The Netcop Retro Rant for The Clash of Champions
– Live from Charlotte, North Carolina.
– Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross and Bob Caudle.
– Yes, we continue here at Rant Central with 1988 week, and another
highly-requested show: The first-ever Clash of Champions, done to screw
with the Wrestlemania IV buyrate by being aired opposite on TBS.
– You know, it’s almost worth the rental to see the cheesy T.H.E. video
promos before the show. Beta? What’s Beta?
– You know, back in 1988, I was incredibly stoked to see this show,
because they hyped it on Worldwide forever, but then I found out that it
was on TBS, which we didn’t get in Canada until 1991, so that was kind
of a downer. Anyway…
– Opening match: World TV title, Mike Rotundo v. Jimmy Garvin. This
would be an Olympic rules match. Not to be confused with the “Olympic
rules match” fought between Sabu and Cactus Jack in ECW. In this case,
a one-count is all that is needed to win. Lots of basic stuff to start,
with Rotundo bailing every time he gets taken down, for obvious reasons.
This feud is another step in the ongoing “Kevin Sullivan wants Precious”
storyline that concluded at Bash 88. Way too many shots of the crowd,
as was the norm for that time period. First period is five minutes, and
Rotundo nearly gets a pin with a three-quarter nelson. The second round
begins with Garvin going for the brainbuster and Sullivan going after
Precious to distract him. Rotundo cradles and gets the one-count for
the pin. Big brawl erupts after the match. I don’t see the point of
the stips. *
– US tag team title: The Midnight Express v. The Fantastics. Sorry,
was there some PPV going on? I forgot. Huge brawl to start, and I mean
A HUGE FUCKING BRAWL. Rogers goes after Lane in the ring and Fulton
pounds Eaton with a chair. Lane rams Rogers ito a chair to retaliate,
and even Cornette hits the faces with chairs. Even a table gets used,
albeit not broken. Finally they get ito the ring and the Fantastics
double-team the Express to death. The Express hits the Double Goozle on
Rogers to take control. The action is literally non-stop here.
Cornette holds up the table and Rogers gets whipped into it, selling it
like he’s been shot. Great looking spot. Eaton powerslams him and hits
a Randy Savage elbow. More double-teams from the Express, including a
Demolition Decapitation. I wonder if that was to show up the WWF?
Standing enzuigiri from Stan. Rogers gets slammed on the table outside
the ring…but it’s not set up. And there’s a chair underneath it.
OUCH! Eaton bulldogs him on the table. DOUBLE-OUCH! I think his neck
might be broken, but this is the NWA, and WE WRESTLE, so he’s still
game. Rogers blades, just because it wouldn’t be right otherwise.
False tag to Fulton, so Cornette tags advantage and whacks Rogers with
the racket. Fulton tosses Randy Anderson over the tag rope, and they
hits the Rocket Launcher on Eaton, just in time for Tommy Young to come
in and count the pin. Hey, who do you think was booking this show?
The Express gets the titles back on the Dusty Finish, but it only knocks
1/4* off. ****3/4
– Dusty Rhodes & The Road Warriors v. The Powers of Pain & Ivan Koloff.
This is a barbed-wire street fight. Don’t get excited, the wire is just
wrapped around the ropes loosely. This comes after the evil Russians
and evil Powers of Pain dropped a barbell on Animal’s face and did bad
things to him. Animal is doing his Jason the Terrible impression as a
result. Barbed wire doesn’t really figure into it, as they just do a
big battle royale and work in their usual stuff. Barbarian misses a
diving headbutt and hits Warlord, giving the faces the pin. This was
your basic Worldwide main event. *1/4
– NWA World tag team title match: Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson v.
Barry Windham & Lex Luger. Here’s the setup: The Horsemen are Bad
People, and Luger/Windham are Good People. There you go. Specifically,
Luger was kicked out of the Horsemen for free thinking two months
previous to this, and he figured kicking the Horsemen’s asses would be a
good idea. Luger clotheslines both heels and powerslams Tully right
away, racking him less than a minute in. A stomp to the knee swings it
back again and they work the knee. Windham gets the hot tag and Lariats
Blanchard, again nearly getting the win very early. He gets a sleeper
and Tully makes the ropes…but Windham holds on as Tully rolls out.
You NEVER see that anymore. Horsemen get control of Windham and pound
on him. Crowd is fanatically behind the faces. Really amazing pace
because of time restrictions. Windham survives a slingshot suplex and
hot tags to Luger. Clothesline! Clothesline! Double-noggin-knocker!
Oops, knee to the back and Lex is slowed for about 2 seconds before
powerslamming Arn. Brawl breaks out, and JJ climbs on the apron with a
chair, which Luger promptly whips Anderson into for the pin and the
World tag team titles. Badda bing, badda boom. Luger and Windham get
a Steve Austin-like pop for the win. Wow, that was just about the
loudest I’ve ever heard. ****1/2 Windham would turn on Luger two weeks
later to join the Horsemen, giving the titles back to Anderson and
Blanchard again in the process.
– NWA World title match: Ric Flair v. Sting. You know the deal, five
judges at ringside, 45 minute time limit, JJ locked in a cage at
ringside, etc. Sting is wearing black and white makeup…could this be
a secret alliance with the nWo B-Team? TUNE INTO NITRO TO FIND OUT!
Wristlock to start. Chops have no effect and Sting dropkicks Flair out
of the ring. Sting controls for the next few minutes, with a lot of
basic stuff. Side headlock, bearhug, etc. I don’t think Sting was
ready for this match. Sting misses a blind charge to the corner and
messes up his elbow about 15 minutes in. Flair goes to work,
methodically destroying Sting. Sting has a mini-comeback about 25
minutes in to keep the crowd going, but misses a charge outside the ring
and hits the post. The comeback continues, however, for a couple of two
counts. Outside-in suplex and Deathlock, but Flair makes the ropes.
Sting goes flying out of the ring and comes back in with a flying
bodypress for two. Flair goes to work on the knee. Figure-four at 30
minutes. Amazingly, he cut to the crowd for a second, and when we
return FLAIR is in the figure-four. Wow, that’s some magic trick. Must
have been the Black Scorpion. Now Sting is working on Flair’s leg. We
jumped to 40 minutes, so there was some definite clipping for home
video. The ring announcer does the annoying NWA trademark
minute-by-minute countdown to time limit. Sting misses a splash and
goes flying out of the ring. Nice bumping by Sting. They exchange two
counts. Flair Flip leads to a bodypress, which is reversed by Sting for
two. 10 punch count leads to the Stinger Splash and deathlock with 30
seconds left. Flair holds on to time limit, and we go to the judges’
decision: A draw. Well, that pretty much shoots down the “there must
be a winner” stipulation. The Penthouse bimbo gives it to Flair, Gary
Juster gives it to Sting, Sandy Scott scores it a draw. They clip the
other two judges’ decisions, but I don’t think anyone cares what Eddie
Haskell has to say. Not a ***** classic by any means, but still good.
The Bottom Line: Can’t complain about that show, especially on free TV.
Easy recommendation over Wrestlemania IV.