The SmarK Retro Repost – WrestleWar ’90

The Netcop Retro Rant for NWA WrestleWar 90.

This is a review for the Turner Home Entertainment video version of the

show, since a) Only about 12 people ordered the PPV and b) The only

things cuts were the crappy opening two matches and about 13 minutes of

the main event.

– Live from Greensboro, North Carolina.

– Your hosts are Jim Ross & Terry Funk.

– Opening match: The Rock N Roll Express v. The Midnight Express. Has

there *ever* been a bad match between these guys? Okay, here’s the

difference between Then and Now: Remember at Unforgiven when Cornette

did that dumb spot where he picks a fight with the referee? He does it

here, too, only it went over HUGE in 1990. Sign in crowd (and one of

only two visible on camera): We have HERD enough. Amen to that,

brother. After the initial goofiness and double-team-a-rama, the

Midnights settle into what they do best: Beating the shit out of Ricky

Morton. Constant heat for the Midnights, both heel and face. Match

never really drags because the Midnights tag so much. Holly and Gunn

take note. Rocket launcher misses, hot tag to Gibson. Cornette

absolutely smokes him with the racket on a criss-cross, but Eaton only

gets two. Midnights try a Flapjack, but Morton spears Eaton on the way

down and Gibson cradles Lane for the pin. ****, as usual.

– Chicago Street Fight: The Road Warriors v. Mean Mark Callous & Mike

Enos (under a mask). This was the final end to the Skyscrapers, as

Spivey left the NWA for a variety of reasons. Enos, on loan from the

AWA, got drafted into service here. Doom wanders down to ringside, in

tuxes. The Warriors pretty much dismantle the pseudo-Skyscrapers.

Doomsday device for the pin. Fun match, actually. **1/2 Doom and LOD

brawl after the match.

– US tag title: Brian Pillman & Tom Zenk v. The Freebirds. Pillman is

god, everyone else can burn in hell. The Freebirds have stalling down

to a Zbyszko-esque artform. This is a rematch from the US tag title

tournament where Pillman and Zenk won the titles. Back and forth and

VERY VERY LONG match as Zenk gets the semi-hot tag and proceeds to get

clobbered for another 10 minutes. The Birds jaw to the camera almost

non-stop. Looooooooooong chinlock. Who gave these guys 25 minutes to

fill? Finally, Pillman gets in and cleans house before the entire arena

becomes comatose. Pillman with a cross-body on Jimbo to retain. **

Have I mentioned how awful the Freebirds were?

– World tag team title: The Steiners v. Ole and Arn Anderson. Rick has

a sign taped to his jacket that says “Sting’s Revenge.” This was much

like AA’s career, solid but totally forgettable. The Andersons take

turns working the arm until Scott hits a Frankensteiner absolutely out

of nowhere and makes the tag. Steiner nails both guys and pins Ole

after a cradle. Twenty minutes summed up in one paragraph, there ya go.

And that’s all I have to say about that. **1/2

– World heavyweight title match: Ric Flair v. Lex Luger. This was a

last-minute switch after Sting blew the shit out of his knee. Luger was

a monster heel at the time, which made it even weirder. Luger went into

total babyface mode for this, however. This version is JIP at about the

17-minute mark. I’ve seen the original, and it’s mostly the same stuff

from Luger and Flair at the beginning anyway. Besides, the entire match

runs almost 45 minutes with ring intros and extracurricular activities,

so there’s lots of goodness for everyone. Flair cheats like a mofo and

insults the front row one-by-one. Classic stuff. Jim Herd was

desperately pushing for Luger to go over here but Flair (as usual)

vetoed the switch. But despite the backstage politics, Flair and Luger

still manage to put on a super match. Hogan was fighting Lanny Poffo

around this time, just for sake of reference. Flair gets the

figure-four on about 35 minutes in, and Sting hobbles down to ringside

for moral support. Luger is draped on the ropes and Sting slaps him

around until he’s good and pissed and ready to kill Flair. Jim Ross is

nearly having an aneurism. Luger annhiliates Flair. Ref bump. Luger

kicks more Flair ass and racks him. But now the Andersons come down to

ringside and start harassing Sting. So Luger has a morality judgment to

make: Hold on for a guaranteed win (Flair is screaming “I quit” the

whole time) or release the hold to save Sting? Because he’s an idiot,

he releases the hold and saves Sting. The Andersons beat up Luger

before the Steiners make the save. ****1/4

The Bottom Line: Much like WWF shows of today, a mind-blowing main

event with an okay undercard. Capital Combat, their next PPV, would

feature another show with that formula, and then Ole Anderson took over

and flushed the entire operation down the crapper.

Highly recommended for the main event and opening match alone.