The SmarK Retro Repost – Clash Of Champions XVIII


– Live from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

– Your hosts are Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan.

– Opening match: WCW World tag team title, Pretty Wonderful v. The

Nasty Boys. Zenon’s tape is missing this first match, but having seen

the Clash live (on TV that is), I can tell you it was about as bad as

you’d expect from the participants. Nasties win a non-title affair.

– Hulk Hogan comes out for an interview and gets attacked by THE BLACK

SCORPION! No, actually it’s a guy wearing the Scorpion suit. Anyway,

Hogan gets whacked in the back of the knee with a lead pipe and carried

off to the hospital. The announcers fear his career may be over. This

is an important point so remember it.

– US title match: Stunning Steve Austin v. Ricky Steamboat. Austin

beat Steamboat at Bash at the Beach 94 to retain the title and this is

the rematch. The rubber match was supposed to be Fall Brawl 94 but

Steamboat’s career-ending injury inconveniently cancelled that match and

allowed Austin to job to Jim Duggan in 30 seconds. This is a good

mat-based match to start with Steamboat working on Austin’s arm

incessantly. Barry Darsow (as Blacktop Bully) is sitting at ringside

dishing out abuse to both guys. Austin is kind of in transition from

Hollywood Blond to Stone Cold. The announcers on the masked man: “Ric

Flair said he had the Ultimate Surprise, and he pulled off the Perfect

crime.” More on that later. Meanwhile, Austin and Steamboat are having

the match of Austin’s career here. Big ending as Austin reverses a

superplex but gets caught by Steamboat on the way down. Steamboat

splats on the flying bodypress attempt. Steamboat’s back was messed up,

badly, earlier in the match. Steamboat is still game here, coming back

with the CHOPS OF DOOM and a spinebuster for two. Austin tries to climb

the top rope to escape but Steamboat with the electric chair for two.

Small package for two, rollover for two. Backslide for two. Sunset

flip for two. Tony is forced to call the match instead of hyping Hogan.

Steamboat does the “skin the cat” over the top rope and hits his

tailbone on the apron, and that’s what ends his career. What a f*cking

bummer that must have been. The guy takes some spectacular bumps in his

life and it’s one lousy, routine move that ends it. Steamboat gingerly

gets back into the ring (with three compressed vertebrae no less) and

small packages Steve for the US title, Steamboat’s last match and title,

and a great way to go. We miss you, Ricky. ***1/2

– Honky Tonk Man promo. It includes a really, really

too-close-for-comfort version of “Honky Tonk Man” called “Honky Tonk

Baby” that was obviously written by Jimmy Hart to rip off the original.

I don’t know why they didn’t just use “Honky Tonk Man”, since Hart wrote


– Nick Bockwinkle announces that Hogan will probably have to forfeit the

title to Ric Flair later tonight.

– A review of Dusty Rhodes waxing melancholy with Dustin, if you will.

He really wants to be Dustin’s partner against the Stud Stable.

– Terry Funk & Bunkhouse Buck (w/ Col. Parker & Meng) v. Dustin & Dusty

Rhodes. This is part #9495 in the never-ending Parker v. Rhodes feud

from 1994 that culminated in a horrible Wargames. Dustin and Buck do

most of the work here, thank god. Terry does his usual goofy spots in

lieu of actual ringwork. Sadly, Dusty makes the tag in. And he does

roughly a trillion elbows and beats the hell out of both heels. Dustin

back in and a cowbell to the head turns the tide for the Stud Stable.

But that crazy Buck hits Funk with his boot by mistake and Dustin gets

the hot tag. Arn Anderson wanders down for some introspection and trips

Dusty. But he makes the tag in short order and Dustin cleans house.

Elbows a go go. Dustin hits the bulldog and Arn runs in and it’s a DQ.

Meng confronts Dusty, so Dusty replays the Bubba Rogers angle of 1986

and grabs a Kevin Sullivan breakaway balsa chair and slams it over his

head, and of course Meng no-sells. Then it’s the TONGAN DEATH GRIP!

Naw, it’s just a nerve pinch. The Stud Stable destroys the Rhodes family

until Greg Gagne (one of the suits at WCW then) comes in to regain

order. Yeah, Gagne running in really scares ’em off. 1/2*

– Lengthy segment at the hospital as Eric Bischoff interviews Hogan’s

lawyer Henry Holmes, Jimmy Hart and Brutus Beefcake. Apparently Hogan

is on his deathbed but he really wants to wrestle Flair.

– Ric Flair demands that Hogan crawl off his hospital bed and personally

hand him with the title.

– Lord Steven Regal v. Antonio Inoki. There was some ridiculously

contrived angle to set this farce up. No one in this crowd gives a shit

about Inoki, no matter how huge a legend he is in Japan. Watch the

crowd empty before your eyes. Lots of forearms and kicks and other

non-wrestling. Who booked this shit? A double-feature cuts to a shot

of Hogan hobbling in. You know, it’s bad enough that Pancrase remains

in existance, but having this boring shit inject itself on a supposed

wrestling show is pretty annoying. But then a) I don’t get Inoki to

begin with and b) I hate most of New Japan’s heavyweight stuff. Inoki

wins with a blatant choke that gets passed off as a choke sleeper. Uh,

hello, arm around the throat is an illegal move here in North America.

I don’t feel comfortable rating this match, so I won’t.

– WCW World title match: Hulk Hogan v. Ric Flair. So Hogan, who got

whacked in the knee with a lead pipe mind you, and who was taken to the

hospital with possible career ending injuries less than TWO HOURS AGO,

now hobbles out with the belt, supposedly to hand the belt to Flair.

Lots of professionally-made signs heralding Hogan are seen in the crowd,

which (if you believe the WCW cameramen) consists almost entirely of age

18-34 males wearing trademark “Hulkster” merchandise, complete with

do-rags (even for the white guys). Instead of handing over the belt,

Hulk attacks Flair and beats the crap out of him. With one bad leg, I

remind you. He no-sells all and forgets he has a crippled leg half the

time. Note to Flair: KICK HIM IN THE DAMN LEG! Flair is being made to

look like an idiot here for the sake of rebuilding Hulk’s superman

image. This isn’t Ric Flair, it’s some pod-person Flair. The Ric Flair

who existed for 20 years before this would zoom in on that knee like a

shark in a hemophilacs’ convention and figure-four him until he screamed

for mercy. Hogan completely squashes Flair for 10 minutes before Flair

FINALLY clips Hogan and goes to work on the knee. HALLELUJAH! Hogan

can’t (or won’t) sell it properly, however. The Flair fans come out of

the woodwork now for Flair. Figure-four, but Hulk hulks up and powers

out, then decides that that’s enough Flair offense for the night and

does the big boot and legdrop, but that legdrop just took too much out

of him. Another figure-four but Hogan makes it to the ropes. Sherri

takes off her shoe and rams it into Hogan’s knee until he falls out of

the ring and gets counted out. Buffer announces Flair is once again the

champion, but of course Buffer is an idiot. Hogan miraculously walks

again, but the masked man runs in and decks Hogan. It was AA, btw. They

all beat on Hogan until Sting makes the save (oh, the irony). Better

than the original match at Bash at the Beach, but that’s not saying

much. **

The Bottom Line:

There’s two versions of the story surrounding the original booking of

the title match:

Version #1 says that WCW really, really would have liked to put the

title back on Flair now that they had their new audience, but Hogan

balked. So they worked out a compromise whereby Hogan would get decked

by Curt Hennig (“The Perfect Plan”) with a lead pipe and would be so

crippled that he’d have to give the title back to Flair, and would thus

not have to lose it in the ring, because god forbid Ric Flair should

have any credibility as a heel. Hogan then balked the night of the show

and changed the booking to the countout win for Flair we saw here.

Version #2 says that the attack was booked as a way to point out the

Hogan knee injury with the WCW SLEDGEHAMMER OF PLOT~! Flair and Hogan

would then wrestle the match and Flair would figure-four him until he

passed out from the pain. Again, everyone retains credibility. Hogan

balked the night of the show and changed the booking. Hogan feared

(maybe rightly so) that WCW would just use his title win as a temporary

ratings boost and then go back to Flair, which is what almost happened

before THE ALMIGHTY HULK saved us from what was sure to be months of

dull ****1/2 PPV main events with Flair against Steve Austin.

Anyway, WCW was like a pathetic, retarded, attention-seeking younger

child who would say *anything* and tell any lie in order to make people

like him. Trash Flair? Why not. Bury Sting? No problem. Recycle

every two-bit hick-town indy fed angle and showcase it on national TV?

Hey, it’s Turner’s money.

Anyway, 1994 was a really bad situation for WCW, and the remaining shows

in the year only highlighted that.

Don’t bother watching this show, btw.