Clash of the Champions XXX

January 18, 2015

Clash XXX took place in Cesar's Palace in Las Vegas Nevada on January 25th 1995. The event drew a sellout 3500 fans (2300 paid) which is a smaller crowd but with higher ticket prices it was the biggest live gate for a Clash ever. On TBS the show pulled a 3.5 rating which was a slight improvement from the previous Clash (3.3) and identical to last year's January Clash.

As seems to be the trend fans, at least fans who subscribe to the Wrestling Observer, do not like the Hulk Hogan era WCW. In the Observer poll 74% of fans gave the show a Thumbs Down, with only 9% offering a Thumbs Up. To make matters worse the over whelming majority thought the opener was the best match on the show and the Main Event was the worst match on the show; never a good sign.

Arn Anderson vs. Johnny B. Badd (TV Title): This was one of Badd's best matches, which I suppose it should be seeing as how Arn is one of the best workers in the Company. Great finish where Badd hit his KO punch but Arn was knocked to the floor. Meng then had to distract and stall the ref while Parker (Arn's manager) woke Arn up by dumping a jug of ice water on his head. Out of the distraction Arn caught Badd with a DDT for the win to retain the title. Not a great match but very solid and a good opener. If the show could have built from here it would have been a tremendous show.

Bobby Eaton vs. Alex Wright: We got an Alex Wright dance video before the match, has to be seen rather than explained. A decent enough match but well below usual Bobby Eaton standards. I'd never noticed this before but the only think Bobby Eaton doesn't do flawlessly is take Cross Body Blocks, and unfortunately that was more than 1/2 of Alex's offence in this match. The crowd did not seem very into the "Dance Wunderkind" gimmick. Alex picked up the win with you guessed it a Cross Body Block.

Harlem Heat vs. Stars & Stripes (Tag Titles): This was a pretty solid match that kind of fell apart at the finish. They used Sherri who was managing the Heat but everything was mistimed and took way too long to get to so you were left thinking the match was worse than it actually was. Fans remember the last minute of the match the most. Sherri took a big ass bump off the apron at the finish.

Sting vs. Avalanche (Guardian Angel as ref): This was not good. The Guardian Angel was Big Boss Man who couldn't use that name in WCW so they tried the Guardian Angel gimmick. The gimmick was not working. There was nothing to this match. Avalanche (WWE's Earthquake) beat on Sting for a few minutes then Sting made a comeback, which consisted of nothing but 3 or 4 Stinger splashes in the corner, then he put Avalanche in the Scorpion, and Avalanche submitted. The Guardian ignored the submission until Nick Patrick ran from the back to call the submission and put a stop to the match, raising Stings hand. Guardian then turned heel attacking Sting and beating him down. Stars & Stripes made the save and as he departed Guardian Angel declared that he was reverting back to his old days and was once again going to be called Big Bubba Rogers (His name in WCW before going to the WWE to become Big Boss Man).

Hogan & Savage vs. Sullivan & The Butcher: The Butcher is the former Brutus Beefcake, and while he was a long time friend of Hulk Hogan's and him turning on him was a good Storyline, he was not a Main Event calibre worker so this match really didn't have any heat and wasn't any good. The booking of this match didn't help matters any. This was really terrible, and at times downright stupid. Early on Butcher out of nowhere completely clean hooks Hogan in a sleeper and puts him completely out. He doesn't keep the hold on long enough for the ref to confirm he is out and award him the match, nor does he cover him to pin him to win the match, instead Butcher just stands up and acts like he's won the match. The ref is telling him he has to pin Hogan to get the win but Butcher doesn't care and apparently neither does Sullivan (despite his 25 yrs of wrestling experience) because he gets in the ring to celebrate this (non) victory. They both climb to the second rope in the corners to continue celebrating. Savage takes this time to hop in the ring and try to wake up his partner who has been out cold, flat on his back for a really long time. After slapping the Hulkster in the face several times doesn't work, Savage climbs to the top rope and hits his own partner with his top rope elbow drop finisher. Despite this move generally knocking out his opponents, it immediately revived Hulk Hogan who popped to his feet fresh as a daisy and cleaned house. One of the dumbest things I've ever seen. We then get heat on Savage to lead to another Hogan comeback leading to the big boot, a Savage elbow (thankfully this time it didn' revive the guy he hit) and the Hogan leg drop for the win.

We got a post match angle with Big Van Vader. Vader and Flair were both in the crowd being presented as leading Challengers to Hogan's title. They really jobbed Flair out with this as they showed Vader sitting front row ring side but when Flair came out he was seated at least 10 rows back in the crowd. Flair was also never seen or mentioned again, where Vader got in the ring to challenge Hogan. This segment also left me shaking my head. Vader dumped Savage out of the ring and when Hogan nailed him with his big punches, Vader just stood there shrugging them off and then hit and power bombed Hogan. If it ended here this would have been an awesome angle leading into the first Hogan vs. Vader match, but unfortunately it didn't end here. After selling this move huge (for 3-5 secs) Hogan just popped up completely fine, killing his new challenger's finisher before their first match. Hogan and Savage blow a brief comeback and Vader bumped and retreated, leaving the good guys to pose and celebrate. I cannot fathom a worse way to build a Hogan – Vader program. If you needed to have the good guys standing tall to close this show, Vader should have hooked the Power Bomb and Savage should have hit the ring nailing Vader in the back with a chair to save Hogan. Vader could have barely sold that allowing Jimmy Hart time to slide another chair into Hogan, and then Vader could have slowly retreated from the 2 chair wielding men. This would leave Vader very strong while leaving the faces in the ring to celebrate after the ring announcer repeats to the crowd that they were the winners of the Main Event.

If there wasn't just 5 Clashes to go I don't think I'd bother finishing these. I'd switch to either, The Great American Bash, Starrcade, or Summer Slam from the beginning.

Lance Storm

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