November 21, 2007
Matt Peddycord

NWA World Championship Wrestling
January 21, 1989
Atlanta, GA
WTBS Studios

Your hosts are Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone!

Just so we know, Eddie Gilbert is still very confident about his tag team partner.

Michael PS Hayes vs. Russian Assassin #2 (w/Paul Jones & Russian Assassin #1)

Russian Assassin #2 is former Sheepherders follower Jack Victory. There’s armbars galore in this one. Finish comes when #2 thinks he’s won with a rollup, but Hayes knows different and gets a rollup of his own for the 1-2-3. (6:34) About what you’d expect from these two on free TV. They actually had a better rematch at Chi-Town Rumble. Not a great rematch, but it was better than this. ½*

Butch Reed (w/JJ Dillon) vs. George South

This is Reed’s return to the NWA. Odd that Reed would join up with JJ Dillon. Was there any plans for him to be a Horsemen? FLYING CLOTHESLINE puts South away. (2:16) Sadly, no interview or anything or explain the pairing.

Jim Ross interviews Mike Rotunda and Kevin Sullivan. Rotunda says Steiner’s day is coming when he’ll no longer be the TV champ, while Sullivan rants and raves about beating up the Road Warriors. I’m paraphrasing, naturally. I mean, Sullivan could never seem to cut a normal promo. He always had to add in ludicrous stories like, “I was stuck in a sweat box for four days!” and such. He knows how to paint a picture – a creepy picture – but a picture all the same.

Mike Rotunda & Kevin Sullivan vs. Randy Hogan & Gene Miller

The VC spend a few minutes trying to break Hogan’s arm. Sheesh, Gene Miller looks like a serial killer. The VC try to break his arm too! Sullivan hits the DOUBLE-STOMP and Rotunda delivers the butterfly suplex on Miller for the 1-2-3. (4:15) They are VICIOUS!

Tony sets up and then shows the Eddie Gilbert beatdown from last week, which brings us to our next match.

Eddie Gilbert & ??? vs. Ric Flair & Barry Windham (w/JJ Dillon)

Who is Gilbert’s partner, you ask? Somebody hit the play button on that Alan Parsons Project, because the mystery partner is RICKY F’N STEAMBOAT! He’s back in the NWA, baby! Steamboat delivers a bunch of armdrags on Windham to start. Windham doesn’t know what to think. They run the ropes a bit, which leads to a Steamboat slam. Flair tries to come from behind with a back suplex, but Steamboat flips out and press slams Flair onto Windham! PWNT! The Horsemen roll out and regroup. Flair gets a tag and warns Steamboat that he has no business being here. Every move Flair tries, Steamboat shrugs off and chops Flair away. Steamboat delivers a press slam and Flair has to retreat to the floor. Steamboat heads over to Ross and Schiavone for a microphone and tells Flair, “If you want to play, stay in the sandbox.” Back in, a DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER takes care of Windham. Steamboat hits a backdrop on Flair and then out-chops Flair to send him walking again. Back in, Steamboat brings Flair over to Gilbert for a tag. Flair corners him for some chops, but Gilbert fires back and hits a flying headscissors. FLAIR FLOP! Gilbert allows a tag and we’ve got a slugfest going on here. Gilbert wins that and backdrops Windham. He’s pretty dazed after all that, so Steamboat takes advantage of the moment and snaps his neck off the ropes. Gilbert grabs a headlock, but Windham powers him up and breaks that up with a back suplex. Flair tags in and chops on Gilbert in the corner. Gilbert fires back again though and whips Flair in the corner for a Flair Flip out to the floor. Back in again, Gilbert slaps on the Figure-Four. Steamboat nails Windham when he tries for a save, but JJ still manages to reach in and rake Gilbert’s face for the break. Now Flair goes for the FIGURE-FOUR, but Gilbert cradles him up instead for 1-2-NO! Windham tags in for a powerslam, but Gilbert counters a slam for another inside cradle for two. High crossbody block gets 1-2-NO! Flair gets another tag and pounds away, but Gilbert slips out of a suplex and rolls Flair up off the ropes for 1-2-NO! Gilbert ducks a clothesline, but connects with one of his own. Windham gets a tag and cuts Gilbert off from Steamboat by throwing him out to the floor on the other side of the ring. Flair posts Gilbert one good time and then JJ tosses him back in. Windham gives Gilbert a suplex back near his corner for 1-2-NO! He slugs on Gilbert and tries an atomic drop, but he NO-SELLS and puts Windham down with a clothesline. Flair gets a tag and delivers a butterfly suplex to set up the Rolling Knee Drop for 1-2-NO! Back suplex gets another two. Windham tags and levels Gilbert with the LARIAT, but he takes too long to cover and only gets a two-count. Windham sets up for the flying elbow drop, but Gilbert moves out of the way! HOT TAG TO STEAMBOAT! Jumping shoulderblock on Flair! Backdrop on Flair! Chops a plenty on Flair and Windham! Face slams on Flair! Press slam to Flair! Steamboat goes up top and delivers the FLYING BODYPRESS for 1-2-3! (15:14) Talk about your STRONG returns. Steamboat walks in and pins the champ just like that. Gilbert marks out like a teeny bopper over his buddy Steamboat. Steamboat says he’s back home in the NWA to win the belt with his family as his motivation. Then Flair, Windham and Dillon walk by to get in their faces. Steamboat and Gilbert leave because they’ve proven themselves, while the Horsemen are still MAD. ****

Final Thoughts: A super historic show with the return of Steamboat that sets up the next three months of greatness.

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