Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July PPV Countdown: The Great American Bash 1989

The SmarK Retro Re-Rant for WCW Great American Bash 89

- This is yet another one of those rants from 1996 that I was never entirely happy with, so here's a redone version, now with proper play-by-play and match times. Most of my comments and feelings on the show still stand, though, so don't expect much in the way of new insight here. This is being done from the Turner video, not the live PPV version, so it's been hacked down to 125 minutes, albeit in expert form by the Turner video guys.  (The thing that really pissed me off the most about losing WWE 24/7 was that they showed the full PPV version of this show something like the WEEK after it was dropped by Sasktel.) 

 

- Live from Baltimore, Maryland.

- Your hosts are Jim Ross & Bob Caudle.

- Opening match: "King of the Hill" double ring battle royale finals.

Kinda like the Bunkhouse Stampede of years past, the NWA held a series of battle royales, with 20 of the winners competing here in the finals for a bunch of money. Whee. When you're eliminated from the first ring, you go to the second ring and another battle royale ensues for the losers. Winner of A v. Winner of B for the money. Our contestants this evening: Mike Rotundo, Kevin Sullivan, Ranger Ross, Eddie Gilbert, Steve Williams, Terry Gordy, Rick Steiner, Scott Steiner, Sid Vicious and Dan Spivey. Meandering brawl to start. Ranger goes first, and thus moves to the other ring. (No truth to the rumor that he tried to burn down the first ring to conceal the evidence of his elimination.)  Ron Simmons (with a huge Foley-ish ass going on there) gets tossed, and moves to the other side to pummel Ross. However, he misses a charge and goes out. Man, eliminated by Ranger Ross AND forced to wear a gladiator outfit in 1996. Could Ron's career suck any more? Scott Hall (with well-conditioned blond hair and a porn star moustache) and Terry Gordy move to the other ring, taking Bill Irwin with them. We're clipped closer to the end, as Sid runs the table in Ring A until it's down to him and Brian Pillman. Insert obvious squeegee joke here. (I SAID, did you go find your SCISSORS?) In Ring B, it's down to Dan Spivey, Steve Williams and Mike Rotundo. Williams & Rotundo slug it out until a botched spot sees Captain Mike going over the top, and Spivey disposes of Doc shortly thereafter, at 8:28 shown. So of course, to completely negate the point of the thing, Sid Vicious wins ring A and Dan Spivey wins ring B and they agree to split the money rather than fight. Damn that SD Jones for setting that precedent in the 80s. An interesting opener with a cheap ending. I don't rate battle royales.

- Wild Bill Irwin v. Brian Pillman.

JIP as Brian gets tossed. This is pretty much right after Brian's debut in the NWA. Back in, Irwin chokes away, but crotches himself on a charge. Pillman comes back with a pair of dropkicks and a lariat. Splash gets two. He goes up, but misses a dropkick. Irwin pounds on him and hits a gutwrench for two. He dumps Pillman right into the other ring, but Brian outsmarts him by hitting a bodypress from that ring back into the original ring for the pin at 2:42 shown. Good enough. *1/2

- The Skyscrapers v. The Dynamic Dudes.

Here's a kicker for ya: The Skyscrapers had the love and respect of the smark fans in the audience here, and those fans hated later smark darlings Shane Douglas & Johnny Ace. (Ho ho, I wouldn’t call Johnny Ace a “smark darling” any longer, 2002 Scott.)  When Sid is in they cheer, and when Sid isn't in they chant "We want Sid!". That, my friends, is why Sid got pushed as much as he did despite sucking: Because the NWA *listened* to what the fans wanted to see. Not just company line like the WWF spews, but they actually paid attention and got rid of what didn't work instead of pushing it down people's throats. We'll pretend that the Dynamic Dudes didn't exist for the sake of argument here. The same argument applies somewhat to Hogan today, but in this case the argument generally isn't "Hogan shouldn't be on TV", it's "Hogan shouldn't be booked in serious angles as World champion and put into a position to carry the company". JIP as Sid works Shane's back over as only he can by applying a clawhold to the back. What's he trying to do, massage him to death? Sid tags out and the crowd boos. Spivey slams Shane as the "We Want Sid" chants start. Spivey misses a flying headbutt as the world over asks "What the fuck was he trying that for?" Hot tag Johnny, but even the awesome power of the rampaging babyface isn't enough to do any damage. Man, that's just cold. A flying clothesline gets two, but Sid calmly dismantles both guys to the delight of the jaded crowd. The Skyscrapers clothesline each other in a very contrived spot, but Sid doesn't sell, then stops to nail Johnny again before Spivey puts the poor guy out of his misery with a powerbomb at 3:11 shown. See, now THAT was a squash. ½*  (I’m sure Johnny got his revenge by wishing Sid well in his future endeavours at some point in the future after this.) 

- Everything from this point on is complete on this tape.

- Tuxedo Match: Jim Cornette v. Paul E. Dangerously.

Of course, today everyone is VERY familiar with the Cornette/Heyman two-sided snipefest that seems to result every time one of them mentions the other, but back then they were just a pair of managers feuding with each other in storyline terms. The relationship only went downhill from there.  (I’d say Heyman won that feud overall, since he’s still employed by WWE and Cornette has basically burned all his remaining bridges.)  In storyline terms, it's the final match in the Midnight Express feud, as both of Dangerously's Express pretenders had been bounced from the NWA by Cornette's team until this was all that remained. Cornette pops Dangerously in the mouth, but Paul uses powder to take over. Dangerously slugs away and Cornette bails, so Paul injects a little psychology into things by pounding on Cornette's infamous injured knee. Cornette gets posted, but crawls in. Both guys are selling like nuts. Paul gives him some shocking stiff shots for a comedy match, but misses an elbow. JR's comment about how Paul was "watching the mat the whole time, but still missed" is one of the funniest lines he gets here. Cornette hulks up, however, and lays in his own stiff shots. Bob Caudle seems exceptionally excited to see male nudity. Paul's shirt gets torn off, but they collide for a double KO. Sneaky Paul E goes for more powder, but irony rears her ugly head as Cornette kicks it back in his face and yanks his pants off for the win at 3:54. Among manager v. manager comedy gimmick matches, this was certainly near the top of the heap. I don't rate tuxedo matches, though.

- Texas Tornado match: Rick & Scott Steiner v. The Varsity Club.

Notable for three reasons:

1) It's the final blowoff for the whole Varsity Club feud, end of the line, fini, everyone lives happily ever after;

2) It's the PPV debut of Scott Steiner and the debut of the Steiner Brothers, period;

3) It's the first appearance on PPV of the Kevin Sullivan style ECW-ish brawl that he would book into the ground over the next 9 years.

(This was set up, for those curious, by Rick winning the TV title from Rotundo at Starrcade 88, and then dropping it back to him at Chi-Town Rumble due to his own crushing stupidity, namely letting himself get pinned while applying a sleeper hold.  He brought in his brother for the final showdown.)  Big brawl to start, and it never lets up. Rick & Kevin head outside for some mindless violence and pound each other with chairs, but Rick gets crotched on the railing. It's like Kevin Sullivan's signature or something to have one of the guys crotching themselves on the railing. In the ring, Rotundo and Scott do some wrestling, while Rick hits Kevin with a nearby table. I mean, he literally picks the whole thing up and uses it like a weapon as if this were an N64 WWF game or something. So Kevin uses the stairs while Scott hammers Rotundo and gets a hiptoss. The Varsity Club double-teams Rick with lariats, but Rick suplexes Sullivan. Scott puts Rotundo in the Tree of Woe while Rick powerslams Sullivan. Rotundo escapes and suplexes Scott, and Sullivan & Rick take the opportunity to brawl out again. Rick loses that battle, allowing the Varsity Club to double-team Scott and try stereo pinfalls. Rick then blocks a sunset flip by headbutting Kevin Sullivan in the groin about 18 times. No wonder Nancy left him for Benoit. (Now we all wish she hadn’t, of course.)  Scott cradles Rotundo for two. Another double-team on Scott, and Sullivan grabs a STRETCHER for use as a weapon. Scott tosses Rotundo and when Sullivan tries to slam Rick, the Steiners dog-pile him for the pin at 4:44. Literally all action, bell-to-bell. ***1/4

- World TV title match: Sting v. The Great Muta.

Sting is mighty mighty over here, and Muta is no slouch himself. How they managed to develop two overnight sensations like these guys, build them to main event level, and then destroy both of them by the end of 1990 boggles my mind to this day. Sting dives over the ring to attack a stalling Muta to start, and they head back to the intended ring, where Muta hits a precise chop off the top and pounds him. Handspring elbow and backbreaker set up the moonsault, which misses. He lands on his feet, however, and readjusts with an enzuigiri that puts Sting on the floor. Muta follows with a pescado. Back in, Sting clotheslines him and heads up for another one. It gets two. Dropkick and Muta bails, and they brawl. Back in, Sting gains control and gets a plain old slam for two. Muta reverses a suplex into the sleeper. Jim Ross is truly in his glory here playing up the "All American Boy v. Evil Japanese Monster" angle. If he had better material to work with these days, he might not be such a parody of himself. Sting makes the ropes and gets a press-slam. Elbow misses, so Muta hits the Power Elbow (still the best elbowdrop I've ever seen) and hits the chinlock. He takes it to an abdominal stretch, and into that cradle that Hogan is so fond of these days. I am proud to note that he both remembers to hook the left leg (as Gorilla Monsoon would have pointed out) AND use the ropes for leverage (as Jesse Venura would have pointed out). He tosses Sting, but Sting has had enough of Muta's shenanigans and pops right back in. Muta casually pokes him in the eyes to end that bit of jingoism. He starts throwing the low kicks in the corner, but the Handspring misses. Sting comes back with a bulldog and JR is about 3 seconds removed from waving the American flag and signing the Star Spangled Banner in Sting's honor. That's not a knock on him --  Evil Foreigner angles will always have a place in wrestling when done properly. Standing dropkick sends Muta out, but they mistime the tope spot. Back in, the dreaded RED MIST OF DEATH is unleashed, but the ref gets it and he's blind! So how do you tell the difference? Stinger splash misses, and Muta gets this awesome cocky look on his face as a result, before hitting a beautiful moonsault as Tommy Young runs in to count two. JR, the entire audience and (originally) myself all thought that was the finish.  (Should have been.)  Muta gets frustrated and throws a high kick that misses by a mile, allowing Sting to get a backdrop suplex for the pin at 8:06. However, video replay would reveal one or more shoulders being lifted at two, leaving the title vacant for months, until Muta won the rematch. This was total state-of-the-art high-impact speed/power wrestling at the time, and remains really peachy keen today. ****

- US title match: Lex Luger v. Ricky Steamboat.

The storyline here is that everyone in the NWA and the audience wants this to be a no-DQ match, except of course for Lex Luger. He protests on general principles, and finally Steamboat caves and drops the stipulation. Even a monster heel turn couldn't dent Luger's popularity, as he gets one of the biggest superhero pops of the night. Lex overpowers him to start, but gets cradled for one. Small package gets two. Cradle gets two. Two dropkicks and Ricky starts chopping like a motherfucker. Man, I remember the days before Luger's scrotum fell off. He wisely bails before his chest starts swelling up. They brawl and Steamboat is like "You think those were bad? Take THIS and THIS and THAT!" and just unloads monster chops that are like 1.2 Benoit. He gets an atomic drop, too, but being that he's a total idiot he lets Luger get into the ring first and walks right into a kneelift coming back in. They head out and Luger beats him to a pulp, but Steamboat pulls out the chops again. Back in, Steamboat goes up, but gets caught. Backbreaker follows and Luger goes for that general area. Press slam pops the crowd. Elbow to the back gets two. Then a really cool spot, as Luger protests the speed of the count, and specifically instructs Tommy Young to count "123" instead of "1..2..3" next time. So of course Steamboat cradles him and Tommy gets off an ultra-fast two count. Little details like that are missing nowadays. JR & Caudle don't even pound the joke into the ground like Michael Cole would today it's just a subtle little thing that's put there for people who are paying attention. Steamboat is about to make a comeback, so Luger just MURDERS him with three clotheslines, allowing Steamboat to do his most dramatic punch-drunk oversell. (In retrospect, Luger as Super-heel and Steamboat the overselling babyface is a brilliant combo and I don’t know why they didn’t run it into the ground, because it was pretty awesome.)  Luger hotshots him, but Steamboat goes back to the chops again. A cheapshot ends that, and Luger gets a powerslam for two. Steamboat tries again with a bodyblock for two, but Lex atomic drops him. However, he puts his head down and falls prey to a neckbreaker. Luger, now frustrated, charges and goes over the top, and Steamboat won't let him back in, smartly fighting from a distance and forcing Luger to expend energy while trying to make it into the ring again. See, it's the DETAILS. Steamboat tries a slam back in, but Luger reverses for two. Steamboat charges and misses and Luger goes up, but gets slammed off. Steamboat goes for the kill with more chops, and gets the flying karate chop to set up the finish. However, Luger backdrops him into the other ring and we move there. Luger fetches a chair, obviously trying for the DQ, but Steamboat catapults him into it, which Tommy Young appears ready to ignore. However, Steamboat snaps and starts pounding him with the chair, and Tommy can't ignore THAT and gives Luger his DQ at 10:26. Steamboat makes sure to get his money's worth, though. See what happens when a match is smartly laid out and both guys are unselfish enough to sell the shit out of each others' offense? You only help yourself by taking the chops like a MAN and not trying to hog every bit of offense for yourself. This was probably Luger's best singles match outside of Flair, bar none. ****1/2

- WarGames: Michael Hayes, Jimmy Garvin, Terry Gordy, Samu & Fatu v. Stan Lane, Bobby Eaton, Steve Williams, Hawk & Animal.

This was, for all intents and purposes, only the second year for WarGames, as the 1988 version was never shown anywhere that I'm aware of. (It ended up on a WWE DVD!) Garvin starts with Eaton as the first two victims. They slug it out, which Eaton of course wins. He gets a neckbreaker, but Garvin slugs back. Eaton gets an atomic drop, but runs into a foot. Eaton tastes the cold steel of cage (which, as JR would note some 12 years later, does not taste like chocolate), and gets choked. He slugs back, but gets forearmed by Garvin. Hayes lays on the badmouth for good measure, as a running gag develops on the outside with Dangerously promising to the camera every chance he gets that Hayes will be the next one in the match. Eaton comes back with a pair of backbreakers that set up a Boston crab, but Gordy (and not Hayes, as promised) is the next in. Dangerously assures the camera that Hayes is coming right up. Things go badly for Bobby in the 2:00 2-on-1 segment, as they send him to the cage repeatedly. Dr. Death is next in for the babyfaces to make the save, and it's MIRACLE VIOLENCE time. He goes for Gordy and presses him into the ceiling of the cage an insane EIGHT times. Garvin chokes Eaton as the heels regain the momentum. Williams sends Gordy to the cage, and Samu is in next. But don't worry, Hayes is coming right away. Yup. They target the good Doctor and Gordy gives him a backdrop suplex while Garvin handles Eaton. Doc keeps coming back, but Gordy & Samu double-team him. Animal comes in to even the odds again, and he whomps righteous ass on everyone. Big boot for Samu, and when he retreats to the other ring to escape, Animal follows with a shoulderblock over the ropes. The faces clothesline anything that moves until Fatu makes it 4-on-3 again. The SST work Animal over with lots of headbutts. Gordy chokes out Doc to keep him occupied. Stan Lane is next, and various heels taste the unforgiving steel. Doc & Animal just clothesline the shit out of the SST while the Express handle Garvin. Hayes is finally in last for the heels ("I gotta go in?" he asks Dangerously. "There's no one left!" Paul replies. "Damn." ) , and he starts DDTing everyone. He celebrates with some strutting. Things look bleak for our heroes as the heels pound away, but Hawk enters to begin the Match Beyond. Bodies are flying everywhere and now Eaton returns the DDT receipt to all the heels, and everyone moves to one side and slugs it out. The LOD try a Doomsday Device on Gordy, but Garvin breaks it up. However, he's actually walked into a trap, as Hawk kills him with a lariat, gives him a bunch of neckbreakers, and then puts him in the Hangman for the submission at 22:22. That was, to coin a phrase, a true slobberknocker. **** Just for fun, the heels wait until everyone but Animal has left, and then jump him for the huge post-match massacre. Hey, they're the bad guys, you expect sportsmanship?

- NWA World title: Ric Flair v. Terry Funk.

The storyline is simple: Flair regained the title at WrestleWar, and jealous ringside judge Funk decided to come out of retirement and make a grandstand challenge on the spot. Flair rightly turned him down, so Funk threw a tantrum and piledrove Flair through the ringside table, breaking his neck. And now Flair's back and he wants sweet, sweet revenge. Flair wastes no time, attacking on the floor, and Funk wants none of that action. Flair chases and pounds away, so Funk runs for cover again. Into the ring, Funk chops away, but Flair returns fire with cherries on top. Funk takes a powder again, so they brawl outside. Flair gets posted, and Funk pounds him. Back in, a suplex gets two. He starts targeting the neck, so Flair takes a breather of his own. When he gets to the apron, they fight over a suplex, and both guys tumble to the floor. Chops are exchanged, and then eyepokes. Back in, Funk goes for his first try at a piledriver, but Flair reverses. More brawling and now Flair works the neck. Back in, he drops the knee on it, twice, for two. A pair of piledrivers and Funk is dead. Finished. Kaput. Done. DOA. However, he has enough left to bail and make a run for it. Flair heads him off and they slug it out, which Flair wins back in the ring and gets two. Backdrop suplex sets up the figure-four, but Funk is smart enough to grab the branding iron and tattoo Flair with it to break the hold. Flair starts bleeding as a result, and now Funk chooses that moment to hit the long-awaited piledriver. It only gets two, so Funk rips up the mats on the floor. Flair reverses that piledriver attempt, but Funk gets three neckbreakers back in the ring. Flair gets that branding iron for himself, however, and soon both guys are bleeding. They brawl out and in, and Flair hammers away on the cut. He misses a charge and hurts his knee, so Terry goes for the spinning toehold. Ric grabs his free leg and trips him up to set up the figure-four, but Terry reverses to an inside cradle for two, which Flair reverses again for the pin at 16:20. The psychology was a little goofy, but the brawl was super-intense and had tons of blood. ****1/4 Muta & Funk then do the classic beatdown of Flair that leads to Flair & Sting v. Funk & Muta at the first Halloween Havoc.

The Bottom Line:

Untouched by the ravages of time and sports entertainment bullshit, this show remains the pinnacle of the early NWA PPV era and the single greatest wrestling PPV ever produced. The matches, while slightly shorter than usual, have absolutely no wasted space in them and almost zero resting, as everyone turned it up about 150 notches for this show and put on a blowaway effort in every sense of the word.

But is Wrestlemania X-7 a better show? Well, comparing the top matches.

- Rock/Austin v. Flair/Funk Better storyline for Bash, better match for WM. Give the edge to the WWF here.

- TLC3 v. WarGames - Better gimmick for the Bash, more eye-popping spotfest for WM. Since the styles are so drastically different, call it a push.

- HHH/Undertaker v. Steamboat/Luger No contest here, I think, comparing power v. technique matches. Luger could MOVE back in the day, whereas UT has been in slow motion since he returned in 2000. Definite edge to the Bash here.

- Sting/Muta v. Benoit/Angle. Too close to call. Both featuring state-of-the-art stuff and hot new workers. However, Sting/Muta had an actual backstory and buildup, whereas Benoit/Angle was just thrown together the week before the show, so I'm gonna give the edge to the Bash again.

So the final tally: 2-1-1 for the Great American Bash, winner and STILL PPV champion for the foreseeable future.

And in case you haven't figured it out, HIGHEST recommendation. Ever. (I can see why this one might not be as beloved by those who didn’t live through the time period, but much like comic books, the golden age of wrestling is defined by the person, not the era.) 

75 comments:

  1. AmericanWolves02July 4, 2012 at 12:19 AM

    Ahh the good old fashioned WrestleMania X-7 vs. GAB 89 debate. I've always given the edge to WrestleMania X-7. I will say that I didn't live through GAB 89, in fact I was born 4 years after it happened; while I watched the entire build up to WM X-7. But comparing them:

    GAB 89
    Flair vs. Funk **** Wargames **** Luger vs. Steamboat ****1/2 Sting vs. Muta ****1/4 Steiners vs. Varsity Club *** and the rest is not so good.

    WrestleMania X-7
    Austin vs. Rock ***** Undertaker vs. Triple H ****1/4 TLC II ***** Angle vs. Benoit ****1/4 Vince vs. Shane ***1/2 The triple threat hardcore match and Jericho vs. Regal hover around the *** mark.

    In terms of spectacle WM wins obviously. GAB features a bunch of great matches, but I just think X-7 has the edge.

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  2. I don't know that Johnny did ever give Sid his future endeavours, but he did INSIST that Sid attempt a big boot off the top rope at WCW Sin 2001...

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  3. I'm a sucker for PPVs with significant people from different eras all over the card.  While I love WM 17, I just can't throw it in the DVD player unless I'm in an "Attitude" kind of mood.  With the Bash, you have the NWA champion of the 70s (Funk), the champion of the 80s (Flair), and the kinda sorta champion of the 90s (Sting) on the card.  You also have an emerging Sid, Pillman, Luger, Steamboat, the Steiners... you get a little of everything, really.  It feels a little more timeless.

    That's also why I have a soft spot for Royal Rumble 92, Wrestlemania 19, and Wrestlemania 26--you really get a lot of people from different eras, be it Rock n Wrestling, New Generation, Attitude, and PG era.  I just like seeing all "my" guys in one card.  I'm sentimental like that.

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  4. being born in the 90s automatically d-quals you from even commenting.

    leave. now.

    jk ;-)

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  5. Hard to beat this show. Great matches, commentary, and finishes plus an awesome crowd and a great look. Easily my favorite Flair/Funk match. Luger/Steamboat steals the show too -- I could watch Luger clotheslining Steamboat all day -- just an awesome sell job there.

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  6. As with any show, I think what you prefer depends upon what you grew up with. The thing that kills X7 for me is that despite feeling it was one of the best shows I'd ever seen in 2001, it just doesn't have a lot of replay value for me. Austin/Rock in particular just feels so overly long now, with a great start and a great finish and a bunch of fluff in the middle. X7 was great for it's time, but I think it is more "of it's time" than it is a classic show. I think for me 19 has it beat, it is just more watchable now.

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  7. I think Flair/Funk from the Bash is way better than the I Quit match. I Quit matches as a rule are really hard to do well, especially without blood.

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  8. I'd say that the scissors catchphrase is perhaps Scott's best new one in quite a while.

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  9. Here's the deal... the T.H.E. version of Bash '89 is great, however the PPV version is really, really, really good, but it's not nearly as great. Scott, I have a copy of the PPV version of Bash '89. If you'd like, I'll send it to you so you can rant on it.

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  10. Bash '91 has two cage matches.  Bash '89 had one.  Clearly Bash '91 must have been better.

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  11. I'm not sure how cornette lost the feud. He's got a pretty comfortable life and works pretty consistently when he wants to. Heyman, on the other hand, only works because Brock likes him.

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  12. As for why they didn't run Luger-Steamboat run it into the ground, Steamboat's contract was up immediately after this show, and the company low-balled him on a contract offer (WCW, always number 2 with a bullet!), so Ricky said, "screw this". And when he came back in late '91, Luger was only a few months from leaving and programmed with Sting. Yeah, it blows.

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  13. As a kid I was so bummed when that feud didn't continue and Ricky showed up in WWF as the lame ass Dragon. 

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  14. I was in college when WM 17 happened. In my life, I can't imagine a show ever topping it.

    But as Scott said, to each their own. If youre a fan of the 80s NWA, this is your show. If 80s WWF was your time period, you'd still say WrestleMania 3. And if you're me, you always say WM 17.

    And if you're a 14 year old Cena fan, all the PPVs headlined by SuperCena winning are tied for first.

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  15. I never did watch this, though I just dug the Turner Home Entertainment VHS out of a box (found it in a pawn shop a few years ago). I do believe I will have to be patriotic today and check it out, especially if the clipped version is supposed to actually be better, as a comment below mentions. 

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  16. Spring Stampede '94, WrestleMania III, Great American Bash '89, WrestleMania X-7, & Canadian Stampede (In Your House - July '97) are the PPV's that stick out in my mind.

    On the negative side, Great American Bash '91, King of the Ring '95, and Survivor Series '93 are among the worst I've seen.

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  17.  Glad someone said it so I didn't have to...
    ;-)

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  18. Austin/Rock is a great example of the WWF Main Event Style- hot start, then they just wander around punching each other and kicking each other in the stomach for 10 minutes, THEN they start up with a Reversal-Finish ending that goes on for a while. it's like a ***** match tacked onto the end of a **-ish plodding brawl. For those who loved the Main Event Style, the match was awesome (Scott LOVED it), but for those who didn't, it was more of the same.

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  19. Agreed w/ bignasty.  I think when you "come of age" as a smart, refined appreciator will define which show is your personal favorite.  Mine is WM19, since I was about 17 years old when that happened.  

    I'm sure there's some 15 - 19 year old budding BoD'ers who will forever consider MiTB 2011 the best of all time. Being in college for WM 17 does not make him born in the 90s, btw...unless he was in college when he was 8 years old, which would be pretty badass and Howserian.

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  20. Donald TheriaultJuly 4, 2012 at 8:12 AM

    I often wonder why someone like Bryan wouldn't borrow the "123" routine from Luger/Steamboat, but then even '02 Scott knew that Cole would pound it into the ground.

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  21. I like both guys but I'd say its pretty easy to say paul e had the better career after this match. He gets the dangerous alliance angle, then he runs ecw which is a creative if not financial success still remembered fondly today, becomes the lead pbp for wwe, gets to be brocks manager, then becomes the lead writer/booker on smackdown and his run is still remembered favorably , then gets to be the lead of the new ecw for a cup of coffee. Yeah the new ecw sucked but still...
    Where as cornette had a run as yokozunas manager(where he did awesome ) then managed other guys, did those shoot promos on raw and worked for tna. Now he's "running " roh and supposedly not well

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  22. Selective memory much? Just ignoring the years that Jim spent running the developmental program? Produced the biggest wrestling stars of the last ten years? And Paul was essentially unemployed for many years. And he did color, not pbp. Which Jim also did on ocassion.

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  23. The day we get someone on here that was born in the 2000s is the day I leave forever.

    Until then, let this shit play out and see where it mother f'n goes!  YEEEAAAHH!

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  24. maybe if you just found out the story about it and the reference when it was used.

    And since you are in the midst of a 2000 wcw kick, you would be jacking ur dick over it.

    Sime of us,,, not so much.

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  25. Thank you.

    Ran SMW
    Came back and helped book WWF in the beginning of Attitude.
    Got sent to OVW and produced the following stars
    -Cena
    -Batista
    -Orton
    -Benjamin and Haas

    Went to TNA during its best creative period (2006) and helped booked that until Russo came back in Oct 2006.

    Went to ROH and helped boo that, not so good but whatevz.

    Cornette indirectly produced more money than Heyman ever did.

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  26. This show was one of the only times it was appropriate for Flair to be the face. Just an awesome main event and an awesome show. The right wrestlers were playing the correct roles as heels (Luger, Muta, Sid) and faces, something today's WWE could learn a lot from.

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  27. "Ho ho, I wouldn’t call Johnny Ace a 'smark darling' any longer, 2002 Scott."

    Same for Shane Douglas, I think.

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  28. I just watched GAB 91 or the first time and I don't think it's as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Boring as all hell, but nowhere near as bad as KOTR 95/99, Starrcade 97, or Royal Rumble 99 (shit, 1999 period). Another PPV that I think gets overlooked in these conversations is Bad Blood 97. Take out the main event and to me that's easily the worst PPV ever.

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  29. No venom bro.

    Im fucking drunk as shit!

    AMERICA!!! FUCK YEAH!!!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhnUgAaea4M

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  30.  There's a lot about the NWA that today's WWE could learn from.

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  31.  GAB 91 IS pretty bad from a customer standpoint. Throwing a PPV where the entire crowd rebels against your show and completely takes a dump on your main event is worse than those other shows that might have had worse wrestling.

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  32.  I disagree: While the first three matches are nothing special (though Pillman-Irwin is pretty good), getting the interviews and all of the shenanigans after the main event make the PPV version far superior.

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  33. But the fact is that Paul did so many things by choice.  He quit WWE because of Vince's controlling nature leading into December to Dismember (or whatever it was called). On the other hand, Cornette was basically fired or run out of his many positions because time passed him by.  

    I like watching old SMW footage and I like some of Cornette's views on wrestling, but he's a bitter old man whose rants over the last decade have been laughable.  He's stuck in time, unwilling to believe wrestling has to change/evolve and unwilling to believe the people he used to work with have changed at least a smidge over 15-20 years.  And now, he's helped run ROH into the ground.  YAY, all hail James!

    Paul's entertainment value, ideas, innovations, and performances have destroyed Cornette's over the last 15-20 years.  And I'm no ECW mutant, by any means.

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  34. Actually Flair should have stopped playing heel entirely after this show (except for his WWF run, of course). His turn at the January COC was a mistake.

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  35. I suppose, but for me it's kind of hard to look at it that way seeing as how I saw it 20 years after after the fact. And the wrestling on the show was pretty horrible (the 6-man is the only match I'd even call decent), though I thought the booking actually made sense, something that can't be said about a lot of TNA and WWE shows over the last few years.

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  36. I agree with this. GAB 91 isn't a good show by any means, but it has some redeeming moments and the whole crowd revolt thing is often exaggerated for effect -- they are really only vocal about the Flair stuff for a few moments here and there. The crowd is pretty dead at times, but I think save for parts of Hogan/Sting and DDP's win, the crowd is deader for Starrcade 97 -- which is more concerning since that wasn't supposed to be the DOA show that GAB was.

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  37. Seems fair enough. The WWF ME Style is certainly not for everyone and I am one of those people it has not aged well with.

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  38. Yeah, there is a lot of truth in this I imagine. I am sort of an odd case in that I started watching wrestling in 1990 (WWF) and didn't see GAB 89 or any WCW tv until 1991. My sentimental faves are all around that era though in both feds.

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  39. The crowd revolt is definitely exaggerated. The only time I really noticed the "we want Flair!" was during the Luger/Windham match, and from the constant shots of the crowd it seemed to me that most people were having a good time. Just the fact that that many people showed up says they weren't that upset.

    Sidenote: good lord was early 90s fashion horrible. I'm really glad that the frizzy hair look went out of style.

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  40. I am pretty sure there are several guys whose favorite show is WrestleMania X (it is mine).

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  41.  I've been drunk on the internet before, it's awesome.

    scrublife.wordpress.com - a 4th of july plug for you all, fresh update with an interview with a Muslim. Does he plan to blow up America? Read and find out...

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  42. Quitting before you get fired is a classic move. And cornette didn't come close to losing as much money with SMW as Heyman did with ecw.

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  43. I can't watch X-7 because it's the end of my favorite period of wrestling and it ended so unceremoniously.

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  44. So where was Scott 2012's snarky comments about THIS main event not being stopped for blood?  That was one of the first things I thought when I watched this live - why wasn't the state Athletic Commission not stepping in when the bleeding started? 

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  45. AmericanWolves02July 4, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Although I think WM X-7 is the best show, it's not my favorite show. WrestleMania 21 is probably my favorite show, and if it weren't for the two title matches being average, it'd be up there for best show as well. 

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  46. AmericanWolves02July 4, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    WM 19 is a personal favorite of mine too. I love the look of the stadium, I was 10 at the time lol.

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  47. I have to agree to disagree, Flair was the greatest heel of all time. He should never have been used as a face except in rare instances such as this show.

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  48. I don't think the 1993 Series is that bad.  Sure, the Harts-Knights match sucked, but everything else was fine.  I sort of liked the Four Doinks match from a comedy perspective.

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  49. Very true.  I'm not convinced that Cornette couldn't eventually find his way back into OVW's developmental program under TNA now that Russo is out of the picture.  He's a good guy to learn from and has tons of wrestling knowledge, even if his ideas are a little too old school to work today.  I was always entertained by Cornette's OVW product.

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  50. That's a good point.  That's probably why I like 1991 WWF since it was where the company started to push some new talent and some of the Rock n Wrestling figures were being pushed aside.

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  51. He also made made six figures off the SMW tape library, according to one of his shoots.  So I don't think the guy is too worried about money.

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  52. thats wrong abt starrcade 97.

    crowd was warm for malenko/eddy. just all the knee work took them out of it.

    crowd popped for six man and was hot macho all match.

    crowd was hot for the hall/giant segment.

    crowd was dead for bagwell
    they were there for bischoff amd ddp and died at the main event.

    overall i say it was a good crowd despite being fed horseshit that night

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  53. he was basically a face all of 89. once tully and arn lleft and they got rid of matsudo he was a face.

    basically from may 89 til jan/feb of 90 he was a face.

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  54. I don't think Douglas even had a cup of coffee as smark darling.

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  55. Flair made a good face but as a heel he was out of this world. Flair basically is the template for 70% of heel antics post 1990

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  56. Bad blood 97 was so bailed out by shawn and taker. Its amazing how awesome those two were together. I want a wwe dvd detailing that rivalry.

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  57. I agree that cornette is good but heyman has had a bigger career. Cornette never had the power heyman had in wwe in 2002-2003 and ecw is certainly what he will be remembered for. Not sure cornette had that same impact but they both belong in the hall of fame. Paul e is going in but I don't know about cornette. I hope he does though.

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  58. Booking a developmental territory is probably the perfect spot for jim (other than being a heel manager)

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  59. Man no one sold like ricky.

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  60. Yup me too. I was a little mark back then and thought no one could beat yokozuna. The end where all the baby faces were carrying bret and Owen was glaring at him was awesome. And at the time the laddermatch was the best thing I had ever seen.

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  61. Mitb is the only show where everyone I wanted to see go over did that. Punk, db, and Christian getting the smackdown title, plus I love adr. Most satisfied I've been with a show though not my favorite

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  62. Yeah, you may be right, it's been awhile since I watched it.  As I recall they were pretty hot for Macho's entrance, the six-man tag, the Giant/Hall segment, and DDP hitting his finisher, but it seemed like they were ghastly quiet for a lot of the matches themselves, including the DDP match.

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  63. you are right.

    after the 6 man, it goes dead til ddp/hennig

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  64. Someone didn't live through 1994-97 RSPW.

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  65. All of '89? He was definitely a heel when he dropped the belt to Steamboat at the Chi-Town Rumble. He didn't really turn face until Terry Funk attacked him after his match at WrestleWar.

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  66. My parents didn't have the internet until early 1995 so I missed all of '94 but I remember lots of guys like issacs and kunze shitting on him and ecw. Also I never liked him so maybe it was just me bad mouthing him on message boards as a 12/13 year old and I just remember the people who agreed

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  67. Issacs was a tool, and Kunze always tended to avoid agreeing with the majority opinion. 

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  68. refresh my memory, cuz i thought the suit angle was before the first match.

    flair is clearly a heel steamboat comes back in a tag match and pins flair
    they do the suit thing and flair gets stripped. they fight and steamboat goes over?

    if thats the case, he wasnt gettin booed by april of 89. it was definitely 50/50 by the second match. even of he was technically the heel he was gettin a lot of cheers.

    flair was a face the majority of 89.

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  69. "he was basically a face all of 89"

    You were wrong.

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  70. you're right.

    you feel good champ? is your pee-pee hard? i can do this all day.

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  71. I'm sure you can. Try getting a job instead.

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  72. womp womp.... i work 3rd shift.

    "and if you first you don't succeed, dust yourself off and try again."
    -aaliyah (rip)

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  73. that was an angle genius

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