Clash of the Champions NWA

NWA/WCW Clash Of The Champions XIII: Thanksgiving Thunder 11.20.1990 Review (The Eye Of The Tiger)

Hello everyone and welcome to my review of the very last Clash of the Champions of 1990. It’s also the last Clash in the history of the NWA, as they officially parted ways with WCW in early 1991. This show features Ric Flair vs. Butch Reed with very unique stipulations, to say the least! Also, the Steiners put their US Tag Titles on the line, and more.

Here is the list of champions in the NWA/WCW heading into this show:

  • NWA World Heavyweight Champion: Sting
  • NWA United States Heavyweight Champion: Stan Hansen
  • NWA World TV Champion: Arn Anderson
  • NWA World Tag Team Champions: Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed)
  • NWA United States Tag Team Champions: The Steiners (Rick & Scott Steiner)

Enjoy the review!

IMG credit: WWE &

The hosts are Jim Ross & Paul E. Dangerously

Live from Jacksonville, FL

The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin) & Bobby Eaton vs. El Gigante & The Southern Boys (Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong)

Actually never mind, as apparently the Freebirds reveal they locked Gigante inside a box and sent it to Argentina which is WCW’s code for he sucks way too much to wrestle on national TV. The referee also kicks Eaton out and we get a regular tag match instead…

The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin) vs. The Southern Boys (Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong)

The babyfaces run wild with dropkicks to start. We get the classic mucho stalling from the Freebirds already as usual. This crowd is feeling it tonight. Smothers decides to go after Hayes but that earns him a trip to the railing. The Freebirds take over back inside, and Hayes distracts the ref which makes him miss the hot tag to Armstrong. That results in a massive brawl as it truly is BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA with bodies flying everywhere, and then Hayes trips up Smothers and allows Garvin to steal the win with the DDT at 4:50.

  • Rating: This was a short yet really fun opener with an excited crowd helping. Nothing special, just a fun match and for once NOT A TWENTY MINUTE SNOOZEFEST FROM THE BIRDS! **

Meanwhile, Sting is with Tony Schiavone. He is cut off by The Black Scorpion though who does some weird creepy shit and then disappears when Sting goes after him. I’m SO tired of this feud…

Flyin’ Brian Pillman vs. Buddy Landel

Landel jumps Pillman to start and drops the knee, only for Pillman to get a number of quick nearfalls with various different pinning combinations. Landel wants none of Pillman but Brian dumps him with a clothesline and meets him outside with Air Pillman, with the crowd eating it all up! Brian tries to follow it up with a piledriver right there on the floor, but Landel blocks it and sends Brian into the railing and the post to turn things around. Brian makes a comeback with a crazy springboard crossbody off the apron onto Landel but finds himself in Landel’s heel rope-assisted abdominal stretch. The ref finally catches him and forces the break, allowing Brian to try another crossbody, with Landel blocking it and turning into a backbreaker of his own for two. To the top they go where they get into a slugfest, won by Pillman, who then follows it up with the high crossbody for the win at 5:52.

  • Rating: This was good! It’s not surprising given the talent involved – I think both Pillman and Landel work their respective babyface and heel roles superbly – and they could’ve absolutely killed it with an extra four minutes or so. For a sprint with little to no story, this is about as good as you can get. ***
Big Cat vs. Brad Armstrong

For those of you who might not know, Big Cat is the future ‘Mr. Hughes’, bodyguard of HHH, Jericho and others. He’s going after Lex Luger, apparently. Yey? Cat throws Brad around with a number of backbreakers and slams until he misses a blind charge. That opens the door for a small Brad comeback that goes about as far as you’re expecting, as he misses a dropkick and Cat puts him away with Luger’s Torture Rack at 4:31.

  • Rating: Standard “sending a message to (future opponent) extended squash. 1/2*
‘Z-Man’ Tom Zenk vs. Brian Lee

Lee takes over to start. Zenk goes for a crossbody… but Lee doesn’t move an inch and Zenk crossbodies the air, which earns a major yawn from the crowd.

They then proceed to mess up simple hiptosses until Zenk finishes Lee with a missile dropkick at 3:10.

  • Rating: Wow was this BAD. DUD

Meanwhile Mike Rotunda has legally changed his name and he now is Michael Wallstreet.

Michael Wallstreet(w/ Alexandra York) vs. The Star Blazer

York is Terri Runnels and the Blazer is Owen Har… oops wrong Blazer. It’s Tim Horner here. Horner runs wild to start with a number of dropkicks forcing Mike to bail to think of some better strategy with York. Mike turns things around with a necksnap and he starts working the heel abdominal stretch. Horner escapes and makes a small comeback only to walk into a Boston Crab. The Samoan (Wallstreeter?) Drop ends Horner at 4:15.

  • Rating: This was a watchable bout. It features some nice character work from Rotunda, and it was a nice introduction to his new heel persona. *1/2

Meanwhile, Gordon Solie presents the brand new WCW top ten lists. Oh boy here we go!

  • NWA World Tag Team Titles top 10 list: 10) El Gigante & The Juicer (really?); 9) Big Cat & Motor City Madman (WOW….); 8) Tim Horner & Brad Armstrong (it keeps getting better); 7) ‘The Master Blasters’ Steel & Blade (…); 6) ‘The Southern Boys’ Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong (finally a worthy team); 5) Ricky Morton & Tommy Rich (okay); 4) ‘The Fabulous Freebirds’ Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin (this hasn’t been their greatest year but it’s a solid entry); 3) ‘The Nasty Boys’ Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags (obviously); 2) ‘The Four Horsemen’ Ric Flair & Arn Anderson (aren’t they technically #1?); 1) US Tag Champs The Steiners (sure) – the champions are Doom
  • NWA World Title top 10 list: 10) Bobby Eaton (way too low); 9) ‘Z-Man’ Tom Zenk (I guess that crossbody really impressed the higher ups); 8) Michael Wallstreet (way too early into the gimmick); 7) Flyin’ Brian Pillman (belongs on the list); 6) Terry Taylor (way too high for what he’s been doing aka nothing); 5) World TV Champion Arn Anderson (more than belongs here); 4) Ric Flair (ridiculously low spot); 3) Lex Luger (one of the most popular); 2) Sid Vicious (didn’t we just do this at Havoc?); 1) US Heavyweight Champion Stan ‘Lariat’ Hansen (how is he #1 contender when The Black Scorpion is booked to challenge next at StarrCade????) – the champion is Sting
Pat O’Connor Memorial Tournament Qualifying Match – African Qualifier: Sgt. Krueger & Col. DeKlerk vs. The Botswana Beast & Kaluha

The Beast & Kaluha are just announced as being from ‘Africa’, so that pretty much tells you who’s jobbing out here in case you had any doubts. Or even cared. Meanwhile in the other team, DeKlerk is Rocco Rock/The Executioner (from Philadelphia) and Krueger is Ray Apollo aka Doink the Clown (from Texas). Some proud Africans here. The Beast takes over to start and oh boy this crowd couldn’t care less. DeKlerk flies around the ring until the Beast catches him with a powerslam for two. Beast goes for another slam on Krueger but DeKlerk runs in with a dropkick for the win to advance to StarrCade (lucky me) at 4:48.

  • Rating: Apparently this was a thing that happened. Next, please. 1/4*

Meanwhile, Lex Luger is confronted by Big Cat

Lex Luger vs. The Motor City Madman

Big Cat jumps Luger before the bell but Luger makes quick work of him. Well so much for the big challenge. Luger slugs away to start while JR starts making his infamous bowling shoe ugly kind of quotes, basically indirectly apologizing for how shitty this might be. Madman turns things around with a sideslam but Luger just gets back up and finishes with a clothesline at 2:34. A clothesline!!!!

  • Rating: It was fun watching Luger completely overcoming these two heels like a bunch of geeks, but the match truly reeked of nothingness. And also he won with a clothesline. What is this, the Survivor Series!? DUD
The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags) vs. The Renegade Warriors (Mark & Chris Youngblood)

The Nasties work over Mark to start but Chris jumps in with a high crossbody to both. Chris goes to work on Knobbs’ arm until Saggs runs in and dumps Chris over the top rope for the ULTIMATE HEEL DICK MOVE™ which allows the Nasties to take over. Saggs hits a shoulderbreaker but then the Nasties just get DQ’d at 4:49. And then the Steiners run in to make the save and continue their feud, which was probably the best in WCW at the time.

  • Rating: More of the same. At least this wasn’t sloppy and told a story. 3/4*
Sid Vicious vs. The Nightstalker

The Nightstalker is future KroniKer Bryan Clark or Adam Bomb. They start up by completely fucking up a simple criss cross sequence as the Nightstalker works a bearhug. How exciting. Sid escapes and slugs away with some horrible potatoes as here comes the Big Cat AGAIN… Nightstalker grabs his axe but misses his shot, and then Sid just kinda friendly shoves him down with the axe for the win at 3:30.

  • Rating: What the fuck was this… I’ll tell you what it was, a big ol’ DUD

Meanwhile, The Freebirds celebrate their win in the opener… but now El Gigante is here. So he wasn’t actually sent back to Argentina? Lucky us!

NWA United States Tag Team Championship: The Steiners (Rick & Scott Steiner)(c) vs. Magnum Force (#1 & #2)

I have no idea who either of these guys are. The Steiners just run through these poor guys with the classic hits. Suplex to one, suplex to the other, Steinerline here, FrankenSteiner there and it’s all she wrote at 1:57. The Nasty Boys run in but the Steiner clean house to continue the great feud that… went nowhere because WCW forgot to sign the Nasties into contracts and they just went to the WWF a few weeks later. Great job, guys.

  • Rating: Extended workout for the Steiners, but that’s still more fun than most of the matches on this card. *

And now….


We get the dramatic evil music and Sting is our guest. He can’t do anything otherwise this show gets more interesting he’s suspended or something. BS takes a planted fan from the crowd and… turns him into a tiger. I wish I was making this up, trust me. This is so stupid that I won’t even bother saying anything. Ugh.

Time for the main-event match. One of the Horsemen (Ric or Arn) to meet one of Doom in a singles match, decided by a coin toss. If Simmons/Reed win, they get Ric Flair’s limo and yacht and the Horsemen don’t get any more shots at their belts. If Flair/Arn win, they get a title shot at StarrCade and Teddy Long has to be their chauffeur for a day. The coin toss decides that it’s…

Main Event: Ric Flair(w/ Arn Anderson) vs. Butch Reed(w/ Ron Simmons & Butch Reed)

And much like at Havoc they are still going with Doom as the babyfaces-in-peril, even though everyone loves the Horsemen. Can’t you do anything right? Not even this which WRITES ITSELF? Reed pounds away on Flair who begs for mercy already. Reed press slams him and they get into a brief slugfest on the ramp. Back in for a Reed dropkick… but Flair pokes him in the eye. Please save this show, Ric! Ron tries to get involved but Flair outsmarts the rookie (duh) and ends up sending Reed to the floor, where Arn adds in some shots of his own. Back in he goes for some Flair chops, which Reed no-sells before slugging away and putting Flair down off a Flair flop. Into the buckle for a Flair flip but Simmons knocks him down. However Flair quickly turns things around quickly and nails the classic kneedrop. A second one finds no water in the pool and Reed goes for a… figure four. Oh sure, that will get him over as a babyface in front of a crowd that loves the Horsemen! Flair makes the ropes to break and Reed misses a middle rope elbow. Ric ends up going nowhere as well though, and he finds himself eating a couple more press slams. Reed hits a flying shoulderblock to the knee but suddenly everyone gets involved and/or distracted. AA takes advantage of this and hits Reed with a chair, allowing Flair to steal the win and the title match at StarrCade at 14:13.

  • Rating: Solid main-event here. It didn’t set the world on fire nor was it spectacular, but it was more than enough to be the best thing on this awful show. ***1/4


Final thoughts: Well well well… I think you’ve already noticed how truly horrible this mess of a show was. Sure, there’s Pillman vs. Landel and Flair vs. Reed, but the rest of the card is just NOT worth your time. A couple of Americans won the right to represent Africa at StarrCade. The WCW top 10 lists mean absolutely nothing. Tom Zenk crossbodied the air. And The Black Scorpion turned a person into a tiger. Need I say more? 2/10

For comments and/or feedback e-mail me at


Find out more about my point system here

WrestlerStar ratingsResultMain-eventingExtrasTotal
Ric Flair3.25115.25
Brian Pillman314
Scott Steiner11+1 for retaining a title
+0.5 for winning the fall
Jimmy Garvin21+0.5 for winning the fall 3.5
Butch Reed3.25-113.25
Rick Steiner11+1 for retaining a title 3
Michael Hayes213
Michael Wallstreet1.512.5
Buddy Landel3-12
Col. DeKlerk0.251+0.5 for winning the fall 1.75
Big Cat0.511.5
Sgt. Krueger0.2511.25
Mark Youngblood
Chris Youngblood
Sid Vicious
Lex Luger
Tom Zenk
Steve Armstrong2-11
Tracy Smothers2-1-0.5 for losing the fall0.5
The Star Blazer1.5-10.5
Brian Knobbs
Jerry Sags
Brad Armstrong0.5-1-0.5
Brian Lee
The Motor City Madman
The Nightstalker
The Botswana Beast0.25-1-0.5 for losing the fall -1.25

Thank you so much for your time reading! Make sure you don’t miss the next reviews, including WWF’s Survivor Series and NWA/WCW’s StarrCade PPVs as we get closer to the end of 1990. Stay safe!