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Dark Pegasus Video Review: The Great American Bash ’86

September 17, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: The Great American Bash ’86  

The Great American Bash 1986
by J.D. Dunn

For those of you not familiar with the old Bash concept, it was a series of 13 shows featuring Crockett’s best talent. Think the Family Values tour or Lollapalooza only with wrestling. To capitalize, T.H.E. used to produce these compilation tapes featuring the best matches. I believe this Bash went all east coast from Atlanta up to Philly, but the matches included are from Charlotte and Greensboro.

  • July 5-July 26, 1986
  • From Charlotte, N.C. & Greensboro, N.C..
  • Your hosts are Tony Schiavone and David Crockett.

  • NWA Heavyweight Title: Ric Flair vs. Road Warrior Hawk (w/Paul Ellering).
    Hawk overpowers him early but misses a legdrop. Flair gets two off a suplex, but he begs off when Hawk pops back up. Hawk moves in and press slams the champ. Flair begs off again. The formula should be familiar by now. Hawk no-sells a suplex. The match slows down considerably as Hawk grabs a headlock for a long while. He press slams Flair again but misses the flying clothesline. Flair hits a backdrop suplex and goes to work on the leg. He slaps on the figure-four, but referee Tommy Young catches him using the ropes. Flair goes up but, and see if you can believe this, gets slammed to the canvas. Hawk press slams him again (3) and drops a fist between the eyes. He goes for a flying shoulderblock and accidentally wipes out Tommy Young. D’oh! Flair and Hawk continue to slug it out as Ellering tries to revive the ref. Hawk catches Flair in mid-air and invents the Gutwrench Derailer. Tommy Young crawls back in and apparently counts three to give Hawk the NWA Title at 11:40. Oh, but Tommy was just signaling for a DQ because Hawk hit him with the accidental body block. Oops. This was just like all the Flair vs. Nikita/Luger/Sting matches. ***

  • Hair vs. Hair: Shaska Whatley (w/Paul Jones) vs. Jimmy Valiant.
    In one of the most bizarre turns you’ll ever see, Shaska turned on Jimmy Valiant for calling him “the best black athlete in the world” and cut his hair. Valiant storms the ring like a doofus, so Shaska just attacks him on his way in and never lets up. Shaska gets two off a Flair pin, but referee Earl Hebner catches him. Valiant starts a comeback, but Paul Jones trips him up. Valiant avoids going into the corner, but Shaska cuts off another comeback. You know, normally the heel being on offense so Valiant wouldn’t get exposed is a good idea, but that just means more Whatley offense in this case. Valiant misses kicking out, so Hebner has to cover for him. Finally, after what seems like an eternity, Valiant avoids an elbow drop. Paul Jones gets knocked on his ass, and Valiant applies the sleeper. The ref gets knocked out of the ring somehow. That allows Baron Von Raschke to run in with his loaded glove and knock Valiant out. Manny Fernandez makes the save, and Valiant grabs the loaded glove. WHAMMY! Down goes Shaska as Earl Hebner returns. ONE, TWO, THREE! Valiant picks up some revenge at 10:45. The match sucked, but it was good to see the babyface getting some righteous revenge on Paul Jones’ B-team heels. *1/2

  • Jones would be so irate that he’d challenge Valiant to a one-on-one match and put his hair on the line a few shows later.
  • Hair vs. Hair: Jimmy Valiant vs. Paul Jones (w/Baron Von Raschke).
    We’re JIP to Valiant stomping an everloving mudhole. Raschke jumps up on the apron and drops in the loaded glove. Jones puts the glove on, but Valiant is ready with his own loaded glove. See how simple it is. Of course, the fans pop huge for Valiant’s loaded glove. He knocks Jones into next week, but Raschke gets involved again. Manny Fernandez hops in to take out Raschke, which distracts the referee long enough for Shaska Whatley to jump in and nail Valiant with a chair. That gives Jones the win and pisses the crowd off royally. About 2 minutes shown. Fernandez and Sam Houston complain to the referee, but Valiant MANS UP and lets them shave his head. He’d be PISSED, though, and demand a rematch at Starrcade. [*]

  • Taped-Fist Match: Ron Garvin (w/Wahoo McDaniel) vs. Tully Blanchard (w/JJ Dillon).
    The Horsemen broke Garvin’s hand to set this up. Again, simple, clean booking to set up stipulations. There are 10 three-minute rounds here with a 30-second rest period between each. Tully charges and gets KNOCKED THE FUCK OUT! It’s before the bell, though, so they let JJ revive him. Tully puts up no fight in the first round, but he gets saved by the bell. In a hilarious moment, JJ is unable to revive him before the second round, so Tully still gets counted down. Eventually, JJ has to sneak in some smelling salts. Garvin continues beating Tully down, though. Tully survives the second round, and JJ puts more tape on his hands. Tully gets in his first offense of the fight, yanking Garvin into the corner by the tights. Garvin knocks him all the way to the floor this time. Tully makes it in as the fourth round starts. Garvin appears to knock Tully out, but JJ distracts the ref, forcing him to restart his count. Dillon drops a foreign object on his way out, allowing Tully to WALLOP Garvin for the win at 11:36. I could have watched Tully get his ass kicked all day long. Tully getting the win only served to piss off the fans even more (in a good way). As taped-fist matches go, it was so one-sided that it was an entertaining ass-kicking. Good booking too. **1/2

  • Russian Chain Match: The Road Warriors (w/Paul Ellering) vs. Ivan Koloff & Nikita Koloff.
    Nikita was such a badass in his day. Of course, the Roadies were too, so that explains why this feud made a pantload of money. Ivan is chained to Animal. Hawk to Nikita. There’s no commentary at all for this match, not even from Ross and Animal, so it might feel a little awkward. Nikita goes low on Hawk to quell his momentum. Animal tries to choke Ivan to death with the chain. Referee Tommy Young goes down but still manages to count two. Nikita starts beating Hawk with the chain, but Hawk crotches him with it. Ivan is busted wide open, and Animal is still strangling him, so he mule kicks him in the nuts. Lotta ballshots tonight. Ivan calls for help, and they doubleteam Animal. Finally, the Russians seem to have a strategy — beat one guy unconscious, the go after the other guy. Someone screams, “Oh shit!” after getting hit. Nikita shoves Hawk into Tommy Young, knocking him to the outside. Ivan goes up, trying to finish Animal, but Ellering climbs up and shoves him off the top. Animal crawls into a cover for the win at 5:41. After the match, the Russians clothesline Hawk with the chain. Not much wrestling, but wall-to-wall action. **1/4

  • #1 Contenders Match: The Andersons vs. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express.
    The R&R’s won the titles at Starrcade but then they immediately started having problems with the Horsemen. Poor Ricky Morton had his nose broken and wiped across the concrete, so of course, the Andersons work it over a lot here. Arn gnaws on a piece of irony as Ricky trips him up and busts his nose open. OH, RIGHT IN HIS BEAK! Ole actually grabs a fan’s camera and smashes it into Ricky’s nose pre-dating that spot done in ECW (and the Survivor Series) by over ten years. Ricky Morton plays Ricky Morton and does a damn fine job of it. Ole comes off the top while Arn holds Ricky, and they try to dislocate Ricky’s shoulder. Arn misses a charge and crotches himself in the corner. Gibson gets the hot tag and tries to put Arn out with the sleeper, but time expires at 13:03. I’ll assume that’s clipped from 20:00. These two teams had perfect chemistry. Ole and Arn loved to wear teams down. Ricky liked to get worn down. It’s peanut butter and chocolate. ***1/2

  • Recap of Magnum T.A. getting stripped of the U.S. Title for conduct unbecoming.
  • U.S. Title, Best-of-Seven: Nikita Koloff (w/Ivan Koloff) vs. Magnum T.A.
    Magnum was all set to wrestle Nikita for the title, but he brought his mom to the contract signing. Nikita started running down Magnum’s mom, so Magnum jumped him. NWA President Bob Geigel tried to break it up, so Magnum socked him too. That led to Magnum being stripped of the title, and the NWA put it up in a best-of-seven series between these two. Magnum is down 3-0 at this point, and Nikita looks like a complete beast. That doesn’t change in the early going here. Nikita tosses Magnum around like a rag doll for about five straight minutes. Finally, he tosses Magnum to the floor, but Magnum rams him in the gut and sunset flips him for the surprise win at 7:36. This series is more remembered for the quality of booking than the quality of matches. **

  • Cage Match: Dusty Rhodes, Magnum T.A. & Baby Doll vs. The Midnight Express & Jim Cornette (w/Big Bubba Rogers).
    The Midnights picked a fight with Dusty Rhodes, and since Baby Doll was Rhodes’ manager, she tried to help him out. Cornette jabbed her with the tennis racket, knocking her ovaries loose or something. No. Seriously. The heat on this angle revolves around whether or not Baby Doll will be able to extract revenge. Magnum plays face-in-peril for what seems like an eternity. He gets the hot tag to Dusty who cleans house on Eaton and Condrey. Jimmy Cornette tries to be useful but takes a belly-to-booby from Baby Doll at 6:22. It was fun seeing Cornette get his comeuppance after weeks of training and misogyny. **3/4

  • After the match, Bubba beats down Dusty Rhodes, which is funny because he was a lowly jobber with no gimmick just a few months before this.
  • NWA Heavyweight Title: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair vs. “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes.
    Schiavone and Crocket do their best to make the match sound epic. Trash talk to start, which is scary, considering the notorious lisps these guys have. Say it, don’t spray it! Rhodes ducks-and-moves with jabs and Flair tries to bail but there is nowhere to go. A test of strength goes badly for Flair so he tries to reverse to a knuckle lock. Rhodes no-sells it and twists him over into a wristlock. I cannot stress how funny it is to listen to David Crockett on commentary. He recaps EVERYTHING! It’s like that Family Guy episode where they run across Randy Newman and he puts every tiny little movement into his song. Flair works him over long enough to get Big Dust prostrate on the mat. He drops a knee onto Dusty’s previously-injured ankle. “NOW IT’S TIME TO GO TO SCHOOL!” Figure-four gets locked in and Dusty is squealing like Ned Beatty. Rhodes rolls to the ropes which shouldn’t matter in a cage match but Flair lets it go anyway. Or what, he’d be disqualified? Flair charges but gets caught with a lariat. Dusty covers. ONE, TWO, THR—FOOT ON THE ROPES. Rhodes tosses Flair into the mesh much to Crockett’s delight. Flair tries to go over, but Dusty catches him and they brawl on top. Flair gets the worse of that but Rhodes misses a punch into the cage. Flair goes up — sigh — but gets caught and slammed. Rhodes now puts on his figure-four but its Rhodes so he ain’t gonna win with that, I don’t care who’s booking. Rhodes with the backslide for two. Elbow drop…ONE, TWO, THRE—FLAIR ROLLS THE SHOULDER! Now Flair goes up and hit’s a cross body block. ONE, TWO, TH–NOO!! Rhodes schoolboys him. ONE, TWO, TH–FLAIR KICKS OUT! Rhodes misses the elbow drop. Flair smells blood and goes for a scoop slam but Rhodes rolls him up into an inside cradle for THREE!!! Winner and new champion: DUSTY RHODES! ***1/2
  • The 411: Dusty finally got a legit title win over Flair. It wouldn't last, though, as Flair took the title right back from him the following month in anticipation of passing the torch to Magnum. Still, JCP was rolling on all cylinders here, with Magnum vs. Nikita and Cornette/Baby Doll both being memorable angles. Hell, they even had Ricky Morton as a legit challenger to Flair's title, and people bought it. Anyway, Flair defended the title 13 times during the Bash and two of them are here (another one is on the Horsemen DVD). That makes this a pretty good haul.

    Thumbs up.

    Final Score:  8.0   [ Very Good ]  legend

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