The SmarK Retro Repost - Chi-Town Rumble '89
Posted by Scott Keith on 06.28.2002
Flair-Steamboat, part one
The Netcop Retro Rant for Chi-Town Rumble 1989
- Live from Chicago, IL (duh)
- Your hosts are Jim Ross and Magnum TA
- Interestingly enough, this is almost 10 years to the day before this
year's edition of Superbrawl, the show that took this one's place in the
- Opening match: Michael Hayes v. The Russian Assassin. The
FatAssassin is Jack Victory, doing double-duty tonight. This is before
Hayes' 89 heel turn and US title victory. Mercifully clipped to the 10
minute (!) mark, which shows how bad it must have been. The "Russian"
controls with a chinlock for a couple of minutes, but Hayes comes back
with the few moves he knows (bulldog, suplex, DDT) for the pin. Looked
to be about 1/2*
- "Hacksaw" Butch Reed v. Sting. Okay, I have to ask: What the hell is
a soupbone right and why does Jim Ross only use in reference to Butch
Reed? Pretty boring match, with Sting working on the arm and then Reed
responding with heel stuff. This was just another placeholder match
until Sting got the TV title in March. Long chinlock spot from Reed
(with requisite feet on the ropes to work up the crowd). Reed is managed
by Hiro Matsuda here, the guy who took over all of JJ Dillon's contracts
when he left for the WWF. Reed badly blows a clothesline spot, missing
Sting and going tumbling out of the ring. It looked really awkward and
Sting looks like he's having trouble keeping a straight face. Reed does
everything from hair-pulling to tights-pulling to hammer home the point
that he's a heel. Sting makes the superman comeback, but Reed tosses
him to the apron. Sting sunset-flips his way back in, but Reed holds
onto the ropes for two. Teddy Long breaks the hold on the ropes and
Sting finishes the sunset flip for three. Sting is just crazy over.
1/2* No way this thing deserved TWENTY MINUTES. Ugh.
- Loser-leaves-NWA: The Midnight Express & Jim Cornette v. The Midnight
Express & Paul E. Dangerously. Well, not quite. Dennis Condrey is
already fired, so Jack Victory (last seen jobbing in the opening match)
is subbing. That pretty much gives away the fact that Randy Rose would
be the one leaving here. Lane and Rose start out. It always struck me
as odd that someone named Jack Victory would be a jobber. Cornette gets
into the act right away, dropping a double-team elbow on Victory along
with Eaton. In a cute spot, Eaton holds Rose and Cornette gets a shot
in, then Rose holds Lane for Dangerously, but Lane reverses and Paul E
nails his own man. Eaton takes a Pillman-esue bump to the steel railing
to become Ricky Morton. Oh, the irony. Paul E of course gets his shots
in now. So Cornette tags in and calls out Dangerously, but gets
sucker-punched and Dangerously gets his shots in. Cornette takes some
good shots from the heels, earning my respect. Lane gets the hot tag
and beats up Victory, but *he* gets sucker-punched too. Man, everyone
is getting the beats put on them. Healthy "Paul E Sucks" chant from the
crowd. Randy Rose does the WORST impression Stan Lane I've ever seen.
Eaton gets the hot tag and hits Victory with a sweet missile dropkick to
a big pop, then forces a tag to Paul E to a bigger pop. Cornette comes
in and throws some stiff right hands and a good clothesline (well,
compared to Lex Luger), then a pier-six erupts. Lane gets a two-count
after a missed Rose dive. The Original Midnights get control, but a
collision allows the Real Midnights to hit the Flapjack on Randy Rose
and get the pin. Good match, and Cornette and Dangerously obviously
take their art seriously. ***
- A historic interview as TV champ Rick Steiner brings out his brother
Scott, who justifies Rick's goofiness by bringing up the car accident
that nearly ended his life a few years prior. This was Scott's first
- World TV title match: Rick Steiner (w/ Scott Steiner) v. Mike
Rotundo. Rick won the belt from Rotundo at Starrcade 88 in a match that
ranks as one of the biggest pure markout moments for me. It should be
noted that Rick's imaginary friend Alex pre-dated Mr. Socko by ten
years. This is a very scientific match, as both guys are total mat
wrestlers at this point. Well, not in the Lou Thesz manner, but Rotundo
isn't doing the usual heel stuff. Match goes back and forth, with
Steiner getting control, but Kevin Sullivan wanders out and notes that
Steiner "has a very nice dog in the back". Rick is distracted by this,
and Rotundo takes advantage with a backdrop suplex for two. Rick comes
back with a sleeper, but as the ultimate demonstration of his own
stupidity, he lays back on the mat for leverage and gets counted down
for three, giving Rotundo the TV title. ***1/4
- US title match: Barry Windham v. Lex Luger. This is the much-delayed
blowoff match for Windham's Horsemen turn nearly a year prior, and the
last time Windham would ever be truly over. Luger beats the crap out of
Windham early on, but misses a flying bodypress (!) and Windham takes
over. They fight outside the ring and Windham takes a swing at Luger
and hits the ringpost, "breaking" his hand. Windham blades his hand for
added effect. He gets his dreaded claw-hold, but can't hold on because
of the hand. Never did get that move. Windham continues wearing Luger
down and goes for the superplex, selling the hand injury the whole time.
It gets two. Windham does a belly-to-back suplex, but Luger lifts his
shoulder and gets the US title for a second time. Windham throws a
tantrum and piledrives Luger on the belt. One of Luger's best matches.
***1/2 Windham would take a couple of months off and then bolt to the
- NWA World tag team title match: The Road Warriors v. Steve Williams &
Kevin Sullivan. Williams and Sullivan were the US tag champs as this
point. Vicious bit as Williams takes a double clothesline from the LOD
(front and back at the same time) and Jim Ross sells it as though Dr.
Death should be dead. Animal ends up as face in peril. Hot tag to Hawk
and he just kills the Varsity Club. Totally fubared ending as everyone
misses their cue, and it ends up with Hawk pinning Sullivan after a
clothesline from the top. Bleh. *1/2
- NWA World title match: Ric Flair v. Ricky Steamboat. This was the
first of their best of 193988 series, which Steamboat won 193987 to 1.
But Flair won the last one, and that's what mattered in the end.
Flair's entrance is complete with a line of women and a row of trumpets
to herald him. Now THAT'S an entrance. I ask you -- why would David
Flair go to HOGAN to get a woman when his father had 40 of them lining
the aisles just for his ring entrances? They exchange some mind-blowing
chops and Steamboat gets a two count. They play mind-games with each
other over things as simple as a headlock, which is pretty neat to see.
They're just letting it all hang out, as Flair does the overselling
thing with a near-dive over the top rope from the force of a chop.
Geez, talk about putting someone over. Flair drags him out and cheats
like a bastard, to the delight of the ringside fans. They are literally
hitting each other so hard that I'm flinching from watching it. Flair
flip leads to a flying bodypress, which is reversed for two. Flair
gets the figure-four and grabs onto the ropes for leverage and the crowd
is nearing a riot. Is that Dave Meltzer at ringside...with an afro?
More chops and both guys go spilling over the top rope. Flair gets some
two-counts off a suplex. Backbreaker for two and some two-counts, with
the feet on the ropes, of course. Steamboat gets two on a rollup. He
misses the flying bodypress and they go into a wrestling sequence off a
headlock, which leads to a butterfly suplex for two for Steamboat.
Backslide for two. Crowd is SERIOUSLY into this. Steamer with a flying
tackle and he hits the CHOP OF DEATH from the top, then goes for the
flying bodypress, but Tommy Young gets bumped. Flair tosses Steamboat,
but Steamboat hangs on and goes for the bodypress again. It misses, and
Flair goes for the figure-four as Teddy Long runs in to sub for the
original ref. Steamboat reverses to a small package and gets the
winning pinfall to claim his first World title. Would've been Match of
the Year if they hadn't gone and topped themselves later in the year.
****3/4 And that last 1/4* was ONLY knocked off because WrestleWar was
*that* much better.
The Bottom Line: Well, I always thought the name was pretty lame. I
mean, Chi-Town Showdown has a better ring to it. But regardless, any
show with a Flair-Steamboat main event gets a thumbs up from me. Even
if the name does suck.