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[1989-02-15-NWA-Clash of the Champions V] Ricky Steamboat vs Bob Bradley


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Earlier in the show Bob Caudle conducted an interview with ‘the Dragon’ and questioned why he was taking this match so close to the Chi Town Rumble.  Steamboat replied that he was taking a bunch of ‘tune up’ matches in preparation for Monday night and this was one of them.  He also warned Flair not to interfere like he did on TBS.  I’m imagining Flair is too busy sorting out his wardrobe to be concerned with that now.

Steamboat is accompanied by wife Bonnie and little Richie.  Bradley with a hip toss, a scoop slam and an arm drag.  ‘The Dragon’ replies with a pair of hip tosses, two slams and two arm drags as Bradley then takes a powder to the floor.  I like the psychology behind Steamer one-upping him on those moves even if it is a spot (the Bradley stuff) that I wouldn’t have done.  Steamboat slingshot him back inside but Bradley doesn’t take the flip bump, instead soaring over the top rope and landing chest first on the mat.  After Bradley takes a second powder Steamer follows him out only to get slammed on the ringside mats and thrown into the guard rail.  Jim Ross says how Bradley has nothing to lose here and everything to gain and that Steamboat may have made a mistake in taking this bout so close to Monday.  Whip to the corner and ‘the Dragon’ avoids a charging Bradley who goes flying head first into the turnbuckles.  Steamer works the left arm, a common theme in matches around this time.  Side slam by Bradley but he fails to connect on the splash off the top.  Flying crossbody follows shortly after as Steamboat puts Bradley down for the three.

The number one contender for the NWA World title should not be having as much trouble with the likes of Bob Bradley as Ricky Steamboat had here; he should’ve beaten him in a few minutes.  Where had Bradley been prior to this in ’88?  World Class maybe?  Later this year when he joins Titan he would become a full on jobber although I don’t think he is just yet.  Still, this match was 50/50 and while Bradley bumped real well for Steamer, that’s what he should’ve stayed doing and not looking as dominant as he did at times.

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