In 1988 WCW had a great idea, to try to take some of WWF(E) Wrestlemania IV’s audience, they decided to run a PPV calibre event of their own, head-to-head with WM4 but it was to be aired free on TV. Wrestlemania was, of course, a spectacle and it’s buyrates were still impressive but WCW had done something revolutionary and some would argue that the free event was the better wrestling show. Thus, Clash of the Champions was born.
There were by WCW’s closure some 35 Clash events as they aired in the same way that WWF’s ‘Saturday Night Main Event’ would, a gala event on normal TV every few months. As anyone who knows me will already be aware, I am a HUGE WCW fan, and the Clash of the Champions specials were like gold-dust to a UK viewer. Relying on tape-traders (they were never aired or released in the UK) the Clashes were so difficult to obtain and although I always wanted them, a lot evaded me and so I was super excited when I learned of this DVD being put into production.
Things start off well with one of the visionaries behind the concept hosting the Three-Disc Set, that man is ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes. So enthusiastic and grandiose is Rhodes’ presentation style that you feel you are listening to a documentary about the fall of the Roman Empire. The Dream has such a captivating presence and vocal ability that he drags you in and you sit at his feet and listen intently. I just wish Big Dust was on more, he’s on a lot, but never enough. Tell me more, Dweam bibbay!
The match selection is very well researched as they are not your most obvious choices, but certainly among the best. For instance we get a young Mick Foley against Mexican Legend Mil Mascaras in an amazing showing from Clash of the Champions 10. It does tend to be a little heavy on the guys who made an impact on or are important to WWE, but that’s ok because the abundance of Ric Flair, Macho Man, Steamboat, Austin and Eddie Guerrero is welcome. They even include some great Cruiserweight encounters to sate me on Disc Three.
I wouldn’t necessarily agree that this is the best selection of matches, as I say, they are a bit WWE biased. That said it would be a real disservice to call this anything less than extremely good, it is such a eclectic mix but the quality of wrestling is brilliant and really shows why WCW was always the wrestling fan’s choice promotion. If you watched WWF matches from the same time it would be so much easier to select great matches since they were few and far between, whereas WCW offered great matches every week. A WWE release would also feature the same faces in each match not due to bias, but due to the talent they had and who could put on classic encounters, you would see Savage, Austin, Bret and Owen, Michaels, Foley etc as the quality of WWF action wasn’t as pronounced.
The I quit match and The Hollywood Blonds facing off are two unmissable matches, but people so important to WCW as the Road Warriors, Sid Vicious, Muta and the Cruiserweight getting between no and little coverage is a crying shame. But, the feud-led gimmick matches are great.
I think this set would appeal to people who loved WCW as much as those who never saw it, the action is great and a fan of true wrestling would love this DVD set. It would be foolish to call this flawless as some true greats aren’t even present, but as a compilation to show you what CotC was about, it’s excellent.
The Real Story
-NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match With Ric Flair Versus Sting, Clash Of The Champions – 27th March, 1988.
-NWA World Tag Team Championship Match With Arn Anderson And Tully Blanchard Versus Lex Luger And Barry Windham, Clash Of The Champions – 27th March, 1988.
-Why Wait a Whole Year?
-NWA World Tag Team Championship Match With Arn Anderson And Tully Blanchard Versus Sting And Dusty Rhodes, Clash Of The Champions II – 8th June, 1988.
-Russian Chain Match With Ricky Morton Versus Ivan Koloff, Clash Of The Champions III – 7th September, 1988.
-I Quit Match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship With Ric Flair Versus Terry Funk, Clash Of The Champions IX – 15th November, 1989.
-Mil Mascaras Versus Cactus Jack Manson, Clash Of The Champions X – 6th February, 1990
-NWA World Tag Team Championship Match With Midnight Express Versus Rock And Roll Express, Clash Of The Champions XI – 13th June, 1990.
NWA United States Championship Match With Ric Flair Versus Lex Luger, Clash Of The Champions XII – 5th September, 1990.
-The Young Pistols And Z-Man Versus The Fabulous Freebirds, Clash Of The Champions XV – 12th June, 1991.
-15 Man Battle Royal, Clash Of The Champions XVI – 5th September, 1991.
-WCW United States Championship Match With Sting Versus `Ravishing’ Rick Rude, -Clash Of The Champions XVII – 19th November, 1991.
-Other Stars On The Rise
-Two Out Of Three Falls Match With Ric Flair And Arn Anderson Versus The Hollywood Blonds, -Clash Of The Champions XXIII – 17th June, 1993.
-Brian Pillman Versus ‘Stunning’ Steve Austin, Clash Of The Champions XXV – 10th November, 1993.
-WCW Television Title Match With Lord Steven Regal Versus Dustin Rhodes, Clash Of The Champions XXVI – 27th January, 1994.
-Elimination Tag Team Match With Sting And Ric Flair Versus `Ravishing’ Rick Rude And Vader, Clash Of The Champions XXVI – 27th January, 1994.
Here we are Again
-Championship Unification Match With Sting Versus Ric Flair, Clash Of The Champions XXVII – 23rd June, 1994.
-WCW United States Championship Match with ‘Stunning’ Steve Austin Versus Ricky `The Dragon’ Steamboat, Clash Of The Champions XXVIII – 24th August, 1994.
-Hulk Hogan And `Macho Man’ Randy Savage Versus Ric Flair And The Giant, Clash Of The Champions XXXII – 23rd January, 1996.
-Medusa Versus Bull Nakano, Clash Of The Champions XXXIII – 15th August, 1996.
-Match for the Battle-Bowl Ring With Diamond Dallas Page Versus Eddie Guerrero, Clash Of The Champions XXXIII – 15th August, 1996
-I’m gonna watch this
-WCW World Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Match With Harlem Heat Versus The Steiner Brothers Versus Sting And Lex Luger, Clash Of The Champions XXXIII – 15th August, 1996.
-WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match With Ultimo Dragon Versus Dean Malenko, Clash Of The Champions XXXIV – 21st January, 1997.
-WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match With Chris Jericho Versus Eddie Guerrero, Clash Of The Champions XXXV – 21st August, 1997
-Diamond Dallas Page And Lex Luger Versus Scott Hall And `Macho Man’ Randy Savage, Clash Of The Champions XXXV – 21st August, 1997.
-35th and Final Clash