Rock Star Gary reflects on WCW Clash of the Champions XXII

Live from Milwaukee, WI

Airdate:  January 13, 1993

Attendance:  4,000

Hosted by Jim Ross & Jesse “The Body” Ventura

Experience the return of Thundercage! Also, will Steamboat and Douglas retain the unified tag team titles? Or will Austin and Pillman supplant them? Let’s find out!

On a podium, Tony Schiavone and WCW Executive Vice-President of Wrestling Operations “Cowboy” Bill Watts (smell the demotion!) open the show. After Watts reminisces about competing on an AWA show with the Crusher, he states that Van Hammer will not compete tonight due to an abscess following a muscle tear. Instead, Vinnie Vegas will take his place. Watts then suspends his son, Erik, due to the gas station altercation with Arn Anderson. Interestingly, the altercation in question turned Arn babyface and Erik heel rather than the other way around.

Backstage, Larry Zbyszko interviews Erik who flubs his words spectacularly. Meanwhile, the Milwaukee faithful chants “Erik Watts sucks.” That’s not a heel reaction but instead a “go away” reaction, folks.

Match 1: Cactus Jack versus Johnny B. Badd

Highlights:

  • Badd substituted for the suspended Erik Watts.
  • During his entrance, we revisit Starrcade ’92 when Badd and Cactus lost to Hammer and Spivey.
  • In a funny bit, Cactus countered an attempted Kiss that Don’t Miss with a “bang, bang.” HA!
  • He then gave Badd a cross corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
  • When Badd rolled him up, he got 2.
  • He then dropkicked Cactus but got reversed on a cross corner whip.
  • As Cactus charged, he ate boot.
  • Badd then hooked an inside cradle for another 2.
  • Upon delivering a back elbow, Badd mounted the top turnbuckle, leaped, but there was no water in the pool.
  • Cactus then hit an elbow drop and pinned Badd.

Rating: *

Summary:  While Cactus took advantage of a mistake by Badd, the Milwaukee faithful were firmly behind him.

Schiavone then mentions Muta’s victory over Chono for the NWA title at WCW/New Japan Supershow III.

Prior to the next match, a video airs featuring 2 Cold Scorpio.

Match 2: Scotty Flamingo versus 2 Cold Scorpio

Highlights:

  • As the Milwaukee faithful chanted “Scotty sucks,” Scorpio hip-tossed Flamingo.
  • He then kicked Flamingo to the concrete floor and nailed him with an axe handle.
  • Back in the ring, Flamingo dropkicked Scorpio over the top rope to the concrete floor.
  • He then hit a plancha, tossed Scorpio back into the ring, and attempted a slam.
  • When Scorpio countered with an inside cradle, he got 2.
  • Flamingo then delivered a snap suplex for 2.
  • After Scorpio hip-tossed him again, he dropkicked Flamingo.
  • He then slammed Flamingo, mounted the top turnbuckle, and gave him a Tucson splash. If he had not been facing Flamingo prior to the dive, it would have been a Phoenix splash. Nevertheless, he got 2.
  • As Scorpio gave Flamingo a cross corner whip, he came up empty on his follow-through.
  • Flamingo then rolled up Scorpio for 2.
  • Following a clothesline, Flamingo got another 2.
  • He then gave Scorpio a cross corner whip, but Scorpio floated over and hit a superkick.
  • When Scorpio delivered a corkscrew leg drop, he mounted the top turnbuckle and hit the Diss that Don’t Miss.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Scorpio won.

Rating: ***

Summary: Scorpio came to play, and Flamingo was game for it. Unfortunately, this was Flamingo’s last WCW supershow appearance. He wouldn’t return to WCW for four-and-a-half years.

We then revisit WCW Main Event when Vader interfered in a match between Cactus and Orndorff. Speaking of Orndorff, he piledrove Cactus during the melee. As Race and Orndorff restrained Cactus, Vader hit a splash. He then mounted the second turnbuckle and splashed Cactus again. Later in the show, they cut a promo until Cactus returned with a shovel. Cactus then cut a promo on them (aired 1/10, taped 1/6).

Promo airs for Slam Jam.

Match 3: Brad Armstrong versus Chris Benoit

Highlights:

  • Prior to this match, Benoit last appeared in WCW with Beef Wellington on Clash XIX.
  • Also, Ross mentioned Armstrong’s father–“Bullet” Bob Armstrong—as the commissioner of Smoky Mountain Wrestling.
  • Armstrong flipped out of a hip toss attempt and delivered one of his own.
  • Shortly after, he used momentum to send Benoit through the ropes to the concrete floor.
  • When Benoit tried the same trick, Armstrong didn’t fall for it and dropkicked him.
  • Benoit then hung Armstrong out to dry on the top rope and followed with a springboard clothesline that sent both wrestlers to the concrete floor.
  • As he clotheslined Armstrong, Benoit hit a snap suplex for 2.
  • Armstrong came back with a knee lift, but Benoit gave him a backbreaker.
  • Upon slamming Armstrong, Benoit mounted the top turnbuckle.
  • Armstrong then caught him, but Benoit head-butted him down to the mat.
  • When Benoit attempted the diving head butt, Armstrong evaded him.
  • He then delivered a swinging neckbreaker followed by an elbow drop for 2.
  • As Benoit rebounded with a dragon suplex, he pinned Armstrong.

Rating: ***

Summary:  Solid victory by Benoit in his WCW singles debut.

Video airs featuring the Rock’n’Roll Express. They will appear at SuperBrawl III on 2/21. Order NOW!

Next, footage from Smoky Mountain Wrestling is shown as the Rock’n’Roll Express squared off against the Heavenly Bodies with Jim Cornette.

Ventura then hosts the arm-wrestling segment. Since Vegas requests the match be contested left-handed, he beat Tony Atlas. I smell a payoff. He then cuts a promo on Van Hammer. Meanwhile, I seek and find popcorn.

Match 4: Z-Man & Johnny Gunn versus the Wrecking Crew

Highlights:

  • For those unaware, the Wrecking Crew were comprised of former Master Blaster Al Green (Rage) and Mark Laurinaitis (Fury).
  • When Z-Man escaped a gorilla press slam attempt, he charged at Rage and landed on the apron.
  • He then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a cross body block.
  • As he dropkicked Rage out of the ring, Z-Man gave an incoming Fury some of the same medicine.
  • Gunn then came in, delivered a tope, and skinned the cat back into the ring.
  • After Gunn tagged in, he mounted the second turnbuckle, and lowered the boom on Rage.
  • Next, heel miscommunication preceded a roll-up by Gunn for 2.
  • When Fury tagged in, he clotheslined Gunn and followed with a backbreaker.
  • Gunn then face-planted him and tagged in Z-Man.
  • As he hip-tossed Fury, Z-Man gave him a cross corner whip but fell victim to a gutwrench suplex.
  • Fury then delivered a sidewalk slam and tagged in Rage.
  • After Z-Man tried a cross body block, Rage caught and slammed him.
  • Fury tagged in, gave Z-Man a pair of cross corner whips, but got reversed on the third attempt.
  • When Z-Man charged, he ate a knee to the midsection.
  • Fury then mounted the second turnbuckle, leaped, but ate a superkick from Z-Man.
  • As Gunn tagged in, he backdropped Fury.
  • Gunn then clotheslined Fury and gave the Wrecking Crew a double noggin knocker.
  • After Rage nailed Gunn coming off the ropes, he tagged in and mounted the top turnbuckle.
  • The Wrecking Crew then hit the Wrecking Ball (over-the-shoulder backbreaker/double axe handle combo).
  • 1-2-3.
  • The Wrecking Crew won.

Rating: **

Summary:  Despite their victory, the Wrecking Crew became enhancement talent for the remainder of their WCW tenure. Furthermore, this was Gunn’s final WCW supershow.

Backstage, Zbyszko interviews the Blonds. Pillman did all the talking while Austin did all the scheming.

Promo #2 for Slam Jam airs.

On a podium, Schiavone interviews Sting who will face Vader in the “White Castle of Fear” match at the PPV. How scary are those little cheeseburgers? Nonetheless, Sting cuts a quick promo on Vader. Afterward, Rhodes and Ron Simmons join him, and Sting is pumped for Thundercage.

Backstage, Zbyszko interviews Race’s team. Race cuts a promo on Cactus and promises that Orndorff will take care of him someday. Next, he fires Barbarian for being “associated with Cactus Jack.” Barbarian then attacks Race until Vader intervenes. After Vader short-arm clotheslines Barbarian, Orndorff PILEDRIVES him on the floor. GET OUT THE SPATULA!

Promo airs for SuperBrawl III. Included are highlights from the first two SuperBrawl events. The main highlight certainly was Stan “The Lariat” Hansen’s brutal humiliation of Missy Hyatt.

Backstage, Zbyszko interviews the World tag team champions.

Match 5 for the NWA and WCW World tag team titles: Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat & Shane Douglas versus the Hollywood Blonds

Highlights:

  • While Pillman and Austin haven’t christened themselves the Blonds as of this show, Austin wore a robe bearing “Lights, Camera, Action” on the back.
  • Steamboat hooked an inside cradle on Austin for 2.
  • As he secured a somersault roll-up, Steamboat got another 2.
  • He then hit a cross body block but couldn’t get 3.
  • With all four wrestlers in the ring, Douglas dropkicked Pillman out of the ring.
  • Pillman tagged in and gave Steamboat a cross corner whip.
  • When Steamboat jumped to the second turnbuckle, he leaped over and hip-tossed Pillman.
  • He then dropkicked Pillman who got nailed by Douglas.
  • After Douglas tagged in, he mounted the top turnbuckle and lowered the boom on Pillman.
  • Steamboat tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, and provided his own boom on Pillman.
  • As Douglas tagged in, he mounted the second turnbuckle and supplied even more boom to Pillman.
  • Steamboat tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, and chopped PIllman. They must have run out of boom.
  • When Douglas tagged in, Pillman leap-frogged him yet hurt his left knee. Ross seemed skeptical as to the validity of the knee injury.
  • From the apron, Pillman attempted a springboard move, but Douglas powerslammed him for 2.
  • Austin tagged in while Ventura trashed Rush Limbaugh. HA!
  • After Steamboat tagged in, he delivered an Anderson slam to Austin.
  • Douglas tagged in, hooked a sunset flip, and got 2.
  • As Austin rolled up Douglas while grabbing the trunks, he got 2.
  • Douglas then escaped a backslide attempt, jumped to the second turnbuckle, and hit a butt butt to Austin for 2.
  • When Steamboat tagged in, the champs gave Austin a double hip toss followed by a Steamboat-assisted splash by Douglas.
  • Again, all four wrestlers were in the ring while Steamboat pressed PIllman onto Austin.
  • Speaking of Austin, he whipped Steamboat into a Pillman forearm before delivering a belly-to-back suplex.
  • After PIllman tagged in, he gave Steamboat a cross corner whip and slammed him for 2.
  • He then baited Douglas to distract referee Mike Adkins and tossed Steamboat over the top rope to the concrete floor. SNEAKY!
  • As Austin slammed Steamboat on the concrete floor, Douglas nailed him.
  • Pillman then guillotined Steamboat with the top rope, yet Steamboat tried to suplex PIllman outside the ring.
  • When Austin halted those shenanigans, Pillman suplexed Steamboat back into the ring for 2.
  • He then face-planted Steamboat and rubbed his face into the mat.
  • Although Steamboat hooked a sunset flip, Austin distracted Adkins so that Steamboat could only earn a 1-count.
  • Austin tagged in and hit a gutwrench suplex to Steamboat.
  • After Austin used momentum to send him into the heel corner, Steamboat chopped PIllman causing him to taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Colonel Mustard at AJ Bombers.
  • Austin then delivered a second belly-to-back suplex to Steamboat for 2.
  • As Steamboat escaped an over-the-shoulder backbreaker, Austin applied a second one.
  • PIllman tagged in, attempted a springboard clothesline, but CLOBBERED Austin instead of Steamboat.
  • When Steamboat climbed the ropes, he delivered simultaneous chops to the Blonds.
  • He then escaped a belly-to-back suplex attempt from Pillman and hit one of his own.
  • Hot tag Douglas.
  • With all four wrestlers in the ring yet again, Douglas gave Pillman a belly-to-belly suplex.
  • Austin then mounted the top turnbuckle and DEMOLISHED Douglas with a double axe handle.
  • As he placed Pillman atop Douglas, Austin clotheslined Steamboat.
  • Do we have new champions?
  • 1-2-NO!
  • Steamboat then pulled him down to the concrete floor, but Austin grabbed one of the tag team belts.
  • While Douglas rolled up Pillman, Austin CLOCKED Douglas with it.
  • Adkins noticed the chicanery and called for the bell disqualifying the Blonds.
  • Steamboat and Douglas retained.

Rating: ****

Summary:  Excellent match that followed the tag formula to a tee. If only the Blonds can find a way to cheat without getting caught..

After the match, Pillman gives Steamboat a DDT, mounts the second turnbuckle, and creams a BUSTED OPEN Douglas with the tag team belt. The Blonds then whip Steamboat with the tag team belt before officials and wrestlers break up the melee.

We then revisit the WCW World title change from 12/30/92 in Baltimore.

In the ring, Ventura interviews the NEW WCW World champion Vader with Race. As Race plugs his charge as a long-reigning champion, Simmons hits the ring. He challenges Vader, but Race nails him. As Simmons retaliates, he brawls with Vader. He then gives Vader a spinebuster to the delight of the Milwaukee faithful.

Upon beating the cream cheese out of Race in the aisle, Simmons succumbs to the wrath of Vader. While the fight continues, Vader splashes Simmons on the concrete floor. He then delivers a pair of shoulder breakers until Sting and Rhodes rescue Simmons. Methinks Simmons will require a replacement for the main event.

Match 6 (Thundercage): Sting, the “Natural” Dustin Rhodes, & ???? versus WCW World champion Big Van Vader, Barry Windham, & “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff

Highlights:

  • The match began with the heels having a 3-on-2 advantage.
  • When Sting slammed Orndorff, Rhodes slammed Windham.
  • Rhodes then gave Windham a cross corner whip followed by a back drop.
  • As Windham rebounded with a slam, he missed an elbow drop.
  • Rhodes then gave Windham another cross corner whip along with the ten-punch count-along.
  • After a clothesline by Rhodes, Sting tagged in unbeknownst to Windham.
  • Sting then face-planted and gorilla-press-slammed Windham.
  • When Vader tagged in, Sting nailed him numerous times but couldn’t take him off his feet.
  • He then delivered an inverted atomic drop to Vader and followed with a DDT.
  • As Sting hit the Stinger splash, he manhandled Vader until Windham interfered.
  • He then gave Vader a cross corner whip resulting in a Vader flip to the apron.
  • Upon charging Vader, Sting got nailed.
  • Vader then mounted the top turnbuckle and delivered a flying body block.
  • When he slammed Sting, Vader mounted the second turnbuckle but missed a splash.
  • Sting then clotheslined Vader over the top rope to the concrete floor.
  • As Orndorff came in, he gave Sting a German suplex.
  • Orndorff tagged in and clotheslined Sting.
  • After a pair of elbow smashes, Orndorff tagged in Windham.
  • Speaking of Windham, he mounted the top turnbuckle and lowered the boom on Sting.
  • He then suplexed Sting for 2.
  • When Vader tagged in, he gave Sting a cross corner whip and an avalanche.
  • He then clotheslined and gorilla-press-dropped Sting.
  • As Windham tagged in, he placed Sting atop the top turnbuckle, joined, but Sting knocked him down to the mat.
  • Rhodes tagged in and delivered a lariat to Windham.
  • After he backdropped Windham, Rhodes gave him a cross corner whip and a corner clothesline.
  • He then supplied another ten-punch count-along to Windham while Cactus Jack arrived with bolt cutters.
  • When Orndorff tagged in, Windham tried to cut Cactus off at the pass.
  • It didn’t work as Cactus entered the ring and WALLOPED the heels with his left boot.
  • As Vader sandwiched Rhodes in the corner, Orndorff tossed Cactus out of the ring.
  • He then sent Sting down to the concrete floor and attempted to piledrive Rhodes.
  • While Cactus mounted the top turnbuckle, he PLASTERED Orndorff in the back of the neck with his boot.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Sting, Rhodes, and Cactus won.

Rating: ***

Summary:  Exciting main event where Cactus Jack saves the day to send the Milwaukee faithful home happy.

After the match, Vader mounts the top turnbuckle, but Sting catches and slams him down to the mat.

Tune into WCW Saturday Night and catch Orndorff versus Cactus!

At ringside, Ross interviews Cactus who cuts a promo on Orndorff and Vader. He then climbs the Thundercage to the thrill of the Milwaukee faithful.

Conclusion:  The excellent tag title match alone should create your desire to watch this show. If not, the Thundercage, Benoit, and Scorpio matches put the cherry on top of my recommendation.

In addition, this show marks the final WCW supershow appearance of Jim Ross. More details of this story will be supplied within my SuperBrawl III reflection.

ADDITIONAL BREAKING NEWS IN WCW: Uncle Paul has been fired! WCW fired him due to allegedly falsified expense reports. While the point of contention was the hotel stays at the Ramada Inn in Atlanta, Uncle Paul stayed there under a pseudonym in order to maintain privacy. He also paid cash. Although the motel vouched for him and drafted paperwork that verified Uncle Paul’s presence, WCW had finally had their fill of Uncle Paul and fired him.

But there’s more to the story! Since Uncle Paul was known to be confrontational, Executive Vice-President “Cowboy” Bill Watts allegedly used an anti-Semitic slur against him in the presence of others. Hence, Uncle Paul and great uncle Richard sued WCW for wrongful termination and won a substantial yet undisclosed settlement. I wonder where Uncle Paul will wind up next.

Thanks, Commissioner Gordon!

Rating: 2.90

Stay tuned for WWF Royal Rumble ‘93!

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