Thursday, January 6, 2011

Scott Watches WrestleWar '90: Wild Thing

Hey, homeboy. Gather around.



February 25, 1990 from the one-time home of Jim Crockett Promotions, the Greensboro Coliseum. Terry Funk is back in the booth with Jim Ross, and I'd rather take a dump on myself than listen to Terry Funk the shill any more. BREAKING NEWS: Danny Spivey is injured. Holy shit, Funk is so bad.

Backstage, Gordon is with Sugar Ray Long. Another wrestler will replace Spivey.

Buzz Sawyer & Kevin Sullivan v. The Dynamic Dudes

You have got to be kidding me. The Dudes aren't gone yet? Oddly, despite my fairly irrational hatred of Kevbo, a Sullivan/Sawyer team is something I can get behind. That makes sense to me. One legit weirdo and a guy who acts like one. The Dudes get little reaction, but Ross tells me it's a big ovation anyway, because why not just lie? I can't hear. Johnny Ace is such a cornball motherfucker. Sullivan and Douglas have an exchange of sorts. These teams couldn't have less chemistry if they were sandbagging each other the whole way. With the match dying, Buzz decides to pick it up with a bearhug on Douglas. So we're stuck here waiting for the lukewarm tag to Johnny Ace that nobody is going to give a fuck about. These are the sort of matches that make me wonder why I'm watching this shit. These matches that are neither good nor horrible, flat boring ass wastes of my time when I could be doing almost anything else. I coulda been at a barbecue. So what the fuck is my problem? What am I doing? I hope this is a winter phase. I hope I can get this all done before winter is out. But I can't. I do other things, too. Other stupid bullshit. Sometimes I get real drunk and then my wife spends the next eternity reminding me of stupid shit I did when I was drunk, like I wasn't there, but I guess I sort of wasn't. And since the plan is to go through all the big WCW cards from Clash of the Champions I onward, and I'm only getting 1990 underway, with 11 years left to fucking go, it won't be winter when this is over. I'll be watching SuperBrawl V with the window open welcoming spring. Buzz pins Johnny and nobody gives a shit. Fuck this.

Backstage, Norman is smart enough to fool Missy Hyatt into giving him a hug and a kiss. But not two kisses. Boy, Missy is just a great actress. I mean she was out of this world.

Cactus Jack Manson v. Norman

"He's got the head of a buffalo and the body of Roseanne." GOOD ONE, FUNKER. There are few rasslers I like more than Mick Foley until about 1998, after which he was hit-or-miss, but I did like the 2000 Cactus Jack run a lot. Now he's another sad oldster wobbling around the Heroes of Wrestling tribute that is TNA, with everyone who isn't old playing the role of 2 Cold Scorpio or Julio Dinero. With the match dying, Norman decides to pick it up with a bearhug. Well this sucks, too. Great start to this show. Jack can only do so much at this point with a guy like Norman, and doesn't have the psychology of Sullivan, who got that artistic show of greatness out of Norman at Clash X. Cactus spends a lot of time in a chinlock. Funker warns children at home to "stay off that candy and you won't have them cavities." Norman eventually manages to pick Cactus up on his shoulders, then almost manages to actually leave both feet for a splash attempt. Jack with the running rope-assisted Mike Enos. The second time it doesn't land. Goddamn it, this is terrible. Jack tries a piledriver, gets backdropped and then sat on, so Norman wins. Great stuff. The ol' sit-on.

Backstage, Gordon Solie is with Jim Cornette and The Midnight Express, who have been MIA on the big shows since Clash IX. Thank God, but the next match literally cannot suck.

The Midnight Express v. The Rock n' Roll Express

Mixed reaction for the Midnights, but the Rock n' Rolls are way over, too. Greensboro is just happy to know they're getting a real fucking wrestling match finally, I suspect. After years of teaching a city what professional wrestling is, you can't very well give them Norman and the Dynamic Dudes. The Expresses get it going a bit, but then Cornette and the Nick Patrick get into it physically, which gets a huge reaction.

Shit, I'm just watching this thing. It's 1990 and the wheels are starting to come off of both of these great teams, but you stick them together in Greensboro and you can turn that clock back pretty damn good. Plus both teams are still terrific. The Rock n' Rolls keep the advantage for a bit in the early stages, then Eaton starts taking it to Morton, who fires back until they both hit the floor, with Lane running over to slam Morton, which is of course going to lead to the Midnights laying it in on Morton for a good long while. They use their quick tags and Ricky takes his beating like the king of kings that he is. If I were starting a wrestling promotion, which I'm not but let's just say I were a tycoonionaire and had money to waste on shit nobody wants to fucking see, I would not hire Ricky Morton and Bobby Eaton to wrestle, but I would hire them to teach seminars on how to tag team wrestle. It doesn't get any better than those two. Then I'd hire a bunch of hillbillies who still like rasslin' and have real wrestlers teach them how to work instead of farting around with the ROH guys. Not that I have anything against ROH, but those guys are technically veterans now and I don't think there's a whole lot you can tell dudes like that. Then I'd only run in the south and mid-south where hopefully nobody chants "This Guy" "That Guy" back and forth and nobody ever says "This Is Awesome." If a "This Is Awesome" chant started in my make believe promotion, I'd order the wrestlers to go into immediate extended chinlocks until it stopped.

Robert gets the tag and it's your usual Robert tag. That's an unappreciated dude. Even I don't give the sumbitch his due, really. Cornette cracks Gibson with the tennis racket as Gibson hits the ropes, but that doesn't end it, and Gibson rolls up Lane after Morton breaks up a flapjack attempt. About 20 minutes of tag team by God wrestling, and while this was hardly the best Midnights-RNRs match, it was goddamn good anyway.

Gordon Solie is with the Road Warriors. Tell 'em Hawk. Slept in alleys. 16 guys in the hospital. Paul just got back from Hong Kong.

Chicago Street Fight: The Road Warriors v. Mean Mark Callous & The Mystery Skyscraper

Mystery Skyscraper is Mike Enos. This is all four men dressed in their streets fighting it out. Mean Mark has his chaps on. Doom come to the ring dressed in tuxedos, which appears to be Teddy Long's Big Surprise. Mean Mark gets some offense in because this isn't his fault, and he's going to be a big star, this Mean Mark. Enos takes a beating, though. Hawk clotheslines Mark from the apron to the floor, which is pretty wild for the time. Enos winds up eating the pin, duhrr. Doom and Teddy Long look on from the entrance way. Teddy runs to the ring ring for no real reason, then is pressed out by Animal into Doom, and they catch him. Doom take off their jackets and get in the Road Warriors' face, which breaks down into a fight. Too bad this basically goes nowhere as the Road Warriors are leaving after the next PPV. And the Road Warriors are such class acts that they give Doom basically nothing, so Ron Simmons, like a man, just ignores that Animal has a weapon on his hand and fights back at him. As a heated brawl, this kind of works, but it probably would have been better if Doom weren't left running out with their tails between their legs like a couple of punks, since they've already been beaten over and over in big matches.

Ross and Funk yell at each other. Funk is screaming about the NWA, and Ross has to cut him off, and then Funk starts making ridiculous faces and stuff.

NWA United States Tag Team Title: Flyin' Brian & Z-Man (c) v. The Fabulous Freebirds

Back to "Badstreet USA" as theme music for the Birds. This is a rematch from the tournament finals. In the stupidest start to a match I've seen during this whole mission, the champs steal the Freebirds' jackets, and for some reason "Badstreet USA" plays again. The Birds are going to stall this out to start. Pillman and Zenk get a "Freebirds Suck" chant going. You know, I love Terry Funk, but I would give just about anything to get him the fuck out of here and have Bob Caudle back, because Funk is the shits in this job. He's a combination of the former athlete who thinks that saying "Well see when you're on the field" is enough to convince the listener and his EGGHEAD! broadcast partner, and the pro rassler who tries too hard. But Funk is funny when he compares his younger physique to that of Z-Man. And Funk really doesn't know if he's face or heel in this role, so he just does whatever works for the moment. The Freebirds are playing veterans to the champs' young go-getters and when that works, it works, but when it doesn't it just looks like a couple of old guys trying to drag someone down to their level. I can't tell what this is yet, but Hayes and Pillman are having a decent exchange in there. God do I fear getting Jimmy Jam in here because at this point he hasn't been good in two years and that was the ass end of his truly relevant run anyway. Z-Man being in goes without saying as something that sucks. I was talking before in one of these stupid things about Hayes looking at Lex Luger and seeing the type of wrestler that was phasing him out, instead of his old rivals the Von Erichs, guys he could understand even in intense hatred. And you have some more of that with Pillman and Zenk, though Pillman being a Student of the Game made him a little more accessible. But Zenk was somewhere between Pillman and Luger. A pretty boy, but not an overwhelming physical specimen like Luger, and not a guy who wanted to soak everything up like Pillman. Z-Man is the real evil. To battle this evil, Jimmy Jam puts him in an extended chinlock, often noting that Z-Man "ain't goin' nowhere, baby." Eventually, in a camel clutch of sorts, Pillman kicks Garvin, which allows Hayes to get in with no tag while the referee chases Pillman out of there. Babyface tag teams are such fucking idiots. I think that's a big reason that kids, as they get older, start cheering heels, or at least cool kids anyway. Heels are so much smarter. SO much smarter. Or at least they used to be. I don't know what the hell they do anymore besides reunite DX all the time as if DX were ever good, but I do think people have at least stopped saying that the WWF should do WarGames, so that's good. Funk and Ross have a bizarre conversation about Funk's breath and Alice Cooper.

This is not exactly the Express match from earlier. Thank God, but Pillman gets in there to save this match after the Z-Man sits in chinlocks for the better part of a fiscal quarter. Brian pins Garvin with a flying crossbody. Terry Funk is upset even though early in the show he picked the champs to retain. This was entirely too long and the Freebirds had no interest in putting forth any great effort to make it exciting.

Backstage, Missy Hyatt is with the Steiners. Rick's wearing a sign on his jacket that says STING'S REVENGE. Rick apparently stutters now. I guess he's run out of ways to be stupid, so he threw in a speech impediment.

NWA World Tag Team Title: The Steiner Brothers (c) v. Arn & Ole Anderson

Well Ole's only in this about ... you know, I was going to say five years too late, but at this point Ole's just overstayed his welcome overall. Compared to Ole, Arn is full of flash. God, if only this were Arn and Tully. Why ya gotta fail a drug test, Tully? WHY? WHY? You have forsaken me. I'm fairly terrified of watching Ole (and Arn, I love him, but come on) melt the Steiners down into their old work an arm bullshit. Maybe it won't happen. Maybe Rick will throw Ole on his ass. I don't know. Terry Funk is getting me into this before they ever lock up, though. LET'S DO THIS.

Goddamn it, Arn Anderson stooges better than anyone ever. He was imposing and a great chickenshit at the same time. Arn and Ole get sent packing early on, and the Steiners are red hot. Well, shut my mouth, this is a real good match and Ole doesn't harm a damn thing. In fact, Ole's up and with it for this one. The Steiners win to retain the belts, but the Andersons go after Scott after the match in true Horsemen fashion. MORE OLE!

Earlier today, Gordon talked with Lex Luger, who is challenging Ric Flair tonight. Luger is a boring babyface. JR and Funk talk. Funk is going with Flair because he's being a heel for a minute. Gordon is with Flair and Woman. Flair is good at promos.

Gary introduces Sting as a special observer, and Sting comes out on crutches. Gary's introduction is so cheesy.

NWA World Heavyweight Title: Ric Flair (c) v. Lex Luger

These two met at Great American Bash '88 and Flair got the cheap win. These two met at Starrcade '88 and Flair got the cheap win.

And this is right about as good as those '88 matches, which is to say it's goddamn terrific and maybe even what you might call great, but I'm pretty certain along the way here I've made clear my massive preference of heel Luger over babyface Luger, because babyface Luger spends a lot of time going OHHAWWWH. AAWHHH. AOOHWW. Heel Luger spends time being a motherfucker, like the cross between Hogan and Flair. Big and muscular and a huge pansy on the defensive, having great matches with all kinds of fools.

Well into this one -- which Funk is incredibly obnoxious throughout, for the record -- Flair drops Luger with a reverse atomic drop, which misses by a good foot and Luger sells anyway, so they have to say it got him in the back of the leg, and to Luger's credit, he's acting like that's the case. Flair heads up and hits the flying hammer punch. There's just some sort of difference in the air when Luger's heel. He bumps around big as a heel and sells like shit as a babyface, and his dramatic rallies of offense suck, too. The guy looks and acts smug, and it's hard to get behind him. Hogan had it down -- he'd crawl up King Kong Bundy's crotch looking like a pathetic, bald old man who needed some sort of miracle to get back into things, even though you knew he was going to win. Luger just doesn't have that sort of ability to look sad. It's not in his wiring.

But Flair can deal with limited guys, and Luger is a lot better than a lot of assholes Flair had to make look worthy. So, again, this is really damn good. Flair gets to work on the knee and locks the figure four as we start winding this down. So Sting was watching this in the back, and he comes down. This despite the fact that he hobbled out here earlier. Sting is trying to encourage Luger by standing and yelling things and wearing sunglasses inside. "Sting is extorting Luger on." Uh, alright. Every step of the way Flair is smarter than Luger, but Luger Hulks up, so I guess he has been watching his Hogan matches. Luger gets the military press slam and eventually puts it all together long enough to get the superplex and rack. Now Ole and Arn come out to ringside to threaten Sting -- which leaves Luger, racking Flair, in the position of either letting Flair go and saving Sting, or waiting until he breaks Flair's back. So Luger goes and saves Sting, even though two weeks ago Luger couldn't have given a fuck less about Sting, and he gets counted out. So Flair gets the cheap win at WrestleWar '90. And the Horsemen do a number on Luger. Poor Lex Luger. Poor, stupid, stupid Lex Luger.

2 comments:

  1. Just discovered this site, and I am digging the NWA reviews so far. Great memories...though I'd say I like the NWA and WWF for what they are equally. Don't watch much current stuff outside of indies though.

    P.S. loved what you put at the start of the Miami Mayhem review!

    P.P.S. any chance of going back to 1987-before?

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  2. I'm sure I'll backtrack someday.

    ReplyDelete