Thursday, February 4, 2016

From the Grudge Match: Ted Blanchard Reviews Clash VII



Live from Fort Bragg, NC, on Flag Day

Since the last Clash, Ric Flair defeated Ricky Steamboat at Wrestle War to regain the NWA World Championship. Terry Funk then attacked Flair and piledrove him through a table. Lex Luger lost and regained the U.S. title from Michael Hayes, and took on a more-aggressive attitude. And the tag team titles were held up, and a tournament began that ends right here on the Clash.

My version starts with an army guy talking.

"Star-Spangled Banner" performed on the Army's 214th birthday.

We see Missy Hyatt, Ranger Ross and the Steiners taking some ROTC practice course.

World tag team title tournament semifinal, Dynamic Dudes vs. the Freebirds- This is Jimmy Garvin's debut as a Freebird. Terry Gordy is also at ringside. The Birds gets atomic dropped into each other, back suplexed, and double sunset-flipped. Gordy then yells whatever as encouragement outside. Armdrag on Hayes, then Gordy by Ace. The Dudes then work Garvin's arm with quick tags. Double hiptoss, but the Birds doubleteam Shane Douglas. Shane gets two on a sunset flip.  Ace gets chopped down, and P.S. accidentally nails Garvin. Ace misses a bodypress, and Garvin gives him the stun gun for two. Garvin slams him for two, and throws him out. Hayes gets cheapshots while the ref is distracted. Garvin and Ace crack heads (accident?), and Douglas comes in a house o' fire. He backdrops both Birds, then cracks their heads together. The Dudes double-dropkick Hayes out, but he then throws Ace out. Ace responds in kind to P.S., Shane gets a rollup but Hayes DDTs him. Garvin pins him in  7:14. That was energetic. **1/2.

The Terrorist vs. Ranger Ross- I won't bother joking this time- it's Jack Victory under a mask once again. Terrorist gets a back elbow before the bell as JR shills Coors Light and Domino's, but Ross hits El Paso de Muerte, then a dropkick. Ross bodyslam gets two. Flying clothesline on the Terrorist, then a shitty superkick. 1:25, *.

Legion of Doom music video, with their "Iron Man" knockoff.

JR hosts a Dragon Shi demonstration. Fred Knight and Mike Justice are the sacrificial lambs. Eddie Gilbert, the face, tries to throw a fireball at Muta, but hits Knight with it. Muta is apparently afraid of fire.

George South and Cougar Jay vs. the Ding Dongs- yep; that match. The crowd is booing like it's Roman Reigns in Philly. Jay gets a leapfrog but gets his ears rung. The other Dong keeps ringing the bell. It's like standing outside the grocery store before Christmas. South grapples with one Dong. They should have called an audible, and let the jobbers win. Thesz price by one gets two. Now JR is calling them Ding and Dong. Heh. Belly to belly and an elbow and then kneedrop get the pin. "That was horrible," sez JR. I think he was talking about a pun, but who knows. 3:39, DUD. The Dongs were apparently Jim Evans and Richard Sartain. It doesn't look like they did anything else in the business.

World tag team title tournament semifinal, Midnight Express vs. Samoan Swat Team- this better not get as much time as it did on the last Clash. Two guys tried to run in as Cornette intro'd the Midnights. Corny said "fella, we just saved your life. Sleep it off," as the guy was hauled away. Cornette tried to deck Heyman with the racket to start, and everyone brawled. Lane works over Fatu, and Eaton drops an elbow. Back elbows by the Midnights, and Eaton gets a swinging neckbreaker. Eaton holds Fatu and Lane jumps on his back. Eaton bulldog, but Samu gets a karate kick. The Samoans clubber Eaton, and Fatu gets two off of a clothesline.  Fatu suplexed Eaton on the floor. Fatu missed a charge, and Eaton tagged Lane. Flying forearm and Russian legsleep, as all four are now in. Fatu kcisk Lane and Goes up, but the L.O.D. runs in and attacks the Samoans and Lane pins Fatu. That was much more brisk because of the tournament. Apparently the Samoans did that to the Warriors earlier in the tournament and made them lose to the Freebirds.

Terry Gordy vs. Steve Williams- it's time for the contractually-obligated Steve Williams match! Hope it's short. Gordy sucker-punches Williams in Japan, apparently. Doc rushed in and got tackles on Gordy. Gordy gets some clotheslines. Kevin Sullivan apparently paid Gordy to attack Williams. Williams with lots of punches, then a headbutt. Gordy back suplex and a headlock. Williams gets some slams, and Gordy bails. Doc gets a crossbody off the ropes for two, then dropkicks Gordy out. Williams knocks him outside with a forearm, and Gordy tries to leave. Double-countout. The crowd chants bullshit.

Mike Justice vs. Norman the Lunatic- I'll take "Gimmicks that wouldn't fly today," for 100. Norman is managed by Teddy Long, and is in mental hospital garb. Norman is Mike Shaw, the future Bastion Booger. The Lunatic pounds away to start. He gets a splash in the corner, then another on the mat for the win. 47 seconds, *. Long shakes keys in front of Norman's face, and the white coats have a bed waiting outside the ring. I think they did the same gimmick with Kane around the '99 Rumble.

Triple Crown King of the Hill double-ring battle royale from the Bash tour is hyped. WCW sure loved multiple-ring matches.

JR interviews the Freebirds. Garvin says there's gonna be new rules and regulations here, and they'll break whatever rules they want. Then why have the rules?

Flyin' Brian promo video, set to "Day Bow Bow!" Mac and Charlie should be marking out!

Kevin Sullivan/Mike Rotunda vs. The Steiner Brothers- Finally, Scott Steiner debuts on a Clash! They come out to "Hot Stuff," so they must have been involved with Eddie Gilbert still. Scott is wearing yellow trunks, and still looks human here. Sullivan tries to attack Scotty, but eats a Steinerline. It turns into a pier six, but the Steiners don't have their trademark pose yet. Scott leapfrogs Sullivan, and gets a powerslam. Rotunda in, and Scott tags Rick. Rick hiptosses Rotunda, and hits a clothesline. Rick grabs a headlock, but Rotunda tries to pin him. Rotunda suplexes him to escape. Sullivan in, but gets Steinerlined again. It seems the pendulum has swung, and the Varsity Club is on its way out while the Steiners will be getting a big push. Rotunda rams Scott to the top buckle, and Scott gets a high-crossbody off the ropes. Rotunda got Scott up for a suplex, and Sullivan pushes him outside. Sullivan rams Scott to the post, and threw the steps at him! Sullivan boots Scott to the face, and Rotunda dropkicks him. Steiner has a big read mark on his back now from the stairs shot. He kicks out of a double-arm suplex, but Rotunda gets a big clothesline. Rick gets a tag, but the referee was distracted. Rotunda misses a dropkick, and Rick gets the hot tag. He punches Rotunda and Sullivan in the corner, then the Steiners get a double clothesline. Scott slams Rotunda but hits knees. Rotunda suplexes Scott on a chair laying in the ring, and got the pin! 8:19, ***. Shows what I know about the booking here. That one got good after awhile.

JR talks to Cornette about the tag tourney finals. "These guys in the army know more about broads than the Freebirds!" Ok, then. He says this is the first meetting between the teams. Hmmm.
Gov. Jim Martin talks about Flag Day.

World TV championship, Sting (c) vs. "Wild" Bill Irwin- Sting is led to the ring by some Little Stingers. Irwin tries to whip Sting before he can get into the ring. He finally makes it in, and gets his running bulldog thing. Dropkick into the corner, and Sting stomps away. Irwin whips Sting to the corner and gets a splash. Irwin gets a stun gun, and throws Sting throat-first into the top rope. Sting kicks Irwin on a sunset flip attempt, and rakes his back. Sting suplexes Irwin for one. Irwin knees Sting in the gut off the ropes, but Sting fires back. Sting misses the Stinger Splash, and gets spinbuster-ed. Irwin then celebrated in the corner with his back to Sting, and got Stinger-splashed and rolled up. 4:14, **1/2. Sting's Clash title match streak remains intact.

Scott "Gator" Hall promo, set to "When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Gets Going." It's hard to believe this is the same guy.

JR at Ric Flair's home. Flair has a neckbrace. He's trying to figure out if there's life after wrestling. I think in 2016 he's still trying to figure that out. I wonder if Charlotte was even born yet. He's not sure he's coming back yet, but vows revenge on Terry Funk.

World tag team championship tournament final, Freebirds vs. Midnight Express- Dangerously hit Cornette with a loaded racket before the match started. The Dynamic Dudes were helpfully right on the scene to help. Corny was then carried out. Hayes puts Lane in a headlock, and Lane gets a couple of slams and an armdrag. Garvin tags in, but gets doubleteamed. "Death Wish 2" starring Charles Bronson is apparently next on the Superstation. Eaton holds Garvin for a savate kick. The Freebirds tell the crowd to shut up, but they shockingly don't. There sure are a lot of shirtless guys in that crowd, though the announcers have mentioned the heat several times.

Garvin takes over on Eaton, and gets two bodyslams. Hayes throws Eaton outside, and chokes him back inside. When Eaton again goes out, Gordy wanders over, but Lane heads him off. Hayes gets a back elbow to Eaton's face, and Garvin cheapshots him. Eaton was rammed into the rail, and then gets doubleteamed  some more. Lane gets the tag, but misses a charge at Garvin. Hayes gets DDT'd off of a backdrop, and the Midnights doubleteam Garvin. Gordy jumps on the apron and gets hit, and Garvin gets flapjacked. Gordy then powerbombs Eaton! Garvin gets the pin in 10:03. **3/4. This would set in motion three years of bad matches from the new Freebirds; it's all downhill from here. Can't wait!

Terry Funk vs. Ricky Steamboat- Steamer is ranked the No. 1 contender; Funk is No. 10. This is like UFC shit, except then Funk would be actually challenging for the title here. They lock up and roll around the ropes with Nick Patrick getting tied up. Funk chops away at the Dragon, who then responds in kind. Then after Funk slaps him Steamboat fires away until the Funker bails. Funk gets shouldertackles, but Steamboat chops him and dropkicks him out. Funk throws out Steamboat, and hits a running elbow to his back, but Steamboat chops back. Funk punches Steamboat on the mat back in, then steps on his face. Funk hits a Rude Awakening, then jumps onto Steamer's neck. Funk kicks Steamboat come off the ropes, then decks him. Lex Luger is apparently not pleased with the ratings. Dum dum dummmm. Funk Flair Flips to the floor. Steamboat hits a flying chop from the top rope to the outside, then carries Funk around the ring in a bodyslam position. That's different. He finally slammed him on the floor. Steamer then slams Funk out of the ring. I don't know why that wasn't a DQ. Funk whipped to the corner, then kicks Steamboat in the face on the rebound. Back elbow, then a piledriver. Funk took a long time, so Steamboat kicked out. Steamer chops Funk, who whips him into the referee. Steamboat whipped into the buckle and falls outside. Now Funk piledrives him on the floor. Dragon should be legit dead now, but gets up and climbs back in. Funk suplexes him back in, but Nick Patrick is still dazed. Funk can only get two counts. Funk goes up but hits knees. Steambot hits a chop, then a stomach breaker (?). Steamboat goes up for a flying chop, then a savate kick knocks Funk on to the announce table. Funk hits Steamboat with a mic for the DQ. He keeps stomping away, until Luger runs in with a chair. Guess who he hits?  He actually just clotheslines Steamer after saying on the mic there's been a lot of talk about Luger having problems and too much ego lately. Luger hits Steamboat in the shoulder with the chair, then gives him a torture rack. Then he says "there lays your No. 1 contender." Sting finally saunters out to save the Dragon.

I don't know that I had ever seen this whole show before. I think I was in Colorado at my aunt's house either the weekend after this event, and watched the syndicated shows talking about it. The show went by really fast, and the main event definitely broke from the usual format of these matches.

Your Clash totals after seven events: Steve Williams matches- six (arguably seven); Sting title shots; seven.

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