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Clash of the Champions 29 was, in theory at least, the first major WCW show in what should've been the post-Ric Flair era. The company pivoted sharply just minutes after Flair was retired, debuting the “Three Faces of Fear” faction to go up against Hogan, and tonight alongside Sting and Dave Sullivan. The show was otherwise a series of rematches from Halloween Havoc, along with Vader taking on Dustin Rhodes.
Stars and Stripes (Marcus Alexander Bagwell and The Patriot) vs Pretty Wonderful (Paul Orndorff and Paul Roma) for the WCW Tag Team Titles. If S&S lost, the Patriot must lose his mask.
This was an impressive match in front of a hot crowd. The entire series of matches between these two teams probably overachieved more that in should do, with a series of matches belying the ability of the four men involved. Roma showed great agility running from corner to corner before jumping straight to the top rope, spinning and hitting a flying crossbody. The match ended with Bagwell and Orndorff pinning eachother after a suplex, Bagwell kicked out, Orndorff didn't and we get new tag team champions. The first of a number of finishes that wasn't properly directed, but the crowd didn't seem to mind once they knew who won, they popped huge.
Johnny B Badd vs The Honky Tonk Man for the WCW TV Title
A proper snoozer this one, Badd works Honky's left arm before roughing up his hair. Some non-descript action before the referee sets up for a really obvious ref bump. Honky Tonk Man grabs his guitar and leathers Badd for the DQ. Horrible, horrible stuff. Of all Hogan's friends that join WCW around this time, HTM is the one I have by far the most issue with. Offers almost nothing and is just taking up space. Mercifully, the planned third match of this feud at Starrcade is abandoned when Honky is fired.
Harlem Heat (with Sensous Sherri, sort of) vs The Nasty Boys
Sensous Sherri would've been a great suprising reveal here, had the graphic before the match not twice displayed “Harlem Heat with Sensous Sherri”. That being said, this is a very impressive display from the Heat, who do very well against their limited opponents. Both members have a great look and in ring ability to boot. Action was OK, no better, and the match ended when Booker T jumped off the top rope to break up Sags pinning Stevie Ray, before Ray rolled ontop of Sags. Unforunately, the camerawork here again was poor making it difficult to follow.
Vader (with Harley Race) vs Dustin Rhodes
Boy did this show need this match. This was about a good a TV match as you would ever likely see (well, certainly pre-attitude era). Vader starts slugging Rhodes with left and rights, before spitting in his face. Rhodes fires up and dumps Vader on his back as the crowd go wild. Some tremendous action here, although we should expect it given who's in the ring. A cop out finish, but one always likely given the two names involved, as Vader pounced on the distraction from Harley Race to hit Dustin with a rather unique face first powerbomb.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs Stunning Steve Austin for the WCW US Title
Austin came out limping, injured a week earlier at a live event. The match went about 30 seconds before Vader came out and returned the favour for Duggan running him off after the match ended against Dustin. Hard to be too harsh on the company here, Austin's injury (and matches that had been taped previously for TV to air after the clash) meant that they had few options. Still a shitty deal for Austin, who was promised his win back at Halloween Havoc the month earlier, then tonight, and was also promised Sherri as his manager. He would get Harley Race though, so not all bad...
Main Event: Hulk Hogan, Sting and Dave Sullivan vs The Three Faces of Fear (The Butcher, Avalanche and Kevin Sullivan) with special guest referee Mr T.
Not a main event you're likely to remember in a hurry. Sullivan left the match early with a worked arm injury, setting up a 2 on 3 situation allowing the heels to dominate Hogan. Sting got the hot tag and built some momentum, but the match ended when Mr T. struck Sullivan with Jimmy Hart's megaphone, before Hogan covered Sullivan and T made a quick three count. Odd, contrived finish that was difficult to follow with other things going on in the ring.
Vader vs Rhodes is the only match on this card really worth going out of your way to see. The opener is OK, but nothing special. All in all a disappointing show that illustrates the dissapointing direction the company was headed in at the time.