WCW Starrcade 1993

WCW Starracde 1993 Review

28_Ric-Flair-Starrcade-93_articleMonday, December 27th, 1993 – Independence Arena – Charlotte, North Carolina – A show that I used to rent a lot when I was younger, I wanted to review was this very show, World Championship Wrestling’s Starrcade 1993!  Starrcade 1993 was tenth anniversary of WCW’s WrestleMania and what better way than put the biggest star in the main event in his home town?  Let’s get into the tape!

A piano music track plays when the pay-per-view opens, showing up the history of Ric Flair, the challenger in the main event of the card. Then we see the WCW Champion, Vader, with some heavy metal rifts. Pyro goes off and our announcers welcomes us to the show, Tony Schiavone and Jesse Ventura! To my surprise, “the Body” Ventura’s in a suit! Looking pretty good for the future Minnesota Governor!

Tony and Jesse show us a video of Vader and his manager Harley Race making it early to the arena to train. Vader’s is in a awesome leather jacket and sweat pants and Race is in a suit. I guess it’s a good thing McMahon wasn’t booking WCW in 1993, if so, Vader may have been fired for being the World Heavyweight Champion and not wearing a suit.

When the show opened, Ric Flair hasn’t arrived at the arena. “Mean” Gene Okerlund was sent to “the Nature Boy”’s home to get him (pretty much) and Flair was telling his family “goodbye’s” with a side of hugs and kisses. A babyface Flair is always a great thing in my eyes.

The main event sees Ric Flair putting his career on the line for Vader’s WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Okerlund put that over with Flair on their limo ride over and Flair’s pretty calm, telling “Mean” Gene that he knew what he was getting into when he signed the contract for the card.

2 Cold Scorpio & Marcus Bagwell (with Teddy Long) versus Pretty Wonderful (Paul Orndorff & Paul Roma) (with the Assassin)

After Scorpio and Bagwell got into the ring with Teddy Long, Long was given the 1993 WCW manager of the Year award. Great work, playa, I’m hoping you’ll get the 2012 WWE General Manager’s Assistant award.

When Pretty Wonderful entered the ring, the four men started to brawl, not starting the match until referee Nick Patrick can gain control of the competitors.

One thing I appreciate about the two teams in this match is, each guy has matching attire to his tag partner. Scorpio and Bagwell are wearing bright orange and black full tights and Pretty Wonderful are wearing black trunks with words written in red on the back. Matching team attires are always a must in tag team competition!

The crowd seemed pretty into Orndorff and Roma, chanting “Paula!” at Roma, I’m assuming to give him a hard time for having a girl’s first name. Reading his body language whenever the crowd chant it, I can’t blame him for hating his name.

Off and on the crowd’s pretty quiet for this match and at times they’re into the match. More times than not they’re quiet. I have to say not the greatest way to open the card this Monday night before 1994.

The end of the match seen Teddy Long distracting Nick Patrick, allowing the Assassin to put something in his mask, headbutting Scorpio, and Mr. Wonderful picking up the pinfall!

Winners: Pretty Wonderful with a wonderful victory!

We go back to the limo ride with Okerlund and Flair seems un-Flair like they put over that this very December night in 1993 could be the last time we see “the Nature Boy” in a professional wrestling match. I have a feeling that this might be Ric Flair’s last match (of course, adding in scarcasm with that sentence).

Awesome Kong (with King Kong) versus the Shockmaster

A big man versus another big man match, which means we’ll see a lot of high-flying and a lot of techincal wrestling for this match! Yes!

When the Shockmaster got in the ring, King Kong and Awesome Kong attacked the Shockmaster. A few minutes passed and Randy Anderson gained control of the match and forced the one-on-one rules. Thanks Randy Anderson!

The match was a short-match, around ninty seconds. Big body slam was how it ended.

Winner: the Shockmaster and the Natural Disasters for a huge earthquake happened after the body slam.

We go back and see Ric Flair and Gene Okerlund arrive at the arena and a faint “Wooooo!” from the fans. “Mean” Gene told Ric “good luck” with his main event match.

WCW World Television Championship match :: 15-minute time limit :: Ricky “the Dragon” Steamboat versus Lord Steven Regal (champion) (with Sir William)

I remembered that for most of his career, William Regal wrestled under the first name of Steven. Both first names sounds classy, especially how good of a wrestler Regal is, and how well he comes across, he’s a great heel.

Nick Patrick is back and shows the belt to Steamboat and Steamboat shows off the belt, and the fans cheer. Patrick grabs the title back and shows off the belt and the bell rings.

Ventura tells us that being the challenger in the time-limit championship match, he has to be the aggressor if he wants to capture the belt. Thanks Jesse for the proverb!

The match is very slow paced with a lot of holds. For a wrestling fan like I who’s a smark, I appreciate the technical wrestling and appreciate European chain wrestling. Story-telling at it’s finest whenever Steven Regal’s showing off his technical skills.

Ventura was mentioning that Steamboat needs to pick up the pace if he wants to win the match and capture the Television title from Regal. Can’t argue with “the Body” with that statement, you have two people to beat in the TV title bouts, the champion and the clock.

When Gary Michael Cappetta (the ring announcer) announced that there was three minutes left in the match, Steamboat started to pick the pace up, trying to ware Regal down more to capture the Television gold. Come on Steamboat!

After each minute, the fans get more into the match when Cappetta announces that another minute goes and the pace picks up in the ring. The crowd cheers when Steamboat flew off the top rope when Cappetta counts down the last ten-seconds. Sorry Ricky “the Dragon,” you didn’t win the gold on this December night.

Winner: the time limit yet the smarks are the real winners.

Schiavone and Ventura talks more about the WCW Title main event and Tony tells Jesse that he’s concerned for Flair, that he might retire tonight. Ventura mentions that retirement isn’t as bad as people think it is, heck, Ventura mentioned, look at him, he became a successful color-commentator, Flair can strive to be like Jesse after he lost to Vader.

Tex Slazenger & Shanghai Pierce versus Cactus Jack & Maxx Payne

I just relized, Tex Slazenger would finish 1990’s in the WWE as Mideon! I never knew Mideon wrestled in WCW, especially when Mick Foley was there in the early ’90’s!

Schiavone and Ventura tells us a 1993 history lesson where on a Saturday Night taping in April, Vader put Cactus Jack out of action and Ventura helped Jack onto a streacher and, according to Schiavone and Ventura, no one thought he’d come back. Vader must of put a huge beating down on Cactus for the announcers to think that.

For the size of the guys in the match, I’m not surprised that the crowd isn’t into the match, unless Cactus does his signature moves. Along with that, I’m not surprised these four men aren’t any good in the techical skills, but that’s okay, right? Everyone has to wrestle a different kind of story, but the only thing bad about this match is, the crowd seems to not care for the match.

The match ends when Cactus hit the double arm DDT for the win.

Winners: Cactus Jack and Maxx Payne! I suppose as well as Cactus’ cacti ights.

“Mean” Gene Okerlund welcomed Kyle Petty, a NASCAR driver back in ’93, and interviewed him on the “Mean Gene” position. Okerlund asked him about retirement because Petty’s father retired recently. Petty said that it’s a shame if someone has to retire at the top of their game and hopes that Flair doesn’t have to retire during his prime.

WCW United States Championship match :: Two-Out-of-Three Falls match :: “Stunning” Steve Austin (with Col. Robert Parker) versus “the Natural” Dustin Rhodes (champion)

I watched the WWE Fully Loaded 1998 pay-per-view last weekend and the WWE Intercontinental title was also in a two-out-of-three falls and both Triple H and the Rock went to the full time limit. I hope, for a second weekend, I don’t see another draw (especially when we seen a draw already on this very card).

Both Rhodes and Austin do a lot of ground-chain wrestling, which is great to see. I wish the fans at the arena in 1993 and fans in 2012 would appreciate seeing chain wrestling, as well as technical wrestling. Wrestlers nowadays aren’t anything like they were during this time period.

A funny conversation that Ventura and Schiavone were discussing Parker’s cigars. Ventura questioned Schiavone, wondering why Col. Parker’s cigars are never lit when he’s ringside and having one in his mouth. They talked some politics, which doesn’t surprise me coming from one of my Governors.

Rhodes had a taped right fist for the matched and the announcers kept mentioning it and Ventura, as usual, questions why Rhodes has to have a taped fist. I think that’s a conspiracy Jesse!

Austin went for an easy cover, not hooking a leg or anything, and got a two count. Ventura mentioned that if he would of hooked a leg or the head or a half nelson, he would of picked up the first fall. I can see Ventura’s logic, if he would of hooked something, he’d have a better chance of scoring a fall, but not necessary that fall.

Col. Parker jumped up on the apron to distract Rhodes and Rhodes threw Austin into him, giving Austin the first fall. How? During this time in WCW, if you tossed someone outside the ring, that’s a disqualification.

Austin – 1

Rhodes – 0

Those two men brawled outside the ring and Rhodes left Austin in a pool of beaten mess. Rhodes threw him into the ring to start the second fall and when this happened, the lights went out and the crew had to pull out some spot lights for the match. During this time, Austin’s been busted wide open.

Austin was being pumpled in the corner and pushed Rhodes off and covered him, grabbed the tights, and picked up the second fall.

Austin – 2

Rhodes – 0

The announcers were surprised that Austin won two straight falls.

Winner: Steve Austin and the disqualification rule that WCW had in place. Thanks!

The British Bulldog was suppose to be Rick Rude’s challenger for the WCW International title but couldn’t compete, so the Boss was bumped into the Bulldog’s spot. I find that funny cause of the whole UFC 151 situation that went down recently. I guess Dana White didn’t watch much of WCW in 1993, or he didn’t take any notes.

WCW International Heavyweight Championship match :: the Boss versus Rick Rude (champion)

When the Boss was coming out, Schiavone said, “He’s one big guy.”

“With one big stick!” Ventura mentioned. That made me laugh, thinking of how dirty that comment is that Jesse “the Body” uttered.

Rick Rude did his pre-match pose down and before he posed, he grabbed the mic and told the fans that he’s the “Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion!” To be honest, I would love if he, in his prime, could face Chris Jericho during his prime. They would have had great promos with one another and would have had great matches too.

A fun fact: the Boss in WCW did the same character the Big Bossman played in the WWF. Oh wait, the Boss is the Big Bossman! Go Bossman! Win the WCW International title!

An odd note I picked up on for this match: the Boss was portrayed to be the babyface and wore black for this match and Rude is the heel and has the colorful tights.

Ventura mentioned Rick Rude’s history before wrestling, being a tough man bouncer in bars in Robbinsdale, Minnesota, before becoming pro. He also is undefeated, to what Jesse knows, at arm wrestling, and that’s a tough thing to do in arm wrestling in Minnesota bars.

Boss is one of the better big men wrestlers and Rick Rude is known for putting on great matches with guys who aren’t the greatest wrestlers, yet this match isn’t the best. It could be the quiet crowd, but I feel like the Boss and Rude don’t have any chemistry together in the squared circle.

Both the champion and challenger got into the center of the ring and the challenger locked in a bear hug. Rude got out of the hug by biting the Boss’s nose. Minnesotans always fight dirty!

After a mistake by the Boss and a sunset flip, Rude retains the title after scoring the pin!

Winner: Ravishing Rick Rude and the whole state of Minnesota!

He’s simply ravishing with that victory!

World Tag Team Championship Match :: Sting and Road Warrior Hawk versus the Nasty Boys (champions – Missy Hyatt)

When Sting and Hawk came out, Ventura and Schiavone put over odd team, saying that the only way they’ll lose is if they defeat themselves.

After the bell rang, the Nasty Boys were taunting the fans and the crowd was booing and Schiavone got after the champions, and Ventura got after Tony, asking him if he expected anything different.  One thing I love about watching old tapes, having Jesse Ventura on color commentary, since he called it the way I often see it whenever I watch the old tapes.

For the start of the match, both teams kept the pace pretty slow.  Knowing the Nasty Boys and knowing Hawk, those three men are brawlers and their fights don’t last too long, so milking the crowd for as long as they can, I have to give them props.

Several minutes into the match, the crowd didn’t seem too interested into what the four competitors were doing in the ring.  To be honest, I really can’t blame them.  This being the seventh match in, the crowd didn’t seem to care much on what’s going on.  Maybe bad placement for the match?  I believe so.

The crowd seemed to get into the match when on the floor; Missy Hyatt smacked Hawk with her whip.  Ventura and Schiavone seem to get excited when she used it, as with the fans.

When Knobs had Hawk in a rest hold and Hawk slapped the man, trying to get the fans to cheer him into countering the hold, no one cared.  Wow, was the crowd that burnt out, or did they simply not care for the match?

A spot that got the fans into the match was when the Nasty Boys, along with the beautiful Missy Hyatt, tried to walk out and get a count-out loss, but the challengers ran out and brought them back to the ring.  Smart thinking on both teams.  If I were a wrestler, that’s how I try ending each match, if I can’t lose the title by being counted out, why not get counted out?

Each time I hear Gary Cappetta tell us how much time we have left for the time-limit title match, I couldn’t wait for the match to end, since I started to battle sleep half-way through this match.  I’m sorry, but these four men didn’t and couldn’t make me care for this match.

The match ended in a disqualification, meaning that the Nasty Boys retained the titles!  Thank you whoever had time limits in WCW back then, since this match was hard to keep paying attention during!

WCW World Heavyweight Championship :: Vader (champion – with Harley Race) versus Ric Flair

Vader came out first, which I found to be odd, but this being Ric Flair’s home town, I can handle the challenger coming out second.  After Vader and Race came to the ring, Vader walked over to Ventura and barked at him to get comfortable, since he’s about to give the challenger the beating of his lifetime!

When the challenger came to the ring, the crowd all jumped to their feet and remained on their feet during the introductions by Michael Buffer.

For the match, Vader put his championship up on the line if Ric Flair put his career on the line.  During this time, career stipulations were rarely done, so this seemed legit.

The first few minutes of the match were pretty slow, doing a slow build for the finish of the match.  Flair had Vader chase him around the outside the ring, which the crowd ate up.  Once both men got into the ring, Vader got the upper-hand on Flair, making sure the fans were sitting on the edge of their seats.

One thing I love about Vader during this time was whenever he had the advantage, he’d yell at the fans.  At Starrcade 1993, he often yell at the fans, asking them, “Who’s the man?”  Yes Vader, walking into Starrcade, you’re the man!

A mistake that the champion took that got the fans to cheer was when Vader stood on the bottom rope and tried to splash the challenger.  A bad landing for the champion when Ric Flair rolled out of the way, causing Vader to eat canvas, to the cheers of the hometown crowd.

Within moments, Vader got the upper hand again and when Vader had Flair on his shoulder, the champion yelled at the crowd, “Huh?,” waiting for them to boo him out of the building.

When Cappetta announced that 15 minutes of this 45 minute match passed, it surprised me how well these two men paced this match better than the World Tag title match just before this.  It didn’t feel like 15 minutes and I wished this match could have gone longer.

The end of the match saw when Race tried to interfere by jumping off the top rope onto Flair, but Flair rolled out of the way and hit his own man, Vader.  Randy Anderson, the ref for the match, kicked him out of the ring and moments later, Flair rolled Vader up and scored the pinfall victory!

Winner: Ric Flair, the new World Heavyweight Champion!

tumblr_m98kkzO4rl1ql0k28o1_500Dave Meltzer said on January 3rd, 1994 edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (can be found here) that “Ric Flair’s 11th (or 10th, or 12th, depending on what you consider a world title and what you’re willing to accept and ignore when it comes to wrestling history) world title victory was easily the most memorable of all his title wins, and created a unique emotional moment almost foreign to American wrestling.

In what was easily the best job of build-up for a single match in the five-year history of WCW, Starrcade ’93, by virtue of a horrible situation that took place two months earlier in England, was switched from the planned Vader losing the WCW title to Sid Vicious, to Vader losing the title to Flair in a match where Flair put his career on the line.”

Meltzer also gave this match a four-and-three-quarter-star rating, which I cannot argue with.  I also wrote about this match at CamelClutchBlog[dot]Com (which can be found here).  A great match, but not so much for a whole show.  So if you can find the match (which shouldn’t be too hard to find), go out of your way and watch it if you hadn’t seen it before.  If you have a few hours and wanted to spend watching some old school wrestling, take time and watch it.

January 14th, 1989 World Championship Wrestling Saturday Night

1/14/89 World Championship Wrestling Saturday Night

Image

Barry Windham w/ James J Dillon vs. “Hot Stuff” Eddie Gilbert

Gilbert gets in Windham’s face. Windham takes over with punches and a suplex. Gilbert comes back with a really cool flying clothesline. Both of these guys are looking really good here at the beginning of 89. Windham takes back over, featuring a really nice headlock takeover. The crowd is super hot for this. Windham is hammering Gilbert with right hands and Gilbert is doing is goofy drunk selling, which I’m not a fan of. Ric Flair is out to look on with Dillon. Ross is just awesome, selling the fact that Flair is concerned over Gilbert taking the title from Windham. This match is a lot of back and forth punching, with Windham on the offensive, but Hot Stuff not giving up. At about 7:00 minutes, Windham throws Gilbert outside and appears to take over, but Gilbert fights back and has a short shine in the ring with a two-count off of an elbow drop. Windham is really good here in my opinion, everything he does is right on point, from the suplexes, to his heel demeanors when arguing with referee Teddy Long. Windham bites Gilbert, before setting Eddie up for his finisher, the superplex. Gilbert initially fights off, but Barry hits the move. However, he eschews the pin in favor of beating on Eddie some more. After Barry misses a knee drop, Gilbert hooks in a figure four leg lock, but can’t finish it, nicely selling the exhaustion.  At the 12 minute mark, Flair can’t take anymore and enters the ring, causing a disqualification.

Winner: 13:00, EDDIE GILBERT (Disqualification) *** Very nice match, Windham looked good and so did Gilbert in this one

After the bell, the horsemen take over. Double-teaming on Gilbert in the ring with clotheslines and knee drops. After, JJ cuts a very nice promo, that while short, serves its purpose. He states that the reason for this was Gilbert being annoying and taking TV time, and now his name can be added to all the rest of the people the Horsemen have taken out.

Next is a Dusty Rhodes promo. He is a little all around the map here, as usual. He says he is the NWA and professional wrestling and gets around to saying that he is coming for Barry Windham because his paycheck comes every Wednesday (?) and he needs the US title. He also gets a slight dig in by saying that the 4 Horsemen are now, “Only two, only two” as Anderson and Blanchard had recently left for the WWF at the time.

Michael PS Hayes vs. Paul Lee

Hayes does a lot of strutting and dancing before the match and by the time of the lockup, is nearly out of breath. Lee is quite the character. His skin is nearly transparent and his bleached hair just adds to it. Steven Casey, from the metroplex, is out to watch the match. This match is obviously all Hayes here, doing what he wants. I like how Hayes is playing the character of being happy and a fan favorite, but very close to being unhinged and letting his heel form shine through. After no-selling a couple of Lee shots, Hayes hits the DDT for the W.

Winner: 4:00, MICHAEL HAYES (DDT) * Hayes relied way too much on a headlock in what should have been a showcase for him

Next is an interview with Hayes and his new tag team partner, the Junkyard Dog. JYD starts out very incomprehensibly talking about bones and that they’re going after the US tag titles held by “The Devil” and Steve Dr. Death Williams. Hayes takes over, and does a really nice job. My favorite line being, “Heaven don’t want us and Hell is afraid we’ll take over!” Hayes nicely got over the fact they’re coming after the Varsity Club and that even though Williams is a machine, machines can break and can’t adapt, so Hayes and JYD are coming after them. Weirdly though, he finishes by quoting “Bad to the Bone.” Strange.

Kevin Sullivan and Dr. Death vs. Randy Hogan and Mike Collins

I don’t like Kevin Sullivan. I hate his look, his terrible haircut (shaved sides mullet) and his association with the Varsity Club. Why is he even with these guys? The Varsity Club is in total control of this one. It’s a definite showcase for Dr. Death, as he throws around these guys left and right. Randy Hogan, obviously named for his blonde horseshoe haircut and handlebar moustache, looks like the Huckster from 1996 WWF, but despite his terrible look, does a good job selling Dr. Death’s moves. Sullivan takes over on “Mark Collins”, as JR calls him. Oops. Williams gets back in and finishes Collins off with the Oklahoma Stampede for the pin fall and squirts him with his water bottle before leaving the ring.

Winners: 4:00 KEVIN SULLIVAN AND DR. DEATH (Oklahoma Stampede) *1/4

After the match, the Varsity Club joins JR at the interview station. Sullivan speaks on 1989 being the year of the Varsity Club. He addresses the Road Warriors and states that they’re coming for them. Mike Rotunda gets on the mic and calls Rick Steiner a “kleptomaniac moron” and says Steiner stole his TV championship. He says he is a thief and doesn’t even know it and is going to get back what’s his. During the promo, Dr. Death kept walking in front of the camera like he wasn’t sure where he was or who was talking. What’s the deal there?

The Road Warriors w/ Paul Ellering vs. Dale Laparouse and Mike Jackson

The warriors come out hot, with Hawk getting Laparouse right away with a nice dropkick. After one shot from Animal, doomsday device and it’s over.

Winners: 1:00, THE ROAD WARRIORS (Doomsday Device) NR (too short)

After, the Road Warriors, the world tag team champions get an interview. Animal and Hawk address the Varsity Club and say they will snack on Sullivan, dine on Doc and do away with the challengers. Animal says he’s bringing in Tenryu from Japan for the 6 man championships. An ok promo on the whole, with LOD getting over their disdain for Sullivan and Death.

Next is another promo from the Horsemen, or what’s left of them. Windham and Flair both downplay their actions from earlier. Flair is awesome as usual, talking about how 1989 is the year of the Horsemen. Eddie Gilbert comes out and challenges the Horsemen to a match next week to a match with him and his partner. After some cajoling, Dillon commits to a match for the next week with Gilbert and anyone except Lex Luger. After Gilbert leaves, Flair gives respect to Gilbert for challenging them and being a man. This is something I always loved about Flair; he always gives it up to his opponents. Remember, if you call him a nobody and beat them, all you did was beat a nobody. Flair is a pro at that.

The Original Midnight Express vs. Trent Knight and Bob Emory

Dennis Condrey might be my favorite wrestler. He looks old; he’s got a gut, a mullet and wears the bandana wherever he goes. He’s just an old shitkicker and that’s what I love about him. The OMx control this match from pretty much beginning to end while Dangerously mugs, shouts and laughs at the camera for most of the match. I don’t like that the OMx don’t wear matching attire, they don’t look like a team to me. Dangerously:  “You know who gave Dennis Condrey the nickname Loverboy? Jim Cornette’s mama. She had personal experience.” The Express finish it up with a combo of Condrey lifting up Randy Rose and slamming him down in a leg drop onto Knight for the victory. Paul E. calls this the Human Coughdrop. This was alright. As much as I love Condrey, he’s a little past his prime and Rose just doesn’t have a spot in this feud.

Winners: 4:00, THE ORIGINAL MIDNIGHT EXPRESS (Human Coughdrop) *1/2

After the match, Paul E. shows some footage of him hitting Cornette with the phone. He cuts a promo on Cornette, saying that he’s going to run him out of the NWA. “You think it’s over when I leave, I think it’s over when I spit on your career’s grave.” Some nice work there

Larry Zybysko and Al Perez w/ Gary Hart vs. George South and Curtis Thompson

Zybysko is the Western States Champion at the time. Abdullah the Butcher humorously keeps trying to come out and get involved, which I love. Perez is good and I don’t think he ever reached his full potential. George South looks like someone you’d meet at a truck stop or county fair. Perez finishes it off with the “Al-i-copter” airplane spin for the win.

Winners: 3:00. AL PEREZ AND LARRY ZYBYSKO (Al-i-copter) *3/4

After the match, Gary Hart is at the interview station for a promo. The story is that Hart won’t have his guys face Flair for the title because of his association with Flair and Dillon. Now he says that is off the table. This is all to set up a title match at a house show in Florida that is coming up. After that Zbysko says he’s going to be the champ in 1989. We’ll sure see about that.

Dick Murdoch vs. Eddie Sweat

Eddie Sweat, what a name. I wonder how he got that name. JR spends the first part of the match talking about Murdoch’s son who plays for the South Lake Carroll Dragons high school football team, who just went undefeated for 1989. Murdoch is just beating on the sweaty one, pulling up Eddie multiple times before finishing him with a terrible brainbuster.

Winner: 3:00, DICK MURDOCH (Brainbuster) ¾ *

Now, Ric Flair is with Missy Hyatt. Hyatt calls Ric sexier than Don Johnson and Sylvester Stallone combined. They talk about Flair’s match with Luger at Starrcade that just recently happened. Flair calls Luger the golden Adonis, but because he is not Ric Flair he will not face him ever again for the title. Flair was awesome here, in total Nature Boy mode.

Midnight Express vs. Keith Steinborn and Gary Royal

The Express start out hot with Keirn hitting sine fancy kicks and good-looking double-team moves. Bobby hits a real good-looking elbow drop on one of the jobbers. Keirn is a little off, missing slightly on a couple moves. Eaton comes back in and hits the Veg-o-matic to close the match.

Winner: 2:00, THE MIDNIGHT EXPRESS (Veg-o-matic) **

Cornette on for an interview. The story he’s telling is that these three are problem children, doing what they want. Cornette was very good here “The game ain’t over til I win.” Gold.

Main Event: Rick Steiner (World TV Champion) vs. Mike Rotunda w/ Kevin Sullivan

As both wrestlers come out, Steiner taunts Rotunda with his newly won TV title. Steiner then goes out and parties with the definition of 1989 (steps cut in hair, pseudo racquetball sunglasses, starter sweatsuit), before getting in the ring to square off. Rotunda starts off with the heat with a huge clothesline before Steiner comes back by throwing Mike out. Steiner caps off the shine by barking at Rotunda, of course. I have never been a huge fan of Rick Steiner; his character to me has always been something close to awful. But I do think that he looks awesome here. He might not be the best wrestler, but the crowd is super into him and that helps overcome that Rotunda is generally boring as usual. Oh gosh, now Steiner is talking to “Alex” aka a face painted on his hand. This is what I’m talking about. Rotunda throws a really nice dropkick at Steiner before slowing it down with some clubbing shots. Sullivan throws a “block of wood” “used for something” according Schiavonne, at Steiner to keep the edge. The crowd is so hot for this it’s crazy. Rotunda goes up-top, but is thrown off by Steiner before getting hit by a shoulder block. Sullivan starts to get involved, chops to the throat of Steiner. At the 9:00 mark, Dr. Death comes out and attacks Steiner to get the DQ.

Winner: 9:00 by DQ RICK STEINER *** It was a very good match, but all of that leading up to a junk finish just isn’t worth it for me.

The beat down is all three of the Varsity Club hitting a stuff piledriver on Steiner and leaving him lay. Sullivan tries to steal Steiner’s dog that he brings with him but is stopped by JYD and Hayes.

Lex Luger and Sting vs. Agent Steele and Bob Holiday

Another squash tag match, here at the end of the show. Steele (a masked man wearing yellow pants with red zigzags on them) and Holiday are on the receiving end of a lot of punishment, especially Luger, who is showing his frustration over Flair’s decision. Luger and Sting are still, even in ’89, a little rough around the edges, and Steele and Holiday aren’t quite good enough to pull out anything from Luger and Sting. In a vacuum, Luger and Sting are wrestling like heels; the jobbers don’t cheat or get an advantage in any way. Sting hits the splash, then locks in the Scorpion Deathlock for the victory

Winners: 5:00, LEX LUGER AND STING (Scorpion Deathlock) *1/4

Luger and Sting meet with Ross. Luger talks on Flair’s ruling. He says that the two best matches from 1988 were July 10th at the Great American Bash and in December at Starrcade. He wants to replicate that with Flair in 1989. He throws it to Sting, who cuts an awful promo on Butch Reed while walking around and saying something about a dog-eat-dog world. A rough ending to the show.

Overall, a pretty good show. The two real matches were good enough to pull up the jobber matches and we got some good promos from Paul E, Cornette, and the Road Warriors.

MVP: Cornette. His promo was awesome and he did some good work during the Midnights’ squash.

LVP: Mike Jackson. The Thriller got clotheslined out of the ring before the bell sounded and didn’t enter again. A nice $30 day for Mr. Jackson

Best Promo: Cornette, as said, very nicely done, building up the upcoming feud ender with the Original Midnights.

Worst Promo: Sting. “Yeah, I know who he is. I know something else. 1988 vs. 1989, it’s a dog-eat dog world Rossy and I’m one who realizes that more than anyone (inaudible as walking away)

Fashion Statement of the night:  Agent Steele. Black mask, yellow tights, red zigzags. Nuff said.

Hey, it’s 1989!: The aforementioned fan in the Alabama sweatsuit with the clear plastic glasses and steps in his hair.

That’s Racist (or homophobic): Nothing too much tonight, but there’s going to be some goodness  (or badness) coming up in the next few weeks.