Live from Baltimore, MD
Airdate: July 7, 1990
Attendance: 10,000 (8.900 paid)
Hosted by Jim Ross & Bob Caudle
Will this be Sting’s crowning moment? Or will the “Nature Boy” continue to reign as World champion? Read on!
Match 1: “Nature Boy” Buddy Landel versus “Flyin’” Brian Pillman
- After Landel gave him a cross corner whip, PIllman jumped to the second turnbuckle, hit a cross body block, and got 2.
- He then reversed another cross corner whip and delivered a hip toss followed by a pair of dropkicks.
- Shortly after, he hooked a sunset flip but ate a knuckle sandwich instead. Pass the giardiniera!
- Landel then gave PIllman a third cross corner whip, but when PIllman tried another cross body block, Landel caught him and delivered a backbreaker.
- As Pillman made a comeback, he missed a dropkick. That earned Landel a pair of 2-counts.
- Landel then countered a hip toss with a clothesline for another 2.
- During a second PIllman comeback, he gave Landel the ten-punch count-along.
- Shortly after, Landel put a knee into Pillman’s midsection for 2.
- He then delivered a vertical suplex, but both wrestlers were stunned.
- Again, Pillman gave Landel the ten-punch count-along along with a cross corner whip but ate a forearm on his follow-through.
- PIllman then hit a cross body block, but Landel used momentum to land on top for 2.
- When Pillman attempted a clothesline, Landel ducked sending Pillman over the top rope to the apron.
- Pillman then mounted the top turnbuckle, hit a flying body press, and pinned Landel.
Summary: Decent opener with a hot crowd.
At the podium, Gordon Solie hypes the rest of the card.
Match 2: “Captain” Mike Rotunda versus the Iron Sheik
- At the onset, Iron Sheik nailed Rotunda with the Iranian flag.
- While the Baltimore faithful chanted “U-S-A,” Iron Sheik clotheslined Rotunda.
- Rotunda then hooked a sunset flip for 2.
- Next, he slammed Iron Sheik and delivered a dropkick.
- Instead of ramming Rotunda into the top turnbuckle, Iron Sheik used his boot in its place.
- He then delivered a gutwrench suplex for 2.
- Upon hooking an abdominal stretch, Iron Sheik grabbed the top rope. Referee Randy Anderson kicked the arm away causing Rotunda to hip-toss Iron Sheik.
- After an elbow drop, Rotunda missed a second one.
- Iron Sheik then gave Rotunda a belly-to-back suplex, attempted a vertical suplex, but Rotunda blocked and delivered one of his own for 2.
- After getting tossed between the ropes to the floor, Rotunda made it to the apron only to get suplexed back into the ring for 2.
- Iron Sheik then attempted a butterfly suplex, but Rotunda countered with a backslide.
- Rotunda won.
Summary: Rotunda is a HORRIBLE babyface. The only reason the Baltimore faithful cheered his victory was due to Sheik’s ability to generate heat.
At the podium, Solie interviews Harley Race.
Match 3: The “World’s Strongest Man” Doug Furnas versus “Dirty” Dutch Mantell
- For those unaware, WWE’s Zeb Colter was portrayed by Mantell.
- Following a pair of leap frogs, Furnas military-press-slammed Mantell.
- After Mantell slapped Furnas three times, Furnas retaliated with one of his own.
- As Furnas gave Mantell the ten-punch count-along, he backflipped off the top turnbuckle and followed with a dropkick.
- You have to love Ross’ homerism as he pointed out not only Furnas’ upbringing in Commerce, OK but also its being Mickey Mantle’s hometown. RIP #7.
- Nevertheless, Furnas hit a cross body block for 2.
- After a slam, Furnas mounted the top turnbuckle but missed a splash.
- Mantell came back with a short-arm clothesline and got 2 with a HUGE kick-out by Furnas.
- Upon tossing Furnas outside the ring, Mantell joined and gave Furnas a second short-arm clothesline.
- Back in the ring, Mantell hooked a snap suplex for another 2 with a second tremendous kick-out by Furnas. In fact, Mantell landed squarely on referee Mike Adkins.
- As Mantell argued with Adkins, Furnas rolled him up for 2.
- After a lariat, Furnas delivered a powerslam.
- When Furnas leap-frogged Mantell, he followed with a snap belly-to-belly suplex.
- Furnas won.
Summary: Showcase match for Furnas.
Solie then interviews Cornette at the podium.
Match 4: “Wildfire” Tommy Rich versus Harley Race
- After a clothesline, Race missed an elbow drop.
- When Rich reversed a cross corner whip, Race rammed his shoulder into the ring post.
- Conversely, Race came back with a high knee and a piledriver.
- On the ramp, Race delivered a vertical suplex followed by a knee drop.
- He then guillotined Rich using the top rope.
- After a head butt, Race tossed Rich out of the ring.
- Upon his return, Rich clotheslined Race over the top rope to the floor.
- Rich then joined and slammed Race on the floor.
- With Race on the apron, Rich suplexed him back into the ring.
- He then mounted the second turnbuckle, hit a fist drop, and got 2.
- As Ross mocked Race for wearing his king singlet, Race delivered a knee lift. While we know that Race portrayed a king in the WWF, I wouldn’t rule out his love for a certain team.
- He then gave Rich a belly-to-belly suplex for 2.
- After a clothesline, Race delivered a second knee drop.
- He then gave Rich a swinging neckbreaker, but Rich came back with an elbow smash.
- As Rich delivered a knee to Race’s midsection, he gave Race a knee lift.
- Both wrestlers then spilled over the top rope to the floor.
- When they returned to the ring, Rich mounted the top turnbuckle, hit a cross body block, but Race used momentum to land on top.
- Race won.
Summary: Back in 1981, this was the main event for the NWA World title. In 1990, it’s the popcorn match.
Solie then interviews Dangerously with Mean Mark who rips up a Luger t-shirt.
Match 5 for the NWA US tag team titles: Midnight Express (champions w/ Jim Cornette) versus Southern Boys
- After the Midnight Express sent the Southern Boys to the floor, they joined but lost a brawl with them.
- Back in the ring, the Southern Boys gave Eaton a double back drop followed by a double shoulder block.
- As Eaton slammed Armstrong, he mounted the top turnbuckle but got caught and slammed down to the mat.
- Armstrong then leap-frogged and gave Eaton a monkey flip.
- After a dropkick, Armstrong mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a flying clothesline.
- Smothers tagged in, and the Southern Boys double-teamed Eaton.
- Upon nailing Eaton with a back hand, Smothers delivered a superkick.
- While the Baltimore faithful chanted “Cornette sucks,” Smothers reversed a cross corner whip and backdropped Eaton.
- After receiving another superkick by Smothers, Eaton tagged in Lane.
- As Lane won a brief karate exhibition, Smothers came back with kicks for both Lane and Eaton.
- Eaton tagged in but received an arm drag from Smothers.
- When Eaton gave Smothers a cross corner whip, Smothers jumped over the top rope to the apron.
- He then jumped back over the top rope dropkicking Eaton in the process.
- Next, he used the ropes to mule-kick Eaton on the floor.
- After the Midnight Express gave Smothers a double back elbow, Smothers avoided another double-team effort.
- The Midnight Express then chased Smothers, but Armstrong leaped from the top turnbuckle and hit a double cross body block onto them. Sweet!
- As the Southern Boys attempted a double pin, they gave the Midnight Express a double noggin knocker.
- Subsequently, the Midnight Express sought refuge outside the ring as Cornette threw a tantrum.
- Cornette then got up on the apron as Lane disrupted a rollup by Smothers by tossing him over the top rope. SNEAKY!
- Outside the ring, Lane whipped Smothers back-first into the steel railing.
- Eaton then distracted referee Mike Adkins so that Cornette could jab Smothers with the tennis racquet. How dastardly!
- While Cornette baited Armstrong and Adkins, Lane shoved Smothers from the apron back-first into the steel railing.
- Back in the ring, Eaton tagged in as the Midnight Express gave Smothers an atomic drop/backbreaker combo.
- Eaton then delivered a clothesline and tagged in Lane. The Midnight Express then double-teamed Smothers.
- Shortly after, Eaton slammed Smothers, mounted the top turnbuckle, and hit the Alabama Jam.
- Lane tagged in, but Smothers hooked a sunset flip for 2.
- When Eaton tagged in, the Midnight Express gave Smothers a savate kick/swinging neckbreaker combo. I wonder if Cornette’s favorite snack at the time was Combos.
- Eaton then tossed Smothers outside the ring. When Smothers returned to the apron, Eaton brought him in the hard way.
- As Lane tagged in, he gave Smothers a butterfly suplex for 2.
- Eaton tagged in and sent Smothers to the floor again. When Smothers returned to the apron, Eaton tried to bring him in, but Smothers sent him to the floor the hard way.
- In retaliation, Lane clotheslined Smothers.
- Smothers came back with the ten-top-turnbuckle count-along, but Lane raked his eyes.
- When the Midnight Express attempted a double back drop, Smothers countered with a double sunset flip.
- Hot tag Armstrong.
- After giving Lane a flying shoulder block, Smothers slammed Eaton.
- The Southern Boys then hit the Doomsday Dropkick but only earned a false pin because Eaton detained Adkins.
- As Armstrong mounted the top turnbuckle, Eaton pushed him down to the mat.
- Lane then slammed Armstrong as the Midnight Express hit the Rocket Launcher but only got 2.
- Behind Adkins’ back, Smothers illegally switched with Armstrong.
- He then hooked an inside cradle but only got 2 thanks to a save by Lane.
- While Adkins placed Armstrong back in the babyface corner, Lane gave Smothers an enziguri from the apron.
- Eaton then hooked an inside cradle.
- The Midnight Express retained.
Summary: With the Baltimore faithful firmly in their back pocket, the Midnight Express countered the energetic babyfaces’ fast-paced style with their experience and savvy. Excellent match!
On the podium, Solie interviews the Freebirds who are wearing more makeup than Tammy Faye.
Match 6: Big Van Vader versus Z-Man
- Making his WCW début, Vader came to the ring wearing a mastodon helmet.
- After manhandling Z-Man in the corner, Vader gave him a cross corner whip followed by an avalanche.
- He then delivered a short-arm clothesline sending Z-Man to the ramp.
- Next, Vader grabbed Z-Man by the ears to return him to the ring.
- When Vader a missed a clothesline, Z-Man came back with a dropkick.
- However, when he attempted a cross body block, Vader military-press-slammed him.
- He then gave Z-Man an elbow drop and a vertical suplex.
- After another clothesline, Vader delivered a splash.
- Vader won.
Summary: Showcase match for Vader.
Solie then interviews the Four Horsemen. Indirectly, Windham exposes Ole as bookerman while Ole informs WCW Vice-President Jim Herd that Flair will retain the title thanks to them.
Match 7: Steiners versus Freebirds
- After the Freebirds dispatched Rick from the ring, Hayes gave Scott a sidewalk slam.
- Garvin then guillotined Scott using the top rope.
- Next, the Freebirds delivered a double clothesline to Scott.
- When Garvin attempted a DDT, Scott countered with a back drop.
- Hayes then attempted a DDT, but Scott shoved him down.
- Finally Rick made it into the ring and gave both Freebirds consecutive Steinerlines.
- As the Freebirds sought refuge outside the ring, Scott gave them a double clothesline.
- In our politically incorrect portion of the show, the camera man showed some male members of the Baltimore faithful chanting a homosexual slur at the Freebirds. 1990 sure was a different time.
- Nonetheless, back in the ring, Rick reversed a cross corner whip and gave Garvin a back drop.
- He then followed with a Steinerline for 2.
- When Hayes tagged in, the Baltimore faithful chanted “Freebirds suck.”
- Shortly after, Scott leap-frogged Garvin and delivered a hip toss.
- He then gave an incoming Hayes one as well.
- Afterward, he dropkicked both Freebirds consecutively.
- Hayes tagged in but received a sit-out powerbomb from Scott.
- As Garvin came in, Scott gave him a tilt-a-whirl slam.
- The Baltimore faithful then chanted “Michael is a bitch” at Hayes while Rick gave him a powerslam.
- When Garvin leaped from the top turnbuckle, Rick powerslammed him too.
- After Garvin put a knee into Rick’s back, Hayes nailed Rick sending him over the top rope to the floor.
- Garvin then clotheslined Rick on the floor as Scott distracted referee Mike Adkins.
- As Hayes joined them, the Freebirds delivered a double vertical suplex to Rick on the floor.
- Garvin then hit a lariat on Rick while the distraction continued.
- Back in the ring, Hayes slammed Rick but only got a 1-count.
- He then delivered a bulldog but only got 2.
- When Garvin tagged in, he reversed a slam by landing atop Rick for another 2.
- Garvin then put a knee into Rick’s midsection and slammed him.
- Upon mounting the top turnbuckle, Garvin leaped but ate a shot to the midsection.
- Rick then mounted the second turnbuckle and bulldogged Garvin.
- Hot tag Scott.
- After a powerslam to Hayes, Scott military-pressed and tossed him at Garvin.
- With all four wrestlers in the ring, the Steiners gave the Freebirds simultaneous Steinerlines.
- Scott then delivered the Frankensteiner, but Garvin gave him a DDT while Rick detained Adkins.
- As Garvin made the cover, Adkins notified him that he wasn’t the legal man. Great acknowledgement, Mike!
- Rick then gave Hayes an overhead belly-to-belly suplex.
- Afterward, Scott made the cover and pinned Hayes.
Summary: Hot tag match that proved how good the Steiners were.
Ross then shills Halloween Havoc ‘90 on 10/27.
Match 8 (six-man): Junkyard Dog, “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff, & El Gigante versus NWA World TV champion “the Enforcer” Arn Anderson, Barry Windham, & Sid Vicious
- Orndorff attempted a sunset flip, but Sid lifted him into a standing choke.
- After Sid missed a leg drop, Orndorff dropkicked Sid out of the ring.
- Arn came in but received a hip toss followed by a knee lift.
- As Windham came in, Orndorff gave him the same medicine.
- When Sid returned, Orndorff tried to hip-toss him to no avail.
- Sid then tried his own hip toss, but Orndorff countered with a backslide for 2 thanks to some assistance from JYD.
- When the Horsemen tried to triple-team Orndorff, JYD and El Gigante came in to shoo them away.
- After Orndorff dragged Arn back into the ring, JYD nailed him in the midsection.
- Upon receiving a series of head butts from JYD, Arn got pinballed but stopped short of getting nailed by El Gigante.
- Windham tagged in and received a series of head butts from JYD.
- While Arn tagged in, JYD gave him a cross corner whip but ate a left from Arn.
- Windham tagged in again and gave JYD a DDT, but JYD no-sold it. Sigh.
- As Windham attempted a vertical suplex, JYD blocked and delivered one of his own.
- Orndorff tagged in and clotheslined Arn.
- When he attempted a piledriver, Windham mounted the top turnbuckle and gave Orndorff a double axe handle. In the meantime, Sid distracted referee Randy Anderson.
- The Baltimore faithful LOUDLY chanted “We Want Sid,” and Arn obliged.
- After Sid delivered a powerslam, he got 2 on Orndorff.
- Windham tagged in and gave Orndorff a vertical suplex for 2.
- As Arn tagged in, Orndorff reversed an Irish whip but ate an elbow smash.
- When Windham tagged in, he ate a forearm from Orndorff.
- Hot tag JYD.
- Having had enough, the Horsemen tossed JYD over the top rope to the ramp.
- Anderson called for the bell disqualifying the Horsemen.
- El Gigante never tagged in.
Summary: This match was an excuse to showcase El Gigante’s size and have both the Horsemen and Dudes with Attitudes wrestle prior to the main event.
After the match, El Gigante sends Sid and Arn over adjacent top ropes and scatters Windham.
At the podium, Solie interviews a preoccupied Luger.
Match 9 for the NWA US title: The “Total Package” Lex Luger (champion) versus “Mean” Mark (w/ Paul E. Dangerously)
- As the Baltimore faithful chanted “Paul E. sucks,” Mark gave Luger a cross corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
- Luger then hit a cross body block for 2.
- With Dangerously on the phone to “Murray,” Mark gave Luger a big boot. Perhaps “Murray” told him to close the arena for only 24 hours.
- Shortly after, Mark delivered the rope walk shoulder smash.
- After an elbow smash, Luger attempted a clothesline but Mark evaded him. That sent Luger between the ropes to the floor.
- As Dangerously got up on the apron, Mark put a knee into Luger’s midsection sending him into the steel railing.
- Mark then joined and rammed Luger face-first into the steps and then into the broadcast table.
- Back in the ring, Luger hit a sunset flip for 2.
- Mark then gave Luger a cross corner whip but came up empty again.
- After a vertical suplex by Mark, Luger no-sold it and flattened Mark with a series of clotheslines.
- Next, he hooked the Torture Rack, but Mark’s legs knocked down referee Mike Adkins.
- Dangerously then entered the ring and nailed Luger in the ribs with the cellular phone.
- As Mark made the cover, he only got 2.
- After a short-arm clothesline, Mark attempted the heart punch but ate boot instead.
- With Dangerously on the apron, Luger nailed him and clotheslined Mark.
- Luger retained.
Summary: From a budget perspective, Mark may not have meant much to WCW; on the other hand, from a wrestling perspective, Mark was only 25 years old. Instead of letting his contract lapse, WCW should have re-signed him. I wonder where he pops up next.
Earlier today, Solie interviewed Sting in the locker room who stated his knee is 100%.
Match 10 for the NWA World tag team titles: Doom (champions w/ Teddy Long) versus Rock’n’Roll Express
- Simmons reversed a cross corner whip by Gibson but came up empty on his follow-through; immediately, Gibson rolled up him for 2.
- As Reed tagged in, Gibson slammed and gave him an elbow smash.
- Shortly after, Gibson tagged in, and the Rock’n’Roll Express gave Reed a double shoulder block.
- When Simmons came in, they gave him a double vertical suplex.
- Off-camera, they brought Reed in the hard way, but Reed clotheslined Gibson.
- Simmons tagged in, and Doom gave Gibson a double back elbow for 2.
- Next, Simmons slammed Gibson and gave him a leg drop.
- While Morton distracted referee Randy Anderson, Reed tossed Gibson over the top rope to the floor. SNEAKY!
- With Gibson on the apron, he gave Reed a sunset flip for 2.
- Reed came back with a swinging neckbreaker for 2.
- While Ross mocked Anderson for his size, Gibson gave Reed a knee lift.
- Morton tagged in and hooked a sleeper on Reed, but Simmons interfered.
- Afterward, he rolled up Reed, but Simmons interfered again.
- Reed then delivered a clothesline followed by a pair of elbow drops for 2.
- At the ten-minute mark, Simmons tagged in, gave Morton a cross corner whip, but ate boot on his follow-through.
- Reed tagged in, got reversed on a cross corner whip, and made Morton eat knee during his follow-through.
- Upon mounting the second turnbuckle, Reed hit an elbow drop for another 2.
- While Simmons distracted Anderson, Gibson assisted Morton with a backslide for 2.
- Simmons tagged in, slammed Morton, and guillotined him using the bottom rope for 2.
- As Morton hooked an inside cradle, he got 2.
- Simmons then hit a powerslam for 2.
- When Reed tagged in, he mounted the second turnbuckle and gave Morton a double axe handle.
- He then delivered a pair of fist drops for another 2.
- While Gibson distracted Anderson, Reed tossed Morton over the top rope to the floor.
- On the floor, with Simmons’ assistance, Long nailed Morton. How dastardly!
- Simmons then made Morton taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Oriole at the Pratt Street Ale House.
- Back in the ring, Simmons tagged in, slammed Morton, and got 2.
- Reed tagged in, gave Morton a powerslam, but ate knees on a splash attempt.
- Hot tag Gibson.
- Upon face-planting Simmons, Gibson gave him a dropkick.
- As Gibson hooked a sunset flip, Reed saved his partner.
- All four wrestlers were in the ring.
- With Long on the apron, Gibson gave Reed an enziguri sending him into Long.
- Seeing that Long had fallen into the ring, Gibson nailed him.
- Reed then mounted the top turnbuckle, hit a flying shoulder block, and got the pin.
- Doom retained.
Summary: Solid victory for the champions against the former four-time champions.
Earlier today, Solie interviewed Flair in the empty Baltimore Arena.
Prior to the match, Herd has WCW Security Director Doug Dillinger handcuff a reluctant Ole to El Gigante.
Match 11 for the NWA World title (no-DQ): “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (champion) versus Sting
- In addition to the previous stipulations, stipulation #3 stated that the Dudes with Attitude will be at ringside to thwart any Horseman interference. Did Flair lose a bet?
- After no-selling Flair’s chops, Sting gave Flair a cross corner whip followed by a gorilla press slam.
- Due to the Dudes with Attitudes standing nearby, Flair could not seek refuge outside the ring at this time.
- Sting then gave Flair a hip toss and a dropkick.
- When Flair successfully sought refuge on the ramp, Sting followed, hip-tossed, and clotheslined him back into the ring.
- Flair came back with a knee drop and a vertical suplex.
- But Sting no-sold it and gave Flair a pair of clotheslines.
- He then mounted the top turnbuckle, hit a cross body block, and got 2.
- As Flair attacked Sting’s previously injured left knee, he gave Sting a cross corner whip but ate a clothesline on his follow-through.
- Sting then missed an elbow drop.
- When Flair attempted the figure-four leg lock, the Baltimore faithful gasped in fear.
- On the contrary, Sting kicked Flair away to counter.
- Flair then tossed Sting onto the ramp, followed, and chopped him down.
- Back in the ring, Sting came back with a hip toss but missed a dropkick.
- After Flair missed a knee drop, Sting applied a figure-four leg lock.
- Will Flair submit?
- No, he made the ropes.
- As Flair sought refuge outside the ring, he dragged Sting out with him and whipped him back-first into the steel railing.
- But Sting NO-SOLD it! I smell a trend here.
- In the ring, Sting gave Flair the ten-punch count-along on the mat.
- Flair then mounted the top turnbuckle but got caught and slammed down to the mat.
- While Flair attempted a hip toss, Sting countered with a backslide for 2.
- Flair again attempted a figure-four leg lock, but Sting kicked him away.
- As the Baltimore faithful chanted “Let’s go, Sting,” the challenger no-sold Flair’s chops again.
- Next, he gave Flair a military press slam.
- After a clothesline, Sting got another 2.
- He then gave Flair another ten-punch count-along followed by a cross corner whip. That resulted in a Flair flip.
- As Flair gained his balance on the apron, Sting clotheslined him again.
- With Flair on the apron, Sting suplexed him back into the ring but couldn’t get 3.
- After another cross corner whip, Sting hit the Stinger Splash.
- As the Baltimore faithful rose to their feet, Sting hooked the Scorpion death lock.
- Will Flair submit?
- When the rest of the Horsemen tried to interfere, the Dudes with Attitudes stood in their path.
- With the Horsemen at bay, Flair made the ropes to escape.
- From the apron, Flair gave Sting a shoulder block, tried to pin him with his feet on the second rope, but Scott Steiner SHUT THAT SHIT DOWN.
- Since Flair was distracted by Scott, Sting rolled him up for 2.
- He then hooked a backslide for another 2.
- After another cross corner whip, he came up empty on his follow-through.
- Flair then attempted the figure-four leg lock, but Sting hooked an inside cradle.
- Do we have a new champion?
- WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!
- The Baltimore faithful came UNGLUED!
Summary: Immensely historical match as Sting finally defeated Flair for the NWA World title.
After the match, the Dudes with Attitudes celebrate with Sting in the ring.
On the ramp, Solie interviews Sting who touts Flair’s success and “has some big shoes to fill.” He then thanks the fans for their support, returns to the ring, and riles them up.
Conclusion: Much like the Ultimate Warrior winning the WWF title in April, this was a momentum-shifting night for WCW. The Sting era has begun. What happens next?
As far as my recommendation goes, the main event is a must-see for every wrestling fan. Also, the Midnight Express-Southern Boys match must be seen to be believed.
Stay tuned for WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event XXVII!