Saturday, July 18, 2009

WCW Great American Bash 1991

1. Bobby Eaton & P.N. News vs. Steve Austin & Terry Taylor (Scaffold Match) – 1
2. The Diamond Studd vs. Z-Man – 3
3. Oz vs. Ron Simmons – 4
4. Ricky Morton vs. Robert Gibson – 3
5. The Freebirds & Badstreet vs. The Young Pistols & Dustin Rhodes (Elimination Match) – 4
6. The Yellow Dog vs. Johnny B. Badd (Bounty Match) – 3
7. Big Josh vs. Blackblood (Lumberjack Match) – 2
8. One Man Gang vs. El Gigante – 2
9. Sting vs. Nikita Koloff (Russian Chain Match) – 4
10. Lex Luger vs. Barry Windham (Steel Cage Match) – 4
11. Arn Anderson & Paul E. Dangerously vs. Rick Steiner & Missy Hyatt (Steel Cage Match) - 1

Where to begin with this mess. This was the first pay-per-view following the infamous Ric Flair debacle and right from the start, the crowd is rightfully pissed, especially since the show starts with a scaffold match that is so beyond terrible, I have no idea why it actually took place. Why was it even a scaffold match? What was the story behind it that caused it to be a scaffold match? Why were the rules changed so that no one took the bump? Absolutely none of these questions were answered as all four men moved gingerly on a very, very narrow wooden plank. Really awkward spot where two guys were fighting, and I use that term loosely, at each end of the plank, right underneath the flags, so why didn’t an opponent reach up and grab the others flag and just start running away with it? No answer to that one either. Eaton eventually caputered Austin and Taylor’s flag, and no one knew it was the end of the match. And by no one, I mean no one, the annoucers, the crowd, the wrestlers, no one!! This could’ve been so much better if it would’ve been a straight tag team match. In between bouts, the ring crew takes down the scaffold as JR and Schiavone pimp the rest of the show, while the crowds grows anxious.

Next bout was decent. There was some good work with them going into the crowd twice briefly. Zenk did have some early energy but that was quelled once Studd took over the match. DDP intereference led to a win for Studd. Not really much to talk about as it seemed a pretty typical WCW filler match at the time. From the first time I saw the Simmons/Oz match on the WWE Classics site, I’ve enjoyed it. Now going back to an analysis of it may hinder my enjoyment of it and definitely put it somewhere around the 252 spot of my 367 favorite matches ever list, but I don’t care. One factor to take in to account with the match is that there was zero, and I mean ZERO, crowd heat. They just sat there watching the two heaps of muscular masculinity pound on each other. Oz, if you’ve never seen him, is Kevin Nash in a ridiculous Wizard of Oz get up, complete with a Great Wizard to manage him. Simmons came in with a lot of fire and seemed like was one of the few people that actually wanted to be there. Nash … I mean, Oz, could still move and isn’t the broken down heap we all know and love. Oz never caught on and Simmons finished him off with a shoulder block.

Gibson and Morton should’ve been better than it actually was. Let’s look at it logically … you’ve got the two members of the Rock N Roll Express, Morton turns heel and joins the York Foundation, so they should’ve had a knock-down, drag-out fight, right? Nope. Morton kept Gibson grounded by working on the leg and knee, which Gibson just had surgery on late in 1990. The other thing was that the match went 16 minutes! That’s honestly about 6 minutes too long, especially for the mat-based match they had. The elimination match wasn’t too much fun at all. The Freebirds spent most of the time stalling and playing with each other’s hair. My how far the Young Pistols have fallen. The year prior to this they had and absolutely outsanding encounter with the Midnight Express. Now, they’re stuck in the middle of a crappy six-man tag and it’s completely clear that they don’t give a shit. Rhodes was the shining spot of the match. The end spot where he did a bulldog while simutaneously dropkicking Big Daddy Dink (the Freebirds manager) was nice, but not enough to salvage the train wreck of a match.

Ok, up next we’ve got a bounty match. No, it’s not a match were the winner gets a lifetime supply of Bounty paper towels, although Pillman (who was masquerading as the Yellow Dog), could’ve used those to wipe all the egg from his face when he totally spoiled the gimmick by talking to the camera as the bell rang. The point of this match was that Badd would get some type of reward from Teddy Long if he were to unmask Yellow Dog. As I mentioned before, the Yellow Dog was a ridiculous thing that was concocted after Pillman lost a Loser Leaves Town match at the Clash of the Champions. Bad (no pun intended) finish where Long interfered after Dog had Badd pinned. This was also Badd’s first pay-per-view match and he still had a long way to go. After that ridiculous bout, we are graced with a lumberjack match that had no point being a lumberjack match. The same questions that were asked of the scaffold match are asked here. What was the backstory for this to be a lumberjack match? Well, to answer that question … because the company (a.k.a. Dusty Rhodes and Jim Herd) wanted it to be one. If you’re not familiar with Blackblood, don’t worry, not very many people are. Basically, it was Billy Jack Haynes from the WWF under a hood doing an executioner character and hailing from, get this, “a little town in France”. Josh and Blood threw some hard shots but, as is the recurring trend with this show, there was zero heat. The finish was fine, although I would’ve preferred for Blackblood to have followed through with his attempt to chop Josh’s head off with his axe.

Holy fuck. El Gigante and One Man Gang. This was a complete and utter mess. Kevin Sullivan leads Gang to the ring and spouts off some random shit about banshees, two-wheeled death carts, rivers of fire, and the lady with the third eye. What the hell kinda sense did that make. Gigante comes to the ring accompanied by a bunch of midgets. Wait, what? Were those supposed to be Oz’s munchkins or something? Neither of these two can work decently, especially Gigante. Speaking of which, watch Gigante’s eyes and face the next time you see a match of his, especially when he’s selling. The expression he makes is like he’s falling off a tall building. Gigante got the pin after a weak clothesline to the back of the head. Ok, now we’ve got a match that actually has some story behind it, Koloff and Sting, and it actually had a reason to be a stipulation. Sting was pretty firery but didn’t really kick it up like he usually would on pay-per-views. The crowd woke up and took a likeing to what they were seeing and gave some decent pops. They did the usual chain match/strap match finish where both guys touch all three corners and they battle for the fourth. Nikita won and Sting got a post-match pop.

Finally, we come to the two cage matches. After everything that’s been covered thus far, this couldn’t get any worse, right? Well, I hope not. Luger and Windham was for the vacant WCW World Title. Two things to note … 1) Since Flair had the actual title belt, WCW had to make a makeshift title by using the old Western States Heritage Title and pasting a plate that said “World Champion” over the top of it, and 2) Flair was scheduled to defend the title against Luger in early versions of the card. Many people believed that Luger would finally beat Flair to win the title he’d chased for so long. The crowd was in rare form by continuing their “We Want Flair” chants while JR and Schiavone were hyping the match and the cage was being put up. Windham and Luger worked a decent match that could’ve been the feature match on any episode of Worldwide. Late in the bout, Harley Race and Mr. Hughes came down to motivate and coach Luger. Luger hit the piledriver for the win and to become the WCW Champion. Also, he turned heel and nobody picked up on that fact. The final bout of the night was a two minute mess. Missy was abducted by Murdoch and Slater prior to the match, leaving Steiner to work the match himself. Not much to talk about aside from him pinning Paul E. after clotheslining both guys. Nothing about this show was good, not even the World Title match, although it was probably the best match of the show. I wouldn’t watch this show unless you’ve smoked all your pot, shot up all your heroin, and snorted all your crack. Even then, you may not be able to enjoy this show. A very strong candidate for worst pay-per-view show of all time.


Jessie said...

only match i have knowledge of was blood v. josh....which was slightly entertaining from a potato standpoint

mike said...

Hahaha! This cracked me up! I recently watched this debacle on youtube for the first time in probably 15 years and it was even worse than I remember.