Mega Powers Running Wild!

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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 Tommy Rich. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tommy Rich. Show all posts

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

EVENT REVIEW: WCW Clash of the Champions XII - Fall Brawl '90: Mountain Madness

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - Fall Brawl '90: March Madness
September 5, 1990 
Asheville Civic Center, Asheville, North Carolina.

Clash of the Champions X11: Fall Brawl '90 - Mountain Madness sounds like the kind of name you get when a committee can't agree on what to call their event and compromise by simply adding all of their favorite suggestions together.

It's a little excessive, and, of course, confusing, but hey, we're not here to talk about event names, we're here to talk about the event itself, so let's get on with that, shall we?





Welcome to Fall Brawl 2: Mountain Madness

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - Jim Ross & Bob Caudle
Just to confuse things further, Jim Ross called the event Fall Brawl 2, which is technically accurate but still confusing if your opening intro is going to call it '90. 

Speaking of the intro, it was very non-descript - basically seeing clips of tonight's stars in small boxes which flew across some animated mountains.

From there, Ross and co-announcer Bob Caudle hyped the ten upcoming matches on our show, including Lex Luger defending the US title against Ric Flair and Sting defending his newly won World Heavyweight Championship for the first time on national TV against The Black Scorpion.

Speaking of Sting, our announce team informed us that the Stinger was live on the WCW Hotline, but of course, you wouldn't want to call right now, because then you'd miss this:

Badstreet USA

Prior to our opening contest, we got a look at a music video in which Michael 'P.S' Hayes strutted around singing Badstreet USA. 

Personally, this writer has never really seen the appeal of the Freebirds, but even I have to admit it was a pretty decent video, albeit one that looks very dated today.

The Fabulous Freebirds (w/ Michael 'P.S' Hayes & Jimmy 'Jam' Garvin w/ Buddy Roberts) vs. The Southern Boys (Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong w/ 'Bullet' Bob Armstrong.

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - Michael 'P.S' Hayes
Speaking of things being dated...there was so much confederate flag symbolism in this match that there's no way this match would air on TV today.

Hayes and Jimmy Garvin both switched their traditional tights for confederate ones and had their faces painted with the flag, as did their cornerman, Buddy Roberts. Meanwhile, the Southern Boys whole gimmick was to wave that confederate flag and they did so here with pride.

Dated gimmicks aside, this was another good meeting between these two teams. 

Their match back at The Great American Bash 1990 was very good indeed, and while this may have been a step down from that match, it was still a great way to start the show.

Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong won the match thanks to a couple of sunset flips.
Your Winners: The Southern Boys

Post-match, The Freebirds beat up their rivals and hurled them out of the ring. 

The Steiners Have Nothing on Their Minds

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - Tony Schiavone interviews The Steiner Brothers
Following the commercial break, Tony Schiavone spoke backstage with The Steiner Brothers, who had recently defeated The Midnight Express to become US tag team champions.

Scott Steiner fumbled his way through his half of the promo, reminding us that being US tag team champions meant they were number one contenders to the world tag team champions and calling out Doom for a match.

For his part, Rick Steiner admitted that he and his brother had never even heard of their upcoming opponents, Maximum Overdrive and had no plan and "nothing on their minds" when they went to the ring.

This was entertaining, but only in the way that watching a Steiner Brothers promo can be.

Buddy Landell vs. Mike Rotunda (w/ Cindy Anderson) 

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - Buddy Landell shows off his Skid Row "tattoo"
Prior to the bell, Buddy Landell proudly showed off a terrible Skid Row tattoo because apparently, he was now friends with the band's guitarist, Dave "The Snake" Sabo

Well, I suppose if you've gotta have a gimmick, "I know a musician" is certainly..erm..something.

Meanwhile, if you're wondering who Cindy Anderson is, she apparently won a Burger King poetry contest and her prize was to accompany Mike Rotunda to the ring. 

I swear I'm not making that up. 

All credit to Cindy, I'm sure she's a lovely person and wrote a great poem, but just trying to get my head around the idea that Burger King sponsored a wrestling-themed poetry contest and the prize was to walk Captain Mike to the ring just blows my mind. 

Honestly, these Clash shows were bonkers. 

I say all that because it's far more interesting than anything that actually happened in this match.

It's not that it was bad. Both Landell and Rotunda were competent performers, but this was only ever going ot be a filler match and it was. 

After five and a half minutes of decent but entirely forgettable action, Rotunda secured the win thanks to a jaw-dropping backslide.
Your Winner: Mike Rotunda

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - Tony Schiavone interviews The Fabulous Freebirds
Up next, Tony Schiavone interviewed The Fabulous Freebirds who were very angry about losing to The Southern Boys and shouted A LOT.

 It was OK though, because "The Greatest Rock & Roll Band in the World" were able to console themselves by showing us footage of their recent trip to Hollywood.

Hayes and Garvin pulled up in a limo and were swarmed with fans. They then just seemed to have a day out, standing in front of the Hollywood sign and dancing and later eating a hot dog before getting swarmed by yet more fans.

It wasn't entirely clear why the boys were in Hollywood, but for all intents and purposes, it just looked as though we were watching clips from their vacation. 

'White Lightning' Tim Horner & The Candy Man Brad Armstrong vs. The Master Blazers (Iron & Steel)

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - Kevin Nash made his debut as part of The Master Blasters
Let's gloss over the fact that Brad Armstrong was now creepily called "The Candy Man" for some reason and talk about what's really important here: 

The debut of Kevin Nash as Master Blaster Steel. 

Honestly, this writer has been a big fan of Big Daddy Cool in the past but even I can't deny that he and Master Blaster Iron looked like the absolute dirt worst tag team you've ever seen in your life.

None of Nash's offence looked like it actually hurt. It was weak and made the whole match look fake. 

Iron's offense was even worse. 

In fact, at one point, he went to hit a diving headbutt on Tim Horner and missed by at least a foot. Horner sold it anyway and the crowds booed both men for daring to give such a shoddy performance.

I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I actually recommend watchng this match just to appreciate how good pro wrestlers are at making what they do look believable and how utterly ridiculous wrestling can look when they don't.

Unsurprisingly, The Master Blasters won their debut over a team comprised of a man named after a brand of cheap cider in the UK and a  man whose gimmick was literally that he handed sweets to kids.
Your Winners: The Master Blasters 

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - Tony Schiavone interviews Brian Pillman
Backstage, Tony Schiavone interviewed Flyin' Brian Pillman.

Pillman first put over the main event discussed the mystery surrounding the ominous Black Scorpion before discussing his upcoming "Run the Gauntlet" challenge.

The idea was that one man would be selected to take on the challenge. On WCW Power Hour, that man would draw three names out of a hat and those three men would be his opponents over the course of three consecutive nights.

He -in this case, Pillman- would wrestle the first match on WCW Power Hour.

He would then wrestle the second match the following night on World Championship Wrestling.

Finally, he would wrestle the third match the night after that on Sunday Main Event.

If Pillman (or whoever else was taking on the challenge) won all three matches, he would win $15,000. If he lost, the prize money would be divided equally between his opponents.

Though it takes a little while to explain, that's actually not a bad concept, even if it did end up only lasting for three weeks.

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - Missy Hyatt interviews Ric Flair
The Greatest World Champion of Ever

Out in the arena, Missy Hyatt introduced us to the man she called "The Greatest World Champion of Ever," the one and only Nature Boy Ric Flair.

As charismatic as ever, Naitch styled and profiled his way through a riveting promo in which he promised to dethrone Lex Luger for the US title on tonight's show. 


The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags) vs. Terry Taylor & Jackie Fulton

So, it turns out Kevin Nash wasn't the only one to make a big first appearance at this show. 

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - The Nasty Boys made their debut
The Nasty Boys
were also putting in their first appearance at a major event in a solid effort against the former Red Rooster Terry Taylor and Jackie Fulton.

It's surprising how relatively light, agile, and motivated to work Knobbs and Sags actually were here. Pair that with two capable opponents, and what you had here was a decent tag match which gave this writer no reason to complain.

The Nasties would be gone and in the World Wrestling Federation by December of that year, but for now they were on the rise in WCW after a predictable victory.
Your Winners: The Nasty Boys 

After another commercial break, Tony Schiavone caught up with Four Horsemen member Sid Vicious. Big Sid was very angry about Sting being the world champion and insisted that he -Sid- deserved a title shot. It wasn't so much a direct challenge, more an intense rant about Sid being title-worthy.

Wild Bill Irwin vs. Wildfire Tommy Rich

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - Wild Bill Irwin
Going into this one, your writer expected it to be the kind of filler match that has no redeeming qualities. Indeed, half the crowd seemed to have the same idea and could be visibly seen leaving for the bathroom or concession stands as it got underway. 

Surprisingly, however, it wasn't a bad little match. Apart from one little spot where it looked like the match was going to devolve into one long chinlock, this was competently wrestled. Sure, it wasn't going to be an amazing match, and sure, it technically was filler, but it at least it was enjoyable filler.

After a few minutes of decent wrestling, Tommy Rich got the win thanks to a Lou Thesz Press.
Your Winner: Tommy Rich

Up next, Jim Ross and Bob Caudle introduced us to the new Top 10 rankings, with Lex Luger and The Steiners topping the singles and tag ranks respectively. I'm not sure how long this lasted, but I don't think it was very long at all. 

With tobacco spit staining his chest, Stan Hansen then ranted and raved to Tony Schiavone about only being number six on the list and insisted he was going to beat up everyone ahead of him until he got to Sting. 

Not because he wanted the glory of being champion or anything, Big Stan simply needed the money.

"SIX? SIX? SIX? That's bulls**t!" yelled The Larriat as he walked off, clevery making sure he was away from the microphone before dropping the expletive. 

Ladies Professional Wrestling Association World Championship
LPWA Women's Champion Susan Sexton vs. Bambi 

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - Susan Sexton
Nobody cared about this "Women's Championship" match, a short-lived cross-over with the equally-as-short-lived LPWA. In fact, even JR didn't seem to know what was going on, telling us:

"Bambi is, I believe, the number one contender to the women's championship." 

Well, yes, Jim, she's standing in the ring about to challenge for the title, so that's pretty much a given. 

The match itself was reasonable. The crowd may not have cared, but Bambi and champion Susan Sexton worked hard regardless to give us a short, predominantly match-based match.

After a few minutes of hold-counterhold-repeat, Sexton reversed a roll-up attempt from Bambi to score the 1,2,3.
Your Winner and Still LPWA Champion: Susan Sexton

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

National Wrestling Allianace United States Tag Team Championship
NWA United States Tag Team Champions The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) vs. Maximum Overdrive (The Hunter and The Silencer)

Yes, this new team of Maximum Overdrive that nobody had ever heard of were called The Hunter and The Silencer. I don't know about you, but for me those names don't exactly fit with a tag team name like "Maximum Overdrive."

It didn't matter anyway, Hunter and Silencer were really only there to serve as warm bodies for Rick and Scott Steiner to hurl around the ring in an extended squash. It was good, but only because The Steiners were such an awesome tag team and super over with the crowd.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, the brothers retained their title.
Your Winners and Still NWA US Tag Team Champions: The Steiner Brothers 

Before the next commercial, Missy Hyatt reminded us to watch Sunday Main Event with her and Jim Ross and a whole bunch of Main Event Action.

Stan 'The Larriat' Hansen vs. The Z-Man Tom Zenk 

Hansen was a relatively new arrival to WCW, so it didn't come as much of a surprise when he simply dominated The Z-Man throughout this match. It was decent stuff, but it mattered so little that at one point the screen was divided so that we could hear from Lex Luger at the same time. 

Honestly, it was too difficult to both watch a match and listen to The Total Package, but I think he basically said that he was fully focussed on Ric Flair but if Hansen wanted a match, he'd give him  one.

Back in the ring, the actual was solid but unremarkable and ended with a predictable win for Hansen courtesy of The Larriat. 
Your Winner: Stan Hansen

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - Tony Schiavone interviews Lex Luger
Afterward, we got a look back at the Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger match from Wrestle War 90 before Tony Schiavone interviewed the US Champion for the second time on this show. 

Calm, cool, and collected, The Total Package reflected on the fact that all his previous encounters with Flair (including their great match at Great American Bash '88) had seen him chasing Flair. This time, Flair was chasing him, but Luger remained adamant that no matter how much Flair wanted his US title, he -Luger- was going to emerge victorious.

National Wrestling Alliance United States Championship
NWA US Champion Lex Luger vs. Nature Boy Ric Flair

Luger and Flair always had great matches together and this was no exception. Though it may not have been the absolute best they ever had, that's only because they'd already set the bar very high, and this was still damn good in its own right.

This writer also really appreciated the power rankings and the emphasis on Flair needing to beat Luger to become the number one contender to Sting's title again. It gave the occasion as much of a sense of legitimacy as its possible to give a scripted pro wrestling contest and only added to the intensity and excitement of the match.

However, just as Luger and Flair always had good matches, they also always had matches that ended without a clean finish. This one was no exception. 

Stan Hansen ran into attack Luger, causing the disqualification.
Your Winner via DQ and Still US Champion: Lex Luger

Prior to the main event, we got pre-recorded comments from the mysterious Black Scorpion who promised to reveal his identity if Sting beat him tonight.

Speaking to Tony Schiavone, a clearly worried Sting insisted that he was taking the Scorpion very seriously and was heading to the ring to get this done.

National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Sting vs. The Black Scorpion 

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - The Black Scorpion
As you might have predicted, this was not the greatest match in the world. 

Sure, there was a lot of intrigue surrounding the identity of The Black Scorpion, but the actual action was just not that interesting.

Sure, both champ and challenger put some effort into it, but the result of that effort was nowhere near as compelling as the mystery of the Scorpion himself. 

Predictably, Sting retained the gold in his first televised championship defense thanks to a simple crossbody.

By the way, in case you were wondering, the man behind the mask for this match was Al Perez.
Your Winner and Still NWA World Heavyweight Champion: Sting 

Post-match, Sting de-masked the Scorpion only to discover that his adversary was wearing a second mask underneath. At that point, another Black Scorpion character arrived on the scene, with the announcers deducing that this was the real Scorpion after all.

Following a quick commercial break, Sting spoke to Jim Ross about his frustrations in not finding out who his rival was and swore that this wasn't over. At that point, however, the champion was interrupted by Sid Vicious, who demanded a match against the champion.

Sting was in no mood for a challenge, telling The Ruler of the World that all he had to do was talk to the championship committee to be granted a match. UNhappy with the response, Sid attacked Sting and declared himself the next champion before Jim Ross signed off, wrapping up the 12th edition of Clash of the Champions. 






With the exception of the whole Black Scorpion angle, Clash of the Champions 12 featured less of the goofiness and wacky entertainment that we'd seen in recent clashes (Clash 10, I'm looking at you), and placed more of an emphasis on presenting pro wrestling as a true sporting competition, with the announcement of the "Run the Gauntlet Challenge," the power rankings, and Flair's need to dethrone Luger to get back into the title picture all making this seem like serious business.

Unfortunately, despite the emphasis on competition, most of the actual in-ring action wasn't that great. The best match on the card by a good mile was Flair/Luger, and while the opening tag team match was also good and the Nasty Boys debut was decent for what it was, nothing else really stood out as being a must-watch.

Load up this event to see the WCW debut of the aforementioned Nasties and Kevin Nash, skip to Luger/Flair, and that's all you need to see here. 

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.