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Clash of the Champions VII: Guts and Glory (6.14.1989) Review

October 16, 2019 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Clash of the Champions VII
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Clash of the Champions VII: Guts and Glory (6.14.1989) Review  

-Lt. Gen. Carl Stiner welcomes us to the show and explicitly refers to the promotion as World Championship Wrestling.

-Freddie Miller emerges from the mothballs to run down the card for tonight’s special.

-It’s June 14, 1989.

-We’re in Fort Bragg, NC with no air conditioning, and the temperature went over 100 degrees during the event.

-Your hosts are Jim Ross and Bob Caudle who are both already sweating.

-A military choir sings the national anthem while a crowd packed with other members of the military audibly hoot and holler over it.

-Earlier today, WCW stars participated in some of the training exercises with ROTC recruits. JR totally deadpans a line about Missy Hyatt getting help from the other recruits putting on her flotation vest.


-The shocking revelation of the newest Freebird is the most anticlimactic presentation possible. Jimmy Garvin just walks to the ring with the Freebirds and JR tells us “It’s Jimmy Garvin.”

-All four men brawl to start. The Dudes atomic drop the Freebirds into each other and the Dudes try to do some Rockers-style tandem moves but it just looks clumsy when they try it. The Dudes pinball Hayes and Johnny Ace armdrags both Freebirds. Garvin surprises him with a tackle and holds him down while Hayes stomps away at him, and Johnny Ace is playing executive vice president in charge of being in peril. Garvin throws him to the floor and Hayes pounces, throwing him into the barricade. Commentators are left with nothing to talk about so they begin playing up the military theming tonight and JR makes my jaw hit the floor when he refers to General Westmoreland as a great leader.

-Collision on a double shoulderblock allows Ace to crawl over and make the hot tag. All four men end up in the ring again. Hayes gets double-dropkicked out to the floor. Shane rolls up Garvin but Hayes slips in and DDTs him, allowing Garvin to roll over and get the three-count. Crowd was jacked but there wasn’t much to this. 0 for 1.

-An insane commercial for The Wrestling Hotline, featuring Jack Victory in his Secret Service persona after we just goddamn relaunched him as New Zealand Militia. Lance Russell, Joe Pedecino, Paul E. Dangerously, Eddie Gilbert, and Jim Ross can give you all the hot scoops, for $2.00 for the first minute and 45 cents each additional minute.


-The fact that a guy calling himself “The Terrorist” was granted access to the venue doesn’t speak highly of Fort Bragg’s protocol or security measures.

-Terrorist attacks from behind, which is pretty true to character, but Ross takes him down with a flying forearm as JR goes off on an odd tangent about wishing he was home “drinking a Coors Light and eating Domino’s Pizza.” Combat kick finishes. Squash. 0 for 2.

-A Road Warriors tribute video, and kind of a neat one as it’s actually chronicling their entire career and it leads off with shots of them in the TBS Studio in 1983.

-JR is in the ring with jobbers Trent Knight and Mike Justice. Gary Hart comes to the ring with Great Muta and Gary Hart, and Muta refuses to have the scheduled Dragon Chi challenge because this isn’t real competition. Muta demands opponents like Ricky Steamboat or Sting or Eddie Gilbert. Gilbert is up to the challenge, charging the ring with a fireball, but his aim is off and he hits Trent Knight with it, blinding him while Muta and Hart just leave the ring. Weird angle to build this match because it just kind of made Eddie look like a boob. 0 for 3.


-Enough has been written about the Ding-Dongs that there’s really not much more to say except to point out that this gimmick is so completely ridiculous that everybody who’s ever written a review of this match has done so without even noticing that Gary Capetta introduces George South as hailing from “Hometown.” That’s like a gag you’d do if Ron Burgundy was ring announcer. The Ding-Dongs just completely take the spotlight away from that.

-And out come the Ding-Dongs, two masked jobbers who have little sleigh bells on bracelets around their ankles and their wrists, plus a big bell in the corner. And their entrance theme is an accordion tune. So every bump these guys give or take causes little bells to fly off their gear. The Ding Dong not in the ring rings the corner bell constantly to motivate his partner, and even the commentators are pretty bluntly complaining about the noise.

-Fans are booing this out of the building while South applies a side headlock. Double hiptosses by the Ding Dongs. JR is still complaining about the bell in the corner as South gets slammed down to the mat. The bell falls off the corner and it gets the biggest pop of this match. The ring is just covered with little bells. Miscommunication leads to South ramming his balls into one of the Ding-Dongs. Modified belly-to-belly by one of the Ding-Dongs. Elbow off the second rope by Ding and a knee off the second rope by the other gets three. 0 for 4.

-Next we hear from Congressman Charlie Rose, who wishes us a happy Flag Day, the American holiday equivalent of the Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence.


-Drunk fan hits the ring during the Midnight Express’ introduction, and instead of everyone playing dumb, Cornette calls attention to it on the mic.

-All four men brawl in the ring as the managers get into a chase on the floor. I think the heat’s bad enough that it’s affecting everyone’s work. Fatu can’t even get in the air for an attempted backdrop. Midnights have the edge in the early going, but Tama takes Eaton’s head off with a crescent kick and the SST takes control as JR namedrops Afa and Sika on commentary. Samu faceplants Eaton and drops the leg for two. Corner charge misses and it’s hot tag Lane. All four men end up in the ring and the referee gets knocked loopy. Road Warriors take advantage of the opening to storm the ring and maul the SST, and the referee recovers in time to count three for the Midnight Express. 1 for 5. Finally, something goes right tonight!

-We take a look at Terry Funk’s assault of Ric Flair at Wrestlewar ’89 and JR is just soaked at this point.

-The Great American Bash tour this year will feature a series of two-ring battle royals. Be there!


-Remember when they just announced in 1988 that Dr. Death was a heel now? Same thing. JR explains that during a tour of Japan, Gordy sucker punched Doc so now Doc’s a face. It’s a slugfest while JR notes that it’s been rumored that Kevin Sullivan paid Gordy for the sucker punch and then adds MORE layers to this by talking about past animosity from their days in Mid-South Wrestling. Doing an angle on the TBS Saturday show would have taken two minutes.

-Back suplex by Gordy as JR and Bob Caudle agree that they really want a Coors Light right now. Chinlock applied by Gordy while JR mentions that he invited Lex Luger to come out from the locker room to greet the troops and Lex said no. Gordy fights out and slams Gordy as JR encourages us to call the Wrestling Hotline and pay 45 cents a minute to hear Lance Russell and Joe Pedecino call commentary for the show we’re watching right this second.

-Bodypress by Williams gets two. He dropkicks Gordy out to the floor. Back in, they slug it out “in the Coors Light corner” of the ring and Gordy gets knocked back out to the floor. Williams follows him out too, and it’s a double-countout. Shit finish but a good hoss brawl while it lasted. 2 for 6.


-Norman’s debut. He hammers Justice down and connects with an avalanche to get the win in under a minute. 2 for 7. Norman is strapped onto a stretcher and returned to the asylum post-match, with Teddy Long waving the key in Norman’s face to keep him under control.

-A Flyin’ Brian video montage. Sadly not the one showing that he’s a helicopter pilot going on adventures in his off-hours. This one just shows him training and doing wrestling moves. A wrestling wrestler character? Sounds a little out there.


-Scott rams Sullivan from turnbuckle to turnbuckle. Rotunda tries to help and gets a series of right hands from Rick for it. Rick tags in proper. Shoulderblocks for everyone! JR amuses himself by giving a shout-out to the WCW fans in the Stamford area. Steiner applies a side headlock and Rotunda turns it into a suplex. Scott tags in and bodypresses him for two. Referee gets distracted and Scott takes a crazy bump, as Rotunda gives Steiner a gourdbuster in the ring but sending him straight to the floor with nothing to break his fall. Sullivan meets him out there and attacks with the stairs.

-Back in, Rotunda gets maximum impact with a dropkick square in Scott’s face. Scott’s back is turning purple from the stairs shot, holy crap. Rotunda goes for another dropkick but Scott ducks and makes the tag. Rick fights the world. All four men end up in the ring, and a chair ends up in the ring too, so Rotunda gives Scott a double underhook right on the chair, aggravating the already injured back, and gets the three-count. 3 for 8. Short match but they made the very most out of the time.

-Fist fight to start as JR tells us that Lex Luger was asked to sit in for this match and do guest commentary but he’s refused. Irwin with a hot shot on Sting to take over. Sting fights back with a suplex for two. Irwin struggles for a spinebuster and heads off to get his whip, but Sting sneaks up with a Stinger splash and rolls him up for three. Sting tried to do Hogan formula here and it didn’t really work. 3 for 9.

-We take a look at Scott “Gator” Hall, the man who pulled off the most amazing reinvention ever in pro wrestling. You just cannot draw a straight line between this Magnum TA wannabe and Razor Ramon at all.

-Earlier today, Jim Ross visited the home of Ric Flair. Flair, in a neck brace, says that this is the worst injury he’s ever endured. Even worse than the plane crash, because after the plane crash, he felt sure he could return, but right now, he honestly isn’t sure. JR clarifies a plot point here, saying that the NWA has waived the 30-day title defense rule because of the unusual nature of Flair’s injury. Flair says he’s been spotted an extra 30 days and that he’ll “try to work it out with Jim Herd.” I have the utmost confidence that things will go well when Ric Flair tries to work something out with Jim Herd. He says he’ll make an announcement on July 1. Great segment, as Flair did a great job of acting “out of character” and it’s hard to be sure if he’s really coming back. 4 for 10.


-But Paul E. Dangerously rushes to ringside before the match and knocks Jim Cornette out cold with a loaded tennis racquet. The Dynamic Dudes rush to ringside to check on Cornette…hmm…and carry him back to the locker room while the Midnights stay in the ring to try to win the title.

-Midnights are riled up to start off, but Garvin stops the onslaught through the power of stalling. Stan Lane tags in and connects with his educated feet a few times. Eaton heads back in and the Freebirds stall some more. Series of slams by Garvin. Eaton ends up on the floor with JR voicing suspicion about the metal studs on the Freebirds’ gloves. Eaton is reeling. Back in the ring, Garvin snapmares him into a chinlock. Eaton fights out and makes the tag, but the hotness of the tag is extinguished immediately by a boot from Garvin. Hayes comes in and goes for a backdrop, but Lane DDTs him and tags Eaton back in.

-Hayes gets dropkicked to the floor. Double backdrop for Garvin. Hayes comes back in and gets knocked out to the floor again. Gordy attempts to interfere but gets knocked to the floor. Flapjack on Garvin gets two. Finally, this donnybrook is too much for Tommy Young to keep track of, and he looks away long enough for Terry Gordy to sneak in for a powerbomb, and the Freebirds are your new World Tag Team Champs. 5 for 11.


-Steamboat is currently ranked #1 contender to the NWA Title, Funk is ranked #10, and the gist of it is that if Steamboat loses, they swap rankings.

-Funk backs Steamboat into the corner and chops him repeatedly and with great fervor. Steamboat pretty much takes it as a challenge and unleashes his own series of hard chops. Funk goes to fisticuffs and sends Steamboat out to the floor. Back in, Funk does a Rude Awakening (the neckbreaker kind) for two. They start throwing chops again, with Steamboat getting the edge. The knife edge, I suppose. He whips Funk and Funk poetically does a Flair-style flip and fall to the floor.

-Steamboat heads to the top rope and meets Funk on the floor with a chop to the head. Funk crawls his way back inside and Steamboat just bodyslams him right back down to the floor and everyone is shocked at how aggressive Steamboat is getting here. But Funk makes it back into the ring and blocks a corner charge with a boot to the face. Piledriver by Funk gets two. Steamboat puts everything he has into another series of chops. They battle for an Irish whip and Nick Patrick gets the worst of it.

-With no referee, Funk sends Steamboat over the top and onto the floor. Piledriver on the floor. Back in, the referee revives, but Steamboat hangs on and Funk can’t get the pin. Funk goes for a top rope splash but Steamboat raises the knees and the fans are going nuts. Stomachbreaker by Steamboat. He heads to the top and connects with another chop to the skull. Ghetto blaster by Steamboat sends Funk out to the floor. Funk’s just fed up, so he grabs the mic from JR and Bob Caudle and smacks Steamboat with it for the DQ. Funk grabs another weapon, but Lex Luger hits the ring with a folding chair and Funk gets out of Dodge. Steamboat is still out of it and Luger helps him to his feet…and then just Orndorffs the shit out of Steamboat with a clothesline. And Steamboat ends up eating the chair afterward, and the crowd is horrified. Torture rack puts a bow on the whole thing. 6 for 12. Anyway, this was fantastic from bell to bell and kind of a forgotten classic, I think.

-JR and Bob Caudle close the show by mentioning that they’re off to drink some Coors Light.

The final score: review Good
The 411
Are you familiar with the expression "The whole is more than the sum of the parts"? That's this show. They frontloaded it with shit, but once it got going it got going, and a shockingly white-hot crowd in a building that may have literally been white hot added to everything. "6 for 12" works out to a 5.0, but for the crowd, and for the Ding Dongs squash, which is worth watching for all the wrong reasons (the crowd and the commentators collectively shitting on what's supposed to be a hot new babyface team for kids) it merits some extra love.