The Best of WCW Clash of the Champions

Clash of the Champions

DVD Release Date: May 22, 2012

Disc One

~MATCH #1: Clash of the Champions, 3.27.88~
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair and Sting wrestled to a 45:00, time limit draw. Flair has been the Champion since 11.26.87, and this is his twenty-ninth defense. This is in the midst of Flair’s fifth reign with the title. The time limit is 45 minutes instead of the usual 60, due to TV time restraints. This is such an important match that JJ Dillon is suspended above the ring in a cage and we’ve got three judges on the outside of the ring.

Flair outwrestles Sting in the early going, but Sting counters with the strength advantage. Sting absorbs Flair’s attacks and sends Flair reeling to the floor with a dropkick. They continue following that pattern, with Sting able to counter Flair’s attacks and even score a near fall with a side headlock. Every time Flair tries to get out of the headlock Sting counters it and maintains the advantage. Flair eventually does recover and unloads a few chops, but Sting fights right back out of the corner and hits another gorilla press slam. Sting then goes to the bear hug to further wear Flair down. Flair escapes from that and the battle spills to the floor, with the champion in control. Back in the ring Flair continues to work over the challenger. They go back to the floor and Flair whips Sting into the guardrail a few more times and chokes him on it. Back in the ring Flair’s blows suddenly have no effect and Sting knocks Flair over the ropes to the floor. Referee Tommy Young chooses not to disqualify Sting for that. He sets Flair up against the post and tries a clothesline but Flair moves. Back in the ring Flair works on the arm but Sting comes back with a clothesline. Sting delivers a suplex and tries the Scorpion Deathlock but Flair grabs the ropes and 25 minutes have gone by. Sting stays on offense but gets overzealous and winds up throwing himself to the floor. Sting hits a cross body from the top rope for two. Flair then comes back and starts work on the knees. Flair eventually locks on the figure-four, and uses the ropes for additional leverage. Sting eventually fires up and turns the hold over, putting the pressure on Flair. The hold gets broken and Flair tries to suplex Sting to the outside, but Sting reverses it and they’re back inside the ring. The crowd is going crazy. Sting tries a splash but Flair gets the knees up. Sting reverses a whip and puts the abdominal stretch on. Flair hip tosses his way out of it but then misses an elbow drop. Flair goes up top but Sting blocks it and slams him down. That gets a near fall, so Sting pulls Flair over to the corner from the outside and crotches him there. Back in the ring Sting puts Flair in the figure-four leglock. Flair reaches the ropes to break the hold, causing Sting to ask JJ Dillon, “Now you know how to party or what?” I love the things wrestlers say. Flair tries to bully the referee, who totally stands up for himself. Sting then whips Flair into the corner and the momentum takes him all the way to the floor. Back in the ring Sting is on fire, just beating Flair from pillar to post. Sting hits a clothesline for a near fall. He tries the Stinger Splash but Flair avoids it and Sting takes a bump to the floor. Flair just keeps trying to avoid the challenger now. Sting gets a sunset flip for a near fall and there’s less than two minutes left. Flair does the Flair Flip in the corner and actually hits the body press but Sting rolls it over for a near fall. Flair tries to fight back but Sting is too fired up. He hits five punches in the corner and then the Stinger Splash. He puts Flair in the Scorpion Deathlock with 30 seconds to go. Flair’s selling of the move is great, and he’s able to avoid giving up so we have a time-limit draw.

So we go to the judges. The porn star voted for Flair. Gary Juster gave it to Sting. Sandy Scott declares the match a draw. So what’s the point of you being here then Sandy Scott you wishy washy jerk? Anyway this is a very famous match for a reason, because it launched Sting into the upper echelon of the NWA. He was obviously very green at this point, but Flair made him look like a million bucks and the crowd heat was off the charts. The finish was colossally stupid though, as it would seem with the judges there they wouldn’t have a draw, and then one of the judges calls it a draw? What a waste of time.
Rating: ***¾

~MATCH #2: Clash of the Champions, 3.27.88~
Barry Windham & Lex Luger defeat NWA World Tag Team Champions The Four Horsemen (Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard, w/ James J. Dillon) at 9:35 to win the titles. Anderson and Blanchard have been the Champions since 9.29.87, and this is their ninth defense. All four men are working an absurd pace here, keeping the crowd white-hot from the bell. They do a sped-up version of the tag team formula and everyone is hitting everything right on. Dillon tries to interfere by holding up a chair in the corner, but it backfires and Anderson runs face-first into the chair! Luger covers to get the pin and the crowd erupts. This was happening at the same time as WrestleMania IV and it absolutely murdered everything on that card. This was a spirited and exciting tag match from start to finish, and they definitely had some more time in them.
Rating: ****¼

~MATCH #3: Clash of the Champions II – Miami Mayhem, 6.8.88~
NWA World Tag Team Champions The Four Horsemen (Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard, w/ James J. Dillon) fought Dusty Rhodes & Sting to a double DQ at 10:58. Anderson and Blanchard have been the Champions since 4.20.88, and this is their third defense. This is a very similar match to the match Anderson and Blanchard had with Luger and Windham on the first Clash, just at a slower pace. Sting is massively over here, and he does a good job taking heat from the future Brain Busters. Eventually the match breaks down into a big brawl, and Barry Windham and Ric Flair come running out to help their fellow Horsemen and for some reason that’s a double-disqualification. The crowd heat was tremendous here, and that helped mask the weaknesses of Rhodes and the deflating finish.
Rating: ***

~MATCH #4: Clash of the Champions III – Fall Brawl, 9.7.88~
Ricky Morton defeats Ivan Koloff (w/ Paul Jones) in a Russian Chain Match at 10:35. This is a touch all four corners chain match. Koloff is a master of this match, and he very clearly has an advantage here in a number of ways. Most of the match is Morton getting beaten up (shocking I know), until he miraculously pulls off the upset in the end. This didn’t do much for me.
Rating: **

~MATCH #5: Clash of the Champions IX – New York Knock Out, 11.15.89~
Ric Flair defeats Terry Funk (w/ Gary Hart) at 18:33 in an I Quit Match. These two have been feuding for months and it’s been bitter and heated the entire time. The stipulations of this match ensure that remains the case, and it’s an intense brawl right from the beginning. Flair doing the brawling style is different for him but of course he’s great at it. They spend a lot of time brawling on the floor, and Funk even hits a piledriver out there but Flair refuses to quit. Flair makes the big comeback and beats on Funk, and even gives Hart some punishment as well. Hart actually barely sells the shots from Flair, which I find odd. At any rate, Flair goes after the leg and locks on the Figure-Four Leglock. That’s enough to get Funk to say “I Quit!” That was a phenomenal brawl, and a way different style than Flair normally worked. They didn’t need weapons and tons of bells and whistles, they just beat the crap out of each other for almost 20 minutes and it was awesome.
Rating: ****¾

~MATCH #6: Clash of the Champions X – Texas Shootout, 2.6.90~
Mil Mascaras defeats Cactus Jack Manson at 5:00. This is a rather infamous match for anyone that’s read Mick Foley’s first autobiography. Mascaras appears to have very little interest in selling anything for Manson, or working with him in any way shape or form. Mascaras dropkicks Manson off the apron, causing Manson to crack his head on the concrete. That sounded just horrendous. Back in the ring Mascaras hits a high cross body block from the top rope to get the pin. That was just not good. At least they kept it short.
Rating: *

~MATCH #7: Clash of the Champions XI – Coastal Crush, 6.13.90~
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson) defeat NWA United States Tag Team Champions The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane, w/ Jim Cornette) by DQ at 12:08. Eaton and Lane have been the Champions since 5.19.90 and this is their first defense. Have these teams ever had a bad match against each other? The pace is fast and furious, with Morton and Gibson controlling in the early going. Lane and Eaton recover and work Gibson over. The referee has trouble controlling these four. When it looks like the Rock ‘n’ Rolls are going to get the win, Lane physically stops the referee from counting and gets his team disqualified. This was the usual goodness from these two teams, and would rate higher with a better finish.
Rating: ***½

~MATCH #8: Clash of the Champions XII – Fall Brawl/Mountain Madness, 9.5.90~
NWA United States Heavyweight Champion Lex Luger defeats Ric Flair by DQ at 15:28. Luger has been the Champion since 5.22.89, and this is his eleventh defense. This just feels weird being for the U.S. Title and Flair not being the World Champion. The crowd reactions here are fantastic, as they just lose their minds for everything Luger does. Flair has to feign injury to gain an advantage, which is just par for the course with “The Dirtiest Player in the Game.” Late in the match when Luger is firing up, Flair is able to knock him to the floor and tumble with him. Luger sends Flair back to the ring and Stan Hansen is there to greet him with a beatdown for the DQ. Typically great Flair v Luger stuff here, with both men energized throughout the match and playing off each other expertly. Bummer of a finish, but in this case it built Hansen v Luger for later so it works.
Rating: ***¾

~MATCH #9: Clash of the Champions XV – Knocksville USA, 6.12.91~
The Young Pistols (Steve Armstrong & Tracy Smothers) & The Z-Man defeat The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes, Jimmy Garvin & Badstreet) at 4:49. Armstrong, Smothers, and Z-Man can easily out-quick their opponents, and they do just that in the early going. The Freebirds respond with some chicanery to take over on Smothers. It only lasts briefly, and the referee loses control. The good guys execute three simultaneous slingshot sunset flips to all get a three-count and score the win. Cute finish, but not much to the match before that.
Rating: *½

~MATCH #10: Clash of the Champions XVI – Fall Brawl, 9.5.91~
El Gigante defeats Barry Windham, Beautiful Bobby, Big Josh, Buddy Lee Parker, Dustin Rhodes, One Man Gang, Oz, PN News, Ranger Ross, Steve Austin, Terrance Taylor, Thomas Rich, Tracy Smothers, and Z-Man at 9:33 in a Battle Royal. This is quite the interesting collection of talent here. Not much interesting happens here, it’s just a typical battle royal. There really is a lot of neon gear in that ring. Very little of note happens until the final six, when Austin and Windham eliminate each other and then brawl on the floor. That leaves Oz, Rhodes, Gang, and Gigante as the final four. Yikes. Oz and Gang join forces to eliminate Rhodes, and Gigante quickly eliminates both of them to win the match. It wasn’t horrible or anything, it was just uneventful and dull. I guess it makes sense that El Gigante would win.
Rating: *½

~MATCH #11: Clash of the Champions XVII, 11.19.91~
Rick Rude (w/ Paul E. Dangerously) defeats WCW United States Champion Sting at 4:50 to win the title. Sting has been the Champion since 8.25.91, and this is his second defense. Dangerously cuts a promo about how Sting isn’t in the building, but an ambulance shows up and brings the Champion back to the arena. Sting’s leg is heavily bandaged, and Rude meets him in the aisle to start the fight. Sting battles valiantly but Rude is clearly in better shape here. Dangerously interferes as much as he can, and a distraction allows Rude to clip Sting’s knee and roll him up for the pin. Not much of a match there but it was an effective way to get heat on Rude and build sympathy for Sting.
Rating: *¾

~MATCH #12: Clash of the Champions XXIII, 6.17.93~
The Four Horsemen (Ric Flair & Arn Anderson) defeat NWA/WCW Unified Tag Team Champions The Hollywood Blondes (Flyin’ Brian & Stunning Steve) by DQ in a 2/3 falls match at 20:45. Brian and Steve have been the Champions since 3.3.93, and this is their tenth defense. It’s always interesting to see the Horsemen working as Babyfaces, and they dominate the early going of the first fall. The Blondes make the cutoff and isolate on Anderson, but the crafty Enforcer is able to surprise Austin with a DDT! Tags are made and Flair comes in a house afire. Flair is able to deck Pillman with a flying forearm to score the first fall at 9:40. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Flair pin anyone with that. For the second fall the Blondes work on Flair, and keep him away from Anderson for quite a while. Of course the hot tag is made and Anderson comes in hot, hitting Austin with a spinebuster! Pillman breaks it up and the referee has to herd Flair out of the ring. The Blondes go back to work on Anderson’s knee, the weak point from the first fall. Another hot tag gets made to Flair, and when he’s on the verge of winning the match with the Figure-Four Leglock on Austin, Barry Windham runs out for the DQ. Disappointing ending after a hot match. These two teams had a great dynamic and were able to keep the crowd invested in every portion of the match. Shame that they never did it again.
Rating: ***¾

~MATCH #13: Clash of the Champions XXV, 11.10.93~
Steve Austin (w/ Col. Robert Parker defeats Flyin’ Brian at 9:12. Pillman attacks Austin as soon as he enters the ring, and then takes off after Austin’s manager, Col. Robert Parker. Austin attacks Pillman from behind, but Pillman thwarts him. Back in the ring Pillman continues on offense. They fight back outside the ring and on that silly entrance ramp WCW had. Austin tries a piledriver but Pillman backdrops him instead and heads to the top rope. Pillman goes for the Flying Something and Austin gets his boot up, and then tosses Pillman off the ramp and onto the guardrail. Pillman hits a slingshot cross body back into the ring, but it only gets two and then Austin press slams Pillman onto the top rope. Austin goes to work on Pillman’s leg, using the ropes for additional leverage in a half Boston Crab. Pillman finally comes back and knocks Austin down from the top rope. Austin counters by dropping Pillman onto his chest in a suplex, and then jumps off the rope only to be hit with a dropkick. Austin tries a powerbomb and Pillman hits a rana out of it, which Schiavone calls a “victory roll.” Pillman tries another slingshot cross body, but Austin catches him in a powerslam for two. Pillman recovers and hits a DDT for two. Pillman goes for a crucifix, but Austin falls back on him and goes up to the top rope again. He misses the Big Something and Pillman rolls him up for two. Austin tries the Stun Gun and a bit of an awkward spot leads to Parker interfering, allowing Austin to get the pin. That started off hot and got a little sluggish at the end. It was still good fun though.
Rating: ***

~MATCH #14: Clash of the Champions XXVI, 1.27.94~
WCW World Television Champion Lord Steven Regal (w/ Sir William) wrestled Dustin Rhodes to a 15:00, time-limit draw. Regal has been the Champion since 9.19.93, and this is his ninth defense. They chain wrestle to start, which has to be advantage Champion. In fact, they pretty much keep the entire match on the mat, as Regal is more than happy to run out the clock. With time winding down Rhodes is able to connect on the Bulldog, but time runs out just as he’s covering and Regal retains the title. Everything was fine and competent here, but nothing really built to anything.
Rating: **¼

~MATCH #15: Clash of the Champions XXVI, 1.27.94~
Ric Flair & Sting defeat Vader (w/ Harley Race) & Rick Rude at 22:27 in a Tag Team Elimination Match. It’s odd to see Sting and Flair teaming together. Sting works the first long while of the match, with varying degrees of success against both guys. Rude and Vader work well together and control a bulk of the match, against either Sting or Flair. Vader in particular seems pretty happy to brutalize Flair, hitting a Vader Bomb and a superplex, and then delivering a superplex from the top rope. That’s crazy for a guy his size. Sting has to come in to make the save. Vader and Flair end up on the floor and Vader tries to use a chair. WCW Commissioner Nick Bockwinkel gets in his way to prevent the attack. It sounds like Vader and Flair both get counted out at 15:30. Now we’re down to Sting v Rude. Sting gets an initial flurry but Rude cuts him off and begins decimating the Stinger. Rude goes for the Rude Awakening but Sting counters out and hits one of his own for a two-count. Sting reverses a Tombstone Piledriver, and then puts Rude away with a superfly splash. That was neat to see those four in the ring together, but the match was just okay. I’m noticing about Rick Rude, that for as great of a talker he was and as charismatic as he was, in the ring he was not so good.
Rating: **¾

Disc Two

~MATCH #16: Clash of the Champions XXVII, 6.23.94~
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair defeats WCW International World Heavyweight Champion Sting to unify the titles at 17:17. Sting has been the Champion since 5.22.94, and this is his first defense. Flair has been the Champion since 5.14.94, and this is his second defense. This is a neat callback to the first-ever Clash back in March of 1988. Sensational Sherri makes her way out and reveals she’s wearing Sting face paint, so she’ll obviously be turning on him. To his credit, Sting looks suspicious of her. Sting dominates the early going, as Flair looks like he’s distracted by the thought of facing Hulk Hogan, who just arrived in WCW, in the near future. Flair eventually gets it together and gets Sting into a compromising position. They have the usual Flair v Sting match, and late in the contest when Sting goes for a house show dive to the floor, Flair grabs Sherri and allows her to take the hit! What a dick. Back in the ring Flair scores a schoolboy rollup from out of nowhere to get the pin and unify the titles. Flair and Sting is hard to screw up, but this one just didn’t click (probably because everyone knew Hogan was waiting in the wings), and the finish was super weak.
Rating: ***

~MATCH #17: Clash of the Champions XXVIII, 8.24.94~
Ricky Steamboat defeats WCW United States Champion Steve Austin in a No Disqualification Match to win the title at 16:02. Austin has been the Champion since 12.27.93, and this is his twenty-second defense. Steamboat takes the early advantage and Austin claims he used the hair. Poor Bobby Heenan has trouble understanding the rules of this match, because if Austin loses the match by DQ he also uses the title, and Heenan thinks that means this is a no-disqualification match, but it’s not. Austin has “Dragon Slayer” on the back of his tights. Schiavone and Heenan spend a good portion of the early going talking about who attacked Hulk Hogan earlier in this show. Austin and Steamboat have been having a good back and forth contest in the meantime. Steamboat hits a powerslam and they go to a split screen to show an ambulance, presumably carrying Hulk Hogan. Give me a break. Steamboat takes control of the arm and Austin can’t get out of the hold. Austin comes back by tossing Steamboat through the ropes to the floor, but Steamboat drags Austin out and gives him no time to catch his breath. Now instead of talking about the match, Schiavone passes along the message that Sting is so mad that Hogan got attacked that he has called in a plane to bring him to the show so he can wrestle for Hogan if he has to. Steamboat and Austin who? For some reason Barry Darsow is at ringside yelling things. I have no idea where that angle ever went. These two are having a terrific match despite the commentators not caring. Steamboat goes for a big cross body block, but Austin avoids it. Austin slaps Steamboat in the face several times, just to be a jerk. Steamboat finally grows tired of it and unleashes fury on Austin. Steamboat hits an awesome spinebuster for two. The Electric Chair Drop gets two as well. Small package gets two. Jackknife cradle gets two. Austin tries a piledriver but Steamboat slips out the back door and gets a backslide for two. Sunset flip gets two. Austin pops up and hits a clothesline. Austin dumps Steamboat over the top rope, which would be a DQ if Steamboat hit the floor but he skins the cat back in the ring instead. Moments later Austin goes for a bodyslam but Steamboat rolls him up a la WrestleMania III, and wins the U.S. Title for the fourth and final time. Screw the commentators, but this match was terrific, and shows how good of a wrestler Austin was at this stage of his career. And Steamboat was still awesome too.
Rating: ***¾

~MATCH #18: Clash of the Champions XXXII, 1.23.96~
Ric Flair & The Giant (w/ Jimmy Hart) defeat Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage (w/ Kevin Greene & Miss Elizabeth) at 9:52. The Mega-Powers dominate the early going on Flair, while Andre’s kid watches from the apron. Savage is the WCW World Champion at this point, having won the title from Flair just the night before. Even so, when Giant tags in, Savage goes over and tags Hogan. In short order the Flair/Giant team has taken over and they wear Hogan down. Hogan recovers fairly quickly and bodyslams Giant with ease. Flair and Giant cut him off and go back to work, but eventually the hot tag is made. Hogan takes Giant to the floor and Savage hits Flair with the Diving elbow drop, but the referee gets distracted. That allows Flair to procure a foreign object, which he uses to smash Savage and score the pin. This was fun enough and a decent way to put heat on the two individual singles matches coming up at SuperBrawl VI.
Rating: **¾

~MATCH #19: Clash of the Champions XXXIII, 8.15.96~
Madusa defeats Bull Nakano (w/ Sonny Onoo) at 2:42. This is yet another rehashing of a match WWE had already done at this point. Both women are aggressive but Nakano overpowers Madusa in the early going. Madusa makes the comeback and Onoo tries to interfere but it backfires, allowing Madusa to get the pin with a rollup. Really not much to say about this one, it was much too short to get anything going.
Rating: ½*

~MATCH #20: Clash of the Champions XXXIII, 8.15.96~
Eddie Guerrero defeats Diamond Dallas Page at 4:20 to win the Lord of the Ring. Guerrero starts off hot, but DDP avoids a charge in the corner and that allows him to take control. After delivering a solid beating, DDP puts Guerrero on the top rope. Guerrero knocks him down and hits a perfect Frog Splash to get the pin and win the ring. That was like, half of a good match, so at least it was enjoyable while it lasted.
Rating: **¼

~MATCH #21: Clash of the Champions XXXIII, 8.15.96~
WCW Tag Team Champions Harlem Heat (Booker T & Stevie Ray, w/ Sister Sherri) vs. Lex Luger & Sting vs. The Steiner Brothers (Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner) ended in a no contest at 13:22. Booker and Stevie have been the Champions since 7.27.96, and this is their fourth defense. This is taking place during a time when triple threat matches were pretty novel. With six men in the match very little resting is needed by anyone. This goes on for a while, and eventually we’re left with Scott and Booker in the ring while the other four brawl on the floor. Scott hits Booker with the Frankensteiner and appears to have the titles won, but referee Nick Patrick spots Kevin Nash and Scott Hall attacking the other guys in the aisle, and he calls for the bell. That was going along well enough until the abrupt finish. At least the finish would eventually play into something, so I’m more willing to forgive it in that case.
Rating: **¾

~MATCH #22: Clash of the Champions XXXIV, 1.21.97~
Dean Malenko defeats WCW Cruiserweight Champion Ultimo Dragon (w/ Sonny Onoo) at 15:07 to win the title. Dragon has been the Champion since 12.29.96, and this is his fourth defense. The Champion is more Ultimate here than Ultimo. These two generally worked well together, and that’s the case here. Malenko tries to keep Dragon grounded, but Dragon is pretty good on the mat as well. The emotionless Malenko works on Dragon’s leg with a variety of holds and moves, no doubt to set up for the Texas Cloverleaf. Dragon fights back with some aerial tactics, including the famed Asai Moonsault. Back in the ring Malenko comes back and hits a Tiger Bomb, and then knocks Onoo off the apron. That gives him unfettered access to lock on the Cloverleaf and Dragon taps the title away. The crowd goes nuts for Malenko’s win, which begins his third reign with the belt. This was a terrific match, with both men on their games and a hot crowd behind them.
Rating: ***¾

~MATCH #23: Clash of the Champions XXXV, 8.21.97~
WCW Cruiserweight Champion Chris Jericho defeats Eddie Guerrero at 6:41 to retain the title. Jericho has been the Champion since 8.16.97, and this is his first defense. These two know each other well, as anyone reading this likely knows. Jericho seems a bit off in this match, just kind of stumbly and bumbly rather than his usual smooth self. A somewhat sloppy reversal sequence ends with Jericho scoring a cradle to keep Guerrero’s shoulders down for the count. Not the best effort from either guy here, and it wasn’t long enough to see if they could’ve recovered and gotten back on track.
Rating: **

~MATCH #24: Clash of the Champions XXXV, 8.21.97~
WCW Tag Team Champions Randy Savage & Scott Hall (w/ Buff Bagwell, Kevin Nash, Konnan, Miss Elizabeth, Scott Norton, Syxx & Vincent) defeat Lex Luger & Diamond Dallas Page at 9:55 to retain the titles. Savage is substituting for Kevin Nash here, as The Outsiders are the official Champions, and have been since 2.24.97. This is their eleventh defense. For some reason the nWo is celebrating their “birthday,” even though they were born in July, not August. Of the entire entourage that came out with Savage and Hall, only Elizabeth is allowed to stay. DDP takes the beating for most of the match but eventually makes the hot tag, and the recent WCW World Champion is a house afire. The referee loses control and all four men are in the ring brawling chaotically. Some babyface miscommunication leads to DDP hitting Luger with the Diamond Cutter and Hall slowly crawls over to make the pin and retain the titles. This was just standard tag team stuff, nothing really exciting or interesting about it. The finish could’ve lead to some intrigue but I honestly don’t recall if it did or not, so if it did it was nothing amazing. Kind of a whimper for the Clash to go out on.
Rating: **

~BONUS MATCH #1: Clash of the Champions IV – Season’s Beatings, 12.7.88~
The Four Horsemen (Ric Flair & Barry Windham, w/ JJ Dillon) defeat The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane, w/ Jim Cornette) at 17:41. Lane and Eaton control the early going on both Horsemen, which is no small feat given that Flair is the World Champion and Windham is the U.S. Champion at this time. Even when the Horsemen fight back, the MNX are able to stay the course and keep the Championship duo on defense. Finally, the Horsemen get it together and isolate Eaton in their half of the ring. Eaton take quite a bit of punishment, but he hangs around long enough to make the hot tag. The referee gets distracted by Dillon and Cornette fighting at ringside and doesn’t see Eaton cover Windham after hitting an Alabama Jam. That allows Flair to sneak in and hit Eaton with Dillon’s shoe, and Windham covers to get the pin. Awesome tag team action here from everyone involved, though the finish was a bit on the moist side.
Rating: ****

~BONUS MATCH #2: Clash of the Champions XVIII, 1.21.92~
Sting & Ricky Steamboat defeat Rick Rude & Steve Austin (w/ Paul E. Dangerously) at 11:21. Rude is the United States Champion, Austin is the TV Champion, Sting has a World Title shot coming up at SuperBrawl II, and Steamboat is Steamboat, so this seems pretty awesome before it even starts. Sting and Steamboat control the early going and keep the crowd juiced. The Dangerous Alliance is able to isolate Sting for a while, and then the referee loses control. Austin picks Steamboat up for a bodyslam, and Sting comes flying off the top rope with a cross body block, and he stays on top along with Steamboat to get the pin on Austin. Not sure why the referee would allow both men to make the pin like that, but aside from that this was a terrific tag team match involving four top-shelf talents. Sting getting the win was obviously the right call, but man what a weird finish. That knocks the rating down a peg.
Rating: ***¾

~BONUS MATCH #3: Clash of the Champions XXII, 1.13.93~
Sting, Dustin Rhodes & Cactus Jack defeat Big Van Vader, Barry Windham & Paul Orndorff at 11:22 in a Thunder Cage Six Man Tag Team Match. Everyone is wearing jeans, except for Vader for reasons I don’t know. Also, Sting and Rhodes start the match without a third man on their team for some reason. This is a big brawl, which should be obvious given the setting. Vader, Orndorff, and Windham use the numbers game to control much of the action, but Sting and Rhodes are game for a fight too. Late in the match, Cactus Jack comes down with some bolt cutters and joins the fracas. Cactus uses his boot to beat everyone up, and it’s a pier-six brawl. Orndorff goes for a piledriver on Rhodes, but Cactus jumps off the top rope and smashes Orndorff in the back of the head with his boot. That’s enough for Cactus to score the pin. This was a fun enough brawl but it never got crazy enough to be super memorable. I do dig Orndorff subtly losing in a similar fashion as he did at WrestleMania.
Rating: ***

~A2Z Analysiz~
This is an amazing set, with over half of the matches rating at three stars or higher. It also presents a pretty good cross-section of performers, showcasing the top talent that passed through NWA/WCW over the years. Any fan could find something to quibble about in the match selection, but overall it’s pretty strong, making this an easy recommendation.

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About Jake Ziegler

I've been in love with the movies for almost 20 years. I follow the Oscars obsessively, and try to see as many movies a year as I can. I'll watch anything good bad or otherwise, and my life long dream job has always been to be a bona fide film critic. View all posts by Jake Ziegler

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