Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over twelve years now and have reviewed over 6,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. 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 XXV
Date: November 10, 1993
Location: Bayfront Arena, St. Petersburg, Florida
Commentators: Jesse Ventura, Tony Schiavone
This is a big night for WCW as there are seven matches with five different titles on the line. Vader is still World Champion and dominating the company, but the fans are behind Flair as he tries to take the title. Other than that we have Sting/British Bulldog teaming up to go after the World Tag Team Titles (no longer Unified and just WCW now) and Dustin Rhodes defending his US Title against Paul Orndorff. We’re also coming up on Battlebowl, an almost entirely pointless November show which didn’t last long and was a stand alone Lethal Lottery show. Let’s get to it.
The opening video runs down the title matches for the night.
Gene Okerlund, fresh over from the WWF, says you can vote for the Manager of the Year, with choices of Sir William, Teddy Long, Missy Hyatt and Harley Race.
WCW International World Heavyweight Title: Rick Rude vs. Hawk
Rude is of course defending. They stare each other down to start and Hawk shoves the champion into the corner. He does it a second time and that’s the only contact in the first minute and a half. Rick doesn’t want to try a test of strength as the stalling has almost hit three minutes now.
Rude finally hammers away to take over and goes after Hawk’s back with heavy forearms. He steps on Hawk’s hand and hits him in the throat but Hawk just glares at him. A backdrop and slam have the champion’s back in trouble and Hawk whips him across the ring. Rude grabs a backbreaker and goes up top, only to dive into Hawk’s boots. A clothesline puts Rude on the floor and Hawk follows him out where they brawl to a double countout.
Rating: D-. This was a waste of time as they stood around for three minutes, did about two minutes of punching and then had a double countout. It’s not interesting, it doesn’t make Rude look weak, Hawk does get anything out of it, and the whole thing feels like they had no idea what to do here and threw out whatever came to mind.
Equalizer vs. Shockmaster
Yes, he somehow kept a job after falling through a wall. Shockmaster looks like a construction worker now but the announcers crack jokes about him falling down all the way to the ring. Equalizer jumps him as Shockmaster gets inside and uses a wide assortment of forearm smashes and choking. The announcers tell us about something going on in the back with Rick Rude and promise an update later. Shockmaster comes back with a clothesline and a bearhug before falling down on Equalizer with the hold still on for the pin. This was nothing.
Colonel Robert Parker says he has fired Sid Vicious and picked up Steve Austin in a nice upgrade. Parker also has a restraining order against Sid Vicious so he’s nowhere near the building. Gene implies he saw Sid earlier today, despite WCW knowing Sid has been fired.
TV Title: Johnny B. Badd vs. Steven Regal
Regal took the title from Steamboat at Fall Brawl. Johnny is a bit too flamboyant for Regal’s tastes so the champion heads into the corner to start. A shoulder block gets two on Steven and Badd pulls back his fist, sending Regal back into the corner. Badd takes him down with a headlock takeover before shifting over to a headscissors. Back to the headlock and the fans are calling this boring.
They stay on the mat with Regal in trouble but looking for the one opening he needs. Badd grabs his third headlock but Regal shoves him off and avoids a cross body, sending the challenger into the ropes. That’s the opening Regal was looking for and he fires off some European uppercuts. Regal stomps down on Badd’s face and we get an update on the Rude incident: it was a challenge from British Bulldog for a title match. Badd gets to his feet and knocks Regal silly with the left hand but Sir William puts the foot on the rope. Regal gets up long enough to grab a rollup with a handful of trunks for the pin to retain.
Rating: D+. The technical stuff was fine and there was enough of a story here with Badd out wrestling Regal when it was even until he screwed up, but the ending came out of nowhere. Regal was only in control for a minute or two and the match didn’t have time to be fleshed out. Steven needed more time than this to do his best work and a quick ending like that hurt things a lot.
Brian Pillman vs. Steve Austin
Colonel Parker got in Austin’s ear and split up the Blonds to set this up. Both guys still have their Hollywood Blond trunks. Brian is already in the ring and jumps Austin to start but both guys are quickly on the floor. Parker’s distraction lets Austin take over with a clothesline but Pillman sends him into the barricade to put Austin down. Back inside and Brian throws chops in the corner before taking Austin down with a headscissors. They head onto the ramp with Austin taking a backdrop but being able to block a top rope splash by raising a boot.
Pillman is thrown off the ramp and face first into the barricade. Austin puts him down on the floor again but Pillman comes back in with a slingshot cross body for two. Steve is almost in trouble but lifts Pillman up in a near gorilla press and drops him throat first across the ropes. Pillman hits a chop hard enough to drop Austin to the mat but Steve comes right back with a half crab. Back up and Brian comes out of the corner with a middle rope elbow to the jaw.
Both guys slowly get to their feet and Austin goes up, only to get crotched down onto the ropes. Austin is still able to block a superplex but his top rope cross body is dropkicked out of the air for two. Brian’s slingshot clothesline is caught in a powerslam for two. Steve counters a crucifix with a fall away slam but misses his top rope splash. Pillman slips over the top rope to avoid the Stun Gun but Parker breaks up Air Pillman to send Brian face first into the mat, giving Austin the pin.
Rating: B. This was another good story with the partners knowing each other so well that they could counter almost every signature move the other was trying. Parker interfering helps as well by giving Austin the win due to the only advantage he had over Pillman. It’s a shame this team didn’t last longer as they could have been something very special.
We go to the Battlebowl Control Center where Okerlund explains the concept to us. Paul Orndorff and Sting are both ready to win the competition.
US Title: Paul Orndorff vs. Dustin Rhodes
Orndorff is challenging and has the masked Assassin with him. Dustin has his dad Dusty in his corner to even the sides. The managers almost get in a fight before the match and Jesse can’t keep a straight face when he says Assassin is in great shape. There are literally rolls of fat coming out from under his mask. Orndorff gets a shot in to Dustin but hides in the ropes to avoid retribution. A shoulder and some slams drop Paul and we hit a headlock on the mat.
Assassin is inching his way towards Dusty so Big Dust invites him over. Jesse keeps up his fat jokes as the guys in the ring fight into a top wristlock followed by an armbar from Paul. The hold takes us back to the mat with Paul using his legs to crank on Dustin’s arm. Back up and Dustin slowly spins out and takes over with a top wristlock. This time it’s Orndorff getting his arm worked on with a variety of armbars. The champion gets tired of that though and takes Paul to the mat and switches to the leg.
We hit a chinlock on Paul but he reverses into a hammerlock. Back up and Orndorff snaps off a German suplex for two before putting on a chinlock. Dustin fights into a backslide and clothesline for two each but Paul sends him face first into the turnbuckle to take over again. Back to the chinlock for a bit before the champion fights up and gets two more off another clothesline. Orndorff blocks Dustin’s bulldog finisher and calls for the piledriver but Rhodes counters with a backdrop. Paul misses a knee drop and Dustin small packages him to retain.
Rating: C+. This was a very technical match but they kept things moving to prevent it from getting boring. Orndorff would shift into the tag division soon after this to form Pretty Wonderful with Paul Roma. The match wasn’t for everyone but it was still entertaining enough to get by.
Post match Orndorff throws Dustin to the floor but Dusty makes the save and tries to unmask the Assassin. Orndorff hits Dusty win the belt but Dustin breaks up a piledriver attempt and chases the villains away.
Gene reminds us to vote for Manager of the Year.
Tag Team Titles: Sting/British Bulldog vs. Nasty Boys
The Nasty Boys won the belts from the Horsemen at Fall Brawl and traded them with 2 Cold Scorpio/Marcus Bagwell in October. Sting and Bulldog clean house to start and Bulldog takes Knobbs to the ramp but Rick Rude sneaks out to hit the Rude Awakening on Bulldog. Hawk comes out to chase him off but Sting goes over to check on his partner. The Nastys’ manager Missy Hyatt uses the chance to regroup her team and we get the opening bell as Sting helps Bulldog to the apron.
Sting gets double teamed for a bit before hitting a double clothesline and a dropkick to both champions. Brian Knobbs starts for the Boys and takes a top rope chop to the head for two. Jerry Sags accidentally drops an elbow on his partner as Bulldog still can’t get to his feet. Sags comes in legally and gets dropped but Sting has to keep checking on Bulldog. Sting rams Sags’ face into the mat and cranks on the arm but Knobbs breaks up a top rope splash to change control.
Brian doesn’t get caught throwing Sting over the top rope and suplexes him back inside for two. Bulldog is finally on his feet as Sting gets caught in a bearhug. He finally escapes with a belly to belly suplex but Sags prevents the tag and tosses Sting outside. Back in and Knobbs puts on a reverse chinlock but Sting easily powers out of it.
Sags can’t stop another hot tag attempt and the Bulldog comes in to clean house. Both champions get slammed and DDT’d before Bulldog throws Sting at both of them in a nice power display. The powerslam looks to finish Knobbs but Sags breaks up the cover with a top rope elbow, giving Brian the pin to retain.
Rating: C-. That was one heck of a Rude Awakening to keep Bulldog down that long. Sting wrestled most of the match on his own and it worked well enough, but the Nasty Boys were much better brawlers than wrestlers. Bulldog would shift away from the tag team soon and Hawk would take his place to team with Sting for a bit.
We go to the back and see Colonel Parker getting in Flair’s face. Steve Austin will be challenging the winner of the World Title match for the title in the near future. Flair shoves him away and heads to the ring.
WCW World Title: Ric Flair vs. Vader
Vader is defending. We come back from a break with the match not started yet but Flair has Harley Race in the Figure Four. Vader takes him into the corner and hammers away to start before dropping Flair with a gorilla press. An early Vader Bomb gets no cover as Vader sarcastically shouts “THERE’S YOUR CHAMPION!” Flair fights up but Vader just runs him over with ease. A Flair Flip in the corner puts him on the floor where Race gets in some retribution.
Vader misses another splash against the barricade and Flair has an opening. He rips the champ’s mask off and throws him inside for some hard chops. Vader is able to get his boot up in the corner though and Ric is in trouble again. A big elbow drop misses though and Flair slaps on the Figure Four. Race almost immediately breaks it up with a rake to the eyes and Vader gets two off a suplex and splash.
The champ goes up but Flair kind of slams him down but gets thrown to the floor on the kickout. Back inside hits two top rope forearms to the head in a row. Vader tries a clothesline but hits the referee by mistake. Flair gets taken up top and superplexed but Vader doesn’t cover. Instead he tries a moonsault but Flair moves (it would have missed anyway) and gets a fast pin out of nowhere for the title!
Rating: B. These two always had good chemistry in the few matches they had. Flair was one of the few non-power guys that could wrestle a solid match against Vader using his intelligence to counter all of the power stuff. It’s a good match but they would have a far better one in the near future.
Oh wait never mind because Vader is disqualified for accidentally taking out the referee. Austin comes down to help double team Flair but Dustin Rhodes and Shockmaster come out for the save. Flair gets on the mic and challenges Austin and Vader to a tag match with Sid as his partner. In reality it would be Arn Anderson taking Sid’s place in a pre-taped match but WCW had to milk whatever they could out of the guy who stabbed Arn Anderson twenty times. Ventura gets in a line saying there will be a tag match with someone as Flair’s partner.
Overall Rating: B-. It’s a FAR better show than the previous one but it’s still not a masterpiece. The main event and battle of the Hollywood Blonds were both entertaining but a lot of the other stuff was hit and miss. This show led up to Starrcade but a lot of what WCW had planned didn’t happen as Sid (stabbing) and British Bulldog (bar fight) were fired. The rest of the show wasn’t bad but it’s nothing all that memorable.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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