The SmarK Retro Repost – Clash Of Champions VI


The SK Retro Rant for Clash of the Champions VI: Ragin’ Cajun

– This was the last time one promotion tried to screw with the other through the use of dirty TV tricks, as in this case the NWA ran a Clash show against the WWF’s Wrestlemania V in order to sabotage the buyrate. It didn’t work, as the WWF’s show did a monster buyrate for the Savage-Hogan main event, and the Clash did a below-average 4.3 rating. NWA bookers could take solace in knowing that they had the best match of the night, however.

– Live from New Orleans, LA

– Your hosts are Jim Ross & Michael Hayes.

– Opening match: The Midnight Express v. The Samoan Swat Team. This is Stage Two of the Cornette-Dangerously pretend feud, as the Original Midnight Express have been banished from the promotion by a loser-leaves-town match at this point and the SST are Dangerously’s next weapon against Jim Cornette’s team. Over the course of the year, their make-believe feud would grow into a real one, which persists to this day. Lane & Samu do a wrestling sequence and Lane gets a cross-body for two. Samu retaliates with some Samoan Violence. Fatu comes in and tries to make a difference, but gets double-teamed. Lane hits the chinlock, and Cornette gets a cheapshot on Samu with the tennis racket. Lane gets caught in the samoan corner and they take turns running him down with Rock’s rental car and hitting him with a sledgehammer. Thankfully, he escapes and gets a sunset flip for two, then psychs out the Samoans. Eaton works a headlock on Samu as the crowd lets Paul know that he sucks. Lane gets suplexed and legdropped for two, however. Eaton comes in with a small package on Fatu for two, as the Express play games behind the ref’s back to the delight of the crowd. The Express works a headlock and hits a double-team for two. Eaton gets aniled by Samu and becomes face-in-peril. The Vulcan Nerve Grip burns some time. Cornette completely ripped on the SST in a later shoot interview for exactly that sort of behavior. Eaton fights back and makes the hot tag to Lane, and Katie bar the door it’s a pier-six brawl. Lane cleans house as Cornette & Dangerously each cheapshot a member of the opposing team. Lane gets the worst of it and becomes face-in-peril #2. Fatu powerslam gets two and back to the nervehold. A double headbutt gets two. Superkick gets two. Samoan beatdown gets two. Flying headbutt misses and hot tag Eaton. Double noggin-knocker backfires and Fatu goes upstairs. He of course hits Samu by mistake (maybe HHH paid him to do it) and Eaton hits a neckbreaker for two. Rocket Launcher follows, but Fatu nails Eaton with the telephone for the pin at 20:29. Dull but solid opener. **

– The Great Muta v. Steven Casey. Steven the Wonder Jobber returns for another shot, and this time has even less chance than he did at Clash V. Muta mists him right off the bat, and hits a handspring elbow. Wow, I almost thought it was Chyna there for a second with that precision execution. Except of course that Muta doesn’t suck. Casey catches an armdrag, but gets mulekicked in the corner. He bails, and Gary Hart tosses him in for a missile dropkick from Muta. Casey grabs a wristlock, but Muta flips out of it and takes out the knee. He calmly controls with the nervehold. Casey gets a lariat and comes back. Elbow gets two. Dropkick and hiptoss, but Muta dodges another dropkick. Enzuigiri puts Casey on the floor, and Muta follows with a pescado and handspring elbow into the railing. Keep in mind that Jeff Hardy was 10 years old when this stuff was going on, and no one had ever seen this kind of match in the US before. Back in, the moonsault (Muta is still the best ever at it) finishes at 8:10. Muta was so awesome, but I’ve probably said that enough. **

– Junkfood Dog v. Butch Reed. Speaking of awesome talents 10 years ahead of their time, there’s none here. Slugfest to start, and Reed bails. Back in, JYD hits his headbutts and Reed bails again. Dog hits a hiptoss and chokes him. I miss Muta. Reed comes back with his soupbone rights to take over. Standard Reed vanilla offense follows, and we HIT THE CHINLOCK. Double KO spot results. JYD misses a headbutt and Reed hits the flying shoulderblock but Dog’s foot is on the ropes. Lord, wouldn’t wanna job JYD clean and miss out on the money he could draw. Reed collides with Hiro Matsuda by mistake and gets rolled up and pinned at 8:53. ½* This killed Reed’s singles career, but in retrospect it proved beneficial to him because they moved him into Doom soon after.

– Dick Murdoch v. “Cowboy” Bob Orton. Wrestling sequence to start, as Orton gets a pair of fireman’s carries. Murdoch responds in kind. Long wristlock follows. Zzzzz. It literally lasts 5 minutes before Murdoch escapes. Slugfest and Murdoch dropkicks him into the corner. He hits two elbows to the throat but Orton turns a brainbuster attempt into a superplex attempt. Murdoch escapes and goes for the brainbuster again, but Gary Hart hooks the leg and Orton falls on top for the pin at 9:45. Saaaaaaaay, that finish sounds AWFULLY familiar. And in fact, if you had flipped over to the PPV channel at that point, you’d have seen the WWF doing that exact finish in the Warrior-Rude IC title match. How about that. *1/2

– NWA World tag title: The Road Warriors v. Steve Williams & Mike Rotunda. Hawk overpowers Rotunda and he bails. Michael Hayes plays up what a great referee Teddy Long is. When the announcers EVER talk about the refereeing, something’s up with it. Animal presses Rotunda, and the Doc, and the Varsity Club takes five to regroup. Hawk lariats Doc for two, but Doc hits one of his own. The Warriors work on Mike, and Animal headlocks both heels in a cute spot, before he ends up on the floor and a Williams victim. HIT THE BEARHUG! Belly-to-belly gets two for Doc, and Mike comes in with the ABDOMINAL STRETCH OF HUGE SUFFERING AND HELLFIRE. Williams clips Animal, and he hits the floor. Back in, spinebuster gets two. Animal lariats Rotunda, but Williams cuts off the tag. Blind charge hits a lariat, however, and Animal makes the hot tag. Powerslam and press-slam for Rotunda, flying shoulderblock gets two. Animal throws the ref down and they hit the Doomsday Device. Long won’t count. Williams cradles Hawk and Long does the fastest three-count in the history of the Arabic counting system, compressing it into what seems like less than a second and moving his arm faster than the human body probably intended. Now THAT’S how you do a fast count. The Varsity Club win the tag titles at 11:56 and Long is officially retired from reffing at that point. Decent power match here. **1/4

– Ranger Ross v. The Iron Sheik. They trade suplexes before Rip Morgan and JYD all run in for the DQ at 1:57. Thankfully it didn’t go anywhere. DUD

– US tag team title: Rick Steiner & Eddie Gilbert v. Dan Spivey & Kevin Sullivan. Spivey hits a Bossman slam on Gilbert for two right away and tosses him around like the proverbial ragdoll. They beat him up on the floor. Back in, Spivey lariat gets two. Sullivan puts Gilbert in the Tree of Woe, but Gilbert escapes and hot tags Rick. Powerslam Spivey for two, belly-to-belly for two. Everyone hits the floor, and Gilbert nails Sullivan with Missy’s purse for the pin at 3:49. Match was severely shortened for reasons of TV time. *

The Bottom Line: Not much of an improvement over Clash V, with no real standout matches, but one big shock in the tag title match.

Recomm Oh, wait, sorry, all the excitement has gone to my head, and I almost forgot one match!

– NWA World title, 2/3 falls: Ricky Steamboat v. Ric Flair. I would be remiss in not mentioning that the production staff spells it “Rick Flair” on the pseudo-Titan Tron in the background with its high tech laser-lights. They exchange slaps to start. Wrestling sequence as Steamboat rides Flair and then pops him one in the mouth. Flair goes to the wristlock, but Steamboat powers out. Flair bails and waits him out. Back in, Steamboat gets a hiptoss and a side headlock. Flair rolls him over for several near-falls. Flair powers out and Steamboat goes right back to it. A word on headlocks for a moment: In this sense, the move works because they’re not just laying there. Flair is going for falls, fighting out of it, etc. That’s the essense of workrate: Doing SOMETHING as opposed to doing NOTHING. The next time you see a resthold, stop and think to yourself what they could be doing to make the move mean something, even something small like putting the feet on the ropes for leverage, or reversing to a hammerlock, or whatever. Back to the match, as Flair dishes the chops in the corner. Steamboat hits his own, then a flying headscissors and back to the headlock for two. Steamboat works the move, pounding on Flair’s neck in the process. Flair pushes him to the corner and cheapshots him, but Steamboat UNLOADS with a chop and backdrops him. If you think Benoit has some scary chops, watch one of these matches sometime and try not to flinch. Flair hides in the corner, but suckers Steamboat in and cheapshots him. Steamboat rollup gets two, and back to the headlock for two. Steamboat works it dramatically. Into the corner for more absolutely vicious chops, which get two. Into the headlock, but Flair atomic drops him to break. Steamboat chop gets two. Shoulder tackle gets two, and again. Double chop gets two, and Flair runs, clearly in trouble. Back in, Flair and Steamboat destroy each other with chops. My chest is turning red just typing this stuff. I seriously cannot impart on you how hard these two guys are blasting each other without some sort of visual aid. Steamboat suplex, but a splash hits the knees. Flair uses a Sullivan double-stomp and butterfly suplex for two. Flair keeps working the two count, and Steamboat keeps kicking out. That is so magnificent to see. He finally kips up and they exchange chops. Steamboat misses a dropkick and Flair goes for the figure-four. Steamboat reverses for two, and Flair reverses for three at 19:30 to win the first fall. The first fall alone was better than anything either promotion has done in the past three years or so. Chew on that one. There seems to be a weird misconception that Lousiana statutes said that the winner of the first fall won the World title, but that’s a misinterpretation of something Jim Ross said. His point was that if the match goes to a draw of any sort, then the winner of the first fall would be the champion. Then again, arguing legal statutes of a fake championship is pretty stupid to begin with.

– Second fall: Flair plays mindgames, but Steamboat press-slams him and the flying chop gets two. Flair reverses a headlock into a suplex, and hits the kneedrop. Second try misses. Steamboat drops SIXTEEN elbows on Flair’s knee and hooks the figure-four. I feel like buying Steamboat a Hallmark card right now. It gets a pair of two-counts, and each time Flair sits up, Steamboat chops him down again. Now he releases and confounds Flair by going to a Boston Crab instead. See, Flair was trying to block another figure-four attempt. He makes the ropes, where Steamboat pounds him. Flair tries to fight back with a headlock, but Steamboat is still ahead of him and reverses a headscissors. They do the backslide sequence, which gets two for Steamboat. To the floor, Steamboat eats railing and gets slammed on the floor. Flair snaps his neck on the top rope and pounds on him. Suplex into the ring gets two. Abdominal stretch into an Oklahoma roll gets two, and again Flair works the pinning combo, using the ropes for leverage. Steamboat rollup gets two, but Flair gets a HUGE chop for two. Flair goes upstairs, but gets superplexed. Steamboat works the back. He hooks a double chickenwing, and Flair submits for the first time in his career at 34:57!

– Third fall: Chops are exchanged, and Steamboat gets two. Backdrop, and Flair suddenly gets a kneebreaker out of nowhere. Figure-four, but Steamboat makes the ropes. Flair mercilessly kills the knee dead. More chops. Flair Flip and Steamboat catches him with a clothesline on the apron. Flair suckers him into the corner again and gets a Flair Pin attempt for two. Steamboat charges and hits boot. Another charge and he gets hung up on the top rope. This damages his knee, so of course Flair is on it. Figure-four in the centre of the ring follows. It gets several two-counts. Steamboat makes the ropes. Chops again, and this time the Flair Flip leads to a successful bodypress attempt for two. Steamboat bodyslam is reversed for two, a move which would eventually migrate to the final rematch as the finish. Steamboat goes upstairs and gets two on the bodypress. Flair puts his head down and takes a neckbreaker for two. He recovers and tosses Steamboat, who sunset flips back in for two. Shoulder tackle, but Flair gets a sleeper in desperation. Steamboat powers out and Flair collapses on the floor, but sneaks in and clips Steamboat. Steamboat hits an enzuigiri, however, for two. Flying chop misses and it’s a double-KO. Flair works the knee again. They exchange exhausted chops and Steamboat comes back. Flair atomic drop is blocked and Steamboat clotheslines him for two. Flair catches him with a cheapshot and hits a backdrop suplex. He goes up and gets slammed off. Steamboat goes for the chicken-wing again, and Flair falls back in desperation, only to have it backfire as he lands on his shoulders and gets pinned at 55:19. Best match ever. ***** BUT WAIT! Flair’s foot turns out to have been on the ropes, so we need a rematch at WrestleWar 89. I’m down with that plan.

The REAL Bottom Line: If you’ve ever wondered why I kiss so much Flair & Steamboat ass, this is the match to get. It won’t even seem like an hour, honest. And the chops make Benoit look like Billy Gunn.

Strongly recommended.