July 12, 1992
Live from Albany, GA (Albany Civic Center)
Announced attendance: 8 000 (capacity: ca 10 240)
PPV buyrate: 70 000 (-75 000 compared to GAB 1991’s 145 000)
Hey there everybody. Welcome to my review of WCW’s Great American Bash 1992 event, featuring the last rounds of the tournament to crown brand new NWA World Tag Team Champions, as well as Sting vs Big Van Vader for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
Here is the list of WCW champions heading into this PPV:
- WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Sting [134th day of his reign] – previous champion: Lex Luger
- WCW United States Heavyweight Champion: Rick Rude [236th day of his reign] – previous champion: Sting
- WCW World Television Champion: Steve Austin [50th day of his reign] – previous champion: Barry Windham
- WCW Light Heavyweight Champion: Brad Armstrong [7th day of his reign] – previous champion: Scotty Flamingo
- WCW World Tag Team Champions: Miracle Violence Connection (Dr. Death Steve Williams & Terry Gordy) [7th day of their reign] – previous champions: The Steiners
- WCW United States Tag Team Champions: Dick Slater & The Barbarian [17th day of their reign] – previous champions: The Fabulous Freebirds
Enjoy the review!
Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jesse Ventura
NWA World Tag Team Title Tournament Quarter Final Match #2 – Ricky Steamboat & Nikita Koloff vs. Brian Pillman & Jushin Thunder Liger
The winning team meets the already qualified MVC in the semi finals. We get a handshake before the match. Brian & Nikita start with the latter easily overpowering Pillman in the first moments of the bout. Pillman responds by using his quickness to get a nearfall on Nikita with a roll up, as then Brian & Liger take turns working over Nikita’s arm. Liger actually manages to knock Nikita down with a series of quick dropkicks and shoulderblocks, but Nikita catches Pillman with a back elbow and tags in Steamboat for the first time. Steamboat goes after both men and knocks Liger into Pillman on the outside, which is probably the most heelish thing you will ever see an unprovoked Ricky Steamboat pull out! Back in, Steamboat goes to work on Pillman’s arm before they get into a nice little sequence that ends with Steamboat catching Brian with an armdrag. Tag to Liger for a double dropkick but Steamboat quickly turns things around and brings Nikita back in. Back to Ricky for a headlock on Brian, which he escapes and drops an elbow for two. Dropkick gets two more. Liger’s backbreaker sets up the moonsault for a fantastic nearfall. Tombstone piledriver gets another. Liger hits a somersault senton for another one, but Steamboat fights back with a backdrop suplex and makes the tag to Nikita so he can control the pace.
Steamboat takes over with a series of backbreakers into a running powerslam in a rare showcase of strength by Ricky Steamboat, but the pin is broken up by Brian. Nikita works a headlock on Liger and a double team flying double axe gives Steamboat two. However, Pillman gets the hot tag and cleans house off that, and Liger comes in with a great looking missile dropkick. A cartwheel into a crossbody gives Liger two, but Nikita gets back in with a running shoulderblock to Liger. He preps the Sickle, but Pillman cheapshots him with a dropkick from behind. Air Pillman connects followed by a missile dropkick, but Brian stops to take out Steamboat as well and the delayed pin only gets two. Brian hits the sleeper and Nikita escapes with a jawbreaker, which Brian takes like a champ. It’s off to both Liger & Steamboat, as Liger hits an enziguiri for two. Missed dropkick gives Steamboat two. Backslide gets two for Liger. Springboard crossbody off a blind tag by Pillman gets two, as they then get into a pinfall reversal sequence. Brian goes up but Steamboat falls back on the ropes and accidentally crotches him, which is enough to cause a pier six brawl as IT’S BREAKING LOOSE AT THE BASH. Pillman finally shrugs off the low blow and comes flying with a high crossbody on Steamboat, which gets turned over into a pin to send Steamboat & Nikita into the semis at 19:26.
- Rating: Good opener. This saw Steamboat working all the fast and exciting trade-offs with Pillman and Liger, while Nikita would occasionally come in and quickly make his presence felt by using his power. Highly enjoyable tag match to kick off the PPV. ***3/4
Eric Bischoff interviews The Steiners backstage. Scott says the title loss to MVC is not gonna make them crumble, as even Muhammad Ali tasted defeat in his career. Rick adds that they’re coming after MVC.
NWA World Tag Team Title Tournament Quarter Final Match #3 – The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin) vs. Hiroshi Hase & Shinya Hashimoto
Hashimoto is subbing for an injured Akira Nogami here. Typical moonwalking and stalling from Hayes to start. Headlock by Hase is turned into a legscissors by Hayes, but Hase escapes and we reach a stalemate. Hayes tries a sloppy cradle for two and it’s off to Hayes/Hashimoto. The latter works a headlock for a while and the Japanese take over using frequent tags. Powerslam from Hashimoto gets two, but Hayes gets the tag back in and goes to work on Hashimoto’s arm. Hashimoto fights back with a number of chops, though, followed by a back elbow. Hase hits a delayed gutbuster, but doesn’t seem interested in trying the pin. Right in sync with the crowd, who apparently don’t seem interested in reacting to anything. Spinning wheel kick from Hashimoto, but Garvin breaks up the pin at two. A nice fallaway slam into a bridge pin gets two. Hayes cuts them off with the good ol’ double noggin knocker, but Hase refuses to sell it and goes back to pounding on Hayes. What a mess! Hayes finally knocks both guys down successfully, opening the door for the hot tag to Garvin who runs wild. He wants the DDT but IT’S BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA, and Nick Patrick forcing Hayes out allows Hashimoto to superkick Garvin into a Hase northern lights suplex for the pin at 9:16.
- Rating: Though the match was a bit of an awkward looking mess and it looked like the wrestlers weren’t on the same page at times, it had its moments and was certainly better than most Freebird matches around this time. With that in mind, though, it was skippable as the winner of this was clearly succumbing to the winners of Rude & Austin vs Windham & Rhodes in the semi finals. Thankfully it was relatively short at least, so it didn’t overstay its welcome that much. *1/2
THE RETURN OF THE BIG GOLD BELT! Bill Watts & Hiro Matsuda announce an upcoming tournament featuring wrestlers from both WCW and NJPW, taking place in the G1 Climax that August to crown the new NWA World Heavyweight Champion. Watts makes sure to mention Ric Flair (the previous title holder) and publicly strip him off the belt on air, also adding that he was once defeated by current WCW Champ Sting for that belt. Geez, cowboy! Furthermore, the winner of the tournament will face the WCW Champion down the road to crown one undisputed World Champion. In other words, the whole thing is declared useless less than a minute after its announcement…
NWA World Tag Team Title Tournament Quarter Final Match #4 – The Dangerous Alliance (Rick Rude & Steve Austin)(w/ Madusa) vs. Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes
Windham and Austin start with a lockup into an armdrag by Barry, as Jesse is already bitching about the cast on commentary. A battle over a backslide is won by Austin for two, and a roll up full of tights gets two more. Austin criss crosses but ends up walking into the taped fist, and you don’t need to ask Jesse twice to complain about it for about a minute! Austin takes it to the mat but Barry teases another shot with the taped fist, only to bitchslap him instead. Dustin adds in his own cheapshots as well before Austin finally bails. I mean… can you blame him?! Rude gets tagged in and so does Rhodes, and Rude slugs away in the corner. He eats boot on a blind charge, though, and Dustin fights back with a clothesline into a backdrop suplex as he takes over. Rick fights back and tries a Tombstone, but Rhodes turns it into his own Tombstone for two, with Austin saving. Rhodes eats knees on a missed splash, however, allowing Austin to come back in with a clothesline for two. Rhodes fights back with a knee to the gut and he follows it up with the abdominal stretch. Austin tries to hiptoss his way out of it, but Dustin goes right back to the hold and tags Barry in for a flying clothesline that gets a nearfall. The Alliance take back control near their corner and Austin sets up a superplex, but Barry headbutts him off the top and hits a crossbody for two. Madusa distracts the ref and allows Rude to come in with a missile dropkick for two. Piledriver gets two, with Rhodes saving.
Austin hits a delayed vertical suplex on Barry for two, and we hit the chinlock. It’s back to Rude for a fight in the corner and a slam, followed by some ravishing hip swiveling action. Austin comes in with a cheap pin using the ropes for two, as the Alliance keep Windham in their half of the ring. Austin works a chinlock with some extra leverage from Rude getting Rhodes’ attention, allowing the heels to cheat some more behind his back. Austin slugs away on Windham but eventually walks into a cradle for two, before they collide for a double down. It’s off to Rude to continue the assault, only for him to butt heads with Barry as well, who finally makes the hot tag. Rhodes cleans house like a bionic maid, running wild with mucho elbows until it starts BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA. Austin sets up for a piledriver on the illegal Windham, allowing Rhodes to come off the top with a flying clothesline for the win at 19:15.
- Rating: Good action with even better cheating from the heels, though it did drag a bit near the end. ***1/4
Big Van Vader & Harley Race know tonight is Vader’s night.
NWA World Tag Team Title Tournament Semi Final Match #1 – Miracle Violence Connection (Dr. Death Steve Williams & Terry Gordy) vs. Ricky Steamboat & Nikita Koloff
Gordy works a long headlock on Steamboat to start, but Steamboat fights back with armdrags on both Gordy & Williams. Now Ricky goes after the arm and stays there for a while, before bringing in Nikita to work on the arm too. This is strangely not going anywhere and the crowd is pretty tired of the tournament. Nikita injects some much-needed life with a dropkick after a bunch of no-sold shoulderblocks, but then nearly lands on his neck in an awkward single leg takedown by Doc, who works a bodyscissors. This seemed way better on first view. Gordy comes in and so does Steamboat on the other side, hopefully to take this up a few notches. He fires away with some chops but gets quickly caught in the MVC’s corner, and Williams takes him down with a clothesline for two. Steamboat tries to comeback with a crucifix pin, but Doc overpowers him and sends him into the buckle. Gordy cuts off another brief comeback attempt from Ricky with a slam, as the MVC proceed to cut the ring in half. Steamboat’s crossbody gets caught with a Doc backbreaker for two. Steamboat finally gets something in with a DDT of sorts and makes the hot tag to Nikita, who briefly runs wild before getting caught in the heel corner and taken back down to the mat. Seriously, what is wrong with this match?? Gordy works the Oriental Twist (STF without the neck hold), Doc comes in for some knees and a Boston Crab, and Gordy comes back with the Oriental Twist. Nikita FINALLY escapes and makes the ice cold tag to Steamboat, who takes down both Williams & Gordy to absolutely no reaction. Ricky hits a flying karate chop on Doc and goes over to the other corner for another one, but Gordy gets involved and Williams hits the Oklahoma Stampede to FINALLY end this at a whooping 21:39.
- Rating: I have no words for this. On paper, this could, should and probably would be a terrific tag team encounter any other day. Here, though, they were met with a painfully dead crowd who were more than tired of this tournament already, and the whole match seemed like an interminable heat spot. *
NWA World Tag Team Title Tournament Semi Final Match #2 – Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes vs. Hiroshi Hase & Shinya Hashimoto
Crowd seems even more dead here than they did in the previous match, hoping to see this tournament finally end as there’s no question to who’s advancing here. Hase & Dustin get into a test of strength to start, and Hase bridges out of it and catches him with a superkick. Now it’s off to Barry and Hashimoto for a test of strength of their own, which is won by Barry with a belly to belly. In comes Dustin for a couple of shoulderblocks that Hashimoto no-sells, and the big man easily overpowers Dustin as he brings in Hase. He goes after Dustin’s arm and wrestles him down to the mat, but Rhodes turns things around and tags in Windham for a hammerlock slam, as now the Americans go after the arm. Hashimoto cuts him off with a back elbow shot to the face, though, and follows with a cross ambreaker. Slam to Dustin and a spinning wheel kick, and Hashi takes him to the corner for a spike piledriver alongside Hase. The Japanese cut the ring in half using quick tags and occasional double team moves, leaving Barry impatient on the apron. They hit a double suplex into a Boston Crab by Hase, which Barry runs in to break. Hase hits a belly to belly and he goes up for a flying double kneedrop, but Rhodes moves out of the way and makes the hot tag. Windham runs wild and a powerslam to Hase gets two. Barry works an abdominal stretch and USES THE TAPED FIST BY GAWD to draw the ire of Ventura as usual, and soon enough it’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA. Barry dumps Hashimoto and finishes Hase with a lariat at 14:55.
- Rating: It was certainly not a classic as it suffered from being apart of this heatless tournament, but the work was good enough and it was an overall much better match than the other semi final. **3/4
Ron Simmons talks to Tony Schiavone and Magnum TA in the ring – he’s paying close attention to the upcoming match.
WCW World Heavyweight Championship – Sting(c) vs. Big Van Vader(w/ Harley Race)
The crowd finally comes alive here for what is the unquestionable REAL main event of the evening, despite Bill Watts clearly thinking otherwise. Vader pounds away on Sting to start, and a powerful clothesline forces Sting to bail. Sting comes back in to hit his own clothesline, but Vader totally no sells it and it’s Sting going down from the impact instead! Vader misses a blind charge in the corner, though, and Sting runs wild with a backdrop suplex and a clothesline that dumps Vader. The big man challenges Sting to a test of strength, but he thumbs Vader in the eyes and pounds away from there. Vader crawls into the apron where he’s met with an enziguiri from Sting, who then suplexes Vader into the ring for two. Sting then makes the mistake of running into Vader, though, knocking himself out as if he ran into a solid wall. Sting immediately comes back with a series of stiff kicks and cradles him for two, actually forcing Vader to bail! Back in, Sting tries a sunset flip, but Vader just sits down and squashes him like a bug. Vader even does a double bicep pose just to add insult to injury. JR: “I’ve heard bodybuilding isn’t doing so well”. BURN! Vader follows it up with a big splash as Sting barely rolls his shoulder on the kickout. Then, just to be a dick and just because he can, Vader actually puts Sting in the Scorpion Deathlock. It’s about as good visually as The Rock’s “Squatshooter”, but it’s the thought that counts!
Sting nearly powers out of it, but Vader drops down on his back and Sting goes right back down to the mat. Sting eventually powers out of the hold, but he’s pretty much done and Vader takes his sweet time enjoying the beatdown. Clothesline knocks Sting down, but Vader isn’t interested in pinning him yet. Powerslam gets a nearfall. Sting makes the comeback and takes Vader down with a crazy rolling koppo kick. He follows it up with a DDT and a running shoulderblock, but Sting’s too hurt to follow up and Vader actually gets up first. Vader goes up to the top rope but Sting crotches him and gets him up in a fireman’s carry position, hitting a delayed samoan drop for two. Sting sold that wonderfully, picking up Vader on “spaghetti legs”. The ref gets briefly knocked out on a battle over a suplex, which Sting wins with a bridged german suplex for two. The crowd is really into this one! Sting dropkicks Vader into the corner and meets him with the Stinger Splash, but Vader shrugs it off and Sting tries a second one, only to accidentally bust his head open on the steel buckle. Vader gets two off that, but it’s academic now as a single bitchslap knocks Sting down. Vader plants him with the powerbomb for the win and the WCW Title at 17:17.
- Rating: The excitement for this match was off the charts due to the long build, and it delivered in every way. This was the perfect example of how to protect “David” in defeat in a David vs. Goliath situation in wrestling, as Sting was able to fight through all of Vader’s stiff and powerful shots only to eventually get knocked out due to his own mistake, leaving the door open for future business and making both guys look like million dollars. Great match! ****1/4
Vader & Harley Race celebrate in the dressing room. Eric Bischoff asks them about a potential rematch with Sting, which they don’t feel like answering. Rightfully so.
One would think this is the perfect way to end the PPV since nothing can follow it up, but no…
(Alleged) Main Event – Tournament Final – NWA World Tag Team Championship – Miracle Violence Connection (Dr. Death Steve Williams & Terry Gordy) vs. Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes
They start off with basic stuff while the crowd goes right back to a vegetative state and, to make it even better, we have nearly 30 minutes left on the stream. Oh joy. Gordy hits a german suplex on Rhodes, who fires back with a series of quick bionic elbows and starts working the leg. Windham comes in and gets the figure four, but Gordy makes it to the ropes and brings in Doc. Williams scores with a belly to belly and they go to the mat for a while. Gordy hits a corner clothesline for two. Dustin goes back after the leg and drops some elbows on it, but Doc gets tagged in. Williams pulls the hair to win a test of strength and brings in Gordy to put Rhodes in the Oriental Twist (STF). Dustin fights out of the hold only to take a cheapshot from Gordy in MVC’s corner. You see, this match is not necessarily bad but the crowd is literally dead silent for everything, and there was no way this could ever follow Sting/Vader. Doc hits a powerslam for two, and he stops to complain with Ole Anderson over the count. Barry briefly runs wild off the “hot” tag and hits a suplex for a nearfall. Gutwrench suplex gets two more. Windham eats a shoulder in the buckle, though, and Gordy hits a suplex for two. We hit the chinlock as Gary Cappetta announces we’ve passed the 15 minute mark. Doc switches to a front facelock and into an abdominal stretch. Yeah.. Rhodes gets the “hot” tag and gets to run wild for all of ten seconds, until the MVC cut him off and Williams goes back to a front facelock. Yeah, call an audible and end it already. Dustin tries to make another comeback but gets cut off again, and Doc preps the Oklahoma Stampede only for Windham to dropkick him mid-move and Rhodes falls on top for two. Doc eats buckle on a blind charge and Dustin goes for the bulldog, but Doc sends him into Gordy and a clothesline gives them the titles and mercifully ends this stupid tournament at 21:10.
- Rating: Another snoozer to put an end to a tournament full of them. *1/4
JR & Jesse promote Halloween Havoc ’92 to close the broadcast.
END OF THE SHOW
Final thoughts: As much as it hurts me to say this, it looks like the streak has finally ended. After seven whole months, this is the worst PPV (add SNME and the Clash to the list for that matter) in 1992 up to the point. The pointless tournament really killed the room and the flow of the event, making it very hard for me to recommend this. A couple of quarter final matches were good and are worth checking out, but the only thing you really need to go out of your way to see from this event is Sting vs Vader. So what I say is look up for that match somewhere, but make sure you skip the rest of this show. 4/10
Read more about the point system.
|Wrestler||Star ratings||Result||Main eventing||Extra||Total|
|1||+0.5 for winning a fall||9.75|
|1||+0.5 for winning a fall|
-0.5 for losing a fall
|1||+1 for winning both falls|
+2 for winning a title
|1||+2 for winning a title||7.25|
|Big Van Vader||4.25||1||–||+2 for winning a title||7.25|
|–||+0.5 for winning a fall|
-0.5 for losing a fall
|–||+0.5 for winning a fall|
-0.5 for losing a fall
|Jushin Thunder Liger||3.75||-1||–||–||2.75|
|Brian Pillman||3.75||-1||–||-0.5 for losing a fall||2.25|
|Steve Austin||3.25||-1||–||-0.5 for losing a fall||1.75|
|Sting||4.25||-1||–||-2 for losing a title||1.25|
|Jimmy Garvin||1.5||-1||–||-0.5 for losing a fall||0|
What are your views on this pay per view? Share your comments below!
That’s all for this article, thank you so much for your time and attention. Make sure you don’t miss the upcoming review of WWF’s SummerSlam, and others. Until then stay safe!