Written By: Matt Peddycord
WCW Clash of the Champions XX
September 2, 1992
Center Stage Theatre
The current WCW & NWA Champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: Ron Simmons (8/2/1992)
WCW U.S. Champion: Rick Rude (11/19/1991)
WCW World Television Champion: Steve Austin (5/23/1992)
WCW World Light Heavyweight Champion: Brad Armstrong (7/5/1992)
WCW/NWA World Tag Team Champions: Dr. Death & Terry Gordy (7/12/1992)
This was a special show for WCW because not only was this the 20th Clash of the Champions special, but also the 20th anniversary of wrestling on TBS. There’s tons of honored guests here including Bruno Sammartino, Hank Aaron (he works with TBS) and the last American television appearance of Andre the Giant alongside Gordon Solie.
Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jesse Ventura.
WCW World Television Champion Steve Austin (w/Paul E. Dangerously) vs. Ricky Steamboat – No-DQ Match
Since Steamboat was told by Paul E Dangerously at Beach Blast that he would receive no more US title shots and when the Cactus Jack angle didn’t really go anywhere, Steamboat started going after Austin’s TV belt because Paul E didn’t say anything about that belt. He’s defeated Austin in a non-title bout, but never in a title match and that is what he looks to do here. Before we can get started, Johnny B. Badd has to make an appearance with some little girl who is out to sing the national anthem. Haha, instead of being respectful, Paul E talks strategy with Austin. I love it! It makes sense too because Paul E is going to have to be stuck in a mini-cage and suspended in the air for this match. Gordy and Doc broke some of his ribs at the Great American Bash, which is going to be Austin’s game plan on all night. Austin hammers on the ribs, but Steamboat chops back and takes Austin down into a headlock. By the way, fans are able to vote on whether to drop the “hey you can’t come off the top rope anymore!” rule or not. VOTE OR DIE! Austin fights out and drops an elbow. Steamboat chops back and he’s got Austin stuck in the headlock again. Austin pulls the hair to escape. Steamboat climbs to the middle-rope, but Austin is there to slam him to the mat ribs-first. Austin goes to work with a rib buster for some near-falls. Steamboat comes back with chops and goes for a slam, but the ribs are hurting too much and he puts Austin down. Austin goes to an ab stretch, but Steamboat makes the ropes. He hits a crossbody out of the corner, but Austin rolls through for 1-2-NO! Steamboat then avoids a dropkick and catapults Austin into the corner for 1-2-NO! Austin tries to get the Ric Flair corner pin for 1-2-NO! Steamboat lifts Austin up for a tombstone piledriver, but Austin reverses and then Steamboat reverses and gives it to Austin! Cover, 1-2-NO! Austin yanks Steamboat into the corner and cradles him up using the tights for 1-2-NO! Austin goes for a superplex, but Steamboat pushes him off. He goes for the chop, but Austin catches him in the gut on the way down. Inside cradle gets two for Austin. Steamboat ducks a back elbow and nails Austin with a running shoulderblock. Austin then avoids a charge and dumps Steamboat. He regroups for a second and then crawls underneath the ring to the other side! Austin’s looking around for Steamboat and then turns around into a FLYING BODYPRESS for 1-2-3! (10:43) We’ve got a *NEW* WCW World TV champion! The usual goodness from these two and they only get better with time. ***
We take a retrospective look at some of the great tag teams from the past 20 years on TBS. The Assassins, Jack & Jerry Brisco, the original Fabulous Freebirds, the Road Warriors and the Rock ‘n Roll Express are all shown. What, no Midnight Express?
SPIN THE WHEEL! MAKE THE DEAL! SPIN THE WHEEL! MAKE THE DEAL! Yeah, it’s the Halloween Havoc promo.
Arn Anderson & Bobby Eaton (w/Michael PS Hayes) vs. Dick Slater & Greg Valentine (w/Larry Zbyszko)
Sort of an odd heels vs. heels match. Hayes is debuting here as a manager for the DA guys. On the other hand, Zbyszko has his arm in a cast and hates Anderson and Eaton. Eaton cheapshots Valentine as he comes off the ropes, so Slater comes in to help clear the ring out. Back in, Slater cheapshots Arn to bring Eaton in the ring. Once that settles, Eaton tags and gets caught in the wrong corner. Slater tags in and hits a swinging neckbreaker followed by a Russian legsweep. He pins Eaton using the ropes for 1-2-NO! Eaton brings Slater into his corner and tags in Arn. He goes after the arm, but Slater fights back and tags in Valentine. Suplex gets two. The DA double-team and Eaton tags in for a hammerlock. Arn tags in and gets stuck in the wrong corner for some mudhole stomping. Slater drapes Anderson’s leg on the apron and slams it down until Eaton makes the save. Meanwhile, Valentine puts Arn in the FIGURE-FOUR! Eaton runs in and elbow drops Valentine for the save. Anderson hits the Spinebuster for 1-2-NO! Slater dumps Eaton and tries to deck Anderson, but the ref holds him off. Valentine turns Anderson around to get nailed with Larry Z’s cast, but Anderson ducks and Larry nails Valentine! Arn knocks Slater out while Eaton comes off the middle-rope on Valentine for the ALABAMA JAM! Arn covers for 1-2-3! (5:47) Solid little tag match with the favorite heels coming out on top. **
Jim Ross meets with Bruno Sammartino. He’s thrilled to be here. Anybody remember when he got into it with Vince on Larry King Live? I want to see that footage. Bruno calls “that other league an embarrassment for the last ten years” and puts over WCW for returning to pro wrestling.
Let’s go to Teddy Long in the VIP room! True fact: When Andre sits down, he’s the same height as Teddy Long and still taller than Gordon Solie! “Bullet” Bob Armstrong is here! Thunderbolt Patterson is here! I think he’s drunk! Mr. Wrestling II makes some comments via satellite from Hawaii! Ted Turner has stuff to say too!
Tony Schiavone is now in the VIP room with Bill Watts. He announces that Brad Armstrong is injured and since he hasn’t defended the title in over 5 weeks, he has been stripped of the Light Heavyweight title. He was supposed to defend his Light Heavyweight title here against Brian Pillman, but he’s got a torn ligament. A tournament will be started at some point in time, honest!
Jesse Ventura is standing by with Brad Armstrong for a comment. He’s pretty bummed about the whole thing. Brian Pillman comes by and he’s FREAKIN’ PISSED! Pillman calls Armstrong a coward and then SLAPS him in the face! Looks like heel Brian Pillman has arrived.
We take a retrospective look at some of the great singles competitors from the past 20 years on TBS. Dusty Rhodes, Stan Hansen, Ron Garvin, Tony Atlas, Magnum TA, Buzz Sawyer, Mr. Wrestling II, The Great Kabuki, Ted DiBiase, “Cowboy” Bill Watts, Wahoo McDaniel, The Masked Superstar, Jimmy Valiant, King Kong Bundy, The Spoiler, The Iron Sheik, Tully Blanchard, Ric Flair, Terry Funk, Tommy Rich and Roddy Piper are all shown. Good stuff.
More videos! We take a look at how great Ron Simmons is!
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ron Simmons vs. Cactus Jack
Simmons comes at Cactus with shoulderblocks and then a headlock to start. Jack finally fights out and delivers a running headbutt. He dumps Simmons out and looks to come off the apron, but Simmons is there waiting for him. Cactus thinks better of it and gets back in the ring. Back in, Cactus bites and claws at the face. Simmons fights back and hammers Cactus down in the corner, but then he nails Simmons off a charge and Cactus Clotheslines Simmons to the floor. He follows up with a swinging neckbreaker on the floor and then they head back in the ring. Cactus wants the DOUBLE-ARM DDT, but Simmons backs him into the corner. Simmons eats a boot and then spins Cactus around and takes a clothesline. Two more short-arm clotheslines gets a two-count. Simmons powers out of a chinlock. Simmons wins a headbutt battle (because he’s BLACK!), but then ducks low off a whip. Nevertheless, Simmons hits the Three-Point Stance and another one gets two. Botched looking backdrop gets two, and then Cactus pulls Simmons out to the floor. He wants that elbow drop off the apron and delivers! But Simmons is right back up! JERK! Back in, Simmons hits the Spinebuster and POWERSLAMS Jack for 1-2-3. (8:51) An off-night for both men. *½
We check out some highlights of the NWA World title tournament finals with Masa Chono defeating Rick Rude. An awesome match from what I hear that went over 25 minutes long. Rick Rude wants a rematch and he’ll get it at Halloween Havoc.
Dustin Rhodes & Barry Windham vs. The Barbarian & Butch Reed
It was originally supposed to be Barbarian and Spivey, but Cactus told Spivey to stay home because he’s got a surprise for Ron Simmons, and his name is Butch Reed! Not sure what that has to do with this particular match, but okay. Cactus joins us for commentary. Rhodes can’t take Barbarian down, but Rhodes and Windham can! Double-dropkick for Reed! Barbarian goes low on Windham and tries a press slam, but he slips out and rolls him up for two. Reed and Rhodes tag in for a while. Reed runs into a boot, but Rhodes misses a corner charge and FLIES out to the floor. Reed brings Rhodes back in and draws Windham into the ring for a double-team clothesline. The heels cut the ring off and control Dustin for a while. Double-KO spot leads to a HOT TAG TO WINDHAM! He hits Barbarian with the Lariat and delivers the SUPERPLEX. Reed gets slammed off the top. Rhodes and Windham put Reed on the floor with a double-dropkick, but then Windham turns around into a KICK OF FEAR from Barbarian for 1-2-3! (8:13) Major upset win there. Within the month, Butch Reed would be fired for missing a TV taping. **¼
Sting, Nikita Koloff, Rick & Scott Steiner vs. Rick Rude, Big Van Vader, Jake Roberts & Super Invader (w/Madusa and Harley Race) – Eight-Man Elimination Match
In case you’re unaware, Super Invader is Hercules with red stockings on his face and billed from Bangkok. Vader starts off with Rick Steiner. Rick fires away on Vader, but it does no good and he takes a corner splash for it. But then out of nowhere, Rick hits a Belly-to-Belly Suplex to put Vader on the floor! Awesome. Nikita and Invader tag in. Nikita shoves out of tie-ups a bunch and NO-SELLS shoulderblocks. Crossbody from Koloff gets two. Rude tags in to go for a bit. These two were feuding at the time. Scott tags in and grabs a double-chicken wing, but Rude still manages to make the tag to Invader. He ducks low off a whip and Scott gets the tiger driver and a belly-to-belly suplex. He goes for the FRANKENSTEINER, but Invader gets a blind tag to Rude and that messes up everything for Scott. Swinging neckbreaker and a forearm drop gets two. Roberts tags in and pounds away. Vader tags in and stiffs Scott in the corner. I mean, OWW. Vader runs Scott down and tags Rude. Just as the crowd wants Sting, Scott comes back with a tilt-a-whirl side slam and makes the HOT TAG TO KOLOFF! Hey, that’s not Sting! Anyhow, he goes nuts on Jake until he gets nailed with a knee from the apron by Rude and rolled up for 1-2-3. (7:26) Immediately, Sting comes in and knocks Jake into his corner for a tag to Invader. He runs through his usual offense and hits the running face slam for 1-2-3. (7:52) Rick tags in and hits an unbelievable German suplex on Vader! Rick comes off the middle-rope, but Vader catches him in mid-air and delivers a powerslam. He follows that up with a middle-rope splash for 1-2-NO! Rude tags for a front facelock. That leads to a false-tag spot. Vader tags in and comes off the middle-rope again, but this time Rick catches HIM for a powerslam! Holy crap. Cover, 1-2-NO! Rick flips out of a suplex and tries to lift Vader up for a Doomsday Device, but the ref sees Scott coming off the top-rope and DQ’s him. (11:24) Rick and Vader dump each other out. With Sting and Roberts brawling in the ring, Rude sneaks over and gives Rick a RUDE AWAKENING on the floor. Once Sting and Roberts settle down, Vader gets back in the ring and Rick gets counted out to leave Sting all by himself against Rude, Vader and Roberts. Sting looks to finish Roberts off with the Stinger Splash and the SCORPION DEATHLOCK (idiot!). Of course, Rude stops that with a clothesline. Sting fights out of the heel corner and face-slams Rude for 1-2-NO! Sting hits a slingshot suplex, but then Vader comes off the top-rope and splashes both Sting AND Rude. Ref just so happened to see that too and DQ’s Vader. (15:13) While the ref is with Madusa, Roberts drags Rude over to his corner so he can make the easy tag. Jake slowly walks in and snaps off the DDT for the 1-2-3 to pick up the win. (15:57) Maybe I’m a little bias because I love elimination matches like this, but there really was some good here. First of all, I’m always a mark for the Rick Steiner/Vader stuff. Second of all, they accomplished putting Jake Roberts over as being a smart wrestler who took advantage of situations even if he got his butt kicked for the majority of the time he was in the ring. Because in the end, who got the win? Jake Roberts, and that’s all that matters. There were some weak spots in the match though of course with Koloff and Invader. Not a classic by any means, but it was still a fun fifteen minutes. ***¼
Before we go, Jim Ross announces that the “off the top rope” rule has been reversed. 88% voted to have it reversed, while 12% voted to leave it alone. Next up, we get to see the Halloween Havoc mini-movie! It starts out with Jake Roberts hanging out in some creepy biker bar with a bunch of goons chanting “spin the wheel, make the deal”. Sting walks in and spins the wheel, but the wheel doesn’t stop! Then, Sting and Jake look eye-to-eye and lightning shoots from their eyes until there’s a big explosion! Huh? To be continued?
Final Thoughts: This felt like I was watching a special edition of WCW Saturday Night. They didn’t do anything that I couldn’t see them already doing on a weekly basis except for maybe bringing in all the special guests. It’s historically relevant though because we get to see Andre’s last major televised appearance and for Brian Pillman’s heel turn. Overall, I’ll go with thumbs in the middle. Even if you don’t care about those two things, there’s a few solid matches here to enjoy.