DATE: May 19, 1990
VENUE: D.C. Armory (Washington, DC)
COMMENTATORS: Jim Ross & Bob Caudle
Capital Combat ‘90 features a cage match main event as Ric Flair defends the World Heavyweight Championship against perennial contender Lex Luger, The Steiner Brothers defend the World Tag Team Titles against Doom, and Sting runs afoul of The Four Horsemen until his new best friend Robocop intervenes. Yes I have been huffing paint but no I did not make that last sentence up.
- NWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair
- NWA UNITED STATES HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: “The Total Package” Lex Luger
- NWA WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPION: “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson
- NWA WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner)
- NWA UNITED STATES TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: “Flyin” Brian Pillman & “The Z-Man” Tom Zenk
- Norman The Lunatic & The Road Warriors vs. Kevin Sullivan, Cactus Jack, & Bam Bam Bigelow (**1/2)
- Johnny Ace vs. Mean Mark (**1/4)
- Mike Rotunda & Tommy Rich vs. The Samoan SWAT Team (1/4*)
- HAIR VS. HAIR: Paul Ellering vs. Theodore R. Long (NR)
- Brian Pillman & Tom Zenk [c] vs. The Midnight Express for the NWA UNITED STATES TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (****)
- CORPORAL PUNISHMENT MATCH: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express vs. The Fabulous Freebirds (***1/4)
- The Steiner Brothers [c] vs. Doom for the NWA WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (***1/2)
- STEEL CAGE MATCH: Ric Flair [c] vs. Lex Luger for the NWA WORLD’S HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (***1/4)
–Tony Schiavone welcomes the home audience as we scan the D.C. Armory crowd. Focus on Schiavone, who goes over the three titles matches scheduled for tonight.
-Cut to the ring for a celebration of Armed Forces Day. Star Spangled Banner performed by folks dressed like old-timey Revolutionary War folk and some pyro.
-Back to Schiavone for brief Robocop hype (!!!) then takes it to Ross and Caudle at ringside for more hype and title match discussion. Ross also casually mentions Robocop like it’s just another day at the office, pro wrestling rules.
Norman The Lunatic & The Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal) [w/ Paul Ellering] vs. Kevin Sullivan, “The Beast from the East” Bam Bam Bigelow, & Cactus Jack [w/ Sir Oliver Humperdink]
Hawk and Animal ride out on the back of motorcycles as Ellering walks behind them, while Norman rides a scooter to the ring like the endearing dork he is. Norman has been feuding with Sullivan and company for most of 1990, defeating Jack in a singles match at the previous PPV WrestleWar ‘90: Wild Thing.
Jack rakes the eyes of Animal, Animal easily brushes off the early offense and drills him with a powerslam after showing off his leapfrogging skills. Jack bails to the corner, Animal whips him to the other side and grazes him with his big boot. Hawk runs in and IMMEDIATELY LEVELS Jack with a clothesline, giving no f*cks. That ruled. Bigelow, sans sleeves in an awful outfit choice, tags in and the crowd is excited for some meat slappin’. Bigelow backs Hawk into the corner, Hawk dodges a right and lays into him with right hands. Bigelow stops the onslaught with a headbutt, Hawk immediately dropkicks him into the corner. Sullivan tags in, Hawk fights out of the heel corner and drills him with a clothesline. Sullivan bails to his friends, Jack tags back in to try his luck once more, while Norman tags in on the babyface side. Norman with a corner splash, Jack flops to the mat and gets legdropped. Norman calls for Bigelow, Bigelow is happy to oblige, a lot happier to beat up a “simple” person than he should be. Well nevermind I guess as Animal tags in. Shoulderblock moves neither man, Animal dodges a falling headbutt and clotheslines himself and Bam Bam on the floor, both men landing on their feet as once again The Beast from the East does not fall. An angry Bigelow re-enters the ring, Hawk tags in and eats a headbutt. Jack tags in, Bigelow whips him at Hawk but gets sidestepped and he sends himself out to the floor, Hawk following up with a clothesline from the apron and a whip into the rail that sends Jack into the first few rows.
Hawk throws the wooden steps at Jack, Norman tags in as Jack stumbles back in the ring. Sullivan tags in and counters a corner splash with a big boot followed by a double stomp. Hawk gets goaded into distracting the ref, Bigelow sends Norman to the mat with a shoulderblock followed by a vertical suplex for the 1…2…Norman kicks out. Sullivan tags in and SLAMS Norman, quickly tagging back out to Jack so he can nurse his now-hurting back. Jack with a double ax from the top followed by a neckbreaker across the top rope, sending himself careening to the floor. CRAZY MAN. The trio continue making quick tags to wear Norman down, until Norman manages a clothesline from out of nowhere and tags out to Animal. Dropkick to Jack, forearms to Bigelow and Sullivan. Animal connects with a high shoulderblock, Bigelow breaks up the count. All six men start brawling in and out of the ring, Hawk catches Sullivan with a flying clothesline for the 1…2…3.
Norman The Lunatic & The Road Warriors defeated Kevin Sullivan, Cactus Jack, & Bam Bam Bigelow via pinfall (9:15)
- Entertaining opening contest, Cactus Jack once again threw caution to the wind to make sure he was the most exciting part of it. It worked as his bumps are the best thing about this. This is The Road Warriors’ final PPV match from their original run in the territory, and last WCW appearance as a team before their short return in 95/96. (**1/2)
Johnny Ace vs. “Mean” Mark [w/ Theodore R. Long]
Mean Mark ended his association with The Skyscrapers at WrestleWar ‘90 and has embarked on a singles career, with Long still by his side for now. Ace is also a former tag team wrestler, but with Shane Douglas gone from the company Ace has no Dude to be Dynamic with. I’m sure his heart is broken about it.
Ace grabs a side headlock on Mark, Mark whips him off and doesn’t budge from a shoulderblock. Ace tries again, same thing. Ace tries a hip toss, Mark blocks it and hits a clothesline but misses an elbowdrop and Ace sends him to the floor with a dropkick. Ace doesn’t give him a chance to breathe, connecting with a plancha that almost takes out the cameraman. Ace slows things down with a wristlock, twisting the arm and driving an elbow into the joint. Mark eats a knee when charging in, Ace follows up with a middle-buckle crossbody for the 1…2…Mark kicks out, Ace connects with an armdrag and settles into an armbar. Ref tries to separate the two in the corner, Mark connects with a right hand over the back to take control. Ace rolls to the floor, Long gets his shots in while Mark distracts the ref. Mark pummels Ace, including a savate kick (!!!) and a leaping clothesline he’d later be famous for in a different company for the 1…2…kickout. Ace almost fades from a reverse chinlock but finds his second wind in the nick of time, getting to his feet and breaking out but running right into a big boot. Mark connects with a scoop slam and a high-elevation legdrop but covers arrogantly and Ace kicks out. Ace misses a dropkick, Mark covers for the 1…2…not yet. Ace misses a shoulder in the corner, Mark naturally zones in on the arm. Ace counters a backdrop with a kick and mounts some offense including a monkey flip out of the corner. Mark ducks a flying clothesline and connects with a Heart Punch. Not satisfied Mark follows up with a ropewalk elbowdrop for the 1…2…3.
Mean Mark defeated Johnny Ace via pinfall (10:38)
- A good showcase for Mean Mark, as even WCW saw the potential in this man as a future superstar. He would become one obviously but unfortunately for WCW it would happen in a completely different company. I believe this is Ace’s final WCW PPV appearance as well as he would move to Japan full-time, becoming one of AJPW’s biggest stars of the 90s before joining the offices of both WCW and WWE. You never know where your career will take you sometimes. (**1/4)
–Gordon Solie approaches the locker room of Sting, which is guarded by a pair of security guards. A bright light can be seen behind those doors, as well as various mechanical sounds (IS THERE A ROBOT COP IN THERE). Solie says Sting’s main concern for being here tonight is to ensure the protection of his little Stingers that have supported him since his injury, who have been threatened by The Horsemen. Solie will stand by to get words with Sting and RoboCop as they exit.
- Leave it to GORDON SOLIE to give this goofy ass RoboCop stuff some gravitas. What a once in a lifetime announcer he was.
-Schiavone is with The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, leather straps in hand. Hype for their upcoming Corporal Punishment match against The Fabulous Freebirds. Robert Gibson says they haven’t forgotten the whippin’ they were given and vow to whip their behinds like their mommas should have. Ricky Morton says they have returned to the NWA to become champs for the fifth time, then changes subject and says Lex Luger will take care of business tonight in the main event. Coooool.
“Captain” Mike Rotunda & “Wildfire” Tommy Rich vs. The Samoan SWAT Team (Fatu & The Samoan Savage)
The original Samoan SWAT Team was comprised of Fatu & Samu (aka The Headshrinkers) but Samu has been replaced here by The Samoan Savage (aka The Tonga Kid, aka co-star of Body Slam, an underrated wrestling movie). Fair enough. At least they aren’t dressed up as yacht captains like that dork Mike Rotunda.
After almost three minutes of stalling Rich and Savage lock up, Savage complaining repeatedly of a hair pull. Savage rakes the eyes and back, Rich drops Savage with a shoulderblock and catches him with a crossbody for a one-count, Savage bails to the corner and once again complains of a hair pull. Rotunda tags in, already sweating to death. Somebody wanna turn the AC on this place by any chance? Fatu tags in and gets on his knees, offering a handshake but Rotunda doesn’t bite. Fatu connects with a pair of thrusts, Rotunda ducks a clothesline and connects with a pair of dropkicks that sends him to the floor. Savage tags in after trying to enter illegally, Rotunda grabs an armbar. Rotunda ducks a clothesline and connects with a dropkick on Savage followed by an elbow to the back of the head. Rich tags in and brings Savage to one knee with a wristlock. Rich ducks a clothesline, Savage connects with a powerslam and tags Fatu who misses a flying headbutt from the top. Rich sends Fatu into Rotunda’s foot, Rotunda tags in and goes back to the armbar. Rich tags in, armbar for him as well, Fatu tries to escape with a right hand but hits Savage instead. They make up with a hug, drawing boos from this MANLY AND MACHO crowd. Rotunda and Rich continue working on the arm as they match is damn near at ten minutes already. NOTHING HAS HAPPENED.
Fatu whips Rotunda off and connects with a sidewalk slam, turning the tide for the SWAT Team, and attacks Rich as well. Fatu follows up with a vertical suplex and lateral press, Rotunda kicks out at two then gets sent to the floor. Savage superkicks Rotunda while the ref is distracted, Fatu brings him back in and counters a hip toss with a clothesline. Savage tags in and wears Rotunda down with a front facelock, Rich tags in but the ref doesn’t see it. All four men brawl on the floor, superkick to Rotunda and he’s out cold on the floor, Savage ready to accept a countout. SWAT Team beat Rotunda some more, Fatu locks in another front facelock. Rotunda almost passes out, but fights through and connects with a back elbow after escaping. Savage tags in and attacks Rotunda before he can make the tag. Snapmare into a rear-chinlock in the center of the ring. Rotunda gets to his feet and tries to tag himself in but the ref doesn’t see it, allowing SST to hit a double backdrop. Savage covers for the 1…2…Rotunda kicks out and trades strikes with Savage. Rotunda catches Savage with a clothesline and both men are down. Fatu tags in but so does Rich, finally legally. Dropkick to Fatu, backdrop to Savage. Count-a-long rights to Fatu in the corner, Rotunda sends Savage to the floor with a dropkick. Rich applies a sleeper, Savage hits him from behind and Fatu lands on top for the 1…2…3.
The Samoan SWAT Team defeated Mike Rotunda & Tommy Rich via pinfall (17:54)
- I can’t go full DUD because it was competently wrestled but this one is an absolute snoozefest. Way too much stalling to start, both teams had boring offense and too many weardown holds, it felt like 18 minutes of absolute filler. Yuck. (1/4*)
-Schiavone is with The Steiner Brothers. Rick Steiner says Doom is a tough team but they’re prepared and will do whatever they have to do to win. Scott Steiner and his MASTERPIECE of a mullet talks about how they won most of their matches but have lost some. Uhhh okay? Scott says they came to D.C. to suplex Doom on their heads and when it’s all said and done they will be like everyone else: BEAT UP. Scott’s big boy promo voice is hilarious.
-The winners of the Capital Combat ‘90 Sweepstakes are given recognition. They are an old married couple and that f*cking rules. I bet WCW were SO MAD about it too, expecting young and hip.
–Missy Hyatt is introduced to the ring as the special guest ring announcer for the next match, accompanied by Jay Tapper, who will shave the head of the loser of this next contest.
HAIR VS. HAIR
“Precious” Paul Ellering vs. Theodore R. Long
Long comes out in boxing gear, gloves included, Hyatt announcing him as “Sugar Ray Long”. Tremendous. Long attacks Ellering from behind, wrapping his jacket over his head to deliver some punches. Long drops Ellering with a right and covers but Ellering easily kicks out. Ellering goozles Long, who tries to beg off. Ref stops him from connecting with a right, Long “loads” his glove and connects with a right, covering again for the 1…2…Ellering kicks out. Ellering removes the loaded glove, Irish whip and back elbow. Ellering slams Long and hits him with the loaded glove for the 1…2…3.
Paul Ellering defeated Theodore R. Long via pinfall (1:54)
- A nothing match which is unsurprising. Ellering is in CRAZY GOOD shape here though, much respect to him. (NR)
Tapper runs in and immediately starts shaving Long’s head as he’s knocked out. Long wakes up, most of his hair in-tact tbh, and tries to hide under the ref as he heads to the back. Well that was anti-climactic.
-Schiavone is joined by Horsemen members Arn Anderson, Ole Anderson, and Sid Vicious. Sid is looking like the biggest wedding usher in the world. Ole says the Horsemen have never allowed a title to leave the hands of Ric Flair and won’t let it happen tonight. Ric Flair walks in and tells Lex Luger he will pay the price for walking that aisle and thinking he’s half the man that the Nature Boy is. Arn says they are working together to keep what belongs to the Horsemen, and they will die before they let Flair lose it.
-Back to Ross and Caudle for some time-filling before the next match.
–Gary Michael Cappeta announces that Jim Cornette will be placed in a cage at ringside for this one. Cornette protests but with the help of Pillman, Zenk, and referee Randy Anderson, he’s finally placed inside.
“Flyin” Brian Pillman & “The Z-Man” Tom Zenk [c] vs. The Midnight Express (“Beautiful” Bobby Eaton & “Sweet” Stan Lane) [w/ Jim Cornette] for the NWA UNITED STATES TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
I never heard a bell but I guess this one is off to the races. Eaton backs Pillman into the corner, breaks clean, and talks some strategy with Lane. Eaton punches Pillman, Pillman chops back, Eaton blocks an O’Connor Roll but eats a dropkick. Z-Man comes in, double monkey flip to both Midnights plus a noggin knocker and a slingshot clothesline from Pillman. Lane leapfrogs Zenk and catches him with a martial arts kick. Zenk responds with three armdrags, Eaton tries to hold the Z-Man but his partner accidentally dropkicks him instead. Zenk dropkicks Lane, Lane walks into a right from both men and bails to the floor to get some advice from Cornette. Pillman tags back in, Lane catches him with a right hand and Irish whip, Pillman counters a backdrop with a sunset flip for the 1…2…Lane kicks out, Pillman with an armdrag. Lane escapes with an eye poke, Eaton tags in and Pillman takes him to the mat with an armdrag, transitioning into an armbar. Eaton tries a sunset flip, Pillman rolls through and lands on his feet off a flip attempt, following up with a dropkick and they reset. Zenk tags in and dodges an elbowdrop, settling into an armbar of his own. Zenk escapes a slam and connects with an atomic drop, sending Lane right into Eaton. Lane drops Zenk with a pair of martial arts kicks, Zenk dodges a double ax and goes back to the armbar. Lane escapes, Eaton tags in and both trade top wristlocks, the Beautiful One using the hair to counter Z-Man. Pillman tags in, top rope sunset flip for the 1…2…Eaton kicks out and Pillman grabs a wristlock. Zenk tags in, champs with a double backdrop. Lane holds Zenk, Eaton charges but gets backdropped by BOTH to the floor. Lane gets tossed in and sent back into Eaton, followed by a double hip toss.
Lane with a drop toehold, Zenk counters a front facelock with a hammerlock. Eaton tags in, Zenk slams him and covers for a two-count. Pillman tags in as the champs continue working the left arm over. Eaton escapes with a yank of the air and tries to keep his shoulders down for a pin. Pillman bridges out and connects with a monkey flip but Eaton dodges a crossbody and he sends himself flying to the floor. Pillman climbs the apron, Lane sends him flying into the guardrail with a running knee. Midnights are in control now, snapmare by Lane and an elbowdrop from Eaton into the lateral press for the 1…2…Pillman kicks out. Slingshot backbreaker by Eaton, Lane attacks Zenk to distract the ref and allow for some double team cheapshots. Drop toehold by Lane, elbowdrop to the back of the head by Eaton for the 1…2…Zenk breaks it up. Pillman surprises Lane with a sunset flip but Eaton distracts the ref long enough for his partner to kick out. Eaton comes off the top with a beautiful (ahem) elbow for the 1…2…Pillman gets the shoulder up. Eaton tries to keep the shoulders down but Pillman will not quit. Lane slams Pillman, Eaton tags in and covers for the 1…2…not yet. Eaton forces the arm down for the 1…2…Pillman powers out. Eaton connects with the Alabama Jam for the 1…2…PILLMAN KICKS OUT AND CORNETTE CAN’T BELIEVE IT. Pillman flips out of a backbreaker and connects with a slam. Lane tags in BUT SO DOES Z-MAN AND HE’S A HOUSE OF FIRE. Backdrop to Eaton, back elbow for Lane. Sleeperhold to Lane, Eaton attacks from behind and Lane connects with a side Russian legsweep. ROCKET LAUNCHER for the 1…2…Zenk bridges out! Zenk dodges Eaton in the corner, who hangs himself out to dry. Zenk with a crossbody, Lane breaks it up then gets belted with a right from Pillman. Ref gets tied up with Pillman, Lane superkicks Zenk in the back of the head and Eaton rolls him up for the 1…2…3!
The Midnight Express defeated Brian Pillman & Tom Zenk [c] via pinfall to win the NWA UNITED STATES TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (20:20)
- Man I f*cking loved this match. Great action all around, Pillman & Zenk flummoxing the veteran team with their high-speed offense and The Midnights still finding a way around it to win in the end because they’re just that damn good. Great stuff here; The Midnight Express’ 1990 PPV run is goddamn FIRE. Unfortunately for Pillman & Zenk this was the final hurrah of their team; they would never regain their titles and would go back to singles competition almost immediately, breaking up one of WCW’s younger and more exciting duos. But hey at least they lost to one of the greatest tag teams of all-time I guess? (****)
-Cut back to Solie backstage, where Sting and Robocop emerge from the locker room. Unfortunately the camera cuts out.
IN-ARENA SEGMENT: THE RETURN OF ROBOCOP
Sting makes his entrance to a chorus of cheers, wearing some sweet Zubaz. The Horsemen (Arn Anderson, Ole Anderson, & Sid Vicious) suddenly appear and lock Sting in the same cage Cornette was in a few moments ago. RoboCop, the cop who is also a robot, makes his way out all bleep zeep and whatnot. The Horsemen back away, RoboCop PULLS THE CAGE DOOR OFF THE HINGES, releasing Sting, and The Horsemen escape through the crowd. Sting and RoboCop head to the back, satisfied with what just happened I guess.
- So WCW named the PPV after RoboCop and all they had him do was rip a fake door off the hinges? Look I’m not wishing he wrestled or anything (okay I kinda am now) but that seemed like a lot of hype for little reward. So WCW.
-Cappeta hypes the next PPV, The Great American Bash, then takes it to Schiavone who’s standing by with The Junkyard Dog. Dog says he’s been all over the world but playtime is over and he’s here to stay, calling out The Horsemen and Mean Mark specifically. In comes Jim Cornette to interrupt, saying it’s supposed to be his segment not the Dog’s. Cornette says The Midnight Express has been winning titles while JYD has been missing. Cornette tries to hit JYD with his racket but JYD blocks and steals it, Cornette running off. The Dog is back, jack.
–The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express make their way out for the next match on a platform with an antique jukebox. Because rock & roll, you see.
CORPORAL PUNISHMENT MATCH
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson) vs. The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael “P.S.” Hayes & Jimmy “Jam” Garvin)
Each team is given ONE leather strap for their corner, and can be used in any way to win the match. Like Ross I thought they were going to be attached at each person’s wrist a la World Class Championship Wrestling but I guess not. That’s disappointing.
Hayes goads both Gibson and the crowd at the start, moonwalkin’ and trash talkin’. Hayes clobbers Gibson in the corner, Gibson responds with a slap that sends him spinning. Caudle says that could’ve been a leather strap across the face and I agree; too bad they’re confined to the corners. Garvin tags in and points at Morton, who’s happy to tag in and f*ck his day up. Morton whips Garvin in the corner, Gibson clotheslines him from the apron. He tries again, Garvin dodges but this time gets clotheslined by Morton. Garvin connects with a backdrop and grabs the strap, Morton ducks a clothesline attempt with it and knocks Garvin down. He takes the strap, Gibson the other, and they whip The Freebirds all the way out to the comfort of the floor. RNR work Garvin over, Gibson with a sunset flip for a two-count. Morton with a side headlock on Garvin, rolling through and hanging on after an atomic drop attempt. Gibson turns it into a chinlock and RNR phantom tag and change places; they’re good guys though so the ref believes they’re on the up and up. Morton dodges a corner splash, single leg into a Figure Four, Hayes runs in but Gibson locks him in a Figure Four as well! Garvin backs Gibson into the corner, Hayes tags in and drops him with a back elbow, showboating before a fist drop. Hayes gets the strap and whips Gibson, Gibson gets the other one and now it’s DUELING TIME. Gibson wins the shootout, whipping BOTH Freebirds. Hayes drops his strap, Morton picks up and gets some whipping in as well, once again clearing the ‘Birds from the ring.
The ‘Birds find their footing, Garvin works Gibson over with kneedrops and a mat burn across the canvas. Gibson tossed to the floor, Hayes catches him with his patented left hook behind the ref’s back. Gibson counters a backdrop attempt with a kick and tags out to Morton. They trade eye rakes, Morton counters a slam with an O’Connor Roll for the 1…2…Garvin kicks out, sending Morton into the left hook of Hayes. Garvin covers but the ref is too distracted admonishing Hayes; by the time he gets into position Morton is able to kick out. FINE THIS MAN. Morton inches towards his partner, Garvin clears Gibson off the floor and Hayes connects with a right from the top turnbuckle for the 1…2…Morton barely kicks out in the nick of time. Morton reverses a corner whip, count-a-long right hands but runs right into another left hook when he tries a splash. Hayes follows up with a series of elbow and fist drops for the 1…2…Morton kicks out, Hayes immediately slaps on a reverse chinlock. Morton escapes, Hayes makes him pay with a bulldog for the 1…2…Morton kicks out again! Any of y’all wanna use the leather strap again? No, we’re doing another chinlock? Fair enough. Morton tossed to the floor, Hayes FINALLY remembers the strap exists and chokes him with it while Garvin ties up the ref. Garvin heads to the top, Morton slams him off, Hayes tags in and eats a whole lot of buckle, Morton counters a bulldog and sends Hayes flying. BABYFACE ROLL AND HOT TAG TO GIBSON! Backdrop to Hayes, right hand to Gibson, sleeperhold on Hayes. Gibson attacks from behind, Morton intervenes but gets tossed to the floor. Freebirds double team Gibson, DDT TO GIBSON AS THE CROWD ROARS. Hayes struts instead of covers, and signals for one more. Morton sends Garvin into the post and comes off the top with a sunset flip on Hayes for the 1…2…3!
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express defeated The Fabulous Freebirds via pinfall (18:29)
- Not so much a Corporal Punishment match as a regular tag team match with occasional whipping involved. Disappointing that it didn’t factor in so much but honestly the match itself was still pretty damn good so I’m not super mad about it. RNR, like the Midnights, are a top-tier team and their ability to get me into a LONG Freebirds match is commendable and possibly a miracle. The tag team divisions in 1990 WCW are unreal. (***1/4)
Morton immediately grabs a strap and whips Garvin silly until he bails from the ring.
-Schiavone introduces “The World’s Strongest Man” Doug Furnas. Furnas says Lex Luger looks pretty good for a man who’s been in the hospital for two weeks. This was a very necessary interview. Schiavone then brings Sting in for some comments backing Lex’s decision to fight even though he’s been in the hospital, as he would do the same thing…except he didn’t so he wouldn’t.
The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) vs. Doom (Ron Simmons & “Hacksaw” Butch Reed) [w/ Theodore R. Long] for the NWA WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Doom lost their masks to The Steiner Brothers back at Clash of the Champions X, now Doom is here to try and take their titles. Rick Steiner pulls Longs durag off, showing off his…slightly balder head. He’s still got most of his hair, that celebrity stylist is TERRIBLE at his job. The heel trio take their time on the floor getting prepared, Reed threatening to beat up the crowd as well as The Steiners. I believe it, that man is terrifying.
Ref gets shoved away, Scott drops Simmons with a pair of football tackles and follows up with a powerslam. Simmons rakes the eyes and clobbers Scott with a series of forearms. Scott reverses a corner whip, release German suplex that turns the big man inside out. HELL YEAH. Reed tags in, applying a wristlock and clobbering Scott to the mat with a series of forearms to the shoulder. Scott escapes, Reed separates to slow it back down. Reed with a leapfrog, Scott dropkicks him into the ropes then connects with a backdrop and a pair of Steinerlines to both members of Doom sending them scrambling to the floor. Rick tags in, right hands from Reed. Irish whip, Reed blocks a Steinerline (or no sells it?) and tosses him out to the floor. Rick rolls in and this time levels Reed with the Steinerline after blocking a hip toss, Hacksaw scrambles to the floor. Rick follows him out, slamming Reed on the protective mats. Simmons tags in and belts Rick with forearms, Rick counters a backdrop attempt with a kneeling piledriver and a STEINERLINE out to the floor. Scott and Reed tag in, the former hitting the latter with a corner slam into a shoulderbreaker for the 1…2…Reed kicks out and Scott locks in a reverse chinlock.
Rick tags in, Reed grabs the singlet and tosses him to the floor so Simmons can get some cheap shots in. Rick counters a backdrop with a knee, Scott tags in and gets belted with a high knee to the mush. Simmons attacks Scott on the floor, sending him into the guardrail and wooden stairs before tossing him back in. Reed connects with a clothesline, Simmons tags in and Doom hit a double back elbow. Scott kicks out of a lateral press, Simmons chokes him and connects with double axhandles to the back. Corner whip, Scott catches Simmons with a big boot. Reed tags in and comes off the top with a double ax to prevent a tag on the champs’ side. Heck yeah. Neckbreaker into the lateral press for a two-count, Reed lays in short rights to the temple and jaw. Scott counters a suplex with one of his own, Simmons quickly tags in and drives him to the floor with a running knee. Reed holds Scott, giving Long some free shots before rolling him back in. Simmons covers, Scott gets his foot on the rope, Simmons slingshots Scott throat-first into the bottom rope. Scott connects with a single-leg suplex from out of nowhere, Simmons responds with a clothesline. Reed tags in, connects with a bulldog for the 1…2…Scott kicks out. Reed drops a knee across the sternum followed by a piledriver, Simmons tags in and bowls him over with a shoulder tackle. Simmons talks trash, Scott catches him mid-run with some sort of waistlock-ish suplex. Scott snaps off a Frankensteiner, Rick gets the hot tag. STEINERLINE to Reed and a powerslam for the 1…2…Simmons breaks it up and gets sent to the floor. Steiners hit a double slam, Rick covers for the 1…2…Simmons breaks it up. Rick gets sent to the floor, Doom with a Hart Attack-like flying clothesline. Scott and Simmons brawl to the floor, Rick with count-a-long rights to Reed. Simmons sends Scott into the post and clips Rick on the middle buckle, Reed landing on top for the 1…2…3!
Doom defeated The Steiner Brothers [c] via pinfall to win the NWA WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (19:13)
- DOOM WINS DOOM WINS DOOM WINS! A big ol’ beefy battle, just the way I likes ‘em. The Steiner Brothers were clearly the alphas of the tag team division in 1990 so it was a big deal for them to lose and after almost a year of being dicked around Doom finally ascends to top team status. Damn good stuff here. (***1/2)
-Ross vamps for a second then sends it to Schiavone with Doom and Theodore R. Long who are in full celebration mode.
STEEL CAGE MATCH
“The Nature Boy” Ric Flair [c] [w/ Woman] vs. “The Total Package” Lex Luger for the NWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Flair defeated Luger via countout at WrestleWar ‘90, but this time the match will be contested within a steel cage so there is nowhere to go but inside the ring. Once both men enter the ring the pyro erupts above them as the steel cage lowers. It’s the “Thunderdome” weak ass cage from Halloween Havoc ‘89 which is disappointing honestly. The regular chin-link is so much better. Luger wants Woman to be checked for weapons, Flair protests but it happens and he discovers a foreign object hidden in her gloves. OH DIP.
Flair chops Luger then immediately bails to avoid the wrath of the Package. Luger stalks him back in and they lock up. Luger drops Flair with a shoulder tackle (supposedly, I didn’t see contact) and connects with a series of rights, Flair whips him into the corner but he comes running out with a lariat for the 1…2…Flair kicks out. SO CLOSE. Flair bails to the apron, Luger suplexes him back in, Flair rolls to the floor. Back in the ring Luger shakes off a shoulder tackle and connects with a military press, Flair begs off and eats a second military press, Luger’s injured knee holding up under the weight. Flair with a thumb to the eye, Luger absorbs all the chops and connects with a hip toss out of one corner followed by a clothesline. Flair with more chops, Luger makes the pecs dance and Flair starts climbing up the cage to avoid his opponent. Luger follows him and gets a kick to the face, falling for the game plan of the Nature Boy. Flair follows up with a chop and sends him into the rickety steel of the Thunderdome. With Luger weak Flair’s chops finally land as expected, Nature Boy following them with a kneedrop right on the forehead. Flair connects with a vertical suplex, Luger IMMEDIATELY stands up and belts the surprised champ with a clothesline. Count-a-long rights in the corner, whip to the opposite side that sends him to the apron. Flair tries to come off the buckles, Luger catches him on the way down with a right hand. Flair bails and tries to climb the cage again, Luger pulls him off and rams him into the steel. Flair runs off and climbs once more, this time Luger climbs next to him, ramming his head repeatedly into the cage and then into the post, busting him open.
Luger focuses on the cut, rubbing it into one of the many steel poles that make up the cage. Flair rolls in and begs off in the corner, Luger flexes to intimidate him further. Count-a-long rights once more, this time focusing on the cut, Flair tries to counter with an inverted atomic drop but Luger dodges it and connects with a clothesline for the 1…2…Flair wraps his arm around the bottom rope to prevent the pin. Flair climbs the cage once again, Luger bounces his head off the steel repeatedly. Back in the ring Flair charges at Luger and bounces off him like a brick wall. Luger connects with a middle-buckle superplex but tweaks his injured knee and can’t make the pinfall. Flair, smelling blood (other than his own), immediately focuses on the right knee to further weaken it, Luger screaming in agony with every hit. Flair connects with a belly-to-back suplex and slaps on the FIGURE FOUR, holding the middle rope for extra leverage. Eventually he gets caught and is forced to break the hold, Flair continues the attack as Arn Anderson, Ole Anderson, and Sid Vicious make their way ringside. This somehow wakes Luger up, belting Flair with a series of clotheslines. Arn and Ole start climbing the cage, despite the fact the top is covered, Luger with count-a-long rights on the champ. Corner whip, lariat, lateral press for the 1…2…FLAIR KICKS OUT. Military press slam, Sting runs out to help his friend. Triple team until El Gigante and all his size makes his way out, scaring the Horsemen away. The cage lifts a little for some reason, Barry Windham rolls under and attacks Luger mid-Torture Rack forcing the ref to call for the bell. Whaaaaat.
Lex Luger defeated Ric Flair [c] via DQ; Flair retains the NWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (17:19)
- A DQ finish to a cage match? BOOOOOOO. Non-finish for the second PPV aside, this was a pretty good match albeit not as good as their contest at WrestleWar ‘90. I just feel bad for Lex who comes up short ONCE AGAIN; I think WCW should’ve given someone else the role since it was obviously filler waiting for Sting to get better. Luger just comes off like a dork who can’t get the job done. Also real talk I forgot Barry Windham was part of the Horsemen still and was surprised to see him show up. (***1/4)
The Horsemen attack Luger, Flair tosses the ref out of the ring like he could’ve done anything. Cage is back down, Flair and company continue the beat down of the Total Package. DDT from Arn Anderson. Cage finally lifts, Sting and Gigante scare the Horsemen away.
Schiavone gets some post-match words from Flair in the aisle. Flair celebrates, saying they’re the Horsemen and yelling and WOOing. Sting attacks Flair, Gigante backing him up to avoid another mugging situation. Sting & Gigante head back to the ring to check on Luger as credits roll.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Capital Combat ‘90 is by no means a perfect show but I found it a lot more entertaining than expected given some of the reviews I’ve read over the years. The action is good to great with only one bad match on the whole show (though it’s REAL bad), and while the booking and follow through on some of the advertised moments was questionable (DQ finish in main event, RoboCop existing for like two seconds) overall I didn’t feel like I wasted my time. Check this one out, it might surprise you.
- MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Brian Pillman & Z-Man vs. The Midnight Express
- MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: RoboCop saves Sting; some folks probably hate this (and I get it) but I thought it was funny. Granted it’s 30 years after it happened and I like my wrestling with stupid sh*t in it but whatever.