Clash Of The Champions -Januar 21st, 1997
Greetings, all. I know it’s been a minute since the last update, but it’s been busy around these parts. Or I’ve been lazy. It’s hard to tell which is which sometimes, dig? Either way, we’re back in action with the second-to-last Clash of the Champions. After this we’ve got the nWo’s first ever PPV, Souled Out, and that will be here in a week, so, heads up for that beauty.
Alrighty, let’s get it.
Dean Malenko vs Ultimo Dragon [C] – Crusierweight Championship
I have zero shame in admitting what a huge Sonny Ono mark I am. The guy is fucking hilarious, and he was also the inventor of the Selfie. I’m not sure what their game plan is here, because they’ve been at it for about 5 minutes or so, if not longer, and they haven’t done a damn thing. It’s literally been nothing but them trading laying leg-submissions and a few kicks. It’s a shame they aren’t doing too much, because the crowd is so hot they’re literally popping for a kick. Things start picking up after a top-rope suplex soon leads us into powerbomb reversals, drop-kicks to the outside, and brawling around ring-side. They soon get back in, and with quite a few quick false-finishes and reveals, they create a hot ending that sees Dean put Dragon in the Texas Cloverleaf, and tap him out after Ultimo holds out for about 15 seconds. A decent match, but honestly I was expecting a lot more from these two.
Dean wins and becomes the first ever 3rd time Cursierweight Champ with the Texas Cloverleaf at 13:12 | **½
Mike Enos vs Scotty Riggs
Mike Enos is probably the only case where a guy is a complete jobber, yet known because he’s involved in one of the biggest moments in wrestling history. For those that may not remember, he was taking on the Mauler when Hall made his first appearance on Nitro. Well, not much happens here, as they wrestle for a few minutes and then Enos eats a forearm and it’s all over. Fine for what it was, which was something to show Riggs is a bit of a player, seeing he has to face Buff at Souled Out the following Saturday.
Riggs wins with a forearm shot at 6:52| *
The Horsemen come out for an interview, and while Benoit gives a pretty boring promo, the crowd goes from very loud “We Want Flair!” [who’s absent] chant, to “Bears Suck!”. I recently became a Mongo mark, and that only became stronger after seeing Scott Hall’s recent Youshoot video, in which he said that him and Mongo use to hang in 1997 a lot, and that Mongo had a guy who would bring him coke to every TV taping.
Konnan, Mr. JL, La Parka vs Super Calo, Chris Jericho, Chavo Guerrero
This crowd is absolutely ridiculous. Calo & Konnan are doing some pretty cool things, but all the crowd can do is chant “Mexico Sucks”. This has gotta be the most xenophobic crowd I’ve ever seen. These guys are doing all sorts of ridiculous things, one of which is Chavo being perched on Konnan’s shoulders, and La Parka jumping off the turnbuckle to execute a twisting plancha, nailing Chavo. It’s pretty non-stop with the action, some of it kinda clunky because Konnan is too big to do a lot of it. They do win the crowd over eventually, and all it took was almost killing themselves. The match ends when Jericho nails a freaking standing Hurricarana off the top turnbuckle. Insane. A decent match, but a bit clunky, and a lot of flash just for the sake of it.
Jericho wins after a top-rope standing Hurricarana at 12:29 | **½
Harlem Heat vs Renegade & Joe Gomez
Not much going on here, a very standard Nitro match that sees Harlem Heat dominate until they win with the Heat Seeker, which is when Renegade is sitting on Stevie’s shoulders and Booker hits him with a drop-kick.
Heat-Seeker wins it at 8:31| *1/2
Masahiro Chono vs Alex Wright
Nick Patrick is the ref for this match, in full nWo garb, working the slow-counts and such, and it’s making the crowd irate. Alex put up a pretty good fight, and looked like he’d have won had it not been for that dastardly Nick Patrick. I’ve always thought that the nWo having their own official was great, and Patrick played it perfectly. Match comes to an end after Chono hits a spin-kick to Wright’s head, and Patrick finally finds the strength to make a normal-speed 3 count.
Wright loses after a kick to the head at 5:00 | *1/2
Scott Norton vs Eddie Guerrero
Norton has always been one of my favorites, with his tag-team with Buff, Vicious & Delicious being fantastic and absolutely deserving of a run with the belts. Nick Patrick is our referee once again. Norton is like a one-man Road Warrior, in that he no sells practically everything, and is insanely powerful. Pretty standard Monster vs Man type match. Norton’s Powerbomb is absolutely deadly, and no way would I ever take it. Norton accidentally hits Patrick when he hits Guerrero with a flying shoulder-tackle, which then brings out DDP who hits him with the Diamond Cutter, allowing Eddie to nail the Frog Splash and get the pin. Solid stuff that I think could have actually been pretty damn good if they had more time.
Norton eats a Frog Splash and a pin at 4:17 | **
The Taskmaster vs Chris Benoit – Falls Count Anywhere
They had this match once, it went well, and then I swear that every time there after they always did Falls Count Anywhere. I remember the first match, the big deal was it went into the bathroom, so this time it’s immediately where they head to. They throw each other through paper towel dispensers, hit each other with the trash cans, then head back out. Benoit takes a pretty impressive bump when they flies down a flight of stairs. They get back to the ring, where Sullivan hits the Tree of Woe, and the lamest move ever, the Double Stomp, where he simply jumps on a guy. He then tries to get the microphone from Jimmy, and while distracted, Woman grabs a chair and nails him in the back of the head, allowing Benoit to get the pin. This uh, this absolutely did not live up to what the feud promised. It seemed like an edited-for-TV version or something, rather tame. But then again, I was never a huge fan of either guys wrestling, so.
Benoit wins after Woman hits Taskmaster with a chair at 11:51 | **
The Amazing French Canadians vs The Steiner Brothers
Nothing too amazing here. Rick gets double-teamed, Scotty makes the hot tag, we then get some clotheslines, a couple power slams, and of course a few suplexes. This leads to yet another on-the-shoulders tag-team move in which the pirate is on Rick’s shoulders, and Scott gives him a DDT while standing on the top-rope, not a bad move. The match, just like every other one tonight was very average, and nothing more than something Nitro worthy.
Steiners win after a double-team DDT at 9:07 | *1/2
Scott Hall vs Lex Luger
Luger is able to control the beginning of the match, but with Hall & Syxx on the outside, it soon turns to Hall’s advantage. You get your standard double-teaming with things like punches behind the ref, and grabbing the hand for extra leverage in the abdominal stretch. Luger gets the come back, and puts up a hell of a fight, actually taking on Hall, Nash, and Syxx all at once, without the ref ringing the bell. He’s about to Rack him, but, shockingly, the match ends in a DQ. No joke, if you watch every nWo-featured main event, I’d be willing to bet 98% of them end in DQ. It becomes so damn stale after a while. This match was decent, but nothing amazing. It just felt like your standard Nitro main event that went 5 minutes longer than usual.
Luger wins via DQ after Syxx & Nash interfere at 15:05 | **1/4
I don’t want to out-right say that this Clash sucked, because there weren’t any matches that were bad, so to speak. It just didn’t feel like anything that needed to be televised. Everything was pretty hum-drum, with most simply feeling like something you’d see on a Monday Nitro. It’s really no surprise that this was the second to last Clash ever done.