The SmarK Rant for World Championship Wrestling – 05.20.89
This is a random reader request for reasons that will be obvious by the end, I’m sure. And hey, who doesn’t love 89 WCW? We’re shortly after WrestleWar 89 for those who need a bit of context.
Taped from Center Stage in Atlanta, GA
Your host is Jim Ross
WCW TV title: Sting v. Jack Victory
Victory is currently hailing from “New Jersey Secret Service”, wearing a khaki jumpsuit as his uniform. Sting dumps him to start and hits him with a dive, then runs him into the post and back in for one. Sting goes for the arm and then hits Victory with a bulldog and goes up with a flying bodypress to finish at 1:48. Gary Hart pops into commentary to note that “Terry Funk has a way of making his point” with regards to the Flair situation, which is certainly one way to put it. Fun little squash for Sting. 1 for 1. Afterwards, Gary continues to challenge Sting on behalf of the Great Muta, and Sting wants it right now, but Gary points out that Muta isn’t here and thus he’ll have to wait. Plus the dragon stick isn’t here anyway. But then it turns out that Muta IS here, and he comes out and shoots some green mist to make his point, but Gary Hart pulls him back again.
Eddie Gilbert joins JR to talk about Rick Steiner’s arm injury at WrestleWar, and Kevin Sullivan is a YELLOW EGG-SUCKING DOG for injuring it. So we cut to footage of Rick and Scott Steiner at the doctor, where Rick gets a tens machine on his bicep to help with healing it.
Scott Steiner v. Rick Branch
The jobber attacks and Scott hits him with dropkicks and follows with a belly to belly to finish at 0:20. Scott was SUPER green at this point, much like his nephew today, but immediately looked like a huge star in the making. 2 for 2.
Meanwhile, we take a look at a new guy named Flyin’ Brian, who will be debuting in the NWA shortly and appears to enjoy working out and dropkicking people.
Meanwhile, we hear from Johnny and Davey Rich, who are cousins and call themselves the Party Patrol, and although they got to the NWA too late to enter the World tag team title tournament, they’ll challenge the winner any time! Yeah good luck with that.
Terry Funk v. Eddie Guerrero
So yeah, this is why this episode was requested, as Eddie was in his teens and came in for a tryout, so Terry Funk decided to do his best to earn him a job. Terry immediately makes friends with the ring announcer, demanding that he wait for Terry to remove his chaps so he can be given a proper introduction! Well that’s just common sense. Funk comes in with chops, but Eddie rolls away from him and hits him with an enzuigiri to chase Terry to the floor in frustration. Back in the ring, Funk mocks the rolling and hits Eddie with chops in the corner, but Eddie flips out of there, only to get caught in a GIANT SWING. Funk puts the boots to him and drops a fist on him before finally getting his chops in, but he misses a charge and gets caught up in the ropes. So Eddie makes a comeback with a flying headscissors and dropkick, but Funk picks him up and slams him from the ring to the floor! That was right over the top and JR wonders why that wasn’t a DQ. Me too, but HOLY CRAP what a bump. Funk follows him out, but Eddie goes up and dives onto him with a crossbody to the floor, but then he tries another dive and splats on the floor for another hellacious bump. And then Funk hits him with a baseball slide and Eddie flies over the railing and lands on the floor. And then Funk piledrives him on the floor for good measure! WHAT EVEN IS THIS?!? Back in the ring, Funk drops one more knee on him and pins him at 5:05. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK? How did they not give Guerrero a contract after seeing that match? 3 for 3.
Terry Funk joins JR for an interview after that hellacious win, sharing stories of his father taking his prized jackass and putting a bullet in it when it suffered a broken leg. Funk of course had to say “jackass” about 17 times here. And then Funk clarifies that Ric Flair is the jackass with the broken leg in this metaphor and he needs to be put out to pasture, although he does concede that they can’t actually put a literal bullet in his head. And then he goes on a bizarre rant about wanting into the top 10 contenders now that Rick Steiner is injured, and begs Jim Ross on his knees for a spot even as JR protests that he’s not actually part of the championship committee. Amazing.
Ron Simmons & Ranger Ross v. Lee Scott & The Enforcer
Ross controls the masked Enforcer with an armbar, so he tags out to Scott, and Simmons immediately hits him with a spinebuster. Ross with the superkick and Ron goes up with a flying shoulderblock to finish at 1:18. Apparently they’re facing the SST in the first round of the tag title tournament. Spoiler: It doesn’t go well for them. 3 for 4.
Meanwhile, it’s a special look at the DYNAMIC DUDES, who are also in the tournament, and enjoy doing dance training to prepare for it. Can’t make this stuff up. I’m not sure what the generic music is replacing but it’s pretty terrible. I’m assuming Bobby McFerrin?
World tag team title tournament, round one: The Freebirds v. The Road Warriors
This is the Hayes & Gordy version of the team, and Michael Hayes was fresh off beating Lex Luger for the US title. Well both of those things would change by the end of the tournament. The Warriors clear the ring to start and they double-team Hayes before Hawk hits him with a press slam and chases him out of the ring. So Gordy comes in for a power battle with Animal, but Animal powerslams him and they clothesline each other for the double down. Hayes sneaks in with the DDT behind the ref’s back and that gets two. Hayes with a back elbow and the Freebirds double-team Animal with a double elbow for two. Gordy with a corner clothesline, but he charges and hits the boot and it’s hot tag Hawk. He hits them both with clotheslines and beats on Hayes, but the SST runs in and destroys Animal on the floor, beating on him with a chair until Hawk saves and gets counted out at 5:15, sending the Freebirds to the next round. In a nicely understated background moment, Terry Gordy tries to join the fight but Hayes pulls him back and keeps him wrapped up so that they can win by any means necessary. That’s a nice touch showing that Hayes was the brains and Gordy was the muscle. 4 for 5.
Teddy Long joins JR, claiming to be working for Don King, and he introduces a video package of his friend Norman, who comes from a lunatic asylum. A much different type of promo from the eventual child-like character that Norman became.
Hacksaw Butch Reed v. Cougar Jay
Now there’s a jobber name I haven’t heard in a minute. Jay tries to throw shoulderblocks and gets thrown out of the ring for his troubles, apparently trying to top Eddie’s bumps. Back in the ring and Reed throws him to the other side, as Jay takes another wild bump to the floor, and Reed runs him into the post. Back in the ring, Reed hits him with a press slam and finishes with the flying shoulderblock at 2:15 to end the show. 4 for 6.
Next week: SST v. Simmons & Ross in the first round of the tag title tournament! Plus an update on Ric Flair’s neck!
This was GREAT. I’m sticking with this era for a while, although the Network’s collection runs out in July.