Clash of the Champions XXXII

January 31, 2015

Clash XXXII took place January 23, 1996 from Cesar's Palace in Las Vegas, NV. The event drew a sell out crowd of 3,100 (2,750 paid) as part of a 2 night double header, Nitro & Clash. The show drew a very strong 4.5 rating, but most (62%) who watched, according to the Wrestling Observers poll, gave the show a Thumbs Down. Only 20% of those polled gave the show a Thumbs Up. I was again in the majority thinking this Clash was one of the worst yet. Seriously these shows have gotten so bad that if I wasn't this close to the end I'd stop watching. I'm so glad I was busy wrestling back when these Events were happening live because I would have been so disappointed.

The Clash consisted of 6 short matches, none lasting even 10 minutes, with endless often pointless promos, and a ton of really bad wedding skits. There was way more talking and silliness than there was wrestling, and the wrestling wasn't particularly good either.

Public Enemy vs. The Nasty Boys: This match was just a brawl and not a very good one. The Public Enemy moved so slowly in the match it was unbelievable. They completely ignored the rules for the entire 4 minutes of this match and as soon as the announcers tried to explain this by saying that since both teams were disobeying the rules it was pointless for the ref to DQ anyone, the ref called for a Double DQ for no specific reason. This was terrible, yet somehow Dave Meltzer rated it *** 1/4 stars, the same rating he gave the Chris Benoit vs. Steven Regal dark match. Perhaps Big Dave was still hung over from New Years.

Dean Malenkov s. Alex Wright: This match was decent but not great. It only lasted 5 minutes and the finish seemed like a screw up. Malenko did a jack knife cover on Alex and perhaps miss heard the ref's count and completely let go of the cover and got up after 2, but since that was the booked finish the ref called for the bell and awarded him the match. Apart from a couple fun high spots there wasn't much to this.

Kevin Sullivan vs. The Disco Inferno: This wasn't even a match, it was just a complete joke that did nothing but damage this show. Instead of Disco coming out an Elvis Impersonator came out. Elvis started singing about how Disco wasn't there and then Sullivan beat him up for a minute or so. Unless your goal was to get people to change the channel I have no idea why you put this on a show.

There were usually at least 2 talking segments between each match. We'd get Eric Bischoff interviewing someone just to the side of the entrance ramp, as well as a segment from the Little White Chapel on the Vegas Strip where the Col. Parker/Sensational Sherri Wedding was supposed to take place. Each wedding segment had Mean Gene out in front of the Chapel trying to figure out where Parker and Sherri were. Yes the Wedding was the semi main event and throughout the show they were leading us to believe it wasn't going to happen. All of these segments were channel changers. I eventually started fast forwarding through them.

Brian Pillman vs. Eddie Guererro: While on paper this looks like an awesome match, it wasn't. Pillman was in full Loose Cannon mode at this point in his career so 3 or 4 of the 5:50 of this match was just Pillman running around like a crazy man. At one point he ran past the announcers and started pulling Bobby Heenan's jacket off him, startling Heenan enough that he stood up and screamed over the live TV mic. "What the Fuck are you doing?" Pillman won with a clumsy cross body and a hand full of tights. I recently watched a Nitro from this same time period where these guys wrestled each other and the match was about the same. Pillman was so busy being a loose cannon that he seemingly forgot he was supposed to wrestle at some point as well.

Sting & Lex Luger vs. The Blue Bloods (Regal & Eaton) (Tag Titles): Match only went 7:46 and Regal had a bum knee so this wasn't great. I did enjoy it for the time it was but that was mostly due to the facial expressions and antics of his Lordship Steven Regal. Just a basic short match' Sting picked up the submission win over Eaton to retain the titles.

Konnan vs Psicosis (Mexican Title): Crowd didn't know what to make of this match. They did a lot of submission holds that the crowd had never seen before and as a result didn't care about. As seems normal with lucha (I'm far from an expert here) they just switched between submission holds, selling, and running really fast arm drag and head scissor spots with no transition. The crowd liked the fast paced stuff but didn't get much into the match, which pretty much mirrored my reaction. Konnan won with a submission I'd never seen before.

The Wedding of course never actually happened. Madusa crashed the wedding and attacked Sherri and this whole thing ended up being a gigantic waste of time, and not entertaining in the least.

Hogan & Savage vs. Flair & The Giant: To help draw the big TV rating this match featured the return of Miss Elizabeth who was in Hogan and Savages corner. Also in their corner was Kevin Greene who was only a week out from competing in the Super Bowl. They added nothing to the match but no doubt drew eye balls to the show. The match went just 9:51 and had a minute or 2 of stalling early, teasing a Flair - Greene spot that never happened. Hogan and Savage also came to the ring with a group of women which made no sense to me. Among the women were Debra McMichael (wife of Steve McMichael, the Nitro announcer at the time) Linda Hogan (Hulk's wife) Linda's sister, Nancy Sullivan (Kevin Sullivan's wife at the time). Match was basic at best, with nothing memorable at all. It got quite sloppy into the finish where Flair pinned Savage after hitting him with Knux. The good guys then went wild clearing the ring, making even the finish of the match forgettable and pretty much pointless. I've never understood the point to having the heels steal the finish if they never leave with heat.

The match wasn't on the Network, but according to the Observer there was a Dark match Main event that followed the TV Main. The One Man Gang (a Heel) beat the Disco Inferno in 6 minutes with his 747 Splash. Apparently 75% of the crowd left during this match. Unless the goal was to clear the building fast, why would you ever send this match out to close the night for the live crowd?

Lance Storm

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