August 25, 2009
Matt Peddycord

NWA World Television Champion Nikita Koloff vs. Mike Rotunda (w/Kevin Sullivan) – (NWA Pro, 2/6/88)
Taped 1/26/88 in Raleigh, NC

The classic JR and Bob Caudle are on commentary. This is real early in the history of the awesome underrated stable known as The Varsity Club. A little bit of Rotunda stalling to start. He clamps on a headlock and when Nikita gets off a couple slams and goes for the SICKLE, Rotunda heads out to regroup with the ‘bizarre looking’ Kevin Sullivan. Back in, Koloff grabs a headlock and Rotunda tries to turn him over into a pin with his feet on the ropes, but Nikita won’t allow it. Commercial break. Now Rotunda has a headscissors on Koloff. From there, Rotunda works a hammerlock and changes over into an armbar. Nikita fires back and grabs a headlock. And just as JR mentions how clean this match has been, Rotunda low blows Nikita to escape. Rotunda whiffs on a dropkick, allowing Nikita to come back with a chinlock. Here comes fellow Varsity Club member Rick Steiner to stir the pot up a little. Rotunda battles out, but Nikita reverses a corner charge. Three minutes left in the 20-minute time limit. Ten-count corner punches! Jumping shoulderblock connects for 1-2-NO! Rick Steiner grabs Koloff’s foot which distracts the ref. Meanwhile, Koloff drills Rotunda with the SICKLE. With Hebner’s back still turned to Steiner, Sullivan comes in and jabs Nikita in the throat with something. Here comes the ref, cover from Rotunda gets three. (13:47 shown) NEW TV CHAMP! I’m not sure what I was expecting from this match. Maybe if it was longer and had more of a story, I’d have dug it more like the Nikita/Taylor match from Starrcade ‘87 that I LOVE. Anyways, it’s a basic title switch. Nothing too interesting, but it puts over the ideology of the Varsity Club – they’ll wrestle you all night long, but they’ll stab you in the throat with a foreign object in a heartbeat. **

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