World Championship Wrestling (01.14.89)

NWA World Championship Wrestling
January 14, 1989
Atlanta, GA
WTBS Studios

AnimeJoe from YouTube, you are the greatest person ever to hit the internet. In case you others are unaware, this man has uploaded TONS of NWA television from ’89 over the past month and now I’ve finally found time to prop my feet up and watch me some old school goodness. Major kudos, my friend.

Your hosts are Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone!

  • NWA U.S. Heavyweight Champion Barry Windham (w/JJ Dillon) vs. Eddie Gilbert

Gilbert’s sick and tired of the Horsemen’s (well, what’s left of them anyway) shenanigans and hopes to get a little bit of revenge here against the US champ. Of course, Windham doesn’t seem to take Gilbert very seriously. Gilbert fires away, but then gets caught with a suplex. Windham goes for the Lariat, but Gilbert ducks and comes back around with a lariat of his own. Windham slows the pace down and takes Gilbert down for a headlock. Gilbert escapes with a headscissors, but Windham pops out and levels Gilbert with a right hand. “Eddie” chant gets Gilbert going again, but Windham slows the pace down again this time in the corner. Gutwrench suplex and a slam sets up a knee drop. Windham heads up top, but Gilbert is there to slam him down. Meanwhile, Ric Flair is out to get a closer look. Ten-count corner punch ensues, but Windham brings him out of the corner for an atomic drop. Windham grounds and pounds Gilbert for a while and then delivers an awesome walk-around back suplex. Gilbert won’t stay down, so Windham dumps him out to the floor. Windham turns away to say something to Ross and Schiavone, so Gilbert spins him around and punches him back into the ring. Backdrop gets two, but he misses an elbow drop. Windham follows up with a stalling suplex for two, then argues with ref Teddy Long to allow a rollup from Gilbert for two. That’s all Gilbert gets though, as Windham maintains control. It’s SUPERPLEX time! They fight over it, but Windham still delivers. Windham fails to cover and lets Gilbert get back up. He punches Gilbert down again and slams him for a knee drop, but Gilbert moves and then hooks on the Figure-Four! Windham quickly grabs the ropes though. Eddie pounds on the knee and hits a suplex, but now Windham is back on his feet. As Gilbert fires away on Windham, Flair finally has watched enough and attacks Gilbert for the DQ. (11:30) HUGE double-team beatdown follows. Hmm, guess he has no friends. Why did Flair and Windham do this to Gilbert? Because JJ doesn’t have time to deal with this guy, so maybe this will teach him a lesson. I love it. Match felt like a great match at half-speed though. **½

Dusty Rhodes tells us he’s going to regain the US title in 1989. Umm, I think Vince has something else planned for you, daddy-o.

  • Michael PS Hayes vs. Paul Lee

Michael Hayes is back in the NWA! It’s all moonwalks and chinlocks in this squash. Steven Casey comes down to watch. JR talks about the new Michael Hayes/Junkyard Dog tag team. The DDT finishes off Lee. (3:11) Afterwards, Hayes cuts an awesome energetic promo after JYD says something about bones and facing Flair for the world title. They want the US tag belts too!

  • NWA U.S. Tag Team Champions “Dr. Death” Steve Williams & Kevin Sullivan (w/Mike Rotunda) vs. Mike Collins & Randy Hogan

Randy Hogan actually looks like Hulk Hogan if he were a 180 pound jobber. Sullivan backdrops Collins into a Dr. Death POWERBOMB! Awesome! Doc and Sullivan get tired of slamming and clotheslining Collins, so they make him tag in the Randster! He gets PWNED, as Doc throws him around like a ragdoll and then looks to break his arm in a hammerlock on the mat. Sullivan lets Collins tag in and then nukes him in the corner with the Tree of Woe. DOUBLE-STOMP! Tag to Doc, OKLAHOMA STAMPEDE! (3:57) Good gosh, what a squash. In the post-match interview, the VC send out a challenge to the Road Warriors. Rotunda calls Steiner stupid, and this portion of the NWA was brought to you by Old Spice!

  • NWA World Tag Team Champions The Road Warriors (w/Paul Ellering) vs. Dale LaParouse & Mike Jackson

DOOMSDAY DEVICE! Call it a day, fellas. (0:40) They take LaParouse out on a stretcher. Afterwards, the Road Warriors call the Varsity Club cRaZy for wanting to get in the ring with them. They also mention their new six-man tag partner who comes from alllllllll the way over in Japan: Tenryu.

Interview with Barry Windham, Ric Flair and JJ Dillon. They talk about how 1989 is going to be the best year ever for the Four Horsemen until Eddie Gilbert stops by to issue them a challenge for next week. He’s got a partner, Ric. Oh yes, he’s got a partner.

  • The Original Midnight Express (w/Paul E. Dangerously) vs. Trent Knight & Bob Emory

Rose and Condrey wipe the mat with these two jobbers while Dangerously does his best Cornette impression. Whoa, Rose hits a missile dropkick. After a Condrey clothesline, Paul E shouts to the camera, “That’s why the ratings are up!” Great stuff. The HUMAN COUGH DROP wins the match, which is Condrey lifting Rose up in an atomic drop position and bringing him down for a legdrop. (4:12) In the post-match interview, Paul E tells the world that anything Jim Cornette can do, he can do better. “When it comes to careers, I’m obsessed with your demise!” Another great promo on this show. Haha, Condrey waves to the camera.

  • Larry Zbyszko & Al Perez (w/Gary Hart) vs. George South & Curtis Thompson

Zbyszko’s still sporting that Western States Heritage belt. Abdullah the Butcher shows up with Gary Hart, but he gets sent to the back because he’s so freakin’ uncontrollable and won’t stop beating up George South! Perez puts South away with the ALICOPTER (helicopter spin). (2:50) I love his finisher name. It’s so silly! Larry Z and Al P want Flair’s belt!

Starrcade ’88 home video ad. Wow, it’s 35 bucks!

  • Dick Murdoch vs. Eddie Sweat

I’m 78% sure he’s not related to Keith Sweat. Murdoch’s all elbows and slams until he finishes with the BRAINBUSTER. (2:30) That’s that.

Missy Hyatt interviews Ric Flair. She asks Flair why he cheated to win at Starrcade, but his response is he was just using the ropes to keep his balance. OOOOOH okay. No more title shots, Lex. Flair shoots off his “stylin’ and profilin'” catchphrase and Missy looks like she wants to take a ride on Space Mountain. WOOO!

  • The Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette) vs. Keith Steinborn & Gary Royal

Nice. Blind tag to Lane gets Steinborn caught in a back suplex/elbow drop combo. SAVATE KICKS~! Eaton tags in for a flying elbow drop while Cornette puts Paul E over on JR and Tony’s microphone by saying he’s starting to get under his skin. VEG-O-MATIC gets the 1-2-3. (3:29) Well-oiled machine is an understatement. In the post-match interview, Cornette confesses Lane got Valentine’s day cards from one of his teachers in elementary school while Eaton ran around with a bunch of hoodlums back in Alabama. He then lets Paul E know that if he wants to play the Midnight Express game, then he’s more than willing to play.

  • NWA World Television Champion Rick Steiner vs. Mike Rotunda (w/Kevin Sullivan)

This is a rematch from Starrcade. Rotunda pearl harbors Steiner with a pair of clotheslines, but then whiffs on a third one and falls out to the floor. Back in, Steiner hits a backdrop for two. Rotunda rolls out to safety while Steiner barks in the ring. Back in again, they do some brief mat stuff. “Let’s go Steiner, let’s go!” chants start up. Rotunda hiptosses out of a headlock, but gets dropped with a Steinerline and then escapes out to Sullivan once again. Rotunda taunts Steiner from the apron and baits him over for a thumb to the eye and a neck snap. Awesome! Rotunda shoots back in the ring and delivers a dropkick. Steiner gets dumped and takes a wooden box to the head from Sullivan. Back in, Rotunda hits the sleeper. Rotunda uses the ropes like a pro too. Steiner elbows out, but gets nailed with a clothesline for two. Rotunda heads up top, but he’s caught and slammed to the mat for two. Steiner comes off the ropes, but Sullivan pulls the ropes down and Steiner falls out for a throat jab. Rotunda gives Steiner a suplex back in for 1-2-NO! Back elbow gets a pair of a twos. Just to be a jerk, Rotunda bites on Steiner’s hand puppet Alex. He LOVES his left hand. Steiner gets a desperation sunset flip, but Rotunda pokes him in the eyes on the way down for two. Steinerline connects, but now Dr. Death is in the ring and stomping a mudhole in Steiner for the DQ. (9:09) The Varsity Club give Steiner a SPIKE PILEDRIVER and then they try to steal Steiner’s dog until Hayes and JYD come by to put an end to that. I sense an upcoming six-man tag! Good match, but what the F, Doc? ***¼

  • Sting & Lex Luger vs. Agent Steel & Bob Holiday

Bob Holiday looks strangely like Rocky King, but I don’t think that’s him. Sting does moves that generate a reaction here like a press slam for instance, while Luger executes chinlocks and bearhugs. Sting tags in for the Stinger Splash and the SCORPION DEATHLOCK on poor Holiday gets the win. (4:59) Afterwards, Lex says it’s NOT over between him and Flair no matter what he says. Sting gets like ten seconds of talking time after Ross mentions Butch Reed is on his way, but that’s all folks.

Final Thoughts: Fantastic program this week with all the major feuds discussed and furthered by people who could TALK. When you watch the PPVs, you really don’t get a chance to hear the wrestlers talk, but on the weekly shows of course you will. Just a solid show from top to bottom, and you’ve got a reason to come back next week to see who Eddie Gilbert’s mystery partner is. Oh man, who could it possibly be?


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