We continue our series looking at the history of the Clash of the Champions, taking in Clash of the Champions Part X: Texas Knockout. Held on February 6, 1990, at the Memorial Coliseum in Corpus Christi, Texas in front of 3,000 fans. The show drew a 4.5 rating on TBS.
It’s a new decade as the great year of 1989 in NWA became 1990 after the fallout from Starrcade. Legendary rivals Sting and Ric Flair had aligned themselves together as they had mutual enemies in The Great Muta and Terry Funk as 1989 came to a close. Sting is now a member of the vaunted Four Horsemen along with Flair, Ole and Arn Anderson.
Terry Funk is at ringside talking about guns and shooting people, no big deal. Even though he garnered Flair’s respect at the end of their feud of 1989, many fans along with myself did not trust the old Texan.
The first match is the Samoan Savage w/”The Big Kahuna” Oliver Humperdink vs. “Dr. Death” Steve Williams. Before the match, they have this ridiculous vignette of Williams in an ambulance with EMT clothing taking care of someone you know because he’s Doctor with a “Prescription for Punishment.”
Williams is knocked out early to the outside of the ring as Humperdink clobbers him. Woman saunters down to the ringside area and takes a seat near the fans, possibly scouting out new talent.
The Samoan Savage controls most of the match and goes for a top rope splash, the former Tama from the WWF can still get some air even at 300 pounds but he misses. Williams shows off some impressive strength by press slamming the massive Samoan. Williams then pulls off a surprising backslide for the pinfall victory. Wasn’t a whole lot going in or out of the match.
Then the best rap of the decade drops with this WrestleWar ‘90 promo:
Terry Funk is in the ring as he introduces the New Four Horsemen. Ole right away tells Sting that he isn’t going to be a Horsemen, going through the events that led to Sting becoming a Horsemen. Ole explains that once Sting signed up for a title match with Flair that nixed his membership in the group. They gave him an ultimatum of either giving up his title match tonight or get kicked out the Horsemen. Sting is not having it and Flair and the rest of the Horsemen jump him right out of the group! Excellent segment. Ole was the underrated talker in the Horsemen when he was on:
The second match of the night is The Mod Squad (Spike & Basher) vs. Flyin’ Brian Pillman & The Z-Man Tom Zenk. The Mod Squad were a biker theme tag team that honestly, I don’t remember too much about. Zenk and Pillman were an impressive young team as far as their moveset went. The bigger Mod Squad controlled most of the match until Zenk got the hot tag who executed a flying crossbody off the middle turnbuckle for the winning fall on Basher as Pillman hit a crisp dropkick on Spike. Nothing too special but to get Zenk and Pillman over as a formidable tag-team.
A neat matchup up next as Cactus Jack Manson took on Mil Mascaras. While Cactus Jack would have a great run from 1991-94 in NWA/WCW this was brief stint after coming over from WCCW in Texas so he was known in this part of the country as well Mascaras here in Texas.
Cactus and Mil are on the outside until Cactus sets up his soon to be infamous elbow drop from the apron to the floor. Then in what would be a number of sick bumps throughout his career Cactus is kicked off the apron by Mascaras and the back of head absolutely slams against the concrete and two teeth coming popping out, it was awful. Jim Cornette yells “Cactus is dead!” and after that shot, he probably should be. It’s kinda disturbing. Mascaras suplexes him back in the ring and hits a flying bodypress for the win.
After the break, Cactus is wandering around the floor and runs into this band named “Tuff Guys.” Cactus gets in the face of one of the members and flicks his hat off to which the guy jumps on him and a fight breaks out on the floor. Apparently, the band member known as Wolf Wilde was JT Southern.
Missy Hyatt is now the new announcer for the Sunday Main Event Show:
The fourth match of the night was Norman The Lunatic vs. Kevin Sullivan in a Falls Count Anywhere tilt. This gets out of hand pretty early as Sullivan brings Norman out to the floor with a bodyslam and suplex onto the concrete. They start brawling up the aisleway and continue backstage. Sullivan heads into the women’s bathroom but Norman refuses to go in until a woman runs out. Gordon Solie doesn’t enter the bathroom either and only puts the mic up to the door and hears the men fighting. Norman emerges as the winner with a toilet seat around his neck. Actually, pretty damn funny ending.
Back from break, Funk is in the ring talking smack to the crowd and Sting. Guess his respect is gone. Lex Luger comes down with his future Monday Nitro 1995 shirt. Luger and Funk ramble on and it looked like Luger was legitimately heated at Funk for talking too much during his segment.
Next up is The Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal) vs. The Skyscrapers (“Mean” Mark Callous & “Dangerous” Dan Spivey) w/Theodore R. Long. Mean Mark had just made his debut in NWA a month earlier so not much is known about him as the injury replacement for Sid Vicious. These four monsters are going at it tooth and nail. Mean Mark walks along the top rope in what of course would later be known as “Old School” by the Undertaker. He attempts the move again but Hawk flips Callous off the top rope. The Road Warriors double-clothesline Callous out of the ring and destroy Spivey with the Doomsday Device but the ref is preoccupied with Ellering and Long brawling on the apron. Callous grabs a chair and hits Hawk with it, the ref, however, is nowhere to be found, but DQ’s the Scrapers. After the match Scrapers hit Hawk with a spiked piledriver and Spivey absolutely obliterated Hawk and Animal with some nasty chair shots bending the chair nearly in half. The Skyscrapers looked like a million bucks here but once again the team takes a hit as Spivey unexpectedly left NWA before the rematch was to take place between the two teams at WrestleWar ‘90.
This is 1990:
Match six was Doom vs. The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott) in a WCW World Tag-Team Title vs Masks contest. Doom is without Woman after she left them for a bad showing at Starrcade ‘89. As the two teams trade advantages, Scotty hits the Frankensteiner and then the hot tag to Rick as they double-clothesline Doom #1 out of the ring and on his way back swoops the mask off from Doom #2 revealing it to be “Hacksaw” Butch Reed! Rick then grabs the mask and puts it on himself in a funny spot and rolls up Reed for the win. After the match, Referee Nick Patrick warns Doom #1 that he must reveal himself as well and it turns out to be Ron Simmons! Doom had a quick but noteworthy run, wish it had gone a bit longer.
In another great promo segment, The Four (Three) Horsemen are still telling Sting to that he had a chance but he blew it and they’ll find him on the streets of Corpus Christi if he doesn’t cancel his contract with Flair.
It’s main event steel cage time as The Great Muta, Buzz Sawyer and The Dragonmaster (Kazuo Sakurada) vs. The Horsemen (Flair, Ole and Arn Anderson).
Of course, Sting was supposed to be in this match but now he’s been thrown out of the group and the Horsemen are back to being complete heels. Something that always set NWA/WCW apart from WWF is that a lot of the time they didn’t make such a big deal out of good guys vs bad guys. Sawyer is first one in and goes to toe to toe with Flair. The Great Muta gets a huge reaction as he’s tagged in and gives Arn that perfect handspring back elbow in the corner. Just then, Sting runs to the ring and tries to scale the steel cage. Security including Doug Dillinger, The Steiners, Tom Zenk, Wahoo McDaniel and Brian Pillman prevent the Stinger getting into the ring. After escorting Sting to the aisle way, he then rushes the ring a second time but In all the melee, Sting stops climbing the cage and legitimately injures his knee and is seen limping and clutching at his leg.
Meanwhile, in the match, Sawyer climbed to the top of the cage but misses a splash. It’s all out brawl as Arn drops the Dragonmaster with a DDT to pick up the win for the Horsemen. The cage door opens up and Flair immediately runs down the aisle diving onto Sting oblivious to the injury sustained. The two go at it as the credits roll and: ”We’re outta time.”-Ross.
Sting was snakebitten by this injury as the feud with Flair and The Horsemen was red hot. Sting would be forced to miss the next six months. Luger would take Sting’s place at WrestleWar ‘90 and would be forced to turn face again and give up his real nice run as the cocky heel that he been portraying.
So overall a really good show with The Horsemen/Sting saga kicked off 1990, even though the injury would throw things for a loop for a while.
You can read all previous ‘Styles Clash: Clash of the Champions Revisited’ here.