Clash of Champions XVI: Sept 1991
May 09, 2012
Not sure what possessed me to watch this show of all shows but I felt like watching some old wrestling and this was a shorter show that looked like it might be fun. I watched the first half of it doing cardio and the other half doing dishes and cleaning the kitchen. Because I was doing other stuff while watching I didn't take many notes but I should have more than enough to say about this not very impressive show.
I don't recall where the event was from but Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone did commentary with Eric Bischoff, Paul Heyman, and Missy Hyatt all sharing other interviewing duties. Missy was doing the female reporter goes into the male locker room gimmick, which was a big deal back then because a female sports reporter was trying to get access to the NFL locker room for post game interviews like her male co-workers. As I said this show was not very good but it was a free TV event that was designed to build and hype the Halloween Havoc PPV, and in that regard I guess it worked to some extent despite not being a very good show.
Battle Royals almost always stink and this one was no exception. The only saving grace was that at least it featured some stars. Kevin Nash was in this match doing his OZ gimmick which was atrociously bad. El Gigante picked up the here and fired up like a good babyface when he won and the crowd popped pretty big for him. This guy was so ridiculously tall, I think he was legit 4 inches taller than Kahli and at this point a virtual gymnast compared to the immobile Kahli.
"Flyin" Brian Pillman vs. Bad Street:
This match was a semi final match in a tournament to crowd a new WCW Light Heavyweight Champion. Bad Street was a masked body suited member of the Fabulous Freebirds but anyone with half a clue knew it was Brad Armstrong. Oddly enough he weighed in at 239 lbs and was classed as a light heavy weight. At WrestleMania this year The World Heavyweight Champion was billed at 210 lbs which was likely spotting him an extra 15 to 20 lbs. The match was very tame by the standards of today but a fun match just the same. Pillman did a very disastrous dive to the floor ending up face first into the guardrail and flat on the floor. Clean win for Pillman with the highflying Cross Body off the top rope.
Sting vs. Johnny B. Badd:
Sting was the US Champ but did not have his belt and this was a non-title match. Badd was of course Marc Mero and he was managed by Theodore R. Long. Mero was new and of course jacked to the gills, which was a trend on this show as they were featuring a bunch of new jacked up young guys who weren't very good. This match was one of the worst matches I've ever seen, at least on a big stage. I'm a big Sting supporter but he is not a ring general especially in 91 and Mero had no idea what he was doing out there at all. They did moves and a few spots none of which were sold or made any sense and they just kept squaring up and tying up all over again. I'm pretty sure this was a baby face match so I guess other than just "let’s do wrestling moves" they didn't bother to have a game plan. There were several botched spots including 3 attempts to get the corner spot done to set up the finish. On the second failed attempt out of the corner Mero just fell down while running. Once they finally got that spot done it was time for the finish that was either botched or just atrociously mistimed. A large box arrived on the ramp which distracted Mero who had the advantage in the match at the time. I'm not sure what was supposed to happen but he stood there forever, eventually Sting stopped selling and went over to stand beside Mero to stare at the box, eventually Sting just grabbed Mero for a really bad small package, which Mero kicked out of immediately at 3 (maybe even earlier) and Sting won. Sting looked like he thought he just had the shittiest match of his career, which I assure you he did, and looked completely pissed off. Eventually Cactus Jack jumped out of the box and attacked Sting, hitting the dreaded elbow of the second rope to the floor on Sting.
Richard Morton vs. Mike Graham:
This was the second match in the Light Heavy Weight Tournament and had no heat what so ever. I remember watching this show live and it was the first I'd ever seen or heard of Mike Graham. I don't think he'd been on TV before this, at least not recently, and he was the baby face in this match so no one cared. Richard Morton was Ricky Morton who had recently turned heel and joined the York Foundation who was headed my Alexandra York, who you likely know better as Teri Runnels or Marlena. Morton was an awesome worker and Graham was a solid wrester too but no one cared. They did stuff, and Morton picked up the win to build to Pillman vs. Morton for the Title at the PPV.
The Fabulous Freebirds vs. The Patriots:
The Freebirds were Garvin and Hayes, the veterans who knew how to work, and the Patriots were Firebreaker Chip (doing a Fireman gimmick) and Todd Champion (doing a Soldier gimmick) who were the young jacked up guys who didn't. One of these teams were the US Tag Champions but this was a Non-Title match so the Champs didn't have their belts with them. Judging by the finish I assume the Patriots were the champs, and the announcers said these guys were fighting again at the PPV in a Title match. This was a short super basic match where the Freebird looked to be keeping it as simple as possible so the other two wouldn't screw it up. Chip appeared to be the better worker on his team and was in for all but the hot tag. Champion only had to do a short hot tag and then tag out so his partner could get pinned, but he appeared to get lost a couple times even in that short period of time. So Chip had to sell during the heat and get pinned. I assume that was because Champion was taller and more jacked and in wrestling, size does matter.
Ron Simmons vs. The Diamond Studd:
The Diamond Studd was Scott Hall and my God was he huge; I think they announced him at 290 lbs. Hall was already doing the "Bad Guy" gimmick, which I thought he started in WWE but I guess not. Ron Simmons was getting the big push on this show leading to his World Title match with Lex Luger at the PPV. They had a bunch of video packages throughout the show. Match was not particularly good just a bunch of big guy offense leading to a comeback and a clean win for Ron with his shoulder tackle finisher. This was just a big win over a guy who was a similar size as Luger leading to the PPV. Not great but effective.
Terrance Taylor vs. "Heavy Metal" Van Hammer:
Terrance Taylor was Terry Taylor's heel character in the aforementioned York Foundation. He was also called the computerized man of the 1990s. York had a laptop computer at ring side and planned out his match strategy on a computer. The computer she had was a Radio Shack laptop which had a 4 line LCD screen like a calculator, which was state of the art in 1991 but a complete joke looking back today. This may have been Hammer's very first match and oh my god was he terrible, but he was jacked to the gills and as big as a house so they were pushing the hell out of him. His name was heavy metal but he had a "Flying V" electric guitar, which I remember Jericho telling me at the time no self respecting heavy metal guitarist would ever use. He appeared to have no rhythm what so ever, and Terry deserved a purple heart for even being in there with him. This was a glorified squash match where the very talented Terry Taylor had to try to get a match out of this huge green monster. Hammer hit a couple clotheslines, and body slams, and then dumped poor Terry quite badly on a face first suplex before hitting his top rope knee drop to Terry's lower back for the finish. I don't know who was running the show in WCW back then but who ever decided to give this very tall jacked up green guy a top rope knee drop for a finish was a fool. The knee was horrible and looked like crap and Terry Taylor is the bravest man I know for laying there on his stomach waiting for this man to drop a knee to his lower back from the top rope. If I were in his shoes I'd have tapped out on the tie up.
- Up next was an in ring promo by Cactus Jack who was interrupted by another large box on the ramp. I guess Abdullah the Butcher was a partner of Jack's at this time and had also jumped out of a box to attack Sting so Jack thought this was Abby coming to give him a hug (his words not mine) and proceeded to go and hug the box. Sting jumped out of the box and Cactus and Sting brawled to the back to set up their PPV match. During the brawl Sting hip tossed Jack of the ramp onto the cement floor. OUCH
Steve Austin vs. Z Man:
Austin was the TV Champ here and this was a title match so he had his title belt with him. He was managed by Lady Blossom, who may have been his wife at the time. Z Man is probably better known as Tom Zenk. Austin had hair and no knee braces. Zenk was always in shape, a good athlete, and solid worker so this was a solid match and probably the best match on the show. Austin cheated to win KOing Zenk with brass knuckles. Nothing outstanding but a solid wrestling match which I enjoyed. I was always a big fan of Zenk's, and Austin was always good.
- Somewhere earlier in the show Bill Kazmire came out to set a World Strength record, bending a steel rod. I think it may have even been legit; Kazmire was incredibly huge and did legit World Strongest Man competitions back then. After he set the record Arn Anderson and Larry Zbysko ran in and hit him in the ribs with a 45 lbs steel plate they had sitting in the ring. Injuring him before their main event title match. No idea why the 45 lbs plate was out there but it made a convenient weapon.
- Before the Main Event there was a contract signing for the PPV Main Event World Title match between Lex Luger and Ron Simmons. There was a brawl between the two with Luger running away and Simmons chasing him out of the building.
Anderson & Zbyzko vs. Rick Steiner & Bill Kazmire:
This match was to crown New World Tag Team Champions, and Bill was all tapped up and competed in this match against doctor's orders. Rick tried to work the whole match doing a virtual handi-capped match against Arn and Larry. All three of these guys are good so the match was as good as it could be telling the 1 on 2 story. Rick refused to tag out trying to go it alone to save his injured partner from having to get in the ring. Eventually Rick bumped near his corner and Bill tagged himself in blowing a brief comeback before getting blindsided in the ribs one more time leading to him getting pinned. So Arn and Larry collectively known as The Enforcers became World Tag Team Champs and cut a post match promo, which was quiet good to close the show.
There were a lot of dreadful matches on this show but at least most of what they did made sense and built to the PPV. Out of this show they built: Pillman vs. Morton for the Light Heavyweight Title, US Tag Team rematch after the challengers beat the champs, Sting vs. Cactus Jack, as well as build Ron Simmons really strong going into his Title match with Luger. They also teased Barry Windham vs. Steve Austin in the Battle Royal which may have been a PPV match. So not a great show, but standards were lower back then and the show was likely fairly successful at promoting the PPV.
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