Clash of the Champions XXIII
December 08, 2014
Clash XXIII was held June 16, 1993 from Norfolk, Virginia. They drew a 6000 fans live (mostly papered unfortunately) and a 2.6 rating on TBS the lowest Clash rating of all time. This event also marked the departure of Jim Ross who left to join the WWF and the return of Ric Flair from the WWF. Flair's first match back however did not help this events drawing power.
With Jim Ross out of the picture we had Tony Schiavone and Jesse Ventura doing commentary. I think Tony is quite good on commentary but no one is Jim Ross and Ventura didn't feel like he was putting the same effort he did with Ross. I'm not sure if that is a reflection of his opinion of Tony or a reflection of his opinion of the abysmal state of WCW at this time.
Ron Simmons vs. Dick Slater: Wow if you thought Ron got the short end of the booking pencil as World Champ here he is the first Clash after losing the title in the opener. This was originally scheduled to be Simmons vs. Orndorff for the TV Title but Mr. Wonderful was injured so Ron faces Dick Slater in a fairly pointless match. This was not particularly good, and if you had just watched this match and I told that Simmons was the former World Champ, there is no way you'd believe me. Ron wins with a power slam out of nowhere in 7:35.
Lord Steven Regal vs. Marcus Bagwell: Bagwell is still pretty green but jacked to the freakin gills. A lot of good mat work here from his Lordship. Not a lot to the match it only went 5 minutes and was really just an introduction to the highly skilled Steven Regal who picked up the win.
Max Payne vs. Johnny B. Bad: Before the match there was a promo where Payne who had stolen Badd's "Bad Blaster" (Confetti gun) said he was going to give it back. When Badd came out to retrieve his gun, Payne shot the gun into Badd's face leading to Badd needing medical attention and Payne winning the match by forfeit. The Z-Man ran out to attack Payne, which led to a brief brawl where Payne eventually took Z-Man down with his PayneKiller submission hold (Fujiwara Armbar). Poor Z-Man doing a job in a match he isn't even in.
Barry Windham vs. 2 Cold Scorpio (NWA Heavyweight Title): This was during that awkward time when WCW had both the WCW World Title and the NWA World Title, so neither title meant as much as it should have. This was a huge step up for Scorpio and I don't think the crowd bought him at this level yet. This was a slow deliberate match mostly controlled by Windham. When Scorpio did finally get his comeback and he started hitting all of his cool moves for near falls the crowd did go completely crazy, making this match feel better than it actually was. For a largely papered crowd they were really hot. Barry retained the title in 12:45
Vader, Vicious, Rude vs. Sting, Davey Boy, Dustin Rhodes: This started off really good and was quite exciting with the good guys dominating for a long time. Eventually they cut off Dustin but shortly after that it turned into a bit of a cluster with a big brawl leading to Dustin getting hit in the head with a briefcase and pinned. No hot comeback for the baby face and no real near falls. Match went 14 min.
Steve Austin & Brian Pillman vs. Ric Flair & Arn Anderson (World Tag Titles 2 of 3 Falls): Austin and Pillman were collectively known and the Hollywood Blondes here and they were the heels. The commentators referenced some "Flair for the Old" segments the Blondes had done making fun of Ric and Arn parodying the classic "Flair for the Gold" segments. This match was so f'n fantastic. If you want to see pro-wrestling done right go watch this match. The crowd loved Flair & Anderson, Pillman and Austin busted their asses, this was just text book perfect pro-wrestling. It wasn't about moves; it was about energy, and hatred and kicking someone's ass. I may have said this already but this was awesome. Flair picked up the first fall and as they went to commercial break Michael Buffer mistakenly announced that the match was over and Ric and Arn were the new champs (oops). The second fall ended in a DQ when Barry Windham ran in to attack Ric Flair. While this was a real disappointment Flair and Windham did a big pull apart as the show went off the air, assuming building to a NWA Title match down the road. Since the second fall was a DQ the Blondes retained the titles.
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