–Gene Okerlund and Bobby Heenan are the studio hosts for a special ninety minute episode.
–Opening Contest: Kevin Sullivan & the Butcher (w/Avalanche) defeat Mark Starr & Scott Studd when the Butcher makes Studd submit to a sleeper hold at 4:13:
This bout is commentated by Gordon Solie Dusty Rhodes, Larry Zbyszko and was taped at the Saturday Night event on January 10 in Atlanta. Starr enjoyed some success in the Memphis-based Continental Wrestling Association (CWA) during the 1980s, coming to WCW as a glorified enhancement talent in 1993. Studd would be known later in the year as Scotty Riggs and around this time he debuted in the United States Wrestling Association (USWA). Starr and Studd daze Sullivan to start the match, faring much better than other jobbers as of late, and Studd even gets to do a brief hot tag. However, he quickly falls victim to the sleeper. Giving the jobbers more offense made the match interesting but it did not put over Sullivan and the Butcher strongly, which makes little sense because they are headlining Clash of the Champions.
–Heenan says that he has news about Roddy Piper and that fans can call 1-900-909-9900 to hear about it.
–Heenan does a card trick, gets Okerlund’s card correct, but then insists that he did not get it right and cards fly everywhere as he searches for the correct one.
–Alex Wright (4-0) beats Jean Paul Levesque with a reverse flying body press at 9:02:
Levesque is the future Triple H, sporting a French aristocrat gimmick. This is a rematch from Starrcade where Wright triumphed in a battle of two young competitors and, like the other match on today’s program, was taped in Atlanta on January 10. Levesque needs a shorter tie for his ponytail as what he uses is flailing around the entire match and is distracting. If you are quite familiar with Triple H’s matches, seeing him as a young talent is quite a trip since he relies less on a mat-based style and uses a spinning elbow off the ropes and a modified dropkick. Both guys work hard, exchanging a bevy of near-falls, but it is clear that Levesque needs to work more on his heel work to keep the fans interested in the middle portion of the match. Wright earns a hard fought win, an outcome that may have been determined by Levesque giving his notice that he was leaving for the WWF on the day that this match was taped. Rating: **½
The Last Word: The main event was good, but there really was not much to see on this broadcast if you watched a lot of WCW programming prior to this episode since it spent most of the time recapping old matches. At least Kevin Sullivan and the Butcher got some exposure as a team before the Clash of the Champions, though.
After doing some television tapings, WCW ran some house shows in the Southwest. Here was the result of one of those shows (courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com):
Fort Hood, Texas – Abrams Fitness Center – January 14, 1995 (2,418; sell out): Alex Wright beat Bobby Eaton…Johnny B. Badd defeated Jean Paul Levesque…Stars & Stripes defeated Pretty Wonderful…Dustin Rhodes beat Lord Steven Regal…The Nasty Boys defeated WCW Tag Team Champions Harlem Heat via disqualification…Sting beat Avalanche via disqualification.
Backstage News*: Jean Paul Levesque has given his notice to WCW officials as of January 10, reportedly rejecting a contract that would have paid him upwards of $1,800 per week. Levesque will be heading to the WWF, believing that they can make him a bigger star. Eric Bischoff was not a fan of Levesque’s decision, saying that it was disrespectful and illustrates a lack of loyalty to the company. Levesque also ruffled some feathers with WCW officials when he refused to put over Sting at the recent Saturday Night taping. The decision to bring in Randy Savage at the end of last year is paying dividends as Savage is doing a lot of promotional work for house shows. WCW officials are crediting him with helping draw some healthy crowds in the Southwest, although a show at Bing Crosby Hall in San Diego on January 13 had to be cancelled due to low ticket sales. In other news, Eric Bischoff does have plans to launch a cruiserweight division during the year, although there is no defined date as to when a tournament will be held to crown the first champion. One name that is being circulated for the division is Koko B. Ware. Another is Brian Pillman, who will return to television in a few weeks and held the company’s light heavyweight title in the early 1990s. In terms of commentary, Tony Schiavone is happy that the WWF recently rehired Jim Ross because TBS programmers reportedly favored Ross over Schiavone as a play-by-play announcer.
*Source: January 23, 1995 edition of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer.
Up Next: WCW Pro for January 21!