Rock Star Gary reflects on NWA WrestleWar ’90

Live from Greensboro, NC

Airdate: February 25, 1990

Attendance:  9,894 (7.500 paid)

Hosted by Jim Ross & Terry Funk

With Sting on injured reserve, can WCW still put together a decent show? Read on!

Instead of that god-awful “rap” WCW made for this show, let’s hear Sam Kinison.

Backstage, Gordon Solie interviews Teddy Long who states Dan Spivey is injured (**cough** AJPW **cough) and has a replacement for him. That would not be the sole substitution of the event.

Match 1: Dynamic Dudes versus Kevin Sullivan & “Mad Dog” Buzz Sawyer

Highlights:

  • Sullivan replaced the departing Great Muta. Let’s all take a moment to mourn.
  • Thank you. At least he’ll return for Starrcade.
  • After a monkey flip, Ace dropkicked Sawyer out of the ring and followed with a plancha. Wow!
  • All four wrestlers briefly brawled outside the ring.
  • As Sawyer returned, Douglas tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, and lowered the boom on Sawyer.
  • Sullivan tagged in and gave Douglas a cross-corner whip. In the meantime, Ace put his torso on the top turnbuckle to prevent any damage to his partner.
  • Douglas then gave Sullivan a HARD double cross-corner whip and tagged in Ace.
  • After Ace mounted the second turnbuckle, he lowered the boom on Sullivan.
  • Sawyer tagged in, but Ace escaped a double-team in the heel corner.
  • When Sawyer gave Ace a cross-corner whip, he came up empty on his follow-through.
  • Sullivan tagged in and countered an arm bar by using momentum to toss Douglas to the floor.
  • While Sullivan distracted referee Nick Patrick, Sawyer gave Douglas a vertical suplex on the floor.
  • As Sawyer returned to the apron, he leaped and nailed Douglas in the back.
  • Back in the ring, Sawyer delivered a belly-to-belly suplex to Douglas for 2. So THAT’S where Douglas stole it.
  • Next, Sawyer gave Douglas a gutwrench suplex for another 2.
  • Sullivan tagged in, but Douglas hooked a sunset flip for 2.
  • When Sawyer tagged in, he bit Douglas on the back. I wonder if he tasted like perogies.
  • He then applied a bear hug to Douglas, took him down to the mat, and got 2.
  • As Douglas escaped, he attempted a slam, but Sawyer nailed him in the back to counter.
  • When Sullivan tagged in, Douglas reversed his cross-corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
  • After causing Ace to distract Patrick, Sullivan tossed Douglas over the top rope to the floor. SNEAKY!
  • While Sullivan continued to distract Patrick, Sawyer put the boots on Douglas on the floor.
  • Upon Douglas’ return, Sullivan applied a bear hug.
  • Sawyer tagged in, but Douglas rang his bell and made the hot tag.
  • After giving Sawyer a pair of dropkicks, Ace botched a flying headscissors.
  • Sawyer came back with a snap suplex, mounted the top turnbuckle, and hit the splash.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Sawyer and Sullivan won.

Rating: ***

Summary:  Amazingly, Sawyer brought the wrestling and psychology to the match to compete against the babyface team. Unfortunately for Sawyer, he fractured his left wrist during the match, left WCW, and passed away in 1992. RIP Mad Dog.

On the replay, it was clearly evident how he broke it. YEE-OUCH!

Backstage, Missy Hyatt interviews Norman the Lunatic who encourages Missy to hug and kiss him. I hope Norman took an antibacterial bath afterward.

Match 2: Norman versus Cactus Jack Manson

Highlights:

  • As Norman made his entrance, Funk described him as having “the head of a buffalo and the body of Rosanne.” HA!
  • After an Irish whip, Jack gave Norman a back elbow for 2. Subsequently, Norman’s kick-out sent Jack between the ropes to the floor.
  • Norman then delivered a clothesline and a head butt.
  • Next, he gave Jack a cross-corner whip followed by a back elbow.
  • He then applied a bear hug as Ross compared Norman to Hoss Cartwright.
  • After a second cross-corner whip, Norman delivered an avalanche.
  • Norman then gave Jack a series of cross-corner whips which sent him over the top turnbuckle to the floor.
  • He then joined and rammed Jack face-first into the apron.
  • Jack came back and made Norman taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Madison Avenue Sandwich at the Lindley Park Filling Station.
  • When Jack charged, Norman backdropped him over the steel railing onto the concrete floor.
  • HBK, you stay out of this. You’ll be in my WrestleMania VI reflection next week.
  • Nevertheless, Jack countered a side headlock by sending Norman into the ROOS pole.
  • Surprisingly, he then leaped from the apron and gave Norman a dropkick on the floor.
  • Back in the ring, Jack delivered a series of head butts to no avail.
  • Jack then gave Norman a boot to the midsection for 2.
  • To counter a reverse chin lock, Norman responded with an electric chair but missed a splash.
  • Jack then delivered a running guillotine but missed on a second attempt.
  • After a back drop by Norman, Jack attempted a sunset flip, but Norman SQUISHED him.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Norman won.

Rating: 1/2*

Summary:  Jack tried, but Norman was too much for him. Pass the popcorn, please.

Backstage, Solie interviews Cornette with the Midnight Express who gives a classic promo on the Rock’n’Roll Express.

Match 3: Midnight Express (w/ Jim Cornette) versus Rock’n’Roll Express

Highlights:

  • As the Rock’n’Roll Express made their entrance, a fan in the front row held up a sign that read “We Have HERD Enough.” Someone’s not a fan of the current Vice-President of WCW.
  • While the Greensboro faithful chanted “Cornette sucks,” Lane gave Gibson a hip toss.
  • After a leap frog by Lane, Gibson thwarted his monkey flip by nailing him between the eyes.
  • Cornette then got into an argument with referee Nick Patrick but ran scared when Patrick accepted his challenge to fight. That was absolute vintage Cornette.
  • As Eaton came in to the ring, Morton gave Lane an atomic drop causing the Midnight Express to collide.
  • Afterward, a frustrated Lane shoved down Eaton outside the ring.
  • To win a test-of-strength, Morton walked up Eaton’s body, leaped, and nailed Lane as he came in. Meanwhile, Gibson mounted the top turnbuckle and hit Eaton.
  • When Lane ducked between the ropes to avoid him, Morton literally kicked his ass.
  • As Eaton distracted Patrick, Cornette tripped Morton coming off the ropes.
  • Morton then chased Cornette into the ring after a brief tug-o-war with Eaton.
  • When Cornette retreated to the apron, Morton gave the Midnight Express a double noggin knocker while Gibson DECIMATED Cornette down to the floor.
  • After Gibson reversed an Irish whip, the Rock’n’Roll Express gave Eaton a double back drop.
  • They then gave the Midnight Express consecutive double clotheslines sending Eaton over the top rope to the floor.
  • Shortly after, the Rock’n’Roll Express gave Lane a double back elbow.
  • After Lane tossed Morton outside the ring, Morton blocked and made Lane HIT THE POLE!
  • Back in the ring, as Morton hit a cross body block on Eaton, both wrestlers flew over the top rope to the floor.
  • Lane then snuck around the ring and slammed Morton on the floor. How dastardly!
  • Back in the ring, Eaton gave Morton a backbreaker followed by a double guillotine with Lane’s help.
  • While Gibson distracted Patrick, Cornette jabbed the end of his racquet into Morton’s throat. SNEAKY!
  • Lane tagged in and gave Morton a pair of savate kicks.
  • When Eaton tagged in, the Midnight Express gave Morton their drop toehold/elbow drop combo. That got 2.
  • After Eaton delivered a vertical suplex, he got another 2.
  • Lane tagged in, gave Morton a powerslam, but only got 2 thanks to a save by Gibson.
  • While Gibson distracted Patrick again, Lane tossed Morton over the top rope to the floor.
  • Eaton then guillotined him using the steel railing, and Cornette smacked him around too. Without question, Morton played the best face-in-peril in tag team wrestling.
  • Morton then blocked and made Eaton HIT THE ROOS POLE!
  • As Cornette got up on the apron, Morton hooked a sunset flip but only got a false pin.
  • During a blind tag, Morton rolled Lane up. That allowed Eaton to give Morton a swinging neckbreaker.
  • As Morton charged, Eaton gave him Snake Eyes.
  • Shortly after, Eaton delivered a single-arm DDT to Morton.
  • Lane tagged in and hit Morton with a double thrust to the throat.
  • While Eaton tagged in, he slammed Morton, mounted the top turnbuckle, and hit the big elbow for only 2 thanks to another save by Gibson.
  • Lane then distracted Patrick so that Cornette could get another shot at Morton with his racquet.
  • When Eaton tagged in, he hammerlocked Morton and rammed him shoulder-first into the top turnbuckle.
  • He then delivered another single-arm DDT.
  • After Morton reversed a cross-corner whip, he and Eaton smacked heads. OUCH!
  • Lane tagged in and gave Morton a sidewalk slam.
  • As Eaton tagged in, the Midnight Express attempted a Rocket Launcher, but Morton raised his knees.
  • Hot tag Gibson.
  • After Eaton reversed a cross-corner whip, Gibson rolled him up, but Lane made the save.
  • All four men were in the ring.
  • As Gibson came off the ropes, Cornette WALLOPED him in the back with the racquet. That only got 2.
  • When the Midnight Express attempted a flapjack, Morton tackled Eaton to disrupt it.
  • Gibson then cradled Lane for the pin.

Rating: ****

Summary:  Classic Midnight versus Rock’n’Roll Express match. Although it seemed a bit old school, the Greensboro faithful enjoyed it.

Backstage, Solie interviews the Road Warriors with Ellering. As Animal mentions his Sting arm band as a tribute to his “brother in paint,” Hawk spews nonsense about sleeping on Wabash Avenue. Ellering doesn’t buy the “Spivey is injured” excuse. Smart man.

Match 4 (Chicago street fight): Road Warriors versus “Mean” Mark Callous & the Masked Skyscaper

Highlights:

  • Holy AWA tag team champions, Batman! The Masked Skyscraper was portrayed by Mike Enos of the Destruction Crew.
  • A brief tussle between Ellering and Long broke out until Ellering knocked Long between the ropes to the floor.
  • Hawk then gave Callous a flying shoulder block as Animal clotheslined the Masked Skyscraper.
  • While Animal gave Callous an inverted atomic drop, Hawk delivered a big boot to the Masked Skyscraper.
  • Upon slamming the Masked Skyscraper, Hawk delivered a fist drop.
  • Suddenly, Doom came to the ring in tuxedos. This is a street fight, not a tuxedo match! Regardless, Long stood by them for protection.
  • Meanwhile, Hawk gave Callous a hangman’s neckbreaker.
  • Despite not wearing wrestling gear, Animal dropkicked the Masked Skyscraper without difficulty. Impressive!
  • Callous then guillotined Hawk using the top rope.
  • Afterward, Hawk clotheslined both Skyscrapers consecutively.
  • Shortly after, he tossed Callous outside the ring, leaped from the apron, and clotheslined him.
  • Following that, he delivered a standing dropkick on the floor. Now he’s just showing off.
  • Callous came back and made Hawk taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like Uncle Bob’s bologna at Fishers Grille.
  • After Animal ducked a double clothesline by the Skyscrapers, he took both Skyscrapers down with one of his own.
  • Upon backdropping Callous over the top rope to the floor, Hawk mounted the top turnbuckle as the Road Warriors gave the Masked Skyscraper the Doomsday Device.
  • 1-2-3.
  • The Road Warriors won.

Rating: **1/2

Summary:  The lack of Spivey in the match made the outcome obvious. This Callous guy has a lot of potential.

After the match, Long gets up on the apron, but Animal pulls him in to the ring, military-presses him, and tosses him into the awaiting arms of Doom.

Speaking of whom, they enter the ring and get into the faces of the Road Warriors. A four-way brawl breaks out until Hawk powerslams Reed. Afterward, Animal makes Simmons taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Chick Magnet at Stumble Stilskins. Add another ½* for the aftermath.

Match 5 for the NWA US tag team titles: Brian Pillman & Z-Man (champions) versus the Freebirds

Highlights:

  • For those unaware, Pillman and Z-Man won the finals of the US tag team tournament defeating the Freebirds (aired 2/24, taped 2/12).
  • Check out the mascara on Hayes!
  • Thinking they’re rock stars (HA!), the Freebirds had groupies to remove their jackets.
  • Instead, Pillman and Z-Man substituted for them and nailed the Freebirds.
  • Following that, they delivered simultaneous back drops and wore their jackets in mockery.
  • Pillman then gave Hayes a cross-corner whip followed by a clothesline.
  • Shortly after, Z-Man delivered a hip toss and a dropkick to Garvin but missed a second one.
  • Pillman tagged in, hooked a crucifix, and got 2.
  • After Hayes tagged in, Pillman gave him the ten-top-turnbuckle count-along.
  • Following that, Pillman leaped from the apron to the top turnbuckle, hit a cross body block, and got 2.
  • He then hooked a sunset flip and got another 2.
  • As Z-Man tagged in, he mounted the second turnbuckle and lowered the boom on Hayes.
  • Shortly after, Garvin gave PIllman a cross-corner whip, but Pillman floated over and gave Garvin a hip toss followed by a high knee.
  • Hayes tagged in and applied a sleeper, but Pillman escaped.
  • After Pillman gave Hayes a cross-corner whip, he ate a left jab to the mush.
  • Hayes then mounted the top turnbuckle, hit a cross body block, but Pillman used momentum to land on top for 2.
  • When Garvin tagged in, the Freebirds gave Pillman a double back elbow for 2.
  • Garvin then guillotined Pillman using the top rope.
  • As Hayes tagged in, Pillman blocked and gave Hayes a face plant.
  • Hot tag Z-Man.
  • After a dropkick, Z-Man slammed Garvin.
  • Hayes tagged in, got reversed on a cross -corner whip, and received the ten-punch count-along from Z-Man.
  • Z-Man then hooked a sleeper, but as Pillman distracted referee Nick Patrick, Garvin mounted the top turnbuckle and nailed Z-Man to break the hold.
  • As a result, Hayes got 2.
  • After Hayes tossed Z-Man to the floor, he joined and rammed Z-Man face-first into the apron.
  • He then made Z-Man HIT THE ROOS POLE!
  • Shortly after, Z-Man gave Hayes a powerslam but missed an elbow drop.
  • He then hooked an inside cradle for 2.
  • While Garvin tagged in, he slammed Z-Man and delivered a knee drop for 2.
  • Hayes tagged in while Funk and Ross discussed Texan teeth and breath.
  • As Z-Man gave Hayes a cross-corner whip, he ate a left jab on his follow-through.
  • Again, Hayes mounted the top turnbuckle, but Z-Man caught him.
  • While Pillman distracted Patrick, Hayes mounted the top turnbuckle and hammered Z-Man for 2.
  • Hayes then delivered a bulldog but only got 2 thanks to a save by Pillman.
  • When Z-Man came off the ropes, he gave Hayes a DDT.
  • Hot tag Pillman.
  • After a double clothesline by Pillman, all four wrestlers were in the ring.
  • Pillman then gave Garvin a back elbow.
  • While Hayes distracted Patrick by trying to introduce the US tag title belt, Garvin rammed Pillman into the TV camera at ringside.
  • Garvin then attempted a DDT on Z-Man, but Pillman mounted the top turnbuckle, hit a cross body block, and pinned Garvin.
  • Pillman and Z-Man retained.

Rating: **1/2

Summary:  This match went too long as the heat segment on Z-Man took an eternity to finish.

After the match, as Hayes gives Z-Man a bulldog, Garvin delivers a DDT to Pillman.

Match 6 for the NWA World tag team titles: Rick & Scott Steiner (champions) versus Arn & Ole Anderson

Highlights:

  • Ross insulted my intelligence by referring to Ole & Arn as “brothers.” Shame on him.
  • While Rick distracted referee Mike Adkins, Scott gave Arn a standing choke to the glee of the Greensboro faithful.
  • Scott then gave Arn the ten-punch count-along.
  • When Arn attempted a knee drop, Scott caught his knee and gave him an atomic drop.
  • As Ole entered the ring, Scott slammed him.
  • Shortly after, all four wrestlers were in the ring and brawled with one another.
  • Order was restored, and Rick gave Arn a powerslam for 2.
  • After Arn delivered a knee drop, he mounted the top turnbuckle, noticed he would get caught, and sought refuge outside the ring. Clever!
  • Shortly after, Scott gave Arn an inverted atomic drop and hooked the figure-four leg lock only to fall prey to an eye rake.
  • As a presumed rib on an older wrestler, Scott hooked Ole and took him over for a belly-to-belly suplex. Methinks Ole didn’t want to leave his feet there.
  • After a knee drop, Scott got 2.
  • Arn tagged in, attempted a vertical suplex, but Rick blocked and gave him one of his own.
  • Shortly after, Ole gave Rick a knee lift followed by a slam and an elbow drop for 2.
  • As tags were exchanged on both sides, Scott gave Arn an Irish whip followed by a back elbow.
  • Outside the ring, Scott tried to decapitate Arn, but he ducked causing Scott to hit the ROOS POLE with his left arm. OUCH!
  • Arn then rammed Scott’s left arm on the steel railing.
  • Back in the ring, Arn gave Scott the Anderson slam, mounted the second turnbuckle, but ate knees on a Vader bomb.
  • As Arn missed a haymaker, Scott delivered a Frankensteiner.
  • Hot tag Rick.
  • To avoid an Anderson double-team, Rick punted Arn.
  • He then hooked an inside cradle on Ole.
  • 1-2-3.
  • The Steiners retained.

Rating: ***

Summary: Good match that solidified the Steiners as the best tag team in the promotion.

After the match, while Arn holds Scott’s arm, Ole mounts the second turnbuckle and puts a knee into Scott’s shoulder. How dastardly!

Earlier today, Solie interviewed Luger who was neither cocky nor smiling from ear-to-ear.

Backstage, Solie interviews Flair with Woman who hopefully owned stock in Aquanet.

On crutches but sans face paint, Sting comes to the ring wearing sunglasses and a significant knee brace.

Match 7 for the NWA World title: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (champion w/ Woman) versus WCW US champion the “Total Package” Lex Luger

Highlights:

  • Despite resigning as bookerman, can Flair retain the title on his 41st birthday?
  • As Luger made his entrance, Sting exited ringside.
  • While referee Nick Patrick gave instructions, the Greensboro faithful chanted “Lu-ger.”
  • After Flair gave Luger a cross-corner whip, Luger exploded out of the corner with a clothesline.
  • As Flair sought refuge outside the ring, Luger joined and brought him back to the ring.
  • Although Flair guillotined Luger using the top rope, Luger no-sold it.
  • He then gorilla-press-slammed Flair.
  • After a leap frog, Luger gave him gorilla press slam #2.
  • Upon no-selling Flair’s chop, Luger gave him a third gorilla press slam.
  • Next, he applied a bear hug, lowered Flair down to the mat, and got 2.
  • Thanks to an eye rake, Flair escaped.
  • Luger then gave Flair the ten-punch count-along resulting in a Flair flop.
  • After a hip toss, Luger attempted a clothesline but flew over the top rope to the floor when Flair ducked.
  • Flair then joined and made Luger taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Au Jus Serious sandwich at East Coast Wings & Grill.
  • When Woman got up on the apron, Flair gave Luger another helping. Waiter, could you please give the tall, neon-tight-wearing wrestler a Dragon Platter Bowl?
  • Back in the ring, Flair delivered a pair of knee drops to Luger’s head for 2.
  • Luger came back, gave Flair a cross-corner whip, but came up empty on his follow-through.
  • While on the mat, Flair applied a hammerlock and put his feet on the second rope. SNEAKY!
  • To counter an arm bar, Luger clotheslined Flair.
  • As Flair distracted Patrick, Woman nailed Luger.
  • When Flair distracted him again, Woman pulled Luger’s hair.
  • With Luger’s arm stuck in a hammerlock, Flair delivered a knee drop to it.
  • He then attempted a pin with his feet on the ropes but only got 2.
  • After Luger choked him, he gave Flair a cross-corner whip causing a Flair flip to the floor.
  • He then joined and made Flair taste the steel railing. Waiter, could you please give the platinum-blond wrestler in pink a chicken mac’n’cheese?
  • Back in the ring, Luger applied a sleeper, took him down to the mat, and got 2 thanks to Flair’s foot on the bottom rope.
  • He then reapplied the sleeper, but Flair countered with a belly-to-back suplex.
  • From the apron, Flair attempted a vertical suplex to the floor, but Luger suplexed him into the ring instead.
  • He then dragged Flair by the leg and rammed it into the ROOS POLE.
  • Luger then attempted a figure-four leg lock, but was directionally-challenged on the method. That did NOT look pretty.
  • Regardless, a Flair shoulder block put both wrestlers down briefly.
  • Afterward, Flair came off the ropes, but Luger delivered a powerslam. Perhaps Flair didn’t whisper loud enough the first time. That got 2.
  • Flair then attempted a clothesline, but Luger no-sold it to a raucous ovation from the Greensboro faithful.
  • He then countered a hip toss with a backslide for another 2.
  • When Luger attempted another ten-punch count-along, Flair countered with an inverted atomic drop.
  • Flair then mounted the top turnbuckle and gave Luger a forearm smash.
  • Again, he mounted the top turnbuckle and gave him another for 2.
  • Flair then gave Luger a butterfly suplex for another 2.
  • As Flair applied a sleeper, he released it and rolled Luger up for almost 3.
  • Luger came back with a clothesline for 2.
  • After Luger missed an elbow drop, Flair gave him a pair of knee crushers.
  • Following that, he delivered a knee drop to Luger’s knee and applied a rope-assisted figure-four leg lock.
  • Not so swiftly, Sting hobbled toward the ring.
  • Nonetheless, Luger reversed the figure-four, but Flair made the ropes.
  • As Patrick restrained Flair, Sting got in Luger’s face and told him to “wake up.”
  • Luger then followed Flair outside the ring, but Flair rammed him back-first into the steel railing.
  • Again, Luger no-sold it as they returned to the ring.
  • There, Luger gave Flair gorilla press slam #4.
  • After an eye poke, Flair mounted the top turnbuckle but got caught and slammed down to the mat.
  • Upon clotheslining Flair twice, Luger clotheslined Flair over the top rope to the floor.
  • With Flair on the apron, Luger suplexed him back into the ring for 2.
  • After a powerslam, Luger signaled for the Torture Rack.
  • As Luger made a lateral press, Woman slapped him unbeknownst to Patrick.
  • Luger then grabbed her, but Flair put a knee into Luger’s back.
  • In the process, Patrick got knocked down and was OUT COLD.
  • Again, Luger delivered the ten-punch count-along.
  • When Luger gave Flair a cross-corner whip, another Flair flip occurred.
  • This time, Flair landed on his feet, mounted the top turnbuckle, leaped, but ate a clothesline.
  • Luger then got a false pin due to Patrick’s continued unconsciousness.
  • While Luger placed Flair atop the top turnbuckle, he delivered a superplex for another false pin.
  • Suddenly, the Andersons hit the ring, but Luger knocked them down to the floor consecutively.
  • Luger then hooked the Torture Rack.
  • Do we have a new champion?
  • Wisely yet nefariously, the Andersons grabbed Sting causing Luger to release the hold.
  • Luger then attacked the Andersons and got counted out.
  • Flair retained.

Rating: ****1/2

Summary:  Great angle that enabled Flair to keep the title and Luger to maintain credibility for future opportunities.

After the match, the Andersons follow Luger back into the ring as Arn gives him a DDT. They then pummel Luger until the Steiners hit the ring to chase them away.

Conclusion:  With two great matches and some good ones mixed in as well, this show is a no-brainer to recommend, but I’d like to make another point.

On March 27, 1988, Flair put Sting on the map in Greensboro at the inaugural Clash. When planning for this show commenced, Flair wanted to drop the title to Sting because it would have made perfect sense to bookend Sting’s birth as a main eventer with his title victory. Unfortunately, Sting’s major knee injury blemished that opportunity.

In addition, Luger, by default, became the #1 contender and needed the rub from Sting to be the babyface contender to Flair’s title. With that said, Flair faced Luger for the title in several shows over the next few months.

Buyrate: 1.60

Stay tuned for WWF WrestleMania VI!

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