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[1991-11-19-WCW-Clash of the Champions VII] Sting vs Rick Rude


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  • 4 months later...

This segment is the most effective thing Sting has been a part of in 1990 or 1991. That includes his title win. Everything about this was great. Rude, the red hot new heel, wins the U.S. title in his first big match, and Sting looks like the bravest guy in the world for showing up with his bad knee to tough out the match. Sting sells his injury great, and Jim Ross is awesome on commentary. This is a short match, but it's exactly as long as it should be. This was such a great presentation. This show made me think the magic was back in this promotion. Within less than two hours, they suddenly had three hot issues -- Sting vs Rude, Sting vs Luger and Steamboat's return.

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  • 1 month later...

This is one of the great sub-five-minute matches of all-time. Everything about this is great, from Paul E.'s promo talking about how Sting doesn't care about the Little Stingers, to the growing pop as the ambulance arrives and Sting gets out, to Paul E.'s panic, to the other babyfaces exhorting Sting to get to the ring. The match itself is a great sprint and a fantastic selling performance by Sting. He gets to show off what he can offensively, Rude gets some good opportunistic moves in, and Sting gets a big kickout after Paul E. whacks him with the phone. Another Paul E. distraction nets Rude the belt and the beginning of a great title reign.

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Here comes the ambulance. Sting limbers to the ring. Referee really rang that bell pretty quick. That’s a crappy decision. Dude, give him some time. Big press slam on the ramp by Sting on Rude. This was a coordinated effort to get Sting over. He’s still injured from the Luger attack though. Ha, Rude does the Flair face first bump into Sting’s knee. Rude holds the tights and gets the win on Sting. Short but a good one. Title gets put on a hot Rude and Sting can focus on the World Title now.

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  • 3 months later...

In one night, WCW turns around the entire company from what could have been a death blow at Great American Bash '91. It was really only 4 months and I think that's actually pretty damn fast given what happened. I am not saying Rude + Steamboat = Flair, but fuck if it did not make great TV right through Beach Blast '92. This match is the WWF's domain, not that they would ever come close to running an angle like this until the Attitude Era. WWF is usually better at using as a match as backdrop to run an angle, but WCW kills them on this one as this is just superb. I remember reading about this angle on Wrestlecrap and thinking what the fuck is wrong with this author this sounds bitchin'. So having watched it a couple since then, yep I was right, the execution was pitch perfect. Paul E. is excellent as the evil genius that rambles too long giving the hero enough time to make it back. Sting hitting the military press to Rude on the ramp was one of the best hope spots of all time. He really could pull this out. They do everything they can to protect Sting. Rude works over his badly injured knee, he pokes him in the eyes, Paul E. hits him in the head with the phone and finally Rude chop blocks AND grabs the tights to get the pin. I think every bit of it works. This is where you want all this shit in excess because it makes both parties garner more heat. Outside of the Vader series, this may be the best Sting performance of all time as he really milks the knee injury and delivers a great heroic performance. Rude immediately feels like a huge deal in WCW beating Sting for a title in a great dick heel performance. Kudos to the booking committee to stick the titles on Rude and Steamboat right off the bat . That's how you build on an immediate impact.

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  • 8 months later...
  • 1 year later...

Really great segment that I remember vividly from the 60-minute Sting VHS when I was a kid. But I have to say that Sting going to the wrong door outside the arena is not only peak WCW, but peak Sting. Poor guy.

 

The "owwww!" that barely escapes from Sting's mouth before he gets clipped and smacked with the phone is brilliant.

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  • 2 months later...

This match is the classic story of evil having to sink to its greatest depths to overcome transcendent good. Everything went Sting's way from beginning to end, but Rude and Heyman were just low enough to cut one more corner than Sting could overcome.

 

You could say that Sting looked almost too good in defeat here, but that was done with the idea of keeping him viable as a contender for Luger. Rude would shine plenty in the months ahead.

 

So much for all-business Rude, as we're back to the custom-made tights and the hip swiveling. The hair's back almost to its WWF length as well.

 

Congratulations to the camera crew for capturing both Heyman's promo and the ambulance pulling up to the arena at the same time. The sense of drama was palpable: Even after all he went through, Sting wasn't out of the woods yet, as he actually had to make it back to the ring before the ten-count. Of course, like Heyman had before him, Rude actually harms his own cause, in this case by going out to meet Sting head-on instead of simply standing there and letting Nick Patrick count him out. A typically stupid heel move, especially since Sting was already limping and had used up extra energy by going to the wrong entrance after getting out of the ambulance. Instead of literally being handed the U.S. title with no effort expended on his part, Rude found himself in an unexpected dogfight.

 

He may be a bit overrated as a promo, but Heyman works ringside like a pro. His whole being is devoted to one and only one purpose: To drive everyone who isn't on his payroll completely insane, and if he can't do that, to use anything that isn't nailed down in order to give his men the advantage they need. I can't think of too many other managers who were as willing to physically involve themselves in bouts; if it's a major match of any sort involving the DA, you know someone's getting whacked with the phone, as Sting was here, and unlike most other managers, Heyman's going to be doing the vast majority of the whacking himself. The phone saved his bacon in this instance, because the only reason Sting even got to ringside without having to forfeit the title was because Heyman had run his mouth for too long instead of letting Patrick count Sting down.

 

JR was great here: openly rooting for Sting, but still educating the viewers on what an uphill climb he had ahead of him. He finally gets to let loose on his former partner Heyman, and you can hear the repressed disgust flooding out as he bellows "That big-mouthed jerk!" He also does a great job after the match in reflecting the fans' disappointment that the fairy tale ending they wanted so badly wasn't to be. He can be a bit flat on the weekly shows from time to time, but he still brings his A game for the money events (Clashes and pay-per-views).

 

Interesting that for the purposes of this match, they link the lineages of the Crockett/JCP version of the U.S. title and the San Francisco version. I don't think I've heard the name Ray Stevens mentioned before on WCW programming, although I could certainly be wrong.

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  • 1 year later...

This is one of my favorite all-time Sting moments. He sells the injury so well, and the suspense of him beating the 10-count is awesome. I really enjoy the match with Rude, and he's the perfect character for something like this. Not much to add to what has been described, but I agree with most of the thoughts. This starts what is probably my favorite Sting run (from here through the Cactus and Vader feuds). This is up there with the first Clash (and a few others) as one of the best Clash of the Champions.

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  • 6 months later...

Sting looks every bit the part that WCW wants him to play here. He is the flasgship, the face of the promotion. When you see what he's putting himself through there can't be anyone else. And Rude is just such a sleazy, underhanded bastard that it only adds to the effectiveness of Sting's role here.

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  • 5 months later...
  • GSR changed the title to [1991-11-19-WCW-Clash of the Champions VII] Sting vs Rick Rude

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