Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that is more low-brow than an MJF promo! It’s WCW’s Great American Bash of 1988, this is the July 10th edition with some massive matches including Lex Luger challenging Ric Flair for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship as well as Dusty Rhodes taking on United States Heavyweight Champion Barry Windham while Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson defend their World Tag Team Championships against the team of Sting and Nikita Koloff, plenty of big names and big matches up and down the card but will this deliver inside of the ring? Let’s find out!
(NWA World Tag Team Championship Match) Nikita Koloff & Sting vs Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson © W/ JJ Dillon
Team babyface batter the heels, Anderson eats a dropkick before powdering and Sting dives over the top rope with a plancha. Anderson nails a shoulder from the apron but the axe handle misses, Sting lands a right hand and works the arm. Nikita comes in and stomps the arm, arm-bar from Nikita. Anderson shoves Nikita back to the corner, kicks and punches but Anderson dodges the corner attack. However, no effect on Nikita, double Russian Sickle as the champions are wiped out by Nikita. Tag to Sting who works the arm, Anderson pushes back Sting. Sting whips Anderson to the corner, knee counter from Anderson. Anderson is too slow but manages to crack on a sleeper, Sting runs Anderson into the buckle. Leg-drop onto the arm, Tully comes in to help but Sting flips through and takes both down with a dropkick. Nikita clubs down Arn, Arn headbutts Sting. In comes Tully, arm-drags from The Stinger and a tag to Nikita.
Nikita clubs away and works the arm of Tully, Tully reaches the ropes with Nikita continuing to work the arm. Nikita tries covering Tully but Tully continues to kick out, Tully makes it to the ropes but Nikita drags Tully to Sting. Sting bites the arm before Tully sends Sting to the corner, Tully misses the corner spear and Sting goes for the cover. Ear-clap from Nikita and Sting lands a massive right hand, Tully is scrambling to Arn but it is not going to happen. Nikita sends Tully into the buckle with a hammerlock throw. Sting and Nikita continue working the arm, tag to Nikita. Arm-bar from Nikita, Tully tries snap-maring out of the hold but Nikita holds on. Tully tags in Arn, Nikita gets away from the corner with a frustrated Arn looking on from his side of the ring. Lock-up and Arn buries his left hands low, Nikita counters with a drop toehold into a hammerlock hold. Full-nelson from Nikita, Arn kicks the knee of Nikita. Tag to Tully who works the knee, Nikita lands his Russian Hammer on Tully. Tully pops up and eats a shoulder block, Nikita clotheslines Tully to the floor. Tully is on the apron, suplex into the ring with JJ Dillon attacking Nikita. Nikita snaps and goes for the sickle but Dillon ducks and Nikita hits the ring-post hard. Arn shoulder-breakers Nikita into the ring-post, the weakness has been targeted. The champions club that left arm, beautiful hammerlock suplex from Arn.
Knees from Arn, Nikita comes up though and shakes off Arn’s attacks. Nikita ducks off of an Irish whip though, Arn spikes the shit out of Nikita with a DDT! 1…2… Nikita kicks out! Arn tags in Tully who dives onto the arm, Tully looks to snap the arm with Nikita surviving at this point. Arm-bar from Tully, tag to Arn. Snap-mare and Arn climbs high, Nikita blocks the splash with his knees and tags in Sting. Back body-drop and dropkick for Tully, military press slam for Tully. Arn comes in and eats a bulldog, Arn shoots low with a left and Tully comes in but eats an atomic drop, Sting lands another dropkick. Noggin-knocker, crowd is going bananas. Tully tags in Arn, Irish whip with Sting reversing for a sleeper.
Arn fights back with elbows, tag to Tully. Diving sunset flip from Tully does not work, Nikita decks Arn with The Russian Sickle. Tully is whipped to the corner, Stinger Splash, Scorpion Death-Lock! Nikita keeps away Arn Anderson and JJ Dillon, Sting clamps it on and Tully does not tap as the time-limit expires! Crowd is rightly outraged as they wanted to see The Stinger as champion!
Fun match for sure, I thought that was the best I had seen for Nikita in quite some time, Nikita has been such a disappointment for me considering what I saw in his future. Sting is catching on like crazy, it’s so clear to see that he is the chosen one! Nothing better than watching Sting batter Tully & Arn, Tully & Arn do an excellent job making Sting look like the future of the business. Getting a lit worn down by shenanigans in my tag matches but I think change will be coming a lot sooner than I expect.
(NWA United States Tag Team Championship Match) The Fantastics © vs The Midnight Express W/ Jim Cornette
Jim Cornette is in a cage above the ring, wrapped in a straight-jacket. If the challengers lose, they will be whipped ten times including Jim Cornette, I swear twenty-minutes of this is Cornette being put in the cage. Fulton and Eaton to begin, side headlock from Fulton. Shoulder block, Fulton slides through for a sunset flip for one. Lane talks strategy with Eaton, side headlock takedown from Eaton. Fulton backs Eaton to the corner who lands a massive right, Fulton head-scissors out of the corner, hurricanrana and Rogers lands a punch to the face too. Eaton tags in Lane, test of strength. Arm-drag with Lane powdering, Rogers come into the ring. Side headlock from Rogers, shoulder block and dropkicks from Rogers.
Lane lands a low shot, elbow to the head. Eaton comes in and lands himself in an arm-drag, Eaton shoves off Rogers and lands a knee to the ribs. Right hand from Eaton, Rogers rolls up Eaton with an O’Connor roll before jumping to the middle rope and landing a crossbody for two. Rogers tags Fulton and they hit a double back body-drop and dropkick, the champions continue to keep control. Lane and Eaton are sent to the floor as The Fantastics strut around the ring. Rogers works the arm with Lane landing some big kicks, tag to Eaton who lands a beautiful bulldog behind Rogers’ back. Two for Eaton, big knee-lift from Eaton. Tag to Lane, Lane rakes the face of Rogers across the top rope. Left-arm lariat from Lane, Eaton lands an elbow and an elbow drop for two.
Rogers tries fighting back but Eaton lands a massive neck-breaker for two, in comes Lane. Massive kicks into a back-breaker from Eaton, tag to Lane again. Throat-thrust from Lane, Eaton lands a mean right to the face. Lane throws Rogers to the mat, in comes Eaton. Tilt-a-whirl back-breaker from Eaton, Eaton maintains a hammerlock before Rogers lands a massive mat-slam. In comes Lane, Lane kicks Fulton to distract the referee. Right hand into a jacknife cover for two, Lane applies the abdominal stretch. Eaton gives the assist behind the referee’s back, Fulton protests again. Eaton is sent into the ring-post by Rogers, headbutt from Lane and more kicks. Sunset flip from Rogers for two, tag to Eaton who stomps all over Rogers. Scoop slam, Alabama Jam from Eaton. Tag to Lane, Fulton breaks it up. Abdominal stretch from Lane, Russian leg-sweep from Lane. Rocket-Launcher is blocked as Rogers uses his knees.
Tag to Fulton who pummels Eaton, Irish whip and a back body-drop. Fulton kicks off Lane, O’Connor roll on Eaton for two. Lane tries tripping Fulton, Fulton gets distracted and Lane slams Fulton to the floor. Rogers takes out the referee with a crossbody, Lane has something in his hand. Lane passes it to Eaton, Eaton cracks Fulton in the eye with the chain as Rogers brawls with Lane on the floor, we have new champions.
It was alright, I was spoiled by these two teams at The Clash, they tore the house down on that night, didn’t click for me here but they weren’t exactly giving me a reason to go nuts. I will say that Bobby Eaton is so much fun to watch though, constantly doing amazing shit inside of that ring but yeah, I have seen much better from both of these teams and I hope if there is a rematch, it is more like what I saw previously and not like this match.
Winners: The Midnight Express over The Fantastic via Chain To The Head!
(Tower of Doom Match) The Garvins/Steve Williams/The Road Warriors vs Kevin Sullivan/Al Perez/Russian Assassin/Ivan Koloff/Mike Rotunda
The feud between The Garvins and The Varsity Club continues as we enter The Tower of Doom match, three cages stacked on top of one another and you have to try and get out of the cage. Takes an eternity to set up, Tommy Young climbs the ladder as slow as possible probably scared of heights which I do not blame him for as it’s really high. Christ almighty, this takes an eternity to get them up there, Koloff and Ronnie Garvin start in a cage alone while we have to wait for other people to get involved? This doesn’t seem fun at all, I want to see everyone brawl. Dr. Death and Mike Rotunda come in with Williams slapping the shit out of everyone while the trap-door opens and Ronnie Garvin slowly makes his way around in a most anti-climatic way. Ronnie Garvin is just standing around like a fool, Ronnie Garvin makes it out of the cage.
How anti-climatic, Animal and Al Perez come in now. Williams and Koloff are brawling away in the middle cage, Animal is being double-teamed. Animal runs wild and slaughters both Rotunda and Perez, Hawk and The Russian Assassin come into the match. Hawk starts battering the two, this match is so limited they cannot even bump. It’s pure madness, in comes Jimmy Garvin and Kevin Sullivan. Animal and Al Perez are in the bottom cage, Animal walks out before Al Perez dramatically gets up and walks out. So, Hawk makes it down and slaughters Koloff and The Russian Assassin before they walk out after him. Dr. Death makes it to the bottom cage and walks out.
So Rotunda and Sullivan are left with Jimmy Garvin, Garvin kicks and punches his opponents with all the venom he can muster, you can’t even see Ron Garvin at ringside so he obviously doesn’t care. Rotunda makes it to the bottom cage and walks out, we are down to 1:1. Everyone is brawling on the floor because yeah, having people who hate one another stand side by side and not kill one another was crazy. Garvin maintains a spinning toe-hold on Sullivan, Sullivan fights back with an eye-poke and right hands. Sullivan and Garvin are in the bottom cage, Garvin tees off with right hands. Brainbuster from Garvin, Precious goes to unlock the cage and Garvin makes it out but Sullivan locks the cage and he is with Precious.
Hawk eventually saves the day but by God, this match is awful. On par with The Bunkhouse Stampede Match, a whole lot of nothing going on for twenty plus minutes, nobody does nothing better than The NWA as that was absolute hot garbage. Hoping that these stupid matches can be left in the past, terrible stuff.
Winners: Team Garvin over Team Sullivan via Escape!
(NWA United States Championship Match) Barry Windham © W/ JJ Dillon vs Dusty Rhodes
Windham left Rhodes laying at The Clash, Windham joined The Horsemen and took the place of Luger, could the student topple the master? Arm-drag and shoulder block from Rhodes, Windham powders to the floor. Windham lands an elbow but eats a military press slam, DDT from Rhodes. Bionic Elbow and Rhodes is climbing high, diving crossbody for two. Windham powders again, Windham locks Rhodes into the corner. Rhodes fights out with jabs, Windham is down as is Dillon who eats a Bionic Elbow. Windham begs for mercy, Windham kicks down Rhodes after luring him in for a test of strength. Windham wants a piledriver but Rhodes brings Windham down with a back body-drop and a massive clothesline.
Windham tees off in the corner with massive rights, axe handle to the floor. Rhodes is bounced off the ring apron, Rhodes pulls the ropes and sends Windham to the floor. Scoop slam on the floor, Dillon distracts Rhodes so Windham comes in with a huge scoop slam and elbow drop. Windham calls for the claw, right hand to stagger Rhodes and The Claw Hold is applied. Rights and lefts from Rhodes but The Claw Hold is locked in tight. Rhodes fades at first before drawing strength from the fans, Windham squeezes tights once again. Rhodes does not drop, Rhodes is on the middle rope and stops the hold with an almighty elbow but no, Windham has too much strength. Never seen so much milking in my life, elbows from Rhodes to stop the claw.
Figure four is blocked though, what a surprise. Caught me completely off-guard as Windham clamps back on The Claw, Rhodes tries escaping on the top rope once more. Rhodes start clubbing down at Windham, Windham lands a gut shot. Rhodes knocks down Windham but the referee is wiped out, Windham climbs high. Rhodes blocks Windham and looks for a military press slam which connects, Bionic Elbow but there is no referee. Ronnie Garvin comes down to the ring because why? Ronnie knocks out Dusty with a beautiful right hand and Windham applies The Claw Hold for the win.
Well it was nothing special inside of the ring, both men can be great inside of the ring but on this night with one another, it didn’t really do anything for me. I am happy for the continued push of Barry Windham, I want to see Windham and Sting go at it soon, that would be nice to see. Luger vs Windham would also be great to see considering what happened between the two. As for Rhodes, a match with Ron Garvin does little for me but you never know, might surprise me.
Winner: Barry Windham over Dusty Rhodes via The Claw!
(NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match) Ric Flair © vs Lex Luger
Luger was a Horseman but refused to relinquish his championship match against The Nature Boy, Luger was kicked out of The Horseman and replaced by Barry Windham. These two will finally meet, can Luger topple the seemingly unstoppable Ric Flair? They square off with one another, Luger is chasing down Ric Flair. They lock-up, Luger shoves down Flair who begs for mercy. Luger says bring it while Flair re-evaluates, lock-up and arm-drag from Luger and Flair says Luger pulled the hair. Side headlock from Luger, Flair escapes but runs into a military press slam. Flair powders and is frustrated by Luger, Luger gains control in the ring as Flair tries to chop his way back into it. Military press slam once more, Flair begs for mercy again. Bearhug from Luger, Flair struggles and struggles as we have a break with Flair pulling the hair of Luger.
Irish whip but Flair holds onto the ropes, Luger is in firm control though. Suplex back into the ring, Flair is in a bad way. Massive elbow drop from Luger for two, Luger misses the elbow drop but hops right back up, massive hip-toss out of the corner. Flair pokes the eyes and chops Luger, Luger is bounced off the barricade. Snap-mare into a knee drop from the champion, Flair works the ribs before Luger comes up. Luger answers back with a massive diving clothesline, two for the challenger. Flair goes to the ribs, snap-mare again. Flair climbs to the top rope, Luger is up too fast and Flair crotches himself on the top rope. Another hip-toss, Luger misses a dropkick as Flair holds onto the ropes to dodge it.
Whip to the corner but Luger explodes out of it and lands a big clothesline. Flair puts his feet on the ropes to survive, Flair throws Luger to the floor. Apron shoulder block from Luger, sunset flip succeeds for a close two. Flair cracks Luger with his feet to survive, Flair works the knee. Flair drops his weight on the leg, wrenches the leg and says it’s time to go to school. Figure Four Leg-Lock with a little ropes for leverage when necessary, Luger screams and screams as referee Tommy Young misses what Flair is doing. Luger powers up and reverses the hold, Flair has to break the hold. Flair kicks the knee of Luger, Flair tries to drop his weight on Luger’s leg but Luger dodges.
Luger ducks Flair’s attack and clotheslines The Nature Boy to the floor. Dillon coaches and cheers on Flair, Flair wants to punish Luger. Flair chops and chops but Luger shakes it off and power-slams Flair. Luger tries a knee-drop, Flair dodges and climbs high. Flair takes too long and is yanked off the top rope, Flair begs for mercy. Ten punches from Luger, Luger eats an inverted atomic drop but fires up with a clothesline. Flair is in the ropes, Luger looks to the crowd with Flair begging for mercy. Ten punches again, Irish whip with a Flair flip to the floor. Flair can’t nail the hip-toss, back-slide from Luger. Two for the challenger, Irish whip and Flair dives into Luger with both men jumping over the top rope.
Flair hobbles and hobbles, Luger meets the ring-post hard. Flair grabs a chair, referee Tommy Young says drop that while Dillon sends Luger into the ring-post. Flair drags Luger to the corner, chops from Flair. Ten punches from the champion, inverted atomic drop from Luger. Flair’s chops have no effect as Luger lands a powerslam, Luger calls for The Torture Rack. The referee Tommy Young calls for the bell, we have a new champion???? Wait, hold on a second, the athletic commission have said there will be no blood on this night and we have to stop the match, Flair is going to retain his championship!
Well this company certainly has a way with screwy finishes, the dusty finish is I full effect. What makes this even funnier is wrestlers in this company bleed to an unnecessary degree and while watching this show, I thought it was bizarre that nobody was bleeding and well, I should have seen this coming with a finish like this. Nobody even was bleeding in the cage so yeh maybe I should have seen this coming but wow, that finish is terrible. What I will say is that Flair continues to be a master inside of that ring as he can make anyone and everyone look great inside of that ring, another memorable match with a hot crowd to boot. The formula works boys and girls whether you like it or not but what a sour end to this show!
Winner: Ric Flair over Lex Luger via Referee Stoppage!
That was The Great American Bash 1988, a less than stellar show from Jim Crockett Promotions! The stars are there and the action is hot but the finishes leave much to be desired, Sting, Koloff and Luger were all robbed of victories on this night, a night for The Horsemen for sure with all of them keeping their gold. I don’t mind heels all going over but there has to be better ways to do this, better ways to get out of these messes. The Fantastics and Midnight Express had a very underwhelming match while that Tower of Doom Match is arguably the dumbest match I have ever seen, more boring than The Bunkhouse Stampede because at least in that they could move a little, this was a train-wreck from top to bottom. It’s baffling because I know this company can deliver, they did with the first Clash but they are burning their fans bad now and it’s hurting business and my interest so we shall see what happens next but this was not a fun one. Thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!