We continue our series taking in the history of Clash of the Champions with this latest instalment taking in Clash of The Champions XXV. Held on November 10,1993 at the Bayfront Center in St. Petersburg, Florida (attendance N/A). The show drew a 3.3 on TBS.
This was the last Clash of 1993 and the build towards Battlebowl. Every major title is up for grabs on this 25th edition of the Clash of the Champions. Everything was reportedly set for Sid Vicious vs. Vader for the WCW title but Arn Anderson and Sid decided to have brawl in real-life in Europe that involved a pair scissors and beer; always a good combo. Sid was eventually fired and Arn was suspended, so they had to scramble and ended up putting Ric Flair back into the title picture.
The show kicked off with familiar voice of “Mean” Gene Okerlund, who just made his WCW debut a week earlier.
Rick Rude put his WCW International World Heavyweight Championship on the line against Road Warrior Hawk in the first contest of the night. The Big Gold Belt aka The Flair Belt is represented here. 24 years later and it still doesn’t make much sense.
Rude and his old Minnesota running buddy, Road Warrior Hawk started things off by dropping some ‘F bombs’ on each other in the ring. Rude has some amazing tights as he has the belt printed on it as well as faces of various wrestlers like Jesse “The Body” Ventura. They started off by attempting a test of the strength, but Rude takes the low road to gain the early advantage. Hawk then begins to take control by working on Rude’s back. Rude then tried to jump onto Hawk off the top but Road Warrior put his feet up. Big clothesline by Hawk drove Rude to the floor and they begin to brawl outside the ring, when all of a sudden, the bell rings and it’s a double-countout. Seemed really quick and not much happened.
Next up is The Equalizer (David Sullivan) vs. The Shockmaster. Ventura and Tony Schiavone are giving Shocky the business as they both hope he doesn’t fall on his way to the ring. This is a Six-Star Match and could main event in any arena in the world, or not. The Equalizer held the advantage for most of this short match until The Shockmaster went for a bear hug and then dropped down for the pin. Actually, not that bad of a finisher, all things considered. The Shockmaster was, of course, Fred Ottman who many will remember as Tugboat in the WWF. He must have been very well liked because he has been rumored to be in a number of major angles through the years; including the main event at WrestleMania 7. But here in 1993, he’s some sort of construction worker who liked to fall down.
Mean Gene is back with Colonel Parker who is talking about how Sid Vicious has been dropped from his stable and that he has a restraining order on him. He doesn’t care anymore now that he has “Stunning” Steve Austin under his tutelage.
Match three is for the World Television Championship as Lord Steven Regal puts his title on the line against Johnny B. Badd. Regal tried to keep Badd down with chain wrestling and mat wrestling. Badd clotheslined himself something nasty when he tried a bodypress but Regal moved out of the way. Badd knocked the piss out of Regal with a closedfist and attempted the pin but Sir William put Regal’s foot on the rope at two. Badd was distracted by Sir William as Regal rolled up Badd holding the tights for the pinfall victory.
Here we go with The Battle of the Hollywood Blonds after their breakup last month. “Flyin” Brian Pillman took on “Stunnin” Steve Austin w/Col Parker. Pillman is already in the ring as Austin jumped him and it’s on as they two go at it! They are quickly out onto the floor. Pillman tried to chase down Parker, but is caught with a wicked clothesline from Austin. Stunnin’ Steve attempted to piledrive Pillman on the rampway but he’s flipped over on a backdrop. Pillman then attempted to splash onto Austin but his meet with two boots and then thrown off the rampway into the guardrail. Schiavone and Ventura talked about the possibility of these two could become partners again at Battle Bowl, where teams were randomly picked. Austin and Pillman traded chops and elbows in the corner. Pillman attempted a superplex but is thrown face first off the top. Austin then tried to come off the top but Pillman met him an impressive flying dropkick in mid air. After some back and forth action, Austin tried to go for the Stun Gun but he missed it and Pillman ends up on the apron. Flying Brian tried to springboard back into the ring but Parker tripped him as Austin slammed Pillman’s face to the mat and picked up the victory. Good matchup between two of WCW’s finest. It was as shame they didn’t ride out The Hollywood Blonds longer and then let them feud later, but still cool to see these two go at it in ‘93.
Mean Gene is in the BattleBowl ‘93 Control Center, going over the concept for the upcoming event.
Match number five is for the WCW U.S. Heavyweight Championship as Dustin Rhodes w/Dusty Rhodes vs. Paul Orndorff w/The Assassin. They were really pushing the old rivalry between Dusty and The Assassin as they two were yelling at each other before the match. Ventura was hilarious during this match as he was noting the size of the legends who Schiavone said were “sneaking around the ring.”
As for the match, Orndorff and Rhodes traded some wrist locks and arm bars for a while as this match is pretty slow between the youngster and the veteran. Dustin attempted his bulldog finisher, but Orndorff rode it out and as the move didn’t hit. Orndorff then attempted his piledriver finisher but Dustin backdropped out if it and into a small package for the win! After the match, however, Dustin is knocked over the top rope and then into the post by The Assassin. Dusty then started to brawl with The Assassin as the crowd exploded with the familiar “Ooooo” when Dusty hit a couple bionic elbows to The Assassin. Orndorff then Dusty with a roll of tape (ouch) and then Dusty’s belt. Finally, Dustin cleared the ring. Match itself was a bit plodding but it did it’s job with legend’s outside the ring.
Next up is for the WCW World Tag-Team Championship as Sting & Davey Boy Smith challenged The Nasty Boys w/Missy Hyatt for the belts. All hell breaks loose as Knobbs and Sting battled in the ring while Saggs and Davey Boy brawled on the rampway. Suddenly, Rick Rude is seen slithering below the rampway and then he jumped up and nailed Davey Boy with a Rude Awakening!
So, Sting is going to have to go at it alone. Sting hits the Nasty Boys with a pair of dropkicks. Sting checks on Davey Boy but he still isn’t able to compete. (This almost has shades of the British Bulldogs’ Dynamite Kid injury when he couldn’t compete during the Hart Foundation title win). Knobbs hit some crazy looking tilt-a-whirl gut wrench suplex on The Stinger and then Saggs flung him over the top while referee Nick Patrick was distracted by Missy Hyatt. Davey Boy is back on his feet and is asking to be tagged in. Finally, Davey Boy Smith is tagged in and takes care of the Nasty Boys with a double-clothesline and then a double-DDT. Davey Boy then press slams Sting into the Nasty Boys! Davey Boy attempted the pin on Knobbs but the ref is trying to maintain order in the ring by pushing Sting out to the apron. Saggs then hits Davey Boy off the top rope and flips his partner on top for the 1-2-3 to keep the titles in Nastyville.
Match of the night so far. The Nasties were still on their game at this point. They were bigger in size than they were during their 1990 debut, but they could still go.
Col. Parker is in the back challenging Ric Flair that this winner of this match is going to take on his boy, Steve Austin. Flair isn’t having it and slaps Parker for asking.
It’s main event time as WCW World Heavyweight Champion Vader w/Harley Race put his title on the line vs. Ric Flair w/Fifi.
They come back from commercial with Flair slapping the figure four leglock on Race. Schiavone told the history between Race and Flair as the action begins. Vader came to the rescue of Race and immediately is in control of the match. Vader hits the pump splash real early on but doesn’t attempt a pin. Somehow Flair makes a comeback and hits Vader with a series of chops. Vader then took control and dropped a nasty looking elbow to Flair leg and nether regions. The action moves to the floor after Flair’s flip up into the corner brought him all the way out. Vader attempted a splash onto Flair but only tasted the steel security barrier. Vader’s headgear is off as Flair is slugging the champ with rights and lefts into the corner. Flair slaps on the figure four on Vader but Harley rakes the eyes of the challenger. Vader then hits a splash onto Flair, but only got a two count. Flair then hit two successful chops off the top rope for probably the last time in his career. Vader them attempted a clothesline, but instead, he nailed the referee. Vader then nearly killed Flair with superplex, but didn’t go for the pin again. Vader went for the moonsault but Flair moved out of the way. Flair then put his arm over Vader and the ref counts to three and we have a new champion but wait now the ref is saying he DQ’d Vader for clotheslining him. So, no new champion. Um, what? That made zero sense.
Austin ran down to attack Flair and then Dustin Rhodes and The Shockmaster come to the aid of Flair. Mean Gene is in the ring as Flair made a challenge to Vader and Austin that he has a partner of Sid Vicious for WCW Saturday Night. Arn Anderson would take the place of the “injured” Sid and the rest is history.
Good show to cap off the year of 1993 in WCW. It was a year that Flair returned while other guys like Cactus Jack, Austin and Pillman made names for themselves. Of course, though with WCW, things were about to change in a big way in 1994…BROTHER!
You can read all ‘Styles Clash: Clash of the Champions Revisited’ pieces here.