WCW Great American Bash 1989: Glory Days
by Scrooge McSuck
- I hate introductions that give things away, but a lot of people consider this one of, if not the, best Pay-Per-Views ever produced by either the WWF or WCW. While that's a pretty big statement to make, let's just think about how the card came about. Terry Funk was awarded a title match despite not being a contender, Lex Luger magically turned heel for the first of many times in terms of stupid reasons, and Sting was thrown into a feud with the Great Muta, just because. Oh, and WarGames is dusted off for the first time... without the Horsemen involved.
- Live, from the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, MD. Originally broadcasted on July 23rd, 1989, with Jim Ross and Bob Caudle calling the action, unless otherwise noted. I should note this is the Turner Home Entertainment version, so a lot of the undercard stuff is butchered beyond belief, although that's a good thing considering what the undercard consists of.
$15,000 Triple Crown King of the Hill Battle Royal:
(Participants: Eddie Gilbert, Flyin' Brian, Ranger Ross, Ron Simmons, Rick Steiner, Scott Steiner, Steve Williams, Scott Hall, Sid Vicious, Dan Spivey, Terry Gordy, Kevin Sullivan Mike Rotunda, Bill Irwin)
Just for the sake of getting it out there, you need to be tossed from Ring 1 into Ring 2, then eliminated from Ring 2 to be considered eliminated from the match. Last person standing in both rings battle it out at the end to declare the winner. Much like with all battle royals, I'll probably limit myself to noting when someone is eliminated, rather than trying to do any sense of PBP for stuff other than hugging against the ropes. Everyone comes to the ring with crowns... I guess they held a bunch of battle royals, and these guys all won at least once? Dig that porn-stache on Scott Hall. Looks NOTHING like himself from his days as Razor Ramon and on.
We go a couple of minutes without any eliminations. I can only assume we'll get a lot of rapid eliminations. Ranger Ross is tossed first, at the hands of Simmons. Ron Simmons goes next, and they fight it out in Ring 2. Simmons kills Ross with a series of clotheslines, but gets knocked down with a reverse crescent kick. Simmons gets tossed at 3:40 by Ross. Scott Hall is tossed into the second ring, as is Terry Gordy. Dr. Death tosses Bill Irwin into the second ring. We take a clip job, and Dan Spivey powerbombs Ranger Ross a couple of times. It seems like EVERYONE gets tossed into the second ring at once, leaving Pillman with SID. Ranger Ross is tossed at 5:02 by Spivey. Sid kills Pillman with a clothesline. Gordy, Gilbert, Rick and Scott Steiner are all out in a matter of seconds. Pillman misses a cross body and lands in the second ring, giving Sid Vicious the title of "Ring 1 Winner." Meanwhile, Dr. Death tosses Bill Irwin at 7:15. Spivey and Rotunda dump Pillman at 7:30. Williams has happy feet as he's left to do battle with Rotunda and Spivey. The former tag champs go at it, and Williams plants Rotunda with a powerslam. Irish whip is reversed, and Rotunda goes flying after missing a clothesline, leaving Spivey and Dr. Death. Whip to the corner, and Williams in with a clothesline. Williams tries to clothesline Spivey out, but it doesn't work. Williams gets tripped up by Rotunda, and Spivey tosses him at 8:19, so it's Skyscraper vs. Skyscraper... no wait, Teddy Long calls a truce between the two, and they share the winnings, so we don't get a conclussion to the match. Whatever. Not the worst battle royal, or at least not from what we've seen.
Flyin' Brian vs. Wild Bill Irwin:
Blech, at least we're Joined in Progress for this one. Pillman had only been debuted in WCW a couple of months earlier, so he hasn't exactly faced the cream of the crop in the promotion. Irwin tosses Pillman out of the ring. Bak inside, and he puts the boots to the former football All-American. Pillman avoids an ass drop and connects with a pair of dropkicks. Irish whip, and Pillman comes off the ropes with a flying clothesline, followed by a splash for a two count. Pillman heads to the top rope, but misses a missile dropkick. Irwin with some boots to the face, followed by a rake of the eyes. Irwin takes him over with a sloppy gut-wrench suplex for a two count. Irwin slams Pillman into the second ring. Pillman heads to the top rope, and comes back into the first ring with a cross body for the three count at 2:49, clipped down from about 10-minutes. 1/2* The whole match is incredibly boring, and probably worthy of a DUD rating, though. Thankfully clipped to nearly nothing.
The Dynamic Dudes vs. The Skyscrapers (w/ Teddy Long):
(Shane Douglas & Johnny Ace vs. Sid Vicious & Dan Spivey)
Along with Norman (the Lunatic), the Skyscrapers were Long's first big project as a manager in WCW. Spivey was coming off a short run as a member of the Varsity Club, and Sid was brought in because he's big and scary looking. One of their first appearances as a team was destroying and unmasking the Ding Dongs, so naturally the crowd loves them. Another match Joined in Progress, as we join it with Sid celebrating with praise from the crowd over a fallen Dud. Sid chokes Douglas, then whips him hard to the buckle and grabs his back... as a submission? Oh...kay. Spivey tags in, and plants Douglas with a sidewalk slam. Irish whip, and Spivey connects with a back breaker after blocking a cross body. Spivey heads to the second rope, but misses a headbutt. Johnny gets the hot tag and puts the boots to Spivey. Whip to the corner is reversed, but Ace heads to the top rope, and comes off with a flying clothesline. Spivey with a slam on Ace, but the Skyscrapers hit each other with clotheslines. Double dropkick to Sid, and a double hip toss on Spivey. Ace gets caught by Spivey, and slammed down hard by the Skyscrapers. Spivey connects with a sloppy powerbomb, then covers for three at a clipped 3:15, down from around 10-minutes as well. DUD This, on the other hand, was still a bad match, even after the butchering clip job. The Rockers vs. Twin Towers this wasn't. No, I don't know why I made that reference, either.
Nothing screams heterosexuality like two middle aged men trying to rip each others clothes off in the middle of a wrestling ring while being watched by a crowd of 13,000 people, predominantly men, and since it's Dubya-C-Dubya, rednecks too. Paul E. and Cornette have been feuding since the Fall of '88, when Paul E. brought in the Original Midnight Express to feud with Cornette's Midnight Express. After that, Dangeorusly recruited the Samoan Swat Team to get his revenge on his Midnights being kicked out of the company after a Loser Leaves Town Match. It's always weird to see a crowd get behind Cornette. It just doesn't seem natural. Paul E. tries a sneak attack, but Cornette catches it and quickly tears his jacket off. Paul E. tosses a handful of powder into Cornette's eyes. We clip to both men being jacket-less. Paul E. had worked over the leg of Cornette for the majority of the match, a nod to Cornette's injury falling from the scaffold at Starrcade '86. The action spills out of the ring, where Dangerously continues to work the leg and rams Cornette into the post. Cornette crawls his way back into the ring and gets slapped around. Paul E. hits the ropes and promptly misses an elbow drop. Cornette starts no-selling Paul E's blows and hammers away with rights, complete with over-sell. Cornette keeps beating on Dangerously, then rips his shirt off, showing off Paul E's wonderful body. Irish whip, and a shoulder block puts both men down. Paul E goes for more powder, but Cornette knocks it back into his face this time, and the pants come off to give Cornette the victory at around the 4:00 mark, clipped of course. I don't want to rate this, but it's probably the best booked match I've ever seen between two managers in a gimmick situation.
Jim Cornette vs. Paul E. Dangerously:
Texas Tornado Match:
No, this isn't a Kerry Von Erich Match. Texas Tornado Rules means everyone is allowed in the ring at the same time, so tags aren't necessary, and it's (I believe) the final chapter in the war of Rick Steiner and the Varsity Club, dating back to the previous fall. The action kicks off quickly. Rick and Sullivan head outside the ring, and Sullivan bashes him with a chair. Steiner no-sells and bashes Sullivan with the chair, too. Sullivasn no-sells THAT, and crotches Rick across the security rail. Inside the ring, Rotunda (who's changed singlets since the battle royal) is working over Scott, ramming him into the corner, then takes him over with a snapmare. Outside the ring, Rick slams Sullivan into a toppled over table. Inside the ring, and Scott is mounting offense finally, with punches in the corner. Sullivan rams Rick into the ring posts outside the ring. Scott goes for a clothesline, but Rotunda ducks, and Scott lands outside the ring. Rotunda takes Rick's head off with a diving clothesline, and Sullivan nails one as well. The Steiners mount a comeback, with Rick taking Sullivan over with a belly-to-belly, while Scott slams Rotunda into the corner. Irish whip and Rick with a powerslam on Sullivan for a two count, and Scott cradles Rotunda for a two count. Sullivan dumps Rick and Rotunda snaps Scott over with a suplex for a two count. Sullivan puts the boots to Rick on the outside. Irish whip, and a double clothesline to Scott. Rotunda with a leg drop on Scott for a two count. Rick and Scott come back with punches, and Rick takes Sullivan down with a stiff clothesline. Rotunda grabs Rick, but Scott rolls him up for a two count. Sullivan tosses Rick out of the ring once again. Irish whip, and a double back drop to Scott. Rotunda dumps Scott out, and Sullivan bashes Rick with a stretcher. Rotunda goes spilling out of the ring, and Scott comes off the top with a cross body, and both Steiners pin Sullivan at 4:21. Talk about intense. ***1/2 One of the best matches you will ever see lasting less than 5-minutes. Non-stop action and what could best be described as just a fight between two teams. Nothing much else needs to be said, I don't think.
Rick & Scott Steiner (w/ Missy Hyatt) vs. Kevin Sullivan & Mike Rotunda:
NWA Television Championship Match:
I don't think there was any deep reason behind this match, and I think Muta and Gilbert had more tension than Muta and Sting. Muta had been blazing through the competition for the better part of 1989, going undefeated in the process, while Sting was making successful defenses against inferior opposition, so the Great Muta is probably his toughest challenger to date. Sting immediately starts us off with a sucide dive into the second ring onto the challenger. They head into ring 1, and Muta comes off the top rope with a judo chop. Muta whips Sting to the corner and hits the springboard elbow. Muta with a back breaker, and he heads to the top rope, but he misses the moonsault. Sting no-sells a jumping heel kick, but Muta hits him with two more, sending Sting out of the ring. Muta follows out with a plancha. Sting boots Muta from the apron and nails him with a clothesline. Sting heads to the top and comes off with a flying clothesline for a two count. Sting with a dropkick, knocking Muta out of the ring, then heads out and hammers away with rights. Back in the ring, and Sting plants Muta with a scoop slam for a one count. Muta counters a suplex attempt and slaps on a sleeper hold. Muta releases the hold, but gets caught coming off the ropes with a press slam. Sting hits the ropes, but misses a jumping elbow drop. Muta with a snapmare, followed by a snap elbow drop, then applies a chinlock. There's a mild "Muta" chant coming from the crowd, from what I could tell. Muta releases the hold, then quickly slaps on the abdominal stretch. Yes, he uses the ropes for leverage. Muta turns the hold into a cradle, but only gets a two count. Muta drives an elbow to the back of the head and tosses Sting, but Sting runs back in and pounds away until a rake of the eyes stops his momentum. Muta kicks at the midsection of Sting. Whip to the corner, and Muta misses his elbow. Sting with a series of clotheslines, followed by a bulldog. Sting sends Muta out of the ring with a standing dropkick. Back inside, and Muta accidentally spits red mist in the face of the referee. Whip to the corner, and the Stinger Splash misses! Muta with a snapmare, and the moonsault connects, but that only gets two from referee Tommy Young. Sting ducks a heel kick and takes Muta down with a back suplex, bridges him, and the three count is made at 8:09, and the winner of the match, and STILL Television Champion, is Sting! But wait... there's an argument over who won, and Muta takes the Television Title with him during all the confusion. Eventually, the decision is made that the Television Title would be held up. *** Pretty good match, but too short. These two would go on to have some pretty good matches, both in shows promoted in the states by WCW, and overseas by NJPW. I was considering knocking points off for the horrendous Dusty Finish, but I'm a Sting mark, so I'll let it slide this time.
Sting © (w/ Eddie Gilbert) vs. The Great Muta (w/ Gary Hart):
NWA United States Championship Match:
For those who forgot, at the Clash of the Champions VII, Luger turned heel and laid a beating in on Steamboat, because he was upset at being ranked the #2 Contender behind Ricky Steamboat, despite being the United States Champion. It would NOT be the lamest excuse for a Lex Luger heel turn, I should note. There would be a lot of those to come through the years. Steamboat continues the trend of the former Main Event contender being shuttled into the United States Title scene. See also: Sting and Lex Luger. Speaking of Lex Luger, am I alone in thinking he had no right in ever being used in a babyface role? If there ever was a guy who never once came across as genuine acting like a babyface, it had to be Luger. He just looked like an asshole, came across as an asshole, and more often than not, acted like an asshole. Odds are he was a pretty damn good asshole.
"The Total Package" Lex Luger © vs. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat:
Oh, hey, Steamboat is FINALLY using Sirius for his entrance music. About friggin' time. Oh, and he's carried to the ring with a "Komodo" Dragon. This is supposed to be No Disqualification, but Luger whines his way into Steamboat agreeing to wave the stipulation of the match. Lockup to start, and Luger shoves Steamboat to the corner. Steamboat avoids a cheap shot and rolls Luger up for a quick two count. Irish whip, and Steamboat with a cradle for another two count. Steamboat with a single leg trip, and a float over pin attempt for another two count. Steamboat with a series of chops, followed by a back drop, forcing Luger out of the ring. Steamboat follows, and continues to chop the shit off his chest. Steamboat ducks a clothesline, and connects with an atomic drop. Back in the ring, and Luger catches Steamboat through the ropes with a knee lift. Luger with a sledge across the back, followed by a short clothesline. Steamboat fights back with chops, then rams Luger into the security rail. Steamboat heads to the top rope, but gets caught coming off with a fist to the midsection. Luger scoops him up and connects with a back breaker. Luger continues clubbing away across the back of Steamboat. Irish whip, and Luger with a press slam, followed by a pair of elbows across the back for a two count. Luger argues with the referee, and Steamboat rolls him up for a two count. Luger with a trio of clotheslines, but Steamboat keeps getting up... but then topples like a bowling pin after the third one. Luger drops him throat-first across the top rope, but Steamboat fights back again with chops. Luger takes advantage of referee interference to cheap shot the challenger, then takes him over with a powerslam for a two count. Irish whip, and Steamboat comes off the ropes with a cross body for a two count. Luger with an inverted atomic drop. Irish whip, and Steamboat surprises him with a swinging neck breaker. Steamboat goes for a slam, but Luger rolls through, then Luger misses a clothesline, and goes flying over the top rope. Steamboat pounds away on Luger with chops to the forehead. He tries to slam Luger into the ring, but crumbles under the weight, and Luger falls on top for a two count. Whip to the corner, but Steamboat runs into a boot from the Champion. Luger heads to the top rope, but Steamboat chops him and slams him off. Steamboat with chops and a standing dropkick. Steamboat heads to the top rope, and comes off with a big chop to the top of the head for a two count. Steamboat charges, but Luger back drops him from one ring into the other, which normally would be a DQ, I thought. Luger follows into the other ring, but then decides to head outside and grab a steel chair. Steamboat sweeps the legs from under Luger, then sling shots him into the corner, with chair still in hand. Steamboat grabs the chair, tosses the referee, and plays whack-a-champ with the belt, drawing a Disqualification at 10:27. Steamboat tosses the referee out of the ring, and bashes Luger across the back with the chair. Irish whip, and a chair shot to the solar plexus is added for good measure. Steamboat follows Luger out of the ring, swinging the chair like a maniac. **** Outside of the predictable finish thanks to the last minute change in the rules, probably the best and most exciting match I have ever seen come out of Luger, and while I'm sure a lot of people will credit this to Steamboat, Luger COULD go, so it wasn't like whoever he wrestled had to pull off a miracle, they just had to extort his strengths (short, offense filled matches) rather than his weaknesses (30-minute resthold filled matches with Luger dominating the whole thing).
Interesting choice of using WarGames to settle a couple of random tag team feuds. In all of the previous times there has been a Wargames match, it featured the Horsemen, so this is the first time it's used for any other purpose other than "watch the Horsemen blade and get their asses kicked for 25-minutes." I'm assuming the Midnights and SST are still feuding because of their managers, and at the last Clash, Williams and Gordy had unsettled business, but why the Freebirds and Road Warriors? Didn't the Road Warriors kick off a feud with the SST at the last Clash? I guess since the Freebirds won the titles in the finals of a tournament against the Midnights, that is the reason for the inclussion? Oh well, all of the babyfaces rule, except all are better as heels, and I only hate the SST, so this might be fun.
The Midnight Express, The Road Warriors, Steve Williams (w/ Jim Cornette & Paul Ellering) vs. The Fabulous Freebirds & The Samoan Swat Team (w/ Paul E. Dangerously):
Jimmy Garvin and Bobby Eaton elect to start the match. They lockup and Eaton wins the initial slugfest. Lockup into the corner, and Garvin with a series of knees to the midsection. Whip to the corner, and Eaton surprises Garvin with a swinging neck breaker. Eaton misses an elbow drop, and Garvin goes to work with rights and a slam. Irish whip is reversed, and Eaton sends him to the corner with an atomic drop. Garvin boots him on a charge attempt and drops a knee across the back of the head. Garvin tosses Eaton into the cage, and the SST/Freebirds team takes liberties from the outside on him. Garvin stomps away on his face, and surprisingly, Eaton hasn't bladed yet. Eaton sends Garvin to the corner and slaps the taste out of his mouth. Eaton uses the roof for leverage to boot Garvin in the chest, then takes him over with a hip toss. Eaton with a snapmare. Irish whip, and Garvin comes off the ropes with a forearm, followed by some stomps to the back of the head. Garvin chokes while Michael Hayes does trash talking from outside the cage. Eaton mounts a comeback, then slams Garvin across his knee a couple of times. Eaton with a slam, then traps Garvin in a Boston crab.
Terry Gordy is in next, since the heels SURPRISINGLY won the coin toss. Gordy pounds away on Eaton, then tosses him into the cage. Gordy with a slam, and Garvin drops an elbow, then the two toss Eaton across both top ropes into the first ring. Garvin hammers away with rights. Irish whip, and Freebirds V2.5 with a double back elbow. Gordy pounds away while Garvin does some choking. We get heel miscommunication, but the Freebirds toss Eaton into the cage once again. It's countdown time...
Steve Williams comes in next and slugs it out with Gordy. Garvin tries to help out, but Williams nails them both with a clothesline. Williams and Gordy take it to the second ring, with Gordy in control. Irish whip is reversed, and Williams press slams Gordy up into the roog a few times before finally slamming him. In ring #1, Eaton is having his way with Garvin, and they make it into the second ring, as well. Garvin chokes Eaton out in between the two rings. Gordy sends Williams to the corner, and follows in with a clothesline, then mounts him for some clubbering. Whip to the corner, and Williams comes charging out with a clothesline. Eaton and Garvin continue slugging it out in no man's land.
SST Samu is next in, and he nails Williams with a spinning heel kick, followed by a headbutt. Samu with headbutts on Williams, and Gordy takes him down with an awesome back suplex. Garvin is working on Eaton again, fish-hooking him the whole time. Williams starts no-selling and slugs away on Williams. Irish whip, and Williams with a shoulder tackle. Samu and Garvin double team Eaton, then Samu takes Williams out with a clothesline. Samu and Gordy with a double suplex on Williams. Eaton comes over and slugs away on all three opponents, then helps Williams back to his feet to help fight off their attacjs. Williams rams Gordy and Samu together as the new countdown begins...
Road Warrior Animal comes in, and the crowd goes NUTS. He hammers away on Samu and tosses him into the other ring, then nails Gordy with a series of clotheslines. Animal heads to the first ring to battle it out with Samu, and nearly booys his head off. Animal tosses him into the second ring, and nails a diving shoulder tackle across both top ropes. Animal with a clothesline to Garvin, and adds another to Gordy for good measure. Williams and Animal with a double clothesline to Samu. Gordy is back up and puts Williams down with his own clothesline. Animal puts Gordy back down with another clothesline. Garvin hammers away on Williams while Animal and Eaton work over Samu. Eaton with a bulldog on Samu.
SST Fatu is the fourth man in for the heels, and quickly pounds away on Animal. Samu comes over to help, and they double headbutt Animal and choke him out. Irish whip, and a double clothesline from the SST, followed by a wish bone and a double headbutt. Garvin is still paired off with Eaton, just beating him down in the corner. Gordy has Williams trapped in a choke hold in the first ring, but Williams escapes with a back suplex. Garvin mounts Eaton in the corner with a series of lefts, followed by some eye raking. Eaton with some kidney blows and a headbutt to put Garvin down on the canvas.
Stan Lane comes in and is ambushed by Fatu and Garvin. He sends both into the cage, as well as Gordy. Samu comes in and gets the same treatment. Lane rams Fatu into the cage again, then pounds away with rights. Everyone is assembled in the first ring, and at ringside, Hayes is upset about being the next man in. Lane catches Samu coming off the ropes with a heel kick. Fatu is whipped to the corner, and is nailed with clotheslines from both Animal and Dr. Death. The Midnights double team Garvin, and Eaton again uses the roof for some leverage manuevers. The Midnights slam Garvin's head into the roog, while the SST work on Animal.
Michael "P.S." Hayes is the last man in for his team, and he nails Lane with a DDT. Then he nails Williams with the DDT. Then Animal with the DDT. Then Eaton with the DDT. That's definitely how to make an impact. Hayes goes into a ring by himself and struts to taunt Hawk. "We Want Hawk" chant as the heels punch and kick on the fallen babyfaces. The SST work Animal over in the corner. Lane with a heel kick to the midsection of Hayes. Gordy whips Williams to the ropes and nails him with a clothesline. Hayes pounds away on Eaton while Gordy chokes Williams and Garvin chokes Lane.
Road Warrior Hawk is last in, and THE MATCH BEYOND begins! Hawk comes in with a double clothesline from the top on the SST, then clothesline Hayes. Hawk with a violent vlurry of rights and chops on Gordy, followed by a double team clothesline. Hawk press slams Garvin into the corner turnbuckle, while Lane pounds Gordy. Eaton plants Hayes with a DDT, then does the same to Samu. Hawk launches himself from one ring to the other into Gordy and Fatu. Eaton hammers away on Hayes, then sends him into the cage. Hawk pounds away on Gordy. Paul E. tries passing his cellphone into the cage, but it's too big to fit through the mesh. Eaton gets tossed over into another ring, while Hawk pounds the crap out of Fatu. Hawk goes to work on Garvin, and nails him with a clothesline from the top rope. Hawk connects with a vicious neck breaker, then applies a HANGMAN'S NECKBREAKER, and that just looks painful. Garvin quickly submits and it's over at 22:20. Now that's a submission move that needs to make a comeback. Oh, Animal gets left in the cage by himself, and gets worked over by the SST and Freebirds, just because they can. ***1/2 Not the greatest Wargames match ever, but it was a fun brawl, and the crowd seemed to be into it, especially whenever the Road Warriors got involved. Also got to give props for one brutal ending. I know it's twenty years ago, but that move still looks painful as all hell to me.
NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match:
I think we all remember how this was set up. Flair wins the title back at WrestleWar, Funk offers a challenge, Flair snubs it, and Funk beat the crap out of him. Funk never ended up winning any big televised matches to earn a true #1 Contenders spot (yet still ranked #4), but Flair wants him in the ring, so he's willing to put his title on the line to get his hands on Funk. There's no time limit for the match, by the way. Apparently, Hart being at ringside with Funk is a huge surprise to everyone. Flair attacks Funk in the aisle and chops the crap out of him. Flair runs in the ring for some strutting, and Funk acts like a maniac in retaliation. Flair surprises him with an axehandle, than pounds away on him while resting across a ringside table. Funk rolls in the ring, then back out, and tosses a chair into the ring. Lockup into the corner, and Funk with a series of slaps to the chest. Flair with chops and some rights of his own, sending Funk over the top rope, to the floor. Flair follows out and comes off the apron with another axehandle. Funk gets the upperhand, though, and rams Flair into the post. Funk with a series of boots to the head. Flair grabs for the leg, but Funk keeps fighting him off. Funk pulls him up onto the apron and slaps him around, then brings Flair back into the ring with a suplex for a two count. Funk tries for another suplex, but Flair sand bags him, so Funk punches him out of the ring, instead. Funk hammers away on the back of the neck, but Flair pokes him in the eyes and attempts a suplex, but both men end up crumbling to the floor. They trade chops, then eye rakes. Back into the ring, and Funk is in control. Funk goes for a piledriver, but Flair reverses, back dropping Funk over the top rope. Flair goes outside and takes Funk over with a snapmare, than twists the neck of Funk a couple of times. A neck for a neck? Back in the ring, and Flair continues to work over the neck of the Funkster. Flair rolls Funk onto his stomach, then drops a knee across the back of the head. Flair comes out of the corner with another, then covers for a two count. Flair connects with a piledriver, and that draws a big pop, and of course, Funk over-sells it like he's just been shot in the ass. Flair gives him another one, but with some added momentum this time. Funk tries getting up, but spills out through the ropes.
"Nature Boy" Ric Flair © vs. Terry Funk (w/ Gary Hart):
Flair tosses Funk back into the ring, and puts the boots to him. Flair measures him up and puts him down with a running forearm for a two count. Flair takes Funk down with a back suplex, then slaps the Figure-Four on, but Funk is a little too close to the ropes. Hart passes on a weapon to Funk, who uses it to bash Flair across the top of the head. Funk takes it to the corner, and pounds away on Flair's wound. Blade Jobs = Buys! Funk connects with a piledriver, but Flair manages to get a foot on the ropes to break the count. Funk drives his knee into the neck of Flair and starts grinding away. He heads out of the ring and starts taking apart the protective mats on the arena floor. Funk pulls Flair out of the ring and chokes him with his wrist tape. Tommy Young physically tries to restrain Funk, but to no avail. Funk goes for a piledriver, but Flair blocks and counters with a back drop. Funk climbs up on the apron, then comes off with a blow to the neck. Back in the ring, and Funk puts Flair down with a swinging neck breaker. Funk chooses not to cover, and instead executes another neck breaker. Funk with some trash talking, and then hits him with a third neck breaker. Funk wants Flair to say he quits, but I'm sure that's not a stipulation for this match. Funk hammers away on the cut and rams Flair to the corner. Flair grabs the branding iron and bashes Funk with it behind the referee's back, knocking him out of the ring in the process. Flair follows him out and rams Funk into the post. Funk is wearing the crimson mask now, too. Flair takes it back into the ring and mounts Funk for some punches in the corner. Funk's blade job is a bit more grotesque than Flair's, I would say. Flair continues to pound away on the cut, but misses a running high knee in the corner. Funk quickly goes to the Spinning toe hold, but Flair grabs the leg. Flair goes for the Figure-Four, but Funk cradles him for a two count. Flair counters THAT, and his cradle gets the three count at 15:57, retaining the Champonship. After the match, Great Muta shoots GREEN mist in the eyes of Flair, and along with Funk, puts a beating in on Flair until Sting of all people comes and makes the save for the Nature Boy. **** Great match. The crowd was into every second, Funk working over the neck and being more concerned with hurting Flair than going for the kill until the very end was obvious to even the most casual of fans, and Flair just out for revenge set the stage perfectly. This feud is far from over though, despite a mostly-clean finish that saw the babyface champion retain his title.
Final Thoughts: Okay, so maybe this was one of the best PPV's ever. After the first 30-minutes of non-stop crap, the show settles into a nice rhythm, with the last five matches all breaking at least 3-stars (or a very enjoyable match, in layman's terms) as well as the most enjoyable match I've ever seen between two non-wrestlers in the form of Cornette and Dangerously's Tuxedo Match. While nothing on this show is a classic must see, the fact all of the main programs delivered with exceptional results earns this PPV a very sold recommendation to track down. Just skip over the undercard crap, though. It really was boring.
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