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Rock Star Gary reflects on WCW Clash of the Champions XV: Knocksville USA

Live from Knoxville, TN

Airdate:  June 12, 1991

Attendance:  5,000

Hosted by Jim Ross & Tony Schiavone

Can “Beautiful” Bobby become champion? How is Jason Hervey involved? Read on!

Match 1 (six-man): The Young Pistols & Z-Man versus WCW US tag team champions the Freebirds & Badstreet (w/ Diamond Dallas Page & Big Daddy Dink)

Highlights:

  • For those unaware, Badstreet was portrayed by Brad Armstrong.
  • After Z-Man dropkicked both Freebirds, the Pistols hit stereo cross body blocks to them.
  • Hayes tagged in against Smothers and gave him a cross corner whip. On the other hand, he came up empty on his follow-through when Smothers floated to the apron.
  • As Garvin mounted the top turnbuckle, Steve caught and slammed him down to the mat.
  • The Pistols then slingshot Z-Man from the apron into the ring allowing Z-Man to hit a double clothesline on the Freebirds.
  • When Hayes nailed Smothers with his VICIOUS left hand, Badstreet clotheslined Smothers over the top rope to the floor.
  • Garvin then reversed a cross corner whip from Badstreet who double-clotheslined Z-Man and Steve to the floor.
  • Outside the ring, Hayes whipped Smothers into an elevated guillotine using the steel railing. OUCH!
  • Badstreet then made Smothers taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the 9th Street Philly at Not Watson’s Kitchen & Bar.
  • As Smothers got up on the apron, Garvin booted him back-first into the steel railing.
  • When the Freebirds and Badstreet tried to triple-team Smothers, all six wrestlers were in the ring.
  • The Freebirds then tossed all three babyfaces out of the ring.
  • As the babyfaces hooked stereo sunset flips, referee Bill Alfonso counted a triple pin for the babyfaces.

Rating: **

Summary:  Way too short to be worth anything, but the Pistols seemingly got revenge for losing to the Freebirds at SuperBrawl.

A promo for the Great American Bash sweepstakes airs featuring Robin Leach. By the way, Great American Bash ’91 will be LIVE on PPV on 7/14.

Match 2: Oz (w/ the Great Wizard) versus Johnny Rich

Highlights:

  • After a hip toss, Oz gave Rich a flying shoulder block.
  • He then clotheslined Rich who celebrated with a 360° sell. Woohoo!
  • As Oz attempted a pin, he picked Rich up at 2.
  • He then gave Rich a big boot followed by a sidewalk slam.
  • To complete the squash, he delivered the helicopter slam and pinned Rich with one foot on Rich’s chest.

Rating: DUD

Summary: Showcase match for Oz.

Video featuring P.N. News airs.

Match 3: “Dangerous” Dan Spivey versus Big Josh

Highlights:

  • Unlike at SuperBrawl, Josh didn’t bring bears with him to the ring.
  • Bart, leave us alone and go locate Stan Hansen already.
  • When Spivey gave Josh a cross corner whip, he followed with a corner clothesline.
  • Spivey then gave Josh a big boot, attempted a vertical suplex, but ate one himself.
  • After a clothesline and a cross corner whip, Spivey came up empty on his follow-through.
  • Big Josh then delivered a belly-to-back suplex as Kevin Sullivan came to the ring.
  • Obviously, he’s never owned a hair brush because his hair stood straight up from mask removal. C’mon, Kevin, at least try to hide your double identity as the Great Wizard.
  • As Josh came off the ropes, Sullivan nailed him with a crutch to the back.
  • Spivey then clotheslined Josh from behind and hit a German suplex with a bridge.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Spivey won.

Rating: *

Summary:  Showcase match for Spivey as Sullivan attacked Josh on Black Blood’s behalf.

WCW TOP 10:

Champion: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair

  1. The “Total Package” Lex Luger
  2. The Great Muta
  3. El Gigante
  4. “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton
  5. Nikita Koloff
  6. Sting
  7. The “Enforcer” Arn Anderson
  8. Barry Windham
  9. One Man Gang
  10. “Stunning” Steve Austin

 

DANGER ZONE: Uncle Paul interviews Jason Hervey from ABC’s The Wonder Years. As you would expect, Uncle Paul monopolizes the microphone to besmirch Hervey. He then asks Hervey if he’s dating Missy Hyatt, and Hervey admits to such vile behavior. When Uncle Paul asks Hervey about being in love with her, Hervey dodges the question (smart man) and teases Uncle Paul about getting beaten up by Missy.

Uncle Paul rebuts by calling Missy “used merchandise.” BURN! As Hervey abruptly ends the interview. Uncle Paul FLATTENS him with his cell phone. Wow! Missy bounces to the ring to chase Uncle Paul from the ring and to check on Hervey. According to Tony, Hervey is “OUT COLD.”

Match 4: The “Computerized man of the 1990s” Terrance Taylor (w/ Alexandra York & Mr. Hughes) versus the “Natural” Dustin Rhodes

Highlights:

  • Rhodes reversed a cross corner whip and followed with a corner clothesline for 2.
  • After an atomic drop, Rhodes gave Taylor a cross corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through. In fact, he fell out of the ring.
  • Taylor joined and made Rhodes taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Big Tex at Stock Burgers.
  • With Rhodes on the apron, Taylor suplexed him into the ring.
  • He then gave Rhodes a modified tiger driver for 2.
  • Not THAT kind of Tiger driver!
  • As Rhodes came back with a sunset flip, he got 2.
  • Rhodes then countered a swinging neckbreaker with a backslide for another 2.
  • When Taylor gave Rhodes a cross corner whip, he ate boot on his follow-through.
  • Rhodes then delivered the Flip, Flop, and Fly followed by the ten-punch count-along.
  • After an elbow drop, he got 2.
  • He then gave Taylor an inverted atomic drop and a bulldog.
  • Before Rhodes could achieve a pin, Hughes got up on the apron to distract referee Mike Adkins.
  • Rhodes then turned his attention to Hughes as Ricky Morton entered the ring.
  • Seeing Morton in the ring, Adkins called for the bell to disqualify Taylor.

Rating: *

Summary:  More angle than match as you will see.

After the bell, Hughes hits Rhodes in the kidneys while wearing the heinous black glove. Morton then attacks Rhodes as it looks like he’s joined the York Foundation. WE HAVE A HEEL TURN! As the heels triple-team Rhodes, Josh hits the ring with his axe handle to clear them from the ring.

Video featuring Johnny B. Badd airs.

After a commercial break, we revisit SuperBrawl when Koloff cost Sting and Luger the titles when he nailed Sting with a chain.

Match 5: Sting versus Nikita Koloff

Highlights:

  • As Koloff made his entrance, Ross shilled the 6/23 show at the Omni. That show would contain Flair’s last match in WCW for two years. More on this during my Great American Bash ’91 reflection.
  • Sting hit the ring ready to attack Koloff but ate a back elbow.
  • After a slam, Koloff delivered a flying shoulder block.
  • He then tossed Sting outside the ring, joined, and whipped him back-first into the steel railing.
  • When Sting came back with a piledriver, Koloff no-sold it.
  • He then gave Sting a tombstone piledriver for 2.
  • When Sting attempted a sunset flip, Koloff fed him a knuckle sandwich instead. I believe Sting prefers salsalito turkey instead.
  • Regardless, Koloff celebrated for the Knoxville faithful only for Sting to roll him up for 2.
  • After a backbreaker, Koloff got 2.
  • He then delivered an elbow drop and tossed Sting outside the ring.
  • Upon joining Sting, Koloff received a whip sending him back-first into the steel railing.
  • Koloff then attempted another tombstone piledriver, but Sting reversed it.
  • As Sting gave Koloff a cross corner whip, he attempted the Stinger splash but came up empty.
  • Koloff then attempted the Russian sickle but came up empty as well.
  • Upon rolling Koloff up, Sting got the pin to a raucous ovation.

Rating: **

Summary:  Sting was on defense from the moment the bell rang until the finish. That does NOT bode well for a good match rating from me.

Schiavone’s in the ring and introduces PN News with Salt-N-Pepa. Unfortunately for us, he performs rather than them. Suddenly, Badd and Teddy Long come to the ring and diss PN News.

Video featuring the Diamond Studd airs.

Match 6 (loser leaves WCW): Barry Windham & the “Enforcer” Arn Anderson versus “Flyin’” Brian Pillman & El Gigante

Highlights:

  • Pillman countered a hip toss by Arn with a backslide for 2.
  • When Arn attempted a slam, Pillman fell on top for a 1-count.
  • Windham tagged in, reversed an Irish whip, but ate a spinning heel kick for 2.
  • Next, he gave Pillman a DDT for 2.
  • Arn tagged in, got reversed on a cross corner whip, yet gave Pillman a knee to the midsection during the follow-through.
  • As Arn mounted the top turnbuckle, Pillman dropkicked him down to the floor.
  • He then gave Arn a plancha and tossed him back in.
  • When Arn went to the babyface corner, El Gigante grabbed him.
  • PIllman then gave Windham a powerslam, mounted the top turnbuckle then El Gigante’s shoulders, and hit a cross body block for 2. Wow!
  • After Pillman powerslammed Arn, he mounted the top turnbuckle, but Windham upset his balance sending him face-first to the mat.
  • While El Gigante applied the claw to Arn outside the ring, Windham punted Pillman in the face off-camera.
  • 1-2-3.
  • PILLMAN MUST LEAVE WCW!

Rating: **

Summary:  Too short to have a match with this type of stipulation. I smell a ruse. Perhaps, Pillman will enlist some canine assistance to investigate.

GREAT AMERICAN BASH UPDATE: Uncle Paul shills the Great American Bash tour around the country culminating on 8/25 in the Omni. As he shills the upcoming PPV, we revisit moments from Great American Bash ’90 when Sting captured the NWA World title from Flair.

We then revisit WCW-NJPW Supershow ’91 when the Steiners won the IWGP tag titles.

Match 7 for the IWGP tag team titles: The Steiners (champions) versus Masahiro Chono & Hiroshi Hase

Highlights:

  • After a leap frog, Hase delivered an enziguri to Scott sending him between the ropes to the floor.
  • Scott returned to the ring and gave Hase a stungun for 2.
  • When Hase gave Scott a thrust kick, Scott took him down and tagged in Rick.
  • Chono tagged in and delivered a Yakuza kick to Rick. Amazingly, the kick BROKE Rick’s headgear. Wow!
  • Upon receiving a couple more kicks, Rick gave Chono a Steinerline.
  • Scott tagged in, hooked Chono in an over-the-shoulder backbreaker, and tagged in Rick.
  • As Rick mounted the top turnbuckle, he delivered an elbow drop to the prone Chono as they both fell to the mat. Innovative!
  • Hase tagged in, but Rick gave him a release German suplex.
  • Next, Hase hit a fallaway slam and tagged in Chono.
  • While Chono mounted the top turnbuckle, Hase lifted Rick so that Chono could shoulder block him.
  • Chono then gave Rick a Samoan drop as Hase hit a knee drop from the top rope.
  • As Scott distracted referee Nick Patrick, Chono applied the STF to Rick.
  • In the meantime, Scott and Hase fought outside the ring, and Scott made Hase taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Boo Radley at the Blackhorse Pub.
  • Scott then suplexed Hase on the floor, mounted the top turnbuckle, but missed Chono.
  • After Scott made the save, a double clothesline put both Rick and Chono down on the mat.
  • Tags were made on both sides, and Scott delivered a Steinerline to Hase.
  • Afterward, he gave Hase a tilt-a-whirl slam.
  • Hase then reversed an Irish whip, but Scott caught him with a butterfly bomb.
  • Upon placing Hase on the top turnbuckle, Scott delivered an overhead belly-to-belly suplex for 2.
  • Hase then escaped a vertical suplex and hit a dragon suplex on Scott.
  • Do we have new champions?
  • 1-2-NO!
  • Rick made the save.
  • While all four wrestlers were in the ring, Chono gave Rick an enziguri sending him flying out of the ring.
  • Hase and Chono then double-teamed Scott until Scott hit a Frankensteiner on Hase.
  • 1-2-3.
  • The Steiners retained.

Rating: ****

Summary:  Holy smokes, they crammed a shitload of wrestling into eight minutes. This was great topped with awesome sauce. Give these guys twenty minutes at the PPV, and it could top the match at the Supershow.

After the match, Dick Slater and Dick Murdoch hit the ring to ambush the Steiners. Slater gives Scott a swinging neckbreaker and tosses him out of the ring. As Murdoch removes Slater’s boot, Murdoch WHACKS Rick’s arm with it. Remarkably, two days later in St. Louis, Scott tore his bicep and wouldn’t return until November.

Match 8: The Diamond Studd (w/ Diamond Dallas Page) versus Tommy Rich

Highlights:

  • Before the match began, a “studette” with DDP’s urging peeled Studd’s pants off.
  • As Studd gave Rich a cross corner whip, Ross mentioned that Murdoch and Slater have been fined $5000 for their nefarious actions. Oh my, the Dicks got screwed!
  • ..
  • Studd then countered a hip toss with a chokeslam.
  • After a sidewalk slam, Studd ate knees on a Vader bomb attempt.
  • He then reversed a cross corner whip, but Rich leaped to the second turnbuckle.
  • When Rich attempted a cross body block, Studd ducked.
  • He then gave Rich the Diamond Death Drop.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Studd won.

Rating: DUD

Summary:  Showcase match for the “undefeated” Studd. Actually, Studd had lost to Zenk on 6/7 in Green Bay, WI.

At ringside, Ross interviews the winner of the Sting look-alike contest—Ben. According to Meltzer, that is Ben Sullivan—Kevin’s son. After Ben tells Ross how much he admires the Stinger, Sting comes out and high-fives him. Abruptly, Koloff comes to ringside and gives Sting a chain-wrapped Russian sickle. How dastardly! He then makes Sting taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the William Wallace at the Jig & Reel. When Koloff turns his attention to Ben, Ben’s mother hops the steel railing to protect her son. After WCW head of security Doug Dillinger escorts Koloff away from the ring, Ben checks on Sting. Good angle!

Promo for the WCW Bruise Cruise airs.

Match 9 (non-title): WCW US Champion the “Total Package” Lex Luger versus the Great Muta

Highlights:

  • Winner of the match will challenge Flair for the WCW World title at Great American Bash ’91.
  • Sitting at ringside was Bill Kazmaier, three-time World’s Strongest Man.
  • According to Ross, Luger bulked up to 292 from 275. Hmmm…
  • After a leap frog, Muta chopped him, but Luger no-sold it.
  • Muta then attempted a thrust kick, but Luger ducked and delivered a belly-to-back suplex for 2.
  • Upon slamming Muta, Luger missed an elbow drop.
  • Muta then gave Luger a back drop, but Luger reversed an Irish whip and gave him a gorilla press slam.
  • After a cross corner whip, Luger came up empty on his follow-through.
  • Muta then hit a spinning thrust kick and gave Luger a cross corner whip.
  • When he attempted the handspring elbow, Luger dodged him causing Muta to fly over the top turnbuckle to the floor.
  • Muta then escaped a suplex, tried to mist Luger, but Luger blocked it.
  • As Muta came off the ropes, Luger powerslammed him.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Luger won.

Rating: **

Summary:  Showcase match for Luger who will face Flair at Great American Bash ’91.

Video featuring “Stunning” Steve Austin airs.

Match 10: “Stunning” Steve Austin (w/ Lady Blossom) versus “Jumpin’” Joey Maggs

Highlights:

  • Right off the bat, Austin gave Maggs a stungun.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Austin won.

Rating: DUD

Summary:  Showcase match for Austin. Twenty seconds on his first WCW supershow? No wonder Austin was pissed at WCW.

Video featuring Black Blood airs.

In the ring, Schiavone interviews York who presents the newest member of the York Foundation—Richard Morton—who comes out wearing a suit. I’m surprised he didn’t use his bandana for his pocket square. Suddenly, Robert Gibson comes to the ring ready to reform the Rock’n’Roll Express. When Taylor and Hughes try to nail Gibson, Morton calls them off.  Morton then decks Gibson himself and delivers a piledriver. Quickly, Rhodes hits the ring to shoo the York Foundation from the ring. Allegedly, all the baby mamas among the Knoxville faithful were crying due to the break-up.

Match 11 for the WCW World title (2 out of 3 falls): “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (champion) versus “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton

Highlights:

First fall:

  • Upon giving Flair a pair of elbow drops, Eaton clotheslined Flair over the top rope to the floor.
  • Flair returned only to eat a series of rights from Eaton. That resulted in a Flair flop.
  • After Eaton gave Flair a cross corner whip, he followed with a back drop for 2.
  • He then nailed Flair causing the champion to seek refuge outside the ring.
  • As Eaton joined him, Flair beat Eaton in a game of cat-and-mouse.
  • Flair then hit a knee drop for 2 while the Knoxville faithful chanted “Bob-by.”
  • After a gutwrench suplex, Flair tried to pin Eaton with his feet on the ropes for 2.
  • He then gave Eaton an elbow smash and mounted the top turnbuckle.
  • When Eaton caught him, he slammed Flair down to the mat.
  • He then gave Flair a cross corner whip resulting in a Flair flip.
  • As Eaton delivered a backbreaker, he followed with a swinging neckbreaker.
  • He then slammed Flair, mounted the top turnbuckle, and hit the Alabama Jam.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Eaton led 1-0.

Second fall:

  • When Flair chopped him, Eaton responded with a right causing Flair Flop #2.
  • Eaton then countered a hip toss with a backslide for 2.
  • As Flair tried to slam him, Eaton fell on top for another 2.
  • He then gave Flair a second swinging neckbreaker, attempted to mount the top turnbuckle, but noticed Flair regained his feet.
  • Upon nailing Flair, Eaton mounted the top turnbuckle, but Flair shook the top rope.
  • That caused Eaton to lose his balance and fall all the way down to the floor.
  • As a result, Eaton was counted out.
  • The match stood at one fall apiece.

Third fall:

  • To begin the fall, Flair joined Eaton and tossed him back in.
  • Eaton then nailed and placed Flair atop the top turnbuckle.
  • Upon joining Flair, Eaton delivered a superplex for 2.
  • Flair came back with a belly-to-back suplex and hooked a rope-assisted figure-four leg lock.
  • After referee Nick Patrick noticed Flair’s shenanigans, Flair made a second attempt.
  • However, Eaton countered with an inside cradle.
  • Do we have a new champion?
  • 1-2-NO!
  • Flair then further injured Eaton’s knee and reapplied the figure-four.
  • As Flair hooked the ropes, Patrick counted the pin.
  • Flair retained.

Rating: ***1/2

Summary:  Inserting Eaton into the Flair formula worked wonders as Flair elevated Eaton to his level. While fifteen minutes seems criminally short for a best 2-out-of-3 falls match, Eaton’s stamina may have caused an issue if the match lasted over twenty minutes.

According to Ross, Flair, having successfully defended the WCW World title, will face Luger at Great American Bash ’91.

Conclusion:  This show served as a turning point for WCW as you will see with my Great American Bash ’91 reflection. Having said that, the main event along with the IWGP tag title match are great examples of the excellent wrestling produced by WCW. Also, the heel turn by Morton along with the destruction of Jason Hervey make this show a no-brainer to recommend.

See you for WCW Great American Bash ‘91!

Rating: 3.90

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202). Also, please be sure to check out all of my reflections at rockstargary.com.