Correction: I'm sorry to confess that I am still mixing up my Brians - I of course meant to identify Mortis' un-named associate as Brian Clarke not Brian Adams in the last issue.
IronMan:The Legend of the Road Warriors
by Ervin Griffin Jr.
Part 7: Domination
Frustrated by a lack of respect from NWA promoters, the Road Warriors a plan in motion. Part of that plan took place in Richmond, VA in October 1988 during a six-man tag team match with The Road Warriors and Sting against The Varsity Club (Kevin Sullivan, Mike Rotunda, Rick Steiner). The Warriors, noticably, did not tag Sting for most of the entire bout. When Sting was tagged in, he cleaned house and had Rotunda in position for the Scorpion Deathlock. Hawk, out of nowhere, pulls Sting off of Rotunda!!! As Sting and Hawk argued, Animal came in from behind and leveled Sting. They then put a double-clothesline on him, used a combination gorrilla press/ax-handle move off the top rope onto Sting's neck, and put him in the dreaded "Human Sacrifice." Sting was a crumpled heap in the ring. Lex Luger tried to come in and help but he got hammered as well. Afterwards, The Roadies (in an issue of THE WRESTLER) declared that "Sting, Dusty and the fans can go to hell!!!" Their next step was a title match against their long-time nemisis, The Midnight Express.
The match was signed for October 29, 1988 in New Orleans, LA. As the introductions were being made, Paul Ellering grabbed Jim Cornette (the Midnights' manager) and started beating him up. As "Sweet" Stan Lane came down to help Cornette, the Warriors took advantage and jumped "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton. They threw him to the outside and rammed his head repeatedly into the ringpost!!! Eaton was a bloody mess outside the ring as Stan tried to fight off the Warriors in the ring. Stan actually gave a good accounting of himself but no one can take on both Hawk and Animal at the same time and expect to win. Finally, Eaton made an ill-advised tag to his partner and, after holding off the Warriors for about 20 seconds, fell victim to a running clothesline from Animal. Three seconds later, there were new NWA World Tag Team Champions.
A few days after they won the title, Dusty Rhodes came out and challenged Animal to an unscheduled match on TBS' World Championship Wrestling (now known as WCW Saturday Night). This would prove to be a costly mistake as Animal and Hawk both jumped Rhodes and planted a spike from their shoulder pads into his head and eye. This set off confrontations between Rhodes and the Warriors at both Clash Of The Champions IV and Starrcade '88: True Gritt.
The Clash matchup was to determine who would keep the six-man title held by Rhodes and the Warriors (in case your wondering, the Warriors and Rhodes regained the title during the summer when The Powers Of Pain and Ivan Koloff vacated the belts due to the Powers' departure to the WWF).
Animal won this match by DQ when Sting interfered in the match. This led to a NWA World Tag Team title match at Starrcade '88 in Norfolk, VA between The Warriors and Sting/Rhodes. This match ended when Paul Ellering got his team DQ'ed intentionally to save his team from losing the tag belts.
Over the next month, the Warriors faced various teams with great success. Their toughest challenges came from The Varsity Club, who by this time had replaced Rick Steiner with Steve "Dr. Death" Williams. This rivary would go on for about six months and would result in the Warriors losing another controversial decision to Rotunda and Williams and thus, lost the NWA titles. This match took place in (ironically) New Orleans, LA at the Superdome on April 2, 1989.
Next: Samoans, Skyscrapers, and Steiners
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Ervin Griffin Jr. is a regular contributor to Solie's as well as the Ringside Insider and other publications.
For those of you who haven't noticed yet, I have installed a Rumor Mill forum on the site. The link is on the main page right under the link to the Weekly Discussion Group forum. Although I personally don't go in for rumors and generally don't feature them in the Newsletter, I do understand that it is something that people like to talk about and I expect that it will be a pretty easy message board to maintain so I decided to make it available. Please be aware that Solie's does not endorse any of the stories you might read there. And those of you who do post...try not to make things up :-)
Dustin Rhunnels revealed himself the other night on RAW and I guess there will be more to the story. I believe he is making a mistake if he has decided to abandon the Goldust character. Dustin has come a long way as a wrestler and and actor - but the Goldust character would tend to make that easier. Trying to be yourself is the hardest job an actor can do - hiding behind a disguise has a liberating effect that is well documented. Dustin's father was able to pull it off because he had a flamboyant character that he played to the hilt. He did it without resorting to masks or face-paint. It remains to be seen if young Dustin can really fill his father's shoes...
One other thing about that story. It appears that the WWF may be trying to make some hay at Dusty Rhodes expense with this "Goldust to Dustin" angle. I hope that this is not the case but I suspect it will go that direction just because it fits in with the general trend lately in the WWF - which is to take every cheap shot they can at the competition (like allowing signs on camera - maybe even planting them - that say things like "Bischoff Sucks!" or "Nitro Sucks!" for instance). It's really too bad that Vince & Company are obsessed with the idea of being the only game in town...
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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