Great American Bash 1997

Great American
Bash 1997
Date: June 15, 1997
Location: The MARK of
Quad Cities, Moline, Illinois
Attendance: 9,613
Commentators: Bobby
Heenan, Dusty Rhodes, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It HAS TO be better
than Slamboree. I mean it has to be. The main event here is Savage
vs. DDP in a falls count anywhere match. Also since last week’s
battle of the football players match went so well, we’re repeating it
here. Now one good thing about WCW at this point is that the matches
got time, as in the shortest match on this show is nine and a half
minutes long. On the other hand, the shortest match on this show is
nine and a half minutes long. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is
about AMERICA. DDP has chased the American Dream (not Dusty) which
is a nice idea actually.
We also have the
Outsiders defending against Piper/Flair.
Psicosis vs. Ultimo
Dragon
This is the revenge
match for Dragon after he dumped Onoo and Sonny brought in Onoo to
fight for him. Dragon sends him to the floor and the crowd is hot.
Back in Psicosis takes him to the mat but gets knocked to the floor
almost immediately. In the ring again Dragon tries a leapfrog but
Psicosis punches him out of the air. Dragon one ups him by dropping
an elbow on Psicosis as he hits the mat. There’s the handstand in
the corner and here come the kicks.
The crowd is WAY into
Dragon here. Psicosis takes over with a clothesline and walks around
a lot. The crowd energy alone is making this show feel better than
the previous one. Psicosis gets guillotined on the top rope but as
Dragon tries to dive on him he injures his knee. Sonny adds in some
kicks to keep Dragon down. Psicosis punches him into a 619 position
but with Dragon facing up. Psycho hits a guillotine legdrop down
onto the Dragon and barely misses the apron.
La Majistral gets two.
Dragon rolls to the floor and Sonny fires off more kicks, but this
time Dragon blocks him. He sets for a suplex but Psicosis makes the
save. Back in dragon hits some more kicks and almost knocks a horn
off of the mask. They both try rollups with Dragon kicking him into
the aisle where he hits the Asai Moonsault. That thing is gorgeous.
Tombstone in the ring gets two.
Psicosis gets sent to
the apron and comes back with a slingshot cross body to send Dragon
to the floor. HUGE dive over the top takes Dragon out. Back in
(I’ve been saying that a lot) Dragon rolls forward into a rana but it
gets countered into a sunset flip for two. Psicosis tries a
moonsault press but Dragon dropkicks him out of the air. Super rana
looks to set up the tiger suplex but he goes after Sonny instead.
The distraction lets Psicosis hit a springboard missile dropkick for
two. Dragon sends Psicosis into Sonny and the Dragon Sleeper gets
the tap out.
Rating: B.
I liked this one as they were flying all over the place. Dragon was
a lot better than I remembered him being and his last few matches
have probably been the best ones of the PPVs. I’m not sure why he
didn’t become a bigger star than he was in WCW, but maybe it was the
language barrier issue?
Harlem Heat vs.
Steiner Brothers
The winners are #1
contenders which makes me laugh. Stevie and Scott get us going and
it’s power vs. power. They collide off the ropes and no one moves,
so Scott hits him in the face with a forearm. When all else fails,
HIT HIM IN THE HEAD. Stevie kicks him in the face to take over.
Another boot misses so Scott throws him over in a suplex. The
Steiners clear the ring for a bit and Stevie wants Rick.
Ray pounds him down and
it’s off to Booker, but he wants Scott. Rick won’t leave so Booker
doesn’t get what he wants. Ok now he does and Scott shoves him into
the corner. Booker breaks up a test of strength and tries a
headlock. That gets him nowhere so he tries a full nelson. Scott
easily breaks it but takes a knee to the ribs to slow him right back
down. Butterfuly powerbomb gets one for Steiner.
Off to Rick again who
wants to brawl. The brawling doesn’t work so he goes to the Steiner
bread and butter of a suplex. Scott comes in for a gorilla press but
he jumps into a boot. Spinarooni sets up the Harlem Side Kick and
Booker clotheslines Scott and himself to the floor. Scott sends him
into the barricade to take over and they head back inside. Rick
comes in again and goes outside also, but this time Stevie powerslams
him on the floor to give Harlem Heat the advantage.
Rick is in trouble now
as Harlem Heat lulls Scott in. They hit a modified Hart Attack
(Harlem Side Kick instead of a clothesline) called the Big Apple for
a delayed two. Rick catches a kick into a powerbomb/suplex kind of
move to put both guys down. Hot tag brings in Scott and the ring is
cleared quickly. A top rope Frankensteiner puts Stevie down…and
here’s Vincent to hit Stevie so that the Steiners lose and the
Outsiders don’t have to face them.
Rating: D+.
This was pretty much a long TV match with a bad finish. It makes
sense on paper, but there wouldn’t be a tag title match, at least not
on PPV that I can remember. It was around this time that the titles
became a prop as without anyone defending them, the Outsiders being
called the best team made no sense. You had a bunch of teams that
wanted them which helped, but with the titles never being defended
they stopped meaning anything.
Vincent takes the
Steiner Bulldog post match.
Hugh Morrus vs.
Konnan
More fallout from last
month. Konnan is a rapper now. Brawl to start and Morrus takes over
with some forearms to the back. A running dropkick puts Konnan down
again. Hugh heads to the floor for no apparent reason and is slammed
into the steps. Back inside now for some chinlockery. Now it’s a
modified crab as this match slows way down. Morrus sends him to the
floor again to take over but then throws him right back inside.
Spinwheel kick
gets….Morrus sitting on his knees and then a cover for two. Now
off to a Fujiwara Armbar and a bad one at that. Gutwrench suplex
sends Konnan flying as they don’t like leaving holds on for that
long. Back to the armbar which Konnan easily breaks and doesn’t sell
at all. Clothesline sets up a stump puller of all things and then
off to a headscissors.
This is one of those
“let’s lay on the mat for most of this match” matches. Konnan
lets go of the headscissors and puts on a cross armbreaker. Morrus
won’t bother to sell it either so Konnan kicks him in the head.
Morrus is laying there so Konnan gives up on it and they get back up.
Back to the armbar attempt but Konnan escapes. A rollup goes badly
so Morrus loads up the moonsault but he stands there for an hour and
a half, allowing Konnan to crotch him. A bad Tequila Sunrise gets
Morrus to pass out instead of giving up.
Rating: F.
Oh MAN this was bad. They laid around a lot, they didn’t do anything
at all, NO ONE was selling anything and the story wasn’t interesting
at all. Nothing to see here at all and the match was just horrible.
This was one of those things that you forget about in WCW: horrible
midcard matches like these.
Gene talks about how
someone is having issues with his employer and might show up on Nitro
tomorrow. Someone was, they did show up on Nitro, it was in two
weeks, and his name was Raven.
Public Enemy doesn’t
like Harlem Heat.
Glacier vs. Wrath
Mortis is handcuffed to
the post here. Wrath takes him into the corner and fires off elbows
and chops but Glacier comes back with slaps of his own. Some kicks
send Wrath to the floor and there’s a dive over the top by Glacier.
I’m stunned by seeing him do more than just kicks and strikes. Still
on the floor and Wrath is sent into the steps. Things stay slow as
Glacier jumps off the apron for a shot to the back which gets two
back inside.
Corner splash misses
for Glacier and it’s in the corner Mortis is chained up in, so Mortis
trips him. Wrath loads up a powerbomb but drops back to hot shot
Glacier on the top rope. Off to the chinlock which eats up a little
time. Glacier gets up but misses a cross body and falls to the
floor. Back inside a top rope clothesline gets no cover. Glacier
tries to choke him but gets shoved back down.
A Vader Bomb elbow
misses and Glacier comes back with a backdrop. There’s a spin kick
and a jumping back elbow for two. A suplex puts Wrath down and he
goes up but gets crotched. A superplex puts both guys down but
Mortis gets up to distract the referee. James Vandenberg offers
distraction #2 and Mortis throws in a chain. Glacier catches it,
right hand, pin.
Rating: D.
This was one of those matches and feuds that just kept dragging on
and on and on. Ernest Miller was brought in last month and he didn’t
make things any better either. Nothing to see here other than a
filler match and not a very good one at that. I think this ended
soon after it though.
Glacier gets cuffed to
the rope and it’s a triple beatdown.
Women’s Title: Akira
Hokuto vs. Madusa
Title vs. career here.
We actually get a Candy Devine reference as WOMEN’S WRESTLING EXPERT
Lee Marshall talks about his AWA days. Hokuto starts in control and
sends Madusa across the ring by the hair. She chokes Madusa in the
corner and then in the middle of the ring. Total squash so far. Off
to a chinlock less than two minutes in. A piledriver kills Madusa
even further but she comes back with a reverse mat slam to take over.
There are a pair of
dropkicks which gets two. Marshall is talking about something called
Johnny Taco’s Gym in Las Vegas. Hokuto comes back with choking and a
slam/suplex kind of move. More choking follows and Hokuto shrugs off
a kick to the head. A modified suplex sets up a figure four attempt
but Madusa gets to the rope.
Madusa comes back with
a spin kick to the boobs and a series of kicks to the ribs. A small
package gets two for the champion. Madusa comes off the top with an
ax handle but blows her knee out in the process. Marshall again
talks about AWA women’s wrestling and an old injury from ten years
ago. Modified surfboard works on the knee some more as this match is
better than most of the others on the show so far.
Now it’s up to a full
surfboard and Madusa is in trouble. That gets released because it’s
a very hard hold to keep up and Hokuto goes up. Madusa comes back
with a Stratusphere and the suplex but the cover is delayed so it
only gets two. Another German suplex attempt is countered into a leg
bar.
One of the things you
don’t see very much in this company in this era is time between
moves. It’s just going from one move to another which takes a lot of
getting used to. The leg bar stays on for awhile and is followed by
a guillotine legdrop attempt but Madusa moves out of the way. German
Suplex gets two and it’s back to the knee. A top rope splash hits
knees but Madusa can’t do anything because of the knee. A Snow Plow
by Hokuto ends this. The retirement of course didn’t last.
Rating: C-.
This was the best match of the night probably other than the opener
but that’s not saying much. Just boring overall but the story of the
knee injury helped a lot. At the end of the day though, who cares
about the women’s division in this era anyway? This is the end of
the Women’s Title anyway.
With Madusa being taken
to the back and with her career being over, Gene pops up to say that
her career is toast and puts a mic in her face. The fans chant LEAVE
HER ALONE. This was a dick move even for Gene.
Chris Benoit vs.
Meng
This is another death
match, meaning you can win by submission or knockout. Benoit takes
it straight to the floor and chases Jimmy Hart off. Back in Benoit
immediately tries the Crossface but Meng lifts him up to break it. I
don’t think the hold was all the way on yet. Benoit tries it again
and this time gets it on, but Meng makes a rope and when you think
DEATH MATCH, you think rope breaks.
They slug it out and
Benoit escapes a powerbomb. Benoit suplexes him over the top and to
the floor which isn’t as impressive as it sounds. Back in Benoit
goes up with his back to the ring but Meng kicks the foot out and
Benoit is caught in the Tree of Woe. A kick to the face gets about
seven for Meng and a spinebuster gets about five. Kick to the face
is followed by a modified Dragon Sleeper but Benoit bites the hand to
escape. That’s smart.
The idea here is that
Benoit can’t hurt him but he keeps trying. Meng chops him down again
and hits a top rope splash for seven but Meng kicks him right back
down. Benoit is knocked to the floor but he reverses Meng into the
barricade. Back in the ring Benoit hits the German suplex to put
Meng down for eight. Benoit throws on another German because the
first one worked so well. This one gets about six.
Benoit kicks him to the
floor and….does nothing at all. Meng gets back in and hits an
atomic drop to take over. There’s the Death Grip but Benoit dives
over the top to break it up. They slug it out on the floor and Meng
takes over with a headbutt. Off to a chinlock as Dusty is talking
about breathing apparatuses. Heenan: “Well thank you Quincy.” A
suplex puts Benoit down but a middle rope splash misses.
The Crossface goes on
but Meng gets a rope. Benoit immediately puts it on again but Meng
makes the rope one more time. Meng pounds him down but gets caught
in a Dragon Screw Leg Whip and then the Crossface goes on for I think
the fourth time this match. This one is closer to the middle of the
ring too. After about a minute and a half Meng blacks out to give
Benoit the win. Dusty says this is an historic moment. How exactly
is this historic?
Rating: C.
Not bad but for the most part it was Meng not selling anything for
awhile until Benoit held him in the Crossface for forever. It wasn’t
bad but when I think DEATH match, I think something a little more
violent than this. It wasn’t bad but it’s being overblown a little
bit too much.
Post match they both
get taken out on stretchers. Why in the world would Benoit need
help? He had the Crossface on for like two minutes at the end. They
only have one stretcher so this takes awhile.
Watch Bash at the
Beach!
Kevin Greene vs.
Steve McMichael
Great. MORE football
players wrestling. Greene charges the aisle and it’s on quickly. He
mounts McMichael and pounds away so Steve heads to the floor. Mongo
pulls him to the floor and yells at some fans in Greene jerseys. Oh
it’s his parents. MAMA HITS HIM WITH A PURSE!!! Mongo stomps him
down coming back in and Greene is in trouble. He can sell better
than Meng can for what it’s worth.
Neckbreaker puts Kevin
down for two. Greene comes back with something like a Thesz Press
but charges into a backbreaker. Kevin takes him into the corner and
rains down punches but Mongo drops him and hits a dropkick for two.
Mongo hits him in the corner but Greene kicks him in the chest to
break it up. Top rope clothesline gets two.
Time for some choking
but Greene has to break it because of Mongo being in the ropes. A
big clothesline puts McMichael onto the floor and Greene follows him
for some stomping. A kind of Stinger Splash misses and Mongo chokes
some more. Here’s Jarrett with the briefcase but he hits Mongo in
the back of the head by mistake. Greene gets the easy pin.
Rating: D+.
It wasn’t as bad as the White match as Greene at least has a tiny bit
of experience. Mongo continues to be horrible though and the match
was bad as a result. The ending was more about pushing the Horsemen
split which had been going on for almost six months at this point.
Bad match but not terrible I guess.
Madusa is having her
knee looked at.
Tag Titles: Roddy
Piper/Ric Flair vs. Outsiders
So that #1 contenders
match last month really didn’t mean jack did it? Flair and Hall
start things off and there’s a toothpick to the face. Flair gets
punched down but comes back with chops to send Hall to the floor.
Back in Flair is Flipped in the corner and runs the apron right into
the big boot from Nash which gets two. Off to Big Kev who pounds him
down and gets a side slam for two.
Hall adds in some
cheating but the distraction lets Piper hit a low blow to bring in
Piper. Piper hooks a quick sleeper on Hall but it’s easily broken
and Hall crotches him on the top. With both guys down, Flair beats
up Syxx on the floor. Flair fights him up the alley as Piper gets
up. There’s no one to tag so it’s two on one. This was supposed to
tease a Flair heel turn. Off to hall who pounds away and slaps Piper
on the back of the head a lot. Roddy says bring it on but he gets
Nash instead, resulting in a bunch of knees to the ribs. Big boot
puts him down and it’s off to Hall for the Edge to retain.
Rating: D.
There was a lot of laying around for a lot of the match and the
ending was pretty stupid. Flair was supposed to turn heel but Piper
bailed to Hollywood so the turn didn’t go anywhere. This was nothing
of note and Flair going up the aisle with Syxx seemed pretty stupid
for Flair to do. The ending was more or less a squash anyway.
Diamond Dallas Page
vs. Randy Savage
Falls count anywhere.
Buffer calls it lights out, which has meant a bunch of things over
the years. Liz looks great tonight but Kimberly looks a bit better.
Page comes in through the crowd and it’s on. A quick cutter attempt
doesn’t work and Savage heads to the floor. Page dives on his but
the ribs are still bad so it puts both guys down. Back inside Page
takes him down with a clothesline and another off the top.
Back to the floor and
they go into the crowd with Savage in control. They fight up towards
a concrete wall and then through a door into the concourse. Page
gets a crutch and waits for Savage to come back through so he can
break the crutch over his back. Back to ringside with Savage hitting
something like a spinebuster to further mess with Page’s ribs. Page
gets a weapon somehow but Savage has powder to slow him down.
Page manages to hit him
with whatever he had and both guys are down. Savage gets up first
and takes the tape off of Page’s ribs. For no apparent reason he
piledrives the referee and Page has an opening. He hits a headbutt
but Randy goes right back to the ribs. A second referee comes out
and is tossed as well. Savage sends him to the floor and goes after
Kimberly but referee #3 (Nick Patrick) makes the save.
They fight up by the
stage and there’s a VIP picnic area which they destroy. Dusty freaks
out because there’s a barbecue pit. Page wins the battle of the
smoked meat and it’s back to the ring. Savage gets crotched on the
post and pancaked. The Cutter is countered by a jawbreaker and they
head outside again. Savage loads up a piledriver on the exposed
concrete but Nick Patrick makes the save and gets decked as a result.
Savage snaps (into it),
sending Patrick into the barricade and beating up a photographer.
Page comes back to send him into the steel and they go back in. A
low blow stops the Diamond Cutter but another attempt at it connects.
Both guys are down so here’s Hall. Page fights him off but Savage
clocks him with Hall’s belt. The Outsider’s Edge lets Savage hit the
elbow for the pin.
Rating: B-.
Pretty solid brawl here but at the end of the day, so what? It’s
certainly better than their Spring Stampede match and since Page won
the first one I have little problem with him losing here. The NWO
stuff was annoying but you knew it was coming. Pretty decent main
event though and certainly the best in months.
Overall Rating: C-.
Definitely the best of the trio here but still nothing all that
great. It’s light years ahead of Slamboree but then again what
isn’t? Hogan would be back the next month to actually wrestle on pay
per view but unfortunately it was with Dennis Rodman in a tag match.
Anyway, decent show here but there’s nothing worth seeing at all.
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