Through the Years: NWA Matches & Angles from Capital Combat 1990 to Great American Bash 1990

Capital Combat is in the books, Ole Anderson is the booker…and a lot of shit is about to change. Some, like bringing in Stan Hansen, was certainly for the better. Bringing in Junkyard Dog and some of the other guys? A whole lot worse. A lack of footage may come into play here and in my next assorted article. If that happens, it happens. Not a lot I can do about it. I am excited to see this stuff though, I never have before.


– Taped to air May 25th, 1990, on the Power Hour, from the Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana


Bam Bam Bigelow (w/Oliver Humperdink) vs. Brian Pillman

Pre-Match Thoughts: This is a match out of bizarro world. No idea what to expect, as Bigelow wasn’t yet as polished as he was when he went back to the WWF. Hopefully he looks more refined than in some of the other stuff I’ve seen him do. The big vs. little formula may work well here.

Match Review: These two lock up, and Pillman gets thrown across the ring a few times. Bigelow misses a charge to the corner, and Pillman lands some punches that didn’t do much. Pillman goes for a leg trip, but Bigelow stops him and beats him up, leading to him catching a cross body attempt and giving Pillman an inverted atomic drop. Pillman then leaps over a Bigelow charge, dropkicks him, and beats him up in the corner until Bigelow comes out with another inverted atomic drop. Bigelow goes to a chinlock, and follows that with a big flapjack. A headbutt gets 2, then Humperdink starts choking the poor young man. Bigelow rams Pillman into the buckle, and misses a charge to the corner once again. Pillman dropkicks Bigelow, then throws him over the top, but Pillman skinned the cat to get back in. He flew in and Bigelow caught him, then Bigelow throws him over the top again, this time getting a DQ at 6:49. Pillman flies back in with a missile dropkick, and beats up Bigelow as my video cuts out.

My Thoughts: This was fun, but I wish they had a longer match. If they ever did, I don’t know of it. Bigelow did look quite a bit better, while I don’t think he was ever great, he was good at the very least. I will watch a lot more of his stuff to come, so maybe I’ll change my mind. Bigelow certainly didn’t stick around long, by the way. He was gone just a few months after this. **.


– Taped to air May 26th, 1990, on World Championship Wrestling, from Georgia Mountains Center in Gainesville, Georgia


Rocky King has a surprise for Ric Flair!


This segment is a little infamous. I’ve seen it and the accompanying promos before. I don’t really know why this was ever any sort of surprise. In the video I linked, Ric Flair and Ole Anderson walked out there and said they don’t even talk to guys like Rocky King. Hm. Rocky King was supposed to face Cactus Jack, but there was never any chance of that going down. Ole and Flair ran out there, kicked Cactus out of the ring, and had some things to say to Rocky. Flair called him “boy,” that wasn’t cool. Eventually, THE JUNKYARD DOG comes down to the ring. Why is this a surprise? He said he’d do this at Capital Combat. First Flair popped Rocky, then JYD hits Flair and Ole to the point of knocking them out of the ring. The crowd went crazy for this, that’s how much they hate the Horsemen I guess. So, we have our Clash 11 main event. Flair vs. JYD. Haha. There was other stuff that happened too, but I can’t find it nor do I really want to. They had to bring Thunderbolt Patterson in for one of these type of surprises because he threatened to have the CNN offices picketed if he wasn’t given a job.


– Taped to air June 2nd, 1990, on World Championship Wrestling, from Georgia Mountains Center in Gainesville, Georgia


Arn Anderson (NWA TV Champion) & Barry Windham (w/Sid Vicious) vs. The Road Warriors (w/Paul Ellering)

Pre-Match Thoughts: Well, this is an awesome match for television. Nothing less. If it delivers to any degree, this should be a fun watch. The Road Warriors were out and on their way to the WWF after this taping, so I wonder whether or not they had to put the Horsemen over on their way. We shall see! I would have loved to be in the crowd for this event.

Match Review: Sid seems to have something in his tuxedo. Who knows what. Arn and Hawk will start the match, and Arn pops Animal in the mouth to start it off. He then ducks out of the ring to avoid a clothesline from Hawk, so Animal picks him up and puts him back in. Windham runs in and Hawk powerslams him, so the Horsemen will have to regroup. When they do, Windham gets in there and Animal tags in as well. Arn knees Animal in the back as he’s running, and Windham suplexes Animal. Animal pops up, and gives Windham a gorilla press slam, so Windham shouldn’t have been celebrating. Animal suplexes Windham in from the apron for 2, and Arn makes a tag in. Animal uses an atomic drop on him, then puts Arn in a bear hug until Windham rushes in to break it. Windham tags back in, and gives Animal a back suplex. He powerslams Animal as well for 2, then Arn makes a switch in. Double A stomps away, but gets thrown into his partner’s knee. Windham tags in to cut Animal off from tagging, then drops Animal throat-first on the top rope. Animal headbutts Windham, then clotheslines him. Can he make the tag? No. Windham slams Animal, and heads up top for the first time. Animal gets up and slams him down, then they collide with each other when they both get up. Sid is really funny outside the ring, by the way. Windham goes for a suplex, but it gets blocked and Animal gives him one. Animal finally makes the tag, and Hawk comes in with clotheslines for both guys. The crowd is on fire for this. He gives Windham a neckbreaker, then dropkicks him for 2. Arn breaks the cover, and Sid makes his way in, perhaps a bit too early, leading to a DQ after 8 minutes of action. Hawk misses a charge to the corner, and Ole’s out there telling Sid he messed up. Wait a second, this is a total catastrophe. Hawk had missed a charge to the corner and was being pinned as Arn was holding Hawk’s leg, and now they’re covering for it calling it a DQ. Oh god, it really wasn’t though. Animal went for a slam, and Arn tripped him, so Windham fell on top for another count that got 2. SID, WHAT DID YOU DO? All four guys are fighting again, and now Sid runs in for what should have been the DQ. Oh man, what a joke. As the Horsemen beat down the Road Warriors, HERE COMES PAUL ORNDORFF, JUNKYARD DOG, AND STING TO CLEAR THE RING.

My Thoughts: This was so strange, they bungled the finish to a ridiculous degree. The match was pretty good until then. Everyone was working really hard, then Sid ran in there to ruin it all far too early. I don’t think Ole was supposed to be out there for a while either, but he had to come out there to fix what had happened. What a trainwreck. I would give this **1/4 now, but it’s bordering on the impossible to rate. Funny stuff.


– Taped to air June 9th, 1990, on NWA Main Event


The Z-Man & Brian Pillman vs. The Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette) for the NWA United States Tag Team Championships

Pre-Match Thoughts: I believe this is Pillman and Zenk’s last shot. That’s too bad, as that also signifies Pillman being moved back down the card. The Midnight Express being back up the card is good, though. You can’t get everything you want. Also, the Midnight Express getting pushed was something I would have wanted more. That’s the way it is. Lance Russell is on commentary for this and I generally enjoy what he has to say.

Match Review: Lane gets in the ring and Pillman rolls him up for 2, I do believe that Lane was trying to hit Pillman with his title belt as well. That was interesting. Things normalize after some Midnight Express stalling, and Lane locks up with Zenk, who hip tosses him. Lane tries his own, but gets hip tossed once again. Cornette teases joining the fight, but he doesn’t, and it’s back to wrestling. Zenk bodyslams Lane, and did I mention that they still call him the Z-Man? Never Zenk. That’s so dumb. Pillman tags in, and gives Lane an atomic drop to send him to the outside. Lane gets back in, misses an elbow, and accidentally hits his partner while doing so. Oh no. Eaton tags in anyway, and Pillman takes him down with an arm drag. Pillman then flips out of a back suplex, and takes Eaton over with a victory roll for 1. That was impressive, but the crowd didn’t really pick up on it. Lane tags in and Pillman arm drags him, but Lane makes it back to his feet, only to be kicked out of the ring. He comes back in with a right hand, tags out, and Pillman goes back to the arm with another arm drag. Eaton pokes the eye and goes for a suplex, which Pillman flips out of. He goes for another victory roll, but Eaton drops him on his back. Smart! Lane tags in there, and gives Pillman a swinging neckbreaker. He follows with another, and Eaton tags back in there. He slams Pillman backwards into the mat, and brings in his partner for some kicks. Lane hits Pillman in the throat with a double shot, and drapes him on the top rope. Eaton tags back in, thumbs Pillman’s throat, and heads up top only for Pillman to dropkick him back to the canvas. Zenk makes a tag in, and clears house with right hands for a little bit. He uses a noggin-knocker, and takes Lane to the corner for some punches. Eaton heads up top, and I guess he lands on Zenk leading to a cover at 9:43. Awful camerawork.

My Thoughts: I assume that Eaton hit Zenk with a double axehandle, but I don’t really know. Anyway, the match was very generic with not a lot going on. Could have done without watching it if not for me needing content. *3/4, I suppose. That seems really low, but this wasn’t a great match.


– Taped to air June 9th, 1990, on World Championship Wrestling


Arn Anderson (NWA TV Champion) vs. Rocky King


I’m not entirely sure of the location, but I have noticed that lately Arn wasn’t even wearing his title belt to the ring. That’s weird. I don’t like the way in which they’ve involved a jobber like Rocky King, but I like that they’ve involved him.

Arn goes to work, and takes King down for a knee drop. He continues to hit him with left hands, and rams him into the buckle, before stomping on him. He rakes King’s face across the ropes, then tosses him to the outside. Arn brings him back in for more kicks, and a knee knocks him down. I know exactly where this is headed. He puts King in a neck vice, and here’s THE FOUR HORSEMEN. Sid, Windham, and Ole are there for a beatdown, and after Sid gives King a powerbomb, here comes the DUDES WITH ATTITUDES ONCE AGAIN. What a stable. This is really silly, Sting hanging out with two older guys who weren’t cool at all. I don’t get it and I have no idea how Ole Anderson came up with this. Lame as it gets.


– Taped to air June 10th, 1990, on NWA Main Event


Doom (NWA Tag Team Champions, w/Teddy Long) vs. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express

Pre-Match Thoughts: This should be fun. It’s different, and that’s always good. They didn’t run through many, if any big vs. little matchups with the RnR’s during their first run in this company. I was curious to see how Doom was pushed as champions, too. Sting is on commentary for this match, and called his group “Attitudes with Dudes.” That’s even worse than what it was named in the end.

Match Review: Ron Simmons and Ricky Morton will begin the match, and Simmons wants to show Morton his muscles. He shoves Morton down to the canvas, but Morton comes up with a right hand. Simmons hits him a few times, then Morton evades him to land a dropkick. Gibson runs in and they hit Simmons with a double dropkick to knock Simmons out of the ring. Gibson tagged in as well, and gives Simmons a sunset flip for 2. Simmons uses a jawbreaker to force Gibson to let go of a hammerlock, then he slams him and drops a leg on him. Reed tags in, and Gibson slams him. He hits Reed with a dropkick too, and Morton tags in. Morton grabs onto the arm, and even though Reed slams him, he continues to hold on. Reed breaks it up with a forearm, but Morton comes back with a cross body that gets 2. Reed then takes control with a big right hand, and clotheslines Morton. He hits him with a fist drop, then takes him to the corner for more punches, only for Morton to fight back. Reed has to cut Morton off with a clothesline, and he goes for a piledriver only for Morton to reverse it with a backdrop. Simmons and Gibson tag in, and Gibson gives him a backdrop. Morton rushes in for another double dropkick, but the referee gets distracted so there’s no cover. That leads to all four guys getting in there and brawling, and Simmons backdropping Morton over the top rope for a DQ at 7:30. Doom then teams up on Gibson, until Morton grabs a chair to chase them from the ring.

My Thoughts: They packed quite a bit into this short match. It was also obvious that they were building towards a match between these two teams at the Great American Bash. Hey, no complaints there. If it’s twice as long, it might be really good. **1/2 seems fair even though they didn’t do that much. Both teams were pretty good and had their acts down.


– Taped to air June 17th, 1990, on NWA Main Event, from St. Lucie Civic Center in Fort Pierce, Florida


I believe it may have been at this taping that Cactus Jack walked out after being told by Ole Anderson that there were no plans for him and that he was going to be jobbed out. Small victories that he’d bail on them rather than take that treatment.


Barry Windham & Arn Anderson (NWA TV Champion, w/Ole Anderson) vs. The Steiner Brothers

Pre-Match Thoughts: Once again Arn isn’t sporting his title. I don’t know what’s going on with that. This is a hell of a matchup, there’s no way I’d miss it. They could tear the house down if given any sort of time. I’d pay to watch it if I had to.

Match Review: Rick Steiner and Barry Windham will start it off, and Windham takes him down with an arm drag. Rick takes him down with his own, and knocks him out of the ring with a shoulderblock. Windham gets back in, and Rick hits him with a STEINERLINE for 2. Scott and Arn tag in there, and Arn tries to go to work on the left arm, even pulling hair to knock Scott down. Scott powers up to his feet, throws Arn to the canvas, and it’s back to square one. Arn drives his shoulder into Scott when they go back to the corner, but Scott dodges a charge and hits Arn with a STEINERLINE. He puts Arn in a sleeper, but Arn reverses to his own. Scott uses momentum to cause Arn to hit his head on the buckle, then the Steiners put the Horsemen in STEREO FIGURE-FOURS. That spot ruled. Windham breaks them both by raking the eyes, then Scott gets trapped in the corner. He fights his way out of it, and Arn has to duck out of the ring to avoid a clothesline. Windham nails Scott with a clothesline, that was a nice trap laid by the Horsemen. Windham also drops Scott on the rail, but Scott comes back in with a sunset flip attempt on Arn…only for Arn to make a blind tag out. Windham gives Scott a powerslam, and it got 2. Arn switches back in, takes Scott down, and repeatedly stomps on him. Windham tags in during a Boston crab that Arn has on his foe, and drops a knee on the back of Scott’s head. Windham gives Scott a suplex, but Scott fires off the ropes with a DDT. Can he make the tag? No, Arn tagged in and attacked him from behind. Scott and Arn collide with each other, and THERE’S the tag. Rick takes both Horsemen out with right hands, then backdrops Arn Anderson. He gives Windham a powerslam, then nails Arn with a back elbow. A Steinerline follows that, and Ole grabs onto Rick, leading to a DQ at 8:59. Ole beats up Rick on the outside, until Rick starts firing off shots and the Horsemen leave.

My Thoughts: That was a drab ending to a fun match. That’s to be expected given the TV format, but perhaps something with more juice and excitement would have been better. That’s not what happened, though. This could have been a hell of a match if they did it again, except that they didn’t for some reason. I also question putting Windham and Arn in tag team matches when they needed singles wrestlers. **3/4.


There was a lot of stuff here I couldn’t cover, or did but not to any great degree. Most of those were pertaining to new arrivals. The NWA brought in Paul Orndorff. Kerry Von Erich was supposed to be that guy, but he didn’t show up to a TV taping and they fired him. They also brought in Stan Hansen, who rules. No complaints about that. They also brought back the Iron Sheik, which didn’t make any sense. I bet he looks even fatter now. Bringing in Buddy Landel had minimal impact. There were other things too. Like, for example, George Bush meeting with Ric Flair. How about Cactus Jack being told by Ole Anderson that he worked a style that EXPOSED THE BUSINESS. That seems really mean spirited. Anyway, Clash 11 is going to be my next article. I’ve deliberately structured things so that I only know about a few matches. The main event of Flair vs. JYD both sounds terrible and probably was terrible.

Best: Sid botching the finish of the Road Warriors/Horsemen match was the best. It was extremely funny.

Worst: There was one thing I noticed during this and when making my list. Once Ole got the book, he took a lot of the good matches and matchups off television. That was likely in order to get people out to the show to watch it, I don’t know.


Written by Sage Cortez

Sage is a boisterous Los Angeles sports fan. Unsurprisingly, like many other loudmouth LA fans, he also likes the Raiders and a range of combat sports.

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