September 2nd 1992
Live from Atlanta, GA (Atlanta Stage Theater)
Announced attendance: ca 500 (capacity: ca 1 050)
TV rating: 3.7 (TBS)
Welcome everyone to my review of the 20th edition of WCW Clash of the Champions. In the midst of all the cameos from legends of the past 20 years of wrestling on TBS, including André the Giant’s last televised appearance, Cactus Jack challenges newly-crowned WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ron Simmons.
Here is the list of champions in WCW/NWA heading into this Clash:
- WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Ron Simmons [31st day of his reign] – previous champion: Big Van Vader
- NWA World Heavyweight Champion: Masahiro Chono [21st day of his reign] – previous champion: Ric Flair, before it was vacated/deactivated
- WCW United States Heavyweight Champion: Rick Rude [288th day of his reign] – previous champion: Sting
- WCW World Television Champion: Steve Austin [102nd day of his reign] – previous champion: Barry Windham
- WCW Light Heavyweight Champion: Brad Armstrong [59th day of his reign] – previous champion: Scotty Flamingo
- WCW World Tag Team Champions: Miracle Violence Connection (Dr. Death Steve Williams & Barry Gordy) [59th day of their reign] – previous champions: The Steiners
- NWA World Tag Team Champions: Miracle Violence Connection (Dr. Death Steve Williams & Terry Gordy) [52nd day of their reign] – inaugural champions
Enjoy the review!
Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jesse “The Body” Ventura
We start off the show with an animation taking a look back at the past 20 years of wrestling on TBS.
In order: Cowboy Bill Watts, Georgia Championship Wrestling, Dusty Rhodes, World Championship Wrestling w/ Gordon Solie, King Kong Bundy, The Spoiler and then-WWF Champion Ric Flair (I’m sure Vince appreciated the free publicity).
Tony Schiavone & Missy Hyatt are outside the arena for our first cameos of the night.
Gordon Solie and André the Giant are the first to speak.
Ron Simmons arrives with his wife and addresses tonight’s title defense against Cactus Jack.
Next up, a limo arrives. It’s Bill Watts and his wife, baseball player Hammerin’ Hank Aaron, TBS & WCW Executive Bill Shaw and his wife.
Another one arrives immediately afterwards – this one with promoter Jim Barnett, WCW’s Executive VP Bob Dhue, and the legendary former champion Bruno Sammartino. Bruno says he’s excited to be back in an organization that actually promotes wrestling!
Finally, someone pops up in a Harley Davidson as the crowd gets louder. It’s Sting!
Tony and Missy throw it to Teddy Long, who’s inside the building with Atlanta City Councilman Robb Pitts. He declares September 2nd 1992 as World Championship Wrestling Day in Atlanta. Sure, why not.
Dusty Rhodes is ready to get funky like a monkey live and in color from downtown in Atlanta because he’s too sweet to be sour!
It’s finally down to JR & Jesse, who rundown tonight’s events – apparently fans get to vote for the top rope rule to continue or not – before throwing it to the ring for our first match.
WCW World Television Championship – No DQ Match with Paul E Dangerously locked in a cage suspended above the ring – Steve Austin(c) vs. Ricky Steamboat
But not before an 11-year-old from Tulsa, accompanied to the ring by Johnny B Badd, gets to sing the American national anthem while Austin and Steamboat stand there watching. That’s … something. Nice way to earn a paycheck, Mero!
Now we can FINALLY start.
Steamboat’s ribs are taped from the injury suffered in the NWA Tag Team title tournament. We start off with basics as Austin immediately goes to work on the taped ribs, while Steamboat tries to fight back using chops. Austin fights out of a headlock, into a criss cross, with Steamboat sliding between Austin’s legs and going right back to the headlock. Austin blocks a backdrop attempt, however, turning it into a hiptoss. Elbowdrop follows, but Austin stops to point to his head and allows Steamboat to go back to the headlock. Rule #1 of wrestling: never point to your head, it always works against you. Austin makes it up by going after the hair to escape the hold. Steamboat goes up but Austin meets him there with a shot to the ribs, before shooting him off the top with a belly-to-belly of sorts. Austin takes off the tape and hits a sequence of backbreakers for a few two counts. Ricky goes for a powerslam but his ribs give out and Austin clotheslines him. Austin works an abdominal stretch with extra sauce, in the form of a little elbow-squeezing action on Ricky’s ribs. Dragon makes the comeback and hits a high crossbody, but Austin rolls through for two and nearly steals it.
Steamboat ducks a dropkick from Austin, catapulting him into into the buckle for two off a roll-up. Austin takes him down and gets two with his feet on the ropes. Steamboat sets him up for a tombstone piledriver that kickstarts a tombstone reversal sequence, won by Steamboat for a close nearfall. They go up for yet another slugfest up top, this one won by Ricky, only for Austin to catch Steamboat with a shot to the ribs in mid-air. Austin misses a chop and Ricky gets a flying shoulderblock for two. Steamboat gets dumped and skins the cat back in, only to eat a running back elbow that sends him flying to the floor for good. Steamboat hides under the ring, however, and when Austin goes looking after him on the outside, Steamboat pops up on the other side, catching Austin by surprise with a high crossbody to win the title at 10:43.
- Rating: Very good opener with good psychology, good selling and a fantastic finish. Though Heyman not playing a bigger part was surprising, and kind of a waste of the stipulation. We all know he could’ve sold it brilliantly. These two would have much better matches down the road, particularly over the US Title in their 1994 feud, but this was still pretty good. ***1/4
We come back to JR & Jesse reliving some of the best tag teams of the past 20 years – Dusty & Ole, The Assassins, The Briscoes, The Freebirds, Road Warriors, Rock ‘n’ Roll Express
“Spin the wheel, make the deal” ad for Halloween Havoc ’92
Michael Hayes presents his new team. He picked a member of the three teams that ruled the ’80s – himself (Freebirds), Arn Anderson (Horsemen) and Bobby Eaton (Midnight Express) – and together they’ll rule the ’90s.
Arn Anderson & Bobby Eaton(w/ Michael Hayes) vs. Greg Valentine & Dick Slater
A rare all-heels match. It quickly starts with a pier six brawl, with Arn & Eaton using cheapshots and bailing early on. Dick Slater takes control with a neckbreaker followed by a russian legsweep for two, using the ropes for leverage right in front of the ref. Arn comes in and works the arm to take over, but Hammer gets the blind tag and rams AA into the buckle. Eaton comes in and returns the favor by ramming Greg’s head into the buckle as well, but then Slater returns the illegal double-teaming from earlier to cause another pier six on the floor. And Eaton literally chops the skin out of Slater’s chest on the outside. Holy moses! Bobby proceeds to break up Greg’s figure four on Arn back inside, opening the door for AA to finish with the spinebuster, but now Slater runs in to break up the pin. And once again IT’S BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA! The ref loses all control and Larry Zbyszko runs in to attack his former Dangerous Alliance teammates with the cast, but Arn ducks and he knocks out Valentine instead. Eaton adds the exclamation point with a quick (and illegal) Alabama Jam on Valentine while the ref’s still busy with Slater, and Anderson gets the win at 5:42.
- Rating: I came into this one expecting nothing more than an easy win to establish the new trio, no different than a WCW Saturday Night / Power Hour squash. It turned out to be a really entertaining little match. The four heels trying to out-heel each other at every cost made for a weird yet extremely fun dynamic! **1/2
Next throwback clip: Jim Cornette cutting a promo on the Rock ‘n’ Roll.
JR interviews Bruno Sammartino. He puts over Austin/Steamboat from earlier and hypes up the upcoming Simmons/Cactus World Title match. He’s proud to be involved with a wrestling company again because “what the other league has been doing for the past ten years is a total embarrassment”. Yikes. Also, he’ll be at Halloween Havoc.
We cut to Teddy Long again, who’s still in the back with André and Solie. Teddy interviews a bunch of hosts, including Bob Armstrong.
Mr. Wrestling II leaves a short message to the fans via satellite, unable to be physically present.
Ted Turner is proud to feature wrestling on TBS. Sure, captain.
Throwback clip: The Road Warriors promoting the channel back in the day.
Meanwhile, Bill Watts announces Brad Armstrong is still injured and thus, vacates the Light Heavyweight Title. He announces a tournament to crown the new champion, which never happened as the title was quietly retired.
Brad Armstrong comes out to address his injury. He’s interrupted by his scheduled challenger for the evening, Brian Pillman. Brian snaps and ultimately bitchslaps Brad, turning heel.
Throwback clip: Flair-Piper in GCW.
Now some of the best single stars of the past 20 years on TBS – Dusty Rhodes, Stan Hansen, Ron Garvin, Tony Atlas, Magnum TA, Buzz Sawyer, Mr. Wrestling II, The Great Kabuki, Ted DiBiase, Cowboy Bill Watts, Wahoo McDaniel, The Masked Superstar, Jimmy Valiant, King Kong Bundy, The Spoiler, Tully Blanchard, Ric Flair, Terry Funk, Tommy Rich, Roddy Piper
Another “spin the wheel, make the deal” video ad for Halloween Havoc
Throwback clip: special referee Earnie Shavers gets in Flair’s face.
We take an extended look at Ron Simmons’ career, of course culminating with his World Championship win over Vader the prior month.
WCW World Heavyweight Championship – Ron Simmons(c) vs. Cactus Jack
Simmons wastes no time early on and fires away with a shoulderblock for two. Ron overpowers Foley and takes control with a headlock, but Cactus escapes with a running headbutt. Cactus dumps Simmons to set him up for the Cactus Elbow, only for Ron to get up on his feet and dare Foley to jump, who thinks better about it. Back in, Cactus chokes and bites away to provoke a slugfest. Ron gets the better of it, until Foley cheapshots him and dumps him with the Cactus Clothesline. He follows it up with the Cactus Elbow but misses the double-arm DDT back inside, hitting a trio of short clotheslines instead for two. Jack works a chinlock until Ron escapes and runs wild with a series of headbutts. Ron goes up for a flying faceplant that gets two. Cactus avoids the powerslam, only to eat a flying shoulderblock. And Ron gives him another one for fun. It gets two. Simmons hits a delayed backdrop of sorts followed by a clothesline, but he’s again tossed to the floor by Cactus, who slams him out on the floor. He drops a second Cactus Elbow outside, but Ron does a half-assed selljob and immediately pops up with a spinebuster back in the ring. Uh, really? And then he just finishes with the powerslam at 8:51.
- Rating: While not necessarily bad, it definitely could’ve been a lot better given who’s involved. Foley’s crazy elbow had always been sold as this highly dangerous move against all kinds of top guys (Sting, for example), and seeing it get no-sold here – the second of the night, no less – made for a really awkward and abrupt ending. **
JR & Jesse recap Masahiro Chono beating Rick Rude in Japan to reinstate the NWA World Heavyweight Title.
Rick Rude challenges Chono for a second round, this time in the United States.
Once again, the “spin the wheel make the deal” video.
Cactus Jack says he’s never been more hurt but he’s never been happier. While he was unsuccessful, he found Ron’s weaknesses. He introduces The Barbarian and Ron’s former “Doom” partner Butch Reed to continue the chase. Which takes us to…
The Barbarian & Butch Reed vs. Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes
Cactus Jack joins us on commentary for this one. Barb no-sells a couple of Dustin’s shoulderblocks to start, until eventually Windham joins for some double-teaming. Barry with an O’Connor roll on Barb for two. Dustin takes over on Reed, but misses a blind charge and eats post. Barb & Reed take control with a double clothesline on Rhodes. The Barbarian chokes away on the ropes before cutting the ring in half to prevent the tag. Swinging neckbreaker by Butch gets two. Dustin finally manages to get a few shots in, but Reed rakes the eyes while Barbarian has the ref distracted. Barbarian with a powerslam into an elbowdrop for two. Dustin manages to backdrop his way out of a Butch Reed piledriver, and they clothesline each other for a double KO spot. Windham finally gets the hot tag and he runs wild. Dropkcik to Barbarian, clothesline to Reed, lariat to Barbarian. He’s a house of fire BY GAWD! Windham finishes Barb with the superplex but stops to go after Reed. Dustin joins him as they take Reed out with a double dropkick, but this gives Barbarian enough time to catch Windham with the big boot at 8:13.
- Rating: A fine tag match to establish Cactus’ new stable. It goint the point across well enough. **
Recap of the multiple stories intertwined in tonight’s main event: Vader injuring Sting in the spring; Vader winning the WCW Title from Sting at GAB; the debuting Jake Roberts attacking Sting and costing his title rematch to start their feud; Nikita Koloff and Rick Rude’s feud over the US Title
Eight Men Elimination Tag Team Match – Big Van Vader, Jake Roberts, Rick Rude & The Super Invader(w/ Harley Race & Madusa) vs. Sting, Nikita Koloff & The Steiners (Rick & Scott)
Vader and Rick exchange some bombs to start. Rick actually gets the better of that at first, only to eat a massive clothesline. Vader squashes Rick with an avalanche in the corner, following it up with another clothesline. Rick comes back with a belly to belly, and Vader bails. But then Super Invader gets tagged in, before this gets fun or something. Invader works a HERCULEAN chinlock on Koloff, but they can’t shoulderblock each other and we reach a stalemate. Koloff finally manages to hit a couple of shoulderblocks and hits a crossbody for two. Rude comes in against his challenger, but Koloff quickly turns things around and brings in Scott. Steiner continues the work on Rude’s arm that Koloff began, but Rude manages to overpower Scott and tags Invader back in. He slugs away on Scott for a while, but ends up eating a Tiger Driver and a belly to belly. Steiner sets him up for the Frankensteiner, but Rude makes the blind tag and the heels take over using quick tags. Vader smashes Scott with a few rugged elbows in the corner. Rude follows it up with a clothesline. However, he stops for some hip-swiveling action, earning him a tilt-a-whirl slam from Scott. Hot tag Nikita who runs wild on Roberts, before cleaning house on all the heels. Rude catches him with a knee to the gut from the apron, though, and Roberts rolls him up at 7:26.
- Nikita Koloff eliminated (by Jake Roberts)
Sting wastes no time after the elimination with a backdrop on Invader. Powerslam sets up an elbowdrop, and a bulldog evens things up at 7:52.
- The Super Invader eliminated (by Sting)
Rick Steiner takes Vader down with a Steinerline, before taking him down with a german suplex. Rick gets too excited and goes up to the top, though, getting caught by Vader with a powerslam. Chokeslam sets up the flying splash, but Rick kicks out at two. Rude comes in to work a headlock, and Roberts distracts the ref making him miss ahot tag to Sting. This allows Vader to powerslam Rick as now he goes up, with Rick powerslamming the big man down! Rick SOMEHOW gets Vader on his shoulders for a Steiner Device alongside Scott… who gets DQ’d because of the top rope rule at 11:24. F***ing really??
- Scott Steiner eliminated
Rick dumps Vader with a Steinerline. However, Rick Rude jumps in with a Rude Awakening to Steiner on the concrete, who gets counted-out at 12:19.
- Rick Steiner eliminated
It’s down to Sting alone against Vader, Roberts and Rude. Vader misses a buttdrop splash on Sting, who then faceplants Roberts. Sting manages to hit a quick Stinger Splash and he quickly goes for the Scorpion Deathlock, but Rude breaks it up with a clothesline from the apron. Sting makes his big comeback, though, and a bulldog on Rude gets two. Slingshot suplex while Vader is going up, who ends up splashing both Sting and Rude for another dumb DQ at 15:13.
- Big Van Vader eliminated
Roberts pulls Rude to their corner while the ref’s still busy with Vader. Jake gets the easy tag and the DDT is academic at 15:57.
- Sting eliminated (by Jake Roberts)
Winning team: Vader, Roberts, Rude & Invader
Survivors: Roberts & Rude
- Rating: While it felt rushed at times and many of the eliminations were nonsensical (especially that stupid top rope rule), this was good at times. I particularly liked the interactions between Vader and Rick Steiner, who was unquestionably the MVP of this match. The finish perfectly fit Jake’s gimmick, while also continuing to put Vader’s stuff over as deadly. Nothing memorable but still a good little main event here. ***
JR reveals the voting results: 88% of the fans want the top rope rule gone. How shocking.
Next Saturday on WCW Saturday Night: Steiners vs. Eaton & Arn.
The promo package for Sting vs. Roberts at Halloween Havoc airs one final time.
END OF THE SHOW
Final thoughts: While there’s nothing outstanding here, it’s definitely not a bad show either. The cameos and the throwback videos give this show a special vibe, and things were developed here. Particularly the debut of two new stables. Steamboat vs. Austin is the best match of the bunch, but there’s more to see here. Overall, I’d say it’s a slightly recommended show that has its moments. 6/10
|Wrestler||Result||Star rating||Main eventing||Extras||Total|
|Ricky Steamboat||1||3.25||–||+2 for winning a title||6.25|
|Jake Roberts||1||3||1||+1 for two eliminations||6|
|Arn Anderson||1||2.5||–||+0.5 for earning the fall||4|
|Ron Simmons||1||2||–||+1 for retaining a title||4|
|Sting||3||1||+0.5 for an elimination|
-0.5 for being eliminated
|Big Van Vader|
The Super Invader
|0.5||3||1||-0.5 for being eliminated||4|
|3||1||-0.5 for being eliminated||3.5|
|The Barbarian||1||2||–||+0.5 for earning the fall||3.5|
|Greg Valentine||-1||2.5||–||-0.5 for losing the fall||1|
|Barry Windham||-1||2||–||-0.5 for losing the fall||0.5|
|Steve Austin||3.25||-1||–||-2 for losing a title||0.25|
Thank you for reading. Make sure you don’t miss the upcoming reviews, including WCW’s Halloween Havoc and WWF’s Survivor Series. See you next time!
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