(Discussion of this one came up in the Bash 90 comments yesterday, so let’s hit it again. Originally written in 2016, shortly after all the Clashes dropped on the WWE Network!)
The SmarK Rant for WCW Clash of the Champions XIII: Thanksgiving Thunder!
I had of course originally done this one many years back, but it reads like dogshit now, so here’s a fresh version! This show originally aired November 1990.
Live from Jacksonville, FL
Your hosts are Jim Ross & Paul E. Dangerously.
The Fabulous Freebirds v. The Southern Boys
This was scheduled as a six-man with Eaton on the heel side and El Gigante on the face side, but apparently the Freebirds intercepted Gigante’s luggage and sent him back to Argentina. Michael Hayes even admits it, so the referee sends Eaton back to the dressing room to make it a tag team match. OK then. The Boys clear the ring with dropkicks and the Freebirds regroup a couple of times. Later: The Black Scorpion does some evil magic! So there’s that to look forward to. Smothers dodges Hayes on the apron, but gets sent into the railing as the Freebirds take over. Garvin goes up and gets slammed off, but the ref doesn’t see the tag and it’s BONZO GONZO with all sorts of anarchy going on. People are fighting without a tag, guys are going over the top rope, and finally Hayes DDTs Smothers for the pin at 4:47. Good, they were cheating anyway. *1/2 The inexplicable Freebirds push continues.
Sting is out for a quick promo with Tony, but before they can throw to commercial it’s THE BLACK SCORPION! Or at least his voice on the PA, complete with evil stock music. And that’s pretty evil, because he COULD be paying some composer royalties but chooses not to.
Buddy Landell v. Brian Pillman
Budro attacks and lays Pillman out with a kneedrop, but Pillman rolls him up for two. Small package gets two. Backslide gets two. Pillman clotheslines him to the ramp and hits him with Air Pillman, but Buddy manages to block a piledriver and send Pillman into the railing for his signature bump. They slug it out on the floor, but Pillman hits the post. He comes back with a rather dangerous springboard crossbody off the apron, and they head back in for an abdominal stretch while Heyman lies about Landell idolizing Flair and Pillman being trained by Flair. Pillman with another crossbody, but Buddy reverses to a backbreaker for two. Pillman comes back with a backdrop and they fight on top, where Pillman finishes with a high cross at 5:50. Man, this was ALL action. Buddy must have been snorting the good shit backstage. ***1/4
The Big Cat v. Brad Armstrong
Big Cat was Curtis Hughes before he figured out that a black guy in wrestling could make more money as a bodyguard. Brad Armstrong is currently the Candyman here, the dude who goes around…uh…giving candy to kids at ringside. Now, I’m not saying parents were being irresponsible, but if some sweaty dude in a speedo was trying to give my kid a candy cane, I’d politely decline. Hughes catches Brad with a trio of backbreakers and a slam for two. Poor Brad bumps around for him, but Hughes misses a charge. Brad comes back with a dropkick, but Hughes finishes with a Torture Rack at 4:30. This is apparently supposed to make us want to see Hughes challenge Lex Luger. *
Brian Lee v. Tom Zenk
Given that Lee looks of normal height here, I have no idea how anyone could buy him as Undertaker. Lee overpowers Zenk and then we get the most fucked-up move I’ve seen in forever, as Zenk tries a crossbody out of the corner and Lee totally forgot to hit his mark, standing in the corner and leaving Zenk hanging out to dry with an awkward splat on the mat. What the fuck, guys? Lee goes to the chinlock and they slug it out and can’t even get their shit together with simple hiptosses, so Zenk goes up and finishes quickly with a missile dropkick at 3:11 to end this disaster. I think they literally blew every spot in the match. DUD
Michael Wallstreet no longer wants to be called Mike Rotunda because he inherited a shitload of money and now has an assistant named Alexandra York who programs his matches out on a computer for him. What is he, DDP?
Michael Wallstreet v. The Star Blazer
Little known fact: Star Blazer is the brother of Blue Blazer. OK, I made that up. Blazer does OK for himself with a hiptoss and dropkick to start, and Wallstreet bails for more advice from York. That advice: Don’t get into a serious relationship with New Jack. Wallstreet catches Star Blazer with a necksnap and gets the abdominal stretch. Mr. Blazer comes back with a rollup for two and some slams, but Wallstreet rolls him into a Boston crab and finishes with the samoan drop at 4:12. Not exactly a smashing debut for the new character. ½*
And now, Gordon Solie with the WCW Top Tens!
- The Steiner Brothers
- Flair & Anderson
- The Nasty Boys
- The Freebirds
- Morton & Rich
- The Southern Boys
- The Master Blasters
- Tim Horner & Brad Armstrong
- Big Cat & Motor City Madman
- The Juicer & El Gigante
World champions: Doom
- Stan Hansen
- Sid Vicious
- Lex Luger
- Ric Flair
- Arn Anderson
- Terry Taylor
- Brian Pillman
- Michael Wallstreet
- Tom Zenk
- Bobby Eaton
As a reminder, the information contained in this WCW Top Ten is for general guidance on matters of interest only. The application and impact of laws can vary widely based on the specific facts involved. Given the changing nature of laws, rules and regulations, and the inherent hazards of electronic communication, there may be delays, omissions or inaccuracies in information contained in this WCW Top Ten. Accordingly, the information on this WCW Top Ten is provided with the understanding that the authors and publishers are not herein engaged in rendering legal, accounting, tax, or other professional advice and services. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting, tax, legal or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult your mom.
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Pat O’ Connor Memorial Tag Team Tournament, African Region Finals: Sgt. Krueger & Col. DeKlerk v. Kalua & The Botswana Beast
And who doesn’t enjoy some Kahlua now and then? The black guys are merely introduced from “Africa”, despite Botswana Beast having the country RIGHT IN HIS NAME. So yeah, Krueger is Ray “Apollo” Licachelli, who is best known as the lame babyface Doink the Clown that killed the gimmick, and DeKlerk is Ted “Rocco Rock” Petty. You can LITERALLY see the crowd getting up to go take a shit during this match as the white Africans beat on the black Africans before the Beast overpowers them. DeKlerk does a nice somersault off the top to evade the Beast and goes up again, but gets caught with a powerslam for two. Sgt. Doink comes in for the brawl and as usual, the white guys cheat the black guys and win at 4:49. It’s like a microcosm of apartheid played out before our eyes. On the bright side, Kalua makes a mean Paralyzer, I’ve heard. ½*
Lex Luger is out for a promo, but Big Cat has a problem with him. I’m sure Luger cares.
Lex Luger v. The Motor City Madman
There’s not really much info on the Madman out there, other than his name was Mike Moore and he was fucking terrible and didn’t last in the business much past this. Big Cat comes out for the distraction and STILL gets his ass kicked by Luger because he’s such a fuckup. JUST TAKE ALL MY MONEY NOW! After Luger gets a good warmup by beating on the Cat, Madman attacks and he’s still so useless that Luger is able to destroy him with elbows. Jim Ross gets his patented diplomacy in by noting that Madman is “not a traditionally proficient amateur-based wrestler”. So, like I said, he’s fucking terrible. Luger misses an elbowdrop and Madman makes his big move with a sideslam, which Lex cheerfully no-sells and then finishes with a clothesline at 2:33, looking like he gives zero fucks on this day. This was hilariously awful. But at least I was entertained by how bad it was. -*
The Nasty Boys v. The Renegade Warriors
Speaking of hilariously terrible, these guys. The Nasties double-team Mark Youngblood, but Chris comes in with a crossbody on Knobbs and the Warriors work the arm. Saggs comes in and tosses Chris over the top to take over while JR hypes the Meadowlands show on January 11 where the Nasties would apparently challenge the Steiners again. That’s random, although that ended up being the show where Flair regained the World title from Sting. The Nasties were of course long gone by then. Saggs with a shoulderbreaker, but the Steiners run in for the DQ at 5:00 out of nowhere. OK then. ½* That would be the swan song for the Nasties in WCW, I think.
The Night Stalker v. Sid Vicious
This of course is another legendary turd plopped out by WCW during this time. Night Stalker is a very young Bryan Clarke and holy god was he terrible. They mess up running the ropes and Sid jumps into a bearhug from Night Stalker, selling a hug like his lung are collapsing. Sid fights free and they slug it out in the corner, as Clarke has no clue what he’s doing here. They trade TERRIBLE punches and Night Stalker kind of works on the ribs, but now Big Cat joins us again, getting more airtime than Ric Flair and Sting combined. Sid beats him up yet again and Stalker charges with his giant axe, but luckily it misses and Sid is able to hit him with it for the pin at 3:35. If you HAD a giant axe and you WANTED to murder the guy with it, why not just do that? Pretty sure this won Worst Match of the Year in 1990. -***
The Freebirds continue celebrating, but the Southern Boys (including Smothers with Zubaz pants and a fanny pack, being the most pro wrestler that a pro wrestler could be) bring out El Gigante, who will apparently be on them like a duck on a junebug. So…is that a bad thing for them? Does the junebug have a problem with the duck? Whom in this scenario is the duck and whom is the junebug? Sorry, I don’t speak southern dumbshit.
Magnum Force v. The Steiner Brothers
Yup, it’s another random terribly named generic WCW team. I don’t even know who these goofs are, but one has “Rick” on his tights so I’m guessing his name is Rick. But it’s WCW, so one never knows. Mr. Rick gets destroyed by Scott and the Frankensteiner finishes at 2:00 before we can even learn their names. And now the Nasties attack in retaliation, leading to a blowoff that never happened.
The Horsemen lay out the stips for tonight: If Butch Reed wins, Doom gets Flair’s yacht, and if Flair wins, they get a title shot and Teddy Long chauffeurs for him for a day. Black servitude is HILARIOUS.
The Black Scorpion video package recaps the thrilling saga for us, leading to tonight’s face-to-face meeting. So Sting comes out for an interview with Paul E. Dangerously, and then the Black Scorpion comes out and does EVIL MAGIC. HE FUCKING TURNS A GUY INTO A TIGER! Do you know how much that’s gonna hurt WCW’s insurance premiums? You think Obamacare covers that shit? Would you fuck with this dude? More importantly, why would WCW’s production crew go along with hauling the guy’s magic equipment down to the ring so he can perform his evil sleight of hand? I must be mellowing because now I just find this whole thing hilarious instead of offensively bad. I guess now that WCW is already long dead we can just laugh uproariously at it.
Butch Reed v. Ric Flair
I’m almost disappointed that we’re closing out this trainwreck with a decent match. Given the cartoonish “plane full of clowns hitting a helicopter driven by a cross-dressing Frankenstein with everyone crashing into a munitions dump that’s actually a front for aliens” nature of the show leading up to it, I was almost hoping for something less mundane as a main event. Like El Gigante in a ladder match or something. Oh well. Flair throws chops in the corner and Reed decides to keep up with him and then slugs Flair down as well. They actually did this match a bunch of times in the 80s and it was always pretty good. Reed with a press slam and he clotheslines Flair to the floor. Back in for a Flair pinfall reversal sequence as Reed gets a backslide for two off that. Reed pounds away in the corner and follows with a dropkick, but Flair pokes him in the eyes. Paul notes that you can’t work out the eyelids in a gym. I bet John Cena could. You could probably rip out Cena’s eyeball and he’d take three weeks off and return with a regenerated one just in time for the PPV. Flair suckers Simmons in to distract the ref and then the Horsemen cheat like crazy and beat on Reed outside. And the fans think that’s just great. Poor Nick Patrick is in way over his head here. So Flair takes over with chops in the corner, really laying them in, but Reed fires back again and we get a Flair Flip. And now Simmons gets HIS shots in on Flair outside. Back in, Flair goes to the knee, but Reed gets his own figure-four. Arn is nice enough to pull him to the ropes for a break. Patrick actually pulls Reed off of Flair, which is a major reffing no-no. Flair bails to the apron and Reed suplexes him in for two. Reed misses a flying elbow, but comes back with a clothesline for two. They slug it out in the corner again and Flair goes down, so Reed hits another press slam. Flair punches him down for two and Long puts Reed’s foot on the ropes to break. Reed again with the press slam for two, but this time Arn pulls out the ref to break. Reed goes up with the flying shoulderblock, but the ref is distracted by all the shenanigans outside. Reed gets tossed into the ref on the floor and Simmons lays out Flair, but Arn hits Reed with a chair and Flair gets the pin at 14:10. I was kind of wishing Reed would just go babyface here, but the “everyone cheating like crazy” aspect was also fun, so I can’t fault him. ***
Are you Curtis Hughes’ mom? A fan of terrible amateur magic? Curious how many Worst Match of the Year candidates can be squeezed into a live two hour broadcast? Someone in suspense wondering about the finals of the African region of the Pat O’Connor Memorial tag team tournament? Then this show is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED for you.
Everyone else, take a bigtime pass on it.