1. Michael Hayes vs. Russian Assassin #1 - 2
2. Sting vs. Butch Reed - 4
3. The Midnight Express and Jim Cornette vs. Jack Victory, Randy Rose, and Paul E. Dangerously - Loser Leaves NWA Match - 6
4. Mike Rotunda vs. Rick Steiner - 4
5. Lex Luger vs. Barry Windham - 5
6. Road Warriors vs. Varsity Club - 5
7. Ricky Steamboat vs. Ric Flair - 7
What Was Tits:
Sting getting the win got a good crowd pop, and I liked the generational gap aspect as well as the storytelling, including Reeds’ postmatch abbreviated beatdown on Sting.
Midnight Express versus “Original Midnight Express” (they gave some lame excuse for Condrey not being there, he probably got caught up at a titty bar) was the shit. Great storytelling coupled with great work. Even Cornette and Heyman were moderately good at what they did. The bulk of the magic was in Lane and Eaton, as Lane busted out all sorts of goofy “karate” kicks and Eaton of course dazzled with a missile dropkick before guys copped it from watching ’94-NJPW juniors tapes from RF and bumping his blonde ass off. Victory and Rose were disgusting and I loved that, too.
Luger bleeding was a good visual and added an aura of excitement to his match. Windham’s selling on injuring his hand from punching the ringpost was a major story element, and he did it wonderfully.
Rotunda getting a belt was definitely tits, even though it’d only happen a few more times in his career. His World’s Strongest Tag Team League championship run with Steve Williams in in All Japan in 2000 was a lot of fun, so cop that footage next time your pay comes in from your miserable job.
Watching non-corporative Hawk is always a blast.
Steamboat and Flair put on a clinic. Not one of their more pimped encounters, but still golden, like John Tolos’ ass hairs, and easy on the eyes. Just visually these guys compliment each other so well, Ricky with the obscenely green trunks juxtaposed with Flair’s flowing yellow locks, you couple that with their amazing in-ring work ethic and ability and it’s truly hard to top. There was some ref bump stuff that I never prefer, but much more toned down than your typical Russo penned TNA PPV finale, and it didn’t matter in the end as the visual of sweaty Steamboat and his son with the gold made me rip a hole in my throwback ’86 Pistons shorts.
What Was Shit:
The Hayes match being clipped liked his withered circumcised dick, thus negating either the length they so richly deserve.
Assassin being too lazy, disinterested, or just not giving a fuck to selling much of anything.
Doing two matches in a row with the “face in peril” storyline. You’ve got the young Sting battling the veteran Reed, but just like the opener, the good guy is basically beaten until scoring a quick, surprise victory. I guess they didn’t have agents backstage scripting shit out back then.
I’m all for holds, submissions, and technical stuff; but I take a shit on the extended headlock sequence that dominated most of the Reed/Sting match.
Later, they do the same finish to two matches, but this time it’s really incredibly shitty. So, Steiner loses his TV title to Rotunda because he hits an offensive maneuver, but is too dumb to realize his own shoulders are also down, and gets counted for the loss. This made sense only in that Steiner was actually working a mentally handicapped gimmick at the time. Then, in the very next match, they do the same confusing finish again, as Windham loses his belt to Luger the exact same way! Okay, I can buy Steiner making the mistake once, but what in the hell was Windham’s excuse? Why would you book the same finish for two important matches, especially when they happened consecutively? The announcing team didn’t even really offer up an explanation, but damn, did it sure make Windham look dumb as a guy volunteering to ride shotgun with Hogan’s son.
The Warriors versus the Varsity Club should have gotten more time. It could have been really tasty.