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From The Shelf – NWA Clash of the Champions VII: Guts and Glory

February 25, 2016 | Posted by Dylan Diot
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From The Shelf – NWA Clash of the Champions VII: Guts and Glory  

WCW Clash of the Champions VII: Guts and Glory
6-14-89
Fort Bragg, NC

Your hosts are Jim Ross and Bob Caudle.

NWA World Tag Team Championship Tournament Semi-Finals- Dynamic Dudes (Shane Douglas and Johnny Ace) vs. Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin) w/Terry Gordy
The Freebirds attack to start but the Dudes answer back with stereo atomic drops into back suplexes. The Freebirds bail to regoup and back in, Hayes rakes the eyes of Ace. Tag to Garvin and the Dudes work over the arm of Garvin. Double hip toss into a double elbow drop by the Dudes and Hayes tags in. Sunset flip by Douglas gets 2 and Ace tags in. Ace misses and a crossbody and Garvin slams him for 2. He dumps Ace to the floor and Hayes works him over on the floor. Garvin keeps cutting Ace off from getting into the ring and back in, they collide mid-ring. Tag to Douglas and he cleans house. Sunset flip by Douglas gets 2 as Hayes saves. Double dropkick knocks Hayes out of the ring and they hit a double back drop to Garvin. O’Connor roll by Douglas but Hayes catches him with a DDT, allowing Garvin to cover for 3!!!
Winners- Fabulous Freebirds **1/2 ( Short but very solid opener. They did very basic tag wrestling that got the crowd hot and I really loved the finish, so we’re off to a good start. )

The Terrorist vs. Ranger Ross
Terrorist attacks to start and he hits a back elbow. Flying forearm by Ross and he hits a dropkick. Slam by Ross and he follows up with an elbow drop for 2. Clothesline by Ross and he hits the Combat Kick for 3.
Winner- Ranger Ross ¼* ( Man, naming a jobber the Terrorist would never fly today. A true blue American beat a Terrorist on a show at a military base; this was exactly what it needed to be. )

Video package on the Road Warriors airs.

The Great Muta comes out for a demonstration but Gary Hart says Mike Justice and Trent Knight aren’t worthy and they want a real challenge. Eddie Gilbert runs out and launches a FIREBALL but Gary Hart pushes Knight in the way!!!! Muta and Hart quickly bail as officials check on Knight.

George South and Cougar Jay vs. The Ding Dongs (#1 and #2)
#1 and Jay start. Sloppy sunset flip by #1 gets 2 and Jay fires back. Tag to South and #2. South pokes the eye of #2 and he controls #2 on the mat. Double hip tosses by the Ding Dongs and #1 hits a Thesz Press for 2. Slam by #1 and he tags #2. Dropkick by #2 and the Ding Dongs continue to work over the arm of South. Belly to belly suplex by #2 and he tags #1. Second rope elbow by #2 and #1 hits a knee drop off the top for 3.
Winners- The Ding Dongs ¼* ( Just remember everyone. No matter how bad some of the gimmicks in the WWE are and how bad the product can be at times, there was a time where people had to watch the DING DONGS. Wrestlers wearing bells who ring bells. No wonder Jim Herd was not long for this business. A famous match for all the wrong reasons and you can hear the hatred and shame in JR’s voice on commentary here for this crap. )

NWA World Tag Team Championship Tournament Semi-Finals- Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane) w/Jim Cornette vs. Samoan Swat Team (Fatu and Samu) w/Paul E. Dangerously
Paul E. talks trash causing Cornette to attack him as the two teams begin brawling. Lane fires away on Fatu and he drop toe holds Fatu into an elbow drop from Eaton. Double back elbow to Fatu and Eaton hits a swinging neck breaker. Bulldog by Eaton and he walks into a super kick from Samu. The Samoans press Eaton to the mat and Fatu catches Eaton with a clothesline for 2. Tag to Samu and a chop knocks Eaton to the floor. Fatu suplexes Eaton on the floor and back in, Samu takes Eaton down by the hair. Leg drop by Samu gets 2 and Fatu tags in. The Samoans double team Eaton in the corner and Fatu charges but misses and hits the post shoulder first. Tag to Lane and he hits a side Russian leg sweep on Fatu for 2 as Samu saves. Super kick by Fatu to Lane and he goes up. The Road Warriors come out and toss Fatu off the top!!! Double clothesline to Fatu and Lane covers for 3!!!
Winners- Midnight Express **3/4 ( Good match but not near as good as their previous Clash encounter. They had to compress their stuff into a shorter period of time so they didn’t get that groove going from the get go. The finish was lame too, as the Road Warriors interfering really didn’t make the Express look like strong contenders heading into the finals. )

Terry Gordy vs. Steve Williams
Gordy attacks to start but Williams fires right back. Football tackle by Williams and he trucks Gordy. Gordy catches Williams with a clothesline and he hits a corner clothesline. Williams fires away and he throws some jabs. Gordy catches Williams with a back suplex and he grabs a chin lock. Williams starts to fight out so Gordy slams him. Williams returns the favor and Gordy bails. Williams follows out and they slug it out on the floor. Back in, Williams hits a cross body for 2. Dropkick by Williams knocks Gordy to the floor. Gordy rakes the eyes of Williams and Williams catches him with a hard forearm knocks Gordy back out to the floor. Williams and Gordy brawl in the entrance way and they both get counted out.
Match ends in a Double Count-Out **1/2 ( It’s a crime this was cut so short because for the few minutes this went it was awesome. Just a great, hard hitting showcase and a taste of the style these two would work in Japan as a team in later years. I left this match wanting more and as far as I know in the NWA we never got it. )

Norman the Lunatic w/Theodore R. Long vs. Mike Justice
Norman attacks to start and he hits a clothesline. Head butt by Norman and he hits an avalanche in the corner for 3.
Winner- Norman the Lunatic SQUASH ( Norman was an interesting gimmick. He wasn’t very good in the ring but the idea of Teddy Long having a maniac running rampant and being able to control him after matches was kind of a neat concept. It ended being too cute and more like something Vince would do in current WWE with this gimmick. )

Jimmy Garvin declares no one can tour the Freebirds while Terry Gordy sends a message to Steve Williams.

Varsity Club (Kevin Sullivan and Mike Rotunda) vs. Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott Steiner) w/Missy Hyatt
Scott and Sullivan start. Clothesline by Scott and he hammers away on the mat. Rick fires away on Rotunda and the Varsity Club bail to regroup. Back in, Scott hits a power slam and Rotunda and Rick tag in. Hip toss and a clothesline by Rick and he grabs a head lock until Rotunda breaks with a Saito suplex. Tag to Sullivan and Rick catches him coming out of the corner with a clothesline. Tags to Rotunda and Scott and Scott hits a cross body for 2. Scott goes for a suplex but Rotunda blocks and the Varsity Club DUMP STEINER ALL THE WAY TO THE FLOOR WITH A GORDBUSTER!!!! Sullivan works over Scott on the floor and back in, Scott runs into the boot of Sullivan in the corner. Tag to Rotunda and he hits a dropkick. Butterfly suplex by Rotunda gets 2. Clothesline by Rotunda and Scott is able to reach Rick for the tag but Sullivan was distracting the ref so he missed it. Rotunda misses a dropkick on Scott and Rick finally gets the tag. Punches in the corner by Rick and the Steiners hit a double clothesline. Scott slams Rotunda and goes for a big splash but he eats knees. Sullivan throws a chair into the ring and Rotunda suplexes Scott onto the chair for 3!!!
Winners- Varsity Club ***1/4 ( Fun brawl with some crazy bumps for a match in 1989. You felt the intensity here and the Steiners were really starting to impress as a tag team. The finish was fine as set the stage for their rematch at the Great American Bash. )

Jim Cornette talks about the Midnight Express and the Freebirds meeting for the first time ever and he declares the Express will get the first victory.

NWA TV Championship- Sting © vs. Bill Irwin
Bulldog by Sting and he hits a dropkick. Knee to the mid section by Irwin and he hot shots Sting. Back elbow by Irwin but Sting fires back. Suplex by Sting gets 1. Knee to the mid section again by Irwin but again, Sting fights back. Stinger Splash misses and Irwin counters a springboard cross body into a belly to belly suplex. Sting catches Irwin from behind with the Stinger Splash and he rolls Irwin up for 3!!!
Winner and Still NWA TV Champion- Sting ** ( Pretty plain match from these two. Irwin didn’t look that good and Sting really wasn’t motivated, but with only three minutes to work with they did as much as they could possibly do. )

We see JR going to Ric Flair’s home for his first interview since Terry Funk’s attack at WrestleWar. Flair says he returns home from the doctor’s frequently and looks at life after wrestling. He says this is the worst injury he has ever had, worse than the airplane crash because this time around, he doesn’t know if he can come back to the ring. He says he’ll make a decision about what he is going to do next on July 1st.

NWA Tag Team Championship Tournament Finals- Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin) w/Terry Gordy vs. Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane) w/Jim Cornette
As the Midnights were coming out, Paul E. Dangerously attacks Cornette from behind with the tennis racket!!! The racket is revealed to be loaded with chains and a horseshoe!!! The Dynamic Dudes carry Cornette out so the Midnights can focus on the match. Hayes and Lane start. Hip toss and a slam by Lane and Garvin tags in. Drop toe hold/elbow drop combo by the Express gets 2. Enzuigiri by Lane and he hits a super kick. Tag to Eaton and the Express hit a double back elbow for 2. The Freebirds bail to recover and back in, Garvin hits a knee to the mid section. Slam by Garvin and Hayes tags in. He dumps Eaton to the floor and back in, Hayes chokes away on Eaton. Back elbow by Hayes and the Freebirds hit a double back elbow. Chin lock by Garvin but Eaton fights out and tags in Lane. He misses a charge in the corner and Hayes tags in. DDT by Lane and Eaton tags in. Eaton fires away and the Express hit a double back drop on Garvin. Flying forearm knocks Hayes to the floor and they sling shot Garvin back into the ring. Double flap jack to Garvin gets 2. Gordy comes in and hits a power bomb on Eaton, allowing Garvin to cover for 3!!!
Winners and NEW NWA World Tag Team Champions- Fabulous Freebirds **3/4 ( The ring work here was solid but the fans and the commentators were solely focused on what happened prior to the match so it took away from what was going on in the ring. The lack of heat and energy was a shame considering this was a high stakes match but when you take in to account everything here set the stage for WarGames at the Bash, as a long-term storytelling package this work. )

Terry Funk vs. Ricky Steamboat
Funk chops away on Steamboat in the corner but Steamboat fires back with his own. More chops by Steamboat and Funk bails to regroup. Back in, Funk overpowers Steamboat but Steamboat catches him with some dropkicks, knocking Funk to the floor. Back in, Funk dumps Steamboat to the floor and Steamboat throws more chops. He tosses Funk into the railings and back in, Funk takes Steamboat down and hammers him on the mat. Sitting neck breaker by Funk and he hits a knee drop to the lower neck of Steamboat for 2. Funk knocks Steamboat down and he throws more shots to the back of the neck. Steamboat fires back with chops and he sends Funk to the corner where the momentum sends him crashing to the floor. Steamboat goes up and hits the tomahawk chop to the floor onto Funk. Steamboat carries Funk around the ring before slamming him onto the floor!!! Back in, STEAMBOAT SLAMS FUNK ALL THE WAY BACK DOWN TO THE FLOOR!!!! Back in, Funk catches Steamboat with a back elbow and he hits a piledriver on Steamboat for 2!!! Steamboat fires back and Funk sends Steamboat into the ref by accident!!! Funk sends Steamboat into the corner and the momentum sends Steamboat crashing to the floor. Piledriver on the floor by Funk!!!! Funk suplexes Steamboat back into the ring for 2!!! Funk hammers Steamboat on the mat and he goes up. Flying splash eats knees and Steamboat hits a gut buster. Steamboat goes up and hits the tomahawk chop off the top. Enzuigiri to the back by Steamboat knocks Funk to the apron. Funk nails Steamboat with a microphone for the DQ!!! Lex Luger comes out with a chair and Funk decides to bail. Luger makes a statement that he doesn’t have a ego, just pride. He helps Steamboat up only to lay him out with a clothesline!!! Luger nails Steamboat in the back with a chair and he puts him in the Torture Rack. Sting comes out to check on Steamboat.
Winner by DQ- Ricky Steamboat ***3/4 ( Took some time to get going but once Funk finally got into brawl mode this was WILD. Funk was phenomenal here, he took some crazy bumps and worked the match as this dick head heel who was dangerous and generated fear that he could actually hurt Steamboat. Steamboat was the perfect foil for Funk and his flying style meshed perfectly with Funk’s wild brawling. The finish was super flat but this was a damn fine main event overall. )

6.5
The final score: review Average
The 411
This was a solid show that did a tremendous job setting up the Great American Bash PPV. The America/tribute to the troops theme of this show helped produce a hot crowd and added energy to a majority of the matches that probably wouldn't have been as hot if the show took place in front of a different crowd. There were some bad finishes and we got to see one of the worst gimmicks in the history of the business in the Ding Dongs, but for the most part you can't complain about the effort put forth and the Steamboat/Funk match comes just shy of a classic. The show was designed to build up the Great American Bash and they succeeded big time, so this show is worth a watch and is probably an even better viewing experience you watch that and the Bash PPV simultaniously.
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