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World Championship Wrestling (5.13.1989) Review

August 19, 2019 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
World Championship Wrestling 5-13-1989
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World Championship Wrestling (5.13.1989) Review  

-Cold open: No time wasted, we open the show with Terry Funk offering Ric Flair a friendly handshake at Wrestlewar ’89. We see Terry Funk throw a single punch, and FREEZE FRAME!

-Originally aired May 13, 1989.

-Your host is Jim Ross, who announces that Ric Flair’s neck and back are shot.

-Paul E. Dangerously strolls in, all smiles, and announces that the SST only have one more tag team left to beat in the NWA and that’s the Road Warriors. Paul E. says he doesn’t even want to bother with a build-up or feuding, he just wants the Road Warriors in a match on TV next week as part of the World Tag Team Title tournament. So I guess the World Tag Team Titles are vacant.

RANGER ROSS vs. GREAT MUTA (with Gary Hart)

-Muta attacks Ross and throws him out to the floor immediately. Back in, Ross comes to life with a flying bodypress and Muta falls WAY too early so it has no impact. Kudos to JR for being forthcoming on commentary about how weak it looked instead of ignoring it or tap dancing around it.

-Muta snapmares Ross and drops the elbow. Nerve hold applied. Ross fights back, but Muta just kicks him down. Ross dodges a karate chop and Muta falls over the top rope, but he lands on his feet and calmly steps back in. Ross goes for a kick, but Muta just takes out his leg and sprays some red mist into the air to celebrate. Moonsault finishes Ross, clean as a sheet. That was a SQUASH, particularly taking into account how hard Ross had been getting pushed leading up to this.

-We get more of Ric Flair’s murder at the hands of Terry Funk. Back at Center Stage, JR is live with Terry Funk, who has fully switched from retired old legend to mean old wrestler. When they shook hands, Terry could see something sinister in his eyes, so Terry just beat Ric Flair to the punch, literally, and left him laying.

-Now here’s Lex Luger, who’s so mad about being screwed by Michael Hayes that he whips out “Damn” for his promo and promises a new and different Lex Luger is coming.


-Hayes, the new US Champ, gets hiptossed down by Cougar Jay. Everyone tags and Terry Gordy shakes off a lot of shots from Lee Scott and pounds him down. This is a solidly heel crowd anyway, which you could hear during Muta’s match, but trying to get the Freebirds over as heels when their entire shtick is that they’re proud white trash from somewhere in Atlanta is a bit of an uphill climb in this venue. Powerbomb by Gordy gets three.

-Freebirds are in the tournament and promise to advance next week, whoever they face. Okay, but first, explain why there’s a tournament.

-We get a montage of the finishes to all of the title matches at Wrestlewar.

-And now here’s Jim Herd to FINALLY explain why we’re vacating the World Tag Team Titles. It’s the Varsity Club’s punishment for assaulting Nikita Koloff, who was acting as a referee at Wrestlewar, and he wants to them to serve as a warning to the other NWA wrestlers about how chicanery will not be tolerated.

-And we actually get brackets for the tournament, which is a stunning sign of actual preparation being done by this company.
Road Warriors vs. Fabulous Freebirds
Midnight Express vs. Butch Reed & Bob Orton
Dynamic Dudes vs. New Zealand Militia
Ranger Ross & Ron Simmons vs. SST

-Kevin Sullivan storms in complaining about the Varsity Club being excluded from the tournament and draws a comparison to the organizational and ethical issues that college sports are dealing with in 1989. He storms off in a huff, but fortunately, college sports have gotten their act together since then.

-Teddy Long has some video he wants to show us. We meet a man named Norman, who says people have always been hassling him ever since he was a child. He undergoes a weird transformation with some facepaint and a cheesy video effect, and he vows that he’s going to make people pay. My mind is totally blown here because I remember Norman being a mute before his babyface turn. Am I remembering wrong?

-Back at Center Stage, Teddy Long says he knows what it feels like to be wrongly judged by people, so he saw something in Norman and that’s why he’s been signed as Teddy’s first client.


-Paul E. Dangerously sits in for guest commentary, but the Warriors kill the jobbers so fast that the match is over after Paul’s first sentence, and he just storms off in frustration.

-Road Warriors are pretty much looking right past the Freebirds and calling out the SST in the tournament.

-Back to Wrestlewar ’89, where Rick Steiner’s arm was injured in a sneak attack.

SCOTT STEINER vs. KEVIN SULLIVAN (with Paul E. Dangerously)
-And we go straight to this match even though there’s clearly a bit to unpack with it. Scott is Rick’s brother that we met back at Starrcade and then never got mentioned again until now. The ring announcer mentions him as “a member of the First Family,” but he’s out there alone. Also why the hell is Paul E. managing Kevin Sullivan? At least I’m not alone here, even JR acknowledges that there’s no reason for Dangerously to be out there.

-Steiner knocks Sullivan to the floor and noggin-knocks him with Paul E. Back in, he works the arm until Paul E. provides some distraction and Sullivan throws Steiner over the top rope. Sullivan lays a beating on him out on the floor and sends him back in as JR casually refers to Sullivan as “the former coach of the Varsity Club,” so apparently the Varsity Club just disbanded with no notice. Steiner attempts a comeback but he misses a corner charge and seems to injure his shoulder on the impact, and Sullivan rolls him up for three. After the bell, Sullivan and Dangerously try to attack with a folding chair. Steiner gets out of the way, and the referee is so upset by the horrendous sportsmanship that he reverses the decision and gives the win to Steiner.

-Ricky Steamboat accepts defeat graciously and gives his props to Ric Flair, conceding he’s a great champion.


-Terry Funk says he’s proving he’s a worthy contender for the NWA Title by going through the NWA rankings and literally working his way from the bottom up. Aldridge is wrestling his first match ever tonight and therefore has the bottom ranking in the NWA, so Funk is starting with him. Funk declares himself a living legend and offers him a chance to walk out in one piece right now and take the forfeit. Aldridge insists he wants to wrestle him, so Funk slaps him around and asks him again. Aldridge finally agrees to take the forfeit and starts to head out of the ring, but of course, Funk assaults him, and we close the show with a piledriver on the floor.

The final score: review Average
The 411
Interesting week, as they were telling good stories but being clumsy as all hell about how they were telling them. Still, the company just feels totally rejuvenated at this point and it's a pleasure to watch as a result.