Clash of the Champions

WCW Clash Of The Champions XV: Knocksville USA Review (The Final Flare For Flair)

June 12, 1991
Live from Knoxville, TN
Announced attendance: 5.000 (capacity: ca 6.500)
TV rating: 3.9

Hi there everyone, welcome to my review of a very important edition of WCW’s Clash of the Champions. It features the last WCW appearance of Ric Flair in the series (until his 1993 return), where he defends the World title against ‘Beautiful’ Bobby Eaton. On the other hand, a young Steve Austin makes his very first appearance in the series, The Steiners defend the IWGP World Tag Team Championship, Sting battles Nikita Koloff and much more.

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

  • WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Ric Flair [champion since Jan. 11th 1991 – inaugural WCW World Champion, previous NWA World Champion: Sting]
  • WCW United States Heavyweight Champion: Lex Luger [champion since Dec. 16th 1990 – previous champion: Stan Hansen]
  • WCW World TV Champion: Bobby Eaton* [champion since May 19th 1991 – previous champion: Arn Anderson]
  • WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Steiners (Rick & Scott) [champions since Feb. 18th 1991 – previous champions: The Fabulous Freebirds]
  • WCW United States Tag Team Champions: The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin) [champions since May 19th 1991 – the titles were previously vacant – previous champions: The Steiners]
  • WCW World Six Man Tag Team Champions: The Junkyard Dog, Ricky Morton & Tommy Rich* [champions since Feb. 17th 1991 – inaugural champions]

*Steve Austin and The Fabulous Freebirds were technically the champions, but said title changes only aired later that month

Enjoy the review!

IMG credit:

The hosts are Jim Ross & Tony Schiavone

The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes, Jimmy Garvin & Badstreet)(w/ Diamond Dallas Page & Big Daddy Dink) vs. ‘Z-Man’ Tom Zenk & The Young Pistols (Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong)

The babyfaces run wild to start, with Zenk dropkicks and Pistols high crossbodies for everyone. Hayes pounds away on Tracy, but punches the buckle on a charge and once again the babyfaces clean house with a Zenk springboard clothesline on both Hayes & Garvin, and the Freebirds stall. Garvin cheapshots Tracy on a criss cross back in, and Badstreet follows it up by dumping him with a clothesline over the top rope, which isn’t a DQ for reasons. New rule in the series: for every time this rule is conveniently forgotten about = we take a drink. Badstreet proceeds to cheapshot both Steve and Zenk off the apron, before the Freebirds slam Smothers onto the railing over on the other side and by gawd the pier six is on. IT’S BREAKING LOOSE IN KNOXVILLE USA! The Freebirds dump all the babyfaces and celebrate, only to be the victims of three simultaneous slingshot sunset flips for the triple pin at 4:49.

  • Rating: A wild six men tag match to open the show, with the babyfaces showcasing some cool moves and eventually being able to surprise the cocky Freebirds. Nothing crazy here, but the smart choice for the opening contest. **1/4
THE INCREDIBLE OZ(w/ The Wizard) vs. Johnny Rich

Haha, fucking hell. I don’t know how Kevin Nash went from Oz to a multiple time WCW & WWF World Champion, but it’s quite the career upgrade! Nash pounds away and gets a shoulderblock. Clothesline follows, with the jobber taking a flip bump for it and falling right on his head and neck.

IMG credit: WWE

Good lord. Nash doesn’t want the pin yet, hitting a big boot instead. Sideslam, helicopter slam, sayonara Mr. Johnny at 1:29.

  • Rating: Yawn. This whole thing is a disaster. DUD

Meanwhile, PN News is coming to rap at an arena near you. Does Oz come with the package? The amount of ridiculous gimmicks on this show is hilarious.

Danny Spivey vs. Big Josh

We get a slugfest to start, with Josh literally punching nothing but air once, which gets a chuckle out of me. Spivey finally takes over with a clothesline in the corner, but Josh brings him out of the corner with a REALLY rotten belly to belly suplex and he pounds away. However, Spivey catches him with a Japanese armdrag followed by a big boot, but Josh reverses Spivey’s suplex with one of his own. Spivey completely no-sells it and gets back up with a clothesline, though, only to eat a backdrop suplex. Out comes Kevin Sullivan, still with his hair all messed up from the previous match (he was Nash’s manager, The Great Wizard) and he breaks a crutch over Josh’s back. Spivey finishes with a German suplex into a bridge pin at 2:49.

  • Rating: Sloppy in the beginning but it got much better near the end, and it got the point across. 1/2*

And now, the moment I’ve been waiting for. Guess what’s back!! It’s the epic return of…


Anyone but Oz as the number one contender and I riot.

  • WCW World Championship top ten contenders list: 10) Stunning Steve Austin (what?); 9) One Man Gang (in his – African – dreams!); 8) Barry Windham (isn’t #8 just a little bit too low?); 7) Arn Anderson (same goes for him); 6) Sting (if him as champ means more Black Scorpion feuds, keep him away from it!); 5) Nikita Koloff (I see nothing wrong here); 4) Beautiful Bobby Eaton (isn’t he actually #1 since he’s challenging tonight?!?!?!?); 3) El Gigante (HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHA); 2) The Great Muta (he’s great but he’d been mostly gone for the last year or so, #2 is way too high at this point); 1) Lex Luger (certainly one of, if not the, most popular babyfaces on the roster) – the champion is Ric Flair

No Oz on the list????

Just kidding… even though El Gigante being anywhere near that top spot is indeed more than worthy of this GIF!

Meanwhile, Paul E Dangerously hosts the Danger Zone with Missy Hyatt’s boyfriend, 19 year old Jason Hervey, as his guest. Hervey says he has a new house, car and everything, so Paul asks him a brilliant question – if he likes to have everything new, how can he have a girlfriend as used as Hyatt. A pissed off Jason gets in Heyman’s face… geez kid, just because you can’t handle the truth, it doesn’t give you the right to be rude like that. Heyman rightfully defends himself and knocks him out with the phone.

Dustin Rhodes vs. Terrance Taylor(w/ Alexandra York & Mr. Hughes)

A rematch from the PPV here because reasons. Taylor shoves Dustin to start and hides in the corner, but Dustin gets a corner clothesline for two. Taylor bails and goes to the computer already, while JR announces the York Foundation will announce a new member later on this show. Back in, Dustin catches Taylor going for a kick and gets a few atomic drops, only to miss a blind charge in the corner and eat the post. Kneedrop by Taylor gets two. Gutwrench sitout powerbomb gets two. Dustin catches Taylor with a sunset flip and he gets two of his own. They fight over a backslide, which is won by Dustin for two. Dustin makes the comeback with his father’s flip flop & fly and the Bionic elbow. He hits the bulldog, but Mr. Hughes jumps in and causes the DQ at 4:27 instead. Ricky Morton comes in to make the save… but he joins the beatdown and reveals himself as the new member of the York Foundation, Richard Morton. Big Josh cleans house with an axehandle.

  • Rating: Despite the poor finish, this was actually better than their match at SuperBrawl. Dustin didn’t look as green here, and the match was nice and went back and forth while it lasted. Morton as a heel is never a good idea, but he needed something to do with Robert Gibson out injured. *3/4

Johnny B Badd is coming to an arena near you.

Recap of Nikita Koloff getting involved in the World Tag Team Championship match at SuperBrawl.

Sting vs. Nikita Koloff

Sting wastes no time here, sprinting to the ring and going after Nikita immediately, but he eats a back elbow to start. He follows it up with a shoulderblock, and then dumps Sting to the outside where he whips Sting into the railing. Back in, Sting fights back with a piledriver, which Nikita no-sells due to his AWESOME NECK MUSCLES BY GAWD and proceeds to hit Sting with a tombstone piledriver for two. Sting can’t complete a sunset flip and Nikita gets cocky, which allows Sting to get it for two. Nikita stays in control, however, and hits a backbreaker for two. Nikita continues to beat up Sting and adds some choking on the ropes, with Sting showing some life but not being able to make a comeback yet. Nikita dumps Sting and goes to whip Sting into the railing once more, but this time Sting reverses and ends up sending Nikita into it instead. Back in, Sting hits a tombstone piledriver, and this time Nikita doesn’t pop right back up. Sting finally makes the comeback with the crowd going absolutely insane for it, but the Stinger Splash only finds buckle. The Sickle ends up hitting the buckle as well, though, and Sting rolls him up for the win at 9:33.

  • Rating: This was a great fight, with Nikita in control for most of the match to set up Sting’s awesome comeback. It’s good to see Sting being involved in good stuff again. Nikita was a credible antagonist to Sting, which helped. Good job by both guys. ***1/4

PN News does a rap. Lucky us. Allow me to share his “art” with you:

I’m PN News, here to let’cha know
I’m here to bumrush this show
I’m from the streets, not doing crime
That’s why I (something?) all the time
My name is News and I’m on the attack
Check me out later because I’ll be back

Eminem, eat your heart out, homie

Teddy Long & Johnny B Badd interrupt this because Teddy wants to show PN News what up. He clarifies Johnny is the true rap master, and PN’s all like yo back off little man yo whassap witcha man why you dissing me yo I ain’t no big ugly bad boy whatcha problems. This is so bad that it’s actually hilarious! Badd bails and that’s all. What am I watching!?

Loser Of The Fall Leaves WCW – The Horsemen (Arn Anderson & Barry Windham) vs. Flyin’ Brian Pillman & El Gigante

Only the loser of the fall is leaving here. Arn and Pillman slug it out to start, and Pillman gets a backslide for two. Arn goes for a slam but Pillman falls on top for two more, and Arn tags out. Spinning wheel kick on Windham gets two. Windham fakes a pinfall reversal sequence, stopping at the last second and knocking him out with a right hand instead. That was a nice touch. Windham follows it up with a DDT for two. Arn comes back in with a high knee and he goes up, but Pillman dropkicks him to the outside and follows him with a dive. Gigante chokes Arn out, though, and Pillman hits a high crossbody off Gigante’s shoulders on Windham, but Arn stops the count. Pillman turns his attentions to Arn with a powerslam and he goes up, but Windham shoves him off the top and follows with a punt to the head for the pin to end Pillman’s WCW career at 3:08.

  • Rating: For a three minute match, this was as good as you could get. Gigante wrestled a grand total of 00:00 and was limited to doing only Pillman’s cool spot, which was the best thing they could’ve done. For those wondering, Pillman wasn’t going anywhere – this was all apart of the story. **1/4
IWGP World Tag Team Championship – The Steiners (Rick & Scott Steiner)(c) vs. Masahiro Chono & Hiroshi Hase

Scott and Hase start with wrestling reversal sequences, until Scott just goes “enough of this wrestling crap” and just stomps him on his skull. Scott telegraphs a Hase leapfrog but Hase catches him going for a kick, and dumps him with an enziguiri. Hase welcomes Scott back in with a couple of chops, but Scott stunguns him and works the count a few times. Hase bridges out of that and superkicks Scott, which is effective at pissing Scott off and earns Hase a belly to belly with EXTRA MUSTARD. Rick goes for a backdrop but telegraphs it, and Chono blocks by kicking him and BREAKING RICK’S HEAD GEAR IN HALF. Even Haku probably watched this match and went “geez boys maybe you went a bit too far there”! Chono proceeds to kick his brains off twice more until Rick’s all like “fuck off” and bounces off the ropes with the mother of all Steinerlines. The Steiners hit the Steiner Decapitation while the crowd goes absolute apeshit. Hase tags back in and he makes the biggest mistake of his life – trying to German suplex a Steiner. Rick obviously reverses it and sends Hase flying with his own.

Hase cuts him off with a back slam, though, and Chono comes in with a flying shoulderblock. A Chono samoan drop is immediately followed by a Hase flying kneedrop, and Chono turns Rick over into the STF. Meanwhile, Scott suplexes poor Hase right on the floor and goes to break up the STF from the top rope, which he originally botches after slipping off the top rope but he immediately gets back up and covers that up by breaking the hold. They both take each other out with a double clothesline, and tag out at the same time. Scott comes in with a STIFF clothesline on Hase. Was that his tooth flying?! Scott follows it up with the tilt-a-whirl slam, but Hase wants some more. Why would anyone do that? Scott follows it up with the butterfly powerbomb and the belly to belly superplex, but Chono breaks up the pin. Hase actually manages to block a Scott suplex and reverses it into a dragon suplex, but this time Rick breaks up the count and BY GAWD IT’S BREAKING LOOSE IN KNOXVILLE. The Japanese dump Rick and hit Scott with a double clothesline. They go for another one, but Rick trips up Chono while Scott gives Hase the Frankensteiner for the pin to retain the IWGP straps at 8:14. Dick Murdoch & Dick Slater jump the Steiners after the match.

  • Rating: I feel like I need a vacation myself after watching that one. Good grief were these dudes determined to kill each other out there or what?! This match RULED, this was epic. I don’t know who I should feel bad for – Rick who literally got his head gear kicked in half(!!!) or the poor Japanese dudes who just got run over and stiffed by the Steiners afterwards. Another incredible match by the Steiners, who are just so ahead of every other team (especially now that Doom is no more) that it’s almost unfair for all the other tag teams. ***3/4
Tommy Rich vs. The Diamond Studd(w/ Diamond Dallas Page)

Diamond Studd is, of course, Scott Hall, who is making his first in-ring appearance in the series. Studd slugs away in the corner to start, with Rich trying to fight back with a hiptoss, but Studd blocks it and chokeslams him. Studd goes up for a splash that only hits knees, but Rich misses a high crossbody and the Diamond Death Drop (Razor’s Edge) ends things at 1:59.

  • Rating: Short and to the point. 1/2*

Meanwhile, the young winner of WCW’s Sting look alike contest gets to meet the real Sting, with the kid absolutely losing his mind… and then Nikita Koloff comes out and beats up Sting with the chain. He then goes after the kid, who hides behind his mother before going to check on Sting. This was a great little segment.

#1 Contender for the WCW World title at The Great American Bash – Lex Luger vs. The Great Muta

Winner was supposed to wrestle Ric Flair for the title at GAB, but Flair didn’t last until that event, quitting due to creative and payment disputes. Muta spits the MYSTERIOUS GREEN MIST OF DOOM to start. Wrestling reversal sequence on the mat to start, and we get a stalemate. Luger gets a shoulderblock and a Muta chop is no-sold, with Luger hitting a backdrop suplex for two. Powerslam sets up a big elbowdrop, but Muta moves out of the way and Luger takes himself out. Muta backdrops him but eventually walks into the gorilla press slam. Luger misses a clothesline in the corner, but Muta misses the handspring elbow too and goes flying to the outside. A vertical suplex from the apron to the inside is blocked by Muta, who goes for the GREEN MIST OF DEATH, but Luger manages to get his arms up in time and catches a charging Muta with a powerslam for the win and the title shot at 3:43.

  • Rating: It was a criminally short match, but for the time it lasted it was all nonstop back-and-forth action and it was pretty good. **
Stunning Steve Austin(w/ Lady Blossom) vs. Joey Maggs

A baby Steve Austin making his debut appearance on the series! Austin slugs away to start and the stungun does it already at 0:25.

  • Rating: Squash. N/R (no rating)

Meanwhile, The York Foundation announce their newest member, Richard Morton. Robert Gibson comes out to confront his former partner, but eats a piledriver.

Main Event – Two Out of Three Falls Match – WCW World Heavyweight Championship – Ric Flair(c) vs. ‘Beautiful’ Bobby Eaton

Yeah this might rock. The winner goes on to win the WWF Championship at the next year’s Royal Rumble defend against Luger at GAB. The first lockup goes to the corner, with Flair WOOOO’ing Bobby on the clean break. Another one goes to the corner again, and Flair this time slaps him on the clean break, but Bobby slaps him even harder in return. Eaton telegraphs a dropdown and Flair lays in the chops in the corner already, as they get into a slugfest. This time it’s Flair who gets caught on a dropdown, with Eaton predicting it and dropping an elbow on his back. He proceeds to dump Flair with a clothesline over the top, with the DQ rule again being conveniently ignored. TAKE A DRINK! Back in, Flair chops away in the corner, but Eaton chops him even harder and Flair goes down off a Flair flop. Eaton backdrops Flair out of the corner and gets two, while Flair gets on his knees asking for mercy in the corner.

Flair asks for a test of strength, only to cheapshot Eaton, but Bobby hiptosses him and works a short armscissors. Flair rolls over but Eaton holds on to the arm, and then rolls back to the middle of the ring with the hold still locked in. However, Flair manages to make it to the ropes, and Eaton goes after the arm. Flair reverses a hammerlock with a drop toehold, and a chop only earns Flair a massive right hand. Flair runs away and catches Eaton getting back into the ring, taking control and going back to the chops. Flair sends Bobby into the post and the kneedrop gets two. A suplex gets two more. Another chop pisses off Eaton, who fights back and slams Flair off the top rope. Irish whip sets up the Flair flip, as Eaton meets him and knocks him off the apron with a shot. Back in, Bobby goes after the back with a backbreaker, swinging neckbreaker and a powerslam to set up the Alabama Jam for the pin and the first fall.

Flair 0-1 Eaton

Eaton goes right back to work as soon as the second fall begins, pounding away in the corner and following it up with a hiptoss out of the corner. Eaton takes the better of a slugfest, as Flair goes down off another Flair flop. Eaton nearly takes it with a backslide, and then again after landing on top after Flair couldn’t slam him. Swinging neckbreaker sets up yet another Alabama Jam, but Flair gets up and launches himself into the ropes in desperation, causing Eaton to lose his balance and land right on his knee on the floor for the Flair count-out win.

Flair 1-1 Eaton

The third fall starts with Bobby still on the floor, but Flair puts him back in. Eaton turns things around and hits a superplex, but his knee is too hurt to capitalize and it only gets a delayed two. Flair gets a backdrop suplex and he goes for the figure four, but the ref catches him using the ropes for leverage. Flair brings him to the middle and goes for it again, but Eaton blocks it with a cradle for a very close nearfall. However, Flair clips him and this time gets the figure four locked in again. Flair uses the ropes for leverage once more, but this time the ref misses it and counts Eaton’s shoulders down for the final fall at 14:26.

Flair 2-1 Eaton

  • Rating: They were running out of time on the show and thus the match was a bit short, but they still delivered a very good match while working the 2/3 falls stip. A good one for Flair to go out on. ***1/2


Final thoughts: This Clash certainly had some good matches, particularly the insane IWGP tag title match between the Steiners and Hase/Chono, but also Flair vs. Bobby and Sting vs. Koloff. However, apart from that there is not much to see here, just a bunch of TV squash matches that wouldn’t feel out of place on weekly WCW programming. It was nice to see the in-ring debut of future big stars Steve Austin and Scott Hall on the series. If nothing else, this show stands out for being Ric Flair’s final major WCW event before his departure, as he’ll soon shock the wrestling world by appearing over on the WWF with the Big Gold Belt! We’ll be here to look at all those historic moments like always. But anyway, as far as this show goes, it’s right there in the middle. 5/10

For comments and/or feedback, e-mail me at


To know more about my point system click here

WrestlerStar ratingsResultMain-eventingExtrasTotal
Ric Flair3.511+1 for retaining a title
+1 for winning two falls
-0.5 for losing a fall
Scott Steiner3.751+1 for retaining a title
+0.5 for winning a fall
Rick Steiner3.751+1 for retaining a title5.75
Barry Windham2.251+0.5 for winning the fall3.75
Tom Zenk
Tracy Smothers
Steve Armstrong
2.251+0.5 for winning the fall3.75
Arn Anderson2.2513.25
Bobby Eaton3.5-11+0.5 for winning a fall
-1 for losing two falls
Lex Luger213
Masahiro Chono3.75-12.75
Hiroshi Hase3.75-1-0.5 for losing the fall2.25
Nikita Koloff3.25-12.25
Dustin Rhodes1.750.52.25
Danny Spivey
The Diamond Studd
Terrance Taylor1.75-0.51.25
El Gigante2.25-11.25
Stunning Steve Austin11
The Great Muta2-11
Flyin’ Brian2.25-1-0.5 for losing the fall0.75
Michael Hayes
Jimmy Garvin
2.25-1-0.5 for losing the fall0.75
Tommy Rich
Big Josh
Joey Maggs-1-1
Johnny Rich0-1-1

As always, thank you all so much for taking the time to read. We have two PPVs coming up in the series, WCW’s The Great American Bash and WWF’s SummerSlam, so make sure you don’t miss any. Until then, stay safe!