Greensboro, North Carolina
Commentators: Tony Schiavone and Jim Ross
NWA World Television Championship/College Rules: “Gorgeous” Jimmy Garvin (w/Precious) vs (C) Mike Rotunda (w/Kevin Sullivan)
The Varsity Club ruled and I don’t care if anyone disagrees with me. This match was under “College Rules” which meant there were three 5-minute rounds and a thirty second rest between each, also you could get the victory with a one count (Future Hall of Fame member Teddy Long was your official). The crowd was crazy for this thing from the beginning. The guys were doing basic stuff, but did enough trying to fight off of their backs to really sell the match concept. Rotunda would have been a world champion somewhere if he had a lick of charisma. Jimmy was fine, as long as you liked punches and permed hair. It wasn’t amazing but it was fun to watch.
Winner: Rotunda retained after rolling up Garvin while he was distracted with Sullivan attacking Precious.
- Garvin nailed a Brainbuster on Rotunda after the match then Sullivan attacked him. Garvin started to respond but was cut off by Varsity Club member (and a jacked to the damn gills) Rick Steiner. Precious made the save for Garvin by hitting Steiner with a 2×4 and choking Sullivan with a coat hanger. Jimmy pulled her out and they both high tailed it to the back. Precious looked like she should have been in the match instead of Jimmy.
- Bob Caudle is with
The Lead singer of Alabama, Randy Owen“Dr. Death” Steve Williams. Poor Doc cuts one of the worst damn promos I have ever heard. He wants Flair apparently. Oh, and fully supports Dusty. That is a theme tonight.
U.S. Tag Team Championships: (C) The Midnight Express (“Beautiful Bobby and “Sweet” Stan version) w/Jim Cornette vs The Fantastics
A whole section of the front row is holding up a Cornette sign. I appreciate that. These guys came for a fight and a wrestling match broke out. There were chairs, tables and a lot of violence for a 1988 NWA match (Just a quick side-note, the announcers bring up standby matches in case they have to fill time LIKE IT’S A SPORT and I couldn’t be happier about it.). Jim Cornette even tried to Sabu poor Bobby Fulton. This was awesome as hell. The Midnight’s gave a master class on cutting off the ring and being plain old fashioned scum bags. The crowd was molten hot from beginning to end. If Bobby Eaton could talk (or not look like Bobby Eaton) he would have been World champion 10 times, the guy was amazing. The fact that Bobby Fulton got so pissed the he tossed the ref like a sack of shit was just icing on the cake for me. Hot take, this was as good as any of the Rock & Roll/Midnight’s matches. Excellent.
Winner: The Midnight’s won a reverse decision after they initially lost via a Rocket Launcher. Pee Wee Anderson reversed Tommy Young’s decision because he got tossed over the top rope. No shit. Probably should have seen that one coming.
- After the match the Midnight’s and Jim whip the living shit out of Fulton with Cornette’s belt. Dicks.
- Bob Caudle is back and he introduces us to the star of the “New Leave it to Beaver”, the guy that played Eddie Haskell in the original. He does a pre-taped interview with Jim Cornette that even Jim couldn’t save.
- Bob is with the
second runner up in the Randy Owen look alike contestAl Perez and Gary Hart. Because this is 1988 NWA all they talk about is Dusty Rhodes.
- Next we get Francis Crockett (who has all the flash and sizzle as Linda McMahon) to introduce the top 10 seeds for the Crockett Cup.
10: Ivan Koloff and Dick Murdoch (no)
9: Sting and Ronnie Garvin (eh)
8: The Varsity Club (sure)
7: The Fantastics (yep)
6: Barry Windham and Lex Luger (sure)
5: Powers of Pain (OK)
4: The Midnight Express (Obviously)
3: The Road Warriors (yeah)
2: Nikita Koloff and Dusty Rhodes (I’m shocked they weren’t number 1)
1: Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard (damn right)
Chicago Street Fight (6-Man Texas Barbed Wire): Dusty Rhodes and The Road Warriors vs The Powers of Pain and Ivan Koloff (w/ Paul Jones)
Animal was wearing a hockey mask due to a prior attack by the heels. Dusty painted his face for this so you know he meant business. Those are the match highlights. If you are looking for a high work rate contest with a lot of high flying shit look elsewhere. If you are looking for guys kinda laying against the ropes and not doing anything then this is right up your alley. Dusty and Ivan bladed because it’s in their contracts, but other than that the barb wire was a non-factor in this sub 5 minute match. Also they needed like 5 more qualifiers when naming this match. Eh, kinda made your 6-man champs look weak as hell.
Winner: Dusty and his friends won after a powerslam by Animal and Barbarian accidentally nailing the Warlord.
- After the match the POP and Ivan attack Animal and remove his mask to injure him further. Thank god Dusty was there to save Animal and the world. I wonder who booked this…
- Bob is with Nikita Koloff and his new haircut. He hates Kevin Sullivan and wants the World Title. Oh yeah, he and Dusty will win Crockett Cup. Everyone interviewed has mentioned Dusty so far.
NWA World Tag Team Championships: (C) Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson (w/JJ Dillon) vs Barry Windham and Lex Luger
Holy cow was the crowd into this thing. I personally could not blame them. Picture perfect tag team match from bell to bell. Tully and Arn were so amazing together as a team that they could do the exact same act right now and be the most popular tandem in wrestling as heels or faces. Windham was still in the period where he was one of the best in the world and Lex getting a hot tag and running wild is what he was made for. The ending where the good guys got the win because the bad guys tried to cheat a little too much is just perfect. The pop for that win was INSANE. Beautiful.
Winner: Lex pinned Arn after JJ got a chair involved and Arn’s face smashed into it. Luger and Windham should have been champs for a long time…but that’s not the way that went. Still a really special moment.
- We introduce the judges for the next match because there must be a winner. Absolutely, positively, yes sir no two ways about it. So the esteemed judges are Gary Juster, Sandy Scott (that’s all the wrestling people) a Penthouse Pet, Eddie Haskell again and that kid from the Wonder Years that isn’t Fred Savage. Truly a panel that knows their stuff.
NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Sting vs (C) “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (w/ JJ Dillon suspended in a shark cage)
This match is pretty legendary for making sting into a superstar and it really earned that distinction. Flair was “only” a 5-time World Champion at this point but at the very tip top of his game. He made Sting look like a million dollars. Sting was good for his experience level and mostly hung in there with Ric but this match was all about the champ for me. Flair was amazing and decided to make Sting into a household name in 45 minutes, then he pulled it off. The only issue I had with the match at all was them making a big deal out of the judges and there having to be a winner then not delivering. That’s a small thing to gripe about when they gave us gold like this was.
Winner: Even with all the esteemed judges at ringside this was determined a DRAW. Flair retained and Sting was a bigger star. Everyone won.
Overall Thoughts: You had five matches and all but one delivered. That is a pretty good night of wrestling no matter how you slice it. Obviously this show was tremendously successful artistically and ratings wise because they did a ton more of them. This was a really fun show and good trip down memory lane. Thumbs all the way up but I still can’t believe that penthouse chick was the most qualified for the job.
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