THE SPECIALISTS SPECIALIST: WCW Clash of the Champions (15 Yrs. Ago): Steamboat & Douglas vs. Windham & Rhodes
Nov 27, 2007 - 11:48:44 AM
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By Brian Hoops, PWTorch.com Specialist
PW Torch Nostalgia Review
Clash of the Champions #21 Review
By Brian Hoops, PWTorch.com Specialist Contributor
In this week's look back at wrestling nostalgia we go back 15 years to the WCW promoted Clash of the Champions #21. The TBS special; Clash of the Champions #21 aired live on TBS on November 18, 1992 from the Macon Coliseum in Macon, Georgia. The show was well attended with 7,500 people in attendance. TV ratings were strong; at 3.2 which is slightl lowered compared to the September Clash which drew a 3.7 rating. The 3.2 rating was the second lowest rating for a Clash special in its history up to that time. Bill Watts was still promoting WCW at this time and the momentum generated by several excellent PPV and Clash cards earlier in 1992 had long waned by this time.
The best announce team off all time; Jim Ross and Jesse Ventura are the broadcasters.
First match of the night was Brian Pillman vs. Brad Armstrong. Approximately one year earlier, WCW started a WCW Light Heavyweight division. This division produced many outstanding matches in 1991 and 1992 and was really capturing the fans interest. One of the first things Watts did when he took over WCW was institute a rule that stated if any wrestler came off the top rope, he would be disqualified. This effectively killed the light heavyweight division. At the Clash #20, Brad Armstrong was unable to defend the title against Pillman due to an injury and was stripped of the title and the division was ignored for the rest of the Watts regime. Prior to the match, Pillman came out on crutches and announced he was injured and could not wrestle Armstrong. However, when Armstrong turned his back on Pillman, Pillman hit Armstrong with his crutches, "injuring" Armstrong's knee. The match then started with Armstrong trying to fight on one leg and gaining the upper hand. Pillman clipped Armstrong's knee and rolled Armstrong up for the pin in 25 seconds. It was more of an angle than a match to finally cement Pillman's heel turn that had first started in May.
Next match is tag team action; Bobby Eaton and Arn Anderson against Erik Watts and Kensuke Sasaki. Eaton and Anderson were the PW Torch #3 tag team of the year in 1992 and former WCW World Tag Team Champions. Bill Watts was high criticized for pushing his son Erik before he was ready in the ring. Erik had tons of potential but this was his rookie year and fans and wrestlers alike were not ready to accept Erik on the level of some of WCW's major stars. Both fans and wrestlers were smart enough to realize Erik was pushed so heavily because of his father's position of influence in WCW and this match was a good example of pushing Erik before it was time or was necessary. Watts forced Eaton to submit to the STF in 6:06. Not a bad match, but ridiculous to have Eaton and Anderson job to Watts.
Next match was a boxing match, pitting real life former boxer Johnny B. Badd (Marc Mero) against Scotty Flamingo (Scott Levy, Raven). Flamingo had Dallas Page and Vinnie Vegas (Kevin Nash) in his corner. The first round saw Badd dominate the action early using his boxing skills, but Flamingo used some wrestling moves to gain momentum. Badd knocked out Flamingo at the end of round one, but as Jesse Ventura pointed out, Flamingo was saved by the bell. Between rounds, Page filled Flamingo's glove with water. Flamingo connected with one punch and knocked out Badd in 1:01 of the second round. Badd was promoted as being from Macon, Georgia. What is it about promoters that love to job out a guy in their own hometown? Slightly entertaining.
Next segment was promoting StarrCade 92 and the Lethal Lottery drawing. Ventura and Missy Hyatt drew the first four participants for the next PPV event. This segment got very little crowd reaction.
Next match was a handicap match that featured the debut of Too Cold Scorpio. Cactus Jack, the Barbarian, and Tony Atlas wrestled WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ron Simmons and Too Cold Scorpio. Scorpio was a Denver, Colorado wrestler who Big Van Vader recommended WCW to bring in for a tryout. No explanation was given as to why he was Simmon's partner or even what his name was. Finish came when Barbarian kicked Atlas in the face by mistake and Scorpio hit the 450 splash on Atlas for the pinfall victory in 5:52. Crowd popped big time for Scorpio's finishing move as most fans had never seen this move before. Match was a basic tag match.
Next segment was a video look at the new tag team of Johnny Gunn and Tom Zenk buying clothes. It was really bad and brought back memories of those horrible Fabulous Ones videos of the 80's. After a quick Rick Rude interview and another commercial break, WCW updated us on the Jesse Ventura arm wrestling tournament that was being held on syndicated television.
Up next was Madusa against Paul E. Dangerously. At the Halloween Havoc PPV, Dangerously fired Madusa from the Dangerous alliance and this match was to be the blowoff match to their feud. Someone with blonde hair ran to the ring and Dangerously hit them with his phone, knocking them out. Dangerously pulled off a wig, revealing a man. Madusa missed her cue was very late hitting the ring. The only people who cheered this match was women and little kids. A complete waste of time.
On WCW's regular TV shows, they were promoting a tournament called the "King of Cable." They updated the standings and showed clips of previous matches to build up the next match in the tournament, Sting vs. Rick Rude. Three ring-side judges were introduced, giving away the finish to the match. After having virtually nothing to get excited about all night, the crowd was really into this match. These were two of my favorite performers in 1992 and they had a good, but not great match. Surprisingly, they didn't have very many near falls during the match. Action picked up in the final two minutes as Sting used several atomic drops and a stinger splash while Rude tried to put on the Rude Awakening but was unable to hit it. Has anyone ever sold an atomic drop better than Rick Rude? They went to a 20:00 minute time limit draw with two of the three judges giving the decision to Sting.
Barry Windham [artist Mr. Mike (c) PWTorch]
Final match of the evening was for the Unified (WCW & NWA) World Tag Team titles. Dustin Rhodes & Barry Windham were the defending champions against Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas. Windham and Rhodes were showing signs of dissention in previous matches and this match highlighted the problems between Rhodes and Windham. The Champions were working over Steamboat when they began fighting. Finish came when Douglas hit a belly to belly suplex on Windham and new champions were crowned in 15:52. Post-match, Windham turned on Rhodes and laid out Rhodes to start Windham's heel run. A standard tag team match with a good post match angle with Windham turning full fledged heel.
Summary: This was a very forgettable Clash of Champions event. None of the matches were that memorable and a majority of the show was built on angles or furthering feuds. Best things on the show were the Barry Windham heel turn, which was good and the debut of Too Cold Scorpio.
Next week, we will look at the 1992 WWF Survivor Series.
I hope you enjoyed this week's column. As always your questions, comments and thoughts are welcomed, you can contact me at email@example.com.
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