WCW Clash of the Champions XVII

Live from Savannah, GA

Airdate: November 19, 1991

Attendance: 6.922

Hosted by Jim Ross & Tony Schiavone

Can Sting retain the US title against Rude? Will Rhodes and Windham achieve tag team gold? Does Rick Steiner stand a chance against Luger? Read on!

Backstage, Eric Bischoff and Missy Hyatt preview the upcoming promos during the show. In fact, Hyatt will interview Bagwell.

Not THAT Bagwell. Interestingly, Jeff Bagwell debuted for the Houston Astros in 1991 and won Rookie of the Year. Regardless, Hyatt's more interested in newcomer Marcus Alexander Bagwell allegedly because she had no clue that Jeff Bagwell would become a Hall of Fame baseball player with millions of dollars in the bank. C'est la vie.

Match 1 (lumberjack): Thomas Rich (w/ Alexandra York) versus Big Josh


Rating: *1/2

Summary: Indeed, the lumberjack stipulation actually caused the outcome. To make matters worse, the York Foundation was on borrowed time, and this would be the final supershow appearance of Terri Runnels in WCW.

Match 2: “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton versus US tag team champion Firebreaker Chip


Rating: *

Summary: Showcase match for Eaton.

Promo airs for Starrcade '91 LIVE on PPV on 12/29. Order now!

On the ramp, Schiavone interviews Sting who's anxiously ready for another box with a surprise. I'm shocked no one offered him any Cracker Jacks. Suddenly, a group of well-sculpted bodybuilders pull a mysterious, majestic-looking carriage. Madusa then emerges from it and seduces Sting. As she diverts Sting's attention, Luger crawls out of the carriage and clips Sting's knee. How dastardly! He then rams Sting's knee into the edge of the ramp repeatedly until the babyfaces rescue Sting. More on this later.

Match 3: The Diamond Studd versus the Z-Man


Rating: ½*

Summary: Mere fodder as the Sting storyline continues.

After the match, Studd gives Z-Man a chokeslam followed by the Diamond death drop.

Match 4 for the WCW World TV title: “Stunning” Steve Austin (champion w/ Lady Blossom) versus P. N. News


Rating: *

Summary: The most notable part of the match is that Lady Blossom retired after this match to become a full-time mother.

The Bagwell interview that was hyped earlier in the show was edited from the WWE Network version. I had ZERO to do with removing a Missy Hyatt segment from this show. I swear.

Match 5: Cactus Jack versus Van Hammer


Rating: **

Summary: Tremendous win for the up-and-coming Cactus Jack over the rookie sensation.

After the match, Hammer ducks a clothesline and delivers one of his own. He then tosses Cactus to the ramp and hits a slingshot suplex. Afterward, he uses the ropes for momentum to give Cactus a flying shoulder block while on the ramp. They then brawl to the backstage area.

Ross is on the phone trying to contact Bischoff at the hospital. When Bischoff answers, he provides an update on Sting's condition. Will Sting be available for his title defense later in the show?

We then revisit Halloween Havoc '91 when the Enforcers CRUNCHED Barry Windham's right hand followed by a Rhodes/Windham squash match from Columbus, GA taped on 10/22.

Match 6 for the WCW World tag team titles: The Enforcers (champions) versus the "Natural" Dustin Rhodes & ????


Rating: *****

Summary: Best match for WCW in 1991. These four told a great story with excellent psychology, workrate, and excitement galore. GET ALL THIS!

After a commercial break, a video featuring Jushin "Thunder" Liger airs. For those who enjoy Benoit getting his ass kicked, this segment is for you.

Ross then interviews Uncle Paul at ringside. While reading the contract for the title match, Uncle Paul declares that if Sting cannot return from the hospital for his match tonight, both the match and the title will be forfeited. Oh, the horror!

With Bischoff on the phone, he explains to Sting about the forfeit. He then states that Sting "has commandeered an ambulance."

Match 7 for the WCW Light Heavyweight title: “Flyin’” Brian Pillman (champion) versus Johnny B. Badd (w/ Teddy Long)


Rating: ***

Summary: Decent match with a predictable finish due to the in-fighting between Badd and Long.

After the match, Badd decked Long to a thunderous ovation. WE HAVE A FACE TURN!

Match 8 for the WCW US title: Sting (champion) versus “Ravishing” Rick Rude (w/ Uncle Paul)


Rating: **1/2

Summary: If a wrestling promotion wants to promote its newest heel, having him cheat to win over the promotion's top babyface is an excellent way to establish him. In this case, mission accomplished.

After a commercial break, Schiavone interviews the new US champion with Uncle Paul and Madusa. According to Uncle Paul, the "Dangerous Alliance calls the shots." Rude then informs Sting that "nice guys finish last." Methinks Uncle Paul was channeling Leo Durocher here.

Promo #2 for Starrcade '91 airs.

Ross then interviews Ron Simmons who, like Windham, broke his wrist and cannot compete on tonight's show.

We then revisit WCW Pro on WGN when Rick gave Luger a belly-to-belly suplex and had referee Randy Anderson count an impromptu pin (aired 11/2, taped 10/15). Following that, we revisit World Championship Wrestling when Rick defeated Mr. Hughes and slammed an incoming Race. Luger then decked Rick with a clothesline, attempted a piledriver, but Scott chased him off (aired 11/9, taped 10/21).

Match 9 for the WCW World title: The “Total Package” Lex Luger (champion w/ Harley Race) versus Rick Steiner (w/ Scott Steiner)


Rating: ***

Summary: The outside interference marred the match, but Rick held his own against Luger.

Conclusion: Normally, the Clashes have been used to promote the upcoming PPV matches. Since Starrcade '91 is a concept show, WCW put everything they had into making this show stand on its own. They succeeded with the great tag title match and the elevation of Rude with his US title victory and exceeded my expectations for the show.

Also, with the WWF holding two upcoming PPVs, WCW held this show to oversaturate the market and deter PPV customers. We'll see how much it affected the WWF going forward.

Stay tuned for WWF Survivor Series ‘91!

Rating: 4.30

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

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