WCW Clash of the Champions XVIII
January 21, 1992
The current WCW Champs were as follows:
World Champion: Lex Luger (7/14/1991)
U.S. Champion: Rick Rude (11/19/1991)
World Television Champion: Steve Austin (6/3/1991)
World Light Heavyweight Champion: Jushin Liger (12/25/1991)
World Tag Team Champions: Arn Anderson & Bobby Eaton (1/16/1992)
U.S. Tag Team Champions: Ron Simmons & Big Josh (1/14/1992)
Your hosts are Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone!
- Rick & Scott Steiner vs. Big Van Vader & Mr. Hughes (w/Harley Race)
The absolute best choice for the opener. Hughes stops all of Scott’s attempts to take him to the mat with body blows, but then Scott takes him over with a belly-to-belly suplex. Scott gets cornered though on the wrong side of town and the Steiners get dumped, but come back in with STEREO FLYING STEINERLINES! After all that settles down, Vader and Rick tag and go for a bit. Vader controls with a press slam and hits a corner splash, but then tries it again and takes a Steinerline. After a Belly-to-Belly Suplex, Rick clotheslines Vader out. He goes out after him though and gets posted for his troubles. Back in, Rick stops Vader up top and takes him over with a SUPER belly-to-belly suplex. HOT TAG TO SCOTT! He wants a German suplex on Vader, but Vader grabs the ropes. Rick pounds away on him and helps out Scott to get that German. Scott heads up top, but gets caught coming down into a powerslam. Desperation sunset flip attempt goes awry, as Vader blocks it with a buttsplash. Hughes tags in and delivers a powerslam, but misses a charge and allows Rick to get a tag. That breaks down into a pier-six brawl. Rick gets dumped, leaving Scott alone in the ring. The heels have some miscommunication problems with a clothesline. Scott and Vader brawl out to the floor as Rick regroups and hops back up on the apron. Race tries to interfere, but he gets nailed. Rick heads up top and nails the staggering Mr. Hughes with the STEINER BULLDOG for the 1-2-3. (9:02) Just non-stop action there. Vader would leave the tag scene alone and start breaking Sting’s ribs and winning the championship by the summer. ***
- Tracy Smothers & Taylor Made Man vs. Brian Pillman & Marcus Alexander Bagwell
This was supposed to be Brian Pillman/Patriots vs. Diamond Studd/Pistols. I’m not sure why it got switched. In any event, this is what we got and it’s not bad. Pillman and Taylor badmouth one another to start, but Pillman stops that with a great headscissors out of the corner. Pillman runs the ropes, but Taylor stops that with a backbreaker for two. He tries another, but Pillman counters with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors for two! Bagwell plays Tom Zenk and hits the heels with dropkicks before setting up a slingshot AIR PILLMAN. The heels head to the floor, so Pillman and Bagwell follow them out with STEREO PESCADOS! Back in, Bagwell becomes face-in-peril and gets passed off between Taylor and Smothers. That ends once Smothers hits knees off a splash to set up a HOT TAG TO PILLMAN! He goes DROPKICK CRAZY on the heels, but he’s quickly double-teamed and given a suplex from the apron to the FLOOR by Taylor! While the ref is with Taylor, Smothers throws him into the ringpost and into the guardrail a whole bunch. Back in, Smothers gets two. Taylor tags in and delivers a gutwrench powerbomb for 1-2-NO! Smothers tags back in and knocks Pillman off the apron for the chest-first guardrail bump. Smothers turns away to taunt Bagwell and doesn’t see Pillman coming off for AIR PILLMAN until it’s too late. Bagwell gets the tag and all four guys hop in the ring. Pillman is dumped while Bagwell catches Smothers with a sunset flip. Taylor tries to keep Smothers from falling, but then he gets nailed with a dropkick from behind by Pillman, causing Smothers to fall back into the pin for the 1-2-3. (7:48) Another balls-to-the-wall action-packed match. The crowd was going nuts for everything too, and these guys are just mid-carders. ***¼
- Richard Morton vs. Johnny B. Badd
Well, the York Foundation is done, so now they have nothing for Richard Morton to do. He’ll be calling up the USWA by summertime. Morton dumps Badd out but gets rolled up for two. He does it again and this time, he posts Badd face-first. Johnny, however, comes back in with a sunset flip for another two. They do some back-and-forth stuff as Badd rolls through a crossbody and gets the pin? (3:22) Killin’ time. CRAP
Eric Bischoff is standing by with Brian Pillman and Johnny B. Badd. Yeah, we saw Pillman in one awesome six-man tag match there, didn’t we Eric? While Pillman talks about why he doesn’t like Japanese people because they buy out American companies and take his friends’ jobs, Badd plants the lip stickers on Bischoff and Pillman’s cheeks. No, the ones on your face. Just clearing that up. Anyways, Johnny gets a little antsy because he wants to talk on the mic, so Pillman POPS him in the face and walks away. Pillman is bringing his title back to America!
- Diamond Dallas Page vs. PN News
Wow, two people from this time period I didn’t want to see against each other. Has anybody seen that PN News clip from YouTube where he made an ECW appearance and took an Acid Drop from Spike Dudley for running his mouth? That was a fun time. News uses his butt to dominate Page to start. He misses an elbow drop though and takes a Russian legsweep. Page tries a slam, which is stupid because News just falls on top of you. He doesn’t let it slow him down though, as he comes back with a running hotshot. Page hits a slingshot crossbody from the apron and gets two. News then reverses a corner whip and catches Page in a Belly-to-Belly Suplex to set up the BROKEN RECORD splash for the win. (3:25) PN News is another guy who will be gone by summertime. GOOD GAWD! ½*
It’s time for the WCW Top Ten for the weekend of January 18-19!
10. Larry Zbyszko [^2]
9. El Gigante [-]
8. Big Van Vader [v2]
7. Dustin Rhodes [same]
6. Cactus Jack [same]
5. Rick Steiner [same]
4. Ricky Steamboat [same]
3. WCW World TV Champ Steve Austin [same]
2. Sting [same]
1. WCW U.S. Champ Rick Rude [same]
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Lex Luger
So apparently losing a title doesn’t affect anything here. I’m looking at you two, Steamboat and Rhodes!
Tony Schiavone has the microphone and he’s standing in the ring with a bunch of suits. It turns out that one of those suits just so happens to be Kip Allen Frey, who is announced as WCW’s new Executive VP! That means no more Jim Herd. Before Kip Allen Frey announces the main event for Superbrawl II, he brings out WCW’s newest color commentator. The man, the myth, the legend…ladies and gentlemen, JESSE VENTURA! He’s pumped up because WCW is the future! Well, at least for the next nine years. The main event for Superbrawl II is WCW World Champion Lex Luger versus STING! All Sting has to do is sign the contract, but first, some words from Lex Luger. He says Sting is just another chapter in his autobiography, “I’m The Best Who Ever Lived and You’re Not: The Lex Luger Story.” Ok, so he didn’t really say anything about an autobiography, just that he’s the greatest athlete who ever lived. All the same, words don’t scare Sting away. He still signs the contract.
- Cactus Jack vs. Van Hammer – Falls Count Anywhere
What the heck? Hammer shoots off some picks out of his guitar that BLIND Cactus and almost get him pinned within the first five seconds of the match. In the immortal words of my grandpa, “Who would’ve ever thought THAT would happen?” Hammer delivers a bunch of clotheslines, but Cactus catches him on one of them and puts Hammer out on the floor with his perfected Cactus clothesline for two. Cactus rolls up the padding around ringside and delivers a sunset flip off the middle rope for two. Hammer escapes out of a sleeper and powerslams Cactus on the rampway. They brawl up the rampway until Hammer tosses Jack down on the concrete floor! Sick bump that would make you cringe in 1992. That gets two for Hammer. Jack gets back up and they continue fighting to the dressing room to set up a commercial break. We’re back and now we see Cactus beating Hammer with a 2×4 out in an area that would be used in the future for a rodeo in this expocenter, which explains the saddles, hay bales, and all the rope. Missy Hyatt is out there for some reason. From the angle were given, it looks like Dusty Rhodes is interfering, but it’s only Abdullah the Butcher wearing a cowboy hat and a red cowboy shirt. Now Cactus has two guys to fight and during the mayhem, Abdullah blasts Hammer with a shovel to give Cactus the pinfall. (6:49) Cactus and Abdullah continue to brawl near a water trough. Somehow, Missy gets tossed in and it’s COLD OUT THURR! Definitely the best match Van Hammer was ever associated with in his career, but I don’t think it holds up fifteen years later as a classic or anything. **½
- The New Freebirds vs. Big Josh & Brad Armstrong
There’s nothing really that new about them besides a new song called, “I’m a Freebird and What’s Your Excuse?”. What makes being a Freebird so great? I think that’s the REAL question here. They’re wearing more black than usual, but they still seem kind of homo to me. They don’t even seem to really know the words. The title of the song is the only lyrics I actually understood, which is probably a good thing. The way they were parading around with the crowd like crowd favorites, it makes you think they are supposed to be faces. But they’re not. Armstrong is back to his normal self after wearing a mask as the Freebirds’ sidekick Badstreet and Arachniman after both those gimmicks failed. Now he’s back to square one where he should’ve stayed all along. Armstrong gets owned for a bit until he makes a blind tag to Josh, who comes in and gives Garvin a Dr. Death running powerslam. Now Hayes gets a blind tag, but Josh stays one step ahead and hooks on an armbar. Armstrong tags in and gets double-teamed and tossed out. He tries to suplex Hayes, but Garvin stops that and the Freebirds give Armstrong a DOUBLE-DDT for the 1-2-3. (3:48) The Freebirds would squeeze out one last US tag title reign before calling it quits in the summertime. ½*
Eric Bischoff interviews the Steiner Brothers. Before he does, they show a video package of the Steiners beating the current WWF teams like the Road Warriors and the Nasty Boys. As for the interview, they want what was taken from them, and that’s the WCW World tag titles.
- Vinnie Vegas vs. Thomas Rich
Say what you want, but I liked the Vinnie Vegas gimmick. Kevin Nash is one of the funniest guys ever in wrestling, and he tried hard to make this one work. It’s just odd considering he was Oz like just a couple weeks back. He acts like some fan said something bad about Rich and brings him over only to get in a cheapshot and finish Rich off with the SNAKE EYES. (0:56) He drops to his knees instead of throwing him off into the turnbuckle. Good thing he didn’t tear a quad or something. CRAP
Eric Bischoff stands by with Paul E. Dangerously. Paul E mentions that every single prediction that he’s made since Halloween Havoc has come true. Changes on the board of directors, the demise of Sting, the loss of the World tag titles to Anderson and Eaton – tonight, one of the top five heroes is FINISHED. Will it be Barry Windham? Dustin Rhodes? Ron Simmons on the day after MLK Jr. day? (he said it, not me) Ricky Steamboat? Or is it Sting? Win, lose or draw – somebody is going to wind up in the Magnum TA Wrestling Retirement Home. Haha, you’ve got to love Paul E when he had some balls.
- Arn Anderson, Bobby Eaton & Larry Zbyszko (w/Paul E. Dangerously) vs. Ron Simmons, Dustin Rhodes & Barry Windham
Along with revenge comes motivation, and that’s what makes wrestling great. This is the first time I’ve seen Windham wrestle since Halloween Havoc and he’s got Larry Zbyszko in his sights. His hand is still all taped up, but he’s here to fight BY GAWD! Windham starts off with Eaton and NO-SELLS a superplex and then gives Eaton one of his own for 1-2-NO! That leads to a big FIGURE-FOUR FEST with all six men in the ring! Order is restored and now Larry Zbyszko and Ron Simmons battle it out. Simmons powers up out of an overhead wristlock. Anderson comes in to help out, but Simmons flips out of it and armdrags both men over into the wrong side of town. Eaton comes off the top, but he’s caught in a bearhug. Anderson makes the save and then ducks a clothesline, but then turns around into a press slam. Larry Z is the legal man though. Dustin Rhodes tags in and spits on Bobby Eaton, who tags in as well. Eaton goes low, so Dustin retaliates with an eye rake and throws Eaton out onto the rampway. Rhodes comes off the ropes and flies out on to Eaton with a lariat! Back in, Windham and Zbyszko receive tags. Zbyszko quickly avoids a lariat and allows Windham to crash and burn. Windham backdrops out of a piledriver though and dropkicks Eaton off the top to send him falling to the floor. Windham chases Zbyszko back in the ring for a Dustin Rhodes sneak attack, but then Rhodes misses a charge and does his patented barrel roll up the rampway. While the ref is busy in the ring, Eaton holds Rhodes while Paul E jabs him in the gut with the phone. Back in, Arn tags in and delivers a Spinebuster for 1-2-NO! He tries the pump splash, but that never works. Nevertheless, he still manages to nail Rhodes with the DDT out of nowhere for 1-2-NO! Eaton tags in and catches Rhodes with a flying elbow drop for 1-2-NO! Eaton charges in the corner, but Dustin moves and Eaton hits his signature corner bump. Anderson gets another tag and tries something off the middle rope, but he eats a boot on the way down. Can Dustin make the tag? YES HE CAN! Hot tag to Windham! He goes LARIAT CRAZY on Eaton as it breaks loose into a pier-six brawl. That leaves Eaton and Windham alone in the ring. Eaton comes off the top, but Windham catches him with the taped fist on the way down for the 1-2-3. (9:28) Just another GREAT day in the six-man tag wars. ***½
In the back, Tony meets up with Barry Windham and the gang. He says he doesn’t give a DARN what the doctors and WCW says, he’s going to wrestle no matter what! He also promises that Larry Zbyszko will suffer 10,000 times more pain than what he’s had to endure. HOLY CRAP! A hand slammed in a car door smarts pretty bad too!
- Rick Rude & Steve Austin (w/Paul E. Dangerously) vs. Sting & Ricky Steamboat
Jesse Ventura takes over on color commentary, marking this as the first WCW match he’s called. Steamboat kicks things off with Austin and chops him away. He treats him like Randy Savage just like on last week’s Worldwide with a ton of near-falls. Rude gets involved and he’s kicked out to ringside to regroup with Paul E. Back in, Rude slaps Sting and we’ve got a switch. Sting kills Rude with atomic drops and then works a camel clutch. In between some hip-swiveling, Sting and Steamboat do some illegal switching to make the crowd giggle while the ref is tending to an irate Steve Austin. During one of the switches, Sting tries to come down on Rude, but he gets the knees up to block. The DA control Sting by ironically not cheating. Sting inches his way over to Steamboat during a front headlock spot, but Rude releases the hold and knocks Steamboat off the apron and then levels Sting for two. Austin tags in and gets caught with a sunset flip, but misses trying to punch out. HOT TAG TO STEAMBOAT! He goes CHOP CRAZY! Double noggin knocker! Victory roll on Austin, but the ref is busy restraining Sting and Rude makes the save. The DA work on Steamboat’s back for a little bit with slams and stuff. A Steamboat inside cradle causes Sting and Rude to get into a brawl, which ends with Rude tossing out Sting. While the ref is with Rude, Sting manages to pull Austin out to the rampway with him for more brawling. Back in, Austin lifts up Steamboat for a backbreaker, but Sting comes off the top and jumps on Steamboat to fall on top of Austin for 1-2-3. (11:22) Ventura calls shenanigans for the first time in his WCW tenure considering you can’t dog pile a guy and call that a legitimate pinfall victory. Afterwards, Rude gives Steamboat a pair of Rude Awakenings and starts whipping him with Paul E’s belt. Some jobbers in security tees come down to put a stop to this madness, but even Paul E can take those guys down. Sting finally just jumps on top of Steamboat so they won’t hurt him anymore. Anyways, great match as you would expect from these four. ***¾
Final Thoughts: There’s no doubt that WCW was on a hot streak during this period with the awesome Dangerous Alliance/Sting’s buddies feud. I’m sure the fact that Jim Herd was finally history and that Kip Allen Frey was a great motivator had A LOT to do with it. As for the show, what’s not centered around the Dangerous Alliance is hit-or-miss, but the hits are great and the misses are short. Thumbs WAY up for Clash #18.