Through the Years: NWA Great American Bash Tour 1987

 

It’s time for another review of a Great American Bash tape! In my opinion, the storylines and feuds heading into this have made for a potentially higher quality of matches on the tour than last time. WarGames should be a huge hit, Luger vs. Nikita should be interesting, and Dusty & Tully should have a weird gimmick match. I’m interested to see what the feuds look like coming out of the tour. At this moment, I don’t really know.

 


Our introduction video shows us Barry Windham walking to the ring! Tully Blanchard standing in a ring where the ropes are covered with BARBED WIRE! Jimmy Garvin! The Road Warriors! WARGAMES! DR. DEATH! RIC FLAIR! The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express! Magnum TA! The Midnight Express! THE FREEBIRDS! Lex Luger! We’re then greeted by Tony Schiavone, who leads us into…

 

– July 4th, from the Omni in Atlanta, Georgia

 

Arn Anderson, JJ Dillon, Lex Luger, Ric Flair (NWA World Champion), & Tully Blanchard (TV Champion, w/Dark Journey) vs. Dusty Rhodes, Nikita Koloff (US Champion), Paul Ellering, & the Road Warriors in a WARGAMES MATCH

Pre-Match Thoughts: Finally, it’s time for THE MATCH BEYOND! This match idea was one of the best in wrestling history, and I have a shameful admission to make…I have never watched this match. The format is simple. The match starts with one person from each team in the enclosed cage that encompasses two rings. After five minutes, there’s a coin toss, and the next person is chosen to enter. Then someone enters from the next team two minutes later, rinse, repeat, etc. Submission is the only way the match can be lost. I’m sad because the babyface team has had their music dubbed over. JIM ROSS ON COMMENTARY! BAH GAWD, FINALLY!

Match Review: Arn Anderson and Dusty Rhodes will start the match! Dusty lands an elbow, and the obvious weirdness of the match is shown when he walks into the other ring for a bit. In that ring, Dusty tosses Arn over into the other ring, and kicks his ass. Arn tries to respond, but Dusty plants him into the mat with a DDT. He rams Arn’s face into the top of the cage, and now Arn is busted open. After getting kicked, Dusty draws Arn into the other ring and sends him into the cage again. Dusty was the wrong guy to start the match in my opinion, but I see the point of it, namely that he will be double teamed. Arn misses a knee drop, and Dusty puts him in the figure-four! The ring announcer makes clear that it’s time for another entry, and that entrant is…

TULLY BLANCHARD! It’s time for Dusty to take the beatdown of a lifetime, or so you’d think. He feeds Arn and Tully a steady diet of elbows, but they come back and go to work on Dusty’s bum leg. Tully puts Dusty in a figure-four, but soon enough another wrestler will be entering.

It’s ANIMAL! He destroys the two Horsemen, launches Tully into the next ring, and ramming his face into the cage. Dusty goes to work on Arn, but this thing with Animal and Tully is too awesome. He repeatedly catapulted him into the cage! Animal gives Tully a flying shoulderblock, and grates his face against the cage…I bet Tully will be bleeding soon. When it’s apparent that he is, they turn attention to Arn and clothesline him. The heat for this match is incredible, you can’t even hear Ross on commentary. Our third Horseman will enter, and it is…

RIC FLAIR! He jumps Animal from behind, but those chops don’t even hurt. However, Arn attacking him from behind and tossing him into the fence does hurt. Dusty’s able to sit there will getting beaten down, but eventually he gets up and lands a few clotheslines. That isn’t indicative of a change in momentum, because the momentum does not change. However, it’s time for a babyface entry, and it will be…

NIKITA KOLOFF! He hits Flair and Arn with a double clothesline, and turns his attention to Tully, who he destroys. Animal beats up Flair, giving him a gorilla press slam. Dusty jumps off the second rope onto Arn’s leg, and this is turning into a bit of a mess…yet an extremely entertaining one. Arn hits Animal with a ball shot, Nikita no-sells some Flair chops, and in typical Flair fashion he runs. He’s bleeding after being thrown into the cage, and oddly enough, Animal and Dusty give Arn a double dropkick!

LEX LUGER! He comes into the cage, and runs wild on everyone. He gives Nikita a powerslam, and Animal walks over for some punishment too. Now, Luger gives Nikita a bodyslam, and then Nikita is given a SPIKE PILEDRIVER by Flair and Tully. They’re trying to kill him! They give Nikita another SPIKE PILEDRIVER, and at this point you could believe that Nikita will lose this match for his team. This is like a gang beatdown, but there’s somebody left to make a save…

HAWK! He gives Luger a huge clothesline, gorilla presses Tully into the turnbuckle, and turns his attention to Flair! Flair gets thrown into the other ring, and Hawk puts the boots to Luger now! This is great! Hawk bodyslams Luger, as Ross is going crazy. The Horsemen start to regain control though, and Flair locks Dusty up in the FIGURE-FOUR. 15 seconds left, and the last entrant on the Horsemen side is…

JJ DILLON! He elbows Hawk in the head, then tries punching him, but that isn’t going to do shit to a BEAST like Hawk. Animal takes Luger down with a shoulderblock, and Flair tries begging off from Hawk, only to get punched. Nikita and Arn collide with each other, and JJ is getting destroyed over in the other ring. It’s time for our last entrant…

PAUL ELLERING! THE MATCH BEYOND IS UPON US. Luger is given a shoulderbreaker by one of the Road Warriors, and Ellering gives JJ a hilarious atomic drop. This has to be over soon, right? Ellering has a SPIKE, and he’s driving it into JJ’s face. Nikita lands a SICKLE on Luger, and all the babyfaces are reigning supreme. The Road Warriors grab a hold of JJ, give him a double clothesline, and ram him into the cage repeatedly as he’s busted all the way open. They give JJ the DOOMSDAY DEVICE, AND THAT’S GOTTA BE IT! Flair’s driving a spike into Dusty and Nikita’s faces, but his team doesn’t have any control. JJ Dillon quits as a result of how badly he’s been beaten up, and that’s the end of the match at 21:20. HE HAS SURRENDERED.

My Thoughts: I do not believe there was a more ridiculous wrestling match at this point in history. It was wonderfully brutal, the crowd was going insane, and it was well structured. I don’t think it was a perfect match, but fuck that, it was a great match. Nearly everyone bled, they kept things moving at the right pace, and FINALLY in JCP the babyfaces won a huge match. It was so intense too. No complaints! ****1/4 and recommended. It was interesting to see Ellering and Dillon wrestling, and to see Dusty doing something different than his usual routine. Outside of the first five minutes, that is. Because of the Doomsday Device that JJ was given, he injured his shoulder and wouldn’t be able to wrestle in the second WarGames match on the tour.

 

Rick Steiner vs. Barry Windham (UWF Western States Heritage Champion)

Pre-Match Thoughts: I suppose that this isn’t a title match because Georgia is not a western state. I can think of no other explanation. I also cannot think of an explanation for that ridiculously named title. It’s my first time seeing Rick Steiner, who had been getting good publicity as part of the UWF. He looks massively roided up and is wearing long, colorful tights. This is strange. It should be mentioned that this match occurred previous to WarGames, but that’s not how they placed it on tape.

Match Review: This is joined in progress with Windham giving Steiner a dropkick. Steiner rolls into the other ring to take a breather, but he comes back shortly and gives Windham a ridiculously stiff clothesline. He follows with another, and I think Windham may have a broken jaw. Cover gets 2. He gives Windham a backdrop too, and follows that with a belly to belly suplex. Damn, this Rick Steiner looks like a workrate beast. He knocks Windham out of the ring with an elbow, and rams him into the post and guardrail. Steiner suplexes Windham back into the ring, but Windham somehow reverses a pinning attempt, and wins the match! No time due to it being JIP.

My Thoughts: This was merely an interesting look at what Steiner may be able to offer in terms of match quality. His offense looks really good. No rating for the match, but Windham got booed after his win. I wonder what that will mean for the future.

 

– July 11th, 1987, from Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina

 

Lex Luger (w/JJ Dillon) vs. Nikita Koloff in a STEEL CAGE MATCH for the NWA United States Championship

Pre-Match Thoughts: This is a big one! Everyone was waiting for it, this feud has been pushed extremely hard for months. Nikita is still sporting his neckbrace, it looks even bigger post-WarGames. It’s a bit strange that two guys this green were put in position to carry a match, but here we are. NWA rules, pin or submission only.

Match Review: Luger and Nikita do a headlock reversal bit to start things off, then Luger rams Nikita’s messed up head into the turnbuckle. Then he nails Nikita with a back elbow for a 2 count. Back to the neck Luger goes with a knee drop, also getting 2. He puts a chinlock on our big Soviet hero, and sits there for a while until he lets go. I’m pretty sure that there was a clip between the headlock and turnbuckle shot earlier, because these guys are far too sweaty for them to have been wrestling for just a couple of minutes. It’s announced that 25 minutes has elapsed. GODDAMN, 25 minutes in a cage with these two guys without either of them bleeding. I can imagine that being pretty unbearable. Back to the chinlock, and finally Nikita breaks it, only to be given a swinging neckbreaker. I like the psychology there. Luger rips Nikita’s neckbrace off, and it’s time to put a beatdown on the champion. Luger gives Nikita a running clothesline for a close 2 count. He picks Nikita up for a piledriver, but the champion reverses it into a backdrop! Nikita’s selling in this match is outstanding. Luger rushes over after the backdrop and puts a FULL NELSON on him…BUT NIKITA WON’T QUIT. He gets up, starts trading punches with Luger, and gets gouged in the eyes. 30 minutes has elapsed, and Luger goes back to the chinlock as he’s massively sucking wind. This match is way too long for these two. Nikita gets up and drives Luger back into a corner, and finally starts landing a succession of punches. Nikita lands a back elbow of his own, and climbs up the cage to give Luger a 10 punch combo. Instead, he gives Luger 5 punches. Then Nikita rushes out of another corner with the RUSSIAN SICKLE, but he runs over the referee as well and no pin can be made. JJ Dillon climbs up the cage and tosses Luger a steel chair, which he uses to hit Nikita in the neck area with. Luger tosses the chair back over the cage, picks up Nikita, and puts him in the TORTURE RACK! JJ wakes up the referee, who sees Nikita knocked out cold, and LEX LUGER IS OUR NEW UNITED STATES CHAMPION!

My Thoughts: That was a hilariously screwy finish. I welcome the Lex Luger title reign, though. He’s looked very good in this company, and is a deserving champion. Unfortunately, I know that he feuds with Dusty Rhodes, and that really sucks. Of course Dusty had to put himself in there with the youngest, strongest heel that they could find. As for the match, I can’t believe that these two guys wrestled for nearly 35 minutes. That sounds insane. Fortunately, I only saw the last ten minutes, and it looked like a **1/2 match. Obviously, if the first 25 minutes of the match were like the last ten, it would be rated lower. Nikita did a good job as champion and it’s unfortunate that he’ll be fading out from here.

 

– July 4th, 1987, from the Omni in Atlanta, Georgia

 

Dick Murdoch (w/Eddie Gilbert) vs. Steve Williams (w/Magnum TA) in a TEXAS DEATH MATCH

Pre-Match Thoughts: Only in wrestling would having Magnum in your corner be enough to counter someone like Gilbert. But that’s wrestling. Williams gets a big babyface reaction, and now I realize why Magnum is in his corner…these people don’t watch the UWF. So, if DR. DEATH has Magnum in his corner, he’s a legitimate good guy.

Match Review: I believe this is joined in progress. The first bit of action that we see is Murdoch latching onto Williams arm, which is in a cast. Williams punches free, but Murdoch grabs a wrench from Gilbert that he hits Williams with. Murdoch relentlessly kicks Williams in the arm, and eventually rams it into the ring apron. Murdoch also knee drops the arm, and when Williams gets up, THEY TRADE BOMBS. Williams gets the better of the exchange, as Jim Ross goes crazy on commentary. Williams hits Murdoch with a football clip to the knee, then tries another one and misses, causing him to fly into the corner. Murdoch takes the opportunity to head to the top rope, and Williams clocks him in the face with the cast on the way down. The referee counts to 10, and WILLIAMS WINS!

Gilbert rushes in to attack Williams after the match, and Williams hits him with the cast too. Murdoch has a chair, and he hits Williams in the back of the head with it. He goes back to work on the arm, and Magnum slips his cane over to Murdoch when he has a chance. Williams hits Murdoch with it, knocking him out of the ring, and celebrates!

My Thoughts: These short, clipped matches are meant more as a chance to look at the new talent that is now under the control of Crockett’s organization. This was short, but pretty good. I’d like to see them have a full match against each other, but I don’t see one on YouTube. So, I’m screwed.

 

Ivan Koloff, Manny Fernandez, & Paul Jones vs. THE FABULOUS FREEBIRDS

 

Pre-Match Thoughts: Had to leave that there. So, after Rude left JCP, his replacement was Ivan Koloff. I don’t recall very much of the Koloff & Fernandez team, and Fernandez leaves the company soon, so that is what it is. Ivan isn’t far from his end either. This incarnation of the Freebirds wasn’t around very long in JCP/UWF. End of August or something like that. Hayes would become an NWA fixture, but Gordy and Roberts could not.

Match Review: The match starts with Hayes and Fernandez, and Hayes struts to huge applause right from the beginning. Haha. He gives Fernandez a hip toss, two bodyslams, and Fernandez begs for mercy. Buddy Roberts tags in, gives Fernandez a punch from the second rope, and gets kneed in the back by Jones. With the referee distracted, Jones keeps kicking Roberts in the face, then Jones distracts the referee himself so that Koloff can land a double axehandle from the top rope. Koloff gives Roberts a backbreaker, a leg drop, and Roberts replies with a sunset flip…but Jones has tagged in. Jones misses a knee drop, and here’s Terry Gordy! He destroys, well, everyone, and everyone gets in the ring. He gives Jones an elbow drop, and pins him for a 3 count at 3:58.

My Thoughts: Well, that was disappointing. That was also the real match time, as this wasn’t clipped. I’m sad. 1/2* for a nothing match. Wasn’t even long enough to have thoughts on it!

 

– July 18th, 1987, from Memorial Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina

 

Tully Blanchard (TV Champion, w/JJ Dillon & Dark Journey) vs. Dusty Rhodes (w/Barry Windham) in a LIGHTS OUT $100,000 BARBED WIRE LADDER MATCH

Pre-Match Thoughts: That’s a lot of gimmicks there. It’s time to address Dark Journey though. Dusty thought that pairing Tully with a black woman would get some heat. It didn’t, so she soon leaves. As for the gimmicks, here are the rules. The barbed wire is draped over the ropes. The ladder is on the outside of the ring, and there’s a setup over the ring. This stadium is outdoors. Obviously, the winner must climb the ladder to retrieve the money. The TV Title is not on the line because of the “Lights Out” gimmick.

Match Review: The ring used for this match is so small. Dusty tries to drag Tully over to the barbed wire, but eventually he drops that idea. Schiavone states that the seconds at ringside are there to pass their charge the ladder. That makes sense. Tully and Dusty exchange punches for a bit, with Dusty doing better and Tully realizing he has nowhere to run. Tully tries to force Dusty’s face into that mess, and off camera, he did. Then they show Dusty being gouged with barbed wire again, he comes back with a ball shot to make Tully stop. Tully’s arm is then gouged open, and so is his face. This is absurd. Dusty’s eye looks like somebody sodomized it with a lead pipe. Windham passes him the ladder, he goes to climb it, and Tully kicks him in the leg. Tully and Dusty both climb the ladder now, Dusty hits Tully with an elbow, and gets dragged down to the canvas as well. Tully gets the ladder rammed into his head, and Dusty follows with a DDT. He puts the ladder in position to go for the money again, only to be tackled off of it and elbow dropped. Tully makes his climb, only for Dusty to pull him down and for them both to fall down. Now Tully has a LOADED GLOVE, which he punches Dusty with. JJ enters the ring, and punches the referee, as they intend to win the match in tandem or something. Windham climbs in, stops JJ, and Dusty kicks the ladder to knock Tully down. He punches Tully in the face with the glove, climbs the ladder, and wins 100,000 dollars at 7:14. Huge pop for that.

My Thoughts: That was a brutal match, and not in the good way. I’m not a big fan of barbed wire matches. They’re gore fests, and all too often end up in something that isn’t wrestling. That was hardly a wrestling match, it was a sloppy and slow brawl. These two guys have minimal chemistry, so it is becoming more and more annoying that always wrestle each other. 1/4* for the interesting finish, which was the only thing about the match worth caring about.

 

– July 11th, 1987, from Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina

 

Jimmy Garvin (w/Precious) vs. Ric Flair (w/JJ Dillon) in a STEEL CAGE MATCH for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship

Pre-Match Thoughts: Even though I’ve watched the date first, this was before Flair’s date with Precious. Both Garvins were, at the time, the best challengers for Flair that they had. In the case of Jimmy, that’s pretty sad. In the case of Ron, he’s awesome so I’m okay with it. If Flair wins, he gets a date with Precious.

Match Review: This starts off, obviously joined in progress, with Garvin chopping Flair super hard. I thought Ron was supposed to do that. Flair hits Garvin down low to stop his momentum, then heads up to the top rope. Naturally, Garvin gets up and slams him down. Funny how that still happens in a cage match…cover gets 2. Garvin puts a figure-four on Flair, which sadly lasts for quite a long, somewhat boring time, as Flair says “ah shit” because his leg hurts. That improved matters. After the hold is broken, Garvin tries to put it back on again, but gets gouged in the eyes. Garvin then reverses a suplex attempt into a cradle for 2, and it is announced that this match is 15 minutes in. Garvin gives Flair a hip toss, and sends him into the cage. I expect blood after that, and there it is. Flair tries to climb out of the cage, but Garvin pretty much removes Flair’s trunks to stop him…that is gross. Flair falls down and gets covered for 2, then gets thrown into the cage yet again. Garvin heads to the corner for a 10 punch combo, and lands about 7 of them. Then he backdrops Flair and pins him for another 2 count. Flair tries to come back, and thanks to Garvin hurting his knee on a leapfrog, he will do that. Flair gives him a knee-breaker, and begins to stomp away on that injured limb. Here comes Ron Garvin to ringside…I wonder if he’ll be throwing in the towel on behalf of Jimmy. Flair thrusts his crotch towards Ron’s face, which got a pretty big laugh out of me. Flair gives Jimmy another knee-breaker, and does the same thing he did after the first one. Ron asks Jimmy to quit, but he won’t, and he’s FIGHTING BACK BROTHER. Unfortunately, Flair simply knocks him down again. He drops a knee on Garvin’s knee, then they get up and trade super hard chops, with Garvin getting the better of them. Flair tries to climb out of the cage again (I don’t get the logic there), and when Garvin trips and falls, he stops. They do the same bit again, with Flair and Garvin standing on the top rope. Garvin punches him, and Flair falls down on the rope, crotching himself. That gets a super close 2 count. Garvin tries for the BRAINBUSTER, but collapses in a heap. So, Flair puts the FIGURE-FOUR on Garvin, and some crazy fan gets pissed off enough to climb the cage. Garvin’s shoulders are down while Flair is holding onto the ropes, and that leads to a pinfall win for Flair after about 14 minutes shown. That was bizarre. I’d have loved it if Ron Garvin chopped that fan back down to size.

After that’s over, Precious wants in the cage. That does not seem like a great idea. Flair grabs her, and Ron Garvin ain’t having that shit. He beats the piss out of Flair, who then runs out of the cage…and we have our next Flair feud.

My Thoughts: This was nothing special. I thought Jimmy did a great job selling, but the parts shown were pretty low on action. It is what it is, and this looked like a **1/4 match. I would talk about where the stipulation headed, but I’ve already done that.

 

– July 4th, from the Omni in Atlanta, Georgia

 

The Midnight Express (US Tag Team Champions, w/Big Bubba) vs. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (NWA Tag Team Champions) in a TITLE VS. TITLE MATCH

Pre-Match Thoughts: Back to Atlanta for one last match. Don’t see many title vs. title matches, in that era or our current one. It’s nice to see the Eaton & Lane incarnation of the Midnight Express having a feud vs. the RnR’s when the company was still booked by Dusty. That could lead to some interesting wrinkles, and I’m hyped for this. MORODER IS THE BEST, OH YES. WHAT A THEME.

Match Review: This match is also joined in progress, right at the point of Gibson and Eaton locking up. Gibson counters a charge to the corner by sunset flipping Eaton, then Eaton kicks out and Gibson gives him a flying head-scissors. Lane makes the tag in, and gets shoved down to the canvas. Gibson kicks him out of the ring, but Lane comes back in and lands some kicks of his own. Gibson comes back with an enziguri, which knocks Lane out of the ring again. Morton takes the opportunity to tag in, and gets his hair pulled a few times. So, what Morton does in response is punch Lane in the face. After Morton chases him around the ring, they get back in, run the ropes, and Morton arm drags him. Gibson tags back in, and so does Eaton, to get arm dragged. Morton then breaks a wristlock by climbing over Eaton, which was very impressive. He gives Eaton a hurricanrana, and Gibson comes back in to try another flying head-scissors, only for Lane to grab his leg and cause him to take a tumble. Lane gives him a backbreaker, and spits at Morton to draw him in. The Express does an illegal double team, which was Eaton chopping Gibson after a top rope leap, and the cover got 2. Eaton then knocks Gibson out of the ring, and Bubba holds him in place for Lane to hit with a double axehandle. Maybe Tommy Young should pay attention. Lane tags back in, and gives Gibson some hilarious karate offense. I love that corny shit. Eaton makes the switch again, and it’s a drop toe-hold followed by an elbow drop. Excellent, but it only gets 2. Gibson then avoids Eaton, and makes the tag!

All four men are in the ring, and the RnR’s give Eaton the DOUBLE DROPKICK. Lane makes the save on the cover, and Tommy Young gets distracted once again. Big Bubba climbs into the ring, and gives Morton the BIG BUBBA SLAM. Young notices Bubba’s hat and sunglasses were left in the ring, and awards the match to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express via disqualification. So, no titles were exchanged. Anyone could have seen that coming! That was only about 8 minutes long.

My Thoughts: This was a good match, and I don’t believe it was clipped as both teams weren’t sweaty enough. I know this feud culminates in a SCAFFOLD MATCH at Starrcade, and I’m curious to see how that will turn out. Regardless, these teams have great chemistry, and Lane is a welcome addition to the Midnight Express. I really like his work. The match was a little different without Cornette around, but he had a knee injury that required surgery. **3/4, it wasn’t long enough to deserve more, but I dug it.

 

– July 31st, 1987, from the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida

 

Arn Anderson, Lex Luger (US Champion), Ric Flair (NWA World Champion), Tully Blanchard (TV Champion), & WAR MACHINE (w/Dark Journey & JJ Dillon) vs. Dusty Rhodes, Nikita Koloff, Paul Ellering, & the Road Warriors in a WARGAMES MATCH

Pre-Match Thoughts: So, with JJ Dillon out, WAR MACHINE takes his place. That is Big Bubba under a mask. Not that anyone can tell, really…you can’t. I’ve heard this match isn’t as good as the first one, I really don’t have any idea. It’s weird to see this match in an outdoor stadium.

Match Review: So, Arn Anderson and Dusty Rhodes will start WARGAMES off once again. Arn is slightly reticent to lock up with Dusty, which he should be because Dusty is going to hit him with the kitchen sink. Arn goes right into the cage, and he’s sliced open already. That didn’t take long! A minute at most. Arn goes to the leg to fight back, Dusty scurries into the other ring, and gives Arn a DDT. So, slightly different from the first match. Dusty tries to put a figure-four on Arn, but Arm clocks him in the face, and continues to hit him until getting hit in the nuts. Dusty grinds Arn’s face into the fence, then prevents him from running into the other ring…and suplexes Arn. The figure-four is on Arn now, and it’s just about time for someone to enter. After some elbows, the heels win the coin toss, and they choose…

THE WAR MACHINE! Awesome. He hunts Dusty around from ring to ring, then finally catches up to him and Dusty gets double teamed. TRUE HORSEMEN TACTICS. They repeatedly bash Dusty’s head into the cage, and he’s busted open big. War Machine lands a knee drop from the second rope, and after that Arn potatoes Dusty to open him up even worse. I haven’t seen this much blood in a match for a little while. Dusty fires off some elbows, and is soon joined by…

HAWK! Hawk enters the ring, and nails War Machine with a big dropkick. Arn gets powerslammed, fist dropped, and War Machine gets clotheslined and bodyslammed. Hawk misses an elbow drop, as Dusty is in the middle of clotheslining Arn Anderson. Hawk hits War Machine with a shot from the second rope, and gives Arn a neckbreaker. The great offense continues, as Dusty & Hawk repeatedly hit Machine with some elbow drops. The Horsemen send in their third man, and it will be…

RIC FLAIR! He enters, and chops Hawk like crazy, then goes with Hawk into the other ring. Hawk rushes out of a corner with a double clothesline of Arn and Flair, which gets a huge babyface reaction. However, Flair hits him in the nuts. Flair launches Hawk into the cage, and in the other ring I think Dusty is beating the crap out of War Machine. He was! Flair comes over and tosses Dusty into the cage, and in the other ring, Arn gives Hawk a piledriver that Hawk summarily no-sells. Hawk dropkicks War Machine, but the poor camera work doesn’t let me see what Hawk did to Arn. Dusty’s locked in a figure-four by Flair, but it’s time for another entrant.

NIKITA KOLOFF! Arn gives Nikita a piledriver, which he no-sells too. What happened to the neck injury? He gives Arn a huge clothesline, and tracks down Flair, who he hits with a clothesline as well. Nikita repeatedly rams Flair into the fence, and Dusty gives him 10 punches in the corner. Bet Flair is bleeding now. Nikita is also giving Arn 10 in the corner, and it’s time for a fourth heel entry.

TULLY BLANCHARD! He throws Hawk into the cage, and goes after Dusty, only to get knocked down with some punches. Flair grabs a hold of Dusty and it’s time for him to get triple teamed. Tully gives Dusty a flying kick from the top rope, and now Nikita is bleeding. This concept is awesome, especially when you can see what every wrestler is doing. Tully gives Hawk an elbow from the second rope, Dusty gives War Machine a bodyslam, and the fourth babyface entry is in…

IT’S ANIMAL! Hawk is clearly more over, I should note. War Machine gets dropkicked into another ring, and Animal continually slingshots Tully into the fence, opening him up too. So much blood. Arn sends Animal into the fence too, and I believe that everyone in the ring at this point besides War Machine is bleeding. Hard to tell with the cage in the way, though.

LEX LUGER enters, and now it’s 5 on 4. Hawk hits Tully with a shoulderblock, but Luger comes over to that ring and the time for punishment is on. Flair is getting punished by Hawk, Animal launches Tully into the other ring, and Luger tries to take him out. This is rapidly becoming more and more disjointed, but it’s still excellent fun. The Road Warriors hit Luger with a double clothesline, and here comes…

PAUL ELLERING! THE MATCH BEYOND HAS BEGUN! Ellering has a spike once again, and drives it into Flair’s face. The crowd has died a little bit, I can’t quite figure out why because this is the only time they’ve seen the match before. War Machine misses a splash from the second rope, and Animal takes him out with a clothesline. So does Hawk, and so does Dusty. Nice three clotheslines in a row spot. Nikita hits War Machine with a fourth clothesline, and Animal has the spike, which he drives into War Machine’s eye. He’s wearing a mask, so the effect of this is nowhere near as good as you’d think. The bell rings, and the babyfaces have won at 19:38!

And that’s the end of the tape!

My Thoughts: This wasn’t very much worse than the first WarGames, but it was a noticeably lesser match. The crowd wasn’t as into it, which should be expected considering that they weren’t in the traditionally hot Atlanta or Mid-Atlantic areas. Going out of the hot territory for big stadium shows does have its disadvantages. At the time, I’m sure this was considered a top quality match, but it’s slightly less than that. The work wasn’t as cohesive, in the context of this video tape it was slightly repetitive, and War Machine didn’t have the same impact that JJ Dillon had in losing. So, ***3/4 and recommended. It’s a WarGames match. Watch it.

 

So, that’s the end of a very successful tour. We have DR. DEATH in the company, Rick Steiner soon to be around more, the Road Warriors being around more, EDDIE GILBERT…I don’t know how much some of these guys will be around, but this shit is picking up. As we know, Ron Garvin gets the NWA Title, and while that’s a bit above his station, I think the guy was a really good worker. His on and off feud with Flair has always been great, and that was furthered on this tape. Sadly, there isn’t very much stuff available from this period, so 1988 is when I believe things will be more accessible. Still though, more PPV’s, Clash of the Champions…the promotion is getting better. Next up will be a WWF article covering August and September of 1987…and there’s a lot to cover.

 

Best: WarGames I. Fantastic match that offered everything people wanted to see.

Worst: So much clipping. Honestly, I’d rather watch one or two full undercard matches than see so many of them clipped up.

Tape Rating: 8/10. I’d buy this!

Written by Sage Cortez

Sage is a boisterous Los Angeles sports fan. Unsurprisingly, like many other loudmouth LA fans, he also likes the Raiders and a range of combat sports.

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