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The Furious Flashbacks – WCW Clash of the Champions 31

November 29, 2006 | Posted by Arnold Furious
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The Furious Flashbacks – WCW Clash of the Champions 31  

The Furious Flashbacks – WCW Clash of the Champions 31

Careful you don’t bump your head too hard in WCW, ladies; you’ll end up falling in love with someone.

My original plan for CotC XXXI was to get drunk and review it. Bring the innovation, as it were, by bringing the IWC its first major intoxicated review Furious style. Chances are it wouldn’t have made much sense but that’s why I selected a WCW show for said honour. Unfortunately I somewhat misjudged the amount of alcohol involved. I ended up getting so drunk that I found myself covered in blood and running around with a knife randomly stabbing attractive women. Although I must point out the blood and knife were fake it was still quite an entertaining night. I turned up quite late as my mate Redje was already standing at the end of the bar shirtless insulting his former schoolmates, shouting at random passers by and occasionally smacking himself, and others, in the head with a red skull he lovingly referred to as “Bob”. “This is Bob…” SMACK. He also had the JYD giant metal chain that he swung at the bar staff. By the time I got back home to do the review I was totally incoherent. While attempting to talk to Larry Csonka on MSN I had to retype the words 5 or 6 times. The two hour review could have ended up taking all night. I figured it was already 3am-ish so I was screwed. So here’s Clash 31, sober. Worryingly sober.

August 4th 1995. We’re in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Meng/Kurasawa w/Colonel Rob Parker v Sting/Roadwarrior Hawk

Kurasawa was the brief US run for Manabu Nakanishi. This would be the year his career was starting to take off in Japan so NJPW farmed him out to WCW to see how he’d fare on American soil. He won the Young Lion Cup in 1995. He’d go on to win the G1 Climax in 1999. He’s had a lot of success in tag wrestling in particular winning the IWGP tag straps with three different partners. So he starts out with Hawk who he’s most familiar with and that produces some fairly stiff chops. Hawk goes low with a headbutt but apparently that’s ok. Kurasawa finds himself worked over by the babyfaces to some decent reactions. Kurasawa comes back with chops but misses the knee charge. Sting chops him back and hits a suplex for 2. Hawk decides he’s going to make Kurosawa look like crap by totally botching the sell on one clothesline. Meng comes in and Hawk doesn’t even bother to sell his stuff. Kick his ass Meng! The heels work over Hawk’s arm for a while. Kurasawa suplexes Hawk on the floor and when Sting comes to save it ends up as a four man brawl. Sting is ushered away by impartial referee Nick Patrick but Hawk is already done with the selling. I know. I’m as shocked as you. They try to keep running heat on Hawk but he’s just not playing along and hits a neckbreaker. Horrible top rope splash connects as does a powerbomb but Meng makes the save. Sting goes up top with the diving clothesline. They completely fuck up a double whip spot somehow not noticing that Kurosawa was standing right there doing nothing. He decides he can’t look like that much of an idiot and stops it. That leads to an absolute clusterfuck series of bits and pieces. Stinger Splash! Everyone in with Hawk & Kurosawa literally doing nothing. Sting sets up Kurosawa for their lame ass version of the Doomsday Device for the pin at 7.21. *. Oh good lord. Kurosawa looks like a jobber right out the gate and the match was a mess. Plus the monster push for Meng now has him as a tag guy. So much for that. I guess that’s why he never cracked the upper deck in WCW.

POST MATCH Kurosawa drops Hawk like a bad habit “breaking” his arm in the process. Hey, Hawk is selling something! It must be bad. Although he shows up with some ridiculous overselling, rolling around yelling like a child, which is why he should never be selling in the first place. Or wrestling if I had my way. I hate the Roadwarriors. Get over it.

BACKSTAGE The Stud Stable gets interviewed. Parker got back quickly. He calls the move that put Hawk out the “Kurosawa Krush”. He makes a few comments regarding Sister Sherri and talks about tonight’s match along with Bunkhouse Buck & Dick Slater. The latter threatens to “hyperextend” Sherri Martel tonight. Yikes. Parker has more romantic thoughts in line. I remember this storyline being patently ridiculous.

Diamond Dallas Page w/Diamond Doll v Alex Wright

Looks like Maxx Muscle got the shove. He was superfluous anyway. DDP’s mid 90’s music was rubbish. Wright’s music doesn’t even play. Well it IS WCW. We expect these little incidents. Wright’s big push on entering WCW has somewhat stalled. DDP gets rolled up a few times and complains of tights pulling. DDP gets thrown outside and does a nice job of arguing with the fans giving Wright time to hit a pescado without making DDP look like a dumbass. DDP rants at Kim for that. Wright flips around to work the arm before flipping around into a dropkick. Not a lot of people know that Alex Wright is half English, which is where the name comes from. He’s a second generation wrestler following in the footsteps of British wrestler Steve Wright. More flipping from Wright into a crossbody for 2. DDP takes over and hits a nice neckbreaker. “See ya”. He awards himself 10 points for that, which is kind of where the self high five came from. DDP chokes away on the ropes but gets caught and nearly pinned off a backslide. DDP with a few weak forearms before he miscues into the ring post. Wright takes advantage with a spinning heel kick and a high knee gets 2. Missile dropkick gets 2. Weak shoulder charges from Wright but DDP drops him with the Snake Eyes for 2. Standing switches leads to Wright’s German suplex for 2. That’d be his finisher DDP kicked out of then. Wright goes for another dive but DDP sidesteps him. Wright crashes and burns allowing DDP to just throw him back inside for the pin at 8.15. **1/4. Not a bad match at all. I would guess heavily planned by DDP. Some of the strikes were lame but at least WCW had a better idea of who they thought would be the bigger star for a change. DDP had a lot more personality and was better received by the fans.

BACKSTAGE Flair & Arn chat to Scheme Gene. They’re wrestling Vader later. Yep, two v one. Flair rambles about how he always has Arn backing him up so Vader hasn’t got a chance. Arn says he’ll wear Vader out then turn him over to Flair. Speaking of Vader he has about a week left in the company. He was fired by Eric Bischoff after getting into a fight with Paul Orndorff. And we’re talking segueway here because next is…

TV title – The Renegade (c) v Paul Orndorff

Renegade has Jimmy Hart out here. Renegade does his charge into the ring but while he’s sliding in Orndorff puts the boots to him. Heh. Renegade recovers quickly and hits a powerslam. Orndorff bails to get his shit together. Renegade poses on the buckles so Orndorff runs in and suplexes him off. That looked fucking ugly. Orndorff takes the TV title off Renegade and goes to waffle him with it and the ref takes it off him. Boo! Orndorff throws a bunch of knees. Renegade’s selling is awful. Often the way with guys whose gimmick is to no sell. “Get up Renegade, this is the WCW” – Jimmy Hart. He continues with the verbal sewage until Renegade responds and simply finishes with a crossbody at 4.00. DUD. Orndorff was pretty much done and about to head over to the Power Plant. They did briefly attempt an angle where he got an advisor to try and snap his losing streak but that aside he was finished.

BACKSTAGE Gene Okerlund talks to Vader. He says he feels that the Horsemen are overconfident. Vader basically calls them chickens and says he, himself, has no fear of anything and feels no pain. Vader says he’ll make history tonight by beating two world class stars. He also threatens to choke out Flair. Okerlund rambles about the Dungeon of Doom and stumbles over his words. He also shills War Games at Fall Brawl. I don’t actually have that show so I’m going to skip on to Halloween Havoc next.

Harlem Heat/Sister Sherri v Bunkhouse Buck/Dick Slater/Colonel Rob Parker

The romance angle continues here and the tag titles angle is secondary to it. If the Heat win then they get their title shot at the Stud Stable. Parker’s ring gear is just wearing his normal suit minus the jacket and rolling his sleeves up. This would be a heel match but Harlem Heat are the defacto babyfaces because everyone hates Parker so much. Harlem Heat have to restrain Sherri to keep her from getting picked off. This whole feud has some rather unsettling racial overtones. Parker looks like a plantation owner for starters. Heenan has an update on Hawk suggesting his arm is broken, probably. This match is unbearably ponderous. Booker is the only guy to really do anything interesting when he dropkicks Buck off the top. The fans all want to see Sherri-Parker but they’re holding off on it. Booker breaks out the spinneroonie. Slater v Stevie Ray is SO terrible. Both heel wrestlers get punched by Sherri while the Heat hold them. Booker comes back in with a sidekick so high that it almost clears Slater’s head. Tony breaks out the announcement that WCW on September 4th debut Monday Nitro and they’re debuting a new announcer. That would be Steve McMichael for those wondering. The first match ever on Nitro was Jushin Liger v Brian Pillman. Also they had Sting v Flair & Hogan v Bubba Rogers. There’s some heatless heat on Booker T complete with missed tag. Parker eventually comes in because he’s bored of standing around presumably because there was no need for him to come in at all. Harlem Heat pick him off and hit a double suplex. Sherri tags in with a high crossbody for 2. Parker’s selling is deliciously OTT. Legs waving around and so forth. Sherri misses a splash off the top and that just deflates the crowd. Sherri hits her head and stays down and out. This would be the ridiculous part of the storyline kicking in as Sherri jumps on Parker and starts kissing him courtesy of the bump to the noggin. Erm, reverse amnesia? I don’t know. I’m sure pretty sure this medical condition isn’t real. Parker is so stunned he allows himself to be pinned at 7.54. ½*. Ridiculous but I’ll at least give them points for it being over. Slightly. It’s odd how you always seem to remember stuff you hate.

BACKSTAGE Hulk Hogan gets his interview time. Brother count = a fabulous 18 (plus a few man’s, dude’s and even a Jack). He wants Jimmy Hart safe at home with the title belt while Hogan goes into the Dungeon of Doom. He rambles about Irish people, Andre and his friends. Pretty fun promo actually because it was bordering on parody. They run a charity thing where some kid in a wheelchair gets to meet Randy Savage and say “Ooohhh yeah” on TV. Savage shills Fall Brawl as WCW is donating some of the proceeds from that show to charity.

DUNGEON OF DOOM – The actual dungeon as opposed to the faction. Hogan has decided to enter it. The acting in this segment is appalling as Hogan busts out a few more “brothers”. Hogan wants to fight the Giant because he’s fought giants before. Paul Wight shows up to choke Hogan down and there’s more terrible acting this time from the big guy. The Dungeon, the faction not the building, put the boots to Hogan but Vader saves him. The babyfaces turn up to drag Hogan out while Wight laughs into the camera. What the fuck was that? Did they really think that was a good idea? All the acting. Bad acting at that. The only good thing was turning Vader fully babyface. Unfortunately Eric Bischoff was too stupid to realise his marketability and fired him. It seems weird that he got canned when he was the top guy in the company barring Hogan (and even worse, replaced him with Lex Luger). More plugs for the PPV & Nitro follow.

Ric Flair/Arn Anderson v Vader

This would have been another heel match but Vader got officially turned face earlier in the night. Heenan talks psychology telling us that Flair might not be able to put the Figure Four on Vader because he’s too big but Arn can put him away with any number of holds. Buffer says this is the first handicap match in WCW. A lot of this “innovative” stuff was just stolen off ECW. Flair should never have come back as a heel. According to Buffer the man they call Vader is still ranked as the #1 contender. Vader starts off making short work of Arn before clotheslining him outside. They’re doing this as a tag match so Flair stays outside and Arn comes back in to hit a great spinebuster. Flair wants the tag now. He styles and profiles so Vader pops back up and presses him. Twice. Flair goes into full “oh God no” selling, does his corner flip and Vader clotheslines him to the floor. Crowd is really buying into this. Flair grabs a chair but the ref cuts him off so Arn runs in to clip Vader’s knee. DDT! For the second time Arn has taken over and tags out to Flair instead of pinning himself. Flair whips out the FIGURE FOUR. Tony reminds us that Arn has done all the work in this one. Vader gets into the ropes. Flair goes up top but, surprise surprise, gets thrown off. Backdrop and a splash but Arn makes the save. Tony once again reminds us of all Arn’s hard work in this one. Vader goes up top and just drops onto Flair but Arn saves again. Heenan is cracking me up by randomly asking who this new commentator is going to be. Just out of nowhere. Vader is sick of Arn breaking up pins so he powerbombs him for the win at 8.04. *1/2. Well it certainly got Vader over as a babyface but sadly that run would be short lived. And by short lived I mean this match. Meanwhile Arn got to look like a chump thanks to Naitch not holding up his end and they went with Flair v Arn at the PPV. Arn won btw.

POST MATCH Flair goes nuts and tells Arn that he was to blame for losing the match. Arn stares a hole in him. “Where were you?” says Arn rightfully accusing Flair of dogging that one.

FRONTSTAGE Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage & Sting come out here. Hogan says he beat Andre and now he’ll beat his son (The Giant was initially billed as Andre’s son). Vader strolls past to say he’s cool with Hogan but he still hates Jimmy Hart, Sting and Savage thus keeping his edge somewhat. Hogan declares war on the Dungeon of Doom. Yeah, three of the four biggest stars in the company declare war on the lame ass Dungeon of Doom. Conveniently Fall Brawl is just around the corner and that means War Games.

SIDENOTE – Vader parted ways with WCW right after this ending his 4 year association with them. He needed some time off to rehab an assortment of injuries and ailments before joining the WWF debuting in the 1996 Royal Rumble. He had a brief feud with Yokozuna and was a part of Camp Cornette. He had a brush with the main event scene during 1996 challenging Shawn Michaels for the WWF title at Summerslam but thanks to the old backstage politics he came up short. He then went on to feud with the Undertaker. In April 1997 he made headlines after roughing up a Kuwaiti TV presenter. This lead to Vader having his next feud against the debuting Ken Shamrock. He turned face when he joined forces with the American fans against the Hart Foundation. After the Americans lost their Survivor Series match against the Harts Vader blamed Goldust who walked out on the match thus entering into his next program. The WWF suddenly developed a dislike of Vader’s weight and tried to slim him down somewhat leading to him being cannon fodder for the debuting Kane. Although Vader never won the WWF title he held 8 recognised world titles during his career.

The 411: While it’s not particularly offensive, daft Hogan segment aside, it’s not particularly good either. Compared to most of the shows from around this time it measures up quite well but compared to wrestling shows in general it’s pretty lame. While some of the storylines make some form of sense they do so in a daft way. The whole Hogan/Savage v Dungeon feud would roll on well into the next year. By the end of it the crowd were sick of seeing a babyface Hulkster. Which kind of lead to the nWo angle. To really understand how radically the nWo changed WCW, I guess you have to watch the shows in 1995 and see how lame the company was. It’s really no wonder Nash & Hall got so over, so quick.
Final Score:  4.0   [ Poor ]  legend

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