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[1990-12-16-NWA Starrcade '90] Rick & Scott Steiner vs Great Muta & Masa Saito

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Nuclear pop for the victory. What a great crowd this is. Steiners win the Pat O'Connor Memorial and get a monster-sized trophy for it. This is all quite classy, actually.

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No real upsets as the top two seeds make it to the finals. Muta’s spinning back kick looked to really connect with Rick’s face. Steiners win and the crowd really liked it. Steiners both put over the U.S. forces in the Middle East.

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What was the point of this tournament? I get the Pat O'Connor tie in, but WHY?

 

After Halloween Havoc, they had a GREAT opportunity to get some feuds finished for good or kick off some new...

 

I know we had some matches that dealt with feuds, but seemed like a waste to me that should have been a Clash, like Starrcade '89 should have been.

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This was the match that I believe the tournament was an excuse to have, and what we saw was very, very good. I don't recall Muta and Saito being any sort of regular team, yet they worked very crisply here and came across as a real threat to the Steiners. I expected Rick and Scotty to go over in a dominant manner, but instead they escaped with some illegal but nifty double-teaming. I liked Paul asking if the Japanese would get a U.S. tag team title shot if they won, and I think they'd have been a nice addition to the tag team scene in WCW if they'd chosen to stay here.

 

Nice touch to have Tiger Hattori, the top NJPW referee, as the official here. Since we didn't see the opening part of the bout, I wonder if it was mentioned that he worked for New Japan, as did Muta and Saito, and if JR even subtly questioned whether he could be objective.

 

Paul claiming that the "USA! USA!" chants were actually "Japan!" "Japan!" chants for Muta and Saito may have been standard operating procedure for a heel, but if I'd been Turner management, I'd have had a chat with him about it. My rule would have been: no support of foreign heels on commentary, even by another heel, in times of international crisis, period. We were on the brink of a major shooting war, and the last thing we needed from a major pay-per-view wrestling show that was being beamed to the troops was some idiot commentator blowing off "USA!" chants. In the regional days, when shows weren't being beamed overseas, you might have been able to get away with that stuff, but not now.

 

Nice to see Rick and Scotty put over the troops in the Middle East during their celebration. "Kick some butt!", indeed.

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Having watched the whole show, I think its the best match of the tournament - but that's faint praise considering that no other match in the tournament was given the time or designed to be very competitive (Mexico/UK is interesting because of the people involved, but its still a notch below good).

 

After some good action with Saito and Muta shining particularly, I really hated the finish. "Overconfident heel turns back on action to gloat and ends up losing match" is classic wrestling, but, to me, it really works best when the heels have totally dominated and then maybe hit the faces with an international object to really cement that it is over. Here, the match doesn't really seem "sewn up" enough for Muta to play to the crowd and completely abandon the match. With a better finishing stretch, I would go ***, maybe even *** 1/2, but as it is, its just average on my scale.

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