PPV/Event CoverageWCW PPVWCW PPV 1996

‘WCW GREAT AMERICAN BASH 1996’ Recap + Review – Hall & Nash, Mysterio’s Debut, Giant vs. Luger

DATE: June 16, 1996
VENUE: Baltimore Arena (Baltimore, MD)
COMMENTATORS: Tony Schiavone & “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes

Great American Bash 1996 features a tag team match pitting wrestling vs. football as Ric Flair & Arn Anderson of The Four Horsemen (joined by special advisor Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) take on the NFL’s Kevin Greene and Steve “Mongo” McMichael (coached by “Macho Man” Randy Savage). The World Championship is also on the line as The Giant defends against Lex Luger, a man looking to hold THREE championships at once.

OH RIGHT Scott Hall & Kevin Nash are also here to continue their “Hostile Takeover” of WCW, which may or may not come to a head next month at Bash of the Beach with one of the biggest moments in professional wrestling history. Almost forgot.


  • WCW WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPION: “The Total Package” Lex Luger
  • WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Sting & “The Total Package” Lex Luger


  • The Steiners Brothers vs. Fire & Ice [RECAP]
  • Marcus Bagwell vs. Diamond Dallas Page [RECAP]
  • Dean Malenko [c] vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. for the WCW CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP [RECAP]
  • John Tenta vs. Big Bubba [RECAP]
  • FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE: Chris Benoit vs. Kevin Sullivan [RECAP]
  • Sting vs. “Lord” Steven Regal [RECAP]
  • Steve McMichael & Kevin Greene vs. Ric Flair & Arn Anderson [RECAP]
  • The Giant [c] vs. Lex Luger for the WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP [RECAP]





-PPV opens with prerecorded comments from the participants in tonight’s big matches. Bobby Heenan steals it of course by being absolutely panicked about Randy Savage beating him up.


-Pyro and ballyhoo as Schiavone welcomes the home audience, then takes it to the entrance stage where Sgt. Craig “Pitbull” Pittman presents the American flag for the National Anthem. Back to Schiavone, Dusty Rhodes replacing Heenan on commentary for obvious reasons. Schiavone and Rhodes hype tonight’s big happenings, then Rhodes VERY BRIEFLY says some words about the passing of his former tag team partner Dick Murdoch before tying it back into The Great American Bash. Jeez.


The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) vs. Fire & Ice (Scott “Flash” Norton & Ice Train)

Steiners have been battling Fire & Ice without either team getting the win but tonight there MUST be a winner. Scott Steiner is JACKED TO THE GILLS but still has his mullet so everything is right with the world still.

Scott drops Ice with a shoulderblock, Ice responds with a standing bodyblock and lateral press for a two-count. Scott reverses a whip and connects with a hip toss; Norton runs in and The Steiners clear them out of the ring with dual Steinerlines. Rick tags in, Norton connects with a series of back elbows and a clothesline. Rick ducks a clothesline, Norton collides with him and sends the Dog-Faced Gremlin flying. Norton with a corner whip, Rick bounces out and into a massive Steinerline followed by a release belly-to-belly suplex for the 1…2…Norton gets the shoulder up. Scott tags in, Norton misses a clothesline but gets him on the next run with a Samoan Drop, hurting Scott’s shoulder in the process. Ice tags in and connects with a snap suplex and belly-to-belly suplex for the 1…2…Scott kicks out. Scott stuns Ice with a kick and belly-to-belly suplex. Norton tags in, Scott LAUNCHES him overhead with an Exploder-like suplex. Hell yeah. Scott rolls Norton in and comes off the top, Norton CATCHES HIM and connects with a powerslam for the 1…2…Scott kicks out. Ice slows it down with a chinlock as Rhodes explains why being hit in the elbow is painful, offering to show Schiavone when he admits he’s never been hit there before. I love this commentary team so much. Scott breaks out, Ice drops him with a shoulder tackle for the 1…2…Scott kicks out, Norton tags in and connects with an inverted shoulderbreaker; Norton locks in the Fujiwara Armbar and Rick has to kick him in the head multiple times before he’s stunned enough to let go. That ruled. Norton hits a second shoulderbreaker, but Rick gets the blind tag and connects with a Steinerline followed by a release German suplex. Ice runs in, Rick sends him flying with a backdrop. Ice dumps Scott to the floor and clubs Rick from behind. Norton powerbombs Rick, Ice comes off the buckles with a splash for the 1…2…Scott makes the save. Fire & Ice go for a Doomsday Device, Scott crotches him on the top rope and Rick DDTs Norton. Ice clubs Rick with a double ax, Steiners connect with the Doomsday Bulldog on Norton for the 1…2…ICE MAKES THE SAVE. Ice and Rick brawl as Scott hits an awful-looking Frankensteiner on Norton for the 1…2…3!

The Steiner Brothers defeated Fire & Ice via pinfall (10:30)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Two hoss tag teams throwing bombs, now that’s how you open a f*cking PPV! The Steiners must’ve been giddy to get in the ring with a big boy team they could throw around to show off their ridiculous power. Fire & Ice never won any tag team championships and would be broken up by the end of the summer but MAN what an awesome team that was. (***1/2)


“Mean” Gene Okerlund is in the locker room with Jimmy Hart and “The Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan who hype tonight’s Falls Count Anywhere match with Chris Benoit. Sullivan brags about already getting rid of one Horseman (Brian Pillman, who for real left WCW earlier in the year after their match at I think SuperBrawl), and dedicates the beating to Arn Anderson.


El Gato is better known as Bad Company/Orient Express member Pat Tanaka. The character is apparently so new that his first taste of WCW action was just last week. Konnan beat One Man Gang (no, really) for the U.S. Championship back in January and has been a defending champion since. He also continues bringing the “Mexican” Heavyweight Championship to the ring with him despite it never being on the line. Not sure which company that belt is from.

Konnan and Gato trade wristlocks, Gato kicks him away and they reset. Gato catches a kick and counters with a Dragon Screw Legwhip. Gato lays in some kicks to the midsection and an armdrag, the challenger showing a little more fire than expected early in the contest. Konnan locks knuckles and climbs the ropes for a flying armdrag, following up with a clothesline that turns him inside out; he takes too long celebrating though and Gato kicks out of the lateral press. Konnan leapfrogs Gato, Gato responds with a superkick for the 1…2…Konnan gets the shoulder up, Gato locks him in a crucifix submission of sorts as Schiavone makes Rhodes try to figure out what it is. I LOVE THIS DYNAMIC. Konnan goes for a rana, Gato counters with a sit-out powerbomb for the 1…2…Konnan kicks out, Gato traps him in an overhead hammerlock of sorts. Konnan escapes and applies a leglock, bending the knee unnaturally. Crowd is NOT having this match. Konnan does a roll for no reason and connects with an iffy bulldog for a two-count. Konnan follows with the rolling clothesline for the 1…Gato gets the shoulder up. Gato throws Konnan to the floor, Konnan dodges a baseball slide and rolls back in. Gato tries a shoulderblock, Konnan connects with a SUNSET BOMB TO THE FLOOR that finally wakes the crowd up and gets them chanting his name. Gato beats the count, Konnan catches a float-over and turns it into an Alabama Slam, jackknifing for the 1…2…3.

Konnan [c] defeated El Gato via pinfall to retain the WCW UNITED STATES HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (6:02)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Match was fine, the sunset bomb being the only memorable spot of the match. Crowd didn’t seem all that into it but I couldn’t blame them really, this did not feel like a match worthy of the second-biggest championship in the company. Admirable they want to make Konnan a thing but they got to give him a real challenge or big name to battle against. Or at the very least change his look entirely and then catch on with the fans because he does call and response stuff on the mic. ARRIBA LA RAZA and whatnot. Nah that wouldn’t work that’s ridiculous, sorry. (**)


-Okerlund interviews Sting ahead of his match tonight against “Lord” Steven Regal. Sting “wonders” about Regal because of how prissy he is (HMMMM) but doesn’t take anything away from him as a wrestler. Sting says if there’s anybody who can straighten Regal out IT’S THE STINGER. Jeeeeeesus.

Marcus Bagwell vs. Diamond Dallas Page

WCW brought the Lethal Lottery/BattleBowl concept out of the mothballs last month at Slamboree, with DDP winning the BattleBowl ring and becoming the #1 Contender to the World Heavyweight Championship (the second part I don’t think WCW sticks to but maybe he got the shot on a Nitro or something, I didn’t look too much into it). Bagwell is on team #3 of his WCW run, alongside Scotty Rigs as The American Males (also a banger of a theme song), and won the coin toss between partners to get the shot against DDP and his “Lord of the” ring.

Bagwell chases DDP out of the ring before the bell, DDP clubs him from behind and sends him to the floor as the match actually begins. Bagwell pulls DDP out and sends him crashing into the front row. Bagwell rolls DDP in, DDP cuts him off with a forearm. Bagwell ducks a clothesline and connects with a crossbody for the 1…2…DDP kicks out, Bagwell takes him down with a drop toehold and takes control with a hammerlock. Bagwell leapfrogs DDP and connects with an elbow leading to an armbar. DDP gets caught in the ropes, Bagwell dropkicks him to the floor and follows up with a splash. Bagwell climbs the buckles, DDP runs into the ropes to crotch him. DDP rips at Bagwell’s face, yelling “LOOK MOMMY, NO CAVITIES” at the camera, which rules. DDP and Bagwell run into each other, DDP makes it work with a pumphandle-like backbreaker followed by a fisherman slam for the 1…2…Bagwell kicks out. DDP hooks Bagwell in an abdominal stretch, using the ropes for leverage out of the ref’s view. The crowd, who HATE Bagwell for no reason, side with DDP and try to help him which is funny. Ref does finally catch him though and Bagwell escapes with a hip toss. DDP picks Bagwell up in a sidewalk slam position but MUSCLES HIM UP into a Tombstone-like slam for the 1…2…Bagwell kicks out. DDP tries to punt Bagwell but Bagwell moves and he eats sh*t Charlie Brown-style. Bagwell stuns DDP with an inverted atomic drop followed by a regular atomic drop and a series of rights. Bagwell catches a kick and spins him into a clothesline but doesn’t make the cover, annoying Rhodes. Bagwell measures DDP and connects with a slingshot clothesline for the 1…2…not yet. DDP catches a charging Bagwell with a back elbow and covers, using the ropes for the 1…2…Bagwell kicks out! Bagwell counters a slam with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. DDP blocks the suplex by using the ropes, connects with a shot to the gut, and a DIAMOND CUTTER for the 1…2…3.

Diamond Dallas Page defeated Marcus Bagwell via pinfall to keep his BattleBowl/Lord of the Ring (9:39)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: One of the many joys of watching old WCW is charting the career of Diamond Dallas Page and seeing him get better and better every year. While not a standout match I think this one was a standout showcase of how well he could control a match, covering beautifully for botched spots and keeping the match going at a decent pace despite he and Bagwell not having the best chemistry. You’d never guess he was only like four years into an active in-ring career. Real prodigy. (**1/4)


-Okerlund is in the locker room with Jimmy Hart & The Giant. Okerlund asks where Hart’s loyalties are as he’s both the manager of The Dungeon of Doom but also chummy with Lex Luger; Hart says everyone is worried about that except for him. Giant says he is the one true immortal and if Luger thinks he’s putting him in the Torture Rack he is mistaken.

“The Man of 1,000 Holds” Dean Malenko [c] vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. for the WCW CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

This is Mysterio’s WCW debut, riding off a wave of buzz earned from his battles in Mexico and in Extreme Championship Wrestling. I remember as a kid being REAL excited to see this guy in action thanks to the hype generated from the Apter Mags. Malenko is only the second Cruiserweight Champion in the title’s history at this point; Shinjiro Otani won the initial tournament to become the first champ a few months prior in Japan, but Malenko managed to defeat him last month on an episode of Worldwide. Mike Tenay is on commentary for this match, bailing Schiavone & Rhodes out of having to figure out what all these moves are called.

Mysterio with a headlock takeover, Malenko quickly counters with a headscissors, Mysterio kicks out and they reset. Mysterio grabs a wristlock, Malenko flips through to counter, Mysterio kicks him away and they both kip up into a stare down. Mysterio flips over a monkey flip attempt, then spins all around Malenko’s shoulders into an armdrag. Malenko rolls to the apron, Mysterio sends him to the floor with a springboard dropkick and the champ takes a moment to get his bearings. Malenko sends Mysterio to the floor with a slingshot, Mysterio dodges a baseball slide and quickly slides back into the ring, frustrating the Iceman. Malenko goes to work on Mysterio’s left arm, weakening the elbow with a hammerlock slam and snapping it off the guardrail. Malenko locks knuckles, Mysterio wakes up and breaks the hold with a springboard dropkick; Mysterio goes for a rana but Malenko blocks it and levels Mysterio with a clothesline for the 1…2…Mysterio kicks out, Malenko goes back to the limb work with various armbreakers and other shots to the elbow. Commentary rightfully mentions that Malenko’s finisher is leg-based but he’s been working the arm instead, adapting based on which limb Mysterio is favoring. Mysterio backflips over Malenko and connects with a dropkick, but he’s too hurt and that gives Malenko another opening to trap the arm in a submission hold.

Malenko moves from armbar to the Romero Special, dropping Mysterio into a bridge for the 1…2…Mysterio kicks out! Malenko traps Mysterio in a Kimura Lock, keeping chest to chest in case he can get a pin, then transitions into a short armscissors.  Mysterio escapes, Malenko drops him on his head with a belly-to-back suplex for the 1…2…MYSTERIO KICKS OUT. Malenko with a butterfly suplex for the 1…2…Mysterio kicks out again and Malenko does a combo pin/submission with a top wristlock. Malenko snaps the arm over his shoulder and applies a DEEP Fujiwara Armbar as the crowd…sits on their hands. Mysterio sends a surprised Malenko to the floor, Malenko climbs the apron but gets dropped with a baseball slide followed by a kick and a springboard somersault splash! THERE HE IS. Back in the ring Mysterio connects with a springboard dropkick, hooking the leg for the 1…2…Malenko kicks out. Mysterio rolls Malenko up for the 1…2…Malenko breaks the bridge to escape. Mysterio connects with a springboard rana into a roll-up for the 1…2…Malenko kicks out again! Mysterio climbs the buckles, Malenko connects with a series of shots and meets him up there, Mysterio connects with a flying hurricanrana (still called the Frankensteiner at this point in time) and turns a tilt-a-whirl into a lateral press for the 1…2…MALENKO KICKS OUT. Mysterio goes for another rana, Malenko counters with a MASSIVE powerbomb into the jackknife, feet on the ropes, for the 1…2…3!

Dean Malenko [c] defeated Rey Mysterio Jr. via pinfall to retain the WCW CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (17:49)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Rey Mysterio Jr. may have lost in his WCW debut, but he looked great in doing so with Malenko having to cheat to get the upper hand in the end. Very good pro wrestling match with Malenko being a true master of his craft by wrecking Mysterio with all sorts of holds and submissions. At the same time though I have to admit that my attention started faltering as it became armbar after armbar, and it felt kind of rude to not let Mysterio really pop off. Man came in with a reputation but instead had to battle Malenko at his own game. Still a very good match, just a little slow for my tastes. (***1/4)


-Okerlund welcomes Lex Luger as his guest. Luger says he’s here physically for the interview out of respect but mentally he’s focused on The Giant. He says The Giant is a human being and human beings make mistakes, and will leave the ring with a belt on his free shoulder. Okerlund also vows to have a belt himself but A DIFFERENT KIND IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

John Tenta vs. Big Bubba [w/ “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart]

Tenta arrived in WCW at the end of 1994 as Avalanche but was quickly morphed into a creature known as The Shark after joining The Dungeon of Doom. Having had enough of the nonsense Tenta made it known that he wasn’t a fish, he was a man and he would be going by his real name going forward. Bubba, one of the newer (and less spooky) members of the Dungeon, attacked Tenta and cut his hair off, leaving him half-bald on one side. Tenta has vowed to shave Bubba’s head in retaliation, then maybe shaving The Giant as well. Just quit pro wrestling and go to barber school, man.

Tenta and Bubba brawl in the entrance way, Bubba rolls Tenta in but gets shoved off the buckles and back to the floor in short order. Bubba tries to beg off, Tenta responds with a jumping kick and a couple of seated splashes in the corner. Bubba gets the upper hand via use of a foreign object, handing it to Hart so the ref doesn’t catch him. Tenta catches a boot, Bubba responds with an enzuigiri followed by three splashes against the middle rope and a slide-under uppercut. Bubba rolls in and covers, feet on the ropes, for the 1…2…ref catches him and stops the count. Tenta tries a slam but his leg gives out and Bubba lands on top for the 1…2…kickout. Bubba trips Tenta up and continues working the left leg, slamming it into the post and dropping a knee right on the joint. Bubba dodges a corner splash and connects with a belly-to-back suplex that nearly sends Schiavone into convulsions of excitement. Hart hops the apron and starts celebrating with the scissors as Bubba comes off the top; Tenta catches him on the way down and turns it into a powerslam for the 1…2…3!

John Tenta defeated Big Bubba via pinfall (5:23)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: I love both guys involved but I’m not going to bullsh*t you the match is pretty bad. Hart prematurely celebrating was funny though, and hearing Dusty say “BUBBER” will never ever get old. I will think about that until my dying day. (*1/2)

Tenta steals the scissors from Hart, Bubba tries to attack but Tenta grabs him and cuts a little bit of the beard, Bubba acting like the whole thing is gone.


-Okerlund is standing by with Steve “Mongo” McMichael, his wife Debra, Kevin Greene, and his wife Tara. McMichael doesn’t care about a game plan, they’re coming to get Flair & Anderson BABY. Greene is going to come hard and heavy. PHRASING. Their coach “Macho Man” Randy Savage walks in and says they’re going to knock Flair & Anderson into the endzone, everybody walks off HYPED UP TO THE MAX.

“The Crippler” Chris Benoit vs. “The Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan [w/ “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart]

Despite Sullivan’s own feelings about The Horsemen, mostly in part to the erratic behavior of Brian Pillman, he and Arn Anderson reached some sort of understanding earlier in the year and have been working together despite Anderson’s allegiance to Flair and Benoit. Benoit and Sullivan were teamed up at Slamboree the month prior in the Lethal Lottery but lost to Public Enemy thanks to Sullivan, and their dispute has turned so violent it’s led to this Falls Count Anywhere match.

Benoit and Sullivan waste no time, brawling during the latter’s entrance and spilling into the stands not even a minute into the contest. Sullivan and Benoit potato the hell out of each other as they brawl up the stairs and into a nearby men’s room, Sullivan slamming a stall door on Benoit’s head. A crowd builds in the bathroom, INCLUDING A WEIRDO HOLDING A GODDAMN BABY, as Sullivan continues the onslaught including a double stomp. Benoit responds with a series of rights, Sullivan pokes his eye and tries to stick Benoit’s head into the urinal but Benoit blocks it and bounces a stall door off his head. Dusty LOSES HIS MIND at a woman being in the men’s room, Sullivan opens up the wall and whips Benoit with a bag of toilet paper rolls. Sullivan bounces a plastic trash can off Benoit’s back, Benoit hits back and Dusty wants them to into the women’s bathroom so they can see what that looks like. They battle back into the arena, Sullivan sending Benoit rolling down the steps as Hart watches from inside the ring. Benoit somehow survives that and they trade more stiff rights as they return to ringside, Sullivan crotching Benoit on the guardrail. Sullivan throws a chair at Benoit, Benoit responds by dropping him jewels-first on the guardrail. Benoit sets a table up against the ropes and dodges Sullivan who elbows nothing but WOOD but it doesn’t break. Benoit sets the table across the top turnbuckle, Sullivan backdrops him onto it, Benoit SUPERPLEXES Sullivan off the table for the 1…2…3!

Chris Benoit defeated Kevin Sullivan via pinfall (10:00)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: I don’t know what I loved more: the unbridled chaos of the match itself or Dusty Rhodes having the goddamn time of his life on commentary. A top-tier brawl right here, f*cking loved every minute of it, especially the use of a table for something other than breaking. Taskmaster being a normal guy now instead of some demon-summoning weirdo like in ’95 is a worthwhile evolution. If you’re able to stomach Benoit matches nowadays this is worth checking out but I don’t blame you if you can’t. (****)

Arn Anderson runs out and pulls Benoit off…then attacks Sullivan alongside his Horsemen brother as the place ERUPTS. The rest of the Dungeon of Doom (Big Bubba, Maxx Muscle, Meng, and The Barbarian) run out and chase Anderson & Benoit away.


-Okerlund is standing by with Woman, Miss Elizabeth, Bobby Heenan, Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, and Chris Benoit. Anderson says there’s been wannabees who think they were Horsemen but they’re out of here (PILLMAN), Benoit earned his Horseman stripes tonight and now they’re truly at war with the Dungeon of Doom. Benoit tells Sullivan he’s been served and put in his place once and for all. Flair is hyped up about the tag team match, Heenan is TOTALLY NOT SCARED about Randy Savage at all how dare you.

Sting vs. “Lord” Steven Regal

To be honest I’m not sure why this one is happening, but I’m not going to argue against it. Will argue against Sting’s weirdly homophobic promo earlier, different time be damned. Jeeves, the butler for The Blue Bloods, leads Regal to the ring but goes backstage when the match begins. Props to whoever had to rack their brain to think of the most generic British butler name ever for the character. Must’ve taken days.

Sting sends Regal packing to the floor, throwing him into the guardrail and following with a backdrop. Regal begs off in the ring and pokes him in the eye, damn near breaking Sting’s jaw with a beautiful European uppercut. Regal drops a knee and covers but only gets a one-count so he connects with a forearm across the bridge of the nose. Regal grabs a side headlock, sneaking in eye pokes behind the ref’s back. Sting escapes and surprises Regal with a Japanese armdrag, Regal taking a second to force a reset. Regal leaves the ring to jaw jack with the crowd. Regal wants a handshake; Sting scares him into the corner. Regal brings Sting to the canvas with a single leg and tries to keep the shoulders down for a pin but Sting powers to his feet into a test of strength, bringing Regal down to a bridge. Regal kips up and counters into a Cobra Clutch followed by a back elbow and European uppercut. Regal locks in a Full Nelson, bringing the Stinger to his knees. Sting escapes and goes for a sunset flip, Regal tries to fight it and squares up against the ref before being brought to the mat for the 1…2…kickout. Regal goes back on the attack and grabs another submission, laying in right hands to the temple. Regal stuns Sting with another European uppercut, Sting tries to gather himself but walks right into a dropkick to the ear for the 1…2…Sting kicks out, Regal drops an elbow right to the bridge of the nose.

Regal settles into a chinlock, making fun of America to the camera and also throwing in some palm strikes just for the hell of it. Sting absorbs the damage and escapes with a belly-to-back suplex, hurting both men. Regal trips Sting up and grabs a side headlock on the canvas. Sting whips Regal off and they collide, both men collapsing to the canvas. Regal is up first, rubbing Sting’s face into the canvas and grinding his elbow into what remains of his face paint before applying a top wristlock. Regal inches closer to the ropes, using them for leverage until the ref finally catches him. Sting surprises Regal with an abdominal stretch, Regal gets to the ropes to force a break and drops him with a left hook. Regal brings Sting back to the canvas and applies a headscissors/armbar combo, switching to a lateral press for the 1…2…Sting kicks out, Regal goes back to the left arm with an overhead wristlock. Sting kips up, Regal goes to the eyes to stop a second wind and brings Sting back to the canvas with a butterfly submission hold. Sting escapes and finds the wind to connect with a pair of clotheslines for the 1…2…Regal kicks out. Sting and Regal battle on the buckles, Regal hits a super butterfly suplex for the 1…2…Sting kicks out and Regal immediately locks in the Regal Stretch. Sting refuses to quit so a disappointed Regal lets go, giving up and going back to open palm strikes and left hooks. Regal slaps Sting, Sting wakes right the f*ck up and lays into him with a whole lot of rights. Regal counters the Stinger Splash with a pair of knees, Sting surprises Regal with a backdrop and the SCORPION DEATH LOCK FOR THE WIN!

Sting defeated Lord Steven Regal via submission (16:30)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Sting vs. Regal is a match I never expected to see, especially on a PPV and with 17 minutes to work with, but man am I glad it happened. Regal put on an absolute CLINIC here and like I say every time I review a match of his the fluidity between moves is a sight to behold. Always a pleasure to watch Lord Steven Regal work, and I’m glad WCW gave him a high-profile match against one of their biggest stars ever. Sting came to play too and held up his hand beautifully, both with some great offense and by taking damage so well that it did appear that Regal had the match won. Regal straight up giving up on the Regal Stretch because Sting refused to quit was interesting and relatable; if something doesn’t immediately work for me I get mad and give up too. Great match, feels out of nowhere but in the best way possible. That we don’t get to say “former WCW World Champion Lord Steven Regal” is a travesty but whatever I guess WCW did fine without going that route. For a little while at least. (***3/4)


-A video plays hyping next month’s Bash at the Beach PPV. As I recall nothing important or industry-shaking happens on that one so you can skip it.

-Next match is so big they brought in Michael Buffer to give it some added gravitas (Legends of Wrestling vs. Legends of the Gridiron). Buffer calls Woman “The Woman” which is incorrect but also the name of a kickass movie from 2010 that everyone should just go watch without looking up anything about it. Ric Flair & Arn Anderson repeatedly stop on their way to the ring waiting for their head coach, but he doesn’t come out till Buffer gives him a proper introduction. So cool to see Heenan as a manager again.

Steve “Mongo” McMichael & Kevin Greene [w/ “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Debra McMichael, Tara Greene, & Pepe the Dog] vs. “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair & “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson [w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, Woman, & Miss Elizabeth]

McMichael joined WCW in 1995 as 1/3rd of the Monday Nitro announce team. According to some quick research (a Wikipedia paragraph) Flair started hitting on Debra, causing McMichael to go into protective mode. McMichael roped Greene, a current NFL player with the Carolina Panthers, to help him in his battle as well as Savage to act as their Head Coach, while Flair & Anderson managed to get Heenan, who was always picked on by McMichael at the commentary booth, to be a ringside manager for the first time in five years. This feels like it should be the actual main event of the evening, but nope.

Mongo and Greene do some football drills to get themselves hyped up and make me laugh (the latter unintentional, of course). Heenan is immediately skittish, backing away from Savage and getting scared by a camera person walking behind him. Anderson outwrestles McMichael to start, throwing in some jumping jacks as an added insult. Schiavone mentions Mongo leaving the Bears for the Packers in his final season because of the money, which may or may not be foreshadowing for later in the match. Mongo goads Anderson into some football tacklin’ and drops the Enforcer with ease. Another three point stance, Anderson trips Mongo with a drop toehold and a series of strikes. Anderson dodges a kick in the corner but gets dropped with a flying shoulder tackle from the middle buckle. Anderson clubs Greene, Greene hops the ropes and joins Mongo in kicking the sh*t out of Anderson; Anderson takes a powder and Savage drops him with a right hand, Heenan once again getting scared off and hiding behind Woman & Liz. Heenan dispenses advice to the Horsemen. Greene tags in, his rat tail clashing with his mustache to make him 15 and 45 at the same time. Flair tags in as well and struts around before challenging Greene to do a three-point stance. Greene falls for it and Flair goes on the offensive with a cheapshot. Green shoves Flair off in the corner and follows up with a shoulder tackle, Anderson runs in and eats one as well, and once again the Horsemen bail from the ring.

Flair MARCHES UP the aisle, Savage attacks him and rolls him back in, Greene hitting a backdrop followed by a pair of clotheslines. Mongo tags in, Flair tries to escape but Anderson short-arms him as the crowd pops. Flair begs off then charges in, getting knocked down with shoulder tackles. Flair chops Mongo, Mongo no-sells it and responds with chops of his own and a hip toss out of the corner. Flair wants a time out, Mongo gives him a backdrop instead. Jay Leno apparently gave Greene the nickname of “Shallow Grave” which is kind of great. Mongo slams Flair off the buckles and PUTS THE FIGURE FOUR ON THE NATURE BOY! Anderson runs in, Greene connects with a clothesline and puts him in a Figure Four as well! Woman rakes Mongo’s eyes to break the hold, Debra & Tara try to intervene but get chased to the back by Woman & Liz. Flair tosses Mongo to the floor, Anderson stomping him behind the ref’s back until Savage chases him away. Even Heenan gets a cheapshot in, hiding behind Anderson when Savage tries to get his hands on him. Back in the ring Mongo chokes Flair, Flair breaks it up with a low-blow and follows up with a kneedrop. Flair & Anderson connect with a double suplex and double choke but Greene knocks Anderson off. Flair whips Mongo into the corner, Mongo comes out with a clothesline and both men are down.

Anderson gets the tag and stomps Mongo, Mongo sends the Horsemen into one another and makes the tag to Greene! Greene slams both Flair & Anderson followed by a backdrop to the former. Flair begs off, Greene responds with a powerslam. Flair goes up and over the buckles, Mongo drops him on the apron with a big boot, Greene follows up with a suplex back into the ring. Greene takes too long to celebrate, however, allowing Anderson to clip the knee and slam it across the apron. Anderson tags in and goes for a Figure Four but Greene kicks him away; Flair gets the tag and Anderson hangs onto Greene to prevent a tag. Flair brings Greene into the center of the ring, Greene counters the Figure Four with an inside cradle for the 1…2…not yet. Flair connects with an atomic drop to the knee followed by the Figure Four Leglock, Anderson grabbing his hands for extra pressure. Savage attacks Anderson, Chris Benoit attacks Savage from behind and they take the Macho Man out of the equation. Debra returns to the ring with Liz & Woman, now decked out in a classy dress. She presents Mongo with a briefcase full of money and a Four Horsemen shirt. Greene turns the Figure Four around and tries to tag but Mongo HITS HIM WITH THE BRIEFCASE and Flair covers for the 1…2…3!

Ric Flair & Arn Anderson defeated Steve McMichael & Kevin Greene via pinfall (20:51)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Flair and Anderson carried two NFL players making their wrestling debut to an entertaining enough, if a bit long, match. In case you were wondering how good Flair & Anderson were there’s a great example. Given the ending it makes more sense now why Mongo had more offense/took more damage than Greene who may have not been a wrestler quite yet but had all of the enthusiasm in the world (and would eventually become a decent wrestler in his own right over the next couple of years). The ending, with Debra returning in full heel classy lady mode and Mongo taking the money and turning on Greene, was pretty great. Heenan didn’t add as much as I hoped he would but the man had a bad neck and it’s a miracle he even showed up. Star rating-wise this one won’t be too high but it’s worth checking out. How this wasn’t the main event is beyond me. (**3/4)

Savage confronts Mongo and gets attacked, Flair bouncing the Haliburton full of monies off his skull. Mongo puts the Horsemen shirt on and shakes Flair’s hand, officially joining and completing the group.



Eric Bischoff introduces the two unnamed invaders (Scott Hall & Kevin Nash) to the stage to give them an answer to their challenge. Bischoff accepts their challenge on behalf of WCW, Hall saying he fell into the trap. Bischoff says the match will happen at Bash at the Beach next month, and asks if they work for the WWF. Both say no, Hall tells Bischoff to forget about the past and worry about the future, then presses him on who they’ll be facing. Hall says the “Big Mang” and “Medium-Sized Mang” and their surprise buddy will carve whomever WCW chooses. Hall demands to know who they’re facing, Bischoff refuses and Nash puts him through a table off the stage with a JACKKNIFE POWERBOMB. Bischoff gets put on a stretcher, Schiavone leaving the booth to check on him as Rhodes vamps about the war.

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: An all-timer of a segment. Revolutionary sh*t back in 1996, blew my damn mind for sure. I liked Bischoff straight up asking if they were here on behalf of the WWF and them saying no to put that to bed (and to de-escalate the lawsuit).

Lex Luger briefly stops to check on Bischoff before heading to the ring for the main event. Yup we still got another match to go. The Giant and Jimmy Hart do not.

The Giant [c] [w/ “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart] vs. “The Total Package” Lex Luger for the WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

Giant drops a charging Luger with a big boot, Luger ducks a clothesline and connects with a series of rights. Luger clotheslines Giant to the floor, Giant lands on his feet and pulls Luger out, slamming him through the ropes and back into the ring. Luger keeps the pressure going with more rights as Giant re-enters the ring. Luger comes off the buckles and jumps on Giant’s back, trying to knock him out with a sleeperhold. Hart climbs the apron and teases hitting someone with a megaphone but Sting comes out and chases him to the back. Giant counters the sleeper with a tree of woe, Luger on the receiving end of a series of stomps. Giant clubs Luger as Luger screams like a f*ckin’ tennis player after each hit. Giant connects with a backbreaker and bends Luger over his knee, trying to snap his spine. Giant follows up with a Sammartino Backbreaker but quickly gives up and throws him to the mat like nothing. Luger stuns Giant with a jawbreaker and tries to slam the big man but it’s just too much and Giant lands on top for the 1…2…Luger gets to the ropes. Giant continues decimating Luger’s spine, standing on him and stomping him in the kidney area. Giant clubs Luger with forearms, Luger dodges a charging Giant and connects with a springboard dropkick of all things. Luger connects with a series of clotheslines and elbows, chopping him down to one knee and following up with rights. Giant misses a corner splash and lands on the top buckle, Luger using his ribs for field goal practice. Luger peels Giant off the buckles into a TORTURE RACK, but it’s all to brief and Giant shimmies until Luger collapses. Yokozuna he ain’t, Lex. Giant pulls the strap down and connects with the Chokeslam for the 1…2…3!

The Giant [c] defeated Lex Luger via pinfall to retain the WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (9:36)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Giant/Luger was never going to be a barn burner but to put them out there after the big Bischoff/Outsiders angle? That was just cruel, man. As expected the crowd was not all that into it save for the end with Luger briefly got Giant in the Torture Rack but I couldn’t blame them; for me too it felt like the PPV ended with the last segment and this was just beating the dead horse. Vibes all the way off on the this one and they had no chance of making it worthwhile. (*3/4)

Giant proclaims that no one will ever beat him then leaves the ring quickly as the show concludes.




  • The Steiner Brothers defeated Fire & Ice via pinfall (10:30) (***1/2)
  • Konnan [c] defeated El Gato via pinfall to retain the WCW UNITED STATES HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (6:02) (**)
  • Diamond Dallas Page defeated Marcus Bagwell via pinfall to keep his BattleBowl/Lord of the Ring (9:39) (**1/4)
  • Dean Malenko [c] defeated Rey Mysterio Jr. via pinfall to retain the WCW CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (17:49) (***1/4)
  • John Tenta defeated Big Bubba via pinfall (5:23) (*1/2)
  • FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE: Chris Benoit defeated Kevin Sullivan via pinfall (10:00) (****)
  • Sting defeated Lord Steven Regal via submission (16:30) (***3/4)
  • Ric Flair & Arn Anderson defeated Steve McMichael & Kevin Greene via pinfall (20:51) (**3/4)
  • The Giant [c] defeated Lex Luger via pinfall to retain the WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (9:36) (*3/4)



The Great American Bash 1996 deflates at the end, opting to continue the show after the big storyline moment everyone in the building (and likely a lot of folks watching at home) was waiting on, instead sending Giant & Luger out there to main event and die a death. Questionable pacing decisions there; you could argue that the World Title should be the main event but even then they could’ve just put it before the Hall/Nash/Bischoff stuff. It ultimately doesn’t matter because the nWo storyline as you know becomes the hottest thing in pro wrestling for two years, but I don’t know it irked me.

Pushing that aside though this is a TREMENDOUS show and probably the best WCW show of 1996 from top to bottom. Great action, big storyline beats (the Hall/Nash stuff, Mongo joining the Four Horsemen), and a random but VERY welcome banger between Sting & Lord Steven Regal. An excellent PPV action-wise and full of historical value so don’t let my negative reaction to the way they finished it deter you. I loved it and will watch it again, this time with the volume turned up even louder so I can get more of that sweet Dusty Rhodes commentary.

  • FAVORITE MATCH: Chris Benoit vs. The Taskmaster
  • FAVORITE MOMENT: Dusty Rhodes having the time of his life calling the Falls Count Anywhere match.



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