Styles Clash: Clash of the Champions XXI:

Benjamin Trecroci

We continue our series, taking in Clash of the Champions XXI. Held on November 18, 1992 at the Macon Coliseum in Macon Georgia in front of 7,500. The show drew a 3.2 on TBS.

This Clash is coming out of Halloween Havoc ‘92 and the build into Starrcade was well under way. ‘92 was really strong but as the year was drawing to close, but the Bill Watts experience may have been beginning to tail off in and out of the ring.

The show kicked off with Jim Ross and Jesse Ventura going over the ongoing feud between Paul E. Dangerously and Madusa before their scheduled “Battle of the Sexes” match tonight. They showed a weigh-in and the obligatory dust-up. Paul E and the rest of the Dangerous Alliance had all but disbanded by November of ‘92 and Paul E would also be gone from WCW as well by the end of the year.

Tony Schiavone is in the back with Cowboy Bill Watts who promises new high-impact entertainment tonight and going forward in WCW.

Teddy Long is then on the other side of the arena with Michael P.S. Hayes who said he would collect on his bounty on Erik Watt not just because “His daddy was in charge but he’d hate him even his last name was Hayes.”

Ventura is then at ringside with Brian Pillman, who is now on his soon-to-be familiar crutches. At the last Clash, Pillman gave Brad Armstrong hell for being injured so now Pillman offered an apology. Just as Armstrong started to believe him, Pillman nailed Armstrong with his crutch and continued to attack him on the outside. Referee Randy Anderson said he would disqualify Pillman, but Pillman said he couldn’t because the match hasn’t officially started! Armstrong wanted to continue so he stumbled into the ring and tried to execute an offense but Pillman clipped him in the injured leg and laid on top of him for the quick 1-2-3. Pillman acted like he had just won the World Championship jumping up and down. Pillman was pretty great at becoming a real jerk.

They go over the feud between Dangerously & Madusa feud, which began at Halloween Havoc ’92.

Some really great heel work here as Paul E. really pushed the envelope, even for 1992. He told Madusa she was dumb because she was a woman, that her father wanted a son and almost got one when she was born, yikes! Madusa chased Paul E. out of the arena during the WCW Saturday Night to set this match up.

Dangerously is in the back with Hayes who continued to run down women who said the only sacrifice they made is when they were 16-years old in the back of a car, ehh ohh. Funny part as a jobber Mike Thor showed up for his payoff money from Dangerously for taking the dive during his workout match and Paul E just blew him off.

Next up “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson & “Beautiful Bobby” vs. Erik Watts & Kensuki Sasaki. Funny line from Ventura who wondered why Watts was billed from The University of Louisville, “What does he live on campus all the time?” Watts had only been trained for three months by his father and head booker, Bill Watts. Erik did show some flashes in the ring there was no reason other than being a Watts’ that he was in such a high-profile match with these veterans. Sasaki was a major player in New Japan Pro Wrestling and was making periodic appearances with WCW in ‘92. Eaton and Anderson worked over Sasaki for a while until Watts get the tag back in and executes a nice looking monkey flip to Eaton. Beautiful Bobby attempted to nail Watts from the top rope but is instead caught with some type of heart punch and into an STF as Eaton submits.

Schiavone is in the back with Scotty Flamingo, Vinnie Vegas, Diamond Dallas Page as they prepped for tonight’s boxing match. Vegas is doing some sort mobster high-pitched accent that needs to be heard to believed. There also was a guy that was supposed to look like famed boxing promoter, Don King.

So match three is Flamingo vs. Johnny B. Badd w/ Teddy Long in a boxing match. This as expected turned into a boxing-wrestling hybrid very quickly. DDP and Vegas distracted the ref as Flamingo clotheslined Badd behind the ref’s back. Badd comes back hits Flamingo with a fury of jabs that knocks. In between rounds, DDP is pouring water into Flamingo’s gloves so they would become heavier. Flamingo can barely make it out of his corner, but he does and hit Badd with a club punch that knocked down Badd for good for the TKO victory in the second round. Pretty fun quick match and it’s crazy to see Flamingo way before his days as Raven. No hair in the face and a real nice muscular frame instead of his familiar band-shirts. Vegas and DDP were great as the Vegas Connection.

They show a feature on the Lethal Lottery/Battle Bowl: Starrcade ‘91 as a precursor for Starrcade ‘92.

Missy Hyatt and Jesse Ventura are in the ring to announce the first two teams of the Lethal Lottery. First up is Cactus Jack & Johnny B. Badd and then, Dangerous Dan Spivey & Van Hammer. People are still speculating in 2017 whether these teams were legitimately luck of the draw or predetermined.

They then run a promo for the Slam Jam 1: Greatest Wrestling Album Ever! Amazing:

Next up was “The Ghetto Odds” (no really that was the name) match as WCW World Champion Ron Simmons was set to take on Cactus Jack & Barbarian and Tony Atlas. “Hardwork” Bobby Walker was scheduled to be Simmons’ partner, but he was injured so instead it’s newcomer that they announcers had no clue who he was, of course later we would know him as Too Cold Scorpio! Simmons and Scorpio clear the ring to get the crowd amped. Scorpio threw himself over the top with a real nice looking dive onto the bad guys. Scorpio attempted a moonsault but it was pretty ugly and almost ended in disaster. FULL DISCLOSURE: I don’t recall Tony Atlas at all in WCW. Simmons made the hot tag to Scorpio, who hit three dropkicks in a row to the heel crew. Barbarian then accidentally hit the big boot to Atlas, to set-up Scorpio who hit a perfect 450 splash for the big win! This was an amazing debut for Scorpio, that 450 was like seeing a slam dunk in basketball for the first time. Scorpio would have some nice success in WCW as tag-team champ with Marcus Alexander Bagwell before moving onto to ECW where he made his name. His run in WWF however, was pretty disappointing as Flash Funk.

Real cheesy promo for the “Hottest tag-team in wrestling” The Z-Man & Johnny Gunn. They had them shopping with a bunch of hot girls in men’s clothing over a cover of ZZ Top’s Sharp Dressed man. Gunn would mostly be remembered as Tom Brandi (Salvatore Sincere) in ECW & WWF.

They recapped the Jesse Ventura “Strongest Arm Competition” that had been running on the weekly Saturday programming.

Next up is the Battle of the Sexes with Paul E. Dangerously vs. Madusa. Just as Madusa was announced, she was seen with a mask on and immediately knocked out with his mobile phone and it was pretty obvious it wasn’t her. Paul E reached down for a kiss but instead pulls the wig off to reveal it was jobber Mike Thor. Madusa then ran down and promptly caught Paul E with a kick to the head and a bunch of knees to the abdomen. Dangerously attempted to leave the match but Madusa carried back to the ring. Madusa then hit Paul with a dropkick from the top rope and then pulls pants off as the five minute time expired. Wasn’t all too much here but Ventura had some great lines including, “Madusa looked pretty proficient at pulling Paul E’s pants off.”

They ran a promo for the King of Cable tournament. WCW sure had a number of tournaments and other competitions during this time. Not a bad thing at all, got more people involved in something. .

This next match is King of Cable Semifinal between U.S. Champion Rick Rude & Sting with special guest judges; Larry Zbyszko, Hiro Matsuda and Ole Anderson.

Sting controlled the first part of the match working on Rude’s abdominal section as well as executing a Cobra Clutch on the Ravishing One. Rude was hung up on the outside ropes as Sting kicked Rude right in those weakened abs. Sting then went for broke and tried a Scorpion Splash on the outside but instead and rammed into the steel security railing. Rude then controlled the next part of the match working on Sting’s back with a number of elbow drops, some intense whips into the turnbuckles and a camel clutch of his own. Rude put The Stinger in a bearhug with only five minutes left of the 20-minute time limit. With about two minutes remaining things heat up as Rude attempted to come off the top rope but Sting met and throws him face first off the top. Sting hits a flying bodypress but only got a two-count. Rude attempted a Rude Awakening but Sting escaped and hit a Scorpion Splash in the corner and into Scorpion Deathlock but it’s too late as time expired. The three scorecards are announced as Ole Anderson is the deciding vote as Sting advanced to the finals! Excellent match as these two had a such a great rivalry since Rude arrived in WCW. They told a story mostly inside the ring and didn’t need to flip and flop around for 20 minutes.

It’s main event time as Ricky The Dragon Steamboat & Shane Douglas took on WCW/NWA World Tag-Team Champions Dustin Rhodes & Barry Windham. Windham & Rhodes won the Unified titles from Dr. Death Steve Williams & Terry Gordy in October of ‘92. Douglas was back in WCW after a quick year run in WWF as Dean Douglas.

After Douglas and Rhodes started with some respectful mat action Steamboat and Windham mixed it up for real and onto the floor. Some quick tags between Douglas and Steamboat as they took advantage of Windham. Douglas was such a better wrestler at this point than he was as the Dynamic Dude (w/Johnny Ace) and belonged with these other three competitors.

Douglas attempted a bodypress but instead whiplashed himself on the top rope in a nasty looking missed spot. Rhodes and Windham then tagged in and out looking real fluid as champs as they continued to work on Douglas. Finally, Douglas tagged out as went right after Rhodes as these two former partners traded pin attempts. Steamboat attempted a leapfrog but Rhodes inadvertently hit Steamboat below the Peninsula Line on his way over. Windham yelled at Rhodes to cover him, but Dustin is concerned with his friend and refused to pin him. Windham then tagged himself in to attempt the pin. Windham continued to work on Steamboat as Rhodes continued to show his concern with Steamboat. Windham hit a wicked lariat on Steamboat and attempted a pin but was pulled off by own partner, Rhodes! Windham and Rhodes began to argue and slap the piss out of each other.

Meanwhile, Steamboat made the tag to Douglas who swiftly hit a belly-to-belly suplex on Windham for the win and new Unified Tag-Team Champions! The crowd seemed legitimately confused as they didn’t pop at all, which was unusual especially for a Steamboat involved match.

After the match, Rhodes checked on Steamboat as Windham couldn’t believe what just happened. Windham called Rhodes back into the ring to explain himself. Windham kicked Rhodes and then hits him with a brutal DDT and superplex off the top rope.

Ventura is in the back with new champs when just then, Windham waffled both of them with a steel chair and threw them into the lockers in a great ending to the show.

Really solid show, only seven matches and not much filler to set up Starrcade ‘92 and end a quite successful and intriguing year. By the time the calendar flipped to 1993, Ric Flair would triumphantly return to WCW as more changes in and out of the ring would meet him on the way back.

You can read all ‘Styles Clash: Clash of the Champions Revisited’ pieces here.

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