NWA Clash of the Champions IV: Season’s Beatings

Live from Chattanooga, TN

Airdate: December 7, 1988

Attendance: 8,000

Hosted by Jim Ross & Bob Caudle

This is the first supercard under the Turner umbrella as Ted Turner officially purchased Jim Crockett Promotions on 11/2.

Match 1 (US tag team title tournament final): The Fantastics versus “Hot Stuff” Eddie Gilbert & Ron Simmons


Rating: ***1/2

Summary: OK, so did Gilbert make the Fantastics look good or did the Fantastics make Gilbert look good? Either way, it’s a great match that you should seek out.

Starrcade ’88: True Gritt will be live on PPV on Monday, December 26 at 7pm ET. Call your cable operator now!

Tony Schiavone and the “Total Package” Lex Luger are in the booth as Luger bungles his lines.

Prior to the next match, Rotunda calls Rick Steiner “stupid” while Sullivan calls him “dumb.” I bet Bo Schembechler begs to differ with them.

Match 2: “Dr. Death” Steve Williams (w/ Kevin Sullivan) versus the Italian Stallion


Rating: *1/2

Summary: Showcase match for the freshly heel-turned Williams. He should have dominated Stallion rather than wrestling him for fifteen minutes.

After a commercial break, Magnum T.A. reports that although Nikita Koloff quit the promotion, the Junkyard Dog returns to the NWA! This time, it’s to help Ivan Koloff destroy the Russian Assassins and Paul Jones. I don’t believe that’s the legitimate reason, but I digress. In fact, should Ivan and JYD win the tag match at Starrcade ’88, the Assassins must unmask and Jones must retire. Good luck fulfilling that stipulation.

Promo for Starrcade ’88: True Gritt on 12/26 only on PPV:

  1. “Nature Boy” Ric Flair defends the World title in a no-DQ match against Luger.
  2. The “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes & Sting square off against the Road Warriors.
  3. Barry Windham defends the US title against Bam Bam Bigelow.

Match 3: The “Russian Bear” Ivan Koloff versus “#1” Paul Jones


Rating: DUD

Summary: I think these old geezers could have settled their difference over gin rummy instead of this garbage.

After the match, the Russian Assassins hit the ring to attack Koloff. Shortly after Russian Assassin #1 mounts the second turnbuckle and delivers a knee drop, JYD runs in with his chain to scatter Jones’ men.

Upon completion of a commercial break, Luger and Schiavone preview the next match.

Prior to the next match, Magnum interviews former Varsity Club member Rick Steiner who mentions his “friend”/hand puppet Alex. Steiner’s ready to beat Rotunda for the World TV title at Starrcade.

Match 4: The “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes versus NWA World tag team champion Road Warrior Animal


Rating: *

Summary: This is just a preview of what will happen at Starrcade between these four guys. Let’s move along.

After a commercial break, Luger removes his jacket yet somehow keeps his composure. Take it easy, Lex. Starrcade’s not for another nineteen days.

Match 5: The Midnight Express (w/ Jim Cornette) versus NWA World champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair & NWA US champion Barry Windham (w/ JJ Dillon)


Rating: ****

Summary: Awesome tag match that keeps you on the edge of your seat awaiting what happens next. Seek out this main event STAT.

Don’t forget to order Starrcade for Christmas this year! It may not be a new bicycle, but it’s better than a lump of coal.

After a commercial break, Schiavone interviews Cornette.

Ross and Caudle then revisit the highlights from the US tag title match and the Rhodes/Animal match.

Schiavone and Luger then revisit highlights from the main event. Luger states that he is ready for his no-DQ encounter for the NWA World title at Starrcade.

Conclusion: With a great opener as well as a great main event, I wholeheartedly recommend this show to all wrestling fans. While the WWF tries to cover up its weakness in wrestling quality with pizzazz, the NWA delivers impactful and enjoyable wrestling action from beginning to end.

See you for AWA SuperClash III!

Rating: 4.50

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

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