wrestling / Video Reviews

The SmarK Retro Repost – Chi-Town Rumble ’89

June 28, 2002 | Posted by Scott Keith

The Netcop Retro Rant for Chi-Town Rumble 1989

– Live from Chicago, IL (duh)

– Your hosts are Jim Ross and Magnum TA

– Interestingly enough, this is almost 10 years to the day before this

year’s edition of Superbrawl, the show that took this one’s place in the

February slot.

– Opening match: Michael Hayes v. The Russian Assassin. The

FatAssassin is Jack Victory, doing double-duty tonight. This is before

Hayes’ 89 heel turn and US title victory. Mercifully clipped to the 10

minute (!) mark, which shows how bad it must have been. The “Russian”

controls with a chinlock for a couple of minutes, but Hayes comes back

with the few moves he knows (bulldog, suplex, DDT) for the pin. Looked

to be about 1/2*

– “Hacksaw” Butch Reed v. Sting. Okay, I have to ask: What the hell is

a soupbone right and why does Jim Ross only use in reference to Butch

Reed? Pretty boring match, with Sting working on the arm and then Reed

responding with heel stuff. This was just another placeholder match

until Sting got the TV title in March. Long chinlock spot from Reed

(with requisite feet on the ropes to work up the crowd). Reed is managed

by Hiro Matsuda here, the guy who took over all of JJ Dillon’s contracts

when he left for the WWF. Reed badly blows a clothesline spot, missing

Sting and going tumbling out of the ring. It looked really awkward and

Sting looks like he’s having trouble keeping a straight face. Reed does

everything from hair-pulling to tights-pulling to hammer home the point

that he’s a heel. Sting makes the superman comeback, but Reed tosses

him to the apron. Sting sunset-flips his way back in, but Reed holds

onto the ropes for two. Teddy Long breaks the hold on the ropes and

Sting finishes the sunset flip for three. Sting is just crazy over.

1/2* No way this thing deserved TWENTY MINUTES. Ugh.

– Loser-leaves-NWA: The Midnight Express & Jim Cornette v. The Midnight

Express & Paul E. Dangerously. Well, not quite. Dennis Condrey is

already fired, so Jack Victory (last seen jobbing in the opening match)

is subbing. That pretty much gives away the fact that Randy Rose would

be the one leaving here. Lane and Rose start out. It always struck me

as odd that someone named Jack Victory would be a jobber. Cornette gets

into the act right away, dropping a double-team elbow on Victory along

with Eaton. In a cute spot, Eaton holds Rose and Cornette gets a shot

in, then Rose holds Lane for Dangerously, but Lane reverses and Paul E

nails his own man. Eaton takes a Pillman-esue bump to the steel railing

to become Ricky Morton. Oh, the irony. Paul E of course gets his shots

in now. So Cornette tags in and calls out Dangerously, but gets

sucker-punched and Dangerously gets his shots in. Cornette takes some

good shots from the heels, earning my respect. Lane gets the hot tag

and beats up Victory, but *he* gets sucker-punched too. Man, everyone

is getting the beats put on them. Healthy “Paul E Sucks” chant from the

crowd. Randy Rose does the WORST impression Stan Lane I’ve ever seen.

Eaton gets the hot tag and hits Victory with a sweet missile dropkick to

a big pop, then forces a tag to Paul E to a bigger pop. Cornette comes

in and throws some stiff right hands and a good clothesline (well,

compared to Lex Luger), then a pier-six erupts. Lane gets a two-count

after a missed Rose dive. The Original Midnights get control, but a

collision allows the Real Midnights to hit the Flapjack on Randy Rose

and get the pin. Good match, and Cornette and Dangerously obviously

take their art seriously. ***

– A historic interview as TV champ Rick Steiner brings out his brother

Scott, who justifies Rick’s goofiness by bringing up the car accident

that nearly ended his life a few years prior. This was Scott’s first

appearance.

– World TV title match: Rick Steiner (w/ Scott Steiner) v. Mike

Rotundo. Rick won the belt from Rotundo at Starrcade 88 in a match that

ranks as one of the biggest pure markout moments for me. It should be

noted that Rick’s imaginary friend Alex pre-dated Mr. Socko by ten

years. This is a very scientific match, as both guys are total mat

wrestlers at this point. Well, not in the Lou Thesz manner, but Rotundo

isn’t doing the usual heel stuff. Match goes back and forth, with

Steiner getting control, but Kevin Sullivan wanders out and notes that

Steiner “has a very nice dog in the back”. Rick is distracted by this,

and Rotundo takes advantage with a backdrop suplex for two. Rick comes

back with a sleeper, but as the ultimate demonstration of his own

stupidity, he lays back on the mat for leverage and gets counted down

for three, giving Rotundo the TV title. ***1/4

– US title match: Barry Windham v. Lex Luger. This is the much-delayed

blowoff match for Windham’s Horsemen turn nearly a year prior, and the

last time Windham would ever be truly over. Luger beats the crap out of

Windham early on, but misses a flying bodypress (!) and Windham takes

over. They fight outside the ring and Windham takes a swing at Luger

and hits the ringpost, “breaking” his hand. Windham blades his hand for

added effect. He gets his dreaded claw-hold, but can’t hold on because

of the hand. Never did get that move. Windham continues wearing Luger

down and goes for the superplex, selling the hand injury the whole time.

It gets two. Windham does a belly-to-back suplex, but Luger lifts his

shoulder and gets the US title for a second time. Windham throws a

tantrum and piledrives Luger on the belt. One of Luger’s best matches.

***1/2 Windham would take a couple of months off and then bolt to the

WWF.

– NWA World tag team title match: The Road Warriors v. Steve Williams &

Kevin Sullivan. Williams and Sullivan were the US tag champs as this

point. Vicious bit as Williams takes a double clothesline from the LOD

(front and back at the same time) and Jim Ross sells it as though Dr.

Death should be dead. Animal ends up as face in peril. Hot tag to Hawk

and he just kills the Varsity Club. Totally fubared ending as everyone

misses their cue, and it ends up with Hawk pinning Sullivan after a

clothesline from the top. Bleh. *1/2

– NWA World title match: Ric Flair v. Ricky Steamboat. This was the

first of their best of 193988 series, which Steamboat won 193987 to 1.

But Flair won the last one, and that’s what mattered in the end.

Flair’s entrance is complete with a line of women and a row of trumpets

to herald him. Now THAT’S an entrance. I ask you — why would David

Flair go to HOGAN to get a woman when his father had 40 of them lining

the aisles just for his ring entrances? They exchange some mind-blowing

chops and Steamboat gets a two count. They play mind-games with each

other over things as simple as a headlock, which is pretty neat to see.

They’re just letting it all hang out, as Flair does the overselling

thing with a near-dive over the top rope from the force of a chop.

Geez, talk about putting someone over. Flair drags him out and cheats

like a bastard, to the delight of the ringside fans. They are literally

hitting each other so hard that I’m flinching from watching it. Flair

flip leads to a flying bodypress, which is reversed for two. Flair

gets the figure-four and grabs onto the ropes for leverage and the crowd

is nearing a riot. Is that Dave Meltzer at ringside…with an afro?

More chops and both guys go spilling over the top rope. Flair gets some

two-counts off a suplex. Backbreaker for two and some two-counts, with

the feet on the ropes, of course. Steamboat gets two on a rollup. He

misses the flying bodypress and they go into a wrestling sequence off a

headlock, which leads to a butterfly suplex for two for Steamboat.

Backslide for two. Crowd is SERIOUSLY into this. Steamer with a flying

tackle and he hits the CHOP OF DEATH from the top, then goes for the

flying bodypress, but Tommy Young gets bumped. Flair tosses Steamboat,

but Steamboat hangs on and goes for the bodypress again. It misses, and

Flair goes for the figure-four as Teddy Long runs in to sub for the

original ref. Steamboat reverses to a small package and gets the

winning pinfall to claim his first World title. Would’ve been Match of

the Year if they hadn’t gone and topped themselves later in the year.

****3/4 And that last 1/4* was ONLY knocked off because WrestleWar was

*that* much better.

The Bottom Line: Well, I always thought the name was pretty lame. I

mean, Chi-Town Showdown has a better ring to it. But regardless, any

show with a Flair-Steamboat main event gets a thumbs up from me. Even

if the name does suck.

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Scott Keith

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