Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net, starting today. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Clash of the Champions XVII
Date: November 19, 1991
Location: Savannah Civic Center, Savannah, Georgia
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross
Things are starting to take shape for WCW and a lot of them are going to come together tonight. Sting is clearly the top star in the company and will be back in the title scene soon but he has a few things to take care of first. Speaking of the title, Luger is defending it tonight against Rick Steiner. Let’s get to it.
The announcer runs down the card for tonight.
Missy Hyatt is very excited about interviewing Marcus Alexander Bagwell later tonight.
Big Josh vs. Thomas Rich
This is a lumberjack match, meaning there are wrestlers around the ring that have to throw either wrestler back inside should they leave the ring. Rich trained Josh to wrestle but then turned on him to give us a story. Thomas jumps him to start and gets Josh tangled in his flannel shirt. Some of the lumberjacks include the now good Freebirds, the Patriots and other members of the York Foundation. Josh comes back with an atomic drop and some stomping on the ribs called the Log Roll.
Thomas is sent to the floor and the Foundation and Young Pistols get him back inside. Now it’s Josh thrown to the floor where the Pistols getting in some cheap shots as well. Back in and Rich hammers away but goes up top and gets slammed back down. A snap suplex gets two for Josh but Rich comes back with some right hands. He hits the ropes though and Terrance Taylor accidentally trips up his buddy, allowing Josh to hit his Northern Exposure seated senton for the pin.
Rating: D+. The gimmick didn’t need to be there as the interference could have happened in a regular match with another member of the Foundation at ringside. The group never quite lived up to what WCW hoped for out of it and would be disbanded before the next edition of the Clash.
Firebreaker Chip vs. Bobby Eaton
Chip takes him down with a headlock to start before going to the top and jumping over Eaton. He landed a bit awkwardly but still runs over to the opposite corner and getting a cross body for two. Back to the headlock from Chip but Eaton tries to throw him over the ropes. Chip hangs on and gets to the top for an awkward looking clothesline and another two count.
The Firebreaker puts on a hammerlock as the match slows way down. Eaton finally comes out of the corner with a clothesline and gets two of his own off a backbreaker. In a very sudden ending, Eaton rams him into the buckle and grabs a bridging belly to back suplex for the pin.
Rating: D. Eaton was trying here but he needed more to work with. It was clear that Chip just didn’t have much skill in the ring but he was strong and had a good look so you have to give him a chance in wrestling. The fans weren’t pleased here and it’s a bad sign when someone can’t even do basic stuff like a clothesline correctly.
Ad for Starrcade 1991 and the Lethal Lottery, which saw forty men in ten tag team matches. The teams were drawn at random and the winners would move on to a double ring battle royal to end the show.
Here’s Sting to receive his final gift box and find out who has been sending them. A group of about twelve muscular men bring a carriage with curtains down the ramp. The men leave and Madusa (evil female manager who debuted right around the same time Rude did) comes out to seduce Sting. The distraction lets Lex Luger sneak out of the carriage to attack Sting’s knee and reveal himself as the real mastermind. Sting’s knee is destroyed before any of his friends can show up for the save.
Diamond Studd vs. Z-Man
This is joined immediately after we return from the break and the match is put in a small picture in the corner of the screen as we see Sting being loaded into an ambulance. Z-Man speeds things up to start and sends Studd’s shoulder into the post, only to be sent face first into the buckle. We come back to a full screen for the match to see Z-Man pin the Studd with a crucifix. The match was less than 90 seconds long.
The Studd lays out Z-Man with the Diamond Death Drop post match.
TV Title: P.N. News vs. Steve Austin
Austin is defending of course and jumps the 400lb challenger, only to be choked down to the mat. A big running splash in the corner has Austin in trouble and an elbow drop sends Austin outside. Back in and Austin tries a slam for some reason and actually gets News up, only to have the big man fall on top for two.
A suplex gets two for Austin and he tries to leave, only to have News throw him from the ramp into the ring. Back inside and News gets two more off a belly to belly suplex but Lady Blossom puts Austin’s foot on the rope. News goes after her and Austin DIVES over the top to send News into the barricade, allowing him to get a quick rollup back inside to retain the title.
Rating: C-. I can’t believe I’m saying this but the match wasn’t too bad. News wasn’t much to see at all and had almost no skills but Austin proved he was a miracle worker here by dragging a decent match out of him. These two would feud for the title for a few months but News never took the title.
Missy Hyatt gets her big moment by interviewing Marcus Bagwell who is 21 years old here, thrilling Missy even more. We see some clips of his training and Missy is annoyed that he doesn’t ask her for a date.
2. Rick Steiner
3. Steve Austin
4. Ron Simmons
5. Dustin Rhodes
6. Barry Windham
7. Cactus Jack
8. Bill Kazmaier
9. Bobby Eaton
10. Big Van Vader
Cactus Jack vs. Van Hammer
Hammer makes the mistake of turning his back on Cactus and getting knocked into the corner. Cactus screams a lot but gets caught in a belly to back suplex and knocked through the ropes to the floor. Hammer rams him into the barricade and takes him back inside for a slam and a two count. Jack comes back with a faceplant and the Cactus Clothesline (named for him as he hits a running clothesline to knock both he and his opponent over the top and out to the floor) to put Hammer on the floor.
An elbow off the middle rope to the floor has Hammer in even more trouble but he wins a brief slugout back inside. Hammer clotheslines him in the back of the head and there’s the top rope knee drop for a very close two. They ram heads and Jack falls outside where he grabs Hammer’s guitar and drives it into Hammer’s throat for the pin.
Rating: C+. It was short but the fans were into this. Hammer didn’t have a ton of skill in the ring but he was big, strong and charismatic, which was the perfect opposite for the deranged and bizarre Cactus Jack. These two would have a rematch next time to continue showing their strange chemistry.
Jack stays on Hammer but gets caught in a slingshot suplex on the ramp for his troubles and they fight to the back.
Eric Bischoff is at the hospital (no camera of course as this was likely taped earlier in the day) to check on Sting and thinks it’s not as severe as they thought it might be.
We look at the Enforcers slamming Barry Windham’s hand in a car door at Halloween Havoc. Barry tried to keep wrestling for a few weeks but it just wasn’t going to happen. Windham’s partner Dustin Rhodes needed a replacement and he’s got a mystery partner tonight.
World Tag Team Titles: Enforcers vs. Dustin Rhodes/???
Anderson and Zbyszko are defending. Dustin comes out with Barry but Windham is in street clothes. Barry says he can’t wrestle tonight (that was announced earlier) but introduces the partner. The partner comes out in a black robe and a huge dragon mask over his face. Dustin goes over and pulls the mask off to reveal……RICKY STEAMBOAT. The Enforcers go insane and refuse to hand the belts over to the referee. Anderson to Zbyszko: “HE’S JUST A MAN!”
Steamboat and Anderson get things going but everything quickly breaks down with all four guys heading outside. Zbyzsko is sent into the barricade and the Enforcers go back inside, only to be dropkicked right back to the floor as the challengers stand tall. Things settle down with Ricky grabbing a headlock before dragging it over to the corner for a tag to Rhodes. The challengers start some fast tagging to work on Larry’s arm with Dustin cranking on an armbar.
Arn finally fights back and takes Rhodes into the corner and stomping away to take over. Dustin charges into a knee in the corner and Arn is actually able to hit his top rope forearm to the back (which usually has as good of a track record as Flair coming off the top). Rhodes gets a boot up in the corner and drops Anderson to the floor with an elbow to the head. Back in and it’s off to Larry who talks a lot of trash and wants the Dragon.
Steamboat is just fine with that and scores with some martial arts but Larry slaps him in the face and gets Ricky to chase him around. The chase allows the Enforcers to catch Steamboat coming in with some double teaming and the champions take over. Ricky fights back with some chops to Anderson but Larry comes in to break up a sunset flip. The champions cheat on an abdominal stretch before dropping Steamboat with a belly to back suplex for two.
Anderson ducks his head for a backdrop but gets planted into the mat but Larry prevents a hot tag attempt. Steamboat can’t slam him due to the work on his back so Anderson slaps on a bearhug. He takes Ricky down to the mat with the hold for some two counts but Steamboat counters with a bodyscissors. Anderson switches up to a Boston crab and keeps walking it over to his corner. Larry does the same and Steamboat slaps the mat but we’re a few years away from that meaning anything in wrestling.
Rhodes gets the tag but the referee is with Anderson to further fire up the crowd. Steamboat comes back with an atomic drop to Arn and they ram heads to put both guys down. Ricky finally crawls over and makes the tag to Dustin and blow the roof off the place. Dustin cleans house with slams all around and a bulldog to Anderson. Rhodes gets knocked into the corner but Steamboat tags himself in and hits the high cross body for the pin and the titles.
Rating: A. Great old school style tag team match here with the Enforcers cutting the ring off and using classic tag team strategy. They did all the tag team spots that have worked for years and they worked here too. Dustin was getting better every single day around this time and putting him in there with Ricky Steamboat was going to make him even stronger.
Video on Jushin Thunder Liger, another guy coming in to make 1992 even more awesome.
Paul E. Dangerously calls what happened to Sting a tragedy but points out that if Sting doesn’t return, he forfeits the title to Rick Rude.
Eric Bischoff calls in again and Sting hears the news about possibly forfeiting the title. Sting freaks out and commandeers an ambulance to make it back to the arena.
Light Heavyweight Title: Brian Pillman vs. Johnny B. Badd
Pillman defeated Richard Morton at Halloween Havoc to become the first champion. The theme songs are played in the wrong order but at least Badd doesn’t appear until his starts. Badd is clad in what looks like the top half of the dress uniform for a Navy officer and feathery trunks. Women tuck dollars into his hat, covering this gimmick better than I ever possibly could. Badd and Theodore Long dance in the ring despite having issues lately.
The former amateur boxing champion Badd fires off rapid fire punches in the corner but Brian slaps him to the ramp. The champion hits a good looking clothesline over the ropes but Badd sends Brian out to the floor and poses in the ring. Pillman comes back in with a slingshot cross body followed by a powerslam.
Badd is able to raise his knees to block a top rope splash and put on a chinlock. Johnny goes up top but dives into a dropkick to change momentum again. A spinwheel kick gets two for the champion but he runs into a clothesline from Johnny. Badd goes up top and hits his top rope sunset flip but Theodore has the referee for some reason. Brian ducks the left hook and rams Johnny into Long before rolling him up to retain.
Rating: C. Not a bad match here but the story was the more important idea. Johnny would be better as a face and the turn was coming soon. These two had chemistry together and would tear the house down to open Fall Brawl 1995 about four years later. Johnny wasn’t ready to do that yet though and it was a big reason why this division didn’t work all that well. There just wasn’t enough talent to fill out a division as Pillman needed someone to work against.
Johnny lays out Long with the left hook after the match.
US Title: Rick Rude vs. Sting
Dangerously comes to the ring with Rude and runs his mouth long enough for Sting to return in the ambulance, go to the wrong door, and then hobble into the arena. Rude meets him on the ramp and gets gorilla pressed by Sting on one leg. The fans are going insane here as Sting hammers Rude to the ring but can barely stand up. He clotheslines Rude over the top and out to the floor but Rude pulls him down and wraps the leg around the post.
Rude comes back in off the top with an ax handle but Sting breaks up the Rude Awakening neckbreaker. Sting comes back with right hands but punches Rude off his feet, right into Sting’s bad knee. Dangerously hits Sting with the phone and Rude covers……FOR TWO. You could feel the fans gasp on the kickout. Sting gets a DDT but has to go after Dangerously, allowing Rude to get a chop block and a rollup with a handful of tights for the pin and the title.
Rating: B. The story and crowd carry the match way higher than the action could do but that’s how wrestling works best. Rude stole the title here and looks like the biggest villain on the planet which is exactly what he was supposed to do. Sting sold that knee like a master and the whole thing is just great. This was also a great way to get the US Title off of Sting without having him lose even remotely clean.
Post break Dangerously, Rude and Madusa go on a rant about how they’re here to take WCW apart and the US Title is just the first part. The group is referred to as the Dangerous Alliance as Paul goes off about how he’s furious over being fired as a commentator and is back to take over.
Ron Simmons says he’s glad to be home in Georgia and wishes he could be in the main event but has a broken wrist. He promises to be the first black World Champion.
We look at Rick Steiner beating up Luger and his entourage including a pin on the champion to set this up.
WCW World Title: Rick Steiner vs. Lex Luger
Mr. Hughes is ejected before the match can get started. Rick drives him into the corner to start before taking him down to the mat in a nice amateur move. Luger walks around the ring and is easily knocked down by a shoulder block. A big Steiner Line sends Luger over the top and out to the floor for a meeting with Race.
Back in and Luger gets a single kick to the stomach before ramming Rick into the buckle for no effect. A belly to back suplex gets two on the champion but the referee gets bumped, allowing Luger to crotch Rick on the top rope. Luger clotheslines Rick in the back of the head to put Steiner down again and an elbow drop gets two.
Rick is sent to the floor where Race gets in a cheap shot and Luger is very pleased. Back in and Steiner hits a big right hand and puts Luger down down with a powerslam. The top rope bulldog gets two and a belly to belly superplex looks to pin Luger but Scott and Mr. Hughes fight into the ring. During the melee, Luger is able to get in a shot with the belt for the pin to retain.
Rating: C-. Scott would have been a better challenger had he been healthy but Rick throwing those suplexes was always fun to see. The match is a pretty big letdown after the Sting stuff but it certainly wasn’t a bad effort when Steiner had pretty much no chance at all of winning the belt.
Overall Rating: B-. The wrestling isn’t great save for one match but this was a big turning point for WCW. There’s now a major story with Sting wanting revenge on both Luger and Rude which would be expanded even more in the months to come. On top of that you get an amazing tag team match with Steamboat’s return being a great moment. This show had an awesome energy to it and the fans reacted accordingly. It’s pretty easily the best show in months if not over a year and a great way to close out the year.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the History Of In Your House.
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