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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Great American Bash ’90: New Revolution

December 6, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Great American Bash ’90: New Revolution  

The Great American Bash 1990: New Revolution
by J.D. Dunn

  • July 7, 1990
  • Live from Baltimore, Md.
  • Your hosts are Jim Ross and Bob Caudle.

  • Opening Match: Brian Pillman vs. Buddy Landell.
    Landell tries to get in Pillman’s face and gets smacked. Pillman gets a flying crossbody for two early. A pair of dropkicks sends Landell to the floor. Finally, Buddy starts in with the old-school heel tactics like grabbing a wristlock and yanking Pillman down with a handful of hair. Buddy shoves Pillman and hides behind the ref. Pillman tries another crossbody but gets caught. Pillman misses a dropkick. Pillman charges but meets a clothesline. Buddy blocks an O’Connor Roll, and Pillman tumbles to the apron. Buddy stops to gloat, so Pillman goes up top and finishes with a flying crossbody at 9:38. This was mostly Pillman getting his ass kicked uninterestingly until he hit the big move. *1/2

  • Captain Mike Rotundo vs. The Iron Sheik.
    Sheik jumps Mike from behind and continues working him over. Nothing of note happening. Rotundo sunset flips him, but the Sheik comes back with a gutwrench suplex and a horrible abdominal stretch. If there’s anyone who knows his abdominal stretches, it’s Rotundo. Mike hiptosses out of it but misses an elbow. Mike fires back with forearms and gets the win off a backslide at 6:46. Pretty bad. 1/2*

  • Harley Race promises revenge on Tommy Rich and predicts Flair will fall to Sting tonight.
  • Doug Furnas vs. Dutch Mantell.
    Doug was being billed as the World’s Strongest Man. He had a number of fantastic tag matches along with his partner Dan Kroffat (or Phil Lafon, if you prefer). As a singles wrestler, he’s only serviceable. Furnas busts out his usual – the back handspring out of the corner, the killer dropkick, and the Military Press. Mantell takes over with the heel, cheating tactics. Hey, he’s pulling the tights. Meh. Furnas comes back with a belly-to-belly for the win at 11:16. Total clash of styles. Mantell is a grizzled veteran, and Furnas is a flippy-power guy (think on that one for a bit). *

  • Harley Race vs. Tommy Rich.
    It’s Harley’s revenge tour! Rich was one of the guys to beat Race for the NWA Title. For those of you with 24/7, Michael Hayes had an explanation of the whole Rich title reign fiasco in 1981. Hayes says Georgia Promoter Jim Barnett was desperate to win the struggle for power in Georgia, so he told the referee that night to give a fast count, thus screwing Race and the NWA over Montreal-style. Race, however, says he was in on the whole thing. No mentions of oral sex favors from either side, so maybe we can lay that one to rest. Oh, but don’t think I won’t make a joke or two about it if it comes up. Race hits a piledriver early, but Rich stumbles to the apron. Race follows him out and delivers a slooooooow suplex on the ramp. I should point out that Race is wearing his old WWF trunks with the King’s crown on them, so Ross covers it by saying he must be a fan of the Sacramento Kings. Well, by that rationale, Rich must be a fan of Tea Parties because he’s… oh wait. Rich goes up for the crossbody, but Race rolls through for the win at 6:33. AVENGED! This sucked pretty badly, and it’s no wonder Race retired soon after. 1/2*

  • Paul E. Dangerously tears up a Lex Luger shirt, and he and Mean Mark Callous shout threats at the Total Package.
  • Okay, for those keeping track, this is where the (vastly superior) Turner Home Entertainment version starts. You know, as a fan, I used to hate when they’d cut out stuff because if it sucked, I could always skip over it, and if it was good, I might want to see it. Now that I *have* to watch things to recap them, I’m all in favor of clipping.
  • US Tag Titles: The Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette) vs. The Southern Boys.
    The Southern Boys are Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong in semi-Confederate gear. Sadly, they never really found traction in the NWA, probably because there were so many teams just like them (see also, Fantastics, The). Corny once called this match the best the Midnights ever had, which covers a lot of ground. The Midnights attack from behind, but the Southern Boys clean house. Smothers baffles Eaton with his “martial arts,” which basically consists of a thrust kick. Stan Lane tags in and shows him how it’s done with a back fist and a series of kicks. The Midnights chase Armstrong around the ring until Smothers comes off the top with a crossbody. The Southern Boys dogpile on the Midnights in a comedy spot, causing Cornette to throw himself on the floor and have a fit. Finally, after 10 minute of domination, Lane knocks Smothers off the apron into the railing. Smothers plays face-in-peril for a while as the Midnight’s actually get to show their offense instead of bumping ability. He eventually comes back with a sunset flip on both guys and makes the hot tag to Armstrong. The Southern Boys team up for a Doomsday Dropkick, but the ref is busy putting Lane out. The Midnights hit the Rocket Launcher, but it only gets two. The Southern Boys do the switcheroo trick, and Smothers gets two. Lane kicks Tracy in the head, though, allowing Eaton to small package him for the win at 18:16. This was the southern tag style worked to perfection. If you’re an aspiring wrestler or a fan of tag wrestling, get this match. ****1/2

  • The Freebirds apparently used their coupon for glitter and mascara. They have the Steiners tonight, so they’re living on borrowed time.
  • Big Van Vader vs. Z-Man.
    This would be Vader’s North American debut in the gimmick (he wrestled in the AWA under his own name). Interestingly, the gimmick was designed for Jim Helwig, but it never happened. Vader just manhandles Zenk, of course, but looks crisp and frosty doing it. Vader finishes Z-Man with the splash at 2:15. Vaderiffic. 1/2*

  • The Horsemen promise to break necks and eat Chex.
  • The Fabulous Freebirds vs. The Steiner Bros.
    This version of the Freebirds really sullies the song “Badstreet, U.S.A..” By the way, you gotta love the crack WCW production staff, which is quick to get the entire front row gleefully chanting, “faggot!” Hey, is that AJ Styles there? The Steiners were about a year from peaking, but they were still AWESOME here. How awesome? Imagine Kurt Angle at his peak teamed with Brock Lesnar. Here’s the match in a nutshell: Steiners hit a move, Freebirds stall and argue with the crowd, Steiners hit a move. The fans chant, “Michael is a bitch,” which is way ahead of the curve as far as trash talk is concerned. Ross ponders if they’re idol is “Harvey Firestone.” Ah yes, the gravelly voiced gay magician who owned a tire company. Rick plays dog-face-in-peril for a long spell. Scott gets the hot tag, though, and cleans house with a Frankensteiner. Garvin DDTs him, but the ref actually realizes that Garvin isn’t the legal man. **double take** Really? That allows Rick to hit Hayes with a belly-to-belly and put Scott on top for the win at 13:43. Not bad at all. **1/2

  • Six-Man Tag: Arn Anderson, Barry Windham & Sid Vicious vs. The Junkyard Dog, Paul Orndorff & El Gigante.
    This is the PPV debut of El Gigante, who would slowly Forrest Gump his way through WCW before gaining fame as The Giant Gonzales in the WWE. Hey, Sid is wearing a doublet. All right! He overpowers Orndorff to the raucous applause of the crowd. They actually have a pretty good strategy for Gigante here — stand there and look intimidating while the teammates do all the work. I think the WWE has realized the same thing with the Great Khali. Unfortunately, one of those teammates is the much-deteriorated JYD. Orndorff gets caught in the wrong corner as the fans chant, “We want Sid!” Sid, indeed, tags in and tosses JYD over the top for the DQ at 8:50. See, they were all scared of Gigante, so they just wanted out of the match. I kind of wish Gheorghe Muresan had become a wrestler. *3/4

  • Lex Luger looks kind of disinterested in giving a decent interview. He turns to face the crowd instead of the camera, which is really distracting, and interviewer Gordon Solie looks like a deer in the headlights because of it. Then again, Gordon always kind of looked like that.
  • U.S. Title Match: Lex Luger vs. Mean Mark Callous (w/Paul E. Dangerously).
    Fourteen years later, and Dangerously was trying to drown Callous’ manager in cement. Wrestling is a crazy business. Yes, in case you didn’t know already, Mean Mark is the Undertaker before he died, and Paul E. is Paul Heyman with hair and a metabolism. Ross talks about Callous’ degree in “Sports Management.” I keep waiting for him to work that in for the Undertaker. Luger dominates the early part with an armbar, prompting Paul to call “Murray” on his cell phone and complain of hair-pulling. Long armbar sequence from Luger. Mean Mark whips out of it and leapfrogs Luger, showing some nice agility. He misses the heart punch but slugs away anyway and grabs a reverse armbar. He works in the really Old School Forearm. Luger fires back but misses a charge and falls to the floor. Back in, Luger comes back with a sunset flip for two. Luger no-sells a suplex and clotheslines Callous. Luger gets the Torture Rack, but Mark’s feet hit the referee. Dangerously hops in and blasts Luger with the cellphone, putting Mean Mark on top. That gets two, and Luger roars back with a clothesline for the win at 12:08. Yes, the Undertaker jobbed to a simple clothesline. Not terribly bad, but below average. *3/4

  • NWA Tag Team Titles: Doom (w/Teddy Long) vs. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express.
    Ron Simmons is looking particularly jacked tonight. DAMN! You can practically hear Bill Watts fidgeting at the prospect at making him the champ. He misses a charge early and gets rolled up by Gibson for two. Doom doesn’t do anything particularly heelish at first, but they’re big, so you can’t help but feel sorry for the Rock ‘n’ Rolls. Ricky and Robert use doubleteams to get in some offense, but that doesn’t last long as Reed destroys Robert with a clothesline. Robert takes a beating for a bit before tagging Morton. Ricky O’Connor rolls Reed, but Ron Simmons comes in and nearly knocks his head off with a clothesline. Well, that’s why they call it “playing Ricky Morton.” Reed and Morton get involved in a backslide battle at one point, and Gibson sneaks in and helps his partner, drawing the ire of the Baltimore crowd. It only gets two, and Simmons continues kicking Morton’s ass. Reed tosses Morton over the top, which should be a disqualification, but Gibson is arguing with the ref. Back in, Reed powerslams Morton and goes for a splash, but Ricky gets his knees up. HOT TAG TO GIBSON! Suddenly, Gibson is able to take on both members of Doom by himself. It turns into a pier-six brawl, and Teddy Long falls into the ring. Gibson makes the mistake of going after him, allowing Reed to go up top and finish Gibson with a shoulderblock at 15:40. This would be the Rock ‘n’ Rolls’ last good match before they broke up in late 1990. Doom looked awesome, and it’s easy to forget just how great Ron Simmons was. ***1/2

  • NWA Heavyweight Title: Ric Flair vs. Sting.
    This is the long-delayed transition from the Flair era to the Sting era that was originally derailed when Sting messed up his knee earlier in the year. For this match, Ole Anderson is handcuffed to El Gigante while the Dudes with Attitudes (the Junkyard Dog, Paul Orndorff, & the Steiners) surround the ring to ensure the Horsemen can’t interfere. Other than the overbooking, this is the usual Sting vs. Flair match. Sting no-sells all of Flair’s early offense and hiptosses him on that WCW ramp they used to use. Flair drops a knee between the eyes, but Sting no-sells, hits a couple of clotheslines, and gets two off a crossbody. Flair goes after Sting’s injured knee, but Sting powers back. Flair tries an intimidation “wooooo,” but that doesn’t work very well. Finally, Sting misses a dropkick, allowing Flair to go after the knee in earnest. He misses his own kneedrop, though, and Sting gets the figure-four leglock. Flair makes the ropes and takes it to the floor, whipping Sting into the railing. Sting no-sells and pummels Flair in the face once they get back in. Flair: Ohhhhh God! Flair goes up and gets slammed off. Sting backslides Flair for two and argues the count with the referee, allowing Flair to clip his leg again. Flair makes the same mistake he always makes, taking Sting to the corner and chopping him. Sting gets pissed and gives Flair a press-slam. Flair Flip, but Sting cuts him off on the apron and suplexes him in for two. The Stinger Splash sets up the Scorpion Deathlock, causing Ole to freak out. Sid, Windham and Arn run down to interfere, but the Dudes hold them off. Flair makes the ropes. He nails Sting in the gut and covers with his feet on the ropes. ONE, TWO, NOT THIS WAY!!! Scott Steiner returns to ringside and shoves Flair’s feet off the ropes, allowing Sting to kick out. Sting tries the running knee once more, but Flair moves out of the way. The crowd **GASPS** as Flair goes for the figure-four. No need to worry, though, as Sting counters to a small package to pick up the win and his first world title at 16:07. Sting puts over Flair as a champion after the match. I don’t think he was quite ready yet because they basically hit all the normal notes that they would in a great Flair/Sting match, but they didn’t have enough of the improvisational riffing to take it to the upper strata. ***1/2
  • The 411: (Ignoring the horrible prelim stuff that isn't on the VHS). This is really a must just for historical purposes alone, as Flair passed the torch (in theory) to Sting. The wrestling isn't bad either, with the Rock 'n' Rolls & Midnights turning in great performances. Plus, you get to see the Undertaker before he had a moneymaking gimmick.

    Thumbs up.

    Final Score:  7.5   [ Good ]  legend

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