Clash of the Champions 21

Announcers: Jim Ross, Jessie Ventura

The show starts off with the scary image of Paul E. Dangerously in his underwear being weighed in for his match with Madusa. After Dangerously makes rude remark to Madusa in her weigh in, she attacks and official have to pull them apart.

Brian Pillman announces that he was hurt and will be unable to wrestle tonight. Brad Armstrong comes out and he attacks him before the bell with a crutch. The bell rings and Pillman gets a quick pinfall.

Arn Anderson & Bobby Eaton (w/Michael Hayes)
Eric Watts & Kensuke Sasaki

If anyone could get a good match out of Watts and Sasaki, Anderson and Eaton could but even they didn't. Sasaki came off like Misawa compared to Watts in this match at times and had some keen dropkicks that were impressive. Watts seemed to fumble along and have several awkward moments, partially due to his height, but mostly because of his inexperience. Hayes didn't get much airtime on camera on the outside and the announcers did not play up his antics. Watts got the win after Eaton submitted to the STF.

Scotty Flamingo (w/Vinnie Vegas and Diamond Dallas Page in pink shirts)
Johnny B. Badd (w/"Peanut Head" Teddy Long)

Watching the previous interview segment with Vegas and Page was odd to say the least. Three wrestlers, who would later become stars, could all talk very well were all stuck in incredibly bad gimmicks. To just imagine, Bill Watts had Kevin Nash and didn't push him as a star… maybe Bill Watts wasn't so bad after all. The booking of the match was extremely odd because Scotty Flamingo was billed as the underdog despite being the heel. Johnny B. Badd dominates the first round, knocking Flamingo out of the ring early. Badd's aggressiveness kept the ref from counting several times which seems flawed in theory unless they were trying to develop his edge despite being stuck in the anti-masculine Little Richard gimmick. Flamingo sold each of the punches well and when he fell at the end of the round, it was quite believable. Between the rounds, Diamond Dallas Page soaks Flamingo's glove with water to knock out the unsuspecting Johnny B. Badd. Badd nails him with several punches before Flamingo nails him with the loaded glove, which sends him down for the ten count. Boxing matches are rarely done well in wrestling but this match was much better than it had any right of being.

Ron Simmons & Too Cold Scorpio
Tony Atlas & Cactus Jack & The Barbarian

The focus of the announcers in the match is on the name of Simmons' unnamed partner. I remember watching this match at the time and marking out hard for Scorpio's aerial spots. The young, thin, trim, Too Cold Scorpio had remarkable aerial skill that impressed me at the time as much as Rey Misterio Jr. would years later. Cactus Jack barely got into the match, which hurt the match because Tony Atlas at this stage of his career was very hard to watch. Thankfully the match was kept short and Too Cold Scorpio won the match with his Tumbleweed Splash to pin Atlas.

After the match, it was revealed that his name was Too Cold Scorpio, which Ross and Ventura sold as the birth of a new star. WCW did an effective job of making the newcomer important.

Paul E. Dangerously

Dangerously hits Madusa as she enters the ring and she goes down for the count. Michael Hayes declares Dangerously the winner and berates Madusa who is lying still on the mat. Dangerously grabs her hair and has it comes off in his hand. Dangerous realizes that "she" is a "he." Madusa comes in from the crowd and nails Dangerously with a kick to the head to send him down. After taking a great deal of abuse, he bails out of the ring and heads to the back with Michael Hayes. Madusa goes after him and into the dressing room. Madusa carries Dangerously out from the curtain and throws him back into the ring. Hayes trips Madusa on the way in and she lands flat on her face. Dangerously goes up to the top rope and drops a double axe handle. Madusa no sells the move and nails him with a clothesline which sends him down. Madusa drives her knees into his head as he is lying down on the mat. Madusa climbs to the second rope and nails him with a dropkick. Madusa tries to strip dangerously and he runs to the back. Madusa goes after Hayes and the time limit expires. Bad finish, even worse match.

King of Cable: Sting vs. Rick Rude
Judges: Larry Zbyszko, Hiro Matsuda, Ole Anderson

Whenever I see judges in a pro wrestling match, I automatically think draw or screwjob, which unfortunately is exactly what happened. Sting and Rick Rude had a natural chemistry in the ring but this match suffered from poor match construction. Sting dominated the first half of the match with ease that made Rude, the HEEL, had to make the come back in the second half. If you think you are confused, you should have heard the crowd. With all the sympathy on Rude and fan favorite Sting was ahead on points, the second half of the match was met with little or no reaction. The match went to the time limit and it was in the hands of the judges. Hiro Matsuda awarded the match to Sting. Larry awarded the match to Rude, which was met with a chorus of boos. That left the decision in the hands of Ole Anderson, the former Four Horsemen who have historically had a history of bad blood with Sting. With all the bad blood between the two sides, Ole Anderson makes the obvious choice and awards the match to… Sting.

Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas
Dustin Rhodes & Barry Windham

Bill Watts had some great old school tag team feuds in his WCW reign. The story of this match was the break up of Dustin Rhodes and Barry Windham. Throughout the match, Windham wanted to turn up the volume on Steamboat and Douglas, but because of Dustin's friendship with both, he restrained Windham from doing so. Windham's body language showed how his anger towards Dustin grew throughout the match. The pivotal point in the match is when Dustin Rhodes refused to take advantage of Ricky Steamboat, who was injured on a botched leapfrog. Windham was angered by Dustin's unwillingness to cover Steamboat for a sure victory. Instead of pinning Steamboat, he gave him time to recuperate before tagging in his partner. Dustin's respect for Ricky Steamboat prevented him from taking advantage of the situation, which ultimately lead to them losing the unified tag titles. After the match, as Dustin was walking away from the ring, Windham called him back to the ring and they began to brawl to cement the break up.

In the closing segment of the show, Steamboat put over Dustin's effort calling him his friend before Windham attacked Douglas and Steamboat from behind with a chair to close the show.

Final Thoughts:

The last match and debut of Too Cold Scorpio made this a memorable, even if not all that good, Clash of the Champions. Anyone who wants to learn tag team psychology should watch the last match and take notes. It's a style that unfortunately has been lost in history in an excess of tables and highspots.

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©2001 by the author