WCW Clash of the Champions XXII
January 13, 1993
Commentators: Jim Ross & Jesse Ventura
Bill Watts is interviewed by Tony Schiavone, and Watts explains that Van Hammer had to be replaced in the arm wrestling contest due to an injury, and Erik Watts was suspended due to an altercation with Arn Anderson.
Larry Zbyszko interviewed Erik Watts who stated that the accusations against him were false.
Cactus Jack vs. Johnny B. Badd
Alas, we do not get to see Cactus Jack win the bounty on Erik Watts. Instead, we get treated to a fast, but decent match between Cactus Jack and Johnny B. Badd. Badd attempts to out wrestle Cactus, but Cactus uses pure strength and brawling to keep in it. Cactus sells really well for Badd and makes all his punches look like they’re causing huge damage, so props to Cactus there.
The end comes when Cactus dives out of the way of a flip by Badd, and Cactus nails him with an elbow and gets the pin.
Too short to be rated anything else.
Tony announces that there is a new NWA World Heavyweight Champion – The Great Muta!
A promo airs for 2 Cold Scorpio, with him leading kids back to school, and it somehow turns into a choreographed music video. For some reason, I find it quite entertaining.
2 Cold Scorpio vs. Scotty Flamingo
It’s always interesting to see Raven play a character that is very different from his most well known character, so this match is interesting from a historical perspective for that alone.
Scorpio starts with some nice chain wrestling that included cartwheels, arm drags, and kicks. It doesn’t take long for Scorpio to fly of the apron and hit Scotty with a chop. After getting back in the ring, Scotty dropkicks him back out of the ring and then dives over the top rope onto Scorpio with a cross body.
Once back in the ring, Scotty hits Scorpio with a suplex and follows up with a chin lock. Scorpio escapes and hits some dropkicks to knock Scotty down and hits a crazy high splash from the top rope. Scott regains the advantage after Scorpio misses a splash, but loses it again after he goes for a splash. Scorpio hits a nice leg drop from the middle rope, and then follows with a 450 splash for the finish.
It would have helped if this match was longer. I was just getting into it when it was over. I would have loved to see these two get 10 or 15 minutes.
A promo airs showing how Harley Race replaced Rick Rude on his team with Paul Orndorff for the Thundercage. It also shows Cactus Jack beating up Vader, Harley Race, and Paul Orndorff with a shovel. It’s awesome.
Brad Armstrong vs. Chris Benoit
This one should be a good one. Lots of back and forth at the start with both wrestlers avoiding each others moves. Benoit goes for a powerbomb, but Armstrong reverses it into an arm drag, followed by a drop kick, and another arm drag. Nice action to open this one. Armstrong locks in an armbar, but Benoit kicks up, reverses, and gets caught with another dropkick from Armstrong, followed by an arm drag. Benoit attempts to bridge up, and succeeds in overpowering Armstrong, but it doesn’t last for long, as Armstrong reverses it and gets Benoit in an arm bar again.
Benoit gets back to his feet and him and Armstrong exchanging hammerlocks until Armstrong sends Benoit flying to the outside of the ring. Benoit gets in and an exchange of hammerlocks begins again. Benoit tries to do to Armstrong what Armstrong just did to him, but Armstrong reads it and responds with a dropkick. Lots of counters in this one. Very balanced in terms of offence, but Benoit finally gets the advantage by dumping Armstrong on the ropes before hitting a springboard clothesline from inside the ring to the outside nailing Armstrong while he was on the apron. Benoits gets back in the ring and hits his trademark clothesline followed by a snap suplex. The exchange strikes after a near fall, but Benoit puts a stop to that with a backbreaker. Benoit slams Armstrong and goes to the top rope, but Armstrong catches him. Benoit knocks him down, and goes for a flying headbutt, but Armstrong moves. Armstrong hits a swinging neckbreaker and gets a near fall. Benoit gets up and hits Armstrong with a Dragon Suplex for the pin.
Awesome match. Armstrong is really underrated, and this match shows why.
A highlight video airs showing the Rock and Roll Express in Smoky Mountain Wrestling, and how they will be coming to WCW at SuperBrawl 1993.
Next up is an arm wrestling contest between Vinnie Vegas and Tony Atlas. Come on Big Daddy…Vegas? You can take this guy out! Vegas wins! Vegas wins! This is the biggest win of his career! The Vegas era is here! Or something like that.
Tag Team Match
Johnny Gunn & The Z-Man vs. The Wrecking Crew (Wrecking Crew Fury & Wrecking Crew Rage)
Not a bad tag match, but it doesn’t have much heat behind it. Early in the match, the Wrecking Crew end up outside the ring and Johhny Gunn hits a massive dive over the top rope, in what was easily the biggest dive of the night thus far. The height he gained was quite impressive. Gunn and Z-Man control the next few minutes but it ends with a clothesline to Johnny Gunn. Gunn tags out to Z-Man, but he’s hit by a gutwrench powerbomb, and a sidewalk slam. While Z-Man is hitting the ropes, the referee almost gets taken out, but he moves just in time.
The end comes when The Wrecking Crew hits The Wrecking Ball.
A nice transition match between a great one (Benoit and Armstrong), and one of the main events – The Hollywood Blondes vs. Ricky Steamboat and Shane Douglas.
Tony Schiavone interviews Sting, and Sting doesn’t seem worried about Thundercage being 4 against 3 since Van Hammer is injured.
Harley Race is interviewed by Larry Zbyzsko, and he fires The Barbarian for being friends with Cactus Jack. Vader and the others quickly take him out.
Larry Zbyzsko interviews Ricky Steamboat and Shane Douglas.
NWA/WCW Unified World Tag Team Title Match
Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas (c) vs. Flyin’ Brian & Steve Austin
I was really looking forward to this one when I saw that it was happening on this card, and it did not disappoint. The match is fast and furious, and it doesn’t take long to descend into all four men being in the ring. Douglas dropkicks Pillman to the outside of the ring, and Steamboat sends Austin out. I won’t bother recapping all the action in this match as it’s one that you just need to see for yourself. Great match overall, with lots of back and forth action, showing that these four guys were truly some of the best in the world at that time.
Jim Ross: I hear Rush Limbaugh is a big fan of WCW.
Jesse Ventura: Oh Ross, don’t make me throw up on the air.
The match ends with a DQ after Steve Austin annihilates Shane Douglas with the title belt. Douglas is busted wide open, and Ricky Steamboat covers up Shane Douglas in an effort to protect his partner as Austin and Pillman repeatedly hit Steamboat. Austin and Pillman run away with the belts after some wrestlers come out from the back.
RATING: 4/5 Great match. Easily the best match of the night so far. Like I said, you have to watch this one for yourself if you haven’t seen it before. Tag team wrestling these days cannot compare to how good it was at this time.
Vader and Ron Simmons get into a brawl before the Thundercage match, and Simmons beats up Harley Race and Vader. Vader manages to get Simmons from behind while he’s attacking Race and does a ton of damage, leaving Simmons out of Thundercage!
Six Man Tag Team Thundercage Match
Barry Windham, Big Van Vader & Paul Orndorff vs. Dustin Rhodes & Sting
The Thundercage lowers from the ceiling, and Sting and Dustin Rhodes are left without a partner! Windham, Vader, and Orndorff make their way to the ring, accompanied by the recently beaten Harley Race. Sting and Rhodes enter, all ready to get started in a handicap match.
The match starts with four guys in the ring, but all men make their way to their respective corners soon thereafter. Rhodes and Windham start the match, and Jim Ross notes that Rhodes doesn’t have a cast on his left hand anymore. After some offence, Sting is tagged in. Vader comes in soon afterwards, and the big feud between the two is renewed. Sting and Vader exchange strikes, and Sting hits a big inverted atomic drop followed by a DDT on Vader. Sting hits the Stinger Splash on Vader to a huge pop from the crowd, and hits several punches that drive Vader to the mat.
Sting then takes out Orndorff and Windham. Vader pulls a Ric Flair by rolling up the turnbuckle and landing on the apron. Crazyness. He climbs the top rope and hits Sting. Vader then goes for a splash from the second rope, but Sting moves. Sting clotheslines Vader over the top rope, but Orndorff hits a big suplex and is tagged in while Sting is down. Orndorff beats on Sting for a few minutes and then tags out to Barry Windham.
Windham continues where Orndorff left off, and hits Sting with several blows. Windham tags in Vader and he splashes Sting in the corner and hits Sting with a stiff forearm smash after hitting the ropes. Vader tags Windham back in, and Windham goes for a superplex, but Sting fights back and tags out to Dustin Rhodes. Dustin comes in like a house on fire, and takes on all three men.
Rhodes concentrates offence on Windham while Cactus Jack comes out with bolt cutters to break into the cage. Windham gets nailed by Cactus, and Cactus starts to take on all of Harley Race’s theme. It seems that Sting and Rhodes aren’t short a teammate after all. Cactus Jack climbs to the top rope and hits Paul Orndorff with his boot and follows it up with a pin for the finish.
Not as good as the last match, but certainly not bad. It would have been better if it was a bit longer, but the Cactus Jack face turn was a really nice surprise.
Cactus Jack cuts a promo about how much punishment he can take, and that Orndorff and Vader can’t hope to stop him. Great mic work from Mic Foley here. The show closes with Jim Ross and Jesse Ventura hyping SuperBrawl III while Cactus climbs the cage in the background.
OVERALL RATING 3.5/5
Great event that set up the next PPV well and provided decent action throughout the show.
Best Match: Pillman & Austin vs. Steamboat and Douglas
Worst Match: Cactus Jack vs. Johnny B. Badd
Highlights: The Cactus Jack face turn provided a great moment.
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