DATE: February 6, 1990
VENUE: Memorial Coliseum (Corpus Christi, TX)
COMMENTATORS: Jim Ross & Jim Cornette
WCW kicks off its 1990 with the 10th edition of Clash of the Champions featuring a big heel turn, an unmasking, the infamous Mil Mascaras match referenced in Mick Foley’s first book, and a show-closing angle that was so explosive it put arguably the biggest part of it on the shelf until July.
- NWA WORLD’S 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)
- Steve Williams vs. The Samoan Savage (**)
- Brian Pillman & Tom Zenk vs. The MOD Squad (**1/4)
- Mil Mascaras vs. Cactus Jack Manson (*)
- FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE: Norman the Lunatic vs. Kevin Sullivan (3/4*)
- The Road Warriors vs. The Skyscrapers (**1/4)
- TITLE VS. MASK: The Steiner Brothers [c] vs. Doom for the NWA WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (**)
- STEEL CAGE MATCH: The Four Horsemen vs. Gary Hart International
-OPENING: Animated shooting gallery with generic Bonanza music playing in the background. It’s great. I miss the 90s.
-Ross welcomes the home audience as we go to the arena. Cornette says a lot of varmints and “YAY-hoos” are going to bite the dust tonight. Ross goes down the lineup and plugs the WCW Hotline. They take it to “Tuxedo” Terry Funk at ringside. He wants me to shoot my television set? Funk takes it backstage to Gordon Solie, who welcomes The Road Warriors and “Precious” Paul Ellering. Lots of growling and what a rushing.
–The Samoan Savage yells in Samoan, Sir Oliver Humperdink says Dr. Death is going down. Cut to the arena for their entrance to the Halloween theme song. I LOVE NOT HAVING TO WATCH THE NETWORK VERSION, Y’ALL.
-VIDEO: “Dr. Death” Steve Williams rescues a victim in his ambulance, for he is a doctor you see. This leads into his “Bad to the Bone” entrance. So cheesy.
“Dr. Death” Steve Williams vs. The Samoan Savage [w/ Sir Oliver Humperdink]
Savage is better known as The Tonga Kid, co-star of the underloved (probably for a good reason) flick Body Slam alongside “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Williams attacks immediately, belting Savage with a clothesline and sending him packing to the floor. Williams brings him back into the ring with a forearm to the sternum, and drives a series of right hands to the side of the face. Williams sets up and sends Savage crashing with a pair of football tackles. He charges in the corner, Savage comes out with a clothesline that stops the momentum. Savage tosses Williams to the floor, Humperdink chokes him while the ref gets distracted. Apparently there’s a band called “The Tough Guys” scheduled to play tonight. I’m sure they’re great. Out comes Woman to scout in the front row. Savage slows things down with a nerve hold so I guess I have time to get a sandwich or something. Williams fights out, Savage catches him charging with a powerslam for the 1…2…Dr. Death kicks out. Back to the nerve hold, boooo. Williams escapes again and attempts a sunset flip, Savage blocks it with a chop but he no sells it…and then misses an elbowdrop. Savage switches it up, trading a nerve hold for a half-assed chinlock….oh wait now it’s a nerve hold again. Crap in a hat. Williams stomps the feet to escape, Savage rakes the eyes and out spills Dr. Death to the floor. Humperdink with another cheap shot. Savage brings Williams back in with a snapmare and follows up with a sidewalk slam. Savage misses a Superfly Splash, Williams goes FULL POWAH and walks Savage around the ring before slamming him with a military press. Savage counters a backdrop with a kick, Williams blocks a hip toss and counters with a backslide for the 1…2…3!
Steve Williams defeated The Samoan Savage via pinfall (7:54)
- A decent enough opening match, surprised Williams needed a surprise pin to get the victory given his size but hey you take them however you can get them. Could have done without nerve holds though, those always drive me nuts. It’s a real shame Dr. Death never caught on in mainstream American wrestling, he was a great ass kicker and should have gotten to do more than he did. He did kill it in Japan though so he won in the end. (**)
-VIDEO: Badly-rapped WrestleWar ’90 promo hyping Flair/Sting for the World Title and Luger/Williams for the United States Title. That…doesn’t happen for reasons we’ll find out at the end of this show. That would have been cool though, Luger/Dr. Death sounds hoss as f*ck.
-The Tough Guys rock out for the…polite crowd. Cornette makes fun of the drummer for wearing a pink hat.
Terry Funk says there are two things that will be hard to beat in 1990: World Championship Wrestling which is here to stay (until 2001) and his guests The Four Horsemen (Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Ole Anderson, & Sting). Funk puts over the Horsemen as being tough. Flair says whenever they get together on television, they make a statement, and lets their spokesman Ole take over. Ole tells Sting that as of now he is no longer a Horseman. He says Flair called he and Arn in to beat Sting up but was continually spared by Flair thanks to his help. Ole tells Sting he did an unforgivable thing: signing the contract to face Flair for the World Title at WrestleWar ’90. Ole says they will spare Sting if he gets his title match called off. He has two hours to make up his mind. Sting says not a chance, Flair tells him he bought him a little time for what he’s done for him last year. Ole reiterates he’s no longer a Horseman, Sting grabs his jacket and Flair cheap shots him in the jaw. The Andersons hold Sting down, Flair yells in his face to do the right thing tonight.
- Great segment building towards a legitimate PPV-worthy main event for WrestleWar. Ole surprise firing Sting and saying they were playing nice this whole time out of respect for Flair was great. Never trust the Minnesota Wrecking Crew. Can’t wait to see this match which is DEFINITELY HAPPENING in a few weeks, yes sir.
“Flyin” Brian Pillman & “The Z-Man” Tom Zenk vs. The MOD Squad (Spike & Basher)
The MOD Squad look like the jobbiest of jobbers, but they actually had a good run in the NWA/AWA circuits during the 80s so they’re a real team. I guess their gimmick is being motorcycle policemen but I didn’t see a hint of that here. Pillman & Zenk at this point are positioned as two of WCW’s brightest stars, the teen heartthrobs of the company.
Pillman in easy control of Spike to start, Zenk tags in and continues working on the arm. Spike whips him off via the hair, Basher tags in and gets taken down with an armdrag. Basher backs Zenk in the ropes and clobbers him with forearms. Zenk leapfrogs Basher and connects with a monkey flip-style thing. I am a very good writer, what a sentence. Pillman tags back in and chops Basher down to size hard enough to make the crowd audibly gasp. Zenk superkicks Basher, Spike breaks up the pinfall attempt. MOD Squad attempt a double clothesline, Pillman takes them both down with a slingshot double clothesline and clear the ring. Spike tags in, Pillman elevates him with a backdrop and tries to hit a spinning heel kick but he’s too far so Pillman angrily chops him a bunch instead. Awesome. Spike whips Pillman into the corner and sends him crashing face-first to the mat. MOD Squad in control, hitting a double slam while Zenk accidentally distracts the ref. Basher drives Pillman to the mat with a clothesline, Zenk breaks up the lateral press, Ross LOSES HIS MIND about what the Horsemen did to Sting earlier. Spike latches on with a front facelock. Ross finally mentions the “Courageous Player” award Pillman won when he was part of the Bengals. 7 whole minutes before it happened, that’s got to be a record. Basher slows things down with a reverse chinlock, Pillman escapes and eats a knee off a charge. Spike tags in and applies a chinlock of his own. Pillman escapes and connects with a back elbow. Basher tags in and prevents the tag with a pair of kicks, Pillman ducks a clothesline and rolls him up with a crucifix for the 1…2…Spike breaks it up. Spike misses a flying elbow, Zenk gets the hot tag and double noggin knocks the MOD Squad. Basher sends Zenk into the corner, Zenk comes flying out with a crossbody…and awkwardly lays on top for a bit so Pillman can hit Spike and the ref can count 1…2…3.
Brian Pillman & Tom Zenk defeated The MOD Squad via pinfall (9:55)
- Went just a hair too long for my expectations but a good tag team match and solid win for Pillman & The Z-Man. Part of me wants to track down old MOD Squad matches from Central States Wrestling or something, see them in their true element. (**1/4)
Mil Mascaras vs. Cactus Jack Manson
Mascaras is one of Lucha Libre’s icons, a true legend in Mexico. Jack has yet to become the mega star he would become, and is stuck using “Manson” at the end of his name to really drive home how CRAZY and SERIAL KILLERY he is. I’m older now than he was then. My life is a waste. Having read about this one in Have a Nice Day! I am excited to see it for myself.
Mascaras with a hip block to start, then brings Manson back to the mat with a drop toehold for a bow and arrow-style submission. Mascaras and Manson lock knuckles and jockey for position, Mascaras overpowers him and connects with a headscissors. Mascaras sends Manson to the floor with a dropkick, Manson chases off the ring announcer and accidentally trips on the chair because WHY NOT. Manson backs Mascaras into the corner and lays in an elbow, but he no sells it and connects with rapid-fire rights. Manson brought a book with him called “I Am in Urgent Need of Advice”. Mascaras with a proto-Lion Tamer, Manson grabs the ropes to force a break. “BORING” yell from the crowd. It’s not THAT bad y’all, dang. Manson tosses Mascaras to the floor and connects with a backbreaker. He sets up for Nestea Plunge, Mascaras quickly runs back in and knocks Manson off, sending him BOUNCING OFF THE F*CKING CONCRETE. Jeeeesus dude. Mascaras suplexes Manson back in and hits a flying crossbody for the 1…2…3.
Mil Mascaras defeated Cactus Jack Manson via pinfall (4:59)
- Foley trashed Mascaras in his first book for this one and it’s not hard to see why; Manson was trying to get stuff over and took a CONCRETE BUMP but Mascaras went through the motions and essentially treated it like a jobber match that was beneath him. Match sucked thanks to this, but THAT BUMP was still crazy. (*)
–Missy Hyatt announces that she’s Jim Ross’ new co-host for Main Event every Sunday.
-The Tough Guys perform their “World Championship Wrestling” song written specifically for this event. Cactus Jack Manson hates it almost as much as I do. This band looks like a bunch of “how do you do fellow teens” middle-aged men trying to be hair metal cool but failing miserably. Manson stalks the lead guitarist then gets in the face of the drummer. The drummer is JACKED though and gets into a brawl with Manson!
-We cut away to Solie who’s standing by with Norman the Lunatic. Solie explains the rules of a Falls Count Anywhere match, Norman is excited to get some hot dogs.
-After Kevin Sullivan gets an in-ring introduction we go to a video of Norman visiting a zoo and making fun of a pig that “looks like” Sullivan. HA. Norman’s entrance is music is “You Make Me Wanna Shout” which is undoubtedly dubbed over in the Network version but I don’t have to deal with that sh*t right now so I’m happy. Norman hands out valentines to the crowd, Cornette calls him a “child molester” which is NOT OKAY. Norman has one regular shoe and one wrestling boot for he is a LUNATIC.
FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE
Norman the Lunatic vs. Kevin Sullivan
Sullivan immediately attacks Norman from behind and dumps him out to the floor. Norman reverses a whip and sends Sullivan into the ROOS-branded ring post. Back in the ring Sullivan tries a sunset flip but Norman sits on top of him to counter. Sullivan counters a splash with a boot and heads to the top, Norman slams him off but misses a splash of his own from the middle rope. Sullivan dropkicks Norman back to the floor and SLAMS him for a two-count. Is Norman wearing spanks? Sullivan rips Norman’s shirt, revealing a flesh-colored singlet (ew), and connects with a back suplex for another two-count. Sullivan continues punishing Norman around the ring, ramming his head into the guardrail and ripping at his face. Back in the ring Sullivan catches Norman with a series of rights. Norman fights back with a series of headbutts and the action continues up the aisle, Norman covering for a two-count. Norman charges, Sullivan backdrops him and covers for the 1…2…Norman kicks out. Norman and Sullivan battle into the backstage area. Sullivan hides in the women’s restroom which Norman initially refuses to enter. Fight ensues behind the doors as Solie holds a mic to it to catch the sounds. Sullivan stumbles out and flops to the ground, Norman emerges with toilet paper and a toilet seat and declared the winner.
Norman the Lunatic defeated Kevin Sullivan via pinfall (7:13)
- An interesting finish to say the least, having it happen behind closed doors in a bathroom. That’s about all that was interesting here though as this was mostly a generic brawl that Sullivan tried his hardest to make interesting. A running theme in Norman matches, to be honest. (3/4*)
IN-RING SEGMENT: FUNK’S GRILL
Tuxedo Terry apologizes for what happened earlier and welcomes his guest: 4-time (and current) United States Champion “The Total Package” Lex Luger. Luger says they’re both a men’s men, and tells Sting to be happy where he’s at. Luger says he is the actual #1 contender and Sting shouldn’t have been given a title shot in the first place. Luger will not tolerate Sting putting his nose where it doesn’t belong and winning the World Title after he’s spent the past few years wearing him down around the country. Luger says his list of “allocades” is endless (OOF) and everything he touches turns to gold; the only thing he has not achieved is the World Title, but right now he’s scheduled to defend his U.S Championship. Funk thankfully cuts the meandering off by going to commercial. That was pointless.
-COMMERCIAL: “Cool Muscle Dude Sting Man” fake surfs to shill for Roos.
-ENTRANCE VIDEO: Skyscrapers look mean while Teddy Long throw shade at The Road Warriors.
-ENTRANCE VIDEO: Road Warriors break stuff, then cut a promo on the Scrapers. It’s time for the Legion of Doom, “good for us, bad for you”. WHAT A RUSH.
The Road Warriors (Animal & Hawk) [w/ “Precious” Paul Ellering] vs. The Skyscrapers (“Dangerous” Dan Spivey & “Mean” Mark Callous) [w/ Theodore R. Long]
The Skyscrapers were originally Spivey and Sid Vicious, but Sid went down with a punctured long at the end of 1989 leading to Callous being slotted in as his replacement.
Hawk runs into Spivey, no one moves. Spivey tosses Hawk out of the ring, Hawk immediately reenters and drops Spivey with a clothesline. Hawk tries a neckbreaker, Callous holds onto Spivey to block it. Hawk ducks a pair of clotheslines and drops Spivey with a jumping shoulderblock. Skyscrapers bail to regroup with Long. “PEANUT HEAD” chants for Long. Callous and Animal tag in and lock up. Animal backs Callous into the ropes but the ref forces a break before the former can clobber the latter. Callous runs into Animal, who doesn’t budge so he clobbers him with forearms instead. Animal reverses a whip, drop downs and leapfrogs, and Callous misses a crossbody attempt. Animal follows up with a clothesline, Callous bails into his corner to tag back to Spivey. Hawk tags in as well. Hawk whips Spivey into the corner, Spivey sidesteps and Hawk goes right into the steel post. Skyscrapers go to work on Hawk’s left shoulder, Callous rope walking which is never not impressive. Hawk goes for a clothesline, Callous counters into a Fujiwara Armbar. Callous tries another rope walk, Hawk throws him to the mat. Animal gets the hot tag and it’s DROPKICK CITY for the Skyscrapers. Animal catches Spivey with a powerslam followed by an elbowdrop for the 1…2…Spivey kicks out. Callous runs in, Animal flips out of a double suplex attempt and connects with a double clothesline. Road Warriors send Callous to the floor with a double clothesline and hit Spivey with the Doomsday Device. Ref gets distracted with Hawk, Callous hits Animal with a steel chair. Ellering clobbers Long on the apron, Skyscrapers hit a spike piledriver on Hawk but miss the chair so Spivey clobbers him repeatedly with it instead, bending the steel. I guess the match is over?
The Road Warriors defeated The Skyscrapers via DQ (7:26 or so)
- A fun brawl with no ending, which was disappointing. I do appreciate a good hoss battle and The Road Warriors are probably my favorite tag team of all-time so I can’t hate. This sets up a street fight for the upcoming WrestleWar ’90 PPV, but one of the Scrapers doesn’t end up showing which is trash. You can read about that by CLICKING HERE. (**1/4)
-Ross and Cornette announce that The Road Warriors von via DQ, so there we go. Cornette says Sting will be giving up his World Title shot, Ross knows better. Cut to video of the closing moments of Warriors/Skyscrapers. Back to Ross and Cornette who hype the Chicago Street Fight scheduled for Wrestle War.
-Cut to Gordon Solie, who has not been able to get an interview with Sting as he’s in a BLIND RAAAAGE, but he’s got Brian Pillman. Pillman says he’s never seen a man filled with so much anger and hate, and Sting wants to go out during the cage match tonight.
TITLES VS. MASKS
The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) [c] vs. Doom (Doom 1 & Doom 2) for the NWA WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Doom was brought to WCW in 1989 by Woman to do battle with The Steiner Brothers, but fared so badly that she ended up leaving their side. Supposedly no one knows the identity of Doom 1 and Doom 2 but there were like five people of color in WCW at the time and only two that jacked so it’s not hard to figure it out. I’ll play along for fun though. Steiner Brothers come out to “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns n Roses.
Scott and Doom 1 (the All-American one) start off, and Ross calls Doom’s identities the worst kept secret in pro wrestling. YUP. Doom 1 with a side headlock and football tackle, Scott leapfrogs him and connects with a powerslam. Scott reverses a corner whip, sending Doom 1 into the buckles chest first and leaving him open for a release German suplex. NICE. Doom 2 (more a Hacksaw kind of dude) tags in and lays in some forearms, Scott dropkicks both members of Doom out to the floor forcing a reset. Scott slingshots Doom 2 back in and tries to remove the mask, but he begs off into the corner. Rick tags in and gets the crowd barking. Doom 2 connects with a kneelift, Rick counters a corner whip and sends him flying with a backdrop. Rick also goes for the mask, Doom 2 bails to the apron. Doom 1 tags in, misses a corner splash, and gets dropped with a release overhead belly-to-belly suplex. I love watching The Steiners suplex big boys. Doom eventually wrestle offensive control after sending Scott Steiner throat-first into the top rope and chest-first across the guardrail. Doom 1 almost gets the pin but it looks like he picks him up instead, which is a mistaaaake. Doom with a double backdrop, which is somehow more effective than a single backdrop. Scott surprises Doom 2 with a backslide, Doom 2 kicks out and rams his head into the canvas followed by a piledriver for the 1…2…Rick Steiner makes the save. Scott with a sunset flip for the 1…2…Doom 2 kicks out and connects with a neckbreaker for the 1…2…not yet. Scott reverses a whip and connects with a desperation FRANKENSTEINER.
Rick gets the hot tag and the crowd goes wild, Steinerline and powerslam for Doom 2. Doom 1 runs in, Rick sends him to the floor with a Steinerline. After a struggle Rick removes the mask of Doom 2, revealing him to be “Hacksaw” Butch Reed. Reed tries to hide his face, Rick puts the mask on and pushes him into Doom 1, then rolls him up for the 1…2…3.
The Steiner Brothers [c] defeated Doom via pinfall to retain the NWA WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (13:10)
- Entertaining ending but the match felt real slow and sluggish to me. I know I’ve seen a better Steiners/Doom match before. I liked watching Rick & Scott truck their opponents with suplexes but I don’t know. Just kinda fell flat for me. (**)
Doom 1 (called “Doom 2” by Gary Michael Cappeta) has to remove his mask or they’ll both be suspended. Doom 1 eventually goes through with it, revealing himself to be Ron Simmons. I FOR ONE AM SHOCKED.
-EARLIER IN THE SHOW: The Horsemen kick Sting out of the group. If Sting doesn’t agree to give up his World Title match he’s a dead man.
-Gordon Solie is joined by The Horsemen, now a trio. Ole Anderson says the time is almost up for Sting. Ric Flair says everyone is looking at the most elite group in the world and reiterates the ultimatum.
STEEL CAGE MATCH
The Horsemen (“The Nature Boy” Ric Flair, “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson, & Ole Anderson) vs. The J-Tex Corporation (“Mad Dog” Buzz Sawyer, The Great Muta, & The Dragonmaster)
Sting was initially supposed to join Flair and Arn in this match but is not for obvious reasons, so Ole is taking his place. Sawyer, Muta, and Dragon Master were part of The J-Tex Corporation which spent most of 1989 feuding with Flair during his babyface run, but Gary Hart is nowhere to be found at the moment so I guess this feud is ending on a whimper. Dragonmaster is better known as Mr. Sakurada from Stampede Wrestling, and is one of the men who trained Bret Hart.
“WE WANT STING!” chant from the crowd as Arn and Sawyer start brawling. Sawyer bites Arn and lays in a whole lot of chops, Sawyer charges but Arn sidesteps and he hits nothing but cage. Arn reverses a corner whip, Sawyer belts him with a kick and sends him into the cage. The crowd is pro-J-Tex, that’s how much they hate the Horsemen for what happened earlier. Muta throws in some bicycle kicks, Sawyer gets sent repeatedly and FLUSH into the cage head-first. Flair and Sawyer trade blows, Sawyer rakes the eyes and tags out to Dragonmaster. Flair rakes Dragonmaster’s eyes and connects with a series of chops in the corner. Ole tags in, Dragonmaster rakes the eyes so he begs off but NOPE. Ole sends Dragonmaster into Arn’s boot. Muta tags in and the damn ROOF ALMOST COMES OFF THE PLACE. Muta with a back handspring elbow and Muta Lock, but it’s broken up as Sting shows up to try and climb the cage. Out come Brian Pillman and Tom Zenk to try and help security. They manage to get him off the cage and hold him back in the aisle.
Back to the match Ole backdrops Sawyer INTO THE CAGE AND HE BENDS IN AN UNNATURAL POSITION. Sawyer tags out to Dragonmaster as Sting rushes the cage once again, Flair goading him. J-Tex work Arn over, Sawyer with a vertical suplex. Sting is pulled off the cage again, Sawyer MISSES A SPLASH FROM THE TOP OF THE CAGE but no one cares and that’s heartbreaking. Arn hits the spinebuster on The Dragonmaster, all six men brawl. The Minnesota Wrecking Crew throw Dragonmaster into the cage and Arn hits a DDT for the 1…2…3.
The Horsemen defeated The J-Tex Corporation via pinfall (6:09)
- The Horsemen turning on Sting earlier in the show really cast a shadow on what was supposed to be a storyline-ending match. With everyone so focused on Sting, and with the Horsemen now heel once again, this whole thing felt like an afterthought and considering they spent half of 1989 on this group they really did The J-Tex Corporation dirty with this. No wonder Gary Hart didn’t show. But god love him Buzz Sawyer still tried to keep it entertaining and threw himself around the ring, even flying off the top like Jimmy Snuka, and Muta even got a couple of moves in and some LOUD fan support. But still this match was a wash the second the Horsemen turned heel earlier in the show and that’s disappointing. (**1/4)
Cage door opens and Flair LAUNCHES HIMSELF at the visibly limping Sting. The brawl is broken up as the credits roll.
- Absolutely MOLTEN HOT ending to the show, Sting and Flair going at it and doing a wonderful job building to WrestleWar ’90…but it wasn’t meant to be. Thanks to an awkward landing/pull off the cage, Sting severely injured his knee and would be out of action until July forcing a quick rewrite of the booking in place. A real unfortunate situation surrounding a moneymaker of a feud.
FINAL THOUGHTS: While it doesn’t look good ratings-wise, Texas Shootout is a good show that encompasses both one of WCW’s best ever heel turns as well as one of its biggest bad luck moments, as their big build for WrestleWar ’90 is squashed thanks to a freak injury. Still it’s a real master class in great pro wrestling storytelling and one of my favorite angles ever, even if we don’t get an in-ring resolution to it until July. Plus without the injury we would have never had Robocop show up so that’s…something. As for the rest of the show none of the matches are really memorable, but there are cool moments (Cactus Jack’s concrete bump, Doom finally unmasking) and it’s a fun watch. Too bad The J-Tex Corporation got caught in the crossfire of a big angle to kick of 1990 and did not get a conclusion they deserved. Oh well, at least this isn’t Muta’s final WCW appearance.
- MATCH OF THE NIGHT: The Road Warriors vs. The Skyscrapers
- MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: Cactus Jack takes a flat back bump on concrete from the apron, a taste of what he was willing to put himself through to achieve success.