What the World Was Watching: Clash of the Champions XXXI

Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan are in the booth and they are live from Daytona Beach, Florida.

Opening Contest:  Sting & Road Warrior Hawk (1-0) defeat Meng & Kurasawa (w/Colonel Robert Parker) (1-0) when Hawk pins Kurasawa after a Doomsday Device at 7:24:

Kurasawa’s backstory is revealed in Michael Buffer’s introduction, heralded as a bodyguard who was so gifted he had to be brought to the United States.  Somehow that is a better build than saying that he won a major tournament for up and coming Japanese wrestlers months earlier.  The big problem in this match is that Hawk is under the influence as he can barely run the ropes and refuses to sell.  Granted, the latter is not an indication of Hawk’s problems because he did that anyway but when you are not selling for the new act or MENG then it really hurts the heel’s mystique.  Things get worse after Hawk gets a near-fall from a powerbomb on Kurasawa, triggering an awkward four-way brawl where Hawk just holds Kurasawa in a front facelock for a ridiculously long period of time before working with Sting on a Doomsday Device for the win.  And Kurasawa eats the fall, showing where he is going to be on the card going forward.  Rating:  ½*

After the bell, Sting tussles with Meng on the arena floor and Kurasawa puts Hawk in a Fujiwara armbar, breaking Hawk’s arm.  At least Hawk sells this convincingly but if WCW wanted to set an example he would have been released after this awful performance.  The opportunity to write him off was right here!

Gene Okerlund interviews WCW Tag Team Champions Dick Slater & Bunkhouse Buck, along with their manager Colonel Robert Parker.  Parker warns Sister Sherri that she is standing in the way of her men to achieve bigger and brighter things and that is a dangerous place to be.  Buck and Slater warn Sherri that she is out of her element, with Slater promising to “hyperextend” Sherri if she gets in his way.

Diamond Dallas Page (w/the Diamond Doll) (11-0-1) pins Alex Wright (42-3-1) after Wright misses a plancha at 8:14:

Page has won his feud with Dave Sullivan, so this was a test about whether WCW had bigger plans for him.  Wright gets no reaction from the crowd, a near Renegade-like disaster because of how much he has been featured and how much he has won on WCW programming up to this point.  But give it to the young German for not letting it get to him and trying to win the crowd over with a plancha, slingshot splash, and missile dropkick.  It does not work, though, as the crowd pops when Page kicks out of Wright’s German suplex.  Then, in a great piece of psychology, Page moves when Wright tries his second plancha of the match and he rolls his opponent into the ring to score the upset.  Page still needed to learn how to pace the match as Wright did most of the work.  Rating:  **½

Okerlund interviews Ric Flair and Arn Anderson.  They discuss how great of an enforcer Anderson is and Vader is in over his head tonight.

Television Championship Match:  The Renegade (Champion w/Jimmy Hart) (12-0) pins Paul Orndorff (13-4) after a slingshot flying body press off the apron at 3:59:

Just like Bash at the Beach, this match received a weak build in the lead-up to the show and the only hype Orndorff received was an insert promo during a Renegade squash.  Orndorff slowly beats on the Renegade, eventually tossing him out of the ring and keeping him out.  However, Orndorff proceeds to argue with the referee over this tactic and the Renegade launches himself into the ring to retain the title.  And for this awful display the Renegade gets a fireworks show.  Rating:  DUD

Okerlund interviews Vader, who says he has no fear of losing as he tries to make history tonight.  He promises to ring Ric Flair’s scrawny neck win, lose, or draw.  It is a shame that we never got a big run out of babyface Vader because these promos were awesome.

A video package recaps the Harlem Heat-Dick Slater & Bunkhouse Buck feud.

Call 1-900-454-4545 to win a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle and a trip to Halloween Havoc where you get to meet Hulk Hogan!  The call will cost $1.49!  You can also mail in a postcard to Atlanta, Georgia!  The winner will be announced on the first episode of Monday Nitro!

Harlem Heat & Sister Sherri defeat Dick Slater, Bunkhouse Buck & Colonel Robert Parker when Parker pins Sherri after a Thesz Press kiss at 7:54:

The problem of booking heel versus heel matchups is that the crowd does not want to cheer for anyone.  It does not help that both squads have negative chemistry with each other, the match carries a Memphis-like pace, and the crowd knows that nothing important is going to happen until Sherri and Parker get tagged in.  In fact, the only notable thing in the match is that Schiavone announces Monday Nitro is coming to TNT on September 4.  Slater makes a fatal error tagging in Parker after he and Buck give Stevie Ray their double fist finisher and Parker proceeds to get his butt kicked by the Heat and Sherri.  Sherri misses a flying body press, opening the door for the Stud Stable to win, but Parker is reluctant to take advantage and Sherri proceeds to launch herself onto Parker in a kiss to get her team a future tag team title shot.  Rating:  ½*

After the match, Sherri chases Parker, tearing off his shirt, and kissing him again in the aisle.  Sherri’s attraction is supposedly because she banged her head on the canvas in the match.

Okerlund interviews WCW Champion Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart.  Hart quotes the Bible about how Hogan will go into the Dungeon and squash evil.  Hogan says that the McMahons fear Hulkamania and he has enough support in WCW to put away the Dungeon for good.

Okerlund says that WCW will be donating $1 for every buy to Fall Brawl to the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).  He talks with Tomas Diaz, who by his reactions does not seem to be a fan of wrestling.  Randy Savage comes out and gets him to say “oh yeah” when he was unable or reluctant to say anything else.

A video package pays tribute to Savage.

Hulk Hogan goes back to the Dungeon of Doom, bragging about how he held back the Dungeon of Doom on WCW Main Event.  He says he will beat the Dungeon again on their own turf and he demands to face the Giant.  The Giant and Hogan proceed to do the B-movie version of Hogan and Andre the Giant’s confrontation at Piper’s Pit in 1987, with the Giant ripping off Hogan’s cross and choking him.  The rest of the Dungeon beats up Hogan until Vader makes the save, but the Giant does not sell any of Vader’s blows.  Again, HOW do you even get into the Dungeon of Doom?  Do you go through a special shower or locker like Narnia or something?

Schiavone tells fans that Monday Nitro will debut on September 4 from the Mall of America in Minneapolis and future cities like Chicago and New York will be visited.  There will also be an Emmy award-winning broadcaster joining the booth for the show!

Vader defeats Ric Flair & Arn Anderson when he pins Anderson after a powerbomb at 8:05:

Vader gets a mediocre reaction when he walks out, possibly due to his new “friend of Hogan” status.  The match is largely Vader against Anderson, with Flair hoping his enforcer can do something and he can pick up the crumbs.  Anderson appears to resent this until he plants Vader with a spinebuster, at which point he can tag in Flair, but he then has to chop block Vader to keep the Nature Boy in control.  Anderson plants Vader with a DDT but again opts to tag out so Flair can apply the figure-four.  Vader reaches the ropes, though, and Anderson keeps saving Flair from Vader splashes, including one off the top rope.  However, there are only so many saves that can be made and Vader plants Anderson with a powerbomb for the win.  This was just a standard TV main event to advance a future Flair-Anderson angle.  Rating:  **

After the bell, Flair blames Anderson for the defeat and walks off.

Okerlund interviews Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Sting, and Jimmy Hart.  Hogan says he wants to know where Vader is coming from, with Vader walking out and saying no one tells him what time it is.  Hogan concludes by saying that war has been declared on the Dungeon of Doom.

The Last Word:  The last segment of this broadcast was pure ego from Hulk Hogan as he repeated everything he said in earlier promos.  It would have been better to close with the Ric Flair-Arn Anderson interaction as THAT was an interesting and unique program that had not been done before, but viewers must have needed reminding what the real main program was.  Backstage politics aside, this was a boring show.  Feuds were advanced, but the wrestling was poor in three of the five matches and nothing reached good status.  If not for the debacle that was Uncensored this would have easily been the worst WCW show of the year.  Thank goodness Monday Nitro is coming because it gave WCW a much-needed shot of adrenaline.

Attendance:  4,039

Rating:  3.0 (-0.50 over previous edition)

Up Next:  WCW Pro for August 12!