WCW 1996 Great American Bash (6/16/1996)- Baltimore, MD
THERE MUST BE A WINNER: The Steiner Brothers vs. Fire & Ice- 5.75/10
MEAN GENE INTERVIEWS KEVIN SULLIVAN & JIMMY HART- How the hell these two wound up in the same stable and cutting a promo together I have no idea. Sullivan’s promo was okay.
WCW UNITED STATES TITLE MATCH: Konnan(c) vs. El Gato- 5/10
At the beginning of this match, DUSTY RHODES criticized Schiavone for being too wordy.
The finish felt extremely out of nowhere
MEAN GENE INTERVIEWS STING- Wow. This was a very uncomfortable combination of homophobic and Anglo-phobic.
MATCH FOR THE LORD OF THE RING RING (I swear this was a real championship in WCW): Diamond Dallas Page(c) vs. Marcus Alexander Bagwell- 4.5/10
Page works over Bagwell’s midsection. Not much else to speak off.
MEAN GENE INTERVIEWS JIMMY HART & THE GIANT- Jimmy said something about being friends with Lex Luger. Then Giant cut A FREAKIN’ AWESOME PROMO! One of the best I have ever heard him cut!
WCW CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: Dean Malenko(c) vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.- 8/10
An awesome debut for Rey Mysterio Jr. Some good shine, great heat with Malenko working on the arm, and then a fantastic comeback that probably seemed even more impressive back in 1996 when Lucha moves weren’t so overexposed in the US.
LEX LUGER PROMO- dragged on for way too long.
JOHN TENTA vs. BIG BUBBA (w/Jimmy Hart)- 0.5/10
John Tenta is apparently on a crusade to cut the hair of all of the members of the Dungeon of Doom. Of All of the babyfaces in the world, they chose John Tenta. Why is this a bad thing? Because the crowd didn’t give a damn about him.
We got a quick shine, followed by Bubba using a bunch of disparate heel tactics that all led to nothing. Tenta got the win with the first move of his comeback, then grabbed some scissors from Jimmy Hart and went to cut Jimmy’s hair. Bubba got up and tried to make the save, but wound up knocking heads with Jimmy. Tenta grabbed Bubba by his stupid little goatee, which is apparently Bubba’s weak spot, because this completely paralyzed him. Tenta then cut Bubba’s crappy little goatee. Props to Bubba for selling this, though. He grabbed his chin, turned to Jimmy and screamed “HE CUT IT OFF! HE CUT IT OFF!” in disbelief. Great stuff.
TEAM FOOTBALL PLAYERS & RANDY SAVAGE PROMO- lame. They’re football players. We get it.
FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE MATCH: Chris Benoit vs. Kevin Sullivan (w/Jimmy Hart)- 8/10
The number of times the announcers used the “where the big boys play” slogan during this match makes me think they must have been getting paid each time they said it or something like that. I don’t think they went one minute without saying it.
They brawled all over the place, at one point winding up in a Men’s room, (yes, this is the match with Dusty’s famous “he’s gonna pin him near the commode!”) and Schiavone said “you’d better warn whoever’s in there”… And I have to wonder what it must be like to be standing at a urinal, taking a piss, when all of a sudden, two guys come into the bathroom and start brawling, with a camera crew following behind them. What goes through your head?
This was an awesome match with a real “fight” atmosphere (helped by these two working EXTREMELY stiffly). Afterwards Arn Anderson came out, and after a brief swerve, he and Benoit beat Sullivan down. The rest of the Dungeon then came out to make the heel save from the other heels.
HORSEMAN & HEENAN PROMO- AWESOME stuff from all. Mean Gene tries to send it back to the booth, but Flair can’t resist adding in one last line “there’s a lot of thing that the Macho Man would like to do that he can’t do anymore… right, Liz?”
And I thought the Sullivan-Benoit match was stiff.
STING vs. LORD STEVEN REGAL (w/Jeeves)- 7.25/10
HUGE pop for Sting.
The angle that set this match up involved Regal punching Sting’s teeth out or something, so Regal spent all match just punching and kicking Sting in the face, occasionally locking in some submissions to put pressure on Sting’s nose as well (you know, the ones Regal talks up on NXT all the time).
Another, later angle to build to this match was Regal slapping Sting in the face during the contract signing, so after cutting off a bunch of hope spots, Regal backhands Sting, which fires Sting up and causes him to go into his no-selling Superman comeback. Regal went down WAY too quickly (he was tapping within seconds of the Scorpion Deathlock being locked in, and Sting hadn’t hit a move to work on Regal’s back or legs in at least ten minutes), but other than that, a great match.
RIC FLAIR & ARN ANDERSON (w/Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, Miss Elizabeth, & Woman) vs. KEVIN GREENE & STEVE “MONGO” MCMICHAEL (w/”Macho Man” Randy Savage, Debra McMichael, & Tara Greene)- 5.25/10
Some good storytelling early on, but it was interspersed with WAY too much gaga. I’m not sure why Macho’s offense never caused a DQ, either. This match went over twenty minutes, but it really shouldn’t have gone more than twelve. After that point, it just got so damn boring. Eventually Mongo (& Debra) turn heel and join the Horsemen. We then got a beatdown of Greene and Savage by all four of the Horsemen.
BISCHOFF INTERVIEWS HALL & NASH- They set up for the Hostile Takeover match. Hall cut an awesome promo. Bischoff wouldn’t tell them who will be on WCW’s team, so Nash powerbombs him through a table. Awesome segment.
WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: The Giant(c) (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Lex Luger- 6.25/10
Disappointing for a PPV main event. The set-up for the Torture Rack was perfect, and what happened when Luger got him up for it… wow. It looked like Giant fell right on Lex’s head. Sometimes the hero doesn’t succeed.
Overall, a great show from WCW. Lots of solid wrestling here. I just wish the main event had been a bit better. If they had given the time from the Tenta vs. Bubba match to the main event, it really would have helped this show. Definitely worth watching, though, especially the Benoit vs. Sullivan match.