The Never Hand Over crew were working on a project to individually watch and rank every Clash of the Champions match ever, then collectively, tallying up the votes and preparing the ultimate list. With finishing my last semester of college, having a baby on the way, other projects, etc. I felt realistically that we weren't going to get it done anytime in the conceivable future. I did watch two shows, though; here's my rankings and reviews from those shows:
Steve Austin vs. Brian Pillman - (Clash of the Champions XXV) - 5
Started off fast and furious, Pillman wasting no time, etc. Brawling on the floor, some nice chops and shots by both, Brian takes a sick bump off of the rampway throat-first on the guardrail. The crowd was fired up for this and that helped. What I didn't like is it almost moved too fast, which kind of made sense in terms of their story, but made the match seem less good, not a lot of time for selling, etc. Also, in the end, came apart a bit, Pillman visibly calling spots, Austin landing knees-first on a splash from the top, and the manager cheating the face finish had just been done the match before this.
Ric Flair vs. Vader - (Clash of the Champions XXV) - 5
This was a quick glimpse of better stuff they'd do later. Highlights were Flair's selling, obviously, screaming bloody murder after being suplexed into the ring from the apron, etc. Ric also laid into Vader, backing him into the corner, throwing a variety of viscous chops and shots. The finish sucked dong, Flair thinks he won the championship, Vader's foot was on the rope, so we don't get a legitimate finish which felt like a blatant plug to order their next pay-per-view or whatever.
Arn Anderson vs. Johnny B. Badd - (Clash of the Champions XXX) - 4
Badd wrestled with more confidence and poise here than I remembered him for.. - Arn as always pitch-perfect in heel role, bumping for Badd, didn't really do any over his over-the-top stuff (begging off, crybaby faces, etc.) which I missed.. - finish was convoluted with Arn being knocked out of the ring, revived with a pitcher of ice water, a game of chase around ringside, etc. sort of a mess
Harlem Heat vs. Stars & Stripes - (Clash of the Champions XXX) - 4
Heat had lots of charisma, Booker had most explosive offense of the show, real nice kicks, etc. - Bagwell was fairly innocuous but a bit bland as babyface in peril.. - Patriot didn't offer much at all, lazy arm lock, uninspired punching.. - Crowd was pretty hot for the finish, although it appeared to had to attempt it twice to get it right, with Sherri taking a bump off the apron
Steve Regal vs. Johnny B. Badd - (Clash of the Champions XXV) - 4
Regal gives a masterful performance, some of the most snug offense of anyone on the roster at the time, good timing, facials, etc. Badd does his best keep up, but this wasn't given enough time to really materialize into something recommendable, and the copout cheating finish felt abrupt and passe.
Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage vs. Kevin Sullivan and The Butcher - (Clash of the Champions XXX) - 4
Parts of this were ferociously stupid.. - Started off bad.. - Hogan's punches in corner, so weak.. - Butcher was in-ring for majority and came off real limited.. - So dumb, Savage "wakes up" an unconscious Hulk by dropping an elbow from the top, his finisher, on him? - Savage had more fire and charisma than anyone, no surprise.. - Sullivan worked Randy over outside, liked Kevin's violent tendencies, and Savage sells his ass off, Heenen compares him to Jell-O at one point which was apt.. - Crowd was into ending even though all of our intelligences had been insulted.. - Vader, post-match, mixes it up in Cosby sweater and rips his dress slacks.. - going to be a long plane ride back to Denver in coach..
Nasty Boys vs. Sting and British Bulldog - (Clash of the Champions XXV) - 3
I was looking forward to this but it rather sucked.. - Right off the bat Rick Rude runs out and gives Davey a "Rude Awakening" on the rampway.. - Smtih sells it like he's doing an impersonation of himself circa 2K9.. - Nasty Boys bump around the ring but are routinely picking themselves back up to get into position for the next thing (inc. after both taking Bulldog's powerslam finisher).. - No continuity in the selling.. - Saggs flying elbow puts this to bed?
Dustin Rhodes vs. Paul Orndorff - (Clash of the Champions XXV) - 3
I was disappointed here. The guys didn't have much chemistry together, lots of middling grappling, no real emphasis or direction to the mat work either, the long headlocks, etc. weren't part of a bigger story, just tiring filler. The best selling in the match came from Assassin #1 at ringside eating some Dusty shots. Roll-up finish was dogshit.
Sting vs. Avalanche - (Clash of the Champions XXX) - 3
Tenta was decent in control segment, didn't work the crowd much save for a Hogan-like pose that got some heat.. - Thought it was stupid Sting rolled around selling the whole match then all was forgotten when he got on offense.. - guest ref Guardian Angel wouldn't call for the bell which lead to an amusing post-match brawl with Sting
The Equalizer vs. The Shockmaster - (Clash of the Champions XXV) - 2
Equalizer controlled the bulk of it, no real transitions to speak of on offense though, just laying in uninspired stuff and not giving anything time to sink in or mean anything. 'Ol Uncle Fred had some decent selling going on facially, but this was fodder and his finisher looked dumber than he did when he fell through that wall.
Bobby Eaton vs. Alex Wright - (Clash of the Champions XXX) - 3
Wright seemed a bit uncomfortable doing stuff on the mat, i.e. arm work, etc. - Eaton led him through the paces but didn't exude much personality doing so.. - Best bump was Bobby dodging a flying attack and Alex eating the ropes
Rick Rude vs. Raod Warrior Hawk - (Clash of the Champions XXV) - 2
A shitty match, guys were working at half-speed, only went a few minutes and ended suddenly in a disappointing double countout. Hawk no-sold Rude's clothesline outside the ring and just generally didn't sell for shit.