June 16, 2012
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

WCW Great American Bash
June 15, 1997
Moline, IL
The Mark of the Quad Cities

The current WCW champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: Hollywood Hogan (8/10/1996)
WCW U.S. Champion: Jeff Jarrett (6/9/1997)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Outsiders (10/27/1996)
WCW World Television Champion: Steven Regal (5/18/1997)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Syxx (2/23/1997)
WCW Women’s Champion: Akira Hokuto (12/29/1996)

Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Dusty Rhodes.

Ultimo Dragon vs. Psychosis (w/Sonny Oono)
Little backstory to this one. Ultimo Dragon didn’t want Sonny Oono cheating on his behalf anymore, so Oono dumps him and hires Psychosis to get some revenge on this masked do-gooder who thinks he’s some sort of dragon. I imagine the crowd is just hot for WCW because I can’t imagine rural Illinois being super into two foreigners, but nevertheless they are into this one. Both men really seem to enjoy the attention. Feeling out process to start gets the better of Psychosis on several occasions as he ends up on the floor. Dragon screws with Psychosis doing the handstand bit on the top turnbuckle. Kick Combo pops the crowd and Dragon is even getting pretty excited. He delivers the Crucifix Backbreaker, but then telegraphs a backdrop and Psychosis takes control. As Psychosis lands on the apron after a backdrop, Dragon snaps his neck off the top rope and tries a pescado, but misses. That leads to Sonny Oono getting in his kicks. Back inside, Psychosis legdrops Dragon while he’s dangling in between the ropes. Psychosis goes to the Dragon playbook by trying the La Magistral cradle for two. Dragon gets dumped to the floor out for more Sonny Oono kicks, but Dragon won’t stand for it and picks up Oono in a suplex! Before Oono hits the floor, Psychosis saves his man with a double sledge to Dragon. Back in the ring, Dragon surprises Psychosis with a spin kick and the Handspring Elbow in the corner. Cool little lucha spot sends Psychosis out for the Asai Moonsault. Back in, the Brainbuster gets two. How about a Tombstone Piledriver? Only a two-count. Psychosis fires back with a flying spinning heel kick to put Dragon on the floor. He goes out to meet Dragon by dishing out a no-hands plancha! Crazy! Back in again, Dragon somersaults and catches Psychosis in a Hurracanrana, but Psychosis forces him back onto the mat for 1-2-NO! Psychosis tries a moonsault press, but Dragon blocks the attack with a dropkick. DRAGON HURRACANRANA! He wants the Tiger Suplex, but Sonny Oono causes the distraction. Psychosis gives Dragon a missile dropkick to the back of the head. That gets two. Dragon reverses a whip into a Sonny Oono kick from the apron, which staggers Psychosis back into the DRAGON SLEEPER for the tap out. (14:22) Just a tad stronger than the match they had at UnCeNSoReD earlier in the year. Rey-Dragon-Psychosis have been pretty much a trifecta of awesome over the last eleven months. Anytime they got together on PPV was almost guaranteed to be must-see. If they had a triple-threat match, I think our heads might have exploded. ***½

Rick & Scott Steiner vs. Harlem Heat (w/Sister Sherri)
Winner of this one is *your* number-one contenders to the WCW tag team belts. Not that it meant anything in 1997. Scott and Stevie Ray start us off. Neither one gives an inch until Scott runs into an elbow in the corner. Stevie Ray delivers a big boot, but Scott ducks a second one and delivers a T-Bone suplex. That causes a break down and the Heat regroup on the floor while Rick does his dog routine. Back in, Rick catches Stevie Ray with a powerslam and once again, the Steiners clean house. Finally, Booker T decides he wants to get him some. He tries a test of strength with Scott, which seems dumb. Booker kicks his hand free and grabs a headlock. Scott tries to break free with a back suplex, but Booker flips out and tries a full nelson. Of course, Scott powers out, but Booker pulls him into a knee to the gut. Scott comes back with a butterfly slam. With the Steiners in control, they throw Booker T all around. Scott soon tries a dive off the second rope and eats a boot on the way down. SPINAROONIE! He follows up with the Harlem Side Kick and a clothesline sends them both to the floor. Scott reverses a whip into the guardrail and takes Booker back inside for two. Back over to Rick, Booker knees him out to the floor as Stevie Ray gives him a suplex. Back in, Stevie Ray delivers a Running Knee leading to a neck snap on the top rope from Booker. That gets two. Stevie Ray knocks Scott off the apron as they go to finish off Rick. Stevie Ray holds up Rick as Booker delivers the Harlem Side Kick for 1-2-NO! I don’t think anyone is buying that as a finish though. As the crowd gets behind Rick, Booker tries a spin kick and gets caught and slammed. HOT TAG TO SCOTT! Steinerlines everywhere. Scott catches Booker with the Spinning Belly to Belly Suplex for two. Now the match breaks down again. Scott hits Booker with the FRANKENSTEINER out of the corner. Meanwhile, Vincent (from the nWo) comes by and elbow drops Booker for the REALLY CHEAP AND TERRIBLE DQ. (12:02) Obviously, the Steiners are pissed. It appears the Outsiders only want to face Harlem Heat since they are the only active WCW tag team they have actually been able to beat. Vincent throws up the Black Power sign over to Harlem Heat, but they pay him no mind. DEY NUMBA ONE CONTENDAS, BAYBEE. Anyways, since Vincent is dumb enough to stick around, the Steiners grab him for the Steiner Bulldog. *½

Hugh Morrus vs. Konnan
As I’ve said before, this is just Konnan in between factions. It’s a brawl to start as it should be. Morrus takes a ride head-first into the steps. Back inside, Konnan delivers the Rolling Lariat. Chinlocks and stretch holds follow from Konnan. There’s only so many ways he can stretch Morrus though. To the floor, Morrus gives Konnan his receipt as he sends him into the steps. Back in the ring, both guys work on each other’s arms. Eventually, Morrus powerslams Konnan and calls for NO LAUGHING MATTER. Konnan takes forever deciding whether or not he should trip up Morrus. Finally he does, and locks in the TEQUILA SUNRISE for the easy submission. (10:34) Seems like they could have factored in a broom stick as part of the finish since it was used on several occasions during this feud. That just makes too much sense, I guess. When was the last time Hugh Morrus had even gone ten minutes? Heck, even Konnan for that matter. Just saying. This was just lame and had more potential I thought than this match led you to believe. ½*

Glacier vs. Wrath (w/James Vandenberg & Mortis)
Mike Tenay replaces Dusty for this match. Mortis can stay at ringside, but he has to be handcuffed to one of the ringposts so that there is no chance of shenanigans. Hmm, wonder where they got THAT idea? Glacier and Wrath try their silly martial arts chops and stuff to start. Series of kicks from Glacier sends Wrath to the floor as he follows him out with a pescado. Vandenberg draws Glacier off Wrath, but it doesn’t help matters much as Glacier hits Wrath with a standing side kick. Nevertheless, Wrath takes Glacier around ringside for some guardrail action. Wrath sets up the ring steps, but Glacier reverses the whip and makes Wrath eat the steps. Meanwhile, Mortis is trying to twist off the turnbuckle connector while Tenay gives us some insight into this whole craaAAaaZZZZyy backstory they have for these four men. Back inside, Mortis helps Wrath escape a Stinger Splash from Glacier. Wrath picks up Glacier for a powerbomb and then just drops him throat-first on the top rope. Now to the chinlock. Glacier fights out, but Wrath hits the deck to avoid a crossbody and Glacier goes flying out to the floor. Off the apron, Wrath delivers a CANNONBALL! Back inside again, Wrath hits a Flying Clothesline. He covers Glacier with his foot on the chest for two. Wrath stands over Glacier giving him the bad mouth, but Glacier channels the Spirit of the Undertaker and GOOZLES a nerve hold, which he calls the Ice Pick. Wrath knees out and hits a backbreaker near the corner, but misses an elbow drop out of the corner. HERE COMES GLACIER! Wrath tries to stop him with a side slam, but Glacier stops Wrath up top for a superplex. Mortis gets knocked off the apron, but Wrath catches Glacier with a back suplex. Now Vandenberg is on the apron molesting/trying to get the handcuffs key out of ref Nick Patrick’s pocket. On the other side of the ring, Glacier picks up a chain that Mortis tosses in the ring meant for Wrath. He KO’s Wrath and then hits the CRYONIC KICK for the 1-2-3. (12:03) While that was going on, Vandenberg gets Mortis loose and they handcuff Glacier to the top rope to make for an easy beatdown. This was nothing to get excited over. Ernest Miller returns tomorrow night on Nitro. *

WCW Women’s Champion Akira Hokuto (w/Sonny Oono) vs. Madusa – Title vs. Career
Lee Marshall joins us instead of Dusty for this one. I always wondered why Bobby Heenan doesn’t say something directly to him for all those insults he makes from far away. Anywho, Hokuto slings Madusa around by the hair a couple times to start. She’s trying to make short work of Madusa, but she won’t go away that easily. Madusa fakes how much she’s hurting and makes a couple bursts with dropkicks from the second rope. That gets two. Hokuto grabs Madusa by the throat and boot chokes her in the corner. Hokuto proceeds to suplex Madusa around. She tries a knee bar, but Madusa fights back with kicks. Madusa does the Ray Stevens flip to the apron and kicks Hokuto away. She delivers a double sledge from the top rope, but jams her knee on the way down. Marshall mentions a knee injury she had suffered back in the AWA in a match against Wendi Richter. Hokuto takes advantage with a surfboard. Once that’s over, Hokuto heads up top and doesn’t see Madusa wobbling over to her for a handstand headscissors. Modern fans have seen Trish Stratus do this move. Beautiful powerbomb from Madusa, but that took some toll on her left knee. She falls on top of Hokuto for 1-2-NO! Hokuto rallies back with a superplex for two. She goes back to the kneebar, but Madusa reaches the bottom rope. Madusa collapses to get out of the way of a missile dropkick and applies a BRIDGING GERMAN SUPLEX, but Sonny Oono reaches in and yanks on Madusa’s left ankle to break up the pin. Hokuto beats on the left knee some more and then slams Madusa for a flying splash, but Madusa LIKE AN IDIOT brings up her knees to block. Last ditch effort here, Madusa runs her over with a clothesline. She wants a back suplex, but her knee finally buckles. Hokuto decides to go ahead and end this one with the NORTHERN LIGHTS BOMB for the win to “end” Madusa’s wrestling career. (11:42) This match virtually killed mainstream women’s wrestling in America. Some fans feel the respect for it has yet to be recovered fifteen years later, some have love for the Trish Stratus era and not just for her killer looks, and some never cared for women’s wrestling to begin with. Fair arguments can be made for all three points. Nevertheless in this one, some good selling and a fitting story to see Madusa out of WCW. She of course wouldn’t retire forever as she would return in 1999 to be part of Randy Savage’s harem of ladies. OHHHH YEAHHH!!! **½

Chris Benoit vs. Meng (w/Jimmy Hart) – Death Match
If Benoit wins, he could possibly at some point meet Kevin Sullivan again. Benoit kickstarts the match with a tope suicida onto Meng. Jimmy Hart gets chased away and he never returns. In the ring, Benoit hits the Swandive Headbutt and locks in the CRIPPLER CROSSFACE. Meng just picks him up and places him on the top turnbuckle. Too early for that. Meng kicks Benoit when he’s up top into the tree of woe and then kicks him some more. Meng wins a chop battle and gives Benoit an Alabama Slam. After some more chops, Meng follows up with a frog splash and ref Nick Patrick has to remind Meng there’s no pinfalls. Benoit is up at seven. We go to the floor where Benoit comes back with some guardrail action. He unloads with a Release German Suplex that gets Meng to stay down at the eight count. One more gets the same result. Meng fights back with an inverted atomic drop and drapes Benoit over the top rope with the TONGAN DEATH GRIP! There’s some more nasty chops. Back inside, Meng clamps on a chinlock. Back suplex and an attempt at another flying splash, but Benoit moves out of the way. From here, Benoit stays adamant with the CRIPPLER CROSSFACE for the next several minutes until finally Meng can’t continue. (14:58) Both guys do a stretcher job out of the ring. Not quite as exciting as last month. This just felt like Benoit was trying to end this one ASAP instead of trying to have a good match. Next month, Benoit v. Sullivan for the last time. **

Kevin Greene vs. Steve McMichael (w/Debra)
Greene is all heated up and intense to start with his Lawrence Taylor offense. Once Mongo bails, he suckers in Greene and pulls him out to work the knee. McMichael then takes a moment to speak to Greene’s mother, who wallops him across the face. Greene makes Mongo pay for whatever he said by tossing him into the steps. Back inside, Mongo drops an elbow on Greene and goes back to the knee. Reverse neckbreaker gets two. Greene fires back with a Thesz press, but then charges into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Eventually, Greene makes a comeback and knocks Mongo to the floor for a slam. He sends Mongo back inside, then Debra feigns an injury to distract him. When he doesn’t fall for her act, Debra gets mad because he’s not playing right. Mongo tries to drop another elbow on Greene when he comes inside, but Greene sees it coming and slides back out. Inside the ring, Greene misses a Three-Point Stance in the corner and gets choked. Meanwhile, Debra distracts the ref while Jeff Jarrett runs down with another Halliburton briefcase besides the one that is sitting in the same corner Mongo and Greene are in at the moment. As he goes to wallop Greene, Mongo gets pulled into harm’s way. Then, Jarrett just leaves back up the aisle while Greene covers Mongo for the 1-2-3. (9:22) Much better than last month’s football players wrestling match, but still nothing all that fun. This continues the Mongo-Jarrett issues and this time, it seems Debra is on the side of her actual husband instead of the US champ. Interesting? Nah. ½*

WCW World Tag Team Champions Scott Hall & Kevin Nash (w/Syxx) vs. Ric Flair & Roddy Piper
See? No problems between Flair and Piper. They are more solid than ever. Flair and Hall exchange blows until of course Flair knocks Hall down and he retreats to the floor, which allows Flair to strut and show off for the crowd. WOO! Back inside, the Flair Flip lands him right into a Big Boot on the apron from Nash. That gets two. Hall tags in Nash. Knees and elbows over in the corner. Side Slam gets two. What’s next? Ahh, the Snake Eyes. Looks like it’s time for the JACKKNIFE, but Flair low blows Nash and there’s the HOT TAG TO PIPER! He pokes the Outsiders in the eyes and whips Hall into Nash to set up him up for the SLEEPER HOLD. Hall ends up dropping Piper balls-first on the top rope to stop all that. Now Flair is DYING for a tag. Nash draws Flair in, but the ref looks like he screws up the spot. Syxx comes in and wipes out Piper with a spin kick. Of course, Flair sees that and goes over to chop the life out of Syxx. Flair ends up chopping him all the way backstage! Not good for Piper. He fights back against the Outsiders the best he can, but the OUTSIDER’S EDGE is inevitable. Hall covers Piper for the 1-2-3. (10:03) So Scott Hall becomes the first man to pin Piper in WCW. Only really all that fun to watch when Flair was in the ring. This also just furthered a Flair v. Piper feud that I don’t think anyone really wanted to see. ¾*

Diamond Dallas Page (w/Kimberly) vs. Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) – Falls Count Anywhere
Page takes Savage to the floor and tries a pescado, but his ribs are taped! Such a bad idea, son. They fight through the crowd and out the door. DDP even breaks a crutch over Savage’s back. Probably some broken-legged fan is left saying, “Umm, I needed that.” Back to the ring, Savage sends Page into the steel steps and then throws powder in his face! Some glass plate of some sort shatters over DDP’s head. Savage pulls off Page’s rib tape and decks the ref for a piledriver! Another ref comes out and gets tossed aside by Savage. On the floor, Savage backs Kimberly into the corner of the guardrail. Ref Nick Patrick recently forgiven by WCW runs down and gets in between them. Savage gives up on her and brawls with Page over to the faux picnic area. Ah yes, Fourth of July picnics in June! Savage gets run into the fence and gets slammed on the picnic table. Back to the ring, Savage gets his testicles split on the ringpost. Pancake Slam connects, but Savage sends Page back on the floor with a jawbreaker. Savage peels back the mats for a piledriver, but Nick Patrick objects and gets nailed. Just to show crazy Savage is, A RANDOM PHOTOGRAPHER gets beat down. DDP finds a chair and wallops Savage. Inside the ring, Savage low blows Page. Savage goes for a suplex, but DDP slips out and hits the DIAMOND CUTTER! Cover, 1-2-NO! Oops, Scott Hall runs out and STOMPS Nick Patrick on the head. Well that’ll stop any count. Hall has his tag belt with him and goes to nail Page, but DDP ducks and fires back on Hall. He calls for the Diamond Cutter, but Savage KO’s Page from behind with the belt. OUTSIDER’S EDGE to DDP from Hall! Savage goes up top and hits the MACHO ELBOW for the 1-2-3. (16:56) This was almost a prelude to Attitude Era brawls like Steve Austin would popularize in 1998. The run-in seemed like it was a little overkill, but it sets up future sub-feuds with the addition of Luger, Hennig and Zbyszko which follow into the fall. ***¼

Final Thoughts: Just too many midcard feuds being showcased on this show that didn’t deliver to make anyone actually remember them once the show was over. However, the strong opener and the strong main event relieve this one from just being totally downright awful though. Even the women’s match wasn’t so bad. The rest of the show just doesn’t hold up well at all. So with all that being said, I’m going with a slight ‘thumbs in the middle’ mainly for those three matches.

wordpress stats plugin