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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Clash of the Champions VI: Ragin’ Cajun

November 24, 2009 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Clash of the Champions VI: Ragin’ Cajun  

Clash of the Champions VI: Ragin’ Cajun
by J.D. Dunn

This would be the last of the Clashes to go head-to-head with a WWF PPV with the intent of derailing their buyrates. The real winners were the fans, though, who got a great main event at WrestleMania V and a match you might have heard of at the Clash.

  • April 2, 1989
  • Live from New Orleans, La.
  • Your hosts are Jim Ross, Michael Hayes and Terry Funk.

  • Opening Match: The Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette) vs. The Samoan Swat Team (w/Paul E. Dangerously).
    Paul E.’s Original Midnight Express failed to get the job done against Cornette’s version, so they were bounced out of the NWA, and Dangerously brought in another team – Fatu & Samu – to get the job done. Lane gets a crossbody on Samu early, and the MX doubleteam Fatu (Rikishi). Lane settles things down with a chinlock. Corny takes a swipe at Samu with the tennis racket. The Midnights start to cheat wholesale, much to the delight of the crowd. Samu nails Eaton, though, to turn him into the face-in-peril. The nerve pinch grinds the match to a halt, but Eaton fights out of it and tags in Lane. Lane and Eaton clean house, but Dangerously cheapshots him to set up another face-in-peril segment. Fatu hits a powerslam for two, and Same helps him with a double headbutt for two more. The diving headbutt misses, and it’s THE HOT TAG TO EATON! The double noggin-knocker doesn’t work on the Samoans. Fatu goes up top but wipes out Samu. That allows Eaton to get a neckbreaker for two. The MX set up for the Rocket Launcher, but Fatu hits Eaton with Dangerously’s cell phone (back when they were big enough to do damage). That’s enough for the pin at 20:32. Good tag formula, but the SST were known for being shaky workers – sometimes good, sometimes lazy. They alternated between the two extremes here. **1/2

  • The Great Muta (w/Gary Hart) vs. Steve Casey.
    I know not all Japanese people hang out together, but wouldn’t Hiro Matsuda have made more sense as Muta’s manager? This would be Muta’s major show debut under the gimmick. He sprays Casey with the mist early and hits his handspring elbow. Ooooh. Ahhh. Ohhhh. Muta mulekicks him in the corner, so Casey bails out. Hart tosses him back in, though, and Muta hits a missile dropkick. Muta flips out of a wristlock and grounds him with a nerve hold. Casey comes back with a clothesline, but Muta enzuigiris him to the floor and hits a pescado. Muta hits another handspring elbow on the outside. Jeez. Back in, the moonsault finishes at 8:12. The usual extended squash for Muta. Casey made for a solid tackling dummy. *1/2

  • The Junkyard Dog vs. Butch Reed (w/Hiro Matsuda).
    These two had a big feud back in Mid-South before both guys left for the WWE (first JYD and later Reed). Neither guy has the verve that they brought with them to that feud here. Dog does a lot of choking, which is odd for a babyface. JYD misses a headbutt, and Reed hits his flying shoulderblock. Foot on the ropes, though. The heels try some nefariousness, but it backfires and they collide. That leads to a rollup by JYD at 8:50. Reed had a modest push going before this. Afterward, he’d meander about aimlessly until the formation of Doom. 3/4*

  • Dick Murdoch vs. “Cowboy” Bob Orton (w/Gary Hart).
    The issue here is… well, really irrelevant. They do an old-school wrestling sequence only at a slow pace. Orton grabs a wristlock to burn up half the match. Murdoch slugs it out with him, and Orton reverses a brainbuster to a suplex attempt. Murdoch blocks and reverses again to a brainbuster attempt. Gary Hart pulls his legs out from under him, though, and Orton falls on top for the win at 9:44. Better than it had any right to be, but it’s hard to care about these two when guys like Sting and the Road Warriors are on the card. *3/4

  • NWA World Tag Team Titles: The Road Warriors (w/Paul Ellering) vs. Steve Williams & Mike Rotundo (w/Kevin Sullivan).
    Teddy Long is the referee, which normally wouldn’t be something to point out, but there’s a first time for everything. The Roadies clean house early, with Animal Military Pressing both Mike and Dr. Death (not at the same time, of course). The Varsity Club regroups, and Doc exchanges clotheslines with Hawk. Animal grabs a double headlock but gets tossed and jumped by Doc. Back in, Doc gets two off a belly-to-belly. Mike adds the abdominal stretch. Doc tosses Animal again and hits a spinebuster. Animal comes back with a clothesline, but Doc cuts off the tag. Animal explodes with another lariat, though, and gets the HOT TAG TO HAWK! Hawk cleans house and Military Presses Rotundo. A flying shoulderblock gets only two, and Animal tosses Long down. The Roadies hit the Doomsday Device. Long refuses to count, though. Williams sneaks in and rolls up Hawk. ONETWOTHREE! Teddy Long gives a quick count, giving the Varsity Club the win and the titles at 11:58. Williams was a good opponent for the Roadies because he could match power without sacrificing wrestling ability. Long would retire/get fired from refereeing and become a manager. Good for him for being able to remain relevant to the pseudo-sport all these years. **3/4
  • Ranger Ross vs. The Iron Sheik (w/Rip Morgan).
    Ross is kind of like the Black Sgt. Slaughter. Sheik blindsides him and puts the pointy boots to him. Okay, did we *ever* get a kayfabe explanation as to why those are legal? I remember Gorilla Monsoon complaining about them for years, but nobody ever did anything about them. Ross reverses an abdominal stretch and avoids a flipping senton. Ross hits a thrust kick, but Morgan breaks up the pin for the DQ at 1:54. The heels beat down Ross, but Junkyard Dog makes the save. Bleh. They couldn’t even give Ross a clean win? DUD

  • Ric Flair promises to win the title for all the pretty women in New Orleans. All the pretty women in New Orleans? No wonder he didn’t get it done.
  • U.S. Tag Titles: Eddie Gilbert & Rick Steiner (w/Missy Hyatt) vs. Kevin Sullivan & Danny Spivey.
    The New Varsity Club attacks before the bell, and Spivey Boss Man Slams Gilbert. He refuses to take the pin, though. Smart. Spivey and his mullet have a nice array of nasty suplexes. Sullivan suckers Steiner in and tosses Gilbert over the top. Dastardly! Gilbert escapes the tree-of-woe (the original tree-of-woe) and tags Steiner. Powerslam to Spivey! ONE, TWO, THR-NO! Steiner blocks an atomic drop and counters to a belly-to-belly suplex. Sullivan makes the save, triggering a big brawl. In all the chaos, Gilbert grabs Missy’s loaded bag and nails Sullivan for the win at 4:53. After the match, the heels try to cripple Gilbert, but Steiner makes the save. Brisk little match that packed a lot into a short amount of time. **1/2

  • NWA Heavyweight Title, 2/3 Falls: Ricky Steamboat vs. Ric Flair.
    Ah yes. This match. Ricky had just jumped over from the WWF earlier in the year and instantly became a thorn in Flair’s side. Flair put the title up at the Chi-Town Rumble, and the unthinkable happened when Steamboat actually defeated him! Now, Flair is getting his rematch.

    First Fall: Steamboat backs him into the corner, and they slap each other in the face. They exchange counters for a bit and wind up in an overhand wristlock battle. Steamboat wins that contest, and Flair bails to think about things. Back in, Flair shoulderblocks him down, but Steamboat hiptosses him on a second attempt and rides him down into a side headlock. They work off that for a while with Flair hooking the tights. Finally, Flair forces Steamboat into the corner and shoulderblocks his gut. Flair lays in some absolutely BRUTAL chops, but Steamboat comes back with his own equally stiff chops. Steamboat comes back with a dropkick and fires off a series of crossfaces. Flair forces him to the corner again, and elbows him in the ribs. They exchange chops again, and adjectives just can’t do them justice. Flair takes a backdrop and begs off. Steamboat moves in and gets kicked in the gut. Steamboat slides between Flair’s legs, gets an O’Connor Roll for two, and it’s back to the side headlock. That segues to a front facelock. They exchange chops yet again, and Flair gives Steamboat an atomic drop. Flair is late on getting over to him, so Steamboat DESTROYS him with a chop and gets two. A shoulderblock gets two. And two more. And now a double chop gets two. The nearfalls are coming fast and furious, so Flair bails again. Back in, Flair fires off a few more chops, triggering a battle of chops that sound like shotgun blasts. Even commentator Terry Funk is wincing. Steamboat gets a suplex, but his splash meets Flair’s knees. Flair gets a Sullivan-stomp to Steamboat’s gut and starts going after pinfalls of his own with a 3/4-Nelson. Steamboat maneuvers into a wristlock and kips up into a test of strength. Flair boots him in the gut, triggering another round of chops. “What can you say except ‘Ouch,'” says Funk. “Ouch” indeed, Terry. Steamboat misses a dropkick, allowing Flair to go for the figure-four leglock. Steamboat reverses to a small package, but Flair rolls it over to his own to pick up the first fall at 19:33.

    Second Fall: After the first tremendous fall, Flair is now your champion if the match goes to a time-limit draw, thanks to the “Louisiana Rule.” The best compliment I can give that first fall is that it’s twenty minutes of action that feels more like five. Steamboat starts the second fall aggressively with a chop off the top rope for two. He tries a headlock, but Flair counters to a backdrop suplex to take over again. Flair hits a kneedrop but misses a second, and Steamboat hits FIFTEEN consecutive elbow drops on Flair’s knee (Funk added in an extra one on commentary)! Steamboat applies the figure-four, and Flair squeals in pain. Flair makes the ropes and kicks Steamboat away on another figure-four attempt, but Steamboat yanks him off and turns him over into the Boston Crab. Flair makes the ropes again and screams, “OH GAWWWD!” right into the camera. They fight it out with more stiff chops and work in the headlock > headscissors > pinfall > power-into-a-backslide sequence that’s been ripped off for every epic match since. Flair sends Steamboat to the floor and tosses Ricky into the railing. Ricky takes his time returning to the ring, and Flair snaps his throat on the ropes. A suplex into the ring gets two, and Flair rolls Steamboat back into the Oklahoma Crossbody Ride from an abdominal stretch.

    Third Fall: Flair clips Steamboat’s knee early in the fall, and they lay into each other with more chops. Steamboat backdrops him to continue the work-the-back theme he’d established in the second fall. Flair gets a kneebreaker out of nowhere, though. FIGURE-FOUR! Steamboat makes the ropes immediately, though, and Flair gets chippy with Tommy Young. More chops, and Flair works in the Flair Flip. Steamboat cuts him off with another chop, though. Flair begs off and then scoops up Steamboat’s legs and puts his feet on the ropes for several nearfalls. Steamboat charges right into a boot. He misses another charge and gets his knee tied up on the ropes. Flair goes right after it, of course. FIGURE-FOUR! Steamboat is in the middle of the ring this time, though. Flair gets several nearfalls before Ricky finally rolls to the ropes. Flair continues to work the leg, though, smashing Ricky’s leg into the apron. Back in, the Flair Flip works this time, and Flair gets two off a crossbody. Steamboat tries a bodyslam but collapses, giving Flair another two count. Steamboat hits a flying headbutt and hits his own crossbody (the move that restarted the whole feud) for two. A swinging neckbreaker gets two more for Steamboat, and he powers Flair over with a sunset flip for two. He shoulderblocks Flair down, but Flair counters another one with a sleeper. Steamboat powers up and sends Flair to the floor. Flair sneaks back in and clips his leg again, but Steamboat hits a surprise enzuigiri. A flying chop misses, and they tease a double KO. More chops. Steamboat is just taking his hide off with those. Flair begs off as Steamboat lets out a primal scream. Flair suckers him in and gives him a backdrop suplex. He goes up again, and this time Steamboat catches him with the traditional slam. DOUBLE CHICKENWING! Oh, but Ricky’s leg buckles this time from the accumulated injuries. *****

  • The 411: The main event is available on Ric Flair's original DVD release, but I'll still recommend you see this show if you can for the atmosphere and fun undercard. Sure, many of the matches aren't classics, but they don't overstay their welcome and the tag matches make it worth seeing. Definitely watch the main event at least once.

    Thumbs way up.

    411 Elite Award
    Final Score:  8.5   [ Very Good ]  legend

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