NWA Great American Bash 1985

Live from Charlotte, NC

Airdate: July 6, 1985

Attendance: 27,000 (32,000 was quoted within the video)

Hosted by Gordon Solie and Bill Apter

Match commentary by Tony Schiavone

This would be the Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Ringmasters 60-minute version of the show. Since this show was too big for the Independence Arena, Jim Crockett Promotions held the show at Memorial Stadium.

Prior to the first match, we see Bass’ face turn as Dillon sided with Landel.

Match 1: “Cowboy” Ron Bass versus “Nature Boy” Buddy Landel


Rating: ½*

Summary: This 20-minute match was clipped down to five. In order to get payback on Dillon, Bass will need more time and/or another member of Dillon’s stable.

After the match, Bass chases Dillon who ends up in the ring. Before Bass can get his hands on him, Dillon runs straight into Landel knocking both men down. Bass applies the claw to Dillon, but Landel pulls him to safety.

Match 2 for the National tag team titles: Ole & Arn Anderson (champions) versus “Mad Dog” Buzz Sawyer and “Dirty” Dick Slater


Rating: *1/2

Summary: Those Andersons are sneaky. I wouldn’t doubt they’ll become an elite force in the NWA soon.

Match 3 (six-man): Superstar Billy Graham, the Barbarian, & Abdullah the Butcher (w/ Paul Jones) versus Sam Houston, “Ragin’ Bull” Manny Fernandez, and “Avalanche” Buzz Tyler


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Decent tag match with Houston in peril most of the time.

After the match, Tyler and Fernandez congratulate the young rookie on the victory.

Prior to the next match, we see highlights of Jones’ Army triple-teaming Valiant with Jones’ cane.

Match 4 (dog collar): “The Boogie Woogie Man” Jimmy Valiant (w/ Buzz Tyler) versus #1 Paul Jones (w/ Abdullah the Butcher)


Rating: *

Summary: Long ongoing feud fueled the crowd for this match.

After the match, Abdullah takes Valiant down and stabs him with a plastic knife. To aid Valiant, Tyler came into the ring and walloped Abdullah with a chair.

As a preface to the next match, I feel the need to explain the dynamics behind it. As part of a talent exchange, AWA promoter Verne Gagne loaned the Road Warriors to the NWA. In the AWA, the Road Warriors were heels; however, when facing the evil Soviets, by default, they were relentlessly cheered. U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Match 5 for the NWA World tag team titles: Ivan Koloff & Krusher Khruschev (champions) versus AWA World tag team champions the Road Warriors (w/ “Precious” Paul Ellering)


Rating: **

Summary: Hot match that had money feud written all over it. Hopefully this feud will continue.

After the match, all four men brawl in the ring. A double clothesline puts the bloodied Khruschev down. A bloody Ivan takes his NWA World tag team belt and stands in disbelief at the mighty Road Warriors.

Prior to the next match, Apter refers to Magnum as a “future great.” If only that had happened. Three quick highlights of Magnum delivering the belly-to-belly suplex are shown.

Match 6 for the US title: Magnum T.A. (champion) versus Kamala (w/ Skandor Akbar)


Rating: *1/2

Summary: Terrible finish since Kamala didn’t do the job. On the other hand, the crowd loved Magnum.

After the match, Kamala charges at Magnum but hits Akbar instead. Immediately thereafter, Magnum slams the Ugandan giant. After turning his attention to Akbar, Magnum gets nailed from behind. He then reverses an Irish whip and delivers a belly-to-belly suplex. Impressive!

Prior to the next match, a training video of Nikita Koloff is shown including a punching bag with Flair’s picture on it. Also included is an excerpt from NWA Worldwide where Nikita gave David Crockett the Russian sickle for insulting the Soviet team. Additionally, Flair jumps into the ring during a Nikita squash and tangles with him.

Match 7 for the NWA World title: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (champion) versus Nikita Koloff (w/ Ivan Koloff)


Rating: ****1/2

Summary: During the last few minutes of the match, it was obvious that Nikita was blown up. Regardless, Flair worked his magic and delivered a classic.

After the match, Ivan beats up a helpless Crockett. As the Koloffs double-team Flair, the ring announcer warns the crowd to stay back. Nikita delivers a clothesline from the top rope as Ivan held Flair. Sam Houston runs in to assist Flair but is no match for Nikita. More wrestlers join the fray only to be discarded by Ivan. To add insult to injury, Nikita clotheslined Flair over the top rope to the grass. This match-up is far from over.

Prior to the main event, a highlight where Rhodes was battling Blanchard is shown. A “fan” in a black wig handed something to Blanchard. As Dusty removed the wig revealing Baby Doll, Blanchard tossed a fire ball in Rhodes’ face. Afterwards, an injured Rhodes cuts a passionate promo on Blanchard.

Match 8 for the World TV title (steel cage): Tully Blanchard (champion w/ Baby Doll) versus the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes


Rating: ***

Summary: Great payoff to a wrestling angle, as a bloody cage match should be.

To say the crowd comes UNGLUED for Rhodes’ victory would tremendously undervalue the expression. A devastated Baby Doll cries at ringside then leaves reluctantly with Rhodes.

Conclusion: Wow! This was an exciting series of matches that blew off some feuds while some continued to simmer into the fall. I would have preferred a three-hour unclipped version of this show, but this version accomplished the mission and was fun to watch.

See you for AWA SuperClash!

Buyrate: NONE

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at rsg@rockstargary.com and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202).

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