Welcome back to the TJRwrestling retro reviews where we are breaking down every WCW Pay-Per-View during the “Monday Night War” era. We are coming off Slamboree, which saw Kevin Nash become WCW World Heavyweight Champion once again after beating Diamond Dallas Page.
The match was solid, and about what you would have expected out of the two. The show was also lacking in a lot of departments and aside from a few stand-out moments, it was a forgettable show. You can read my complete thoughts on that show and every WCW show we have covered here. We are now on to the summer tradition for WCW in the form of the Great American Bash. Is it a show that won’t make me want to tear my hair out? Let’s find out!
WCW Great American Bash
June 13th, 1999
Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Maryland
The show starts with a limo pulling up the building and Master P and his guys get out. They are cut off by Curt Hennig who tells him he is a big fan and wants him to sign a CD for him. Master P gives it to Hennig and he crushes it in his hands which causes everyone to chase him away.
There is a package showcasing the main event for the night which is Kevin Nash defending the WCW World Heavyweight Title against “Macho Man” Randy Savage. They have been playing mind games with each other leading up to this event and this will be the blowoff moment.
We are inside of the arena and are joined by the announce team of Tony Schiavone, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and Mike Tenay. They talk about the condition of Kevin Nash coming into the night because of an attack by Savage on Nitro. Schiavone brings up Master P and they all take turns kissing a little ass while promoting whatever he has going on. They send it to a package that has something on every match on the show before sending it down to the ring for the first match of the night.
Kendo Stick Match
Brian Knobs (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Hak (w/ Chastity)
These two have been at the top of the WCW Hardcore Division since they started having these types of matches. Jimmy Hart probably never thought he would have been part of something like this. Knobs grabs a mic and he runs down the crowd before saying that he is going to destroy Hak tonight.
Hak climbs in the ring and Knobs smashes him with a trash can shot to the head. He lays Hak out with it again and he falls to the mat. Jimmy Hart throws the lid of the can into the ring and Knobs smashes Hak across the head with it. He put Hak in the corner and hits him with Pity City. He continues to use the can before he grabs a chair and charges in, but Hak gets the feet to the face. He smashes Knobs against the chair that is laying on the mat. Hak grabs the can and hits Knobs in the back of the head with it. Hak goes to the outside and grabs a ladder from underneath the ring and throws it in. Hak slides back in, but Knobs is waiting and hits him with the can. Hak fights back and hits a leg drop on Knobs and the ladder. He works Knobs over to the ladder and sandwiches his leg in it while smashing it with a chair. Knobs recovers and punches Hak before sending him into the ladder propped up in the corner. Knobs continues with the headshots with the can lid. He grabs the ladder and hits Hak with it. Knobs tries to send him into the ladder again only this time Hak sends Knobs flying into it. Hak comes off the top with a somersault but comes up empty. Knobs continues to keep Hak grounded and tries to send him into a chair that Jimmy Hart is holding, but Hak reverses it and sends Knobs flying into the chair instead. He covers him and picks up the win after 5:41.
Match Rating: 1/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This was a short match, but a wild one to get the crowd into it. They hit each other with everything but the proverbial kitchen sink. It was alright, but it was clearly a way for WCW to stay relevant by having matches like this.
After the match, Hugh Morrus comes out and assists in beating Hak up some more. He hits No Laughing Matter on Hak and a ladder. Chastity tries to get the referee to get some help from the back as they go to the replays.
They go backstage where Piper is being stopped by Buff Bagwell in the hallway. Bagwell says he has Piper’s back tonight in his match with Ric Flair. Bagwell leaves and Piper walks away annoyed.
Mikey Whipwreck vs. Van Hammer
Whipwreck came into the company hot and got a shot at the WCW Cruiserweight Title on his first PPV with the company. He hasn’t done much since then and Van Hammer is sporting a new look than he has been for the past couple of years.
Hammer works Whipwreck into the corner before bringing him out and pushing him down to the mat. Whipwreck gets an arm drag in, but he is quickly taken out with a backbreaker from Hammer. He picks Whipwreck up and slams him back-first into the corner before dropping an elbow down across the chest. Whipwreck starts to fight back, but it’s short-lived and he is taken down again. Hammer puts him up in the corner and throws him off the top into the ring. He throws him hard into the corner and there is a loud “boring” chant throughout the arena. He puts Whipwreck back on the top and hits a Delayed Superplex, which was kind of insane to see. He drops a leg on Whipwreck, but he gets a shoulder up. Hammer puts him in an Abdominal Stretch and uses the ropes for leverage. The referee finally catches him and knocks his hand off the ropes which allows Whipwreck to flip him over. He kicks Hammer and tries a backslide, but obviously, he gets overpowered. Hammer sends him to the outside and Whipwreck crashes to the floor. He grabs the stairs at ringside and climbs up them with Whipwreck in his arms and drops him across the railing. That looked dangerous as hell because Hammer’s feet were not square. Whipwreck sends Hammer into the railing as he comes back out and hits a leg drop on him across the ropes. Back in the ring, Whipwreck climbs up top and hits a splash for a two-count. He climbs back up the other side and comes flying off, only this time he is caught and dropped. Hammer drops the straps on his singlet and hits The Cobra Clutch Slam to win after 8:35.
Winner: Van Hammer
Match Rating: DUD
Collective Thoughts: There was absolutely no heat to this match, which shouldn’t be shocking since it was thrown on at the last minute. Hammer should have dominated this match, which should have been on Nitro, and been under 5 minutes. Whipwreck tried to get some offense in, but this was essentially an 8-minute squash match.
Disco Inferno vs. Buff Bagwell
Both of these guys have had stints in the NWO in some capacity and have been at odds since they both were kicked out. This match was a present from Piper which Bagwell is in cahoots with.
They lock up and Bagwell starts off on the offensive with a kick to the midsection. Disco comes back quickly, though, with a Swinging Neckbreaker. Bagwell goes to the outside to regroup as Disco looks on from the ring. Bagwell kicks him again and hits a Swinging Neckbreaker of his own. Bagwell starts working on the arm of Disco before hitting an elbow on Disco and teasing a Buff Blockbuster, but Disco rolls out of the ring. Bagwell gives Disco the finger as they get back in the ring, but is soon dropped on the top rope. Disco hits a clothesline right after and sends Bagwell to the apron with an Atomic Drop. Disco chokes him with his boots and starts choking him on the second rope. He stomps on Bagwell in the corner and lays him in the middle of the ring for a knee drop from the top rope. Disco covers him for a two-count. Disco hits a scoop slam and comes off the ropes again, but this time Bagwell moves out of the way. He pounds on Disco in the corner and he falls down to the mat. Bagwell starts to climb up top, but Disco knocks him off the top by hitting the ropes. Disco follows him to the outside and hits The Last Dance, but they are on the floor. Bagwell is laid out and the referee starts to count him out. He beats the count at nine and Disco tries a Piledriver, but Bagwell sends him down to the mat. He hits a flurry of offense before seeing Disco into the ropes and hitting a dropkick. He hits a Powerslam and hits The Blockbuster to pick up the win after 10:33.
Winner: Buff Bagwell
Match Rating: 2/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This was a solid match from both guys, but nothing really stood out. Bagwell was clearly the babyface in the match and the crowd was behind him for most of it. With him playing such a close role with Piper, it makes sense that he won this match. A lot of back and forth, and it was the best match on the show so far.
Curt Hennig & Bobby Duncum Jr. vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. & Konnan
Hennig and Duncum are part of a group called The West Texas Rednecks with their hit single “Rap is Crap”. This was actually pretty entertaining at moments and it was a memorable feud for WCW in their later years. Master P and The No Limit Soldiers are at ringside.
Konnan and Mysterio start off on the offensive by hitting Duncum and Hennig from behind. Mysterio hits dropkicks on both men and they go to the outside. Konnan goes after Hennig and sends him into the railing before order happens and Duncum and Konnan are back in the ring. Konnan drops him down with a bulldog and tags in Mysterio, who comes in and wipes out both men with dropkicks. Duncum catches him coming back in, though and drops him down with a Powerbomb. Hennig tags in and drops Mysterio down to the mat again. He works him into the corner and hits a chop across the chest. Both men exchange tags to keep Mysterio isolated to their corner. Duncum hits a Sidewalk Slam and eggs Konnan on, which brings him in the ring, and allows them to double-team Mysterio. Mysterio starts to make a comeback, but Hennig takes him down with a dropkick. He drags Mysterio out of the corner and hits an Atomic Drop.
Duncum crotches Mysterio with the post as Konnan comes around to confront him. Hennig hits a high knee on Mysterio before going for a pinfall, but Konnan comes in to break it up. He chokes Mysterio on the bottom rope and tags Duncum back into the match. Mysterio scurries under his legs and he makes a tag to Konnan. He comes in and starts working on Duncum, but the referee sends Konnan back out because he didn’t see the tag. Classic. Mysterio finally makes a comeback and gets enough to make the tag to Konnan. He hits Duncum with a Facebuster and they start double-teaming. Mysterio hits a Bronco Buster on Duncum while Konnan and Hennig are going at it. Barry Windham comes out of the crowd and attacks Konnan from behind. That sends Big Swole from Master P’s crew into the ring and he hits Duncum. That allows Mysterio to roll him up and pick up the win after 10:44.
Winner(s) : Rey Mysterio Jr. & Konnan
Match Rating: 2/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This was an entertaining match that had a lot going on. Obviously, the whole feud was based around country vs. rap. I thought everyone did well and Mysterio picking up the win for his team was huge. I didn’t think it overstayed its welcome and seemed to be the right amount of time. They were looking to get Master P and his crew involved in a big way.
After the match, Hennig, Duncum, and Windham hogtie both Mysterio and Konnan. and beat on them some more.
The announcers cover for time and look at replays from the match again.
Ernest “The Cat” Miller (w/ Sonny Onoo) vs. Horace Hogan
Horace Hogan comes down to the ring in place of Scott Norton and he has a microphone. He said that Miller hit him in the head on Nitro with a crowbar and there is nothing he would rather do than kick the crap out of him right now.
He gets in the ring and they start both men start exchanging blows. Hogan takes control of the match with a shoulder block and a punch to the head of Miller. He sends him to the outside of the ring and hits a chop to the chest. He rolls him back in the ring, but he is met with a kick to the face. Miller takes advantage and hits Horace with some shots to the head. He picks Hogan up and slams him down. Miller has some words with the referee before he sends Hogan to the outside. Onoo starts to kick him in the back and the distraction allows Miller to stay on the offense. He sends Hogan into the railing at ringside and gets in the ring to break the count. He comes back out and both men hit each other before Hogan rolls him back in the ring. He hits a scoop slam and an elbow drop for a two-count. Miller hits a low blow as he gets up off the mat and starts calling for Scott Norton to come out. Hogan reverses a whip into the ropes and wipes Miller out with a kick to the face. Onoo gets on the apron for the distraction, but Hogan sends Miller flying into him. On the outside, Onoo puts a shoe on Miller’s foot and he comes back in to kick Hogan and pick up the win after 5:10.
Winner: Ernest Miller
Match Rating: DUD
Collective Thoughts: This match had absolutely no heat to it. It was scheduled to be Miller vs. Scott Norton, but for some reason never revealed, Horace Hogan took his spot. They had a match, and it was quick, which was probably the best thing about it.
The next package is for the showdown coming up next between Ric Flair & Roddy Piper. The winner of the match will win the presidency of WCW.
“Nature Boy” Ric Flair (w/ Arn Anderson & Asya) vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
The bell sounds and Flair quickly gets him in the corner for some chop across the chest. Piper reverses course and hits some chops of his own. He pounds on Flair in the corner and goes for another blow, but Flair falls to the mat. Piper hits some more chops and gets a thumb to the eye. He punches Flair in the corner, but the referee stops him from doing it a third time which allows Flair to get an eye rake. Flair slides to the outside as Piper is getting the people fired up in the building. He gets back in the ring and is taken down by some more rights and lefts from Piper. He comes in to try and capitalize, but Flair hits a low blow. He sends Piper to the outside and Anderson is out there nailing Piper across the head with some stiff shots. He rolls Piper back into the ring and Flair starts working on him in the ropes. Flair comes off the ropes and hits another low blow on Piper. Flair comes back around, but Piper nearly pulls his tights off. Flair runs around the ring and climbs up top, but is thrown off. Piper hits some clothesline and knocks Flair back down to the mat. Flair comes back with a thumb to the eye, but Piper is right back with some shots of his own. He rolls Flair up for a two-count. Piper sends Flair into the ropes and locks him in the Sleeper. Flair is starting to fade away but has enough to send Piper into the ropes and he breaks the hold. Anderson gets on the apron to distract the referee which allows Flair to grab something from his boot and hit Piper with it. He covers Piper, but he gets the shoulder up. Flair gets him in The Figure Four and Anderson helps him for more leverage. That sends Bagwell out who takes out Anderson and gets in the ring with Flair. Bagwell continues to hit Flair and the match is thrown out. Piper hits Bagwell from behind, but Bagwell comes back and takes him out. Anderson jumps in the ring and hits a Spinebuster on Bagwell as the bell continues to toll. They triple team Bagwell and lay him out. The whole match went 8:16.
Winner by DQ: Ric Flair
Match Rating: 1.5/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This started off as a solid match from two guys who were no strangers to being in a big spot. All of Piper’s offense looked really good and Flair worked well from underneath. I wasn’t a huge fan of the finish, and that kind of brought things down for me. We have seen these guys go at it before and have been in better matches. I didn’t hate this as much as some others did, though, that’s for sure.
After Flair and Asya leave, Piper continues to beat Bagwell with a belt.
Falls Count Anywhere Match
Rick Steiner vs. Sting
Steiner is the current WCW Television Champion and in the midst of his first serious singles run. He has recently reunited with his brother Scott, but he is still being featured as a singles star. Sting brings a lot of veteran star power to the match. This is the same arena where he won his first World Title in 1990. This is a non-title match.
Sting comes in and starts attacking Steiner as soon as the bell sounds. He hit some shots to the head and throws him out of the ring. Sting jumps out as well and they start going at it each other. Steiner throws Sting into the railing and rolls him back in the ring. He works him into the ropes and punches him in the corner. Steiner continues to try and stay on offense, but Sting comes back with some shots of his own and they are on the outside of the ring again. He drops Steiner into the crowd over the railing and he comes out after him. Steiner comes back and hits Sting with a bottle of water. He hits Sting with a chair, but Sting hits him in the face with a drink. He throws him into the railing and chokes him with a cable from the cameras. He throws Steiner into the railing and tries to hit a Stinger Splash, but Steiner gets out of the way. He pulls up the mat and exposes the concrete before hitting Sting with a Piledriver on it. He rolls him back into the ring and hits a German Suplex. He covers Sting for a two-count.
Steiner continues to pound on Sting and pulls on his face. He gets Sting around the neck and starts to wear him down to the mat. He starts to work on the back and drops an elbow. He goes to the well one too many times, though, and Sting gets his knees up. He hits two Vader Bombs on Steiner and comes off the top with a big splash. Steiner comes back with a low blow and Sting goes into the corner. Steiner shoves the referee away and he starts to work on the back of Sting once again. Sting comes back and fights out before knocking Steiner down with a shot to the head. He sends him into the corner and hits a couple of Stinger Splashes. He pulls him out and puts him in The Scorpian Death Lock. Steiner gets to the ropes and he has to break the hold. Steiner gets out of the ring and Sting is hot on his trail. They fight all the way up the aisleway and Sting suplexes Steiner on the ramp. They fight over the internet location and go all the way to the back. Tank Abbott & Scott Steiner are backstage waiting for Sting and they get two dogs to attack him. Scott brings out another one as security runs down to break it up. They cut off the video and the crowd is chanting “bullshit”. The Steiners and a referee come out to the ring. Scott tells the referee to announce Rick as the winner and he does. The whole thing went 10:35.
Winner: Rick Steiner
Match Rating: 1/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This was a solid match for the most part, but that ending straight-up sucked. Scott getting dogs to attack Sting was kind of hokey and Sting clearly had something in his hand to help out with it. It was just wack. Rick picked up the win, though, and it’s still a good way to get him over. This is the kind of booking we had come to expect from WCW around this time.
WCW Tag Team Title Match
Chris Benoit & Perry Saturn (c) vs. The Jersey Triad (Diamond Dallas Page & Kanyon) (w/ Bam Bam Bigelow)
Raven was scheduled to be in the match, but he is recovering from injuries suffered at the hands of Page and Bigelow. The titles have changed hands between these two teams over the last couple of weeks. Page was in the World Title picture last month and is now in the Tag Team Title picture.
Kanyon and Benoit start the match for their teams. They exchange some offense before Benoit knocks Kanyon down to the mat. Kanyon works Benoit into the corner after regrouping and hits some high knees to the midsection. Benoit is quickly back on the offensive and hits some stiff chops to the chest. He sends Kanyon out of the ring, and The Triad regroup on the outside. Page tags into the match and Saturn does as well. Saturn takes him down to the mat with a clothesline and hits a leg drop off the second rope. All four men are now in the ring with Benoit slamming Page down to the mat and Saturn sending Kanyon to the floor. Saturn and Benoit meet them outside of the ring and all four men are fighting in the ring again. Saturn and Benoit hit stereo suplexes as Benoit continues to beat on Page. He goes to the ropes, but Bigelow grabs the foot which allows Page to take advantage and he knocks Benoit down. Page drops an elbow to the lower part of Benoit. Page hits him with a short-arm clothesline and tags Kanyon back into the match. He works Benoit over to the ropes and drops him down with a facebuster off the top. Kanyon gets Benoit into their corner and both men take turns laying the boots to him. Page sends Benoit into the corner and hits a suplex as he comes back out. Saturn gets in the ring and tries to break it up, but the referee keeps him out. It allows Benoit to recover and he starts to have a comeback on Page but is stopped in his tracks with a low blow. Kanyon tags in the match and comes off the top with a Moonsault, but comes up empty. Benoit gets to the corner and tags in Saturn who comes in and suplexes everyone in the ring.
He climbs up top and comes off with a splash on Page for a two-count. Saturn continues to work on Page in the corner as Benoit is tied up with the referee. Kanyon gets Saturn on his shoulder and slams him down to the mat. Kanyon tags back into the match and he continues to beat up Saturn who is down on the mat. He sends him flying over the top as Bigelow and Page pick up the pieces. Kanyon covers Saturn as he comes back in for a two-count. Page is back in and hits Saturn with an elbow and covers him for another near fall. Kanyon tags in and he knocks Benoit off the apron before dropping a leg on Saturn. He sends him into the ropes and Saturn flips over for a Sunset Flip, but Page tags in and comes off the top rope to break it up. That was nice. They exchange tags and keep Saturn in their corner. Page comes off the top with a splash. He continues to pound on Saturn in the corner, but Saturn fights out before being taken down by Kanyon and Page. Kanyon hits Saturn with a big move and Page comes back in to cover him for a two-count. Saturn starts to fight towards his corner and makes a tag on Benoit, but the referee is distracted and sends him back out. Page pounds on Saturn in the corner and sends him to the other side, but Saturn moves out of the way as Page charges in. Saturn gets to his corner and both men do. Benoit comes in and drops Kanyon before going after Page. He sends both men into the same corner and they smash into each other. Benoit covers Kanyon for a near fall. Benoit goes for a suplex, but Kanyon falls behind him. Bigelow gets knocked off the apron and Benoit hits Kanyon with three German Suplexes. Benoit signals for the end and hits a Dragon Suplex for a very close two-count. Saturn and Benoit both go up top. Benoit hits a Diving Headbutt on Kanyon, but on the other side, Page hits Saturn with a Diamond Cutter. Dean Malenko comes down to the ring to check on Saturn. As he is doing that, The Triad hit Benoit with a Super Diamond Cutter behind the referees back and they win the titles after 19:13.
Winner(s) and NEW WCW Tag Team Champions: Diamond Dallas Page & Kanyon
Match Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This was a very good tag team match that had some big-name talent in it. Benoit and Saturn worked well together for a thrown-together team, but Page and Kanyon were the standouts here. They kept both men isolated to their corner for most of the match and it was a solid tag team match. Page was a main-eventer just a month prior, so adding his name to this only made it feel bigger.
After the match, Page lays out Malenko and Saturn with Diamond Cutters.
It’s time for the main event.
WCW World Heavyweight Title Match
Kevin Nash (c) vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/ Gorgeous George, Miss Madness, & Madusa)
Nash is not 100% after being smashed in his limo on the last episode of Nitro. That was the ongoing theme of the entire episode of Nitro and the questions remained going into this match.
Nash lifts a knee to the midsection of Savage to start things off and takes him down with an elbow to the head. Nash smashes him in the corner and he hits some shots to the head. Nash hits elbows in the corner and sizes Savage up. He sends Savage in to the corner and comes in with a clothesline. He sends him into the corner again and hits a Sidewalk Slam as he comes out. Nash is favoring the knee at this point and Savage starts to build some momentum. Savage starts to kick the injured ribs of Nash and continues to try and keep him grounded. Savage clotheslines Nash over the top rope and he falls to the floor. Savage throws Nash into the railing at ringside and Madusa gets a kick in as well. Savage brings him up on the apron and knocks him right back down onto the floor. Madusa gets some more kicks in as Nash rolls slowly back into the ring. Savage knocks him down to the mat with a shot to the head and stomps on the ribs. Savage hits some right hands into the head of Nash and chokes him in the corner with his boot. Nash hits a low blow to send him off but he is hit with a dropkick off the top from Miss Madness. Savage hits The Savage Elbow off the top, but Nash gets his shoulder up. Savage continues to pound on Nash and both men start hitting each other. Nash drops Savage with Snake Eyes and hits a Big Boot to the face. He hits the Jackknife Powerbomb, but the ladies get in the ring and start hitting Nash. Miss Madness comes off the top again only this time she is caught and dropped with Snake Eyes. As Nash turns around he is met with a boot from a returning Sid Vicious. The match is thrown out as Sid hits a Powerbomb on Nash again. This went 7:29.
Winner and STILL WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Kevin Nash
Match Rating: 1/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This was short for a title match, but they were playing into Nash’s injury. Both men hit their usual spots and the crowd was into it for the most part. Savage’s entourage of women got involved in this one, and it was the first time I had seen men and women interacting in a physical manner in a while. Nash took everyone on, but ultimately Sid came in and the match was thrown out. He was coming off a run with the WWF and still had some name power around this time. Sid would be in the main event picture right away and by the end of this match, had his sights set on Nash and the title.
After the match, Sid helps Savage to the back as Nash is proclaimed the champion. The show fades to black with Sid and Savage looking back at the ring.
Overall Show Rating: 4.5 out of 10
I thought the show was a step below the previous outing, which is saying a lot and there were a lot of matches here that should have been on Nitro. Whipwreck vs. Van Hammer had no heat to it with the fans even chanting boring and a few other matches suffered the same fate. This was when the Austin-era was fully in effect and you could see the WCW product starting to dip, especially with scenes like the dogs attacking Sting. That kind of stuff is just too hokey for me. I thought The Tag Team Title match was pretty solid, but other than that, there were few bright spots on this show as a whole.
What did you think of the Great American Bash 1999? Loved it? Hated it? You wanted Savage to win the title? Either way, keep the conversation going over @collectiveheel on Twitter to let me know your thoughts. Take care of yourselves, and each other. I will be back soon enough for some more Collective Thoughts.