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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Clash of the Champions II: Miami Mayhem

October 11, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Clash of the Champions II: Miami Mayhem  

Clash of the Champions II: Miami Mayhem!
by J.D. Dunn

  • June 8, 1988
  • Live from Miami, Fla.
  • Your hosts are Tony Schiavone and Bob Caudle.

  • Opening Match, U.S. Title: Barry Windham (w/JJ Dillon) vs. Brad Armstrong.
    Barry had just defeated Nikita Koloff in the finals to crown new U.S. Champion. The title was vacated after Dusty Rhodes accidentally hit Jim Crockett with a bat and was suspended. Brad was a solid wrestler, the older brother of B.G. James, and was part of the Lightning Express tag team along with Tim Horner at this point. Barry keeps taking Brad down, but he always gets caught cheating. Finally, he suckerpunches Brad off a corner break. Brad avoids a fistdrop, though, and controls with a headlock. Barry tries to force him into the corner, but Armstrong walks up the ropes and turns them back over. They criss-cross, and Brad gets a bodyslam. Back to the headlock. Brad tries to walk up the ropes, but this time Barry just falls back into a suplex. Ahh. You’re very sly, but so am I. Barry slaps on the figure-four leglock as Caudle quickly reminds us that Dusty never lost the title. He did the same thing with the TV Title. Dillon adds an assist to keep Brad from reversing. Brad finally makes the ropes and avoids a flying elbow drop. Brad is a house of fire! He dropkicks Barry and hits the flying bodypress for two. He tries another one, but Barry rolls through into the Claw for the pin at 13:59. Pretty cool finish, and Brad had the fans believing he might do the impossible. It was a little headlock-heavy in the early going, but otherwise solid. **1/2

  • Lex Luger arrives in his limo, but the Horsemen jump him and leave him lying. Classic Horsemen beatdown.
  • U.S. Tag Team Titles: The Fantastics vs. The Sheepherders (w/Rip Morgan).
    These two had a ***** match back in 1986, according to the Observer. This is much more standard, but they all have great chemistry together, so this is better than you’d expect from Luke and Butch. Some guy in the crowd has a sign that reads “New Zealand – no, USA – yes!” Complex international politics at their finest. Fulton gets knocked to the floor, and Morgan’s attempted interference backfires. The Fantastics blitz the Sheeps with their quickness, so Luke & Butch bail to regroup. Butch takes over on Rogers, but Fulton gets the hot tag. He catches an elbow to assume the real face-in-peril role. Fulton collides with Luke for a double-KO spot. It leads to a donnybrook, and Fulton and Rogers keep getting two counts in a goofy spot that pops the crowd. Now, they can’t *both* be legal. Rogers works Luke’s arm, but Butch yanks down the ropes, spilling him to the floor. The Sheeps take over with their punch/kickery offense on Rogers. Morgan’s interference backfires again, but the Sheepherders shrug it off. Rogers hits Butch with an STO, but Butch knees him in the gut. Rogers reverses a whip and sends Butch into Luke. That’s finally enough for him to get the hot tag. Fulton O’Connor Rolls Luke and gets the pin at 17:06 even though Butch made the save. This was long and awkward. The Sheepherders seemed to be uncooperative at certain points, which I guess, lends to their gimmick. Not a bad match, but a little long for what they were doing. **3/4

  • The Varsity Club vs. Ronnie & Jimmy Garvin (w/Precious).
    Steve Williams joins commentary for the match because he’s in a feud with the Varsity Club. The Varsity Club are Rick Steiner and a heel-turned Mike Rotundo. Their manager, Kevin Sullivan is locked in a cage at ringside, and Precious holds the key. The story here is that Sullivan is obsessed with Jimmy’s wife/valet Precious and was blackmailing her with some sort of information. I assume this was Dusty’s way of recycling the Baby Doll “dirty pictures” angle that didn’t go anywhere. The Garvins dominate early, but they keep getting distracted by Sullivan, who is trying to make nice with Precious so she’ll let him out of the cage. Ronnie plays face-in-peril as the announcers imply there might be something more than meets the eye between Sullivan and Precious. The work in the false tag spot, and Sullivan taunts Precious with the incriminating piece of paper. Jimmy gets the hot tag and gets the drop on Rotunda. Ronnie gets backdropped and goes back to playing face-in-peril. That was weird. Ronnie gets choked out with the tag rope and tossed out. He headbutts Steiner on the bridge of the nose to come back. I own you! Jimmy gets the hot tag and finishes Rick with the brainbuster at 13:20, but the focus is on Sullivan and Precious because Precious has decided to try and get that letter that Sullivan has been taunting her with. That proves to be a stupid move because once Precious is within reach, he grabs her and steals the key to the cage from her. He unlocks himself and begins to throttle her, so Steve Williams leaves the announce table to make the save. The faces clear the VC out of the ring, but Precious leaves on her own. Hmmm. Hard to judge the match because most of the focus was on Precious and Sullivan. Looked about **1/4
  • Nikita Koloff vs. Al Perez (w/Gary Hart).
    Koloff is a shell of his former self at this point, much like the Soviet Union. Perez, who was one of my favorites during his Mid-South run, had also really dropped off. Koloff grabs an armbar for a bit. Perez drops him to the floor, though, and Hart smashes Nikita’s head on the announce table. Perez goes to work on the back. Nikita nearly gets a flash pin, but Perez blocks and hits the chinlock. This goes on for a while. Perez blocks a sunset flip, but Nikita reverses his suplex attempt. Nikita makes the big comeback with a reverse elbow and a flying shoulderblock. Suddenly, Larry Zbyszko runs in for the DQ at 11:50. Well, that sucks. The heels take turns beating up Koloff and leave him lying. Boring match. *1/2

  • NWA World Tag Titles: Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard (w/JJ Dillon) vs. Dusty Rhodes & Sting.
    You’d think that Sting & Luger would get the shot here, but Luger got the world title shot, so he left Sting to team with Dusty. That would actually be a great divide-and-conquer strategy if they played it up. You know, break up the team that had defeated you by offering one of them a world title shot and that way you can defeat a team with less chemistry and retain the world title. Risky, but cool. Arn tosses Sting early but misses a punch and hits the post. D’oh! Back in, Sting tosses Tully from pillar to post and tags in Dusty (who had just returned from his suspension). Dusty puts Tully in the figure-four, but Dillon hops up and distracts Teddy Long while Arn cheapshots Rhodes from the floor. It’s like watching a well-orchestrated ballet – only more gay. Sting gets the hot tag and Stinger Splashes Tully. Arn breaks up the Scorpion Deathlock, allowing Tully to knee Sting to the floor. Arn adds a hot shot on the railing. Awesome! Sting blocks Arn’s pump-splash, but Tully cuts off the tag. They work in the spot where Arn blocks a suplex, and Tully comes off the top with a sunset flip. Tully tosses Sting, and Arn adds a DDT ON THE CONCRETE! If it were 1984, Sting would be out for months. It’s 1988, though, so Sting is able to fight back. Dusty gets the hot tag, and it’s pandelerium. Dusty cleans house, but Barry Windham and Ric Flair run in for the DQ at 11:00. This was just starting to get good before the DQ. Arn & Tully had Flair-like abilities to make matches watchable even if the opponents weren’t very good. In this case, they had Sting and Dusty to work with, so they could have done a **** match. Instead, it’s just a backdrop to reinforce that the Horsemen are bad, bad men. **1/2
  • The 411: The show started okay with long matches and clean finishes, but the last half was just to hype the Great American Bash, not to be good on its own merits.

    Mild thumbs down here.

    Final Score:  5.5   [ Not So Good ]  legend

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