The SmarK Rant for NWA Power Hour – 04.06.90
Taped from Johnstown…PA? NY? Apparently it could be either one. Now I’ll never get any sleep wondering.
Your hosts are Jim Ross & Gordon Solie
Tommy Rich v. Outlaw Deaton
So “Outlaw” Deaton is a repackage of Joel “Thunderfoot” Deaton that I totally don’t remember and makes these 1990 WCW shows so fun sometimes. So basically they were like “What if we took Joel Deaton and pretended he was Stan Hansen?” and that’s exactly the kind of thing that a WCW booker would ask. He’s introduced from some ridiculous fictional Texas city for added layers of character silliness just in case we didn’t get that he’s an OUTLAW. Luckily they eventually stumbled on Dennis Knight as Tex Slazenger, who at least looks like he’s from somewhere around there in real life. They fight for the takedown to start and Deaton makes sure to give the HOOK ‘EM HORNS to stress how much of an OUTLAW that he is. Also he wears chaps to the ring and a cowboy hat. He’s practically a featured star on Yellowstone. Deaton takes him down and works a wristlock on the mat but Rich reverses to an exciting headscissors. Deaton goes to argue with the crowd because he’s an OUTLAW who hates being told what to do by the crowd, which allows Rich to comes back with elbows, until Deaton drops him with a backdrop driver and goes “MOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” like Stan Hansen does so you can totally tell that he’s an outlaw from Texas. Deaton goes to a neck vice, but Rich reverses him to a spinning toehold and works the leg for a bit. Deaton puts him down with knees and continues yelling like Stan, but Tommy dropkicks him to the floor. Back in, the Thesz Press gets two as they fall into the ropes, saving Deaton, and he comes back with a corner clothesline. He tries for a bulldog, because of course he does, and then changes his mind and pulls out a foreign object and knocks out Rich for the pin at 8:00. Good lord they actually gave JOEL DEATON a win on national TV? What even was this year? ** I can only assume they abandoned this stupid idea after a couple of weeks because I know for sure he was in All Japan by midway through the year.
WRESTLING NEWS NETWORK! WITH GORDON SOLIE!
Gordon has a HOT TAKE based on questions from fans: Sting should NOT retire and he can come back from his knee injury. Bold move, Cotton, we’ll see if it pays off. Also, Gordon announces that we now know who Norman’s mystery ally is, but he doesn’t tell us! WHAT’S IN THE BOOOOOOOX?
Thank god, JR clarifies that we’re in Pennsylvania and not New York. Whew. Also, the Omni show this week is apparently headlined by a Teddy Long v. Paul Ellering match, with tickets available at all Turtles Records and Tapes in Atlanta. That’s a lot to process, man.
Rip Morgan v. Eddie Gilbert
Eddie appears to be all coked up and wacky again this week, just screwing around in 1990 and playing with house money at this point. Morgan overpowers him, but Gilbert fights back with a facebuster and takes him over with a headlock, holding on through a suplex and then running the ropes in the corner and taking him down again. He stops to chase after Lord Littlebrook, as Eddie’s fired up babyface act was quite the deal. Back in the ring, Eddie goes back to that headlock again. But then he chases Littlebrook again and gets caught with a cheapshot this time, allowing Rip to take over with slams in the ring and a chinlock. Eddie fights out of that, but Morgan goes up, so Eddie catches him with a knee on the way down and makes the comeback. Gilbert tries a high cross and gets caught, but Littlebrook tries to interfere and accidentally pushes them over, putting Eddie on top for the pin at 6:46. Eddie in full DGAF mode was fun to watch at least, although he wasn’t around for much longer. **1/4
Ric Flair & Woman join Jim Cornette, and Cornette offers to lease the Midnight Express to the Four Horsemen and bring them up to full strength. So this was actually a thing was pitched by the booking committee and fairly solidly in the works at the time, but then Plans Changed and we ended up with the additions of Barry Windham and Sid Vicious instead. The Midnight Express as Horsemen would have been an interesting direction, I’ll say that. I can’t remember all the politics behind it but I’m assuming Ole Anderson wouldn’t have wanted things to go that way.
NWA World title: Ric Flair v. Robert Gibson
Kind of wish they had thrown a random Flair v. Morton match on here instead, but I’ll take what I can get. Gibson gets some shine to start and backdrops Flair out of the corner before slugging away to trigger a Flair Flop. That’s like Gordon Solie walking away from the bar after finishing that bottle of Jack. Flair chops him down, but Robert gets a backslide for two. Flair gets another chop, but Gibson fights back, so Flair tosses him to the floor. Robert comes back in with a sunset flip and Flair’s desperate fighting of that is great, and that gets two. So then he pokes Gibson in the eye, leaving him cross-eyed! No wait it was like that before. Flair with chops in the corner and he drops the knee and chokes him out on the ropes, allowing Woman to get some shots there as well. They trade more chops and Gibson fights back again with an enzuigiri and beats on Flair in the corner again. So we get a Flair Flip this time and Ric lands on the floor, so Robert runs him into the railing and we get another Flair Flop out there. Back in, Flair tries to go up and Robert slams him off and gets a spinning toehold, forcing Flair to make the ropes. So Gibson continues working on the leg, and kicks the leg out of his leg before wrapping it around the post a few times. And then he pulls out the Ricky Gibson deathlock, aka Darby Allin’s Last Supper, and Flair has to get to the ropes to escape that. Flair quickly clips the knee and goes right to the figure-four, but Gibson was already in the ropes. Flair beats on him with chops, but Gibson goes to a sleeper, and Flair rams him into the turnbuckles to break and then pins him with his feet on the ropes at 11:38. Yeah OK this ruled. ***1/2
And we close with Tommy Rich, who didn’t slip on a banana peel, he got beaten by a foreign object and wants a rematch. Gordon notes that Deaton HAS to answer the challenge because it was made on national TV! Also our Wrestler of the Week is Mean Mark Callous, who is back from the Orient and apparently being shopped around by Teddy Long. Well we certainly know someone rich enough to buy his contract, say around November.
Between Outlaw Deaton, Eddie Gilbert playing out the string, and a great Flair main event, you can’t say these shows are boring.