WCW Great American Bash '96

Live from Baltimore, MD

Airdate: June 16, 1996

Attendance: 9,000 (7,323 paid)

Hosted by Tony Schiavone and the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes

Sgt. Craig “Pitbull” Pittman presents the colors while “The Star-Spangled Banner” plays.

Tony mentions the passing of “Captain Redneck” Dick Murdoch. He was 49.

Match 1: The Steiner Brothers versus Fire & Ice


Rating: ****

Summary: If you enjoy hard-hitting high-impact tag team wrestling, then this match is for you. A little bit of sloppiness kept this one from being spectacular, but it was excellent regardless.

In the locker room, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews the Taskmaster with Jimmy Hart. The Taskmaster emphatically calls Brian Pillman a “quitter.”

Match 2 for the WCW US title: Konnan (champion) versus El Gato


Rating: **

Summary: Please give Konnan some real competition rather than Pat Tanaka in disguise. And get Wild Cat Willie to shoot some t-shirts into the stands to wake this crowd up!

Back in the locker room, Okerlund interviews Sting who clears up the difference between English gentlemen and American hooligans. Perhaps Okerlund’s reference to Regal as “prissy” was taken a little too literally by our hero.

Match 3 for the Lord of the Ring: Diamond Dallas Page (LOTR) versus Marcus Bagwell


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Definitely a mid-card match as both guys need to work on the crowd during the match.

Back in the locker room, Okerlund interviews the Giant with Jimmy Hart. Okerlund brings up a good question. What about your (Hart’s) affiliation with Luger? Hart’s “not worried about it.” Meanwhile the Giant whispers his promo then scares the bejeezus out of me by raising the volume of his voice immediately. Please don’t adjust your speakers.

Match 4 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: Dean Malenko (champion) versus Rey Mysterio, Jr.


Rating: ****1/2

Summary: Encore! Encore! The submission-style stuff in the middle kept this match from being a classic, but it ain’t too shabby regardless. I applaud WCW for giving Malenko a decent amount of time as champion since the title is fresh and new. While a victory by Mysterio would both make sense and perhaps pop the crowd, the worthiness of the title would be in question. Having said that, definitely check this one out.

Back in the locker room, Okerlund interviews Luger. The latter is focused while Okerlund is thirsty.

Match 5: John Tenta versus Bubba Rogers (w/ Jimmy Hart)


Rating: *

Summary: Not as bad as I thought it would be.

After the match, Tenta grabs Hart, but Rogers comes in and runs into Hart mistakenly. Tenta then cuts Rogers’ beard with the scissors that Hart had. According to Tenta, he’s not finished.

Back in the locker room, wearing varsity jackets, the McMichaels (Steve and Debra) and the Greenes (Kevin and Tara) get interviewed by Okerlund. Savage comes in and uses some football references to psyche up his team.

Match 6 (falls count anywhere): The Taskmaster (w/ Jimmy Hart) versus the “Crippler” Chris Benoit


Rating: ****

Summary: This had ECW written all over it. Good brawl with a spectacular finish.

After the match, Benoit isn’t finished with the Taskmaster. After Hart leaves the apron and runs down the aisle, Arn Anderson makes his way toward the ring. Hart is relieved. Arn throws Benoit off the Taskmaster much to Hart’s delight. He instructs Benoit to hold on then goes to work on the Taskmaster himself. Woohoo! Get him, Arn! The crowd is electric as the Horsemen beat down the leader of the Dungeon of Doom. Speaking of that particular faction, they hit the ring as the Horsemen split. Wow! I think I’ll add an extra star to that rating just for the aftermath.

Back in the locker room, Okerlund interviews Woman and Elizabeth. Arn and Benoit return from the ring as Arn cuts a fantastic promo. Benoit adds his $.02 while Woman pinches Okerlund. Flair and “Coach” Heenan finish the interview segment.

Match 7: Sting versus Lord Steven Regal (w/ Jeeves)


Rating: ****

Summary: While Regal brought the wrestling, Sting brought the excitement and stood toe-to-toe with him. Hopefully better things are on the horizon for Regal.

Promo for Bash at the Beach coming July 7. Hmmm…does something Earth-shattering happen at this show? Stay tuned.

Match 8: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair & the “Enforcer” Arn Anderson (w/ Woman, Elizabeth, & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) versus Steve “Mongo” McMichael & “Mean” Kevin Greene (w/ Tara Greene, Debra McMichael, and “Macho Man” Randy Savage)


Rating: ***1/2

Summary: Who needs friends when there’s plenty of money to go around? Great angle to set up the finish here. I believe we have a new FOURTH Horseman.

After the match, Savage attacks Flair, but Mongo pulls him off. The Horsemen quadruple-team Savage then Flair BONKS Savage with the Haliburton. Mongo then puts the Horsemen t-shirt on.

At the entrance, Eric Bischoff addresses the “interruptions” on Nitro. He then requests the presence of “Ramon” and “Diesel” without mentioning their names. Upon their arrival, Bischoff informs the ‘intruders” that the war is on and will emanate at Bash at the Beach on 7/7. He then asks them if they work for the WWF. “Diesel” answers negatively as does “Ramon.” Speaking of “Ramon,” he asks who the three WCW competitors will be. “Is it the Nacho Man?” asks Ramon. “What about the immortal Huckster?” asks “Ramon.”

Ramon continues: “You tell Billionaire Ted to break out the money and get anybody he can because the big man (“Diesel”) and the medium-sized man (referring to himself) and our surprise buddy are going to carve…them…up.”

Bischoff tries to talk to “Diesel,” but “Ramon” again asks “Who are they?” Bischoff tells them to wait for Nitro tomorrow night to find out. “Ramon” gets angry and nails Bischoff in the midsection. “Diesel” turns him around and jackknife powerbombs him through a table! Holy announcer destructions, Batman! “Ramon” finishes the interview with “the real big boys…just left the building.” Wow! What a statement! More on this later.

They bring out a stretcher for Bischoff. Meanwhile Tony leaves the broadcast location to check on him. A dejected Rhodes tries to segway to the main event and gives the wrong ring announcer’s name. Oops.

Match 9 for the WCW World title: The Giant (champion w/ Jimmy Hart) versus the “Total Package” Lex Luger


Rating: *

Summary: Luger had a chance but failed yet again. I wish the Giant had tried something spectacular here, but it didn’t happen.

Tony informs us that he’ll have an update on Bischoff and Bash at the Beach tomorrow night on Nitro.

Conclusion: In spite of the main event, the “intruder” segment, the Horseman match, Sting-Regal, Benoit-Taskmaster, Malenko-Mysterio, and the opening tag match all delivered. This is an absolute can’t-miss show for ANY wrestling fan.

Now let’s address the elephant in the room. It was good work by Bischoff to ask Nash and Hall about their employment status. I’m certain Bischoff had already heard from WWF attorney Jerry McDevitt concerning copyright infringement. It was also good work by Bischoff to take that powerbomb from Nash. According to Bischoff during one of the Legends of Wrestling telecasts, he actually was hurt from the incident. We’ll see what fallout from this show occurs on Nitro.

See you for week 41 of the Monday Night War!

Buyrate: 0.48

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

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