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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Wrestle War ’90: Wild Thing

November 30, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
7.5
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Wrestle War ’90: Wild Thing  

WrestleWar ’90: Wild Thing
by J.D. Dunn

By law, I’m required to mention the goofy-ass WrestleWar rap that opens the show and the fan in the first few rows with the “We have HERD enough” sign. That may be one of the first ever “smarkish” signs from an audience member.

Update: 24/7 uses a generic rock riff. I should point out that I reviewed the T.H.E. version, but then WWE 24/7 put on the full version, so I’m going back and doing the rest of the matches.

  • February 25, 1990
  • Live from Greensboro, N.C..
  • Your hosts are Jim Ross and Terry Funk.

  • Teddy Long announces that Danny Spivey is injured and won’t compete tonight, but he has a replacement.
  • Opening Match: Buzz Sawyer & Kevin Sullivan vs. The Dynamic Dudes.
    Ace flusters Sawyer with his speed and hits a freakin’ tope. Sawyer gets flustered, and he and Sullivan get into an argument over who is crazier or something. Sullivan finally tosses Shane Douglas to the floor and distracts the ref while Sawyer suplexes him. Sawyer dismantles Shane’s back, disc by disc. Sawyer was apparently not a very nice guy, but he was a damned good wrestler. Kind of a cross between Jamie Noble and The Necro Butcher. Douglas fights out of a bearhug and tags in Ace. The Dudes clean house, but Sawyer hits a snap suplex on Ace and finishes with the Jam Sandwich (Money Shot) at 10:22. It looked like Ace’s neck was legitimately hurt there. The match was nothing special, just the usual formula except no one really cared if the Dudes lived or died. *1/2

  • In the back, Norman the Lunatic solicits hugs and kisses from Missy Hyatt. You know what… I’m not even going to say anything. Just gonna leave it alone.
  • Norman the Lunatic vs. Cactus Jack Manson.
    Norman is a precursor to Eugene, and he’s played by Mike Shaw, formerly Makhan Singh and later Bastion Booger. Cactus already had a good reputation from the dirt sheet writers, but that was about it. He does make Norman look decent here, and that’s quite a feat. Norman bearhugs him and then whips him to the corner and over the top in a Harley Race spot. Jack takes a tumble into the crowd but comes back with a dropkick off the apron. Yeah, Jack used to be significantly thinner. Back in, Jack kicks him down and puts him in a surfboard. Norman powers him up into an Electric Chair Drop. Jack avoids a splash and goes for a piledriver, but Norman backdrops him over and squats down on him for the win at 9:34. *1/4

  • The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express vs. The Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette).
    This would be the last great PPV match for these two teams. The thing is, they never really changed up their act in eight years, and it was still as over as ever. Kind of refreshing, considering how quickly wrestlers have to adapt to fans’ tastes today. The R&R confound the MX early. Cornette blames referee Nick Patrick and tries to pick a fight with him. He chickens out at the last minute, though, and falls back through the ropes. The Midnights chase the Rock ‘n’ Rolls around the ring and collide with one another, triggering a brawl between the MX. Cornette smoothes things over, though. Eaton challenges Morton to a test of strength. Morton climbs up him instead and springs off him into a fistdrop on Lane. Finally, after ten minutes of abuse, the Midnight’s isolate Ricky Morton (Hey, I’m as shocked as you are.). Cornette gets a shot in to piss of the fans – and I mean really piss off the fans. Ricky hits a sunset flip, but Cornette has the ref distracted. You stinker, Jim Cornette! Eaton launches Gibson facefirst into the turnbuckle and hits an Armbar DDT into a hammerlock. Morton teases getting out of trouble for several minutes before finally rolling into the hot tag. Gibson sunset flips Eaton and gets two. Cornette hits him with a racket shot behind the ref’s back, but it only gets two. The Midnights go for a flapjack, but Morton breaks it up by tackling Eaton. Gibson falls on top of Lane for the win at 23:30. Good, old-fashioned formula fun here. ***1/2

  • Chicago Street Fight: The Road Warriors (w/Paul Ellering) vs. The Skyscrapers 3.0 (w/Teddy Long).
    You might as well call these guys the Scabscrapers because Mean Mark Callous (the Undertaker) is replacing Sid Vicious who left for the WWF while Mike Enos (under a mask) has come over from the AWA to replace Danny Spivey who left for All Japan just before the show. I wonder if anything would have become of Mean Mark had he not left WCW. Doom comes down to observe, making their first PPV appearance sans masks. The Skyscrapers’ offense mostly consists of choking. It’s not like the Roadies are busting out Shooting Star Presses either, but it’s really noticeable from the Scrapers. Mean Mark gets backdropped out, and the Roadies finish Enos with the Doomsday Device at 5:01. Hey, not bad for as short as it was. After the match, the Roadies toss Teddy Long out on Doom, triggering a brawl between the two power teams. *1/2

  • U.S. Tag Titles: Brian Pillman & Tom Zenk vs. The Freebirds.
    Pillman & Zenk beat the Freebirds in a tournament for the vacant US Tag Titles, and this is the rematch. Pillman and Zenk are WAY ahead of the Freebirds in terms of wrestling skill. The Freebirds can stall and cheat with the best of them, though. Plus, they have mascara. The champs dominate for a good ten minutes. The crowd gets distracted by something (I think someone jumped the rail.), so Pillman and Garvin kill time with an armbar. It’s mostly formula after that with Pillman getting caught in the wrong corner. Zenk gets the hot tag and grabs a sleeper on Hayes, but Garvin comes off the top with a double ax-handle behind the ref’s back. Zenk takes Pillman’s place in the formula. This is a LONG match, and it feels like it. Finally, Zenk hits Hayes with a DDT (irony!) and makes the hot tag to Pillman. Garvin goes for his own DDT on Zenk, but Pillman flies in with a crossbody to finish off Garvin at 23:15. That’s an insane amount of time considering what they had to offer and what was clipped later on. The Freebirds attack the champs to get their heat back. **

  • NWA World Tag Titles: The Steiner Bros. vs. Ole & Arn Anderson
    The Steiners manhandle Arn early on. Arn is such an underrated seller. Ole doesn’t fare much better. Arn promises some pain in retaliation, but that’s a check his butt can’t cash as Rick catches him with a powerslam. Rick shows some mercy and allows Ole to get to his corner (Rick is an idiot at this point, remember). The Andersons resort to treachery and isolate Scott. Betcha can’t guess which body part they work over. The arm? Oh, well, you must have seen at least one other Andersons match in your life. That’s not fair. Scott hits Arn with a Frankensteiner and gets the hot tag to Rick. Rick kills everyone with Steinerlines and small packages Ole for the win at 16:04. The Andersons try to break Scott’s arm after the match. **1/4

    Sidebar: Isn’t it amazing that they actually have nine tag teams booked to appear on this PPV?

  • NWA World Heavyweight Title: Ric Flair (w/Woman) vs. Lex Luger.
    Luger is getting the match that Sting was scheduled for because Sting blew out his knee before the big blowoff with the Horsemen. The odd thing was Luger was a heel but just kind of said, “Nah, I want people to like me now,” and it happened. He made an official turn by saving Sting, which makes sense from a character standpoint. Still not a quality replacement for Sting (from a cost-benefit standpoint), but what are you gonna do – build new talent?! Pffft. They clip about 15 minute out of the match, which is silly because they could have easily cut 10 out of the US Tag match and another five out of the NWA Tag Title match. We’re clipped to Luger missing a dive and falling out of the ring. Flair slowly dismantles Luger while arguing with random audience members. He hammerlocks Luger’s arm and puts his foot on the ropes. Woman gets involved, raking Luger’s eyes. Referee Nick Patrick stops Luger from punching Flair right in the mouth, so Flair uses the opening to boot Luger in the gut and cut off a comeback. Luger finally just gets pissed off and just powers back. He grabs a sleeper hold, but Flair’s foot falls on the ropes. Another attempt is countered to a backdrop suplex by Flair. Luger wraps Flair’s knee around the post and apparently goes for the worst figure-four of all time. I’m not sure that’s actually what he was going for, but Ross doesn’t help him out at all by saying, “Luger is not proficient with the figure-four” as Luger struggles to do whatever it is he’s trying to do. You’d think Luger, of all people, would have seen how to put it on by now. Luger powerslams him. Flair bails and goes to the eyes, but it doesn’t deter Lex. Flair wears Luger down with a sleeper hold and then goes after the knee. FIGURE-FOUR! Of course, Ric uses the ropes and gets several nearfalls as well. Sting hobbles down on his crutches to give Lex some moral support. “Come on and kick his you-know-what!” If this happens today, it’s just begging for Sting to turn on Lex and hit him with the crutch. Lex powers back and starts no-selling everything. Luger suplexes Flair. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Lex powerslams him and covers, but Woman breaks it up with a slap. Lex goes after her, allowing Flair to knee him from behind and take out the referee in the whole fracas. Arn & Ole Anderson run out, but Luger uses the power of Sting’s moral support to fend them off and put Flair in the Torture Rack! The Horsemen decide to do what they do best and go after a cripple, attacking Sting in a two-on-one. Luger puts Flair in the Torture Rack but sees the Horsemen attacking Sting. In the end, Luger decides his buddy is more important than the title, so he drops the Rack and makes the save but gets counted out at 38:10. The Horsemen lay the boots to Luger, but the Steiners make the save. This was the usual great Flair match plus a cool finish with Lex’s own babyfacishness getting the better of him. For once, Luger put his friendship with Sting over his own self-interest and it came back to bite him as he lost out on the title, and Sting won it a few months later. No wonder he stabbed Sting in the back every chance he got after this. ****1/2
  • The 411: The NWA was trucking right along with a deep and diverse tag division. The main event scene was problematic because it was just Flair, Sting and Luger, and Sting was injured. The only problem I have with this show, and it's not a small one, is that there are too many tag team matches involved. You gotta break it up and have a one-on-one contest in there somewhere other than the main event or else it gets repetitive. Still, no bad matches and one great match in the right place make for an easy thumbs up.

    Recommended.

     
    Final Score:  7.5   [ Good ]  legend

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