Welcome back to the TJRwrestling retro reviews where we are breaking down every WCW Pay-Per-View during the “Monday Night War” era. We just covered WCW Slamboree, which was fine, but didn’t blow me away. Kevin Greene teaming with Flair and Piper in the main event was the big attraction for the show, so take that as you may. It also featured a forgettable semi-main event match between Steve McMichael and Reggie White, but was saved a little by some excellent undercard matches. Read my complete thoughts on that show and every show we have covered here. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and revisit the summer of 1997 for WCW!
WCW The Great American Bash
June 15th, 1997
They open the show with a very patriotic package and go over the big matches on the night. This show will be headlined by “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Diamond Dallas Page once again. They also waged war at Spring Stampede earlier in the year.
We get a shot of the arena and are joined by the usual suspects at the announce desk which are Tony Schiavone, “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. They talk a little bit about the main event tonight, as well as run down the other matches on the evening and some of the repercussions that can come from the outcomes. They go down to the ring for the first match.
Psychosis (w/Sonny Onoo) vs. The Ultimate Dragon
Normally, Onoo is with the Dragon, but turned his back on him recently and aligned with Psychosis.
Both men lock up and Dragon quickly takes him down with an arm drag as Psychosis slides to the outside to regroup. Psychosis hits a drop toe hold when he comes back in and both men exchange some athletic moves with Psychosis ultimately ending up on the outside again. Dragon gets the crowd behind him as Psychosis and Onoo talk strategy. He climbs back in the ring and they shove each other before Psychosis hits a shoulder block and a punch to the head. He stomps on Dragon and hits an elbow. He sends Dragon into the ropes and drops down, but Dragon outsmarts him with an elbow to the back. Dragon does his classic headstand on the turnbuckle and takes Psychosis down with a kick to the chest. After a brief stint on the outside again he climbs back in and Dragon hits him with a backbreaker. Dragon continues the assault laying in some stiff kicks and sends him into the ropes, but Psychosis gets a kick to the head. He stays on the offense and kicks Dragon in the head again and charges in, but Dragon drops him on the top rope which sends him to the outside. Dragon comes out with a splash, but Psychosis moves out of the way and he hits nothing but the floor. Onoo gets some kicks in while the referee is distracted and The Dragon is in a bad way. Psychosis with a baseball slide and he picks Dragon up on the ropes for a leg drop from the second rope. He works Dragon into the corner and hits some vicious elbows to the head. Psychosis rolls him up for a quick two count, but Dragon gets to the ropes. He hits a backbreaker and goes for a cover again only this time with his feet on the ropes. The referee sees it and breaks it up. Dragon rolls to the outside and picks Onoo up for a Suplex, but Psychosis leaps out and takes him out before he can. Both men get back in the ring and Dragon hits some kicks to the head and hits a cartwheel elbow. Dragon tosses him to the outside and hits an Asai Moonsault off the second rope and both men are out. Back in the ring, he hits a Brainbuster on Psychosis and covers him for a two count. Dragon hits a Tombstone Piledriver and covers him for another near fall. They have a brief exchange in the corner before Psychosis hits a spin heel kick that sends Dragon to the outside. Psychosis follows him out with a dive that he almost lands on his head for before rolling him back in the ring. Dragon hits a Hurricanrana, but Psychosis fights out and makes a cover of his own for a two count. Psychosis goes up top for a Moonsault, but Dragon counters with a dropkick. He picks Psychosis up on the top rope and hits a Frankensteiner. As he tries to capitalize, Onoo gets on the apron and the distraction leads to Psychosis gaining the advantage. Onoo accidentally kicks Psychosis in the back of the head which allows Dragon to lock in The Dragon Sleeper and Psychosis taps out after 14:20.
Winner: Ultimate Dragon
Match Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: That was a solid way to open the show. Was it the best match they have had? No, but the last 5 minutes or so were very entertaining. Psychosis was always a little bigger than most of the other Cruiserweights he was in the ring, but Dragon shared that same size. There was a lot of athleticism here and they mixed in some nice power spots. Psychosis spent a lot of time on the outside, although, it didn’t take away from the match much at all. Dragon was always near the top of the Cruiserweight division so him picking up a win here isn’t shocking.
After the match, Onoo is in the ring and The Dragon wants a piece of him. He follows him around the ring before he and Psychosis slide out of the ring and get out of dodge.
Benoit is backstage and answering questions on the website. He is sitting beside from guy with a terrible 90’s haircut. Someone should have taught up better than to wear our hair like that. It’s time for the next match.
Harlem Heat (Booker T. and Stevie Ray) (w/Sister Sherri) vs. The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott Steiner)
Scott and Ray are the first two in the match. They lock up and Scott takes him down immediately with a wrestling takedown. Ray fights out and works him into the corner and hits an arm drag. He throws Scott into the ropes and both men hit shoulder blocks that don’t move the other. Ray sends him into the ropes again and hits a big boot. He tries again, only this time Scott ducks under and hits a suplex. Booker and Rick get in the match and The Steiners send both members of Harlem Heat flying out of the ring. Rick tags into the match and both men start exchanging blows before Rick hits a power slam. Ray rolls to the outside once again as The Steiners stand tall in the ring. Booker tags in and wants Scott in the match with him, but Rick hits him instead. He works Booker into the corner, who continues pointing at Scott. Scott tags in and hits Booker in the head. He shoves Booker away and they lock up for a test of strength. Booker slaps on a headlock and somehow gets Scott in a Full Nelson. Scott hits an elbow to the head and tries to throw Booker into the ropes, but he reverses it and hits Scott with a knee lift. Scott fires back and hits a Double Underhook Suplex for a two count. He tags Rick back in and he comes in to hit Booker with a Suplex and covers him for two. Rick wears into him with some shots to the head and side before Scott comes back in and presses him over his head and down to the mat. Scott climbs up top but awkwardly jumps off and Booker gets his boot up and hits a Harlem Sidekick. Scott pulls himself back up but is quickly knocked over the top with a clothesline. Booker and Scott fight on the outside before rolling back in the ring. Rick tags back in and continues to isolate Booker to their side. He knocks Ray off the apron, but Ray pulls him out of the ring and hits a power slam followed by a clothesline on the outside. He rolls Rick back in the ring, and Booker covers him for a two count. Ray tags in the match and hits Rick with a high knee that sends him down to the mat. Booker, behind the referee’s back, drops Rick on the top rope. Booker tags in the match and covers Rick for a two count. He hits a knee and continues working him over and goes for a sidekick, but Rick blocks it and sends him to the mat. Both men are slow to get to their feet, but Rick makes a hot tag to Scott and he is a house of fire. He hits both guys with slams and kicks Booker in the head. All four men are in the ring at this point and are just beating each other up. Ray and Rick go to the outside as Scott hits Booker with a Frankensteiner on the inside. Vincent from The NWO comes in the ring and drops an elbow on Booker and The Steiners are disqualified after 12:02.
Winner(s) by DQ: Harlem Heat
Match Rating: 2.25/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This match was pretty competitive throughout and both teams worked well together. The Steiners were on fire at this point and the crowd was eating up everything they were doing. The feud they were having with The NWO reared its head again here and cost them the match. Vincent, in not shocking fashion, looked pretty lost and the elbow drop looked horrific. These two teams were always at the top of their games at the time, so it was nice to see them squaring off here. I hated the ending, but the rest of the match was solid.
After the match, The Steiners catch Vincent and roll him in the ring. They destroy him and tear his NWO shirt off. Scott picks him up and they hit The Steiner Bulldog and leave Vincent laying in the middle of the ring. They drape The NWO shirt over his head and spit on it as they leave the ring.
Konnan vs. Hugh Morrus
These two were tag team partners last month, but that quickly fell apart which leads to the two going at it here.
They start going after each other right when the bell sounds. Morrus gets the early advantage and works Konnan into the corner. He hits some chops and hits a big dropkick that sends Konnan down to the mat. He continues the assault, but Konnan fights back and tosses Morrus to the outside. He throws Morrus into the steps and stomps on his head. Morrus slowly gets back in the ring but is met with a dropkick. Konnan hits a Rolling Clothesline and covers him for a two count. Konnan slaps on a chin lock and hits a dropkick as he comes back up. He starts working on the arm and neck area and stretches Morrus out. Morrus grabs the ropes to break the hold and that allows him to get up and hit some shots to the head. They roll to the outside and Morrus throws Konnan into the steps on the other side and slides in the ring to break the count. He rolls Konnan back in the ring and hits a Spinning Heel Kick. That was impressive agility. Morrus hits a snap mare and locks in an armbar. Konnan tries to fight back, but Morrus cuts him off and hits a Gutwrench Suplex, and scores a two count. He throws Konnan into the ropes, but Konnan takes him down with a clothesline before going back to working on Morrus’ head and neck area. They get back to their feet and exchange some blows before Morrus grabs the arm and tries to lock in a submission. Konnan fights out and rolls Morrus up for a two count. Morrus gets a thumb to the eyes as they come back up and hits a Powerslam before climbing up top for No Laughing Matter. He comes off the top, but Konnan is waiting for him, and he crotches Morrus on the top rope. He puts him in the Tequila Sunrise and Morrus can’t answer the bell which ends the match after 10:34.
Match Rating: 1/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: There wasn’t a lot going on here. Morrus was agile for a big man and Konnan was an awesome worker around this time and they gave us about as much as they could. Morrus hitting some high flying moves was always a sight to see, but Konnan picking up the win here makes sense because WCW was a little higher on him at the time.
“Mean” Gene Okerlund is at the top of the aisleway and of course he has the inside scoop that you can only hear by calling the hotline. Kids, it’s only $1.59 a minute. He is soon joined by The Public Enemy. They bring a table out and set it up in front of Gene. They sit on top of the table and Gene asks what they have been doing since they aren’t on the show tonight. Rocco Rock says some gibberish, but he is excited. He says it’s time to get down to business. He said Public Enemy should always be near the top. He calls out Harlem Heat and says they shouldn’t be the number one contenders for the Tag Team Titles. Johnny Grunge asks the fans if they are ready to party and they shout. Rock says they are former Tag Team Champions and that they aren’t afraid of anyone. Grunge says it’s time for WCW to stop overlooking them and they leave the area to get the crowd fired up some more.
Wrath (w/James Vandenberg and Mortis) vs. Glacier
Mortis will be handcuffed to the post for the duration of the match.
They lock up to start the match and Wrath gets him in the corner with some chops to the chest. He tries another shot, but Glacier ducks under and hits some of his own. Glacier hits a sidekick and ducks under a clothesline. He hits Wrath with a sidekick that sends him to the outside. Glacier leaps over and hits a splash before hitting Wrath with a series of shots to the head. He chases Vandenberg away and hits Wrath with a Standing Sidekick. He picks Wrath up, but he was playing possum and throws Glacier into the guardrails. He tries to throw Glacier into the steps, but he reverses it and throws Wrath into them instead. Glacier is back in the ring, but comes back out and hits an elbow drop on the outside. He rolls Wrath back in the ring and covers him, but he gets a foot on the ropes. Glacier hits some chops in the corner and continues working on Wrath, but Mortis pulls at his ankle. The distraction allows Wrath to drop him throat first on the top rope. Wrath works on him in the corner and hits a snap mare before locking in a chin lock. Glacier gets back to his feet and fights out, but Wrath cuts him off and sends him to the outside. Wrath is standing on the apron and hits a senton as Glacier is trying to shake off the cobwebs. He rolls Glacier back in the ring and Wrath climbs to the top rope and he hits a flying clothesline. He slaps Glacier around a little bit, but that only pisses Glacier off and he grabs Wrath with a chokehold. Wrath fights out and hits an elbow followed by a backbreaker. Wrath goes back up top and comes off with an elbow, but Glacier rolls out of the way. Glacier hits a leg sweep and a back body drop. He comes off the ropes and hits a flying elbow for a two count. Wrath picks Glacier up and hits a Sidewalk Slam but doesn’t go for the cover. Wrath climbs up top again, but Glacier bumps the referee and it sends him into the ropes and knocks Wrath down. Glacier climbs up and hits a Superplex, but both men are down. Mortis climbs up on the apron and Glacier knocks him off, but that gives Wrath the opportunity to hit a side suplex. Mortis reaches in his pants and pulls out a chain and throws it in the ring, but overthrows it and Glacier grabs it. Glacier wraps the chain around his fist, hits Wrath with it, and picks up the win after 12:02.
Match Rating: 1.5/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: It was pretty much the same match as Glacier vs. Mortis was last month, so it got pretty stale. Wrath was on top for most of it and Glacier pulling out the win, in the end, was predictable. They were really pushing all of these characters to be Mortal Kombat ripoffs, so do with that information what you will. This was not a very entertaining match.
After the match, Vandenberg unlocks the handcuffs on Mortis and he comes into the ring to take Glacier out. They chain Glacier to the top rope and both take turns wearing him out. They beat on him in the corner until the referees come from the back to break it up.
WCW Women’s Title vs. Career Match
Akira Hokuto (w/Sonny Onoo) (c) vs. Madusa
Madusa said that if she doesn’t win the title here, her career in WCW is over. Also, yes, it seems like these are the only women in the company at this point.
Hokuto starts the match quickly with some shots to the head and throwing it all over the ring by her hair. She picks Madusa up in a chokehold and stands on the throat after. She puts her in a chin lock and pulls her up by the hair. She works her over to the ropes and continues choking her with them. Hokuto pulls Madusa out to the middle of the ring and hits a Piledriver, but she doesn’t go for a cover. She chokes her with her boot, but Madusa gets back to her feet and hits a series of dropkicks that has Hokuto down on the mat. Madusa hits Hokuto with some punches to the head and pulls her out for a snap mare. Hokuto grabs her by the neck to stop the onslaught and starts choking her in the corner with her boot again. She hits Madusa with a Scoop Slam and continues choking her in the middle of the ring. She hits a powerbomb and hooks the leg, but Madusa gets to the ropes to break the hold. Madusa comes back with a front kick and continues kicking her in the midsection. She goes for a pin, but Hokuto reverses it into a small package. Madusa gets her boot to the face as Hokuto charges in, but hurts her knee in the process. Hokuto takes advantage and continues working on the bad knee. She puts Madusa in a Surfboard Submission, but let’s go after Madusa visibly tells her to let up. Hokuto climbs up top, but Madusa hits head scissors that brings her down to the mat. She hits Hokuto with a Powerbomb, but her knee is too much to overcome. Hokuto puts her on the top rope and comes up with her for a Superplex for a near fall. She continues working on the knee and Madusa is in a bad way. Madusa uses everything she had to get to the ropes and moves out of the way when Hokuto comes off the top rope. She goes for a pin, but Onoo pulls her off. Hokuto takes advantage and stomps on the knee some more. She slams Madusa down and climbs up top, but Madusa gets the knees up on the way down. Madusa pulls herself up and hits a clothesline and covers for a two count. She tries to pick Hokuto up, but her knee buckles. Hokuto picks her up and hits a Brainbuster for the win after 11:41. Madusa’s career is “over”.
Winner and STILL WCW Women’s Champion: Akira Hokuto
Match Rating: 2/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: Although I feel like I have reviewed this match about six times now, it was elevated by how over Madusa actually was with this crowd. They ate up everything she did while she was on the offensive and they played the American vs. Non-American very well. Hokuto was pretty impressive for, what it’s worth, and showed that she deserved to be the Women’s Champion at the time. I guess what I am trying to say is, I have seen this match before, but it wasn’t terrible.
After the match, Hokuto bites on the bad knee before she and Onoo leave the ring. Madusa is crying in the ring as Heenan has some great one-liners about her future prospects.
Mean Gene is back in the entranceway and is trying to get some answers on Madusa’s knee because medical professionals can diagnose these things on the spot. Madusa pushes the mic away from her face as she is carried to the back. They go to the ring for the next match.
Chris Benoit vs. Meng (w/Jimmy Hart)
Do not adjust your TV sets, this is another Death Match between these two. The only way to win the match is by Su
Benoit flys out of the ring and hits Meng right as the bell sounds. He chases Jimmy Hart up the aisleway and comes back to stomp away on Meng. He rolls him in the ring and comes off the top with the Diving Headbutt and puts him in the Crippler Crossface. Meng powers out and puts Benoit on the top turnbuckle before tossing him across the ring. Benoit comes back with some more kicks and puts him in The Crossface again. Meng gets to the ropes and he has to break the hold. They exchange shots to one another before Meng gets the foot up to kick Benoit right in the face. He picks him up by the hair and tries to hit him with a Powerbomb, but Benoit slips out and goes back on the offensive. He tries to suplex him from the apron to the floor, but Meng grabs the top rope and they both come crashing down. Meng gets back in the ring and gets Benoit in the Tree of Woe. He kicks him in the midsection and starts yelling to the crowd as Benoit flops to the mat. Benoit starts to get counted down, but makes it back to his feet at seven. Meng comes over and both men exchange some hard chops to the chest before Meng knocks him down again. He throws Benoit into the ropes and hits a Spinebuster as the referee counts Benoit down. He locks Benoit in a choke, but Benoit bites him to get out. He works Meng into the corner and whips him to the other side, but is met with a kick to the gut. Meng slams him down and comes off the top with a splash and covers him, but there are no pins. Benoit gets to his feet after a count of nine and Meng takes him to the outside with a kick to the head. Benoit comes to on the outside and sends Meng into the guardrail. He rolls him in the ring and hits a Bridging German Suplex, but the referee won’t make the count. Benoit is back to his feet and he hits him with another German Suplex. Benoit continues to work on him and Meng slides to the outside. Benoit hits a few shots as Meng rolls back in, but Meng gets The Tongan Death Drip on. Benoit rolls to the outside to escape the move and the referee starts counting him out again. They start battling on the outside and the referee is counting both men out. Meng rolls Benoit back in the ring and kicks him in the head. He picks Benoit up and puts him down with a suplex. Meng climbs back up and comes off with another splash only this time Benoit rolls out of the way. Benoit gets The Crippler Crossface locked in again and Meng slowly crawls to and grabs the rope. Benoit continues working on him and gets him in the move again. Meng gets to the ropes and gets to his feet and punches Benoit in the head. Benoit ducks another attack and puts Meng in The Crossface for the fourth time. Meng reaches for the ropes, but he taps out before he gets there and the match is over after 14:59.
Winner: Chris Benoit
Match Rating: 2.5/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: That was an entertaining match. Well, it was less of a match than it was a straight-up fight. Meng and Benoit both laid all of their stuff in and it looks believable as hell. I actually think this match was better than the first one. Benoit locked on The Crossface multiple times until he made Meng tap out which is a feat in itself. Tony Schiavone says he passed out, but you can clearly see his hand tapping out. Overall, though, not a bad match.
After the match, Benoit is stretchered out as the referees are in the ring checking on Meng.
Gene is back in the aisleway and he points out at Meng fell off the stretcher. Yikes. Meng wishes a Happy Father’s Day to everyone at home before telling us more of the scoop they have on the hotline. He says someone is defecting from “up north” and will be on Nitro tomorrow night.
There is a commercial for WCW Bash at the Beach 1997. Of course, we will be covering that one next.
Steve McMichael (w/Debra) vs. Kevin Greene
Greene was on the last PPV, Slamboree, and makes an appearance here as well. McMichael turned his back on Greene when he joined The Horsemen and this is payback time. Greene actually held himself well in the ring, and I can only hope this match is way better than the one McMichael and Reggie White had last month.
Greene charges in the ring and hits McMichael immediately. He hits him with a clothesline and climbs up top on him for some ground and pound. McMichael rolls out of the ring to regroup as Greene is a madman on the inside. McMichael pulls his leg out from under him and slams it down on the apron. He takes Greene down to the floor and trash talks some fans at ringside. Greene’s parents are at ringside and McMichael gets slapped by his mother. Greene rolls him back in the ring and checks on his mother before sliding back in. McMichael drops an elbow as he comes in and stomps down on the head. McMichael lines up and punts him in the ribs. He continues stomping on the legs before picking him up and hitting a Neckbreaker. McMichael throws him into the ropes and Greene makes the saddest attempt at running the ropes I have ever seen and he is taken down. McMichael continues the assault and sends him into the corner. He punches him all over, but Greene reverses course and gets some shots of his own in. McMichael counters into an atomic drop and takes him down with another clothesline. McMichael throws him into the corner again and kicks him in the rib area. He continues to stomp on the legs and starts twisting them up. McMichael chokes Greene in the corner, but Greene rebounds and kicks McMichael across the ring. He comes off the top with a flying shoulder block, but only gets a two count. McMichael is waiting by the ropes and Greene knocks him over the top with a clothesline to the floor. He picks him up and slams him down on the floor before rolling him back in the ring. He starts jawing with Debra and dodges an elbow drop as he comes back in the ring. He stomps away on McMichael before throwing him into the turnbuckle. He charges in, but McMichael moves out of the way and starts choking Greene in the corner. Debra distracts the referee as Jeff Jarrett comes down to the ring and hits McMichael with the briefcase. Greene covers him and wins the match after 9:21.
Winner: Kevin Greene
Match Rating: 1.5/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: I wanted this to be better than the Reggie White match, and it was, marginally. Greene held himself well enough in the ring, and with a ring general like McMichael in there, it was destined to be average at best. They hit some moves and went back and forth, but really that was about it. I wish I had a more thorough analysis.
After the match, they question if Jarrett hitting McMichael was an accident or not.
They go backstage where the doctor is working on Madusa’s knee. She is overselling it a bit, and Tony Schiavone says “that will put her career in Jeopardy” even though she lost a match where her career was over. Continuity people, we need it.
WCW Tag Team Title Match
The Outsiders (Scott Hall and Kevin Nash) (c) (w/Syxx) vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair
Piper had a lot more matches in 1997 than I thought he did.
Flair and Hall are starting the match for their teams. Hall throws the toothpick and kicks Flair before knocking him down to the mat. He works Flair into the corner and hits some shots, but Flair turns it around and starts hitting some chops of his own. He sends Hall to the outside and all the members of The NWO regroup on the outside. Hall slides back in and the two lock up. Hall hits a shot to the head and throws Flair into the corner. Flair takes his usual up and over bump and is knocked down with a boot to the face from Nash. Flair works over Hall with some more chops and comes off the ropes, but Syxx pulls the leg, which allows Hall to take advantage. He makes the tag to Nash who steps over the ropes and immediately starts taunting Piper in their corner. He hits Flair with some high knees and a few elbows to the head. Nash hits Flair with a Sidewalk Slam, but only picks up a two count. Nash throws Flair on his shoulder and drops him for some Snake Eyes and Hall takes him down with a clothesline from the apron. Flair hits Nash with a low blow while the referee’s back is turned and he slowly makes his way to his corner and makes the tag to Piper. He comes in and takes out both men with a clothesline and a thumb to the eye. He locks Hall in a Sleeper Hold, but he picks Piper up and drops him on the top rope to break the hold. Flair is a madman on the apron and wants to get back in the match. Flair comes in the ring and grabs the referee, but the distraction allows Syxx to get in the ring and hit a kick to the head of Piper. Flair fights with Syxx on the outside and they go all the way to the back which leaves Piper all by himself. Hall covers Piper, but he barely gets a shoulder up. Piper fights back to his feet, but he is in there by himself. He starts fighting Nash, but he is no match for him. Piper tries to make a tag, but is pulled back to the other corner. Hall repeatedly slaps him in the head and tells the other two to keep coming. Nash hits some high knees in the corner and Piper starts fighting both men at the same time. He hits Nash with some shots and takes Hall off the apron. He comes off the ropes, but Hall hits him from behind and Nash hits a Big Boot. Nash tags Hall in the match and he hits The Outsiders Edge to pick up the win after 10:02.
Winner(s) and STILL WCW Tag Team Champions: The Outsiders
Match Rating: 2.25/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: It was fine, but that’s about it. Obviously, I didn’t think Flair and Piper would beat The Outsiders, but the way the story played out was hinting at where they were going next with the storyline. Flair leaving the ringside area and fighting with Syxx will be a sticking point with him and Piper moving forward. The Outsiders Edge will forever be one of my favorite finishers of all time. The NWO keeps the momentum moving forward.
Falls Count Anywhere Match
“Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) vs. Diamond Dallas Page (w/Kimberly)
They turn the lights off before the match to symbolize that WCW is not sanctioning the match. These two were in the main event for The Spring Stampede PPV and have been going at it ever since. This is the big blowoff match. Page would go on to say that Savage made his career with this series of matches.
Page comes through the crowd and attacks Savage from behind to start the match. He hits a shoulder block and goes for the Diamond Cutter early, but Savage pushes off and slides out of the ring. Page comes out after him with a splash, but he hurt himself on the landing. Savage takes advantage and works on Page on the outside and sends him into the guardrail. Page recovers and gets back on the offense when they get back in the ring. Page hits an arm drag and climbs up top to hit a Flying Clothesline. He sends Savage to the outside violently and comes out after him. Savage rakes the eyes as he comes out and knocks Page into the crowd. He is in hot pursuit and drops Page’s throat first on the guardrail. They work through the people and Savage sends him flying. Page recovers and shoves Savage into a brick wall and pushes him through a set of doors. He grabs a crutch and hits Savage in the midsection with it and breaks it over his back. They start working their way back to the ring and Page throws him into a steel rail by a set of fans. They fight back to ringside and Savage throws him into the stairs. Savage jumps in the ring and Page follows him, although slowly. Elizabeth hands Savage some kind of powder and he throws it in Page’s face. He breaks something over his head, but both men fall to the mat. Savage is back up and kicks Page in the injured rib area and pulls the tape he had on, off. Savage continues to stomp on Page as the fans chant for Sting. The referee tries to get Savage to stop, but Savage punches him and hits him with a Piledriver. Yes, the referee. Page tries to fight back, but Savage is unrelenting.
Page finally makes his way back to his feet and takes Savage down to the mat. Savage is immediately back to his feet, though, and continues staying on the offensive. Another referee makes his way down to the ring, but Savage just tosses him to the floor. That allows Page to get a second wind and throws Savage into the corner, but is quickly taken out with a clothesline. Savage throws Page to the outside and he grabs Kimberly by the hair. A third referee comes out and stops Savage from hitting Kimberly. Savage chases Page back the aisleway and they are by the entrance at this point. Savage throws Page into a VIP area and all the people that were there scatter. Page hits Savage with a prop and it just crushes over his head. He brings Savage up on the platform and slams him through a picnic table. He picks up the grill and slams Savage with that as well. Page tells the referee to get away and starts choking Savage with his own shirt. They work their way back to ringside and Page throws Savage onto the ramp. They get back to the ring and Page continues to beat on Savage in the corner. He slides to the outside and grabs Savage by the legs and crotches him on the ring post. Page brings him to the center of the ring and hits a Flapjack and signals for the Diamond Cutter. Savage counters and hits a jawbreaker and it sends Page to the outside. Savage is out behind him and throws him into the stairs before pulling up the mat and attempting to Piledrive him on the concrete. Nick Patrick stops him which prompts Savage to take him out. Savage starts beating up a photographer, but Page uses this to get to his feet and cracks him in the head with a chair. Page goes for the Diamond Cutter again, but Savage hits a low blow. Page reverses a slam and hits The Diamond Cutter, but there is no referee. Scott Hall runs out to the ring and just as the referee is making the count, Hall stomps on him. Page takes Hall out, but Savage hits him from behind with The Tag Team Belt. Hall hits Page with The Outsiders Edge and Savage hits The Flying Elbow. He covers Page and picks up the win after 16:56.
Winner: “Macho Man” Randy Savage
Match Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: That was a wild ass brawl that went all over the arena. Savage played a loose cannon so well and literally hit anyone that came around him. Page put up a hell of a fight and, even in defeat, proved that he was a main event player. This match also had that “big match” feel to it, which WCW main events were lacking at the time. When Page finally hit The Diamond Cutter, the place exploded. He was so over around this time. Page losing the way he did with the run in just made him look that much stronger. It was a very good way to end the show and I actually think I might have enjoyed this match over the one at Spring Stampede.
After the match, Tony thanks everyone and the show is over. Like, right after the pinfall. They were definitely up against the time.
Overall Show Rating: 6.25 out of 10
This show was awesome in spots, and average in spots. I think it holds up well as these years later, but they’re definitely some booking decisions that make you scratch your head. I thought the main event was booked perfectly. Page and Savage went all over the arena and made it feel like a fight. I also thought that the opening Cruiserweight Match was a stand out for sure, but it definitely lulled in the middle. I don’t need to see Glacier against either of these two goons again, but sadly, there is probably more to come. The women’s match was odd and even though I liked this one a tad more, we have seen it about 7 times this year alone. I wasn’t as much of a fan of the Kevin Green vs. Steve McMichael match as I wanted to be, but it was serviceable. The Piper and Flair dynamic that came from this show is probably the most interesting one moving forward. I am sure those two will be clashing soon enough. It’s on to Bash at the Beach! On a side note, I will also be covering The Nitro where Luger uses his opportunity and faces Hogan for the title. It’s one of my favorite moments of all time and I think we will have a blast reliving it.
What did you think of WCW The Great American Bash 1997? Loved it? Hated it? You thought The WWE incarnation was better? Either way, hit me up @collectiveheel on Twitter and let me know your thoughts. While you are there, be sure to check out my podcast network, The Heel Turn Collective. We have shows twice and week, including an AEW show we drop every Saturday. Take care of yourself and keep an eye on each other. I will be back soon enough with some more Collective Thoughts.