Sunday, July 30, 2006

NWA Great American Bash 1987

1) Ric Flair, Lex Luger, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, & J.J. Dillon vs. The Road Warriors, Dusty Rhodes, Nikita Koloff, & Paul Ellering – War Games Match – 9
2) Rick Steiner vs. Barry Windham (clipped) – 6
3) Lex Luger vs. Nikita Koloff – Steel Cage Match – 6
4) Dick Murdoch vs. Steve Williams – Texas Death Match (clipped) – 4
5) Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy, & Buddy Roberts vs. Manny Fernandez, Paul Jones, & Ivan Koloff (clipped) – 4
6) Dusty Rhodes vs. Tully Blanchard – Barbed Wire Bunkhouse Ladder Match – 3
7) Ric Flair vs. Jimmy Garvin – Steel Cage Match (clipped) – 7
8) The Midnight Express vs. The Rock N Roll Express – 6
9) Ric Flair, Lex Luger, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, & War Machine vs. The Road Warriors, Dusty Rhodes, Nikita Koloff, & Paul Ellering – War Games Match – 7

The tape rushed right out of the gate with a fantastic match which was given the title of “Wargames I: The Bomb” on this tape. The horsemen and their manager J.J. Dillon, were at their heel best here. All ten men involved could be candidates for the mythical hall of fame. Dillon and Ellering not so much for their ring work, per se, but for their legendary roles as ringside managers. The match itself was incredible. The crowd was actually so loud that you could barely hear Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone call the action. Let’s be honest, JR and Tony weren’t really needed because the action spoke for itself. Anderson was busted open within five minutes and subsequently every other combatant, except for possibly Ellering was bleeding by the end of the bout. You really need this match in your collection as it’s quite possibly the best War Games match I’ve ever seen. The only other one that I can remember even coming close was the main event of Wrestle War 1992 which is a classic in its own right.

After our first foray into the war, we step back from the front lines and get a brief sample of a Rick Steiner vs. Barry Windham match. I can’t say I’m much for clipped matches as they’re hard to judge the full integrity of the match and therefore I have to give a rating based on an assumption of what wasn’t included and the brief snippet that was. Anyway, Steiner and Windham was joined in progress and from what was included looked good enough to warrant a decent rating. Luger and Koloff had a brutal cage match. Koloff entered the match with a neck brace on and therefore gave Luger a target for the whole match. It really wasn’t a classic match but it was still cool to watch. Only about five minutes of the Murdoch vs. Williams match was shown and from what was offered, it didn’t look that appetizing. The six man tag was clipped as well and it was probably for the better. It did feature the legendary Freebirds and some lesser known stars such as Fernandez and Koloff.

I’ve never seen a barbed wire bunkhouse ladder match so the concept itself sounded intriguing. However, Rhodes and Blanchard didn’t exactly tear it up either. When I hear the stipulations of this match, I expect blood, blood, and more blood so to say I was disappointed would be a major understatement. Well, at least the crowd was somewhat into it. Jimmy Garvin isn’t really the person you would expect to receive a world title shot. I was expecting very little out of it but it suprisingly delivered. The match itself had the beginning cut off so we pick up right as Garvin is chopping Flair. It was an awesome world title match and really had me on the edge of my seat. The Midnights and The Rock N Rolls once again personified tag team wrestling in yet another fantastic bout from their series of legendary matches over the years. These matches set the standards for what tag team wrestling should be with double-team moves and sequences that were at least ten years ahead of their time. If you’ve never seen a match between these two teams, seek out this tape because this is a good introduction.

And now, back into the line of fire for “Wargames II: The Explosion”! There were quite a few differences from this match and the previous wargames match. First, J.J. Dillon was replaced in the match by the mysterious grappler known only as War Machine. The other difference was the crowd. Unlike the first wargames were the crowd was extremely vocal, the crowd just seemed really dull. Perhaps they turned down the audio? I’ll never know. What I do know is that is was pretty much a carbon copy of the previous match. It ran at a much slower pace and didn’t really seem to have the emotion that the previous one did. I urge you to seek this tape out for the two wargames matches, Midnights vs. Rock N Rolls, and Flair vs. Garvin. After you watch this tape, you’ll realize one thing, WWE’s watered down versions of the Bash will never live up to spectacles such as this.

No comments: