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[1990-09-21-NWA-Power Hour] Scott Steiner vs Bobby Eaton (Running the Gauntlet)

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Scott Steiner is about to run the gauntlet in one of my favorite ideas for televised wrestling ever. The way it works: he faces three high-quality wrestlers on all three TBS weekend shows. He has drawn Bobby Eaton, Ric Flair and Arn Anderson as opponents. If he makes it through successfully, he wins $15,000. If any one of them beat him, they split the money among the three of them. Great idea to showcase some good matches that aren't really marquee enough to headline a PPV, but are good matchups that could draw television ratings. And in this case, Scott is matched up with the three best workers in the company.

 

Flair has joined Jim Ross to do commentary on this one, and does a great job putting over Scott Steiner while still heeling himself. Stan Lane and Rick Steiner are also at ringside, and this suddenly feels like it has really high stakes. I love the tennis racket to swinging neckbreaker transition from Bobby and Cornette. Scott does what he needs to do here, but Eaton is carrying this and makes Scott look really good. The match has a lot of heat and is really well-booked. I don't know that they needed all these tricks to have a good match, but they had them anyway.

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Fantastic match. Steiner isn't quite in Bobby's league as an all-around worker but he does his best to match him bump for bump here. In addition to the tennis racket off the ropes, Eaton cuts Steiner off with an absolutely murderous clothesline that puts any Steinerline to shame. The hype for Steiner vs. Flair is so huge that you know who's going over here, but I'm pumped to see the rest of the Gauntlet now.

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Great callback to the great TV on WCW in Jan/Feb of this year. Wonderfully fun concept that destroys beat the clock and other shit WWE throws out now. Flair on commentary is gold like it usually is with him and Eaton puts a stake in his claim as one of the best U.S. workers of 1990.

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This is more evidence that Bobby Eaton was the best worker in WCW in 1990. You can't do much better than lining him up with Flair and Arn against the same limited opponent on the same weekend. Those guys both had good matches against Steiner. But Eaton was more impressive, both with his own offense and with putting Steiner over.

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Ross and Heyman get along on commentary. Both Steiner and Eaton missed charges into the ring post. Stan and Rick eventually join us at ringside. Rick distracts Bobby briefly and Scott hits a good looking frankensteiner. Good quick match. Eaton has had a great year. Scott gets a match with Flair now. I didn't understand the whole gaunlet at first until later matches.

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Great TV match, much better than the Flair one. Before I thought that Eaton was second to Flair in terms of best worker in America in 1990, but matches like this make think he may have superseded Flair. Nice bump from Eaton off the Steinerline to the floor, the early going establishes Steiner as a powerhouse. I like how Eaton when for an ab stretch early; it was contested; Steiner came out on top versus Flair just cutting off Steiner with chops and punches and Steiner throwing out a random spot. The tennis racket is a very, very smart transition. Eaton rules on offense. The clothesline and the backbreaker come to mind immediately. The Frankensteiner was definitely the right finish. This is why I love the yearbooks. I did not even know this match existed making my 2:30 am just that much more pleasurable.

 

Lance Russell mentioned that the Steiners beat the MX for the US Tag belts. I know that the Steiners vs MX have had a couple matches over the years. Can anybody give me the dates of their best matches? That would be much appreciated.

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An extremely physical match which you'd expect from Scotty, but not Bobby. I know they tried to push Scott as a singles star on and off for a while, and this match shows why, as he keeps up with Bobby move for move and bump for bump.

 

I agree that the hype for Scotty/Flair practically gives away the result of this match, but you didn't really think that they'd put Flair in the gauntlet without having him wrestle, did you? He was excellent on commentary here, much more so than I remembered him being back in the eighties. I loved Heyman kissing his rear end figuratively and his hand literally.

 

Paul was great at putting over the strategy of the bout, and you couldn't tell that he still had issues with Corny and the MX. JR was.......let's say in his own world. He could have been calling the match solo for all he paid attention to Heyman, though he did talk to Flair occasionally.

 

I wonder if he actually asked to call matches solo at one point and was told he had to have a commentator, so he deliberately chose to freeze them out as if to say, "You may have to sit next to me, but I don't have to talk to you if I don't want to." He talked to Caudle (of course) and Corny, but not to Heyman or (apparently) to Jesse a couple of years later. His idol Gordon Solie did the same thing; he engaged with Roddy Piper on Georgia broadcasts, but from what I've heard, he barely even acknowledged his partners while doing Florida.

 

Looking forward to Flair/Scott.

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Paul was great at putting over the strategy of the bout, and you couldn't tell that he still had issues with Corny and the MX. JR was.......let's say in his own world. He could have been calling the match solo for all he paid attention to Heyman, though he did talk to Flair occasionally.

 

I wonder if he actually asked to call matches solo at one point and was told he had to have a commentator, so he deliberately chose to freeze them out as if to say, "You may have to sit next to me, but I don't have to talk to you if I don't want to." He talked to Caudle (of course) and Corny, but not to Heyman or (apparently) to Jesse a couple of years later. His idol Gordon Solie did the same thing; he engaged with Roddy Piper on Georgia broadcasts, but from what I've heard, he barely even acknowledged his partners while doing Florida.

 

Looking forward to Flair/Scott.

 

I find Ross intolerable without a partner. He has zero personality when he's not reacting to someone else (which he's excellent at, frequently).

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So this is one of the big reasons why I started diving into the yearbooks: to get WCW tv matches, and even more specifically, gauntlet matches. This is my favorite one so far. Eaton is really on here. Great bumps, good looking offense as usual when he's on top, but didn't overshadow Steiners power moves. Awesome match.

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Bobby Eaton is so incredible. Scotty is good at this point, but not near good enough to have a match like this without a LOT of help.

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