A look at WCW Clash of the Champions 31

  • Jeff Jarrett quit the WWF only minutes after losing his Intercontinental title at July’s In Your House PPV. The WWF feared that Jerry Jarrett’s recent new position as a WCW consultant led to this move by the younger Jarrett.
  • Scott Studd was signed from the USWA to team with Marcus Bagwell as “The American Males”
  • Big Bubba is feuding with Dave Sullivan because Bubba is allergic to rabbits. Smell the ratings!
  • The Renegade legitimately hurt jobber’s Mark Starr’s back during a squash.
  • The WWF wanted to transition Mike Rotondo from being an in ring talent to an agent who would sub when guys no showed at house shows. He instead signed with WCW. They were considering doing an angle where Bischoff and company were doing a press conference for Nitro’s debut, only to have Rotondo bust in and challenge _______ to an inter-promotional match.
  • WCW aired a skit of Hulk Hogan being beamed into the Dungeon of Doom, he was then choked out by the Giant. After the skit aired, the announcers didn’t bother to talk about it or Hogan’s potential injury/death during the rest of the show.
  • Hulk Hogan wrestled Kamala on the live “Main Event” show prior to the Clash due to Hogan’s contract stating he’d receive 300 grand per Clash or PPV wrestling appearance. 

Clash of the Champions 31
I wonder if something is edited out because we jump right to Micheal Buffer…

Road Warrior Hawk and Sting vs. Kurasawa and Meng
I totally bought Kurasawa as a killer when I first watched this, although that maybe be due to what happened at the conclusion of the match. The heels attack to start a four-way donnybrook. The faces clear the ring after a struggle. Kurasawa tries to lay in some kicks to Hawk but the Warrior no sells. Way to put the new guy over Hawk! Sting and Hawk take turns abusing Kurasawa’s testicles. Meng tags in and Hawk no sells his offense too. Kurasawa takes Hawk to the floor and delivers a modified Samoan drop to the padded cement. Hawk is back in control seconds later.

Meng comes in and Hawk immediately takes him down with a neck breaker and sends him fleeing. Hawk uses a piledriver and powerbomb on Kurasawa before a four-way brawl breaks out. Hawk tries to set his Japanese foe up for some double team moves but the language barrier is evident and Kurasawa keeps walking away from Hawk’s attempts to set up a high spot. Kurasawa is then hit with a modified Doomsday Device and pinned at 7:30. Hawk is jumped after the match and has his arm broken to try and give Kurasawa some heat since the whole match was him getting beat up or having his offense not work. The match barely broke away from being a DUD (if not worse) given it’s nature as a glorified squash and overall shitty workrate. If you told me Hawk was on some medical gimmicks, I wouldn’t be surprised.

We get a live look at an empty Dungeon of Doom. Elsewhere, Dick Slater and Bunkhouse Buck promise to punch Sherri Martel in her face later on.

Alex Wright vs. “Diamond” Dallas Page
DDP cites this match as the first sign that WCW was prepping him for bigger things. Ric Flair’s pet project Alex Wright now loses his push since Flair’s not the booker and here he doesn’t even get music for some reason. DDP jaw jacks and gets rolled up. DDP continues to let the ref and the fans get to him and he ends up knocked to floor and leapt down upon. Wright out grapples DDP, which isn’t hard to do. Wright uses his speed and agility to launch into Page for several near falls. DDP finally slows him down with a gut breaker. Wright takes some abuse for a bit before making his fiery comeback and flies into DDP with flying dropkicks and such. Wright scores a near fall off of a German suplex but misses a plancha to the floor and is quickly rolled in the ring and pinned at 8:17. Good little TV match that told the story of the babyface full of spirit and high risk moxie against an overwhelmed but willing to cheat scumbag.

Ric Flair tells Mean Gene that the game plan is for Arn Anderson to do all the dirty work against Vader and then Flair will swoop in and take the glory. Anderson is okay will all this.

TV Champion The Renegade vs. “Mr.Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
Orndorff was penciled in to face Hogan at the first Nitro at one point, but going on a jobbing tour with the Renegade wasn’t really going to do much to get him ready for that slot. Orndorff jumps the rookie as he charged in the ring but Renegade quickly powerslams him and sends him in hiding. Orndorff jumps him again as the Renegade panders to the crowd. Mr. Wonderful controls the match with basic stuff. Renegade is knocked to the floor several times by Orndorff before Renegade springs a crossbody at him for the 3 count out of nowhere at 4:00. How to have a watchable match with Renegade? Answer: Let him execute literally two moves. Match was nothing.

Vader cuts a rambling promo about having no fear in facing the Horsemen.

Bunkhouse Buck, Dick Slater and Col. Parker vs. Harlem Heat and Sister Sherri
Buck and Slater just seem like the least likely WCW tag champs of the era given their look. Slater is 44 but looks a decade older and Buck is around 45. Buck was still winning independent titles into his 60’s, so huzzah to him. Sherri’s all fired up and tries to start the match. These guys trade punches and kicks. I can probably just copy and paste that for 90% of this match. Slater knocks himself silly by head butting Stevie Ray, since Wrestling Law 101 states that minorities have hard heads. They drag this thing out with the slow paced punch and kick stuff. Col. Parker tags in when T’s in trouble but he quickly falls victim to the Heat’s double team. Sherri tags in and nails a low blow but misses a flying splash and is knocked out. Parker is reluctant to finish her off, and Sherri jumps up and kisses him into a pinning position at 8:45. Martel attacks Parker and rips off his clothes before Parker kisses her. Parker is chased to the back. Horrid match, fun final angle.

Hulk Hogan says he has aided almost a full inch onto his biceps. He calls out Vince McMahon by name as shaking in his boots over the power of Hulkamania. He then promises to hunt the Dungeon of Doom on his Harley in his Hulk-a-speedo.

We then get a unintentionally hilarious segment as Mean Gene brings out a wheel chair bound child who is the Goodwill Ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Mean Gene uses big words and confuses the child to the point that he can’t even began to answer his question. Then Gene brings out Macho Man and the kid is clearly unimpressed. Savage beckons him to give him an “Oooohhh Yeahhh!” and the kid delivers the most uninspired monotone “Oh Yeah” in history. Macho then cuts a promo about the Dungeon of Doom and Nitro while screaming in the kid’s ear. He name drops Jimi Hendrix, who I’m sure the little kid has never even heard of.  The kid is then prompted to give another “oh yeah” as he sits awkwardly darting his eyes around. Awesome.

We then get a generic Macho Man music video for no reason.

We then go to a live remote to the Dungeon of Doom where The Master is screaming about Hogan falling into their trap. Since Hogan was just in the arena, where the Hell is this Dungeon suppose to be located? Hogan barges in and starts screaming that he wants Andre’s son. The Giant shows up and rips off his cross ala Andre and then chokes Hogan as the rest of the monsters show up and lay a beating down on him. Vader pops in and beats them all off himself before facing off with the Giant. Savage, Sting and Jimmy Hart run in to pull Hogan away. So apparently the Dungeon is like the Star Trek holodeck. Hilarious garbage here of course.

Vader vs. Arn Anderson and Ric Flair
Flair calls out Vader, then ducks behind Anderson. Vader has spent the last six months losing to Hogan via various methods, and yet he’s still announced as the number one contender here. Anderson tries to punch Vader’s ample belly and he no sells that via the power of blubber. Flair gives Arn a rah rah speech and sends him back at the beast. Vader quickly sends The Enforcer to the floor. Flair gives him another pep talk and Arn shoots him an annoyed glance. Vader keeps on pounding but Anderson hits a spinebuster. Flair asks to be let in now and wastes time posing and Vader gets up and starts to toss him from pillar to post.

Vader sends Flair to the floor and as he hovers over him in the ring Anderson jumps him from behind and clips his knee. Anderson then nails a DDT and calls for Flair to lock on the figure-four. Vader makes it to the ropes, then proceeds to toss Flair around once again. Vader delivers a splash and then a top rope splash but Anderson makes the save. Flair wobbles to his feet but Vader downs him and power bombs Anderson for the win at 8:05. Flair screams at Anderson after the match and Anderson gets in his face.

Hulk Hogan, Savage and Sting roar down by Mean Gene. Hogan promises to beat Andre’s son and calls out Vader, who briefly gets in his face and then walks to the back.

Final thoughts: Despite a less than stellar line up, this card went by at a breezy pace. Is anything really worth checking out? No. It was a step up from some of the recent Hogan influenced shows, and the two hour format (90 minutes without commercials) kept me from begging for mercy.


Written by Andrew Lutzke

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

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