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From the Grudge Match: Ted Blanchard Recaps the Final Clash of the Champions

Live from Nashville, 8/21/97. I watched this show at my friend Chris's house. I think it was right before the fall semester started that year.

Congrats to Irving for winning the trivia contest last week. He will (or already has) receive(d) a prize pack with the theme of trading codes, which included baseball, Marvel, Superman and WWF cards, as well as Pearl Jam's "No Code" CD and its trading cards.

Tony Schiavone, Dusty Rhodes and Bobby Heenan run down the card. We see a clip from Nitro of J.J. Dillon asking Sting to come down and tell him what he wants. Sting came out and pointed to signs in the crowd saying he wants Hollywood Hogan.

U.S. championship, Jeff Jarrett (c) vs. Steve McMichael- Lest we make it through the Clashes without seeing Mongo wrestle, or even Double J I guess. Jarrett had kind of been a Horseman for awhile, and Debra left Mongo for him. McMichael chases Jarrett out to start. Mongo grabs the belt, which Dusty says is like a Superbowl ring to him. Jarrett slams Mongo, and struts in celebration. Ain't he great? Jarrett kicks him and rams him to the buckles. Jarrett gets a double-leg takedown, then clips Mongo from the 3-point stance. Jarrett goes out, then attacks Mongo from behind. McMichael clotheslines Jarrett, who then stalls again. After a break Jarrett rams Mongo to the steps twice. Jarrett throws him in and kicks his head. Jarrett chokes him on the bottom rope, then Debra pulls his ponytail and Jarrett does the splash Chris Jericho and Big Bossman did in that position. DDT by Jarrett, then he grabs a sleeper. Mongo then reverses the sleeper. Debra distracts the ref, and Eddie Guerrero jumps off the top and accidentally hits Jarrett with the belt. Mongo then covers for the win and title. *1/2. I have no idea why Guerrero got involved here. Debra then congratulates him while trying to grab the belt, unsuccessfully.

"Mean" Gene Okerlund brings out Alex Wright, who is turning heel. Gene tells him to speak English, since we're in America. Wright is going to drag the Dragon from one end of Nashville to the other, har har.

Gene is now with the hosts of "Dinner & A Movie" from TBS. I couldn't hear their names. They are making jerk chicken in honor of the Steve Martin movie.

Stevie Richards vs. Raven- This match is a real oddity. This was Raven's WCW in-ring debut, and I'm not sure he and his lackey had wrestled before this. Stevie I think suffered a neck injury right after, and didn't return to WCW. Tony says something about Raven having no music, but I still hear some. Raven says it's going to be no disqualification, and Richards agrees. Raven fires away on Richards, and throws him outside. Raven then jumps over the top on him, and spills a fan's Coke. What a heel. Tony tells us how Raven has a lift in one boot, because one leg is shorter than the other. Raven drops an elbow on Richards on the apron, and snaps his neck. Stevie gets a backslide for two, and Raven decks him. Kcik to Stevie's head, and he's thrown out again. Raven then does a WCW Revenge elimination, and drops elbows from the apron a la Cactus Jack. He throws a chair in the ring, and drop toeholds Richards into it. Raven then bulldogs him onto the chair. Stevie reverses him into the chair in the corner, and hits a flying headbutt and side slam. Stevie misses the superkick but grabs a rollup. Raven clotheslines him for two, hits him in the belly, then hits the Even Flow for the win. **3/4 This was a good debut, but I think Raven didn't wrestle again for months after this.

Mike Tenay throws up to a video on Ultimo Dragon, who WCW has mistakenly been calling "Ultimate." Awk-ward... Ultimo Dragon means the last student of Bruce Lee, apparently.

WCW world TV championship, Ultimo Dragon (c) vs. Alex Wright- The Brain astutely points out when Dragon was with Sonny Onno he had nine titles; now he only has one. Wright gets a hiptoss to start. He gets a neck snap, and celebrates. Side headlock, top wristlock reversals, a dropkick and a stalemate spot. Wright then works Dragon's arm until he reverses. Dragon does a clean break but Wright pokes him in the eye and stomps away. Wright tries something like a shoulderblock, but they seemed to have their signals crossed. The spot is redone correctly, then Dragon stomps on Wright on a monkey flip attempt. Dragon does his corner headstand spot, then does his kick special on Wright. Dragon unloads with kicks to Wright's back. He puts on a reverse chinlock, but gets jawbreakered. Wright gets a powerbomb but doesn't cover, then hits a backbreaker. Wright gets a backbreaker for two, and hits a gutwrench suplex as they head to break. We see an nWo Syxx T-shirt ad. Buy the shirt! Wright has Dragon in a sleeper as we return. He hits a lariat and a slam, then drops a foot on Dragon's throat from the top. Chinlock, as they work on the next sequence. Wright's feet on the rop is a nice touch. Wright backdrops him but Dragon grabs a (non-Dragon) sleeper. Dragon gets a backdrop suplex but is too tired to cover. They exchange chops and Wright hits European uppercuts. Back suplex and Wright goes to the apron, but gets dropkicked off. Dragon does a (real) 619, but then misses a crossbody to the floor. Wright gets reversed into the guard rail, then Dragon hits an Asai moonsault. Dragon puts him on the top, and he kind of drives Wright's head to the mat. Wright gets a rollup for two. Dragon tries a handspring elbow but Wright elbows him for two. Wright reverses as he tries his Tiger suplex, and then hits a German suplex for the win and title. *** There were a couple of iffy spots, but overall I liked it.

WCW cruiserweight championship, Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris Jericho (c)- Jericho is still a face, not the conspiracy victim heel here. Eddie though is a heel. Eddie gets a necksnap to begin. Eddie gets an armbar but Jericho armdrags him twice. Eddie complains of a hairpull and even demonstrates to the ref. Jericho with a shouldertackle, and he press slams Eddie. He gets kind of a backdrop, and Eddie wraps himself around the ref's legs. Eddie jaws with fans at ringside, then attacks Jericho from behind. Big chops, and a back elbow. He does his slingshot plancha from the apron, and hits a European uppercut. He places Jericho on the top and hits a hurricanrana for two. He tries one of the middle of the top rope, but gets powerbombed. Giant swing by Jericho, and I think his head hit the mat at least once. A spinwheel kick kind of knocks Eddie outside, and Jericho tried to go up with a bodyblock to the floor, but tripped on the way out. Eddie then tried to suplex him but Jericho suplexes him from the apron outside. Eddie superplexes Jericho for two. Jericho tries a powerbomb but Eddie gets out, but Jericho eventually gets a German release suplex for two. Jericho leapfrogs him, and then do a pinfall reversal sequence until Jericho gets one. ** I'm not sure if Jericho's trip on the bodyblock was a work or shoot. Eddie attacks after the bell, gives him a brainbuster and does a frogsplash with the belt laying on Jericho.

Psichosis, Villano IV, Villano V, Silver King vs. Super Calo, Juventud Guerrera, Lizmark Jr. and Hector Garza- I'll try to keep up as best I can. Calo and VIV start, and do an arm reversal sequence. Then Calo does some monkey flips and gets socked. Hurricanrana by Calo leads to a clothesline from VIV. Calo dropkicks King off the apron and does a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Garza in with an axehandle, and he misses a corner splash. King then misses a corner dropkick. He does the real 619 and gets a shoulderblock, and gets a "whirlybird" (TM Dusty) backbreaker. Garza clotheslines the two of them outside. Juvy in with Psi, who gets a superkick. Juvy falls out and Garza tries to throw King out. King then flying headscissors Liz, and King and VIV do double monkey flips on those guys. The heels gets tossed out, then Calo flips out onto them. Liz then does a suicide drive, and Air Juvy lands on them. Chris and I latched onto that phrase for awhile. VV does a suicide drive. Garza hits a corkscrew as Psy misses a splash on him in the corner. Calo tries a hurricanrana on Psi but Onoo holds him on the buckles. Then Psi hits a guilotine legdrop for the win. *** That was kinda nuts.

Now back to the "Dinner and a Movie" guys. They made Macho Nachos, Macho Mayo, Savage Garden Salad (ha!), nWOkra and Diamond Dallas Creampuff. The guys then reveal Macho nWo shirts and a banner, as Savage comes out. The one guys makes a weasel joke at Gene. Hogan is apparently making a movie in Vancouver. They show a clip of Savage on their show, and I forgot about the hottie on that show. Glad she's not a part of this nonsense. Eventually DDP comes out, trashes the set and diamond cuts host Paul Gilmartin.

Lee Marshall is on the road again, now in Columbia, SC. He makes a joke about a weasel weed, and Heenan says Marshall should be in the ground. Ha!

Konnan/Syxx vs. Ric Flair/Curt Hennig- Clash debuts for Syxx and Hennig. The Horsemen were courting Hennig, which led to the "My Spot" nWo parody and (spoiler alert) Hennig turning on the Horsemen at Fall Brawl and joining the nWo. K-Dawg starts with Hennig. These four men would be in the War Games match where Hennig turns. Hennig gets a top wristlock but Konnan gets out. Konnan headlock, he hits a shoulderblock but Hennig drop toeholds him. It's funny Konnan is still called the Mexican heavyweight champion here. Syxx in with a headlock, and Flair comes in and tries to figure four Konnan. Syxx then clips his knee. Hennig hits the Hennig plex for the pin. Flair was never legally in. ** Gene asks Hennig if he's a Horseman, but Hennig evades the question. I wonder why.

WCW world tag team championship, Scott Hall/Randy Savage (c) vs. Lex Luger/Diamond Dallas Page- This was originally just a tag team match, but Kevin Nash is there with more nWo members, and since it's the nWo's birthday party, he makes it a title match. Gotta love the Freebird Rule. Luger overpowers Hall to start. Hall throws Luger out by his trunks, just like at the last Clash. Elizabeth distracts Luger, and Nash lays him out. This time, Nick Patrick throws Nash out. Savage hits an axehandle on Luger as Hall hodls him. Luger tags DDP, and he atomic drops Hall, knocks him out of the ring, then hits his spinning clothesline on Savage. Hall trips DDP from outside, and Savage lariats the back of his head. Hall does his fallaway slam for two. Savage taunts Luger, and they double-team DDP with the ref distracted by Luger. I had forgotten the Savage-DDP program was still going at this point, so that makes the match make sense. Hall trips DDP and tags Savage, who drops an elbow. DDP is thrown out onto a bunch of balloons, and Hall slugs him. Savage drops an axehandle, and rams him to the railing. Hall kicks DDP's knee, and clotheslines him in the corner. Hall gets a camel clutch like thing with the legs tied up, then drags DDp to the corner. Savage and Hall make quick tags as they work over DDP. Spinning clothesline takes Hall down, and a crawling DDP tags Luger. Luger clotheslines both heels, atomoic drops Randy, whips them together, then double clotheslines them. Luger throws Savage over the top, and racks Hall. Savage kicks Luger to break it, and Luger clotheslines Savage. Hall knocks Luger into Hall (who had his back turned), and DDP diamond cut Luger. Hall slowly cover Luger for the pin. **1/4. The ending was kind of dumb, but Savage and Hall actually were working as a team.

After the match, the birthday celebration kicks into full gear. Propaganda falls from the ceiling, and after the break everyone but Hogan is seemingly there. Eric Bischoff tells Hall he is one of the greatest athletes, and it's an honor to know him. Hall is like, aw shucks, I think you're great too. Nash says it's been sweet shagging WCW rotten. Bischoff said they didn't get their own show, and that Hogan said he needs bigger limos and lear jets. Then Bischoff's mic shuts off, as do the lights. We see STING in the rafters with a vulture. A boy gives a speech, ending with "This is Sting." I think this was his answer to what he wants. Then the bird flies down and fends off the nWo, while Nash threatens it with a belt.

This concludes my Clash review series. I'm going to be taking a break as my wife will give birth soon, but I'll try to review more stuff when life give me some time. Thanks for reading, and thanks to Stranger in the Alps for the opportunity.


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