Colorful. Exceptional. Graceful. STING!
September 7, 1988 at the Civic Center in Albany, GA.
NWA World Television Title: Mike Rotunda (c) v. Brad Armstrong
Brad tried to take Barry Windham's US title at Clash II and lost in a spirited affair. So now he'll go after the TV title. Oh good, more Kevin Sullivan. "Later tonight he'll be nose-to-nose with Dusty Rhodes," says JR. Maybe if Dusty kneels.
Like Windham-Armstrong, this is pretty damn good. Brad is plenty damn good and Rotunda is more than quality enough to keep up with him. Armstrong is just a step ahead of him for most of this, but then Rotunda finds a kneelift into the gut, and that ought to give him some rally room. It does. JR sure is spending a lot of time yelling about sports and conditioning and athletic ability. I do get the feeling that if Jim Ross could have done anything with his life, it would have involved football and not professional wrestling. Less than five minutes left in the match as Rotunda keeps on the attack. Dr. Death comes to ringside to even the odds late in the match, but it goes to a time-limit draw. Armstrong looks good again, falls short again. ARMSTRONG CURSE hahahaha what a good wrestler.
I like this dude that stops on his way back to his seat to stare at the camera for a moment.
Quality fellow. They discuss Jimmy Garvin's broken leg. NO! Get well soon, Jimmy. Now we see the footage from the studio as Rotunda and Sullivan break Garvin's legs with blocks. Sullivan sure was convincing.
"Dr. Death" Steve Williams & Nikita Koloff v. The Sheepherders
Nikita and Dr. Death really could've been an awesome tag team. Here they encounter the rough and rugged Sheepherders and show zero fear of them, as they are simply bigger and stronger and better, and they already exhibit some fine teamwork. It's kind of a shame that Dr. Death might have gone down in the end best-known as the guy JR tried to bring into the WWF way too late in the game. I mean this was a legit awesome pro wrestler. Then he had that WCW run that was basically just a joke. The whole thing stinks. Does that count as burning out or fading away? Doc winds up taking the beating after a pretty extended period of babyface rule, but then Nikita gets the tag and Albany is hot for that smelly Russian. Rip Morgan cracks Koloff from the outside, so now Koloff is in trouble. Luke's knees to Nikita's ribs are sweet. I like this match a lot better than Fantastics-Sheepherders from Clash II, actually. This is a style the Sheepherders can run with whereas against the Fantasics, Luke in particular looked fucking lost at moments. And it's Luke who ruins this, going for a flying headbutt and not making it there. DR. DEATH will finish this shit. Oh wait Nikita gets the pin on Butch despite not being the legal man. This 17 minutes flew in comparison to the 20 for Fantastics-Sheepherders. Much better match.
Grudge Match: Dusty Rhodes v. Kevin Sullivan
Oh good, 1988 Dusty and Kevin Sullivan ever. I think as far as notable wrestlers go, Kevin Sullivan has become my least favorite dude to watch ever. He had his moments, but then he became all "evil" and it was just retarded, or retahded as they might say in SINGAPORE.
Oh Christ, here comes The Greatness of Al Perez with a chain. This wasn't announced as no-DQ but I guess that's what grudge match means. Or it means that Dusty and Sullivan are both so fucking indifferent and stupid that they just do whatever they want. Yeah, that's the deal, since Rhodes pins GARY HART to win this match after completely botching a double clothesline that Perez and Sullivan have to "sell." Holy shit this sucked. Go away.
Now at the broadcast booth - oh my tape cuts it off so I don't get to hear what's up with Tony, Ric and some brown suited fellow.
Let's move on. Let's for the love of God move on.
Oh good it's the Russians.
Russian Chain Match: Ivan Koloff v. Ricky Morton
Here's a match I never asked for but if it's got Ricky Morton I'm in. I saw some fellow on YouTube saying Morton was overrated. Either that person is 16 and thinks he knows shit while knowing exactly that, or that person is old and was stupid in 1983 and is stupid now. Ivan is allegedly the master of the Russian Chain Match, I assume because he is Russian. Ricky takes his beating as always. Koloff in '88 does nothing exceptionally, but he still has presence and plays his role fairly well, which is sort of impressive given how many miles he had by then. Of course Koloff is 68 today and alive and well. And Morton is 54 and still wrestling and doing shoot tapes, where his mouth moves around sort of like my grandma's when she talks. My grandma would probably think Ricky Morton is a nice young man with good morals. Koloff gets dragged to three corners and fights for his life before Morton can reach the fourth. I hate these touch four corners matches. JR, bless him, is calling the shit out of two guys standing still. Morton falls into the turnbuckle and he scores the upset. Paul Jones is right, Ivan Koloff is shot. Russian Assassin comes back and tosses Morton, but I think we can all see what's coming next -- sad old Ivan Koloff is about to get what's for, even though the loss was technically Paul Jones' fault. And that's what happens as the shit ass Russian Assassin puts the boots to him. Oh and another Russian Assassin is in. Is one of them Jack Victory? Isn't every masked guy on a Clash Jack Victory?
Football player John Ayers was the brown suit guy. He'll ref Flair-Luger sometime later or whatever. Boy he cuts a good promo.
NWA United States Title: Barry Windham (c) v. Sting
John Ayers will observe from ringside. I bet he keeps it to observation and doesn't become in any way involved. It's good that he's scouting a match up close, a main event no less, and hopefully that will help him when he has to referee himself later down the line. Sting is looking to finally win a major title. "Finally" after having turned pro in November 1985. THE LONG HARD ROAD OF STING. Sting, says JR, can't miss an elbow because it's not normal due to his elevation. He's not normal, this Sting. Windham is pretty normal except that black glove on his hand makes him deadly.
Windham looks good again in this one, having been on quite the hot streak as a Horseman heel. Sting is doing his best to keep up, and as usual he's managing to do just that. Windham targets the knee and does his business, and he's going to the figure four to finish Sting off. Of course Tommy Young is a damnfool and doesn't see Windham using the ropes for leverage. Sting makes the big comeback, gets the Stinger Splash and the Scorpion Deathlock, and JJ Dillon comes in with a chair. Sting cuts him off and Windham love tapes him with the soft soft chair. Windham only gets two before the football guy comes in and starts awkwardly motioning about the chair, so Sting wins by DQ and again comes up short claiming a major title in the NWA. Sting's pretty happy all things considered. What a dope.
After the show, Ric Flair is all mad about John Ayers and cuts a promo on Luger. NEXT UP: Clash IV!