Clash of the Champions Reviews

WCW Clash Of The Champions #21 Review (Watts Happening Here?)

Sting battles Rick Rude in the King of Cable tournament; Barry Windham goes ballistic in the main event. Oh, and Erik Watts makes his Clash debut…

November 18th 1992
Live from Macon, GA (Macon Coliseum)
Announced attendance: ca 7 500 (capacity: ca 9 000)
TV rating: 3.2 (TBS) (down 0.5 from Clash 20’s 3.7)

Hey there good people. Welcome all to my review of the 21st edition of WCW Clash, featuring Sting vs Rick Rude in a semi final of the ‘King of Cable’ tournament and Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes vs Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas for the World Tag Team titles.

Here is the list of champions in WCW heading into this edition:

  • WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Ron Simmons [108th day of his reign] – previous champion: Big Van Vader
  • NWA World Heavyweight Champion: Masahiro Chono [98th day of his reign] – previous champion: Ric Flair, before it was vacated/deactivated
  • WCW United States Heavyweight Champion: Rick Rude [365th day of his reign] – previous champion: Sting
  • WCW World Television Champion: Scott Steiner [50th day of his reign] – previous champion: Ricky Steamboat
  • WCW/NWA Unified World Tag Team Champions: Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes [58th day of their reign] – previous champions: Miracle Violence Connection

Enjoy the review!

IMG credit: WWE &

Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jesse Ventura

A weigh-in between Madusa and Paul E Dangerously for their boxing match later on quickly ends in a scuffle to kickoff the Clash. I personally couldn’t think of any better way to start a show.

Bill Watts and Michael Hayes offer their all-important thoughts on tonight’s proceedings.

Brian Pillman vs Brad Armstrong is scheduled as the first match of the night, but Pillman shows up on crutches and in street clothes and announces he’s badly injured and can’t compete. Much like what happened to Brad at the previous Clash, which took Pillman’s chance to regain the since-defunct Light Heavyweight Championship away. Brad shows up to confront Pillman, and… SIKE! Brian destroys Brad’s leg with the crutches around ringside, before issuing the challenge. Brad accepts anyway, giving us…

Flyin’ Brian Pillman vs. Brad Armstrong

Brian, in street clothes mind you, immediately goes to work on the bad leg. Armstrong manages to turn things around on one good leg somehow, and returns the bitchslap from Clash XX. However, Pillman clips the knee and steals it at 00:25.

  • Rating: Haha, that silly Brian Pillman! Entertaining crap, but more of an angle than a match. N/R

Recap of Paul E firing and abusing Madusa at Halloween Havoc, and getting his ass kicked for it.

Paul E claims in an interview with Michael Hayes that he’s a man and therefore superior. “The only sacrifice women ever make is when they’re 16 years old in their boyfriends’ car.” Oof. This promo would work really well in this day and age, wouldn’t it?

Arn Anderson & Bobby Eaton (w/ Michael Hayes) vs. Kensuke Sasaki & Erik Watts

This series has finally been graced with the debut of the incredible Erik Watts. We’ve made it folks, it just doesn’t get any better than this! Paul E put up a 10,000$ bounty on anyone that beats up Watts. Bobby Eaton has the honor of getting into a wrestling sequence with the great Erik Watts to start, and they exchange a few slaps from there. Bobby applies an abdominal stretch but Watts, ever the master technician, quickly outwrestles Eaton and escapes. He gets dumped, but jumps right back in and totally botches the worst-looking “high crossbody” (or was it a sunset flip?) you will ever see. He takes Eaton down immediately anyway (awkwardly might I add) and pounds away on poor Bobby, who has to stand there and put up with this crap. AA gets tagged in for a face off with Watts, quite possibly the highest point of Arn Anderson’s career. The two lock up briefly but go nowhere, and it’s down to Eaton vs Sasaki. They get into a criss cross sequence that is won by Sasaki with a dropkick, who fires away with some chops in the corner. Anderson pulls Eaton out of the corner away from the charging Sasaki, making him taste some turnbuckle, as then Hayes adds some cheapshots from ringside. Oh look, finally some wrestling. The heels keep cutting the ring in half until Erik comes in to save the day, allowing Sasaki to catch Eaton with a scoop powerslam. Hot tag Watts. He takes Eaton down with a MONKEY FLIP out of the corner before dealing with Anderson all by himself as well. This is truly something. Eaton cuts him off with a cheapshot and goes up, only to get caught by Watts in mid-air. And then… please read this carefully… ERIK WATTS TAPS BOBBY EATON OUT WITH AN STF AT 6:06!!! I hope Bobby’s paycheck was worth it. My time and yours certainly is not, though.

  • Rating: I have never seen anyone whose “moves” looked so awkward. This was the total sh-ts apart from those 30 seconds or so of actual wrestling where Sasaki was worked over in the heel corner. Poor Bobby Eaton literally spent the entire match rolling over for Erik fucking Watts and ended up tapping out to him, because of course he did. It’s almost as if Erik was the son of the booker or something. 1/4*

Johnny B. Badd and Scotty Flamingo comment on their upcoming boxing match. Kevin “Vinnie Vegas” Nash cutting a promo with a fake accent in a pink shirt is something to behold indeed.

Boxing Match – Johnny B. Badd (w/ Theodore Long) vs. Scotty Flamingo (w/ The Vegas Connection)

The story here is that Flamingo used brass knuckles to knock out Johnny in a segment with Jim Ross on a recent episode of WCW Saturday Night. Mero used to be a boxer before wrestling, so he’s the clear favorite here. Johnny unloads with a flurry of jabs to kickoff round 1. Flamingo runs away from him, and sneaks in with a clothesline and a few stomps while Vegas has the referee distracted. Flamingo scores with some jabs himself, until Badd avoids one and knocks Scotty out cold. However, the time for round 1 expires and that ends up saving Flamingo. The seconds get in the ring during the break, and DDP fills Scotty’s glove with water in their corner. Round 2 begins with Johnny still in control, until DDP gets up on the apron and allows Flamingo to hit Badd with the loaded glove for the KO win at 3:01.

  • Rating: This was really dumb on multiple levels, but I get what they were going for and it did draw a bit of heat. Relatively short and inoffensive little undercard “match”. 1/2*

Clips of the battlebowl/lethal lottery concept from the previous year won by Sting to promote the upcoming Starrcade ’92.

Jesse Ventura and Missy Hyatt draw the first match for the “lethal lottery” battlebowl-qualifying tag match at Starrcade: Cactus Jack & Johnny B. Badd vs Danny Spivey & Van Hammer.

WCW Slam Jam Vol. 1 album ad.

Handicap Match – Ron Simmons & 2 Cold Scorpio vs. Cactus Jack, The Barbarian & Tony Atlas

This was supposed to be Ron and Robbie Walker, but the latter got injured by the heels and replaced by the debuting (and still unnamed) 2 Cold Scorpio. This is being called a “Ghetto Odds” match because the heels had been picking on black guys like Walker, and Ron wants to teach them a lesson despite the odds. Yeah. Gary Cappetta announces Scorpio as “The Yet To Be Identified Tag Team Partner”!! Him and Ron run down to the ring and clean house rather quickly, before Scorpio meets the heels with a dive onto the outside as Cactus’ brood bails for a second. They eventually walk back in, but Simmons runs wild with a hiptoss on Barbarian, followed by a dropkick on Atlas and finally a spinebuster on Cactus. The heels bail once more, as Ron brings in “Ron Simmons’ Partner”! Hey, it’s still better than Shorty G. Scorpio pulls off a springboard moonsault but nearly botches it badly after slipping on the top rope, but Cactus goes down anyway and Scorpio gets two. It’s back to Simmons, who raises his elbow to block a blind charge from Foley, before exploding out of the corner with a bulldog. A follow-up dropkick misses though, after Tony pulls Cactus out of the way, and Barb drops an elbow for two. Cactus’ trio proceed to work over Ron in their corner. Barb backdrops him but Cactus goes for the Top Rope Vertical Jump That Always Misses and only finds boot, allowing him to make the hot tag to Ron Simmons’ Partner. Scorpio cleans house on all the heels with high-flying moves, until all three get in and Atlas dumps Scorpio while IT’S BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA. Eventually Ron joins the melee, only to get triple-teamed as well. Atlas holds Ron in a full nelson to set him up for Barb’s big boot, but Ron ducks and Atlas ends up eating the boot himself. Ron takes care of both Barbarian and Cactus, while Ron Simmons’ Partner busts out a freaking 450 shooting star press that takes every single butt off the seats in the crowd, finishing Tony Atlas with it at 5:52.

  • Rating: Decent enough match that did a good job of introducing 2 Cold Scorpio to the program. It was far from being perfect, and it’s kinda unnecessary to have the World Champion involved in this stuff, but it was alright. **1/2

Jesse Ventura interviews the winners immediately after the match, where Ron Simmons’ Partner finally announces his name to the world.

‘The Hottest New Tag Team’ Z-Man & Johnny Gunn walk around a clothing store. They’re coming to an arena near you soon. What the hell was this vignette?

Ravishing Rick Rude is standing by with Tony Schiavone. He’s motivated to give Sting and his fans a trip to hell & back on his way to the King of Cable final. No mention of beating Sting for the US title EXACTLY 365 days earlier? I’m disappointed!

Rundown of the ‘Jesse Ventura Invitational Arm Wrestling’ tournament. Geez, how many tournaments does this company plan on running at the same time, huh?

‘Battle of the Sexes’ 5 Minute Match – Madusa vs. Paul E Dangerously (w/ Michael Hayes)

Paul E apparently knocked Madusa out with the telephone during her entrance, but we totally missed it because Madusa’s tale of the tape was on the screen. We come back to find her laying on the floor while Paul and Hayes trashtalk her, but Paul ends up with a wig in his hand and finds out it’s jobber Mike Thor in there instead. Oooh foreshadowing, Vince Russo was probably taking notes at this time. Madusa finally appears behind Paul’s back, and kicks the f-ck out of him. Powerslam by Madusa and she slugs away, as even Hayes gets kicked for his troubles while Paul E gets outta town as soon as possible. Madusa drags him back to the ring with 2 minutes left on the clock, but Hayes trips Madusa and Paul taunts like Hulk Hogan. LUCHA HEYMAN goes up for a flying double axehandle(!), but Madusa no-sells it and clotheslines him. She drops some knees and follows it up with a missile dropkick, but stops to humiliate Paul by taking his clothes off. Paul E takes a walk to the back as the 5:00 time expires, and Madusa stands tall with Paul E’s trousers in her possession.

  • Rating: Utter sports-entertainment ‘match’ which is everyone was expecting. I would’ve preferred to see Heyman eat a kick in the teeth and get pinned within seconds after verbally humiliating Madusa for the past month or so, especially given he was on his way out of WCW and about to introduce ECW to the wrestling world, but it is what it is. 1/2*

Recap of the first round matches of the King of Cable: Rick Rude over Barry Windham; Sting eliminated Flyin’ Brian Pillman; Vader defeated Tony Atlas; Dustin Rhodes eliminated Barbarian. The first semi-final (Sting-Rude) takes place later tonight, while the other (Vader-Rhodes) is scheduled for the upcoming episode of WCW Saturday Night. The final goes down at Starrcade.

Big Van Vader has no doubt he’ll win the King of Cable tournament, the only question is who will he have to put in the hospital on his way there? This man rules.

King of Cable Semi Final – Rick Rude vs. Sting

Ole Anderson, Hiro Matsuda and Larry Zbyszko are at ringside to decide the winner in case this ends in a draw. Which totally doesn’t give away the finish of this match. Rude wastes no time in raking the eyes as he goes to work early on. However, he swivels already, allowing Sting to fight back with a couple of gutbusters as he goes after the RAVISHING ABS. And Sting has the audacity of doing the swivel himself, before going back to work on the midsection. Inverted suplex drops Rude on his abdomen. And another one. Where is Gorilla Monsoon for BREAD BASKET references when you need him!? Sting works a camel clutch to further punish the midsection, and switches to an abdominal stretch from there. Rude escapes the hold with a hiptoss, before finally turning things around with an eye rake. Rude pounds away on the back to set Sting up for the Rude Awakening, but Sting blocks a suplex and drops Rude’s ribs on the top rope. Sting suspends Rude on the ropes and punts Rude’s abs as if he’s Ronaldo and Rude’s abs are the ball, but the Stinger Splash misses on the outside and Sting knocks himself onto the railing. Back in, Rude drops a flying clubbing blow from the top and gets two. Powerslam by Rude, as now it’s Rude applying a camel clutch. Rude stops to swivel, but he’s too hurt and can’t complete it. I always liked that small touch. And Rude goes back to the camel clutch and pounding on the back. Vertical suplex gets two. Rude hits the chinlock but he misses a buttdrop to Sting’s back, and Sting goes for the comeback. Sting goes for a powerslam but his back gives out, and Rude lands on top of him for two.

This allows Rude to get back in the driver seat, working the count a few times to force Sting to put force on his back on the kickouts. Very smart wrestling. Rude works a bearhug with 5 minutes left to go on the time limit. Sting tries to escape that predicament, only for Rude to wham Sting’s back into the turnbuckle a couple of times and going back to the bearhug. Sting finally escapes with 3 minutes on the clock, and catches a charging Rude with a sleeper. We’re clearly in that time-killing stage to reach the time limit. Rude escapes the sleeper nicely with a jawbreaker, planting Sting’s face on the mat and even blowing a snot right on Sting’s face. Urgh! Rude goes up top but Sting slams him off and finally makes the comeback with 1:30 left. Atomic drop (featuring the unique Rude selljob) is followed by a bulldog, as now it’s Sting climbing to the top rope. High crossbody gets a nearfall. Sting goes up yet again, but Rude punches him in the gut in midair. Rude sets up for the Rude Awakening, but Sting powers out of it with 10 seconds to go. Stinger Splash connects and he tries to go for the Scorpion Deathlock, but the 20:00 time limit expires. Each judge gives Gary Cappetta their final decision, which goes as follows: Matsuda for Sting, Zbyszko for Rude, and Ole Anderson for Sting to put him in the final at Starrcade.

  • Rating: Finally a great wrestling match on this rather subpar Clash. The psychology was great from both men, with both targeting a body part to set up for their respective finishing moves in a lovely touch. Rick Rude’s selling was impeccable as usual. It dragged a bit towards the end as they were clearly extending it to reach the time limit, but it was otherwise a really strong match. ***1/2

Main Event

WCW/NWA Unified World Tag Team Championship – Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes vs. Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas

Douglas and Rhodes to start. Lockup and Douglas counters a Rhodes backdrop into a cradle for two. Dustin responds with a backslide for two and they reach a stalemate. Douglas takes him down to the mat for a side headlock, reversed by Dustin into a hammerlock and Douglas makes the ropes. Dustin gives him a clean break, prompting Jesse to predict some cheating later on. They exchange some clean armdrags and trade a few nearfalls before colliding on a double dropkick for a double down. Steamboat and Windham both get tagged in at the same time, and their fight spills to the floor for a small moment of tension amongst both teams. Back in, Ricky atomic drops Barry and scores with an armdrag to take over. Double back elbow alongside Douglas gets two. Exchange of quick tags back-and-forth by the challengers. Shane blocks a suplex attempt by Windham, hitting one of his own for two. Barry misses a blind charge and eats the buckle, as Steamboat comes in with a savate kick to the gut for two. Double backdrop by Steamboat & Douglas gives the latter two. Shane Douglas goes to work with an armbar, but he ends up missing a crossbody and necksnapping himself on the top rope. Dustin Rhodes gets back in and gets two. Now it’s the champions pulling off the double-team moves, with a double dropkick giving Windham two. Barry’s suplex into a Dustin elbowdrop combo gets two. Shane Douglas with a sunset flip for two.

Rhodes wrestles Douglas down into a hammerlock, even getting a few nearfalls from it. Windham with a chop for two. Double clothesline gives Dustin two more. Dustin goes to work on Shane with a chinlock, while Steamboat begs for the hot tag over in his corner. Douglas manages to escape the chinlock and hit a quick crossbody for two, only to get caught over in the wrong corner and double-teamed yet again. Windham hits a massive delayed backdrop suplex for two. He follows it up with a lariat for another nearfall. Rhodes goes back to working over Douglas’ arm, who escapes and hits a springboard crossbody for two. Shane blocks a dropkick and brings in Steamboat for the battle of the former tag team champions. Steamboat runs wild with a couple of shoulderblocks and crossbodies for a number of two-counts, until Dustin eventually hiptosses him and dropkicks him for two. Inside cradle gets two. Running shoulderblock gets two. An awesome criss cross sequence follows, with Steamboat dropping down more times than usual to try to take his former partner off his game, and then Dustin accidentally headbutts Steamboat in the groin on a leapfrog attempt. Rhodes seems worried and refuses to go for the cover, which gets Windham FURIOUS on the apron. They get into a heated discussion in their corner, and Windham literally tags himself in and elbowdrops Steamboat for two. Barry follows it up with an atomic drop like an absolute dick (no pun intended), which Rhodes does not agree with. Steamboat is selling the f-ck out of this angle. Windham hits him with a second atomic drop followed by another lariat, but Dustin himself breaks up the pin. Windham bitchslaps his own partner and Dustin unloads on him, leaving Windham open to take Shane Douglas’ belly-to-belly for the pin and the titles at 15:52.

Dustin Rhodes checks on the Dragon after the bell, before abandoning Windham alone in the ring. Barry begs him to return to the ring for a talk, and Windham beats the crap out of him with a DDT. Even the referee takes a shot from the crazed Windham. He finally adds the superplex on Rhodes as an exclamation point.

  • Rating: This was some great pro wrestling. The action was good, but the multiple stories being told throughout this match was done beyond perfectly. Ricky and Dustin knowing each other’s arsenal well, Windham going ballistic and just being a dickhead after Dustin’s accidental low blow and show of fair play. This match was constructed very well, and the execution was great. Steamboat’s amazing selling took it to another level, making Windham look even more like a heel and justifying Dustin’s worries about his condition. A real sleeper right here, watch it if you’ve never seen it. ****

Steamboat & Douglas get interviewed in the dressing room, but Barry Windham runs in with a chair and destroys them as well to cement his heel turn.


Final thoughts: After such a horrible undercard, I never thought this show could ever be saved. But guess what, it was. The final two matches are really good and could have easily been on any PPV. Watch just these two matches, honestly, and maybe 2 Cold Scorpio’s debut if you’re having a good day. There’s no need to talk about this godawful undercard. Erik Watts, pffft. 5/10


Find out more about our point system here

Thank you very much for your time. Don’t miss the upcoming review of WWF Survivor Series and WCW Starrcade as we get close to the end of 1992. Have a great summer people, see you soon!


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