- Randy Savage made an abrupt jump to WCW. Plans are for Macho Man to turn on Hogan over the summer to set up the next big feud. Savage has been cutting promos for the WWF within days of his jump and it took everyone by surprise.
- Macho Man was on the cover of this month’s WWF magazine and gave an interview in it stating he would never leave the WWF.
- The Halloween Havoc buyrate came in at 220,000 purchases, which was a major disappointment as WCW was expecting more than double that number.
- Hulk Hogan has only signed on through the end of the year and is trying to negotiate even more control over WCW in his new contract.
- Ric Flair booked Hogan vs. Vader as the main event of Starrcade, but Hogan switched it to himself vs. Beefcake.
- Sherri Martel is expected to take on managing duties for Steve Austin. (Plans changed soon after.)
- Austin was scheduled to beat Jim Duggan at Havoc to regain the US title but Hogan overruled that booking decision. Austin is supposed to start mimicking Flair in order to setup an Austin/Flair feud a few months down the line.
- Harlem Heat’s manager, Johnny Attitude, is now gone only a few weeks after debuting.
- Arn Anderson was added to the booking committee. Greg Gagne and Bill Dundee were removed.
- Ron and Don Harris quit after being asked to lose to Stars and Stripes on TV.
- Wayne Bloom and Mike Enos may come in as a team with a baseball gimmick.
- The Fantastics are back in as jabronis.
- Vader suffered a back injury and missed several weeks of shows. Paul Orndorff is working with a blown out knee. Austin hurt his knee just before the Clash and some believe he is faking it out of protest of his recent booking.
- Beavis and Butthead aired a segment making fun of Hogan’s steroid use.
Clash of the Champions 29
The WWE Network continues to buffer like crazy, which from what I read on message boards across the internet is a common issue now – especially with older content. Great customer service Vince!! For the record, I generally write these reviews in the middle of the night, so it’s not like the problem is an overabundance of people using the server.
Tony Schiavone and Heenan run down the card.
Mean Gene brings out Meng and Col. Parker. He has a contract to face the World tag team champions this Saturday night.
Titles vs. Mask: World tag champs Paul Orndorff and Paul Roma vs. Stars and Stripes
Marcus Bagwell is in full on white meat babyface mode, jumping in the air and throwing his fists up as he comes down the aisle. The heels quickly double up on Bagwell and take control of the bout. Bagwell fires back with hiptosses and dropkicks before the Patriot runs in to help clear the ring. Heenan thinks the Patriot is Al Gore.
The Patriot out muscles and out wrestles the vet Orndorff, causing him great frustration. Roma comes in and shows off impressive strength in dead lifting the Patriot several times in order to drive him across his knee. The Patriots rifles back with a Thesz press before tagging Bagwell back in. Bagwell is quickly dumped to the floor and assaulted by Mr. Wonderful. This leads to Bagwell once again falling into the face in peril role.
Roma hits a big powerslam, but stops to gloat and thus misses the chance to score a 3. Heenan is glorious here explaining how you need to cover fast while your opponent is still dazed – plus cheat, lots of cheating. A four-way brawl breaks out, which sets up a slightly hokey finish as Mr. Wonderful suplexes Bagwell, then lays there waiting for Roma to leap off the top rope for an elbow. The Patriot knocks Roma off, and Bagwell lifts up his shoulder as Nick Patrick decides that the men are in a pinning position. Orndorff lays there blissfully as the ref counts to 3 and takes his title away. This was by the numbers stuff, but was perfectly acceptable wrestling.
TV Champ Johnny B. Badd vs. The Honky Tonk Man
The challenger hails from “Honkywood,USA”. Honky stalls to start and yells at the fans. The men trade armbars and other basics. Honky is atomic dropped and has his hair messed up before being punched to the floor. Honky cowers before cheap shotting Badd to take control. A super lazy rear chinlock follows. Badd fires up and starts to take it to Honky. The challenger shoves Badd into the ref and cracks Badd with the guitar to drag this feud out further. Honky put on a clinic for minimalist wrestling here that would make Kevin Nash proud. This should be the last time I see Honky though as he would quit shortly before the next PPV over being asked to do a job.
The Butcher, Kevin Sullivan and Avalanche cut a promo in a darkened room. Sullivan shits on Hulkamania. This was way cartoonish compared to the super heel groups of the NWA/WCW’s past.
The Nasty Boyz vs. Harlem Heat
In typical WCW fashion, the Heat’s graphic says “with Sister Sherri” which spoils the surprise ending of the match. Booker T and Knobbs talk smack and start throwing shots at one another. Saggs comes in and he and Knobbs run over the Heat several times before forcing them to bail out to regroup. Saggs and Stevie Ray brawl as well as somewhere Jim Ross is thinking that this match defines “bowling shoe ugly”.
Heat take turns clubbing down Knobbs. After a few minutes Saggs comes in and starts beating on both heels. T tries to call somebody on a cell phone as Knobbs beats him up. Sherri Martel comes down, which distracts Knobbs and that allows Saggs to be hit from behind for the tainted win. This was a dreadful match from any analytical prospective.
Dustin Rhodes vs. Vader
Vader mauls Rhodes into the corner and bullies him with fists before spitting on him. Rhodes gets fired up and he Thesz presses Vader and paintbrushes him with slaps and fists. Vader is sent to the floor with a clothesline, where Rhodes follows him and continues throwing with fistic fury. Harley Race gets too close and is laid out too. Rhodes keeps up the pounding in the ring and SUPLEXES Vader!!
Rhodes comes at Vader again but this time he’s knocked off his feet. Vader pummels him with fists and nearly clotheslines him out of his boots. Vader tries a charging corner splash but Rhodes catches Vader and powerslams him. Rhodes tries a bulldog but Vader casually scoops him up and dumps him to the floor. Vader drags the carcuss back in the ring and delivers a Vaderbomb. Rhodes is saved only by having his foot under the rope. Vader delivers another one and The Natural somehow kicks out.
Vader is pissed at Rhodes’ refusal to die and he begins wailing into him with blow after blow. Rhodes fight back but he can’t take Vader off his feet until he scales the ropes and delivers a flying clothesline. Vader is then rocked with a DDT and a bulldog but Harley Race comes in the ring. Rhodes is distracted, which allows Vader to hit a front face powerbomb for the win. Vader continues to attack Rhodes after the bell, prompting Hacksaw Duggan to charge in and save the day. The match was tremendous fun, and felt like the only authentically southern wrasslin’ style match on the card so far.
US Champ “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. “Stunning” Steve Austin
Austin noticeably limping. We barely get to a lock up when Vader runs in and attacks Duggan. Duggan grabs his 2X4 and quickly clears the ring. Not even a match to rate, but Duggan vs. Vader at Starrcade sure sounds intriguing.
Hulk Hogan, Dave Sullivan and Sting vs. The Butcher, Avalanche and Kevin Sullivan
Mr. T is the special guest referee. T is wearing a ridiculous pajama hat with ref stripes. Michael Buffer’s mini-bio intros for each man are hilarious. Things break down right away and Hogan assaults Sullivan before letting Sting get his shots in. All six men start to brawl and Dave Sullivan is separated from the pack and has his arm splashed by Avalanche. Dave is injured and is led to the back for help.
Hogan is smashed by the Avalanche and once he’s down, The Butcher comes in to get his licks on his former best friend. Avalanche misses a splash but when Hogan tries to pick him up, he falls on top of the World champ. Hogan is locked in a bear hug. A powerslam follows before Sting is able to tag in and erupt on all 3 heels. Tenta absorbs 3 Stinger splashes before Sting is corner splashed in the corner himself. Sting is battered by all 3 men before finally making the tag in to Hogan.
Hogan gets a few shots at Butcher before everybody ends up brawling. Hogan cracks Sullivan and snags the pin. The heels deliver a group beat down to Sting and Hogan after the match. Sting is butt splashed and Hogan is locked in Butcher’s sleeper. A slew of jobbers along with Bagwell and the Patriot run in and are taken out. Hogan is locked in a sleeper for a couple of minutes and the announcers freak out.
Final thoughts: Flair’s gone, Steamboat’s gone. Regal’s push is done. The workrate has collapsed and things will only get worse before they get better. Sigh.