The epic history of WCW's Clash of the Champions

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May 17, 2012

As the creator of Clash of the Champions, it is fitting that Dusty Rhodes hosts the WWE's three-disc DVD and reveals the true story behind the history of the event. It is a tale that he believes writes itself, but he also can’t help but wonder how successful Clash could have been if social media had existed back then. (PHOTOS | VIDEO PLAYLIST)

“I can barely send a text message on my phone,” Rhodes said jokingly. “With all of the social media available today, I can’t begin to imagine how big Clash of the Champions could have been. It could have been like the Super Bowl or a free TV version of WrestleMania. After all, Clash was successful based mostly on word of mouth.”

Clash of the Champions continued through the 1990s, but by the time Eric Bischoff was given the reins of WCW, the event deviated from its original intention. When the last Clash event was held in 1997, both WCW and WWE had weekly programs and monthly pay-per-view events. Rhodes believes that because of this, Clash started to become “watered down” and nothing more than a promotional tool for the next WCW pay-per-view, rather than a preview of the level of competition to expect.

“Eric Bischoff is a visionary guy,” Rhodes explained. “He’s very creative and I generally enjoyed being around him, but he also had a big checkbook from Turner in his pocket and the freedom to do whatever he wanted.”

The American Dream acknowledged the success of Monday Nitro and the changing landscape of sports-entertainment during the Monday Night Wars, but also understood how sports-entertainment changed through the 1990s as the war between WWE and WCW raged on.

“Monday Nitro was good, there was a lot of shocking reality television, but it did not even compare to what Clash of the Champions brought to the table,” the WWE Hall of Famer said.

“I know Mr. McMahon very well and he’s a fighter. That’s what the Monday Night Wars was, a throw down fight. It was easy to call,” Rhodes told WWEClassics.com. “But Clash of the Champions versus a pay-per-view like Survivor Series, that was different. Neither one of us could have known the outcome. There was so much more at stake. It was much different than a weekly television ratings war that was basically WWE and WCW putting up their fists on different networks and going at it.”

“The Best of WCW: Clash of the Champions” takes an in-depth look at Dusty Rhodes’ revolutionary idea that launched careers and showcased the best competitors from WCW. With seven hours of the event's best contests and the stories behind them, this is the can’t-miss collection of the year and a must-have for wrestling fans and historians. Order the DVD at WWEShop.com!

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