A look at the events surrounding Clash 33:
- Eddie Guerrero was originally scheduled to beat Ric Flair at Hog Wild for the U.S. title. The plan was to build to a program with Steven Regal vs. Guerrero over the title but DDP lobbied to feud with Eddie instead and plans changed. Regal is scheduled to beat Lex Luger for the TV title soon. He will then be pushed as an international star as Regal has scheduled matches in England and Japan that will be taped to help show off Regal’s global reach.
- DDP is also trying to get himself booked as Ric Flair’s apprentice/flunky. Flair would be named the “benefactor” who dragged DDP out of the homeless shelters he was stuck in over the summer after Kimberly left him and kept all their money. Flair is sour on this plan.
- Jeff Jarrett is scheduled to start in WCW in early October. Jarrett decided to leave the USWA without dropping the Unified World title. Jerry Lawler was named the new champ via a fictitious title change.
- Chris Jericho was scheduled to debut against Hugh Morrus at this card. Since the card was over booked, they removed the match but didn’t bother to tell Jericho. Chris ended up freaking out when no plane ticket arrived and he was worried he was going to miss his big break.
- Doug Furnas and Dan Kroffatt (Phil Lafon) were expected to debut either at the Clash or soon after, but that never came to pass.
- Lanny Poffo is now under a fat contract. WCW has no plans to use him.
- The WWF is planning on running PPVs from New York each Saturday night. The idea is to have almost no production budget or frills and use the show’s “adult” themed angles to draw week after week. The cable companies have so far not been supportive of the concept.
- That’s it for news as this show took place just four days after the Hog Wild PPV.
Clash of the Champions 33
We open with a montage of Hogan attacking Brutus Beefcake and Macho Man before warning Ric Flair that he’s “a stupid little man” for risking his career in a match with a man who would injure his own best friends.
Bobby Heenan opens the show freaking out over a potential nWo expansion possibly occurring tonight. We see clips of the Horsemen running off the Outsiders on Nitro. WCW needed a lot more of that to try and keep their edge in this feud. Schiavone reminds us we have 9 matches to fit into a two hour show.
Cruiserweight champion Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Dean Malenko
The competitors walking to the ring reveals that these two have very similar entrance themes. Malenko jumps Jr since he knows Rey has beaten him in the past and a fast start could net him his gold back. Things backfire quickly as Rey head scissors Malenko and sends him flying on the floor. Rey uses his speed to keep Malenko unbalanced and the Man of 1000 holds has to take a breather. Malenko charges in the ring and walks right into a leg sweep. An embarrassed Malenko viciously flips Rey Jr over his head and Mysterio lands neck first off the top rope. A brain buster drills the Luchadore’s skull into the ring.
Malenko locks in some rest holds to take up a commercial break. He keeps Rey grounded with a kneebar. Rey finally gets back to flying and downs Malenko with a split legged flying attack and follows things up by moonsaulting off the barricade. A Frankensteiner fails to get a 3 count back in the ring. Malenko gets control back and delivers a flying gutbuster from the top rope. The ref counts 3 but then notices Rey’s leg was on the ropes. Malenko and the ref fight over the belt and Mysterio secures a forward role into a cradle and retains his title at 14:30. A heck of a lot of action on display here as these two had great chemistry.
One of the 3000 Glacier promos from thus era airs. After four or five months, he’s still just kicking air while surrounded by dry ice.
“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. V.K. Wallstreet
This epic feud included Wallstreet stealing Duggan’s 2X4. Duggan eats him up with punches in between mugging for the camera. Wallstreet drops Hacksaw on his throat but Duggan won’t even stay down for a 1 count. Wallstreet tries a rest hold but Duggan is having none of that. Hacksaw tries to tape his fist but gets the tape wrapped up with the ref and Wallstreet rolls him up for the win at 3:46. Typical Duggan no selling match. Moving right along.
Konnan vs. Ultimo Dragon
Konnan goes to the eyes and clubs Dragon down. He then ties Dragon up and displays his dominance. Ultimo bumps off Konnan and can’t budge him. Sonny Ono attacks Konnan to allow the Dragon to jump on the Mexicqn star. Ultimo hits a moonsault but a German suplex cradle is rolled through by Konnan and he snags the pin at 3:00. Dragon was way too good to be used as a glorified jobber here. This is how Vince McMahon would have booked him at this time.
Scott Norton attacks Ice Train at the WCW Internet booth. Train should have just stood up and gone back to typing.
“Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Meng
Savage no shows in order to sell his beating from Hogan a few days earlier on Nitro. No match. A Dungeon of Doom promo occurs instead.
Madusa vs. Bull Nakano
Nakano screams something in Japaneses but her inflection sounds like Minion gibberish and I laugh. Madusa misses a dropkick right away and Nakano whips her around the ring. Madusa blows a crossbody and Nakano sits on her. They are rushing as they have been given no time for a match. Madusa jumps into Ono at ringside and Ono responds by trying to kick her but he nails Nakano instead and she gets rolled up at 2:30 for the win. Madusa’s greatest pain was probably trying to wrestle while carrying around 10 pounds of silicone. Match had no time and as such had no chance of being good.
Eddie Guerrero vs. “Diamond” Dallas Page
Guerrero tries to use speed on his larger opponent but things backfire when he charges towards Page but DDP dodges, leaving Eddie to crash shoulder first in the ring. Page grounds Guerrero to the mat with a headlock. Page hits a Tiger bomb for a near fall. Eddie manages to knock Page off the second rope and hits a frog splash for the win at 4:20. Page hits several Diamond Cutters to make sure we continue the feud. This was fine but immediately forgettable.
Hogan drags Mean Gene to the entry way and cuts a promo. Blah blah nWo blah blah.
Elsewhere, Glacier is still braving frost bite to practice his ninja moves.
Chris Benoit vs. The Giant
Woman gets Benoit caught in his coat. As they struggle Benoit eats a GIANT dropkick and a mile-high chokeslam for the win at 0:25. The internet would have exploded if a match like this happened today where a hoss squashed a workrate freak. I’m sure Benoit was thrilled when they told him the match layout.
World tag champions Harlem Heat vs. Sting and Lex Luger vs. The Steiner Brothers
Rick stares at Stevie Ray, then lowers his head and ogles his man parts. Scott Steiner and Lex Luger both abuse Booker T’s crotch. Ray ends the genital obsession by stomping a mudhole in Luger. Rick comes in and drops both men with weak half-ass Steinerlines. A commercial break thankfully cuts out the Harlem Heat’s “exciting” heat segment. Sting comes in and tosses T over the top rope. Sting press slams T and Ray leaps over the top rope to make the save. Stevie is actually showing a little life for a change.
Sting and Scott Steiner toss one another around in a bit of friendly fire. Rick and Lex tag in and start to pound on one another. The Total Package absorbs a hard German suplex and then Scott comes in and delivers a big belly-to-belly suplex. All six men start to brawl in the ring and it spills out to the floor. Scott Steiner nails a Frankensteiner on Booker but Hall and Nash run down the aisle and attack Sting and the others. That’s enough for Nick Patrick to DQ Harlem Heat at 13:00. Steiner threatens to kill Patrick and the ref shows some great facials as he pleads for his life. Mean Gene interviews Nick Patrick after he claims he’s just following the WCW rule book. Mean Gene points out Patrick has been showing off more wealth than a ref should be able to lately.
World Champion “Hollywood” Hogan vs. “Nature Boy” Ric Flair
With only ten minutes left in the show Hogan can’t stall and we go right into a lock up. Flair works a headlock as the men seem unsure how to work a match with their usual roles reversed. Hogan uses a single leg take down but Flair chops him into retreat. Hogan resets things with a test of strength, but Flair is smart enough to just bite Hogan’s hand. Hogan tosses Flair to the floor and posts him. Flair manages to suplex Hogan when they get back in the ring and Hogan starts to do his Hulk up routine. What the hell? Did they just say fuck it and throw the psychology of their roles out the window? Hogan nails the big boot but misses a leg drop. Flair locks in the figure-four and Hall and Nash run in for the DQ at 8:04. The Horsemen and Luger and Sting charge to the rescue. What a mess that match was. Hogan and Flair seemed totally thrown off by having to switch their roles. After a disjointed match we finish with a screw job finish. Ugh.
Final thoughts: Too many matches crammed into too short of time made for a nothing event. This was sort of a pointless show since WCW already had seven hours of TV on each week, and Nitro gets the big angles and matches that used to be reserved for the Clash events. You only need to watch this if your a completionist like myself.