Brett Mix’s- WCW “Great American Bash 1992” Review:
“An Epic event with the Past, Present and Future stars of the Business!” –Brett Mix
-WCW GAB 1992 took place Sunday Night, July the 12th, 1992 at the Gray Civic Center in Albany, Georgia in front of 8,000 fans.
-This was the 8th Annual Great American Bash event put on by the NWA-WCW.
-This was the first Bash event in 3 years.
-Tony Schiavonne and Magnum T.A. hosted the event, Jim Ross and Jesse “The Body” Ventura did commentary for this event. Ross’s final year in WCW, and the Body’s first in this role.
-Before the pay-per-view aired, there was a Dark match: The Super Invader (with Harley Race) defeated Marcus Bagwell.
-Now onto the PPV……………
1) Opening Contest- Quarter-Final match in a tournament for the vacant NWA Tag titles: Nikita Koloff and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs Jushin “Thunder” Liger and “Flyin” Brian Pillman
Oh my god.
What a way to open a PPV. I’ve always said WCW was underrated in this years but if you look at the talent all over this show you will see why.
Three of my favourite performers ever in one match. Koloff was alright but the others are three of the top 25 workers of all time. My 25 anyway. Liger is probably the best international wrestler I’ve ever seen along with Dynamite.
We jump right into the action and the tournament in one night is underway. Koloff the biggest man in the match goes to work on the arm of Air Pillman. Steamboat follows it up with his great trademark arm-drag’s.
Pillman and Liger competed in what I consider to be the 2nd best PPV opener in history in 1992. You can see this on the Pillman DVD. If you don’t own it, get out and buy it. Worth every penny.
So as a team both Liger and Pillman were aerial specialists in this match keeping Nikita Koloff in their side of the ring. Koloff with his vertical base tried to out-match Liger with Power but Jushin found a way with a running shoulder block after a dropkick. Pillman tagged in, Koloff goes after the arm of Pillman.
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat to Pillman. Snapmares Liger ffrom the outside in. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat sends Liger to the floor on the outside. Pillman taken down with a drop toehold by Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. Steamboat then went back to Pillman’s bad arm and grounded air Pillman as Ross say on commentary. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat with a wrist-lock and a leapfrog by Pillman twice, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat then with an atomic drop, clothesline and an arm-drag takedown back into the armbar.
Tremendous strategic wrestling.
A counter into a front facelock by Pillman and double-team offense by Pillman and Liger to Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. Steamboat with a shoulder block to Liger, can’t hook the leg and Koloff comes in and kicks Liger in the abdomen and scoop slams him hard to the canvas. A hard elbow to the head of Jushin “Thunder” Liger.
A tag back into the Dragon. Frequent tags by Steamboat to get in the ring to take advantage of Pillman’s bad arm. And what worker in wrestling better to work on an arm then Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat.
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat can go into the air just like Flyin Brian and Liger as pointed out by the Body on color commentary. Pillman with an elbow drop followed by a dropkick then a side headlock takeover. Pillman wearing down Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat as endurance is going to come into play.
What a match thus far, which isn’t a schock considering the talent. Liger tagged in and a martial-arts thrust kick followed by a moonsault and a two count. A gut-wrench into a piledriver but The Dragon kicked out! A summersault off the ropes by Jushin to Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and he gets a two, Steamboat countered into the air a suplex and lands on him.
A tag into Koloff who drops the elbow to Liger and he gets a two after roughing him up for a bit. Liger and the Dragon back in, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat with two back to back, back-breakers. Steamboat with a power-slam but Flyin Brian interupted the count. Liger sent to the ropes and a double reverse elbow by Koloff and Steamboat. Koloff with a headlock to Jushin “Thunder” Liger. Steamboat off the top with a chop to Liger, pinned the legs back but Liger kicked out, off the ropes kicks Steamboat bent down probably gong for a back-drop.
Flyin Brian flies in and tremendous aerial assault to his opponents. Pillman going for the three on Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and the fans are on the side of the Dragon down on the mat. Steamboat tagged in Nikita but Liger is viciously working on the legs and runs into the shoulder of Nikita Koloff. Koloff slams him down to the canvas. Pillman with a dropkick. He was flyin.
Pillman in the ring with a botched dropkick to Koloff and then hit one. Liger with an assist to Pillman but no three count. Pillman springboards off the top rope to Koloff and now off the top rope he hits a missile dropkic off the top. Now a dropkick to Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat by Air Pillman but just two and a half with the count on Nikita Koloff. He reversed Pillman nto the corner but Pillman stopped it with a boot. Pillman locks on a sleeper. Koloff with a jaw-breaker and he needed to make the tag to Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and he gets to his tall vertical base.
Steamboat and Liger both come in, Liger hits a kick and then the Dragon covers Liger after a failed dropkick as Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat hung onto the ropes. A backslide by Jushin Liger almost got the Dragon and off the ropes Pillman flies onto Steamboat as he sprung from the apron. Steamboat slowed Pillman down and a great bridge fell apart by the Dragon due to fatigue likely because the match has been amazing. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat then got a side to back suplex by Pillman.
Pillman goes to the top and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat hit the ropes causing Pillman to fall. Pillman with a crossbody off the top rope but Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat reversed it.
In the end at 19:26 Steamboat pinned Pillman after turning his crossbody on the canvas into a pinfall.
This match is a classic.
I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed watching these talents go at it, unbelievable stuff here.
2) Quarter-Final match in a tournament for the vacant NWA Tag titles: Hiroshi Hase and Shinya Hashimoto vs The Fabulous Freebirds (Jimmy Garvin and Michael Hayes)
Hashimoto was substituting for the injured Akira Nogami.
The Freebirds are babyfaces…wow.
The Japanese team was far superior in the early going. Hayes got it taken to by Hase.
Both Hayes and Hase chop at one another.
A big kick to Hayes in the gut and then a spinning kick, Garvin had to come over and interupt the count. Aren’t the Freebirds smart.
Shinya Hashimoto showing he could move for a big man.
His offense didn’t look very great but for a big man it was decent. Not as agile as say Bam Bam Bigelow or a Vader.
Hayes tosses Shinya Hashimoto into Hase and then off the ropes he ducks a double clothesline and lands lefs. Garvin tagged in desperately but he could do no good.
In the end at 9:16 Hase pinned Garvin after he hit him with a nice suplex with a bridge.
This great match delivered, a nice blend of styles.
3) Quarter-Final match in a tournament for the vacant NWA Tag titles: Dustin Rhodes and Barry Windham vs “Stunning” Steve Austin and “Ravishing” Rick Rude (with Madusa)
And now we have the greatest of all time in his early days teaming with an underrated performer in Rude and they are up against two more underrated workers in the man known as Goldust here as Dustin Rhodes and Barry (I was so awesome in the 80’s) Windham.
Dustin Rhodes took it to Rude over and over.
Austin known as a mechanic in these days with great years ahead of him.
Rude a little past his prime but still great coming back in the match and took it to Rhodes, the son of the American Dream who made quite the name for himself in this company.
Rude goes for a piledriver and Rhodes countered it and tombstoned Rude to the canvas, Austin comes in and stops the count.
Ventura gives major props to Stunning Steve. I love it how guys like Ventura and Hennig on commentary always pointed out how Steve Austin was such a talent. Steve buries the knee to Rhodes and then hit a snapmare. Austin while not huge in these days kicked at Rhodes viciously.
Austin hit Rhodes with a hard clothesline. “Stunning Steve” off the ropes runs into a gut-shot by Dustin Rhodes with a knee to the gut and Austin rolls to the floor. Rhodes rolled Austin back in. Now Dustin Rhodes with an abdominal stretch to Steve Austin.
Rhodes with a significant leverage advantage to Austin but Steve gets out of it with an excellent counter, a hip toss. A tag now to big Barry Windham launching himself on Austin. Steve then executed a back-body drop and he tags in Ravishing Rick Rude.
Rude with a kidney shot to Barry Windham with tremendous impact. Ramming the forearms in there. A side suplex and a nearfall. Rude slams Barry Windham into the corner. Austin tagged in and set up Barry Windham on the top turnbuckle but Barry Windham hit Steve Austin with a headbutt on the top turnbuckle and he flew back.
Austin tags in Rude and he hits a missile dropkick catching Barry Windham and he just was able to kick out. Rude hit a piledriver to Barry Windham and Rhodes made the save. Austin came off the top with a double axe-handle and now with a front facelock and suplexed him to the mat hard. Austin with a reverse chinlock to Barry Windham. Austin with a headlock to Barry Windham. Stunning Steve tags Rude back in and Windham blocks a head-shot and now Rude’s head is exposed to the turnbuckle.
Rude powerslams Barry Windham and then posed in his pre-Val Venis fashion. A front facelock by Ravishing Rick Rude to Barry Windham. Rude is back-dropped by Windham and Austin got to Windham before he could get to Rhodes. Austin tosses Windham out. Madusa goes to check on things, then Rhodes went to make sure Windham wasn’t attacked on the outside and then Austin hit him out there anyway. Awesome.
Steve Austin caught Windham and now Steve is in control and hit another snapmare and slapped a side headlock on the canvas. Austin and Rude were so textbook keeping Windham in their corner to isolate the bigger man.
Austin tries to powerslam the huge guy and then an inside cradle by Windham but Steve Austin kicks out. Windham wrestling on instinct.
A double clothesline. A back body suplex by Austin nicely done to Windham. Rhodes waiting for the tag hits two bionic elbows to the future Bionic Redneck.
All four guys in and all hell breaks loose. Rhodes catches Austin from the top.
In the end at 19:15 Rhodes pinned Austin after he came off the top.
Why wasn’t this match on the Rise and Fall of WCW DVD? Rather then the 2/3 falls match which is very mediocre in comparison.
Austin would get his revenge 5 years and a half later in the WWF in the crapper 3:16 segment from Raw. (Late 97)
This match is UNBELIEVABLE. So entertaining and had all the ingredients you need. Austin and Dustin were never green it seems, they were naturals with Rude and Windham being the veterans in the match.
Another Classic on the card!
4) Semi-Final match in a tournament for the vacant NWA Tag titles: Terry Gordy and Dr. Death Steve Williams vs Nikita Koloff and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Dr. Death begins to try and slow-down a quicker Dragon Steamboat.
Dr. Death Steve Williams tries to slow the pace with power moves but Steamboat takes him down and then works on the arm which is smart, it’ll eliminate that smash mouth style.
Steamboat caught Williams with a fireman’s carry back into an armbar. Steamboat fighting out of the corner to Gordy and Williams. Nikita Koloff tagged in and continues to tork the arm of Gordy.
Koloff takes down Dr. Death with an armbar to the mat once he is tagged in.
Nikita Koloff in the first Semi Final event of the night. The pace is a bit slower, but you knew the cardio-vascular conditioning of the Dragon was amazing and endurance was never a problem.
Enough of the wrestling screams the body and the big men take down the Dragon.
Ross refers to him as a pretzel.
Williams and Steamboat countering each other’s chain holds on the mat.
It’s a scientific and a power match.
A great blend with terrific offensive exchanges. Irishwhip, couldn’t land a clothesline, the Dragon goes for a crucifix and Williams backs the Dragon into the turnbuckle. Awesome power move.
Dr. Death and the Dragon share chops in the corner.
Williams with a headbutt, snapmare, and now Terry BAM BAM Gordy comes in and scoop slams Steamboat. Gordy and Steamboat going at it, a front facelock but Steamboat can’t make it to Nikita Koloff.
Williams and Gordy double suplex on Steamboat. Blind tag so no count and Ventura just loves this call by the ref.
Nikita Koloff finally tagged in but his offense wouldn’t last long. Gordy with an impact move gets a two and now Dr. Death comes in working on Nikita Koloff with a leg, head-scissors. A kick to the face by Nikita Koloff and now Dr. Death tags in Gordy.
An STG by Bam Bam Gordy to Nikita Koloff. In Mid-Ring to boot.
Koloff fights a Boston Crab and Nikita Koloff is in big trouble as Dr. Death has him where he wants him. Gordy in again. Another STF.
After the hold was broken Dr. Death came in and Koloff is power-slammed by Dr. Death. Over the 20 minute mark. Koloff took out Dr. Death in the corner and he collpased to the mat and the Dragon wants in.
Steamboat gets in after the tag from Nikita Koloff.
The Dragon trying to get momentum chops Williams, Dr. Death supleced by Steamboat and then Gordy back in took it to the Dragon. Steamboat with a chop to Dr. Death off the top and Gordy sent Steamboat into Williams who rams him into the turnbuckle.
A modified Stampede by Dr. Death to the Dragon! What a test of endurance and power this match was.
In the end at 21:39 Williams pinned Steamboat after the back to back impact moves.
This match is just all kinds of brilliant. This is how you work a tag match. God I love this event.
5) Semi-Final match in a tournament for the vacant NWA Tag titles: Dustin Rhodes and Barry Windham vs Hiroshi Hase and Shinya Hashimoto
What a night of action.
What a tournament, tag-team.
The NWA-WCW tag’s of these days had the old school feel with new talent and it was just such a pleasure-treat to watch.
Rhodes maintains a side headlock and both men crash into one another. A low center of gravity an asset for Shinya Hashimoto.
Shinya Hashimoto torks the wrist of Rhodes, great technique with an over-head wristlock take-down by Shinya Hashimoto.
Shinya Hashimoto tags in Hase the leader and more experienced of the duo.
They wondered if chemistry would be a factor, so far no problem. Dustin Rhodes looking for a drop toe-hold, looking for a foot in a hammerlock.
But Dustin Rhodes with a great chain-wrestling move, a nice amateur counter with a hammerlock of his own. He tags in Windham off the top and a slam onto the arm of Hase which had been damaged from the hammerlock by Dustin.
A side headlock.
Shinya Hashimoto still tried to show that he could move for a big man in this bout, but both teams were fatigued.
Rhodes tags in once Windham backed Shinya Hashimoto into the corner.
A modified head-scissors on Barry Windham.
The Winner of this match meets Gordy and Williams in the finals for the title’s!
Dustin Rhodes drives the knee into the wrist of Shinya Hashimoto. An Armbar down on the mat slows the pace. Shinya Hashimoto with a kick to the gut of Rhodes and slams him to the mat.
A spinning karate kick to Rhodes better executed here. Rhodes in trouble as Hase spike piledriver. Ventura speculated that Rhodes would be pinned if he had not rolled under the rope. Good point.
Rhodes kind of no sells the move as he is up chopping right back but maybe that spike piledriver just gave him more adrenaline?
Knee-lift by Hase back in the match. Rhodes and Hase go Flair and Steamboat on us and chop the living hell out of one another.
Big forearm by Hase to the middle of the back of Dustin Rhodes. Shinya Hashimoto and Hase making frequent tags isolating Dutin in their corner and hit him with a double suplex despite the crowd getting into it trying to root on the babyfaces. A boston crab by Hase.
All four men in there now.
In the end at 14:55 Windham pinned Hase to advance to the finals after he hit a huge clothesline. Fans pop.
Rhodes and Windham advance to the finals to face Gordy Dr. Death in the Main Event.
This match is another excellent one on the night. No complaints, not overly long so it never dragged either. More top notch quality on the night.
6) Big Van Vader (with Harley Race) vs Sting (c) for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship
The Stinger ties up with Vader…
Jim Ross says its Sting’s toughest challenge as Big Van Vader was the most intimidating presence for him.
Sting has got to be quick.
A staredown breaks to begin.
Big Van Vader corners Sting with his power, Vader had the powergame going for him while Sting has the speed and veteran-like experience with of course the crowd on his side.
You just knew you were going to get your typical classic “story-telling” with the underdog (sympathetic hero) going up against the villian. (The Monster)
Vader unloaded shots to the Stinger in the corner.
Sting already in a bad way to begin the match.
Big Van Vader dropped tremendous forearms to Sting. Big time striking blows by Big Van Vader in vicious fashion drops Sting to the floor for a brief moment. Vader brings Sting closer in and hits a high impact clothesline to Sting, and dominates him in the early going. Vader flexes for the crowd.
Vader gets clotheslined by the Stinger and he shows the crowd is has no effect on him. Sting holds onto his right arm which was crushed earlier by Big Van Vader and he sells it a bit as Vader ties up with Sting again. Vader with a ton of power knocks Sting with rights and lefts. Vader charged towards Sting in the corner and he ran into the buckle.
Sting with momentum scooped Vader up hitting a back suplex. Stinger with a clothesline to Vader, and another elevating the big man over the top rope to the floor.
Ross screams out “The World Champion, showing just what he’s made of!”
The fans erupt for sting who takes it to Big Van Vader for the first time in the match after he suplexed the big man. Harley Race gives him a word of encouragement on the outside of the ring. Big Van Vader takes his time getting back in as he now has a reason to perhaps be intimidated for the first time in the match.
Vader challenges Sting for a test of strength.
Sting knew Big Van Vader had the reach advantage just by looking. Sting hesitates on the test of power, walks in a circle and then ultimately goes for it. Vader with his wrist overpowers him but Sting lands a right.
Sting unloads on Big Van Vader with a series of righthands and then a nice standing dropkick to Big Van Vader knocking the big man off his vertical base. With Big Van Vader on the outside apron the Stinger shows great power suplexing the big man back in the ring.
Big Van Vader though catches Sting coming in with a bearhug. Vader walks over Sting and Ross brings up a good point that Sting could of used all his energy up on those high impact moves. Sting kicks Vader in the face and it sends him down. Sting with an inside cradle got two and a half on vader, Big Van Vader rolled to the outside and Race gave him a few more words before getting into the face of the camera.
Sting awaited the big man once more. Big Van Vader back in caught a shot by Sting. vader reversed an irishwhip, Sting went for a sunset flip on the big man but couldn’t move his bodyweight, and Big Van Vader dropped 440 on top of Sting. Big Van Vader off the ropes came crushing down on Sting with a giant elbow drop. Vader with more high impact moves as he drops another elbow on top of the Champion as Sting layed on the canvas. Big Van Vader hooked the leg after another elbow drop and Sting spun out of the pinning predicament.
Big Van Vader with a ton of high impact moves, the splash and the three elbow drops.
The action in this match has been incredibally crisp thus far.
Vader scooped up the Stinger by the throat and held him over his head, and dropped simply dropped him on the mat. Big Van Vader picks up a single leg of Sting who layed with his back on the mat. Big Van Vader twisted the left leg and went for a Scorpion Deathlock on the Stinger!
Big Van Vader puts Sting in his own move now, the Scorpion Deathlock with tremendous pressure on the ankles and knees of Sting who looked to be almost out of it here.
Sting trying with everything he had to get out of his own predicament (hold) from the bigger, powerful Big Van Vader who looked like an incredible force in this match. Sting tried to reach for the ropes and meanwhile was in a tremendous amount of agony and pain. How much more could the Heavyweight Champion of the world take as his toughest challenge was literally crushing him.
Out of desperation, the lower-body strength of Sting forced Big Van Vader off of him. Sting though to his vertical base caught a big time righthand by Vader who is full of stiff shots. Vader with another sluggish righthand to the head of the Stinger. Sting barely able to hang on to the second rope for any leverage he could grasp. Vader sent Sting to the ropes and caught him with a huge clothesline. Big Van Vader asked what time it was.
Sting down and vader scoops him up and drops him to the mat with a big powerslam and somehow the Champion kicks out. Harley Race can’t believe it. Vader drops a headbutt to Sting in the corner a couple of times viciously. A hard right by Vader and out of no where comes Sting with desperate righthands to vader as he drops him with some martial arts, Sting comes off the ropes with a karate kick to the 440 pound challenger. Sting follows this up with a DDT to Big Van Vader.
Both men down as the match passes the fifteen minute mark. Sting off the ropes charged at Big Van Vader trying to run through him putting his body on the line falls down as he came crashing into the chest of the big man. Vader climbs to the top and sting with a kick right to vader who falls down chest first on the top turnbuckle. Sting goes charging into the corner and kicks at his chest.
Sting scoops up all the bodyweight of Big Van Vader with all the strength he had, he held Vader on his shoulders for over five seconds and hit a Samoan Drop. Sting scores a nearfall as Race breaks a bucket full of sweat. Vader caught Sting with an elbow off the ropes and goes for a back suplex, Sting lands on his feet, the official is knocked down. Sting goes for a back suplex to Big Van Vader and he gets a two, the official didn’t count in time or else Sting would of gotten a three screams Ross.
Sting cornered Vader and he hits the Stinger Splash. Sting kicks Vader into the corner and he hit another Stinger Splash. Sting crashing into the corner hit his head in the corner. Race signals for Big Van Vader to get on him as this is his big chance. Big Van Vader gets up slowly and Sting is bleeding now. The Champion is hurt and Big Van Vader simply covers him but the Stinger kicks out! Ross screams “What do you think of the Champion of the World!?”
Sting goes for a big right twice, Vader dodged it both times and then Sting who is hurt drops to the mat. Big Van Vader poses with his arms stretched out asking who the man is.
Big Van Vader then scooped up Sting and dropped him with a powerbomb and won the World Title at 17:11.
This match is terrific.
It’s nice to see Vader win the World Title, he was in his absolute prime here as well.
Brilliant chemistry here despite the contrast in styles.
What will not deliver on this night???
7) Main Event- Finals of a tournament for the vacant NWA Tag titles: Terry Gordy and Dr. Death Steve Williams vs Dustin Rhodes and Barry Windham
Before this Final match, The Steiner Brothers came out to confront Williams and Gordy but were sent to the dressing room by security.
Okay, so both these teams are fatigued but Windham and Rhodes had gone through the more difficult matches and were definitely the fan favourites here.
Windham being battered by Gordy until Rhodes tagged in and dropped an elbow to the leg of Gordy.
Gordy and Williams are very methodical in their approach, especially in this match.
You could really feel that whoever won this match would have to earn it.
Steve Williams with an over-head wristlock and they of course have the advantage with it being just their second match of the night.
This match while at times was slower due to the fatigue factor still had all the scientific fundamentals. Amateur moves, chain-wrestling, good psychology, a nice old-school tag team formula.
Even a great climax.
Dr. Death and Bam Bam Gordy really methodically wore down the tired Windham and Rhodes. Reminds me of Bam Bam wearing down a fatigued Bret in the finals of the King of the Ring 93.
Windham with a dropkick and it lands Rhodes on Williams. Williams misses in the corner, Dustin misses a bulldog. A HUGE clotheslne by Dr. Death.
In the end at 21:10 Williams pinned Rhodes to win the tag straps after the huge clothesline. Ending the show with the heels going over. OLD SCHOOL.
Sure it might not have that Wrestlemania feel good ending but this show is what Pro-Wrestling is all about. If you’re a fan of wrestling this show is essential to own.
This was worthy of the main event and an incredible night for Windham and Rhodes, almost as good as Bret Hart at King of the Ring 93. Often over-looked but never forgotten.
Such a gem.
Final Rating for WCW Great American Bash 1992 = 9.5/10
This show was just as good as The NWA’s bash in 89. It was better in my honest opinion, while it didn’t have as much variety we had 7 matches and how many of them were classics, if not borderline? The quality is here. Five matches at four stars or over, not ONE bad match on the card, as a matter of fact there wasn’t even one good one because they were all GREAT. Now that’s scary good. This is probably WCW’s greatest PPV of all time. I’m Brett Mix and that’s just my opinion.