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WCW Presents: The Great American Bash 1988


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Great American Bash 1988
The Price for Freedom
July 10, 1988
Baltimore, Maryland - The Baltimore Arena

We see a great opening package highlighting the big feuds of the evening. We see the live Baltimore crowd as they are white hot already. We see the War Games cage above the two ring set up. Fans it is time! Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone welcome everyone and run down the card. They put over the War Games, the Texas Bullrope Match, and of course the Main Event… World Title on the line… Ric Flair and Rowdy Roddy Piper. It is going to be history in the making… it is time to get things going right now… let’s head to the ring! 

The Hart Foundation vs Mike Rotundo & Steve Williams w/ Kevin Sullivan
-A hot opening contest with some real good action. Bret and Rotundo do some great work inside the ring while the Anvil and Dr. Death show off the power. Jim Ross highlights the Mid South history between those two men. These guys go right up to the 15-minute time limit and we see a hot finish with Dr. Death trying to do an Oklahoma Slam on Bret but he jumps over his back and dropkicks him over the top to the floor. The referee doesn’t see it as the Anvil grabs Rotundo and we see the HART ATTACK for the 3-count! 

We cut to the back and see Bob Caudle standing by with Ricky Steamboat, Barry Windham, and Lex Luger. They are putting over their tag title and US title matches respectively tonight. Luger is sporting some taped ribs. They talk about the Horsemen and Jimmy Hart’s men as evil incarnate. They want to walk away with the gold tonight!

TV CHAMPIONSHIP
Terry Taylor vs Curt Hennig ©
-Another solid in ring contest here for Taylor and Hennig. Terry Taylor has got some momentum going into this one but Hennig looks awesome out there. Ross and Schiavone remind us that JJ Dillon is not allowed at ringside for the Horsemen matches other than the big one with Flair and he will be handcuffed to Andre! Here Hennig and Taylor go to the 15-minute time limit with Taylor getting some big momentum at the finish but when he goes for the five-arm, Hennig ducks and Taylor gets tied up in the ropes and lands awkwardly! Hennig is struggling to get up and when he grabs Taylor, Terry counters for a roll up but Hennig rolls through for the 3-count and Curt Hennig retains the title!

In the back we see Bob Caudle with Rick Rude, King Kong Bundy, and Jimmy Hart. They put over the US title match with Steamboat and Rude vows to get the title back that he should have never lost! He says that Steamboat stole the title and he is going to give him the Rude Awakening of his lifetime to get it back!

Ron Simmons & Rick Steiner vs Dan Spivey & Kevin Sullivan
-The second half of our Varsity Club Homecoming but the first one didn’t go very well. This one goes about 9-minutes and we see tempers flare when Simmons and Steiner almost come to blows when they try to get a hold of Sullivan! There is some miscommunication and Rick Steiner ends up clotheslining Simmons. A couple of moments later Simmons waffles him with a big forearm and Spivey catches Steiner and hoists him up for a nasty back body drop right on his head for the 3-count! Rotundo and Williams run down and they start to put the boots to Steiner! Simmons then comes back in and backs them off before laying the boots to him as well! Sullivan is laughing and smiling… has Simmons joined the Varsity Club?!?

Ross and Schiavone put over all the action thus far and pump up the next contest for the US title. They put over Rude and Steamboat and how Steamboat won the title. They talk about Bundy and Luger… here we go!
 

US CHAMPIONSHIP
Ricky Steamboat © vs Rick Rude w/ Jimmy Hart
-These guys get some time and put forth a great 25-minute contest. Rude gets some heat… Steamboat comes back with a fire like no other. We see Bundy come down around the 20-minute mark and he is ominous around the ring. We see him trip Steamboat while Hart has the referee distracted. This draws out Lex Luger and he hammers away at Bundy! He even tries to slam him before Rick Rude slides out of the ring and hammers him from behind! Bundy then SPLASHES LUGER OUTSIDE THE RING! Rude slides back in and is laughing but he doesn’t notice Ricky Steamboat who flies off the top rope with a splash and the 3-count! Steamboat has retained the title and the crowd pops! Luger though… he’s in a bad way outside the ring! 

We then cut to a special video package highlighting the next contest… the Texas Bullrope match. We see the build up of Hansen and Rhodes over the last couple of months leading to this one. 

TEXAS BULL ROPE MATCH
Dusty Rhodes vs Stan Hansen
-This one gets out of hand early on. This is a touch all four corner type affair but both men get busted open early and there’s a lot of blood in the ring. We see Gary Jester outside the ring with an official and they may call it. These two big boys just beat the living hell out of one another. The finish is typical of these type matches with Rhodes looking to hit all four corners while Hansen is doing it from behind. They get to the 4th… and Hansen holds up Rhodes, who is a bloody mess, and the hits a LARIAT then send Hansen and Rhodes into the buckle but it is Rhodes’ head that hit with Hansen’s hand hitting the buckle. Nick Patrick is confused… here comes Tommy Young… they deliberate and then GMC announces that Stan Hansen has won and the crowd isn’t happy! Rhodes then goes after him and they brawl to the back! 

We cut to the locker room of the Horsemen. JJ says that they came here to defend their titles and that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Hennig says that he is the perfect TV champ and proved it tonight! Arn and Tully say that they are taking the gloves off tonight and Windham and Luger are going to get the beating they deserve. Flair is reserved… he says that Piper may know him better than any opponent he’s ever faced… but Flair knows Piper and he knows what it is going to take to beat him… and that’s what will happen tonight! 

WCW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Lex Luger & Barry Windham vs Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard ©
-The story of this one has to be the injury to Lex Luger. He is holding those ribs and we see the Horsemen go right to work on them. This one goes about 20-minutes and the Horsemen are doing everything they can to wear Luger down until he can get Windham in. Windham does everything he can but he can’t beat two men and the Horsemen double up on him while Luger is hurt in the corner. Luger finally gets up and tries to get the crowd going but when Windham makes the big tag Luger just doesn’t have it. He hits some clotheslines but when he goes for the press slam on Arn, Tully comes from behind and knees him right in the ribs! Luger is hurting. Windham comes out of nowhere and clotheslines Tully out of the ring to the floor! Luger is struggling to get up and he hammers on Anderson and goes for the rack but he can’t get him up… Arn turns him around for a SPINEBUSTER on those ribs! 1...2….3! The Horsemen have retained the titles and the crowd pops! Arn and Tully continue to try and wear him out until Windham jumps in the ring and chases them off. 

We see pre-taped interviews from both teams involved in the War Games. Needless to say… the Road Warriors are jacked up for this one. We cut back to the arena and the lights go out as the cage comes down. We see Slick and Cornette lead their men down to a chorus of boos. Then IRONMAN hits and the Road Warriors lead their team down followed by the US Tag Champions the Rockers and then Sting who has got the pop of the night so far! It is time for the WAR GAMES!

WAR GAMES
Sting, The Road Warriors, & The Rockers vs Butch Reed, Big Bubba, One Man Gang, & The Midnight Express w/ Jim Cornette & Slick
-Shawn Michaels and Bobby Eaton start us off for the first five minutes. We see Shawn get busted open early as he and Bobby go blow for blow and the crowd is going nuts! The highlight is when Michaels leaps off the top rope from one ring to another for a clothesline and both men are down at the end of the 5-minute mark when the coin is flipped… and Slick and Cornette win and send in...Big Bubba Rogers! Bubba comes in and he goes right to work on Michaels and wears him out something awful. He is hammering down on him and then tosses him into the cage like a javelin! Michaels is bleeding something awful as the 2-minute timer goes off and here comes… ANIMAL! The sides are evened up and Animal is trying to go two on one here to try and keep his team in it! He is hammering away on both men and then we see him toss Bobby into the cage and he folds up! Animal then with a press slam on Big Bubba and the crowd explodes! Animal gets Michaels back to his feet but he may be a lost cause at this point! The timer goes off and here comes...STAN LANE! The Midnights are in and they go right to work on Michaels and they are beating him within an inch of his life! Animal tries to make the save but nothing doing. Bubba tosses Michaels over both ring ropes and gets him into their corner. We see Gang try to reach under the cage to choke him. The Midnights are doubling up on Animal when the timer goes off… here comes...STING! The crowd explodes when the Stinger comes in and Bubba tries to cut him off but Sting hammers away and then hits the bulldog! He then picks up Bubba for a bodyslam! Sting then leaps over both ropes and clotheslines the Midnight Express! The fans are going nuts! Sting has even the odds and now he and Animal are tossing everyone into the cage! The timer goes off and here comes… BUTCH REED! Reed is met right when he comes in the ring though and Sting is hammering away at him! Animal is being doubled by the Midnights! Bubba is tossing Michaels into the cage and he is crumbling up something awful. Ross and Schiavone don’t know if Michaels will make it through the match as the timer goes off and here comes...MARTY JANNETTY! Marty with a house of fire to even the odds and he is hammering on everyone! He tries to get Michaels to safety but the Midnights cut them off! Bubba is busted open when Sting and Animal toss him into the cage. Reed is busted when Sting and Animal do the same to him! Marty then hits and flurry on the Midnights before Shawn Michaels gets some life and joins in for some double clotheslines and then dropkicks! The timer goes off...THE ONE MAN GANG is in and it is 5 on 4! Gang comes in and he hammers on everyone before delivering some big 747 splashes on Jannetty… Michaels… Animal… and then Sting! The Cornette/Slick Army has complete control right now! Hawk is seething outside the ring! They are almost goating him to come in the ring. The timer goes off and here comes HAWK and the MATCH BEYOND BEGINS! It is submission or surrender! Hawk with some huge clotheslines and he is getting his team back in it! We see Sting come out of nowhere with some Stinger Splashes on the Midnights and then Big Bubba! We see Animal and Hawk toss the Twin Towers of Power into the cage and then double bodyslams on both of them! There’s blood all over the ring! The Midnights try to isolate Michaels but the Road Warriors help him out before Sting grabs Stan Lane for a Scorpion Death Drop! He locks in the Scorpion Death Lock while the Road Warriors hold off the others! Michaels and Jannetty somehow take down the Towers with a pair of splashes! Lane GIVES UP! The crowd explodes as Sting, the Road Warriors, and Rockers have won it! Slick and Cornette then start arguing with one another! They have to carry Michaels out of the cage… he’s a bloody mess! Sting and company have won this one but it is hard to tell the winners from the losers! 

Bob Caudle is in the back with Andre and Piper. Piper is calm and collected before going bonkers. He puts over how this is his one chance… if he can’t get it done tonight he will never be able to do it. He says he is putting it all on the line and he has to win or he won’t be able to live with himself!

WCW CHAMPIONSHIP
Roddy Piper vs Ric Flair © w/ JJ Dillon
Andre & JJ Dillion to be handcuffed at ringside!
-JJ makes a big fuss about not wanting to be handcuffed but they are in the entryway. This one starts fast… they brawl right into the entryway and both men are chopping and throwing bombs to get the crowd going. Ross and Schiavone put this over in the biggest way. Flair then slows things down for a moment and tries to work the knee but Piper fights back with a huge fire. He gets Flair busted open. Piper goes to work before Flair hits a low blow and then he gets Piper busted open. Both men are bleeding and now Flair has control and goes for the figure four around the 23-minute mark. Piper looks to be out but then starts smacking himself back into shape before twisting and turning and flips the figure four! Flair has to let go! Piper then goes on a flurry and he looks to finish with the sleeper hold and Flair is slowly going down! JJ tries to get up but Andre pulls him back down and he goes flying backwards! The Horsemen then try to run down but they are thwarted by Sting, Terry Taylor, Barry Windham, and then Andre nails Curt Hennig with a huge right hand. Flair with another low blow to get out of the sleeper… he stumbles and then looks to grab the figure four but Piper pulls him down and rolls through for the 1…..2…..3! RODDY PIPER HAS WON IT! RODDY PIPER IS THE NEW WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION! THE CROWD EXPLODES! WE SEE STREAMERS AND BALLOONS FALL FROM THE CEILING! THE RING IS FILLING UP! THE HARTS, THE ROAD WARRIORS, STING, WINDHAM, TAYLOR, AND ANDRE! THEY HOIST UP PIPER… THE NEW WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION!

 

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The big show is here!  Well, not the Big Show, but the ... you know what I mean.

I love that the Hart Foundation went over and what a great choice to open the show as these teams can bring the drama and get the crowd warmed up for a great night of action.

Lex has taped ribs.  AKA a target.  That doesn't bode well for the faces.

I have to say I Taylor/Hennig was one of the matches I was most looking forward to.  I think this is perfect placement on the card for the first title bout, and I think you did the right thing by having Hennig go over.  I hope we get more of this feud, but I am curious as to who else might be getting TV division pushes.  Curt Hennig is bringing a legit feel to the title though, even as a secondary title, he gives it great credibility.

Man, what the hell is going on with Ron Simmons?  I don't know that he has joined The Varsity Club but he certainly has turned heel.  Rick Steiner can't seem to catch a break.

25 minutes of Steamboat and Rude seems about like heaven.  Chaos certainly reigned in the last few minutes though!  Luger should have just stayed in the back, he just compromised the hell out of his match later in the card.  Steamboat retains, but Rude might not be done chasing him.

I knew Dusty and Hansen was going to be a terribly ugly affair and it was right off from the bat.  These two beat the living piss out of each other in the ring, and then all the way to the back.  Hansen gets the win in the battle, but it seems like the war wages on.  What can they do to top this?

Ric Flair is reserved during his interview, he always seems to save that attitude for when he knows something is serious and he has a big challenge ahead of him.  That is the Flair I want to see in this situation.

I loved the tag match and the story it told!  I can visualize that spinebuster and it makes me cringe seeing those taped ribs hitting the canvas that hard, because nobody does a spinebuster like AA.  The Horsemen are holding court tonight so far, can Flair keep their streak alive with the big belt?

What an intense, back and forth War Games!  Fantastic match, that would be so damn fun to watch.  The drama and questions over who would win lasted throughout.   Excellent work on this match!

Fantastic main event.  You have Flair and Piper playing their in-ring characters to perfection.  The run-ins were expected and not overbooked at all.  The visuals I love are Andre taking out Curt Hennig with one mighty punch, and Piper winning with the flash roll-up.  By the way, that is a great way to end this match.  All of the drama around the figure four's and the sleeper at the end, and it takes a quick roll-up and a 1-2-3 to win it.  Beautiful.

This show completely lived up to the build and the billing.  Flair being the only Horseman to lose his match tonight makes me wonder where things are going in WCW!

 

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