The Week in 90’s Wrestling: February 22nd – 29th

FEBRUARY 23

1990

The WWF aired The Main Event as a Friday night special on NBC, which aired live from Detroit, MI, in front of 21,000 fans — the biggest pro wrestling crowd of the year in the United States. The show was hyped around Hulk Hogan vs Randy Savage with Mike Tyson as the special referee. However, those plans hit a snag on February 11, when Douglas scored one of the biggest upsets in sports history, defeating Mike Tyson by knockout in a fight with 42-1 odds against him. As a result, Douglas replaced Tyson as the special referee. Despite the last-minute switch which had far less appeal, the one-hour special still drew a monstrous 12.8 rating. You can watch it on the WWE Network.

1991

As the Tennessee vs Texas feud heated up on USWA television, bitter rivals Jerry Lawler and Eddie Gilbert reluctantly agreed to team to run Eric Embry and Tom Pritchard out of town.

World Championship Wrestling aired a show taped on February 4 at Atlanta’s Center Stage Theatre. The show acted as the hard sell for Wrestle War ’91, which took place the next day. The key angle on the show was an isolated Brian Pillman ambushed and attacked by the Four Horsemen, which Arn Anderson foreshadowed brilliantly with his promo earlier on. The Horsemen severely injure Pillman’s shoulder, giving him a reason to heavily tape his shoulder going into the pay-per-view and fight from underneath. The show drew a 2.6 rating.

1997

GAEA held a card in Nagoya highlighted by Chigusa Nagayo facing Mayumi Ozaki in a ***1/2 brawl. The match might have been even better, but it came to a screeching halt when Ozaki tore her tights and sat on the floor until someone came out with a pair to replace them.

1998

WWF Monday Night RAW aired a show taped on February 17 in Waco, TX. The outstanding build to Wrestlemania XIV continued with a great long-form video detailing Steve Austin’s journey to Wrestlemania. Pete Rose was also announced as a participant in Wrestlemania, and DX gave the event its subtitle, promising a show that would be “X-Rated”. We also saw Goldust’s most memorable impersonation, as Dustin parodied his father Dusty by wearing polkadots and coming out to the old “American Dream” theme song. The show drew a 3.2 rating.

WCW Monday Nitro aired live from Sacramento, CA. The Scott Hall-Sting match for Uncensored was hyped; however, it would play second fiddle to the Hulk Hogan-Randy Savage match that would headline the show, title or no title. Brutus Beefcake was repackaged with yet another gimmick, this time as The Disciple, and joined the crowded NWO in another sign of WCW’s booking slipping. The show drew a 4.6 rating.