Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that drags more than a 3 hour RAW! It’s time for NWA’s Great American Bash 1986 headlined by Dusty Rhodes vs Ric Flair for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship! This card also has slight variations on the previous Bash tour show that you will see sprinkled throughout the card so let’s get down to business!
Steve Regal vs Sam Houston
No not that Regal you are thinking of, crowd is hot for Sam Houston despite his appearance resembling a long string of misery. Despite my thoughts, the crowd loves Houston as Regal tees off on him, Regal hits the buckle hard off a reversal Irish whip and three meaty right hands. Regal is begging off from Houston, side headlock from Houston. Regal pulls the hair and shoves off Houston, scoop slam from Houston. Side headlock takedown for two, Regal pulls the tights and his hair for another close two. Houston complains over and over, Regal regains his vertical base. Shoulder block from Houston before Regal lands a massive elbow to the head. Houston meets the buckle hard, nice suplex from Regal for two.
Rear chin-lock from Regal, Houston fights out but Regal pulls Houston down by the hair to maintain control. Big kitchen sink knee to the gut and a stomp in the lower regions, back-breaker for two. Another chin-lock from Regal, Houston tries to escape but Regal continues to maintain control in this match. Houston starts firing off right hands before Regal tees off with some of his own, Regal gets mouthy with the referee. Houston blocks the suplex and lands one of his own, big right hands from Houston. Irish whip and a monkey flip with Regal begging for mercy, back body-drop for two. Regal is yanked out of the corner, Regal shoves off Houston to block the bulldog and rolls-up Houston using the ropes for leverage.
Better than the last tour opening match but people like Houston a lot more than they do Denny Brown, happy enough to kick off the show like this, fine-pace nice back and forth and a heel cheating his way to victory, all good in my book.
Winner: Steve Regal over Sam Houston via Roll-Up!
Black Bart & The Barbarian vs The Italian Stallion & Denny Brown
Looks like a mis-match on paper, Bart slams Brown but Brown fires back with some nice headscissors and the babyfaces pummel Bart down who retreats to Barbarian. Brown continues clowning Bart who is not fond of the light heavyweight champion, Bart stares a whole through Brown and grapples him to the babyface corner. In comes Stallion who tees off with right hands, Bart is quite vocal in there screaming a lot. Stallion works the arm and stomps on the face of Bart, tag to Brown who lands a massive knee-drop to the shoulder. More knees to the arm, Bart fires back with a big fist to the ribs and throws Brown into the skull of Barbarian who comes in now. Massive middle rope chop, flying kick from Barbarian for two.
Military press from Barbarian, massive big boot from Barbarian. Elbow drop for good measure, Barbarian lands a vicious back-breaker with Brown reaching the ropes to break the pin-fall. Middle rope headbutt and tag to Bart, Brown is getting decimated. Clothesline and fist drop from Bart who chokes the smaller Brown. Bart lands massive leg-drops to Brown, Bart is proud of his handy work as he drags up Brown. Scoop slam and Bart calls for a big manoeuvre, Brown dodges the middle rope leg drop. Stallion wants it bad, Stallion gets the tag. Right hands knock down Bart, dropkick to both men. Bart rakes the eyes, suplex connects from Bart. Barbarian lands a Diving Headbutt from the top and we are done.
Barbarian looks like a star and goes over strong, just what you want to see. Shame for poor Stallion with his comeback being shut down immediately but it is what is it, Barbarian looks like the real deal and nobody else really matters in this one.
Winners: Black Bart & Barbarian over Denny Brown & Italian Stallion via Diving Headbutt!
(Glove on a Pole Match) Baron Von Raschke vs Ragin’ Bull Manny Fernandez
Last time it was a Texas Deathmatch I believe with both men bleeding and Baron’s pants falling down comically, let’s hope this is a little smoother and exciting for the fans. Baron clubs Ragin’ Bull, snap-mare into a choke-hold. Elbow drop by Baron, make it two. Baron goes for the glove, Manny says not today. Baron is dragged down, chops from Ragin’ Bull. Snap-mare into an elbow, Ragin’ Bull attempts to climb the turnbuckle and reach the glove but Baron pulls him down. Stomps and a back-breaker from Baron, Baron gets a two. Baron chokes Ragin’ Bull with the middle rope, Paul Jones chokes Ragin’ Bull with his belt before Ragin’ Bull lands a big right hand and goes after Baron. Baron is yanked off the top rope.
Baron applies the dreaded Claw Hold to the head of Ragin’ Bull, the fans want Ragin’ Bull to power up, Ragin’ Bull is bleeding due to the pressure of the Claw Hold. I was going to say it’s not a Ragin’ Bull match without blood, Baron continues squeezing the head of Ragin’ Bull. Ragin’ Bull is firing up though, the crowd is willing on their hero. Hip-toss doesn’t work for Ragin’ Bull as Baron continue squeezing down on the head of Ragin’ Bull. Baron is able to pull down the glove and prepares to use it on Ragin’ Bull but Ragin’ Bull ducks and lands a flying crossbody or his Flying Burrito, it’s hard to tell for the win. Paul Jones attacks and Baron tries to attack Ragin’ Bull but Bull pulls out of the ring and celebrates his win.
Alright nothing special here, I have grown accustom to Manny Fernandez bleeding all over my screen and giving me the closest thing to hardcore matches at the time so this was standard stuff with a finish that feels like it comes out of nowhere but looks quite good.
Winner: Manny Fernandez over Baron Von Raschke via Flying Crossbody!
(Indian Strap Match) Gorgeous Jimmy Garvin W/ Precious vs Wahoo McDaniel
Straight up rematch from earlier in the tour, let’s see if this match is any better. Much stalling but it begins with Wahoo whipping Precious in the ass, loud crowd chants for that so we will say it’s worth it for now. Garvin wants no part of Wahoo who controls the strap and batters the poor Gorgeous one. Any attempt at running ends in failure for Garvin, Wahoo escapes the headlock with Garvin looking to powder again but Wahoo is in complete control. Whips across the back has Garvin begging for mercy, chops to the chest and one to the head before Garvin goes to the eyes. Boots by Garvin who comes alive now, front chancery from Garvin. They begin brawling on the floor, Wahoo has been opened up from Garvin’s attacks.
Re-entering the ring, Garvin drops a knee on Wahoo’s head and begins touching the turnbuckles, Garvin gets to three before Wahoo puts on the breaks. Wahoo ducks a clothesline and nails a chop, right hands and a choke from Wahoo. Garvin is now a bloody mess, massive chop from Wahoo and Garvin is tied up by Wahoo who begins touching the buckles. Precious trips up Wahoo just like last time, Garvin climbs high but Wahoo pulls down Garvin who is a bloody mess. Chop to the head and Wahoo ties up Garvin again. Precious attacks and attacks Wahoo but there is no stopping him on this night.
Carbon-copy of the previous tour match down to a tee, so I have seen this before, the crowd was arguably hotter for the other night when they did this match and it’s mostly stalling from Garvin and Precious so let’s just move on from this one shall we?
Winner: Wahoo McDaniel over Jimmy Garvin via Touching All 4 Corners!
(Taped Fist Match) Ronnie Garvin W/ Wahoo McDaniel vs Tully Blanchard W/ JJ Dillon
Another straight-up rematch, same exact opening with Garvin back-dropping Blanchard and knocking him out before the match starts, crowd arguably reacted bigger last time too unfortunately. Garvin jabs and decks Blanchard once more, Blanchard can’t even get his jacket off as Garvin tees off with big punches. Garvin batters Blanchard and Blanchard survives the first round by the skin of his teeth. Blanchard is battered once more in round two having no defence for Garvin’s attacks. Dillon re-wraps the hands of Blanchard, making his fists even bigger and stronger, Garvin is pulled into the buckle and Blanchard is allowed to stomp Garvin? Blanchard tees off with big right hands, his fist doing the damage as Garvin has donned the crimson mask. The match follows the previous encounter to a tee except for one small detail, Blanchard clobbers Garvin with a foreign object possible brass knuckles to win the match.
Change of finish is appreciated but since the match follows the exact flow of the previous match for 99% of it, it’s harder to rate for sure. I still feel it goes far too long but Blanchard’s selling is fun and the crowd is into it, just not my cup of tea the second time around.
Winner: Tully Blanchard over Ronnie Garvin via TKO!
The Rock “N” Roll Express vs The Andersons
To decide the number one contenders for the tag team championships, this two teams have to get it on inside the squared circle. Morton is fresh off feuding with The Nature Boy for the world championship, Ole talks massive amount of shits before the bell rings. This might be the first really good match on the card.
Gibson and Ole start, stalemate with neither man gaining control. Ole backs Gibson to his corner but Gibson is too quick, they lock-up again with Ole tagging in Arn. Gibson escapes the corner, they lock-up. Shoulder block from Arn, lock-up again. Side headlock by Arn, shoulder block again. Dropkick from Gibson to both, the babyfaces batter the heels and clean house. In comes Morton, Arn sizes up Morton. Lock-up, Arn tees off with punches in the corner before backing up. Shoulder thrusts and gut punches from Arn, Morton slides through the legs and trips up Arn before nailing a DDT. Arn powders to the floor, Morton lands a right to the face while Ole tries protecting his partner.
Ole comes in and out-powers Morton but can’t trap the quicker Morton in the corner to work over the smaller man, Arn comes back in trying to goad Morton into committing to an attack. Arn headbutts Morton and uses all the clubbing blows he can muster to stagger Morton, Morton takes down Arn and works the leg. Tag to Gibson who applies a spinning toe hold before transitioning to a leg stretch, Arn tries kicking off Gibson but Gibson maintains control. Double leg-roll and a shot to Ole. Wishbone-split for Arn who is in dire straits, Morton works the leg to wear down Arn who claws at the face of Morton. Ole comes in and starts working Morton and his nose, clubbing blows but Morton looks to kick out the legs of the bigger Ole. Ole is down and Morton tags in Gibson, Gibson applies a single-leg before tagging in Morton. Wishbone-split from the duo, knee-drop to the knee as Ole continues to scramble away.
Ole kicks Gibson low and grabs him by the hair, Arn receives the tag and smashes the back of Gibson. Snap-mare, Gibson dodges the knee drop and applies a figure four, Morton does the same to Ole and the fans are going absolutely nuts. Referee breaks up Morton and Ole but Ole manages to attack Gibson in the eyes. Tag to Arn, Irish whip and a gut shot to the ribs. Gut-buster and snap-mare from Arn, Ole is tagged in and steps all over the arm of Gibson. Gibson attacks the weakened knee of Ole to escape, Morton comes in and starts slamming the Andersons before Ole spears Morton into the buckle. Ole steps on the face of Morton, Arn lands a straight right to the face of Morton behind the referee’s back.
Elbow to the face of Morton for two, Arn throws Morton over the top rope and to the floor. Ole grabs a camera and chokes Morton with the camera, the referee is oblivious to what is going down as Ole continues to “help” Morton on the outside. Arn stomps the head of Morton over and over, Morton’s face is raked across the top rope. Gibson is punched down by Arn, Ole is tagged in and lands a knee drop to the back and arm of Morton. Arm-bar from Ole, Morton survives but Arn is tagged in again and lands a scoop slam and a vicious knee drop. Two for Arn, Morton rams Arn into the buckle and eats a Diving Crossbody for a close two. Ole comes in to stomp Morton, right hands from Arn but Morton is firing back with big right hands.
Arn whips Morton to the buckle but Morton dodges and Arn lands groin-first into the buckle. Ole comes in and Gibson gets the hot-tag, flurry of punches and a noggin-knocker. Right hands to Ole, Arn is caught in a sleeper as Morton batters Ole with right hands. The bell rings and we have a draw between the two teams, they will live to fight another day it seems as Gibson grabs a chair and wipes out both Andersons.
Such a fun tag team match, you have that great big guy vs smaller guy dynamic here with Ole and even Arn being bigger than Morton and they just decimate him with brutal knee drops, arm-work and anything they can think of and it just keeps building and building until that hot-tag, such good fun wrestling right there and Rock “N” Roll Express are just over like rover, their tag team moves are great, the psychology of getting away from that heel corner and chopping down the heels by going after their legs to slow them down, it’s such fun tag team wrestling here, all I could have wanted more was a clean finish, a definitive finish but no complaints from me, loved this match.
(Hair vs Hair Match) Jimmy Valiant vs Paul Jones
Valiant jumps Baron to begin which allows Jones to get in right hands and knee drops, Ragin’ Bull is in the corner of Valiant. Valiant is firing up as Jones continues nailing right hands. Kicks to the ribs and has Valiant got colour already? Off three punches to the head? Jones has a foreign object and stabs Valiant in the throat. More stomps to the head and neck, Valiant blocks meeting the buckle and sends Jones to the buckle. Jones uses the foreign object again to regain control, Valiant lands a big kick off an Irish whip. Jones uses the object once more, Valiant blocks and grabs the item. Jones is cracked in the head with it twice, Jones is stabbed in the head with the object. The comedy match has blood, boys and girls. Irish whip and an elbow from Valiant and a big elbow. Baron is on the apron and throws the coalminer’s glove to Valiant but Valiant has one of his own. Jones is clobbered, Ragin’ Bull and Baron brawl but out comes Shaska Whatley and waffles Valiant with the chair and Jones wins!
For a comedy match, they told a fun story with all the grotesque cheating and such but this feud seems to be never-ending. Jimmy Valiant’s hair meant a lot to him so I can only imagine that Paul Jones has got hell to pay!
Winner: Paul Jones over Jimmy Valiant via Chairshot!
Magnum T.A. vs Nikita Koloff W/ Ivan Koloff
Match 4 in the series of seven, two big guns battling it out for supremacy. They begin with staring one another down, they lock-up and we have a stalemate. Neither man backs down, side headlock from Magnum. Drop-downs and dodges before Magnum lands a big forearm as Nikita powders. Nikita cannot maintain control with Magnum using his power but Nikita manages to hold down Magnum with a big headlock. Key-lock from Nikita is reversed by Magnum into a hammerlock. Nikita backs Magnum to the corner, shoulder thrusts from Nikita. Magnum is dropped on the top rope hard, big elbow from Nikita. Magnum bounces off the turnbuckle, make it double. Nikita lands a big kick to the face of Magnum, snap-mare into a cover for two. Rear chin-lock from Nikita but Magnum hurls off Nikita.
Nikita maintains control with a knee before a flying crossbody from Magnum gets a close two, Nikita presses Magnum to the floor and they are on the apron. Nikita hurls Magnum into the metal between the pad and buckle so Magnum has donned the crimson mask. Nikita chokes Magnum in the ring with his boot before a knee to the back. Magnum is looking spent in this one, snap-mare for two. Rear chin-lock, Magnum escapes but Nikita continues to deal the damage to Magnum. Back-breaker and a scoop slam for two, Magnum is hurled to the floor again. Apron sleeper from Nikita before a club to the chest, Nikita throws Magnum to the floor again with Ivan landing a boot to the head behind the referee’s back.
Magnum is barely able to stand and almost gets counted out before making it back into the ring, Nikita throws Magnum to the floor for a third time with Magnum smacking his head off the steel steps this time. Magnum hits a shoulder thrust, apron sunset flip with Nikita trying to use the ropes to stay up but the referee kicks Nikita’s hand and Magnum walks away with the win.
A tough one as over as Magnum is, Nikita had been mostly a tag team guy and it’s easy to see why here, not the finest display for him and the rest-holds combined with just hurling Magnum to the floor over and over told you all you needed to know, tremendous potential in Nikita but he needed to be polished and get more experience.
Winner: Magnum T.A. over Nikita Koloff via Apron SunsetFlip!
(Mixed Tag Team Match) The Road Warriors & Baby Doll vs The Midnight Express & Jim Cornette
Little mix-up here with Rhodes & Magnum being replaced by The Road Warriors, should be a mix of brawling and fun to kick us off. Cornette and Baby Doll to start, Baby Doll hip-tosses Bobby Eaton and we begin for real with Road Warriors landing a noggin-knocker on The Express. Condrey is torn apart by Hawk who barely breaks a sweat, knees in the corner from Condrey but a big boot shuts that down and a massive stomp from Hawk. Military press slam and fist drop from Hawk, Baby Doll slaps Condrey too. Eaton comes in and eats multiple shoulder tackles and a hip-toss, tag to Animal. Double back body-drop, Eaton begs for mercy and asks Cornette for a tag who runs away before Baby Doll comes into the ring. Cornette doesn’t want that, Animal and Eaton go at it so.
Hip-toss and dropkick from Animal, military press slam into the buckle from Animal. Condrey tags in, eye-rake and throat thrust from Condrey before slamming Animal. Cornette tags in and misses an elbow drop, we reset with Eaton and Hawk. Right hands have no effect on Hawk, Animal comes in and we have a slam and a splash but Eaton blocks the splash with his knees. Condrey works the ribs with vicious punches, Cornette and Eaton attack Animal behind the referee’s back. Diving knee drop from Eaton with Condrey covering for two, Condrey kicks the ribs of Animal. Massive clothesline for two, Eaton and Condrey attack Animal behind the referee’s back. Eaton climbs high again, Animal lands a shot to the ribs and a clothesline. In comes Hawk for a powerslam and dropkick, flying shoulder tackle for two. Everyone starts brawling with Cornette trapped by Baby Doll, Cornette takes a massive bump and slap from Baby Doll for the win.
Carbon-copy from the previous tour match, nothing wrong with that really as it serves its purpose as a buffer between the exciting last match and the main event. Happy to see more of The Midnight Express as the reviews continue though, working more excellent matches and having fun.
Winners: Road Warriors & Baby Doll over The Midnight Express & Jim Cornette via Slap!
(NWA World Heavyweight Championship Steel Cage Match) Ric Flair © vs Dusty Rhodes
The previous Starrcade Dusty Rhodes had won the championship but the decision had been overturned, the son of a plumber was not world champion and the championship remained around the waist of The Nature Boy who was arguably untouchable at this point, the best interviews, the best matches and the epitome of a world champion.
Flair is oozing charisma as the bell rings, showing up Rhodes who struts his stuff but the fans know that Flair is the man in this one. They finally lock-up, Rhodes jabs away at Flair, Flair is rushing in and paying for this foolish strategy. Flair ponders a new strategy, side headlock from the champion but the challenger answers with a hammerlock. Flair shoves off Rhodes, Rhodes blocks being sent into the cage wall. Flair takes the arm, Rhodes answers back and works the arm of Flair. Military press slam from Rhodes, Flair begs for mercy. Right hands from Rhodes, referee Tommy Young says ease up on the right hands. Flair can get back in with a vicious kick but Rhodes comes back with a sleeper, Flair escapes and we have some nice wrestling before Flair goes low with a gut punch.
Rhodes meets the cage with his face, Flair lands a knee drop and rakes the face of The Dream off of the cage. Bleeding and battered, Rhodes is in serious trouble. Shin-breaker from Flair, Flair drops a nasty stomp to ankle of The American Dream. Flair drops all his weight on the ankle of Rhodes, Flair tries yanking the leg out of its socket. Now we go to school with a Figure Four Leg-lock in the middle of the ring. Rhodes writhes in pain but survives, quickly going to the corner to create separation between the two. Flair delivers another kick to the leg, knee-drop for two. Rhodes delivers a massive clothesline for two, elbow to the head from Rhodes. Flair tries escaping but Rhodes takes down The Nature Boy.
Rhodes hobbles over to Flair, Flair meets the cage hard. Rhodes rakes the face of Flair off the cage. Flair begs for mercy, elbow to the knee from Rhodes. Flair almost dives over the cage but Rhodes is in hot pursuit. Flair is bounced off the cage over and over, headbutt from Rhodes with Flair landing groin-first on the top rope. Continued begging for mercy, Flair meets the cage and is caught in his own hold by Rhodes. Flair reaches the ropes but eats massive chops from Rhodes, Flair-flop to the ground and this match might soon be over. Flair wants a neck-breaker but Rhodes counters for a backslide. Irish whip but Rhodes ducks the clothesline and lands a massive clothesline and an elbow drop for a close two. Flair enters flight mode and tries to escape, a diving crossbody like 1983 a Flair for The Gold but Rhodes kicks out and sends Flair into the cage for a close two.
Irish whip by Rhodes, big elbow takes down The Nature Boy. Rhodes decides to try a big elbow and Flair dodges the elbow drop, scoop slam is countered and just like that with a roll-up, Dusty Rhodes wins the championship for the final time.
Anti-climatic honestly when it all comes down to it, I thought this match would have tonnes of heat to it but it was not the case when all was said and done, I love both men’s work but this didn’t blow me away. Could be the combination of two cage matches back to back, could be that it never really got all that interesting to me despite the big personalities of both men inside that ring. A big moment and a historic one and not a bad match by any means, just not the classic I was hoping for when seeing these two square up inside the ring.
Winner: Dusty Rhodes over Ric Flair via Small Package!
That was NWA’s Great American Bash 1986, a good show from the NWA, soured by the fact that I watched a very similar show just days prior with much of the card remaining the same albeit some finish changes and a few line-up changes. It was fun and a breeze to get through and probably a lot more enjoyable if you didn’t watch the previous tour that is available on the Network. That being said, lots of star-power on this one and lots of good entertaining wrestling with The Andersons and The Rock “N” Roll Express having the best match on the card in my eyes, things were looking great for Jim Crockett Promotions at the time! Thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!