Retro Wrestle Respawn – NWA Great American Bash 89

Following on from Wrestle War 89 last week, I thought I’d look at the follow up pay per view in the form of the Great American Bash, featuring a main event of Ric Flair taking on Terry Funk, which stemmed from Funk jumping Flair at Wrestle War.

The event is emanating from Baltimore, Maryland (Whether a young Stringer Bell was in attendance is yet to be proven) on the 23rd July 1989.

Calling the action are Jim Ross and Bob Caudle, with Lance Russel and Gordon Solie doing additional interviews and voice overs.

Opening Match
Double Ring Triple Crown King of the Hill Battle Royal for $15,000
Featuring Kevin Sullivan, Mike Rotunda, Bill Irwin, Ron Simmons, Flyin’ Brian, Scott Hall, Ranger Ross, Eddie Gilbert, Steve Williams, Rick Steiner, Dan Spivey, Sid Vicious, Terry Gordy and Scott Steiner

So the rules here are that everyone starts in one of the two rings and you eliminate your opponents by throwing them into the second ring. Once a winner is declared in the first ring, everyone left will fight in the second ring under normal battle royal rules, with the winner of that ring then facing the winner of the first ring for the money. That seems needlessly convoluted, but hey-ho.

We see that fired referee Teddy Long is watching on. According to the announcers, everyone present won battle royals in the build up to the Bash to qualify for this one. Why wouldn’t you just jump into the second ring, let everyone batter each other in the first ring and then easily dispose of them when they make it into your ring? Ranger Ross and Ron Simmons are the first two to be sent into the second ring and they have a decent brawl which ends with Ross dumping out the future Faarooq.

In what I’m not sure is either a curse or a blessing, a large chunk of the match itself is missing from the WWE Network libraries. No idea why that’s the case. I can only assume that someone in WCW head offices accidentally spilt tobacco juice on the tape, thus causing that part of the show to be unusable. Anyway, Sid wins ring one, whilst ring two comes down to Williams, Rotunda and Spivey. Williams and Rotunda were tagging at Wrestle War, but Williams turned face between that show and the Bash.

Williams dumps Rotunda but he’s unable to send Spivey over with clotheslines. Rotunda trips Williams and distracts him, which allows Spivey to sneak up and dump him from behind. Thus this leaves Sid and Spivey, who were a tag team at the time, as the final two. Teddy Long chooses this point to come down to the ring and declare that Sid and Spivey won’t be fighting each other and that they’ll instead be splitting the money between the three of them.

WINNER(S): SID VICIOUS, DAN SPIVEY AND TEDDY LONG
RATING: I don’t feel comfortable rating it see as so much of the match was missing.

Gordon Solie is with Teddy Long who challenges all the top wrestlers in the NWA to take on Vicious and Spivey. Solie is incredibly polite throughout.

Bash

Match Two
“Wild” Bill Irwin Vs Flyin’ Brian

Irwin jumps Brian whilst the ref is checking him, but Brian comes back with dropkicks and then goes to a side headlock. It takes Ross all of 5 seconds to mention Brian’s previous football career. Brian sends Irwin outside and follows with a baseball slide, which serves to annoy Irwin and he charges back into the ring right into an arm drag.

I just can’t reconcile this Bill Irwin with The Goon character he eventually went on to play in the WWF. Brian stays on top of Irwin by using his speed and agility, as well as working a series of holds such as arm bars and wrist locks, but Irwin eventually cuts him off with a tilt a whirl and gets some heat on him.

Irwin talks some trash to Brian whilst beating him up, daring him to “fly around” like his name suggests. It’s a completely serviceable heat segment, but the crowd don’t seem especially enthused. A chin lock finally gets the fans to clap for Brian, but Irwin cinches it in just as Brian teases getting out.

Irwin hits Brian with a nice clothesline, but makes the mistake of not going for the pin right away and Brian is able to kick out as consequence. Brian refuses to stay down and is eventually able to dodge an Irwin charge and starts the comeback with some dropkicks. Brian gets a prototypical version of the Slingblade and follows with an Ultimate Warrior style jumping splash for a two count.

Brian chops away on Irwin and then heads to the top rope, but whiffs on the dropkick and crashes down to the mat. Irwin stomps away on a downed Brian and gets a gut wrench suplex for two. Irwin launches Brian into the second ring, but the ref stops him from following, which gives Brian the chance to jump from one ring to the other with a cross body for the pin fall.

WINNER: FLYIN’ BRIAN
RATING: **

Enjoyable match there with a great finish. Irwin was a decent heel and Brian was a great preppy babyface and they worked the formula well.

Gordon Solie is backstage with Paul E. Dangerously, who will face Cornette later on in a Tuxedo Match. Paul E says he doesn’t care about winning tonight, as he only cares about taking Cornette out “O-U-T!”. He says he’s obsessed with Cornette’s demise and that he’s going after JC’s knee tonight. That was an excellent promo for what should technically be a comedy match.

Bash 1

Match Three
The Dynamic Dudes (Johnny Ace and Shane Douglas) Vs The Skyscrapers (Sid Vicious and Dan Spivey) w/ Teddy Long

The Dudes bring Frisbees down to the ring with them. I can just see Jim Herd pitching in a meeting that Frisbees were the last piece in the puzzle to them becoming money drawing superstars. Fans chant “peanut head” at Long, which causes Long to go on a rant at a camera operator who tries to film his scalp.

Ace and Spivey start out, and Spivey goes to his usual MO for the time of no selling absolutely everything his opponent does to him. Spivey was decent enough in the ring but he was obsessed with working like he was seven foot tall, when he wasn’t even that much bigger than Johnny Ace here. He also liked splatting his opponents with loads of movez, which only made him look weak when he was hitting smaller men with everyone move under the sun but never managed to pin any of them. Sometimes less is more.

The fans decide to chant for Sid and cheer loudly when he tags in, despite the fact he’s supposed to be a heel here. I hope everyone in that crowd is happy with themselves, thanks to you dweebs we got another eleven years of Sid because of this! Spivey splats Douglas with a Bossman Slam, but the fans aren’t impressed and want Sid back in. Douglas gets worked over for a while, with the fans at least clapping for him sporadically, which was better than things would eventually get for them.

Spivey misses a head butt from the second rope, which allows Douglas to make the tag to Ace. Ace tries to run wild on Spivey, but it’s kind of hard when Spivey won’t sell any of it. Sid and Spivey accidentally clothesline one another, but The Dudes can’t make it count and Spivey hits Ace with an absolutely awful powerbomb to pick up the win.

WINNERS: THE SKYSCRAPERS
RATING: ½*

Rubbish match, with a face team that weren’t over and a heel team who had no interest in trying to help them get over. Spivey’s refusal to sell for Ace was utterly ridiculous and reminds me of a story Jim Cornette told in a shoot interview where he got actively insulted when Ole Anderson asked him to do so.

Speaking of Jim Cornette, he’s backstage with Gordon Solie. Cornette admits that his knees are bad after falling off a scaffold at Starrcade 86, but that won’t stop him getting vengeance tonight. He says Paul E can break both of his legs and he still wouldn’t give up. Hell of a babyface promo there!

Bash 2

Match Four
Tuxedo Match
Paul E. Dangerously Vs Jim Cornette

So how did we get to The Bash with these two? The short version is that Paul E showed up in the NWA in late 1988 with a team who claimed to be The Original Midnight Express (Randy Rose and Dennis Condrey). They destroyed Cornette and his Midnight Express (Stan Lane and Bobby Eaton) in a gory angle and Cornette and Dangerously have been at daggers drawn ever since.

As I mentioned in my Best Matches Involving Semi-Active Workers List a while back, the booking committee had planned for this match to be a comedy bout, but Cornette and Dangerously both decided that they wanted it to mean more than that and were determined to have a great match. In real life Cornette had actually injured his leg for real on The Bash tour leading up to this show, so they work it into the match by having Dangerously bonk the leg with his mobile phone the minute Cornette enters the ring.

So to win this match you have to strip their opponent of their tuxedo. Dangerously throws powder into Cornette’s eyes to start and then goes right after the leg with the phone and works it over. Paul E chokes Cornette with his cummerbund but Cornette fights back and chokes him with it in return. Paul E spits on Cornette and sends him to the outside, where he hilariously goes after the wrong leg and you can actually see Cornette try to pull him over to the correct one.

Ross and Caudle at first were treating this as comedy but start clocking on and calling it more seriously as the match progresses. Cornette actually starts Hulking Up™ and unloads with some right hands on Paul E to a pop from the crowd and Caudle delivers the famous line of “Okay, let’s start seeing some clothes come off here!” and Cornette obliges by pulling off Paul E’s shirt.

Paul E goes to the powder again, but Cornette sees it coming this time and kicks the powder in Paul E’s face and then pulls off his trouser to pick up the win. The crowd reaction for that was something else, as they were clearly into this feud and relished seeing Paul E get his comeuppance.

WINNER: JIM CORNETTE
RATING: On the Manager Vs Manager scale this was ******* easily

That match was everything it needed to be and the crowd were really invested in it, so it gets a big thumbs up from me!

Gordon Solie is backstage with Gary Hart ahead of his client Great Muta’s match with Sting. He stresses that The Great Muta is undefeated and that he will win the title match.

Bash 3

Match Five
Texas Tornado Tag Team Match
Kevin Sullivan and Mike Rotunda Vs Rick and Scott Steiner w/ Missy Hyatt

Rick Steiner used to be in the Varsity Club with Sullivan and Rotunda but eventually split from them and had been feuding with them for months building up to The Bash. Rick tagged with Eddie Gilbert at Wrestle War against Sullivan but now he’s brought his brother Scott in to back him up, thus beginning the pay per view career of one of the most dominant tag teams in history.

The brawl is on right from the off, with Sullivan clocking Rick with a chair. Rick no sells the chair shot but doesn’t no sell getting crotched on the guardrail. Scott and Rotunda go at it in the ring whilst Sullivan and Rick destroy the ringside area. Back inside, Rick suplexes Sullivan whilst Scott muscles Rotunda into the corner.

So much is going on here and it’s essentially organised mayhem. The heels keep trying to send one Steiner brother out of the ring so that they can work over the other inside the ring, but they’re never able to maintain the two on one advantage for long enough to make it count. Eventually Scott low bridges Rotunda out of the ring and the Steiner’s then dog pile onto Sullivan for the win.

WINNERS: THE STEINER BROTHERS
RATING: **

This was an energetic brawl but didn’t really feel like a big blow off. I was kind of hoping the combined forces of The Steiner’s would leave The Varsity Club broken and decimated so that it was clear that the feud had ended, but that wasn’t what we got here. If anything The Steiner win kind of came out of nowhere and felt almost lucky.

Gordon Solie is backstage with Sting and Eddie Gilbert. Sting is uncharacteristically calm here and Gilbert says he’ll keep Gary Hart from interfering.

Bash 4

Match Six
NWA World Television Title
Champion: Sting w/ Eddie Gilbert Vs The Great Muta w/ Gary Hart

Muta was already starting to get quite over here despite being a heel, but he resisted turning face at the behest of Hart. It’s a shame as he probably would have been an even bigger star than he was if he’d eventually switched alignment. Muta was undefeated prior to The Bash and Sting had been protected for nearly two years at this point, so this match is a big deal for the fans.

Muta hangs out in ring two before the match, so Sting leaps into the ring with a cross body to a big pop, but he makes the mistake of going after Hart, which allows Muta to jump him back in ring one. Muta goes for the moonsault early but Sting moves. Muta is able to land on his feet however and sends Sting outside with some kicks before following with a plancha. Muta was the man back in the 80’s!

Sting fights back and comes off the top rope with a clothesline and then sends Muta outside with a dropkick. Sting brings Muta back in and works him over with a body slam but when he goes for a vertical suplex Muta lands behind him and goes to a sleeper hold. Sting gets out of that though and gets a military press slam, but misses the follow up elbow drop.

Muta drops one of the coolest moves in wrestling, The Power Elbow, and then goes to a chin lock to wear the champion down as some fans vocally chant for him. Muta continues to work Sting over and even goes to a rope assisted abdominal stretch just to be a jerk. Sting won’t surrender though and keeps coming, so Muta goes to the eyes to put a stop to that and unloads with some kicks.

Muta misses the handspring elbow in the corner and Sting comes back with a face crusher. Muta tries to spit red mist in Sting’s face but he ducks and the referee gets it. Sting misses the Stinger Splash in the corner and this allows Muta to get the moonsault but it only gets a two count from the replacement ref. Sting gets back up and gets a bridging back suplex for what appears to be the winning pin.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: STING
RATING: ***

This was a fun match but was too short to be rated any higher. Despite the ring announcer declaring that Sting won, Muta and Hart leave with the title belt thinking that they won. This would lead to the title getting held up following The Bash and Muta eventually defeating Sting to claim it.

Gordon Solie is with United States Champion Lex Luger. Luger says he has no desire to compete in a no disqualification match tonight and that he won’t go ahead with the title defence unless the stipulation is removed.

Bash 34

Match Seven
NWA United States Championship
No Disqualification
Champion: Lex Luger Vs Ricky Steamboat w/ Bonnie Steamboat and Ricky Jnr

Steamboat comes down to the ring on a raft with a komodo dragon, as you do. He’s also sporting his super cool green tights. This is the look and attire that I always picture Steamboat in when I think of him. So you might recall that Lex Luger, as a face, lost the US Title to Michael Hayes at Wrestle War? Well Luger subsequently defeated Hayes in the rematch and then pulverised Steamboat to go heel and set this match up at The Bash.

Despite being a heel, Luger gets a huge pop from the crowd and looks like an absolute superstar during his entrance. I do have to say that Luger’s music during this period was utterly amazing and one of the best of all time when it comes to NWA/WCW themes. Luger makes good on his threat to walk out if the stipulation isn’t removed and Steamboat eventually relents.

Steamboat runs through a lightning fast array of roll ups and strikes in the early going and a bewildered Luger bails outside to get his bearings, only for Steamboat to follow him out and throw him back in. Luger catches Steamboat with a cheap shot as he tries to get back in and then starts working him over. Steamboat won’t stay down for long though and keeps coming back with chops.

Luger gets back breaker back inside the ring and the starts working over the back area of Steamboat. Luger gets a big military press slam but stops to yell at a guy in the front row rather than go for a cover. In a hilarious spot, Luger complains to the ref that his count is too slow and as the argument goes on Steamboat rolls him up, leading to the ref doing a quick count for two. That was brilliant!

Luger drops Steamboat with three big clotheslines and Steamboat is completely punch drunk but still keeps swinging before collapsing. Hot take: Ricky Steamboat is an amazing babyface. Luger gets a powerslam but Steamboat is out at two. Steamboat’s excellent sell job has succeeded in turning most of the pro-Luger section of the crowd to his side.

Steamboat gets a neck breaker out of nowhere and then ducks a Luger clothesline, which sends the champion flying over the top rope to the outside. Back inside, Luger goes up top but Steamboat throws him off and starts unloading with big strikes before getting a chop from the top for two. Luger back body drops Steamboat from one ring to the other and then goes outside to grab a chair.

Luger prepares to hit Steamboat with the chair but takes too long and it allows Steamboat to grab the chair and tee off on him with it for the disqualification. Lex Luger: Evil Genius!

WINNER BY DISQUALIFICATION AND STILL CHAMPION: LEX LUGER
RATING: ****

Normally I’d be annoyed with a match ending by DQ like that, but here it made complete sense due to the story. Luger knew he couldn’t beat Steamboat in a fair fight, so he wanted the DQ rule in place so that he could contrive a way to screw Steamboat should the need arise. That’s just brilliant heel tactics and the finish paid them off. Sadly Steamboat would soon be gone following The Bash and wouldn’t return to WCW for nearly two years, so this feud never really got a proper blow off.

The Fabulous Freebirds and The Samoan SWAT Team cut a promo ahead of the upcoming War Games match. Michael Hayes cuts his usual crazy promo whilst the Samoans gurn in front of the camera.

The team of the The Road Warriors, Midnight Express and Steve Williams retorts. Williams literally flies into shot to say he’s going bird hunting tonight. Williams says he’s had his differences with The Road Warriors but that they are two tough cookies (That’s honestly what he said) and that he’ll have their backs tonight. Animal does his usual yelling promo and then passes over to Hawk who delivers the famous line of “When we’re done with you, we’re coming for family members boys!!”

Bash 23

Match Eight
War Games
Michael Hayes, Jimmy Garvin, Terry Gordy, Fatu and Samu w/ Paul E Dangerously
Vs
Bobby Eaton, Stan Lane, Steve Williams, Road Warrior Haw and Road Warrior Animal w/ Jim Cornette and Paul Ellering

For those not acquainted with the rules of the War Games, two men of each team will start and fight for five minutes. After that five minutes is up another man will enter the ring every two minutes until all ten men have entered, at which point the “match beyond” starts, where you win by submission only. It’s announced that the heel team won the coin toss because…

Bash 24

Thanks, Cenk.

Due to winning the coin toss, the heels will be able to have the man advantage throughout the match until everyone has entered. War Games matches had traditionally been part of The Bash tours for a couple of years up to this point. Bobby Eaton starts out for the face team whilst Garvin starts out for the heels. Both rings are surrounded by a giant cage with a roof on it, which means no one can get in before it’s officially their turn.

Eaton and Garvin take turns pummelling each other, with Bobby getting the best of it for the most part. The ultimate rule of the War Games is that the faces have control when the numbers are even but the heels dominate when they aren’t. Its simple story telling but it never fails to work when done correctly. Sadly companies like TNA never really understood that aspect to it, which is why the “Lethal Lockdown” matches never lived up to the classic War Game battles.

Eaton puts Garvin in a Boston Crab and holds it until Gordy comes as the next entrant for the heels. With the odds now against him, Eaton battles bravely but is overwhelmed by his opponents. Meanwhile, Paul E turns to the camera and assures us that Michael Hayes will be the next person in for the heels. It’s always interesting for me to watch Gordy as I’m someone who saw Takeshi Morishima first so to me Gordy always looks like an American version of him, as opposed to being the originator that Morishima paid homage to.

Williams is the next person in for the faces and he runs wild on Gordy and Garvin with a double clothesline before throwing future tag team partner Gordy into another ring where he presses him up into the cage. That spot was fantastic! Despite the fact he said it was Hayes next, we see Paul E instead giving Samu a pep talk, which suggests he wasn’t being honest. Paul Heyman being dishonest? Surely not!!!

So Samu is next in for the heels, making it three on two, and he takes Williams down with a kick before delivering a head butt. Gordy follows up with a back drop driver onto Williams, whilst Garvin rips away at Eaton’s face in the corner. Surprisingly there hasn’t been any blood here, but the action has been suitably intense and violent so I’ll let it slide.

It’s now time for Animal to enter for the faces and he drops Gordy with two clotheslines before jumping from one ring to the other with a shoulder block on Samu. The fact a man that size could do that is pretty amazing to be honest. Now that the odds are even again, the faces wear out the heels, as it appears Fatu will be next in for the heels. Hayes pumps him up by yelling “Kill! Kill! Eat him!” in a funny moment.

As promised, Fatu is in next and the heels once again take control of things. The Samoans team up on Animal and work him over with head butts and a double wishbone split. The fans seem to want Hawk to be in next, but I’d be surprised if Stan Lane was going to be the last man so I think they might have to wait a little bit longer to see Hawk.

And indeed, it is Stan Lane who comes in next for the faces and even he gets to run wild on the heels by throwing them all into the cage. Meanwhile, Paul E and Hayes chat outside and it seems that Hayes is a little reluctant to join the fray. Stan isn’t really a high impact guy like Williams or Animal, so this section is a little lighter on action compared to others.

On account of being the last man on his team, Hayes now is forced to enter and he comes in with a series of DDT’s onto the faces and then gyrates in another ring all by himself to annoy Hawk. This succeeds in getting the fans suitably jazzed to see Hawk come in and raise hell. Gordy nearly takes Williams’ head off with a big lariat, which is stiff enough to send a shiver up anyone’s spine.

Hawk finally gets to enter and he destroys The Samoans with a top rope clothesline before delivering Snake Eyes onto Garvin. Eaton actually hits Hayes with his own DDT, whilst Hawk gets his own diving shoulder block from ring to ring. It would be awesome if both Hawk and Animal did stereo versions of that. The pop would surely be ridiculous!

So with everyone in the ring, the match can now end by submission or surrender, but no one rushes to bust out the submission holds. Garvin saves Gordy from The Doomsday Device but ends up taking a top rope clothesline for his efforts. Hawk drops Garvin with a Rude Awakening and then cinches in a hangman’s neck breaker submission hold to pick up the victory.

WINNERS: MIDNIGHT EXPRESS, STEVE WILLIAMS AND THE ROAD WARRIORS
RATING: ****

A fantastic brawl there that didn’t overstay it’s welcome and featured some choice brutality. You could argue that it should have had some blood, and I wouldn’t fight you too hard on that, but aside from that it was booked and executed perfectly. Following the match, the heels trap Animal in the cage and beat him down for a while whilst the babyface team try to fight their way back in to rescue him. Hawk eventually rips the door off its hinges and chases the heels away.

Gordon Solie is backstage with Ric Flair ahead of the main event to conduct one of my favourite pre-match interviews ever. The reason is that Solie asks Flair reasonable and logical questions whilst also sounding like a human being, and Flair responds in kind. Funny how that can make an interview better eh? Flair says he feels 100% after his injury woes and he wants to prove it tonight. Solie asks Flair if he thinks ring rust will be an issue and also asks why he didn’t have a tune up match on TV. Flair says he wanted his first match back to be the main event to show people he hadn’t lost a step. That’s a babyface ladies and gentleman! Solie closes by saying “Good luck to you my friend” and Flair sincerely thanks him. I don’t know why but that end to the promo always gives me chills.

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Main Event
NWA World Heavyweight Title
Champion: Ric Flair Vs Terry Funk w/ Gary Hart

Funk assaulted Flair at Wrestle War 89 when Flair said that Funk wasn’t in contention for a title shot. In a Clash of the Champions show prior to The Bash, Funk had a match with Ricky Steamboat to get himself into contention and we have a title match here as consequence. Sadly, Funks intimidating and evil theme is dubbed over here on the WWE Network. It never fails to give me the heebie-jeebies.

The reaction to Flair’s entrance is something to behold, as he comes down to the ring arm in arm with four lovely ladies complete with pyro. Funk goes outside to intimidate the ladies, so Flair follows him out and starts the brawl in the aisle way before getting into the ring to strut. Funk seethes outside the ring and even tries to uproot the guardrail before threatening the crowd.

Flair comes back outside and tries to bring Funk back inside, but the challenger bails again and starts chucking chairs around. There a few more convincing nut cases in wrestling than Terry Funk. Funk eventually gets back in the ring and both men tee-off on each other with punches and chops. Flair sends Funk outside again with a chop and follows him out, but Funk cuts him off and throws him face first into the ring post.

I was thinking Flair would come up bleeding from that, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Funk works Flair over back inside the ring and specifically targets the neck that he injured at Wrestle War. Flair fights back when Funk tries to suplex him into the ring and both men end up taking a spill to the outside.

Flair chops Funk so loudly outside the ring that it sounds like a gun is going off, and both men then trade eye gouges in a funny spot. Funk goes for a piledriver back inside but Flair is too near to the rope and then back body drops Funk over the top to the outside. Flair goes after Funk’s neck outside the ring and then continues to twist it in unnatural positions when they back in as well as dropping a knee.

Funk might need a chiropractor when this show is over! Flair hits Funk with a piledriver, in one of the few occasions I’ve actually seen him deliver that move and then follows up with another. Funk stumbles out of the ring and down the aisle, but Flair follows him out and keeps targeting the neck as you can just feel the hatred oozing from both men.

Flair gets a back suplex back inside and goes to the Figure Four Leglock, which kind of ignores all the neck work, but Hart distracts the ref which allows Funk to hit Flair with his branding iron to get out of the hold. This is now the moment that Flair chooses to blade, as you knew he wasn’t getting through this whole match without spilling some blood, and Funk delivers a piledriver on the champion for a two count.

Funk heads outside and moves the mats away, exposing the unforgiving concrete underneath. Funk sets up for a piledriver onto the concrete but Flair blocks it and back body drops out. Funk regains control however and then works over Flair’s neck and head back in the ring with a flurry of neck breakers. Funk doesn’t try to pin Flair however and instead demands that Flair verbally submit, much to Hart’s disconcertion at ringside.

Hart distracts the ref so that Funk can cheat, but it ends up backfiring as it gives Flair a chance to wallop Funk with the branding iron. Funk is now bleeding and Flair works over the cut back in the ring, as this match continues to bring both intensity and gore. This is possibly the most vicious and violent I’ve ever seen Flair and it’s kind of awesome.

Funk tries to go for the spinning toehold on Flair, but Flair fights him off and goes for the Figure Four again. Funk counters that attempt with a small package but Flair is able to shift the momentum and ends up on top of Funk for the three count. Flair sure loved a flash pin fall finish didn’t he?

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: RIC FLAIR
RATING: ****1/4

An incredibly intense and enjoyable brawl between two elite workers. Funk and Great Muta attack Flair following the bout, as a way to continue the program, and former Flair challenger Sting runs down to make the save for The Nature Boy. The fans were chanting Sting before he even ran down and they went nuts when he finally appeared. Poor Doug Dillenger tries to break things up but ends up getting splattered by the heels and stomped all over as the brawl rages on. Poor sod! This would set up a tag team match between Funk/Muta and Flair/Sting later on in the year at Halloween Havoc 89.

Final Thoughts

Great American Bash 89 is regularly described as being one of the best major shows of all time, and I can definitely see why. The first half of the show is pretty so-so, but everything from the Tuxedo Match onwards is great fun with the last three matches all being **** or higher. You don’t normally see a return on a big show like that these days unless you’re watching a New Japan show or a particularly impressive NXT Take Over.

If you’ve never seen this show before I highly recommend that you do as it’s absolutely brilliant. The version on the WWE Network isn’t the best though, with poorly dubbed audio and big chunks of the opening match missing. Next week I’ll be returning to WWF action for the first time in a while when I take a look at arguably the best American pay per view event of 1991, so please join me for that next week!

Thanks for reading

Looking for other great content here on the site? Well then why not take a goosey gander at Will’s review of The Black Death by clicking right HERE?

Also please take the time to give Scott Keith’s blog a view by clicking right HERE. You’ll find all sorts of great wrestling themed content on there, including a recent upload of the Monday Night Raw following Breakdown 98

Thanks as always to Adam Matters for the…interesting featured image art

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Written by
British, Evertonian, grapple fan and passionate about them there Video Games. Bit of a golden oldy these days weighing in at a pert 30 years of age. I'll be providing reviews, retro features, the odd rant and the occasional article on Pro Wrestling. I also like a nice pint of Porter now and then