[PPV Recap] ‘THE GREAT AMERICAN BASH 1991’ – A Baffling Display of Nonsense

DATE: July 14, 1991
VENUE: Baltimore Arena (Baltimore, MD)
COMMENTATORS: Jim Ross & Tony Schiavone

The Great American Bash ‘91 features the crowning of a new World Heavyweight Champion as Lex Luger meets Barry Windham inside a Steel Cage to decide who will stand atop the mountain. Also on the show Sting takes on Nikita Koloff in a Russian Chain Match, Rick Steiner & Missy Hyatt are SCHEDULED to face Arn Anderson & Paul E. Dangerously, and The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express COLLIDE as Robert Gibson faces former best friend Richard Morton.

CHAMPIONS

  • WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: Vacant
  • WCW UNITED STATES HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: “The Total Package” Lex Luger
  • WCW WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPION: “Stunning” Steve Austin
  • WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner)
  • WCW UNITED STATES TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael “P.S.” Hayes & Jimmy “Jam” Garvin)
  • WCW WORLD SIX MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael “P.S.” Hayes, Jimmy “Jam” Garvin, & Badstreet)

LINEUP

  • SCAFFOLD MATCH: PN News & Bobby Eaton vs. Steve Austin & Terrence Taylor (DUD)
  • Tom Zenk vs. Diamond Studd (*3/4)
  • Ron Simmons vs. Oz (1/4*)
  • Robert Gibson vs. Richard Morton (*3/4)
  • ELIMINATION MATCH: Dustin Rhodes & The Young Pistols vs. Badstreet & The Fabulous Freebirds (*3/4)
  • BOUNTY FOR THE MASK: The Yellow Dog vs. Johnny B. Badd (**)
  • LUMBERJACK MATCH: Big Josh vs. Black Blood (**1/4)
  • El Gigante vs. One Man Gang (1/4*)
  • RUSSIAN CHAIN MATCH: Sting vs. Nikita Koloff (*1/2)
  • STEEL CAGE MATCH: Lex Luger vs. Barry Windham for the vacant WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (**1/2)
  • STEEL CAGE MATCH: Rick Steiner vs. Arn Anderson & Paul E. Dangerously (NR)

*****

-OPENING VIDEO: POV of a fan entering the arena. 

-Cut to the Baltimore Arena, where Gary Michael Cappetta welcomes the audience. We are NOT wasting anytime as the scaffold is already set up in the middle of the ring. Cappetta announces that there are TWO ways to win the scaffold match: knock an opponent off or…CAPTURE THE OPPONENT’S FLAG? Heh? No rap from PN News this time, likely because he’s f*cking terrified to be in this match and doesn’t want to die. Terrence Taylor doesn’t have the rest of the York Foundation by his side either. 


SCAFFOLD MATCH
“The Rapmaster” PN News & “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton vs. “Stunning” Steve Austin [w/ Lady Blossom] & “The Computerized Man of the 1990s” Terrence Taylor

Eaton & News climb the scaffold first, News walks to the center and pumps his fist. PLEASE DON’T DIE SIR. Austin & Taylor eventually make their way up too, THE SCAFFOLD SHAKING, and the bell sounds. Eaton, the only one with any experience in these types of matches, steps up first. He steps to Taylor, Taylor drops to his belly and crawls back. The ramp they have to fight on is COMICALLY small. Jesus. Austin decides to try his luck, swipes at Eaton but misses and he falls to his knees. Austin rakes the eyes and connects with a couple right hands, Eaton faceplants Austin on the wood and tries to send him off, Taylor crawls over to help pull him back up. News, meanwhile, is having NOTHING to do with this so far and f*ck man I don’t blame him. Austin crawls, Taylor walks behind, towards Eaton, News climbs onto the scaffold and the heels immediately hightail it (as best they can) to their side. God this is so stressful to watch, they couldn’t have been getting paid THAT much to do this sh*t. News knuckles Taylor down, Austin connects with a series of rights. News lands on top of Taylor and crawls over to Austin to get right the f*ck off the middle part. Austin pairs off with News, Eaton with Taylor, on the opposite safer parts. News falls on his belly, Austin kicks at him to try and sends him off, Taylor walk over to double-team. Eaton stops it with a double axhandle, both fight into the safe part, Eaton grabs the heels’ flag and almost brings it over but doesn’t? Blossom gives Austin something, who sprays/throws it in Eaton’s eyes. News gets blinded as well. Both teams climb down and the match is over I guess?

PN News & Bobby Eaton defeated Steve Austin & Terrence Taylor (7:17 total, Eaton took the flag like 6:19 in)

  • Boy I really hope this was the show pulling its bandaid off early because this “match” suuuuuuuucked. The whole point of a scaffold match, at least to me, is to see somebody get tossed off, but there was none of that here and instead turned into a weird summer camp game with three terrified wrestlers and Bobby Eaton. Also I can’t think of a gimmick match that gives me more anxiety to watch than a Scaffold Match. What a terrifying and stupid thing that makes no sense to use for any reason, ESPECIALLY HERE. Bad sh*t all around, what a clusterf*ck. (DUD)

Austin & Taylor try to sneak attack News & Eaton but get taken out with relative ease. There are TEN more matches left to go on this event, goddamn.


-Ross and Schiavone welcome the home audience, discussing the controversy around the World Heavyweight Championship. Schiavone says WCW tried to reinstate Ric Flair with another offer but he’s turned them down so Luger & Windham will still be vying for the vacant title. Why even bring that up?

Eric Bischoff is on the entrance ramp with Arn Anderson & Paul E. Dangerously, a loud “PAUL E SUCKS” chant from the Baltimore crowd. Dangerously says he’s already made a phone call that guarantees that Missy Hyatt is through with WCW tonight, and vows that Rick Steiner will NEVER lay his hands on him because he’s got Anderson. Anderson will be committing aggravated assault on Rick Steiner tonight.

-Back to Ross & Schiavone, still killing time while the scaffold gets taken down, talk about Luger & Windham’s history together as World Tag Team Champions as well as hype for some of the other TEN (10) matches left to go. El Gigante apparently has a surprise for One Man Gang and Kevin Sullivan in their match tonight. 


“The Z-Man” Tom Zenk vs. The Diamond Studd [w/ Diamond Dallas Page]

Studd & Page humiliated Zenk last month on an episode of World Championship Wrestling, laying him out and ripping off his tuxedo. A very intricate and layered feud. Studd tries out another Studdette, Zenk comes to the ring flanked by a gaggle of ladies. Both men like to f*ck.

Zenk clotheslines both Studd and Page from the ramp, going right on the attack before the bell. Page pulls the top rope down, Zenk falls to the floor and Z-Man gets in his face, allowing Studd to clobber him from behind and send him into the front row. Zenk climbs back over, Studd drills him with a double axhandle from the apron and sends him into the guardrail. Zenk ducks a back elbow and connects with a crossbody, Studd kicks out before the ref’s hand even slaps the mat. Studd brings Zenk to the corner, lighting his chest up with chops, Zenk responds with rights and chops of his own. Studd reverses a corner whip and locks in an Abdominal Stretch, using the ropes for leverage. Zenk counters with a hip toss but misses an elbowdrop and Studd immediately goes back on the offensive. Studd blocks a hip toss and drives Zenk to the mat with a chokeslam, crowd LOVES it. Studd arrogantly covers, Zenk counters with a sunset flip rollup for the 1…2…Studd kicks out and F*CKS Zenk’s sh*t up with a clothesline. Studd counters another sunset flip with a right hand. Zenk ducks a clothesline and sends Studd to the floor with a superkick. Zenk goes right after him, sending him into the apron and guardrail. Zenk connects with a missile dropkick for the 1…2…Page slaps Z-Man to break the pin. Zenk pulls Page in and connects with a superkick, Studd comes up from behind with a belly-to-back suplex, bridging for the 1…2…3.

The Diamond Studd defeated Tom Zenk via pinfall (6:57)

  • Schiavone talked up about devastating Studd’s Diamond Death Drop is but Studd didn’t even get to use it in his big in-ring PPV debut. That’s lame. I won’t say the match was great or anything, but I appreciate that these two had some energy to them and were trying their hardest to have a worthwhile match. Also I got not one but TWO dainty Z-Man superkicks, so Christmas came early for me. (*3/4)

-After some preamble from Ross & Schiavone we go to the entrance stage Oz & The Great Wizard make their way to the ring amid pyro and emerald lighting. He’s still got the castle backdrop from SuperBrawl, WCW is getting their money’s worth. 


“The All-American” Ron Simmons vs. “The Great & Powerful” Oz [w/ The Great Wizard]

Neither one of these guys have been doing anything of note in WCW; Simmons’ feud with Butch Reed & Theodore R. Long pretty much concluded at SuperBrawl and although threats were made he never faced One Man Gang, at least nowhere televised. Oz made his big and HILARIOUS debut on the same PPV back in May but has barely been seen since outside of a squash at Knocksville U.S.A. last month. I honestly thought the gimmick was already done, but I’m glad I was wrong because I needed a laugh.

Oz overpowers Simmons to start, repeatedly backing him into the corner. Simmons almost escapes a side headlock, Oz sends him down by the hair. Oz takes Simmons to the mat with a pair of shoulderblocks, Simmons brings him to the mat with a drop toehold but decides to just…hang back so the big man can get back to his feet. Oz rakes the eyes to go back on offense, loud “BORING” chant from a vocal member of the audience. Simmons nails Oz with three clotheslines to finally send him to the floor. Oz and Simmons engage in a test of strength, the latter being powered down to his knees. Simmons gets back to a vertical base and escapes with a backdrop suplex but misses a dropkick and Oz follows up with a clothesline. Can you believe this match has already gone for 30 minutes? Simmons goes for a sunset flip, Oz breaks it up with a double axhandle. Simmons quickly escapes a bearhug and chop blocks Oz twice, stopping to hit the Great Wizard before dropping Oz with a shoulderblock for the 1…2…3.

Ron Simmons defeated Oz via pinfall (7:56)

  • Just a real bad match all-around. Felt longer than it was, Oz looked like he was still figuring out what exactly he was supposed to do in a wrestling ring, and Simmons was not a guy who could/would carry him. Woof. Big ol’ woof. Oz losing in his third appearance can’t bode well for the gimmick going forward as it makes him look just like a regular dude in the roster with a goofy gimmick; granted that’s what he’s been the whole time but I’m sure WCW wanted a little something more from it. (1/4*)

WCW TOP TEN

-10. Johnny B. Badd
-9. Ron Simmons
-8. The Diamond Studd
-7. El Gigante
-6. Arn Anderson
-5. Bobby Eaton
-4. Steve Austin
-3. Sting
-2. Barry Windham
-1. Lex Luger

I’m pretty sure this was the same top 10 they’ve gone over on the weekly TV but whatever it’s not like this show has way too many matches so there’s time to kill.


Robert Gibson vs. Richard Morton [w/ Alexandra York]

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express are one of pro wrestling’s all-time greatest tag teams, but the partnership was derailed the year prior when Gibson suffered a knee injury. Morton has been floating around WCW since then, both as a singles competitor as well as makeshift tag teams (and a run as the 1/3rd of the 1st Six-Man Tag Team Champions) but surprised everyone by joining The York Foundation back in June at Knocksville U.S.A. Gibson made his return on the same show, trying to talk some sense into his friend but Morton attacked him and cemented his new attitude. Now they settle their dispute in the ring and I’m genuinely looking forward to it. That opening Scaffold Match has set the bar SO LOW, please hop over it. 

Gibson wastes no time, attacking Morton on the ramp. He finally brings him back to the ring but Morton quickly escapes and checks the COM-PEW-TOR for some advice. Why Morton would need advice in fighting the man he spent most of his career teaming with is beyond me but hey it’s the gimmick, champ. Gibson slingshots Morton back into the ring, Morton flips out of an armbar and walks right into a scoop slam. Morton offers a handshake to his former partner, Gibson is too smart to fall for it this time. Gibson backs Morton in the corner, referee Bill Alfonso forces separation and Morton leaves the ring once again. Ross announces Halloween Havoc as the next PPV and oh boy in fifteen years when I finally get there on Legacy of WCW it’s going to be a good time. Morton rakes the eyes and goes after Gibson’s surgically-repaired right knee, wrapping it around the pole and slamming it on the apron. Gibson refuses to give up and connects with a series of rights (and a kneelift using the injured knee?), Morton chop blocks him and brings him to the mat. Morton rips at the tights, revealing the heavy brace Gibson is wearing, and stomps the knee repeatedly. Gibson almost steals it with an inside cradle but Morton kicks out and goes right back to the knee, locking in a Figure Four. “MORTON SUCKS” chants, not super loud but at least some of the crowd is into this one.

Gibson fights through the pain and reverses the hold, Morton gets to the ropes. Gibson fights back with rights and uses the ropes to get to his feet but Morton kicks the leg right out from under him and applies a leglock, messing with the knee price. Gibson breaks it up with a slap to the face and drops the metal part of his knee brace across Morton’s nose. Morton kicks the leg out once more, wrapping it around the bottom rope. Ross admits he thought this was going to be a quicker-paced match, echoing the thoughts of everyone watching this; he explains it well though saying he thought it’d be fast-paced because he didn’t expect Morton to try and end his former partner’s career the way he’s been doing. Gibson hops to his feet and lands a DDT but is too dazed to make the cover. Morton charges, Gibson connects with a backdrop but falls to the mat himself in pain. Gibson goes for broke with a dropkick, Morton easily sidesteps it and goes back on offense with an inverted atomic drop. Morton goes for a driving knee, Gibson slams him off the buckles and connects with an enzuigiri. Morton crawls to the ramp, Gibson goes after him and they both land hard attempting dropkicks, Morton rolling to the floor. DANG. York distracts Alfonso, Morton grabs the COM-PEW-TOR and comes off the top rope with it across the back of Gibson’s “head” (more like the shoulderblade) for the 1…2…3.

Richard Morton defeated Robert Gibson via pinfall (17:01 or so, I didn’t hear a bell)

  • Match started off heated but they lost the fire once all of the offense turned to wear down holds on Gibson’s knee. Story-wise it made perfect sense, and I like Ross pointing out that Morton was being extra vicious to a man he once considered a brother, but my attention span can only handle so much. They picked it up at the end before Morton cheated to win but that middle sagged way too much to win me back. I was hoping for greatness but what I got was…okay to middling. WCW giving them 17+ minutes was a nice gesture, but they should’ve done something more with it. (*3/4)

Eric Bischoff interviews Dustin Rhodes & The Young Pistols backstage. Tracy Smothers tells the ‘Birds they’re coming for a fight, not a wrestling match. Steve Armstrong recaps the rules of an Elimination match, Rhodes does a bad impression of his father.


ELIMINATION MATCH
“The Natural” Dustin Rhodes & The Young Pistols (Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong) vs. Badstreet & The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael “P.S.” Hayes & Jimmy “Jam” Garvin) [w/ Big Daddy Dink]

The Fabulous Freebirds hold both the U.S. Tag and Six Man Tag Team Championships and haven’t defended either in…awhile. Badstreet, then known as Fantasia and covered in feathers, helped the ‘Birds win the U.S. Tag Team Titles at SuperBrawl back in May and the Pistols have wanted revenge ever since. No sign of DDP during the Freebirds entrance, a first in a long time. Maybe they’re finally splitting them up.

Hayes struts and moonwalks, Rhodes mocks him with a moonwalk of his own and sends all three members of the other team flying with Bionic Elbows and slams. Badstreet’s finisher, a DDT from the top rope, has been given a name: the 9-1-1. “FREEBIRDS SUCK” chant from the crowd, louder than they’ve been for the show so far. I may not like the Freebirds much but I can’t deny that they were great at revving a crowd up. Garvin knees Rhodes from behind, Badstreet clotheslines the Pistols off the apron. Rhodes with Bionic Elbows to Hayes & Garvin, Pistols hit stereo-ish shoulderblocks from the top and they bail from the ring once more. Smothers tags in and lets The Freebirds stall by posing for the crowd repeatedly. Garvin works Smothers over in the corner, Smothers reverses a corner whip and connects with a backdrop and dropkick. Garvin sidesteps a second dropkick, Armstrong gets a blind tag and the ring gets cleared again so the action grinds to a halt. GET ON WITH IT. Somehow Hayes is the legal man now and Armstrong traps him in a wristlock; Smothers tags in and grabs a side headlock. Garvin blind tags, leapfrogs and drop downs from both, Badstreet pulls down the rope and Smothers spills to the floor. Ref gets distracted, Dink hits a clothesline and Badstreet slams Smothers on the floor. Smothers hops to the apron, Hayes sends him flying with a left hook. Smothers gets helped to the apron, Garvin sends him flying back off with a boot. Smothers gets rolled in, Garvin drives a knee to the midsection. Badstreet tags in and connects with a clothesline off a corner whip. Hayes tags in, locks in a sleeperhold in the center of the ring. Smothers wakes up, misses a clothesline, and Hayes decks him with another left hook. Garvin tags in, covers for two, settles into a chinlock. Somebody is going to be eliminated at some point, right? Badstreet phantom tags in, connects with a neckbreaker for the 1…2…Smothers kicks out. Smothers with a sunset flip for the 1…2…Badstreet kicks out and tags out to Hayes. Smothers tries to chop his way out of the corner, Hayes drops him with a THIRD Left hook, Smothers counters a DDT with a backdrop.

Armstrong gets the tag, backdrop to Hayes, dropkicks to Garvin & Badstreet, double noggin knocker to the ‘Birds. Pistols hit double shoulderblocks to Hayes & Badstreet as Rhodes battles Garvin on the floor. Hayes tosses Smothers to the ramp, Hayes clotheslines Armstrong as he tries to take Badstreet’s mask off. DOUBLE DDT from Hayes & Badstreet for the 1…2…3! STEVE ARMSTRONG HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. Smothers charges, Hayes ducks and backdrops him over the top rope getting him DQed. MICHAEL HAYES HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. Garvin & Badstreet hit another double DDT on Smothers for the 1…2…3! TRACY SMOTHERS HAS BEEN ELININATED. Rhodes charges in with a lariat on Garvin for the 1…2…3! JIMMY GARVIN HAS BEEN ELIMINATED.

Down to Rhodes & Badstreet. Badstreet drops an elbow and arrogantly covers for the 1…2..Rhodes kicks out. Badstreet slams Rhodes and heads to the top, gets caught with a right hand on the way down, Rhodes follows up with a lariat but Dink distracts the ref long enough for Badstreet to be able to kick out. Badstreet whips Rhodes into the corner, Rhodes runs out with a Bulldog, kicking Dink on the way down, for the 1…2…3. BADSTREET HAS BEEN ELIMINATED.

Dustin Rhodes & The Young Pistols defeated Badstreet & The Fabulous Freebirds (17:04)

  • Once the eliminations started happening this turned out to be pretty entertaining but before then it felt like a lot of preamble to nothing. Freebirds stalling is hit or miss with me and this was a big ol’ miss. Rhodes got the brightest shine out of anyone, which isn’t a surprise due to who’s booking at the time though he deserves the accolades all on his own if we’re being honest, and his Bulldog finish to Badstreet was great. Salvageable by the end but took too long to get there. (*3/4)

BOUNTY FOR THE MASK
The Yellow Dog [w/ a Yellow Dog] vs. Johnny B. Badd [w/ Theodore R. Long]

The Yellow Dog debuted around the time Brian Pillman was forced out of WCW and most of his matches have involved his opponents trying to unmask him to collect a bounty. He’s accompanied this night by a Golden Retriever because it’s a YELLOW DOG YOU SEE. Badd, in my opinion, has been one of the better newcomers to WCW having debuted at SuperBrawl and continuing to improve since then both in his in-ring work and his character. Supposedly he’s feuding with PN News but they’ve barely interacted so maybe that’s a house show thing they just throw inset promos on TV for. Badd gets pyro for his entrance but they play the WRONG SONG at first so there’s an awkward pause between when it hits and when he and Long start coming to the ring. Beautiful.

Dog calls Johnny B. Badd “Johnny B. Gay” and a “F*GGOT” chant breaks out in the Baltimore Arena. Embarrassing and disgusting, especially when Dog encourages it. From what I hear WWE Network edited this out as “technical difficulties” which honestly I’m not mad at. Bell sounds, Dog backs Badd into the corner and slaps him in the face, Badd kicks him in the face when he mocks Long. Badd slams Dog, Dog connects with a hip toss and dropkick, then a chop to the chest that sends him to the floor. Long towels Badd off and they hug, feeding the homophobia of this sh*tty wrestling crowd full of dorks. Dog rolls Badd up with a crucifix into a sunset flip for a two-count. Badd blocks a rollup and ducks a clothesline, almost running into Long, Dog dropkicks him and the two knock heads. Dog stalks Long around the ring, Badd comes out of nowhere with a clothesline. Dog and Badd exchange chops, Badd ducks a crossbody (sorta) and hits a top rope sunset flip for the 1…2…Dog kicks out and takes Badd to the mat with an armbar, Badd rolls through into a chinlock and goes after the mask, Dog counters with a jawbreaker. Badd drops Dog with a high knee and sets up for the Tutti Frutti, Dog ducks and connects with a belly-to-back suplex. Dog follows up with a series of strikes, Badd clobbers him with a forearm to the back. Dog ducks a clothesline and connects with a spinning heel kick, followed by a flying crossbody for the 1…Long jumps on Dog’s back and goes after the mask to cause a DQ.

The Yellow Dog defeated Johnny B. Badd via DQ when Theodore R. Long interfered (6:00)

  • The homophobic bullsh*t took me out of it at the beginning but the match itself was pretty good despite Dog/Pillman appearing to not be throwing his full effort behind it (might be projecting). A low-effort Pillman is still better than a lot of the WCW roster though and Badd was game to keep up as best he could so it worked out. Mostly. Long jumping in at the finish saved either man from a pinfall loss and made sense as Long is looking to get that bounty money and ultimately didn’t care about Badd getting the pin or not. (**)

Dog easily fights Long off, drilling him with a clothesline. Badd knocks Dog out of the ring with the Tutti Frutti, but Dog DOES NOT SELL IT and immediately jumps back in the ring…but not in time to catch Badd or Long who bail out. 


Eric Bischoff tries to interview Missy Hyatt in her locker room. Her assistant reads a card sent to her by boyf Jason Hervey. Awww how sweet. Bischoff tries to find Hyatt and hears the shower running. INSTEAD OF BEING A NORMAL PERSON he opens the door and tries to interview the now-brunette Hyatt but she throws things at him and calls him a peeping tom.

  • LOL ERIC BISCHOFF TRIED TO SEE MISSY HYATT NAKED WITHOUT HER PERMISSION AND GOT CALLED OUT FOR IT HOW HILARIOUS SO FUNNY THIS HAS AGED VERY WELL

LUMBERJACK MATCH
Big Josh vs. Black Blood

Kevin Sullivan attacked Josh during his match with Dan Spivey last month at Knocksville U.S.A. but that’s about it when it comes to a build for this one. They’ve hinted at a feud but haven’t really shown one as neither man has really gone near each other, but I’m assuming WCW set this up because both men wield an ax (well Blood wields an ax; Josh only has the handle of an ax because he’s a babyface and for some reason can’t have the cutting part). Sullivan doesn’t even accompany Blood for this one. Lumberjacks for this one include Dustin Rhodes, “Dirty” Dick Slater, Dick Murdoch, Junkyard Dog, PN News, Bobby Eaton, Black Bart, & Richard Morton.

Blood clobbers Josh to start with rights and sends him to the floor, heel lumberjacks attack him and throw him back in. Blood tosses Josh out to the face side, they help Josh up and bring him back in more gently, being like actual lumberjacks should be. Josh fights back with chops and a dropkick, followed by a double ax and out he goes on the heel side. Heels let him rest, Eaton and the other faces run over to force Blood back in. Josh and Blood trade stiff shots, Blood sent into the corner then tripped, Josh with a log roll. Josh knocks Blood silly with a clothesline, lumberjacks fight as they put him back in the ring. Blood counters corner mount rights with a Snake Eyes across the top buckle and follows up with a military press version of a Stun Gun. Blood sends Josh to the floor with a double thrust to the throat, face lumberjacks check on him while the heel ‘jacks want to send him back in and they almost come to blows instead. Blood suplexes Josh back in, lumberjacks start brawling with each other which pops the crowd. Blood connects with a legdrop, Josh counters a fistdrop with a big boot and comes back swinging. Josh and Blood trade chops, Blood catches him charging with a big boot and connects with a belly-to-back suplex. Lumberjacks start brawling again, Blood grabs the ax and tries to use it but Rhodes hits Blood in the knee with Josh’s axhandle, and Josh rolls him up for the 1…2…3.

Big Josh defeated Black Blood via pinfall (5:40)

  • Dustin Rhodes is heel of the night for preventing Black Blood from cutting Big Josh up with his ax. BOOOOO. All in all this was fun and A LOT better than you’d expect going in; the lumberjacks brawling kept the crowd into it while Josh & Blood stiffed the sh*t out of each other. Didn’t have this pegged for a possible match of the night but with the way this show is going it might end up being so and that’s going to break my brain. (**1/4)

One Man Gang and Kevin Sullivan are stopped on the ramp for some pre-match comments by Eric Bischoff. Sullivan rambles about the plateau of fear and the Lady with the Third Eye. The death wagon is waiting outside for El Gigante. The…the f*ck? El Gigante makes his entrance with a gaggle of little people to further show how GIANT he is. The one on Gigante’s shoulder has a third eye painted on his forehead.


El Gigante vs. One Man Gang [w/ Kevin Sullivan]

Gang took umbrage with Gigante being considered the true “giant” of WCW and has been up in his sh*t since SuperBrawl back in May, going so far as to help Sullivan shave his head a few weeks back on TV. The little people run around and bewilder Gang, Sullivan throws one around before they exit the ring. 

Bell rings and Gang tries to leave, Gigante throws him back in and clobbers him with forearms. Gang tries to take him off his feet with a shoulderblock but it does nothing. Gang bails to the floor, Gigante stalks him back inside. Gang ducks a clothesline but gets taken to the mat with a hip toss. Gigante misses a corner splash, Gang hits a middle-buckle clothesline but it only drops him to his knees. Sullivan distracts the ref, Gang produces a wrench and uses it on Gigante. Sullivan tries to use the wrench too but Gigante is too large for him and he can’t ever get to it. Gang goes after Gigante’s left knee to try and keep him off his feet, using the wrench once more as Sullivan distracts the ref. Gang hits the 747 for the 1…2…Gigante throws him out of the ring, Gang drops him throat-first across the top rope. Gang heads to the top, Gigante slams him off and goes on the offensive with forearms and a vertical suplex. Sullivan climbs the buckles, Gigante clobbers him down and noggin knocks him with Gang. Gigante puts the Claw on Sullivan, Gang attacks him from behind to break it and Sullivan hands him some powder. Gang readies it up, Gigante kicks it into Gang’s face and connects with a clothesline to the back of the head for the 1…2…3.

El Gigante defeated One Man Gang via pinfall (6:14)

  • Yeah this sucked but it had a powder spot so I’m willing to put it above the scaffold match albeit barely. Gigante HAS improved in the ring but it’s still really bad and shouldn’t be something you throw on PPV no matter how big the guy is. Also this could’ve been like 3 minutes and been the exact same match and we would’ve saved some time. (1/4*)

RUSSIAN CHAIN MATCH
Sting vs. “The Russian Nightmare” Nikita Koloff

This feud started all the way back in May at SuperBrawl when Koloff accidentally hit Sting with his Russian chain. They then did battle the next month at Knocksville U.S.A. with Sting getting the win but Koloff wasn’t ready to let it go and attacked Sting later in the show while he was hanging out with a young fan who won a lookalike contest. 

The rules of a Russian Chain Match are as follows: both men are chained together at the wrist and the only way to win is to touch all four corners of the ring consecutively while dragging your opponent around. Bell rings and both men jockey for chain advantage…then decide to stop and jaw jack at each other instead. Koloff kicks Sting, Sting kicks back and sends him into the corner-ish, action spills to the floor and Sting drops him sternum-first on the guardrail. Sting rams Koloff’s head repeatedly in the corner buckle, Koloff rolls to the floor and Sting chokes him with the chain. Sting rolls Koloff back in and slaps one corner, slaps another, Koloff holds onto the ropes to prevent the third and kicks him away so now the count is reset. Action moves back to the floor, Koloff uses the chain to punish Sting. Sting blocks a guardrail shot and sends Koloff into the steel, Koloff tries to crawl away but Sting yanks the chain and sends him into the post. Koloff regains the advantage, wrapping the chain around his arm and dropping an elbow. Koloff chokes Sting, referee Randy Anderson tries to count him off but there’s no rules so it’s pointless. Koloff misses an elbowdrop, Sting sends Koloff’s fist into his own family jewels with a yank of the chain. Sting rakes the eyes, taking advantage of being able to break rules freely, Koloff rakes back because that’s just how he rolls. He drags Sting around the ring, touching three of the corners (two with his head) but Sting kicks him away to stop the momentum and resetting the sequence. Sting and Koloff hit the first corner, Randy Anderson counts them both. They roll into the second corner, both have two buckles, Koloff hits a low-blow but Sting low-blows him back and they go down. Anderson keeps it 2-2 for both though, making a judgment call. Both lunge for the third, tied at 3-3, Sting hammers with rights on Koloff and goes for the fourth but Koloff hangs onto the rope. Sting gets close, Koloff clobbers him with a Russian Sickle. Anderson is STILL considering it 3-3 even though the momentum is CLEARLY done. Koloff goes towards the corner, Sting hits him with a Stinger Splash but that means Koloff hit first and he’s the winner!

Nikita Koloff defeated Sting (11:38)

  • I don’t know how they managed to do it but WCW made a match featuring a big ol’ chain an absolute bore. Real disappointing stuff here, the second gimmick match on the show that felt more like a summer camp game than an actual professional wrestling contest. And they didn’t get all that violent with the chain. Give me a LITTLE blood at least. Jeez. I like the IDEA of the finish but it required Anderson to just make the rules up as he went along to get to it so it fell flat for me. There had to be a better match in their heads than the one we got, right? (*1/2)

Sting & Koloff continue brawling after the match, Sting standing tall after winning the war.


-After a Luger vs. Windham video we cut to the ring where the cage gets lowered and pyro shoots from the top. Ross & Schiavone discuss the match we’re about to see, Ross fully confident that it’ll be a FAIR match with NO interference. Hmmm. LOUD “WE WANT FLAIR” chant from the Baltimore crowd as Ross & Schiavone continue their discussion, powering through as best as they can. This is actually really good, going over Luger & Windham’s various strengths and weaknesses, as well as how their careers have paralleled and crossed paths, and giving it the big fight feel.

-During Barry Windham’s entrance we get our first look at the “new” World Heavyweight Championship, which is an old territory belt Dusty Rhodes had lying around with a metal “World Championship Wrestling” faceplate tacked on. Oh lord. There’s a story behind that though: when Flair left WCW they never paid him back his down payment on the title belt so he took it with him, leaving WCW scrambling even MORE to have something to show for The Great American Bash. That’s what they came up with. It is very bad.


STEEL CAGE MATCH
“The Total Package” Lex Luger vs. Barry Windham for the vacant WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

The build for The Great American Bash began as a regular World Title match, as Lex Luger was positioned to finally grab the brass ring and (likely) defeat Ric Flair to FINALLY become the World Champion after years of coming close, cementing him as WCW’s top star of the 1990s. Unfortunately things took a turn when Jim Herd essentially chased Flair out of the company, causing the World Title to be vacated a mere two weeks before the PPV. WCW scrambled, replacing Flair with a suddenly announced #2 contender Barry Windham and changing the story as best they could by editing their already in the can TV. Just a real sh*tty turn of events thanks to a man in charge of the company who for some reason could not see how much RIC F*CKING FLAIR meant to WCW. Absolute insanity. Let’s see how they try and put the pieces back together. Neither man looks especially thrilled to be out there, and the “WE WANT FLAIR” chants are already deafening before the bell rings so GOOD START.

Luger and Windham collide, neither man goes down. Both men block suplex attempts and reset once more. Windham sends Luger to the mat with shoulderblock, Luger responds with a hip toss and once again it’s a reset as the feeling out process continues. Luger takes Windham down with a shoulderblock, Windham leapfrogs and connects with a dropkick. Luger counters a slam with an inside cradle for a one-count. “NATURE BOY” chants as they lock up once more, Luger sending Windham to the mat with a scoop slam but missing a follow-up elbowdrop. Windham backs Luger into the corner and connects with a right, Luger responds with rapid-fire jabs but Windham stops it with a backdrop, taking the Total Package by surprise. “WE WANT FLAIR” chants kick up again, Windham brings Luger to the mat with a side headlock, Luger quickly counters into a headscissors, Windham escapes and decks him with a right hand. Luger blocks a suplex and hits one of his own. Windham goes for a Figure Four, Luger kicks him away. Lots of start and stop going on here, usually a signal for a much longer match to come. Luger catches a kick and connects with an atomic drop, Baltimore crowd is giving this absolutely NO chance. Somewhat justified but also unfair to these guys. Luger grabs a sleeperhold, an apparent new move in his arsenal, Windham escapes and applies one of his own. Luger escapes by sending Windham into the buckles and follows up with a DDT for the 1…2…Windham kicks out. Luger climbs to the top, Windham slams him off and drops a knee across the bridge of the nose for the 1..2…Luger kicks out. Windham heads to the top, kicking Luger away but misses a flying elbowdrop that the crowd finally appreciates. Luger follows up with a backdrop and a series of running clotheslines for the 1…2…Windham gets the shoulder up and Luger is PISSED. Luger hits a back elbow off a whip for a two-count and a powerslam. Luger picks Windham up in the Torture Rack, Windham uses the cage to flip out and hits a belly-to-back suplex. Hell yeah. 

Luger gets to his feet first and seats Windham on the top buckle, Windham blocks the Superplex attempt and sends him to the canvas, following up with a flying clothesline but Luger gets right back up. Windham hits another backdrop followed by a lariat and scoop slam for the 1…2…Luger kicks out. Windham takes another high-risk attempt, hitting a missile dropkick-ish for the 1…2…Luger kicks out again and Windham immediately starts burying in the rights as Harley Race and Mr. Hughes make their way ringside. Windham jaws at Hughes, Race talks some sense into Luger, Luger hits Windham from behind and connects with a PILEDRIVER for the 1…2…3!

Lex Luger defeated Barry Windham via pinfall to win the WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (12:25)

  • The crowd turned on this match IMMEDIATELY but Luger and Windham did manage to get them back into the contest thanks to some cool spots (Windham’s counter to the Torture Rack being the coolest of them all). This turned out to be getting pretty good…until Race & Hughes showed up and WCW shat on everything by turning Lex Luger, their top babyface, heel because REASONS. What a dumb thing. What an absolute dumb thing. You chased your actual World Champion out of the company and turn your biggest face heel on a show where you DESPERATELY need to win the fans back and prove WCW will be okay without Ric Flair. Baffling decision that makes absolutely no sense. (**1/2)

Crowd popped for Luger’s pinfall so Race makes sure to raise the new champ’s hand in victory to get over that, no, the guy you’ve been cheering on in his quest to be champion is a bad guy now, NO CATHARSIS ALLOWED. Luger, Race, & Hughes quickly leave the ring as pyro erupts from the stage. Well that’s certainly one way to end the…WHAT THE F*CK WE AREN’T DONE YET?!?


Arn Anderson & Paul E. Dangerously make their way out for the final match and like five minutes left in the PPV. Rick Steiner & Missy Hyatt are out next, Hyatt rocking that brunette look and probably confusing EVERYBODY. Before Hyatt can enter the ring out come The Hardliners who grab Hyatt and drag her to the back, turning this one into a handicap match!


STEEL CAGE MATCH
Rick Steiner vs. “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson & Paul E. Dangerously

Steiner counters a hip toss with a powerslam and stares Dangerously down. Anderson attacks from behind, Steiner picks him up and Dangerously hits him from behind from the top buckle. Dangerously gives Anderson one of his cowboy boots, Steiner lays Anderson out with a Steinerline. Dangerously tries to escape, Steiner slams him and belts him with a Steinerline for the 1…2…3.

Rick Steiner defeated Arn Anderson & Paul E. Dangerously via pinfall (2:09)

  • Apparently the Maryland Athletic Committee or whatever forbid WCW from doing an intergender match, so they had to hastily come up with a way to get Hyatt out of there before the bell rung. So WCW spent MONTHS building to this match and didn’t think about consulting with whatever governing board they had to make sure it was going to be able to happen? JESUS. Also putting that match on last as the de facto main event is another dumb thing but at least I kinda see the reasoning: they just turned Lex Luger HEEL and needed to end the show with something positive, and nothing’s more positive than seeing Dangerously eat a Steinerline. He’s gotta be rocking a neckbrace in the next batch of TV. ANYWAY the match itself was nothing as expected and super fast as they were running out of PPV time and also this show is something else, man. (NR)

-Ross & Schiavone quickly close the show, questioning the relationship between Lex Luger, Harley Race, & Mr. Hughes. Schiavone calls this PPV a “statement”. Maybe not the statement you wanted to make, y’all. Pyro goes off in the arena as the show rolls credits.

*****

FINAL THOUGHTS: I’m confident in saying that The Great American Bash 1991 is one of the absolute worst wrestling PPVs I have ever sat through, from both a booking and wrestling point of view. Just a black hole of nothing matches full of wrestlers phoning it in and some mind-numbingly bad booking decisions (turning Lex Luger heel the same night he finally wins the World Title). Embarrassing sh*t all around and I can imagine fans back in 1991 fearing for WCW after seeing stumble this intensely. At least make it FUN bad, guys. Goddamn.

  • MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Lex Luger vs. Barry Windham
  • MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: WCW debuts their new World Title, which is just an old territory belt with a WCW faceplate slapped on it. Cringe-worthy.

 

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