NWA World Wide – January 2, 1988: Holy Fast Paced Squashing!

NWA World Wide
Date: January 2, 1988
Location: Omni, Atlanta, Georgia
Attendance: 12,700
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, David Crockett

Smackdown is downloading so here’s something to fill in the time. This is World Wide which I’ve done a little bit of before and I rather liked it. This is early 1988 and I’d expect a lot of squashes. Sting is rapidly on the rise and would get his big break in late March, so expect him to be taking the Magnum route and crushing someone in about thirty seconds. Let’s get to it.

We open with Lex Luger taking his shirt off and shouting that he wants someone. Oh he wants Arn.

Opening sequence.

Larry and Baby Doll say they want Windham’s Western States Heritage Title. That’s Larry Z in case you’re confused.

Ricky Morton vs. Mike Force

Force jumps him but Morton grabs a backslide for a fast pin. Might have lasted 20 seconds.

Ad for the Bunkhouse Stampede. What a mess that was.

Ricky Morton stands up for America post match because he doesn’t like the Sheepherders running down the red white and blue.

Tony talks about the Bunkhouse Stampede which is a battle royal in a cage and you had to throw people out of the cage to win it. See how it’s kind of a mess? Jim Crockett comes in and announces that Hawk will get a title shot at that show. Dusty, the US Champion and one of the favorites going into the Stampede. He wants the money you win for the Stampede.

Ron Garvin vs. Thunderfoot #1

Thunderfoot, half of a team of masked guys, jumps Garvin in the corner but is knocked down, stomped and pinned in maybe 30 seconds.

Luger still wants Arn Anderson. Anderson drew first blood so Luger says no more.

Sting vs. Thunderfoot #2

I was right: Deathlock in 32 seconds.

Flair says that he’s awesome because he’s world champion and therefore better than anyone else. Michael Hayes has been running his mouth. Flair doesn’t like blue jeans and tennis shoes. He also doesn’t like defending the title against Hayes. As for Sting, he’s the new model that wants to replace Flair. That makes Flair laugh. Hawk can bring it on.

Eddie Gilbert vs. George South

This is also a squash but at least we get 90 seconds to it. The Hot Shot ends it quick. I know I’m leaving a lot out of it but what is there to say? Gilbert stalls a lot then hits the Hot Shot for the pin. That’s about it.

The Legion of Doom says they’ll be ready for the weightlifting challenge. Hawk says women and limos and jets don’t win the world title.

Arn Anderson/Tully Blanchard vs. Dusty Rhodes/Nikita Koloff

The former are tag champions and the latter are the US/TV Champions respectfully but this is non-title. Nikita and Tully start us off. There must be a million dollars worth of feuds in there. Tully tries power against Nikita so Koloff holds him in the air for awhile. Off to Arn and Anderson ducks to the floor to avoid the Sickle. We take a break and come back with the Horsemen on the floor again.

They come back in and Dusty takes them down on his own before putting Tully in the really bad figure four. Arn makes the save and takes a leg crank of his own. Arn gets in some right hands but Dusty pops up and slams him down. There’s a slam and Dusty hooks a sleeper. We take another break and come back with Anderson tagging in Dusty to work over Rhodes even more. The Horsemen work on the arm but Dusty manages a DDT out of nowhere to take Arn down. Off to Nikita who goes into Beast Mode. Sickle kills Tully but Arn makes the save as everything breaks down. Nikita is thrown over the top for the DQ.

Rating: C-. Not bad here as they were in the pretty standard face in peril formula. Nikita was awesome until the end of the decade when he had to get off steroids and lost most of his muscle mass. Either way, it’s cool to see the late 80s version of Koloff run over people. He was one of the top faces in the company at this point and was in main event feuds like this one.

Flair comes out to help in a Horseman beatdown but Lex runs in to take out Arn.

Paul Jones says his men (Powers of Pain) are stronger than the Road Warriors.

Big Bubba Rogers/Midnight Express vs. Kendall Windham/Mighty Wilbur/Italian Stallion

Wilbur is a BIG country boy. He and Lane start us off with Lane jumping into a massive bearhug. Off to Eaton and Windham which sounds a lot better than it really is. The Midnights double team as only they can. Cornette is on commentary to explain why they’re awesome. Here’s Bubba for about two seconds and here’s Eaton again. Kendall falls into a tag to the Stallion who hits the worst looking monkey flip I can remember in a long time. Bubba runs him over and there’s the Flapjack for the pin.

Rating: C+. This was a pretty common thing to see from the Midnights as they made an art form out of the squash. This was the six man variety and Cornette on commentary made it even better. Kendall was trained by his brother but just wasn’t nearly as good. Wilbur was too much like Norman the Lunatic for his own good I think which is why you never hear about him.

Overall Rating: C+. There are two ways to do shows like these. This would be the right one. This was so fast paced that it stays exciting. While most of these matches are squashes, they’re kept fast so no one has the time to get boring. That’s a very good idea and the whole show works better that way. Good stuff.

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