- Rick Rude’s back injury is being seriously questioned as being legit. Just prior to going to Japan (where the injury occurred) Rude had informed WCW officials he would not do any jobs for Flair, Hogan or Vader. WCW had penciled in ideas for Hogan’s debut being a PPV main event with either Hogan and Flair facing Rude and Curt Hennig or Hogan and Sting teaming up against Rude and Flair, with Rude eating the pin either way. Rude and booker Ric Flair had an explosive argument at Slamboree, where Rude refused to even go on camera on PPV while Commissioner Nick Bockwinkel stripped him of the International title.
- Hogan’s WCW contract calls for him to work three PPVs and three Clashes at a rate of $300,000 per show. He will also receive 25% of any additional PPV buys above the current status quo. Hogan will also receive 25% of the net for any house show he works on and 65% of all merchandising income. That last one is the most surprising because WCW gives the arenas they work in 30% of all merchandise sales, which leaves WCW in the red after production costs are considered.
- Ric Flair taped interviews plugging a Clash match with Curt Hennig in August. Hennig is still under WWF contract until the Fall.
- To show that workrate isn’t everything, a recent Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat TV match scored a full rating point less than an Earthquake vs. Yokozuna “sumo” match that went down the same weekend.
- Barry Windham reinjured his knee during his Slamboree match with Flair and he’ll be out indefinitely.
- Eric Bischoff is working on a deal with Disney to have a live one-hour wrestling show take place several times a day at the Disney World theme park.
- Maxx Payne quit and plans on going to the WWF ASAP. Ice Train has been released.
- Mick Foley has decided to quit as well, giving up a $3000 dollar a week job with few actual dates to work in order to work strictly independent cards and Japan dates. He will stay on until September to finish up his contract.
- The Guerreros (I assume Hector and Chavo?) are suppose to make a late summer run in WCW against the Studd Stable to try and help pop some houses in Hispanic markets.
- The WWF started to air clips burying Hogan as old in an effort to minimalize his impact on WCW’s bottom line. Later that week they interviewed Maryland’s Gov. Schaeffer during their live King of the Ring PPV show and he declared his favorite wrestler was Hulk Hogan.
- WCW and Hogan are trying to get Shaq, George Foreman, Wesley Snipes, Mr. T, and Mike Tyson to help promote Hogan’s PPV debut.
- WCW aired the wrong tape on the Sunday afternoon TV show that preceded this Clash. The tape revealed most of the results of this event before it could even take place.
Clash of the Champions 27
Mean Gene, Bobby Heenan and Tony Schiavone are excited Hulk Hogan will be here tonight.
WCW Tag Champions Kevin Sullivan and Cactus Jack vs. The Nasty Boyz
Saggs pummels Jack right away but that only awakens Jack and he fires away in kind. All four men brawl before the heels bail. The faces control with their roughhouse tactics. Jack plays babyface in peril for maybe a minute before tagging Sullivan back in. Sullivan falls right into trouble as the Nasties club, claw and batter him down. Jack finally tags back in and he single handedly knocks both Nasty Boyz to the floor before leaping at them and finding nothing but air and the unforgiving cement. Saggs backdrops him on the concrete in case he had any brains left unscrambled. All four men trade blows again. Evad Sullivan gets involved and Knobbs is blasted with his crutch and pinned by Jack. Fun chaos as we have come to expect from the Cactus vs. Nasties feud.
We get a Guardian Angel vignette to put over Ray Traylor’s new gimmick. He looks a lot less menacing in red and white.
Guardian Angel vs. Tex Godwinger
The Angel lets him get in 3 free shots before Bossman flips out and sideslams him for a quick win.
A police motorcade brings Hogan’s limo to the arena.
Jesse Ventura takes over for Heenan on commentary.
TV Champion Larry Zybyzko vs. Lord Steven Regal
Regal is in full British Colonial roleplay outfit and takes his sweet time disrobing to annoy the champ. Regal gets the jump on the Living Legend and aggressively assaults him with forearms and kicks. Regal gets too cocky and starts to slap Zybyzko. Larry snaps and smacks up Regal before tossing him hard onto the ramp. Zybyzko reverses several Regal suplex attempts and finishes his flurry with a piledriver.
Regal downs Zybyzko and delivers a beauty of a kneedrop. He starts to grind his arm across Larry’s nose and a delivers a double knee to the face. Zybyzko tries a Boston Crab but Sir William yanks him down and Regal grabs the ropes to score a title changing pin. They rush to the next segment and largely ignore the title win and the end of Larry’s career. A fun match with stiff, realistic work done by both men.
More Hogan hype.
Arn Anderson and Dustin Rhodes chat. Anderson all but tells Rhodes he’s going to turn on him if they team but Rhodes is excited by the prospect anyway.
US Champion Steve Austin vs. Johnny B. Badd
Austin mugs in front of Badd then slaps him dismissively. Badd chops and punches him in a fiery response. Badd controls the pace with armbars and an occasional dropkick thrown in. Really boring shine segment as it was. Austin starts to drop forearms and stomps to control our hero. Badd starts punching his way back into the fight but gets caught on the top rope and crotched. Badd fights out of the superplex but misses a flying sunset flip and is nearly pinned. Austin uses brass knux to wound Badd’s belly and he rolls him up for the pin. A second ref comes down and tells Nick Patrick what happened. Badd then rolls up Austin and the second ref counts a 3 count. The announcers don’t know what to make of this and we go to commercial and never resolve the ending. Johnny is still Badd. Match was underwelming.
Hulk Hogan interview. The crowd is full of planted pro-Hogan signs. Pythons, slamming Andre and World titles are discussed. Hogan can’t rest until he wins the WCW title. Ric Flair shows up on the video wall and wonders why anyone thinks Sting even is in the conversation for possible Hogan opponents since Flair is beating him tonight. The fans don’t seem too enthused by Hogan here.
A Hogan promo with Shaq is shown.
Heenan is back on the call with Schiavone.
WCW World Champion Ric Flair vs. Big Gold Belt Champion Sting
Can this match be anymore of a foregone conclusion after Hogan vs. Flair has been building for months? Sherri Martel comes down just as things are set to begin. Sherri is wearing Sting’s face paint. Sting shoves Flair across the ring several times. Schiavone talks about the 3000 matches these two have had, meanwhile Sting and Flair run through their normal routine against one another. Press Slam. Flair Flop. Hair tug into a kip up. Chops no sold. The ref is shoved and he shoves Flair back. A Stinger Splash misses and that sets Sting up taking a beatdown of chops, knees and a sleeper. Heenan screams “Everybody in this place is standing!” the camera then pans to a huge section of fans seating down causing Heenan to say “Well, except all those people…”
Flair is sent into the corner with a hokey looking catapault and manages two Flair Flops in under a minute. Sting misses a big splash but roars back quickly. Sting tries to plancha down on Flair but the Nature Boy pulls Sherri in front of him and she gets rocked. Sting is distracted and Flair rolls him up with a handful of tights and unifies the World titles. This was a total bore, not only was it paint by numbers but the prematch hype of the next main event killed any suspense that may have formed as the battle raged. The match itself was fine workrate wise but I was far removed from caring about it one bit.
Post match, Sherri hugs Flair and they do a hilarious “beatdown” on Sting where the 150 pound Sherri delivers splashes onto Sting. Hogan runs in to make the save. Flair runs, so Hogan corners Sherri as Jimmy Hart screams “HIT HER! HIT HER!” Sherri then runs. Sting gets shuffled off to the back so Hogan can cut another promo challenging Flair.
Final thoughts: It seems appropriate that the last mega show before the total Hogan takeover was headlined by Sting vs. Flair a constant go to match up for WCW till the bitter end. It’s a shame they took the easy route and ran through the motions during their match though. The upcoming months will see many WCW stars flushed away in favor of older, larger WWF cast offs.