Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Scott Watches Clash of the Champions XVII

November 19 at the Civic Center in Savannah, GA.

This was the first Clash of the Champions without a name. It was just Clash of the Champions, which would be the standard throughout the rest of the series (unless you count Clash of the Champions XX: 20th Anniversary).

Sting! Will receive his final gift box! Rick Steiner! challenges for the world title! Dustin Rhodes! Will have a mystery partner, or it might just be Barry Windham! Jim Ross and Tony have the call at ringside. Backstage, Eric Bischoff is with Missy Hyatt, who will be interviewing WCW's newest rookie: Marcus Alexander Bagwell. Awwww FUDGE. Bischoff will be looking to get interviews later. I hate Bischoff.

Let's get going!

Lumberjack Match: Big Josh v. Thomas Rich

"Former best friends Big Josh and Thomas Rich." Rich brought Big Josh to WCW. Now they hate each other, though. The Freebirds can't stand to be out there at the start of a match and not try for some cheap heat, so they hit the mat a bunch. Rich can't get outside for a breather, so Josh just keeps kicking his ass. That log roll move Josh does is ... something else, alright. The Birds and Todd Champion get Rich back in the ring while the heels (Taylor and Morton, Buddy Lee Parker, THE YOUNG PISTOLS even though they had not turned on TV yet) try to give him a breather. Josh takes a beating from the heels. And again. God I hate lumberjack matches. Buddy Lee Parker keeps losing all his yellow tickets because he felt it necessary to bring his ticket book to ringside for the Big Josh-Thomas Rich lumberjack match. Jesus Christ. This match is alright when they're both in the ring. Jimmy Garvin is such a goof now that the Birds are babyfaces. Jimmy Garvin is about as much a babyface as Lex Luger. In both cases, there's not much likable about either unless you give them a damsel in distress to save, which Luger never really had, but Garvin did in that Sullivan angle in '88, and yada yada. I don't know why, but I'm into pretty much every Big Josh match I've watched during this deal. I mean, he basically dresses like John Cena but without stupid basketball jerseys and fucking arm bands, and he's a better worker than Cena, so the internet should realistically love Big Josh. I should start a Big Josh fanpage and then try to start a Big Josh web ring. Taylor trips Rich -- Northern Exposure wins the match for Josh. Uh oh! There's trouble in the York Foundation, folks!! Tracy Smothers is confused.

Ohhhh NO.

Beautiful Bobby Eaton v. Firebreaker Chip

FUCK Firebreaker Chip. Bobby had recently started admitting he was from Huntsville, Alabama again. Bobby tries to walk Chip through a wrestling match and finds himself having rather great difficulty. Chip gets a flying clothesline, and gets two but Bobby is in the ropes. This Chip, he has the strength advantage. Chip gets a near-fall, then is kicked off into the turnbuckles, and Bobby pins him with a back suplex. Chip can't believe it!

Starrcade '91 spot. BATTLE BOWL!!!!! Or more important, the greatness of Lethal Lottery. LETHAL LOTTERY!!!!

Sting's Final Box . . . Is NEXT!

And we're back for Sting's box. Sting is excited? Sting doesn't know how to cut promos without yelling. Now a bunch of gay musclemen with no shoes on and only underpants carry a box out to Indian exploitation music. "Come on, I want a prize, MAN!" A foot. And it's Madusa. She sure is...sexy. This reminds me of the Ultimate Warrior-Sherri segment with Mean Gene. Which I could not find on YouTube. Not that I looked very hard. There was one on Brother Love. But I don't want that. I don't want to link to Brother Love. Sting thinks he's gonna get some pussy. Or a smooch or whatever a jerkoff like Sting thinks happens with girls. Luger comes out of the box and takes it to Sting's knee, the one that had the big surgery. Some babyfaces run out to stop the assault. There you have it! Lex Luger has been the box man this entire time.

The Diamond Studd v. Z-Man

This is already underway when they get back from commercial. Backstage, Sting's knee is being looked at by police and Dustin Rhodes. And Sting is off to A Medical Facility Here in Savannah. Z-Man pins Studd with a crucifix as the background noise to the Sting angle. Studd chokeslams him after, then gets the Diamond Death Drop. Remember back when Scott Hall could lift guys?

WCW World Television Title: Stunning Steve Austin (c) v. P.N. News

They have News' mic, but then he mouths, "I'm not rapping. I'm not rapping." Why aren't you rapping, asshole? This is a title shot on the TBS SuperStation. You don't have any rhymes for this? You only have rhymes for matches against jobbers on WorldWide? You're an asshole, P.N., just an asshole. Austin starts fast, but News is too fat and makes a comeback in short order. Lady Blossom and that hair of hers look on with, I guess you could call it "emotions." Fuck, this match is pretty good. News can move for a big fat guy, and Austin is into making him look as good as possible. Austin is classic TV champion material. Heel who barely retains all the time, makes guys look better every match, and can work with just about anyone. Austin flies over the top with a plancha onto News, who stalks Blossom after she places Austin's foot on the rope during a pincovah. News misses the avalanche, Austin rolls him up, gets his feet on the ropes, and retains.

Back from break, and Missy Hyatt is with Marcus Alexander Bagwell for his first big show appearance. Mark it down, folks. He talks to her and there are clips of his training with Mike Graham. Then Bagwell leaves, and Missy is upset that he didn't ask her on a date.

WCW top ten is slowly getting better, but still has Bill Kazmaier. Apparently Rick Steiner is #2 now, which justifies his title shot tonight.

Cactus Jack v. Van Hammer

Hammer has a music video now. It's really convincing. I'm now sure this guy can play a guitar, even though he doesn't and clearly has no idea how to play one. Actually I think the extras they got can't play their instruments either. This guy is heinous. In his book, Foley said Hammer rubbed people the wrong way but that Mick liked him because he was willing to do anything and had great natural athletic ability. That's a different perspective than most you'll ever read about Van Hammer. Here's mine: he stunk. He stunk forever. Hammer is over with women b/c he's a baaaabe. Hammer tries a slingshot plancha but can't jump far enough so he winds up just sort of double axhandling Jack. Actually Jack was probably supposed to be a little closer. Or maybe not. I don't know. And I don't care. Fans start a decent chant for Hammer, and I'll be fair to this match. Foley is so willing to get creamed on every bump and take every Hammer move as hard as possible that this is pretty good for what it is, which is Cactus Jack against a hump. Jack winds up driving Hammer's own guitar into his throat for the win. Jack tries to continue the assault after the match, but Hammer turns the tide and drops him with a slingshot suplex on the ramp. They fight to the back.

Now Jim Ross has Eric Bischoff on the phone. They're doing that "this is what it sounds like when you talk on the phone" deal. Bischoff is outside of the emergency room where Sting is at. An orderly came out and gave Bischoff the thumbs up, he says, even though in the ambulance, Sting's knee swelled up to 3, 4 times its size. I love injury angles. But I don't like listening to phone conversations.

Back from the break, and it's tag title time. Dustin Rhodes has Barry Windham with him, but Windham says he won't be wrestling. They introduce Dustin's partner, which is a guy in a big dragon head, and Tony wonders if it's someone from Japan. No! It isn't!

WCW World Tag Team Title: The Enforcers (c) v. Dustin Rhodes and Ricky Steamboat

So the Dragon is back, after his awful WWF stint as "The Dragon," in that great time period where they thought guys shouldn't have names, so you'd get The Dragon v. The Hammer, and not Ricky Steamboat v. Greg Valentine, or whatever. They should have called Hercules "The Guy With the Chain" and Koko B. Ware should have finally just been The Birdman.

Arn freaks out about it being Steamboat, and Steamboat gives him reason to be upset with a mega-hot start. Steamboat and Dustin do a big number on the Enforcers, and the champs powder out to the floor. The best thing about this is I don't think Steamboat's wife and baby are going to be on TV. Zbyszko's screaming is out of hand. But he's a great fuck of a heel, really. He calls out Steamboat, on the apron, and Steamboat gets the tag and Larry somehow manages to look like he didn't expect an actual tag. Steamboat stupidly gets into a situation where he chases Zbyszko, and Arn gets a blind tag, and here comes the double-team. Steamboat winds up working face-in-peril upon his huge comeback, because he's RICKY STEAMBOAT. Yeah!

This match kicks ass. Arn gets a Boston crab, tags out, and Larry puts a crab right back on, pulling the crawling Steamboat back to his corner. Jim Ross is calling the hell out of this. Rhodes gets the tag, but of course Nick Patrick didn't see it, and Arn gets back in. Steamboat is throwing exhausted chops at Arn, and gets an atomic drop, but Arn bounces back from the corner and the two crack heads. "THEIR HEADS CRACKED LIKE A GUN EXPLODED!" Aaaand Jim Ross has lost it. FINALLY, Dustin gets the hot tag, and hot tag offense is what he's best at, so THERE HE GOES! Bulldog from Dustin after a blind tag to Ricky, and now Steamboat gets the flying crossbody. Three count! New champs! Match ruled! Hell yeah! This was Dustin Rhodes' first major title, and Steamboat's first since '89. "Four of the greatest athletes ever converged!" says Tony, and you learn that it wasn't just the Monday Night Wars era that he would exaggerate everything and make even legitimately awesome moments a little worse by his mere association with them.

Word is that backstage, The Enforcers are protesting the loss. And Eric Bischoff is still with Sting at The Medical Facility. They announce the coming arrival of "Jushin" Thunder Liger with a video package.

Now Jim is on the telephone with Eric Bischoff, and Sting might have to forfeit the U.S. title thanks to a contract loophole found by Paul E. Dangerously. Bischoff is convincing. He's going to tell Sting about the loophole. So Sting's leaving The Medical Facility.

WCW Light Heavyweight Title: Brian Pillman (c) v. Johnny B. Badd

Pillman's music gets played for Badd. Johnny B. Badd is wearing a garter belt. Some of their plant women put money in it. Actually, all in all, this is probably the most homoerotic and fetishistic Johnny B. Badd get-up I've seen on the Mission to date. They mention that Badd had to work hard to cut weight down to the division limit of 236. Yes, 236. Badd unleashes body shots to start, but Pillman comes back with a chest slap, apparently just as effective. Brian with a springboard clothesline to the ramp, and on said ramp he goes for a piledriver. Instead he's backdropped, and Pillman decides to try for a sunset flip, because he's a complete idiot. Really sloppy cradle ends an uneventful match with a win for Pillman. JR describes the cradle as "very unique," which is a nice way of putting it, and Johnny knocks out Teddy Long to write him off of TV.

WCW United States Title: Sting (c) v. Ravishing Rick Rude

While Paul E. rants and raves about how Sting doesn't care about anyone, he shrinks into the box and an ambulance arrives with Sting, who hobbles his way into the building...and can't find a door to get into. So a bell rings, which Paul said would mean without Sting would in the ring would mean a forfeit...but Sting makes his way out, and they start brawling on the ramp! Military press on the ramp by Sting! Rude is bumping all over the place on that thing. Now they go off. Surely a 10-count has passed by now, but Nick Patrick isn't doing his job and he's out there on the ramp trying to direct traffic. Rude gets rolling once it gets into the ring, and he wants the Rude Awakening early, but can't get it. The story is Sting's knee, so you can feel the loss coming with the excuse. Ross is AMPED UP since that tag title match, too. This is the most invested he's sounded in a good while. Rude wins with a rollup in rather dull fashion entirely due to Sting's knee. Kind of effective way to do it, actually. Instead of having Sting do the big valiant fight that he should have won but then a guy cheats or whatever, it's just the bad knee doing him in early. So here's your new WCW United States Champion: Rick Rude. Goddamn but business is pickin' up.

Back from break, and Tony is backstage with Paul, Rude and Madusa's...erm, gorgeous self. Paul E.'s promo here is excellent. Rude kind of looks confusing, but then he just starts talking all abruptly. Then they go into another Starrcade promo.

Ron Simmons says that he WILL be the first black world heavyweight champion. Then we get some clips of some Luger-Steiner confrontations.

WCW World Heavyweight Title: Lex Luger (c) v. Rick Steiner

Observer tells me that there was serious consideration to putting the belt on Steiner, which would be the second time that Rick Steiner almost won the world title during the Mission, that famous thing before with Flair and the five minutes and Dusty in '88 being the first. Neither time did it happen, though this was the better of the two times, and while I think it could've worked OK as a transition on either occasion, this still wasn't the right time. Actually all things being equal there never WAS really a right time, but there was also never a right time to make Sid a world champion and he won a few, and Jeff Jarrett won a bunch, and Booker T...I mean none of those guys are really better than 1991 Rick Steiner.


Match is pretty good after JR's collegegasm. Steiner looks like every bit the credible challenger that Simmons was at Havoc, which is no wonder because they both went to COLLEGE! FOOTBALL! AMATEUR WRESTLING! irishWHIP! MIAMI, MICHIGAN, PENN STATE! Oh GOD, I was just making a JOKE but AGAIN he talks about football and Luger playing as a "professional."

Steiner has plenty of high-impact suplex-driven offense, including a super belly-to-belly. Scott and Mr. Hughes get involved, and Hughes eats a Frankensteiner to give the crowd a big hard-on. Harley Race gets involved and is suplexed. Luger hits Steiner with the belt -- and retains.

This show pretty well stomps ass and it's like a really, really great episode of Nitro. Five titles, and you don't get ALL the good matches from them you'd want, but nothing sucks (well, Pillman-Badd sucks) and you do get one super match (Enforcers-Rhodes/Steamboat). In a lot of ways a turning point show. FOOTBALL FOOTBALL FOOTBALL! BEAUTIFUL BOBBY PLAYED ROCKET FOOTBALL FOR THE HUNSTVILLE DARKSIDERS, HIS COACH WAS HAL JENKINS, HE HAD A 3.8 GPA

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