Tuesday 15 February 2022

WCW Great American Bash 1990 Review


Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that puts wrestlers to sleep quicker than somas! It’s the big one, it’s WCW’s Great American Bash 1990 AKA Sting’s Coronation as the man in WCW! The main event is The Stinger taking on Ric Flair for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship! We have also have Mean Mark Callous challenging Lex Luger for his NWA United States Championship, we have The Dudes with Attitude taking on The Horsemen and we have some really strange matches with acts that I thought had retired or thought would not be featured on PPV by this point. Harley Race? Dutch Mantell? The Iron Sheik? Ok WCW have it your way! Let’s get it on!


Nature Boy Buddy Landell vs Flyin’ Brian Pillman

Buddy Landell? Have I gone back three years? It was not like Landell was ancient or anything but this is crazy, where has he been all this time? Pillman slaps Landell, Landell chops away at Pillman before Pillman turns the tide. Clubbing blows by Landell, Pillman lands a diving crossbody for two. Landell begs for mercy, they lock-up now. Knees and chops from Landell, Pillman sends Landell to the corner. Hip-toss and triple dropkicks from Pillman. Landell is on the floor, Pillman works the arm before Landell says Pillman grabbed the hair. The referee checks and Landell pulls the hair of Pillman, Pillman is dragged to the corner. Slap from Landell, Landell hides behind the referee and takes a breather.


We reset, lock-up. Pillman has the wristlock, eye-poke from Landell. Sunset flip from Pillman does not work, right hand by Landell. Pillman tries a diving crossbody from the corner but Landell sees it coming and lands a back-breaker. Landell steps all over the throat of Pillman, bottom rope choke from Landell. Pillman fights back but misses the dropkick, Landell tries multiple pin attempts but Pillman is too strong to be beaten like that. Pillman tries the hip-toss but Landell drills Pillman with a clothesline for two. Landell chokes Pillman with his knee, stomp to the head. Pillman fires up with rights and chops, ten punches in the corner. Landell reverses an Irish whip and sends Pillman hard to the buckle, chops by both men. Elbow takes down Pillman, snap-mare into the reverse chin-lock. Pillman lands elbows before a knee to the ribs takes down Pillman for two, Landell has a chin-lock once more. Landell lands a suplex, stomp to the head and chops from Landell. Pillman fires back with boots and chops, ten punches in the corner. Stomps in the corner, Landell clotheslines Pillman down. Irish whip and a crossbody with Landell rolling through for two, Pillman cannot get the O’Connor roll. Pillman misses a clothesline but hangs onto the apron and lands a Diving Crossbody for the win.


Rather uninteresting match as Landell batters Pillman for the majority of the contest, nothing of note. Bigger shock is that Landell is on PPV for WCW in 1990 but the things are going to get even stranger as we continue I assure you ladies and gentlemen.


Winner: Flyin’ Brian Pillman over Buddy Landell via Diving Crossbody!


Captain Mike Rotunda vs The Iron Sheik

Attack with the flag and the coat by Sheik, good lord look at that belly of Sheik. That is tremendous, Rotunda is being choked and rammed into the buckle. Choke in the corner, clothesline by Sheik. Rotunda manages to get away from Sheik who stalls, trading blows before an eye-rake from Sheik. Rotunda meets the boot spike of Sheik, Sheik is not happy with the fans chanting USA. Gut-wrench suplex for two, abdominal stretch. German suplex for two, Rotunda fights back with big rights. Sheik goes down, Sheik begs for mercy. Uppercut from Rotunda, eye-rake from Sheik. Suplex is blocked, Rotunda suplexes Sheik for two. Uppercuts from Rotunda, eye-rake from Sheik. Sheik tosses Rotunda to the floor, Suplex into the ring for two. Big chops from Sheik, Sheik wants the double arm suplex but Rotunda reverses for the backslide and the win.


Far too long it is awful while Rotunda is not exactly babyface material but I love their determination to make that happen but it is just not my thing at all.


Winner: Mike Rotunda over Iron Sheik via Backslide!


Dirty Dutch Mantell vs Doug Furnas

I would much rather watch Kobashi/Kikuchi take on Furnas/Kroffat than watch Furnas by himself, Furnas was not exactly a great watch in the ring with Barry Windham. Dutch Mantell’s hairy back might be one of the best in wrestling. Furnas squeezes Mantell who applied a side headlock, shoulder block does not work for Dutch. Furnas mows down Dutch with a shoulder block, side headlock by Dutch. Furnas shoves off Dutch, leapfrogs and drop-downs before a right hand and military press from Furnas. Dutch shoves Furnas to the corner, big disrespect from Dutch. Dutch slaps Furnas, Dutch asking for a breather.


To the corner again, third slap from Dutch. Slap from Furnas, ten punches and a massive dropkick from Furnas. Dutch powders, wristlock from Furnas. Arm-bar from Furnas, Dutch takes a shortcut to gain control. Eye-rakes and rope rakes too for good measure, Furnas wins the fist-fight but a scoop slam and a mis-timed splash leads to Dutch being in back control. Clothesline from Dutch for two, reverse chin-lock from Dutch. Dutch transitions to the arm before eye-raking Furnas, Dutch tosses Furnas to the floor. Another clothesline on the floor by Dutch, snap suplex for two. Furnas presses Dutch onto the referee, Dutch applies the arm-bar. Furnas fights out and lands a big clothesline, right hands by Furnas. Powerslam from Furnas, something goes wrong and we reset with a boot to the head before Dutch rakes the eyes. Shoulder block by Dutch, Furnas lands a belly to belly suplex for the win.


Flat finish to a flat match, Furnas was not going to be the star they hope him to be much like Zenk, hopefully they realize this sooner rather than later but we will see. Quite a poor start to this PPV so far, Sting’s coronation is looking like a saving grace by this point.


Winner: Doug Furnas over Dirty Dutch Mantell via Belly to Belly Suplex!


Harley Race vs Tommy Wildfire Rich

Harley Race on PPV in 1990 in a singlet, Rich has a new hairstyle for this match. Clotheslines and scoop slams by Rich, side headlock takedown from Rich. Rich works the arm, Race lands a high knee. Piledriver which sends Rich to the floor, suplex on the ramp. Race and Rich trade blows before Race is clotheslined to the floor. Suplex into the ring, Rich climbs high and lands a fist drop for two. Belly to belly suplex for two, clothesline by Race. Swinging neck-breaker from Race, Rich and Race go over the top rope in a powerslam which is much safer than I say. Rich goes to the top rope, diving crossbody and Race rolls through for the win.


A win nine years in the making and they will tell you Hogan was a piece of shit for bringing in Warrior to get his win back! I am joking of course but yeah this was terrible like the rest of the card so far so at least its consistent.


Winner: Harley Race over Tommy Rich via Roll-Up!


(NWA United States Tag Team Championship Match) The Midnight Express © W/ Jim Cornette vs The Wide-Eyed Southern Boys

It starts off hot with Lane and Eaton attacking Armstrong and dumping Smothers on the floor, we have a brawl on the floor before things settle down gradually. Double back body drop on Eaton, flying shoulder block. Cornette regroups with his guys, Eaton and Armstrong will start the match officially. Arm-drag from Armstrong, Eaton backs Armstrong to the corner. Massive rights from Eaton, scoop slam. Armstrong yanks Eaton off the top rope, monkey flip and stinging lefts before a big right. Dropkick takes down Eaton, diving clothesline by Armstrong with Cornette counselling Eaton. Smothers tags in, big chop to Eaton.


More talking with Cornette, lock-up. Eaton avoids the powerslam, Smothers ducks an elbow and lands a savate kick. Lock-up, Eaton backs up Smothers and lands his elbow in the corner. Smothers sends Eaton to the corner, back body-drop and a savate kick. In comes Lane who knows a thing or two about savate kicks, Lane stretches up both legs before preparing to kick off the head of Smothers. Lane shows off his karate skills, waffling Smothers in the eye. Lane kicks around Smothers before Smothers blocks and savate kicks down Eaton and Lane. Crowd fires up, Lane rakes the eyes. Smothers arm-drags and transitions into the arm-bar, Eaton backs Smothers to the corner. Right hands by Eaton, whip to the buckle and Smothers kicks Eaton in the head.


Eaton looks for a breather, baseball slide to the face of Eaton. Lane jumps in and they land a double elbow on Smothers, diving crossbody from Armstrong to save Smothers. Cornette is irate as his boys are getting whopped by The Southern Boys. Smothers and Eaton lock-up, Smothers tries an O’Connor roll but did not see the blind-tag. Lane throws Smothers over the top rope and into the guardrail, Lane smashes Smothers off the apron into the guardrail. Tag to Eaton, atomic drop into the back-breaker. Clothesline from Eaton, leapfrog splash from Lane. Lane kicks around Smothers who tries covering up, snap-mare and tag to Eaton. Smothers fights back with kicks and a superkick, Eaton stops the tag. Eaton climbs high, Alabama Jam from Eaton and a tag to Lane.


Sunset flip from Smothers for two, Lane pops up and tags Eaton. Kick and neck-breaker from Eaton, Smothers is tossed to the floor. Smothers is yanked back into the ring, Lane lands a double-arm suplex for two. Tag to Eaton, right hand to the floor. Smothers sends Eaton to the floor but Lane lands a clothesline, whip to the buckle but Smothers sends Lane into the buckle. Eye-rake from Lane, tag to Eaton. Double sunset flip and a tag to Armstrong, right hands all around. Chops all around, noggin-knocker. Flying shoulder block on Lane, Eaton breaks up that attempt. Smothers is alive once more, assisted missile dropkick on Lane. Smothers knocks down Eaton, Armstrong does not get the three on Lane. Eaton shoves Armstrong off the top rope, Rocket Launcher and Armstrong manages to kick out.


Armstrong switches places with Smothers, Lane catches Smothers though. Smothers is whipped off the ropes, Lane lands a massive enzuigiri and Eaton lands the small package for the win.


Excellent tag team match, Cornette and The Midnight do everything to make The Southern Boys look fantastic, all the spots from the karate kicks to the shine, it is tremendous stuff from The Midnight Express. Smothers works the majority of the match and it’s the right choice for me, just all around great stuff and the finish is fantastic too. I love the kick to the back of the head, Lane’s kicks have been established as deadly so this works so well for me. You really feel that The Midnight Express squeaked by here, great tag team wrestling!


Winners: The Midnight Express over The Southern Boys via Enzuigiri!


Vader vs The Z-Man

Who is this guy? He’s huge! Vader comes in after destroying your NJPW favourites to batter Zenk, rights and lefts from Vader. Corner splash from Vader, Zenk is rocked. Short-arm clothesline, Zenk rolls to the apron. Vader chokes Zenk into the ring, Zenk lands a dropkick but a crossbody leads to a military press slam. Elbow drop from Vader, Zenk is looking for help. Suplex from Vader, clothesline and splash from Vader for the win. Fantastic way to establish Vader.


Winner: Vader over Z-Man via Splash!


The Steiner Brothers vs The Fabulous Freebirds

The freebirds are living up to the fantastic name anyways in their sparkly gear with mascara too, they rush Rick and Scott. Sidewalk slam and double clothesline on Scott, Scott blocks the DDT before Rick lands Steinerlines. Rick and Garvin to start, whip to the buckle and back body drop followed by a Steinerline by Rick for two. Tag to Hayes who does a whole lot of stalling before Garvin comes in with Scott. Hip-toss by Scott to both Freebirds, dropkicks too. Hayes resets and sends Scott into the buckle, clubbing blows and chops too. Irish whip but Scott counters and tiger-drivers Hayes, tilt-a-whirl side-slam from Scott. Hayes eats a powerslam, Garvin eats a powerslam too.


Side headlock on Hayes, Garvin knees Rick while Hayes lands his left. Double suplex to Rick on the outside, Garvin lands a clothesline on the floor for good measure. Hayes slams Rick for two, running bulldog from Hayes for two. Tag to Garvin, boots to the head and a cheap shot to Scott. Camel clutch on Rick, right hands to the head for two. Reverse chin-lock from Garvin, Garvin changes tactics and climbs high. Rick dodges and lands a diving bulldog, tag to Hayes. However, in comes Scott. Powerslam, military press slam with Garvin being tossed onto Hayes. Stereo Steinerlines, Frankensteiner on Hayes but Garvin lands the DDT on Scott. Referee never saw that tag though, Rick Belly To Belly Suplexes Hayes and Scott picks up the win.


Fun tag team match with a lot of the stalling, The Steiners are red-hot with Scott improving and with each and every week, the attacks are explosive and there is an energy there that cannot be matched, I love watching The Steiners throw people around. Freebirds cannot get much higher on the card so the roll they are in is perfect for them.


Winners: The Steiner Brothers over The Fabulous Freebirds via Belly to Belly Suplex!


The Four Horsemen vs The Dudes With Attitude

Talk about a bizarre match, we have JYD and Paul Orndorff teaming with El Gigante to battle The Horsemen. Orndorff and Sid, Orndorff tries a sunset flip but Sid chokes Orndorff and lands a clothesline. Sid taunts with the crowd cheering big, Sid misses a leg drop. Orndorff works the leg and dropkicks Sid to the floor, hip-tosses and knee-lifts before Sid comes back in and blocks a hip-toss. Backslide by Orndorff but JYD lands the headbutt to help for two, Anderson kicks and lands lefts to Orndorff. Mr. Wonderful fights out of the heels’ corner, we have a stand-off and El Gigante scares away the heels. JYD and Anderson are in the ring now, crowd is into Gigante which is nice.


Windham and JYD are in there now, rights and lefts do nothing to JYD. Headbutt and more headbutts to Windham, Gigante scares away Windham before a tag to Anderson. JYD nails Anderson in the corner, tag to Windham after Anderson lands some big hits. DDT has no effect, no slam for Windham. JYD suplexes Windham, tag to Anderson. Orndorff is in, right hands to everyone, noggin-knocker. Clothesline to Anderson, Windham lands a diving axe handle to the back of the head. Orndorff lands massive rights but Sid lands a powerslam, more taunting from Sid for two. In comes Windham, suplex drills Orndorff. Two for Windham, right hands to the head. Tag to Anderson, knee to the back.


Windham and Anderson are roughing up Orndorff, shoulder block by Windham but Orndorff lands a forearm to the face. JYD comes in, drilling Anderson and Windham with rights. Noggin-knocker before Sid comes in, JYD is tossed over the top rope. We have a DQ and we do not get to see Gigante get his hands on The Horsemen.


Garbage, team Dudes have nobody that could really sell and the one thing that they were saving which was Gigante being in the ring and killing everyone, we never get the damn thing which is simply awful. A DQ in this highly promoted match considering the finish of The Clash, what a waste of time.


Winners: Dudes over Horsemen via DQ!


(NWA United States Championship Match) Lex Luger © vs Mean Mark Callous W/ Teddy Long

They lock-up, Luger gives a clean break. Callous works the arm, Luger takes the wristlock. Callous backs Luger to the corner, clean break.  Hammerlock from Luger, drop toehold from Callous but Luger squeaks out and applies the hammerlock once more. Callous reaches the ropes, Callous claims Luger pulled the hair. Lock-up and Callous has the control, cheap shot to Luger. Whip to the buckle, Luger dodges the elbow drop. Wristlock by Luger, Luger ducks two clotheslines and lands a crossbody for two. Arm-drag into an arm-bar, Callous tries arm-drags and rolling to escape but Luger will not let go of the hold. To the ropes we go, Callous drops-down and leapfrogs before cracking Luger with two clotheslines and a boot.


Throat thrusts from Callous, Luger is choked with the middle rope. Callous beats down the arm, arm-bar from Callous. Luger fights back but misses a clothesline, Luger is down on the floor. Callous knees Luger off the apron to the guardrail, Luger is bounced off the steel steps. Headbutt from Callous, sunset flip counter from Luger for two. Callous lands rights Callous misses a corner elbow. Luger fights back but Callous clubs down Luger, Luger is drilled with a suplex. However, Luger pops up and lands a clothesline. Another clothesline, Luger is running wild. Torture Rack but the referee is wiped out with a boot to the head, Dangerously smashes Luger in the ribs with the phone.


Dangerously is reviving the referee, Callous crawls into the cover. 1..2… Luger kicks out! Mean right hands by Callous, short-arm clothesline by Callous. Luger is on the ropes, a boot stops the heart punch. Callous is rocked and Luger drills Dangerously and drills Callous with a clothesline for the win.


Not bad, I expected a lot worse considering Luger is at his best when he’s in there with Flair or Steamboat or Anderson but this was a lot of fun in many ways, Callous will be leaving here soon enough so it will be interesting to see how the final months go for Callous while Luger seems to have cleared out many of the heels in the company at the time so I am wondering who will be coming down the pipeline for Luger.


Winner: Lex Luger over Mean Mark Callous via Clothesline!


(NWA World Tag Team Championship Match) Doom © W/ Teddy Long vs The Rock “N” Roll Express

The tag team division in WCW at the time is certainly interesting with a mix of new acts like Doom & The Steiners in there with acts like Freebirds, Midnight Express and now are challengers for the night are The Rock “N” Roll Express. Simmons and Gibson to start, Simmons shoves down Gibson hard. Simmons asks Gibson if he wants to leave, Simmons shoves down Gibson again while posing. Knee and rights from Simmons, Irish whip but Gibson ducks and lands right hands. Simmons is rolled up for two, Simmons realizes now that Gibson is a resourceful and crafty veteran. In comes Reed, knees and clubbing blows in the ropes. Gibson slams Reed and lands an elbow to the head, Morton comes in and is rocked by Reed.


Side headlock by Reed, shoulder block by Reed. Morton is rocked, side headlock by Morton and a blind tag to Gibson. Double tackle on Reed, double suplex on Simmons. Reed is yanked into the ring, Gibson tries a hip-toss but Reed clotheslines down Gibson. Gibson eats a double elbow, two for Simmons. Leg drop after a scoop slam from Simmons, Gibson is rammed into the boot of Reed. Reed comes in and decks Morton for good measure, Gibson is tossed over the top rope to the floor. Reed continues to dominate before Gibson lands a massive knee-lift, tag to Morton. Right hands by Morton, sleeper from Morton but Morton has to let go and decks Simmons. O’Connor roll on Reed, Simmons lands a shoulder to the back of the head of Morton and Morton is down and possibly out.


Clothesline from Reed and an elbow drop times two from Reed. Reed receives a two count, fists to the head from an angry Reed. Simmons tags in and batters Morton, whip to the buckle but Morton botos down Simmons. Tag to Reed, eye-rake and whip to the buckle. Morton reverses but eats a knee from Reed, diving elbow drop for two. Reed is caught in a backslide for two, Reed kicks Morton in the head. Powerslam from Simmons for two, diving axe handle from Reed and two fist-drops for two. Reverse chin-lock from Reed, Simmons and Teddy Long assist before Morton is tossed illegally over the top rope. Simmons puts the boots to Morton on the floor, Morton begins to fight back before Reed slams Morton.


Morton dodges the splash with his knees, tag to Gibson. Gut-shot and a face-buster, dropkick to Simmons. Right hands all around, Simmons gets back at Gibson. Sunset flip but we have a brawl, it has broken down. Teddy Long is on the apron, Gibson enzuigiris Reed into Teddy Long. Reed is knocked to the floor but climbs to the top rope and lands a diving shoulder block for the win.


Wow the crowd are not into The Rock “N” Roll Express at all, really strong negative reaction to the duo and it’s shocking to see considering what they had done when wrestling inside of that ring but as I mentioned above, it did feel like life had past them by, it was a new era with The Steiners and Doom at the top of the mountain and The Rock “N” Roll feel like a nostalgia act. Incredible how fast it all comes crashing down, nothing spectacular from the crowd but such a shame the crowd only comes alive for the finish.


Winners: Doom over The Rock “N” Roll Express via Diving Shoulder Block!


(NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match) Sting vs Ric Flair ©

The match they wanted for Capital Combat, the match that had to be delayed because Doug Dillinger injured Sting pulling him off the cage. The biggest match in the company’s history to this point, it is make or break for Sting. All the babyfaces and the Horsemen are surrounding the ring, Ole Anderson is handcuffed to El Gigante.


Lock-up and Sting shoves down Flair twice, side headlock and shoulder block from Sting. Flair begs off already, Sting is ready for this match. Flair backs Sting to the corner, chops have no effect. Flair is sent to the buckle, military press slam for Flair. Hip-toss and dropkick from Sting, the chops are not affecting Sting. Hip-toss on the ramp and a clothesline into the ring, Flair begs for mercy. A thumb to the eye, snap-mare into the knee-drop. Vertical suplex does not hurt Sting, clotheslines from Sting. Sting climbs high, diving crossbody for two. We reset but Flair stomps the knee, Sting is hurt. Sting lands a clothesline but misses an elbow drop, Flair wants the figure four but Sting kicks off Flair.


Forearm and chop from Flair, Sting is tossed to the ramp. Flair works the knee in the corner, Sting fires up but misses a dropkick. Flair drops all his weight on the leg of Sting, Flair misses dropping his weight on Sting’s leg. Snap-mare and a knee-drop misses, Sting applies the figure four. Flair survives and chops Sting on the floor, Sting meets the guardrail but no-sells that horseshit. Flair begs for mercy, Sting lands massive right hands to the head of Flair. Flair climbs high to escape Sting, Sting yanks Flair to the floor. Flair fights back from his knees, Sting blocks a hip-toss. Backslide for two, Flair kicks out the leg of Sting. Flair continues chopping Sting and stomping the challenger, slaps from Flair and a massive chop.


Sting is no longer feeling that stuff, Sting whips Flair and lands a military press slam. Clothesline from Sting, two for the challenger. Punches in the corner, Flair flip to the apron and a clothesline almost beheads the champion. Flair is on the apron, suplex into the ring for two. Stinger Splash in the corner, Scorpion Death-Lock in the middle of the ring. Here come The Horsemen but The Dudes with Attitude are brawling with The Horsemen. Flair makes it to the ropes, Sting’s best hold could not get the job done on this occasion. Flair eats right hands on the apron, Flair smashes Sting with a shoulder block. Flair tried to use the ropes for leverage but Scott Steiner shoves off the feet. We have some nice pinning sequences, backslide by Sting for two.


Chops do not work on Sting, whip to the buckle but Sting tries a knee in the corner. Sting is down, Flair calls for the finish with the figure four but Sting reverses the hold. Just like Steamboat before him, 1…2…..3! The Stinger has done it, Sting is your world champion!


It was Sting’s crowning moment and they did everything they could to make it memorable, obviously Sting was not in great ring condition due to his injury and this being his first time back so you have a very fast-paced Flair main event with all the bells and whistle like Gigante stopping Ole Anderson and the babyfaces stopping The Horsemen. Flair gets in his usual shtick with the chops have no effect, the working of the knee and ultimately, Sting gaining one over Flair. It was as good as it could have been given the circumstances and it’s an interesting look at the way Flair worked if he was under time-constraints considering this main event is probably the shortest main event of his career to this point but yes, a wonderful moment for WCW and I appreciate the way they did their best.


Winner: Sting over Ric Flair via Small Package!


That was WCW’s Great American Bash 1990, an important PPV for historical purposes but a mostly disappointing show. The first 4 matches you can take your pick of whichever one you want, they are all bizarre. Sheik on PPV in 1990? Dutch Mantell and Doug Furnas? Harley Race vs Tommy Rich in 1990? Incredibly bad all in their own little ways and they have no business being on the PPV so how did we get here? A very poor start to the show for WCW, Southern Boys and Midnight Express rules, Corny and his team always deliver enough said there. The debut of Vader is a massive moment considering what the monster would do in the company in the future. Freebirds vs Steiners was fine, the six-man tag was offensive and a complete waste with no pay-off to what they promised. Luger vs Callous was fine, nothing special while The Rock “N” Roll had a decent match but were crapped all over by the fans in the arena and the main event did what it needed to do, it’s not a classic like the first match at The Clash or similar matches with Luger, Hawk, Nikita etc but Sting is champion, we got where we needed to be. Seek this out for the main event and The Midnight match, everything else varies from terrible to average. Thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!

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