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FROM THE GEORGIA MOUNTAINS CENTER IN GAINESVILLE, GA. I think Cody Rhodes just discussed going to shows there on Jericho's podcast.
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America the Beautiful is performed by an army band to start. This was during the Gulf War (or at least around that time period).
Jim Ross and Dusty Rhodes are on commentary. Dusty had just returned from his WWF run.
Ric Flair is once again a full-on heel here, and world champion again after defeating Sting at a house show. To say that change disappointed me at the time is an understatement. I believe Scott Keith said the title switch was the condition that Flair agreed to for being the Black Scorpion, which was revealed at Starrcade.
World tag team championship, Sting and Lex Luger vs. Doom- At least Sting gets another title shot right away. He ties up with Reed, in a Chi-Town Rumble rematch. Reed knees and forearms Sting, but he hiptosses and backdrops the Natural. Armbar, and he tags Luger, who jumps off the middle turnbuckle onto Reed's arm. Luger leapfrogs Reed and gets a swinging neckbreaker. Simmons in, and he and Luger collide off the ropes like Warrior and Hogan, unti lSimmons puts Luger down. Luger gets a clothesline the next time, and shouldertackles Reed. Atomic drop into the corner and Sting hits him. Suplex for two, but Luger gets Stun-gunned. Reed snaps his neck on the top and comes in legally. Commercials. Luger backs a backdrop, but gets slammed by Reed. Luger kicks him on a backdrop attempt. Reed in, and he and Luger trade blows until Reed throws a dropkick. Chinlock by Reed, and he tags Simmons. Luger smashes his head on a backdrop attempt, but Reed comes in with a shoulderblock off the top. Luger then tags Sting, but Dan Spivey attacks Luger on the outside. Sting double clotheslines Doom, but hasn't noticed that Luger is out. Sting rams Doom into the ref, and gets backdropped over the top for the DQ. The two teams battle inside, and faces chase off the heels. 10:33, *** It was a fun opener.
World television championship, Z-Man (c) vs. Bobby Eaton- I believe Z-Man's reign was pretty short. Before the match Missy Hyatt announce him as the Sexiest Wrestler. Eaton's entrance music appears to just be a "Bobby, Bobby" chant, which seemed to confuse Nick Patrick in the ring. Shovefest to start, then Zenk gets an armdrag. Bobby drop toeholds him, then they do an extended headlock sequence until Zenk headscissors him. Zenk gets a full armdrag and twist (TM Tony Schiavone), then a shoulderblock and armdrag. Eaton with an armbar, then a shoulder tackle. Eaton goes up, but Zenk dropkicks him out to the floor. That was impressive. Zenk works the arm some more, and Eaton punches him. Zenk responds in kind, and Patrick separates them. Test of strength, and Bobby decks him. He rams Zenk's head to the top buckle, and punches him again. After a back elbow Eaton goes up, but gets slammed off the top and savate kicked. Zenk backdrops him for two, but runs into an elbow. Eaton goes up again for a kneedrop, but Zenk cradles him for two. Eaton hits a swinging neckbreaker for 2.5, but Zenk rolls him up again for two. Zenk gets a backslide then for three. 7:08, **1/2. This got better after it got going. As Dusty notes, on the replay it looks like Eaton kicked out.
Alexandra York teases the announcement of the York Foundation's newest member. Michael Wallstreet had just left WCW. I think he became a tax collector or something.
Tommy Rich/Allen Iron Eagle vs. The Freebirds- Ugh. I'm really tired of the Birds. I still don't think Garvin deserves to go into the WWE Hall of Fame as a Freebird. On his own, sure. Hayesgrapples with Rich, tags Garvin but he handles both. Eagle comes in. Wait- did he become Joe Gomez? May have to investigate that later. He punches Garvin in the corner, but Garvin rakes his eyes. Garvin tagged Hayes, who then bulldogs Eagle. He then poses instead of going for the pin. He headlocks Eagle and is clearly discussing spots. And Eagle is indeed Joe Gomez! Hayes got his punch he always does but Eagle no sold it. Hayes then threw him outside and lit him up, which seemed to be retaliation for his sins. Garvin drops a knee on him inside, but misses a second knee corner charge. Garvin ends up tied in the Tree of Woe, and Rich squares off with Hayes in the corner. This match seems to be disintegrating before our eyes. Eagle had Garvin rolled up but Hayes interfered. Eagle suplexed Garvin and tags Rich, but the ref missed it. The Birds double-DDT Eagle, and a Garvin pin mercifully ends this. I can see why Eagle changed his name for his later WCW run. 5:53, *. I can only imagine how Meltzer rated this.
Schiavone interviews Paul E. Dangerously about his upcoming armwrestling match with Hyatt. He quotes Martin Luther King as Dusty antagonizes him.
Jumpin' Joey Maggs vs. SID- This will be good. Sid slowly rotates on the stage and gets a good pop. Maggs grabs a headlock, but Sid lifts him and just throws him. Sid picks him up in a choke, and gives him a hard clothesline. Sid pulls his hair and elbows his back. Sid clotheslines the back of his head, and then powerbombs him for the win. 1:11, five billionty stars. Sid's personal EMT crew come and stretcher out Maggs, and Sid then dumps the stretcher over. Awesome.
Schiavone interviews Sid. He says the only way out when you face him is being stretchered after the power bomb.
Somewhere in here, we get a look at this Luger superfan.
I'm sure he was very flattered.
Ricky Morton vs. Terry Taylor- Taylor was called the Computerized Man of the '90s. I think that may be a spoiler. Morton gets an armdrag. Taylor gets a headlock takeover and headscissor. Morton grabs an armbar, reversed by Taylor and then Morton armdrags him. Taylor gets a hiptoss, but Morton reverses another and gets two armdrag takeovers. Morton gets a side headlock and takes him over, but Taylor tries roll Morton over for pins. Morton scales the buckles and flips Taylor over. Morton gets a high cross body, and Taylor bails. Commercials. Morton kind of Stone Cold Stuns Taylor, who then clobbers Morton with a clothesline. Taylor grabs the rope to avoid a rollup, but Morton gets an armdrag. Alexandra York wanders out, and Taylor and Morton point at each other. While Morton is looking at her Taylor clotheslines him from behind. Then they show a prerecorded interview with York saying Taylor is the latest member of the York Foundation. Morton rolls Taylor up for 2.5, then Taylor rakes his eyes and chokes him. Taylor books Morton, bulldogs him but still can't put him away. Taylor gets a slam and a Vader splash hits knees. They exchange punches and Taylor rakes the eyes. Morton gets a backdrop. Morton gets a suplex and a dropkick, but misses another dropkick. Taylor then gets the pin. This all would've been more effective if Taylor hadn't been announced as The Computerized Man of the '90s. **3/4.
A look at the "Japanese womens wrestlers" who will be at Wrestle War. I don't even know if these are the women who competed that night.
Bill Apter names Sting the PWI Wrestler of the Year. Hear that, Meltzer? Who did you have in 1990? Dusty then cuts a pro-U.S. military, pro-Gulf War promo. Guess W. should've had Dusty as a hype man in 2003.
Ranger Ross vs. El Cubano- Dusty says he may have said some things there he shouldn't have, but I didn't think it was that controversial. I think the country was pretty supportive of that mission. Ross slams the Cuban and dropkicks him out. Cubano drops a knee and grabs Ross' arm. Ross gets the armbar and a shouldertackle, then gets a hammerlock. Cubano gets an armdrag takeover and drops a headbutt. Suplex and the Cuban heads up, but the pool is empty. Ross kicks his head and drops down to send him out. Ross jumps outside (but not on Cubano), and slugs away. Ross sunsets flips in for three. 3:05, *1/2. Ross isn't that great, but I think they just brought him back because of current events.
Renegade Warriors vs. Windham/Anderson- The Warriors attack right away, and hit double headbutts on Windham. The heels (?) go outside to regroup. They were faces in their match vs. Doom at Starrcade, but I think Flair ended up turning the group. Arn comes in, and a Youngblood pounds away on him. Chris Y. chops away on Double A. Arn gets a drop toehold, and works the knee. Youngblood rolls him up for two. Windham comes in, and gets dropkicked. He punches away at the Youngblood, and rakes his eyes with his boot. Arn comes in and gets doubleteamed. Double chop by the Bloods, and they knock Windham off the apron. Arn gets a spinebuster, tags Windham, who gets a suplex for two. DDT, but he gets his foot on the rope. Arn tagged, and gets a chinlock. He punched the other Youngblood off the apron, then their heads crack together. Arn cuts off a tag with an atomic drop, and a Vader splash hits knees. Mark Y gets the tag, and is a house afire. All four men are in, and Windham lariats Chris. He gets a superplex and Arn, the legal man, then gets the pin. 7:30, **. It was fine once the Horsemen were in control.
Schiavone throws us to footage from Japan of Vader vs. Stan Hansen. They will have a rematch at Wrestle War. Hansen then joins Tony for an interview. He said the people in America 'ain't never seen a match like that." I hope he has the wad of chew for his HOF speech.
Buddy Lee Parker vs. Brian Pillman- Test of strength to start, and Pillman flips out of a wristlock. Dropkick and armdrag takeover by Pillman, and he gets a crucifix off the ropes. Shoulders into Pillman's midsection. He then headscissors Dewayne out, then launches him back in. Parker knocks him to the apron, and flips Pillman in. Dusty mentions his son Cody, who was probably very young. Bodyslam and Parker wanders out ot the ramp. Pillman then crossbodies him. I think Parker got lost for a second there, since he initially climbed the ropes. Pillman dropped to the apron, then hits a crossbody to win. 3:17, **1/4. Effective.
Missy and Paul arm wrestle. Missy asks for a time out and takes her coat off, revealing her ample cleavage. She then slams Heyman's arm down. I wrote that without even watching the segment, lol.
We see video of Flair, Woman, Kevin Sullivan, Michael Wallstreet and Alexandra York with Lawrence Taylor at his restaurant. This was probably right after Flair beat Sting for the belt at the Meadowlands. Oh the time Flair and Taylor could've had on the town.
WCW World Championship, Ric Flair (c) vs. Scott Steiner: Scott shoulderblocks Flair down to start. He gives him a clean break and gets "Woo!"ed. Fireman's Carry by Scott, but Flair blocks the single-leg attempt. Flair gets an overhand wristlock but Scott reverses it. Flair kicks him in the gut but gets baaaaack bodydropped. Steiner hits a side slam for the first nearfall. Flair takes a powder to regroup. Flair chops away and shoulders Scott down, but gets hiplocked and armdrag taken over. Flair gets a drop toehold but Steiner gets his back, so Flair bails out. Flair stomps his knee, but get clotheslined out of the corner. Once again, Flair goes outside. Scott suplexes him back in. I just noticed El Gigante in the front row. I feel sorry for whoever is behind him. Flair gets an atomic drop, then another to really work Scott's balls over. Flair tosses him out, but Rick pushes him right back in. Flair punches out of an atomic drop attempt. Flair kicks him and gets a rope-assisted two count. They go to break (what is this, 2016 Smackdown?), and Scott locks in a figure four. Flair bodypresses Steiner by the ropes, and Flair flies out. I think they were both supposed to tumble out, because Scott kind of flips himself out afterwards. Flair drops Steiner's knee on his, and goes back in. Flair continues to work over the left leg. Flair hooks in the figure four. He had the ropes, and Rick Steiner knocked his hands off. With the ref distracted, Flair grabbed the ropes again. He reapplies the figure four in the middle of the ring next. Scott reverses it, and gets a weak Rude Awakening. Flair Flip all the way out of the ring as the time limit is approaching. Scott Steinerlines him outside, and Rick tosses Flair back in. Flair decks Steiner in the corner. Flair tries another Figure Four, and Scott gets a small package on Flair for two. Steiner grabs a sleeper, and clotheslines Flair over the top. The result is amazingly clear already. Flair punches Scott and slowwwwly sets up a mare and kneedrop. Flair gets a rope-assisted two, and Rick tells Nick Patrick about it. Flair grabs a headlock with two minutes remaining, and Scott bridges out. He gets a butterfly suplex, but Flair goes out again. Rick throws him back in, Flair whips him but Scott gets a Steinerline. Scott punches him in the corner, Flair flips in the corner, goes off the top but gets hit in the belly-welly. Scott gets a belly-to-belly, but time runs out. Flair wasn't really even saved by the bell there. I'll be generous with ***, but Ric rolled out too much and it never felt like Steiner would win. I'm not sure what the time limit was supposed to be, other than TV time remaining.
The matches here were pretty good, though like I said I was heartbroken when I heard Sting lost the belt back to Flair. I thought WCW had entered a new era and that Flair was down as champ. Sigh. I didn't feel bad for Flair for his exit from WCW that summer, and was surprised at the "We Want Flair" chants during Luger's coronation at the Bash, since I know that I wanted him to finally win the title. More on that when we get to the next episode, so just chilllll.