The SmarK Rant for NWA Power Hour – 02.02.90
Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jim Cornette
Sadly the edit cuts off the location of the show this week, although Cornette still thinks it sucks. Later we discover that it’s Greenville, SC.
Doom v. Italian Stallion & Keith Hart
Doom #1 beats on the Stallion and #2 comes in with a backdrop out of the corner, so Stallion tags out to Hart (no relation to the Hart family) and #2 gives him such a beating that Cornette is actually cackling with glee. #1 comes in and presses Keith before clotheslining him out of the air in a cool spot, and Cornette clarifies that the Steiners are STUPID. You can humiliate them by asking them to read from a second grade textbook. Long as there’s no math. #2 comes in and stomps away on Hart as JR snarks that Doom’s ID isn’t exactly a secret to most fans to begin with, but they’ll still be putting the masks on the line NEXT TUESDAY at the Clash. They just finish beating Hart down and pin him at 3:03.
WRESTLING NEWS NETWORK! WITH GORDON SOLIE!
So many great matches to discuss at the Clash, plus Sting challenges Ric flair for the World title at Wrestle War 90. And then Gordon makes a bold prediction: Due to the absence of Gary Hart, the Horsemen will be winning at the Clash.
Jim Cornette continues bitching about the poor location of these shows, and campaigns to do the show from Louisville Kentucky. Wherever they are this week, the Midnight Express is unable to find any action from the ladies without putting paper bags on their heads first and then cutting eye holes in them. Well that would certainly give Stan some plausible deniability for not being Lauren Boebert’s dad.
Ranger Ross v. Joe Cruz
They trade hipblocks to start and Ross goes to the arm while JR explains that the main event was supposed to be Lex Luger v. Tom Zenk for the US title tonight, but Lex pulled out and we’re getting Ric Flair defending the World title against Zenk instead. Cruz fights back on the apron while a girl in the front row holds up a copy of the in-house magazine, looking so bored that it appears like Dennis Brent slipped her $10 to do that. And then Cornette makes that same joke on commentary! Cruz with a slam for two while Cornette speculates that Chris Cruise and Joe Cruz are related. They must be really bored watching this one. Cruz with a suplex for two while Cornette busts on JR’s failed marriages, and then Ross goes to a headlock and the crowd completely turns on the match. “The government has trained Ross to kill with two fingers, and I don’t even know which two fingers!” quips Cornette as they’re just riffing to keep from falling asleep out there. Ross comes back with a neckbreaker for two and the CROWD BOOS THE KICKOUT because they want this fucking match to end already. Ross with a snap suplex for two and more boos from the crowd. Like, WCW didn’t even pipe in crowd heat for this crappy match? Ross with a rollup for two and the crowd gets even more vitriolic, but then Cruz actually makes a comeback (the heel jobber, mind you) and they manage to botch a leapfrog, before Ross finally puts him away with the COMBAT KICK at 7:47. What a dumpster fire this was. -*
Funk’s Grill with Arn Anderson. Arn is shirtless and has his lapel mic taped to his chest hair, which feels like a rib on someone. Terry notes that Arn has to choose between his brother “Oily” and Sting, although Arn corrects him on the proper pronunciation. Arn notes that whoever wins between Flair and Sting, the title is still in the family, so everything is fine between them. Funk isn’t much for partying and drinking all hours with the ladies, and then he accuses Arn of lusting after Woman, which Arn denies. This was very wacky, although not to the level of the usual Funk’s Grill wackiness.
NWA World title: Ric Flair v. Tom Zenk
Flair is still mega-babyface at this point so naturally he just had to turn heel at the height of his popularity. Zenk grabs a headlock and they do a clean break in the ropes. Cornette notes that he’s only going to Corpus Christi to watch the main event of the Clash, because normally he avoids the city due to “too many Mexicans”. Also he notes that they were only able to bring 10,000 Mexicans to invade the Alamo because they only had one pickup truck. Hoo boy. Even in 1990 that’s not cool. Zenk dropkicks Flair and takes him down with a headlock, and they fight over a wristlock, which Zenk wins. Tom takes him down into another headlock while Cornette is pretty sure that Flair is just suckering the Z-Man into a false sense of security. Zenk holds onto the headlock and we get a shoving match in the corner as tempers rise and Flair gets a little edgy. Flair gives Zenk a clean break and then hits him with shoulderblocks to send a message, but Zenk backdrops him out and takes him down with a flying headscissors and back to the headlock again. And then Flair just smacks him upside the ear and Zenk returns fire while Woman joins us at ringside. So now Flair hits him with the chops, but Zenk fights back with his own and it’s a pretty good one. So Flair bails while JR references Leona Helmsley with regards to Woman. Fun fact: That’s where the “Helmsley” in “Hunter Hearst Helmsley” comes from, although it was a very dated reference by 1995. Zenk gets a sunset flip back in the ring for two and Flair begs off in the corner and then hits Zenk with a knee out of the corner. But then Zenk wraps him in an abdominal stretch to block another one and rolls him up for two off that. Zenk works the count, which I love, as he forces Flair to keep kicking out and Nick Patrick lets them know how much Flair’s shoulder was up each time. Flair just blasts Zenk with a chop to put him down again and follows with a double arm suplex for two and drops the knee on him. Flair beats on him further in the corner and cradles for two. Zenk comes back with the sleeper, but Flair escapes with a back suplex and goes to the top. Zenk slams him off and makes another comeback, and we get a Flair flip to put him on the floor. Zenk suplexes him back in for two and they trade rollups, with Flair ending up on top with the tights for the pin at 16:29. This was “Flair defends against your city’s local babyface in 1982” and it was GREAT. ***3/4
Next week: We’re in Marietta, GA, and Jim Cornette quits so he doesn’t have to go there. I suspect he’ll be there anyway.
This one was all about the Flair match. And Jim Cornette making problematic jokes about Mexicans.