January 21st, 1992
Live from Topeka, KS
Announced attendance: 5.500 (capacity: ca. 10.000)
TV rating: 3.7 (-0.6 compared to Clash 17’s 4.3)
Hey there everyone and welcome to my first WCW review for 1992. We kick off the year over in Atlanta with the 18th edition of Clash of the Champions, featuring Sting & Ricky Steamboat taking on Rick Rude & Steve Austin in the main event, a hard-hitting tag team match between the Steiners and Big Van Vader & Mr. Hughes, Cactus Jack vs. Van Hammer in a falls count anywhere, and even the historic debut of the one and the only… Vinnie Vegas!
Here is the list of champions in WCW heading into this show:
- WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Lex Luger [191st day of his reign] – previous champion: Ric Flair, before it was vacated
- WCW United States Heavyweight Champion: Rick Rude [63rd day of his reign] – previous champion: Sting
- WCW World Television Champion: ‘Stunning’ Steve Austin [232nd day of his reign] – previous champion: Bobby Eaton
- WCW Light Heavyweight Champion: Jushin Thunder Liger [27th day of his reign] – previous champion: Flyin’ Brian Pillman
- WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Dangerous Alliance (Arn Anderson & Bobby Eaton) [5th day of their reign] – previous champions: Ricky Steamboat & Dustin Rhodes
- WCW United States Tag Team Champions: Ron Simmons & Big Josh [7th day of their reign] – previous champions: The Young Pistols
Enjoy the review!
The hosts are Jim Ross & Tony Schiavone
The Steiners (Rick & Scott) vs. Big Van Vader & Mr. Hughes(w/ Harley Race)
Scott takes Hughes to wrestling school to start, pulling off single leg and fireman’s carry takedowns. Hughes fights back with a slam, but gets too cocky and eats an overhead suplex. Hughes bails before Scott eventually gets caught in the heel corner, and both Steiners get dumped. They both get back in and climb the top rope for a double Steinerline, though, and the heels bail. Vader takes over with a backdrop suplex on Rick, followed by a regular suplex. Military press slam by Vader sets up an avalanche in the corner, but a second one is blocked with a Steinerline. Rick manages to hit an overhead suplex on Vader followed by a clothesline over the top rope, which… SHOCK ALERT… is not a DQ. Take a drink! Rick chases Vader to the outside, but gets caught and rammed into the post. Back in, Vader hits a clothesline and he goes up, but Rick meets him there and brings him down with a belly to belly! Scott comes in with a clothesline that gets two. A german suplex doesn’t seem to work, but Rick adds a few punches to Vader and Scott actually does it. These guys are not humans. Scott goes up but gets caught with a powerslam in mid air. Scott tries to make the comeback with a sunset flip, but Vader counters it with the buttdrop splash of doom. Hughes gets tagged in and misses a blind charge, setting up the hot tag to Rick. However, Vader comes in and dumps Rick for a double-team clothesline on Scott, but he moves out of the way and it hits Hughes instead. Scott sacrifices himself to get rid of Vader, allowing Rick to go up with the flying bulldog to give the Steiners the win at 9:02.
- Rating: This was a nice surprise. The Steiners throwing Vader around was quite fun, as those three seemed to have great chemistry and worked very well together. Hughes wasn’t in there for long, but he certainly didn’t look bad or bring anything down. Very good opener for Clash. ***1/4
Flyin’ Brian & Marcus Alexander Bagwell vs. Taylor Made Man & Tracy Smothers
Terry Taylor’s dumb gimmick #13A after the ‘computerized man of the 1990s’. At least it’s better than being a walking rooster, I guess. Taylor bitchslaps Pillman in the corner to start and chops away. Pillman chops back and headscissors him out of the corner, followed by an atomic drop that sends Taylor into the babyface side for some shots from both. Brian charges into a backbreaker for two, though. Pillman fights back with another headscissors into a crossbody for two, and Bagwell comes in to run wild on both heels, even launching Brian in for some double Air Pillman. Dropkicks in stereo clean house followed by dives, and this crowd is loving it! Tracy comes in and takes over with a dropkick on Bagwell. Clothesline gets two. Perfect necksnap by Taylor gets two. Bagwell gets his knees up to block a splash, though, and it’s hot tag Pillman. He cleans house like a French maid and a spinning wheel kick on Tracy gets two, with the pin broken up by Taylor. All hell’s broken loose and it gets the referee distracted, allowing Taylor to suplex Brian from the apron all the way to the floor. Oof. Tracy gets two back in. Gutwrench suplex by Taylor gets two. Pillman eats some railing but he comes back in with Air Pillman on a distracted Tracy, and it’s hot tag Bagwell. Taylor grabs Tracy to prevent a sunset flip, but Brian knocks him onto Tracy with a dropkick, completing the sunset flip to give them the win at 7:49.
- Rating: Another great surprise here as I can’t help but say that 1992 couldn’t have come any closer! This was very good for the short seven minutes it lasted, with some great fire shown by the babyfaces in their comebacks and lots of exciting spots. ***1/4
We take a look at Jushin Thunder Liger coming out with the WCW Light Heavyweight title over in Japan, and learn he’ll be defending at SuperBrawl in February against a challenger TBD. Here’s some action from the division…
Richard Morton vs. Johnny B. Badd
Morton pulls some hair in the early going and hides in the corner, but gets rolled up for two. Morton hits an atomic drop and makes Johnny eat some post on the outside. Back in, a suplex gets two. Johnny fights back with a slam for two of his own, before rolling through a crossbody to steal the pin on Morton at 3:20.
- Rating: So this is it? This is the match you use to showcase the light heavyweight division after that Liger video package and the title match announced for the PPV? This had time to go nowhere, and nowhere it went. 1/2*
Eric Bischoff interviews both Brian Pillman & Johnny B. Badd on the stage. While Pillman’s all serious and issuing the challenge to Liger for WrestleWar, Johnny’s making fun of Bischoff. As soon as he tries to do the same to Pillman, Pillman punches him and leaves him laying (as he should’ve). Brian was awesome throughout this whole night.
Diamond Dallas Page vs. PN News
This is PN News’ last appearance on the series before his departure that April, so it’s my honor to write down PN News’ very last pre-match rap performance right here on the blog. Embrace the greatness, here we go..
It’s the first Clash in 92
And have I got a surprise for you
Come on Page, let’s see whatcha got
I know you fight fair…. NOT
YO BABY YO BABY YO
50 Cent, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Tupac, Biggie, etc eat your hearts out homies!
DDP jumps News to start, but that takes him about as far as a feud with The Undertaker would. News misses an elbowdrop and a blind charge, though, and DDP hits a clothesline for two. DDP has the AUDACITY to mock the yo baby yo baby yo as he turns things around with a necksnap on the ropes. News catches him with a belly to belly, however, and he goes up for the RAFTERS SHAKING RAP MASTER SPLASH for the win (with the music even playing before the three count) at 3:25.
- Rating: It was what it was, a typical short Clash squash. Nothing wrong with it. 1/4*
We move from a departure to the most epic return in pro wrestling history. You missed it, I missed it, the fans missed it, it’s the return of….
THE WCW TOP TEN RANKING!
Let’s see if they’re as stupid as they used to be!
- WCW World Heavyweight Championship top ten contenders list: 10) Larry Zbyszko (only 10?); 9) El Gigante (wait he’s actually still around!?); 8) Big Van Vader (only 8???); 7) Dustin Rhodes (way too soon at the time); 6) Cactus Jack (good to see him here); 5) Rick Steiner (no issues here either); 4) Ricky Steamboat (he was missed); 3) TV Champion Steve Austin (eh, Eric told me this guy would never get over in this business, what a waste of an entry); 2) Sting (how is he #2 when he’s the next in line for the PPV!??); 1) US Champion Rick Rude (I love Rude but again, this makes no sense!) – the champion is Lex Luger
It had some questionable entries (looking at you, El Gigante) and the usual weird logic of the actual next contender in line not being named the top contender in the company, but overall I’ve seen much worse ones.
Meanwhile, Tony Schiavone introduces WCW’s brand new executive vice president Kip Allen Frey, replacing Jim Herd.
See, even Ramsay knows it!
Frey introduces WCW’s new announcer, JESSE THE BODY VENTURA. Hell yeah! Sting comes out to sign the contract and make the title match at SuperBrawl official, and we hear some words from the champion Lex Luger via satellite.
Falls Count Anywhere Match – Cactus Jack vs. Van Hammer
Hammer sprays something from his guitar on Cactus’ eyes before the bell, meeting him with a high crossbody from the apron to the ring to start for two already. Hammer stays on top of Cactus with a corner clothesline followed by a legdrop to the back of the head for two. Hammer goes up but Cactus catches him with a clothesline in mid air for two, and the Cactus Clothesline takes both guys to the floor where Cactus gets two. Hammer gets introduced to the railing as Cactus exposes the concrete, and Cactus proceeds to grab Hammer by the hair and faceplant him right on the concrete. He goes up top for a flying sunset flip (good lord Mick…) for two. Cactus takes Hammer up to the ramp now to work a sleeper, but Hammer escapes with a jawbreaker and powerslams him on the ramp for two. Cactus tries to throw Hammer off the ramp, but Hammer reverses and it’s obviously Cactus being sent all the way to concrete again. Hammer meets him there with a flying clothesline for two. They take the fight backstage and earn some boos from the fans, and we take a break.
We’re back with them fighting in the parking lot while Missy Hyatt screams for the referee to do something and end this match. Cactus uses some object to attack Hammer, who manages to escape and grabs a rope to choke Cactus. They go to a hog pen area, where there’s Abdullah the Butcher disguised as a cowboy to attack Cactus. A shot with a shovel accidentally hits Van Hammer and gives Cactus the pin at 10:08. Cactus and Abdullah fight after the match, and Missy Hyatt gets thrown into the water.
- Rating: As always, Cactus was determined to do everything and anything to get over, including killing himself, in the process making this match a lot better than it had any right to be. The bumps on the concrete are hard to watch, but at least they got Mick over as a big star at the end of the day. Pretty good brawl and another good match on this show. ***
The New Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin) vs. Big Josh & Brad Armstrong
The Freebirds now have different attire and have switched their entrance song, which we don’t get to hear because they must’ve been running out of time or something. Brad scores with a hiptoss on Hayes to start, but Hayes kicks him off and Garvin comes in with a clothesline. Garvin goes up and a high crossbody gets two. Big Josh slams Garvin down and steps on him, and does the same to Hayes. The latter shows some life with a sunset flip for two, but Josh pounds away on Garvin in the corner. Brad comes in with dropkicks to both Freebirds, but he gets dumped and Big Josh stops the celebration with a double clothesline to both. Back in, a Brad suplex on Hayes is stopped by Garvin while the ref’s distracted with Josh, and the double DDT gives Hayes the pin at 3:03. ‘Badstreet USA’ plays the Freebirds out after the match, so I assume WWE Network doesn’t have the rights to their new ‘I am a Freebird and what’s your excuse’ song.
- Rating: Short match but it was all action while it lasted. It was pretty okay for a three minute tag match in the undercard. *
We see a recap of the Steiners’ accomplishments and all the great teams they defeated, including the Road Warriors and the Nasty Boys (take that Vince), Scott being injured and Rick being seconds away from beating Lex Luger for the WCW World Title. Now they’re both healthy and back together after the World Tag title.
Eric Bischoff interviews the Steiners
Rick doesn’t remember losing the World Tag titles because it never happened, and they’re coming after Arn & Eaton. Scott says patience might be a virtue, but they’re not patient and when they step in the ring they leave the ‘Mr. Nice Guy’ persona behind. They’re coming after the titles with bad intentions.
And now it’s time for what everyone came to see. What the wrestling world needed. What the whole world needed. It’s the epic debut of the artist formerly known as Oz!!
Vinnie Vegas vs. Thomas Rich
The announcers put snake eyes over before the match like it’s the world’s most impressive move. Nash is wrestling with a suit in a look and gimmick that have everything to take him to the next level in wrestling. Vegas lures Rich into believing a fan is talking trash to him, which Rich falls for like a complete idiot (this guy is a former World Champion for fucks sake…) and Vegas takes over. Choking follows and the SNAKE EYES OF PAINFUL DOOM puts Rich away at 0:56.
- Rating: Okay then. It was short but it was dumb as hell and made Rich look like a dumbass way more than it made Nash look good. Just a squash, and not a good one at that. DUD
Eric Bischoff interviews Paul E. Dangerously
Paul claims each and every prediction he’s made since his return at Halloween Havoc came true, and another one will tonight. He promises that at least one of the Dangerous Alliance’s five opponents in the next two matches (Sting, Steamboat, Simmons, Windham and Dustin) will be injured and forced out of WCW forever. Win, lose or draw, they’ll make sure one of them will never wrestle here again. This promo was great and made you want to watch the rest of the show to see what would happen to whom.
The Dangerous Alliance (Arn Anderson, Bobby Eaton & Larry Zbyszko)(w/ Paul E. Dangerously) vs. Ron Simmons, Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes
Windham has a cast in his right arm, which was slammed by a car door back at Halloween Havoc by Anderson and Zbyszko. He asks to start the match with Eaton, who takes over with a neckbreaker. Eaton takes him up for a superplex, but Barry no-sells it and explodes with a couple of lariats. It’s superplex time already but Arn breaks up the pin, and all the heels get caught with figure fours by the babyfaces. Zbyszko works a wristlock on Simmons but he’s tougher than a two dollar steak. AA comes in to work one on the other arm as well, only for Simmons to backflip and double armdrag them out into a double flying shoulderblock. Eaton tries to jump Ron off the top rope but gets caught in a bearhug, but Arn comes from behind with a cheapshot. Ron gorilla press slams Arn away, though, and a clothesline on Zbyszko gets two. It’s off to Dustin and Eaton, who rakes the eyes to take over, but Dustin whips Eaton over the top rope to the ramp (no DQ, take a drink) and meets him there with a dive. Windham goes for the lariat on Zbyszko, but Arn pulls Larry out of the way. Zbyszko’s thinking piledriver but Windham backdrops his way out, and he dropkicks Eaton off the top rope to the floor.
He faceplants Arn and gets Dustin in off a blind tag, who misses a blind charge and goes flying all the way to the ramp. Paul adds a shot with the telephone behind the ref’s back, and back in AA’s spinebuster gets a great nearfall. A corner slingshot splash only finds Dustin’s knees, but Arn immediately fights back with a great DDT for another nearfall. Eaton goes up with a flying elbowdrop for two, with a little bitchslap added before the cover. Eaton crotches himself on a missed blind charge in the corner, and Arn goes up but only eats Dustin’s boot. Windham makes the hot tag and comes in with a flying lariat on Eaton followed by a regular one, and a backdrop gets two. An Arn cheapshot makes Dustin go after him, while Simmons takes Larry out with a shoulderblock. Meanwhile with the ref distracted, Windham punches Eaton with the cast in mid air to get the win at 9:28.
- Rating: What a fun six man tag this was. The Dangerous Alliance were doing some amazing work as heels at this time in WCW, and Windham was especially feeling it in this one. He did a great selljob of the story of him finally being medically able to come back to the ring and get his hands on the Alliance, and the fans popped big for it all. Another great action packed match on this Clash. ***3/4
Meanwhile, Tony Schiavone interviews the winners in the dressing room. Barry Windham doesn’t care what WCW or the doctors say, he’s back and he’ll cause a lot of pain to some people, starting with Larry Zbyszko for what he did to his hand. Windham turns the tables and has a prediction of his own: Paul E. Dangerously or anyone involved with him will be crippled and out of wrestling forever. Great promo.
Jesse Ventura joins JR to call the main event in Schiavone’s place.
Main Event – The Dangerous Alliance (Rick Rude & Steve Austin)(w/ Paul E. Dangerously) vs. Sting & Ricky Steamboat
Just stop for a second and take a look at the talent involved in this main event. Steamboat starts with a shoulderblock on Austin and takes over with the KARATE BLOWS OF DEATH. An Austin hiptoss is blocked into a backslide that gets two, as do a couple more cradles, and Steamboat cleans house with kicks to both heels as they bail. They try to corner Steamboat back inside, but he’s too experienced and won’t fall for it. Nice. That ruins the Alliance’s strategy, so Rude walks over and bitchslaps Sting. He asks for the tag and Steamboat obliges, but Rude hides in his corner. Rude gets over but gets atomic dropped and clotheslined. Sting works a rear chinlock and stops to mock Rude’s hip swivel, and it’s back to Steamboat to work on the back some more. The heels (particularly Paul) get all worked up with this, so the babyfaces illegally switch back to Sting again and Paul’s losing his mind. Rude gets his knees up to block a buttdrop to the back, and Austin is back in to ram Sting’s face into the buckle, only for Sting to reverse and make him eat it instead. Austin back elbow gets two, and Rude cheapshots Steamboat to prevent the hot tag.
Austin hits a backdrop suplex and he too stops to cheapshot Steamboat, only this time giving Sting enough time to recuperate and make the hot tag to Steamboat. He runs wild on both with the chops and some double noggin knocker action gets two on Austin. Victory roll follows but the ref’s busy with Sting, allowing Rude to cheapshot Dragon and turn things around. An amazing back elbow even impresses Ventura, and now the Alliance cut the ring in half. Steamboat shows some life but an O’Connor roll is blocked by Austin, but Ricky gets a cradle anyway for two and IT’S BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA. Austin throws Sting off the ramp and gives Steamboat a backbreaker back inside. He goes for another one, but this time Sting climbs the top rope and high crossbodies Austin, with Sting and Steamboat falling on top of Austin for the win at 11:21. Rude jumps Steamboat afterward with two Rude Awakenings while Sting misses a stinger splash on Austin and takes himself out. Paul gives Rude a belt for some good ol’ whippin’ on Steamboat, and even security take a beating. Sting sacrifices himself by covering Steamboat, so he gets a beating too, and the Alliance get booed out of the building on the way out.
- Rating: Smartly worked tag match, with the veteran Steamboat not falling in the Alliance’s traps and making them provoke the younger Sting to let his emotions get the better of him and get the upper hand. It wasn’t anything out of this world, but it was another good match on a show full of them. ***1/4
END OF THE SHOW
Final thoughts: This show completely exceeded my expectations and then some. I don’t know what was up with the wrestling waters in 1992, but so far I’m struggling to find a bad show from that year! Even the matches that looked eh on paper (looking at you, Van Hammer) were suprisingly good, and the four matches that weren’t were squashes that barely lasted ten minutes combined. All the stuff involving the Dangerous Alliance in the main event scene was good, and with them the future sure looked promising for WCW, at least in terms of the quality of their product. 7/10
What did you think of this review? Let me know by using the following feedback form!
Click here to find out eveyrthing about my point system
|Wrestler||Star ratings||Result||Main eventing||Extras||Total|
|Ricky Steamboat||3.25||1||1||+0.5 for winning the fall||5.75|
|Barry Windham||3.75||1||–||+0.5 for winning the fall||5.25|
Marcus A. Bagwell
|3.25||1||–||+0.5 for winning the fall||4.75|
|Steve Austin||3.25||-1||1||-0.5 for losing the fall||2.75|
|Michael Hayes||1||1||–||+1 for winning the fall||2.5|
|Bobby Eaton||3.75||-1||–||-0.5 for losing the fall||2.25|
|Big Van Vader|
Taylor Made Man
|3.25||-1||–||-0.5 for losing the fall||1.75|
|Johnny B. Badd||0.5||1||–||–||1.5|
|Brad Armstrong||1||-1||–||-0.5 for losing the fall||-0.5|
And that’s all for the first Clash of 92. Make sure you don’t miss the upcoming review, from over on the WWF side of things on the last stop before WrestleMania with an edition of SNME. Then it will be WCW’s SuperBrawl coming up, followed by WWF’s WrestleMania VIII. See you all, take care!