WWE Vintage Collection TV report - NWA tag team tournament 1989



'WWE Vintage Collection’ TV Report #275 – September 8th, 2013

Shown on Sky Sports in the U.K.

By Stephen Lyon.

This week's theme: The 8 team tournament for the vacant NWA World Tag Team titles on NWA tv, from May/June 1989. Main event of today's show was the Midnight Express vs Fabulous Freebirds in the tournament final, from NWA Clash of the Champions 7, June 1989. Other matches on today's show included: Midnight Express vs Samoan Swat Team (NWA Clash 7, June 1989); Fabulous Freebirds vs Dynamic Dudes (NWA Clash 7, June 1989); Road Warriors vs Fabulous Freebirds (World Championship Wrestling, May 1989); Samoan Swat Team vs Ron Simmons & Ranger Ross (World Championship Wrestling, May 1989); and Dynamic Dudes vs Rip Morgan & Jack Victory (World Championship Wrestling, June 1989).

Great show today.

It was also 'experimentation week' in terms of show production. During the WWE studio links with Gene Okerlund and Renee Young, between the matches, they kept switching to side-on camera angles as the presenters were speaking to camera, and they also kept pulling wide angles showing the cameras themselves that the hosts were talking into. It was different, like a documentary-style presentation on the show itself. They also aired more historical clips during the links, in relation to whatever wrestler they were talking about at the time. More thought goes into the production of this show than any other studio-based WWE tv show, so kudos to the production team, it is noticeable.

The Show:

Show was hosted by Gene Okerlund & Renee Young.

1) In the first quarter final match, the Fabulous Freebirds defeated the Road Warriors (w/Paul Ellering in their corner) via count out. This match aired on the May 20th, 1989 edition of 'World Championship Wrestling', taped at the Center Stage theater, Atlanta, Georgia on May 9th, 1989. Sole announcer for this match was Jim Ross. Michael Hayes & Terry Gordy were the Freebirds here, with Gordy and Animal squaring off in a big power battle. Road Warriors were getting the better of a brawl with the Freebirds when the Samoan Swat Team (Fatu & Samu) ran out and attacked Animal outside the ring. Hawk came to his aid, but amidst the chaos, the referee counted out the Road Warriors, so the Freebirds advanced. Hayes was great here, as Gordy just wanted to fight and get involved in the brawl, but Hayes calmed him down, explaining to him that if he stayed in the ring, they'd win the match via count out.

 

 

2) In the second quarter final match, the Samoan Swat Team (w/Paul E. Dangerously in their corner) defeated Ron Simmons & Ranger Ross. This match aired on the May 27th, 1989 edition of 'World Championship Wrestling' taped at the Center Stage theater, Atlanta, Georgia on May 10th, 1989. Announcers for this match were Jim Ross & Michael Hayes. Paul E. was dressed like Don Johnson from Miami Vice, wearing a white suit with the sleeves rolled up and a pale blue shirt underneath. This match also saw Teddy Long at ringside, scouting for talent to manage. The SSTs dominated Ranger Ross, but Ron Simmons was distracted by Long at ringside, who was trying to get him to sign a contract with him. Ross kept reaching for a hot tag, only for Simmons to blow him off. Eventually, Simmons walked out on his partner mid-match and left with Long, leaving Ross to eat a top rope splash from Fatu, allowing the SSTs to score the win and advance.

 

 

3) In the third quarter final match, the Dynamic Dudes defeated Rip Morgan & Jack Victory. This match aired on the June 10th, 1989 edition of 'World Championship Wrestling' taped at the Center Stage theater, Atlanta, Georgia on June 7th, 1989. Announcers for this match were Jim Ross & Michael Hayes. Morgan & Victory were the 'New Zealand Militia'. Hayes on commentary promised that he would unveil a new third Freebird member at the upcoming Clash special. The announced hyped a Steve Williams vs Terry Gordy match on that same show, that briefly led to JR and Hayes reminiscing about their UWF days. The match here saw the Militia work over Shane Douglas, leading to the hot tag to Johnny Ace. Ace eventually scored the win with a roll up on Morgan. The Militia attacked both guys with their boomerang after the match.

  

 

The fourth quarter final round match that saw the Midnight Express defeat Butch Reed & The Raider on the June 3rd, 1989 edition of 'World Championship Wrestling' was referenced by Okerlund and Young, but not shown here.

 

 

4) In the first semi-final match, the Fabulous Freebirds (w/Terry Gordy in their corner) defeated Dynamic Dudes. This match aired on the 'NWA Clash of the Champions 7' live TBS special, taped at the Fort Bragg army base, North Carolina on June 14th, 1989. Announcers for this match were Jim Ross & Bob Caudle. Both semi finals and the tournament final took place on this same Clash special. The heat was off the charts for all three matches, both metaphorically and literally, as it infamously took place in an indoors army base with no air-conditioning, with the temperature reaching nearly 100 degrees. Tons of guys in the crowd were bare-chested, such was the heat. The Freebirds had unveiled their new third member - Jimmy Garvin, and it was Hayes and Garvin that wrestled in this match. Johnny Ace was destroyed for most of the match, before he made the hot tag to Shane Douglas. Finish saw Ace try to roll up Garvin, buy Hayes snuck in and gave Ace a DDT, leading to Garvin scoring the pinfall win. 

 

5) In the second semi-final match, the Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette in their corner) defeated the Samoan Swat Team (w/Paul E. Dangerously in their corner). This match aired on the 'NWA Clash of the Champions 7' live TBS special, taped at the Fort Bragg army base, North Carolina on June 14th, 1989. Announcers for this match were Jim Ross & Bob Caudle. This was a really fun match. The SSTs double-teamed Bobby Eaton, which eventually led to a big brawl between all four members. With the referee bumped, the Road Warriors ran out and clotheslined Samu. Stan Lane jumped into the ring and immediately snatched the pin for the win. The crowd went absolute nuts for the finish, jumping up and down in joy. An awesome sight.  

 

 

6) In the tournament final match, the Fabulous Freebirds (w/Terry Gordy in their corner) defeated the Midnight Express to win the vacant NWA World Tag Team titles. This match aired on the 'NWA Clash of the Champions 7' live TBS special, taped at the Fort Bragg army base, North Carolina on June 14th, 1989. Announcers for this match were Jim Ross & Bob Caudle. Paul E. Dangerously had ran out and destroyed Jim Cornette with a loaded tennis racquet before the match. Cornette was carried backstage, and the announcers made a big thing about the Midnights not having Cornette in their corner to provide strategy. The Freebirds stalled for ages and drew good heat. Eaton and Lane was dominant and gave Garvin a double flapjack for a nearfall. The finish saw the referee again unsighted, with Terry Gordy sliding into the ring and powerbombing Eaton. Garvin then pinned Eaton, holding the tights, to score the win and new NWA World Tag Team Champions were crowned.    

Closing thoughts: Great show. I always enjoy shows like this, featuring tournaments, where they collate all the tournament matches from the various tv shows. Best match was Midnight Express vs Samoan Swat Team, simply for the crowd reaction at the finish.

Quick plug: If you enjoy my weekly 'WWE Vintage Collection' tv columns such as this, then you may like to check out the latest issue of 'Fighting Spirit Magazine' (Issue 97, with Randy Orton on the cover. The critically-acclaimed magazine features all new regular columns from FSM columnists, Magnus and Jim Cornette, in addition to articles on the current wrestling scene internationally and in the U.K., as well as great historical pieces on wrestling heritage. Plus my 'Wrestling Round Up' TV Lounge column, recapping this past months' WWE & TNA tv shows, as well as WWE ppv & UK independent show reviews, plus much more. Available now, in all good newsagents in the U.K. & Ireland, and for fans worldwide, subscriptions are available here at: http://www.fightingspiritmagazine.co.uk/subscribe.asp!

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Match Results:

 

1) Quarter Final match: The Fabulous Freebirds defeated the Road Warriors (w/Paul Ellering in their corner) via count out ('World Championship Wrestling' - Center Stage, Atlanta, Georgia: taped on 09/05/89, aired on 20/05/89). 

 

2) Quarter Final match: Samoan Swat Team (w/Paul E. Dangerously in their corner) defeated Ron Simmons & Ranger Ross ('World Championship Wrestling' - Center Stage, Atlanta, Georgia: taped on 10/05/89, aired on 27/05/89). 

 

3) Quarter Final match: Dynamic Dudes defeated Rip Morgan & Jack Victory ('World Championship Wrestling' - Center Stage, Atlanta, Georgia: taped on 07/06/89, aired on 10/06/89). 

 

4) Semi-final match: The Fabulous Freebirds (w/Terry Gordy in their corner) defeated Dynamic Dudes ('NWA Clash of the Champions 7' live TBS special - Fort Bragg, North Carolina: 14/06/89). 

 

5) Semi-final match: Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette in their corner) defeated the Samoan Swat Team (w/Paul E. Dangerously in their corner) ('NWA Clash of the Champions 7' live TBS special - Fort Bragg, North Carolina: 14/06/89). 

 

6) Tournament Final match: The Fabulous Freebirds (w/Terry Gordy in their corner) defeated the Midnight Express to win the vacant NWA World Tag Team titles ('NWA Clash of the Champions 7' live TBS special - Fort Bragg, North Carolina: 14/06/89). 

 

 

Please note: I DO NOT sell DVDs or tapes of any of these shows. Sorry!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s report. For other reports like this one, be sure to check it out my website archive at http://www.classicwrestlingreports.com .

It’s no longer updated, but this website carries all of my previous WWE Classics tv reports that have been featured on the old WrestlingObserver.com website.

 

As always your questions, comments and thoughts are always welcomed, and you can contact me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Until next week, have a good week.

Stephen Lyon,
St Helens, England, U.K.

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