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World Championship Wrestling (1.21.1989) Review

March 15, 2019 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Ric Flair Ricky Steamboat Wrestle War
6.8
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World Championship Wrestling (1.21.1989) Review  

-This week on “As the NWA Turns…”

-Dusty Rhodes finally snapped and walked out of the company, heading down to Florida to relaunch that territory with Gordon Solie and Randy Roberts. Dusty attempted to fire some shots with the shittiest talent raid ever, stealing Al Perez and, uh, that’s it actually, on his way out the door. He also tried to take Larry Zbyszko with him, but Larry opted for the AWA instead, killing off the Western States Heritage Title once and for all.

-At the same time, Jim Crockett, who had been interim head booker for the very company he had to sell off, was replaced by former Mid-Atlantic and WWF booker George Scott, with whom Crockett had a major falling-out some years earlier. This led to a completely hilarious day in Atlanta where #1, George Scott got hired. #2, Jim Crockett fired him the same day in retaliation for their falling-out. #3, TBS stepped in and pointed out “This isn’t your company anymore, Jim!” and rehired Scott.

-Also, remember the Bunkhouse Stampede matches that were supposed to happen all through the month of January, with the finals happening on pay-per-view in February? Yeah, nevermind. Dusty’s gone and management’s first order of business was to just kill off the Stampede concept altogether.

-Originally aired January 21, 1989.

-Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & Jim Ross. It looks like they’ve given the commentary area a fresh paint job and it looks great this week.

-Eddie Gilbert strolls in, all smiles. His tag team partner is definitely in the locker room right now, and he tells all us fans to call any friends we have who might not be watching TBS right now because this is going to be a huge surprise.

MICHAEL P.S. HAYES vs. RUSSIAN ASSASSIN #2 (with Paul Jones & Russian Assassin #1)

-Paul Jones is now clean-shaven, following a ridiculous rib he played at the last set of syndicated TV tapings. Basically, he shaved off the ends of the mustache each time he got ready to go on camera, so his mustache got smaller and smaller and smaller, and when he finally got it down to Hitler-level, management told him to shave the damn thing off completely.

-They lock up in the corner and Assassin works the arm. Hayes does likewise. It feels like there are fewer flags in the studio this week. Jim Crockett must have sold a bunch of them off to cover his credit card bill. Arm work by Hayes as we’re seeing a lot of new camera angles this week; they’ve added a handheld camera to the studio and it’s just all over the place exploring new shots.

-Assassin uses handfuls of hair to get Hayes on the mat, and that shows courage because it looks like Hayes hasn’t washed it since Super Clash. Hayes makes a comeback and it goes into a corner, so Jones trips him from the outside and holds onto the leg while Assassin goes for the pin…but he loses track of the referee’s count and lets go at two, so Assassin gets up to celebrate the win, and Hayes rolls him right up to get the winning pin himself. Cute finish but not much of a match.

HACKSAW BUTCH REED (with JJ Dillon) vs. GEORGE SOUTH

-They still weren’t giving up on the Four Horsemen, and Reed was about to become a member to try to revive it. Slam and a fistdrop by Reed. He puts the boots to South’s neck. Flying tackle by Reed, and he heads to the top rope and takes South’s head off with a clothesline to finish.

-Mike Rotunda promises that the TV TItle is coming back to him. And Kevin Sullivan promises to show the world that the Road Warriors aren’t so tough.

KEVIN SULLIVAN & MIKE ROTUNDA vs. RANDY HOGAN & GENE MILLER

-Varsity Club targets the arm on Randy Hogan. Miller tags in and they keep targeting the arm. Tree of woe and a whole lot of stomping. Double underhook by Rotunda finishes.

-Eddie Gilbert excitedly returns to commentary to re-watch last week’s assault on him by Barry Windham and Ric Flair. Gilbert is all smiles because he has just the partner to deal with those guys now.

RIC FLAIR & BARRY WINDHAM (with JJ Dillon) vs. EDDIE GILBERT & “MR. X”

-Eddie shows up alone, but smiling. Flair demands that Eddie’s partner get his ass out here, and some entrance music starts blaring…and out walks Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. Flair blows a gasket.

-Steamboat armdrags Windham all over the ring while Flair freaks out on the apron. Flair tries to intervene, but Steamboat press slams him onto Windham and clears the ring. Flair tags in and tries to chop Steamboat, but he’s soundly out-chopped by the Dragon and press slammed again. Flair goes to the floor and throws a tantrum while JJ tries to pep-talk his team. Steamboat fights both men with ease and just chops the crap out of Flair again.

-And with that, Steamboat finally tags out and Gilbert knocks Flair around the ring because he’s so disoriented from having to deal with Steamboat. Windham tags in and gives Gilbert a hard slap that he totally no-sells. Backdrop by Gilbert. Windham fights back with a back suplex. Flair’s feeling confident enough to tag back in and immediately gets Irish whipped and flipped out to the floor. Back in, Gilbert locks on the figure four and Steamboat sends Windham out to the concrete to make sure he doesn’t interfere. Flair breaks the hold by raking the eyes and Windham heads back in with a powerslam. Bodypress gets two.

-Gilbert wipes Flair out with a clothesline, but Windham cuts off the hot tag and sends Gilbert out to the concrete. Back in, Windham atomic drops Gilbert, but Gilbert uses his last ounce of strength to clothesline Windham as he collapses to the mat. Flair tags in and attacks the back, and Windham tries an elbow drop, but that misses, Flair hurriedly tags back in, but Gilbert finally makes the hot tag and Steamboat fights the world. Steamboat comes off the top with a bodypress and it’s enough to put Flair away, clean as a sheet. Fantastic match and a fantastic debut. Apparently, Gilbert was originally supposed to introduce his surprise partner, who would appear to be just some jobber in a mask, and after he shocked everyone by kicking Flair’s ass and pinning him clean as a sheet, the jobber would unmask to reveal himself as Steamboat. George Scott’s first official act as booker was to overrule that and have Steamboat appear as himself. I’d call that a mistake, the mask thing would have been a huge moment.

-Ricky Steamboat officially declares that he wants Flair’s world title belt. He says he’s the father of a little boy now and he wants the NWA World Title because it would give his child a secure future. Flair, Windham, and JJ Dillon storm out demanding an explanation. They complain about what bullshit it is that the name “Mr. X” was signed to the contract and it was a trick to keep Flair from being adequately prepared for the match. He would have won if he knew it was Steamboat!

6.8
The final score: review Average
The 411
Come on, how can you hate this episode???
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