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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Clash of the Champions XVI: Fall Brawl ’91

December 19, 2009 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Clash of the Champions XVI: Fall Brawl ’91  

Clash of the Champions XVI: Fall Brawl ’91

by J.D. Dunn
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  • September 5, 1991
  • Live from Augusta, Ga.
  • Your hosts are Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone.

  • Opening Match: Georgia Brawl Battle Royal
    Your participants are Big Josh, Oz, Steve Austin, Tracy Smothers, Barry Windham, Ranger Ross, PN News, Thomas Rich, The One Man Gang, Tom Zenk, Terrence Taylor, Buddy Lee Parker, Dustin Rhodes, Bobby Eaton and El Gigante. They sell this as some sort of tradition, but it’s just a good, old-fashioned battle royal. Z-Man, Parker, Taylor, and Ross go pretty early thanks to Gigante. They all gang up on the One Mang Gang. Gang fights them off and tosses Eaton. Windham and Austin eliminate each other and fight to the back. That leaves Oz, Dustin Rhodes, Gigante and the OMG as your final four. Oz and Gang team up to toss Dustin as Gigante staggers around like Lucille Austero with vertigo. He recovers and clotheslines both guys over at once to win the thing at 15:35. Pretty bad as no one cares about battle royals. *

  • Light-Heavyweight Title Tournament, Semi-Finals: Brian Pillman vs. Bad Street (w/The Freebirds).
    This is Brian Pillman’s big return to WCW after “thousands of cards and letters flooded the Superstation” begging for his return. In fact, he’d been wrestling as Yellow Dog after losing a “loser-leaves-town” match. Bad Street (Brad Armstrong) would be the only Freebird eligible for the division. Pillman gets a nice springboard sunset flip early, but Bad Street tosses him and knocks him into the Pillman Bump. Bad Street goes up, but Pillman dropkicks him off the top rope and hits a tope. He nearly brained himself on the railing on that one. Hell, Austin Aries was saying, “Dude, be careful.” Pillman goes for a missile dropkick, but Bad Street dropkicks him on the way down. Spinning wheel kick (or “big karate kick,” according to Ross) gets two for Pillman. Pillman goes for the crucifix, but Bad Street counters to a Samoan Drop for two. He sets Pillman on top, but Pillman fights him off and hits the crossbody at 6:20. Amazing stuff for the time as most of this had not been seen outside of Japan. Of course, Pillman and Lyger would redefine the genre a few months after this, but this was a nice precursor. ***

  • Non-Title: Sting vs. Johnny B. Badd (w/Teddy Long).
    Badd was undefeated at this point. Lightning fast start as Sting misses the pump splash, and Badd sunset flips him off the top. Sting grabs an armbar, and they trade a few moves until someone delivers a box to ringside. Ross tells us that someone has been trying to take Sting out. Johnny B. Badd assumes it’s a present for him, and Sting is able to roll him up at 5:47. Turns out it’s Cactus Jack, who pops out of the box and attacks Sting. CONSEQUENCES! 1/2*

  • Light-Heavyweight Title Tournament: Richard Morton (w/Alexandra York) vs. Mike Graham.
    Graham is several hundred miles and about half a dozen years from being over, plus people don’t really buy Morton as a singles heel. This is very mat-based and much slower than the Pillman match, so they don’t do themselves any favors. Graham slams Morton and rolls him up, but York has the ref distracted. The kickout sends Graham into the buckle, though, and Morton is able to roll him up for the win at 7:35. Matches like this show that the light-heavyweights were not just a division but a style. This was not that style. **

  • Bill Kazmaier, one of many World’s Strongest Men, bends a bar around his neck. You know, I have a jar of pickles that has been giving me fits. Oops. Too late. Arn Anderson and Larry Zbyszko jump Kazmaier and hit him in the back with a weight. See, this is why you don’t do these kinds of things before a big title match. Rick Steiner chases the Enforcers away.
  • The Fabulous Freebirds vs. The Patriots.
    Oy. The Patriots are Todd Champion as a Special Forces soldier and Firebreaker Chip (Curtis Thompson) as a fireman. The Patriots were all gimmick and no substance. Champion seems to be patterned after Capcom’s Guile. He was actually fired from the USWA by Jerry Lawler for being dangerous in the ring. He has a great look, though. Chip plays the face-in-peril for a while before tagging out. Todd hits a few moves and tags Chip right back in which is not only bad strategy, it’s just rude. Chip covers Garvin, but Hayes knocks him silly behind the ref’s back. Garvin rolls on top and gets the pin at 5:18. The Patriots were the kind of early 1990s WWF musclebound stiffs that could fool the audience into thinking they were good as long as they didn’t have to wrestle more than five minutes. This was pushing it. *1/2

  • The Danger Zone:
    Paul E. Dangerously asks Cactus Jack who paid him off. Cactus asks for a moment of silence for Sting’s career. Remember that this was 18 years ago in WCW, not present day TNA. Someone delivers a box to Cactus, and Cactus naturally assumes that it’s his friend Abdullah the Butcher in the box since it can’t possibly be Sting. Sting’s dead, after all. Of course, it *is* Sting, and he beats the everloving piss out of Cactus. Intense brawl that helped Cactus get over enough to get an actual match with Sting eventually.

  • Ron Simmons vs. The Diamond Studd.
    Simmons was in the midst of a big push. The Studd attacks him early and hits a sidewalk slam. That sets up a bulldog, but Studd poses and gets rolled up. Simmons crotches him on the post and atomic drops him. Studd goes to the eyes but gets spinebustered. DAMN! A flying shoulderblock finishes Studd at 2:15. Just a road bump on the way to immortality for Simmons. 1/2*

  • Paul E. catches up with Simmons. Dangerously doesn’t think he can beat Luger and his entourage. Simmons brushes past Harley Race and goes to look for Luger.
  • Van Hammer vs. Terrence Taylor (w/Alexandra York).
    This is Van Hammer’s debut. The Hammer don’t listen to no sellout corporate “computer,” man. Taylor smashes him with the computer, but Hammer no sells it and hits a front suplex. That sets up a kneedrop at 1:00. This would be the end for Terry Taylor as he became a JTTS before heading back to Titanland for a while and not making much of a mark. Van Hammer had a good look (part Eddie Van Halen, part Jim Helwig), but not a lot of charisma otherwise. 1/4*

  • In the back, Simmons storms the locker room in an oddly shot segment. The camera seems to be everywhere.
  • WCW TV Title: Steve Austin (w/Lady Blossom) vs. The Z-Man.
    Austin was quickly becoming synonymous with quality at this point, but politics would keep him treading water… well, for the rest of his WCW stint, really. Austin catches him with the Stun Gun but can’t cover immediately. Zenk grabs a sleeper, but Austin makes the ropes and gets a foreign object from Lady Blossom. Zenk ducks a swing, but Austin clocks him in the middle of a backdrop suplex and lands on top for the win at 9:13. Nothing compared to their stuff on Worldwide. **

  • Earlier in the week, Ron Simmons told a bunch of elementary school kids not to give up.
  • Press conference time: Ron Simmons, with his wife and Dusty Rhodes, signs to meet Lex Luger. Not surprisingly, this turns into a brawl.
  • WCW Tag Team Tournament Finals: Rick Steiner & Bill Kazmaier vs. The Enforcers.
    The Steiners held the titles until Scott was injured earlier in the year and they had to vacate. This is the finals to crown new champs. The show is running low on time, so Rick and Bill hit the ring hard. Rick powerslams Arn, but the pin is broken up by Larry. The Enforcers go to work on Rick’s arm and isolate him in their corner. Rick fights them off but chooses not to tag out because Kazmaier sucks something fierce is injured. Kazmaier tags himself in and overpowers the heels. He tries a press slam, though, and Arn punches him in the ribs. Larry falls on top for the pin and the titles at 3:32. Oh, the Enforcers would get theirs at the very next Clash. Rushed, but probably the best way to go, considering it was Bill Kazmaier. *

  • Arn’s words of wisdom: “If you can’t breathe, you can’t win.”
  • The 411: Another bad Clash in a seemingly endless sea of them. The Pillman/Bad Street match is the only match worth watching, and even then it's only because it was so ahead of its time. Many of these guys had no business being in the ring, let alone getting pushed. The Cactus Jack-in-a-box angle earns a few points, but that's about it.

    Thumbs way down.

     
    Final Score:  3.0   [ Bad ]  legend

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