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Views from the Hawke’s Nest: Clash of the Champions I

February 18, 2015 | Posted by TJ Hawke
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Views from the Hawke’s Nest: Clash of the Champions I  

Greensboro, North Carolina
March 27, 1988

 

Mike Rotunda (w/Kevin Sullivan)© vs. Jimmy Garvin (w/Precious) [College Rules Match for the NWA World Television Championship]
You can win this match with a one count. There will be five minute rounds.

Rotunda could get nothing going. Rotunda was finally getting some momentum towards the end of the first round. He couldn’t pin Garvin though before the time ran out.

Garvin came after in the second round. He was distracted by Sullivan putting his hands on Precious though. Rotunda caught Garvin with a schoolboy: 1! Rotunda retains.

Rick Steiner ran down, but Precious hit him with a 2×4. Precious then attacked Sullivan with a coat hanger.

The match was not much, but the post-match angle was hot as heck.
Match Rating: *

 

Steve Williams cut an awful promo. But it was Sid awful. So, it was amazing.

 

The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane) (w/Jim Cornette)© vs. The Fantastics (Bobby Fulton & Tommy Rogers) [NWA United States Tag Team Championships]
The match was a wild brawl from the start with The Fantastics in control. The match finally settled down after the Express cut off Rodgers and then worked him over. Rodgers was destroyed for a while. It was grand. They sporadically used a table to attack him. Rodgers finally tagged out, but the referee didn’t see it. Fulton tossed him away and thwarted Cornette’s attempt to interfere. Rocket Launcher: 1…2…3!!

Dusty Finish™. A second referee made the count though, and the original referee reversed the decision or restarted the match. I can’t figure it out. Yep, The Fantastics were disqualified. The Midnight Express and Cornette attacked The Fantastics after all that.

That was a super-hot match, and it was enjoyable despite the awful finish. Dusty Finishes are terrible. Really, really terrible.
Match Rating: ***1/2

 

Dusty Rhodes & The Road Warriors (Road Warrior Animal & Road Warrior Hawk) (w/Paul Ellering) vs. Ivan Koloff & The Powers Of Pain (The Barbarian& The Warlord) (w/Paul Jones) [Barbed Wire]
The six men brawled a lot. Dusty had Road Warrior face paint on. The Barbarian accidentally gave Warlord a splash, and the babyface team then won.

After the match, the heels took off Animal’s protective facemask and went after Animal’s injured eye. Hawk and Dusty made the save.

At least this match did not overstay its welcome!
Match Rating: *

 

Nikita Koloff cut an AMAZING promo about getting high on life and not drugs. I need Dr. Death and Nikita Koloff to cut promos together. Did it ever happen????

 

The Four Horsemen (Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard) (w/James J. Dillon)© vs. Barry Windham & Lex Luger [NWA World Tag Team Championships]
Luger quickly had Tully in the Rack, but Anderson cut down Luger’s knee. The Brainbusters then went after Luger’s left leg. Luger tagged out after only a minute or so of that. Windham made a hot tag. Windham eventually got cut off though, and he was then worked over. This match has been action packed for five minutes so far. Windham was in trouble for a while, but he finally tagged out to Luger. The match broke down. Dillon tried to interfere with a chair, but Luger sent Anderson into it: 1…2…3!!!!

This was so great. Everything they did was incredibly over, and it’s the perfect example of how a great match can come in a short match. They didn’t waste a single moment, and it was a joy to experience. They probably could have milked a few more nearfalls, but that was not the style.
Match Rating: ****

 

Ric Flair© vs. Sting [NWA World Heavyweight Championship]
There were three celebrity judges for the match: Jason Hervey,

JJ Dillon was locked in a cage suspended above the ring.

Sting dominated for a long time, as you would expect. For fifteen minutes, Flair basically had no offense whatsoever. Sting used a headlock and a bearhug to do the damage. Flair finally came back after avoiding an elbow drop and then hitting an inverted Manhattan Drop. Flair was then in control for a while. He was targeting the back somewhat. Sting randomly started to come back, but he crashed into a ringpost at one point after wildly going for a lariat. Flair went back to work, and now he was targeting the left arm that Sting just injured. That did not last long though, as Sting started to come back fairly quickly. He applied the Scorpion Deathlock, but Flair got to the ropes. 20 minutes remaining in the time limit. Sting hit a very sloppy diving crossbody for a nearfall. Flair went after Sting’s left leg. He eventually applied the figure four. Sting Hulked Up and then reversed the pressure. Flair went to suplex Sting to the floor, but Sting reversed it into a suplex of his own. Flair came right back, but Sting then drove Flair’s crotch into a ringpost. Sting applied the figure four. Flair survived that, but Sting had all the momentum. Sting proceeded to target the now-injured right leg. With only a few minutes remain, Sting had Flair metaphorically and literally on the ropes. Flair avoided the Stinger Splash, and Sting crashed to the floor. Flair tried to use the ropes for a pin, but the ref saw it. Sting rolled through a Flair crossbody for a nearfall. Sting started no-selling everything with one minute left (logic). STINGER SPLASH! Scorpion Deathlock! The time limit expired before Flair tapped out.

I actually enjoyed this match more than I thought I would. They managed to keep up a great pace for nearly the entire match, and the crowd was hot throughout (and arguably peaked at the end). The match was compelling the great majority of the time, exciting when it needed to be and produced great drama towards the end. It is unquestionably a great match. There are a couple of things that hold it back from being an all-time great one in my eyes though.

Instead of focusing on one clear strategy, Flair started and abandoned close to a half dozen tactics to put away Sting. Obviously, you can argue this accomplished making Sting look strong for surviving so many tactics, but I thought it mostly just served to make Flair seem stupid for abandoning proven strategies. I can easily see this not bothering other people though, and it’s certainly not the end of the world. I also didn’t like Sting’s big no-sell spot at the end, but I recognize how over it was.
Match Rating: ****1/4

 

Watch some WCW for free!

Hulk Hogan & Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger & Sting

Eddy Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio

Goldberg vs. Bam Bam Bigelow

Goldberg & Ric Flair vs. Hollywood Hogan & Kevin Nash

Bret Hart vs. Lex Luger

Blitzkrieg vs. Juventud Guerrera 

Blitzkrieg & Kaz Hayashi vs. Silver King & Psicosis

Chris Jericho vs. Alex Wright

Eddy Guerrero vs. Chris Jericho

Eddy Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko

Eddy Guerrero vs. Chavo Guerrero

Eddy Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio

Rey Mysterio vs. Jushin Liger

Scott Steiner vs. Mike Awesome

Booker T vs. Curt Hennig

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Curt Hennig

8.0
The final score: review Very Good
The 411
The highs were very high and the lows did not matter much. If you haven't watched this show on the Network yet, you absolutely should. The top two matches really show how great Crockett could be when they didn't have their heads up their asses.
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