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Leighty’s Retro Review: WCW Great American Bash 1997

July 5, 2022 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
WCW Great American Bash 1997 Image Credit: WWE
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Leighty’s Retro Review: WCW Great American Bash 1997  

-Commentary Team: Tony Schiavone, Dusty Rhodes, and Bobby Heenan
-June 15, 1997
-The MARK of the Quad Cities, Moline, IL
-Attendance: 9613
-PPV Buys: 220,000

Psychosis (w/ Sonny Onoo) vs. The Ultimate Dragon

-Mike Tenay joins the announce team for this one as Dusty sits out. This is billed as a respect match as Onoo is hiring people to teach Dragon some respect after their partnership ended due to Dragon turning face. Dragon rocking the all gold gear is sweet! The crowd is hot for this one as well. Lockup and Psychosis gets a take down into a headlock. He grabs an arm which lets Dragon flip out to escape and the crowd pops. Psychosis bails to the floor to slow things. Psychosis spits on Dragon and then hits a shoulder tackle. Dragon tries a leapfrog, but Psychosis just punches him in the face. Effective! Dragon lands an elbow as Psychosis drops down too early. Chops in the corner and a whip lets Dragon do his head stand in the corner which pops the crowd. Dragon goes through his arsenal of kicks and the building explodes. Dragon gets a tilt a whirl into a backbreaker but sets too early on a backdrop and gets booted in the chest. Running clothesline in the corner from Psychosis followed by a dropkick. Psychosis gets backdropped to the apron and then gets his neck snapped off the top rope. Dragon misses a slingshot to the floor as Psychosis bails. Onoo gets in a few kicks on the floor and Psychosis follows with a baseball slide. Psychosis hits the leg drop from the top on a hanging Dragon. That moves always seemed so convoluted to me as there is no reason Dragon would hold the ropes to just hang there for the move. La Majistral gets two for Psychois as does a back breaker. Dragon blocks Onoo from delivering more kicks on the floor and tries a suplex, but Psychosis sling shots out with a double axe to save. Back in the ring Dragon lands a head kick and the handspring elbow in the corner. Head scissors into a victory roll that ends up sending Psychosis to the floor. Asai Moonsault from Dragon as both men are out on the floor. Dragon gets things back in the ring where he gets two off a brainbuster. Jumping Tombstone just plants Psychosis, but he is out at two. Psychosis up top and he hits a twisting leg lariat that sends Dragon to the floor. Psychosis with a crazy dive to the floor. Back in they go through a pin sequence. Psychosis opts for a moonsault, but Dragon catches him with a dropkick on the way down. They both head up top again and Dragon gets a top rope rana. Onoo runs interference again which lets Psychosis hit a top rope dropkick for two. Sonny back on the apron and he accidentally kicks Psychosis which leads to a Dragon Sleeper that gets the tap at 14:21.

Winner: The Ultimate Dragon via tap-out at 14:21
-Crazy, hot crowd for this one. This was disjointed at times but was never boring. Twenty five years later and I still popped for some of the crazy things they were doing. It never got into that next gear due to the Onoo stuff, but it was a fun opener. ***1/2

-Chris Benoit is backstage chatting with wcwwrestling.com about his upcoming rematch with Meng.

#1 Contender’s Match: Harlem Heat (w/ Sister Sherri) vs. The Steiner Brothers

-Winner is next in line for the Tag Titles which seems like that has been the case for one of these teams for months on end now. Scott and Stevie start us out in this one. Lockup and Scott immediately gets a take down because DUH. Stevie just opts to push Scott on his ass and talks trash. They collide in the middle of the ring, so Scott slaps Stevie in the face. He doesn’t take that well as he drops Scott with an elbow in the corner. Boot to the head, but a second one misses and Scott hits an overhead suplex. Booker in and he gets dropped to send both members of the team to the floor. The Steiners hit their pose and once settled Stevie wants Rick in the match. They club each other and Rick gets a powerslam. Booker back in and Scott sends him right back out as The Steiners are dominating early. Booker in the match now and Scott gets a blind tag. Booker bails to his corner to stall and demands a test of strength. Scott flexes to pop the crowd and accepts. Booker immediately kicks Scott to break and hooks a full nelson. Scott powers his way out, but gets caught with a knee to the gut. Booker sets too early on backdrop and gets dropped with a double underhook suplex. Rick in and he blocks a suplex and gets one of his own for two. He mauls Booker with rights and lefts and makes the tag to Scott. Gorilla Press Slam, but Booker gets a boot up to block a double ax from the middle rope. Harlem Side Kick follows and a clothesline sends both men to the floor. Scott regains control back in the ring and Rick gets the tag. Rick gets dumped to the floor where Stevie hits a side kick and a powerslam on the floor. Running lariat follows before sending Rick back into the ring. Booker gets a two count. Tag to Stevie and he connects with a high knee. Booker drapes Rick neck first on the top rope which gets another two count. Scott gets decked for good measure. The Big Apple gets two as Booker took too long to go in for the cover. Another spin kick is blocked and Rick turns it into a suplex. Hot tag to Scott and he slams and suplexes anyone in gold spandex. Belly to belly to Booker gets two as Stevie breaks up the count. All four men brawl in the ring and Vincent is out as Scott hits a top rope Frankensteiner. Vincent drops an elbow on Booker to cause a DQ at 12:01.

Winners: Harlem Heat via DQ at 12:01
-Just a solid tag match between two teams that faced each other a thousand times. The ending sucked, but I guess it served the continued story of The Outsiders wanting to avoid The Steiners. *3/4

-Vincent gets caught though and The Steiners destroy him to give the crowd something to cheer after that cheap finish.

Konnan vs. Hugh Morrus/b>

-Konnan turned on Morrus the previous month and is nearing his run with the nWo. They start throwing blows at the bell which is nice to see as a lockup to start would have been dumb. Dropkick from Hugh and more punching off a leg trip. The crowd isn’t sure who to cheer in this one, so they are little subdued. They brawl on the floor and Hugh gets sent head first into the stairs. Konnan catches Hugh with a dropkick on his way through the ropes. Rolling lariat gets a two count. Konnan to a headlock for a bit and he releases to hit a seated dropkick. He stretches Hugh for a bit, but Hugh gets to the ropes to break. Hugh fights back and they head to the floor again. Konnan gets dumped into the stairs now. Spinwheel kick from Hugh can’t even pop this crowd. Hugh hooks a submission hold as this isn’t the match this needs to be. This needed to just be a short war where they hit each other with bombs before Konnan got the win. Gutwrench suplex gets two and back to the armbar. Hugh sets too early on a backdrop and Konnan gets a kick and then a lariat. Konnan hooks a neck crank into a head scissors. Both of these guys seem gassed and thus we get this match. The crowd starts booing and a small “boring” chant starts. They start trading blows again and even Heenan is mentioning how both men look exhausted. Konnan gets a roll-up for two, but Hugh goes to the eyes. Dusty: “This thing has went so long.” No kidding! No Laughing Matter takes forever as Konnan is late to stop it. Hugh hits his head on the buckle on the way down and The Tequila Sunrise finishes at 10:36.

Winner: Konnan via submission at 10:36
-Not good at all as they killed this hot crowd. Even the announcers were low key burying the match. This was about five minutes longer than it needed to be. Konnan winning was the right call though. 1/2*

-Mean Gene Okerlund pimps his hotline as he has news that someone may show up in Chicago tomorrow that is having issues with his current company. The Public Enemy are out with a table to talk the tag division. This was a bunch of nothing!

Wrath (w/ James Vandenberg and Mortis) vs. Glacier

-Mike Tenay is back in the booth and that means Dusty is out. The stipulation here is that Mortis is handcuffed to a ring post. Lockup and Wrath uses his power to back Glacier in the corner where Mortis is handcuffed. Chops from Wrath, but he misses a punch. Glacier fires back with his martial arts and hits a round kick to the gut. Roundhouse kick to the head and a flying kick sends Wrath to the floor. Slingshot crossbody follows and right hands from Glacier. He backs Vandenberg up and hits a superkick on Wrath. Glacier breaks the count and heads back out, but eats a right hand and gets sent into the railing. Wrath gets sent head first into the steps as we see Mortis trying to break free from the handcuff. Tenay, bless his heart, gives us the back story for all these guys and why they hate each other. Sure, it’s silly, but at least there was a story in place. Wrath sets for a powerbomb, but just drops Glacier throat first on the top rope. Nice! Side headlock from Wrath which is a move I always used in Mortal Kombat! Glacier elbows his way out, but Wrath ducks a move which causes Glacier to crash to the floor. Rolling Senton off the apron from Wrath which is kind of cool to see. I guess he is trying to pop Tenay! Lucha Wrath as he heads up top and hits a flying clothesline. I mean, he is totally out classing Glacier in this one and no wonder he ended up getting himself over more. He gets a two count off a one foot pin and then slaps Glacier around a bit. Glacier goes to a goozle, but Wrath breaks and hits a back breaker. Vader Bomb into an elbow is missed. Glacier gets a leg sweep and then a backdrop. Leaping back elbow gets a two count. Wrath lands a blow to the ribs and hits a sidewalk slam. More from Lucha Wrath as he is up top again, but slips which lets Glacier bring him down with a superplex. Mortis is up on the apron and Glacier decks him. Wrath ducks a punch and gets a belly to back suplex. James distracts the ref so Mortis can toss a chain into the ring. It flies over Wrath’s head, so Glacier uses it and gets the pin at 12:03.

Winner: Glacier via pin at 12:03
-This was okay, but that was the second time we have seen heels miscommunicate leading to a loss. Wrath also stole the shine from Glacier here. No coincidence Wrath and Mortis keep their job with the company coming out of this feud. *1/2

-Mortis gets free as Vandenberg got the key off the ref. The chain gets used to clothesline Glacier and he gets cuffed to the top rope. Glacier gets mauled by both men until a bunch of refs step in for the save.

Title vs. Career: WCW Woman’s Championship: Akira Hokuto (c) (w/ Sonny Onoo) vs. Madusa

-Madusa has been chasing this title since WCW introduced it and this is her final shot as a loss means her career is done. Lee Marshall joins the announce team as the expert on the division. USA chant from the crowd as they seem back into this show following the Konnan/Morrus match. Hokuto immediately goes to the hair and throws Madusa around the ring. She chokes in the corner and then a standing choke. Hokuto just continues to dominate as she stands on the hair and then rains down with rights and lefts. More hair pulling and choking as Marshall goes over that Madusa was PWI Rookie of the Year when she debuted. Piledriver from Hokuto gets two. Madusa gets a sling blade and then a dropkick off the middle ropes. Slaps and right hands from Madusa as they have no issues hitting each other hard. Neckbreaker gets two for Madusa. Hokuto back to the hair and a choke. She chokes Madusa with a boot in the corner and then hits a suplex. More choking so Madusa lands an up kick from her back just to survive. Knee-bar from Haokuto causes Madusa to get to the ropes. Hokuto uses the entire five count and even bites for good measure. Madusa rallies with kicks, but gets caught with a small package for two. Madusa lands a head kick in the corner and tries to come off with a double axe, but her knee buckled on the way down. Hokuto goes right to the knee as Marshall brings up that Madusa dislocated that same knee 10 years ago against Wendi Richter. Hokuto locks in a surfboard to continue the damage on the knee. Northern Lights Suplex gets two. Hokuto heads up top, but Madusa brings her down with a head scissors that Trish Stratus would use during her career. The knee is gone though as Hokuto preps Madusa on the top rope. Snap superplex gets two. Clothesline misses, but Hokuto goes right back to the knee with a knee-bar. Madusa throws punches from her back before lunging to the ropes to force a break. Hokuto heads up top, but misses a dropkick. Bridging German Suplex gets two as Sonny pulls the bad leg to break. This just looks like a fight! Hokuto stomps the knee and just lands blow after blow on it. Slam and Hokuto heads back up top again. Madusa blocks with her knees which Heenan questions. Clothesline from Madusa gets two. Atomic Drop, but Madusa collapses. Hokuto finishes with a brainbuster at 11:43.

Winner and Still WCW Woman’s Champion: Akira Hokuto via pin at 11:43
-This was something different as Hokuto makes things look like a fight. I enjoyed this and the crowd is kind of stunned that Madusa took the loss. The Title would never return after this match. ***

-Madusa cries after the match while Heenan makes jokes and laughs. Marshall and Schiavone are rather annoyed by Heenan. I laughed!

-Mean Gene tries to interview Madusa as the trainers get her to the back. I mean, talk about questionable timing. Gene just badgers her and the crowd starts a “leave her alone” chant. Read the room Gene! I wouldn’t have questioned Madusa if she decked him right there.

Return Death Match: Chris Benoit vs. Meng (w/ Jimmy Hart)

-Basically they fight until one man can’t continue! Benoit gets it started with a dive to the floor as Meng makes his entrance. He also chases Jimmy Hart off for good measure. He targets the arm as he stomps it on the railing. In the ring and Benoit gets the diving headbutt from the top. Crippler Crossface, but Meng powers out of that and sets Benoit on the top rope. He tosses Benoit across the ring, but he is back at Meng with a dropkick to the knee. Boot to the face and back to the Crippler Crossface. Meng gets to the ropes and Tony mentions that they do have to break on the ropes in a Death Match. Sure! Benoit avoids a powerbomb and gets a clothesline. He tries a suplex to the floor, but Meng shifts his weight and it just looks awkward. Benoit up top again, but gets kicked and falls into the Tree of Woe. Meng hits a head kick and Patrick starts his count. Benoit is up at 7 so Meng starts firing off chops. Benoit tries to return fire, but that doesn’t go well. Spinebuster from Meng starts another count, but Benoit is up at 7. Dragon Sleeper from Meng and Benoit apparently bit the arm to escape. Charge in the corner catches a knee and Meng follows with a slam. Meng heads up top and hits a splash, but covers aren’t allowed. Benoit is up at 9 as Heenan complains about the slow count from Nick Patrick. Benoit gets sent to the floor and Patrick starts his count again. Benoit is up so Meng follows. Meng gets tossed into the security railing and then a German Suplex back in the ring. Meng is up at 8 so Benoit dumps him on his head again. Meng is up at 7 this time. Benoit stomps him to the floor and Patrick counts for some reason even with Meng being on his feet. Seems the ref and wrestlers are still both confused at the rules. I don’t blame them! Back in the ring Meng gets the Tongan Death Grip and hangs Benoit over the top rope. Yep! They fight on the floor as they exchange chops and punches. Back in the ring Meng hooks a chinlock, but Benoit gets to the ropes. Meng lands a few more kicks and goes to a reverse chinlock. Death Match folks! Meng releases and just kicks Benoit in the face. Effective! Belly to back suplex and then Meng heads to the middle rope, but the splash misses this time. Benoit goes back to the Crippler Crossface and Meng drags himself to the bottom rope. They trade blows again and Meng charges, but gets caught with The Crippler Crossface again. Meng is pissed and just starts unloading with clubbing blows. Benoit ducks a thrust chop and gets The Crossface again. Meng fights for the hold for well over a minute, but is out at 14:57.

Winner: Chris Benoit via submission at 14:57
-They hit each other hard though this was a little dull at times. The rules of the match kind of sucked, but this was okay. **1/2

-Both men get stretchered out of the ring as Heenan mentions Benoit probably smothered Meng into submission. Meng falls off the stretcher as Heenan is stunned that Meng is being carried out of a ring on a stretcher.

-Back to Gene who plugs the hotline again.

-Bash at The Beach 97 commercial as it will be Hogan/Rodman vs. Luger/Giant.

Steve “Mongo” McMichael (w/ Debra) vs. Kevin Greene

-This match is a year in the making as Mongo turned on Greene and became Horseman at GAB 96. Dusty is already telling us this won’t be pretty. That’s similar to when JR would warn us that a match was bowling shoe ugly. Greene sprints to the ring and the fight is on. Greene lands a clothesline and Mongo bails to the floor. He trips Greene and targets the knee as he rams it off the apron. Mongo spots Greene’s mom at ringside and talks some trash. She slaps Mongo with her purse which is awesome! Don’t even need a stunt granny here as they have the real deal! Greene sends Mongo into the stairs and then checks on his mom. Mongo attacks as Greene tries to enter the ring and a “Mongo” chant breaks out. They are close to Chicago! Greene sets too early on a backdrop attempt and Mongo catches him with a neckbreaker. Thesz Press from Greene, but he charges into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. They trade blows in the corner and Greene gets the corner 10 count punches, but Mongo walks out and hits an atomic drop. Dropkick gets a two count. Heenan has come alive with Greene’s mom being at ring side as he isn’t one to miss a chance to make jokes at someone’s expense and that’s why we love The Brain. Greene hits a double kick from the corner and heads up and comes off with a flying shoulder for two. Clothesline sends Mongo to the floor. You know, Greene obviously isn’t a trained wrestler, but he has a ton of energy and at least takes it seriously. He hits a slam on the floor and doesn’t fall for Debra’s trick ankle. Mongo misses an elbow and Greene stomps away. Another charge misses as Mongo runs him into the top buckle. He goes to a choke, but breaks on the count of five. Jeff Jarrett is out with the briefcase and Greene pulls Mongo in the way and he gets waffled. Greene gets the pin at 9:22.

Winner: Kevin Greene via pin at 9:22
-This was perfectly fine as it went long enough and was never boring. It was exactly what it needed to be and Greene gets his revenge from a year ago while also continuing the Mongo/Jarrett story. I’ll take this match any day of the week over other matches from this show that featured seasoned pros. **

-Madusa is getting her knee checked out backstage with the trainer.

WCW World Tag Team Titles: The Outsiders (c) (w/ Syxx) vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair

-Hall and Flair get us started in this one. Toothpick to the face and yeah, the crowd is into this. Hall lands the first blows, but Flair turns it around in the corner and lays in with chops as the crowd loses it. Hall bails and the nWo regroups on the floor. Lockup and Hall buries a knee in the corner. Flair flip in the corner, but a twist as he walks the apron right into a big boot from Nash. Nice! That gets two for Hall. Flair rallies with chops, but Syxx grabs the leg which allows Hall to hit a lariat for two. Nash gets the tag and he tells Piper to suck it before that became a thing. Flair gets stuck in the corner and eats some elbows and forearms. Sidewalk slam and it’s always interesting to see Flair take a bump like that as it’s always on his side/hip because of the back issues from the plane crash. Snake Eyes in the corner and Hall hits a clothesline from the apron. Dusty goes on a rant about two fresh men beating one man and it rambles so long that even Tony blows him off by the end. Flair lands a shot to the balls which pops the crowd. This is basically playing the hits for a white hot crowd. Hot tag to Piper and he goes to the eyes with his 3 Stooges offense. Hall gets stuck in the sleeper, but Hall breaks by dropping Piper balls first on the top rope. Both men are out as the crowd is loving every minute of this one. Syxx gets involved as the ref puts Flair out and that lets Syxx hit a kick on Piper. Flair attacks Syxx and they brawl to the back which leaves Piper all by himself. That’s a crappy partner right there. Hall crawls for a cover, but Piper is out at two. Piper crawls for a tag, but Flair is gone. Piper realizes he is on his own and just fights with everything he has. Nash just pounds him into goo and Hall is back in to land more right hands. He chokes Piper on the middle rope and slaps him around a bit. Heenan thinks Flair may have been jumped as Flair wouldn’t desert you. Let’s ask Sting that question! Piper fights back against both men, but Hall lands a clothesline to the back of the head and Nash hits a big boot. Hall back in and Outsider’s Edge finishes at 10:02.

Winner and Still WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Outsiders via pin at 10:02
-This was a lot of fun as the crowd was way into this one and with the star power involved you can understand why. Again, it was 4 legends playing the hits, but it worked. Flair abandoning Piper led their issues over the summer while Hall and Nash continue to run the tag division. ***

Light’s Out Match: “Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/ Miss Elizabeth) vs. Diamond Dallas Page (w/ Kimberly)

-Kimberly is out by herself do that Page can jump Savage from behind. Coward! Page goes for The Diamond Cutter, but Savage bails to the floor. Slingshot crossbody from Page which wasn’t the smartest thing considering his taped ribs. Savage gets bounced of the railing and he tries to hide behind Liz, but Page shoves her aside and calls her a bimbo. How can you cheer this man? Page dumps Savage over the top to the floor, but is able to get in an eye rake to turn the tide. They brawl in the front row as Savage drops Page throat first on the railing. They brawl through the crowd and Page gets tossed into a row of chairs. Savage gets tossed into a concrete wall and then through a door into a nearby lobby. Page gets hold of a crutch and catches Savage with it as he walks back through the door. The crutch gets broken over his back and Savage gets thrown into the side of the bleachers. They fight throw the fans as this is days before security made an easy path for guys. Page gets crotched on the railing and Savage hits a spinebuster on the floor. Page gets fired into the ring steps which lets Savage get powder from Liz. Well, serves Page right! Savage tosses it in his face and blasts Page with some kind of object that just shattered over his head. Savage tears the tape off the ribs and stomps away. The crowd wants Sting, but this isn’t a big enough PPV for that. Savage decks the ref because he can and then sticks him with a piledriver to a big pop from the crowd. They trade blows on each other, and Page gains the advantage with a headbutt. Savage is still up first though and goes right back after the ribs. Mark Curtis is out as the next ref and Savage decks him and then tosses him to the floor. Page charges into a boot to the face in the corner. Clothesline sends Page to the floor where he nearly lands on Mickey Jay. Savage goes after Kimberly, but Nick Patrick backs Savage away as he is the 3rd ref for this match. The brawl goes to a picnic area that was set up that the announcers try to explain is the VIP area. VIP area? They couldn’t even see the ring! I mean, it obviously just a place for them to fight so just make it part of the normal stage. Savage gets slammed through a picnic table and gets a grill tossed on him. They fight back to the ring and Page crotches Savage on the ring post. Dusty: “you just have to see that at home and know what it is.” Flapjack from Page as he calls for The Diamond Cutter. Savage counters with a jawbreaker that sends Page to the floor. Page gets tossed back into the steps as Savage pulls up the mats to expose the concrete. He looks for a piledriver and Patrick stops it. What is that? The announcers say it was the right thing, but hell with that. It’s anything goes! Savage rightly decks Patrick and punches a photographer as well for good measure. He was probably against Savage as well. Page uses a chair to hit Savage in the face, but we have no ref. Back in the ring Savage hits a ball shot, but tries for a slam and Page counters into a Diamond Cutter to a big pop. Scott Hall is out and he stomps Nick Patrick in the head. Page fights off Hall as the crowd is going crazy. Savage uses Hall’s tag title to deck Page and then Hall plants him with an Outsider’s Edge. Savage kicks Nick Patrick again before hitting The Flying Elbow for the pin at 16:56 to a massive pop.

Winner: Randy Savage via pin at 16:56
-This was a fun, hate filled brawl that again, had the crowd eating everything up. The crappy ref work nearly cost Savage, but Hall was there to right some wrongs. This also set up some tag matches over the summer before these two finally got the blow-off in October. Fun feud! ***3/4

-Tony quickly wraps things up as this show was running long. Yeah, you would hate to go long and have parts of your PPV audience miss the close to your show.

-Thanks for reading!

The final score: review Good
The 411
This was a solid show with a very good Main Event and your typical good cruiserweight opener. There were a few rough spots in the middle, but the woman's title and tag title match added to what was a good show. Thankfully the crowd was host for the majority of the show as well which is becoming a theme for these WCW shows.

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Robert Leighty Jr.