The SmarK Retro Repost – Clash Of Champions X

The SK Retro Rant for Clash of the Champions X: Texas Shootout!

– Yee-haw! Live from Corpus Christi, Texas.

– Your hosts are Jim Cornette and Jim Ross

– As a general note on this show, dollars to donuts says that WCW stole someone from the WWF’s production department in January of 1990, because this sucker is produced to look EXACTLY like a Saturday Night’s Main Event. Including cheesy pre-match bluescreen promos, cartoonish skits, and exaggerated logos to introduce the wrestlers.

– Opening match: Steve “Dr. Death” Williams v. The Samoan Savage. Case in point: This match has a vignette (with Steve Williams jumping out of an ambulance to save a victim and then carrying him back to safety) to begin. The Savage is Sam Fatu, (brother of Solofa “Rikishi” Fatu) and the guy who used to be known as The Tonga Kid and/or Tama in the days before he sucked. Oddly, Sam Fatu is currently doing the indy circuit as Fatu, playing the same character who played by Rikishi as a part of the Samoan Swat Team. Don’t even get me started on samoan family relations – it’s the only thing besides time travel stories that can give me an instantaneous headache. One of these days someone is gonna make a fourth Back to the Future movie starring the Samoan Gangta Party and I’m just gonna have one of Russo’s “annerisms” on the spot. Doc ambushes the Savage to start, and Savage frees. Doc totally overpowers him with shoulderblocks, but gets caught with a lariat and we go to that tried-and-tested samoan specialty – the VULCAN NERVE GRIP OF DOOM! That lasts a while, so Cornette gets bored and starts insulting the Mexican contingent in the audience. He notes that attendance would have been greater tonight had the border guards not increased security. He then tops himself by noting that a guy in the concession with a towel stand is raking in the money because all the ticketholders tonight are dripping water all over the floor. You know, it’s REALLY hard to defend Cornette when he keeps making jokes like those. An eyepoke puts Williams on the floor for a timeout, and back in the Savage goes for the big fat splash and misses. Williams gets a HUGE, delayed press slam, and finishes him with a backslide (!?!) at 7:50. Dr. Death was actually being prepped to go over Lex Luger at WrestleWar for the US title, but stuff happened and Luger got out of that title defense and Williams actually left the promotion. What an exciting way to end your NWA run – by pinning a samoan with a backslide. ½*

– Terry Funk interviews in the Horsemen for the only really worthwhile bit in the whole show – Ole Anderson immediately fires Sting and informs him in no uncertain terms that he and Arn were brought back to the NWA specificially to make him Ric’s bitch, but because Sting saved Flair from Funk a few times his life was spared. But once he asked for that title shot, their generosity was used up and it was over for Sting. Ole offers one chance to live: Repent his sins and tell the promoters that he doesn’t want the match anymore. Sting gets in Ole’s face, tells him to where to go, and the Horsemen do a 3-on-1 punking to go MEGA heel and completely destroy Sting. This was an AWESOME segment, perfectly setting up the WrestleWar 90 PPV.

– The Mod Squad v. Tom Zenk & Brian Pillman. Pillman and Zenk dominate Spike with armbars to start, and Basher comes in and gets met with a Zenk enzuigiri. The Squad gets some token jobber offense that goes on FOREVER as Jim Ross suddenly goes into hysterics over the Sting situation with tweaking from Jim Cornette. I have suspicions that Basher is current WWF ref Tim White, but I’m not 100% sure. A LOOOOOOOOOOONG and boring heat segment on Pillman ends with the hot tag to Zenk, and he finishes Basher with a dull cross body at 9:55. There is no way this match warranted 10 minutes, especially given the weak booking. *1/2

– Cactus Jack Manson v. Mil Mascaras. Yes, kids, this is Mick Foley’s first brush with the bigtime as a slim, trim and shirtless Cactus was running less-than-rampant in the NWA and not exactly impressing people. A goofy gimmick didn’t help either, as Ross emphasizes many times here what a moron Cactus Jack is. Mascaras does a quick bow-and-arrow and headscissor takeover. Jack bails and does a stupid spot where he trips over a chair while threatening Gary Michael Capetta. Back in, Mil gets a Boston Crab, but Jack makes the ropes. Jack tosses him, but he won’t sell. Jack sets up for the big elbow, but Mil sneaks into the ring and pushes Mick off into the Nestea Plunge, Mick’s signature spot at the time. For those who haven’t read his book, here’s a quick description: Foley falls backwards off the apron and lands flat on his back on the concrete. It’s quite possibly one of the sickest looking things I’ve ever seen to be done on a regular basis by a wrestler. So of course the bookers had him do it every night. Thankfully by 1990 he was over enough to retire it permanently. Mil finishes with a flying bodypress at 4:55. Point? ¼*

– The house band (“The Tough Guys”) annoys Cactus Jack (and myself) so he attacks the obnoxious guitar player and gets into a brawl with the drummer. Thank god this angle went nowhere, although the drummer (named “Wolf Wild” here) is actually a fairly decent wrestler from the AWA who was better known as JT Southern, and who in fact had another cup of coffee in WCW years later as Maxx Payne’s evil guitar playing nemesis. Honest to god, I don’t know why he didn’t make it. He had the blond hair, juiced physique and Brutus Beefcake tights. No wrestling ability, but that’s never stopped anyone else before. One can only assume that he pissed off the wrong person at some point and got flushed from the business.

– Falls Count Anywhere: Norman the Lunatic v. Kevin Sullivan. Mike Shaw’s horrible babyface push continues, as we get a vignette of him visiting a zoo and petting the pigs. Kevin tosses Norman right away, he eats post. Back in, Norman hits a sitdown splash, but runs into Kevin’s foot trying an avalanche. He misses a big fat splash and gets dropkicked out. Sullivan slams on the floor for two. Bad looking suplex gets two. Boring brawl follows, with Sullivan getting all the offense (I know, I’m as shocked as you). They head down the aisle and into the dressing room, then into the women’s washroom. However, since WCW is a family company or something, we only hear various sounds of battle without seeing anything. Sullivan emerges first, flops to the floor, and Norman follows with a toilet seat in hand and is declared the winner at 7:10, presumably getting the pin behind the forbidden door. I’m surprised that such an elegant and yet utterly cheap cop-out non-finish has yet to be lifted by Kevin Nash for use in an important match. DUD

– Terry Funk brings out Lex Luger for an interview and they play mutual admiration society for a bit as Funk inexplicably goes heel on the fans. Nothing of consequence is said.

– The Skyscrapers v. The Road Warriors. This is the Mean Mark era of the Skyscrapers, and is also the last match with them, as Spivey left soon after. Spivey tosses Hawk, who no-sells. Shoulderblock from Hawk and now Spivey bails. Back in, Callous and Animal do a sequence that goes nowhere. Hawk hits the floor on a blind charge and plays face-in-peril. Mark hits the ropewalk, but a second one goes awry. Hot tag Animal, and Doomsday Device for Spivey, but Callous hits him with a chair and it’s a donnybrook, pier-six, and it’s breaking loose in Tulsa for the lame no-contest at 7:00. Whatever. ½* This would set up the street fight for WrestleWar 90 that ended up being Callous and a masked Mike Enos when Spivey left the promotion shortly before the show.

– NWA World tag title match: The Steiner Brothers v. Doom. If Doom loses, they had to unmask. Finally, their long-buried and very secret identities would be revealed! Okay, so even JR admits that pretty much everyone already knew who they were, but it’s wrestling so you do what you gotta to sell an extra ticket or two. But I mean, you’ve got exactly two black wrestlers under contract (not named “Ranger Ross”) and one week a mysterious pair of black wrestlers shows up while the two contracted black wrestlers disappear, and people AREN’T supposed to know who they are? Stallfest to start, then Scott outwrestles Ron Simmons (er, I mean, “Doom #1”) to frustrate him. Release german suplex and Butch Reed (oh, excuse me, “Doom #2”) tries. He bails quickly off a dropkick. Doom regroups. Back in, and Scott goes unsuccessfully for the mask. Rick goes next and more stalling follows. Simmons misses a blind charge and takes a release belly to belly. Scott comes in and gets hammered by Reed. Really boring heat segment follows and drags on forever. Reed gets two on a piledriver and they brawl outside. Reed neckbreaker gets two. Scott comes back with a fluke Frankensteiner, and hot tags Rick. Atomic drop for Reed, and a powerslam. Slugfest sees Rick headlock the mask off Reed, revealing BUTCH REED! No! I’m shocked! Ross acts suitably surprised to see him. Reed is so disoriented that Rick easily rolls him up for the pin at 13:19. Simmons is also forced to unmask and indeed, it’s Ron Simmons. Well, that’s reassuring. If it had ended up being Ranger Ross the whole world might be in trouble. **

– Cage match: Buzz Sawyer, The Great Muta & The Dragon Master v. Ric Flair, Arn Anderson & Ole Anderson. HUGE heel heat for the Horsemen here. I mean, it’s so big that the fans just start cheering the mega-heel J-Tex team to piss them off. Muta of course plays it up for all it’s worth. Arn and Sawyer start and ram each other into a cage a few times, then Muta tags in and hits the handspring elbow to a HUGE pop from the fans. Oh man, WCW blew it SO bad with Muta, because they had a de facto face turn there and could have made big money off that guy. The real story of the match then begins as Sting charges the ring like a madman climbs up the cage, only to get dragged off by security while Ric Flair stands on the top rope and taunts him. He charges again and Ric keeps egging him on, but this time when security gets him down he lands a little funny and limps away. Meanwhile, Arn DDTs Dragon Master for the pin that no one cared about at 6:10. The Sting-Flair show continued as the cage was opened and Flair bolted out, tackling Sting in the aisle and triggering a huge brawl as the credits rolled. Can’t really rate the match because the camera was on Sting most of the time. Seemed about * from what I could see, though.

– Did you know that WCW used to have a guy listed in the credits for “Audio Sweetening”. Is that something you REALLY want to be admitting to?

The Bottom Line: Oh, yeah, nearly forgot something: When Sting landed on that leg, he didn’t just get a boo-boo, he tore an entire ligament in his knee and had to be rushed to the hospital for major surgery to repair it. He ended up being on the shelf for months and the Sting-Flair money match for the PPV had to be cancelled and Lex Luger was inserted instead. Ric Flair was fired as booker because of this, and really WCW never recovered as everything he had built crumbled under the half-assed booking of Ole Anderson until finally Flair left for the WWF in 1991 and WCW went into the toilet financially for a good six years. Sting never truly recovered, either, as he failed to live up to the huge potential that he had shown in his early years and might have fulfilled had he been able to do a ****+ match with Flair and win the title.

Pretty amazing what one little injury can do to an entire promotion, isn’t it?

Anyway, there’s nothing of worth on this show in terms of wrestling and as good as the Sting-Flair angle was it ultimately didn’t lead anywhere due to the injury, so take a pass here.

Strong recommendation to avoid.