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Dark Pegasus Video Review: The Great American Bash ’85

September 5, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: The Great American Bash ’85  

Great American Bash ’85
by J.D. Dunn

This is a rare one. Not sure where you can find it in full, but the home video version only runs about an hour and features clipped matches. Look for it on Amazon or Ebay.

I’m reviewing a sort of bastardized version combining the Ringmasters home video version and parts of the WWE DVDs and original broadcast.

  • July 6, 1985
  • From Charlotte, N.C..
  • Your hosts are Tony Schiavone and Bob Caudle.

  • Opening Match, Dog-Collar Match: Jimmy Valiant (w/Buzz Tyler) vs. Paul Jones (w/Abdullah the Butcher).
    Valiant is one of those maddening cases where a guy is soooooo bad in the ring at this point, but because of look, good marketing and music he consistently gets monster pops. You should hear the fans here cheering for him. Seriously, during this period Valiant was second only to Dusty Rhodes in terms of babyface appeal and yet he looks like the evil Santa Claus from “Tales from the Crypt.” This is the result of Jones and his army picking a fight with Valiant, or maybe vice versa. This is clipped down to nothing as Valiant hulks up and applies “the Valiant Sleeper.” Abdullah tries to interfere, but Valiant finishes anyway with “the Valiant Elbow.” See what I mean about good marketing? A sleeper and an elbow, folks. Can’t blame them for pushing Valiant hard, though. 1/4*

  • Manny Fernandez, Sam Houston & Buzz Tyler vs. Abdullah the Butcher, “Superstar” Billy Graham & Konga the Barbarian.
    Notice how this one isn’t included on the Billy Graham DVD? There’s a good reason. Sam Houston (Jake the Snake’s little half-brother) is making his first appearance of any importance, so he gets massacred by the heels for most of the match. Konga gives him a press slam and clothesline. Of course, Konga would also drop his moniker to become just “The Barbarian.” You may also know him as Sionne, but probably not. Anyhoo, this match just proves how you should really enjoy your success while you have it because Billy Graham — the man the WWWF staked their financial status to for a significant period of time — tags in and gets small packaged by Houston during a fracas. About 5:00 shown. 3/4*

  • “Nature Boy” Buddy Landell (w/JJ Dillon) vs. “Outlaw” Ron Bass.
    Dillon used to manage both men but started favoring Landell, so Bass got pissed off and turned face (sort of). Obviously, this was before JJ started focusing on the Horsemen. We’re JIP to Buddy tossing Bass to the ground (of Memorial Stadium) and choking him out with some power cord. Bass starts to fight back, and we’re clipped to Bass skidding a forearm off Landell’s face and dropping an elbow on him. Bass, btw, is sort of a poor man’s Stan Hansen. Bass chases Dillon around the ring and signals for the Claw, but time expires. About 4:00 were shown. After the match, Bass chases Dillon around the ring again, and Dillon runs into Landell. It’s the Keystone Cops all over again. Not much to recommend outside of some southern brawling. *

  • NWA National Tag Team Titles: Ole & Arn Anderson vs. Dick Slater & Buzz Sawyer.
    Ole and Arn were clicking on all cylinders here. Buzz was quickly burning bridges around this time, allegedly getting into a fight with Hulk Hogan in the WWF to send him packing from there. In fact, both Slater and Sawyer would be gone from JCP a few weeks after this and reappear in Mid-South as part of Bill Watts’ changeover to the UWF. That should tell you how this match goes (what little of it is shown). Slater and Sawyer play babyfaces despite being natural heels, but then if you look up and down the card, there are a lot of puzzling decisions. Slater plays face-in-peril before slamming Ole off the top and getting the hot tag to Sawyer. Sawyer cleans house and hits a powerslam, but the ref is busy with Slater. That allows the Andersons to pull shenanigans and get the win at about 3:30 shown. [**3/4]

  • NWA World Tag Titles: Ivan Koloff & Krusher Kruschev vs. The Road Warriors (w/Paul Ellering).
    The Roadies were the AWA Tag champs here, but the Russians’ titles are the only ones on the line. We’re JIP to Hawk tossing around Ivan. The Russians cheat to take over, though, and isolate Animal in their corner. Kruschev misses the sickle, and they clothesline each other for a double KO (a spot that finds its way into every major Roadies match). Hawk gets the hot tag and cleans house on the Russians. Animal tries to drop Kruschev with a second-rope powerslam, but Ivan hits him with a chair. Hawk takes the chair away and uses it on the Russians for a double DQ at around 7:00 (shown). **

  • U.S. Title: Magnum T.A. vs. Kamala (w/Skandor Akbar).
    Kamala attacks at the bell, but Magnum ducks a swing and hits a flying crossbody. We’re clipped ahead to Kamala controlling and chopping Magnum in the head. Finally, he just chokes him out. The Big Splash only gets two, though, and the heels can’t believe it. Kamala hits a second Big Splash, but he’s not smart enough to roll Magnum onto his shoulders. Magnum avoids a corner charge and makes the pissed-off babyface comeback. A trio of dropkicks send Kamala down, so Akbar panics and attacks Magnum for the DQ at 3:07 (shown). The usual Kamala match with lots of chopping and splashes and Kamala being too stupid to get the win. Magnum looked like a million bucks, though. 3/4*

  • NWA Heavyweight Title: Ric Flair vs. Nikita Koloff.
    This is a result of the Kremlin contacting Koloff and telling him to bring the NWA Title to Russia. Ah, for the days of kayfabe. Nikita got meaner and even attacked David Crockett (not that anyone cared). For some reason, though, the NWA thought that Crockett would be the perfect impartial referee for this match. Flair arrives in a helicopter because he’s Flair. We’re JIP, and you can basically select a Flair-Luger match review at random and substitute the name Koloff for Luger because this is strictly Flair formula. Thankfully, they clip through a Nikita bearhug. See, those are the things that need clipping. We get the idea, but we don’t have to live through it. Flair atomic drops him and gives him a backdrop suplex. Koloff comes back and begins dismantling Flair. Flair goes into the post, getting busted open in the process. He makes the comeback inside, pummeling Nikita and dropping an elbow for two. We’re clipped ahead to Nikita choking Flair and tossing David Crockett aside. The Russians’ attempted doubleteam fails, knocking Ivan out. A fan jumps in and tries to get at Nikita but gets pulled off. They try to do a spot where Flair hits a flying body press off the top and Nikita trips over Ivan’s prone body, but it goes horribly wrong. The finish sees Nikita go for the slam and trips over David Crockett’s legs, putting Flair on top for the pin and the win at 10:30 (shown). After the match, the Russians destroy Flair, causing a near-riot. The finishing sequence was horribly sloppy, dragging this down quite a bit. The Starrcade match a year later was much better. **1/2

  • NWA TV Title, Non-Sanctioned, Lights Out, Cage Match for Baby Doll’s Services: Dusty Rhodes vs. Tully Blanchard (w/Baby Doll).
    Stipulation-mania is running wild! These two had been trading the NWA TV Title back and forth, but Tully upped the stakes and threw a fireball in Rhodes’ face. If Dusty wins the match, he gets Baby Doll for thirty days. This was also part of some ego-tripping from Rhodes to screw with Ric Flair. He made it a “lights out” match, thus necessitating that it take place after all the other matches had finished, including Flair’s little, unimportant NWA World Title match with Nikita Koloff. Rhodes goes after Tully’s knee early, but Tully yanks him into the cage, busting Rhodes open. Rhodes returns the favor, tossing Blanchard into the cage and shoving Tommy Young down when he objects. Dusty’s a rebel. Rhodes hits a flying clothesline for two as Baby Doll freaks out. Dusty goes for the win with a figure-four, but Tully rolls it over. Tommy Young gets bumped in a brutally bad spot as Dusty kind of collides with Tully off an elbow drop, and Blanchard falls in Young’s general vicinity. Baby Doll crawls up the cage and hands Tully a loaded elbow pad, but Dusty catches Tully and piledrives him for the win, the title, and the girl at 11:31. Not bad, but not main-event good. Kind of like a Flair vs. Rhodes match without Flair’s ability to bounce around the ring like a superball to get his opponent over. **3/4
  • The 411: Considering how bad the clipped version is, I shudder to think of what the full show with all the crap they cut out might look like. Disappointing Flair match. Dusty stroking his ego. Bad finishes and bad wrestling out the wazoo.

    Easy thumbs down here.

    Final Score:  4.0   [ Poor ]  legend

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