EVENT REVIEW: Clash of the Champions XIV - Dixie Dynamite

WCW Clash of the Champions 14 Review - Dixie Dynamite
January 30, 1991,
Georgia Mountains Center, Gainesville, 

Only six weeks had passed between Clash of the Champions 14: Dixie Dynamite and WCW’s last big show, Starrcade 1990, and yet a lot had happened in that time.

Behind the scenes, Ole Anderson had been stripped of his powers as head of the booking committee following the disastrous Black Scorpion storyline, a fiasco which had ended with Ric Flair being revealed as the mysterious peddler of hackneyed stage magic.

Since Starrcade, Flair had dethroned Sting to reclaim the world title.

It was the right move. As over as Sting was, every attempt by the WCW brain trust to relegate Nature Boy to the midcard had failed.

The fans knew that Flair was special, and as such, any attempt to have him compete lower down on the card simply backfired as his matches outshone more high-profile bouts on that card.

So here he was, back in his rightful place at the top of the mountain, and was now recognized as the first WCW World Heavyweight Champion due to the increasingly strained relationship between WCW and the NWA.

Of course, later that year, Naitch would take the Big Gold Belt over to the WWF, the company from which Dusty Rhodes had just returned in order to take over from Ole on the booking committee and serve as one of our commentators for the evening.

How would things go down as WCW quite literally attempted a fresh start in 1991? Let’s head down to Gainsville, Georgia and find out, shall we?

It’s Time for Dixie Dynamite

WCW Clash of the Champions 14 Review - Jim Ross and Dusty Rhodes called the action

Tonight’s show opened with a basic opening that highlighted our two marquee matches before we got some animated credits featuring all of WCW’s major stars.

As the show began, Dusty Rhodes and Jim Ross welcomed us to Clash of the Champions before sending it over to Garry Michael Capetta for the introduction of the US National Anthem.

With all that done, it was on to ringside for our opening contest.

Non-Title Match
WCW Tag Team Champions Doom (Butch Reed & Ron Simmons) vs. United States Champion Lex Luger and Sting

WCW Clash of the Champions 14 Review - Sting waits for a tag from Lex Luger

As Dusty Rhodes told us that their manager, Teddy Long, was absent due to being out on a spending spree, Ron Simmons and Butch Reed came to the ring to their usual theme tune, one which was far too sprightly and energetic for a team called DOOM.

Tonight, they locked up with Sting and Lex Luger in a decent match that was really only memorable for a spot in which Luger and Simmons continually ran into each other with shoulder tackles for a solid minute or so.

Towards the end, the Total Package was attacked by his upcoming Wrestlewar ‘91 opponent, Dan Spivey, leaving Sting to duke it out with the tag team champions solo.

He did his best, but ultimately got back body dropped to the outside by Reed and won the match via DQ due to the ‘no going over the top rope’ rule.
Your Winners via DQ: Sting & Lex Luger

Post match, Doom continued to attack but were eventually sent packing by Sting & Luger.

WCW Clash of the Champions 14 Review - Missy Hyatt says the sexiest wrestler is Tom Zenk

Following a commercial break, Missy Hyatt told us that Tom Zenk had won WCW’s Sexiest Wrestler contest due to him having a tan and being single.

We’d see the Z-Man in action next.

World Championship Wrestling World Television Championship
WCW World TV Champion Tom Zenk vs. Beautiful Bobby Eaton

WCW Clash of the Champions 14 Review -  Tom Zenk defends the Tv title against Bobby Eaton

This was a quality match that was about as good as you were going to get from an undercard bout on a Clash of the Champions show.

Beautiful Bobby Eaton had Z-Man’s number for such a large portion of the contest that a victory seemed inevitable, yet at the last possible second, the champion edged his way to victory thanks to a backslide that barely -and I mean barely- earned him the three count.
Your Winner and Still TV Champion: Tom Zenk

A post-match replay showed that Beautiful Bobby kicked out of the pin attempt before referee Nick Patrick’s hand hit the mat for the third time.

That should have been enough to earn Eaton a rematch, but Zenk had technically already lost the title back to Arn Anderson in a match that hadn’t aired yet, so that wasn’t about to happen.

The York Foundation Expands

WCW Clash of the Champions 14 Review -  Ms. Alexandra York

Backstage, Alexandra York told us that she had found the perfect wrestler to bring onboard into the York Foundation.

York, of course, would need to add to the ranks of her organization with her main man taking up a new role as a tax man in Connecticut.

‘Wildfire’ Tommy Rich & Alan Iron Eagle vs. The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael ‘P.S’ Hayes & Jimmy ‘Jam’ Garvin)

WCW Clash of the Champions 14 Review -  The Fabulous Freebirds

This one had all the makings of a decent TV match and would have been a fun watch were rookie Alan Iron Eagle not so inexperienced.

He frequently looked so lost and adrift next to his experimented partner and opponents that I honestly started to feel bad for him.

It was a good effort from Tommy Rich and The Fabulous Freebirds, sure, but nothing anyone was ever going to be raving about afterwards.

After a few minutes of everyone doing their best, Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin blasted Iron Eagle with a double DDT to score the win for the Freebirds.
Your Winners: The Fabulous Freebirds

Following a quick commercial for the upcoming War Games ‘91 event, Ross and Rhodes spoke to Tony Schiavone and Paul E. Dangerously, who were located elsewhere in the arena.

This was all done to hype Paul E.‘s upcoming arm wrestling match with Missy Hyatt, though all it really achieved was giving Dusty Rhodes a chance to insinuate that Dangerously might be gay,...

...because, you know, this was the 90s and the idea that a man might be homosexual was still a hilarious concept back then. 

Jumpin’ Joey Maggs vs. Sid Vicious

WCW Clash of the Champions 14 Review -  Sid Vicious pins Joey Maggs

Poor Joey Maggs didn’t stand a chance here.

Sid Vicious got a super special entrance, appearing on a rotating podium with a spotlight on him to highlight his enormous, dominating crowd physical presence.

The man from Wherever He Damn Well Pleases then toyed with Maggs for about a minute before putting him out of his misery with a powerbomb.

It wasn’t much of a match, but Sid was awesome and so over that you couldn’t help but enjoy it.
Your Winner: Sid Vicious

Post-match, Sid has his own emergency medical technicians come down to help poor Maggs, but the Four Horsemen member continued to attack Maggs even while On a stretcher.

A commercial for WCW’s new wrestling hotline followed. That number, as I’m sure no WCW fan will ever forget, was 1-900-909-9900

WCW Clash of the Champions 14 Review -  Sid Vicious is interviewed by Tony Schiavone

Heading back to the show, Sid gave an interview to Tony Schiavone in which he boasted that his goal for 1991 was to prove that he did indeed rule the world.

Ricky Morton vs. Terry Taylor

WCW Clash of the Champions 14 Review -  Terry Taylor headlocks Ricky Morton

I won’t lie, I enjoyed this far more than I ever thought I’d enjoy a Terry Taylor match.

As Jim Ross put over what great friends Taylor and Ricky Morton were, the two spent the first half of the match duking it out in a good face vs. face style match were both proved to be incredibly evenly matched.

That part of the match was good. It was just a pure, honest-to-goodness pro wrestling match with plenty of speed, plenty of holes and counter holds, and generally plenty to enjoy.

Then Alexandra York appeared, and after questioning whether his opponent was in cahoots with her, Taylor smashed Morton from behind and basically turned heel mid-match.

As if Taylor heeling it up and continually pointing at York didn’t get the job done, WCW decided to eliminate all semblance of subtlety by playing a pre-recorded inset promo in which Alexandra confirmed that yes, Terry Taylor was the newest member of The York Foundation.

The ending of the match was a little messy. Morton leapt at Taylor with what looked like a dropkick attempt. Taylor moved, and Morton came crashing down, inadvertently landing on Terry with an awkward and accidental senton before being rolled up and pinned.

The ending was a disaster, but everything else was wonderful.
Your Winner: Terry Taylor

WCW Clash of the Champions 14 Review -  Bill Apter presents Sting with his PWI awards

After a quick commercial break, we got a pre-recorded segment in which Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Bill Apter presented Sting with two awards:

PWI Wrestler of the Year and PWI Most Inspirational Wrestler of the Year.

Sting must have just gotten out of bed or something, because although he did try to express his surprise and delight, he really sounded like he couldn’t give a sh*t about either award.

Returning to the arena, Dusty Rhodes abused his position as booker to give himself some promo time so that he could air his own political views about the Gulf War.

If you questioned the president or you didn’t think going to war over the price of oil was a good thing, you were certainly no friend of The American Dream’s.

You have to wonder if Dusty’s promo was unplanned or if he at least went a little too far for TBS’ liking as he issued something of an apology at the start of our next contest.

Ranger Ross vs. El Cubano

WCW Clash of the Champions 14 Review -  Ranger Ross gets set for action

This is the first time we've seen Ranger Ross on Retro Pro Wrestling since Wrestle War 1989.

Here, he was thrust back into the spotlight so that his army ranger gimmick could help WCW capitalise on the support for the US troops in Dusty’s beloved Gulf War.

The match itself was nothing, a by-the-numbers filler that served no real purpose and that played out to near silence from the live crowd.

Still, in going up against masked jobber El Cubano, Ranger Ross did at least look impressive and you have to wonder if he could have been a bigger star given a different gimmick and a decent push.

Naturally, the Ranger won. Nobody was surprised, nor did they care.
Your Winner: Ranger Ross

A quick commercial for War Games followed, after which it was back to the action.

The Four Horsemen (Arn Anderson & Barry Windham) vs. The Renegade Warriors (Chris & Mark Youngblood)

WCW Clash of the Champions 14 Review -  Barry Windham & Arn Anderson

Although the ending was never in doubt here, The Renegade Warriors played their roles as babyface fodder to the nefarious Four Horsemen perfectly well.

The result was a fun TV tag match with nary a dull moment in sight.

Was this the best tag match you’ve ever seen in your life?

Absolutely not, but there was certainly nothing to complain about, not even the predictable finish which saw Anderson and Windham pick up the fall.
Your Winners: The Four Horsemen

If you hadn’t already noticed that this show was one giant commercial for Wrestle War ‘91, we got another ad for the War Games match before the next commercial break.

WCW Clash of the Champions 14 Review -  Tony Schiavone and Stan Hansen freestyle rapping!

When we returned, Tony Schiavone showed us footage of Stan Hansen and Big Van Vader beating the living sh*t out of each other in Japan.

That led us to Schiavone’s interview with Hansen, who claimed that the Japanese audiences liked seeing real men fight while American audiences only liked ‘pretty boys’ who painted their faces.

It was tough luck for the Americans as Hansen announced that he and Vader would meet at Wrestle War.


Buddy Lee Parker vs. Flyin’ Brian Pillman

WCW Clash of the Champions 14 Review -  Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker thinks he's The Big Boss Man

Introduced while already in the ring, Buddy Lee Parker was dressed in a hat and blue cop shirt that made him look for all the world like a low-rent Big Boss Man.

After taking that attire off, the future Power Plant trainer played his part in putting over the white-hot Brian Pillman in an entertaining but very short match.

Much like the previous contest, the ending was never in doubt here, and after showing off his impressive skill set, Flyin’ Brian easily disposed of his opponent.
Your Winner: Brian Pillman

As we went to commercial, Jim Ross told us to call a special number to join the official WCW Fan Club.

Coming back, he and Dusty talked to the camera while El Gigante sat in the crowd.

The weirdest point was that neither announcer acknowledged him. He just sat on the front row like a regular fan, which was just a little strange.

Paul E. Gets Beat By a Girl

WCW Clash of the Champions 14 Review -  Paul E. Heyman is distracted by Missy Hyatt's boobs

Up next, we had the special arm-wrestling match between Paul E. Dangerously and Missy Hyatt, with country DJ Rhubarb Jones as the guest arena.

Both competitors locked arms, but then Missy backed away, first to roll her sleeves up and then to remove her jacket, revealing that she was wearing skintight exercise attire that drew all the focus to her boobs.

When I say all the focus, I mean all of it, even Paul E.’s.

The man who would, years later, be involved in a storyline that saw him sniffing Lita’s panties, got so distracted by Missy’s boobage that she easily beat him.

From there, we were all supposed to laugh at Paul E. because being beaten by a woman was an embarrassing thing in the ‘90s, though honestly, given the choice between winning an arm-wrestling match with Missy Hyatt and enjoying a close-up view of her boobs, I certainly know where my priorities would lie.

Finally, before we got to our main event, we got a clip of future Wrestlemania XI star Lawrence Taylor hanging out with Ric Flair, Kevin Sullivan, Michael Wallstreet, and Alexandra York.

If you ask me, this was another weird move.

Why would hanging out with a famous and popular football player make us want to hate that contingent of heels?

WCW World Heavyweight Championship 
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Nature Boy Ric Flair vs. Scott Steiner (w/ Rick Steiner) 

WCW Clash of the Champions 14 Review -  Scott Steiner challenges Ric Flair for the world heavyweight title

Prior to the bell, GMC introduced Hiro Matsuda, who was there on behalf of New Japan Pro Wrestling to see the outcome of this match as the winner would head to the Tokyo Dome to defend the title against Tatsumi Fujinami later that year. 

Then, El Gigante was introduced. He made his way into the ring, shook hands with The Steiners and then offered Ric Flair a handshake too. 

Flair refused, so the giant simply went and sat back down and watched the match.

Capetta also informed us that the time limit for this match was "TV time remaining," and when the announcer later started to tell us when there were 10, and then 5 minutes left, the time-limit draw ending became very predictable. 

Still, everything before that was good stuff. 

The story here was the young, gifted athlete out-wrestling his opponent, only for the crafty veteran to rely on dirty tricks in order to regain the upper-hand. 

Though it wasn't a five-star classic, it was entertaining stuff which ended when Steiner hit the champion with a belly-to-belly.

The challenger made the cover, the referee counted to two, and then, just as everybody knew it would all along, the time limit expired.
Time Limit Draw (Ric Flair retains the title)

Post match, The Steiner Brothers thought Scotty had won the match and were understandably frustrated when Nick Patrick broke the news. 

With TV time done, Ross and Dusty signed off, and that was another Clash of the Champions show in the bag. 

On the whole, Clash of the Champions XIV: Dixie Dynamite had been a good show for what it was. This is especially true when you consider that what it was, was simply a 90-minute commercial for Wrestle War '91 and the War Games main event. 

Sure, if Clash 14 had been a PPV, I'd be writing it off as a dismal failure, but for a TV special, it did give us a bunch of matches that ranged from decent to good. Skip the Ranger Ross and the Freebirds match, and you've got a good bit of wrestling television here. 

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