The SmarK Rant for NWA Worldwide Wrestling – 01.23.88
So here’s the deal: I really prefer watching stuff on the WWE Network because the quality is much better and for a variety of reasons, but people have pointed out that this is a neglected time period on the blog and I agree. That being said, I tend to avoid recapping from YouTube because (hot take I know) I’m a pretty popular website and there’s been more than one occasion where I’ve linked to something and gotten dinged by Google for copyright violation and/or caused the person to have their content removed. So I’m not gonna provide actual links to the content, because you’re all smart enough to figure out where to find this stuff yourselves I should hope.
Anyway, as much as I enjoy certain aspects of World Championship Wrestling on the Network, 90 minutes of squashes and Dusty promos is a bit much. Plus this was the show I watched on Q13 out of Washington as a kid.
We’ll start here, because why not?
Sting is here to start, and he’s a cocky young man throwing out a bold challenge to Ric Flair, so excited that he can barely remember his lines.
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & David Crockett
The Sheepherders v. The Italian Stallion & Larry Stevens
Poor Stevens and his mullet get completely destroyed and hit with a battering ram, and the double gutbuster finishes at 1:09 as the Stallion never even tagged in.
Tomorrow night, live on PPV, it’s the Bunkhouse Stampede championships! Call Gill Cable today!
The Rock N Roll Express are pretty sure that 1988 is gonna be their year and they’re ready for the Sheepherders! Yeah, until Dusty asked him to do a job to the Sheepherders, at which point they left the company and didn’t return for two years.
Lex Luger is no longer a Horsemen, but no matter how deep of a hole he dug for himself, he has friends who will help him. So he sets up a clip where he throws out a challenge to Arn Anderson, at which point Tully & Arn jump him from behind and give him a good old beating. So a squad of jobbers comes running out to break them up. Back to the studio, Lex is thankful that all the fans have forgiven him and he keeps forgetting his lines, so they throw to another clip (“If there is a man…I know I’ve made my own bed…if I had to pick a partner…uh…Ole Anderson”) and this time it’s Luger winning a Bunkhouse Stampede in the Omni by throwing out Tully, at which point the Horsemen charge in and beat him down again. Tully just whips the hell out of him with his belt and Ole Anderson makes the save in a hot angle that ultimately went nowhere. You have to trust one person and it’s OLE ANDERSON?! Anyway, Lex is pretty sure that Flair is going to have to take notice of him at some point, and the World title is his goal for 1988 and he won’t stop until he’s accomplished it! Well unless he gets a small cut on his forehead, in which case he’s done for.
The Road Warriors continue to have issues with the Powers of Pain, and Hawk apparently had trouble with transportation and couldn’t make it to the Omni, so we go to a clip of Animal facing the Warlord in a singles match that looks horrific until SURPRISE, Ballbearing runs in for the DQ and they beat Animal down. So Hawk promises that they’re gonna have a BENCH PRESS contest and then the Powers are gonna look like IDIOTS.
Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin v. Tommy Angel & …
Hold on, doesn’t matter who the other guy is, as they finish Angel with a double spinebuster in 20 seconds. This was the weird period after Starrcade where Hayes & Garvin were being a tag team and then they went in drastically different directions again and it was forgotten almost out of nowhere one week.
Hayes & Garvin do a followup interview, and they’re tired of not getting World tag title shots despite their undefeated record.
Sting v. Black Bart
Skandor Akbar is managing Bart, which is 100% a thing I didn’t remember happening at the time. Bart gives him a clean break on the ropes and then tries a full nelson, which Sting casually breaks and reverses to his own. Bart makes the ropes and works the arm, but Sting gets his own armbar and bites the hand for good measure. Tony lays out Bart’s credentials in impressive fashion: “You’re talking about a man who held many regional titles, and was even National heavyweight champion, many years ago.” What a world-beater. Sting stupidly goes after Akbar and Bart attacks from behind to get the heat and does the usual choking, but Sting fights back with AMERICAN RIGHT HANDS and then hauls Akbar in for the DQ at 4:28. Why was Bart disqualified? Sting’s the one who went after the manager! And then he grabs a chair from Bart and chases them both off with that. Man, Sting got amazingly better after the Flair match because this kind of sucked.
Ric Flair and JJ Dillon are unimpressed with how Lex Luger’s career has gone down the toilet since the Horsemen stopped carrying him and providing him with hot women and long limos every night. And Ole Anderson? That loser who couldn’t hang with the Horsemen? Yeah right. Ric points out that despite the loss of Luger, he and Tully and Arn are still the World champions, so everyone else can get lost. Flair then goes on a crazy rant about how Luger gave up the women at his beck and call, and literally throws money around to demonstrate his wealth while poor Tony tries desperately not to crack, and then Flair, without stopping to breathe, moves onto Sting and threatens to kick him in the nuts, fish-hook his mouth, pull out his eye, and then call out Tully & Arn to REALLY inflict some damage. Oh my god Ric Flair.
Ron Garvin v. Bob Reynolds
The poor jobber gets a shot in the corner, so Ron slugs him down and finishes with a Garvin Stomp at 0:42.
Tony and David run down the DREAM MATCH SWEEPSTAKES, where you can win such high tech prizes as a VCR! Or a CD PLAYER!
Dusty Rhodes is here because the show is nearly over and it must have been killing him not to be on the show for 45 minutes. Dusty carrying Lex’s US title around was something that was just wrong to see. And of course he points out that he’s US champion and he too should get a shot at Ric Flair.
Barry Windham v. George South
I don’t believe this is for Barry’s prestigious Western States Heritage Title, but it doesn’t matter because he finishes with the lariat in 15 seconds anyway and then loses the title to Larry Zbyszko at the Bunkhouse Stampede the next night.
Larry Zbyszko thinks that maybe Barry Windham should beg the Horsemen for a spot because he’s gonna lose the title and then he’ll have NOTHING.
Tully & Arn are here calling bullshit on Jimmy Garvin’s claims of never getting a title shot. They defended against Garvin on TV week after week and he couldn’t get the job done with Ronnie, so GET IN LINE.
The Midnight Express v. Dusty Rhodes & Nikita Koloff
Tony is already warning us that we’re DESPERATELY OUT OF TIME but the tape machines are rolling. Bobby pounds on Nikita on the ropes, but gets flung into the cage and we get a bunch of stalling despite the short amount of time left in the show. And we get a bunch of nothing as the show comes to an end.
Well this was a hot slice of nostalgia right out of my childhood.