Clash of the Champions XXII
December 04, 2014
Clash XXII was held on January 13, 1993 from Milwaukee Wisconsin and drew the second lowest Clash TV rating of all time a 2.9. The show started at a horrifying 2.2 but grew to a 3.7 for the Main Event of the show. Doing commentary were Jim Ross and Jesse Ventura, and according to Wikipedia this was JR's last Clash event before leaving to join the WWF. I'll be curious how commentary goes moving forward without the Jim Ross calling the action. As usual JR and Ventura were very good on this show.
There were some real logic holes in the booking of this show which is a bit surprising because it was a Bill Watts show. Van Hammer who was to appear twice on this show, first in an arm wrestling match and then in the Thunder Cage main event, was injured. They announced at the start of the show that Tony Atlas would replace him in the Arm Wrestling match, but that the Baby Face team in the main event would have to compete with the man short disadvantage. WTH? If you can replace him in the one match why can't you replace him in the other? To make it worse we also got a video package explaining that earlier the Heel team had lost a man and they did a match to pick a replacement. WTH? The heels replaced an injured guy but the faces can't? So with a 4 on 3 advantage mid show the heels do a promo where they turn on one of their guys (The Barbarian) and beat him down, thus giving up the man advantage and making the match 3 on 3. There is more. Right before the main event there is an in ring promo segment where Vader (on the Heel team) ends up in a brawl with Ron Simmons (on the Face team) and Simmons ends up laid out and unable to compete in the Main Event. So our 4-4 Main Event becomes a 3-2. Perhaps there was a 24 hr no replacements stipulation in this match that wasn't explained. Erik Watts was also scheduled on the show but due to a "suspension" was replaced in his match, against Cactus Jack.
Cactus Jack vs. Johnny B. Badd: This match was less than 3 minutes and wasn't much of anything. Badd missed a sunset flip off the top rope and Cactus pinned Badd.
Too Cold Scorpio vs. Scotty Flamingo: Flamingo would later become Raven and watching him do this gimmick is so entertaining in hindsight. The match was just over 4 minutes so it wasn't much Scorpio did some nice moves and the pre match music video for Scorpio was amazingly cheesy and great.
Chris Benoit vs. Brad Armstrong: I've mentioned before that I find it hard to watch Benoit matches now, and if I wasn't running on the treadmill while I watched this show I would have forwarded through it. It was 9 minutes of good wrestling with Benoit winning with a Dragon Suplex out of nowhere.
Up next we got a Smokey Mountain Wrestling video package promoting Jim Cornette's SMW company and the fact that the Rock & Roll Express (The SMW Tag Champs) would be on the next WCW PPV event. This was a huge deal at the time. Later this same year Cornette would get SMW and the Rock & Roll Express on WWF TV as well.
Vinnie Vegas vs. Tony Atlas (Arm Wrestling): This was pretty long and pretty bad. There at least would have been an angle to increase interest if Hammer was in this but, this was just 2 heels working a really long arm wrestling contest.
The Wrecking Crew vs. Johnny Gunn & Z-Man: I think everyone in this match was pretty green, except Zenk, So this wasn't all that good. It only went 6 minutes and the Crew picked up the win. Gunn would later become Salvator Sincere in WWE and watching him work here I was reminded so much of Johnny Ace during his Dynamic Dudes days and how he moved. You can decide for yourself if I mean that as a compliment or not.
Shane Douglas & Ricky Steamboat vs. Steve Austin & Flyin' Brian (World Tag Titles): The fact that Pilman had turned heel and WCW was still billing him as Flyin' Brian rather than Brian Pillman was absurd. This was a really fun tag match and you could tell Austin had his working shoes on and was out to prove something. Lots of action, lots of tag team stuff you never see anymore because no one stays a tag team long enough, which is ironic since both of these teams were makeshift teams at this point. There was a DQ finish but it was a heated DQ finish that went somewhere. The heels were continually cheating, behind the ref's back trying to win and in a bit of a melee got caught cheating and DQ'd. It felt more honest rather than the feeling you often get now where it's done to avoid a finish. Austin got DQ'd trying to steal a finish, not purposely DQ'd to avoid one. Real great stuff here and the longest match on the show at about 15 min.
Dustin Rhodes & Sting vs. Vader, Paul Orndorff & Barry Windham (Thunder Cage): The Thunder Cage was a Hell in a Cell type cage that surrounded the ring side area as well as the ring. It didn't have a roof but was much taller and tapered in at the top to make it near impossible to climb over. This was no DQ, pinfall or submission only, but they had to obey tag team rules. It was never explain why they all obeyed the tag rules, it's not like you could be DQ'd if you didn't. Action was pretty good but the finish was weird. After maybe 10 minutes Cactus Jack ran down (he had a falling out with Vader's team shown in earlier video package) cut the lock off the cage and entered the match. He took his boot off and was nailing everyone and eventually scored the pin on Paul Orndorff to win the match for the Babyface team. Yes a guy not in the match scored the win, and since I guess substitutions were allowed at the last minute after all, why hadn't anyone tried to replace the injured parties earlier? The crowd liked it but this made virtually no sense, which Jesse Ventura continually pointed out.
If not for the last 2 matches this would have been a really bad show.
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