NWA Clash of the Champions IX: New York Knockout

Live from Troy, NY

Airdate: November 15, 1989

Attendance: 4,000

Hosted by Jim Ross & Gordon Solie

New York Knockout? Are we referring to these bunch of termagants? Seriously, Flair and Funk battle in an “I Quit” match to settle their feud. Also, the Midnight Express square off against the Dynamic Dudes. In a rematch, Pillman seeks to dethrone Luger for the US title. If that’s not enough, the Steiners face the Skyscrapers. What are you waiting for? Read on!

Funk opens the program by informing Flair that he “doesn’t want his belt…money…or family.” Instead, he wants Flair’s pride.

Not to be outdone, Flair rebuts with “pride, integrity, and guts.”

Match 1 (non-title): NWA World tag team champions the Fabulous Freebirds versus the Road Warriors (w/ “Precious” Paul Ellering)


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Certainly a match to excite the Troy faithful.

After the match, Hawk manhandles both Freebirds by himself. When Animal re-enters the ring, the Road Warriors give Hayes a double clothesline.

At ringside, Ross interviews Funk with Hart. While Funk states that he’s not a quitter, Hart warns him not to embarrass Texas tonight. Funk responds by wanting to do this alone. I smell foreshadowing.

Prior to the commercial break, a promo for Starrcade ’89: Future Shock was shown. It will air live on PPV on 12/13.

Afterward, Ross introduces Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Bill Apter who bestows the “Most Popular Wrestler” award to Sting in the form of a huge trophy. Next, Apter bestows the “Wrestler of the Decade” award to Flair. According to Apter’s book, because the WWF had its own magazine, PWI got involved with the NWA to boost both companies. Nevertheless, Flair receives a huge trophy as well.

After a commercial break, Woman cuts a pre-recorded promo and warns Rick Steiner about a “large surprise” for him. I wonder if it will have a big bow on it.

Match 2: Doom (w/ Woman) versus “Wildfire” Tommy Rich & “Hot Stuff” Eddie Gilbert


Rating: *1/2

Summary: Showcase match for Doom.

After a commercial break, Cornette hosts a live edition of the Louisville Slugger, and his guests are the Steiners. When Cornette questions Scott about his use of the huracanrana (not named), Rick calls it the “Frankensteiner.” While Rick refers to Sid as “Herman Munster,” Scott is ready for the Skyscrapers tonight. Regarding Doom and Woman, Scott states that Woman “ain’t no lady.” Yikes!

Match 3: The Midnight Express versus the Dynamic Dudes


Rating: ****

Summary: Great story as Cornette’s allegiance lied solely with his original team. If they had pulled that stunt with another babyface team, it would have been a great heel turn, but since the crowds had grown apathetic toward the Dudes, the Troy faithful cheered the angle with mustard.

Match 4: “Dr. Death” Steve Williams versus Super Destroyer


Rating: DUD

Summary: Showcase match for Williams.

After the match, Norman enters the ring and gives Williams a tiny teddy bear as a gift and a hug.

Match 5: Rick & Scott Steiner versus the Skyscrapers (w/ Teddy Long)


Rating: ***

Summary: Yet again, the Skyscrapers don’t lay down, but the feud between the Steiners and Doom is heating up.

After the match, Rick clotheslines one of the members of Doom so Woman nails him with her high-heeled shoe. Before Rick can get his revenge on Woman, an unknown giant comes into the ring. Meanwhile, Doom and the Skyscrapers give Rick a spike piledriver. As the unknown giant takes Woman back to the locker room, the Road Warriors hit the ring to even the odds. To finish the segment, a six-way brawl breaks out as the Troy faithful ERUPTS again.

For those unaware, the unknown giant is Tyler Mane. If the name sounds familiar, it should. If you are a horror movie fan, he portrays Michael Myers in Rob Zombie’s Halloween movies. And, if you are a comic book fan, he portrays Sabretooth in the X-Men movies.

After a commercial break, Ross interviews both the Steiners and Road Warriors. They’re ready for Doom and the Skyscrapers at Starrcade.

Match 6 for the NWA US title: The “Total Package” Lex Luger (champion) versus Brian Pillman


Rating: ****

Summary: Much better heel work from Luger as he found a nefarious way to keep his title.

After the match, Luger brings the chair back into the ring, throws down Patrick, and nails PIllman in the back with the chair. He then applies the Torture Rack until Sting comes to Pillman’s aid. Having taken the microphone, Luger challenges Sting who rebuts by calling Luger “an arrogant snothead” and slapping him. Drooling over the impending dream match, the Troy faithful ERUPTS until Luger backs away. As Luger walks down the aisle, Sting nails him. Add another ½* for the excellent post-match angle.

Prior to the main event, a pre-recorded promo by Flair aired. He emphasized how humiliating yet final the “I Quit” stipulation was. Just ask Tully Blanchard.

Match 7 (non-title I Quit): NWA World Champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair versus Terry Funk (w/ Gary Hart)


Rating: *****

Summary: Brutal battle that cemented a great feud between Flair and Funk.

After the match, an irate Hart enters the ring and throws his jacket down in disgust. Funk then gets on the wireless microphone and shakes Flair’s hand like a gentleman. Hart then nails Funk, but Flair nails him in Funk’s defense. Suddenly, Muta and the Dragon Master (Kendo Nagasaki) come to the ring to double-team Flair.

Sting then hits the ring to assist Flair and gives the Dragon Master a Stinger splash. Flair comes back by giving Muta a belly-to-back suplex as Sting applies the Scorpion death lock to Dragon Master. Flair then hooks the figure-four leg lock on Muta as Luger comes to the ring. When Luger brings a chair with him, he OBLITERATES Sting in the back with it. Next, Flair brawls with Luger until Muta nails Flair in the back with the chair.

While Sting is OUT COLD due to the chair shot, Hart hits Funk in his injured leg with the branding iron. As the heels exit the ring, the babyfaces lie on the mat battered and bruised. Luger then goes to the area where the trophies are stationed and smashes them with the steel chair. How dastardly! Add another ½* for the incredible post-match chaos.

Conclusion: Phenomenal show that completed the Funk-Flair feud and included several great matches. In turn, it also set the table for Starrcade ’89. Without any doubt, I cannot recommend this show any higher. Well done, WCW!

See you for WWF Survivor Series ‘89!

Rating: 4.90

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at rsg@rockstargary.com and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202).

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