Rock Star Gary reflects on NWA Clash of the Champions IX: New York Knockout

Live from Troy, NY

Airdate: November 15, 1989

Attendance:  4,000

Hosted by Jim Ross & Gordon Solie

New York Knockout? Are we referring to these bunch of termagants? Seriously, Flair and Funk battle in an “I Quit” match to settle their feud. Also, the Midnight Express square off against the Dynamic Dudes. In a rematch, Pillman seeks to dethrone Luger for the US title. If that’s not enough, the Steiners face the Skyscrapers. What are you waiting for? Read on!

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WCW Wednesday: Part XXXV – the Pilot Episode Edition!

Back on September 4, 1995, WCW began what became a five and one-half year trek into weekly prime time television that would significantly impact the competition between them and the WWF. While I won’t detail the entire history of the series, I present to you the pilot episode of WCW Monday Nitro.

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Monday Nitro – March 26, 2001 (Final Episode Plus Final Thoughts On Nitro)

Monday Nitro #288
Date: March 26, 2001
Location: Boardwalk Beach Resort, Panama City, Florida
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson

I can’t believe I actually typed that. After over five and a half years, we’ve actually arrived at the final episode of Monday Nitro. Tonight is the Night of Champions show with every title being defended. Other than that there’s been an open call to all former WCW World Champions to show up and bring their gear. That could be interesting or a big disappointment and I’ll let you guess which I’m expecting. Let’s get to it.

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Rock Star Gary reflects on NWA Clash of the Champions III: Fall Brawl

Live from Albany, GA

Airdate: September 7, 1988

Attendance:  3,700

Hosted by Tony Schiavone, “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, Jim Ross, & Bob Caudle

Prior to the first match, Tony acknowledges that the “Total Package” Lex Luger is Flair’s toughest test to date. Methinks Rhodes did NOT write that line for him.

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Rock Star Gary reflects on NWA Clash of the Champions II: Miami Mayhem

Live from Miami, FL

Airdate: June 8, 1988

Attendance:  unknown

Hosted by Tony Schiavone & Bob Caudle

While the initial Clash stands on its own as a spectacular, this Clash serves as a promotional vehicle for the upcoming Great American Bash tour. Get out your beach umbrella, fruity cocktail, and sunscreen as we head to Miami, Florida for some NWA wrestling action!

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WCW Wednesday: Part XXXII – the Title Unification Edition!

Due to WCW’s Disney tapings in 1993, a fallout occurred between WCW and the NWA because of WCW’s portrayal of someone other than the NWA champion wearing the NWA belt. Rather than eliminate the title altogether, WCW renamed it the WCW International World title.

By July 1994, the usefulness of the WCW International title had run its course so to speak; hence, WCW booked a unification match at Clash XXVII on July 23. At the time, Sting was the WCW International champion while Flair was the WCW World champion. Since these guys knew each other really well, let’s see how the match went according to my reflection…

Match 5 for the WCW World title unification: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (WCW World champion) versus Sting (WCW International World champion)

Highlights:

  • As Heenan replaced Ventura on commentary, Flair came out first.
  • Buffer rumbled.
  • After the introductions, Sensuous Sherri came down the ramp. Upon hiding behind a mask, she revealed herself wearing the exact style of face paint as Sting.
  • At the onset, Sting gave Flair a pair of gorilla press slams.
  • That resulted in a Flair flop on the floor.
  • Interestingly, Flair, who had been a babyface since his return to WCW, made heel gestures toward the crowd.
  • After a series of clotheslines by Sting, he delivered a hip toss and a dropkick.
  • Flair then attempted the figure-four leg lock, but Sting got a sloppy cradle for 2.
  • While a huge “Sting” chant emanated from the crowd, Sting missed a Stinger splash.
  • Subsequently, Flair asked referee Randy Anderson for the time then tossed Sting over the top rope when he wasn’t looking. As you know, he’s the “dirtiest player in the game.”
  • Regardless, Flair tried to pin Sting with his feet on the ropes.
  • He then made a second attempt at a figure-four but was thwarted.
  • After a sleeper by Flair, a Flair flip put Flair on the apron but Sting clotheslined him down.
  • Sting then put Flair on the top turnbuckle and delivered a top rope superplex.
  • However, he then missed a top rope splash.
  • Next, a delayed vertical suplex by Flair was no-sold by Sting.
  • He then clotheslined Flair over the top rope to the floor.
  • When Sting attempted a plancha, Flair put Sherri directly in his path. Nice bump, Sherri.
  • As Sting was distracted with Sherri, Flair rolled him up with a handful of tights for the victory!

Rating: ***1/2

Summary: These guys have had better matches in the past. Unfortunately, in this match, the psychology was all over the place. Due to their almost unparalleled chemistry, this match-up never became boring. Yet this match’s only historical significance was the unification itself.

After the match, the crowd cheers for Flair’s victory as a dazed Sherri enters the ring. Shockingly, she and Flair embrace. WE HAVE A HEEL TURN! She and Flair double-team Sting including two Sherri splashes.  Being the hero to millions, Hulk Hogan emerges from the dressing room to confront Flair, but the ”Nature Boy” avoids the leg drop and bails. Sherri appears to be caught in the middle of the ring, but she slaps Hogan. To save her skin, Flair drags Sherri from the ring. Your Bash at the Beach main event stands before you and boosts the match rating up ½*.

So where did it lead:  While the title unification resided on the forefront, the signing of Hulk Hogan stood in the background like a ticking time bomb. In order to placate Hogan, Flair had to turn heel to elicit the “appropriate” reaction for the Hulkster. Since BatB ’94 generated a 1.02 buyrate, I would surmise that Hogan’s politics worked. In fact, he even became WCW World champion in his first WCW match!

What do you think of this match from Clash XXVII?

Please be sure to check out all of my reflections at rockstargary.com.

Rock Star Gary reflects on NWA Clash of the Champions

Live from Greensboro, NC

Airdate: March 27, 1988

Attendance:  6,000

Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross, and Bob Caudle

In previous reflections, we learned that Vince McMahon and the WWF initially opposed Starrcade ’87 with Survivor Series then subsequently Bunkhouse Stampede with Royal Rumble on USA. With the help of TBS, Jim Crockett Promotions counter-attacked by opposing WrestleMania IV with this show. Back in 1988, despite my admiration for Savage, I tuned in to watch this show instead. Let’s see what transpired.

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