Rock Star Gary reflects on…NWA Great American Bash ’88: The Price for Freedom

Live from Baltimore, MD

Airdate: July 10, 1988

Attendance:  13,000

Hosted by Tony Schiavone & Jim Ross

Read moreRock Star Gary reflects on…NWA Great American Bash ’88: The Price for Freedom

WCW Wednesday: Part XXXIII – the GOOOOOOOOOOOOLDBERRRRRRG Edition!

On July 6, 1998, in what was already in the cards yet also a knee-jerk reaction to WWF King of the Ring ‘98, WCW World champion Hollywood Hogan defended the WCW World title against Goldberg.

Read moreWCW Wednesday: Part XXXIII – the GOOOOOOOOOOOOLDBERRRRRRG Edition!

Rock Star Gary reflects on NWA Clash of the Champions II: Miami Mayhem

Live from Miami, FL

Airdate: June 8, 1988

Attendance:  unknown

Hosted by Tony Schiavone & Bob Caudle

While the initial Clash stands on its own as a spectacular, this Clash serves as a promotional vehicle for the upcoming Great American Bash tour. Get out your beach umbrella, fruity cocktail, and sunscreen as we head to Miami, Florida for some NWA wrestling action!

Read moreRock Star Gary reflects on NWA Clash of the Champions II: Miami Mayhem

WCW Wednesday: Part XXXII – the Title Unification Edition!

Due to WCW’s Disney tapings in 1993, a fallout occurred between WCW and the NWA because of WCW’s portrayal of someone other than the NWA champion wearing the NWA belt. Rather than eliminate the title altogether, WCW renamed it the WCW International World title.

By July 1994, the usefulness of the WCW International title had run its course so to speak; hence, WCW booked a unification match at Clash XXVII on July 23. At the time, Sting was the WCW International champion while Flair was the WCW World champion. Since these guys knew each other really well, let’s see how the match went according to my reflection…

Match 5 for the WCW World title unification: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (WCW World champion) versus Sting (WCW International World champion)

Highlights:

  • As Heenan replaced Ventura on commentary, Flair came out first.
  • Buffer rumbled.
  • After the introductions, Sensuous Sherri came down the ramp. Upon hiding behind a mask, she revealed herself wearing the exact style of face paint as Sting.
  • At the onset, Sting gave Flair a pair of gorilla press slams.
  • That resulted in a Flair flop on the floor.
  • Interestingly, Flair, who had been a babyface since his return to WCW, made heel gestures toward the crowd.
  • After a series of clotheslines by Sting, he delivered a hip toss and a dropkick.
  • Flair then attempted the figure-four leg lock, but Sting got a sloppy cradle for 2.
  • While a huge “Sting” chant emanated from the crowd, Sting missed a Stinger splash.
  • Subsequently, Flair asked referee Randy Anderson for the time then tossed Sting over the top rope when he wasn’t looking. As you know, he’s the “dirtiest player in the game.”
  • Regardless, Flair tried to pin Sting with his feet on the ropes.
  • He then made a second attempt at a figure-four but was thwarted.
  • After a sleeper by Flair, a Flair flip put Flair on the apron but Sting clotheslined him down.
  • Sting then put Flair on the top turnbuckle and delivered a top rope superplex.
  • However, he then missed a top rope splash.
  • Next, a delayed vertical suplex by Flair was no-sold by Sting.
  • He then clotheslined Flair over the top rope to the floor.
  • When Sting attempted a plancha, Flair put Sherri directly in his path. Nice bump, Sherri.
  • As Sting was distracted with Sherri, Flair rolled him up with a handful of tights for the victory!

Rating: ***1/2

Summary: These guys have had better matches in the past. Unfortunately, in this match, the psychology was all over the place. Due to their almost unparalleled chemistry, this match-up never became boring. Yet this match’s only historical significance was the unification itself.

After the match, the crowd cheers for Flair’s victory as a dazed Sherri enters the ring. Shockingly, she and Flair embrace. WE HAVE A HEEL TURN! She and Flair double-team Sting including two Sherri splashes.  Being the hero to millions, Hulk Hogan emerges from the dressing room to confront Flair, but the ”Nature Boy” avoids the leg drop and bails. Sherri appears to be caught in the middle of the ring, but she slaps Hogan. To save her skin, Flair drags Sherri from the ring. Your Bash at the Beach main event stands before you and boosts the match rating up ½*.

So where did it lead:  While the title unification resided on the forefront, the signing of Hulk Hogan stood in the background like a ticking time bomb. In order to placate Hogan, Flair had to turn heel to elicit the “appropriate” reaction for the Hulkster. Since BatB ’94 generated a 1.02 buyrate, I would surmise that Hogan’s politics worked. In fact, he even became WCW World champion in his first WCW match!

What do you think of this match from Clash XXVII?

Please be sure to check out all of my reflections at rockstargary.com.

Rock Star Gary reflects on…SNME XVI

Taped from Springfield, MA

Airdate: April 30, 1988 (taped 4/22)

Attendance:  9,000

Hosted by Vince McMahon & Jesse “The Body” Ventura

This reflection is sponsored by DeVry University. One would think a college with a basketball team would sponsor a show from the birthplace of basketball, but sadly one would be wrong.

Read moreRock Star Gary reflects on…SNME XVI

WCW Wednesday: Part XXXI – the Flare for the Old Edition!

On June 16, 1993, WCW invaded the Scope in Norfolk, VA for the twenty-third edition of the Clash of Champions. The focus of this show was to create storylines for the upcoming Beach Blast PPV. To the fans in attendance, the highlight of the show was the in-ring return of “Nature Boy” Ric Flair.

Read moreWCW Wednesday: Part XXXI – the Flare for the Old Edition!

Rock Star Gary reflects on NWA Crockett Cup ’88

Live from Greenville, SC & Greensboro, NC

Airdate: April 22 & 23, 1988

Attendance:  4,440 & 6,200 respectively

Hosted by Tony Schiavone & Jim Ross

After the incredibly successful and exciting Clash, how does Jim Crockett Promotions follow up? They scheduled a twenty-four team tournament, but, as you will find out, there are only twenty-two teams. This ought to be interesting…

Read moreRock Star Gary reflects on NWA Crockett Cup ’88

WCW Wednesday: Part XXX – the Pivotal Powerbomb Edition!

In a previous column, I mentioned the “intrusion” by Scott Hall on Nitro. While I won’t touch on everyone’s favorite “adjective” segment, I will mention Hall and Nash’s appearance on 6/16/1996 at Great American Bash ’96 for an interview with Executive Vice-President Eric Bischoff.

Read moreWCW Wednesday: Part XXX – the Pivotal Powerbomb Edition!

Rock Star Gary reflects on NWA Clash of the Champions

Live from Greensboro, NC

Airdate: March 27, 1988

Attendance:  6,000

Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross, and Bob Caudle

In previous reflections, we learned that Vince McMahon and the WWF initially opposed Starrcade ’87 with Survivor Series then subsequently Bunkhouse Stampede with Royal Rumble on USA. With the help of TBS, Jim Crockett Promotions counter-attacked by opposing WrestleMania IV with this show. Back in 1988, despite my admiration for Savage, I tuned in to watch this show instead. Let’s see what transpired.

Read moreRock Star Gary reflects on NWA Clash of the Champions

Rock Star Gary reflects on…WrestleMania IV

Live from Atlantic City, NJ

Airdate: March 27, 1988

Attendance:  18,165 (17,000 paid)

Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse “The Body” Ventura

Due to the chicanery and shenanigans perpetrated by DiBiase and André, the WWF title was declared vacant by WWF President Jack Tunney. Hence, a tournament will crown a new WWF champion tonight.

Read moreRock Star Gary reflects on…WrestleMania IV