Friday, April 15, 2016

From the Grudge Match: Ted Blanchard Reviews Clash of the Champions XVII


The site: wrestlingrecaps.blogspot.com

The Twitter: @grudgematchrcps

Live from Savannah, GA

Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone are calling all of the action. Eric Bischoff and Missy Hyatt are also on the scene.

Lumberjack match, Thomas Rich vs. Big Josh- Whyyyyyy? Rich attacks to start. They are apparently former best friends, and Rich brought Josh into WCW. The Freebirds are maniacally pounding the mat. Josh is hulking up as Rich looks for an exit. Atomic drop and Todd Champion keeps Rich in. Belly to belly and then a barrell roll on Rich. Rich rolls out on the face side. The Birds apparently turned at some point. Backdrop on Rich. Outside Terrence Taylor and Richard Morton work Josh over. Rich gets a clothesline and chokes Josh. Back elbow puts that clown Josh down. I was sure Rich was the low man on the York Foundation totem pole, and am still surprised this match is happening. Steve Armstrong chokes Josh on the top. I fear the Birds and Pistols pulled a double-switch since the last Clash, and that their feud must continue. Josh runs into a boot, but slams Rich off of the top. Snap suplex by Josh for 2.5. Taylor trips Rich and Josh hits the Northern Exposure (Earthquake splash) to win. *1/2. No idea what the story was there.

Bobby Eaton vs. Firebreaker Chip- Um, okay. Maybe Champion was injured. Chip of course is a resident of the WCW Special Forces. Eaton gets a bigger pop upon introductions. He biels Chip out of the corner after a lockup, but Chip gets a headlock takeover for two. Chip goes up and leaps over Eaton, then he gets a bodypress off the other corner. Eaton gets a top wristlock, and Chip works a headlock takeover again. A dude just lit a cigarette in the front row! Eaton rams Chip into the turnbuckles, and Chip hits a flying clothesline off the top. Bobby is in the ropes as Chip goes for the pin. Eaton gets a single-leg pickup according to JR. Chip gets a hammerlock/half nelson combo on the mat. Eaton clotheslines Chip out of the corner, and hits a backbreaker on Chip. Eaton gets a bodypress but Chip rolls through. Chip gets a backslide for two, and Firebreaker gets a rollup. Eaton launches him into the buckles, then gets a belly-to-back suplex for the win. I was sure he was putting Chip over here, though I guess Eaton was about to have a run with the Dangerous Alliance. **3/4

Diamond Studd vs. Z-Man- Ah, finally a rematch from their Bash '91 classic, which though it was omitted from the home video, it strangely was featured on "Main Events You Should Have Seen." Remember those? TBS would run these five-minute chunks of pay-per-view matches to advertise that particular tape, and Gordon Solie hosted. I recorded a bunch of them back in the day. But I digress. Match was joined in progress, and is split-screen as Sting is taken away in an ambulance. Hall did a top-rope bulldog. Z-Man missed a charge but went out and posted Studd. Zenk gets two off a top-rope sunset flip. Studd rams him to the buckleand Zenk gets a savate kick and pins Hall with a cruciix. Studd then chokeslams and Diamond Death Drops him to retaliate. * It took me longer to type my soliloquy on the "Main Events You Should Have Seen" thing than to watch the match.

Tony Schiavone Interviews Sting. Tonight is the night he is supposed to receive his final mystery box. Then 12 greased-up dudes in spandex bring out a box and Madusa comes out, looking like a gennie. She crawls to and up Sting and strategically turns him around so that his back is to the box, and then Lex Luger clips his knee. They mention that's the one that was injured back at Clash X (continuity!). He smashes it on the ramp until Sting's pals come out. Brian Pillman's got to be getting tired of this shit by now.

World television championship, P.N. News vs. Steve Austin- No rapping from News. Austin's theme in this era is really growing on me; it sounds so majestic. Austin jumps News but gets picked up in a choke and slammed down. News gets a corner splash and then a back clothesline. News pulls him back in and elbows his back. Bodyslam and an elbow drop, and Austin bails. Austin kicks him in the gut, but gets whipped to the railing. Austin tries a slam back in, but News falls on him. Single-legged dropkick on Austin, and then Austin is suplexed onto the ropes. Two count. News gets thrown to the ramp, and Austin gets backdropped back in. Bearhug, then a belly-to-belly. Lady Blossom puts his foot on the rope, and News goes after her. Austin then leaps over the top onto News. He rams News into the railing and throws him back in. Austin evades a splash in the corner and gets the pin with feet on the ropes. *3/4 Not bad, really. When does Austin ever do a plancha?!

Cactus Jack vs. Van Hammer- a guy in my dorm always called him "Verne" Hammer when we'd play WCW N64 games, and that's always stuck with me. Thanks, Ger. Jack attacks from behind, and rakes his eyes. Back suplex on Jack, and Hammer dropkicks him out. Hammer launches himself out and axehandles Jack, and sends him to the railing. Big boot and then a bodyslam and legdrop for two. Cactus gets a bulldog, and clotheslines himself and Hammer out. Jack sets up his elbow from the second buckle, and connects. Jack pounds on Hammer as he Hammers Up, and Jack gets clotheslined from behind. Hammer goes up to the top, and drops a knee to the back of Jack's head for only a two-count. They clonk heads and Jack falls outside. Jack drives the guitar into Hammer's throat and wins with a rollup. Jack gets clotheslined afterwards  and slingshot suplexed on the ramp, then shoulderblocked. They brawl all the way to back. ** Jack brought out the best from Hammer.

WCW world tag team championship, The Enforcers vs. Dustin Rhodes/Barry Windham- I've decided the Enforcers' theme is bad-ass. Windham is a face here, having turned at Bash '91 or slightly thereafter. His hand is injured from an attack by the Enforcers. Out comes a guy with a dragon costume, revealing...Ricky Steamboat!

To quote Arn "Not Ricky Steamboat!" The Enforcers don't want to defend now. Arn convinces Larry that it's ok, they got this. Steamboat chops Arn to start, but gets his eyes raked. The Enforcers try a doubleteam, but Steamboat fights out. Te four men then pair up outside, and Dustin sends Arn to the post. Steamboat sends Larry to the buckles, then dropkicks Arn out. The Enforcers confer and Arn says "he's just a man." Steamboat headlocks Larry, and shouldertackles him. Larry rolls him into a pinning predictament. Dustin comes in and works the arm. Larry slams him but he keeps the arm, then the Dragon jumps in with a karate thrust to the shoulder. Steamboat posts Larry's arm twice, then tags Dustin for a knee to the arm. Arn tagged and he pounds on Dustin. Dustin runs into a knee in the corner, and Dustin gets axehandled to the shoulder. Arn then runs into a knee, then a foot. Dustin flip flops and flies on both Enforcers. Steambot gets a sunset flip but Larry tagged, and stomps the Dragon. Larry bodyslams him and does a boot rake to the eyes. Assisted abdominal stretch, and Arn tagged. He drops an elbow on Steamboat and then hits a belly-to-back suplex for 2.5. Arn drops his head and it gets smashed by Steamer. Larry cuts off a tag to Dustin and gives Steamboat a backbreaker. Headbutt from the Dragon, but he falls back on a slam. Larry drop toeholds Ricky and tags Arn, who grabs a bearhug. Steamboat grabs a body vice but gets Boston crabbed. Larry grabs Arn's head for leverage. Larry in for a crab of his own. Dustin gets a blind tag, but the referee won't allow it. Steamboat atomic drops Arn, but their heads crack. Arn goes off the top, but hits both feet. Now Dustin is tagged, and he's on fire. Lariat to Larry, slam on Arn. He tags Steamer coming off the ropes for a bulldog. Steamer goes up and hits the flying bodypress on Arn for the win and a ginormous pop. ****. This is everything that's great about wrestling.

Next we take a look at Jushin "Thunder" Liger, who is on his way. I just watched him in a new match from Korakuen Hall, and he hasn't slowed down that much.

JR with Paul E. Dangerously. Rude and Heyman are ashamed to have met Luger and Madusa, but business is business. The contract says if Sting's not there at bell time, he loses the title by forfeit.
Then we go to Eric Bischoff, who tells Sting about potentially losing by forfeit. He says he'll drive the ambulance back if he has to.

"Idiot is here..."



Light heavyweight championship, Johnny B. Badd vs. Brian Pillman (c)- Badd apparently only made weight a week or so ago (!). Stringent rules in WCW, since in MMA you weigh in the day before. I think there has been talk of earlier pre-weighins, though. I should check on their claims of Badd beating Razor Ruddock in amateur boxing. Badd punches away on Pillman but gets chopped. Baaaack bodydrop and a dropkick outside, then Air Pillman. Brian goes for the piledriver but gets back dropped, and can't get a sunset flip. Then Pillman takes his customary railing bump. Pillman crossbodies Badd back in, and gets a powerslam. Brian goes up, but a splash hits knees. Badd gets a back elbow and a slam. Badd goes up but Pillman dropkicks him coming down. Flying clothesline and a spinning kick for two. Badd gets a flying clothesline and a sloppy top-rope sunset flip, but Teddy Long is arguing with Mike Atkins. Pillman rams Badd into Long and rolls him up for the win.**1/2 At least Pillman didn't call him the slur he used at the Bash. Badd then knocks out Long.

U.S. championship, Rick Rude vs. Sting (c)- As Paul E. rants on the mic, an ambulance arrives and Sting pops out of the passenger seat. When Heyman realizes, he tells the ref to start counting him out. The faces point him toward the ring, and Rude attacks on the ramp. Sting military presses Rude on the ramp, but is in obvious pain from his knee. Sting throws Rude in the ring. Rude goes off the top, but gets hit in the belly-welly. Sting backdrops Rude and rams his head to the buckles. Sting clotheslines him but sells the knee. He clotheslines Rude out, and Rude rams his knee to the post. Rude goes to the top and clotheslines Sting. Sting blocks a Rude Awakening, but Rude punches him. Sting fires back but a groggy Rude bounces off the ropes and falls into Sting's knee. Then Heyman hits Sting in the head with the phone, knocking him out. Sting still manages to kick out, then gets a DDT. Sting goes after Heyman but Rude clips him, then rolls up Sting (while pulling the tights) for the win and the title. **

Schiavone interviews Rude, Heyman and Madusa. He says it was a setup by them and Luger.
We get a preview of Battlebowl at Starrcade '91. I look forward to Blog of Doom readers endlessly rebooking that show like they've done with Starrcade '89 lately.

JR with Ron Simmons. His wrist is broken. Much like with Ron Garvin, you can trace back a title chase for Simmons at least a year before he won it, or you can just say it was out of nowhere. He's there tonight scouting the champion and challenger. We also see footage of Rick Steiner pinning Luger, which I don't know if it was impromptu or part of a tag match. He also pinned Mr. Hughes.

WCW world championship, Rick Steiner vs. Lex Luger (c)- Randy Anderson immediately throws Mr. Hughes out. They lock up to begin and Patrick forces clean breaks. Steiner gets a single leg takedown, and Luger makes the ropes. Steiner gets a double-leg pickup this time, and Luger makes the ropes. More rope breakery from Luger. It's too bad he wasn't champion during his 1989 heel run; that may have been his best work ever. Steiner shoulderblocks him down. Steiner catches him on a legfrog attempt and slams him, then Steinerlines Luger out. Luger is playing the role of Larry Zbyszko tonight, with all of this stalling. Luger pounds on Steiner and rams his head to the buckle, which he of course no sells. Steiner whips him and then backdrops Luger. Luger thumbs him in the eye, but gets German suplexed for 2.9. The two slug away Steiner hits the buckles chest first, and Luger clotheslines him. Something was botched before that, where the ref may have been hit and Luger tried to drop Steiner on the top rope crotch-first. Luger rakes Steiner's eyes on the top rope. Steiner suplexes Luger but Luger gets a scoop slam and drops an elbow. Steiner goes out, and Harley knees him in the head. Luger rams him to the railing and throws him back in for two. Axehandles to Rick's back, and a belly-to-belly reverses it. Steiner goes up for a bulldog, but Luger gets his foot on the rope. Luger gets placed on the top and Steiner belly-to-bellies him off the top. Scott backdrops Hughes in and hits a Frankensteiner. Rick had Luger pinned after a belly-to-belly and suplexed Harley in. Luger hit Steiner in the face with the belt and got the pin. *3/4. The match got better as it went on, but Luger was either hurt or just half-assing it. 'Tis a shame.

I remember going to Gurnee Mills in Illinois with my church youth group, and coming home with a WCW Magazine I found that previewed Starrcade '91. I was so excited for that show, and I never got to see it until '99! I did see this Clash (or at least some of it) live, though. 1992 WCW is my jam, so you better believe I liked this show and will be gushing over the next few. That tag title match still stands up as a classic, too.

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