Sunday 15 May 2022

WCW Clash of The Champions XXV Review!


Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet more confusing than an Ultimate Warrior promo! It is time for WCW Clash of The Champions XXV! Championship matches galore, Rick Rude vs Hawk, Johnny B. Badd vs Lord Steven Regal, Paul Orndorff vs Dustin Rhodes, Ric Flair vs Vader. Lots of good match-ups here but zill this Clash deliver? We shall see let’s get it on!


(WCW International Heavyweight Championship Match) Ravishing Rick Rude © vs Hawk

The Ravishing One must take on one half of The Road Warriors, shocking to see that we have not seen The Road Warriors team up yet on WCW for the clashes or for PPVs. The match begins with Hawk shoving Rude to the corner. Clean breaks off of a lock-up, Rude poses in front of Hawk. Hawk poses back, Hawk will not be intimidated by the champion. Rude clubs the crap out of Hawk, throat thrusts also. Hawk meets the buckle but Hawk shakes it off and Rude meets the buckle over and over. Irish whip and a back body drop, scoop slam by Hawk. Kicks to the spine, Hawk drills the champion with a suplex. Hawk chops away at Rude, whip to the buckle. Eye rake and back-breaker from Rude, Rude tries a dive but Hawk lands a boot. Hawk drills Rude with right hands and a clothesline to the floor, eye rake by Rude. The referee is counting and we have a count-out, super lame finish and start to the show.


Double Count-Out!


The Equalizer vs The Shockmaster

Lucky me to have to watch this match, Equalizer jumps Shockmaster. Spear in the corner, chops in the corner. Equalizer chokes Shockmaster with the middle rope, kicks to the gut to rough up Shockmaster. Leg across the back, belly to back suplex for two. Irish whip and both men collide with shoulder blocks, Shockmaster lands a big boot. Whip to the buckle, Irish whip into The Bearhug Slam and it’s over. What a rapid decline for The Equalizer, thankfully this was brief.


Winner: The Shockmaster over The Equalizer via Bearhug Slam!


(WCW Television Championship Match) Lord Steven Regal © W/ Sir William vs Johnny B. Badd

We have moved on from Regal vs Steamboat to this now, Regal starts this match with a slap to the face. Badd works the arm, side headlock from Badd. Shoulder block into a hip-toss for two, sunset flip for two. Regal is not happy, Regal backs up to the corner. They lock-up, Badd has the wristlock. Side headlock from Badd, Regal is caught in a hammerlock which transitions into the side headlock takedown. Side headlock again, Regal is caught in another takedown. Regal is back on his feet and works the back, Badd flips out and lands an arm-drag into an arm-bar. Side headlock from Badd, big takedown. Shoulder block by Badd but Regal ducks the flying crossbody. Regal is about to take control, European uppercuts from the champion. Regal trips up Badd and shoves his forearms into the face of Badd. Front chancery from Regal, a forearm knocks Badd to the canvas.


Regal continues to dish out punishment with forearms to the face, snap-mare into stepping on the face. Regal wants the butterfly suplex and it connects, Badd lands his Left Hook to knock out Regal. Sir William is irate from this, Badd covers but Sir William places the foot on the ropes. Regal rolls up Badd with a handful of tights to win the match.


Really not a lot to these matches so far, Regal is mostly in a side headlock for most of the match. Finish is not great for Badd, why would Badd not pin the knocked out man right away? I do appreciate how Regal continues to cheat his way to victory but still no finisher for the TV Champion? How very odd!


Winner: Lord Steven Regal over Johnny B. Badd via Handful of Tights!


Stunning Steve Austin W/ Colonel Rob Parker vs Flyin’ Brian Pillman

They broke up this duo because they are dumb, Pillman and Austin brawl to begin this match. Pillman wins the exchange before Parker involves himself, this allows Austin to gain control but Pillman sends Austin into the guardrail. In the ring, Pillman chops and lands a head-scissors to Austin, Austin begs for mercy. They are on the ramp, Austin wants a piledriver. Back drop by Pillman, Pillman is on the top rope and he tries a dive but Austin boots Pillman in the face and Pillman is thrown off the ramp into the guardrail. Classic Pillman throat bump right there, Austin comes off the ramp with an elbow to the head. They chop one another, Austin lands more elbows before rolling back into the ring. Austin runs into a slingshot crossbody from Pillman, Austin lands The Stun-Gun but cannot capitalize right away.


Austin clamps on a single leg Boston crab while using the ropes for leverage, Parker distracts the referee while Austin uses the ropes. Pillman slaps down Austin, chops from Pillman. Austin sends Pillman to the buckle, Pillman jumps to the middle rope and lands an elbow to the face. Austin wants a piledriver but Pillman lands a hurricanrana for two, Austin is in the corner and eating chops for breakfast. Pillman is elevated to the apron off an Irish whip, slingshot crossbody does not work as Austin counters with a powerslam. Austin slams the face of Pillman into the canvas, Austin misses a knee attack. Pillman plants Austin with a DDT for two, Austin takes down Pillman and climbs high. Pillman dodges the splash, Oklahoma roll for two. Pillman whips Austin, Austin reverses the Irish whip. Pillman avoids the stun-gun by grabbing the ropes, Pillman wants his springboard clothesline but Colonel Rob Parker grabs the feet of Pillman which allows Austin to drive Pillman into the mat for the win.


For a big blow-off to a feud between two former tag team partners, this was very tame. Disappointing considering the talent of both men but I am not surprised by this company at this point. How could they break these two up? They were so good together and the tag team division needed depth so why break up one of your most entertaining teams? Makes no sense to me.


Winner: Stunning Steve Austin over Brian Pillman via Slam To The Mat!


(WCW United States Championship Match) Dustin Rhodes © vs Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff W/ The Assassin

The American Dream is here, Dusty Rhodes is here to support his son and the fans love it, they are eating all of this up. Why is Orndorff continuing to get these opportunities? The man went from TV champion to challenging for the US Championship. Side headlock from Rhodes, Orndorff eats a shoulder block. Scoop slam by Rhodes, make it two. Side headlock takedown, Orndorff pulls Rhodes down by the hair and uses a hammerlock to wrench the arm of Rhodes. Rhodes comes up for the top wristlock counter, leg drop to the arm from Rhodes. Rhodes wrenches the arm and sends Orndorff into the buckle shoulder-first, a standing arm-bar from the champion. Orndorff shakes off Rhodes before Rhodes takes down the challenger by the ankle and drives his knee into the ankle.


Orndorff rakes the eyes and stomps all over Rhodes, corner blows from Orndorff. Irish whip to the buckle, Rhodes blocks with a boot. Snap-mare into a reverse chin-lock, Orndorff escapes the hold and kicks Rhodes around the ring. Elbow drop and a reverse chin-lock, Rhodes fights out and lands a backslide for two. Clothesline by Rhodes for two, Rhodes is sent face-first into the buckle. Orndorff smacks Rhodes with his knee, clothesline by Orndorff. Reverse chin-lock again, Rhodes fights out and knocks down Orndorff. Whip to the buckle but Orndorff dodges the running bulldog, Irish whip and Rhodes lands a sunset flip for two. Clothesline from Orndorff who calls for The Piledriver, Rhodes back-drops out of the piledriver. Orndorff is up first and lands a kick to the head, Orndorff is going to fly, diving knee drop misses badly. Rhodes is up, small package for three and it’s over!


Well that was flat, Orndorff is a perfectly acceptable wrestler inside of that ring but it’s hard to get sucked into any of his matches. The fans really wanted to see Dusty Rhodes murder The Assassin, that moment comes at the end of the match which is all that really matters to the fans in attendance. The finish sums up most of my feelings to the match, I wasn’t bothered majorly by the small package but it was jus there and I said to myself “Oh ok”.


Winner: Dustin Rhodes over Paul Orndorff via Small Package!


(WCW World Tag Team Championship Match) The Nasty Boys © W/ Missy Hyatt vs Sting & The British Bulldog

The Nasty Boys take on Sting and Bulldog who had teamed up against Sid and Vader, reasonable to say they could challenge for the championships. Incredible how Bulldog has managed to challenge for so many championship in his short time in WCW, sad to think that not one of them will probably be around his waist during this era. Nasty Boys are destroyed at the beginning of the match, Bulldog is on the ramp and Rude comes out of nowhere and lands The Rude Awakening on the ramp. Road Warrior Hawk comes to check on Bulldog but we could have a serious injury here, Sting is shocked to see what has happened. Sting fights on, double dropkick to The Nasty Boys. Knobbs meets the buckles, Sting climbs high. Diving chop attack, Sags comes in and elbows Knobbs by mistake.

Sags meets the buckle and tumbles to the floor, elbow to Knobbs. Sting continues to check on Davey Boy, Sting lands right hands before Knobbs rakes the eyes. In comes Sags who eats a hip-toss, Sting continues to check on Davey Boy. Boots by Sting and right hands, whip to the buckle. Corner clothesline by Sting, face-buster by Sting. Knobbs pushes Sting off the top rope, Sags knee-drops Sting. Knobbs slams Sting with a massive gut-wrench powerbomb, Sags comes in as Knobbs distracts the referee. Sting is tossed over the top rope to the floor, Knobbs suplexes Sting into the ring. Two for Knobbs, Irish whip into a bearhug from Knobbs. Sting escapes but is cut off, Sting is tossed to the floor and Knobbs chokes Sting with his jacket. Wish-bone split into a reverse chin-lock from Knobbs, Sting falls back and crushes Knobbs. Knobbs tags Sags, sleeper from Sags but Sting reaches into Bulldog. Powerslams by Bulldog and dropkicks too, double face-buster from Bulldog. Double clothesline from Bulldog, double DDT from Bulldog. Bulldog calls in Sting, Sting is military pressed onto Knobbs. Running Powerslam on Knobbs, the referee is with Sting. Sags climbs high and cracks Bulldog with a diving elbow drop to the back of the head and Knobbs covers Bulldog for the win!


Decent tag team match between the two, Rude attacks Bulldog which means we could be heading down that road but if Battle Bowl is the next PPV, will that match actually happen on PPV? Maybe or maybe not, good momentum for The Nasty Boys to continue picking up wins but what is happening with Sting? The Franchise of WCW, the most popular wrestler in WCW has been mostly in tag team matches throughout the year, can we put some steam back on The Stinger please?


Winners: The Nasty Boys over Sting & British Bulldog via Diving Elbow Drop To The Head!


(WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match) Vader © W/ Harley Race vs Ric Flair W/ Fifi

So Ric Flair is able to challenge for the World Championship at the Clash, Flair was on the losing end of his feud with Rick Rude for The International Championship so the logic that Flair would be the next challenger for Vader’s championship is rough at best. So, it cuts to a commercial and Harley Race is locked in the figure four, Vader appears out of nowhere and lands a splash. Vader peppers Flair in the corner, rights and lefts. Short-arm clothesline from the champion, military press slam from Vader. Vader Bomb from the champion, Flair is being roughed up in the corner. Flair chops Vader, chop after chop. Stomps in the corner, right hands to the head of the champion. Flair runs off the ropes and runs into a Vader Hammer, elbow to the groin.


Flair is dumped to the floor and Race sends Flair into the guardrail, a cheeky right hand for good measure. Vader tries a splash from the apron, Flair dodges and rolls into the ring. Flair dives off with a chop to the floor, Irish whip to the buckle and a chop from the challenger. Right hands and chops, Vader blocks a running Flair with a boot. Vader misses a middle rope diving elbow drop, Flair tries the Figure Four and applies the hold. Race is behind the referee’s back, Race rakes the eyes of The Nature Boy. Vader has Flair on the apron, suplex into the ring. Vader splashes Flair for two, Vader tries a crossbody but Flair counters with a powerslam. Diving chop attack from Flair, Vader sends Flair to the buckle. Flair flip, Flair runs up the buckle and lands a diving chop again, Irish whip to the buckle and Vader comes out with a clothesline but wipes out the referee.


Flair dives off the top turnbuckle, Vader catches The Nature Boy. Vader wants a superplex, Vader drills Flair with the superplex. Amazing looking manoeuvre there, Vader is asking for a referee. Vader is going up top one more time, Vadersault misses. Vader screams out in pain, Flair covers and gets the three but Race says Vader’s foot was on the ropes. It doesn’t matter though as Vader is disqualified for decking the referee, Austin and Col Parker come out and brawl with Flair before we have Dustin Rhodes and other babyfaces make the save.


Tight match here, Flair puts over Vader’s massive attacks here and sells the threat of Vader destroying him. Flair lands chop after chop and fights his way into this competitive championship match, crowd wanted the title change so that’s good to see that they are invested in this angle. Kind of shocking though because just last month, we were all in on Cactus Jack but that has been side-tracked to the extreme, looks like there will be no rematch there. Sad for Cactus Jack but soon enough, Cactus would be embarking on his ECW run that would lead to his run as Mankind in the WWF. Shocking how all over the place WCW is at the time, Flair mentions his partner for a tag match will be none other than Sid Vicious who will be gone from the company by December for the stabbing incident with Arn Anderson which is even more frustrating because Sid just came back in 1993 to WCW. Man this company is wild, how come so many people focus on the WWF side of things when WCW was just as chaotic during this era.


Winner: Ric Flair over Vader via DQ!


Clash of The Champions XXV was not the show I imagined it would be, it had the championship matches littered on the card to make it feel important but the finishes and the booking was tame and lame here. The Road Warriors are yet to team together on a Clash or PPV, I cannot imagine why you would show them off and keep them separate until the other is healthy. Why pull the trigger when you could just wait until they are healthy? Having Hawk compete in singles matches really has no benefit apart from an easy DQ finish every time to keep him protected, The Nasty Boys are picking up momentum here so why not save The Return of The Road Warriors for Starrcade? Shockmaster vs Equalizer was brief not much to say, I guess they are trying to salvage Shockmaster which is good at least they are committed to making him appear like a threat. Johnny B. Badd vs Regal was fine, Regal continues to be a cheating tactician in the ring who easily gets under the skin of the fans, I would like him to establish a finishing hold but a new star being booked well is good and a positive on a show full of negatives. Still not so sure what Vince saw in Johnny B Badd as the gimmick has been around for years at this point and still hasn’t launched into a big feud or memorable match like I thought it would, it’s nearly 94 and Mero is signed in 96 so I imagine there must be some sort of great string of matches coming sooner or later or something that makes me see why Vince wanted him because I can’t understand it at the moment. Pillman vs Austin was tame, should have been more but just didn’t get there. To cut Pillman’s heel run short is disappointing, to cut The Hollywood Blondes as a team is disappointing and I just can’t figure it out.


I am happy for Austin to be mixing it up in the main event as Vader’s right hand in a way in Colonel Parker’s stable, I imagine Austin would have been cannon fodder for Sid but that could have helped Austin’s stock, curious to see how Austin’s time in WCW winds down as we edge closer to his departure. Sting and Bulldog vs Nasty Boys was ok still not sure what the plan with Sting or Bulldog is, they haven’t really used Sting to his full potential this year while Bulldog has just been challenging for championships and coming up on the short end so the result here was to be expected by this point. Flair vs Vader was good, with more time I am sure they can have a fantastic match but the booking here continues to hurt this company. Thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!

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