Clash of the Champions II

March 6, 2011

Clash II was titled Miami Mayhem and was held June 8, 1988 at the James L. Knight Center in Miami. I only mention the building because it sure seemed important to them; they pushed the hell out of the building the entire night. I hope they got the building for free for the amount of advertising they did for the place.

The line up for Clash II was really thin when compared to the first Clash, and the size of the crowd and the resultant TV rating sure reflected that. The first Clash drew 6000 people and a 5.6 rating, and this show drew 2400 people and a 4.8 rating. They did a poor job of hiding the lack of crowd too, because they lit the crowd that was there really well, which just drew attention to the blacked out sections of the arena. Camera work was atrocious as they seemed obsessed with shooting the crowd that was there so they kept missing parts of the action in order to cut to close up shots of the crowd. Tony Schiavone and Bob Caudle were calling the action, and SmackDown GM Teddy Long was all over this show as a referee.

Barry Windham vs. Brad Armstrong (US Title): Barry had just joined the Horse Men and was the heel and reigning champ for this match. I was a big fan of both of these guys but this was a very basic, paint by the numbers match. They took their time working a head lock and Barry pulling the hair early, worked a Figure 4 for several minutes in the heat, Brad blew a brief fiery comeback got one near fall, and then Barry got him in the Claw hold for the win. There was nothing wrong with this match, and the crowd was behind it but this was as simple and basic a match as you can have. Brad had great fire on his comeback. My one criticism, Brad was in the figure for more than a minute straight and did not sell his leg at all later in the match and the hold itself didnít play into the match at all.

They showed Lex Luger arriving in a limo. When he got out of the limo he was jumped by the horsemen and beat down in the parking lot. It was explained he was challenging Flair at the American Bash, so the Horsemen were trying to take him out early.

The Fantastics vs. The Sheepherders (US Tag Title): For those of you who donít know, the Sheepherders later became the Bushwhackers in the WWF. As the Sheepherders however they were a more serious brawling tag team that worked as heels. They also had Rip Morgan out with them as a flag barer. Of the 5 guys out here I would later work with Rip Morgan (CWA Europe) and Tommy Rogers (ECW). I hated this match. Watching this match, it looked like a bunch of guys who could work but had no over all concept of match structure. Everything was done with energy and crispness so for the most part the crowd stayed with the match but it just became monotonous for me. The heels would cut the faces off, gets some heat, do a hot tag, the face would blow a comeback, the heels would bale, and then they would just start over and do it again, and again, and again. They did at least 4 hot tags; the heels did at least 3 maybe 4 misdirection spots (where they hit each other). They even tied up and had the faces start working the arm again at the 15 minute mark of a 20 minute match. Finally Booby Fulton got a roll up for the pin to retain the titles, but to make things worse Butch Miller ran in and made the save too early and the ref had to count the 3 despite the save clearly being made before the 3. The Sheepherders attacked the faces after the match and it looked awful.

Ron & Jimmy Garvin vs. Rick Steiner & Mike Rotunda: This was the first non Championship match at a Clash of Champions. Steve Williams was doing commentary in a white tuxedo complete with white gloves (I have no idea). Kevin Sullivan was locked in a shark cage at ring side, and Precious was in the Garvins corner and she was holding the key to the Shark Cage. You couldnít follow the match at all, and from the little you did see, you likely didnít want to see it anyway. The camera kept shooting Sullivan in the cage who had a folded up wad of paper he kept showing Precious, and then tuck it back into his robe. He was offering to show it to her if she came close enough. The highlight of the match was Garvin eventually getting the hot tag and doing a standing leg drop to the arm, as a near fall (seriously). Cameras missed the finish but Garvin got the win. Right before the finish Sullivan finally convinced Precious to come over to the cage, so he got the key from her, got out of the cage, and attacked her (this is what was going on when we missed the finish). Steve Williams made the save, and then Precious got mad at him and Garvin and stormed out. This was dreadful and made no-sense.

Nikita Koloff vs. Al Perez: Nikita had the flattop here, and I so preferred him bald. Not sure what ever happened to Al Perez, he was decent enough but seemed to just drop off the earth. This match was very basic but made a bit better by Nikitaís intensity. They had one hugely botched spot in the middle but other wise this was fine, at least until the finish. When Nikita made his comeback Larry Zbyszko ran in for the DQ and the 3 guys (Gary Hart was managing Perez) beat up Nikita. Any reason Nikita couldnít have hit his finish and pinned Perez before the run in; especially considering the finish in the next match?

Blanchard & Anderson vs. Dusty Rhodes & Sting (NWA Tag Titles): This match didnít end up being too much. Dusty was SUPER over and the execution of the match was good but we got a really crappy DQ where the faces ended up loosing their cool and shoving the ref out of the way so they could get their hands on the heels. After the DQ the Horsemen ran down and laid everyone out. Barry got the claw on Dusty who got busted open from the power of the claw.

This was a really bad show. The first Clash was a major event, and this show was just a big long series of confusing angles to build up The Great American Bash. Most of it wasnít very good and doing so many angle just clouded over the important ones, and left me feeling ripped off by all the non-finshes. I just went and looked up the American Bash card this show was building to, and when you look at that line up this show becomes even more confusing. See if this doesnít make more sense.

Match 1: Barry is defending the US title against Dusty at Bash, Brad not on the Bash at all. Barry wins clean and strong just as he did. (Perfect)

Lex Luger - Horsemen angle made perfect sense. Flair defends against Luger at Bash and got heat on him here.

Match 2: Fantastics defend titles at Bash against Midnight Express, Sheepherders not on the Bash. Fantastics should have won clean with their finisher to look strong and make the crowd happy. Why the Sheepherders dominated this match and beat them up at the end with the Fantastics barely escaping with their titles is absurd, especially with all the other chaos needed on the show. The Fantastics just needed to be highlighted here; instead we got one of the worst Fantastics matches Iíve ever seen.

Match 3: All of these guys were going into that big three tiered cage match at the Bash so some chaos here was needed, all the more reason to have NONE in the previous match. Since Iím removing the other 2 DQs on the show Iíd have done one here, right after Sullivan got out of the cage and attacked Precious. No one saw the damn finish anyway.

Match 4: Nikita was going on to team with Sting and Challenge for the NWA Tag Team Titles, and Al Perez was the least important guy in the 5 on 5 match in the three tier cage at the Bash. Again why all the chaos and a crappy DQ? Let Nikita get the strong win over Perez with the Russian Sickle. After the chaos on the previous match the clean finish would make the crowd happy. Perez was but a bit player in the multi man match at the Bash anyway.

Match 5: The angle they needed out of this one was Barry getting the claw on Dusty post match so why not avoid the DQ and have Barry interfere behind the refís back to cost Dusty the match. Tully and Arn would score the pin, and the heat would be on Barry. After the pin fall Barry could again get on Dusty, as Tully and Arn hold off Sting. Since Sting and Nikita would be challenging Tully and Arn at the Bash, Nikita (now fresh off a clean win rather than beat up post match) could run down to help Sting and you go off the air with Sting and Nikita brawling with Tully and Arn and Barry with the bloody claw hold on Dusty.

Thatís my 2-Cents,
Lance Storm