Rock Star Gary reflects on NWA Great American Bash ’89: Glory Days

Live from Baltimore, MD

Airdate: July 23, 1989

Attendance:  14,500

Hosted by Jim Ross & Bob Caudle

Thus far, 1989 has been great. Can the NWA continue the trend with this show? Read on!

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Rock Star Gary reflects on NWA Clash of Champions VII

Live from Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, NC

Airdate: June 14, 1989

Attendance:  dehydrated, perspiring Army soldiers (no A/C)

Hosted by Jim Ross & Bob Caudle

Ten-hut! Reading this reflection brings purpose, direction, and spirit to your miserable life. Drop and give me twenty!

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WCW Wednesday: Part XXXV – the Pilot Episode Edition!

Back on September 4, 1995, WCW began what became a five and one-half year trek into weekly prime time television that would significantly impact the competition between them and the WWF. While I won’t detail the entire history of the series, I present to you the pilot episode of WCW Monday Nitro.

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Monday Nitro – March 26, 2001 (Final Episode Plus Final Thoughts On Nitro)

Monday Nitro #288
Date: March 26, 2001
Location: Boardwalk Beach Resort, Panama City, Florida
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson

I can’t believe I actually typed that. After over five and a half years, we’ve actually arrived at the final episode of Monday Nitro. Tonight is the Night of Champions show with every title being defended. Other than that there’s been an open call to all former WCW World Champions to show up and bring their gear. That could be interesting or a big disappointment and I’ll let you guess which I’m expecting. Let’s get to it.

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Rock Star Gary reflects on NWA Clash of the Champions III: Fall Brawl

Live from Albany, GA

Airdate: September 7, 1988

Attendance:  3,700

Hosted by Tony Schiavone, “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, Jim Ross, & Bob Caudle

Prior to the first match, Tony acknowledges that the “Total Package” Lex Luger is Flair’s toughest test to date. Methinks Rhodes did NOT write that line for him.

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Rock Star Gary reflects on NWA Clash of the Champions II: Miami Mayhem

Live from Miami, FL

Airdate: June 8, 1988

Attendance:  unknown

Hosted by Tony Schiavone & Bob Caudle

While the initial Clash stands on its own as a spectacular, this Clash serves as a promotional vehicle for the upcoming Great American Bash tour. Get out your beach umbrella, fruity cocktail, and sunscreen as we head to Miami, Florida for some NWA wrestling action!

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WCW Wednesday: Part XXXII – the Title Unification Edition!

Due to WCW’s Disney tapings in 1993, a fallout occurred between WCW and the NWA because of WCW’s portrayal of someone other than the NWA champion wearing the NWA belt. Rather than eliminate the title altogether, WCW renamed it the WCW International World title.

By July 1994, the usefulness of the WCW International title had run its course so to speak; hence, WCW booked a unification match at Clash XXVII on July 23. At the time, Sting was the WCW International champion while Flair was the WCW World champion. Since these guys knew each other really well, let’s see how the match went according to my reflection…

Match 5 for the WCW World title unification: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (WCW World champion) versus Sting (WCW International World champion)

Highlights:

  • As Heenan replaced Ventura on commentary, Flair came out first.
  • Buffer rumbled.
  • After the introductions, Sensuous Sherri came down the ramp. Upon hiding behind a mask, she revealed herself wearing the exact style of face paint as Sting.
  • At the onset, Sting gave Flair a pair of gorilla press slams.
  • That resulted in a Flair flop on the floor.
  • Interestingly, Flair, who had been a babyface since his return to WCW, made heel gestures toward the crowd.
  • After a series of clotheslines by Sting, he delivered a hip toss and a dropkick.
  • Flair then attempted the figure-four leg lock, but Sting got a sloppy cradle for 2.
  • While a huge “Sting” chant emanated from the crowd, Sting missed a Stinger splash.
  • Subsequently, Flair asked referee Randy Anderson for the time then tossed Sting over the top rope when he wasn’t looking. As you know, he’s the “dirtiest player in the game.”
  • Regardless, Flair tried to pin Sting with his feet on the ropes.
  • He then made a second attempt at a figure-four but was thwarted.
  • After a sleeper by Flair, a Flair flip put Flair on the apron but Sting clotheslined him down.
  • Sting then put Flair on the top turnbuckle and delivered a top rope superplex.
  • However, he then missed a top rope splash.
  • Next, a delayed vertical suplex by Flair was no-sold by Sting.
  • He then clotheslined Flair over the top rope to the floor.
  • When Sting attempted a plancha, Flair put Sherri directly in his path. Nice bump, Sherri.
  • As Sting was distracted with Sherri, Flair rolled him up with a handful of tights for the victory!

Rating: ***1/2

Summary: These guys have had better matches in the past. Unfortunately, in this match, the psychology was all over the place. Due to their almost unparalleled chemistry, this match-up never became boring. Yet this match’s only historical significance was the unification itself.

After the match, the crowd cheers for Flair’s victory as a dazed Sherri enters the ring. Shockingly, she and Flair embrace. WE HAVE A HEEL TURN! She and Flair double-team Sting including two Sherri splashes.  Being the hero to millions, Hulk Hogan emerges from the dressing room to confront Flair, but the ”Nature Boy” avoids the leg drop and bails. Sherri appears to be caught in the middle of the ring, but she slaps Hogan. To save her skin, Flair drags Sherri from the ring. Your Bash at the Beach main event stands before you and boosts the match rating up ½*.

So where did it lead:  While the title unification resided on the forefront, the signing of Hulk Hogan stood in the background like a ticking time bomb. In order to placate Hogan, Flair had to turn heel to elicit the “appropriate” reaction for the Hulkster. Since BatB ’94 generated a 1.02 buyrate, I would surmise that Hogan’s politics worked. In fact, he even became WCW World champion in his first WCW match!

What do you think of this match from Clash XXVII?

Please be sure to check out all of my reflections at rockstargary.com.

Rock Star Gary reflects on NWA Clash of the Champions

Live from Greensboro, NC

Airdate: March 27, 1988

Attendance:  6,000

Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross, and Bob Caudle

In previous reflections, we learned that Vince McMahon and the WWF initially opposed Starrcade ’87 with Survivor Series then subsequently Bunkhouse Stampede with Royal Rumble on USA. With the help of TBS, Jim Crockett Promotions counter-attacked by opposing WrestleMania IV with this show. Back in 1988, despite my admiration for Savage, I tuned in to watch this show instead. Let’s see what transpired.

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Rock Star Gary reflects on NWA Starrcade ’87

Live from Chicago, IL

Airdate: November 26, 1987

Attendance:  8,000 (sold out)

Hosted by Tony Schiavone & Jim Ross

Since 1983, Starrcade had been an annual tradition for Jim Crockett Promotions. However, by 1987, Vince McMahon was steadily knocking down the smaller territories (e.g. AWA, Stampede, etc.) yet still wanted to hurt the WWF’s biggest rival where it hurt the most as well.

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Thunder – November 15, 2000

Thunder
Date: November 15, 2000
Location: Evening News Arena, Manchester, England
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Stevie Ray

We’re still in England and we’re still creeping towards Mayhem where the inevitable Scott Steiner title reign is coming. Things are right back down in the depths where they were a few weeks ago and now the nice run they were on is over. Hopefully the stories make sense tonight. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Nitro – November 13, 2000

Monday Nitro #266
Date: November 13, 2000
Location: London Arena, London, England
Attendance: 9,138
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Stevie Ray, Mike Tenay

Well maybe it’s going to get better on the other side of the world. I mean, the Australian shows were an improvement in a way but it should be interesting to see what they do over in England. We’re a few weeks away from Mayhem and it’s fairly clear that Booker T.’s World Title reign is in trouble. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Nitro – November 6, 2000

Monday Nitro #265
Date: November 6, 2000
Location: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Attendance: 7,000
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden, Scott Hudson

It’s a new month for Nitro and hopefully things stay on the good path that Thunder put WCW on. The big story is Scott Steiner vs. Booker T. for the World Title in a few weeks at Mayhem but unfortunately we have a lot of TV left for them to screw up. We also have a new boss in Ric Flair, who wasn’t even on Thunder. Let’s get to it.

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Thunder – November 1, 2000

Thunder
Date: November 1, 2000
Location: Bren Events Center, Irvine, California
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Mark Madden, Tony Schiavone

We’re out of October and things are…..well they certainly exist. For a few more months at least. Scott Steiner is still insane and chasing Booker T.’s World Title but more importantly WCW has made it very clear that Mike Awesome, the athletic freak, has no future as a main event player. It’s a good thing they caught that problem before it became serious. Let’s get to it.

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Halloween Havoc 2000

Halloween Havoc 2000
Date: October 29, 2000
Location: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Attendance: 7,582
Commentators: Stevie Ray, Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden

It’s at least a double main event tonight and you could argue a triple with Kronik vs. Goldberg, Sting vs. Jeff Jarrett and Booker T. defending the World Title against Scott Steiner. After that though the card falls off a cliff and hits every single rock on the way down. Let’s get to it.

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Thunder – October 25, 2000

Thunder
Date: October 25, 2000
Location: Alltel Arena, Little Rock, Arkansas
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Stevie Ray, Mike Tenay

It’s the final show before Halloween Havoc and hopefully Sting vs. Jeff Jarrett gets a little more time this week. This show is now being taped after Monday Nitro so there’s a chance that some of the guys might not be up to their usual speed. On top of that there’s the chance that WCW could manage to put on a show full of errors that could defy all logic and intelligence. Let’s get to it.

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WCW Wednesday: Part XVIII – the Uncensored and Egomaniacal Edition!

Last week, we addressed the first ever Uncensored PPV from WCW. This week, while addressing the second annual show, we will explore the egomaniacal nature of Hulk Hogan and his use of creative control.

Before we begin with the show, allow me to ask you a simple question:

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Monday Nitro – October 23, 2000

Monday Nitro #263
Date: October 23, 2000
Location: Alltel Arena, Little Rock, Arkansas
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Stevie Ray, Mark Madden

We’re stateside again and it’s the go home show for Halloween Havoc which actually has a pretty solid looking card. Of course I don’t expect WCW to actually make that work but at least the build hasn’t been the worst. Unfortunately you never can tell what the final push for something like this is going to be. Let’s get to it.

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Thunder – October 18, 2000

Thunder
Date: October 18, 2000
Location: Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, Australia
Commentators: Stevie Ray, Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone

We’ll wrap up the Australian tour with one of wrestling’s best traditions: a battle royal for a future title shot. In this case it’s all for the #1 contendership with the title shot coming on the Nitro after Halloween Havoc. These overseas shows have been hit or miss so it should be interesting to see how this one goes. Let’s get to it.

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