Written By: Matt Peddycord
WCW Clash of the Champions 28
August 24, 1994
Cedar Rapids, IA
Five Seasons Center
The current WCW Champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: Hulk Hogan (7/17/1994)
WCW U.S. Champion: Steve Austin (12/27/1993)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Pretty Wonderful (7/17/1994)
WCW World Television Champion: Lord Steven Regal (6/23/1994)
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & Bobby Heenan.
WCW World Tag Team Champions Pretty Wonderful vs. The Nasty Boys – non-title match
Since the last time we saw the Nasties, they have become lovable brawlers again after being WCW’s top heel team for the last year while Pretty Wonderful captured the WCW tag belts from Cactus Jack & Kevin Sullivan at Bash at the Beach. Lots of CLUBBERIN in this match. The Nasties control the majority of the match until Sags gets drawn around the ring by Roma into an Orndorff clothesline. Roma poses and works the crowd while Orndorff smashes Sags’ head into everything around ringside. Orndorff finally puts Sags back in the ring to play a little game of face-in-peril. Meanwhile in the front row, Blacktop Bully better known as Barry Darsow or Khrusher Khruschev or Demolition Smash or the Repo Man, gets all rowdy yelling at the Nasties with TV-Y7 insults. Sags finally backdrops out of an Orndorff PILEDRIVER and hot tags Knobbs. Roma saves his partner from a corner attack from Knobbs to set up the suplex/flying splash combo. From the other side, Sags drops a Flying Elbow and covers Orndorff for the non-title victory. (9:39) What a dumb finish to an otherwise decent match. Sags was clearly not even the legal man, but why let a silly thing like rules get in the way of a pinfall? This sets up a title match on the next episode of Saturday Night. **
Call the Hulk Hogan Hotline! He’s runnin’ wild on that thing, brother.
Speaking of Hogan, here he comes for an interview. Oh wait, there’s a MASKED MAN behind dressed all in black. He WHACKS Hogan in the back of the leg with a lead pipe. Now we’ve got a Nancy Kerrigan angle on our hands. WHYYYYYYY?! WHYYYYYYY?! They should have booked Hulk Hogan vs. Shane Stant at Starrcade! That would’ve been money! Hogan does a stretcher job which eats up a good five minutes, leading us to believe that tonight’s main event is in real jeopardy.
WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion Steve Austin vs. Ricky Steamboat
The DQ rule has been waived for this match – meaning if Austin loses by disqualification, Steamboat wins the belt. They keep us tuned in to what is going on with Hogan in the back. He’s heading to the hospital via ambulance. Now back to the ring for the more important stuff. Steamboat controls early with a headlock while a stage hand tells Bobby Heenan (what a great broadcast journalist!) that Hogan’s injury may be fatal. Well, what does he know? He’s not a doctor, he’s just a stage hand. Steamboat changes over to an armbar. Austin shoves out and starts up a series of nearfalls between the two. Back to the armbar. Austin breaks free by throwing Steamboat out to the floor. Hey, that works. On the floor, Steamboat chases Austin around the ring for a double-chop. Back in, they exchange sleeper holds, but Austin gets the best of that with a jawbreaker. STUNNER! Nah, just kidding. Steamboat avoids a corner charge which causes Austin run his shoulder into the post. Steamboat walks the ropes and drops Austin’s arm down hard across the top rope before nailing him with a Flying Judo Chop. That gets two. Blacktop Bully starts barking at Steamboat. Not sure what Austin did because the camera was on Darsow, but Austin breaks free from an armbar and starts slapping Steamboat around. Steamboat escapes a chinlock, but a splash off the ropes hits knees. Doesn’t it always? Austin covers for two. He follows up with a vertical flying elbow drop for another nearfall. Steamboat puts the brakes on a suplex and decides to take it to that next level by placing Austin in the corner for a Superplex. Austin shoves him down awkwardly on his tailbone. This was just the beginning of the injury that kills Steamboat’s career. Austin gets crotched all the same, but still manages to block the superplex! Now he gets caught coming down on Steamboat, but slams him down face-first during a FLYING BODYPRESS attempt. Nice. Austin starts slapping the challenger around. I’m not sure you want to do that, Dragon Slayer. Steamboat gets FIRED UP and double-chops the crap out of Austin. Steamboat just delivered an Arn Anderson Spinebuster! Awesome. Austin tries to leave by climbing the top rope apparently and gets taken down to the mat with an electric chair drop for 1-2-NO! Steamboat goes WrestleMania 3 on Austin with tons of rollups and nearfalls. Austin dumps Steamboat out to set him up to skin-the-cat, but the poor man needs a little assistance from Austin himself. Steamboat flips back in and rolls up Austin for 1-2-NO! Speaking of WrestleMania 3, Steamboat blocks a slam with a small package for 1-2-3. (16:08) We’ve got a NEW WCW U.S. Champion. The typical great Steamboat/Austin match that we’ve come to expect over the last few years. Even with the injury that led to more back problems than Steamboat already possibly had, he still made it through a few more matches at house shows. Sad to know that this is his last live TV match, but still comforting to know that he didn’t stick around past his welcome. His career ended on a high note in my book. ****
Eric Bischoff is standing outside the hospital as Hulk Hogan is carried in to be checked on. You’d think the President of the United States was just shot or something. Brother Bruti (Brutus Beefcake) is with Hogan and Jimmy Hart and that’s all Bischoff really can tell us right now. I love how Heenan has a big goofy smile on his face the whole time.
The *NEW* Honky Tonk Man music video airs. It’s the same old shtick – he drives a pink Cadillac with poodle skirt girls all around. The point is though is that he’s coming to WCW…soon!
Gene Okerlund interviews Nick Bockwinkel: If Hogan can’t make the title match, Flair will win the WCW world title belt by forfeit. WOO!
Dusty & Dustin Rhodes vs. Terry Funk & Bunkhouse Buck (w/Col. Robert Parker & Meng)
Dusty is tired of seeing his son being backstabbed seemingly every time he wants a tag partner, so now he’s here to get revenge on the most recent offender: Arn Anderson. Plus, he just plain doesn’t like Terry Funk for reasons that go WAY back to the ’70s and Bunkhouse Buck is well…Bunkhouse Buck. It’s a big brawl to start with the Rhodes boys ruling and cleaning house on the Stud Stable. Once the action settles down into a tag match, Dustin avoids a monkey flip from Buck and stomps him square on the face. Buck doesn’t even look mobile enough to pull off a monkey flip. Dustin gets cornered by the Stud Stable, but he fights out and cleans house again. Now Dusty tags in and delivers Bionic Elbows to Buck and taunts Funk a little bit. Buck takes over on Dusty and whips him into the corner, but Dustin shoots up on the top turnbuckle to save his daddy from the impact. Bionic Elbow to Buck! Bionic Elbow to Funk! Double Bionic Elbows! He whips the Stud Stable into each other down in the corner for a good ol’ time. Dustin tags back in and takes a cowboy boot to the head behind the ref’s back. False tag spot comes about and the Stud Stable encounter some miscommunication problems as Buck nails Funk with a boot by accident. Dusty tags and goes to work on Buck as Arn Anderson comes down to ringside and posts Dustin. In the ring, Funk starts stomping Dusty’s arm looking to possibly to break it. Dusty wises up and dives for a hot tag to Dustin. Lariat to Funk! Lariat to Buck! Dusty delivers a pair of Bionic Elbows to the heels as Dustin hits Buck with the BULLDOG! Now Arn is in the ring and on top of Dustin for the DQ. (7:19) Another excellent performance from everybody and the DQ finish makes a ton of sense considering there’s a Wargames coming up. Arn gives Dustin another DDT just like at the Bash of the Beach. Dusty puts down Arn with a Bionic Elbow. Meng gets in the ring and he dares Dusty to take a shot at him. Dusty decides it’s best to leave…and grab a wooden chair. Dusty busts the chair over Meng’s head, but that has NO EFFECT. Meng kicks Dusty down and applies a NERVE HOLD! Security people finally break this up. **½
Back at the hospital, Eric Bischoff interviews Hulk Hogan’s attorney. Bet he’s a busy man these days. He tells us that Hogan is going against his advice and everyone else’s advice and says that he will be at the Clash to face Ric Flair. Hulkamania is just too powerful to be persuaded by mere rubes like Jimmy Hart and Brother Bruti!
Gene Okerlund brings out Ric Flair and Sensuous Sherri. Wow, Sherri is wearing all black with a veil and everything. CREEPY! Hogan’s mishaps are not his problem. No matter what, he wants Hogan to walk that aisle (WOO!) and hand him the WCW world title belt. Not just that, but Hogan also has to tell Flair that he is the greatest of all-time.
After the break, Gene Okerlund tells us that Bischoff says Hogan is on his way back to the Five Seasons Center. Heenan just cannot believe it.
WCW World Television Champion Lord Steven Regal (w/Sir William) vs. Antonio Inoki – non-title match
This all started because Inoki received an award at the Bash at the Beach and Regal became jealous. They try for a pseudo-shoot fight, but it fails in my book. During the match, they cut to Hogan walking back into the building. He’s had that belt wrapped around his waist the whole time? The crowd isn’t really into it, but out of respect for Inoki they pop for the finish when he wins with the CHOKE SLEEPER. (8:41) No offense to Inoki, but I’m glad this was as far as this feud went. *½
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Ric Flair (w/Sensuous Sherri)
Flair starts out in the ring calling Hogan out to bring him the belt so he doesn’t have get hurt anymore. He comes out late and limping, but he’s here. Hogan lunges at Flair and beats him down to the mat. Hmm, guess that means he won’t be forfeiting a title. Hogan NO-SELLS all of Flair’s chops and sends him flying out to the floor with the Flair Flip. Hogan posts Flair down on the floor and throws him back in the ring only to choke Flair with some fan’s jacket. What a jerk. Flair goes to the eyes, but gets slammed off the top. Flair gets punched out over the top rope and down on the ring steps! Ouch. They brawl in the aisle way with Hogan in total control. Flair gets posted again, but avoids a chair shot. Back in the ring, Flair takes advantage of being the first guy in and delivers a suplex. Hogan NO-SELLS, but remembers to limp. Geez, lead pipes must be the kryptonite to this guy. They head back to the floor again where Hogan chases Flair around the ring with the championship belt. Back in, Flair FINALLY goes for the knee. It’s time to go to school, buddy. Hogan kicks away the FIGURE-FOUR, so Flair goes to work on the knee some more. Now it’s FIGURE-FOUR time. Hogan sells and then doesn’t sell as he powers out. He continues to walk around while Flair kicks him in his bad knee until he points the finger. Oh no he didn’t. He punches and Big Boots Flair, but he can’t stand up on his bad knee. With some help from the ropes, he’s back on his feet. LEGDROP to Flair. No cover though because of the knee. Flair wakes up and grabs the FIGURE-FOUR again until Hogan reverses the hold. While the ref is talking to Jimmy Hart, Sherri runs over and WHACKS Hogan in the knee with the point of a high heel shoe. Hogan falls off the apron to the floor and then gets counted out! Flair wins! (14:26) Flair celebrates with the belt until Hogan beats him down and takes it back. Here comes Shane Stant again to work over Hogan’s knee. He joins forces with Flair, but that doesn’t mean they know each other. Well, it’s pretty obvious that the masked man is Arn Anderson right now. But Flair is innocent until proven guilty! Flair applies the FIGURE-FOUR while Sherri kicks at Hulk and the masked man runs to the back. STING IS HERE! Did he not pass that masked fellow on the way to the ring? Now he makes the save for the Hulkster. It seems the tables have turned, my friend. Flair and Sherri get the heck out of Dodge and takes the belt with them. ***
Final Thoughts: This Clash did a good job of moving things forward even if the future did just lead to Hogan and friends being the central part of the company. But for now anyways, the Nasties are getting over as a face team again, the Steamboat/Austin feud is finally paid off with a deserved title switch, Wargames is basically set, and the Hogan/Flair feud is continued and given some fresh air thanks to the masked man. You’ve got one great match here and one that’s kind of interesting considering the buildup throughout the whole night even if they did just rip off what they did with Sting years before. Hey, but that’s the wrestling biz for ya. By the way, I believe the Hogan/Flair rematch received the highest cable rating ever at the time. I’ll give Clash 28 a thumbs up.