I didn’t miss many wrestling pay per views during the Monday Night Wars, but the Great American Bash 1999 was one of them. The idea for watching and reviewing this came from “Going in Raw’s” Book of the Match segment where Steve and Larson look at past pay per views with their friend Dan Nerd Cubed. In celebration of the Fourth of July, I decided to carve out some time and watch it … I probably could have done something more productive with my time.
On paper the card looked decent for the time. It was during the time when wrestlers were jumping ship, but it wasn’t as impactful as a year or two before. It was also during a time when celebrties were getting involved with the program – the first segment featured a confrontation between Curt Henning and Master P and the No Limit Soldiers. Here’s a breakdown of the card.
Brian Knobbs vs. Hak (formely known as the Sandman)
This was a weapons spot fest. I don’t know if WCW really knew how to put on hardcore matches like the WWF or ECW. Knobbs and Hak were both big guys and had some moves but you didn’t really see them because they were just hitting each other with objects the whole time. I don’t think a single hold was used in the match. Still pretty entertaining and if you’re a fan of the Memphis days, you see Jimmy Hart and his new First Family come together.
Mikey Whipwreck vs. Van Hammer
THis was a slow-paced match with some good spots. Van Hammer’s stalling suplex from the top rope had to be the move of the match. Whipwreck had his babyface moments as well, though there really wasn’t a story being told here. This would have been a good match for a Saturday Night’s Main Event.
Buff Bagwell vs. Disco Inferno
This was a match between two mainstay WCW stars. I think they were trying to push Bagwell into something big and Disco was a catalyst for that. Both guys got their moves in and the crowd seemed to enjoy it.
Curt Henning and Bobby Duncum Jr. vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. and Konnan
This was one of the matches that should done well on paper. You had four guys with different styles who could work. There were some good spots throughout the match, however the whole thing was overshadowed by the interference of Master P and his crew, which led to Barry and Kendall Windham coming down. All this match really did was serve up the feud between the No Limit Soldiers and the West Texas Rednecks, which will grow into one of WCW’s infamous angles.
Ernest Miller vs.
Scott Norton – Horace Hogan
The first head scratcher of the night. It was originally supposed to be Miller vs. Scott Norton but Hogan came down for some reason and inserted himself in the match with no cause other than a generic promo from his end. It was similar to Van Hammer vs. Whipwreck with some spots, including a low blow from Miller to Hogan that the referee saw yet didn’t call the disqualification. The match ended after Miller superkicked Hogan while wearing a red shot.
Roddy Piper vs. Ric Flair control of WCW
One of the title matches on the card, the control of WCW was on the line once again as Piper and Flair squared off. Again this was another match that looked good on paper. It was probably wasn’t as mechanically sound as some of their previous matches but both legends got their moves in and it was entertaining – up until the finish, Bagwell – who Piper spoke to earlier – came down to help his friend, resulting in Flair winning by disqualification. Then Piper hits … Bagwell, resulting in another heel turn. Head scratcher moment No. 2.
Sting vs. Rick Steiner
This was a physical match. Steiner made a heel turn in 1999, which intrigued me at the time. This was a good match until they fought backstage and Sting had to fend off Scott Steiner, Tank Abbott, a rotwiler and not one, but two doberman pinchers. And because the footage of Sting getting attacked by dogs – which consisted of one tearing the cotton from his kneepad and another biting on a well-placed hand wrap. The camera cut away because the footage was brutal – so brutal that the commentary team talked about it for the next few matches. This was kind of like watching “Batman and Robin” where Batman subdues Mr. Freeze yet we don’t see the fight. And I understand that dog attacks are no laughing matter but those animals looked more like they were playing a friendly game of tug with Sting.
Saturn and Chris Benoit vs. Diamond Dallas Page and Kanyon (WCW tag team title match)
This was the match of the night. All four guys can work in the ring and it made for a good, classic tag team match with action throughout the match. Unfortunately DDP and Kanyon received some unintentional help from Dean Malenko, who distracted the referee long enough for Bam Bam Bigelow to hit Benoit and help DDP and Kanyon get the win. This didn’t really complicate matters for Malenko and Benoit, who would go on to form the Revolution with Saturn and a soon-to-arrive Shane Douglas.
“Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Kevin Nash (WCW world heavyweight title match)
Similar to Piper and Flair, this was a bout with two legends who can work well and entertain the crowd. Nash did a good job of selling his rib injury and he showed a lot of heart when he faced Savage and his three brides – Team Madness. And because it wouldn’t be late ’90s WCW without some type of interference, Nash won after Sid Vicious, who was making his triumphant return to WCW, powerbombed him.
Overall the show seemed strong on paper. Some of the matches were OK – probably more fit for WCW television programming. Some of the bouts merely served as catalysts for future angles – again the West Texas Rednecks vs. the No Limit Soldiers.
What are your thoughts on late ’90s WCW? Have a past pay per view you’d like me to watch and review? Comment below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.