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 Marc Mero. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marc Mero. Show all posts

Wednesday, 29 March 2023

PPV REVIEW: WCW WrestleWar '92

WCW WrestleWar 92 Review - Event Poster

May 17, 1992
Jacksonville Memorial Coliseum, Jacksonville, Florida
WCW WrestleWar '92 was the last of four WrestleWar PPVs produced by the company, and man, what a way to go out. 
For months, Paul E. Dangerously's determined efforts to destroy World Championship Wrestling had seen him assemble a small army of the promotion's best heels known as The Dangerous Alliance. While the group's primary target was World Heavyweight Champion, Sting, in gunning for that target, they'd also acquired a gang of enemies who were hungry for revenge against Dangerously's Alliance for multiple acts of ner-do-wellery. 
Tonight, The Dangerous Alliance would finally face all of their rivals -banded together under the leadership of Sting and dubbed Sting's Squadron- in a War Games match for the ages.
Here's what went down. 

Are You Ready for War Games?

The final ever WrestleWar PPV kicked off with a very basic video centered around the upcoming War Games match between Sting’s Squadron and The Dangerous Alliance.

From there, we went live to the arena where Tony Schiavone and Eric Bischoff not only put over the magnitude of tonight’s match but also questioned whether champion Sting was fully recovered from a recent rib injury.
WCW WrestleWar 92  - Jim Ross & Jesse 'The Body' Ventura

Down on the arena floor, announcer Jim Ross and Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura gave us further hype for the main event, the latter reminding us that he was a legit Vietnam war veteran and thus someone who knew what real war was all about.

Ross and Ventura were also pumped for our opening contest, with The Body favoring US tag team champions Taylor Made Man & Greg Valentine because, as he put it, The Fabulous Freebirds had been spending too much time singing rock ‘n’ roll and not enough time wrestling.

WCW United States Tag Team Championship
WCW United States Tag Team Champions The Taylor Made Man & Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine vs. The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael ‘P.S’ Hayes & Jimmy ‘Jam’ Garvin)

As he marched to the ring with his partner, The Taylor Made Man, Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine looked pissed off that he even had to be there.
WCW WrestleWar 92  - Terry Taylor & Greg Valentine

By the end of this one, I started to feel exactly the same way.

Don’t get me wrong, this was a decent match competently performed by four guys who knew what they were doing,  but in this writer’s mind, it just went on for far, far too long.

Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin had the upper hand in the early going, countering the champion’s every attempt at mounting an offensive by working over their arms.

It wasn’t until Taylor and Valentine, unable to simply out-wrestle their opponents, resorted to dirty heel tactics that they were able to mount any kind of momentum, cutting Hayes off from his corner and working over.
WCW WrestleWar 92  - Bill Alfonso stands ready as Michael Hayes squares off agaisnt Greg Valentine


As I say, there was nothing wrong with it, but the match never seemed to really go anywhere despite the fans being heavily invested in it.

The ending was telegraphed not by any of the competitors or even referee Bill Alfonso but by a stagehand who cameras accidentally captured placing the tag team titles in the corner of the ring, meaning they’d be ready for the champions to grab once the bell rung.

From there, Garvin outsmarted his opponents, knocking Valentine on his butt and planting Taylor with a DDT to bring the gold to Bad Street USA.
Your Winners and New United States Tag Team Champions: The Fabulous Freebirds 

Prior to the next match, Bischoff and Schiavone analyzed the Freebirds’ win and discussed Johnny B. Badd’s relative lack of major wins in WCW.

Hopefully, Badd would be able to pick one up as he went into battle against Tracy Smothers.

Young Pistol Tracy vs. Johnny B. Badd

Badd danced and prances his way to the ring and then stopped at the guard rail so that young kids could stuff dollar bills into his garter because, apparently, nobody thought that was inappropriate in the early 90s.
WCW WrestleWar 92  - Tracy Smothers vs. Johnny B. Badd

From there, the future Wild Man went at it in a reasonably exciting match with Tracy Smothers, who was clearly just there to make his opponent look good.

It wasn’t that The Young Pistol didn’t make a good account of himself, he got in a fair amount of offense, taking Johnny Down with a succession of dropkicks and slapping him in a chin lock, but it was obvious from the get-go that the whole point of this match was to get Badd over.

To that end, it succeeded.

Given how well Johnny was presented here, it came as no surprise when he knocked Smothers on his ass with a punch and pinned him.
Your Winner: Johnny B. Badd

Last seen standing by Ronnie Garvin’s side at The Great American Bash 1988, Precious was apparently now back on the fold, accompanying her man and Michael ‘P.S’ Hayes for a backstage interview with Missy Hyatt to celebrate their big US title win.
WCW WrestleWar 92  - Missy Hyatt interviews The Fabulous Freebirds


Hayes and Garvin really said nothing of note. The latter reminded us that the Fabulous Freebirds had done exactly what they said they were going to do, while the former got really excited about Lynyrd Skynyrd and just basically shouted about southern rock ‘n’ roll for a bit.

Back in the arena, Bischofe and Schiavone gave us their insights into the upcoming match between Scotty Flamingo and Marcus Alexander Bagwell.

According to our analysts, Bagwell’s rookie year was over and he now had a lot to prove against a man who had been picking up wins left and right on WCW TV.

Marcus Alexander Bagwell vs. Scotty Flamingo

Flamingo came strutting to the ring wearing ripped jeans, a hat, and a long, white coat with a picture of himself on the back. Drenched in charisma and showcasing a kind of arrogant flamboyance, the man stepping through the ropes here at WrestleWar ‘92 was a million miles removed from Scott Levy’s most famous creation.
WCW WrestleWar 92 Review - Scotty Flamingo prepares to face Marcus Bagwell

A good few years before he got all moody and started skulking around in bingo halls, Flamingo went at it with the future Buff Daddy in a match that had some good action but was largely devoid of heat.

As Jim Ross repeatedly stressed the fact that the match would have implications for the light-heavyweight division (and thus who would eventually challenge Brian Pillman for the title), the two men traded the advantage several times until Bagwell planted Flamingo with a fisherman's suplex.

Scotty got his foot on the ropes and got back to his feet as his opponent celebrates a little too soon, thinking he'd won the match.

From there, a simple shot into the corner, a roll-up, and a handful of tights were enough to put Scotty Flamingo one step closer to light-heavyweight gold.
Your Winner: Scotty Flamingo

A quick promo for our next WCW PPV, Beach Blast '92 aired next, promising us lots of exciting action and -I quote- plenty of "bodacious babes."

Ah, the '90s.

JYD IS Taken Out

Ross and Ventura then took us back to Superbrawl 2, when Junkyard Dog returned to WCW and saved Ron Simmons from a beatdown at the hands of Cactus Jack and Abdullah the Butcher.

That was supposed to lead to a tag team match tonight in which Simmons and JYD would seek revenge against Cactus and Mr. Hughes.

Before the Dog could even get to the ring, however, he was viciously assaulted by the man from Truth or Consequences and forced to return to the back.

Ron Simmons vs. Mr. Hughes

Simmons eventually returned to the ring and took out both Hughes and Cactus with a double clothesline, after which referee Bill Alfonso ordered Jack to stay outside the ring.
WCW WrestleWar 92 - Cactus Jack & Mr. Hughes

Apparently, we were now getting a singles match.

Foolishly, this was never actually announced to the crowd. Even Ross and Ventura spent most of the match in a state of confusion, questioning what the hell was actually going on.

The match was precisely what you'd expect from Ron Simmons versus Mr. Hughes.

Whether that's good or not probably depends entirely on how much of a fan you are of both men.

As for me, well, let’s just say I’ve seen worse matches.

To the shock of no one, Simmons picked up the win with a three-point tackle.
Your Winner: Ron Simmons

As Jesse Ventura teased a surprise for Beach Blast, we moved straight on to our next match.

Todd Champion vs. Super Invader (w/ Harley Race)

As a kid living in England during the early 90s, I didn’t get to see much World Championship Wrestling on TV. So, for years, the only way I ever saw Super Invader was through magazines and a WCW sticker album which I still have in my parent's loft back in the UK.
WCW WrestleWar 92 - Super Invader overpowers Todd Champion

(As soon as I get it back, I'm totally reviewing that sticker album!)

From the pictures alone, I thought Super Invader (Hercules Hernandez with red pantyhose on his face) looked cool as shit.

Many, many years later, writing this WrestleWar ‘92 review finally gives me an opportunity to watch my first-ever Super Invader match.

Even now, I think he looks pretty badass, though I do question how WCW expected us to believe that this clearly very white dude was from Bangkok, Thailand.

Although this wasn’t a great match by any stretch, I still say this guy could’ve been a contender in early 90s WCW had he been paired up with better caliber workers who could get a good match out of him.

Alas, Tod Champion wasn’t one of those workers. Despite breaking away from the awfully-named Firebreaker Chip, Champion was still billed as hailing from “WCW Special Forces.”

Not that he had much force at all in this one-sided affair where his entire offense consisted of catching Invader coming off the ropes with a foot to the mush, getting in a couple of punches, and then going right back to getting his ass kicked.
WCW WrestleWar 92 - Super Invader and Harley Race


For the third match in a row, the winner was never in doubt. Super Invader picked up another win.

He looked cool, especially for the time, but would eventually fade into obscurity.
Your Winner: Super Invader 

Up next, a match that I’m not sure anyone wanted to see:

Richard Morton vs. Big Josh

Ricky Morton had become bland, boring, and directionless since turning heel. Every time he took over the match, it was straight down to the mat for a bunch of lifeless rest holds that failed to get the audience excited.

WCW WrestleWar 92 - Ricky Morton vs. Big Josh

Big Josh faired a little better at popping the crowd, throwing his weight around and knocking seven shades of shite out of the former Rock ‘n’ Roll Expresser.

The result was a match that didn’t actually suck or anything but just kind of happened, a decent filler bout but nothing more.

Of course, Jesse Ventura spent the whole match talking about Big Josh’s lack of hygiene, so I had to laugh when Josh hit his Northern Exposure finisher (think Earthquake splash), and all Jesse could think about was “Josh’s big, stinking dirty pants, right in Ricky Morton’s face.”
Your Winner: Big Josh

Before the next contest, Tony Schiavone and Eric Bischoff gave their thoughts and predictions on our upcoming light heavyweight championship match between former prime partners, The Z-Man and Brian Pillman.
WCW WrestleWar 92 - Tom Zenk and Brian Pillman exchange words

This took us to an exchange between the two on WCW Saturday Night in which the upcoming challenger got angry about being attacked by Tracy Smothers and “Scotty The Flamingo” but promised to give them a title shot down the line.

Naturally, this raised the ire of the champion, who was none too happy about being overlooked.

The two “best friends” almost came to blows in an enjoyable segment where Pillman in particular, looked impressive:

That match was next.

World Championship Wrestling World Light Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Light Heavyweight Champion Brian Pillman vs. The Z-Man

This was a genuinely exciting contest that may well have been Tom Zenk’s finest hour.
WCW WrestleWar 92 - Tom Zenk and Brian Pillman (this referee, lol)

After a somewhat frosty handshake, the two former US tag team champions proved themselves to be fairly evenly matched in terms of speed, agility, and ground-based offense until the pretense of friendship wore off, and each man went all out to win.

Enjoyable from start to finish, this light heavyweight contest really made you believe that tonight was going to be Z-Man’s night, the challenger getting a couple of near falls that popped the crowd in fine fashion.

Alas, it wasn’t to be.

Zenk came off the top, hoping to end the match with a top rope drop kick. However, the champion moved and jackknifed his opponent into a cover, a count, and a victory.

This was a fantastic, compelling match that combined quality wrestling with masterful storytelling.

Definitely worth a watch.
Your Winner and Still Light Heavyweight Champion: Brian Pillman

Before moving on to anything else, another Beach Blast commercial featured more bodacious babes and promised us that the event would be, ahem, “beachin.”

WCW World Tag Team Championship
WCW World Tag Team Champions The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Takayuki Iizuka

If The Steiners win, they get a shot at the IWGP tag team titles.

As good as the earlier lights heavyweight title match was, this hard-hitting clash between reigning WCW tag team champions The Steiner Brothers, and their Japanese challengers Tatsumi Fujinami & Takayuki Iizuka was even better.
WCW Wrestlewar 92 - The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Takayuki Iizuka

Thoroughly enthralling from bell to bell, this lengthy match saw both teams holding nothing back as they tried to mangle, maim, and destroy one another.

An early highlight came when the challengers set Rick Steiner up for a doomsday-like move. With the Dog-Faced Gremlin perched on Fujinami’s shoulders, Iizuka dove off with a crossbody, only to be caught by Rick and powerslammed in mid-air.

It was beautiful.

The rest of the time, the two teams either took it to the mat with some solid submission moves, clobbered one another, or suplexed the ever-living shit out of one another.

No matter what they did, it made for a fantastic match that ended with a win for WCW’s finest when Rick drilled Iizuka with a match-winning belly-to-belly superplex.

If you came to wrestling late and the only things you know about The Steiners are Big Poppa Pump, Steiner Math, and the fact that Rick Steiner exists, do yourself a favor:

Track down this match, their incredible contest against Hiroshi Hase & Kensuke Sasaki from the first NJPW/WCW Supershow, as well as their outing against Hase and Masa Chono from Clash of the Champions 15. You’ll soon see this team we’re practically untouchable in their prime.
Your Winners and Still WCW Tag Team Champions: The Steiner Brothers

Finally, it was time, almost.

As the stage was set for this battle for the ages, Jim Ross and Jesse Ventura talked up the War Games main event before sending it to Schiavone & Bischoff for some last-minute analysis.

Other than noting Sting’s recent rib injury (a prime target if ever there was one), their main focus was on the fact that Sting’s Squadron was a team of five individuals, whereas The Dangerous Alliance was (despite some vague ‘recent controversies’ noted by Bischoff) a cohesive unit.

Would that be the difference maker?
Would Sting’s Squadron be able to trust Nikita Koloff?
And who would surrender or submit in The Match Beyond?

Our announcers wanted all of these questions answered, so they threw it to Gary Michael Capetta to get things underway.

War Games
The Dangerous Alliance (Ravishing Rick Rude, Stunning Steve Austin, The Cruncher Larry Zybysko, The Enforcer Arn Anderson, and Beautiful Bobby Eaton w/ Paul E. Dangerously & Madusa) vs. Sting’s Squadron (WCW World Heavyweight Champion Sting, Barry Windham, Dustin Rhodes, Nikita Koloff, and Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat.

I’m willing to go on record and say that this was the best War Games match ever, a thrilling brawl for the ages in which everyone played their roles perfectly.

Barry Windham and Steve Austin kicked things off for their respective teams, with Windham gaining a clear advantage in the opening five minutes and beating Austin until he was a bloody mess.

The heels then won the coin toss (obviously), meaning Rick Rude could come to his partner’s rescue.

Rude was followed by Ricky Steamboat, who picked up his rivalry with Rude until he was attacked by our next entrant, the War Games veteran Arn Anderson.
WCW Wrestlewar 92 - Paul E. Dangerous prepares the Dangerous Alliance for War Games


A fired-up Dustin Rhodes came next, taking out Double A and Austin with a fire and intensity that delighted the crowd, though not as much as when Windham turned Anderson upside down and jammed his former tag team partner’s head between the two rings.

Larry Zybysko then entered the fray. As he did so, Madusa climbed to the top of the cage and threw Dangerously’s phone down to Anderson to use as a weapon, but Sting also climbed up and forced her to bail.

Speaking of the Stinger, he was next to enter the ring, followed by Bobby Eaton and, finally, Nikita Koloff.

Koloff’s loyalties had been questioned in the build-up to this match, teasing the possibility that he may turn on Sting.
WCW Wrestlewar 92 - Sting vs. Nikitta Koloff


Fortunately for the world champion, those fears were alleviated when Koloff saved Sting from the clutches of Arn Anderson and -after a brief but intense stare-down- embraced him.

The duo then proceeded to lay waste to everyone in sight, and the Match Beyond was officially on.

All ten men waged war on each other in an exciting and bloody battle that kept the crowd utterly enthralled.

The match was so hard-hitting that one of the turnbuckles came loose. Bobby Eaton seemed to spend about two hours putting together the metal bar that connected the buckle to the ring post, then handed it to Zybysko and grabbed hold of Sting.

Big Bad Larry then swung at Sting, but the champ ducked, and Eaton took the full force of the metal bar across his shoulder.

At that point, Sting took out Zybysko and took advantage of Eaton’s now-damaged shoulder, applying a simple arm bar that forced the former Midnight Express star to tap out.
Your Winners: Sting’s Squadron

Battered, weary, and soaked in blood, the victors made a triumphant return to the locker room while, in the ring, The Dangerous Alliance all berated Zybysko for costing them the match.

Before we could see them turn on him, we got some final words, first from Schiavone and Bischoff, and then from Ross and Ventura, the latter duo promising us even more action when WCW returned to PPV with Beach Blast ‘92 later that June.

On the whole, I’d say WrestleWar ‘92 was a good show.

Sure, with the company’s ten biggest stars all competing in the main event, the undercard was a little lacking in star power, leaving us with underwhelming bouts like Ricky Morton vs. Big Josh.
However, from the light heavyweight title match onwards, this show delivered. Pillman/Z-Man was compelling, the tag team title match proved why The Steiners were the best team in the world back in the early 90s, and the War Games match was truly one for the ages.

Friday, 28 October 2022

PPV REVIEW: WWF Survivor Series 1997

WWF / WWE - Survivor Series 1997 - Event poster

WWF Survivor Series 1997
Molson Centre, Montreal, Canada

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Survivor Series 1997, a game-changing event which, despite a lackluster undercard, went down as one of the most significant PPVs in pro wrestling history thanks to a little incident known as The Montreal Screwjob. 

Given that my last review of this event was written in 2010 and published a few years later when I started Retro Pro Wrestling, the 25-year anniversary seems like a good time to go back and revisit it all over again.

Besides, I wasn't all that happy with the original Survivor Series '97 review published on this site to begin with. So, without further ado, here's a fresh look at an event that changed the course of the WWF forever.


Hart vs. Michaels II: This Time, It's Personal 

Our show tonight began with a dramatic look back at the iron man match between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 12, followed by sound bites from the two’s scathing, animosity-filled promos in the build-up to their rematch here, a year-and-half later.

It says a lot about the quality of that feud that many of those sound bites have become iconic, as permanently etched in this fan’s mind as Austin’s King of the Ring ‘96 promo or Hulk Hogan declaring a new world order of wrestling at Bash at the Beach that same year.

With the opening video out of the way, Milton Bradley’s Karate Fighters presented the 11th annual Survivor Series before we got pyro galore and sweeping shots of the rabid Montreal crowd.

WWF / WWE - Survivor Series 1997 - Jerry Lawler and Jim Ros called the event

Our announcers, Jim Ross & Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler were as psyched as the fans for tonight’s event as they put over Hart/Michaels II (or III if you count their Survivor Series '92 match) and then sent it to the ring for our opening bout.

Traditional 4 vs. 4 Survivor Series Match
The Headbangers (Mosh & Thrasher) and The New Blackjacks (Windham & Bradshaw) vs. The Godwins (Henry & Phineas Godwin), Road Dogg Jesse James, and Bad Ass Billy Gunn

Road Dogg Jesse James and Bad Ass Billy Gunn weren’t officially the New Age Outlaws yet, but they were solidifying their status as the most villainous heel tandem in the company at the time.

WWF / WWE - Survivor Series 1997 - The Road Dog leads his team into battle

Tonight, the two stayed out of the ring as much as possible as The Godwins and The New Blackjacks kicked things off in a good, old-fashioned hoss battle.

The first I reviewed this match, I wrote it off as boring. Years later, while I’m not claiming it was a workrate classic or anything, I certainly enjoyed it more the second time around.

After Bradshaw and Windham had spent the first minute or so exchanging the advantage with Henry and Phineas Godwin, it was Henry who was the first to be taken out, putting the good guys up 3 to 4.

Phineas soon evened the score, getting revenge for his partner by eliminating Barry Windham.

After Billy Gunn took out Mosh, the other Headbanger, Thrasher, worked over Phineas’ arm for a lengthy stretch of time.

Although it wasn’t the most exciting part of the match, the arm spot wasn’t so bad that it ruined what was an otherwise perfectly acceptable opener.

As it wore to a finish, Thrasher did away with Phineas by jumping off the top rope and crashing on the pig farmer’s chest.

Not long after, Roadie and Bad Ass took out Bradshaw and Thrasher in quick succession to become the sole survivors and further cement their status as the top team in the division.
Your Winners: Road Dogg Jesse James & Bad Ass Billy Gunn

Remember The Truth Commission? They were up next.

Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match
The Truth Commission (Sniper, Recon, The Interrogator, and The Jackyl) vs. The Disciples of Apocalypse (Crush, Chainz, 8-Ball, and Skull)

The big problem with a match like The Truth Commission vs. DOA was that, once the biker gang stepped off their motorcycles they had nothing interesting to offer, while Jackyl’s gang of paramilitary soldiers were never had anything interesting to offer to begin with.

WWF / WWE - Survivor Series 1997 - The Truth Commission

Thus, after Crush, Chainz (Brian ‘Fake Undertaker’ Lee), and the team of Skull & 8-Ball (The Harris Brothers) got done popping the crowd by riding around on their bikes all that was left was a fairly lifeless match that was 80% clobberin’ and 20% sidewalk slams.

Seriously, I think there were more sidewalk slams in this match than you’d see in the entire body of work of The Big Boss Man.

The Interrogator (Kurrgan) established his dominance early on by taking out Chainz (with a sidewalk slam, obviously), only for the biker boys to get their revenge by eliminating The Jackyl first and then Recon (Bull Buchanan) a few minutes later.

After he was eliminated, The Jackyl immediately hopped over to the announce table and spent the rest of the match on commentary where he denied JR’s accusation of being the WWF’s answer to cult leader David Koresh and consistently promised to tell us the truth without actually saying what that truth was.

The battle continued as a two-on-two affair pitting Crush and whichever Harris Brother hadn’t been eliminated against Sniper and the big man, The Interrogator.

To the surprise of no one, it was the latter who was left standing as the sole survivor after Crush eliminated Sniper but then got himself pinned after -you guessed it— another sidewalk slam.

To be fair, this wasn’t completely horrible, but it certainly wasn’t much fun to watch either.
Your Winner and Sole Survivor: The Interrogator

Post-match, The Jackyl claimed that he had won the Survivor Series and lept into the ring to celebrate with his man Kurrgan.

Shawn Michaels is Gonna Win

Whenever the WWF would poll fans on their predictions for a high-profile match, I can’t help but think of the kid from Summerslam 1992 who proudly declared that the British Bulldog would beat Bret Hart ‘whether he wants to or not.’

Tonight, nobody claimed that The Hitman’s opponent had no choice in winning, but the vast majority of the Montreal fans who featured in this show’s “whose going to win?” segment all seemed to be rooting for the Heartbreak Kid despite Bret apparently being The Canadian Hero.

From there, we went to the America Online room where Stone Cold Steve Austin told interviewer Kevin Kelly that despite being concerned about his neck, he was still going to emerge victorious in his upcoming match with Owen Hart.

Austin was as compelling as ever here and ended his promo by leaning over and staring at a laptop running the WWF America Online chat room with such an exaggerated intensity that it made this fan crack up laughing.

A Word With Team USA

Back in the arena, Jim Ross put over tonight’s sponsors, Milton Bradley Karate Fighters, and took us to a clip of some kind of pre-show party to celebrate that sponsorship.

WWF / WWE - Survivor Series 1997 - Michael Cole interviews Team USA

Or at least something like that. To be honest, I’m not sure quite what the event was that we saw. All I know is that the clip featured an overhead crowd shot, Thrasher ramming some poor dude’s face into a cake, and nothing else.

Then, as we prepared for our next match, JR reminded us that Steve Blackman had debuted on Raw as a fan who just so happened to be a martial arts bad ass.

Blackman had jumped into the ring to save Vader from an attack at the hands of The British Bulldog, Jim Neidhart, and the duo of Doug Furnas & Philip LaFon.

As a ‘fan,’ Blackman had been arrested, but Vader had apparently bailed him out and then petitioned to have him join Team USA for tonight’s next traditional Survivor Series match.

Before we could get to that, however, Blackman, Vader, and their partners Marc Mero and Goldust stood by for a backstage interview with Michael “I’ve Been in this Company Forever” Cole.

Coming off as though he was struggling to remember his lines, Vader did nothing to endear himself to the Montreal faithful by declaring that he and his teammates were sick of "loud-mouthed, trash-talking Canadians telling us what to do.”

For his part, Steve Blackman insisted that despite being new to the WWF, he was plenty experienced in “every form of martial arts known to man” and was thus looking forward to tonight’s big fight.

Offering a retort, well-known Canadian The British Bulldog promised victory for Team Canada while Doug Furnas claimed that he hates America so much he’d moved out of the country.

Traditional 4 vs. 4 Survivor Series Match
Team USA (Vader, Steve Blackman, Goldust, and Marc Mero w/ Sable) vs. Team Canada (The British Bulldog, Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart, Doug Furnas, and Phillip LaFon)

With Goldust slowly transitioning into his Artist Formerly Known As phase and Marc Mero also becoming a heel due to his wife, Sable overshadowing him everywhere they went, Team USA made their way to the ring to the theme that used to belong to The Patriot but which has since become synonymous with Kurt Angle.

WWF / WWE - Survivor Series 1997 - Team Canada vs. Team USA

Once their opponents hit the ring, JR took the time to note that only one man representing Team Canada -Phil LaFon- was actually Canadian, with the rest of his team comprising two Americans and an Englishman.

The match itself wasn’t the most spectacular, but with Vader doing most of the work and his teammates providing some interesting moments, it was nonetheless a fun encounter.

Steve Blackman was the first to go when, apparently unfamiliar with the rules of pro wrestling, he went brawling on the outside with Phil LaFon and didn’t bother to answer the referee’s ten count to get back inside.

I mean, that was one way to get the newcomer out of there while still looking like a major badass, but you’d think one of his teammates would have sat him down to explain simple things like the count-out rule, right?

Vader soon evened the odds for his team by destroying Jim Neidhart and then got the upper hand moments later by also doing away with LaFon.

Team USA’s run of luck didn’t last long, however, as Marc Mero was taken out by Furnas.

To be honest, I would have eliminated Mero earlier, not because he wasn’t any good, but simply because the crowd were so hot for Sable that they didn’t really care much about anything else until she was gone.

Down to 2 vs. 2, Vader found that his only remaining teammate, Goldust, didn’t really care about much either. Not only had he not yet stepped in the ring, but when Vader actually tried to tag him in, the former Intercontinental Champion refused.

That left The Mastadon to duke it out with Bulldog and Furnas in an impressive display that was exciting to watch before finally forcing Dusty’s kid into the ring.

Wanting no part of Doug and Davey Boy, Goldust merely walked off and got counted out.

Not long after, Vader eliminated Furnas but was then immediately struck with a ring bell by the Bulldog behind the referee’s back and promptly pinned.
Your Winner and Sole Survivor: The British Bulldog

Despite the crowd cheering him hugely for winning whether he wanted to or not, Davey Boy immediately left the ring and stormed straight to the back.

Either that, or there was something going on backstage that he was eager to get back for.

Who knows

Not me, that’s who, but what I do know is that Milton Bradley Karate Fighters got another mention as the PPV sponsors had hosted something called the Survivor Series Super Supper Sweepstakes.

Hmm, I wonder if they were also responsible for the Super Summer Sizzler Spectacular or whatever that show ECW did in ‘93 was called.

Lawler and Ross spoke on the phone to the winner of that sweepstake, a giggly young lady called Jaqueline who, as her prize, got to choose Steve Austin as her dinner date.

Mankind Seeks to Avenge Dude Love’s Demise

From there, we got a video package recapping the arrival of Kane at In Your House 18: Badd Blood, The Undertaker’s refusal to fight his brother, and how that led to Kane annihilating Dude Love.

WWF / WWE - Survivor Series 1997 - Mankind cuts a promo on Kane

The Dude’s demise brought back Mankind to seek revenge for his own alter-ego, and that took us to an excellent backstage promo from Foley in which he likened Kane to a brick wall and vowed to run right into him.

I swear down, Foley in his prime has to be up there as one of the best promos in the business.

Mankind vs. Kane (w/ Paul Bearer)

You also have to give Mick credit for sacrificing himself in order to put Kane over as a truly dominant force in this match.

WWF / WWE - Survivor Series 1997 - Kane gets ready to face Mankind

Though Mankind certainly got his moments to shine here, he was mostly pulverized by The Big Red Machine.

He took a beating, had the ring steps hurled in his face, and was even sent crashing through a table.

Yet as unstoppable as all this made Kane look, it wasn’t enough to put his opponent away until a tombstone piledriver sealed the deal.

All of this played out beneath red lights which, although they were a little distracting, they did add something unique to a match that was otherwise already entertaining.
Your Winner: Kane

Did any of you send your cable bill proving you’d bought Survivor Series 97 so that you could get a free WWF dog tag?

Me neither, but JR told us they had 3,000 of those bad boys to give away, so I hope somebody did.

WWF / WWE - Survivor Series 1997 - Michael Cole interviews Vince McMahon and Sgt. Slaughter

Meanwhile, out in the back, Sgt. Slaughter told Michael Cole that they had extra security in place should anything crazy happen in tonight’s main event.

Cole then turned his attention to Vince McMahon and asked him who would win said main event.

Vince lied and said he had no idea.

What a Rush!

Backstage, Doc Hendrix interviewed Ken Shamrock, The Legion of Doom, and Ahmed Johnson about their upcoming match with the Nation of Domination.

WWF / WWE - Survivor Series 1997 - Doc Hendrix interviews Ken Shamrock, Legion of Doom, and Ahmed Johnson

Shamrock kicked things off by delivering a promo that was all Jeff Farmer levels of bad in which he basically said he and his men were all business.

Fairing a little better on the mic, Hawk gave the usual Road Warrior promo in which he promised that he and Animal would wipe out the “criminal element” from the WWF.

Fortunately, Hendrix was smart enough to keep the microphone away from Ahmed Johnson.

Traditional 4 vs. 4 Survivor Series Match
The Nation of Domination (Farooq, D’Lo Brown, Kama Mustafa, and Rocky Maivia) vs. Ken Shamrock, Ahmed Johnson, and WWF Tag Team Champions The Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal)

A year on from his debut as a perma-grinned babyface, Rocky Maivia wasn’t yet The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment, but he was certainly on his way to becoming a heel worth paying attention to and further established himself by eliminating Hawk in the first two minutes of the match.

WWF / WWE - Survivor Series 1997 - They are the nation...of DOMINATION!

Ahmed Johnson then ensured an even playing field by pinning arch-nemesis Farooq, but the Nation leader retaliated by holding Johnson’s legs down while Rocky scored his second elimination on the master of the Pearl River Plunge.

Proving that their never-ending rivalry was far from done, Johnson and Farooq then brawled all the way to the back, ending an exciting first six minutes of the match.

From there, things slowed down considerably and the middle portion of the match seemed to drag on with little in the way of excitement.

It was during this lackluster middle section that Animal took out Kama Mustafa, only to be eliminated himself when Road Dogg and Billy Gunn interfered, blasting the Road Warrior with powder to the eyes and causing him to get counted out.

It was at that point that the match really picked up again. Shamrock snapped, eliminated D’Lo Brown, and then went at it with The Rock in a hot exchange that ended things in fine form.

Shamrock made Rocky tap in the ankle lock to win the match and emerge as the sole survivor.

The opening and closing minutes of this match more than made up for the lag in the middle, ensuring that this was an all-round enjoyable contest.
Your Winner and Sole Survivor: Ken Shamrock

1.55.02 - record attendance.

As Shamrock celebrated his big time win, Jim Ross announced that tonight’s event had set a brand new attendance record.

Prior to the next match, a clip aired to promote the next WWF PPV, D-Generation-X: In Your House 19. That show would see Shamrock capitalize on his big win here, and his overall popularity, by headlining the show as a challenger for the WWF title.

We then took a look back at all the times Stone Cold Steve Austin’s rivalry with Owen Hart, including that awful moment Owen dropped him on his head back at Summerslam ‘97.

The two would meet in a hotly anticipated rematch next.

World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
WWF Intercontinental Champion Owen Hart (w/ Team Canada) vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin

Damn, I miss Owen Hart.

Wearing his infamous Owen 3:16 t-shirt, the reigning and defending champion was accompanied to the ring by Neidhart, Smith, Furnas, and LaFon, but shortly after Anvil ate a stunner, those guys left and we got a short but explosive one-on-one encounter.

With the cruel Canadians showing their support for their countryman by yelling “break his neck! Break his neck!” Owen first got his ass whooped by Stone Cold but got a modicum of revenge outside the ring.

There, he choked Austin with a cable, and, when the referee threatened to disqualify him, Hart told him to go ahead and even rang the bell for him.

Of course, the official was having none of that, so it was back to the ring where Stone Cold regained the advantage and captured his second Intercontinental championship with an almighty stunner.

That wasn’t a long match. In fact, it was more of a short version of the main event brawls that would eventually become Austin’s trademark than an actual match, but the crowd and the competitors were both on fire and it made for compelling viewing
Your Winner and New WWF Intercontinental Champion: Owen Hart

Before a final look at Hart/Michaels, JR warned us that their match was going to be very personal and, I quote, “very stiff.”

World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart vs. WWF European Champion Shawn Michaels

And so, five years after they first headlined a Survivor Series and began their journey to becoming bonafide main eventers, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels would meet one last time in a match that is still talked about today.

WWF / WWE - Survivor Series 1997 - Shawn Michaels puts Bret Hart in a sharpshooter

Adding an extra sense of suspense and drama to an already historic match, both HBK and The Hitman were filmed walking from their respective dressing rooms to the gorilla position with their allies in tow.

Michaels had HHH, Chyna, and Rick Rude with him while Bulldog and Anvil accompanied Hart.

Once both men were in the ring, they wasted no time in going at it, giving us a wild and out-of-control brawl into the stands and up the entranceway for a full solid ten minutes before the bell even rang.

The in-ring action was equally as enthralling, and though the spot where Michaels held Hart on the mat in a front face lock wasn’t the most exciting moment, it was an obvious call back to their Survivor Series ‘92 encounter.

Bret regained the advantage and began working over the European Champion’s legs, softening him up for the inevitable sharpshooter.

Of course, that move was applied, not by the man who had mastered it and made it so famous, but by Shawn himself.

A moment later, the call was made to “ring the f**king bell” and arguably the most controversial moment in WWF history occurred.

Ladies and gentlemen, we had all just witnessed The Montreal Screwjob.
Your Winner and New WWF Champion: Shawn Michaels

Post-match, the last live shot of Bret Hart on WWF programming for many years saw a bewildered and enraged Hitman spit in the face of chairman Vince McMahon while Michaels acted equally as surprised and annoyed as he grabbed the title and was rushed to the back by Triple H and Gerald Briscoe.

The camera followed him, zoomed in on the Survivor Series logo, and faded to black as Jim Ross wished us a good night.

Had the show not ended the way it did, Survivor Series 1997 would have probably gone down in history as a largely forgettable show, with only the main event, the IC title match, and arguably the Nation vs. Team Shamrock main event standing out as above average.

Yet that final call to “ring the f**king bell” and that lasting image of The Hitman grozzing right in Vince McMahon’s face would ensure that it didn’t really matter whether the show was any good or not.

Writing this review 25 years after the fact, it’s fair to say that it matters not one jot whether DOA vs. The Truth Commission sucked, or that the red lights in the Kane/Mankind match were distracting. It doesn’t even really matter that the Rock/Shamrock ending was a lot of fun.

All that matters is that Survivor Series ‘97 was an event that altered the course of history, serving as the catalyst for Vince McMahon’s groundbreaking heel turn, Bret Hart’s disappointing WCW run and sad end to his career in WCW and, with the then-new Intercontinental Champion Steve Austin at the helm, the dawning of the WWF’s hottest period of its existence.

Make no mistake about it. The World Wrestling Federation and, indeed, the entire landscape of professional wrestling would never be the same again.

Tuesday, 18 October 2022

EVENT REVIEW: Clash of the Champions XVII

WCW Clash of the Champions 17 Review

November 19, 1991
Savannah Civic Center, Savannah, Georgia

WCW's Clash of the Champions 17 was notable for being the first Clash show since the first event in 1988 not to have its own subtitle. 

The event is also highly regarded for being one of the better shows World Championship Wrestling put out that year, helping the company find its footing after the departure of franchise player Ric Flair and the steaming pile of garbage that was the company's first Flair-less PPV, The Great American Bash 1991.

Was it really all that good?

Let's go down to Savannah, Georgia to find out, shall we?

All the Titles are On the Line

Tonight's show began with a garishly 90s video that ran down tonight's big matches, mainly focussing on the fact that all titles except for the US tag team titles would be defended here tonight.

WCW Clash of the Champions 17 Review - Jim Ross & Tony Schiavone called the action

From there, we went to our announcers, Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone, who also put over tonight's action before sending it to Eric Bischoff and Missy Hyatt.

WCW Clash of the Champions 17 Review - Eric Bischoff and Missy Hyatt

The two said little of note, though Missy and her enormous hair were excited about interviewing "WCW's newest rookie," Marcus Alexander Bagwell.

So that was nice.

Lumberjack Match
Thomas Rich (w/ Alexandra York) vs. Big Josh

Big Josh was a lumberjack, you see, or at least some type of vague "outdoorsman" so the lumberjack match was apparently his thing. 

WCW Clash of the Champions 17 Review - Thomas Rich and Alexandra York

Not that he had many people to be lumberjacks for him.

On Thomas Rich's side were his York Foundation stable mates Terrence Taylor and Richard Morton along with The Young Pistols and, randomly, Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker

Sure, just five lumberjacks for the heels was a pretty sad affair, but apparently, Josh could only convince The Fabulous Freebirds and Todd Champion to back him up. 

The match was decent enough, but the lumberjack gimmick seemed silly and unnecessary with only eight people surrounding the ring. 

After a solid opener, Rich's teammate Terrence Taylor deliberately tripped him up. That allowed Big Josh to hit his rival with "The Northern Exposure," which I still say is a horrible name for a move that involves sitting on your opponent's chest so that your junk is in his face. 
Your Winner: Big Josh

Folks, call the WCW hotline right now and you could talk to The Steiner Brothers! 

Beautiful Bobby Eaton vs. Firebreaker Chip 

This wasn't a terrible match, but it was bland and just kind of there to fill a little bit of TV time. 

WCW Clash of the Champions 17 Review - Clash of the Champions 17 - Firebreaker Chip gets the better of Bobby Eaton

Nothing exciting happened and then Bobby won with a back suplex, and that's all I've got to tell you about this one.
Your Winner: Beautiful Bobby Eaton 

Before the commercial break, a promo aired for the upcoming Starrcade 1991 event featuring the inaugural Battlebowl. To be honest, I'm looking forward to reviewing that one soon.

Sting Receives His Final Gift

Over the last several weeks and months, Sting had been receiving mysterious packages (some of which included surprises like Cactus Jack and Abdullah The Butcher) and had been promised that he would receive his final gift tonight.

The US champion made his way out at the request of Tony Schiavone and excitedly claimed that getting his gift was just like being at a party.

WCW Clash of the Champions 17 - Madusa seduces Sting

At that point, a bunch of oily dudes in black undies (one of whom I swear down was Mike Awesome) brought out a royal lifter-type thing from out of which stepped Madusa

Looking all kinds of foxy, she crawled up to Sting and began rubbing herself all over him until Sting did his patented "Wooo!" 

That was clearly Lex Luger's cue to burst out of the box thing and attack Sting as JR told us that it had been The Total Package all along.

That was pretty underwhelming.

The Diamond Studd vs. The Z-Man

It's almost impossible to say much about this match as viewers hardly got to see any of it.

WCW Clash of the Champions 17 - The Diamond Studd attacks The Z-Man after losing to him

Clash of the Champions 17 returned from the commercial break with the match already in progress. Almost immediately, cameras cut to the back where Sting was being loaded into an ambulance to go have his knee checked out. The match continued in a small box in the corner of the screen, but it was hard to pay attention to it as Eric Bischoff jumped in the ambulance too and the thing rode off.

As soon as the show cut back to focusing only on the match, Z-Man caught The Diamond Studd with a roll-up and that was that.
Your Winner: The Z-Man

Post-match, Studd attacked Z-Man with a clothesline then hit him with The Diamond Death Drop before yelling "I'm the bad guy!" at the camera.

World Championship Wrestling World Television Championship
WCW TV Champion Stunning Steve Austin (w/ Lady Blossom) vs. PN News

This wasn't a bad match, but it easily could have been had PN News' opponent been anyone other than Steve Austin. Indeed, it was the US champion who carried his opponent to a watchable match before pinning him in under five minutes with his feet on the ropes.

WCW Clash of the Champions 17 - Lady Blossom leads TV Champion Stunning Steve Austin into battle

It wasn't an amazing match or anything, but it was certainly better than most PN News matches had any right to be.
Your Winner and Still TV Champion: Steve Austin

At this point, I believe the Missy Hyatt interview with Marcus Bagwell was shown, but for some reason, it's omitted from the WWE Network.

Cactus Jack vs. Van Hammer

After Cactus Jack made his way to the ring, a "music video" of sorts played in which Van Hammer and his band stood in a wrestling ring in an empty arena Milli Vanilli'ing their way through Hammer's theme song. Their performance was intercut with clips of Hammer hitting Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker with a slingshot suplex and pinning him inside the same ring where he'd just been jamming out.

WCW Clash of the Champions 17 - Heavy Metal Van Hammer prepares for his match with Cactus Jack

Once in the ring, WCW's resident rocker had a decent TV outing with Cactus, making up for what he lacked in-ring skill with charisma and enthusiasm while Jack did most of the heavy lifting.

After a few minutes of action, Cactus rammed Van Hammer in the throat with his own guitar and pinning him in the middle of the ring, ending the rocker's undefeated streak.
Your Winner: Cactus Jack

Post-match, Jack and Hammer continued to brawl.

Sting is Going to Be OK...Probably

Up next, Jim Ross got on the phone with Eric Bischoff, who was supposedly at the hospital with Sting. Bischoff told us that Sting had three doctors looking at his knee, but an orderly had just given him -Bischoff- a thumbs up. 

Quite what that gesture meant for The Stinger remained to be seen.

Who is Dustin's Mystery Partner?

Before the next contest, we were reminded that The Enforcers had taken out Barry Windham back at Halloween Havoc '91 by crushing his arm in a car door. Windham had returned to action but reinjured the already damaged arm, meaning there was speculation over whether or not he would compete here tonight alongside his tag team partner, Dustin Rhodes.

Putting paid to that speculation, Windham came out wearing a cast as he accompanied Rhodes to the ring. He then took to the microphone to confirm that no, he wouldn't be competing tonight but that he did have a suitable replacement.

That's the point when a random figure wearing a crazy dragon costume came out. 
WCW Clash of the Champions 17 - Dustin Rhodes' mystery partner


The fact that it was a dragon should've immediately told you who was underneath the mask, but this being pro wrestling, the announcers were both clueless.

Of course, when the crazy-looking character finally revealed himself, he was none other than the returning Ricky 'The Dragon' Steamboat.

World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship
WCW World Tag Team Champions The Enforcers (Arn Anderson & Barry Windham) vs. The Natural Dustin Rhodes & Ricky 'The Dragon' Steamboat 

Last seen on WCW PPV back at The Great American Bash 1989 (and last seen on PPV overall at Summerslam 1990), Steamboat's return was a huge deal. The crowd popped big time, and you have to give credit to Arn Anderson who sold it beautifully.

Even with the cameras nowhere near him, Arn could be heard yelling "Oh no! Not Ricky Steamboat!"

It was a great moment that kicked off a great match.

WCW Clash of the Champions 17 - The Enforcers double-team Ricky Steamboat

Ok, scrap that, this wasn't just a great match, it was an awesome match, and perhaps one of the best Clash of the Champions matches ever. 

The babyfaces started strong, with Steamboat in particular getting the better of the champions at every turn. At one point, Arn Anderson and Larry Zybysko regrouped on the outside, with Anderson reminding his partner that "he (Steamboat) is only a man."

That seemed to be all the pep talk The Enforcers needed, as they soon cut The Dragon off from his corner and began to wear him down. 

Anderson & Zybysko were a fantastic tag team, and when you combined that with Steamboat's top-notch job of playing the face-in-peril, it created a truly golden match.

Eventually, Ricky made the hot tag to Dustin, who cleaned house before letting The Dragon fly high, taking out Anderson with a wicked flying body press for the cover, the count, and the fall.
Your Winners and New WCW Tag Team Champions: Ricky Steamboat and Dustin Rhodes

Seriously - track down that match, it was phenomenal.

Will Sting Forfeit?

After the commercial break, Ross & Schiavone told us that The Enforcers had been protesting the outcome of the last match, noting that they had signed a contract to face Rhodes & Windham, not Rhodes & Steamboat, thus the title change shouldn't count.
WCW Clash of the Champions 17 - Paul Heyman reveals the US title match contract


This was followed by a quick video package looking at Jushin 'Thunder' Liger as he kicked some ass in Japan ahead of his WCW debut in December.

When we returned from that video, JR was standing by with Paul E. Dangerously, who claimed that the earlier actions of Madusa and Lex Luger were heinous before showing Ross a written contract that stated that if Sting didn't make it to the ring by bell time, he would forfeit the title and Ravishing Rick Rude would be the new US champ. 
WCW Clash of the Champions 17 - Jim Ross on the phone with Eric Bischoff


Another commercial break followed, after which we saw Jim Ross phoning Eric Bischoff at the hospital to tell him about Dangerously's loophole. Bischoff then relayed this message to an angry Sting, who apparently "commandeered an ambulance" so that he could make it back to the arena.

I don't use this term often on Retro Pro Wrestling, but "lol."

World Championship Wrestling World Light Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Light Heavyweight Champion Flyin' Brian Pillman vs. Johnny B. Badd (w/ Teddy Long)

As Johnny B. Badd made his way to the ring, the announcers told us that he and manager Teddy Long had been having their issues, essentially giving us a heads-up as to what would happen at the finish of the match.

WCW Clash of the Champions 17 - Flyin' Brian Pillman celebrates his big win over Johnny B. Badd

Before that, he and champion Brian Pillman engaged in a decent but unspectacular match which made the challenger look strong.

Towards the finish, Badd looked to have Pillman beat with his trademark sunset flip, but Long was busy distracting the referee on the outside.

When Johnny confronted his manager, the champion pushed his opponent into Long, knocking the manager off the ropes and then rolling up Badd for the win.
Your Winner and Still World Light Heavyweight Champion: Flyin' Brian Pillman 

Post-match, Badd punched out Long, ending the duo's relationship and turning face in the process. 

As the show went to break, Ross and Schiavone reminded us that the US title match was next. If Sting wasn't back in time, he was done for.

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship
WCW United States Champion Sting vs. Ravishing Rick Rude w/ Paul E. Dangerously

Fortunately for him, Sting did make it back as he was driven to the arena in an ambulance at full speed with its sirens blazing. While the idea that an ambulance crew would consider getting a wrestler to a match on time to be a siren-worthy emergency was a little goofy, it was kind of fun at the same time.
WCW Clash of the Champions 17 - Rick Rude prepares to challenge Sting for the US title


As he got to the arena, a gaggle of babyfaces hurried the champion inside as referee Nick Patrick began to count him out. 

Ravishing Rick Rude then met his rival on the entranceway and thus began an explosive and wildly entertaining match in which Sting seemed to overcome all the odds. 

Alas, those odds were simply too heavily stacked against him on this night. 

After doing everything he could to topple Rude, Sting was hit over the head by Dangerously's cell phone. Sting kicked out of the near fall, but when he confronted Dangerously, he got himself rolled up and pinned by Rude.

Seriously, that was awesome. Just an intense, electric storm of a match that only lasted five minutes but was so compelling you couldn't help but love it.
Your Winner and New United States Champion: Ravishing Rick Rude

Out in the back, Tony Schiavone interviewed Rude and Dangerously. 
WCW Clash of the Champions 17 - The Dangerous Alliance celebrate Rick Rude's US title victory

With Madusa fawning over Rude, the two men revealed that it had been a conspiracy all along to take out Sting and destroy WCW. The promo was every bit as compelling as the match itself. 

Big Bad Ron is Back

Before our main event, Jim Ross interviewed Ron Simmons.
WCW Clash of the Champions 17 - Jim Ross interviews Ron Simmons


Simmons thanked the fans for their well wishes after he had been sidelined with a broken wrist that he'd suffered in his Halloween Havoc match with Luger. 

Undeterred by his injury, Simmons insisted that he was there to scout the winner of the upcoming world title fight as he would then beat them and keep his promise to become the first black man to hold the world title.

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Lex Luger (w/ Harley Race and Mr. Hughes) vs. Rick Steiner (w/ Scott Steiner)

This was a solid main event that saw both champion and challenger utilize brawn and brute power against one another. The crowd was hot for it, the announcers made it sound like the most important event in the world, and while it lacked the intensity of Sting/Rude and the all-out drama of the earlier tag team title match, it was still a very good effort in its own right.
WCW Clash of the Champions 17 - Lex Luger defends the world title against Rick Steiner


Towards the end, everything broke down with Luger, The Steiner Brothers, Harley Race, and Mr. Hughes all getting involved. 

In the middle of the chaos, Lex blasted Steiner with the title belt and that was all she wrote.
Your Winner and Still World Heavyweight Champion: Lex Luger

Once a sweat-drenched Luger had made his way to the back, Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone signed off one of the best Clash shows in ages by telling us that if we wanted to know what was going on with the tag team titles, we'd have to call the WCW Hotline.

It's no exaggeration to say that Clash of the Champions 17 was one of the best Clash shows to have taken place in a long, long time. 

The main event delivered, the US title match and surrounding storyline were utterly compelling, and the tag team title match was a thing of pure beauty. 

Elsewhere, while some of the under-card matches weren't exactly amazing, nothing really sucked.

If you're looking for a good example of how excellent Clash of the Champions events could be, check this one out, if only for the magnificent Enforcers vs. Rhodes & Steamboat match.

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.