Tuesday, July 25, 2017

NWA Great American Bash 1988


I have never seen this show that I can recall, but I loved the '89 show and since this has a wayback playback - why not check it out? This is the Price for Freedom and it's Luger vs. Flair in the main event. Kevin Sullivan kidnapping Precious is odd. Sting is out with generic music alongside Nikita, with hair! Tully and Arn oppose them here, so this should be solid. Nikita is super-lean here and runs wild on Arn. Sting's gold and black getup looks good, and he dominates a bit against Arn too before Nikita attacks Tully.

Tully stooges for Sting for a while too, and man are the Horseman just bump machines here. ARN TAGS THE FOOT AND THE REF DECLINES IT. Love it. Atomic drop from Nikita sends Tully in for an armdrag. Nikita hits a Cactus clothesline and JJ wants a DQ. JJ breaks up a pin and Nikita pins him against the post, but he telegraphs the lariat and it misses. Tully and Arn attack the arm as a team, because they aren't morons.

Nikita makes a hot tag and the crowd is molten for him. He presses Tully and sends him down before attacking Arn. Pat goes into how Crockett bought the UWF, moved to a high-priced area of Dallas, moved THEIR FAMILIES THERE, and then bought two jets while business was down. Yowza. Arn traps Sting for a Tully super sunset flip, which doesn't go well, so Tully and Sting just improvise a bit. Stinger splash! Scorpion is on and Nikita runs wild. Holy shit is he fast here. Ross talks about how hang on, the time limit might've expired here and Tully didn't submit. It's a time limit draw, but Nikita puts the belt on anyway - and it looks good on him. Ditto Sting - so they get to leave with the belts, pose with them, and it's not a bad look.
Tony and Jim are shown in tuxes and the heels get the belts back. Ross says THERE WAS A 22 MINUTE TIME LIMIT - AS ODD AS THAT SOUNDS. Yeah no shit. Tons of people walk by the camera to just get on TV. Shark cage comes down, so Cornette must be doing something. Pat talks about the Powers of Pain quitting due to being given non-stop scaffold matches on house shows. Well, that was good move. Midnights are in red and gold while Cornette is svelte. Stan's top is goofy.
 

A hot blonde comes up and goes crazy for the Fantastics. Cornette is in a cage in a straightjacket, and the losing team loses the titles and also gets ten lashes. JUST A FEW TOO M ANY STIPS HERE for the second match on the card. Cornette complains about the sleeves being too long on the jacket - which is a great goofy heel response. Cornette is an amazing heel. "CAN YOU BE BRIBED!? 10 THOUSAND! YA CAN'T BE BRIBED!? FINE, FIFTEEN!" Cornette has a five star freakout going up. Well, given how cheap the company was, this is valid.


Eaton hits a gorgeous punch to Bobby Fulton. Eaton and Rogers have great chemistry. Stan is outstanding here with his kicks. Long CHEATING abdominal stretch here by the heels. Neckbreaker and the Alabama Jam hits hard. The heels cheat and use the chain to knock out Rogers, but Bobby Eaton apparently put them in Fulton's trunks. You'd think you'd notice that. Faces lash Cornette anyway so the fans go home happy even if the heels win the match and the titles. Cornette flails around wackily.

Morgis the Maniac wanders by and then a fan gestures for someone to give him head. THE TOWER OF DOOM triple cage is lowered. This appears to have been made with a budget of $500 and the goal is to get from the top to the bottom. So the match will be worse at the beginning and then might actually be good at the end. You use a ladder to get from the top to the bottom - so it's just weird-looking.

So this is all about Jimmy Garvin vs. Kevin Sullivan, with the implication apparently being that Kevin Sullivan kidnapped her and did SOMETHING to her that made her cry and put her in a fetal position. Precious, WHO MANAGES JIMMY, is in charge of the key to this. That seems like a minor conflict of interest. The production crew is setting it all up bit by bit, and Pat talks about how the WWF would do SOMETHING to kill this time. Al Perez is here with the Varsity Club and the Russian Assassin, who is tan and all roided up.
Jimmy Garvin and Ron Garvin are out, with Doc having A RAT TAIL. Now in storyline, the Garvins are brothers, but in reality, Ron was actually his stepfather. Tommy Young is climbing up top bit by bit up this shitty ladder on to an even cheaper cage. Tommy Young is holding onto everything here for dear life. This was apparently just going to be Garvin vs. Sullivan, and Dusty pissed everyone off adding them to this clusterfuck and they're also huge and not really built for this kind of match. The top cage completely disappears amid the lights.


Tommy Young CAN'T EVEN STAND nor can he ring the bell, which is up top for SOME FUCKING REASON. Now we see Tommy Young setting up the trap door, which is almost as high as Hawk's tights. Ivan and Ron are up first AND GUYS ARE HOLDING THE LADDER IN PLACE. Doc and Rotunda are outside the tiny cage waiting. Everyone is actually blocked off by the lights. Literally.

Ivan is knocked into the cage and it nearly tips over. They brawl and Ivan accidentally throws powder into Mike's eyes. Ron climbs down and then we get everyone just brawling up top. A fan is just awestruck. Doc kicks the heels around a bit. Doc at a disadvantage, which might matter if anyone could actually fight in this thing. Doc and Ivan climb down, and Ivan climbs on Doc's shoulders to ensure he doesn't die. 



A bunch of heavy dudes are up top and Tommy Young is scared shitless. Animal is at least trying to do something by shaking the cage. Doc uses the top of his cage to then do a double stomp - well, that's nice. I like that if it's not going to be good, it's at least a bit logical. The Assassin CLOSES THE CAGE, so now he can't escape either. Animal has weird all-white makeup on and clubs away on the Assassin. Ivan gets slammed and he just bounces up.

Al Perez is somehow at the bottom of this despite doing nothing of note. Animal gets out and celebrates - thankful to be rid of this shit. Rotunda and Jimmy brawl on the top cage. Doc has kind of a figure four on Ivan. Ivan climbs down to save himself. Tommy Young is scared even more to death here. Goddamn did he draw the short straw here.

Doc punches away at Rotunda while Garvin and Sullivan fight on the top. JESUS THIS MATCH WILL NOT END. Jimmy fights off both guys and somehow uses them as monkey bars despite Rotunda being right there. Now the heels have to open the trap door on their own for reasons. Jimmy stomps Sullivan and then Rotunda goes out near the faces and is stumped - so they just brawl. FINALLY! Jimmy gets the worst-looking spinning toe-hold on Earth. Terry Funk now would be faster. Precious looks on looking bored. Kevin grabs her, and Jimmy beats him up. Garvin hits a brainbuster and gives him a wedgie. Kevin shoves Garvin out and then Kevin is in there with Precious alone. Now it's a cat and mouse game and they all have to fight to get IN THE CAGE.

This is several times dumber than the reverse battle royal. Holy shit. Kevin removes clothing slowly and is I guess going to try to assault her mid-ring. Now he's choking her with a chain. Jesus. Hawk makes the save for Jimmy's wife. The faces leave and I think they won. Either way, it's over. Jimmy and Precious hug for a while.
We get a lot of shots of the cage. Riveting. Fans act all goofy behind Tony and Ross. Recap of Kevin CHOKING OUT A WOMAN WITH A CHAIN. Bob Caudle is standing by to talk. Bob Caudle has all the excitement of a sixth grade math teacher. We get a long shot of the ring - which has been shown more than any actual action. There are TWO MATCHES left on this card. Holy crap. Dick Murdoch and Rick Steiner vs. Tim Horner and Kendall Windham is the pre-show, and being used as a buffer on the Wayback Playback.

Rick and Dick are an odd teaming, while Kendall is a skinny motherfucker and Tim Horner is about as visually exciting as white bread. Kendall is SO SKINNY. Dick and Rick have a chat, and this may be when Rick was talking to his hand - or maybe that was later. Kendall attempts to overpower Dick, despite being unbelievably skinny. Dick Murdoch does a variety of wacky faces.


We get to see some cards held up that are being used to show the fans where to sit. This made TV. They edit Kendall taking a beating and then it's suddenly Tim Horner. Tim gets a sunset flip and he's so stupid that Dick Murdoch gets a tag and he just keeps ahold of the move so Rick kicks him. Pat talks about how Cornette really hates Tim Horner, along with a great many other people. Horner gets a nice flying lariat. Kendall hits a much nicer one. Kendall hits a bulldog that could almost hurt a small cat. Kendall lands a series of good dropkicks Dick hits a big boot and then an elbow ends it despite Kendall never once stopping and having his shoulders off the mat.


Barry strolls down to defend the US Title. Dusty is absolutely enormous here. Jim Ross hypes up that Dusty doesn't have any quit in him and Jim Valley talks about how Dusty has probably known Barry since he was a kid. Barry eats a shoulder block and just smoothly bumps around for everything. They do a criss-cross and Barry drops an elbow on his neck. Dusty hits a crossbody dive off the top for 2. Dusty does the Ali shuffle and hits JJ, resulting in him taking a wacky manager bump and selling his ass.

Dusty barely gets him up for a backdrop to counter a floor piledriver. Barry slugs away to the gut and the jaw in the corner. Dusty rolls to the floor and Barry clubs him. Dusty slams him on the floor and then they punch some more mid-ring. Barry gets THE CLAW WITH HIS DAD'S BLACK GLOVE! Barry at least uses his second hand to get more behind it. He grounds him and uses the second hand again. JJ coaches him on how to do the claw, which is hilarious.

THE BLOODFLOW IS RESTRICTED. DUSTY DANCES HIS WAY TO FREEDOM! He grabs his crotch and goes up top. THE ELBOW IS PRIMED...BUT HE FALLS. Dusty re-boogies to try and free himself and does so with big elbows. Dusty goes for the figure four, but Barry CLAWS HIM TO COUNTER. Dusty is in the claw, but adjusts his tights. Dusty goes back to the second and then Dusty slugs him. Dusty tosses Barry off, and he hits Tommy Young on the way down. Dusty slams him off the top and hits the big elbow and gets a visual pin. Ronnie comes in and slugs Dusty. Dusty is out and Barry wins it with the claw via pinfall. Dusty's left arm is disgusting.

Doc comes down to check on Dusty. We get a replay of Barry throwing himself off the top to sell for Dusty. A guy in a purple shirt points to his red hat and then a wacky fan does the GLORIOUS pose. Ronnie basks in in a briefcase full of money and is running around in jeans with no shirt looking awesome. Ronnie just leaves with his briefcase. That seems unsafe - at least put it in a giant sack with a dollar sign on it.

They dub in Luger's '95 WCW theme here. He's in a black and silver robe that is basically the same one that Terry Taylor sold to Roode and used for eons. Luger with a robe is odd because yeah, he looks like a huge star with it, but it covers up his body. Flair's theme is thankfully retained. They talk about how this basically went the same as his '93 push in the WWF. Flair has a weird-looking gold robe with a different middle to it.

Flair is in white, which was apparently due to boxing always having champions in white. Flair looks odd in it - it really looks like he's just in his undies. Tony puts over Flair's robe. FLAIR IS A BUM according to one wacky fan. They staredown and it's time for the bell. They go to the corner and Lex shoves him down. Pat talks about how Lex is in this spot after under three years in the business - it's really amazing, because he's a legit draw here.
 
This has TV time remaining, despite it being a PPV main event - but it does get you in the mindset for a fuck finish. Luger presses him and slams him! Ric bumps to the floor and then flops around over the barricade to flip over onto the floor - as you do. Lex gets him in a bearhug and takes him down oddly.

We get closeups of Lex's back and he doesn't have bacne - so he's on some good stuff. Lex was a really smart guy, so he probably did know exactly what to do and how to do it to look good without dealing with flaws. Outside-in suplex gets 2. Lex hits a big jumping elbow and actually gets a great amount of height and executes it nicely. Giant hiplock to mid-ring by Lex!
Flair gets a nice snapmare and really did it in a unique way by dropping to one knee and only using one arm for it. Lex's face is raked across the ropes and sells it perfectly. Big knee by Ric! Jim Valley talks about putting old wrestling license applications on his Twitter, and Piper listing his address as the Olympic Auditorium and saying he's from Scotland - okay, that's awesome. Lex ducks the chop and hits a big running flying lariat, and he put his all into it. He's working his ass off here. Lex moves the ropes and Ric walks and crotches himself. FLAIR FLOP! Lex is tossed into the buckle, but bounces back with a lariat! Sunset flip gets 2!


Flair works on the knee extensively. FIGURE FOUR! Ric holds the ropes and Young pleads with Lex to see if he wants to quit. Flair gets tossed to the floor and bumps on the nasty floor. Flair lays in the punches and chops in the corner, and Luger is eating them. Luger gets a big slam, but his knee gives out. Flair is up top, oh no! HE GETS SLAMMED OFF THE TOP!
Luger gets the corner mount, but eats an inverted atomic drop, BUT LEX ABSORBS IT AND HITS A BIG LARIAT! This gets easily the biggest pop of the night. Lex gets the corner punches and throws him over the top for the flip and he drops on the apron. Lex struggles to get a backslide and gets 2. They go over the top thanks to a miracle, Tommy Young, and Luger pulling them both over with his leg. Tommy chats with Flair, leaving JJ to post Lex and then scamper away. Lex is sliced open and eats some corner punches. Lex has him in the rack and the ref stops the match due to the athletic commissioner. Babyfaces come in to celebrate and a huge LUGER chant breaks out. The doctor and the commish STOP IT DUE TO THE SEVERE CUT. Lex by now has next to no blood on him and Lex is selling this wonderfully. He's heartbroken and while this is a terrible, ungodly-bad finish for the night, it did work for the short-term because it did lead to a boom in house show business. Doc's jeans are something else here.




They do a slow mo on the post shot, showing Lex BLOCKING HIS FOREHEAD WITH HIS HANDS and then somehow bleeding before his head hits the post. PERFECT! Tony and Jim recap things and a young fan flips off the camera. Well, that's a perfect finish to the show.


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