Clash of the Champions Count-Up – #26: We’ve Got Chicken Suits!

Clash of the Champions #26
Date: January 27, 1994
Location: Riverside Centroplex, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Attendance: 3,200
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan

This is the first show after Starrcade where Flair as a face won the world title. Tonight the main event is Vader/Rude vs. Flair/Sting in an elimination match, which should be pretty good at least. Other than that this looks like a pretty lackluster show. This was a pretty decent time in WCW’s history though but things would really start to click in about a month. Then Hogan would kill it so there we go. Let’s get to it.

Standard intro video which is decent enough for what it’s supposed to do.

Gene opens us up just in front of the entrance and gets an announcement in his earpiece. He can’t believe what’s going on. It’s bad news. It’s a nightmare. It’s BOBBY HEENAN! The fans are more or less shocked but break into a WEASEL chant. This was a pretty big move actually so it’s hard to complain. He left WWF because Vince doesn’t offer medical insurance, while Turner did. Heenan had a bad neck and left so he could get it fixed.

Pretty Wonderful vs. 2 Cold Scorpio/Marcus Bagwell

This is back when Scorpio was still awesome. Pretty Wonderful is Paul Orndorff and Paul Roma. This is a #1 contenders match. The Pauls have a masked manager called the Assassin, who later owned Deep South Wrestling and whose son is one Nick Patrick. Brain: I know who the Assassin is. Would you like to know? Tony: Of course. Brain: It’s the guy in the mask! I love Bobby Heenan. I truly do.

It’s nice to see Brain just jump in here and not be confused or anything. I guess he’s only on drink #1. Hot Shot by Roma to take down Bagwell. Interestingly enough Heenan is looking at what’s going on in the ring rather than on his monitor. I don’t remember any other announcers ever doing that. I still can’t get over Orndorff having a job in 1994. He would have kept one even longer had it not been for a neck injury.

I also don’t get how Roma stayed around as long as he did. What were they thinking when they made this guy a Horseman? We get a new commissioner tonight, and I’m pretty sure I remember who that is. Orndorff jumps into Scorpio’s boot and it lets Bagwell get the hot tag and clean house. After Scorpio goes to the floor we get a weird ending: Orndorff puts up his boot for Bagwell’s head to be rammed into. Bagwell blocks and in goes Roma’s head, for the pin. Yeah that’s how they won the match. Weird.

Rating: C-. Total run of the mill tag match here but it wasn’t awful. This could have been on any show other than a PPV and at least it had something of importance on it. The ending sucked which hurts it, but the other 12 minutes or so were fine. This was acceptable, which is a good term for it I guess.

Ah ok a replay shows that it was Orndorff’s knee and he had slipped something into it. That helps a lot.

Ron Simmons vs. Ice Train

Student vs. teacher here with no entrances for either guy as the bell is ringing when we come back from a break. Simmons is a heel here…I think. Yeah he is. Ice Train is a rather large man but he had little talent. Naturally I was always a fan of his. Train keeps using a 3 point stance before all of his moves. He hits the buckle, Simmons rolls him up with the trunks being held and it’s over.

Rating: N/A. Was there a point to this that I just completely missed? Simmons would be gone soon.

You can talk LIVE to Bobby Heenan after the show. Pay no attention to the *all programming is pre-recorded thing at the bottom of the screen.

Here are Steve Austin and Robert Parker. Austin is in a cowboy hat and suit jacket, much like JBL. He’s US Champion and managing Parker in his match with Flying Brian later. Austin does a funny Southern accent with a cigar in his mouth. Parker talks about a dog or something like that.

There’s a new commissioner, and it’s Nick Bockwinkle. You know, because SO many people know who that is right? Almost no reaction either, as he was from the AWA in the north so he’s perfect to introduce in Louisiana. This was just dumb, so of course they kept him on for almost two years until he legitimately forgot the name of the PPV he was on and they fired him because of it. And that’s it for this segment.

TV Title: Steven Regal vs. Dustin Rhodes

William Regal vs. Goldust for you young kids out there. Also, GORDON SOLIE is replacing Tony on commentary here. To anyone that has been a fan for a long time, you just smiled more than likely. Solie is clearly past his prime here as he makes some noticeable mistakes but hearing him get fired up is still great with that voice that sounds like an old aunt but he’s into things ever time, making him great for nostalgia if nothing else.

Basic feeling out process here to start as Solie talks about the body parts, including an argument with Heenan about how many vertebrae there are in the arm. Dustin works the arm and Regal does some solid selling. Keep in mind that this is Regal before he went insane on drugs and alcohol and doesn’t have a big gut and could MOVE. To prove my point, Regal nips up to get out of a wristlock. See what I mean?

Dustin does some nice stuff to outsmart Regal as this is a very technical/mat based match so far. Solie talks about the time issue which is definitely hinting at the ending already. I still can’t get over that it’s Bill Dundee as Regal’s manager. Regal gets a cobra clutch which gets him nowhere. This is a very basic match but that doesn’t mean it’s good or bad. Solie says the eternally stupid line of “they’re all the same size on the canvas.” No, not quite. Dustin is still taller than Regal, no matter what position he is.

We hit five minutes left and Regal continues to dominate. Make that four minutes. Nothing at all is happening here as we have nothing but Regal putting holds on Dustin. Dustin finally does something and it’s still not that good. Down to three minutes now as Regal stalls. Dustin of course keeps going after him while he’s on the floor, wasting like 40 seconds in the process.

Sunset flip by the British dude doesn’t work and here comes Dustin. Lariat takes him down with two minutes left. One minute left and Regal is on the floor again. Yep they’re doing that ending. Rhodes goes for the Bulldog and it gets one as the time runs out, mercifully ending this.

Rating: D. There’s a reason we don’t see more wrestling like this: IT’S BORING. That’s what this boils down to: this was boring. There was nothing at all going on here as it was mainly them just laying on the mat for about 10 minutes, Regal hiding for three and a half minutes, and maybe 90 seconds of actual wrestling. What’s the point in watching this if that’s all we’re going to get? Bad match and just boring.

Aaron Neville, some singer that no one cares about so naturally he got a bunch of singing gigs with the company. Yep, this was pointless.

Ad for Superbrawl, which for some reason was never released on VHS. I’ve never gotten that.

Maxx Payne/Cactus Jack vs. Nasty Boys

Missy Hyatt is managing the Nasty Boys, and you can make your own jokes about her knobs and how they sag. Cactus was getting more and more popular around this time, so of course he was cut as fast as possible. And there are no Cactus and Payne. They come through the crowd after a break and it’s on. It’s weird hearing Solie do commentary on a match with these guys in it.

Total brawl of course to start us off. Cactus elbow crushes Sags on the floor. We get to the point where we finally have a traditional tag match which surprises me. Sags hits a top rope cross body but Payne rolls through for two. Knobbs allegedly was a wrestling champion in the army and Payne was an amateur champion. Sure why not? NICE Double Arm DDT to Knobbs for two. Stupidly enough like a second later they just have Payne drop an elbow on Knobbs and Jack gets the pin.

Rating: D. Given who was in there, this was the best they were going to do, period. Jack was getting better every day out there but the other three have never really gotten anywhere else. This wasn’t much at all, as the matches they would have would get better when they were wild brawls. Those were rather good, unlike this.

We recap Pillman vs. Parker, which more or less is Pillman and Austin got split up (they committed the crime of being popular and talented) and Austin went with Parker while Brian went face. This somehow got a massive chicken suit involved.

Brian Pillman vs. Robert Parker

The loser has to wear a chicken suit….this weekend. Yeah for no apparent reason the chicken suit thing isn’t for about 3 days. Brian throws out KFC on his way to the ring. Parker is in regular tights which is rather disturbing. Pillman goes after Austin on the floor and gets caught because of it.

Parker runs, Pillman hits him. Repeat that about 5 times until the Boss (Big Boss Man) stops Parker from running again. And let’s repeat that just to make sure it was emphasized enough I suppose. Austin runs in and beats up Pillman as anything resembling a wrestling match is purely coincidental. More interference gets two for Parker until Boss runs off Austin, causing a rollup to beat Parker.

Rating: C-. It was entertaining, but this was just too much repetition. They kept doing the same thing over and over again which didn’t help things very much. We don’t need to see the same stuff that often to make it work, which is something that they just couldn’t get here for some reason. Entertaining though.

Ric Flair/Sting vs. Vader/Rick Rude

Sting and Rude are feuding over the International Title (WAY too long of a story to get into, but in short they had the physical NWA Title belt but weren’t part of the NWA, so they made this instead) and Flair vs. Vader is for the world title. It’s weird hearing Bobby cheer against Flair. This is under elimination rules for no adequately explained reason.

Bockwinkle is on commentary here just to continue the lack of getting it that WCW had with their authority figures until Bischoff arrived. Sting and Rude start us off and we get a feeling out process. Bobby: “We’ve got four world champions in this match and another on commentary that I managed. What do you do Tony?” Tony: “I play video games.” Total WTF moment there. Can you imagine him playing Madden or something?

Vader comes in and just annihilates Sting. Vader gets a sunset flip OFF THE MIDDLE ROPE. That was perfect looking too, which is just freaking scary. I know he’s good but at times he’s almost terrifying with what he could pull off. The mask comes off and suddenly I can see the 4 inches of his face that we’re covered. I never got the point of that mask but whatever.

Flair comes in and just beats the crap out of Vader, putting him down. Even Sting couldn’t do that earlier. If anything happens during the break we’ll show you. Since nothing is shown from the break, I would assume they stood around while performing life-affirming skits involving saying no to drugs or perhaps a song and dance routine from South Pacific. Rude is beating up Sting when we come back.

Flair comes in for the save and we get to see Rude sell an atomic drop which is worth the price of admission (this was on free TV so that’s a pointless statement) alone. Vader Bomb hits before it was called that but Race says go up again. Middle rope suplex gets almost no reaction which is odd. Top rope version gets about the same. Hey, did you know Flair was in a plane crash? Didn’t think telling us that in EVERY FLAIR MATCH EVER was enough clarification.

Vader goes after Bockwinkle, probably because he had to watch one of his matches back in the day, and I guess Flair and Vader got counted out. Flair had to be helped out. That leaves Sting vs. Rude which is almost always fun. This is just a standard 8 minute match between these two. It’s good but at the end of the day, so what? Sting gets a Rude Awakening on Rude but gets two because it’s just a neckbreaker. BIG splash from the top by Sting gets the pin. RVD has nothing on Sting from the early 90s when it came to jumping.

Rating: C+. It’s ok but this got over 20 minutes worth of time and all it really boils down to is a double countout and a clean pin for Sting. It’s not bad or anything, but the lack of meaning or drama hurt it a lot. Sting was better than Rude and he beat him clean. What’s the point in watching that? The pairing was big though and it fit for a show of this magnitude so I can give it points for that. This was fine for what it was, but it’s not particularly good.

Overall Rating: D. This just didn’t do it for me at all. This was a BAD period for WCW but things would pick up soon after this. For one thing, Dusty Rhodes got fired as booker and one Ric Flair took over. His first act: rehire Ricky Steamboat and have him just own everyone, setting up a clash between them that was rather good. And then Hogan showed up and got rid of all that so guys like Orndorff and Duggan could get pushed over Austin and Steamboat. Sure why not. This wasn’t much of a show and it just shows how bad the time period was for them. Not worth seeing at all really.

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