After choosing to save Sting instead of winning the World title at Wrestle War, Luger continued to chase Flair around the horn in rematches. Two of those matches stand out in particular: On March 23rd at a Chicago house show, announcers and camera operators were flown in to tape what was to be a Luger title win. Flair refused yet again to put Lex over on the grounds that his contract stated he be given ample notice of any title change planned. Flair told Jim Herd he would lose the title in exchange of a release from his contract. Herd declined such demands.
Then on May 5th Luger and Flair battled in front of a TV audience (only 2 weeks before their PPV match). This time Ole and Arn Anderson along with the returning Barry Windham charged the ring and beat down Luger and Sting until a myriad of babyfaces made the save.
In the days leading up to the PPV, Lex Luger developed a staph infection and was hospitalized. He missed several house shows but gutted out the PPV.
In addition to Windham, the Horsemen also named Sid Vicious as a new member of the Horsemen.
Sting countered the gang warfare by promising to bring Robocop (only weeks away from a movie sequel coming out) to join him at the PPV.
The Andersons failed to win the World tag team titles in several more encounters with the Steiners – then just before this PPV was to take place, Ole Anderson was named head booker of WCW and he retired from the ring.
The Midnight Express beat down US tag team champions Tom Zenk and Brian Pillman on several occasions. One of the attacks focused on Pillman’s throat, which had been operated on numerous times when he was a child. Jim Herd decided that an angle like that should be saved for a bigger program, so the announcers were not allowed to mention Pillman’s past when commentating over the attack.
Prior to Sid and Windham joining the Horsemen, Jim Cornette had booked Eaton and Lane to join the group, a move supported by the other members of the booking team. Jim Herd vetoed that too and Cornette quit the booking team in protest.
Mike Rotunda saved Norman the Lunatic from a Kevin Sullivan beatdown and then formed an unlikely team with him. A few weeks later Abdullah the Butcher made his surprise return and turned babyface – joining “Captain” Mike and Norman in a most wacky alliance.
The Road Warriors beat DOOM in a series of matches at house shows. DOOM received the World tag title match at the PPV anyway.
A unique cross promotion took place as WCW loaned Ric Flair and Brian Pillman out to the AWA for a “Supercard” in Minnesota. This was done so Ole could borrow Wayne Bloom and Mike Enos to work some WCW shows. The card also featured former NWA talent like Tully Blanchard, Larry Zbyszko and Nikita Koloff.
The long national nightmare was finally over for WCW fans when Shane Douglas blew out his knee and ended the Dynamic Dudes team after a full year of being largely derided by the audience.
Dan Spivey was fired in March for no showing a few events.
Newcomers included Dutch Mantel, Chris and Mark Youngblood, Bam Bam Bigelow (in for another brief run in between Japanese commitments), Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong . Paul E Dangerously also returned after a seven month sabbatical.
May 19th 1990
Tony Schiavone hosts as Jim Ross and Bob Caudle call the action. Ross and Tony having to sell Robocop makes me giggle.
Norman the Lunatic and The Road Warriors vs. Cactus Jack, Kevin Sullivan and Bam Bam Bigelow
This would be the Road Warriors last WCW PPV appearance for 6 years. They would be WWF bound shortly after this. What an auspicious way to go out. The LOD ride Harley’s to the ring and Norman pushes himself in a scooter. Norman’s outfit is now designed to have his belly protruding.
Jack and Animal start off. Jack is powerslammed and Hawk batters him with a big clothesline. Bigelow and Hawk square off and they club away at each other. Hawk dropkicks Bam Bam but he does not leave his feet. Sullivan comes in and Hawk wipes him out right away. Jack and Norman face off and Jack is squashed in the corner and quickly tags out.
Animal and Bigelow square off and both no sell the other. Both men flop over the top rope on a clothesline but Bigelow lands on his feet and stares down the Warriors. Jack is flung into Hawk by Bigelow and Hawk launches him over the top rope and Jack splats violently onto the concrete. Hawk nails a flying clothesline off the apron and then flings Jack over the barricade for another sick bump. No wonder Ric Flair told Foley he would be crippled in 5 years! Hawk chucks the stairs at Jack for good measure.
Bigelow and Sullivan abuse Norman in the ring. Bigelow suplexes the massively obese mental midget. Jack flings himself over the top rope and splats again as he drops Norman’s throat over the top rope. Norman bumped around for Bigelow and Sullivan but for whatever reason he stayed on his feet for Jack’s offensive moves. JR is forced to note the massive amount of people who can be seen piling into their seats, as WCW printed the wrong start times on many tickets.
Norman finally makes a tag and Animal unloads on all 3 heels. A six way brawl breaks out and Hawk nails Sullivan with a flying clothesline for the pin. Solid chaotic fun. Jack’s bumps are worth viewing.
Johnny Ace vs. “Mean” Mark Callous
Undertaker has his swag here already as he struts and talks shit before the match. Mark nails Ace with a big clothesline right away but Ace is able to rally and send Callous to the floor and nail him with a plancha. Mark eats a few knees but Ace slows the pace with an armbar and Callous is able to use brute force in short range to take control. Mark busts out a delayed suplex and a savate kick to show off some offense that disappeared into the ether of the Undertaker gimmick. A flying clothesline rocks Ace further. Big boot and high legdrop sets up the arrogant cover that nets a 2 count. Ace misses a dropkick and is choked. Another pair of dropkicks drop Mark but a flying clothesline misses and Callous nails him with a heart punch and then walks along the top rope to drop a flying elbow for the pin. I enjoyed seeing ProtoTaker work.
WCW debuts the “Slam-o-meter” that works as a Richter scale for big moves. Oh WCW.
The dignified Gordon Solie is given the task of investigating Robocop’s location.
“Captain” Mike Rotunda and Tommy Rich vs. Tama and Fatu
They stall forever to start. Jim Ross informs us El Gigante has signed with WCW. Shudder.
Fatu chops away on Mike but a dropkick sends the Samoan to the floor. Tama eats one too and Rich comes in. Tama powerslams him but Fatu misses a follow up flying headbutt. Rotondo and Rich trade off on arm bars as the match remains in neutral. The Samoans double team Rotunda to take control. Mike absorbs a thrust kick, clubbing forearms and a nerve hold. The Samoans chuck the Captain to the floor and go back to rest holds. I check my email as nothing is happening. The rest holds go on for endless minutes. Rich makes the lukewarm tag and both Samoans take drop kicks. Rich locks in a sleeper but the other Samoan nails him from behind and he is pinned. DREADFUL.
Scott Steiner cuts a bad promo regarding the Steiners match with DOOM.
Paul Ellering vs. Teddy Long
This is hair vs. hair. For those unfamiliar: neither man has much to start with. Missy Hyatt’s breasts introduce the match. The fans approve. Long is wearing boxing gloves. Long batters him but has little effect. Long loads his boxing glove and rocks Ellering. Paul gets the glove and knocks out Long for the win. Next please.
Ric Flair, Ole and Arn Anderson and Sid Vicious join us for a promo. Sid looks huge. They all talk except Sid who just snarls at the camera.
US Tag Team Champions Tom Zenk and Brian Pillman vs. The Midnight Express
Jim Cornette is to be locked in a shark cage for the duration of the match. Ross makes gay jokes towards Corny as he runs away from security until the ref decks him and the faces toss Cornette into the cage. A four way scuffle kicks things off and the heels bounce all over the place before Pillman hits a flying clothesline on both men and they bail. Zenk out wits both heels and they are forced to regroup again. Eaton turns toward a brawling strategy and briefly takes control but the faces technical and flying moves are too much and both Eaton and Lane are kept off kilter.
Eaton chucks Pillman to the floor and even that doesn’t slow him down as Pillman pops right back up and launches himself at Eaton. Zenk sends Eaton over the top rope and Lane joins him on the floor. Pillman is sent throat first into the railing to finally give the Midnights control. Eaton hits a nifty backbreaker after bouncing Pillman’s legs off the top rope. Eaton nails a flying elbow for the near fall. Pillman absorbs punishment for several more minutes before he’s able to catch Eaton with a desperation tilt-a-whirl suplex and tag in Zenk. Zenk tries to fend off both heels but the numbers game catches up with him and the Z-man is downed and nailed with a rocket launcher. Eaton accidentally crotches himself and Zenk starts to unload on Bobby. Lane sneaks in and kicks Zenk in the head which causes him to collapse into an Eaton cradle for the pin and the title change. Another solid tag match and the beginning of the last hurrah for The Midnight Express.
The distinguished Gordon Solie is on location as Robocop makes his way out of the locker room. Gary Micheal Capetta gives Robocop a full introduction like he’s some kind of actual war hero and not a movie character. Sting comes down to greet the fans and the Horsemen jump him and lock him in the cage that Cornette had just been placed in. I’m not sure I understand their logic-wouldn’t smashing his knee further your cause better? Robocop rips the door off as Ole cuts a promo on the cyborg. Seeing his strength, the Horsemen run away. What a goofy angle.
Junkyard Dog makes his return to the NWA after a year away and calls out the Horsemen and “Mean” Mark Callous. Cornette interrupts him and tells him to get off the stage and let Corny talk. JYD says he’s only been gone because he has been banging Cornette’s Mama. Corny tries a racquet shot and runs away.
Rock and Roll Express vs. The Fabulous Freebirds
All four men have leather straps attached to the ringpost for this match. The Express come down with an antique jukebox that sure makes them seem old instead of “hip” rockers. Hayes stalls and struts. Gibson slaps Hayes and both men tag out. Garvin and Morton both strut. Garvin knocks Morton down and grabs a strap but Morton gets it and Gibson and Ricky whip both Freebirds until they bail. The Express trap Garvin and switch places without tagging a few times to infuriate Hayes. Both heels are trapped in simultaneous figure four leglocks – a few eyepokes free them. Hayes tries to whip Gibson but Robert gets his own and whips Hayes.
Garvin tags in and takes control on Gibson. Robert’s face is ground into the mat. Morton is able to tag in but walks into a Hayes left hand that rocks him badly. Ricky eats another nasty punch by Hayes and the Freebird drops a series of quick elbows and a bulldog. Garvin comes in and works the headlock to waste some time. Garvin is caught on the top rope and slammed off. Hayes tries a bulldog but Morton shoves him off and makes the tag. A four way breaks out and Hayes hits Gibson with a DDT. He tries another and Morton rolls him up for the pin. Another long Freebird match that not even Ricky Morton could save.
Doug Furnas (with perm) puts over Lex Luger’s staph infection and predicts a Luger title win tonight anyway.
World tag team champions The Steiner Brothers vs. DOOM
Ross puts over Scott Steiner’s steroid use. Rick steals Teddy Long’s doo rag to expose…the same hairline he had before. Scott shoves the ref and then downs Simmons with a series of shoulder blocks and a powerslam. Then Simmons gets dumped on his head with a belly to back suplex. Reed and Scott trade wristlocks until Scott sends him and Simmons both reeling with Steinerlines. Rick comes in and Reed takes over almost right away with punches. A Steinerline attempt is blocked and Rick is sent to the floor. Reed follows him down to the concrete and that proves to be a mistake a Rick bodyslams Reed on the cement and Scott whips him into the railing.
Simmons comes back in and Rick piledrives him and sends him to the floor with a Steinerline. Reed and Scott tag in and Scott scoops him up and slams him into the turnbuckle. Rick tries to follow up on his brother’s success and ends up dumped to the arena floor. Scott tags back in and Reed deposits him onto the floor as well. Simmons smashes away on Scott’s back but he runs into a boot. Reed delivers a double axehandle from the top rope and maintains control until Scott manages to reverse a suplex. Scott makes a desperate attempt to make a tag and Simmons knocks him through the ropes with a flying knee.
Reed plants Scott into the mat with a bulldog and a piledriver. Simmons nails a violent looking shoulderblock. Scott nails a Frankensteiner out of desperation and Rick is tagged in. Reed tags in and a four way breaks out. Scott is nailed with the Hart Attack clothesline and then DOOM smashes him into the ringpost. Rick attempts a belly to belly suplex from the top rope, but Reed pulls him down and Simmons lands on top for the pin. Hard hitting goodness, as DOOM becomes the World tag team champions.
World Champion Ric Flair vs. US Champion Lex Luger
Luger and Flair both have ridiculously long hair here. Woman is with Flair and her 80’s hair is a sight to see as well. This cage is the huge “Thunderdome” variety.
Luger no sells a chop and chases Flair to the floor. He helps Flair back in via a vertical suplex. Flair escapes to the floor after a pair of press slams. A litany of chops are no sold by Luger as well as a vertical suplex. Flair is rammed into the cage and then chased up the steel wall. Flair is slammed into the ringpost and a crimson mask begins to form. The Total Package batters the wound and chases Flair up the cage again. Flair’s face meets steel once more. Luger no sells more chops and a shoulder block. Lex nails a suplex but injures his knee on impact. That killed the crowd in a hurry as they had been exploding for Lex’s assault.
Flair works over Luger’s knee of course. Flair then locks on the figure four. Flair gets caught holding the ropes and is forced to break the submission attempt. Luger tears into Flair with multiple clotheslines as Ole, Arn and Sid come down and try and find a weak spot in the cage. Luger press slams Flair as Sting runs down and takes the fight to the Horseman. They maul him 3 on 1 until El Gigante debuts (in a ridiculous looking outfit) and scares them off.
Ole grabs the cage raising control off camera and gets it up as Luger locks on the Torture Rack. Barry Windham runs in for the lamest of lame DQ’s. IN A CAGE. A DQ!! Augh. Arn slips in as well and Luger is beat down 3 on 1. Sting and Gigante watch on impotently until somebody finally gets the cage up and they can chase the Horsemen off. Gigante doesn’t do any moves, he just stares.
Flair cuts a bloody, crazed promo to close the show until Sting and Gigante scare them off one last time.
Well mostly nothing was actively bad on the show, there was also no true stand out matches. Poor Luger has another screwy finish to a World title match – one he was destined to lose anyway as everybody knew Sting was coming back in 2 months.
Now we enter a dark dark place in WCW, where El Gigante and JYD headline and The Black Scorpion will soon rise. Next up in this series is the June 90 Clash of the Champions that is main evented by the infamously bad Ric Flair vs. JYD match. CAN’T WAIT!