Wednesday, February 28

8 Things Fans Should Know About WCW’s Infamously Bad Great American Bash ’91 PPV

As one of the few PPV / Premium Live Events that survived for nearly forty years across four promotions, The Great American Bash is clearly one of the most popular events of the year. Originated from a concept by Dusty Rhodes, the Bash started as a multi-city tour that has traversed Crockett, the NWA, WCW, WWE, and nowadays, as part of NXT. The show has had plenty of great memories.


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The Great American Bash has been a mainstay across WWE, WCW and NWA. Which iterations of the PPV rank among the best?

But the 1991 show is remembered for a lot of sub-par memories and not any great ones. It was held during one of the most tumultuous times in WCW history, and they didn’t just suffer for it, as it went down as one of the worst Pay Per Views of all time.


8 Stone Cold Actually Worked A Scaffold Match

Well, It Actually Became A Capture The Flag Match

  • This is the only scaffold match Austin ever had.
  • All parties involved were actually terrified of being up there.
  • The Capture The Flag idea was added very close to match time.

Like any PPV, you want to start out real hot to get the crowd going and keep them going all night. There are not a lot of better ways to do that than put Bobby Eaton, Stunning Steve Austin, and Terry Taylor. Three technicians could surely put on an exciting match, right? Unfortunately, Bobby Eaton was paired with the 400 pound faux-rapper, PN News against Austin and Taylor. While they still could have carried News to a decent match. But the powers that be in WCW decided to put them in a Scaffold Match where you could capture the flag to win instead of attempting to murder your opponent by sending them hurtling off the scaffold.

7 First Ever WCW Great American Bash

And Not A Very Good First Impression Either

  • Bash Fun Fact: The heads of WCW, WWE, and ECW have all appeared on at least one GAB
  • The GAB was originally designed as a major Wrestling and Country Music tour
  • The first several GAB House Shows featured War Games

With the history of the event murky as far as all of the different promotions, it’s hard to keep track of which Bash happened for which promotion. The 1991 Great American Bash happened to be the first under the WCW banner. It clearly wasn’t a great first impression.

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The 10 Best Great American Bash Matches, According To Cagematch.net

The Great American Bash is a legendary pay-per-view event that has featured many tremendous matches for WWE and WCW.

From the very first match (the above-mentioned scaffold match) to just about every other aspect of this show…it’s thought of as the worst PPV of all time and with plenty of these reasons for explanation.

6 The First Ever WCW Title

Original “WCW” Title Was Dusty’s Old FCW Belt

  • The dispute between Flair and Herd caused Ric to leave with very little time before The Bash.
  • Only after Flair came back, did WCW start using the Big Gold Belt
  • Bach Fun Fact – Dusty Rhodes won the NWA title at the 1986 Great American Bash

While the reason for this entry might not have been entirely the fault of WCW, it just shows how woefully unprepared they were. Plus, just how long it took belt makers to craft a championship strap back in 1991. With just several weeks’ notice to make a new WCW title (more on why the need was there later), the company improvised. Dusty Rhodes went into his own vault to grab an old FCW title. The company simply put a WCW plaque over the old letters to make it the first ever WCW title.

5 Missy Hyatt’s Kidnapping

MD State Athletic Commission Didn’t Allow Intergender Matches

  • To many fans, Missy Hyatt is considered the original Diva.
  • She managed several tag teams, including The Steiners and The Nasty Boys.
  • Despite her very short stint there, Missy had been a part of WWE, WCW, and ECW.

One of the big matches expected to be held at the show was an Intergender Tag Team Match between Arn Anderson and Paul E. Dangerously against Rick Steiner and Missy Hyatt. Obviously, Steiner and Double A were shoehorned into the match to attempt to make it watchable.

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The match was originally a six-person Intergender match Barry Windham, Arn, and Paul E. against The Steiners and Missy. But with Scott injured and Luger needing a capable opponent (Barry), those two were removed. Shortly before the match, Dicks Murdoch and Slater came in and kidnapped Missy, turning the match into a Handicapped match. This was done because the Maryland State Athletes Commission didn’t allow Intergender matches – why even advertise the match then?

4 Ric Flair Vs. Lex Luger Posters Exist

Awesome Piece Of History, If You Can Find It

lex luger ric flair starrcade 1995

  • During the match, fans audibly chanted “We Want Flair.”
  • Flair didn’t want to leave with the belt, but Jim Herd would not return the 25,000 dollar deposit.
  • Naitch would return to WCW almost two years later and almost immediately become WCW champion again.

Collectibles in wrestling aren’t just limited to toys and belts. There are all sorts of great finds and, of course, the rarer, the better. Considering the main event of The Bash was always set for Lex Luger and Ric Flair, there were all kinds of posters created for the show. The big match was plastered front and center. They still exist, if you can scour the internet long enough to find them.

3 A Star-Studded Roster

Hall Of Famers & Future Hall Of Famers

  • Sting won his first ever world title at the 1990 event.
  • Of the future Hall Of Famers on this roster, Bobby Eaton is widely considered to be the best worker of his generation.
  • This PPV was one of the few that Hall and Nash were both on before heading to WWE.

With the event being over thirty years ago, of course, it’s easy to assume that a deluge of future Hall Of Famers as part of any card from any promotion. Despite being the worst of the worst, The Great American Bash is no different. Out of the forty-plus superstars who appeared on the show, sixteen members of the roster are already part of the WWE Hall Of Fame. There are also at least four superstars that most fans would agree would be bonafide Hall Of Famers one day. But clearly, that doesn’t mean a great show can happen just because great talents take part of the show.

2 First WCW Title Match Didn’t Main Event

Not A Good Idea To Put Over The Title

  • Lex Luger turned heel at this show.
  • Aligning with Harley Race was thought to be a sure-fire way to make Lex the biggest heel in the industry.
  • This was the first every traditional cage match in Bash history.

Despite the short amount of time to promote it, the first ever WCW title match between Lex Luger and Barry Windham should have been promoted heavily as an epic clash that was worthy of the main event spot on the card.

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These forgotten WCW World title bouts on pay-per-view weren’t necessarily bad, but they were random matchups.

But even way back then, long before the dying days of WCW, the company didn’t fully know how to handle things. The historic moment, one that also saw Lex Luger align with Harley Race to finally become the man, didn’t even main event the first show the title was a part of.

1 What Happened To The Real World Champion?

Ric Flair Was Fired From WCW Two Weeks Before

  • The Great American Bash started as an NWA Summer Tour
  • After several WWE appearances with the Big Gold Belt, an injunction was filed to get Ric to stop showing it on WWE TV.
  • A WWE tag team title “blurred out” was used instead.

The ultimate reason the show was snake bit from the start was the non-stop back and forth bickering between NWA World Champion Ric Flair and WCW President Jim Herd. It finally came to an end and not only did Flair get fired two weeks before the event, Herd refused to give the $25,000 dollar deposit money back in exchange for getting the belt back – which led to The Real World Champion heading to WWE with the title in tow.

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