The Only Review of The Great American Bash 1989 That You’ll Ever Need

Great American Bash 1989
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Greetings one & all. Sorry for my absence last week. I’m in the process of a move, as well as looking for another job. I must also apologize for not having you a Nitro today, but I come with a peace offering; The Great American Bash 1989, best known to most as the greatest PPV in WCW’s history. Does your boy agree?

The video I got actually has the pre-show on here, where they use to have the countdown and everything. Awesome stuff. I’m actually into the preshow, because it’s explaining the feuds. I only know the deal with Ric & Funk. There’s an awesome, AWESOME moment when Missy is talking shit to Hart, Sullivan, and Muta, and at one point she says Hart is no man, so Muta sprays the green mist into her face, and as she’s howling in pain, he just casually saunters around like “deal with it, bitch.” Fantastic. Moving on to Luger & Steamboat, we see a classic example of how, for a while, hardcore wrestling had shown people too much. Luger turns on Steamboat, and goes to get a steel chair. When the crowd understands what’s going on, you can literally hear people shrieking, like Luger is about to use a monster truck as a catheter on Steamboat. The Glory Days indeed. For a while, you literally had to use a shotgun to get a reaction like that.

Battle Royal
So, everyone comes out with crowns. Get it, battle royal? Man, you KNOW that BS was all Herd. I find this to be really stupid because a good chunk of the undercard is involved here, leaving one to ask that why wouldn’t the people paired in matches just attack each other? Nothing interesting happens, and it’s boring the hell out of me.
The Skyscrapers win | *

Teddy Long gives an interview on behalf of his tag-team, the Skyscrapers. How fitting, Teddy managing a tag-team. Good God, he used to look like he had 75 teeth in his mouth, and each one was around 3 inches long. He looks like the Goblin King or something.

Brian Pillman vs Will Bill Irwin
Gary Capetta, the announcer working with Ross, states that “Brian Pillman has a real future, barring any serious injury.” Sounds about right. The match starts off in Pillman’s favor, as he pulls off about 5 drop-kicks. Irwin soon turns it to his favor, and he constantly taunts Brian by screaming “C’mon, FLYIN’ Brian! Why don’t cha’ FLY! FLYIN’ Brian!”. He’s actually rather entertaining. The two work together pretty well, as Irwin is an old school type of guy. He’s not trying to do anything flashy, he just wants to hurt you. Beating Pillman down, he keeps him there with punches, kicks, suplexes and bodyslams. At one point, he actually grabs Brian and throws him into the other ring. However, once he turns to jaw-jack with the ref, Pillman flies from one ring to the other, splashing Irwin and getting the three. A meat & potatoes opener that was hinged on the flashes of Brian’s cruiserweight offense, and the entertaining Wild Bill, who wants to know why the ref is bothering him when he’s simply trying to choke a man.
Pillman hits the crossbody on Irwin for the pin at 10:18 | **3/4

They introduce Jason Hervey as a ring announcer. What the hell? Wasn’t he also a guest judge for one of Flair’s matches? Too bad he’s not in character, as I’d love to see him call someone a butthead. Wayne was always the man.

The Dynamic Dudes vs The Skyscrapers
I grew up as a WWE guy, and only in my recent years have I been dipping into the NWA library, so this is the first time I’ve ever seen The Dynamic Dudes, and wow. I once said the recent DX was the lamest tag-team of all time, yes, even lamer than American Males. But The Dynamic Dudes? Holy s–t. They get some kid from the audience to throw a frisbee with because it’s dynamic. Spivey controls the first portion of the match, and it takes the dynamic double moves of Shane & John to get him off his feet. Once Sid tags in you can hear from the crowd immediately that he isn’t long for tag-teams. Seriously, he tags out and within a minute the ENTIRE arena is chanting “WE WANT SID!” Hopefully Spivey doesn’t feel too bad. The Cape Fear remake is a few years away, just be patient. Sid back in for a moment, crowd is happy. Sid tags out, and the crowd boos the hell out of that, starting another “WE WANT SID!” chant. It’s pretty incredible that he wasn’t made champion pronto. Finally, after having their asses kicked the whole match, John starts getting some dynamic offense in, but Spivey cuts that short. He delivers a powerbomb, but with both of them being sweaty, John is damn near dropped on his head, Pillman style. Very dynamic. The match was an extended squash, but it’s worth seeing simply for the crowd’s reaction to Sid, it’s incredible.
Spivey powerbombs John for the pin at 9:14 | *3/4

We get an interview with Cornette about his tux match.

Paul E Dangerously vs Jim Cornette – Tux Match
Heyman’s enterance music is the theme from Halloween. That’s a great piece of music and I’m surprised other wrestlers haven’t used it. Heyman quickly goes for the cheap heat by throwing powder in Cornette’s eyes, followed immediately by beating up Corny’s knee with his phone. Cornette said that before the match, he told Paul which knee it was that was injured, so that way they could work Corny’s real injury into the match. Well, Paul immediately forgot, and kept beating the wrong knee, even though Jim kept saying “Other knee! Idiot!”. So, Paul just started beating up both. Honestly, I usually hate these kind of matches, but Paul & Jim are both so good at what they do, with such passion & love for the business that they make this really entertaining. The crowd is all sorts of into it too. Easily the best tux match of all time. Which I’m sure both Paul & Jim are very proud of.
Cornette strips off Paul’s tux for the win at 6:22 | **1/4th

Gary Hart is interviewed, believing Muta will continue his undefeated streak and take home the TV title.

Kevin Sullivan & Mike Rotunda vs The Steiners – Texas Tornado Match
The Steiners come out to Welcome To The Jungle, which blows away their eventual “Steiner ride!” theme, 2nd only to Sting as the lamest music in WCW history. The match doesn’t last long, but what we get is one of the harder-hitting matches I’ve ever seen. No surprise when you’ve got The Steiners in there, but Sullivan & Rotunda are giving as good as they get. A lot of mayhem in a short period, all chalking up to a decent brawl.
Scott hits a flying crossbody on Sullivan, pinning him at 4:22 | **

We get an interview with The Stinger. He respects Muta, and delivers one of the most bland promos of all time.

The Great Muta vs Sting [C] – WCW TV Championship
The crowd goes insane for Sting. This match has without a doubt the most exciting first few minutes I’ve ever seen. From Sting jumping from one ring to another and off the top-rope clotheslines, to Muta’s flips, kicks & moonsaults. It really needs to be seen to be given justice, it’s great. This match was all about speed, cramming a 20 minute match into almost 9 minutes. However, it wasn’t quick just for the sake of it. Muta was bringing it to Sting as hard & as fast as he could, with Sting having little to no problem keeping up, and throwing it right back in the Great One’s face. Superb stuff that definitely was not seen during this time. The end sees Sting hitting Muta with a belly to back suplex and going for the pin, only for the ref to count three despite Muta having his shoulder up. He & Gary Hart run off the with the belt while the crowd chants bullshit.
Sting & Muta are both counted down at | ***3/4

Luger does an interview where he says the DQ rule must be waived, or no match at all.

Ricky Steamboat vs Lex Luger [C] – WCW US Heavyweight Championship
The crowd seems to be chanting “Steroid freak!” at Luger. I find that funny, considering backstage he was probably comparing brands of Winstrol with Steamboat. Ricky tries to put away Luger quick, and when that doesn’t happen he goes for some quick offense, only for Luger to simply cut that BS off with a knee lift to the face. From this point on, neither one holds momentum for very long, as they beat the hell out of one another at every given opportunity. The end sees Luger bring a chair in, which Steamboat turns on him in one of the worst examples of business exposing. Regardless, Steamboat gets a hold of that chair and goes ape shit. He throws the ref, Tommy Young, to the outside and pummels Luger. Pretty cool to see Steamboat actually lose control. I didn’t love this as much as others, because I felt it really would have benefited from an extended finishing sequence. Still some good stuff though.
Steamboat is DQ’ed at | ***3/4

The Freebirds are interviewed, and they look absolutely RIDICULOUS. This whole promo is like the zenith of why pro-wrestling is made fun of.

Freebirdscensored

Wargames – Freebirds & Samoan Swat Team vs Road Warriors, Midnight Express, Dr. Death
Serious, what the f–k is up with the Freebirds? Who the HELL is gonna be afraid of two guys in fingerless, white satin forearm length gloves, golden sequin tank-tops, and white spandex pants? I’d be afraid that they’d think I was really cool, and keep pestering me to join their Cinderella tribute band. It’s Jimmy & Bobby starting. Bam Bam comes in next, followed by Dr. Death. The Dr is wearing yellow trunks & boots with red knee pads. Are you kidding me? That’d be like me heading to the ring with a giant sequin cape that said Acho Man. I will give Death his due as he military presses Bam Bam 8 times. Samu is next to enter, well, technically Jimmy¬†Garvin’s perm is next, as it’s triple the size it was. Animal is now in for the good guys. Fatu soon follows. Sweet Stan is after that, PS & Animal are the last for their teams. I gotta say, I’m disappointed there’s no blood. That’s the whole point of the War Games. From here on out, it’s what you expect, without any blood. I found it to be a pretty enjoyable brawl, but you can tell the difference between The 4 Horsemen and The Freebirds & Samoan Swat Team. There was never any doubt that The Road Warriors team were coming out on top.
Road Warrior Hawk causes Garvin to submit with a Hangman at | ***1/2

Ric Flair interview. It’s incredible what they did. Funk destroyed Flair, and what did they do? They kept Ric off of TV, and kept him from wrestling for two months. There’s absolutely no way that would happen today. They would have had Ric back the next day, while Funk went on a losing streak.

Terry Funk vs Ric Flair [C] – WCW World Heavyweight Championship
Right off the bat, Flair gets the best of Funk with chops and rights and lefts. Funk, being awesome, just loses his mind over this, and people BELIEVE IT. I mean, you see a fan talking shit to Funk, but then backs off when he sees Funk may try him. Oddly enough, at one point Funk attempts to suplex Ric, and Ross calls it a piledriver. Soon later, Funk goes to piledrive Ric, and Ross calls it a suplex. Flair starts working on Funk’s receipt by working on his neck, at one point piledriving him, and causing Funk to run in a circle like Homer with something written on the back of his head. Flair soon slaps the Figure 4 on Terry, giving you reason to believe it’s almost over, but then Funk turns the tide when he smashes Ric with the branding iron, busting Flair open. He soon has Ric in the center of the ring, dropping him with neckbreakers, and screaming at Flair to say I quit, while Gary Hart screams “Get the pin! Get the pin!” He doesn’t want the pin, he wants Ric to quit. He doesn’t just want the title, he wants Flair’s dignity, it’s awesome stuff. That’s a heel. He eventually gets busted open with his own branding iron at the hands of Flair. Ironically, despite the old school brutality of the match, it ends with a roll up on Flair’s part. It’s a hell of a go, one that I prefer to their I Quit from Clash. They went out there and showed you that you don’t need weapons, and light-bulbs, and all sorts of other s–t to create a brutal atmosphere. You need a purpose, and passion.
Ric Flair defeats Terry Funk with the roll up at | ****1/4

Afterward, Muta shows up to help Funk pummel the hell out of Flair. Sting eventually shows up, giving us our main event for Havoc. It’s great because they keep brawling all over the arena. Even when Ross & Bob are doing their wrap-up, the 4 of them just come raging by with Flair swinging Funk’s branding iron. Awesome.

For all the people who claim that this PPV is the greatest of all time, I can’t fault them. It’s a damn good show. From top to bottom, I was literally entertained with everything. It delivered beyond my expectations. Now, I didn’t love it as much as some, but the difference is negligible, really. The main event really delivered, and was easily the highlight for me. Flair & Funk went out there and kicked the hell out of each other, really selling the fact that they both wanted each other dead. Fantastic stuff. For the few out there who were like me and hadn’t seen the show, it’s definitely worth it. For those feeling lazy, then I recommend just watching Flair vs Funk, it’s fantastic and unfortunately gets lost in the shadow of their I Quit match. The PPV’s subtitle is The Glory Days, how appropriate.

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About the Author

Caliber Winfield
Caliber "Nickname" Winfield is a writer from the Pacific Northwest who in one day was mistaken for both Dwayne Johnson & Spider-Man. He currently runs Str8 Gangster, No Chaser [scrublife.wordpress.com] a site where he loudly announces his displeasure for Chuck Lorre sitcoms, and his love for the original Karate Kid trilogy. He also has a book available for sale on amazon.com, The Man Movie Encyclopedia Vol. 1. It's been endorsed by New York Times Best-Selling author Maddox, and has received only 5 star reviews. He also street fights for money like Jean-Claude in Lionheart.
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