WCW Wednesday: Part XI – The Reviving Elbow Edition!

On January 25, 1995, WCW held Clash of the Champions XXX in Las Vegas, NV telecast live on TBS. In an effort to promote SuperBrawl V, Hulk Hogan and “Macho Man” Randy Savage teamed up to face Dungeon of Doom members the Taskmaster (Kevin Sullivan) and the Butcher (a.k.a. Brutus Beefcake).

Let’s go to my review of the match:

Match 5: Kevin Sullivan and the Butcher versus WCW World Champion Hulk Hogan and “Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/ Jimmy Hart)


  • Buffer rumbled.
  • Hogan clotheslined Butcher in the corner.
  • High knee from Hogan to Butcher.
  • Hogan missed the Axe Bomber then Butcher applied the sleeper.
  • Hogan passed out, and the Butcher thought he won.
  • While Butcher and Sullivan celebrated on adjacent corners, Savage mounted the opposite top turnbuckle and delivered his patented elbow drop. Huh?
  • The move woke the Hulkster up! It’s the reviving elbow!
  • Successive atomic drops sent Sullivan and Butcher to the floor.
  • After Savage tossed Butcher back into the ring, Hogan hit the Axe Bomber.
  • Double big boot from the Monster Maniacs.
  • Sullivan and Butcher deliver a back drop to Savage sending him over the top rope to the floor.
  • Tony claimed the match should have ended by disqualification, but referee Randy Anderson was occupied by Hogan on the opposite side of the ring.
  • Butcher made Savage eat the steel railing. No waiting at the casino buffet for him.
  • He then ran Savage into the ring post.
  • Sullivan continued the dirty shenanigans by running Savage into another ring post.
  • Moments later, Savage ate the ring post yet again.
  • Savage was tied to the Tree of Woe and Sullivan delivered a knee to the gut.
  • Make that 2.
  • Butcher applied the sleeper. Will Hogan give Savage the reviving leg drop?
  • Jawbreaker by Savage.
  • Hot tag Hogan.
  • Big boot from Hogan to Butcher.
  • After Hogan slammed him, Savage dropped the big elbow. Does he wake up too?
  • Nope. Hogan gave him the leg drop and got the victory.

Rating: *1/2

Summary: Sports-entertainment at its finest here as the reviving elbow rallies Hulkamania to continue. On a different note, a boring heat segment on Savage extended this match well beyond its expiration date.

Where did it lead: Yes, folks, with Hogan unresponsive due to a Butcher sleeper, Savage broke the fourth wall and woke up his PARTNER by using his finishing maneuver on him. There are three schools of thought about this:

  1. Old school fans will recall that Hogan no-sold the elbow drop at WrestleMania V. Hence, a move that Hogan was supposedly immune would have the inverse effect than other wrestlers who have succumbed to it. In kayfabe, that works.
  2. On the other hand, those of us who have done more than just peek behind the curtain might argue that kayfabe was completely broken by Hogan’s revival courtesy of one of the most familiar finishing maneuvers in wrestling.
  3. As most of us are well aware, Hogan had complete creative control over his character in WCW. In this instance, his ego was bigger than his partner’s signature move, and the reviving elbow made a mockery of wrestling.

What are your thoughts on the reviving elbow?

Also, please be sure to check out all of my reflections at rockstargary.com.