The Great American Bash (1988)

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The Great American Bash (1988)
GreatAmericanBash88.jpg
VHS cover featuring Nikita Koloff and Tully Blanchard
Promotion National Wrestling Alliance
Jim Crockett Promotions
Date July 10, 1988
City Baltimore, Maryland
Venue Baltimore Arena
Attendance 14,000[1]
Tagline(s) The Price for Freedom[2]
Pay-per-view chronology
← Previous
The Bunkhouse Stampede Finals
Next →
Starrcade (1988)
The Great American Bash chronology
← Previous
The Great American Bash (1987)
Next →
The Great American Bash (1989)

The Great American Bash (1988) was the fourth annual Great American Bash professional wrestling event produced by Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP) under the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) banner and the first Great American Bash event to be produced as a pay-per-view (PPV) event. It took place on July 10, 1988 at the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Maryland. This was the final National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) event produced by Jim Crockett Promotions and the third and final National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) event to be produced as a pay-per-view, as Jim Crockett Promotions was purchased by Turner Broadcasting System in November 1988 and the promotion was renamed as World Championship Wrestling (WCW).

The main event was a standard wrestling match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Ric Flair defeated Lex Luger to retain the title when the match was stopped due to Luger's excessive bleeding.[3]

Featured matches on the undercard were Barry Windham versus Dusty Rhodes for the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship, The Road Warriors (Hawk and Animal), Steve Williams, Jimmy Garvin and Ron Garvin versus Kevin Sullivan, Mike Rotunda, Al Perez, Russian Assassin and Ivan Koloff in a Tower of Doom match, The Fantastics (Bobby Fulton and Tommy Rogers) versus Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane) for the NWA United States Tag Team Championship and Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard versus Sting and Nikita Koloff for the NWA World Tag Team Championship.[4]

Storylines

The Great American Bash featured five professional wrestling matches that involved wrestlers from pre-existing rivalries, plots and storylines that were played out on World Wide Wrestling, Pro and World Championship WrestlingJim Crockett Promotions (JCP)'s television programs. Wrestlers portrayed a hero, villain or a tweener as they followed a series of events that built tension, and culminated in a wrestling match or a series of matches.[5]

The main rivalry heading into the event was between Ric Flair and Lex Luger for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Luger was a member of Flair's group Four Horsemen since 1987 but left the group in 1988 after he thought that he was being held back. Luger became the top fan favorite of the company and Horsemen's top rival.[6][7] On the inaugural edition of Clash of the Champions on March 27, Luger and Barry Windham defeated Horsemen members Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard to win the NWA World Tag Team Championship.[8][9] On the April 23 edition of World Championship Wrestling, Luger and Windham lost the title to Anderson and Blanchard when Windham turned on Luger and joined Horsemen.[7] Luger continued his rivalry with the Horsemen, resulting in Luger becoming the #1 contender for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship held by Flair.[7]

The main tag team rivalry heading into the event was between The Fantastics (Bobby Fulton and Tommy Rogers) and Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane) for the NWA United States Tag Team Championship. On the inaugural edition of Clash of the Champions on March 27, Midnight Express defended the NWA United States Tag Team Championship against Fantastics. Fantastics initially won the titles but the decision was reversed as Fulton had threw the referee before the pinfall, resulting in Eaton and Lane retaining the titles.[8][9] On May 14 edition of World Wide Wrestling, Fantastics defeated Midnight Express to win the titles.[7] On June 11 edition of World Championship Wrestling, it was announced that Fantastics would defend the title against Midnight Express at The Great American Bash.[7]

A secondary rivalry heading into the event was between Barry Windham and Dusty Rhodes for the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship. On April 15, Rhodes was stripped of the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship and suspended for 120 days due to attacking promoter Jim Crockett.[7] On May 13, a tournament occurred for the vacated title. Barry Windham defeated Nikita Koloff in the finals of the tournament to win the title.[7] On June 8 edition of Clash of the Champions called Miami Mayhem, Rhodes and Sting competed against Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard for the NWA World Tag Team Championship. The match resulted in a double disqualification after the referee was attacked and Ric Flair and Windham interfered in the match. Windham attacked Rhodes outside the ring.[10][11] On June 11 edition of World Championship Wrestling, it was announced that Rhodes would challenge Windham for the United States Championship at The Great American Bash.[7]

Another secondary rivalry heading into the event was between Jimmy Garvin and Kevin Sullivan. On the March 27 edition of Clash of the Champions, Sullivan's Varsity Club teammate Mike Rotunda defeated Garvin in a College Rules match to retain the NWA World Television Championship.[8][9] At the 3rd Annual Jim Crockett, Sr. Memorial Cup Tag Team Tournament, Garvin defeated Sullivan in a Prince of Darkness match.[12][13] On June 8 edition of Clash of the Champions called Miami Mayhem, Garvin and his brother Ronnie Garvin defeated Rick Steiner and Rotunda in a tag team match. After the match, Sullivan, Steiner and Rotunda attacked the Garvins, resulting in Steve Williams making the save for Garvins.[10][11] Williams became an ally of the Garvins against Sullivan and Rotunda. On the other side, The Road Warriors were scheduled to compete against The Powers of Pain in a series of Scaffold matches but Powers of Pain left the company and were replaced by Ivan Koloff and Russian Assassin. On June 11 edition of World Championship Wrestling, a Tower of Doom match was announced to take place between a team of Jimmy Garvin and a team of Sullivan.[7] Road Warriors were added to Garvin's team and Koloff and Assassin were added to Sullivan's team.

Event

Before the event aired live on PPV, Rick Steiner and Dick Murdoch defeated Tim Horner and Kendall Windham in a non-televised tag team match.[2]

Preliminary matches

As the event began, the first match was a tag team match for the NWA World Tag Team Championship. Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard defended the titles against Sting and Nikita Koloff. Sting and Koloff dominated the earlier action against Anderson and Blanchard. Sting and Koloff double-teamed Anderson and Blanchard for most of the match until Blanchard took the control of the match in his side by injuring Koloff and tagging in Anderson. Anderson and Blanchard controlled the match briefly until Sting and Koloff regained their momentum. Sting dominated Anderson and Blanchard throughout the end of the match and Sting applied a Scorpion Deathlock on Blanchard but Blanchard held the ropes until the 20–minute time limit expired. As a result, Anderson and Blanchard retained the titles.[2][3][4]

The next match was for the NWA United States Tag Team Championship. The Fantastics (Bobby Fulton and Tommy Rogers) defended the titles against Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane). Midnight Express's manager Jim Cornette was locked and suspended high in a steel cage and fastened in a straight jacket. The match stipulated that if Fantastics won, they would get the opportunity to whip Cornette ten times with a belt. Cornette tried to involve himself into the match on several occasions but failed. The match went back and forth with the challengers double teaming Fulton. Rogers was tagged in and he battled Eaton and Lane. Lane handed Eaton a steel chain and Eaton wrapped it around his fist. Fulton was unaware of it which allowed Eaton to attack Fulton with the chain and pin him to win the titles.[2][3][4]

The third match of the event was a Tower of Doom match pitting The Road Warriors (Hawk and Animal), Steve Williams, Jimmy Garvin and Ron Garvin against Kevin Sullivan, Mike Rotunda, Al Perez, Russian Assassin and Ivan Koloff. Two wrestlers started the match out on top of the cage for a two-minute period. After that period, a trap door in both the top-tier cages opened for fifteen seconds which allowed a locked wrestler to get down into the cage below with all the other wrestlers. The object of the match was to unlock the door and escape out to the floor. Jimmy Garvin's valet Precious held the key to the door. Ron Garvin and Ivan Koloff started the match. The match went back and forth with both teams exchanging blows. In the end of the match, Jimmy Garvin and Kevin Sullivan were in the ring. Sullivan grabbed Precious but Garvin rescued her by attacking him and performed a Brainbuster, which he called Bombs Away, on Sullivan. Sullivan eventually shoved Garvin out of the cage. As a result, Garvin's team won. However, Sullivan locked the cage door to lock himself with Precious. Hawk made the rescue by performing a Flying Clothesline on Sullivan.[2][3][4]

Main event matches

The final match on the undercard was for the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship. Barry Windham defended the title against Dusty Rhodes. Rhodes dominated Windham in the beginning by performing a Shoulder Block. Rhodes continued to perform several moves on Windham until the action spilled to the outside of the ring where Windham tried to perform a Piledriver on Rhodes but Rhodes countered it with a Clothesline. The action returned to the ring where Rhodes fought Windham until Windham's manager JJ Dillon distracted Rhodes, allowing Windham to take advantage and attack Rhodes. Windham applied a Clawhold on Rhodes and started getting near-falls. Rhodes eventually fought out of the Clawhold and tried to apply a Figure Four Leglock but Windham countered and applied another Clawhold. Rhodes eventually climbed the corner to prevent Windham for getting the leverage and tried to perform a Superplex but Rhodes pushed him into the referee. Rhodes performed a Bionic Elbow on Windham and attempted to pin him but the referee was knocked out. Ron Garvin interfered in the match and attacked Rhodes with a Punch. Dillon woke up the referee and Windham pinned Rhodes to retain the title.[2][3][4]

The main event was between Ric Flair and Lex Luger for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Luger dominated Flair for much of the earlier part of the match by overpowering him by performing powerful moves. Flair eventually gained momentum by chasing Luger outside the ring where he smashed his head with the guard rail several times. The two returned to the ring where Flair started attacking Luger's ribs until Luger regained momentum. However, Flair took the control of the match on his side by attacking Luger's legs. Flair applied a Figure Four Leglock on Luger until Luger reversed the hold. Luger then performed a Clothesline on Flair, which sent Flair outside the ring. The two continued to battle outside the ring until the action returned to the ring. Flair tried to use a steel chair but the referee prevented Flair from using the chair. Luger took advantage of the situation by performing a Powerslam and applied a Backbreaker Rack, which he called Torture Rack, on Flair to win the title. However, it was announced that the match was stopped due to Luger's excessive bleeding, citing Maryland State Athletic Commission guidelines. As a result, Flair retained the title.[2][3][4]

Aftermath

Jim Crockett Promotions was suffering a downfall and was losing the competition against their main rivals, the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). In November 1988, the promotion was sold to media mogul Ted Turner and was replaced with a new promotion World Championship Wrestling (WCW).

Ric Flair and Lex Luger continued their rivalry for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Luger received a rematch for the title at Starrcade, when Flair defeated Luger again to retain the title.[14]

After defeating The Fantastics for the NWA United States Tag Team Championship at The Great American Bash, Midnight Express became the #1 contenders for the NWA World Tag Team Championship. On September 10, Midnight Express defeated Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard to win the World Tag Team title.[7] As a result, they vacated the US Tag Team title. The US Tag Team title was decided in a tournament, with the finals taking place between Fantastics and the team of Ron Simmons and Eddie Gilbert on the December 7 edition of Clash of the Champions.[15][16] Fantastics won the title for a second time. At Starrcade, Kevin Sullivan and Steve Williams defeated Fantastics to win the title.[14]

While in the tag team division, The Road Warriors turned on their NWA World Six-Man Tag Team Championship partner Dusty Rhodes in October, resulting in the titles being vacated. On October 29, Road Warriors defeated Midnight Express to win the NWA World Tag Team Championship.[7] Rhodes formed a tag team with Sting and they became the #1 contenders for the World Tag Team title. They received an opportunity against Road Warriors at Starrcade, but the champions retained the title by disqualification.[14]

Bam Bam Bigelow entered WCW in late 1988 and earned an opportunity for the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship against Barry Windham at Starrcade. Windham retained the title by count-out. Meanwhile, two villainous wrestlers turned into fan favorites. Ivan Koloff was the first one who left Paul Jones' Army and formed a tag team with Junkyard Dog to feud with Russian Assassins and competed against them in a losing effort at Starrcade. The second was Rick Steiner, who left The Varsity Club and began feuding with his stablemate Mike Rotunda for the NWA World Television Championship. At Starrcade, Steiner defeated Rotunda for the TV title.[14]

Results

No. Results[2][3][4] Stipulations Times
1ME Dick Murdoch and Rick Steiner defeated Kendall Windham and Tim Horner Tag team match 4:35
2 Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard (c) (with J.J. Dillon) vs. Nikita Koloff and Sting ended in a time-limit draw Tag team match for the NWA World Tag Team Championship 20:00
3 The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane) (with Jim Cornette) defeated The Fantastics (Bobby Fulton and Tommy Rogers) (c) Tag team match for the NWA United States Tag Team Championship 16:23
4 The Road Warriors (Animal and Hawk), Jimmy Garvin, Ron Garvin and Steve Williams (with Precious) defeated Al Perez, Ivan Koloff, Kevin Sullivan, Mike Rotunda and The Russian Assassin (with Gary Hart) Tower of Doom match 19:55
5 Barry Windham (c) (with J.J. Dillon) defeated Dusty Rhodes Singles match for the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship 15:55
6 Ric Flair (c) (with J.J. Dillon) defeated Lex Luger Singles match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship 23:13
  • (c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match
  • ME – indicates the match was broadcast prior to the pay-per-view on Main Event

References

  1. ^ "NWA The Great American Bash 1988 - "The Price For Freedom" « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "The Great American Bash 1988 results". Wrestling Supercards and Tournaments. July 10, 1988. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "The Great American Bash 1988 results". Online World of Wrestling. July 10, 1988. Retrieved 2011-08-10.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "The Great American Bash 1988 Review". The History of WWE. Retrieved 2011-08-10.
  5. ^ Grabianowski, Ed. "How Pro Wrestling Works". HowStuffWorks, Inc. Discovery Communications. Retrieved 2015-11-15.
  6. ^ "JCP Ring Results 1987". The History of WWE. Retrieved 2011-07-28.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "JCP Ring Results 1988". The History of WWE. Retrieved 2011-07-28.
  8. ^ a b c "Clash of the Champions I Review". The History of WWE. Retrieved 2011-07-28.
  9. ^ a b c "Clash of the Champions I results". Wrestling Supercards and Tournaments. March 27, 1988. Retrieved 2011-07-28.
  10. ^ a b "Clash of the Champions II: Miami Mayhem Review". The History of WWE. Retrieved 2011-07-28.
  11. ^ a b "Clash of the Champions II: Miami Mayhem results". Wrestling Supercards and Tournaments. June 8, 1988. Retrieved 2011-07-28.
  12. ^ "3rd Annual Crockett Cup Review". The History of WWE. Retrieved 2011-07-28.
  13. ^ "3rd Annual Jim Crockett, Sr. Memorial Tag Team Tournament Cup results". Wrestling Supercards and Tournaments. April 22–23, 1988. Retrieved 2011-07-28.
  14. ^ a b c d "Starrcade 1988 results". Wrestling Supercards and Tournaments. December 26, 1988. Retrieved 2011-08-10.
  15. ^ "Clash of the Champions IV: Season's Beatings Review". The History of WWE. Retrieved 2011-08-10.
  16. ^ "Clash of the Champions IV: Season's Beatings results". Wrestling Supercards and Tournaments. December 7, 1988. Retrieved 2011-08-10.

External links

  • Pro Wrestling History
  • Online World of Wrestling
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