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 XXX
Date: January 25, 1995
Location: Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
We’re into a new year now and there’s another young star gone. This time it’s Steve Austin, who injured his triceps and was fired while healing. Allegedly, Austin was told that there was no way to market him in his black trunks and black boots, even though he had started to swear more and disrespect veterans. At least we’ve still got the Butcher main eventing shows though. Let’s get to it.
The opening video talks about the results of Starrcade and runs down the card for the show. Vader has purchased two ringside seats and Ric Flair is rumored to be making an appearance.
The set has a Roman theme tonight which means the entrance is designed in Roman architecture.
TV Title: Arn Anderson vs. Johnny B. Badd
Badd is challenging after winning a fan vote. Anderson had defeated him for the title about two and a half weeks before this. Arn makes the mistake of trying to trade fists to start and is knocked into the corner as a result. Some forearms put Badd down but he sends Arn to the floor and catches both the champion and Colonel Parker with a nice flip dive. Back in and Johnny hooks a pair of armdrags into an armbar. Anderson fights up and sends him throat first into the ropes to take over.
Parker gets in a few cheap shots before Anderson nails him in the ribs with a left hand. A chinlock doesn’t last long on Badd and a knee to his ribs gets two. Anderson drops an elbow but Badd fights up and backdrops him with ease. Things speed up a bit as Badd makes a comeback and nails his big left hook to knock Anderson out to the floor. Parker has to pour ice water on Anderson to wake him up so Johnny chases the Colonel, only to run back into the ring to get caught by a DDT to retain Arn’s title.
Rating: D. The wrestlers didn’t see to care about the match at all and it wasn’t entertaining as a result. Anderson looked like he was sleepwalking through the match and Badd was only able to do so much. It wasn’t exactly an interesting idea in the first place and there’s a limit to what can be done in that circumstance.
Kevin Sullivan and Butcher says he has Savage in his pocket and warns Hogan that someone is going to stab him in the back. Vader and Flair being here tonight just makes things easier.
We get a music video on a new German wrestler named Alex Wright.
Alex Wright vs. Bobby Eaton
Wright has wrestled a few times in WCW already and is billed as undefeated. He comes out to dance music and cuts a bit of a rug in the ring. Feeling out process to start as they trade arm work as the announcers talk about Wright’s recent victory over Jean-Paul Levesque, who would soon be known as Hunter Hearst Helmsley in the WWF. A big right hand sends Alex into the corner but he comes back with a headscissors followed by an armdrag into another armbar.
Wright pulls back a punch of his own but Bobby begs off so instead it’s a European uppercut for two. Eaton ducks a cross body to send Alex flying into the ropes and it’s off to a chinlock. Alex comes out of it with a jawbreaker followed by a backdrop. A spinwheel kick drops Eaton and a missile dropkick gets two. Bobby comes back with a swinging neckbreaker before loading up the Alabama Jam for a VERY close two. Wright quickly comes back with a suplex and cross body for the pin.
Rating: C. This was a better match than the opener but still just ok. Wright looked good out there and Eaton was very skilled at making others look better than they could have on their own. That’s the kind of hand you want to have around the company so they can help out with a guy like Wright when you don’t know what you’re getting. It’s nice to see someone young getting to shine a bit like this too.
Vader comes out in a suit and wearing the mask for a chat with Gene but Harley Race is nowhere to be seen. Gene asks about the absence but is told to mind his own business. Vader asks the crowd who the man is and the reaction isn’t entirely clear. He’s been looking for Hogan everywhere from the lobby to his room to the gym but Hogan is dodging the demon. There’s no more hiding after tonight though because he’ll be in the front row.
Tag Team Titles: Harlem Heat vs. Stars and Stripes
Harlem Heat won the belts earlier in the month and this is the rematch. We have no Stars and Stripes to start but we do get Nature Boy Ric Flair with two very nice looking women. He walks by Vader with no incident and goes to his seat. Booker and Bagwell get things going with Marcus stomping him down in the corner but running into a boot in the corner. He comes right back with a dropkick for both champions as Stars and Stripes stands tall.
It’s off to Patriot for a double backdrop on Booker for two. He cranks on Booker’s arm as the fans chant USA. Stevie comes in but walks into a wristlock from Patriot before it’s back to Bagwell for the same hold. A knee to the ribs stops Marcus cold and the champions take over. The advantage only lasts for a few seconds though as it’s quickly back to Patriot for more arm work. A belly to belly gets two on Booker but Stevie saves his brother from a monkey flip.
Back to Stevie for some heavy stomping and he draws in Patriot so Booker can choke from the apron. A running forearm gets two for Booker and it’s off to the chinlock. Marcus fights up but both guys try cross bodies to put him right back down. Sherri gets up on the apron for a distraction so Bagwell’s tag to the Patriot doesn’t count. She takes her shoe off but accidentally hits Booker by mistake. Bagwell rolls him up for two but Stevie kicks Marcus in the face to give Booker the pin to retain.
Rating: C. It’s not bad and more entertaining than the other matches tonight. They let the match have a little more time and things got better as a result which is usually the case. Harlem Heat was getting much better and this more or less ended Stars and Stripes as a team. Good enough to get by.
Hogan is ready for the Three Faces of Fear tonight and tells Jimmy Hart to blow the whistle if Flair or Vader make a move. Savage is ready for the tag match too.
We go to the SuperBrawl Control Center where Hogan vs. Vader is announced for the show. The match was mentioned earlier in the show.
Sting vs. Avalanche
It’s a Starrcade rematch and Guardian Angel is guest referee. Avalanche jumps him to start but is quickly dropkicked to the floor and onto some chairs. Tony and Bobby notice that Flair is suddenly nowhere to be seen though his girls are still there. Back in and Avalanche runs him over before just standing on Sting’s chest.
A big elbow has Sting in trouble but Avalanche stops to pose. He takes Sting into the corner and rams the 450lb+ into Sting’s chest. The powerslam gets two but Sting accidentally headbutts Avalanche low to come back. Three straight Stinger Splashes rock the big man and there’s a fourth, setting up a slam and the Scorpion Deathlock. Guardian Angel gets down to check for the submission but referee Nick Patrick runs out to call it instead.
Rating: D+. Sting throwing around big men is always cool to see, but Avalanche is rapidly turning into a joke. Yeah he can hit some nice power moves but he’s lost every match on the Clash so far. He’s just a big guy that doesn’t win anything and that makes it hard to get into his matches.
Post match Guardian Angel is upset and gets in a fight with Sting. Avalanche gets back up and helps Angel in a double team. Some wrestlers come out to help Sting as Angel and Avalanche leave. Angel says he’s Big Bubba Rogers (his name back in the 1980s as Jim Cornette’s bodyguard) again and people will answer to him.
Kevin Sullivan/Butcher vs. Hulk Hogan/Randy Savage
Vader gets in Hogan’s face during the entrances and Flair is back in his seat. Hogan throws Butcher into the corner to start and a running clothesline puts him on the mat. Savage comes in off the top with an ax handle to Butcher’s head before bringing Sullivan in for a beating as well. Back to Hogan as we look over Vader’s shoulder. Hulk runs over Butcher but gets caught in the sleeper. Savage tries to make the save twice in a row but Hogan is out cold.
Butcher lets go so Savage tries to wake Hogan up to no avail. With nothing else to do, Savage goes to the top and drops his signature elbow drop, causing Hogan to Hulk Up as he does every time he gets hit with a finishing move. It makes sense in that twisted wrestling logic. Hogan fights back as everything breaks down with Savage being thrown over the top rope and out to the floor. Sullivan sends Randy into the post and then the barricade as the villains take over.
Savage takes a beating from both guys and is thrown to the floor again. He gets up quickly but can barely stay on his feet. Back in and Savage is tied up in the Tree of Woe (hanging upside down in the corner), drawing in Hogan for a failed save attempt. Butcher puts Savage in the sleeper but Randy breaks out with a jawbreaker. Hogan gets the hot tag and cleans house before Savage drops the elbow on Butcher. The legdrop is enough to get the pin.
Rating: D+. There wasn’t much to this one. The match felt like any other Hogan vs. monsters match but the monsters were Kevin Sullivan and the Butcher. At the end of the day, Hogan vs. someone smaller than him very rarely works and these two just weren’t going to cut it. The Reviving Elbow was a stroke of brilliance though.
Vader jumps the rail and knocks Savage to the floor, leading to a staredown with Hogan. Some punches have no effect on Vader and he runs Hogan down. The powerbomb puts Hogan down and Vader stands tall. Hogan is of course up in just a few seconds and now the big punches work. Savage comes in with some chairs and they clean house. Hogan and Savage pose for a long time as Vader shouts about SuperBrawl.
Overall Rating: D+. I couldn’t get into this one but it’s not horrible. That’s this time in a nutshell for WCW: I’ve seen worse, but there’s nothing all that great about it. The ending segment was a bad idea all around. Hogan just popped up from Vader’s finisher after a long match. Why in the world should I want to watch SuperBrawl now? If Hogan can get back up that fast, why wouldn’t he be able to do it at the pay per view? It takes away any suspense the match might have had and makes Vader’s finishing move look weak.
Other than that, the show wasn’t terrible but there wasn’t much new. We had two title rematches, a decent Wright vs. Eaton match and a Starrcade rematch that set up a heel turn for Guardian Angel. Like I said at the beginning, these shows just weren’t important anymore and nothing felt important. Also, where was Flair at the end? He literally showed up, disappeared at one point, returned and then disappeared again. At least he didn’t look stupid in the process.
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 30 wrestling books. Get the latest and greatest in professional wrestling news by signing up for our daily email newsletter. Just look below for “GET EXCLUSIVE UPDATES” to sign up. Thank you for reading!