At Odds with Wrestling Homework: Great American Bash 1991

It’s time once again to watch a classic wrestling show from yester-year and give a modern day reaction to the action. Each and every week without a major pay per view, Adam and Joe of the At Odds with Wrestling podcast assign each other and obsessed listeners like myself a wrestling homework assignment. This past week Adam suggested the infamous WCW PPV, the Great American Bash. Live from Baltimore,MD with Jim Ross and Tony Schiavonnie calling the action. 

Nice opener of a POV camera walking through the parking lot and into the arena. A bit staged but people do look excited for the evening. 

PN News and Bobby Eaton vs Stunning Steve Austin (with Lady Blossom) and Terrance Taylor in a Scaffold Match. 

Night of the Skywalkers 2! There are some great camera angles for this match that really shows the danger and the lack of room to maneuver. These angles work for the height of this match but don’t have the same effect for some later matches. The camera decisions are all over the place. In the steel cage match I would have preferred this overhead shot more often but instead most of the match is a hard camera at a distance. 

As someone who has loudly complained about NXT 2.GLOW throwing inexperienced people into gimmick matches, it’s nice to see this isn’t a new concept. Why is PN News here? “The rap master!” I haven’t watched a ton of scaffold matches, and honestly there aren’t that many in wrestling history, so the psychology and safety was fascinating to see. The object of the match is to remove your opponents from the scaffold, crashing down to the mat, or capture their flag. PN News climbs over Taylor to get to the heel side. News and Austin fight on one side, Eaton and Taylor on the other. Both flags are red, which I feel like they should be different colors to make it clear which side it came from. Bobby grabs the heel flag, casually walks over to his side, and decides he missed a spot. He comes back to the heel side so Lady Blossom can hand hairspray to Austin which he uses to blind the faces. Everyone starts to climb down from the scaffolding. The referee finally announces that Eaton and News won as they all fight on the canvas. 

What an oddly booked match, and I’m sure the only one of the night. 

Tons of people come out to take down the scaffolding. Look at Tony’s hair! Eric Bischoff interviews Paul E Dangerously and Arn Anderson. Back to Tony and JR. 

The Diamond Studd (with Diamond Dallas Page) vs the Z-Man. 

A girl comes to the ring to strip the Studd. So much of Razor is already here. Z-Man comes out with many women for some reason. Z-Man starts the match hot, diving over the top onto Studd and Page. Page pulls the top rope down and Z-Man crashes to the floor. Z-Man beats up Page. Studd hits a belly to back suplex for the win. Other stuff happened too but I’m not giving play-by plays for these matches. Tony calls Studd’s move the “throat slam” and I have to say I prefer the name chokeslam. Not a bad match. 

JR and Tony again. 

Oz (with the Great Wizard) vs Ron Simmons. 

I have a feeling Adam will ask Joe who portrayed the Great Wizard so I’m not bothering to look it up. The scaffold match camera is back. Lots of potential in this Oz. I hope he goes places. The Wizard gets a cheap shot. Wizard is up on the apron which usually goes a certain way but instead Ron Simmons gets the pin. Simmons hits some shoulder blocks and a shoulder tackle to get the win while I’m looking over at the Wizard expecting him to interfere. 

JR and Tony again, and they tell us the WCW Top 10. 

Robert Gibson vs Richard Morton (with Alexandra York). 

The fight starts hot right on the ramp and this was really good. Good story, good action. I really think they put their all into this feud. Morton rips apart Gibson’s tights to expose and attack the injured knee. There is a long figure four spot but they both stay moving, with Morton cranking the leg and Gibson selling it. York distracts the referee allowing Morton to come off the top with the computer and get the pin. Best match so far. 

Eric Bischoff interviews Dustin Rhodes and the Young Pistols. 

The Fabulous Freebirds and Badstreet vs Dustin Rhodes and the Young Pistols in a six man elimination tag team match. 

The match starts and I’m thinking it’s just a good time. A goofy house show match having fun and popping each other. Then I realize it’s an elimination match and this gets old real fast. It’s not even a good elimination match! There is never a man advantage for either team. Once one person is pinned, their counter is immediately eliminated as well. Dustin pins Badstreet for the final fall but this match had so much potential and instead is a phoned in and rushed mess. 

JR and Tony again. 

The Yellow Dog vs Johnny B Badd (with Teddy Long).

The Yellow Dog is not Brian Pillman despite JR calling him such. Yellow Dog Jr has ruined two of his chocolate bunnies through the years and it takes one minute for his dad to do the same. Yellow Dog calls his opponent Johnny B Gay and leads the fans in a faggot chant. Ah, wrestling. Badd does a good job despite being fresh to wrestling. There’s a bounty on the mask? For how much. Long jumps on Dog to remove the mask and thus the Yellow Dog wins by DQ. 

Eric Bischoff tries to interview Missy Hyatt in the shower. I take notes. 

Big Josh vs Blackblood in a Lumberjack match. 

Josh comes out with a bunch of women. Blackblood is supposed to be with Kevin Sullivan, but he is nowhere to be found. Blackblood is Billy Jack Haynes and Josh is Doink. Wow. Tony and JR don’t approve of the heel lumberjacks. “You don’t beat him up and then throw him back in!” I do like the log roll move. I could see a crowd popping today. The lumberjacks all fight. The referee tries to gain control of the ‘jacks and ignores the actual combatants in the ring. Dustin hits Blackblood with an ax handle allowing Josh to roll him up for the pin. 

JR and Tony again. 

One Man Gang (with Kevin Sullivan) vs El Gigante (with a bunch of little people). 

Gang and Sullivan with their Hook hair. Eric Bischoff interviews Sullivan ringside. I enjoyed watching One Man Gang here. He seems like he just loves his job. Gang attacks Gigante with a wrench and watching Gang and Sullivan pass and hide the wrench is one of the best moves of the night. Gigante suplexes Gang like he weighs 100 pounds. Gigante kicks a salt pack into Gang’s face, then hits a clothesline and pins Gang. El Gigante is clueless but Gang and Sullivan carry him to a passable match. 

More with JR and Tony, and they review the Sting and Nikita Koloff feud. 

Nikita Koloff vs Sting in a Russian Chain match. 

An aggressive Sting from the start. The pre match highlights works and Sting’s rage makes so much sense. Nikita chokes Sting with the chain. Koloff touches the turnbuckles with his head so he doesn’t have to lose his grip on Sting. Very even back and forth match. The two men grapple into the corners, with both men getting points for touching the corners. Both wrestlers are down after taking nut shots and they both dive for the third corner. Sting dives onto Nikita, which pushes Koloff into the fourth corner and gives him the win. Koloff attacks Sting after the match but the Stinger hulks up. This was the match of the night and really brilliant psychology for a chain match. 

JR and Tony again with a Barry Windham video. 

Barry Windham vs Lex Luger for the vacant WCW title in a Steel Cage match. 

This cage seems short. The camera angles don’t help either. The scaffold was so high and the cage so low. Putting both matches on one card wasn’t a good idea from the start. Windham misses a huge elbow off the top. Harley Race and Mr Hughes come out and align themselves with Luger. Lex hits a piledriver for the win. Nothing against either man, and I’ve grown a new appreciation for Lex’s work in recent years, but this match fell flat. I don’t know if it was rushed, if there were other things going on, or if it was because this was supposed to be Flair. Something felt off this entire match and both guys seemed relieved when it was over. 

Arn Anderson and Paul E Dangerously vs Rick Steiner and Missy Hyatt in a Steel Cage. 

Not blonde hair but still a height of her powers Hyatt. Looks beautiful and I can’t wait to see more of her. Then Murdoch and Slater – the Hardliners – come out to drop her on her head and carry her away. The actual match is way too fast. Rick hits a Steiner line on Paul E for the pin. Steiner just gets up and leaves. No celebration, no nothing. This whole thing was maybe three minutes. Did something else go long? 

JR and Tony close up shop. 

Too many DQ’s. Too many gimmick matches. Lots of extra unnecessary people. The card could have been cut in half and then the remaining matches would have time to breathe. A lot of time was spent tearing down the scaffolding and setting up the cage. Two big concept gimmick matches like these shouldn’t be on the same show. Not the worst show I’ve ever watched though. I could enjoy it as a snapshot of it’s time. 

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