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[1990-03-10-NWA-World Championship Wrestling] Midnight Express vs Brian Pillman & Tom Zenk

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Really good match in front of another hot crowd. Pillman plays FIP and does a great job. Bobby Eaton has so much varied offense. Zenk has Eaton in the sleeper when Cornette pops him with the racket for the DQ. Post-match, Eaton does the guillotine legdrop while Cornette holds the racket over Pillman's throat. Jobbers come out and get beaten up in a chaotic scene, and the MX steal the US tag titles. Super hot start to this feud, that sadly didn't play out like it was originally planned.

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FWIW, Cornette calls this "the phantom angle" in the MX scrapbook. Promos were shot with a raspy voiced Pillman talking about his childhood throat cancer, but they didn't air because Jim Barnett wanted to save the angle for later when Pillman was a bigger star or something. The announcers were told to completely ignore that aspect of the angle.

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Passable promo from Pillman, Zenk is lousy. Cornette is his usual self and Lane gets in an enjoyable line about how much he hates pretty boys.

 

This picks up in a hurry once Pillman goes FIP, with the Midnights punishing him with some great offense mostly centered around the throat and neck. JR teases that Cornette "found out" something about Pillman but nothing is divulged. Zenk gets the tag but is quickly put down with the tennis racket, and an absolutely killer post-match beatdown follows. The Midnights hit Pillman with the Veg-o-Matic with Cornette holding the racket over Pillman's throat, Cornette picks off a parade of jobbers at will with racket shots as they try to enter the ring, and then starts doing elbowdrops with the racket into Pillman's throat. Just a fucking shame that they decided to let all of this go to waste. WCW never did get to use that angle they wanted to "save."

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Really fun match and I thought actually Zenk was really good in it knowing his role and not being annoying. The midnights varying their offense so well to keep things interesting and Bobby Eaton has had some great punches this year. The legdrop with the racket and post match was done real well.

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I thought this was a strong match. The MX were great at working the neck and throat area that Pillman is great at selling. The angle at the end makes it a can't miss segment. Of course WCW drops the angle completely.

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Pillman makes a mixed doubles reference to Cornette. Am I suppose to take a drink when someone other than Ross says it? Zenk makes a comment about Cornette sticking his nose in his own men’s business. Zenk had a weird pause when saying line.

 

Crowd really into Zenk and Pillman. Lane whipped Pillman throat first into the tope ring rope. Like that move with it’s relevance to Pillman’s throat issues. Zenk finally tags in and Cornette and racket get involved for disqualification. Cornette and Express attack Pillman’s throat more after. Good post match angle.

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Was that really the best take they got from Pillman and Zenk for their promo?

 

Really good match with a hot crowd. I feel like Pillman and Zenk were the young babyface tag team they were hoping the Dynamic Dudes would be, but never were, and it's kind of a shame Pillman and Zenk didn't get a longer run as a team. Is this the last time WCW bothered to put heat on the MX and Cornette? Good angle that sadly went nowhere.

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This was a really good match. I think that at this point the Midnight Express has been looking like the best tag team of the year. Midnights work on Pillman's throat after getting DQed and steal the US Tag Titles.

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Zenk is so lame.

 

Fllllllyyyyyyyaaaaaaaaannnn Briiiiiiaaaaannn

 

Love it. Love this period of WCW so much, mainly just the look and feel of it, I love its "universe". Up until Hogan turns up pretty much.

 

FFLLLLLYLLLIIIINNNN BRIIIIAAANNN

 

YES!

 

Eaton and Pillman lock up. Hair pulling. Patrick on top of the situation.

 

"... Graduated from the University of Minnesotta with a Speech and Languages degree" - love it love it love it

 

After a decent start, match hits the shits when Zenk is in doing a series of really crap-looking arm drags. Shallow arm drags. Standing arm drags.

 

Heels need to regroup here. Neckbreaker by Eaton on Pillman. Here we go. Another neckbreaker. 2 count. Lane in. Neckbeaker. Fucking get in!

 

Sweet Stan with the kicks now. Eaton back in. 2 count. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker? No reversed into a slam. Pillman misses an elbow. Doubleteaming by MX now. Gullotine. Sunset flip by Pillman Just a hopespot. Drop toehold by Lane. Elbow drop by Eaton. POETRY.

 

This FIP sequence is classic MX.

 

Pillman starts a comeback and Eaton dumps him outside. HOT TAG. All of the fire drains out of the match as the Z-man comes in with zero passion or urgency. DQ finish is disappointing.

 

Great FIP sequence though.

 

Enjoyable post-match shennanigans.

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So instead of an angle that would have reestablished the Midnights as a truly dangerous team, we get the hackneyed "steal the belts because we feel we're the champions" stuff which lots of heel teams have pulled over the years and never leads to anything because the faces always steal the belts back? That's a real waste. I can't even figure out how JR and the other announcers could ignore something like that without looking stupid, because I'm sure they were asked about it. Yet another promotion that banked on wrestling fans' willingness to be gullible for the sake of entertainment and got away with it.

 

The match basically existed to set up the angle, but it was good while it lasted. Zenk and Pillman continue to look fresh and exciting, and it's a shame that their run was so short, because they're really over with the people. The Midnights look as good as they have in years too; they weren't bad babyfaces, but they're in their element as heels, much like the Horsemen (as a group, at least).

 

Can't wait to see more between these two teams!

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dude yes. YES. I lost it when Zenk says "yeah" during the promo. Just dry as a bone. The guy has the delivery of Bill Paxton. I love Tom Zenk. Anyway, this is everything I love in a wrestling match. A hot tv crowd, midcard babyfaces, southern tag, heels that know how to work a heat segment. Another one of my big 'what if's' with the abandoned throat angle. If we had gotten a few more big matches with these two teams, on top of the great tag matches in 1990, man, what could have been...

 

"He with a pear-shaped body, partly disrobing" is a great line from Ross and sounds like a line from a Flannery O'Conner story.

 

I love that Flyin' Brian's hope spots are always fast paced, like he's just getting this deep bursts of energy and burns out quick. Man, babyface Pillman is something. You can hear the crowd just die after Zenk gets tagged in. I know the guy is dull, but he's really not that bad. He plays his role well I think. Anyway, really creative and gnarly triple team Alabama Jam on Flyin Brian at the end. Awesome match.

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I loved the double headbutt into the flying clothesline by Pillman spot. He was great as the FIP and Eaton was delivering some great punches. The crowd was fun, and I agree on wishing we had some more matches out of this. This was a really fun match!

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Lane's line in the pre-match promo was gold. Damn pretty boys. Great stuff from MX, which seems par for the course. Why does it seem like both the MX and RnR are being kept a level below the Steiners?

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