Friday, April 9, 2010

The Canon Review of Clash of the Champions XXI (21)

This might be the worst post ever at The Canon Review, as I'm really tired. I wanted to do this earlier in the day, but there were problems with the video and so it took a lot longer to watch this than it should have. Anyway, for those of you that don't know, Clash of the Champions was a major wrestling show that WCW used to do in the 1980s and 1990s. It was like a pay-per-view, only it aired on cable TV on TBS, and free TV if you happened to live in or around the Atlanta area. This is the 21st Clash of the Champions show, and it took place on November 18, 1992. So off we go.

We are introduced by Jim Ross and Jesse Ventura, who talk about the weigh-in for the "Battle of the Sexes" match between Paul E. Dangerously and Madusa. Highlights are shown, and we get to see Paul E. in his underwear. That's an image I wish I never had to see. Also, the two combatants got into a fight at the weigh-in. To the back with Tony Schiavone, who is with Bill Watts in a locker room, the then president of WCW. Watts says nothing worth repeating, and off we go to Teddy Long and Michael Hayes in another locker room. Hayes promises pain for Erik Watts, who is teaming with Kensuke Sasaki against the Hayes led team of Arn Anderson and Bobby Eaton.

Our first match is supposed to be Brian Pillman vs. Brad Armstrong, but Pillman is hurt, which is ironic because at the last Clash, Armstrong was too hurt to face Pillman. Armstrong comes out to confront Pillman, but instead gets hit in the leg with a crutch. Pillman was faking his knee injury the whole time. The nerve of some people. The ref threatens disqualification, but Pillman reminds the ref that the match hadn't started yet, so how can you disqualify him. The match starts, and ends in 30 seconds after Pillman clips Armstrong on his hurt leg to get the three count.

We get a recap of the Paul E.-Madusa feud, as a clip of Dangerously's workout with Mike Thor and other Dangerous Allience members are shown. Dangerously gets a punch on Thor which he no-sells, but Steve Austin knocked Thor down while Paul was celebrating his punch. Dangerously dropped a elbow on Thor for the three count. Afterwards, Paul E. runs down Madusa to the point where his whole alliance gets frustrated and leaves him alone to deal with the rage of Madusa. Paul E. said some pretty nasty stuff here, which would have fit right in ECW but was rather strong for WCW at this time. Anyway, we go to the back with Michael Hayes and Paul E., who promises victory and proclaims himself the king of manhood. Mike Thor comes in, demanding money for his participation in Dangerously's training, but is given the brush-off.

Our next match is the strange team of Erik Watts and Kensuke Sasaki vs. Arn Anderson and Bobby Eaton in what is described as a bounty match. Apparently, Dangerously has put a price on Watts's head, offering 10,000 dollars to anyone that can injure Erik Watts. This match is 31 flavors of awful, as Watts was nowhere near ready and Sasaki wasn't much better at this point. Watts tried something off the top rope, I'm not sure if it was a sunset flip or cross body, but he landed on his ass and Eaton had to sell it anyway because Erik's the boss's kid or something. Meanwhile, Sasaki completely bungled an attempted monkey flip by Eaton, getting no air and landing on one knee. At least he had a nice powerslam in this match. At one point Ross mentions that Watts has been in training with Sasaki, Masa Chono, and Hiro Matsuda. Well, judging by this match, Watts should spend a lot more time training. The ending took forever to set up, as Sasaki was pounding Arn in one corner for a whole minute while Watts struggled through a move sequence before slapping the STF on Eaton to win the match. I will say that Watts at least had a better STF than John Cena, but that's about it.

To the back, as Teddy Long and Johnny B. Badd talk about their boxing match with Scotty Flamingo coming up next. In case you don't know, Johnny B. Badd is a wrestler whose mannerisms and look are heavily borrowed from entertainer Little Richard. Never mind the fact that he's named after a Chuck Berry song. Long is Badd's manager, which means that Badd is going to lose, even despite Badd's legit boxing background. To the other locker room with Scotty Flamingo, who is with Diamond Dallas Page, Vinnie Vegas (Kevin Nash) and a man in a Don King wig. Vegas has an awful New Jersey like accent and seems to be high on paint fumes during his promo, comparing Flamingo to that boxing legend Gerry Cooney. He's also stumbling over about every other word he says, claiming it's due to the excitement of the fight.

Badd comes out first with his confetti gun, the "Badd Blaster". Flamingo (who would later become Raven) comes out with his entourage, Vegas and Page. The first round begins and Flamingo is just getting peppered with jabs to the face. He's in trouble until Vegas distracts the ref, allowing Flamingo to get in an eye-gouge and a clothesline on his opponent. The ref does a count on a fallen Badd, but he gets up to wail on Flamingo some more. Flamingo gets knocked down, but the bell rings before the ref can count. Flamingo goes to his corner, where DDP dips his boxing glove in the water bucket, loading up the glove. The second round starts and Flamingo can barely stand, but eventually musters enough strength to hit Badd with his loaded glove. Badd is out, and the ref counts to 10, giving Scotty Flamingo the upset victory. Flamingo and his partners act as if he won the Heavyweight Championship, while Badd looks on in shock. Well, this was fun, and it was interesting to see guys like Raven in Vegas in a comedy match.

They preview next month's Starrcade, which will include Battlebowl, a tag tournament where teams are chosen at random. As a special treat, Jesse Ventura and Missy Hyatt will draw the first teams. The first team is Cactus Jack and Johnny B. Badd, and they will take on the world's most exciting team, Dan Spivey and Van Hammer. Couldn't they have rigged it to include Sting or Barry Windham or somebody more exciting than Heavy Metal Van Hammer? The crowd was not impressed, and I doubt very few people bought Starrcade to see that match.

The next match is a "Ghetto Odds" match, whatever that means, which has Cactus Jack, The Barbarian, and Tony Atlas against WCW Champion Ron Simmons and a mystery partner. The man later known as Too Cold Scorpio comes with Simmons, although his name is not announced so Ross and Ventura have no idea what to call him. They should just call him awesome, because Scorpio was flying all over the ring, doing moves nobody in WCW was doing at the time. For a handicap match, Simmons and Scorpio sure had the advantage most of the time. Finally the heels take over, but after a Cactus Jack dive is countered, Simmons gets the hot tag to Scorpio, and the two start cleaning house. Simmons forces Barbarian and Jack out of the ring, while Scorpio brings down the house with a perfectly executed 450 splash on Atlas to get the pin. Jim Ross damn near lost his mind after that move, as nobody had ever seen a 450 on American wrestling at the time. Match was a showcase for Scorpio, which is a bit odd seeing as The World Heavyweight Champion was also in the match, but whatever. Afterwards, Jesse gets Simmons and Scorpio in an interview, and the audience finally learns Scorpio's name. They also learn that Scorpio stinks on the mic, but what can you do?

There's a highlight video of WCW's newest Tag Team, Z-Man and Johnny Gunn. They go into a men's clothing store, and the salesladies cannot keep their hands off of them. The best part of that video is that they played this awful ripoff of ZZ Top's "Legs", only the song was about 30 seconds long, so they just replayed the same song 4 times in a row. We also get a video of Jesse Ventura's arm wrestling tournament, where WCW wrestlers compete in, you guessed it, an arm wrestling tournament. So far, Ron Simmons beat Steve Austin, and the Barbarian defeated Arn Anderson to the surprise of no one. We then go to the back, where Paul E is still mouthing off about his match with Madusa and brags about "being the man who didn't pay off Mike Thor"

The man who won't pay Mike Thor comes to the ring with Michael Hayes, wearing an ugly Yankee batting practice jersey and blue shorts with white pinstripes. He also has a helmet on and his heavily padded, while Madusa comes out to Eddie Guerrero's first WCW theme. That's a bit weird. Madusa charges, but gets clobbered with Paul E's giant cellphone, knocking her out cold. Paul E tries to pull Madusa up, but instead pulls off "her" wig. He takes a closer look and holy moly, it's MIKE THOR!!!, who is knocked out. Madusa comes out and starts by kicking Paul E. in the gut, and the match is on, and it's about as good as you would expect. Which is to say, not at all. Madusa gets a bit of revenge on Paul E. including a missile dropkick off the second rope and pulls off Dangerously's shorts. Well, at least he had pants on underneath that, thank goodness. Match really didn't do a whole lot for anybody, and since this was Dangerously's last WCW appearance, it was ultimately anticlimactic considering how much hype they put in to this bout.

Next is the King of Cable semifinals between Rick Rude and Sting. Before that, we have an interview with Vader and his manager Harley Race. Vader promises to become the King of Cable, whatever that is. The match has a 20 minute time-limit and if it goes to a draw, three judges (Ole Anderson, Hiro Matsuda, and Larry Zybysko) will decide the winner. Rude comes out and tells the "Sting loving scumbags" in the crowd to shut up, which of course they don't. Sting comes out and the match is on. A rather interesting match, as Sting dominated the first few minutes by doing moves targeted at Rude's abs, making it harder for him to breathe. This worked well, until Sting misses a Stinger Splash on the outside and takes a nasty looking bump on the metal guardrail. Rude takes control, and decides to target the back of Sting with bearhugs, whips in the corner, and suplexes. However, his ribs still hurt, and he can't even do his trademark hip swivel without doubling over in pain. Eventually, both men recover, which is fortunate because the time limit is almost up. They exchange a few moves, and Sting nearly crushes Rude's head with a high cross body, landing damn near on Rude's head. Eventually, Rude tries for his finisher, the Rude Awakening, but Sting escapes, shoves Rude to the corner, and hits the Stinger Splash. He tries for his Scorpion Deathlock finisher, but time expires before he can turn Rude over. The judges decide, and in a split decision, award the bout to Sting, meaning he moves on to the King of Cable Tournament Final, most likely Sting's proudest moment as a wrestler. Match was very good, although it dragged a bit at times.

It's main event time at the Clash, and the match is a match for the Unified Tag Team Titles. The challengers are Ricky Steamboat and Shane Douglas, while the champions are Dustin Rhodes and Barry Windham. Both teams are faces, so the crowd is split as to who to cheer for. The match starts as a technical wrestling exhibition between Douglas and Rhodes, but the intensity picks up once Steamboat and Windham enter, as the two exchange chops and generally increase the tempo with moves and countermoves. Steamboat and Douglas take advantage with quick tags and a sweet looking double backdrop on Windham, who for a big man really got up high on that move. Douglas is in control until he misses a cross body, hotshotting himself on the rope. That allows Windham to tag out to Rhodes, and the two take control. Rhodes and Windham use a nice double dropkick on Douglas, which was as good as The Rock N' Roll Express's old double dropkick. The champs have taken control on Douglas, and nearly get the three after a Windham back suplex and a Windham clothesline. But after Rhodes misses a dropkick, Douglas gets the hot tag to Steamboat. Steamboat and Rhodes exchange a couple of two counts. They then do a spot where Steamboat tries to leapfrog Rhodes, but accidentally gets clipped in the groin. That was meant to happen, it wasn't a botch on anybody's part. Anyway, Rhodes is concerned about his friend, which angers Windham, who wants Rhodes to make the cover and keep the title. After a while, Rhodes backs up and Windham tags himself in. He hits an atomic drop, but only gets two. The two are still arguing, and Windham hits another atomic drop on Steamboat, which angers Jim Ross. It angers Dustin as well, as he comes in to break the count. Uh oh, we've got trouble, as Rhodes and Windham are exchanging blows. This allows Steamboat to tag in Douglas, who surprises Windham with a belly-to-belly suplex and gets the three count. We've got new Tag Team Champions, but that's not all, as Windham and Rhodes are now arguing in the ring. Windham shocks the crowd as he kicks Dustin in the gut and DDTs his now former partner. Windham then lifts up Rhodes, and hits his finisher, the Superplex, on a defenseless Rhodes. Afterwards, the new Champions are being interviewed in the locker room, when all of a sudden, they are attacked by Barry Windham with a steel chair. He lays both men out, and the show ends. This was a fine tag match, probably the best match on the show, although some might say the Sting-Rude match was better.

Overall, this was a good wrestling show, once you get past some of the comedy matches and Erik Watts. I'll give it a 6.8 overall, and I would recommend that if you want to see good wrestling, than check out Sting vs. Rude and Steamboat/Douglas vs. Rhodes/Windham. Or if you want to see Raven box Marc Mero, than you can do that as well, as it's interesting at least. Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any ideas for future posts, than let me know.

Johnny B. Badd vs Scotty Flamingo-Boxing Match
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