WCW Great American Bash 1997 | WCW Sunday Night RetroView

World Championship Wrestling fans, we are finally back. After a month’s hiatus, due to the WWE Network going kaput and Peacock slowly gaining vintage shows, we pick up on our WCW RetroView. Today we are looking at WCW Great American Bash 1997. Fresh off the heels of Slamboree, Hollywood Hogan is still AWOL as World Champion. The nWo is focused on the tag team titles as two icons look to take those titles away. Oh, and let’s not forget the Diamond Dallas Page – Macho Man Randy Savage rivalry is as hot as ever.

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Our favorite announcing trio, Tony Schiavone, Dusty Rhodes, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, welcome us to the show as always. Heenan looks especially dapper in his all-white suit. The WCW trio tells us that tonight there is a double main event. First, the Outsiders defend the WCW Tag Team Championships against the legendary duo of Ric Flair and Roddy Piper. Secondly, in an – “Anything Goes, Must Be a Winner, Grudge Match,” – Diamond Dallas Page takes on Macho Man Randy Savage.

WCW Great American Bash 1997
Respect Match
Psychosis w/ Sonny Onoo vs. The Ultimate Dragon

After Slamboree, Onoo left the Dragon to align with Psychosis leading to this match. With his new manager by his side, Psychosis is overly confident stepping into the ring. Dragon quickly halts his bravado with his impressive headstand on the top turnbuckle, followed by his feet of fury. The Moline, Illinois crowd is red hot for Dragon, supporting him in his quest for revenge.

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Throughout the match, Dragon comes so close to getting his hands on Onoo, but each time Psychosis intervenes. The finish comes after Psychosis’ moonsault is met with a dropkick by Dragon. From here, a Frankensteiner onto Psychosis and an accidental kick from Onoo, allows Dragon to get the win via Dragon Sleeper. After the match, Onoo barely escapes the Ultimate Dragon’s wrath leaving his comeuppance for another day.

Winner – The Ultimate Dragon

WCW Great American Bash 1997
Steiner Brothers vs. Harlem Heat

Two of WCW’s greatest tag teams at the height of their power are facing off in this one. Raising the stakes is the fact the winner will become the number one contender to the WCW Tag Team Titles. Dusty sums up this contest perfectly calling it a “Monumental matchup.” Harlem Heat enters first with Sister Sherri by their side. The Steiner’s follow to a solid crowd reaction. Scott Steiner and Stevie Ray, the two powerhouses of the teams, start the match. As expected, the two trade power moves, each coming with a bit of trash talk from both men.

Stevie Ray controls early with a big kick, but his second attempt is reversed into an overhead suplex by Scott. This sends Booker T in, but both Harlem Heat members are sent reeling to the outside. Of course, when that happens, we get the vintage Steiner pose with Rick on all fours as the dog-faced gremlin with his brother hovering above him. We get an entertaining test of strength between Scott and Booker T, which after being overpowered, Booker T escapes with a kick. Scott Steiner really shines in the early portion of this match.

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This match really shows how good a tag team match can be. The Steiner’s cut-off ring to perfection and Harlem Heat is just as impressive when in control. Both teams do a fantastic job with their double-team efforts. In the end, Scott gets a hot tag before hitting a Frankensteiner. But, before he can get the pin, nWo stooge Vincent runs into the ring and elbow drops Booker T. The interference gives Harlem Heat the win via disqualification. Talk about anticlimactic.

Winners – Harlem Heat

WCW Great American Bash 1997
Konnan vs Hugh Morrus

Former partners in the Dungeon of Doom are our next match. Konnan comes out cocky as ever. Morrus enters next, while Schiavone gives us a rundown of how this match came about. The brawl begins before the bell, with Morrus getting the early advantage. Even hitting Konnan with an impressive running dropkick. When the fight spills to the outside, Konnan takes the advantage. 

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Back in the ring, Konnan shows his skills as a submission wrestler, applying multiple holds to Morrus. For some reason, this match turns into a grappling bout, taking the thunder out of what should have been a wild brawl. The finish comes after Morrus is unable to hit the No Laughing Matter moonsault. Once Konnan locks in the Tequila Sunrise to an unconscious Morrus, the match is over. 

Winner – Konnan

Mean Gene Okerlund gives us a WCW Hotline update about a mysterious man expected to be at Nitro the following night. He then welcomes Public Enemy out for an interview. Their interview is pretty incoherent as they ramble on about the standings of the tag team division. 

WCW Great American Bash 1997
Glacier vs. Wrath w/ James Vandenberg

The Mortal Kombat rivalry continues here, but Mortis is handcuffed to the turnbuckle with the added stipulation. Glacier is still undefeated, heading into this match with the monstrous Wrath. Wrath’s size controls the early portion of this match. Glacier is able to counter with his karate skills; this really is a contrast in styles. 

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Mike Tenay on commentary tries to give a little backstory to this rivalry dating back to Glacier’s training days in Japan. This is some real Mortal Kombat type stuff. Not sure if it was because I was watching this match late at night, but it moves slowly and barely keeps my attention. A miscalculation with a chain from Mortis and Wrath leads to Glacier winning to remain undefeated. The villainous trio uses the handcuffs too, as Tony Schiavone puts it, “Have their way with Glacier” after the match. The Mortal Kombat continues rivalry…

Winner – Glacier 

WCW Great American Bash 1997
Title vs. Career WCW Women’s Championship Match
Akiro Hokuto © w/ Sonny Onoo vs Madusa 

Madusa, in a final attempt to win the WCW Women’s Championship, puts her career on the line in this match. The announcers play up how important this is for Madusa to win. Sonny Onoo makes his second appearance, once again proving he’s a man before his time taking a selfie with Hokuto. Madusa enters into a raucous crowd reaction; they are completely behind her in this one. 

Before the bell rings, the fans give a boisterous “USA, USA, USA” chant. We get our usual WCW Women’s Championship match beginning with Hokuto tossing Madusa by her hair. Focusing on Madusa’s neck, Hokuto wants to injure Madusa. Madusa eventually takes the momentum, hitting Hokuto with a pair of missile dropkicks from the second turnbuckle. The intensity picks up while Madusa is in control. 

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Every time Hokuto is in control, she focuses on choking Madusa, something that perplexes Schiavone on commentary. Hokuto’s focus eventually turns to Madusa’s knee, where she applies an impressive surfboard stretch. Even with a bum knee, Madusa hits a powerbomb, giving us our first false finish of the match. 

After the fury of offense, Hokuto returns her focus on Madusa’s knee, Madusa selling is exceptional. Madusa continues to fight back, but the bum knee is too much to overcome. In the end, Hokuto gets the surprising win with a suplex driver. The crowd responds in kind with a bevy of boos. Madusa breaks down in tears after the match. Heenan, being the great heel he is, laughs and jokes about her not being able to stand in the unemployment line because of the injured knee. 

Winner – Akira Hokuto

Next up is a wild Death Match between Chris Benoit and Meng, continuing the war between the Four Horsemen and Dungeon of Doom. 

Kevin Greene vs. Steve “Mongo” McMichael

Oh boy, this one. We all know Mongo isn’t the most spectacular wrestler to ever lace up the boots. So expectations with him facing an NFL star are low. Greene wastes no time attacking Mongo before the bell. What Greene lacks in experience he makes up for in frenetic energy. Mongo, the “veteran,” quickly takes control after the early onslaught. Kevin Green’s momma, as Dusty calls her, gives Mongo a slap at ringside. 

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Back in the ring, Mongo regains control focusing on Greene’s knees. This match gets far too much time, as most Mongo matches did during this time. Kevin Green gets the win after Jeff Jarrett’s attempted interference goes awry against his “partner” Mongo. 

Winner – Kevin Greene

WCW Great American Bash 1997
WCW Tag Team Championship Match
The Outsiders © vs. Ric Flair & Roddy Piper

The Outsiders, along with Syxx, make their way out first. Oozing machismo, they seem unworried about taking on two legends. Dusty, with the great call, “You are looking at the heart of the nWo.” I say it every RetroView; Dusty was gold on commentary. 

Flair makes his entrance next, sporting his vintage red and silver robe. Piper follows, eliciting an even louder response than Flair, looking laser-focused. It’s quite the sightseeing Flair and Piper standing side by side in this one. Flair and Hall begin the match with Hall striking first. His attack is quickly reversed as Flair sends him reeling with a plethora of knife-edge chops. 

Once back in the ring, Hall retakes the advantage. The Outsiders cut Flair off from Piper as Nash makes his way into the ring. We get all the Nash classics, knees and elbows in the corner, big sidewalk slam, and the snake eyes on the top turnbuckle. Flair evens things out with a patented low blow before making the hot tag to Piper. 

The Outsiders vs. Ric Flair & Roddy Piper: The Great American Bash 1997 | WWE
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Piper unloads a fury of punches and eye pokes before locking Hall in the sleeper hold. A ref distraction by Nash allows Hall to break the hold with a backdrop onto the ropes. Flair’s crazed fury brings him into the ring, which distracts the ref allowing Syxx to nail Piper with a spin kick. 

This causes Flair to chase after Syxx, beating him down the aisle, abandoning his partner. Piper finds himself crawling to an empty corner before realizing he’s all alone against the Outsiders. Despite the beatdown by the Outsiders, Piper won’t stay down, continuously fighting back. Eventually, the numbers game is too much as Hall finishes Piper off with the Outsider’s Edge. 

Winner – The Outsiders

Falls Count Anywhere Must Be Winner Match
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Macho Man Randy Savage

Michael Buffer brings us to the main event with his vintage “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!!”The hottest rivalry of 1997 is ready to kick off once again. Read all about it here. Savage, with Elizabeth by his side, enters first. DDP’s music hits, and his wife Kimberly comes out, proving a diversion.

With Savage’s attention to the entrance, Page comes in through the crowd and attacks with fury. An early Diamond Cutter attempt is thwarted when Savage escapes to the outside. The fight quickly picks up outside the ring. Page even shoves Elizabeth out of the way when Savage tries to use her as a shield. The fight eventually spills into the crowd, where Savage feels right at home using chairs to his advantage. 

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They make their way into the lobby of the arena, where Page uses a wooden crutch to punish his rival. Page continuously grabs his taped ribs in pain, proving how much the war with the nWo has physically damaged him. Back to ringside, Savage sends Page into the steel stairs before throwing powder in DDP’s face. DDP’s taped ribs become Savage’s focus with multiple stomps. Savage, being the crazed man that he is, eventually pile drives referee Mickey J before returning his focus on Page. 

WCW Great American Bash 1997

Replacement ref Mark Curtis is then punched and thrown out of the ring. Nick Patrick makes his way out as the new referee, briefly keeping Savage from attacking Kimberly. The fight makes its way up the aisle and to the backstage area to some random picnic area. It’s here where Page hits Savage with a cookie pan and flower pot before slamming Savage through a  wooden picnic table. Even the grill in the random picnic area is used on Savage. 

When they return to the ring, DDP splits Savage with the ring post, causing a lot of gasps from the crowd. Savage fights off DDP’s next attempted Diamond Cutter with a jawbreaker. Back to the floor, they go where Savage removes the floor mat and tries to pile drive Page on the concrete floor. 

WCW Great American Bash 1997 Review
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Luckily, Nick Patrick stops him from doing it. Savage beats up Patrick and the photographer for good measure. Once they return to the ring, Page reverses a suplex into a Diamond Cutter, but there is no ref to make the three count. As Nick Patrick begins to count, Scott Hall rushes to the ring and prevents it with a stomp to the head. Page fights off Hall but is then struck in the back of the head with the WCW Tag Team Championship. 

This allows Hall to nail Page with an Outsiders Edge before Savage hits the big elbow. The three-count is academic after this. Once again, the nWo numbers game rears its ugly head as the announcers quickly send us off.

Winner – Macho Man Randy Savage

So another WCW pay-per-view in the books. Next up (if it shows up on Peacock in time – if not, I’ll call an audible with an older WCW show) will be Bash at the Beach 1997. The night Dennis Rodman and Hulk Hogan teamed up to take on Lex Luger and the Giant.

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