Originally built around a main event between NWA Champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and young challenger Sting – a story that had been in the works for months – WrestleWar 90 had to change its finale after Sting tore up his knee at CLASH OF THE CHAMPIONS X. With their big match ruined, the company had to pivot and find a new challenger for its 6-time champion.
Enter United States Champion Lex Luger.
Much like Sting, Luger had a long history with the “Nature Boy.” He was even a member of the Four Horsemen for a time. Inserting him into the main event made a whole lot of sense; it ensured the pay-per-view had a big match feel for the event’s final match. But it lost a bit of the drama and the narrative that had been built from the moment where Sting saved Flair from an attack by the evil J-Tex Corporation.
Of course, Flair always brought out the best in Luger and the champ made sure the match seemed epic, but the emotional connection to the match was severed when Sting tore his ACL. The problem was compounded by the fact that Luger was, up until he saved Sting from an attack at the end of the match, a heel. Saving Sting from Ole and Arn Anderson got him counted out and gave the win to the champ. Even the referee looked shocked at Luger’s stupid decision. He had Flair in the Torture Rack! It set up a few more months of a program to bide time until Sting got back, but all of the extenuating circumstances really brought the nearly-40 minute match down.
Best Match: Rock n Roll Express defeated the Midnight Express – Can’t really go wrong with a match between the RnRs and the Midnights. With the amount of time that these four guys spent in the ring with each other, they could probably produce a classic match in their sleep. Maybe it wasn’t the best match between these two teams, but it was still a lot of fun to watch.
Worst Match: United States Tag Team Championship Match: Z-Man and “Flyin’” Brian Pillman defeated the Fabulous Freebirds – Pillman and the Z-Man go 2 for 2! While their first “Worst Match” honors came for having a squash match at Clash X, this one comes for having a completely pedestrian match with The Freebirds that, incomprehensibly, went close to 30 minutes. Cut half the match out and let Pillman and Z-Man have some high-flying offense and this match could have been really good. Instead, it was just long and boring.
Do The Wild Thing: This show had easily the best promo video of the year. Multiple versions of the Wild Thing rap video were aired in the build to the pay-per-view, but the one that debuted at Clash X was easily the best.
Tag Team Turmoil: Of the seven matches on the card, 5 of them were tag team matches, which is definitely something that you probably wouldn’t see today. The only two singles matches were the main event and a battle between Norman the Lunatic and Cactus Jack. A third one was originally planned, a United States Championship match between Luger and “Doctor Death” Steve Williams, but it got scrapped when Luger was drafted into the main event.
Ranking the WrestleWar 90 Wild Thing Matches
1 – Rock n Roll Express defeated the Midnight Express
2 – NWA Tag Team Championship Match: The Steiner Brothers (c) defeated Ole and Arn Anderson
3 – NWA World Championship Match: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (c) beat Lex Luger by countout
4 – Buzz Sawyer and Kevin Sullivan defeated The Dynamic Dudes
5 – Norman the Lunatic defeated Cactus Jack
6 – Chicago Street Fight: The Road Warriors defeated The Skyscrapers
7 – United States Tag Team Championship Match: Z-Man and “Flyin’” Brian Pillman defeated the Fabulous Freebirds
Lots of changes to the Top 10 once again! Let’s take a look.
*DISCLAIMER* The Top 10 rankings are for discussion purposes only and in no way reflect an official or authoritative list. It is simply my opinion. If you disagree, let me know in the comments. New arrivals to the Top 10 are in bold.
1 – NWA Tag Team Championship Match: The Steiner Brothers (c) defeated Doom – Clash of the Champions X
2 – Steel Cage Match: Ric Flair, Arn Anderson and Ole Anderson beat The Great Muta, Buzz Sawyer and the Dragonmaster – Clash of the Champions X
3 – Rock n Roll Express defeated the Midnight Express – WrestleWar 90 Wild Thing
4 – NWA Tag Team Championship Match: The Steiner Brothers (c) defeated Ole and Arn Anderson – WrestleWar 90 Wild Thing
5 – “Macho King” Randy Savage defeated “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan – Saturday Night’s Main Event, Jan. 27, 1990
6 – NWA World Championship Match: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (c) beat Lex Luger by countout – WrestleWar 90 Wild Thing
7 – Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior defeated “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig and “The Genius” Lanny Poffo – Saturday Night’s Main Event, Jan. 27, 1990
8 – Submission Match: “Rugged” Ronnie Garvin defeated Greg “The Hammer” Valentine – Royal Rumble 1990
9 – Mil Mascaras defeated Cactus Jack – Clash of the Champions X
10 – WWF Championship Match: Hulk Hogan (c) defeated “Macho King” Randy Savage – Main Event 3
The next event in the 1990 Top 10 series isn’t until April, with WrestleMania VI! Stay tuned!