Friday, April 29, 2016
From the Grudge Match: Ted Blanchard Reviews Clash of the Champions XIX: TOURNAMENTS ARE AWESOME!
First, the site: wrestlingrecaps.blogspot.com
Next, the Twitter: @grudgematchrcps
Taped at the Citadel in Charleston, SC. Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Magnum T.A. and Missy Hyatt. Jim Ross and Jesse Ventura will call the action.
This show features the first round of the tournament to crown new NWA world tag team champions. WCW had entered into an agreement with the NWA and promoted the tag team title tournament, while New Japan got to host the world title tournament. The later rounds were then held at the Great American Bash pay-per-view.
This was the only Clash that didn't air live. Maybe they feared a lack of interest in the show and thought they'd save some money that way, but I find the matchups and workers here endlessly fascinating. I was on vacation when the show happened but I drew a picture I wish I could find, with the Steiners and someone whispering in the background, "they will kill the Puerto Rican team tonight!"
Nikita Koloff/Ricky Steamboat vs. Joe and Dean Malenko- Steamboat starts with Joe Malenko. Quick go-behind by Malenko. They mat wrestle, and a Boston Crab is blocked by Joe. Test of strength, and Joe flips Steamboat over but gets sunset flipped. Steamboat tried a headscissors but he cartwheeled, and Steamboat arm dragged him and worked the arm. Steamboat hiptosses Joe. Double leapfrog on Steamboat, but he armdrags Dean, and back kicks him. Koloff is tagged and locks Dean in a bearhug and places him on the top rope. He hiptosses Dean off but he lands on his feet. Dean flips over the top and hits a flying bodypress, and his brother dropkicks him over. Nikita then tosses Dean out. Dean kicks Nikita's midsection and dropkicks him. Suplex on Nikita is no-sold. Dean holds the top rope to avoid being rolled up, and Nikita lifts him up and drops him. Steamboat in, and armdrags Malenko. Dean pokes the eye, tags, and Steamboat drop-toeholds Joe. Armbar. Joe knees the Dragon in the corner, and hits European uppercuts. Steamboat hits a shoulderblock, and tries a headscissor but gets dropped on the top. Dean in and they hit a hi-low thing on Ricky. Dean slams Steamboat and does an armbar-legbar combo. Double headbutts by the Malenkos, and Joe clotheslines Ricky. He slams the Dragon for two, but gets his face smashed. Steamboat tags, and nikita decks both Malenkos. Back elbow on Dean, and a big shoulderblock. Joe gets atomic dropped and clotheslined, and then Dean eats the sickle for the 1-2-3. **3/4. This was fun, and probably Dean and Steamboat's only meeting.
Z-Man/Marcus Bagwell vs. Rick Rude/Steve Austin- Second Clash in a row with Rude and Austin teaming, and Austin now has his shorter haircut. Rude knees Bagwell and clotheslines him. Austin comes in with forearms, and rams him into the buckle. Bagwell hits an axehandle off of the second rope, and tags Zenk. Headlock takeover by Zenk, and an overhand wristlock. Rude pounds away on his fellow Minnesotan, and hits a dropkick and hip swivels. Big suplex gets two. Austin gets rolled up on a slam attempt for two. Austin kicks Bagwell on a corner charge, and Rude judo-thrusts his throat. Bagwell pounds away at his abs, which Rude no-sells. Back suplex, but Bagwell kicks on an atomic drop attempt. Z-Man then makes the same mistake, and gets his head rammed to the mat. Rude piledrives Z-Man, and he gets his shoulder up. Rude also had a lax cover. Austin stun guns Zenk for two. What will it take to beat Tom Zenk? Austin and Zenk then seem to have a conference. Austin and Rude double-clothesline Zenk, and Zenk gets a superkick on Austin. Bagwell backdrops Austin and hits a crossbody, but Austin gets a backbreaker. Rude tagged, and Austin grabs his arm to prevent a sunset flip while Madusa distracts the ref. Zenk breaks that up, but Rude "awakens" Bagwell for the win. **
Ah fuck, Steve Williams is back! Thankfully he's gotten much better as a part of a legendary team with Terry Gordy, in the ring anyways. They want the Steiners.
Steve Williams/Terry Gordy vs. The O'Days- The O'Days would be the Benson Henderson to Doc and Gordy's Russian guy. Or Dan Hardy to Anthony Johnson, if you're an older UFC fan. Gordy starts with Larry O'Day, who headlocks Bam Bam. Gordy drop toeholds him and grabs a half-crab. Williams in, and he stomps the old guy. Williams misses a charge and Jeff O'Day is tagged. Williams suplexes him and tags Gordy. Corner clothesline, but O'Day gets a sunset flip. Larry O'Day punches Gordy but gets back suplexed out of his boots (not literally). Doc and Gordy hit a double shoulderblock on O'Day, and the Oklahoma Stampede finishes it. ** That was a great asskicking.
Sting promo with Jesse the Body. Sting is wearing a tux with his face painted.
Dustin Rhodes/Barry Windham vs. Bobby Eaton/Arn Anderson- I believe the Steiners were the tag team champions at this point, and won them from Eaton and Anderson in May. Windham won and lost the TV title from/to Windham since the last Clash. Arn with a headlock takeover but Windham headscissors him. He punched Arn with the taped fist, and knocked him on his ass. A Windham charge hits boot, and Arn goes up but gets dropkicked to the floor. These matches are under NWA rules, btw. Dustin works Eaton's arm, but gets rammed to the top buckle. Eaton punches Rhodes in the belly-whelly on an attempted leapfrog. When they try it again, Eaton gets many atomic elbows. He then boots Bobby out to the floor. Dustin atomic drops Arn, and Windham gets a shot in. Eaton kicks Windham coming off the ropes, and then the heels doubleteam him. Windham kicks arn and gets the tag, and Dustin lariats Arn. Paul E. goes to the apron, and Eaton cheapshots Dustin, and then when legal Dustin misses a crossbody block and hits the floor. Eaton goes up for a knee, which connects for 2.9. Arn works his trapezius, but Dustin sort of stuns him. Eaton gets launched into the buckles. Eaton hits a bulldog. Dustin tagged Windham but the ref missed it. Arn got a spinebuster and Eaton got a 2.9, but then missed the Jam, and Dustin got a bulldog for three. *** The crowd was hot for the ending, too.
Bischoff and Hyatt report there is a medical situation in the back. Missy reports that the singles tournament begins Aug. 6 at the Sumo Hall. All of the Dangerous Alliance members will be involved. Then Gordy and Williams come to talk about the bad Puerto Rican car wreck they saw. They also notice on the bracket that that means they face the Steiners next.
The Silver Kings vs. The Freebirds- The man we know now as Silver King is one of the team members. Brawl to start, and a King trips Garvin and pulls him outside, while the more-familiar King dropkicks Hayes. Then the other King accidentally dropkicks his partner. Hayes slams a King and drops an elbow for two, and tags Garvin. They trade wristlocks and No. 2 tags in. Garvin leapfrogs him and tries a sunset flip, but gets punched. Garvin gets slammed but the pool is empty for No. 2. Garvin suplexes No. 2 for two. Hayes tags and works over No. 2. No. 1 flips in on a prone Hayes. He suplexes Hayes and his partner drops an elbow off the top. They hit a hi-low move on Hayes, but then he backdrops one. He got up before Hayes could legdrop him, so Hayes shakes a finger at him and moonwalks. No. 1 dropkicks Hayes, and gets a drop toehold. Hayes gets a double-leg pickup and tags Garvin, who rams him into the buckle and grabs a headlock. No. 2 breaks that up, and Hayes comes in and gets dropkicked. Hayes leapfrogs King, and No. 1 hits a dropkick off the top. No. 1 trips over Hayes on the mat, and then Hayes punches him. All four men in, the Birds are whipped together, and get dropkicked out. The Kings do the original 619, and then No. 2 lands on the Birds outside. Garvin catches him and Hayes accidentally hits his partner, then the other King jumps off the top and accidentally hits his partner. Hayes then cfradles a King back inside to end this silliness. *1/4. Some of the spots were fun, but there were definite miscommunication problems. After all of the time the Birds spent in Texas, you'd think they'd maybe have a bit of a clue about lucha libre.
Tony Schiavone and Magnum T.A. discuss the injury to the Puerto Rican team. Head referee Ole Anderson (!) comes out to give an update on the situation, which isn't very informative.
Brian Pillman/Jushin Liger vs. Chris Benoit/Beef Welliington- Well, I guess I was going to have to deal with this eventually. I try not to watch Benoit matches, but I'll have to as the Clashes go on. The action here should be good, anyway. I think Wellington died soon before Benoit, and that grief may have exaserbated that situation. Benoit grabs Liger's arm, and gets a fireman's carry after a couple of reversals. Test of strenth, and Liger supexes out of it. Benoit gets a shoulderblock takedown, and a couple of armdrags. Benoit misses a dropkick, then stifles one from Liger. Pillman and Wellington shove each other, and Wellington tackles his former adversary. Pillman gets a leapfrog and monkey flip, and dropkicks Beef outside. And again. Beef though launches back in with a shoulderblock. Pillman goes outside, and suplexes Wellington out. Pillman tosses him back in and tags Liger. Wellington works the leg, and he and Benoit wishbone Liger. Benoit gets a hard clothesline on Liger, then a shoulderblock. Benoit then gets an enzuiguri that makes Liger adjust his mask. Wellington through Liger over the top but the ref missed it. Wellington slingshots out but Liger moves. Liger gets a monkey flip, then Pillman goes at it with Benoit. He pushes Benoit outside. Benoit leaps up to the top rope, but Pillman gets a belly-to-back suplex. Pillman dropkcik off the top, and Benoit bails. Pillman kind of 619s, then hits a bodypress on Benoit. They chop away in the aisle. Wellington gets tagged. Wellington goes out and Liger hits a crossbody. Liger tried a crucifix but Wellington dropped back. Benoit sets Liger on the top, and gets a suplex but Liger lands on top of him. Wellington broke up the pin. Liger gets a spinning wheel kick, then moonsaults onto Benoit outside. Pillman tries to roll up Benoit, but Wellington boots him. Beef misses a dropkick off the top, Pillman tags and Liger suplexes Wellington. Pillman chases Benoit to the floor and they chop each other, and back in the Canadians get rammed into each other, then Liger hits a moonsault off the top for the win. ***1/4.
The Headhunters vs. Akira Nogami/Hiro Hase- And then there's this match. The Headhunters were supposed to be the two huge guys called the Squat Team when they were in the 1996 Royal Rumble. They pulled out, and instead the Hunters here are two very American jobbers Bob Cook and Joe "Dont Call Me Ted" Cruze. Whataya gonna do? Nogami starts with No. 2, and gets shouldered down. The Hunters both clothesline Nogami in the corner, but he gets almost an enzuiguiri. No. 1 gets shouldered down, but Stun Guns Nogami. No. 1 gets two off of a backbreaker. Spinning kick and Hase gets tagged. Back kick, then Nogami hits a splash off the top. Hase goes for a double kneedrop, but the pool is empty. No. 1 hits a side slam for two. Double suplex by the Hunters, and Hase hits a nice kick. Hase misses a spin kick but Nogami connects with a dropkick. Double clothesline on No. 1. They hit stereo German suplexes for the win. *3/4. I believe they were the No. 2 seed, though I don't know if they regularly tagged.
Ventura interviews Ron Simmons. He still wants to be the first black world champion. Harley Race and the Super Invader come out. Race tries to send Simmons to the back to give Sting a message. Harley then says he had a BLEEP boy like Simmons carry his bags when he was world champion. I didn't sound like he said THE word there, but I dunno what else it would've been.
Schiavone talks to Bill Watts. He says Doc and Gordy and the Steiners are gonna hook 'em up. But Bill- the NWA president said he may resign if you do that!
Steve Williams/Terry Gordy vs. The Steiners- Rick and Bam Bam start, which Ventura said is unusually. They grapple and Rick gets a takedown. Gordy grabs his leg, forearms his face and tries a half-crab, but Steiner makes the ropes. Tag to Scott, and he can't get a belly-to-belly. Gordy backdrops him from that position, and Scott bridges. He then gets a single-leg takedown into a suplex. Doc in. Williams does a single-leg too and they grapple to the ropes. Williams gets a takedown, and has Steiner on his back. Rick in, and he gets a belly-to-belly suplex. Doc and Gordy confer on the outside. Rick powers him to the buckles, and Doc slaps Rick. Rick grabs a takedown, and gets a crossface. Doc slaps Rick, who then doublelegs Williams and pounds away. Doc clotheslines Rick, who flip-sells it. Gordy in, and clotheslines him for two. Gordy then clotheslines him the corner. STeiner reverses his suplex into one of the his own. Scott in, and backdrops Gordy. Clothesline, then a butterfly suplex powerbomb. He goes for the Frankensteiner, but Gordy held onto the ropes. STF-type hold. They throw Scott into a gutbuster, and they work his back. WIlliams gets repeated backbreakers on Scott. Gordy powerslams Scott, and grapevines his leg. Scott crawls toward his corner, but Gordy rips him back. Double shoulderblock after a tag. More working on Scott's leg, but he kicks Williams to break free. Rick gets the tag, and clotheslines Doc out. He brawls with Gordy inside. Rick powerslams Williams and covers, but the ref didn't see his tag. Rick dives out to brawl with Gordy, and Doc shoulderblocks Scott's knee. Rick and Gordy brawl back in the ring as Scott tries to pull himself in. Williams press slams Scott into a powerslam for 2.9. Scott goes for a bellly-to-belly suplex but Gordy clips him. Williams falls on top of him, and Doc and Gordy win. ***3/4. These teams make magic together.
Schiavone and T.A. run down the bracket.
This show probably isn't for everybody, but I love seeing so many different people than usual on this show. It's like how I only watch Ring of Honor's TV show when stars from New Japan are on.