Through the Years: NWA WrestleWar 1990

 

With Sting out of WrestleWar and beyond, it will be interesting to see how the show is booked in order to keep the shows after this strong. I had forgotten that I’ve previously watched this PPV, but there’s nothing beyond this that I have for quite some time. There’s actually a lot here for a fan to be interested in, but only one of the singles titles was defended. However, that was for the best. We had the Andersons facing the Steiners, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express facing the Midnight Express, and Ric Flair facing Lex Luger. Besides that, there isn’t much here at all, and the roster is clearly thin. The crowd was nothing special either, but that’s the way it always was. It would be a miracle for them to get 10,000 people in the building. They were awfully close here, but that still left half the building empty. Baby steps or something like that may apply here, but I looked it up and they only had one other crowd this big for television until SPRING STAMPEDE 1994. Who knows how this company made it so long.

 

– February 25th, 1990, from Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina

 

I like that this starts off with the WrestleWar rap. That’s what I need in my life. The empty seats here are really obvious, and you can see that’s why they didn’t book another arena this big for PPV after 1990 was over. Jim Ross will be on commentary with Terry Funk, and they have some news. Danny Spivey is supposedly injured and won’t participate tonight. What happened was, he disappeared without saying anything, and he was actually hurt. That’s a dick thing to do, to not say anything. They didn’t even have the balls to fire him until he no-showed a TV taping nearly a month later. Ross and Funk run down the matches, and other than the ones I’ve mentioned at the beginning of my article, I don’t particularly care about them. They didn’t even get Doom on here in a match, which makes me think they were done if I didn’t know any better. Teddy Long says that the replacement for Spivey will do a good job, but this is typical stuff that always happens with Turner’s company.

 

Buzz Sawyer & Kevin Sullivan vs. The Dynamic Dudes

Pre-Match Thoughts: This heel team is a great mix, actually. Like, it could have been a permanent thing and I’d have loved it. These two may not have loved it so much. The Dudes dropped the bright colors and skateboards, about damn time. I can’t believe it took that long. Sullivan was replacing the Great Muta, by the way.

Match Review: Sawyer and Ace will begin the match, and they lock up quickly. Ace drops Sawyer with a monkey flip, then he dropkicks him out to the floor. Ace then flies over the top with a suicide dive, and Sawyer has to take a bit of a break. When he gets back in the ring, Douglas makes a tag in, as does Sullivan. Douglas arm drags Sullivan, and Sullivan comes back with chops. Douglas comes back with a big throw into the corner, and puts Sullivan in a chinlock that gets reversed into a hammerlock. After that’s reversed, Ace tags in with a right hand from the second rope. Sawyer switches in there, and he trades slaps with Sullivan, teasing a dissolution of their team. Instead, Sawyer locks Ace up and takes him to the buckle for some big chops. Sawyer then misses a charge to the corner, and Douglas tags in there. Sullivan tags in as well, and Douglas arm drags him again. Sullivan uses momentum to send Douglas to the outside, and Sawyer takes advantage with a suplex on the floor. Ross runs through some of Shane’s legitimate accomplishments, and Sawyer brings Douglas back in for a belly to belly suplex that gets 2. Sawyer follows with a gutwrench suplex for 2, and Sullivan tags in. Douglas takes him down with a sunset flip for 2, but Sullivan cuts him off from tagging anyway. Sawyer tags in for a bear hug, and Douglas has to fight his way out with right hands. He goes for a slam, has it blocked, and Sullivan tags in there. He blocks a charge by Douglas, goes over to draw Ace in, and throws Douglas over the top and out to the floor. Douglas gets dispatched back in for a bear hug again, this time applied by Sullivan. Sullivan then takes Douglas to the corner and tags out, and Douglas fights through another bear hug attempt to make his exit.

Ace comes in with dropkicks and slams for both guys, then Douglas follows with a dropkick of his own. Ace takes Sawyer down with a botched flying head-scissors, so Sawyer suplexes him basically immediately afterward. He heads up top, and down he comes with the BIG SPLASH, breaking his wrist in the process and getting the 3 count at 10:14.

My Thoughts: This was a fairly standard Dynamic Dudes match, and there was only one botched spot! Buzz Sawyer was a hell of a character and performer, so it was sad that he injured himself in the match. He never came back to WCW after that. In fact, everyone in this match wound up out of the promotion not long after. The Dynamic Dudes had booking and contract issues, and other things they could do. Too bad Sawyer got hurt, he and Sullivan could have been a productive team. **1/4.

 

Cactus Jack Manson vs. Norman the Lunatic

Pre-Match Thoughts: Before this match, Missy Hyatt interviews Norman and he says that Missy looks like his sister, who is a lot bigger than Missy. Then he wants a hug. Haha. He got a kiss too. See, this is how you haze Missy Hyatt or any other female performer. Subtle, but I picked up on it. Norman tossed a teddy bear out into the crowd before the match.

Match Review: Cactus attacks quickly, and chokes Norman with the ropes. He follows with a back elbow for 2, and Norman kicked out by throwing him out to the floor. Norman hits him with a clothesline when he gets back in there, and he no-sells some turnbuckle shots. He has no brain, you know. He then headbutts Cactus, and hits him with a back elbow. After that, Norman applies a bear hug. He sends Cactus into the corner, and hits him with an avalanche. Norman then throws Cactus from one corner to the next, and Cactus takes a big bump over the top. He then comes back by throwing Norman into the rail, which sets up a spot where Norman backdrops Cactus onto the concrete floor. Are you kidding me with these bumps? He then gets up and posts Norman, and Cactus hits him with a dropkick from the apron. What a goof. Norman slowly gets back into the ring, and rammed into the canvas. The match slowed down a lot after those bumps by Cactus. He puts Norman in a chinlock for a little bit, and gets up for some headbutts that do nothing. Norman lands headbutts of his own, and Cactus comes back with a boot to the gut for 2. Back to the chinlock again, but Norman eventually gets out of it by picking Cactus up on his shoulders and using a modified electric chair. Norman then misses a splash, and Cactus hits him with a leapfrog body guillotine. He tries another, and this time Norman evades it. Norman then backdrops Cactus, and Cactus rakes the eyes. He goes for a piledriver, and Norman backdrops him and lands on top with a butt splash for 3 at 9:34.

My Thoughts: This match started off great with Cactus taking huge bumps, but it slowed down into a dull pace and not a lot happened until the finish. I have to question why they brought Cactus into the company only to job him out. Didn’t they see the value in having him around? It’s great to have a guy on the roster who will do anything when it’s called for. Instead, they jobbed him out, he left, and it took a while for him to come back and provide some entertainment. Anyway, the Norman gimmick was dying too and didn’t maintain its importance for much longer. Eventually they buried him. *1/4 for the match.

 

The Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette) vs. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express

Pre-Match Thoughts: Nice to see this brought to PPV, although in many respects it’s five years late. Expectations are a bit low, as even though I’ve seen this before, I don’t remember it. The RnR’s also hadn’t been given this kind of platform for some time. Perhaps they’ll be eager to impress! Gordon Solie was with Cornette and his team, who said that things have changed a lot in the last few years. Crowd still liked the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, no doubt about that. They just looked so much older, Morton in particular looked like he put on 15 years.

Match Review: Lane and Gibson will lock up after some teasing of four man brawls, and Gibson uses an arm drag. Lane comes back with a hip toss, and Gibson with a shoulderblock. Some of the camera shots used in this match show a LOT of empty seats. Lane goes for a monkey flip, but Gibson drops down for a fist drop. Lane then does a ref shoving routine, where Patrick shoves him down to the canvas, and Patrick shoves Cornette off the apron. Haha. The crowd is digging the idea of Patrick facing Cornette in a mini match, but the Midnights save their manager from a beating. Morton tags in there and exchanges wristlocks with Lane, until Morton gives Lane an atomic drop that sends him into Eaton. Ring cleared. Lane and Eaton tease a breakup with Lane shoving Beautiful Bobby, but that would never happen. Lane gets back in the ring now, and slams Morton after some punches. Eaton tags in, and Morton arm drags him a few times. They do a test of strength, with Morton climbing onto Eaton’s shoulders and knocking down Lane with a punch. That was a neat spot. He kicks Lane out of the ring as well, and they’ve rolled through a lot of unusual spots so far, so I don’t know what’s next. Cornette then trips Morton as he runs the ropes, and we have a tug of war where Cornette winds up in the ring. Gibson then punches him down to the floor, and gives the Midnights a noggin-knocker. This is great! Eaton and Gibson are in the ring once things calm down, and Morton rushes in for a double backdrop. Then, they hit both Lane and Eaton with a double clothesline, with Eaton taking a huge bump over the top rope! Lane tags in and Gibson arm drags him, then Morton tags in as well for a double back elbow. Lane comes back by tossing Morton to the outside, but Morton quickly posts him. Eaton makes a switch in there, and lands some big rights. They exchange, and Morton takes a charge at Eaton leading to them both flying over the top and out to the floor.

Time for the control segment. Lane rushes over to Morton and slams him, then Morton gets put back in the ring for a backbreaker from Eaton. Lane tags in and bodypresses Morton’s back, and Cornette gets in a racket shot for good measure. Lane follows with some kicks to the head, and brings in Eaton for a drop toe-hold and elbow drop combination that gets 2. Eaton goes for a suplex, and it looked great too. Also, it got 2. Lane tags in there for a powerslam, also gets 2. Lane throws Morton out to the floor again, and this time Eaton picks Morton up and drops him on the rail. Cornette hits Morton with a right hand too, that was funny as hell. Morton blocks a post shot and gives one to Eaton, but he gets back in the ring and Lane keeps him from tagging. Morton tries a sunset flip, but Cornette provides a distraction to prevent a count. Morton then cradles Lane up, but there was a blind tag and Eaton comes in with a neckbreaker. Eaton then drops Morton on the turnbuckle, and the Midnight Express exchanges some tags, culminating in Eaton using a single-arm DDT and applying a hammerlock. Morton gets out with elbows, but once again there’s a blind tag, and Lane puts a stop to his comeback. He puts Morton in a chinlock, and tags out of there. Eaton comes in for a bodyslam, and heads up top for the first time. Down he comes with a FLYING ELBOW, but Gibson breaks the cover. Lane tags in and wrenches the arm on the ropes, and Cornette gets in another shot with his racket. Morton gets out of an armbar, but once again gets cut off. Eaton gets back in there to work on the hammerlock, and launches Morton into the turnbuckle for good measure. Back to the single-arm DDT, and still holding a hammerlock. Morton gets out with elbows, and the wrestlers collide after Morton throws Eaton into the turnbuckle. Lane tags in and drops Morton with a side slam, then they set Morton up for the ROCKET LAUNCHER! Morton blocks it with his knees, and makes the tag out!

Gibson comes in with big right hands to both guys, a backdrop to Eaton, and a bodyslam for Lane. Now, he blocks a charge by Eaton with a sunset flip, and it gets 2. Morton gets back in for the fight, and Cornette nails Gibson as he runs the ropes. Why, of course! Eaton covers Gibson, but he kicks out at 2! Lane tags in for a double flapjack, but Gibson falls on top of Lane as Morton tackles Eaton, and that gets a pinfall victory at 23:28! Wow!

My Thoughts: This was a classic, really. All five (counting Cornette) guys worked so hard to put on a great match, and it all came off as intended. I was smiling the whole time, and my teeth were killing me to the point where I hadn’t smiled in two days. That’s how good the match was! It was structured perfectly, with the babyfaces doing things to get the crowd behind them at the start of the match, before the control segment where the face in peril takes a ton of punishment. The control segment was also not remotely boring. Also, some of the spots they did, like Morton hopping on Eaton’s shoulders, were spots that I hadn’t seen in any of the matches I’ve watched while writing reviews. Eaton also took some great bumps, especially that one over the top rope. ****1/4 easily, and recommended too. Also of note is that the Midnight Express thought they were being let go, so they wanted to steal the show. According to the WON, Morton and Gibson weren’t under contract either.

 

Mean Mark Callous & A MASKED MAN (w/Teddy Long) vs. The Road Warriors (w/Paul Ellering) in a CHICAGO STREET FIGHT

Pre-Match Thoughts: The masked man is Mike Enos, otherwise known as Blake Beverly. They lifted him out of the dying AWA for this match. Spivey was injured, but this is so typical of WCW/NWA to have to use substitute wrestlers for advertised matches. I think it’s one of the reasons they could never get any momentum going. Of course, the whole thing is tanked, because the two Skyscrapers who started the feud with the Road Warriors are gone. Before the match, the Road Warriors had a promo. They didn’t give a shit about the supposed surprise. At least everyone is wearing street clothes for this fight. They had better. It was pretty weak to have the Road Warriors ride bitch on the back of two motorcycles on their way to the ring.

Match Review: Long and Ellering start the match off with Ellering knocking out Long, and I guess we’re underway. Callous and Hawk pair off with Hawk taking him out with a shoulderblock, and the masked man gets taken out with a clothesline by Animal. This mask thing is so weak. Animal gives Callous an inverted atomic drop, and the masked man eats a big boot from Hawk. Hawk slams him too, and drops a fist on him. Now, Doom head out to the ring! Yes! For some reason they were wearing tuxedos. Hawk gives Callous a neckbreaker, and it appears that Doom and Teddy Long have some sort of thing going now. Animal hits the masked man with a dropkick, as Callous drops Hawk on the top rope. Mean Mark looks pretty good here, but Hawk clotheslines him. Hawk clotheslines the masked man too, but Callous comes back with a choke. All four guys head to the outside, and Hawk nails Callous with a flying clothesline from the apron. That was pretty cool. Hawk then gets thrown into the rail, as Callous works him over and chokes him with tape. Animal hits both opponents with a clothesline, then Callous takes a big bump over the top on a backdrop. Then, Callous turns his back on his partner, they hit the masked man with the DOOMSDAY DEVICE, and that gets the victory for the Road Warriors at 5:01.

Long runs into the ring for some reason, and Animal drops him onto Doom with a press slam. Now, Doom is mad. Time for a real fight. They get in the ring, and trade bombs with the Road Warriors. Animal takes a foreign object away from Simmons, and nails him with it a few times only for Simmons to not even sell it. Simmons and Animal tumble to the outside as Hawk gives Reed a powerslam, and the Road Warriors have cleared the ring!

My Thoughts: The post-match was good, but it made me wonder why in the hell they didn’t just run with that match? Once the original match fell apart, they shouldn’t have even bothered with a substitute. That match should have happened and ended in some kind of no contest. The match sucked otherwise. Hawk’s clothesline from the apron was probably the high point, and it’s not like anything else happened other than the finish. *, and it’s clear to see that they were starting to run out of ideas for the Road Warriors. That being said, they couldn’t afford to get rid of them, even though they bailed anyway. Funk’s summarization of what happened after the match was awesome.

 

The Fabulous Freebirds vs. Brian Pillman & the Z-Man for the NWA United States Tag Team Championships

Pre-Match Thoughts: The match where Pillman and Zenk won these titles aired the day before this PPV. I’ve also noticed that there’s only been one singles match so far, there are only three matches left on the PPV, and that only one of them is a singles match. Only one hour gone, too! That’s the kind of thing that happens when injuries strike and guys leave the company over poor booking decisions. I avoided the previous matches between these two teams because the Freebirds were no longer even average, as far as I could tell. The best thing about their act is that you get to hear Badstreet USA. Not sure if that’s a dub, but I don’t think it was. Funk’s commentary during their entrance was great too, I wish he had stuck around for years as the full-time commentator.

Match Review: Pillman and Zenk were doing the white meat babyface thing to a degree that made me a little uncomfortable. Also, it’s funny that all the babyfaces on this show have been wearing Sting merchandise. The babyfaces attacked while the Freebirds were playing to the crowd, and gave the Birds a double backdrop to clear the ring. Funny how Badstreet USA came on when Pillman and Zenk grabbed the Freebirds jackets. Cool moment. Then they led a chant of “Freebirds suck.” EDGY. Hayes and Pillman will properly start the match, and Pillman nails Hayes with a running clothesline. Garvin tags in as does Zenk, and it should be pointed out that Garvin looks quite pudgy. They had a few rope running bits with nothing happening, then Zenk grabs on with a headlock. Into the ropes and Zenk gives Garvin a hip toss and dropkick, but a second dropkick misses. Anyway, Zenk kicks Garvin’s chest, and tags back out. Pillman goes to the headlock as well, and takes Garvin down with a crucifix for 2 after running the ropes. Pillman and Zenk are so athletic that those spots add a lot to the match, and the Freebirds just have to stand there while they do it. Hayes tags in there, lands some rights, and gets rammed into the buckle. Didn’t work out too well for him in the end, I suppose. He knocks Pillman to the apron, and Pillman springboards up to the top for a cross body on the way back in for 2. Wow. Pillman takes Hayes down with an arm drag, and tries a sunset flip which gets 2. Back to the arm drag again, and the armbar. Zenk tags in and continues working on the arm, but Hayes gets up and clotheslines him. Garvin tags in now, and gets taken down with an arm drag. Garvin reverses to a head-scissors, and Zenk uses his athleticism to get out of them. Pillman tags in, and Hayes is doing something on the apron to get heat that we weren’t shown. Pillman then takes Garvin down with a hip toss and high knee, and a headlock takeover gets a 2 count. Hayes tags in, and slaps a sleeper on his young opponent. Of course, Pillman isn’t going out to that hold, and gets out of it only to have his charge to the corner blocked with a left hand. Hayes flies off the top with a cross body that gets reversed for 2, and Garvin switches in there so they can keep control. A double back elbow gets 2, and Pillman gets dropped on the top rope as well. Hayes gets back in, rakes the eyes, and misses a fist drop. Pillman then goes for a backdrop, but Hayes blocks it and tags out. Garvin and Pillman then collide with each other, and Zenk makes a tag in. He takes Garvin down with a dropkick and bodyslam, but gets kicked before a backdrop. Hayes tags in and Zenk hits him with punches in the corner, then puts a sleeper on him. Garvin comes in off the top to break it, and Hayes covers for a 2 count. Hayes throws Zenk out to the floor, where he pounds away until posting him. Garvin tags in for a chinlock, which is the last thing this match needed. Hayes tags in to keep that hold locked on, but Zenk gets out and powerslams him. Like an idiot, he tries an elbow drop and Hayes moves out of the way. Should have tagged out. A Zenk cradle gets 2, and out Hayes goes. Garvin slams Zenk for 2, and brings in Hayes to go back to the chinlock. I shouldn’t have typed so much about this match. Zenk gets out and misses a charge to the corner, then Hayes heads up top again. Zenk was supposed to slam him down, but they botched it. Instead, Hayes drops an elbow for 2. This is really boring. Hayes bulldogs Zenk for 2, and back to the chinlock AGAIN. Zenk finally gets some offense in with a DDT, and he makes the tag out.

Pillman comes in like a house of fire, with backdrops and dropkicks for everyone. After those four dropkicks, he nails the Freebirds with a double shoulderblock. Zenk throws Hayes out of the ring, and Pillman nails Garvin with an elbow. Garvin then holds Pillman in place for a belt shot, but that’s a distraction for the real plan, which was Garvin ramming Pillman into the camera. It has minimal effect though, and as Garvin has Zenk locked up, Pillman flies off the top with a cross body onto Garvin, and that gets the victory for the champions at 24:32. After the match, the Freebirds drop them both with DDT’s, but who even cares?

My Thoughts: Zenk desperately needed to come up with some original spots. Putting him in a team with Pillman may not have been such a great idea seeing as Pillman had a lot of his own spots, and the contrast between the two wrestlers is actually pretty easy to see. I don’t know if a more casual fan would have picked up on it, though. This match was also way too long and didn’t have enough going on to justify the length. I don’t know why anyone would have booked this to go so long. Even though they had to consolidate some matches, it didn’t make any sense. The finish was good though, and the camera shot was surprising. 3/4*, I guess. Not comfortable with rating the match any higher as I was very bored, and as stated, it was too long. 25 minutes to these guys? Come on.

 

Ole and Arn Anderson (NWA TV Champion) vs. The Steiner Brothers for the NWA Tag Team Championships

Pre-Match Thoughts: A lack of talent means they had to draft Ole in even though supposedly the company didn’t want him to be wrestling. Funny how that goes. This could be a very good match, at least. The storyline here is that it’s brother vs. brother. Except that in reality it’s not, but I’m cool with it anyway. I’m slightly worried that Ole won’t be able to, or won’t want to keep up with the Steiners and their usual spots. If so, that would suck quite a bit.

Match Review: Scott Steiner and Arn Anderson will kick things off, and Arn knocks Rick off the apron for no reason. Rick trips Arn and brings him to the floor, where he pounds on him until Arn dives back in. Scott picks him up in a choke, and we have a four man brawl now with the Steiners getting the better of it. Arn gets back in there with Scott, and tries to draw him into his corner. I don’t think Scott is quite that dumb. Arn takes Scott down and goes for a knee drop, which Scott blocks and follows with an atomic drop. Ole rushes in and pinballs back and forth between the Steiners, with Scott slamming him at the end. Ole is now the legal man, and tries to lure Scott into the Anderson corner once again. Instead, Scott takes him down, and tags in his brother. Rick fights out of the Anderson corner after stupidly being drawn into it, and the Steiners get the better of another brawl. Arn and Rick will continue the match, and Rick slaps a headlock on him. He follows with a powerslam that gets 2, and the match slows down a bit. Arn takes Rick down with a snap mare and drops a knee, then he heads up top only for Rick to put a stop to it and cause Arn to have to take a break outside the ring. Ole tags in for a headlock on Scott, and locks Scott’s arm up in the rope. Arn tags in and Scott gives him an inverted atomic drop, so the Andersons didn’t have control for long. Scott puts Arn in a figure-four, but Ole rushes in to break it. Scott then picks him up for a big belly to belly suplex, and drops a knee for 2. Rick gets in there, as does Arn, and the Andersons start working him over until Rick suplexes the current TV champion. Ole tags in and stops Rick from tagging out, but turnbuckle shots do nothing to Rick Steiner. Punches do, and he gets dragged back to the corner for more punishment. Ole gives Rick a bodyslam and elbow drops him, which leads to a 2 count. Scott makes a tag in as does Arn, and it wasn’t a hot tag by any stretch either. Scott slaps a headlock on him, and hits him with a back elbow as well. They go to the outside and Scott accidentally clotheslines the post, and Arn takes advantage by ramming the arm into the rail. Ole hits that arm a few times too, and sends Scott back in the ring for an armbar. Arn tags in for a HAMMERLOCK SLAM, and he drops a knee on the shoulder too. They have a body part, but it’s really deep into the match already. Arn goes up to the second rope for a pump splash, and Scott blocks it, of course. Scott then takes him down with the FRANKENSTEINER, and he makes a tag out. Short but effective control segment. Rick nails Ole with a STEINERLINE, and has one for Arn too. The Andersons try a double backdrop, and Rick cradles Ole up for the victory at 16:08. Well, that was odd.

After the match, the Andersons team up on Scott Steiner, and even though it didn’t lead to anything, they hurt his arm. Why did they need to get their heat back?

My Thoughts: I don’t know how to describe it, but this match had a lot of square one instances where the wrestlers would calm down and just get back to wrestling from a vertical base. This felt like half a match, too. The beginning was so long that it took all the steam out of the heat segment, and by the time they were done with it, there was no heat. The finish was also too quick. If this had gone longer, they would have had the time to do everything right. Instead it didn’t, and they didn’t. Just **1/2 here.

 

Lex Luger (NWA United States Champion) vs. Ric Flair (w/Woman) for the NWA Championship

Pre-Match Thoughts: The buzz in the arena was immediate after the last match finished. Lex Luger talked with Gordon Solie in a pre-taped interview, and he said that he’s nervous, but ready. It wasn’t mentioned that Ric Flair had previously stated Luger would never get another title shot. Nor should it have been. That’s something you’d want everyone to forget. I’m not sure whether or not it would have been the right thing for Luger to win this match. Unless he got a nuclear reaction during the match, probably not. It would have been better to wait for Sting, but at the time they didn’t know how long Sting would be out. Flair’s promo was pretty good stuff, as usual. This does have a big match feel, no doubt about that. Before the match, Sting was introduced as a special observer, and made his way to the ring on crutches. Man, now that they brought him out…it does seem like the time for Luger to win. He also got a very big reaction. The long fanfare for Flair’s entrance has been gotten rid of, sadly. The trash talk before the match was so realistic, it got me fired up.

Match Review: These two champions lock up, and Flair goes to a hammerlock. Luger reverses to the sounds of a decent cheer, and they shove each other with Luger getting the better of it. Luger then puts a headlock on Flair, and shoves Flair down during a wristlock. Luger then hits Flair with a shoulderblock, as we’re going with a slow build here. I dig it! Funk is killing it during the lulls and stalling, too. Luger hits Flair with a clothesline after being thrown into the corner, and Flair is done with this. So, Luger has to chase, and carries Flair back to the ring! He picks Flair up for a press slam, and the crowd is really going nuts for this guy now. Flair comes back with a shoulderblock, but Luger press slams him again, this time threatening to drop him on the floor. If only he had. Flair tries to fire off some chops, but Luger doesn’t even sell one of them. He press slams Flair for a third time, and picks him up for a bear hug shortly afterward. Luger took Flair to the canvas with it for a 2 count, and Flair goes to the eyes to break the hold. Luger takes Flair to the corner though, and hits him with 10 punches over there. He follows with a hip toss, then takes a charge at Flair and misses, flying all the way over the top and out to the floor. Flair follows, and winds up running Luger into the rail. Woman distracts the referee as Flair throws Luger out of the ring again, but he didn’t even throw him over the top. So, why? Another rail shot follows, and he proceeds to keep Luger out of the ring with punches. Once Luger gets back in, Flair drops a knee on him a few times for a 2 count. Luger comes back with punches, but he misses a rush to the corner. Flair puts a hammerlock on him while using the ropes for leverage, which is awesomely blatant cheating. I love it. That hold stays on, until Flair is ready for some chops. Luger comes back with a clothesline, but gets poked in the eyes and dragged back to the ropes for a slap from Woman. That’s cold. Flair tries to keep working the hammerlock, but Luger gets out of it, only for Flair to crack him again. Woman pulls Luger’s hair, too. Flair covers for 2 many times via usage of the ropes, and eventually he gets caught. Obviously, he tells Nick Patrick a spot, or something. Too obvious. Now, Luger grabs hold of a choke, and throws Flair upside down into the corner and out to the floor. Luger follows, rams Flair into the rail, and they trade blows on the outside. Back in they go and Luger locks Flair in a sleeper, and he puts it on again even after Flair breaks it. The second time, Flair powers out with a back suplex. Flair then tries to suplex Luger out to the floor, which makes no sense, so Luger suplexes him back in. He drags Flair over to the corner and wraps his leg around the post, then goes for a sorry looking FIGURE-FOUR that Flair gets out of. Well, he tried.

Flair pokes Luger in the eye, and they collide with each other shortly after. I think Luger may be blown up. They repeat the spot, and this time Luger powerslams Flair for 2. Flair bounces off Luger with a flying forearm that does nothing, and decides to head out to the floor. Luger follows again, gets hit in the face, and back in they go for a hip toss that Luger blocks and turns into a backslide for 2. He takes Flair to the corner for punches, but Flair grabs him and uses an inverted atomic drop. He heads up top, and down he comes with a right forearm. Flair does that again, and it gets a 2 count. Can’t believe the pace of this match. Flair uses a double underhook suplex for 2, and he tries a sleeper now. Luger finally makes it to his feet after a long wait, but Flair sends him to the corner and rolls him up for 2. Luger fires off a clothesline in response, and that gets 2 as well. Really close fall that time. Luger misses an elbow drop, and Flair capitalizes by going to the leg with a leg-breaker. If I didn’t know better, I’d think we were headed straight to the finish. After another leg-breaker, it’s time for the FIGURE-FOUR! Sting makes his way to the ring to cheer on his Luger, LOOK AT THIS ENDORSEMENT! Luger reverses the figure-four and they tumble into the ropes, and Sting gets involved by waking Luger up and trying to fire him up. It’s time for Luger’s comeback, and Flair bails out. He throws Luger into the rail, but that isn’t sold at all and Luger chases Flair back into the ring. Luger drops Flair with a press slam, and Flair tries to head up top after an eye poke. Of course, Luger slams him down. He drills Flair with a clothesline, then lands a second. A third sends Flair all the way over the top, and he suplexes Flair back into the ring too for a 2 count. Luger then powerslams Flair, and he signals for THE RACK! He goes for a cover instead, and Woman slaps him. Luger then grabs her, and drags her up to the apron for a slap. Flair then knees Luger from behind, sending him into the referee and knocking the referee out. Oh no. Luger hits Flair 5 times in the corner, and sends him upside down once again, this time with Flair leaping into a Luger clothesline. No referee for the cover. Luger then sets Flair up for the SUPERPLEX, but that doesn’t get counted either. Arn and Ole Anderson then run out to the ring for Luger to hit, and Sting is at ringside with them now. Luger has Flair in the TORTURE RACK, and the referee is now awake. However, the Andersons grab hold of Sting, and of course Luger has to save him. He drops Flair and heads to the outside, as the Andersons beat Sting with crutches. Luger gets a big pop now while he beats them up, but the referee counts him out at 38:07.¬†That finish was so bad. The Anderson then bring Luger into the ring for an Arn DDT, and they triple team until THE STEINER BROTHERS hit the ring and chase the Horsemen away.

Sadly, the PPV ends almost immediately afterward.

My Thoughts: This match was so good, even though it was so long. They went through a large variation of spots, didn’t rest a whole lot, and Luger was so over by the end that I think it would have made sense for him to win. The most impressive thing was that Flair was able to get heat, there had always been people who cheered him at all times, but not so much after what happened with Sting. As stated, this was a horrendous finish. I have no idea who thought it up, but it bothered me so much. You can’t have finishes like that in big matches, why would anyone pay to see the next one when getting ripped off like that? If Luger was ever going to be a big star, he had to win that match. He didn’t, and that’s the way it was. ****1/2, which was the same rating as their Starrcade 1988 match. It was actually better until the finish. According to the WON, Luger didn’t want the belt. That doesn’t really make sense to me, and I don’t know whether or not that was true. But there you have it. The crowd was primed for it though.

 

Now that WrestleWar is over, it’s time to head into the nether and see things that I’ve never, ever seen before. My impression of the show was that it was an average event despite the two great matches on the card. The way it finished also would leave a sour taste in anyone’s mouth. Terry Funk nearly carried the thing with his commentary, though. He was so funny and had so much to say. One of the biggest issues with the card is that so many guys left the company by the end of the year. In essence, none of it mattered. Perhaps the most jarring thing was that WCW bought banners for the entranceway that actually said WOW and had part of the middle letter scrubbed off, or something done to it. I don’t really know. Even funnier was that they kept those banners. Many of the wrestlers were facing contract issues as the NWA wanted to cut down the roster. Cuts were not immediately made, and we’ll see what happens in the future. Next up, it’s time to watch the last of the build towards WrestleMania 6!

Wrestling Time: 2:07:04. WCW chopped a lot of the promos and elaborate entrances out of the PPV. I don’t know if that was due to cost, or what. Not too good, though. Lot of wrestling is a good thing.

Best: Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger. Even with the finish, it was the best match I’ve watched since the I Quit match between Terry Funk and Ric Flair.

Worst: Fabulous Freebirds vs. Z-Man and Brian Pillman. It stunk, nothing else to be said.

Card Rating: 6/10. I cannot in good conscience go any higher, as many of the best talents here were misused. There also weren’t any character moments that would otherwise bump up a show like this. The third best match on the show was **1/2, that’s not good enough. The two best matches were amazing though, just watch those.

 

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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