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 wcw. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wcw. 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. 

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

PPV REVIEW: WCW The Great American Bash 1990 - New Revolution

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Event poster
July 7, 1990 
Baltimore Arena, Baltimore, Maryland

At the Great American Bash 1990, World Championship Wrestling finally got to pull the trigger on something which, by all accounts, should have happened months before:

Crowning Sting as the new World Heavyweight Champion.

The future Hall of Famer had been well-established as the company's most popular babyface for sometime, meaning a match with reigning champion Nature Boy Ric Flair was inevitable.

Alas, The Stinger had been injured on a Clash show just weeks before his originally scheduled date with destiny and had been forced to spend the intervening time hanging out with Robocop and cutting promos.

Tonight, Sting would finally get his big match and claim his rightful position as the company's top star, so let's head down to Baltimore, Maryland and see how it all played out.





Welcome to The Bash

We kicked off tonight with a revolution-themed video featuring The Four Horsemen on actual horses, rivals Sting & Flair as portraits and other depictions tying WCW in with America’s past.

From there, it was down to our announce team of Jim Ross and Bob Caudle to give us the run down of tonight’s featured attractions, including the WCW debut of Big Van Vader.

We’d see Vader later, but first it was time for our opening contest.

Nature Boy Buddy Landel vs. Flyin’ Brian

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Buddy Landel
And so we kicked things off with this, an opening match pitting the veteran Buddy Landel against the up ‘n’ coming Flyin’ Brian Pillman.

Personally, I never quite saw the appeal of Landel. He seemed old school in a way that definitely wasn’t cool.

That said, this was a decent if pretty forgettable bout which saw Pillman claim victory thanks to a flying cross body off the top.
Your Winner: Flyin’ Brian

Out in the crowd, Gordon Sollie basically repeated the same kind of “here’s what’s coming up” hype we’d gotten from Ross and Caudle earlier.

As he did so, Iron Sheik made his way to the ring for the next match.

The Iron Sheik vs. Captain Mike Rotunda

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Iron Sheik vs. Captain Mike
This seemed like a random thrown-together match with no rhyme or reason behind it.

Sure, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s sometimes nice to have two guys competing just for the sake of competing, but still, it felt like a weird combination for a match.

Of course, I’m saying all this simply because absolutely nothing interesting happened here.

Sheik beat up Captain Mike for the majority of the match, the future tax man then pulled a backslide out of nowhere and scored the win.

It wasn’t awful, but it certainly wasn’t good either.
Your Winner: Captain Mike

Out on the arena floor, Sollie interviewed Harley Race about his return to the NWA and his upcoming match with Wildfire Tommy Rich.

Race swore to get revenge on Rich for once beating him for the World Heavyweight Championship years ago.

He then turned his attention to the main event and made the pretty obvious “prediction” that if Ric Flair wasn’t on his game then he might lose to Sting.

Well, yeah.

Dirty Dutch Mantell vs. ‘The World’s Strongest Man’ Doug Furnas

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Dutch Mantell faced Doug Furnas
Finally, after a whole bunch of meh, we got some pretty good action in the form of Doug Furnas vs. Dirty Dutch Mantell.

Furnas showed up to prove what he was capable of, dashing around the ring with speed, strength, and agility while Jim Ross gushed about how many world records in “strength” The World’s Strongest Man actually had.

To counter this, Mantell used cunning, craftiness, and some good old-fashioned cheating, ultimately managing to keep the explosive Furnas to the ground.

Unfortunately for the wily veteran, it wasn’t enough to keep his opponent down for long.

Furnas blasted Mantell with a big-time belly-to-belly to score the pin in the first enjoyable match of the show so far.
Your Winner: Doug Furnass

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Jim Cornette
Out in the arena, Jim Cornette gave an excellent promo to Gordon Sollie.

The legendary manager quickly hyped up the two feature attractions on tonight’s show before turning his attention to The Midnight Express and their title defence against The Southern Boys.

As compelling as ever, Cornette put over his own team in fine fashion and vowed that while Steve Armstrong and Tracy Smothers may be good, they weren’t good enough to dethrone Sweet Stan Lane and Beautiful Bobby Eaton.

This was damn good stuff from James E.

Wildfire Tommy Rich vs. Harley Race

This was a passable contest in which both men did the best they could with what they had.

For Race, this was his first NWA PPV appearance since Starrcade '83 and his first PPV appearance in general since Royal Rumble 1989.

In fact, he still wore the purple singlet with the crown motif from his run as King of the WWF.

Jim Ross tried to cover for his by pondering whether the former champion was a fan of the Sacramento Kings.

The match itself was alright, but like most of the matches that went before it, it was hardly must-see viewing.

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Paul Heyman and Mean Mark
In the end, Rich flew off the top with a crossbody but Race rolled over and got the one, the two, and the three.
Your Winner: Harley Race

Following the match-promo-match formula, we went back to Gordon Sollie who was standing by with Paul E. Dangerously and his charge, Mean Mark Callous.

Putting over Mark’s upcoming US title match against Lex Luger, Dangerously ranted and raved about how mean and tough Mean Mark really was, all while the man himself ripped up a Luger t-shirt.

That was fun.

NWA United States Tag Team Championship
NWA US Tag Team Champions The Midnight Express (Sweet Stan Lane and Beautiful Bobby Eaton w/ Jim Cornette) vs. The Wild-Eyed Southern Boys (Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong)

The first genuinely exciting match on the card up to this point, this was classic tag team action in the very best sense.

Despite The Midnights being the heels, both teams had their fair share of fans, making for an electric atmosphere from start to finish.

Of course, it helped that the action was damn fine too.

Apart from a weird spot where Stan Lane and Tracy Smothers stopped to have a “karate” fight that looked nothing like any kind of actual karate you e ever seen, it was all thrilling stuff.

After teasing that the plucky Southern Boys might just steal victory, Sweet Stan kicked Smothers in the back of the head and Eaton rolled him up for the fall.
Your Winners and still US Tag Team Champions: The Midnight Express

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - The Fabulous Freebirds
Out in the arena, Gordon Sollie interviewed The Fabulous Freebirds, who were not only covered in glitter and make-up but who had also decided that wearing t-shirts around their necks like bibs was a cool look for them.

The duo were there to talk about their match with The Steiner Brothers but Michael P.S Hayes wanted to brag about his ability to erm..drive things.

“There’s nothing with four wheels that we can’t drive and there’s nothing with four legs that we can’t ride,” he boasted.

Could you imagine being Michael Hayes’ pet dog? The poor thing must’ve been terrified every time Hayes came over to it with that ‘yeehaw, giddy up!’ glint in his eye.

Z-Man vs. Big Van Vader

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Big Van Vader made his debut
Was there anything in the world cooler than Vader’s head-dress thing that he used to wear?

The big man was making his debut here did so in formidable fashion, destroying Z-Man in under five minutes.

It wasn’t much of a match, but it wasn’t supposed to be. It was supposed to be a showcase for how awesome Big Van Vader was, and to that end it was very effective.

I should also mention that, prior to the match, Vader played for the crowd as a babyface would. This surprised this writer who only ever knew of the big man as a heel.
Your Winner: Big Van Vader

In a break from the in-ring action, Gordon Sollie interviewed The Four Horsemen about their upcoming match against Junkyard Dog, Paul Orndorff, and the debuting El Gigante.

Barry Windham and Ole Anderson did all the talking for their team, promising that they had a plan to emerge victorious tonight.

The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael ‘P.S’ Hayes & Jimmy Garvin) vs. The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner)

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Jimmy Jam Garvin puts Ric Steiner to sleep
I’ll be honest with you, I never quite understood what this version of The Fabulous Freebirds were supposed to be.

Were they supposed to be genuinely cool rock stars or deluded heels who had no idea how utterly goofy they looked?

Still, while I might not get it, I’m a little kinder to Michael Hayes and Jimmy ‘Jam’ Garvin than the Baltimore crowd were.

Early in the match, the fans targetted Garvin with a gay slur that I won't be repeating here, and later broke out with a chorus of “Michael is a b*tch! Michael is a b*tch!”

Anyway, the match itself was fine once it got going.

Sure, it wasn’t up to the standards of the earlier Midnights/Southern Boys encounter, but The Steiners rarely disappointed and they certainly didn’t here.

After a good effort, Garvin looked to have Scott Steiner pinned but the referee scolded the Freebird for not being the legal man.

In the confusion, Rick Steiner took Hayes to suplex city for the win.
Your Winners: The Steiner Brothers

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Jim Ross and Bob Caudle called the event
Prior to the next match, Jim Ross and Bob Caudle informed us that the next WCW PPV would be Halloween Havoc 1990 in October. 

I don't know about you, dear reader, but I miss the days when there was a several-month stretch between pay per views.

The announcers also put over our remaining matches and questioned the condition of Sting. The popular star hadn't competed since busting his knee at WCW Clash of the Champions X, and tonight would be his big comeback match.

Would the Stinger be at 100% tonight?

Ross and Caudle insisted that he'd have to be if he was to stand any chance of dethroning The Nature Boy.

The Four Horsemen (NWA TV Champion Arn Anderson, Barry Windham, and Sid Vicious) vs. The Dudes With Attitudes ('Mr. Wonderful' Paul Orndorff, Junkyard Dog, and El Gigante)

And so, after Big Van Vader, this was to be our second debut on the show as El Gigante stepped into the ring to compete for the first time.

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - El Gigante made his in-ring debut
Not that he actually did anything.

In fact, the spectacle of Gigante, coupled with The Horsemen's excellent reactions to him proved to be far more entertaining than anything Jorge González could have possibly done.

The big man spent most of the match on the apron, with the heels occasionally coming near him and cowering in fear when he threatened to strike them or step over the ropes. It was these reactions, brilliant as they were, that overshadowed any of the actual action.

Of course, Jim Ross chose not to focus on this at first. Gigante didn't have a football career, so the sports-obsessed announcer had no choice but to clutch at straws and talk about the Argentina soccer football team competing in the 1990 World Cup.

That wasn't the only thing overshadowing Gigante's debut.

The other thing was Sid Vicious.

It occurs to me as I'm writing this that big Sid never really worked as a heel because people always ALWAYS loved him. Even when he was teaming with Dan Spivey in The Skyscrapers, he and he alone would get the biggest reaction of any match he was in.

The same applied here, with the crowd erupting into loud chants of "WE WANT SID!" and going banana every time the colossal star stepped foot between the ropes.

Also of note here was the fact that Junkyard Dog had decided not to sell a single thing in this match. Every time somebody struck him, he stood and stared at them. Every time somebody attempted a power move, he refused to budge. It was a weird sight, but at least the Horsemen did the best they could with it.

That's pretty much the best way to sum up this match too. The Horsemen (and Orndorff who, to be fair, worked hard), all worked hard to salvage this match from being a total stinker.

In the end, the over-the-top-rope DQ rule that WCW was enforcing at the time came into play and Sid, Arn Anderson, and Barry Windham were disqualified without the much-hyped El Gigante even getting a single legal tag.
Your Winners via Disqualification: The Dudes With Attitudes

Before his big title defence, US champion Lex Luger responded to his challenger’s earlier actions, insisting it would be a lot more difficult to tear him apart the way Mean Mark tore up that t-shirt.

Luger was decent here, but I won’t lie, The Total Package was always far more entertaining to this fan when he was a heel.

National Wrestling Alliance United States Championship
NWA US Champion Lex Luger vs. Mean Mark (w/ Paul E. Dangerously)


Mean Mark and Lex Luger were two huge dudes who could have clobbered their way through a good power match. Instead, they spent the first part of this US title contest holding each other in armbars, basically sucking the life out of things and quickly losing this fan’s interest.

Things got a little better once the match finally picked up steam, but by that point, I won’t lie, I was past the point of caring.

Towards the end, the challenger went for the heart punch but Luger booted him in the head, decked Paul E. then clobbered Mark with a clothesline for the fall because this was 1990 and a clothesline was still an acceptable way to win a match.
Your Winner and Still US Champion: Lex Luger

Backstage, an un-painted Sting put Ric Flair over as a great champion before admitting that while he was a little nervous, his knee was back at 100% and he was more than ready to take on The Nature Boy in tonight’s world title main event.

National Wrestling Alliance World Tag Team Championship
NWA Tag Team Champions Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed w/ Teddy Long) vs. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson)

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Teddy Long led Doom into battle against the Rock 'n' Roll Express
I may have mentioned this before, but it always strikes me as odd to at a team with such an ominous name as DOOM would have theme music that sounds like it was rejected as the theme from Wheel of Fortune or something.

Anyway, while I’m sure there are fans of this match, this writer isn’t really one of them.

The match was OK, but Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson’s trademark formula made it somewhat predictable and neither team seemed concerned with doing anything interesting enough to make it feel like it wasn’t just every tag team match you’ve ever seen.

After an unspectacular outing, Butch Reed got the win over Gibson.
Your Winners and Still Tag Team Champions: Doom

Prior to the main event, we saw a pre-recorded segment in which Ric Flair gave an interview to Gordon Sollie.

As on-form as ever, The Nature Boy reminded Sting that to be the man...you have to beat the man....

Wooooooo!

National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship No Disqualification Match
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Nature Boy Ric Flair vs. Sting (w/ The Dudes With Attitudes)

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Sting beat Ric Flair for the world heavyweight championship
Meeting in singles competition for the first time since Clash of the Champions 1, Ric Flair and Sting gave a compelling performance here.

To keep the Four Horsemen from interfering, Paul Orndorff, Junkyard Dog, and The Steiners surrounded the ring while Ole Anderson was forced to be handcuffed to El Gigante for the duration of the match.

And what a match it was. Though it may not technically have been the best you were ever going to get from these two, there was a real sense that you were watching something important.

That big match feel, coupled with both star’s solid performances really ensured one delivered the goods.

Towards the end, the challenger charged at the champion with a running knee to the corner. Flair moved and Sting’s previously injured knee collided with the top turnbuckle.

Looking to capitalize, Flair went for the figure four but got rolled up into an inside cradle.

One three count later and, ladies and gentlemen, we had ourselves a new champion.
Your Winner and NEW NWA World Heavyweight Champion: Sting

Post match, Sting celebrated with The Dudes With Attitudes before heading to the back, exhausted yet triumphant. 



And so, months later than  planned, Sting had finally claimed his place at the top of the WCW mountain in a tremendous match that had been well worth the wait.

Before that, The Great American Bash 1990 had been a mixed bag in terms of in-ring competition. The Midnights/Southern Boys and Doom/Steiners were good matches, Dutch Mantell vs. Doug Furnas was a surprising early highlight, and everything else was just, well, kind of there. 

Still, besides the main event, it wasn't really the matches themselves that make this such a significant event. The crowning of a new world champion, the debut of Big Van Vader (and, to a lesser-extent, El Gigante) and the final WCW PPV appearance of a certain Mark Calaway all earned this one it's place in the history books. 




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.