Written By: Matt Peddycord
WCW The Great American Bash
June 18, 1995
The current WCW champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: Hulk Hogan (7/17/1994)
WCW U.S. Champion: vacant (3/25/1995)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Nasty Boys (5/21/1995)
WCW World Television Champion: Arn Anderson (1/8/1995)
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & Bobby Heenan.
Brian Pillman vs. Alex Wright
Brian Pillman returns to PPV! It couldn’t happen at a better time. We’re in Ohio, so the crowd is 100% behind Pillman. Pillman’s still a babyface at this point. Of course Alex Wright is too. They get a little fancy flipping around while they trade armbars to start. Pillman ends all that with a headscissors and a handshake, drawing boos from the crowd. This crowd wants GERMAN NAZI BLOOD! Pillman hits a nice headscissors out of the corner and drives Wright to the mat with an armbar. Wright comes back with a old school headscissors takedown. Pillman catches a kick and flips Wright over so he lands on his feet. Wright tries to set up an enziguri, but Pillman ducks and applies a bow-and-arrow. Pillman delivers a nice tilt-a-whirl headscissors, but gets his dropkick swatted away for a Boston crab. Wright tries to change over to a surfboard, but he can’t pull Pillman back and nearly pulls his arms out of the sockets. Wright gets a bunch of nearfalls on Pillman with rollups until Pillman has enough and SLAPS him back. Now Pillman gets dumped off a hammerlock. When Wright sits down on the middle rope and waves him back in the ring, Pillman slowly walks up the ring steps and drags Wright to the floor for some sick chops! Awesome! Back in, they exchange blows with Wright getting the best of Pillman with a face slam. Splash by Wright hits knees as Pillman takes Wright to the corner for some more chops. Pillman takes him back to the mat with a chinlock/body scissors. Big gutbuster from Pillman gets two. Pillman hangs him out to dry on the top rope and tries to bring him in with a suplex, but Wright reverses into a suplex to the floor! Wright delivers the baseball slide and running tope combo. Back in again, Wright hits a Missile Dropkick for 1-2-NO! Pillman returns the favor to Wright by dumping him out for a suicide dive. That turned out well for Pillman, but now he misses a dive to the guardrail for his chest-first bump. Back to the ring, Wright whiffs on a flying bodypress. Both simultaneously attempt dropkicks with nothing connecting. Wright throws off a superplex and connects and gets the flying bodypress after all for 1-2-NO! Now Wright whips Pillman off the ropes a couple times only to have him collapse to the mat every time to signify how “out of it” he is. Oh this is going to be good. Wright heads to the top and comes down only to meet a dropkick to the face from Pillman! YES! Cover, 1-2-NO! Pillman goes up, but gets launched crotch-first on the top rope. They do a couple waistlock switches, but it’s Alex Wright who gets the BRIDGING GERMAN SUPLEX for 1-2-NO! Pillman tries that crucifix into a sunset flip, but Wright stands strong and folds Pillman up for the 1-2-3! (15:26) One of the better PPV openers for WCW in forever. They hug afterwards, but it wouldn’t be long before Pillman would turn heel again. ***¼
Diamond Dallas Page (w/The Diamond Doll & Maxx Muscle) vs. EVAD Sullivan (w/Ralph the RABBIT!) – Arm Wrestling Match
If DDP wins, Evad’s rabbit becomes stew. If Evad wins, he gets a date with Kimberly Page. Lately in DDP’s arm wrestling matches, he’s had an unfair advantage with Maxx Muscle giving him some leverage every now and then to keep on winning. Yeahhhhhhh. DDP gives Evad a chance to leave like all good heels do when they have to face a retard or an old man. The mentally handicapped man gets all excited and that could mean trouble! Okay, they lock up and it’s your typical back and forth worked arm wrestling match. Maxx Muscle helps out with some leverage and all that. Kimberly gets in the way and Maxx Muscle bumps into Page as he tries not to bump into Kimberly, which causes Evad to put Page’s arm down for the win. Oh, what EXCITEMENT! Now Kimberly’s has to go on a date with Evad. DDP and Muscle make up after the match and Kimberly gets yelled at. Awww.
Sgt. Craig Pittman vs. Jim Duggan
Duggan’s substituting for Marcus Bagwell and his exploded calf implant. Oh man what an embarrassing injury. Pittman has already wrestled once tonight on the Main Event against future TNA Team Canada leader: Scott D’Amore in a squash match. Lots of stalling to start this one. While Duggan is yelling USA, Pittman gets down and does a couple push-ups. Duggan pretends to punt him as Pittman shoots up to his feet. Duggan delivers the first takedown to Pittman. Pittman chokes Duggan in the ropes, but misses a charge and flies over the top rope and lands hard on the floor. He doesn’t let that stop him and trips up Duggan to post the knee. Back in, they roll around on the mat with a not so painful legbar. Duggan gets in one big punch, but takes a double leg trip back into the legbar. A spinning toehold from Pittman gets kicked away. He totally oversells it and falls out to the floor. Duggan fires back, but can’t slam Pittman because of the worked over knee. A clothesline knocks Pittman down though, as does the THREE-POINT STANCE. Pittman no-sells and trips Duggan up for the CODE RED ARMBREAKER. Wha? Duggan’s in the ropes, but Pittman won’t release the hold so he gets DQ’ed. (8:14) Looks like Craig Pittman needs to have a talk with Bryan Danielson. Not sure what the point of concentrating on the knee was if you’re just going to finish with the cross armbreaker. *
Harlem Heat (w/Sister Sherri) vs. Bunkhouse Buck & Dick Slater (w/Col. Robert Parker)
For two PPV’s in a row, we get a special bonus match! Col. Parker kissed Sherri (on the mouth! Ho ho!) on the Main Event . The segment went like this, “Hey Sherri, been laid recently? Guessing not!” And this is how insta-PPV matches with Harlem Heat get signed. Thus begins the Parker/Sherri love affair that went on way too long. Big brawl to start. Kind of odd to see a heel vs. heel match. The crowd picks a favorite and since Booker at least is more flashy, they cheer the Heat. Once it breaks down into a tag match, Stevie Ray goes slam crazy on Buck and Slater. Booker tags and hits Buck with a Jumping Hook Kick. Tag to Stevie Ray, he clamps on a front headlock on Buck. We now switch over to Slater and Booker T. Lots of nothing going on here. Booker misses an elbow drop on Buck, does the spinaroonie long before Tony had any idea what Booker was doing, and blasts Buck with an elbow. Stevie Ray comes back in and takes a kick to the back from Slater on the apron. He gets floored and driven face-first into the ringpost. Back in, Buck gets a big boot for two. Stevie Ray hits a jumping double shoulderblock on the two hicks and makes the tag to Booker. He hits Buck with a flying elbow and gets a small package. With Slater and Stevie Ray fighting and keeping the ref distracted, Parker runs in and turns the inside cradle over into Buck’s favor. Once Parker gets out of the ring, Sherri runs in and turns the cradle back over for Booker to give him the 1-2-3. (8:41) The crowd didn’t care about the match, but they sure got into the finish. This match just went nowhere. ¾*
We rewind to the pre-game show. While WCW Commissioner Nick Bockwinkel was about to make a major announcement concerning Hogan and Vader, Vader got impatient and roughed up Bockwinkel instead. Hogan made the save and beat Vader down with a chair. A pull-apart brawl ensued, making you excited enough to possibly buy the PPV thinking Hogan and Vader would get it on.
Schiavone and Heenan are now interviewing Bockwinkel for that big announcement concerning Hogan and Vader. As you can see up above, he was supposed to fill us in earlier for free, but now we have to *pay* for the big announcement. If WCW fans wanted to know that bad, they could have just listened to the show for free through SCRAMBLEVISION~! like I used to do. Anyways, Bockwinkel books the Hogan/Vader cage match for…what’s the name of that next PPV? Oh yeah, Bash at the Beach. Yeah, poor Bockwinkel flubbed his line and apparently forgot when this main event would be taking place. Sadly enough, the flub cost him his job. It was probably for the best though – I can’t imagine him fitting into the Nitro era anyway.
Gene Okerlund is standing by with Ric Flair: “I took your wife in ’92, and I beat up your dad at Slamboree!” WOO!
WCW World Television Champion Arn Anderson vs. The Renegade (w/Jimmy Hart)
Kind of sad to see AA drop the TV title to Ultimate Warrior-lite. Renegade NO-SELLS everything Arn throws at him and clotheslines him out to the floor. Back in, Renegade grabs a headlock. From there, they trade abdominal stretches. Arn escapes with a hiptoss and an enziguri, but once again Renegade NO-SELLS and heads to the floor. Back in again, they trade sleepers. Arn gets out of it with a back suplex and chokes Renegade in the ropes. Renegade powers out of a chinlock, but runs into a Spinebuster. And the crowd erupts. That gets a nearfall. Double-KO spot follows. Arn gets crotched on the top rope and takes a fireman’s carry slam to set up the FLYING SPLASH. Cover, 1-2-3. (9:07) So Renegade wins the TV title – bringing the credibility of the belt to its lowest point ever. If they were going to do the title change anyway, they should have just had Renegade squash Arn in twenty seconds. Very few Daytonians are happy with this decision. Paul Wight is in attendance, and he isn’t happy with this celebration either. Maybe he’s not happy because he’s wearing a big leather trench coat in June. He stands up and shoots daggers at Renegade with his eyes! He almost grabs Jimmy Hart too! ½*
WCW World Tag Team Champions The Nasty Boys vs. The Blue Bloods
Lord Steven Regal and Earl Robert of Eaton do not like pathetic Americans, and they don’t come any more pathetic than the Nasty Boys. Big brawl to start as you would expect. The Blue Bloods take separate trips to Pity City and they could not be anymore offended. Another period of brawling erupts with the Nasties in total control. After Eaton takes an atomic drop on a chair in the aisle way, Regal takes a Pumphandle Slam inside the ring from Sags. Once Knobbs is back in the ring, he misses a charge and flies out to the floor for Regal to give him an elbow drop off the apron. Knobbs comes back in to play face-in-peril. There’s not really much Regal can do with him besides pound him down because he’s too big to take any submission holds. Eaton takes his signature bump in the corner, which allows Sags to get the hot tag. Regal grabs at Sags, causing Knobbs to come in and protest to the ref, which leads to Regal coming in and throwing Sags over the top rope to the floor behind ref Randy Anderson’s back. Now Knobbs gets on to the ref for not disqualifying the Blue Bloods, allowing the Blue Bloods to double-team Sags on the floor. Back in, Eaton hits an awesome Flying Knee Drop for 1-2-NO! They manage to keep Sags in their corner until Regal misses an Edouard Carpentier senton (without Jesse, we don’t get the name dropping so I’ll do it for you). HOT TAG TO KNOBBS! Regal and Knobbs butt heads, causing Regal to fall out to the floor. With Knobbs still in the ring, Eaton heads up top for the ALABAMA JAM or whatever Eaton calls it now that he’s “British”. Meanwhile, Stevie Ray and Sherri come down to distract the ref. Once that is happening, Booker T runs down and gives Knobbs the HARLEM HANGOVER! Just as it looks he’s cost the Nasties the belts, he hops over the top rope and crotches Eaton in the process. Whoops. Harlem Heat make their getaway while Sags drops a double-ax handle on Eaton as Knobbs crawls over for the pin. (15:04) Champs retain. This wasn’t terrible. One of the better tag team title defenses we’ve seen on PPV in months thanks to the Blue Bloods talent. Now we have justifiable cause for the triangle match at the Bash at the Beach. Harlem Heat hates the Nasties, the Nasties hate the Blue Bloods, and the Heat just cost the Blue Bloods the tag titles. **½
Sting vs. Meng (w/Col. Robert Parker) – WCW U.S. Heavyweight Title Tournament Finals
Vader had been stripped of the U.S. title back in March for doing something dastardly to Dave Sullivan. No mention of what it was exactly. Since Vader was going to be a regular contender to Hogan’s world title, it didn’t make sense for him to be the U.S. champion anyway, so I think that had more to do with stripping him of the belt than anything else. I’ve also heard something about an injury, but he was still too active it seems for any real title-threatening injury. Nevertheless, here we are with arguably the biggest match in Meng’s career. Meng goes all karate on Sting to start. Sting comes back with a couple dropkicks and Meng’s on the floor getting some advice from the Colonel. Back in, we get more karate from Meng. Sting has to result to eye-raking to gain an advantage on Meng, but then whiffs on a charge and falls out to the apron. Apparently, Parker was supposed to pull the top rope down, but missed his cue. Meng kicks Sting to the floor for some guardrail action. Back in again, Meng delivers a Sitout Powerbomb for 1-2-NO! Shoulderbreaker gets two. And now Meng grabs hold of those trapezius muscles. Afterwards, he tosses Sting out so Parker can get in some licks. Once Sting’s back in the ring, he goes back to the nerve hold. Just long enough to not bore the crowd though. Very well done. They fight over a backslide with Sting using the turnbuckles to flip over Meng and catch with a body block out of the corner. He just jumps into the corner and spring backs. Meng’s up first though and delivers a Flying Headbutt for 1-2-NO! Sting counters a back suplex by falling back on top for a nearfall. Meng absorbs a pair of clotheslines, but goes down to a jumping lariat. Sting gives Meng a Cactus Clothesline (!) and goes beats up Parker. Meng charges, but Sting ducks and Meng goes flying into the ringpost. Sting takes Meng in the ring for the SCORPION DEATHLOCK. The man will not submit though and powers out. Since that won’t do it, Sting clips the knee and comes off the top with a Flying Clothesline and a Flying Splash for 1-2-NO! That won’t finish him off either, so he does something different and executes a jumping DDT for the 1-2-3. (13:37) Oddly enough, Sting won the U.S. title for the first time in a tournament four years earlier. Meng can have a good match when he wants to. ***
Randy Savage (w/Angelo Poffo) vs. Ric Flair
The stage is set for Savage to get his revenge on Flair for putting his dad in the Figure-Four at Slamboree and dressing up like a lady to beat him up at Uncensored. I honestly don’t know which is the better cause for retaliation. Angelo’s sporting a cane to sell the leg injury. You’d think Savage would want to beat the ever living crap out of Ric Flair to begin with, and you would be right. It peaks with Savage hitting a nice flying double ax handle on the floor. Flair takes over once Savage gets posted. Now Flair hits a flying double sledge off the apron. Back in, Flair chops away and delivers the Rolling Knee Drop. WOO! Savage fires back and chokes Flair back out to ringside. Flair gets slammed from the top to the mat inside the ring and Flair Flips his way out to Angelo Poffo. As Savage checks on his dad, Flair clips Savage from behind and gives him a shinbreaker on the guardrail! Back in, Flair hooks on the FIGURE-FOUR! Savage reverses the hold, but there’s too much damage done to the knee. All Flair has to do is kick him down. Of course now Flair makes the mistake of going to the top rope where he misses whatever it was he was going to try. Flair tries to rebound off a Flair Flip by running down the apron to the top rope, but gets caught on the way down for the MACHO ELBOW! Cover, 1-2-NO! Savage pulls Flair up off the mat. Flair rolls out to avoid another Elbow Drop, but it’s all a set up as Savage lunges at Flair and falls on the safety rail. Angelo Poffo has enough of it and tries to choke Flair down with his cane. Flair elbows him back and takes the cane away. Savage scares Flair away, but he’s clueless about the cane. Back in, Flair WHACKS Savage and gets the 1-2-3. (14:42) As expected, it’s a good brawl that leaves the door wide open for a rematch…at the beach! ***¼
Final Thoughts: FINALLY! A decent WCW PPV! Not great, just decent. Three stand-out matches and an enthusiastic crowd made this a pretty fun show. Mild thumbs up for the Great American Bash 1995.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.