Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Showing posts with label Butch Reed. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Butch Reed. Show all posts

Thursday, 13 January 2022

EVENT REVIEW: WCW Clash of the Champions XIII - Thanksgiving Thunder

WCW Clash of the Champions 13 Review - Thanksgiving Thunder
November 20th, 1990 
Jacksonville Memorial Coliseum, Jacksonville, Florida. 

Clash of the Champions 13 - Thanksgiving Thunder saw World Championship Wrestling at weird time.

After rising to the height of popularity, Sting had finally captured the World Heavyweight Championship, only to find himself lacking any serious, credible challengers outside of the man he beat for the title, Nature Boy Ric Flair.

Instead of actually creating any serious, credible challengers, the WCW braintrust created The Black Scorpion, supposedly a dark and mysterious figure from Sting's past (with it being hinted that it might be his former partner, The Ultimate Warrior), but who was really just a goof in a mask who did stage magic and made ominous threats over the PA system.

The gimmick -and, indeed, the whole story line- clearly didn't work, but, as we'll see tonight, WCW were not ones to give up on a bad idea.






Here's what went down when Clash of the Champions XIII - Thanksgiving Thunder came to us live from Jacksonville, Florida.

Thanksgiving Thunder

WCW Clash of the Champions 13 Review - Jim Ross and Paul Heyman called the event

We began tonight’s show with a basic intro featuring clips of WCW’s stars beating the hell out of each other, all framed in log tuning bolts...get it, because thunder?

Anyway, we then went live to the arena where Jim Ross and Paul E. Dangerously put over the stipulations for tonight’s main event.

Not only was a tag team title shot on the line, but if Butch Reed won, then Teddy Long would get Ric Flair’s limo and yacht whereas if Nature Boy won, Long would have to be his chauffeur for the day.

Hmm.

Moving on, Dangerously ranted and raved about how we could talk to Lex Luger on the WCW Hotline before JR sent it to Garry Michael Capetta for our opening contest.

The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael ‘P.S’ Hayes & Jimmy ‘Jam’ Garvin w/ Little Richard Marley) vs. The Wild Eyed Southern Boys (Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong)

WCW Clash of the Champions 13 Review - Bobby Eaton and The Fabulous Freebirds
I often write these reviews months in advance, and right now it feels both fitting and incredibly sad that, less than 24 hours after learning of “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton’s passing, the first wrestling match I sat down to review looked to set to feature the Midnight Express legend.

This was all set to be a six-man, featuring Bobby teaming with Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin to face Tracy Smothers, Steve Armstrong, and El Gigante.

Alas, the Freebirds shot themselves in the foot before the match could start by grabbing the microphone and taking credit for El Gigante’s alleged disappearance.

The referee then declared that since Hayes had owned up to some shady doings, this would now be a regular tag match and Eaton had to go to the back. 

These two teams had a great match back at Clash of the Champions XI, and this looked like it was going to be on par with that.

Unfortunately, it was a much shorter bout than their last effort, and after about 6 short minutes of exciting tag team action, Little Richard Marley tripped up Tracy Smothers, allowing Hayes to hit the match-winning DDT.
Your Winners: The Fabulous Freebirds

WCW Clash of the Champions 13 Review - Sting and Tony Schiavone
Out in the arena, Tony Schiavone interviewed Sting

The World Heavyweight champion didn’t have much to say. He simply bounced up and down a lot and confirmed that he was fighting Black Scorpion again tonight.

He didn’t get to elaborate as he was interrupted by Ole Anderson’s Black Scorpion voice echoing through the PA.

Scorpion likewise said nothing that actually meant anything, it was simply a case of “listen to how spooky snd scary I am.”

To his credit, he did promise to show off some of his black magic. I’m telling you now, if that magic ends up being half as hilariously bad as his stunt at Halloween Havoc 90, I can’t wait for it.

Nature Boy Buddy Landel vs. Flyin’ Brian Pillman

This rematch from Great American Bash 1990 was a pretty good effort which saw Buddy Landell using all the devious heel tactics he could to counter Brian Pillman’s high-flying offence.

Of course, Pillman was the real star here.

He looked incredibly impressive and so it came as no surprise when he came off the top rope with a flying crossbody and won the match.
Your Winner: Brian Pillman

WCW Clash of the Champions 13 Review - Starrcade 1990 commercial
After another reminder that we could speak to Lex Luger on the WCW hotline, we next got a promo for Starrcade ‘90: Colission Course.

The video told us that Sting would face The Black Scorpion, which was news to me as I thought the earlier promo meant that said match was happening tonight.

It also promised us a universal tag team attraction featuring the best tag teams “from across the cosmos.” 

I won’t lie, that tag team thing actually looked pretty cool.

The Big Cat vs. ‘The Candy Man’ Brad Armstrong

WCW Clash of the Champions 13 Review - The Big Cat
No, this wasn’t Ernie Ladd. It was a young Curtis ‘Mr.’ Hughes in an early gimmick.

As he made his way to the ring for his I first appearance at a big WCW event, we got some pre-recorded comments from Cat in which he promised he was here to beat everyone up and that he had his sights firmly set on Lex Luger.

Before he could get to The Total Package, however, Cat first had to dispose of ‘The Candy Man’ Brad Armstrong who’s gimmick was...

...I don’t know, that he really liked candy or something?

Whatever he was supposed to be, Armstrong was really just there to serve as a warm body for Big Cat to throw around, which he did so in impressive fashion.

Indeed, watching this charismatic, well-built dude look like a star in the making here, it’s almost impossible to believe that he’s the same guy I just wrote about a few weeks ago as having an awful match with Sal Bellomo at ECW The Night the Line Was Crossed.

Anyway, Cat, trying to get Luger’s attention, lifted Armstrong up in the torture rack, and even though The Candy Man didn’t give up, the referee took mercy on him and stopped the match.
Your Winner: Big Cat 

Before the commercial, we got a word from Dick The Bruiser.

Sounding like he smoked 60 cigarettes a day, The Bruiser told us that he was known throughout the land as the toughest wrestler and the toughest referee in the world. As such, he was able to guarantee us a winner when he officiated the main event of Starrcade.

‘Prime Time’ Brian Lee vs. The Z-Man

WCW Clash of the Champions 13 Review - Prime Time Brian Lee
As The Z-Man made his way to the ring, Jim Ross told us that he was one of the more popular wrestlers in WCW and the crowd response seemed to back that claim up.

That was surprising as on previous shows that I’ve reviewed he was mainly used as cannon fodder for other wrestlers.

His opponent tonight was future Summerslam ‘94 headliner ‘Prime Time’ Brian Lee, making his WCW debut.

The match was decent for what it was, and even though all of these Clash matches were usually short to fit around commercials, Z-Man and Lee made the best out of the time allotted to them.

Of course, I’m not saying that this was a classic or anything, but it was perfectly acceptable for an undercard bout on a TV

Z-Man won, which was a rarity.
Your Winner: The Z-Man

WCW Clash of the Champions 13 Review - Tony Schiavone interviews Alexandra York and Michael Wallstreet
After the break, we went live to Tony Schiavone who was standing by with Michael Wallstreet and Alexandra York.

Wallstreet scalded Schiavone for calling him Mike Rotunda and revealed that he had legally changed his name to Michael Wallstreet after inheriting a large sum of money.

He then introduced us to his administrative assistant, Alexandra York, making this Terri Runnel’s first appearance on a big event.

York showed us a computer print out of a strategy she had compiled for Wallstreet using data on his upcoming opponent, The Starblazer.

According to Ms. York, as long as her man followed it to the letter, he would have no problem winning his match.

The Starblazer vs. Michael Wallstreet (w/ Alexandra York)

WCW Clash of the Champions 13 Review - The Starblazer
If you’re anything like me and had no idea who the heck The Starblazer was, it was apparently ‘White Lightning’ Tim Horner in a generic luchadore costume.

York’s strategy for Wallstreet seemed to work as he basically mauled his opponent, but the crowds were silent except for a small but noticeable ‘boring’ chant.

To be honest, you can’t blame them for that. While this wasn’t terrible either, it was lifeless and as formulaic as Starblazer’s attire.

The end came when Starblazer botched whatever move he was going for and ended up just deliberately laying down so that his opponent could put him in a Boston crab.

The former Captain Mike followed that up with a Samoan Drop he called the Wallstreet Crash and put his opponent, the crowd, and this writer out of our collective misery.
Your Winner: Michael Wallstreet 

Up next, Gordon Sollie shilled WCW’s magazine, The Wrestling Wrap-Up which led us into our top ten rankings for both the tag team division and singles competition.

The tag division seemed like a stretch as the bottom three were all make-shift teams featuring guys who had maybe only tagged together on a handful of occasions, while the singles rankings featured US champion Stan Hansen in the top spot, making him one step away from world champion Sting.

We then had Jim Ross tell us that the upcoming tag team tournament was in honour of the late, great Pat O’ Conner, would feature teams from all over the world and would be held at Starrcade.

That led us to our next match, where two teams would duke it out for the right to represent Africa in the tournament.

Pat O’ Conner International Tag Team Tournament African Qualifier
Sgt. Krueger & Col. Deklerk vs. Kalua & The Botswana Beast

Yet more names that I had to Google here.

Col. Deklerk was Ted ‘Flyboy Rocco Rock’ Petty while opinion seems to be divided as to whether Matt Borne or Ray Apollo played Sgt. Krueger.

One things for sure though, none of them were African.

Meanwhile, all signs point to Kalua being Larry ‘Thunderbolt’ Hamilton and the Botswana Beast being played by Bill Tabb, which doesn’t really help here as I’m not familiar with either of them but I’m pretty sure neither of them were African either.

Anyway, this was interesting because it started well enough with some nice wrestling between Kalua and Deklerk, but then The Botswana Beast tagged in and proved that outside of throwing a huge -and admittedly impressive- flying clothesline, he was a pretty terrible and awkward wrestler.

The rest of the match just completely fell apart, with all four men looking lost and having no idea what to do.

Deklerk and Krueger won when referee Randy Anderson shuffled awkwardly into position so that he couldn’t see them doing a double team move and then counted the fall.

I don’t say this often, but that was really, really bad.
Your Winners: Sgt. Krueger & Col. Deklerk

After the match, we went to a pre-recorded bit where legendary promoter Sam Muchnik invited all the wrestling fans to join him at Starrcade for the tag team tournament.

Muchnik was clearly reading from a script and didn’t care about this at all. I doubt anybody bought a ticket or PPV stream on the back of this.

Hansen and Luger Hate Each Other

WCW Clash of the Champions 13 Review - The Big Cat Confronts Lex Luger
Up next, we looked back at Clash of the Champions 12 when Stan Hansen attacked Lex Luger before going on to beat him for the US title at Halloween Havoc.

Weirdly, this didn’t set up a rematch between the two tonight but instead the announcers went on to tell us that Paul E. Dangerously had found some dude called The Motor City Mad Man who was going to fight Luger instead.

Before that match, Luger was about to talk about his various feuds when Big Cat approached him, only to get punched in the face and left seething.

The Motor City Mad Man vs. Lex Luger 

Yet another guy I’d never heard of, The Motor City Mad Man was Mike Moore who apparently was in a tag team called The Motor City Mad Men managed by Dangerously in the 80s.

Before his predictable loss to Luger, The Mad Man had to wait while Big Cat attacked the Total Package.

The referees eventually broke that up, and what we got was a pretty poor match that was saved only by Luger’s popularity.

After a few minutes of sloppy action, the former US champion put his opponent away with a clothesline.
Your Winner: Lex Luger 

After another Starrcade promo, Tony Schiavone interviewed Nick Patrick. Patrick informed us that The Steiner Brothers had been told off for trying to end the careers of The Nasty Boys.

So that was happening.

The Renegade Warriors (Chris & Mark Youngblood) vs. The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags)

WCW Clash of the Champions 13 Review - The Renegade Warriors
For what it was, this was a good match. The Nasty Boys had looked very impressive in their short 1990 run in WCW and although they’d be in the WWF for a run as cartoon characters very soon, they looked just as impressive here.

Meanwhile, The Renegade Warriors also brought their A-game and were starting to get over -to a degree- with the live crowd.

Those factors led to a fun match which ended when The Steiners ran in to attack Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags.
Your Winners via Disqualification: The Nasty Boys 

Afterwards, The Nasties simply ran off. 

Vader is Back...Kinda 

Big Van Vader had debuted back at The Great American Bash and then hadn’t been seen -at least not on Clash shows or PPV- since.

A graphic told us that he was back, but that was literally it. There was no promo or hype video and he wasn’t shown again on this show unless it was in a bit that got cut out of the Network version.

The Nightstalker vs. Sid Vicious 

WCW Clash of the Champions 13 Review - Sid Vicious
The Night Stalker
was Bryan “Adam Bomb” Clarke carrying a ridiculous, oversized toy ax.

Sid Vicious was, well he was The Master of the World and a man who could never truly be a heel because the fans always loved him.

As the Four Horsemen representative made his way to the ring, we got some pre-recorded comments in which he promised to come after Sting as soon as he got done with The Night Stalker.

The match wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great either.

The two behemoths tried a test of strength, then Night Stalker put Sid in a bear hug, then he did this really weird thing where he put him in the ropes and just lay his hands on Sid’s side like he was some kind of faith healer.

That was about the whole match. Big Cat came down for seemingly no reason and Night Stalker just had to stand around awkwardly waiting while Sid took care of him.

The Horseman then used Stalker’s own ridiculous axe toy against him to win the match.

Why didn’t he get DQ’d for using an international object? Because for the second time tonight, Randy Anderson had to awkwardly position himself so that he couldn’t see it, this time by taking a short nap in the corner despite not being touched.
Your Winner: Sid 

Post match, Stalker and Cat got their asses handed to them by The Ruler of The World.

That was a very clumsy and poorly executed finish.

El Gigante is Here After All

WCW Clash of the Champions 13 Review - El Gigante and The Southern Boys
Up next, The Fabulous Free Birds bragged about sending El Gigante packing back to Argentina, but then The Southern Boys turned up with street clothes wearing giant in tow.

I read somewhere that the reason Gigante hadn’t been in the match was that he missed his flight, but he’d clearly caught a later one and managed to make it for this nothing segment.

I wouldn’t have bothered.

With that over, Missy Hyatt reminded us to watch her and Jim Ross call a match between Arn Anderson and Terry Taylor on Main Event.

A recap of the Steiners attacking The Nasty Bots followed, after which we got to see Rick & Scott in action.

Magnum Force vs. NWA United States Tag Team Champions The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner)

You know, I’ve been watching pro wrestling since 1992 and I’ve been writing these reviews for almost ten years now and yet never before have I ever had to Google “who the f**k are these guys?” more than I have with Clash of the Champions 13.

Truth is, even after Google I still don’t know who Magnum Force are as the consensus seems to be that the original Force had been replaced by two other wrestlers and nobody can quite agree what their names are

Not that it really mattered.

Magnum Force were clearly jobbers and were easily disposed of in a quick match that was barely worth watching.
Your Winners: The Steiner Brothers 

Post match, The Nasties ran in but quickly got sent packing out of the arena, out of WCW, and into the waiting arms of Titan Sports.

A Word With The Horsemen

Up next, Ric Flair reminded Doom that they would have to walk that aisle as he, Tony Schiavone and Arn Anderson went over the stipulations for our main event.

As they did so, stagehands could be seen setting up some contraption for more of The Black Scorpion’s cheap stage magic.

Flair was as good as he ever was in this promo, but to be honest, this Clash show has been such a clusterf**k to write about that it’s hard to maintain interest at this point.

The Black Scorpion is a Magician 

Up next, Sting came out to tell Paul E. Dangerously that he was ready to come face to face with The Black Scorpion, but instead The Scorpion dragged a plant out of the crowd, made his head rotate 360 using a magic box, then turned him into a tiger.

For his final act, Scorpion made himself disappear.

This was all supposed to be  evidence of the Black Scorpion’s super powers, but it was nothing you couldn’t see watching any stage magician in the land.

It was also made worse by the fact that Paul Heyman and Sting both started shouting over what was very clearly some pre-recorded audio of Ole Anderson doing his Scorpion voice.

Silly.

WCW Tag Team Champion Butch Reed (w/ Teddy Long and Ron Simmons) vs. Nature Boy Ric Flair (w/ TV Champion Arn Anderson)

WCW Clash of the Champions 13 Review - Teddy Long picks Butch Reed to face Ric Flair
The deal here was that we didn’t know which two men would represent their teams and it was to be decided by a coin toss.

Except it wasn’t. At least not entirely. 

Doom called Heads, but then Nick Patrick simply asked Teddy Long who was going to represent them and he picked Butch Reed. 

Surely he could have done that without a coin toss?

Flair and Anderson’s coin toss was a little more like how it’s supposed to be done. Flair also called heads, heads it was, and thus he got to wrestle.

With that done, Jim Ross reminded us of what was at stake.

If The Horsemen won, they would get a tag team title shot at Starrcade and Teddy Long would have to be their chauffeur for the day.

If Doom won, there was to be no Starrcade match and Long would get both Ric Flair’s 65ft yacht and his limo. 

Unsurprisingly, this was the best match on the card by a country mile and was the first time all night that the crowd really came to life.

OK, so it wasn’t Flair’s greatest match ever, but given the caliber of his work, that’s hardly a criticism.

This was still very, very good and made sitting through all the crap that went before it very much worth it.

At one point, Reed looked to have the match won thanks to an awesome top rope shoulder tackle, but Long was arguing with Patrick on the outside so there was nobody to make the count.

Then Ron Simmons took out Flair and again, Reed could have won, but this time Arn Anderson hit him with a chair.

Flair got the cover, Anderson threw Patrick in the ring and that was that.
Your Winner: Ric Flair

The Horsemen and Doom now had a date with destiny at Starrcade.







You know, I’ve been enjoying watching all of these old WCW shows simply because I never got to see them as a kid due to the company’s non-existent TV exposure here in the UK.
Even when the matches have been poor, nostalgia has kept me invested, but not with this one.

Clash of the Champions XIII was a chore to watch.

Sure, a couple of the undercard matches were decent, but they weren’t enough to make up for the number of squash matches featuring no mark jobbers and that abysmal “none of us are actually African” African qualifying match.

Still, the main event was fantastic. If you’re even mildly curious, enjoy the opening Freebirds/Southern Boys match then skip out all of the other crap until you get to the awesome Flair/Reed match.

Sunday, 19 December 2021

PPV REVIEW: WCW Halloween Havoc 1990

WCW Halloween Havoc 1990 - Event poster
October 27, 1990 
UIC Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois

According to legend, the original master tape of WCW Halloween Havoc 1990 was destroyed long ago, meaning all we're left with is the Turner Home Entertainment VHS version with omits a bunch of singles matches and gives us four tag matches, a US title bout, and the world title bout. 

While personally I typically prefer to watch a full event when I'm reviewing something for Retro Pro Wrestling, I'm not going to be too distraught about never seeing the following matches:

* Terry Taylor vs. Bill Irwin
* Master Blasters vs. The Southern Boys
* Brad Armstrong vs. J.W Storm
* The Junkyard Dog vs. Moondog Rex.

Instead, I'll focus this review on the matches we can watch as we head down to Chicago one fall evening in late 1990 for Halloween Havoc: Terror Rules the Ring.






Spooky Time

WCW Halloween Havoc 1990 Review - Jim Ross & Paul E. Dangerously
We began tonight's event with a short, animated introduction that zoomed in on a haunted house as spectral images of Sting and Sid Vicious drifted on and off the screen. It wasn't all that spectacular, but at least it was there.

With that over, we went live to Chicago where Jim Ross and Paul E. Dangerously welcomed us to tonight's show. 

Dangerously was dressed as a vampire, while Jim Ross went with that classic Halloween costume, "Man Wearing a Hat."

The Greatest Night of Professional Wrestling

From there, Ross sent us over to Tony "Phantom of The Opera" Schiavone who was standing by for an interview with Ricky Morton and 'Wildfire' Tommy Rich. Morton gave a shoutout to his injured partner, Robert Gibson, and promised that they'd one day get revenge on the Fabulous Freebirds for taking Gibson out of action.

For his part, Gibson ranted loudly about what a great night of professional wrestling this was going to be and, with that, it was down to ringside for our opening contest. 

Ricky Morton & 'Wildfire' Tommy Rich vs. The Midnight Expres (Sweet Stan Lane & Beautiful Bobby Eaton w/ Jim Cornette)

WCW Halloween Havoc 1990 Review - The Midnight Express
This was as good of an opener as you were ever going to get on a WCW show. Sweet Stan and Beautiful Bobby were always a great team and their endless series of matches with the Rock 'n' Roll Express never failed to deliver. 

Even swapping Gibson for Tommy Rich didn't change that. This was fun, exciting, with lots of big spots (a Rocket Launcher to the outside, for example) that you just didn't usually see on American TV at the turn of the 90s. 

After an exciting match, The Southern Boys came down dressed up as Jim Cornette and got stuck into an all-out mele. In the resulting fracas, Jim Cornette's tennis racket was used against his team, giving the win to the good guys.
Your Winners: Ricky Morton & Tommy Rich 

Black Magic

WCW Halloween Havoc 1990 Review - Tony Schiavone Interviews Sting
Our next segment started innocently enough.

Tony Schiavone interviewed Sting about his ongoing rivalry with the Black Scorpion and his upcoming title defence against Sid Justice.

The champion had been dealing with both men since Sid issued a challenge at the end of Sting’s win over the Scorpion at Clash of the Champions 12.

The Stinger was all fired up about tonight, but before he could get very far he was interrupted by the Black Scorpion.

“Sting, Sting, let me show you an example of my black magic!” Said the Scorpion.

Except, by black magic, what he really meant was stage magic because all he did was pick a plant from the crowd and run behind a curtain.

Sting struggled to get to the frame holding the curtain on account of some random security dudes, and when he got there, there was a puff of smoke and Scorpion the girl were -shock of all shocks!- completely gone.

Except they weren’t, because they simply reappeared on the other side of the stage moments later, a move that was so obvious I’m sure even the little kids in the audience knew that they simply exited stage left, ran around, and re-entered stage right.

This was so bad it was hilarious.

Afterwards, Ross and Dangerously sold the whole thing like a much more impressive feat test than it was.

The Renegade Warriors (Chris & Mark Youngblood) vs. The Fabulous Freebirds (Jimmy ‘Jam’ Garvin & Michael ‘P.S’ Hayes w/ Little Richard Marley)

WCW Halloween Havoc 1990 Review - The Fabulous Freebirds
Interestingly, this was Mark Youngblood’s first appearance on a major NWA/WCW event since Starrcade ‘83.

Here, it was his younger brother Chris Youngblood (who sadly passed away earlier this year) that spent the bulk of this match playing the face-in-peril for the Fabulous Freebirds.

It wasn’t a sound booking strategy for the match. Usually the tag team formula builds sympathy for the battered face and ensures a big pop when he eventually makes the hot tag, but there was none of that.

The crowd didn’t really care for The Renegade Warriors and constantly chanted for either Jimmy Garvin or Michael Hayes to end it with their DDT.

Eventually, the fans got their wish.

After Mark Youngblood tagged in to absolute silence, a big fracas ensued which also saw the Freebirds’ “Roadie,” Little Richard Marley, getting dragged into the completion.

At one point, Chris Youngblood looked to have Jimmy Jam beat with a roll-up but the ref was too busy trying to break up a fight between Mark and Little Richard.

That meant that Hayes could hit the DDT and his team could win the match.

The finish was decent, but everything else about this match was a total snore.
Your Winners: The Fabulous Freebirds

WCW Halloween Havoc 1990 Review - The Four Horsemen
Out on the arena floor, Tony Schiavone interviewed Nature Boy Ric Flair, The Enforcer Arn Anderson and Sid Vicious about their upcoming matches.

Flair and Anderson promised to take the tag team titles away from Doom tonight. No offense to Butch Reed and Ron Simmons, nor to Anderson for that matter, but that match sounds like a waste for a talent of Flair’s caliber.

Anyway, when they were done, Sid shouted really angrily about being the ruler of the world and how he was going to destroy Sting once and for all.

Right on.

National Wrestling Alliance United States Tag Team Championship
NWA US Tag Team Champions The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott Steiner) vs. The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags)

WCW Halloween Havoc 1990 Review - The Nasty Boys vs. The Steiner Brothers
You know, given the kind of reputation The Nasty Boys would develop in later years, it still comes as a bit of a surprise to be reminded that they were once a formidable tag team capable of delivering some truly entertaining brawls.

Take this match, for example.

Here, Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags stormed out of the gate and into a wild, out-of-control fight with Rick and Scott Steiner that was a lot of fun to watch.

Eventually, things settled down with The Nasties dominating Scott Steiner before the equally as chaotic ending in which the champs retained thanks to the Frankensteiner.

Though it may have been a touch too long for some people, for this writer, any time you get two teams of people who aren’t afraid to just beat the crap out of each other, you’re in for a good time.
Your Winners and Still US Tag Team Champions: The Steiner Brothers

Post-match, Knobbs, and Sags attacked Rick Steiner until Scotty saw them off.

This led us to Tony Schiavone interviewing Scott, only to get attacked by Jerry Sags dressed as a concession stand worker. Knobbs eventually joined in the attack before stealing the mic to yell at The Steiners.

I won’t say whether this was good or bad, but I will say that when Scott Steiner is the most coherent promo in a segment, there’s probably something up.

National Wrestling Alliance World Tag Team Championship
NWA World Tag Team Champions Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed w/ Terry Long)

WCW Halloween Havoc 1990 Review - The Four Horsemen vs. Doom
Oh look, another tag team match.

I know there were singles matches on this card that wasn’t up to much, but is it too much to ask to stick at least one on this presentation just to break up the monotony of reviewing four tag bouts in a row?

Despite this being yet another tag match, it was very good one and the best of the four so far, a lengthy, nigh-on 20 minute battle which culminated in a double count out.

That was a smart finish given the need to keep the titles on Doom while still protecting what aura Flair still had about him during this very obvious demotion.
Double Countout

Backstage, Stan Hansen spat on a pumpkin and promised to take the US title from Lex Luger.

It was a unique promo to say the least.

National Wrestling Alliance United States Championship
NWA United States Champion Lex Luger vs. Stan Hansen

This was a decent big man match but not something that would ever warrant repeat reviewing.

The two men battered each other in a slow and brutal fashion until the ref took a nap in the corner.

At that point, Hansen’s protege Dan Spivey ran in to hand his mentor a cowbell.

That didn’t make much of a difference, but one big larriat did, proving enough to end a Lex Luger US title reign that seemed to have been going on forever.
Your Winner and New US Champion: Stan Hansen

Before the main event, Teddy Long gave an interview to Tony Schiavone in which he insisted that Doom would never again have to defend the tag team titles against The Four Horsemen.

This was followed by Missy Hyatt joining JR and Dangerously at ringside just so that Missy could boast about predicting a win for Sid before Paul did.

National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Sting vs. Sid Vicious

WCW Halloween Havoc 1990 Review - Sting vs. Sid Vicious
Sadly, this match was very underwhelming. Sting was finally getting a run at the top after being one of the consistently most over performers on the roster while Sid, despite not being an amazing worker, had always been the most popular wrestler in any match he was in throughout the duration of his WCW run.

Alas, that didn’t translate to a good match.

While there was some exciting moments, there were also long periods of chin locks, arm bars, and nerve holds all of which were entirely forgettable.

What wasn’t forgettable was the finish.

The Horsemen ran in and Sting ended up going to the back to fight them. Then a fake Sting (Barry Windham) came in and got pinned by Sid.

Fireworks errupted, balloons dropped from the ceiling and the fans half cheered, half wondered what the heck had just happened.

It was at that point that the real Sting returned, with the cameras missing a vital shot of him coming face to face with Windham-Sting in the isle.

That would have explained everything. Instead, we just got this confusing moment where referee Nick Patrick, despite counting the fall for Sid, simply shrugged his shoulders and counted another fall for Sting, giving him the win.

The crowds were bewildered but cheered anyway, probably because the mess was over.
Your Winner and Still World Heavyweight Champion: Sting

Post-match, a visibly annoyed Sting promised Jim Ross that he would defend his title anywhere at any time against anyone, and that was all she wrote for WCW Halloween Havoc 1990.






The ending of the main event was disappointing because it was actually a clever idea, but it was so poorly executed that it came across as a baffling mess of calamity.

The match itself wasn’t great either, but Midnights/Morton & Rich, Horsemen/Doom, and especially Steiners/Nasties were all worth a watch.

Just skip right past the Fabulous Freebirds match. It’s utterly insane that despite cutting so many matches from their VHS presentation, Turner Home Network left in a match that was just painfully, painfully boring.

Thursday, 12 August 2021

EVENT REVIEW: WCW Clash of the Champions XI - Costal Crush

WCW Clash of the Champions XI - Costal Crush
June 13, 1990 Charleston, South Carolina

By the time WCW Clash of the Champions XI - Costal Crush came around, Sting was still out of action, recovering from the knee injury he'd suffered back at the tenth Clash event.

Still, as the company's top babyface, WCW eager to keep him around on screen, having him pop-up for promos in which he verbally sparred with The Four Horsemen.

Meanwhile, the man he would inevitably go on to dethrone for the World Heavyweight Championship, Nature Boy Ric Flair prepared to put his title on the line against Junkyard Dog.

While there was no doubting JYD's popularity, his inclusion in this match certainly felt like something of a stop-gap, a way to kill time until Sting could finally get his date with destiny.

Here's what went down when Costal Crush came to South Carolina.






They’re Back (and better than ever)

WCW Clash of the Champions XI - Tony Schiavone
Our show tonight began with a tour of Charleston, with a voice-over informing us that the last time WCW had scheduled a show here, Hurricane Hugo had prevented it.

Tonight, WCW was back, and sow too were the people of Charleston.

Heading live into the arena, a fresh-faced Tony Schiavone had questions for us:

Could Junkyard Dog dethrone Ric Flair to become the first black NWA champion?

Could The Steiners reclaim the world tag team titles from Doom? And would the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express be able to make history by capturing the US tag team champions?

We’d find out the answers to all of these questions tonight at Costal Crush, but first, we went to our announcers Jim Ross and Bob Caudle.

The duo hyped up tonight’s three big title matches along with other exciting moments such as an appearance by El Gigante and Lex Luger answering questions on the WCW hotline.

With that, it was down to ringside for our opening contest.

Wild-Eyed Southern Boys (Steve Armstrong & Tracy Smothers) vs. The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael ‘P.S’ Hayes & Jimmy ‘Jam’ Garvin)

WCW Clash of the Champions XI - The Wild-Eyed Southern Boys
Prior to the bell, Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong gave a pre-recorded promo in which they stood in front of a rebel flag and talked about how southern they were.

We then saw a clip of Michael ‘P.S’ Hayes strutting his stuff in front of a live band as he sang ‘Bad Street USA.

The match finally got underway and proved to be a textbook opening contest - not so much a classic wrestling match, but the Freebirds heeling it up and the Wild-Eyed Southern Boys doing their plucky underdog routine to perfection.

It was a good combination that produced a fun match with lots of enjoyable back-and-forth action culminating in the Southern Boys picking up the upset victory thanks to Armstrong’s well-placed flying head butt to Jimmy Garvin’s kidneys. Your Winners: The Wild-Eyed Southern Boys

Before going to a commercial, we got a reminder that LEX LUGAR was going to be on the wrestling hotline.

Trust WCW to spell the name of one of their biggest stars wrong.

After the commercial, it was right on to our next match.

Bam Bam Bigelow (w/ Sir Oliver Humperdink) vs. ‘Wildfire’ Tommy Rich

WCW Clash of the Champions XI - Bam Bam Bigelow w/ Sir Oliver Humperdink
This wasn’t much of a match at all.

Tommy Rich control in the early going and worked Bam Bam Bigelow’s arm for a bit then got him in the corner to drop ten punches on his noggin.

Bammer responded by choking Rich out until he got himself disqualified and that was that. Your Winner by DQ: Tommy Rich

Post-match, Bam Bam went nuts, beating Rich some more then storming about the ring yelling ‘ARGH! I’LL KILL EVERYBODY!’

To be fair, that was better than almost the entire match.

Another commercial break followed, after which we were told about the company’s next PPV, The Great American Bash.

Jim Ross informed us that none other than Big Van Vader would be debuting at that show, and this led us to a clip of the late, great Leon White making his entrance at a show in Japan wearing that absolute bad ass head gear that he used to wear.

Speaking of bad ass, we next went to Gary Michael Capetta.

Standing in the ring, GNC confirmed that Vader would be debuting at the Bash along with another man, the largest athlete in the world, El Gigante.

El Gigante Speaks (in Spanish)

The big man made his way to the ring as GMC read off some impressive stats about how big his feet were before informing us that Gigante would be teaming with Junkyard Dog and Paul Orndorff to take on The Four Horsemen at The Great American Bash.

Capetta then interviewed the newcomer in Spanish, informing us that the future Giant Gonzales was looking forward to making his debut and knew that WCW was the place to be.

Honestly, it says something when your hot, new star is outshined by your ring announcer.

The Samoan Swat Team (Fatu & The Savage) vs. Captain Mike & Z-Man

WCW Clash of the Champions XI - The Samoans faced Captain Mike & Z-Man
This was decent for what it was, but it was too short to be anything meaningful.

The Samoans dominated the match with some fast-but-hard offence, taking out Z-Man and leaving him prime for pinning.

Before they got the fall, however, Fatu and The Savage took to the ropes to pose.

With their backs turned, Zenk swapped places with Captain Mike who lay prone on the mat but then revealed he was playing possum and rolled up his opponent for the 1,2,3. Your Winners: Captain Mike & Z-Man

Yes, apparently, The Samoans were too stupid to realise that Rotunda and Zenk were not the same person even though they looked nothing alike.

Up next, we got a highlight package of Mean Mark, showing us that the big man was far more capable and athletic than his early portrayal of The Undertaker would have you believe.

Mean Mark (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Flyin’ Brian Pillman

This was another fun-but-short match pitting Mark’s brute strength and aggressiveness against Brian Pillman’s fast-paced, high-flying offence.

It was good stuff for the most part, but everything felt really rushed in order to make it to the commercial break on time.

After getting his butt handed to him for a while, Pillman made a valiant, crowd-popping comeback only to have Mean Mark lift him up and drop him, throat-first on the top rope.

That was enough to end the whole match. Your Winner: Mean Mark

After the commercial break, Sting gave a backstage interview to Tony Schiavone.

The future Hall of Famer didn’t really say anything particularly noteworthy other than reminding us that he hated Ric Flair, but he spoke with an intensity and charisma that made it obvious why he would be a headline act for the rest of his career.

National Wrestling Alliance United States Tag Team Championship
NWA US Tag Team Champions The Midnight Express (Sweet Stan Lane & Beautiful Bobby Eaton w/ Jim Cornette) vs. The Rock & Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson)

The one thing you have to love about the Midnight Express and the Rock & Roll Express was that they must have wrestled each other a million times over and yet no two of their matches ever felt exactly the same.

Prior to the bell, both teams gave us pre-record promos in front of a green screen.

The green screen enabled WCW’s production team to present each promo as if they were stood in front of an old, slowly-chugging locomotive.

It was the least ‘express’-looking train in the world.

The match got underway and was great fun until Sweet Stan Lane got his team disqualified for roughing up Retro Pro Wrestling favourite Nick Patrick.Your Winners via Disqualification: The Rock & Roll Express (The Midnight Express retain the titles)

After a quick commercial break, it was onto our next match.

‘The World’s Strongest Man’ Doug Furnas vs. Barry Windham

WCW Clash of the Champions XI - Barry Windham
Like most Clash bouts, this one didn’t last very long but it was at least entertaining.

Jim Ross spent most of the bout gushing over Doug Furnas’ athletic credentials and how well he did in high school football, but if he’d been paying attention to what was going on in the ring he would have called a fun, explosive big man match which ended when Barry Windham hit Furnas with a back suplex then used the ropes for leverage to score the three count. Your Winner: Barry Windham

The match was followed by multiple replays of Windham’s nefarious cheating ways.

Then, following another commercial break, a tuxedo-clad Sid Vicious gave us a green-screen promo in which he ranted about how much he was going to destroy Lex Luger.

Sid Vicious (w/ Ole Anderson) vs. Lex Luger

Not that Sid would actually get a chance to.

Luger, who was now a babyface again, stormed the ring and immediately clobbered Four Horsemen reps Sid and Ole Anderson.

He then clotheslined Sid and pinned him in about 30 seconds.

Seriously, what was the point of that? Your Winner: Lex Luger

Post-match, Jim Ross and Bob Caudle hyped the upcoming Great American Bash.

WCW World Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
WCW Tag Team Champions Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed w/ Teddy Long) vs. The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner)

You know, I can’t believe I’ve never mentioned this before, but it’s funny how un-Doom-like Doom’s jazzy theme music was.

Anyway, this rematch from Capital Combat was a damn fine effort. It went twice as long as most Clash matches and saw Scott Steiner shine as an absolute superstar in the making.

Not that the rest of the competitors didn’t play their part.

All four delivered a decent match which may not seem like a classic today but was very entertaining in its own right.

The end came when Scott Steiner looked to have the match won with a top rope clothesline to Butch Reed, only for Ron Simmons to nail him with what Jim Ross later called -and I quote- “one of those world-famous international objects.

That allowed Doom to retain their titles for our second cheap win in as many matches. Your Winners and Still Tag Team Champions: Doom

Out in the crowd, Junkyard Dog gave a lively interview to Tony Schiavone in which he promised that tonight was definitely going to be his night.

This was followed by a green screen promo in which Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff promised Arn Anderson that it was payback time.

Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff vs. WCW Television Champion Arn Anderson

WCW Clash of the Champions XI - Paul Orndorff
Double A’s title wasn’t on the line here for this one, but Orndorff took it and strutted around the ring with it anyway.

Title or not, this was a solid effort.

Both men were talented performers and certainly didn’t disappoint on this occasion, giving us a decent old-school match with the crowds firmly on the side of Mr. Wonderful.

After a fun contest, Orndorff scored the three count with an inside cradle. Your Winner: Paul Orndorff

Before the main event, Tony Schiavone interviewed The Four Horsemen.

Ole Anderson ranted about how nobody would ever take the title away from Flair, while Flair himself cut his typical charismatic promo.

As well as hyping his match with JYD, Flair put over Arn Anderson almost beating Mr. Wonderful and Barry Windham “destroying” Doug Furnas, but curiously said nothing about Sid getting his ass handed to him in about 20 seconds by Lex Luger.

Finally, it was time for our feature attraction.

National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Nature Boy Ric Flair (w/ Ole Anderson) vs. Junkyard Dog

WCW Clash of the Champions XI - Ric Flair graphic for the main event
This was a short but fun main event that was played more for its entertainment value than as a straight-up technical masterpiece.

I doubt anyone ever really took Junkyard Dog seriously as a credible contender and he was never going to go toe-to-toe and hold-for-hold with the Nature Boy, but the crowds loved him anyway as he battered Flair from pillar to post.

Getting frustrated at not being able to get the better of his opponent, the champion grabbed a chair and waffled JYD with it while Ole Anderson distracted the official.

Dog no-sold the move, and when the cowardly heels realised they were running out of options, Ole ran in for the DQ. Your Winner via Disqualification: Junkyard Dog (Ric Flair retains)

Post-match, The Four Horsemen ran in to attack JYD but this brought out Sting, Luger, and Paul Orndorff to even the score.

El Gigante came out too, but he mainly stood around on the apron looking completely lost.

Sting Issues a Challenge

WCW Clash of the Champions XI - Sting issues a challenge to Ric Flair
After a commercial break and an ad encouraging you to call or write in for information about “WCW Gift Items,” Jim Ross interviewed Rocky King who said something about people having no necks before making room for Sting.

Wearing a garish Lex Luger t-shirt, the company’s biggest babyface challenged Flair to put the title on the line at The Great American Bash 1990.

Flair didn’t say one way or the other whether he accepted the challenge, but he did return to the ring for a brawl with Sting.

The two continued to fight as the credits rolled, with Jim Ross urging us to call the WCW Hotline to hear how that fight turned out.

In other words, folks, we’re outta time!






On the whole, Clash of the Champions 11 was a good show.

The main event was entertaining in its own way. JYD may have been limited from an in-ring standpoint (at least compared to Flair), but he and the champion made the most out of what they had to work with and the results were a lot of fun.

Elsewhere, most matches were reasonably good if you remember that this was really only a glorified TV show and thus don’t go into it expecting Pay Per View quality.

Doom vs. Steiners was this writer’s favourite, but overall this was a decent, watchable show.




Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.