The Clash is past and the Dream is back, because the most you can say about putting a tag team wrestler in a match against the world champion and the top two faces in a tag team championship match is that it’s different.
Hosted by Jim Ross and Bob Caudle. Hey, Bob’s back!
Junkyard Dog, Ricky Morton and Tommy Rich vs. Rip Rogers, Jeff Hendrick and Steve Stax
If this was a six man on Superstars in 1987 with JYD, Tito and Hillbilly Jim it would be in and out in three minutes, with nobody outstaying their welcome. I don’t think we’ll be as lucky here. JR draws attention to rookie referee Lee Scott. Whatever happened with that guy? You’d think with the level of ass kicking he took from Sid he’d be a jobber on every show, but did he get a hernia or something? Dog looks like he’s aged twenty years in ten since his glory days. He faces off with Stax after putting out Rogers. Stax looks like a fat Clancy Brown. Seeing as he’s so big the faces do give him a few spots more than you’d expect. Hendrick in and he’s not a bad little bumper. Rhubarb Jones actually bothers to call out the five minute mark on the mic, which seems pointless because it’s not like this is going to go to the limit. Wildfire looks to finish with a flying fistdrop off the top, which seems frisky for him, but Rip breaks it up. Morton foregoes a pinfall attempt after a superkick just to hit Rogers before he tries, but Rogers tags in regardless and gets beaten on by all of his opponents before tagging Hendrick back in to get pinned with the Thesz press from Rich. Far better than it had any right to be, actually. The Greatest…
Lex Luger vs. Lou Fabiano
Lex is getting ready for his match with Dan Spivey at WrestleWar, which might be one of both their best matches ever. Lex is obviously motivated, even pulling out a leapfrog, but Fabiano is just a lump, so he finishes with a powerslam and an elbowdrop. Because WCW, and for once you can’t blame Package for that one.
Interview with Ric Flair, who’s still using Also Sprach Zarathustra at this point. His upcoming opponent at this point is El Gigante, who has done the infamous “I want the belt!” interview at this point. The giant comes out and says his line a couple of times and Naitch blows him off and sends him on his way. Typical great promo from the champ.
Terry Taylor vs. Dave Diamond
This is obviously recorded before the Clash given the polite reaction for Taylor, not that Alexandra York’s announcement of him joining her heated him up as a heel in any case. Jim and Bob don’t even mention it. I’m guessing it was a bit of a last minute call to definitely turn him, but Terry does take a few near falls from him and throws his punches and clothesline aggressively to seed it. A dropkick seems to ring Diamond’s bell, with both Taylor and Randy Anderson checking on him. “You alright?”, he politely asks quite audibly, which Ross covers with a story of “He’s checking whether he wants to just give it up”. Fivearm finishes. Surprisingly stiff and energetic match, with Diamond getting his nose bloodied. Taylor apologises for it when he’s getting up from the pin. The Greatest…
The Steiner Brothers vs. Paul Lee and Ray Hammer
Talk about two guys who wouldn’t say sorry if they smashed your nose in… Scott gets the word “kosher” in an insert promo, which impresses me greatly. Lee annoys Scott, so Scott just decks him and pumphandle slams him. He was always the best at that because he just shot them into the mat. Jim talks about the upcoming War Games match and discusses how no man in the match has ever submitted, which sounds like hyperbole but I think it would actually be correct as far as anything that ever made television. The jobber destruction continues as Rick appears to knock out Ray Hammer with a Steinerline, so he plays with him, picks him up, and walks him over to Lee and tags out for him. Bet Lee wasn’t happy to take that tag! He worsens things by not going up for the tilt-a-whirl from Scott, so Scott turns it into a side suplex instead and finishes him off with the Frankensteiner. When Scott signaled for it I was expecting something bad, but he took it fairly well, although the replay shows him running into it with his arms at his side. That’s either a stinger or bad body language. I’ll hope for the latter. The Greatest…
Wrestling Wrap-Up with Gordon Solie, looking at the upcoming Big Van Vader/Stan Hansen match at WrestleWar. We get to see their prior match at the Tokyo Dome, with JR doing some overdubbed commentary in a weird voice, pretending he was there live, then switching to the past tense for some reason. Anyway, it’s the eyeball match. Great match, but Jim’s rambling goes on forever.
White Lightning vs. Arn Anderson and Barry Windham
White Lightning is Brad Armstrong and Tim Horner, although I thought they were the Lightning Express. Arn goes over to the corner camera and does his throat slit, complete with sound effects this time. These guys were all old buddies, with Horner and Arn being roommates at one point, so even though the result shouldn’t be in doubt it’ll be competitive. Arn knocks Brad off the apron and then rolls out to avoid Horner, leading to the spot where Brad meets him outside and beats him back in. Barry comes in and bounces around for Brad. Always impressive to see a guy that big going up for a slam with the facial expressions of terror like he did. Cheap shot to bring in Arn. Barry’s already looking better for his hair growing out too.
Five minutes in, Brad gets a headlock on Arn. Arn was also roommates with Scott Armstrong and told a story on his story about Bob training his son to where he got the biggest and most muscular he’d ever be, about 210 lbs, then Scott partied it all away and Bob pretty much came and pulled him out of the apartment by the ear to take him back to Georgia with him. Then Horner in with a headscissors on Barry, which he knees out of. Bless Bob Caudle, but he’s constantly going on about El Gigante and it’s not helping. Arn and Brad tag back in and an energetic criss-cross leads to a chance spinebuster. He takes his time to get over, so it’s only two.
Barry tags in and gets a powerslam for two at ten minutes in. Bob actually coins the phrase “They’re smokin’, not jokin’!” that would end up in Windham’s Slam Jam album song. Piledriver with one arm, followed by a kneedrop. Brad fights back and tries to leap over Arn towards Horner for a tag, but Arn catches him in an inverted atomic drop to cut that off. Punch to the gut followed by a flip sell from Arn off a failed double axehandle, but Barry comes in with a DDT for a couple of two-counts. As I said, you knew the Horsemen would put their buddies over as good as they could in defeat. Brad still can’t make it out at fifteen minutes in and even tries a sunset flip, but Arn falls into Barry for a tag, then Brad reverses a suplex on Windham. Arn tags in first, but Brad finally slips past him and tags in Horner for the hot tag.
Horner with a pair of slams and punches, ramming the heels’ heads together. Barry rakes the eye and gets a DDT to cut that off quickly, which is one of my few gripes with the tag team formula match, the quick cut off. All four men in, then out of nowhere Doom run in to attack the Horsemen in an unlikely continuation of that feud. Shame, that match was teetering on greatness if it had a real finish. Doom run into one another and get into a bit of tension about it after. The Greatest…
Danger Zone with Doom afterwards, where the absence of Teddy Long (suspended) is put forward by Paul E for the lack of continuity. Reed gets into an angry rant about Long buying condos while Ron walks off after doing a calmer discussion of being a competitor. Lacking in tension for something that should’ve been really tense.
The Fabulous Freebirds vs. Rick Hardrock and Reno Riggins
Hayes and Garvin were bobbing along at this point before the introduction of someone who’d become an even bigger star of the nineties. Riggins offends P.S. by slamming him, so he gets a stiff clothesline and tells him off before introducing him to “Mr. Turnbuckle”. Garvin tags in and gets some hard slams on him. Hardrock gets in and Garvin rides him down to the mat. Sweet belly-to-back suplex that he folds him over on. Hayes comes back in with some vinegar. They’re strangely motivated here, doubtless aware of a renewed push. Riggins comes back down, but it’s a quick DDT to finish him off from Michael. One of the best later era Freebird squashes you’ll see, with them working like the Road Warriors. The Greatest…
Sid Vicious vs. Phillip Parrish
Parrish looks about eighteen and has a bit of Shane Douglas vibe about him. Never seen him before or since, but looks like someone who would fill out into something. Sid powerslams him then menaces him in the corner. “LOOK AT ME, BOY!” That’s why Sid when he was motivated was so good. I’d kinda argue that he shouldn’t have gone to the WWF in ’91 and stuck around to be the next long term world heavyweight champion, whether face or heel, but it’s not like Sid’s career was a series of good ideas. Powerbomb finishes. The Greatest…
Interview with Brian Pillman re. War Games, with Terry Taylor obnoxiously interrupting him and Missy. Taylor talks himself and Pill into a problem with one another, which I imagine will lead to a match later or next week.
Beautiful Bobby vs. Tim Parker
Great TV title scene to talk about, so let’s discuss Dusty Rhodes and how he’s going to spend his retirement now he’s back. Bobby holds an armbar while the crowd chants boring and an attendant at ringside scratches her tit for two minutes. Parker was one of the jobbers who had a little bit of an identity as Tim “Powerhouse” Parker and looked great but didn’t really do much. He died a few years ago and looked to be in great shape post-retirement. He gets a sunset flip off the top that Bobby rolls through and will not take even a one from, going back to the armbar. You’re working for that “BORING!”, Bobby. Really weird, because he’s throwing things in like a short clothesline, but he’s on that arm constantly like a kid on a tit. Some sort of springboard neckbreaker planned from Bobby, which Parker doesn’t get and just falls down on. Pissed off normal neckbreaker and Alabama Jam finishes. No idea what was up with Bobby in that one, that chant must’ve flustered him for once. Because WCW.
Interview with El Gigante… he wants the belt. Nature Boy comes out on tiptoes to shout at him, so the giant steps in the ring during a Brian Pillman/Cruel Connection match that doesn’t get started. CC ditches his cape and scarpers when Gigante looks at him. Flair rips the shirt off and the other Horsemen come in and take him down to a knee after bouncing Pillman. The Steiners make the save. That was a fairly hot finish.
Melting it down: Enjoyed this one a lot more this week among the broken nose, knockout and hurt feelings. Definite feeling of it coming out of a slump as things get weird this year.