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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Capitol Combat ’90: The Return of Robocop

December 2, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Capitol Combat ’90: The Return of Robocop  

Capital Combat: The Return of Robocop
by J.D. Dunn

  • May 19, 1990
  • Live from Washington, D.C..
  • Your hosts are Jim Ross and Bob Caudle.

  • Opening Match, Hair-vs.-Hair: Paul Ellering vs. Teddy Long.
    Missy Hyatt is your special ring announcer. The joke is that both guys are practically bald anyway. Teddy brings a loaded boxing glove as part of his Sugar Ray Long mini-gimmick. Ellering takes it away from him, waffles him with it, and gets the pin at 1:57. Teddy gets some of his hair cut and then runs off. Short, inoffensive fun. 1/4*
  • Ole Anderson, Arn Anderson and Vicious… Sid Vicious (sorry, the tuxedo threw me) shout threats at Lex Luger. Ric Flair tells Luger not to think he’s even half the man Flair is.
  • U.S. Tag Team Titles: Brian Pillman & Tom Zenk vs. The Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette).
    Jim Cornette is forced into a cage at ringside so he can’t interfere. He tries desperately to stay out of the cage, but the referee, of all people, clocks him. Pillman and Zenk toss Corny into the cage. Superfast start between Pillman and Eaton. Pillman & Zenk doubleteam the MX to oblivion, just like the Rock ‘n’ Rolls used to do early on, only Pillman and Zenk are much better athletes. The Midnights try a doubleteam on Zenk, but it backfires. The Midnights try to regroup, but their manager is locked up. Ross does a great job of pointing out the psychology. Lane tries to hold Zenk for an Eaton charge, but Zenk backdrops him over the top. Pillman grounds Eaton with an armbar. He turns it into a monkeyflip, but Eaton counters ducks a charge. That sends Pillman to the floor, and he works in the Pillman bump – catching his chin on the railing. The Midnights start working Pillman’s neck. Eaton works in the slingshot backbreaker. That NEEDS to be brought back by someone. Pillman gets a sunset flip, but the ref is distracted by Zenk. Eaton hits the Alabama Jam, but he staggers around for a split-second too long and only gets two. Pillman is able to reverse the gutwrench to his own. HOT TAG TO ZENK! Zenk and Pillman clean house on the Midnights, but the ref gets all discombobulated, and Lane is able to enzuigiri Zenk in the back of the head. Eaton catches Zenk in a small package all in one motion. Nice. That gets the pin and the titles at 20:20. It’s hard to fathom how something so repetitive as the Southern tag team formula is can be so damned fun to watch. This was basically the Rock ‘n’ Rolls vs. the Midnights only Zenk and Pillman were younger, faster, quicker, and had more innovative offense. ****

  • Sting comes out for an interview, but The Horsemen jump him and lock him in Cornette’s cage. Who should make the save but Robocop (Turner Entertainment had some incestuous stake in the film, although none of Ted’s companies were actually responsible for the production). Robocop rips the bars off the cage, freeing the Stinger.

    So, just to recap: Robocop’s programmed directives:

    • “Serve the public trust”
    • “Protect the innocent”
    • “Uphold the law”
    • “Shill the movie”
  • Corporal Punishment Match: Rock-n-Roll Express vs. The Fabulous Freebirds.
    Everybody gets a strap to use. The R&R control early and whip the Freebirds all around the ring. Garvin misses a charge, and the R&R get STEREO FIGURE-FOURS! Hayes rakes the eyes to get out, though. Gibson and Morton unload a can of strap-ass on the heels. Did I just hear Bob Caudle say, “dat sumbitch” on PPV? Finally, after over 10 minutes of ass-kicking, Morton goes for an O’Connor Roll and gets CLOCKED by Hayes. Hayes drops a series of elbows on Morton. The Freebirds control for a long time until Garvin goes up and gets slammed by Morton. Hayes cuts off the tag, but Morton blocks the bulldog. HOT TAG TO GIBSON! Hayes DDTs Gibson, but he stops to gloat. He goes for another one, but Morton sneaks up to the top and sunset flips Hayes for the win at 18:32. Fun stuff, but the straps didn’t really figure in much. It was just the usual formula. **3/4

  • Sting returns and voices his support for Lex Luger.
  • NWA World Tag Titles: The Steiner Bros. vs. Doom (w/Teddy Long).
    Rick rips off Teddy Long’s ‘do-rag, revealing… that Teddy Long looks exactly the same as he did before. Simmons and Scott go toe to toe, and Scott knocks Simmons down with a shoulderblock. DAMN! Simmons misses a charge, and Steiner gives him a released German suplex. Reed tags in as Ross giddily runs through everyone’s amateur career. Rick hits a lot of clotheslines and drops Simmons right on his skull with a sick piledriver. Finally, Reed backdrops Rick to the floor and allows Simmons to blindside him. Rick doesn’t care and, in fact, punts Reed in the face off a backdrop attempt. Scott tags in but takes a high knee to the face to become the real face-in-peril. Doom kicks some major ass on Scott. Reed piledrives him and tags in Simmons. They botch a backdrop spot, so they try it again and botch it again. Finally, Scott says “to hell with you Faarooq” and hits a Frankensteiner. HOT TAG TO RICK! The Steiners hit a double suplex, but Reed tosses Rick. Doom hit the old Powers of Pain clothesline finisher, but Rick makes the save. Rick sets up for a belly-to-belly superplex, but Teddy Long distracts the ref. Simmons yanks them down, and Reed falls on top for the pin and the titles at 19:13. Despite a few botched moves, this was a fine power match. This was before everyone got slow and sluggish from too much juice. ***1/4

  • NWA World Heavyweight Title, Cage Match: Ric Flair (w/Woman) vs. Lex Luger.
    Pretty simple booking here, really. Lex Luger was on the verge of winning the World title at WrestleWar, but the Horsemen attacked Sting, forcing Luger to pick between the two. Luger picked saving Sting and missed out on the title. Now, Luger gets a cage match to keep the Horsemen from interfering. Not hard to follow that logic. Luger insists that the ref frisk Woman, and the ref finds something. That prompts Ross to call it an “international object.” Ah yes. Political correctness run amuck. Usually, I don’t have a problem with slight alterations in language to accommodate the times, but this is wholly stupid, unnecessary and inaccurate. See, announcers usually called an object in the ring a “foreign object.” But Turner didn’t want to seem insensitive to the plight of foreigners in this country, so they changed it to “international object.” “Foreign,” for anyone who worked for TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network, CNN, Headline News, Turner Classic Movies, MGM/UA, Atlanta Braves or any Turner subsidiary therein, means “not related to or connected with the item in question.” In this case, a tennis racket, even one made in Hershey, Pennsylvania, is considered a “foreign” item in a wrestling ring. That, and your mustache looks fucking stupid, Ted. Luger dominates throughout the first half of the match, totally destroying Flair and no-selling Flair’s meager attempts at offense. Flair tries to escape, but the cage is bent inward at the top. Luger goes for a simple superplex, though, and messes up his knee on the landing. That gives Flair a target. Flair clips his knee and gets the figure-four. He gets caught using the ropes, though, and has to release it. Ole, Arn and Sid walk down but don’t know how to get into the cage. Sting runs down and cleans house on the Andersons until Sid realizes, “Hey, I should be doing something here.” Sid attacks Sting, but El Gigante walks down and scares the Horsemen away. Ole commandeers the cage control and opens it up just long enough for Barry Windham to sneak in and clip Lex – who had Flair in the Torture Rack the whole time. That’s a DQ at 17:21. Typical Flair-Luger goodness, although the last few moments were missed because of the action on the outside. I liked the epic booking too, and it perfectly set up Sting/Flair at the Great American Bash. ***3/4
  • The 411: Most people remember this for the laughable Robocop segments, but the wrestling was stellar on this show (outside of the Hair match). I know most people are down on the post-89 booking, but this was just fine, setting up the big Sting vs. Flair matchup as well as the Sting/Luger partnership that continued through the 1990s.

    Strong thumbs up.

    411 Elite Award
    Final Score:  8.5   [ Very Good ]  legend

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    J.D. Dunn
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