Hosted by Jim Ross, & the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes
How will the dynamite work? Will this be a blow-away show? Or will this show blow up in WCW’s face? Read on!
This reflection is dedicated to the speedy recovery of “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Get well, champ!
Ring announcer Gary Michael Cappetta asks the Gainesville faithful to stand during the national anthem.
Next, Ross and Rhodes welcome us to the program as Rhodes is ready to get “funky like a monkey.” Considering he’s rejoined WCW as the booker, let him please not bring back the gorilla in the cage bit.
Match 1 for the WCW World tag team titles: Doom (champions w/o Teddy Long) versus NWA US champion the “Total Package” Lex Luger & Sting
According to Rhodes, Long’s absence was due to his obtaining “condos.” In actuality, his truancy correlated to a drug suspension. I guess homie’s been playing something.
After a hip toss, Sting backdropped Reed.
Luger tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, and lowered the boom on Reed.
Upon leap-frogging Reed, Luger delivered a swinging neckbreaker.
According to Ross, Luger will defend the US title against “Dangerous” Dan Spivey at WrestleWar ’91 on 2/24.
Simmons tagged in and clotheslined Luger.
As Simmons received an atomic drop, Sting nailed him.
Luger then delivered a vertical suplex for 2.
When Simmons came back, he gave Luger a stungun.
Reed then guillotined Luger using the top rope prior to the commercial break.
Afterward, Simmons reversed an Irish whip and hit a powerslam for 2.
Reed tagged in and dropkicked Luger.
Shortly after, Simmons tagged in, but Luger face-planted him.
Reed tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, and hit a flying shoulder block.
Hot tag Sting.
With Luger on the apron, Spivey came to the ring and short-arm-clotheslined Luger.
As Sting double-clotheslined Doom, Spivey slammed Luger on the floor.
Simmons then held Sting, but Reed mistakenly nailed his partner with a flying shoulder block instead.
In addition, he sent referee Randy Anderson flying to the floor.
Sting then charged Reed but received a back drop over the top rope.
Despite being on the floor, Anderson called for the bell disqualifying Doom.
Summary: Somewhat disjointed match with the Luger-Spivey and Doom dissension angles intertwined.
After the match, Doom tries to whip Sting and Luger together, but Luger collapses. Sting then hits Simmons with a flying shoulder block. While Reed pounds on Luger, Sting gave Simmons a standing dropkick. Sting and Luger then clear the ring.
After a commercial break, Missy Hyatt allegedly frightens small children with the presentation of “WCW’s Sexiest Wrestler” to the Z-Man.
Match 2 for the WCW World TV title: The Z-Man (champion) versus “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton
As Eaton made his entrance, a canned “Bob-by” chant played.
When Eaton mounted the top turnbuckle, Z-Man dropkicked him to the floor.
Shortly after, Eaton gave Z-Man a cross corner whip followed by a back elbow.
As he mounted the top turnbuckle, Z-Man caught and slammed him down to the mat.
He then hit a superkick.
After Z-Man gave him a cross corner whip, he backdropped Eaton for 2.
Another cross corner whip by Z-Man resulted in his eating a back elbow.
Again, Eaton mounted the top turnbuckle and delivered a knee drop.
Z-Man then hooked an inside cradle for 2.
As Z-Man reversed an Irish whip, Eaton delivered a swinging neckbreaker for 2.
Z-Man then rolled up Eaton for 2.
Upon countering a hip toss into a backslide, Z-Man pinned Eaton.
Summary: Eaton should have dominated but lost here because Z-Man had already lost the title to Arn Anderson on the next episode of WCW Worldwide (aired 2/2, taped 1/7). Yes, your math is correct. Zenk held the TV title for exactly eight days. Take that for what it’s worth.
Next, a pre-recorded promo by Alexandra York airs. She states that she has selected a new member for the York Foundation.
Match 3: Freebirds versus “Wildfire” Tommy Rich & Alan Iron Eagle
For those unaware, Iron Eagle was portrayed by rookie Joe Gomez.
After Rich powerslammed Hayes, Garvin mounted the top turnbuckle but ate a shot to the midsection.
Rich then gave Garvin a knee lift followed by a slam.
When Iron Eagle tagged in, he delivered the ten-punch count-along to Garvin.
Hayes tagged in and gave Iron Eagle a bulldog.
While the Gainesville faithful chanted “Freebirds suck,” Hayes nailed Iron Eagle with a stinging left, but Iron Eagle inadvertently NO-SOLD it.
A seething Hayes then tossed Iron Eagle outside the ring and chopped him.
When Garvin tagged in, he distracted referee Lee Scott so that Hayes could stiff Iron Eagle on the floor.
Garvin then gave Iron Eagle a cross corner whip followed by a corner knee.
As Garvin attempted another cross corner whip, he came up empty on his follow-through. In fact, he tied himself to the Tree of Woe.
Iron Eagle then brought Hayes in the hard way while all four wrestlers were in the ring.
When Scott placed Rich back in his corner, Iron Eagle hooked a sunset flip on Garvin.
He then blocked a vertical suplex and delivered one of his own.
While Rich protested, the Freebirds gave Iron Eagle a double DDT.
Summary: Although Rhodes promoted Iron Eagle as an up-and-coming rookie, Iron Eagle’s wouldn’t return to WCW for five years.
Promo for WrestleWar ’91 airs. It will be LIVE on PPV on 2/24.
Tony Schiavone and Uncle Paul join us as Rhodes subtly jabs at Paul’s sexuality. While Uncle Paul strives to become my hero “by ridding the wrestling world of Missy Hyatt,” he then quotes Martin Luther King, Jr.
Match 4: Sid Vicious versus “Jumpin’” Joey Maggs
As Sid made his entrance, he rotated on a platform.
According to Ross, Sid will participate in WarGames at the PPV.
Upon clotheslining Maggs, Sid gave him a clothesline to the back of the head.
He then powerbombed Maggs.
Summary: Showcase match for Sid.
After the match, Sid’s EMT crew places Maggs on a stretcher, but Sid overturns it.
Promo for the wrestling hotline airs. Did any of you ever call them?
After a commercial break, Schiavone interviews Sid.
Match 5: Terry Taylor versus Ricky Morton
During Taylor’s entrance, Cappetta mistakenly called him “the computerized man of the 1990s.” Poor Gary. He was supposed to call him that AFTER the match.
Morton hit a cross body block for 2.
After a commercial break, Morton escaped a hammerlock with a jawbreaker.
York made her way to ringside to evaluate the match.
When Morton noticed her, Taylor clotheslined him from behind.
WE HAVE A HEEL TURN!
Upon giving Morton a jawbreaker, Taylor delivered a backbreaker.
In split-screen, York announced that Taylor had joined the York Foundation. In case you’re unaware, on 1/21, Mike Rotunda quit WCW leaving York without a protégé.
Taylor then delivered a gutwrench suplex followed by a knee drop for 2.
While Morton hooked an inside cradle, he got 2.
He then reversed a cross corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
After Taylor hit a bulldog, he got 2.
He then slammed Morton, mounted the second turnbuckle, but ate knees on a Vader bomb.
Upon backdropping Taylor, Morton gave him a cross corner whip and delivered the ten-punch count-along.
Taylor attempted to counter with an inverted atomic drop, but Morton countered with a vertical suplex followed by a float-over for 2.
After a dropkick, Morton missed a second one.
Summary: Since Cappetta spoiled the outcome to the match, it fell flatter than two-year-old draught beer.
We then see a highlight reel of a women’s match from Japan and are promised one at the PPV. Order NOW!
While Pro Wrestling Illustrated senior editor Bill Apter honors Sting as the Wrestler of the Year 1990, Sting thanks his fans.
Rhodes then soliloquizes about the Persian Gulf conflict and America’s involvement. In lieu of saying “booty” or “rear end,” Rhodes used the word “ass.” I wonder if he caught any flack for it.
Match 6: Ranger Ross versus El Cubano
According to Meltzer, Ranger Ross was scheduled to rappel from the ceiling when this show was originally scheduled to emanate from the CNN Center.
El Cubano came out wearing all black including his mask and was portrayed by David Sierra.
As the match began, Ranger Ross cut a promo in split-screen.
He reversed a cross corner whip, but El Cubano leaped to the second turnbuckle.
As El Cubano hit a cross body block, he got 2.
After a pair of slams, Ranger Ross dropkicked El Cubano out of the ring.
El Cubano came back and delivered a knee drop.
When El Cubano delivered a vertical suplex, he mounted the top turnbuckle but missed a splash.
As El Cubano hooked a hammerlock, Ranger Ross used momentum to send him between the ropes to the floor.
He then leaped to the floor and delivered a thrust kick.
To re-enter the ring, Ranger Ross hooked a sunset flip, rolled El Cubano up, and pinned him.
Summary: Nary a “U-S-A” chant was heard among the Gainesville faithful. Somewhere between Savannah, GA and Youngstown, OH, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan was not pleased.
Promo #2 for Wrestlewar ’91 airs.
Match 7: The “Enforcer” Arn Anderson & Barry Windham versus the Renegade Warriors
At the onset, the Renegade Warriors attacked the Horsemen and sent them scurrying outside the ring.
They then brought Windham in the hard way and delivered a double flying chop.
Upon booting Arn into the corner, Chris rolled him up for 2.
Windham tagged in but ate a dropkick from Chris.
Shortly after, Chris tagged in, and the Renegade Warriors double-chopped Arn.
Arn then delivered the SPINEBUSTER.
When Windham tagged in, he gave Chris a vertical suplex for 2.
He then delivered a DDT for another 2.
As Arn tagged in, his head collided with Chris’.
To prevent a tag, Arn gave Chris an inverted atomic drop.
He then mounted the second turnbuckle but ate a knee on a Vader bomb attempt.
Hot tag Mark.
All four wrestlers were in the ring.
Windham then hit a lariat on Chris and followed with a superplex.
As Windham restrained Mark, Arn pinned Chris.
Summary: Showcase match for the Horsemen.
Promo #3 for WrestleWar ’91 airs.
Footage of a Vader-Hansen match from Japan airs. Schiavone then interviews Hansen who is ready to scrap with Vader at the PPV.
Match 8: “Flyin’” Brian Pillman versus Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker
Upon hip-tossing Parker, Pillman dropkicked him.
He then hooked a crucifix pin for 2.
When Parker gave him a cross corner whip, Pillman used a flying headscissors to send Parker between the ropes to the floor.
Pillman then brought Parker in the hard way.
As Parker came back, he slammed Pillman, mounted the top turnbuckle, but decided to chastise the Gainesville faithful from the ramp instead.
Pillman then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a cross body block.
Back in the ring, Pillman gave Parker a cross corner whip, but Parker floated him to the apron.
Pillman then mounted the top turnbuckle, hit another cross body block, and pinned Parker.
Summary: Showcase match for Pillman.
Ross then shills the NEW WCW official fan club.
Match 9 (arm-wrestling): Missy Hyatt versus Paul E. Dangerously
Rhubarb Jones performed the ring announcing for this match.
After Hyatt faked out Uncle Paul twice, she removed her jacket to reveal a low-cut leotard.
As soon as Uncle Paul got a look at what she was packing, he lost.
Next, a pre-recorded video from LT’s Sports Bar in East Rutherford, NJ airs. Kevin Sullivan, Mike Rotunda, Alexandra, York, Barry Windham, and Ric Flair sit at a table with New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor.
An ad for Wrestling Wrap-Up airs.
Match 10 for the NWA World title: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (champion) versus US tag team champion Scott Steiner (w/ Rick Steiner)
Wait a minute! Flair’s champion again? How’d that happen (taped 1/11)?
As Scott came to the ring, a bunch of cheerleaders with Michigan letter sweatshirts emerged from the entrance.
As Flair came to the ring, a group of gorgeous women escorted him. His theme was also changed as Flair was supposed to undergo a character change.
Hiro Matsuda, representing New Japan Pro Wrestling, received an introduction prior to the bell.
In addition, El Gigante dwarfed Matsuda upon his introduction.
Ever the heel, Flair refused a handshake from El Gigante.
After Scott reversed a cross corner whip, he delivered a back drop.
He then gave Flair a sidewalk slam for 2.
Shortly after, Flair gave Scott a cross corner whip but ate a Steinerline.
With Flair on the apron, Scott suplexed him back into the ring.
Scott then gave Flair the ten-punch count-along, but Flair countered with an inverted atomic drop.
After a second inverted atomic drop, Flair tossed Scott outside the ring.
Immediately, Scott returned to the apron, hooked a sunset flip, but ate a knuckle sandwich.
Scott then reversed a cross corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
When Flair tried to pin Scott with this feet on the ropes, Rick pushed it off.
After a commercial break, Scott hooked the figure-four leg lock.
Do we have a new champion?
No, Flair made the ropes.
Next, a cross body block by Flair sent Flair over the top rope. A second later, Scott also went over the top rope. It must have been Flair’s gravitational pull.
On the floor, Flair delivered a knee crusher with ten minutes remaining.
Upon giving Scott another knee crusher, Flair hooked a rope-assisted figure-four leg lock.
Referee Nick Patrick caught and made Flair break the hold.
After Flair delivered a belly-to-back suplex, he reapplied the figure-four leg lock.
Will Scott submit?
No, Scott reversed the hold until Flair made the ropes.
Scott then delivered a hangman’s neckbreaker.
As he gave Flair a cross corner whip, a Flair flip occurred.
With Flair on the floor, Scott clotheslined him. That resulted in a Flair flop.
When Flair made a third attempt at the figure-four, Scott hooked an inside cradle for 2.
Scott then hooked a sleeper with four minutes remaining.
Following that, he clotheslined Flair over the top rope to the floor.
Flair came back and delivered a knee drop for 2. Again, Flair put his foot on the ropes, but Rick kept knocking it off.
With two minutes remaining, Scott hit a butterfly bomb, but Flair exited the ring.
Less than a minute remained as Scott clotheslined Flair.
He then gave Flair the ten-punch count-along followed by a cross corner whip.
As another Flair flip occurred, Flair regained his balance on the apron, mounted the top turnbuckle, and leaped.
Unfortunately for Flair, Scott nailed him in the midsection.
As Cappetta counted down the seconds, Scott hooked a belly-to-belly suplex.
He could only get a 2 count before the bell rang.
Summary: Flair carried Scott a great match here. Although I would have preferred the Frankensteiner as the climax, I’ll forgive it this time.
Conclusion: Say it with me—ONE MATCH SHOW! While the arm-wrestling “match” may have been titillating, only the main event was worthwhile. Having said that, WCW plugged the PPV with enthusiasm and vigor although a part of me believes it’s to encourage people to buy the WCW PPV rather than WrestleMania VII. You decide!
If you’ve never seen Flair versus Scott Steiner, it’s worth a look. Pass on the rest.