23 years ago today World Championship Wrestling ran one of the most infamous shows in company history. Hampered by the infamous “Orlando Tapings” and the notorious debut of The Shockmaster, Clash of the Champions XXIV holds a special place in history, but for all the wrong reasons!
This week Throwback Thursday on WDN reaches back to August 18, 1993 to see how just how well COTC XXIV holds up these 23 years later, thanks to, what else, the WWE Network.
The “Orlando Tapings”, for those that don’t know, were a cost-cutting TV taping marathon that the newly-promoted Eric Bischoff held in Orlando, Florida from July 7th to the 10th. More than four months worth of TV, including all title changes and major storylines, were shot over the four days in front of the mostly tourist crowd. Results got out, however, and it resulted in the NWA (which wasn’t happy with WCW manipulating their World title) forcing WCW out of the cartel in September 1993.
As for context for COTC XXIV, it’s atrocious. Only the previous PPVs and COTCs are available on the Network at the time of this writing.
WCW Clash of the Champions XXIV (WATCH)
Date: August 18, 1993 – Location: Ocean Center, Daytona Beach, Florida
Attendance: 8,903 – Rating: 3.80
Commentators: Tony Schiavone & Jesse Ventura
Interviews: Eric Bischoff
CHAMPIONS AT THE TIME
NWA World Heavyweight Champion: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair
WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Big Van Vader
WCW United States Heavyweight Champion: VACANT
NWA World Tag Team Champions: The Hollywood Blondes (“Stunning” Steve Austin & “Flyin'” Brian Pillman)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Hollywood Blondes (“Stunning” Steve Austin & “Flyin'” Brian Pillman)
WCW World Television Championship: Paul Orndorff
After a rundown of the card, Tony Schiavone and Jesse Ventura welcome us from ringside. Right off the bat Tony explains that “Flyin'” Brian is out with an injury. In a pre-taped promo Pillman talks about not being able to compete while “Stunning” Steve crows about The Horsemen not getting their rematch. Back in the arena Schiavone says that WCW has forced the Blondes to put the gold on the line and that Pillman will be replaced by “Lord” Steven Regal, a decision that sets Ventura off.
— WCW & NWA World Tag Team Championship (WATCH – 2:13)
The Four Horsemen (“The Enforcer” Arn Anderson & “Pretty” Paul Roma) vs. The Hollywood Blondes (“Stunning” Steve Austin & “Lord” Steven Regal (sub. for WCW & NWA World Tag Team Champion “Flyin'” Brian Pillman))(c) w/WCW & NWA World Tag Team Champion “Flyin'” Brian Pillman & Sir William
The story here went back to February when Ric Flair returned to WCW and The Blondes began to mock the Horsemen. After Flair and Arn Anderson unsuccessfully challenged the Hollywood Blondes at COTC XXIII Arn and the newest Horsemen, “Pretty” Paul Roma, came up short in a classic title match at Beach Blast ’93. Days before this rematch at COTC XXIV, though, Brian Pillman was injured and unable to wrestle. But, thanks to the “Orlando Tapings”, the switch had to be made. The match itself isn’t that bad considering the circumstances. Sir William gets involved late, and collides with Austin, allowing Anderson to school boy Austin for the win and the World Tag titles at 9:51. This not only ended the Blondes one and only World Tag Team title reign at 169 days, but the Blondes themselves. The win marked Anderson’s 5th NWA tag title win and the one and only WCW tag title win of either man’s career.
WINNERS and NEW WCW & NWA World Tag Team Champions, The Four Horsemen (“The Enforcer” Arn Anderson & “Pretty” Paul Roma) (Pin, 9:51)
After a break we get an interview with the new World Tag Team Champions.
— Single Match (WATCH – 17:22)
“Beautiful” Bobby Eaton (sub. for “Lord” Steven Regal) vs. 2 Cold Scorpio
The promoted match was Scorpio/Regal, but with Regal jumping in to the tag team title match “Beautiful” Bobby fills the spot. The crowd is into the high-flying and flashy stuff from Scorpio but not the match itself. In the end, Scorpio hits the 450 splash for the pin at 5:27.
WINNER is 2 Cold Scorpio (Pin, 5:27)
— “Grudge Match: Payne’s ‘Norma Jean’ vs. Badd’s Mask” (WATCH – 25:17)
Maxx Payne vs. Johnny B. Badd
This one started after Payne stole Badd’s “Badd Blaster” earlier in the summer. After Payne blasted Badd in the face (19:59) with the “Badd Blaster” at June’s COTC XXIII, Badd took to wearing a protective mask. This was a rematch from a “Super Grudge Match” at Beach Blast ’93. This is a slow match that the announcers are into far more than the live crowd. Out of nowhere Payne misses a big splash from the second rope and Badd scores the pin at 2:40. After the match Badd grabs “Norma Jean” (not vintage and not strummed by Jimi Hendrix) and tells Venutra that in three days on WCW Saturday Night (currently unavailable on the Network) Badd will unmask himself and reveal what his face looks like, thus instantly rendering the match they just had pointless.
WINNER is Johnny B. Badd (Pin, 2:40)
Next up is “A Flair for the Gold” (30:43). This is all about the “WarGames” match for the upcoming Fall Brawl ’93. Flair’s guests are Sting, Davey Boy Smith, and their mystery partner for the “WarGames”. Flair brings out Sting and Bulldog (whose word of the day is “cookin'”) to talk when Col. Parker, Sid Vicious, and Harlem Heat crash the interview and Davey tells Sting to announce the partner. “All I have to say is, our partner is going to shock the world because he is none other than The Shockmaster!” We cut to the wall, pyro goes off, and The Shockmaster busts through the wall, trips over a 2×4 and “falls flat on his ass.” Shockmaster fumbles for the helmet, stands up, and tries to shake it off. Ole Anderson, doing Shockmaster’s voice, is laughing, and so is the crowd. Sid screams, the music hits, and the segment is over. And just like that, one of pro wrestling’s most incredible and hilarious moments was born.
— WCW World Television Championship (WATCH – 36:15)
Special Guest Ring Announcer: Michael Buffer
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff(c)
These two had been after each other since Steamboat saved Johnny B. Badd from Orndorff and Maxx Payne on the July 31, 1993 edition of WCW Saturday Night. This is a pretty good match, but it’s overshadowed by the debut of The Shockmaster which Schiavone and Ventura can’t get over. After some solid back-and-forth action Steamboat reverses an Orndorff body slam into an inside cradle for the pin and the WCW Television title at 8:32. This marked the 4th and final TV title reign for Steamboat, ending Orndorff’s one and only WCW TV title reign at 169 days. After the match Orndorff piledrives Steamboat on the TV title on the ramp.
WINNER and NEW WCW World Television Champion, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat (Pin, 8:32)
After a break, and some chatter, we get a pre-taped interview with Harley Race and the Colossal Kongs about the forthcoming match.
— “Tag Team Grudge Match” (WATCH – 51:32)
Special Guest Ring Announcer: Michael Buffer
The Colossal Kongs (Awesome & King) w/Harley Race vs. Sting & NWA World Heavyweight Champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair
Originally this was to be Awesome Kong versus Sting, but after a Flair/Race altercation on Saturday Night, Flair offered Sting an NWA World title match on the August 21, 1993 Saturday Night if Flair could join Sting to take on both Kongs. As for the match, it’s a squash. Sting slams both men, which is a sight to see, and the match quickly breaks down from there with Flair brawling with King Kong on the outside and Sting battling the late Awesome Kong in the ring. While Flair fights with Harley Race at ringside Sting hits a big splash from the top rope on Awesome Kong for the pin at 2:14.
WINNERS are Sting & NWA World Heavyweight Champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (Pin, 2:14)
After the match Tony Schiavone talks with Flair and Sting about their upcoming NWA World title match in three days time.
— Tag Team Match (WATCH – 1:06:51)
The Equalizer & “Ravishing” Rick Rude vs. “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes & Mystery Partner (Road Warrior Hawk) w/Road Warrior Animal
The gimmick in this one was that Dustin’s mystery partner would arrive in a new Camero Z28 as part of the “Z to win Sweepstakes”. As far as the angle goes, Rude and Rhodes had been battling for some time over the vacant U.S. Heavyweight title, going to a 30-minute draw at Beach Blast ’93 in the “30-Minute Iron Man Challenge”. Road Warrior Animal is revealed to be driving the Z28, but he’s not the mystery partner, Road Warrior Hawk is. This marked the Road Warriors return to WCW after leaving in June of 1990. Dustin Rhodes looks great in this match while The Equalizer looks terrible in a match that’s not much better. In the end, Equalizer picks up Dustin for a power slam but Hawk dives off the top with a shoulder block knocking Dustin back on top of Equalizer for the pin.
WINNERS are “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes & Road Warrior Hawk w/Road Warrior Animal (Pin, 7:42)
— WCW World Heavyweight Championship – “Grudge Match: Championship Disqualification Rule Waived” (WATCH – 1:17:05)
Special Guest Ring Announcer: Michael Buffer
“The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith vs. Big Van Vader(c) w/Harley Race
These two had been battling since Davey Boy came into WCW in February 1993, facing off for the WCW World title at Slamboree ’93 and in a tag team war at Beach Blast ’93. This one starts as a brawl on the ramp and settles into a stiff fight throughout, with Vader in control for a majority of the match until Davey catches Vader diving off the second rope with a beautiful powerslam, knocking the referee down in the process. With the ref down Davey goes for the stalling suplex when Harley Race crawls into the ring and chop blocks Davey’s knees. Vader crashes down on top of Davey, hooks the leg, and scores the pin at 11:15.
WINNER and STILL WCW World Heavyweight Champion, Big Van Vader w/Harley Race (Pin, 11:15)
After the match Davey attacks Race until Vader steps in. Suddenly Cactus Jack returns for the first time since April, tackling Vader and pummeling the World Champion with piston right hands. Vader manages to get away, Jack gives the “Bang, Bang”, and the show goes off the air.
Clash of the Champions XXIV is a prime example of the conundrum that was WCW in 1993. While the in-ring product wasn’t all that bad, the management of the promotion, in flux for the first part of the year, was a mess. From the “Orlando Tapings” to the fall out with the NWA to the tour of Germany that saw Sid and Arn Anderson nearly kill each other, WCW, outside the ring, was a disaster.
COTC XXIV, however, remains an okay show. Aside from the Shockmaster debut, which threw Schiavoine and Ventura off for the rest of the night, the event holds up as a decent COTC event. If you haven’t already, and are signed up for the WWE Network, check COTC XXIV out and let us know what you think. There’s more to this show than a guy falling through a wall.
That’s all for TBT – thanks for reading – until next week, see ya at ringside!
Watch “shocking” WCW moments, the SummerSlam 2016 PPV, and 6,000 more hours of content on WWE Network. Your first month is 100% FREE! Click here to subscribe to WWE Network.
Question about another Clash. I’m watching Clash XVII right now and the ZMan/Diamond Studd match was completely taken out… even though they show the graphic that the match is “next”. Also cut out Missy Hyatt interviewing Marcus Bagwell. Any idea why such random stuff had been omitted?