Happy Stinky Saturday Everyone!
We’ve got another Stinker Review for you today in the form of Great American Bash 1999. For those who aren’t familiar; a Stinker Review is a monthly feature where I look at a show with a bad reputation and decide if it’s deserving of the scorn it gets.
This is a show I actually watched quite a bit in my younger days as I had bootleg VHS copy of it. Even in my youth I thought Great American Bash 1999 was awful, but let’s see if time has been kind to it.
The big storyline coming in is that Randy Savage is even more psychotic than ever and is coming for Kevin Nash’s WCW World Title. On the under card we’ve got Ric Flair and Roddy Piper fighting over control of WCW whilst Sting is trying to win the World TV Title from Rick Steiner.
You can view the full card by clicking below;
Let’s review WCW Great American Bash 1999!
The event is emanating from Baltimore, Maryland on the 13th of June 1999
Calling the action are Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan and Mike Tenay
Master P (a famous rapper) shows up and Curt Hennig asks him to sign a CD for him. Hennig is of course lying though, and destroys the CD, as he hates rap music.
We get the opening video package detailing the feud between Randy Savage and Kevin Nash.
We get a video package to run down the card for everyone, as I think very little of it had been announced in advance because WCW were afraid that people would change channels to Raw when the pay per views were hyped, but this meant that less people then bought the pay per views because they didn’t know what was on them in advance. Considering that pay per view buys in 1999 were far more important than ratings, WCW made a bad decision.
Nasty Brian Knobbs w/ Jimmy Mouth of the South Hart Vs Hardcore Hak w/ Chastity
Hak (The Sandman) had come into WCW as Raven’s wacky neighbour “Jim”, but then they’d pivoted to just making him a slightly more PG version of his ECW gimmick, complete with Singapore Cane and a cigarette. Knobbs took umbrage to Hak coming in and doing this hardcore thing when Knobbs had been a hardcore guy himself for years in his eyes, thus leading to a feud between the two. Knobbs says it’s his wife’s birthday and he’s going to destroy Hak for her tonight, so he wants a taped fist match without weapons.
Knobbs of course attacks Hak with a metal bin as soon as possible, because he’s a lying conniving Heel. I thought that was quite funny actually and I appreciate what they were going for with it. This is your typical hardcore match from this time period, as both wrestlers hit one another with plunder and the announce team treats it like a comedy break. Hak is pretty over with the crowd, so they like it whenever he is in the ascendency, and Knobbs even manages to draw some boos from the crowd at points as well, so the match has a decent atmosphere.
It’s entertaining for the most part, although those who like crisp technical wrestling probably aren’t going to find much that they will enjoy. It’s kind of sloppy at points, but that’s almost to its charm in an odd sort of way. It adds to the idea of this being a wild brawl between two nutty guys. Hak shows how bonkers he is at one stage by going for a Swanton Bomb off the tope rope, only for Knobbs to move and force Hak to land onto the ladder. Hart tries to help his charge after that, but Hak throws the Heels into one another and hits Knobbs with his cane for the three count and a healthy pop.
WINNER: HARDCORE HAK
Thoughts: Two burly blokes hitting one another with weapons is kind of hard to screw up, especially when it’s the opener and the crowd is reasonably easy. This ended up being fun as a result, but it won’t be the sort of match everyone will enjoy
Hak doesn’t get much time to celebrate, as Knobbs and Hugh Morrus beat him up following the match. This was to set up the Bash at the Beach show where Hak challenged all of the hardcore division to meet him in a junkyard.
Roddy Piper arrives at the venue earlier, where Buff Bagwell tells him that he’s got Piper’s back later on. Piper doesn’t seem too thrilled about that.
Van Hammer Vs Mikey Whipwreck
WCW was trying to book Hammer as more of a bullying big guy Heel after a stint as a hippie. To really ram the point home they’ve given him Big Bubba Rogers’ entrance music, just so we know he’s all big and mean. Mikey essentially jumped to WCW from ECW because it meant some guaranteed money and a chance to have some surgery completed on WCW’s dime. He’d be back in ECW by the time 2000 rolled around and would form a fun tag team with Yoshihiro Tajiri.
This is a match that wouldn’t look out of place on something like Saturday Night or the first half of a Thunder taping, in that it’s just a standard TV Squash win for Hammer. Those sorts of matches have their place of course, but not typically on a pay per view that people have paid money to see. If it’s someone really over like Goldberg, then maybe you can book him destroying someone on a pay per view as fans see him as a big enough deal that just watching him wrestle is worth the price of admission, but Hammer certainly isn’t in that category.
Mikey takes some very impressive bumps here in an effort to make Hammer look good, including a hanging suplex from the second rope and a brutal spot where Hammer climbs up the ring steps and then drops Mikey onto the metal railings outside of the ring. Mikey’s great selling aside, this is a pretty pedestrian outing that exists merely to put Hammer over, and I would have preferred a more competitive match between two wrestlers who actually had a storyline hook for wrestling one another that I could have got invested in. Hammer eventually hits Mikey with a Cobra Clutch Slam and that brings things to a close.
WINNER: VAN HAMMER
Thoughts: This wouldn’t have been too bad if it’d been on TV, but for a pay per view event you expect more than a long plodding squash win for a bog standard lower card act like Hammer. I felt bad for Mikey in that he was working hard, but this was kind of a momentum killer of a bout
The Disco Inferno Vs Buff The Stuff Bagwell
Disco was jealous of Buff being friendly with Roddy Piper so he’s going to try and take Buff’s spot on the card by defeating him here at Great American Bash 1999. There was a good line in the build-up where Disco said that Buff didn’t like him because Disco took Buff’s place in the Wolfpac, leading to Buff retorting that Disco hadn’t ever really been in the Wolfpac to begin with. Buff might be annoyed that he has to wrestle Disco on pay per view here, or at least it sounds like Mike Tenay is intimating to that on commentary.
Disco and Buff do the “Boo/Yay” spot to start, with the crowd cheering whenever Buff plays to them whilst Disco gets booed, which is always a fun way to start a match and highlight to any new viewers what the respective roles of each wrestler are. These actually work together rather well and the match is watchable as a result, with Disco getting a decent chunk of offence in to show that he isn’t just an enhancement guy here to put the star over like Mikey Whipwreck was in the previous contest.
Disco hits a spinning neck breaker early on, and is a jerk about it, so Buff returns the favour in the next exchange, as they’re basically wrestling like they’re on the camps at Butlin’s here, and it works for the kind of match they’re going for. It’s essentially the old House Show Special here on a pay per view event, and the crowd responds to it the way the two wrestlers want them to. Bagwell shines on Disco for a bit until Disco can hit a Stun Gun, which leads us into our heat segment.
Disco keeps his heat segment pretty straightforward, focusing on things like chokes and stomps, and its fine, with Buff selling it well. Disco eventually misses an elbow drop from the second rope and that leads to Buff making the comeback, complete with a ten punch in the corner, which is always a crowd pleaser. Disco manages to fight back and we head outside for a Chart Buster (Stunner) from Disco for a count out tease, with Buff managing to make it back in.
Buff is selling big following that move on the floor, which leads to Disco trying for the Macarena Piledriver, but Buff gets a back body drop to counter that. Buff gets a throw/powerslam styled moved following that and manages to connect with the Buff Blockbuster from the second rope, and that’s enough for three. Buff had to try a few times to get the win with The Blockbuster there, which put Disco over as being resourceful but also got the move itself over, as Disco was toast the moment it hit, which explained why he fought so hard to avoid it.
WINNER: BUFF BAGWELL
Thoughts: Solid undercard action. They didn’t do anything too taxing or flashy, but what they did was mostly entertaining, and if you saw this at a House Show you’d probably think it was a fun preliminary bout
We get a video package to hype up the next bout, pitting rap music against country and western.
DJ Ran does some DJ’ing stuff in an effort to get the crowd to make some noise, leading to Master P joining us to sit at ringside for the next contest. Master P was getting A LOT of money to be on these shows, so much money that they had no chance of actually making a profit on any show they were booking him on.
The West Texas Rednecks (Curt Hennig and Bobby Duncum Jr) Vs The No Limit Soldiers (Konnan and WCW World Cruiserweight Champ Rey Mysterio Jr)
Hennig was working a gimmick where he didn’t like Master P or rap music, which put him at odds with Konnan and Rey, as they loved the rap and hippity hoppity music. Hennig and his goons actually got quite over thanks to this and were getting some decent reactions from jaded southern based WCW fans who agreed with them that Rap was indeed rubbish (Hennig used a much stronger wording). It didn’t help that Hennig and his boys were usually horribly outnumbered by the rap guys, which just made them look brave for fighting off superior numbers so often.
Konnan and Rey have gas masks on here, which makes me think that they had to pass the arena bathrooms on the way to the ring just after Mark Madden had used them. Watching this it’s pretty clear why WWE decided to make Rey where his mask again when he went there in 2002. He’s a handsome man, but he just completely lost his mystique and star power when they took the mask from him, as he just became a smaller guy in there wrestling as opposed to a super hero styled figure that the kids could get behind.
Konnan and Rey shine on the Heels to start, with Master P even getting a shot in on Hennig at one stage, but Rey eventually gets caught on a high flying attempt by BDJ, leading to the Heels cutting off the ring and working some heat on Rey, even though Duncum Jr stupidly flings Rey almost RIGHT into his corner at one stage and has to quickly scamper over to pull him back into the middle so that Rey doesn’t look like a goof for not tagging out. Rey sells well in the heat and they mostly just work the standard tag formula.
Master P does at least commit to trying to get into the bout from his ringside seat, jumping around and cheering for the babyfaces in an effort to get the crowd behind them. Hennig actually does the Rick Rude hip swivel at one stage during the heat in a tribute to his friend who had recently passed away. The heat possibly goes on for a bit too long, with it feeling like it’s dragging after a certain point and that they’ve missed the peak on the hot tag. The work has been fine, just some of the pacing has been off.
Konnan does eventually get the hot tag and runs wild, with things starting to fall apart a bit with all four wrestlers going at it in the ring. Barry Windham runs down to help out the Heels, which leads to Master P’s bodyguard Big Swole (not that one) jumping the rail and clobbering Duncum Jr so that Rey can pick up the win.
WINNERS: NO LIMIT SOLDIERS
Thoughts: This was okay, but it dragged a bit and things kind of got overly sloppy in the closing stages. The crowd popped for the finish at least
Master P proves to be a rubbish friend following that, as he and his entourage of thousands immediately leave, allowing the three Heels to clobber the two babyfaces in order to get their heat back following the loss.
Horace Hogan Vs Ernest The Cat Miller w/ Sonny Onoo
They were doing a thing where Cat kept getting battered by Scott Norton on TV, so now we’re supposed to get to see it on pay per view. Cat even pinned Norton on Nitro with a weapon shot in the build to this, so this supposed to be the blow off where Norton finally extinguishes the ninth life of Miller. However, Norton isn’t here tonight for whatever reason, so his stablemate Horace Hogan will be taking his place instead, because false advertising was like catnip for WCW. This is ostensibly Heel Vs Heel, as neither of these two wrestlers are especially likeable, although Horace was more face-like in the pre-match promo I guess.
This match is absolutely terrible, as Horace was almost always lousy as a singles wrestler (his best work was in a tag team with Mike Awesome in Japan) and Cat was never a good wrestler, although he was charismatic and good on the mic. The crowd doesn’t care for either wrestler and the actual wrestling is utter mince, meaning that we’re left with a poor in-ring bout with an utterly flat atmosphere to go with it. Cat even clocks Horace with a blatant low blow in full view of the ref at one stage, and the ref has to just ignore that he saw it. Bloody hell Ernest, you have a MANAGER at ringside, how about Onoo distracts the ref so that you can hit Horace right the boulders and the ref doesn’t have to look stupid in the process? Cat eventually kicks Horace with a loaded shoe and that brings our national nightmare to an end.
WINNER: THE CAT
Thoughts: This match had zero redeeming qualities. Scott Norton destroying Cat would have at least provided some entertainment
Cat dances for a bit and then runs away when it looks like Horace is going to attack him.
We get a video package for the next bout, as two legends are feuding over who gets to control WCW.
Lucha de Apuestas
Control of WCW on the line
The Nature Boy Ric Flair w/ The Enforcer Arn Anderson and Asya Vs Rowdy Roddy Piper
Flair defeated Piper back at Slamboree 99 but Eric Bischoff reversed the decision, even though he supposedly didn’t have authority to do so, so we’re running it again here. 1999 WCW everyone! They trade chops to start, which the crowd enjoys, but then Piper throws some TERRIBLE punches and the crowd isn’t quite as in to that. Considering that really all Piper could do at this stage in his career was punch, kick, eye poke and chop, this is a surprisingly entertaining bout in the early stages and the crowd gets into it.
Flair manages to distract the referee and deliver a mule kick to Piper, and that’s the cut off, leading to Piper selling whilst Flair works him over. Piper’s selling is decent during this, with both of Flair’s seconds getting some cheap shots in when the opportunity allows. Flair keeps it simple by going with basic cheating tactics, possibly because Piper it means Piper doesn’t have to take any particular big bumps that he wasn’t capable of taking.
Piper is soon making the comeback, with more punches, and he actually manages to bust out a Sunset Flip at one stage as well, before going to a Sleeper Hold. Flair survives that ends up clocking Piper with a concealed weapon for two, in a near fall that the crowd actually bit on. I can’t believe the crowd has been as into this match as they have, as Piper can’t basically do anything and it feels like Flair is in cruise control. Buff ends up running down to try and help Piper, but this leads to Piper getting DQ’ed and thus giving control of WCW to Flair.
WINNER BY DQ: RIC FLAIR
Thoughts: This match inexplicably had some really good crowd reactions, even though most of it consisted of Piper throwing some of the worst punches you’ll ever see. The finish was hot garbage as well, and smelt of them not wanting to pick a proper winner so they just went with the lame DQ instead. DQ’s are what you use to advance a feud, not end them!
Piper is justifiably angry at Buff for that and helps the Heels beat him down, which led to Piper and Flair becoming co-presidents of WCW, thus making the past 3 months or so of storylines pretty much pointless. Because WCW.
DJ Ran is still up in everyone’s area, annoying people with his turntable.
Falls Count Anywhere for the WCW World Television Title
Champ: Rick Steiner Vs Sting
Steiner and Sting had faced off for the TV Title a couple of times on Nitro, with Sting winning one of the bouts by disqualification and Steiner winning a Cage match between the two when guest referee Tank Abbot from the UFC helped him win. Steiner and Sting had previously been allies and friends in storyline, but now that Rick has joined the dark side it has sent him on a collision course with his former friend. This was probably the most high profile singles pay per view match Rick Steiner had during this stage of his career, although he had challenged Lex Luger for the World Title on a Clash of Champions event in the early 90’s.
This one is mostly a stand up brawl, as both men trade punches in and outside of the ring, with Steiner eventually cutting Sting off with a piledriver out there. Sting is popular with the crowd, so they’re interested in seeing him take it to Steiner, but they don’t make a lot of noise when Steiner is on top. As a result the match is pretty dull as Steiner takes most of it, as was usually the case in his Title matches. Sting seems content to just lie around and sell to be honest, so I doubt he was too bothered about not getting much offence in.
Eventually Sting does make a comeback, getting a big splash off the top at one stage, but Steiner shrugs that off and hits Sting right in the Borden’s before putting him in more rest holds. This match has been really flat crowd wise and it hasn’t been much fun from a wrestling perspective either. We do get the odd case of Rick Steiner grabbing the ropes to break a hold at one stage, even though it’s Falls Count Anywhere and rope breaks shouldn’t count. Both men eventually brawl to the back, at which point we get a horrible ending where Scott Steiner and Tank Abbot are waiting with Rottweiler’s and Dobermans, which they then sick on Sting, causing the match to be thrown out whilst the crowd boo’s.
NO CONTEST DUE TO DOG ATTACK
Thoughts: The actual wrestling wasn’t terrible or anything, but that finish was borderline offensive to the paying customer and looked horrible, with Sting clearly holding on to something so that the dog would bite him. It all ended up looking like a bad skit and was one of the many examples of WCW presenting nonsensical rubbish during this period
The fans think that finish was bull excrement, and I don’t disagree. The Steiner Brothers then join us for a boring promo where they talk about how lame WCW is.
We get a video package for the Tag Title match next.
WCW World Tag Team Titles
Champs: Crippler Chris Benoit and Perry Saturn Vs The Jersey Triad (Diamond Dallas Page and Chris Kaynon) w/ Bam Bam Bigelow
Kanyon, Saturn and Raven had been aligned, but Kanyon helped DDP and Bigelow win the belts by taking a dive. Saturn recruited Benoit as his new partner and they won the belts, setting up a rematch here. This show is in desperate need of a genuinely good match, so hopefully these four can provide it. They’ve probably got the best chance of anyone. Strangely Benoit and Saturn have Saturn’s lighting here but Dean Malenko’s music, which doesn’t suit them at all. I wonder why they didn’t just give them Saturn’s theme if they were going to use his lighting.
The Champs clean house to start, shining on both of the Heels, and it’s good action for the most part, although the crowd doesn’t react as strong as they have previously in the night as WCW has killed their enthusiasm with the previous three matches. Some of the wrestling is really good at points, including The Champs getting stereo overhead belly to belly suplexes at one stage. However, Bigelow proves to be an effective manager at ringside, as he cheap shots Benoit behind the referee’s back and that gives us our cut off.
Benoit of course sells excellently during the heat, with DDP and Kanyon both looking good on offence, so the in-ring action continues to be good, the crowd just struggles to get into it after some of the dirge they’ve been forced to sit through tonight. I don’t blame the crowd at all for reacting like this either. This isn’t like Great American Bash 1998, where the crowd was given a good show but sat on their hands anyway. This crowd has been given a lacklustre show and I don’t blame them if it’s knocked the stuffing out of them somewhat.
Saturn eventually gets the hot tag and runs wild, looking good in the process, coming off the top rope with a splash onto DDP at one stage for a two count. Saturn ends up getting cut off as well though, giving us the old double heat tag team contest, which is classic Pro Wrestling but this probably isn’t the best situation in which to employ it. Saturn sells it all well at least. DDP eventually misses a charge in the corner and it’s time for our second hot tag, as Benoit destroys everyone, leading to DDP accidentally falling head first into Kanyon’s crotch.
We get some near falls following that, and they’re well executed for the most part, with the crowd getting into them. We end up getting the not-so-often seen quadruple down spot, leading to Dean Malenko joining us to try and help the Champs. However, this backfires as the referee is distracted by Malenko trying to help Saturn back up and this allows Bigelow to attack Benoit, leading to DDP picking up the win.
WINNERS AND NEW CHAMPIONS: THE JERSEY TRIAD
Thoughts: This wasn’t the show stealing classic it needed to be, but it was a good match and set up rematches down the line
The Triad beats up the babyfaces and leave following that, as WCW seems determined to end every match with some kind of HEAT segment tonight, regardless of the match result.
WCW World Title
Champ: Big Sexy Kevin Nash Vs Macho Man Randy Savage w/ Madusa, Miss Madness and Gorgeous George
Nash had defeated DDP to win the belt at Slamboree, but Randy Savage had attacked him in the process to set this one up. The feud had quite a few weird turns, as Nash had a contortionist pop out of a bag to pour gunk on Savage, which led to Savage attacking Nash and putting lipstick on him. Things escalated a bit when Nash drenched Savage and his ladies in sewage, so the ladies responded by locking Nash in a limo so that someone in a white hummer could crash into it. Believe it or not, the driver of the hummer was supposed to be Carmen Electra, but that one ended up falling through so they just kind of forgot about it and moved on.
This was actually the era where I first started properly watching WCW as they got an hour every Friday on Channel 5 here in the UK for Worldwide. At the time I sadly didn’t have any cable or satellite channels, so my wrestling diet consisted of WCW on Channel 5 and Sunday Night Heat on Channel 4. I also had to rely on Match of the Day for my football fix too. These days with the internet you can pretty much find anything if you want to watch it, but 20 years ago in the days of dial-up internet and no cable you were pretty short of options sadly.
Nash is selling his ribs as a result of the hummer attack, but he still goes after Savage right from the bell. A side slam causes him to keel over in pain though, which allows Savage to fight his way back into the match. Nash is actually not too bad at selling when he can be arsed to do it properly, and he does a good job of here of getting his injury across. Savage’s Indian Summer of the past couple of years was definitely over by this stage, and it didn’t help that he’d clearly tried to make up for it by bulking up, thus robbing him of some of his mobility.
Considering how frenetic a presence he used to be, especially as a heel, watching him slug away on Nash at half speed is kind of sad. The ladies of course get involved, with Madness (Molly Holly) coming off the top with a missile dropkick in a cool spot. Savage follows with the elbow drop, but Nash actually manages to kick out of it. Wow, Savage must have liked Nash as outside of Warrior and Hogan I’m blanking at other people who he let kick out of that one. Nash makes the comeback and gets the power bomb, which is Sid’s cue to make his return to WCW and lay Nash out for the DQ.
WINNER BY DISQUALIFICATION AND STILL CHAMPION: KEVIN NASH
Thoughts: Lousy match to be honest, with Madusa and Madness taking better bumps than anyone actually in the match itself. I know Sid enjoys a cult like popularity on the internet amongst smart fans, but I detest him and think he is an utterly terrible wrestler. Adding him to this feud was hardly a good way to get me jazzed for it.
The Heels beat down Nash to close us out, threatening us with matches between Sid and Nash in the process.
Is It Really A Stinker?
Yes I’d say Great American Bash 1999 is a Stinker!
Not only was there only one match that hit the 3* barrier by my watch, but 7 bouts on the card ended with some kind of Heel beat down at the end, to the point that all the HEAT angles just became tiresome. WCW actually had a pretty hot crowd for this show, but by the end they’d just beaten any excitement out of them with all the Heel beat downs and terrible finishes. That Steiner Vs Sting match and finish remain some of the stupidest stuff I’ve ever seen on a wrestling show. Great American Bash 1999 should automatically be classed as a Stinker for that match finish alone!
None of the big matches on this card really delivered, whilst the undercard had a few matches that felt like TV bouts that WCW just happened to put on a pay per view in an effort to fill time. You want pay per view quality bouts on a pay per view, especially when you have as stacked a roster as WCW did at the time, but instead we had Van Hammer working a weekend show level squash with Mikey. Mikey did a great job from his perspective, but that’s not a match you just throw on pay per view cold.
This show is pretty much as bad as I remember it, so I don’t recommend watching it.
Final Rating: Stinker