Clash of the Champions XXV
December 14, 2014
Clash XXV was held in St. Petersburg, Florida on November 10, 1993. It was a loaded show with 5 of the 7 matches on the card being Title matches. The event drew 6000 people, but only 1700 of those were paid. Kids were all let in free and I would suspect additional tickets were given away as well because nearly 3/4s of the crowd got in free. The show pulled a 3.3 rating on TBS which was also considered a disappointment. Despite this being a loaded show I didn’t think it was very good. All of the matches were short and many of them hat flat or outright annoying finishes.
Rick Rude vs. Road Warrior Hawk (International World Title): This match was pretty bad. Having a supposed World Title in the opener doesn't help, but this only went 6 mins and had a flat poorly executed double count out finish. According to the Wrestling Observer Hawk had a blown out knee at the time, which explains the lack of action, but wow this was slow, uneventful, and with the finish just a complete waste, which is a shame because I generally like both guys.
The Equalizer vs. The ShockMaster: Somewhere between the last Clash and this show ShockMaster transitioned from being a guy in a Bedazzled Stormtrooper Helmet who tripped and fell flat on his face, to a guy in a Construction outfit, who's matches fall flat on their face. This match was just terrible, the only good thing you can say about it is that it was only 2 1/2 mins long. ShockMaster picked up the win with a "Bear Hug Slam" that was so bad. He had the Equalizer up in a bear hug, and then drops to his knees, and then leaned forward placing Equalizer on the mat. There was absolutely no impact from the move to the Equalizer, followed by a cover with no weight on his shoulders, we even got a slow motion replay to emphasize the fact that there was no impact to this move what so ever.
Lord Steven Regal vs. Johnny B. Badd (TV Title): This match was fine but it only went a little over 6 mins. There was some good wrestling early, which should surprise no one in a Steven Regal match. The finish was just so out of nowhere it came off a bit flat. There was some wrestling, then there was the finish and that was it. Badd hits a KO punch out of nowhere that knocks Regal completely dead, but when he pinned him Sir William (Lord Regal's manager) puts his foot on the rope. While Badd complained to the ref, his Lordship rolled him up and pinned him with a handful of tights.
Steve Austin vs. Brian Pillman: This was the breakup of the Hollywood Blondes, you know because they were such an awesome team and others in WCW didn't like that. This was by far the best match on the show, but it needed twice as much time as it got. They went just under 10 minutes, but it was non-stop action for all of that time. Austin picked up the win after Col. Parker (Austin's manager) tripped Pillman on an Air Pillman springboard attempt and Pillman crashed face first into the mat. With 20 minutes this could have been awesome, but with 9+ it was just really good.
Dustin Rhodes vs. Paul Orndorff (US Title): Dusty was out with Dustin and The Assassin was out with Orndorff. These 2 meant something in Florida but I suspect for the majority watching at home on TV didn't care much about The Assassin. It certainly didn't help that he was massively over weight and Ventura kept making fun of how fat he was, turning him into a complete joke. This was the longest match on the show going more than 12 minutes but it felt much longer. Dustin and Orndorff did very little of anything the entire match and I was getting extremely bored watching this. Rhodes eventually picked up the win with a small package. After the match we got Dusty vs. The Assassin for a brief flurry and the crowd came to life. Dusty's got charisma coming out his ass, his ears, and anywhere else it might leak out of, and the crowd ate it up. Seriously watching this, your brain sees a fat, old, white guy, who isn't a very good dancer, shaking his ass, and your heart sees an absolutely Star captivating an arena. You have to love the American Dream, when people talk about the "it" factor they are talking about what Dusty Rhodes has. The post match was 100 times better than the match.
The Nasty Boys vs. Sting & Davey Boy Smith (Tag Team Titles): Missy Hyatt was managing the Nasty Boys, so if there was ever a Rose between two thorns analogy in wrestling this was it. This match was more an angle to set up Davey Boy vs. Rude than a match for the Tag Titles so this wasn't really very good. Rick Rude attacked Davey before the match and gave him the Rude Awakening on the ramp. Davey sold this huge, so the first half of the match was Sting going it alone while Davey sat on the apron selling. Sting proceeded to beat the hell out of both Nasty Boys, which in my opinion really buried the tag champs. The Nasty Boys eventually cut Sting off but before too long Sting tagged Davey in, who had recovered enough to stand and then he single headedly destroyed the Nasty Boys. Sags eventually dropped an elbow off the top rope to the back of Davey's neck, while he was pinning Nobbs (The ref was with Sting) allowing Nobbs to pin Davey. If this match made you want to see Rude vs. Smith then it accomplished something but it sure didn't help the Nasty Boys any.
Vader vs. Ric Flair (WCW Title): This match felt to me like it was joined in progress, but it wasn't. After the ring introductions we went to break and when we came back Flair had bumped Race (Vader's manager) and put him in the figure 4. Vader then splashes Flair to start the match. With Vader now beating up Flair it felt like this should have been where we'd be if it was the 15-20 minute mark of a great World Title match. Unfortunately it was the 1 minute mark. We then got 9 minutes which were good, but didn't feel right because there hadn't been enough of a battle to this point for me to be fully invested. We then got a ref bump (never a good sign). Vader missed a moonsault and Flair made the cover. The ref crawled over, appearing to count to three while crawling, and the bell rings. Flair celebrates like he just won the title, but of course the ref tears the belt away from Flair and the match is announced a DQ because Vader was the one who hit the ref for the ref bump. Flair won by DQ and thus did not win the title. We then got a post match Brawl when Austin hit the ring leading to a challenge for WCW Saturday night where we would get Austin & Vader vs. Flair & Sid. Yup, a 9 minute World Title match, with a Dusty finish, to set up a tag match for the Saturday night TV show; pretty disappointing.
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