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

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.




Other 1990 pro wrestling reviews: 

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Thursday, 15 July 2021

PPV REVIEW: WWF Insurrexion 2002

May 4, 2002
Wembley Arena, London, England

Like most UK-exclusive PPVs, WWF Insurrexion 2002 may never be remembered for anything that took place in the squared circle, yet regardless, it's still an event that holds a unique place in the history of professional wrestling. 

For one thing, it was the last ever PPV of any type by Vince McMahon's sports entertainment empire to be branded as a "World Wrestling Federation" event. 

Technically, Backlash 2002 was the company's last WWF Pay Per View on American soil, but since Insurrexion took place a few weeks later, it holds the distinct honour of being the last major event to take place before the company became WWE. 

Still, that's not the only reason why it's important. 

After all, it was following this event that the WWF superstars boarded a plane and embarked on what would go down in history as the infamous Plane Ride From Hell

That tumultuous journey has already been covered in great detail by just about every pro wrestling site on the web, so for today, let's simply head down to London for the World Wrestling Federation's last hurrah. 





The Battle Has Crossed the Ocean 

WWF Insurrexion 2002 - Jerry Lawler & Jim Ross

We began tonight with a simple video which spliced footage from moments from some of the bigger storylines going on at the time with a generic vocice over which told us that all of the stars who hated each other had crossed the ocean to continue their battle.

As opening videos went, this was hardly the greatest, but let's face it, nobody watches a pro wrestling event purely for the opening videos.

When it was over, we got the customary crowd shots and introduction from Jim Ross and Jerry 'The king' Lawler

King was on one as he promised to teach JR all about how to speak the Queen's English and then spent the evening demonstrating how to do so by tossing out phrases like "It's all gone Pete Tong" which, honestly, I don't think I've heard anybody say in about 20 years.

It means "it's all gone wrong," in case you were wondering.

With that, it was on to our opening match.

World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
WWF Intercontinental Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Rob Van Dam

WWF Insurrexion 2002 - Eddie Guerrero vs. Rob Van Dam
I've mentioned multiple times before that no matter how good the performer, they always seemed to turn it down a notch or two when they came over to jolly old England. That was still the case with two talented wrestlers like Eddie Guerrero and Rob Van Dam, as their intercontinental championship match here paled to in comparison to the excellent encounter they'd had a fortnight previously at Backlash 2003.

Still, RVD and Guerrero at their worst was still better than many others best and this was still a fine effort nonetheless.

After a very good opener, Eddie Guerrero tossed the referee into the corner to get himself disqualified. 
Your Winner via Disqualification: Rob Van Dam (Eddie Guerrero retains)

Afterward, Eddie chased the official around the ring, only to get whacked in the face by one of Rob Van Dam's 'educated' feet. RVD then proceeded to wallop his rival with the title belt and finish him off with a crowd-pleasing frog splash before basking in the glory of the fans, making this the perfect way to start off the show.

The UK is Full of Trash...And So is Terri Runnels

WWF Insurrexion 2002 - Terri interviews Molly Holly & Jazz
Backstage, Terri continued to settle into her new role as a backstage interviewer by asking Molly Holly and women's champion Jazz for some comments about their upcoming match.

Playing the puritan, Molly lambasted Trish Stratus, Terri, and other models for exposing their bodies and then turned her attention to the UK tabloid newspapers which featured topless models on Page 3.

According to Molly, Trish Stratus was trash, the Page 3 models were trash, and the whole UK was trash.

Terri then stood up to Molly by claiming that The Hurricane's former sidekick was jealous that she didn't have good boobs. As if to prove that she, Terri did have good boobs, she proceeded to get her kit off and stand around in her bra. 

Don't get me wrong, Terri was all kinds of gorgeous, but that was a pretty trashy move. 

WWF Women’s Champion Jazz & Molly Holly vs. Trish Stratus & Jacqueline 

The ‘Divas’ era wasn’t exactly known for producing five-star classics, but it has to be said that all four women worked hard in this match and did the very best job they could with what they had.

Though it wasn’t spectacular by any stretch, it was a fairly enjoyable wrestling match in which Trish, Jacqueline, Molly, and Jazz were able to show off their wrestling prowess rather than their boobs.

Naturally then, the crowds all chanted for puppies.

In the end, Trish and Jacqui hit a couple of matching tornado DDTs for the three count.
Your Winners: Trish Stratus & Jacqueline 

Backstage, X-Pac twiddled his nun-chucks and boasted to Scott Hall about destroying Kane so bad that he was able to steal The Big Red Machine’s mask.

Tonight, ‘Pac promised that he’d never return to England again if he couldn’t beat Bradshaw.

“I don’t know why you’d want to come back here anyway,” scoffed Hall.

Cheeky.

X-Pac vs. Bradshaw

WWF Insurrexion 2002 - X-Pac faced Bradshaw
This wasn’t as random a match as it sounds.

Bradshaw had been jumped by the nWo on a previous episode of Raw and found himself loosely aligned with Stone Cold Steve Austin in a war with the black-and-white rebels.

Tonight, he went up against X-Pac in what was a reasonably entertaining match.

Prior to the bell, ‘Pac -who always came to the ring wearing Kane’s mask now- loosened the padding from a middle turnbuckle and later used the exposed buckle to beat Bradshaw into a bloody pulp.

That wasn’t enough to put the Texan away, but plenty of outside interference courtesy of Scott Hall certainly was.

Though this was never going to earn Match of the Night honours, it was a perfectly serviceable undercard match that this fan enjoyed.
Your Winner: X-Pac

Out in the back, a pissed-off Undertaker told Jonathan Coachman that he was going to destroy Triple H tonight just like he destroyed Hollywood Hulk Hogan on that week's episode of Raw.

'Taker didn't care about The Game's passion for the wrestling business. All he cared about was kicking ass, and that's exactly what he was going to do tonight.

This was standard stuff from Booger Red, but that didn't make it any less of a convincing promo.

World Wrestling Federation Hardcore Championship
WWF Hardcore Champion Steven Richards vs. Booker T

WWF Insurrexion 2002 - Steven Richards faced Booker T for the hardcore title
Pac/Bradshaw may not have been as random as it appeared, but this match certainly seemed to be thrown together at the last minute. 

Steven Richards had beaten Bubba Ray for the Hardcore title on Raw with an assist from Jazz and here put it on the line against Booker T, who, despite being a heel, was very popular with the London audience.

"I guess they like a sucka over here," quipped a puzzled JR as he tried to figure out why 'T was getting such a positive reaction.

The crowd response helped elevate what was a good match in its own right and probably the best thing this writer has ever see that had Steven Richards involved.

The hardcore stuff was kept to a minimum in favor of some honest-to-goodness pro wrestling and was all the more enjoyable for it.

After a good battle, Booker T decked Big Stevie to win the hardcore title.
Your Winner and NEW Hardcore Champion: Booker T

As Booker was celebrating, Crash Holly ran out and rolled him up for a flash victory.
Your Winner and NEW Hardcore Champion: Crash Holly

Crash's joy was short lived as Booker almost immedietly got up, decapitated him with his patented scissor kick and regained the title.
Your Winner and NEW Hardcore Champion: Booker T

Not that he'd have much chance to celebrate either. Tommy Dreamer and Justin Credible rushed out next and began an attack, only to get their butts whooped and sent packing.

Finally, Steven Richards returned to the ring wih Jazz, whacked Booker from behind and took the title back.
Your Winner and NEW Hardcore Champion: Stevie Richards

Honestly, there was more title changes in this one segment than there had been in the entire history of UK-based WWF PPVs.

Brock Visits Planet Stasiak

WWF Insurrexion 2002 - Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar confront Shawn Stasiak
Up next, we got a look at newcomer Brock Lesnar's feud with The Hardy Boys, which was based on nothing more than Matt and Jeff repeatedly getting their asses kicked by The Next Big Thing.

Tonight, they'd team up to fight Brock and Shawn Stasiak in what was supposed to be a tag team match. Paul Heyman, however, had other ideas.

Backstage before the match, he urged Shawn to stay on the apron and have an easy night, essentially letting Brock do all the work.

The Hardy Boys (Matt & Jeff Hardy) vs. Brock Lesnar & Shawn Stasiak (w/ Paul Heyman)

So of course, Stasiak didn't stay on the apron, he rushed to the ring ahead of his partner and took the fight to Matt and Jeff, only to inevitably get beaten up. 

Eventually, Big Brock managed to tag himself in and commence with the dismantling of his opponents, but when he attempted to shoulder tackle Matt in the corner, Hardy moved out of the way. That allowed the man from Planet Stasiak to tag himself back in and swiftly eat a Twist of Fate and Swanton Bomb to technically give Brock Lesnar his first official taste of defeat in the World Wrestling Federation.
Your Winners: The Hardy Boys

Afterwards, Brock F-5'd everyone in sight.

As a side note, I want to register how much I enjoyed Shawn Stasiak. 

I know that's not a popular opinion, but the time he tried to attack The Rock at Summerslam 2001 and ran straight into a wall was absolutely hilarious, and the whole Planet Stasiak thing, if given enough time, could have gotten over.

Anyway, that being said, let's move on with the show.

William Regal: Britain’s Last Great Hope

Backstage, William Regal spoke to Jonathan Coachman about challenging Spike Dudley for the European Championship.

Trying to make sure he was still very much the heel, Regal put down his own countrymen and insisted that he was a role model to all the “dossers” in the audience.

World Wrestling Federation European Championship
WWF European Champion Spike Dudley vs. William Regal 

WWF Insurrexion 2002 - Jonathan Coachman interviews William Regal
The match itself was pretty good, not necessarily because of the actual wrestling but because it was very cleverly done.

After a few minutes of decent action, Spike Dudley appeared to bust his ankle. Presenting it as legitimate, the champion spent a long time agonizing in the corner until a trainer arrived on the scene, cut Spike’s boot off and began helping him to the back.

The crowd gave Spike a genuine ovation, believing that the whole thing was real, but then Regal attacked him from behind to show that it wasn’t. 

Back in the ring, the challenger dominated but made the mistake of being too cocky, making a pin attempt and then breaking it at the count of two so that he could punish his opponent even further.

That was to be Regal’s downfall.

Spike got up, caught his rival off guard with a small package and that was that.
Your Winner and Still European Champion: Spike Dudley 

Afterwards, Regal blasted Spike with his trusty brass knucks.

This was followed by a video pacakage detailing the story behind our next match.

To sum up, Ric Flair had been the special guest referee for Steve Austin’s match at Backlash 2002 against The Undertaker. Flair had inadvertently counted a fall on Austin not realising that The Rattlesnake’s foot was on the rope.

Flair then tried to make things right by giving Austin a tag team match pitting him and Bradshaw against the nWo, but someone had knocked Bradshaw out so Big Show took his place.

Big Show then proceeded to make heel turn #824 by turning on Austin and rejoining the nWo for the first time since the late 90s.

The two would clash next.

The Big Show vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin 
Special Referee: Nature Boy Ric Flair 

WWF Insurrexion 2002 - Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Big Show
Prior to the bell, Ric Flair came out and made himself the special guest “second” referee, meaning he’d be on the outside of the ring while Retro Pro Wrestling favourite Nick Patrick would officiate on the inside.

The match was...I mean it was as good a match as you were going to get out of a bloated Big Show at this stage of the career and was very formulaic (Austin worked his opponent’s legs, Big Show beat up Austin, Austin made a comeback and won) but it was entertaining in its own right and pretty enjoyable.

Towards the finish, Nick Patrick got bumped and Scott Hall and X-Pac came out, only for Flair to see them off.

Kevin Nash then turned up but Stone Cold gave him a stunner, followed up with one for Show and won the match.
Your Winner: Stone Cold Steve Austin 

Post match, Flair returned to the ring and tried sucking up to Austin by boasting about how he’d gotten rid of the nWo. Unimpressed, Stone Cold gave Flair a beer then stunned him into oblivion.

A video then reminded us of the moment The Undertaker cost Triple H the WWF title at Backlash, leading to tonight’s main event.

The Game was a Smackdown star and had no business being on a Raw show like this one, but that didn’t fit the narrative so nobody mentioned it.

The Undertaker vs. Triple H

WWF Insurrexion 2002 - Triple H prepares to Face The Undertaker
There was nothing particularly remarkable about this match, not that you’d know that if your only experience of it was from JR’s commentary.

Doing his job perfectly, Ross sold this like it was the greatest match of all time and that both The Game and The Dead Man had waged an absolute gruelling war on each other.

The truth was that they took everything down a notch from their usual standards and delivered a match which, while enjoyable in its own right, was nothing more special then you might see on an average episode of Raw.

Triple H went over with the Pedigree.
Your Winner: Triple H

Afterwards, HHH and ‘Taker had a post-match staredown as the latter walked backstage, forgetting to take his motorbike with him.







These UK PPVs were never stand out classics, but give to give credit to the Raw roster, Insurrexion 2002 was better than average.

Nothing outright sucked, almost everything was watchable, and the wrestling-starved UK audience were pumped up enough that it created a great atmosphere.

All in all then, a resounding success of a show. It’s just a shame that what would happen on the plane ride home was anything but a success.

Thursday, 8 July 2021

PPV REVIEW: WCW Wrestlewar 1990

WCW Wrestlewar 1990 - Event Poster
February 25, 1990 
Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina

Wrestlewar 1990 was supposed to be Sting's night. It was supposed to be the night WCW's hottest babyface went toe-to-toe with the company's biggest heel and long-time champion Nature Boy Ric Flair and finally claimed his place at the top of the mountain.

Indeed, the current AEW star had been on a roll, getting more over with audiences as each week went by and gathering momentum to such an intense degree that a world title victory over The Dirtiest Player in the Game seemed inevitable. 

Then, disaster struck. 

Just a few weeks earlier, Sting had blown his knee at Clash of Champions, forcing him out of action for the majority of the year.

In his place stepped US Champion Lex Luger for what promised to be another great match between the two.

Would Luger be able to do what his friend seemed so destined to do and topple Flair, or would The Nature Boy continue his reign at the top of the card?

Let's head down to Greensboro to find out.




Hey Homeboy, Gather Round

WCW Wrestlewar 1990 - Jim Ross and Terry Funk
We started tonight’s show with the same “Rapper” who voiced the Wrestlewar ‘90 ad back at Clash of the Champions 10.

As shots of various wrestlers popped up on the screen, the rapper got busy spittin’ lyrics about tonight’s show.

The “hey, homeboy” line above wasn’t me making fun, that’s genuinely how it started.

It was pretty funky, fresh, and fly.

...ok, that was me making fun.

Anyway, we crossed live into the arena where Jim Ross and co-host Terry Funk ran down tonight’s key matches.

“It’s going to be an event!” Said Funk, stating the obvious.

Dancing Teddy Long 

Cutting to the back, Gordon Sollie was standing by with a man he referred to as “Dancing Teddy Long.”

Long, however, insisted that he was actually Sugar Ray Long and would use his boxing prowess to beat up Paul Ellering later in the show.

Dancing Teddy also told us that “Daniel Dan Spivey” (Long’s actual words, not a typo) was injured and would be replaced by a mystery man for the upcoming Skyscrapers match.

That was pretty much the end of that team.

Kevin Sullivan & Buzz Sawyer vs. The Dynamic Dudes (Johnny Ace & Shane Douglas)

WCW Wrestlewar 1990 - Johnny Ace squares up against Buzz Sawyer
It’s amazing that The Dynamic Dudes were still kicking around, especially after that shambolic performance against the aforementioned Skyscrapers back at The Great American Bash 1989.

To be fair to Johnny Ace & Shane Douglas, they’d ditched the goofy skateboards that they clearly couldn’t ride and had stopped plucking unhappy kids out of the crowd, probably after realizing that no child wanted their photo taken with them.

Instead, the boys from the City of Sunshine marched headlong to the ring and engaged in what was actually a decent enough opening contest with Kevin Sullivan and Buzz Sawyer.

It wasn’t the longest match in the world, or the most exciting, but all four men were competent in what they were doing and delivered a passable match that saw Johnny and Shane lose to the more experienced team.
Your Winners: Kevin Sullivan & Buzz Sawyer 

Backstage, Norman the Lunatic tried his luck with Missy Hyatt, getting a hug and a peck on the cheek for luck and then asking for another kiss before Missy “heard the bell” ringing, meaning it was time for the next match.

This wasn’t much of anything, though I did start to wonder how far Norman would have pushed... "Well gee, Missy, I bet if you had sex with me I’d have some real good luck!

Cactus Jack Manson vs. Norman the Lunatic 

WCW Wrestlewar 1990 - Missy Hyatt recalls in horror as Norman goes in for a kiss
Jim Ross really didn’t like Cactus Jack Manson and spent almost the entire match calling him a dumb ass rather than calling the actual action. 

In JR’s defence, there wasn’t much action to call.

It was basically ramming each other’s heads into the turnbuckles and guard rail, do a bear hug, do a chin lock, do another chin lock and probably punch a bit.

This went on for almost ten minutes and was so mind-numbing that tedious that I had to stop watching Wrestlewar 90 altogether and come back to it another day.

Norman won somehow. Probably by making Cactus so bored he fell asleep and was thus easily pinned.
Your Winner: Norman the Lunatic 

Backstage, Jim Cornette reminded  (and all Gordon Sollieof us) that The Midnight Express and The Rock & Roll Express had fought each other countless times in the past but also promised that this time would definitely the end to their feud.

It was compelling stuff by Cornette who was always much better suited as a heel than the babyface he’d been the last time we saw him managing the Midnights back at the '89 Bash.

The Rock & Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson) vs. The Midnight Express (Beautiful Bobby Eaton & Sweet Stan Lane w/ Jim Cornette)

WCW Wrestlewar 1990 - Bobby Eaton overpowers Ricky Morton
This may not have been a fresh match but it certainly didn’t seem dated.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that it’s for exactly this type of match that the duos of Beautiful Bobby & Sweet Stan and Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson are regarded as some of the best teams in the history of pro wrestling.

This was a long, long match which at times felt like it was never going to end but which at others was utterly enthralling.

Part 1 gave us a solid back and forth match with some memorable moments including Cornette challenging Nick Patrick to a bout of fisticuffs and Morton breaking out of a test of strength by inexplicably walking up Eaton’s body and over his shoulders. 

Honestly, I’ve seen hundreds of PPVs and countless pro wrestling TV shows since I first started watching wrestling in 1992 and I don’t think I’ve seen that move before or since.

Part 2 then us the obligatory Morton beat down followed by the standard Gibson hot tag and a cluttered finish in which Gibson turned a back body drop into a roll up for the three.
Your Winners: The Rock & Roll Express 

Out in the back, Hawk and Animal pointed out their Sting armbands that they wore in support of their Brother in Paint and insisted that even though they were wearing the armbands to help them, they didn’t actually need any help in their upcoming Chicago Street Fight.

Hawk then shouted something about hospitals and Paul Ellering going to Hong Kong, all of which loosely translated to: “we are very strong and angry and are going to beat up our opponent.”

Chicago Street Fight
The Skyscrapers (Mean Mark Callous & The Masked Skyscraper w/ Teddy Long) vs. The Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal w/ Precious Paul Ellering)

WCW Wrestlewar 1990 - The Road Warriors show their support for an injured Sting

With Dan Spivey on the outs with the company, Teddy Long had replaced him with a guy who looked like The Brooklyn Brawler wearing a Kendo Nagasaki mask.

Long might have announced the guy’s name because he took to the microphone as soon as his men hit the ring but he was immediately drowned out by the sounds of Iron Man and The Road Warriors riding pillion on two guys’ motorbikes...because nothing says tough guy like having someone else bring you to the ring on the back of their bike.

Anyway, I looked it up. The Masked Skyscraper was Mike Enos.

He and Mean Mark went up against Hawk & Animal in a match that was 80% punching, 15% kicking, and 5% Teddy Long hanging around outside the ring with the tuxedo-clad team of Doom.

It wasn’t very interesting.

It also wasn’t much of a street fight. Both teams spent the majority of the match in the ring and then went outside for what must have been the last 30 seconds.

Eventually, Mean Mark said ‘screw it’ and walked off, leaving his anonymous partner to eat the match-ending Doomsday Device.
Your Winners: The Road Warriors 

Afterwards, Ron Simmons and Butch Reed confronted The Roadies and got into a brawl with them that was way more exciting than the previous match.

Ross and Dunk then got us hyped for the fact the rest of the card was full of title matches, and with that it was back to ringside.

National Wrestling Alliance United States Tag Team Championship 
NWA US Tag Team Champions Flyin’ Brian & The Z-Man vs. The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael ‘P.S’ Hayes & Jimmy ‘Jam’ Garvin)

WCW Wrestlewar 1990 - Jimmy 'Jam' Garvin puts a hurting on his opponent
This started off as a fine tag team match with a lot of energy and some solid back-and-forth action.

Then The Z-Man spent about two months getting his ass kicked and it all got very boring. Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin did as little as possible for as long as possible to wear their opponent down, sucking the life out of the entire arena.

All the while, Jim Ross tried to convince us that Michael Hayes looked like Alice Cooper just because he’d decided to put a little eye makeup on.

Yeah, sorry Jim, I’m not buying it.

Eventually, Flyin’ Brian made the hot tag, and after a bit of sloppy-arsed nothingness in the ring, came flying off the top onto Jimmy Jam for the un, dos, tres.
Your Winners and Still US Tag Team Champions: Flyin’ Brian & The Z-Man

Afterwards, Alice Cooper and his buddy beat up on the champs. 

National Wrestling Alliance World Tag Team Championship 
NWA World Tag Team Champions The Steiner Brothers (Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner) vs. NWA TV Champion Arn Anderson & Ole Anderson

WCW Wrestlewar 1990 - The Steiner Brothers show their support for Sting
Rick Steiner
carried a handwritten sign which said ‘STING’S REVENGE’ on it, but the Stinger had hurt himself getting down from the cage at Clash of the Champions, so I’m not sure who they were getting revenge against. 

The cage perhaps? 

For the record, this was the first time we’d seen Ole & Arn Anderson tagging together at a major event since Starrace 1986.

That aside, this was a good match with none of the lengthy beat-down sessions that plagued the last match.

It was solid, enjoyable, and came to an end with a win for The Steiners.

Sadly, JR had stopped trying to make us believe that wrestlers looked like various rock stars. I was quite looking forward to hearing how much Ole Anderson reminded him of Sebastian Bach.
Your Winners and Still Tag Team Champions: The Steiner Brothers

Post match, The Minnesota Wrecking Crew tried to beak Scott Steiner’s arm by having Ole leap off the top and hit it with his knee.

The Time for Talking is Over, So Let’s Talk About That

WCW Wrestlewar 1990 - Gordon Sollie interviews Lex Luger
Out in the back, it was time for our competitors in tonight’s main event to give us their final comments.

Luger cut a sombre promo in which he vowed that being in the best shape of his life was bad for Ric Flair, and that he was tired of The Nature Boy telling him how to do his business.

As promos go, this one was OK, but let’s be honest:

Luger was always way, way better as a heel.

Offering a retort, the World heavyweight champion boasted that he feared no man and then asked his new accomplice, Woman, what she thought about The Total Package.

“Well, I think Lex Luger needs to get his engine running,” she said.

Flair claimed that this line said it all, but really it said nothing. What does that even mean?

National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship 
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair (w/ Woman) vs. NWA US Champion Lex Luger 

WCW Wrestlewar 1990 - Ric Flair & Woman
Prior to the bell, Sting hobbled to the ring on crutches and waved to the fans.

This proved to be the best match on the card by a billion miles.

A solid effort from start to finish, both men worked hard to ensure the match delivered everything you could want from Flair and Luger.

Was it as good as their outing at Great American Bash 1988

Possibly.

Luger was strong, powerful and determined, but Flair was crafty, cunning, and violent.

At one point, he had his opponent in a figure four and used the ropes for leverage so much that it promoted Sting to hobble back to ringside and cheer on the challenger.

Once Luger had broken free, the injured Sting gave him a motivating slap in the face and yelled “KICK HIS YOU KNOW WHAT!”

Yeah Sting, that’ll do it.

Luger did indeed kick Flair’s you-know-what. First, he nailed him with what JR called a “Lex Superplex” (surely a Superp-Lex would have worked?) and then put him in a torture rack, but Nick Patrick had taken a tumble and was busy napping in the corner, so none of it mattered.

In the end, The Anderson’s came out and first attacked Luger then went for Sting. The Total Package lept from the ring to save Stinger but spent so much time kicking Ole & Arn’s you-know-what that he got counted out.
Your Winner via countout and Still World Heavyweight Champion: Ric Flair 

When the dust had settled and the smoke had cleared, “Jimbo Diddley” Ross and “Tuxedo Terry” thanked us for watching and invited us to join us at the next PPV, “Armed and Dangerous.”

That, of course, would later be changed to Capital Combat.







Wrestle War ‘90 was not a tremendous show.

The main event was excellent and worth watching in its own right, and the latest saga in the never-ending battle of the Expresses was very good stuff indeed.

Steiners/Andersons was also decent, but I think that’s just because it was a welcome change of pace after several boring matches.

That’s about all of this show had going for it.

There were only two singles matches, and one of them involved Norman the f’n Lunatic, so the less said about that the better.

The rest were tag team matches that were either too full of nothing (Skyscrapers/LOD, Dudes/Sullivan & Sawyer) or went far too long with far too little happening (Z-Man & Pillman vs. Alice Cooper & Co.).

Not a must see show then, but look up the main event, it was good stuff.



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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.