wrestling / Video Reviews

Leighty’s Retro Review: WCW Clash of The Champions XXXII

February 1, 2023 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
WCW Clash of The Champions XXXII Image Credit: WWE
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
Leighty’s Retro Review: WCW Clash of The Champions XXXII  

-Announce Team: Tony Schiavone and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
-Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, NV
-Jan. 23, 1996
-Attendance: 3100

-We start with highlights of Randy Savage beating Ric Flair for the WCW World Title the previous night on Nitro.  On the same show, Lex Luger and Sting knocked off Harlem Heat for the Tag Titles. 

-Bobby Heenan ruins the “surprise” that Miss Elizabeth is making her return with Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan.  Also Kevin Greene will be in their corner. 

-Tony throws to Mean Gene who is standing outside The Little White Chapel (I do believe it is the the same Chapel used by HHH when he married a drugged out Stephanie nearly 4 years later) and hypes the upcoming wedding between Sherri and Colonel Rob Parker. 

Public Enemy vs. The Nasty Boys

-This is TBS debut of PE as they had just recently joined WCW from ECW and a feud with The Nasty Boys was a given.  They immediately start brawling at the bell and head to the floor.  Rocco gets tossed into the security railing and then he sends Saggs into the railing.  In the ring Knobbs misses a splash in the corner.  Grunge gets a belly to back suplex.  Rocco walks the security rail, but gets booted off and falls on his balls.  Grunge does the cabbage patch as Saggs heads up the aisle.  Grunge gets low bridged and spills over the top to the floor.  Saggs is back with a table as Knobbs misses a dive off the apron and crashes into the railing.  Saggs props the table up in the corner and that table doesn’t look like the flimsy ones we are used to seeing.  Rocco gets a bulldog and comes off the top with a moonsault on Knobbs.  On the floor Saggs gets a backdrop on Grunge.  Nasty bump from Rocco as he takes a bump off the apron.  Saggs plants Grunge with a piledriver as Knobbs sets up the table.  Patrick calls for a DQ for some reason at 4:00.  What the hell is that about?  Anyway, Saggs gets dumped to the floor and Knobbs ends up on the table.  Rocco comes off with a moonsault to put Knobbs through the table.  Grunge uses a piece of the table to beat Knobbs, but Saggs comes in to make the save and tosses the remains of the table out of the ring and onto Grunge.  They continue to fight as Tony throws to a commercial. 

Double DQ at 4:00
-This is hard to rate as I was enjoying the carnage, but the ending was really stupid and killed the fun I was having.  **

-SuperBrawl commercial! 

-With Gene on wedding duty, Eric Bischoff handles interview duties as he brings out Ric Flair and The Giant (w/ Jimmy Hart).  Flair says losing the title didn’t mean much as he is in a city of bright lights and pretty women.  He claims he was with a little girl last night who fantasized about him and then apparently was happy to be Giant-sized as well.  Giant cuts a rambling promo as he was still a rookie and was learning on the job.  

Dean Malenko vs. Alex Wright

-Lockup and Wrights gets a headlock that he takes to the mat.  Dean escapes and we have another go.  Dean escapes a head scissors, but gets caught with a hammerlock.  Dean escapes and gets a leg sweep and it’s another stalemate.  Side headlock from Alex and Dean tries to suplex out, but Wright lands on his feet.  They flip around a bit and Wright gets a dropkick followed by an ugly looks head scissors that planted Dean straight on his head.  Dean ducks a clothesline as we get a CompuServe plug on the screen.  I miss the 90s!  Dean dropkicks the knee and wraps it around the ring post.  Heenan wants to know what Miss Elizabeth looks like as she was once considered the most beautiful woman in wrestling.  Fifteen year old me was wondering the same thing because I, like most of the boys in my elementary school, all had cruses on Liz.  Oh, back to the match.  Dean gets caught with an elbow in the corner and Wright comes off the top with a crossbody.  Alex throws some European Uppercuts and they fight over a backslide.  Wright flips out and hits a dropkick.  Malenko comes back with a belly to back suplex and heads up top.  Wright meets him up there with a dropkick and then brings him down with a superplex.  Bridging German Suplex gets two.  Dean elbows out of another attempt and grabs the ropes to avoid a dropkick.  Running forearm from Dean and he goes back to the knee with a dropkick.  Dean gets a roll-up and the pin at 5:30.  That looked awkward as it seemed Wright kicked out, but I guess not. 

Winner: Dean Malenko via pin at 5:30
-Fun little spring with no crowd heat as they weren’t familiar with Dean at this point, but they would be soon.  It can’t be stated how much adding a Cruiserweight Division helped make WCW what it became.  **1/2

Kevin Sullivan (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Disco Inferno

-Actually, Disco is a no show as an Elvis Impersonator comes out to Disco’s music.  Elvis has a singing telegram for Sullivan which basically says he is not here because he is at The Parker/Sherri wedding.  Sullivan beats up Elvis and Jimmy gets in a shot as well.  Obviously, no match. 

-Gene is outside The Little White Chapel and Bunkhouse Buck and Dick Slater arrive.  Nobody knows where Colonel Parker is and it seems Sherri is a no-show as well.  

-Bischoff brings out the new Tag Team Champions: Sting and Lex Luger.  This was the awesome period where Lex wrestled as a heel, but was teaming with babyface Sting because they are great friends and Sting was giving him the benefit of the doubt.  Luger was awesome in this role as he could easily switch from heel to face when needed.  The Road Warriors make their return (it didn’t last long) to WCW and Sting is happy to see them.  They want a Tag Title Match and Sting is all for it, but Luger isn’t as thrilled.  He rightly points out they have rematches with Harlem Heat and then matches with The Nasty Boys, American Males, and “even State Patrol.”  AWESOME!  Bischoff’s disgusted “State Patrol” is also great.  Again, Lex was awesome here and had to switch up the character once the nWo reset everything. 

-WCW Magazine commercial.  I appreciate they left this stuff in.  

-Paul Orndorff gives us an update on his health as he was about to have career ending neck surgery.  He makes a reference to beating Vader’s ass in their legendary backstage fight.  In storyline The Horsemen attacked Orndorff and broke his neck.  Paul tells us he was recruited years ago by Arn and Ric to be a Horsemen and they have held it against him that he turned them down.  Sadly, we never got a payoff as Paul’s career was done other than I brief return for a 6 Man Tag where he unfortunately got injured again.  Great fired up babyface promo from Paul here and again, it sucks he never made it back.  

-Back to Gene at The White Chapel as they continue to wait for The Bride and Groom.  Parker shows up and needs to borrow $50 for the cab driver.  This is goofy awesomeness! Someone (we presume Sherri) calls Parker and he doesn’t want to tell her he is flat broke after gambling all his money away.  

Brian Pillman vs. Eddie Guerrero

-For those that need caught up, Pillman was a Horseman at the time and was in the middle of his loose cannon gimmick.  It was wild at the time as we hadn’t really seen anything like it.  Eddie had just recently been brought into WCW as this was a transition period for the company as they started padding out their Midcard with young, athletic talent while guys like Austin, Mero, Foley, and Dustin were heading to WWF.  Pillman heads out over the top and gets into it with fans before rolling back into the ring.  Eddie stays cool as he doesn’t want to get into the mind games Pillman is playing.  Pillman gets in Eddie’s face, so Eddie shoves him and Pillman walks around on the floor.  Pillman pushes Schiavone from behind and you can hear the trepidation in Heenan’s voice.  I don’t think Brain has anything to worry about.  Back in the ring Eddie gets a shoulder and then a dropkick that sends Pillman back to the floor.  Pillman goes after Heenan and pulls his coat off as Heenan yells, “what the fuck are you doing?”  Yes, they left it uncensored here.  Heenan nearly walks off as he is legit pissed.  Heenan was no contact with his neck issues.  Heenan heads back to commentary and apologizes for anything he may have said and explains his neck issues, but he still wants Pillman to win the match because he likes his style.  That’s why Heenan is the best!  He immediately went from anger to back in the groove.  Meanwhile in the ring Pillman controls with a side headlock, but gets shoved off and Eddie gets another dropkick.  Pillman tries to throw Eddie in the air, but Eddie just hits a dropkick out of mid-air.  Pillman regroups on the floor and starts throwing chops back in the ring.  Eddie hits a Tornado DDT for two.  A charge misses and Pillman uses the ropes to get a two count.  Eddie gets a roll-up for two as Pillman argues with the ref.  Pillman lands a crossbody and holds the tights for the win at 5:59. 

Winner: Eddie Guerrero via pin at 5:59
-This match is remembered for Heenan dropping the F bomb and legit losing it over Pillman’s craziness.  The match itself was okay for a 6 minute match, but Eddie wasn’t really established yet and Pillman was more concerned getting the gimmick over.  **1/4

-Pillman rolls out right next to Heenan who bails again.  I don’t blame him!

-Back to Bischoff who brings out Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, and Kevin Greene.  They get into a pissing contest about who can handle Miss Liz as that seems really awkward.  Greene was a LB for The Steelers at the time and was 12 days away from playing in The Super Bowl against Dallas.  Sorry to all my Steeler family and friends to remind them that Dallas won that game.  

WCW World Tag Team Titles: Sting and Lex Luger (c) vs. The Blue Bloods (Bobby Eaton and Lord Steven Regal)

-Regal and Sting start and they would have a real good match on PPV later in the year but we will get to that.  Regal stalls (shocking), so Sting tries to play mind games with him.  Regal grabs an arm and works that as Tony plugs CompuServe again.  Sting reveres the hold, but Regal rolls out.  Sting gets a running shoulder and gets a side headlock.  Dropkick from Sting and Luger lands a right hand from the apron.  Regal over sells a right hand from Sting and Sting mocks him for it.  These guys are having fun!  Eaton gets the tag and so does Luger.  They fight to the floor and Eaton takes a backdrop on the floor.  Clothesline from Luger and then he carries Eaton back to the ring.  Luger flexes as Eaton begs off in his corner.  Tag is made to Regal and he is pissed as he slaps the mat.  Lockup and Luger pushes Regal back in the corner.  Regal yells for the ref and as he tries to separate, Regal gets in a cheap shot.  He fires off some European Uppercuts and lands a knee to the forehead.  Eaton back in, but Luger fights back before a thumb to the eye from Regal stops that noise.  Neckbreaker from Eaton and Regal tags back into the match.  Regal drops a knee to the face for two.  Eaton back and they work Luger over in the corner.  Eaton heads up top and comes off with a knee.  Regal back in and he hooks The Regal Stretch.  Sting just comes into the ring and pulls Regal off.  Eaton back in and they butcher a spot where Luger is supposed to catch Eaton coming off the top with a power slam.  They looked ugly!  Eaton and Luger collide in the middle of the ring and Patrick starts his count.  Hot tag to Sting and he runs wild on both Eaton and Regal.  Luger back in, but he gets sent to the floor by Regal.  Eaton tries to come off the top, but Sting knocks him off balance causing Eaton to fall on Regal, sending him to the floor.  Scorpion Deathlock causes Eaton to submit at 7:47. 

Winners and Still WCW World Tag Team Champions: Sting and Lex Luger via submission at 7:47
-This was a solid tag match with some rough moments at the end.  Regal was having fun though.  **

-Back at The Little White Chapel as Sherri arrives and Parker has to break the news to her that he has lost all but one dollar of his money.  Sherri starts crying as they apparently have to go with The Drive Thru Wedding.  Again, worked out for HHH and Steph!

-Eric Bischoff brings out Brian Pillman, who mentions this is live TV and he could say the seven words you can’t say on TV.  He talks about respect in regards to Mr. Wonderful.  He also calls out Kevin Sullivan and name drops Hogan, Savage, and Sting.  Pillman has a dream and that’s to teach everyone respect even if it means cutting off thumbs.  Okay then! 

Psichosis vs. Konnan

-Mike Tenay joins commentary for this one.  Konnan with an arm drag that sends Psi to the floor.  They race back in and flip around the ring to a stalemate.  Kennan gets a submission, but Psichosis gets to the ropes.  We go again and Konnan lands a German Suplex and then another one with a release.  Konnan gets a catapult into a stretch hold and again Psichosis gets to the ropes.  Psichosis is back with a spinning heel kick as Tenay mentions Konnan was involved in a hair match in Mexico against Jake The Snake Roberts.  Chops from Psichosis that get no sold by Konnan.  Tony notes that Tenay has an interview with Eric Bischoff about skits being done by other wrestling companies and you can hear about it on The Hotline.  Billionaire Ted!  Psichosis comes off the top with a dropkick  and follows Konnan to the floor with a plancha.  Back in the ring Konnan gets another German Suplex and finishes with The Zip Lock at 5:25. 

Winner: Konnan via submission at 5:25
-Weird match as there was no flow and it was just move, regroup, move, regroup.  The crowd wasn’t really into it either, but this was still all new to the audience and they would learn soon.  **1/2

-Back to The Little White Chapel as Colonel Parker is trying to borrow $30 from Mean Gene.  Gene then offers to walk Sherri down the aisle and that pleases her.  

-WCW Hotline commercial.  Phone Number No Longer Active! 

-Back to The Little White Chapel and Sherri is sporting a red wedding dress.  Gene mentions he heard a conversation earlier between Sherri and Parker, but Sherri mentions she hasn’t talked to Rob since yesterday.  Gene says it’s probably not that big of a deal.  Disco Inferno is here and is dancing.  Slater has a tear in his eye as they gather around the drive up window.  I love pro-wrestling weddings! Madusa comes out of a trailer and slaps Sherri in the face and it’s a cat fight!  They brawl over the wedding table and it’s a pretty solid fight.  I wouldn’t try to separate those two.  Harlem Heat try to pull Sherri away as Brain and Tony connect the dots that it may have been Madusa on the phone.  Again, I am sucker for this as it was never taken seriously and was something fun for people in the middle of the card.  

-Commercial for Karate Fighters and Hot Pockets!  Sounds like a good afternoon! 

Ric Flair and The Giant (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage (w/ Miss Elizabeth and Kevin Greene)

-Buffer introducing The Giant as someone who defied death at Halloween Havoc is awesome and made me laugh.  Besides Miss Elizabeth some other women are out with Savage and Hogan and one of them is Woman.  I’m sure she wouldn’t turn on them.  Thankfully, Heenan and Schiavone point out Woman and mentions she used to manage Flair.  Miss Elizabeth is back and it made me so happy.  She loks great too! Savage starts with Flair, who is spending the opening parts of the match talking trash to Kevin Greene.  As mentioned that would be paid off in the summer.  Greene gets in the ring and Flair bails.  Flair: “if you get hurt and can’t play on Sunday they blame it on The Nature Boy.”  It’s still pretty crazy The Steelers let Greene show up here 12 days before the Super Bowl.  Flair back in and he does the Flair Bump in the corner (which knocks the cameraman off the apron) and runs the apron into a big boot from Hogan.  Nice!  Savage slaps Flair in the face, so Flair begs off and catches Savage in the corner.  The Giant lands a clubbing blow which draws Hogan into the ring, but the ref backs him out.  Savage gets a backslide for two and lands a right hand.  He throws some jabs and lets Hogan land a right hand.  Flair makes the tag to The Giant and the crowd is losing out as they want Hogan in the ring.  Lockup and The Giant overpowers Hogan as he tosses him into the corner.  He runs Hogan down with a shoulder block and lands a forearm as Hogan tries a slam.  Giant gets a slam as Tony brings up WrestleMania III and Heenan is still bitter about that non 3 count after the first slam attempt Backbreaker from The Giant as you can see how raw he is as Hogan has to help him with positioning.  Elbow drop missed and Hogan goes to the eyes.  Hogan gets the slam and sells his back.  I mean, compared to Andre, The Giant should feel like a cruiserweight.  Hogan is and he shows some power with a delayed vertical suplex, but Hogan is up and unloads with right hands.  High backdrop sends Flair flying and Hogan runs through with clotheslines.  Jimmy Hart is on the apron and Savage goes after him which distracts the ref.  The Giant pulls Hogan to the floor and runs him into the rail as Heenan runs for his life again.  Back in the ring Flair throws chops and nothing, but a well placed elbow does the trick.  Flair up and of course he gets slammed off by Hogan.  Hot tag made to Savage and he runs wild with jabs and comes off the top with a double axe.  Savage off the top with the elbow as Hogan and The Giant brawl on the floor.  Jimmy Hart distracts Savage and the ref which lets Flair uses brass knuckles to deck Savage and get the pin at 9:54. 

Winners: The Giant and Ric Flair via pin at 9:54
-This was just a super basic tag match where they hit the high points.  It was fine and the star power helped carry it.  **

-Brian Pillman and The Zodiac hit the ring which lets Kevin Green get involved as he and Hogan toss them over the top to the floor.  Pyro goes off as I guess we are celebrating Hogan and Savage losing?  

-Thanks for reading! 

The final score: review Average
The 411
With the debut of Nitro 3 months earlier it was making this show meaningless. This was basically a two hour edition of Nitro with short matches and the wedding angle running throughout. Everything on the was okay with nothing really good or really bad. It's an easy show to watch and it's fun looking back as what was a time of transition for WCW's midcard. The Main Event scene would get their change later in the year.