wrestling / Video Reviews

World Championship Wrestling (4.15.1989) Review

June 20, 2019 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Ricky Steamboat World Championship Wrestling 4-15-1989

-And NOW we’re using the new opening, which is pretty much just the logo and a “coming up this week” montage.

-Originally aired April 15, 1989.

-Your hosts are JR and PS.

-This is the first episode that really feels like the company is being relaunched, as the whole show start to finish is from Center Stage, the commentators are there, the new theme and graphics are in full effect. “WCW” is part of the graphics, but “NWA” is still on the banners and the ring.

-Dick Murdoch wanders in to watch the opening match, Bob Orton and Butch Reed versus a couple of jobbers. Gary Hart grabs the microphone, and 30 seconds later somebody at ringside remembers to turn it on and we figure out Gary is challenging Murdoch to come get him some. Murdoch, in an amazing moment, responds to the challenge by yanking out his dentures and walking to the ring, telling one of the jobbers to take a hike.

HACKSAW BUTCH REED & BOB ORTON (with Gary Hart) vs. DICK MURDOCH & BUCKY SIEGLER

-Heels attack Siegler to get ahead of Murdoch and officially start the match before he can get in there. Orton does a funny dick move, putting Siegler in an armbar and dragging him to the corner, and waving the arm juuuuuuuust out of Murdoch’s reach before cutting the tag off. Siegler is caught in the corner and gets double-teamed.

-Orton and Reed get really arrogant about just beating on Siegler instead of ending the match when they have a dozen opportunities to do so, and Siegler pretty much lucks into a tag when Reed is lifting him for a slam, and the crowd goes nuts for Murdoch’s house-cleaning. Gary gets on the apron and holds Murdoch in a waistlock so Orton can get some free shots. Reed comes in and they gang up on Murdoch until the referee calls for the DQ to give Bucky Siegler the win. And also Dick Murdoch. More of an angle than a match, but it was a hot one.

-JR talks to Sting. Design flaw in the new set, the words “World Championship Wrestling” are too big for the camera to get the entire name there, and the new logo isn’t visible anywhere. Rick Steiner comes out and gives Stinger a big hug, pledging his loyalty and friendship.

-But wait! Iron Sheik shows up uninvited with his flag bearer, Rip Morgan, who in addition to aping Bruiser Brody is now dressed like Sheik so he can rip off two gimmicks at once. Give him a 2×4 and let’s go for a triple play! Sheik gives Sting an option: Defend the TV Title against him or take the Persian Clubs challenge. Sting agrees to the TV Title match on the grounds that he thinks the Persian Clubs thing is stupid.

GREAT MUTA (with Gary Hart) vs. GREG EVANS
-Evans ducks a mouthful of spray and connects with dropkicks. I love Evans’ ring gear. You can ALWAYS spot the guys who are ripping off the Rock & Roll Express for their indy bookings. Muta rallies and catches Evans in a backbreaker and hits the moonsault to get the pin in under a minute.

-We take a look again at the Varsity Club’s controversial US Tag Team Title victory at the Clash. We get words from the Road Warriors, who opine that they got hosed, but they’re gonna get the belts back.

RANDY ROSE vs. JACK VICTORY (with Paul E. Dangerously)

-The fight begins before the bell. Teddy Long, whom we just saw making a controversial call, is officiating this match. Randy Rose takes control with a clothesline and a right hand as JR announces that the NWA has ruled that Teddy Long will no longer officiate championship matches.

-Victory takes over, dropping forearms on Rose. Irish whip, but Randy goes up to the second rope and connects with a forearm. He slams Victory into position and hits a Vader bomb for two. Victory fights back as JR announces a special Lance Russell Night the next time that the NWA rolls into Memphis.

-Victory hammers Rose out to the floor. Rose slams Victory on the floor and brings him back in, Paul E. lobs the phone into the ring, but Randy gets his hands on it. Teddy Long takes it away, forbidding him to use it. Meanwhile, Paul E., with incredible foresight, throws a second phone in the ring. Victory hits Rose in plain sight of Teddy Long and even holds the phone while pinning him, but Teddy Long gives him a three-count anyway. These guys are having really good matches for what seemed like a nothing feud in the beginning.

RICK STEINER (with Missy Hyatt) vs. THE RAIDER

-Okay, this HAS to be when I started watching wrestling on TBS because I remember this. Rick Steiner is ambushed on his way to the ring by an enthusiastic fan, a nerdy woman in pigtails and thick glasses who hugs him and won’t let go, and Steiner seems completely shocked to realize that there’s a fan who’s that excited about him. JR’s commentary is great at making this seems like a “security screwed up” issue when in fact there’s a big payoff coming down the road from that.

-Steiner just beats on Raider. Raider catches him with a boot, but then he goes for a leapfrog and Steiner turns it into a powerslam. Belly-to-belly finishes.

-Kevin Sullivan shows up to stir some shit, telling Missy Hyatt that compared to him, Eddie Gilbert’s a little boy. Missy gives him a hard slap and Steiner is ready to brawl, and Sullivan backs off.

-Ric Flair reminds us that on May 7, he’s getting his belt back.

NON-TITLE: RICKY “The Dragon” STEAMBOAT (World Champion) vs. RON SIMMONS

-Lock-ups go nowhere. Simmons dares Steamboat to try some shoulderblocks and won’t budge. Steamboat tries hiptosses and Steamboat blocks that too. Steamboat decides to use quickness instead and gets a near-fall with a sunset flip, with Tommy Young sliding out of the ring to get into counting position. Steamboat applies a side headlock. Simmons gets back to his feet, turning it into a press and dropping him throat-first. Elbows and a chinlock. He’s been floundering so hard for two years and the MOMENT he starts playing heel this week he suddenly looks like a natural.

-Steamboat avoids a corner charge and chops the throat. Crucifix by Steamboat gets three clean as a sheet, and Simmons looks pissed off. Good, quick TV match, like something from the Bill Watts playbook.

-Jim Cornette has a special comment to make about how disappointing the past few months have been for the Midnight Express and acknowledges that things are going down the porcelain for them. Cornette promises that the team is going to get their heads together and figure out their next career steps in the next few weeks. There’s actually quite a bit of semi-shooting to this promo, as Cornette and the Midnights were not happy with the way their babyface turn had been bungled and came close to quitting.

LEX LUGER (US Champion) vs. TOM BRANCH

-Luger clotheslines Branch and takes a few moments to frown upon Michael Hayes. Powerslam by Branch, and the torture rack gets the submission. Luger heads to commentary to challenge Michael Hayes to a match right here, right now, and we get a brawl to close the show.