The SmarK Rant for WCW Clash of the Champions XV: Knocksville USA!
Oh, you can tell Dusty is booking again from those quality show titles.
The original rant was sometime in early 1998 for this one, so much like Superbrawl it’s time to revisit now that we’re at that point in the Flashbacks. I also did a re-rant in 2006 but I was in a really bad mood at the time or something, so let’s hit this one a THIRD time.
Live from Knoxville, TN
Your hosts are Jim Ross & Tony Schiavone
The Freebirds & Badstreet v. The Young Pistols & Tom Zenk
Jimmy Garvin’s back was all jacked up at this point, and yet they still put both the US and Six-Man titles on the Freebirds. The Freebirds might have the most out-of-proportion entourage based on their position on the card ever, as they’re packing Big Daddy Dink, Diamond Dallas Page, and the Diamond Doll (Kimberly) at ringside, plus lackey Badstreet as their partner. The faces clean house to start as the Freebirds bump all over the ring, so Garvin must have been on the really good shit. Tracy gets caught with a cheapshot from Badstreet and dropped on the railing outside. Damn, speaking of big bumps. The Birds triple-team Tracy and clean house, but make the classic mistake of claiming victory too early, which allows all three babyfaces to come in with sunset flips for the triple pin at 4:50. I think we’ve seen everything that Freebirds v. Pistols could possibly have to offer at this point, honestly. **
THE GREAT AND POWERFUL OZ v. Johnny Rich
The entrance is a bit more subdued than the Superbrawl debut, but still stupid. Nash throws Rich around and hits a sideslam before finishing with the helicopter slam at 1:25. Much more impressive than the first squash. ½*
PN News: Coming to an arena near you! I wish I had an app to warn me about that.
Dangerous Dan Spivey v. Big Josh
Fun fact: Big Josh is an “avid outdoorsman”. The things you learn on these shows. Josh slugs away to start as I have the following conversation with my wife about Spivey:
“Why do his eyes look like that?”
“Because he’s crazy. It says it right in his name: He’s Dangerous Dan.”
“That doesn’t mean he has to be crazy. He should just put his eyebrows down.”
Can’t argue with that. Josh counters a suplex, but Spivey hits him with a clothesline, then misses a charge and Josh suplexes him out of the corner. This brings out Kevin Sullivan to hit Josh with a crutch, which the ref somehow misses, and Spivey finishes with a german suplex at 2:52. Well that was brisk. *1/2
And now, the WCW Top Ten!
(The WCW Top Ten does not provide medical advice. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material, contained on The WCW Top Ten is for educational purposes only. Results May Vary: Causes for being overweight or obese vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as typical. Whether genetic or environmental, it should be noted that food intake, rates of metabolism and levels of exercise and physical exertion vary from person to person. This means weight loss results will also vary from person to person. Unless it’s Kevin Owens, who will always be fat.
The content is not intended in any way as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on The WCW Top Ten.)
10. Stunning Steve Austin
9. One Man Gang
8. Barry Windham
7. Arn Anderson
5. Nikita Koloff
4. Bobby Eaton
3. El Gigante
2. Great Muta
1. Lex Luger
World Champion: Ric Flair
The Danger Zone with Paul E. Dangerously, and his guest Jason Hervey. MULLETS EVERYWHERE. Dangerously “interviews” Hervey by cutting him off after every question and then calling Missy Hyatt “used goods”. Well, he’s not WRONG. At this point I give my wife a brief explanation of what a skanky ho-bag that Missy was at this point, and then Missy runs out and she goes “Oh, now I see.” Hervey decides to fight back, so Dangerously smashes the phone on his head in an awesome bit as Dangerously runs away. And from this we basically got the Bischoff-Hervey backstage partnership that persists to this day.
Dustin Rhodes v. Terrence Taylor
Dustin quickly gets a corner clothesline for two and follows with a pair of atomic drops, but he misses a blind charge and flies to the floor. And because it’s Tennessee, there’s an old lady in the front row who is PISSED about it. Taylor suplexes him back in for two, and a gutwrench powerbomb gets two. That old lady is INTO IT, yelling with every move and cheering for Rhodes. Good for her! Dustin makes the comeback as Taylor bumps higher with every elbow because his job probably depended on it, and Dustin gets the bulldog while Mr. Hughes distracts the ref. Dustin goes after him, but new York Foundation member Richard Morton comes in for the DQ at 4:30 and the York Foundation beatdown is on. Short but energetic. **
Sting v. Nikita Koloff
Sting charges in on fire, but Koloff just destroys him with a clothesline to cut him off, and he goes to work. That old lady is waving a MOTHERFUCKING AMERICAN FLAG at ringside because she bought her ticket and will not tolerate bullshit from damn commies. I wish we had arenas full of her these days. Koloff cuts off a Sting comeback and hits a tombstone for two. Sting fights back with a sunset flip, but Koloff punches him in the face to block, and then Sting finishes the move anyway and gets two. Koloff pounds away in the corner and follows with a backbreaker for two, and then he MAKES MY DAY by going over to yell at that old lady. This man is a PRO. Koloff pounds the ribs and chokes away on the ropes, and sadly it wasn’t opposite the old lady so that Sting could personally appeal to her for help. Because she probably would have jumped the rail and shoved that flag down Koloff’s throat if given a chance. That used to be Ricky Morton’s #1 trick: Find some super-mark in the front row and sell directly to her. Koloff drops an elbow on the ribs and tosses Sting to the floor, but Sting whips him into the railing to buy some time. Back in, Koloff tries another piledriver, but Sting reverses to his own and makes the comeback, but misses the Stinger splash and the old lady is yelling at Sting to move while Koloff sets up for the Sickle. And indeed he does move, and Koloff misses, allowing Sting to roll him up for the pin at 9:30. This was GREAT. Any match that has an old lady losing her shit at ringside is OK with me. ***3/4
PN News, joined by Salt N Pepa because 1991, is here to rap for us. Salt N Pepa are dressed like HO BABY, HO BABY, HO. Sadly, Johnny B. Badd interrupts, but News chases him off because Badd apparently doesn’t want any of that.
Loser Leaves WCW: Barry Windham & Arn Anderson v. Brian Pillman & El Gigante
Pillman chops away on Arn to start and gets a backslide for two, then hits Windham with a leg lariat for two. Windham slugs him down and hits a DDT for two. Arn cuts off a charge and goes up, but Pillman dropkicks him off the top and follows with a dive. Back in, Arn stupidly goes after Gigante and gets choked out, and Pillman comes off his shoulders with a bodypress on Barry for two. Pillman goes up to finish Arn, but Barry trips him up and punts him for the pin at 3:07 to end the career of Brian Pillman. Unless he should come back as a masked man, but how likely is THAT? **
We’re really ripping through this show at a tremendous clip and it’s insanely entertaining as a result.
IWGP tag titles: The Steiner Brothers v. Masa Chono & Hiro Hase
Oh, you know that old lady has her American flag ready again. The Japanese are practically commies. Hase takes Scott down and just kicks him in the face, then boots him out of the ring and slugs away back in the ring. Scott hotshots him for two, but Hase bridges up and hits a back kick, so Scott suplexes him out of his boots. Over to Rick and Chono, and Rick fires away until Chono hits him with the mafia kick. This actually BREAKS THE HEADGEAR, so he does it twice more, until Rick unloads on him with a lariat. The Steiners double-team Chono in the corner and the crowd is just losing their shit. Hase comes in and Rick suplexes him, but Hase powers him into his own judo throw and Chono comes in with a shoulderblock off the top. Samoan drop into a flying Hase knee follows, and Chono hooks the dreaded STF, but the crowd doesn’t know what it is. Meanwhile, Scott suplexes Hase on the floor and breaks up the move, as Rick and Chono clothesline each other. Hot tag Scott and he stiffs the FUCK out of Hase with a clothesline and follows with the tilt-a-whirl slam into the butterfly bomb. Top rope belly to belly gets two, but Hase comes back with a dragon suplex for two. Chono dumps Rick with an enzuigiri and the Japanese double-team Scott, but he catches Hase out of nowhere with the Frankensteiner to retain at 8:20 as the tape suddenly changes to someone’s third-generation VHS dub. Immediately afterwards, the Hardliners debut and destroy the Steiners, which had the unfortunate side-effect of ripping apart Scott’s tricep and putting him on the shelf for months. So the Steiners had to vacate both the IWGP and WCW tag titles as a result. This match, meanwhile, was ACES. They just beat the ever-loving shit out of each other, although Chono was a bit green at this point and couldn’t quite hang. ***1/2
The Diamond Studd v. Tommy Rich
Rich is all fired up, but Studd chokeslams him quickly and pounds away in the corner. Who would think that years later, DDP would go from managing him to inducting this guy into the WWE Hall of Fame? Diamond Death Drop finishes at 2:00. DUD
Jim Ross interviews the winner of the Sting lookalike contest, who is some kid with a Sting shirt and facepaint. Real bang-up job from the WCW makeup department getting that plant ready. Sting comes out to congratulate him, and of course Nikita Koloff attacks him right in front of that old lady and lays him out with the chain. Koloff threatens the kid, but security drags him away. I’m pretty sure that the old lady would have pulled a gun on him right there had he actually tried it. I would not fuck with a mean old mark in the front row of a Tennessee wrestling show in 1991.
#1 Contender match: Lex Luger v. Great Muta
The usage of Muta and Hase was WCW’s continuing attempts to suck up to New Japan at this point, with the ultimate goal being getting Liger for an extended run. So I guess it worked. Bill Kazmaier, one of the dumbest signings that WCW ever did, sits in the front row in preparation for his push later in the year. Luger overpowers Muta to start and hits a back suplex for two, but misses the elbowdrop. Muta works him over a bit, but Lex comes back with a press slam. Blind charge misses and Muta puts him down with a spinkick, then misses the handspring elbow and flies to the floor in a crazy bump. Muta sprays him with green mist, but Lex blocks it with his forearm and powerslams him for the pin at 3:45. *1/2
Here’s a very WCW moment: They show a “coming soon” video for Steve Austin before the break, and show him wearing the TV title during his entrance. The problem? Bobby Eaton was still “champion” at this point and the title change wasn’t supposed to air for another two weeks!
Stunning Steve Austin v. Joey Maggs
Austin wins with the Stungun at 0:25 as we are rapidly running out of time on this show. DUD
The York Foundation introduces their newest member, Richard Morton. This proves to be the one time that Morton actually wears a suit in this role, rather than his usual Rock N Roll Express tights that he wore for the rest of this pathetic heel run.
WCW World title, 2/3 falls: Ric Flair v. Bobby Eaton
Eaton drops an elbow and clotheslines him out to start, and Flair takes a minute to think it over. Back in, he chops Bobby into the corner, but Bobby fires back on him. Bobby hooks him in a short-arm scissors, which would undoubtedly make Sasha Banks tap out with two seconds left in a match, and Bobby works on that for a bit. Flair comes back with another chop, but Bobby punches him back again and Flair runs away. He catches Eaton coming into the ring and fires away with more chops, and follows with a kneedrop for two. He works the count in the corner and fires away with more chops, but Eaton fights back, so Flair goes up and gets slammed off as a result. Flair Flip and he lands on the floor, and back in Bobby hits the neckbreaker and wins the first fall with the Alabama Jam at 9:40. Second fall and Bobby attacks him in the corner, but Bobby comes back with a backslide for two. Bobby goes up and Flair dumps him to the floor for the countout at 12:35. Bobby’s knee is messed and we’re rapidly running out of TV time, so we start the third fall with Eaton hitting a superplex out of nowhere for two. Flair quickly hooks the figure-four, however, and grabs the ropes, but the ref catches him. Another try is reversed by Bobby for two, but Flair clips the knee again and finishes with the figure-four at 15:46. And that was it for Eaton’s singles push. Strong work but the match was obviously super-rushed. ***1/2
I had a ton of fun watching this show tonight, although really it could only sustain the momentum until the Sting-Koloff match and then it was just way too much packed into a two hour show. Still, definitely worth watching.