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[1990-04-14-NWA-World Championship Wrestling] Rock & Roll Express vs Fabulous Freebirds (2/3 falls)

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2/3 falls match and 25 minutes. Why Hayes and Garvin were booked to go this long in 1990 I'll never understand, but this is a decent match that has a pretty simple, but effective layout, and there are some good moments. It's amazing how washed up Hayes was at this point, despite only being 31 years old. He still had some basic stuff he could do, but he really looked old and broken down. The finishes to every fall are very well done, and Hayes has a nice elbow drop. A good match through sheer will. Ricky Morton working the tag formula with heels who are at least smart is always going to produce a good result. And Gibson looks really good here when he works FIP in the third fall too! A greatest hits version of this that went 15 minutes would be excellent.

 

Post-match, the Birds attack the Rock & Rolls with belts to set up Capital Combat.

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A testament to working smart over working hard, though it's not as though there isn't hard work on display here. The 'birds are out of shape and have perhaps the scuzziest, sleaziest look in the history of national wrestling promotions, but this is about as good of a match as you can hope for--especially with them going a half hour and having to work on top in three distinct FIP periods. Good lucha-esque opening fall that's mass chaos and ends quickly before we slow things down. The 'birds apparently lash the R'nRs with a leather belt after the match which Jim Ross says will not be shown in kind of a weird bit of censoring, setting up the Country Whipping Match at Capital Combat. This almost reminds me of WCW trying to hype the Hogan/Flair first-blood match without being able to say "first-blood" on television.

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Good match but a little overly long and you could tell in the third fall, the birds were shot. I really loved the first fall with the straight left from Hayes and the double team moves. Not showing the whips was kind of an odd way to set up Capital Combat but I guess not seeing the violence may incline people to buy the PPV.

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Gibson actually makes sense on his promo and provides some sign language when Ricky speaks. Quick first fall with the Express winning with double dropkick. Express go for the double dropkick again but Garvin grabs Hayes foot. Hayes puts DDT on Morton. Third fall and Freebirds continue to work the neck.

 

Gibson takes a beating for a while in the third fall and Morton gets to make the hot tag in. Morton wins win a roll up. Post match beating and Hayes gets a weapon from ringside. Ross gets all mad at this and they refuse to show anymore of this beating. Didn’t think it was that over the top to take that view. I'm not much of a Freebirds fan. Shocking that Hayes was only 31 at this point.

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Michael Hayes is an old 31 - he might only have existed on this Earth for 31 years in 1990, but he has he body of a 50 year old. Frankly, it's shocking he's still alive today, and it's strange to think that he's only 54 now, and has been retired for at least 18 years.

 

Good match. The Birds don't do anything terribly interesting while on top, but they don't have to when Ricky Morton is in the ring with them. Even then, both Birds are completely gassed by the end of this. Good, but would have been much better as a single fall match.

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The pace here is much slower than in the other WCW tag matches we've seen so far on the set, and that hurts this one a bit. This is basically a two-fall bout with the first fall being over so quickly, and it's obvious that Rock 'n' Roll have to slow down to prevent themselves from making the Birds look even more ridiculous than they already are with that awful eye makeup. These are far from the ass-kickers I loved so much in their days with Fritz and Watts. The sad thing is that Hayes and Garvin looked good as a face team when they worked a mini-program with the Horsemen just after Turner bought Watts out, and now two years later they're almost completely shot to hell. Hayes even sounds lackluster on the pre-match promo.

 

Let's see, what else was wrong? Corny on commentary, for one thing. Everyone who's followed JCP/WCW for the last four and a half years knows how much he hates Ricky and Robert, and I expected a healthy dose of one-liners at their expense, but the constant distortion of everything that went on in the ring to make it look like they were total scrubs grated on me. Just because it's a heel commentator staple doesn't make it any easier to listen to, and Corny had avoided it for the most part so far on the other matches he called. I guess Gordon Solie missed this particular taping.

 

Finally, we had the non-showing of the whipping at the end of the bout. First, when something like that is conveniently "not shown", it makes me wonder whether it was done at all, especially since the choking sequence we saw was more than enough to establish the need for some type of strap match. Secondly, I can understand TBS not wanting to show blood or graphic shots of skin being taken off, but don't make it out like JR flipped his wig in the booth and unilaterally decided not to have the footage shown. Come out honestly and state that the whipping we're ostensibly about to see violates TBS broadcast policy, and thus we need to go to break. Hearing JR scream, "We're not gonna show that!" over and over implies that it was his decision, and even if he does act as producer of the shows he announces (which even marks know if they read the credits), it's not really his call and shouldn't sound like it is.

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Thanks to Where the Big Boys Play, I just want a Jimmy Jam "YEAH YEAHYEAH YEAHHHH" and we got that here, so I can't be to disappointed. Michael Hayes took some nice bumps early on, but man there was a lot of stalling in this. All that being said though, it was a simple, solid story and RnR worked hard, and I enjoyed it.

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Good enough match for the heels involved. Hayes showed some flashes of being serviceable. Gibson should stay away from microphones and let Ricky do the talking.

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