NWA Saturday Night 1-6-90

I needed a project to work on and why not run through the WCW/NWA of 1990 as it was a pretty good year for wrestling.

The great thing about 1990 was the WWF had all their larger than life types with Hogan and Warrior and Savage and Andre and they were about to put on a Royal Rumble that remains a top 3 Rumble in my book to set up the Wrestlemania VI card.

And NWA/WCW lost a couple guys as Steamboat and Funk were off doing other things but they still had the core group of Flair, Sting, Luger, The Steiners, Midnight Express, etc. etc.  So you really got two totally different products and you never got the feeling that one promotion was trying to copy the other. They lived in alternate universes and did their own thing.

Anyway Saturday Night was probably my favorite wrestling program when I was younger. I loved the old studio field of the show with the 200 people in attendance having true interaction with the wrestlers. They had since moved the tapings to Center Stage to procure a larger crowd but it still had an intimate feel.

And the show was full of little surprises. As you will see.

NWA/WCW Saturday Night: Broadcast on January 6, 1990

Hosted by Jim Ross and Kevin Sullivan.

Show opens with Teddy Long in front of a blue screen promising a new Skyscraper
tonight and calling out The Road Warriors.

JR and Sullivan have a weird exchange as JR tells Sullivan he thought he was
going to Ireland and Sullivan says he did but then says he didn’t and couldn’t
get there. They definitely ad-libbed that one. JR plugs the February Clash
where Sting, Ric Flair and Arn Anderson will go in the cage against Buzz
Sawyer
, The Great Muta and The Dragonmaster. Let’s see if that one
materializes. Let’s go to the ring.


The Steiner Brothers vs. Pat Rose and Rick Fargo
.

The Steiners are the tag champions at this point and they are defending against
Doom at the Clash. Rick no sells Rose’s crappy offense and clotheslines the
hell out of him. Scott gets the tag and gives Rose an inverted atomic drop
before letting him tag. Fargo rushes in and gets met with a tilt-a-whirl slam
and gives Fargo a brutal backdrop suplex from the second rope. Rick lets Fargo
regain consciousness and then gives him a bearhug belly to belly overhead
suplex that mercifully ends it.

Teddy Long is with JR and says that Sid Vicious has already been replaced and
you’ll see the new Skyscraper tonight…some dude named “Mean” Mark Callous.
Oooo. Like that guy will ever turn out to be anything. Teddy says Sid is a
hired gun and maybe he’ll have a job for him when he returns.

Back to the ring.


The Midnight Express vs. Paul Drake and “Nasty” Ned Brady
.

I love when studio jobbers have nicknames. Jim Cornette tries to bring some heel
heat by calling the crowd rednecks but they got a massive face pop either way.
Mostly because they punked the Dynamic Dudes and if that doesn’t get you over
as faces nothing will. Sweet Stan does a little wrestling with Drake and then
thrusts him in the throat and body slams him. Tag to Eaton who hits Drake with
a flying forearm and then an ANGLE SLAM~! Whoa. Another tag and the knee
lift/neckbreaker combo follows. Stan does some karate shit and tags Eaton back
in. Drake tries to take control and “Nasty” Ned comes in with two body slams
but Eaton stops that shit with a knee lift and tosses Ned to the floor where
Lane chokes him out with a wire cable. Ned might have been trying to go at it
on his own there. Lane back in and he goes super heel with a nasty lariat.
Eaton with a spring board knee drop and a choke and he throws Brady back into
his corner for the tag. Blind tag for the Midnights and Lane with more karate
kicks and a side Russian legsweep. Tag to Eaton and the Rocket Launcher
finishes this one as Eaton does the face palm pin. Man they were a little pissed
there.

And we’re right to the next match. No bullshit here.


Bob Cook vs. Norman the Lunatic
.

Norman is old Stampede mainstay Mike Shaw doing one of his zillion silly
gimmicks. Cook jumps on him with a wide array of punches and Norman no sells
it. Body slam and a big fat leg drop. Cook rallies back and tries to go for a
sunset flip…against a 350-pound man. Yeah. Norman just sits on him and gets the
easy pin.

 And after the commercial another match.


The Dragonmaster and “Mad Dog” Buzz Sawyer vs. Ricky Nelson & Rick Rider
.

Dragonmaster is Kendo Nagasaki. Sawyer no sells a couple of Rider’s punches and
then flapjacks him and drops the big elbow. Tag to Nagasaki who adds a side
slam and lets Rider tag. Nelson fares no better as Dragonmaster sends him to
the floor where Sawyer abuses him. Tag to Sawyer who catches Nelson trying to
do a leapfrog and power slams him for two. I like Sawyer, he’s just hammering
this poor kid. Tag to Dragonmaster, who kicks and chokes a lot. Tag back to
Rider and Dragonmaster with a side backbreaker and a jumping tombstone
piledriver. Tag to Sawyer who hits the flying bodypress for the pinfall.


Bill Apter
gives Scott Steiner (Most Improved), Ric Flair (Wrestler of the
Year) and Gordon Solie (some inspirational thing) their Year-End awards. They
cut babyface promos.

Back to the ring.


Flyin’ Brian & Z-Man vs. The State Patrol
.

Zenk and Wright start with a wrestling exchange and Zenk takes him down with an
armdrag. Wright said he grabbed his hair but the ref points out that Wright is bald
so he claims the tights instead. Zenk with a hip toss and another armdrag. Tag
to Pillman and the faces continue to work on the arm. Wright with a eye rake but a
blind charge is countered to a sunset flip for two and Pillman with an armdrag
and back to the home. Wright gets Pillman in his corner but Pillman with a nice
double clothesline and noggin knocker. Tag to Zenk who sets Parker on the turnbuckle
and tags Pillman, who hits Parker with a drop kick that sends him to the floor.
Pillman follows with a baseball slide. Tag to Zenk and a double elbow. Zenk
with the side headlock takedown and he works it for a bit. Pillman tagged in
and he headbutts Parker twice before forcing a tag. Pillman with a jumping
front kick and a tag back to Zenk. The State Patrol finally gain control with a
blind tag and Parker pulling down the top rope for Zenk, sending him tumbling
over the top and to the floor.

Wright gets Zenk back in the ring and rocks him with a clothesline. Parker comes
in and goes for a spinebuster but it doesn’t work so he gets an inverted atomic
drop instead. Tag back to Wright and the State Patrol do a battering ram. They
continue roughing Zenk up in the corner but he and Parker knock heads for the
double knockout and Zenk makes the hot tag. Pillman elevates Parker and adds a
dropkick to both guys. Pillman used to be damn good before the injuries piled up. His stuff is very clean.
All four men in the ring. Double dropkick from the faces. Zenk with a powerslam
on Parker and Pillman hits the high cross body for three. Solid match.

(Pillman/Zenk def. State Patrol, pinfall, **1/2)

Commercial and we’re back in the ring.


Larry Santo & Shawn Regal vs. The Royal Family
.

This is Rip Morgan and Jack Victory led by Lord Littlebrook and it’s as bad as
it sounds. They used to be known as the New Zealand Militia which is a pretty
cool name. In 1990 this would be the time I flipped the channel but the Royal
Family do a nice little double corner clothesline thing. Sullivan: “I know
Scott Steiner was most improved wrestler but Jacko Victory had to be a close
runner up.” Yeah probably not. This shit seems to go on FOREVER. There’s the
Midnight Express squash where they do a lot of cool shit and The Road Warriors
squash where they are in and out in about 30 seconds because they are bad
asses. Then there this shit, where two guys are going to take every bit of the
five minutes they have and it seems like FIFTY. Double gordbuster ends this one
and then the beat up the other guy too.

Sullivan and JR talk about the new Skyscrapers.


Randy Harris and Agent Steel vs. The NEW Skyscrapers
.

Agent Steel is from parts unknown and has a mask, which means we’ve probably
seen him before tonight. The cool thing about WCW Saturday Night taping is that
pretty much all the stars get face pops…with the exception of the Royal Family…no
one gave a shit about them.

Anyway Spivey just beats the crap of Steel and then Callous comes in and you
watch him move and he had great agility for a guy his size. Callous
with a slam and now he WALKS THE ROPES~! And drops a flying elbow. Holy shit!
Awesome flying lariat – a move that he didn’t change in 25 years. Spivey back
in and the powerbomb ends it. Spivey’s facial expressions are great and if you
didn’t see there was something legit with Callous you were a fool.

JR talks with the crew and they crap on Sid Vicious. I wish Spivey wouldn’t
have got injured because he has that psychotic look down pat.

Hour 2 Begins after this break!

JR is with Ric Flair and he does his usual spiel of putting over his
competition but reminding them that he’s the man. We’ve got a new horseman and
it’s Sting! Finally the four horseman are whole again.


Lee Scott and Cactus Jack Manson vs. The Dynamic Dudes
.

For the few of you that don’t know, the Dudes are Shane Douglas and Big Johnny (Ace)
in all their babyface glory. Foley is about 255 pounds here and JR puts over
Cactus’ recent issues with tag partners. Double dropkick on Manson and one on
Scott as well as Cactus and Scott bicker over their failed communication. Back in
the ring and the Dudes go to work on the arm until Cactus fights back with a
body slam. Johnny kicks off and slams Foley himself. Tag to Scott and that goes
about as well as you would expect as the Dudes do a pretty cool double team –
sort of a decapitation but with Johnny holding the guy in a side suplex and
Shane hitting a running dropkick. Post match Foley beats up Scott and hits the
Cactus clothesline.

JR talks with the returning Rock & Roll Express…OMG MULLETS~! Obviously we
know Ricky Morton has one of the greatest mullets in history. He truly should
have been a hockey player. But Robert Gibson is bringing it hard too, looking
similar to Eddie Guerrero at his finest mullet point.

Lee Scott comes up to JR and challenges Cactus Jack to a fight NEXT WEEK!

Back to the ring.


“Dr Death” Steve Williams vs. Hacksaw Higgins
.

Both guys do some power stuff and Williams with a couple of scoop slams and a
nice dropkick. A running football tackle sends Higgins to the floor. Back in
the ring and Higgins catches Williams on a blind charge. Snapmare and a few
stomps from Higgins. One elbow drop hits for Higgins but the second one catches
air. Big clothesline from Williams and a massive corner clothesline. Another
football tackle and the Oklahoma stampede ends this. Basically a squash despite
JR and Sullivan trying to build it as a more competitive match.

JR is with Lex Luger doing his awesome heel act. Ross trolls
him a little by saying is he ever going to get sick of people saying “to be the
man, you’ve got the beat the man.” Lex says he’s brought the sport into the
mainstream of America. And of course he gets a massive face pop too. I swear
this crowd would be excited to see the Miz.


Agent Steel  vs. “Wildfire” Tommy Rich
.

Huh? Agent Steel just wrestled. He must need the rent money.

Cactus Jack enters the ring and beats the crap out of Agent Steel , tossing him
right into the dressing room so now we have a different match.


Cactus Jack Manson vs. “Wildfire” Tommy Rich
.

Rich backdrops Cactus and moves out of a Cactus charge and Foley takes a crazy
bump over the post to the floor. They fight on the floor and Rich backdrops
Cactus on the floor and rams his head into the steel steps. Foley reverses a
whip and gives Rich a corner clothesline. Rich tries to rally but he’s met with
an elbow and a clothesline for two. Cactus sends Rich into the canvas and rakes
his eyes. Cactus roughs Rich up in the corner and Rich tries to fight back with
a bionic elbow but Cactus knocks him down again and slaps on a Randy Orton
special (that’s a chinlock for those of you that didn’t get that). Rich
reverses an irish whip and hits a spinning elbow but misses the elbow drop and
Jack gets another two count. Cactus climbs to the top and eats Rich’s boot.
Clothesline from Rich and a fist drop from the second rope. Rich sets too early
off an irish whip and Jack gets the boot but ducks a clothesline and Rich gets
underneath with a rollup for the three count. Fun Match!

(Rich def. Cactus Jack, pinfall, **1/2)

JR with Michael Hayes. I tell you with all the shit Hayes takes and rightfully
deserves, the guy could cut a very entertaining promo back in the day. He calls
out Pillman and Zenk.


The Italian Stallion & Brodie Chase vs. The Samoan Swat Team
.

It’s Samu and Fatu in this one with the Samoan Savage and the Big Kahuna
(Oliver Humperdink) in the corner. Humperdink’s red mullet makes him look like “Mean”
Mark’s midget father. The resemblance is astounding. Not much to this match, if
you’ve seen one SST match you’ve seen ‘em all. Italian Stallion tries a
leapfrog and Samu puts on the brakes and kicks him in the face. Nice. And then
they pulled out a Doomsday Device. Nice. The Samoan Savage beats up Chase for
shits and giggles as the guy is blowing spots right and left. Seriously you’re
job isn’t hard. Just bump. That’s all. A Samoan Drop and flying body press ends
it. That’s the third victory by flying body press if you are keeping track. All
three of them beat up Stallion too, although he makes a nice go of it. Probably
would have been better off in a handicap match.


Woman
says she can have any man that she wants and she wants Ric Flair and she’s
going to get what she wants…and really when was the last time Ric Flair said no
to anything?


The Galaxians vs. Arn Anderson & Sting
.

This just seems weird to type as these mortal enemies had been playing nice for
about eight months. The Galaxians are more awesome masked jobbers – Alpha and Beta.
Sting no sells Alpha’s stuff and Sting irish whips the hell out of him into the
corner. He beats up both of them and goes for the Scorpion but Meta stops it
and now all four men are in the ring and two of them aren’t faring very well.
Tag to the Enforcer and he does the hammerlock slam and brings up Sting with a
slingshot clothesline. Beta gets his chance and fares no better. Anderson back
in and he plays the face in peril because they have to kill a couple minutes to
end the show. Alpha with a hangman and Beta drops him with a right hand. Alpha
back in and he misses a flying knee so Anderson can make the hot tag. Stinger
splash and tag back to Anderson for the DDT finishes it.

The show closes with the new Horseman – Flair, AA, Ole and Sting. Yeah that one
should be harmonious. And naturally any promo with this group is dragged down
by Ole. Thankfully Arn drops some lyrical science to bring it back.

Next Week: Rock & Roll Express return to the ring. Lee Scott vs. Cactus
Jack!

Bottom Line: Well Eaton did an angle slam. Cactus Jack started gaining traction and it was the superstation debut of Mark Callous, who would eventually become one of the most iconic figures in wrestling, so this was a big time show.