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WCW Clash of the Champions XV: Knocksville, USA

by Scrooge McSuck

- Originally broadcasted on the SuperStation, TBS, on June 12th, 1991, from the Civic Auditorium in Knoxville, TN. Interesting Scrooge note: This would be the last episode of Clash of the Champions I would watch as an originally ran special, having lost TBS until 1996 or so, when I didn't watch WCW, and had no clue they occasional were still doing them.

- Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone are at ringside to call the action, unless otherwise noted. Missy Hyatt makes her token appearance to introduce the broadcast. Tonight is going to feature a packed card, including a 2 out of 3 Falls Match for the World Heavyweight Title.

The Young Pistols & The Z-Man vs. The Freebirds & Badstreet (w/ DDP, Big Daddy Dink, and the Diamond Doll):

The Freebirds have belts with them, but no idea if it's the Six-Man Belts, or if this is even a championship match. No introduction for such a thing, so we'll assume not. Badstreet is a masked Brad Armstrong, and we find out that the Birds are the US Tag Team Champions, winning them at SuperBrawl from the Young Pistols. Garvin and Zenk lockup to the corner, and we get a clean break. Bill Alfonso is the referee, for those who care. Zenk with a shoulder block, followed by a hip toss. Hayes comes in and gets taken over as well, and the Pistols with simultanious body presses to the Freebirds to clear the ring. Hayes lays into Smothers with chops. Smothers quickly regains control, and randomly slams Garvin off the top rope. Zenk slingshots in with a double clothesline, and Badstreet is wise to stay on the apron. Smothers does a long criss-cross before Hayes lays him out with a left hand. Badstreet in, and a clothesline sends Smothers to the floor. 3-on-1 on the outside, with Smothers being dropped across the security rail. Smothers climbs to the apron, and gets knocked off, into the rail. It's weak, compared to a Bret Hart level of taking that bump. The triple teaming continues, but now Armstrong and Zenk come in for a big brawl. The 'Birds dump them all, but here they come again for more slugging it out. They do it again, and celebrate prematurely. Three slingshots into sunset flips from the Pistols and Z-Man, and all three get three counts at 4:45. Well, that was out of nowhere, and very short. Watchable, but unusual to see the heels dominate the ending so much.

- We promote a Great American Bash sweepstakes, the Flash & Bash Sweepstakes, centered entirely around Ric Flair. They actually subtitle his generic promo, as if he can't be understood. I don't have to point out the obvious failure of that show, and the drama surrounding it and Ric Flair.

Oz (w/ The Great Wizard) vs. Johnny Rich:

JOHNNY Rich? I think I've seen him in Continental, but that's it. Oz has a elaborate introduction, complete with a large "castle" he comes out of. It was only at SuperBrawl where people dressed as Dorothy and the Gang did their little bit before his debut. For those who are unfamiliar, Oz is the second gimmick for Kevin Nash in WCW, the first being Steel of the Master Blasters. The Wizard is Kevin Sullivan wearing a stupid mask. Lockup, and Oz with a series of knees into the midsection. Oz takes Rich out of the corner with a hip toss, then nails him coming off the ropes with a diving shoulder tackle. Oz charges in with a clothesline, and that gets two, only because Oz pulled him up. Whip to the ropes, and Oz with a big boot. Oz with his signature side suplex, and the helicopter spin finishes it at 1:30. Just a squash match.

- Coming soon, to an arena near you... the Rapmaster, PN News. Yo baby, you baby, yo. I guess Vince McMahon thought this was such a cool idea, he brought in a rapping tag team and manager to one up it. That would of course be Well Dunn and Harvey Wippleman... just kidding, just making sure you were paying attention. It's Men on a Mission and Oscar.

Big Josh vs. "Dangerous" Dan Spivey:

I didn't know Spivey was still hanging around at this point. His tenures in WCW around this time were so random, it's hard to keep track. Big Josh is Matt Borne, complete with a piece of wood. He's also introduced from "The Northwoods", and listed as an avid outdoorsman... REALLY? I would never have guessed. Lockup, and they slug it out in the ropes. Then they slug it out in the middle of the ring, until Spivey gains the advantage with a headbutt. Whip to the corner, and Spivey follows in tight with a clothesline. Josh comes back with a waistlock takedown, and mounts Spivey for a series of rights. Whip to the ropes, and Spivey takes Josh over with a Japanese arm drag. Spivey follows it up with a big boot and a kick to the face. Josh blocks a suplex attempt, and counters with one of his own. Spivey is up first, though, and lays Josh out with a clothesline. Spivey sends Josh to the corner, but misses a charge, and Josh brings Spivey down with a back suplex. Suddenly, Kevin Sullivan wanders to ringside, with a crutch in hand. Josh hits the ropes, and gets it broken over his back, but he totally no-sells it. Spivey with a clothesline and bridge suplex, and that gets three count at 2:52. where's the DQ? Oh, the referee was looking away, I guess. Solid match for the entire three minutes it got, but I could've gone for a few more minutes.

- WCW Top 10!

- Paul E. Dangerously with a live edition of the Danger Zone, with his very special guest... Jason Hervey?! For those unfamiliar, he played the dickhead older brother on the Wonder Years, and always seemed to be cast as an asshole his entire career. Paul E. hogs the microphone, barely giving him any time to talk. He's dating Missy Hyatt, by the way. I guess that explains why he's on here. He mouths off to Paul E. for calling Hyatt "used merchandise", so he takes a cellphone shot to the back of the head, making Paul Heyman my favorite wrestling performer of all time. Missy Hyatt bounces her way to ringside to scare Paul E. off.

"The Natural" Dustin Rhodes vs. "The Computerized Man of the 90's" Terrence Taylor (w/ Alexandra York & Mr. Hughes):

Since the last time I've covered a show feauring Taylor, he's turned heel to join the York Foundation, replacing the recently departed Mike Rotundo as the main member of the group. The funny thing is, that when he turned, he was introduced as his new nickname, BEFORE he turned heel at the end of the match. Got to love WCW. Lockup to start, as we find out later tonight, we'll be introduced to the newest member of the York Foundation. Whip to the corner, and Rhodes with a clothesline for two. Taylor rolls to the outside for a breather. Back inside, and Rhodes with a pair of atomic drops, both versions, followed by rights. Rhodes charges in, and posts himself with such velocity, he falls to the outside. Taylor brings Rhodes back in with a suplex, and drops a knee across the chest for a two count. Taylor with a jaw buster, and it's nice of him to sell it, as well. Taylor with a gutwrench powerbomb, but that only gets two. Whip to the ropes, and Rhodes surprises Taylor with a sunset flip for two, as well. They battle over a back slide, won by Rhodes, and that gets two. Whip to the corner, and Taylor eats boot charging in. Rhodes with rights and a signature bionic elbow, followed by mounted punches in the corner. Whip to the ropes, and Rhodes with a reverse atomic drop. The bulldog hits, but Hughes has the referee distracted. Ricky Morton comes in the ring, and the DQ sounds at 4:26. Morton joins Taylor and Hughes in beating down Rhodes. Here comes Big Josh with his axe handle, and he whacks Taylor with it. Morton is smart enough to roll out of the ring.

- Coming soon, to an arena near you... Johnny B. Badd. We see clips of Badd in action, looking very Tutti Fruiti. For thoe unfamiliar, Badd was played by jobber Marc Mero, doing his best to look exactly like Little Richard, a rock n' roll star from the 50's and 60's. Apparently a Dusty Rhodes idea, for those who care. The Badd character would remain very flamboyant, but Mero gradually phased it out and showcased some outstanding ability before injuries and poor booking choices turned him into nothing by the end of the decade.

Grudge Match: Sting vs. Nikita Koloff:

Why is this a grudge match? Because Koloff interrupted a classic tag team encounter between the Steiners, Sting, and Luger at SuperBrawl, and now Sting wants revenge! Or maybe because Koloff cost his team the match, one way or the other, Sting is out for some Red Russian blood. Sting, naturally, gets the best pop of the night, so far. He rushes the ring, and quickly gets pounded down to the canvas. Whip to the ropes, and Koloff with an elbow. Koloff with a slam, followed by a diving shoulder block. Koloff dumps Sting to the floor, and follows him out, sending Sting into the security rail. Sting quickly comes back with a piledriver, but Koloff no-sells it like his name was Hawk, and puts Sting back down to the canvas. Jim Ross notes we'll be talking to a winner of the Sting look-a-like contest, but who cares. Koloff continues to drag this on, and plants Sting with a tombstone piledriver, but a casual cover allows Sting to kick out at two. Whip to the ropes, and Sting goes for a sunset flip, but Koloff is too strong. He's too dumb, too, posing and allowing Sting to eventually finishes the move for a two count. Koloff remains in control, and connects with a back breaker for two. This just keeps dragging... Sting is taking a beating like a champion, but Koloff is moving at a very lethargic pace. Sting with another false comeback before going down courtesy a knee to the chest. Koloff with a snapmare, followed by an elbow to the midsection. The action spills to the floor, and Sting counters a whip into the rail, the first real offense to stun Koloff all match. Back inside, and Sting counters a tombstone with one of his own. This time, Koloff is hurting from it. Sting with a string of chops, rights, and boots. he crowd is alive, again. Whip to the corner, and the Stinger Splash misses. Koloff sets for the big clothesline, but Sting ducks, and rolls Koloff up for the three count at 9:27. Well, that came out of nowhere. I'm all for letting someone taking a beating to establish someones uppercard push, but I just wish it were more interesting.

- Tony Schiavone is in the ring to introduce us to the Rapmaster, P.N. News, and he has Salt N' Peppa with him... well, representatives of Salt N' Peppa, that is. After a ridiculously bad rap, Theodore R. Long comes to the ring with his new protege, Johnny B. Badd. Jesus Christ, this can't possibly get any worse. Marc Mero is honest to god creepy looking, wearing more makeup than a a Vegas showgirl. It's Rock n' Roll vs. hip Hop! Badd: "I'm the prettiest thing in World Championship Wrestling!" I guess it was at SuperBrawl where he said he's so pretty he should've been born a little girl.

Coming soon, to an arena near you... Diamond Dallas Page's newest protege, The Diamond Studd. You know, as bad as some of these gimmick are, it's a nice way to introduce everyone to the new batch of talent, with quick clips and actually saying "hey, look, these guys are new. Pay attention to them."

Loser Leaves WCW: Flyin' Brian & El Gigante vs. Arn Anderson & Barry Windham:

Nice to see that Pillman still has issues with Windham, but my God, what's with the random booking here... Loser Leaves WCW? Ugh, I smell a bad angle coming up. It's good to see Windham's hair grown out, since cutting it all off to impersonate Sting at the previous Halloween Havoc. Fun fact about Gigante that I'm sure I've mentioned before: he (Jorge Gonzales) was the 54th overall pick of the 1988 NBA Draft for the Atlanta Hawks, just to confirm speculation about wether the rumors were true or not about his basketball career. Anderson and Pillman lockup into the ropes, and Pillman quickly lays in with rights. Anderson goes for a hip toss, but Pillman counters with a back slide for two. Pillman counters a slam with a body press for another two count. Windham tags in, and Pillman hammers away on him, too, and comes off the ropes with a spinning heel kick for a two count. Pillman with a head scissors, and Windham escapes with a well placed right. Windham with a DDT, and a cover gets two. Whip to the corner is reversed, and Anderson greets Pillman coming with a knee. Anderson to the top, and Pillman dropkicks him to the floor! Pillman follows with a springboard body press, then brings it back in the ring, where Gigante greets Arn from the apron with a choke. Pillman with a powerslam on Windham, then launches himself off the shoulders of Gigante with a body press for two. Pillman with a powerslam on Anderson, but a trip to the top has him tosses off at. Anderson tricks Gigante to chase him around the ring, while Windham kicks Pillman in the face, and covers for three at 3:08. What is with the rushed matches on this show? Windham celebrates like he just won the World Title.

IWGP Tag Team Championship Match:
The Steiner Brothers vs. Hiroshi Hase & Masahiro Chono:

We get clips from the Japan Supershow, where the Steiners defeated the team of Hase and Kensuke Sasaki for the IWGP Titles. Chono is subbing here for Sasaki, if anyone cares enough to know. this is the Steiner Brothers first defense in the United States. Jim Ross makes sure to identify which man is Hase and which is Chono. Scott and Hase fight over a waistlock, before ending up in the ropes. Hase goes for the leg, but Scott quickly counters and pounds away. Whip to the ropes, and Hase with an enziguri, knocking Scott to the arena floor. Whip to the ropes is reversed, and Scott drops Hase across the top rope with a hot shot for a two count. Scott tries several more times for a pin attempt, but Hase fights to his feet and lays Scott out with a reverse heel kick. Scott surprises Hase with an overhead takedown, and tags out to the Dog-Face Gremlin. Rick pounds away on Chono, and Chono responds with a kick to the top of the head. The headgear got split in half! Chono with more boots, and Rick responds with a Steinerline. Scott tags in, and hoists Chono over his shoulders. Rick to the top, and he comes down with an elbow across the chest. Hase tags in and grabs a waistlock on Rick. It's quickly countered, and Rick with a release german suplex. Whip to the ropes, and Hase connects with a fireman carry slam. Chono heads to the top, and nails a diving shoulder tackle. Chono with a Samoan drop, and Hase adds a knee from the top rope. Chono turns Rick over with a single-leg crab, then turns it into a STF. Scott and Hase brawl outside the ring, and Scott takes him over with a suplex. Scott to the top, and he slips off the top rope, but he still manages to break the hold. Double clothesline puts both Rick and Chono down. Tags are made, and Scott nails a stiff clothesline, then follows with a tilt-o-whirl slam. Whip to the ropes, and Scott surprises Hase with a double underhook slam. Scott sets Hase up on the top rope, and takes him over with a belly-to-belly for two! Hase counters a suplex with a bridging full nelson suplex for two. Chono knocks Rick to the floor with an enziguri, and a double clothesline to Scott. Scott comes back with a Frankensteiner out of nowhere on Hase, and it's over at 8:14. Suddenly, the Hardliners, Dick Slater and Dick Murdoch, come in, and take out anything walking, but specifically target the Steiners. Good match, but a little sloppy at times. I've read Scott tore his bicep during this match, but he never seemed to show any signs of a painful injury.

Tommy Rich vs. The Diamond Studd (w/ Diamond Dallas Page):

Did we really need a show with two guys named Rich on it jobbing to Scott Hall and Kevin Nash? Rich doesn't get an introduction, a real slap in the face for a former World Champion and guy of midcard interest. DDP brings a random girl in the ring to remove Studd's stripper pants. Studd attacks Rich before the bell, and sends him hard to the corner. Whip to the ropes, and Studd counters a hip toss with a modified chokeslam. Studd rams Rich to the buckle over.. and over... and over. He's looking much bulkier than when he debuted in the WWF in the Fall of 1992. Diamond Studd with a side suplex, but a splash from the second ropes meet the knees. Rich takes his turns in ramming Studd to the buckle, but he misses a blind cross body press. Diamond Studd with the "Diamond Death Drop" (the Razor's Edge), and it's all over at 2:00. Well, that was quick.

#1 Contender's Match: "Total Package" Lex Luger vs. The Great Muta:

I don't understand how you need a contender's match, when Luger has already been declared the top ranked singles wrestler in WCW, and the fourth ranked is getting a title shot on the same card. Must be the rules of Boxing, where 9th ranked contenders get title shots, but not the true top contender. Luger is the reigning US Champion, by the way, and hey, Bill Kazmaier is sitting among the crowd! Muta spits the green mist as the bell rings, probably the highlight of the match. Lockup into the corner, and Luger offers a clean break. Lockup and repeat. Luger with a side headlock takeover, and Muta quickly counters with a head scissors. Back to a standing position, and Luger plows through with a shoulder block. Criss-cross, and Luger no-sells a chop, then takes Muta down with a back suplex for a two count. Luger with a scoop slam, but the jumping elbow drop misses to the surprise of nobody. Whip to the ropes, and Muta with a back drop. Whip to the ropes, and Luger takes Muta down with a press slam. Whip to the corner, and Luger misses a charge. Muta connects with a spinning kick to the chest. Whip to the corner, and the handspring elbow misses, and Muta takes a man-sized bump to the floor, just barely missing the ramp. That took balls. Luger blocks the mist using his wrists as a shield and catches Muta off the ropes with a powerslam for the three count at 3:42. Well, there wasn't much here, except for that 5-star bump from Muta towards the end.

- Coming soon, to an arena near you... Stunning Steve Austin. In fact, we're going to see Stunning Steve in action, next.

"Stunning" Steve Austin (w/ Lady Blossom) vs. "Jumpin' Joey Maggs:

Blink, and you're going to miss it, as time is rapidly running low on this broadcast. Lockup to start, and Austin quickly pounds away with rights. Whip to the ropes, and the Stun Gun connects for the three count at the 30-second mark.

- Coming soon, to an arena near you... Black Blood, managed by Kevin Sullivan. It's Billy Jack Haynes under a mask, playing a 18th century executioner type of character. He also had one of the worst hometowns known to man... "a little town in France", or something equally lame along those lines.

- The York Foundation introduces their newest member, RICHARD Morton, turning his back on the Rock N' Roll Express. I'm sorry, but Morton wearing a business suit and rocking a bleach-blond mullet just doesn't work. Robert Gibson quickly interrupts, coming back from a knee injury that kept him sidelined for 8-months. Morton keeps Taylor and Hughes from attacking, choosing to do it himself, and drilling Gibson with a piledriver. Dustin Rhodes interrupts the Insta-Feud! Another rushed segment.

WCW World Heavyweight Championship, 2 out of 3 Falls Match:
"Nature Boy" Ric Flair vs. "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton (TV Champion):

Honestly, this match was the only reason I bothered doing a recap of this show. Not because of being bad, but just very uninteresting. I vividly remember watching this live, and totally buying into the possibility of Eaton winning the title, which goes to show how awesome it was to be sucked into something, no matter how lame it might seem. I'm sure Eaton won the TV Title from Arn Anderson a month or so earlier, just to get that out of the way. Nice to still hear the Midnight Express theme. Fall #1: Lockup into the corner, and Flair offers a clean break and a "Woo." Lockup, and Eaton responds a push with a bitch slap. Flair with a side headlock, and they slug it out. Eaton comes off the ropes with a shoulder block, and drops a pair of elbows. Eaton charges, and sends Flair flying over the top rope with a clothesline. Back in the ring, and Flair works Eaton over in the corner. Eaton comes back with roundhouse rights, and Flair with a face-first flop. Whip to the corner, and Eaton takes Flair over with a back drop for a two count. Feeling out process until Flair kicks at the left knee. Whip to the ropes, and Eaton with a hip toss, and a short-arm scissors applied for a series of near falls. Flair attempts to counter, but Eaton keeps hold of it through several attempts. Eaton wraps the arm around the top rope and continues to pound away. Flair counters a hammerlock with a drop toe hold, then brings it to the corner, only to get bitched out, again. The action spills to the floor, with Eaton in pursuit. Flair catches him coming in with boots to the face, keeping the challenger on the floor. Flair throws Eaton face-first into the ring post, and continues to stomp away. Flair keeps Eaton trapped in the corner, with choking and chops. Snapmare, and Flair comes off the ropes with his signature knee drop for a two count. Flair with a double underhook suplex, but the referee spies him using the ropes for leverage. Eaton makes it to his feet and trades blows with Flair, taking over with a flurry of rights and lefts. Flair with a knee to the chest, but an unwise decision of going to the top rope backfires, and Eaton slams him down. Whip to the corner, and Flair is knocked to the arena floor. Whip to the ropes, and Eaton catches Flair coming with a back breaker. Eaton with a swinging neck breaker, and a scoop slam. Eaton to the top rope, and the Alabama Jam connects, and Eaton gets the first fall by pinfall at 9:45! Yes, Ric Flair did a clean job for the first fall to Bobby Eaton. That's how you sucker a crowd into buying into the challenger.

Fall #2: We've got a brief rest period while we see a replay of the finish. Flair continues to sell, and Eaton quickly comes in, pounding away with alternating rights and lefts. Flair pops back up on instinct and burries a boot into the midsection, but Eaton is still on a rush, and levels Flair with a right. Whip to the ropes, and Eaton takes Flair over with a back slide for two. Flair goes for a slam, but Eaton counters with a weight shift to land on top for another two count. Eaton with a swinging neck breaker, and he goes to the top rope one more time, but Flair is up, and shakes the ropes, sending Eaton crashing into the security rail. Eaton sells it like he just broke his leg, and Flair wins the second fall by Count-Out at 1:56. Damn "t.v. time remaining" crap...

Fall #3: Flair still sells the neck, and Eaton is still hurting on the floor. Flair throws Eaton back in the ring, but how wise was it? Eaton greets Flair with rights and sets him up across the top rope, then somehow takes Flair over with a super-plex. Flair is dead, but Eaton's knee is hurting too. Eaton slowly crawls over, and gets a two count. Flair pulls Eaton in tight, and takes Eaton down with a back suplex. Flair slaps on the Figure-Four, and Eaton is dead center in the ring. Flair with excessive use of the ropes, but the refere catches him, and forces the break. Flair goes for it again, and Eaton counters with a small package for two! Flair clips the knee almost immediately, pulls Eaton to the center of the ring, and slaps it on again. This time there's nothing for Eaton to do, but lay down from the pain, and the referee counts three, giving Flair the third and decisive fall at 2:44. Bullshit... this was getting real good, before the sudden rushing through the last two falls. They could've cut the rest of the show and gave this fourty minutes like it deserved. This had the markings of an outstanding match that was cut off at the knees. Still worth a watch, but disappointing knowing how good it was getting.

Final Thoughts: As I mentioned earlier, this isn't a bad show, but it's light on any interesting, noteworthy matches, thanks to over-booking (11 matches), a handful of talking segments, and let us not forget, commercial breaks. Most of the matches are entertaining for rush job situations, and the main event was a very solid, but rushed, championship match, but it's hard to recommend a show that really feels like you just watched nothing. I had to scroll up and count all the matches that happened, because half of them don't even register to me, even after just sitting through them. I do recommend trying to find a video of Flair vs. Eaton, but the rest is a big pass. Yo baby, yo baby, yo.

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