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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Great American Bash ’89: Glory Days

November 12, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Great American Bash ’89: Glory Days  

The Great American Bash ’89: Glory Days
by J.D. Dunn

Granted, it’s like 90-degrees in the middle of summer as I’m posting this, but congratulations to [Barack Obama][John McCain] for winning the Presidency. I’m sure you’ll take our country in a new direction and hope that you’ll welcome the World Series Champion [Red Sox][Yankees][Cubs] to the White House for a photo op with your lovely wife [Michelle][Cindy].

  • July 23, 1989
  • Live from Baltimore, Md.
  • Your hosts are Jim Ross and Bob Caudle.

  • Opening Match: Two-Ring Battle Royal.
    The idea is pretty simple. Everyone here qualified by winning a battle royal, and now there’s a battle royal to pick the winner of those competitors. Everyone starts out in one ring and, once they’re eliminated, they start a new battle royal in the second ring. The winner of the first ring faces the winner of the second ring in a match. Winner gets $50,000. Teddy Long looks on from the ramp. The future Miracle Violence Connection goes at it early, as do the former Varsity Club. There’s a curly, blond Scott Hall in there with his pornstache. A handful of these guys are pulling double duty, but it’s pretty obvious who’s going to win just by looking at the participants. I’ll give you a hint. Two of them are the Skyscrapers (Danny Spivey and Sid Vicious). We’re clipped ahead to Spivey winning the second ring and Vicious winning the second ring. Teddy Long doesn’t want to risk them having a break up, so he announces that they’ll split the money, pissing off the crowd good and proper. (8:25) Not much to rate, especially with no finish. *

  • “Wild” Bill Irwin vs. Brian Pillman.
    I don’t recall there being an issue here, so this is probably just to put over newcomer Pillman. JIP to Irwin tossing Pillman to the floor. Pillman comes back with his aerial maneuvers but misses a missile dropkick. Irwin grinds his boot in Brian’s face. Irwin javelins Pillman to the other ring, but he makes the mistake of arguing with Referee Nick Patrick. Pillman climbs the turnbuckle in the opposite ring and skies onto Irwin for the win at 2:45 (clipped from 10:18) [*1/2]

  • The Skyscrapers vs. The Dynamic Dudes.
    The Dudes are current TNA manager/interviewer Shane Douglas and WWE Director of Talent Relations Johnny Ace. See, they’re surfers! We’re JIP to Ace getting slapped around. Shane gets the hot tag but the Skyscrapers are the Skyscrapers, so they basically cut his head off. Spivey finishes Ace with a sloppy powerbomb at 3:16 (clipped from 9:14). [*]

  • Tuxedo Match: Jim Cornette vs. Paul E. Dangerously.
    The idea is that Dangerously has invaded the NWA with his Original Midnight Express (Randy Rose & Dennis Condrey), trying to replace Cornette’s Midnights (Stan Lane & Bobby Eaton). Cornette attacks early, but Heyman throws powder in his face and starts bashing Cornette’s knee with his cellphone. PSYCHOLOGY~! You might remember Cornette blowing his knees out in that scaffold match a few years earlier. Cornette can barely move. It’s odd that this should be a comedy match between two managers, but they’re putting more effort into it than some of the wrestlers. Paul misses an elbowdrop and takes a Hennigbump off a Cornette uppercut. DIE FOR YOUR CRAFT, PAUL E! Paul tries the powder trick again, but Jimmy kicks it back in his face and strips him down to his BVDs at 6:28. **1/4

  • Texas Tornado Match: The Steiner Bros. (w/Missy Hyatt) vs. The Varsity Club.
    This is Scott’s PPV debut and the first time the Steiners teamed up. The storyline is that Rick was a member of the Varsity Club, but he was constantly abused by Kevin Sullivan and Mike Rotunda, so he snapped and beat Rotunda for the TV Title at Starrcade ’88. This winds up being a crazy, wild brawl, which probably won’t surprise you if you’ve ever seen a Kevin Sullivan-booked match. Sullivan pairs off with Rick while Scott takes on “Captain Mike.” Too much going on to recap, but it’s never dull. The ending sees Scott yank down the ropes, sending Rotunda to the floor. Sullivan tries to slam Rick, but Scott goes up and jumps off onto them, putting the Steiners on top of Sullivan to finish the Varsity Club feud once and for all at 4:44. **1/2

  • World TV Title: Sting (w/Eddie Gilbert) vs. The Great Muta (w/Gary Hart).
    Muta was such a badass at this point. He was coming in undefeated after debuting in the spring. Sting, meanwhile, is the #2 babyface in the NWA behind Flair (apologies to Steamboat, but it’s true). Muta wants to start in the wrong ring, so Sting jumps over the ropes onto him with a flying crossbody, setting the tone for the match! Muta comes back with his handspring elbow. Sting avoids a moonsault and no-sells a jumping spinkick, but Muta enzuigiris him to the floor and follows with a pescado. Sting comes back with his own high-flying moves and a military press. Muta avoids an elbowdrop, though, and employs a rope-assisted abdominal stretch. A second handspring elbow misses, and Sting makes the big comeback with a bulldog. Sting ducks the red mist, and Nick Patrick winds up taking it. Sting misses a Stinger Splash, and Muta hits the moonsault as Tommy Young runs down to count. ONE, TWO, THR-NO! Sting gets his shoulder up and hits a bridging backdrop suplex for the win at 8:08. However, replays show that Muta had his shoulder up too, so the belt got held up until Muta won the rematch. Great stuff. This was a case of two guys winding up in the same promotion at the right time in their careers and putting on a great match. This is about as good as you’ll get in eight minutes. ****

  • U.S. Title: Lex Luger vs. Ricky Steamboat.
    Luger threatens to walk unless the “no DQ” rule is waived, so they change it to a regular match to pacify him. Steamboat fires off the nearfalls early. Luger is actually forced to sell Steamer’s chops because they’re just that stiff. Ricky makes the mistake of going outside, and when he comes back in, Luger catches him with a knee. Luger knocks him down with a stiff clothesline drawing a face pop. Ricky fires back but gets hit with a fist to the gut while coming off the top. He targets Ricky’s back and starts arguing with the ref. Ricky keeps getting up and swinging, but Luger just levels him with a series of clotheslines. AWESOME! Young tries to separate them, so Luger suckerpunches Steamboat and gets two off a powerslam. The fans are rabid for Luger’s blood here after being kind of behind him in the early going. Steamer charges and gets backdropped from one ring to another. Luger grabs a chair, but Steamboat scoops him up and catapults him into the buckle. Steamer grabs the chair (with Jim Ross pleading, “No don’t use the chair, Ricky!”). Unfortunately, Steamboat can’t hear him because that’s exactly what he does, drawing the DQ at 10:26. Just an awesome, awesome match that was non-stop action from start to finish. This is on par with Luger’s best singles matches with Flair. ****1/2

  • Wargames: The Road Warriors, The Midnight Express & Steve Williams (w/Paul Ellering & Jim Cornette) vs. Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy, Jimmy Garvin & The Samoan Swat Team (w/Paul E. Dangerously).
    The SST is Dangerously’s answer to the Midnight Express after his version of the Midnight’s failed to get the job done. The heels win the coin toss, naturally. Eaton and Garvin start out with a decent sequence as Eaton adapts quite well to the brawling tactics necessitated by the rules of the match. Michael Hayes does what he does best by talking to Eaton while he’s getting his ass kicked. Eaton comes back with a pair of unorthodox backbreakers. Terry Gordy comes in as the next entrant, and the Freebirds destroy Eaton. Dr. Death evens things up and takes on the heels with a double clothesline. The future Miracle Violence Connection pair off while Garvin chokes out Eaton. Samu is next and he gives Doc a reverse thrust kick. Animal jumps in and cleans house as the roof nearly blows off the place. Hayes is pretty funny as he tries to fire up his partners so he doesn’t have to go in. Fatu gives the heels the advantage again, and the SST doubleteam Animal. Stan Lane evens it up and tosses Garvin and Samu into the cage. The cameras catch Paul E. and Hayes talking strategy, and Hayes realizes that he *has* to get in eventually. Hayes gets in and picks his spot, going after Bobby Eaton who was the one that started the whole thing. Hawk comes in and destroys the heels. Even Bobby Eaton gets his second win, DDTing everything in sight. Paul E. tries to hand his phone to one of the heels, but it won’t fit through the fence. In a hilarious moment, he turns around to find Tommy Young standing with his arms folded and tries to explain himself. The “Match Beyond” segment is longer than usual. Garvin saves Gordy from the Doomsday Device (which they wouldn’t have been able to do anyway), so Hawk gives him a lariat off the top and puts him in a hangman for the submission at 22:20. After the match, the heels lock Animal in the cage and deliver a beatdown with the faces trying to get back in to save him! Great action from start to finish. Not quite as much strategy as in past years, though, which dragged this one down to a measly ****

  • NWA World Heavyweight Title: Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk (w/Gary Hart).
    This, of course, is the huge supposed-blowoff after Funk attacked after Flair’s Wrestle War classic with Ricky Steamboat and broke Flair’s neck on a table. Terry surprises everyone by bringing Gary Hart with him. Flair attacks Funk in the aisle, and Funk darts into the crowd to throw a tantrum. Flair goes absolutely nuts on him with a series of chops, but he gets careless, and Funk is able to catch him on the way down. Funk smacks him around a bit, and they both spill to the floor on a suplex attempt. Flair tries to rip Funk’s head off. Back in, Flair gives him a pair of piledrivers, trying to return the favor from Wrestle War. Hart hands Funk a branding iron to turn the tide. Flair is busted open, and now Funk gets the piledriver he’s been working toward. The crowd goes silent, but Ric Flair would be okay. He’s tough. He’s a wrestler. Flair gets his foot on the ropes to save the title, but Funk stays on top, turning the match in to a bloodbath and continuing to work the neck. Funk stops to talk to Flair above Hart’s objections. Flair grabs the errant branding iron and SMASHES Funk with it, sending him to the floor. The ending sees Funk reverse a figure-four to an inside cradle, but Flair rolls it over for the pin at 17:23! See what a little hatred can do for a match? This was an incredible brawl filled with great psychology revolving around the neck and Funk’s loose cannon nature. After the match, Muta runs in and mists Flair, making it a two-on-one, so Sting makes the save! Ross is screaming so loud his voice is cracking. “OH! WHAT A BRAWL!” Indeed. ****
  • The 411: Well, it's not called the best PPV ever for no reason. The last four matches are, quite literally, must-see matches. Most importantly, it's not just a collection of great matches. Every match has a well thought-out feud behind it and works in as part of a larger story. Indeed, this was the NWA at the height of their creative skills. I love it when a promotion comes together.

    Enthusiastic thumbs up.

    411 Elite Award
    Final Score:  10.0   [ Virtually Perfect ]  legend

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