Written By: Matt Peddycord
NWA Clash of the Champions X: Texas Shootout
February 6, 1990
Corpus Christi, TX
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)
World Television Champion: Arn Anderson (1/2/1990)
Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jim Cornette!
This would be the NWA’s earliest attempt at making their Clash of the Champions events look like WWF’s Saturday Night Main Event programs. It’s hard to pride yourself on how you’re all about serious wrestling when you introduce your characters with corny logos and cheesy introductions. All the same, this is where we’re at.
Here’s our first pre-match promo with the Road Warriors and Paul Ellering. They’re looking to put the Skyscrapers out of wrestling tonight. OHHHHH WHAT A RUSH!
“Dr. Death” Steve Williams vs. The Samoan Savage (w/Sir Oliver Humperdink)
Before the Doc makes his way to the ring, he helps some poor sap that looks like Tom Zenk into an ambulance and takes him to the hospital while the house band plays “Bad to the Bone”. That was SOOOOOO lame. Williams is being pushed as a mega-face at this point and looks to be dethrone Luger of the NWA U.S. strap at Wrestle War, but now history tells a different story. Doc starts off controlling Savage (Umaga’s older brother) with a couple three-point stances until Savage blocks one with a clothesline. He tosses Doc out for some Humperdink cheating. Meanwhile, Woman (or the late Nancy Benoit…) comes down for a front row seat at ringside as had been previously promised. Back in, Savage slaps on the nerve hold. Williams fights up into a powerslam for two, so then Savage returns to the nerve hold. He escapes again and this time misses an elbow drop to go right back in the nerve hold. He elbows out once more and avoids a flying splash! Doc presses and walks Savage all around the ring and then slams him down. He then blocks a hiptoss and counters into a backslide for 1-2-3. (7:55) Much more boring than I made it sound, and I think I made it sound pretty boring. Anyways, due to the wrench in the entire company’s plans to have the Sting/Flair series begin at Wrestle War, Doc’s US title match that he was scheduled to win was scratched, so he headed off to All-Japan and Herb Abrams’ UWF instead for the next two years. In other words, this is one of his last televised matches before the big move. *
Let’s take a look at the “cool” house band. They’re called the “Tough Guyz” for some reason. Cornette ~ “I heard their last record – it wasn’t released, it escaped.”
Alright! Now here’s the reason to pick up this show. Recently turned good guy announcer Terry Funk (which is the exact same role he played prior to last year’s Wrestle War, oddly enough) introduces the Four Horsemen. That’s right; Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Ole Anderson and Sting? Ole announces to Sting and to the rest of the world that the reason Ric called Arn and Ole to come back to the NWA, was to get rid of him. They held off from beating the crap out of him at Starrcade after Sting pinned Flair in the final Ironman match because Ric told them to, but Sting signed his death warrant when he signed the contract to meet Ric Flair for the NWA World Title at Wrestle War. Ole kicks Sting out of the Horsemen gives him two hours to call off the match or else, but of course Sting refuses and gets the crap beat out of him. Instantly, the Four Horsemen go from being a fun group of guys, back to the strongest heel faction ever.
Brian Pillman & Tom Zenk vs. The MOD Squad
The MOD Squad are a couple of ex-“cops” named Spike and Basher, who were kicked off the force for police brutality. While only a couple of overweight pasty jobbers at this point, they had had previous success in Florida and Central States Wrestling in the mid-’80s as a couple overweight pasty wrestlers. Pillman and Zenk work on Spike’s arm to start with armdrags and the like. Basher tags in and takes an enziguri from Zenk for two. Spike comes in for a double-team clothesline, but Zenk avoids that and slingshots Pillman in for a double-clothesline of his own. Pillman becomes face-in-peril for a long while with Zenk coming in and making things worse for him every so often. You know, typical stuff here. Pillman fights out of a chinlock and hooks a crucifix for 1-2-NO! Spike then misses a flying elbow drop to set up the HOT TAG TO ZENK! He quickly finishes off Basher with a weak crossbody out of the corner for the 1-2-3. (9:53) Pillman and Zenk are about a television taping away from winning the NWA U.S. Tag titles tournament. Another nothing match, but this one was just a little more fun than the Doc/Samoan match. *½
Cactus Jack Manson vs. Mil Mascaras
The only real difference in 1990 Cactus Jack and 1991 Cactus Jack is that he’s about forty pounds lighter here and he’s got on a different ripped up looking shirt. Of course, he dropped the Manson part and kept the craziness. Not sure why they brought in Mascaras, but they did. Mascaras applies a bow-and-arrow early on and then dropkicks Cactus out to the floor. He does a funny little spot where he chases off Capetta and then falls back and trips over his chair. Back in, Mascaras slaps on an elevated Boston crab, but then Cactus makes the ropes and tosses Mascaras out. He wants to deliver the elbow drop off the apron, but Mascaras sneaks back around into the ring when Cactus isn’t looking and dropkicks him to send Cactus back-first on the concrete! Cornette ~ “Cactus Jack is dead!” Well, he’s clearly moving so that can’t be true. Sick bump though, and one that he talks about in his first book. Back in, Mascaras hits the FLYING CROSSBODY for the 1-2-3. (5:00) And that’s that. ½*
After the break, Cactus Jack is still at ringside. The “Tough Guyz” start to play a song and that alone pisses off Cactus Jack, so he chases the guitar player around and then gets into a schoolyard brawl with the drummer, who happens to be JT Southern in disguise in this crappy band.
Gordon Solie is standing by with Norman the Lunatic. He hopes he gets to beat up Sullivan by the hotdog stand so he can break for a couple hotdogs. Wow, all I can do is shake my head at this guy.
Norman the Lunatic vs. Kevin Sullivan – Falls Count Anywhere
By the way, Norman is basically what Eugene is or was in 2004. A happy-go-lucky retard mistaken for a lunatic that’s mistaken for a wrestler. Before he makes his entrance, they show a video clip of Norman visiting the Atlanta Zoo to call a warthog Kevin Sullivan. The kids LOOOOVE this guy and he evidently loves them back, because he hands out Valentine cards to a bunch of kids at ringside. Cornette can’t help but call Norman a child molester. The finish is what makes this match famous, because the match itself sucks TERRIBLY. They end up brawling to the back where a conveniently placed women’s bathroom is located. Kevin Sullivan escapes to that forbidden zone as a lady runs out screaming. Apparently the bathroom is empty except for Sullivan, so Norman barges in. A lot of noise is made and then a three-count is heard, but who’s the winner? Sullivan fumbles out and collapses on the floor, so he’s not it. Norman comes out with a toilet seat, a roll of toilet paper, and his hand raised. (7:26) This settles nothing, as these two would continue feuding throughout the spring. What is WITH Kevin Sullivan fighting in bathrooms? CRAP
Terry Funk is in the ring ready to introduce the NWA U.S. Champ Lex Luger for an interview. Funk talks down to the crowd for some reason. I guess it’s because he’s getting ready to hang with one of the cockiest heels ever. In short, Luger says that he will win the NWA World title one day. Don’t count on it, pal.
The Skyscrapers (w/Teddy Long) vs. The Road Warriors (w/Paul Ellering)
Before the match, they show a clip of the Road Warriors demolishing cars as they prepare for the Skyscrapers. Could be a stab at Demolition, but it doesn’t have to be. That I can remember, this is the only match I’ve ever seen with “Mean” Mark Callous and “Dangerous” Dan Spivey together after Scott Steiner punctured Sid’s lung from a Clash ago. Match starts off with Animal no-selling some shoulderblocks from Spivey. Tag to Hawk, and he becomes face-in-peril for a bit as the ‘Scrapers work on Hawk’s shoulder. Callous walks the ropes one time too many and gets flipped off to set up the HOT TAG TO ANIMAL! The ‘Scrapers double-team Animal, but he flips out of a double-atomic drop and floors the ‘Scrapers with a double-clothesline. LOD delivers the DOOMSDAY DEVICE on Spivey, but Callous breaks up the pinfall with a steel chair shot! Hawk tosses the ref out on the floor and a big brawl erupts. Spivey gets hold of the steel chair and beats down the Warriors! (7:26) No contest finish, but it sets up the WrestleWar “Chicago Street Fight” (in Greensboro) quite nicely. ½*
Gordon Solie was supposed to be interviewing Sting, but he gets Brian Pillman instead who tells us that Sting is FURIOUS! Well, duh.
NWA World Tag Team Champions Rick & Scott Steiner vs. Doom – “Titles vs. Masks”
If Doom wins, they become the tag champs. If the Steiners win, Doom has to unmask and reveal to the world what we already know is true – that Doom is Ron Simmons and Butch Reed. In case you’re wondering where Woman is, she had left Doom’s side when they couldn’t produce anything at Starrcade in the Iron Team tournament, so they’re on their own for the time being. Even JR & Corny talk about how Doom’s identities are the worst kept secret in wrestling, but the masks are about the psychological advantage and not their identities. Simmons (or Doom #1) complains about mask-pulling, but then Scott gives him a powerslam. A German suplex out of the corner proves to be enough for Simmons, so he gives Reed (Doom #2) a try. Scott can’t win a shoulderblock-off, so instead he dropkicks Reed to the floor as Doom regroups. Scott slingshots Reed back in and goes for the mask, but that mask ain’t coming off. Rick tags in and they stall, but it gives Rick some time to do his dog antics. Rick hits a backdrop and goes for the mask, but there’s no way that’s coming off. Simmons tags in and takes a release belly-to-belly suplex, and that’s all he can stand as both teams switch. Scott becomes face-in-peril for a while. He tries to come back with a rollup off the ropes, but he’s drawn right into a Reed clothesline from the apron. Rick comes in and causes Scott to get tossed over the top-rope without the ref knowing. Reed throws Scott into the guardrail and then puts him back in the ring. Simmons hits his deadly SPINEBUSTER for 1-2-NO! Reed tags in for a double-backdrop, but then Scott gets a desperation backslide for two. Reed gets right back on top and hits a piledriver for 1-2-NO! Rick comes in for the save. That causes more problems for Scott down on the floor with Simmons. Back in, Scott gets a sunset flip for two. Reed cuts off a tag and delivers a swinging neckbreaker for 1-2-NO! Scott hits the FRANKENSTEINER out of nowhere and finally makes the HOT TAG TO RICK! He goes STEINERLINE-CRAZY on Doom! He grabs a headlock on Reed and then as he’s shoved off, the mask comes with him to reveal Butch Reed! What is that face? Is he humiliated or what? Rick puts on the mask and easily rolls up Reed for 1-2-3. (13:19) Capetta says that if Doom #1 doesn’t unmask, then he’ll be suspended from wrestling. Simmons is all reluctant, but he does it anyway. Drats! Curses! Their plan blew up in their unmasked faces! Pretty decent match. Doom always did seem to improve the longer they were a team. **¾
Ric Flair, Ole & Arn Anderson vs. The Great Muta, Dragon Master & Buzz Sawyer – Cage Match
The Horsemen’s problems with the J-Tex Corporation almost seem like an afterthought now after what happened with Sting. Ole is wrestling instead of Sting, since he’s no longer a Horsemen. Anyways, the J-Tex Corporation are so done, Gary Hart doesn’t even come out with him. In case you’re wondering who Dragon Master is, he’s Kazuo Sakurada. You may know him better as Kendo Nagasaki, which was the name he wrestled under when he wrestled in most of the major North American territories throughout the ’80s. J-Tex receive cheers, and the Horsemen nearly get booed out of the freakin’ building. “We want Sting” chants go up in between the cheers and boos. Sawyer gets cheered when he takes Arn to the steel. Dragon Master comes in and brawls with Flair and Ole. Muta gets a tag to a HUGE face reaction. He hits the Handspring Back Elbow in the corner on AA and then quickly applies the Muta Lock as Sting runs down and climbs up the cage to get at Flair. A bunch of faces run down to try and control Sting and they succeed momentarily. The action in the ring is basically being ignored as Sting breaks free and runs back towards the cage again. This time, he doesn’t climb up the cage very far before he gets down and limps back towards the entrance with a little help from his friends. There’s a big brawl in the ring as Dragon Master gets sent into the cage face-first and then turns around into a DDT from Arn for 1-2-3. (6:10) Flair runs out the cage door to get at Sting, but there’s not much that can be done since Sting had ruptured a tendon in his left knee. As I said earlier, nobody really cared about this match after what transpired between Sting and Flair. I wonder how different WCW would’ve been had they not done that segment earlier and just had the Horsemen turn on Sting when they could’ve had him all alone in the cage. Sting might not have had that terrible knee injury (he still could have torn it regardless, who knows) and he would’ve had a much better career match quality-wise just as everyone expected him to. It’s all just a big game of “What If?” though. *½
Final Thoughts: Not too much to praise about here besides the Horsemen stuff. The heat was incredible and the momentum was there, but Sting’s injury killed everything and the feud had to be put on the backburner for the next five months with Luger taking Sting’s place. You can catch the Horsemen segment on the Flair DVD, so don’t feel like you have to have this show. Of course, Cactus Jack attacking the house band was pretty great too. All the same, thumbs down for CotC X.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.