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The Chrononaut Chronicles: Clash of the Champions XII

November 25, 2011 | Posted by Joel Thomas
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The Chrononaut Chronicles: Clash of the Champions XII  

Thanks to the infinitely talented Kyle Morton for the logo. Check out his Etsy account, where he does custom artwork and commissions… you’ll be glad you did!

The Chrononaut Chronicles
WCW Clash of the Champions XII: Mountain Madness / Fall Brawl ’90 – September 5, 1990

– Sting finally reached the pinnacle and captured the NWA World Heavyweight Championship from Ric Flair in July at the Great American Bash, but a mysterious character from Sting’s past recently appeared on the scene, calling himself The Black Scorpion. Meanwhile, Ric Flair had come up with a plan to earn another shot at his title: defeat Lex Luger to win the United States Championship and become the #1 Contender. All of this led up to the twelfth Clash of the Champions: Mountain Madness/Fall Brawl ’90!


– LIVE from the Civic Center in Asheville, North Carolina! Jim Ross and Bob Caudle are our commentary team once again. They hype a 10-match card, but they only mention the top two bouts: Ric Flair challenging Lex Luger for the United States Heavyweight Championship, and Sting defending the World Heavyweight Championship against the mysterious Black Scorpion.

– The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael “PS” Hayes & Jimmy “Jam” Garvin w/Buddy “E. Lee” Roberts) vs. The Wild-Eyed Southern Boys (Tracey Smothers & Steve Armstrong w/”Bullet” Bob Armstrong)

Not to be outdone by the Confederate jackets of the Wild-Eyed Southern Boys, the Fabulous Freebirds are adorned in glittery robes and facepaint designed after the Confederate flag as the “Battle for the South” rages on. This was originally scheduled to be a six-man, but Buddy Roberts had suffered an arm injury and was unable to wrestle, so it was made two-on-two with Buddy E. Lee and Bob Armstrong serving as cornermen for their respective teams. The Southern Boys frustrate the Freebirds until Tracey Smothers gets caught in the wrong corner, but he quickly escapes and scampers toward his own corner as Steve Armstrong soars in with a flying bodypress on both ‘Birds. Once the Freebirds return to the ring, Tracey gets caught in their corner again and runs away again as Steve goes to the top turnbuckle. The Freebirds stop and drop this time, expecting another flying crossbody, but Steve hops into the ring and the Southern Boys unleash a pair of dropkicks when the ‘Birds stand up. The momentum shifts when Smothers crashes off the apron down to the floor after a left hand from Hayes, as the Freebirds abuse Tracey outside and inside the ring. For his part, Smothers gets in a couple of hope spots before finally making the hot tag. Armstrong unloads on both Freebirds with back-bodydrops and dropkicks, but Buddy Roberts trips him and Hayes rolls him up. However, the referee is distracted, so Bob Armstrong runs in and nails Hayes with a right hand. Steve covers Hayes for a near-fall as Garvin makes the save, but receives a double flying shoulderblock off the ropes from the Boys. Hayes ducks the double shoulderblock when they try to hit him and Roberts throws an object into the ring, but the Southern Boys prevail in 8:32 when Armstrong pins Garvin and Smothers pins Hayes with simultaneous sunset flips. The three Freebirds discard of Steve & Tracey after the match and attack Bullet Bob as Hayes & Garvin plant the Armstrong patriarch with a double DDT. The ‘Birds and the Boys were having quite the feud, as Caudle mentioned a best-of-three series on TV that didn’t settle their issue, and they worked well together. ***

– Tony Schiavone interviews the new US Tag Team Champions Rick & Scott Steiner, who won the belts from the Midnight Express on August 24. The Steiners are preparing to face an unknown team called Maximum Overdrive tonight, and Rick also warns Doom that they are working their way back to the World Tag Team Championship.

– “Nature Boy” Buddy Landell vs. Captain Mike Rotunda

Mike Rotunda is escorted by a woman who won a “Burger King Ringmaster” poetry contest, but evidently the Captain hasn’t been away at sea long enough because he blows her off when they get to the ring. Hope all those Whoppers were worth it, Cindy! Looking like he might have recently participated in a Whopper-eating contest himself, Buddy Landell sports a temporary Skid Row tattoo on his shoulder as a shout-out to the Sebastian Bach-fronted rock band, claiming that they are his friends and supposedly they are watching on TV. Hearing Ross and Caudle talk about Skid Row is kind of priceless. Headlocks, shoulderblocks, and hiptosses abound in the first half of this rather uneventful match, and in the latter stages we are also treated to armbars, chinlocks, and an abdominal stretch. Rotunda eventually counters a hiptoss with a backslide to pick up the victory in 5:38. *½ Kind of sad to see Captain Mike rudderless and adrift in the midcard and having boring, uninspired matches.

Buddy, you should never give out your address on national TV.

– Tony Schiavone interviews all three Fabulous Freebirds as they complain about shoddy treatment and promise to go through the Southern Boys and any other tag team to get back to the top. Michael Hayes then introduces a video of himself and Jimmy Garvin arriving in Hollywood and being mobbed by fans to further their gimmick as the World’s Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band.

Eat your heart out, Justin Bieber!

– “White Lightning” Tim Horner & “Candy Man” Brad Armstrong vs. The Master Blasters (Iron & Steel)

This is the WCW debut of Kevin Nash as the orange-mohawked Steel, one-half of the newest Road Warrior-inspired tag team known as The Master Blasters. Hailing from the post-apocalyptic Motor City and covered in grime and grease, the Master Blasters annihilate Tim Horner with a variety of basic power moves and rudimentary double-teams. Brad Armstrong gets the tag and receives the same punishment as Steel powerslams the Candy Man for a two-count, but Armstrong rallies back against the 6’10” monster. However, Brad runs into a big boot and Iron continues to maul him until he escapes and makes the tag. White Lightning hops on Iron’s back with a sleeper, but Steel clubs him off and they dump Armstrong to the floor when he comes in to help his partner. The Master Blasters obliterate Horner with a double shoulderblock and Steel covers him for the pin at 4:50. * Although this was the one and only Clash appearance for Steel & Iron, Kevin Nash would be back in more than one role.

The Master Blaster gimmick would have been more authentic if a midget were riding on his shoulders and telling him what to do.

– Tony Schiavone interviews Flyin’ Brian. After establishing that Pillman has no clue who The Black Scorpion is, Schiavone explains the new “Gauntlet” concept for the weekend TBS shows (a wrestler will be awarded $15,000 if he can win three matches in a row against random opponents on Friday’s Power Hour, WCW Saturday, and Main Event on Sunday) and announces that Brian will be the first participant.

– Missy Hyatt introduces Ric Flair as the “Greatest World Champion of Ever” and interviews him about his match tonight against Lex Luger. The Nature Boy is characteristically confident as he plans on walking off into the night with the United States Championship.

– The Nasty Boys (Jerry Saggs & Brian Knobbs) vs. Jackie Fulton & Terry Taylor

Terry Taylor was fresh from his embarrassing stint as The Red Rooster in the WWF, and his position as glorified enhancement talent against the up-and-coming Nasty Boys was indicative of the irreparable damage that had been done to his career. The Nasty Boys had recently entered the NWA/WCW after success in the AWA and Florida and were being built up for a feud with the Steiner Brothers. Jackie Fulton outmaneuvers the Nastys early on and hits a crossbody on both Knobbs & Saggs at the same time. Taylor drops Knobbs with a neckbreaker for two and takes care of both Nastys with armdrags and hiptosses when Saggs tags in. The babyfaces work over Saggs’ arm until he dumps Taylor to the floor, but Taylor pitches Saggs shoulder-first into the ringpost and goes back to work on the arm along with his partner. Knobbs tags in and they work his arm too, but Taylor gets trapped in Nasty territory and the Boys utilize their tag team expertise to control the former Rooster with frequent tags and double-teams. Taylor manages to make the lukewarm tag and Fulton fires away on the Nastys as he scores a near-fall with a bridging German suplex on Knobbs, broken up by a big splash from Saggs. Fulton dives off the top turnbuckle with a flying bodypress, but Knobbs catches him in a powerslam and tags out. Saggs adds the flying elbowdrop off the top and pins Fulton at 7:11. ** Solid, if unremarkable.

– Tony Schiavone interviews Sid Vicious, still a member of the Four Horsemen but unfortunately not wearing a tux. Sid dismisses the relevance of the Black Scorpion and stakes his claim as the only man worthy of taking the World Heavyweight Championship from Sting.

– “Wild” Bill Irwin vs. “Wildfire” Tommy Rich

Tommy Rich is all fists and fury right off the bat and Bill Irwin comes back with a high knee off the ropes, but Tommy hiptosses the Long Rider over the top rope. Back in the ring, Wildfire works a headlock until Wild Bill plants him with a sideslam and batters him around ringside. After some more back-and-forth, Rich pins Irwin with a Thesz Press in 3:57. * I’m not sure what the point of this was.

– The inaugural WCW Top Ten ranking is unveiled. The field of contenders for Sting’s World Title includes such luminaries as US Champion Lex Luger, Ric Flair, TV Champion Arn Anderson, Barry Windham, Sid Vicious, and Stan Hansen. Yet instead of Sting defending the belt against any of the ten men listed, the completely unknown Black Scorpion gets the title shot tonight. The Top Ten Tag Teams in contention for Doom’s World Tag Team Championship are also ranked: US Champions Steiner Brothers, Rock and Roll Express, The Horsemen, Midnight Express, Southern Boys, Fabulous Freebirds, Samoan Swat Team, Flyin’ Brian & Z-Man, Junkyard Dog & El Gigante, and Mike Rotunda & Tim Horner.

I don’t see the Black Scorpion’s name. OR DO I?

– Chewing tobacco dripping from his mouth, the legendary Stan Hansen makes his first-ever Clash appearance in an interview conducted by a disgusted Tony Schiavone. The Lariat explains that he has a bunch of kids and a wife at home and he needs to make money, so he’s going after the guy with the gold and that is Sting. When Tony informs Stan that he is ranked #6, he bursts out in a fit of rage that he’s never been sixth at anything in his life, including with his wife, and he intends to take out the other contenders ahead of him.

– LPWA World Women’s Championship: Bambi vs. Susan Sexton ©

Thrown out there with absolutely no backstory or context, the ladies put on a passable match as they go back-and-forth trading mat holds. I don’t know or care much about women’s wrestling, although I do remember seeing both of these women as pinups in the Wrestling Eye/Wrestling World magazines; you remember, the lower-quality, almost-smark magazines filled with ads for videos of scantily-clad women wrestling dorky-looking guys in their apartments. Magnificent Mimi was the hottest, in my opinion. Bambi counters a back-bodydrop with an inside cradle, but Susan Sexton reverses it to retain the LPWA World Women’s Championship in 4:10. They shake hands afterward in a fine display of sportswomanship. *¾

This was as titillating as women’s wrestling got in 1990.

– NWA United States Tag Team Championship: Maximum Overdrive (The Hunter & The Silencer) vs. The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) ©

Making their WCW debut, Maximum Overdrive is a pair of tall, muscular guys in black tights and boots, like a white version of Doom without any of the experience or talent. The Silencer stuck around WCW after changing his name to JW Storm and received a slew of tryouts with the WWF in the early ’90s, but he achieved his true 15 minutes of fame a few years later in the role of Diamond Dallas Page’s bodyguard, Max Muscle. Previously, he competed in Portland as the facepainted tag team partner of Beetlejuice called Big Juice, a name that must have been a rib since he looked like a big juicehead. Scott Steiner effortlessly controls the Hunter and does the same with the Silencer, dumping him on his head with a German suplex. Silencer gets in a few shots on Rick Steiner and tags out, but it’s all downhill for Maximum Overdrive from there as the Dogface Gremlin overpowers Hunter. Rick lifts Hunter on his shoulders and tags out as Scotty comes in off the top turnbuckle with a sick DDT for the easy win in 6:24. *¾ Really just an extended squash. The Steiners were such a phenomenal duo and had become one of the finest tag teams in the world in a relatively short amount of time.

– Stan “The Lariat” Hansen vs. The Z-Man

As soon as Tom Zenk steps through the ropes, Stan Hansen is on the attack and dumps the Z-Man through the ropes so that he can continue his assault at ringside. The Badman from Borger, TX, is in a frenzy as he smashes Z-Man against the guardrail and hits him with a chair across the back. Ross and Caudle add to Hansen’s outlaw aura by talking about his disdain for rules and structure as Stan the Man shows off his wrestling ability in the ring with a suplex and an elbowdrop for a near-fall. While Hansen pounds away on Z-Man, we go back to the locker room where Tony Schiavone interviews Lex Luger. The Total Package is concentrating on Ric Flair tonight, but he heard Hansen’s threats earlier and agrees to give Stan a US Title shot anytime. Back to the match at hand, Zenk rallies back with a high crossbody out of the corner and some dropkicks, but Hansen beheads him with the Lariat at 3:18. **½ Stan’s unpredictable, unique character was a welcome addition to the roster and he was put over huge as a major-league ass-kicker.

Do not get in this man’s way.

– After showing some footage from the Flair/Luger match at WrestleWar ’90 in February, Tony Schiavone interviews Lex Luger again. The Total Package does a good job of putting over the importance of his US Heavyweight Championship, noting that Ric Flair needs it to become the #1 Contender to Sting’s World Title, but says that he is prepared to stop the Nature Boy.

– NWA United States Heavyweight Championship: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair vs. “Total Package” Lex Luger ©

The crowd is rabid and there’s a big-fight feel to this main event between arguably the two biggest-name stars in the NWA/WCW. During the prematch staredown, Ric Flair tells Lex Luger to his face that he’s going to beat him and move up from #2 to #1 so he can go after Sting. Flair lures Luger into a test-of-strength and chops away, but the Total Package no-sells them and tosses the Nature Boy with a couple of military press slams. Luger unleashes a third military-press slam, but he misses an elbowdrop and Flair chops away again. Lex fires back with a clothesline that Slick Ric sells as if his shoulder has been dislocated and stays on the mat. Referee Nick Patrick buys into this serious injury and prevents Luger from attacking the ‘injured’ Flair, but it’s just a typical ruse from the Dirtiest Player in the Game as he quickly rises up and suckerpunches the US Champion while the ref is holding him back. Flair knocks Luger to the floor and rams him into the guardrail several times, generally going insane due to his obsession with regaining the World Title. The Nature Boy focuses his attack on Lex’s knee and peppers him with chops, but Luger counters a hiptoss with a backslide for a two-count and mounts a heated comeback. Clothesline earns a near-fall for Lex, but he is exhausted and Flair attempts a series of pins after a snapmare. Ric climbs to the top turnbuckle in pursuit of that elusive aerial maneuver, but Luger slams him off and unloads on the former six-time NWA World Champion with a fourth press slam and a powerslam. Luger bearhugs Flair and sits him on the top turnbuckle so he can execute a superplex for a close near-fall, as Flair gets his foot over the rope just before the three-count. Slick Ric thumbs Lex in the eye and runs off the ropes with a flying bodyblock that sends both men crashing over the top rope together. They continue brawling on the floor and Flair whips Luger into the railing, but the Total Package nonchalantly no-sells it and stops the Nature Boy from climbing back in the ring. After knocking Flair away, Luger steps back in and he is immediately besieged by a beligerent and surly Stan Hansen as the ref calls for the disqualification at 14:28. The Lariat lays out the United States Champion and chokes him with his bullrope, then spits a juicy wad of tobacco on Luger’s chest before leaving. ****½ The match was fantastic, as Luger worked his ass off and Flair had something to prove, since there were rumors about WCW phasing him out due to his age and the length of time he had been on top. The post-match beatdown by Stan Hansen felt legitimate and firmly established him as a force to be reckoned with in the upper-card.

Find one thing you’re really good at, and never stop doing it.

– Now we venture from a legitimate-looking, sports-like, athletic exhibition into the Twilight Zone, as Tony Schiavone introduces a shadowy promo from the Black Scorpion in which he promises to reveal his identity if Sting can beat him tonight. Tony then interviews a serious Sting, but he just wants to go to the ring and find out who the Scorpion is. So even though this is a World Title bout, the belt is meaningless and never even mentioned.

– NWA World Heavyweight Championship: The Black Scorpion vs. Sting ©

The Black Scorpion is a mid-sized, muscular, tanned guy in a black mask and black pants whom the commentators are unable to identify. Somehow this unknown individual is receiving World Title shots while experienced stars like Ric Flair, Stan Hansen, and Lex Luger are worried about the Top 10 rankings. I have no problem with the Black Scorpion angle in theory if there had been a planned destination in mind, but it was utterly inconsistent with the rest of the product to have the World Title involved and the irony of this match following the Flair/Luger/Hansen business was likely unintentional. The Scorpion stomps and chokes Sting and they trade blows at ringside, but Sting battles back in the ring and attempts to remove his challenger’s mask. The hooded fiend reacts unpleasantly by raking Sting’s eyes and pounds away on him as they fight out of the ring. Scorpion bodyslams Sting on the ramp, but the high-pitched screeching of his Little Stingers inspires the World Heavyweight Champion to shrug it off and go for the mask again. Sting follows the fleeing Scorpion into the ring and slowly punches away, enduring some plodding offense from the Scorpion before catching him in a press slam. The Stinger dives off the top turnbuckle with a flying bodypress for a near-fall, but the Scorpion regains the advantage and resorts to more monotonous punching and choking. Sting fires back with a clothesline and hits the Stinger Splash to pin the Scorpion clean and retain the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in 8:10. After the match, fueled by an innate curiousity, Sting removes the Black Scorpion’s mask, revealing…a red mask! Sting goes after the red mask, but another Black Scorpion appears on the ramp in full robe and hood and distracts Sting long enough for the first Scorpion to escape. Ross and Caudle wonder aloud who in the hell just wrestled Sting (I’d call him the Red Scorpion) while the Stinger stares at the second Scorpion from the ring. More is promised after a commercial break, but my copy cuts off here. Apparently, Sid Vicious attacks Sting during the post-match interview and lays him out to set up their match at Halloween Havoc ’90. ** The Red Scorpion was portrayed by Al Perez and that resulted in a bland match, although judging from the crowd reactions it seemed like the younger fans were quite invested in Sting’s struggle, so the angle was not a total failure.

The Mystery of the Black Scorpion continues!

The 411: Although Mountain Madness: Fall Brawl '90 was the most-viewed Clash of the Champions to date, it was not WCW's strongest effort, with the lone highlights being Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger and anything involving Stan Hansen. The Black Scorpion storyline succeeded in creating viewer interest, but the match itself was a bore and the angle was destined to disappoint. The rest of the show is notable only for containing answers to pro wrestling trivia questions about Kevin Nash's pro debut and the WCW debut of the Nasty Boys. Times were tough and WCW was phasing out some of its more recognizable (and expensive) talent in favor of younger, greener wrestlers who worked cheaper, and this instability was evident on television.
Final Score:  6.0   [ Average ]  legend

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Joel Thomas

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