Wednesday 24 May 2023

WCW Clash of Champions XXXII Review!


Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that could sell out Wembley! Looking good for TK right? Anyways, here we have WCW Clash of The Champions XXXII, the final Clash that I will be covering as part of this series, Clashes have always been a mixed bag but let’s see if WCW can have one more banger show here before the summer is dominated by The NWO! We kick off with a recap and I am immediately annoyed, Randy Savage is champion again? What was the point of putting the championship on Flair? Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan seem to have some serious tension between the two but we also have new tag team champions as Lex Luger & Sting are tag team champions! It seems The Dungeon of Doom and The Horsemen are aligned quite tightly as we have a monster tag team match main event as The Giant & Ric Flair take on Randy Savage & Hulk Hogan, we also have Luger & Sting vs The Blue Bloods and Konnan defending his championship against Psicosis. So with 1996 starting, we can see the cruiserweight influence spilling into the card here, exciting times for WCW.


The Nasty Boys vs Public Enemy

One of the greatest things Paul Heyman ever did was convince the bigger companies through clipped matches that a lot of his guys could work. Public Enemy were a fantastically fun tag team in ECW and they secured a big payday in WCW so I am happy for them. However, WCW’s tag team scene still seems to be absolute trash. This could be fun if it is NO DQ and the two teams can just brawl all over the arena.


This starts with a brawl, I am happy with this development. Sags sends Rock into the guardrail while Knobbs clotheslines Grunge. Irish whip to the buckle but Knobbs misses the nasty splash, belly to back suplex by Grunge. Rock is crotched on the guardrail by Sags, Grunge batters Knobbs and dances. Sags is leaving the arena, what is this about? Grunge misses a clothesline and spills to the floor, Sags has a table. Table is in the ring, table is in the corner. Sags wanted to send Rock into the table but Rock lands a bulldog. Headbutt to Knobbs, Rock lands a moonsault on Knobbs for two. Grunge & Sags brawl on the floor, Knobbs lands an elbow on Rock. Knobbs sends Rock to the floor, Sags and Knobbs want a piledriver. Grunge is flattened, Knobbs has the table. Referee calls for a no contest, Rock lands a moonsault through the table on Knobbs.


You know what? This was the best thing that they could have hoped for between these four guys, this is everything I could have wanted from these four. Perhaps WCW’s best booked match of all-time, brawling, brawling and more brawling. Simply perfect.


No Contest!


Dean Malenko vs Alex Wright

The Ice-Man is here! Dean Malenko is a veteran of the junior heavyweight scene in not only NJPW but also AJPW, Malenko tore it up on ECW with the likes of Eddie Guerrero, 2 Cold Scorpio and more so it’s no surprise that Malenko was snapped up by WCW. Alex Wright was beaten up badly by Malenko on a previous episode of Saturday Night, Wright does not look more angry or determined here or perhaps Wright is doing his best to seem angry but it is not coming across well in this one. Side headlock takedown by Wright, Malenko counters with his legs before Wright wriggles free. Side headlock by Malenko, head-scissors by Wright before Malenko escapes, hammerlock counter by Wright but Malenko is too smooth for Wright. Both men working a frantic pace here, side headlock by Wright.


Standing switch and rolls from both, dropkick from Wright. Head-scissors takedown by Wright, Malenko powders on the floor. Malenko dodges an enzuigiri and elbows drops the leg, Malenko drags Wright to the ring-post and smashes his leg into the ring-post. Dragon screw into a single leg heel hook, Wright tries to escape the hold but Malenko is not too quick to let go. Malenko stomps on the leg, knees to the legs. Wright elbows Malenko and lands a diving crossbody, Wright continues selling the leg so I am happy. Uppercuts by Wright, Malenko is caught with a knee. Dropkick by Wright, belly to back suplex by Malenko. Malenko climbs high, Wright dropkicks Malenko in the head. Superplex by Wright, Wright lands a German Suplex but Malenko kicks out! Malenko dodges a dropkick, massive forearm by The Ice-Man. Wright sends Malenko to the buckle, flip by Wright on a bad leg and Malenko lands a dropkick to the knee and jacknifes Wright for the win.


Liked the pace they were working, you can see WCW is going to have some incredible matches coming up with all the cruiserweight talent coming in but Wright looks good here and I do love some body-part work so Malenko gives me exactly what I want, have to say the finish is quite dumb though. Why would Wright try a back-flip on a bad leg? There’s inexperience and then, there’s just being stupid.


Winner: Dean Malenko over Alex Wright via Roll-Up!


Kevin Sullivan W/ Jimmy Hart vs The Disco Inferno

Disco does not come out, we have The King Elvis Presley in the ring instead of Disco Inferno. Not sure of the impression, Elvis sings horribly before Sullivan knocks out Elvis with a big punch and a Double Stomp. Why?


Brian Pillman vs Eddie Guerrero

The Loose Cannon is here ladies and gentlemen, the man who walked the fine line between kayfabe. Pillman is crazy and seems to have been reborn since joining The Horsemen. Eddie Guerrero is here with little charisma which is kind of shocking considering how much he oozed it in his tag team with Art Barr. Pillman is arguing with fans, Guerrero watches on at the antics of The Loose Cannon. They are going to lock-up but Pillman is playing with Guerrero, Guerrero is not a happy camper. Pillman puts up the four fingers in front of Guerrero, Guerrero shoves down Pillman and Pillman is out on the floor. Lock-up and side headlock by Guerrero, Pillman pulls the hair but eats a dropkick. Pillman curses on air as Heenan has his neck touched which is just after his neck surgery. Pillman wants a hand-shake, Guerrero shakes hands with Pillman and chops the shit out of him. Tilt-a-whirl back-breaker by Guerrero, Pillman is begging for mercy. Pillman rakes the eyes, chops to the chest.


Pillman chokes and slaps Guerrero, Pillman steps on the head of Guerrero. Snap-mare into a reverse chin-lock, Guerrero counters with a suplex and a dropkick. Pillman is on the floor, Guerrero is caught with a chop. Whip to the buckle, Eddie counters and lands a tornado DDT but Pillman uses the ropes to escape. Chop and slap by Guerrero, Pillman counters Guerrero with an elbow and tries to use the ropes for leverage. Guerrero almost rolls-up Pillman for two, flying crossbody with a handful of tights from Pillman and Pillman wins this match.


Pillman is developing the gimmick here that would bring him much acclaim and shock, very shocking moment to see Heenan to lose his cool like that but obviously when you know the backstory, you can see why Heenan would be so sensitive about his neck. As for the match itself, it was not exactly end to end exciting stuff but we did have some nice big moves in there, Guerrero is going to be a star if he can continue to connect with the fans while Pillman is getting big reactions for his antics.


Winner: Brian Pillman over Eddie Guerrero via Handful of Tights!


Sting & Lex Luger vs The Blue Bloods

Luger has been working with The Dungeon of Doom, taking out Savage and Hogan at the end of Halloween Havoc. However, Sting and Luger are very close friends which leads to Luger playing the fans and Sting as nobody can figure out the true intentions of The Total Package. Love me some Bobby Eaton, Sting has no blonde in his hair for the first time, this is the beginning of the shift for Sting to longer brown hair. Very odd to see Surfer Sting with that haircut, seems like I am in a very bizarre world.


Anyways, Regal and Sting to start with Regal working the arm from the get-go. Sting reverses the hold, Regal uses his superior technique to counter Sting. Shoulder block by Sting, dropkick by Sting and Luger gets in a shot too. Regal is wobbling so in comes Bobby Eaton, lock-up and Luger comes in off the tag. Stomps before Eaton rakes the eyes, Luger is tossed to the floor. Eaton is back-dropped on the concrete, clothesline too by Luger. Luger throws Eaton into the ring, Eaton begs for mercy. Regal tags in, Luger has Regal in the corner. Cheap-shot by Regal, uppercuts for good measure. Knee to the head and a tag to Eaton, Luger begins to fight back against both men before Regal pokes the eyes and Eaton lands his neck-breaker. Tag to Regal, elbow drop for two.


Regal sends Luger to the buckle, tag to Eaton. Regal strikes Luger again and again, snap-mare and Eaton is up in the air. Diving knee drop by Eaton, Regal comes in and applies The Regal Stretch! Sting makes the save by raking the eyes of Regal, tag to Eaton who climbs high again. Eaton tries a crossbody but Luger counters with a powerslam. Eaton and Luger bang heads, Sting gets the tag and takes down the challengers. Regal forearms Luger to the floor, Regal nails Sting. Sting hits the ropes and Eaton falls off and collides with Regal which leads to the Scorpion Death-Lock on Eaton for the win.


Decent little match, crowd loves Luger & Sting and there is no tease of anything here, nice little match to put over the new champions.


Winners: Lex Luger & Sting over The Blue Bloods via Scorpion Death-Lock!


(Mexican Championship) Konnan © vs Psicosis

I like how not even Mike Tenay gives me the name of the promotion they wrestle for which is just tremendous. I wonder why they wouldn’t want to say AAA but anyways, we start with a nice arm-drag from Konnan. Both men show great speed, Konnan is in fantastic shape. Nice submission from Konnan, German suplexes by Konnan. Konnan tries another stretch on the mat, Psicosis touches the ropes. Psicosis lands a beautiful spinning heel kick and stretches Konnan, Konnan escapes and applies a single leg Boston crab. Psicosis grabs the ropes and we reset, Konnan stops a chop and lands a nice arm-drag. Corner head-scissors and arm-drag by Konnan, dropkick to the knee by Konnan. DDT by Konnan, Psicosis is elevated to the apron and lands a missile dropkick. Tope from Psicosis, Konnan lands a massive German Suplex and ties up Psicosis with a submission called a Zip-lock.


Konnan kicked the shit out of Psicosis here, not exactly must see TV.


Winner: Konnan over Psicosis via ZipLock!


Sherri & Colonel Parker Wedding Segment

Colonel Parker and Sister Sherri are getting married, Parker is a gambler and lost all his money apparently but they will still have this wedding. Sherri looks beautiful, The Disco Inferno is here and dances all around the stage. Harlem Heat and Bunkhouse and Dick Slater watch on, it is a drive-thru wedding. Hold on a second, Madusa comes out of nowhere and attacks Sherri? What is this about? They just start killing one another and rolling around, Booker slips on cake. Madusa beats the piss out of Sherri getting the upper hand, that’s definitely a development I was not expecting. Disco Inferno steals some bottles of champagne and I guess that’s that.


The Monster-Maniacs vs The Giant & Ric Flair

So here we have Giant and Hogan back after missing out on Starrcade, Giant can hide behind Flair’s in-ring work. Kevin Greene is here with Hogan & Savage, we also have Woman & Miss Elizabeth! How great to see her again as it just seems wrong to have Savage without Liz. Savage & Flair to start, Savage’s arm is still all taped up, Kevin Greene is on the apron and stepping into the ring, what is this about? Stalling occurs before Flair and Savage begin working, chops and rights by Flair. Savage lands a back body drop and two clotheslines. Savage rakes the eyes, Flair Flip to the apron. Hogan lands a boot, Flair begs for mercy. Savage is lured in, chops by Flair. Right hand to the jaw, Giant slaps the back of Savage.


Backslide attempt by Savage, two for Savage. Right hand by Savage, jabs rock Flair. Tag to Hogan who lands a massive right hand, Flair is flipping out about this development but Giant is in the ring. Hogan comes in, Giant pushes back Hogan twice. Side headlock by Hogan, shoulder block by Giant. Eye rake by Hogan, Hogan wants a slam but Giant clubs Hogan. Big slam by Giant, kick and elbow by Giant. Giant whips Hogan to the buckle and repeats the kick and elbow spot, Giant lands a massive back-breaker and stretches Hogan. Giant misses an elbow drop, Hogan says it is time for the slam. Hogan slams Giant, Flair is tagged into the match. Flair lands a delayed vertical suplex but Hogan no-sells it, right hands by Hogan. Eye poke by Flair, Giant and Hogan are on the floor.


Flair chops Hogan, Hogan no-sells as per usual. Hogan whips Flair to the buckle, Flair lands an elbow. Flair climbs high, Hogan yanks Flair off the top rope. Tag to Savage who jabs Flair. Savage is up high, diving axe handle by Savage. Scoop slam, Hogan and Giant brawl. Savage lands his Diving Elbow Drop, Jimmy Hart is on the apron. Flair has something in his hand and cracks Savage, Flair steals the win just like Starrcade!


Well it’s your typical WCW main event at this point with Hogan hamming it up with Giant, Giant still showing great limitations with what he can do inside that ring and Savage and Flair doing the fun stuff, odd to have Flair go over Savage considering the feud looked over in a way with Savage quickly regaining his championship from Flair but it looks like The Nature Boy and Savage will wrestle for the championship once more.


Winners: Team Flair over Team Hogan via Foreign Object!


Well that’s it for all the Clashes, I have covered every Clash that I had intended on covering before ending my series on pre-NOW era WCW. There were some good moments much like Saturday Night’s Main Event but I think I would have to give the edge to Saturday Night’s Main Event when it came to significant moments. A lot of jobber squashes especially in 1989 and 1990 really hurt my love of these shows while things definitely did no improve in 1995 and 1996 which is obviously my most recent memories of the show but then again, we had returns and we had debuts and some amazing matches from Flair in here so while the legacy of The Clash of Champions can be debated until the cows come home, I must say that I personally enjoyed covering these shows and I hope you enjoyed my inane ramblings too, thank you for reading and remember: there’s always another night!

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