Clash of the Champions IX

October 11, 2014

Clash IX was titled New York Knockout and took place on November 15, 1989 from Troy, NY. They drew 4000 fans and a 4.9 rating on TBS, both were an improvement over the previous Clash. Jim Ross and Gordon Solie did commentary for the event.

This event was to build the Starrcade Future Shock PPV, which featured a 4 man single's round robin tournament and a 4 team tag team round robin tournament. I'm pretty sure the PPV was a big failure but this event did a good job of building it up. I was a fan and watched this show live back then and I remember being quite jacked for most of the matches this PPV tournament would present.

The Freebirds vs. The Road Warriors: This was a very short matched that ended in a pretty lame DQ. After the Birds cut off Animal they double teamed him for a while before Hawk just threw the referee out of the way to help his partner and the Roadies beat up the Freebirds until they fled. This seemed really stupid watching it, because The Road Warriors were in the Future Shock tournament and the Freebirds weren't so I didn't understand why the Road Warriors didn't just get the clean win. According to Wikipedia this was due to a TNA Bound for Glory type snafu, where WCW had already taped the title switch where the Steiners had won the tag titles from the Freebirds but it hadn't aired yet. WCW didn't want to acknowledge the switch so they couldn't pin the Freebirds, but since people who had attended the TV taping might see this show, they just never acknowledged anyone as champ. Not particularly good.

Doom vs. Eddie Gilbert & Tommy Rich: This was exactly what is should have been. Doom was going to Future Shock and was a relatively new team so they picked up a fairly quick win over Rich and Gilbert. Woman was managing Doom and she was more the focus than they were.

The Midnight Express vs. The Dynamic Dudes: I remember this match well because it was a time where the Midnight Express were babyfaces and Jim Cornette was not only their manager but he was also mentoring the Dynamic Dudes. There was some heat between the 2 teams and Cornette was against this match at the time and to remain neutral he refused to represent either team and vowed to sit in a neutral corner. The Express were the instigators so there was tension between Jim Cornette and the Express. As a fan of the Express I was very concerned that WCW was going to split them from Cornette and put him with the Dudes. The match was good and the finish was great. Anyone today that wants to book a swerve, needs to watch this finish to see how it's supposed to be done. Throughout the match it becomes clear that the Express have reverted back to their old ways and were indeed turning heel. At the end the match everything breaks loose and the ref gets distracted.

At this point 2 things happen: Bobby Eaton wraps a chain around his fist preparing to knock Shane Douglas out, and Jim Cornette gets out of his seat and starts making his way around the ring. At the time it appears Jimmy is going to stooge of Bobby or at least try to stop Bobby from cheating. Before Cornette has a chance to do anything (this is key) Bobby tried to hit Shane with the chain but Shane ducked, back dropping Eaton who dropped the chain. Shane sees the Chain but Cornette slides in the ring to grab the chain, and looks at Shane with a "You don't need to stoop to their tactics, just go get him" apparently siding with the Dudes. Shane steps past Cornette to get Bobby and as soon as his back is to Cornette, Cornette whacks him from behind with the tennis racket, swerving everyone and siding with The Express. Bobby pins Shane for the win. The only down fall to this angle was that like me, most fans in NY preferred the Midnight Express to the Dynamic Dudes so this devious act resulted in a huge pop.

If this finish was to be booked today, or say in 2000 WCW, the writers would have had Cornette get in the ring to stop Bobby from using the Chain, thus establishing that he was in fact siding with the Dudes, and then whack Douglas in the back with the racket for the Swerve, which is of course completely stupid and pointless. Why would JC stop the Express from winning with a foreign object just to use a foreign object to help them win? Not only is that idiotic, it also makes Jim's turn pointless because if he'd have just sat in his chair the match would have ended the same way.

When I thought JC was a good guy, I assumed he was getting up out of his chair to stop Bobby from cheating, when he grabbed the chain, I assumed it was to stop Shane from taking the short cut he was mad at Bobby for trying. Now that I know he was a heel, I realize that he was up out of his chair to help distract Shane so Bobby could hit him, or to be ready to draw the ref should Stan not be able to hold him long enough. When the chain was loose in the ring Cornette grabbed it to avoid Shane getting the advantage by using it. Everything was explainable. I'd be willing to bet Cornette was a big part of putting this finish together because, you know, everything made sense.

Steve Williams vs. The Super Destroyer: Just a straight up squash match That Dr. Death won in under 2 minutes. The Super Destroyer was a masked body suit guy, once again played by Jack Victory.

The Steiners vs. The Skyscrapers: This match was pretty much just 6 minutes of action leading to a mass run in and a DQ. Doom ran in first to attack the Steiners, which was the heated angle, to lead to the DQ then the Road Warriors made the save leading to a huge melee between the 4 teams in the Future Shock tournament. The crowd was going bat shit crazy for this so it was a great way to build to the PPV. There was a post brawl promo with the Steiners and the Road Warriors & Paul Ellering that had me as a fan, marking out big time for Future Shock.

Lex Luger vs. Brian Pillman (US Title): I really enjoyed this match. Luger was actually a pretty solid worker back then and they called this match out there and it was really enjoyable to watch. There was a ref bump and Luger KO'd Pillman with a chair to pick up the win. Luger was going on to Starrcade and Pillman wasn't so he needed the win and they obviously wanted to protect Pillman.

Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk (I Quit): I remember thinking this match was great, and it 100% lived up, this was awesome. They did exactly what they should have done, there weren't a bunch of wrestling spots, none of the standard Ric Flair spots, this was just 2 men going to the ring to beat the holy hell out of each other. Jim Ross was awesome here and this match felt so important. Flairs' chops sounded like gun shots, and this was such a great epic fight. The reason this was great was that like the Midnight Express match they got the finish right. An I Quit match is suppose to be a blow off match; a match that has to have a clean decisive winner to once and for all settle the score. We didn't get a pre-recorded I Quit to screw someone on the finish, we got Ric Flair beating Terry Funk down, putting him in the figure 4, and Terry Funk saying I Quit, to once and for all end this feud.

After the match Muta and the Dragon Master hit the ring to attack Flair, leading to Sting and Luger also hitting the ring. In the end Muta and Luger beat down Sting and Flair generating a lot of heat heading into Starrcade. Crowd was super hot so this should have been very effective in building to the PPV. I really enjoyed this show.

Lance


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