Clash of the Champions XXXI

January 24, 2015

Clash XXXI took place August 6th 1995, from Daytona Beach, Florida. The Event drew 4059 fans (very close to capacity) and a 3.5 rating on TBS. The actual Clash event was 2 hours but it was run in conjunction with the WCW Main Event program that Sunday night, so fans live got a full 3 hr show. I'm only reviewing the Clash event but there were 4 matches on the Main Event show that happened right before the Clash.

As has been the trend for several Clashes now, this show was not good. On the Wrestling Observer poll 67.5% of fans gave this show a Thumbs Downs, 7.9% a Thumbs Up, with 24.5% riding the fence offering Thumbs in the middle votes. I'm in the majority here thinking this show was pretty poor. In my opinion The Clash of Champion events used to feel like events with important matches and now they just feel like a TV show where they cut an angle or two to hype the next PPV. While I understand the desire to push the PPV, I can't help but think if they focused on some better talent they could accomplish this and still give us better matches.

Sting & Hawk vs. Meng & Kurosawa: Holy crap this was bad; it only lasted 7:23 but my God it was bad. This match never got going. Hawk looked like he was completely out of it and lost the whole time, and Kurosawa looked like he had no idea what to do because of it. Everyone was on a different page and it was a struggle right to the finish. Hawk got the win, and then Kurosawa attacked him afterwards and "Broke his arm" post match.

DDP vs. Alex Wright: This was a pretty basic match and the crowd was dead for a fair bit of it, but they got into Alex when he made his comeback. Alex went for his dive to the floor a second time and DDP moved leaving poor Alex to take a pretty nasty looking bump on the floor. Page rolled him back in for the pin to pick up the win. They showed a replay of the big bump, which was a mistake because seeing it again in slow motion exposed that it wasn't nearly as nasty as it first appeared.

Renegade vs. Paul Orndorff (TV Title): Renegade was basically an Ultimate Warrior rip off gimmick, except the guy wasn't nearly as jacked, nor remotely as good of a worker (Think about that for a minute). Paul only had to get him through 4 minutes and likely did as good as anyone could but this was really bad. Renegade picked up the win to retain the title.

Harlem Heat & Sherri vs. Slater, Buck & Parker: This match was more about the Sherri – Parker romance story that had been building for quite a while than the winner or loser of this match. As an actual wrestling match this wasn't all that good but because of the angle and story being told it was fun. When they got to the hot tag to Sherri with Parker legal, the crowd went Nucking Futs. Sherri ended up pinning Parker, which earned Harlem Heat a tag title shot on a later event. Another highlight of this match was a line by Bobby Heenan on commentary who said, "Have you ever pulled a man's coat down over his elbows and just whacked him? It's fun."

Next we got a completely nonsensical Hulk Hogan promo where he promised/threatened to ride up and down Daytona Beach in his bikini briefs, which he had in his hand. They were a red and yellow striped Speedo.

We also got a Randy Savage video, that didn't seem to have any real purpose.

Hulk Hogan enters the Dungeon of Doom. This was either edited on the Network or Hogan made more than one visit to the Dungeon of Doom, because this didn't have the infamous, "There aren't any Hulkamaniacs here" line where Hogan walks around all confused. This segment was so hokey and silly. Hogan confronts The Dungeon Master & Kevin Sullivan before The Giant attacks him and chokes him to the ground. The rest of the Dungeon of Doom crew run in and start laying the boots to the poor Hulkster. Vader runs in for the save, fighting off the entire Dungeon of Doom, allowing Sting and Savage to run in and pull Hogan to safety.

Ric Flair & Arn Anderson vs. Big Van Vader: I think this was Vader's face turn. I'm pretty sure after Vader's first match with Hogan, the Hulkster decided that Vader's work was stiff enough that he'd make a better ally than opponent. This was more an angle (2 angles actually) than a match and it was our main event. This match was to tease and start the breakup of Flair and Arn and to make Vader look like a monster. It accomplished both tasks but was pretty lame as a Clash main event. Flair made Arn do all the work, and then blamed him for the loss. Vader picked up the win, and the former friends argued afterwards.

The show closed with a Hogan, Sting, Macho promo that featured a brief Vader cameo. I'm pretty sure they were building to War Games but this seemed so weird. Hogan was all fired up and mad and was screaming and yelling at Vader, who had just saved him from a 4 on 1 beat down. You'd think the Hulkster would be a little more grateful, to the guy who just saved his ass.

This show featured 5 matches, only one of which lasted more than 9 minutes, and none of them I would describe as being really good. The DDP vs. Alex Wright match might even have been the best match on the show and it was just a basic match with a solid comeback. I can't help but think back to the Clash IV Main event of The Midnight Express vs. Flair & Windham, or Clash IX's Flair vs. Funk I quit match and shake my head at the fact that either of those 2 matches alone had more great wrestling in them then the last half dozen Clashes combined.

Lance Storm

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