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The W - Pro Wrestling - On This Day: WCW Clash of the Champions XXXII
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Ottawa, Ontario

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.48
One of the most enjoyable parts of being a WCW fan was that every few months  they’d throw together a PPV quality special for free, with the Clash of Champions. Originally intended to draw PPV buys away from Wrestlemania – the Clash took on a life of its own over time and became a WCW staple until 1997 when the company was so strong it (rightly) felt it no longer needed to give away these high quality events for free, especially with Nitro serving a lot of the purpose every Monday that the Clash used to on its own.
 
And much like Nitro, all you were guaranteed were a number of stars. How great the show actually was varied from event to event. Sometimes you’d leave knowing you truly witnessed something special, as with Clash VII. And sometimes, you’d leave wondering what the hell you just wasted hours of your life doing, such as with ...
 
Erm ... IT’S CLASH OF THE CHAMPIONS XXXII! Let’s get to it!


Last night on Nitro, Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage have friction. I hear a little water based lube will fix that problem right up.
 
LIVE from Las Vegas, Nevada, it’s TONY SCHIAVONE and BOBBY HEENAN! Heenan claims the secret weapons of Hogan and Savage are Miss Elizabeth and Kevin Greene. Sorry boys, I guess the secret is out.
 
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND is at a Little White Chapel in Vegas where Michael Jordan once got married. Gene describes it as a funeral home in reverse; always the optimist!
 
THE PUBLIC ENEMY vs. THE NASTY BOYS
 
I swear to god, if this gets more than 10 minutes, I will quit this recapping gig and possibly commit Sudoku. I feel in my heart of hearts that I would be doing us all a disservice if I failed to point out that roughly half the crowd are sporting mullets. A brawl breaks out on the floor between Saggs and Rocco, while in the ring, Grunge hits Knobbs with a belly to back suplex. Rocco gets cute on the guardrail, and Saggs calmly knocks him off, right o his Julio Cojones. Saggs takes a walk (Heenan: “He’s not going to shower, it’s not Saturday”), and returns with a table. Not one of those WWE tables designed for easy breaking, but one of those old cafeteria style heavy ones, with the metal folding legs. This should end well. Knobbs tries to run Rocco into the table, but Rocco blocks with a bulldog. A top rope moonsault gets 2. Outside, Grunge is given a backdrop right onto the unforgiving floor. Knobbs dumps Rocco violently, and then Grunge is given a completely unsafe looking spike piledriver by Saggs that thankfully doesn’t break his neck. The table is dragged in and the referee realizes this match is pretty much not following any standard tag-team rules and calls for the bell at 3:58. Grunge sets Knobbs onto the table, and Rocco hits him with a moonsault that barely cracks the table. Grunge grabs a stick, but Saggs steals it and breaks it over Grunge’s back. And because he’s not unsafe enough, Saggs starts wildly throwing around pieces of table, whacking Grunge with it as hard as he can. Is it any wonder that half the participants in this match are dead? I know we knew nothing of concussions or safety of wrestlers at the time, but I’m seriously cringing watching this mess. *
 
ERIC BISCHOFF is working interview duty tonight, and grabs a word with RIC FLAIR, THE GIANT, and JIMMY HART. Flair says losing his World Title meant nothing to him, which Bischoff calls BS on. Flair: “A little girl told me last night, Nature Boy, with you I’m just gonna fantasise. But with the Giant, I’m gonna Giantsise!” I don’t even know what the hell that means. It sorta boggles my mind that Giant was a legitimate title contender, because he may have been one of the worst interviews in the business doing nothing other than laughing maniacally and screaming about Hogan. But then, I guess he fits the mould of pretty much every opponent Hogan ever faced for the previous 12 years.
 
DEAN MALENKO vs. ALEX WRIGHT
 
This is a rematch from Saturday Night just 3 days ago; and if you recall Dean was DQed for refusing to break the Texas Cloverleaf. Tony calls Malenko a “youngster”. Later he’ll describe Randy Savage as “calm” and “rational”. Wright hits a headscissors takeover, but Malenko comes back by taking Wright down and dropping a series of knees on Wright’s leg. Malenko wraps Wright’s legs around the ringpost, then hits a legscrew and applies a gravevine. Wright gets to the ropes, goes up top, and hits a flying crossbody. While Wright is “selling” the move by limping around, it’s those moments of quickly jumping to the top rope and firing off a high risk move that sort of negate the selling process, and Wright is bad for it. As an example here, Malenko gets back in control, heads up, so Wright dropkicks him in the corner, brings him back in, and then nails a German suplex for 2. Heenan points out how sore he is despite this by stating he would have had more height if his leg was 100%. Malenko dodges a dropkick, but Wright climbs him in the corner with a dancing moonsault type thing, lands on his feet where Malenko dropkicks his knee, then snaps over with a quick bridging pin and gets the victory at 5:30. Dean was game, but Wright has no idea how to sell. *1/2
 
KEVIN SULLIVAN (with Jimmy Hart) vs. DISCO INFERNO
 
When Disco is announced, for some reason, Elvis arrives, eating a peanut butter and banana sandwich. He delivers a singing telegram on behalf of Disco Inferno, and basically states he won’t be there because he’s at the Colonel and Sherri’s wedding. Sullivan snaps and beats down the Elvis, finishing with the double stomp.
 
Meanwhile, “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND is still at the chapel, welcoming DICK SLATER and BUNKHOUSE BUCK. Slater says he gave the Colonel $1500 that morning, and last time he saw him, he was at a craps table.
 
ERIC BISCHOFF welcomes new tag-team champions STING and LEX LUGER. Sting’s hair is getting darker with every single week that passes, as the natural color is taking over. Luger does all the talking, repeating over and over that Sting and Luger are the tag-team of the 90’s, and all that does is draw out the returning ROAD WARRIORS to a huge pop. Sting gives handshakes and hugs to his friends. Animal congratulates Sting on his win, but issues a challenge to the champs. Sting can’t accept fast enough, while Luger isn’t quite as interested. Luger: “First we have other rematches with Harlem Heat, the Nasty Boys, American Males, even State Patrol.” Bischoff: “State Patrol?!?!?” Luger then points out Animal’s bad back, and says he wouldn’t want to be the guy to put him out in his first match back. Hawk starts screaming about beans quotas (what the hell???) – and ... well, the party sorta breaks up. Okay then.
 
PAUL ORNDORFF gives a taped interview about the state of his neck via Brian Pillman. He says it’s probably career ending, he needs surgery. He says he’s from the old school where you earn respect – and Pillman isn’t earning it. Orndorff says Pillman would never have been a Horsemen if he’d accepted the spot instead, and both Ric and Arn have held it against him ever since. Orndorff mentions you’ve never seen Arn use a piledriver before, or since they did it to Orndorff – he and Ric did it intentionally, on the cement, knowing what it would do to his neck, and end his career. Mr. Wonderful promises revenge.
 
Back at the chapel, “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND continues to wait for the bride and groom – and sure enough, COLONEL ROBERT PARKER arrives. He tries to hit Gene up for $50 for his cab ride because he lost all his money at the craps tables. The cabbie is honking at Parker the entire time. Gene: “You must be number one with him, he’s waving a finger at you.” Sherri calls Parker’s cell phone and asks if he’s still there, Parker’s a sweaty disaster but says he’ll be there.
 
BRIAN PILLMAN vs. EDDIE GUERRERO
 
Pillman jumps the ropes and threatens to attack the fans off the bell; while Heenan makes racist jokes about Eddie Guerrero. Pillman gets in the ring, and Eddie promptly sends him sprawling, which Pillman uses to go slap the back of Schiavone’s head. Schiavone asks Heenan to guard him going forward. Pillman gets back in, but Eddie dropkicks him right back out to the floor. So now Pillman takes this time to go mess with Heenan, who lets out an audible “What the fuck are YOU doing???” Heenan, visibly upset, actually leaves the ringside area for awhile. This was all a shoot, for the record – nobody was supposed to touch Heenan because of his recent neck surgery, and took great offense to being used as a prop. Heenan goes back to commentating, and apologies for his words, but quickly turns this to sell the angle by stating Pillman’s lost his mind. “I still like his style – I just don’t want him to put his paws on me!” Pillman starts choking Guerrero in the ring, bitch slaps him, and steps on his face like garbage. Eddie gets back to his feet, and hits a pair of dropkicks that drop Pillman back to the outside. Pillman lunges in Heenan’s direction which leaves everyone uneasy, but he decides better and goes back in. Eddie nails him with a crisp tornado DDT, but that only gets 2. Pillman comes back with a legsweep, and tries to pin him with his feet on the ropes but it only gets 2. In the ensuing argument with the referee, a Guerrero schoolboy gets 2. Pillman out of nowhere hits a crossbody, hooks the tights and gets the win at 5:59. Pillman makes a move towards the announce table again, causing Heenan to stay clear of him, and looking really nervous. It was around this point that people started wondering if Pillman’s act was really an act, and being around him both on TV and in real life was getting to be a scary proposition. **
 
ERIC BISCHOFF brings out RANDY SAVAGE, HULK HOGAN, and KEVIN GREENE. Savage is the World Champion, so all 3 enter to Hulk Hogan’s music. Hogan says with Kevin Greene on their side, they’re unbeatable. Yes, Kevin Greene truly is the man who will shake the momentum of this match to its core. Greene is half the Secret Weapon apparently. Hogan mentions Elizabeth is also here, making her WCW debut, and indeed, this is the big weapon Hogan’s been screaming about for weeks. Hogan: “Which one of us will take Liz out on the town tonight?” Excuse you??? Savage DOESN’T take offense to this, nor does he when Hogan jokes “well we know she’s more than you can handle brother”. I know if I was Savage I’d have popped him here; but Savage laughs it off. Christ.
 
THE BLUE BLOODS vs. LEX LUGER and STING (for the WCW World Tag-Team Titles)
 
Sting and Luger enter together in a show of unity, but Schiavone’s not sure Sting even knows that they won the titles with the Silver Dollars yet. Sting does a courtesy to Lord Steven, which gets incredible obscenely disgusted faces from Regal. Sting then takes him down with a shoulderblock. A dropkick has Regal lost as to where he is, stumbling right into a right from Luger, and a bearclap from Sting. Regal does the greatest over-exaggerated sway, and Sting pantomimes him. Completely discombobulated, Regal turns things over to Eaton. He rakes Luger’s eyes and dumps him to the floor. Eaton charges after him, but gets backdropped on the cement, and a clothesline yields the same. Yikes. Back in, Eaton begs off while Luger poses. Regal’s dander is up, puts on his serious face, and locks up with Lex. Luger works him to the corner, and Regal starts screeching “AHHHHH UNHAND ME! UNHAND ME!” As soon as he does though, Regal throws 4 straight uppercuts, a knee to the head of Luger, and tags out to Sir Robert. Luger walks towards Regal’s corner, gets a thumb to the eyes, and a neckbreaker from Eaton. Regal tags in, drops an elbow, and gets 2. A fantastic choreographed knee from Regal gets 2. Regal now goes to his Mohammed Ali routine, drops Luger, and Eaton heads up to drop a big knee. Regal tags back in, puts on the Regal Stretch, but Sting saves. Nuts. Eaton goes up again, and Luger botches whatever counter they had planned. The guys swap that for a double headbutt spot with both guys down. Regal is apoplectic. Sting gets the hot tag, so Regal pokes him in the eye and dumps Luger. Eaton comes off the top ... and accidentally collides with Regal. The Scorpion Deathlock on Eaton ends it at 7:46. Regal was on fire here. ***
 
Back to the chapel, HARLEM HEAT is complaining about the spread, and finally SISTA SHERRI arrives. COLONEL ROBERT PARKER announces he’s lost every dollar he has, and the only thing keeping him together is this wedding. Sherri loses it about the gambling, and the impending drive-through wedding, bursts into tears and takes off.
 
ERIC BISCHOFF announces that later tonight, JIMMY HART will be on CompuServe to chat with the fans. Dial-Up Internet at its finest! BRIAN PILLMAN is welcomed; and immediately threatens to say the 7 words he’s not allowed to on television. “What are you gonna do about it Eric?” Bischoff takes the mic away until he’s certain Pillman’s going to behave. Pillman promises to earn respect, even if he has to hack people’s thumbs off.
 
PSICHOSIS vs. KONAN (for the Mexican Heavyweight Title)
 
I don’t think I can live with this spelling, so forgive me if I wind up deferring to the names they’d eventually become known by. And yes, this belt was a real thing, it was created as the AAA Americas Heavyweight Championship, which they figured Konnan could defend exclusively in America. Except that, Konnan never came back, and that more or less ended the lifespan of THAT title. He’d hand it over in 2004, but by that point, who cares really? Except that Sangre Chicana was given the title from winning a tournament, then promptly retired AGAIN ending the run of this championship. Only in professional wrestling. The pair bounce around the ring a bunch to start, without showing much. Konnan goes for an early submission, but Psychosis reaches the ropes to break. Heenan: “This Psychosis has pointy ears.” Konnan hits a sweet German suplex, catapults him over, and applies the Tequila Sunrise. Psychosis breaks, then drops Konnan with a spinning heel kick. Armbar is applied, but Konnan reverses it to a stepover toe hold, which Psychosis breaks with the ropes. Konnan hits a flying headscissors, armdrags him a double of times, dropkicks the knee, and DDTs Psychosis dead. Tony is so into this that he can’t WAIT to tell us that Eric Bischoff will be making comments on the WCW Hotline tonight about the Billionaire Ted sketches airing on WWF RAW. Psychosis nails a dropkick, Konnan hits the floor, and Psychosis follows with a tope. Back in, they head up, and Konnan hits a Super 360 German suplex. The Ziplock gets an easy submission after that, at 5:25. This was forced, and despite some nice moves, was all over the map. *1/2
 
Back at the chapel, SISTA SHERRI is changing into her dress in the back of the limo, prompting “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND to quip “I don’t think this is the first time she’s changed her clothes in the back of the car.” COLONEL ROBERT PARKER hits Gene up for $30 to pay for the ceremony, but Gene tells him to get lost. Gene offers to give Sherri away, and Sherri happily accepts. And after the commercial, we’ll waste more time on this.
 
Gene returns by stating this is the biggest wedding in televised history. Sherri’s dressed in red, and Gene walks her down the driveway. Gene mentions the earlier phone call, and Sherri has no idea what the heck he’s talking about. During their talk, DISCO INFERNO interrupts to dance in the aisle. DICK SLATER bursts into tears as Gene gives Sherri away. During the nuptials, MADUSA hits the scene and starts brawling with Sherri. Sherri is put through the wedding cake, and the ladies roll around on the ground. BOOKER T goes to help but slips on a plate of cake. Disco Inferno uses this opportunity to sneak off with a bottle of champagne. Tony declares the wedding ruined. For the record, I made absolutely none of this up.
 
THE GIANT and RIC FLAIR (with Jimmy Hart) vs. THE MEGAPOWERS (with Kevin Greene, Woman, 4 other sluts, and Elizabeth)
 
During the commercial break before the match, apparently Flair talked trash about Greene the entire time – and I kinda wish I’d seen that. Flair goes through a set of football poses, which draws Greene into the ring. Flair bails, and grabs a microphone to tell him he’ll need to mess with him on another day. Flair and Savage start, with Savage dropping Flair via backdrop and a pair of clotheslines. Flair is flipped over the buckle, where he runs right into Hogan’s awaiting boot. Back in, Savage slaps Flair, so he begs off, and draws Savage right into a low blow. Flair chops away, and he staggers out of the corner into a big Giant punch. Flair goes for a backslide, but Savage wins and gets 2. Flair gets held hostage, where Hogan gets a free shot, and Flair’s had enough so he tags in Giant. The fans pop huge for Hogan, who gets the tag. Hogan is dropped with a shoulderblock, but rakes the eyes and goes for a slam. He can’t, but Giant CAN, and does. Giant drops a headbutt to Hulk’s Hogans, and follows with an easy backbreaker. Giant goes to finish with an elbow, but Hogan moves, and threatens to slam Giant again. This time he does, but drops like a rock from the pain. Flair is quick to tag in, and hits Hogan with a standing vertical suplex. Hogan pops right back up, backdrops Flair, and rakes the eyes. Flair responds with a thumb to the eye, and the heels work Hogan over in the corner. Giant tries to put him out with a bearhug, rolls him back in after about 30 seconds, and he starts Hulking Up. Flair goes up, gets caught as usual, and Hogan tags out. Savage hits the axehandle off the top, Hogan dumps the Giant, and Savage hits the elbow. Hart gets involved to distract, slips Flair the knucks, and Flair drops Savage for the win at 9:53. * ZODIAK and BRIAN PILLMAN attack Hogan after the bell, but he stops both so that Kevin Greene can dump both guys. Savage is helped to his feet by Liz, and we end very abruptly because Child’s Play was supposed to start 5 minutes ago.
 
WCW – where the Child’s Play!



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Since: 12.1.02
From: Indianapolis, IN; now residing in Suffolk, VA

Since last post: 94 days
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.19
What's your take, cfgb: Was Brian Pillman really nuts, or just doing the greatest job ever of acting like he's nuts?

You'd think that sometime within the past three days, Sting would have watched the tape of him winning the titles with Luger and realized how they were won. But then, you have to suspend disbelief a lot when it comes to Questionable Decisions Sting Makes; another example is Sting waiting a whole week or so to come face to face with Luger and insist that he wasn't the guy who came out of the limo with the nWo and beat him up.



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Since: 2.1.02
From: Ottawa, Ontario

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.48
    Originally posted by ekedolphin
    What's your take, cfgb: Was Brian Pillman really nuts, or just doing the greatest job ever of acting like he's nuts?



With what we know now - and watching it back, it seems fairly obvious the entire thing was a work, at least the television stuff. The way everything is delivered has the stench of "pro-wrestling" all over it.

At the time - because we had never seen a shoot designed quite as intricately at this, it came across as authentic and brilliant. Pillman's act was essentially the equivalent of the "CM Punk Pipebomb" before "leaving" the company. In fact, had Vince allowed Punk to appear at a few ROH shows before locking him back up under contract, you would have literally been dealing with the rehashed Pillman deal from February/March 1996, except that in order for it to come full circle, Punk would have had to sign with TNA.

Pillman was a smart enough guy to know it was working, see the dollar signs, and milk it for all it was worth. The car accident derailed everything and wound up taking him from us far too soon.



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Since: 17.3.02
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.85
    Originally posted by cfgb

    Pillman was a smart enough guy to know it was working, see the dollar signs, and milk it for all it was worth. The car accident derailed everything and wound up taking him from us far too soon.


I'm (relatively) young in this whole wrestling fandom thing, but that damn car accident... every other wrestler who died did because it was a fault of concussions, steroids, pills, booze, or narcotics. Sure, Pillman had his rumors and definitely wasn't an altar boy, but that car accident was just brutal from a fan perspective. I love these recaps but hate having to look the matches up on youtube to see what he was doing at that time. It was just so far beyond anything else happening in the industry. I miss Pillman every time I see Punk. Just like I miss Savage every time I see wrestling. Sorry for being emo.
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Since: 11.5.02

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.37
    Originally posted by Stefonics
      Originally posted by cfgb

      Pillman was a smart enough guy to know it was working, see the dollar signs, and milk it for all it was worth. The car accident derailed everything and wound up taking him from us far too soon.


    I'm (relatively) young in this whole wrestling fandom thing, but that damn car accident... every other wrestler who died did because it was a fault of concussions, steroids, pills, booze, or narcotics. Sure, Pillman had his rumors and definitely wasn't an altar boy, but that car accident was just brutal from a fan perspective. I love these recaps but hate having to look the matches up on youtube to see what he was doing at that time. It was just so far beyond anything else happening in the industry. I miss Pillman every time I see Punk. Just like I miss Savage every time I see wrestling. Sorry for being emo.

You realise Pillman didn't die in the car accident, right? He died over a year later from a heart attack, helped along by the usual wrestler drug lifestyle. It was the first of many more to come.

Pillman was so ahead of his time it's unreal. His death is still the one I find the most tragic (not that it's a competition, but you know what I mean) because out of all the premature deaths over the years I feel Pillman had the most to offer not only as a performer but to the entire industry. By all accounts the guy was ridiculously creative and I just wish he'd had the chance to develop his ideas further. At the time of his death he had been consistently one of the most compelling characters in wrestling for a good year or so.



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I really thought this was you telling me that Drew and his awesome music were both cut by WWE. So while I don't wish divorce on anyone, I am somewhat relieved tonight.
- Torchslasher, Out of Time, So Say Goodbye (2011)
Related threads: On This Day: WCW Prime - January 22, 1996 - On This Day: WCW Nitro - January 22, 1996 - One This Day: WCW Saturday Night - January 20, 1996 - More...
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