Written By: Matt Peddycord
NWA Clash of the Champions XII: Fall Brawl
September 5, 1990
The current NWA Champs were as follows:
World Champion: Sting (7/7/1990)
U.S. Champion: Lex Luger (5/22/1989)
World Tag Team Champions: Doom (5/19/1990)
U.S. Tag Team Champions: Rick & Scott Steiner (8/24/1990)
World Television Champion: Arn Anderson (1/2/1990)
Your hosts are Jim Ross & Bob Caudle.
The Freebirds (w/Buddy Roberts) vs. The Southern Boys (w/Bullet Bob Armstrong)
This match is supposed to determine who the real Southern Boys are, which is like winning an award for “dirtiest hick redneck”. There’s more rebel flags here than at a KKK rally for crying out loud. This was supposed to be a six-man tag along with Bullet Bob, but Buddy’s arm is hurt. Hayes and Smothers start out the match. Tracy starts off very quickly on Hayes with a ten-count corner punch, a backdrop and a clothesline. Hayes runs over to Garvin for a hug and tags him in, but Garvin meets a savate kick that puts him on the floor. Back in, Smothers gets “smothered” in the Freebird corner, but Tracy runs towards his own corner as Steve Armstrong comes off the top onto the Freebirds. I love that spot. Back in, the Southern Boys try to bait the ‘Birds into another crossbody. When the Freebirds think they’ve outsmarted the Boys, they turn around into STEREO DROPKICKS! Smothers flips out of the corner onto the apron off a whip, but Hayes knocks him off to the guardrail with the LEFT JAB! Garvin does his best to keep Smothers on the floor. He finally gets back in with a shoulderblock and a slingshot dropkick, but can’t make the tag to Armstrong. Hayes tags back in for the Bulldog for 1-2-NO! Another cover gets 1-2-NO! Sunset flip by Smothers is blocked with a punch. Hayes hits the chinlock. Smothers armdrags out, but gets caught with another left jab. Garvin tags in and heads up top, but gets caught and slammed to the mat. HOT TAG TO ARMSTRONG! He goes backdrop crazy! Buddy Roberts hooks Armstrong’s leg as he comes off the ropes to distract him for a Hayes rollup, but Bullet Bob slides in and punches Hayes off the cover! That gets 1-2-NO! Garvin takes the STEREO JUMPING SHOULDERBLOCKS, but Hayes ducks out of the way when it’s his turn. Roberts tosses in the dreaded international object and when the ‘Birds lean over to pick it up, the Southern Boys deliver STEREO SUNSET FLIPS for 1-2-3! (8:34) If you can forget about the gimmick, the Southern Boys (or Young Pistols as they would become by ’91) were one of the most fun tag teams to watch in WCW. Another good Freebirds/Southern Boys opener for the Clash. After the match, the Southern Boys get dumped and Bullet Bob receives a double-DDT. **½
Tony Schiavone interviews Rick & Scott Steiner: They’re the new US tag champs, and they still want Doom. Those guys just can’t be pleased!
Captain Mike Rotunda vs. Buddy Landell
Ahh, it’s Skid Row’s #1 fan – Buddy Landell. They exchange headlocks to start which includes all the usual stuff that they do with headlocks. After some arm holds, Landell decks Rotunda with a clothesline and then goes to an ab stretch near the ropes for some leverage. Landell hits a suplex and comes off the middle rope, but Rotunda catches him on the way down. Rotunda gets the three-count off a backslide for the win. (5:39) Nothing to it. The nautical gimmick of course failed for Rotunda and he would turn into Michael Wallstreet in the next couple months until he would eventually leave for the WWF to become IRS. ½*
Tony Schiavone interviews the Freebirds: Apparently, they’ve been talking to Robert E. Lee. Last time I checked, he died in 1870. After the interview, they show a vid of Hayes and Garvin being mobbed by fans in Hollywood. You know, because they’re such huge rock stars outside of wrestling.
The Master Blasters vs. Brad Armstrong & Tim Horner
Lightning Express IN THE HOUSE! I wouldn’t feel like I was discussing this match in good enough detail if I didn’t mention that this is Brad Armstrong during his “Candyman” days. What was the deal with that? Is he supposed to be a babyface drug dealer? Someone please let me know. Don’t let that overshadow the fact that this is the debut of Iron and Steel of the Master Blasters. These guys are covered in soot to make it seem like they just came from working at the steelyards. Steel is Kevin Nash complete with a mullet and Iron is a guy named Cory Pendarvis who I haven’t seen since this gimmick. He would soon be replaced by Al Green. Anyways, the whole match is just Armstrong and Horner bouncing around for these two dudes who are green as can be. STEREO SHOULDERBLOCKS finishes off Horner. (4:52) The Master Blasters would actually get a match at Halloween Havoc and hang around until Spring, which is beyond me. Apparently, Ole was just trying to fill the Road Warriors void in the company. ½*
Tony Schiavone interviews Brian Pillman: He’s supposed to be “Running the Gauntlet” on the weekend shows. If he wins all three matches (Power Hour, WCW, Main Event), then he gets $15,000. If he loses, the challengers get to split the money three ways. Something like that.
Missy Hyatt interviews Ric Flair: She pretty much gives him a verbal BJ, calling him the greatest world champion of EVER! Flair has the same idea that Luger had in ’89 when he wanted to win the US belt. If he wins the US title, he’s automatically the #1 contender to the world title. What’s causing all this irony? WOO!
The Nasty Boys vs. Jackie Fulton & Terry Taylor
Jackie Fulton is Bobby Fulton’s look-a-like brother from the Fantastics. This was very early in the Nasties’ first WCW run, by the way. This was also early on in Terry Taylor’s return to WCW as well, as he tries to regroup from Red Rooster syndrome and earn his credibility back. The Nasties do the double overhead wristlock spot, as Fulton flips over and then armdrags both guys. Jerry Sags gets cornered for arm twists and flying elbows, but comes back with a right hand and throws Taylor out to the floor. Sags gets shoved off into the ringpost. Back in, Taylor gets a crossbody for one. Fulton tags and gets placed in the Nasties’ corner for a tag to Knobbs. Taylor tags in for the atomic drop/back suplex combo, then tags Fulton back in for a missile dropkick for 1-2-NO! Taylor gets caught ducking low off a whip and pays for it. The Nasties give Taylor the Knobbs corner splash for 1-2-NO! Taylor gets a sunset flip for 1-2-NO! Fulton gets drawn in for a double-teaming on Taylor, but the heels collide. Tag to Fulton, who goes slam crazy on the Nasties. BRIDGING GERMAN SUPLEX on Knobbs gets 1-2-NO! Fulton heads up top, but Knobbs catches him in mid-air for a powerslam. Sags gets a tag and hits the Flying Elbow Drop for 1-2-3. (7:11) The Nasty Boys would get a US tag titles shot at the Havoc PPV because of how over they were as a heel team, but Vince would sign them up before Christmas. Solid showing here from everybody. **¾
Tony Schiavone interviews Sid Vicious: Stinger’s got something he wants and that’s the NWA belt. He deserves it more than anybody in the NWA. Proof positive why Sid was such a BAD choice for the Horsemen. He was always looking out for himself instead of the group. Arn, Tully and Ole always did whatever it took to keep the belt on Flair and they would never ask for a title shot because that would’ve been bad for the whole. Just saying.
Tommy Rich vs. “Wild” Bill Irwin
Can this match get any more WILD? Irwin starts off hot with shoulderblocks, but then gets dumped out to the floor. Back in, Rich hits the headlock. Irwin escapes and beats Rich out for a guardrail bump. Back in again, Rich slips out of a TILT-A-WHIRL into a sleeper! That WAS wild! Irwin backs Rich into the corner, but misses a charge and gets nailed with the THESZ PRESS. (3:59) That was actually really great. *½
It’s time for the WCW Top Ten!
10. “Nature Boy” Buddy Landell (Alright, that’s not a good start)
9. “Wildfire” Tommy Rich
8. Junkyard Dog
7. Flyin’ Brian
6. Stan “The Lariat” Hansen
5. Sid Vicious
4. Barry Windham
3. NWA World Television Champion Arn Anderson
2. “Nature Boy” Ric Flair
1. NWA U.S. Heavyweight Champion Lex Luger
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Sting
10. Mike Rotunda & Tim Horner (huh?)
9. Junkyard Dog & El Gigante (scary!)
8. Flyin’ Brian & Z-Man
7. Samoan Swat Team
6. Fabulous Freebirds
5. Southern Boys
4. Midnight Express
3. The Horsemen
2. Rock and Roll Express
1. NWA U.S. Tag Team Champions Rick & Scott Steiner
NWA World Tag Team Champions Doom
Tony Schiavone interviews Stan Hansen: He’s PISSED that he’s rated number six. Plus, he wants Sting.
LPWA World Champion Susan Sexton vs. Bambi
I’m no expert on womens’ wrestling, but LPWA was supposed to be more legit than the sports entertainment-style GLOW from what I’ve read. Like most women that wrestled in the ’80s, these chicks look like they just came from a fight in the trailer park. Lots of mat work here, but nothing really comes out of it. Sexton reverses an inside cradle on Bambi for the win. (4:11) Classic Joshi has ruined me as far as American womens’ wrestling goes, so this was just boring to me. Lots of poor execution on some moves here and there as well. *
NWA U.S. Tag Team Champions Rick & Scott Steiner vs. Maximum Overdrive
Maximum Overdrive is Hunter and Silencer. Hunter is wrestler Tim Hunt. I’m not sure of anything else that he did. Silencer is also known as Maxx Muscle – the dude who hung out with DDP in ’95 and then joined up with the Dungeon of Doom for some reason. Scott and Hunter start the match. As you can imagine, Scott OWNS this guy. Silencer runs in and takes a pair of armdrags to set up a double Steinerline on Maximum Overdrive. That sends Maximum Overdrive to the floor. Back in, Silencer tags and corners Scott. He reverses a whip though and Germans Silencer out of his boots. Somewhat. Rick tags in and takes a slam, but Rick returns the favor with a powerslam of his own. Hunter tags back in and receives a Steinerline. STEINER-DDT (Scott DDT from the Doomsday Device) connects for 1-2-3. (6:23) Yeah, no one gets up from that. Just an extended squash for the Steiners. *
Stan Hansen vs. Tom Zenk
This is during that period where Ole was punishing Zenk. I don’t know what the deal was with Ole jobbing Zenk during this period. Hansen absolutely destroys Zenk. During the match, Lex Luger gives an interview saying that he’ll grant Hansen a title shot at the Havoc PPV. Zenk gets a crossbody out of the corner and a pair of dropkicks that earn him a nearfall, but that’s it. LARIAT finishes Zenk off. (3:19) Again, call me a Zenk mark, but he didn’t deserve this. According to Zenk, Orndorff was originally supposed to do the job here instead, but refused and quit on the spot. ½*
NWA U.S. Heavyweight Champion Lex Luger vs. Ric Flair
This is the last of the great Flair/Luger matches, IMO. By ’95 when Luger returned from the WWF, he was getting pretty lazy and a shell of his former self. Flair’s totally confident here, but Luger is just TOO pumped up here, and I don’t mean necessarily with steroids. Luger’s Press Slam puts Flair on the floor to regroup. Back in, Flair goes low and chops on Luger, but that has no effect. Another Press Slam and a clothesline sends Flair out again. This time, Luger follows him out with another clothesline. Flair tries to gain the advantage with a neck snap from the apron, but Luger isn’t phased and stalks Flair in the ring. Flair turns around and cowers to the corner. A THIRD Press Slam follows! Flair avoids the jumping elbow drop though, but then Luger explodes out of the corner with another clothesline. Flair starts to fake a shoulder injury and lures Luger hook line and sinker. Luger gets dumped out for some guardrail action. Flair brings Luger back in the ring and punishes him with chops. Luger definitely slumps down to the mat this time. Flair tosses Luger back out for some more guardrail action. Once Luger gets back in the ring, Flair goes after the knee. He places Luger in the corner and chops at the chest, then kicks at the knee. How are you going to combat against that? Luger wins a slugfest, but just before Flair flops to the mat, he pokes Lex in the eyes. Back up, Luger delivers a backslide for 1-2-NO! Another Flair chop starts to wake Luger up. He turns the tables on Flair in the corner and gives him the ten-count corner punch. Clothesline connects, but his knee REALLY hurts. Cover, 1-2-NO! Flair heads up top, and I don’t even need to tell you what happens next. Flair flips out of the corner off a whip and gets leveled with a clothesline. A FOURTH Press Slam to Flair! Luger hits the Powerslam and calls for the TORTURE RACK. Flair rolls the apron and thumbs Lex in the eyes, but then Luger shoves off a headlock and grabs a bearhug. He puts Flair in the corner for a superplex for 1-2-NO! Luger thinks he’s won, but Flair goes his foot on the bottom rope. Flair gets a cheapshot in and then they tumble out to the floor. Luger NO-SELLS a whip into the guardrail and jumps in front of Flair to get back in the ring. Just as he does that, Stan Hansen runs in and attacks Luger with elbow drops and chokes him out the cowbell! Luger wins by DQ. Before Hansen leaves, he spits a wad of tobacco on the champ. (15:28) If I was Flair, I’d be PISSED at Hansen. His whole plan of regaining the belt is ruined thanks to this guy. This was like a condensed version of the Flair/Luger match at Starrcade ’88, only with a bad finish. ***¾
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Sting vs. The Black Scorpion
Why this is allowed to be a title match, I’ll never know. What’s the point of the Top Ten system if somebody just come in and threaten the champ for a title shot. Black Scorpion is Al Perez under a black mask, by the way. Pretty lame match. The Black Scorpion chokes away on Sting for the whole match until Sting makes the short comeback and finishes the Black Scorpion off with the Stinger Splash. (8:13) Sting tries to unmask this guy so this feud can have some sort of worthy payoff, but the Scorpion has another mask on underneath. Sting doesn’t get to go after THAT mask, because supposedly the REAL Black Scorpion is standing on the rampway, completely jerking the crowd around and leaving nothing resolved. They would continue this BS for three more months until it was finally revealed that Ric Flair was the real Black Scorpion at Starrcade in a cage match. They were actually trying to bring the Ultimate Warrior in, but he was the WWF champion at the time. It’s just an all-around bad idea. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was the main event. If it had been something that went on in the mid-card, it probably wouldn’t get the flack that it does even to this day. As Flair has said before, “You’d think Ole was high when he thought of that Black Scorpion idea, but Ole doesn’t get high.” After this was said and done, the Black Scorpion angle would never be brought up on NWA/WCW TV ever again. ½*
After the break, JR meets Sting in the ring for a comment, but he’s so confused by all this. Next thing you know, Sid Vicious comes out to challenge for the belt. Sting’s only got Black Scorpion on the mind, so he pays Sid no mind. But Sid rules the world, and nobody walks away from the ruler of the world like that. Sid nails Sting from behind and beats him down with his own title belt! Sorry folks, we’re outta time!
Final Thoughts: Similar to the last Clash where it’s a one-match show, and it suffers from the same problem I discussed in the last Clash recap. A handful of solid matches have been replaced by a bunch of short, crappy matches that you just don’t care much about. Check out the Flair/Luger match, as the heat was just off the charts, but everything else is passable. Unless you’re a WrestleCrap fan, then the Black Scorpion match is right down your alley. Thumbs down for Clash 12.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.