The SmarK Rant for World Championship Wrestling – 05.27.89
Carrying on with some 89 NWA at 6:05 on a Saturday night!
Taped from Center Stage in Atlanta, GA
Your hosts are Jim Ross and Michael Hayes. Hayes had already lost the US title back to Lex Luger but he’s still the “champion” because that episode of Worldwide hadn’t aired yet. Plus this show would have been taped way before that.
Terry Funk v. Davey Rich
Davey gets some shots on Funk, but Terry demands to be slapped harder and then chops the bejesus out of Rich and tosses him. I don’t think poor Davey is getting the same treatment as young Eddie Guerrero got last time. Back in, Funk grabs a headlock but then somehow almost falls over the top rope, allowing Rich to get a brief comeback with armdrags and chase him to the floor. Back in, Funk drops elbows on Rich in the corner and slaps him around, but Rich whips him into the corner for a bump to the floor. Doesn’t Funk know he’s supposed to be a monster heel and not putting people over? It kind of blows my mind because you watch him bumping like a clown for jobbers here, but he was TERRIFYING when I was watching at the time and I thought Flair was dead meat. Funk pounds him with headbutts back in the ring and then throws him out and tries a piledriver on the floor in tribute to Flair, but Rich backdrops out of it and makes another comeback, sending Funk into the post. Back in the ring, Funk cuts him off with a lariat and Rich does a 360 sell off it, setting up the piledriver to finish at 5:45. Man, Terry Funk was just GREAT. 1 for 1.
ORIENTAL TORTURE MATCH: Great Muta v. Mike Justice, Cougar Jay & Trent Knight
Muta has beat all three men in 10:00 to win, and he’s facing the cream of the Crockett jobber crop there, too. However it’s not a handicap match, it’s gauntlet match rules. Jim Ross a SCOOP: Gary Hart has signed Dan Spivey while on a tour of Japan, and Spivey is developing a new hold. I believe that “new hold” would be the powerbomb, in fact. Muta puts Knight on the floor with a spinkick and hits him with a pescado, pinning him on the floor at 1:45. Back in, Muta pops up to the top rope with a crossbody on Justice at 2:00 to end his night. That looked AWESOME. Muta would just do simple stuff with pinpoint precision. So Cougar Jay is left alone, and Muta dropkicks him, hits the handspring elbow, and finishes with the moonsault at 3:13 to wrap it up. Holy shit this guy. 2 for 2.
And now, the NWA Official Top Ten!
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World champion: Ric Flair
- Ricky Steamboat
- Michael Hayes
- Lex Luger
- Butch Reed
- Great Muta
- Eddie Gilbert
- Dan Spivey
- Kevin Sullivan
- Dick Murdoch
Meanwhile, on Worldwide, The Road Warriors face the SST in a wild brawl that immediately goes to a double countout before they all go fighting into the crowd.
Lex Luger joins us to talk about facing Michael Hayes in a BADSTREET match as he seeks revenge for his US title loss at Wrestlewar. Which is funny because he did one job to Hayes and then won it back two weeks later and Hayes never returned to singles anyway. So I’d say he got his revenge.
Scott Steiner v. Jack Victory
Of note is nerdy Rick Steiner superfan Robin Green at ringside, presenting him with a teddy bear as a gift on the way to the ring. Missy Hyatt is amused by the attention but would be less amused as the storyline went on. Victory, representing the secret services at this point, works the arm to start, but Scott hits him with a crossbody and puts them both on the floor. Back in the ring, Scott hits him with a clothesline for two, but Victory comes back with a clothesline of his own. Scott gets a sunset flip for two as Hayes rages about the 3-on-1 advantage of the Steiners, including Missy Hyatt as “the broad in pink out there looking voluptuous.” Can’t imagine why she sued for harassment. Victory tries a slam and Scott reverses to a cradle for the pin at 3:50. 3 for 3.
World tag team title tournament, round one: The Samoan Swat Team v. Ron Simmons & Ranger Ross
Big brawl to start, and you know it’s a prestigious tournament when Ron Simmons & Ranger Ross are in the quarterfinals, along with Butch Reed & Cowboy Bob Orton. But maybe if they switched partners, they’d have something? Simmons overpowers Fatu for two, but Ross comes in and gets beat up in the SST corner while Hayes promises a “brand new Freebird” at Clash of Champions. “Buddy Roberts?” JR sarcastically quips, but Hayes notes that he’s not new. There wasn’t really much explanation of why Terry Gordy was allowed to switch out beyond that. Ross fights back, but Teddy Long distracts Ron Simmons by offering him a contract on the floor, and Ron misses the hot tag and tells Ross to hang on for a second while he reads the contract over. The Samoans headbutt each other and Ross finally gets over and tells Simmons what’s what, so Ron short-arms him on the tag and walks out while the SST destroys the Ranger and pins him to advance at 5:04. This was a fun angle! 4 for 4. Don’t think that the Simmons turn really went anywhere before his repackaging later in the year.
Jim Cornette joins us to cut a promo on Paul E. Dangerously and promise that the Midnight Express is returning to win the World tag team titles.
Meanwhile, Ric Flair’s doctor talks about how Flair pinched a nerve in his neck and his bench press strength is way down now.
Terry Funk joins us with a big announcement, and he called Ric Flair’s attorney and offered to pay Flair’s plane ticket to show up next week and tell us all about his injuries. So next week, Flair will be here and might even accept Funk’s challenge.
NEXT WEEK: The Midnight Express v. Bob Orton & Butch Reed in the last tag team title quarterfinal!
I’m loving this show so far. Man 89 NWA was good.