Wrestler of the Day – August 10: Bobby Eaton

Today is one of the most technically sound guys you’ll ever find in wrestling: Bobby Eaton.

Eaton got his start in 1976 but we’ll pick things up in Memphis at some point in 1980.

Bobby Eaton vs. David Price

Feeling out process to start with Eaton shoving him down and stomping away. Price gets sent hard into the buckle and gets pounded against the ropes. A powerslam and running elbow drop give Eaton the pin in a basic Memphis TV match.

Still in Memphis on January 8, 1983.

Bobby Eaton/Sweet Brown Sugar vs. Jacques Rougeau/Terry Taylor

Rougeau is the Mid-America Champion and Taylor is the Southern Champion. Sugar is more famous as Koko B. Ware. Taylor and Eaton get going to start and things speed up, which you know is going to be at least moderately awesome. Off to Sugar who is immediately taken over in a headlock by Taylor. Rougeau comes in and things slow down a bit. We get a test of strength resulting in Rougeau monkey flipping Sugar down.

Back to Eaton who is taken down by another headlock as things slow down even more. Eaton has black hair here which is an odd look on him. The heels finally wake up and cheat to take over on Jacques. Taylor gets a quick hot tag and cleans house, only to get poked in the eye and taken down. Sugar works on his back and then the arm as the fans are WILD about Taylor. Back to Eaton with a knee drop for no cover.

Sugar comes in again and I think this is 2/3 falls. They’re really bad about letting us know these things in advance. I get that it’s a common thing of the era, but if you’re someone like me who doesn’t get to see this regularly, a little notification would help. Taylor finally gets away from Eaton and it’s off to Rougeau for a quick middle rope dropkick on sugar, good for the first fall.

We start fall #2 with Sugar taking over on Rougeau. Back to Eaton as Jacques is in trouble early on. After some quick offense from Eaton, Sugar comes back in for a fast chinlock. Rougeau misses a cross body out of the corner as Eaton ducks and gets two off of it. Jacques finally makes a comeback but doesn’t tag for some reason. Eaton trips him up coming off the top, allowing Sugar to drop an elbow on him for two.

Rating: C. There’s no time for a third fall so this is going to end in another draw. This wasn’t bad and it was fast paced enough, but I’m not a big fan of Koko and I’m certainly no fan of Taylor. Still though, this was certainly interesting enough to keep my attention for the last fifteen minutes of the show. Not great but not bad so we’ll go right in the middle.

We’ll look at a singles match from WCCW in 1985.

Scott Casey vs. Bobby Eaton

Feeling out process to start as the announcers make fun of Eaton’s pink tights. Eaton takes him into the corner but gets kicked back as they’re still in first gear. Casey gets caught in a headlock on the mat and Bobby hammers away with shots to the back. Back up and a gorilla press sends Bobby flying but he grabs a rollup for two. Right hands in the corner don’t have much effect on Casey as he comes back with a big chop and puts on a hammerlock.

Back up and Casey steals a green jacket which is a plot point of some kind. Casey puts on a sleeper as Jim Cornette freaks out over the jacket. Bobby Fulton comes out to protect the jacket as Eaton puts on a hammerlock. He switches it into a kind of cobra clutch as the match slows way down. Back up and Eaton gets two off a suplex but can’t force the shoulders down for another try. Casey starts his comeback with right hands but gets nailed in the back by Cornette’s tennis racket. Fulton takes care of Cornette, allowing Casey to roll Eaton up for the pin.

Rating: D+. Not great here but the jacket thing was a distraction. I’d have rather seen the Midnight Express against the Fantastics but you can only get that on occasion. Casey was passable in the ring but never did much beyond the basics. He did however train Booker T. so he knew a thing or two.

Eaton’s greatest success was of course with the Midnight Express, including this huge match at Starrcade 1986. I have to include the post match stuff as it’s more famous than the match.

Midnight Express vs. Road Warriors

This is the scaffold match, meaning there’s a scaffold about fifteen feet above the ring and you have to knock your opponents off to win. The Express is Bobby Eaton and Dennis Condrey and they have Cornette and Bubba with them. On the other hand we have Hawk and Animal, the Road Warriors. These two were BEASTS who were basically indestructable and insanely popular.

Condrey thinks about going up to face the Warriors but climbs back down because he’s not that crazy. Cornette, who is legitimately terrified of heights, goes on a rant about how this isn’t civilized. Dennis and Bobby finally get up top and the punishment begins. The scaffold is maybe three feet wide and there are no railings on it at all so they can barely move up there. There are some railings at either end so at least there’s some safety up there.

The Express throws powder in the Warriors’ eyes to blind them which is pretty terrifying this high up. Hawk’s legs go over the edge but he crawls back up. Animal is laying down with one leg dangling over and Bobby winds up hanging from said leg. He manages to swing back over to the structure and climb back up as this continues. Condrey is cut open and tries to climb down the ladder but he gets rammed into the scaffold for his efforts by Hawk.

Condrey and Hawk get under the scaffold and kick at each other with Condrey trying to monkey bar away. Animal and Bobby join them and a few moments later the Express get kicked down, giving the Road Warriors the win. As someone who is scared of heights, my stomach can now calm down.

Rating: D+. This is a hard one to grade as it’s hard to criticize them for moving around so slowly given the fear of potential death involved. There’s only so much you can do that high in the air with no safety rails and they did as much as they could have. The Road Warriors would move on to feuding with the Horsemen soon after this.

Post match we get the famous part of the match as Cornette goes up top and runs into Animal. Cornette tries to climb down and winds up hanging from the bottom of the scaffold. He drops down…and Bubba isn’t there to catch him. Jim lands on his legs and basically destroys both of them, causing him problems for the rest of his life. Cornette tries to shout to Bubba to carry him to the back because his legs don’t work but his legs are so destroyed that he can’t get his point across. Animal later said in interviews that it was the funniest thing he’s ever seen.

We’ll jump ahead to Great American Bash 1987 for the biggest rivalry of the team’s career.

World Tag Titles/US Tag Titles: Midnight Express vs. Rock and Roll Express

This match happened twice on the tour and I think this is in Atlanta. The Rock N Roll Express are the world tag champions and the Midnights are the US Champions and it’s title for title. Gibson vs. Eaton to start us off and there’s no Cornette here which is REALLY weird to see. Off to Stan Lane who doesn’t have much luck either. He gets sent to the floor and now it’s off to Morton.

A Japanese armdrag gets one for Ricky. Lane makes a tag and Eaton can’t get anything going either. This has been all Rock N Roll so far. Back to Morton who gets into a test of strength. I love seeing that from smaller guys. Ricky literally climbs up onto Eaton’s shoulders and drops over the back. I’m not sure what the point of that was but it looks cool.

Sweet rana gets two for Morton and it’s back to Gibson. A rana misses there and Lane cheats to save Eaton so that the Midnights can take over. I’m not sure what to make of Gibson being the one beaten down but it’s certainly happening. The Midnights beat down Gibson as only the Midnights can do even though they never really do since it’s always Morton getting beaten down but who cares. Hot tag brings in Morton (that may never be said again) and house is cleaned. A double dropkick gets two on Lane and everything breaks down. Bubba comes in with a Bubba Slam and it’s a DQ.

Rating: B-. This is one of those matches that is always good and this is no exception. They know how to have great tag matches and this is something that you flat out did not see back in the day. The Rockers claim to have introduced this style but if they did then they never watched the NWA because these guys were doing it years before that. Good match, bad ending.

Eaton had some singles matches around this time, including a title match at Bunkhouse Stampede.

NWA TV Title: Bobby Eaton vs. Nikita Koloff

Eaton is half of the Midnight Express, who are the US Tag Champions here. Koloff is a monster. In other words, this would be like Batista vs. Carlito. Koloff, the Russian evil man, is a face here due to Magnum TA’s car wreck. It was overly complicated but it was all they could do. Caudle was a good commentator that was underrated. Also, why is the TV Title being defended on a PPV?

They mention the contrast of styles before they make contact. I think Eaton’s mullet is alive. Surprisingly, Eaton has a gut on him. Naturally since there so many empty seats, we need to keep going to a wide shot. Sure why not. We get a LONG feeling out process as Cornette tries desperately to coach Bobby. Back in this era, he was the best in the world and had lapped everyone else at drawing heat as a manager.

We keep stalling as we’re about five minutes into this and the most exciting thing has been a hammerlock. Koloff works the arm as you can see a big Winston Cigarettes ad in the background. That’s just odd by today’s standard. Hey look at all those empty seats! Tony is your ring announcer who says we’re five minutes in with fifteen to go. I have a bad feeling about this.

They fight on the floor and the fans want to cheer for this. They really do. The referee looks like he’s about 80 years old. Cornette gets in an argument with the cameraman over following him. That’s kind of amusing. You can hear him yelling the whole match. Normally the AUDIENCE would drown him out but not here.

We hit the headlock again as this is just boring as all goodness. The fans pop off a SLAM. See? The crowd wants to like this stuff but they can’t get into it because of far too high of a level of suck. More headlockage as this match sucks. We hit the floor again. Nothing of note happens other than Koloff taking over by posting him. Cornette is apparently waddling around the ring. Ten minutes down, ten to go.

Back in and Eaton is in control again. Now we go to a hammerlock. Seriously, half of this match has been them doing mat holds for like 4 minutes at a time. Eaton hits a missile dropkick for the first interesting move of the show so far. Ah never mind. Back to the hammerlock. Sorry, thought we were doing something interesting there for a minute. Didn’t mean to confuse anyone.

Koloff taps but that doesn’t mean anything for about 6 more years in America. Cornette runs through every insult he can think of in a 20 second period and it actually wakes me up for a bit. We’re still in the hammerlock mind you. Five minutes left. Jim truly is making this bearable with his yelling at Nikita. Of fifteen minutes, probably seven has been hammerlock. Four minutes left. HE BROKE THE HAMMERLOCK!

The Russian Sickle, his old finisher, hits and we’re at a standstill. Ah never mind, more hammerlock. We’re told Eaton does something awesome. Not that we saw it or anything as we were on a shot of some fans. Three minutes to go. Two minutes left. Nothing but hammerlock in between there. He breaks the hold again but that lasts all of 8 seconds as we HIT IT AGAIN. With a minute to go, he’s still cranking on the arm. Is he an Anderson in disguise?

You know, Eaton is stupid. The arm stuff doesn’t work for 15 minutes so he KEEPS DOING IT. Koloff just beats him up for a bit and lets the time run out. Yeah, that’s how it ends. He gets the tennis racket post match but Stan Lane comes in for the double beatdown. Koloff would lose the title TWO DAYS later to Mike Rotunda. Clearly they couldn’t put that on the PPV right?

Rating: F. Nu uh. No. This was not working. Seriously, over half of this was hammerlock. I was losing my mind with boredom here, but Cornette brought me back from the brink. This is how you open your PPV? Seriously? Awful excuse for a match if there has ever been one.

Another Great American Bash, this time in 1988.

US Tag Titles: Fantastics vs. Midnight Express

The Fantastics (Bobby Fulton and Tommy Rogers) are champions and if they win they get to lash Lane and Eaton 10 times and they get to lash Cornette as well. Jim will be up in a cage above the ring though which is funny stuff as he’s legit scared of heights. I’ve always liked the Fantastics so this should be good. Cornette is in a straitjacket as well.

Cornette freaks out as only he can do, getting in such lines as “THIS JACKET HASN’T BEEN TAILORED!!!!” and then trying to bribe the referee with 5,000, 10,000 and finally 15,000 dollars. The referee turns him down so Cornette says “WHAT KIND OF CRACKPOT ARE YOU? YOU’RE AN HONEST MAN! BOBBY HE’S AN HONEST MAN!!!” Cornette gets in the cage and has one of the best terrified reactions you’ll ever see. “AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I’M GOING UP IN THE AIR!!! MOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!” Hilarious stuff.

Ok so now there’s the bell as all of that was just pre match fun. Bobby Eaton vs. Bobby Fulton gets us going. Fulton tries a cool move by sliding between Eaton’s legs but pulls him down into a sunset flip position for one. Eaton takes him to the mat with a headlock to take over but a headscissors sets up a rana to put Eaton right back down. The fans are all over Cornette who I think is having a heart attack.

Lane comes in and fires off some awesome kicks to send Fulton out to the floor. Lane’s martial arts were always good. Rogers comes in and beats up some Midnights to take over again. We hear about the Maryland State Athletic Commission, which no one has ever heard of before and is foreshadowing for later tonight. Eaton pops Rogers in the face but a blind tag brings in Fulton again and everything breaks down. The champions send the Midnights to the floor and dance a bit.

The focal point is mainly the arm of Lane and Rogers backflips out of a backdrop but a blind tag brings in Eaton for a bulldog. This is a total chess match with both teams trying to top each other. Stan takes Tommy’s head off with a slingshot clothesline and it’s back to Eaton to destroy him a bit more. Swinging neckbreaker gets two. Lane comes back in and fires off some kicks to send Rogers into Eaton for a Low Down backbreaker.

Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets two as Rogers is in the ropes. Cornette is still sitting in the cage and is freaking out. We’re at about eleven minutes which JR and Tony tell us more than once because I guess we need to know it really badly. Rogers finally gets in a shot but Lane is in to break it up. He misses a kick by what must have been a good six inches (or half his foot, whichever you prefer). (I’ll now pause for you to roll your eyes at what might be the worst joke I’ve ever made).

Fulton tries to come in illegally which doesn’t work because most faces aren’t good cheaters. Sunset flip gets two for Rogers but Eaton takes him down quickly. Top rope legdrop (Eaton’s is great) hits for a tag instead of a cover. The Midnights keep up the beating but a Rocket Launcher eats knees as we hit fifteen minutes. It’s finally a hot tag to Fulton and everything breaks down. Double teaming puts Fulton onto the floor and he takes a slam out there. Down goes the referee and Stan has a chain or something. Eaton winds up with it and pops Fulton with it for the pin and the titles and a face pop.

Rating: A-. Don’t let anyone tell you the 80s weren’t the best time ever for tag team wrestling. This was for the midcard titles and it was a great match. It’s totally awesome as both teams work together so well and you got a great match out of it as a result. This was what they did on all kinds of house shows and the scarier part is that the Rock N Roll matches with the Midnights were probably even better regularly.

The Express would stay in the title picture at Capital Combat.

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 but this time it isn’t going into the air.  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 teeth 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.

Here’s a match from Great American Bash 1990 which Cornette has called one of the best Express matches he’s ever seen.

US Tag Titles: Midnight Express vs. Southern Boys

The Southern Boys are the challengers and are Steve Armstrong and Tracy Smothers. The Midnights clear the ring almost immediately and the fight heads outside. The Southern Boys get Eaton alone and hit a double backdrop followed by a double shoulder to send him out. Lane is knocked out too and Cornette freaks. He yells at a fan “WHY DON’T YOU SIT DOWN AND WIPE THE UGLY OFF YOUR FACE YOU STUPID PIG FACED MORON?” I love Jim Cornette.

Armstrong and Eaton officially get us going and Eaton gets an early advantage. He gets slammed off the top though and Armstrong speeds things up to take over. It’s not often that speeding things up works on Eaton but it is to a degree here. Smothers comes in and Eaton has just as much luck as he did with Armstrong. Smothers fires off some martial arts shots and Eaton complains.

Eaton gets thrown around a lot and superkicked to his own corner. FINALLY he tags in Lane and it’s time for a karate fight. Lane gets in the first shot and then a few more to a big reaction. Now Armstrong superkicks Lane and then does the same to Eaton. Back to wrestling now with Smothers working on the arm. Lane escapes and tags in Eaton who is taken down with an armdrag as well.

Eaton gets knocked to the floor and Armstrong kicks him down again. The Southern Boys ram their heads together and Cornette freaks out even more. This has not been his day at all. Smothers rolls Bobby up but Bobby made a blind tag, allowing Lane to throw Smothers over the top and ram him into the barricade to take over for the first time. Smother tries to speed things up but Bobby takes his head off with a clothesline.

Off to lane again as the Southern Boys are in trouble. The beating continues and Eaton hits the Alabama Jam. It hurts him too though and it’s back to Lane. Smothers gets two off a sunset flip. The Midnights use their double team moves and a swinging neckbreaker puts Tracy on the floor. Smothers manages to slingshot Eaton to the floor and then rams Lane’s head into the buckle.

Lane comes back with some kung fu fighting, but both Midnights get caught in a single sunset flip. Smothers has some great thinking here and runs over to tag out instead of the improbable tag. Everything breaks down and the Southern Boys hit a sweet double team move resembling a Hart Attack with Armstrong hitting a missile dropkick instead of the clothesline. That gets two and the Midnights take Armstrong down and the Rocket Launcher gets two. The Southern Boys switch and Smothers rolls him up for two. Lane manages to kick Smothers in the head from the apron and Eaton rolls him up to retain.

Rating: A. GREAT match here with the fans absolutely coming unglued to end things. The Southern Boys got a lot better in about the blink of an eye while the Midnights would drop the titles to the Steiners later in the year and then would split, with Lane and Cornette starting up SMW and not being in WCW ever again that I recall. Outstanding match here though, which Cornette called one of the best Express matches ever.

Another singles match from Starrcade 1990.

Bobby Eaton vs. Z-Man

The Z-Man is somewhat more famous as Tom Zenk and is allegedly on a thirty five match winning streak. This is Eaton’s major solo debut after Cornette and Lane left to make their own company in Smoky Mountain Wrestling. Soon after the match begins we’re informed that Ric Flair is out of the world tag team title street fight against Doom and will be replaced by Barry Windham.

Feeling out process to start with both guys going for the arm until Z-Man jumps from the mat to the top rope and hits a spinning cross body for two. For 1990, that’s a HUGE spot. Z-Man takes him down into a hammerlock as Dangerously talks about Eaton breaking up the Midnight Express because Eaton’s partner was dating Yoko Ono. Point for a funny line if nothing else.

Eaton comes back with some hard right hands but he lets Z-Man get up instead of following in on him. A quick dropkick gets two for Z-Man and it’s back to the armbar. Eaton reverses into one of his own as they take a breather. Bobby puts him on the ramp (there’s now a ramp leading from the entrance down to the ring) but Z-Man suplexes Eaton out of the ring and onto the ramp. A BIG dive from the ring onto Bobby fires up the crowd again but Z-Man can’t pin him out there.

Back in and Ross says that Dangerously is a “psychoceramic. You know, a crackpot.” Eaton hits a quick bulldog to set up a top rope legdrop but doesn’t cover for some reason. Instead he misses a charge into the corner and gets caught by a dropkick for two. Eaton comes back with a neckbreaker but he jumps into a kick to the chest. Now Z-Man goes up, only to miss the missile dropkick, allowing Eaton to roll him up for the pin.

Rating: C+. See, THIS is the kind of match you should open things up with. It was fast paced, it was exciting, and the fans are into the show now. Eaton and Z-Man both looked good out there and the fans were way into it. St. Louis has always been a good wrestling town and they responded well to the opener which is always a good sign.

Eaton would get a TV Title shot at SuperBrawl I.

TV Title: Arn Anderson vs. Bobby Eaton

Eaton is freshly face here for no apparent reason and Anderson is the champion coming in. They’re still using the NWA TV belt which is far better looking if nothing else. Eaton is vastly underrated in the ring so this should be good. This is a very old school, NWA mentality match meaning it’s rather slow for the majority of people’s tastes, but it’s working pretty well. Eaton works on the arm and Arn works on the leg which is just odd for an arm man like himself. At least the leg work makes sense here as Bobby is a high flier.

Anderson works on the leg. And I mean for about 5 minutes straight. Ok, we get it: his leg is messed up. We of course get the big face comeback but as he’s going for the Alabama Jam (top rope leg drop) Barry Windham comes out but is stopped by Pillman and they have no bearing at all on the match, making their appearances completely pointless other than to make us miss the pin as we see Brian chasing him to the back when the pin happens. That’s BRILLIANT guys.

Rating: D+. It wasn’t bad, but it was boring as all goodness. Almost half of this is Anderson working on the leg which makes sense but dang it was boring and I’m an Anderson fan. This just wasn’t anything special, although Eaton winning a singles match was a big deal. Some people will love this but it wasn’t that great.

Eaton was on such a roll at this point that he would get a World Title shot at Clash of the Champions XV.

WCW World Title: Ric Flair vs. Bobby Eaton

2/3 falls and Flair has different music here for some reason. Eaton is TV Champion though he had lost the title on a show that hadn’t aired yet. They slug it out in the corner to start and Eaton takes over with a shoulder and some elbow drops. A clothesline puts Flair on the floor but comes back in with a hard right hand to the jaw. Bobby will have none of that though and hammers Flair down with right hands, giving us a Flair Flop (Flair faceplanting down onto the mat).

Eaton puts on a short arm scissors into a hammerlock but Flair reverses with a nice amateur move. The champ gets a bit too cocky though and Eaton pops him in the face with another right hand. Flair heads outside again and suckers Eaton in for a cheap shot to take over. Back in and Flair throws him into the corner before stomping away for good measure. A knee to the face gets two for Ric but Bobby comes back with some solid left hands.

Flair goes up top but is slammed down like always. Another right hand puts Flair on the ground and a backbreaker puts him down again. Eaton takes him down with a neckbreaker and the Alabama Jam (top rope legdrop) gets the completely clean pin to give Bobby the first fall. There’s a thirty second rest period between falls.

The second fall begins with Flair eating a right hand to put him face first on the mat again. A backslide gets two more for the challenger and he goes to the corner, stops to punch Flair down again, and then goes up again. Flair shoves him off the top and wouldn’t you know it, Eaton has hurt his knee. It’s amazing how that always happens in Flair matches. Eaton can’t beat the count back in and the second fall goes to the champ.

The third fall begins with Flair dragging Eaton back in but Bobby comes back with a superplex for a delayed two count. Bobby can’t follow up and gets caught in a belly to back suplex, followed by the Figure Four with hands on the ropes. The referee catches the cheating so Flair clips the knee and puts the hold on again. Eaton fights as long as he can but passes out to end the match.

Rating: B. Another good match here with some solid storytelling and Eaton getting a huge rub as a result. This is a good example of a match where a guy loses but comes out looking far better anyway. Eaton got a clean pin over the World Champion in a title match. What more can you want for him?

Here’s a better Anderson match from Saturday Night on May 15, 1993.

Arn Anderson vs. Bobby Eaton

They trade headlocks to start with Arn shoving Eaton to the mat to take over. An elbow to the jaw puts Anderson down on the floor and he takes a breather. Back in and Eaton goes after the leg for a bit before they head right back outside. Anderson backdrops him on the concrete and catapults him throat first into the bottom rope. Eaton gets an elbow up in the corner but walks into the spinebuster for the pin out of nowhere.

Rating: D+. It wasn’t great but the match worked well enough. The winner was pretty obvious as they spent the entire time talking about Anderson getting an NWA World Title shot at Slamboree (yes that actually happened, though I don’t remember it ever happening before or after). The spinebuster looked great too.

Eaton would hook up with Steven Regal as the Bluebloods at this point. Here’s a Tag Team Title match at Clash of the Champions XXXII.

Tag Team Titles: Sting/Lex Luger vs. Blue Bloods

The challengers are Lord Steven Regal and Earl Robert Eaton, which is Bobby Eaton now as a nobleman. Sting and Regal start things off and we get our first contact after a minute of posing. Regal cranks on the arm to start but gets dropkicked into the corner. Sting says bring it on before it’s off to Eaton vs. Luger. Lex is sent to the floor but Eaton walks into a backdrop on the concrete. Back inside and Luger poses, sending Eaton to the corner for a tag.

Luger slaps Regal in the face and says bring it on. Regal is tentative but sends Luger into the corner for some European uppercuts before tagging Eaton in again. A jawbreaker puts Luger down but it staggers Eaton enough that he has to tag Regal only a few seconds later. The Blue Bloods start double teaming Lex and Eaton nails his top rope knee drop.

Regal puts on his self named Stretch but Sting makes a quick save. Eaton goes up top but gets caught in a weak powerslam from Luger and they collide with each other. The hot tag brings in Sting, who knocks Eaton off the top and into Regal, setting up the Deathlock for the submission from the Earl.

Rating: C+. Just a nice little title defense here against an acceptable pair of challengers. Sting and Luger clearly weren’t going to lose the belts the night after winning them, but it was a nice performance by Eaton and Regal. It’s a good idea to have hands like the Blue Bloods around to put on a solid match and they helped do that here.

Off to the Nitro era now with this match to make a kid look good. From Nitro on October 21, 1996.

Chris Jericho vs. Bobby Eaton

Should be good. Tony says Sting is here and has a match scheduled with JL. Syxx and NWO Sting are here. After a break we’re ready to go. Patrick is referee and is still hurt. Jericho speeds things up to start and hits a dropkick and shoulder block to control early. Eaton comes back with a bad powerslam for no cover. Jericho hits the springboard dropkick to put Eaton outside. If Jericho wasn’t so pale I’d think he was the Cheetah Kid from last week.

Eaton works on the arm back in the ring. They slug it out and this match probably needs to end soon. They’re just not clicking out there. Jericho sends him into the post and they hit the floor. The Canadian’s elbow hits the post but Eaton misses a shot and stumbles up the aisle. Back in and Eaton hooks a swinging neckbreaker for no cover. A top rope kneedrop mostly hits for two. Jericho hits something like a jumping superkick and then a missile dropkick for the pin.

Rating: D+. Really surprising here as the match didn’t click at all for the most part. The ending was a lot better but other than that they looked totally out of sync. Jericho would get a lot better and I don’t think Eaton would be around much longer after this. Jericho would get Syxx on Sunday.

Jericho says that in six days he’ll get the first win over the NWO. He actually would, but it wouldn’t be until World War 3.

Video on Mysterio and how awesome he is.

Dean Malenko vs. Jimmy Graffiti

Graffiti is more commonly known as Jimmy Del Ray of the Heavenly Bodies. Graffiti takes over early and looks pretty stupid in his shirt with the word Graffiti on it and jean shorts. A Batista Bomb gets two for Graffiti as does a superkick. Malenko comes back and knocks him to the floor where he lands on the top of his head. Fake Sting is watching this and filming it. This prompts Tony and Larry to discuss if Rey has joined the NWO.

Dean hits a clothesline in the corner and a suplex but the Cloverleaf is broken up. Graffiti gets in his bit of jobber offense and they both go to the floor off a Malenko cross body. Back in and Graffiti tries something resembling a dropkick but gets caught in a powerbomb kind of move. The Cloverleaf ends this clean. It gets the Power Pin of the Week which is a sponsorship thing despite it not being a pin.

Rating: C-. Just a long squash here as Graffiti was never any threat to Deano Machino. I really don’t know why they brought in Del Ray of all people but he was fine for a jobber role I suppose. Dean would get the title back from Rey on Sunday before losing it to Ultimo Dragon at Starrcade.

One last WCW match, from Nitro on February 16, 1998.

Bobby Eaton vs. Curt Hennig

Speaking of throwing some veteran out there, here’s Bobby Eaton for the first time since April. They trade slaps to start until Hennig chops him out to the floor. Rude throws him back in so Hennig knee lifts Bobby back to the floor so Rude can throw him in a second time. Let’s do that sequence one more time in case you didn’t get the point already. Back in and Eaton takes advantage of Curt yelling at the fans by clipping the knee. Tony lets us know that Hennig has been gone because of his knee so there’s some psychology thrown in. Not that it matters as Hennig hooks the PerfectPlex for a pin out of nowhere. Glorified squash.

We’ll wrap it up with the World Wrestling Legends reunion show.

Midnight Express vs. Bob Armstrong/Scott Armstrong/Brad Armstrong

Cornette is the manager of the Express (Lane, Condrey and Eaton) and the more famous Armstrong (Brian, as in Road Dogg) isn’t here so who really cares? Cornette says the Armstrongs have been a thorn in his side for years and tonight he can get rid of them. When was that? Well Condrey looks like crap.

BOBBY HEENAN IS MANAGING THE ARMSTONGS!!! HOLY FREAKING SMOKES!!! Heenan looks a bit bad here but not too bad. Wow this is awesome to see. Bob Armstrong is in a mask for absolutely no apparent reason. You can see through the face part of it though so there’s zero point to it at all. Condrey vs. Brad, who is very underrated, to start us off.

Eaton comes in and doesn’t look that great. Off to Scott who is the referee that was in WWE that had the hitch in his count. We get the Heenan vs. Cornette showdown which is the main point of this match. And they just look at each other and now back to the match. Off to Lane vs. Scott now with the crowd kind of dead for this for some reason. Here’s Bob who is old as the hills and in the mask and never really was anything special but who cares?

Stan kicks Brad in the back to give the Midnights the advantage. Bob was in there maybe four seconds. Stan dances a bit as Cornette chokes Brad. This is awesome to see them together again which is the idea here. Heenan gets a chair. When would Bobby EVER do that? Brad gets a pretty ugly looking suplex to break Eaton’s momentum.

Everything goes nuts and Cornette pops Bob with the tennis racket which does nothing at all. Heenan takes out Cornette so that Bob can pop Bob to pin Eaton. In other words Bob Armstrong pinned Bobby Eaton after Bobby Heenan got him the tennis racket. Wow these were unoriginal parents.

Rating: D. Boring match of course as Bob Armstrong looked horrible in there and for the life of me I still don’t care for the mask but whatever. This was just for the managers which the announcers point out which is fine. This wasn’t anything of note but seeing the Midnights was awesome all over again. Bad match, cool moment.

Bobby Eaton is one of the most natural wrestlers you’ll ever see. The guy can just get in the ring and go with anyone, making him very fun to watch. You’ll hear a lot of wrestlers talk about how Eaton was a night off in the ring because he could do everything himself and make the other guy look good. Watch his stuff if you want to see a guy that just knows how to wrestle.

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