WCW Great American Bash ’91

Live from Baltimore, MD

Airdate: July 14, 1991

Attendance: 7,000 (5,500 paid)

Hosted by Jim Ross & Tony Schiavone

We've reached a turning point for WCW. How bad can it be? Read on!

Let's perform a side project while we progress through this show. What's the project, you ask? Help to pad Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Tom Petty's resume past the pearly gates.

No, Ozzy, you'd send him in a different direction. Thanks for asking.

Oh, shit.

On July 1, WCW Executive Vice-President Jim Herd fired "Nature Boy" Ric Flair due to a contract dispute. Although his services were no longer required, his contract will terminate August 1. WCW also stripped Flair of the WCW World title although, as of this show, Flair remained NWA World champion. While the ads for this show couldn't be replaced, they were altered to change the main event.

To say this was the biggest pro wrestling news story of 1991 would be an understatement. While Flair, as champion, may not have been as lucrative for WCW as it would have hoped, having Flair in the promotion put butts in seats. I understand WCW's attempts to trim its bottom line because it lost six million dollars in 1990. On the other hand, cutting Flair's pay while offering Sid, Luger, and Sting bigger contracts is the worst bit of accounting pre-Enron.

Also, despite the Ding Dongs, Ole Anderson as booker, and silly gimmicks like Big Josh and Black Blood on name wrestlers, this was the worst decision for WCW made by Herd. Without Flair, I shudder to think how the fallout will transpire.

Tom, that won't help, but keep trying.

Match 1 (scaffold): “Stunning” Steve Austin & the "Computerized Man of the 1990s" Terrance Taylor (w/ Lady Blossom) versus “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton & the "Rapmaster" PN News


Rating: DUD

Summary: W-A-S-T-E of time.

After the match, Austin climbed down the scaffold, and retrieved a can of hair spray from Lady Blossom. He then took it up to the scaffold and blinded the babyfaces. Methinks this was supposed to occur before Eaton captures the flag because ring announcer Gary Michael Cappetta waits an eternity to notify the Baltimore faithful.

As the wrestlers make their way down the ladders, Eaton kicks Taylor down to the mat. All four wrestlers brawl in the ring while News hip-tosses Taylor. The heels then flee. Wow! This show's off to a great start.

To stall while the WCW crew removed the scaffold, Schiavone mentions WCW's "reinstatement" offer which Flair refused back on 7/8. Tom, can you please help us while we wait?

On the ramp, WCW newcomer Eric Bischoff interviews Arn Anderson and Uncle Paul who cut promos on Rick Steiner and Missy Hyatt.

Match 2: The Diamond Studd (w/ Diamond Dallas Page) versus Z-Man


Rating: **

Summary: While the Baltimore faithful sought some Old Bay popcorn, this was merely a mediocre match. What's your analysis, Tom?

Match 3: Oz (w/ the Great Wizard) versus Ron Simmons


Rating: ½*

Summary: Pedestrian match where both competitors desperately need more experience. What was that, Tom?

WCW Top 10:

Champion: NONE

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

Match 4: Richard Morton (w/ Alexandra York) versus Robert Gibson


Rating: **

Summary: While I understand tag team break-ups occur in wrestling, the Rock'n'Roll Express were the consummate underdogs. Morton, as a heel, did not represent an underdog in this match; therefore, this feud made no sense in execution. Also, while Morton's psychology seemed logical due to Gibson's prior injury, a high-flying, high-workrate match was the expected outcome rather than this dreck.

Sorry, Tom.

Backstage, Bischoff interviews the Young Pistols and Rhodes. Poor Rhodes. He's been watching too many of his father's promos.

Match 5 (six-man elimination, non-title): The Young Pistols & the "Natural" Dustin Rhodes versus WCW US tag team champions the Freebirds & Badstreet (w/ Big Daddy Dink)


Rating: ***

Summary: To energize the Baltimore faithful, this match should have been followed the scaffold match due to the heat it generated. Best match of the show thus far mostly due to Badstreet.

Match 6 (bounty): The Yellow Dog versus Johnny B. Badd (w/ Teddy Long)


Rating: *1/2

Summary: Crappy finish that saved Badd's streak of not being pinned.

After the match, the Dog prevents Long from removing the mask and delivers a lariat. Badd then CLOCKS the Dog sending him between the ropes to the floor. Isn't that animal abuse? Call the authorities! Regardless, with Windham in the main event, the Dog's identity remains a "mystery."

C'mon, Tom, I thought it was clever.

Backstage, Bischoff attempts to interview Hyatt in the women's locker room. Meanwhile, the locker room attendant brings flowers to Missy and reads a card signed by Hyatt's flavor-of-the-month Jason Hervey. As Bischoff discovers that Hyatt's in the shower, he scares the bejeezus out of her. A leopard may not change its spots, but Hyatt's hair is currently brown. Nevertheless, she tosses her shampoo at him to shoo him away and yells "peeping tom." I guess turnabout is fair play. Welcome to WCW, Bischoff.

Match 7 (lumberjack): Big Josh versus Black Blood (w/o Kevin Sullivan)


Rating: **1/2

Summary: The action outside the ring spawned quite a reaction from the Baltimore faithful despite the rather run-of-the-mill lumberjack match. Tom, what did you overhear Black Blood whisper to Rhodes?

Prior to the next match, Bischoff interviews Sullivan with Gang who cuts a promo on El Gigante. Like the Clash, Sullivan forgot to brush his hair after removing his Great Wizard mask. I guess vanity isn't one of his strong suits.

Match 8: One Man Gang (w/ Kevin Sullivan) versus El Gigante


Rating: *

Summary: Only the suplex and the crowd response kept this from DUD.

C'mon, Tom, isn't that a little harsh?

We then revisit SuperBrawl when Koloff nailed Sting followed by the aftermath. We then revisit WCW Pro when Koloff attacked Sting prior to an eight-man tag match (aired 6/8, taped 5/6). Lastly, we revisit Clash XV when Koloff attacked Sting with a chain.

Match 9 (Russian chain): Nikita Koloff versus Sting


Rating: **

Summary: Sting's charisma and each wrestler's copious use of the chain were the only worthy portions of the match. Tom, could you chime in on this one?

After the match, Sting gives Koloff an atomic drop and crotches him with the chain. At this point, I'm certain that Koloff's vocal range could rival MIljenko Matijevic from Steelheart.

Video promoting the World title match airs.

As the cage lowers, a tremendous "We Want Flair" chant emits from the Baltimore faithful.

Match 10 for the vacant WCW World title (cage): Barry Windham versus WCW US Champion the “Total Package” Lex Luger


Rating: ***

Summary: Intriguing finish as it seems that Luger supposedly turned heel.

After the match, Hughes and Race enter the cage as Race holds Luger's arm up in victory.

Match 11 mixed gender/cage): The "Dog-faced Gremlin" Rick Steiner & Missy Hyatt versus the "Enforcer" Arn Anderson & Paul E. Dangerously


Rating: *

Summary: So you're asking why this match was the main event? With Luger's heel turn in the semi-main, my guess is that WCW didn't want to send the Baltimore fans home on a sour note. With Windham in the title match and Scott Steiner injured, this match was doomed to fail. More on this in a bit.

Conclusion: Two cage matches and a chain match with zero blood? A mixed gender match converted to a handicap match? What gives? Credit the Maryland State Athletic Commission for putting the kibosh to those situations. While I'm certain Hyatt's redemption for Uncle Paul's abuse would have made for a satisfying ending to the show, certain people didn't want you to see it.

I'm endeavoring a guess that most of the 5500 paid purchased their tickets prior to 7/1. Having said that, they sought to witness Flair's passing of the torch moment. Instead, they got a controversial finish to a merely mediocre World title match. In addition, WCW tried to force-feed several gimmick matches down their throat, but the Baltimore faithful's enthusiasm for them barely resonated. Despite his age, Flair's ring presence, charisma, and wrestling repertoire made him one of if not the main box office draw for WCW. Without him, the Baltimore faithful didn't get their money's worth.

Due to several matches hovering between awful and mediocre, I can see why most wrestling fans consider this show to be WCW's worst PPV. Since I haven't seen most of the WCW PPVs from 2000-01, I can't deem this show the worst ever, but without a single truly worthwhile match, it's definitely the worst show up until this point.

Tom, I hope that I've padded your resume. Where are you headed?

Hope to see you there in the future.

Buyrate: 1.00

Stay tuned for WWF Summerslam ‘91!

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

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