WCW Clash of the Champions XXIII

Live from Norfolk, VA
Airdate: June 16, 1993
Attendance: 6,000
Hosted by Tony Schiavone and Jesse “The Body” Ventura
Tony and Jesse welcome us to the Norfolk Scope and promote the return of “Nature Boy” Ric Flair to the ring. Our double main event starts with a six-man tag match involving Sid Vicious, “Ravishing” Rick Rude, and WCW World Heavyweight champion Vader against Sting, The British Bulldog, and “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes and finishes with a best 2 out of 3 falls match for the WCW World Tag Team titles as The Hollywood Blonds defend against “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson.  Jesse informs us that Paul Orndorff is injured but will be at ringside as “Dirty” Dick Slater takes his place against Ron Simmons.


Match 1: Ron Simmons versus “Dirty” Dick Slater (w/ Paul Orndorff)
While “Don’t Step to Ron” brings “The All-American” Ron Simmons to the ring Madusa Miceli’s former squeeze is accompanied by the World Television champion “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff. Tony states that Paul is suffering from a groin injury. After a lockup Simmons gets a right hand on Slater then an atomic drop.
Another lockup leads to a Slater single-leg takedown and toehold. Simmons kicks him into the ropes and monkey-flips him. Where’s Dusty Rhodes to say that he’s funky like a monkey? A slam and a shoulderblock get a quick 2 count for Simmons. Slater bails to ringside to regroup. Upon his return a test of strength occurs.
Slater whips Simmons off the ropes, but Simmons sunset-flips him. Slater nails him to end that rally. A fired up Simmons then goes to work on Slater and hiptosses him out of the corner. He gets into a three-point stance, but Orndorff hooks his leg. In order to take advantage of the distraction Slater gives him a forearm shiver.
Slater hammers on Simmons then applies a swinging neckbreaker for a 2 count. Simmons put his leg on the ropes to break the count. Orndorff gets on the apron to congratulate Slater prematurely, but Simmons can’t capitalize. They go toe-to-toe until Simmons tries a slam; however, Slater escapes. Simmons comes off the ropes, ducks a clothesline, and powerslams Slater for the pin. **
Call the WCW Wrestling Hotline at 1-900-909-9900 to hear the recap of the Clash!
WCW Beach Blast will be on PPV on Sunday, July 18! Call to order now!
Eric Bischoff and Larry Zbyszko are on camera and preview the NWA title match between Barry Windham and 2 Cold Scorpio. Bischoff then introduces the guest ring announcer for that match–Michael Buffer. Bischoff then interviews Buffer who offers a decent opinion on the current state of WCW.
Match 2: Marcus Alexander Bagwell versus Lord Steven Regal (w/ Sir William)
For those unfamiliar Sir William is Superstar Bill Dundee–former two-time AWA tag team champion when he wrestled alongside Jerry “The King” Lawler. As Regal is introduced Tony and Jesse have the following hilarious exchange:
Jesse: “I love this guy, Schiavone!”
Tony: “Why? Because he turned his nose up at everyone?”
Jesse: “No, ‘cuz he’s got clean fingernails. That’s hard to find in Virginia.”
After a lockup Regal gains the advantage with a single-leg takedown into an armbar. Bagwell counters with his own armbar. Immediately Regal counters with a somersault and hooks a hammerlock. Bagwell reverses, but Regal snapmares him. A Regal headlock is quickly countered back into Bagwell’s armbar.
Regal counters with a drop toehold into a front chancery. Instantly Bagwell counters with a hammerlock. Regal elbows his way out of that then delivers a forearm. Bagwell quickly retaliates and goes back to work on the arm. Initially it appears Bagwell will cross-corner whip Regal; instead, he yanks the arm flipping Regal to the canvas giving him a pained facial expression.
Regal counters the Bagwell armbar with a couple of forearms and a European uppercut. He then whips Bagwell off the ropes and clips him. After a couple of kicks to the knee he snapmares Bagwell into the ropes. A single-leg takedown is followed by a stomp to the head. Again Regal snapmares him into the ropes.  He then grabs Bagwell’s left leg and drives his knee into the mat.
While Regal maintains a toehold on Bagwell Tony informs us that Catherine White will be in Cleveland this week in her quest to find Cactus Jack. I wonder if AJ Styles is with him. Bagwell counters with a sweet reverse enziguri. He then whips Regal off the ropes, but Regal sweeps the leg and goes back to work on it.
Another European uppercut segues into a drop toehold by Regal. Bagwell twists out of the toehold flipping Regal in the air. He follows with a couple of kicks to the midsection and his own forearm shot. Continuing the onslaught he gives Regal a back body drop. Next he whips Regal off the rope, hiptosses him, and floats on top for a 2 count.
When Regal attempts to grab the leg Bagwell hooks a backslide for 2. A running clothesline keeps Regal down. A rope sequence leads to a rollup by Bagwell. Regal uses momentum to roll through but botches it. He gets the pinfall regardless. **1/2
Eric Bischoff interviews Maxx Payne who offers to give Johnny B. Badd his Badd Blaster back. Johnny B. Badd comes out to receive it, but Payne shoots it off in Badd’s face instead. Having been shot off the platform Badd writhes in pain on the concrete floor.
Match 3: Maxx Payne versus Johnny B. Badd
Gary Michael Cappetta informs us that due to Badd’s injury Maxx Payne wins by forfeit. Z-Man runs from the back to confront Payne. He tries to whip Payne off the ropes but gets reversed. Z-Man ducks a clothesline and gives Payne a superkick and a dropkick. He then whips Payne off the ropes and gives him another dropkick.
Z-Man works Payne over in the corner and rams his head into the turnbuckle. Payne absorbs the blow though. He reverses a cross-corner whip sending Z-Man shoulder-first into the corner. When Z-Man rebounds from the corner Payne applies the Payne-killer. Referees Nick Patrick and Randy Anderson break the hold and stop the impromptu fight. No match = no rating.
REAL Match 3 for the NWA title: Barry Windham (champion) versus 2 Cold Scorpio
Michael Buffer asks us to man our battle stations, but he sank my battleship! Feeling out process to start until Scorpio delivers a dropkick. A collar-and-elbow tie-up leads to a Windham armbar. But out of nowhere Scorpio slams him. Windham takes him to the corner, cross-corner whips him, and follows with a clothesline.
Windham gives Scorpio another cross-corner whip but Scorpio floats over him. Double-leg takedown by Scorpio is followed by an attempt at a Boston crab, but Windham hooks the ropes. Never to miss a chance to make fun of the venues he visits Jesse says that the Norfolk Scope Coliseum was named after the mouthwash. HA!
Anyways, Windham takes over with a kick to the chest then gives him a top rope clothesline. He slams Scorpio then drops the knee to the forehead. Next he hooks Scorpio for a vertical suplex, floats over, and gets a 2 count. Scorpio mounts a brief comeback then whips him off the ropes; however, he misses the dropkick.
Windham takes advantage by delivering a DDT to Scorpio for a long 2 count. He tries to slam Scorpio, but Scorpio hooks an inside cradle for 2. He follows up with a gutwrench suplex for another 2 count. Windham thinks he has Scorpio where he wants him, but Scorpio rallies with a dropkick. Windham ends that with a short lariat to the midsection.
To continue the punishment Windham picks Scorpio up and drops him on the top rope then tosses him outside the ring. When Scorpio gets on the apron Windham hammers him in the chest. Scorpio comes back with a couple of shoulders to the midsection then instead of sunset flipping Windham he gives him a Thesz press for 2.
However, when Windham returns to his feet he puts a boot in the midsection then gives Scorpio a standing dropkick. He whips Scorpio off the ropes and gives him a Samoan drop for another 2 count. After a couple of rights Windham plants Scorpio with a belly-to-back suplex for yet another 2 count. He whips Scorpio off the ropes again, goes for the Samoan drop again, but gets countered into a sunset flip for 2.
Rudely Windham gets up and clotheslines him. He tries another belly-to-back suplex, but Scorpio counters with his own. After a poke in the eye Windham hoists Scorpio onto the top turnbuckle in order to deliver his patented superplex. Rather Scorpio blocks and front suplexes Windham. Scorpio then flies off the top with a splash for a very near fall. A short rope sequence culminates with a huracanrana from Scorpio. He follows with a right hand and a superkick. Next he comes off the ropes and flips Windham into a rollup for 2.
Scorpio slams Windham then gives him a springboard splash for another long 2 count. A missile dropkick should put Windham out and give Scorpio the title, right? NO! Windham’s out at 2. Scorpio tries to come off the ropes again but Windham sends him outside. Immediately Scorpio returns and tries another springboard but eats a right hand. Windham delivers the leaping DDT for the pin. ***
Backstage Eric Bischoff interviews Dustin Rhodes, Sting, and the British Bulldog. Sting informs us that the Masters of the Powerbomb will not master him.
Match 4: “Ravishing” Rick Rude, Sid Vicious, and WCW World Heavyweight Champion Big Van Vader (w/ Colonel Rob Parker and Harley Race) versus Sting, The British Bulldog, and “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes
Not only is this match decidedly 5 on 3, but Rude also has the Halliburton briefcase with the US title inside. Sting and Rude start the match. Sting grabs a headlock with Rude valiantly but unsuccessfully trying to break it twice with an overhead wristlock. He escapes and applies a hammerlock but gets countered. He then backs Sting into the corner and takes over with a back elbow. He whips Sting off the ropes, gets reversed, and receives a back body drop.
Sting military-presses Rude over his head and tosses him onto Vader and Sid. Sting goes after Sid and Vader but doesn’t forget that Rude’s behind him and nails him too. Rude tries to slam Sting but gets hooked with an inside cradle instead.  Rhodes tags in looking to carve some Rude meat for dinner. He gives Rude some patented Dusty moves finishing with the bionic elbow to put Rude on the mat. He makes a cover. Vader comes off the ropes to squash Rhodes but ends up squashing Rude.
Bulldog and Sid tag in. Sid takes over initially but after getting leapfrogged he ends up getting pinballed with punches by the faces. Bulldog slams him then Sid thinks he can exit the ring on the face side and gets crotched on the second rope by Sting. With a surprised look on his face Sid gets clotheslined by Sting and then by Rhodes on the adjacent apron.
Again Sid gets a quick advantage and whips Bulldog off the ropes; however, he gets shoulderblocked to the mat. Rhodes tags in. Sid takes him to his corner so he can tag Vader in. Rhodes pinballs Vader with punches in the corner then gives him a vertical suplex. After a few elbows to the chest Rhodes drives an elbow to Vader’s right leg. He follows with a short clothesline to keep Vader down.
Rhodes mounts the top turnbuckle but misses the elbowdrop thanks to Rude shaking the ropes. Vader gives Rhodes a clothesline which Dustin sells with a 360 degree flip. Subsequently Vader hits the Vaderbomb but only gets 2. Rude tags in and works Dustin’s back with forearms. He follows with a gourdbuster for a 2 count.
Rude hooks Rhodes for another gourdbuster but receives one instead. Sid tags in and works over Rhodes. He takes Rhodes down with a side headlock but Rhodes counters with a headscissors. Amazingly Sid nips up and delivers a vicious clothesline to Rhodes for another 2 count.  Vader tags in and pounds Rhodes into roadkill in the corner.
Vader mounts the second turnbuckle but receives a powerslam from Rhodes. Rude tags in and they do the tombstone piledriver reversal spot. Rhodes plants him so hard even Stone Cold Steve Austin would cringe. Sid makes the save.  A false tag occurs and both Sid and Vader put the boots to Rhodes. Sting and Smith come in to stop the heel shenanigans.
Sting and Vader are on the floor, but Sting tries the Stinger splash and eats the steel railing instead. As the chaos continues Vader grabs the Halliburton and nails Rhodes with it. Rude makes the cover and gets the pin. After the match Vader powerbombs Smith. Rude tries to cream Rhodes with the Halliburton again, but Sting snags it from him and chases off the heels. **1/2
To set up the next match here is A Flare for the Old:
Match 6 for the WCW World Tag Team titles: The Hollywood Blonds (champions) versus “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair and “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson
The crowd loves the Horsemen as they make their way to the ring. Meanwhile “Stunning” Steve Austin rolls his imaginary camera and “Flyin’” Brian Pillman snaps the clapperboard when they make their entrance. Michael Buffer asks us to get ready to RUUUUUUUUUUUMBLE!
Anderson and Pillman start. Pillman takes Anderson to the corner, backs up, and rolls his imaginary camera at him. Anderson responds with throwing Pillman down. Pillman briefly takes over until Anderson throws a couple of left hands. A cross-corner whip by Pillman gets reversed. Pillman tries to float over, but Anderson catches him and drops him throat-first on the top rope.
Austin tags in and makes machinations to Anderson that he’s got a beer belly. A short rope sequence culminates with an Anderson leg sweep. The crowd chants “We Want Flair” so Arn tags him in. The crowd ERUPTS! Two years in the making! Flair uses a thumb to the eye and goes to work on Austin in the corner. Following that he cross-corner whips Austin and back body drops him!
Flair brings Pillman in the hard way and rams his head into the turnbuckle as Austin is occupied by Anderson. Flair grabs Austin by the mouth and takes him to his corner to work him over. As Anderson posts Austin’s leg Flair makes Pillman eat some chops. Next he cross-corner whips Pillman and gives him a back elbow. Austin retreats.
When Austin returns Flair takes him to the corner and goes to work on him. He then takes him to his corner to eat an Anderson knee. Arn tags in and stomps a mudhole in him. He stomps on the arm and then gives him the Anderson slam. Flair tags in and gives Austin a snapmare followed by a kneedrop to the head. Next he lays out Pillman with a chop just for looking at him.
Anderson tags back in as the Horsemen focus on Austin’s arm. Pillman causes Flair to distract the referee so Austin whips Anderson into a Pillman choke with the towel. Anderson breaks with a jawbreaker, but Austin puts the boots to him. Austin chokes him to distract the referee again. Pillman takes advantage by using the towel again on Anderson.
Pillman tags in and returns the favor on the jawbreaker. Valiantly Anderson tries to fight back, but Pillman bites his face to thwart that effort. Austin tags back in and puts a knee into Anderson’ back. Anderson headbutts Austin but gets run into Pillman’s boot shortly thereafter. Pillman tags back in and rams Anderson’s head into the mat. He rubs Anderson’s face into the mat like Flair did to Ricky Morton in 1986. You can relive that moment here if you like.
Pillman controls with a front facelock then takes Anderson back to his corner for some double-teaming. Austin tags in and gives Anderson a vertical suplex. Subsequently he takes Anderson to the corner but Arn fights back sending Austin to the center of the ring. As Anderson tries to make a tag Austin tries to cut him off but Anderson backtracks so that Austin jumps into the ropes.  Thinking he still has the advantage Austin rolls his imaginary camera at Anderson. Out of spite that earns him a DDT.
Pillman tags in as Flair gets the hot tag. Flair mounts the top turnbuckle and chops Pillman on top of the head. He chops Austin then nails Pillman. After a couple of chops he cross-corner whips Pillman and gives him an inverted atomic drop. Austin comes in but Flair whips him off the ropes and sends him over the top rope with an elbow.
Flair mounts the second turnbuckle above Pillman to administer the ten punch count with the fans, but Austin breaks it up. The Blonds whip Flair off the ropes. Flair ducks. Anderson trips Austin from the outside and Flair pins Pillman after a flying forearm. Horsemen are up one fall to zero. Before going to commercial Buffer mistakenly believes the match is over despite announcing a best 2 out of 3 falls match in the beginning.
When we return from commercial Flair and Pillman start the second fall. Pillman takes Flair to the corner and chops him three times. Flair returns fire with two chops and a right hand. Pillman switches and gives him three more chops. Then Pillman cross-corner whips him, but Flair does a Flair flip and chops both Pillman and Austin consecutively.
As Flair is on the apron Pillman shoves Flair to the floor. As Pillman distracts the referee Austin gives Flair a vertical suplex on the floor. Flair gets up and drags Pillman down to the floor with him. Pillman chops him four times, rakes the eyes, and rams Flair’s head into the steel railing. Austin takes over for him on the floor and drops him face-first on the steel railing. At this point the only thing Flair can do is a Flair Flop.
Pillman brings Flair into the ring and tags in Austin. Flair gets chopped by Austin and then choked with the towel by Pillman behind the referee’s back. Austin hoists Flair onto the top turnbuckle and gives him a textbook superplex. As Anderson rallies the fans behind Flair Austin cross-corner whips Flair and then puts the shoulder into Flair’s midsection. Flair tries to fight back, but Austin puts the boots to him in the corner.
Flair retaliates with a kick to the midsection followed by a couple of chops, but he can’t tag out. Pillman tags back in and chops Flair twice. Flair comes back with two chops of his own before shooting Pillman off the ropes. Pillman ducks a clothesline and both men collide. Austin tags back in, and Flair…makes the tag!
Anderson comes in and whips Austin off the ropes to give him a back body drop. Immediately he whips him again and delivers a shot to the midsection. Anderson whips him a third time and gives him his patented spinebuster. Before the referee can count Pillman makes the save. Flair distracts the referee and Pillman clips Anderson’s knee. Austin makes a cover but only gets 2.
Pillman tags back in and immediately goes to work on the knee. He takes Anderson to the corner, but Anderson headbutts him. Pillman tries to cross-corner whip him, but Anderson’s knee gives out. Pillman gets a 2 count using the ropes. Austin tags back in and continues to work on the knee. Anderson counters  but can’t escape Austin’s clutches in order to tag out.
Pillman tags back in and stops Anderson’s efforts to tag Flair. He then applies a single leg crab. Austin applies pressure to Pillman’s head behind the referee’s back. While Pillman has Anderson by the leg Arn gets to his feet and gives him an enziguri! Austin tags back in and keeps Anderson in the ring. He drags Anderson back to his corner and distracts the referee. Meanwhile Pillman whips Anderson’s leg against the edge of the apron.
Pillman gives Anderson a snapmare and heads to the second turnbuckle. He tries a double axehandle, but Anderson makes him eat boot instead. Desperately Anderson makes the tag to Flair. Instantly Flair heads to the Blonds’ corner and chops Austin. He whips Austin off the ropes and chops him down. Next he tosses Pillman over the top rope. Supposedly Patrick didn’t see it. Flair chops Austin then gives him a belly-to-back suplex.
As Flair sets up for the figure-four leglock Barry Windham runs to the ring and nails Flair! The referee calls for the bell to disqualify the champs. Since the Horsemen didn’t win both falls by pinfall or submission the titles do not change hands. From out of the crowd “Pretty” Paul Roma comes in to help his fellow Horsemen. He assists Anderson in clearing out the Blonds. Anderson pushes Windham out of the ring to get him off Flair. ****
Tony interviews Windham who cuts a promo on Flair before Flair jumps on top of him. Security separates them as we are outta time!
Conceptually the Clashes were precursors to the PPVs in order to set the table for them. While the tag match was red hot with a schmoz ending it set up the NWA title match between Flair and Windham at Beach Blast. In the meantime it also set up Roma and Anderson versus the Hollywood Blonds. In our other main event the table is definitely set for the Masters of the Powerbomb versus Sting and Bulldog. Also the Rude-Rhodes storyline progressed well there. In addition the Badd-Payne story got an added twist for the blow-off at the PPV. Lord Steven Regal’s new character is a breath of fresh air to WCW. His heel schtick was very underrated and his wrestling acumen speaks for itself. I would personally like to thank Adam for giving me the opportunity to review this show.
Stay tuned to more Rock Star Gary reviews in the coming weeks!

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