Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Showing posts with label Paul Orndorff. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paul Orndorff. Show all posts

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

PPV REVIEW: WCW The Great American Bash 1990 - New Revolution

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Event poster
July 7, 1990 
Baltimore Arena, Baltimore, Maryland

At the Great American Bash 1990, World Championship Wrestling finally got to pull the trigger on something which, by all accounts, should have happened months before:

Crowning Sting as the new World Heavyweight Champion.

The future Hall of Famer had been well-established as the company's most popular babyface for sometime, meaning a match with reigning champion Nature Boy Ric Flair was inevitable.

Alas, The Stinger had been injured on a Clash show just weeks before his originally scheduled date with destiny and had been forced to spend the intervening time hanging out with Robocop and cutting promos.

Tonight, Sting would finally get his big match and claim his rightful position as the company's top star, so let's head down to Baltimore, Maryland and see how it all played out.





Welcome to The Bash

We kicked off tonight with a revolution-themed video featuring The Four Horsemen on actual horses, rivals Sting & Flair as portraits and other depictions tying WCW in with America’s past.

From there, it was down to our announce team of Jim Ross and Bob Caudle to give us the run down of tonight’s featured attractions, including the WCW debut of Big Van Vader.

We’d see Vader later, but first it was time for our opening contest.

Nature Boy Buddy Landel vs. Flyin’ Brian

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Buddy Landel
And so we kicked things off with this, an opening match pitting the veteran Buddy Landel against the up ‘n’ coming Flyin’ Brian Pillman.

Personally, I never quite saw the appeal of Landel. He seemed old school in a way that definitely wasn’t cool.

That said, this was a decent if pretty forgettable bout which saw Pillman claim victory thanks to a flying cross body off the top.
Your Winner: Flyin’ Brian

Out in the crowd, Gordon Sollie basically repeated the same kind of “here’s what’s coming up” hype we’d gotten from Ross and Caudle earlier.

As he did so, Iron Sheik made his way to the ring for the next match.

The Iron Sheik vs. Captain Mike Rotunda

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Iron Sheik vs. Captain Mike
This seemed like a random thrown-together match with no rhyme or reason behind it.

Sure, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s sometimes nice to have two guys competing just for the sake of competing, but still, it felt like a weird combination for a match.

Of course, I’m saying all this simply because absolutely nothing interesting happened here.

Sheik beat up Captain Mike for the majority of the match, the future tax man then pulled a backslide out of nowhere and scored the win.

It wasn’t awful, but it certainly wasn’t good either.
Your Winner: Captain Mike

Out on the arena floor, Sollie interviewed Harley Race about his return to the NWA and his upcoming match with Wildfire Tommy Rich.

Race swore to get revenge on Rich for once beating him for the World Heavyweight Championship years ago.

He then turned his attention to the main event and made the pretty obvious “prediction” that if Ric Flair wasn’t on his game then he might lose to Sting.

Well, yeah.

Dirty Dutch Mantell vs. ‘The World’s Strongest Man’ Doug Furnas

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Dutch Mantell faced Doug Furnas
Finally, after a whole bunch of meh, we got some pretty good action in the form of Doug Furnas vs. Dirty Dutch Mantell.

Furnas showed up to prove what he was capable of, dashing around the ring with speed, strength, and agility while Jim Ross gushed about how many world records in “strength” The World’s Strongest Man actually had.

To counter this, Mantell used cunning, craftiness, and some good old-fashioned cheating, ultimately managing to keep the explosive Furnas to the ground.

Unfortunately for the wily veteran, it wasn’t enough to keep his opponent down for long.

Furnas blasted Mantell with a big-time belly-to-belly to score the pin in the first enjoyable match of the show so far.
Your Winner: Doug Furnass

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Jim Cornette
Out in the arena, Jim Cornette gave an excellent promo to Gordon Sollie.

The legendary manager quickly hyped up the two feature attractions on tonight’s show before turning his attention to The Midnight Express and their title defence against The Southern Boys.

As compelling as ever, Cornette put over his own team in fine fashion and vowed that while Steve Armstrong and Tracy Smothers may be good, they weren’t good enough to dethrone Sweet Stan Lane and Beautiful Bobby Eaton.

This was damn good stuff from James E.

Wildfire Tommy Rich vs. Harley Race

This was a passable contest in which both men did the best they could with what they had.

For Race, this was his first NWA PPV appearance since Starrcade '83 and his first PPV appearance in general since Royal Rumble 1989.

In fact, he still wore the purple singlet with the crown motif from his run as King of the WWF.

Jim Ross tried to cover for his by pondering whether the former champion was a fan of the Sacramento Kings.

The match itself was alright, but like most of the matches that went before it, it was hardly must-see viewing.

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Paul Heyman and Mean Mark
In the end, Rich flew off the top with a crossbody but Race rolled over and got the one, the two, and the three.
Your Winner: Harley Race

Following the match-promo-match formula, we went back to Gordon Sollie who was standing by with Paul E. Dangerously and his charge, Mean Mark Callous.

Putting over Mark’s upcoming US title match against Lex Luger, Dangerously ranted and raved about how mean and tough Mean Mark really was, all while the man himself ripped up a Luger t-shirt.

That was fun.

NWA United States Tag Team Championship
NWA US Tag Team Champions The Midnight Express (Sweet Stan Lane and Beautiful Bobby Eaton w/ Jim Cornette) vs. The Wild-Eyed Southern Boys (Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong)

The first genuinely exciting match on the card up to this point, this was classic tag team action in the very best sense.

Despite The Midnights being the heels, both teams had their fair share of fans, making for an electric atmosphere from start to finish.

Of course, it helped that the action was damn fine too.

Apart from a weird spot where Stan Lane and Tracy Smothers stopped to have a “karate” fight that looked nothing like any kind of actual karate you e ever seen, it was all thrilling stuff.

After teasing that the plucky Southern Boys might just steal victory, Sweet Stan kicked Smothers in the back of the head and Eaton rolled him up for the fall.
Your Winners and still US Tag Team Champions: The Midnight Express

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - The Fabulous Freebirds
Out in the arena, Gordon Sollie interviewed The Fabulous Freebirds, who were not only covered in glitter and make-up but who had also decided that wearing t-shirts around their necks like bibs was a cool look for them.

The duo were there to talk about their match with The Steiner Brothers but Michael P.S Hayes wanted to brag about his ability to erm..drive things.

“There’s nothing with four wheels that we can’t drive and there’s nothing with four legs that we can’t ride,” he boasted.

Could you imagine being Michael Hayes’ pet dog? The poor thing must’ve been terrified every time Hayes came over to it with that ‘yeehaw, giddy up!’ glint in his eye.

Z-Man vs. Big Van Vader

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Big Van Vader made his debut
Was there anything in the world cooler than Vader’s head-dress thing that he used to wear?

The big man was making his debut here did so in formidable fashion, destroying Z-Man in under five minutes.

It wasn’t much of a match, but it wasn’t supposed to be. It was supposed to be a showcase for how awesome Big Van Vader was, and to that end it was very effective.

I should also mention that, prior to the match, Vader played for the crowd as a babyface would. This surprised this writer who only ever knew of the big man as a heel.
Your Winner: Big Van Vader

In a break from the in-ring action, Gordon Sollie interviewed The Four Horsemen about their upcoming match against Junkyard Dog, Paul Orndorff, and the debuting El Gigante.

Barry Windham and Ole Anderson did all the talking for their team, promising that they had a plan to emerge victorious tonight.

The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael ‘P.S’ Hayes & Jimmy Garvin) vs. The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner)

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Jimmy Jam Garvin puts Ric Steiner to sleep
I’ll be honest with you, I never quite understood what this version of The Fabulous Freebirds were supposed to be.

Were they supposed to be genuinely cool rock stars or deluded heels who had no idea how utterly goofy they looked?

Still, while I might not get it, I’m a little kinder to Michael Hayes and Jimmy ‘Jam’ Garvin than the Baltimore crowd were.

Early in the match, the fans targetted Garvin with a gay slur that I won't be repeating here, and later broke out with a chorus of “Michael is a b*tch! Michael is a b*tch!”

Anyway, the match itself was fine once it got going.

Sure, it wasn’t up to the standards of the earlier Midnights/Southern Boys encounter, but The Steiners rarely disappointed and they certainly didn’t here.

After a good effort, Garvin looked to have Scott Steiner pinned but the referee scolded the Freebird for not being the legal man.

In the confusion, Rick Steiner took Hayes to suplex city for the win.
Your Winners: The Steiner Brothers

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Jim Ross and Bob Caudle called the event
Prior to the next match, Jim Ross and Bob Caudle informed us that the next WCW PPV would be Halloween Havoc 1990 in October. 

I don't know about you, dear reader, but I miss the days when there was a several-month stretch between pay per views.

The announcers also put over our remaining matches and questioned the condition of Sting. The popular star hadn't competed since busting his knee at WCW Clash of the Champions X, and tonight would be his big comeback match.

Would the Stinger be at 100% tonight?

Ross and Caudle insisted that he'd have to be if he was to stand any chance of dethroning The Nature Boy.

The Four Horsemen (NWA TV Champion Arn Anderson, Barry Windham, and Sid Vicious) vs. The Dudes With Attitudes ('Mr. Wonderful' Paul Orndorff, Junkyard Dog, and El Gigante)

And so, after Big Van Vader, this was to be our second debut on the show as El Gigante stepped into the ring to compete for the first time.

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - El Gigante made his in-ring debut
Not that he actually did anything.

In fact, the spectacle of Gigante, coupled with The Horsemen's excellent reactions to him proved to be far more entertaining than anything Jorge González could have possibly done.

The big man spent most of the match on the apron, with the heels occasionally coming near him and cowering in fear when he threatened to strike them or step over the ropes. It was these reactions, brilliant as they were, that overshadowed any of the actual action.

Of course, Jim Ross chose not to focus on this at first. Gigante didn't have a football career, so the sports-obsessed announcer had no choice but to clutch at straws and talk about the Argentina soccer football team competing in the 1990 World Cup.

That wasn't the only thing overshadowing Gigante's debut.

The other thing was Sid Vicious.

It occurs to me as I'm writing this that big Sid never really worked as a heel because people always ALWAYS loved him. Even when he was teaming with Dan Spivey in The Skyscrapers, he and he alone would get the biggest reaction of any match he was in.

The same applied here, with the crowd erupting into loud chants of "WE WANT SID!" and going banana every time the colossal star stepped foot between the ropes.

Also of note here was the fact that Junkyard Dog had decided not to sell a single thing in this match. Every time somebody struck him, he stood and stared at them. Every time somebody attempted a power move, he refused to budge. It was a weird sight, but at least the Horsemen did the best they could with it.

That's pretty much the best way to sum up this match too. The Horsemen (and Orndorff who, to be fair, worked hard), all worked hard to salvage this match from being a total stinker.

In the end, the over-the-top-rope DQ rule that WCW was enforcing at the time came into play and Sid, Arn Anderson, and Barry Windham were disqualified without the much-hyped El Gigante even getting a single legal tag.
Your Winners via Disqualification: The Dudes With Attitudes

Before his big title defence, US champion Lex Luger responded to his challenger’s earlier actions, insisting it would be a lot more difficult to tear him apart the way Mean Mark tore up that t-shirt.

Luger was decent here, but I won’t lie, The Total Package was always far more entertaining to this fan when he was a heel.

National Wrestling Alliance United States Championship
NWA US Champion Lex Luger vs. Mean Mark (w/ Paul E. Dangerously)


Mean Mark and Lex Luger were two huge dudes who could have clobbered their way through a good power match. Instead, they spent the first part of this US title contest holding each other in armbars, basically sucking the life out of things and quickly losing this fan’s interest.

Things got a little better once the match finally picked up steam, but by that point, I won’t lie, I was past the point of caring.

Towards the end, the challenger went for the heart punch but Luger booted him in the head, decked Paul E. then clobbered Mark with a clothesline for the fall because this was 1990 and a clothesline was still an acceptable way to win a match.
Your Winner and Still US Champion: Lex Luger

Backstage, an un-painted Sting put Ric Flair over as a great champion before admitting that while he was a little nervous, his knee was back at 100% and he was more than ready to take on The Nature Boy in tonight’s world title main event.

National Wrestling Alliance World Tag Team Championship
NWA Tag Team Champions Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed w/ Teddy Long) vs. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson)

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Teddy Long led Doom into battle against the Rock 'n' Roll Express
I may have mentioned this before, but it always strikes me as odd to at a team with such an ominous name as DOOM would have theme music that sounds like it was rejected as the theme from Wheel of Fortune or something.

Anyway, while I’m sure there are fans of this match, this writer isn’t really one of them.

The match was OK, but Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson’s trademark formula made it somewhat predictable and neither team seemed concerned with doing anything interesting enough to make it feel like it wasn’t just every tag team match you’ve ever seen.

After an unspectacular outing, Butch Reed got the win over Gibson.
Your Winners and Still Tag Team Champions: Doom

Prior to the main event, we saw a pre-recorded segment in which Ric Flair gave an interview to Gordon Sollie.

As on-form as ever, The Nature Boy reminded Sting that to be the man...you have to beat the man....

Wooooooo!

National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship No Disqualification Match
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Nature Boy Ric Flair vs. Sting (w/ The Dudes With Attitudes)

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Sting beat Ric Flair for the world heavyweight championship
Meeting in singles competition for the first time since Clash of the Champions 1, Ric Flair and Sting gave a compelling performance here.

To keep the Four Horsemen from interfering, Paul Orndorff, Junkyard Dog, and The Steiners surrounded the ring while Ole Anderson was forced to be handcuffed to El Gigante for the duration of the match.

And what a match it was. Though it may not technically have been the best you were ever going to get from these two, there was a real sense that you were watching something important.

That big match feel, coupled with both star’s solid performances really ensured one delivered the goods.

Towards the end, the challenger charged at the champion with a running knee to the corner. Flair moved and Sting’s previously injured knee collided with the top turnbuckle.

Looking to capitalize, Flair went for the figure four but got rolled up into an inside cradle.

One three count later and, ladies and gentlemen, we had ourselves a new champion.
Your Winner and NEW NWA World Heavyweight Champion: Sting

Post match, Sting celebrated with The Dudes With Attitudes before heading to the back, exhausted yet triumphant. 



And so, months later than  planned, Sting had finally claimed his place at the top of the WCW mountain in a tremendous match that had been well worth the wait.

Before that, The Great American Bash 1990 had been a mixed bag in terms of in-ring competition. The Midnights/Southern Boys and Doom/Steiners were good matches, Dutch Mantell vs. Doug Furnas was a surprising early highlight, and everything else was just, well, kind of there. 

Still, besides the main event, it wasn't really the matches themselves that make this such a significant event. The crowning of a new world champion, the debut of Big Van Vader (and, to a lesser-extent, El Gigante) and the final WCW PPV appearance of a certain Mark Calaway all earned this one it's place in the history books. 




Thursday, 12 August 2021

EVENT REVIEW: WCW Clash of the Champions XI - Costal Crush

WCW Clash of the Champions XI - Costal Crush
June 13, 1990 Charleston, South Carolina

By the time WCW Clash of the Champions XI - Costal Crush came around, Sting was still out of action, recovering from the knee injury he'd suffered back at the tenth Clash event.

Still, as the company's top babyface, WCW eager to keep him around on screen, having him pop-up for promos in which he verbally sparred with The Four Horsemen.

Meanwhile, the man he would inevitably go on to dethrone for the World Heavyweight Championship, Nature Boy Ric Flair prepared to put his title on the line against Junkyard Dog.

While there was no doubting JYD's popularity, his inclusion in this match certainly felt like something of a stop-gap, a way to kill time until Sting could finally get his date with destiny.

Here's what went down when Costal Crush came to South Carolina.






They’re Back (and better than ever)

WCW Clash of the Champions XI - Tony Schiavone
Our show tonight began with a tour of Charleston, with a voice-over informing us that the last time WCW had scheduled a show here, Hurricane Hugo had prevented it.

Tonight, WCW was back, and sow too were the people of Charleston.

Heading live into the arena, a fresh-faced Tony Schiavone had questions for us:

Could Junkyard Dog dethrone Ric Flair to become the first black NWA champion?

Could The Steiners reclaim the world tag team titles from Doom? And would the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express be able to make history by capturing the US tag team champions?

We’d find out the answers to all of these questions tonight at Costal Crush, but first, we went to our announcers Jim Ross and Bob Caudle.

The duo hyped up tonight’s three big title matches along with other exciting moments such as an appearance by El Gigante and Lex Luger answering questions on the WCW hotline.

With that, it was down to ringside for our opening contest.

Wild-Eyed Southern Boys (Steve Armstrong & Tracy Smothers) vs. The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael ‘P.S’ Hayes & Jimmy ‘Jam’ Garvin)

WCW Clash of the Champions XI - The Wild-Eyed Southern Boys
Prior to the bell, Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong gave a pre-recorded promo in which they stood in front of a rebel flag and talked about how southern they were.

We then saw a clip of Michael ‘P.S’ Hayes strutting his stuff in front of a live band as he sang ‘Bad Street USA.

The match finally got underway and proved to be a textbook opening contest - not so much a classic wrestling match, but the Freebirds heeling it up and the Wild-Eyed Southern Boys doing their plucky underdog routine to perfection.

It was a good combination that produced a fun match with lots of enjoyable back-and-forth action culminating in the Southern Boys picking up the upset victory thanks to Armstrong’s well-placed flying head butt to Jimmy Garvin’s kidneys. Your Winners: The Wild-Eyed Southern Boys

Before going to a commercial, we got a reminder that LEX LUGAR was going to be on the wrestling hotline.

Trust WCW to spell the name of one of their biggest stars wrong.

After the commercial, it was right on to our next match.

Bam Bam Bigelow (w/ Sir Oliver Humperdink) vs. ‘Wildfire’ Tommy Rich

WCW Clash of the Champions XI - Bam Bam Bigelow w/ Sir Oliver Humperdink
This wasn’t much of a match at all.

Tommy Rich control in the early going and worked Bam Bam Bigelow’s arm for a bit then got him in the corner to drop ten punches on his noggin.

Bammer responded by choking Rich out until he got himself disqualified and that was that. Your Winner by DQ: Tommy Rich

Post-match, Bam Bam went nuts, beating Rich some more then storming about the ring yelling ‘ARGH! I’LL KILL EVERYBODY!’

To be fair, that was better than almost the entire match.

Another commercial break followed, after which we were told about the company’s next PPV, The Great American Bash.

Jim Ross informed us that none other than Big Van Vader would be debuting at that show, and this led us to a clip of the late, great Leon White making his entrance at a show in Japan wearing that absolute bad ass head gear that he used to wear.

Speaking of bad ass, we next went to Gary Michael Capetta.

Standing in the ring, GNC confirmed that Vader would be debuting at the Bash along with another man, the largest athlete in the world, El Gigante.

El Gigante Speaks (in Spanish)

The big man made his way to the ring as GMC read off some impressive stats about how big his feet were before informing us that Gigante would be teaming with Junkyard Dog and Paul Orndorff to take on The Four Horsemen at The Great American Bash.

Capetta then interviewed the newcomer in Spanish, informing us that the future Giant Gonzales was looking forward to making his debut and knew that WCW was the place to be.

Honestly, it says something when your hot, new star is outshined by your ring announcer.

The Samoan Swat Team (Fatu & The Savage) vs. Captain Mike & Z-Man

WCW Clash of the Champions XI - The Samoans faced Captain Mike & Z-Man
This was decent for what it was, but it was too short to be anything meaningful.

The Samoans dominated the match with some fast-but-hard offence, taking out Z-Man and leaving him prime for pinning.

Before they got the fall, however, Fatu and The Savage took to the ropes to pose.

With their backs turned, Zenk swapped places with Captain Mike who lay prone on the mat but then revealed he was playing possum and rolled up his opponent for the 1,2,3. Your Winners: Captain Mike & Z-Man

Yes, apparently, The Samoans were too stupid to realise that Rotunda and Zenk were not the same person even though they looked nothing alike.

Up next, we got a highlight package of Mean Mark, showing us that the big man was far more capable and athletic than his early portrayal of The Undertaker would have you believe.

Mean Mark (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Flyin’ Brian Pillman

This was another fun-but-short match pitting Mark’s brute strength and aggressiveness against Brian Pillman’s fast-paced, high-flying offence.

It was good stuff for the most part, but everything felt really rushed in order to make it to the commercial break on time.

After getting his butt handed to him for a while, Pillman made a valiant, crowd-popping comeback only to have Mean Mark lift him up and drop him, throat-first on the top rope.

That was enough to end the whole match. Your Winner: Mean Mark

After the commercial break, Sting gave a backstage interview to Tony Schiavone.

The future Hall of Famer didn’t really say anything particularly noteworthy other than reminding us that he hated Ric Flair, but he spoke with an intensity and charisma that made it obvious why he would be a headline act for the rest of his career.

National Wrestling Alliance United States Tag Team Championship
NWA US Tag Team Champions The Midnight Express (Sweet Stan Lane & Beautiful Bobby Eaton w/ Jim Cornette) vs. The Rock & Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson)

The one thing you have to love about the Midnight Express and the Rock & Roll Express was that they must have wrestled each other a million times over and yet no two of their matches ever felt exactly the same.

Prior to the bell, both teams gave us pre-record promos in front of a green screen.

The green screen enabled WCW’s production team to present each promo as if they were stood in front of an old, slowly-chugging locomotive.

It was the least ‘express’-looking train in the world.

The match got underway and was great fun until Sweet Stan Lane got his team disqualified for roughing up Retro Pro Wrestling favourite Nick Patrick.Your Winners via Disqualification: The Rock & Roll Express (The Midnight Express retain the titles)

After a quick commercial break, it was onto our next match.

‘The World’s Strongest Man’ Doug Furnas vs. Barry Windham

WCW Clash of the Champions XI - Barry Windham
Like most Clash bouts, this one didn’t last very long but it was at least entertaining.

Jim Ross spent most of the bout gushing over Doug Furnas’ athletic credentials and how well he did in high school football, but if he’d been paying attention to what was going on in the ring he would have called a fun, explosive big man match which ended when Barry Windham hit Furnas with a back suplex then used the ropes for leverage to score the three count. Your Winner: Barry Windham

The match was followed by multiple replays of Windham’s nefarious cheating ways.

Then, following another commercial break, a tuxedo-clad Sid Vicious gave us a green-screen promo in which he ranted about how much he was going to destroy Lex Luger.

Sid Vicious (w/ Ole Anderson) vs. Lex Luger

Not that Sid would actually get a chance to.

Luger, who was now a babyface again, stormed the ring and immediately clobbered Four Horsemen reps Sid and Ole Anderson.

He then clotheslined Sid and pinned him in about 30 seconds.

Seriously, what was the point of that? Your Winner: Lex Luger

Post-match, Jim Ross and Bob Caudle hyped the upcoming Great American Bash.

WCW World Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
WCW Tag Team Champions Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed w/ Teddy Long) vs. The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner)

You know, I can’t believe I’ve never mentioned this before, but it’s funny how un-Doom-like Doom’s jazzy theme music was.

Anyway, this rematch from Capital Combat was a damn fine effort. It went twice as long as most Clash matches and saw Scott Steiner shine as an absolute superstar in the making.

Not that the rest of the competitors didn’t play their part.

All four delivered a decent match which may not seem like a classic today but was very entertaining in its own right.

The end came when Scott Steiner looked to have the match won with a top rope clothesline to Butch Reed, only for Ron Simmons to nail him with what Jim Ross later called -and I quote- “one of those world-famous international objects.

That allowed Doom to retain their titles for our second cheap win in as many matches. Your Winners and Still Tag Team Champions: Doom

Out in the crowd, Junkyard Dog gave a lively interview to Tony Schiavone in which he promised that tonight was definitely going to be his night.

This was followed by a green screen promo in which Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff promised Arn Anderson that it was payback time.

Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff vs. WCW Television Champion Arn Anderson

WCW Clash of the Champions XI - Paul Orndorff
Double A’s title wasn’t on the line here for this one, but Orndorff took it and strutted around the ring with it anyway.

Title or not, this was a solid effort.

Both men were talented performers and certainly didn’t disappoint on this occasion, giving us a decent old-school match with the crowds firmly on the side of Mr. Wonderful.

After a fun contest, Orndorff scored the three count with an inside cradle. Your Winner: Paul Orndorff

Before the main event, Tony Schiavone interviewed The Four Horsemen.

Ole Anderson ranted about how nobody would ever take the title away from Flair, while Flair himself cut his typical charismatic promo.

As well as hyping his match with JYD, Flair put over Arn Anderson almost beating Mr. Wonderful and Barry Windham “destroying” Doug Furnas, but curiously said nothing about Sid getting his ass handed to him in about 20 seconds by Lex Luger.

Finally, it was time for our feature attraction.

National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Nature Boy Ric Flair (w/ Ole Anderson) vs. Junkyard Dog

WCW Clash of the Champions XI - Ric Flair graphic for the main event
This was a short but fun main event that was played more for its entertainment value than as a straight-up technical masterpiece.

I doubt anyone ever really took Junkyard Dog seriously as a credible contender and he was never going to go toe-to-toe and hold-for-hold with the Nature Boy, but the crowds loved him anyway as he battered Flair from pillar to post.

Getting frustrated at not being able to get the better of his opponent, the champion grabbed a chair and waffled JYD with it while Ole Anderson distracted the official.

Dog no-sold the move, and when the cowardly heels realised they were running out of options, Ole ran in for the DQ. Your Winner via Disqualification: Junkyard Dog (Ric Flair retains)

Post-match, The Four Horsemen ran in to attack JYD but this brought out Sting, Luger, and Paul Orndorff to even the score.

El Gigante came out too, but he mainly stood around on the apron looking completely lost.

Sting Issues a Challenge

WCW Clash of the Champions XI - Sting issues a challenge to Ric Flair
After a commercial break and an ad encouraging you to call or write in for information about “WCW Gift Items,” Jim Ross interviewed Rocky King who said something about people having no necks before making room for Sting.

Wearing a garish Lex Luger t-shirt, the company’s biggest babyface challenged Flair to put the title on the line at The Great American Bash 1990.

Flair didn’t say one way or the other whether he accepted the challenge, but he did return to the ring for a brawl with Sting.

The two continued to fight as the credits rolled, with Jim Ross urging us to call the WCW Hotline to hear how that fight turned out.

In other words, folks, we’re outta time!






On the whole, Clash of the Champions 11 was a good show.

The main event was entertaining in its own way. JYD may have been limited from an in-ring standpoint (at least compared to Flair), but he and the champion made the most out of what they had to work with and the results were a lot of fun.

Elsewhere, most matches were reasonably good if you remember that this was really only a glorified TV show and thus don’t go into it expecting Pay Per View quality.

Doom vs. Steiners was this writer’s favourite, but overall this was a decent, watchable show.




Thursday, 16 April 2020

EVENT REVIEW: Saturday Night's Main Event 1 (1985)

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 1 (1985) - title graphic
May 10, 1985 (aired May 11, 1985)
Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York

Say what you will about Wrestlemania 36, there's one thing we can all probably agree on:

The Firefly Fun House match was batsh*t crazy.

Full of references to wrestling's past, the John Cena/Bray Wyatt was a montage of retro mayhem from start to finish.

In between the Ruthless Aggression callbacks and that bizarre nod to the nWo, one scene, in particular, cast our stars in the full-on eighties glory of one Saturday Night's Main Event.

And if that isn't a good enough reason to dive back to 1985 and review the first-ever edition of the WWF's occasional NBC special, I don't know what is.







Let's get to it.

Welcome to Saturday Night's Main Event

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 1 (1985) - Cyndi Lauper and Wendi RichterWe began tonight's show with words from the biggest stars of the Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection.

First, Wendi Richter received a pep talk from her manager, Cyndi Lauper. That wily ring veteran Lauper encouraged the women's champion to avoid getting her hair pulled and 'keep [her] trunk strong.' in her match tonight with The Fabulous Moolah.

Then, Hulk Hogan let us know that Mr T would be in his corner for his upcoming match with Bob Orton Jr.

This was followed by a delightful eighties intro, complete with shots of the company's biggest stars hitting their best moves while the fantastic theme song Obsession by Animotion played on.


Our announcers tonight were the incomparable duo of Vince McMahon and Jesse 'The Body' Ventura.

While McMahon was pumped for Hogan's title defence against Orton, Ventura seemed more excited about the six man tag team match that was about to take place.

The U.S Express are Fired Up

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 1 (1985) - Mean Gene interviews Ricky Steamboat and The Midnight Express
Before we got to the action, Mean Gene Okerlund stood by for an interview with Barry Windham, Mike Rotunda and Ricky Steamboat.

Windham was upset that their match tonight wasn't for the tag team titles while Captain Lou warned the heel manager Classie Freddie Blassie to stay out of his way.

As old-school eighties promos went, this was good stuff.

Six-Man Tag Team Match
George 'The Animal' Steel and WWF Tag Team Champions The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff (w/ Classie Freddie Blassie) vs. Ricky Steamboat and The U.S Express (Barry Windham & Mike Rotunda)

Thank goodness for the talent of the babyfaces or this match would have been a disaster.

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 1 (1985) - The Iron Sheik and Nikoali Volkoff teamed with George Steele in the opening match
People scolded the decision to put The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff in a match at the ill-fated Heroes of Wrestling PPV because they were in such poor shape then, but here, 14 years earlier, they honestly weren't much better.

At one point, Ricky Steamboat hit both men with a pair of arm drags and I'd be surprised if either man went more than a millimetre off the floor.

Still, Steamboat, Windham, and Rotunda made up for it with their talent and popularity.

After a short but serviceable match, Volkoff and Sheik abandoned their partner George Steel (who was entirely miscast as a heel), leaving him to get rolled up by Windham and pinned.
Your Winners: The U.S Express and Ricky Steamboat

Post-match, Sheik and Volkoff attacked Steele, but he fought back and saw them off before seeking solace in the embrace of his former manager, Lou Albano, effectively turning face again.

As the dastardly heels made their way backstage, they were stopped by Gene Okerlund who demanded an explanation.

Blassie declared that Steele hadn't made the tag when he was supposed to because -insult of all insults- he was a fruitcake.

Harsh, Blassie, way harsh.

Piper's Pit

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 1 (1985) - Paul Orndorff was a guest on Piper's Pit
Up next, we returned to the ring were "two of the baddest dudes in the World Wrestling Federation" (Vince's words), Rowdy Roddy Piper and Cowboy Bob Orton were standing by an episode of Piper's Pit.

Their guest this evening was Piper's Wrestlemania 1 tag team partner, Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff. The two got together to discuss their big 'Mania loss to Mr T. & Hulk Hogan. Of course, I say discuss, what I really mean is that Piper called Orndorff a loser and blamed him for the big loss.

Naturally, Mr. Wonderful attacked, turning babyface in the process, but was outnumbered and eventually overwhelmed by Piper and Orton.

Not all of Rowdy Roddy's Piper's Pit segments have aged well, but this was good stuff, especially when Orndorff responded to Piper's invitation to sit down by saying "ladies first," getting a huge pop from the live crowd.

This is For My Mother Brother

With that out of the way, Piper and Orton stayed in the ring, waiting for Orton's big title shot against The Hulkster. Before he got to the ring, Hogan gave an interview to Mean Gene. With Mother's Day coming up, Hogan dedicated his match to his Mother Brother though I assume he meant, you know, his mother, brother.

World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion Hulk Hogan (w/ Mr. T) vs. Ace Cowboy Bob Orton

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 1 (1985) - Mr T was in Hulk Hogan's corner for a match against Bob Orton
The match itself was your typical Hulk Hogan 1980s title defence with most of the actual excitement turned down a few notches.

Hogan attacked Orton's cast-covered arm for a while, the Cowboy cheated his way to an advantage and beat up on the champion, then Hogan blocked a superplex attempt, pushed Orton to the ma, legdropped him and pinned him. It wasn't much, but it was fairly inoffensive at least.
Your Winner and Still WWF Champion: Hulk Hogan

Afterwards, the heels attacked the faces, but  Paul Orndorff came to the rescue, cementing his face turn.

Cyndi Lauper is Banned From Ringside

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 1 (1985) - Mean Gene interviews the old Fabulous Moolah
Before our big women's title match, challenger The Fabulous Moolah told Mean Gene that due to Cyndi Lauper constantly getting involved in Wendi Richter's matches, WWF officials had banned the singer from ringside. What's more, Moolah had the official paperwork to prove it.

Offering a response, Cyndi wanted to remind us about Moolah interfering in Richter's match  at "Wrestling Mania." She was, of course, talking about her beating Leilani Kai for the title at Wrestlemania 1.

World Wrestling Federation Women's Championship
WWF Women's Champion Wendi Richter (w/ David Wolff) vs. The Fabulous Moolah

Lauper made her way to the ring anyway but was ordered away from ringside and forced to watch the match on a tiny monitor while her manager, David Wolff, hung around at ringside doing nothing of note.

The match was fairly poor, at least compared to the fun outing Richer had with Kai at 'Mania, but still, this was a different time and the standards were completely different.

After a few minutes of very litle excitement, Richter rolled up Moolah to retain her title.
Your Winner and Still Women's Champion: Wendi Richter

Out in the entranceway, Junkyard Dog told Mean Gene Okerlund that he was bring his mom, Bertha, with him for his upcoming match.

The Duke of Dorchester, Pete Doherty vs. Junkyard Dog (w/ His Mother)

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 1 (1985) - Junkyard Dog brought his mother Bertha to the ring
On obvious squash match, this was made all the better by the fact that Pete Doherty was one of the more entertaining jobbers of his time, always boasting enough personality to mask the fact that very little of note actually happened from a wrestling perspective.

To the shock of absolutely noone, JYD slammed Doherty to the mat after just a few minutes and pinned him clean.
Your Winner: Junkyard Dog

Aftewards, the JYD and his momma boogied out in the ring

Cyndi Lauper's Mother's Day Party

Out in the back, Cyndi Lauper hosted a Mother's Day party. Well, they called it a party, it was more a bunch of wrestlers and some of their moms (or fake mom stand-ins) all stood side-by-side in a line like they were in the weirdest police line-up ever.

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 1 (1985) - Jesse Venture & Vince McMahon called the show
Freddie Blassie came with a young woman who he claimed to be his mother yet was clearly 30 years his junior, a gag that Jerry Lawler would later use at In Your House 1 ten years later.

Meanwhile, Cyndi Lauper's mom told Mean Gene that she was glad the party was happening because now moms the world over could be recognised for the hard work they do, as though her daughter was the one who had invented the very concept of Mother's Day.

Finally, The Fabulous Moolah stormed in, irate at not being invited to the party, and got into a shouting match with Lauper.

In keeping with that ancient pro wrestling tradition which states that any time there is a cake, somebody's face must destroy it, the segment finished with a skirmish that led to both Moolah and Mean Gene going through the cake.






So, that was that. This is normally the point in these reviews were I wrap things up with some kind of final statement about the quality of the show, but it seems almost unfair to do that here.

Saturday Night's Main Event was very much a product of its time. It wasn't meant to stand the test of time as some landmark moment in history - it was meant to fill a bit of time when NBC weren't airing Saturday Night Live and entertain a few people, and to that end, it did it's job.

Sure, the match quality may not have been very remarkable, but at least the whole thing made much more sense than whatever the Firefly Fun House was supposed to be.




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New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.