Today, I was in the mood to watch some old-school WCW action. So I did, and decided to watch Clash of the Champions XVI: Fall Brawl 91. This show took place in Augusta, GA on September 5, 1991. Our announcers for the evening are Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone, with interviews to be done by Eric Bischoff, Missy Hyatt, and the Man that won't pay Mike Thor himself, Paul E. Dangerously. Let's get to the action
The first match is a 15 man battle royal deemed the "Georgia Brawl". The participants are the World Six Man Champions, Z-man, Dustin Rhodes, and Big Josh (apparently WCW drew three names out of a hat and gave them the titles), along with PN News, Bobby Eaton, TV Champion Steve Austin, Barry Windham, OZ, El Gigante, Tracey Smothers, One Man Gang, Buddy Lee Parker, Ranger Ross, Thomas Rich, and Terrance Taylor. An eclectic mix of talent in this match, to be sure. This battle royal was about 10 minutes too long, which is not good considering it went 15 minutes. The production team also missed at least three eliminations. Anyway, the final four were Oz, OMG, Dustin Rhodes, and El Gigante. Oz and the Gang team up to eliminate Rhodes and celebrate near the ropes, allowing Gigante to come in and double clothesline both men over the top, although it took Oz quite a while to get over that top rope. The crowd goes mild for Gigante, the first and probably only winner of the Georgia Brawl. Even if you love battle royals, I wouldn't recommend this one.
The next match is a semifinal match in the WCW Light Heavyweight Title tournament, Badstreet comes to the ring first, wearing a ridicoulous black costume and mask with crazy neon colored lines all over it. Mr. Badstreet (Brad Armstrong) comes out with the Freebirds. His opponent is the newly reinstated Brian Pillman. The ref orders the Freebirds to the back so we can have a fair fight. These two wrestlers were ready for this match, as the match was quick-paced and interesting throughout, plus Pillman took some heinous bumps. Pillman took a suplex off the ring apron to the outside, and both men nearly landed on their heads. After both men got up, Badstreet kicked Pillman off the apron, and Pillman took his trademark chin into the guardrail diving bump. The match kept going, with Pillman doing all sorts of high-flying manuevers that few men in American wrestling could do at this time. At one point, with Badstreet on the outside, Pillman did a tope suicida and rammed himself head-first not only into his opponent, but into the guardrail as well. Remarkably, Pillman was unharmed. After an exchange of two counts, Pillman blocks a Badstreet superplex, and hits his Air Pillman bodypress for the finish. A heck of a match, easily the best one of the night.
We get a look at the WCW Top 10, which the announcers referred to at least 49 times throughout the broadcast. I don't exactly remember the order, but El Gigante and the Diamond Studd were on it, so good for them. Anyway, our next match is United States Champion Sting against Johnny B. Badd, in a rare face vs. face match. These two start out at a breakneck pace, as the two combine for three top rope moves and three near falls in the first 90 seconds. However, the match slows considerably, and when an eight foot tall refrigerator box wrapped up is wheeled to the ring, the match screeches to a complete halt. At one point, Sting goes to whip Badd into the corner, but for no reason whatsoever, Badd just stops and drops to his knees. The end comes after both men are staring at the box, and Sting uses the distraction to roll up Badd sloppily for the three count. Afterwards, Cactus Jack comes out of the box, slams Sting on the outside of the ring, climbs up the turnbuckle, and does an awesome looking flying elbow over the ringside announcers table right onto Sting's chest. Cactus celebrates while Ross and Tony are concerned about Sting.
The second semifinal match of the WCW Light Heavyweight Title is next, and it features Richard Morton (w/ Alexandra York) going against Mike Graham. Graham was never that good to begin with, and Morton's not much of a heel, so this match is rather boring. I was amused by Tony Schiavone putting over Mike Graham at every opportunity, even if he was taking punches, he would compliment Graham on trying to stand up. Anyway, the match mercifully ends after York distracts the referee, which allows Morton to launch Graham head first into the turnbuckle and roll him up for the three count while holding the tights. So the finals of this tournament would be Pillman vs. Morton. Try to guess who won that match.
Bill Kazmier's got a big tag team title match with Rick Steiner against The Enforcers, Arn Anderson and Larry Zbyszko. But first he wants to bend a long steel bar with his head and neck, because he's the World's Strongest Man, and has won the World's Strongest Man competition to prove it. He's also got traps the size of Eric Bischoff's head, so bending the bar proves easy. But WAITAMINUTE! Anderson and Zbyszko come out and hit Kazmier in the ribs with a 45 pound weight that someone brought in the ring for some reason. Steiner comes out, but the damage has been done. Will Kazmier be able to fight tonight?
The next match is a tag match between The Freebirds (Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin) and The Patriots (Firebreaker Chip and Todd Champion). The Patriots are billed as being from WCW Special Forces. I spend the rest of the match wondering what missions the WCW Special Forces go on and what training one must go through before becoming a member of the WCW Special Forces, because this match is quite boring and I am easily distracted. Also, Ross compared the Patriots to the Atlanta Braves because they were a young team on the rise and the Freebirds to the Mets because both teams suck or something. Or maybe that was my interpretation. From what I remember, Chip took most of the offense, and The Patriots looked as if they were wrestling there first match, as they were quite clumsy and awkward looking in everything they did. The finish was good, as the ref was trying to hold back Champion, Chip got the cover on Garvin, and Hayes dropped an elbow right on Chip's noggin, allowing Garvin to get the win, showing that the Freebirds were the savvier team.
Paul E interviews Cactus Jack, who congratulates Sting on a stellar career that is now over thanks to Cactus Jack. Another giant box is wheeled out, and Cactus, thinking it's his partner Abdullah the Butcher, goes to give him a big ol Cactus Jack hug. Instead Sting comes out of the box and whoops up on Jack, hip tossing him off the entrance ramp and dropkicking him off the ramp as well. The two fight to the back, and somehow a trash can gets involved as both men take turns hitting each other with it before security finally separates the two.
We get a statement from Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, congratulating Ron Simmons on his upcoming title shot against World Champion Lex Luger. After that, the Diamond Studd (Scott Hall) comes out to face Simmons. After the Studd hits a few moves on him, Simmons takes control, and hits the spine buster and the shoulderblock for the three count. Quick match, but I do wonder how good a match between these two would have been if given 10 minutes. Might be interesting. Afterwards, Paul E. interviews Simmons, who calls out Luger but instead gets Luger's manager Harley Race and Luger's enforcer Mr. Hughes. Simmons then goes to the back to find Luger.
Van Hammer makes his debut here against Terrance Taylor. The crowd is actually very into Van Hammer's act, even if it does seem kind of forced, and Hammer gets a quick squash over the Taylor Made Man after the world's weakest looking top rope knee drop. To the back with Missy Hyatt and Lex Luger, but Ron Simmons interrupts and eventually goes through the door after launching himself from a three-point stance. Chaos ensues.
The next match is for Steve Austin's Television Title, as he takes on the Z-Man. I was really looking forward to this match, but in the end I must say it was a disappointment. It wasn't a bad match, per se, but it was very slow paced and plodding, and quite frankly I was looking forward to something more. Then again, it was the second best match of the night, so perhaps I shouldn't complain too much. The match picked up towards the end, as Z-Man hit a sweet looking suicide dive on Austin on the elevated ring ramp. But after missing a flying body press, Austin is able to gain the advantage and hit the Stun Gun on Zenk. Interestingly, Austin doesn't go for the cover, as he goes to pick up Z-Man and nearly gets rolled up for the three for his troubles. Z-Man catches Austin in a sleeper hold, and Austin scoots towards the ropes, allowing Steve's manager Lady Blossom to sneak him some brass knuckles. Austin counters a back suplex by tapping Z-Man on the noggin with the knucks, and gets the victory. The announcers are not happy about this, but Austin and Lady Blossom sure are.
Next is the contract signing for Halloween Havoc's main event, between WCW Champion Lex Luger and Ron Simmons. They really are pushing Simmons here, as a video is shown of him giving a speech to a bunch of kids, and later taking two busloads full of those kids to the arena to watch him wrestle. Simmons, his wife, and for some unknown reason Dusty Rhodes is seated at one table, while Luger, Race, and Mr. Hughes are at another table. Simmons changed into his suit rather quickly, I must say. Things go smoothly until Luger offeres Simmons a job as his personal driver, and Simmons does not take too kindly to that job offer, as he chases Luger and Race to their limo. The two drive off into the night with Simmons giving chase on foot until he wisely elects to give up on that idea.
It's main event time, as this is the finals of a tournament for the vacant WCW Tag Team Titles. The titles became vacant after an injury to Scott Steiner, and Rick Steiner has a chance to regain those titles with a different partner this time in Bill Kazmeir. Kazmeir does come out to wrestle this match, although his ribs are heavily taped up. Steiner starts by attacking both of the Enforcers, but eventually Anderson and Zbyszko get the advantage. Steiner won't give up, as he hits the Steinerline on one opponent and suplexes the other to the mat. However, the numbers prove too much for Steiner, and since he refuses to tag Kaz in, it looks bleak. After a couple of minutes, Kazmaier tags himself in and starts cleaning house. He lifts Zbyszko over his head, but Arn headbutts him in his already damaged ribs, causing the big man to collapse and Zbyszko gets the cover to crown new Tag Team Champions. Afterwards, Arn states that "If you can't breathe, you can't win". Match was way too short for a main event, but then again, I don't think Kazmaier could last 10 minutes without sucking wind. I would have much rather seen the Steiners against the Enforcers, as that could have been one heck of a match.
Overall, this was a below average show, as there was one good match and one decent match. I will say that the commentary was very good, especially by Jim Ross. Say what you will about him, but at least on this show, Ross was able to keep up with the action quite easily, was able to both preview the upcoming matches and call the in-ring action without any trouble, and did his darnedest to get everybody over with his commentary, especially Cactus Jack, Pillman, and Simmons. Schiavone wasn't too bad either, even if he did love him some Mike Graham. But even their excellent commentary could not make up for a bad show. Overall, I'll give it a 3.530 out of 10, and the only match I'd recommend would be the Pillman-Badstreet match.
Well, thanks for reading. If you have any ideas for future reviews about well, anything, then send them to me either by leaving a comment on this here blog or by e-mail at KtheC2001@gmail.com. Here's two videos from the Clash of the Champions XVI if you want to see them.
Flyin Brian vs Badstreet-WCW Light Heavyweight Semi Finals
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Arn Anderson & Larry Zbyszko attack Bill Kazmaier
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