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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Clash of the Champions XX: 20th Anniversary

March 5, 2009 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Clash of the Champions XX: 20th Anniversary  

Clash of the Champions XX: 20th Anniversary
by J.D. Dunn

  • September 2, 1992
  • Live from Atlanta, Ga.
  • Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jesse Ventura.

  • Tony Schiavone, Missy Hyatt and Teddy Long gladhand a bunch of WCW execs, and when Missy Hyatt gladhands you, you know you’ve been gladhanded. Maybe the fact that they had six or seven different WCW execs is part of the reason nothing ever really got done there. It’s like Office Space, except not funny.
  • Opening Match, No DQ TV Title: Steve Austin vs. Ricky Steamboat.
    Paul E. Dangerously is suspended above the ring in a cage. They did a bit of a replay of the Blanchard/Steamboat chase from 1984 with Austin weaseling out of losing the title at every opportunity. Ricky is coming in with his ribs taped up here. Austin isn’t able to take advantage early as Steamboat takes him down to the mat. Austin hiptosses him and drops a goofy elbow. He gets cocky, though, and Steamboat goes back to the headlock. Neat spot as Austin tries to counter to a backdrop twice and Steamboat backflips out of it twice. Austin uses the hair to take advantage and goes to work on the injured ribs. Steamboat makes the comeback with chops, but can’t slam him because of the ribs. Austin puts him in an abdominal stretch. Steamboat hiptosses out of it. Ricky goes for a crossbody, but Austin rolls through for two. Steamboat slingshots Austin into the turnbuckle for two. They fight over a Tombstone piledriver with Steamboat eventually getting it, but he can’t make the cover. Austin tries a superplex, but Steamboat throws him off. Steamboat tries to come off the second rope with a chop, but Austin punches him in the ribs. Steamboat gets a flying shoulderblock for 2. Austin tosses him, but Steamboat skins the cat back in. Austin elbows him out again. Steamboat crawls under the ring and comes out on the other side of the ring. He goes up while an oblivious Austin looks for him on the wrong side. Austin turns around right into a flying crossbody block from Steamboat. ONE, TWO, THREE. New TV Champion at 14:44. This was supposed to be the beginning of a bigger push for Austin, but he wound up getting stuck with a heel-turned Brian Pillman and making the best of it. Good psychology, of course, and it’s a testimony to Steamboat that Austin looked like a star even in the loss. ***1/4
  • Halloween Havoc promo. Spin the wheel, make the deal. Spin the wheel, make the deal. Spin the wheel, make the deal.
  • Arn Anderson & Bobby Eaton reveal that they’ve secured the services of Michael Hayes to let them in on Terry Gordy’s weaknesses. That didn’t last long.
  • Arn Anderson & Bobby Eaton (w/Michael Hayes) vs. Greg Valentine & Dick Slater (w/Larry Zbyszko).
    Who in the hell do you root for here if you’re a mark? Slater looks pretty bad at this point. He’s not bad as a wrestler. He just looks horrible. Greg Valentine looks like… a blonde Takeshi Morishima. Surprisingly, they’re not doing a lot of overt cheating. They’re just ignoring the rules and the referee. Valentine puts Arn in the figure-four, but Eaton breaks it up. Finally, the ref wraps up Dick Slater to prevent a further doubleteam. That allows Bobby to hit the Alabama Jam on Valentine for the win at 5:44. Weird, considering they were all heels. Kind of fun and different, though. **

  • Bruno Sammartino puts over ‘real’ wrestling and buries “that other league.” What? What’s embarrassing about a voodoo priest putting a spell on a guy and making him spit up pea soup?
  • Elsewhere, Bob Armstrong, who looked ancient back then, talks about being on the first WTBS show.
  • Bill Watts announces that Brad Armstrong was injured in Japan, so he’s stripping him of the title and announcing a tournament to crown a new champion.
  • Jesse gets a word with Brad, who is very upset that he let his family down. Brian Pillman, who was supposed to be Brad’s opponent, interrupts the interview and turns heel by complaining about Brad’s injury. Austin lost the TV Title. Pillman turned heel. The table was set.
  • More packagery as we look at the wrestlers who came through WTBS over the last few decades.
  • Spin the wheel, make the deal! Spin the wheel, make the deal! Spin the wheel, make the deal!
  • Another video package shows Ron Simmons defeating Vader to become the first official black world champ.
  • WCW World Title: Ron Simmons vs. Cactus Jack.
    Simmons was an odd choice for a champion. It wasn’t that he couldn’t wrestle, because Simmons was actually pretty good at one point. He was a career mid-carder, though, and he was failing drug tests at the time. Watts wanted a black babyface, though, to recreate the magic he had with the Junkyard Dog. I suppose it’s a fairly smart idea demographically because no one targeted the African-American audience. Didn’t work out, though, partly because of the paucity of other black wrestlers and because Bill Watts had the reputation as a cracker anyway. Anyway, this is about as average as you can get. Jack works in all of his usual spots and goes crazy. They do a bad-looking backdrop/sunset flip/Northern Lights spot. Finally, Simmons catches Jack with the powerslam at 8:49. It’s short for a reason. **

  • Recap of Masahiro Chono winning the NWA Title by defeating Rick Rude in the finals. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that match, but I’m told it’s quite good. Their rematch… not so much.
  • Spin the wheel, make the deal! Spin the wheel, make the deal! Spin the wheel, make the deal!
  • Cactus Jack introduces his friend, Simmons’ former partner Butch Reed who will partner with the Barbarian.
  • The Barbarian & Butch Reed vs. Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes.
    Barbarian has gone back to his painted face and black tights instead of the antlers and spiffy fur coat that he had in the WWF. UPGRADE! Cactus Jack is on commentary and admits that he is not the mastermind of this plan, but he’s part of it. Then who is pulling the strings? Hmm. Here’s a question: why didn’t the Powers of Pain get a push when they reunited in WCW? You’d think it would be a more lucrative pairing than Barbie and Reed. Off topic, did you know that the Warlord was part of Kimbo Slice’s entourage. If the Warlord were ten years younger, Kimbo would probably be part of his entourage. Anyway, Dustin plays the face-in-peril for most of the match. Dustin and Windham get flustered, foreshadowing their split. That allows the Barbarian to hit Dustin with a boot to the face at 8:12. **

  • Elimination Rules: Sting, Nikita Koloff & The Steiners vs. Jake Roberts, Rick Rude, Super Invader & Big Van Vader (w/Harley Race & Madusa).
    Super Invader is “The Mighty Hercules” playing a masked Thai assassin. Odd to see Jake and Rude teaming up. I suppose it would be equally weird to see Rude, Jake and Hercules teaming. Vader clubs Rick Steiner down with a clothesline, so Rick tosses him with a belly-to-belly suplex. Invader look JACKED. Maybe it’s the costume. Probably the steroids. I was hoping for a big power confrontation between Invader and Koloff, but it’s pretty brief, and both guys get eliminated early – Koloff by a Jake rollup at 7:27, and Invader after a Sting bulldog at 8:04. Rick Steiner gets caught in the wrong corner after that, but he catches Vader with a powerslam. He tries an ill-advised Doomsday Device with Scott. Scott gets disqualified at 11:33 for coming off the top, and Rick’s vertebrae look like an accordion. Rick and Vader tumble to the floor where Rick Rude runs over and gives Steiner the Rude Awakening. Rick Steiner gets counted out at 12:25. That leaves Sting in Screwedville, Connecticut. Population Sting. It’s a three-on-one, but Vader accidentally squashes Rude with an off-the-top move and gets disqualified at 14:23. Rude is a pancake, so Jake comes in and DDTs Sting for the win at 15:26. This really needed a late flurry from Sting to be interesting. Instead, they went the more realistic route, which just kind of petered out. **1/2

  • Long “Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal” mini-movie. Okay, a guy dressed in orange spandex walks into a biker bar, and the bikers all part like the Red Sea? Anyway, the premise is – they put a bunch of gimmick matches on the wheel and spin the wheel to find out which one they’ll do.
  • The 411: The storylines were finally starting to take shape. Unfortunately, that shape was coiled and steaming. I like Simmons, but I never bought him as a viable champion, especially after Vader only had a tiny run with the title. Jake Roberts' involvement just showed how strung out he was. The bright spot is that Cactus Jack got more of the spotlight. Austin/Steamboat is good, but the rest is a pass.

    Thumbs down.

    Final Score:  5.0   [ Not So Good ]  legend

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