–Eric Bischoff, Dusty Rhodes, and Randy Savage are calling the action and they are live from Daytona Beach, Florida. This is the kickoff show for Clash of the Champions XXXI.
–Opening Contest: Johnny B. Badd (26-4-2) defeats Big Bubba Rogers (20-5-1) after reversing his momentum during a body slam attempt at 3:14:
Badd and Rogers have been forgotten about since early 1995 and this match is a signal to fans who might be positioned for bigger things later. Badd wows the crowd with a somersault plancha but Rogers catches him in the mid-section when he tries a flying ax handle. However, when Rogers tries a body slam, Badd uses the ropes to block the move and crashes down on Rogers for the winning fall. With more time, these two could have done much more. Rating: *
–Gene Okerlund interviews Kevin Sullivan. Sullivan says when his mother was dying, she reached out and told him that he was no good. Okerlund demands to know who the Dungeon is going to choose to face Hulk Hogan later, but Sullivan refuses to say anything.
–The Nasty Boys (38-4-2) defeat Los Especialistas when the Nasties pin each member after an elbow drop at 2:44:
Los Especialistas are jobbers, but they get an entrance in their attempt to avenge a defeat to the Nasties on the July 1 episode of WCW Saturday Night. The motivated Especialistas pound away on Brian Knobbs, using a flying elbow drop and a top rope splash. The Especialistas get too cocky, though, trying the Nasties “swing your partner into the opponent in the corner” spot, missing it, and allowing Sags to get the hot tag. That soon seals their fate as the Nasties do some double teams and capture a simultaneous pin to end the contest.
–After the bell, the Nasties tear off the Especialistas masks after much difficulty to reveal Ricky Santana and Fidel Sierra, who wrestled earlier in the year as the Cuban Connection. Bischoff yells about Los Especialistas being exposed as if people ever cared about the jobber team.
–Brian Pillman (22-4) beats Marcus Bagwell (2-4) after a crossbody off the ropes at 4:27:
Like the opener, this babyface encounter is not given a lot of time so both men do a quick blitz match. Bagwell dropkicks Pillman out of the ring and follows with a pescado and then we get a double KO spot when Bagwell tries a missile dropkick and Pillman tries to block it with a dropkick of his own. A nasty stomachbreaker by Bagwell gets two, a tornado DDT by Pillman gets two, and then Bagwell hits a superplex for another near-fall. Both men proceed to run the ropes with Pillman and Bagwell both trying crossbodies and Pillman ends up on top after the collision for the win. This was a great way to showcase both guys while keeping each strong for future programs. Rating: ***
–Non-Title Match: Hulk Hogan (WCW Champion w/Jimmy Hart) (3-0) defeats Kamala (w/Kevin Sullivan) (6-1) via disqualification when the Dungeon of Doom interferes at 4:27:
It might be odd that Hogan is not wrestling on the Clash broadcast, but his contract allowed for a bigger payday that WCW could not afford while it was in cost cutting mode, so we get this special match on Main Event instead. It does get the Michael Buffer treatment, though, as seeing Hogan wrestle on free television was still a big deal in 1995. Even though Hogan was supposedly in the dark about his opponent, he comes to the ring in Kamala-like face paint and smacks his belly on the way to the ring. This match follows an abbreviation of the Hogan template, with Hogan kicking out of Kamala’s splash at one, hulking up, and the Dungeon of Doom predictably runs in to try to get at Hogan. Rating: ¾*
–After the bell, Sting and Randy Savage hit the ring to help Hogan fight off the Dungeon of Doom. Well, Sting and Hogan do all the work while Savage gets in at the end when the ring has been cleared out. This is likely to be the headline program for Fall Brawl but in that case, why not let the Dungeon do a beatdown so they have some heat going into that show?
–Okerlund interviews Hogan, Savage, Sting, and Jimmy Hart. Hogan screams “boom shaka laka” as he declares war on the Dungeon of Doom. He pledges to invade the Dungeon later during The Clash of the Champions. So what is the Dungeon’s mailing address? Slamboree, where the Dungeon story began, was held in St. Petersburg so it must be somewhere there. Hogan must have his bags packed because the trip from St. Petersburg to Daytona Beach is about two and a half hours by car.
The Last Word: This was one of the better Main Event pre-shows since WCW began using the concept. The show included a lot of serviceable, if quick, wrestling and provided enough time to continue the existing Hulk Hogan-Dungeon of Doom storyline. Since there was no pay-per-view to promote that probably helped as the company was able to treat this as an unofficial third hour of Clash of the Champions instead of hyping other bouts to attract last second pay-per-view buys.
Up Next: Clash of the Champions XXXI!