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Leighty’s Retro Review: WCW Great American Bash 1996

June 23, 2023 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
Rey Mysterio WCW Great American Bash 1996 Image Credit: WWE
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Leighty’s Retro Review: WCW Great American Bash 1996  

-We continue along with 1996 as WCW just had two invaders show up on Nitro and things were about to take off. After this I will have King of The Ring 1996 and then an extra Retro Review to celebrate the 25th anniversary of a certain match that took place in Pittsburgh, PA. Let’s get to it!

-Announce Team: Tony Schiavone and Dusty Rhodes
-Baltimore Arena, Baltimore, MD
-June 16, 1996
-Attendance: 9000
-PPV Buys: 170,000

-Sgt Craig Pittman presents The US Flag as we get a playing of The National Anthem!

-Tony and Dusty set the stage for what we are going to see tonight, and I forgot Heenan isn’t on commentary because he is “coaching” Arn Anderson and Ric Flair in their tag match. Tony also mentions that Dick Murdoch passed away and gives Dusty a chance to say a few words.

There Must Be A Winner: Fire and Ice vs. The Steiner Brothers

-These two teams have been fighting for weeks and there was never a clean winner, so this is the blow-off for this mini-feud. Ice Train and Scott start and they lockup with no real advantage. They go again and Ice Train gets a hip-toss out of the corner. Another go and Scott gets a shoulder block, but runs into a clothesline for two. Scott reverses a whip and gets a hip-toss. Norton comes in and gets the same and then Rick is in with a clothesline to clear the ring. The Steiners hit the their pose and then we start again with Norton and Rick. Norton misses a charge in the corner, but rolls through a roll-up and hits a clothesline. He hits what is basically The Pounce as Rick flies across the ring. To the corner for some chops, but Rick bounces out of the corner with a heavy clothesline and then hits a sweet belly to belly suplex. This is exactly what this match should be: four big dudes throwing each other around the ring. Scott back in and he hits a dropkick, but gets crushed with a Samoan Drop. Scott bails to the floor as he took kind of a bad landing there and starts selling the shoulder. Train back in and he gets a snap suplex followed by a headbutt. A belly to belly suplex gets a two count. Norton gets in some cheap shots from the floor as Train holds up the ref. Train gets a splash in the corner, but a second one catches a boot to the face. Scott gets a belly to belly suplex as Tony talks about answering the challenge of the invaders tonight, and I guess that is the PPV debut of talking about the nWo during a match they aren’t involved. Norton back in and gets suplexed. Scott heads up top, but Norton catches him coming down and gets a slam for two. Norton goes to work on the shoulder finally and makes the tag back to Train. He comes in and hooks a chinlock as this match has started to slow. Scott fights out, but Train mows him down and gets another two count. Norton back in and he lands a nice shoulder breaker and then hooks an armbar. Rick kicks him in the face repeatedly until Norton finally releases. Norton goes for another one, but was too close to the wrong corner and Rick gets a blind tag. Norton hits the move, but Ricks lands a clothesline and another suplex. Ice Train gets knocked off the apron and then all four men brawl in the ring. Scott gets sent to the floor where lets Fire and Ice double team Rick. Norton with a powerbomb and Train comes off the middle rope with a splash, but it only gets two as Scott makes the save. Train heads up, but gets tripped by Scott and all four men start brawling again. The Steiners hit Norton with the top rope bulldog, but Train makes the save. Rick takes him out and lets Scott finish Norton with the Frankensteiner at 10:29.

Winners: The Steiner Brothers via pin at 10:29
-Exactly what this needed to beat as they beat each up other and The Steiners get the definitive win. Norton taking the pin over Ice Train is kind of surprising. Probably went a little long, but still a solid HOSS Tag Match. **3/4

-Gene Okerlund is in the back with Jimmy Hart and Kevin Sullivan. Sullivan takes credit for eliminating Pillman and proving he is a quitter. Sullivan notes that Arn Anderson stuck out his hand and they made a deal, so what he is does to Benoit tonight is for Arn. He is going to show Arn and Ric they can count on The Dungeon of Doom.

WCW United States Championship: Konnan (c) vs. El Gato

-El Gato would be Pat Tanaka under a cat mask. They fight for arm control and El Gato wins the initial exchange. Gato throws some kicks and gets a leg-drag take down. Gato throws more kicks and gets an arm-drag as Konnan is starting this one slow. Konnan blocks a strike and uses the ropes to get his own arm-drag. Gato sets Konnan up top, but Konnan grabs the hair and pulls Gato down to the mat and that gets a two count. Konnan locks a submission hold, but releases and gets run down with a shoulder. Gato lands a back kick and that gets two. Dusty clarifies with Tony that Gato means cat. Gato hooks a crucifix submission on the ground and uses the bottom rope for more leverage. Konnan tries a rana, but Gato gets a sit-out powerbomb for two. He hooks another submission and transitions into an armbar and then into a head scissors. Konnan is able to escape and gets a running bulldog. He rolls into a clothesline for a two count. Gato sends Konnan to the floor, but he lands on his feet and avoids a baseball slide. Konann gets a rough looking sunset flip into a powerbomb on the floor, but it still pops the crowd because we just didn’t see stuff like that in 1996. Back in the ring Konnan gets a modified Alabama Slam for the win at 6:07.

Winner and Still WCW United States Champion: Konnan via pin at 6:07
-Just a basic match with a few high spots to pop the crowd. Tame by today’s standards, but otherwise an okay match. **

-To the back where Gene is standing by with Sting. Gene calls Regal a prissy and that lets Sting make veiled gay jokes about Regal. WE DON’T BREED AMERICAN MEN LIKE THAT IN THE UNITED STATES. Sting loses his train of throat and says he can’t say what he wants to on TV. It seems Sting is going to straighten Regal out later tonight. This was a misfire from Sting as far as promos go and obviously hasn’t aged well.

Lord of The Ring: Diamond Dallas Page (c) vs. Marcus Bagwell

-This match is for Page’s Lord of The Ring ring, and Page makes sure to insult Cal Rypkien on the mic just to make sure the crowd knows who to boo. Tony reminds me that there was a coin toss to see if Bagwell or Riggs would get this match with Page. Funny enough these two would meet again on a PPV less than a year later with the heel/face dynamic changed and both were so much better off. Page attacks from behind and sends Bagwell to the floor. Page brings Bagwell back up to the apron and lands some forearms to the chest like Sheamus. Bagwell fights back as he snaps Page throat first on the top rope and Page takes a nasty bump to the floor. Bagwell sends Page over the railing into the front row as Page is a bump machine tonight. Back in the ring Bagwell gets a cross-body for two. Bagwell hooks a hammerlock, but Page breaks with an elbow. Rope running sequence ends with Bagwell landing a forearm. He takes Page back to the mat and hooks an armbar. Page uses the hair to break, but walks into a right hand again and bumps between the ropes. Bagwell dropkicks him through the ropes and gets a slingshot dive to the floor. Bagwell heads up but Page hits the ropes to knock him off balance. Page slows things down and gets a rough looking tilt-a-whirl into a backbreaker. He had to power Bagwell into that as they weren’t on the same page. Abdominal stretch is hooked and Page uses the ropes as he shields the ref. Smart! The first few rows get into it as they let the ref know Page is cheating. Bagwell gets a hiptoss to break, but gets caught with a modified powerslam for two. Another rough looking move there. Page misses a punt kick and oversells it. He oversells an inverted atomic drop and then a proper one. Bagwell catches the foot, ducks a clothesline, and gets a clothesline of his own. Bagwell to the apron and he launches himself back in with a clothesline. Bagwell gets caught with an elbow in the corner and Page gets multiple two counts while using the ropes for leverage. Bagwell snaps off a head scissors that leaves both men down. Bagwell to his feet first and he looks for the Fisherman’s Suplex, but Page grabs the rope to block and then hits The Diamond Cutter for the pin at 9:39.

Winner: Diamond Dallas Page via pin at 9:39
-The Diamond Cutter was starting to get over with the crowd as there was a small pop here for it. It also helped that Dusty put the move over huge on commentary. This started strong, but kind of meandered when Page went on offense. Page taking a beating and selling as a face worked out so much better. The finish was good though as Page needed to keep killing midcarders with The Diamond Cutter. **1/4

-Gene is in the back with WCW World Champion, The Giant, and he has strong words for Lex Luger. He notes he has beaten Hogan, Savage, and Sting, and Luger is just the next victim of the chokeslam.

WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Dean Malenko (c) vs. Rey Mysterio, Jr.

-This is Rey’s WCW debut and for the majority of us this was our first chance to ever see him wrestle. I know I wasn’t getting ECW at this point and this was my introduction to Rey. Mike Tenay joins us on commentary and you can point to this match as the official point where the CW Division jumped off and became must watch. Lockup to start and Rey gets a side headlock and takes it to the mat. Dean gets a head scissors, but Rey is out quick and it’s a stalemate. Some cheers from the crowd! Another go and another stalemate. Rey goes to the arm and Dean flips out, but gets kicked in the face. Both men kip up for another stalemate and again, some polite applause. Rey hits a back elbow and then sends Dean to the floor with an armdrag. Dean gets sent into the turnbuckle on the apron and Rey follows with a middle rope springboard dropkick. Dean powders on the floor to regroup while Rey just waits on him. Tenay notes that Rey has been wrestling since the age of fourteen. Rey gets catapulted over the top the floor and Dean tries a baseball slide, but Rey just calmly gets back in the ring to avoid and it seems to have frustrated Malenko. Back in the ring Dean gets an up kick to the bicep while pulling on it, and now Dean has a target to work. He stomps the arm and then gets a hammerlock slam. Malenko works the arm and shoulder for a bit, but Rey gets his foot on the bottom rope to force a break. They head to the floor and Dean uses the railing to abuse the arm some more. Tenay notes if Rey wins, AAA would hold half of WCW’s Singles Titles since Konnan is US Champion. Rey gets a dropkick and avoids a powerbomb, but gets moved down with a clothesline for two. Dean goes back to the arm and hooks the arm in the corner and dropkicks it. Ouch! Belly to back suplex gets two! Dean goes back to the arm scissors as Rey yells for the ref to get him off of him. I don’t think that’s how that works. Overhead suplex with a hammerlock gets two. That was nasty! Rey tries a moonsault off the middle rope, but Dean ducks and plants Rey before going right back to the arm. It sounds like about 10 fans in the crowd start an ECW chant, so someone was watching. The camera pans around the arena because Dean is just grinding Rey into the mat at this point. Dean gets an upside down surfboard and drops Rey back into a bridge for two. Tony brings up again that the intruders will have their challenge answered tonight which is the first time of many a Cruiserweight Match was ignored to talk about the nWo. We are just checking off a lot of nWo boxes tonight! The crowd is getting a little restless with the constant onslaught from Dean here. Dean gets another suplex for two and then a butterfly suplex for two. Dean gets a keylock and covers for another two. Dean continues to torture the arm and Dusty questions of the ref should stop the match. Rey avoids a charging Dean and he ends up the floor. Rey gets a baseball slide and then gets a kick through the ropes. Then history as Rey springs off the top with a somersault plancha which is the first time he made everyone’s jaws drop in WCW. Dean gets fired back in the ring and Rey gets a springboard dropkick for two. Dean looks for a powerbomb, but Rey sits out and gets a two count. Rey hits what would end up becoming The West Coast Pop for two as this one has picked up since Rey got off the mat. Rey back up again, but Dean meets him up there and Rey gets a top rope rana. Rey floats over on a tilt-a-whirl for another two count. Rey charges, but gets caught with a powerbomb and Dean uses the bottom ropes for more leverage to get the pin at 17:50.

Winner and Still WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Dean Malenko via pin at 17:50
-Good match, but I never found this to be the show stealing classic that everyone else did. Everything they did was crisp and looked good, but Dean dominated this match outside of the Rey flurry in the final three minutes that woke the crowd up. This was 12 minutes of Dean working the arm to a silent crowd before they turned it on. Now, it did show what the division should and would become and they put the Title on Rey about a month after this show as well. Very good, but they had a better match later in the year at Halloween Havoc. ***1/2

-Lex Luger is in the back with Gene and cuts a calm and measured promo in advance of his World Title Match against The Giant.

Big Bubba (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. John Tenta

-Tenta was turfed from The Dungeon of Doom and had half his head shaved by Bubba on Nitro. They brawl on the floor before the bell and Bubba gets fired into the ring steps. In the ring Tenta lands a kick to the chest and squashes Bubba in the corner. Bubba gets a foreign object and knocks Tenta out before passing it to Jimmy Hart. It only gets two as Tenta comes to. Bubba tries another cover and uses the ropes, but Tenta is out at two. Bubba just punches away and chokes Tenta on the mat. Tenta blocks a right in the corner and responds with one of his own. Bubba reverses a whip to the corner, and ends up getting Tenta’s leg and wraps it around the ring post. Bubba drops a knee on Tenta’s knee as this one continues to drag. Bubba uses his wrist tape to choke and then uses a boot to choke in the corner. Tenta misses a splash in the corner and Bubba gets an impressive belly to back suplex which wakes up the crowd. Bubba heads up, but gets caught in a powerslam that gets the pin at 5:23.

Winner: John Tenta via pin at 5:23
-Well, it was kind of short and the belly to back suplex was impressive. 1/2*

-Tenta gets the scissors off Jimmy Hart and trims off some of Bubba’s goatee.

-Gene is in the back with Mongo and his wife, and Kevin Greene, and his wife. Both men scream a lot and you can’t say that aren’t fired up for this one. Randy Savage comes in to add his craziness and they all just shout and fire each other up.

Falls Count Anywhere: Chris Benoit vs. Kevin Sullivan (w/ Jimmy Hart)

-Here we go! This is a continuation of The Dungeon of Doom vs. Horsemen feud that started with Sullivan and Pillman. Pillman shoot-worked his way out of WCW and was in WWF at this point, so Benoit took up the war with Sullivan. You can feel the hate as they tear into each other in the aisle then start brawling in the crowd. They fight over a chair and up over the hockey boards and head up the stairs. This is just a fight as it is punching and gouging of the eyes. They head to the concourse and end up in the men’s bathroom. This was cutting edge stuff at the time. Dusty is in all his glory, and I can nearly repeat his commentary word for word because I watched this so much. Fans gather in the bathroom to watch as Benoit gets a door slammed on his head. Benoit fights back near the urinals and Sullivan tries a swirlie, but Benoit fights back and slams a door on Sullivan. Then It happens: Dusty: “There’s a lady. There’s a lady in the men’s bathroom. There is a woman in the men’s John right here in Baltimore.” It still cracks me up! I love WCW’s commentary team during this period! They fight out of the bathroom and Benoit gets a garbage can tossed at him. Dusty wants them to head into the Woman’s bathroom as Tony cracks up. Benoit blasts Sullivan with the garbage can and Tony takes a shot at Pillman getting turfed from the company by Sullivan. They fight back to the stands and Benoit takes a crazy bump as he goes rolling down the concrete steps not once, but twice. They just trade punches and Benoit gets crotched on the railing as they make it back to ringside. Sullivan sends Benoit into the steps and throws a chair at him. Benoit just shakes it off and drops Sullivan balls first on the railing. That lets Benoit dig under the ring for a table. Sullivan gets tossed into the front row which lets Benoit go back to getting the table in the ring. Actually, he just throws it at Sullivan first and then puts it in the ring. Benoit props the table up in the corner as both men get in the ring for the first time. Benoit gets tossed into the table and then Sullivan ends up hitting it after missing a move. Benoit mounts the table on the top buckle and they brawl on top of it. The crowd goes nuts as Benoit hits a superplex off the table and that gets the pin at 10:01.

Winner: Chris Benoit via pin at 10:01
-As I mentioned this was heavy and cutting edge at the time, and while we have seen much crazier since, it was still a heck of a fight. I appreciated that they ditched the idea of this being a wrestling match. Outside of the suplex that ended it, it was just punching, kicking, gouging, head butting, and weapon shots or low blows. It also didn’t go too long and of course we had the epic bathroom brawl and Dusty’s memorable commentary. ****

-Benoit continues the beating and that brings Arn Anderson down. He pulls Benoit off, but it’s all for show as he punts Sullivan in the ribs and the place explodes as The Horsemen beat the tar out of Sullivan. The Dungeon hit the ring, but it’s too late as The Horsemen made their point and leave to a standing ovation from the crowd.

-The Horsemen cut a promo backstage with Gene, and Arn mentions Benoit earned the right to be a Horsemen tonight. He also takes a veiled shot at Pillman. Heenan standing next to The Horsemen just looks right! Heenan is a rambling mess as he is terrified of Savage. I love Heenan and then Flair notes “there is a lot of things Macho wishes he could do again, but can’t…right Liz?” Have I mentioned how much I love Savage/Flair?

Lord Steven Regal (w/ Jeeves) vs. Sting

-Sting is all over Regal to start as he is a little annoyed by the slap Regal gave him at the contract signing a few weeks back on Main Event. Regal begs off in the corner and gets in a shot to the eyes. He throws some heavy strikes in the corner and drops a knee to the face. He gets a one count so he just blasts Sting with a forearm to the face. Tony runs down a list of house shows coming up in the Northeast and mentions Bruno Sammartino will be at all four shows as a special ref and Pedro Morales will be there as well. Ouch, that had to be a punch to the gut for Vince! Regal starts stalling and offers a handshake, but Sting shakes his hips as I guess that is a no. Dusty wonders why Tony is sitting so close to him in the booth. Regal hooks a knuckle lock and takes Sting to the mat where he gets a few one counts. Sting fights back up and breaks Regal down with the knuckle lock. Regal breaks and starts firing off more heavy forearms to the back and then a well-placed boot to the face. Regal hooks a full nelson and kicks Sting in the knee to get him down on the mat. Sting uses his ass to break and gets a sunset flip for two. Regal is able to get to his feet first and drops an elbow on Sting for two and then hooks a stretch hold. He throws some palm strikes while maintaining the hold. Sting gets free, but just eats more European uppercuts and Regal hits a sweet dropkick that caught Sting right on the ear. Regal throws more palm strikes as he puts the bad mouth on Sting to the camera. Sting gets a belly to back suplex to create space and give him a second to breath, but it doesn’t last long as Regal gets in another strike. He goes after the arm this time and get sin some small joint manipulation as he bends the fingers. Sting kicks out of a pin and tries to get some space, but Regal grabs the leg and goes to the ground again with a side headlock. Sting gets to his feet and pushes off and then end up colliding in the middle of the ring. Regal up first and he grinds Sting’s face in the mat and then goes to a half nelson while also yelling at the fans in the first row. Someone yells, “you suck pal,” and Dusty chuckles as I assume he heard it. Sting reverses a whip and hooks an abdominal stretch as he gets a chance to torture Sting a bit. Regal gets to the ropes and then lands a left hook as Sting wasn’t looking. Effective! Sting notes the darker hair that Sting is sporting. I’m sure a change in look will be career suicide for Sting. I’d avoid any kind of change to the gimmick if I was him. Regal goes back to the arm and bends the wrist in ways it shouldn’t bend. Dusty is begging for Sting to throw some rabbit punches. Sting makes a brief comeback, but Regal goes to the eyes to snuff that one out. Regal goes to a double underhook submission or “both shoulder blades are jacked up against each other” as Dusty notes. Have I mentioned I love Dusty on commentary? Sting explodes out with his comeback and gets a dropkick for two. He heads up and Regal meets him up there and brings Sting down with a suplex that gets two. Regal Stretch is applied as Dusty and Tony note that nobody was ever escaped. Regal lets the hold go as he is stunned that Sting hasn’t given up yet. Regal goes crazy with palm strikes in the corner and slaps Sting in the face. Big mistake! Sting is pissed and just beats Regal down in the corner with strikes. Stinger Splash is blocked by Regal with his knees, but he gets caught with a backdrop out of the corner. Sting immediately goes to the Scorpion Deathlock and Regal gives it up at 16:33.

Winner: Sting via pin at 16:33
-This was a fight as Regal was on his game and beat the tar out of Sting. The ending kind of came out of nowhere as Sting got into a habit of just taking a beating and then a quick comeback and Scorpion for the submission out of nowhere. Still, a fun old school match where Regal was torturing Sting. ***1/2

-Commercial for Bash at The Beach. I bet nothing Earth shattering and industry changing will happen there! July 7 which happens to be my Mom’s birthday, so I got the Hall debut on my birthday and she got….something more shocking on hers.

Ric Flair and Arn Anderson (w/ Bobby Heenan, Elizabeth, and Woman) vs. Steve McMichael and Kevin Greene (w/ Randy Savage, Derba, and Mrs. Greene)

-Again, Heenan with The Horsemen just looks right! Tony notes that Savage is being reinstated and will be able to wrestle on television starting tomorrow on Nitro. Mongo and Greene psyche each other up and we start with Mongo and Arn. I mean, if you need two guys to work a match with two guys making their in-ring debut, Arn and Flair are pretty much the perfect choice. Arn toys with Mongo and then does some jumping jacks to mock him. He gives Flair a high five which should probably count as a tag, but I guess not. Arn out wrestles Mongo (DUH) again and Mongo is frustrated. Schiavone notes that Mongo left the Bears and went to their rivals in Green Bay because they paid more. Hmm! Arn makes the mistake of letting is pride get to him as he goes into a 3 point stance against Mongo and he loses the battle. They go again, but this time Arn out-smarts Mongo and gets a drop toehold. Mongo gets a foot up in the corner and comes off the middle rope with a shoulder as Woman starts her shrieking. Lockup and Arn buries a knee to the ribs. He takes a shot at Greene, who leaps over the top rope and they start stomping Arn until he rolls to the floor. Savage gets in a shot which draws over Heenan and he nearly shits his pants as Savage comes near him. Arn wants Greene, so Mongo makes the tag and Greene is fired up for this moment. Flair in and Greene has to losing it inside knowing he is about to wrestle RIC FLAIR! Flair suckers Greene into going into a three-point stance and kicks him in the head. Brilliant! Flair throws some strikes in the corner, but Greene shoves off and lands a shoulder tackle and Arn gets one as well. Flair bails and then power walks up the ramp and here comes Savage as the crowd eating up every second of this. Flair gets sent back into the ring and Greene gets a backdrop and then a series of flying clotheslines. Tag to Mongo and Flair tries to tag out, but Arn jumps off as Mongo runs at him. Flair gets to his knees to beg off, but Mongo isn’t buying that. Flair gets mowed down charging at Mongo twice and pops up to yell “come on.” Too funny! He suckers Mongo into the corner and goes to the eyes, but the chops have no effect as Mongo is basically Lex Luger as he no sells the chops. You can hear Flair yell “biel” and sure enough Mongo catches Flair with one. Backdrop sends Flair flying, but he goes to the eyes. Tony and Dusty discuss Jay Leno in passing and who knew he would be in a WCW ring only a few years later. Mongo gets the figure-four on Flair and Greene does the same to Arn which has the crowd and Dusty losing it. I love Dusty so much on commentary! Liz and Woman chase of the wives of the football players after going to the eyes of Mongo and Greene to break up the figure-fours. Now we go to school as Flair works over Mongo. He dumps him to the floor where Arn gets in a few shots before Savage can get over to save. Cool touch as Heenan tells Flair to take the ref and then kicks Mongo. Savage chases Heenan who sells his fear tremendously. Back in the ring Flair gets a low blow and makes the tag to Anderson. He takes the ref which lets Flair choke Mongo on the middle rope. Flair back in and they land a double suplex. Greene in to blast Arn as the ref has to chase him back out of the ring. Mongo bounces out of the corner with a clothesline to put both men down. Flair makes the tag and Arn cuts off the tag to Greene. Arn misses a punch and gets caught with an atomic drop which sends him crashing into Flair. Mongo makes the hot tag to Greene and he runs wild with slams and shoulder tackles. Backdrop to Flair! Powerslam to Flair! Flair flip in the corner and he runs into a big boot from Mongo on the apron. Greene brings Flair back into the ring with a suplex. Arn in and he clips the knee and The Horsemen smell blood! Arn gets the tag and he goes to work on the damaged knee. Greene is able to kick Arn away, but Flair gets the tag and looks for the figure-four which Greene turns into a small package for two. Flair back with a kneebreaker and now the figure four is applied. The Horsemen cheat which is like saying fish like to swim. Benoit is here and he takes out Savage as Greene is still in the figure-four. Liz and Woman return with Debra who is now in an evening gown and has a briefcase with her. She shows Mongo a Horsemen shirt and a ton of money in the case. Mongo isn’t dumb and he blasts Greene with the briefcase and Flair gets the pin at 20:53.

Winner: Ric Flair and Arn Anderson via pin at 20:53
-This was a lot of fun as Arn and Flair kept everything under control and lead Mongo and Greene through the match. It was a basic tag match with a ton of heat and don’t forget the parts Savage and Heenan played on the outside as well. Nothing great as far as pure wrestling but it was just fun and had a great ending to rebuild The Horsemen. ***1/2

-After the match The Horsemen are now complete as they destroy Savage with Heenan calling the shots. Just awesome! Mongo puts on The Horsemen shirt to make it official as Dusty is pissed! Heenan and Mongo shake hands which Tony is stunned by.

-Let’s make more history defining moments as Eric Bischoff is on the stage and mentions they have had interruptions on Nitro and they have an answer. He brings out the still unnamed Scott Hall and Kevin Nash and the crowd pops huge. I can’t help but smile watching this! Dusty: “Let’s everybody go to war.” Bischoff lets them know they will get their match at Bash at The Beach on July 7 in Daytona. Bischoff asks if they work for The WWF and they both say no. Power of Jerry McDevitt there as they finally had to come clean with that.

Hall: “Forget about the past chico. Let’s worry about the future. We want to know who your three guys are. It is the Nacho Man? I don’t think so. What about the Immortal Huckster? You know, you tell Billionaire Ted to break out the money and get anyone he can. Because the big man, the medium sized man, and our surprise buddy are going to carve them up.”

Bischoff: “I want to ask you a question right now (turning to Nash). He’s had his say.”

Hall: “Who are they man?”

Bischoff: “I can’t tell you. I’ll tell you tomorrow night on Nitro. That’s the deal.”

Hall: “You can’t tell us? You can’t tell us? You don’t jack us around. Don’t jack…”

-Hall then sucker punches Bischoff in the gut and NASH POWERBOMBS BISCHOFF OFF THE STAGE THROUGH A PLYWOOD STAND! This is still glorious and amazing to watch! Eric rightly sells it like death as he got folded in half. Hall lets us know the real big boys just left the building. The crowd is just stunned as this went beyond something that happens in a wrestling setting which is the reason it made all the money in the world. Dusty and Tony are frazzled as they don’t know what to do. Tony heads down to check on Eric as Dusty cuts a hell of a promo to sell the premise of a war. I love this all so much! I feel for any wrestling fan out there that didn’t get to experience all this live.

WCW World Heavyweight Title: The Giant (c) (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Lex Luger

-Luger stops by to check on Bischoff as paramedics are still with him. The Giant just looks down and keeps walking towards the ring. Tony is back on commentary as he mention Eric is being taken out on a stretcher. Super special ring introductions from Michael Buffer which I always appreciated in WCW. Luger charges and gets caught with a boot to the face. He ducks a clothesline though and starts firing off right hands. He gets a pair of clotheslines that sends Giant over the top top the floor, but he lands on his feet. Giant drags Luger to the floor and then press slams him over the top rope and back into the ring. Luger keeps charging and gets in five to six shots before Giant just pushes him away. Luger staggers the big man and tries to come off the middle rope to apply a sleeper, but he slides off and just has to jump up and apply the hold. Jimmy Hart tries to get involved, but Sting is here and he chases Hart to the back. Giant adjusts Luger over his shoulder and runs him upside down into the corner. He starts to focus on the back with forearms as Dusty and Tony are doing a great job of selling being shaken up following what happened to Bischoff. Giant gets the old school backbreaker and then just casually dumps Luger to the mat. He buries a knee in the back and pulls back on Luger’s arms. The crowd is dead following the tag match and the Bischoff deal. Luger breaks free and tries a slam, which is pretty stupid at this point, and sure enough Giant falls back on him. Giant stands on the back and stomps there as well. More clubbing blows from Giant as Tony covers for the crowd noting they are still in shock. Luger avoids a strike and gets a dropkick. Luger mounts his comeback and even that doesn’t pop the crowd. He clips the knee and is able to drop Giant to one knee which gets some life back into the crowd. The Giant shoves Luger away but misses a charge in the corner and gets stuck up on the top rope. Luger starts punting away and hits a knee that flips The Giant over which is a good spot for Luger to try for The Rack. He is able to walk out with him, but The Giant squirms enough to cause Luger to fall forward on his face. The chokeslam finishes this one at 9:39.

Winner and Still WCW World Heavyweight Champion: The Giant via pin at 9:39
-This match suffered from an exhausted/shocked crowd. Giant was still in his rookie year basically and learning as well. The story made sense as Giant worked the back and Luger didn’t know what to do with a man that size. In the end he couldn’t figure it out and the damage to the back was too much. Giant knocks off another big name during this title run. *1/2

-Thanks for reading!

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
Heck of a show here and with a better Main Event it goes down as one of the best shows of all time. Knowing the pop it got they could have closed with The Horsemen Tag Match, but I can see why they wanted The World Title Match to go on last. They also could have closed with Bischoff answering Hall and Nash and fading to black and credits with Bischoff being checked on by the paramedics. Still, a bunch of very good to great matches on this card and the only real down spot was Tenta/Bubba and it was short. Definitely a must watch show and it has become historic in nature because of Rey's WCW debut and the continuation of what would become the nWo angle.