Thursday, June 30, 2016

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




Live from Jacksonville

Since the last Clash, Hulk Hogan beat Ric Flair and thus retired him at Halloween Havoc. However, Hogan's masked attacker was revealed to be Brother Bruti (Beefcake), who aligned with Kevin Sullivan and Avalanche (the former Earthquake). Since Sting seems to only exist here to serve Hogan, he and No. 1 Hulkamaniac Dave Sullivan will team with Hogan vs. The Three Faces of Fear.

I'm using the version of this show from the Network. My recording of the original airing had bad tracking problems, though I still watched it many times.

Mean Gene talks to Col. Parker and Meng. He has a  contract for Arn Arnderson and Bunkhouse Buck to face the winners of the tag title match.

World tag team championship vs. Patriot's mask, Stars & Stripes vs. Pretty Wonderful- Orndorff stalls by arguing with the humanoids at ringside. He and Bagwell trade armbars, and Mr. Wonderful drops knees. Roman tagged and kicks away. Roma does a couple of corner leap-overs, then connects with a bodypress. Hiptoss and dropkick on Roma, and all four men are in. The heels bail to regroup. Patriot armdrags Orndorff, and hiptosses him. Orndorff takes him down and they grapple on the mat. Orndorff knees him in the gut, then Roma comes in with repeated backbreakers. He drops a fist from the top but Bagwell breaks up the pin. Roma attempts a leapfrog, and gets atomic dropped. Thesz Press gets two. Bagwell in working Roma's arm. Bagwell gets kind-of stun gunned, and dropped over the top. Orndorff works him over on the floor. Boogie-Woogie elbow to Bagwell's throat, and Roma hits a big dropkick. Roma powerslams him, but makes an arrogant cover. Bagwell rams his head to the top buckle, and shoulders him in the corner. Bagwell gets a backslide, and Orndorff clotheslines him. Bagwell gets a sunset flip and Roma sends Patriot to the floor. Orndorff suplexes Bagwell but Patriot pushes Roma off of the top. Bagwell covers Orndorff for the win and the titles. **1/2.

World television championship, Honky Tonk Man vs. Johnny B. Badd- I'm not sure when Badd won the TV title, or from whom. Honky works on Badd's arm, but Badd wrings his arm and legdrops it. At Halloween Havoc these two had a 10-minute, timelimit draw. Honky punches Badd and rams his head to the buckle. He whips Badd, but Johnny spins him for an atomic drop. Badd then messes up Honky's hair, so he heads out. He gets a cheapshot and a bodyslam. Honky drops a fist jusst like his cousin for two. Honky kicks him on a backdrop attempt, and goes for the Shake Rattle n' Roll. Badd backdrops him, and Badds Up. Ten turnbuckle rams and an atomic drop follow, and 10 corner punches. Badd gets two off of a kneelift, and Honky pushes Badd into the ref. Honky grabs the guitar and plays a tune on the Badd Man's head. DQ, *. They did the simplest stuff possible, which I'm sure was because of Honky. No good, but Badd will be gone by the next Clash.

We get a Faces of Fear promo. At least Hogan allowed some WCW guys like Sting and Sullivan to get involved with his super-awesome main event program. I probably would've preferred Avalanche-Hogan again at Starrcade, honestly. Oh, and Mr. T is the guest ref tonight. Have you heard he loves his mama?

Harlem Heat vs. The Nasty Boys- Stevie Ray is talking to someone on a giant cellphone as they walk out. Will we see this person tonight, hmm? Ha- the cryon for the Nasties says "Harlem Heat with Sister Sherri!" Guess that surprise is spoiled! Booker and Knobbs shove each other, and Knobbs gets a clothesline. He slams both guys, and Sags gets a double clothesline. The Nasties then run to opposite corners to hit the opposing Heats. Stevie Ray and Sags tie up and battle in the corner. Sags kicks Stevie and slams his head on the mat. Clubberin,' but Dusty's not there to call it. The Nasties make a wish on Stevie, and Sags drops a knee. Knobbs splashes his leg and locks an actual leghold on. Booker kicks Knobbs out of the ring as we return from a break, and Stevie Ray drops a forearm on him. Stevie kicks Knobbs in the face as Booker holds him. Flying shoulderblock, and Booker comes in. Spinwheel kick, then Booker misses a whatever off the middle buckle. Sags in and he fights both Heat, and knocks Stevie out of the ring. Sags slams Booker as Stevie tries to call the secret mystery person. Knobbs decks him but Stevie gets the call. Sherri shockingly comes out talking on the phone. Sags and the ref are distracted and Booker comes off the top on Knobbs for the win. **1/2. This pairing will get very old over the next few months, though maybe not as much on the Clashes.

Vader vs. Dustin Rhodes- Vader smashes Dustin the corner, then smacks him again and spits on dustin. Rhodes then double-legs Vader and pounds on him, even taking the mask off. Dustin hits a cross bodyblock for two, then clotheslines Vader out. He knocks Harley Race on the floor, and does his taunt on the top rope. Dustin goes after Vader as he comes back in, punching and stomping him in the corner. Rhodes suplexes Vader, who then sacks him. Vader punches him in the corner, but misses a splash and gets rolled up for two. Dustin does a spinning sell of a Vader clothesline. Vader splashes Dustin in the corner, but Dustin catches and slams him! Vader tries a buttdrop but Dustin moves and clotheslines him. Dustin shoved the ref, and got thrown over the top rope on a bulldog attempt. That was awesome. Vader clothesline him coming off of the ropes, and hits his middle-rope splash. Vader pulls him up, then hits his splash again for two. Vader leaps off the buckles but Dustin powerslams him. Dustin clotheslines him thrice but he doesn't fall, and Dustin goes up and lariats him down. Dustin then DDTs Vader off the middle buckle for two. Dustin gets the bulldog but Race interferes. Dustin gets knocked into Race, and Vader does a kind of reverse powerbomb on him to win. **** This might be the most forgotten of the Clash classics. Hacksaw lumbers (ha!) out to save Dustin.

"Mean" Gene talks to the faces in the main  event (the ones without fear?).

U.S. championship, Steve Austin vs. Hacksaw Duggan (c)- I think this is the last we'll see of "Stunning" Steve.  Duggan won it in a quick impromptu match at Fall Brawl. I think I saw this matchup on a houseshow around this time, too. Duggan shoves him down, and Steve complains of a hairpull. Austin ducks between the ropes from Duggan, and Vader comes out to attack Duggan. Hacksaw then chases them away with the board. This sets up Duggan vs. Vader, which deprives us of Austin in U.S. title matches and more Rhodes vs. Vader.

Avalanche, The Butcher and Kevin Sullivan vs. Hulk Hogan, Sting and Evad Sullivan- Michael Buffer barely gets his line out before the match starts. Hogan bites Sullivan's head to start. Sting backdrops Sullivan, and slams and elbows him. Dropkick on Sullivan, and Hogan back in working over Sullivan. The heels come in and triple-team Hogan, and T tries to keep everyone separate. Avalanche jumps on Evad's arm, taking him out of the match. Avalanche works over Hogan, but Hogan eyeraks to come back. He tries a slam, unsuccessfully. Butcher in, and lays in blows on Hogan. Avalanche misses a corner splash, but hogan gets squished on a slam attempt. Sullivan continues his little person offense on Hogan, and Hulk gets caught in the heels' corner. Avalanche locks in a bearhug. Hulk gets out, tries two shoulderblocks to put him down, but Butcher trips him. Body slam from Avalanche, but he misses a splash. Sting gets the tag, and goes to town on all three faces. He Stinger Splashes Avalanche twice, and press slams Sullivan onto him. However, he runs into the corner with Sullivan and squishes Sting. Butcher and Sullivan double-clothesline Sting. Avalanche in, and he powerslams Sting and legdrops him. Hogan breaks up a pin, and Sullivan gets tagged. He chops away on Sting, who runs into a boot in the corner. Sullivan goes up but gets slammed off by Sting. Tag to Hogan, vs. Butcher. The other Faces come in, and Sullivan gets Jimmy Hart's megaphone. Hogan hits a big boot on Butcher, and T stops Sullivan from hitting Hogan with the megaphone. Sullivan gets pinned, and then wallops Mr. T. Avalanche butt-splashes Sting, and Hogan gets hit with the megaphone. Butcher puts him in a sleeper. The Armstrong Brothers (who were apparently in a dark match), come to the rescue, as do Stars & Stripes while Hogan goes to sleep. They finally get Butcher off of Hulky. *3'4; the match existed to set up the top three matches at Starrcade.

Most of the match quality here sucked, but Vader vs. Dustin is a lost classic. At least Sting was on the card, and he'll have some BIG challenges coming up in the next month, if ya know what I mean.

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