On This Day: May 19, 1990 – Capital Combat: There’s No Way Around This. It’s The Robocop Show.

Capital Combat
Date: May 19, 1990
Location: D.C. Armory, Washington, D.C.
Attendance: 7,500
Commentators: Jim Ross, Bob Caudle

This is the Robocop Show. That being said, the rest of this card is actually pretty good looking. It’s overstacked with tags but this is a good era for them so I can’t complain much. The main event is Luger vs. Flair in a cage as Sting’s knee had more or less exploded and been shredded at the same time at a Clash show, meaning he’s gone for months. This is a problem as he’s by far and away the biggest star in the company so they had no choice but to throw Luger in there. Better than nothing I guess. Let’s get to it.

The show is subtitled The Return of Robocop. That sums things up I think.

Road Warriors/Norman the Lunatic vs. Cactus Jack/Kevin Sullivan/Bam Bam Bigelow

Norman the Lunatic is more commonly known as Bastion Booger. This is a weird pairing of six guys if there has ever been one. Oliver Humperdink is here too as Bigelow’s manager and is bare-chested. This is just strange on all levels and I have no idea what the point of this is supposed to be. The LOD comes out on Harleys while Norman has to walk behind them. That sums up this match nicely.

How funny is it that of all these people, Cactus Jack was the most successful? Cactus is very young at this point and has nothing going for him. Norman is allegedly an escaped mental patient. That sums things up very well. Animal and the future four time world champion start us off. Animal is MOVING out there. He does two leap frogs and drops low at great speed. This is just weird to see but interesting I’d say.

Hawk vs. Bigelow. Oh dear. Bigelow is sleeveless here which is a strange look for him. This could set selling back a thousand years. Hawk gets the best dropkick he’s ever thrown, hitting Bam Bam square in the face. Sullivan comes in, looks at Hawk, and tags out. Instead he gets Norman. For him imagine Eugene meets Bigelow. See what I mean? In a painful looking spot, Hawk throws the (wooden) steps at Jack where they just bounce off his back while he’s bent over.

OW even if they’re fake. They all take their turns beating on Norman and Sullivan just looks completely out of place in this. Bigelow backdrops Norman. Imagine that one if you can. Norman hits a clothesline on Cactus and just falls over. That sums things up for him quite well I’d think. A big old brawl breaks out as Hawk hits the top rope clothesline on Sullivan for the pin.

Rating: D+. Not bad I guess, but at the same time when the best technician is Kevin Sullivan, you’re in trouble. This was to get the crowd going though and I think it worked ok for what it was. That and I can’t imagine they expected this to be a great match or anything, so I’ll let it slide I guess.

Mark Callous vs. Johnny Ace

Ace would become better known as the guy that practically runs the talent ends of WWE today. Callous would become better known as the Deadman. Here’s he’s just a big tough guy from Houston. This is WAY before Taker had anything really going for him either. Dangerously manages him which is a freaking scary combination. Ace was little more than a jobber to the stars in this company at this time so I highly doubt this is going to mean much.

There isn’t much to say here as it’s a relatively standard match with no heat going on something close to power vs. speed. Ace was never a guy that really got over that well in America. His brother was a good bit more popular though. You just read about him too as he’s more commonly known as Animal. There isn’t much here as it’s just them going back and forth with no particular rhyme or reason (I’m bored and Burning Bright popped into my head) for FAR too long.

We’re nearly seven minutes into this and it’s just been slow and plodding stuff from Taker and some quick shots from Ace. I’m still waiting on anything of interest to happen. Oh there’s a Heart Punch to end it. Thank you. Oh that’s Taker’s finisher and he won in case you were confused. Hard to believe he would be Undertaker in 6 months.

Rating: D. I mean what was the point here? They have all these great tags lined up and they give THIS ten minutes? This couldn’t have been spread out somewhere else? It’s just boring and not interesting in the slightest, which is never a good thing at all. BIG waste of time but I guess it could have been worse.

Samoan Swat Team vs. Tommy Rich/Mike Rotundo

This….this is a joke right? The Swat Team is more commonly known as Tama from the Islanders and Rikishi. Mike Rotundo is IRS and Tommy Rich is somehow a former world champion. To call this a contrast in styles would be an understatement as you have savages that don’t act savage and a Southern boy that isn’t that good and a technician in Rotundo.

Ok so we’re five minutes into this and my head is hurting. The spots are missing, the spots are stupid, and neither of the Samoans are any good. That being said, this is still a boring match. It’s supposed to be a glorified squash but it’s going on way too long and it just isn’t that good.

The faces make their comeback to set up the finish….and we’re going to keep going. Is this supposed to be good or entertaining or something like that? If that’s the case, this is failing completely. Someone shoot me please. FINALLY after OVER FIFTEEN MINUTES this ends with a splash and the Samoans winning.

Rating: F. No way. This got nearly twenty minutes and nothing happened. It was just back and forth stuff with no drama or good action at all. The main thing here is the time. If you hack this in half, it’s bearable. It’s boring, but it’s bearable. This was too much though and I had to stop the tape a few times out of boredom.

Teddy Long vs. Paul Ellering

This is a hair vs. hair match even though both are nearly bald. Missy Hyatt is the announcer for no apparent reason and Long is in boxing gear. He’s actually in decent shape too. You know I have to give Long credit: this guy has been in mainstream wrestling in some form or capacity for well over twenty years. That’s pretty impressive actually. Long is in tights. That’s just freaky looking.

Ellering’s arms are freaky. They talk about him wanting to run in the Iditarod. He did that actually and his goggles got frozen to his face and he nearly went blind. There’s something in the glove apparently as it flies off of Long’s hand, which then goes upside his head for the pin. The barber cuts his hair afterwards.

Rating: N/A. This was like two minutes long and was just a freak show. However, after this we get to the good stuff so let’s get to it.

The Horsemen yell at Luger. It’s Sid, Anderson, Anderson, Windham and Flair at this point.

US Tag Titles: Tom Zenk/Brian Pillman vs. Midnight Express

This works. It’s Eaton and Lane in case you weren’t sure. The faces are the champions here. Pillman has hot pink tights and a mullet. There’s something funny there. Cornette has to be in a small cage at ringside. Later on they would raise it up into the air, providing some of the best comedy of all time as he’s TERRIFIED of heights and legitimately freaked out. Randy Anderson hits a clothesline and DOWN GOES CORNETTE!

He’s put into the cage and freaks out over it. We hear more about Mama Cornette who was the person that paid for all of his stuff but was never seen. The cameraman is wearing a bright green shirt. Is there a reason for this that I’m just missing? We start very fast as the champions hit a SWEET double team slingshot into a double clothesline. That was nice.

The Midnights are in peach and are getting their heads kicked in. Them running up to the cage for advice is kind of funny. They’re kind of starting and stopping here which is sort of odd. Zenk and Lane go at it with Stan throwing out his kicks and we hear about Flair training him. That’s not something you hear about every day. In essence we have two high fliers vs. two semi-high fliers.

This has been very good so far. It’s a great example of the idea of a dream tag match with two kind of thrown together guys and a career tag team which can work very well. This one is seeming to be like that. They work over Pillman for a good while which was their specialty. This was a great time for tag wrestling, with the Midnights and the Rock And Roll Express who are on next leading the charge.

Eaton hits a pretty nice elbow drop from the top rope. I like that. The ropes are a very odd color scheme of blue, white and yellow. Yeah that’s just odd. Bobby hits his top rope legdrop which doesn’t have a name yet. Very good match so far. Pillman tries a Tombstone but he kind of botches it so he improvises into a suplex sort of move. THAT is smart, as going for the piledriver would have looked terrible.

Zenk comes in and hooks a sleeper which is called a sleep hold. He kicks out of the Rocket Launcher. That’s saying a lot as it was the Midnights’ finisher. With Pillman being put out of the ring, Lane hits an enziguri on Zenk into a small package for the pin. Nice ending to a very good match.

Rating: A-. This was very fun to put it mildly. This is like I said a great example of a match where you have two kind of thrown together people and a great team and it turns into a great tag match. All four guys worked hard and it turned out to be a great match with very good chemistry all around. Worth seeing.

Sting and Robocop are in the back. And now they’re in the arena. This is the cross-over from purgatory if there ever was one. With Robocop on the way, the Horsemen jump the injured Sting and throw him in the cage that Cornette was in.

He of course pulls the door off as I wonder what I’m watching. Sting used to be a Horseman but was thrown out for wanting a shot at Flair, resulting in a massive beatdown and a heel turn for the Horsemen. This literally lasted about a minute in total and nothing was said at all.

Junkyard Dog is back and wants the Horsemen or Mean Mark (Undertaker). I still fail to care at all. Cornette comes up and runs his mouth and asks where JYD has been. JYD says an address and it’s the address of Cornette’s mother. OH SNAP. Yeah I don’t care either.

Rock N Roll Express vs. Freebirds

The Freebirds are Garvin and Hayes here and this is a Corporal Punishment match, which means a strap match. They can beat on each other with them or whatever they like but aren’t attached. We get Badstreet USA so this is already a success. The Birds get pyro which was a rare thing back then. I love how in recapping the night, Ross talks about Robocop and Sting and the US Tag Title match in the same manner, as if they were the same amount of time.

The straps are attached to the ring posts. Why? No reason is given but whatever. We finally get to the straps as the Express are dominating. Ross of course talks about the woodshed. That’s some weird obsession he has. This is kind of disjointed as it’s a segment and then a whipping and then we repeat. We get a whip duel between Gibson and Hayes which is kind of cool.

Ross says one of his favorite teams is the Steiners. Not sure what that has to do with this match but whatever. The heels take over and Ricky Morton plays Ricky Morton. Playing Ricky Morton means getting the living tar pounded out of you for a LONG time before making the hot tag. It was designed and more or less invented in the Express vs. Express matches and has been a staple of tag team wrestling ever since.

If you ever hear of someone playing Ricky Morton, it’s a guy in a tag match, 99% of the time a face, being beaten down really badly. The straps are kind of awesome actually as at least they make a really loud sound so you can tell it’s painful. That’s better than nothing at least. Garvin goes up and that completely fails which you would think would set up the hot tag to Gibson.

Nope not yet which isn’t incredibly surprising. In a nice idea, Morton goes to the wrong corner. That’s not bad at all. There’s your hot tag to not a ton of heat actually. Ross calls it The Sleep again. That’s just weird to hear. It really is. Hayes gets his DDT but doesn’t cover. This allows Morton, the illegal man, to come off the top with a sunset flip for the pin. Nice ending.

Rating: B. Not as good as the previous one, but then again the Freebirds aren’t as good as Zenk and Pillman in the ring. This came off fine although the straps weren’t used as much as I would have liked them to but I can live with that. This was fine for what it was though and was a very good use of nearly twenty minutes. The Express was past its prime at this point, but they still make fine tag matches. The ending made up for a weaker match here, which is fine as it’s the last thing you see.

Tony talks to the World’s Strongest Man, Doug Furnas, as in of Furnas and LaFon. He says nothing of note other than Luger is awesome.

Sting shows up just afterwards and is so over it’s not even funny. Apparently Luger is badly hurt and shouldn’t get in the ring tonight. Sting says Flair should be worried about Luger and that he would do the same thing.

World Tag Titles: Doom vs. Steiner Brothers

DANG that Doom music is awesome. They’re Ron Simmons and Butch Reed if you’ve never heard of them. They’re just big bruisers that have nothing but power. The Steiners are about as awesome as possible at this point so this is going to be a war. Rick’s hair is insane here and looks awful but it was just past the 80s so it’s ok I guess. Also, this is the Scott Steiner that was supposed to be the wrestler of the 90s as he’s a freaking monster that can move like Chris Jericho.

We’re stalling a ton by this point. Long looks like Carl Winslow with his hair like that which is rather amusing. Scott and Simmons start us off and Steiner just shoves the referee to the ground for no apparent reason. No disqualification on that for no apparent reason. These two just hammer the heck out of each other with the crowd being white hot. Scott is throwing Simmons around. That’s hard to imagine.

And now let’s look at the fans for no apparent reason. Scott throws out a perfect dropkick and it’s ALL Scott so far. I’m having issues taking Rick seriously with that hair. Apparently Rick offered to take Jim Ross fishing one time. That could be hilarious. To say this has been physical would be an understatement. They’re beating the tar out of each other and we hear about Simmons being the MVP of the Hula Bowl. That kind of weakens things a bit.

It’s weird hearing about all these little factoids about Steiner, including that he loves animals. It’s also weird hearing him called Hacksaw Reed. I know it’s his name but I associate that nickname with Duggan and Duggan alone. Doom has taken over here as we calm things down a lot. Reed has Scott down and pounds him with right hands. Better than the Atomic Noogie I guess. Reed hooks a decent bulldog of all things.

This has been slower but good so far. Frankensteiner hits out of nowhere and the place is all of a sudden alive. I’ll give the Steiners this: they could get a crowd going. Doom hits a modified Hart Attack for a long two but Rick makes the save. In a different kind of ending, Rick is pounding on Reed in the corner and sets up for a belly to belly from the middle rope but Simmons makes a save.

Reed hits more or less a spinebuster out of the corner from the second rope for the titles. I like that ending which is like a theme tonight or something. Post match Long said he would do it and he was right. This would wind up being the longest tag title reign in WCW history as they would hold the titles until next February.

Also, this was just below Sheamus beating Cena on the shock scale as while they were both big deals, the Steiners had been champions for nearly a year and were more or less unstoppable up to this point.

Rating: B+. Better than the previous one and another very good match. This has been a great show for tag wrestling as I thought it would be. This lived up to the hype of a very big showdown which is always a good thing. These two were both big time powerhouse teams and this worked very well. I liked it more than I should have but Doom is just awesome so there we are.

NWA World Title: Lex Luger vs. Ric Flair

No build or anything for this as we’re just ready to go. He’s injured although we’re never told what part of Luger is hurt. Luger is US Champion here as well. Flair is a young man here and only a six time champion at this point. Woman is with him and she looks horrible. Flair however has the black and white robe on so that makes up for it. This is a cage match. I completely forgot about that which is likely not a good sign.

Ok why do you keep saying this show is about Robocop? He was on it for all of a minute. This is more or less a Hell in a Cell match as the cage is HUGE and goes beyond the ring. It’s also one of those where the holes are large enough to throw a baby through. Luger and Flair fought for like 2 years over the belt with Flair always cheating or losing by DQ so this is almost a running joke to NWA fans.

The referee looks like a 70s porn star. Why are they always a star? Isn’t there like a porn understudy or something? Also, if you’re going to check the guys, check their crotch. Woman, who is inside the cage, is checked and the referee FINDS SOMETHING IN HER GLOVE. Wow that’s a weird one. The referee puts it in his pocket which I’m sure will come into play later.

There’s a cameraman in the ring too which is odd. Ah ok it was his knee and a staph infection. Thank you for letting us know that. This is on a Saturday. That’s rather odd. Flair has been champion over a year at this point so he’s definitely the favorite. Luger busts out the original Pec Dance as he’s dominating so far. Luger beats on Flair on the floor with the cage and to the shock of everyone, Flair is busted open.

Why can the ropes make a save in a cage match? Ross says he’s slamming his head into the cage like a tennis ball. First of all, who has a cage like this and two, who rams tennis balls into a cage? This has been ALL Luger for over ten minutes now. And as I say that he messes up his knee on a top rope suplex. Flair’s head is more or less completely red here but has to break the figure four because Luger gets the ropes. IN A CAGE MATCH?

And here are the Horsemen with Barry Windham. Sting and El Gigante come out to get rid of the Horsemen but somehow Ole gets the control of the cage and raises it so Barry can get in. And we have a DQ in a cage match of all things.

The Horsemen beat the heck out of him until Sting finally gets it back up and makes the save. Sting vs. Flair would be the main event of Great American Bash in two months where Sting would get the title. Gigante looks like he’s wearing armor almost. Sting jumping Flair closes the show.

Rating: B+. WEAK ending aside, this was the usual good Flair/Luger match. The Horsemen did their thing: keep the belt on Flair. That is what the Horsemen were all about at the end of the day: keeping the belt on Flair. This match was really quite good though as Luger and Flair always had awesome chemistry together, and considering that this was literally just a filler feud to get to Sting vs. Flair while Sting’s knee healed, this worked very well.

Overall Rating: B+. Considering this is the walking definition of a throwaway show (nothing really happened other than the tag titles changing), this is a VERY good show. Also, the home video omits the six man, the Taker match and the Samoans match, leaving you with just the hair match onward.

Translation: the home video is AWESOME, but the PPV version was just great. Either way though, the card is great as after the Samoan match, it’s all gravy baby as a buddy of mine would say. Very recommended show as it has the good stuff of the 80s but on a 90s setting. Find this if you can.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my book on the History of the WWE Championship from Amazon for just $5 at:

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1 comment

  1. ocekit says:

    Been going through all the early WCW PPVs on the Network and a bit of commentary from the Johnny Ace/Mean Mark Callous match stood out:

    Caudle: “…you’re looking at two great athletes that are gonna be around a long, long time.”
    JR: “These two have their best years ahead of them.”

    They had no idea.