Rock Star Gary reflects on NWA Clash XIII: Thanksgiving Thunder

Live from Jacksonville, FL

Airdate: November 20, 1990

Attendance: unknown

Hosted by Jim Ross & Paul E. Dangerously

If you were a wrestling fan in 1990, this was the first of three supershows during Thanksgiving week. Read on!

Prior to the opening match, Hayes questions the Southern Boys regarding the whereabouts of El Gigante. According to Meltzer, El Gigante missed his flight.

Match 1: The Freebirds (w/ Little Richard Marley) versus the Southern Boys

Highlights:

  • Since the Freebirds “took responsibility” for El Gigante’s absence, “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton was excused from this match.
  • After a pair of leap frogs, Smothers gave Garvin a hip toss.
  • He then hip-tossed an incoming Hayes.
  • Next, the Southern Boys hit consecutive double dropkick to Garvin followed by Hayes.
  • Marley got up on the apron until Steve Armstrong dropkicked back to the floor.
  • As Smothers escaped a Freebirds double-team, Steve delivered a cross body block to them from the top rope. Where have I seen this before?
  • Upon slamming Hayes, Smothers slammed an incoming Garvin as well.
  • He then gave the Freebirds a double clothesline. In the meantime, Ross spewed his college football knowledge by stating that Smothers played for NAIA powerhouse Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, TN.
  • After receiving a cross corner whip, Smothers floated to the apron but ate a left from Hayes. That caused Smothers to taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Red Rock sandwich at Ted Montana’s Grill.
  • Garvin then slammed Smothers twice as Ross stated the Freebirds will face Ricky Morton and Tommy Rich at Starrcade. Also, Robert Gibson will be in the babyfaces’ corner.
  • When Smothers hooked a sunset flip on Garvin, he earned a 2-count.
  • Garvin responded with a clothesline followed by another slam.
  • While Garvin mounted the top turnbuckle, Smothers caught and slammed him down to the mat.
  • A false tag occurred when referee Mike Adkins placed Garvin back in the heel corner.
  • As Adkins placed Steve back in the babyface corner, the Freebirds gave Smothers a double vertical suplex.
  • Steve then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a double clothesline on the Freebirds.
  • With all four wrestlers in the ring, Steve backdropped Garvin over the top rope to the ramp.
  • Meanwhile, Adkins was preoccupied with Smothers’ delivery of the ten-punch count-along to Hayes; hence, he couldn’t render a disqualification.
  • Steve then brought Marley in the hard way and hit a cross body block over the top rope to Garvin on the ramp. Wow!
  • After Marley tripped Smothers, Hayes gave Smothers the DDT.
  • 1-2-3.
  • The Freebirds won.

Rating: ***

Summary: While the Southern Boys had the Jacksonville faithful firmly in their corner and ears, the Freebirds pulled the wool over their eyes.

On the podium, Tony Schiavone interviews NWA World champion Sting who is ready to go face-to-face with the Black Scorpion in the Danger Zone later in the program. Suddenly, said arch nemesis interrupts and wants to scare him with some more black magic.

Match 2: “Flyin’” Brian Pillman versus “Nature Boy” Buddy Landel

Highlights:

  • After a pair of short-arm clotheslines, Landel made an arrogant cover; however, Pillman countered with a sunset flip for 2.
  • He then hooked an inside cradle for another 2.
  • As he countered a hip toss with a backslide, Pillman almost got 3.
  • He then delivered a pair of clotheslines with the second one sending Landel over the top rope to the ramp.
  • Next, he hit a springboard clothesline to Landel on the ramp.
  • He then attempted a piledriver, but Landel countered with a back drop.
  • Not to be outdone, Pillman hooked a sunset flip but ate a knuckle sandwich. Pass the Grey Poupon please.
  • Landel then clotheslined Pillman back into the ring.
  • With Pillman on the apron, Landel put a knee into his midsection causing him to taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Cuban Cristo at Seven Bridges. There was no truth to the rumor that the Eagles had reformed just for that bump.
  • Landel then joined and guillotined PIllman using the steel railing.
  • When he stood Pillman up against the ring post, Landel missed Pillman and HIT THE POLE.
  • Landel then returned the favor.
  • Back in the ring, Pillman gave Landel a cross corner whip followed by a hip toss and a dropkick.
  • Landel then sought refuge outside the ring.
  • On the other hand, Pillman had other ideas and attempted a plancha. When Landel ducked, Pillman instead hit a springboard cross body block on the floor.
  • Landel then hooked a rope-assisted abdominal stretch when they returned to the ring.
  • When Landel gave him a cross corner whip, Pillman leaped to the second turnbuckle, hit another cross body block, but received a backbreaker. That earned Landel a 2-count.
  • Pillman then reversed an Irish whip and gave Landel a high back drop.
  • As Landel placed Pillman atop the top turnbuckle, PIllman blocked a superplex sending Landel to the mat.
  • He then hit a flying body press and pinned Landel.

Rating: **1/2

Summary: Showcase match for Pillman.

Promo for Starrcade ’90: Collision Course airs. It will be LIVE on PPV on 12/16.

Match 3: “Candyman” Brad Armstrong versus the Big Cat

Highlights:

  • For those unaware, the Big Cat was portrayed by Curtis Hughes.
  • Speaking of Hughes, he cut a pre-recorded promo on Luger.
  • After the Big Cat missed a clothesline, Brad delivered a dropkick.
  • He then attempted a cross body block, but the Big Cat caught and gave him a series of backbreakers.
  • Upon slamming Brad, the Big Cat got 2.
  • He then gave Brad a HARD cross corner whip injuring the back.
  • Next, he applied a bear hug and SQUISHED Brad in the corner.
  • However, when he charged, he came up empty.
  • After giving the Big Cat a shot to the midsection, Brad delivered a dropkick but missed a second one.
  • The Big Cat then hooked the Torture Rack, and Brad submitted.

Rating: ½*

Summary: Showcase match for the Big Cat.

A pre-recorded promo by Dick the Bruiser airs. He will be the special guest referee for the main event at Starrcade.

Match 4: Z-Man versus “Prime Time” Brian Lee

Highlights:

  • While Lee gloated to the Jacksonville faithful, Z-Man delivered an enziguri.
  • Lee then gave Z-Man a cross -corner whip, but Z-Man floated over and hip-tossed Lee.
  • Next, Z-Man leaped to the top turnbuckle, hit a cross body block, but nobody was home. Methinks Lee was out of position.
  • Lee then gave Z-Man a back elbow but ate a dropkick.
  • After another cross corner whip, Lee came up empty on his follow-through.
  • When Z-Man gave Lee a cross corner whip, he delivered a kick to the midsection. That would appear to be botch #2 of the match.
  • He then slammed Lee, mounted the top turnbuckle, and hit a missile dropkick.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Z-Man won.

Rating: -**

Summary: Ugly showcase match for Z-Man. As you might guess, this was Lee’s only match in WCW because, wait for it, he was…not ready for prime time. According to Uncle Paul, Z-Man will face Eaton at Starrcade.

On the podium, Schiavone interviews the former Mike Rotunda who now wants to be called Michael Wallstreet. His new “assistant” is Alexandra York portrayed by one of my favorite valets—Terri Runnels. According to York and her computer, Wallstreet will defeat Star Blazer.

Match 5: Michael Wallstreet (w/ Alexandra York) versus the Star Blazer

Highlights:

  • For those unaware, Star Blazer was portrayed by Tim Horner.
  • After a leap frog, Star Blazer gave Wallstreet a hip toss followed by a pair of dropkicks.
  • Wallstreet then tossed him outside the ring and guillotined him using the top rope.
  • As Wallstreet applied a rope-assisted abdominal stretch, Nick Patrick noticed the shenanigans and made him break the hold.
  • Star Blazer then escaped a vertical suplex and rolled up Wallstreet for 2.
  • After Wallstreet reversed a cross corner whip, he ate boot on his follow-through.
  • Star Blazer then delivered a back elbow followed by a slam and a dropkick.
  • When he attempted another dropkick, Wallstreet caught the legs and hooked a Boston crab.
  • He then delivered a Samoan drop–the Wallstreet Crash.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Wallstreet won.

Rating: DUD

Summary: Showcase match for Wallstreet.

Gordon Solie runs down the WCW Top 10:

Tag teams:

Champions: Doom

  1. Steiners
  2. Ric Flair & Arn Anderson
  3. Nasty Boys
  4. Freebirds
  5. Ricky Morton & Tommy Rich
  6. Southern Boys
  7. Master Blasters
  8. Tim Horner & “Candyman” Brad Armstrong
  9. Big Cat & Motor City Madman
  10. Norman & the Juicer

Singles:

Champion: Sting

  1. Stan “The Lariat” Hansen
  2. Sid Vicious
  3. The “Total Package” Lex Luger
  4. “Nature Boy” Ric Flair
  5. The “Enforcer” Arn Anderson
  6. Terry Taylor
  7. “Flyin’” Brian Pillman
  8. Michael Wallstreet
  9. Z-Man
  10. “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton

Promo airs for the Pat O’Connor Memorial tag team tournament to be held at Starrcade on 12/16.

We then see the seven-foot trophy that will be awarded to the winner.

Match 6 (Africa region finals of Pat O’Connor Memorial tag team tournament): The Botswana Beast & Kalua versus Sgt. Krueger & Col. Deklerk

Highlights:

  • For those unaware, the Botswana Beast was portrayed by Bill Tabb, Kalua was Larry Hamilton, Sgt. Krueger was Ray Liachelli, and Col. Deklerk was Ted Petty.
  • After Kalua missed a clothesline, Deklerk hit a springboard cross body block.
  • The South African team then gave Kalua a drop toehold/elbow drop combo.
  • Shortly after, the Botswana Beast delivered a flying clothesline to Krueger.
  • Deklerk tagged in but ate a powerslam from the Botswana Beast.
  • After a cross corner whip, the Botswana Beast gave Deklerk a shoulder block.
  • When the Botswana Beast tried a second time, Deklerk flipped over and clotheslined him.
  • He then mounted the second turnbuckle and gave the Botswana Beast a double axe handle.
  • Make that two.
  • Upon mounting the top turnbuckle, Deklerk leaped but ate another powerslam from the Botswana Beast for 2.
  • When Krueger came in, the Botswana Beast gave him an atomic drop.
  • All four wrestlers were in the ring.
  • As the South Africans received cross corner whips, they performed a do-si-do.
  • The Botswana Beast then tried to slam Krueger, but Deklerk dropkicked his partner atop him.
  • 1-2-3.
  • The South African team won.

Rating: *

Summary: Disjointed mess with zero heat. Let’s hope they get fed to the Steiners at Starrcade.

NWA promoter Sam Muchnick asks us to join him in St. Louis for the Pat O’Connor Memorial tag team tournament.

We then revisit Clash XII when Hansen interfered in the Luger-Flair match. Next, we revisit Halloween Havoc when Hansen upset Luger for the US title. Afterward, we get a short vignette as Uncle Paul discovered the Motor City Madman in a pool hall. Schiavone then interviews Luger, but the Big Cat interrupts and pokes Luger in the chest repeatedly. Luger responds by nailing the Big Cat who vows revenge.

Match 7: The “Total Package” Lex Luger versus the Motor City Madman

Highlights:

  • For those unaware, the Madman was portrayed by Mike Moore.
  • As Luger made his entrance, he and the Big Cat brawled on the ramp.
  • When Luger entered the ring, the Madman ambushed him.
  • Luger then hit a cross body block for 2.
  • After a clothesline, Luger delivered a back elbow.
  • From the apron, Madman tried to suplex Luger onto the ramp, but Luger blocked and suplexed him back into the ring.
  • He then slammed the Madman but missed an elbow drop.
  • While the Madman gave Luger a clothesline, he followed with a sidewalk slam.
  • He then attempted the over-the-shoulder backbreaker, but Luger countered with a back drop.
  • After hitting the Madman with a lariat, Luger pinned him.

Rating: *

Summary: Showcase match for Luger.

Starrcade ’90 promo #2.

Schiavone then interviews referee Nick Patrick who states that the Steiners are determined to destroy the Nasty Boys.

Match 8: Nasty Boys versus Renegade Warriors

Highlights:

  • As Knobbs tagged in, the Nasty Boys gave Mark Youngblood a double vertical suplex.
  • Chris Youngblood tagged in, gave Knobbs a cross body block, and got 2.
  • When Mark tagged in, he mounted the top turnbuckle and lowered the boom on Knobbs.
  • Chris tagged back in, mounted the top turnbuckle, and gave more boom to Knobbs.
  • As Ross shilled a possible encounter between the Steiners and Nasty Boys at the Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, NJ on 1/11/91, Chris gave Sags a dropkick.
  • Mark tagged in, but Sags tossed him over the top rope to the floor. Meanwhile, Knobbs distracted referee Nick Patrick.
  • While Chris took his turn to distract Patrick, Knobbs rammed Mark back-first into the steel railing.
  • Knobbs tagged in and gave Mark a single-arm DDT.
  • Shortly after, Sags delivered a shoulder breaker to Mark.
  • Suddenly, the Steiners hit the ring to brawl with the Nasty Boys.
  • Patrick then called for the bell disqualifying the Renegade Warriors.

Rating: *1/2

Summary: More angle than match as the Steiners/Nasty Boys feud continues. Well, not really. According to Meltzer, the Nasty Boys gave notice prior to the show. I wonder if they’ll be as conspicuous as Mean Mark.

Prior to the next match, Sid cut a pre-recorded promo.

Match 9: Sid Vicious versus the Nightstalker (w/o Ox Baker)

Highlights:

  • Before he was Adam Bomb, Wrath, or a member of Kronik, Bryan Clarke portrayed the Nightstalker.
  • Speaking of Nightstalker, he hooked a bear hug, but Sid rang his bell to escape.
  • Nightstalker then reapplied the bear hug, but Sid escaped.
  • Shortly after, the Big Cat returned to the ring because he knew Sid sucked on defense.
  • After Sid gave Nightstalker a belly-to-back suplex, he nailed the Big Cat.
  • Nightstalker then tried to decapitate Sid with his giant axe, but Sid evaded him.
  • Upon nailing Nightstalker in the back with the axe, Sid pinned him.

Rating: DUD

Summary: While Sid stunk like old cheese on defense, Nightstalker’s offense was HORRIBLE. Who actually thought this match was a good idea?

After the match, Sid brawls with the Big Cat, but Nightstalker nails him from behind with the axe. Sid then exits the ring to escape further double-teaming. If the purpose was to turn Sid into a babyface, WCW failed with the execution.

Schiavone then interviews the Freebirds, but the Southern Boys bring out El Gigante to chase them away. Perhaps he was flying on the wing of the plane instead of missing it.

In a pre-recorded promo, Missy Hyatt shills NWA Main Event.

We then revisit the Steiners’ interruption of the Nasty Boys’ match.

Match 10 for the NWA US tag team titles: Steiners (champions) versus Magnum Force

Highlights:

  • For those unaware, Magnum Force was portrayed by Ricky Slagle and Speedy Gonzalez.
  • Holy frijoles! Not THAT Speedy Gonzalez!
  • Scott gave Gonzalez a tilt-a-whirl slam followed by an overhead powerslam to Slagle.
  • As Rick tagged in, he gave Slagle a Steinerline.
  • Scott tagged in and gave Slagle the Frankensteiner.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Steiners retained.

Rating: DUD

Summary: Showcase match for the Steiners.

After the match, the Nasty Boys hit the ring to brawl with the Steiners but lose terribly. Yep, they’re out the door.

From the podium, Schiavone interviews the Horsemen who are ready for Doom.

After a commercial break, we revisit the Black Scorpion saga. We then revisit Clash XII when Sting unmasked the Black Scorpion only for him to wear a second mask. Suddenly, the REAL Black Scorpion appeared on the ramp. Afterward, we revisit Halloween Havoc when the Black Scorpion kidnapped a woman and made her disappear using black magic. Next, during a match against Eaton, the Black Scorpion distracted Sting which led to Sting getting disqualified (aired 11/10, taped 11/5).

DANGER ZONE: Uncle Paul interviews Sting when creepy music begins to play. Abruptly, the Black Scorpion abducts a male fan, places a contraption on his head, and spins his head around like The Exorcist. He then lifts the fan overhead, puts him into a cage, and metamorphoses him into a leopard. Next, he enters a metal structure, raises the curtain, and vanishes. Over the public address, the Black Scorpion states “See you at Starrcade, Sting.”

Starrcade ’90 promo #3 airs.

Prior to the main event, we revisit The Main Event when Doom confronted the Horsemen (aired 10/7, taped 9/24). Next, we revisit Halloween Havoc when both teams were counted out. Afterward, Long asked Flair to put up his Rolls-Royce limousine and 65-foot yacht in exchange for a World tag team title shot (aired 11/3). On the following episode of World Championship Wrestling, Long received a gift courtesy of the Horsemen—a chauffer’s hat and jacket for a day should Doom lose (aired 11/10, taped 11/5).

Match 11: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (w/ NWA World TV champion the “Enforcer” Arn Anderson) versus “Hacksaw” Butch Reed (w/ Teddy Long)

Highlights:

  • Referee Nick Patrick tossed a coin, and Reed represented Doom.
  • After another coin toss, Flair represented the Horsemen.
  • Reed gave Flair a gorilla press slam and followed with a pair of clotheslines.
  • According to Ross, Flair attended the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” in Jacksonville back on 11/10. The Florida Gators beat the Georgia Bulldogs 30-7.
  • As Reed delivered a third clothesline, he sent Flair over the top rope to the floor.
  • Simmons then put the boots to Flair while Arn distracted Patrick.
  • When Flair sought refuge on the ramp, Reed followed and clotheslined him.
  • He then hooked a backslide for 2.
  • Next, he gave Flair the ten-punch count-along followed by a hip toss and dropkick.
  • Simmons then distracted Patrick, and Flair tossed Reed over the top rope to the floor. SNEAKY!
  • When Simmons entered the ring to protest, Arn clotheslined Reed on the floor.
  • Flair also distracted Patrick so Arn could nail Reed with a left.
  • With Reed on the apron, Flair guillotined him using the top rope.
  • Reed came back with a series of punches that resulted in a Flair flop.
  • After a cross corner whip by Reed, a Flair flip occurred.
  • Simmons then nailed Flair on the floor while Reed distracted Patrick.
  • As Arn protested on the apron to Patrick, Simmons made Flair taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Steakinator at Whiskey Jax.
  • Flair then delivered a knee drop to the delight of the Jacksonville faithful.
  • When Flair attempted a second knee drop, he missed enabling Reed to hook a figure-four leg lock.
  • Flair made the ropes to escape with Arn’s assistance.
  • To break the hold, Patrick manhandled Reed.
  • Flair tried to escape to the apron, but Reed suplexed him back in and got 2.
  • After a slam, Reed mounted the second turnbuckle but missed an elbow drop.
  • Flair then gave Reed a cross corner whip but ate a clothesline for another 2.
  • As Reed nailed him, Flair was BUSTED OPEN!
  • Reed then gave Flair another gorilla press slam, tried to nail Flair in the corner, but Patrick stopped him.
  • After Flair nailed Reed, he only got 2 thanks to Reed’s foot on the bottom rope.
  • Reed then gave Flair a back drop and a third gorilla press slam for 2 as Arn pulled Patrick out of the ring.
  • As Reed mounted the top turnbuckle, he hit Flair with a flying shoulder block.
  • He then made the cover, but both Long and Arn distracted Patrick yet again.
  • While Reed charged at him, Flair backdropped him over the top rope to the floor.
  • Before Reed hit the floor, he took out Long and Patrick on the way down.
  • Simmons then snuck into the ring and clotheslined Flair.
  • When Reed made the cover, Arn came into the ring and WALLOPED Reed in the back with a steel chair.
  • He then tossed Patrick back into the ring.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Horsemen won and got their rematch at Starrcade.

Rating: ****

Summary: Awesome main event as Flair and Reed tore the house down like it was 1985 all over again.

Conclusion: Now THAT is the way to send the fans home happy. While the opener and the main event were worthwhile, the meat in the middle wasn’t the least bit satisfying. If I had to recommend anything about this show, I’d pick the main event. On another note, I sincerely fear for Starrcade.

See you for WWF Survivor Series ’90!

Rating: 4.20

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