August 14, 2009
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

WCW Clash of the Champions XV: Knocksville USA
June 14, 1991
Knoxville, TN
Civic Coliseum

The current WCW Champs were as follows:
World Champion: Ric Flair (1/11/1991)
U.S. Champion: Lex Luger (12/16/1990)
World Television Champion: Bobby Eaton (5/19/1991)
World Tag Team Champions: Rick & Scott Steiner (3/9/1991)
U.S. Tag Team Champions: The Freebirds (5/19/1991)
World Six-Man Tag Team Champions: Michael Hayes, Jimmy Garvin and Badstreet (6/3/1991)

Your hosts are Jim Ross & Tony Schiavone.

The Young Pistols & Tom Zenk vs. The Freebirds & Badstreet (w/Big Daddy Dink)
The Freebirds and the Young Pistol/Southern Boys just can’t seem to stay away from one another. Seriously, this is like the fourth Clash show in the past year where they’ve faced each other. Badstreet is hyperactive Brad Armstrong under a mask and body suit. Oh yeah, if you’re wondering why this isn’t a six-man tag title match, the taping schedule had yet to recognize the new champs. Zenk and Garvin start the match. Z-Man goes hiptoss crazy on the Birds. Once that’s over, the Pistols shoot off the top rope on the Birds with STEREO CROSSBODY BLOCKS! Hayes and Smothers tag. Hayes misses a left hand in the corner and takes a slingshot dropkick Garvin tries to attack from the top rope, but Armstrong is there to slam him down to set up a slingshot double-clothesline by Zenk! The Birds get a blind tag to Badstreet. Smothers runs right into a left hand from Hayes to slow him down. With Smothers on the floor, Badstreet runs over and knocks Zenk and Armstrong to the floor as well so he and the Birds can FLAPJACK Smothers on the guardrail! Awesome. He tries to get back in the ring, but Garvin kicks him off the apron to the guardrail. Sick! Once Badstreet tosses Smothers in the ring, a pier-six brawl erupts. The faces all get dumped and while the Birds and Badstreet turn away to pose, they regroup and TRIPLE SUNSET FLIP in for 1-2-3. (4:49) This was almost too spotty and fake-seeming, but nevertheless this was incredibly fun for what it was. **

Oz vs. Johnny Rich
Ooo! Wrestlecrap with Kevin Nash! Tommy Rich’s cousin gets PWNED here. He punishes Rich with knees in the corner and a Big Boot. Sound familiar? WHIRLY-BIRD SLAM wins it all. (1:29) Next. CRAP

Yo baby, PN News is coming to an arena near you! Don’t worry, he won’t be here forever.

Dan Spivey vs. Big Josh
Tony says this is Big Josh’s most important match to date. You mean bigger than his match with the Desperadoes’ Black Bart at Superbrawl? Surely you kid, Tony. Lots of back and forth CLUBBERIN’ going on in this one. Spivey snaps off a Japanese armdrag to show off his ORIENTAL FLAVA~! Josh comes back with a suplex. He avoids a corner charge and takes Spivey down with a back suplex. Wait, here comes CRAZY Kevin Sullivan. He breaks a crutch over the back of Josh as he comes off the ropes! He NO-SELLS that, but sells the clothesline by Spivey from behind. Bridging German suplex gets 1-2-3 for Spivey. (2:49) This leads to an angle between Sullivan’s new freak Blackblood for the Great American Bash. ½*

It’s time for the WCW Top Ten!
10. Steve Austin
9. One Man Gang
8. Barry Windham
7. Arn Anderson
6. Sting
5. Nikita Koloff
4. WCW World TV Champion Bobby Eaton
3. El Gigante
2. Great Muta
1. WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion Lex Luger
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair

The Danger Zone
Tonight’s guest is Wonder Years’ Jason Hervey! Not only is he an ex-boyfriend of Missy Hyatt, but once Wonder Years went off the air, Hervey became an executive producer for WCW along with Eric Bischoff until its demise in 2001. Check out the credits on the PPVs. Now he and Bischoff produce shows like the Scott Baio reality show. Paul E does the bit where he asks questions and then pulls the mic away before any answers could be said. It’s all fun and games for Jason Hervey until he reminds Paul E of getting beat up by a woman! Paul E calls Missy a skanky whore slut. Now Wayne Arnold is MAD! He starts to walk away and then gets WHAMMED in the back of the head by Paul E’s telephone. Missy, with her fun bags and her ten inch heels, trip out to the ring to chase Paul E away so he’ll leave her boyfriend alone. When the camera cuts to Tony, you can tell he’s trying not to laugh.

Dustin Rhodes vs. Terrence Taylor (w/Alexandra York & Mr. Hughes)
Taylor’s still doing that rooster head-bobbing crap. Looks like he’s developed a habit that needs breaking. This is a rematch from Superbrawl in a feud all started because Dustin refused to join the York Foundation. By the way, York has announced that she has signed after dude to her faction and we’ll find out later who that is. Taylor tries to rile Rhodes up by shoving him around, so Dustin answers back with a clothesline that puts Taylor on the floor. He checks with the computer and heads back in the ring. Taylor takes a pair of atomic drops, but avoids a corner charge that sends Dustin flying out to the floor. Taylor follow s him out for some guardrail action. He brings Dustin back in with a suplex and a knee drop gets two. Jawbreaker and a Gutwrench Powerbomb gets 1-2-NO! Rhodes comes back with a sunset flip and a backslide for nearfalls. Rhodes brings up his boot to blocks a charge and Flip Flop Flies his way to the BULLDOG. Hughes is up on the apron with the ref while Dustin has Taylor pinned. Rhodes nails Hughes, but then turns around and there’s Ricky Morton. Throw the match out, ref. Thank you. (4:27) Morton distracts Rhodes with a handshake long enough for Hughes to slip on that dreaded black glove. He pops Dustin in the back and Morton starts to stomping! There’s your newest member of the York Foundation. Big Josh comes to Dustin’s aid and scares Alexandra’s boys away with his ax handle! **¾

Johnny B. Badd is coming to an arena near you! Parents, have fun explaining this guy to your seven year-old son!

Sting vs. Nikita Koloff
Even though Nikita showed up at Superbrawl to get at Luger, Sting was nailed by Nikita’s chain instead of Luger. This interference cost Sting and Lex the tag belts and caused a huge fight in the back after the match. Sting sprints to the ring to meet Koloff, but Nikita pounds him down. Koloff takes Sting to the floor for a toss into the guardrail. Back in, Sting pops up and drills Koloff with a piledriver, but he completely NO-SELLS and hammers Sting to the mat. Koloff gives Sting a tombstone piledriver for 1-2-NO! Sting attempts a sunset flip, but Koloff will not fall and nails Sting. Koloff poses over Sting and gets pulled down for the pinning predicament after all for 1-2-NO! Koloff hits a backbreaker and works the ribs. That continues until they head back out to the floor. This time, Nikita gets whipped into the guardrail. Back in again, Nikita nails Sting and then tries another tombstone piledriver, but Sting reverses into one of his own. Koloff actually sells the move this time as Sting starts his comeback. Stinger Splash misses, but so does the SICKLE. Sting rolls Nikita up for 1-2-3. (9:33) Real methodical pace, but the story that was told was very well done. Reminded me of the Magnum/Koloff series in ‘86. ***

Oh gosh. PN News and Salt N Pepa make an appearance to do a little rap song. I fast forward. Johnny B. Badd and Teddy Long interrupt to say that Johnny is the original rap master. Hush, Teddy! He’s just pretty, and PN News is ugly! Alright.

The Diamond Studd is coming to an arena near you!

Brian Pillman & El Gigante vs. Arn Anderson & Barry Windham – Loser Leaves WCW
After being buried during the second half of 1990 by Ole’s booking, Pillman made a huge leap up the card with great matches with the Horsemen. Pillman open hand chops Anderson and Windham around to start. Spinning kick on Windham gets two, then he escapes a head scissors and pops Pillman in the mouth. DDT connects for two. Arn tags and gets dropkicked off the top to the floor, which was quite the bump back then. He follows Arn out with a pescado and is that boos I hear? Back in, Arn runs in Gigante and gets choked down. Pillman tries to go for the finish with a Flying Crossbody off Gigante’s shoulders for 1-2-NO! Arn stops the count, but then Pillman gives him a powerslam. While the ref is trying to restrain Gigante, Windham shoves Pillman off the top and then kicks him in the face Randy Orton-style for 1-2-3. (3:08) Throughout the summer, Pillman would bring back the Yellow Dog gimmick to mess with Barry Windham, who was the original Yellow Dog. You can catch this match on the Brian Pillman DVD if you’d like to see it. Some good bumps here, but not much else. *½

IWGP Tag Team Champions Rick & Scott Steiner vs. Masahiro Chono & Hiroshi Hase
This was the first the New Japan tag belts had been defending on American TV, says JR. But the Steiners have the NWA tag belts with them tonight, which means Chono and Hase aren’t taking any titles back with them tonight. The Steiners had beat Kensuke Sasaki & Hiroshi Hase over in Japan in a match that was voted match of the year by the Wrestling Observer. Scott and Hase start the match. Both men are experts in the amateur style, so that comes into play here. Scott gets kicked out to the floor with an enziguri, but comes back with a hotshot for two. Hase bridges up out of a knucklelock and blasts Scott with a Booker T hook kick that wows the crowd. Rick tags in and gets his headgear shattered by some MAFIA KICKS from Chono. Rick bounces off the ropes for a Steinerline after a final Mafia Kick and then elbow drops Chono off Scott’s shoulders. Chono hits a spinning back chop on Rick so he can tag in Hase, who takes a release German suplex. Hase reverses a whip and gives Rick a fireman’s carry slam and then assists Chono in a Flying Shoulderblock. Chono applies the STF while Scott and Hase brawl out to the floor. Scott gives him a suplex on the floor and breaks the hold in the ring. Double-KO spot leads to a HOT TAG TO SCOTT! Steinerlines abound. Tilt-a-whirl slam! Tiger Driver! Belly-to-Belly Superplex! Chono breaks up the pin and dumps Rick. The Japs come off the ropes and Rick trips up Chono, as Hase runs right into a FRANKENSTEINER for the win. (8:14) Dick Slater and Dick Murdoch run down to beat everybody up. This feud never really went anywhere, as Scott was injured here with a torn bicep. Good match. Would’ve been better with Sasaki, but this is what we got. ***½

The Diamond Studd (w/Diamond Dallas Page) vs. Tommy Rich
Isn’t it weird how DDP is now a yoga teacher? They do the bit where DDP is looking for a new Diamond Doll and so some random chick hops in the ring to rip off the Studd’s snap-on britches. As usual, Page doesn’t think she’s good enough. Scott Hall’s tights are missing an extra “D” and will for several weeks. It’s the usual squash for Studd until he misses a pump splash. Rich goes wild with the turnbuckle smashes, but then misses a crossbody out of the corner and takes the DIAMOND DEATH DROP (Razor’s Edge) for 1-2-3. (1:59) Like I said at the end of Nash’s match, next.

Sting holds a little Stinger in his arms because it gets him all excited! After he puts the kid down, Koloff shows up with his arm wrapped in a chain and gives Sting a SICKLE! Koloff wants to beat up the kid, but the kid’s mom jumps the rail and acts as a shield while head of security Doug Dellinger FINALLY does his job and takes Nikita to the back before anything can happen.

WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion Lex Luger vs. The Great Muta
Muta would visit WCW for a short tour just about every year in WCW. This is part of his ‘91 tour. Winner of this match gets a title shot against Flair at the Great American Bash. Of course, we all know that plan was scratched. They show “World’s Strongest Man” Bill Kazmaier who is in attendance. They run the ropes a bit. Luger ducks a spin kick and levels Muta with a back suplex, but then misses the jumping elbow drop. Does he ever hit that? Luger comes back with a press slam. As soon as I say that, he misses a charge in the corner and takes a roundhouse kick to the chest. Muta tries the Handspring Elbow, but as Luger moves, Muta slides off the turnbuckle and out to the floor in a SICK bump! What is up with that turnbuckle tonight? Scott Steiner slipped off it earlier too. Back in, Luger blocks the GREEN MIST~! with his arms and finishes Muta off with a Powerslam. (3:43) Criminally short. I wonder if that bump had something to do with it. **

Steve Austin (w/Lady Blossom) vs. Joey Maggs
This is VERY early in Austin’s WCW run, as his former company World Class had been long gone and ate up by what’s left of the AWA and CWA. STUNGUN (hotshot) gets the three-count on Maggs in no-time flat. (0:25) Man, Lady Blossom had huge boobs. CRAP

Blackblood is coming to an arena near you! Hopefully, he won’t chop your head off.

Ricky Morton is now out with a suit on to officially announce his allegiance to the York Foundation. Robert Gibson comes out to question him, but Morton says money talked and told him to give Gibson a PILEDRIVER! Dustin Rhodes runs down for the save. Bam, instance PPV match. Too bad everyone sucked at that show on purpose.

WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair vs. Bobby Eaton – 2/3 Falls
This would be Flair’s last major match before he leaves the company for the WWF. Eaton’s also the TV champ at this point, but that means nothing here. Eaton catches Flair with a couple of elbows to start and clotheslines Flair out. Back in, they trade blows and a backdrop gets two. Eaton applies a short-arm scissors, but Flair grabs the ropes for the break. A right hand from Eaton sends Flair out to regroup. Like a good little babyface, Eaton follows him out and takes a knee in the face on the way in. Flair then tosses Bobby into the ringpost and hits the Rolling Knee Drop for 1-2-NO! Butterfly suplex gets another two for Flair with his feet on the ropes. Bobby punches back and slams Flair off the top. Flair flips out of the corner and gets knocked off the apron with a right hand. Bobby hits the Bobby Eaton backbreaker and a Swinging Neckbreaker sets up the ALABAMA JAM for 1-2-3! (9:45 Eaton -1 Flair – 0) Eaton gets quick several near-falls on the champion and then goes for another ALABAMA JAM, but Flair knocks him off the top rope to send him to the floor and jamming one of his knees in the process. That’s enough to get Bobby counted out. (11:42 Eaton – 1 Flair – 1) Back in, Bobby punches back and delivers a superplex, but his knee is too hurt to get a quick cover. Flair knows the knee is hurting, so he goes right to work on it. He works the FIGURE-FOUR until Eaton can’t take the pain anymore and gets his shoulders counted to the mat. (14:26 Flair – 2 Eaton – 1) These two could’ve went thirty minutes easily. There was just not enough sympathy heat built up for poor Bobby Eaton. He hits his knee on the floor and three minutes later, he’s done. It was like they really didn’t want to make Bobby Eaton a singles star here, but you couldn’t complain because he’s in the main event. Disappointing match, as they had better ones in ‘88. ***¼

Final Thoughts: Flair would be gone from the company in a matter of weeks and now WCW would have to stand without the man who made it what it was, or at least what it used to be. The summer of ‘91 would be one of the worst periods in the company’s history creatively until worthy stars were made like Cactus Jack, and legends returned like Ricky Steamboat. As for the show, it’s the final show of the Flair era in WCW. I would pick this show over watching the Great American Bash ‘91 any day, but downright amazing about it. There’s a few good matches on here, so I’ll go with thumbs in the middle for its history and the effort put forth in the good matches.

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