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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Great American Bash ’92

March 1, 2009 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Great American Bash ’92  

Great American Bash ’92
by J.D. Dunn

  • July 12, 1992
  • Live from Albany, Ga.
  • Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jesse Ventura.

  • Bill Watts explains the difference between WCW and NWA rules.
  • Opening Match, NWA World Tag Team Title Tournament Quarterfinals: Brian Pillman & Jushin Lyger vs. Nikita Koloff & Ricky Steamboat.
    All four guys are babyfaces, so we get handshakes before the match. And of all people, Ricky Steamboat is the first to go heel. The stuff with Koloff is just okayish, but we do get Pillman and Lyger doubleteaming him enough that Lyger can shoulderblock him down. Ricky drags Lyger in and slams the lightweights’ heads together. Steamboat and Lyger go at it in an all-to-brief sequence. Big pop as Lyger hits Steamboat with the moonsault. It only gets two, so Lyger gives Steamboat the Tombstone. Ricky comes back with a powerslam of all things. Nikita actually sells through much of the match, but he’s too damn powerful for the little guys to put away. Steamboat accidentally crotches Pillman, but he’s so out of it that Pillman is able to recover and go up again. Pillman comes off with a crossbody, but Steamboat rolls through for the pin at 19:23. Long match for an opener, but with a rule-to-suck ration of 3:1, I don’t mind a bit. All four guys weaved in and out of babyface and heel roles effortlessly, and considering three of the wrestlers were probably in the top ten workers in the world at that point, this was a great idea for an opener. ***1/4

  • NWA World Tag Team Title Tournament Quarterfinals: The Fabulous Freebirds vs. Shinya Hashimoto & Hiroshi Hase.
    Why is all Japanese entrance music in American promotions representative of feudal era Japan? Have you ever seen a puro show? It’s all rock and techno. Sadly, Hase and Hashimoto didn’t start shooting because that would have been fun to watch. Jesse notes that Hase is fluent in Japanese. Way to earn that paycheck. Hashimoto is subbing for an injured Akira Nogami and talk about a change in styles. I’m not a big fan of his style, at least in matches like this. Hase, on the other hand, rules your life with an iron fist. Did Hase and Steamboat ever wrestle? If so, I have to track that down. Hase no-sells the ‘Birds’ pathetic offense and chops Hayes in the chest to knock him down. You really should try to track down Hase vs. Kentaro Shiga where Hase gives Shiga NO respect. He doesn’t even sell his missile dropkick. Hayes desperately whips Hase into Hashimoto and gets the HOT TAG TO GARVIN! The Freebirds are babyfaces, I should point out, but they’re also in a freefall in terms of usefulness and popularity. Hashimoto superkicks Garvin into a Northern Lights Suplex by Hase at 9:17. The Japanese were not in the mood for the Freebird shenanigans. The Freebirds were just there to get heat and sell, which they did a serviceable job of. **

  • Watts hands over the NWA Title to Hiro Matsuda in anticipation of a new tournament. He also reminds him that Sting holds a victory over the previous champion, Ric Flair, so they should have a unification match with whoever wins the tournament.
  • NWA World Tag Team Title Tournament Quarterfinals: Rick Rude & Steve Austin (w/Madusa) vs. Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes.
    This is a result of various issues between all four guys. The heels lost their individual titles to the babyfaces, and both teams were contenders for the tag titles. This was pretty good, and another looooong match. Barry uses his taped fist a lot, drawing objections from Jesse. Austin bounces around like a pinball to make Windham and Rhodes look like worldbeaters. I miss Stunning Steve. We’re nearly ten minutes in before Madusa hops on the apron and distracts the ref, allowing Rude to cheapshot Windham from behind. Barry plays face-in-peril, and it’s actually pretty boring, but once Barry falls back into the tag, the place EXPLODES! Dustin hops in and cleans house on the heels, including a vicious clothesline on Austin. Austin is so loopy that he goes for a piledriver on Barry. That allows Dustin to come off the top with a flying clothesline for the win at 19:14. They were pacing themselves for the tournament, so this was a bit long for what they had to offer. Windham looks exhausted. These guys could probably wake up and throw together a decent match before their morning coffee. ***

  • Eric Bischoff interviews Vader and Harley Race. Race says Vader isn’t prepared, he’s ready. Harley’s X-mas gift this year – a thesaurus.
  • NWA World Tag Team Title Tournament Semi-Finals: Nikita Koloff & Ricky Steamboat vs. The Miracle Violence Connection.
    Williams and Gordy were cornerstones of Mid-South/UWF, so it’s no wonder Bill Watts has a chubby for them. This is taking it a bit far, though. They defeated the Steiners for the WCW Tag Titles and then knocked them out of the NWA Tag Title Tournament. Now, they’re steamrolling through all the other teams. On the plus side, Steamboat’s sympathetic babyface act works really well here. Koloff tags in and says, “Yeah, we’re not doin’ that anymore.” He trades power moves and actually does decent mat wrestling with both guys. Ricky tags back in and gets his block knocked off by a Doc clothesline. Steamboat plays the face-in-peril now, but there’s way too much meaningless matwork to keep the fans in it. Koloff comes in and gets more of the same. Doc and Gordy were big stars in the UWF because they beat the sh*t out of people barroom-style, not because they ground them down on the mat. I know it worked in Japan, but Albany, Georgia is not Tokyo. Ricky tags in but takes a spinebuster variant of the Oklahoma Stampede at 21:38. As Steamboat’s body eroded from the weardown, so does the viewer’s patience with this match. **1/4

  • NWA World Tag Team Titles, Semifinals: Shinya Hashimoto & Hiroshi Hase vs. Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes.
    What do you do after booking a 20-minute grind-it-out-on-the-mat match? Book a 15-minute grind-it-out-on-the-mat match. Shinya calls for crowd approval before putting Windham in the Triangle Choke. Dude, you’re a foreigner beating on two good ol’ boys in Albany f’n Georgia. You’ll be lucky if you’re not ridden out on a rail. Finally, Hash and Dustin get a little scrappy, threatening to make things interesting. That’s a threat it can’t follow up on, though. The Japanese hit a spiked piledriver on Dustin. Barry finally has all he can stands, and he can’t stands no more, so he tags in and levels Hase with the lariat for the win at 14:54. I got nothing against these guys, but there was just no passion (a recurring theme tonight). *1/4

  • Tony Schiavone and Magnum T.A. interview Ron Simmons. He wants a title shot.
  • WCW World Title: Sting vs. Big Van Vader (w/Harley Race).
    Here we go! This was Vader’s coming out party in WCW after a few years of splitting time between WCW and Japan. The story here is that Sting was riding high after defeating Lex Luger and Harley’s hired gun Cactus Jack, so he bit off more than he could chew by signing to meet the gargantuan Vader. Vader sells huge for Sting early, dragging the fans back into the show. He avalanches Sting to put an end to that, though, and puts Stinger in his own Scorpion Deathlock. It’s pretty Rock-ish, though, because Vader doesn’t want to lean back and snap Sting’s spine. Vader lets it go and clubs Sting in the face. Vader is like a black bear, and Sting is covered in marmalade. Sting comes back with a desperation Kappou Kick and shoulderblocks Vader to the apron. Vader goes up, but Sting catches him with a Samoan Drop. The ref gets knocked down, and Sting hits a German Suplex. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Sting hits the Stinger Splash but goes for another one and jumps too far, hitting his head on the ringpost. That knocks him goofy enough for Vader to get two. Vader hauls him up and just drops him on his head with a powerbomb to pick up the win and the title at 17:18. I like the booking of Sting not realizing what he was getting into and then getting overzealous in his execution and costing himself the title. That easily sets up a rematch where Sting is more prepared (several rematches actually). Not quite on the level of the King of Cable, but a good star-making performance from Vader. ***3/4

  • Vader is the King of the World! Whooooo! Jesse rightly says Vader shouldn’t be pressed about a rematch right now. At least let him shower first. Jeez.
  • NWA World Tag Team Title Tournament Finals: The Miracle Violence Connection vs. Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes.
    Before the match, the Steiner Bros. come out to confront Gordy & Williams. Jesse says this isn’t the night to do that, and my question would be, “Why?!” Security sends the Steiners to the back. Barry puts Gordy in the figure-four early, but Gordy makes the ropes. The fans just aren’t into the MVC, which is odd because Gordy was a huge star in Georgia. Gordy and Williams take over on Dustin. Jesse: Now we’ll see if Dustin has guts. We know his father does… literally. Oh snap! This is the longest anyone has played face-in-peril… ever. Feels like it anyway. It’s a good 15 minutes or so. Doc misses an avalanche, and Dustin goes for the bulldog. Doc shoves him into Gordy, though, and clips him with the clothesline for the win at 21:09. I’m not sure what the point of handing the MVC both sets of titles. Sure, they look dominant, but they didn’t really do anything to deserve the titles (from a business standpoint). **
  • The 411: Two matches do not a PPV make, and it really shows that those two matches were of a very different style than all of the others. This show just dragged and limped to a conclusion. Not recommended unless you want to see Vader become a star in America.

    Thumbs down.

     
    Final Score:  5.0   [ Not So Good ]  legend

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