Written By: Matt Peddycord
NWA Clash of the Champions V: St. Valentine’s Massacre
February 15, 1989
Your hosts are Jim Ross and Magnum TA!
The Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette) vs. The Russian Assassins (w/Paul Jones)
Paul E has joined us for commentary for this match so he can talk junk about the REAL Midnight Express to hype their upcoming six-man tag match including the original Midnight Express (minus Dennis) at the Chi-Town Rumble on February 20. The Assassins freakin’ OWN Stan Lane to start. Rather boring stuff though, as they work on his back with a suplex every once in a while and put him in a bearhug. This continues until the Russians go for the RUSSIAN MISSILE (corner splash), which apparently only works on jobbers because I’ve never seen them hit it on anyone else. HOT TAG TO EATON! He quickly gets dumped though, but then the Russians have some miscommunication problems as one of them loads up their mask and headbutts the other Assassin by accident. Lane nails the one who screwed up with a savate kick while Eaton heads up top for a ROCKET LAUNCHER on the other guy for the win. (6:44/13:14 shown) There was just BARELY half the match shown on this tape, so I’ll still it give a rating. This was an okay glorified squash heading into the Chi-Town Rumble. **
Butch Reed vs. Steve Casey
Steve Casey was basically a JTTS in the NWA who later went on to have some mild success in the awesome GWF fed in the early ’90s. Well, I liked the GWF anyways. This is pre-Doom for Butch Reed, which means he isn’t really doing anything that interesting because all he’s doing is beating up people without Ron Simmons to kill someone with a powerslam. Interestingly enough, Teddy Long referees this match and later went on to manage Doom to the NWA tag titles. When they split up, Teddy Long sided with Reed! Okay, I’m definitely reading too much into him refereeing this match. They clip to Reed giving Casey a suplex back into the ring for two. Casey tries to come back with a dropkick, but Reed avoids it by simply walking away. So THAT’S where Samoa Joe got that from! Reed slaps on a chinlock and uses the ropes for leverage like a JERK! Casey fights out, but then charges into a press slam to set up the FLYING SHOULDERBLOCK for the 1-2-3. (4:14/17:36 shown) Are you kidding me? SEVENTEEN minutes for that? I can’t imagine the full-length version. I won’t rate this.
It’s PPV main event build up time! Flair heads out to the ring with five, COUNT ‘EM FIVE, ladies along with his new manager: Hiro Matsuda, as JJ Dillon took a job with the creative department in the WWF a few weeks earlier. With Anderson & Blanchard in the WWF as well, and Barry Windham slowly being taking out of the picture, the Horsemen were dead anyways. Flair comes out to talk about how great he is like nobody else in the world of wrestling can do. He spouts off one of my favorite Flair lines- “Whether you like it or don’t, learn to love it because it’s the best thing going today!” He calls Steamboat out, and he obliges. Steamboat tells him that he hates everything Flair stands for because he’s not about family. No wonder Steamboat never got over in ’89 and only got a three-month title reign regardless of the fact that he was an amazing wrestler. It gets REALLY good once they start getting physical with each other. Steamboat rips Flair’s expensive clothes to shreds while they give the crowd a nice preview of the Chi-Town Rumble. WOOOOO!
Lex Luger vs. The Blackmailer (w/Hiro Matsuda)
According to JR, this is the first time they’ve used this character, which is just Jack Victory under another mask. He, of course, is also in the Russian Assassins which means he’s working a double tonight. Oh yeah, and Matsuda is only here to connect Blackmailer to Windham, who Luger will be facing at the Chi-Town Rumble for the NWA US title. Luger hits a powerslam early on and goes to a headlock on the mat. Blackmailer fights up, but then he runs into a press slam. He gets a break though as Luger falls out to the floor after missing a clothesline. He comes back in with a sunset flip for a one-count. Blackmailer chokes Lex in the ropes and then puts him in a chinlock. Luger elbows out and counters a suplex and then starts no-selling some punches before giving Blackmailer a SUPERPLEX (you see, he’s sending Windham a message because that’s HIS move!) for the win. (8:23/12:53 shown) Not a bad extended squash. *
NWA U.S. Tag Team Champions “Dr. Death” Steve Williams & Mike Rotunda (w/Kevin Sullivan) vs. The Fantastics
This is all about the Fantastics trying to regain the US tag titles after losing them to the Varsity Club nearly two months earlier at Starrcade. As far as any title matches go though, this was it for the Fantastics. Rotundo takes Rogers down with a fireman’s carry to start, who then treats the crowd to an arrogant pose. I LOVE THIS GUY. They do some more mat stuff, but then Rogers gives Rotundo a clothesline for two. Rotundo grabs him again and tags in Williams, who you REALLY don’t want giving you a clothesline. Of course, Doc comes in and explodes on Rogers with a clothesline. He tries to follow up with an elbow drop, but he misses and allows Rogers to tag in Fulton. A double-dropkick from the Fantastics puts Doc down on his butt. It’s not too long though until Doc grabs a headlock. We get a quick little interview piece from the NWA World TV Champ Rick Steiner who will be facing Rotundo at the Chi-Town Rumble. He says a whole lot of nothing until he mentions that his brother Scott will be in his corner for the match, which marks his debut. Williams gets dumped off, but he’s quickly back on Fulton for a tag out to Rotundo. He gets in trouble when Fulton gets a sunset flip for two, so he tags in Doc again. He gets nailed with a crossbody block for two, but then Fulton rolls over and tags in Rogers. The Varsity Club works him over for a bit until Rogers fights out of the corner and tags in Fulton for a knee-lift for 1-2-NO! Fulton tries a ten-count corner punch on Rotundo, but Doc shoves him off to the floor! While Rotundo distracts the ref, Doc gives Fulton a hotshot on the railing around ringside! Back in, the Varsity Club continues the dismantling of Bobby Fulton. Rotundo tries a splash, but Fulton gets the knees up. Doc gets a tag and cuts off Fulton before a tag could be made! He delivers a hotshot, a multiple-rep press slam, and a three-point stance before going for the OKLAHOMA STAMPEDE! Fulton is able to counter it though by grabbing the top rope and falling back on top of him! He finally gets up and makes the tag to Rogers! He does okay against Doc until Rotundo shows up on the floor to trip him up. Rotundo gets in and dumps Rogers. Fulton comes in and goes toe-to-toe with Rotundo while Rogers comes off the top with something on a draped-over Doc. He covers while the ref (Teddy Long) is busy trying to get Fulton out of the ring. Meanwhile, Rotundo stomps on Rogers’ head from the middle rope as Doc rolls him over and covers for the 1-2-3. (13:25) ALRIGHT! A full match! This was just some good old fashioned formula. **½
Ricky Steamboat vs. Bob Bradley
The point of this match is to show that Steamboat will wrestle even when it is not even necessary whatsoever. Bradley was both a JTTS in the NWA and the WWF in the late ’80s-early ’90s. He brings his wife Bonnie and son Richard (who’s probably only a year or so younger than me) out to ringside with him. That’s all well and good outside of wrestling, but it has no place in it unless they are being beaten up or kidnapped or being degraded in some way. I know, it sounds harsh. But this is WRESTLING, not Full House. He gets a bunch of slams on Steamboat both inside and outside the ring, but nothing else of note. He eventually misses a charge in the corner for Steamboat to take over with armdrags. Bradley escapes from an armbar and hits a side slam, but then he misses a flying headbutt from the top. Steamboat heads up and hits the JUDO CHOP and then the FLYING CROSSBODY for the win. (6:24) Just another squash to make Steamboat look good going into Chi-Town Rumble, regardless of the “We Want Flair” chants throughout the match. *
NWA World Television Champion Rick Steiner vs. Rip Morgan – non-title match
The former New Zealand flag bearer for the Sheepherders Rip Morgan gets to be squash-fodder for the TV champ here. Morgan starts pounding on Steiner, but he comes back with a Steinerline. He tries to smash Steiner’s face into the buckle, but it has no effect! Steiner hits a powerslam for two and barks a little bit. He runs into a boot though and gets stuck in a chinlock for a bit. Morgan then attempts a middle-rope fist drop, but he misses and gets caught with another Steinerline. BELLY-TO-BELLY SUPLEX! It’s all over for Morgan. (4:41) I can’t think of that many more different ways to tell you about a squash. ½*
The main event was SUPPOSED to be Sting, Michael Hayes & JYD vs. The Road Warriors & Tenryu for the NWA World Six-Man tag titles, but they end up cutting a promo and get locked behind a cage door by Kevin Sullivan! WHAT!
NWA World Six-Man Tag Champions The Road Warriors & Genichiro Tenryu (w/Paul Ellering) vs. Sting, Michael PS Hayes & JYD
The Varsity Club runs in because this is all part of their master plan to get at the LOD, who they will be facing at the Chi-Town Rumble. Meanwhile, Head of Security Doug Dellinger tries to get Sting’s team out from behind the cage door while in the ring we have…
NWA World Six-Man Tag Champions The Road Warriors & Genichiro Tenryu (w/Paul Ellering) vs. Kevin Sullivan, “Dr. Death” Steve Williams & Mike Rotundo
Once it turns into a regular six-man tag match, LOD treats the Varsity Club like they’re beating up small children. That is, until Rotundo and Animal to the floor. Animal gets his arm slammed into the guardrail to give the Varsity Club the advantage. After a whole bunch of work done on Animal’s arm, the Varsity Club goes for a TRIPLE-SPIKE PILEDRIVER just as Sting’s team breaks free! They run down to ringside for a HUGE NINE MAN MELEE! IT’S BREAKING DOWN IN CLEVELAND, FOLKS! (5:54) Technically, it was ruled a double-DQ. I’m not rating this one either.
Final Thoughts: They REALLY went for the hard sell for the Chi-Town Rumble, and that’s basically it. Since they didn’t do anything that I couldn’t see them doing already on a weekly NWA show, I don’t really see the point in this show at all. It’s kind of like the Saturday Night’s Main Events in 2006. Thumbs down for CotC V.