Our weekly WCW Chairshot Classics series continues with Starrcade ’94!
Open: Newcomer ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage was on WCW Saturday Night. He is looking to have a confrontation with a man he has a long history with, WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan. Tonight, we’ll find out if Savage is going to shake his hand or slap him in the face.
Video: Bill Apter presents WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan with the 1994 PWI Wrestler of the Year award.
Match #1 for the WCW United States Championship: Vader w/Harley Race vs. WCW United States Champion ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan
Vader meets Duggan in the aisle and a brawl ensues. Duggan runs Vader into the steel and heads into the ring. Race tries to take liberties but the US Champ sends him up and over the top rope. The USA chants break out as Vader regroups. Duggan meets him on the outside and backs him up with rights. Vader fights back with a headbutt, but Duggan whips him into the rail. He takes the ring and gets the crowd into it. Duggan pummels him with rights upon his entry into the ring and follows with a clothesline. He runs again and Vader is flipped back to the floor. Back to the ring, Vader reverses a whip.
They both duck clotheslines and Duggan takes him down with a crossbody. Hacksaw picks up the former World Champ with a big body slam and plants an elbow. He tries some covers but Vader won’t give. Forearms from Duggan and he sends Vader for a back elbow. Vader slumps to the ropes and Duggan delivers some more rights and another clothesline. He drops an elbow and Vader kicks out at two. Reverse chin lock by Duggan as Race encourages his client. To their feet, Duggan hits some ax handles but Vader turns the tide with a poke to the eyes. They exchange blows but Vader clubs him in the head. Race mocks Duggan from the floor, but Hacksaw shows more fight.
He sends Vader for a monster clothesline and drops an elbow. He tries a pin but Vader is in the ropes. He tries a 2nd turnbuckle elbow but Vader rolls out of the way. Vader clubs him from behind and Duggan tumbles to the floor. Duggan rolls back into the ring and he’s hit with a quick elbow. Vader goes to work with body shots and he poses to a booing crowd. Scoop slam by Vader and he heads for a Vader Bomb, he lands it but he’s slow to cover, Duggan gets his foot on the rope. Vader heads back to the turnbuckles, but Duggan is up and he boots him down. Rights from Duggan, he hits the ropes but Vader cuts him off with a big body shot.
Race chokes the champ on the bottom rope while Vader runs a distraction. The big men slug it out some more, Duggan with an upper hand but Vader clubs both sides of the temple. Duggan goes down and Vader climbs to the top. He goes for the moonsault but Duggan rolls out of the way. Nick Patrick starts the 10 count, they’re both up around 7 as USA chants breakout. Vader hits a splash in the corner. He backs up for another but Duggan hits a desperation clothesline. Duggan with a series of strikes and he backs Vader into the corner. Irish whip and Duggan hits a double ax handle. Duggan calls for his signature 3-point-stance clothesline and he nails it, he goes for a cover but Race rakes his eyes.
Vader staggers back to his feet as the crowd cheers for Duggan. Vader leaps from the 2nd turnbuckle but Duggan catches him with a powerslam. He makes the cover but Race has Nick Patrick’s attention. Duggan goes to confront the ref, but Vader is up. Duggan ducks a lariat and takes Vader to his knee. He gets in the 3 point stance, but Race is on the apron with Hacksaw’s 2×4. Vader runs him into his own board, lifts him up for a facebuster, and we have a new US Champ.
Winner and NEW WCW United States Champion: Vader (Facebuster)
- EA’s Take: Definitely a change of pace to have Vader open the show, but not a bad choice. Obviously, the original plan for the main event is not what’s going to go down. If you’re looking for anything fancy, you’ve come to the wrong place with this one, but the crowd was into the heel/babyface dynamic so I guess that’s the best takeaway.
Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund is joined by Avalanche, The Butcher & Kevin Sullivan. Gene asks why Butcher has a tombstone, and he explains that the ‘Faces of Fear’ are here in force, and the stone is a late Christmas gift for Hulk Hogan. Tonight is his night, and he’ll be taking the WCW Championship. Avalanche finally gets Sting 1 on 1, and he hopes his medical insurance is paid up, because he’ll be going to the nearest facility when he’s done with him. Sullivan calls out Hogan and explains that their alliance was made exclusively to stop him.
Match #2: ‘Das Wunderkind’ Alex Wright vs. Jean-Paul Levesque
Collar and elbow tie up, Levesque with position in the corner and Jean-Paul grabs the cheeks of Wright to insult him. Another tie up, arm drag by Levesque and he offers a bow. A third tie up, Levesque with an arm drag and grounds him with knee leverage. Wright cartwheels out of it, hits a drop kicks and a takes him down with a head scissor. Wright tries leap frogging the ref, but the official takes control and slows it down. Collar and elbow, side headlock by Levesque, he works into a wristlock, Wright boots out of it and lands a dropkick. Arm drag into an armbar by Das Wunderkind. To their feet, Levesque takes him over with an hip toss, but Wright responds.
He goes back to the arm and strattles him. Knee to the midsection by Levesque and a side headlock takedown. Wright counters with a head scissor and they chain for position on the mat. Levesque takes control with a modified reverse chin lock. Wright works into a hammerlock and modifies it with a half nelson on the mat. He puts him into a pinning predicament and Levesque kicks out. Drop toe hold by Levesque but Wright counters nicely. Levesque does a headstand out of the head scissor and clocks Wright. He attacks Wright with stomps and is showing severe aggression. He mauls him in the corner and the ref can’t keep Levesque off. He sends Wright for a spin kick, and he smiles with a bow.
Front face lock and a snap suplex by Levesque, he makes a cover and Wright kicks out. Boot to the gut and the side of the head by Levesque, another pin and Wright kicks out once again. To the ropes, Wright ducks an elbow but misses a crossbody and he rolls to the floor. Levesque hits a baseball slide with Wright climbing back on the apron. He stays right on him as the referee redirects Jean-Paul inside. Wright crawls back to the apron, he drives a shoulder into Levesque and goes for a sunset flip. He can’t get him over and Levesque throws a big right. To the ropes and Levesque hits a powerslam, lateral press and Wright kicks out.
Levesque measures him and slaps on a reverse chin lock. The ref drop checks the arm and Wright doesn’t give. He slowly works back up and drives his elbow to the gut. He hits the ropes but runs into Levesque’s dropkick. He finds himself back in the chin lock. Wright gets vertical, breaks the hold but runs into a spinning back breaker by Levesque. Scoop slam by Levesque and he heads up the turnbuckles. He tries an elbow but Wright moves out of the way. Wright fights back up and hits some European uppercuts, following it with a corkscrew elbow. More uppercuts and to the ropes for a hip toss, Levesque kicks out. Wright sends him for the ride and hits a back body drop.
Levesque fights back, they hit the ropes and they both go down with simultaneous shoulder blocks. The 10 count is on, Levesque is up first and he hits a European uppercut. Irish whip, Wright leaps to the 2nd turnbuckle and backflips over Levesque, he comes in with a victory roll and we have a winner.
Winner: ‘Das Wunderkind’ Alex Wright (Victory Roll)
- EA’s Take: DON’T BLINK! This is the one and only WCW PPV match with the man who would go on to become one of the most powerful and influential men in the wrestling business, Triple H. For only having one year in WCW, it’s still an intriguing story. Starting as “Terra Ryzing”, they later used a play on the New Hampshire native’s real name to create a French Aristocrat character. While being later billed as a blue-blood from Connecticut, it would ultimately be the foundation of the Hunter Hearst Helmsley character and the rest is history. He famously told the story of turning down a 2-year offer from Eric Bischoff in favor of 1-year deal. Since the money was low (given that wrestlers had to cover their own travel expenses), he explained that after 1 year, Bischoff would know whether or not he’s even worth a 2nd year and if he is, he’ll be worth more than what the contract offers for that additional year. While potentially risky for a young kid trying to make it, I think he made a very good point. He was right and it was a sign that he knew how to play ‘The Game’ long before the nickname.
Match #3 for the WCW World Television Championship: ‘The Enforcer’ Arn Anderson w/Col. Robert Parker & Meng vs. WCW World Television Champion Johnny B. Badd
Collar and elbow and they hit the ropes immediately. Double A levels him with a shoulder block but Badd is up quickly. Tie up, side headlock by Badd but Anderson responds with a hair takedown. A repeat of what just happened and a frustrated Badd chases Arn into the corner and the ref has to back him off. Collar and elbow, Anderson with a hammerlock, Badd counters with one of his own and chains into a drop toe hold. Hammerlock on the mat and he drives his knee into the Enforcer. The hold is broken and Anderson slows things down. Collar and elbow, fireman’s carry takeover by Anderson, countered with a head scissor by Badd.
Anderson gets his feet on the ropes and the hold is broken. Anderson ducks a tie up and seats Badd on the top turnbuckle, he taunts Badd and backs off. They lock up, Anderson grabs the wrist and drives Badd to the mat. Badd bridges back up and pulls The Enforcer down. He holds onto the arm and Arn breaks it on the ropes once again. Anderson lifts Badd and seats him on the top turnbuckle again. Anderson mockingly slaps him across the face. Badd leaps over him and scores with a hip toss. Anderson stops him with a knee to the gut. Badd reverses a whip to the corner and hits a Mexican arm drag, following it with a drop kick and Anderson regroups on the outside.
Collar and elbow, Arn takes position in the corner, Badd blocks a left and throws plenty into Arn. Anderson misses with the atomic drop but Badd runs into a spinebuster. Anderson is slow to get up, he uses the boot laces on the eyes and throws Badd into the corner. He chokes Badd until the ref backs him off. Johnny has his eyes raked on the top rope as he’s taunted by Parker. Abdominal stretch by Anderson and he uses the rope for leverage. Double ax handle sends Badd down to the mat and Anderson sends him for the ride. Badd tries to leap over with a sunset flip but he’s cut off. Badd will not stay down and he hulks back to his feet. Anderson tries grounding him with knees and he drops an elbow. He makes a cover and Badd kicks out.
Anderson moves to a reverse chin lock. Badd works to his feet but Double A turns into a sleeper. Badd counters with one of his own, Anderson countering with a chin buster. To the ropes, Anderson picks him up and Badd catches him with a head scissor takeover. Badd with a forearm and whips Anderson for a back elbow, Anderson kicks out at two. Badd sends The Enforcer for a back drop. He sends him again for a big knee lift and he heads for the top rope. He scores a sunset flip but Anderson kicks out. Irish whip by Badd, Anderson blocks the monkey flip and makes a cover but he’s caught using the ropes for leverage. Anderson confronts the referee and Badd catches him with a schoolboy to retain the title.
Winner and STILL WCW World Television Champion: Johnny B. Badd (Schoolboy)
- EA’s Take: This match was supposed to be against The Honky Tonk Man, but as explained last time, that relationship didn’t stick. Anderson is a consummate professional, but I have to wonder how much was real and how much was kayfabe when they talked about Badd planning to face HTM, because it felt like a last-minute, thrown together replacement match. Double-A can put on a solid match with anyone and Badd is no slouch, but this one felt off.
Video: The Nasty Boys are selected as the 1994 PWI Tag Team of the Year.
Match #4: Harlem Heat (Booker T. & Stevie Ray) w/Sister Sherri vs. The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobs & Jerry Sags)
An all out brawl ensues after a standoff, Sags hooks Booker T with a pump handle slam and The Nasty Boys clear the ring. Booker tells the rednecks to shut up. Official action will start with Booker and Sags. They jaw a little bit and duke it out. Booker takes control with knees, he sends Sags for a big elbow. He drops an elbow on the mat and makes a quick cover, Sags kicks out. Booker stays on the attack, Sags reverses a whip to the ropes. Booker ducks two clotheslines but he’s scooped for a big slam. Tag is made to Knobbs and they hit a double team clothesline on both members of Harlem Heat.
The Nasty Boys hit both opponents with corner splashes and Heat rolls to the floor. There are fights on both sides of the ring, Knobbs throwing Stevie into the barrier before helping his partner with Booker. Back in the ring, Sherri runs a distraction so Heat can blindside Knobbs. He’s rolled back in and sent for a back elbow by Stevie. Ray tries a leg drop, Knobbs moves. A little confusion and Stevie sends Knobbs for an Irish Whip. Knobbs comes back with a clothesline and knocks Booker off the apron. Bulldog by Knobbs on Stevie and he kicks out at two. Tag is made to Sags and they mug him in the corner. Quick tag back to Knobbs and they send him with a double team arm takedown. Knobbs keeps the momentum with a hammerlock.
Knobbs works on the arm and tags in Sags. Jerry cranks the arm, Stevie breaks it with an abdomen shot. He tags in Booker but he is greeted with a hip toss. Tag is made to Knobbs and they pull another double team. Lateral press and Booker kicks out. Quick tag to Sags and he takes Booker over. He hangs the arm over the ropes and The Nasty Boys continue to double team. Knobbs is back in with a snapmare and a leg drop, he tries a cover but Booker won’t give. Sags is back in and he drives his knee into Booker’s arm. Stevie comes in to break an arm bar, Sags takes exception and knocks him down to the floor. Booker blindsides him which sets Sags up for a bicycle kick. Stevie pursues him, and drops his shins on the railing before driving his back into the steel.
Stevie rolls him back in so Booker can take advantage. Booker rakes the face and sends him for a spin kick. Ray is tagged in legally and Harlem Heat takes advantage of the temporary double team. Stevie makes a cover and Sags kicks out. A nerve hold is applied by Stevie Ray. He lifts Sags up and makes an exchange with Booker who enters with a scissor kick. He’ slow to cover and Sags kicks out. Front facelock by Booker as Sherri cheers him on. Sags works back to his feet and breaks it with a chin buster. Stevie receives a tag first and drops a leg across the back of Sags’ neck. Another slow cover and Sags kicks out. Ray goes for a bearhug. Sags breaks it by going to the eyes but Booker is tagged in first and now it’s his turn for the bearhug.
The crowd gets behind The Nasty Boys, but Sags is driven to the opposing corner and a tag is made to Stevie. Front face lock is applied by Stevie and Harlem Heat makes another quick tag. Sags is sent for an Irish whip, but Booker runs into a big boot and an inside-out clothesline. Both men are slow to get up. Stevie rushes the ring, they try a double team on Sags but Jerry stops short and gives them both DDTs. Hot tag is made to Knobbs and he levels both members of Harlem Heat. They’re both given a back elbow and a clothesline. It’s a total melee, Knobbs runs into Stevie’s boot while Booker and Sags take the fight on the floor.
Sherri is up on the apron as Stevie holds Knobbs in place, she tries to spray him with a foreign substance but she gets Stevie instead. Booker heads to the top, but he’s caught with a gorilla press. Sags lands a big elbow on Booker but Sherri climbs to the top. She tries to disrupt with a top rope splash, Sags moves out of the way and Sherri lands on Booker. The ref calls for the bell due to outside interference.
Winners: The Nasty Boys (Disqualification)
- After The Bell: The Nasty Boys grab Sherri and she gets a taste of Sags’ armpit.
- EA’s Take: Not a bad match. There were moments of scientific tag team wrestling, but it was mixed with some over the top melee which is what we expect from The Nasty Boys. I know these two teams have better encounters in the future. With the tag champs nowhere to be seen, this one left me a little indifferent.
Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Chairshot Classics: WCW Slamboree 1995 – A Legends’ Reunion
Our weekly Chairshot Classics WCW PPV series continues with Slamboree ’95!
Following a brutally cheesy inaugural Uncensored event in March, what would WCW do to follow-up? Let’s not waste any time and get to the action!
Match #1 for the WCW World Tag Team Championships: The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobs & Jerry Sags) vs. WCW World Tag Team Champions Harlem Heat (Booker T & Stevie Ray) w/Sister Sherri
Jerry Sags makes his way down to the ring by himself at the open. Brian Knobs was previously injured and they’re not sure what his status is. The “Nasty” chants break out for Sags who is by himself. Booker T will start it off for Harlem Heat. He lectures the chanting crowd and rounds the ring. They exchange slaps and strikes, Sags takes the advantage and hits an inside out clothesline. Booker eats turnbuckle, Irish whip and Sags comes in with another big lariat. Stevie rushes the ring, but Sags takes it to both champions with a double DDT.
Sherri is on the apron and she eats a right from the Nasty Boy. Sags sets up a pumphandle slam on Booker and lands it. He makes a cover and Booker kicks out at two. Sags pursues in the corner, but Booker lands a right. The champs double team Sags and Stevie is tagged in. He tries an elbow, but Sags moves. Double leg takedown by Sags and he hits a low blow head butt. Sags sets up again and he drops a leg across the mid section. He makes a cover and Booker T comes in for the save. Scoop slam by Sags and he heads up the turnbuckles. Double ax from the top rope and Booker is forced to make the save once again. Sags tries a cover but Sherri pulls his leg.
Jerry pursues the valet who baits him into a beat down from Stevie Ray. The ref pulls him off and Sags rolls to the floor, where he’s double teamed by Booker and Sherri. Stevie heads out, drives him into the steel and rolls him back into the ring. Double team in the ring by the champs and Booker grabs a reverse chin lock. Back to vertical, Sags tries to go to the eyes but Booker stays in control. He misses an elbow, but with a spin-a-roonie comes back to his feet and hits a heel kick. Tag is made to Stevie, Sags is sent for the ride and he eats a drop kick. Side slam by Stevie and Sags is set up for a senton by Booker. He’s slow to make a cover and Sags gets his shoulder up.
A quick tag is made back to Stevie who lands a leg drop and a big forearm. Another fast tag back to Booker who lifts Sags and sends him to the ropes. Sags reverses a back drop into a piledriver, and finally from the back, here comes a taped up Brian Knobs. Sags makes the hot tag and Knobs cleans house. Scoop slams and back elbows for both. He hits a bulldog on Booker and back drops Stevie over the top. Sherri climbs to the top rope and leaps but Knobs catches her out of the air and drops her hard on the canvass before dumping her to the floor. Knobs tags in Sags, hits a powerslam, Jerry hits a top rope elbow and we have new champs!
Winners and NEW WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Nasty Boys (Sags/Top Rope Elbow Drop)
- After The Bell: The Blue Bloods are standing at the top of the ramp in suits, looking disgusted with the new champions. They seem to want a piece of them, but they shake their heads and head to the back. The Nasty Boys join Eric Bischoff after, and if The Blue Bloods want an opportunity, they’re going to get one.
- EA’s Take: Very good opening match between two teams who are no strangers. The story of Knobs escaping from the back after being kayfabe injured was a nice touch and it popped the crowd when he came rushing down. I continue to respect Sherri’s bumping as a valet. The introduction of The Blue Bloods (Regal and Eaton) will help a pretty thin tag team division.
Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund is joined by Kevin Sullivan. He’ll be facing the man formerly known as The Butcher. He told him not to show up, and he hasn’t slept in the last 5 days. The problem is that ‘The Man With No Name’ still believes in Hulkamania, and he heads for the ring after some deranged musings.
Match #2: Kevin Sullivan vs. The Man With No Name
A brawl breaks out immediately, and a big knee lift sends Sullivan to the floor. TMWNN follows him immediately and continues his assault. Back in the ring, a countoff series of rights is delivered to Sullivan and he gets his eyes rakes. Uppercut by TMWNN and Sullivan eats turnbuckle. A whip to the ropes and TMWNN locks in a sleeper, Sullivan drops to the mat to reverse it and dumps him to the floor. TMWNN hits the steel and they exchange chops. Sullivan is rolled back into the ring, TMWNN takes position in the corner with a splash. Sullivan has a knee driven his neck and gets an eye rake, but he fights back with chops.
It only wakes up TMWNN and he fires back with rights. A big chop between the eyes knocks Sullivan down and he gets a two count. TMWNN sets up for and hits a piledriver. TMWNN is slow to cover and Sullivan barely escapes. He pursues but Sullivan goes to the eyes. TMWNN is smashed into the turnbuckle and dumped outside for a shot on the ring post. Sullivan rakes his back and rolls him back in. TMWNN blocks a chop and fires back. To the ropes they go, TMWNN hits a big lariat. He tries a running splash, but Sullivan moves out of the way. Sullivan sets him up for the tree of woe and he hits a running knee. Double stomp by Sullivan and we have a winner.
Winner: Kevin Sullivan (Devil Stomp)
- After The Bell: A strange voice starts yelling and an image of a creepy man appears on the big screen. He summons Sullivan, but Kevin bails out through the crowd.
- EA’s Take: How many monikers has the man best known as Brutus Beefcake had? Clearly the post-match is planting the seeds for the proper Dungeon of Doom and things are about to get even MORE weird. Hard to imagine after Uncensored, eh?
Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene is joined by WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan, ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage & Jimmy Hart. They were late showing up tonight because Macho Man was dog paddling from the beach, his dad Angelo was doing the backstroke, and he wishes that he ran into Vader and Flair in the parking lot. With all the power on their side, there is no way they’re making it out alive. Savage says the monster maniacs will not be denied, nothing is raining on their parade. Whatcha gonna do? Ooohhh Yea!
Match #3: Dick Murdoch vs. Wahoo McDaniel
Gordon Solie has joined commentary for this legends match. Both men measure and lock up, McDaniel takes position in the corner and it’s a messy break. Another collar and elbow, McDaniel with an arm drag. A third tie up and McDaniel scores another arm drag. Murdoch blocks a strike and drops an elbow on the head. Murdoch charges into the midsection on McDaniel and grabs a wristlock. McDaniel fires back with a slap across the face and Murdoch falls on the canvass. Collar and elbow tie up, Murdoch hits some knee lifts and a big elbow. McDaniels fights back and chops Murdoch between the eyes. McDaniels gets the top wristlock, he takes position in the corner and the ref calls for a break.
Murdoch doesn’t oblige, he hits some short range rights but McDaniels strikes back and Murdoch falls to the mat. Murdoch’s head hits the turnbuckle multiple times and he eats another chop. Murdoch almost buckles but he hits some knees and stomps. Murdoch bails to the floor and lays an elbow across McDaniel’s throat on the apron. Irish whip by Murdoch, he climbs to the top rope and he hits a modified bulldog. McDaniels is sent for the ride, he eats a back elbow and an elbow drop for a two count. Big elbows across McDaniel’s forehead. Wahoo reverses a whip to the ropes, hits a backhand chop across Murdoch’s throat and that’s good for 3.
Winner: Wahoo McDaniel (Backhand Chop)
- EA’s Take: I get the whole legends thing, but broadcasting the match in black and white was a little cheesy, in my opinion. I love Solie’s voice, though. Due to both men’s age and old style, this match was obviously slow. I fear the modern crowd with their boring chants and ability to get more fired up by beachballs wouldn’t give legends like this the respect they should get if WWE did something like this now.
Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene is joined at this time by Big Bubba Rogers. He recognizes that Sting is one of the best wrestlers in the world today, but he is one of the few who has a pinfall victory over him. What people don’t know is that when the referee counted 1-2-3, he knows the faith in him disappeared. He plans to do it again because he’s big enough, bad enough, and because he can.
Match #4 for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship: ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Paul Orndorff vs. IWGP Heavyweight Champion The Great Muta
The “Paula” chants inevitably come out and Mr. Wonderful takes it out by yelling at Nick Patrick. The official blows right back up to him and let’s him know who is in charge. Muta backs him up swinging with some kicks, Orndorff wants space. Collar and elbow tie up, they reverse wristlocks and Muta takes advantage. Drop toe hold by Orndorff but he can’t grab a headlock, Muta reversing with a hammerlock by Orndorff is on the ropes. Muta motions that he’s going to kill him and Orndorff tells him where to stick it. Collar and elbow, chain wrestling with Orndorff into a hammerlock. Muta flips out with a single leg and a stomp and both men back up and feel each other out.
Collar and elbow, side headlock by Muta, they hit the ropes and Muta hits a shoulder tackle. He ducks a clothesline and hits a spin kick, Orndorff rolls out. Muta teases a leap from the top rope but Mr. Wonderful sees him and walks away. Collar and elbow hookup, Muta with the side headlock and a takeover. Orndorff counters with a roll up, Muta kicks out and gets back in control. Orndorff escapes and wrestles his way into a hammerlock. He drives the knees into Muta’s shoulder and really cranks the arm. Back to vertical, it’s knee lifts and rights from Orndorff. Muta is on the receiving end of a short clothesline but Muta moves away from an elbow drop, scores with a dropkick, a snapmare, and a theatrical elbow drop.
Another snapmare and Muta goes into a reverse chin lock. Orndorff works back to vertical, tries a reversal but it’s quickly countered by Muta with a head scissor. Orndorff rolls to his knees, Muta tries cranking back and he strikes Wonderful in the eyes. Desperation belly to back suplex by Orndorff and he’s slow to get up. Stomps to the back of the head by Orndorff and he dumps Muta to the floor. He follows and chokes the IWGP champ with a camera chord. He returns to the ring and poses as the crowd boos. He pulls Muta back to the apron and hits a vertical suplex. He comes in with an elbow drop and cranks on Muta’s chin.
He keeps the knee at the top of the back for leverage. The crowd gets behind Muta as he works his way to his feet. He hits some body shots, breaks the hold and knocks Orndorff down with rights. To the ropes, Muta tries a dropkick but Orndorff puts on the brakes. Wonderful drops an elbow across the back and tries a front facelock. They’re on their feet, Orndorff hanging on. Muta counters by lifting with an inverted atompic drop. Short clothesline by Muta, he heads for the 2nd rope and drops an elbow but Orndorff moves. Wonderful hits some forearms and drives Muta’s head into the mat.
Vicious kicks by Orndorff and he hits a snapmare before driving a fist between the eyes, Muta kicks out at two. Orndorff wants a piledriver but it’s reversed with a backdrop. They exchange rights before Muta hits a spin kick. Big back elbow in the corner by Muta and he follows with a bulldog. Muta with a lateral press and Orndorff kicks out. Shoulder block by Muta and he follows with a side breaker. Muta scores with a moonsault from the top rope and he retains the title.
Winner and STILL IWGP Heavyweight Champion: The Great Muta (Moonsault)
- EA’s Take: Great to see Muta again. He’s a guy who deserves to go in the Hall of Fame, but I’m not sure if or when that will happen due to his lack of WWE ties. Just a solid, smart match by two pros here. You had to know the New Japan champion was retaining, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. You also will get a new appreciation for Orndorff through all of these Chairshot Classics as well, as unfortunately he’s almost remembered more for his injury and weak arm than anything else.
Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene gets a word with WCW World Television Champion Arn Anderson, ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair & Vader. What The Enforcer is going to do tonight is going to show Alex Wright why people his age call him Mr. Anderson. Flair is already planning to celebrate his and Vader’s victory, Hogan and Savage have run roughshod long enough. When Hogan looks at Vader, he’s looking at the most powerful wrestler in the world today. He can run, but he can’t hide because it’s Vader time.
Match #5 for the WCW World Television Championship: ‘Das Wunderkind’ Alex Wright vs. WCW World Television Champion ‘The Enforcer’ Arn Anderson
Collar and elbow tie up, they jockey for position and Wright hits an arm drag. They lock up, Wright grabs the headlock, Anderson throws him to the ropes but he puts on the brakes and drops down to re-grab the headlock on the mat. Back to vertical, they hit the ropes again, Wright confuses Anderson by flipping around, hits a drop kick and goes back to the headlock. Anderson tries countering with a roll up but Das Wunderkind stays in control. Back to their feet, Anderson powers into position on the ropes and drives his shoulder again.
Wright reverses a whip, Anderson catches the boot but Wright hits an enzigure. Back to the mat with the headlock and he cranks away. Left hand body shots by The Enforcer, he grabs the leg but Wright hits a backflip and a dropkick. European uppercut and a side headlock takeover by the kid and he hangs on. Back to vertical, Anderson lifts the knee and lays in a punch. He sends Wright for the ride, Wunderkind grabs a boot, Anderson tries an enzigure but misses and Wright moves into complex crossface submission. Anderson pulls himself to the ropes to break the hold and he bails out for some regroup. He takes too long and Wright hits him with a baseball slide before flying over the top rope with a crossbody.
He fires in some rights, Enforcer fights back but Wright makes him eat the ring post. Back in the ring, Wright tries hyperextending the arm and he works down to the mat for some submission work. With leverage, Wright drives his knees into Anderson’s arm. Up to their feet, Anderson is trapped in a hammerlock but breaks it with an elbow to the side of the head. Some kicks and a headbutt by Arn before dragging Wright’s eyes across the top rope. Wunderkind fights back with European uppercuts. Anderson misses with an atomic drop, but the vintage spinebuster is on point. Double ax handle by Anderson and he stomps away before slingshotting Wright into the bottom rope.
Blatant choke by The Enforcer and the ref has to call for a break. He uses the ropes for leverage to drop the boot across Wright’s throat. Anderson cranks with a wrist lock and works over the shoulder. Single leg sweep by Anderson, he appears to try a Figure Four but Wright boots him away. From the 2nd rope, Wright counters with a right to the midsection. Snap suplex by Wright and he heads for the top. He leaps with missile dropkick and Double A is forced to kick out. They hit the ropes, Anderson grabs a front facelock and they exchange inside cradles. On their feet, Anderson pokes the eyes, Irish whip but Anderson runs into elbows. Wright ducks a punch, but Anderson takes advantage of the positioning and scores a DDT out of nowhere to retain his belt.
Winner and STILL WCW World Television Champion: ‘The Enforcer’ Arn Anderson (DDT)
- EA’s Take: I was looking forward to this one as soon as I did the template. It’s also the first time I remember hearing the Arn music, later adapted in general 4 Horsemen matches. I love how many clean finishes there are in this show so far. As Scott Hall has explained, that’s ‘Curt Hennig Booking — if you’re going to make someone, make them and take their finish”.
Chairshot Classics: WWF Royal Rumble ’90 – Every Man For Himself
Our road to the 2019 Royal Rumble continues with a look back at one from the past!
It’s the third annual Royal Rumble, for the first time ever the January WWF tradition would play a major part in the buildup to WrestleMania. The concept of giving the Royal Rumble winner a title shot at WrestleMania hadn’t been introduced yet. However, this would mark the first time the Rumble match would be used to advance and begin feuds heading into the big event, thus you could call this show the inaugural Road To WrestleMania! It’s every man for himself in the Royal Rumble, so let’s head back to the Orlando Arena in 1990….
Open: Vince McMahon voices over a video running down tonight’s Royal Rumble participants, in addition to the great singles matches we have tonight.
Match #1: The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers (Jacques & Raymond) w/’Mouth Of The South’ Jimmy Hart vs. The Bushwhackers (Luke & Butch)
Butch & Raymond will kick off the action, Raymond offers a handshake, then goes to the midsection with a boot and delivers right hands. Jimmy Hart jumps on the apron to distract the ref, Jacques hops in the ring for a double team, but Luke comes in to thwart the attempt. Butch shoots Raymond into the ropes, Raymond grabs a sleeper, Butch driving him into the turnbuckle to break it and biting him on the backside. Butch bites the ref now, Jacques comes in after him and Luke follows suit, delivering a double clothesline to Raymond. The Bushwhackers go for the Battering Ram on Jacques, he rolls outside to avoid it and The Rougeaus have a pow-wow with Jimmy on the outside.
Order is restored, Jacques takes the ring as Luke tags in, Jacques with right hands and some words for the crowd. Luke fires back with lefts and rights, biting Jacques on the bridge of the nose. Jacques reverses a whip into the ropes, leapfrogs over, Luke hangs on, Jacques taunting him and Luke charges, missing Jacques with a clothesline, but hitting Raymond on the apron. Butch comes in from behind Jacques, drops him with a clothesline and The Rougeaus convene with Jimmy on the floor again. Jacques taunts Butch on the apron, drawing the referee’s attention, Raymond clobbers Luke from behind and Jacques takes the advantage.
He drives Luke into the corner, goads Butch into the ring again, allowing Raymond to choke Luke with the tag rope. Jacques covers for a count of 2, tags in Raymond and he connects with a savat kick for another 2 count. Raymond unloads right hands to the breadbasket, sends Luke into the corner with a hard irish whip, then dumps him on the outside and distracts the ref. Jacques hops off the apron, sends Luke spine-first into the ring apron, prompting Butch to march after Jimmy on the outside. Luke rolls back inside, Raymond gets a 2 count, Luke with more biting of the leg and Jacques steps in to stop it. Raymond with a shot to Butch on the apron, preventing the tag, more double teaming from The Rougeaus and Raymond gets another count of 2.
Jacques back in, hits a jumping back elbow out of the ropes, then kips up to a chorus of boos. Quick tags from The Rougeaus, driving Luke back-first into the turnbuckles multiple times, again Butch steps in and distracts the ref, allowing The Rougeaus to press Luke and drop him throat-first across the top rope. Raymond snapmares Luke over, grabs a rear chinlock, Luke fights to his feet, biting the nose to break the hold. Jacques gets the tag and drops Butch off the apron again, puts Luke in the wrong part of town and locks in an abdominal stretch. Raymond offers a hand for leverage from the apron, tags in and fires a right hand to the breadbasket before going back to a chinlock.
Tag back to Jacques, Raymond slams Luke and Jacques looks to follow with a splash, but Luke gets the knees up. Butch gets the tag, unloads with lefts and rights, shoots Jacques into the ropes and buries a right hand to the midsection. Raymond steps in and immediately gets dropped, Butch with a knee lift for Jacques, covers, then bails out to go back after Raymond. Butch with a flurry of lefts and rights, all 4 men in the ring now, they pair off in opposite corners and The Bushwhackers whip The Rougeaus into one another. They set for the Battering Ram, Jimmy Hart grabs Luke’s leg, Butch lays Raymond out with a clothesline and Luke gets ahold of Jimmy.
They go for a wishbone split on the Mouth Of The South, The Rougeaus slide in with double dropkicks, Jacques with a schoolboy on Butch and he gets a 2 count. Raymond puts Butch in a Boston crab, Jacques hits the ropes and Luke trips him from the outside. Raymond breaks the hold, checks on Jacques and The Bushwhackers hit them from behind with the Battering Ram, Butch covering Jacques and getting the count of 3.
Winners: The Bushwhackers (Butch/Battering Ram)
- EA’s Take: Lots of sloppy shenanigans as is generally the case with The Bushwhackers, but a fairly entertaining match only because of the characters involved. The crowd was hot for The Bushwhackers, which I remember them being over when I was a kid, but not THAT over. This would mark the finale of their almost year-long feud with The Rougeaus, after defeating them now 4 consecutive times on PPV/TV. Raymond’s time was winding down quickly and would ultimately come to an end a little later in the year.
Backstage: Joining Gene Okerlund is ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase with his bodyguard, Virgil. DiBiase doesn’t look very happy, as there was added security this year when it came to drawing entry numbers in the Royal Rumble. Last year, DiBiase paid somebody off for a better number and that wasn’t going to be allowed this year. MDM shows Okerlund his number, which is #1. DiBiase just says that means he’ll be the first man in the ring and the last to leave.
Match #2: The Genius vs. Brutus ‘The Barber’ Beefcake
Brutus stalks The Genius, backing him into the corner and Genius hops to the outside to get away. Back inside they lock-up, Beefcake backs Genius into the corner and we get a clean break. The Barber mocks The Genius, Genius with a front handspring and they taunt each other. They tie-up again, Brutus backs Genius into the corner and gets his eyes raked. The Genius takes control with heavy right hands, goes back to the eyes and chokes The Barber in the corner. Beefcake powers out and hits The Genius with an inverted atomic drop, Genius taking a time-out on the floor.
He regroups and flips back into the ring, they tie-up once again and Genius goes back to the eyes, delivering right hands and driving Beefcake into the top turnbuckle. He shoots Brutus into the corner, charges in for a dropkick and The Barber avoids it. They lock knuckles in a test of strength, Beefcake with the clear power edge brings The Genius to his knees and drops an elbow on his head. Genius tries to bail out over the top, Brutus stops him and he gets crotched on the top rope, jumping to the outside again to take a walk. He climbs back inside, they lock-up and Genius backs Beefcake into the corner, driving shoulders to the midsection and delivering a flurry of boots. He sends Brutus into the ropes, ducks his head and The Barber with a kick.
Genius fires out of the corner with a kick, shoots Beefcake back into the ropes and scores with a dropkick for a count of 2. Genius with more right hands and a rake of the eyes, gets a schoolboy for a 2 count, then slams Brutus and climbs to the 2nd rope. Beefcake buries a right hand to the breadbasket, catching The Genius coming down, sends him into the ropes for another right hand to the midsection. The Barber slams Genius, whip into the ropes and he locks in the Sleeper Hold. The Genius reverses, grabs a side headlock, Beefcake pushes him off and the referee gets knocked to the floor.
More stiff right hands from Genius, Brutus reverses an irish whip and gets him in the Sleeper Hold again, The Genius fades out. Brutus motions for his scissors, grabbing them at the timekeeper’s table and then cutting Genius’s hair. Mr. Perfect hits the ring and unloads on Beefcake, plants him with a PerfectPlex and the bell rings.
Winner: Double Disqualification
- After The Bell: Perfect grabs a chair, The Genius holds Brutus up and Perfect drives the edge of the chair to the breadbasket, then delivers another shot before a bevy of refs get involved.
- EA’s Take: I had completely forgotten just how flamboyant The Genius was, that character was very light in the feet. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. The Genius is the younger brother of Randy Savage, but was more known for his promos that were poems than his in-ring work. He wrestled sparingly and would gain his most notoriety after being paired with Mr. Perfect as his ‘executive consultant’ and occasional tag partner. Beefcake and Perfect’s rivalry would lead them into WrestleMania.
Backstage: Sean Mooney is standing by with Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan, Haku, ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude & Andre The Giant as they get ready for the Royal Rumble. Heenan tells Mooney it’s not every man for himself, but every family for themselves. Mooney wonders what happens if Rude & Haku are the last two left, Rude saying he’ll do what he has to do to win. The Brain tries to argue with them that they need to stick together, but they can’t seem to get on the same page.
Match #3 is a Submission Match: Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine w/’Mouth Of The South’ Jimmy Hart vs. ‘Rugged’ Ronnie Garvin
Valentine leaves the ring at the bell, complaining to the ref about Garvin’s shin guard, then having words with Jimmy Hart. Rugged Ronnie jumps him from behind, firing away with right hands and rolling The Hammer back inside. Valentine tries to beg off, but Garvin’s not having any of it, dropping The Hammer with chops. He drives Valentine’s head into the top turnbuckle, The Hammer turns the tables and serves a plate of chops of his own. They exchange shots, Garvin connects with a big right hand and Valentine slides to the outside to grab a breather.
Back in the ring now, Rugged Ronnie with more punches, tries to pick the leg and The Hammer prevents it, drops elbows until Garvin rolls away from one. Valentine drops a headbutt to the breadbasket, scores with left hand jabs, Rugged Ronnie fights his way out of the corner, hits a headbutt and both men drop to the canvas. Garvin recovers first, sets for a piledriver, Valentine flips him out of it, Rugged Ronnie hanging on for a sunset flip, but this is a submission match. Collar & elbow tie-up, The Hammer backs Garvin into the corner, unleashes a flurry of chops, Rugged Ronnie pushes Valentine into the ropes and collide heads. Valentine looks for the Figure Four, Garvin kicks him off into the turnbuckle and gets a schoolboy, but again there are no pinfalls.
The Hammer comes right back with a back elbow that drops Rugged Ronnie, locks in the Figure Four and it has no affect due to Garvin’s shinguard. Valentine immediately goes back to the chops, elevates Garvin in a modified torture rack, releases and attempts the Figure Four again, getting kicked off and going into a choke. Garvin gains his footing, connects with lefts and rights in the corner, takes Valentine down with a drop toehold and goes into an indian deathlock. The Hammer gets to the bottom rope to force the break, rolls out to the floor and regroups with Jimmy Hart. Valentine drags Rugged Ronnie to the outside, they exchange chops, Garvin sets for a piledriver and again The Hammer flips Garvin over.
Back inside, Valentine drives his shoulder into the midsection in the corner, Garvin reverses a whip across, follows in and gets caught up in the tree of woe. The Hammer delivers punishment as the ref untangles Rugged Ronnie, grabs a headlock, gets pushed into the ropes and they collide heads again. Jimmy Hart removes Garvin’s shinguard, Valentine with a backbreaker and goes back to the Figure Four. Rugged Ronnie battles through the pain, rolls over to counter and Valentine flips back over, grabbing the ropes for leverage. The ref forces him to break, The Hammer going right to work on the damaged knee. Valentine goes for the Figure Four again, Rugged Ronnie counters into a small package to avoid it, but immediately gets dropped by a Valentine right hand.
The Hammer heads to the top, Garvin sees it coming, hopping on one leg and slamming Valentine to the mat. Rugged Ronnie removes The Hammer’s shinguard now, Valentine with a schoolboy, but they didn’t get the memo that this is a submission match. The Hammer shoots Garvin into the ropes, Rugged Ronnie ducks a clothesline, lays in a right hand and ties Valentine up in the ropes. He gets The Hammer’s shinguard, Jimmy Hart to the apron to break Valentine loose, Rugged Ronnie grabs him and brings him into the ring the hard way. Garvin stalks Jimmy with the shinguard, The Hammer comes up from behind with Garvin’s shinguard, Rugged Ronnie turns around and decks Valentine with it, locking in a sharpshooter and Valentine submits.
Winner: ‘Rugged’ Ronnie Garvin (Sharpshooter)
- EA’s Take: The big blow-off to this long-running rivalry fell flat, in my opinion. This seemed like more of a boxing match with countless amounts of punches being thrown. The idea of guys going for numerous pin attempts in a submission match is a bit absurd in and of itself also. This would mark the end for Garvin’s WWF run and essentially his career, after setting up a feud with Rick Martel to follow, nothing ever came of it and Rugged Ronnie would only work indies on a semi-retired basis. The Hammer’s days of being a singles star were numbered as well, forming an alliance with another of Jimmy Hart’s clients The Honky Tonk Man.