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Random Network Reviews: NWA Clash of the Champions VIII: Fall Brawl

August 19, 2017 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Random Network Reviews: NWA Clash of the Champions VIII: Fall Brawl  

NWA Clash of the Champions VIII: Fall Brawl
September 12th, 1989 | USC Coliseum in Columbia, South Carolina | Attendance: 2,600

Here we have the follow up to a well-regarded Great American Bash Pay-Per-View and it continued the Ric Flair/Terry Funk feud with a tag team main event. Well, Funk is scheduled but Flair broke his arm shortly before this so Funk needed a replacement.

The show starts with the a very 80’s style opening of two titles “clashing”. They take us back to the Great American Bash when Sting saved Ric Flair from the Great Muta and Terry Funk. Jim Ross and James Cornette host the show.

Gordon Solie interviews Gary Hart about possible issues within his camp. He assures us that things are fine.

The Road Warriors w/ Paul Ellering def. The Samoan Swat Team w/ Paul E. Dangerously in 6:46
The Samoan Swat Team would go on to play the Headshrinkers in WWE. The crowd is molten hot for this. Animal starts hot with a clothesline and powerslam. He and Hawk continue to dominate, causing the heels to regroup with Paul outside. Hawk does his classic ring post spot to get in trouble and he starts taking the heat. Animal gets the hot tag, but ends up in trouble against both opponents. Samu holds Animal in place while Hawk takes out Haku, who tried using the cellphone. They then hit Fatu with the Doomsday Device for the 1-2-3. Hot start to the show. Tidy hard hitting tag match with a lot of action. ***

After the bell, the Samoan Swat Team blame Paul E. Dangerously and leave without him.

The Z-Man def. The Cuban Assassin in 3:36
It’s the debut of the Z-Man. He’s a super generic babyface. Tons of arm drags and dropkicks. He avoids some offense from his opponent before winning with a sleeper hold. I wasn’t very impressed. ½*

They show footage of the governor of South Carolina declaring September 12th, 1989, as “National Ric Flair Day” for all his accomplishments.

Sid Vicious w/ Danny Spivey and Teddy Long def. Ranger Ross in 1:08
Sid is absolutely jacked here. He attacks Ross before the bell and dominates. He slams him on the guardrail and hits a DDT. A helicopter slam and powerbomb finish things quickly. This was a fine showcase for Sid and what he did best.

A montage of Missy Hyatt and Robin Green (Nancy Benoit/Woman) shopping with the Steiner Brothers’ credit card. Green was a fan obsessed with Rick.

Gordon Solie interviews the Fabulous Freebirds about defending their Tag Team Titles against the Steiners next. They feel disrespected and promise to walk out as champions.

NWA World Tag Team Championship: The Fabulous Freebirds (c) def. The Steiner Brothers w/ Missy Hyatt and Robin Green in 10:27
It is the first ever title shot for the Steiner Brothers. The Steiners show exactly why they would become one of the best tag team ever. They throw the champions around with ease. Scott looks like a future megastar here. Scott’s first suplex gets a big pop. Rick comes in with STEINERLINES! It is a simple case of the challengers being on their game and the champions being overmatched. Rick belly to belly suplexes Hayes but misses a charge and Garvin comes in. Rick takes the heat while the Freebirds pull out some underhanded tactics. Scott’s hot tag is awesome. He busts out Frakensteiners, which the crowd eats up in 1989. Scott gets tripped running by his managers, allowing Hayes to plant him with the DDT and retain. Good old fashioned tag wrestling. The Steiners were awesome and the Freebirds had to find a way to overcome them. ***½

Rick blames Missy for the trip, while Scott and Missy blame Robin. The cameras just so happened to not be in position to catch it.

Brian Pillman def. Norman The Lunatic w/ Teddy Long in 3:38
Flyin’ Brian gets a bunch of cheerleaders for his entrance. Norman takes offense according to Cornette. Maybe Norman was a cheerleader before becoming a lunatic. He attacks but Pillman turns it around with a dropkick and nails a cross body outside. Norman splashes him in the corner and hits one off the second rope for a near fall. They nearly get counted out with some brawling outside. Pillman hits a missile dropkick and slams Norman, which doesn’t get the pop it should have. Neither does a back body drop. Pillman survives a bit more because pulled out a crucifix to win. That was way more fun than I expected. Classic big man/little man stuff that worked as a great way to introduce Pillman. **¾

Steve Williams def. Mike Rotunda in 7:03
Oh, lord. I dislike both guys in the ring. Rotunda is painfully boring while Williams has never clicked with me. JR orgasms over Williams as always. He overpowers Rotunda in the early goings. Mike switches gears and wears him down since 90% of his offense is rest holds. Commentary is unbearable because they just keep talking about football. They think Williams is trying to win to prove his alma-mater is better. That’s just dumb. Rotunda takes a spill outside and once inside, Williams rolls into a pin that gets the 1-2-3. Boring. At least the crowd was into it. **

Lex Luger gets interviewed about his upcoming match and calls himself the premiere athlete in wrestling. He speaks in the third person for some of it.

NWA United States Heavyweight Championship: Lex Luger (c) def. Tommy Rich in 10:36
Judging by the way these guys look, Rich isn’t anywhere near Luger’s league. But this isn’t just based off looks. They run the ropes early and Rich shows that “wildfire” with a big right hand and arm drag. Rich knows that he’s overmatched from a physical standpoint, so he uses speed and wit to ground the champion. Luger gets some offense going but Ric comes over the apron with a sunset flip for two. He ducks a SCREAMING CLOTHESLINE and Luger sends himself over the top. Rich tries to bring him in with a suplex but accidentally drops Luger on his head. Luger misses a splash off the top and fires up again. The crowd is mental for everything. He hits the Thez press but Luger bails outside. Luger breaks an apron sleeper with a jawbreaker that earns him the win. This blew away my expectations. Rich brought a ton of fire, the crowd was wild and Luger had his working boots on. I loved that Rich had such a sound strategy for Luger but the champion was too much for him. ***½

Gary Hart reveals a video of Terry Funk on a hospital bed. He says he nearly lost his arm due to infection after Flair’s attack and promises to be at the Clash.

Sting and Ric Flair are then interviewed They feel that whoever they face, they’re confident in their abilities.

WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair and Sting def. Dick Slater and The Great Muta w/ Gary Hart via disqualification in 19:16
Despite the top villain getting replaced, the heat is still crazy for this one. Flair and Muta clash (pun intended) for the first time but we mostly get Sting vs. Muta to start. Flair lights up Muta with chops so he tags in Slater. Flair kicks his ass too until Muta karate kicks him outside and follows with a plancha. Sting follows out and everyone brawls. Things calm down a bit as Sting and Flair target Slater’s arm. Cornette tags Sting as a future World Champion. Sting gets stuck in the heels’ corner but fights out with fire and press slams Muta. Flair comes in and he takes the heat for a bit. Slater gets in cheap shots outside while Muta wears him down. Flair hits a chop here or there for hope. Sting gets the hot tag though it surprisingly isn’t that hot. I expected more considering who it is and how hot the crowd has been. He hits the Stinger Splash and the crowd comes back to life. Scorpion Death Lock is on but Hart sneaks in and hits him with a roll of coins. Sting kicks out but it’s his turn to take the beating. He also powers out of a piledriver and Flair gets the hot tag. Muta spits yellow mist at Sting (and he has yellow paint so it’s genius) which Ross claims is the most dangerous mist. He falls outside, blinded, leaving Flair alone. Terry Funk shows up and attempts to murder Flair with a plastic bag over his head. The heels leave the faces down to end the show. Crazy hot match with some strong interactions between everyone. This lost nothing in terms of heat without Funk. ***¾

The final score: review Good
The 411
An entertaining show that flies by. Nearly everything had a point or worked in some way. Outside of Williams/Rotunda, I thought everything was fine. Even though the Z-Man match was the worst, it at least introduced him. Pillman and Sid had fun matches, while the Tag Team Title, US Title and main event tag matches all delivered in spades.