Clash of the Champions XI
October 16, 2014
Clash of Champions XI was held June 13th 1990 in Charleston, SC and was dubbed Coastal Crush. This event was to build interest in the July 7th Great American Bash PPV. The event drew 4100 people live and a 4.1 rating on TBS. The live attendance was up from the previous Clash but the rating was slightly down.
The announce team was Jim Ross and Bob Caudle which was one of my favourite combinations. I would have been just getting ready to move to Calgary to break into wrestling when this event happened so it may have been the last show I watched as strictly a fan. This was also the show were they really started the push of the face group of Lex Luger, Sting, JYD, Paul Orndorff, and El Gigante as the "Dudes with Attitudes", to combat the 4 Horsemen. I hated the name back then, and I didn't like it any better in 2014.
The Southern Boys vs. The Freebirds: Southern Boys were Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong, and the Freebirds were Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin. This was a fun little match with the Southern Boys being such tremendous 80s style fiery young baby faces. The finish was a classic old staple of the illegal heel hitting the face behind the refs back for the obvious screw job, but then the faces turn the tables cheating back while the ref is putting out the previously cheating heel. The possibly debuting Southern Boys pick up a fun win. Unbelievable fact in this match: Jim Ross pointed out the Hayes debuted at 17 and was currently in his late 20s. Late 20s? If you had asked me while watching this match I'd have placed Hayes in his late 30s early 40s. I'm not sure if it's his hairy chest, his beard, or that he'd been wrestling over a decade already but I always pegged Hayes as the salty veteran, not the 20 something young kid.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Tommy Rich: Bam Bam was managed by Sir Oliver Humperdink, who I never saw the appeal of as a manager. Tommy Rich won the match by DQ but Bam Bam got DQ'd for beating the holy hell out of Rich and breaking rules, so it was Bigelow getting the push here. Not much of a match, this was more just an introduction of Bam Bam.
Z Man & Mike Rotunda vs The Samoan Swat Team: This was just a short match where the baby faces did the illegal switch behind the refs back to win with a surprise small package. Not sure why they had the faces cheat but that's what they did. The referees were not looking very competent on this night. My favourite part of this match is that it was the first appearance on the Clashes by the newly transitioned Captain Mike Rotunda. Up until this point he was the captain of the heel Varsity Club. You know he was the varsity team captain. Well the Varsity Club had broken up leaving Rotunda a single wrestler and he kept the Captain name and I guess to justify the moniker he put an anchor on his trunk and added a cap and wind breaker, seeming becoming a sailor and the captain of his own boat.
Mean Mark vs. Flyin' Brian: Mean Mark later became the Undertaker, but back in 1990 he was just a big green red head who showed a lot of promise. Match was short but pretty decent and Mean Mark picked up the win. They were on different pages briefly in the finish but Mark quickly and calmly adjusted to reset everything up. Dude was a cool cucumber right out of the gate.
The Midnight Express vs. The Rock & Roll Express (US Tag Titles): Unlike the previous Clashes we got the authentic Midnight Express entrance music and I was marking out big time. This wasn't one of the better Express vs. Express matches, which means it was only really good, rather than utterly fantastic. I'm pretty sure Bobby Eaton got hurt on one spot, either his elbow, wrist, or perhaps a jammed thumb. Match broke down early leading to Stan Lane getting the Midnight DQ'd for interfering with the ref's count to save the titles. So far we've had 2 DQ's on the show and 2 cheating behind the ref's back finishes. Interesting start.
Somewhere in here they did an in-ring interview with the debuting El Gigante. El Gigante who was Giant Gonzales in the WWF and was so tall. I think he was a legit 7' 7" and the dude interviewing him was maybe 5' 7" so he looked absolutely huge. He did a promo in Spanish and they announced that at the Great American Bash he would make his wrestling debut in a 6-man Tag match with Paul Orndorff and JYD. Sadly JYD was challenging Ric Flair for the World Title later that night so this announcement really stooged off that JYD was not winning the World Title later that night.
Barry Windham vs. Doug Furnas: I had found memories of this match and it held up 24 years later. Doug was brand new and Windham the established Horseman veteran. This is classic booking, which always works when you have a great heel veteran to carry the match. Barry was awesome and made Doug look like a million bucks. Furnas was a phenomenal athlete and just super impressive. Looking good and strong against a main eventer like Barry gave him instant credibility and Windham pulling out the win (with his feet on the ropes) kept him strong. A great case of getting someone over being more important than just putting someone over. At one point in this match Doug took an amazing bump on a lariat from Windham.
Lex Luger vs. Sid Vicious: Sid was a Horseman here and Lex a baby face. Ole Anderson (The Horseman manager at this point) was out with Sid and led to a minor distraction leading to Lex surprising Sid with a clothesline and pining him in just 26 sec. I remember being shocked at the time, and I'm still not sure what the idea was here. I'm guessing they wanted to give Luger (one of the "Dudes with Attitudes") momentum and to protect Sid, decided to do fluke win thinking it would be less damaging that a legitimate match loss.
Doom vs. The Steiner Brothers (World tag Titles): Teddy Long was now managing Doom and they were without the masks having lost them back at Clash X I believe. This match was a lot of fun and Scotty pulled out his back flipping fall away slam that was just nuts. It looked like he landed right on his head half the time but the fact that he could do this with dudes the size of Simmons and Reed was insane. Scotty was an absolute freak athlete. They did a double pin spot where Scotty got hit with a foreign object (referred to as an "International" object because TBS had banned the word "Foreign" from their television station.) and pinned by Simmons while Rick had Reed pinned. Scotty and Simmons were legal so the ref got this one right and Doom retained the titles.
Arn Anderson vs. Paul Orndorff (Nontitle TV Title match): I enjoyed this match it was two great workers, working well. A good back and forth match where Mr. Wonderful reversed a small package to pick up the win. Again giving the Dudes with Attitude momentum going into the Main Event, and I assume also leading to a bunch of Live Event rematches for the Title on the road.
Ric Flair vs. The Junk Yard Dog (World Title): As predicted after the El Gigante int. JYD did not win the World Title and this was one of the shortest and poorest Ric Flair title matches ever. JYD was fairly over but he did not have the cardio to do a Flair calibre World Title match so, he pretty much stood still and Ric bumped all over the place for him for 6 minutes before the Horsemen simply ran in for the beat down DQ. After the healthy beat down the Dudes with Attitudes hit the ring, highlighted by the returning Sting (who had been out with a knee injury) Place went nuts for the melee, where the heels eventually fled, allowing Sting to Challenge Ric Flair to a World Title match at the Great American Bash. Flair answered the challenge by coming back out to the ring and we went off the air with Sting and Flair going at it, and Sting getting the best of the Nature Boy. I remember being pretty jacked after this show, because I was a huge Sting fan and was jacked for his big comeback.
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