Clash of the Champions XIX

November 17, 2014

Clash XIX took place June 16, 1992 from Charleston, South Carolina and was to be Round 1 in an International tournament to crown new NWA World Tag Team Champions. The previous Clash was the debut of the Kip Fry era and it appears he's already gone as Bill Watts was in charge on this show.

This show drew 4600 fans and an abysmal 2.8 rating on TBS; the lowest rated Clash event to date by a large margin. I remember being quite excited about the tournament, because of the opportunity to see a bunch of new and different international talent but the rating goes a long way in proving the age old belief that tournament don't draw, personal issues and feuds draw.

To make matters worse this tournament was for the NWA Tag Team Titles, not to be confused with the WCW Tag Team Titles. It wasn't all that long ago that WCW pulled out of the NWA and stopped calling their titles NWA titles, but I think most fans still considered them one in the same so now acknowledging them as separate entities seemed a bit confusing. They even mentioned that New Japan was doing a tournament to crown an NWA Heavyweight Champ as well. This lead to a real confusing time in WCW when they had both a WCW World Champ and an NWA World Champ on their shows, and in my opinion only really accomplished making both champs mean less.

Jim Ross and Jesse Ventura called the action, with Missy Hyatt, Eric Bischoff, and Magnum TA doing backstage stuff mainly standing in front of the tournament bracket board, which they did a very poor job of showing. For the most part the Teams were introduced as representing specific Countries, but there were a few mixed Country Teams, and the Malenkos while getting (I believe) a Hungarian flag on their graphic were introduced representing Europe. I was reminded of the last tag tournament we had where the one team was announced from Africa. Not very specific, perhaps the WCW staff needed a geography lesson.

Ricky Steamboat & Nikita Koloff vs. Joe & Dean Malenko: I really enjoyed this because we got to see the very different style of the Malenkos. Dean was better suited to work with Ricky and Nikita and while very small by 92 standards, looked great. Dean threw a very swet drop kick at one point. This wasn't long and I don't think the crowd cared much about the unknown Malenko duo but I enjoyed it. Nikita picked up the win for his team.

Rick Rude & Steve Austin vs. Z-Man & Marcus Bagwell: Rude and Austin were part of the Dangerous Alliance and had Madusa out there with them. Rude appeared to be in a real foul mood in this match and didn't sell a damn thing for anybody. Austin gave Z-Man a bit but Bagwell was very green and Rude seemed determined to eat this guy's lunch, and Rude did not go away hungry. Rude & Austin picked up the win to advance.

Terry Gordy & Steve Williams vs. Larry & Jeff O'Day: Doc & Gordy were billed from Japan and the O'Days were a father and son combo from Australia. Doc & Gordy killed these two dudes, including Gordy giving the Dad a Back Drop Driver right on his head. Total squash.

It was announced that the Puerto Rican team that was supposed to face the Steiners were in some kind of "accident" and would not be able to compete tonight. Doc & Gordy came out making it very clear they were the accident that had sent the Puerto Ricans to the Hospital and suggested that since they would face the Steiners in the 2nd Round now that they got a default win over the Puerto Ricans, why not just do that match tonight. The officials had no comment and we were left not knowing what was going to happen.

Bobby Eaton & Arn Anderson vs. Dustin Rhodes & Barry Windham: This was a great wrestling match that was so much fun. Dustin was a lot greener here obviously but he's always been good and when he is the worst guy in a match you know it's going to be damn good. This match really helped the show because there were a few lopsided matches as well as bad style clashes. Dustin scored the upset win to advance his team.

The Freebirds vs. The Silver Kings: The Silver Kings were from Mexico and were Silver King & El Texano. I'm not sure why they made them both be Silver Kings. They also wore what I would describe as Western outfits, which seemed odd. This was one of the worst style mismatches I've ever seen. Michael Hayes is great at a lot of things, but Lucha's not one of them. Holy Christ this was bad and both Garvin and Hayes had the look of "Get me out of here" the whole match. I've seen some Mexican stuff with both Silver King and Texano and they are both great but these 2 teams could not work together. Hayes took some of the worst bumps (I use that word very loosely here) for the King's drop kicks and spin kicks. The finish was about the only thing that went well because it required Hayes to accidently hit Garvin and the Silver Kings to crash into each other on a dive spot, so the right guys were finally working with each other. After that Hayes rolled one guy in and hit a small package to end this match.

Jushin Liger & Brian Pillman vs. Chris Benoit & Beef Wellington: As I've mentioned before I don't like watching Benoit matches anymore but since I was doing cardio I didn't fast forward through this match, just had a hard time paying attention to it. All 4 of these guys were former Stampede Wrestling guys and sadly Liger is the only one still alive. The match was just jam packed with big moves and constant dives to the floor, and was pretty exciting. Beef must have gotten hurt leading to the finish because he missed an English style dropkick off the top rope and never seemed willing to take another bump after that. Liger tried to bump him twice to set up the finish and he went up like a ton of bricks and never left his feet. Liger won with a moonsault, and Beef did not get up immediately after the finish.

Akira Nogami & Hiro Hase vs. The Headhunters: Unfortunately these weren't the big high flying twin Headhunters that later worked in ECW. These guys were total jobbers in black and white masked body suits billed from the Dominican Republic. Ventura speculated that perhaps they thought the US only had black and white TV and dressed appropriately (I laughed). The Japanese guys who were both great picked up the win, but not in as dominate a fashion as they should have.

I guess that would have been your scheduled Main Event had the Puerto Ricans not ended up getting sent to the hospital because the Steiners match was scheduled earlier. Wow what a crap ending to a show that would have been. Thankfully Bill Watts came out and cut a great promo making the NWA board the heels and WCW the baby faces saying that the NWA insisted the Doc & Gordy match against the Steiners remain on the Great American Bash PPV event as originally scheduled, but Watts insisted the fans deserve at least their money's worth and whenever possible more than their money's worth so he asked both teams if they were willing to "Hook Em Up" right now and they both said yes, so we got the first 2nd match of the Steiners vs. Doc and Gordy as our Main Event.

This was such a great illustrated of a point I tried to make to a couple of the writers in WWE when I was there. I used to get frustrated when they booked those promo segments where guys would challenge to have a match "Right Now" only to have a heel authority figure come out and explain that we aren't giving that match away for free, it will take place "This Sunday on PPV". I know it gets heat on the heel figure but to me it was always a slap in the face to fans. Why tease that they are going to get this great match, make them super excited, and then slap them in the face and make them disappointed. Even if the overall show is great they are going to go home with a "We got screwed, and didn't get what we wanted" feeling. I always felt the idea was to make fans feel they got more than they expected going in, not less than they hoped for. I guess Bill Watts agrees with me.

The Steiners vs. Terry Gordy & Steve Williams: This match was so amazing. Up until this point in WCW The Steiners had just been eating guys for breakfast and doing so in a way that made it look like they were taking liberties too. Doc and Gordy had a rep (a deserved one) as 2 bad ass dudes that had been running rough shot in All Japan. I for one was jacked to see these 4 men square off. This match was done so well, and they made it feel so much more real than all the other matches on this show. They did not appear to be fully co-operating and because of that it was so great. This was Men Fightin!!! Doc & Gordy got the upset win after working over Scotty's knee and a chop block from behind by the illegal guy. This became such a hot feud.

The rest of the tournament took place at the great American Bash PPV. Doc and Gordy won the WCW Tag Titles before the PPV and won the NWA Tournament, beating Windham & Rhodes, to capture and unify both Tag Team Titles. I enjoyed the show but I doubt anything but hardcore wrestling fans would have.


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