Clash of the Champions Count-Up – #25: Now Remember, It’s The World Title, Not The International Title

Clash of the Champions 25
Date: November 10, 1993
Location: Bayfront Arena, St. Petersburg, Florida
Attendance: 6,000
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Jesse Ventura

We’re still in 1993 here which means things are pretty bad. The main event is Flair vs. Vader for the world title. We also get a second world title match with Rick Rude vs. Hawk for the WCW International Title which is something I’m not explaining in depth again. As you know, WCW in 1993 sucked so it’s probably going to do it again. There are five title matches out of seven total matches tonight. Let’s get to it.

Gene opens us up and tells us to call the Hotline to vote for Manager of the Year.

WCW International Title: Hawk vs. Rick Rude

Well at least it can’t get much worse after this one. It’s a power match to start and neither guy can get an advantage so far. Jesse brags about being on Rude’s tights as Rude is sent flying into the corner. Hawk wants a test of strength and Rude does what every heel does in this situation. He hammers on Hawk and that doesn’t do much.

Hawk doesn’t feel like selling tonight so he hits a suplex for two. They haven’t used anything that wasn’t taught on Tough Enough yet. Rude jumps into a boot in one of the most telegraphed shots I’ve ever seen. Out on the floor now and they brawl to the ultra lame double count out.

Rating: F. The match was boring, they had one move that wasn’t a shove, punch or kick and the ending was lame. What are you expecting out of this? Just not an interesting match and I have no idea why they kept giving Hawk these singles pushes as he never seemed like someone that was any good without Animal.

The Equalizer vs. The Shockmaster

Equalizer is more famous as Dave Sullivan in 1995. In short he makes David Otunga look like Kurt Angle. If there is anything good and holy in this world, this will be short. Equalizer jumps him to start and pounds away. A belly to back suplex gets two. Rude and British Bulldog might be fighting in the back. Can we go see that instead? Shocky starts no selling stuff and gets the bearhug which he drops down with for a quick pin. Thank goodness. This was nothing but it was a short nothing so it wasn’t as bad as the opener.

Colonel Parker isn’t nominated for Manager of the Year and he doesn’t care. He’s dropped Sid and picked up Steve Austin. I’d think that was an upgrade for Parker. He swears he has a restraining order against Sid and that Sid is nowhere near but Gene says he say him earlier today. Parker bails.

TV Title: Johnny B. Badd vs. Steven Regal

Johnny is mostly a face and is gay here. He’s also not that good yet and is challenging tonight. Badd gets the crowd going so yeah he’s full on face now. Regal isn’t sure what to do with him. Jesse thinks Regal would never cheat because he’s English. Badd speeds things way up quickly and gets a bunch of two counts to frustrate Regal. Jesse and Tony debate British royalty. You can never accuse Jesse of keeping things boring.

They speed things up again as Jesse implies Badd cross dresses. Badd really likes that headlock as he’s on his third one of the match. Regal takes him down with technical stuff but Badd speeds things up again to frustrate Regal. Regal can’t get anything going at all so far. He finally gets some European uppercuts to put Badd down for two. Butterfly suplex gets two. The thing earlier with Rude vs. Bulldog was Bulldog challenging for the title which hasn’t been accepted yet.

Regal gets caught by a big right hand and Sir William is mad. Steven is out cold but Sir William puts the foot on the rope. Badd yells about it but gets rolled up with a handful of tights (despite there no being many tights there to pull in the first place) for the pin to retain. He held that title seemingly all the time around this era so that’s no surprise at all for the most part.

Rating: B-. Fun match as Badd was moving out there and Regal was all befuddled over it. Once Badd got serious around a year from now he got totally awesome and had some great matches with guys like Brian Pillman. You could see flashes of brilliance in him at times and this was rapidly approaching it. Pretty fun match.

Steve Austin vs. Brian Pilllman

For some reason the Hollywood Blondes, an awesome tag team, were split up and this is the grudge match. Colonel Parker was responsible for it by getting in Austin’s ear and is with Austin here. Austin jumps Pillman who doesn’t get an entrance. It’s a brawl on the floor to start with Austin losing control quickly. A headscissors in the ring puts Austin down and he begs off.

We go out to the floor again and Austin pounds him down. It’s so weird to see him this young and fired up. They go out to the ramp and Pillman tries a top rope splash but goes into a boot. They brawl into the ring and Austin gets something like a Stun Gun for two. Parker is worried about Sid so he keeps looking around. Austin throws on a half crab and uses the ropes. Wouldn’t that take pressure off the hold and therefore off the knee? I’ve never gotten that.

Pillman gets an elbow to the jaw to put both guys down for a bit. Steve goes up but gets crotched. Pillman tries a superplex but counters, sending Pillman appropriately flying to the mat. He manages to catch Steve coming off with a dropkick and gets a victory roll for two. A DDT gets the same as this is getting good. That means it’s probably about over too. The crucifix, a signature move of Pillman, gets countered by something like a Samoan Drop by the non-Samoan Austin.

Brian gets a cradle for a VERY close two. The fans are a bit quiet but screw them. Pillman avoids the Stun Gun but Parker pulls his feet down as he goes for something, allowing Austin to get the easy pin which might have included a handful of tights because that’s what old school heels like Austin use.

Rating: B-. Another fun match but these two needed more than ten minutes on a Clash. This could have been a huge feud over like the US Title or something but Dustin Rhodes wasn’t about to let go of that thing at this point. Austin would get it at Starrcade but this feud was long over by then. I never quite got white but I’ll chalk it up to WCW was stupid.

We go to the Battlebowl Control Center which is just a place to talk about the match and the buildup to it. Go check out my review of it if you really want to but it sucked so there isn’t much reason to do so. Orndorff says he’ll win it. Sting says he’ll win again.

US Title: Dustin Rhodes vs. Paul Orndorff

For the life of me I don’t get Orndorff’s constant pushes. He’s challenging here and has The Assassin (masked guy, started Deep South Wrestling and is Nick Patrick’s dad) with him. Dustin has his fat papa with him. The old guys (and the Assassin might be fatter) get into it pre match. The commentary is all about the old guys because the wrestlers in the ring having the match mean nothing.

Orndorff tries to cheat to start but that doesn’t go all too well. Dustin puts on a headlock on the mat while the old guys play keepaway on the floor. Jesse makes fat jokes. Orndorff grabs a hammerlock and Assassin yells encouragement. Something tells me this is going to be a very uninteresting match. Dustin counters into a top wristlock and down goes Paul. They go to the mat again and now Dustin is working on the leg.

Now it’s off to a chinlock in case those leg locks were too exciting for some viewers. Back to the armbar by Paul as Dusty is coaching. Orndorff hits a suplex and drops an elbow and BACK TO THE CHINLOCK. My goodness are they as bored as I am here? Backslide gets two for Dustin as does a lariat. Orndorff takes over again and mixes things up by putting a knee in the back on his chinlock. Dustin gets a clothesline for two. There’s nothing going on between these moves. Bulldog is blocked and Paul tries his piledriver. After a bit of boring stuff, Dustin small packages him for the pin.

Rating: F. I’m sorry but what was the point of this? It was about 11 minutes of nothing but chinlocks and rest holds. None of the arm or leg work ever went anywhere and the whole match was incredibly boring. No one was interested in the match either, which is true for the majority of Dustin’s run in WCW. Goldust was the best thing that ever happened to him.

Dusty and Assassin get into it post match and Orndorff can’t pick Dusty up for the piledriver. Dustin makes the save and somehow Dusty has the US Title at the end of it.

Keep voting for Manager of the Year.

Tag Titles: Sting/British Bulldog vs. Nasty Boys

The heels have Missy Hyatt and the belts here. Sting vs. Knobbs starts us off in a big brawl. Smith and Sags are on the ramp and Rude sneaks down to give Smith the Rude Awakening. Hawk comes out to chase Rude off and it’s more or less a handicap match now. All of that was pre-match. Oh great. Smith is more or less out so Sting officially starts with Knobbs.

Sting beats them both up and is in there with Sags now. He can’t keep the advantage though because he keeps going over to check on Smith who is still down. Sting gets a cover but the referee is with Missy, as so many others probably have been. The Nasties start double teaming and Sags throws him over the top which isn’t a DQ because the referee is still with Missy.

Knobbs suplexes him back in for two. It’s bearhug time as Smith is actually on his feet now. It only took him five minutes off one neckbreaker. Now THAT is some selling. Sting gets out with a belly to belly but Sags breaks up the tag again. Back to the chinlock by Knobbs as this is needing to end. Sting breaks it up and there’s a double tag to Sags vs. Smith. Smith cleans house and seems to be perfectly fine. He hits a bunch of double team moves including a double DDT. Smith throws Sting onto both of them and hits a falling slam (not a powerslam) to Knobbs but Sags drops a top rope elbow on him for the surprise pin.

Rating: D+. Not much here and the kind of clean pin was a good thing for the champions to get here in a match they probably should have lost on paper. The match was boring though as Sting dominated the whole time and then got caught in chinlocks galore. It wasn’t a good match or anything so the whole thing was pretty dull overall. Sting is always worth seeing though, especially for his big fans like myself.

Colonel Parker is talking to Flair and says Austin wants to face the winner of the main event for the world title.

WCW World Title: Ric Flair vs. Vader

Flair is challenging. Remember that this is the WORLD Title rather than the International Title. By the way as I’m sure you realize, this is the Starrcade main event a month before Starrcade. Buffer gives us some big match intros. We come back from a break and see Flair putting Race in the Figure Four but leaves himself wide open to a splash, giving Vader an early advantage.

It’s all Vader to start and he hits the Vader Bomb about a minute in. Flair isn’t in purple tonight so he’s not quite his best. He shrugs off some punches and chops away and stomps Vader down in the corner. And never mind as Vader does that standing avalanche thing and the pain continues. We go outside where Race gets some payback for earlier. Vader misses a splash against the railing and Sting is smiling somewhere.

Flair goes up AND HITS THE SHOT ON VADER!!! Maybe it’s something about jumping to the floor. Flair is all fired up inside now and chops Vader down which is something that you didn’t see ever. On the other hand you often see Vader kicking people in the face which is what he does here. A middle rope elbow misses and Flair gets a sloppy Figure Four. Race however reaches in to rake the eyes and break up the hold.

Jesse thinks it’s insightful that Race is a better second on the floor than Fifi. Vader suplexes him and gets a splash for two. He’s getting mad and even cusses a bit which is a bit more extreme in 93. We get our second Flair Flip of the match and our second Flair shot off the top of the same match. Vader clocks the referee by mistake and Flair goes up again. This time he jumps into Vader and is put up top again.

A superplex off the top hits but both guys are down. Vader is up but won’t cover. Instead he sets for the moonsault but Flair moves, even though Vader would have missed by a foot or so. Flair covers for the pin and the title??? And it’s a Dusty Finish because of the clothesline that took the referee out.

Rating: B. These two know how to make something epic and they did it here with limited time. They would have a better match at Starrcade but they had almost twenty extra minutes so that helps a lot. Not a classic like the rematch but this set up the Saturday Night match which was supposed to set up Sid vs. Vader but that fell through so there you are.

Austin comes out for the beatdown but Dustin makes the save. Flair wants a tag match and promises Sid as his partner. Parker says ok.

Overall Rating: C. Shockingly not a horrible show as the 93 date would imply otherwise. It’s not a classic and there’s nothing worth seeing but it’s miles better than the horrible Battlebowl show which was a Vader love fest. The opening hour is bad but the main event is a bit better, namely with the Battle of the Blondes and the main event. Not worth seeing though.

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