What if…Saddam Hussein Hadn’t Invaded Kuwait in 1990?
(Author’s Note: In writing alternate history on a serious historical event not happening, pertaining to the world of professional wrestling, rest assured that I am in no way making light of the actual event. Nor am I taking away from the death and suffering of innocent Iraqis, Kuwaitis, or Americans and others involved in the two Gulf Wars. But the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait did greatly alter the course of history and I feel compelled to write about a (very small) difference it made and how things could have happened had that tragic event never occurred.
A book that helped serve as an inspiration for this story was Adnan Al-Kaissee’s (General Adnan’s) autobiography, The Sheik of Baghdad: Tales of Celebrity and Terror from Pro Wrestling’s General Adnan. In it, Al-Kaissee gives us a very unique view of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, terror and yes, pro wrestling. I highly recommend it. Al-Kaissee also talks of how Sergeant Slaughter and Vince McMahon had a bad falling out when Sarge left the WWF in the 1980s. But, due to financial considerations, he was brought back to the federation in 1990 to play the turncoat heel (p.285).
With no Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, that reconciliation doesn’t happen. We will now examine how things may have happened had it not been for one Middle Eastern dictator.)
Our story begins on Thanksgiving Night at the Hartford Civic Center. The 16,000 strong crowd and those watching at home on pay per view have just seen a very memorable card. They saw the revealing of The Million Dollar Team’s mystery partner, The Undertaker, who has already made the first of what are sure to be many lasting impressions. They also witnessed the hatching of the egg that the WWF had been hyping on television and dragging to house shows for months. It turning out to be a guy in a turkey outfit who danced a jig with “Mean” Gene Okerlund to the tune of “Turkey in the Straw” left audiences wide mouthed and slack jawed… for all the wrong reasons. In “The Ultimate Match of Survival”, they saw three babyfaces (WWF Champion The Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan and Tito Santana) beat five heels (The entire Visionaries Team and Ted Dibiase) in less than ten minutes, with only Santana being eliminated. The Warrior and Hogan had quickly quelled speculation that they could not put their epic WrestleMania VI match to the side and work as a team. After their two hard fought victories, the two now engage in a well deserved pose session in the ring. But little does the Hartford crowd know, it is about to see the biggest surprise of the night…
November 23, 1990: Survivor Series
Warrior and Hogan do a duel double arm flex to the cheering crowd. Warrior then points at Hogan for him to give them a solo flex. Hogan feigns modesty for a second… then happily obliges. He then turns around to return the favor to the World Champion… only to be greeted with a lethal running clothesline!!!
Warrior beats his chest while the shocked and silenced Hartford crowd looks on, then proceeds to stomp “The Hulkster” into the mat. He then picks him up and after a hard kick to the stomach, hits an arm wrench short-arm clothesline, taking the former champion down again. He kicks him a few more times, then picks Hogan up and nails a vicious gorilla slam. Afterwards, Warrior turns to the now booing crowd, points his thumbs to himself and says “Now you will see who the real Immortal is!” What The Ultimate Warrior fails to notice is that Hulk Hogan has just popped up and is breathing angrily while looking at the Warrior with a fierce anger never before seen from the legend.
“I thought I could get under his skin!” “Rowdy” Roddy Piper exclaims. “I ain’t never seen old Hulk that mad before!”
Hogan just stands in one place waiting for the Warrior to turn around… which he finally does. And for the first time ever, the World Wrestling Federation fans see something they have never seen before in their champion- fear. PURE FEAR. He lifts his hands in front of him and pleads “It was all a mistake, Hulk, it was all a mistake. The gods gave me the wrong sign!” Hogan, not being a pagan, and even if he was, not being a sucker, isn’t buying it. Unfortunately, he is buying the Warrior’s ruse. As the champ is pleading with his predecessor, three men come charging down to the ring. Two of them are The Legion of Doom, Hawk and Animal, partners of The Ultimate Warrior earlier on in the night. The third is their former and now apparently once again manger, Paul Ellering.
Before he knows it, “The Hulkster” is surrounded. He eyes all four, looking very worried and even scared. Then The Ultimate Warrior commands, “Destroy him like the false idol that he is!” Hawk and Animal immediately attack. Hogan tries to fight back, but when The Warrior joins in, he is just too overwhelmed. “Precious” Paul gloats as his boys and The Ultimate Warrior lay waste to the two time former World’s Champion. After beating him unmercifully, The Warrior, signals to the LOD with a thumbs up signal- and they know just what it means. Animal puts Hogan on his shoulders and Hawk climbs to the top rope and then nails Hogan with a devastating clothesline, finishing the Doomsday Device as The Ultimate Warrior turns his thumb down. Ellering then tells the Warrior, “Sacrifice him to the gods!” Warrior picks Hogan up, drops him hard, runs across the ring and hits a devastating splash. “More, more… I want more!” Ellering seethes.
Thankfully for Hulk Hogan, help finally arrives. His three Survivor Series ‘Hulkamaniacs’ teammates, Tugboat, The Big Bossman and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan come running full speed down to the ring. Very curiously, they are lead out by none other than Kerry Von Erich, The Ultimate Warrior and The Legion of Doom’s earlier, ‘The Warriors’ Survivor Series partner.
Seeing Hogan’s allies enter the ring, Warrior and his henchmen exit out. A shouting match ensues between the two parties, Hogan’s allies in shock at what they are witnessing. Harsh words are thrown, many which will not make the Coliseum Home Video Release of the event. After The Ultimate Warrior and crew depart the ringside area, Hulk’s loyal friends check on him and soon realize that he is in bad shape. Medical personnel comes and take him out on a stretcher as the Pay Per View comes to an unforgettable end.
A Coliseum Home Video Exclusive: Moments before the Legion of Doom and Paul Ellering attack Hulk Hogan, here is what happens in the dressing room area.
Hawk, Animal and Kerry Von Erich are watching the babyfaces having just won “The Ultimate Match of Survival” when all of a sudden their monitor goes out. Von Erich looks confused, but Hawk and Animal both laugh. “What’s so funny?” Kerry asks. “Kerry,” Hawk replies, “this!” Murking things up even further, The Legion of Doom’s long time manager, “Precious” Paul Ellering walks in the dressing room and he is instantly warmly greeted by his two former charges. “The Texas Tornado” however, is dumbfounded. “What are you doing here?” he asks Ellering. “Show some respect…” Animal starts to say, but is cut off by Ellering. “Kerry, son, listen. You are a witness to history. The establishment of a New Order. You see, even though the Warrior beat Hogan clean at WrestleMania, Hogan has still used his seedy influence to hog the spotlight. He did the same to Andre the Giant, the same to Randy Savage and he’ll do the same to anyone else. But tonight, that is all going to change. Warrior, Hawk, Animal and I are going to destroy Hogan once and for all tonight. We were going to eliminate you too as a precautionary measure, but the Warrior vetoed it. ‘Kerry is one of my Warriors.’ he insisted. So please do not make him – and us” Ellering says motioning to himself and his charges, “look foolish.” “I’ve already taken out the backstage monitors and by the time anyone figures out what happened, we will have already destroyed Hulk Hogan. Now are you with us or against us.” Kerry sits in stunned silence for a second, then says “With. Let’s go get him.” They all shake hands with Kerry and head to the ring.
When the quatrain gets to the ringside entrance, they see The Ultimate Warrior pummeling Hogan. The LOD and “Precious” Paul all started laughing, Hawk saying “He won’t even need us!” Then Hogan pops up and their demeanor instantly changes. Seeing the distraction and seizing the opportunity, Kerry runs the other way. Hawk starts to follow him but “Precious” Paul stops him, putting his hand on his shoulder and saying. “We don’t have time, son. Warrior needs us.” Hawk nods and the three head to the ring.
November 23, 1990: The Main Event
To say the wrestling world is still in a state of shock would be an understatement. The World Wrestling Federation’s popular World Champion and its most popular tag team have turned on its greatest legend, beating him into oblivion. An announcement is made that Hulk Hogan’s medical condition is unknown at this time, but an update will be forthcoming. Also, The Ultimate Warrior, The Legion of Doom and “Precious” Paul Ellering all will be interviewed on the next edition of the Wrestling Challenge.
November 1990 – January 1991
At the start of the Wrestling Challenge, Gorilla Monsoon lets the audience know “There is some good news, here. In spite of the best efforts of those thugs, Hulk Hogan was not seriously injured and will be able to return to action very soon. If I were The Ultimate Warrior and his goons, I’d watch out.” “They need to watch out?” Bobby “The Brain” Heenan responds. “Hogan, listen. I hate your guts. But take my advice: Get out of this sport. Heck, get out of this country. Those four mean business. I know Paul Ellering and he is as devious as they come. You got lucky. And I’d take that snot nose Von Erich punk with you, too. They’re going to be looking for him.”
Finally, Warrior and company’s interview time came. They all come down to a new song, very loud death metal. Also, all four are now clad in black, The Legion of Doom going back to their old shoulder gear. Paul Ellering is wearing a black suit, with dark glasses, and carrying a rolled up copy of the Wall Street Journal.
When they get to the ring, the music stops. Sean Mooney, given the unfortunate task of interviewing them, slowly walks over. Ellering lifts up his sunglasses and stares at him, and is soon joined by his three charges. Taking the hint, Mooney hands over the microphone and heads out.
“Thank you, Sean.” Paul Ellering starts. “Now, I know everyone would like an explanation as to our actions at Survivor Series. Well, it’s fairly simple, so even you people can understand it.” He says to resounding boos. “These two,” he says pointing to Hawk and Animal, “are my sons. And without me, they have been made out to be clownish caricatures of their selves. And like the World’s Champion, they are warriors; The Road Warriors. Having their identity stripped from them is something I would never have allowed and it is an error that is here and now eradicated.” He says as his boys nod with huge smiles. “Now on to this man.” Ellering says pointing to The Ultimate Warrior. “What Hulk Hogan, tried to do to him, as he has done to so many others… Well it’s not going to happen. You see, Hulk Hogan is an egomaniac. Sure he saluted to the Warrior after losing in Toronto, but it was all a farce. His grand plan was to lay low, use his pull to keep Warrior down and then reemerge in the spotlight. He figured a down and out Warrior would be easy pickens. And he was right… except he didn’t count on me! Now, I’ve lighten a fire in this man never seen before and everyone better watch out because it’s not going to be at all pretty.” The Ultimate Warrior then takes the microphone and says very angrily “Everywhere I went, defending my title, I would hear nothing but ‘Where’s Hogan? Where’s the Hulk?’ The fact that I had vanquished the red and gold dragon meant nothing. Well, the gods spoke to me, and I listened. I then spoke to Hawk and Animal and we all agreed it was time to call ‘Precious’ Paul. And we picked Survivor Series as the date we would destroy Hulk Hogan once and for all. And it would have worked except for that traitor. Kerry, Hawk and Animal wanted to decimate you before our coup even started. But I said ‘NO! Kerry and I fought as Warriors with and against each other in a past life and I will not betray any true Warrior!’ But I made an error. A critical one. Kerry Von Erich, you are no warrior. You’re a fraud. And like Hogan and his other cronies, you will be completely annihilated by The Ultimate Warrior and the new Legion of Doom!” “That’s right, Von Erich!” Animal chimes in. “We’re gonna tear the World Wrestling Federation apart, starting with you- limb from limb! And Hogan, we will finish you off, too. Tell em Hawk!” “Well, Hogan, you like wearing red and yellow? Good! Because we all know you’re yellow already and when we’re done with you, you’re going to be drenched in red, too! And those pals of yours?” he says with a laugh. “Well, no one crosses the LOD and lives to tell about it. Ohhhh… WHAT A RUSH!” The Legion of Doom’s new music starts playing and the foursome leaves a stunned and silent audience to gather their thoughts. “They mean business.” Bobby Heenan says to end the broadcast.
And business they indeed mean as the beloved Bushwhackers, Luke and Butch are the first to find out on Prime Time Wrestling. Having a vicious past themselves, they none the less come down in their same playful manner, moving their arms up and down and licking the occasional “fortunate” fan. But when The Road Warriors music hit, everything changes. Hawk and Animal start with a slow walk, then turn it into a stride, then a full scale charge to the ring. They then come down on The Bushwhackers like raining fire and brimstone. Luke and Butch do their best, but are quickly overwhelmed by the larger, stronger, much more athletic Road Warriors. In less than two minutes, they are completely decimated and Luke is finished off with the Doomsday Device. Adding even more insult to injury, “Precious” Paul demands they do the same to Butch, a request to which Hawk and Animal happily comply.
The Ultimate Warrior’s first title defense since Survivor Series is tonight as well. However, his opponent is someone he is not going to be able to push around so easily; Saba Simba, better known as Tony Atlas.
Simba comes to the ring dancing to traditional African music wearing African tribal dress, but from that moment on he knows that it’s all business. The Warrior’s new music hits next and he comes down, not speeding like usual, but at a very methodical pace with Paul Ellering at his side. “He knows better than to try that with Tony er Saba.” The Honkytonk Man says on color commentary.
The bell rings and the two powerhouses go eye to eye. The Warrior starts and hits Saba Simba, who punches him right back. The two exchange blows with the Warrior getting the upper hand. He then goes for a clothesline, but Simba ducks and takes the Warrior out with one of us his own! He then starts dancing and clocks the Warrior when he gets up again. Warrior gets up again and charges and is met with a Saba Simba hip toss. The champ then rolls out the ring to recover and convene with his manager as the crowd erupts. “We may have a huge upset here!” an elated Sean Mooney commentates. “Slow down!” Ellering tells his charge. “He’s too crafty for that pomp and circumstance you like to use. Remember, we’re not here to impress these idiots in the stands, we’re here to WIN!” Warrior nods and comes in at Joey Marella’s eight count. An eye gouge gives him the advantage and he takes it to his challenger. The Ultimate Warrior hits many hard hitting moves. A devastating powerslam that would have taken out most others gets him a close two count. Having his opponent reeling, the Warrior decides to breathe easy, which costs him. He nonchalantly throws Simba into the turnbuckle from the opposing side, only to have it reversed and followed up with a hard running clothesline. He then forces him back into the corner, climbs to the bottom rope and starts punching away as the New York crowd jubilantly counts to ten. He then jumps down, and takes a couple of steps back. The Warrior takes one step… then falls face first. The crowd roars as Simba starts dancing. He picks the Warrior up and locks in a full nelson. The Ultimate Warrior screams in pain as Simba puts on the pressure. Joey Marella asks if he wants to submit but he refuses. It looks as though he is on the verge of breaking when “Precious” Paul jumps on the apron. Joey Marella goes over to admonish him and Saba Simba makes the tactical error of releasing the hold to deal with Ellering personally. A former wrestler and accomplished weightlifter, Ellering is no slouch. But he knows he cannot handle the likes of Saba Simba. The challenger grabs him and Joey Marella tries to break them apart. While the struggle goes on, this gives The Ultimate Warrior time to recover. After shaking off the cobwebs, he charges and hits Saba Simba with a vicious forearm as Paul Ellering jumps to the floor. Wasting no time, he picks his challenger up in a gorilla press drops him hard and follows up with a splash, after which Joey Marella counts to three. Paul Ellering rushes in and the two celebrate as though the Warrior has just now scaled Mount Olympus not as though he has just gotten a cheap win due to his manager distracting the referee and his opponent.
To no one’s surprise, the next series of opponents for The Road Warriors fare about as well as the Bushwhackers. The same can be said for The Ultimate Warrior’s as none have the strength of Saba Simba that can match up to the Warrior’s. Paul Ellering has truly created a three man wrecking crew with his redesigned Legion of Doom.
That is not to say there is no one who is going to stand up to them. On Superstars, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews the four men who rescued Hulk Hogan: The Big Bossman, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Tugboat (his ‘Hulkamaniac’ teammates) and The Texas Tornado. The four are greeted with a loud ovation from the crowd as they approach the interview area and cheerily greet “Mean” Gene. “Gentlemen, so glad to see you four.” Gene starts. “But I don’t have to tell you that these are troubled times in the World Wrestling Federation. Who would have thought that The Ultimate Warrior and the Legion of Doom would turn on Hulk Hogan and all their fans?” “Gene,” “Hacksaw” Duggan starts, “you just said a mouthful. What the Warriors did to my pal the Hulk makes ‘ol Hacksaw sick. But if they think that’s the end of it, they better think again. Because, Hulk’s coming back and just look who he’s got for backup!” Duggan says to cheers. “You said it, Hacksaw!” Tugboat chimes in. “And we really gotta thank Kerry here for letting us know. If it hadn’t been for him…” Tugboat starts shaking his head. “It’s alright Tugboat.” Kerry says putting a hand on his friend’s wrist in comfort. “We all know what those monsters had planned. But payback times coming.” He says with a smile. “Now I have a title defense next week against Dino Bravo, but…” “But what he means to say,” The Big Bossman completes “is that we talked to Jack Tunney and next week, ‘Hacksaw’, Tugboat and myself are getting the LOD in a six man match!” he says as the crowd erupts. “Oh my!” Gene exclaims. “Folks, whatever you do, don’t miss Superstars next week, it’s going to blow the roof off!”
A long week goes by as fans wait for the star studded Superstars to convene. It finally airs and fans are given a bonus surprise: the first twenty participants of the 1991 Royal Rumble are announced by “Mean” Gene and an important announcement from WWF President Jack Tunney is promised for later in the show. Before the Tornado’s title defense against Dino Bravo, the president’s announcement comes on.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this next Royal Rumble is already shaping up to be one of the best ever. Established superstars like Hulk Hogan, Mr. Perfect, The Road Warriors and Earthquake have already been announced. Newcomers like The Undertaker promise to make things even more exciting. And let us not forget the return of the legendary 7’4 500 pound Andre the Giant. But this year the Rumble will be even more exciting than years past. Because this year the winner will not only gain the prestige of being the Royal Rumble winner and win the cash prize, he will also earn a shot at the World Wrestling Federation Championship on March 24 at WrestleMania VII at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Thank you!
After this announcement, “Canadian Strongman” Dino Bravo makes his way to the ring with his manager “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart to the usual jeers and taunts. Then The Texas Tornado’s music hits to a huge crowd pop! The Intercontinental Champion comes down, focused yet intent on taking time to hug and give fives to fans.
The match starts and the two circle each other briefly before locking up. Bravo pushes Kerry away hard, showing his superior strength then adding insult to injury with a pose. Bravo’s arrogance then earns him a dropkick to the mush by Von Erich, setting the crowd on fire. He gets up and charges the champion, only to be greeted by hard right hand, putting him on the ground again. Bravo gets up and charges again… right into a Von Erich arm drag. At this point the crowd is screaming and Bravo rolls out the ring to convene with Jimmy Hart. He reenters and the two lock back. Kerry quickly turns then twists Bravo’s arm, then holds him in an armbar for several seconds while Bravo pleads in pain. He then twists his arm back the other way and again holds him in an armbar. Pleading but not surrendering Bravo eventually throws a punch at Kerry’ s face, but the champion ducks, and counters with an atomic drop. Bravo holds his backside in pain and slowly turns around… only to be met with a Von Erich clothesline. He then picks him up by the hair and while Jimmy Hart distracts Tim White, Bravo hits Kerry with a low blow, finally getting some offense. After taking a second to catch his breath, Bravo slams Kerry and stomps him hard. He then lets him have it with a series of forearm smashes and suplexes, nearly scoring pins after a belly to back and then a double underhook suplex. But the proud Texan is not giving in so easily. But his Canadian challenger is relentless. He slams Kerry to the ground and drop an elbow, but Kerry moves out the way. The two both get up, Bravo slightly beating Kerry to his feet. Bravo throws a punch but Kerry blocks and hit one of his own. Bravo throws another to identical results. Kerry then goes on a role, hitting Bravo several times as the crowd gets back into it. Seeing his opponent stunned, Kerry charges the ropes and attempts a flying cross body press, only to be caught by Bravo who quickly turns it into a bearhug. Squeezing with all he has, “The Canadian Strongman “is determined to leave the ring as the new Intercontinental Champion. Kerry struggles, but is rapidly losing air. After stopping all motion, Tim White checks his arm. It goes down once… twice… and not quite thrice as Kerry shows sign of life and shakes his fists. Bravo squeezes harder, but Kerry will not quit. He eventually punches Bravo, then headbutts him till he is free. Bravo swing at Kerry, but the champ ducks, kicks his challenger and bodyslams him hard to the mat. He picks him up only to have Bravo rake his eyes. The champ gloats for a second and then goes for an arm-wrench short arm clothesline, but Kerry ducks and clamps on the iron claw! This causes Jimmy Hart to panic and jump on the apron. Tim White immediately walks over and demands he jump off the apron but Hart will not budge. Meanwhile, Dino Bravo is helpless and even screams that he submits, though out of Tim White’s earshot. Bravo’s partner, Earthquake charges down to the ring and attempts to enter the ring , but Kerry sees him coming, releases the claw, and knocks Earthquake to the ground while he is still on the apron with a discus punch. He then puts the claw right back on Bravo. Paul Ellering then runs down and jumps on the apron. Kerry again releases the claw and approaches Ellering, only to be met with a handful of powder to his eyes. Now blinded, The Texas Tornado stumbles around for several seconds. Jimmy Hart finally drops from the apron and Tim White turns around, sensing foul play, but not being able to call what he didn’t see. Kerry eventually stumbles into Dino Bravo, who somehow musters the strength to hit a weak gutwrench suplex, and with hooking the leg, gets a close three count to become the new Intercontinental Champion. “The Mouth o f the South” and Earthquake immediately enter the ring to congratulate him while the crowd boos this very tainted victory loudly. “Acting like he deserves that belt!” “Rowdy” Roddy Piper comments in disgust.
Jaded as they are, especially at Paul Ellering, the crowd is foaming at the mouth for “Hacksaw”, Tugboat and the Bossman to take out some much deserved revenge on the new LOD’s hide. The heels are announced first and come down with a gloating “Precious” Paul. Then the three fan favorites come down looking for a fight.
The six want to go at it in a free for all from the get go, but Earl Hebner demands order. After much trash talking on both sides, Animal starts off with Tugboat. The two hard hitters then go at it. Animal slugs Tugboat but the big man doesn’t move, causing the almost always composed Animal to look a little worried, maybe even a bit scared. Tugboat then slugs Animal who doesn’t move either causing Tugboat equal concern. They then start slugging back and forth. Animal shrewdly leads Tugboat into his corner and the LOD starts a three on one beatdown of the gentle giant. “Hacksaw” and the Bossman try and intervene, but Earl Hebner forces them back, allowing the beating to linger on. Animal tags in Hawk and they connect with a devastating double shoulder block. Hawk then sticks his tongue out at Tugboat’s corner, though neither opponent takes the bait. He takes it to Tugboat for a minute and then tags in The Ultimate Warrior. Warrior gets a few shots in on his larger opponent and then goes for a bodyslam- a tactical blunder. Tugboat blocks it and Warrior tries a couple more times to the same results. Tugboat then rakes the World Champion’s eyes and gets to his corner and tags in a very anxious Big Bossman. The Cobb County law enforcer comes in with a vengeance taking it to the Warrior. He then tags in “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan and the two stun the mighty champion with a devastating double backdrop. Duggan riles the crowd up with a “USA” chant and shows The Ultimate Warrior just how he got the nickname “Hacksaw”. Then he tags a refreshed Tugboat in, who uses his sheer body mass to pinch the Warrior. When the two in ring combatants get close to the LOD’s corner, Hawk and Animal reach their hands out for a tag, which Tugboat alleviates, by smacking Hawk across the face. This causes both Road Warriors to run in, but Earl Hebner keeps them at bay. This allows Tugboat to avenge his earlier triple team with himself, “Hacksaw” and the Bossman taking it to The Ultimate Warrior in their corner. Finally, Earl Hebner subdues the mighty Road Warriors and he breaks up the triple team. Tugboat tags back in the Bossman and they work on the Warrior more. But while charging to the ropes, Road Warrior Animal distracts the referee, and “Precious” Paul uses the ruse as an opportunity to pull the top rope down, causing The Big Bossman to hit the ringside floor hard on his head. The Ultimate Warrior wastes no time tagging in, Hawk, who, after “Precious” Paul “helps” the Bossman back in, takes it to him with a vengeance. His LOD teammates deliver identical treatment and after a short time it looks like The Big Bossman won’t make it much longer. But, when Animal gets cocky and takes his time setting the Bossman up for a running clothesline, the Bossman ducks at the last second and is able to turn it into a sidewalk slam. Both men struggle to their corners, Animal reaching Hawk… and the Bossman reaching the “Hacksaw”! Duggan takes it to Hawk with all he has, besting the Road Warrior at every turn. This brings in The Ultimate Warrior then Tugboat then Animal and finally the Bossman. All six are going at it. Earl Hebner tries to restore order, but finally realizing he can’t, calls for the bell, signaling a double disqualification. The fight is evenly fought… that is until Paul Ellering joins the fray. He smashes “Hacksaw” with a chair and from there the Legion of Doom takes over. The Warrior shows his enormous strength, gorilla pressing The Big Bossman, then dropping and splashing him. All three wrestlers pick up Tugboat and drop him allowing the Warrior to connect with the splash. “Hacksaw” Duggan is laid out even more with The Road Warrior’s Doomsday Device. All three are punched and kicked while they are sprayed out on the ground, the LOD triumphantly standing above their fallen nemeses.
It is announced that on the next episode of Superstars that “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart and his two top charges, Dino Bravo and Earthquake will be making an appearance on The Brother Love Show.
The segment arrives and the faux church music hits. “WELCOME! WELCOME to the Brother Love Show! I LOOOVVVE You! Today we have three very special guests. Please everyone welcome Brother “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart and Brothers Dino Bravo and Earthquake!” The trio approaches the stage to enormous boos and exchange handshakes with Brother Love. “Welcome, Brother Jimmy!” “Brother, it is so great to be out here on your show! And just look at Dino Bravo and his new Intercontinental belt. Doesn’t he wear it well?” Jimmy Hart asks “Oh yes,YES Indeed! Far better than Brother Tornado ever did!” A wisecrack that gets a smirk from the heel trio. “But you know I have to say that I really owe a BIG thanks to “Precious” Paul Ellering. He kept Kerry Von Erich from stealing that win from Dino!” Hart says “Oh Yes, indeed. In fact… I have a little surprise for you Brother ‘Mouth’: Allow me to bring out, Brothers Paul, Hawk , Animal and The Ultimate Warrior!” A pleased look appears on all four faces as The Legion of Doom approaches the stage. “Welcome, Brothers!” “Thank you, Brother Love!” Precious” Paul says. “And Jimmy let me say it is a pleasure to shake your hand. You’re one of the only minds in this business equal to mine. And that’s saying something I might add!” “Thank you so much, Paul! And let me tell you, my family and I look forward to doing business with The Legion of Doom!” “Business? Funny you should mention that , Jimmy. I happen to have a business proposition for you. As you know the Royal Rumble is upon us. And that no good Hulk Hogan is trying to get a chance at my Ultimate Warrior’s World Wrestling Federation Championship. Well, I know both Earthquake and Dino are going to be in the Rumble as are Hawk and Animal.” He says as all parties nod. “And we want a little extra manpower to insure Hulk Hogan doesn’t get that shot at WrestleMania. Not that we can’t handle him, but with thirty men in there, I am sure that yellow coward is going to be greasing palms to insure his safety. Naturally, you will be well rewarded.” “Well Paul that sounds great, but regarding that reward, I do need to ask for something a little more.” “What more do you want?” Road Warrior Animal barks as he walks a little closer to Hart, causing Earthquake and Bravo to step up as well. “The man has already offered you cold hard cash and gave you the Intercontinental Title!” “Calm down, Animal.” “Precious” Paul says. “Let the man speak.” Everyone backs off at this. “Well Paul, yeah the Intercontinental Title is great and so is cold hard cash, and don’t get me wrong we would love to take out Hulk Hogan once and for all,” he says as his boys both nod, “but the real deal here in the World Wrestling Federation is the World Wrestling Federation Title. And I know were friends and all, but this is a competition. So, if my boys help you and your boys get rid of Hogan, then I think it’s only fair that Hawk and Animal agree to step aside in the Rumble after he’s gone. After all, do you want them challenging the Warrior for the title?” “Precious” Paul thinks for a second and responds “Jimmy, that’s more than fair. We agree to take out Hogan at the Royal Rumble and at WrestleMania, let the best man win!” The two heel managers shake hands as their charges look on with smiles and as does Brother Love with a feces eating grin as his show comes to a close.
“Well they may all be smiling now, but they won’t be for long.” Says a disgusted “Rowdy” Roddy Piper on color commentary. “Because I just got word that Kerry Von Erich is getting a World Wrestling Federation Title shot at The Royal Rumble and next week on The Wrestling Challenge, Hulk Hogan’s coming back!” he says jubilantly as Superstars ends.
The entire wrestling world is anxiously awaiting for “The Hulkster’s” big return. Heaven knows he surely has a lot to say. Finally The Wrestling Challenge rolls around.
After a few segments, Vince McMahon comes to the ring. “Everyone, please all join me in giving a warm welcome to ‘The Immortal’ HULK HOGAN!” The crowd erupts as “Real American” blasts through the arena. Hulk Hogan comes back looking as happy as ever to see his fans, giving fives and stopping to check for cheers with his hand to his ear. He gets in the ring and rips his shirt off as Vince McMahon looks on in admiration. “Hulk,” he says. “Welcome back!” “Vince, you don’t know how much this means to me. Seeing all these screaming Hulkamaniacs makes my heart pound. But I have to give special thanks to four particularly special Hulkamaniacs. My ‘Hulkamaniac’ Survivor Series Teammates, ‘Hacksaw’, Tugboat and The Big Bossman, and my newest Hulkamaniac brother, Kerry Von Erich, whom without, Hulk Hogan wouldn’t be here. Kerry,BROTHER, the Hulk is eternally grateful for you foiling ‘Precious’ Paul’s diabolical plan. And I’m saying my prayers that you take the World Title from The Ultimate Warrior at The Royal Rumble. And rest assured I’ve got your back!” “Yes, well Hulk, speaking of ‘getting one’s back’, there is a matter I think that needs to be addressed. That is Jimmy Hart and Paul Ellering’s deal.” “First things first, ‘Vicious’ Vince! Warrior, I don’t know what you were thinking turning on me and all your little Warriors. And then getting The Road Warriors and Paul Ellering to try to take me out? You make me sick! But let me tell you, Jack, you didn’t get the job done! And you may have made an alliance with that no good squeaky little mouse Jimmy Hart, but let me tell you, that big, dumb and ugly Dino Bravo and that even bigger, dumber and uglier Earthquake aren’t going to be enough to stop me! I’ll have my friends watching my back, just like I’ll be watching theirs! Earthquake and Dino Bravo couldn’t get the job done and neither will The Legion of Doom! Brother, Hulk Hogan is back!” He says as “Real American” hits and the crowd roars as Hogan starts posing and calling for cheers.
The stage has been set and the battle lines clearly drawn. Jimmy Hart’s minions and The Legion of Doom engage in brutal matches on WWF television and house shows with Hulk Hogan and his allies, the results going both ways and sometimes ending in double count outs or double disqualifications. It seems that both The Legion of Doom and Bravo and Earthquake are hell-bent on taking Hulk Hogan out so he doesn’t even get to The Royal Rumble. Likewise, Hogan shows a vicious side never seen before, especially in matches when he faces The Ultimate Warrior. Hogan gets himself disqualified- and fined and nearly kicked out of the WWF- for his actions during a show in Hershey. He and Kerry Von Erich were only saved from being retired for good by every official in attendance at the Cow Palace. And words cannot describe a ten man tag team match in Huntsville involving Hogan, Tugboat, Kerry, “Hacksaw” and The Big Bossman vs. The Legion of Doom, Earthquake and Dino Bravo that referees Danny Davis and Earl Hebner had to throw out after losing all control.
Just over a week before the Royal Rumble, it is announced throughout WWF programming that Andre the Giant will be making his long awaited return on the last Superstars before the Royal Rumble to give an interview.
When Superstars arrives and Andre’s interview time comes, “Mean” Gene goes to the interview podium and announces, “Ladies and Gentleman, please join me in welcoming the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’ Andre the Giant!” The crowd warmly welcomes Andre back as he slowly walks to the interview podium.
“Thank you. Thank you, Gene. It is so nice to be back here with all my wonderful fans!” “Andre, it’s so good to see you.” “Mean” Gene says. “But, tell me, what are your thoughts on the Royal Rumble?” “Well, it is a huge event. But I am the biggest man in it and I fully plan on winning it all and getting the title shot at WrestleMania!” Andre says to cheers. “And I wish you all the luck, Andre. But tell me, what about your old friend, Hulk Hogan? He will also be in the Rumble.” A sad look appears on Andre’s face at this question and he pause a moment before answering. “Well Gene, as you all know, Hulk was my oldest and dearest friend. But, I let that bad man, Bobby Heenan, get in my head. He reminds me a lot of that Paul Ellering.” And no sooner does Andre say that when “Precious” Paul, The Ultimate Warrior and The Road Warriors, the entire Legion of Doom, show up unannounced and uninvited. “Welcome back, Andre!” “Precious” Paul greets the giant, offering him a hand he refuses to take, which does not affect Ellering in the least. “Here, have a cigar.” He hands one to each of his men and puts one in his own mouth, then offers one to Andre, who with a disgusted look on his face, refuses. “I understand, Andre.” Ellering says very cockily. “You Frenchies like those little cigarettes. I’ll remember to bring you one next time.” “Don’t bother.” The Giant says in a very irritated voice. Ignoring him, Ellering says “Well Andre, I got some good news for you. As you know, I made a deal with Jimmy Hart to take out your old enemy Hulk Hogan.” “He’s not my enemy!” Andre exasperates. Still ignoring him, Ellering continues “But, I thought about it and realized that even with my boys, Dino Bravo and Earthquake, there is a tiny chance that slippery Hogan could find a way to weasel himself into the WrestleMania main event. So after talking to Jimmy Hart, he agreed that I could extend the same offer to you as I did to him. You can help us get rid of Hogan once and for all and get a chance at WrestleMania, all while getting a big, fat paycheck. Doesn’t that sound great?” he says with a huge smile. Andre, with an even more disgusted look on his face, yanks the microphone from Ellering’s hand, making him wince. “Let me tell you right now, I don’t want any of your dirty money! And I don’t plan on helping you out one bit! In fact, I plan on helping my good friend Hulk Hogan against you at the Royal Rumble!” He says to the crowd’s jubilation. Paul Ellering tells his now angry looking charges, “Well boys, the man’s made his mind up, let’s go.” At this the LOD walks away. “I apologize for that.” Gene tells Andre. “Now about the Royal Rumble…” All of a sudden Hawk clips Andre’s right leg from behind, sending the mammoth down, causing him to grab his knee in great pain. Hawk, along with Animal and The Ultimate Warrior, kick at and step on the fallen legend while Paul Ellering stands above him laughing profusely with the cigar back in his mouth. Gene pleads for them to stop- to no avail. Things go from bad to worse when The Ultimate Warrior grabs a chair from the stands. “Now Andre, you’re going to feel pain! GIANT PAIN!THE ULTIMATE PAIN!” the Warrior says right before he repeatedly brings the steel chair down repeatedly on Andre’s leg as the Goliath screams. Finally, a barrage of World Wrestling Federation suits come and separates them from Andre. The Road Warriors, particularly, Animal, don’t want to let up and come very close to attacking the Federation officials. Only Paul Ellering’s interference (a result of him knowing that action’s consequences) prevents an all out blood bath.
On Prime Time Wrestling, it is announced that Andre is not only unable to participate in The Royal Rumble, but that The Legion of Doom has ended his long and illustrious wrestling career. Gorilla Monsoon also says Hulk Hogan will be giving comments later on from his home in Venice Beach.
Later on, Gorilla Monsoon says it is time to hear from “The Hulkster”. The scene then changes to Hulk Hogan’s home, where he and his wife, Linda, are sitting on their couch. Hogan looks extremely distraught. He tries to speak, but just shakes his head, looking as though he is on the verge of tears. He tries again but still can say nothing. He makes one more futile effort but quickly buries his head in his hands. Linda then gets up and demands the cameraman to “shut it off”.
At the Prime Time Studios, both Bobby “The Brain Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon are visibly stunned. Heenan finally says “Monsoon, in all my dealings with that man, I have never once seen him at a loss for words.Never once! What do you think he’s going to do if he’s in the ring with The Road Warriors?” Monsoon replies “Well, we’ll see soon enough won’t we? For Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan this is Gorilla Monsoon saying goodbye and whatever you do, do NOT miss The Royal Rumble this Sunday on Pay Per View!”
January 20, 1991: The Royal Rumble
The crowd at the Miami Arena is jam packed, waiting to see who will be challenging the World Federation Champion for the title at WrestleMania VII and if in fact that title will be changing hands tonight.
Early in the Pay Per View, the cameras go to a locker room interview with The Legion of Doom conducted by Sean Mooney. All four are laughing profusely when the cameras go to them. “Gentleman, with all due respect, I must say I was absolutely appalled at your actions on Superstars. How can you justify your attack on Andre the Giant that ended his legendary career?” There is silence as both The Road Warriors and The Ultimate Warrior stare daggers at Seam Mooney. Paul Ellering breaks the silence by saying “I’ll tell you why Mooney: No one insults us and gets away with it.NO ONE! We came out and out of the goodness of our hearts, offered Andre a share in a lucrative business deal. Easy Money! And a shot at the WWF Title- not that Warrior here wouldn’t have dismantled him like he did when the big oaf challenged him for the Intercontinental Title a couple of years back- but that’s beside the point. Andre not only turned us down, he told us he was going to help out Hogan- the same Hogan who kept him at bay all those years. BIG MISTAKE! Your thoughts, boys?” “That’s right, Paul!” Animal responds. “Fat man, you got in the way of The Legion of Doom and you paid the price! Let that be a lesson to all the would be heroes out there that aren’t 7’4 500 pound wrestling legends. Tell ‘em Hawk! “WELL, Andre, look on the bright side. You’re going to have a lot more time to work on your English!” he says to laughs from his crew. “And Hulk Hogan your turns coming real soon and this time your old lady won’t be there to protect you! And as for you Kerry…” he finishes with a chuckle. “Von Erich!” The Ultimate Warrior says in a deep, entranced voice. “I chose you for Survivor Series because I thought you were a true warrior, only to find out you were anything but a true warrior. I warn you that your time of eminent destruction at the hands of The Ultimate Warrior is at hand. Repent to the gods now if you want any chance of utter survival!” At that Sean Mooney says “Back to you, Gorilla!”
Right before his match, Sean Mooney’s “twin” Ian now interviews The Texas Tornado. “Kerry, in just moments, you are going to be going out to meet The Ultimate Warrior in what is without a doubt the biggest match of your life. I guess I just have to ask ‘How are you feeling?’” “Well Ian,” Kerry responds, “I, like everyone else, is still distraught over what the Legion of Doom did to Andre the Giant- he and I have been friends for a long time. But, as we all know, the show must go on. I do plan on winning the World Wrestling Federation Title tonight for Andre who I pray will beat the doctor’s predictions and one day return to the ring. But Ultimate Warrior, you say I should repent to the gods? Not uh. There’s only one God, and I’m sending you to meet him!” Kerry says then punches his right fist into his left hand to conclude the interview.
Kerry music hits and he comes out to a rousing ovation. He stops halfway to the ring and looks back… and Hulk Hogan comes walking out! He catches up to Kerry and the two go the rest of the way to the ring together as the crowd roars its approval. The Ultimate Warrior’s music then hits and he and “Precious” Paul- followed by Hawk and Animal- come striding down the ring. It takes everything Earl Hebner has to keep the two sides separated. He demands that both Hulk Hogan and The Road Warriors leave the ringside area, and they both begrudgingly do- after repeated threats of an instant disqualification. “God speed and go get ‘em Kerry!” Hulk tells Von Erich as he heads back.
The bell rings and the two rivals lock up. Warrior pushes Kerry away, showing his superior strength. He taunts his challenger with a double arm flex. They lock up again to identical results. They lock up a third time but this time Kerry hits an armdrag, bounces up and taunts the Warrior with a double arm flex of his own. Not being able to take his own medicine, the Warrior charges him and winds up on the wrong end of a hip toss. He gets up to be met with a hard Von Erich drop kick that lights all of downtown Miami up. Warrior crawls to the ropes looking very distraught. “Concentrate like I told you!” “Precious” Paul yells from the outside. Warrior slowly gets up and slows the pace down against the quicker and more technically skilled Von Erich. This strategy works well as Kerry is too skilled to fall victim to the Warrior’s typical nonstop onslaught. The two superstars go back and forth, as they know each other quite well it makes for a very interesting match. But the sheer strength and determination of The Ultimate Warrior seems to give him the needed edge. After holding the advantage for several minutes, he slams Kerry from one corner to the other and follows up with a hard clothesline. He then lifts his hands up and starts shaking, signaling for his finishing hold. Warrior picks Kerry up, but as he lifts him, Kerry slides over his right shoulder and locks in the iron claw! Knowing this could be curtains, The Ultimate Warrior struggles, pulls and kicks with all his might. After several excruciating seconds, Warrior can feel the grip loosening, but Kerry again takes him by surprise by releasing the hold and connecting with a perfect discus punch, dropping the champion hard. The crowd erupts as Kerry covers the champion. Earl Hebner counts 1-2 and the Warrior is saved from 3 only by Paul Ellering putting his foot on top of the bottom rope. Kerry jumps up furious, screaming bloody murder at Ellering. Hebner questions him, but Ellering shrugs and says he was not involved. As the Warrior is getting up, Kerry helps him to his feet, and throws him across the ring for a flying cross body press, but The Warrior having recovered catches him, both literally and by surprise, lifts him up, drops him hard and follows up with a devastating running splash, after which Earl Hebner counts 1-2-3.
The crowd has had its wind knocked out of it, but they are still eagerly anticipating The Royal Rumble and are anxious to see who will win the coveted WrestleMania VII World Title Shot. The rules are simple. Two men start out. Then every two minutes another wrestler, determined by a pre-match drawing, comes out. This goes on until the last man’s number, 30, is called. The only way to be eliminated is to be thrown over the top rope to the floor. Additionally, managers are not allowed at ringside.
Finally, the big moment arrives. The first contestant is… Mr. Perfect! He arrogantly strides to the ring, looking like he drew number 30 instead of 1. Bobby Heenan escorts him down, but referee Shane McMahon makes sure “The Brain” doesn’t stay. After giving his charge some last minute advice, Heenan leaves. Howard Finkel then calls the second contestant’s name and it is… The Big Bossman! “This doesn’t fare well for “The Hulkster” Gorilla Monsoon comments. The two hated rivals go at it, the Bossman still sore at Mr. Perfect’s manager, Bobby Heenan, for the comments he made about his mother several months back. This goes on till number 3 is called and that is World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Champion, Bret Hart. The Rumble gradually progresses with athletes entering and being eliminated. Eventually, number 14 is called and it is Road Warrior Hawk! He runs down, at this point the Big Bossman has already been eliminated by “Nasty Boy” Jerry Sags and “The Macho King” Randy Savage. Those two along with Mr. Perfect, Bret Hart, Bushwhacker Butch, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Hercules Hernandez and Greg Valentine are all still in it, with Rick Martel, Paul Roma, Saba Simba and Demolition Smash having been eliminated. And Hawk wastes no time showing his prowess, eliminating both Jake “The Snake” and Hercules, showing he is all business. Meanwhile, Mr. Perfect eliminates Bushwhacker Butch. The next name is called and it is the other Nasty Boy, Bran Knobbs. “Fifteen up, fifteen left.” Gorilla Monsoon informs the Pay Per View audience. No one is eliminated in the next two minutes. Then the next name is called and it’s none other than the feared newcomer, The Undertaker! He wastes no time kicking butt and taking names, eliminating the legendary Greg “The Hammer” Valentine. Then number seventeen is called and the crowd erupts as “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan storms to the ring, Joey Marella having to almost yank his 2X4 from him. “Hacksaw” wastes no time b-lining for Hawk and the two behemoths go at it. “Macho” King Randy Savage then hits Duggan from behind and he gets it bad from both of them. Number 18 is called and it is Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, the other half of the tag team champions. He assists his partner, “The Hitman” who is struggling in the corner with Mr. Perfect, and The Hart Foundation eliminates the number one entrant. They give each other a double high five. However, their glory does not last long as The Undertaker targets them, pummeling them both. He eliminates “The Anvil” and throws “The Hitman” over the top as well. “He landed on the apron. ‘The Hitman’s’ still in this one.” Gorilla Monsoon commentates as Bret rolls back into the ring. It’s time for number 19 and the crowd oohs and aahs as Road Warrior Animal comes charging down. He immediately helps Hawk and Savage out with “Hacksaw” who is the worst for wear. Number 20 is called… and it’s HULK HOGAN! The crowd erupts as “The Hulkster” storms down to the ring. He eyes The Road Warriors, but Knobs and Sags, also under contract with Jimmy Hart, charge him first. They soon regret said action as Hulk Hogan uses their heads for cymbals and their spinal cords for drums, eliminating them both simultaneously in short order. He then helps out “Hacksaw” against The Road Warriors and Savage, the action being ferocious as a pit-bull fight. Number 21 is called and it’s “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith. He enters right before The Undertaker can eliminate Bret Hart and taking the big man by surprise, dumps him over, though he lands on his feet. He and Bulldog help out Hulk and “Hacksaw” against The Road Warriors and Savage. Number 22 is called and it’s Haku. He quickly jumps into the fray. Two minutes later, “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka is called and he immediately helps out his old friend Hulk Hogan against The Road Warriors, Savage with Haku now being preoccupied with Bret and Davey Boy. The tide really turns though when 24 is called, as it’s Dino Bravo. Animal manages to eliminate Jimmy Snuka even before Bravo gets to the ring. The trio then really takes it to Hulk and “Hacksaw”. After two long minutes, Number 25 is called and it’s Demolition Crush, a dangerous fresh big man with no real loyalties to anyone left in the Rumble. He lays low, preferring not to waste unnecessary energy.”Smart move from that one.” Roddy Piper comments. 26 is called and it’s Bushwhacker Luke who comes down doing the Bushwhacker arm thrust. As soon as he enters Crush throws him over the top rope and he sets a new record of shortest time at only 4 seconds. “That’s one for the record book for the ages!” Gorilla Monsoon exclaims as Luke has landed on his feet and continues his stride back to the locker room. Crush lifts his hands up like a champion, gloating. A costly error, for the second he turns around, The British Bulldog nails him with a clothesline, eliminating him. Bulldog and Haku then start slugging it out. The Road Warriors and Dino Bravo are able to throw “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan over the top rope and are on the verge of doing the same to “The Hulkster” when the horn for number 27 blows and it is Tugboat. The gentle giant charges down to the ring as fast as possible to rescue his buddy, and arrives just in the nick of time. Even with a 2 on 3 disadvantage, Hogan and Tugboat hold their own against the heel triad. The horn blows for 28 and out charges Tito Santana, who runs full speed to the ring. “Tito may want to slow down, that’s a good way for an early elimination.” says Roddy Piper. “You got that right.” Gorilla responds. Tito slides in the ring and he and “The Macho King” start slugging it out. At this point, Bret and Bulldog are on the verge of eliminating Haku when Santana and Savage bump into them. Having just downed Dino Bravo, Tugboat sees an opening, rushes over and dumps all five men over! “Holy Cow, that may be a new record as well!” Gorilla exclaims. Everyone but “The Macho King” leaves peacefully after getting up, but he argues futilely with the ringside officials. The fighting continues, but when the horn blows for contestant 29, everyone stops fighting and looks down the aisle… and NO ONE comes down. 29 was HIS number. The Road Warriors and Dino Bravo gloat at this and it sets Hulk and Tugboat ablaze. In no time Tugboat is unbelievably manhandling both Road Warriors and Hulk Hogan is showing Dino Bravo that he in fact is NOT the “World’s Strongest Man”. Having them both thoroughly stunned, Tugboat runs across the ropes to hit them both with a double clothesline, but a still arguing Randy Savage sees his opportunity and pulls the rope down, eliminating Tugboat and gaining his revenge. Hogan has just bodyslammed Dino Bravo and is about to approach him when Bravo backs up to Hawk and Animal who have just turned around. Bravo gets up and the three heels grin at Hogan like nothing one’s ever seen. Hogan shows genuine fear, his eyes are wide open, his jaw dropped and his body starts to shake. “Oh no.” Roddy Piper says. “Oh no, is right.” Responds Gorilla Monsoon. “There’s only one wrestler left and all four of them know who it is.” Deciding to play with their food like jackals and take a short breather, Hawk, Animal and Dino Bravo all stand and grin like sharks at Hogan, Hawk taking his right pointer finger and making a vertical motion across his neck. Finally, the clock counts down 5…4…3…2…1…0… the horn blows and out comes the last contestant, Earthquake. The gigantic Canadian slowly but surely approaches the ring, and he has a killer look on his eyes every bit as deadly as the tiger tattooed on his right arm. “He needs to get out of there.” Piper says. “They’ll kill him.” “He’ll never run.” Gorilla responds. “I’m afraid of that.” Piper says. After what seems like an eternity, Earthquake reaches the ring. He shakes hands with Hawk and Animal and then gives Dino Bravo a particularly warm embrace. The four then turn around and slowly circle in on Hulk Hogan who puts up his dukes, ready to go down fighting. But before, any of them can touch Hogan, Earthquake grabs Dino Bravo by the shoulder, spins him around and waylays him! The entire arena, combatants and audience alike, are in shock. Not knowing or caring why, Hulk Hogan attacks The Road Warriors with everything he has while Earthquake goes after Dino Bravo. After stunning Animal, Hogan and Hawk struggle to the ropes and Hogan is able to dump him over. Animal then charges, but Hogan counters with a backdrop and sends him to join his partner. Hogan then joins Earthquake in a well deserved double team of Dino Bravo and in no time “The Canadian Strongman” is eliminated. Hogan and Earthquake then stand in the middle of the ring staring at one another. Earthquake offers Hogan his hand and after several seconds, Hogan finally shakes it. Earthquake then nods, walks over the top rope to the floor, thereby eliminating himself, and giving Hulk Hogan the Royal Rumble win … and the WrestleMania VII World Title shot.
Our story continues fresh on the heels of the 1991 Royal Rumble. To say the WWF has been turned topsy turvy over the last two months would be a gross understatement. Beloved fan favorites The Ultimate Warrior and The Road Warriors are now the most hated men in wrestling and at the Royal Rumble, Earthquake, voted 1990’s Most Hated Wrestler by Pro Wrestling Illustrated, saves Hulk Hogan, the man whose career he almost ended for good just months back, from certain doom. And no one seems to know why…
On the first post Royal Rumble Superstars, a major announcement is made about the upcoming The Main Event NBC special: Its main event will be The Ultimate Warrior defending the World Wrestling Federation Championship against Earthquake. Additionally, Tugboat has demanded and gotten a match against “The Macho King” Randy Savage. A large bulk of the show is spent recapping The Royal Rumble. It is also announced that both The Legion of Doom and Hulk Hogan will be interviewed on the upcoming Wrestling Challenge. The main event that week is a well fought contest between The Orient Express challenging The Hart Foundation for the World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Titles. It is a great match, with the Japanese duo nearly taking the gold. But in the end, the Harts win after they hit Tanaka with the Hart Attack. The good times do not last though as Hawk and Animal storm the ring immediately after, with Paul Ellering acting as general. Already fatigued after a hard fought match, Hawk and Animal lay waste to the tag champs, each winding up on the wrong end of the Doomsday Device. They then pick up their tag belts and hold them for several seconds until Paul Ellering says “Soon enough, boys.” At which they throw the belts down on the fallen champions.
The Wrestling Challenge begins with announcing both interviews for later on.
After the first match, Vince McMahon goes down to the ring to interview The Legion of Doom. The hated foursome is announced and come down to resounding boos.
“Music to my ears. Music to my ears.” “Precious” Paul gloats. “‘Precious’ Paul Ellering, The Ultimate Warrior, The Road Warriors,” Vince McMahon begins. “I think it’s safe to say you four have some explaining to do.” “Explaining?” Animal says. “Let me tell you something McMahon, we don’t have to explain nothing to no one!” “Well at least tell us why you attacked The Hart Foundation.” “You want to know why, McMahon?” Paul Ellering asks. “I’ll tell you. Two reasons: 1. That twerp Bret Hart helped Hulk Hogan out in The Royal Rumble. He should’ve known better. 2. My sons have been decimating everyone in this crummy place since they got here. And they haven’t gotten ONE title shot. Not one. Not even an offer. So, we decided to ask… in our own way!” He says with a grin and a chuckle. “That’s right!” Hawk says. “Hart, Neidhart, enjoy those belts now, because your days with them are numbered… Ohhh… What a Rush!” “And what do you gentleman have to say about The Ultimate Warrior’s upcoming match at The Main Event with Earthquake?” McMahon asks. Paul Ellering responds “Earthquake… change of heart, mid-life crisis, not enough attention from mommy as a kid, we don’t care. You double crossed The Legion of Doom. You’re dead. A dead fat man walking. Know what else? I and this man,” He says pointing to The Ultimate Warrior, “went to Jack Tunney’s office and demanded this match. Yeah, that’s right. We were willing to put up the World Wrestling Federation Title so we can end your career on prime time.” “EARTHQUAKE!” The Warrior screams. “You betrayed The Legion. But rest assured as sure as I will destroy Hulk Hogan once and for all at WrestleMania, I will destroy you once and for all at The Main Event. And the gods will take your fat carcass down to the underworld and use it as canoe across the River Styx!” he says to end the interview.
After the final match of the card, Vince McMahon returns to the ring. “Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming the man who will meet The World Wrestling Federation Champion at WrestleMania VII, Hulk Hogan! The crowd goes haywire as “Real American” plays and “The Hulkster” comes down as energetic as ever.
After tearing his shirt off, he shakes Vince McMahon’s hand. “Hulk, first off, congratulations on winning The Royal Rumble. You earned it.” McMahon says as the crowd roars. “Thank you, Vince. And let me tell you, that was for Andre, brother!” Hogan says to a deafening pop. “And if The Legion of Doom thinks that business is done, those dudes better think again. Because Hulk Hogan won’t rest until I’ve avenged my big buddy!” “Yes, and speaking of ‘Big Buddies’, what about Earthquake?” Hogan goes silent for a second, then speaks. “Well Vince, I don’t know what to say about Earthquake. My best guess is that the Big Man upstairs opened his eyes and he dug deep down in that wretched heart of his and saw the light. But you’ve got to ask him about that. At any rate, I wish him the best of luck against The Ultimate Warrior at The Main Event… Oh and speaking of The Main Event, ‘Precious’ Paul, you’re not the only one who had a talk with Jack Tunney. I went and demanded a match, too and I got it!” The crowd stirs as Vince McMahon asks “Really, with whom?” “Against the Road Warriors and Dino Bravo! And I got two great partners. In fact, allow me to introduce them right now- Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart and Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart- The Hart Foundation!” The crowd erupts as the tag team champions proudly walk down the ring, warmly greeting their fans along the way. They shake Vince and Hulk’s hand and then Bret Hart takes the microphone. “Thank you for those kind works, Hulk.” He says as Hogan nods. “So The Road Warriors think that The Hart Foundation has been ducking them? Well come Main Event time, they’re gonna find out just how much we’ve been ducking them. Jim and I don’t duck anybody!” he says as “The Anvil nods in agreement. “And did I help Hulk out at the Rumble? You’re darn right I did! He’s my friend. And unlike The Road Warriors, he’s a REAL AMERICAN, just as unlike Dino Bravo, that big baby, I’m a REAL CANADIAN!” “You call yourselves ‘Hawk and Animal’.” The Anvil says. “Well in just two weeks, you’re going to see how much of an animal I am when I eat you alive!” he says, finishing with a diabolical laugh. “And Road Warriors and Dino Bravo, whatcha gonna do, when Hulk Hogan and The Hart Foundation destroy you?” Hogan says to end the interview show as the crowd erupts.
Leading up to The Main Event, it is announced that before his WWF Title shot, Earthquake will be interviewed so he can explain his recent change of heart.
February 1, 1991: The Main Event
“7,500 strong at the Macon Coliseum, waiting with baited breath for tonight’s action packed card. But let’s first go backstage where “The Macho King” Randy Savage and Queen Sherri are standing by with “Mean” Gene Okerlund.” Vince McMahon says. “‘Mean’ Gene.”
“Thank you, Vince. ‘Macho’ King Randy Savage, the always lovely Queen Sherri, how can you explain your actions at The Royal Rumble?” “Eww yeah, The Royal Rumble. The day the ‘Macho King’ was supposed to win the title shot at WrestleMania to regain his crown. But that never came to fruition now, did it? Why? Because that no good Hulk Hogan stooge, Tugboat, took me by surprise and tossed me over. Well, I didn’t take too kindly that. I got a little revenge then and I plan on getting a lot tonight. DIG IT?! “But Tugboat eliminated you fair and square. And he is mad!” counters Okerlund. “Gene do you think my man cares if Tugboat’s mad or not? Randy is going to tear Tugboat apart!” says a typically loud Sherri. “Fat man, watch out for the elbow. It’s comin’! Ewww yeah!” Savage says.
The bell rings and “The Macho King” and Queen Sherri come down to “Pomp and Circumstance”. Then Tugboat’s foghorn blows and the big man comes down in an untypically not jolly mood. “Those eyes! He’s serious!” says “Rowdy” Roddy Piper on commentary.
Tugboat gets to the ring and as soon as the bell rings again he charges Savage, who notwithstanding his trash talking moments ago, quickly exits the ring. Referee Danny Davis demands “Macho” return who replies by pointing to Tugboat and saying “Check him.” Davis demands Tugboat let Savage return safely which he begrudgingly does. The two then lock up and Tugboat throws “The Macho King” to the ground. Savage gets up and tries again to identical results. He does it a third time and this time gets a bodyslam for his efforts. Lightening up a little, Tugboat does a downwards pull motion and yells “Toot” to the crowd’s approval. Realizing he cannot take Tugboat head on, Savage starts using more “hit and run” type moves and focuses on his much larger opponent’s legs. This evens the match up considerably. But Tugboat’s anger, combined with Danny Davis’ excellent job of keeping Sherri at bay, help him largely dominate the match. “A victory over Savage would catapult his career.” says “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. “That it would.” agrees Vince McMahon. After a hard bodyslam Tugboat goes for his finishing splash, but Savage moves his knees up at the last second, injuring Tugboat. Though stunned, Savage climbs the top rope and hits Tugboat perfectly with his diving double ax handle right as he gets up. “The Macho King” then ascends the ropes once more, hits his diving elbow drop and gets the hard earned three. Sherri quickly embraces her man and the two go back to the dressing room as pleased as can be.
After a commercial break, Vince McMahon is now in the ring. “Ladies and Gentlemen, at this time, please welcome, Earthquake!” The crowd gives a loud approval as the until recently hated superstar comes down to the ring. “Welcome, Earthquake.” Vince McMahon says and shakes his hand. “Thank you.” Earthquake responds. “Well, everyone’s wondering Quake, so I’ll just come out and ask. ‘Why?’” Earthquake sighs and says “Yeah, that’s what I’ve been getting the last few weeks, alright. Here it is. I am known to all of you as Earthquake. But I am not just Earthquake. I am also a man. A man with a past. A very successful athletic past. I was a standout amateur wrestler and football player at LSU. After that I became the most successfully North American sumo wrestler in history, earning the prestigious title Kototenzan by the Japanese. But throughout it all, I’ve always wanted to be one thing-” he says pointing up with his second finger, “a professional wrestler. And as I’ve always been a giant among everyone I’ve ever been around, there’s only one wrestler I have always wanted to be like: Andre the Giant. People always ask me why I hated Hulk Hogan so much. Well the truth is I remember when he and Andre had their falling out how mad I was when Andre said how Hulk had used him and avoided giving him a title shot. Andre bought Bobby Heenan’s lies… and I guess that I did, too. That’s why I aligned myself with Jimmy Hart when I came to the World Wrestling Federation. I figured he could get me the chances I needed to make it to the top. But when I saw what The Legion of Doom did to Andre…” Earthquake says as he shakes his head. “And then seeing Hulk break down the way he did, I knew I had been wrong. But I plan on making things right. The first but by no means last step was at The Royal Rumble. Now that doesn’t mean I don’t want to win the World Wrestling Federation Title. I do more than anything. And if I beat Warrior tonight I will face Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania. But I will face him as a competitor not as an enemy, the way it should be. Thank you all.” He says to a rousing ovation.
After the break, it’s time for the big six man tag match. The Road Warriors and Dino Bravo come out first with both “Precious” Paul and “The Mouth of the South” with them. Then “Real American” hits and out comes Hulk Hogan and The Hart Foundation. They are of course cheered, very loudly. Trash talking on both sides is abound as Tim White struggles to keep them apart.
The bell rings and Animal starts off with “The Anvil”. The two powerhouses stare eye to eye, neither blinking. Finally, Animal slugs Neidhart, who promptly returns the favor. They go back and forth, and to much surprise, “The Anvil” gets the edge to the crowd’s cheers. Hawk and Dino Bravo jump in, followed in turn by Bret Hart and Hulk Hogan. The three faces quickly clear the ring to the Georgia’ crowd’s delight. The heels regroup outside, their two managers giving advice. “Slow it down, baby.” Jimmy Hart tells Animal. Finally, he reenters and rather than lock up tags Hawk. Neidhart responds by tagging Bret Hart. Though clearly at a strength disadvantage, Bret uses his skills to take the Road Warrior of his feet and put him in a stretch hold. He and his partners then work him over for several minutes. Eventually Hulk Hogan attempts to give him the leg drop, but he moves at the last second and Hogan lands the wrong way, hurting his leg. Hawk is able to tag in Dino Bravo, who is just able to cut Hulk Hogan from tagging out. “The Canadian Strongman” then takes it to the former champion. An intense bearhug almost takes him out, but Hogan scratches his way out. Bravo tags in Animal and he goes to work on Hogan. The heels dominate “The Hulkster” but he will not go down. After an intense Animal powerslam, he signals Hawk for The Doomsday Device. He makes the tag and Hawk climbs to the top. But Hulk struggles as Animal lifts him and is able to get him off balance and he stumbles right into the ropes with Hulk flying off his shoulders to the mat when they hit. This knocks Hawk midsection first in between the ropes then to the mat. Tim White orders Animal out and then it is a race to tag out between Hulk Hogan and Hawk. Hawk makes it to his corner first, tagging in Dino Bravo, but he can’t stop Hulk from tagging in Jim Neidhart! “The Anvil” comes in with a vengeance, taking it to Bravo. Animal runs in and is met by Bret Hart. The Hart Foundation shows just why they are the WWF Tag Team Champions, dominating their opponents. Tim White finally clears the ring of the illegal participants. Neidhart continues to dominate but misses a blind tag from Bravo to Hawk after he throws him into the corner. He connects with a powerslam but Bravo kicks out at 2. When “The Anvil” gets up, he is met with a hard Hawk top rope clothesline. Animal runs in to block Bret Hart and Hulk Hogan and thus The Road Warriors and Dino Bravo get the victory.
Bummed by two straight heel victories, the crowd nonetheless cheers enthusiastically for Earthquake who can still make the night a winner. Cool and confident, the huge Canadian knows he can do it. The Ultimate Warrior’s music hits and he comes down with a still elated but wisely cautious “Precious” Paul. Giving his man last minute instructions, The Warrior slowly enters the ring and the two opponents give each other a stare down.
Finally Earl Hebner calls for the start and the two lock up. Both men used to physically dominating their opponents, neither is able to do so in this match. It is an intense power struggle, with The Ultimate Warrior’s sheer strength versus Earthquake’s enormous mass. But for everything the champion throws out, the challenger seems to have an answer and then some. “Today seems like Earthquake’s night.” Vince McMahon says. And indeed it does. But the World Wrestling Federation Champion, hated or not, can never be counted out. He struggles back and takes it to his challenger. He even bodyslams him! But this proves to be costly as the Warrior starts holding his back while his face writhes in pain. Meanwhile, Earthquake makes his way back up and after softening him up a bit, bodyslams the Warrior. Quake then starts jumping signaling for his Earthquake (running seated senton) finisher. He starts to run at the Warrior, but just before he can deliver it, Dino Bravo charges in the ring and nails Earthquake with a steel chair. Earl Hebner instantly calls for the disqualification, giving Earthquake the win but not the WWF Title. With Jimmy Hart egging him on with “Get him, Dino!” “The Canadian Strongman” takes it to his former partner, busting him wide open with the chair. “He may have broken an arm with that shot… and a leg with that one!” Roddy Piper exclaims. It is not until Hulk Hogan, returning the favor from The Royal Rumble, charges in with a chair of his own does Dino Bravo flee the ring. “The Hulk” checks on his fallen former foe as The Main Event goes off the air.
February – March 1991
It is announced that though Earthquake was bruised and bloodied, he thankfully did not sustain any serious injuries and would immediately return to action. Also, based on his disqualification victory against The Ultimate Warrior and because Dino Bravo caused it, Earthquake will face Dino Bravo at WrestleMania VII on March 24 at the Los Angeles Coliseum for the Intercontinental Title. Furthermore, since Hawk pinned Jim Neidhart, The Road Warriors have been granted a WWF Tag Team Title shot at WrestleMania against The Hart Foundation.
On the next Wrestling Challenge, Dino Bravo and Jimmy Hart give an interview, explaining Bravo’s actions. “Earthquake, you really thought we were going to let you get away with that treachery?” Jimmy Hart asks. “You blew my big deal and cost this man” pointing to Bravo “a shot at the World Wrestling Federation Title at WrestleMania. And speaking of WrestleMania, come March 24, you’re gonna pay!” he says with a big laugh. “Earthquake,” Dino Bravo says, “you turned on your manager, you turned on Canada and you on turned on ‘The World’s Strongest Man’. Well, you can thank Hulk Hogan for your reprieve, but I can guarantee you he won’t be there to save you in LA. He’ll be preparing for his own demise. Watch out fat man, Dino Bravo’s coming for you.”
The Road to WrestleMania proves to be as rough as ever as the various participants duke it out in seven weeks of preliminary matches.
On the February 16 edition of Superstars, Hulk Hogan and Earthquake meet The Ultimate Warrior and Dino Bravo in a tag team match. Everyone wonders how the two former babyface foes will work as a team. It turns out that due to the sheer brutality displayed and blatant rule breaking in the match that their skills as a team are never discovered. Referee Joey Marella does his best, but from the get go not one of the four wrestlers obeys him. His five count is repeatedly ignored by all contestants. He catches Paul Ellering red handed giving The Ultimate Warrior a hand chain and confiscates it and admonishes Ellering as he put his hands up and shrugs his shoulders, feigning ignorance. Hulk Hogan repeatedly bites the Warrior’s scalp like it was a t-bone. Earthquake and Dino Bravo are no better, Earthquake repeatedly threatening Jimmy Hart who continuously taunts him with his megaphone. “You’re dead, fat boy.” “The Mouth of the South” repeats over and over. Finally realizing this one is lost, Marella calls for the bell, ruling this one a double disqualification. This does not in any way cease the fighting, as Hulk Hogan grabs Jimmy Hart’s microphone after the manager has just stood on the apron and proceeds to slam it into his upcoming WrestleMania opponent’s skull. Paul Ellering enters the ring and starts punching Hogan with a fist wrapped with another chain. Dino Bravo and Earthquake are on the ringside floor slugging it out. Superstars goes off the air with the fighting unabated and it is several minutes until building security finally pulls all parties apart.
In the week leading to the next edition of Superstars it is announced that WWF President Jack Tunney will be making an important announcement concerning the activity on last week’s show.
When Superstars comes around, after a couple of matches, the camera goes to President Tunney’s office. “While I fully realize that in a contact sport like wrestling tempers will fly, what happened last week here on Superstars went beyond the bounds of acceptable behavior. WAY beyond the bounds. That type of behavior will not be tolerated here in the World Wrestling Federation. I am fining each wrestling $10,000 and each manager $5,000 for their heinous actions. Further repeat of said behavior will lead to larger fines or even a suspension. All ought to feel very lucky that I have the fans desire for WrestleMania to go as planned to consider. And that is another matter I need to discuss. It is blatantly obvious that “Precious” Paul Ellering cannot help but interfere in his men’s matches. It is also blatantly obvious that a regular wrestling match will not be sufficient to contain the temper, emotions and egos of either champion The Ultimate Warrior or challenger Hulk Hogan. Therefore, at WrestleMania VII, the WWF Title rematch will take place inside a steel cage. The first man to escape will be declared both the winner and champion. Thank you.”
This startling announcement by the president sets the wrestling world on fire. Not since WrestleMania II, fittingly enough at the neighboring Los Angeles Sports Arena, has the main event been inside a steel cage. Both men swear they will tear the other apart and end his career.
In spite of Jack Tunney’s warning, the out of control fights continue. Fines rack up, but Jack Tunney, realizing the fan’s rabid interest in seeing all come to a head, cannot bring himself to issue a suspension.
Nine days before WrestleMania on the Madison Square Garden Network, major build up matches to the big night take place. Bret Hart is given a WWF Title shot against The Ultimate Warrior. And in what could lead to a role reversal of last year’s WrestleMania, Hulk Hogan is given an Intercontinental Title shot against Dino Bravo.
The WWF Champion is interviewed by “Mean” Gene, along with “Precious” Paul. “Warrior, Paul Ellering, while I know WrestleMania must be on your mind, you cannot dismiss an athlete the caliber of Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart.” “Gene,” Ellering says “Bret Hart is a great wrestler. But come on, this man” pointing to The Ultimate Warrior, “is a phenom. You think anything Hart learned in his daddy’s dungeon can prepare him for the onslaught of the Warrior? You will notice we are not in the last match. That’s because a reliable source told us that Hulk Hogan was plotting an attack tonight to soften the Warrior up for WrestleMania. Well now Hogan’s match is last, so he won’t be doing that.” “Bret Hart, tonight in the Garden, I will completely annihilate you. You will never be able to take my title from me! I will leave ‘The Anvil’ a big, fat widow!” The Warrior says. “Oh my!” “Mean Gene” responds.
Right before the WWF Title Match, “The Hitman” is interviewed, also by “Mean” Gene. “Bret Hart, tonight is the biggest match of your career: A chance for you to go into WrestleMania VII as the World Wrestling Federation Champion.” “Gene, you just said a mouthful. And I know how tall of a mountain The Ultimate Warrior is to climb. But ‘The Hitman’ is more than up to the task. I’ve been training for this day my entire life. And Paul Ellering, you stick your nose in my match, and I’ll knock it right off!”
The bell rings and Bret Hart comes down to resounding cheers with a fierce look in his eyes. Then The Warrior’s music hits and he and “Precious” Paul come down to a barrage of jeers. Joey Marella calls for the bell and the two lock up, with Bret surprising the Warrior with an amateur takedown. He pins the Warrior down for several seconds until he finally forces his way out, then The Ultimate Warrior storms to the corner embarrassed and frustrated, kicking and hitting the ropes. He finally turns back to a grimacing “Hitman” and charges at him, only to be taken down again with a drop toe hold. Hart then messes Warrior’s hair up and lets him up. Now Warrior is beside himself and goes to the ropes and starts shaking them. “Calm down, son!” “Precious” Paul tells him. “You know how to beat him.” Warrior obeys and slowly walks back to Bret. This time he has some success, hitting him with a hard forearm across the back and working him over. Warrior works Bret over for a couple minutes, but a missed turnbuckle charge gives Bret Hart a renewed advantage. He works on the champions legs, realizing if he can’t stand, he can’t use his intense power. After dodging a clothesline and connecting one of his own, The Warrior briefly regains the advantage. But after throwing Bret into the ropes and trying for a dropkick, “The Hitman” grabs the ropes and The Warrior misses. Seizing the opportunity, Bret locks in his sharpshooter. “He’s been working on this one for a while!” “Gorilla” Monsoon says on commentary. Bret squeezes with all his might while the Warrior writhes in pain. Using all his strength, the Warrior is just able to make it to the ropes. Initially Bret will not break, so Joey Marella starts his five count, with Bret breaking at four. He goes right back to work on the Warrior, focusing again on the legs. He goes for the sharpshooter again, but this time the champ is ready and kicks him away. Fate not smiling upon him, “The Hitman” goes headfirst into a top turnbuckle. With a rush of adrenaline, the Warrior charges him and nails a devastating clothesline from behind, knocking his challenger senseless. He then picks him up over his head, drops him, runs across the ropes and connects with a big running splash, getting a hard earned victory.
The Ultimate Warrior with Paul Ellering at his side for support walks back to the dressing room triumphantly. When Bret Hart gets up, the challenger gets a well deserved applause from the New York crowd. “Watch that chap, one day he will go all the way.” says a very impressed “Lord” Alfred Hayes.
The still pumped crowd then elates again at the sound of “Real American”. Hulk Hogan, coming down for his title match against Dino Bravo, shows every bit the determination the fans are expecting for WrestleMania. Then Dino Bravo comes down with Jimmy Hart, “The Mouth” whispering to his charge last minute advice. Earl Hebner rings the bell and champion and challenger go right at it. Hogan shows dominance early on, but Dino Bravo, a seasoned veteran and maybe the stronger of the two, is able to turn the tide. He eventually locks Hogan in an abdominal stretch and seemingly stretches the life out of him. Hogan looks like he wants to give in but then he starts shaking and Dino Bravo shows visible panic. He squeezes even harder, but to no avail. Hogan is able to hiptoss his way out and then follows up on “The Canadian Strongman”. He ducks a Bravo haymaker and picks up and bodyslams him. He starts to run across the ropes for the legdrop, but before he can execute it, The Ultimate Warrior storms in the ring. Hogan attacks him and the two start slugging it out as the crowd roars at this sneak peak of the WrestleMania headline. Unfortunately, Dino Bravo turns it into a two on one and the crowd boos profusely. But they perk up once Earthquake storms down to Hulk Hogan’s aid. However, before long Hawk, Animal and Paul Ellering all hit the ring and turn the odds again towards the heels. But The Hart Foundation quickly evens things back up for the babyfaces. Alas, today is not to be their day as Jimmy Hart’s other three charges, The Mountie and The Nasty Boys, join the fray. Stunning Bret and then Hulk with his cattle prod, The Mountie brags that he just “got his men”. With an eight on four advantage, the Legion of Doom and Jimmy Hart’s stable waylay their popular nemeses, leaving them all beaten, bruised, bloodied and battered.
After getting a report of this latest incident, WWF President Jack Tunney is rumored to have doubled his already large intake of valium. Talking to Pro Wrestling Illustrated, he says, “My heart will rest easy on March 25.” But before March 25, comes…
March 24, 1991: WrestleMania VII
The biggest day on the WWF’s calendar has arrived. The greatest spectacle in sports entertainment, WrestleMania. The over 70,000 on hand for this one are promised a night to remember.
Before any matches start, Howard Finkel makes an announcement: Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming back, The Eighth Wonder of the World, ANDRE THE GIANT!” The crowd roars as Andre, in the front row and on crutches, waves at all his loyal fans.
Moments before his big match, Earthquake is interviewed by “Mean” Gene Okerlund. “Earthquake”, tonight is the night. Millions of fans around the world and tens of thousands on hand here at the LA Coliseum are watching.” “Gene, you said it. Tonight is the night. And Dino, you say I am a traitor? Well, I’m no traitor. You don’t represent Canada anymore than Jimmy Hart represents the United States. But what you do represent is a man who has no business being Intercontinental Champion. And tonight I’m going to rectify that misdeed! Watch out LA, an Earthquake’s about to hit and it’s off the Richter scale!”
The challenger then makes his way to the ring to deafening applause. “This is one Earthquake they’re not running from here at the LA Coliseum, but I can’t say the same for Dino Bravo!” Gorilla Monsoon commentates. “Dino Bravo is going to make that Earthquake look like a baby tremor” Bobby Heenan responds. “We’ll see about that, ‘Brain’! We’ll see about that!” Upon seeing Andre, Earthquake walks over and shakes his longtime idol’s hand after which Andre wishes him well. Dino Bravo then comes down with Jimmy Hart to resounding boos, not caring one iota.
Danny Davis calls for the bell. The former partners stare down one another without a blink. They finally lock up and push each other away. They lock up again to similar results. Then a third time, at which Dino Bravo puts Earthquake into a headlock. But the challenger throws him off and takes the Intercontinental Champion down with a shoulder block. Keeping up the assault, Earthquake lets the self proclaimed “World’s Strongest Man” have it, even connecting a dropkick on him. “I think I felt the Coliseum move!” Bobby Heenan says. A rake to the eyes buys Dino Bravo time and he turns the tide on Earthquake. “World’s Strongest” or not, Dino Bravo is a powerhouse. And he shows this by using a series of suplexes on his gargantuan challenger. Thinking he has Quake beat, he sets him up for the gutwrench suplex, but the challenger blocks. He tries it again but Earthquake picks Bravo up and takes him down with a Samoan drop. Both stunned, Earthquake eventually covers Bravo but gets only two. Both get up slowly. Earthquake goes for a forearm blow, but Bravo blocks and hits one of his own. Earthquake charges against the ropes and rushes at Bravo, but the champion catches him in a bearhug. Earthquake struggles but seems trapped, though he will not submit. Eventually he stops moving and Danny Davis checks his hand. 1… 2… and he shows life at the last second! Bravo squeezes harder, but Earthquake fights on. Then, rather than breaking the hold he puts the squeeze on Dino Bravo. “It’s a test of strength!” Gorilla Monsoon exclaims. With his massive bulk as a decisive advantage, Earthquake soon takes control. Seeing disaster, Jimmy Hart jumps on the apron and tries to distract Danny Davis. Earthquake, knowing his former manager’s shenanigans all too well, releases the hold, drags Bravo over to him by the hair, grabs Hart, and slams their heads together!. He then bodyslams Bravo right in the middle of the ring. Earthquake then starts jumping around him, runs across the ropes and nails him with the Earthquake! He makes the cover as the Coliseum goes wild, but before Danny Davis can count to 3, The Nasty Boys and The Mountie run in and cause the disqualification. Earthquake fights them off, but he can’t fend off all three. But fortunately, he doesn’t have to, as Tugboat runs down to even things up. In no time the two big men clear the ring. They stare at each other and then shake hands to mass approval. Tugboat lifts Earthquake’s hand in victory as the camera goes backstage to The Legion of Doom.
Given this “privilege”, Sean Mooney gives it his all. “‘Precious’ Paul Ellering, tonight is a monumental night for The Legion of Doom. The Road Warriors get their World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Title shot and the Ultimate Warrior is in the cage with Hulk Hogan.” “Mooney, tonight is the biggest night ever for The Legion of Doom! Tonight my sons fulfill their destiny when they take the World Tag Team Titles from The Hart Foundation and make them the discarded relics they are meant to be. And then,” laughing, “the Warrior finishes what he started at the Skydome last year and what we all” pointing to his men, “continued at Survivor Series. Hogan, you’re stuck in a cage. There’s no escape. At the end of tonight, Hulkamania is dead!” Road Warrior Animal chimes in “Hart, Neidhart, you got our belts. And in a few minutes, we’ll have them and your souls when we pound you into the hereafter. Tell ‘em Hawk! “Welll… Hart Foundation, you’ve beaten everyone, everyone but us! In fact, if you remember, we’re the ones who put those belts on you in the first place! And Jimmy Hart and Danny Davis did it for you the first time. So what do you think your chances are in a fair fight?” Hawk says to general laughter. “Ohhhh…. What a rush!” Finally The Ultimate Warrior says in a half trancelike state “Hogan…, today I am going to finally once and for all destroy you! Then NO ONE will ever again question who is wrestling’s true champion! Prepare to meet the god’s tonight Hogan. Hopefully they will be kinder than I!
The camera then goes to “Mean” Gene Okerlund with The Hart Foundation. “Bret “The Hitman” Hart, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, the two of you are moments away from what is without a doubt the biggest title defense of your careers. Any last minute thoughts?” “Gene,” Bret starts, “we’ve been training for this moment all our lives. Yeah, we got the belts, but The Road Warriors are and have always been the tag team by which all others are measured. And in front of this historic crowd at the Los Angeles Coliseum, we’re gonna show them that we do measure up!” “Gene,” “The Anvil” says while playing with his beard, “Hawk and Animal are tough, but The Hart Foundation’s the best. They don’t think we earned these belts? We’ll tonight we’re going to show them how we got ‘em!” he ends with a maniacal laugh.
The Road Warriors’ music hits and they come down with “Precious” Paul. All three give Andre arrogant grins as they walk to the ring, but he ignores them. Paul Ellering even sarcastically offers Andre his hand, but he still doesn’t budge. They finally back off and enter the ring when The Hart Foundation’s music plays and the WWF Tag Team Champions make their way down. All business, they don’t dare take their eyes off The Road Warriors for even one second.
Bret starts off with Hawk. Much larger than “The Hitman”, Hawk challenges Bret to a test of strength. Bret accepts, but quickly turns it into a takedown and works Hawk over. “Once you’re on that mat you’re the same size.” Gorilla Monsoon chimes in. Hawk fights his way up and looks not at all happy. Bret gives him a wide grin and the two lock up again. Hawk throws Bret across the ropes and Hawk leapfrogs him, then goes for a dropkick… but Bret holds on to the ropes and Hawk hits the mat hard. Bret grabs Hawk and tags in “The Anvil” and the two work Hawk over while “Precious” Paul voices his dissent. “Lot of nerve that one has.” Gorilla Monsoon says. Inevitably, the tide turns to the LOD, but the Harts will not be deterred, giving Hawk and Animal the fight of their lives. But eventually The Road Warriors now with a decisive advantage set Bret up for the Doomsday Device, but “The Anvil” stops it by gorilla slamming Hawk off the top rope. He then nails Animal with a clothesline. Seconds later he and Bret set up Hawk for the Hart Attack and connect dead on. The match is only saved by an interfering Animal. Joey Marella forces both Animal and Neidhart back to their corners. Bret continues the assault but both he and Joey Marella fail to notice Paul Ellering give Animal a chain as he is punching away at Hawk at the opposing ring post as the crowd counts. “The Hitman” then climbs down and throws Hawk into the corner- a fateful blunder. Bret connects with a clothesline but Animal cold cocks him and quickly hands the chain back to Paul Ellering. Hawk makes the cover and just back in position, Joey Marella counts to 3, giving The Road Warriors the WWF Tag Team Titles.
As Animal goes in to help out a still stunned Hawk, Paul Ellering goes for his team’s new tag belts… but is met by 7’4 500 pound Andre the Giant! Andre grabs him and proceeds to punch, headbutt, elbow and choke the hated manager to the crowd’s delight. When they finally notice, Hawk and Animal immediately make their way to Andre to rescue Ellering. But before they can, Earthquake and Tugboat blindside them and beat them down. Andre throws “Precious” Paul on top of them. The three mastodons then enter the ring, Earthquake and Tugboat helping Andre, who is carrying the WWF Tag Team Title belts! He throws them down at the younger men’s feet. When The Road Warriors get up and realize this they demand their belts. “Come and get ‘em!” The three giants tell them. Already beaten and bruised and with a very hurt manager, The Road Warriors, in a rare moment, turn down a fight. Andre then raises both Earthquake’s and Tugboat’s hands. “I don’t like the look of this Monsoon.” Bobby Heenan says. The three eventually all go back to the locker room together.
Moments before the main event, “Mean” Gene interviews Hulk Hogan. “Well Hulk, this is it, it all comes down to this. Any last thoughts?” Very uncharacteristically, Hogan calmly says, “Gene this is do or die time for Hulkamania. I’ve got the World Champion- a man who beat me fair and square last year- ready to destroy me once and for all. But I’ve trained harder for this match than for any other in my life. The Iron Sheik, Bundy, Orndorff, Andre, Macho Man- all pale in comparison to this one. The cage is vicious and it’s unforgiving, but it never lies. The best man will come out first tonight- I just hope it’s me.” “Hulk, I know I speak for all of us when I say, ‘Good luck and God Bless.” The two longtime friends shake hands as Hogan thanks him.
Seconds later, “Real American” hits and as uncharacteristic as Hulk Hogan was, those at the LA Coliseum would never have known it. He strides to the ring with a vengeance looking like he has someone marked for death, giving fives to fans the whole way. When he reaches the cage, he jumps on it and starts shaking it. He jumps down, circles the ring and then climbs his way in. He then rips his shirt off. Seconds later, The Ultimate Warrior’s music hits, or rather his old music. The Warrior storms down to the ring sans Paul Ellering, grabbing the cage and spastically shaking up his upper body up and down while holding the cage. “He’s doing this to remind Hogan just who beat him last year!” Bobby Heenan shrewdly observes. The Ultimate Warrior circles the cage, undoes his WWF Championship belt so it drops to the floor and then climbs in as well, pumped like the Warrior of old. Hulk Hogan just stares daggers at him. Finally the Warrior turns around and returns the stare. The two then slowly approach each other, Hogan’s lips pulsating, Warrior’s body shaking.
After what seems like an eternity, the bell rings. The stare down continues. The Warrior finally runs to the ropes and collides with Hogan… who doesn’t budge. Hogan then runs to the ropes and collides with the Warrior… who also does not budge. The two then both charge the ropes and collide into each other, both visibly stunned. Hogan then starts punching the Warrior, taking it to the World Champion. He throws him across the ring and goes for the big foot, but Warrior ducks and comes back across the ropes with a hard shoulder block taking “The Hulkster” down. He then lets the challenger have it. After only a minute, he signals, to the referee Earl Hebner to open the door and makes his way to the exit. However, Hulk Hogan puts a stop to it with a rake to the eyes. Hulk then takes it to the Warrior, hitting him with everything he has. After a devastating back drop suplex, Hogan starts to climb out the cage- only to make it halfway up before Warrior is just under him on his right. The World Champion rabbit punches Hogan, then nails a back drop suplex, stunning both of them, but much more Hogan than himself. Warrior gets up, looks up to “the gods” and says “Now I finish this!” At this Warrior gives Hulk Hogan everything he has. A devastating powerslam makes the ring shake. A clothesline nearly decapitates the former champion. After a lethal Samoan drop, Warrior picks Hogan up and slams him headfirst into the cage, busting him wide open. With a sadistic grin on his face, Warrior calls for the door and makes his way over. He is almost out, but Hulk Hogan somehow manages to crawl over and grab his lower leg. The Ultimate Warrior just stops and arrogantly grins at this. “He could get out.” Bobby Heenan says. “He’s just having fun now.” Warrior walks back in the cage, picks up Hogan and slaps him. He then starts shaking and nails him with a clothesline. He picks Hogan up, slams his head repeatedly into a turnbuckle, whips him to an opposing corner and nails a devastating splash… and Hogan just stands their looking absolutely furious. The Warrior shows genuine fear and punches Hogan… who still just stands there. He punches him again, but Hogan blocks and connects one of his own. Hogan then gives the Warrior everything he has, relentless pounding his nemesis. Hulk delivers a piledriver and starts asking for the crowd’s cheers by putting his hand to his right ear. But now The Ultimate Warrior pops right up. When Hogan sees him, he shows true fear. He hits Warrior, who will not budge. He does it again to identical results. Warrior then waylays Hogan and repeatedly pounds him. Beating his chest, the Warrior lifts Hogan over his head, pressing him repeatedly. He finally slams him down hard and runs across the ropes leaping at Hulk with his signature splash… but at the last second Hogan puts up his knees! The Warrior writhes in pain as Hulk Hogan pops up with that look in his eyes far too many opponents have seen. “I think the Warrior may have cracked a rib.” Gorilla Monsoon says. Cracked rib or not, Hogan picks the Warrior up and throws him hard to the north side of the cage, busting him wide open. He catches him and throws him against the south side. Then the east, then west. Hogan doesn’t catch him on the last throw, but somehow, the Warrior, now a bloody mess, is still standing, though only semi-conscious. Hogan stands over him as the Coliseum crowd wonders what he will do next. And showing he has an arrogant side as well, Hogan blows on The Ultimate Warrior who promptly collapses. “I can vouch for that.” Bobby Heenan exclaims. “That man has horrible breath!” Hogan then drops his leg on the fallen champion. He then gets up and starts to scale the cage. Before the Warrior can barely even stir, Hulk Hogan has hit the Coliseum floor and is now a three time World Wrestling Federation Champion.
The crowd roars their approval as Hulk Hogan has vindicated last year’s defeat. Hogan climbs back in the ring and enjoys a well deserved pose session as the defeated Warrior crawls out the ring. WrestleMania VII ends with the Coliseum crowd totally elated, having seen an epic battle they will never, ever forget.
Our story begins at the Clash of the Champions. For weeks fans have been waiting with baited breath to see the much touted 8 man tag team main event, pitting the top heel stable, The Four Horsemen, against the top babyface stable, The Dudes With Attitude. And neither the crowd watching at home on TBS nor the live crowd at the Asheville Civic Center is let down as both teams give it their all. But now the television audience, the live crowd and the color commentary team are all watching in shock at the carnage that they are witnessing. We now join them:
September 5, 1990: Clash of the Champions XII: Fall Brawl: Mountain Madness
“Oh my God, not again!” Jim Ross says as Harley Race hits his second piledriver on Ric Flair. Stan Hansen throws Lex Luger to Big Van Vader who nails him with a powerbomb. Showing no bias whatsoever, he then throws Sid Vicious to “The Rocky Mountain Monster” to identical results. Sgt. Slaughter is laughing profusely as he has the cobra clutch cinched in on a motionless Sting. “Behind you, Stan!” Vader yells to his comrade as a semiconscious Arn Anderson stumbles towards him. Hansen promptly picks up his bullrope and slams the cowbell on it right into “The Enforcer’s” skull, busting him open even more. Hansen then picks up Scott Steiner who is trying to get to his feet and with Harley Race climbing on the second rope to help with the “spike” he nails a devastating piledriver on him. They then drag him to the corner, throw him on top of his older brother’s, Rick’s, motionless body as Big Van Vader climbs to the second rope and hits the Vader Bomb (corner slingshot splash) on both of them. Nick Patrick has long since thrown this one out. In a vain attempt at offense, Barry Windham goes up to Sgt. Slaughter and starts hitting him with forearms, causing the former drill sergeant to break the cobra clutch on Sting and nail Windham with a Slaughter Cannon (clothesline). Race, Vader, Hansen and Slaughter- all four wearing black overcoats and were wearing black cowboy hats that have fallen off in the carnage- circle the ring lauding in the massacre they have just executed. Harley Race walks over to Sid Vicious, points his finger down at his motionless body and says “Yesterday’s news just became tomorrow morning’s headlines!” The four then all come together, giving each other fives and pats on the shoulders as they all raise their hands together in triumph.
Back at the color commentary booth, Bob Caudle says “Folks, we’re in just as much shock as you are. In all my years in this sport I have never seen anything like that.” Shaking his head Jim Ross says “We’re going to try to have more on this for you this weekend on the Power Hour and World Championship Wrestling. For Bob Caudle and Tony Schiavone, I’m Jim Ross, thank you and Good night.”
The Power Hour has a recap of the Clash and what transpired in the main event. Then a clip of an episode of World Championship Wrestling from thirteen days prior is played with a Four Horsemen interview, where Harley Race comes in during the middle of it. All four Horsemen shake his hand. “Well, what’s on your mind Harley?” Ric Flair asks him. “Well, Ric, it’s pretty simple. As you well know, I’ve been subbing for you throughout the summer while you were out with a knee injury and a staph infection.” Flair nods and says “That’s right and it was much appreciated.” “And you told me if I ever needed anything to let you know.” “Harley, my friend, ask ‘The Nature Boy’ for the moon and it’s yours!” Laughing a bit, Race says “Well, I don’t need the moon, but I do want something else. Substituting for you was fun. A LOT of fun. So much fun, I don’t want to be a substitute, I want to be a full time Horseman!” This draws oohs and aahs from the Gainesville crowd. “Harley Race a Horseman? What about that Ric?” asks Bob Caudle. Flair now chuckling, puts his hand up and says “Now Harley, wait…” Cutting him off, Arn Anderson says “Now just a second, you were a great champion, but a Horseman? Come on.” “Why not?” Race angrily asks. “Well for one,” Barry Windham says, “do the math. There are already four of us and we don’t have room for five.” “You had room when this man” pointing to Flair “was down and out!” “Look Harley, we don’t mean any disrespect, but it is what it is.” Flair says. “This is BS!” a now fuming Race says. “Look Harley,” Arn Anderson says, “we all respect you, but now you’re cutting into our interview time and we’re getting mad. You got your answer. Now go.” Race stands there in shock with a scowl on his face. Sid Vicious says “We’re The Four Horsemen and you’re yesterday’s news. Bye-bye!” while making a sarcastic up and down waving motion with his right hand. At this Race realizes he has no options at the current moment, so he tucks his tail between his legs and leaves.
The recent developments are also shown on World Championship Wrestling and it is announced that next week Race and company will be appearing to wrestle and explain their actions in more detail. Additionally, Ric Flair will also be giving an interview.
On the next episode of World Championship Wrestling, Terry Taylor and The Z Man are given the very unfortunate task of facing Stan Hansen and Big Van Vader. The popular duo does what they can, but they are just out powered and overwhelmed by the two behemoths. Z Man eventually manages to get in a few sidekicks on Hansen, but he eventually catches his leg and nails him with his lariat. He then tags in Vader who slams him to the mat with a lethal powerbomb, getting the three count.
Afterwards they are interviewed by Bob Caudle and Jim Ross. “I have to say, this is one of the most impressive array of superstars I have ever been privy to.” Jim Ross says. “You said a mouthful, Ross!” Harley Race says. “A few weeks ago, The Four Horsemen said Harley Race wasn’t good enough for them. In spite of the fact I subbed for Ric Flair when he got his little staph infection. Me, a seven times world champion, the only seven times world champion, not good enough! Well, I figured since I wasn’t good enough to be a Horseman, I’d become a Desperado. Because you see back in the days of the Old West, Desperadoes would take tough guys like the Horsemen and slap the spit out of them. And I went and called the three toughest guys in wrestling to help me out. Big Van Vader, the monster who’s already a legend in Japan and will be every bit as feared in the United States. Sgt. Slaughter, the most feared drill instructor, the marines have ever known. Thrown out because of some whiny cadets who couldn’t handle a little discipline. And this man,” pointing to Stan Hansen, “fresh off a suspension because some panty waste referee named Pee-Wee got in his way. We couldn’t have The Desperadoes without Stan ‘The Lariat’ Hansen, a legend the world over! A former World’s Champion! Four Horsemen? You’re looking at the Infamous Four!” “That’s right, Harley!” Vader screams into the microphone. “The Desperadoes are going to take the NWA apart, piece by piece, limb by limb. Horsemen, Sting, you better all watch out. We take no prisoners!” “You think Ric Flair would have learned a lesson in respect from Terry Funk.” Stan Hansen says. “But it just seems like he keeps making the same mistakes over and over. Well, he scraped by that by the skin of his teeth. Let’s see how well he does against the four of us.” “That’s right!” Sgt. Slaughter says. “Horsemen, Flair, you have been ruling the roost for far too long. But now, it’s The Desperadoes turn for glory. And anyone who gets in our way…” Slaughter takes his swagger stick and bends it and laughs sadistically. “Well what about your attack on The Dudes With Attitude?” Bob Caudle asks them. “Dudes With Attitude?” Harley Race rhetorically asks. “What kind of name is that? Seriously, Ric Flair actually lost my belt to you, Sting?” while shaking his head. “What’s Harley’s saying,” Stan Hansen says, “is we don’t take kindly to little pansy pretty boys making a mockery of the sport we shed blood, sweat and tears… well not tears for. This is professional wrestling not the teeny bopper hour!” “Horsemen, Dudes With Attitude, you better watch out because The Desperadoes are here to take you out, and that’s an order!” Sgt. Slaughter says to end the interview.
Later Ric Flair has a backstage interview with Gary Michael Cappetta, but it never happens because as it is about to start, Doom and Teddy Long, try to pass by to the locker room. Flair, not used to being interrupted takes exception. The four go back and forth when Arn Anderson shows up and backs “Naitch” up asking “Is there a problem with the facilities?” The camera goes off with the five men still arguing.
It doesn’t take long for The Desperadoes to meet The Dudes With Attitude, as The Junkyard Dog meets Stan Hansen the next day on NWA Main Event. Referee Randy Anderson who Hansen beat up just two months ago is clearly nervous, but refuses to let the large Texan intimidate him. The Dog, a wrestling legend himself, gives “The Lariat” his money’s worth, wrestling a very even match. But after missing a top rope headbutt, Hansen takes it home, pounding JYD and eventually finishing him off with the lariat.
It is announced that on the Power Hour that Sting and The Dudes With Attitude, The Four Horsemen and The Desperadoes will all be making appearances.
Harley Race opens the Power Hour with a match against long time rival “Wildfire” Tommy Rich. “These two exchanged the World Title a few years back.” Jim Ross tells the crowd. The two former World Champions take it to each other, both knowing the other all too well. Rich seems to have the upper edge and after a side Russian legsweep sets Race up for the Thesz Press, but seeing it coming, Race catches him and turns it into a flapjack dropped into a hangman over the top rope and with his feet on the ropes for a little help, gets the victory.
After a commercial break, Race, Slaughter and Hansen are interviewed backstage by Gordon Solie. An impressive victory Harley but you got a little help there in the end.” “Check your glasses, Solie, I can beat Tommy Rich with one hand tied behind my back. That’s why he’s a four day one-time World’s Champion and I’m a seven time World’s Champion. And that’s another thing I want to discuss. Sting, you may have beaten Ric Flair, but that’s my title. And I want it back. I am here and now challenging you to a title shot at Halloween Havoc.” “Oh my!” Gordon Solie says. “That would make you an…” “Eight times World’s Champion!” Race finishes. “And Lex Luger,” Sgt. Slaughter says “What makes you think that you have the right to represent the good ole U.S. of A.? That’s my U.S. Title belt you have and I want it back! I’m going to slap you around like a new recruit.” Stan Hansen chimes in “As for Vader and I, well their plenty of titles and plenty of people for us to beat up. In fact, Van’s limo should be in from the airport by now. Let’s go meet him!” At this the three Desperadoes, leave the interview area.
For the main event, Sting defends the World Title against “Freebird” Michael “P.S.” Hayes. The arrogant challenger comes first to a round of boos and not surprisingly some cheers. But the crowd erupts when “The Stinger’s” music hits. The popular World’s Champion comes down with a purpose, but still takes time to give fives to all his “little Stingers”. Halfway to the ring he lets out a big “Owwww” scream which draws quite a pop.
But once in the ring it’s all business as Michael Hayes is not one to be taken lightly. A much more experienced wrestler (though actually nine days younger) than Sting and a crafty veteran he gives the World’s Champion several close calls. Hayes has Sting stunned and goes for the DDT while standing on the bottom rope. But Sting holds on and Hayes drops to the ground. Sting then grabs Hayes’ legs, snaps on the Scorpion Deathlock and within a few seconds, the Freebird submits and Sting is victorious.
Afterwards, Tony Schiavone goes to ringside to interview him and he is joined by Lex Luger and The Steiner Bros. “Congratulations on your win, Sting” Tony says as he shakes Sting’s hand. “Thank you, Tony.” “Champ, I know you have some pressing issues on your mind.” “Well you got that right, Tony, you got that right. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water., who pops up but that old shark, Harley Race. And he brought three killers with him.” He says as both Tony and his allies nod in agreement. “But Race, you jump on Sting, you jump on ‘The Total Package’ and you jump on The Steiner Bros. Old man, you must have lost it. ‘Cause I didn’t back from Flair’s antics and I’m not backing down from yours. So yeah… I accept your challenge for Halloween Havoc.” He says as the crowd roars its approval. “And you’re going to find out just how unworthy a champion I am. Owwwww!” “Lex Luger then says “And Sgt. Slaughter, you want this back?” holding the U.S. Title belt. “Well, you may have served our nation proudly but that doesn’t make this belt yours anymore. If you want it, you’re going to have to earn it by beating me. And Halloween Havoc seems like the perfect place to see if you still have the stuff, Sarge.” Tony Schiavone then asks “Rick, Scott, your thoughts. “Well, I tell you what, Tony.” Rick Steiner says. “Those Desperadoes are some tough guys, no question. But you see, Scottie and I, we’re pretty tough, too. And we’ve got these U.S. Tag Team Titles and will be happy to put them up against any two of them anytime. Or we can just have a street fight. We don’t care.” “That’s right. Yeah you took us and the Horsemen out after we had beaten each other half to death. Try doing that when we’re fresh and looking your way… we’ll shove those cowboy hats where the sun don’t shine!” Scott Steiner says to end the interview.
The last interview of the night is The Four Horsemen backstage with Gordon Solie. “Welcome Ric Flair and the rest of The Four Horsemen.” Solie says. “Why thank you, Gordon. Great to see my old friend again! Wooo!” Ric Flair says. “Ric, I know you have a lot on your mind right now.” Solie says to him. “A lot on my mind is right, Gordon. Harley, Harley, Harley, did we hurt your little feelings that bad? Enough to get those three goons to jump on me and my friends? And you got a shot at Sting for Halloween Havoc? Well, win or lose I’m getting my World Title back, don’t worry about that. That’s assuming you make it that far. And Teddy Long…” In his typical calm and collected voice, Arn Anderson says “Well Desperadoes, you wanted to make an impact, so you jumped on The Four Horsemen. Well congratulations, you succeeded. But now you got yourself in a pickle that you can’t get out off. Race, Vader, Hansen, Slaughter, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Watch out. And as far Teddy Long, you and your men opened up a can of worms. Those World Tag belts are going back to The Four Horsemen.” Sid Vicious says “I do not take kindly to being put on my back and I don’t plan on it becoming a habit. Desperadoes, you had better never sleep another wink because once you tick off Sid Vicious, you’ve just signed your own death warrant!” In a very smug voice, Barry Windham says “Oh and Desperadoes, you might want to call the airport and limo service. You’ll find that Vader’s plane and ride were both on time. Right on time. All four Horsemen laugh at this. “In fact,” Windham continues, “show ‘em Sid!” At this Gordon Solie gasps as Sid Vicious pulls out Vader’s black mask from his jacket pocket as the Power Hour goes off the air.
The next day World Championship Wrestling opens with a clip of Big Van Vader being attacked by The Four Horsemen as he walks to his limo from the airport exit. Later on, it is shown in its entirety. Hitting him from behind and using chains and baseball bats, the Horsemen do a number on the mastodon. He tries to fight back but is outmanned 4-1. Sid Vicious rips his mask off laughing profusely. The Horsemen’s limousine pulls up and they escape before the authorities can apprehend them.
On the same show both Harley Race vs. Sting for the World Title and Sgt. Slaughter vs. Lex Luger for the United States Title are confirmed for Halloween Havoc. Additionally, it is announced that next week on World Championship Wrestling, Arn Anderson will defend the World Television Title against Big Van Vader.
Later on in the show, Arn wrestles an impressive match with Tim Horner and finishes him off with the DDT. Afterwards he cuts a solo interview.
“So Big Van Vader, the monster so feared in Japan… well Vader you found out the hard way we do things a little different here in America. You stepped on the Horsemen’s toes and we smashed your face. And next week you want this?” he says tapping his Television Title. “Well Van, don’t get your heart too set on it, it’s not gonna happen.”
On the Power Hour, Vader makes his return without a mask against Allen Iron Eagle. The proud Indian does his best, but the monster from the Rocky Mountains wants to make an example out of him to put the fear in Arn Anderson. After only three minutes, Vader hits a powerbomb and finishes Iron Eagle off.
Afterwards he has a solo interview. “So Horsemen, you think that you can take me out? It’s going to take a lot more than that to get rid of Big Van Vader. Sid Vicious, you think stealing my mask is going to stop me? Don’t worry about the mask, worry about the 400 pound monster behind it. I’ll see to you after I get done with Arn Anderson. ‘Double A’, it’s time, it’s time, it’s Vader time!”
On World Championship Wrestling, Vader comes down to the Desperadoes Old West music. Then Arn comes down. Nick Patrick rings the bell and the two go at it. Vader uses his intense power and force to take the early advantage. He seems to have Arn’s number at every turn. But a missed body avalanche finally turns things to “The Enforcer’s” advantage. He does his best to keep Vader off his feet and work on his legs. About seven minutes into the match, the camera goes to the locker room showing the three remaining Horsemen having just been ambushed by the other three Desperadoes. “Payback’s hell!” Harley Race says as they leave. Arn hits a DDT on Vader but his much larger opponent throws him off at two. Anderson attempts to set him up for a spinebuster, but Vader counters with a charge ending with a double forearm club, knocking the champion down. He then throws him into the corner and punches him down. After letting up at Nick Patrick’s four count, Vader delivers a devastating powerslam and gets a three count, winning the World Television Title.
After the break, he is being congratulated by the other Desperadoes. “One down.” Harley Race says as he lifts his finger up. “That’s right, Harley!” Vader says. “And now listen up Horsemen! I here and now challenge Sid Vicious at Halloween Havoc! I’ll even put my new title on the line. It’s going to be the battle of the monsters. Vicious, you think that you’re the master and ruler of the world? Boy, you’re gonna find out that Vader’s the ruler of the world!”
As September goes into October, things in World Championship Wrestling heat up. The “Monster Mash” match featuring Big Van Vader vs. Sid Vicious is confirmed for Halloween Havoc. Due to recurring problems, Ric Flair and Arn Anderson are given a shot at Doom and the World Tag Team Championship.
On the Power Hour, the main event is set as Sgt. Slaughter against Barry Windham. The two ruffians stare each other down, neither blinking an eye. Finally Slaughter throws a punch, but Windham blocks it and takes the early advantage. The crowd cheering and booing both competitors, this one is very well matched contest. After ducking the Slaughter Cannon and hitting a lariat of his own, Windham gets a close two count. He then sets the Sarge up for the superplex, but Slaughter is able to push him away and hit an elbow drop. He then goes for the cobra clutch but before he can cinch it completely in, Windham charges to a turnbuckle and ducks, resulting in Sgt. Slaughter hitting it head first. Both Slaughter and Windham, still feeling the effects of the cobra clutch, are slow to get to their feet. At the referee’s nine count both make it up and approach one another. Slaughter goes for a roundhouse punch but Windham ducks and catches an off balance Slaughter in the sleeper. It looks like curtains but Harley Race runs down and distracts the referee by jumping on the apron. While he turns his attention to Race, out of the crowd comes a large old man in a beard… who runs in the ring and slams a cowbell on a bullrope into Windham’s head. He then immediately slides out the ring. Jim Ross says “Security needs to arrest that guy.” Harley Race jumps down and the referee turns back and seeing Slaughter covering Windham, makes the three count.
Race and the old man enter the ring… and the old man takes off what is now revealed to be a wig and beard, revealing he is none other than Stan Hansen. Hansen then takes the cowbell and repeatedly rams it into Windham’s head as Race and Slaughter look on with glee. It isn’t until the other three Horsemen, all armed with chairs, charge the ring that the three Desperadoes head out. The show ends with Flair, Anderson and Vicious checking on their fallen comrade.
Stan Hansen’s is immediately given a stiff fine. He is saved from yet another suspension only by Barry Windham’s insistence that the two meet at Halloween Havoc, a request the WCW Executive Committee gladly grants.
The upper card for Halloween Havoc set, the action amongst the various warring factions grows even more intense. Run ins and beatdowns become the norm rather than the exception. Just a week before Halloween Havoc on Main Event, Sid Vicious takes on the very technically sound ring veteran, Brad Armstrong. “BA” tries his heart out against Sid, but the madman’s wrath knows no boundaries. He pounds Brad into the mat repeatedly, at one point casually swiping a dropkick away. He finally gets the pin with a powerbomb so vicious it makes the mat shake.
Hurt after the match, Armstrong is being carried off in a stretcher, when Sid decides his fallen opponent has not had enough. Sid drops an elbow as they are carrying him away and proceeds to punch him out.
After the break, he is interviewed by Jim Ross. “Sid, I see you just did well against Brad Armstrong, but how will you fare against Big Van Vader?” “Ross, let me explain this right now. At Halloween Havoc at the Monster Mash, I’m going to mash Big Van Vader like a potato. That boy thinks he’s on my level? He better think again. He may have been able to push those little Japanese around, but I’m Sid Vicious. And regardless of what he says or thinks, the only think that fat pig is the master and ruler of is the Shoney’s breakfast buffet.” Lowering his voice, Vicious slows says “Because I am the master… and ruler… of the world!”
On Halloween Havoc weekend, the buildup matches are stacked to the heights. On the Power Hour Sting and Lex Luger are set to meet their Halloween Havoc opponents Harley Race and Sgt. Slaughter in a tag team match and Ron Simmons is set to meet Ric Flair. On World Championship Wrestling, Butch Reed is booked against Arn Anderson and Sid Vicious and Barry Windham are teaming together against Big Van Vader and Stan Hansen.
Sting and Luger are roundly cheered though Race and Slaughter get a few themselves amidst all the boos. “The Stinger” and “The Sarge” start off, going to nose to nose. Slaughter slaps Sting across the face and the World’s Champion reciprocates. Slaughter kicks him and they start punching away at each other. Sting reverses an Irish Whip and connects with a dropkick. He then yells “Owww!” to the crowd as Slaughter slides outside to regroup. On Randy Anderson’s seven count he comes back in. Sting regains the offense and tags in Lex Luger. He holds “Sarge’s” arm as “The Package” comes down on it from the top rope. Continuing to work on the arm, Luger hurts but doesn’t break his upcoming single’s opponent. Slaughter tries to break the armlock with an eye rake, but Luger turns away as Randy Anderson warns Slaughter. The former drill instructor then throws an elbow, but Luger ducks and turns it into an atomic drop. He tags Sting back in who promptly targets Slaughter’s arm. Frustrated he can’t mount an offense, Slaughter tries to tag in Harley Race, but every time he gets close, Sting pulls his hand away. But Sting goes to the well once too often and Slaughter gets a quick clothesline in. He then rams Sting’s head into Harley’s Race much harder head as the former World Champion ducks to enable the blow. Slaughter promptly makes the tag and “Handsome” Harley gives it to Sting. He and Slaughter, dominate for several minutes, using taunts against Lex Luger to draw him in, allowing the double team when Randy Anderson forces him back to his corner. Slaughter puts Sting in a bearhug but Sting refuses to submit and fights. A double ear club allows him to break the hold… and time to tag Luger while Slaughter makes it to Race. “The Total Package” comes in with a vengeance, taking it to the veteran, Race. He dominates for a couple of minutes, but a well-timed Sgt. Slaughter knee to the back while he is running the ropes changes that. The Desperadoes attempt to dismantle Luger and have him on the rocks, when Race misses a key running clothesline. He attempts to turn it into a flying body press, but Luger catches him and hits Race with a powerslam. Both men struggle to their corners, Luger tags in Sting, who is able to cut off Race before he can get to Sgt. Slaughter. “The Stinger” takes it to Harley Race, not letting up an inch. This causes Sgt. Slaughter to run in, but he is met by Lex Luger. Sting and Luger dominate their older opponents, ramming them from opposing turnbuckles. Luger then throws Slaughter out the ring, but he lands on his feet. Randy Anderson orders Luger out, and while he does Sting runs across the ring for a flying clothesline, but Slaughter stops his motion by grabbing his left foot. Sting pulls away yelling at Slaughter, and Harley Race uses this opportunity to connect with a hard running knee to the gut. He quickly covers Sting and with Randy Anderson not noticing Sgt. Slaughter holding Sting’s right leg, gets the three count.
As he and Slaughter walk back to the dressing room, Race says “At Havoc, that’ll give me the gold!”
Ron Simmons comes down with Teddy Long and then Ric Flair enters to “Sprach Zarathustra” for the main event. Flair starts off by faking a lockup then gives a loud “wooo!” and does the Jackie Fargo strut while Simmons stares him down. They then do lock up and Simmons throws him to the mat and yells out a “wooo!” and does a strut of his own. “Show him who ‘the man’ really is, Ron!” Teddy Long says from ringside. The two lock back up and this time Flair, surprises the bigger Simmons with a fireman’s carriage takedown. He then puts him in a chinlock. Simmons, however, gets to his feet with Flair on his back and drops to his back, forcing Flair to release. He then takes his boots to “The Nature Boy”. Simmons hits a hard bodyslam and then picks him up for more. After a minute, “The All American” hits a football tackle on Flair. Then a second. He attempts a third, but Flair moves out the way and Simmons’ head hits the turnbuckle. Flair uses this change of fortune to his advantage and works Simmons over, methodically working him down. At one point he spreads Simmons legs and is about to drop a foot on Simmons midsection, but after Nick Patrick tells him “You do that Flair, you lose!” he stomps nearby on his upper right leg instead. Flair then locks in his patented figure four leg lock. Simmons is in pain, but “The All American” refuses to submit. Flair starts using the ropes for leverage, but Teddy Long quickly alerts Nick Patrick so Flair pulls away. Simmons eventually lifts himself up on his arms, pulls both of them to the middle of the ring and turns the figure four around, reversing the pressure. Flair breaks it and beats Simmons to his feet. He kicks a just risen Simmons in his knee takes him down and goes for the figure four again, but this time Simmons turns it into a small package, getting a close two count. Both men pop up and this time Simmons kicks Flair. He tries for a quick piledriver, but Flair counters with a backdrop… but Simmons counters that with a sunset flip. As Nick Patrick goes for the count, he fails to see Teddy Long grab Ric Flair’s feet, and Simmons gets the biggest win of his career as the camera shows a shocked “Nature Boy” as the Power Hour goes off the air.
The next night Arn Anderson is determined to redeem Ric Flair’s loss and The Four Horsemen’s honor. A seasoned veteran, Anderson knows he and Flair cannot go into Halloween Havoc with two television losses to Doom. A seasoned veteran as well, Butch Reed knows that a win over Anderson would give Doom the momentum it needs in Chicago at Havoc. “Hacksaw” and “The Enforcer” go at it, neither giving an inch. Both get several near falls, Reed nearly finishing Anderson off after a hard powerslam, getting a 2 9/10. But following up with a backdrop, Anderson counters with a DDT. Right after, Ric Flair runs down to ringside and in the referee’s blind spot, grabs Reed’s left leg, allowing Anderson to get the pin and even the score.
The last major match before Halloween Havoc has the Horsemen and The Desperadoes both trying to go into to the October spooktacular with the winning edge. Windham and Vader initially start out, but Vader demands Vicious. Windham obliges and the two monsters give the Center Stage crowd a warm up of things to come later in the night.  They lock up in a test of strength, and push at each other. But before anything can be decided, Stan Hansen runs in and attacks Sid Vicious. Barry Windham quickly counters him. Seconds later Harley Race and Sgt. Slaughter run in followed immediately by Ric Flair and Arn Anderson. Nick Patrick throws out the match as Jim Ross says “Folks, if you want to see this one resolved, call your local cable company ASAP!” as World Championship Wrestling goes off the air.
October 28, 1990: Halloween Havoc 90
8,000 are on hand at the sold out UIC Pavilion to see the ghastliest night of the wrestling year. Tony Schiavone starts the show with an interview with Barry Windham.
“Barry, you are about to meet one of the four infamous Desperadoes, a man who attacked you brutally with the bullrope and cowbell just weeks earlier, Stan Hansen.” “Desperadoes? In a few short minutes, Stan Hansen’s going to go from Desperado to desperate. I don’t what possessed him to jump on Harley Race’s bandwagon and take on The Four Horsemen, but let me tell you, he is going to regret it, dearly.” Windham responds and gives the Horsemen salute to end the interview.
Stan Hansen comes out first to a generally negative mixed crowd reaction. Then Windham comes out, but just after he walks out he pauses, and is joined by Horsemen manager, Ole Anderson! This sends Hansen into a frenzy. He demands Nick Patrick make Ole leave, but as Ole is a licensed manager, Patrick just shrugs his shoulders and says “Tough.”
As a now flustered Hansen is taking off his black overcoat he makes an unusual rookie blunder and takes his eye off Windham who ambushes him, attacking him while his coat is still half on. Windham gets an earlier running lariat on Hansen which nearly gets the three right then and there. He then takes his overcoat off and slams him to the mat, then stomps him. He lifts up four fingers and as Hansen gets up, punches him right in the mush, sending the big man reeling. Hansen punches back but Windham blocks it and retaliates with another. He then hits a suplex. He goes for another, but Hansen blocks it and hits a low blow. He then hits a series of elbows and forearms, then slams Windham down while saying “How’s Baby Blackjack now?” Returning the favor of the earlier beating, Hansen gives Windham quite the thrashing. He eventually throws him out the ring and goes out after him to dish out more punishment. But an attempt at an Irish Whip to the guard rail is reversed and followed up with a running clothesline.
Windham then slams the Borger, Texas native’s head into a ring post and throws him back in the squared circle, getting another close two count. He then attempts to put Hansen on the top rope for the superplex, but as Hansen is still not finished off, the two struggle. Hansen resorts to grabbing Windham’s long hair and Nick Patrick tries to pull him off. In the melee, Patrick gets an inadvertent thumb in the eye from Hansen and walks away to recover. Windham hiptosses Hansen, then seeing an opportunity, tells Ole to throw give him Hansen’s bullrope. The elder Horseman statesman happily obliges and is about to hand off the bullrope to Windham when a fan dressed as an American Indian Halloween costume jumps the rail, grabs the cowbell from Ole, and slams Windham in the face with it! He then clobbers Ole repeatedly with it, busting him wide open, until security takes him away. Meanwhile, Hansen covers Windham and Nick Patrick counts to three, giving the Texan Desperado the victory.
The Doom against Flair and Anderson match is a very intense fight, with both sides showing great prowess. After over 18 minutes, this one winds up being a double count out as all four men brawl in the aisle.
“Finally, I have been dying to see this one.” Paul E. Dangerously says on commentary. “We all have, Paul.” Jim Ross responds. “It’s the Monster Mash for the World Television Title.”
Big Van Vader comes down first to the Desperadoes’ Old Western music. Then Sid Vicious to the Horsemen theme. The two monsters never once take their eyes of the other. They approach each other and there is a stare down that continues even after the bell rings.
They finally lock up and push each other off. Vader then pushes Sid and Sid reciprocates. It then turns to blows and after several, Sid gets the edge and takes it to “The Mastadon”. “No David, here. This is Goliath versus Goliath.” Jim Ross commentates. Vader blocks a Sid Vicious punch and hits the biggest Horseman with a barrage of his own, dropping him. “Who’s the man?” Vader asks him. Sid answers with a kick to the nose, sending Vader reeling. Sid quickly gets up and executes a choke slam. He only gets two, but this gives him a clear cut advantage. He eventually tries for the powerbomb, but Vader counters it into a backdrop and punches Sid as soon as he lands. The tide turned he slams Sid down and then throws him to the turnbuckle connecting with the body avalanche. Vader then hits a Face Eraser (standing wheel barrow facebuster) and Sid only narrowly gets a shoulder up. He then picks up puts Sid’s head in between his midsection and declares “It’s Vader Time!” and hits the powerbomb. He covers Sid 1-2 but Vicious kicks out, shocking Vader and the entire Pavilion crowd! Vader shakes his head and picks him up. He attempts to slam his head into the turnbuckle, but Vicious blocks and slams Vader’s head instead, repeating this multiple times. He then hits a Samoan Drop on him, picks him up and hits a powerbomb of his own. He covers Vader 1-2 but Vader kicks out! Sid shakes his head and picks him up but Vader punches him. The “Monster from the Rocky Mountains” attempts a second powerbomb, but Sid blocks it, hits a surprise drop jawbreaker on Vader. Quickly sets Vader up for a second powerbomb of his own, hits it and hold Vader down while Randy Anderson makes the three count.
After Sid Vicious is awarded the World Television Title, he is enthusiastically greeted by the other three Horsemen as he walks to the locker room, who are happy to be walking out of the pay-per-view with one, albeit a major victory. Vader throws a fit once he shakes the cobwebs off, screaming “I was robbed!”
The U.S. Title match is next. Sgt. Slaughter, fresh off a Desperado loss, is determined to make amends. Then the ever popular U.S. Champion Lex Luger comes down to a cheering hometown crowd. “Prepare to go to boot camp, maggot!” Slaughter snarls at Luger.
The two go at it, Luger relying more in strength and quickness, Slaughter his ruggedness and experience. It is a very even match as their contrasts play well against the other. After ducking a clothesline, Slaughter counters with his Slaughter Cannon and attempts to put the cobra clutch on Luger. But the U.S. Champion struggles and winds up backing himself and Slaughter right into the turnbuckle hard, with the referee right behind them. Luger hits a hiptoss then a dropkick then connects with a powerslam. He then signals for the human torture and quells any doubts about whether he can lift “Sarge” up by doing so instantly. The former drill instructor screams in pain, instantly submitting to deaf ears. All of a sudden, the crowd lights up as a face seen once already tonight reappears. “That’s that same Indian!” Jim Ross exclaims. “How did he escape the police?” The man dressed as an Indian runs in the ring. Seeing him coming Lex Luger, throws down Sgt. Slaughter and attacks him. Luger really lets him have it, but from behind, Sgt. Slaughter locks him in the cobra clutch. The unknown Indian slides out the ring, falling on the floor just as the referee regains his composure. Luger struggles, but stuck in the middle of the ring with no recourse, he eventually has no choice but to submit, giving Sgt. Slaughter the U.S. Title.
The Indian grabs the belt and climbs back in the ring, jumping in an awaiting Sgt. Slaughter’s arms. The two then walk to the locker room together.
Moments later, Gordon Solie has a backstage interview with all four Desperadoes. With them is their new Indian friend. “Gentlemen, this man’s identity may be a mystery to most, but I know better.” Gordon Solie says. “This man is the legendary…” “It’s not surprising that you know, Solie!” Sgt. Slaughter interrupts. “After you’re more intelligent- and have been around longer- than all these idiots in the stands put together. Allow me the honors. This is no Halloween get up, this man is a bonafied Indian- the legendary Chief Billy White Wolf. And he is the Desperadoes new manager.” “That’s right!” Harley Race says. “And surprise, Sting, he’s going to be in my corner next when I become 8 times NWA World’s Champion.” Stan Hansen then adds “Barry Windham, you thought that bringing Ole Anderson back would be enough to take me out? Well, you two tried to rip me off, but Billy here wouldn’t allow it.” “That’s right.” White Wolf says. “Now normally I do not like to run with pale faces, but that’s not out of prejudice, only because I have no respect for White man’s laws. But these men are desperadoes. They respect no one’s law- rather the law of nature- only the strong survive.” Vader then says “And Sid Vicious, you got LUCKY, BOY! DAMN LUCKY! But this is not over. Not by a long shot! I want my Television Title back.” “Don’t worry, Van.” White Wolf says as he pats Vader on the shoulder. “If those poor excuses for cops could have read, they would have seen I was a licensed manager and I could have been in your corner. But no matter, like my ancestors’ visions on the plain, it is all clear now. And once the smoke clears, Sting, Harley Race is eight times World’s Champion.”
Gary Michael Cappetta announces Billy Wolf’s identity to the crowd and that he is the new manager of The Desperadoes. Meanwhile, Tony Schiavone interviews Sting.
“Stinger, we now know that Harley Race will have an added weapon in his corner, Chief Billy Wolf.” “Well Tony, as much as I can’t stand him, Harley Race is an ever dangerous foe. And so is Billy White Wolf. But they’ve made two fatal errors: One Race doesn’t think I’m worthy to wear this belt. And two, White Wolf is counting his chickens before they hatch. As you can see, I’ve got war paint of my own.” Sting says, referring to his seasonal face paint. “And Race, I’m going to show you that I am a worthy World Champion. Seven’s a lucky number and you better get used to it, because it’s as high as you’re gonna get. Owwww!”
The Desperadoes’ music hits and Harley Race comes down with Billy White Wolf, who is making his first official managerial appearance. Then “The Stinger’s” music hits and the crowd goes wild, as the World’s Champion, decked in orange and black face paint, trunks, and ring jacket, comes down the ring proudly wearing the NWA World Title belt.
Once the bell rings, Sting shows Race that though he may have face paint on, he is no clown. On the other hand, Race shows Sting and the world, that though he may be an old dog, he is not ready to be sent to the farm. Showing just why he is a seven times former World’s Champion, “Handsome” Harley, gives Sting a lesson in old school wrestling, using his great technical skills, natural strength, gritty toughness and head as hard as a rock to take it to Sting. But his younger opponent proves to be an apt pupil using his power, speed and aerial ability to keep Race on edge. Showing ring savvy Rave was not expecting, Sting goes neck and neck with his legendary challenger. After over twenty minutes of action, Race hits a backdrop suplex and gets a two count. He picks Sting up and headbutts him, then slaps him across the face. He sets him up for the piledriver, but Sting turns it into a backdrop. He picks Race up and sets him in the corner for the Stinger Splash, but Billy White Wolf grabs his leg. This draws the ire of Sting and referee Nick Patrick who nearly issues a disqualification, though White Wolf denies doing anything by holding his arms forward with his hands straight up and fervently shaking his head. This allows Race time to recover and he thumbs Sting to the eye, headbutts him and puts him in a sleeper. After struggling in vain, Sting’s hand goes down once… twice… and not quite thrice! He struggles to his feet and Race jumps on his back- which Sting counters by grabbing him by the head, throwing him over his shoulder and locking in a sleeper of his own. Seeing Race is struggling, Billy White Wolf jumps on the apron. But Sting is ready for him. He breaks the sleeper, drags Harley to him by the hair, grabs White Wolf by the hair and slams the two legends heads together. A dozy Race throws a haymaker, but Sting ducks, jumps up, puts a crucifix on Race, and rolls him over for 1…2…3! The Chicago crowd erupts as Sting retains his gold against the despised Desperado.
To say it has been a tumultuous two months in World Championship Wrestling would be an understatement. Legends Harley Race, Stan Hansen and Sgt. Slaughter, teaming with a man who is already legendary in Japan, Big Van Vader, have taken WCW by storm. Not caring if one is a heel or a babyface, they have wrecked carnage on all who get in their way. But WCW’s premiere stable, The Four Horsemen, has not taken this challenge to their throne lightly. Neither have World Champion Sting and his friends. Halloween Havoc was a mixed bag of tricks and treats for them, as they failed to capture the NWA World Title and lost the World Television Title, though they did manage to capture the U.S. Title. Additionally they pulled a trick of their own by employing American Indian legend Chief Billy White Wolf as their manager. We shall now see what The Desperadoes have planned next…
On the first post Halloween Havoc Power Hour, a new superstar, The Big Cat, a very large, muscular former football player, makes his debut against Scotty Williams. He dominates his much smaller opponent then finishes him off, curiously enough, with the human torture rack.
After his match, Tony Schiavone interviews the newcomer. “Congratulations on a very impressive, debut, Big Cat. But I must say your finishing hold looked awfully familiar.” “What, I’m not entitled to use the finisher of my choice?” The Big Cat says. “No, not at all.” Schiavone says shaking his head, a little perturbed. “Listen, that punk Luger, didn’t invent that hold, and he sure as hell hasn’t perfected it. In fact, as we just saw at Halloween Havoc, he got his butt handed to him by Sgt. Slaughter. Lex, you was the next big thing. But look at me: Former NCAA football standout: Bigger, stronger, tougher than you ever was or ever gonna be! I am the next big thing. You, you just gonna be next!”
It is announced that a major announcement from WCW Executive Vice President Jim Herd will be made tomorrow on World Championship Wrestling.
Later on in the Power Hour, Sid Vicious makes his first Television Title defense against tag team great, Rock N Roll Express member, Ricky Morton. An experienced veteran and a great technical grappler, Morton gives Vicious everything he has. But the massive and far more powerful Sid is too much for ½ of “The Team of the 80s.” In the end rock n roll’s tour comes to abrupt end, in the form of a powerbomb .
After the match, then entire Horsemen unit, with Ole Anderson, gives an interview. Jim Ross starts by saying “It seems that Halloween Havoc was a mixed bag for the Horsemen.” “Astute analysis, Ross.” Ole Anderson says. “Yeah, Billy White Wolf, you pulled a fast one on me. But you jumped on a Horsemen. That means one thing.” He says sticking up his pointer. “Your days are numbered. If I were you I’d pack up now and get back to the reservation while there is still time.” “So Hansen,”Barry Windham says, “you get your sneaky Indian friend to hit me with a cowbell? Well just wait, because payback time is coming and we all know what they say about payback.” In his usual calm, cool, collected voice, Arn Anderson says “ Vader, you thought you were ‘the man’ because you got lucky against me? Well ‘Big’ Sid Vicious showed you just who the real monster in this sport is. Desperadoes, your days are numbered here. Bet on it. And Teddy Long, we haven’t forgotten about you either, my friend.” “Vader,” Sid Vicious says, “the proof is in the pudding. And look at this. I got your World Television Title. And I’m saying right here and now that neither you nor any of your Desperado friends are gonna get it back! Because Sid Vicious and the Four Horsemen rule the world!” “Harley Race! you said Sting was a pushover? Well, he pushed you over now didn’t he? Don’t get me wrong, he’s no Ric Flair, and I will get my title back, but old man, you’ve gotten way too big for your britches. Questioning Ric Flair’s caliber. Who ended your World Title reign in Greensboro in 1983? That’s right.” Flair says pointing to himself and chuckling. “And don’t you ever forget it! Wooo!”
On World Championship Wrestling, after a few segments, the camera goes to Executive Vice President Herd’s office.
“Thank you, Jim. In the last several months, the action in WCW has hit a fever pitched high. So much so that in all the action and excitement, we cannot really say who is the top contender for the World Title. The WCW Championship Committee and I recently got together and had an intense session on how we could rectify this situation. And we finally decided that the best solution would be a sixteen man tournament. The brackets will be announced tomorrow on the Main Event and the tournament will start this coming Friday on the Power Hour. Round One will take place on all three shows; the Power Hour, World Championship Wrestling and the Main Event. And on Tuesday, November 20, at the Clash of the Champions: Thanksgiving Thunder, live from the Jacksonville Florida, rounds 2-4 will take place. The winner will get a shot at Sting and the World Title at Starrcade 90 in St. Louis, Missouri at the Kiel Auditorium. Thank you.”
This major announcement sends shockwaves thru the ranks of World Championship Wrestling. Speculation runs rampant as to who will be in the tournament and what the brackets will look like.
Later in the show, Lex Luger meets Barry Horowitz. Not in the best of moods, “The Total Package” picks his much smaller and less talented opponent apart, making him submit to his human torture rack.
After a commercial break, he is interviewed by Jim Ross and Bob Caudle. “Lex,” Jim Ross says, “between losing the U.S. Title to Sgt. Slaughter and The Big Cat’s challenge, you must have a lot on your mind.” “That’s right, Jim. First off, The Big Cat. Yeah, you’re big and tough, and you even stole my torture rack. But do you think that’s enough to make it in this sport? This isn’t the gridiron, Big Cat, it’s the squared circle and it’s a whole ‘nother ballgame. Slaughter, you did beat me. But you couldn’t do it alone. You had Chief Billy White Wolf help you get the jump on me. Next time, I’ll be ready. No fat, bald has been is going to wear my U.S. Title for long.” Luger says with an arm flex to close the interview.
In the main event of the night, Harley Race and Stan Hansen take on The Southern Boys. The young rebels, a popular up and coming tag team, show amazing prowess, but the bigger, stronger, more experienced former World Champions overwhelm them. Afterwards, they and the other Desperadoes close the show with an interview.
“So Ric Flair,” Harley Race says, “you think I’m too big for my britches? Let me tell you something, son, I’m twice the man you’ll ever be. Sting got lucky! You and I may very well square off in the tournament. That would be fitting wouldn’t it? Me beating you en route to my eighth World Title!” “That tournament is the biggest thing today, Harley!” Stan Hansen says. “And I am sure a Desperado will wind up with that title shot and the belt and will of course win at Starrcade. And speaking of title shots, next week you and I are going to do what the Horsemen couldn’t and take those World Tag Team Titles from Doom.” He says as Race nods. “Barry Windham- you are rapidly starting to progress from a small irritant to a major annoyance. Keep it up and you will wind up hurt- very hurt.” “So Luger. You think, I’m a has been? Well this has been has the U.S. Title. And maggot, next time, I’m not going to release the cobra clutch so quickly. Then we’ll see how much you enjoying spouting off!” “Vicious, I still got you on my hit list! Watch out boy. Vader’s comin’!” “A new dawn is coming. Soon The Desperadoes will rule over all WCW.” Billy White Wolf says to end the interview.
On the Main Event, another new superstar debuts, The Motor City Madman- a mammoth of man dressed in biker clothes. He meets Brad Armstrong. “The Candyman” shows his stuff, getting several near falls, but in the end the Madman’s size and tenacity is too much and he winds up finishing Armstrong off with a hard powerslam.
Later on, the big moment arrives as the tourney participants and brackets are released.
1st Round 2nd-4th Rounds
Sgt. Slaughter Follow brackets accordingly
The Big Cat
Big Van Vader
The Motor City Madman
The Power Hour arrives and the stage is set for the first match. Both Sgt. Slaughter and The Junkyard Dog are ready. The Dog being the crowd favorite, he has his heart set on the main event at Starrcade. But the Desperado drill sergeant is not prepared to hand victory over. Evenly matched, both Slaughter and JYD, swap dominance. At one point in charge, Slaughter makes the costly error headbutting the much harder headed Junkyard Dog and it costs him. The Dog lets him have it and is about to set him up for his thump (powerslam), but Chief Billy White Wolf jumps on the apron. JYD walks over and grabs him and the two start arguing. Sgt. Slaughter shakes off the cobwebs and puts The Junkyard Dog in the cobra clutch. The Dog struggles but is finally forced to submit, putting the Sarge in the second round.
Later that night, The Motor City Madman meets the returning “Dangerous” Dan Spivey. It is explained that Spivey got a place in the tournament because of his “wave of destruction” in Japan. The two hard hitters go at it full throttle, neither giving an inch. Spivey attempts a one shoulder powerbomb, but the Madman is able to block it. After about ten minutes, The Motor City Madman sets an apparently down and out Spivey for his Canadian backbreaker/repeated reverse turnbuckle smash combination, but using his great height and strength, Spivey is to squirm out. The Madman, turns around and throws a punch, but Spivey ducks, kicks him in the stomach and hits the Spivey Spike (DDT) and gets the three count.
The next day on World Championship Wrestling, Lex Luger meets The Big Cat. Both men start by trash talking each other. Big Cat slaps Luger who reciprocates. The Big Cat then throws a punch, but “The Package” ducks and hits one of his own. Though he possibly has a slight power edge, the rookie Big Cat is not able to match Luger’s speed, skill, experience and stamina. After a devastating powerslam, Luger signals for the human torture rack. He gets his larger opponent up, but Nick Patrick is distracted when Sgt. Slaughter runs and jumps on the apron. While this is going on, Billy White Wolf charges in the ring, throws powder in Lex Luger’s face and jumps out the ring. Blinded, Luger drops Big Cat, who after taking a second to recover, hits Luger with a hard spinning side slam and Sgt. Slaughter having ended his diversion of Nick Patrick, gets the upset pin.
Later on Billy White Wolf escorts Harley Race and Stan Hansen down for their match. Doom then comes out with Teddy Long, all four wrestlers ready to fight.
Race starts out with Simmons and The Desperadoes take the early advantage. Hansen and Race work amazingly well together as a team. But Simmons and Reed are no slouches and use their experience as a team, strength and street smarts to come right back in it. After over 15 minutes, both Harley Race and Butch Reed are struggling to their corners. Race tags first, but Reed makes it as well. Hansen and Simmons go all out, with the referee trying to keep up. Soon Reed and Race are back in the fray. At this point Teddy Long jumps on the apron, but Bill White Wolf quickly pulls him off and attacks him. This is spotted by Butch Reed who jumps out and goes to Long’s rescue. Meanwhile Simmons sets Hansen up for a running clothesline, but Hansen ducks and he and Harley join hands and nail him with a double clothesline. With Race’s assist, Hansen the hits a spiked piledriver. He then makes the cover and three seconds later, the World Tag Team Titles are now in the Desperado camp. They quickly exit the ring and help out Billy White Wolf, who is getting beaten up by Butch Reed. Race and Hansen lay waste to the “Hacksaw” and the three leave the ringside area with the tag belts in celebration.
The next day on WCW Main Event, it announced that Hansen and Race would be tentatively scheduled to defend their newly won World Tag Team Titles against the Steiner Bros. at the Clash of the Champions. However, if either Race or Hansen makes the quarter finals of the tournament, then the Steiners will defend their U.S. Tag Team Titles against Doom, instead.
The main event of this week’s Main Event is the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair against an old rival, Terry Taylor in a first round match. Flair starts off typically arrogant, acting as though Taylor is an afterthought. But Terry isn’t back in WCW to play games. He takes Flair off his feet several times with a combination of dropkicks and hiptosses and from there the former six times World Champion knows it’s all business. He pretends like he is going to walk back to the locker room in frustration, but is “stopped” by Ole Anderson. He returns to the ring at Nick Patrick’s nine count and with a thumb to the eye, turns the tide. He controls for a while, but is taken off guard by a Taylor five arm (flying forearm). That may have caused a major upset except for Ole Anderson’s assist, putting Flair’s foot on the bottom rope. Taylor barks at a denying Ole, and takes it to Flair. He hits a hard backdrop suplex and puts Flair in the figure four. Flair screams out in pain and nearly submits, but is able to make the ropes. Taylor then puts Flair in a double arm chicken wing, but loses his balance and falls down back first, with the hold still on. As both men’s shoulders are on the mat, Nick Patrick makes a double count. The ever ring savvy Flair gets a shoulder up at two and is able to advance to the second round.
On the Power Hour, Stan Hansen is set for his match against Mike Rotundo. Both men experienced grapplers, “Captain” Mike can never be taken lightly. He uses his natural ability to counter Hansen’s size, ferocity and brute strength. After blocking then reversing a butterfly suplex, Hansen stomps a mud hole in Rotundo. He attempts to sink his ship once and for all with his lariat, but Rotundo ducks, picks a charging Hansen up and gives him a long airplane spin, then hits a Samoan Drop and scores a surprising three count, advancing to the Clash.
The next day on World Championship Wrestling, two tournament matches are scheduled.
At the end of the first hour, Arn Anderson meets Horsemen foe “Flyin” Brian Pillman. The two surprisingly enough shake hands when the bell rings, but from there it’s all business. Arn relies on his experience while Pillman on his speed and high flying ability. A well fought technical match, with many close calls, both men show they are indeed worthy title contenders. After countering an attempted spinebuster with a Thesz press, Pillman takes it to “The Enforcer”. But thinking he has Anderson more hurt than is the case, Pillman ducks his head for a backdrop and Arn promptly hits the DDT, advancing the Horseman to the next round.
The main event for the night and second to last first round match is Horseman v. Desperado or more specifically Sid Vicious vs. Harley Race. Both escorted by their respective managers, the two stare daggers at one another.
When the bell rings, Race slowly approaches, the much larger Vicious. Knowing a victory over the legendary Harley Race would rocket his already rising career even higher, Sid is determined not to disappoint. When they lock up, Sid throws Race to the floor, embarrassing “Handsome” Harley. But undeterred, he gets up and feigns another lock up, but instead hits Sid with a hard elbow to the face. Race then grabs him leg and takes him down. Taken off guard, the larger Vicious is visibly flustered. But eventually he is able to reverse an arm twist and kicks Race hard in the gut turning the tide. Several times Randy Anderson is distracted by Ole Anderson’s and Billy White Wolf’s bickering and has to warn the two not to fight. Regaining control after a botched kneedrop and several headbutts, Race locks Sid in an abdominal stretch. But the big man powers out with a hiptoss. He meets Race with a hard kick to the stomach, hits a perfectly executed powerbomb and gets the three count to advance, putting three Horsemen so far in the semifinals.
The last match of the first round is another Horseman v. Desperado encounter- this time pitting Barry Windham against Big Van Vader. Like yesterday, both have their managers with them. After last minute advice, the bell rings and the two go at it. Vader shows just how much of a monster he is, delivering a nonstop onslaught to Windham. This causes Ole Anderson to jump on the apron, which prompts Billy White Wolf to pull him off. This time, they won’t stop fighting and Nick Patrick throws them both out. While distracted, Windham hits Vader with a low blow and the tide turns. He hits his flying lariat but only gets two. Continuing the onslaught, he connects with a bulldog but Vader still manages to power out. Frustrated, Windham sets him up for the superplex, but once Windham climbs up. Vader punches at him and is able to push Windham off the ropes. Windham hits the ground hard and Vader turns around and wows the crowd with an incredible Vadersault (moonsault). This gets him the 3 count and the final slot at the Clash. As the Main Event closes out, Vader berates a still down Windham. “Who’s the man, little horsieboy? One down, three to go!”
November 20, 1990: Clash of the Champions XIII: Thanksgiving Thunder
The stage is set for a memorial night in Jacksonville. Both The Desperadoes and The Four Horsemen are in stride, determined for tonight to be their stable’s night. Before Sid’s match, the Horsemen are interviewed.
“With three of the four of you in the quarterfinals, tonight looks like it could be a stellar night for The Four Horsemen.” Tony Schiavone says. “Tony,” Ric Flair starts out, “you said, it. Myself, ‘Double A’ and ‘Big’ Sid are determined tonight to walk away tonight with the World’s Title shot at Starrcade, the granddaddy of them all! And Desperadoes, if you think you can out wrestle this, then think again! Because we’re The Four Horsemen and don’t you forget it! Wooo!” “Vader, at the Main Event, you got lucky against this man.” Arn Anderson says pointing to Barry Windham. “Real lucky. But luck is a fleeting thing my friend. And tonight, yours is going to run out.” “And Sid what about your match with The Big Cat?” Schiavone asks. “Big Cat, you are big. But boy, you’re outmanned and outgunned. Remember I’m not Lex Luger, I’m Sid Vicious.” “One thing I’d like to say. Billy White Wolf, I can’t remember the last time someone was a thorn in my side as bad as you. Well my patience has run thin. Watch your back, ‘Chief’.” Ole Anderson says to end the interview.
The opening bell rings and The Big Cat comes down. He has his omnipresent scowl on his face, but with a determined look. Then Sid comes down with Ole watching his back.
The former college football standout gives it his all, but from the opening bell, it just seems like Sid has his number. That’s not to say it is totally one sided as The Big Cat certainly has his moments. But that’s the problem- they’re just moments. After five minutes, Sid plants a powerbomb and advances to the semis.
Up next is a match all have been waiting for: Big Van Vader against “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair.
“Naitch” starts off strong using his experience and technical expertise to counter Vader’s phenomenal size. Their managers do argue on the outside but avoid resorting to fisticuffs. After dodging a turnbuckle charge, Flair kicks Vader’s knee taking him down and locks in the figure four. He puts the squeeze on, but Vader is able to power out. Like a shark smelling blood, Flair continues to work on his larger opponents hurt leg. After a snapmare takedown he goes for another figure four… but this time Vader kicks him headfirst into a turnbuckle. He then hits a series of hard punches, dropping the six times former World’s Champion. Attempting to interfere, Ole is actually grabbed and sucker punched by Harley Race. An already dazed Flair tries to make his way out to help out Ole, but Vader charges him from behind. He then hits the Face Eraser, getting the pinfall and advancing to the next round. “Two down, two to go!” he says as Billy White Wolf and Harley Race congratulate him.
The next tournament match pits Sgt. Slaughter against Mike Rotundo. Having eliminated one Desperado, “Captain” Mike looks to make a streak of it by eliminating the U.S. Champion.
This one is a very methodical match. Rotundo shows his win against Hansen was no fluke while Slaughter shows he is every bit as tough as he likes to say he is. Rotundo hits a great array of suplexes and uses his great amateur skills to get several near falls. Sgt. Slaughter, though, refuses to be put away and stays in it. After several minutes on offense, he attempts to set in his cobra clutch. But Rotundo is able to spin around and lock in a sleeper. Slaughter struggles but Rotundo has it cinched in. In desperation he lifts Rotundo up so he is piggyback on him and charges to a turnbuckle. Rotundo hits headfirst and breaks the hold. Slaughter then quickly goes to the second rope and hits the Slaughter Cannon. He makes the pin and putting his feet on the middle rope for leverage, gets the three.
Arn Anderson comes down for the last quarter final match against Dan Spivey. “Dangerous” Dan makes his way down, but midway to the ring he is blindsided by The Motor City Madman. His first round opponent puts the boots to him then bodyslams him on the concrete. He then picks him up and drops him neck first across the barricade. He continues to stomp Spivey until WCW Head of Security Doug Dillinger arrives with his crew and forces him to stop as the Clash goes to a commercial break.
When the show comes back on, Gary Michael Cappetta announces to the crowd that due to injuries just sustained, Dan Spivey will not be able to wrestle and that Arn Anderson advances to the next round via forfeit.
Tony Schiavone now interviews The Desperadoes. “Gentlemen, a successful second round, both Desperadoes still in the tournament advance.” That’s right Schiavone.” Sgt. Slaughter says. “Sid Vicious, you big puke, in just a few seconds, I’m taking you out and then I’m going to the finals. Van,” he says looking at Vader, “we ride together but this is for World gold.” “Sarge, that’s not a problem. This is business. But Arn Anderson, my business with you is to take you out, boy! I already beat Windham and your best buddy, ‘Slick’ Ric. You’re next on Vader’s hit list!” “Steiner Bros.,” Harley Race says, “you couldn’t settle for being wrestling’s number two tag team could you? Well boys, what we failed to finish last Clash, Stan and I finish tonight!” “That’s right Harley! We are going to teach those two college boys the difference between the amateurs and the pros. Rick, Scott, watch out punks!” “And Ole Anderson, anytime, anyplace. Billy White Wolf does not tolerate threats from putrid palefaces. Let’s go Sarge.” Billy White Wolf says to end the interview.
The Desperadoes’ music hits and Slaughter and White Wolf come down to the ring. Then Ole and Sid make their way down.
The bell rings and Slaughter uses his superior ring skills and dirty tactics to counter Sid’s outrageous size and strength. But even someone as well rounded as the Sarge is going to be hard pressed to get the best of Sid Vicious. Everything Slaughter throws at him, he manages to throw right back… and then some. An early chokeslam would have gained the victory, but Billy White Wolf manages to slip his charge’s foot underneath the bottom rope. This causes Ole to chase him away and the two circle the ring a couple of times before Randy Anderson warns them to “quit it.” Vicious’ onslaught continues but the Sarge ducks a boot to the head and counters with a hard Slaughter Cannon. He covers Sid but only gets one. Nonetheless, he gains the advantage and puts on a sitting chinlock to slow Vicious down. But Sid eventually powers back to his feet, picks Sarge up and drops him back first. From here Sid takes control. It looks like he is about to finish Slaughter off with a powerbomb, but when he lifts him up, he is met with a hard left hook. Slaughter turns this into a small package which may have been enough for three, but Ole Anderson returns White Wolf’s earlier favor and pushes them over, giving Sid a close two count. This causes White Wolf to chase Ole, and distracts Randy Anderson. Sgt. Slaughter starts yelling at Ole and is about to get out the ring to chase after him when Sid grabs him from behind, and throws a punch. But Slaughter ducks, returns a punch and clamps on the cobra clutch! Sid reels toward the ropes, but Slaughter has complete control. Sid is in pain and looks to be on the verge of quitting when Lex Luger, no friend at all of the Horsemen, runs in and slams the U.S. Champ in the back with a chair. He then slides out with evidence in hand right before Randy Anderson turns around. Both competitors are still on their feet trying to regain their composure. Slaughter apparently gets his back first and attacks Sid, attempting another cobra clutch. But Sid catches him by his throat, hits a chokeslam, and gets the three, advancing to the finals.
Arn Anderson and Big Van Vader come down for their big match. Arn hoping to make the finals an exclusive Horsemen affair, while Vader being The Desperadoes last hope. This one is 100% no nonsense from the get go. Vader shows just how ravaging of a monster he is, hitting “The Enforcer” with all he has. Anderson however, is experienced and double tough and will not let himself be bullied by anyone, even “The Rocky Mountain Monster”. Arn nearly avenges his Television Title loss with a spinebuster, but Vader is able to kick out. He follows up with a DDT attempt, but Vader turns it into a backdrop and follows that with a clothesline. After that, he hits a splash and hooking the leg, is just able to get three.
“Moments before their “Champions vs. Champions” tag encounter, Tony Schiavone interviews The Steiner Bros. “Rick, Scott, this is a big moment for you: A chance to regain the World Tag Team Titles.” That’s right, Tony.” Scott says. “It’s also a chance to get some revenge for what happened at the last Clash. Race, Hansen, you’ll may be legends, but The Steiner Bros. are up and coming legends in this sport and don’t either of you old men forget it!” “That’s right, Scottie. We may be the U.S Tag Team Champions, which don’t get me wrong we are proud of these belts. But we’re also the best tag team in the World. And after tonight, we’re going to own both titles. Come on Scott!” Rick says while barking to end the interview.
The Steiner’s come to the ring, both giving fans fives and Rick barking with many of his fans happily reciprocating. Then The Desperadoes’ Old West theme hits and Billy White Wolf escorts his men down.
When the bell rings it’s all business, with Scott and Stan Hansen starting it out. After feeling each other out, Hansen takes it to Scott and whips him across the ring. He attempts a running lariat, but Scott ducks and when Hansen comes back at him, he gets hit with a FrankenSteiner! This sets the Jacksonville crowd aflame as they cheer on the University of Michigan standout. Frustrated Hansen tags in Harley Race who wisely slows it down. But Scott shows Harley he is the real deal and quickly takes the advantage. The brother combo works Race over and gets several close pins. A Rick Steiner line (clothesline) gets the crowd cheering. But getting carried away in the excitement, Rick runs across the ring and gets a Stan Hansen knee in his back. This turns the tide and The Desperado Duo works the older Steiner brother down. After several minutes of this Harley Race goes for a top rope diving headbutt, but he showcases himself for too long and winds up hitting all mat. Both struggle to their corners, Race making it first, but Rick just gets to Scott. Refreshed and ready to go. Scottie takes it to “Stan the Man” hitting the Texas legend with everything he has. He even bangs his and Race’s head together. He sets him up for a Steiner line of his own, but Hansen dodges and connects with his lariat. He then locks Scott in the Brazos Valley Backbreaker (Boston Crab). But as he’s putting it on, Ric Flair, Barry Windham and Ole Anderson storm out from the back, Ole blindsiding Billy White Wolf. He and Flair start pounding away on White Wolf, while Windham, who is carrying a bullrope with a cowbell, lays low. Harley Race immediately attempts to save him, but Rick, knowing if Race is touched by any Horsemen he and Scott will be disqualified, heads him off and the two start brawling. Nick Patrick demands they desist, but they ignore him. While Patrick is distracted, Barry Windham slides in the ring and nails Hansen, who facing the other direction is oblivious to recent developments, in the back of the head with the cowbell. He then charges out, with the bullrope. Scott makes a cover and Nick Patrick turns around and seeing the cover counts and gives the Steiner Bros. their second World Tag Team Title reign.
Rick reverses a Race attempt at slamming his head in the ring post and leaves with Scott, both carrying the U.S. and World Tag Team Title belts. Meanwhile, Windham reenters the ring and starts hammering Stan Hansen with the cowbell then choking him with the bullrope. Ric Flair and Ole Anderson throw in Billy White Wolf then Flair throws in Harley Race. Ole takes his belt off and starts whipping White Wolf screaming “I told you son, I told you!” Flair locks Race in the figure four and will not break the hold. Finally, Vader and Sgt. Slaughter run out from the locker room. They both grab chairs before entering the ring, and the Horsemen scatter. Race and White Wolf are both the worse for wear and Hansen has to be taken to the back on a stretcher.
After the commercial break, Jim Ross tells the television audience that Jim Herd has suspended Ole Anderson for the rest of the night. And furthermore if any Horsemen or Desperado interferes in the main event, he will be fined and suspended. After Gary Michael Cappetta makes this announcement for the live crowd, the bell rings for the main event of the evening.
Jacksonville waits with baited breath as the biggest men in the two toughest rival factions are ready to duke it out in an epic rematch. Both come down unescorted looking like they are ready for a war- and a war it will be.
From the opening bell, Vader and Sid hit each other with everything but the kitchen sink. Several times Nick Patrick warns Vader to “knock it off” or he will be disqualified. But realizing how much everyone wants a definitive winner in this one, Patrick stretches his four count as far as possible. After holding the ropes after a Sid dropkick attempt, Vader is able to gain a decisive advantage. After a minute of wearing the Horseman down, he sets him up for a powerbomb. But Sid counters it with a backdrop. He then hits Vader with a hard boot to the face then connects with a chokeslam. He then attempts to finish Vader off with a powerbomb, but Vader then counters with a backdrop of his own. The two behemoths start pounding away at each other again and soon enough Vader reverses a Sid Irish Whip and follows up with a clothesline that takes Sid over the top rope. Vader starts to follow him out, but Nick Patrick will not allow it, threatening disqualification for Sid going over the top rope. While Vader repeatedly tells Nick Patrick it was “momentum” and not intentional, Sid slowly gets up. But no sooner is he on his feet then is he met by The Big Cat and The Motor City Madman. These two giants simultaneously grab Sid and hit a brutal double chokeslam on him. They then hightail it back to the locker room. Vader finally convincing Nick Patrick not to disqualify him, the referee turns around and begins a ten count. Sid is able to get to his feet, but is still the worst for wear. Vader breaks Patrick’s count at nine, and waits for Sid to climb on the ring apron. He then suplexes him back in. After that he follows up with a devastating powerbomb and makes what is now an elementary cover, gaining the win and the Starrcade World Title shot. Vader pops up and pointing at a fallen Sid Vicious yells “Four Horsemen in a row! Who’s the man?” He then looks at the camera and says “Sting, come Starrcade, your title is mine. It’s Vader time!”
On the heels of Clash of the Champions, WCW has become a lawless dueling ground. Marred by constant interference, WCW Executive Vice President Jim Herd has issued an immediate order saying heavy fines and suspensions will be issued if the outside interference persists. Now officially on the road to Starrcade 90, appropriately billed “Collision Course”, this year’s “Granddaddy of them all” is shaping into one for this and all ages…
On the Power Hour, Sgt. Slaughter and Stan Hansen team up to meet the rugged duo of “Dirty” Dutch Mantell and Moondog Rex. But rugged or not, the two veterans are overran by the understandably angry Desperado duo. After ducking a double clothesline attempt, “The Lariat” hits both with a lariat of his own, taking both down. He then tags in Sgt. Slaughter who squeezes Mantell with the cobra clutch while Hansen makes Moondog Rex howl with the Brazos Valley Backbreaker. After the match, they and Billy White Wolf take to the interview podium with Paul E. Dangerously.
“Now gentlemen, it is obvious, you are very upset about last Tues…” but Stan Hansen grabs the mic from Dangerously and screams “Get out here you New York pipsqueak!”, at which Paul E. promptly complies. “Listen here, Blackjack Mulligan JUNIOR, no one does to Stan Hansen what you did to me and lives- NO ONE! I’ve already talked to the WCW Executive Committee and at Starrcade you and I are meeting in a bullrope match!” “And Luger,” Sgt. Slaughter says, “I also went to the executive committee. And good news, pretty boy: You’ve got a U.S. Title rematch at Starrcade. Bad news: It’s a boot camp match- no holds barred! Maggot, be prepared to go MIA! “And guess what Ole?” Billy White Wolf says pulling out an Indian strap. “That’s right, you guessed it. Starrcade 90- Anderson and White Wolf both come out of retirement for my match– the Indian strap match!” he says while popping the belt. “And ‘Rock’ prepare to be in a very hard place!”
It is announced that the next day on World Championship Wrestling that The Four Horsemen will be interviewed to give their thoughts on the Clash and Starrcade.
On World Championship Wrestling, Dan Spivey wrestles George South. A competent veteran though not with the best won-loss record, Spivey more or less makes minced meat out of him before finishing him off with a one shoulder powerbomb. As the show goes to a commercial break, Spivey is seen picking up a microphone.
After the break, the camera is on the ring and Spivey. “Sid, I know you’re in the back, now get out here, NOW! After a few moments, Sid Vicious walks to the ring. “Now look, you know why I called you here. You and I both got stomped at the Clash by those two arrogant wannabees. I call them that because that’s what they are; Skyscraper wannabees!” This draws a reaction from the crowd and a visible change of facial expression from Sid. “Now I know you’re a Horsemen now and that’s cool, I don’t want to interfere with that, not at all. But Sid, we have to avenge what happened and I want to do it together. Besides the last time the “Skyscrapers” were a team it wasn’t even you and me, it was two other guys! We can’t let that be the last anyone ever sees of The Skyscrapers, now can we? So I say Vicious and Spivey, the real Skyscrapers, take on The Motor City Madman and The Big Cat at Starrcade!” Sid then takes the microphone and responds “Dan, it’s done!” and shakes his old partner’s hand as the crowd cheers the normally hated behemoths.
Later on The Four Horsemen, sans Sid Vicious give an interview. A very smug Barry Windham starts off. “So Stan Hansen thinks he can anger me by calling me “Blackjack Mulligan Jr.? Hansen, I am proud of my family and my roots and my dad will be cheering me on when I beat you like an insolent brat at Starrcade. We’re going to see who the toughest Texan is and it’s going to be me.” “And, Billy White Wolf,” Ole Anderson says “did I not warn you? Are you that naïve to think you could jump on me-” he says pointing to himself “the guiding light of The Four Horsemen? And now you have to face me in a strap match. Indian strap, cowboy strap, shoulder strap, I don’t care. At Starrcade, White Wolf, I am going to make you feel pain in places you didn’t even know you had.” Jim Ross then asks Ric Flair “Ric why did you attack Harley Race like that?” “Race,” Flair responds, “it’s simple. That is my ring.” He says pointing to the ring. “You used to be the man but no more. Your time has passed and you should just accept that…” “Whoo, whoo!” Arn Anderson says as Harley Race makes an unexpected appearance. “What are you doing here?” “Flair, I am only going to say this one time. You and me: Starrcade 90:Collision Course!” “Harley, Harley, Harley. Haven’t you learned by now? It’s not worth it. Like Sid said back in August, you are yesterday’s news!” Race gets in Flair’s face, pretending his three compatriots do not exist and says “Just you and me! No cage this time, no special referee, no Ole, no White Wolf, no Horsemen, no Desperadoes. You win, I retire!” This gets the crowd to ooh and aah and “The Nature Boy’s” face lights up. “So wait a minute, you’re saying I beat you in my ring, at my event, then you’re gone from this sport for good?” “That’s right! You’ve got the chance to take me out… in St. Louis no, less. How about it, ‘Slick’ Ric?” Flair thinks for a second then says “Harley baby, you got a date with destiny… and Ric Flair at Starrcade! Woooo!” Race then nods and walks away.
Closing out Jim Ross announces that Sting and Big Van Vader will have their official Starrcade contract signing on next week’s show.
The next day on WCW Main Event, The Big Cat and The Motor City Madman make their tag team debut against Brett Wayne and Joe Barrett. The match is a pure shellacking as the two mass monsters want to make an example for Vicious and Spivey. After they finish Wayne off via a double chokeslam they are interviewed by Jim Ross.
“Big Cat, Motor City Madman, I have to ask you two things: Just why did you attack Dan Spivey and Sid Vicious and what are your thoughts on the challenge they issued yesterday for Starrcade?” That’s easy, Ross.” The Madman replies. “First, those two robbed us of our World Title shot. And no one crosses The Motor City Madman and The Big Cat. NO ONE! As far as their little challenge- sure we accept. After all, it’s out with the old, in with the new. And after we get done with The Skyscrapers, we’re going after the Steiners and tag team gold!” “Spivey, Vicious, you think were wannabees? Well come Starrcade, you two are going to wanna be somewhere else!” Big Cat says to end the interview.
The next week on World Championship Wrestling, The Desperadoes’ music hits and out comes Big Van Vader with Billy White Wolf. Jim Ross is already in the ring with a table with two chairs and a World Title contract set for December 16 at Starrcade. Sting’s music then hits and the NWA World Champion enters to a rousing ovation. He then shakes Jim Ross’ hand but does not take his eye off either Vader or White Wolf. “Gentlemen, this is a rather simple procedure.” Jim Ross says. “At Starrcade 90, the two of you will meet for the World Title at the Kiel Auditorium at Starrcade. Both parties have had a chance to overlook the contract in the back already, so all we need here is your signatures.” Billy White Wolf quickly glances over the contract, whispers something to Vader, then nods in approval. Vader then signs the contract. “Stinger.” Ross says to Sting. At this Sting takes his pen and immediately signs his John Hancock on the dotted line. “It’s done.” Jim Ross says. “Well this is such a nice thing.” Billy White Wolf says. “And Sting win or lose, I just want to say that you are a great World’s Champion and may the best man win.” He then offers Sting his hand. The World’s Champion hesitates, but against his better judgment, extends his. He and White Wolf shake, but then the Indian chief pulls Sting to him and slaps him across the face as Jim Ross shouts “Dear Lord!” Before he can respond, Vader sucker punches him and goes to town. Sting fights back, but with the two on one, he is outgunned. Vader picks him up and powerbombs him through the table, leaving him motionless. He then picks up the World Title belt, and sticking his finger in Sting’s face yells “Stinger, in just two short weeks this belt is going to be MINE! ALL MINE! Vader will rule the world!” He then throws the belt down on the befallen champion and he and his manager leave the ring as World Championship Wrestling goes off the air.
Speculation as to the extent of Sting’s injury is made throughout WCW Main Event. It is said a more definitive answer will be available by the Power Hour on Saturday morning.
As fans wait with baited breath to see if Sting was taken out or not, they get good news: Sting was badly hurt, but not seriously injured and will be returning. But not taking any chances he will not be in action or on television until…
December 16, 1990: Starrcade 90: Collision Course
Finally it’s here. Starrcade: The granddaddy of them all. Tonight the fans in the St. Louis Kiel Auditorium may see a legendary career finally pass. The fact that it is in Race’s home state of Missouri and in St. Louis, the city where Race made his name in wrestling and won his last NWA World Title from Ric Flair, make the match that much more intriguing. And on top of that, the card is jam packed from head to toe with excellent matches, most stemming from piping hot rivalries.
The Desperadoes’ music hits and Stan Hansen comes down chewing tobacco and angrily wielding his bullrope with Billy White Wolf in tow. Then the Horsemen’s music plays and Barry Windham comes down with Ole Anderson. The two rival managers stare daggers at one another, but neither says a word.
Nick Patrick hooks both men up to the bullrope by their wrist, making sure that neither makes a move until both are fastened, then calls for the bell. Hansen and Windham then tear into one another something fierce as their respective managers cheer them on. After hitting a surprise bulldog on Hansen, Windham makes the first move to touch all four ring posts in order to win, but can only get to the second one before Hansen stops him by hitting him in the head with the cowbell. The tide turned, he works over Windham then after hitting a second rope knee drop goes for the win, dragging Windham on his back. But the Sweetwater native is not done yet and before Hansen can touch the third turnbuckle, he hits him in the midsection with the cowbell. The tide again turned, Windham gives his rugged opponent all he has- and then some. Hitting a hard lariat, he goes for the win, but gets only three corners. He then tries a superplex, but Hansen throws him off the ropes to his feet. He comes down off the second rope with the cowbell, but Windham blocks part of it, hurting his left hand. Hansen then starts to choke Windham with the bullrope, and it takes all Windham’s effort to prevent a total choke out. After a hard neckbreaker, Hansen says “That’s it” and goes for the win. He gets to three corners and is on the verge of the fourth, but Windham pulls with all his might as Hansen reaches for the final corner. Hansen decides to go for a surprise lariat to finish off Windham, but he ducks and the two charge into the parallel corner, both touching it with a hand. The fighting continues to the next corner which each both tag. This goes on to the third corner, where they stop for a while to slug it out, but neither strides backwards to break the forward progress required. They then both advance to the fourth and final corner with Hansen ahead. “I think Hansen’s going to get their first.” Paul E. Dangerously commentates. But right before Hansen can touch the final turnbuckle, Barry Windham reaches over with his uninjured right hand and clamps on the iron claw! Hansen struggles to get it off but is clearly taken off guard. Realizing he has “The Lariat” stunned, Windham quickly releases the hold, jumps over Hansen and tags the final turnbuckle, winning a very brutal and hard fought match.
Both men are laid out for several minutes afterwards and need their managers to help them walk back to the locker room.
The Motor City Madman and Big Cat are introduced and come down with arrogant looks on their faces. Then Gary Michael Cappetta introduces Spivey and Vicious as The Skyscrapers as the crowd cheers them. When they get in the ring, the four immediately start fighting. The bell rings and Vicious winds up in the ring with The Big Cat. “Big” Sid gets the best of him causing him to quickly tag in the Madman. Still stunned from the earlier fighting, Vicious takes it to him and tags in Spivey. They execute a double powerbomb and in just over a minute get the pinfall victory.
Afterwards they are interviewed by Paul E. Dangerously. “A very impressive win, gentlemen! How unfortunate that this a one time, never to happen again reunion. Still… “Shut up, little man!” Sid Vicious shouts at Paul E. “Listen, we do what we want, whenever we want. And who knows, you just may see The Skyscrapers back in the ring together in 1991!” “That’s right, Sid! And I fear for any man who gets in our way!” Dan Spivey concurs.
Before his big match, Lex Luger is interviewed by Tony Schiavone. “Lex, this is it. A huge night for ‘The Total Package’. “You said it, Tony. And as you and all the people at home can see, I’m not dressed in wrestling gear. Now in the past I’ve made fun of Sgt. Slaughter’s physique, but the fact remains he is a great wrestler and a dangerous opponent and I’m not taking him lightly. I’m not here to flex tonight, I’m here to fight.” Luger says to end the interview.
“The Package” comes down to the ring amidst cheers. Then The Desperadoes’ music hits and Sgt. Slaughter comes down with Billy White Wolf. “He’s dressed for this match, too.” Paul E. Dangerously says, commenting on Slaughter wearing military garb as opposed to his usual Desperado getup.
Randy Anderson rings the bell and the two approach each other. But before they can even lock up, Sgt. Slaughter throws powder in Lex Luger’s eyes! He gives off a maniacal laugh as Randy Anderson admonishes him, but can do nothing as the match is no DQ. The Sarge then takes it to Luger, who he now regards as easy pickens. And Slaughter is a master brawler and an expert in dishing out pain. “I think Slaughter may have the day on this one.” Jim Ross no sooner says on commentary than Lex Luger dodges a Slaughter Cannon and connects with a clothesline of his own. Still partially blinded, “The Package” finds Slaughter and grabs a hold of him and proceeds to very uncharacteristically bite down on his skull then pound his head into the nearest turnbuckle. Slaughter falls to the ground, and notwithstanding his earlier words, Luger gives the Kiel Auditorium a double arm flex. This may have cost him because when he goes to pick up Sgt. Slaughter, who has a few more seconds to regain his composure, Luger gets hit with a low blow. Slaughter returns to his methodical wear down of Luger, purposefully not expending too much energy. He hits an arm wrench short-arm clothesline and then sets Luger up for the cobra clutch. He gets it on him, but Luger struggles and is able to charge to the ropes before it is cinched in completely, sending both men over the top rope to the floor. Slaughter gets up first and grabs Luger with the intent of ramming his head into a ringpost… but the challenger blocks it and rams the Sarge’s head into it instead. He then throws him into a guardrail and clotheslines him over. The tide turned, Luger throws drags Slaughter back over the guardrail and throws him back into the ring, whips him across the ropes and hits a devastating powerslam. Luger then signals for the torture rack. He slides Slaughter on his back purposefully facing Billy White Wolf and puts the squeeze on. The champion holds out for as long as he can, but realizing he has no place to go, finally submits and Lex Luger wins his fourth U.S. Title.
As the crowd cheers on a victorious Lex Luger, the camera goes to Sting and Tony Schiavone. “Sting, great to see you here at Starrcade. You have truly got a monumental task ahead of you tonight.” “Thank you, Tony. It’s nice to be here. Yeah Vader is big and bad and him and that no good manager of his got the jump on me at the contract signing. But Vader, it’s not how many times you are knocked down, it’s how many you get back up. I didn’t win the World’s Title by being a quitter. And I don’t plan on quitting now. Desperadoes, the posse just arrived and it’s “The Stinger! Oww!” the World Champion yells to end the interview.
Moments before the NWA World Title defense, the challenger and his manager are interviewed. “Vader, tonight is the night. You and Sting for the World Heavyweight Title.” Tony Schiavone says. “That’s right. Tonight is the night that Big Van Vader proves that he is the master of the universe, ruler of the world. Sting, you’ve had a good run, but tonight it’s Vader Time!” “That’s right.” Billy White Wolf says. “Tonight the Desperadoes win the World Title. This man is the most dangerous monster in wrestling today. No one can stop him!”
Big Van Vader comes down for his title match with Billy Wolf at his side. Then Sting’s music hits and the crowd goes wild. Decked in a beautiful green ring jacket, trunks and face paint, the popular World’s Champion is all business.
Randy Anderson rings the bell and the match is on. This one proves to be an instant classic. Sting gives it all his heart, determined not to lose at the biggest show of the year. But Vader is a hard nut to crack, using his lethal size, strength, speed and agility to break Sting. But “The Stinger” will notbe intimidated. He takes everything “The Rocky Mountain Monster” throws at him and dishes out his own brand of punishment right back at him. He reverses a Vader turnbuckle throw and connects with the Stinger Splash to Vader’s back. He pushes his challenger down and attempts to put him in the Scorpion Deathlock… and succeeds. But Vader is too close to the ropes and is able to grab them, forcing a break. Vader is able to regain control and tears into Sting. After a barrage of punches in the corner, he slams him to the other side and goes for the body avalanche but Sting moves out the way at the last second. Vader hits hard and screams out “My ribs!” He walks into a still woozy Sting, who picks him up and bodyslams him! This causes panic in Billy White Wolf who jumps on the apron, which Sting remedies by punching him right in the nose, causing him to fall hard to the floor. He then climbs to the top ropes and hits a just risen Vader with a flying cross body press… but Vader catches him and delivers a powerslam… but Sting uses the momentum to flip over. Sting hooks the leg and before Vader can regain his composure, Randy Anderson’s hand hits the mat for the third time and Sting retains his World Title as the crowd roars in jubilation.
Ric Flair is then interviewed for his upcoming match. “‘Nature Boy’,” Tony Schiavone says. “Tonight is the night. You and Harley Race, one more time.” “That’s right. So Race, are you ready to ‘walk that aisle’? ‘Cause I am! But Ric Flair’s always ready. The clock is ticking Harley and in just a little while, your legendary career is comin’ to an end! Wooo!” “Aren’t you being a little overconfident Ric? I mean this is Harley Race.” “Schiavone, you don’t get to be a six times World’s Champion by being overconfident. I know what I’m doing.” “But Ric, Harley Race is a seventimes World’s Champi…” “Schiavone, I said I know what I’m doing.Let’s leave it at that!” Flair says, visibly irritated at the fact Tony Schiavone pointed out that Harley Race has won more World Titles than he. “Very well. Back to you Jim.”
Ole Anderson makes his way down alone for the Indian strap match. He is followed shortly by Billy White Wolf, who is still clearly nursing a hurt nose. Not being the best night so far for The Desperadoes, he is determined to give them a win, as Ole is equally determined to do so for The Four Horsemen. Nick Patrick hooks them up to the Indian strap and it doesn’t take two seconds for the two veterans to start smacking away at one another. Ole getting the better of the exchange, White Wolf attempts to take a breather outside the ring, but “The Rock” pulls him back in with the strap and continues the whipping. This continues until Ole attempts a backdrop which White Wolf meets with an Indian chop to the head. He does an Indian dance then goes to work on Ole, using a variety of scientific holds and brawling tactics…and of course the strap. After a missed elbow drop, Ole is able to regain the advantage. He uses his patented standing armbar twist behind back to attempt to gain a submission, which he nearly does, but Billy White Wolf is able to chop his way out. After another minute, Ole grounds White Wolf and attempts a figure four leg lock, but White Wolf manages to kick him into the corner. He immediately pops up and hits a hiptoss on Ole. After that, he grabs Ole’s legs and applies the Indian Deathlock. Ole squirms and struggles but not able to break the hold or get to the ropes, he begrudgingly submits, giving The Desperadoes their first win of the night.
Moments before his big match, Harley Race is interviewed by Tony Schiavone. “Well Harley, tonight is without a doubt the biggest rematch of your long, storied career. And I notice you are wearing your old red, white and blue ring jacket here at the Kiel Auditorium.” “You just said a mouthful, Tony. I am wearing this jacket, because as much as I respect them, tonight is not about The Desperadoes… nor the Horsemen for that matter. Flair, seven years ago at Starrcade, you ended my World Title run… my record breaking World Title run. And you know I never forgot that. But Flair, tonight the chickens come home to roost.” “And Harley, you know if you lose tonight, you retire. Your great career could be ending tonight in St. Louis.” At this Race pauses for a second and finally says “Well… Ric Flair ended my World Title run and now has the chance to end my career once and for all. Will tonight be my last match? Well, it’s time to stop talking and find out.” “Best of luck to you, champ.” Tony Schiavone tells Race then shakes his hand.
“Sprach Zarathustra” hits and “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair comes out with all his pomp and circumstance, decked out in a beautiful black with red lace robe. He takes his time coming to the ring, even giving the crowd a twirl midway to the ring from the entrance way. Then Harley Race is introduced. No music playing tonight, the loyal Missouri crowd goes wild for the former seven times NWA World’s Champion. Race strides to the ring, though does give a few lucky fans fives, though with his full attention always on the squared circle. When he gets to the ring he hops up, climbs in and promptly disrobes, never once taking his eyes off Ric Flair who doesn’t take his eyes off Race, either. Finally, Flair disrobes and the bell rings.
The two former World Champions circle one another very cautiously before locking up. When they do, Race promptly turns it into a headlock. Flair tries to push off, but Race’s grip is too hard. He tries again to the same results. He then hits a backdrop suplex… but Race still doesn’t release. They get back on their feet and Flair punches at Race’s leg and finally pushes him off. Race charges the ropes and he and Flair’s shoulder’s collide, with Race knocking Flair down. He charges again, Flair leapfrogs then when Race returns attempts an armdrag which Race reverses. A frustrated Flair exits the ring in disgust as the crowd cheers its approval of Race’s early domination. Flair walks off his frustration then climbs back in the ring. He and Race lock up but Race turns it into an arm twist. Flair counters with one of his own then Race then Flair then Race who turns it into an armlock. Flair elbows Race and gets out of it and follows up with a punch/chop combo. But he makes the mistake of headbutting Race, who promptly hits Flair with a combination of headbutts, punches, kicks and elbows. He bodyslams Flair and hits a knee drop. He then headbutts him, clotheslines him down and attempts another knee drop but this time Flair moves out the way at the last second and Race lands the wrong way, causing him to grab his right knee in pain. Ric Flair, the quintessential veteran, smiles at the smell of blood. He clips Race as he attempts to stand. The tide turned, Flair picks a hobbling Race up and slaps him across the face. An enraged Race tries to attack but his knee gives out allowing Flair to easily down him with a chop. Now in firm control, “The Nature Boy” slowly dismantles his elder opponent, taunting the loyal St. Louis crowd with struts and “woos” as he does it. After a well place diving kick to the hind leg which drops Race, Flair sets him up for the figure four… but Race counters with a small package and nearly gets three! An enraged Flair pops and attacks Race who still hurt can’t completely fight back. He then throws him into the turnbuckle and hits a backdrop. “Now!” he screams out. He attempts another figure four and this time is successful. Race screams in pain as Flair is determined to end this one once and for all. Nick Patrick repeatedly asks, but Harley Racewill not quit. He tries to reverse it and in spite of being hurt comes close. But each time he’s about to, Ric Flair grabs the ropes to pull Race back over. The St. Louis crowd screams bloody murder, but Nick Patrick can’t call what he can’t see. Finally Flair goes to the well once too often and Patrick catches him. He demands Flair break which the six time former NWA World’s Champion begrudgingly does after a long four count. Undeterred Flair goes right back on the attack and attempts another figure four… but this time Race reaches up, grabs him by the hair and headbutts him repeatedly. He slowly makes his way to his feet and dodges a wobbly Flair right hand and hits one of his own. The worm turned, “Handsome” Harley gives Flair all he has left. He gets three close two counts, but “The Nature Boy” is in it for the long haul. He eventually regains control and after punching Race out while standing on the ropes in a corner, tosses Race to the other side… but Race reverses it. Flair flips over the ropes and attempts to run to the other side, only to be met with a Race clothesline. Race promptly picks Flair up and suplexes him back in the ring… holding him in the air for several seconds so the blood will rush to his brain and incapacitate him. Race then goes for the pin and hooks the leg, coming within an eyelash of three. He then returns Flair’s favor from earlier by climbing the ropes by the turnbuckle and punching away at him while the crowd jubilantly counts to ten. He then Irish Whips Flair to the other side, but like before, Flair reverses it. Race charges back at him but Flair ducks for a backdrop. However, Race jumps on top of him and lifts him up for a piledriver! A startled Flair tries to fight it off, but Race still gets him up. After several seconds, Race drops it, covers Flair, hooks the leg, and the Kiel Auditorium hits the roof as Nick Patrick counts 1-2-3!
Race pops up raising his hands while nearly falling over in joy and jubilation. Nick Patrick grabs and lowers then raises his right hand as the crowd’s cheers grows even louder. Finally, after seven long years, Harley Race has avenged his loss at Starrcade 83. The Desperadoes all come down and congratulate Race on his epic victory. Eventually Ric Flair gets up and slowly walks over to them. They all stare, but do not stop him. Flair pauses for several seconds then finally extends his hand. Race takes it and the two long time rivals shake. Race lifts Flair’s and his arms up as the St. Louis crowd grows even louder. Flair pats Race on the shoulder, tells him “Great job, champ.” and exits the ring. The Desperadoes carry Harley Race to the dressing room on their shoulders, serving as a fitting chariot for “The King of Wrestling”.
December 22, 1990: Power Hour
It is announced throughout the Power Hour that Harley Race will be making a major announcement on World Championship Wrestling.
December 22, 1990: World Championship Wrestling
Throughout the whole show, Starrcade is recapped and a major announcement from the victorious Harley Race is promised.
Finally the last segment arrives. The Desperadoes theme music hits and all five come out. Big Van Vader, Stan Hansen and Sgt. Slaughter are all wearing their black hats and trench coats and Bill White Wolf has his Indian headdress on, but Harley Race is noticeable in that he is sporting a black suit. They are actually cheered, undoubtedly due to Race’s recent epic performance.
When he gets to the ring, Harley takes the microphone. “Thank you. Now I’d like if they would, for Ric Flair and The Four Horsemen to come down here. I promise there will be no fighting tonight.” The crowd oohs and aahs at this and Jim Ross speculates “What’s this all about?” Sure enough, The Four Horsemen with Ole Anderson make their way into the ring.
“Now,” Race continues, “I’d like the reigning World’s Champion Sting to come down as well.” “This is really getting to be something Jim.” Bob Caudle says as the crowd oohs and aahs some more. Sting obliges and comes to the ring.
“First, I want to address you Sting.” Race says pointing to him. “When you first won the World’s Title, I thought it was a joke. I mean here is this guy with a painted face who sucks up to the crowd. ‘He’s not a real World’s Champion.’ I thought. ‘Ric Flair’s lost his touch.’ But when I faced you and you beat me… and the way you beat this man last night” he says pointing to Vader, “I realized you are indeed worthy to hold that title. For the last several months you’ve been one helluva World’s Champion and no one can ever take that away from you!” He then offers his hand to Sting who proudly shakes it and thanks Harley Race for his kind words.
“Now Ric Flair: Seven years ago you made yourself a legend by beating me at Starrcade. That match has always haunted me- until now. I needed to know that I was still Harley Race and though it took every bone in my body, last night I did it. But you are a legend, Flair and I am sure as great as Sting is that one day you will regain the World Title. I would like to shake your hand again, Ric.” “Gladly” Flair says and the two shake.
“That leads me to my next subject. Even though I won last night, I realize that one can’t remain in the spotlight forever. And I can’t think of any way better to go out than with a rematch victory over a man I consider my greatest rival. Therefore, I hereby officially announce my retirement from professional wrestling!”
This announcement sends shockwaves through both the crowd and announce team.
“Now don’t misunderstand me, I’ll still be around. Billy and I are going to co-manage The Desperadoes from here on out.” He says as Billy White Wolf nods. “And though we have a truce tonight, Horsemen, this war isfar from over.” A statement that causes the Horsemen to grin and nod in unison.
“And one more thing: Sid- you impressed me last night. I mean taking out those two big oafs that quickly was something I’ll never forget. In fact, as I am retiring, that leaves an open spot on The Desperadoes roster.” “Well forget it, old man!” Sid says. Pointing at himself he says “I’m a Horsemen!” “Oh, I wouldn’t dream of it, Sid. Not at all. But like I said, I was impressed with your match last night. Very impressed. On that note, allow me to introduce the newest Desperado!”
The Desperadoes’ music then hits and wearing a black hat and trench coat walks out a well known figure. “Oh no, not him!” A flustered Arn Anderson says as the newest Desperado enters the ring. Seconds later, “Dangerous” Dan Spivey is given the microphone by Harley Race. “Well hello Sid. How are you?” he says to his now speechless fellow Skyscraper. “Say that belt looks real nice around your waist. And like you said, we‘just may see The Skyscrapers back in the ring together in 1991!’” Spivey says with a huge smile and smooth, pleasant Southern drawl as Sid Vicious’ jaw drops to the mat.