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World Championship Wrestling (2.18.1989) Review

March 8, 2019 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Lex Luger
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World Championship Wrestling (2.18.1989) Review  

-You don’t realize this but this is at the tail end of a long, long day of watching wrestling for me. I don’t know when you’re reading this, but as I write this, I just got word that our show got picked up for a second season, which means I go back to work next week, so I want to have a nice big fat war chest of columns stockpiled before I get too busy to watch wrestling again. That said, my eternal love and gratitude to you or your kids or anybody else you know who’s watched the new Double Dare and made us a hit.

-Cold open: Ric Flair and his entourage walk to the ring for the interesting part of Clash V.

-Originally aired February 18, 1989.

-Your hosts are JR and TA. They let us know that the Varsity Club has a new member, Dangerous Dan Spivey. Hopefully they make it a point to have him and Barry Windham stand side-by-side during the show to settle that confusion once and for all. Ricky Steamboat thanks us for our support and he’s training extra hard. Just once I want to hear a babyface cut a promo about eating a lot of Scrapple and beer and binging on The Jeffersons to prepare for a big match. Steamboat warns that Chi-Town Rumble will be a Nightmare for Ric Flair.

MIDNIGHT EXPRESS (with Jim Cornette) vs. DAVID HEATH & BILL HOLLIDAY

-Holliday rakes the eyes, but Eaton comes back swinging as Paul E. Dangerously emerges to treat himself to wrestling history: the last Midnight Express match. Lane engages in foot education with Bill Holliday while Paul E. warns us that Time’s Running Out for the Midnight Express, then takes off laughing.

-David Heath ends up on the floor and Jim Cornette climbs into the ring, daring Paul E. to come in and face him, and it looks like Wrestle-Rama’s going to break out, but Paul E. takes off. Bill Holliday tags in and gets kicked around while Cornette drifts over to commentary to offer a rebuttal. Veg-o-Matic finishes.

-JR welcomes the new four-man version of the Varsity Club. Kevin Sullivan cuts a crazed promo like he has Bats in the Belfry, warning the Road Warriors that his men have evil hearts. Dan Spivey, with a Bosworth cut cuts a crazy-eyed promo.

DANGEROUS DAN SPIVEY (with The Rest) vs. TONY SUBER

-Spivey whips Suber around and dropkicks him. Gutwrench suplex as JR whips out “raw-boned” over and over again to describe Spivey. Flying clothesline by Spivey. He goes to a bearhug as Williams complains that the commentators aren’t talking enough about how scared the Road Warriors are. JR calls Spivey “raw-boned” again, as he just seems to be blanking on anything to say about Dan Spivey. His brain must be Clogged.

-Back suplex by Spivey, and then an abdominal stretch. Williams demands more compliments for the Varsity Club and JR and Magnum are having none of it. “That’s called teamwork!” “Actually, it’s called cheating.” Hats Off to Jim Ross for speaking the truth there. Side suplex by Spivey finishes this one.

-Lex Luger has words with “Maggie,” telling him that he could wrestle anywhere, but he chooses to be in the NWA because it’s where the best competition is. Luger thinks that Barry Windham is a real Hot Dog and he’s going to take that title at Chi-Town Rumble.

RICKY “The Dragon” STEAMBOAT (with the Little Dragon) vs. JERRY PRICE

-Ricky tries to make the Little Dragon say hi to the commentary team and Little Dragon won’t do it. The problem with bringing his kid out here is that, as my mom has pointed out, babies hit this certain age where the only facial expression they have is “Where the hell am I NOW?” and the biggest push of his father’s career coincides with Little Dragon hitting that stage. Steamboat needs to bribe his kid with a Gum Drop or something before bringing him out there.

-Price goes to the eyes and locks on a hammerlock. Steamboat sunset flips Price for two, then just lights into him with slams and armdrags before turning a drop toehold into an armbar. No wonder Steamboat is quickly becoming the Big Kahuna, he’s got the moves.

-Slam and a chop by Steamboat. Another hard chop by Steamboat, and you’d swear he’s trying to open Price’s chest in a search for Buried Treasure, he’s hitting him so hard. So Price fights fire with fire by chopping him, but of course fighting fire with fire isn’t a great strategy for fighting a Dragon, which is a line that a commentator should have used while Steamboat was in his prime. So Steamboat just chops Price out of his boots and heads to the top rope, and a bodypress gets three.

ROAD WARRIORS (World Tag Team Champions, with Paul Ellering) vs. NED BRADY & JULIO BARRERA

-Oh man, I love Ned Brady! He was so good in the movie Dreliverance. Hawk dropkicks him so hard he squeals like a prig , then shoulderblocks him and snapmares him. He’s probably not feeling like a Sruper Man now. Animal powerslams him off the top rope, and it’s Bye Bye Birdie for Ned Brady.

-JR talks to the Road Warriors to get the Big Scoop. They promise to turn the Georgia Bulldog, Dan Spivey, into Georgia Bull Squat.

STING vs. MAX MCGYVER

-Side headlock by McGyver. Sting sends him into the ropes and leapfrogs him with Fancy Footwork while Butch Reed drops in and says he’s ready for Sting at Chi-Town Heat. Well, you’re about a year and a half late for Starrcade ’87 but I’m sure Sting would be happy to face you at Chi-Town Rumble if you’d like.

-McGyver goes to the eyes and Teddy Long warns him about that, but I’m sure the warning goes In One Ear. Sting goes back to the side headlock and then shoulderblocks McGyver repeatedly. Stinger splash and the scorpion deathlock by Sting finish this one.

-Hiro Matsuda is here with Ric Flair and Barry Windham. His corporation has very big investments in both men, and he’ll be there with both of them to make sure the company’s title belts are well protected. Ric Flair promises to take a private jet to Chicago and ride a limo to the arena. Sure, he might look Overstuffed living lavishly like that, but when the match of his life is 48 hours away, he’s going to make the best of it.

BARRY WINDHAM (US Champion, with Hiro Matsuda) vs. ALLAN KINSEY

-Kinsey ends up on the concrete right away and suplexed back in. JR and TA are pimping tonight’s house show in Greensboro extra hard and teasing that a major angle is going to happen there. Gutwrench suplex by Windham, and a big dropkick. While I’m thinking about it, I don’t remember hearing Magnum on commentary when I was a kid but I’m really impressed, he’s good at breaking down little points about why different moves are effective. Flying lariat gets three. This match was just a total Blow Out for Barry Windham.

-JR chats with Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express. The Midnights themselves do some talking and threaten to send the Original Midnights to their maker. Jim Cornette adds his two cents and totally Sewer Chutes on Paul E. Dangerously before promising that if one Midnight is defeated, all three of them will leave because Cornette realizes that they act as one unit.

VINCENT YOUNG vs. TRENT KNIGHT

-Debut for Young, who looked briefly like he’d be a hot new thing in one promotion or another and then just disappeared forever. He’s dressed like Apollo Creed and basically his whole act is that he’s breakdancing and Pop Locking for his entrance. He had a brief run here and then headed over to the WWF. You might remember him as the guy getting the shit clotheslined out of him by Earthquake in the opening of WWF Wrestling Challenge.

-Grab your Popcorn for this one. Criss-cross to start and Young hiptosses Knight and armdrags him. Young is basically a create-a-wrestler who was given The Patriot’s tights and Ricky Morton’s moveset. Kneedrop by Young gets two. Knight mows Young down with a clothesline and the TBS audience pops huge even though Young is the babyface. I think the patriotic tights rubbed everyone the wrong way. It just comes off pandering.

-Slam and an elbow by Trent Knight gets two, and Knight is just running with this backlash and playing to the crowd. Chinlock and holy shit, I think the audience is chanting “Trent.” This debut’s not going well, is it? Young elbows out and backdrops him, and now Young seems to be thinking “It’s in the Bag” as he throws kicks at Knight. Sleeper is clamped on and the crowd goes “Awwww” as Young gets his arm raised. A group of black guys in the crowd visibly shits all over Young and laughs at his moves as he breakdances to celebrate the victory. Well, this match wasn’t exactly a Brick Wall Breakout for Vincent Young, unfortunately.

-Sting comes out to cut a promo, but to his surprise, the Samoan Swat Team has already stormed the ring and begun dismantling their opponents. Sting is so surprised that he agrees to just hang out there with JR and watch the ass-kicking. SST’s debut is a classic story of why, again, some people just deserved to lose in the long run. SST was getting over in WCCW, but they were getting a little TOO over for the Von Erich family’s liking and they were released for it, so the NWA went “Okay, great” and snapped them up, and the SST walked out of Dallas forever.

SAMOAN SWAT TEAM vs. DALE LAPEROUSE & BOB EMORY
-Emory just gets headbutted and slammed and legally murdered before tagging out like he’s trying to get away from a Shark. All of the managers in the NWA gradually emerge from backstage to scout the new team. Samu faceplants Emory and the crowd is just marking the hell out for the SST. Funny, as JR tries to sort out who the SST are and says “Samu is the bigger of the two.” That changed with time.

-Fatu DDTs Laperouse off the second rope as Paul E. Dangerously is just drooling over these guys. Top rope splash by Fatu finishes, and Laperouse is ready for the Garbage Truck.

-Sting says he gets excited every time he thinks about Butch Reed. Is Sting not doing “Phrasing” anymore?

-Hiro Matsuda cuts a promo in Japanese. Barry Windham promises that he has Lex completely figured out and he’ll hang onto his belt. Kendall Windham stands quietly, with his hair so full of chemicals that he might as well call himself Grease Monkey.

LEX LUGER vs. KEITH STEINBORN

-Luger works the arm and snapmares Steinborn down, really putting him through the Wringer as he twists the arm. Clothesline and a powerslam by Luger, and the torture rack finishes.

-Paul E. Dangerously says that Chi-Town Rumble is going to be a funeral for the Midnight Express. Stan, Bobby, and Jim Cornette are all going Under the Covers and getting buried this Monday night!

MICHAEL P.S. HAYES & DICK MURDOCH vs. MAC ANDERSON & EL NEGRO

-I think of that Chris Farley sketch about the Weather Channel every time I see this jobber. “For those of you who don’t habla espanol, El Negro is Spanish for…The Negro.”

-Shoulderblock by El Negro takes Hayes off his feet. Hayes drags El Negro to the corner and they work him over for a bit. Mac Anderson tags in and I strongly suspect his name is a rib because he’s balding with light brown hair and a beard. Hayes really gives Anderson’s arm The Woiks. Captain Redneck tags in and keeps Anderson on the mat, and a big elbow finishes.

JR talks to The Dragon, who says he doesn’t need to “be the man” because he already has a hell of a track record in wrestling. Steamboat nervously takes a Big Gulp as he admits that after seeing Flair declare “No rematches for Luger” after Starrcade, he’s concerned that Monday will be his one and only shot at Flair’s title.

ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER (with Gary Hart) vs. RIC ALLEN

-Abdullah, looking like he came here straight from wolfing down a Blue Plate Special, throws Allen to the floor and stomps at him. Paul E. Dangerously drifts to ringside and pushes JR’s buttons; JR says Happy Birthday to a fan in the studio who’s turning 18 today, and Paul excitedly says “She’s 18 now?”

-Abdullah chokes him out while Paul E does some Eddie Haskell shtick with Gary Hart. Big elbow by Abdullah, but he wants to continue the torture. Another big elbow reduces Allen to a stack of Squelch’Em Waffles, and Abdullah gets the three-count.

RICK STEINER & EDDIE GILBERT vs. CRUEL CONNECTION

-Gilbert works the arm while Paul E. just continues to hang out with the commentators for no real reason. Steiner comes in and goes after the mask as Paul E. goes a long way for a joke about Jim Cornette’s mom being a prostitute. Belly-to-belly by Steiner finishes.

-Rick Steiner admits that he has problems that he needs to work out, but he insists he’s not stupid. Gilbert promises Steiner that “It’s just you and me, buddy!” Steiner enthusiastically replies “And Alex!” and Gilbert’s enthusiasm visibly wanes. Well, that feels like a seed being planted.

6.0
The final score: review Average
The 411
Pretty anticlimactic. I'm trying to figure out exactly when the "go-home show" became a thing and the last episode before a big event was full of crazy angles and run-ins and sneak attacks, but we aren't there yet, apparently.
legend