Written By: Matt Peddycord
NWA Capital Combat 1990: Return of Robocop
May 19, 1990
The current NWA Champs were as follows:
World Champion: Ric Flair (5/7/1989)
U.S. Champion: Lex Luger (5/22/1989)
World Tag Team Champions: Rick & Scott Steiner (11/1/1989)
U.S. Tag Team Champions: Brian Pillman & Tom Zenk (2/12/1990)
World Television Champion: Arn Anderson (1/2/1990)
Surprise, surprise! I have the Turner version, so there’s a few matches that didn’t make the final cut. Credit goes to ProWrestlingHistory.com!
The Road Warriors & Norman (Bastion Booger) beat Kevin Sullivan, Cactus Jack, & Bam Bam Bigelow (9:38) when Hawk pinned Sullivan.
Mark Callous (The Undertaker) pinned Johnny Ace (10:41).
Fatu (Rikishi) & Samoan Savage (Tama) beat Mike Rotunda & Tommy Rich (17:54) when Savage pinned Rich.
Your hosts are Good Ol’ Jim Ross & Good Ol’ Bob Caudle!
Teddy Long vs. Paul Ellering – Hair vs. Hair Match
In case you REALLY want to know, Missy Hyatt is guest ring announcer and some hair stylist named Jay Tapper is introduced to cut the loser’s hair. He looks like he wouldn’t “tap-her” if you know what I mean. Anyways, this feud goes all the way back to February 1989 when then referee Teddy Long fast-counted the Road Warriors out of their one and only NWA World tag title run. This is the final blowoff. Teddy wears boxing attire and gloves to the ring, which I believe this was originally supposed to be a boxing match considering both men are nearly bald already. Long attacks as Ellering tries to get his ring jacket off. He delivers some blows on Ellering, but Ellering GOOZLES him back into the corner. That causes the ref to back Ellering away. Meanwhile, Long shifts whatever he’s loaded in his glove around and then nails Ellering in the face. Long covers for two. Ellering blocks a punch with the loaded glove and takes it off Long’s hand. Ellering hits a back elbow and a slam and then blasts Long with the glove for the win. (1:58) As with most hair matches, Long gets his hair cut a little bit and shames away backstage. Alright, now let’s get serious! CRAP
Tony Schiavone is back in the NWA and he’s standing by with the Four Horsemen (Ric, Arn, Ole & Sid). Everyone excluding Sid (who just stands there looking scary, because he’s not the ruler of the world as long he’s friends with Flair) talks about how tonight is going to Luger’s last night being able to live and breathe. Woo.
NWA U.S. Tag Team Champions Brian Pillman & Tom Zenk vs. The Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette)
Keep in mind that Ole Anderson was hired as booker a week or so prior to this show. Cornette’s supposed to be locked inside a cage Houdini-style at ringside, but the Midnights attack to try and take everyone’s attention off that fact. Pillman and Zenk, however, clear the ring of the Midnights and make sure Cornette is locked inside the cage. Eaton starts off with Pillman and takes a couple dropkicks after running the ropes. STEREO MONKEY FLIPS on the challengers! To think I just saw Bobby Eaton in a tag-team match with Barbarian last night at a church! Pillman hits both Midnights with Air Pillman! Back in, Lane hits Zenk with some savate kicks, but the Midnights have some miscommunication problems. Lane goes to the floor and gets some advice from Cornette. Pillman locks up with Lane next and delivers a sunset flip for two. Lane pokes Pillman in the eye and tags in Eaton, who comes in and gets stuck in an armbar. Eaton breaks free, but Pillman FLIPS out of a monkey flip and puts Eaton down with a dropkick. Lane gets a tag and nailed with an atomic drop into Eaton. The Midnights head out to get some more advice from Cornette because this isn’t working. Back in, Lane has more savate kicks for Zenk. Eaton tags and dumps Pillman, but he comes back with a top-rope sunset flip for two. That’s followed by double-backdrop delivered to Eaton. Lane grabs Zenk from the apron as Eaton charges, but Zenk ducks and backdrops Eaton clear out to the floor. Back in, Pillman and Zenk go back to work on Eaton’s arm. Eaton escapes and avoids a crossbody block from Pillman to send him crashing out to the floor. Eaton follows out and delivers a swinging neckbreaker on the floor. Pillman climbs back onto the apron, but Lane runs into him for the famous Pillman chest bump on the guardrail. The Midnights finally turn the action in their favor as they punish Pillman with double-teams like the Curt Hennig running neck snap/elbow drop combo, which is pretty sweet. Eaton hits a BEAUTIFUL slingshot backbreaker on Pillman. Next up, the Midnights deliver a drop-toehold/elbow drop combo for 1-2-NO! Zenk makes the save. They go to the floor again where Lane sends Pillman into the guardrail. Back in, Pillman gets a desperation sunset flip for 1-2-NO! Eaton tags and he’s ready to put this kid away, so he climbs up and delivers the elbow drop. That gets 1-2-NO! Eaton stays on top and tries to power Pillman’s shoulders to the mat, but Pillman won’t give it up. Desperation inside cradle on Lane gets two. Eaton tags and tries to power Pillman down again, but it’s not happening. Eaton heads up and Pillman is there to meet him. Eaton pokes him in the eye and comes off to the top to slam him down to set up the ALABAMA JAM (guillotine leg drop). KISS IT GOODBYE! 1-2-NO!! Eaton tries for a tilt-a-whirl slam, but Pillman whirls out of it and slams Eaton to the mat. Semi-hot tag to Zenk! He goes for the Z-LOCK (sleeper hold) on Lane, but Eaton breaks it up. Side Russian legsweep from Lane sets up the ROCKET LAUNCHER! It connects! Cover, 1-2-NO! Eaton whips Zenk in the corner, but he totally misses the charge. Eaton reverses a cross-corner whip, but Zenk comes out of the corner with a crossbody for 1-2-NO! Lane saves, which brings Pillman in the ring. Ref Randy Anderson sends Pillman to his corner while Lane sneaks in an enziguri on Zenk into an inside cradle from Eaton for the 1-2-3! The Midnight Express regain the US tag titles! (20:22) This was basically the end of the Pillman/Zenk connection, as Ole decided to job these two very talented guys to almost every big man who walked into the NWA. Sure, Pillman went on to become a superstar after Ole, but outside of winning the TV title for a very short time, Zenk never really seemed to recover from Ole’s unnecessary de-push. ***¾
Robocop is here! Gordon Solie is the first to spot him, but then the video feed goes bad and we’re back to live action. Sting makes his way down to ringside as he’s followed by Robocop. Since that guy is SO slow, the Horsemen seize the moment and lock Sting inside Cornette’s cage! Robocop finally gets to the ring, but the Horsemen are long gone, so he just uses his robot powers to RIP open the cage door. That’s coming out of your appearance fee, pal. Sting and Robocop get all buddy-buddy and head to the back.
We go to Tony Schiavone who’s standing by with the returning Junkyard Dog. Ole sure does look after those old-timers. Cornette comes down to ask JYD where he’s been for the past two years (why doesn’t he ask Tony the same question?) His response? Yo mamma’s house. Hahaha, he’s been giving her the big thump! Before JYD leaves, he challenges Flair to a title match that actually happens at the next Clash.
The Rock n Roll Express vs. The Freebirds – “Corporal Punishment” Strap Match
Instead of the two teams being strapped together, each team has a leather strap in their corners for their own personal use. Funny how the Midnights lose to the Rock n Roll Express at WrestleWar and get a US tag titles shot on this show, while the Rock n Roll Express are stuck fighting the Freebirds who LOST to the US tag team champions at WrestleWar. We start off with a couple minutes of classic Michael Hayes stalling. Once he finally makes contact with Robert Gibson, he gets slapped around a bunch and tags out. We switch to Garvin vs. Morton for a bit. Garvin grabs the leather strap and goes to clothesline Morton with it, but Morton fights back and steals the strap away. It turns into a Rock n Roll free-for-all with the straps, as they whip the ‘Birds out of the ring. Back in, Gibson tags and surprises Garvin with a sunset flip for two. Morton tags in and slaps on a chinlock. The RNR’s do an illegal switcharoo just because they can. We get another big-time brawl that leads to STEREO FIGURE-FOURS on the ‘Birds. After that goes down, Gibson gets cornered. Hayes grabs a strap and threatens Gibson, so Morton tosses Gibson a leather strap. Hayes misses, but Gibson does not. Morton comes in and steals the whip away from Hayes and helps Gibson clear the ring of the heels once again. Back in, they corner Gibson again and work him over until Garvin ducks low to set up a desperate tag to Morton. Morton rolls up Garvin off the ropes, but Garvin kicks out and sends Morton into a left jab from Hayes. Hayes tags and grabs another chinlock. Morton mounts a comeback, but then he charges into another quick left jab from Hayes. Back to the chinlock. Morton starts elbow out, but gets nailed with a Bulldog for 1-2-NO! Garvin comes in for more of the same and then dumps Morton out for some leather strap choking by Hayes. Back in, Garvin heads up and gets slammed down. He tags Hayes, but Morton has a burst of energy and uses it on Hayes with turnbuckle smashes instead of tagging in Gibson. Hayes goes for the kill with another Bulldog, but Morton shoves him off at the last second. HOT TAG TO GIBSON! Sleeper to Hayes cues a big-time brawl. Garvin and Morton go to the floor while Hayes delivers the DDT to Gibson! Hayes decides to stall and showboat instead of covering. Meanwhile, Garvin gets shoved into the ringpost. Hayes goes another DDT and doesn’t see Morton coming off the top with a sunset flip for 1-2-3. (18:32) The straps were a nice touch, but it really had no bearing on the match. Other than the few instances where the straps were used, it was just an ordinary match. Good finish, but the match was typical stuff from both sides. **½
1990′s world strongest man is here! It’s Doug Furnas. He talks it up about Luger to Tony before they bring in the Stinger. Sting’s so pumped, he hardly knows what to say except Luger is going to beat Flair. PERIOD.
NWA World Tag Team Champions Rick & Scott Steiner vs. Doom (w/Teddy Long)
Long is now sporting the doo-rag, which he would continue wearing until he left for the WWF in the late ’90s. These two teams know each other very well and had been feuding since Doom debuted back at Halloween Havoc. We’re talking seven months here. This is a winners take all situation. First off, Doom gets heckled by the crowd for a long while. Mostly due to Long’s haircut, which is really not that different than it was before. Simmons and Scott start off no-selling shoulderblocks. Simmons whiffs on a clothesline, so Scott finally puts him down with a shoulderblock. Scott follows up with a powerslam. Simmons misses a corner charge and takes a release German before tagging out to Reed. He works on the arm for a while, but Scott comes back with a dropkick and a backdrop. Simmons tries a sneak attack, but he runs right into a clothesline to send Doom rolling out to the floor. Now its Rick’s turn as Reed gets back in the ring. Reed NO-SELLS a Steinerline and throws Rick out to the floor. Back in, Rick puts Reed out with a Steinerline. Rick follows him out, blocks a slam into one of his own. Scott comes over and runs Reed into the guardrail while the ref is busy with Rick. Man, the faces are a bunch of CHEATERS tonight! Simmons tags back in and takes a SICK piledriver from Rick (he falls on his knees instead of his butt!) and then gets rocked out to the floor with a Steinerline. Scott and Reed switch and do their thing. Scott picks him up in a slam position and then runs him into the corner before delivering a shoulderbreaker for 1-2-NO! Rick tags in, but gets tossed out to Simmons. Back in again, Reed telegraphs a backdrop for Rick to kick him in the teeth and tag in Scott. Oh man, Reed hits a nice high knee on Scott. I mean, he NAILED him with that. Now Scott gets dumped out for Simmons to do a little damage out on the floor. Simmons gets a tag to set up a double-back elbow for two. Simmons does make a mistake and runs into a boot in the corner, but quickly tags in Reed who grabs Scott to prevent the tag. Swinging neckbreaker to Scott gets two. After some more Simmons punishment on the outside, Reed tries a suplex, but Scott blocks and delivers one of his own. Simmons gets a tag and kicks Scott out to the floor for Long to get in a slap. Back in, Simmons covers near the ropes. Scott gets a desperation t-bone suplex, but Simmons comes back with a clothesline. Reed tags and hits a bulldog for 1-2-NO! Oh no, piledriver to Scott! Will that be all? No, he tags in Simmons for more hurting. Simmons toils with him with shoulderblocks, but he eventually runs into a somewhat botched belly-to-belly suplex. Scott then makes up for it with a FRANKENSTEINER. HOT TAG TO RICK! The Steiners hit a double-suplex on Reed, but Simmons breaks up the count. Rick gets dumped, causing a weakened Scott Steiner to be all alone with Doom for a modified-DOOMSDAY DEVICE! Reed covers, but Scott’s not even legal! Rick saves as Simmons and Scott go to the floor. Scott gets whipped into the ringpost as Rick heads up top with Reed for a BELLY-TO-BELLY SUPERPLEX! Simmons stops that just in time and pulls Reed down on top of Rick for the 1-2-3. MORE NEW CHAMPS! (19:14) The crowd is in disbelief. This was deemed a huge upset at the time, as many figured the Steiners would put Doom away for good after this match. Losing the masks was the best thing for Doom since they just couldn’t seem to defeat the Steiners by wearing them. Also, they kept having better and better matches with the Steiners too. ***½
Tony interviews the champs after the match. They’re all like, “We told ya’ll we’d win.”
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair (w/Woman) vs. NWA U.S. Heavyweight Champion Lex Luger – Cage Match
Just to show what a dedicated babyface Luger has become in the past three months, he’s decided to wrestle this match “against doctor’s orders” as to not let his fans down. You see, Luger’s knee had been beaten up SO badly by the Horsemen, that he had to spend the last two weeks in the hospital. By the way, there was rumor that Terry Funk would be special referee for this match, but he left the NWA again a few weeks back. Luger NO-SELLS everything Flair throws at him to start and gets a near-fall off a clothesline very early into the match. Luger hits a stalling suplex and a pair of press slams. Flair comes back with forearms, but it has no effect. Flair chops away, but Luger does a little pex-flex action to show he’s not impressed. Flair decides to climb out of the cage (which I should mention is the Thunderdome-hell-in-a-cell type cage where you can walk around on the floor instead of the cage that sets on the ring), but its all just to set up Luger and kick him back down. Luger tastes the steel before going back in the ring. Flair goes after the knee, which definitely effects the US champ. Rolling knee drop follows. Flair hits a suplex, but Luger pops right back up. Ten-count corner blows leads to a Flair Flip. He runs down the apron and comes off the top, but Luger catches him on the way down. Flair tries to climb out the cage again, but Luger follows him up and smashes Flair’s face into the cage. Once they’re back on the floor, Flair goes face-first into the ringpost to bust him open. Back in, Flair begs away as Caudle’s hoping Luger takes the belt tonight. Luger tries another ten-count corner punches. Flair fights out with an inverted atomic drop, but it misses the mark and Flair gets nailed with a clothesline for two. They go to the floor again where Flair’s head is smashed into the cage a few more times. Back in again, Luger NO-SELLS a running forearm from Flair. Luger delivers the superplex, but he jars his injured knee when he hits the mat. Flair sees it and rips into Luger’s knee like a monkey on a cupcake. He gets the FIGURE-FOUR and grabs the ropes for leverage. Ref Mike Atkins catches him and calls for the break. The Horsemen come down to cheer on their champ as Luger fights back. Hard clothesline from Luger gets 1-2-NO! Luger hits the press slam and his knee seems to be okay now. Here comes Sting! He beats up Ole and Arn while Sid just stands there looking goofy in a tuxedo. The debuting 7-foot-7-inch El Gigante walks down to save Sting and send the Horsemen running just due to his mere presence. Meanwhile in the ring, Luger hits a powerslam on Flair. Also, the cage starts to rise up just enough for Barry Windham (who returned from the WWF a week prior to this show to replace Ole as the fourth Horsemen) to sneak in and attack Luger to call for the DQ. (17:21) This is like the only cage match I’ve ever seen that ended in a DQ. Isn’t being able to do anything part of why it’s a cage match? Much like Sting/Flair, there’s a Luger/Flair formula that just produces good matches due to good chemistry. This match was like the condensed version of the Luger/Flair formula. Post-match, all of the Four Horsemen get in and beat up Luger until Sting and El Gigante chase them off again. ****
Final Thoughts: There’s nothing but good on this show. Even having the very short and silly Ellering/Long match has purpose, since you see Teddy later on with Doom. It’s basically the same card as WrestleWar with just different combinations. Teddy Long gets disrespected, the Midnights have a standout match, the Freebirds work the chinlocks a little long, the Steiners wrestle a good power match and Luger comes within inches of the NWA World title and then gets the fancy red carpet pulled out from under his feet. I said thumbs up for WrestleWar, so a thumbs up for Capital Combat ’90 would be a given.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.