NWA Clash of the Champions

Live from Greensboro, NC

Airdate: March 27, 1988

Attendance: 6,000

Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross, and Bob Caudle

In previous reflections, we learned that Vince McMahon and the WWF initially opposed Starrcade ’87 with Survivor Series then subsequently Bunkhouse Stampede with Royal Rumble on USA. With the help of TBS, Jim Crockett Promotions counter-attacked by opposing WrestleMania IV with this show. Back in 1988, despite my admiration for Savage, I tuned in to watch this show instead. Let’s see what transpired.

Match 1 for the NWA World TV title: Mike Rotunda (w/ Kevin Sullivan) versus “Gorgeous” Jimmy Garvin (w/ Precious)


First round:

Second round:

Rating: *

Summary: Garvin wasn’t the right opponent for this type of stipulation. Rotunda will need an opponent better known for his amateur background for this stipulation to work. So why was Garvin here?

After the match, Garvin gives Rotunda a brainbuster, but Sullivan attacks him from behind. While Garvin retaliates against Sullivan, University of Michigan alumnus Rick Steiner comes in to aid his “coach.” Immediately, Precious, carrying a 2x4, comes in and wallops Steiner with it. She then grabs the coat hanger and chokes Sullivan with it. Fortunately for her, Garvin pulls her to safety before the Varsity Club can pummel her. I smell an upcoming feud here.

After a commercial break, Caudle interviews “Dr. Death” Steve Williams. At the beginning of the show, Tony and Caudle mentioned the incident that occurred on World Championship Wrestling involving Rhodes, Magnum T.A., and promoter Jim Crockett (aired 3/26, taped 3/23). Speaking of which, Williams still supports Rhodes despite the violent attack. Perhaps Williams still has jet lag from his return flight from Japan. Regardless, he wants to challenge the winner of the Flair-Sting match and equates himself to a bullet while the other NWA wrestlers aren’t “Superman.” Never mind the jet lag, bartender, I’ll have what he’s having.

Match 2 for the US tag team titles: The Midnight Express (champions w/ Jim Cornette) versus the Fantastics


Rating: ****1/2

Summary: Excellent double-team moves and nefariousness from the Midnight Express made this a match not-to-be-missed. Wow!

After the match, Lane dropkicks Rogers out of the ring as Anderson reverses Young’s decision and disqualifies the Fantastics. BOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Thanks, Dusty. Anyway, Lane rams Rogers shoulder-first into the ring post as Cornette wallops Fulton in the back with the racquet. Subsequently, he demolishes both Anderson and Young with it. After the Midnight Express deliver a flapjack to Fulton, Lane whips Fulton with Cornette’s belt. As the Express held Fulton across the top rope, Cornette whips Fulton relentlessly. Ultimately, Rogers chases the heels away with a steel chair. Great match!

After a commercial break, Ken Osmond shills his new show The New Leave It to Beaver and interviews Cornette. If you’re not familiar with Osmond, he played Eddie Haskell in the original show.

Caudle then interviews Al Perez with Gary Hart. They challenge Rhodes for the US title. Caudle then shills the Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup on 4/22-23.

We then see a pre-recorded video of Frances Crockett who names the top 10 seeds for the tournament:

  1. Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard
  2. Nikita Koloff and Dusty Rhodes
  3. The Road Warriors
  4. The Midnight Express
  5. The Powers of Pain
  6. Barry Windham and Lex Luger
  7. The Fantastics
  8. The Varsity Club
  9. Sting and Ron Garvin
  10. Ivan Koloff and Dick Murdoch

Match 3 (Chicago street fight barbed-wire six-man): The Road Warriors & the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes (w/ “Precious” Paul Ellering) versus the Powers of Pain & Ivan Koloff (w/ Paul Jones)


Rating: ***

Summary: Exciting blow-off to the angle here.

After the match, Barbarian gives Animal the Mafia kick knocking the hockey mask off. Warlord then wraps his fist with the chain and pummels Animal’s injured eye. While Koloff whips Hawk with the chain, Barbarian gives Animal the business. Finally, Rhodes and Hawk clear the ring.

After the commercial break, Tony shills NWA Main Event beginning next Sunday. Caudle then interviews Nikita Koloff who’s wearing a light-colored suit and a flat-top. Koloff shills his campaign against drugs with the slogan: “Get high on sports.” Subtly, he mentions his wife, Mandy, who subsequently died from Hodgkin’s disease. He then vows to win the World title and defend the SuperPowers’ Cup victory.

Match 4 for the NWA World tag team titles: The “Enforcer” Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard (champions w/ JJ Dillon) versus the “Total Package” Lex Luger & Barry Windham


Rating: ****

Summary: Excellent fast-paced tag match that showcased all four wrestlers well.

Match 5 for the NWA World title: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (champion w/ JJ Dillon) versus Sting


Rating: ****1/2

Summary: How to Make a Midcarder into a Main Eventer 101 by Ric Flair. I truly believe Sting was Flair’s best student during their careers, and this match was the opening chapter. Sting’s moveset needed a lot of additions as he repeated moves quite a bit here. Nevertheless, this match was phenomenal and a must-see for all wrestling fans.

After the match, we go to the scorecards:

Miller announces the decision as a draw which allows Flair to retain the title.

Conclusion: Hands-down, one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. If you’ve never seen this show, you owe it to yourself as a fan to watch it from beginning to end. You will not be disappointed. Even if you have seen it, watch it again because it was THAT exciting.

With that being said, if I were to compare WrestleMania IV to this show, Clash wins hands-down. Sorry, Vinnie Mac.

See you for NWA Crockett Cup ‘88!

Rating: 5.80

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at rsg@rockstargary.com and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202).

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