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 Rock n Roll Express. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rock n Roll Express. Show all posts

Sunday, 19 December 2021

PPV REVIEW: WCW Halloween Havoc 1990

WCW Halloween Havoc 1990 - Event poster
October 27, 1990 
UIC Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois

According to legend, the original master tape of WCW Halloween Havoc 1990 was destroyed long ago, meaning all we're left with is the Turner Home Entertainment VHS version with omits a bunch of singles matches and gives us four tag matches, a US title bout, and the world title bout. 

While personally I typically prefer to watch a full event when I'm reviewing something for Retro Pro Wrestling, I'm not going to be too distraught about never seeing the following matches:

* Terry Taylor vs. Bill Irwin
* Master Blasters vs. The Southern Boys
* Brad Armstrong vs. J.W Storm
* The Junkyard Dog vs. Moondog Rex.

Instead, I'll focus this review on the matches we can watch as we head down to Chicago one fall evening in late 1990 for Halloween Havoc: Terror Rules the Ring.






Spooky Time

WCW Halloween Havoc 1990 Review - Jim Ross & Paul E. Dangerously
We began tonight's event with a short, animated introduction that zoomed in on a haunted house as spectral images of Sting and Sid Vicious drifted on and off the screen. It wasn't all that spectacular, but at least it was there.

With that over, we went live to Chicago where Jim Ross and Paul E. Dangerously welcomed us to tonight's show. 

Dangerously was dressed as a vampire, while Jim Ross went with that classic Halloween costume, "Man Wearing a Hat."

The Greatest Night of Professional Wrestling

From there, Ross sent us over to Tony "Phantom of The Opera" Schiavone who was standing by for an interview with Ricky Morton and 'Wildfire' Tommy Rich. Morton gave a shoutout to his injured partner, Robert Gibson, and promised that they'd one day get revenge on the Fabulous Freebirds for taking Gibson out of action.

For his part, Gibson ranted loudly about what a great night of professional wrestling this was going to be and, with that, it was down to ringside for our opening contest. 

Ricky Morton & 'Wildfire' Tommy Rich vs. The Midnight Expres (Sweet Stan Lane & Beautiful Bobby Eaton w/ Jim Cornette)

WCW Halloween Havoc 1990 Review - The Midnight Express
This was as good of an opener as you were ever going to get on a WCW show. Sweet Stan and Beautiful Bobby were always a great team and their endless series of matches with the Rock 'n' Roll Express never failed to deliver. 

Even swapping Gibson for Tommy Rich didn't change that. This was fun, exciting, with lots of big spots (a Rocket Launcher to the outside, for example) that you just didn't usually see on American TV at the turn of the 90s. 

After an exciting match, The Southern Boys came down dressed up as Jim Cornette and got stuck into an all-out mele. In the resulting fracas, Jim Cornette's tennis racket was used against his team, giving the win to the good guys.
Your Winners: Ricky Morton & Tommy Rich 

Black Magic

WCW Halloween Havoc 1990 Review - Tony Schiavone Interviews Sting
Our next segment started innocently enough.

Tony Schiavone interviewed Sting about his ongoing rivalry with the Black Scorpion and his upcoming title defence against Sid Justice.

The champion had been dealing with both men since Sid issued a challenge at the end of Sting’s win over the Scorpion at Clash of the Champions 12.

The Stinger was all fired up about tonight, but before he could get very far he was interrupted by the Black Scorpion.

“Sting, Sting, let me show you an example of my black magic!” Said the Scorpion.

Except, by black magic, what he really meant was stage magic because all he did was pick a plant from the crowd and run behind a curtain.

Sting struggled to get to the frame holding the curtain on account of some random security dudes, and when he got there, there was a puff of smoke and Scorpion the girl were -shock of all shocks!- completely gone.

Except they weren’t, because they simply reappeared on the other side of the stage moments later, a move that was so obvious I’m sure even the little kids in the audience knew that they simply exited stage left, ran around, and re-entered stage right.

This was so bad it was hilarious.

Afterwards, Ross and Dangerously sold the whole thing like a much more impressive feat test than it was.

The Renegade Warriors (Chris & Mark Youngblood) vs. The Fabulous Freebirds (Jimmy ‘Jam’ Garvin & Michael ‘P.S’ Hayes w/ Little Richard Marley)

WCW Halloween Havoc 1990 Review - The Fabulous Freebirds
Interestingly, this was Mark Youngblood’s first appearance on a major NWA/WCW event since Starrcade ‘83.

Here, it was his younger brother Chris Youngblood (who sadly passed away earlier this year) that spent the bulk of this match playing the face-in-peril for the Fabulous Freebirds.

It wasn’t a sound booking strategy for the match. Usually the tag team formula builds sympathy for the battered face and ensures a big pop when he eventually makes the hot tag, but there was none of that.

The crowd didn’t really care for The Renegade Warriors and constantly chanted for either Jimmy Garvin or Michael Hayes to end it with their DDT.

Eventually, the fans got their wish.

After Mark Youngblood tagged in to absolute silence, a big fracas ensued which also saw the Freebirds’ “Roadie,” Little Richard Marley, getting dragged into the completion.

At one point, Chris Youngblood looked to have Jimmy Jam beat with a roll-up but the ref was too busy trying to break up a fight between Mark and Little Richard.

That meant that Hayes could hit the DDT and his team could win the match.

The finish was decent, but everything else about this match was a total snore.
Your Winners: The Fabulous Freebirds

WCW Halloween Havoc 1990 Review - The Four Horsemen
Out on the arena floor, Tony Schiavone interviewed Nature Boy Ric Flair, The Enforcer Arn Anderson and Sid Vicious about their upcoming matches.

Flair and Anderson promised to take the tag team titles away from Doom tonight. No offense to Butch Reed and Ron Simmons, nor to Anderson for that matter, but that match sounds like a waste for a talent of Flair’s caliber.

Anyway, when they were done, Sid shouted really angrily about being the ruler of the world and how he was going to destroy Sting once and for all.

Right on.

National Wrestling Alliance United States Tag Team Championship
NWA US Tag Team Champions The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott Steiner) vs. The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags)

WCW Halloween Havoc 1990 Review - The Nasty Boys vs. The Steiner Brothers
You know, given the kind of reputation The Nasty Boys would develop in later years, it still comes as a bit of a surprise to be reminded that they were once a formidable tag team capable of delivering some truly entertaining brawls.

Take this match, for example.

Here, Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags stormed out of the gate and into a wild, out-of-control fight with Rick and Scott Steiner that was a lot of fun to watch.

Eventually, things settled down with The Nasties dominating Scott Steiner before the equally as chaotic ending in which the champs retained thanks to the Frankensteiner.

Though it may have been a touch too long for some people, for this writer, any time you get two teams of people who aren’t afraid to just beat the crap out of each other, you’re in for a good time.
Your Winners and Still US Tag Team Champions: The Steiner Brothers

Post-match, Knobbs, and Sags attacked Rick Steiner until Scotty saw them off.

This led us to Tony Schiavone interviewing Scott, only to get attacked by Jerry Sags dressed as a concession stand worker. Knobbs eventually joined in the attack before stealing the mic to yell at The Steiners.

I won’t say whether this was good or bad, but I will say that when Scott Steiner is the most coherent promo in a segment, there’s probably something up.

National Wrestling Alliance World Tag Team Championship
NWA World Tag Team Champions Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed w/ Terry Long)

WCW Halloween Havoc 1990 Review - The Four Horsemen vs. Doom
Oh look, another tag team match.

I know there were singles matches on this card that wasn’t up to much, but is it too much to ask to stick at least one on this presentation just to break up the monotony of reviewing four tag bouts in a row?

Despite this being yet another tag match, it was very good one and the best of the four so far, a lengthy, nigh-on 20 minute battle which culminated in a double count out.

That was a smart finish given the need to keep the titles on Doom while still protecting what aura Flair still had about him during this very obvious demotion.
Double Countout

Backstage, Stan Hansen spat on a pumpkin and promised to take the US title from Lex Luger.

It was a unique promo to say the least.

National Wrestling Alliance United States Championship
NWA United States Champion Lex Luger vs. Stan Hansen

This was a decent big man match but not something that would ever warrant repeat reviewing.

The two men battered each other in a slow and brutal fashion until the ref took a nap in the corner.

At that point, Hansen’s protege Dan Spivey ran in to hand his mentor a cowbell.

That didn’t make much of a difference, but one big larriat did, proving enough to end a Lex Luger US title reign that seemed to have been going on forever.
Your Winner and New US Champion: Stan Hansen

Before the main event, Teddy Long gave an interview to Tony Schiavone in which he insisted that Doom would never again have to defend the tag team titles against The Four Horsemen.

This was followed by Missy Hyatt joining JR and Dangerously at ringside just so that Missy could boast about predicting a win for Sid before Paul did.

National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Sting vs. Sid Vicious

WCW Halloween Havoc 1990 Review - Sting vs. Sid Vicious
Sadly, this match was very underwhelming. Sting was finally getting a run at the top after being one of the consistently most over performers on the roster while Sid, despite not being an amazing worker, had always been the most popular wrestler in any match he was in throughout the duration of his WCW run.

Alas, that didn’t translate to a good match.

While there was some exciting moments, there were also long periods of chin locks, arm bars, and nerve holds all of which were entirely forgettable.

What wasn’t forgettable was the finish.

The Horsemen ran in and Sting ended up going to the back to fight them. Then a fake Sting (Barry Windham) came in and got pinned by Sid.

Fireworks errupted, balloons dropped from the ceiling and the fans half cheered, half wondered what the heck had just happened.

It was at that point that the real Sting returned, with the cameras missing a vital shot of him coming face to face with Windham-Sting in the isle.

That would have explained everything. Instead, we just got this confusing moment where referee Nick Patrick, despite counting the fall for Sid, simply shrugged his shoulders and counted another fall for Sting, giving him the win.

The crowds were bewildered but cheered anyway, probably because the mess was over.
Your Winner and Still World Heavyweight Champion: Sting

Post-match, a visibly annoyed Sting promised Jim Ross that he would defend his title anywhere at any time against anyone, and that was all she wrote for WCW Halloween Havoc 1990.






The ending of the main event was disappointing because it was actually a clever idea, but it was so poorly executed that it came across as a baffling mess of calamity.

The match itself wasn’t great either, but Midnights/Morton & Rich, Horsemen/Doom, and especially Steiners/Nasties were all worth a watch.

Just skip right past the Fabulous Freebirds match. It’s utterly insane that despite cutting so many matches from their VHS presentation, Turner Home Network left in a match that was just painfully, painfully boring.

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, 22 July 2021

PPV REVIEW: WCW Capital Combat 1990

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - Event Poster
May 19, 1990, D.C. Armory in Washington, D.C

There's only one thing anybody remembers about WCW Capital Combat 1990:

The appearance of Robocop.

Widely hailed as one of the most ridiculous things the company ever presented (which, for WCW, is saying something!), Robocop's much-maligned involvement at the event was done to tie in with the release of the Robocop 2 movie and pretty much overshadowed everything else that went down on the card. 

To be honest, that's a shame, because even though Capital Combat was never destined to go down in history as an all-time classic event, it certainly had more to offer than a goofy publicity stunt. 

Don't believe me?

Here's what went down when World Championship Wrestling came to Washington D.C.






Capital Combat 1990 - The Return of Robocop

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - Tony Schiavone
Tonight’s show opened with a short, animated video which showed a classified file being opened to reveal that it was full of press clippings about Sting’s injury, a flyer for tonight’s show, and randomly, a photograph of Rick Steiner.

After zooming into an also-animated shot of the Capitol building, we went live to the arena where a fresh-faced Tony Schiavone put in his first NWA/WCW appearance since -I think- Starrcade 1988.

Schiavone got things underway by hyping up tonight’s three title matches before sending it to a brass band for a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner in commemoration of Armed Forces Day.

Next, Big Tony introduced us to our play-by-play team of Jim Ross and Bob Caudle who also decided to tell us about the title matches while we waited for the matches to begin.

Kevin Sullivan, Bam Bam Bigelow, and Cactus Jack (w/ Sir Oliver Humperdink) vs. Norman The Lunatic and The Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal)

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - Bam Bam Bigelow
The Road Warriors came down riding pillion on some other dudes Harleys so Norman followed suit by riding a child’s scooter to the ring.

Honestly, this writer laughed way too hard at that.

In terms of stature, this seemed like a demotion for Hawk and Animal, but they made the most of it and so too did everyone else involved.

Moving at a much faster pace than you’d imagine given the participants, it was a fun, solid 10-or-so minute match with a lot of good action.

Not too surprisingly, the good guys won after Hawk nailed Kevin Sullivan with a top rope clothesline. Your Winners: Norman & The Road Warriors

The losers of the match hadn’t even left the ring when Johnny Ace’s music hit ready for the next match.

Johnny Ace vs. Mean Mark (w/ Theodore Long)

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - Mean Mark beat Johnny Ace
Before the action got underway, Jim Ross tried to sell us on just how mean Mean Mark really was by noting that his favourite signer was Ozzy Osborne.

He bites the heads off bats, you know,” said Ross, almost proudly.

There was no biting in this one, but there was some fairly decent action.

Though the match probably went about five minutes longer than necessary and wasn’t very inspiring in places, it was nonetheless a good effort that saw Ozzy’s number one fan pick up the win thanks to a heart punch and an elbow from the middle of the top rope.

Your Winner: Mean Mark

Post-match, Ross and Caudle showed us that Mark’s impressive top rope elbow had scored an 8.2 on the Slam-O-Meter, which really was as cheesy as it sounds: an honest-to-goodness scale rating the impact of certain moves that looked like it came right from a Nickelodeon game show.

Sting is Concerned for the Little Stingers

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - Gordon Sollie awaits the arrival of Robocop
Out in the back, Gordon Sollie hung around outside Sting’s locker room which was protected by two security guards, one of whom looked suspiciously like Big E.

Sollie basically recapped the story of Sting’s feud with The Four Horsemen, how he got kicked out of the group at Clash of the Champions X: Texas Shoot-Out and was subsequently injured.

This somehow led to Sting now being friends with fricken Robocop of all people and to Sollie telling us over and over again how concerned Sting was for his little Stingers.

Back in the arena, The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express ranted and raved about how good the NWA was and how they were going to quite literally whip some ass in the upcoming Corporal Punishment match.

While Ricky Morton tried to break Hulk Hogan’s record for the most uses of the word ‘brother,’ in a single promo, Robert Gibson made hand signals at the camera.

I've since been informed in the comments that this was Gibson speaking in sign language to his brother who was deaf, but I still like to think that what he was saying was I’m stuck on a Robocop-themed PPV, send help.

The Samoan Swat Team (Fatu & Tama) vs. Captain Mike Rotunda & ‘Wildfire’ Tommy Rich

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - The Samoan Swat Team faced Tommy Rich & Mike Rotunda
At this point, Captain Mike Rotunda had gone full Sail Boat Captain and had teamed up with Tommy Rich in what seemed like an odd-pairing.

Speaking of Rotunda, did you know that he was a finalist in a punt-pass-kick competition when he was 9 years-old?

If you watched any NWA/early WCW you certainly did because Jim Ross mentioned it EVERY. SINGLE.TIME that Rotunda wrestled.

I’m telling you all this because it was far more interesting than anything that actually happened in the match.

The Samoans stalled for literally about three minutes as they kept trying to do their pre-match ritual only to be interrupted by Tommy Rich’s incessant whistling.

Honestly, I know he was the babyface but it made me really f**ng hate Wildfire. Just let them get the damn thing done so that the match could start!

Not that much of anything happened once it did.

Though it was competently performed, the match was bland, boring, in exciting and went on for far too long.

The SST won with a flash pin. Your Winners: The Samoan Swat Team

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - Tony Schaivone interviews The Steiner Brothers
Somewhere in the arena, Tony Schiavone interviewed tag team champions The Steiner Brothers about their upcoming match with Doom.

Scott Steiner was either meeting Schiavone for the first time since the announcer had returned from the WWF or he just being Scott Steiner as he referred to him by the name “Tommy...Tony Savvany.

He then proceeded to rant about how very few people were lining up to face The Steiners because of how tough they were.

For his part, Rick was still playing the ‘frustrated simpleton’ gimmick (at least I think it was a gimmick) as he spluttered his way through a few lines about how good of a team Doom were.

Sweepstakes Winners

Prior to the next match, Garry Michael Capetta introduced us to the winners of the Capital Combat sweepstakes contest.

He’d actually tried to do this earlier but got drowned out by theme music and we never actually got to see the winners on camera.

This time, we saw that the two winners were an older couple who were clearly a bit bemused about being pointed out and did their best to wave to the audience.

Bless ‘em, it was adorably cute.

Hair vs. Hair Match Precious Paul Ellering vs. Teddy ‘Sugar Ray’ Long

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - Paul Ellering faced Teddy Long in a Hair vs. Hair match
Missy Hyatt was the guest ring announcer for this one. I feel almost blasphemous saying anything negative about the beautiful Ms. Hyatt, but ring announcing was not her forte.

Sure, she was competent, but she was also kind of shrill.

Anyway, Teddy Long came down wearing boxing gloves, one of which was loaded.

After getting attacked from behind, Paul Ellering made a comeback, stripped Long of his gloves and whacked him around the noggin with the loaded one to win this short nothing match. Your Winner: Paul Ellering

Afterwards, they had a moustachioed gentleman in a sequin jacket named Jay Tapper out to do the haircutting.

JR had told us that Tapper was a ‘stylist to the stars’ and implied that he was famous, however a Google search for ‘Jay Tapper stylist’ only brings up his name in relation to this event, so he can’t have been all that famous.

With Long out cold, Tapper shaved like three little tufts off hair from the back of Long’s head so that it was visibily clear that ol’ Sugar Ray still had plenty left on his head.

This, therefore, wasn’t so much ‘Loser Loses Their Hair’ as it was ‘Loser Gets a Half-Hearted Trim.

The Four Horsemen are Fired Up

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - The Four Horsemen
Up next, Tommy Savanny had words with the Four Horsemen who were all fired up apart from Sid Vicious, who just stood in the background wearing a tuxedo for no explainable reason.

Ole Anderson started by shouting about how the Horsemen would never let Ric Flair lose the title and the fact that Lex Luger fighting hurt was not as courageous as it was being made out to be.

Ric Flair promised that Luger would be a one-legged athlete for the rest of his life. At one point, Flair even insisted that Luger was half the man Nature Boy was, and you could almost see the cog’s working in Sid’s brain as he stored that line for a later date.

National Wrestling Alliance United States Tag Team Championship
NWA Tag Team Champions Flyin’ Brian & Z-Man vs. The Midnight Express (Sweet Stan Lane & Beautiful Bobby Eaton w/ Jim Cornette)

Jim Cornette must be locked in a cage. 

This was just a tremendous match.

With Jim Cornette locked in a cage at ringside, Stan Lane and Bobby Eaton locked horns went up against Flyin’ Brian and The Z-Man in about that was fast-paced (for the time) exciting and with nary a dull moment in sight.

It was one of those wonderful old-school matches where arm drags and dropkicks were to the audience what a 450 plancha is to today’s audience and it was all the more enjoyable for it.

After an adrenaline-charged match with lots of entertaining action, Sweet Stan kicked Z-Man in the back of the head, Beautiful Bobby rolled him up and new champions were crowned. Your Winners and New US Tag Team Champions: The Midnight Express

Afterwards, the camera lingered ominously on the empty cage before Jim Ross plugged July’s Great American Bash.

Robocop is Here

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - Robocop came to Sting's rescue
Out in the back, Gordon Sollie told us that Robocop was here and he was.

A bunch of official-looking Men in Black types rushed out of a room wearing suits and holding a finger to their ear the way official-looking Men in Black types usually do in films, all before the robotic police officer stepped out of the smoke and began walking forward.

At that point, however, there was chaos and confusion.

The screen turned to static and that was all we saw of Robocop....

...Except it wasn’t, because up next, Sting came out to much fanfare only to be slammed into the cage by Sid and The Anderson’s.

Coming to the rescue, Robocop spent eight years walking down the aisle and ripped the door off they cage.

The three Horsemen fled, Sting and his mechanical pal went backstage and that was it for Robocop’s big return.

Yo Mama

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - Jim Cornette confronts the Junkyard Dog
After GMC plugged the Great American Bash, Schiavone caught up with a returning Junkyard Dog.

JYD told us that he’d been all over the world competing in places like Japan and was now back home in the NWA.

Jim Cornette then arrived on the scene to brag about the Midnight Express’s big win.

“Where have you been while we were here winning titles?” asked Cornette, who clearly hadn’t heard anything JYD had just said.

In a brilliant response, Dog gave Cornette the exact address where he’d been, and, of course, Cornette recognised that address as his mother’s house.


Corporal Punishment Match
The Rock & Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson) vs. The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael ‘P.S’ Hayes & Jimmy Jam Garvin

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - The Rock 'n' Roll Express
You know, we’re approaching the two-hour point and so far Mean Mark/Johnny Ace has been the only singles match (if you forget about whatever Teddy/Precious Paul was supposed to be).

This one started with Ricky and Robert being pushed to the ring on a platform with a retro jukebox on it.

It was meant to say “LOOK! THEY’RE ROCK & ROLL!” but this was 1990, so what it really said was “LOOK! THESE GUYS ARE OLD!

Even Jim Ross called the jukebox an antique which wasn’t exactly great for R&R’s image.

Meanwhile, Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin were supposed to be the heels but came to the ring and shot fireworks from their wrists which seemed like a very babyface thing to do.

The match got underway with a little confusion.

GMC and the announcers all seemed to think that this was a strap match, but really it was just that each time had a whip and could use it whenever they wanted.

I’ll say that again:

Whenever they wanted.

This would have been fine had the whips played a prominent role in the match but they got used about three times for all of 30 seconds at a time.

The match itself was fine, but it seemed really weird to have such a hyped-up stipulation attached to it and then barely use it.

The good guys won after a fairly standard battle. Your Winners: The Rock & Roll Express

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - Sting
Out somewhere in the arena, Tony Schiavone interviewed ‘The World’s Strongest Man’ Doug Furnas.

Rather than asking Furnas anything about himself, Savanny only wanted to know about Lex Luger.

Happy to oblige, Furnas said that Luger looked to be in great shape for someone who had spent two weeks in hospital and that the Total Package was ready to go.

Hyping the main event even further, Sting came out to tell Schiavone that he supported Luger’s decision to get back in the ring despite being hurt.

If I was in Luger’s position I’d do the exact same thing,” Sting lied, ignoring the fact that he’d been hurt two months ago and was wandering around with nothing to do ever since.

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

Oh look, another tag match.

Before the action got underway, Rick Steiner ripped off Teddy Long’s bandana.

We were all supposed to laugh at him for getting his head shaved earlier but even though he had a visibly bald spot that had been there before anyway, he still clearly had plenty of hair left on his head.

This was another decent match - not as decent as the US tag team title match, I’ll give you that- but it was a commendable effort from both teams nonetheless.

If you like watching guys just knock the hell out of each other for a while, you’ll like this match.

After a solid effort, Butch Reed and Ron Simmons double-teamed Rick Steiner off the top rope and scored a surprising yet well-earned victory. Your Winners and New Tag Team Champions: Doom

Out in the entrance way, Doom gave a post-match celebratory promo to Tony Schiavone.

The actual content of said promo was fairly standard stuff, but it was the energy and enthusiasm which really made this such a good segment.

Reed, Simmons, and Long were ECSTATIC about winning the titles and it made it seem like a HUGE deal - something you just don’t see any more.

Steel Cage Match for the National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair (w/ Woman) vs. NWA United States Champion Lex Luger

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - Lex Luger vs. Ric Flair
Defending champion Flair kind of had the advantage here as he already had the experience of competing in this cage. It was the same one used the time he tag teamed with Sting to face Great Muta and Terry Funk back at Halloween Havoc 1989.

The match was as solid as it always whenever Flair and Luger locked up, and it also ended with the same kind of screwy BS finish that occurred in just about all of their high-profile matches.

After a great match, Sid and The Andersons made their way to the ring but Sting came down to fight them off.

He wasn’t alone.

Backing him up, El Gigante made his WCW debut by waddling down to ringside and doing very little.

All the while, the cage had been lifted so Barry Windham snuck in and attacked Luger, resulting in a DQ. Your Winner via BS DQ: Lex Luger

Post match, Arn Anderson got in the ring and helped Flair and Windham attack Luger until Sting could make the save.

As he did so, El Gigante stood on the outside, doing nothing.

Eventually, Flair and his Horsemen fled and were stopped by Tony Schiavone for an interview.

Dripping with blood, his eyes and wide, Flair went absolutely demented as he continually screamed ‘WE’RE THE HORSEMEN!’

It was glorious, in a completely bat-sh*t-crazy insane way, but it was all over once Sting chased Flair down and beat him up to end the show.





Capital Combat 1990 may only be remembered for the Robocop stuff and that’s perfectly understandable given how much it was hyped up... and how much it failed to deliver, but there was so much more going on that.

While this writer would have liked to have seen one less tag team match, it has to be said that the US tag team title match was excellent.

The opening six-man and the world tag team title matches were also decent and the main event was great up until the finish.

Not a must-see by any stretch then, but certainly not as bad as you may have heard.




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Retro Pro Wrestling

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.