WELCOME TO ROCK STAR GARY REFLECTIONS!
WCW Clash of the Champions XXVIII
Live from Cedar Rapids, IA
Airdate: August 24, 1994
Attendance: 4,200 (3.400 paid)
Hosted by Tony Schiavone and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
No introduction as the WWE Network provides this disclaimer: “Presented in the most complete form possible, due to original production technical difficulties.” Was there a summer thunderstorm in Cedar Rapids or something?
Match 1: Pretty Wonderful versus the Nasty Boys
Summary: It was obvious from the crowd reaction that they liked the Nasty Boys, but couldn’t care less about Pretty Wonderful. A tag title switch here wouldn’t have been out of the question. The Nasty Boys should be the #1 contender following that victory.
Call the Hulk Hogan hotline!
“Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews WCW World Champion Hulk Hogan. Out of nowhere a masked man dressed entirely in black nails Hogan in the knee with a blunt object. Chaos ensues as Hogan writhes in pain. A WCW trainer places a brace upon Hogan’s left knee as Eric Bischoff looks on. Heenan makes a Nancy Kerrigan joke. Maybe it was Jeff Gillooly in disguise! EMTs place Hogan on a gurney and take him backstage.
Match 2 for the WCW US title: “Stunning” Steve Austin (champion) versus Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Summary: The chemistry between these two wrestlers is amazing. The numerous pin attempts by Steamboat gave the match such realism since he was on a quest to win the title. If only Steamboat hadn’t gotten injured during this match these two could have had a third match at Fall Brawl that would have torn the house down.
After a commercial break Okerlund describes the attack on Hogan from earlier in the show. As he details the story, Heenan pantomimes playing a violin. HA! Gotta love Heenan’s disdain for Hogan being transferred to WCW.
We see Hogan being lifted out of the ambulance as Bischoff provides a live report from the hospital.
Honkytonk Man is coming to WCW. A video with his driving a pink Cadillac is shown. “Honky Dog Baby” is played and is a poor substitute for “Cool Cocky Bad.”
Okerlund interviews WCW Commissioner Nick Bockwinkel. If Hogan is unable to defend the World title tonight Bockwinkel declares that Hogan would have to forfeit the title.
From WCW Saturday Night (7/24/94) Dusty Rhodes speaks with Dustin in the ring. He refers to Colonel Parker and his men as “chicken feed.” Subsequently he runs down “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson then asks Dustin to be his partner at the Clash. Emotional promo from Dusty ends in a hug between father and son. Aw.
Match 3: Terry Funk and Bunkhouse Buck (w/ Col. Parker and Meng) versus “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes
Summary: Another chapter is written in the Dustin Rhodes-Stud Stable feud. Another one will need to be written as this feud continues.
After the match Anderson gives Dustin a DDT then eats a bionic elbow from Dusty. Meng gets in Dusty’s face, but Dusty exits the ring to grab a balsa wood chair. He then nails Meng in the head with it to no effect. Yikes! That’s one tough Tongan. Meng then puts a nerve hold on Dusty. Frankie Lancaster dressed in regular clothes comes to Dusty’s aid, but Meng dispatches him. Finally Doug Dellinger and Greg Gagne break up the fracas.
Tony promotes a World tag team title match on WCW Saturday Night (8/27/94, taped 8/10/94) between champions Pretty Wonderful and challengers The Nasty Boys. Very sneaky, WCW. Glad to know that the Nasty Boys won earlier tonight to earn that pre-taped match.
Bischoff is live at the hospital and interviews Henry Holmes, Hogan’s attorney. Holmes wants Hogan to concede the belt in exchange for the first shot at Flair. “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart and Bruti (Ed Leslie) stand by quite despondent. According to Holmes and corroborated by Hart Hogan is determined to defend the title tonight.
Okerlund interviews “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Sensuous Sherri is dressed in all black and wearing a veil. Okerlund claims shenanigans to Flair. Flair states that he only wants Hogan to hand over the belt instead of Bockwinkel. Flair: “Hogan, walk that aisle!”
According to Okerlund Hogan is on the way back to the arena.
Match 4: WCW World TV Champion Lord Steven Regal (w/ Sir William) versus Antonio Inoki
Summary: I mean no offense to the legendary Antonio Inoki but this was a complete clash of styles with zero redeeming value.
Call the Hulk Hogan hotline!
Match 5 for the WCW World title: Hulk Hogan (champion) versus “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair
Summary: Boo that finish out of the building, Cedar Rapids! Cop-out finish to a decent main event, really? This was the first sign that Hogan had creative control over his character.
Buffer proceeds to screw up by giving Flair the title. He then corrects himself by calling it a disqualification. D’oh! C’mon, Buffer, it was a countout.
After Hogan re-enters the ring, beats Flair down, and takes back his belt the masked man comes in and works with Flair to continue punishing Hogan’s bad knee. While the masked man escapes Flair slaps on another figure-four. Sting comes to Hogan’s aid shooing Flair and Sherri away.
The feud between Flair and Hogan is not over. Stay tuned.
Who was the masked man, by the way? Jeff Gillooly, perhaps? No, it was supposed to be Curt Hennig, but he’s still under WWF contract. It was actually Arn Anderson.
Conclusion: While the finish of the main event appeared to make Flair look weak, the strategy behind the booking makes sense. You might be thinking to yourself: “Huh?” Let me explain why.
When Hogan was signed in June the agreement was a six-month contract. With WCW in deep financial crisis bordering on extinction from Ted Turner the signing of Hogan meant he had to make a significant impact on the bottom line especially considering the financial terms of his salary.
The buyrate of BatB was 1.02 was a big financial grab for WCW and a feather in Hogan’s cap. As you can see from the rating below Hogan justified his salary once again.
With that being said even with the third big show on Hogan’s contract (Halloween Havoc) yet to even be marketed by this point in time WCW wanted to resign Hogan to a long-term contract. Hence the decision in the main event here made sense for long-term booking purposes.
In addition two other major happenings occurred in August 1994. While Bret Hart retained the WWF title at Summerslam against Owen Hart (and looked good in the process) Shane Douglas threw down the NWA title and changed what was a regional NWA affiliate into an independent EXTREME promotion. It behooved WCW to maintain the course with Hogan at this point.
As far as the rest of the show is concerned, check out that Austin-Steamboat match. While it was short-changed on commentary the name on the marquee says wrestling and they brought it. Also, the Rhodes-Stud stable feud is red hot and will continue.
Lastly but certainly not least this was the first live WCW show without Jesse Ventura in 2 ½ years. Greener pastures were ahead for “The Body” though.
Definitely check this show out if you’ve not seen it. See you at Fall Brawl!
TV Rating: 4.50
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