NWA Worldwide 2-6 & 2-13-1988

The Sting-Flair rivalry heats up and we get not one but two really good Dusty matches. Plus the fallout from the Bunkhouse Stampede and the Bench Press Challenge from Greensboro.

Opening Teaser: The Horsemen arrive via private jet dressed to the nines and enjoying the company of some young ladies with the following graphic displayed:
Ric Flair: A Special Man
Raleigh, N.C.: A Special City
Tonight: A very special night
Can’t Wait
Hosted by Tony and Davey
JR actually opens the show and explains the Flair celebration. He’s being honored by the “NWA Pro Wrestling Digest” as Wrestler of the Year for 1987. All right, I’m sure this will go on without incident. Main Event tonight is Dusty Rhodes and Beautiful Bobby Eaton.
Two title changes have happen since last week. Larry Zybysko won the Western States Heritage Championship and Mike Rotundo/a is the new World TV championship.
They show tape of Rotundo/a’s victory and it’s the typical 3-on-1 dirty heel victory with Rick Steiner distracting the referee so Kevin Sullivan can hit Nikita Koloff in the throat with an object and get the pinfall. 
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Ringside interview with the Varsity Club. They are now calling Sullivan the Gamesmaster. Rotundo/a’s gloating facial expressions are hilarious. They continue to sow the seeds of treating Steiner like s---.
Barry Windham vs. David Isley
Windham is, of course, title-less so he’s slightly pissed off. A body slam, dropkick and a lariat end things in 25 seconds. Lariat was beautifully done as always.
Back to ringside and the talking heads go back to an earlier interview on NWA Primetime with Dusty and Baby Doll (looking cute for the second week in a row I might add) comes out with those pictures. She bitches him out and says Larry Zybysko will get the U.S. title on their terms and their terms only. Then she gives him a peck. Dusty always putting himself over. The more I watch Baby Doll the more I see where Sensational Sherri got a lot of her influence for her great heel run with Savage, DiBiase and HBK. 
U.S. Title: Dusty Rhodes vs. Beautiful Bobby Eaton
Dusty gets a super overblown ring introduction too. Wow. They cut to commercial and when we come back Dusty has gotten the early upper hand when he sends Eaton to the post and hip tosses him on the floor. Back in the ring and Dusty with an armbar and he goes to work on the arm before bringing Eaton back to his feet and hitting him with the punching combo and the bionic elbow. Rhodes grabs Eaton’s leg and drops an elbow right on it. He grapevines the leg but Eaton goes to the eyes and grabs the strategically placed tennis racket to give Dusty a shot to the ribs. Out on the floor and Eaton goes after Dusty’s knee. Eaton grabs a chair and jams it in Dusty’s knee as we go to a commercial.
We’re back and in the ring, Eaton gets the tennis racket again and nails Dusty in the knee. Eaton is showing me a lot here but Dusty hits a DDT on the floor out of nowhere! Dusty tries to chase Cornette but he’s far and has an injured leg so he doesn’t get too far. Back in the ring and Eaton goes back on the offensive. Dusty blocks a right and hits a suplex but he misses the big elbow. Eaton covers for two. Eaton with a spinning toe hold and he turns it into a single leg lock. Eaton drapes the leg on the rope and hits the sitdown splash. Dusty tries to retreat and corners Eaton, he goes for the ten punches but..stops at eight and beals Eaton across the ring. Standing dropkick hits solid but they knock heads for the double knockout. Cornette jumps in the ring and tries to slip Eaton a pair of knucks, but Dusty grabs them and knocks Eaton out for three. However, Cornette tells the ref, who sees the object on Dusty and disqualifies him! A victim of his own finish. Dusty beats up Cornette to send the fans home happy. One of the best Dusty matches I’ve seen. ***1/2
Back to ringside and Cornette is totally bent out of shape and gives a wonderfully ridiculous interview. Cornette wants an immediate rematch next week.
Back to the celebration area with J.R. as the limousine brings in Ric Flair and the Horsemen. Flair is glorious in accepting this oversized trophy. He talks about Raleigh being the place of his first championship victory — the Mid-Atlantic TV title and adds in some trash talk to Lex Luger and even Precious.
Next Week: The bench press challenge!
Back at ringside and Tony informs us that next week it’s Dusty and Beautiful Bobby in a rematch with no disqualification.
Sting vs. Bob River
Last week River was better known at Curtis Thompson. Stinger splash, scorpion, 15 seconds and we’re done.
An in-ring interview between Tony and Sting. Sting is a little preturbed about Ric Flair and his little presentation. “Tuxedos and limos kind of makes me ill”. He loves to party, however, but only when it’s time. So he calls out Flair but Flair is busy of course so the Horsemen send Dillon (flanked by three women and carrying a drink) to see what Sting wants. Dillon explains why Sting shouldn’t bother Flair tonight and show him some respect. Sting asks about the ladies, he says they are looking “tough” and he goes nowhere with this line of words so Dillon speeds things up by tossing the drink in Sting’s face. Uh oh. Sting goes apeshit on Dillon, another Stinger splash and he puts him in the Scorpion but wisely bails when the Horsemen try to make the save. Flair and Anderson are enraged and blame Tony for the issues. Finally Flair says enough is enough and if Sting wants a shot, he’s got one. He says he won’t appear on Worldwide again until he has Sting in the ring. He demands a contract immediately while Arn and Tully help a woozie Dillon to his feet. Awesome stuff.
Back to ringside where Luger and Windham get a good laugh out of Sting’s antics. Windham says the friendship with Luger is back and not one title in the NWA is safe. Lex says that he’s been out with Flair many times and he’s “never been able to pull anything more than a five.” Luger trips over his words a bit but says that the Horsemen can’t hide behind their money or their women. 
Larry Zybysko vs. George South
Larry with the reverse karate kick and the swinging neckbreaker to win in 12 seconds. First ever Larry Z match where he didn’t work in a stall.
Ringside with Davey and he asks Larry and Baby Doll about the brown envelope. First Larry says that the Western States title is step number one on the stairway to heaven. They call out Dusty Rhodes and Larry says either hand the belt over or he’ll tarnish his legacy. Baby Doll whispers what the contents of the envelope are to Larry and Larry hilariously says, “What???? Rhodes you should be in jail!”. They make a pretty good little team. 
NWA Worldwide 2-13-88
This week’s opening teaser is the finish of last week’s Dusty-Eaton match.
The audio on this episode sucks so I will try to get the names of these underneath guys.
They are taping this in Greensboro, I know this because of the barbell weight plates behind them. They probably taped this the same night of that card. They bring Sting in for the interview and he says he’s been trying to get Flair in the ring to show him what a real party is all about. He still hates tuxedos and limos and champagne. He asks why Flair has to hide behind his ladies and his cheap wine. Good promo.
U.S. Title Match: Beautiful Bobby vs. Dusty Rhodes
This is a no disqualification match. Another overblown ring introduction for Dusty. He weighed 285 pounds last week and 290 this week. 
We start with an Eaton headlock but he misses a big right and flies over the top. Dusty follows him out and hip tosses him on the floor. Eaton climbs to the ring apron and goes to the eyes but Dusty recovers and sends Eaton into the turnbuckle and hits the boogie woogie punch. Eaton stumbles back into the ring and grabs Dusty’s arm before knocking him down. Dusty bails and Eaton follows him with a charge but Dusty back drops him on the floor. Cornette slips Eaton the racket and distracts the ref (it’s no DQ, who cares) and Eaton hits Dusty in the knee and follows with a knee to the knee. Commercial.
We’re back and Eaton alternates between working on the knee and choking. He goes to the top and hits a BEAUTIFUL Alabama Jam for two. Eaton rakes Dusty in the eyes and goes to the top again but Dusty catches him with a shot to the stomach and hits the DDT but no cover. Eaton on his feet and Dusty with the bionic elbow and a figure four. Young checks on Eaton and gives Cornette time to interfere with the racket again. Crockett whines but Tony reminds him it’s no DQ. Eaton to the top again but Dusty slams him off. So Dusty goes to the top and hits the poochie cross body for two. Cornette pulls the ref out of the ring so Dusty goes out and knocks Cornette out. Eaton takes control during the chaos, grabs a chair and nails Dusty in the back. Eaton instructs Young to count and they think they have a countout but Dusty gets in before 10. Cornette and Eaton are too busy celebrating to notice and Dusty rolls up Eaton for the pin. Another great brawl between these two. ***1/4
Grey interview room (I think the red room is retired) with Larry Zybysko and Baby Doll. They talk trash about Dusty Rhodes. Baby Doll is about an 8 on the scale (graded with a curve, of course) this week. She’s on a hot streak.
Another grey interview room spot with Tully Blanchard by himself. He talks about teaming with Arn Anderson to eliminate Lex Luger out of the Bunkhouse Stampede and tease a future Nassau Coliseum show, which I think was their final for many years as Vince McMahon bullied them out of that arena.
A commercial to tease the Feb 21, 1988 Coliseum show with the main event of Dusty & Lex vs. Tully and Flair.
Back to the ring.
Lex Luger & Barry Windham vs. Does it really matter..
Lex starts out with Guy #1 and gives him and hip toss and an elbow. Tag to Windham, who comes off the top with an elbow. Standing dropkick and a lariat ends things quickly.
Ringside with the BFFs, Windham tells Paul Jones that he shouldn’t have made The Road Warriors mad. Lex agrees and says he and Barry are going to the top of the wrestling world and says they are the young blood of the NWA. Once again they say every title is on the table. Actually a good Lex promo. 
Back to the ring.
Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard vs. Gary Royal and someone
Tully and Royal actually shake hands before locking up and then Tully casually slaps him in the face. Brilliant. Tully corners Royal and tags Arn so they can go to town. Arn with a snapmare and a falling knee drop. He tags and so does Royal. That looks like Tim Horner but I’m not sure. Anyway Tully swipes him and exposes his leg for Arn to drop a knee on. Big spinebuster from the Enforcer and then the Horsemen do their catapult-clothesline combo before the sling shot suplex ends things. Fun squash.
J.J. Dillon teases the Nassau Coliseum show.
Grey interview room with Dusty being interview by Magnum T.A. and he’s pissed at Paul Jones for what happened to Animal. He says Animal and Hawk are the two strongest men on earth. He reminds them (and himself) that they hold the six-man tag championship. He tells Bobby Eaton and Larry Z to bring it on.
Next week: Sting vs. Flair?? YES! YES! YES! YES!
The Varsity Club vs. Mullet Peterson and Milk Butterworth
Right away Steiner folds Butterworth in half with a belly to back suplex. Rotunda/o forces him to tag Mullet and he flips him over with an underhook suplex. Steiner back with a sweet belly to belly and the full nelson ends things in short order.
Grey interview room with Magnum and J.J. Dillon who confirms that it is Sting & Flair next week for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Back to the ring.
Kevin Sullivan vs. Houston Windham
Not sure which one it is. Sullivan and the Varsity Club just beat the f--- out of the poor guy and toss him to the floor and beat him with chairs, ring steps and anything else not nailed down. Back in the ring, double stomp and a headbutt and back outside the ring where Sullivan inflicts more pain. He ties the guy to the tree of woe and hits a running knee. The punishment continues until the referee tries to jump in so they attack him and get disqualified.
The Varsity Club heads straight to Crockett for the interview. Rotunda/o and Steiner are awesome in their goofy mannerisms. Sullivan sends out threats to Dusty Rhodes to end the show. Hmm they didn’t show footage from the bench press challenge. That’s false advertising!