Clash 17: Subtitles are for sissies!
WCW brought in some lady wrestlers to help give the impression that Madusa had an actual division to work in. Madusa and Missy Hyatt started several verbal wars back and forth.
Since the Freebirds were now babyfaces, Badstreet “left” them. Brad Armstrong would then replace that mask for another and become “Arachnaman” from “Web City”. Plans for now are to have Hayes and Garvin work a lot of matches as singles.
Barry Windham began to focus on Larry Zbyszko and Arn Anderson. Despite Ron Simmons saving him from an attack by the Enforcers, and having a loose alliance with Simmons, Windham ended up aligning with Dustin Rhodes to pursue the champs. Barry Windham suffered a wrist injury along the way and would have to be written out of the planned match for The Clash.
Ironically Ron Simmons also suffered a legit broken wrist at Halloween Havoc and missed several weeks of action as well.
Windham had a bunch of pre-taped matches to air and the announcers had to work around his real injury and the angle change that became of it.
World champion Lex Luger lost to Rick Steiner in under two minutes on TV after Luger accepted an impromptu challenge from Steiner. This was to shoehorn Steiner in as a replacement at the Clash for Ron Simmons, who seemed to be in line for a rematch before his injury.
Sting signed a new deal for 3 years that will net him roughly 2 million dollars.
Rumors floated around that Norman the Lunatic would be brought back to work along side Cactus Jack and Abby the Butcher. Rick Martel is also rumored to be coming in. Dino Bravo is another name being bandied around as being WCW bound. Others the smarks were speculating on included Big John Studd, Bam Bam Bigelow, Don Muraco, Paul Roma, Hercules, Dr.Death and Terry Gordy.
A week prior to this show airing WCW had planned on taping a Memphis house show where Jerry Lawler would win the NWA World title in a tournament and then challenge Lex Luger for a title for title match. Once word got out, the show was canceled.
During several Mike Graham matches Jim Ross hinted on commentary about Graham and Brian Pillman being confronted by Sid Vicious at a bar, with Sid brandishing a squeegee as a weapon.
Brian Pillman received a series of main event title shots at Lex Luger around the house show circuit. Basically he got the shots that Ron Simmons would have been contesting.
With Big Van Vader finally a nearly full time WCW employee his first big feud will be with….PN NEWZ??!!
Scott Steiner returned from his injury in early November and he and Rick battled the Enforcers on several house shows.
Clash of the Champions 17
November 19th 1991
Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone on the call
Big Josh vs. Thomas Rich
Appropriately this is taking place under lumberjack rules. Rich jumps him and lays in the punches until Josh starts to no sell and he delivers his own fistic fury. Rich tries to bail to put over the lumberjack rules.
Richard Morton annoys me by wearing a neon shirt with the sleeves cut off. Way to sell the corporate gimmick Ricky.
The heel lumberjacks help give Rich the advantage and Thomas uses every shortcut in the book to keep control until Josh catches him on the top rope and slams him off.
Rich’s belly is beginning to get out of control again. Terrence Taylor accidentally (?) trips Rich and Josh butt splashes him for the win. Weird ending unless Taylor was turning on his partner.
Firebreaker Chip vs. Bobby Eaton
Eaton’s heel turn was already in motion but this is face vs. face here I think. Really odd match up. JR congratulates Chip on his roid usage.
The Firebreaker tries some high-flying moves but the execution is somewhat sloppy. Chip catches Eaton with a flying clothesline, which prompts Eaton to ground him with grappling but Chip reverses that too.
Chip gets several near falls on flash pin attempts. Eaton kicks out of a roll-up, Chip pauses…then launches himself into the turnbuckle and falls into a bridging suplex for the pin. Decent little match, minus the botched finish.
Sting comes out to receive his final giant box surprise. After being sneak attacked by several men coming from these, Sting goes right along with the trap anyway. A dozen oily muscle men in tiny tights bring out a regal looking curtained off box.
Egyptian music plays as Madusa comes out dressed like an understudy from I Dream of Jeannie and she tries to seduce Sting. Sting, ever the moron, gets excited and asks where she wants to go. Never mind she’s Rick Rude’s valet and he’s sworn to end your career Sting! Jesus.
Madusa turns Sting away from the box and that allows Lex Luger to pop out and destroy Sting’s knee. How will Sting defend himself against Rick Rude later tonight now?
Apparently a Tom Zenk vs. Diamond Studd squash match was aired here, but the WWE Network cut it out for some reason. The match went under two minutes and was just used to put over the Sting injury apparently.
TV Champion Steve Austin vs. PN Newz
Newz gets no time to rap. Austin jumps Newz but the Fatmaster quickly turns the tide and tosses Austin around the ring. Austin lures him to the floor but Newz reverses things and sends Austin into the railing. The champ tries a body slam but Newz is too fat. Newz celebrates his obesity and then botches a dropkick.
Austin sends Newz to the ramp but is backdropped back into the ring when he charges after the robust rapper. Newz gets a nearfall off a suplex and Lady Blossom saves the day by putting her man’s foot on the ropes. Newz chases after her and Austin flies over the top rope and connects with a swank flying elbow to the floor that connects with Newz’ back.
Newz gains control back quickly, only to miss a corner splash. Austin rolls him up and uses the ropes for leverage to secure the win. Not too bad of a match thanks to Austin being a willing pinball for his corpulent counterpart.
More WWE editing as Missy Hyatt’s introduction of Marcus Alexander Bagwell to the WCW fanbase as well as the WCW Top Ten segment are both edited out for reasons unknown.
Van Hammer vs. Cactus Jack
Hammer gets a music video showing him jamming with his band and riding his motorcycle. Jack jumps Hammer who plays to the crowd instead of focusing on the psycho in the ring. Jack squeals as he rips away at Hammer’s face. Hammer tries to mount an offensive but Jack’s manic attack has Van unable to clear his cobwebs. Cactus gets a second rope elbow down unto Hammer on the cement in a bump that makes me cringe every time.
Hammer finally catches Jack with a clothesline to the back of his head and a flying knee to the head. Jack kicks out regardless and utilizes Hammer’s guitar as a weapon as he jams it into Van’s throat and gets a mild upset win.
Hammer takes the loss poorly and attacks Cactus after the bout. They brawl all the way to the locker room. Good little match as Jack controlling 90% of it didn’t allow Hammer to drag things down.
World tag team champions Arn Anderson and Larry Zbyszko vs. Dustin Rhodes and a mystery partner
Windham’s injured wrist has Dustin without a partner for this event. Windham introduces his replacement. A man wearing a dragon mask comes down cloaked in black. Dustin unmasks him to reveal RICKY “THE DRAGON” STEAMBOAT!!! Arn freaks out and Larry screams. To think he gave up a lucrative feud with Skinner in the WWF to come in for a title push.
Steamboat chops Arn into retreat and when Larry tries to save his partner The Dragon chops him too. This sends both men to regroup. Dustin and Ricky clear the ring again and Arn tries to convince himself that Steamboat can be hurt, just like anyone.
Larry gives this theory a try and finds himself out wrestled and his arm wrapped violently around a ringpost. Dustin comes in for some fun but he allows The Living Legend to tag out. Arn uses his experience to take control but Dustin grits through it and clears the ring of his foe.
Zbyszko comes in and starts to lay the badmouth on the Dragon. Steamboat tags in and Larry slaps him to draw him into the Enforcers double teaming trap. Ricky endures several minutes of well-timed tags, dual drubbings and dirty tricks-when necessary. Steamboat tries to reverse several moves but exhaustion and the heels being ring generals don’t allow him to mount a comeback.
Arn finally makes his first cerebral mistake as he attempts a top rope move and his jaw is greeted by Ricky’s boot. Dustin tags in and explodes on both heels. Arn eats a bulldog but Dustin tags out oddly. Steamboat is tossed by Larry but jumps to the top rope and connects with a flying crossbody onto Arn for the win! Tremendous match.
Paul E. Dangerously absolves himself of blame for the earlier attack on Sting. He produces the contract the states Sting must forfeit the title if he can’t make the title match set for a less than an hour from now.
Upon hearing the news, Sting steals an ambulance and heads back to the arena.
Light Heavyweight champion Brian Pillman vs. Johnny B. Badd
They play Brian Pillman’s music as Badd comes down because WCW. Badd is wearing a remarkably, um, homo anxiety inducing sailor’s costume. Badd uses his boxing background to backpedal Pillman early, but Pillman is all heart and he roars back and sends Badd to the ramp and launches an aerial attack onto Badd. They scuffle on the ramp until Pillman is tossed throat first into the railing.
Badd doesn’t follow up and goes to the ring to prance, which allows Pillman to fly into him from above again. Another air assault sees Pillman find Badd’s knees and allows the rookie to take control.
Badd tries a flying sunset flip but Teddy Long is distracting the ref for some reason. Badd goes to accost his manager and Brian knocks them together and rolls Badd up for the win. Badd knocks Long out and storms off. Acceptable but unremarkable stuff.
US Champion Sting vs. “Ravishing” Rick Rude
Dangerously orates a soliloquy instead of letting the ref ring the bell and award the title to Rude. Sting’s ambulance pulls up and the ref starts the match with Sting still outside. Now Sting can be counted out and keep his title but the heels stop the count.
Sting finally hobbles to the ramp and Rude jumps him. Sting annoys me by delivering a press slam with a bum knee. He sells the leg after the move at least. Rude pounces and controls Sting back in the ring.
Sting fights back with kicks, which again goes against the psychology of the injury. Rude grabs his injured knee and wraps it around the ring post. The crowd squeals as Rude drops a bomb from the top rope. Rude’s neckbreaker is blocked and Sting tries more punches.
Paul E cracks Sting with his phone but even that isn’t enough to keep Sting down. Rude chop blocks Sting and rolls him up to claim the title.
I hated Rude’s guts for this when I was nine, that’s for sure.
Paul E admits it was all a conspiracy and now Sting is hurt and Rude is champion so boo-hoo WCW.
World Champion Lex Luger vs. Rick Steiner
Mr. Hughes is sent to the back before the match. Lex tries to out muscle Rick and learns Steiner’s core strength is very comparable to his own. Rick uses his NCAA wrestling skill to take Lex down at will several times. A powerslam and Steinerline sends Lex to the floor to recover.
The Total Package gets back in only to be downed with a belly to back suplex. Lex goes low to slow down the Dog Faced Gremlin before drilling him with several hard clotheslines. Luger sends Rick to the floor and allows Harley Race to get his licks in.
Rick starts to no sell Lex’s attack back in the ring and catches Luger with a bulldog. Then he subjects the champion to a belly to belly from the top rope! Mr. Hughes runs down, only to have Scott Steiner cut him off and drop him with a Frankensteiner. Harley Race gets on the ropes and Rick suplexes him in the ring. Luger uses all the chaos to grab the title and smack it across Rick’s face. He steals the win off of that. Hot ending to an ok match.
A fun show that flew by. The tag title match and the advancement of the Dangerous Alliance angle overcame the bad matches nicely. Too bad the next PPV has zero matches announced and little hope to be good. 40 men will enter the Battle Bowl but only one reviewer has to survive it.