Clash of the Champions 28: Hogan vs Flair!

  • Bash at the Beach scored more than double the buyrate of Slamboree, which proved the marketing expenses to plug Hulk Hogan’s return to wrestling paid off.
  • Since Hogan was not well received at a TV taping in North Carolina, WCW is making sure to book Midwest shows for Hogan’s next two matches.
  • Hogan was asked to job to Flair at this Clash event and balked.
  • Rumors are swirling that the Ultimate Warrior will debut at this Clash to set up Hogan’s next program after Flair steps away in October.
  • Sting is considering leaving WCW in January to pursue acting. Ric Flair is rumored to be retiring soon to focus on booking WCW and running his gym.
  • Dusty Rhodes avenged his son to some degree by attacking the Studd Stable at a TV taping. (Video of that is below)
  • Jesse Ventura is letting it be known he is not pleased with his role in the company now that Bobby Heenan has taken over as lead color commentator.
  • WCW released promotional work listing Hulk Hogan’s manager as “Jimmy Cliff”.
  • Terry Funk and Cactus Jack have both gotten heat for bashing WCW while doing shots for ECW.
  • The Nasty Boyz have turned face. Cactus Jack is going heel.
  • Hogan is pushing for WCW to sign the Bushwackers.
  • The Honky Tonk Man, Ron and Don Harris, Earthquake and Barry Darsow have all been signed.
  • WCW is trying to get booked in Madison Square Garden now that they have Hogan as a carrot to dangle.
  • Vader missed several house shows due to Hollywood and Japan commitments. WCW plugged him as appearing anyway.
  • Only 3600 fans paid to see the rematch of “The Match of the Century” at this Clash. Considering Hogan’s $300,000 payday for the night, that’s a horrible number.
  • Seven of the 12 men booked to compete at the Clash are over 40 years old.

Clash of the Champions 28
The WWE Network doesn’t have the opening for this show. Why do I have complete shows on VHS in my basement but the billion dollar company doesn’t?

So anyway we cut right to…

World tag champions Paul Orndorff and Paul Roma vs. The Nasty Boyz
The Nasties sloppy brawling style leaves the narcissist pair of scalawags unable to mount an offensive. The heels outsmart Saggs and lure him into a trap on the floor. Saggs ends up mugged on the cement and then sent over the barricade and into the sea of fans. Roma hits a flying elbow once things get back in the ring but instead of attempting a pin, he chooses to flex. That pisses Knobbs off and causes him to charge in. The heels take advantage of this and continue to draw Knobbs in then, double up on Saggs while the ref is busy with his partner.

Saggs flips out of a piledriver and Knobbs finally tags in legally. He explodes with fists on both heels and Saggs quickly returns to the action as all four men brawl. Knobbs is suplexed by Orndorff and caught with a flying elbow by Roma. While Orndorff is still down, Saggs hits a flying elbow of his own and steals the win. Average action throughout but the finishing spot was well laid out.

Hulk Hogan comes down to grant Mean Gene an interview, but as he stops to pose a mysterious man in black sneaks in from behind and cracks his knee with a pipe. Hogan collapses and chaos unfolds. Mean Gene and Jimmy Hart scream as a plethora of stooges in suits surround their meal ticket. Greg Gagne and Nick Bockwinkel chat about how they should have ran this angle in the AWA in ’82. Eric Bischoff shows up to add to the realism. Mean Gene tries to interview Hulk, then the Doc, then screams at the doctor to get Hulk out of here. Well Gene if you hadn’t held things up… Hogan is carted off. THE END OF AN ERA.

US Champion Steve Austin vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat – Title can change hands on a DQ
Austin has the swag down, and looks physically impressive, however this is the end of his push. Good job WCW! The long running enemies slap one another before exchanging hard chops. The announcers ignore the match so they can talk about Hogan’s injury. The Dragon works the arm as Austin desperately tries to find a way out. A scramble on the mat sees Austin remain trapped. The champ tosses Steamboat to the floor but Austin’s pursuit down there ends with him downed by a hard chop.

Steamboat stays on the arm, including wrapping it around the ringpost. Austin takes control soon after, but seems content with toying with The Dragon by slapping him and shoving him in the face. Austin hits a diving elbow but once again focusing on playing with Steamboat instead of going for the kill. Austin finally gets caught on the top rope and is crotched. A superplex is blocked however as Austin dumps him to the mat. (I believe this is the bump that permanently wrecked Steamboat’s back) Austin’s leap down at him is met with a chop from the challenger, which leads right into Steamboat attempting a flying crossbody but missing.

Austin messes with The Dragon instead of attempting to finish and finally Steamboat snaps and unloads with a series of chops before attempting a number of cradles for nearfalls. Austin dumps Steamboat over the top but Steamboat skins the cat back in (with a bad back!). Another roll up gets a near fall for the challenger. Austin attempts a slam but Steamboat reverses it into yet another cradle and that one finally cinches in long enough for the 3 count! Steamboat is clearly in pain after the match as he holds his back. This was another fine effort from two men who knew each other so well. I didn’t however enjoy it as much as their Bash at the Beach effort. I’m glad Steamboat got to go out by winning a title.

Bobby Heenan hints that Mr. Perfect committed the attack on Hogan.

A geek with a mullet is getting his mail when The Honky Tonk Man stops by in his pink Cadillac. This segues into Honky’s new music video, which is basically a copy of his WWF theme but somehow much worse. Honky wouldn’t receive an official WCW contract, which led to months of headaches between Bischoff and him.

Nick Bockwinkel announces he will strip Hogan of the World title if he can’t defend the belt. That seems pretty unfair.

We see one of the best promos of Dusty Rhodes’ career as he lays out his heart to his son and tries to make amends for 25 years of neglect. Dusty wants to join his son’s side to avenge the Studd Stable’s indiscretions. If somehow you missed seeing this in the wake of Rhodes’ recent passing, you owe it to yourself to give it a watch. I just got goosebumps seeing it again.

Dusty and Dustin Rhodes vs. Terry Funk and Bunkhouse Buck
A four-way brawl kicks off before the ring announcements can even finish. With the odds even, the faces quickly clear the ring. Buck has no luck with Dustin once things settle down, so both heels start to double-team him. Rhodes makes his own save as he fights his way out of their corner and tosses the desperados together. Dusty tags and starts jukin’ and jivin’ before greeting Buck with an elbow to the face. The heels try and double up on him and both eat bionic elbows before he tosses them together twice. He tags Dustin back in to pick up his leavings.

Rhodes gets some shots in before Buck removes his cowboy boot and cracks Dustin with it. Dustin eats some abuse for a few minutes before the malicious duo miscue and Funk ends up cracked with the boot in the head. Dusty tags back in and fends off both men before Arn Anderson sneaks down and grabs Dustin and feeds him the ringpost. Arn then trips Dusty, which allows Funk and Buck to lay in a stomping on him. Dusty fights his way to the corner and tags in his son. All four men brawl as the reprobates on the Studd Stable find themselves being force fed a helping of Papa Rhodes’ elbow. Dustin bulldogs Buck, which draws in Anderson for the DQ.

Anderson DDT’s Dustin but when he stands up he finds himself eye to eye with Big Daddy who drops him with an elbow. Meng gets in Dusty’s face next, so Rhodes considers using a fist, then his elbow, but finally tells Meng to hang tight as he goes to the floor and retrieves a chair. The wooden chair cracks over Meng’s head which he no sells. He didn’t even lose his sunglasses! Meng goes HAM on Dusty and entraps him in a nerve hold. Dustin struggles to save his daddy but he has the four cowards in the Studd Stable holding him back. A jobber runs in to play hero and Meng destroys him before going back on the attack on Dusty. Greg Gagne runs in like Verne is still booking the promotion and he ends up tussling with Funk. Finally Col. Parker calls off his hired goons.

The match was a fun brawl, and the post match angle was tremendous stuff. Rhodes’ lifted the Meng chair spot from his own 1986 feud with Big Bubba, who did the same thing to Dusty back then. Heenan was tremendous here, especially when he screamed out “RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!” when Meng no sold the chair. Great segment and I can’t wait to see WAR GAMES at the next PPV with the Rhodes’ and Nasties getting revenge on the Studd Stable in the most brutal concept in the history of human competition. It is the last resort!

Heenan continues to be awesome as he’s been giddy over Hogan’s injury in every announcer wrap around segment in between matches tonight. Here he snaps a pencil while gloating over Hogan’s career being over.

Back at the hospital, Bischoff interviews Hogan’s attorney, who says Hogan should forfeit the belt since WCW has promised him a rematch as soon as he’s healthy. Jimmy Hart and Brutus Beefcake both say Hogan refuses to concede.

We then return to the arena where Ric Flair and Sherri Martel meet Mean Gene for a promo. Sherri is in a funeral dress, which is a nice touch. Flair doesn’t want to be given the title unless Hogan comes to the ring and presents it to him personally.

After the commercial break, Mean Gene announces that Hogan has left the hospital and is walking to the arena.

The Studd Stable is full of glee over their destruction of the Rhodes’ family. Awesome facials by Funk and Buck here.

Special Challenge Match: Antonio Inoki vs. Lord Steven Regal
Sadly no “Inoki-Bom-Ba-Ye” for Inoki’s theme. It’s one of my favorites. Back in 1994 this was actually my introduction to Inoki and I’ve been an avid fan ever since. Regal jumps Inoki at the bell. They jockey for control as the fans head to the concessions. Inoki struggles to secure a rear naked choke and his Lordship gets to the ropes. Regal uses strikes to down Inoki and then locks on an elbow bar. Inoki escapes that but is overwhelmed by knee strikes. Regal locks on a crossface which Inoki manages to free himself from that but Regal continues the pressure and begins to work on Inoki’s knee. Inoki works his way into the rear naked choke position but Regal manages to maintain arm control. Inoki grapples back into yet another choke but his Lordship evades it. A few European uppercuts are thrown, but when Regal misses one the rear choke is locked in and that spells the end of Regal’s night. This was completely different than anything else North American fans were accustomed to and I can’t really say it was “good”. It did pretty much look like a legit UFC/MMA style of grappling, but the action wasn’t much to write home about.

World Champion Hulk Hogan vs. Ric “Nature Boy” Flair
Flair gets on the mic and trolls Hogan and the fans for the duration of a commercial break. Hogan, Hart and Beefcake make their way to the ring. The planted Hogan signs are all over the place. Hogan teases handing over the title but he attacks Flair instead. Hogan no sells Flair’s chops and sticks his bandana down his throat. He gnaws on Flair’s face for good measure. Hogan no sells more chops and chokes Flair with a towel. Flair pokes his eyes to finally stop the onslaught.

Hogan downs Flair with a series of clotheslines and rakes his face. Flair is beaten down the aisle and only Hogan’s bum knee slows him up enough to allow Flair to take control for a nanosecond before Hogan starts no selling again. They brawl down to the floor, where an old lady tries to smack Flair with her cane before security steps in. Flair FINALLY cracks Hogan in the knee and starts to work the leg over. Sherri adds a low blow because she’s evil~!

Flair tries a figure-four but Hogan kicks him away. Flair kicks at the knee and secures in the figure-four. Hogan starts to no sell that too and powers out of the figure-four. Flair kicks away at the knee but Hogan only gets angrier and delivers a series of punches before delivering a big boot. He falls over from standing on the bad knee but Hogan delivers the legdrop anyway. That hurts his leg again. Sound strategy Hulk.

Flair smells blood and locks in the figure-four. Hogan fights to the ropes as Hart and Sherri chase each other. Sherri cracks Hogan’s leg with her high heel and he falls to the floor and is counted out. Michael Buffer declares Flair the new World champion. Then after the ref yells at him he announces the wrong thing again and says Flair is DQ’d. They paid him $25,000 a show to constantly fuck things up. Good work if you can find it I guess.

Hogan charges the ring and knocks Flair down. The Masked Man clips Hogan’s knee and that allows Flair to lock on the figure-four yet again. Sting charges in the ring and the heels scatter.

After an entertaining match at the Bash, Hogan went the wrong direction here and just played pure Superman instead of letting Flair get any heat on him. With one leg hobbled, this should have been all Flair being a cocky dick and picking away at Hogan before the champ finally snapped, got in his shine and then ended up screwed out of the win anyway. With one sided matches like this, where is the heel heat suppose to come from?

Final thoughts: An overall very fun show, but the early signs of the workrate erosion as the talent is changed over is evident. Next time I’ll be viewing Fall Brawl!


Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.

Leave a Reply