Rock Star Gary reflects on NWA Starrcade ’89: Future Shock


Live from Atlanta, GA

Airdate: December 13, 1989

Attendance:  6,000

Hosted by Jim Ross, Terry Funk, & Jim Cornette

Since WCW used Funk for color commentary on singles matches and Cornette on tag teams, I thought I’d offer my own special guests…read on!

With the Marine Corps in the ring, ring announcer Gary Michael Cappetta introduces an instrumental version of the national anthem.

Now that we’re done with the formalities, let’s kick this show off with our tag team special guest, Ozzy Osbourne:

“Iron Man” by Black Sabbath

Here is the scoring system for the tournaments. Additionally, each match has a 15-minute time limit.

Cappetta then introduces the four tag teams involved. Due to the injury I mentioned in my Clash IX reflection, the Skyscrapers were replaced by the Wild Samoans.

While Ross and Cornette describe Sid’s injury, the seats opposite the hard camera are mostly empty. What’s that, Mr. Stark? You have an insight about this?

Match 1: Doom (w/ Woman & Nitron) versus NWA World tag team champions Rick & Scott Steiner

Highlights:

  • I truly enjoy Cappetta’s introduction of Doom. I believe Ozzy does as well although he may have an ulterior motive.
  • Scott reversed an Irish whip and gave Simmons a powerslam for 2.
  • Upon giving Simmons a cross-corner whip, Scott ate knee on his follow-through.
  • After a leap frog, Scott gave Simmons a clothesline.
  • Rick tagged in and gave Woman an evil stare.
  • To counter a hammerlock, Simmons gave Rick an Ace crusher.
  • After Simmons missed a right hand, Rick delivered an overhead belly-to-belly suplex.
  • Reed came in but received a slam.
  • Reed then gave Rick a knee lift.
  • As Rick ducked a right hand, he leap-frogged Reed and powerslammed him for 2.
  • Scott tagged in, blocked an atomic drop, and gave Reed one of his own.
  • Meanwhile, Ross apologized for the “late-arriving” crowd. Sure, Jim, they’re stuck in traffic on a Wednesday night in downtown Atlanta.
  • Perhaps, you’re right.
  • Scott then rolled up Reed for 2.
  • After giving Reed a backbreaker, Scott got another 2 thanks to a save by Simmons.
  • Scott then reversed another Irish whip and gave Reed an inverted atomic drop.
  • However, when he missed a clothesline, he sailed over the top rope to the floor.
  • As Rick distracted referee Mike Atkins, Nitron and Simmons double-teamed Scott on the floor.
  • If you’re wondering what happened to referee Tommy Young watch this.
  • Back in the ring, Simmons gave Scott a powerslam for 2.
  • Reed tagged in and stomped Scott back to the floor.
  • While Reed occupied Atkins’ attention, Simmons and Nitron double-teamed Scott.
  • Back in the ring, Reed gave Scott a vertical suplex for 2.
  • Scott then hooked an inside cradle for 2.
  • As Simmons tagged in, Doom gave Scott a double back drop.
  • After Simmons gave Scott a spinebuster, he almost got 3.
  • Simmons then hooked a rope-assisted rear chinlock with four minutes left in the time limit.
  • Reed tagged in as Doom gave Scott a double back elbow.
  • While Rick distracted Atkins yet again, Reed tossed Scott over the top rope to the floor. SNEAKY!
  • With Scott on the apron, Reed attempted a vertical suplex, but Scott used momentum to land on top.
  • That only got 1 because Atkins had to put Rick back into his corner.
  • Reed then attempted a piledriver, but Scott countered with a back drop.
  • Upon receiving an Irish whip, Scott leap-frogged Reed and gave him a belly-to-belly suplex.
  • Hot tag Rick.
  • With two minutes remaining, Rick gave Reed a Steinerline.
  • He then delivered another powerslam and clotheslined Reed over the top rope to the floor.
  • When Simmons came in, he ate a Steinerline.
  • As Doom attempted a double clothesline, Nitron tripped Rick.
  • Rick then exited the ring and nailed Nitron with a Steinerline.
  • The Atlanta faithful ERUPTED!
  • All four wrestlers brawled at ringside.
  • Scott then made Simmons taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Manhattan at Max Lager’s.
  • Simmons came back and made Scott HIT THE POLE.
  • As Rick rolled back in the ring, Atkins called for the bell.
  • Rick and Scott Steiner earned 15 points for the countout victory.

Rating: ***

Summary:  Good opener as Rick and Scott Steiner have the Atlanta faithful in their back pocket. Ozzy, what are your thoughts?

Cappetta then introduces the four singles competitors. Finally, it’s time for Tony Stark.

Sorry, Iron Man, didn’t mean to step on your toes.

Match 2: Sting versus the NWA US champion “Total Package” Lex Luger

Highlights:

  • Luger exited the ring and walked down the aisle before Sting caught and nailed him.
  • He then made Luger taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Philly Wiz Wit at Stats.
  • In the ring, Sting attempted a cross body block, but Luger evaded it. That should have sent Sting over the top rope to the floor, but Sting grabbed the top rope to land on the apron instead.
  • While Luger missed a clothesline, Sting didn’t.
  • He then gave Luger a slingshot splash for 2.
  • Upon receiving a series of clotheslines, Luger sought refuge outside the ring.
  • He then caught Sting’s foot, dragged him outside the ring, and rammed him face-first into the apron.
  • As Luger tried to make Sting eat the steel railing, Sting gave Luger a second helping. Waiter, could you please give the bulky narcissist the Hippie sandwich too?
  • Regardless, Sting gave Luger a third helping which must have tasted like the Donny style Philly.
  • Still on the floor, Sting gave Luger a clothesline.
  • After ramming Luger face-first into the apron, Sting mounted the top turnbuckle, hit a cross body block, and got 2.
  • He then gave Luger the ten-punch count-along, blocked an atomic drop, and clotheslined Luger again for 2.
  • When Luger gave Sting a cross-corner whip, the latter leaped to the second turnbuckle, hit another cross body block, and got another 2.
  • After another cross-corner whip by Luger, he ate knee on his follow-through.
  • Sting then delivered a dropkick for yet another 2.
  • As Sting mounted the top turnbuckle, he leaped but got caught.
  • Luger then gave him an inverted atomic drop followed by a running inverted atomic drop.
  • After a gutbuster, Luger delivered a shot to Sting’s midsection.
  • He then punted Sting outside the ring and made him taste the steel railing. Waiter, can you please give the bleached blond surfer some Kung Fu ribs?
  • Back in the ring, Luger mounted the second turnbuckle and hit a double axe handle for 2.
  • With three minutes remaining, Luger delivered a powerslam and attempted the Torture Rack.
  • On the other hand, Sting escaped.
  • At the thirteen-minute mark, Sting hooked a snap suplex for 2.
  • When Luger sought refuge outside the ring again, Sting joined and gave him a fourth helping of the steel railing. Waiter, despite Luger’s strict diet, could you please provide him a pecan brownie?
  • Upon ramming Luger face-first into the apron, Sting clotheslined Luger sending both wrestlers over the top rope into the ring.
  • While putting his foot on the bottom rope, Luger grabbed the second rope, and pinned Sting. How dastardly!
  • Luger earned 20 points for the pinfall victory.
  • Tony, what are your thoughts?

Rating: ***1/2

Summary: Luger really developed his heel character and earned the win with nefarious means. That’s a good heel, folks.

Match 3: Doom (w/ Woman & Nitron) versus the Road Warriors (w/ “Precious” Paul Ellering)

Highlights:

  • After blocking a right by Reed, Animal gave him a standing dropkick.
  • Hawk tagged in and lowered the boom on Reed.
  • Upon failing to take down Reed with a pair of shoulder blocks, Hawk clotheslined him down to the mat.
  • Simmons tagged in but received a powerslam from Hawk.
  • After Hawk gave Simmons a flying shoulder block, Animal tagged in and gave him a back elbow.
  • Simmons came back with his own back elbow and tagged in Reed.
  • Following that, Animal reversed a cross-corner whip from Reed and nailed him.
  • Hawk tagged in and gave Reed a standing dropkick.
  • As he gave Reed a cross-corner whip, he came up empty on his follow-through.
  • On top of that, he fell out of the ring!
  • Upon Hawk’s return, Reed guillotined him using the bottom rope.
  • As the Atlanta faithful chanted “L-O-D,” Simmons tagged in and gave Hawk a powerslam for 2.
  • He then hooked a rope-assisted rear chinlock. It was also assisted by Woman.
  • Reed tagged in as Doom gave Hawk a double back elbow.
  • After a slam, Reed mounted the second turnbuckle and hit an elbow drop for 2.
  • Reed then delivered a lariat for another 2.
  • At the ten-minute mark, Reed attempted a slam, but Hawk used momentum to fall on top.
  • Hot tag Animal.
  • Upon giving Reed a flying shoulder block, Animal delivered a powerslam for 2 thanks to a save by Simmons.
  • All four men were in the ring.
  • After Simmons tossed Hawk outside the ring, Reed attempted a piledriver.
  • In the meantime, Hawk mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a lariat on Reed while referee Mike Atkins was distracted by Simmons.
  • 1-2-3.
  • The Road Warriors earned 20 points with a pinfall victory.
  • Ozzy, care to chime in?

Rating: ***

Summary:  Solid definition of high impact wrestling as these guys excited the Atlanta faithful with power moves.

After the match, Woman was LIVID. Poor Nitron. He probably had to take her home to Kevin Sullivan afterward and earned an earful. What’s that, Ozzy?

C’mon, Ozzy, don’t be a gossip monger.

Let’s go to the scorecards for the tag teams:

  1. Road Warriors 20
  2. Steiners 15
  3. Doom 0
  4. Wild Samoans 0

Match 4: The Great Muta (w/ Gary Hart) versus NWA World Champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (w/ Ole & Arn Anderson)

Highlights:

  • Wow! It didn’t take long for Arn to resurface following his WWF departure.
  • Unfortunately, Blanchard may have been on skid row.
  • Not THAT skid row, but they’re a great band.
  • After nailing Flair in the corner, Muta gave him a cross-corner whip followed by a handspring elbow.
  • Next, he gave Flair a flashing elbow, but Flair came back with an inverted atomic drop.
  • After a knee crusher, Flair hooked the figure-four leg lock.
  • When Hart got up on the apron, Buzz Sawyer and the Dragon Master hit the ring only to be intercepted by the Andersons.
  • While Hart distracted Flair, Muta kicked the latter in the ribs.
  • He then gave Flair a backbreaker, mounted the top turnbuckle, attempted a moonsault, but ate knees.
  • Flair then hooked an inside cradle for the pin as Arn kept Sawyer from interfering.
  • Flair earned 20 points for the pinfall victory.
  • Tony, what are your thoughts?

Rating: **

Summary:  Very rushed but exciting match. Despite getting disqualified at house shows, this was the first pinfall loss for Muta in the NWA.

Match 5: NWA World tag team champions Rick & Scott Steiner versus the Road Warriors (w/ “Precious” Paul Ellering)

Highlights:

  • When Scott grabbed Hawk’s left foot, Hawk countered with an enziguri.
  • Rick tagged in but received a clothesline from Hawk for 2. That resulted in a 360° sell. Woohoo!
  • As Animal tagged in, the Road Warriors gave Rick a double back elbow.
  • Rick came back with a Steinerline, but Animal responded with a flying shoulder block.
  • When Animal attempted a bear hug, Rick countered with a belly-to-belly suplex for 2 thanks to a save by Hawk.
  • As Scott and Hawk tagged in, Hawk gave him a military press slam followed by a fist drop for 2 thanks to a save by Rick.
  • Hawk then delivered the big boot for another 2.
  • After Animal tagged in, he slammed Scott but missed an elbow drop.
  • Scott then delivered a belly-to-belly suplex for 2.
  • He then gave Animal a cross-corner whip but almost got decapitated by an Animal clothesline during his follow-through.
  • As Hawk tagged in, he gave Scott an over-the-shoulder backbreaker followed by a gutwrench suplex for 2.
  • Scott came back and placed Hawk atop the top turnbuckle.
  • When he joined Hawk, Scott delivered an overhead belly-to-belly superplex. Unfortunately, Hawk got ZERO air under him as he fell to the mat.
  • Ozzy, that was a good idea in theory that went wrong for the most part.
  • Animal tagged in and applied a bear hug, but Scott put a pair of knees to the midsection to break.
  • When Animal countered a back drop with a kick, he only got 2 thanks to another save by Rick.
  • Hawk tagged in and delivered an excellent powerslam to Scott.
  • As Animal tagged in, he gave Scott an elbow drop for another 2 thanks to a third save by Rick.
  • All four men were in the ring.
  • As referee Nick Patrick put Rick back into his corner, the Road Warriors gave Scott a modified Doomsday Device.
  • With both Animal and Scott’s shoulders down on the mat, Patrick counted 1-2-3.
  • At the last second, Scott raised his shoulder as the Steiners earned 20 points.
  • And Ozzy says…

Rating: ***1/2

Summary:  Controversial ending to an extremely good match. Besides a match on Nitro in ’96, this was the only other meeting between these teams.

Match 6: Sting versus NWA World TV champion the Great Muta (w/ Gary Hart)

Highlights:

  • Since neither wrestler won his opening match, a pinfall would be paramount.
  • After Muta hooked a full nelson, Sting reversed it but ate a mule kick in the corner.
  • Upon leap-frogging Muta, Sting delivered a monkey flip.
  • After a clothesline, Sting gave Muta a snap suplex for 2.
  • He then gave Muta an atomic drop, attempted the Scorpion death lock, but Muta made the ropes.
  • After Muta delivered a back drop, he gave Sting a flashing elbow followed by a somersault double chickenwing.
  • Will Sting submit?
  • No, because he flipped out of the move. Clever!
  • He then gave Muta a military-press slam for 2.
  • After a regular slam, Sting hit an elbow drop for another 2.
  • Muta came back with a backbreaker, mounted the top turnbuckle, and attempted the moonsault.
  • When Sting moved, Muta landed on his feet and delivered a spinning savate kick. Sweet!
  • Again, Muta mounted the top turnbuckle but got crotched thanks to a Sting dropkick.
  • Sting then joined and delivered a superplex.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Sting won by pinfall earning 20 points.
  • I’m getting another message from Iron Man…
  • Obadiah Stane would get demolished!

Rating: ***1/2

Summary:   That keeps Muta at ZERO points. Methinks someone’s push is finished.

As far as the singles scorecard goes:

  1. Lex Luger 20
  2. Ric Flair 20
  3. Sting 20
  4. Muta 0

Match 7: The Wild Samoans (w/ the Big Kahuna) versus Doom (w/ Woman & Nitron)

Highlights:

  • Samoan Savage substituted for Samu.
  • For those curious, this was dress and hairdo #3 for Woman in this match.
  • Ozzy, you have a question?
  • Well, Ozzy, it’s either a very wise man or a large surfing wave. You make the call!
  • After Reed slammed him, Fatu came back with a running powerslam. Somewhere in Tokyo, Davey Boy Smith offered some words.
  • Uh oh. Ozzy’s got a complaint.
  • When Samoan Savage and Simmons tagged in, the latter reversed an Irish whip and delivered a powerslam.
  • After receiving a diving head butt, Samoan Savage no-sold it and gave Simmons a thrust kick.
  • Next, he mounted the top turnbuckle but missed a splash.
  • Upon slamming Samoan Savage, Simmons got 2.
  • Reed tagged in and gave Samoan Savage a knee lift.
  • After Reed delivered a fist drop, he gave Samoan Savage a swinging neckbreaker for 2.
  • Simmons tagged in, but Samoan Savage countered a back drop with a head butt to the back.
  • While Fatu distracted referee Mike Atkins, Reed tagged in, mounted the second turnbuckle, and delivered an elbow drop for another 2.
  • After a clothesline, Reed tossed Samoan Savage outside the ring.
  • As Reed distracted Atkins, Simmons made Samoan Savage taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Frogmore skillet at the Steamhouse Lounge.
  • Back in the ring, Samoan Savage hooked a sunset flip on Reed for 2.
  • Reed then attempted a bulldog, but Samoan Savage tossed him aside.
  • After Simmons tagged in, Fatu distracted Atkins again. In the meantime, Reed mounted the second turnbuckle and lowered the boom on Samoan Savage.
  • Upon slamming Samoan Savage, Simmons mounted the second turnbuckle but missed a flying shoulder block.
  • Hot tag Fatu as Reed tagged in.
  • After a flying head butt, Fatu only got 2 thanks to a save by Simmons.
  • All four men were in the ring.
  • As Fatu and Reed collided heads, the Big Kahuna pushed Fatu atop Reed.
  • 1-2-3.
  • The Wild Samoans earned 20 points for the pinfall victory.
  • To sum it up, Ozzy offers his thought.

Rating: **

Summary:  Having suffered their third defeat, Doom finished with ZERO points.

Match 8: NWA US champion “Total Package” Lex Luger versus NWA World Champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair

Highlights:

  • As the Atlanta faithful chanted “Luger sucks,” Flair chopped Luger down to the mat.
  • When Luger attempted to seek refuge outside the ring, Flair joined and chopped him again.
  • Back in the ring, Flair reversed a cross-corner whip and gave Luger a back drop.
  • Upon delivering an elbow smash to Luger’s head, Flair executed a butterfly suplex for 2.
  • Shortly after, Flair attempted a rollup and got another 2.
  • He then hooked an inside cradle and almost got 3.
  • Next, another rollup earned Flair yet another 2-count.
  • To counter an arm bar, Luger guillotined Flair using the top rope.
  • He then delivered a clothesline followed a series of forearm smashes for 2.
  • After a gorilla press slam by Luger, Flair rolled out of the ring.
  • When Flair returned to the apron, Luger guillotined him using the top rope again.
  • As Luger attempted a vertical suplex, Flair blocked and delivered one of his own.
  • With three minutes remaining, Flair countered a hip toss with a backslide for 2.
  • Luger then reversed a cross-corner whip that resulted in a Flair flip.
  • Flair caught himself on the apron, mounted the top turnbuckle, but ate a clothesline on the way down.
  • After a delayed vertical press, Luger almost got 3.
  • As Ross shilled the Wrestling Hotline, Luger tossed Flair outside the ring.
  • Great PSA there, Iron Man.
  • With two minutes remaining, Flair re-entered via a sunset flip but only got 2.
  • He then mounted the top turnbuckle again but got caught and slammed down to the mat.
  • Luger then missed an elbow drop with only thirty seconds left.
  • After Flair hooked a belly-to-back suplex, he hooked the figure-four leg lock.
  • Will Luger submit?
  • No, the bell rang signaling a time-limit draw.
  • Each wrestler earned 5 points.
  • Tony only had this to say.
  • Way to play both sides of the coin there, Tony.

Rating: ***

Summary:  Fascinating dynamic as the babyface/heel roles were opposite from their prior encounters. There was also excellent drama as the anxiety of the Atlanta faithful increased with each near fall. In addition, the finish made sense because both wrestlers were the top two champions.

Match 9: NWA World tag team champions Rick & Scott Steiner versus the Wild Samoans (w/ the Big Kahuna)

Highlights:

  • As the Steiners made their entrance, Scott grabbed a young boy out of the ringside seats and gave him a seat within the barricade. Also, he let him borrow his World tag team title belt. Aw.
  • After a slam, Samoan Savage missed an elbow drop.
  • Rick then delivered a Steinerline as Samoan Savage rolled out of the ring.
  • The Steinerline knocked one of Samoan Savage’s braids out! Now THAT’S a clothesline.
  • After the Samoans regrouped in the aisle, they made an illegal switch.
  • Back in the ring, Fatu countered a hip toss with a clotheslin.
  • Not to be outdone, Rick delivered a Steinerline to Fatu.
  • Once again, the Samoans regrouped and made an illegal switch. Something tells me referee Mike Atkins didn’t get enough coffee before the show.
  • Scott tagged in, leap-frogged over Samoan Savage, and gave him a Steinerline for 2.
  • As Cornette made excuses for the Midnight Express’ absence, Rick tagged in and avoided a right by Samoan Savage who mistakenly hit his twin brother.
  • Fatu re-entered the ring and shoved his brother before hugging it out.
  • Afterward, Scott tagged in but missed a dropkick.
  • When Samoan Savage tossed Scott outside the ring, he distracted Atkins so that Fatu could crotch Scott with the steel railing. OUCH!
  • Fatu tagged in as the Samoans broke the wishbone on Scott. DOUBLE OUCH!
  • While Samoan Savage distracted Atkins again, Fatu delivered a head butt down near Valdosta.
  • After the Samoans gave Scott a double head butt, Samoan Savage only got 2 because Scott put his foot on the bottom rope.
  • While Atkins was occupied putting Rick back in the babyface corner, the Samoans gave Scott a double clothesline.
  • As Fatu tagged in, the Big Kahuna got up on the apron distracting Atkins, that allowed Fatu to toss Scott over the opposite top rope. SNEAKY!
  • With Scott on the apron, he re-entered the ring via a sunset flip but ate a double knuckle sandwich. Does that have mayo or Miracle Whip on it?
  • Fatu then applied a bear hug, but Scott used a knee to the midsection to break it.
  • Again, Samoan Savage distracted Atkins who has quickly reached Joey Marella proportions by being easily distracted.
  • In any event, the distraction allowed Samoan Savage to nail Scott low again. Methinks Scott’s girlfriend had ice bag duty after this show.
  • Nonetheless, the Samoans gave Scott stereo thrust kicks that sent him between the ropes to the apron.
  • When Samoan Savage applied a bear hug, Scott escaped using his fists.
  • However, Samoan Savage responded with a powerslam for 2.
  • With two minutes remaining, Fatu tagged in but succumbed to a backslide. Unfortunately for the Steiners, Atkins was again distracted by Rick.
  • Scott then gave Fatu a Frankensteiner, but Fatu tagged in Samoan Savage.
  • As Scott executed a sunset flip, he only got 2.
  • With one minute left, Samoan Savage missed a splash.
  • After a false tag, Rick came in and gave each Samoan a Steinerline.
  • Scott then backdropped Samoan Savage over the top rope to the floor.
  • Despite Atkins’ being preoccupied with Rick and Fatu, he exited the ring and raised Samoan Savage’s arm.
  • The Samoans earned 10 points for the DQ victory.
  • Ozzy wasn’t too thrilled with that.

Rating: **1/2

Summary:  Where were the suplexes? I realize this was match #3 for the Steiners, but they could toss these twin 300-pounders around. Nevertheless, they finished with 35 points.

Let’s run down the tag team scorecard:

  1. Steiners 35
  2. Wild Samoans 30
  3. Road Warriors 20
  4. Doom 0

Match 10: NWA World TV champion the Great Muta (w/ Gary Hart) versus NWA US champion “Total Package” Lex Luger

Highlights:

  • As Luger made his entrance, he continued to limp thanks to Flair’s figure-four leg lock.
  • When Luger attempted a leap frog, he crumpled to the mat in pain.
  • Smartly, Muta worked on Luger’s leg until referee Nick Patrick caught him using a rope-assisted leg bar.
  • Luger attempted a comeback with a vertical suplex, but his leg gave out.
  • After Ross shilled WrestleWar ’90, Muta gave Luger a cross-corner whip followed by a handspring elbow.
  • After a forearm smash, Luger delivered an elbow drop for 2.
  • Shortly after, Muta hooked a single-leg crab, but Luger wouldn’t submit.
  • Muta then cranked up the volume by securing a bridged Indian death lock.
  • Fortunately for Luger, he made the ropes.
  • When Luger tried another comeback, Muta silenced him with a spinning savate kick.
  • After a dropkick by Muta, Luger got up and clotheslined him.
  • With two minutes remaining, Luger gave Muta a cross-corner whip followed by a back drop.
  • After a hip toss, Luger tossed Muta outside the ring.
  • With Muta on the apron, he gave Luger a sunset flip for 2.
  • Luger then hit a powerslam with one minute left.
  • Due to his leg buckling, Luger could not successfully execute the Torture Rack.
  • However, Muta lost his cool and figuratively threw in the towel by green-misting Luger.
  • Patrick then called for the bell disqualifying Muta.
  • Luger earned 10 points for the victory.
  • Tony, what’s your take?

Rating: **

Summary:  Although the heel versus heel dynamic took the Atlanta faithful out of it, the match had its moments. I wonder if Simmons will be buying the beer that Doom and Muta will be crying in after the show. Like Doom, Muta finished with ZERO points.

Thanks, Bubba, but watch out. Ozzy’s coming back for the next match.

Match 11: The Wild Samoans (w/ the Big Kahuna) versus the Road Warriors (w/ “Precious” Paul Ellering)

Highlights:

  • Barring a draw, this match determines the winner.
  • Fatu delivered a piledriver, but Animal no-sold it and clotheslined him.
  • Samoan Savage and Hawk tagged in as the Atlanta faithful chanted “L-O-D.”
  • After Hawk gave him a back drop, Samoan Savage responded with an inverted atomic drop.
  • When Samoan Savage gave him a head butt, Hawk no-sold it and delivered a dropkick for 2.
  • Shortly after, Animal gave Fatu a powerslam, leap-frogged over him, and delivered an elbow smash.
  • Fatu then used his head as a battering ram to nail Animal in the midsection. The fuel tanks on these guys are EMPTY.
  • As Samoan Savage tagged in, he gave Animal a thrust kick.
  • On the other hand, after a slam, he attempted a Vader bomb but missed.
  • Hot tag Hawk.
  • After a flying shoulder block by Hawk, all four men were in the ring.
  • As Samoan Savage kicked Hawk between the ropes to the floor, Fatu mounted the top turnbuckle but got crotched.
  • Hawk then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit Samoan Savage with a flying clothesline.
  • 1-2-3.
  • The Road Warriors won and earned 20 points.
  • Ozzy, do you have a question?

Rating: *1/2                                                                                                                                                            

Summary:  Considering it was each team’s third match, it could have been worse.

After the match, the Steiners come to the ring to congratulate the Road Warriors who won the Iron Tag Team tournament.

The final scorecard for the tag teams:

  1. Road Warriors 40
  2. Steiners 35
  3. Wild Samoans 30
  4. Doom 0

Match 12: NWA World Champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair versus Sting

Highlights:

  • Either wrestler will win with a pin, submission, or countout. If a draw occurs, Luger wins.
  • Iron Man has another PSA.
  • After Sting countered a hip toss with one of his own, Flair sought refuge outside the ring.
  • Upon his return, Flair placed Sting on the top turnbuckle but gave him a clean break.
  • After a pair of leap frogs, Sting gave Flair a gorilla press slam.
  • Shortly after, he countered a hip toss with a backslide for 2.
  • When Flair tried to hip toss Sting from the corner, he got a taste of his own medicine.
  • Sting followed with a pair of dropkicks and a clothesline for another 2.
  • Upon kicking Sting in the midsection, Flair tossed him outside the ring.
  • Flair then joined and whipped Sting back-first into the steel railing.
  • When Sting returned to the apron, Flair guillotined him using the top rope.
  • He then returned Sting to the ring via a delayed vertical suplex for a pair of 2-counts.
  • Next, Flair delivered a knee drop and hooked an abdominal stretch cradle for 2. Nifty!
  • He then hooked an inside cradle and got another 2.
  • Yet another delayed vertical suplex almost got 3 for Flair.
  • After a pair of cross-corner whips, Flair hooked a butterfly suplex for another 2.
  • Upon giving Sting another cross-corner whip, Sting exploded out of the corner with a clothesline for 2.
  • Flair then sought refuge outside the ring, but Sting joined and no-sold Flair’s chops.
  • After Flair re-entered the ring, he gave Sting an elbow smash.
  • Sting then re-entered the ring via a sunset flip but ate a knuckle sandwich. Were they on special tonight?
  • Flair then went to the apron and tried to suplex Sting to the floor; however, Sting blocked and suplexed Flair back into the ring for 2.
  • After no-selling Flair’s chops, Sting gave him the ten-punch count-along.
  • He then delivered a hip toss followed by a clothesline for another 2.
  • After a cross-corner whip, Sting gave Flair the Stinger splash.
  • He then applied the Scorpion death lock, but Flair made the ropes.
  • Flair then delivered a knee crusher and hooked the figure-four leg lock.
  • When Sting made the ropes, two minutes remained in the match.
  • After Flair gave Sting a knee drop to the knee, Sting hooked another backslide and almost got 3.
  • As one minute remained, Flair delivered a second knee crusher.
  • With fifteen seconds left, he attempted another figure-four leg lock, but Sting countered with an inside cradle.
  • 1-2-3!
  • Sting won earning 20 points.
  • Tony, are you impressed?

Rating: ****

Summary:  Once again, Sting and Flair brought their A-game and pulled off a really good main event.

Let’s tally up the singles scorecards:

  1. Sting 40
  2. Lex Luger 30
  3. Flair 25
  4. Muta 0

After the match, the Andersons flash the Four Horseman hand gesture and raise Sting’s arm in victory as the Iron Man. Could we have a fourth Horseman?

Unfortunately, Iron Man has an issue.

At the entrance, Gordon Solie interviews the Iron Team—the Road Warriors. After he pumps up the Atlanta faithful, Animal makes a good point: “A football player maybe plays eleven minutes in an entire game. We (the Road Warriors) (are) out here bustin’ our butts for thirty minutes at a time. If we aren’t real athletes, then I don’t know what is.” As the credits finish, Flair sings Sting’s praises.

Conclusion:  On paper, this was main event after main event after main event. On the other hand, this was a concept show that doesn’t tend to attract casual viewers. If anything, the Iron Man designation should have earned the winner a PPV main event title match. Instead, the result was that the Road Warriors stood tall as the team of the 1980s, and Sting was set to become the wrestler of the 1990s.

While it’s not documented anywhere, it would appear that the budget for this show may have been the constraint limiting it. Consider that most, if not all, of the WCW wrestlers were either asked to move to Atlanta or visit often enough to attend TV tapings. The wrestlers that either lived there or nearby were the ones headlining the show. The obvious exception was Muta, but it would seem his NWA days were numbered.

As far as the show goes, there are some really good matches with a main event that sent the Atlanta faithful home happy. If you’ve never seen the show, check it out because it’s worth your time.

See you for WWF No Holds Barred: The Match!

Rating: 1.30

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at rsg@rockstargary.com and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202). Also, please be sure to check out all of my reflections at rockstargary.com.


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