Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Showing posts with label Paul Orndorff. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paul Orndorff. Show all posts

Monday, 27 June 2022

EVENT REVIEW: WWF The Big Event (1986)

WWF The Big Event - Event Graphic



August 28, 1986,
Exhibition Stadium, Toronto, Ontario

Although currently classed as a PPV (sorry, Premium Live Event) on the WWE Network, WWF's The Big Event was never broadcast on Pay Per View, or anywhere else for that matter other than the fondly-remembered Coliseum Home Video.

Despite that, it was a phenomenal success for the World Wrestling Federation, attracting some 65,000 fans to the Torono Exhibition Stadium for a world title main event between reigning champion, Hulk Hogan, and his arch-nemesis, Paul Orndoff.

Here's what went down:






Welcome to Toronto!


Our show tonight began with a helicopter’s eye view of Toronto with Mean Gene Okerlund giving a voiceover in which he pretended to be on the actual helicopter.

C’mon Gene, your fooling nobody with that one.

As the ‘copter flew across the city and random shots of tonight’s stats were intercut, Okerlund told us how amazing Toronto was before putting over tonight’s big matches.

The wrestling clips from this intro were clearly from the event itself and the first thing you notice is just how loud and crazy the crowds were.

WWE may be more profitable than ever these days, but you can’t help but wonder if the part of Vince McMahon that still cares about his product doesn’t pine for the days when he could pack an arena full of fans who were genuinely this enthusiastic.

Hoss & Jimmy Jack Funk (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. The Killer Bees (Jumpin" Jim Brunzell & B. Brian Blair)

With the intro, we cut straight to our opening contest with both The Funks and The Killer Bees already in the ring and the trio of Gorilla Monsoon, Big Cat Ernie Ladd, an Lucious Johnny Valiant on commentary.

The match was -I kid you not- fantastic.

OK, so if you compared it to a modern day Bryan Danielson classic it probably doesn’t seem all that fantastic, but it was way better than I expected for a 1986 WWF show.

The Killer Bees clearly brought their working boots and kept up a relentless pace, so relentless that there wasn’t a single moment when I could pause to grab a half-decent screenshot because everybody just kept moving.

Meanwhile, The Funks proved to be the perfect heels for the match, countering B. Brian Blair & ‘Jumpin’ Jim Brunzel’s fast-paced technical style with underhand tactics and general bad guy shenanigans.

It was a lot of fun.

In the end, the ‘Bees decided to confuse both their opponents and the referee by donning masks so that nobody could tell who was who.

The confusion allowed Blair & Brunzel to pick up the win.
Your Winners: The Killer Bees

That whole mask gimmick seemed like something heels would do, the crowd were so vocally into The Killer Bees that it was met with roaring approval.

King Tonga vs. The Magnificent Muraco (w/ Mr. Fuji)

WWF The Big Event Review - Magnificent Murraco vs. Haku


King Tonga was, of course, a svelte and youthful Haku and he was booed by the Toronto crowd just as loudly as his opponent, Magnificent Muraco, which makes it impossible for this writer to tell if Tonga was a heel or a face here.

The match went to a full 20-minute time limit draw but it was heavily clipped so we didn’t see the whole thing.

The heavy editing job was welcome here because this was far from the most exciting match you’ll ever see.

The parts we were shown were mainly rest holds and Muraco slowly, methodically working Tonga’s legs.

I’m not prepared to say that it was awful because it was very much a match of it’s time period, but you do have to question how boring this match really was if all the highlights were so uninspired.
Time-Limit Draw

Moving on…

Ted Arcidi vs. Tony Garea

WWF The Big Event Review - Ted Arcidi



This wasn’t a good match. The crowd didn’t care about it at all and spent half their time looking at something elsewhere in the arena while Tony Garea clearly did his best to make Ted Arcidi look good but failed.

After less than three minutes (at least as it was shown here) Arcidi took Garea out with a bear hug.

To be fair, that finish was at least funny.

To really sync the hold in, Arcidi bounced up and down with Garea in the bear hug so the referee started bouncing up and down with them and it looked like all three were having a fun time.

At least they were because I’m sure nobody who watched this match had fun.
Your Winner: Ted Arcidi

WWF The Big Event Review - Mean Gene Okerlund interiews Jimmy Hart



Out on the arena floor, Mean Gene interviewed Jimmy Hart.

Hart began to rant about all the terrible things The Junkyard Dog had done to him and swore that he’d get revenge tonight.

Before he could go any further, Hart was dragged away by the man who would get that revenge for him, Adorable Adrian Adonis.

Adorable Adrian Adonis (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. The Junkyard Dog

WWF The Big Event Review - Adorable Adrian Adonis with  Jimmy Hart



I appreciate this may be blasphemy to some, but I’ve never really understood why Junkyard Dog is held in such high regard.

In all the years that I’ve been watching pro wrestling, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him in a good match.

Of course, it didn’t help that Adonis was his opponent tonight.

Now fully into the flamboyant, gender-bending ‘adorable’ character, Adrian had really let himself go by this stage in his career and couldn’t seem to wrestle a decent match if his life depended on it.

In fact, this match tonight was only a few months removed from his horrible Wrestlemania 2 match against Uncle Elmer which for years had been the worst match I’ve ever seen in my life until I recently watched the scaffold match from WCW Great American Bash ‘91.

Anyway, not only was this match not great from a wrestling standpoint, it made absolutely no sense.

Early on, JYD blatantly pummelled Adonis with his steel chain right in front of the referee who let it slide.

Then, Junkyard (who was the babyface, remember) grabbed the same referee and threw him across the ring in what I’d describe as a pretty unprovoked attack.

Instead of calling for the DQ, the ref simply let it slide and the match continued.

The two combatants then brawled to the floor and barely beat the referee’s ten count.

Once back in the ring, JYD threw Adonis back outside and the referee instantly called for the bell without bothering to give Adonis a ten count.
Your Winner via Some Bullshit Finish: Junkyard Dog

Seriously, what the heck was that?

That was either the worst case of biased officiating ever seen in favour of a babyface or that idiot referee had never seen a pro wrestling match before in his life.

Dick Slater vs. Iron Mike Sharpe

WWF The Big Event Review - Dick Slater Haters Are Greater



Dick Slater wasn’t dirty yet and that made him the babyface here while Iron Mike
Sharpe was a heel whose loud, vocal selling really made this entire match.

The version shown on the WWE Network wasn’t very long and the action itself was decent but forgettable, though Iron Mike’s constant backing off and loud “no! No! No!” Yells every time Slater came near him made this a pretty fun match.

Slater won with an elbow from the top rope to Iron Mike’s head.
Your Winner: Dick Slater

WWF The Big Event Review - Mean Gene interviews Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan



Back on the arena floor, the ever-entertaining Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan spoke to Mean Gene about his involvement in our next match.

Heenan was, just as you’d expect, excellent at riling up the crowd here.

The Machines (uper Machine, Big Machine & Captain Lou Albano w/ Giant Machine) vs. King Kong Bundy, Big John Studd and Bobby Heenan)

WWF The Big Event Review - The Machines



For those unfamiliar with The Machines, the story goes thusly:

Andre The Giant was in a feud with Bobby Heenan and his crew. Giant no-showed a match which led to Heenan calling for his suspension.

The storyline suspension was granted, which gave Andre the chance to take time off to rehab an injury and film The Princess Bride.

When he returned, the suspension was still in place, so Andre did the whole “masked guy who’s real identity is obvious” ala The Midnight Rider, The Yellow Dog, Mr. America etc and called himself The Giant Machine.

Captain Lou Albano had then recruited two other masked machines who were better known as Bill Eadie and Blackjack Lanza, and thus we got tonight’s match.

Though this was far from a technical masterpiece, the crowd were hot for it and the competitors did their best to keep them hot, which made for entertaining viewing.

After a decent big man match, all hell inevitably broke loose and Giant Machine -who wasn’t officially involved in the match- stormed in and attacked, causing the referee to call for the bell.
Your Winners via DQ: Bobby Heenan, Big John Studd, and King Kong Bundy.

Post match, Andre beat up Heenan who sold like an absolute hero.

Howard Finkle then announced the heels as the winners by disqualification and the babyfaces looked absolutely shocked, as if they didn’t know that having an illegal man come in the ring and attack would lead to a DQ.

Maybe they were hoping they’d have the same dumb ass official from the JYD/Adonis match and expected a different outcome.

Snake Pit Match
Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts vs. Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat

A snake pit match was basically a no-DQ, anything does match.

WWF The Big Event Review - Jake 'The Snake' Roberts vs. Ricky 'The Dragon' Steamboat



To the surprise of no one, this was the best match on the card so far by a country mile.

The two wrestled, they brawled, Ricky Steamboat got busted open, and Jake Roberts was so good that the crowd seemed to love him despite him being a sinister heel.

After an excellent battle, Roberts had Steamboat beaten down and battered into a bloody mess, but The Dragon caught him off guard with a roll-up at the last second and snatched victory from the proverbial jaws of defeat.
Your Winner: Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat

That was good.

Billy Jack Haynes vs. Hercules Hernandez

It’s interesting seeing Billy Jack Haynes looking so well put together here when I’ve been far more used to seeing him lately as the portly Black Blood at events like Clash of the Champions 15 five years after The Big Event took place.

As the two locked up, it became obvious that Gorilla Monsoon was calling this match solo, and was doing so from a studio rather than an arena. 

Gorilla explained the jarring change in commentary by claiming that his colleagues Johnny Valiant and Ernie Ladd had gone out to buy groceries.

Because, you know, what a normal thing to do while you're in the middle of calling a wrestling show.

Nothing really happened in this match, so a clearly bored Monsoon went through the motions and spent as much time bigging up the magnitude of the event as he did calling what little action there was to call.
Your Winner: Billy Jack Haynes

The Rougeau Brothers (Jacques & Raymond) vs. The Dream Team (Brutus Beefcake & Greg Valentine)

I’m very much one of those people who believes that opposing wrestlers shouldn’t wear the same attire, but apparently, Greg Valentine wasn’t.

He wore the exact same trunks as his opponent which looked kind of dumb and occasionally gave the impression that he was on their team.

Having returned from his grocery shopping, Valentine and Brutus Beefcake’s manager, Johnny Valiant cheered them on as they gradually picked apart The Rougeau Brothers and gave us a solid, formulaic tag team match.

I don’t mean “formulaic” in the bad sense either.

The standard tag team match formula has worked for decades, and it certainly worked here, giving us a match that may have been the best thing on the card had we not seen the Roberts/Steamboat match.

As a side note, I love the way Gorilla Monsoon consistently referred to Raymond Rougeau as “Ray-moan.”

Speaking of The Rougeaus, as good as The Dream Team were at being the aggressors, Ray-Moan and brother Jacques were effective as the popular babyfaces.

That said, they were obviously much better as heels, if only because their heel run gave us one of the greatest pro wrestling themes of all time.

After a well-fought match, The Rougeuas emerged victorious thanks to a sunset flip by Jacques.
Your Winners: The Rougeau Brothers

And on we go..

Harley Race vs. Pedro Morales

We joined this match in progress and I’ve read some pretty poor reviews of it, but I honestly didn’t think it was that bad.

Clocking in at a little under four minutes, it was obviously designed to give space between the excellent tag match and the main event, and it served its purpose well.

After a few short minutes of decent but unremarkable action, Handsome Harley Race got the win with his foot on the ropes.
Your Winner: Harley Race

Post-match, the crowds chanted loudly. I thought they were changing “Hogan!” But Monsoon said they were letting it be known what they thought of the match which may mean they were actually chanting “Bullsh*t!”

World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion Hulk Hogan vs. Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff

WWF The Big Event Review - Paul Orndorff thinks he's the champion!


This was a good Hogan-style main event with Paul Orndorff getting the best out of the reigning champion.

This was the match that had sold out the venue to capacity, so it was no surprise that the crowd were red hot for it, and that level of pure excitement helped to elevate this one to something special.

After a good 80s-era WWF main event match, Paul Orndorff got disqualified when his manager, Bobby Heenan, struck Hogan with a chair.
Your Winner via DQ and Still WWF Champion: Hulk Hogan

Afterwards, Heenan put the belt on Mr. Wonderful who proceeded to attack Hogan, only for the champion to make his big comeback to send the crowd home happy.








The Big Event was big in stature but not so big on quality wrestling.

I can’t remember the last time I watched a wrestling event with such a large audience of fans who were so rabidly enthusiastic and genuinely excited to be there.

Yes, I know Wrestlemania is a humongous event these days, but while it may match tonight’s event in terms of the crowd it draws, modern day Mania pales in comparison to The Big Event in terms of a lively, impassioned crowd.

Still, the match quality wasn’t great. Although I personally enjoyed the opening match much more than many other reviewers seem to, and although the main event was good for a Hulk Hogan title defence, only Dragon/Snake and the Dream Team/Rouegaus matches stood out as being particularly excellent from a pure wrestling standpoint.

Not the greatest show of all time then, but certainly one I’m glad I watched.



Sunday, 15 May 2022

PPV REVIEW: WWF The Wrestling Classic (1985)

November 7, 1985
Rosemont Horizon in Rosemont, Illinois

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Event Poster



Regular Retro Pro Wrestling readers may have seen me mention in the past that my main motivation behind starting this blog was to review every single WWE PPV from Wrestlemania 1 to Wrestlemania 30.

Though I’ve since expanded that goal to include every WCW and ECW PPV too, I remain nonetheless committed to covering all of WWE’s “Premium Live Events” from the first three decades following the first ‘Mania.

Doing so means I occasionally have to go back and review stuff I’ve missed like the 1985 PPV, The Wrestling Classic.

Honestly, I’m not looking forward to it:

The World Wrestling Federation were not exactly known for producing a wealth of five-star bangers during the mid-1980s, and that’s before I mention the fact that this show features a 16-man tournament.

Every time I think of one-night tournaments I get flashbacks to the horrendous nightmare that was Wrestlemania IV and I can barely face it.

Still, face it I must, and I shall.

Besides, maybe The Wrestling Classic will be better than anticipated.

There’s only one way to find out, right?







Let’s get to it.

The World Wrestling Federation Presents Wrestlevision

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Wrestlevisionisio

 

Tonight’s show began with an introduction In which a Howard Finkle voice-over told us that the WWF presented Wrestlevision, without actually telling us what that was or what it meant.

Honestly, I’ve Googled this and I’m still none the wiser.

Perhaps it was an early name the company gave to their PPV specials or something.

Who knows?

If any of you do, please let me know in the comments below.

Anyway, Fink then proceeded to run down all the participants in the dreaded 16-man “Wrestling Classic Tournament” as well as telling us that we’d also hear who had won a Rolls-Royce the WWF were giving away and see Hulk Hogan defending the title against Rowdy Roddy Piper.

Fink then sent it down to Vince McMahon.

The boss welcomed us to The Rosemont Horizon before repeating what Howard had just told us.

Vince then introduced us to Lord Alfred Hayes  and a lady whose name was apparently Susan Waitkis.

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Vince McMahon, Lord Alfred, and a lady called Susan



I thought she might be a celebrity I’ve never heard of, but another Google search reveals no information about her outside the context of his event.

The legendary Lord Alfred put over tonight’s tournament as the ultimate test of endurance, insisting that it was going to be more taxing than a decathlon and a marathon rolled into one. 

The mysterious lady (are you out there, Susan? Who are you?) Then used a pointer to show us the tournament brackets for tonight as Vince McMahon named the competitors.

The Luck of the Draw

Vince then sent us to highlights from earlier in the day where Mean Gene Okerlund and two random dudes in suits presided over the tournament drawing.

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Mr. Fuji draws a tournament slot on behalf of Don Murraco



Ricky Steamboat drew Davey Boy Smith’s name out of a bowl and that should be a good match.

Elsewhere, Elizabeth picked Macho Man Randy Savage’s opponent, and Mr. Fuji drew on behalf of The Magnificent Muraco.

A Word With The President

From there, Vince and Hayes sent us back to Mean Gene who this time was standing by with WWF President Jack Tunney and his massive chin.

Big Jack expressed his excitement for tonight’s event and told us that the WWF had “outdone themselves,” probably forgetting that he was supposed to be the head of the company and thus should have said “ourselves.”

The President then told us that the only rule for tonight was that you had to win your match to proceed which was both obvious and untrue.

Surely rules like don’t hit your opponent with a weapon and don’t stay outside of the ring for more than 10 seconds still applied?

With all that preamble out of the way, Vince then sent us to our announce team for the evening, the classic pairing of Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura.

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse Ventura

Wow: we’re five and a half minutes into this and not only have we not heard the opening bell yet, but I feel like I’ve already been writing this review for an hour.

Still, I’m not complaining.

Although nothing up to this point was particularly entertaining, it was cool to see all these old-school stars, and it’s been so long since I reviewed a show featuring either Gorilla or Jesse that I’m genuinely excited to hear them again.

The duo were as excited to be there as I was to hear from them, and the two eventually helped us get the show on the road by sending to The Fink for the introductions to our opening match.

Adrian Adonis (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Corporal Kirschner


WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Adrian Adonis


As Gorilla Monsoon made reference to Adrian Adonis’ former tag team with Jesse Ventura, the big man from New York locked up with Corporal Kirschner in a very short match that was no different than the kind of thing you’d see on TV back in this era.

Though it was inoffensive, there was really nothing to make this one stand out, and Adonis picked up the win in about three minutes.
Your Winner: Adrian Adonis

After a quick recap, we went backstage where Mean Gene interviewed Adonis and his manager, Jimmy Hart.

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Mean Gene interviews Jimmy Hart and Adrian Adonis



The Mouth of the South called his man a superstar before Adrian cut a crazy promo about rewriting the wrestling rule book.

The promo was far more fun than anything Adonis had just done in the ring.

Dynamite Kid vs. Nikolai Volkoff

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Dynamite Kid


Back in the arena, both competitors were already in the ring.

Nikolai Volkoff busted out his usual rendition of the Soviet National Anthem while Dynamite Kid stood by patiently.

His patience wore out, however, when Volkoff finished his ditty and began berating the live crowd.

At that point, Dynamite scaled the top rope and let rip with a sweet drop kick, putting the evil Russian away in less than 10 seconds and eliciting two “holy mackerel!”s from Monsoon.
Your Winner: Dynamite Kid

Backstage, Okerlund interviewed Macho Man Randy Savage.

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Mean Gene interviews Macho Man Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth



With Miss Elizabeth standing by, Macho Man claimed that despite feeling nervous, he was hyper and ready to go for his match with Ivan Putski.

Something tells me I’m going to enjoy the promos on this show far more than the matches.

Ivan Putski vs. Macho Man Randy Savage (w/ Miss Elizabeth)

Making his way out to the familiar sounds of Pomp and Circumstance, Macho Man entered into an entertaining performance against Putski.

This was another very short match, and it certainly wasn’t one for the ages or anything, but both men tried hard to make the best of what they’d been given and the crowds were into it.

A few short minutes of enjoyable action, Savage got the pin with his feet on the ropes.
Your Winner: Macho Man Randy Savage

Prior to the next match, the mysterious Susan updated the tournament brackets while McMahon and Hayes talked about them.

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Nikolai Volkoff confronts McMahon and Lord Alfred



The duo were interrupted by an enraged Nikolai Volkoff, who ranted to the pair about being robbed in his earlier match.

Not-so-fun fact:

We’re still less than 25 minutes into this. Man, this review is going to take forever.


Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat vs. Davey Boy Smith

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Ricky Steamboat


It’s a little weird to me that Dynamite Kid had earlier been billed as coming from Manchester but now Davey Boy Smith was supposedly from Leeds when both were in fact from a tiny town called Golborne in Wigan.

That aside, this was the best match on the show so far and could have been something special had the tournament not forces all the matches to remain short.

Just as the match was gathering some real momentum, Smith charged at Ricky Steamboat but crashed into the ring ropes in a move that didn’t look all that painful but was apparently enough to render the future Hall of Famer unable to continue.
Your Winner via Referee’s Decision: Ricky Steamboat

In a display of class and sportsmanship, The Dragon came to his fallen opponent’s aid after the match was over.

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Mean Gene interviews Junkyard Dog



Backstage, Junkyard Dog mumbled his way through an awkward interview with Mean Gene in which he called his upcoming opponent The Iron Sheik a “Dubba Dubba Champion” and then said he wanted to congratulate Chicago.

For what, exactly, I have no idea. 

Given Okerlund’s response, it seemed like JYD meant to congratulate one of the city’s sports teams for something specific but had forgotten the name of the team and what they’d achieved. As such, it came across as Dog was simply congratulating the city for existing.

That was an uncomfortable watch.

The Iron Sheik vs. The Junkyard Dog


This wasn’t a great match from a technical standpoint, but JYD was over like rover and The Iron Sheik was a tremendous villain, so it worked in terms of pure crowd-popping entertainment.

After a match that was weirdly allowed to go almost twice as long as the Steamboat/Smith match, JYD head butted the former Dubba Dubba Champion for the win.
Your Winner: Junkyard Dog

Backstage, Mean Gene interviewed Terry Funk and his manager, Jimmy Hart.

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Mean Gene interviews Jimmy Hart and Terry Funk



Ignoring Okerlund’s question about tonight’s tournament, The Funker first said that he wanted a shot at the WWF title and then in the same breath also said that he wanted Paul Orndorff which made it sound like he thought Mr. Wonderful was the champion.

Clearing things up, Funk explained that he was out to claim the bounty placed on Orndorff’s head by his (Orndorff’s) former manager, Bobby Heenan.

The plan, you see, was to use the bounty money to buy himself a title shot against the man he claimed would be the next world champion, Roddy Piper.

Finally, Hart promised a big surprise as Funk spat tobacco all over the camera lens.

That was crazy, but in a good way.


Moondog Spot vs. Terry Funk (w/ Jimmy Hart)

Prior to the bell, Terry Funk took to the microphone and claimed that he no more wanted to wrestle Moondog Spot than Spot wanted to wrestle him.

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Terry Funk has a proposition for Moondog Spot



He then suggested both men leave the ring and call it a draw.

Moondog agreed and the two began heading up the entrance, only for Funk to reveal his plan and attack his opponent.

The plan backfired, however, when the two made it to the side of the ring where Funk actually threw Spot back into the ring and then immediately got counted out by Earl Hebner.

I can understand people being angry at that non-match, but honestly, it was so ridiculous that I found it absolutely hilarious.
Your Winner via Countout; Moondog Spot

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Mean Gene interviews Mr. Fuji and Don Murraco



Prior to the next contest, Mr Fuji claimed that Tito Santana had met his match in Magnificent Don Murraco, while Murraco himself insisted that he was glad to be getting in the ring with one of the best.

Non-Title Match
WWF Intercontinental Champion Tito Santana vs. Magnificent Don Murraco (w/ Mr Fuji)


Like the Smith/Steamboat bout from earlier, this was shaping up to be a good match until the dumb finish.

Santana and Murraco worked well together, delivering an engaging contest until the former IC champion dove onto the current title-holder for the three count.

Apparently, however, Tito had his foot on the ropes. You wouldn’t have known this though because the cameraman completely missed it, so when Santana popped back up and caught his opponent off guard with a surprise roll-up that the official delivered a fast count for, it came off as very confusing.
Your Winner: Tito Santana

As Mr Fuji protested the decision, a small but audible “bullsh*t!” chant came from the crowd.

I don’t blame them either, that was such a heel move for a babyface to commit.

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Mean Gene interviews Bobby Heenan



Out in the back, Bobby Heenan told Mean Gene that despite not having any men in tonight’s competition, he was here actively scouting for new talent.

Cowboy Bob Orton vs. Mr Wonderful Paul Orndorff

This was the longest and most enjoyable match on the card so far.

Though it may not stand up against the balls-to-the-wall bangers we see in the modern age, it was still very good for the time period and looked like Taker/Michaels from Wrestlemania compared to some of the absolute dross we’d seen on The Wrestling Classic so far.

After a very good battle, Bob Orton blasted Mr. Wonderful with his trademark cast and made the cover, but referee Earl Hebner had seen the whole thing and disqualified the Ace Cowboy.
Your Winner via DQ: Paul Orndorff

Next, cameras cut to Lord Alfred Hayes sexually molesting a visibly uncomfortable Susan Waitkis while Vince McMahon watched.

Seriously, that was almost Jimmy Saville-level behaviour right there.

McMahon eventually prized Lord Alfred’s filthy hands off the distressed woman and asked him to tell us about what we’d seen in the first round.

Hayes only had two things to say about each match. Either it was great or a surprise, or in some cases a great surprise (yes, I know, that’s three things).

In a repeat of the last McMahon/Hayes segment, Terry Funk then burst onto the scene and complained about being robbed in his match before threatening to slap Alfred.

Whether the slap was because Terry was angry at his match or Lord Alfred was a blatant sex pest is something we may never know.

Quarter Final 1
Dynamite Kid vs. Adrian Adonis (w/ Jimmy Hart)

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Adrian Adonis puts a hurting on Dynamite Kid



As Jesse Ventura abandoned the commentary table to apparently go and talk to The Macho Man, Dynamite and Adonis gave us a good match.

After the absolute dross of the first 45-50 minutes of this show, it was good to see the quality finally picking up from the Orndorff/Orton match onwards.

This wasn’t spectacular or anything, but it was certainly a solid effort that ended with a win for the British Bulldog member thanks to a flash pin.
Your Winner: Dynamite Kid

Post match, Adonis threw a temper tantrum.

Meanwhile, out in the back, Mean Gene accused Jesse Ventura of being a biased commentator.

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Mean Gene interviews Jesse Ventura



The Body refuted such claims, but did declare that he’d been scouting on behalf of Randy Savage and had informed Macho of the best way to beat his upcoming opponent.

Quarter Final 2
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. Macho Man Randy Savage

A precursor to their legendary battle at Wrestlemania 3, this was a brilliant little match that proved that just because a bout only runs to two or three minutes, it doesn’t have to suck.

After a tremendous effort from both men, Savage pulled an international object from his trunks and used it to steal a victory from The Dragon.
Your Winner: Macho Man Randy Savage

Out in the back, Okerlund tried to interview Moondog Spot, but Spot could only grunt and beat himself in the head with a bone, so Gene cut it short and we went back to the ring.

Quarter Final 3
Moondog Spot vs. The Junkyard Dog

JYD came out to “Grab Them Cakes” from The Wrestling Album and then entered into a weird bit of nothing with Moondog Spot.

For reasons that were never explained, there was no official for this match, so Junkyard simply hit his opponent with a couple of headbutts, pinned him, and made his own three count before leaving the ring, calling it a day in bout 40 seconds.

“I don’t think that’s going to be official,” said Monsoon, but apparently it was.
Your Winner: The Junkyard Dog

In our second Bobby Heenan interview of the night, The Brain insisted that he wasn’t worried that nobody had claimed the $50,000 bounty on Mr. Wonderful’s head yet because his time would definitely come.

Heenan was also eager to see Roddy Piper best Hulk Hogan for the title.


Quarter Final 4
WWF Intercontinental Champion Tito Santana vs. Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff


This could have been a great match, but instead the two babyfaces decided to keep things clean and focus on holds.

Santana held Orndorff in a headlock for a bit, then transitioned to a head scissors before slapping on an Armbar.

Mr. Wonderful then recovered and worked on his opponent’s leg for a bit and nothing much happened.

It was rather boring until the finish when the two threw the babyface rule book out of the window and brawled on the outside until they were both counted out.
Double Countout

Elsewhere the arena, Lord Alfred Sexpest continued to grope and fondle Susan, who at least pretended to enjoy it more than she had the last time.

Alfred and Vince ran down the updated tournament brackets, which now gave Junkyard Dog a by into the final as a result of the previous match’s double Countout finish.

So yes, JYD got through to the final by virtue of winning a 30-second match in which he counted his own pinfall.

World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion Hulk Hogan vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Mean Gene interviews Hulk Hogan



Piper came out first with a full entourage of bagpipe players, after which we cut backstage for a Hulk Hogan promo.

Having still not fully embraced the trademark red and yellow attire that he’d become synonymous with later in his career, The Hulkster cut claimed that Hot Rod had backed himself into a corner by running his mouth about being the next champion.

Cutting a charismatic figure, Hogan naturally insisted that he would topple his opponent before heading to the ring for a hot match with a lively crowd.

Though it was never going to be a technical masterpiece, the two were excellent at captivating an audience and played their roles well here, putting on a match that was a lot of fun to watch.

In the end, the referee got destroyed so Piper brought in a chair but Hogan snatched it and whacked Piper with it.

Roddy’s buddy Bob Orton then ran out, but by this time the official had risen from his nap and called for the disqualification.
Your Winner via DQ and Still WWF Champion: Hulk Hogan

Backstage, JYD gave another interview to Mean Gene.

This time, he spoke at 5,000 miles an hour but somehow still mumbled his way through it.

The funniest part was that Junkyard talked about how great it was to be in Chicago while looking absolutely miserable about being there.

Semi-Final
Dynamite Kid vs. Macho Man Randy Savage (w/ Miss Elizabeth)

Dynamite and Savage took a few moments to click, but when they did, it was a thing of beauty.


Unable to get the better of his opponent in the early going, Savage took a breather on the outside but returned to deliver an excellent match that could have (perhaps should have) gone an extra ten minutes without any problems.

At the finish, Savage scaled the ropes, but Kid drop kicked him then took him down with an impressive superplex that was genuinely a major deal back in 1985.

As the crowd went crazy and Gorilla gushed over how they’d never seen such a move before, Dynamite got a roll-up but Savage reversed it and pinned his way into the final.
Your Winner: Macho Man Randy Savage

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Vince McMahon and Susan


Giving Savage a break before the main event, we next went to Vince and Susan, the latter of whom looked relived to be away from Lord Alfred but still incredibly uncomfortable to be there.

The duo showed us a clip of the Rolls-Royce that was being given away in a sweepstake before sending it down to the ring to reveal the winner.

In order to do that, Howard Finkle first had to introduce us to WWF President Jack Tunney.

Tunney announced that they’d received thousands upon thousands of entries to the sweepstakes and thanked the fans for their response.

Next, Fink introduced us to WWF promotions manager Basil DeVito who also told us that they’d had lots of entries to the competition but added nothing else.

Then, as it this wasn’t long enough, Fink introduced us to some dude from the marketing company that managed the contest.

You know what he said?

Yep, that they’d had lots of entries.

By this point, the restless crowd were loudly booing, and even though Marketing Dude’s comments were unnecessary, I couldn’t help feel bad for him as nerves were clearly starting to get the better of him.

Finally, Lord Alfred Hayes also told us about how many entries they’d received before revealing that some dude called Mark Hanley (Mark Hamley?) from Illinois had won.

The crowd booed poor Mark like he was the biggest heel in the building, and when Lord Sexpest asked them to cheer for him, they booed even louder which for some reason made Big Bad Al’ laugh his ass off.

As Alfred was talking, you could clearly hear Gorilla Monsoon taking to somebody on the headset, and it was to him and Jesse that we went next.

Monsoon found the fact that Michael had won the Roller to be quite humorous and chuckled about it before sending it backstage to Mean Gene.

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Paul Orndorff and Hulk Hogan




Hanging in the locker room, Okerlund interviewed Hogan, who was eventually joined by Paul Orndorff.

The champ insisted that he and Mr. Wonderful watched each other’s backs and claimed that they’d be ready any time
piper and Orton wanted to face them in a match.

Tournament Final
Macho Man Randy Savage (w/ Miss Elizabeth) vs. Junkyard Dog

WWF The Wrestling Classic Review - Junkyard Dog won the Wrestling Classic tournament



Savage hobbled to the ring looking tired and hurt after wrestling three hard-fought contests while JYD sauntered out looking fresh as a daisy after wrestling for 40 seconds in the past hour and a half and getting a bye into the final.

There’s nothing wrong with doing the weary warrior vs. The fresh-faced opponent, but isn’t it usually the face who comes out battle-worn and ready to overcome the odds?

Anyway, this was a fine main event that was given enough time and was legitimately enjoyable until JYD tossed Savage to the outside and won by Countout.

Again, shouldn’t it be the heel doing this?
Your Winner: Junkyard Dog

Post-match, Mean Gene tried to interview the Wrestling Classic tournament winner but they were interrupted by Jesse The Body.

Ventura protested that Savage had wrestled three times while Junkyard Dog had an easy night.

He had a point too, I was honestly rooting for Macho Man because Junkyard seemed like such an unworthy winner.

Deciding not to finish his promo after Jesse pointed out how hollow his victory was, a folorn-looking JYD simply chatted off-mic to Mean Gene before Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura signed off and the credits rolled.








So, was The Wrestling Classic tournament better than the never-ending nightmare that was Wrestlemania 4?

Well, yes and no.

On the one hand, there was some genuinely enjoyable wrestling here.

Savage/Dynamite was the best thing on the card while Orndorff/Orton delivered and Steamboat/Savage was also a gem.

On the other hand, I think we had like 3 clean finishes in the whole tournament and a lot of dumb booking, especially when it came to Junkyard Dog.

The guy had one three minute match against Iron Sheik, wrestled (and I use that term very loosely here) for about 40 seconds against Moondog Spot and didn’t even get a three-count from a verified official, and then sat around for an hour enjoying a bye to the final.

Then, he took on a Macho Man who had been working his ass of all night and could only beat him by Countout.

All this, and we’re supposed to think JYD has truly earned his tournament win?

It was incredibly stupid, but a good bit of nostalgia with a smattering of good wrestling to boot.



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Wednesday, 25 August 2021

PPV REVIEW: WCW The Great American Bash 1990 - New Revolution

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Event poster
July 7, 1990 
Baltimore Arena, Baltimore, Maryland

At the Great American Bash 1990, World Championship Wrestling finally got to pull the trigger on something which, by all accounts, should have happened months before:

Crowning Sting as the new World Heavyweight Champion.

The future Hall of Famer had been well-established as the company's most popular babyface for sometime, meaning a match with reigning champion Nature Boy Ric Flair was inevitable.

Alas, The Stinger had been injured on a Clash show just weeks before his originally scheduled date with destiny and had been forced to spend the intervening time hanging out with Robocop and cutting promos.

Tonight, Sting would finally get his big match and claim his rightful position as the company's top star, so let's head down to Baltimore, Maryland and see how it all played out.





Welcome to The Bash

We kicked off tonight with a revolution-themed video featuring The Four Horsemen on actual horses, rivals Sting & Flair as portraits and other depictions tying WCW in with America’s past.

From there, it was down to our announce team of Jim Ross and Bob Caudle to give us the run down of tonight’s featured attractions, including the WCW debut of Big Van Vader.

We’d see Vader later, but first it was time for our opening contest.

Nature Boy Buddy Landel vs. Flyin’ Brian

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Buddy Landel
And so we kicked things off with this, an opening match pitting the veteran Buddy Landel against the up ‘n’ coming Flyin’ Brian Pillman.

Personally, I never quite saw the appeal of Landel. He seemed old school in a way that definitely wasn’t cool.

That said, this was a decent if pretty forgettable bout which saw Pillman claim victory thanks to a flying cross body off the top.
Your Winner: Flyin’ Brian

Out in the crowd, Gordon Sollie basically repeated the same kind of “here’s what’s coming up” hype we’d gotten from Ross and Caudle earlier.

As he did so, Iron Sheik made his way to the ring for the next match.

The Iron Sheik vs. Captain Mike Rotunda

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Iron Sheik vs. Captain Mike
This seemed like a random thrown-together match with no rhyme or reason behind it.

Sure, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s sometimes nice to have two guys competing just for the sake of competing, but still, it felt like a weird combination for a match.

Of course, I’m saying all this simply because absolutely nothing interesting happened here.

Sheik beat up Captain Mike for the majority of the match, the future tax man then pulled a backslide out of nowhere and scored the win.

It wasn’t awful, but it certainly wasn’t good either.
Your Winner: Captain Mike

Out on the arena floor, Sollie interviewed Harley Race about his return to the NWA and his upcoming match with Wildfire Tommy Rich.

Race swore to get revenge on Rich for once beating him for the World Heavyweight Championship years ago.

He then turned his attention to the main event and made the pretty obvious “prediction” that if Ric Flair wasn’t on his game then he might lose to Sting.

Well, yeah.

Dirty Dutch Mantell vs. ‘The World’s Strongest Man’ Doug Furnas

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Dutch Mantell faced Doug Furnas
Finally, after a whole bunch of meh, we got some pretty good action in the form of Doug Furnas vs. Dirty Dutch Mantell.

Furnas showed up to prove what he was capable of, dashing around the ring with speed, strength, and agility while Jim Ross gushed about how many world records in “strength” The World’s Strongest Man actually had.

To counter this, Mantell used cunning, craftiness, and some good old-fashioned cheating, ultimately managing to keep the explosive Furnas to the ground.

Unfortunately for the wily veteran, it wasn’t enough to keep his opponent down for long.

Furnas blasted Mantell with a big-time belly-to-belly to score the pin in the first enjoyable match of the show so far.
Your Winner: Doug Furnass

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Jim Cornette
Out in the arena, Jim Cornette gave an excellent promo to Gordon Sollie.

The legendary manager quickly hyped up the two feature attractions on tonight’s show before turning his attention to The Midnight Express and their title defence against The Southern Boys.

As compelling as ever, Cornette put over his own team in fine fashion and vowed that while Steve Armstrong and Tracy Smothers may be good, they weren’t good enough to dethrone Sweet Stan Lane and Beautiful Bobby Eaton.

This was damn good stuff from James E.

Wildfire Tommy Rich vs. Harley Race

This was a passable contest in which both men did the best they could with what they had.

For Race, this was his first NWA PPV appearance since Starrcade '83 and his first PPV appearance in general since Royal Rumble 1989.

In fact, he still wore the purple singlet with the crown motif from his run as King of the WWF.

Jim Ross tried to cover for his by pondering whether the former champion was a fan of the Sacramento Kings.

The match itself was alright, but like most of the matches that went before it, it was hardly must-see viewing.

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Paul Heyman and Mean Mark
In the end, Rich flew off the top with a crossbody but Race rolled over and got the one, the two, and the three.
Your Winner: Harley Race

Following the match-promo-match formula, we went back to Gordon Sollie who was standing by with Paul E. Dangerously and his charge, Mean Mark Callous.

Putting over Mark’s upcoming US title match against Lex Luger, Dangerously ranted and raved about how mean and tough Mean Mark really was, all while the man himself ripped up a Luger t-shirt.

That was fun.

NWA United States Tag Team Championship
NWA US Tag Team Champions The Midnight Express (Sweet Stan Lane and Beautiful Bobby Eaton w/ Jim Cornette) vs. The Wild-Eyed Southern Boys (Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong)

The first genuinely exciting match on the card up to this point, this was classic tag team action in the very best sense.

Despite The Midnights being the heels, both teams had their fair share of fans, making for an electric atmosphere from start to finish.

Of course, it helped that the action was damn fine too.

Apart from a weird spot where Stan Lane and Tracy Smothers stopped to have a “karate” fight that looked nothing like any kind of actual karate you e ever seen, it was all thrilling stuff.

After teasing that the plucky Southern Boys might just steal victory, Sweet Stan kicked Smothers in the back of the head and Eaton rolled him up for the fall.
Your Winners and still US Tag Team Champions: The Midnight Express

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - The Fabulous Freebirds
Out in the arena, Gordon Sollie interviewed The Fabulous Freebirds, who were not only covered in glitter and make-up but who had also decided that wearing t-shirts around their necks like bibs was a cool look for them.

The duo were there to talk about their match with The Steiner Brothers but Michael P.S Hayes wanted to brag about his ability to erm..drive things.

“There’s nothing with four wheels that we can’t drive and there’s nothing with four legs that we can’t ride,” he boasted.

Could you imagine being Michael Hayes’ pet dog? The poor thing must’ve been terrified every time Hayes came over to it with that ‘yeehaw, giddy up!’ glint in his eye.

Z-Man vs. Big Van Vader

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Big Van Vader made his debut
Was there anything in the world cooler than Vader’s head-dress thing that he used to wear?

The big man was making his debut here did so in formidable fashion, destroying Z-Man in under five minutes.

It wasn’t much of a match, but it wasn’t supposed to be. It was supposed to be a showcase for how awesome Big Van Vader was, and to that end it was very effective.

I should also mention that, prior to the match, Vader played for the crowd as a babyface would. This surprised this writer who only ever knew of the big man as a heel.
Your Winner: Big Van Vader

In a break from the in-ring action, Gordon Sollie interviewed The Four Horsemen about their upcoming match against Junkyard Dog, Paul Orndorff, and the debuting El Gigante.

Barry Windham and Ole Anderson did all the talking for their team, promising that they had a plan to emerge victorious tonight.

The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael ‘P.S’ Hayes & Jimmy Garvin) vs. The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner)

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Jimmy Jam Garvin puts Ric Steiner to sleep
I’ll be honest with you, I never quite understood what this version of The Fabulous Freebirds were supposed to be.

Were they supposed to be genuinely cool rock stars or deluded heels who had no idea how utterly goofy they looked?

Still, while I might not get it, I’m a little kinder to Michael Hayes and Jimmy ‘Jam’ Garvin than the Baltimore crowd were.

Early in the match, the fans targetted Garvin with a gay slur that I won't be repeating here, and later broke out with a chorus of “Michael is a b*tch! Michael is a b*tch!”

Anyway, the match itself was fine once it got going.

Sure, it wasn’t up to the standards of the earlier Midnights/Southern Boys encounter, but The Steiners rarely disappointed and they certainly didn’t here.

After a good effort, Garvin looked to have Scott Steiner pinned but the referee scolded the Freebird for not being the legal man.

In the confusion, Rick Steiner took Hayes to suplex city for the win.
Your Winners: The Steiner Brothers

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Jim Ross and Bob Caudle called the event
Prior to the next match, Jim Ross and Bob Caudle informed us that the next WCW PPV would be Halloween Havoc 1990 in October. 

I don't know about you, dear reader, but I miss the days when there was a several-month stretch between pay per views.

The announcers also put over our remaining matches and questioned the condition of Sting. The popular star hadn't competed since busting his knee at WCW Clash of the Champions X, and tonight would be his big comeback match.

Would the Stinger be at 100% tonight?

Ross and Caudle insisted that he'd have to be if he was to stand any chance of dethroning The Nature Boy.

The Four Horsemen (NWA TV Champion Arn Anderson, Barry Windham, and Sid Vicious) vs. The Dudes With Attitudes ('Mr. Wonderful' Paul Orndorff, Junkyard Dog, and El Gigante)

And so, after Big Van Vader, this was to be our second debut on the show as El Gigante stepped into the ring to compete for the first time.

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - El Gigante made his in-ring debut
Not that he actually did anything.

In fact, the spectacle of Gigante, coupled with The Horsemen's excellent reactions to him proved to be far more entertaining than anything Jorge González could have possibly done.

The big man spent most of the match on the apron, with the heels occasionally coming near him and cowering in fear when he threatened to strike them or step over the ropes. It was these reactions, brilliant as they were, that overshadowed any of the actual action.

Of course, Jim Ross chose not to focus on this at first. Gigante didn't have a football career, so the sports-obsessed announcer had no choice but to clutch at straws and talk about the Argentina soccer football team competing in the 1990 World Cup.

That wasn't the only thing overshadowing Gigante's debut.

The other thing was Sid Vicious.

It occurs to me as I'm writing this that big Sid never really worked as a heel because people always ALWAYS loved him. Even when he was teaming with Dan Spivey in The Skyscrapers, he and he alone would get the biggest reaction of any match he was in.

The same applied here, with the crowd erupting into loud chants of "WE WANT SID!" and going banana every time the colossal star stepped foot between the ropes.

Also of note here was the fact that Junkyard Dog had decided not to sell a single thing in this match. Every time somebody struck him, he stood and stared at them. Every time somebody attempted a power move, he refused to budge. It was a weird sight, but at least the Horsemen did the best they could with it.

That's pretty much the best way to sum up this match too. The Horsemen (and Orndorff who, to be fair, worked hard), all worked hard to salvage this match from being a total stinker.

In the end, the over-the-top-rope DQ rule that WCW was enforcing at the time came into play and Sid, Arn Anderson, and Barry Windham were disqualified without the much-hyped El Gigante even getting a single legal tag.
Your Winners via Disqualification: The Dudes With Attitudes

Before his big title defence, US champion Lex Luger responded to his challenger’s earlier actions, insisting it would be a lot more difficult to tear him apart the way Mean Mark tore up that t-shirt.

Luger was decent here, but I won’t lie, The Total Package was always far more entertaining to this fan when he was a heel.

National Wrestling Alliance United States Championship
NWA US Champion Lex Luger vs. Mean Mark (w/ Paul E. Dangerously)


Mean Mark and Lex Luger were two huge dudes who could have clobbered their way through a good power match. Instead, they spent the first part of this US title contest holding each other in armbars, basically sucking the life out of things and quickly losing this fan’s interest.

Things got a little better once the match finally picked up steam, but by that point, I won’t lie, I was past the point of caring.

Towards the end, the challenger went for the heart punch but Luger booted him in the head, decked Paul E. then clobbered Mark with a clothesline for the fall because this was 1990 and a clothesline was still an acceptable way to win a match.
Your Winner and Still US Champion: Lex Luger

Backstage, an un-painted Sting put Ric Flair over as a great champion before admitting that while he was a little nervous, his knee was back at 100% and he was more than ready to take on The Nature Boy in tonight’s world title main event.

National Wrestling Alliance World Tag Team Championship
NWA Tag Team Champions Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed w/ Teddy Long) vs. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson)

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Teddy Long led Doom into battle against the Rock 'n' Roll Express
I may have mentioned this before, but it always strikes me as odd to at a team with such an ominous name as DOOM would have theme music that sounds like it was rejected as the theme from Wheel of Fortune or something.

Anyway, while I’m sure there are fans of this match, this writer isn’t really one of them.

The match was OK, but Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson’s trademark formula made it somewhat predictable and neither team seemed concerned with doing anything interesting enough to make it feel like it wasn’t just every tag team match you’ve ever seen.

After an unspectacular outing, Butch Reed got the win over Gibson.
Your Winners and Still Tag Team Champions: Doom

Prior to the main event, we saw a pre-recorded segment in which Ric Flair gave an interview to Gordon Sollie.

As on-form as ever, The Nature Boy reminded Sting that to be the man...you have to beat the man....

Wooooooo!

National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship No Disqualification Match
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Nature Boy Ric Flair vs. Sting (w/ The Dudes With Attitudes)

WCW Great American Bash 1990 - Sting beat Ric Flair for the world heavyweight championship
Meeting in singles competition for the first time since Clash of the Champions 1, Ric Flair and Sting gave a compelling performance here.

To keep the Four Horsemen from interfering, Paul Orndorff, Junkyard Dog, and The Steiners surrounded the ring while Ole Anderson was forced to be handcuffed to El Gigante for the duration of the match.

And what a match it was. Though it may not technically have been the best you were ever going to get from these two, there was a real sense that you were watching something important.

That big match feel, coupled with both star’s solid performances really ensured one delivered the goods.

Towards the end, the challenger charged at the champion with a running knee to the corner. Flair moved and Sting’s previously injured knee collided with the top turnbuckle.

Looking to capitalize, Flair went for the figure four but got rolled up into an inside cradle.

One three count later and, ladies and gentlemen, we had ourselves a new champion.
Your Winner and NEW NWA World Heavyweight Champion: Sting

Post match, Sting celebrated with The Dudes With Attitudes before heading to the back, exhausted yet triumphant. 



And so, months later than  planned, Sting had finally claimed his place at the top of the WCW mountain in a tremendous match that had been well worth the wait.

Before that, The Great American Bash 1990 had been a mixed bag in terms of in-ring competition. The Midnights/Southern Boys and Doom/Steiners were good matches, Dutch Mantell vs. Doug Furnas was a surprising early highlight, and everything else was just, well, kind of there. 

Still, besides the main event, it wasn't really the matches themselves that make this such a significant event. The crowning of a new world champion, the debut of Big Van Vader (and, to a lesser-extent, El Gigante) and the final WCW PPV appearance of a certain Mark Calaway all earned this one it's place in the history books. 




Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.