Clash of the Champions Count-Up – #16: WCW In 1991 Is Very Bad

Clash of the Champions 16: Fall Brawl 91
Date: September 5, 1991
Location: Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center, Augusta, Georgia
Attendance: 2,800
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone

It’s late 91 in WCW so I’d bet on some focus on Sting and Luger. The main focus here seems to be on the Light Heavyweight Title Tournament which is a title that wound up going nowhere. Other than that there’s a tag team tournament final which means nothing for the most part. WCW in 91 was pretty weak to say the least but we have to get through this so let’s get to it.

Bischoff, Hyatt and Dangerously are going to be doing the interviews tonight apparently.

Battle Royal

Z-Man, Bobby Eaton, Ranger Ross (he still had a job at this point?), Tommy Rich, Young Pistol Tracy (Smothers), Oz (Nash), PN News (big fat white rapper), Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker, Steve Austin (with a freaking ponytail), Dustin Rhodes, Terrance Taylor (sucks), Big Josh, Barry Windham, One Man Gang, El Gigante (legit 7’7)

Standard battle royal to start with people just beating on each other with no particular rhyme or reason. Gigante picks Taylor up and has his over the ropes but gently sits him down instead. The guy never was that smart. Then he puts Parker on the top rope and pulls him back in too. Dude, READ THE RULES!!! No one out yet I don’t think. Eaton and Austin finally to the apron but that gets them nowhere.

Big Josh tries to skin the cat and pulls out Ross and Taylor but goes out himself also, bringing us down to 12. Rich is out as is Parker. Z-Man is out as everyone left beats on Oz and Gang. Nine left at this point. Austin puts Tracy out. Gang LAUNCHES Eaton out as we’re down to seven. Make it six as News is out. Austin and Windham go out together so we’re down to Gang, Gigante, Rhodes and Oz.

The heels hammer down the good guys as I distinctly remember watching this show at some point in my life. It’s so weird to see Gigante towering over Nash. Rhodes goes out due to double teaming but the heels turn around and a double clothesline gives the giant the win. This was called the Georgia Brawl apparently. Ok then.

Rating: D. This was pretty awful for the most part. It’s really just a battle royal which isn’t all that interesting unless it’s for a title or the Rumble. This was just kind of there for the sake of getting a lot of people on the card at the same time, which is stupid when a lot of them have matches later. Not sure what the point was here.

Light Heavyweight Title Tournament Semi-Final: Badstreet vs. Brian Pillman

Badstreet is a member of the Freebirds and is Brad Armstrong in a mask. They threw gimmick after gimmick at him in hopes of getting him over. It didn’t work, but that’s old school style to say the least. This is Pillman’s return to WCW match after being the Yellow Dog (masked guy, everyone knew who he was) forever. Four man tournament apparently. Oh apparently he got a first round bye. That helps a little.

Badstreet cheats of course while Pillman continues to be about five years ahead of his time with his Cruiserweight style stuff. Slingshot sunset flip gets two as we can hear the director. Dropkick to the apron sets up a suplex back into the ring for Pillman, but Badstreet counters into a suplex to the floor in a pretty nice move. That isn’t a DQ though as we change the rules again.

Brian is sent into the railing as Badstreet takes over a bit. Up to the apron again and Pillman is sent into the post. After a good long rest for him because Badstreet is kind of stupid, Pillman gets a slingshot cross body for two. Neckbreaker gets two for the masked dude. Pillman dropkicks him off the top and adds in a suicide dive to the floor. Missile dropkick misses but a spinwheel kick gets two, both by Pillman. Badstreet gets a DDT for two. Crucifix by Brian is countered into a Samoan Drop and up they go. Pillman knocks him off the top and a top rope cross body (Air Pillman) ends this.

Rating: B+. AWESOME match here and keep in mind that this is 1991. This is something that would have been awesome in 1997 and yet they were doing it years early. It’s scary to think of what Pillman could have done if he hadn’t destroyed his ankle. Really liked this one and the whole thing worked very well. Great match.

WCW Top Ten:

10. Bobby Eaton
9. Z-Man
8. Diamond Stud
7. One Man Gang
6. Dustin Rhodes
5. Steve Austin
4. El Gigante
3. Barry Windham
2. Ron Simmons
1. Sting

World Champion: Lex Luger.

They did this every week and it really never meant much. Naturally they hyped it forever because that’s how WCW rolls.

Johnny B. Badd vs. Sting

Badd is the gay character that we don’t say is gay. He’s also heel (mostly) and undefeated. Sting is US Champion here but it’s non-title. He also doesn’t seem to have the belt with him but whatever. This was during the gift box angle which was about Luger vs. Sting eventually. They shake hands to start as Badd wants to use his left hand. Sting plants him but a Vader Bomb (maybe that’s why the feuded!!!) gets knees.

Sting no sells it and Badd hits his top rope sunset flip for two. Sting gets a small package for two as this is a rather fast paced match. And now we slow things WAY down as it’s a wristlock fight. It’s so weird to think that this is nearly twenty years old. Sting grabs an armbar as this has gotten boring in a hurry.

As Badd pops off some punches that miss, another gift box is delivered. Stinger Splash misses and Badd gets his left hand, but it’s just to the ribs. Badd thinks the box is for him and turns his back on Sting but the more famous dude is too hurt to capitalize. Sting sees the box now as the match stops completely. Sting grabs an AWFUL small package to end it.

Rating: D. Other than the fast paced opening, this was them just waiting on the whole box angle to happen. Once that happened, the whole thing came to the fastest screeching halt you’ll ever see. Boring match overall as Badd was a comedy guy and Sting was never in any danger here.

Post match Cactus Jack pops out of the box, apparently debuting and massacring Sting with a top rope elbow to the floor and the double arm DDT. Eaton and Big Josh run out for the save. They wouldn’t have their blowoff match for about 9 months, but dang it was worth the wait.

Light Heavyweight Title Tournament Semi-Final: Mike Graham vs. Richard Morton

Morton is part of the York Foundation and is managed by Alexandra York, more famous as Terri. Morton looks exactly the same as he did in the Rock N Roll Express so the heel turn didn’t really work. Graham is the son of Eddie Graham, who is considered one of the best bookers ever and was based in Florida. Morton gets a Boston Crab after starting on his back. Not bad.

They trade some pin and submission attempts so Morton hits the floor for awhile. He checks what the computer tells him to do (just go with it) and heads back in. They head to the mat and this is rather boring already. Graham gets something resembling a German suplex out of the corner for two. Morton takes over for a bit before Graham grabs a Figure Four. Not that it matters as Morton is in the ropes so we’re back to the uninteresting wrestling.

Graham is painfully boring in the ring. That’s really all there is to it about him. He’s here because his dad is famous and that’s about it. He throws on an Indian Deathlock as the fans flat out do not care at all. They need to end this match already. Apparently Graham used to put holds on Gordon Solie. Random but ok. Rolling half nelson gets two for Graham. York gets on the apron which doesn’t mean much of anything. Morton rolls him up and uses the tights to advance to the finals.

Rating: D. Really boring match here as nothing of interest was going on at all. Graham is really boring and Morton is a failure as a heel for the most part. I mean, cut your hair or something dude. Really boring match that no one cared about for the most part here. It set up the match at the PPV I guess, but that doesn’t mean it’s worth seeing.

Time for Bill Kazmaier, a legit winner of the World’s Strongest Man, is going to attempt to break a world record. What record this is we don’t really establish but that’s not really important. He’s in the tag title final later on tonight so I smell an angle here. Four guys bring out a big globe thing but Kazmaier is going to bend a rod over his head instead. Somehow this is a record. The bar bends but here are the Enforcers (Zbyszko and Anderson) who are in the title match with Kaz and Rick Steiner later. They hit him in the ribs with a weight and leave. Hey I was right.

Freebirds vs. Patriots

The Patriots are Todd Champion and Firebreaker Chip. They’re from WCW Special Forces, whatever that’s supposed to be. The Birds are doing their rock band gimmick here. One Patriot is a soldier and one is a fireman. Ok then. Hayes vs. Chip to start us off. Hayes naturally stalls because that’s what he does. Ross makes baseball comparisons because he has nothing else to do.

The Birds are the US Tag Champions and will defend against the Patriots on Saturday. Why they’re not doing it here? Who knows of course. The Patriots clear the ring as this isn’t going to be much of a match methinks. Garvin vs. Chip now and it’s pretty clear that the Patriots aren’t that good. We begin a rather boring match as neither team have guys you want to run a match. Off to Champion who beats on the actual champion known as Hayes. Everything breaks down and with some heel cheating, Garvin pins Chip. The Patriots would get the titles Saturday.

Rating: D. That grade is becoming a standard for this show somehow. Weak match again as neither team had any idea of what they were doing. That being said also, why in the world would we have this match be non-title on whatever night this is and then have the title match like three days later? It’s WCW. I guess that’s why.

Here’s Paul E. Dangerously to talk to Cactus Jack. Jack won’t say who the mastermind is but wants a round of applause for Sting because his career is OVER. Another gift box comes out which Jack says has Abdullah in it. Naturally as Jack goes to give him a hug it’s Sting in the box and the fight is on. These two would feud on and off for a long time before their classic in June which is still one of my all time favorite matches.

We get a clip of Ron Simmons having his jersey retired at Florida State. Bobby Bowden, the coach of Florida State, says Simmons is awesome.

Ron Simmons vs. Diamond Stud

Stud is more famous as Scott Hall. So let’s see. Hall is a guy who has something to do with diamonds and Nash is Oz. As in Wizard of Oz. There’s nothing hidden to it as he was billed as being from the Emerald City. A few years later they told Austin and Foley there was no way to market them. And people wonder why they went out of business. Simmons is currently on a roll and is signing the contract for the world title match later.

Stud jumps him to start and Simmons pretends to actually be in trouble here. That’s so cute. Simmons starts hammering away but walks into a half Rock Bottom/half chokeslam for two. Middle rope bulldog hits but Stud poses to get rolled up for two. Simmons starts his comeback and there’s the spinebuster. Shoulder block and we’re done quick. Simmons was on the roll of a lifetime here but wouldn’t win the title for almost a year. No rating due to length but it was just a workout for Simmons.

Dangerously talks to Simmons post match and he says he’ll accomplish his dream. Harley Race and Mr. Hughes come out and Simmons says he wants Luger, not them.

Terrance Taylor vs. Van Hammer

Hammer is debuting here and would become arguably the third most popular guy in the company and maybe even the second. What do you think is going to happen here? Taylor hammers away and Hammer no sells it. Hammer gets something close to We Will Rock You going and a top rope knee drop ends this. Seriously, that’s his finisher? Total squash.

Missy Hyatt finally gets her interview in the locker room of Luger. She’s been trying to do this for months and Simmons interrupts this one too. They throw him out so he breaks the door down. This goes nowhere.

TV Title: Steve Austin vs. Z-Man

Austin is champion and still has the old NWA style TV Title. Austin’s tights look like they have confetti on them. Z-Man is a former champion also. Basic match to start as Austin has his arm worked on. They ram into each other with Austin’s blonde hair flowing. That’s a weird thing to see indeed. Lots of headlocks follow as this isn’t much of a match at all.

When I say that I mean there’s no real effort here. They’re having a match and while they’re not doing anything particularly wrong, you can tell there’s almost no effort at all in it. They’re going through the motions out there with a lot of arm work and all that jazz. Z-Man hits a superkick and Austin stalls a lot. Slingshot cross body to the ramp hits but a top rope one misses completely.

Off to the chinlock to waste some time. Austin had a habit of trying to milk the clock as much as he could which I guess is what he’s trying to do here. There’s the Stun Gun (flapjack onto the top rope) but Austin doesn’t cover. Small package gets two for Z and we hit the sleeper. Austin’s chick named Lady Blossom gives him an object and we’re done.

Rating: D+. Boring match until the end and the whole thing didn’t work at all for the most part. Like I said they were going through the motions the entire time. Zenk (What do you think the Z stood for?) was a guy that was ok at times but at other times he was rather boring indeed, with this being one of those times.

We get a video on Ron Simmons giving a speech to some kids.

Time for the contract signing but Luger wants to wait awhile first. While we wait, here’s another video on Simmons bringing some kids to the Omni to see him wrestle.

Here’s the actual signing and Luger is ready. They do this on the stage instead of in the ring for once. Ron signs up as Dusty Rhodes is there for no apparent reason. Literally, the announcers are asking why he’s there. Luger gives a quick promo and just get to the brawl already. Things get interesting as Luger mentions that Simmons can be the first black champion but when he loses, Simmons can be Lex’s driver. Playing the race card is kind of interesting.

We recap the tag title tournament in reverse which is weird but it fills in time.

World Tag Titles: Enforcers vs. Bill Kazmaier/Rick Steiner

The Steiners had to drop the titles because Scott got hurt so this is a tournament final. Kaz is hurt from earlier so that’ll probably play into the ending. We’re rapidly running out of time here with entrances still going on and less than seven minutes in the show. Rick clears the ring to start and it’s more or less a handicap match due to the rib injury. Powerslam takes Anderson down for two.

Kaz is just chilling on the apron while it’s 2-1. So why is he here anyway? Larry works on the arm and amazingly doesn’t stall. Off to Anderson as the Enforcers talk trash to Kaz. Really basic match here as Steiner can’t fight off the numbers. Steiner gets a suplex to take Anderson down but can’t get a belly to belly off the middle rope. Kaz tags himself in but Anderson gets a shot in to the ribs for Larry to fall on top for the titles. Barely ran three minutes.

Rating: D. What in the world was the point of this again? Did we really need all the earlier matches on here for the sake of having a three minute title match in the main event? Kaz never meant anything but he looked good so that’s about all he had. Scott would be back soon enough, but this was pretty worthless.

The Enforcers brag to end the show.

Overall Rating: D. This was pretty awful as they more or less phoned the whole thing in. 91 in WCW was pretty awful as they had very little thinking in their entire show with this being no exception at all. Sting would feud with everyone at the same time more or less, but this would be put on hold as the Dangerous Alliance would form at Halloween Havoc to make things really awesome in a hurry. This however, wasn’t awesome at all. Not worth seeing at all.

 

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