Clash of the Champions 24 was the first of the shows they had taped a ton of material prior to, which means they were completely unable to change the booking. Even if somebody failed to get over, This show actually looks pretty interesting. There are three title matches, one of those being another Vader vs. Bulldog bout. Let’s get to it!
– August 18th, 1993, from the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida
Tony Schiavone and Jesse Ventura are our hosts, and they immediately announced that Brian Pillman could not work at the show. The Blonds then made it sound like they weren’t going to defend their titles at all. So in the end, Pillman is replaced by Lord Steven Regal!
Paul Roma and Arn Anderson vs. Steve Austin and Lord Steven Regal (w/Brian Pillman and Sir William) for the WCW/NWA Tag Team Championships
Pre-Match Thoughts: They didn’t keep the charade for long. Well, Regal as an honorary Blond is amusing if nothing else. I can’t hate on the strategy there. The problem now is that if the Horsemen are to win these titles, they’ll have to go over somebody that WCW had plans for. Such is the problem with taping television this way. Interested to see how they do it.
Match Review: The Blonds shouting “CONSPIRACY” is good stuff. Arn and Austin start this one, and Arn plays a small violin for Pillman. That’s a good one. Austin takes Arn back into the corner and they struggle for a bit, which comes to nothing. Arn shoulders Austin down, but Austin comes back with a big clothesline. An elbow smash follows that, and Austin covers for 2. Arn takes Austin down and clobbers him, then decides to catapult him over the top. Austin skins the cat back in, and Arn backdrops him over the top! Could have been a DQ. Austin pulls Arn to the outside, and Arn beats him up some more. Back in they go, and Regal makes the tag in. Roma gets in there as well, clocking him with some right hands. Regal goes to a headlock, but Roma arm drags him over and slams him. Roma follows that with a dropkick, and Austin trips Roma as he runs the ropes. Regal makes the tag out, and Austin hits Roma between the eyes after jumping off the second rope. Austin follows with a back elbow, then suplexes Roma shortly after. Regal tags back in, and blocks a sunset flip. A rolling senton follows that, and it gets 2. Regal gutwrench suplexes Roma for 2, then Austin makes the tag and goes to work. Roma throws Austin into the buckle a few times, but Austin cuts him off with a knee to the gut. Austin’s elbow smash from the second rope gets 2, and Regal tags in for a shoulder charge to the corner. Regal trips Roma and knees him in the chest, then it’s Austin’s turn again. Roma’s inside cradle gets 2 on Austin because of a distraction, so Arn clocks Austin in the face out of anger. Roma takes Austin into the ropes with a HOT SHOT, but the referee misses the tag. Regal doesn’t tag in either, which is cheating. Roma sunset flips Regal, but there’s no count. He dropkicks Regal, and THERE’S THE TAG.
Arn cleans house, giving Austin a big backdrop and following up with punches. Arn goes for the DDT, but Regal hits him from behind. Sir William has Pillman’s crutch, but neither man can throw each other into it. So instead, Arn pushes Austin into Sir William, rolls Austin up, and gets the 3 count at 9:51!
My Thoughts: That was a great pop, and that was a good match. It didn’t make any sense for the taping situation to force this match to take place, and it really shouldn’t have went down like that. Still, I liked what I saw. They had ten minutes and made the most of it, but I’m sure Austin had to be totally bummed. He did his best anyway. **3/4.
After the bout, Eric Bischoff was with the new champions and they cut a typical victory promo.
Bobby Eaton vs. 2 Cold Scorpio
Pre-Match Thoughts: Even though Eaton has become a complete jobber, there’s nothing wrong with this match. Slightly confused as to why he would accept this permanently decreased role. His contract couldn’t have been that good after Bill Watts tore the good ones up.
Match Review: These two lock up, and into the corner for a clean break. Scorpio tries to go to work on the arm, but Eaton hits him with a knee and throws him to the outside. Scorpio springs up quickly to the apron, and comes in with a flying rolling cradle for 2. Eaton clotheslines him, clocks him in the face a few times, and misses a charge to the corner. Scorpio goes up top, comes down with a cross body, and that gets 2. Scorpio dropkicks Eaton, arm drags him, and holds onto a wristlock. Scorpio leg drops the arm, but misses a cross body after Eaton ducks underneath him. Eaton chokes him with the ropes, then it’s time for a hammerlock. Scorpio gets out and puts Eaton on the top rope, then dropkicks him over the top. Scorpio follows that up with a plancha to the outside, then back in they go. Scorpio throws Eaton from corner to corner, but Eaton blocks a hip toss by dropping down for a neckbreaker. Eaton heads up top for a FLYING ELBOW, but Scorpio kicks out at 2. Scorpio hits Eaton with a spinning heel kick, then goes up top for the 450 SPLASH and it gets 3 at 5:26.
My Thoughts: That finish kind of came out of nowhere, which gives this match somewhat of an exhibition feel to me. Scorpio was given the chance to do a few good spots, but that’s really all this was. **. Obviously not everyone can be given time, but deep down everyone knows these two could have torn the house down.
Maxx Payne vs. Johnny B. Badd
Pre-Match Thoughts: Why the hell is Badd still wearing a mask from getting confetti blasted in his face? That’s so stupid. If Badd wins, he gets Payne’s guitar. If Payne wins, Badd must unmask. What a stipulation. Really compelling stuff.
Match Review: Payne trips Badd to start things, and this guy has feathered boas and everything still on him while Payne drops some elbows on him. Badd comes back with some punches and clotheslines, but doesn’t knock Payne down. So, he wipes out on a cross body try. Payne drops Badd with a sidewalk slam, and pulls the mask off only for Badd to be wearing another one. Badd takes Payne down with a flying head-scissors, but the big man gets up and clotheslines him. Payne follows with a hammerlock slam, then goes for his armbar finish only for Badd to roll him up for 2. Payne drops another series of elbows on Badd, then goes up to the second rope for a splash that misses. Badd covers, and that gets the win for him at 2:41.
After the match, Badd takes the guitar and does an interview with Jesse Ventura. Badd said he was gonna unmask himself anyway in a few days. Way to make this whole thing pointless!
My Thoughts: I feel defeated after hearing Badd’s post-match promo. Feels like I put myself through that for nothing. Well, there’s not a lot to say about this one. At least it was short and to the point. No missed spots and no nonsense. *1/4.
This segment right here is timeless. It’s Flair for the Gold with Sting, the British Bulldog, and a mystery guest! Sting and Bulldog go through their routine, wearing completely identical ropes and discussing WAR GAMES. Harlem Heat, Sid, and Robert Parker crash the set, and Flair brings the babyfaces special partner into question. This Sid promo is one of his best, like wow. Bulldog comes out with it and talks about their mystery partner a little bit, then says Sting will introduce him. “OUR PARTNER IS GOING TO SHOCK THE WORLD BECAUSE HE IS NONE OTHER THAN…THE SHOCKMASTER.” I don’t need to go into specifics after that. Sid’s comments after were the best.
Ricky Steamboat vs. Paul Orndorff for the WCW Television Championship
Pre-Match Thoughts: This is a good matchup, but it’s really taking me back to the beginning of the WWF’s boom period and I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Maybe that was the point? WCW was such a strange promotion at this particular time, I don’t know what to make of a lot of this stuff. Michael Buffer showed Steamboat some respect by clapping for him. I took a long break before continuing to watch this show, so if the feel of this review is any different you can blame that.
Match Review: They lock up, and Steamboat takes Orndorff down with a headlock. Steamboat shoulders Orndorff down for 2, then they fight over the headlock a little more. Orndorff has a wristlock on Steamboat, but Steamboat powers out and dives at Orndorff, only for Orndorff to move and Steamboat to fly all the way out to the ramp. Orndorff tosses Steamboat back in the ring, then comes off the top with an elbow for 2. Orndorff goes to a chinlock, then picks Steamboat up and slams him for 2. Orndorff hip tosses Steamboat for 2, then rams his face into the mat for another 2 count. Orndorff throws Steamboat to the outside, but Steamboat gets to the apron and rams him into the buckle. Steamboat lands a flying chop from the top for 2, then another chop gets 2. Steamboat takes Orndorff down with a back suplex for 2, then hits him with some chops to send him over the top rope. Steamboat flies out with a plancha, something I don’t recall seeing him do before. When Orndorff gets back up to the apron, he knocks Steamboat down with a punch and covers for 2. Orndorff then takes his belt and celebrates, so Steamboat cradles him up for 2. Guess he thought he won. Orndorff goes for a PILEDRIVER, but Steamboat reverses into a backdrop. Orndorff bridges up, but Steamboat gets the backslide for 2. Orndorff eats a boot on a charge to the corner, then Steamboat heads up top for a cross body that Orndorff reverses for 2. Orndorff goes for a bodyslam, but Steamboat rolls through and gets the 3 count after 8:32. New champion!
After the match, Orndorff attacks him, finishing Steamboat off with a PILEDRIVER ON THE BELT.
My Thoughts: This match was a bit pedestrian, but both guys worked super hard. Given the time, it’s unlikely they could have had a better match without more to work with. I liked the post-match events as well. All in all, a good way to keep a feud going, and it was smart to put this title on Steamboat given the heel side of the company had a lot of guys who needed to be moved up. **1/2.
The Colossal Kongs (w/Harley Race) vs. Ric Flair (NWA Champion) and Sting
Pre-Match Thoughts: I absolutely detest when I’m given a match to watch where I don’t recognize two of the guys in it, so of course I hate this one. The masks and all that, such an outdated gimmick. Race cut a promo on Flair before the match, it wasn’t a bad one. These guys look nearly identical, they’re both really fat as well. Only the tattoo one the arm of one differentiates them. Where did they find these guys?
Match Review: Sting dropkicks both Kongs to start the match off, then picks their fat asses up and slams them as Flair dances on the apron. Well, their gimmick just died a quick death, didn’t it? The match continues, and all four guys are in there. Flair throws one of them to the outside, and hits them with a punch from the apron. Race grabs Sting’s leg and Sting is clotheslined, but the fat guy misses an elbow drop. Sting clotheslines him, hits him with the STINGER SPLASH, and follows that up with a big splash from the top for the victory at 2:14.
My Thoughts: Yeah, that’s a dead gimmick right there. At least they didn’t build those guys up too much. Couldn’t care less about either of them, but they got a good pop out of the crowd losing the way they did. That’s not all that common. *.
After the match, Flair and Sting talked about facing each other on WCW Saturday Night. Interesting. It was weird because neither made negative comments about the other. If I didn’t know Flair went on to face Vader at Starrcade, I would have expected him to beat Sting up.
The Equalizer and Rick Rude vs. Dustin Rhodes and a MYSTERY PARTNER
Pre-Match Thoughts: I spoiled myself on the mystery partner subject, so it’s no surprise to me. That being said, this feels a bit out of left field. Despite that, WCW had taped material mentioning the man, so it shouldn’t feel that way. They’ve prolonged this Rude/Rhodes feud as long as possible, it feels like. Once it’s mystery partner time, the guy rolls up in a Chevy Camaro, and it’s…ROAD WARRIOR ANIMAL. WHAT THE HELL, I THOUGHT THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE HAWK? Oh wait, it is. Hawk shows up from the crowd and jumps into the ring, and it is him. So…
The Equalizer and Rick Rude vs. Dustin Rhodes and Road Warrior Hawk (w/Road Warrior Animal)
Match Review: I’m confused as to why Animal was there, but whatever. Hawk and Rude will start things off, and Hawk pushes Rude into the corner. Hawk wants a test of strength, but Rude takes some time to oblige. When he does, Hawk wins it and stomps on Rude’s hands. Equalizer tags in there, and Hawk dropkicks him down. Way to make the new guy look bad. Hawk chases him around the ring and gets stomped on, then they completely botch a neckbreaker. Oh dear. Hawk clotheslines Equalizer, then runs into a big boot and gets clotheslined himself. Rude tags in and goes to work on Hawk’s back, sitting on him with a chinlock. Hawk picks Rude up on his shoulders and tags in Dustin, then they hit Rude with a DOOMSDAY DEVICE. Dustin follows up with a huge backdrop, but runs into Rude’s knees and gets clotheslined. Rude heads up top and hits Dustin with a big right hand, then tags out of there. He and Equalizer take turns choking Dustin, then Equalizer nails Dustin with a back elbow for 2. Equalizer follows with a CHOKESLAM, then accidentally clotheslines his partner. Hawk makes a tag that isn’t spotted by the referee, but Hawk shoulderblocks Equalizer anyway. Hawk picks Rude up and drops him on the big guy, then clotheslines both of them. Hawk gives them a double facebuster, then clotheslines Rude and Equalizer both over the top rope. Hawk suplexes Rude back in, but Equalizer clotheslines him to the outside. Hawk gets on the top rope quickly, stops Equalizer from slamming Dustin, and Dustin gets the pinfall at 7:42.
My Thoughts: This was an absolute mess, that’s for certain. It got worse towards the end when the crowd thought Hawk was breaking the rules, and the crowd didn’t react to any of the closing stretch until the finish. It was awful. Considering the botched moves and the foolish introduction of Hawk, I’d rather not ever watch this again. DUD. Jesse Ventura summed things up well when he said “you gotta be kidding.”
Davey Boy Smith vs. Big Van Vader (w/Harley Race) for the WCW Championship
Pre-Match Thoughts: If Vader is disqualified, he loses his title. Really looking forward to this match as well as seeing Vader move on to new pastures after it. This feud has also gone on long enough for me. I think it’s awful to see WCW in this stage where anyone from the WWF who entered the company would immediately head to a prominent position on the card. I hate it. Given this is before the Hogan era, the guys brought in are better, and I still hate it. It nearly kills my interest in continuing these reviews. This ring looked a lot smaller once Vader walked into it.
Match Review: Vader and Bulldog start things off on the ramp, with both guys getting in a lot of punches and Vader throwing his mask off. Vader clotheslines Bulldog, then tries for a suplex only for Bulldog to reverse into his own. Bulldog hits him with a clothesline too, then another sends Vader back into the ring. Bulldog tries to fly in with a slingshot splash, but Vader gets his knees up. Vader beats him up for a bit, then throws him to the outside. Vader tries to splash Bulldog against the rail, but Bulldog moves out of the way in time. Bulldog suplexes Vader onto the rail, then they head back in the ring. Bulldog picks Vader up for a SAMOAN DROP, which is incredible given Vader’s weight. After a cover of 2, Vader hits Bulldog with a running splash. Vader drops an elbow on Bulldog’s leg, then clotheslines him. Vader gives Bulldog his own Samoan drop, then heads up top for a BIG SPLASH that gets 2. Bulldog goes for a sunset flip that gets blocked, but Vader misses his butt splash. However, Vader gets up and throws Bulldog upside down into the buckle. A splash follows that, then Vader goes to the chinlock. Bulldog tries for a crucifix when he gets up, and it gets 2. Vader nearly crushed Bulldog there. Vader comes back with some punches, then he heads up top once more. This time Bulldog dropkicks him, crotching him on the top rope. Vader falls back into the ring so Bulldog can work him over, but Bulldog runs into a big boot. Vader goes for the VADER BOMB, hits it, and Bulldog kicks out at 2! Vader signals for a different finisher, but Bulldog instead powerslams him from the second rope, knocking the referee down in the process. Bulldog goes for another delayed vertical suplex, but this time Race trips Bulldog and sends Vader on top of him. Of course, Vader retains after the pin at 11:50.
Bulldog tries to beat Race up after the match, but Vader is still strong and doesn’t care much. BUT HERE COMES CACTUS JACK! He tackles Vader on the ramp, and the broadcast ends right after that.
My Thoughts: This match was necessary to end the feud, and given that Bulldog did get the win at Beach Blast, it was good business to do things this way. Given that this wasn’t a very long match, it had to be different than their Slamboree match, and it was. They also had no reason to have a lull in the action, and they didn’t. I feel like this was better than that match. I didn’t care much for the finish, but Bulldog had to be given a way to save face. ***1/4.
All in all, I thought this was a fairly boring show despite there being some decent matches on this and despite the SHOCKMASTER segment. For whatever reason I just couldn’t get into it. I’m happy to see Cactus Jack’s return, he was definitely needed to help prevent the show from becoming more stale than it already was. I’m confused as to why Sid wasn’t on this show at all. Some things about WCW just didn’t make any sense. Next up, I believe I’m going to watch SummerSlam 1993. Never seen anything from it before!
Wrestling Time: 48:16. That’s about what I expected, and most of it was okay.
Best: THE SHOCKMASTER.
Worst: THE SHOCKMASTER.
Card Rating: 4/10. I’ll avoid this one when going back through shows to rewatch them.