Written By: Matt Peddycord
WCW Clash of the Champions XVI: Fall Brawl
September 5, 1991
The current WCW Champs were as follows:
World Champion: Lex Luger (7/14/1991)
U.S. Champion: Sting (8/25/1991)
World Television Champion: Steve Austin (6/3/1991)
World Tag Team Champions: Vacant (7/18/1991)
U.S. Tag Team Champions: The Patriots (8/12/1991)
World Six-Man Tag Team Champions: Dustin Rhodes, Big Josh & Tom Zenk (8/5/1991)
Your hosts are Jim Ross & Tony Schiavone!
15-Man Battle Royal
This is nicknamed the “Georgia Brawl” to make it seem important. The entrants are WCW TV champ Steve Austin, Big Josh, Bobby Eaton, One Man Gang, Oz, PN News, Buddy Lee Parker, Ranger Ross, Dustin Rhodes, Thomas Rich, Tracy Smothers, Terrance Taylor, Barry Windham, & one-third of the WCW six man tag champs Tom Zenk. I’m not even going to attempt play-by-play here. The final four comes down to One Man Gang, Oz, Dustin Rhodes and El Gigante. OMG and Oz eliminate Rhodes and then Gigante clotheslines them out to win the match. (9:33) Completely meaningless. CRAP
Brian Pillman vs. Badstreet – WCW Light Heavyweight Title Semifinals Match
Always good to see Brian Pillman vs. Brad Armstrong. Pillman just had been “reinstated” and quit acting like the Yellow Dog at this point. Badstreet cheapshots Pillman to start, but he comes back with a headscissors out of the corner and a victory roll for two. Springboard sunset flip gets another two. Badstreet takes a dropkick out to the apron, but then he gives Pillman a suplex out to the floor. Pillman gets kicked off the apron for the chest-first guardrail bump. They brawl on the apron and Pillman gets yanked into the ringpost for his THIRD sick bump of the match, and that’s not even the sickest bump he takes here. Pillman slingshots back in for a crossbody for 1-2-NO! Badstreet stays on top of things with a reverse neckbreaker for two. Badstreet heads up top, but Pillman dropkicks him down to the floor and hits him with a SUICIDE DIVE! Oh my gosh, he flew face-first right into the guardrail! OWW. Back in, Pillman goes for a Missile Dropkick, but Badstreet blocks that with a standing dropkick. Badstreet ducks low off a whip and takes a face slam, followed by a spinning heel kick for 1-2-NO! Pillman makes the same mistake Badstreet did and gets nailed with a DDT. Cover, 1-2-NO! Pillman wants a crucifix, but Badstreet falls back on him. He sets up for a superplex, but Pillman headbutts him down and delivers the FLYING BODYPRESS for 1-2-3! (6:52) Well that was awesome. ****
It’s time for the WCW Top Ten!
10. Bobby Eaton
9. WCW World Six-Man Tag Team Champion Tom Zenk
8. The Diamond Studd
7. One Man Gang
6. WCW World Six-Man Tag Team Champion Dustin Rhodes
5. WCW World TV Champion Steve Austin
4. El Gigante
3. Barry Windham
2. Ron Simmons
1. WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion Sting
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Lex Luger
WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion Sting vs. Johnny B. Badd (w/Teddy Long)
There’s no way Johnny deserves this. He’s not even in the WCW top ten! Back then, Sting was receiving presents the size of refrigerator boxes on the weekend programs. The last present Sting received was Abdullah the Butcher. Surprise! Johnny’s undefeated, by the way. They share a handshake in an effort to turn Badd face down the road. Johnny lifts his knees up to block a pump splash, but Sting acts like it didn’t happen. He tries a flying elbow drop, but that misses and Badd goes for the FLYING SUNSET FLIP for 1-2-NO! Sting gets an inside cradle for two, followed by a sunset flip for two. They trade wristlocks and then Sting goes for the Stinger Splash, but Badd moves out of the way. Sting blocks the TOOTY FROOTY PUNCH, but takes one to the gut instead. Badd gets distracted by another gift that has showed up at ringside. For some reason, the match suddenly ends with Sting cradling Badd up for 1-2-3. (6:11) Suddenly, the returning Cactus Jack busts out of the package (off-camera, of course) and goes after Sting. He kicks him out to ringside and gives him a flying elbow drop on the floor! Back in the ring, Sting takes a DOUBLE-ARM DDT. Eaton, Rhodes and Josh make the save, but it’s too late guys. The match was decent, but it had its awkward moments. I don’t think Badd was ready for this, but it did him some good I believe. It’s better than getting stuck in that battle royal. **
Mike Graham vs. Richard Morton (w/Alexandra York) – WCW Light Heavyweight Title Semifinals Match
Winner of this one faces Pillman at the Havoc to crown the first-ever champ. A very different match than Pillman/Badstreet as its completely mat-based instead of high-flying. Morton shoves off a headlock and applies a rolling Boston crab, but Graham powers out into a rollup sequence. Morton takes a breather and regroups to check with the computer. It knows all! Back in, they go through a headlock sequence into the backslide, which gets two for Graham. Morton goes to the eyes to take over and show everyone how big of a heel he is by choking Morton in the ropes. They trade wristlocks on the mat, but then Graham goes for the knee. Once again, Morton rakes the eyes to turn the tide back in his favor. Morton hits an atomic drop, but misses an elbow and gets rolled up for 1-2-NO! Ms. York gets up on the apron so ref Nick Patrick can miss a pin attempt by Graham. Morton kicks Graham off into the turnbuckle and covers for 1-2-3. (7:40) Nothing technically wrong with it – it was just bland and heatless. *½
Bill Kazmaier is in the Guinness book of world records! Not for being the world’s most boring wrestler or anything – he just happens to be a very strong man. Kazmaier comes out along with about six dudes holding up a globe. I see what they’re trying to do, but shouldn’t Kazmaier be lifting this thing once everybody is in the ring to show how strong he is? Maybe I’m thinking about this too much. Anyways, Eric Bischoff hosts Kazmaier bending a bunch of metal rods to break some other record . But then out of nowhere, Kazmaier gets jabbed in the ribs with a 45-pound weight by the Enforcers Arn Anderson and Larry Zbyszko so he’ll be out of the finals later tonight. Rick Steiner comes down to help, but it’s too late pal.
WCW U.S. Tag Team Champions The Patriots vs. The Freebirds – non-title match
These two teams meet again on Saturday Night in a title match, which leaves me thinking, why not just have the title match here at the Clash? The Patriots are Firebreaker Chip and Todd Champion. Chip was always the more talented of the two, but that really doesn’t mean much. Chip does the moonwalk, so Hayes dumps out to the floor. Chip comes right back in the ring and taps Hayes on the shoulder for a barrage of rights and a powerslam. Garvin tries to stop them, but gets slammed off the top rope to cause the ‘Birds to regroup. Back in, Garvin runs into a sleeper. Hayes comes in and tries to end that, but gets caught in the sleeper. Chip applies an armbar, but Garvin rakes the face to escape. Chip rolls Garvin up for two and gets kicked off into a Left Hand from Hayes. It’ll stop anything. Hot tag to Champion. He goes SLAM CRAZY on the ‘Birds and then hits Hayes with the JUMPING BACK ELBOW for 1-2-NO! Champion nails the ‘Birds with a double-clothesline and tags in Chip. He delivers a double flying clothesline. Double back drop on Garvin should get the win, but Hayes comes off the middle-rope with an elbow drop (I think – the camera missed the whole thing.) and Garvin turns over on top of Chip for 1-2-3. (5:42) Those Patriots are so freakin’ green and there just wasn’t anything the ‘Birds could do to make these boys look good. They just couldn’t hit the moves right. Not even simple stuff like clotheslines worked for them. ¼*
Paul E. Dangerously interviews Cactus Jack: He tells the crowd to applaud Sting’s great career, because it’s all over now and it’s all because of him. Another gift box shows up at ringside. Cactus thinks it’s Abdullah inside, but it’s STING! He backdrops Cactus on the rampway and then hiptosses him to the concrete below! That doesn’t keep Cactus though, so they brawl to the back. Great segment, as you immediately knew Cactus Jack was a force to be reckoned with.
Ron Simmons vs. The Diamond Studd
Studd’s still missing that extra “D” on his tights. It doesn’t keep him from attacking at the bell though. He stuffs Simmons down when he tries a leapfrog for two. Studd hits a bulldog off the middle rope and covers with the double-bicep pose, so Simmons hooks the arms with his legs for a one-count. Simmons avoids a boot out of the corner and slides underneath to post Studd’s private areas. Back in, Simmons hits a pair of atomic drops and a clothesline. SPINEBUSTER! Three-Point Stance gets three. (2:25) After the match, Dangerously interviews him to remind Simmons that he has Luger to beat. He says anything is possible and he wants to sign the contract for Halloween Havoc. Race and Hughes come down to confront him, but Simmons wants Luger – not those two dudes. Paul E wraps up the interview quite nicely saying, “Ron Simmons heads to the locker room to pursue his dreams, but the only problem is that Lex Luger is the total package of reality.” ½*
Van Hammer vs. Terrence Taylor (w/Alexandra York)
This was Hammer’s WCW debut. He hits a front suplex and finishes with the Flying Knee Drop. (1:06) That was pretty horrible. Hammer’s so dumb, the computer couldn’t even figure out what to do against him. CRAP
Missy Hyatt’s in Lex Luger’s dressing room for an interview. They’re interrupted by Ron Simmons, but Luger throws him out. That REALLY sends Simmons over the edge, so he runs RIGHT through the door! Luckily a bunch of mid-card babyfaces and Grizzly Smith are there to hold him back, because Lex would’ve gotten BEAT.
WCW World Television Champion Steve Austin (w/Lady Blossom) vs. Tom Zenk
Basic wrestling holds to start. Hammerlocks and headlocks. Ooo, Zenk applies a wristlock! We finally get these two moving around, as Zenk gives Austin a backdrop to put him on the floor. Austin walks over to the rampway and gets nailed by a crossbody from Zenk. Back in, Zenk goes for a FLYING BODYPRESS, but Austin ducks. He grabs a chinlock and cheats using the ropes. Ref Nick Patrick catches him and calls for the break. That’s okay, because Austin still hits the STUNGUN! He takes too long to pin and picks Zenk up, but Zenk counters to a small package for 1-2-NO! Z-LOCK (sleeper) is applied! Austin makes the ropes over at Lady Blossom, who slips him an international object. He misses a wild swing, and as Zenk lifts him up for a back suplex, Austin nails him in the face anyway. Cover, 1-2-3. (9:07) Fairly disappointing match, but it picked up towards the end. *½
Luger’s not quite ready for the contract signing, so we watch Ron Simmons talk to kids at a local YMCA instead. Okay, now he’s ready. Simmons signs the contract with no problem. Before Luger signs anything, he runs his mouth off at Simmons and tells him after he beats him at Halloween Havoc, he can be his chauffeur. Yeah, like ‘Driving Miss Daisy’! Well, that comment really pisses Ron off and causes the old ‘contract signing that turns into a pull-apart brawl’ scene. But what about the children, Ron?!
The Enforcers vs. Rick Steiner & Bill Kazmaier – WCW World Tag Team Titles Tournament Finals
When Scott Steiner tore his bicep at the last Clash, the tag titles were declared vacant. Kazmaier shows up, but he’s all taped up. Like ’97-’98 DDP x2. The Enforcers were just on an incredible roll and they did it by literally trying to break bones. They were an awesome team and no doubt the best team of ’91 in my book. It was basically just a reincarnation of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew with Zbyszko playing Ole Anderson. Steiner’s going to work the match though. Arn gets a blind tag, but runs into a powerslam for two. Zbyszko takes over with his mule kick and then tries to break Steiner’s arm. Suplex gets two. Arn goes for a suplex, but Rick counters into one of his own. The Enforcers try a double-team, but Steiner kicks Zbyszko away and STEINERLINES Arn. Steiner wants a Belly-to-Belly Superplex, but Larry Z nails Rick and Arn comes off with a clothesline. Kazmaier makes the mistake by tagging himself in the ring. He tries to press slam Zbyszko, but Arn nails him in the ribs, causing Kazmaier to collapse. Larry Z falls on top of him for 1-2-3. (3:33) Stupid Kaz. Afterwards, the Enforcers tell us that it doesn’t matter how many muscles you have or how many takedowns you learned in some jerk water college. If you want the belts, you have to beat the Enforcers! Meanwhile, Ricky Steamboat is sitting at home saying, “I can do that.” *
Final Thoughts: By this point, the company had started to improve slowly but surely since the departure of Ric Flair. Like with most of these Clash shows, there is a lot of good and bad. Of course, the standout match of the night goes to Pillman/Badstreet. That was great stuff. Anything with Cactus Jack was fun. The rest was crap. I was kind of scared when I started watching the battle royal, but I was pleasantly surprised and thrilled that it got better after that. I’ll go with thumbs in the middle for Clash 16.