NWA Clash of the Champions III: Fall Brawl

Live from Albany, GA

Airdate: September 7, 1988

Attendance: 3,700

Hosted by Tony Schiavone, “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, Jim Ross, & Bob Caudle

Prior to the first match, Tony acknowledges that the “Total Package” Lex Luger is Flair’s toughest test to date. Methinks Rhodes did NOT write that line for him.

Match 1 for the NWA World TV title: Mike Rotunda (champion w/ Kevin Sullivan) versus Brad Armstrong


Rating: ***1/2

Summary: Exciting match with a hot crowd and a great start to the show. Truly, the time-limit draw has its purpose on a wrestling card as its function is to take a hopeful contender and shine him up.

After the match, Williams assisted the exhausted Armstrong backstage.

According to Ross, Jimmy Garvin "broke" his leg thanks to Sullivan and Rotunda (aired 9/3, taped 8/31). Regrettably, this was also Precious’ last wrestling appearance until 1992.

Match 2: “Dr. Death” Steve Williams & the “Russian Nightmare” Nikita Koloff versus the Sheepherders (w/ Rip Morgan)


Rating: ***1/2

Summary: Hot tag team match that kept the Albany faithful on the edge of its seat. I would also recommend this match to those who only recall the Sheepherders as the Bushwhackers.

Match 3: The “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes versus Kevin Sullivan (w/ Gary Hart)


Rating: *1/2

Summary: Whatever drugs Rhodes was on during this period, could someone please pass some in my direction? It had to be more than just the Miller Lite talking at this point.

Former San Francisco 49er offensive lineman John Ayers joins Tony and Flair and discusses being part of a big game. According to Tony, Ayers will be a special guest referee in an upcoming Flair-Luger title match. In the meantime, Flair takes exception and vehemently informs Ayers of his credentials.

Match 4 (Russian chain): The “Russian Bear” Ivan Koloff (w/ Paul Jones & the Russian Assassin) versus Ricky Morton


Rating: *

Summary: Please tell me this had a point to it because it stunk up The Albany Civic Center.

After the match, the Russian Assassin tosses Morton like a rag doll over the top rope to the concrete floor. Meanwhile, Ivan and Jones argue in the ring until Ivan nails Jones. A-HA! In retaliation, the Russian Assassin nails Ivan from behind. Suddenly, another Russian Assassin (Jack Victory, who is neither Russian nor an assassin) joins the fray as they, along with Jones, put the boots to Ivan.

Next, they clothesline Ivan with the chain. While one holds Ivan against the second rope, the other delivers a running guillotine. That’s Ivan’s move! How insulting! They then knock Ivan into the middle of 1990 with a shot from the chain. As the crowd chants “Ni-ki-ta,” Ivan is BUSTED OPEN! Before a commercial break interrupts the chaos, they hang Ivan using the chain.

At ringside, Ross interviews the impartial Ayers.

Match 5 for the NWA US title: Barry Windham (champion w/ JJ Dillon) versus Sting


Rating: **1/2

Summary: While entertaining, this match lacked the exclamation point to achieve a higher rating. In other words, that finish stunk to high heaven. I understand the mountain to climb that is Sting’s ascension to greatness, but a cheap DQ doesn’t help him.

After the match, Dillon gets in Ayers’ face as a Sting dropkick prevents any further Windham shenanigans. Ayers then lifts Dillon to put him in his place. Unfortunately in 1995, Ayers died from liver cancer.

After a commercial break, Flair runs down Ayers and Luger as only he can.

Conclusion: Unless you’re a fan of the 49ers, this show holds ZERO historical value. In addition, while I like the idea of putting Windham, as US champion, in the main event, that decision makes no sense. On another note, the opening two matches were really good so check them out.

See you for WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event XVII!

Rating: 5.40

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

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