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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Starrcade ’90: Collision Course

December 16, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Starrcade ’90: Collision Course  

Starrcade ’90: Collision Course
by J.D. Dunn

  • December 16, 1990
  • Live from St. Louis, Mo.
  • Your hosts are Jim Ross and Paul E. Dangerously.

  • Opening Match: Bobby Eaton vs. Tom Zenk.
    This is Eaton’s solo PPV debut as Ross points out. It’s kind of funny to hear Paul E. talking about what a great guy Eaton is since they were at odds during the Midnights vs. Original Midnights feud. They take it to the mat early. Zenk lands on his feet off a reverse monkeyflip and fires off a few dropkicks. Eaton tries to suplex into the ring, but Zenk reverses and suplexes him on the ramp. Big pop for that. Zenk hits a flying pescado. Heyman and Ross’ argument over the legality or illegality of suplexing your opponent out is pretty funny. Eaton hits the Alabama Jam for two. He doesn’t go for the pin, instead, hitting a neckbreaker. Bobby goes up again but comes off into a superkick. Zenk’s missile dropkick misses, and Bobby cradles him for the win at 8:46. This really started getting good at the end. Could have been better if Eaton heeled it up a bit more. **1/2

  • Pat O’Connor Memorial Tag Tournament: The Steiner Bros. (USA) vs. Col. DeKlerk & Sgt. Kruger (S. Africa).
    This is part of an eight-team tournament in honor of former NWA Champion Pat O’Connor. Think TNA’s World X Cup. DeKlerk is the future Flyboy Rocco Rock. Kruger is Matt Bourne (the original Doink the Clown). It’s kind of funny to watch Kruger wrestle with some of the same mannerisms as Doink. The Steiners destroy both guys. One sick spot sees DeKlerk go for a somersault plancha, but Rick just catches him and drops him on the floor. Scott tags in and finishes with the tilt-o-whirl sideslam followed by the Frankensteiner at 2:12. **

  • Pat O’Connor Memorial Tag Tournament: Chris Adams & Norman Smiley (Great Britain) vs. Rey Misterio & Konan (Mexico).
    Misterio is the original, not Rey Rey. Konan is Konan, though. Yes, Smiley is the Big Wiggle guy. Smiley and Adams bust out some really cool stuff. Misterio slaps Adams in the face, so Adams ROCKS him with a superkick. Konnan hits the flying armdrag, but Norman comes back with a Fisherman’s Suplex for one. The Mexicans come back with doubleteam moves. Konnan hits a spiffy reverse suplex out of the tree-of-woe to finish Smiley at 5:29. Nobody was doing anything like this in America at the time. I would have liked to have seen more of Adams and Smiley as a tag team. ***

  • Pat O’Connor Memorial Tag Tournament: The Great Muta & Mr. Saito (Japan) vs. Jack Victory & Rip Morgan (New Zealand).
    This is a total “oil and water” match. Jack Victory is about as plain as you can get at this point. Rip and Saito are your powerhouses. Muta is awesome, but he can only do so much. The crowd pops for all of Muta’s moves. The New Zealanders go for a doubleteam, but it backfires, and Muta is able to finish with the Bridging German Suplex at 5:41. *

  • Pat O’Connor Memorial Tag Tournament: Troy Montour & Bull Johnson (Canada) vs. Victor Zangiev & Salman Hashimikov (Russia).
    Oh, and I thought the last match was an awkward matchup. Montour looks kind of like the lost Mulligan. I can’t believe they didn’t get some sort of cooperative crossover going with Street Fighter II for Zangiev. Too bad they look like a landlord and his handyman because the Russians are actually awesome amateur wrestlers. Johnson gets planted on his face off a belly-to-belly suplex. He comes back with a flying crosschop. Hashimikov destroys Montour with a belly-to-belly and gets the awkward pin at 3:54. Looks like they forgot it was supposed to be worked. The match was horrible, but the Russians could probably work well with a team that new what they were doing. 1/4*

  • Terry Taylor vs. Michael Wallstreet (w/Alexandra York).
    Before there was a JBL, there was Michael Wallstreet (Mike Rotundo, or IRS). York is Terri Runnels (or Marlena). Their gimmick was that he was a Wall Street big wig and she was his assistant who used her computer to help analyze his matches. The original IWC. The computer predicts a Wallstreet win in 8:32. To think, earlier in the year, Rotundo was just a lowly skipper on a yacht. The match is almost exactly what you’d expect from these two. Lots of armbars and mat wrestling to kill time. Wallstreet catches Taylor with a backbreaker and applies the rope-assisted abdominal stretch. The ref catches him, though. Taylor makes the big comeback and hits an atomic drop into a backdrop suplex. So that’s where Austin Aries got it. Taylor hits the Fivearm, but Wallstreet is in the ropes. That allows Wallstreet to recover, hit a hotshot, and finish with the Stock Market Crash at 6:53. Standard fare. Wallstreet would jump to the WWF not long after this and become IRS. Taylor, ironically enough, would take over his gimmick. **1/4

  • The Skyscrapers vs. The Big Cat & Motor City Madman.
    The Big Cat is occasionally known as Mr. Hughes, depending on where he is. He doesn’t figure in much. The Skyscrapers are reuniting for one night only because the three-man “monster” heel unit of Big Cat, MCM and the Nightstalker (Bryan Clarke) were pissing Sid off. The Scrapers finish MCM with a doubleteam powerbomb at 1:01. 1/4*

  • Tommy Rich & Ricky Morton (w/Robert Gibson) vs. The Freebirds (w/Little Richard Marley).
    Little Richard is dressed suspiciously like Randy Savage here, reminding me of Black Machismo. The Rock-n-Faux Express clear the ring early and dropkick Marley off the apron. Hayes blocks a whip into the post but gets nailed by Robert Gibson. Back in, STEREO FIGURE-FOURS! Hayes and Garvin make the ropes and get the hell out of there to regroup. Tommy Rich yanks Marley into the ring and spanks him. Morton rolls up Garvin, but Hayes runs in with a bulldog. The ref tries to put Rich and Garvin out as Little Richard tries to break Ricky’s leg. Robert Gibson shoves him off the top into Garvin, though, and Garvin gets pissed at Marley. Morton is able to sneak in and roll Garvin up at 6:14. Not bad. Rich was just fine as a substitute for Gibson. **1/2

  • The Freebirds double DDT Marley, so Rich and Morton return to make the save. That leaves Gibson alone, so the Freebirds give him a double clothesline and run off. Marley would be replaced by Hayes wannabe Diamond Dallas Page.
  • Pat O’Connor Memorial Tag Tournament: Rey Misterio & Konnan vs. The Steiners.
    Konnan does a nifty takedown on Rick, but the Steiners quickly hit the Doomsday Bulldog. Rey Misterio tags in and takes Scott down. Rick tags in and quickly powerbombs Misterio to block a huracanrana at 2:52. 1/4*

  • Pat O’Connor Memorial Tag Tournament: The Great Muta & Mr. Saito vs. Victor Zangiev & Salman Hashimikov.
    The Russians pick up where they left off – dominating the competition. Zangiev hits a backdrop bridging suplex for two. Saito saves and gets in a sasurigatame. Muta tags back in and gets dropped on his head again. Hashimikov takes him over, but Saito saves and finishes with the backdrop suplex at 3:19. *3/4

  • U.S. Title, Texas Lariat Match: Stan Hansen vs. Lex Luger.
    Hansen was the Triple Crown champion in All Japan at this time too. This is just a bullrope match with a fancy name. Luger dominates early but falls to the floor where Hansen has the advantage. Hansen smashes him with a chair (back when it meant something) and tosses him back in. Back in, Luger fights back and touches three of the corners. Hansen yanks him back and hangs him with the rope. Hansen touches three but gets nailed from behind by Luger. Luger touches all four posts, but the ref gets bumped in the process and doesn’t see it. Nick Patrick runs down and watches Hansen touch all four corners. He rules him the winner, but Randy Anderson wakes up and says he saw Luger touch all four after all. Luger reclaims the U.S. Title at 10:35. Surprisingly good brawl out of these two. The finish was pretty typical for a bullrope match. Hansen’s title reign is made all the more puzzling by how short it was and how little was done with it. **1/2

  • NWA World Tag Titles, Street Fight: Doom (w/Teddy Long) vs. Arn Anderson & Barry Windham.
    This was supposed to be Flair & Anderson in a reprise of their Halloween Havoc match, but Flair was “injured” in an attack by Doom. Donnybrook to start. Arn smashes Reed’s knee with a chair and whips him with the strap. Barry Windham gets tossed into the post but comes back with a backdrop suplex on the outside. Arn clocks Reed with a chairshot, and the Horsemen take turns hitting chairshots and whipping Doom. Simmons reverses a whip. SPINEBUSTER! DAMN! ONE, TWO, THR-NO! Simmons press slams Windham and goes up. Barry simply goes low… harshly. SUPERPLEX! Big pop for that. Reed hits Arn with a shoulderblock, but Barry jumps him. Reed returns the favor and goes low on Barry. Simmons blocks a chairshot and hits his own. ONE, TWO, THR-Arn gets the shoulder up. Piledriver on Windham. The Horsemen try a doubleteam, but Reed saves Simmons. Simmons hits Arn with a clothesline and falls on top as Barry small packages Reed. That leads to a double pin at 7:18. Boo on the finish. That should have led to the match continuing. Instead, Doom retains in a draw. The replay shows Barry had Reed pinned quite a bit before Simmons crawled to cover Arn. This was stiff, brutal and intense – much different than the watered-down brawls that would plague WCW in later years. Way too short or it could have been a MOTY. ****

  • Pat O’Connor Memorial Tag Tournament (Finals): The Steiners vs. The Great Muta & Mr. Saito.
    Call me crazy, but I really kinda wanted to see the Steiners take on the Russian team here. I know the Russians didn’t really adapt to the American pro-style *at all*, but it definitely would have been interesting to see all four guys suplexing the hell out of each other. Muta has to carry the entertainment value in this one. Saito beats Rick down with his “karate moves.” Muta goes up but gets crotched. He shakes it off and hits Scott with the handspring elbow. He charges again but gets belly-to-bellied. That looked cool. Steiner just FLUNG him across the ring. Saito hits a backdrop suplex on Rick to take over. Muta adds a bell shot on the outside. Rick hits a Steinerline to come back and tags in Scott. Scott hits the Butterfly Suplex on Muta, but Muta starts choking him. The Japanese hit a spiked piledriver on Scott and toss Rick. For whatever reason, they don’t go for the pin. Saito grabs a sleeper on Scott, but Rick comes off the top with a sunset flip and takes him over for the pin at 10:53. Big pop for the Steiner win. The Japanese worked in their usual spots but outside of that, they kind of dumbed down their offense. **1/4

  • NWA Heavyweight Title, Cage Match: Sting vs. The Black Scorpion.
    Um, can God make a taco so hot that even He can’t eat it? Whoooa. Gnarly space ship. Maintain. Maintaaaaain. Sorry. It’s just the bizarre entrance. See, first a bunch of Black Scorpions all walk down to the cage. Turns out they are just harbingers of the real Black Scorpion who arrives in a weird sort of levitating space ship/disco ball. Dick the Bruiser is your special guest referee and is probably getting a head start rolling over in his grave at this point. For those who don’t know or don’t remember, the Black Scorpion appeared in the summer of 1990 saying he was from Sting’s past and started doing a lot of magic tricks. You know what would have been better than magic tricks? Anything. It’s a good idea for a heel to be malevolent, not asking the audience to tip their waitress. By the way, in any mystery or slasher film whodunit, the general rule is that the guy who was written out early in the film is the killer. Hope that doesn’t give it away. Anyway, there’s not a lot to recap. The Black Scorpion dominates throughout, but he has to keep everything generic so no one can guess his identity. Judging by the chants at ringside, no one is fooled. He uses a gutwrench suplex and a triangle headscissors (Ross points out that’s a popular move in Japan). Scorpion keeps using the ropes for leverage. Sting comes back with a press slam, but he misses a charge and hits the cage. The crowd is really restless throughout. Sting gets sent into the cage, but Sting comes back with the flying bulldog and hits the Stinger Splash. BLACK SCORPION FLOP~! Scorpion Deathlock by Sting. Scorpion makes the ropes. Sting rams him into the ropes and rips his mask off revealing – another mask. Sting and Scorpion fight on the top, and Scorpion crotches himself. Sting tosses him into the cage several times. Scorpion is bleeding as Ross mentions we’re low on time. Flying crossbody! ONE, TWO, THREE! Sting retains at 18:32. All four of the other Scorpions hop in to attack Sting. Sting and the Bruiser fight them off and unmask them. It’s Wild Bill Irwin! No, it’s the Angel of Death (the original choice)! Here’s Arn Anderson to join in on the Black Scorpion side. Ricky Morton and the Steiners storm the ring and cut the cage open. Sting grabs the real Scorpion’s mask and pulls it off – GASP! It’s Ric Flair! The match is about average as the heat was less on the match and more on the identity of the Scorpion. The fact that Flair had to wrestle a more generic style with none of his usual mannerisms or moves meant that it felt like a walk-through. **1/4

  • Okay, let’s do the post-mortem on the Black Scorpion angle. First, it really wasn’t a bad idea in theory. We saw that with the heat generated by the “Higher Power” angle. The problem was in the execution. Had the Black Scorpion been, oh, I don’t know – evil – it might have helped. All he did was do magic tricks. Why not *just* have him be a mysterious masked man who tries to break the babyfaces’ legs or something?
  • The original choice for the Black Scorpion was the Angel of Death (Dave Sheldon) who was Sting’s cohort in Powerteam USA when both men broke into the business in 1985. He was scratched once someone asked, “Who?” The second rumored choice, although not a serious one, was Al Perez who, thanks to an alleged communication error at Turner thought that, since he was playing the Black Scorpion for the Clash, he’d be the real Scorpion. Finally, they just did what they always do and turned to Flair. Unfortunately, all of the wacky hijinx and magic tricks just don’t fit Flair’s style.
  • One of my favorite eras in comic books was in the many Spider-man series when the Hobgoblin was running amuck and everyone was wondering about his identity – Ned Leeds, J. Jonah Jameson, Harry Osborne, Lance Bannon, Richard Fisk (son of the Kingpin), hell, even Aunt May’s name was bandied about. Originally, Hobgoblin was supposed to be millionaire magazine magnet Roderick Kingsley (tied to Spidey through Mary Jane), but with the shuffling of writers, it wound up being Ned Leeds (longtime Peter Parker friend/romantic rival). Fans were only semi-satisfied. A lot of fans pointed out how silly it was that Leeds could go toe-to-toe with Spider-man and yet be killed by a gaggle of thugs. So, nearly a decade later, they retconned the story again, this time righting a creative wrong and making Kingsley the Hobgoblin, explaining that Leeds was his mind-controlled lackey.
  • The point is that it’s always a good idea to know where you’re going when you’re writing an overarching story like the Hobgoblin or Black Scorpion. Otherwise, it turns into a fiasco.
  • The 411: The PPV teeters on the brink of collapsing under its own weight (how's that for a mixed metaphor on balance). With 14 matches making the show, it's overkill, but with all of the different wrestling styles and new faces, none of the matches really overstay their welcome. The Black Scorpion does have kind of a dopey charm to it, though, and the street fight is a must.

    Thumbs up.

    Final Score:  7.0   [ Good ]  legend

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    J.D. Dunn

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