World Championship Wrestling (03.25.89)

NWA World Championship Wrestling
March 25, 1989
Atlanta, GA
WTBS Studios

Your hosts are Jim Ross and Michael PS Hayes. This should be good. JR needs a heel color man to make his commentary all the more fun because he’s so quick and good at comebacks and always seems to know just what to say.

  • The Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette) vs. Chance Myers & The Raider

Myers receives the drop toehold/elbow drop combo. Lots of one-move tags between the Midnights while they work on the Raider. Raider gets in some jobber offense, but he’s quickly cut off with a Russian legsweep from Lane. Eaton tags in and surprises Raider with a Swinging Neckbreaker and the FLAPJACK puts him away. (4:19) Look out, Samoans. Here come the Midnight Express.

Interview with Lex Luger: He’s PISSED and he wants Flair AND Hayes! COME AND GET IT!

That leads to JR questioning Hayes for taking the evil Japanese money. The Nagasaki Corporation OWNS you, that’s why. If you don’t like it, then you can leave and go to that other wrestling promotion where you don’t have to wrestle so hard. Apparently, this comment perked Barry Windham’s ears.

  • “Dr. Death” Steve Williams & Kevin Sullivan (w/Mike Rotunda) vs. Bob Emery & DeWayne Bruce

According to the taping schedule, Doc and Sullivan have lost the US tag belts to the First Family. Doc leaves the Sooners singlet and debuts the white and blue. Hayes thinks the Road Warriors are avoiding the Varsity Club since they’re touring Japan right now. The VC work on Bruce’s arm. While Doc has Bruce in an armbar on the mat, Sullivan tags in and REPEATEDLY STOMPS Bruce right in the face. Sick stuff! Doc goes to soften up the back with a Canadian backbreaker and then rams Bruce stomach-first in the corner for a reverse tree of woe. Sullivan charges into him and Doc finishes with the OKLAHOMA STAMPEDE. (4:47) Just another day for the Varsity Club.

  • The Danger Zone

Since the bigger stars don’t seem to be giving Paul E. Dangerfield any respect, today’s guest is Cougar Jay! Paul E puts Cougar Jay over as an up and coming star (?!) until Randy Rose stops by. He’s been trying to get a hold of Paul E, so he thought the sure fire way to get in touch with him would be to just come on the Danger Zone. He’s here to tell Paul E that he’s back in the NWA and he wants Paul to be his manager. Paul E says there’s no way he’s going to manage a LOSER who cost the Original Midnight Express at Starrcade and at the Chi-Town Rumble. Rose gets in Paul E’s face, so “Secret Service” Jack Victory has no choice but to BASH Rose in the back of the head with Paul E’s phone. Cougar Jay receives the same punishment. Victory pancakes Jay and Rose DDP-style on the concrete and then leaves them for dead. Pretty cool, and a great way to bring Rose back in the company. Plus it gives Cougar Jay something to do.

  • Ranger Ross vs. Max McGiver

Yes Mr. Ross, we know you know how to apply an armbar. Now do something else. Sheik comes out to ringside waving the Iranian flag to bring about some “USA” chants. COMBAT KICK wins. (2:08) Ross-Sheik at the Clash!

Interview with the Iron Sheik:
Typical anti-American Sheik promo. He wants Steamboat and Luger’s belts. Sheik is numero uno!

Ric Flair and Hiro Matsuda join JR for color commentary for this next match. Flair promises Steamboat will have the shortest title reign in NWA history. Well, that’s already impossible thanks to Kerry Von Erich. Nevertheless…

  • NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ricky Steamboat vs. Snake Brown

We go to an Albany GA house show taping. Steamboat stomps the hands off a test of strength. That must be Snake’s favorite spot or something. A turnbuckle smash has no effect on Snake, but a judo chop does. Tons of chops set up the FLYING CROSSBODY for 1-2-3. (3:28) I love how Flair puts Steamboat over the whole time, and he does so by saying how awesome a competitor must be in order to beat him. He’s killing two birds with one stone right there.

Interview with Ricky Steamboat: He says he will wrestle ANYBODY without question.

Back to the studios: Flair knows what Steamboat’s doing. He’s trying to prove everybody that he’s better than Flair, but he’s got to beat the man twice to be better than Flair. WOO!

  • The Samoan Swat Team (w/Paul E. Dangerously) vs. Tony Suber & Mike Justice

Paul E joins us on commentary and congratulates Michael Hayes on a successful backstabbing. Samoan offense (headbutts and back scratches) abounds. Samu hits a DDT out of the corner on Suber and Fatu hits the FLYING SPLASH for the win. (3:00) These guys are just Too Cool.

Interview with the Midnight Express and Jim Cornette: This recent foreign invasion in the NWA just burns Jimmy up, and it looks the Midnight Express are the team to keep these foreigners out of the NWA. The Russian Assassins came in talking about Russia, and the Midnights took care of them. Hiro Matsuda and the “Japs” are buying out all the major NWA stars. Hayes takes objection to that. Iron Sheik’s here. Now we’ve got a couple of Samoans. Cornette makes a very key statement saying that he doesn’t mind people from other lands coming into our country who are looking for an opportunity and to contribute to society, but it’s those who are coming into the NWA who leech off of us or buy us out. Clash 6 is coming! The Midnights vs. The Samoans! Speaking of foreigners who are contributing to American society…

  • The Great Muta (w/Gary Hart) vs. Jerry Price

They’re still calling him “Mota”. Hayes mentions the obvious similarities in the appearance of the Great Muta and the Great Kabuki. He then explains that Muta was trained by Kabuki. Only in the kayfabe sense though. Power drive elbow connects. Muta sticks his fingers in his mouth and then gouges the eyes, which becomes a trademark for him. Muta gives Price the Handspring Elbow in the corner and then finishes off with the Cattle Mutilation. (2:35) The audience can’t help but applaud this guy. I love how they’re booking Muta – instead of showing what he can do all at once, he does one cool move week to week. Awesome.

Interview with Gary Hart and the Great Muta (or Mota): Hart sends out a challenge to anybody who thinks they can handle Muta.

Interview with the NEW U.S. tag champs, the First Family: For some reason, the guy who put together AnimeJoe’s DVD cut out or didn’t record their title win. AHH! Gilbert mentions how Rick Steiner is the savior of his career after losing in the US tag titles tournament back in December and getting beat down by Flair and Windham every week. He now has a renewed confidence. The night they won the belts there was a lot of partying going on. That night, Steiner went CRAZY and bought a boat, and it goes ’round and ’round in his bath tub. Ho-ho! These guys are tons of fun.

More interviews! Now we’ve got the Varsity Club, minus Dan Spivey, plus Rotunda’s accountant who holds the $10,000: Since Sullvan’s title loss, he’s gained some ideas on how to take out Gilbert when he and Doc get a return match. Doc wants to find out who’s the better college athlete between him and Rick Steiner. Where’s Danny at? He’s hanging out watching tapes! JR asks Rotunda if he’s picking his opponents and why he doesn’t face contenders like Steiner or Sting, but Rotunda says he’s been trying to sign matches with those guys.

  • NWA World Television Champion Mike Rotunda (w/Kevin Sullivan & “Dr. Death” Steve Williams) vs. Greg Brown

Twisting back suplex on Brown gets two. Rotunda delivers the double-arm suplex and then applies the Guillotine for the win. (1:51) That makes four submissions in a row for Rotunda! Next weekend, he gets Sting. You just watch.

Interview with Ranger Ross: Ross is still pissed about the hostage situation in Iran back in the late ’70s and he’s going to avenge them by beating Sheik within an inch of his life. Yeah, I’m sure they’ll appreciate that.

  • The Iron Sheik (w/Rip Morgan) vs. Richard Sartain

Now Ross walks around ringside with the US flag while Sheik tries to beat up a guy. USA! USA! USA! Typical Sheik squash that ends with the CAMEL CLUTCH. (1:40) Hayes just wants Sheik and Ross to just get it over with now, but Ross is nowhere to be found.

They show a clip of the NWA world tag champs the Road Warriors battling the All-Japan unified world tag champs Jumbo Tsuruta and Yoshiaki Yatsu. Of course, LOD sells very little even for these guys. Tsuruta and Yatsu hit their double-team finisher (Tsuruta flying knee into a German Suplex), but Animal kicks out. LOD delivers the Doomsday Device to Yatsu, but the Japanese leave to fight another day and LOD retains by countout.

  • Dick Murdoch & Vincent Young vs. The Enforcer & Lee Scott

Seriously, who thought Murdoch and Young as a tag team was a GOOD idea. Murdoch’s the kind of I would imagine would beat up breakdancers if he ever saw that in the streets. You can better believe Enforcer is a masked man. He’s in Soviet colors too, so us Americans can hate him just a little more. Murdoch tries to rip Enforcer’s mask off while Hayes talks to JR about being the guest on next week’s Danger Zone. Young delivers a decent missile dropkick to Scott for two, but Enforcer stops the count. Instead, Murdoch delivers the Dusty Rhodes elbow drop on his side of the ring for the 1-2-3. (3:34) Young starts the breakdancing again and Hayes worries that the guy is having a seizure. As far as I know, this is the last World Championship Wrestling appearance for Vincent Young. Anybody know what happened to that guy?

YOUTUBE IT: If you can’t get enough Muta, check out his squash. The Gary Hart interview was very well done too. Even the First Family interview was a lot of fun. Nothing all too different this week from last week’s show wrestling wise though.


Okay, here’s a match that’s obviously not on the show, but I feel was a big part of the Steamboat title reign. Everybody thinks of his amazing matches with Flair, but WHAT ABOUT MISAWA? Let’s head over to Japan for Steamboat vs. Tiger Mask II!

  • NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ricky Steamboat vs. Tiger Mask II (AJPW TV, Tokyo Japan, 3/8/1989)

You talk about a dream match. Tiger Mask uses the Steamboat strategy of trying to get the win right from the bell with shoulderblocks and dropkicks. Tiger Mask stays consistent with a headlock and just will not let Steamboat go. Steamboat finally breaks free, but turns around into a crossbody for two. Now Steamboat applies a headscissors, then goes to a chinlock Tiger Mask makes the ropes, ducks a chop off a whip, and nails Steamboat with a high knee for two. Back to the headlock. Tiger Mask doesn’t just sit there either, he tries to get the three-count by shifting his weight on Steamboat. Back up, Steamboat ducks low and takes a chop for two. Tiger Mask GRINDS the headlock, which makes me cringe just watching. Tiger Mask breaks in the center of the ring, but only to knock him down with a standing dropkick for two. Wow, this would never be shown on NWA TV. Steamboat chops back for two, but so does Tiger Mask. Steamboat hits an inverted atomic drop for another two. Standing powerslam gets two. Tiger Mask comes back with a backdrop and a spin kick gets two. Another spin kick gets two. They do a criss-cross sequence and Steamboat skins-the-cat, but Tiger Mask dropkicks him out for a baseball slide into the guardrail. Piledriver on the floor?! YES! Yet Steamboat NO-SELLS and wins a chop battle and then hits the Flying Judo Chop for 1-2-NO! Tiger Mask gets a back suplex out of nowhere and climbs up top for the FROG SPLASH for 1-2-NO!! Bridging German suplex gets 1-2-NO! Steamboat chops back once again and hits a crossbody out of the corner, but Tiger Mask rolls through for 1-2-NO! Steamboat wants a piledriver, but Tiger Mask wildly kicks his feet and falls on top of Steamboat for 1-2-NO! Steamboat reverses and gets 1-2-3! (14:06) Misawa congratulates Steamboat with the ceremonial “raising of your opponent’s arm” to celebrate the match. This was very good with the psychology of the headlock working like a charm. I felt like it was way too short though. These two could’ve went thirty minutes easy. Also, Tiger Mask didn’t bust out anything too amazing to get the win here either, which keeps the NWA world champion Steamboat looking strong. Like I said, a very good match. Not great though, but very good. ***¼


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