suffers more blows with the boot.

Orton is sent with an Irish whip to the corner and he comes off the turnbuckle and takes another shot with the cowboy boot. Murdoch only gets a 2 count. Back to their feet, Orton stops the hypothetical bleeding and knocks Murdoch down with a couple rights. Orton stomps the back of the head, picks up Murdoch, whips him to the ropes and delivers an elbow. Orton goes to the top rope but Murdoch is up first. He uses the rope to pull Orton down and he immediately hogties him! Murdoch delivers a few elbows before getting the 1-2-3 on the helpless Orton.
Winner: ‘Captain Redneck’ Dick Murdoch (Elbow Drop)

  • After The Bell: A complete melee in the ring involving the wrestlers, manager and referee Nick Patrick. Orton is able to get the rope around Murdoch’s neck and he practically hangs him from the apron.
  • EA’s Take: These sort of gimmick matches are never scientific and to me all Bullrope matches are the same. The Cowboy made his return to just a month prior and immediately put himself beside Gary Hart, solidifying his heel status from years past. There was some backstory here, as the feud with Murdoch began after getting a cheap win, but it’s obviously a secondary feud on this card. His WCW run won’t last long though and he’d unsuccessfully attempt a comeback to the WWF later in the year, essentially finishing his career.

Match #4: The Dynamic Dudes (Shane Douglas & Johnny Ace) vs. The Samoan Swat Team (Samu & Fatu) w/Paul E. Dangerously
Dangerously introduces himself in a very familiar way and introduces The Samoan Swat Team. The DDs come down to the ring wielding skateboards. All 4 men are in the ring, and Tommy Young demands they pick starting competitors. It’s Ace and Fatu to start. They lock up and let go. The crowd chants Paul E sucks. Ace can’t seem to damage Fatu with some kicks. Fatu misses a clothesline and Ace drives his head to the mat but he’s right back up. Samu rushes the ring but he’s taken down with a bodyslam. Ace delivers an arm drag to Fatu and tags in Douglas. They run the ropes and Fatu thinks Douglas has stumbled outside the ring.

Paul E barks for him to turn around where Douglas is waiting for him with a standing drop kick. The crowd is loud for the Dudes. Samu is tagged in and he immediately takes over on offense chopping ace to the ground. They run the ropes once again and Shane climbs up Samu’s shoulders and flips him down to the mat. Wristlock applied to Samu and Ace is tagged in. The Dudes exchange wrist locks and tags before Ace and Samu work the action to the Samoan side. Ace backs Samu into the ropes and when he goes to whip him to the opposite rope, he didn’t notice that a tag was made to Fatu. He leeps over Samu’s back but he’s met with Fatu’s big right foot.

Both Samoans stomp away and Dangerously brags on the outside. Fatu delivers a barefoot to the midsection. Ace tries to counter Fatu’s hip toss but can’t move the man. Famu clotheslines him down to the mat. Samu is tagged in. Ace tries fighting back but Samu delivers a big chop in the corner. Ace reverses an Irish whip to the corner and Samu runs right into the turnbuckle. Ace delivers kicks to the midsection but Samu catches his leg. Dangerously distracts the ref and the Samoans double team Ace. Johnny is reeling and finds himself in a nerve submission. Tag is made to Fatu and he comes off the top with an axehandle.

Fatu chokes Ace on the mat and Fatu tells off the referee who tries to break it up. A reverse chin lock is applied as Ace tries reaching out for a tag. A vicious headbutt by Fatu, but Ace is able to reverse the Irish whip and hits Fatu with a back body drop. Ace tries following it with a drop kick but he misses. Tag is made to Samu who prevents Ace from getting to his partner. Ace is moved to the corner so Fatu can hold him in place for a punch, but Ace ducks and Samu nails his partner. Ace crawls for his corner but Samu stomps him down. Samu follows it up with a side slam and a 2 count. Dangerously demands the ref count faster.

A tag is made to Fatu and the team delivers double head butts. Ace ducks a clothesline but can’t avoid Fatu’s power slam. Another 2 count as Ace kicks out of a pin. Samu is tagged in once again and they both rake the eyes of Ace. Johnny can’t make the tag. Shane tries to enter the ring which distracts the ref so the Samoans can get another double team in. Samu holds Ace down on the mat with a shoulder submission. Shane gets the crowd behind them. Ace finally fights his way out with elbows to the midsection and driving Samu’s head to the mat. He still can’t make the tag. They run the ropes and Samu catches Ace’s foot.

He works him down to the mat and Samu applies a Boston Crab. Dangerously grabs the mic and taunts Ace. Back to their feet, Ace tries a kick to the midsection but his foot is caught. He hops around before pulling himself to Samu’s torso and flipping him to the mat. Hot tag is finally made to a fired up Shane Douglas. He delivers an Irish whip and a dropkick. Fatu tries to rush the ring but he’s met with a dropkick as well. Samu gets another dropkick . He whips Samu to the ropes but is met by the Samoan’s clothesline.

A tag is made to Fatu who immediately goes to the top rope and lands a huge splash. A pin attempt is broken up by Johnny Ace. Samu knocks Ace out of the ring. Fatu scoops Douglas for a powerslam, but Ace heads for the top rope. He dropkicks his partner on top of Fatu while the referee is distracted by their opponents. The Dynamic Dudes pull off the upset.
Winners: The Dynamic Dudes (Douglas/Assisted Full Body Press)

  • EA’s Take: WOW! Tons of energy and tons of action in this one! Fatu was a little smaller than in his Rikishi days and boy does he look like he could be an Uso. I was very impressed with the agility of the Samoans, but I mean, it runs in their blood, right?. Johnny Ace definitely worked 75% of the match before that hot tag. Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat’s rematch is a classic, but this is easily the most underrated match on the card, despite how ridiculous The Dudes’ gimmick is.

Match #5 for the NWA United States Championship: NWA United States Champion Lex Luger vs. Michael ‘P.S.’Hayes w/Hiro Matsuda
Hayes wants Luger to back off so he can strut. The too lock up and Luger powers Hayes to the corner. Nick Patrick breaks it up to the dismay of the crowd. Another lock up and Hayes holds a side headlock. Luger throws him to the ropes but Hayes hits a high cross body press and gets a 1 count. Hayes applies another side head lock and laughs at the crowd. They run the ropes and Hayes escapes a military press attempt, instead hitting Luger with a Russian leg sweep.

Another tie up and Patrick breaks it up in the corner once again. Luger slaps Hayes across the face, and the frustrated Hayes paces outside. Back in the ring, another tie up. Luger blocks a round house and slaps Hayes once again. The two exchange rights before Lex delivers a back body drop. Hayes rolls out of the ring and the crowd taunts him. They go for the tie up, but Hayes kicks him into the midsection. He drives Luger’s head into the turn buckle and flies through the air with a clothesline. Hayes signals it’s time for the DDT but Luger pushes off. Hayes falls on the back of his head and rolls out of the ring once again. Hayes is upset by the “Luger” chants.

He tells the crowd to shut up. They lock up and Luger holds onto an impressive wristlock. He turns it into an armbar submission on the mat. Hayes fights back and they run the ropes. Hayes can’t get Luger down with a sunset flip and instead Luger goes back to the submission after an arm drag takedown. The two work their way to their feet. They run the ropes and Luger catches Hayes in mid air and puts him down with a back breaker. Back to the wristlock from Luger. Hayes delivers unsuccessful shots to the mid section. They work their way to the corner and Hayes delivers a cheap shot and follows it with some chops.

Irish whip by Hayes and he follows him with a clothesline. Hayes taunts but Luger didn’t go down. Luger catches him with a choke hold and follows it with 10 punches in the corner. They run the ropes and Luger misses a cross body slam and tumbles over the top rope. Hayes opportunistically attacks Luger on the outside and runs him into the ring post. Hayes brings Luger back into the ring with a vertical suplex and gets a 2 count on the lateral press. Hayes stays on Luger and holds him in a reverse chin lock. Luger strengths his way up to a vertical base and delivers elbows. Luger is freed up and they run the ropes. Hayes’ foot is caught, but he breaks it up before Luger can capitalize. Hayes hits Luger with a bulldog and gets another 2 count.

It’s right back to the reverse chin lock by Hayes. Luger works his way up as the crowd cheers. Luger delivers a few blows but Hayes rakes the eyes and sends him outside. Matsuda rams Luger’s face into the railing while the referee is dealing with Hayes. Back to the ring, and Hayes hits a body slam and an elbow. Luger kicks out at 2. Hayes drops fists on Lugers face and taunts the crowd from the 2nd rope. Another reverse chin lock by Michael Hayes. Hayes barks that he’s “got him down”. Referee checks the arms but only gets two.

Luger works his way back to his feet and fights to break the hold. Hayes tries to ram his head into the turn buckle but Luger blocks it. Instead it’s Luger who rams Hayes’ head, but Michael gets a thumb to Luger’s eye. Hayes sets up for a trademarked bulldog, but Luger throws him across the ring. Punches by Luger in the corner followed by a hip toss and clothesline. He can only get a 2 count.

Luger delivers a huge military press and follows it with another! He looks to do it one more time and executes it! Lex is calling for the torture rack. Hayes flips off Luger’s back and nails a DDT. Both met are down and slow to get up. Hayes hits a shoulder tackle and the referee goes down with Luger. Michael Hayes is fatigued on the ropes but Terry Gordy comes down and pushes Hayes on top of Luger as the referee gets up. Nick Patrick calls 1-2-3.
Winner and NEW NWA United States Champion: Michael ‘P.S.‘ Hayes (Outside Interference)

  • EA’s Take: These NWA matches have given me a new level of respect for Michael Hayes. He was a superb entertainer, despite his ring work being a bit rough at times. It makes perfect sense to turn him heel since the previous pay-per-view, Starrcade. Luger was red hot at this time, but his short comings could be seen in this one. A mile away in retrospect. He made his living on a good physique and a predictable’ repetitive move-set. This win was short lived as the two continued the feud and exchanged belts a few times.

Match #6 for the NWA Television Championship: NWA Television Champion Sting vs. The Iron Sheik w/Rip Morgan
Sting is led to the ring by a group of running children. The Iron Sheik demands to be introduced as a former world champion. The Sheik takes cheapshots with his flagpole. He takes part of his garment off and chokes Sting. He tells the crowd to shutup. He tries chopping Sting but Sting’s unaffected. Sting with kicks to the midsection and he returns the favor with the choking.

Sting whips Sheik to the rope and delivers a clothesline. The crowd responds to Sting’s yell. The two tie up. Sheik chops Sting and delivers a side salto suplex. Sting is thrown to the ropes and Sheik hits a clothesline. Sting fights back with kicks. Irish whip to the corner and Sting flies for a Stinger Splash! Sting applies the Scorpian Death Lock and the Sheik gives in!
Winner and STILL NWA Television Champion: Sting (Scorpion Deathlock)

  • EA’s Take: Well…what can you say about a two minute match? Sting’s clearly a company and fan darling, but did Sheik just need an easy payday at this point? He’s so far beyond his good days, it’s not even funny. Yet, we’ll continue to see him compete over the next few years. It’s really quite strange to think about now, anyone who moved around as poorly as he did in his later years would NEVER be allowed back in a WWE ring. Unless you’re The Great Khali.

Match #7 for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship: NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat vs. ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair
Terry Funk, Pat O’Connor
 and Lou Thesz are ringside as judges. A tie up and a clean break. Another tie up and Steamboat delivers an armdrag. Flair claims his hair was pulled. They circle and tie up again. Side headlock and shoulder tackle by Flair. Steamboat comes back with a hip toss and a unique arm drag. Steamboat holds the arm but Flair tosses Steamboat to the corner. The two exchange face slaps before Flair falls onto his backside and backs off. Another tie up and Flair takes a cheap shot and big chops in the corner. A straight right from Flair, and the two exchange a flurry of vicious chops. Irish whip and a back body drop from Steamboat.

Flair stumbles out to the floor and he’s slow to return to the ring. The two cautiously square each other up, and Steamboat reverses a side headlock into an overhand wristlock. Steamboat strengths Flair down to the mat and goes into an arm bar. He emphasizes the pain with knees to the shoulder. Flair is reeling and screaming out in paid. Steamboat with elbow drops to Flair’s shoulder without letting go of the lock. They run the ropes, and Steamboat delivers a shoulder tackle and an armdrag before going right back into the armbar.

The two are on their feet and Flair is caught in a hammerlock. Flair reverses it with a drop toe hold, but Steamboat regains control immediately. Steamboat has Flair down in a half nelson. Working back to their feet, Flair breaks it up with more vicious chops. He whips Steamboat to the ropes but Ricky sneaks under his legs and drags Flair right back to the mat and into the hammerlock. Back to their feet, Flair uses Steamboats hair to get to the corner and break the hold. Flair takes a cheap forearm to Steamboat’s head and follows it up with 2 more that knocks the champion down.

More chops as the crowd “Wooos”, Flair with shots to the abdomen and the back but Steamboat gets a 2nd wind and chops Flair back. Flair falls face first on the canvass and Steamboat goes back to the hammerlock. Steamboat flips over Flair to get extra leverage. Back to their feet and Flair lifts Steamboat on his shoulders and sets him on the top turnbuckle. Steamboat leaps off the turnbuckle, chops Flair, delivers a hiptoss and sends him over the top rope with a drop kick. Steamboat goes to the top turnbuckle as the ref pleads with him and gets him down. Flair regroups and re-enters the ring. Flair baits him with a test of strength and kicks him to the mid section.

When they run the ropes, Steamboat delivers another arm drag and hammerlock sequence. Flair is quick to get up this time, but Steamboat maintains the arm bar. They run, and Steamboat delivers a shoulder tackle, but Flair comes back with a hip toss. He takes his time and therefore misses an elbow drop and Steamboat goes back to work on the arm. They work to the corner and Flair uses his shoulder to hit the abdomen of the Dragon. Trademark chops from Flair who mixes it up with some kicks. Through 15 minutes, the judges decide Steamboat is ahead. Steamboat fights back but Flair gets him in the eye. Flair with a football tackle and he tosses the champ out to the floor.

Steamboat is immediately back in and aggressively fights back which includes 10 punches in the corner. Flair is whipped to the opposite turnbuckle and Flair gets caught upside down on it. The Dragon with more offense in the corner followed by a shoulder tackle. When he tries to follow it up, Flair grabs his head and Steamboat goes over the top rope. The referee decides it was not intentional and doesn’t call for a DQ. Now outside of the ring, Flair chops Steamboat over the railing and goes for a chair. The referee stops that before it starts and instead Flair lands an elbow on the throat of Steamboat and re-enters the ring.

Flair gets impatient and heads back to Steamboat and the two exchange more hard chops. Steamboat gets the advantage and he chases Flair back into the ring. Steamboat is quick to the top rope and he delivers a fist to the Nature Boy. Flair is whipped over the top turnbuckle and meets a clothesline on the apron. Steamboat hits a snapmare takedown on Flair and relentlessly goes back to the arm bar. Back to their feet and Steamboat lands a shoulder tackle before leaping for a cross body and stumbling down to the floor. Flair takes advantage with an elbow to the skull while he’s on the apron. He pulls Ricky back into the ring and delivers a knee to the head. More chops by Flair and Steamboat keeps fighting his way to his feet. Flair chokes Steamboat with his boot near the rope. Steamboat tries to fight back but Flair has the upper hand. Belly to back suplex from Flair and he gets about 2 and a half! Flair continues to try to hold Steamboat’s shoulders down but to no avail. Another knee drop to the head from Flair followed with a WOOO!

Flair delivers a butterfly suplex and again, a hair away from getting a 3 count. He backs up again and this time drops an elbow on Steamboat’s neck. Flair barks at Tommy Young after another 2 count. Flair whips Steamboat to the ropes, Ricky ducks a clothesline but on the comeback, Flair catches him and hot shots him on the top rope. He pins Steamboat but it’s too close to the ropes. Flair backs off and he’s met with a chop on his return. Flair drags Steamboat out to the floor and delivers a vertical suplex on the floor. The 2nd round of judges voting is split, but with a 2-1 favor for Flair. Back to the apron and Steamboat reverses a vertical suplex from the apron. He lands on his feet and surprises Flair with a roll up but can only get 2. Steamboat is on the offense and whips Flair to the ropes. Flair ducks a clothesline and goes for a cross body and both men go flying over the top rope.

Flair’s up first and he throws Steamboat back into the ring. Flair goes to the top rope, but as expected, he’s gorilla pressed from the top. Steamboat is feeling the energy of the crowd. Punches from Steamboat in the corner followed by an Irish whip and a back body drop. Flair plays possum before getting a kick to the mid section in. He goes for a side suplex but Steamboat lands on his feet, pulls Flair down and cradles him for a 2 count. Steamboat sets Flair atop the top turnbuckle and hits a massive superplex! Steamboat goes for the double chicken wing but Flair gets his feet on the ropes. Flair’s head is bashed off the top turnbuckle and Steamboat heads for the top rope. He hits a massive chop from the top and he returns to the top rope.

This time, Flair jerks the ropes and Steamboat falls all the way to the floor. As Steamboat tries to re enter the ring, he’s attacked by Flair on the apron who finishes it with a long hold vertical suplex. Flair pulls the leg of Steamboat to weaken it as he applies the figure four. The ref counts as Steamboat’s shoulders drop to the mat but he kicks out. Steamboat fights and tries to get to the ropes. Steamboat gets to the ropes and the hold is broken. Flair uses his knee on Steamboat’s knee in the corner.

Steamboat chops back as Flair holds the champ’s foot. Steamboat breaks the hold by leaping up for a kick to the head. Steamboat pulls Flair up for a body slam, but Flair reverses it into an inside cradle and picks up the win! Ricky Steamboat shows gives a handshake and pays his respect for a great match.
Winner and NEW NWA World Heavyweight Champion: ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair (Inside Cradle)

  • After The Bell: Jim Ross interviews Ric Flair who gives a surprisingly humble interview, complimenting Ricky Steamboat. Terry Funk interrupts the interview and issues a challenge to Flair for the belt. When Flair denies the opportunity due to Funk’s time in Hollywood, Terry attacks him which includes a pile driver on a table.
  • EA’s Take: Another fantastic bout between these two and I love how it seamlessly flowed right into Flair’s next feud, which brings us one of my all-time favorite matches at Clash Of The Champions IX. The face turn here for Flair is starting to become needed at this point in time. An incomparable heel, you could see that the crowd was somewhat split and people were getting behind the arrogant character to a certain extent. The booking for Flair/Steamboat over the past few months was superb, giving us three straight instant classics and then a great transition into the Funk rivalry. Some of the best stuff WCW will put together for literally years.

Match #8 for the NWA World Tag Team Championship – Special Referee Nikita KoloffNWA World Tag Team Champions The Varsity Club (Mike Rotunda ‘Dr. Death’ Steve Williams) w/Kevin Sullivan vs. The Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal) w/Paul Ellering
The Road Warriors waste no time in ambushing the Varsity Club right after their entrance and they clear the ring. The Club tries to fight back and there is a 4 man melee in the ring but the Warriors are still in control. We start with Animal and Williams. They lock up and go to the corner. Sullivan immediately gets in the ref’s face and he gets “ejected”! Animal with a shoulder tackle and a clothesline. Animal pursues but Williams gets a foot to the midsection. They fight for position and guest referee Koloff tries to separate them.

Williams gives him a hard time and Koloff threatens to “eject” him too. Williams backs off and tags in Rotunda. They run the ropes. Animal gets a shoulder tackle but on the next run, Rotunda lands a drop kick. Rotunda heads for the top body, but his cross body press is reversed by Animal’s body slam. Williams tries to break up a pin attempt and it distracts Animal. Hawk is tagged in. Williams lands the first shots and he scoop slams him. Hawk moves on an elbow drop attempt and power slams Williams instead. He drops a fist on Williams who then rolls out of the ring. Hawk gives chase and clotheslines him off the apron!

Hawk tries a follow up clothesline that misses and Hawk’s arm hits the ring post. The referee is caught up with Animal who is protesting as Rotunda comes over for a cheap shot. Williams goes to work on the outside and then rolls back into the ring. Hawk follows but he’s reeling. Hawk reverses a whip to the ropes but Williams comes back with a clothesline and makes a tag to Rotunda. Before Rotunda can take advantage of the situation, Hawk makes the tag to Animal. He lands an atomic drop and a drop kick.

Huge shoulder block by Animal, but Williams tries to break it up. Another melee in the ring. Rotunda misses a clothesline and tumbles over the top rope. The Warriors set up Williams for the Doomsday Device and execute it. The referee goes for the pin, but Kevin Sullivan and Dan Spivey have run back out and they drag Koloff out of the ring. They attack Koloff and Hawk tries exits the ring to come to his aid.

This leaves a two-on-one situation in the ring for the Varsity Club. Animal is the victim of a double clothesline. Williams joins the attack on the outside while Animal and Rotunda look to face off 1:1. Williams and Hawk roll back into the ring and Hawk hits him with a big boot. Shortly thereafter, the bell rings. There has been a disqualification due to outside interference.
Winners: The Road Warriors (Disqualification)

  • EA’s Take: I knew going into this match that the Warriors either had to win or be screwed again and that’s exactly what happened. You really have to question the match order of this card, but I’ll get into that in my finisher later. The Road Warriors’ heel turn didn’t last very long, as the people never wanted to boo them. Varsity Club was arguably the top heel team, so this was the natural progression. They had previously been screwed out of the titles just a little more than a month prior. This one featured lots of brawling (I know…shocker), since Rotunda is easily the best worker of the group.

Match #9 for the NWA United States Tag Team Championship: NWA United States Tag Team Champions Eddie Gilbert & Rick Steiner w/Missy Hyatt vs. The Varsity Club (Kevin Sullivan Dan Spivey)
Sullivan and Spivey waste no time attacking the champs. Sullivan appears to chase Hyatt but he’s interrupted by Gilbert. On the outside, Spivey attacks Steiner with a shoulder block. In the ring, Gilbert and Sullivan go to work. Gilbert with an Irish whip but Sullivan gets his foot up. He tags in Spivey but Gilbert rolls out to the floor. Back to the ring Gilbert ducks clotheslines and they lock up. Spivey delivers rights in the ring while Sullivan cheap shots Steiner on the floor. Gilbert is whipped to the ropes but he reverses the momentum with a right to the face. Spivey rakes the eyes but Gilbert rolls out to the floor.

Sullivan attacks Steiner and rams him into the post as the other two brawl their way back into the ring. Sullivan is tagged back in. Sullivan lands a right and mocks the fact that Steiner isn’t in his corner. More rights and a clothesline from Sullivan before he tags Spivey back into the ring. Spivey holds Gilbert in a choke hold and slams him to the mat. Gilbert is whipped to the ropes and dropkicked.

Gilbert is caught in a a potential back breaker but he reverses it to a small back body drop. Spivey is up immediately though, and Sullivan is tagged back in. Sullivan is on the offensive and he quickly tags Spivey back into the ring. Side slam by Dan Spivey who gets a 2 count. Spivey whips Gilbert to the ropes and lands a big boot. Sullivan takes a cheap shot while the referee is distracted.

Spivey lands a powerslam on Gilbert and tags Sullivan back in. Sullivan slaps Gilbert’s face several times before Gilbert’s able to sneak through Sullivan’s legs and make a hot tag to Rick Steiner. The ref didn’t see the tag and won’t allow it. Spivey attacks Steiner and the ref attempts to redirect him. Sullivan appears to be setting up for a pile driver but while the ref is distracted with Spivey, Rick ‘Steiner-lines’ Sullivan and Gilbert flips over him for a successful pin.
Winners and STILL NWA United States Tag Team Champions: Eddie Gilbert & Rick Steiner (Gilbert/SteinerLine)

  • EA’s Take: Utter garbage that this is the main event of this show. I don’t think anybody could explain to me any reason this closes things out other than “the faces went over”. With a screwy finish in the NWA World Tag Title Match, plus Flair getting left laying by Terry Funk, you have to think the thought process here is “send ’em home happy”. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make any logical sense in the grand scheme of things. This isn’t even your primary Tag Title. Get outta here with that!

Finisher: As Conrad Thompson always says on Something Else To Wrestle, “Who booked this s$%*?”. Not only did Flair and Steamboat make it impossible for anyone to follow them, like I said before, you put your secondary tag titles in the main. What?!? I think it’s entirely fair to wonder, since the man booking the show is in the main event, perhaps that played a part? I can’t say that for sure, but you certainly have to wonder. This card had two real gems in the Flair vs. Steamboat and Dynamic Dudes vs. Samoans bouts, but it was filled out by a ton of sub seven-minute matches that made you wonder what it was doing on the card. Vince’s grip on pro wrestling is at full-strength for sure.

Top Three To Watch
1 – Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat
2 – The Dynamic Dudes vs. The Samoan Swat Team
3 – Lex Luger vs. Michael Hayes


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Chairshot Classics: What I Watched #16 – ECW Guilty As Charged 1999

Breaking up the 2018 time travel with a much deeper dive! Harry goes back to some prime ECW with Guilty As Charged 1999!

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Greetings, salutations and welcome back. Harry here once again with another edition of ‘What I Watched’. As the calendar year turns to 1999 on my watch-through of all things ‘big three’ wrestling, I covered Starrcade 1998 in an earlier edition of WIW. I figured since this is probably the last year where all three major companies are relevant (at least at the start), it could be fun to compare and contrast how I feel about the respective PPVs when compared to some of the independent wrestling I’ve been covering recently. Or even going back to the PROGRESS or Impact Wrestling shows that I’ve covered before. I am fully aware there are going to be some bad shows in 1999. But there is also a lot to talk about in a drastically changing industry. Let’s do this, shall we?

ECW is in flux as talent losses haven’t yet gotten to what they would become but names like Sandman, Mikey Whipwreck, Bam Bam Bigelow and others are no longer with the company. To make matters worse, the ECW-FMW relationship is falling apart now as well as a Chris Candido and Sunny (sorry, Tammy Lynn Sytch) no-show of a scheduled FMW appearance. Paul Heyman himself is the first person we see telling us the card is going to change…how much does it change? The WayBack Machine takes us to January 10th, 1999 in Kissimmee, FL as it’s time for ECW to be Guilty as Charged!

What I Watched #16

ECW Guilty as Charged 1999

1/10/1999

Millenium Theatre in Kissimmee, FL

Runtime: 2:40:30 (Peacock)

Commentary By: Joey Styles (PBP)

 

THE RESULTS

  • Match 1: Axl Rotten/Ballz Mahoney win 3 team tag elimination match, eliminating Little Guido/Tracy Smothers @ 10:44 (Danny Doring/Roadkill eliminated @ 8:15)
  • Match 2: Yoshihiro Tajiri pins Super Crazy, dragon suplex @ 11:37
  • Match 3: Psycho Sid Vicious pins John Kronus, powerbomb @ 1:31
  • Match 4: Bubba Ray and D’Von Dudley def. New Jack/Spike Dudley, both Dudleyz pin Spike @ 10:05
  • Match 5: ECW TV Title- Rob Van Dam pins Lance Storm, bridged German suplex @ 17:46
  • Match 6: Justin Credible pins Tommy Dreamer, That’s Incredible on ladder @ 18:44
  • Match 7: ECW Heavyweight Title- Taz defeats Shane Douglas © by KO, Tazmission @ 22:15

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Three Team Tag Elimination Match
Started as a straight up 2 vs. 2, but within the first two minutes, Ballz and Axl (Axl making his return to the company after the passing of his grandmother) join the frey and it becomes your traditional ECW three team brawl. Nothing really stands out here but the overall work is good enough for what the match is supposed to be. The elimination of Doring and Roadkill is well done, as a FBI double-team fishermanbuster looks really cool and gets a decisive win for what was to be the original match. They do give the win to Axl and Ballz here, which I get given the fact they are a popular act, but I personally think  that Guido and Tracy were a better team during the time frame. (**½)

Super Crazy vs. Tajiri

Yes, it’s the feud that never ends. But this is where it begins. Both men were relative newcomers to the American wrestling scene with both having had limited exposure on WWF TV (both were in the Light Heavyweight title tournament). This is a good match but not a great match and honestly, I think timing is the issue here. Eleven minutes may seem like a lot but knowing what these two would be capable of down the road once there is more of a fan and time investment into their matches, it ends up being a good starting point but probably not the blow away match that ECW was expecting to deliver here. (***)

John Kronus vs. Mystery Opponent

So, ECW fans are notorious for their belief that the “big oaf” style of the WWF and WCW wouldn’t work in ECW. Obviously, they are wrong. Guys like Big Dick Dudley and 911 became massive fan favorites due to their look, not anything they could do in a wrestling ring. You can add another name to that list, as Psycho Sid makes his ECW debut here (following an introduction by the ‘Judge’ Jeff Jones) and absolutely kicks Kronus’ ass in less than two minutes. Sid was never anything special in the ring but he is one of the more charismatic big men in wrestling history so the cult-like following is easy to understand. Too short to rate, but fun for what it was. (X)

Dudleyz vs. New Jack/Spike Dudley

Sixteen year old Harry getting into ECW was a huge Joel Gertner fan. Thirty seven year old Harry going back and watching these shows is an even bigger fan of Joel Gertner. Granted, his shtick is incredibly juvenile but sometimes, you just want to laugh…

The match is your standard ECW garbage brawl. Most New Jack matches definitely have a similarity to them that does not hold up well for re-watching. I will openly admit to being a Spike Dudley mark and he does well taking an ass whooping from Bubba Ray. The Dudleyz definitely have their moments in ECW (the best is still to come in my opinion) but this isn’t one of their best performances. I will give props to New Jack for taking 3D on the ramp, even if it doesn’t come across the cleanest. About what you’d expect, but nothing more. (**)

TV Title- Rob Van Dam © vs. Lance Storm

Rob Van Dam vs. Masato Tanaka was the originally scheduled match and I think it could have been fun. However, Tanaka apparently has visa issues which prevent him from being able to get into the US for the show and thus ECW has to pivot quickly. I do have to give credit to Lance Storm for his pre-match promo here. For someone who is not known as one of the better talkers in wrestling history, he does a really good job explaining the situation with the 3 way that was supposed to happen (Storm vs. Spike vs. Jerry Lynn (cracked pelvis)) and then calling out Rob Van Dam since his opponent wasn’t there either. Storm has a really good closing line for the promo too: “I’m not the ‘Whole F’n Show’, but I am the best damn part of it’. That is one of the lines that sticks with you and you remember it.

The match itself is very good but not great. It is better than anything else on the show, so perhaps I’m rating it on a slight curve for that. Van Dam’s selling is sporadic but to be fair, Van Dam’s selling is always sporadic. The biggest thing for me is that despite that, they still keep an impressive pace and the match is by and large clean. There is a super weak chair shot by Storm (which the crowd gives him a good ration of shit over), but they do manage to turn that crowd around for the finishing sequence. A little surprised by the choice of finish, but I imagine that has something to do with telling the idea that Storm got caught and wasn’t soundly defeated like most of Van Dam’s prior opponents had been. (***½)

Stairway to Hell- Justin Credible vs. Tommy Dreamer

The problem for Credible in ECW is that Paul wanted you to believe that Justin was this huge deal but truthfully, the booking never actually treated him as such. Yeah, he won…A LOT…but more often than not, it was almost treated as an afterthought. He very rarely won the big matches on his own and while I get that as a heel, you want to give him that sense of dickishness, as a wrestling fan eventually you have to make it look like the dude could stand up on his own. Dreamer has long been a favorite of mine, even if he has overstayed his welcome in the ring on occasion. You know going in that win or lose, Tommy will bust his ass to give you as good a match as he is capable of. 

As for this match, it never reaches that next level that you expect a gimmicked semi main event of a PPV to reach. It’s not actively bad or anything (in fact, probably up there for Credible’s best match in ECW to date) but with the stipulation and the gaga around it, it feels like there was so much more it could have been. The finish comes off really flat as well as it renders the whole point of the stipulation useless and only serves to put more heat on Credible by way of Funk. (**½)

Heavyweight Title- Shane Douglas © vs. Taz

So, I’ll be a little nicer to this match then some other reviewers I’ve seen for a couple reasons. It completely accomplishes the goal that Heyman set out for it. Taz comes out of the match looking like a world beater. Douglas comes out of the match as the face of the company who “went out on his shield” as the old phrase goes. Sabu looks like a lunatic and a viable threat to take the title at any time he damn well pleases. Candido comes off as a huge dick and sticks the final knife in Douglas’ back for the end scene. So the story telling is magnificent. 

The match itself? At least a good five to seven minutes too long for that story. I get wanting that epic storytelling to fold out but when you guys are down and low on ideas, it might not be the worst idea to take it home. The other issue is that by trying to serve so many masters, Heyman causes the main event to end up being epically overbooked. Granted, that is an ECW trademark but for what was to be the crowning moment for Taz, I don’t think the 73rd Airborne needed to be a part of it. Sabu could have just as easily returned post match to set up a run with Taz. Or Candido could have turned on Douglas post match to give him a direction going forward since Taz would be occupied with Sabu. I’m not saying it completely takes away the moment but it does make it mean less than it could or should have in the overall scheme of things. (**)

 

THE FINAL REACTION

  • Best Match/Moment: Rob Van Dam vs. Lance Storm, although I do think their match at the first ECW PPV ‘Barely Legal’ (which I imagine I’ll eventually do) is better
  • Worst Match/Moment: The main event. What could have been an awesome moment for the ‘Human Suplex Machine’ and the biggest ass kicker in the company is ruined with a boring crowd brawl (to the home viewer) and a couple of run-ins that either end up actively taking away from it.
  • Overall Show Score: 5.5/10
  • MVP: Joey Styles is the best thing about this show with his one man performance. There is a reason he was such a major influence on what I did as an announcer.

 

THE SIGNOFF

It’s not a bad show. It’s just not a particulary good one either. And while ECW would put out worse, it only barely outdoes Starrcade 98 to avoid the worst show of the return thus far.

So, where do we go from here? January of 1999 had no chill. The very next Sunday would see the first WCW outing of 1999, called Souled Out. The Sunday after that would be the 1999 edition of the Royal Rumble. I’m going to hit both of those but as a fair warning, I’ll probably try to mix an Independent show from 2018 in the middle of them. Hope to see you guys at Souled Out. And feel free to check out my archives by clicking on my name at the top of this review. Thanks for reading, everyone.


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What I Watched #10b: All IN 2018

Harry decided to abridge his All In write up and bring us the blast from the past while he’s on vacation! With only a few weeks until All Out, reminiscing could be fun!

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ALL IN

Greetings, salutations and what nots. At the time you are reading this, I will be away from home on vacation with my amazing girlfriend. In the interest of not want to lose everyone’s attention in the downtime, I decided to go back to one of my earlier reviews and reformat it to match the current style while giving people who may have not been interested due to the length of the previous review a chance to see what they may have missed as well as share my thoughts on a show that had quite the buzz when it happened.

I mention in my review of AAW’s Destination Chicago 2018 (full review available in my archive by clicking my name at the top of this review) that everyone was in Chicago for this particular show. Obviously, though it was presented as part of a deal with ROH (and to some extent New Japan), this ends up being what many consider the launching point for AEW. So join me once again as the WayBack Machine takes us to suburban Chicago on September 1st 2018 and we revisit ‘All In’ here on ‘What I Watched’.

What I Watched #10-B

ROH/NJPW/Friends ‘All In’ 2018

9/1/2018

Sears Center in Hoffman Estates, IL

Runtime: 4:45:24 (45:27 on YouTube for the preshow, 3:57:57 on Fite.TV/HonorClub/NJPW World/traditional PPV for the main show)

Commentary By: Excalibur (PBP), Don Callis (Color), Ian Riccaboni (PBP/Color)

THE RESULTS

  • Match #1: Zero Hour- Frankie Kazarian/Scorpio Sky def. Jay/Mark Briscoe, Kazarian pins Mark with a powerslam counter to the Doomsday Device @ 12:35
  • Match #2: Zero Hour- Flip Gordon wins the ‘Over the Budget Battle Royal’ @ 17:11, last eliminating Bully Ray
  • Match #3: Matt Cross pins Maxwell Jacob Friedman, Shooting Star Press @ 10:07
  • Match #4: Christopher Daniels pins Stephen Amell, Best Moonsault Ever @ 11:45
  • Match #5: Tessa Blanchard wins four way, pinning Chelsea Green with the Buzzsaw DDT @ 12:43 of a match that also involved Britt Baker and Madison Rayne
  • Match #6: NWA World Heavyweight Title- Cody Rhodes pins Nick Aldis ©, sitdown on sunset flip attempt @ 22:03
  • Match #7: Adam Page pins Joey Janela, Rite of Passage off a ladder through a table @ 20:09
  • Match #8: ROH Heavyweight Title- Jay Lethal © pins Flip Gordon, Lethal Injection @ 14:25
  • Match #9: Kenny Omega pins Pentagon Jr., One Winged Angel @ 17:48
  • Match #10: Kazuchika Okada pins Marty Scurll, Rainmaker #2 @ 26:06
  • Match #11: Kota Ibushi/Matt Jackson/Nick Jackson def. Bandido/Fenix/Rey Mysterio Jr., Matt pins Bandido after the Meltzer Driver @ 11:44

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Zero Hour- SCU (Frankie Kazarian/Scorpio Sky) vs. The Briscoes (Jay/Mark)

*Hell of a way to kick things off and the exact kind of match that you want to put out to people in order to get those on the fence to order the show. I don’t know about the $50 price tag that the PPV had, but this would have been enough for me to sign up for Honor Club for $10 to watch the show at least. I’m curious if ROH ever followed up on SCU pinning the ROH tag champions here. I’d imagine so even though the end is near for Kazarian, Scorpio and Daniels in ROH with AEW looming on the horizon. (***½)

Over the Budget Battle Royal

*It was fun for what it was. Maybe a little overcrowded, but there are several people who have got to make a name for themselves off this match. Marko Stunt is all over Game Changer Wrestling (and got a run in AEW as part of Jurassic Express) and Jordynne Grace, who got herself a deal with Impact, being two to spring immediately. I don’t rate battle royals but it was entertaining, which is all you can ask for sometimes. (X)

Maxwell Jacob Friedman (MJF) vs. Matt Cross

*Good little opener here for the main show. My misgivings on the rope hanging piledriver aside (MJF calls it the Heatseeker), they worked together well without throwing too much against the wall and burning out the crowd for later. I had hoped Cross would get a chance with AEW but we know that doesn’t happen, unfortunately. MJF does become one of the biggest creations AEW has up until this point, but no-one is really sure where his status lies with the company at present. Strong start to open the show and really happy for a genuinely good dude in Matt Cross to have gotten this opportunity. (***)

Christopher Daniels vs. Stephen Amell (special guest referee: Jerry Lynn)

*When this show first happened, I heard a myriad of opinions on this match. Some thought it was really good, others thought it stunk. I fall somewhere in the middle here. Amell, for an actor, put in a pretty good performance here. I’m not saying he should do this full time or anything, but it’s not like he embarrassed himself either. Daniels had his own hiccups here as well though. So the blame doesn’t fall solely on Stephen. Overall, I’d call it above average given who Daniels’ opponent was. But I know first hand that Daniels is capable of much, much more. (**½)

Britt Baker (bay bay) vs. Madison Rayne vs. Chelsea Green vs. Tessa Blanchard

*Not sure if it was just me but the finish looks a little suspect. Tessa getting the win did make sense though at the time (I’d imagine this result changes with benefit of hindsight). As for the match, they worked hard and it by and large came together well. It definitely lost its way a bit towards the end, so I have to dock it a bit for that. All in all, I’d say good effort from the ladies involved and I’d even put it just slightly above the Daniels and Amell match it just followed. (***)

NWA World Heavyweight Title- Nick Aldis © vs. Cody (Don’t Call Him Rhodes)

*A very good match but a couple of little things keep it from the next level for me. First, the blatantly missed superkick. I’m not really as upset about that one as some people may be because I get it, shit happens in the moment. The blade job however, I can’t forgive. It was terribly obvious. I get the intent behind it to help Cody fight from underneath. I have no issues with blood in general (hell, I watch death matches). But if you can’t do the blade job more realistically there, it shouldn’t have been done. It doesn’t really factor into the match in the grand scheme of things. Also while I personally don’t mind the methodical pace, I do know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I dug the match as a whole though. And props to Brandi for eating it on that flying elbow drop. (****)

‘Chicago Street Fight’- Adam Page vs. Joey Janela

*This match won’t be for everyone. Some people like the old school ECW brawl and some people don’t. I do when it’s well executed but there seemed to be quite a bit of downtime in this one. Honestly, to me…Penelope Ford came out of this match looking like the biggest star of the three. All in all, I’d say good for what it was but nothing I’d probably want to go back and re-watch either. The finish was dope though. Janela is a crazy person for taking it. (***)

ROH Heavyweight Title- Jay Lethal © vs. Flip Gordon

*Let’s not kid ourselves. There was no way that they were going to change the ROH title on a non-ROH show. As much as they enjoyed having the belt defended, this defense was a lock for Lethal regardless of the opponent. Flip getting the match itself is the story here and his performance justifies it. I’d call it good but again, it’s nothing that you’ll want to re-watch again, despite the impressive agility of Gordon and the sheer nostalgia of Lethal busting out the ‘Black Machismo’ shtick again. (***½)

Kenny Omega vs. Pentagon Jr.

*Your mileage may vary for sure on this one. Everyone heaped a ton of praise on it and while it is very good, it does not raise to the level of excellence for me. The ridiculously spotty selling and the absolute disrespect to some of the most protected moves in wrestling cause me to take an issue. I do think they worked really well together and the styles meshed a lot better than I thought they might. But there was nowhere near the emotion here that came through clear as day on the Cody and Aldis match earlier. From a pure work rate aspect, it’s the best on the show so far. But personally, I prefer Cody and Aldis to Omega and Pentagon Jr. (****)

Kazuchika Okada vs. Marty Scurll

*A little long. But they told a pretty strong story throughout.At the time of this writing, I had made it no secret that I was not sold on Kazuchika Okada as a draw in the US. Clearly, I was wrong. He had the entire crowd in the palm of his and Scurll’s hands for basically the entirety of this contest and it was one that I think both raised Scurll’s standing in the world of wrestling and confirmed what many people already feel about Okada. That being said, it’s a better match if you chop off five to eight minutes from it. (***½)

Young Bucks/Kota Ibushi vs. Bandido/Fenix/Rey Mysterio

*Clearly much shorter than it was probably supposed to be, they packed a ton of action into these almost twelve minutes. I’d have been curious to see what was possible with a full run time but with Rey already gone (he had just resigned with the WWE), there would be no chance to run this back. I think it was a good way to send everyone home happy and get all the marquee moments in, but overall it just ends up being a spotfest fluff match rather than anything that’ll be strongly remembered as standing out down the road. (***½)

THE FINAL REACTION

There is a lot to get through here. As you guys saw above, the totality of both Zero Hour and All In run almost five hours. While not all of that is well spent, there is more than enough to sink your teeth into here, even if you wouldn’t classify yourself as a traditional ‘Independent Wrestling’ fan. There are a couple of real good spotfests if you liked the ECW/WCW luchador/cruiserweight style. There’s a tremendous call-back to the old NWA days with how Nick Aldis vs. Cody plays out. There is a interesting take on the old ‘hardcore’ styles that both ECW and the WWF used to enjoy presenting in Janela vs the ‘Hangman’. You even get the chance to see the celebrities that get trotted out for the big shows in places like the WWE and Impact Wrestling. Does it all work? No. But a good majority of it does. As I said, it’s almost five hours. But by and large, it’s five hours well spent. Call it an 8.5 and while there is room for improvement (as with everything), a very strong start for Cody and the Bucks as promoters.

Best Match/Moment: I’ll go moment here and go with the obvious of Cody getting to hold the same NWA title his father did in what was an NWA stronghold town. It’s cool to see the torch passed like this.

Worst Match/Moment: The fact that the main event with arguably six of the best wrestlers in the world at the time ends up getting the second shortest amount of time.

Overall Show Score: 8.5/10

MVP: I’m going to give this one to Cody, both for the role he played as a producer/agent for the show as well as the performance in the match with Aldis as well. A good night for young Mr. Runnels.

THE SIGNOFF

And that wraps up the first of the ‘retro’ look backs at previous ‘What I Watched’ reviews. When I return, I will be coming back with ECW’s Guilty as Charged 1999, the first pay-per-view of the last year of the 1900s. Following that, I know the WWF’s Royal Rumble 1999 is on the list. I’d imagine I’ll get to WCW’s Souled Out 1999 and when I do return to the Indies, promotions like IWA-MS, CHIKARA, Freelance, BEYOND, WWR and so many others are within my potentially planned scope. Hope to see you down the road and may you all enjoy quality time with those you care. See you next time and thanks for reading, everyone.


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