Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that has weirder beliefs than Brian Kendrick, we are officially in the Bill Watts’ Era of WCW so strap in for this tag team addition of The Clash. Not thrilled about it to be honest as I feel they could have done a lot of things better than a tag team tournament but we shall see how things go on this night, some big names in this tournament.
The Malenkos vs Ricky The Dragon Steamboat & Nikita Koloff
Joe Malenko and Steamboat trade holds, both men showcasing their abilities. Test of strength between Joe and Steamboat, Steamboat bridges up before Joe lands a knee and a monkey flip and they trade pin-falls and head-scissors counter before Steamboat arm-drags and clamps on an arm-bar. Both men try hip-tosses, hip-toss from Steamboat. Lock-up into a wristlock from Steamboat, blind tag from Dean Malenko but Steamboat is too quick for Dean. Two arm-drags and a wristlock with a kick to the face. Tag to Nikita, wristlock and kicks. Irish whip to the buckle and a bearhug, Dean is on the top rope and flips out of an arm-drag. Nikita shoulder thrusts Dean over and over but Dean slides out of the corner splash. Diving crossbody from Dean, Joe lands a dropkick to aid Dean but only gets a two. Nikita presses Dean to the floor with the pin attempt, Dean kicks low and lands a massive dropkick.
Snap suplex from Dean, Nikita is right back on his feet. Dean backs off, clubbing blows by Nikita. Dean avoids the O’Connor roll, flapjack by Nikita and tag to Steamboat. Wristlock and hammerlock from Steamboat, an elbow drops Steamboat but the tag to Joe does not work as Steamboat takes out Joe with a drop toehold into an arm-bar. Joe brings Steamboat to the corner, knees and European uppercuts from Joe. Side headlock from Steamboat, shoulder block by The Dragon. Dean and Nikita are having words, Joe counters a head-scissors and Steamboat is in the Malenko corner. Belly to back suplex and bulldog combination for two, tag to Dean. Roll-up for two, Bow & arrow like hold from Dean, Joe is in now and lands a short-arm clothesline for two.
Steamboat walks into a scoop slam for two, Nikita gets the hot-tag and clubs everything in sight, not a great hot-tag but there are some meaty elbows in there. Flying shoulder block, Joe gets caught in an inverted atomic drop. Russian Sickles and it’s over!
Well when Steamboat was in there doing technical stuff with The Malenkos, it was interesting as all of those three are great at that style of wrestling, The Malenkos and Steamboat are no stranger to Japan also, I believe they all worked in AJPW for periods of time so it comes off crisp here and they know what they are doing, Nikita does fine clubbing everything and I am happy to have more starpower in the company but I need explosive short matches from Koloff, not so sure about watching him in tags.
Marcus Bagwell & The Z-Man vs Ravishing Rick Rude & Stunning Steve Austin W/ Medusa
God how beautiful Medusa was during this era, Austin and Rude are still together which is nice, the dominance of the faction may be over but they still hold their championships and they still team together so it is not all doom and gloom at this point. Rude lands knees and clotheslines, in comes Austin. Bagwell meets the buckle, rights and lefts from Austin before Bagwell lands a middle rope axe handle and in comes Z-Man. Austin wants a test of strength, the crowd warns Z-Man of this manoeuvre. Austin brings Zenk to the buckle, here comes Rude. Forearms to the face, dropkick from Rude. Vertical suplex from Rude for two, tag to Austin. Stomps in the corner and elbows to the back of the head, small package counter by Zenk for two.
We have a clean break on a lock-up, we have Bagwell coming into the ring now. Austin lands a knee and clubs Bagwell who fires back with forearms and chops, Bagwell whips Austin to the buckle and Bagwell meets the boot of Austin. Tag to Rude, throat thrusts from Rude. Clubbing blows from Rude, belly to back suplex and Rude ducks his head on an Irish whip. Boot by Bagwell and tag to Zenk, Zenk eats a face-buster and a pile-driver for a close two. Austin comes in and decks Bagwell, Zenk is dropped across the top rope for two. Bagwell argues with the referee while Rude and Austin double clothesline Zenk, Rude works the spine of Zenk. Zenk escapes a scoop slam and lands a superkick, tag to Bagwell who kicks everything in sight. Back body-drop on Austin, Austin eats a flying crossbody for two.
Austin rakes the eyes, back-breaker by Austin for two. Tag to Rude who lands forearms and clubbing blows, sunset flip from Bagwell but the referee is with Medusa, Bagwell misses the dropkick while Austin and Zenk brawl so Rude lands The Rude Awakening for the win.
Alright, I am not sure what to do with Zenk at this stage, I think it would be best for him to continue his feud with Brian Pillman while Bagwell needs some sort of gimmick or partner change because he is just a babyface with no sizzle to his steak while Rude and Austin work well together, Rude is fantastic as a character inside of that ring while Austin is working tremendously inside of that ring.
Winners: The Dangerous Alliance over The Z-Man & Marcus Bagwell via Rude Awakening!
The Miracle Violence Connection vs The O’Days
Larry and Gordy to start, side headlock by Larry. Gordy shoves off Larry, drop toehold into a single leg Boston crab, in comes Jeff to battle Williams who lands a Backdrop Driver on Jeff. In comes Gordy, corner clothesline from Gordy. Sunset flip from Jeff for two, Gordy is pushed to the O’Day corner. In comes Larry who tries right hands before Gordy lands a Backdrop Driver. In comes Williams, double shoulder block to Larry. Oklahoma Stampede and it is over. Squash city!
Winner: Steve Williams & Terry Gordy over The O’Days via Oklahoma Stampede!
Dustin Rhodes & Barry Windham vs Bobby Eaton & Arn Anderson
Windham to start with Anderson, lock-up and clean break from Windham. Anderson pushes Windham to the ropes, left hand shots into a side headlock takedown but Windham has a counter every time. Anderson runs into a right hand that staggers the life out of Anderson, forearms and a whip to the buckle. Anderson blocks with a knee, Windham dropkicks Anderson who was on the top rope to the floor. In comes Rhodes and Eaton, Eaton lands an elbow. Rhodes meets the buckle, Eaton lands a massive right to the ribs and a knee to the head. Bionic Elbows from Rhodes and a boot to the floor, Eaton drags Rhodes to his corner and in comes Anderson.
Atomic drop from Rhodes, right hand by Windham and a right from Rhodes. Anderson is brought to the babyface corner, in comes Windham with a massive right. Anderson whips Windham and Eaton lands a knee to the back from the apron, Eaton goes to work on Windham. Back body drop for two, Anderson and Eaton work the ribs of Windham. Irish whip but Anderson lowers his head, Windham kicks off the head of Anderson and tags in Rhodes. Right hands, elbows and a flying clothesline, Paul E. Dangerously is on the apron. Anderson wants the DDT, Rhodes blocks but Eaton lands that lethal right hand. Massive right on Rhodes, Rhodes tries a flying crossbody but misses and spills to the floor. Paul E. Dangerously lands a telephone shot to the back of Rhodes, Eaton lands a snap-mare and climbs high, diving knee drop for two.
Anderson comes in looking for a sleeper, jaw-breaker counter from Rhodes. Eaton lands a running bulldog for two, Eaton tries it again but Rhodes sends Eaton to the buckle. Eaton cannot stop the tag but Anderson distracted the referee, Windham snaps and batters Eaton on the floor. Anderson lands the spinebuster on Rhodes in the ring, Eaton crawls back in and gets a close two. Eaton climbs high, Alabama Jam misses and Rhodes plants Eaton with his Running Bulldog for the win!
Despite it being brief, this was another great showcase for all involved, I love the team of Windham and Rhodes while you know that I adore The Dangerous Alliance and no matter which members of the alliance are in the ring, the matches are good. Very happy with this match and I cannot wait to see Windham vs Austin for the Television Title.
Winners: Team Windham & Rhodes over The Dangerous Alliance via Running Bulldog!
The Silver Kings vs The Fabulous Freebirds
The match starts with Freebirds trying to attack The Silver Kings, Silver King 1 dropkicks Hayes. Silver King 2 missile dropkicks Silver King 1 by mistake, tag to Garvin. Silver King 1 reverses the hold and tags in Silver King 2, Garvin runs away from that and misses the dropkick. Silver King 2 lands a right hand to the face of Garvin, scoop slam and Silver King 2 climbs high. Diving senton misses from the top rope, Garvin covers for two. Garvin brings Silver King 2 to the corner, Hayes tags in and batters Silver King 2. Tag to Silver King 1 after an eye-rake, slingshot splashes, snap suplex into a diving elbow drop for two. More quick tags, double chops and spinning heel kicks, Silver King 1 eats a chop and a back body-drop. Hayes takes down Silver King 1 and tags in Garvin, snap-mare into the reverse chin-lock.
Silver King 2 comes in and kicks Garvin in the back of the head, we reset with Hayes and Silver King 2, Silver King 2 works the hamstring and lands a dropkick. Irish whip and a missile dropkick off a blind tag, Garvin eats a spinning heel kick for saving Hayes. Garvin lands a knee from the apron, left-hand from Hayes. The match breaks down, The Freebirds run into one another. Double dropkick to the floor, plancha by Silver King 1. Hayes knocks out Garvin by mistake, Silver King 2 wipes out Silver King 1 with a missile dropkick and Hayes rolls one of them into the ring for a small package win.
Some rough moments and mis-communications, not like I expected The Freebirds to give me a clinic, they seem less mobile with each map I see them in when they are in the ring, can we end the team of The Freebirds yet?
Winners: The Fabulous Freebirds over Team Silver King via Small Package!
Flyin’ Brian Pillman & Jushin Liger vs Chris Benoit & Biff Wellington
Two rivals team up while we have the first WCW appearance of Chris Benoit, Benoit would be heavily pushed as The Pegasus Kid and Wild Pegasus in NJPW before eventually signing with WCW after a stint in ECW. Liger and Benoit to start, wristlock from Benoit but Liger counters for his own. Underhook slam from Benoit, test of strength. Underhook slam from Liger, side headlock from Benoit. Shoulder block but an arm-drag from Liger, make it two. Liger avoids dropkicks but so does Benoit, in comes Pillman and Wellington. Shoulder block by Wellington, monkey flip and dropkick to the floor from Pillman. Wellington is sent to the floor, Pillman is met with a springboard clothesline by Wellington. Snap suplex from Wellington, Pillman suplexes Wellington to the floor.
Tag to Liger who kicks at Wellington before Wellington works the leg, drag to the corner and tag to Benoit. Wishbone-split, Benoit lands a massive lariat on Liger. Side headlock and shoulder block from Benoit, enzuigiri from Benoit. Tag to Wellington, Liger is dumped over the top rope. Pillman rightly complains but the referee missed it, Wellington tries a plancha but Liger dodges. Whip to the buckle, monkey flip from Liger and a tag to Pillman. Side headlock from Pillman, Benoit is brought in as Pillman is in the Canadian corner. Shoulder block by Benoit, Benoit is side-stepped and ends up on the floor. Benoit is on the top rope, Pillman brings down Benoit with a belly to back superplex. Missile dropkick from Pillman, Benoit is on the floor and gats caught with an apron diving crossbody.
Wellington and Liger are legal now, Wellington misses a corner clothesline and spills to the floor, diving crossbody from Liger to the floor. Wellington counters Liger and this allows Benoit to come in, Benoit wants the belly to back superplex but Liger makes the adjustment in mid-air and lands on Benoit. Spinning heel kick from Liger and an Asai Moonsault to the floor from the NJPW Junior Heavyweight Ace. Benoit rolls back in, forearm shot to Pillman. Pillman wants an O’Connor roll but Wellington lands a boot to the head from the apron, scoop slam and Wellington climbs high. Missile dropkick misses big time, tag to Liger. German suplex on Wellington, Pillman and Benoit brawl.
Wellington attacks Liger in the corner, Pillman and Benoit brawl on the ramp. Wellington chokes Liger in the corner, in comes Pillman and Benoit. Benoit and Wellington collide, Pillman dropkicks Benoit to the floor while Liger lands a back-breaker and Diving Moonsault for the win.
Just a little glimpse of the talent of these men, Liger and Benoit have great chemistry which is no surprise considering their feud in NJPW and Pillman continues to be great in his role as the Ace of The Light Heavyweight Division. Fans go from cold going into the match to loving it by the time the referee counts the three so I would be very happy if I was involved in this match.
Winners: Team Liger over Team Benoit via Diving Moonsault!
Hiroshi Hase & Akira Nogami vs The Headhunters
A team of Jobbers against Hiroshi Hase and AKIRA, two NJPW talents. Hase would be a legendary competitor in NJPW winning tag team championships with the likes of Keiji Mutoh and Kensuke Sasaki while having wars with all your favourites while AKIRA was a constant presence on the Junior Heavyweight roster. AKIRA lands dropkicks on Headhunter 2 before Headhunter 1 comes in and lands a stun-gun. Back-breaker for two, Hase comes in and roughs up The Headhunters before missing a diving knee drop. Sidewalk slam by Headhunter 2 for two, it eventually leads to a German suplex and a Northern Lights suplex for the win for Team NJPW. Quite boring!
Winners: Team NJPW over Headhunters via German Suplex!
The Miracle Violence Connection vs The Steiner Brothers
The match that could not wait! Big meaty bastards hitting one another can’t you just see this going that way? Rick Steiner and Gordy to start, Rick blocks the single leg takedown. Gordy continues to try and take down Rick but Rick is too strong, Scott comes in and Gordy continues to be difficult to move. They try a bridge spot and it just does not come together before Scott lands a massive Exploder Suplex. In comes Williams, they try to out-wrestle one another with Williams taking down Scott before Scott rolls out and Williams goes to the ropes. They continue to hold one another, Williams pulls down Scott Steiner but Scott takes down Williams. Very interesting wrestling battle here between these two big bears.
Scott headlocks Williams to the corner, in comes Rick Steiner. Belly to belly suplex from Rick, Williams powders to the floor. We go again with more grappling, to the ropes we go with Williams looking for a hold. Neither man gains control, Rick is on the ropes and Williams shoves The Dog-faced Gremlin. Rick Steiner takes down Williams, they begin to wrestle with Rick landing some big shots but Williams is up and slaps Rick Steiner, Rick snaps and takes down Williams and pummels him with right hands. Williams had a plan though, Williams out-manoeuvres Rick and lands a forearm before a massive lariat. Tag to Gordy, massive lariat for two.
Gordy lands a corner clothesline but Rick lands a belly to belly suplex, tag to Scott. Scott Steiner lands a back body drop and a clothesline, tiger-driver. Clothesline for Williams, Gordy avoids the frankensteiner and Gordy clamps on the STF. Scott reaches the ropes but Williams comes in with big elbows, back-breakers from Williams for a close two. Scott fires back with kicks before a trip from Williams, tag to Gordy who lands a running powerslam. Heel hook from Gordy, Scott begins to crawl to Rick. Gordy yanks back Scott, tag to Williams. Irish whip and a double shoulder block, two for Williams. Williams grabs the leg but gets kicked in the face from Scott Steiner, can Scott make the tag? Scott pulls and pulls towards the corner, tag to Rick.
Right hands and a Steinerline to the floor, Gordy and Rick are brawling. Rick is winning that war, Williams attacks from behind. Knees and kicks to the head, Gordy goes after Scott Steiner on the floor. Rick powerslams Williams but apparently Scott Steiner is the legal man. Everyone is on the floor, Williams measures and chop-blocks Scott Steiner who crumbles in a heap. Rick and Gordy continue brawling but Rick is not legal as established already, they continue to brawl as Scott tries to re-enter the ring. Military press slam on Scott for two, Williams is irate. Scott blocks a clothesline and wants a belly to belly suplex but Gordy clips the knee and Williams covers for the win.
Good way to establish Gordy and Williams if they are going to continue as a team in WCW, interesting way to kick things off with all four men showcasing their wrestling credentials, I was a fan when I use to watch Angle and Benoit do it years later and I am a fan here also as it’s a little different from everything else that I have seen on the card. What I also like about this match is they are just throwing massive bombs at one another, no spot goes by without someone looking like they have destroyed their opponent, big fan of all four men and looking forward to seeing how this develops!
Winners: The Miracle Violence Connection over The Steiner Brothers via Chop-Block!
That was Clash of The Champions XIX and it was rather poor, a tag team tournament means no variety on the card and the teams are rather dull like the O’Days etc, it reminds me of the tag team tournament they ran previously with random teams representing various nations, it is just not for me. I am not a major fan of the classic Survivor Series cards due to the very same reason, tag team match after tag team match just wears me down. This is the beginning of The Bill Watts era though as they emphasize the no-mats and he makes an appearance on this night so we will see how it goes but I am not holding my breath thus far, thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!