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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Wrestle War ’91: Wargames

December 18, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Wrestle War ’91: Wargames  

Wrestle War ’91: Wargames
by J.D. Dunn

This would be the first ever WCW-only PPV as Turner decided to focus on creating his own national company. A similar thing happened with TNA just a few years ago.

  • February 24, 1991
  • Live from Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Your hosts are Jim Ross and Dusty Rhodes.

  • Opening Match, Six-Man Tag Team Titles: Junkyard Dog, Ricky Morton & Tommy Rich vs. Big Cat & The State Patrol.
    Shouldn’t the State Patrol be beating the shit out of Big Cat? They are Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker (Dwayne Bruce, last seen in the dying days of WCW) and Lt. James Earl Wright (Dale Veasey). One hopes that “James Earl Wright” is not a play on “James Earl Ray,” assassin of Martin Luther King. James Earl Jones did the voiceover for CNN, so maybe it’s a tribute to him. These would be the revived/new WCW six-man tag titles. Dog and Cat start. Cat does surprisingly well, considering their respective places in the animal kingdom. Morton plays Ricky Morton. Sadly, Morton and Rich have lost the color coordination they had early on in their tandem. They were nearing a heel turn anyway. JYD gets the hot tag and powerslams Parker. That gets two, and then Morton just hops on and gets the pin for real at 9:58. Totally forgettable but not bad or anything. **

  • Bobby Eaton vs. Brad Armstrong.
    Ross mentions Armstrong’s younger brother who was serving in Operation Desert Storm. That younger brother would go on to fame as the Road Dogg – or BG Jammes – if you prefer. Nice wrestling sequence to open. Brad was very crisp back in the day. The match itself is solid but bland – kind of like both guys. Eaton hits a reverse backbreaker and locks in a chinlock. That leads to a rope-assisted abdominal stretch, but he gets caught. Armstrong avoids a charge and hits a nice dropkick. That sets up the Russian Leg Sweep (Brad’s finisher). Bobby is in the ropes, though. Bobby counters a backdrop with a neckbreaker and finishes with the Alabama Jam at 12:41. Like the first match, this was totally gone from my mind once the final bell rang. Nothing wrong from a technical standpoint, though. **1/2

  • Missy Hyatt promises to get the inside scoop from the men’s locker room. See, the whole thing is a rib on Lisa Olson, The Boston Herald reporter who was a locker room correspondent to the New England Patriots. Well, a few of the Patriots decided to have a little fun with her and dangled their wangs at her. She was so humiliated that she filed suit. Instead of just apologizing and making amends, Victor “I liked it so much, I bought the company” Kiam called her a “classic bitch.” Kiam later took out a full-page ad to apologize. The NFL determined that Olson had been “degraded and humiliated” and fined the players and the Patriots for the incident. Olson settled out of court with the team. When the fine people of Boston found out about it, they harassed Olson – slashing her tires and sending her death threats – until she left the country (“The Spirit of Massachusetts is the Spirit of America…”). Not only that, but when she returned to the country seven years later, she *still* received death threats.
  • In the end, the city of Boston really should have thanked her. The incident so humiliated the Patriots 1-15 juggernaut that Kiam sold the team to James Orthwein who then sold his stake to Bob Kraft, the guy who finally turned things around from the humiliating blight the Patriots had been on the league to the class of the NFL.
  • So the moral of the story is that, if you’re on a team as bad as the Patriots were at the time, you should hang your wang in shame, not flash it to a reporter who’s just trying to do her job covering a bunch of losers who would have been third-stringers on any semi-competent team.
  • Sadly, the T.H.E. version cuts the Japanese women’s match.
  • Dustin Rhodes vs. Buddy Landell.
    Dustin had just come back from the WWF along with his pappy. He was about as experienced as Cody is now, although, he was bulkier. This would be the third non-descript match of the night. Again, nothing technically wrong with it. They don’t botch anything, but then they’re not trying anything either. It’s just a lot of armdrags and armbars with no rhyme or reason other than to kill time. They trades sleepers, and Dustin knocks Landell to the floor. Back in, Dustin hits a press slam and finishes with the bulldog at 6:34. *1/2

  • Missy Hyatt goes into the locker room and gets chased out by Stan Hansen. The idea was to make Olson sound like a whiner, but ironically Missy would file her own sexual harassment suit just a few years later. WCW’s chickens have come home to roost.
  • Grudge Match: Big Van Vader vs. Stan Hansen.
    This was about a year after the whole “eye-popper” match between the two. Hansen jumps on Vader on the ramp, but Vader tosses him aside. Hansen throws a few chops and nearly looses his Skoal. Lots of clubbery. Vader tosses Hansen to the floor, and they trade hard shots. Back in, Vader misses a charge and gets backdrop suplexed for two. Back out, they trade shots with chairs and a milk crate. Vader slams Hansen on the ring railing, which was pretty hardcore for the time. Back in, they slug it out from their knees and toss the referee as he tries to break it up. That’s enough for the double DQ at 6:22. Vader goes up after the match and hits a flying clothesline. Big pop for Vader. Hansen avoids a splash and tries to hang Vader with his rope. Not as brutal as their match from Japan, but it was pretty stiff for WCW. **

  • WCW U.S. Title: Lex Luger vs. Danny Spivey.
    Spivey interfered in the match between Luger and Hansen at Halloween Havoc to set this up. Luger overpowers Spivey and blitzes him with clotheslines. Spivey drops down to avoid a charge and sends Luger into the second ring. Back to the original ring, Spivey hits a Tombstone Piledriver. Luger keeps kicking out, though. He blocks a suplex and hits his own. Spivey hits his Tenryu-ish Elbowdrop, but that only gets two. Big boot gets two. That sets up the classic piledriver for two. Luger hulks up, though. A double clothesline puts both men down, and they slug it out from their knees. Smartly, Nick Patrick doesn’t get involved like the previous ref and, thus, doesn’t get knocked down. They both struggle to their feet and collide again for a double KO. Luger struggles up to the top, but Spivey grabs him and slams him off the top. Oh, but Luger holds on and turns it into a small package at 12:52. One of the better Luger matches you’ll see, and it’s made even more surprising that it was with Danny Spivey, who never managed to make a dent in the American wrestling scene otherwise. ***3/4

  • Former U.S. Champion Nikita Koloff stands by to present Luger with the new WCW U.S. Title (replacing the NWA one). Koloff congratulates Luger and then PUNKS HIM OUT! Koloff explains that he was sick of watching everyone else wrestle. He wanted the real title, but the championship committee said he was retired and didn’t deserve a shot, so now he’s going to prove that he’s the best. This was basically a rehash of the Funk/Flair angle.
  • WCW Tag Team Titles: Doom (w/Teddy Long) vs. The Fabulous Freebirds (w/Diamond Dallas Page & The Diamond Dolls).
    Page was one of the rats that abandoned the sinking AWA. He introduces Big Daddy Dink (Oliver Humperdink) as the Freebirds’ road manager. Ross confirms that everything is okay in Doom’s ranks. Nothing to worry about. The Steiners had already won the titles from the Freebirds at the TV tapings, so the result isn’t exactly in doubt. Doom destroys the Freebirds with power moves early, and the Freebirds bail to talk things over with Dink and Page. Garvin blind tags himself in and, instead of clipping Reed during a press slam, he waits until Reed is done and then charges. Garvin gets press slammed, but Hayes has sense enough to knock Reed over. Garvin falls to the floor, and Reed puts the boots to him. Back in, Simmons gets two off a spinebuster. Long tosses in an “international object,” but it backfires, and Reed nails Simmons. Garvin falls on top for the win and the titles at 6:57. This was odd because the Freebirds set themselves up as heels, and then Doom played heels during the match. **

  • After the match, Long gets in Simmons’ face and gets shoved down, so Long and Reed turn on Simmons and beat him down with brass knuckles.
  • Jim Ross learns never to interview a kid on live TV as he asks some youngster who his favorite team in the Wargames is. The kid responds, “Doom.”
  • Wargames: Sting, Brian Pillman, Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner vs. Ric Flair, Larry Zbyszko, Barry Windham & Sid Vicious.
    This is a confluence of several rivalries. Sting and Flair hate each other, of course. Scott Steiner had just taken Flair to the limit at the previous Clash of the Champions. Windham and Arn Anderson were terrorizing the tag ranks, but Arn got injured just before this, so Larry’s taking his place. Babyface Pillman ignores Captain Sting’s advice and charges into the ring to attack Windham. Despite Windham’s size advantage, Pillman winds up beating him from pillar to post (with the help of a blatant low blow, which the crowd digs). Pillman works Barry’s leg in between scraping Barry’s face along the cage. Pillman has problems flying because the ceiling of the cage is too low. That won’t come back to haunt them. No way. Flair’s team wins the coin toss, and the Man himself jumps Pillman from behind to make it a two-on-one. Fast-forward a bit. Sting cleans house but gets stomped down by Larry Z. Rick Steiner hops in and cleans house on Flair & Windham. Larry tries to toss Rick’s head into the cage. I’ll let you guess how effective that is. Sid comes in and kills the faces dead. Scott Steiner is the final entrant, evening things out a bit. The faces get QUADRUPLE FIGURE-FOURS! Flair goes to the eyes to break it up, though, allowing the heels to take over. Flair and Windham are bloody messes. Everyone but Pillman and Sid just kind of congregate in one ring, allowing Sid to try to powerbomb Pillman. Problem: the cage is so low that Pillman’s feet hit the cage, so Sid just drops him right on his head. As if that’s not enough, Sid then gives him ANOTHER powerbomb. El Gigante runs out and begs the refs to call the match, which they do at 22:09. Despite the sucky ending, this match was…THE BALLS. Sid’s ruthless ignorance that nearly led to Pillman’s death gives this match its legendary reputation, but don’t overlook the quality. Even better on second and third viewings. ****3/4
  • The 411: Hey, it's got a big Wargames blowoff that wound up being one of the best matches of the decade. The lower card has some good wrestling by some bland wrestlers, but there are two big angles – the dissolution of Doom and Nikita's return. Big angles + some great wrestling and nothing bad make this an easy recommendation.

    Thumbs up.

     
    Final Score:  8.0   [ Very Good ]  legend

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