Clash of the Champions Count-Up – #12: Can We Get Sting Some Direction Please?

Clash of the Champions 12: Fall Brawl 90
Date: September 5, 1990
Location: Ashville Civic Center, Ashville, North Carolina
Commentators: Bob Caudle, Jim Ross
Attendance: 4,000

We’re kind of in No Man’s Land here with no major show to build to and none to come off of. This is in the Black Scorpion period so you know things are pretty bad. That’s the main event tonight: Sting vs. the Black Scorpion in what I’m sure will be a classic. Other than that you get a Nasty Boys match of all things. Yes the Nasty Boys in 1990. That should be shall we say, interesting? Outside of that….yeah this is going to suck. Let’s get to it.

Side note: this show winds up having a special moment for me which we’ll get to at the end.

Also keep in mind this has zero connection to the PPV series of the same name. This show is also called Mountain Madness.

Jim and Bob run down the card.

Southern Boys vs. Freebirds

Garvin and Hayes here. We get the music video as it feels like the 80s all over again. You old school fans know what I’m talking about. The Freebirds are faces here which makes me think we might have faces vs. faces here. The Freebirds are the Southern tag champions here which I’m not sure what are. Yep faces vs. faces. This was supposed to be a six man with Bob Armstrong and Buddy Roberts on the respective teams but Roberts has a bad arm so it’s standard.

Hayes and Smothers start us off. The Birds have face paint on which is a different thing for them. Also the ramp is really weird here as it comes to a corner rather than the traditional side of the ring. Ok maybe the Birds are heels but the crowd just likes them. That sounds far more realistic in the South. Smothers hits a nice superkick to send Garvin to the floor. And now the fans think the Birds suck. Maybe it’s just that the crowd is insane.

Armstrong (the Southern Boys are Steve Armstrong and Tracy Smothers in case the names were confusing you. The Freebirds are Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin) hits a SWEET top rope cross body and the Birds go running. Or is it flying? Everything goes nuts so we kind of restart things with Smothers vs. Hayes again. BIG left hand by Hayes catches Armstrong as he’s on the apron.

I’ve looked around and I have no idea what those tag titles the Birds allegedly hold are. Now the Birds are being booed. Caudle thinks if Robert E. Lee had the Southern Boys during the Civil War Atlanta might have been the capital. They really would have been awesome if they had gotten the Confederacy to switch from Richmond to Atlanta for the capital. Yeah I’m that bored here: I’m making US History corrections.

The Freebirds are credited as being the first team to use rock and roll music for their entrances. Ross mentions that here and for once that’s accurate. Listen to some DVDs and see how many people take credit for being the first to do that. Gorgeous George used theme music back in the 50s but I’m pretty sure the Birds were the first to use rock music. Then again almost everyone in WCCW did that at first so it was either them or the Von Erichs. Again, not much is going on here so I have time for tangents like these. I need to do some WCCW stuff.

Armstrong comes in to clean some house and has a nice dropkick. Bob Armstrong comes in to cheat to counteract Roberts’ cheating. Yep his arm is fine of course. Everything goes nuts and Roberts throws a foreign object to Hayes but a double sunset flip gets the pin for the Southern Boys. The heels beat up Bob Armstrong (Road Dogg’s dad. Steve is his brother) after the match.

Rating: C-. Not a great match at all as it was very start and stop which is rarely a good thing. This wasn’t horrible and the fast paced stuff made it fairly good. Far too many dead spots in there though. Also the double Southern gimmick was just kind of a headscratcher. Crowd is red hot though so this was a good opener from that perspective.

Tony talks to the Steiners who just won the US Tag Titles. Rick in a pink hat works somehow. Scott fumbles through both of his lines. They’re fighting Maximum Overdrive tonight. No one has heard of them, which is probably because they’re a pair of jobbers.

Buddy Landel vs. Mike Rotunda

Rotunda would be gone to become IRS in like a day. Landel is still alive here which amazes me. Rotunda has some chick with him that won a poetry contest held by Burger King. Very different time obviously. Technical stuff to start with nothing really all that special about it thus far. Somewhat botched hip toss by Rotunda and we have a standoff.

Rotunda’s tights have an anchor on them for some reason. A second hip toss works a bit better this time as Landel actually jumps. We somehow slow it down even more here which I didn’t think was possible. They slug it out a bit which is definitely the best part of this so far. But enough of that as we hit the mat again. Rotunda gets up and hooks a freaking backslide to get the pin. Wow that’s not something you see everyday.

Rating: D. Just boring filler here as neither guy meant anything at all. Rotunda turned heel soon after this but was in WWF less than 6 months later. This went nowhere at all and was just about five minutes of wrestling to fill in that much time. Landel was pretty worthless here and was gone soon also.

The Freebirds say they’re awesome and are rather pissed off about life in general. Oh apparently they want the Southern Boys again. We get a video of them in Hollywood as they were supposed to be a big time rock band. Fans mob them and that’s that.

Tim Horner/Brad Armstrong vs. Master Blasters

Brad Armstrong is a very underrated wrestler that oddly enough would hook up with the Freebirds as a masked man soon after this. The Master Blasters are a debuting team of giants, one of which has a huge mowhawk which he would soon shave and replace with black hair. When this team died off he would be repackaged as Vinnie Vegas but then he would get released to go to WWF and become a guy named Diesel, who would eventually become known by his real name: Kevin Nash.

It’s weird seeing Nash look all ripped. Armstrong is called the Candy Man here. Any guesses as to what we’re going to see here? Nash, a power guy named Steel, uses a wristlock. Iron, the dude that did nothing other than be a part of this team, is really bad. You can tell Nash is really green here. Iron misses a falling headbutt so badly the fans loudly boo it. When you can see it that clearly without a video screen that’s a bad sign.

Nash hits a decent powerslam on Armstrong to take him down. His eyes are FREAKY as they’re wide open and very white. Nash works the majority of the match as he’s the one that sucks less here. This Iron guy is horrible. He falls down before a dropkick hits him and can’t take a backdrop properly. Horner comes in and gets about 20 seconds of offense in before Nash crushes him. Double shoulderblock ends Armstrong clean.

Rating: D. Just a squash but Iron was HORRIBLE. Nash wasn’t very good yet but he was passable at least. Horner was a jobber for the most part but was decent enough. Armstrong was a good worker but he was a jobber here so you couldn’t see much of that. This was fine for what it was but nothing special at all.

Brian Pillman is going to start a new contest called the gauntlet. Back in the day there was an NWA show on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. You would have a match on each show and if you won all three you won $15,000. If you lost the three guys split the money. Kind of a pointless concept but it lasted for awhile. Nothing special though.

Missy Hyatt brings out the “greatest world champion of ever”, Ric Flair. He has a US Title match vs. Luger tonight and is rather over since this is definitely Flair country. Nothing is said here at all.

Jackie Fulton/Terry Taylor vs. Nasty Boys

Fulton is the brother of Bobby Fulton of the Fantastics and did some stuff in Japan. This ends his career highlights. Everyone else I’d think you know. Knobbs and Fulton start us off. This is the debut for the Nasties and of course they would be gone in a few months. Knobbs was in the final three of the 91 Rumble so the couldn’t have been in WCW long after this.

Fulton takes them both down very quickly as the Nasties can’t get much going. Caudle tries to say that Jackie is one of the Fantastics which is incorrect but whatever. Taylor sends Sags into the post as the first time team is winning here surprisingly enough. You would think the Nasties were the jobbers here. Taylor is the key to the match here. Why he’s the key is never explained but apparently he’s the key.

The Nasties take over with the highest extent of their wrestling abilities. Taylor gets a sunset flip for two as Knobbs punches the mat by mistake. Heel miscommunication lets Fulton get the tag. He goes up but Knobbs catches him in a nice powerslam, allowing Sags to hit a top rope elbow to end it.

Rating: C. I can’t believe I’m saying this but the Nasty Boys had an entertaining match. This was kind of an odd debut here but the Nasties looked good near the end. Hardly a great match but I thought it was entertaining enough for about 7 minutes. Power vs. speed is hard to screw up even for the Nasty Boys.

Sid Vicious is here and wants to yell at Sting. Sid was a Horsemen here and wants the title, which are grounds for throwing him out. Just ask Sting if nothing else.

Bill Irwin vs. Tommy Rich

Irwin was the Goon in WWF and something close to a big star in WCCW but is a generic cowboy here. Tommy Rich is the most forgotten world champion ever and we start off fast. Rich hits a dropkick to send Irwin to the floor which Ross ensures us is NOT a DQ because his feet hit the mat first. That makes such little sense I’m not even going to try to make a joke out of it so whatever. We talk about the military for no apparent reason other than Rich is wearing a Confederate style of tights.

Rich hits a jumping headlock takeover which looked like he wanted Irwin to carry him over the threshold or something. Lot of headlocks here. Irwin stomps the same way Lance Storm does with that little hop in his kicks. Rich gets a pretty nice counter to a side slam into a sleeper. Charge misses for Irwin and a Thesz Press gets the pin. As surprising as this may be that is supposed to be a pinning combination. I’m not sure how one move can be a combination but you get the point.

Rating: D+. Far too short to mean much and the headlocks were rather repetitive but they were working rather quickly out there. Rich would join the York Foundation in a rather pointless stable but it had some success. Other than that neither guy meant anything until Rich went to ECW and did some forgettable stuff.

We get the WCW Top Ten.

World Champion: Sting

10. Buddy Landel
9. Tommy Rich
8. Junkyard Dog
7. Flyin Brian
6. Stan Hansen
5. Sid Vicious
4. Barry Windham
3. Arn Anderson
2. Ric Flair
1. Lex Luger

Tag Teams:

World Champions: Doom

10. Rotundo/Horner
9. Junkyard Dog/El Gigante
8. Flyin Bryan/Z-Man
7. Samoan Swat Team
6. Freebirds
5. Southern Boys
4. Midnight Express
3. Horsemen (no members listed)
2. Rock N Roll Express
1. Steiner Brothers

Took a minute to list off and that’s all there is to it. I never got the point of these things.

Stan Hansen is mad that he’s number 6 so he’s going to fight everyone above him.

LPWA World Title: Bambi vs. Susan Sexton

So back in the 80s and early 90s there were a fair amount of women’s wrestling companies. None of them were very good and they had a lot of the same rosters. This is another example of one where they try to get their product on national TV. Susan is champion here but it doesn’t really matter all that much as this won’t be mentioned again. Both are in the old school one piece swimsuit-looking outfits.

Sexton works on the knee early as she’s fairly decent from a technical standpoint. This is all technical stuff which isn’t that interesting but is pretty decent from the standpoint of technique. Sexton does the first move that isn’t technical with a reverse cross body. Boring match so far. Small package by Bambi gets two and is reversed for the pin by Sexton.

Rating: D. Yeah this was pretty pointless. The problem with these companies was that there was absolutely nothing separating these girls once they got in the ring. Today you have companies like SHIMMER where the girls are all distinctly different. These girls had different names and gimmicks but inside the ring they were the same thing, making the company pointless. Pretty worthless match but not terrible.

Maximum Overdrive vs. Steiner Brothers

Overdrive is an unknown team and the Steiners just won the US Tag Titles and are more or less considered the only team in the world capable of touching Doom at this point. What do you think is going to happen here? Scott and one of the jobbers start us off. Scott gets a Sharpshooter without the legs being intertwined. The jobbers names are Hunter and Silencer.

There’s a reason I’ve never heard of them. In the words of Steve Austin, it’s because they absolutely suck. Surprisingly enough Rick seems to be the more popular one here. I know I’m not saying much here but this is just killing time before we get to the end. And there it is as Scott ENDS Hunter with the DDT from the top.

Rating: D-. Again I say so? No one thought there was any kind of chance for the no names here and that’s exactly what the case was. Why should anyone have wanted to see a six minute squash, especially when the other team was awful? They were a jobbing tag team and this was their career highlight. Can we go to something else now?

Missy plugs the Main Event and I want to hit her.

Stan Hansen vs. Z-Man

Hmm what do you think is going to happen here? Z-Man wears pink in this, apparently just wanting Hansen to murder him faster. We’re already on the floor and Hansen pops him with a chair. Hansen is kind of a cross between Austin and JBL when he was a bar fighter. He had a match at a WWF/Japanese (might have been AJPW but I’m not sure) with Hogan and he nearly KILLED Fink. In case you didn’t guess Z-Man has gotten a total of one kick in throughout the match here. He gets some jobber offense in the form of dropkicks until a Lariat ends him.

Rating: N/A. Just to show that Hansen is awesome and giving him a reason to be in the building. Keep that in mind.

We recap Luger vs. Flair at Wrestlewar 90 where Luger STILL couldn’t get the title off of him. He’s been US Champion for over a year now so everyone is just waiting on him to lose it. Luger is second only to Sting in popularity but Flair is his Kryptonite. Luger says he’s not used to being the champion vs. Flair which is true as I don’t think Flair has ever challenged him for anything before.

US Title: Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger

I love that black and white Flair robe. It has to be his best one, including the blue one. Since we’re in North Carolina, Flair is more or less the second coming. There’s no feeling out period here since both of them have fought about a million times. Speaking of a million times, Flair broke his back in a plane crash 20 years ago. Flair chops Luger and Luger Hulks Up.

Luger’s offense is limited at best but the fans freaking love him so it’s easy to see why he was pushed the way he was. Flair’s shoulder might be hurt. To the shock of no one that pays attention he’s faking and a cheap shot gives him the advantage. Ross messes up when he talks about Flair’s past, saying he played football and weighed 265lbs, 25lbs lighter than he is now, putting Luger at 290 here.

Basically Flair wants this to get his shot at Sting again. And there goes the knee as Flair gets a solid shot in on it. Flair chops away in the corner then kicks Luger in the knee and repeats the sequence a few times. Nice. Luger comes back again and we get a Flair Flop, but as he goes down Flair pokes him in the eye. That is what you call thinking while wrestling. We hit the fifteen minute mark (more like 10) and Luger gets two on a backslide. We already had one fall off of that move this century so there was no way that was happening.

Flair goes flying off the top as the crowd is way into this. We get the corner flip and clothesline on the apron as Flair is reeling. Another gorilla press and powerslam set up the Rack. It’s a bearhug first which makes sense for once here. Second rope suplex gets two as Flair gets his foot on the ropes. You can hear the crowd groan as they thought it was over. Flair hits a cross body to send them both to the floor. Luger gets back in and gets MAULED by Stan Hansen. This set up their match at Halloween Havoc where Hansen ended the longest US Title reign ever. Luger would get it back about 7 weeks later and hot it seven more months, giving him the title for two years minus 50 days. That’s not bad.

Rating: B. Rather good match here as these two just have insanely good chemistry together. Other than Sting Flair brought out the best in Luger and this was no exception. It’s a natural face vs. a natural heel which is the easiest formula in the world to work and these two did it as well as anyone. Luger chased Flair for years and I don’t think ever beat him for a title.

The Black Scorpion wants Sting. If Sting wins he’ll tell Sting who he is. Sting says he’s ready.

WCW World Title: Sting vs. Black Scorpion

Scorpion has to be very careful here because he can’t let any of his trademark moves come out here so as to preserve his identity. Sting is so popular it’s unreal. This is actually the NWA and WCW Titles at once but they’re the same thing so it doesn’t really matter. Scorpion is in a hood and a mask so he’s doubling up here. Scorpion beats up Sting to start here but something tells me that’s not going to last long.

The announcers try to figure out who is under the mask as it’s been established that Scorpion is someone from Sting’s past. We hit the floor and it’s more or less even. Back in the ring and Sting takes over. He goes for the mask but the Scorpion gets out. There’s a section of about 20 empty chairs about seven to nine rows deep. Those would be excellent seats as they’re about eye level with the ring. I don’t remember them being empty earlier so they must have left or something.

They brawl on the ramp for a bit and Sting takes over. Top rope cross body gets two and Scorpion keeps the advantage. We take a shot at WWF by saying anyone can have a belt made and say they’re a champion but only this title dates back to 1905. That’s nonsense but since when has truth meant anything in wrestling? In something I hardly ever remember, Sting gets the pin off the Splash and not the Deathlock.

Rating: D+. Pretty much a standard match here which obviously was to further the angle which was blown off as Starrcade where the Scorpion was revealed to be of course Ric Flair. This Scorpion was a former midcarder named Al Perez whose name shouldn’t really mean anything to you. The match was more or less just a power vs. power match and I don’t think anyone believed Sting was in anything resembling danger.

Post match Sting goes for the mask and gets it off, revealing a red mask underneath. He goes for that one but ANOTHER Black Scorpion shows up on the ramp. Instead of, oh I don’t know, RUNNING EIGHT FEET TO GET AT THE BLACK SCORPION, Sting stares at him and lets him walk away.

Sting says he’s confused to end the show.

On a semi-related note, the Black Scorpion standing on the ramp and staring down Sting is my very first memory of wrestling ever.

Overall Rating: D+. Pretty weak show but the Luger vs. Flair match is good and the main event has the most popular guy in the world not named Hulk Hogan so it revived the crowd. The problem is this is a two hour show and about an hour of it is just painfully boring. WCW was in a weird spot here as there wasn’t really much of anything for Sting to do and with Flair leaving in about 9 months things would just get worse. It would take a combination of Rick Rude and Paul E. Dangerously (Heyman) to breathe life into the company in about 13 months. This wasn’t much at all but the last half hour was ok. Not worth seeing though.


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  1. Mike M says:

    What would you think of WWE doing a Gauntlet similar to the one decribed in this review? It would be over the course of RAW, Main Event, and Smackdown, but instead of cash, they get as US or IC title shot. If the challenger gets pinned, the guy who pins him gets the shot instead. I think it could be a good way to get some lesser used guys on TV and a really good way to debut someone from NXT.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I’d love to see it. It’s a simple idea but it could work.

  2. #MrScissorsKick says:

    Wow. Only three “championship” matches on this show? Dang.