It’s Pay Per View time once again, ladies and gentlemen out there in WCW world! We’ve been building to it for a while and it’s finally here…the Great American Bash! We open to a quick montage of promos for the big matches. We get Heenan alone, looking a bit scared. We get Mongo, Greene, and Savage. We get Arn, Flair and the ladies. We then finish off with Lex Luger saying he’s already got two titles, he’s coming after the third and then the rebuttal from The Giant.
From there, we go into the National Anthem and the presentation of the flag, which they’ve never done before in the PPVs that I’ve been watching. I guess since it’s the Great AMERICAN Bash, that’s why. Sgt. Craig Pittman is the man presenting the colors. We go to our announce team of Tony Schiavone and Dusty Rhodes. We’re minus Bobby Heenan due to him being the “coach” of the Horsemen team tonight. They open the show running down some of the issues we’ll see tonight, including telling us that we’ll find out if WCW will accept the challenge from Hall and Nash. Of course, they’ve yet to be named, so they’re still just referred to in a roundabout way.
Tony tells us that Dick Murdock has died recently. Dusty says that he would have loved a night like tonight when you can smell a fight in the air. Odd to see Dusty talking about his departed best friend just a month or so after his own death.
Match #1: Fire & Ice VS The Steiner Brothers – There Must Be a Winner
These two teams have apparently been having a lot of matches on Saturday Nights where there hasn’t been definitive winners, bringing us this match. The only one I know of is the Monday Night match from a few weeks back, which makes me sad that I don’t have access to Saturday Night.
Scott and Ice Train start off, looking pretty even until Scott gets a quick burst off offense, bringing in Norton, who gets a hip toss. This brings in Rick Steiner and the Steiners hit their classic pose while Fire & Ice regroup on the outside. After regrouping, both teams tag out and we get Norton vs Rick. Rick hits a massive Steinerline and follows with a belly-to-belly suplex before tagging out to Scott. Norton sends Scott to the ropes and surprises him with a massive Samoan drop. Damn, I love a Samoan drop. This derails Steiner enough for Norton to tag back out to Ice Train, who takes over, getting a two count out of a side belly-to-belly suplex.
We get our first inclinations of heelishness out of one of our teams when Norton attacks a downed Scott Steiner while the referee is distracted. Until this point, Fire & Ice had been presented as a babyface team, so it’s interesting to see a heel move there. Of course, Norton does come across as the more heelish of the two, so it kind of works.
Scott comes back with an overhead suplex and a Steinerline to Ice Train. He tags out to Norton and Steiner gets an ugly suplex and dumps Norton on his head. Norton and Ice Train do come back and begin to control the match, though, with quick tags. Norton picks Scott Steiner up and drops him hard with a shoulder breaker, but instead of going for a pin like normal, he goes for a submission. Rick comes in and starts kicking Norton in the face to get him to break up the hold, but Norton refuses to release, even after five or six kicks. Norton gets another shoulder breaker, but Rick was able to tag in. He Steinerlines Norton hard, then dumps him with a German suplex. He follows up with a Steinerline/suplex combo to Ice Train as well before going back to Norton. Ice Train sends Scott to the floor and they hit a powerbomb/splash combo bit the pin is broken up by Scott. They send Scott back outside and attempt a Doomsday Device but Scott Steiner is able to knock Ice Train off the top rope. The Steiners get their top rope bulldog off of Scott’s shoulders, but Ice Train breaks it up at two. Scott hits Norton with a bad looking Frankensteiner for the win.
Winners: The Steiner Brothers
Another good match between these two. I just wish Scott could have hit that Frankensteiner better, though. I love that move and I hate seeing it messed up.
We go to the back with Mean Gene, Jimmy Hart and Kevin Sullivan. Jimmy tells Sullivan that they don’t need to be messing with the Horsemen. Sullivan says this isn’t about the Horsemen. This is about showing Arn Anderson and Ric Flair that Benoit doesn’t deserve to be a Horseman. He says he ran off the last guy who didn’t deserve to be a Horsemen and he’ll do the same to Benoit, and he’ll do it for Double A.
Match #2: WCW United States Championship: El Gato VS Konnan (WCW United States Champion)
El Gato looks like he’s wearing a pair of black dress slacks and a Tiger Mask mask. This guy is a superstar? Konnan comes out with the US title as well as the Mexican Championship. He’s also wearing the Mexican flag as a poncho.
I can’t tell if El Gato is Mexican or Japanese.
We get a volley of armdrags followed each time by El Gato adjusting his mask and going into a martial arts pose. Konnan connects with a nice flippy armdrag off of the ropes, then charges El Gato and they have an awkward exchange ending with Konnan sitting on the top rope. El Gato goes to setup for a movie but Konnan pulls him down to the mat by his mullet. Granted, El Gato is under a mask, so I don’t know for certain it’s a mullet…but this guy is so bad thus far that I’m going to go ahead and call it a mullet.
Konnan comes off the Irish whip and attempts a Frankensteiner but El Gato does his first good move and drops him with a sitout powerbomb. El Gato and Konnan trade crappy looking arm and leg holds before Konnan whips El Gato to the corner, does a reverse roll and a weird looking bulldog. Konnan does his rolling clothesline, which I always like, but El Gato kicks out at one. Konnan goes to the floor, El Gato tries to do a baseball slide dropkick but Konnan moves and El Gato simply slides out of the ring and hits the floor. They go to move back into the ring and Konnan surprises El Gato with a sunset flip powerbomb to the floor. Konnan whips El Gato to the corner, El Gato tries to jump backwards out of it but Konnan catches him and Alabama Slams him for the win.
Winner: Konnan (still WCW US Champion)
Wow…this was bad. Konnan has yet to impress me during this run and El Gato looks like a guy that they just grabbed from backstage. This was bad.
Backstage, Mean Gene is joined by Sting and they talk about Lord Steven Regal being prissy and a sissy, drinking his tea with a little pinky out. Sting questions his masculinity through most of the promo, saying he’s a little “iffy,” and that he’s “not too sure about him.” Damn, Stinger, just come out and call him gay already…we know that’s what you’re hinting at.
Match #3: Battle Bowl Ring on the line – Diamond Dallas Page (Lord of the Ring) VS Marcus Alexander Bagwell
DDP says that once the women in Baltimore get a load of him, they’ll forget all about “Carl” Ripken. Ugh. Man, it takes Page a while to really get running, doesn’t it?
Bagwell hits the ring running but Page takes the low road and comes from behind him while Bagwell has his back turned. Bagwell is able to pull him to the floor and whips him into the crowd. Page gets into the ring first and cuts Bagwell off when he enters. Bagwell gets a two count off of a crossbody block and starts working the arm. Tony gives us a bit of history of Page and his fall and subsequent rise back to the ranks of WCW.
Bagwell sends Page to the ropes, but Page grabs the ropes with his arms and legs, hanging between the top and second rope. Bagwell dropkicks him in the gut through the ropes and follows with a dive over the top to the floor. Marcus goes up top but Page is able to knock him off the top rope and take over.
Bagwell fires back while Page is jawjacking with the crowd. Page goes to punt Bagwell but Buff-to-be moves and Page eats the mat. Bagwell hits an atomic drop and a revere atomic drop, then they do this thing where Page kicks, Buff grabs his leg, spins him, ducks under a clothesline, then clotheslines Page himself…when he could have just pulled Page’s leg and clotheslined him from there. Really some odd wasted movement that could have been way better by just clotheslining him right off. DDP gets his own clothesline and tries to get a pin twice with his legs on the ropes. He tosses Bagwell to the ropes and goes for a tilt-a-whirl slam but Buff gets him in a headscissors. Bagwell goes for a suplex, DDP grabs the ropes to stop it and then hits the Diamond Cutter for the win.
Winner: Diamond Dallas Page (still possesses the Battle Bowl Ring)
We go backstage with Mean Gene, Jimmy Hart, and The Giant. Mean Gene asks Jimmy about his alliance with both The Giant and Lex Luger. Jimmy gives a non-answer, saying everyone’s worried about it, but Jimmy isn’t. Jimmy irritates me. He’s stuck in the 1980s and he really sticks out like a sore thumb in these interviews. Giant cuts a promo talking about all the stuff he’s done to Luger and his buddies, puts down the Torture Rack and puts over the choke slam. Gene says that Luger may use the choke slam and his memories of being choke slammed to fuel him in this match. Giant says he should be scared and they leave it at that.
Match #4: WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Rey Mysterio, Jr. VS “The Man of 1,000 Holds” Dean Malenko (WCW Cruiserweight Champion)
Rey comes out to no fanfare, which is going to change very quickly. It’s interesting to see Rey not get any real pop, since from the moment I saw him, he was very popular. Of course, this is his first match in WCW, so he’s essentially an unknown (despite spending a little time in ECW before this).
Mike Tenay joins the commentary booth since we’re watching a huge international star. Glad he came out here instead of for El Gato.
Match starts with a feeling out process, with some arm wrenches, reversals, etc.
I apologize if this match writeup is lacking because I have a feeling a lot of this is going to be hard to transcribe.
Great volley of moves from Rey springing from the mat to Dean’s shoulders and then getting a quick sunset flip powerbomb that Dean rolls out of and then slingshots Rey to the outside. Dean heads outside to get Rey but Rey slides quickly back into the ring. Dean begins attacking the arm and slowing the pace down a bit. Dean applies an armbar and holds it for a bit until Rey is able to escape by getting to the ropes. Rey heads to the floor, but Dean wraps his arm in the guardrail and kicks it, further injuring it.
Back in the ring, Rey is in a knuckle lock but walks up the ropes and hits a dropkick. He charges into the corner and trying to hit a hurracanrana, but Dean pushes him off and Rey flips to his feet to be met with a devastating clothesline from Dean,
Mike tells us that Eddie Guerrero defeated Jushin Liger to win the Super J Cup in NJPW this year.
Dean hits a beautiful hammerlock northern lights suplex, which is the first time I’ve ever seen a move like that. Dean is soooo good. It’s too bad he doesn’t have much of a personality, though, or he could have been a big star. That being said, I am suddenly reminded of the Dean Malenko they tried out in WWF where he was a ladies man, and I’m a bit more okay with his Ice Man, no personality, character that I was at the beginning of this paragraph.
Dean has been controlling this match for a good while now, controlling the arm of Rey Jr. Dean pulls Rey back into a Romero Special, then drops it and goes into a bridging pin for two.
Rey is able to reverse an Irish whip and send Malenko to the floor. He hits a springboard somersault to the floor, jumping PAST the mats and taking Malenko down on the concrete and it gets a huge pop. Back in the ring, Rey gets a springboard dropkick for two and the crowd is now firmly behind Mysterio. Rey reverses two more moves into near falls, then goes out to the apron and gets a top rope Frankensteiner for two. Now it’s easy to see why Rey Jr became such a big deal. We haven’t seen wrestling like this before in WCW. He goes up top, but Dean follows, and it seems like Dean is trying to do his top rope gutbuster, but Rey turns it into another top rope Frankensteiner. Dean tries a tilt-a-whirl slam but Rey reverses it into a crossbody block for another two count. Rey rushes Dean and tries another Frankensteiner, but Dean reverses into a powerbomb and a pin with his feet on the ropes for the win.
Winner: Dean Malenko (still WCW Cruiserweight Champion)
This was a great match. The finish worked well, too. The story of the match was that Dean could barely control Rey, so when Rey got on a roll, Dean did what he needed to do to win the match. The crowd loved Rey, so this will definitely be a rivalry for the summer if they keep following through with it.
We go to the backstage area with Mean Gene and Lex Luger. Luger cuts a really subdued promo on The Giant. He says his mind isn’t on the interview and he’s only there out of respect to WCW and Mean Gene. He says he’s thinking about the match and that’s where his focus is.
Match #5: Big Bubba w/ Jimmy Hart VS John Tenta
Jimmy and Bubba come out with what we are to believe is John Tenta’s hair. Why they still have this is beyond me. It’s also kinda nasty, if you think about it.
Tenta comes out to no music and no crowd reaction. Listening to Kevin Sullivan’s podcast, they were really trying to get Tenta over on his own but it’s not happening.
The two start brawling on the floor before the match. Jimmy is running around holding scissors, and I can only assume that’s not safe at all.
Big Bubba goes down and pulls something out of his pants, nails Tenta with it with an uppercut, then throws it to Jimmy Hart. Bubba covers and gets two. Bubba kicks Tenta, who grabs his foot and then is hit with a surprising enziguri from Big Bubba. Bubba goes for a cover with his feet on the ropes but referee Nick Patrick realizes it at two. Tenta goes for a scoop slam and then falls down so Bubba can cover him for two again. Bubba then starts trying to get his hands in Tenta’s mouth, apparently. I have no idea what was happening there, but it looked like Bubba was trying to force Tenta’s mouth open.
Dusty keeps calling Bubba “Bubber” and it’s annoying. I wish Heenan was there, as I feel he would make a “Bubber” VS “Blubber” joke.
Bubba controls the match some more and then gets a big belly-to-back suplex. Bubba goes to the top rope and dives off, but Tenta catches him and powerslams him for the win while Jimmy Hart is dancing on the apron.
Winner: John Tenta
Tenta grabs the scissors from Hart and goes to cut Jimmy’s hair, but Bubba charges them, Tenta moves, and Bubba hits Hart. Tenta cuts a bit of hair from the goatee of Big Bubba as the heels retreat. This match was terrible, and Big Bubba controlled every bit of it, which is dumb booking if they’re trying to get Tenta over.
Backstage, Mean Gene has Mongo, Kevin Greene, and their wives. They cut a quick promo and in comes Macho Man, in ring gear for some reason. Of course, every time we see Savage, he’s in ring gear…even coming into the arena. I’m going with the idea that Savage is just ALWAYS in gear. He cuts a promo, fires everyone up and they all head out to the ring.
Match #6: Falls Count Anywhere: “The Crippler” Chris Benoit VS “Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan
During the entrances, Tony brings up the point that this feud is interesting because of how Arn Anderson seems to be siding more with Kevin Sullivan than he is fellow Horseman, Benoit.
Sullivan makes a beeline for the ring, walking with a purpose, but Benoit meets him halfway with a clothesline. They starts brawling immediately, slamming each other into the guardrail, then the ring apron, the steel steps…
Benoit chops Sullivan three times, but Sullivan no-sells all three and the two of them brawl into the crowd. They punch and slap each other as they brawl up the steps and head out into the concession area. They brawl into the men’s room, Sullivan slamming Benoit into the stall doors, then slamming the door on Benoit’s head a few times. You see the crowd start to spill into the bathroom on the opposite sides with just Randy Anderson and Doug Dillinger to try to stop them. Sullivan slams Benoit’s head in the door another time for good measure, then double stomps him on the bathroom floor. Benoit starts teeing off on Sullivan’s head with big right hands, but Sullivan is able to break it off, attempting to put Benoit’s head in the urinal. Benoit fights that off, slams Sullivan’s head in the door, then they slam each other into the wall.
Dusty goes nuts when a woman appears in the men’s room.
Sullivan slams Benoit’s head into the metal door of the utility closet, then slams Benoit with a plastic bag full of toilet paper. Benoit tries to suffocate Sullivan with the plastic bag, then they start brawling out into the hallway again, with tons of people lining the way and making it hard for security to keep the crowd from the wrestlers.
Sullivan pushes Benoit down the steps and Benoit takes a spill for about ten steps or so before Sullivan picks him up and tosses him down a few more. Sullivan stomps Benoit in the crotch for good measure. Benoit gets back to his feet and starts firing off rights again as they hit the arena floor. They begin to trade blows at the guardrail, then Sullivan picks Benoit up and crotches him on the steel guardrail and clotheslines him off. Sullivan grabs a chair and throws it at Benoit’s head. Benoit returns the previous favor and crotches Sullivan on the guardrail, then goes under the ring for a table. Benoit seems to have some trouble getting the table from under the ring, so he whips Sullivan into the guardrail and then tosses him into the crowd.
Benoit is able to get the table, finally, and tosses it into Sullivan to buy some more time. Benoit gets the table into the ring and sets it up in the corner. Sullivan whips Benoit into the table, tries to jump into Benoit, but Benoit moves and Sullivan hits the table. Benoit bridges the table over the top ropes in the corner. Sullivan backdrops Benoit onto the table, then follows him up. Benoit stands, pulls Sullivan to the top and hits a superplex off of the table for the win.
Winner: Chris Benoit
“He didn’t win, he survived!” – Tony Schiavone
Benoit slaps Sullivan around for a bit more, and out comes Arn Anderson. Anderson pulls Benoit off of Sullivan forcefully and Benoit gets in his face. Anderson motions for him to hold on a moment, then Anderson punts Sullivan and the crowd erupts as Benoit and Anderson double team Sullivan. Out comes the Dungeon of Doom, but the Horsemen retreat, arms in the air, 4 fingers held high!
Good match, brutal and violent, and put the Horsemen back together with Benoit firmly cemented. This is basically Benoit’s real “introduction” into the Horsemen, since we haven’t really seen him be too involved since he became one. I like it.
We go back to Mean Gene, who is in the locker room alone with Woman and Liz. I’m going to set a timer to see how long it takes Gene to make an inappropriate or sexually suggestive comment.
In comes Double A and Ric Flair. Arn brings in Benoit. Arn says there have been wannabes who have wanted to be Horsemen, but they’re out of here. He says Benoit proved himself as a Horseman. Arn says Benoit severed the head of the snake and earned his stripes. He says that the Horsemen and the DoD are now officially at war. Benoit says he warned Sullivan not to mess with the Horsemen.
“Football players…you want a visual aid? You just got it!” – Arn Anderson
Flair puts over everyone, ending with Bobby Heenan. Heenan says that Gene has been insinuating that Heenan is terrified about Macho Man, Heenan says he’s not scared.
“There’s a lot of things that Macho Man would like to do that he can’t do anymore. Right, Liz? Wooooo!” – Ric Flair
They finish their promo and head out. Damn, I loved this! Benoit legitimized as a Horseman, Flair’s final line…damn, I loved this!
Match #7: Lord Steven Regal w/ Jeeves VS Sting
Sting starts off strong with a right hand and then more chops and punches in the corner before sending Regal to the floor. He sends him to the guardrail and then back body drops him as Regal makes a rush at him. Back in ring, Regal nails a quick succession of European uppercuts, rocking Sting and sending him to the mat. Sting comes back with a Japanese armdrag off of an Irish whip and Regal heads to the floor to jaw with the crowd in the front row.
Coming back into the ring, Regal apologizes for the slap and offers his hand to Sting. Sting shakes his pelvis at Regal and then acts like he’s about to charge, freaking Regal out for a few moments. It was a very weird exchange, honestly.
Regal takes over with a full nelson until Sting breaks out and is able to get a sunset flip. Regal overacts fighting to stay standing during this way too much. I really like Regal, but this match he’s looking like a bit of a buffoon when WCW should be using this to make him an uppercarder. Regal ties Sting up in a side headlock and fires off a European uppercut and some punches again, then does this weird dance around to celebrate. I’ve never seen Regal act this weird.
Tony reminds us of the two matches Regal had with the Belfast Brawler at Uncensored and the next night on Nitro, and I am immediately wishing for THAT Regal to show up in this match. That Regal, against Sting, would be amazing.
Regal has been controlling this match basically since right after Sting’s opening attack. It really is interesting that Regal never really made it out of the midcard. He’s super charismatic. He’s a great wrestler. He could have been the total package, honestly. Maybe it’s due to the silliness in this match that he never got taken seriously. Yeah, that’s what I’m going to go with. It’s the ONLY explanation I can offer as to why he shouldn’t be a megastar and former World Champion.
Sting sends Regal into the corner, Regal jumps out and eats an awesome Sting dropkick and then two running clotheslines! Sting goes up top but Regal follows him with a dangerous looking top rope butterfly suplex for two. Regal follows with the Regal Stretch right in the center of the WCW crosshairs. For some reason, Regal just lets go and stands up because Sting hasn’t given up in ten seconds. Damn, Regal, just stay in the thing until he does!
Regal backs Sting into the corner and fires off chops and punches, which shows Regal hasn’t watched too many Sting matches. Sting gets pissed off and starts firing off punches. By this point, Sting’s facepaint is completely gone, which is actually pretty cool. I almost would have liked to see Sting start wrestling without the facepaint as it’s an interesting look, truthfully. Sting goes for a Stinger Splash but Regal gets his knees up. Sting is able to take Regal down with a backdrop as Regal comes out of the corner. He locks on the Scorpion Deathlock for the win.
Tony sends us to a promo for Bash at the Beach, coming up in three weeks (AKA whenever I am able to actually get to the thing).
Match #8: Grudge Match: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson w/ Bobby “the Brain” Heenan, Woman & Ms. Elizabeth VS Kevin Greene & Steve “Mongo” McMichael w/ “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Debra McMichael, Tara Greene & Pepe
During the entrances, Flair and Anderson keep turning around and looking to the entrance for Heenan, but he is finally introduced on his own at the very end of the Horsemen entrance.
Mongo & Greene apparently get their own WCW entrance music. I couldn’t tell exactly what it was saying, but I did make out something about “WCW tag team” and “Mongo and Kevin Greene.”
Tony tells us that due to requests from the fans of WCW, tomorrow we will see Macho Man reinstated into WCW.
Greene & Mongo start off doing dropdown drills before we start off the match with Mongo and Double A. Tony calls Mongo & Greene the “athletes of the 90s.” Tony lays down some foreshadowing here when he talks about asking why Mongo finished his career with the Green Bay Packers when they’re the rivals of the Chicago Bears, which is the team Mongo is most associated with. Mongo’s answer? Money. Remember that, folks.
Mongo’s first offensive move is a clothesline from a three point stance. This is preceded and followed by a lot of standing around and posing. Mongo and Double A both go down into three point stances again, but when Mongo charges, Arn drops him with a drop toehold and an elbow to the back of the head. Mongo does surprise Double A with a fling shoulder block from the second rope, though. Arn and Greene stomp Arn until he’s able to escape the ring, but he’s then punched by Macho Man. Bobby hits the apron to complain but is chased off by Savage.
After some more gaga, Mongo tags out to Kevin Greene. Greene does some drop down drills in the middle of the ring for no damn reason, but it fires up the crowd. Double A tags out to Flair, who comes in stylin’ and profilin’. Flair wants to get down in three point stance, Greene goes down and Flair stomps him in the top of the head. He backs Greene into the corner and hits some chops, but Greene shoves him off and shoulder blocks Flair out of his boots. Arn comes in and gets some of the same. Flair hits the ground and heads to the back as Kevin Greene starts strutting in the ring. Macho Man nails Flair from behind and sends him back into the ring into the waiting arms of Kevin Greene. Greene whips him into the far ropes, body drops him, then hits a pair of flying clotheslines before tagging out to Mongo. Flair runs to Double A, but Mongo rushes Arn and cuts off the tag. Flair begs off, then finds his confidence, wooo’s, and tries a shoulder block and eats canvas twice as a result. Flair lures Mongo into the corner and kicks him in the gut. He follows with a chop and Mongo channels the Stinger, no-sells them, asks for more, fires up and chases Flair into the opposite corner for a trifecta of chops and a hiptoss.
Flair is finally able to cut Mongo off with a thumb to the eyes, then, as usual, forgets he’s Ric Flair and goes up top. Mongo sends him crashing off the top and then applies the Figure 4 to Ric Flair. Arn rushes in, Kevin Greene meets him with a shoulder block and applies his own Figure 4 to Arn! Woman rakes the eyes of Mongo, breaking up that hold, and all four of the women get in each other’s faces as Woman and Liz back Debra & Tara towards the entrance.
Flair breaks Double A out of the Figure 4 he’s in and then Arn and Mongo get into it, despite the fact that Arn never got tagged in. Nice heel tactics to use the confusion to their advantage. Arn tags Flair in and he kicks Mongo in the gut and then chops him, punches him in the gut and sends him to the floor to the waiting boots of Arn Anderson. Macho Man chases Arn off, but like Dusty says, it’s too late, the damage has been done. Flair sends Mongo to the floor and, as he casually walks by, Heenan gets a kick in on Mongo. Savage chases him off and rolls Mongo back into the ring. Mongo is throttling Flair but the referee’s back is turned and Flair gets in a low blow, followed by a knee drop before tagging out to Arn. Arn comes in with a kick to the lower abdomen and a choke on the second rope to Mongo.
Arn and Flair double suplex Mongo and both go to choke him, but Greene comes in to knock Arn off of the pile. Flair sends Mongo to the corner but Mongo comes out with a nice hook clothesline. Flair tags out to Arn, who comes in with a stomp to Mongo. Arn goes for a clothesline, Mongo ducks, atomic drops Arn and sends him into an incoming Flair, and is finally able to get a very weak hot tag to Greene. Greene comes in with two low tackles to Arn, a powerslam and a backdrop to Flair, but he doesn’t follow up any of his moves with a cover. Greene sends Flair to the corner, Flair flips over it, runs down the apron into an awaiting big boot from Mongo. Greene suplexes Flair back into the ring but again doesn’t capitalize with a cover, so Arn comes in with a chop block and takes out Greene. Flair and Arn double team him, cutting off the tag, and Flair goes for a Figure 4 but is rolled up by Greene for two. Greene applies a side headlock but Arn drops him with a knee breaker and then finally locks in the Figure 4 well into the Horsemen territory. Arn is helping Flair add leverage to the Figure 4, but is attacked by Macho Man. This brings out Benoit and Savage is double teamed by Arn and Benoit.
We cut to the entry way and out comes Debra McMichael, dressed in a beautiful pink dress, flanked by Woman and Liz. She’s holding a silver briefcase and approaches her husband, opening the briefcase to reveal a Horseman shirt and a lot of cash. Greene reaches out for the tag, Mongo shuts the briefcase and nails Greene with it. Flair covers for the win.
Winners: Ric Flair and Arn Anderson
After the match, Mongo gets in Savage’s face and Savage is attacked from behind by Flair. The Horsemen, a true foursome now, attack the downed Savage. Mongo puts on the Horsemen shirt, shakes hands with Flair and Arn, and the Horsemen celebrate in the ring with the ladies and Heenan.
Tony reiterates the story about why Mongo jumped ship to the Packers for money, making sure we know that Mongo is a sellout.
I’ve given Mongo a lot of shit in the past about being a bad Horseman, but after this match, I’m honestly not against it. I like it. I’m interested to see Mongo’s wrestling career in this new light.
Tony sends us to Eric Bischoff at the entry way and says we’re going to hear about the attacks on WCW. Bischoff mentions the “interruptions” starting on 5/27, and says that he mentioned last week that WCW would give them an answer. He doesn’t call them by name, saying “I know who they are” and calls them out. Out comes Hall and Nash to the stage.
The two flank Bischoff. Bischoff says he’s got some questions that need to be resolved. He says he was in the WCW offices, says if they want a war in the ring, they’re going to get it. Hall says “they fell into the trap, big man!” Bischoff says it’ll be at Bash at the Beach, in July, in Daytona. Hall says he’s free.
Bischoff asks if they work for the WWF. Both men say no. Hall says to forget about the past. They’re here now. He wants to know who the three men are. Is it the Macho Man? The “Huckster?” Hall says the “big man” and the “medium size man,” and their surprise buddy will carve WCW up. Hall asks for the three men, Bischoff says he’ll tell them tomorrow on Nitro. Hall says you don’t jack them around, punches Bischoff in the gut, and turns him to Kevin Nash who jackknife powerbombs him off of the stage. Hall grabs the mic and says “the real big boys…they just left the building.”
This is probably the biggest image of the invasion (before Bash at the Beach) outside of Hall arriving the first night. Bischoff had only been an announcer at this point. We didn’t even know he ran WCW right now unless you read the dirtsheets, but now these outsiders have attacked an announcer. They’ve set this up so nicely thus far. I can’t wait for the Bash!
We go back to Tony and Dusty, and Tony looks concerned and goes off camera, leaving Dusty alone. Dusty cuts a promo on the Outsiders, saying that WCW will be ready. He mentions McMichaels and the Horsemen again, then sends it off to Michael Buffer, after mistakenly sending it to David Penzer.
Match #9: WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match: “The Total Package” Lex Luger (WCW Television and Tag Team Champion) VS The Giant (WCW World Heavyweight Champion) w/ Jimmy Hart
Luger stops during his entrance and checks on Bischoff. This is actually a bit more of a babyface move than Luger has been pulling off recently, which is interesting.
There is also no ring announcing during the entrances. Buffer waits until they’re in the ring. I was starting to wonder if they had forgot.
Luger starts the match off running towards Giant, but eats a big boot and some stomps for his trouble. Luger fires back, clotheslining Giant and sending him out of the ring. Giant pulls Lex out of the ring, press slams him and sends him back between the second and top rope. Luger tees off on the Giant as he tries to get into the ring, kicking and punching him. Luger has Giant staggered, then dives off of the second rope into what I can assume will be a sleeper, but he doesn’t get it, then has to jump back up and apply the sleeper. Giant backs Lex into the corner where Jimmy Hart is poised to strike with the megaphone. As Hart draws back, out comes Sting. He grabs the megaphone and chases Jimmy to the back.
Giant is able to get Luger off of him, tying him in the tree of woe and kicking him in the gut, eliciting the loudest grunts from Luger imaginable. Luger is a lot like Foley in that he yells and grunts with each move, offensive and defensive. Giant chokes him with his boot in the corner and yells at Nick Patrick for trying to break it up. Giant sends Luger to the corner and drops him with a backbreaker and then pushes down on Luger across his knee. Giant keeps on Luger’s back with a surfboard. Luger tries a bodyslam but Giant is too much and Luger crashes to the mat.
There is an interesting spot where Luger is on the apron, Giant rushes trying to knock him off, and Luger ducks, pulling down the top rope. This would normally result in Giant tumbling to the floor, but Giant takes the ropes gut first and bounces back. I don’t’ know if Giant didn’t know what he was supposed to do, or if he just called an audible. Lex jumps into the ring with a dropkick and then staggers Giant, sending him down to one knee at one point, then in the corner. Giant goes to splash Luger in the corner, but Luger moves and Giant ends up laying on the top ropes in the corner. Luger kicks him a few times, turning him from his stomach to his back, and then Luger picks up The Giant in the Torture Rack. Giant’s weight seems to finally be too much and Luger crashes down, Giant dropping on top of him. It was actually really convincing looking. Giant picks Luger up, chokeslam, and the win.
Winner: The Giant (still WCW World Heavyweight Champion)
Tony tells us that we’ll have the information about the Bash at the Beach as well as the information about Eric Bischoff on Nitro tomorrow and then sends us off the air.
Honestly, pretty humdrum PPV until the last half. Mysterio made a nice debut and had a great match with Malenko, one I know for a fact we’ll see in three weeks at the Bash at the Beach. Benoit and Sullivan ignited their war and a war between factions and cemented himself as a true Horseman. Mongo was added to the Horsemen in what was actually a really good match and a really cool ending. Sure, they had to have Savage and Heenan and the ladies out there to cover for the shortcomings of the two football players, but I liked the way it played out, especially bookended by Tony talking about Mongo leaving to Green Bay for money. It gave us a reason for him joining the Horsemen out of nowhere and made him an instant heel.
The Outsiders taking out Bischoff is one of those moments that will be burned into my memory. I didn’t get to see it live…this is actually the first time I’ve watched this PPV, but I remember seeing it on Nitro and actually being shocked by it. I wasn’t used to wrestlers beating up announcers. It just wasn’t done. I can’t wait until they get into the stuff over the next few weeks, including jumping everyone backstage and ruining Nitro in a few weeks.
The Main Event was whatever and if it hadn’t featured the Championship, I would have argued that the football match should have gone on last.
We’ll be back soon with a recap of Nitro on the following night as we march towards Bash at the Beach as well as towards finally catching up. You’re going to be hearing from Derick and Phillip over the next few weeks, so get ready for that!
Until next time, WCW fans!