Wednesday, August 9, 2017

WCW Great American Bash 1990

It's a new run of Wayback Playback, and we've got Bob Caudle instead of Tony. Buddy Landell is mid-ring with a pink bathrobe with some bedazzling. Flyin Brian comes down and his name graphic has no name. Welcome to WCW! Brian dropkicks him to the floor and then Buddy poses oddly.

In a great bit, Buddy mimes for Brian to punch him in the jaw and then when Brian goes to do it, he hides behind the ref. Sometimes, simple tricks work well. Landell has quite a tan and a gut, and a really gigantic pair of tights. Now we're getting all of his early '80s heel stuff. Chokes and hairpulls. Buddy locks on a chinlock and Brian elbows the gut, which seems like odd logic for a babyface since he's got a gut to work with. Buddy locks on some sort of chinlock-ish thing before suplexing him and scratching his crotch. Buddy rolls through a crossbody, but doesn't go down for a rollup and falls to a super crossbody.

Gordon Solie is standing mid-frame with Iron Sheik walking behind him. Iron Sheik and BOAT CAPTAIN MIKE ROTUNDA are mid-ring. Iron Sheik attacks the boat captain and apparently, Mike came up with the boat captain gimmick. Well, if he's willing to take ownership of it, and apparently got a free boat out of this. That's either total bullshit or he's that good of a carny. George Scott booked the company at this time, so he kept bringing Sheiky in. Sheiky's gut is gigantic, but he goes down for a sunset flip. Sheiky actually got a two year accidentally, because their accounting department was stupid, and he's just coming in to job out. Sheiky uses the boot and a side suplex gets 2. Sheiky gets the worst abdominal stretch in history, with Mike STANDING UP DURING THIS. Mike isn't exactly working hard here, but he's already caked in sweat. Sheik and Rotunda actually wrestled on the first WM in the tag title match and Mike hits a big suplex. Sheiky tosses him out and poses on the second rope. Sheik does an outside in suplex and doesn't take a bump, but gets 2. A backslide ends it and holy crap is Sheik caked in sweat too.
Sheiky poses and now Gordon is with Harley! Harley talks about losing the title to Tommy Rich a decade ago and now he's here to get revenge. I like that he knocks Flair too just to keep that thread alive, and then if you look at him managing Vader, it kind of all came full circle. Dutch Mantel wrestles Doug Furnas, who was ungodly strong and a legit strongest man in the world. Dutch on a national level is odd to see - he was perfect as a territory guy. However, for Doug, this would be a great learning experience.

Doug has a lot of nice leapfrogs - getting up really high and with a full split. Doug backflips off the shoulders and dropkicks him. Furnas slams him, but misses a supefly dive. Dutch gets a short clothesline mid-ring and then another on the floor. Pat talks about how Dutch said read Impact reviews backstage because the New York Times didn't cover Impact. Dutch gets an armbar and we get several hilarious shots of Dutch grabbing the tights and them zooming in on Doug's ass. Now he gives him a wedgie and the ref catches it. Doug gets a nice flying shoulder block. HOW IS THIS NOT A FINISH!? WHY CAN'T ANYTHING END THIS MATCH!? Doug gets some high kicks, which look good, so Dutch goes to the eyes. Double arm trap into a belly to belly gets the win. Well, he had a great snap to it and I liked the double-arm trap, which was different.
Gordon stands by lamenting life choices while Jim Cornette is in a very frilly tuxedo shirt and a black and red tux and a gold bow tie. He cuts a damn good promo hyping up his match while also running the card down. "The battle of the world champions" is up with Rich and Race here. Harley is in a singlet and long shorts that don't quite fit. Harley is slow with everything, but he's going up and down for things. Tommy is actually in reasonable shape - but is still clearly past his prime and slotted in a way that just can't be saved. Even having him as a TV Title-level guy in any era of WCW wouldn't have worked.

Harley gets a kneelift and a piledriver. Tommy sells this by popping up, walking backwards, and going to the ramp. As ya do. Race kneedrops him on the ramp. This ramp looks so budget, with staples all over it. Harley's gear is just terrible, and has the king stuff - so Ross says that he's just a fan of the Sacramento Kings. Race gets clotheslined over the top, which isn't a DQ. Tommy's yellow and white tie-dye is right out of Greg Gagne's collection. Tommy gets a splash for 2. Race gets a kneelift and then a belly to belly, much like Furnas's, which gets 2 and another kneedrop hits for Harley. Harley gets a swinging neckbreaker before punching away. Tommy gets a bionic elbow and a kneelift. Harley and Rich go over the top together and brawl. Harley rolls through a crossbody off the top and ends it. HARLEY RACE WON!? Holy shit. Tommy's shoulder was up, but they don't show it on the replay.
Gordon Solie stands with Paul E and MEAN MARK CALLOUS! Paul E's suit is something else here. Gordon looks absolutely miserable here and Mark tears up a Lex shirt. We finally get a shot of the set and boy I wish we hadn't. This, like everything else, screams rinky dink promotion. They've got steel stuff, a big purple and yellow WCW logo and little tiny spurter pyro. The Southern Boys come down with their confederate flag jackets and then WCW finally realized hey, how about we not do that here in the '90s. MX comes down while a fans hold up an NWA IS NUMBER 1 sign.

I like the US Tag Titles, and of course, they also have confederate flags on the trunks. The faces run wild Cornette complains. Eaton slugs away in the corner and goddamn was he good. Tracy throws some nice punches to Eaton and then a flying lariat off the top. Cornette has a gold racket cover too. We get a shot of the camera man in a fabulous '90s getup of a dark blue and NEON GREEN tracksuit.
Tracy goes for a powerslam, but telegraphs it, so Bobby punches him. Okay, I like that - and there's no reason for it to not be brought back now. We get a shot of Jim and then see the WCW logo on the ramp that doesn't actually match the ring skirt logo. Eaton eats a backdrop and then a superkick. Lane gets a wacky karate chop and Pat talks about how the MX and Cornette were hoping to get fired in '90, but then the booking team kept them on. Cornette and Stan quit and went to the GWF. Cornette's shocked face was great even in '90.

Tracy gets a weird hopping kick out of the corner before doing a backflip kind of reverse skin the cat. Cornette yells at Stan to get up all cartoonishly. Ross talks about how the MX has been around for a decade, and they're in their late '20s now. Amazing. Eaton blind tags Stan in off an O'Connor roll and Stan poses in front of the MX fans. The fans are going nuts for everything here. We get a racket shot and Tracy takes a nasty bump to the floor. Atomic drop from Lane into an Irish Curse by Eaton! Eaton eats some punches, but gets a hooking lariat. Stan and Eaton do the double team rope hanging body drop - but with a crossbody.
ALABAMA JAM HITS! Stan comes in to dance and slug away. They talk about how Stan now is married to a young wife - so it's fitting that a guy who was trained by Flair would live his life. Eaton goes to sling Tracy in, but Tracy hangs on before Eaton finally gets the edge. Tracy gets a double sunset flip kinda sorta. He doesn't use it to win - but to just get some distance. Steve comes in for a double noggin knocker. Spinebuster setup into the dropkick off the top by the faces . Eaton tosses Steve off the top and the rocket launcher gets 2.! Tracy gets a small package for 2 and then Stan gets a blind high kick and Eaton wins with a small package. That was a goddamned great match and the NX
We get a shot of the Freebirds with Gordon, who I'm astonished didn't just put a pistol to his chin and end his misery. This was during the Freebirds' phase we'll say. Hayes and Garvin are in their femme glam phase here, with Hayes in a bright red sequin getup with red suspenders, eye shadow, and lipstick and Garvin in a silver getup. They are the world's ugliest gay rockers I guess. Oh, and they have divorce dust on their faces too. What in the fuck drugs was Hayes on here. They went from Southern badass rocker-types to the most feminine glam rock act you could be. Like the Village People actually give off a more macho vibe here and they're wearing their shirts around their neck. Oh lord.
The Wayback Playback takes a break from the PPV for the WCW TV show. Lex grits his teeth and looks to the sky like he's the Ultimate Warrior. Stan Hansen faces David Reardon and just beats the fuck out of him. Stan kneedrops him and keeps working the match in his chaps. Tommy Rich comes down and they were partners in Georgia in '80, so boy did their careers go in different directions. Stan wins and slaps him around.
Back to the Freebirds, and they talk about how Johnny Fairplay has this shirt. They have the stripper glitter all over themselves too. Garvin has a grey beard with a zit in it. Holy shit. Tom Zenk comes down to get killed by Big Van Vader. He has his weird black and red random design gear. Thank God he also has the giant mastadon helmet. The full mask look somewhat works, but the singlet was definitely a rough draft.
Ross hypes up Vader's work in Japan. The lighting just dies here for some reason. Vader clubs him in the corner and then eats the corner bodyblock. Big shortarm lariat leads to Zenk being taken in. Vader press slams him. Vader splashes him to finish this off. Short and somewhat effective - needed a better finisher for his debut, but the structure for this is fine and his big splash is great.
The Horsemen are here with Sid, Barry, Ole, and Arn and Gordon. Ole is in suspenders and has a belt - but makes it work. The Feminine Freebirds are out and Garvin's gut is something else, and Hayes' would be worse, but he at least had really hiked-up pants. The Steiners come out and we see the WCW logo on the ramp being just WOW with a C somewhat cut out of it.
Scott's in a fairly subdued green and black singlet, which works nicely. It's mainly green with black on the sides. The pinstripes don't work and if this was yellow without the pinstripes, it would be better. Scott stiffs the shit out of them with a double Steinerline on the floor and Hayes is just gobsmacked.
Rick comes in with pinkish/purple and black. And then the fans give the Birds a loud "faggot" chant AND WCW GOES FOR CLOSE-UPS OF THE FANS DOING IT. Well, that was stupid even then. Garvin actually takes a good bump off a backdrop. Rick mocks them by presenting his ass to them. Hayes stalls for a while and jawjacks with the fans. Rick walks around like a dog and then Hayes backs into the corner before Rick bites his ass and Hayes sells it.
Garvin actually does a go-behind and Scott dropkicks away. Scott is so fucking great here. Hayes struts around and then Scott actually does a hold. Scott gets the tiger bomb on Hayes and the tilt a whirl on Garvin. Freebirds stall on the ramp. A "Michael is a Bitch" chant breaks out while THEY STALL MORE. Okay, even Larry would have a limit here. Hayes leapfrogs and eats a loose version of the mid-air powerslam. I love that spot - Brock needs to bring it back. Garvin stiffs Rick TWICE with clotheslines. Hayes slams him for .9 and then a bulldog gets 2.
Garvin comes in and stiffs the shit out of him with some kicks and then shoots the half to get 2. I like him busting out some of his amateur stuff before locking on a chinlock. Rick goes for a slam and then Garvin sorta spins and turns it into a cover for 2. Garvin goes up for a flying nothing which eats a punch and then Rick hits sorta a flying bulldog for 2. This is such an awkward match. Double Steinerline! Frankensteiner hits Hayes and the crowd pops huges! Garvin DDTs him and goes for a pin, but the ref actually notices that it's a different person and Rick hits an overhead belly to belly so Scott can win it. Hayes gets in a fuck you in by putting his foot on the rope after the 3 and then Scott just knocks it off.
They go for the hard sell of Halloween Havoc '90 here in JULY. Bob Caudle looks good here while Jim is in what looks like a paper bow tie. Ross says they've had some great action and this might not be that. The Dudes With Attitudes face the Horsemen, who get pyro. The Dudes were formerly known as the Superheroes, but that was a trademarked term. Sid is in a singlet, which is never not odd. SID RULES and the fan's stache is something else.
JYD, El Gigante, and Paul Orndorff are here. Well, Paul's a good guy to guide Gonzales through a match. certainly here. Gigante's Lazortron getup just doesn't fit him and looks bizarre. He could be in a Mortal Kombat knockoff video game with this outfit. JYD is shall we say thick in all parts of his mid-section. Gigante's knee braces make it pretty clear that he's immobile, and JYD and Paul are here because they would work cheap.
Paul goes to hip toss Sid and that just doesn't work. A hiptoss doesn't work until JYD headbutts him. Christ is JYD fat here. They keep showing him on the apron from the side and he's much slower than Gigante here. Okay, Sid mocks him with a Gold's Gym shirt - that's great. Jim Ross talks about how Andre would have to look up to El Gigante. JYD hits some headbutts and then Arn stooges for him and then Paul's punch before avoiding a Gigante punch and then stilling bumping on his ass for a punch DUE TO THE FEAR OF IT.

JYD gets the kneeling headbutts again on Barry, and he can at least move a bit. Arn gets tagged in and he just stands on the apron, puts his arms on his side and is like "fuuuuccckkk!". Barry comes back in and DDTs JYD. Barry tries to slam JYD, but he's too fat. Barry is up and out of the ring by the time JYD even gets to the corner. Paul comes in and runs wild. He goes for the piledriver, but Barry double axehandles him off the top. A giant WE WANT SID chant breaks out. Sid gets a chinlock and Dave Meltzer is shown briefly in a grey sweatshirt.
Sid does his pose to a huge chant. Paul hits him with a big jumping punch. Arn and JYD go at it, and JYD gets sent over the top. Gigante tosses Arn out over the top and Barry just bails. They talk about Dave Sierra training him and Jorge just wanted to play basketball, so they'd play and then Gigante would obviously win. Gordon interviews Luger about this really filler match with Mark Callous.
 Paul E comes down with Mean Mark down the long, dark rampway. Luger is US Champ here and that belt is one of the best ever, and it fits him perfectly. It was great for his best overall role and Luger is in pink here. SHOCKINGLY, JIM ROSS BRINGS UP LUGER'S FOOTBALL BACKGROUND. Mark's in black and red looking jobberiffic. Lots of nothing to start before Luger starts humping his arm during an armbar. Go back to nothing please. Luger is in ROOS boots, and takes him down with an armdrag. More armdrags. Pat and Jim talk about how Bruce Prichard said that Taker was on the radar then, but he looked bad, so they didn't go after him right away.

Mark does a leapfrog and "hits" a lariat. Long Fujiwara armbar by Taker. Don Jardine rope walk hits! Taker ducks and Lex sends himself over the top. They punch back and forth in the corner. They talk about Paul E being at Mark's first wedding. The Rack is on, but the ref's head gets hit by Mark's foot so Paul clonks Lex with the phone. Mark goes for the heart punch on the ropes, but Lex kicks him and clotheslines him to win.

The Rock 'n Roll Express come down to a generic theme, which is far better than either of their actual themes. THE TAG TEAM OF DOOM is here, thankfully unmasked. Robert avoids a corner charge and gets a schoolboy for 2. Butch comes in and gets sunset flipped - despite  using his best backstroke in the air. Ricky sells for a while and then TAGS IN ROBERT. Crowd goes somewhat wild here and Robert stops short for a sunset flip. Butch tumbles into Teddy, sending Teddy in wackily. Reed hits a big shoulderblock off the top to end it.

Ric is interviewed by Gordon earlier today, with the latter in a powder blue suit. Ric's hair is lush here. Sting comes out to "Turbo Charged" in his red, white, and blue getup with a giant rain of fireworks. This is just great. Ric's in a blue and silver robe and now Jim Herd is ordering Ole to be handcuffed to El Gigante. Jorge just motions "WE'RE GOIN THIS WAY" and they do. They go to sit on the bench but JORGE IS TOO BIG. Okay, Ole's physical comedy here is shockingly great.

Flair chops away, but Sting absorbs them and presses Flair up high. He sends him down with a dropkick and then they chop away on the floor. Flair works on the knee, but Sting biels him and gets a figure four. Flair escapes to the floor and Sting gets sent into the barricade. Flair works more on the leg and chops him in the corner. Scorpion is on, but the horsemen rundown. Sting's dudes beat up the heels. Flair gets the ropes. Flair puts his feet on the ropes, but Scott shoves the feet off. Flair chops away but Sting fires up...and then they go to a crowd as Flair regains control. Luckily, they don't miss the finish as Sting cradles him off a figure four to win it. Sting gets a $20 pyro display and then they burn what looks like a kid's paper cutout of his face. He cuts this promo putting over Flair more than himself.

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