NWA

NWA/WCW WrestleWar '89: Music City Showdown (1989)

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Date: May 7th 1989
Promotion: NWA World Championship Wrestling, National Wrestling Alliance
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Arena: Municipal Auditorium
Attendance: ca. 5.200
Commentary by: Jim Ross & Bob Caudle

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WrestleWar 1989: Music City Showdown was a professional wrestling that had been put on by the National Wrestling Alliance and World Championship Wrestling. It aired on May 7th 1989 from the Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. This Pay-Per-View event featured Jim Ross & Bob Caudle on commentary. And boasted five championship matches. There was even a mini-concert courtesy of The Oak Ridge Boys.

There isn’t much of an introduction before the matches begin.

The Great Muta vs. Doug Gilbert - Singles (58%)
Things started off quickly with Muta spraying Gilbert in the face with the Green Mist. These two go back and forth for a good portion of the match, but Muta stays strong and delivers most of the punishment. Doug gets a bit of a comeback. However, it doesn’t prove to be enough to put Muta down. Things turn and go back in The Great Muta’s favor and he hits a moonsault for the quick win.

Ranger Ross vs. Butch Reed - Singles (37%)
Ranger Ross looked impressive as the newcomer. Butch Reed was the crafty veteran. This match played out with both men trading blows back and forth. Ross put up some great offense. But Butch Reed wasn’t going to have it. He hit a single Big Shoulder Tackle from the top rope and won another quick bout.

Bob Orton vs. Dick Murdoch - Bullrope Match (25%)
This sounded interesting. Bob Orton is a bit of a vicious son-of-a-bitch and I didn’t know much about Dick Murdoch. But he sounded mean. We are treated to the sinister Gary Hart on the outside as the manager of Bob Orton. I was interested in the match but then it just sort of ended. Murdoch hogtied Bob Orton and pinned him. It had to last less than a minute.

The Dynamic Dudes vs. The Samoan SWAT Team (Fatu & Samu) - Tag Team Match (66%)
A young Paul Heyman manages The Samoan SWAT Team in NWA/WCW, a long time before they debut as the Headshrinkers in WWF. They look great in this match against The Dynamic Dudes (Johnny Ace and Shane Douglas). Both teams are given a good amount of time to showcase their stuff and Heyman is even able to get on the mic furthering the story in the match. The Tag Team dynamic is on point in this match too. All four men are strategizing and working hard delivering a great match. Fatu’s big Splash from the top rope was a thing of beauty. But the idea to have the Dude’s steal the win was great! This was the best match so far.

Lex Luger vs. Michael Hayes - NWA United States Heavyweight Title (77%)
I am not the biggest fan of derpy Lex Luger. He always looked like a tool to me. Michael Hayes on the other-hand is awesome. He is bombastic, outrageous, and a really good wrestler. These guys go for it. To Lex Luger’s credit, he appears to really be giving it his all. I was mildly impressed. These two go back-and-forth trading momentum. Finally after a good fight, Michael Hayes takes home the belt!

Sting vs. The Iron Sheik - NWA Television Title (38%)
I was really surprised to see the Iron Sheik pop up here in 1989 WCW. It was neat since I hadn’t seen him since his old WWF days in the early eighties. Sting came out to a huge pop and he looked like a million bucks. The mach was a schmohz for most of the time. Iron Sheik cheap shotted Sting early and attacked him with the Iranian Flag. He then proceeded to choke Sting with his keffiyeh and robe. Before Sting turned the tables and won with a quick Stinger Splash.

Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat - NWA World Heavyweight Title (93%)
Ric Flair is coming into this match as the challenger for the NWA World Heavyweight Title. Currently held by the champion, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. At ringside we have former champions Lou Thesz, Terry Funk and Pat O’Connor acting as judges. This is a monumental match. One of the most important matches in wrestling history. Steamboat and Flair are competing at peak levels here. Both turning truly intense performances. Flair laid in some really solid offence that even included throwing forearms and elbows. His chops resonated throughout the Nashville Municipal Auditorium. Steamboat seemed to have an answer for everything that Flair threw at him. Both guys best-ing each other and telling an entertaining story while doing it. If you haven’t seen it, please check this out. Dave Meltzer gives it five stars.

The Road Warriors vs. The Varsity Club - NWA World Tag Team Titles (67%)
Four big men are tearing up the ring in this bout. The Road Warriors are young and hungry. They look absolutely terrifying during their entrance. The Varsity Club is represented by young Mike Rotundo and “Dr. Death” Steve Williams. Things pop off early and these two teams beat the hell out of each other. It was great! The Road Warriors were relentless. They didn’t hold back, looking to put a beating down on the Varsity Club. This is exactly what Tag Team wrestling should be. It was going so well, then the whole thing was thrown out by DQ finish. Disappointing.

The Varsity Club vs. Rick Steiner & “Hot Stuff” Eddie Gilbert - NWA United States Tag Team Titles (58%)
This match featured Dan Spivey and Kevin Sullivan representing The Varsity Club against Eddie Gilbert and a really young Rick Steiner. The match played off of the ending of the last. Sullivan and Spivey had dominated against Gilbert, taking out Steiner early and leaving Gilbert by himself. The majority of the action saw Steiner selling on the outside with Gilbert taking a beating.

The Great Muta vs. Doug Gilbert (58%)
Ranger Ross vs. Butch Reed (37%)

Bullrope Match
Bob Orton vs. Dick Murdoch (25%)

The Dynamic Dudes vs. The Samoan SWAT Team (Fatu & Samu) (66%)

NWA United States Heavyweight Title
Lex Luger vs. Michael Hayes (77%)

NWA Television Title
Sting vs. The Iron Sheik (38%)

NWA World Heavyweight Title
Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat (93%)

NWA World Tag Team Titles
The Road Warriors vs. The Varsity Club (67%)

NWA United States Tag Team Titles
The Varsity Club vs. Rick Steiner & “Hot Stuff” Eddie Gilbert (58%)

WrestleWar 1989 was a decent show with a few good matches. NWA clearly had storylines for bigger names like the members of The Varsity Club, Flair and Steamboat, Sting, Luger and Michael Hayes. But the other workers are just there for padding. Barely passable matches that are less than television quality, but with decent talent. It’s kind of sad. The three opening matches featured The Great Muta, Butch Reed, and Bob Orton, but all in forgettable three to four minute squash bouts. Not to mention that horrible TV Title match. Yikes.

The best match on the card was the NWA World Heavyweight Title match between Flair and Steamboat. It’s a classic bout that should be viewed by everyone. I also loved the NWA US Title match. Michael Hayes is always a treat for the fans. This viewing was my first serious look at The Varsity Club storyline and I dug it. Kevin Sullivan is a genius. Steve Williams & Mike Rotondo looked great against the ferocity that the Road Warriors brought.

This is a great show for wrestling fans that want to start getting into the classic stuff. This was WCW under the NWA banner, and although it has some snoozers, it features great names and entertaining pacing. It’s really well booked in the way that the worst matches are quick but the best matches go the distance. There is an edited version available on YouTube, but it is missing a few matches. However, the full version is available on the WWE Network.

NWA 70th Anniversary Show (2018) - Nashville, Tennessee

Promotion: NWA

Date: October 21st, 2018

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Network: FITEtv

Rating: ★★★¼

NWA 70th Anniversary Show is a National Wrestling Alliance professional wrestling event that took place on October 21st, 2018. It was held at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. Featuring an NWA Heavyweight Title rematch between the champion, Cody Rhodes and challenger, Nick Aldis. The NWA Women’s Champion Jazz will be defending her title. And a single night tournament for the vacant NWA National Heavyweight Championship. The commentary was provided by Jim Cornette, Tony Schiavone and lead man, Joe Galli. I am watching the replay copy on FITE TV.  

This was the first NWA SuperShow in ten years. It’s a low-budget production so I expected a good deal of sound and camera issues. The NWA didn’t disappoint. A lot of silent promos and audio issues. The camera work was alright but the overall production seemed rushed. The downtime in between matches seemed chaotic and unorganized. There was a random music video for some jabroni wrestler named Ricky Starks that seemed weird and out of place. But, it was funny to see Jim Cornette almost have a coronary over his segment. The Penelope Ford promo was great too. That had a fun production slip-up.

Sammy Guevara vs. Colt Cabana vs. Scorpio Sky vs. Sam Shaw - Four-way elimination match, NWA National Heavyweight Championship Tournament Round 1 (72%)
This was a fantastic bout that could have gone to any competitor. Sammy Guevara looked amazing. He showed off tremendous high-flying skills. Scorpio Sky and Colt Cabana were filler. They had some fun spots, but nothing that counted as any serious offense. Sam Shaw had the most to prove and he did it. At some points, it looked like Cabana, Sky and Guevara would gang up on Shaw, but he overcame it.

Barrett Brown vs. The Laredo Kid (75%)
The second match on the card is a fast-paced light-heavyweight bout. The Laredo Kid from AAA looked great. His moonsault plancha to Barrett Brown on the outside looked crisp. Barrett Brown looked good too. Both guys showcased some interesting offense.

Ricky Starks vs. Willie Mack vs. Mike Parrow vs. Jay Bradley - Four-way elimination match, NWA National Heavyweight Championship Tournament Round 1 (68%)
This was the second four-way elimination match of the evening. This one had less star power with Starks, Parrow, and Bradley, but it didn’t really matter. It was heavy-hitting. Parrow and Bradley started things off by belting each other with bricks and putting their strength on display before Parrow was eliminated by that slimy vermin, Ricky Starks. Bradley wasn’t much outside of that slobberknocker with Parrow. He was quickly dispatched. Then it came down to Willie Mack and Ricky Starks. You knew Starks wasn’t going to make it.

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Peter Avalon vs. Tim Storm - Kiss My Foot Match (76%)
If you have been keeping up with the NWA series, 10 Pounds of Gold, then you might be familiar with this feud. “Professional” Peter Avalon stole a victory from Tim Storm on a past episode. Tim Storm “...is built like a brick outhouse,” according to Jim Cornette. He looked great in this WWE style comedy match. Peter Avalon got in some good offense and actually showcased some decent wrestling. But Tim Storm is The Perfect Storm. The after match antics were good. I loved seeing the referee make a decision that if Avalon doesn’t kiss Tim Storm’s foot, then he would have to pay $10,000.

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Jazz vs. Penelope Ford - NWA Women’s Title Match (70%)
Woah! Earl Hebner is the referee for this match! Jazz looked badass in her entrance. I loved it. She even had a working pre-match hype video. It made me a fan. Penelope Ford had a boring entrance. But she still looked ready for NXT. This was a hard hitting match that both women looked great in. Jazz was bringing the heat, but Ford had the moves. Seriously impressive gymnastic moves from her. I liked this match so far the most. Then the ending happened. Yikes. Hebner needs to retire. He ruined the whole thing.

Willie Mack vs. Sam Shaw - NWA National Heavyweight Title (79%)
This one was hot right out of the gate. Willie Mack ambushed Sam Shaw during his entrance as revenge for a beatdown that Mack took earlier in the evening. Both guys put on a hell of a match. Sam Shaw is going to go places if he can develop a personality. He was impressive. He beat the hell out of Willie Mack. It looked vicious. He was mean and calculating. While Willie Mack was high-impact and fleet-footed. He looked amazing. It’s crazy to see someone that’s his size, moving like that. He wins the title with a stunner. Great match.

The War Kings (Jax Dane & Crimson) vs. The Kingdom of Josephus (Shannon Moore & Crazzy Steve) (63%)
This is another match that had hijinks setup on 10 Pounds of Gold. Josephus had challenged The War Kings and created a ruse to help debut his new team, The Kingdom of Josephus, Crazzy Steve & Shannon Moore. I was surprised. This turned out to be an okay match. A few flubs and botches, but nothing major. Jax Dane is a powerhouse. I had always been interested in seeing his matches. I wasn’t that impressed with Crazzy Steve. Shannon Moore did alright. I think The War Kings work well together. I like them being managed by Road Warrior Animal.

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Cody vs. Nick Aldis - Two-out-of-Three Falls Match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship (79%)
All of the former NWA World Champions had come out to the ring before the competitors. It was a cool detail, but it was kind of weird to see Jax Dane out there, sweating up the joint. Nick Aldis had an amazing entrance with Kamilla Kaine. The champion, Cody Rhodes, came out to a great pop. I am a big Cody Rhodes mark. The match was average. They went through the usual spots and worked for the crowd. Crisp looking moves. Aldis delivered some awesome looking suplexes. Nick Aldis wins the first pinfall and then the action really picks up. The fight moves outside in deep into the crowd. The crowd goes nuts as things get a bit hardcore. The shenanigans pick-up too. It’s unfortunate. The table spot was a bit cool, but the manager interference was not needed. Cody picked up the second fall after that table spot. It looked nasty. Their fight for the third fall was intense. They traded finishers before Nick Aldis pulled out a surprise victory.

  1. Colt Cabana vs. Sam Shaw vs. Sammy Guevara vs. Scorpio Sky
    NWA National Title Tournament - First Round
    ★★★

  2. Barrett Brown vs. The Laredo Kid
    ★★★¼

  3. Ricky Starks vs. Willie Mack vs. Mike Parrow vs. Jay Bradley
    NWA National Title Tournament - First Round
    ★★¾

  4. Tim Storm vs. Peter Avalon
    Kiss My Foot Match
    ★★★¼

  5. Jazz vs. Penelope Ford
    NWA Women's Title
    ★★★

  6. Willie Mack vs. Sam Shaw
    NWA National Title Tournament - Final
    NWA National Heavyweight Title
    ★★¾

  7. The War Kings vs. The Kingdom of Jocephus
    ★★½

  8. Cody vs. Nick Aldis
    Two-of-Three Falls Match
    NWA Heavyweight Title Match
    ★★★¼

The night was so much fun. I liked seeing James Ellsworth and legends like Blue Demon Jr., Road Warrior Animal, Magnum T.A., and Dory Funk Jr. Jeff Jarrett’s speech was cringy and the NWA National Title looked horrendous, but the matches were great. Willie Mack is really deserving of the gold. He has been on the independent scene for years. Sam Shaw was really impressive. As was The Laredo Kid and Penelope Ford. The whole damn night was impressive. It was an average show, but it had some great surprises and treats for true wrestling fans.

If you are a fan of the WWE product (RAW, Smackdown, NXT, etc....) then there are a few matches for you. But please forgive the production. I know it’s hard. The silent gaps are weird and awkward. But this show has heart and it carries a lot of weight. The NWA has been on an upswing ever since Billy Corgan bought it. The web series 10 Pounds of Gold started this resurgence. If you aren’t familiar, please do yourself a favor and watch that. It helps develop a storyline that can assist fans in identifying with the competitors. This is a must watch for true wrestling fans.