DATE: June 12, 1991
VENUE: Civic Auditorium (Knoxville, TN)
COMMENTATORS: Jim Ross & Tony Schiavone
Clash of the Champions XV: Knocksville USA features a gangbuster of a main event as Ric Flair defends the WCW World Heavyweight Championship against Bobby Eaton in a 2 out of 3 Falls match. Also on the show Lex Luger takes on The Great Muta in a #1 Contender’s Match, Sting looks for revenge against Nikita Koloff, and much more!
- WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair
- WCW UNITED STATES HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: “The Total Package” Lex Luger
- WCW WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPION: “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton
- WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner)
- WCW UNITED STATES TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael “P.S.” Hayes & Jimmy “Jam” Garvin)
- WCW WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Ricky Morton, “Wildfire” Tommy Rich, & The Junkyard Dog
- Tom Zenk & The Young Pistols vs. Badstreet & The Fabulous Freebirds (**1/2)
- Johnny Rich vs. Oz (SQUASH)
- Big Josh vs. Dan Spivey (**)
- THE DANGER ZONE w/ Paul E. Dangerously & Jason Hervey
- Dustin Rhodes vs. Terrence Taylor (**)
- Sting vs. Nikita Koloff (**3/4)
- IN-RING SEGMENT: PN News w/ Pepa & DJ Spinderella
- LOSER LEAVES WCW: Brain Pillman & El Gigante vs. Arn Anderson & Barry Windham (***)
- THE GREAT AMERICAN BASH REPORT w/ Paul E. Dangerously
- The Steiner Brothers [c] vs. Hiroshi Hase & Masahiro Chono for the IWGP TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (****)
- Tommy Rich vs. The Diamond Studd (SQUASH)
- RINGSIDE SEGMENT: The Sting Lookalike Contest Winner
- #1 CONTENDER’S MATCH: Lex Luger vs. The Great Muta (**1/4)
- Steve Austin vs. Joey Maggs (SQUASH)
- IN-RING SEGMENT: New York Foundation Member Revealed (Again)
- 2 OUT OF 3 FALLS: Ric Flair [c] vs. Bobby Eaton for the WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (***1/2)
–Missy Hyatt welcomes the audience from the entrance ramp. In runs Paul E. Dangerously trying to steal the spotlight. Hyatt angrily shoves the mic in his hands and walks off, Dangerously takes it to the commentary team of Ross and Schiavone at ringside. Hype for the main event and, more importantly, the WCW Hotline.
“The Z-Man” Tom Zenk & The Young Pistols (Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong) vs. Badstreet & The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael “P.S.” Hayes & Jimmy “Jam” Garvin) [w/ Diamond Dallas Page, a DIamond Doll, & Big Daddy Dink]
Badstreet made his debut last month at SuperBrawl as the feather-covered “Fantasia”, costing The Pistols the U.S. Tag Team Championship. Despite the feathery getup and an additional TV appearance though Fantasia has gone through a name change and is now Badstreet, named after the “town” the Freebirds are from. The entrance stage has a dumbwaiter for the wrestlers to pose on but since no one on this show is going to be Sid Vicious it’s a waste of time.
Zenk backs Garvin into the corner, ref getting in the way to force a reset. Garvin whips Zenk into the ropes, Zenk drops him with a shoulder tackle. Hip tosses and dropkicks for the Freebirds, Young Pistols with stereo crossbodies and the heels clear the ring. Hayes tags in and wants Smothers, who’s only too happy to oblige. Hayes with a corner whip, Smothers dodges and connects with a slingshot kick. Right hands for P.S., Armstrong slams Garvin off the opposite corner. Zenk joins in as well, and once again the heels clear from the ring. DDP and the Doll are gone at this point, unfortunately. I guess he only likes hanging out with the Diamond Studd nowadays. Badstreet tags in, Hayes drops Smothers with a left hook and Badstreet clotheslines him out to the floor. Badstreet clears Armstrong and Zenk off the apron, Hayes whips Smothers into Badstreet and Garvin, who drop him sternum-first across the guardrail. Badstreet rolls Smothers in, triple team until Armstrong and Zenk break it up. Donnybrook breaks out, faces tossed to the floor. They quickly roll back in for more brawling. Faces sent back out to the floor, Freebirds pose, TRIPLE STEREO SUNSET FLIPS FOR THE 1…2…3!
Tom Zenk & The Young Pistols defeated Badstreet & The Fabulous Freebirds via pinfall (4:44)
- I think Smothers got the pin on Badstreet “officially” but who honestly cares. Okay I do. Quick and entertaining match to open the show; I don’t like The Freebirds much but they do get the crowd going and I’m cool with them in short spurts. Zenk & The Pistols were fun to watch, a lot more energy than a lot of their peers. Z-Man should still be TV Champion, DAMMIT. I’m not sure where this Badstreet thing is going to go, if there’s any plan or if the ‘Birds just needed a third to take the punishment, but I think it’s SUPER FUNNY that they just pretended that was his name/look the entire time. Fantasia never happened. (**1/2)
-A backdrop of a castle appears on the entrance stage, lit in green as fog covers the ramp. Pyro explodes, music hits, and so appears Oz, old man mask and all. The Great Wizard appears at his side as he makes his way to the ring, but this time no monkey. Then what’s the f*cking point? Why are we here? WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?!?
Johnny Rich vs. Oz [w/ The Great Wizard]
Oz’s scheduled opponent was supposed to be TOMMY Rich, but as you’ll see later he’s been moved to job for a completely different newcomer. As expected Oz absolutely wrecks Rich, winning with the Emerald City Twister. Rich crashes so hard onto the mat it BREAKS the mic so I can’t even hear the three-count. Goddamn.
Oz defeated Johnny Rich via pinfall (1:28)
- Impressive and dominant squash win for Oz, but what a gimmick to be saddled with. Fun to watch now almost thirty years later but Kevin Nash is lucky he was able to resurrect his career after this nonsense. (SQUASH)
-HIGHLIGHT VIDEO: PN News raps and squashes folks.
Big Josh vs. “Dangerous” Dan Spivey
Josh and Spivey trade lefts, neither man backing down until Spivey rakes the eyes and connects with a headbutt. Corner whip and clothesline, Josh crashes to the mat. Josh brings Spivey to the mat with a waistlock and rains down lefts followed by a stomp. Spivey reverses a whip and connects with a Japanese armdrag and big boot. Josh blocks a suplex attempt and connects with one of his own but gets dropped immediately with a clothesline. Josh dodges Spivey in the corner and plants him with a release German suplex. Suddenly Kevin Sullivan shows up, crutch in hand, and hits Josh from behind with it. Josh no-sells it but gets distracted, Spivey connects with a bridging German suplex for the 1…2…3!
Dan Spivey defeated Big Josh via pinfall (2:49)
- A short one but I appreciated the mix of clubberin’ and murder suplexes. Kevin Sullivan showing up to hit Josh with a crutch, JOSH FULLY SEEING HIM BEFORE RUNNING THE ROPES, appears to be the start of a feud between Josh and Black Blood. I assume it’s because both men like axes, but considering Blood is the only one who actually gets to carry one instead of just the handle I’d say he’s already the winner. (**)
-Schiavone lists off the top 10 singles wrestlers in WCW:
- Lex Luger
- The Great Muta
- El Gigante
- Bobby Eaton
- Nikita Koloff
- Arn Anderson
- Barry Windham
- One Man Gang
- “Stunning” Steve Austin
IN-RING SEGMENT: THE DANGER ZONE
Paul E. Dangerously introduces his guest, Wonder Years star and co-host of the Bull Drop Inn Jason Hervey. Dangerously repeatedly cuts Hervey off when he tries to answer his questions, but does admit to dating Missy Hyatt (LUCKY MOTHERF*CKER). Dangerously asks if Hervey and Hyatt are in love with each other, Hervey SIDE STEPS that like a dork and asks Dangerously how it felt to get his butt kicked by a WOMAN. Dangerously asks Hervey is everything in his life is new then why is his girlfriend used merchandise. Hervey angrily says this interview is over and turns his back, Dangerously breaks his giant phone over the back of Hervey’s head. In runs Missy Hyatt, IN HEELS NO LESS, to chase him away and check on her boyf.
-Ross and Schiavone replay Dangerously breaking his phone over Hervey’s head, and talk about how he was goaded into the interview under false pretenses.
“The Natural” Dustin Rhodes vs. “The Computerized Man of the 1990s” Terrence Taylor [w/ Alexandra York & Mr. Hughes]
This is a SuperBrawl rematch and like its predecessor was billed as a “Computer Match” but is not being presented as such here. If y’all don’t know what the f*ck a Computer Match means maybe stop promoting matches as such. York is announcing a new Foundation member later in the show. Boy this event seems real stuffed.
Rhodes clotheslines Taylor in the corner, Taylor kicks out of the lateral press and rolls to the floor to get some COM-PEW-TOR counseling. Rhodes catches a kick and spins Taylor into a right, following with atomic drops both inverted and regular. Taylor dodges Rhodes, who goes shoulder-first into the post and falls to the floor, almost hitting the guardrail. He got some distance on that one. Taylor suplexes Rhodes back in and drops a knee, lateral press for a two-count (no leg was hooked). Taylor connects with a jawbreaker and checks on his ponytail (still dorky), then hits a gutwrench sit-out power bomb for the 1…2…Rhodes kicks out. Rhodes counters a backdrop with a sunset flip for the 1…2…Taylor escapes. Backslide from Rhodes for the 1…2…Taylor kicks out and connects with a concealed fist. Taylor runs into a big boot, Rhodes connects with another and mounts a comeback. Count-a-long corner rights at each buckle, elbowdrop for the 1…2…Taylor kicks out once more. Inverted atomic drop, Bulldog and lateral press but Hughes distracts the ref. Rhodes belts Hughes with a series of rights and a Bionic Elbow. Ricky Morton shows up as the ref calls for the bell (?)
Dustin Rhodes defeated Terrence Taylor via DQ (4:27)
- Perfectly fine match, glad they’re finally pulling the damn trigger on Morton’s heel turn as it’s been the most obvious goddamn thing I may have ever seen on a wrestling show. (**)
Hughes hits Rhodes from behind, Taylor joins in as does the now heel Morton (SHOCK AND AWE). Big Josh runs in to make the save, chasing them from the ring.
-COMING ATTRACTIONS: Johnny B. Badd highlight reel. Man he’s pretty.
-Ross and Schiavone go over the longstanding feud between Sting and Nikita Koloff. Began at SuperBrawl when Koloff hit Sting with the Russian Chain originally meant for Lex Luger, turned into a backstage and parking lot brawl after. Two have butted heads ever since.
Sting vs. “The Russian Nightmare” Nikita Koloff
Sting runs into the ring, Koloff clobbers him immediately and connects with a back elbow and scoop slam. Koloff tosses Sting to the floor, connecting with a double ax to the spine and whipping him into the guardrail. Koloff rolls him back in but takes too much time trash talking and Sting connects with a piledriver. Koloff, however, POPS RIGHT BACK UP and immediately goes back on the offensive. Paul Orndorff is somewhere seething about this. Koloff drills Sting with a Tombstone piledriver but decides to look around at the crowd before arrogantly covering and the Stinger easily kicks out. Sting tries a sunset flip, Koloff almost falls but catches him with a right. He takes too long to do anything else though and Sting this time follows through with the sunset flip for the 1…2…Koloff escapes.
Koloff connects with a backbreaker but arrogantly covers again, Sting easily kicking out. Koloff jaw jacks at ringside fans holding an American flag then goes to work on the ribs of Sting. Sting absorbs some more punishment and tries to fight back with rights, but Koloff drops him again and puts an end to it. More kicks to the ribs, snapmare into an elbowdrop. Sting tossed to the floor, Koloff clubs him in the lower back, Sting counters a whip and sends Koloff into the guardrail. Back in the ring Koloff goes for another Tombstone, Sting reverses into one of his own and connects with a series of tomahawk chops and kicks as the crowd goes NUTS. Sting misses the Stinger Splash, Koloff charges in with the Russian Sickle and goes into the buckles, Sting rolls him up for the 1…2…3!
Sting defeated Nikita Koloff via pinfall (9:33)
- Hot start but Koloff’s offense was too slow and dull for my attention span so it lost me a little bit. The end sequence was fun though, Sting ends Koloff’s undefeated streak but I doubt this is the end of their feud. They didn’t parking lot brawl to end a feud with a dang roll-up. I hope. Honestly you never know with WCW. (**3/4)
Tony Schiavone introduces his guest, “The Rapmaster” PN News, joined by Pepa and DJ Spinderella of Salt ‘n’ Pepa. Salt refused to sanction this buffoonery. Schiavone leaves, News busts out a new rap with a gold microphone as Pepa and Spinderella play along. Once the rap concludes Schiavone tries to conduct an interview but they’re interrupted by Johnny B. Badd and Theodore R. Long. Long says he’s the Godfather while Badd is the original Rapmaster. Badd says he’s the pretty man in World Championship Wrestling and calls News a big old ugly bear. News tells “little man” Badd to back off and asks why he’s dissing him. News shoves Badd, Long holds him back while News says he’s right here. Long and Badd leaves, News dances with Pepa and Spinderella.
- Did this eat up time that should have been given to the 50,000 matches on this show? Sure. But did I f*cking love this anyway? YUP. Just Badd and Long half-strutting their way to the ring made this whole thing worth it.
-COMING ATTRACTIONS: Diamond Studd highlights.
LOSER LEAVES WCW
“Flyin” Brian Pillman & El Gigante vs. “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson & Barry Windham
Whoever takes the loss for their team in this one will be forced to leave WCW “forever”. Pillman and Windham have been at one another’s throats for months, including a Taped Fist Match at SuperBrawl won by Windham, and Pillman has been playing mind games on TV by pretending to be various mascots during Windham’s squashes.
Pillman blocks a right from Anderson and connects with a pair of chops, then rolls him up with a backslide for a two-count. Anderson tries a slam, Pillman shifts his weight into a lateral press for another two-count. Windham tags in, Pillman lights him up with chops and connects with a spinning heel kick for a two-count. Windham brings him to the mat with a side headlock, Pillman counters into a headscissors, Windham escapes and just DECKS Pillman with every ounce of his body. Love it. Anderson tags in, rakes Pillman’s eyes across the top rope, Pillman eats a knee when he charges into the corner. Anderson climbs the buckles, Pillman dropkicks him off and to the floor. Pillman rolls Anderson in, Gigante nearly chokes him out. Pillman connects with a powerslam on Windham, Gigante launches him into Windham with a crossbody for the 1…Anderson breaks it up. Gigante stalks Windham to the ramp, Pillman slams Anderson and heads to the top. Windham trips him up, Pillman crashes to the mat. Gigante and Anderson brawl, Windham kicks Pillman in the face and covers for the 1…2…3.
Arn Anderson & Barry Windham defeated Brian Pillman & El Gigante via pinfall; Brian Pillman must now leave WCW (3:08)
- No time wasted in this one, wall to wall action and I dug every second of it. Pillman dug his own grave starting the match though, he should’ve let Gigante handle it since he’s so damn big and I don’t think has ever actually been pinned. Oh well you don’t win a courage award in the NFL without being courageous I guess. Sad to see Pillman’s WCW career end like this, too bad he never resurf-hahahahaha MASKED MAN GIMMICK TIME. (***)
Windham celebrates like he’s won the World Series, happy to finally be rid of the thorn in his side that is Brian Pillman.
THE GREAT AMERICAN BASH REPORT
Paul E. Dangerously is here to talk about the upcoming Great American Bash tour this summer, focusing on the July 14th PPV. Clips from last year’s Bash, featuring Sting & Ric Flair’s main event entrances and The Steiner Brothers beating The Fabulous Freebirds. Bash ‘90 is one of my favorite PPVs of all-time, I highly suggest everyone check it out. That’s it for this segment though, not much of a report.
-Ross and Schiavone segue into a clip of The Steiner Brothers beating Hiroshi Hase & Kensuke Sasaki for the IWGP Tag Team Championship at March’s Japan Supershow.
The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) [c] vs. Hiroshi Hase & Masahiro Chono for the IWGP TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Hase is out for revenge and to regain the Tag Team Championship, trading out Kensuke Sasaki for Masa “MY HERO” Chono. Steiner Brothers look like they’re using their WCW belts for this one, not IWGP, but maybe I’m mixing them up.
Scott with a waistlock, Hase in the ropes to force a break. Hase with a single leg pickup, Scott counters and catches him with a kick. Hase leapfrogs Scott, Scott catches a kick and Hase sends him flying to the floor with an enzuigiri to the teeth. NICE. Scott reverses an Irish whip and connects with a hot shot on Hase and repeatedly tries to hold him down for a pin to no avail. Hase gets to his feet and connects with a savate kick, mocking the crowd to get that EVIL FOREIGN HEEL HEAT. Scott responds with a fireman’s carry, Rick tags in and the crowd barks in approval. Chono tags in as well and eats a whole lot of rights, counters a backdrop with a big boot so stiff it BREAKS RICK STEINER’S HEADGEAR. Love it. Chono connects with more kicks, Rick bounces against the ropes and belts Chono with a Steinerline. Scott holds Chono on his shoulders, Rick drives him to the mat with a top-rope elbow. Hase tags in and grabs a waistlock, Rick with a standing switch into a release German suplex. Hase reverses an Irish whip and picks Rick up on his shoulders for a fireman’s carry slam. Chono tags in, Hase holds Rick up and Chono comes off the top with a flying shoulderblock. Chono picks Rick up into a Samoan drop, Hase with a flying kneedrop off the top. Chono traps Rick in the STF, the hold of his trainer Lou Thesz. Scott and Hase brawl on the floor, ignoring Chono. Scott tries to come off the top to break it but slips and MISSES COMPLETELY, so he clobbers him with forearms instead. HA. Chono and Rick connect with clotheslines and both men are down.
Hase tags in but so does Scott and the latter damn near decapitates the former with a Steinerline. Irish whip into a tilt-a-whirl slam. Hase goes for a backdrop, Scott counters into a double-underhook powerbomb. Scott seats Hase on the top buckle, avalanche release overhead belly-to-belly from the middle buckle for the 1…2…Chono makes the save. Hase escapes a slam and counters with a Dragon Suplex for the 1…2…Rick breaks it up, Chono sends him to the floor with an enzuigiri. Chono and Hase hit a double clothesline, they try another but Scott ducks, Rick pulls Chono down and Scott hits the Frankensteiner on Hase for the 1…2…3!
The Steiner Brothers [c] defeated Hiroshi Hase & Masahiro Chono via pinfall to retain the IWGP TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (8:14)
- F*CK YEAH. That’s it, that’s the review. (****)
No celebrations to be had as The Hardliners (Dick Murdoch & “Dirty” Dick Slater) immediately rush the ring and attack EVERYONE, mostly focusing on The Steiners. Murdoch try to break Rick’s arm, Slater hits Scott with his own cowboy boot. Now that’s a debut!
“Wildfire” Tommy Rich vs. Diamond Studd [w/ Diamond Dallas Page]
Rich was originally supposed to face Oz, but got shuffled over to a previously unannounced match against the Diamond Studd. He doesn’t even get a televised entrance, the poor guy. Before the match Page invites a random blonde to try out to be Studd’s “Studdette”.
Ross announces that The Hardliners have been fined 5k for the attack on Rick Steiner. Studd dominates as expected, attacking Rich from the bell and only faltering for a moment until ducking Rich’s crossbody attempt. Diamond Death Drop ends this one.
The Diamond Studd defeated Tommy Rich via pinfall (1:58)
- Thanks for coming, Tommy. Don’t spend all that pay window money in one place. Glad Studd’s finisher finally has a name. (SQUASH)
RINGSIDE SEGMENT: THE STING LOOKALIKE CONTEST WINNER
Ross introduces Ben, the winner of the Sting lookalike contest. He’s wearing a Sting t-shirt and has the facepaint but that’s it. This is RIGGED. Ben says he loves Sting’s facepaint and he’s a cool guy. Ross introduces Sting himself to come congratulate the winner. Sting picks him up in celebration and says kids like him make him excited and feel good. NOT IN THAT WAY THOUGH, CONTEXT.. Suddenly Nikita Koloff sneak attacks Sting with the Russian Chain. Koloff stares Ben down, his mother and a host of officials getting in the way. CHAIN DEWEY I MEAN BEN. Koloff is sent to the back, Ben checks on his fallen hero.
- If this doesn’t result in Ben defeating Nikita Koloff in a bloodbath I will be very upset.
#1 CONTENDER’S MATCH
“The Total Package” Lex Luger vs. The Great Muta
The winner of this one will challenge for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship next month at The Great American Bash. Luger debuts the new United States Heavyweight Championship belt during his entrance, the design we all know and love. ABOUT F*CKING TIME THEY GAVE HIM A NEW BELT IT’S BEEN LIKE FOUR MONTHS. Bill Kazmaier, the world’s strongest man and future WCW wrestler, is shown in the audience wearing a Lex Luger shirt.
Bell rings, Muta spews his ritualistic green mist and I almost dropped my laptop marking out for it. Luger backs Muta into the buckle, Muta swipes at Luger with a spinkick that doesn’t connect. Luger with a side headlock takeover, Muta quickly counters with a headscissors and they reset. Luger drops Muta with a shoulderblock and absorbs a chop, ducks a kick and connects with a belly-to-back suplex for a two-count. Luger slams Muta, Muta dodges an elbowdrop and follows up with a backdrop. Luger reverses an Irish whip and connects with a military press slam. Corner whip, Luger eats buckles when he charges in and gets dropped with a spinning kick to the jaw. Muta with a corner whip but misses the back handspring elbow and goes up and over to the floor. Oh damn! Muta escapes a suplex and tries to blind Luger with mist, but Luger blocks his eyes and connects with a powerslam for the 1…2…3!
Lex Luger defeated The Great Muta via pinfall (3:44)
- Luger with the relatively easy win there, which is disappointing to me on so many levels but I get it. WCW went into full hype mode for Muta to make him come off as a big challenger and having Luger win so quick makes him even stronger as he makes another bid for the World Title. Doesn’t mean I have to like it though, I hope Muta gets a squash win or two on TV or something, I refuse to believe WCW flew his ass out to America to have a match under four minutes. That’d be nuts. It’s probably what happened but that’d still be nuts. Ugh. Match itself was actually pretty fun overall though, and I appreciate Luger blocking the mist having learned from Sting’s loss at the Tokyo Dome. (**1/4)
-COMING ATTRACTIONS: Clips of “Stunning” Steve Austin. Interestingly enough it looks like they took these clips from either a house show or TV footage not yet aired because the lady he’s with is NOT Vivacious Veronica. Aw.
“Stunning” Steve Austin [w/ Lady Blossom] vs. “Jumpin” Joey Maggs
Maggs once again getting a Clash payday to enhance some talent. This is the debut of Austin’s ACTUAL valet Lady Blossom, Vivacious Veronica having been a replacement valet for the previous set of tapings as Blossom could not be there. Seems like a rude thing to do. Neither man gets a televised entrance for this one and was also previously unannounced in the leadup to this show but hey why not stuff the sh*t out of a two hour show? Not like anything needs to breathe.
Austin obviously dominates the thing, hitting a Stun Gun and slamming Maggs’ face into the mat to get the win.
Steve Austin defeated Joey Maggs via pinfall (0:26)
- Why? Why even do this? (SQUASH)
-COMING ATTRACTIONS: Black Blood is here to execute folks with a kneedrop.
IN-RING SEGMENT: THE NEW YORK FOUNDATION MEMBER IS…
Tony Schiavone is in the ring with Terrence Taylor, Alexandra York, and Mr. Hughes. York introduces their new member: Ricky Morton, now known as Richard Morton. He struts out to the ring in a brand-new suit, getting some York-paid pyro as well. WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING? Morton says now that he’s signed the contract he’ll never have to sign another autograph. In comes Morton’s RNR partner Robert Gibson to ask what he’s doing. Taylor and Hughes tease attacking, Morton stops them then attacks Gibson himself, drilling him with a piledriver. Attack is broken up by Dustin Rhodes.
- The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express breaking up is a BIG DEAL on paper but didn’t feel as such here. Probably because they only got like 90 seconds to do it because TV time is running out and there’s still one more match to go. I am intrigued in a Morton vs. Gibson match though, that could be cool.
2 OUT OF 3 FALLS
“The Nature Boy” Ric Flair [c] vs. “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton for the WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Flair backs Eaton in the corner, breaks clean and a “WOO” because he’s extra. Flair tries it again, Eaton drops him on his ass with a slap. Flair and Eaton exchange strikes, Eaton drops him with a shoulder tackle and follows up with some elbows and a clothesline out to the floor. Flair takes his time getting back into the ring, catches Eaton with forearms to the jaw followed by a knife-edged chop. Eaton fights back with right hands, Flair flops to the mat then eats a backdrop, Eaton covers for the 1…2…Flair kicks off and immediately begs off against the bottom rope. Flair grabs a headlock, Eaton whips him off and connects with a hip toss followed by a short armscissors, almost catching a quick pin on Flair as he fights through the pain. Eaton rolls around, keeping the hold applied and putting extra pressure on the elbow. Flair finally makes it to the ropes to force a break. Eaton keeps working the arm, applying a standing hammerlock, Flair counters with a drop toehold. Chop by Flair, Eaton immediately follows up with a right hand and the champ bails to the floor. Eaton stalks him back in, Flair catches Eaton with a knee when he takes his eye off the prize. Flair connects with another chop and throws Eaton into the corner, the Beautiful one hitting the ringpost. Flair goes to work on wearing Eaton down; he tries to get a cheap pin with his feet on the ropes but gets caught. Flair and Eaton trade rights, Eaton connects with jabs from both hands. Flair climbs the buckles, Eaton slams him off (“this move is well-scouted” says JR). Corner whip, Flair to the apron and a clothesline sends him to the floor. Eaton brings Flair back in and connects with a backbreaker, following up with a neckbreaker. Eaton takes flight, ALABAMA JAM for the 1…2…3!
Bobby Eaton pins Ric Flair; Eaton up 1-0
Thirty second rest period between falls but I’m keeping the stopwatch going because f*ck you Dad. Bell rings, Flair begs off in the corner but Eaton doesn’t let up. Lefts, rights, hip toss out of the corner. Flair kicks Eaton in the gut and connects with a chop, Eaton responds with a right hand. Eaton blocks a hip toss and counters into a backslide for the 1…2…Flair barely kicks out. Flair goes for a slam, Eaton lands on top with a vertical suplex for the 1…2…Flair gets the shoulder up. Eaton connects with a neckbreaker and heads back up but sees Flair getting to his feet so he stops to connect with a right. Eaton climbs again, Flair jiggles the ropes and sends Eaton to the floor knee-first. UH-OH. Ref counts and Flair wins via countout!
Ric Flair beats Bobby Eaton via countout; Tied 1-1
Bell sounds for the third fall, Eaton still clutching his left knee on the floor. Flair goes on the attack, chopping Eaton and throwing him back in the ring (why not just take another countout?). Eaton seats Flair on the top buckle, superplex from the middle buckle but his knee hurts too much to make the cover right away. Finally he crawls over and covers for the 1…2…Flair gets the shoulder up. Flair locks in the Figure Four Leglock, grabbing the ropes for leverage but gets caught. Flair goes for another Figure Four, Eaton counters into an inside cradle for the 1…2…Flair kicks out and clips the knee. Flair brings Eaton to the center and reapplies the Figure Four. Flair uses the ropes for leverage again, Eaton passes out for the 1…2…3.
Ric Flair [c] defeated Bobby Eaton 2 Falls to 1 to retain the WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (15:53)
- Helluva main event. Eaton getting the initial pinfall after a hard-fought ten minutes was great and kept the hope alive…until he was sent to the floor and injured his knee. All felt academic from there, Flair isn’t the World Champion because he’s dumb. Great stuff here, loved seeing Bobby get that shine. Good showing from Flair…and the beginning of the end of his WCW run. Oh maaaan we are about to get into dark territory folks. (***1/2)
A dazed Flair is handed his title as Ross announces that he will defend against Lex Luger next month at The Great American Bash. Ooooof, hindsight is a motherf*cker on this one.
FINAL THOUGHTS: History has not been kind to this show and for good reason I guess; it’s an overstuffed event that would have been GREATLY improved by cutting some segments and giving others more time. While that led to some things not having the impact it should have, I got to admit that I enjoyed this overall. Some fun stuff here, and two actual bangers with the main event and The Steiners’ tag team title match. I think it’s worth at least FFing around for legit good reasons and ironic “it’s funny now, but was embarrassing then” moments.
- MATCH OF THE NIGHT: The Steiners vs. Hase & Chono
- MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: Ricky Morton turns on Robert Gibson