Clash of the Champions XIII
October 24, 2014
Clash XIII Thanksgiving Thunder took place on November 20, 1990 from Jacksonville, Florida. The event drew 5000 fans live and a 4.2 rating on TBS. A 4.2 was a huge drop from the 5.0 the previous Clash pulled. I suspect the significant drop was due to how bad that last Clash actually was, and since this one was far worse I suspect that the next Clash's rating will also be down. I went and looked and yes it does, dropping to 3.9 the worst rating since Clash VII 19 months earlier.
This was by far the worst Clash to date, and I find it hard to believe they will be able to do one that is worse. Holy crap this show stunk. There were 11 matches with only one going longer than 6 minutes. This show featured a bunch of never seen before talent who I can only assume were green and cheap. There were more than a half dozen guys on this show that had no business being in WCW let alone featured on national television. Whoever put this show together should be ashamed of themselves.
On commentary we had Jim Ross and Paul E. Dangerously (Paul Heyman), with Tony Schiavone doing interviews back stage, with an occasional Missy Hyatt cut in plugging the weekend TBS shows. During one of Missy's cut ins, about 2/3rds of the way into this show, she promoted a WCW Saturday Night match between Arn Anderson and Terry Taylor and I could not help but think I would have rather seen that match than anything on this show.
The Freebirds vs. The Southern Boys: Yes for the third Clash in a row we get the same match. Like the previous Clash this was originally supposed to be a 6 man match but this time Bobby Eaton was to be the Bird's 3rd man and El Gigante was to team with the Southern Boys. El Gigante wasn't there and the Freebirds did a pre-match promo claiming they had stuffed the 7' 7" Gigante into a box and shipped him back to Argentina. Since the Freebirds took responsibility for his absence the referee determined that they shouldn't get the man advantage and sent Bobby Eaton to the back to make this a straight tag team match. So yes this show was filled with no talent stiffs and Bobby Eaton was in the building, in his gear, and not used! This right here should be grounds for dismissal for any booker. I need to also mention that The Freebirds were accompanied to ring side by Little Richard Marley (Rocky King) who was introduced as their #1 Roadie and Best Friend. It felt odd to me that in this battle of the South, the heels would be accompanied to the ring by a small black dude who was their lackey. Match was less than 5 minutes but was likely as good as you can get in 4:50. Freebirds picked up the win thanks to LRM's help from the outside. A promo would be cut later in the show making it clear this feud would continue.
Brian Pillman vs. Buddy Landel: This was the second longest match on the show going 5:52. Pillman did a few nice moves and picked up the win. It was fine but hard to care much about a 6 min match.
Big Cat vs. Brad Armstrong: Big Cat is likely better known as Mr. Hughes from his time in WWE. He was very green here but Brad Armstrong was able to carry him to an acceptable 4:31 squash. Sadly Cat was squashing Brad not the other way around. Big Cat was moving up to challenge Lex Luger so he beat Armstrong with Luger's Torture Rack submission. For some reason Ross made a big deal out of the fact that Armstrong never submitted, and the referee had stopped the match, very adamantly stating the Brad Armstrong would never quit. Not sure why they were protecting a guy they beat all the time.
The Z Man vs. Brian Lee: I think this was just a one shot for Prime Time Brian Lee, who would later be a star in Jim Cornette's SMW as well as a brief run in WWE as the fake Undertaker. Thankfully Zenk picked up the win, but the only thing anyone would remember of this match was an absurdly missed cross body spot by Zenk. Lee took the world's highest hiptoss and was no doubt supposed to feed up in the middle of the ring to catch Zenk who would leap to the top rope with his back to the ring and do a big dive back into a cross body. Unfortunately Zenk went straight into the dive without double checking that Lee was in position so when Zenk did this super impressive high dive back cross body, Lee was still in the far corner selling the hip toss, so Zenk looked like an idiot. I felt so bad for Zenk, who no doubt was used to working with people you could count on to be in position without having to double check but Brian Lee was no such person. I worked with Lee a fair bit in SMW in 1994 and even with 4 years more experience he was notorious for forgetting spots. Match went 3:10
Michael Wallstreet vs. The Starblazer: Michael Wallstreet was the repackaged Mike Rotunda who had apparently just inherited a bunch of money and was now rich. Such a shame he wasn't still Captain Mike the Sailor as he could have used said money to buy a nice yacht. He had Alexandra York (Teri Runnells) as his new personal assistant. The gimmick was that she had a laptop computer and would use it to process data and come up with infallible game plans for Wallstreet. The laptop was a Radio Shack laptop, which may have been state of the art at the time but had a 4 line LCD display, and was little more than a big calculator by today's standards. Wallstreet while a very solid worker was not a particularly exciting guy to watch so with Starblazer being not much more than a generic masked jobber this match was a pretty bland 4 mins.
Kruger & DeKlerk vs. The Beast & Kaluha: At Starrcade they were doing an International Tag Team Tournament and this match was the African qualifying match. I'm not sure why the African Continent could only submit one team; perhaps WCW didn't realize Africa wasn't actually a Country. DeKlerk & Kruger were white guys build from South Africa and Beast and Kaluha were black dudes billed simply from Africa, furthering my theory that WCW did not know that Africa is a Continent full of many Countries. One of the white guys was actually Ted Petty of Public Enemy fame and despite being a heel in this match decided to execute a bunch of really clumsy looking flips in this extremely bad match. The white guys beat the black guys in this apartheid battle, and while that may not have been the politically correct choice, Beast & Kaluha were absolutely terrible and should not have been on this show let alone advancing to Starrcade. Match was less than 5 minutes and probably made most of the crowd watching at home rethink their intentions of purchasing Starrcade.
Lex Luger vs. The Motor City Madman: This match went 2:34 and likely felt like the longest match of Lex Luger's life. MCMM was a huge, not in particularly good shape dude, that was terrible. He went up like he weighed a 1000 lbs on a suplex by Lex and when Luger Body Slammed him it was clear he had no idea how to take a body slam and went up with both arms held out straight like he was pretending to be an air plane, no doubt going up more like a tank than a plane for poor Lex. Luger eventually just hit a clothesline and won, and he could not get out of the ring fast enough after picking up his win. I don’t think we ever saw MCMM again, and I doubt anyone was upset about this fact. Sadly this was not the worst match on this show.
The Renegade Warriors vs. The Nasty Boys: Not much to this match good or bad. Stuff happened for 4:49 until the Steiners ran in for the DQ to beat up the Nasty Boys and send them packing. If memory serves these two teams had some good slobber knocker style matches during this feud.
Sid Vicious vs. The Nightstalker: This was not only the worse match on this show; it may in fact be the worst match of all time. It's certainly the worst match involving two guys who were actually big stars at one point. Everyone knows Sid and the Nightstalker was Bryan Clarke who would go on to be Adam Bomb in WWE, and one half of the tag team Kronik in WCW. Coincidently enough Kronik is well known for having one of the worst matches in WWE history in a infamous tag match vs. Undertaker and Kane, in which they were both fired immediately afterwards. Clarke was maybe 1 year into the business at this point and was no doubt booked because it was 6' 8" and 320 lbs, because in 1990 that was pretty much all he brought to the table. The match lasted 3:30 and was God Awful, featuring primarily a test of strength and several bear hugs. During all of these "power" moves you could see both men talk to each other at length. I have no idea what they were talking about. Surely they weren't calling spots, this match didn't feature any. Sid looked like Ric Flair compared to The Nightstalker here and believe me Sid is no Ric Flair. Seriously Clarke could not even run ropes; if he'd attending more than 1 or 2 wrestling lessons at this point in his career he deserved his money back. Finish was even worse as it involved the giant battle axe Stalker brought to the ring with him. Big Cat came out to attack Sid (I guess, not sure why though, he'd done a promo about wanting a match with Lex Luger earlier) When Sid was distracted by Cat, Stalker grabbed the axe and tried to hit Sid with the flat side of it. Sid moved, Stalker dropped the Ax, Sid picked up the ax, but because Stalker was crowding him so badly in the corner, rather than hitting Stalker with the Ax, he placed it against Stalker's chest (flat side to him of course) and shoved him. Stalker took the only bump of the match and was pinned, yes pinned by a shove. The ref saw all of this and of course the Cat stood there and watched the pin fall.
Before we get to the Main Event we get a Danger Zones segment where Paul E. Dangerously would host Sting in what was billed as a face to face confrontation with the Black Scorpion. If you are unfamiliar with the Black Scorpion angle go read my review of Clash XII. While Sting was being interviewed by Paul E. the Black Scorpions music played and the masked Black Scorpion appeared on the ramp and his demonic voice billowed over the building sound system. The Scorpion on the stage had to try to mouth the words along with the voice over the PA so fans might think it was actually him talking. He did a far worse job than Damien Mizdow does during his stunt double skits with The Miz. The Black Scorpion announces that he is going to demonstrate his Black Magic. Yes we were to believe that this man had REAL magical powers and would somehow utilize them to beat Sting for the WCW World Title (I have no idea why Sting failed to draw as Champion for WCW). The Black Scorpion then grabbed a guy from the crowd at ring side and pulled him up onto the stage with him and placed a box with one open side on top of his head. The box must have been a tight fit on this terrified fan because the Black Scorpion then started turning the box and spun the open side with the man's face showing all the way around the guys body and back to the front. He then pulled the box off the man's head and the poor guy sold both panic and disbelief that his head was still attached to his body. He proceeded to do a couple more magic tricks, before the poor Stinger could take no more and hit the stage. Sadly Sting was too late and the Black Scorpion disappeared into a puff of smoke. This may be the worst angle of all time, and the fact that Sting stayed over even one lick after this program is a credit to him.
Ric Flair vs. Butch Reed: This was the only really good match on the show. Reed was one half of the Tag Champs Doom, and Flair and Arn were trying to earn a tag title show with this match. A coin toss would determine which member of each team would represent each team. If Flair or Arn won they would get a tag title shot, and Teddy Long (Doom's manager) would have to be their chauffeur for a day; if a member of Doom won Flair and Arn would never get a title shot again and they would also win Flair's limo and 65 foot yacht (I hope they were friends with Captain Mike). They totally botched the coin toss. For Doom's turn Nick Patrick flipped the coin, Ron Simmons called heads, Nick immediately closed his hand after catching the coin, and asked Teddy who would be representing Doom, and Teddy said Sole Brother Butch Reed would be their representative, despite never seeing the coin, or Nick Patrick announcing whether it was heads or tails. They did the next coin toss better. Nick flipped the coin, Flair called Heads, and after catching the coin and glancing at it and closing his hand tight, so the camera couldn't see it announced that Flair would represent his team. I think both teams were heels but the crowd loved Flair and Flair ran the match as the heel so both sides got cheered half the time. Match was a solid outing that lasted over 14 minutes, but featured an overly complicated, lots of cheating style of finish, but Flair picked up the win, so we would get a Tag Title match in the future and no doubt some racially inappropriate skits with Teddy Long as Ric Flair's chauffeur. Well at least little Richard Marley would be the only black guy lackey being ordered around by 2 white dudes.
I can't believe I wrote this much about this show. I hope this review was more entertaining that this event, I can't imagine it not being. I really hope the Clash events improve moving forward or I may have to switch things up and review something else.
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