We continue our series looking at the history of The Clash of the Champions, taking in Clash of the Champions XXIX. Held on November 16, 1994, at the Jacksonville Coliseum in Jacksonville, Florida (attendance N/A). The show drew a 3.6 rating on TBS.
We’ve moved into the Fall of 1994 and WCW is basically a playground for Hulkamania and his boys. Hogan moved on from his feud with Flair and now is embroiled in a strange program with Kevin Sullivan and his new crew; The Three Faces of Fear. The group includes known Hogan cronies, The Butcher (Brutus Beefcake) and The Avalanche (John Tenta aka Earthquake).
The show kicked off with Tony Schiavone and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan are out talking about the betrayal between Hulk Hogan and The Butcher. At the last Clash, Hogan was attacked by a masked man which was revealed to actually be The Butcher!
This betrayal between these two is quite timely as currently in 2017, these two are at odds on Twitter.
Mean Gene Okerlund is hawking his 900 Hotline number as he brought out Col. Robert Parker along with Meng.
Parker’s Stud Stable (Arn Anderson & Bunkhouse Buck) challenged the winner of this first match:
Stars & Stripes (Marcus Alexander Bagwell & Patriot) vs. WCW World Tag-Team Champions Pretty Wonderful (Mr. “Wonderful” Paul Orndorff & “Pretty” Paul Roma).
This match is a titles vs. mask bout, so if The Patriot lost he must unmask. Of course, The Patriot was Del Wilkes, who would go on for a decent run in WWF in ‘97-98.
Match started off with the Roma and Bagwell squaring off in some good back and forth action. Cool looking spot as Roma ran up the ropes, two times in a row as he tried to attack Bagwell, but no avail. After Stars and Stripes cleared the ring and get the crowd pumped up. Orndorff and Roma then change the momentum and go to work on The Patriot. In a crazy looking move, not sure if it was supposed to happen or not, but Roma dropped Bagwell out and onto the floor as Orndorff aided yanked the ropes down.
Roma is basically acting like Buff Bagwell would in about three years, overly cocky and in love with himself with every move. The match becomes wild as Orndorff and Roma attempted their finisher where Orndorff suplexed Bagwell, while Roma attempted a splash off the top but he’s tripped by The Patriot. Just as that happened, Orndorff has his shoulders down as Bagwell lifted his shoulders up for the three count. It looked like crap on TV, but apparently, Stars and Stripes are World Champions! Sure.
Here we go with match number two, The Honky Tonk Man vs. World TV Champion Johnny B. Badd. Not sure about you, but seeing HTM without Jimmy Hart never felt right. It’s wild how over Badd was with the crowd, people were going insane in Jacksonville, they loved them some confetti! These two had a feud going on over for a few months now, including a match at Halloween Havoc that went to a 10-minute time limit. Some funny back and forth with Heenan and Schiavone talking about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. It always sounded like Schiavone was cracking up off the mic at some lines that Heenan was spouting off. As the match came to a culmination, HTM attempted his Shake Rattle n’ Roll but Badd backdropped out of it. HTM pushed Badd into the ref and then grabbed his guitar and bashed Badd over the head in an awesome spot. The ref saw the guitar smash and disqualified HTM. Pretty quick but somewhat fun match all things considered.
Match number three is Harlem Heat (Booker T & Stevie Ray) vs. Nasty Boys (Jerry Saggs & Brian Knobbs). There’s a lot to get into here, first off Harlem Heat haven’t been around for months on TV for whatever reason. Secondly, this is the first time we’ve seen them under their familiar names of Booker T & Stevie Ray, instead of Kane and Kole. And, finally, WCW basically gave away who Harlem Heat has been talking to on their old school cell phone as they mistakenly shown the graphic of Sensuous Sherri. (For good measure, they showed Sherri with The Nasties as well).
This one is good right from jump street as The Nasties are flying all over the ring into Harlem Heat as all four men start off brawling. They come back from break just in time to see Booker T deliver a nasty looking scissors kick to Knobbs that drove him all the way onto the floor. Stevie Ray follows that up with a stiff boot to the face of Knobbs. Even here in ‘94, Booker T has all the makings of a star. Stevie Ray was good too, but Booker has more of a personality. The match begins to break down as Saggs is tagged in and the next thing Stevie Ray is on the outside trying to dial someone on his cell phone! Saggs stopped that and then Booker is trying to dial now. Suddenly, the crowd begins to rise up as Sensuous Sherri is on the rampway with a cell phone of her own! Who knew?!? Saggs hits an elbow drop on Stevie Ray but the ref isn’t watching while Knobbs is distracted by Sherri. Booker dropped an elbow onto Saggs as Harlem Heat picked up the win. Wild match, too bad WCW didn’t basically give away that Sheri was coming. This would be the real beginning of one of the best tag-teams in wrestling for most of the second part of the 90’s.
Next up is Vader w/Harley Race vs. Dustin Rhodes. Wow this match started off intense as Vader slapped Dustin and then spat right in his face. Dustin then goes off and punches the hell out of Vader with stiff rights and lefts. The crowd absolutely exploded for Rhodes! They fall out to the ground, Rhodes took out Race for good measure. Once inside the ring, Rhodes hit a nice looking suplex on the much bigger Vader. Things changed as Vader begins an offensive onslaught destroying Dustin in the corner with clubbing punches. Vader tried to splash Dustin in the corner but Rhodes somehow caught him and bodyslammed Vader! Dustin accidentally hits the ref just while he attempted to go for the bulldog finisher just as Vader tossed Rhodes clear over the top rope! Wow. Vader hits two pump slams, but can’t put away Rhodes. Vader went to the middle turnbuckle to attempt another move, but Dustin caught him with another bodyslam. Rhodes then rallied with a number of fists and lariats but he wasn’t able to gain the pin. Dustin then attempted a DDT from the middle turnbuckle from on Vader for a two count. Dustin then hit a bulldog but Race pulled him off. Rhodes and Race are tussling on the ropes as Vader yanked Dustin back and delivered a lethal facebuster for the win. That was badass. After that match, Race and Vader continue their onslaught on the youngster. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan came out to save Rhodes.
Mean Gene is in the back with Sting, Hogan and Dave Sullivan and I have no idea what they are talking about.
Duggan debuted in WCW during Fall Brawl ‘94 and quickly became U.S. Heavyweight Champion which led to this Clash match between Duggan and former champion “Stunning” Steve Austin.
Not sure what was going on here in late ‘94, but Austin lost his U.S. Title to Duggan in about 35 seconds at Fall Brawl and now tonight he barely has a match because Vader comes out to the ring after about 20 seconds to attack Duggan and it’s over before it started. It was safe to say, that Austin was on his way out of WCW sooner than later.
So here we go with the main event as The Three Faces of Fear (Butcher, Kevin Sullivan, The Avalanche) vs. Hulk Hogan, Sting, and Dave Sullivan. Mr. T is the special referee and nobody is too sure what he’s wearing. There’s so much yellow and red out here with Hogan’s team that you can barely see human bodies in there.
Michael Buffer had some of the longest introductions ever as the match has already started while he was still in the ring.
Mr. T did a horrible job as ref as basically all six guys are in the ring. The Faces of Fear take out Dave Sullivan so now it’s a 3-on-2 affair. Avalanche is taking it to Hogan with bodyslams. Hogan finally made the tag to Sting who cleared the ring, hitting two Stinger splashes on Avalanche. Best spot of the match as Sting attempted to throw Sullivan into Avalanche, but it backfires as Sullivan is thrown back into Sting by his own partner.
Sting now needs to make the tag as he finally makes the tag to Hogan who finally went toe-to-toe with Butcher. All five guys are in the ring as Sullivan tried to hit Hogan with Hart’s megaphone but Mr. T ripped it out of his hands and hit Sullivan with it as Hogan nabbed the pin.
After the match, The Faces of Fear assault Sting as The Butcher slapped the sleeper on Hogan. A bunch of wrestlers from the back as well as Jacksonville’s finest finally get The Butcher to release the hold on Hogan as the show signed off.
Definitely not the best Clash here, with Vader vs Dustin as the lone highlight. Hogan came in hot in the summer but this was just the beginning of some MADNESS (wink-wink) that was about to go down in WCW as Hogan took on Sullivan and his Faces of Fear and eventually his entire Dungeon of Doom throughout 1995.
You can read all previous ‘Styles Clash: Clash of the Champions Revisited’ pieces here.