Cheap Plug Alert!: I wrote an article about the wild life of Chris Farley earlier this week that’s getting some nice feedback, and I’d like for you all to check it out if you’d be so inclined: http://culturecrossfire.com/movies-tv/fatty-falls-down-the-wild-life-and-sudden-death-of-chris-farley/#.VO9fLi4YEmx
Now on to the wrasslin’!
*Nikita Koloff suffered a hernia while slamming Vader at Halloween Havoc. He also injured his neck when Vader stiffed him on a clothesline. The disk damage from the clothesline would force Koloff to retire several weeks later.
*Vader’s bad run continued when he powerbombed jobber Joe Thurman and paralyzed him after Thurman took a bad bump. Thankfully the paralyzing was temporary and ultimately it was determined he “merely” broke his back. WCW played up the injury for months after to help build Vader up as a killer. Bill Watts gave a locker room speech after the fact to remind his crew to treat the jobbers better.
*Paul Orndorff returned, managed by Madusa. JR brought up his recent SMW feud with Ron Garvin, the first hint of Bill Watts having come to a working agreement with that promotion. WCW is also in talks with Jerry Jarrett’s USWA about loaning them out young talent who need grooming.
*Erik Watts was thrust right into a feud with Arn Anderson, and Watts beat him via submission on TV only weeks into his WCW run.
*WCW magazine hit the newsstands complete with an article mentioning Barry Windham’s heel turn, which hasn’t occurred yet.
*Jake Roberts checked himself into the Betty Ford rehab in a last ditch effort to kick his drug and drinking habits and save his faltering marriage. Roberts missed several TV tapings due to this and WCW used it an excuse to fire him for breach of contract. Roberts would check himself out a few weeks later.
*Robbie Walker has already been fired. He was scheduled to team with World Champ Ron Simmons at the Clash, but will now be replaced by the debuting 2 Cold Scorpio.
*Jim Ross was reprimanded by the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons for making a gay slur while calling an NFL game for the team.
*Tex Slazenger & Shanghai Pierce (The Godwins) have been promoted from jobbers and will be programmed against Johnny Gunn and Tom Zenk.
Clash of the Champions 21
The intro runs down several of the matches, but doesn’t mention World Champion Ron Simmons’ bout.
Brian Pillman is out on a crutch. Pillman cuts an insincere promo on how he was wrong for going after Brad Armstrong while Armstrong was hurt. Armstrong is lured down and Pillman attacks him with the crutch.
Brad Armstrong vs. Brian Pillman
They trade a few punches before Pillman clips Armstrong’s bad knee and gets the win. More of angle than a match.
We see clips of Madusa training karate with Eric Bischoff in preparation for her bout with Paul E. Dangerously. Another clip shows Dangerously tearing Madusa apart verbally face to face to such a degree that even the Dangerous Alliance leaves Heyman’s side. This allows Madusa to chase him out of the arena.
Erik Watts and Kensuke Sasaki vs. Arn Anderson and Bobby Eaton
Watts and Eaton trade slaps. They trade some grappling holds before Watts slips on the second rope and botches a sunset flip attempt. Sasaki comes in and has his way with both heels before Eaton manages to dump him to the floor. Michael Hayes gets in some cheap shots on the floor. Watts makes the save and the tag. Watts takes it to both heels before a four-way brawl breaks out. Eaton tries a flying attack but crashes into Watts’ fist and is locked into the STF for the submission. Match was fine, but I felt bad for the heels having to lose to youngsters on the second straight big show. Hopefully Anderson and Eaton get their contracts straightened out so they can be rebuilt.
Kevin Nash tries to cut a promo on behalf of Scotty Flamingo and manages to forget his lines on live TV while trying to maintain a faux-Bronx accent. A Don King impersonator is trying to ready Flamingo.
Boxing: Johnny B. Badd vs. Scotty Flamingo
DDP, Nash and Flamingo do a “Gracie Train” on the way down to ringside.
Round 1: Badd throws a series of jabs that sends Flamingo to the floor. Another gaggle of punches drop Flamingo again. Nash distracts the ref so Flamingo can rake Badd’s eyes, clothesline him and lay some kicks in. Flamingo uses illegal punches right in front of the ref but ends up rocked and dropped by Badd before the round is over anyway.
Round 2: DDP soaks Flamingo’s glove with water before the round starts but Flamingo is on rubber legs. DDP tries to distract Badd and eats a big punch. Flamingo is able to KO Badd with his glove and get the tainted win. For being a worked boxing match, this was inoffensive.
We get the first drawing for forming teams for the Lethal Lottery at Starrcade. Van Hammer and Dan Spivey are picked, along with Cactus Jack and Johnny B. Badd as team two. I hope that really was a blind draw, because neither of those teams is going to add anything to the buyrate.
WCW’s Slam Jam Vol. 1 CD is plugged. It’s full of God-awful music.
“Ghetto Odds Match” Ron Simmons and
Robbie Walker 2 Cold Scorpio vs. Tony Atlas, Cactus Jack and The Barbarian
The faces clear the ring and then Scorpio planchas on all three heels as they formulate a plan on the floor. Simmons tosses around Jack and Scorpio adds some forearms before blowing a moonsault and missing Jack completely. Simmons comes back in but falls into the wrong corner and faces a three on one beat down. All three of the heels take turns abusing Simmons before Simmons can create an opening to tag out. All five men go at it before The Barbarian accidentally kicks Atlas in the face. Scorpio nails a spectacular 450 splash on him as Simmons gets rid of Jack and The Barbarian. Scorpio gets the big win in his debut. The crowd popped huge for that finish, as this was in the days before every indy geek hit highspots like that. Fun little match.
Tom Zenk and Johnny Gunn are measured by five women for new suits. The women swoon all over them and they end up in the changing room for some quick and dirty sex. No, they really do.
A highlight package airs of the Jesse Ventura arm wrestling tournament. I sure hope that was actually a shoot because otherwise WCW Champion Ron Simmons was booked to lose to Van Hammer…
“Battle of the sexes” Paul E. Dangerously vs. Madusa
A woman runs down in a full karate gi and headgear and is KO’d by Dangerously’s phone. Heyman moves in for a kiss and a jobber is revealed to be in the disguise. Madusa sneaks in from behind and kicks away at Heyman. Dangerously flees but Madusa drags him back in the ring. Hayes trips Madusa, allowing Heyman to spit on her and drop a double axehandle. Madusa kicks away at him and starts to strip him, which causes Heyman to flee again. For an intergender encounter, this wasn’t bad.
“King of Cable” Semi-finals: Sting vs. “Ravishing” Rick Rude
Larry Zybysko, Ole Anderson and Hiro Matsuda are at ringside to declare a winner in case the match goes to a twenty minute draw.
This was an eight-man tournament held in honor of wrestling being on TBS for 20 years. So of course the finals are going to be on PPV. Rude gets a cheap shot but Sting rebounds quickly and drops Rude’s stomach and ribs across his knee twice. Sting mocks Rude’s hip swivel to a big pop. A front face suplex continues the attack on Rude’s abdominal wall. Sting locks on some rest holds before Rude takes over by attacking Sting’s lower back.
Sting drops Rude’s guts over the top rope and kicks away at his weakened mid-section. Sting attempts a Stinger Splash but violently crashes into the railing at ringside instead. Rude spends the next several minutes focusing his assault on Sting’s back. Rude misses while trying to jump on Sting’s back and Rude jolts his tailbone into the mat. Sting is too weak to make a comeback though. Rude locks in a bear hug as the announcers debate whether or not Rude is planning on waiting out the clock to take the decision victory.
Sting finally rallies with two minutes left. A flying crossbody fails to finish Rude, a follow up leap of faith ends with Sting being blasted in the guts. Sting fights out of a Rude Awakening, hits a Stinger splash and tries to lock on the Scorpion Death Lock but time expires. The three judges are split but Sting wins their vote. Solid match but considering the participants, probably a bit disappointing. The announcers were harping about the time limit the whole match, which made me figure they were going to have a last second flash win for Sting.
WCW/NWA World tag team champions Barry Windham and Dustin Rhodes vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and Shane Douglas
Windham’s growing in a heel beard. WAKE UP Dustin!!! Douglas is not over to the level of the other three men. Douglas and Rhodes have a clean-cut technical wrestling exchange at the beginning to establish their roles as babyfaces. Windham comes in and exhibits aggressive behavior on Steamboat, which causes tempers to flair up and Douglas and Rhodes have to come and keep the peace. Steamboat combines martial arts with technical prowess to keep Windham down on the mat. Douglas comes in and ends up missing crossbody and dropping his own throat across the top rope. Rhodes and Windham spend the next several minutes using quick tags and keeping Douglas grounded.
Steamboat comes in after finally making a tag and is a house of fire. During an exchange Steamboat is accidentally hit low by Rhodes’ head. Windham screams at his partner to make a pin but Rhodes is worried about Steamboat’s injury. Windham finally tags himself in and delivers two knees to Steamboat’s groin, followed up by a lariat. Rhodes is pissed now and he and Windham have words as Steamboat tags out to Douglas. Rhodes punches Windham, which allows Douglas to hit a belly-to-belly suplex for the title change. The crowd doesn’t know what to make of this. Rhodes mopes as Windham recovers. Finally Dustin explains he didn’t want to see Steamboat injured. Windham attacks Rhodes with a DDT and a superplex. They told the story in the ring well and the angle made perfect sense. Another good but not great match.
An exhausted Douglas and Steamboat try and cut a promo in the locker room but Windham cements his heel turn by jumping them and laying them both out with steel chair shots. Shane Douglas feels out of place here yet as he is still largely carrying the stigma of being a Dynamic Dude and a WWF jabroni. A few weeks ago he and Steamboat weren’t even teaming on the last PPV and now they are unified World Champions.
Final thoughts: With 1993 fast approaching, WCW feels rudderless as their World champ is an after thought, the month long Sting feuds with Rude and Vader need a fresh start and a once amazing tag team division is utterly destroyed.
Starrrcade is up next with Ron Simmons vs. Rick Rude, Sting vs. Vader, and Masa Chono vs. The Great Muta scheduled. Plus the lame Lethal Lottery gimmick is back. Not really sure how excited I am to sludge through that given that WCW has provided a series of lackluster shows.