Wednesday, May 4, 2016
From the Grudge Match: Ted Blanchard Reviews Clash of the Champions XX
First, the site: wrestlingrecaps.blogspot.com
Now, the Twitter: @grudgematchrcps
Live from Center Stage Theater in Atlanta. The building is still decorated with the WCW Saturday Night set.
We start with a clip of Gordon Solie talking to Andre the Giant. We also see a graphic with a book showing Bill Watts, Dusty Rhodes, King Kong Bundy, The Spoiler, Ric Flair and others.
Tony Schiavone and Missy Hyatt are outside at the red carpet. Solie and Andre are there. This was Andre's first appearance on TBS is many years, and probably one of his last before his death. Ron Simmons and his wife arrive, as do Bill Watts, his wife, Hank freakin' Aaron (wonder what he and Watts talked about in the limo), WCW president Bill Shaw, some other suits and Bruno Samartino, and then Sting on his Harley. Hyatt is wet...with perspiration when Sting arrives. See, 'cause she's in Atlanta in the summertime.
Teddy Long is with Atlanta mayor Robb Pitts with a proclamation naming it WCW Day in the city. Dusty Rhodes and Watts are also there.
Jim Ross and Jesse Ventura will call the action.
World television championship, Ricky Steamboat vs. Steve Austin (c)- Some teenage girl sings the National Anthem, accompanied by Johnny B. Badd. Dangerously is put in a cage for the match. Austin pounds on Steamboat's ribs, which he apparently broke in the NWA tag team tournament. He chops away, gets a biel and hiptoss. Steamboat gets a drop toehold off of a ropes exchange. Austin gets a hiptoss and drops an elbow into those ribs. Steamboat gets another headlock as Dangerously flips out in the cage. Steamboat flips back twice, and Austin pulls his hair to take him down. Steamboat rams his head to the buckle, and catapults the Dragon off of the buckles (thanks JR). Austin rips the wrap off of the Dragon, and gets a backbreaker. Another one gets two. Austin hits a clothesline, and grabs an abdominal stretch. Austin hiptosses out, and pushes Austin back on a sunset flip attempt. Austin counters a crossbody for a nearfall. Steamboat blocked a dropkick, then catapulted Austin to the turnbuckles for 2.5. Austin got a double-leg takedown with feet on the ropes, but doesn't get the pin. Steamboat tried a tombstone, but Austin reversed, and then Steamboat hit it. He was in too much pain to go for the pin. Austin launches Steamer into the buckles and gets two. Austin puts Steamer on the top, but Steamboat knocks Austin down. He comes off the second buckle into a right hand from Austin. Shoulderblock by Steamboat for 2.5. Steamboat skins the cat but gets knocked outside by Austin. Steamer then climbs under the ring, and surprises Austin with a bodypress to win the title. ***1/2. Clever finish, and great work as always from these two.
They show a clip of Mr. Wrestling II as they go to break. That is a nice feature on this show.
When they return, JR throws it to a video of the great tag teams that have competed on TBS. They showed the clip of Ole Anderson turning on Dusty against the Assassins, which really isn't an example of great tag teaming in my book. Also featured are the Briscoes, Freebirds, Road Warriors and Rock n' Roll Express.
We take a special look at Halloween Havoc '92. Yep, it's Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal, complete with Madusa and Cheetum.
Ventura with Arn Anderson, Bobby Eaton and Michael Hayes. Hayes has joined them because he knows all about Terry Gordy (who was half of the tag team champions), and the three represent the best three teams of the 80s. I'm not sure with Horseman combination they are counting, but I'd assume it's Arn and Tully Blanchard.
Greg Valentine/Dick Slater vs. Anderson/Eaton- Larry Zbyszko (with broken arm) is with Valentine and Slater. Arn puts Greg in a hammerlock. Eaton gives him a cheapshot from outside, and all four start brawling. The heels go out to regroup with Hayes. Slater then cheapshots Arn from outside, and they brawl again. Hammer chops Eaton and tags Slater, who punches away. Swinging neckbreaker on Eaton, then a Russian legsweep. Slater goes for a rope-assisted pin. Anderson and Eaton ram Slater to the buckles, and Arn works the arm. Doubleteams on Arn, and Valentine suplexes him for two. Eaton in and rams Valentine to the buckle, and hammerlocks him again. Arns pounds away, but Slater holds him so Valentine can do some damage. Slater smashes Arn's knee on the apron, and Eaton comes out after him. Valentine grabs the figure four, but Eaton elbowdrops Valentine. Arn gets a spinebuster, but Slater interrupts. Pier-six brawl, and Zbyszko accidentally nails Valentine with the cast. An Alabama Jam finishes him and Arn gets the pin. **1/2. It was fun seeing the two teams heeling it up.
We see a clip of Jim Cornette saying he doesn't want Mama mad at him.
JR talks to Bruno. He sees his kind of wrestling in WCW, and that other league is a total embarrassment. Ironically, he is know back in the WWE family, while their booking at least is as embarrassing as ever.
Long interviews Bob Armstrong and Thunderbolt Patterson, while Andre and Solie look on. Those two must have been pals. He then throws it to an interview via satellite with Mr. Wrestling II in Hawaii. He was before my time, and means nothing to me.
JR and the Body then introduce a message from Ted Turner. He's glad to see WCW going back to the tradition style of wrestling. I think wrestling survived on TBS nine more years, and its cancelling certainly wasn't Ted's fault.
Classic Road Warrior promo as they head to break.
Schiavone is with Bill Watts. Brad Armstrong injured his knee wrestling the Great Muta in Japan, and can't wrestle tonight. Armstrong is stripped of the title, and they will hold a tournament. It took three and a half years for that tournament, and then it was renamed the cruiserweight championship.
Ventura with Armstrong. He's been wrestling on TBS for over 10 years. He's a disappointed because his dad and brothers are there. Pillman comes out. He was to be the challenger. He said the more he thinks about it, the more he realizes what a total disgrace this situation is. He said his dad is embarrassed, and Brad has no guts. Pillman says you make me sick, and calls him a gutless coward before slapping him. There is your first Brian Pillman heel turn, for real this time.
Roddy Piper and Tommy Rich are shown in a classic clip, with Gordon Solie saying they have a ticklish situation here (glug glug).
JR and Ventura introduce a video on the top singles in the 20 years, featuring Dusty, Stan Hansen,
"Rugged" Ronnie Garvin, Tony Atlas (with Tom Petty seemingly refereeing), Magnum T.A., Buzz Sawyer, Mr. Wrestling II (again), Great Kabuki, Ted Dibiase, Watts, Wahoo McDaniel, The Masked Superstar (aka Ax or Jake Bullet), King Kong Bundy, The Spoiler, Col. Mustafa, Tully Blanchard, Ramblin' Rickus Rhodes, Chainsaw Charlie, Thomas Rich and the Piper Machine. No disrespect meant with the different gimmicks, of course.
Halloween Havoc promo, then the awesome Ron Simmons video. If you were watching back then you know the one, especially with the blue T-shirt guy marking the f out in the front row.
They show a clip with Ernie Shavers and Ric Flair, where Shavers was going to be a guest ref.
World championship, Cactus Jack vs. Ron Simmons- Ole Anderson is your referee. Simmons headlock and shoulderblock. Jack retreats the corner. Headlock by Simmons, and they battle over a headlock. Flying headbutt by Jack, Jack rakes his back and bites at Simmons. Ole pulls him off of Simmons, and then Simmons rams him into the buckles. Jack boots him in the corner, but then Simmons pounds away on him. A charge meets boot, and then Jack does his flip clothesline to the outside. Swinging neckbreaker on the floor, and Jack hits his spinning clothesline back in, and gets two off of another. They trade headbutts, and Simmons rams Jacks head to the mat jumping off the ropes. Simmons hits him two 3-point stance charges, then Simmons drop jack off of a sunset flip attempt. Clothesline, but Jack throws him out again. Jack slams him on the floor, and drops the elbow off of the apron. Simmons then hits the spinebuster inside, then a powerslam for three. **3/4. That was a good title defense showcase for Simmons, though I think this should have been on Halloween Havoc, and Simmons-Barbarian be on the Clash.
We see Midnight Express clip going to commercial.
JR and Ventura show video of Masahiro Chono defeating Rick Rude to win the NWA world title tournament. We see a promo from Rude saying the result will be different next time.
Cactus is interviewed. He said tonight Simmons was the better man, but he knows Simmons weaknesses, and found the guy who can defeat him- Butch Reed. He will team with Barbarian next.
Barbarian/Butch Reed vs. Dustin Rhodes/Barry Windham- so I'm guessing Reed was to get the shot at Halloween Havoc. I wonder what happened there. Jack is on commentary. Dustin gets shoved by Barbarian, and neither budge on shoulderblocks. Windham clotheslines Barbie on a sunset flip attempt, and they double dropkick both. Windham gets military pressed by Barbie, but rolls him up. Reed tagged, and Dustin comes in and boots a charging Reed. Dustin then misses a charge and falls outside. Reed and Barbie clothesline Dustin inside. Backbreaker by Sionne, and Reed gets a cheap shot. Danny Spivey originally was supposed to be in the match. Reed gets a swinging neckbreaker on Rhodes, and he gets clotheslined. Reed throws soupbones at Dustin, and a tag is cut off. Barbie slams him into the corner and slams and elbowdrops him. More doubleteamage. Dustin gets a backdrop on Reed, then they doubleclothesline each other. Dustin gets the tag, and Windham backdrops Sionne and nails Reed. Dropkick on Barbie and a lariat, and he gets a superplex. Windham slams Reed off the top. Double-dropkick on Reed, but Barbie kicks Windham in the face for the pin. *3/4. So maybe Barbie was getting the shot all along.
Jack interviews Jack and his proteges. If the right one don't get you, the left one will.
We see a clip of Dusty, Tony Schiavone and Willie Nelson. We take a look at how the main event came together.
We see a young Sting from the UWF days as they head to break.
Elimination match, Sting/Nikita Koloff/Steiners vs. Rick Rude/Jake Roberts/Super Invader/Vader- Super Invader is Hercules. Jake attacked Sting at the Baltimore non-ppv Bash, which caused Simmons to get the title shot and win that night. Rick and Vader start, and Vader kicks him in the face and clothesline him. They trade stiff blows, and Vader bomb in the corner and a clothesline. Rick belly-to-bellys Vader, who rolls out. Invader in against Koloff. They trade shoulderblocks, and Nikita hits a flying bodypress. Rude comes in, and gets worked over by Nikita and then Scott. Scott vs. Rude could've been an interesting match. Invader now in, and knees Scott. He ducks and gets butterfly suplexed and belly-to-belly'd. Rude got a blind tag, so he held Scott coming off the ropes. Jake then pounds away on Scotty, and tags Vader. Forearms in the corner, and a clothesline. Rude chops Scott's throat then gyrates. Scott hits a tilt-a-whirl on Rude. Jake and Nikita get tagged. Nikita hits a back elbow, then hits all the heels. Flying shoulderblock, but Rude hits him from the apron. Jake pins Nikita, and is immediately attacked by Sting. Invader tagged, and he takes a baaaaack bodydrop and a slam, and he drops an elbow. He pins Invader quickly. Vader in, and Rick steinerlines him. German suplex from Rick, but Vader catches him off the top and powerslams him. Chokeslam, and Vader splashes him off the second rope for 2.9. Vader rams him into Rude's knee, and Rude pounds on him. Jake jumps in and the ref misses a tag to Sting. Meanwhile, Vader did the same thing but is allowed to stay in. He goes to the second buckle but Rick catches him in a powerslam. Rude interrupts a pin attempt. The Steiners then attempt a Doomsday Device on Vader, but Rick couldn't keep him up. Rick clotheslined Vader out, and meanwhile it is announced Scott was DQed for going off the top rope. The Ravishing One gave Rick Steiner a Rude Awakening outside, and Rick Steiner is counted out. Vader goes back and misses a butt splash on Sting. Roberts is and Sting rubs his face on the mat. Stinger Splash on Jake, and he locks on the Scorpion. Rude clotheslines him from the apron while Madusa distracts the ref. Rude tagged, and Sting battles all three in the corner. Bulldog on Rude for two, then an atomic drop. Sting suplexes Rude but Vader splashes both of the them. Vader is now DQed, but Jake pulls Rude to the corner so he can tag. Jake hits the DDT and gets the win. ***1/4. That was an action-packed match, and I liked seeing some matchups we didn't get to see much before.
Classic Four Horseman (Luger version) promo.
JR says 88 percent of fans in a call-in poll want the top rope rule rescinded. Thankfully that did happen.
Halloween Havoc mini movie! Spin the wheel, make the deal, spin the wheel, make the deal! I liked the guy in the Hannibal Lecter mask. Here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgT5ta5oWCc&feature=youtu.be
JR, Jesse and the dignitaries bid us good night.
I'm sure I have some bias, but even going by just the ratings this is a good show. Even though the Dangerous Alliance is basically finished, you've got a fresh new world champion, and maybe more importantly, a hot new top heel in Jake the Snake. Unfortunately he'll be gone soon after Halloween Havoc, but it was fun while it lasted.