Mike Reviews: WWF Royal Rumble 1990

Seeing as we’re just one day away from January 2019, I thought I’d look back at one of the classic Royal Rumble events. The Rumble has always been a big part of every wrestling fans January, with even lapsed fans still showing an interest in it sometimes. This is ultimately because the Rumble match itself is such a great match concept, being a battle royal where you don’t know who the next person out will be.

I decided to go back and look at this one because I’ve always found it to be a pleasant easy watch, with some good matches on offer and a very notable collision in the Rumble itself that had a long lasting effect on the WWF as a whole.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at the 1990 Royal Rumble event!

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Herb Abrams’ UWF Fury Hour #7

Herb Abram’s UWF Fury Hour #7

Herb Abrams’ UWF Fury Hour #7 featuring South African Col. DeBeers getting annoyed with black referees, Louie Spicolli’s debut and Cactus Jack threatening to take down the WTC.

Herb Abram’s UWF Fury Hour #5

Herb Abram’s UWF Fury Hour #5

 

Herb Abram’s UWF Fury Hour #5, featuring Nikita Koloff vs. Ivan Koloff!

And a shit-load of squashes!

Herb Abrams’ UWF Fury Hour #4

Herb Abrams’ UWF Fury Hour #4

Herb Abrams’ UWF Fury Hour #4: The one with Paul Orndorff vs. Cowboy Bob Orton.

The show’s still bad, btw.

Herb Abrams’ UWF Fury Hour #3

Herb Abrams’ UWF Fury Hour #3

Herb Abrams’ UWF Fury Hour #3 with Dr. Death vs. Paul Orndorff and a shit-load of squash matches.

Herb Abrams’ UWF Fury Hour #2

Herb Abrams’ UWF Fury Hour #2

Second furious episode, with squash matches galore and Col. DeBeers suffering the indignity of having a black man try to referee his match.

If Lex beats Flair in 1990

According to thehistoryofwwe.com, Lex Luger was to defeat Ric Flair at a house show in early 1990 and finally win the world title before Flair had it axed.
If this had occured, how would this of affected the big Sting comeback at GAB 1990? Lex was just turned face again at this point. Would they have turned Luger before July so soon? Or maybe have Sting feud with Flair as planned without the title on the line and build to Luger vs Sting at Starrcade that year? Here is the rundown from Historyofwwe.com NWA @ Chicago, IL – UIC Pavilion – March 23, 1990 (6,500)
A film crew, as well as Lance Russell, Chris Cruise, and Dennis Brent were flown to the city to tape what was scheduled to be NWA World Champion Ric Flair losing the title to NWA US Champion Lex Luger; the title change didn't take place because Flair wasn't given ample notice, which was part of his contract; Flair agreed to the title change but only in return for a contract release, which Jim Herd refused; Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Bill Apter was also on hand
Mike Rotunda pinned Cactus Jack; after the bout, Cactus was taken to the hospital for having been tied in the ring ropes too long during the match
Norman pinned Kevin Sullivan
Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson defeated Jimmy Garvin & Steve Casey (sub. for Michael Hayes)
NWA US Tag Team Champions Brian Pillman & Tom Zenk defeated Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane
NWA Tag Team Champions Rick & Scott Steiner defeated NWA TV Champion Arn Anderson & Ole Anderson
The Road Warriors defeated Doom
NWA World Champion Ric Flair pinned NWA US Champion Lex Luger at 20:13 after Ole Anderson interfered and hit Luger with Woman's high heel shoe
​Yeah, there was a bunch of times that year where they had Luger booked to go over and Flair put the kibosh on it.  I'm pretty sure they would have done like they eventually did in 91 — Lex wins the title, immediately turns heel and builds up to a feud with Sting.  That was the direction they had been trying to go for months anyway.  ​

A Look Back At: The 1990 PWI Awards

91-03
Recently, I started to take a look back at the Pro Wrestling Illustrated 500 magazine series that started in 1991. That seems to have gotten some traction as a popular idea. Thus, I decided to take a look back at the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Year-End Awards that the magazine issues out each year.
The Year-End Awards date back to 1972. I’m not going to start at the very beginning. Instead, since the PWI 500 was introduced in 1991, I’ll stay with that theme of the 1990s and begin the series in 1990. I may go back at do the late 80s, but for now I’ll start with 1990.
Lets take a look back at the PWI Awards and see how the fans voted for various awards.
1990 Rookie of the Year, Steve Austin.

1990 Rookie of the Year, Steve Austin.
1990 Rookie Of The Year: Steve Austin (15,296)
1st Runner-Up: El Gigante (13,382)
2nd Runner-Up: Brad Anderson (5,926)
3rd Runner-Up: Chris Chavis (2,168)
Austin wins the award though El Gigante was a lot closer than I was expecting to see, vote wise. Steve hadn’t been introduced to WCW in his first year. He had a brutal feud with his trainer and mentor, Chris Adams in Texas that saw ex-wives get involved. Of the four guys listed, Austin is by far the best in-ring worker of the group. Can’t go wrong with the choice of Austin winning the award.
According to the magazine, Brad Anderson was “well on his way to becoming a member of the Four Horsemen.” Their logic was that he is the son of Gene Anderson. I’m not sure about anyone else, but I’ve never heard of Brad Anderson. So, it’s safe to say he didn’t achieve that goal. Chris Chavis would be better known as Tatanka in a couple of years for the WWF.
Nikolai Volkoff embraced the USA and fans got behind him.

Nikolai Volkoff embraced the USA and fans got behind him.
1990 Inspirational Wrestler Of The Year: Sting (22,947)
1st Runner-Up: Hulk Hogan (15,294)
2nd Runner-Up: Jerry Lawler (7,239)
3rd Runner-Up: Nikolai Volkoff (4,714)
It was the largest margin of victory for all of the awards with Sting winning by almost 7,700 votes. Back in February of ’90, Sting suffered a devastating knee injury that some thought could cost him his career. Less than six months later, Sting returned to action and won the NWA World Championship from rival Ric Flair at the Great American Bash in July. For such a quick recovery from a serious injury, no wonder fans voted him into the number one spot.
Hogan got a decent showing after recovering from an attack by Earthquake in the spring of ’90 only to return at SummerSlam and win the match by count-out. Hogan would regularly win matches against Quake on the house show market to inspire kids all around the country. Lawler had embraced a baby face persona imploring people to not do drugs and booze. Volkoff embraced the USA and apparently fans got behind him a little bit.
Paul Roma enjoyed the glory of being the Most Improved Wrestler of 1990.

Paul Roma enjoyed the glory of being the Most Improved Wrestler of 1990.
1990 Most Improved Wrestler Of The Year: Paul Roma (11,127)
1st Runner-Up: Doom (10,596)
2nd Runner-Up: Tugboat (8,285)
3rd Runner-Up: Cactus Jack (5,927)
Not quite sure how Roma had improved in-ring wise, but nonetheless he won the award. He was achieving some success with Hercules with the team of Power and Glory while becoming a rule breaker. Roma was the more impressive competitor in his tag team, so that might have helped him win he award. Plus, he does have a badass elbow drop from the top rope.
They got rid of their manager Woman, lost their masks and won NWA World Tag Team Championships with Teddy Long, but Doom couldn’t get the award. Ron Simmons and Butch Reed aren’t going to impressive people with their wrestling, but their powerhouse style meshed well with a team like the Steiner Brothers to put on some enjoyable matches throughout the year.
Tugboat probably shouldn’t even be ranked in this category. Cactus Jack might have not gotten a better showing because he is more of a stuntman than an actual wrestler. Plus, he mainly wrestled in the USWA and hadn’t gotten much of a national exposure to showcase his style.
Bobby Heenan nearly won the award for the second year in a row.

Bobby Heenan nearly won the award for the second year in a row.
1990 Manager Of The Year: Teddy Long (12,927)
1st Runner-Up: Bobby Heenan (11,927)
2nd Runner-Up: Ole Anderson (10,146)
3rd Runner-Up: Jim Cornette (8,293)
After three months of managing the tag team Doom, Long was able to lead them to the NWA World Tag Team Championships. The quick turnaround can be attributed to Long and his managerial ways. Heenan had an impressive year leading his Heenan Family stable to the tag team and Intercontinental championships, but just wasn’t enough to overcome Long’s quick rise in the NWA.
Fans enjoyed the Flair vs. Luger feud in 1990.

Fans enjoyed the Flair vs. Luger feud in 1990.
1990 Feud Of The Year: Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger (14,912)
1st Runner-Up: Hulk Hogan vs. Earthquake (13,420)
2nd Runner-Up: Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude (12,565)
3rd Runner-Up: Chris Adams vs. Steve Austin (8,222)
The once hated heel surprised many fans when he saved former rival Sting from a Four Horsemen attack. Lex Luger stepped up as one of the most popular wrestlers in the NWA and chased after the NWA World Championship held by Ric Flair. Throughout the first half of the year, Luger had numerous shots at the gold but came up short against the Nature Boy each time. Despite coming up short, the matches didn’t fail to have plenty of action and emotion from the crowd as many people wanted to see Luger breakthrough and become the top guy. That would happen in later years, just not at the expense of Ric Flair.
The top feud for the WWF in 1990 came in second place. Earthquake became the most hated man in the WWF when he took out Hulk Hogan and they met at SummerSlam. Hogan and Quake had a good match at the event, which ended in a count-out win for Hogan, and they would continue the feud by having stretcher matches throughout the end of the year.
Warrior vs. Rude in ’89 was a highly talked about feud as they wrestled at Mania and SummerSlam. However, their feud in 1990 was rushed and had lost a lot of interest amongst a lot of fans. I’ve noticed a real lack of direction from viewing shows during the timeframe, so a second runner-up spot is rather surprising to see. I would have thought maybe the Flair/Sting feud would have been higher.
USWA hottest feud got a respectable showing with over 8,000 votes. Austin really came into his own and it was clear that he was going to be a star. Ex-wives and a blood feud made for one hell of a year between a once mentor and protege relationship.
Hulkamania continued to run wild in the 90s.

Hulkamania continued to run wild in the 90s.
1990 Most Popular Wrestler Of The Year: Hulk Hogan (18,825)
1st Runner-Up: Sting (15,172)
2nd Runner-Up: Ultimate Warrior (14,928)
3rd Runner-Up: Lex Luger (11,726)
Despite losing the WWF World Championship at WrestleMania VI, Hulk Hogan remained the most popular wrestler amongst readers of PWI. Perhaps his hiatus in the spring and early summer helped due to the attack by Earthquake. His reign as the most popular wouldn’t last forever, though.
Sting and Warrior were neck and neck for the second spot. Is this indicative of Warrior failing as WWF World Champion? Sting never gave up and fans likely took that into consideration. Had Luger managed to defeat Flair for the NWA World Championship, he may have overcame Warrior as the third most popular wrestler.
Rick Rude manages to get underneath people's skin.

Rick Rude manages to get underneath people’s skin.
1990 Most Hated Wrestler Of The Year: Earthquake (15,275)
1st Runner-Up: Ric Flair (13,582)
2nd Runner-Up: Rick Rude (11,935)
3rd Runner-Up: Eddie Gilbert (8,867)
When you takeout Hulkamania you can assure the fans will not come anywhere close to cheering for you. Quake quickly became the most hated villain in the WWF and that translated into the awards. Kind of surprising how short of a run he had as a top singles heel wrestler, honestly.
Flair and Rude are here for obvious reasons. Flair being the leader of the Horsemen and taking out guys like Sting and Lex Luger throughout the year. Rude always calls fans overweight and hogs, to go along with terrorizing heroes in the WWF. Plus, he insulted the Big Bossman’s mother! You just don’t do that, Ravishing One!
Just to give you an idea of what Eddie Gilbert is all about. He depended on chains and brass knuckles to knock out opponents. Oh, and the may have spit fire into Jeff Jarrett’s face to win the Southern Championship. But wait, there is more. Eddie got in his car and ran over Jerry Lawler because he is one evil bastard. Had any of that happened on a national stage, Eddie would have been by far the most hated man in wrestling.
WrestleMania VI. The match of the year.

WrestleMania VI. The match of the year.
1990 Match Of The Year: Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior (24,180)
1st Runner-Up: Sting vs. Ric Flair (18,236)
2nd Runner-Up: Hulk Hogan vs. Earthquake (9,234)
3rd Runner-Up: Royal Rumble (6,288)
Not at all surprised that the two larger than life characters in wrestling history squaring off at the biggest show of the year, WrestleMania, got the match of the year award. The atmosphere at the Sky Dome is unforgettable and the action will live in many people’s memories for a lifetime. That’s what the match of the year should accomplish.
Sting/Flair was memorable in its own right with Sting overcoming a major knee injury and defeating Ric Flair for the NWA World Championship in a passing of the torch moment. Sixteen minutes of great wrestling with an outcome that people wanted to see. Can’t go wrong with that, folks.
Kind of surprising that the Royal Rumble match was voted for the match of the year. Perhaps that has to be because it is a popular concept of a match for the time? Based off of pure wrestling entertainment, I would have thought maybe the tag match between the Nasty Boys and the Steiner Brothers would have gotten some more love from the fans.
Tag Team of the Year.

Tag Team of the Year.
1990 Tag Team Of The Year: Steiner Brothers (18,377)
1st Runner-Up: Demolition (15,271)
2nd Runner-Up: Doom (11,384)
3rd Runner-up: The Legion Of Doom (10,868)
This seemed like an easy choice as the Steiner Brothers had been on a role in recent years as a tag team electrifying crowds wherever they wrestled. By April, Demolition regained the WWF World Tag Team Championships. In August, they lost the Hart Foundation and quickly became a shell of their former selves when the Legion of Doom came to the company. It’s one of the quickest falls from grace I’ve ever watch happen on television.
Doom should get credited for a good showing in the awards as they had only a few months in 1990 where they weren’t getting destroyed by the Steiner Brothers. Ron Simmons and Butch Reed meshed well as a unit and don’t seem to get a lot of credit for their rise in the tag ranks during the time.
From suffering a knee injury to winning the heavyweight title, Sting is the Wrestle of the Year!

From suffering a knee injury to winning the heavyweight title, Sting is the Wrestler of the Year!
1990 Wrestler Of The Year: Sting (19,481)
1st Runner-Up: Ultimate Warrior (18,176)
2nd Runner-Up: Hulk Hogan (12,003)
3rd Runner-Up: Lex Luger (8,284)
A busted knee in February to winning the NWA World Championship in July. Sting winning the wrestler of the year shows fans giving credit where credit is due. Sting had become of the most entertaining wrestlers in the country and defeated the face of the NWA to become the new top guy for the company. A well deserved award for the Stinger.
Warrior became a double champion at WrestleMania VI by beating Hulk Hogan to win the WWF World Championship to go along with the Intercontinental Championship. Warrior vacated that the Intercontinental Championship, but successfully defended the WWF World Championship against top heels in the WWF including a steel cage match against Rick Rude at SummerSlam.
Despite not being champion for most of the year, fans may have voted for Hogan due to his comeback from the Earthquake attack and numerous victories over Quake on the house show market.
Luger may have had a breakout year by holding the NWA United States Championship for most of the year and several hard fought battles with Ric Flair throughout 1990. He is a distance second from Sting in the NWA in terms of popularity and that’s made evident by his over 11,000 vote difference.
Would you agree with how the PWI readers voted for the awards in 1990? Who would you have voted for during this time?
Leave your thoughts below!
For more wrestling columns and reviews, head over to WRESTLING RECAPS
Thanks for reading.

Yearly Review: WWF May 1990

The mighty Earthquake makes a big statement as he looks to become a dominate force in the WWF. What does he do? Find out!

WWF World Championship Scene: (currently held by: The Ultimate Warrior)
There wasn’t much of anything new going on throughout the month for the new champ. Warrior competed against Mr. Perfect on the house show market and would win each match. His feud with Rick Rude continued as well. Rude revealed during the May 15th taping of Superstars that he would no longer kiss a random female fan from the crowd until he wins the WWF World Championship. Aside from that, Warrior had an easy month as the champion.

WWF Intercontinental Championship Scene: (currently held by: Mr. Perfect)
Aside from losing to Warrior on the house show market, Perfect didn’t really compete in any other notable matches. Mr. Perfect did get a rare win for the month when he was able to pin Hercules at a house show in Toronto, Ontario.

WWF World Tag Team Championship Scene: (currently held by: Demolition)
Yet again, there weren’t any new developments in the title scene. Demolition worked the house show market against the Hart Foundation. They would trade disqualification victories throughout the month, but nothing new happened between these two teams.

 Other Happenings:
– Earthquake became the host hated man in the WWF when during the May 15th taping of Superstars, he viciously attacked everyone’s hero, Hulk Hogan on the Brother Love show. Earthquake splashed Hogan several times after laying him out with a steel chair shot to the back as Hogan was distracted by Jimmy Hart. Hogan would do a stretcher job and leave fans worried about his future.

– During the same taping, Bad News Brown tried to seemingly murder Jake Roberts snake. Brown attacked Roberts after a match and tried to smash the snake with a steel chair. Luckily, Roberts was able to prevent that from happening.

– Boris Zhukov and Nikolai Volkoff officially broke up and began to have matches against each other. Volkoff was the babyface while Zhukov remanined true to Russia and his heel persona.

– Brother Love joined the team of Randy Savage, and Sensational Sherri in a feud with Dusty Rhodes, Sapphire and Miss Elizabeth. Love proclaimed that he would have Elizabeth kiss his feet.

What are your memories of the World Wrestling Federation at this time? Leave them below!

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Yearly Review: WWF April 1990

It’s the beginning of a new era. The era of the WARRIORS.

I skipped March of 1990 as there wasn’t any new developments and it would be a wasted post here. We continue with April of 1990.




WWF World Championship Scene: (currently held by: Hulk Hogan)
At WrestleMania VI on April 1st, the WWF World Championship would change hands when the Ultimate Warrior was able to pin Hulk Hogan after avoiding a leg drop and hitting a big splash. This would mark the end of Hogan’s reign, which had been going on since WrestleMania V.

Hogan was one day away from holding the championship for one full calendar year.

Warrior’s first challenger looks to be Rick Rude. If you recall, Rude was able to beat Warrior at WrestleMania V for the WWF Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania V, but would lose to Warrior at SummerSlam 1989 in a rematch.

Rude was confident that Warrior’s days as champion were numbered and he also aired his training as he was punching a bag that had Warrior’s face air brushed on it.

On the house show market, Warrior would defend the championship against Randy Savage, Ted DiBiase (in Japan), and Mr. Perfect. Warrior would defend the WWF World Championship at SNME #26 and would successfully pin Haku to retain the championship.

WWF Intercontinental Championship Scene: (currently held by: Ultimate Warrior)
Since Warrior won the WWF World Championship, he decided to vacate the WWF Intercontinental Championship. Jack Tunney decided to create a tournament to crown a new champion. Here is the tournament matches that occurred during the month. Tito Santana defeated Akeem by count-out, Mr. Perfect defeated Jimmy Snuka, Brutus Beefcake fought Dino Bravo to a double count-out and Roddy Piper fought Rick Martel to a double disqualification.

That would leave Mr. Perfect to wrestle Tito Santana in the finals of the tournament. At the April 23rd, 1990 WWF Superstars taping, Mr. Perfect won the championship after pinning Tito Santana with a roll up.


WWF World Tag Team Championship Scene: (currently held by: Andre the Giant & Haku) 
Demolition was able to regain the WWF World Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania VI. After losing the titles, Haku and Heenan tried to turn on Andre, but Andre held his own and left the ring alone. As for Demolition, they would work the house show market against the Hart Foundation. They would also attack The Hart Foundation and the Rockers during their match at the SNME #26 event. It appeared that Demolition had new challengers in the Hart Foundation.


Other Happenings: 

– At the April 3rd taping of Wrestling Challenge, a program between Jake Roberts and Bad News Brown appeared to begin. During an interview segment, Brown opened a gift which had a snake inside and he was startled by it.

– Ted DiBiase made it clear that he was out to get revenge on the Big Bossman for turning on him. He made progress in getting his payback by attacking Bossman at SNME #26. DiBiase handcuffed Bossman to the ropes and got some shots in. However, Bossman would break free and chase DiBiase away.

– The feud between Dusty Rhodes and Randy Savage continued after WrestleMania. During the April 4th taping of Superstars, Randy Savage and Sherri attacked Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire. Sherri ended up forcing Sapphire to kiss Savage’s feet to embarrass her.

– Since he was attacked by Earthquake at WrestleMania, Jim Duggan announced that he was going to get payback for the attack.

– Hulk Hogan rebounded from losing the WWF World Championship at WrestleMania by beating Mr. Perfect at SNME #26. On the house show market, Hogan would mainly wrestle Earthquake and defeat him by disqualification.

– Dustin Rhodes made his WWF debut during the April 24th taping of Wrestling Challenge competing in a dark match.

– The Warlord and the Barbarian appear to be getting big pushes as unstoppable forces in the WWF. This could be an attempt to give the Ultimate Warrior a few more heels to work with later on in the year.

WWF WrestleMania VI Results: (non-title matches)
– Rick Martel defeated Koko B. Ware
– Earthquake defeated Hercules
– Brutus Beefcake defeated Mr. Perfect
– Roddy Piper fought Bad News Brown to a double count-out
– Hart Foundation defeated Nikolai Volkoff & Boris Zhukov
– The Barbarian defeated Tito Santana
– Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire defeated Randy Savage & Sensational Sherri
– The Orient Express defeated The Rockers by count-out
– Jim Duggan defeated Dino Bravo
– Ted DiBiase defeated Jake Roberts by count-out
– The Big Bossman defeated Akeem
– Rick Rude defeated Jimmy Snuka


WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event #26 Results: 
– Hulk Hogan defeated Mr. Perfect
– Earthquake defeated Hillbilly Jim
– Hart Foundation wrestled the Rockers to a double disqualification
– WWF World Champion Ultimate Warrior defeated Haku
– Big Bossman defeated Akeem by disqualification


Buy-rates: 
WrestleMania VI: 550,000
SNME #26: N/A

What are your memories of the WWF at this time? Leave your comments below!

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Yearly Review: WWF February 1990

Quite a few cage matches take place during the month. Hogan and Savage meet with a boxing champ as the referee.

WWF World Championship Scene: (currently held by: Hulk Hogan)
On the house show market, Hogan continued to do battle with Mr. Perfect. They would have several steel cage matches with Hogan prevailing over Perfect. At the February 19th MSG house show Hogan teamed with Brutus Beefcake to get a tag team victory over Mr. Perfect and The Genius.
Hogan also had to deal with the Ultimate Wariror and Dino Bravo. At the February 14th taping of WWF Superstars, Hogan competed in a match with Bravo, which he won, but was attacked afterward by Earthquake until his opponent at WrestleMania VI, the Ultimate Warrior came out for the save.
The rather productive month came to an end with Hogan squaring off against former friend and current rival, Randy Savage. They had a match on February 23rd for the Main Event III special on NBC. The special referee for the match was Buster Douglas. The referee was originally going to be Mike Tyson, but Tyson lost a fight to Douglas, thus a change was made. Hogan was able to pin Savage after a leg drop to retain the championship. Later on in the show, Hogan saved Warrior from a post-match beat down by Bravo and Earthquake.

WWF Intercontinental Championship Scene: (currently held by: Ultimate Warrior)
Warrior primarily competed in matches against Dino Bravo in a few steel cage matches or traditional singles matches. Warrior also teamed with Jake Roberts to compete against Ted DiBiase and Akeem in tag team main events on the house show market.

WWF World Tag Team Championship Scene: (currently held by: Andre the Giant & Haku) 
Just like last month, the tag team champions continued to compete against Demolition on the house show market and were successful in retaining the tag team championships. There weren’t any new developments in the feud between both teams.

Other Happenings: 
Jake Roberts and Ted DiBiase continued their series of matches on the house show market with the Big Bossman serving as the special referee for the match. Roberts didn’t have any problem walking out victorious as Bossman would sometimes get involved in helping Roberts win the match.
– The Orient Express made their debut during the February 13th taping of WWF Superstars.
– Earthquake showed his dominance as he beat up jobbers to the point that they would need to be stretchered out of the arena. He also destroyed Ron Garvin at the February 19th MSG house show causing him to be stretchered out.
– Randy Savage and Dusty Rhodes would have several matches on the house show market with Rhodes winning them all by count-out or disqualification.
– For most of the month, Rick Rude was losing steel cage matches to Roddy Piper as they finished up their feud that had been taking place for the last several months.
Ratings:
The Main Event III: 12.8
Bob’s Opinion: 
For the most part, the month was just continuing feuds on the undercard. The rather interesting and exciting feud between Rick Rude and Roddy Piper came to an end while Ted DiBiase and Jake Roberts continued to produce quality house show matches. Bossman’s babyface turn had really rallied the fans behind him, which would be the case until early ’93. 
Earthquake’s rise of the card was also refreshing. I was always able to buy into Quake due to his size. Come the summer time he’ll be involved in his biggest angle of his career. 
Hogan’s month of action was action packed and featured a match with old rival Macho Man. Sure, Savage was down on the card, but those two were always seemingly able to put on an entertaining match. It was also good to see Mr. Perfect work the main event scene for a brief period of time. 
What are you memories of the WWF during this time? Share them below! 

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Yearly Review: WWF January 1990

Hulkamania running wild as we enter the ’90s!
WWF World Championship Scene: (currently held by: Hulk Hogan)
Hogan continued his feud with Mr. Perfect and the Genius. At SNME #25, which was taped on 1/3/90, Hogan teamed with WWF Intercontinental Champion the Ultimate Warrior. Perfect and Genius nearly won the bout but ended up losing due to Genius missing a moonsault and was soon pinned by Hogan. After the match, Hogan and Warrior had a miscommunication. Warrior accidentally clotheslined Hogan during the brawl.

At the Royal Rumble, Hogan participated in the Royal Rumble match. Hogan was #25 to enter the ring and managed to fight off Rick Rude and Mr. Perfect to win the Rumble for the second year in a row. Hogan last eliminated Perfect.

It was also announced at SNME that Hogan would defend the WWF World Championship against Randy Savage on February 23rd. The match would have Mike Tyson as the special referee.

On the house show market, Hogan continued to wrestle against Mr. Perfect. Hogan would retain the championship either by pin fall or by losing to Perfect by disqualification.


WWF Intercontinental Championship Scene: (currently held by: the Ultimate Warrior)
Throughout the month, Warrior continued to fight off Dino Bravo and the Canadian Earthquake. There weren’t any new developments for their feud. As you can read above, Warrior was also busy with WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan.

WWF World Tag Team Championships Scene: (currently held by: Andre the Giant & Haku) 

Andre and Haku continued to feud with former WWF World Tag Team Champions Demolition. There weren’t any new developments to the feud as they mainly wrestled on the house show market which saw Andre and Haku retain the titles by count-out.

It was also announced that Andre and Haku would defend the WWF World Tag Team Championships against Demolition at WrestleMania VI.

Other Happenings: 

– Jake Roberts continued his feud with Ted DiBiase during the January 2nd taping of WWF Superstars. Roberts attacked DiBiase and Virgil after DiBiase competed in a squash match. As a result of the attack, Roberts was able to steal the Million Dollar Championship and put it in his snake bag with Damien. During the same taping, DiBiase and Roberts had a match which Roberts won by disqualification because the Big Bossman attacked him. However, it was revealed that DiBiase had paid Slick for Bossman’s services. That didn’t sit well with Bossman, who went back and helped Roberts recover saying he couldn’t be bought.
– Tugboat made his televised debut during the January 2nd taping of Superstars.

– Roddy Piper began a feud with Bad News Brown during the January 23rd taping of Wrestling Challenge. Brown was on the podium being interviewed which eventually led to a brawl between himself and Piper.

– The Rockers feuded with the Powers of Pain due to Warlord and Barbarian causing Marty Jannetty to be stretchered out of the arena following a match between the teams. This lead to the Rockers recruiting Jim Duggan to join them in their fight against the Powers of Pain.

– Randy Savage and Jim Duggan continued to feud over the king’s crown. They would wrestle at SNME which saw Savage prevail after Sherri Martel tripped Duggan on a suplex attempt. Duggan got some level of revenge by hitting Savage with his 2×4. Savage began to feud with Dusty Rhodes at the Royal Rumble. During a Brother Love segment, Savage and Sherri insulted Sapphire until Rhodes came out. Savage ended up attacking Rhodes before being forced to leave the ringside area by officials. Later in the night, Rhodes eliminated Savage from the Rumble match.

SNME #25 Results:
– WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan & WWF Intercontinental Champion Ultimate Warrior defeated Mr. Perfect & The Genius
– Randy Savage defeated Jim Duggan
– Jake Roberts defeated Greg Valentine by disqualification
– Dusty Rhodes fought Rick Rude to a double count-out
– Dino Bravo defeated Ron Garvin

Royal Rumble 1990 Results: 

– The Bushwhackers defeated The Rougeau Brothers
– Brutus Beefcake fought The Genius to a double disqualification
– Ron Garvin defeated Greg Valentine
– Jim Duggan defeated Big Bossman by disqualification
– WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan won the 1990 Royal Rumble last eliminating Mr. Perfect

Ratings: 
SNME #25: 11.1
Royal Rumble 1990: 2.0


Bob’s Opinion: 

So, we kick off the 90’s that would see the WWF have a low point and also the highest period in the companies existence. I’ll start off with my opinions on the Rumble, which is really based only on the Rumble match itself.

Hogan didn’t need to win the match, nor should he really be in it. Since the winner of the Rumble didn’t get the automatic title shot, yet, having Perfect win the Rumble would elevate him right up the card. Heck, even having Rick Rude possibly win it would have been fine with me. Hogan demolishing any heel close to being a threat to his title is tiring.

I enjoyed the Bossman heel run and greatly enjoyed his series of matches with Hogan in ’89. Bossman is a grossly underrated wrestler, in my opinion. His face turn here was fine and it wouldn’t take him long to get really over with the crowd. He was so good at his role that it stuck with him no matter where he went.

What was worse, the Tugboat character or the Shockmaster in ’93? Regardless, you gotta feel bad for Fred Ottman getting these gimmicks.

What are your memories of the WWF at this time? Share them below!

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Flashback: MSG December 1990

(This show was getting pimped in the Greats thread for the Perfect-Piper main event, so I figured that I since I actually reviewed this one on 24/7 it was worth a repost.)  The SmarK 24/7 Rant for MSG Show – December 28 1990 – I haven’t been doing these lately, but it leaves in three days and I’ve got a couple of hours to kill, so we’ll give it a go. – Taped from Madison Cube Garden. – Your hosts are Gorilla & Lord Alfred. Koko B Ware v. Black Bart. I seriously do not remember Bart being in the WWF, and in fact this would have been really close to the time where he was part of the Desperadoes in WCW, so it can’t have been a long stint. Koko works the arm to start, choosing to leave the headband on for some reason, but Bart quickly makes the ropes. Koko gets a pair of hiptosses into a dropkick, and Bart hits the floor. Back in, we get some stalling and they do the test of strength, which results in Bart bailing out again. Back in, Bart chokes him out in the corner and drops him on the top rope, for two. And we hit the chinlock to slow down the torrid pace. Whew, I was having trouble recapping it with all the near-falls. Someone should have told Bart that coming into a tryout looking lumpy and with bad hair is not the best way to earn a job. Bart gets a slam, but misses an elbow. Koko loses his grip on a slam attempt, but Bart misses a blind charge and Koko rolls him up for two and gets a suplex for two. Small package gets two, and finally the headband gets knocked off. Koko comes back with headbutts and a missile dropkick, and that sets up the brainbuster to finish at 10:08. Slow and dull. 1/2* The Warlord v. Jimmy Snuka. Speaking of slow and dull, that would be a very fitting tag team name for these two. This was the rather sad end of Snuka’s WWF run, when he was wearing boots and looking ridiculously roided to compensate for his shot body. Warlord attacks and chokes away to start, then unleashes the clubbing forearms on the back. Snuka comes back with chops, but gets caught and slammed. Snuka keeps coming with a headbutt and pounds away in the corner with the fakest looking shit I’ve ever seen, and thankfully Warlord escapes with an atomic drop. Warlord stomps him down and chokes away on the ropes, then boots Snuka out to the floor. Suplex back in burns up about two minutes as Warlord stalls before the move and then poses after it. That gets two. And now, the bearhug. You may go get nachos if you wish, I’ll wait. Snuka headbutts out of it and makes the comeback with chops, but Warlord hotshots him and chokes away…and draws the DQ at 8:32. Oh sweet merciful fuck. Who booked this crap? DUD Warlord can take solace knowing that Snuka looks like a pedophile with his greasy hair and moustache at that point. – And now, the Gobbledy Gooker. Yes, it actually lasted for more than a MONTH after Survivor Series. He dances with Howard Finkel and then thankfully leaves. The Rockers v. Power & Glory. The Rockers smartly jump the heels to start, but Marty gets double-teamed on the floor as a result. In the ring, Roma starts pounding him in the corner, but Marty gets a sunset flip and brings Shawn in for some double-teaming. Shawn slugs away in the corner and the Rockers clean house with a pair of double superkicks. Shawn stops to jaw with the ref and Herc clobbers him as a result, then slugs away to take over. Shawn tries a comeback but gets tripped up by Roma, then tries a backdrop suplex on Hercules and gets hit from behind by Roma. Herc gives him an elbow and it’s more shenanigans by Roma, but Marty gets the tag and they start working on Herc’s arm. They do a little cheating of their own behind the ref’s back and Marty gets a cross-armbreaker, then armdrags Roma on his way in. Roma gets fancy with leapfrogs to escape, but Marty punches him down and goes back to the arm. Nice teamwork from the Rockers sees Shawn dropping an elbow for two, and back to the arm. Roma tries to escape and gets armdragged down again, and Marty switches in for a double-team and more of the same. Finally Herc gets a cheapshot on Marty from the apron and Marty is YOUR face in peril. Herc slugs him down, but Marty catches Roma with a clothesline out of the corner, and it’s hot tag Shawn. Herc quickly cheapshots him as well and we get a fresh heat segment. Herc sends Shawn into the turnbuckles and follows with a bearhug. Shawn fights out of it, but Herc takes him down and Roma drops an elbow for two. Roma follows with his own bearhug, and there’s nothing more terrifying than a bearhug from Paul Roma, but Shawn fights out of that as well, and we get the false tag. Roma dropkicks Marty out of the ring and Hercules actually breaks the middle rope while setting up the PowerPlex, but Shawn clotheslines him off the top anyway. It’s just one of those days. Hot tag Marty and he avoids a charging Roma, who hits the broken corner to give Marty two. Small package, but Herc rolls them over, then Shawn rolls them over again for two. I always love that finish. Double-slam from the Rockers and Shawn kicks Herc out of the ring, and it’s a draw at 21:13. I guess that was supposed to be a 20:00 draw. You could tell they were going long by the lazy pace most of the way through, but it picked up well enough by the halfway point. ** Greg Valentine v. Saba Simba. Oh, fuck me. Are you KIDDING me? Haven’t I endured enough on this crappy show yet? Simba is of course semi-famous for wrestling a squash match on Superstars and having color commentator Roddy Piper exclaim “Hey, it’s Tony Atlas!”, leaving Vince McMahon to cover for him. This is one of the most racist and insulting gimmicks ever devised by the WWF, and that’s saying something. Simba overpowers Hammer to start and hits him with a chop, drawing a Flair Flop. I mean, seriously, how did Vince trot Atlas out there acting like a jungle savage and not get attacked by the NAACP? I’d have to personally credit no one watching the TV shows at that point, and with good reason. Hammer tosses Simba, but he no-sells it and comes in with more jungle savagery. Savage clothesline and they do a ridiculously obvious spot-planning session during what appears to be a lockup of some sort, and Hammer takes over with a cheapshot in the corner. Greg tries a slam, but Simba uses JUNGLE POWER to block, so Hammer takes him down and tries working on the leg instead. Oh my god, this is like watching backyard wrestling or something. How the hell did Atlas get into the Hall of Fame? Figure-four is blocked by Simba, but he puts his head down because he’s an ignorant jungle savage, and Hammer drops the elbow for two. Simba chops Hammer down and rams him into the turnbuckles, then headbutts Hammer for another Flair Flop. You know, it’d be refreshing to see Atlas do something other than chop, headbutt or slap his belly here. I think even Valentine is getting sick of it. The ref gets bumped and it’s a DQ at 8:30 after Jimmy Hart’s interference backfires. This was a total embarrassment. -** Valentine turns on Jimmy Hart after the match, turning face to end his WWF career through 1991. Unfortunately for Valentine, attacking Jimmy meant getting beat up by Earthquake at Wrestlemania VII. Earthquake & Dino Bravo v. Hulk Hogan & Tugboat. Did anyone seriously think they get Fred Ottman over by calling him “Tugboat”? I’d like to have been at one of those production meetings in the late 80s when they came up with this crap so I could laugh at them in person. Hulk locks up with Bravo to start and gets shoved into the corner, but wins a second go-around. Hulk and Tugboat pinball Dino in the corner and Tug goes to work on the arm. Hulk comes off the second rope, a dangerous proposition tonight, and rams Dino into the turnbuckles to set up a double boot. Blind charge hits boot and Bravo takes Tugboat down with an atomic drop, but Quake misses an elbow. Back to Hulk, who slams Bravo and Quake, and hits Quake with a corner clothesline. However, once again Tugboat screws up and gets double-teamed by the heels, and Quake splashes him for two. Quake hits the chinlock and Bravo chokes him out in the corner. The heels team up with a slam on Tugboat, and Quake drops the big elbow to set up the butt splash. Hulk breaks it up with a clothesline, and it’s hot tag to Hulk. Big boot for Bravo finishes at 9:19. Well, he sure wasn’t screwing around with that one. This was all paint-by-numbers stuff. *1/2 Hulk and Tugboat pose afterwards, but Earthquake lays him out with powder and the butt splash. Ha, I wonder why more heels didn’t think of that tactic? I mean, it’s Hogan’s own fault for turning his back on the dressing room. So the feud MUST CONTINUE! Hogan gets stretchered out and his career is in jeopardy, blah blah blah. Virgil v. Kerry Von Erich. Virgil is subbing for Ted Dibiase here because of a knee injury. Virgil attacks to start and takes it to the floor, but Kerry fights back from the apron and whips Virgil into the stairs. And we get the big stall as Virgil works the count until Tornado tosses him back in and slugs away in the corner. Blind charge misses and Kerry hits the post, allowing Virgil to start going after the arm. Kerry sells an armbar for a bit before clotheslining Virgil a couple of times and backdropping him out of the corner. Virgil offers a bribe, but money means nothing to Kerry! Drugs, sure, that means everything, but not money. Von Erich keeps coming with a boston crab, but Virgil makes the ropes. Iron Claw is blocked, but only temporarily. Virgil makes the ropes again, but the discus punch puts Virg out of his misery at 7:54. Total squash. The announcers put Virgil over as making a valiant effort, to build up to his face turn in January, but realistically he had no offense of note here. * – Jimmy Hart joins us, throwing out a challenge to Greg Valentine on behalf of the Honky Tonk Man. Dusty Rhodes & Hacksaw Duggan v. Sgt. Slaughter & General Adnan. This would be the follow-up to the Duggan v. Slaughter match from Nov 90 that I reviewed previously. The crowd is now half-empty with the departure of Hulk Hogan, so down go the lights. Dusty starts with Slaughter and they trade shots in the corner, so Sarge goes after Duggan’s board. Well you just don’t do that. Dusty and Duggan give Slaughter some punishment in the corner and Duggan gets a clothesline to set up the Slaughter Corner Bump. Duggan pounds away in the corner and Dusty throws the elbows, but Duggan goes after Adnan and gets sent into the post as a result. Duggan, who used to at least be counted on for a good gory bladejob now and then, can’t even do that anymore. Slaughter and Adnan beat on him in the corner and Adnan goes to a neck vice and rams him into the turnbuckles, but that’s spitting into the wind with Duggan. More lame offense and Slaughter gets a backbreaker for two. He misses a kneedrop, however, and it’s somewhat hot tag Dusty. Man, this crowd is just brutal now. They pinball Slaughter in their corner, but Dusty misses the charge and Sarge finishes with the camel clutch at 9:08. Why yes, Dusty WAS on the way out, why do you ask? 1/2* Intercontinental title: Curt Hennig v. Rowdy Roddy Piper. Finally something with potential for fun. Although Piper was working as a color commentator at this point, so I’m not sure why they stuck him out there with Hennig. They do the duelling gum spit to start and Piper chases him into the corner and escapes a go-behind with a shot to the mouth. Perfect tries chopping, but Piper fires back with mustard on it and Hennig bails. Piper yanks him back in and drags him around by the hair, then hairtosses him. No ringpost bump off that? Hennig goes for the nuts, but Piper LITERALLY cockblocks him and tosses him over the top. They brawl on the floor and Perfect wants out of them, but Piper tosses him back in and rips the tights in the process. Piper slugs him down and threatens to stomp on his Little Perfect, but chooses to bitchslap him instead and then slugs the angry Perfect down for two. Double clothesline and both guys are out, but Piper is up first, while Hennig yanks the top turnbuckle off. Piper goes headfirst into that corner and Hennig gets two off it, then punts Piper in the ribs. Standing dropkick puts Roddy on the floor, and Perfect follows with a chair to the jaw. See, why can’t they do that instead of unprotected shots to the head? That looks like it hurts just as much, and it’s totally safe. Back in, Hennig with the sleeper, and he uses the ropes for good measure. Piper escapes with a jawbreaker and makes the comeback, reversing a suplex for two. Perfect small package gets two. They trade kneelifts, with Piper doing the delayed sell before hitting his, and he gets two. Hennig clotheslines him and now we’re gonna see a Perfectplex! Or so he says. Yup, and that gets two. Piper gets a quick rollup for two, and they slug it out and fight on the floor. Back in, Hennig goes up , but that removed turnbuckle comes back to bite him as Piper drops him on the exposed steel, and that’s enough for a countout win for Piper at 12:40. God, another lame finish. Great, unique match, though, as they were out there having a blast and trying to out-sell each other. ***1/2 Piper feels the belt should be his, but his time would come later, of course. Quite the collection of shitty matches and even worse finishes tonight, although Perfect v. Piper is well worth tracking down on YouTube.

I had a question concerning the WWF in January 1990

Hey Scott. Really enjoy pretty much everything you post. Anywho, I've been watching some old WWF Prime Time Wrestling episodes specifically from January 1990. They advertised that "Widow Maker" aka Barry Windham I believe was supposed to be in the Royal Rumble match. How come he never entered it? Also, why did they drop the "Canadian" name from Earthquake's persona? One last question, how did the WWF and the cable companies resolve their issue back then because they spent 1/4th of each episode whining to the viewers to call their Congressmen and demand WWF PPV's? Thanks Scott and keep up the great work!

1.  Windham left the promotion pretty quickly after some sort of falling out, and went back to WCW early in 1990.  
2.  As I understand it, the dropped the Canadian portion because they didn't want him getting babyface reactions in Canada.  
3.  Don't remember that whole deal.  I don't recall any specific issues with WWF getting dropped from PPV, but then we didn't have PPV in Canada at all until years after that anyway.  

SummerFest Countdown: 1990

(I was going to 2012 Scott sez this one, but then realized how much I hate the original rant and decided to bust out the Anthology DVD and re-rant on it instead.  So stay tuned after the crappy 1997 version for a BRAND NEW re-rant!)The Netcop Retro Rant for Summerslam 90 Live from Philadelphia, PA Your hosts are Mr. McMahon and Roddy Piper, in the role WCW should have him in now. I’ve probably seen this show more times than most current RSPW fans have seen episodes of RAW and Nitro combined, but hey, I’m always happy to oblige my fans, even if I am sick of seeing it. Opening match: Power & Glory v. The Rockers. Michaels had a severe knee injury at the time, so Hercules makes sure to nail him with the chain before the match starts. Jannetty is left fight alone, and does a respectable job for the first couple of minutes. He small packages Chachi…oh, sorry, Roma, but gets an elbow dropped on him to turn the tide for the heels. Shawn keeps climbing to the apron and P&G keep knocking him off. Jannetty powerslams Roma and hits the fistdrop off the top rope, but Slick is distracting the ref. Power & Glory proceed to lay a royal ass-whupping on Jannetty, allowing him to display all his selling prowess. He works in everything, including the “get pressed and land on his face” spot and the obligatory 360 clothesline sell. P&G finishes him with the superplex/money shot finisher at 6:00, drawing a BIG pop from the face-hating Philly crowd. Oddly, the Rockers would win their only tag title (the infamous phantom reign) a couple of weeks after this, and would have transitioned said titles to Roma and Hercules, but politics and life in general intervened and Power & Glory got turned into jobbers. Such is life. **1/2 Heenan and Perfect run down Kerry Von Erich. Von Erich was subbing for Brutus Beefcake, who suffered the career-ending injury in 1990. He was scheduled to win the title here. Probably would have moved onto main events by 1991. I understand that someone who looks remarkably like him is being retooled into an Indiana Jones gimmick as we speak, but we all know the real Ed Leslie died in 1990. Intercontinental title match: Curt Hennig v. “Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich. Have I ever mentioned how retarded it was to use an “Exodus” clone as Hennig’s ENTRANCE music? Hennig, Mr. Oversell, goes flying back into the corner off a shove. Hennig gets his own shoving in and towels himself off. Von Erich slams him and clotheslines him over the top, and of course Hennig does his patented tumble over the top. Hennig clotheslines out of an armbar to take control, then applies a sleeper. He inexplicably releases and slaps the Tornado around in the corner, which never works out well for the heel. Tornado no-sells, slingshots Hennig into the corner, then applies the CLAWHOLD OF DOOM! He quickly releases, hits the DUMBASS PIROUHETTE TORNADO PUNCH OF DEATH, and covers for the pin and the IC title at 5:10. When you absolutely, positively have to get a stupid finisher over TODAY, call Mr. P. Match was nothing, although running about two minutes longer than many recent IC title changes on RAW. * Mean Gene is apparently waiting for Sapphire, but she’s not there. The plot thickens. Perfect and Hennan crash the scene and rant about the loss. Queen Sherri v. Sapphire. Sapphire no-shows, so we waste about 5 minutes as Sherri demands that she win by forfeit. No match. Dusty Rhodes doesn’t know where Sapphire is, either. The Warlord v. Tito Santana. Warlord is a dead ringer for Bill Goldberg, and was a better wrestler for all of about two months after his debut until becoming the roided freak he is here. Santana uses a series of dropkicks to send Warlord to the floor. Tito keeps sticking and moving, but gets dumped to the floor and rammed into the ringpost as Piper makes racist jokes about Slick. Very good, Roddy, why not make a watermelon joke while you’re at it? Warlord s.l.o.w.l.y hammers on Tito. Sooooooooo sloooooooow. He runs into a boot from Santana, and actually sells a clothesline! Whoa. Santana shows his fisticuffsmanship and hits the Flying Jalapeno, but Warlord gets his foot on the ropes. He goes for a monkey flip, but Walrus-man shrugs him off and then powerslams him for the academic pinfall at 5:27. 1/2* The Demos introduce their newest member…Crush. They stress that they can pick any two members they want, ala the Triad. In an inside joke, they call LOD a couple of “second rate imposters”. The Harts react to the Demos choice of team members, although Bret seems to be confused: At first he thinks it’s Ax and Smash, then goes to Ax and Crush. It’s actually Smash and Crush tonight. Oh well, that bit was probably taped days before the show. WWF World tag team title match: Demolition v. The Hart Foundation, 2/3 falls. Bret and Smash start. For those who don’t know, let’s go over it again: Smash is current WCW jobber Barry Darsow, and Crush is current nWo B&W member Bryan Adams. Harts double-team Smash and Bret gets a quick two-count on a rollup. Vince begins selling the “You can’t tell the Demos apart” thing, which would lead to the incredibly lame “Masked Demolition” thing that was mercifully killed after about two months, due to the fact that DEMOLITION LOOKS NOTHING ALIKE! Smash gets the better of Bret, but Crush blows it. Bret runs into a slam, however, so I guess Crush made up for the error. Crush practices the fine art of no-selling, until Neidhart is tagged in to destroy Smash. Doesn’t last long as they cheat and gain the advantage. Bret comes back in and cleans house on both Demos, getting a two count on Smash with a Russian legsweep. Not quite the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM because there was no Sharpshooter, and besides Crush breaks up the sequence with a legdrop. Oops, Demolition Decapitation, and the champs take the first fall at 6:18. In the second fall, Bret gets hammered by Crush with a quasi-chokeslam to start, and the usual Demolition power stuff. Bret hits the clothesline and hot tags Neidhart. He goes nuts and gets a pair of two-counts on Smash with a powerslam, then they hit the Hart Attack for two before Crush makes the save, drawing a DQ at 10:38. Well, that was a lame finish. In the third fall, Bret gets tossed to start. While the ref attends to him, Ax runs in and hides under the ring. Bret recovers and sunset flips in for two. The Harts get their reverse slam thing in a nice sequence for two. It’s to describe unless you’ve seen it. Ax swaps in at this point and Smash hides under the ring. Ref doesn’t notice. Yeah, right. Ax of course kicks Bret’s ass. Russian legsweep gets two. Bret’s run to the corner bump gets two. Crush gets a backbreaker for two and things are looking grim at Neidhart has to break it up. The Demos double-team Bret on the outside, and now Smash swaps back in…until the LOD make their way down and pull Ax from under the ring. Smash and Ax confront them, leaving Crush alone with the Harts. *David Spade mode on* Demos: We’re Demolition, we’ve got three guys on our team, and one of them is a big motherfucker who can kick your ass blindfolded. Harts: Buh-bye. *David Spade mode off* Bret cradles off a Neidhart shoulderblock at 15:44 for the pin and the titles. The Demos’ best match ever. ***1/2 THAT is how the tag title match at Bash at the Beach should have gone, with the babyfaces overcoming insurmountable odds. This match has always been a sentimental favorite of mine. The Harts and LOD celebrate in the back. The Demos yell threats at the LOD from behind their dressing room door, thus kicking off the dream feud that every mark was screaming for since 1988. The Cavalcade of Interviews continue, with Sherri, Volkoff/Duggan, Earthquake/Bravo and Jake Roberts. Jake Roberts v. Bad News Brown. See, Bad News was afraid of snakes, so he got a sewer rat from Harlem to counter. I’d like to point out that if this was Stampede, he’d have shown up for an interview with Damien turned into a new pair of boots for himself one week. But this is the WWF, so, well, ya know. Bossman is the special referee here. Brown destroys him and goes for the Ghetto Blaster early, but Jake collapses. Brown drops a leg and gets two. Brown and Bossman get into an argument, allowing Jake to recover and they go brawling outside the ring. A chairshot draws a warning, and we return to the ring for more Brown ass-kicking goodness. Roberts flips him off, causing more punishment. Damn, I love Brown. He was so wasted in his WWF run. Jake comes back with rights and the short-arm clothesline, but BNB backdrops out of the DDT and keeps on whupping. Another chairshot draws the DQ at 4:43. Lame. Brown tries to legdrop Damien to get his revenge, but Bossman makes the save. Sadly, Bossman wouldn’t be around when Quake tried the same thing months later. My personal theory is that the grief of the loss of his snake drove Jake to the heel turn, in a weird kind of phallic/emasculation thing that I’m sure Freud would spend days analyzing. Match was okay. **1/4 Brother Love re-introduces us to Sgt. Slaughter, repackaged as the Iraqi sympathizing traitor. What a classy guy that Vince McMahon is. The run did, however, give me prime material for Netcop Busts with the ultra-lame ATOMIC NOOGIE OF DOOM that he used as a finisher, so it’s not all bad. Just most of it. Hey, we’ve found Sapphire. Now I can sleep at night. The Orient Express v. Nikolai Volkoff & Jim Duggan. The Express are just from plain ol’ Japan. This was during Volkoff’s “I really love the USA” period. *Sniff* It makes me all teary-eyed just thinking about it. See, even 85 year old wrestlers like Volkoff can change. I’m shocked WCW hasn’t signed him yet – he’s practically a young lad! The patriots sing the national anthem and then the scheming Japanese attack. The Express have to dumb down their offense because Volkoff is useless, so they chop a lot. Duggan gets the hot tag after a marathon 2 minutes of punishment and cleans house. Three-point stance finishes it at 3:03. What a farce. It’s no wonder the Express were repackaged shortly after this – there really wasn’t anywhere left to go with the team after this. DUD Backstage, Dusty tries to convince Sapphire to open her dressing room door, but she won’t. Hey, maybe she’s on the john or something, geez, give the woman a break. And if YOU were a woman and a fat guy who dresses in polka dots and has a splotch on his belly was knocking on YOUR door, would YOU open it? I think not. Dusty Rhodes v. Randy Savage. I don’t recognize any of the jobbers carrying the throne. BUT WAIT! Over on the interview stage, Ted Dibiase and Virgil have a Shocking Revelation for Rhodes: He has bought Sapphire. Wonder what Dibiase’s wife thought of that? She would disappear from the WWF shortly after the turn, rightly so. Dusty tries to go after Dibiase, but Savage decks him from behind and the match begins. Savage dominates the distracted Rhodes, although he has a brief flurry of elbows to come back…and a DROPKICK! Must have been a blue moon or something. Dusty goes after Sherri, who hands the loaded purse to Macho, who nails Dusty with it and pins him at 2:14. This would be the beginning of the long feud with Dibiase that ended with Dusty and his talentless son Dustin losing to Dibiase and Virgil at Royal Rumble 91, which in turn led to Virgil’s long awaited face turn. Match was there. 1/2* Hulk Hogan v. Earthquake. It should be noted that my father, who is a noted sadist, printed out a huge “GET WELL HULK” poster and hung it in my room while I was asleep, just to piss me off. Tugboat was supposed to be in Hogan’s corner, but he ate one Ring-Ding too many and exploded, so Bossman takes his place. I keep waiting for Tugboat to come crashing through the backdrop in a Stormtrooper helmet during the pre-match interview, but he disappoints as usual. TO THE MATCH! Hogan tries a shove out of the lockup, but Quake is JUST TOO FAT! None of Hulk’s subsequent lockups work, so he bails. Man, if THAT’S all it takes to outthink Hogan, put me in there with him. Hogan tries a slam, and it doesn’t work. Duh. A series of right hands doesn’t work either, until he windmills his arm like Popeye, and then that one knocks him down, presumably because of the increased momentum, but you’d really have to ask one of the physics guys on RSPW/M. Hulk and Bossman double-team Quake in full view of the ref, so Quake and Bravo double-team Hogan when he’s not looking. Gotta love the hypocritical booking of Hogan’s matches. See also: Motorcycle helmets with fists attached. Quake hits a double-axehandle off the top and…STOMPS ON HIS HAND! Man, that’s just MEAN! Someone tell Quake’s mommy. Quake gets a Boston crab, but it’s Philadelphia so Hogan is able to make the ropes. Hogan bails again (COWARD! ORANGE SKINNED FREAKISH CHICKEN!) and gets beate up by Bravo. Back in the ring, as Earthquake misses a big elbow and Hogan goes for the slam again (what a moron), but of course Quake falls on him for two. Why? Say it with me, kids…HE’S JUST TOO FAT! Bearhug. Hey, that’s what I was wanting to pick up the pace. Hulk always knows how to make me happy. Hulk rips apart Hebner’s shirt while trying to escape. Don’t ask me why. A couple of shoulderblocks stagger the Quake, and Hulk actually tries a BODYPRESS, thus putting him in Jushin Liger territory compared to his usual arsenal. Sadly, Quake catches him and slams him, so we’ll never know the outcome of that particular experiment. Quake hits the FAT-ASSED BUTTSPLASH OF DOOM and Vince mourns Hulk’s career, but he doesn’t want the pin yet. Another splash, but Hulk kicks out. See, ONE splash was enough to put Hercules in the hospital, but Hulk takes TWO and then kicks out. Don’t you just LOVE the guy? Hulk up, big boot, slam (this time it works, psychology be damned), but the 84th Airborne runs in and both guys end up outside the ring. There’s a table that is inexplicably at ringside, so Hogan slams Quake on it and beats the count in at 13:17. The table doesn’t break. It should be noted that if it HAD broken, ECW would have officially stolen their best idea from the WWF. Just wanted to point that out. 1/4* The reason why Hogan didn’t get a pinfall win eludes me to this day. Long series of interviews to allow time for the cage to be set up. WWF World title match: The Ultimate Warrior v. Rick Rude. It should be noted that Warrior’s belt is roughly the color of fresh puke. I don’t know WHY it should be noted, but I’m sure there’s a reason. I will contend to my dying day that Rude should have gone over Warrior for the title on the SNME that preceded this show, allowing Warrior to regain it here and make both guys look better, but it’s the Warrior, so, ya know. They fight on top of the cage to start, and Warrior hits an axehandle off the top on the way in, after knocking Rude down. Piper’s strategic advice: Tie Warrior’s tassels to the bars. Warrior tosses Rude into the bars a few times, but misses a charge and goes face-first into the cage. Piper’s cynical commentary is pretty funny here, as it’s obvious that he’s not a Warrior fan. Rude is bleeding two minutes in. Hey, it’s PPV, why not. It’s about 0.0003 Muta, but the effort is there. Rude tosses Warrior into the cage a few more times. He tries the Rude Awakening, but Warrior powers out. Big splash hits the knees. Why is the Warrior going for the pin in a cage match? Because he’s an idiot. But you knew that. Rude hits the Rude Awakening and goes to the top of the cage for a fistdrop. Bobby opens the door for him, but Rude chooses to come off the top again. Warrior nails him coming down and crawls for the door, but the Brain slams the door in his face. Rude covers for two. Pinfalls in a cage match? Don’t ask me why they changed it for this match. We get the obligatory ass-shot of Rude when Warrior grabs his tights to prevent escape, then Warrior beats on poor Bobby. Why Rude didn’t just walk out the door when the beating was going on is just one of those questions you don’t ask, I guess. Rude attacks him from behind, but Warrior hulks up. CLOTHESLINE! CLOTHESLINE! He forgets to do the third one, but he’s excited so I can forgive it. Gorilla press, and he climbs out for the win at 10:00. Bad match with an anticlimactic ending. * The Bottom Line: The undercard is really fun, if not exactly a modern wrestling exhibition or anything, and I think it’s enough to recommend this show. Stop when you get to the main events, though, because it’s just not worth the trouble. Mild recommendation. The SmarK Rant for WWF Summerslam 1990 Live from Philly. Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Roddy Piper This is of course a show that is LOOOOOOOOONG overdue for a redo, given that it was originally written in 1997. Luckily I have my trusty Anthology collection to pull the full PPV version from instead of the Coliseum video that I’ve been watching for the last couple of decades. And since this clocks in at 2:40 instead of the 2:00 I’m used to, obviously I’ve missed some stuff. The ridiculous number of deaths on this show also led me to keep track as I went along, just because. The Rockers v. Power & Glory Nothing like Paul Roma to kick off a show! P&G don’t even get an entrance, which is funny given they were on the fast track at this point. Shawn is injured but they still wanted to advertise him, so Hercules attacks the knee before the bell, leaving Marty to fight alone. He fights off the heels with hiptosses and manages to dropkick both guys at once, because Roma is so useless that he can’t even beat up MARTY JANNETTY when he’s at a 2-on-1 advantage. Finally the heels use Slick’s distraction to take over, until Marty gets a small package for two. Vince is calling for the DQ, but Piper is all about the competition in between his bizarre stream-of-consciousness commentary. The new Mick Jagger and David Bowie?! Roma pounds on Marty while Shawn fights to get into the ring, because if there’s one thing you know about Shawn Michaels it’s that a knee injury isn’t going to keep him out of the ring! Herc powerslams Marty and gets rolled up off that, but Roma breaks it up and hits the backbreaker for two. Marty makes his own comeback with a powerslam and superkick, and he goes up with the flying fistdrop on Roma for two. Finally he runs into a cheapshot from Hercules on the apron, while Shawn sells outside. Piper: “Get up!” He’s kinda crazy. The POWERPLEX finishes Marty at 5:52 as the Rockers get destroyed but good. As Marty lays on Shawn to protect him, Piper notes that NOW they look like Jagger and Bowie. Oh, Roddy, you insane bastard. This was a fun destruction by the heels, but sadly they never went anywhere with it, mostly because Roma was so terrible. **1/4 Death count: 1 (Hercules). Meanwhile, Mr. Perfect notes that he’s perfect and thus won’t have any trouble coping with the Texas Tornado on short notice. Can’t fault the logic there. Intercontinental title: Mr. Perfect v. Texas Tornado This was of course to be Brutus Beefcake’s title win, before the infamous boating accident ended his career for 3 years. What’s the over-under on how much blow Kerry was doing just before his pre-match promo, I wonder? Especially given how short they kept this one. I still think they should have kept the challenger a surprise, because Kerry had some name value even if he was already on the downslide, and everyone was buying this show for Hogan anyway. They fight for the lockup and Hennig goes flying into the corner from that. What a Ziggler ripoff. Perfect with a pair of hiptosses, but Tornado clotheslines him to the floor and then starts working on the arm. Hennig finally clocks him with a forearm as the match breaks into FISTICUFFS in the words of Vince. I love that word. Perfect with the sleeper, but Kerry is too wired on coke and breaks free. Perfect gets arrogant and slaps him around in the corner, but Kerry catapults him into the corner for the trademark bump, and the claw and discus punch finish at 5:13 to give Von Erich the title. That was kind of a weird match, actually, with no real heat segment before they suddenly went home. *1/2 It proved to be a short reign. Death count: 2 (both guys) Meanwhile, Mean Gene is supposed to be interviewing Sapphire, but she no-shows, so Bobby and Perfect storm in and yell about losing the title instead. Tornado cheated and Perfect had his shoulder up at two! Queen Sherri v. Sapphire I have no idea how Sherri was supposed to be wrestling in a full dress and Halloween mask, but it’s a moot point anyway. Sapphire fails to show, so Sherri wins by forfeit. This took quite a while to get to that point, but it was a different time. Death count: 2 (Both women). Meanwhile, Dusty Rhodes is mystified by what happened to Sapphire, even after asking every security guard in the building, AND Hacksaw Duggan. That was quite the walk-on cameo. Not much has changed in 22 years, I guess. The Warlord v. Tito Santana This is quite the quickly-paced show thus far, with four matches by the half-hour mark. Tito was apparently during the Powers of Pain Solo Jobbing Tour in 1990, getting to lose to both former members. Tito grabs a headlock and gets tossed off, but he throws some dropkicks and Warlord bails. Here’s your random Tito story for the day: A local wrestling promotion (led by WAVELL STARR!) brought Tito to Saskatoon for a show here a couple of weeks ago, which I was sadly unable to attend due to not giving a shit. Nothing to do with Tito, he’s still awesome and I would have loved to meet him. Anyway, the best part of the poster is that tickets were available at the door, or at TACO TIME. Now that’s class. Tito manages to take Warlord down for two, but gets thrown out of the ring on the kickout while Piper makes vaguely racist remarks about Slick. Oh, Piper, how did you ever survive for more than a few months in this job? Back in, Warlord slowly pounds away, but Tito makes the fired up comeback and hits the flying forearm for two, but Warlord gets his foot on the ropes. Not exactly making Warlord out to be a world-beater here. Warlord shrugs Tito off in the corner and finishes with a running powerslam at 5:23. I love that Tito makes sure to kick out a bit after the three-count, showing that he’s always fighting. Man, Warlord on offense just ground this thing to a halt. * Death count: None! WWF World tag titles, 2/3 falls: Demolition v. The Hart Foundation Man, even 1990 high-school aged Scott knew the writing was on the wall for Demolition at this point. Vince does an exaggerated bit where he can’t tell the difference between Ax and Smash even after three years of them being near the top of the tag division together. In this case, it’s Smash and Crush defending the belts. This actually ended up being a major career resurgence for the Harts, as they had some great matches from here all the way to breaking up after Wrestlemania VII. Bret gets a quick rollup on Smash for two, and Vince still can’t tell the difference between Ax and Smash. Hey wait, you don’t think the Demos would use that confusion to their ADVANTAGE, do you? Bret works on Smash’s arm, but he gets caught in the heel corner briefly before dodging Crush’s clumsy offense. Crush finally slams him as Piper notes “we ain’t looking for dairy products, we fighting!” Yeah, you tell him, senile middle aged person! Bret comes back with a rollup and brings in the Anvil, but a cheapshot turns the tide and Smash hammers him in the corner. Back to Bret and he cleans house on the heels and slugs away on both of them, then sends Crush to the floor and hits Smash with the legsweep for two. Backbreaker and middle rope elbow get two. Crush breaks it up with a cheap elbow, and the Demolition Decapitation wins the first fall at 6:18. Piper is so adamant about the referee’s five count that you’d think Daniel Bryan was in the match. Second fall and Smash gets a backdrop suplex for two on Bret, and Crush goes to a neck vice for a bit. Bret crawls for a tag, but Crush grabs Smash’s leg to keep Bret on that side in a cute spot. Bret perseveres and it’s hot tag Anvil, however. Clothesline on Smash gets two. Powerslam gets two. Hart Attack gets two, as Crush attacks the ref for the DQ at 10:34. Not sure why they did that for a fall. Final fall and Demolition tosses Bret, which allows Ax to sneak out and hide under the ring. Piper argues that this does not violate the ban from ringside, since he’s not actually at ringside, per se. Maybe Ax should have hired Piper as his lawyer for his lawsuit. The Harts regroup and double-team Smash, and Anvil slams Bret onto him for two. Bret and Hebner get into a tiff (perish the thought) and Ax switches off with Smash, with Vince being the only person in the building who can’t immediately tell. Ax of course beats on Bret as the fresh man and gets a slam for two, and a legsweep for two. Bret takes his corner bump and Ax gets two off that. Crush with a backbreaker for two. It’s BONZO GONZO as all three Demos get involved and Smash switches back in, but the LOD comes out because they’ve had ENOUGH of these shenanigans. The Demos get their ass kicked, and Anvil slingshots in with a shoulderblock on Crush to give Bret the pin and the tag titles at 15:50 and one of the biggest pops you’ll ever hear in your life. It was kind of a disjointed match with no real long heat segment or anything (kind of a recurring problem for the night thus far) but it was fun good guy v. bad guy stuff with the Demos finally getting what they deserved after a few months of chicanery with Crush. It should have set up a big money program with the LOD, but by that point Ax was on the outs with Vince and the WWF had no real interest in giving fans the longtime dream match they wanted. Oh well, it’s still a favorite match of mine from the time period, flaws aside. You could just tell that Bret was a huge star in the making. ***1/4 Death count: 1 (Crush). Meanwhile, the Harts celebrate and the Demos aren’t giving interviews. Sherri has heard rumors about Sapphire’s fate! And with that, we hit the intermission after Mean Gene recaps the matches still to come. Meanwhile, we get shots of Jake’s snake in the shower (not that one) and Bad News Brown’s sewer rat. Now there’s a mascot merchandising opportunity they totally missed out on. Then we get comments from Big Bossman (doing double duty tonight as guest ref and then in Hulk’s corner), plus Duggan & Volkoff, Earthquake & Bravo, and Jake Roberts with a snake that’s threatening to go into business for itself. Bad News Brown v. Jake Roberts You see, Billy, black people are afraid of snakes, because SCIENCE. Big Bossman is the guest ref here, although I don’t recall how he got slotted in here since he moved onto the Heenan family after this and he wasn’t feuding with Bad News. Bad News attacks to start, as you’d expect, but he can’t quite hit the Ghetto Blaster. Legdrop gets two instead. Jake tries the DDT and Bad News bails to escape and then beats on Jake with a chair, but Bossman is all about law and order and CHASTISES him. Really, a prison guard isn’t actually part of the police force, so he’s kind of overstepping his authority in general. Brown pounds away on Jake, but misses a fistdrop off the middle. Jake comes back with the kneelift and short clothesline, but Bad News backdrops out of the DDT. Piper credits the oiled head of Brown. They fight to the floor again and this time Bossman calls for the DQ on Brown at 4:40 when he cheats. Basically just a Saturday Night’s Main Event match on PPV. *1/2 And that was pretty much it for Bad News in the WWF. Death count: 1 (Bad News, 2 if you count the snake.) And now, the Brother Love Show, as Sgt. Slaughter cements his return and heel turn by presenting Love with a special award for being a great patriot or something. Slaughter was GIGANTIC here. His weight less by the time he got to Wrestlemania was pretty impressive, actually. Slaughter wasn’t actually doing the Iraqi sympathizer bit yet, he was just expressing general disgust with America at that point, and with Nikolai Volkoff specifically. Hacksaw Duggan & Nikolai Volkoff v. The Orient Express Oh man, the Volkoff babyface turn. To this day I have no idea why they pushed and re-pushed the guy as much as they did. This whole thing was basically the Superpowers angle redone 4 years too late with the wrong people for it. Volkoff goes after Tanaka to start, but gets caught in the heel corner, only to make the hot tag seconds later. Duggan cleans house and destroys them single-handledly, pinning Tanaka with the clothesline at 2:55. DUD Duggan as the guy who gets the hot tag as a regular gig was a good idea, but not with 43 year old Volkoff. Death count: None! Randy Savage v. Dusty Rhodes To get Sapphire off TV, Ted Dibiase interrupts before the match starts and introduces her as his newest acquisition. This was built up by a few weeks of Sapphire getting mysterious gifts from a benefactor. As usual for this time period, Sapphire just kind of disappeared after another few weeks of this plot twist and was never seen on WWF TV again after that. I find it hilarious that Dibiase would buy her off with a giant bag of money, but would use an official WWF sports tote. Wasn’t there a briefcase they could have used? So as you’d expect, Dusty is pretty distracted, which allows Savage to attack him and slug away in the corner. Dusty quickly makes the comeback with the DUSTY DROPKICK OF DOOM and Savage bails, then grabs Sherri’s loaded purse and nails Rhodes with it for the pin at 2:08. Man, who is booking these shitty finishes tonight? Another nothing TV-level match to pad out PPV time. * Death count: 1 (Randy Savage). Earthquake v. Hulk Hogan A poster on the blog noted recently that this feud was like a lesson in TV time economy, as Quake attacked Hogan in a 5-minute Brother Love segment and they launched an 8 month feud off of it. No 20 minute interviews needed, just Quake putting Hogan out, Hogan making the big comeback, and then a whole bunch of house show main events for months afterwards. Hogan of course compares himself to George Washington in the pre-match promo, because he cannot tell a lie. I don’t even know where to START with that one. Quake wins a test of strength and shrugs off a headlock attempt, as Piper notes that Hogan might have been “training lean for endurance.” For a match with EARTHQUAKE? Back in the ring, he goes for the slam and that goes badly for him, as Quake whips him into the corner and tries the avalanche, only to have Hulk slug back. The whole heel team gets to bump for Hulk multiple times and everyone brawls outside, then we get a team match in the ring. This is some absolutely horrible refereeing. Finally Hebner restores some order, as Quake drops the elbow on Hulk for two in the chaos. Quake goes up with a TOP ROPE CLUBBING FOREARM, the most devastating of all clubbing forearms, and things are looking bleak for Hulkamania. Vince writes him off, but he makes the ropes to escape, only to have Dino Bravo slam him outside. Back in, Quake wears him down with the bearhug and gets the slam for two, and the BUTT SPLASH OF DEATH has Hogan in spasms. Perhaps he farted on the way down. Another one gets two, and it’s time for the comeback. Big boot and this time he gets the slam, but Bravo distracts the ref and everyone brawls outside again. Hulk slams Quake onto a table and beats the count back in at 13:07. The crowd goes batshit for this terrible finish. However, it set up another few months of matches that did boffo business, so you can’t fault it too much. Standard Hogan house show main event, but the heat was off the charts for it all. **1/2 Quake attacks again after the decision, but Bossman makes the save with a metal stepladder of all things, and puts some NASTY welts in Quake’s back with it. Holy SHIT that would hurt! I should note that the countout finish would have been much more acceptable if the show didn’t feature screwjob finishes up and down the card. Death count: 3 (Quake, Bravo, Bossman). WWF World title, cage match: Ultimate Warrior v. Rick Rude This is the current lame pin/submit/escape rule variation. Like seriously, just pick one or the other. I bet they could have cut 15 minutes out of the show easily by omitting all the cage setup time that’s in here. Their innovation of hanging a cage above the ring was a GODSEND for fans in the arena. We’ve got 10 minutes of airtime left so this will be brisk. Warrior comes in via the top rope with a double axehandle and runs him into the cage, but Rude puts him down and tries to escape. Warrior grabs an ankle to stop him and Rude is already bleeding. Even wussy 1990 cartoonland WWF was more awesome than the current era when it comes to that. Rude puts Warrior down with a SPINNING BACKFIST and then runs him into the cage a few times, but Rude can’t get the Rude Awakening. Warrior powers out and then misses a splash, and this time Rude gets his finisher. They’re really pressed for time here. Rude to the top of the cage with a forearm, and Piper notes that he’s pretty stupid to have not just gone out of the cage there. Rude tries the same thing again, but Warrior slugs him down and goes for the door, which allows Bobby to slam it in his face. That gives Rude two. Collision and both guys are out, but Rude recovers first and goes for the door. Warrior stops him with a full moon and beats up poor Bobby yet again, and he makes the superman comeback. Gorilla press and he climbs out to retain at 10:00. Well at least he didn’t get John Cena’d by Hogan’s comeback match. **1/2 Death count: 1 (Rick Rude) The Pulse This is definitely a show that’s helpful to have lived through in order to enjoy it on a nostalgic level. Because the actual wrestling is the drizzling shits most of the time, and the finishes are AWFUL. But it had a hot crowd and a double main event that gave the people what they wanted to see, so it remains an entertaining spectacle if nothing else and at least still worth a watch these days. Final death count: 12 people out of 10 matches on the show. What more can you say about that?

July PPV Countdown: The Great American Bash 1990

[Note:  The following is based on the commercial video for Great American Bash 1990:  New Revolution.  4 of the minor matches were cut from the tape for time considerations.] The Netcop Retro Rant for Great American Bash 90. – Live from Baltimore, Maryland. – Your hosts are Jim Ross and Bob Caudle. – Opening match, US tag titles:  The Midnight Express v. The Southern Boys.   The Southern Boys, Steve Armstrong and Tracy Smothers, would become better known as the Young Pistols.  They had two principal feuds: This one and with the Freebirds.  Guess which one I liked better.  I consider this match required viewing for all new wrestling fans. If you’ve never seen the *real* Midnight Express in action (ie, Sweet Stan and Beautiful Bobby) and are wondering why everyone loves them so much, run out and rent this tape.  (I’m assuming this is in comparison to the abomination of Bob Holly and Bart Gunn.)  This is a jaw-droppingly great match. Just when you thought the Midnights were on the verge of being done for (okay, they were, but go along with me for the sake of argument) they go and pull this thing out of their bag of tricks.  This is also the match that turned the ‘Boys from heatless slackjawed yokels into serious title contenders.  That’s no mean feat.  Midnights have their own built-in fanbase here, getting solid babyface reactions a lot of the time.  Cool moment:  Stan Lane and Tracy Smothers have a martial arts duel, drawing super heat from the fans.  It’s cool shit like that, out of nowhere, in the middle of a match, that set the Midnights apart from everyone else. The sustained heat here is incredible.  Smothers plays Ricky Morton, as the Midnights get to show off all their cool stuff.  Cornette and Lane bolted to form SMW in November of 1990, so this is basically the swan song for the Midnights and they make it count.  Armstrong gets the hot tag and goes nuts, and the ‘Boys hit their finisher with the ref distracted.  Chaos ensues:  The Midnights hit the Rocket Launcher, just get two.  Ref is distracted again, and the ‘Boys do the old switcheroo (in what is usually a sure-fire match ender) and get a two count. Smothers is up and ready to finish Eaton, but the ref is distracted with Armstrong, and Lane nails a bee-yoo-tee-ful savate kick right to the back of Tracy’s head from the apron, and Eaton cradles him for the pin. Magnificent.  ****1/2  The crowd is nearly breathless after that one. Cornette called it one of the best Midnight Express matches EVER.  (Pretty sure I redid this match somewhere else later, because this seems very breezy compared to how I remember writing it, plus I distinctly recall rating this at ****3/4.  Any help, obsessive fans?)  – Gordon Solie interviews the Freebirds.  I know it’s not politically correct to make fun of effeminate males, but they just looked soooooo faggy in this time period.  I mean, really now, mascara and eye shadow? And the sequined outfits?  And people thought Goldust was shameless…  (Perhaps they were just metrosexual.)  – Big Van Vader v. Tom Zenk.  Hey, it’s Tom Zenk, how appropriate after that last interview.  (Was there a “Tom Zenk is gay” meme going around in 1998?)  And don’t blink or you’ll miss Vader killing him in his WCW debut.  Steam-spewing helmet and all.  Vader didn’t really make any kind of notable impression in WCW until late 1991.  Big splash for the pin.  *  Always good to see Vader in the early years, though.  (I should really redo this show.)  – Solie interviews the Horsemen. – The Fabulous Freebirds v. The Steiner Brothers.  Thank god Zenon is at the bar tonight so I don’t have to listen to him yelling “Yeah, Badstreet USA! Crank it!” when the Freebirds come out.  (It’s true, that did happen very often.)  The Freebirds are useful in exactly two areas:  Selling the Steiners’ offense and pissing off the crowd.  They excel at both.  Steiners pummel the Birds for 5 or 6 minutes, which is good, but then Jim Garvin gets into the match, which is very very bad.  Hot tag, Frankensteiner, but ref is otherwise occupied.  Garvin DDTs Scott while Rick belly-to-bellys Hayes, and since the Steiners are the butchest team in the match, Scott gets to pin Garvin for the win.  A better Birds match than usual, thanks entirely to the Steiners’ godliness at this point in history.  ***  (Ugh, this rant is driving me a little crazy.)  – Arn Anderson, Barry Windham & Sid Vicious v. Paul Orndorff, Junkfood Dog and El Gigante.  The lowpoint of the show.  (Orndorff and JYD were hired by Ole Anderson because they would work cheap, and that’s about it.)  This is Gigante’s debut, so if you ever invent a time machine and need to know when to send the assassin back to kill him, this is it.  (His own body took care of that for us.)  Luckily he doesn’t so much as touch anyone in this match.  But the Horsemen still cower every time they get near, because he’s 7’7″.  Welcome to the internal logic of wrestling, folks.  The “Dudes with Attitudes” basically no-sell all of the Horsemen offense while the fans scream for Sid to get in (poor souls), until a melee breaks out and Sid tosses JYD over the top rope for a DQ.  *1/2 – Gordon Solie interviews Flexy Lexy. – US title match:  Lex Luger v. Mean Mark (w/ Paul E. Dangerously). Before the urns, evil brothers, casket matches, 2 WWF titles, (Only 2?  This is definitely written in 98 then.) costume changes, deaths, resurrections and Inferno matches, there was only “Mean” Mark Callous, a two-bit big man who could walk the ropes.  WCW considered him unmarketable and dumped him unceremoniously a month after this match, figuring it a futile gesture to bother resigning him.  This is the same governing body that thought the Black Scorpion was a good idea.  In November of 1990, Vince McMahon made them look like the idiots they were by repackaging Mark Callous and debuting him at the Survivor Series in a gimmick that would literally change the face of wrestling forever.  He seems to do that sort of thing a lot, doesn’t he?  And thus was the Undertaker born of WCW’s usual collective corporate boneheadedness.  As for this match, well, just imagine if Lex Luger and Undertaker fought tomorrow, then imagine them 8 years younger, and you’ve about got it.  Punch, kick, armbar here.  It’s so weird seeing Mark display actual emotion and move-selling.  Given his abilities in both areas, I can say without fear of contradiction that the Undertaker is the perfect character for him to play.  Luger with 3 clotheslines and the Rack, but the ref gets bumped and Paul E. whacks Luger with the phone and revives the ref.  Only a two count, then Luger pops up, nails both Mark and Paul E. with rights, then clotheslines Mean Mark and gets the pin (?).  *1/2  Kind of an anti-climactic move to get the win with, no?  A good looking clothesline from Luger for once, though… – Solie interviews Sting. – NWA World tag team title:  Doom v. The Rock N Roll Express.  How deeply fitting that the last gasp of greatness for the Midnight Express should come on the same card as the last gasp of greatness for their eternal rivals, the Rock N Roll Express.  Shakespeare himself couldn’t have written more perfectly suitable irony.  (That’s not really iro…whatever.)  Robert Gibson banged up his knee shortly after this match and the team degenerated into what you see stinking up WWF Shotgun on the weekends.  By Bash 91, Morton and Gibson were fighting each other.  This, by contrast, is an excellent way to end the Rock N Roll legacy in the NWA, as they symbolically allow Doom to step into the “legend” area.  Reed & Simmons had become incredibly improved as a team at this point, in stark contrast to the lumbering dolts who debuted under masks at Havoc 89.  Doom controls this one, with Ricky Morton playing…uh…well…Ricky Morton.  Doom beats on him like he’s their bitch.  The Baltimore crowd is almost ECW-ish, completely turning on the Rock N Rolls as Doom gets more and more offense in. Morton does get several near falls in, keeping the pace up.  A Reed chinlock slows it down a bit.  Here’s why the top rope rule used to be a good idea:  The heels would toss the face over the top with the ref distracted, and the face would sell it like he’d been shot.  That’s good, old-school wrestling tactics.  The fans would eat it up, too, and they do just that here.  Reed misses a splash and Morton hot-tags Gibson.  Katie, bar the door, it’s a pier-six brawl!  Hey, Gordon Solie is in the building, how can I *not* use his cliches?  (Obviously this is pre-BONZO GONZO for me.)  Chaos ensues, of course, and Reed hits Gibson with a shoulderblock off the top as Gibson is beating up poor Teddy Long.  Doom retains.  Great match!  **** – Solie interviews the runner-up in People’s Online Beautiful People poll.  (Oh yeah, I remember that!  RSPW ran a ballot-stuffing write-in campaign for Ric Flair and almost got him elected Beautiful Person of the Year or something.)  – NWA World Title match:  Ric Flair v. Sting.  You know the setup, right?  Sting is invited to join the Horsemen in 89 so Flair and his cronies can leech the youth factor from him, but Sting is STUPID enough to actually challenge Flair for the title *and* trust him not to retaliate.  What a maroon.  The Horsemen turn on him like ugly on Dionne Warwick and destroy his knee, putting him on the shelf for months and turning Lex Luger into a babyface again in the process.  This is the blowoff match.  And how overbooked can you get?  No DQ, no countout, The Dudes with Attitudes are around the ring to keep the Horsemen out, AND Ole Anderson is handcuffed to El Gigante.  They must have gotten Flair drunk before he agreed to sign *that* lop-sided a deal.  I miss Sting. The real Sting, not the bum who’s been sitting in the rafters and letting his muscles atrophy for months on end. (Must have been written in 97 then.  This REALLY needs a redo if that’s the case!)  This was *supposed* to be the match where Sting was introduced to the world and Flair faded into the sunset.  He would of course go on to win 7 more World titles after this.  (And then a few more after I wrote THAT.)  Ring psychology:  The Horsemen killed Sting’s knee, and even the marks remembered it, so when kicks him there, they all gasp in fear.  This is like the Reader’s Digest Condensed Version of the Flair-Sting series.  Flair works on the knee and goes “Whoo” a lot. Sting comeback, but Flair destroys the knee and builds to the figure-four.  Crowd is oddly quiet even for the Sting offensive portions.  Sting comeback, and he seems unsure of what the script is. Kinda weird little segment, actually.  Anyway, he gets his shit together and gives Flair the Stinger splash, which is always a good start, and puts him in the Scorpion deathlock.  Flair escapes as the Horsemen and Dudes with Attitudes brawl on the rampway.  Crowd can sense the ending is near and start to buzz.  Token wrestling sequence (bridge, backslide, you know the routine) leads to Stinger splash #2, but Flair moves and Sting crashes into the turnbuckle…knee first.  The crowd gasps like Flair is the villain in a movie serial and Sting is Penelope.  Flair (Nyah-hah-hahhaha…all he needs is a moustache to twirl) goes for the figure-four, but Our Hero does the done-to-death inside cradle to reverse it, and gains his first World title in the process.  And the crowd goes BALLISTIC.  Wow, they were really saving that sucker up. ***  For a really outstanding Flair-Sting match, see the first Clash of Champions in 1988, or Clash 27 in 1994 where they unify the two World titles. The Bottom Line:  Cartoonish main event aside, this was a terrific effort on WCW’s part to kickstart the Sting title reign.  So what the fuck happened?  (Ole Anderson.)  WCW went completely into the tank between this show and the debut of the Dangerous Alliance in late 1991.  (Ole Anderson.) Still, a commendable effort all around for this one.  Highly recommended.  (Youtube the Midnights match, skip the rest.) 

Assorted May PPV Countdown: NWA Capital Combat 1990

The Netcop Retro Rant for Capital Combat 1990   This was a one-shot show from 1990 in the place that Slamboree would be today.  (Slamboree is of course nowhere today but our memories.)  It’s the Robocop show, but I’m working my way through a bottle of Bacardi rum, so I think I’m prepared.  (God, rum used to give me such a headache.  I only drink vodka now, no hangover and it mixes with ANYTHING.  Americans will never understand the brilliance of the Caesar.)  This is the WHIP-ASS Turner Home Video edited version, where they cut out 90 minutes of shit and leave two hours of good matches.   (Too bad they couldn’t cut out Ole’s time as booker.)  Live from Washington, DC   Your hosts are Jim Ross and Bob Caudle.   Opening match, hair v. hair:  Paul Ellering v. Teddy Long.  Now this always struck me as a pointless match, given that both guys are already bald or near-bald.  Missy Hyatt is the guest ring announcer, and that just gets the night off to a terrific start.  Strictly comedy as Long is wearing boxing gloves and headgear.  Match lasts all of a minute, as Long loads up the boxing glove, but Ellering steals it and plasters him for the pin.  A professional hairstylist cuts off what hair Long has left.  We’ll be generous and go DUD   (Teddy never did get that hair back, did he?)  Tony interviews Ole Anderson the Bookerman, along with Horsemen members AA, Flair and Sid Vicious (who is wearing a tuxedo that looks as though it was specifically designed to show that people as big as Sid should not be wearing that particular tuxedo, and has a look on his face as if to say that he is aware of the design specs and doesn’t give a shit).  Flair wishes he could deliver heel interviews this good today. Sid does what he does best – stand in the background and look imposing.   US tag team title match:  Brian Pillman & Tom Zenk v. The Midnight Express. (At this point I should once again recommend tracking down one of the Jim Cornette shoot interviews where he talks about his relationship with Ole Anderson at this time, because it’s howlingly funny stuff.   All the shit that Ole put Jim through, leading to him taking Stan Lane and going to form SMW, is just mind-blowingly stupid.  Plus Ole hated Pillman and Zenk for being pretty boys, to which both of them essentially took an attitude of “Pin me and pay me” regardless.  In fact, Zenk had an infamous appearance on Dave Meltzer’s radio show in 2000 where he talked about the grief that Ole was giving him and that Ole was basically saying Zenk should be so grateful for his miniscule salary that he should be offering to suck Ole’s cock in return.  Figuratively, one would hope.  So Zenk was protesting that he was making peanuts and Sting was making $750,000 a year, so why not harass Sting instead?  Ole apparently went into a tirade that for Sting’s money, he would be HAPPY to suck cock all day long!  So you can see that Ole was truly the first “People Power” Executive VP.  In fact, there would be worse ideas than ripping off all the backstage stuff Ole did in 1990 for use as a heel GM today.)   Jim Cornette is locked in a steel cage at ringside.  For those keeping score, everyone in the match is FUCKING GREAT at this point.  A brawl erupts and Cornette casually attempts to not be in the cage, but the champs lock in him there themselves.  Ross:  “Cornette was a mixed doubles champion in college…of course, his partner was named Jack”. He also makes fat jokes about Jimbo, to really stress who the heels are. (To be fair, Cornette was getting pretty fat at that point.)  Pillman and Zenk do the Rock N Roll Express “double team the Midnights into oblivion” sequence that must have taken hours to choreograph. Damn, the Midnights were so good that it hurts.  (I believe it was Pillman who once described working with the Midnights as being a pilot and having a pair of air traffic controllers guiding you to the landing strip safely.)  Lane gets caught in the wrong corner and double-teamed again.  Pillman controls the Express with armdrags, and the Express keep running back to the caged Cornette for advice.  See, psychology – the Express are without their manager, and are disoriented.  The champs continue to relentlessly double-team the Express, and the Express can’t get anything going, as Eaton accidentally backdrops Lane over the top rope when they try the standard “knee to the back” move in an attempt to catch Zenk in the corner.  (Pretty awesome that they’d turn the normal cheapshot spot into a babyface offensive move.)  Finally, Pillman misses a charge after a wrestling sequence and Pillman tumbles to the floor.  Eaton gives him a neckbreaker on the floor, and Lane pushes him off the apron into the steel railing as he gets in the ring.  I love that bump.  (I wish Pillman would have taken less bumps given the benefit of hindsight, but that goes for a lot of guys.)  Lane is infinitely smooth, slingshotting back into the ring and hitting a clothesline on the way up off the mat.  More double-team creamy goodness so delicious you feel like you just had a bowl of New England Clam Chowder from Boston Pizza, as the Express batters Pillman as only they can. (I must have recently eaten a bowl of New England Clam Chowder from Boston Pizza to have that particular metaphor on my mind.  Can’t say as I’ve ordered the soup there any time in recent memory since then, though.)  Eaton hits a Randy Savage elbow for two.  The Express is getting some serious face heat.  You know why?  Because they’re FEELING IT TONIGHT, BAYBEE!  Pillman even juices after a Roaring Elbow from Lane.  Eaton nails the Alabama Jam but wastes 0.5 seconds staggering around and that allows Pillman to kick out.  Pillman reverses a tilt-a-whirl and gets the hot tag.  Zenk gets his lame sleeper on Lane but gets legswept and Rocket Launched, and it gets two for the Express. Zenk with a bodyblock for two, and Pillman comes in protest the count. So Lane hits an enzuigiri on Zenk and Eaton casually cradles Zenk for the pin and the US tag titles.  ****1/4   (Fuck Ole Anderson for breaking up Zenk & Pillman, because they should have been something GREAT.  Zenk, by the way, has become one of the great mysterious figures of wrestling now, disappearing entirely into private life and basically telling anyone who contacts him to fuck off.  Dave Meltzer’s cryptic comment on the situation was that Zenk is in no position to appear on his show again and that’s all he would say.  Wonder if Zenk’s in jail or something now?) In the back…Robocop is here!  Shame on Gordon Solie for taking part in this.   Sting, injured but still enough of a draw to advertise on PPV, comes out with Robocop.  But wait, it’s the Horsemen, and they’re locking Sting in the little cage that Cornette was in!  Who can save Sting? ROBOCOP~!  He pulls the door off the hinges and rescues Sting. The Horsemen run away.  This little gem earned a place of honor on Netcop Busts, as if you couldn’t tell.   (Back then, we didn’t have YouTube.  Thank god, now we do:  )

I’m 90% certain Ole didn’t shell out the money to have Peter Weller in the suit.

Tony brings out Junkfood Dog, which sets up the Flair-JYD match at the next Clash, a match which might possibly be one of the worst ever. Cornette comes out to badmouth, but doesn’t get anywhere.   Corporal punishment match:  The Rock N Roll Express v. The Freebirds. (Here’s a WCW story for you:  Originally this was advertised as a “Capital Punishment” match, before they hastily sent out corrections a week later.  That would have been quite the stipulation.)  Everyone gets a leather strap to use how they want.  (Michael Hayes probably wanted to make a headband out of it.)  Major stalling from Hayes as he gets into an intense argument with the fans at ringside. The RnR did not yet suck at this point.  (Boy, they were sure in that weirdly uncomfortable zone between teen idols and veterans, though.  It’s like the midlife crisis of wrestlers, and thankfully Shawn Michaels worked through that shit and reinvented himself as a result.  Marty Jannetty never quite got a handle on it.)  Garvin gets double-teamed in the corner pretty quick.  The Express grab straps and whip the Birds out of the ring.  The Rock N Roll do some heelish no-tag switching, pissing off Michael Hayes to no end.  We get the inevitable double-figure-four spot.  It’s just not the same with teams other than the Horsemen.  See, the beauty of that spot is the irony involved in putting the move on guys who are normally associated with it.  Hayes and Gibson have a Mexican standoff with the straps, and of course Hayes loses.  Birds take control on Gibson, who manages to tag in Ricky Morton, and of course Morton gets NAILED by Hayes, because, you know, he’s Ricky Morton and his job is to get beat up.  The Freebirds’ job is SUCK ASS and they excel at it here, resting so lazily that they could join the Teamster’s Union tomorrow.  (Was that a Simpsons reference specifically at that point?  I remember Homer doing the yawn-off with the Teamsters at one point, but the Homer trucking episode would have long after this was written, I’m thinking.)  Gibson gets the hot tag, but gets DDT’d in short order. Hayes goes for another, and Morton sunset flips in for the pin.  Nice ending, dull match.  **1/4   Tony brings in “The World’s Strongest Man”, Doug Furnas.  (RIP.  Sad face.)  Man, that title gets tossed around a lot.  He’s too boring so we bring out Sting, with words for Flair.  He’s wearing black and white face-paint…what could that mean?  TUNE INTO NITRO TO FIND OUT!   NWA World tag team title:  The Steiner Brothers v. Doom.  Jim Ross is practically squirming in his seat in anticipation of reeling off the football backgrounds.  Doom, meet Credibility.  Credibility, Doom.  I’ll let you two get acquainted.  Teddy Long debuts the DOO RAG OF DOOM that would stay on his head until his recent jump to the WWF.  Scott is beginning his journey to Superstar Billy Graham territory, looking more pumped up than usual.  (And then his arm muscles almost literally fell off the bone soon after this.  GEE, I WONDER WHY?)  He trades power stuff with Doom as they go through the feeling out process.  Rick tags in and throws a bunch of clotheslines.  It’s hard to believe that the Steiners had only been a team for less than a year at this point, given that they appeared unbeatable. (WCW did a HELL of a job with them.)  Simmons puts his head down and takes a nasty, fucked up piledriver from Rick (what a surprise), as Rick falls forward instead of backwards.  What the hell was he thinking there? (“Damn!”) Scott with a shoulderbreaker on Reed to establish a body part to punish.  Reed, however, comes back with a WICKED AWESOME high knee (Ed Leslie, take notes) to take control for Doom.  Doom pounds on Scott with some surprisingly energetic stuff.  Believe it or not, Doom is FEELING IT!  I didn’t know they had it in them.  Of course, Scott Steiner (pre-1994) is GOD, so if anyone can make them look good, it’s him.  Suddenly, he hits the Frankensteiner out of nowhere and makes the hot tag to Rick. Steinerline and powerslam gets two.  Double suplex gets two.  Pier six erupts and Doom hits a Doomsday Device-type thing for two.  Rick puts Reed on the top rope and goes for a belly-to-belly, but Simmons nails him from behind and pushes Reed off the top, onto Rick, for the pin and the incredibly shocking upset for the World tag team titles!  Sure, this is no big deal 9 years later when Doom is actually a big name in tag team wrestling, but at the time this was “Holy shit” type booking.  And can you believe Reed and Simmons carried the match?  Wow.  ***3/4   (I think that’s even a little high, but these teams had some great chemistry together.)  Tony interviews the champs.   Main Event, NWA World title, cage match:  Ric Flair v. Lex Luger.  (They were really in a corner with this match, actually.  This should have been a tag match or a non-title match or something where Luger wasn’t positioned to blow it, because basically they had booked themselves into the position where Luger was once again the hot guy on top of the promotion, but Sting had been promised the belt and they wanted Flair to be the guy to lose to him.  I suppose it’s a good problem to have two top babyface main event stars, but they handled it terribly.  Logically, if Sting was able to get around, they could have done Flair & Windham v. Luger & Sting.  Or had Luger defending the US title against Windham on top with Flair as special referee trying to screw him over.  Then Sting could come out and beat up Flair and count the winning pin himself. )  The referee checks Woman’s gloves before the match…and actually finds something!  Man, I’ve never seen the ref actually find something on the pre-match frisk.  Luger gets a two count off a clothesline right away. Flair tries to run and gets suplexed back in.  Luger gets the gorilla press, twice.  Flair comes back with chops, which are no-sold.  Luger with a hiptoss and clothesline, then he no-sells more chops.  Flair tries to climb the cage, which is silly because the top is turned inwards.  He comes down and chops Luger, and this time Luger sells.  He rams Luger to the cage, then more chops.  Flair goes to the knee in the ring, and of course Luger is wrestling with an injured knee to begin with.  Flair with the kneedrop and delayed suplex, but Luger no-sells and clotheslines Flair.  10 punch count, then a cross-corner whip that leads to a Flair Flip.  Luger clotheslines him coming off the top turnbuckle and they brawl outside.  Flair tries to run away again.  They fight on the cage and Flair gets rammed to the steel a few times. Facefirst to the post, and Flair blades.  I find that amazing because Flair has no tape on his wrists or fingers, and yet he goes into the blading crouch and comes up bloody, so he found a razor blade somewhere. (Probably on the mirror along with the coke.)  Back in the ring for the 10 punch count again, and then a clothesline for two.  Flair rolls out and climbs the cage again, and Flair gets rammed into it again.  Flair is doing a four-alarm bladejob here.  Back in the ring, where Luger no-sells chops and a flying forearm.  Lex with the superplex, but Luger blows out his knee on the landing.  Uh oh, Lex, don’t hold your knee when Ric Flair is around…too late.  Ric The Evil Bastard surfaces, as he punishes the knee in every way possible. Figure-four.  With the help of the ropes, of course.  The Horsemen make their way down to ringside.  Luger makes the superman comeback with three clotheslines.  Another clothesline gets two.  Gorilla press.  Stig runs down to take out the Horsemen, and El Gigante joins him. Meanwhile, Lex is choking out Flair.  Suddenly, the cage starts moving up, and Barry Windham slides in.  Luger gets the Rack, and Windham breaks it up for the lame, lame DQ.  The Horsemen lower the cage again and do a beatdown of a lifetime on Luger.  Still, Flair could carry a broomstick to **** at this point, so ****1/2   (No, that’s such a bad finish, I can’t do any better than **** in good conscience.  It just doesn’t hold up.)  The Bottom Line:   Hey, can’t really lose with this tape.  If you want to see Mick Foley jobbing to Bastion Booger and Undertaker making Johnny Ace his bitch, (Unlike now where he has to call him “Boss”) then by all means track down the full PPV version, but for sane people the home video version is super terrifico.   Very recommended.