WCW Great American Bash 1991

Only days after the Clash of the Champions 15, Scott Steiner suffered a biceps tear during a battle royal at a house show. This will effectively bench WCW’s top tandem for several months and force the World tag team titles to be vacated.

Harley Race and Dick the Bruiser were brought in to be special referees during a St. Louis house show in an attempt to help rebuild the city as a reliable stronghold.

El Gigante was attacked on TV by the One Man Gang and Kevin Sullivan. As part of the attack, Gigante had some of his hair cut off.

The forcibly retired Brian Pillman showed up on TV under a mask and yellow pants as “The Yellow Dog”. The first incarnation of this gimmick was done in Florida a decade earlier with Windham comprising the Yellow Dog.

Steve Austin has won the TV title from Bobby Eaton, thanks to Lady Blossom’s interference.

WCW wants to get rid of all high-end contracts other than Luger, Sting, and the Steiners. All other newcomers are to be young gimmicked guys working for 300 dollars a night.

Dan Spivey and Stan Hansen were tag team champions in Japan, so when WCW asked Spivey to put over Tom Zenk and PN Newz, Spivey refused and quit WCW. Other reports have him being fired for testifying in the Dr. Zahorian steroid trial.

On July 13th Evil Jim Herd announced Ric Flair had been fired due to contractual issues and Barry Windham and Lex Luger would meet at the Bash to determine the new World champion. The actual day that the contract talks went to Hell was almost two weeks earlier.

Flair was asked to lose to Barry Windham on July 1st so the title wouldn’t be on someone who wasn’t in the company. He declined.

The Great American Bash

July 13th 1991

Scaffold match: PN Newz and Bobby Eaton vs. Terrence Taylor and Steve Austin

From reading through the results leading up to this PPV, I have no idea why this is a “Scaffold” match. Newz isn’t feuding with the York Foundation either. Very odd booking by Dusty.

They have the audacity to call this “Night of the Skywalkers 2”. I guess Starrcade 87 has been erased from history. They call Bobby Eaton “a master of the scaffold match” HE LOST THEM! The scaffold is way too small, in fact they work it as a tag match and only one guy from each team can fit at a time. The toss your opponent off the platform rule is waved and we have “capture the flag” rules instead.

The crowd is hot. Not much is happening as the guys can’t bump do we get the heels crawling around and the faces wavering carefully. They finally split in heel/face pairings and fight on each end of the scaffold where there’s actually a little room to move. Lady Blossom jumping around in fear is the highlight of the match. Her poor back. Eaton grabs the heels flag and secures the win. Well that stunk.

Steve climbs down and grabs his valet’s hairspray and blinds both faces with it. They all climb down and brawl to give the fans some actual action. What a stupid booking move it was to take the big bump away from this gimmick.

JR and Tony try and save face by explaining WCW has made several offers to Ric Flair and he’s refused to come in and compete.

Paul Heyman and Arn Anderson cut a promo on Rick Steiner and Missy Hyatt. Paul gets good heat and the heels cut a good promo. Arn appears to have dyed his hair blond. Anderson implies he’s either going to smack or fuck Missy Hyatt, I’m not sure which.

JR and Tony run down the card as we stall for time so the scaffold can be taken down.

Tom Zenk vs. The Diamond Studd

DDP has a fanny pack with rhinestones spelling out his name. How wonderfully gaudy. Zenk comes down surrounded by women. Hall is gigantic. Zenk attacks DDP and Hall before the bell. Page makes him pay by yanking down the ropes and sending Z-man crashing to the floor. Hall then whips him over the railing. Zenk is roughed up for several minutes. Tom gets repeated hope spots but Hall cuts them all off quickly.

Z-man gets his last gasp as he chucks Hall into the railing and delivers a flying dropkick but DDP breaks up the pin. Page is attacked and that allows Hall to deliver a German suplex for the pin. Solid enough match.

Ron Simmons vs. OZ

JR puts over Simmons’ football success. Yeah, but did he ever rule the Emerald City? They play this like a power vs. power match. Nash rocks Simmons with a big boot, so Ron takes him down with wrestling. Simmons tries to clothesline OZ over the top rope and they appear to botch it, so they redo it and Nash flies to the floor. Nash cheats to win a test of strength, so Simmons uses wrestling to overcome the power again. OZ stands awkwardly as Simmons clips his leg. Two more charging shoulder blocks and unnatural bumps from Nash finishes it. Dull.


1. Johnny B. Badd
2. Ron Simmons
3. The Diamond Studd
4. El Gigante
5. Arn Anderson
6. Bobby Eaton
7. Steve Austin
8. Sting
9. Barry Windham
10. Lex Luger
World champion: Sir Abeyance Von Rhodes

Robert Gibson vs. Mr. Richard Morton

I love that Ricky kept his mullet despite his new “corporate” gimmick. Gibson attacks Morton on the ramp. Gibson out works Morton in the ring and Ricky is forced to bail out and have the computer give him some tips. They go through a sloppy exchange as Morton is leery and runs away again.
Morton goes to the eyes and quickly takes the attack to Gibson’s surgically repaired knee. He needed a computer program to tell him his former tag team partner’s surgically repaired knee was his weak spot, folks.

Aforementioned knee is wrapped around the steel ring post and wrenched unnaturally as Morton tries to maim his former partner. Gibson’s tights are ripped, exposing a big brace on his knee. Gibson hurts his own leg just trying to fight back. A figure-four is locked on as Gibson tries to mimic his former partner’s expertise in selling and drawing sympathy.

Gibson fights his way out and delivers some beautiful punches to Morton ‘s face. Morton goes right back to battering his leg. JR notes that this match sucks compares to what he was expecting between two good workers. Gibson gets a DDT but follows up with a dropkick and hurts his own leg. Robert blasts Morton with a desperation enziguiri and the fight spills out to the ramp. Alexandra York distracts the ref and that allows Morton to smack Gibson with the computer (on the shoulder blade) and that knocks Robert out for the pin. Pretty boring affair.

Hindsight is 20/20 but I would suggest the principals in this feud were miscast. The angle should have been Gibson showing up as a member of the York Foundation. He could have explained that he needed financial security during his time off and so he joined the heels. The announcers can imply that Gibson lost confidence in his knee and that is why he took a short cut to success. This also allows Ricky Morton to do what he does best and be a vigilant underdog.

Dustin Rhodes mimics his dad in his pre-match promo.

Dustin Rhodes, Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong vs. Michael Hayes, Jimmy Garvin and Badstreet

This is under elimination rules. Rhodes and Hayes compare dance moves. All three heels come at Dustin and he feeds them all bionic elbows. A cheap shot allows the Birds a chance to pound on Dustin but the faces quickly turn the tables and clear the ring during a six-man skirmish.

The Birds stall for more time. The Pistols control the heels with speed until the Birds are able to trap Tracy Smothers for an extended beat down. The match goes a surprisingly long time with no eliminations. I take advantage of the Birds’ rest holds to look up how often the Pistols and the Freebirds clashed during this time and the number seems to hover around 50 matches. By this point I’m practically calling the spots before the guys can do them.

Tracy misses a slew of chops aimed for Hayes and gets popped down with one left hand. Armstrong finally tags in and another six way whirling dervish breaks out.

Trying to unmask Badstreet distracts Steve and Hayes catches him with a DDT for the elimination. Hayes is disqualified right after for tossing Armstrong over the top rope. That seems like a sketchy call.

An exhausted Tracy eats a DDT to end his night.

Dustin charges in and lariats Jimmy Jam for a quick elimination.

Badstreet eats a big lariat too but Big Daddy Dink distracts the ref. Dustin delivers a bulldog and kicks Dink while in mid-air to secure the victory!

The Birds dragged down their portion but that ending sequence was really fun.

Yellow Dog vs. Johnny B. Badd

The crack WCW production staff doesn’t play Badd’s music until after he comes out and pyro fires off. JR comments that he has interviewed Badd extensively and Tony giggles and implies JR is homosexual, which prompts Ross to put over Badd’s boxing career.

Badd controls early on until a hard chop sends him in retreat. Badd and Teddy Long chat for too long and Pillman errr…”Yellow Dog” dropkicks them into one another. Dog pursues Long and Badd gets a cheap shot off to take control. Badd uses fisticuffs and a flying knee to set up his KO punch but he whiffs and opens the door for Dog to make a comeback.

A flying crossbody looks to end it but Long runs in for the DQ. Badd knocks Dog to the floor with a big punch. Match was fine. They blew some spots along the way, but you have to expect that from a rookie like Mero.

Eric Bischoff goes into Missy Hyatt’s locker room for a chat. Missy is missing. He hears the shower on in the next room and goes into full creeper mode. Eric peeks into the shower and exalts his pleasure as we see that Missy is naked (but of course the camera misses the naughty bits.) Missy squeals and bombards Bischoff with hair care products until he flees.

Lumberjack match: Big Josh vs. Black Blood

Josh comes down with four lumberjills. The announcers excitedly gawk at the women and speculate on the orgies Josh is involved in with them. Haynes’ Black Blood costume covers up his biceps, which is probably the only thing Billy Jack has going for him at this point. JR is shocked that the heel lumberjacks physically accost Josh before tossing him back in the ring.

They trade chops and punches and this thing is just a slobber knocker. The lumberjacks start to brawl as tempers flare. Blood takes his axe and tries to behead Josh but Dustin cracks him in the knee and Josh scores the pin with a small package. Ugly match but it kind of fit the spirit of the gimmick.

El Gigante vs. One Man Gang

I think I like the wild hair and face paint version of Gang better than his Mohawk look. Sullivan cuts a non-sensible promo before the match about death wagons, three eyed men and what not.

Gigante brings four midgets with him (you know, to make the 7’7″ guy look tall!) and they attack Gang and bite his ample bottom. Gang fares just as poorly with the giant as OMG is knocked to the floor with a shoulder block and sent flying with a hip toss.

Ross begs the fans to forgive Gigante for being atrocious in the ring. Gang uses a wrench to batter Gigante to the mat. A 747 splash isn’t enough to keep the big man down.

Gang is slammed off the top rope and suplexed. Sullivan interferes and is trapped in the claw.

Gang tries to toss powder in his opponent’s eyes but Gigante kicks the white stuff back into OMG’s face and hits a clothesline for the pin.

I’ve seen worse, but this certainly wasn’t good.

Russian Chain: Sting vs. Nikita Koloff

Nikita the Terminator and Sting yank at their respective end of the chains and have a face off. They brawl right to the floor and Sting drops Nikita onto the railing several times. Since Koloff felt no pain in their last match, it makes perfect sense for Sting to amp up the violence early on.
Stinger tries to drag Koloff around the turnbuckles and that allows Nikita to regain his bearings and he assaults Sting with the chain. Sting uses the chain to yank Koloff into the ringpost. The Russian chokes Sting and has no regulations against it so the ref impotently asks Nikita to release the chain that is restricting Sting’s breath. Sting goes low to buy himself a bit of recovery time.

They tangle interlocked across the ring and they both touch several corners. They trade nut shots and then race to the third turnbuckle. A Russian sickle looks to end it but Koloff stalls. Sting flies at him with a Stinger splash and knocks Nikita into the corner for the win. They keep brawling after the match and Sting abuses the Russian’s testicles with the chain before leaving. Much like their Clash match, the bout was not pretty – but I was entertained.

Steel cage match for the vacant World title: US Champion Lex Luger vs. Barry Windham

The crowd starts a loud “We want Flair” chant. The camera pans on a slew of fans screaming for Flair. JR starts to subtlety hint that something is up with Luger.

They try and test each other’s strength and duel to a few physical draws. The feeling out process isn’t exactly quelling the “Flair” chants. Windham and Lex scale the cage until Luger falls off. Windham tries a flying elbow and misses. Lex pours it on with a series of clotheslines and a powerslam.

A poorly applied Torture Rack fails to end it as Windham escapes. Luger tries a superplex but Lex is shoved off. The Total Package is rocked with a flying lariat.

Another lariat, and Windham doesn’t go for the pin. Windham comes off the top rope with a botched dropkick or something. Harley Race and Mr.Hughes make their way to cageside. Race orders Luger to piledrive Windham and that leads to the 3 count and a big pop. This Baltimore crowd was ready to anoint Luger as the new King of the sport 4 years earlier at this same PPV and they finally get their wish. No big celebration – Luger grabs the title and walks to the back with Hughes and Race.

Cage Match: Rick Steiner and Missy Hyatt vs. Paul E. Dangerously and Arn Anderson

They credit the Hardliners with injuring Scott Steiner. How did we arrive at Arn Anderson and Rick having an issue then? This was suppose to be Rick, Scott and Missy vs. Paul E, Windham and Arn.

There is less than 5 minutes of PPV time left, so this “Main Event” is going to be quick. The Hardliners kidnap Hyatt before we can even begin. A fan shoves Dick Murdoch, so Murdoch takes a swing at him. Awesome. Rick just smiles as his sworn enemies steal his busty buddy. Paul E cheap shots Rick while Arn is trapped in a bear hug. Both heels are Steinerlined and pinned. Poor Arn. Rick leaves the ring quickly. What a shitty end to a PPV.

Final thoughts:

This was a bore at times and the ring work often left much to be desired but this was far from the worst PPV ever level that some have labeled this show. Unfortunately this never achieved so bad it’s good status either. Mediocrity ruled the day.


Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of culturecrossfire.com, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.

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