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

First, the site:

Next, the Twitter: @grudgematchrcps

Live from Macon, GA.

They show footage from Paul E. and Madusa's weigh-in. Madusa reminds me of Holly Holm, but there's no analogy to make here.

Tony Schiavone is with Bill Watts in the back. Watts hopes we'll enjoy the show. Teddy Long is with Michael Hayes. It's funny that he's like part of the broadcast team, but then says "we're" going to collect a bounty on Eric Watts, who Hayes would hate if his last name was Hayes.

Jesse Ventura talks to Brian Pillman, who at this Clash is the one injured and on a crutch. The shoe's on the other foot, and Pillman realizes the pain and aggravation Armstrong went through. Pillman makes a public apology and is embarrassed by how he acted. He wants Armstrong to slap him. Pillman of course attacks him with the crutch. Armstrong though still wants to fight, so we have-

Brian Pillman vs. Brad Armstrong- Brad tries to fight and punches Pillman, but Pillman clips his knee and gets the pin. N/A.

Bounty tag match, Erik Watts/Kensuke Sasaki vs. Arn Anderson/Bobby Eaton- Michael Hayes is accompanying the heels. The bounty is on Watts' head. And why can't anyone pronounce Ken-skay's name correctly? Eaton gets a headlock on Watts, and slaps the back of his head on the mat. Watts then slaps the taste out of Eaton's mouth. Eaton gets an elbow to the head and an abdominal stretch, but gets armdragged out. Watts misses a bodypress and goes outside, then kind of fucks up one off of the middle rope and gets booed. He tackles him down and punches Eaton, as Jesse says Watts is "overly pumped up," to cover for him. Arn tagged, and they trade wristlocks. Sasaki and Arn then trade wristlocks, and shoulderblocks Eaton, who monkeyflips him. Sasaki dropkicks him, then chops Eaton in the corner. Arn pulls Eaton out of the corner to evade Sasaki. Eaton throws him out, and Hayes gets in a cheap shot. Arn chokes Sasaki on the ropes, and Hayes hits him again. Watts then chases off Hayes, while Arn and Eaton cheat like crazy on Sasaki. Sasaki catches Eaton and powerslams him, and tags Watts. Watts gets a monkey flip on Eaton and rolls over to punch him. Backdrop on Eaton and all four are in. Fireman's carry on Eaton for two. Eaton goes off the top and gets punched in the face, and taps to the STF. ** Watts wasn't completely terrible here. He's apparently been training with Sasaki, Hiro Matsuda and Masa Chono.

Schiavone is with Johnny B. Badd and Long. Long serves as his hype man. Was there ever a time that Badd put a lip sticker on a man's face that he didn't get punched? That's apparently how this one was set up.

Schiavone with Flamingo, Diamond Dallas Page and Vinnie Vegas. This is classic. Vegas says the odds are 75 to 1 on Flamingo from his boys in Las Vegas. There's a promoter crouched in front of Flamingo who is supposed to look like Don King, except his wig moves when Flamingo touches him. I always laugh at "Riddick Bowe? Eh, I don't know!" from Vegas.

Boxing match, Johnny B. Badd vs. Scotty Flamingo- Vegas's shirt says "Scotty 'One-Punch Bingo' Flamingo." The bikini clad ringcard girl is quite a tomata, as Tazz would say. Badd gets left jabs on Flamingo and Flamingo heads outside. Badd knocks him down, then gets more hard body shots. Flamingo rakes his eyes with the glove laces, and hits a clothesline and boots. Flamingo then gets a rabbit punch on the back of the neck. Scotty gets some shots in, but then Badd comes back, and seems to KO Flamingo with four seconds left. In between rounds DDP fills Raven's glove with water. Flamingo eventually gets to his feet. Badd tees off on him, but Flamingo socks Badd once with that heavy glove, and the ref counts to 10 on Badd. I guess *3/4 for entertainment.

We see a special feature on Starrcade '92, as Battle Bowl returns. The special feature shows Sting and Abdullah the Butcher teaming up last year against Brian Pillman and Bobby Eaton.Jesse and Missy Hyatt then pick the first two teams- Cactus Jack/Johnny B. Badd and Dan Spivey/Van Hammer.

Ron Simmons/mystery partner vs. Barbarian/Tony Atlas/Cactus Jack- Simmons' original partner was Robbie Walker. The faces clear the ring. The man later ID'ed as 2 Cold Scorpio hit the three with a cross body. Barbarian and Simmons go at it like they did at Halloween Havoc. The heels then each get disposed by Simmons, and he tags Scorpio.  Scoprpio hits a backflip that misses Jack, but he sells anyway. Dropkick, and he tags Simmons. Ron bulldogs Cactus, but Atlast stops Jack from getting dropkicked. Barbie, then Atlas work over Simmons. Jack knocks Scorp off the apron and Barbarian and Jack doubleteam Simmons. Backdrop on Simmons, and a pin attempt gets two. Jack jumps off the buckles into Simmons' boot, and he tags. Scorp throws dropkicks and all five men are in. Atlas throws Scorp to the floor, but he returns to hit the Diss that Don't Miss on Atlas for the win. *3/4. This was  just a brawl, but it was a nice introduction to Scorpio. The world champion was in the midcard here again, though. Simmons introduces Scorpio afterward.

We see a special video on Z-Man and Johnny Gunn, set to a fake version of ZZ Top's "Legs." They are getting measured for suits in a store and of course hook up with some of the women working there.

Schiavone talks to Rick Rude. I don't like him without the mustache.

We take a look at Jesse's Strongest Arm competition from Worldwide Wresting. I don't think this was a shoot like the Brawl for All. Hayes interviews Dangerously. He asks Hayes to come to ringside to witness the massacre.

Clash of the sexes match, Paul E. Dangerously vs. Madusa- This is set for five minutes in length, with Heyman's arm tied behind his back. Madusa has Eddie Guerrero's first theme for some reason, though it's Mike Thor pretending to be Madusa. Dangerously whalloped "her" as "she" entered the ring. Heyman wants a kiss, but pulls off her wig and headgear. The real Madusa comes and Hayes says "oh, gotta go" on the mike and runs. Madusa kicks Dangerously, then slams him. She kicks and knees his ribs, and Hayes gets kicked off the apron. Dangerously exits, but Madusa carries him back. Hayes tripped Madusa coming in and she landed on her face, and Heyman posed. Paul climbs to the top, and hits an axehandle. Madusa jumps back up, and clotheslines Paul. She drops knees on the back of his helmeted head, then goes to the second rope for a dropkick. She pulls his shorts off (he has sweatpants under, thankfully), and Dangerously runs as time runs out. I'll call it ** for the segments, not the actual wrestling.

We take a look at the King of Cable tournament. Rude beat Barry Windham to advance, while Sting beat Pillman. Vader also beat Atlas, and Dustin Rhodes beat the Barbarian. Vader vs. Rhodes will be this Saturday on TBS. Ole Anderson, Matsuda and Larry Zbyszko are the judges for these matches.
Schiavone speaks to Vader, who I'm now realizing doesn't have a match on this Clash. He will be the King of Cable, sez they.

King of Cable semifinals, Sting vs. Rick Rude- Rude has cool tights on. Whoever did those always seemed to do a good job. Sting is very over, which Jesse notes. Rude rams his head to the buckles to start, and forearms the back of his neck. JR says that's to soften him up for the Rude Awakening, which I hadn't thought of. Sting backdrops him into a gut buster, twice. Sting kicks him in his abs (and ribs), and shoulderblocks into that area in the corner. Sting then does a hip swivel, which Jesse notes isn't as good as Rude's. Today you would say Jesse and Rude had a bromance. Sting does a face-first suplex move on Rude for a one-count. Sting punches Rude's midsection a few times, then gets a reverse chinlock (Camel Clutch). Sting then grabs an abdominal stretch, and still pounds on the ribs. Rude hiplocks out of that, and rakes Sting's eyes. He rams Sting's head to the buckle, and forearms his lower back. Jesse wonders what the judges will look for and reward as Sting drops Rude over the top rope, on his abdomen. Rude gets caught in the ropes on the outside, and Sting kicks his abs/ribs. Sting then misses a Stinger Splash and hits the railing. Rude goes to the top and hits Sting in the head with a forearm. Rude slams Sting, and measures an elbow on him. Now Rude grabs a Camel Clutch. And now Rude tries the hip swivel, but he's in too much pain. That would bring tears to a glass eye. Bodyslam on Sting and then a forearm. Back to the clutch. Rude gets the ol' "War and Peace" suplex (called so because you could read the book while you're held upside down. TM Smokey). Bodyslam and then more clutchin'. Rude misses a buttdrop from that position, and then Sting Hulks Up on Rude. Sting can't hold him for a bodyslam, though, and Rude gets a two count. What is this psychology and selling stuff they're doing? Maybe Kevin Owens should watch this match. Sting gets whipped back-first into the buckles. Sting grabs a bearhug, as it probably seems obvious to fans they are going the distance, or very close to it. Sting rammed back to the buckles. More bearhugging. At least the rest holds make sense in targeting a body part. Sting grabs a sleeper hold with 2:35 left. Rude drops down to kind-of stun Sting, then rams his head on the mat. Rude goes up but gets slammed off. Sting gets an atomic drop, twice, then Sting rams his face on the mat. One minute left. Sting hits a crossbody off the top for 2.5, then tries again but gets hit in the abdomen. Rude gets a kneelift, then a Rude Awakening attempt that ends because of his ab pain. Sting gets a Sting Splash and locks on the Scorpion, but the time limit expires. ***3/4. Split decision- Matsuda and Zbyszko pick Sting, so he advances to Starrcade for the finals. Rude tries to attack Sting, but gets atomic dropped.

Unified world tag team championship, Ricky Steamboat/Shane Douglas vs. Dustin Rhodes/Barry Windham (c)- The Texans beat Steve Williams and Terry Gordy I believe on WCW Saturday Night in September. Douglas gets Dustin in a headlock, and gets inside cradled for two. Dustin gets a backslide for his own two count. Douglas grabs a headlock and they reverse hammerlocks. Fun fact- both of these guys were on the Royal Rumble 1991 pay-per-view. Armdrag by Douglas, then one from Rhodes. Douglas then does it again for an armbar, and Dustin does the same. Rhodes shoulderblock, then a cradle for two. Douglas gets some spinny thing on Rhodes arm, and both try dropkicks. Tags to Steamboat and Windham. They hiptoss each other outside, and Steamboat shoves Windham. Their partners cool them down as Jesse yells at them to mix it up. Chopfest inside, and Steamboat gets an atomic drop. Armdrag by Steamboat, and Windham does the same. Douglas kicks his abdomen area, and the challengers make quick tags and work Windham's arm. Windham punches Douglas but gets suplexed. Steamboat tags and gets a savate kick and armbar. Steamboat gets on his back and then goes over and tags. Double team backdrop on Windham, and Douglas works on the same arm. Douglas tries a crossbody but hits the top rope. Dustin drops an elbow for one and tags. A double dropkick on Douglas yields a two count. Windham suplexes Douglas after tagging Rhodes. A sunset flip gets two by Douglas, and Windham comes back in. Quick tag to Dustin to drop on Douglas's arm. Windham tagged and works over Douglas. Double clothesline and Dustin gets a two count. Dustin snapmares Douglas over and grabs a chinlock. Steamboat is all the way on the other side of the ring cheering Douglas from outside. Douglas hits a crossbody but gets back suplexed. Windham lariats Douglas for two and he tells Steamboat to get out. Dustin gets a side headlock takeover. Dustin rammed to the corner and Douglas hits a crossbody off the middle buckle. Douglas grabs the rope as Dustin tries a dropkick. Steamboat tackles his former partner, then gets hiptossed. A dropkick gets two. Inside cradle for another two. Steamboat tries a leapfrog but Dustin's head hits him in the groin. Dustin tends to him while Windham yells at Dustin to tag. Windham tags Dustin and covers Steamboat. Barry atomic drops him  for two. Windham probably remembers Starrcade '87, against Williams actually. Another atomic drop and a clothesline, but Dustin breaks it up. The champs start punching each other, Douglas tags and gets a belly-to-belly for the pin. ****. The match was excellent, as war the story they told. Dustin is still over by Steamboat as Windham is livid. Windham yells at Dustin to come back as he leaves, and Dustin comes back and tries to explain things to Windham. Windham kicks him in the gut and punches  and DDTs Dustin. Windham shoves the ref, then superplexes Dustin. More refs come to get Windham off of Dustin as they go to break.
Jesse is in the back with Steamboat and Douglas. Windham comes and clobbers them with a chair, and rams them into lockers. JR then signs off.

This was a great show, even better than I remembered. The two top matches rocked, as Rude and Sting picked body parts, worked them over and then even sold! What a concept. And the angle in the tag team match was played to perfection. Great show that sets up stuff for Starrcade like Sting vs. Vader (sorry, spoiler alert).


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