411 Video Review: Clash Of The Champions 3 – Fall Brawl


*On September 11th, 2001, one of the most tragic events in the history of the United States occurred. This cowardly act of terrorism will forever change the country in which we live. As millions upon millions of Americans sat glued to televisions across the country, more and more terrifying pieces of the puzzle began to come together. The world sat in shock as live reports detailing an “accident” at the World Trade Center were abruptly interrupted with the sight of a second jet flying directly into the second tower of the WTC. We shook our heads in disbelief as we were informed that a third jet had flown directly into the Pentagon. We hung our heads in sadness as the World Trade Center collapsed, trapping thousands upon thousands of innocent people inside. As repetitive as it may seem to say this, the whole scene looked like something out of a movie. The video was just plain surreal to watch and to tell the truth, the enormity and scope of this situation still has yet to fully register. This is the darkest period in American history, but we will prevail. Despite all the horror in New York, some of the saddest actions that I’ve have seen in this past week have occurred right on my college campus. Muslims, who are just as American as you or I, are being persecuted, judged, and feared for no conceivable reason. These people were in tears after Tuesday’s attack, these people were first in line to give blood, these people were outside on Friday night with candles silently honoring their fallen countrymen, yet when they walk by the entire crowd parts like the Red Sea. It’s just not right. Yes, the majority of the terrorists are Muslim, but the VAST majority of Muslims are NOT terrorists. For the sake of our country, do not judge. As a country, let’s not allow this to turn into the second coming of the Salem Witch Trials. So, as a desperate plea, I’m asking you guys to try to go out of your way to show, in any way possible, respect and support to the Muslim-American community during this trying period. Don’t forget, they fly the Red, White, and Blue just as proudly as we do. That’s what makes this country so great… diversity. I know it’s been beat into the ground, but don’t forget that the Red Cross needs money. Click here to make a donation. Any 411 readers who can provide me with some kind of documentation that you have donated $100 or more to the Red Cross, Survivor’s fund, or any of the other relief organizations listed here receive a free copy of any Clash of the Champions show of your choice courtesy of yours truly. I know it’s not much, but our country needs our help right now. Email me and let me know if you make the donation, and we can work something out from there.

-This review is dedicated to loyal 411 reader Kenny and his wife Erin. Both are in New York working hard for the Red Cross during these trying times. People like Kenny and Erin make me proud to be an American.  

-* Just for the record, I did the majority of this review before the attack last Tuesday. I’m no longer as jolly as I was when I first began this thing. The passé star ratings are being replaced with corny, yet patriotic flag ratings. Exact same thing, but we will use the symbol of our freedom as opposed to the tired stars. 5 Flags = *****, we’re not talking quantum physics here. Incidentally, a special thanks to the two or three of you who email me on a daily basis accusing me of “stealing the Star Ratings that Scott Keith invented.” At least do your homework before hitting “send” on the hate mail fellas :)  

Clash of the Champions III – Fall Brawl

-Welcome back to everyone who’s stuck with me through the first couple of Clashes. Sorry it took me so long to get this out, I just moved into a new place and I’ve been pretty busy lately. On top of that, the U.S. Open has been occupying quite a bit of my spare time as well. Incidentally, if anyone out there happened to tape the Agassi – Sampras match the other day, PLEASE email me. Many of you were kind enough to let me know that you enjoyed the screen grabs, so they’ll stick around for a while longer until we all get sick of them. As I previously mentioned, I just got done moving, and unfortunately I’m not quite sure where my capture card is for the time being. I packed about thirty boxes, one labeled “Kitchen” and the rest labeled “Other.” My guess is it’s packed up somewhere in one of the boxes labeled “Other.” I’ll have it up and running for the next Clash, but for now you’ll have to settle for crudely drawn substitutes that I made in the Windows paint program. 

-A gracious thank you to Jason at Wrestling Supercards and Tournaments for various information. A great site and a hell of a nice guy.

-And we are LIVE from the Albany Civic Center in beautiful Albany, Georgia in front of approximately 3,200 fans for Clash of the Champions III – Fall Brawl!

-We are joined by Tony Schiavone and Ric Flair for a little commentary. The card is discussed in detail. Tony discusses the historical importance of the NWA World Heavyweight Title and mentions the fact that the NWA title dates back to 1905. A perfect example of not believing everything you’re told. This popular wives’ tale is simply not true. The title can be loosely (VERY loosely) traced back to January 4th, 1929, at the absolute earliest. On that date Gus Sonnenberg defeated Ed “Strangler” Lewis in Boston, Massachusetts to become recognized as the “Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion” of the National Wrestling Association (credit: Richard Sullivan). This title would switch hands a number of times, be vacated a number of times, and eventually end up around the waist of the legendary Lou Thesz. On November 27th, 1949, Lou Thesz was awarded the newly created National Wrestling Alliance title after his scheduled opponent, Orville Brown, could not compete due to injuries suffered in an automobile accident several weeks earlier. Thesz went on to have the longest NWA title reign in history, holding the title for an unprecedented 6 years. The title’s lineage would remain intact all the way up until 1991, when Ric Flair left for the WWF after a major fallout with Jim Herd. Flair was stripped of the title by the NWA (not WCW) and for the first time in history, the NWA title was vacant and the lineage was broken. Back to the where we were, as Tony talks about the upcoming rematch between Flair and Luger. Flair puts over the importance of tonight’s show, saying “Tonight is the night where the National Wrestling Alliance, in conjunction with TBS, has an opportunity to showcase what we know to be the greatest wrestling in the world. The greatest athletes in the world are in the National Wrestling Alliance, and tonight millions of people around the world have an opportunity to see that.”

-Jim Ross and Bob Caudle are our play-by-play men for the evening.

-World TV Title Match: Brad Armstrong vs. Mike Rotunda (w/ Kevin Sullivan). This match was to be the beginning of a massive Brad Armstrong push, key words being “was to be.” Both men circle to start. Mike Rotunda goes right to work with some solid amateurish stuff, including *but not limited to* a NICE fireman’s carry takedown which leaves Armstrong more than a little disheveled. Rotunda throws Armstrong into the corner and connects with some big-time European uppercuts. Rotunda again whips Armstrong into the corner, but Armstrong reverses this time. Rotunda jumps onto the second turnbuckle and launches off with a turnaround cross-body block. Armstrong rolls him over for a quick two-count, which is enough to send Rotunda to the outside for a breather. The crowd is JACKED already. The action is restarted, and Rotunda once again gains the upper hand with some nasty European uppercuts. Bob Caudle notes that Mike Rotunda could very well be the greatest TV Champion ever. A Rotunda hiptoss is reversed by Armstrong, who follows with a picture-perfect dropkick that sends Rotunda bailing outside again. Armstrong works a loooong headlock, very reminiscent of his marathon Clash II headlock, but Rotunda is kind enough to keep things interesting this time by rolling him onto his shoulders a number of times for quick two-counts. Jim Ross informs us for the tenth time that this match has a twenty minute time limit, basically sealing the deal outcome-wise. A flying cross-body block from the top rope by Armstrong gains a near fall and Rotunda retreats to the outside yet again. He regroups with Kevin Sullivan and hesitantly rolls back in. Armstrong strikes with a quick hammerlock takedown, which he holds while dropping five hard knees to the arm of Iron Mike. Armstrong locks on the armbar and the crowd pops HUGE. The arm work by Armstrong continues until Rotunda sneaks in a cheap shot below the belt. He capitalizes by dropping Armstrong neck-first across the top rope. Armstrong is thrown to the outside and Kevin Sullivan goes to work behind Teddy Long’s back. Rotunda suplexes him back in and goes to work with a reverse chin lock. Rotunda keeps using the ropes for added leverage until the ref discovers his dastardly heel tactics and breaks the hold. More European uppercuts by Rotunda are followed with some good old American kicks to the back of the skull. The kicks are only good for a two-count though, as the crowd continues to rally BIG-TIME behind Brad Armstrong. J.R. plays up the heart of Armstrong and let’s us know that we CAN make a difference by coming out and supporting our favorite grapplers. Rotunda connects with a flying clothesline, followed by a backbreaker. Again only good for two. Armstrong is thrown over the top rope, but comes right back in with a sunset flip. Being the ring-savvy veteran that he is, Rotunda quickly grabs the top rope to avoid being taken over. OF COURSE Teddy Long finds it necessary to kick the arm of Mike Rotunda off the rope. It’s perfectly legal, and encouraged, to grab the ropes in order to have a normal hold broken, but there is apparently a special provision in the NWA Rule Book stating…….     

“In the instance of a sunset flip, in which opponent A comes from the outside of the ring to the inside with the flip on opponent B, and opponent A sees fit to grasp the top rope for support, the referee shall have the jurisdiction to kick the arm of opponent A off the rope if, and only if, said wrestler A displays the characteristics common to those of a rulebreaker. Common traits characteristic of a rulebreaker… 

-Dresses in the same locker room as other rulebreakers.

-Hails from any country other than the United States.

-Is Black and does not have the words “Junk” or “Dog” in his name.

-Rips up the autograph books of young children at ringside, often times while pushing elderly women to the ground with his free arm.

Aaaaaaaaaaaanyway, the sunset flip only garners a two-count, and the crowd is blowing the roof off of the building. Rotunda with an elbow drop, followed by a leg drop. Dr. Death makes his way to the ring and begins to rally the crowd behind Armstrong, although they were doing a damn good job of that before he even came out. Rotunda lifts up Armstrong for a body slam, but Armstrong rolls him up with an inside cradle for 2.99. The crowd can’t believe it wasn’t a three count, so they just continue to get louder. Three minutes to go!!!!!! J.R. again informs us that by coming to the matches and cheering for our favorites, we CAN affect the outcomes of the matches. If that is true, then Armstrong should have scored the pinfall on the inside cradle. Rotunda hoists Armstrong over his shoulders for the big Airplane Spin, a move that makes me sick to my stomach to even watch. I would rather take a circa ’95 Vader powerbomb onto exposed concrete than take an Airplane Spin. Rotunda releases Armstrong, but actually falls himself from the spin as well. He manages to make his way over to cover Armstrong for another two-count. A big clothesline by Rotunda gets another two-count. Gut-wrench suplex for two. Small package for two. One minute left!!! The crowd is going insane!!! Rotunda tries five more times to pin Armstrong, each time leveling him with a clothesline, but he is only able to get two. Time expires and the crowd EXPLODES. Dr. Death storms the ring and hugs Armstrong. The pop is huge as J.R. plays up the tremendous moral victory that Brad Armstrong has gained by standing toe to toe with Rotunda for 20 minutes. A great, great old school match that temporarily established Armstrong as a future superstar. If only the proposed push would have happened…. 4.25 Flags

-Tony and Ric discuss the previous match. Ric goes out of his way to put over Armstrong with some kind words. Even as a heel, Flair was one of the classiest guys this business has ever seen. Tony indirectly apologizes for the awful “Maryland State Athletic Commission” ending of the Bash ’88 main event. He asks Flair if he feels as if his title is threatened by Luger, to which Flair replies…

“Luger’s awesome. He’s 6′ 5” and 280 pounds, with tremendous strength, and a heart to back it up. He’s played professional football, and he knows what it takes to be a winner… but he also knows that to become the World Heavyweight Champion and to wear the most coveted trophy in all of professional sports, he has to beat the man that has beaten all the big names. From Dory Funk Jr, to Jack Brisco, to Harley Race, to Dusty Rhodes, Ric Flair went through each and every one of them at one time or another to get where he is today, and that is the pinnacle of our sport, the World Heavyweight Championship. The bottom line is, Lex Luger has to BEAT Ric Flair.”

-Jim Ross and Bob Caudle are at ringside to give us an update on Jimmy Garvin. Garvin is recovering from a broken leg suffered at the hands of Kevin Sullivan. We cut back to footage of the incident on the old Saturday night NWA studio show. Garvin is being interviewed and suddenly Sullivan comes out and throws Precious HARD to the ground. You can literally hear her SPLAT on the concrete. Mike Rotunda comes from behind and attacks Garvin. He holds Garvin to the ground as Sullivan picks up what can best be described as flimsy wooden blocks. The blocks are thrown across Garvin’s leg as he calmly shouts, “My God! My Leg… Is… Broken .” Garvin will be back soon, and he wants revenge sucka. 

“Dr. Death” Steve Williams and Nikita Koloff vs. The Sheepherders (w/ Rip Morgan). Ok, so I lied. In the previous Clash review I mentioned the fact that Clash II was the only Clash of the Champions show that the Sheepherders appeared on. Well, here they are on Clash III. I didn’t mean to get all Scaia on you, it won’t happen again. As a consolation prize for my error, I actually went out of my way to learn which one is which. After studying HOURS of old Coliseum videos, I’ve discovered a sure-fire way to distinguish the two. Luke is bald, while Butch has hair. My girlfriend was none too pleased when I made her hold up homemade Bushwhacker flash cards on our anniversary so I could hone my skills. Apparently it wasn’t “romantic” enough for her. I tried to make up for it by incorporating the Bushwhacker Strut into foreplay, but that reaaaaaaaaaaaly didn’t go over too well either. Anyway, the Sheepherders’ goofy antics continue this evening, which has me laughing out loud for a lot of the match. Sheepherder Luke and Dr. Death start things out. Things quickly disintegrate into a four-way brawl, which elicits some thundering “USA!” chants from the crowd. Order is restored, and Dr. Death knocks Luke over with a big shoulder tackle. He follows with a Duggan-esque three-point stance, again taking Luke down. Nikita is tagged in and Luke runs to the corner to tag Butch. Butch is tagged and immediately tags Luke back in. The Sheepherders fight over who has to get in the ring with Nikita in a rather humorous bit. Nikita just shrugs his shoulders and bum rushes both of them, connecting with a couple of body slams and the obligatory *Double Noggin’ Knocker.* The crowd is going bananas, so Nikita and Williams both look over at each other, pause for dramatic effect, and then simultaneously throw up the *Double Thumbs Up.* The Georgia folk are obviously big fans of the double thumbs up, as they explode from the gesture, many throwing up their thumbs as well. Dr. Death continues to dominate Luke for the next few minutes. A big clothesline sends Luke to the outside. Williams suplexes him back in, and comes off the top rope with a rare high cross body. Nikita and Williams take turns working on Luke’s right arm for a few more minutes. The Sheepherders regain the offensive when Williams misses a charge to the corner, injuring his shoulder on the ring-post in the process. The Sheepherders work over the injured shoulder with big overhead clubs. Hot tag to Koloff, who mounts Luke for the Corner Ten-Punch. The crowd markishly counts along, but Nikita’s apparently been talking to Sting and stops at four. Rip Morgan puts an end to the faces’ run by tripping up Nikita. Butch rams Koloff’s head repeatedly into the outside railing, then connects with a flying headbutt back inside. We cut to a fan at ringside wearing a logo hat of his favorite tractor company. It’s not just any hat though, it’s one of those old 80’s hats that has the netting on the back. It’s the kind of hat that you could dunk in the water for a few seconds and then pull up a cap full of trout. The Sheepherders nail Koloff with a double clothesline. Luke locks on the sleeper as the crowd rallies behind Nikita. Rip Morgan casually walks by Steve Williams and pokes him with the flag, sending Williams chasing after him. Nikita finally makes it to the corner for the tag, but Williams is still running around chasing Morgan. Luke misses his second attempt at a flying headbutt, which finally gives Koloff the opportunity to make the tag. Dr. Death storms in and kicks some serious ass. An attempted press slam on Luke is broken up as Butch clips his leg from underneath. Koloff is pissed so he runs in, DESTROYS Butch with a sickle, and makes the pin at (17:07) despite not being the legal man. Huge pop from the crowd for the team of Steve Williams and Nikita Koloff. Another solid match here, with both teams working hard and very few breaks in the action. Three Flags.

-Tony and Flair discuss the previous match for a few seconds, and then lead us into our next match…

-Special Grudge Match: Dusty Rhodes vs. Kevin Sullivan (w/ Gary Hart). Dusty Rhodes is escorted to the ring by a full police squad for whatever reason. Sullivan immediately attacks Rhodes with some big chops in the corner. A Sullivan clothesline is no-sold, Dusty lands a big elbow, and Sullivan is dropped faster than last night’s prom date. The brawl continues outside as Dusty rams Sullivan’s head into the announce table six times. Rhodes turns around and drops Gary Hart for good measure as well. We’re in Georgia, so the crowd is of course LOVING Dusty tonight. Gary Hart complains to Jim Ross about Dusty’s unprovoked assault, but Ross has no sympathy for Hart because he breaks the rulesâ„¢. Kevin Sullivan storms back into the ring with a SQUEEGEE, Sid Eudy style. Dusty narrowly escapes death by ducking the squeegee blow. Another big elbow sends Sullivan back outside again. We’re back in the ring, and both men actually tie up and fight for the advantage. Dusty gets backed into the corner and Tommy Young attempts to break both men up. Young is on the ground between them trying to push them apart, as Dusty wildly swings elbows at Sullivan over the top of Young. Five of them connect, sufficiently dazing Sullivan. The action spills outside yet again. Gary Hart nearly bludgeons Dusty Rhodes to death with his right loafer. Sullivan flies off the apron with a nasty chop. The crowd is all standing and chanting Dusty’s name. Gary Hart slips a metal spike to Sullivan. Sullivan defies all common sense by using the metal spike to choke Rhodes. The spike is passed back to Hart and the match turns into an impromptu boxing match. Dusty connects with four left hooks and a big right cross to knock Sullivan down. He’s up at 4 and thumbs Rhodes to the eye. The spike is passed back in, but this time Dusty sees it coming and intercepts it. He knocks Sullivan out cold with the spike, but Gary Hart pulls Dusty off of Sullivan at two. Hart runs for his life as Rhodes chases him around the ring. Al Perez hits the ring with the dog collar and chain (which would be used several weeks later for the rematch) and attacks Rhodes. Strangely, Tommy Young does not call for the DQ, despite both Hart and Perez interfering. Rhodes fights back and hits a double clothesline on Sullivan and Perez. Rhodes then rolls up Gary Hart, and Tommy Young counts to three (6:59). W-W-WHAT ??? The Georgia crowd is obviously privy to completely inane booking, as they pop BIG-TIME for the pinfall.  Dusty runs into the crowd and takes a seat at ringside, as kids swarm him and jump on to his lap. The crowd is going crazy, but I’m at a loss for any reasonable explanation as far as the ending goes there. Why Tommy Young would completely disregard two men interfering in the match and nearly killing Dusty Rhodes with a chain is beyond me. I’m also not quite sure why he counted the pinfall on Gary Hart, but Young has 15+ years of officiating experience under his belt, I have none. There obviously must be some loophole in the rule book that I missed. Ending aside, the match itself was pretty damn good. Three Flags.

-Ric and Tony are joined by John Ayers of the San Francisco 49ers. He will be the special guest referee for the upcoming rematch between Ric Flair and Lex Luger. Ric asked Mr. Ayers what exactly it is that qualifies him to referee a match of this caliber. John dodged the question by pausing for what seemed to be a good 20 seconds and then saying “Well, I think I’m qualified… May the best man win.”

-Russian Chain Match: Ivan Koloff (w/ Russian Assassin and Paul Jones) vs. Ricky Morton (w/ Blonde Mullet). This rules here are simple. In order to win the match, you must drag your opponent around the ring, touching all four corners in order to obtain the win. The Georgia crowd is again on their seats, this time chanting “Rock and Roll!” Ivan Koloff gets off to a quick start, kicking Morton in the midsection as he is playing to the crowd. Koloff wraps the heavy chain around his fist and delivers some big right hands. Koloff with a clotheschain (get it, its like a like clothesline, but with a CHAIN!!! LOL!!! ROTF!!! LMAO!!! OMG!!!) which sends Morton tumbling to the ground and grasping at his throat. Jim Ross tells us that Ricky Morton is dedicating this match to his father, who has become sick back home. It’s little touches like those that made the fans care about the wrestlers much more than they do now. By telling us about their families at home, their parents, their upbringings, and even their athletic backgrounds, the wrestlers actually seem much more human and much easier to relate to. That’s where Jim Ross has lost a step. When’s the last time we were told anything about a WWF wrestler’s background or family. If Jim Ross would tell us during RAW that X-Pac was dedicating the match to his sick father back home, people would be much more apt to cheer for him. If the announcers would put just a little more focus on the people behind the wrestlers, as opposed to constantly shilling their over the top characters, it would do volumes of good for the overall character development. Take a guy like Steven Regal. He’s playing the role of babyface commissioner right now, but he’s not getting the kind of response that the WWF would like. Regal’s story of overcoming addiction is one of the most uplifting stories in all of wrestling, and is something that Regal is not shy about discussing. If this story was emphasized even in some minor fashion, the fans would blow the roof off the building for Regal, guaranteed. Fans want a character that they can sink their teeth into. They want to be able to understand a particular wrestlers plight, and react to him accordingly. What do we know about X-Pac that makes us want to react to him at all ? Without the aid of these little touches, the majority of today’s wrestlers come off as one-dimensional cardboard cut-outs. Back in ’88, Jim Ross would let us know that Ron Simmons was an All-American at FSU, he would let us know that Stan Lane was discovered on the beaches of California and trained by Ric Flair, he would let us know about the Steiner’s amateur background, etc… What in the world do we really know about guys like Billy Gunn ? He’s got an anal fixation. Perry Saturn ? He’s in love with a mop. Bull Buchanan ? Absolutely nothing. There’s not a large demographic of the U.S. population that can relate to a lost mop. Look at Dean Malenko, there’s enough of a back story on him to fill ten thousand pages. If his family history and world-wide accomplishments were even mentioned occasionally, it would do worlds of good for his character. My God I’m off subject, my apologies…. Koloff continues to choke Morton with the chain, as he touches one corner. Koloff goes for the second corner, but Morton resists. Morton is sent into the ropes and set up for another big clothesline with the chain, but he slides under Koloff’s legs, crotching Ivan in the process. Koloff regains the advantage with a chain-mare (get it, a snap mare with the CHAIN!!!) and touches two corners, but Morton pulls the chain and catches Koloff with an arm drag. Koloff again regains the advantage, this time dumping Morton to the outside. Ivan with some innovative offense, as he continuously tugs the chain, pulling Morton (still outside) into the ring apron. Morton yanks back though, clotheslining Koloff on the top rope. Ricky wraps the chain around his fist and connects with some solid right hands. Jim Ross calls Ivan Koloff “the most respected Russian athlete in history.” Hmmm. Koloff snuffs out Morton’s comeback yet again, and manages to touch two corners. Morton clips Koloff’s knee and starts to go to work on said knee with kicks and chain shots. Morton manages two corners himself before Koloff thumbs him in the eye. Ivan goes up to the second rope and comes barreling off with a big clubbing chain shot. Koloff tries the same thing again, this time from the top rope. Morton remembers what happened the last time, so he yanks the chain, sending the big Russian careening to the canvas. Morton goes for the corner again. I don’t understand why they are both dragging each other by the arms instead of by the chain. There is eight feet of chain between them, that would tend to make it a lot easier to get to the corners. Koloff wraps the chain around Morton’s neck and hangs him over his back. Morton can’t get a grip on the chain and looks to be legitimately strangled. Morton fights back, hitting a snap mare and whipping Koloff across the back with the chain. These aren’t the kind of whips where the canvas takes the majority of the abuse either. The chain is solidly connecting across the back of Ivan Koloff. Morton makes it to three corners, but Koloff goes downstairs to end the momentum. Ivan once again on the top, this time leading to a double KO. Morton is back up quickly, and makes it to three corners. He nears the fourth corner, but Paul Jones (Koloff’s manager) holds out his “riding crop” for Koloff to grab onto. This tug of war continues for a good minute, as the crowd feverishly cheers Morton. Eventually Jones loses grip of the crop, sending Morton crashing into the fourth corner for the win. As is the trend tonight, we get a MONSTER pop for Morton upon touching the fourth corner. Not just a loud cheer, but the crowd is all literally jumping up and down and screaming. The Russian Assassin comes in and proceeds to beat down Ricky Morton, as Paul Jones and Ivan Koloff argue on the inside. Ivan eventually gets fed up and shoves Jones down, bringing the Russian Assassin back in. A second Russian Assassin comes in, and all three men proceed to beat down Ivan Koloff with the chain. Koloff appears to have been legitimately busted open (“hardway” for all of you smarts out there). In one of the sicker occurrences (“spots” for all of you smarts out there) I’ve seen in a long time, the chain is wrapped around Koloff’s neck, and one Russian Assassin throws him over the top rope, as the other holds the chain tight, legitimately hanging Koloff. Jim Ross informs us that this scene is much too heinous for the national viewing audience, and thus we cut to a break. All in all, another solid match. Morton didn’t get a whole lot of offense again, but in this case it makes sense in the context of the match (“psychology” for all you smarts out there). Koloff is billed as the “Master of the Russian Chain Match,” and this is his match of choice, so it makes perfect sense to have him dominate the majority of the match. 3.25 Flags.

-U.S. Championship Match: Sting vs. Barry Windham (w/ JJ Dillan). Windham is the champ here and is as hated in Georgia as he is everywhere else. The crowd of course blows the roof off of the place for Sting. Both men circle to start, but Sting abruptly ends the circling and lets out some of his vintage Stinger Screams. The marks’ eyes light up as they return the secret call. Barry rushes Sting, but Sting’s reflexes are much too quick for something of that nature. Some forehead-to-forehead trash talking commences. Barry sticks his finger in Sting’s face, but Sting is all like “AAAAAAAARGH!!! ” and he slaps Mr. Finger away. Barry’s angry and initiates a retaliatory collar and elbow tie-up, which makes it’s way to the corner. Sting foolishly trusts Windham to make a clean break, and gets a heelish kick to the stomach for his faith in humankind. Barry beats down Sting with some clubbing blows, followed by a big shoulder block. Absolutely HUGE leapfrog from Sting, he literally clears Windham by 2 feet. Barry comes back and Sting tries another leapfrog, but Barry stops and catches him in a fireman’s carry position. Sting wriggles free and hits a shoulder block of his own, followed by two beautiful standing dropkicks. Windham rolls outside, dejected and in need of a friend. JJ is that friend. The two regroup and Barry eventually makes his way back inside. More jawing back and forth by both men. Windham proposes a test of strength. Sting thinks it over for a minute or two, obviously wary of the fact that Windham might kick him in the stomach as a direct result of his heel status. Sting finally agrees to the test of strength, possibly following a “pretty please” from Windham. Confirmation pending from Meltzer. Before both men can even completely lock up for the test of strength, Windham kicks Sting square in the stomach. The audio is a little bad on the tape, but I think you can hear Sting saying, “B-B-B-But you Promised!” Barry chokes Sting in the corner and unleashes with some punches to the body. Windham mounts sting for the *Corner 10 Punch*, but Sting stops Barry’s fun at five with an inverted atomic drop. Sting with a big-time back body drop, followed by a corner ten punch of his own. The crowd feverishly counts along, but Sting again stops at four by his own free accord. THIS is why the kids loved Hogan. He went all the way to ten, sometimes eleven. From this point on, Barry Windham starts acting EXACTLY like Ric Flair. I’m serious, it’s uncanny. Flair Flop by Barry straight into the canvas. Sting repeatedly rams Windham’s face into the mat. A big elbow drop by Sting misses, giving Windham an opportunity to mount a comeback. Barry connects with some knees to the mid-section of Sting. Sting is thrown to the outside, where he receives some hard right hands and a scoop slam to the concrete. Windham hits a nice delayed suplex to bring Sting back inside. Barry stops a Sting sunset-flip attempt at one and rakes his knee pad across Sting’s forehead. Sting tries the bum rush this time, but Windham proves that he’s no slowpoke himself as he counters with a big powerslam. He picks up Sting for another body slam, but Sting rolls him up for the inside cradle, garnering a two-count. Barry is PISSED and continues to beat Sting within an inch of his life. Windham attempts a Stinger Splash variation of his own, but Sting ducks, sending Windham careening head first into the ringpost. Windham sails over the top rope. Sting capitalizes by ramming Barry’s head into three separate ring posts. Barry blades on the outside, Flair Flops over the railing, and eventually rolls back in. Sting works over Barry’s gash (LoL!!! Omg!!!), furthering opening the cut.  Sting connects with another standing dropkick, followed by a marathon sleeper. The sleeper lasts a solid four minutes, including all of the obligatory sleeper spots, such as the arm drop routine. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a (non-jobber) match end with the opponents arm actually dropping three times. Barry breaks out of the sleeper by utilizing the old Flair knee-drop. He immediately goes to work on the knee, clipping it out from underneath Sting a number of times. The Flair impression continues with a figure four attempt on Sting, complete with illegal middle rope leverage. Tommy Young catches wind of the cheating and forces Barry to break the scandalous hold. Windham jaws with Tommy Young and then lands a back suplex on Sting. Sting mounts a bit of a comeback, pounding on Windham and setting him up for a standing suplex. Sting gets Barry over, but Windham rolls and locks the ALUMINUM CLAW onto the left pectoral of Sting. Sting sells as best as he can, but it must be difficult to concentrate on the match at hand when someone has a firm grasp of your left tit. Sting fights his way up, but Windham still has a strangle hold on his nipple. Sting, being the resourceful young snap he is, drops to the mat, using the momentum to toss Windham to the outside. Sting is BACK yo. Sting sling-shots Barry back in, calls to his little Stingers, and hits a big backdrop. Two elbowdrops later, Sting is poised and ready to seal the deal. Windham is whipped into the corner and Sting SOARS in with the Stinger Splash. Windham is down and Sting moves in for the kill with the Scorpion Deathlock. JJ Dillon runs into the ring with a chair, causing Sting to break the hold and go after JJ. The ref is distracted by JJ, so Barry grabs the chair and hits Sting with a chair shot so weak that even Hogan would hide his head in shame, Brother. Windham disposes of the chair and covers Sting. 1! 2! 2.999! John Ayers is in!! John Ayers is in!!! Ladies and gentlemen, John Ayers is in!!! Ayers stops the count and informs the ref of Barry’s decidedly heelish antics. Tommy Young, looking for any opportunity he can find to screw the heel, blindly follows the advice of a man who could barely remember Lex Luger’s name earlier in the broadcast. Young raises Sting’s arm and the little Stingers explode. JJ Dillon jumps in John Ayers’ grill, so Ayers gives him the “Why I oughta” finger shake. Windham tries to attack Ayers from behind with the U.S. Championship belt, but Sting dropkicks Windham to the ground. Ayers raises the arm of Sting and the crowd EXPLODES. The heels are pissed, and justly so. If JJ Dillon had told Tommy Young that Sting used a chair, there is no way that he would have ended the match. As is the trend this evening, another solid match here. Sting was at his absolute peak here in terms of explosiveness and pure athleticism. He definitely lost a step after his knee injury. Anyway, a really good match to end the evening. 3.5 Flags

-Jim Ross and Bob Caudle are back out one final time to say goodnight to us fans watching at home.  

-Tony and Ric bid us goodbye for the evening. Flair is fuming over John Ayers’ interference and delivers yet another AWESOME promo to close the show, saying…

“John Ayers comes here, under the pre-tense of being a guest host, and sticks his big nose where it doesn’t belong. Ayers, If this is what the future holds for me pal, remember what I said, Life after football is NOT pro wrestling for you. And Lex Luger the world KNOWS it, you’re watching this show, the whole world’s watching, and let me tell you this Lex Luger. For all your awesome physical credentials, the bottom line is that I am the Worlds Heavyweight Wrestling champion and all the football notoriety means NOTHING. You’ve got to walk the aisle, and you’ve got to beat the VERY best. So you and John Ayers, talk it over, make your plans, call Jim Crockett all you want, but the bottom line is, to be the man Lex Luger, you’ve got to beat the man, and I AM THE MAN. Whoooooooo”

*Epilogue*: An awesome show all around. Every single match was entertaining and the crowd was on fire for the duration of the evening. As was the case with Clash II, this show was largely a teaser for the upcoming PPV and alot of the big name stars were kept out of the ring. As was the case with Clash II, this show was largely a teaser for the upcoming PPV and a lot of the big name stars were kept out of the ring. While a lot of fans were probably upset about not getting to see guys like Luger and Flair in action, many younger wrestlers were given a chance to shine tonight, and most did just that. Anyway, thanks again for joining me for another edition of the Clash reviews. As always, any and all feedback is welcome and encouraged. Let me know if you actually enjoyed the ridiculously bad drawings. In closing, don’t forget to say some bedtime prayers for all of the countless people affected by last Tuesday’s attack. Especially keep the children in your prayers. Many young children lost one or BOTH of their parents in the carnage. I don’t know about you guys, but when I was that age, my parents were my WORLD. I can’t begin to imagine what it would be like to lose them, especially at such a young age. These kids are going to have a tough time ahead of them, and they need all the help they can get to recover from something this tragic. Keep them in mind, and also keep your own loved ones close. If this whole ordeal has taught us anything, it’s taught us not to take anything for granted. Never assume that your husband or wife, son or daughter, mother or father, whoever, is going to make it home the next day. Anyway, have a good weekend guys and I’ll see you next week for Clash of the Champions IV – Season’s Beatings!