Great American Bash 1998: This Show Is In Slow Motion

Great American Bash 1998
Date: June 14, 1998
Location: Baltimore Arena, Baltimore, Maryland
Attendance: 12,810
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay

By the law of common sense, this HAS to be better than Road Wild. The main event is Sting vs. Giant for control of the tag titles since Giant joined the Black and White. The rest of the card at least looks ok and far better than the abomination that was Road Wild. I just finished that show if it wasn’t that clear. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is shots of the big names and shots of patriotic things like flags and eagles.

Tony declares that the people in the tag match tonight are the four best in the world today: Hogan, Hart, Savage and Piper. I’ll let the jokes make themselves there.

Gene talks about the main event to fill in some time. Sting has joined the Wolfpack so they have to have the match for later tonight. They’re the WCW/NWO Tag Titles now too.

Now the announcers talk to waste time. The fans want Goldberg.

Here’s a clip from Thursday where Bret hit Booker with a chair to cost Booker a match in the Best of Seven series. Benoit didn’t want it that way so he gave the match away via DQ. That was the seventh match but Booker didn’t want the win that way. Instead they’ll have an eighth match tonight and the winner gets Finlay for the TV Title tonight. Yeah that’s what this whole thing is for.

Chris Benoit vs. Booker T

The winner gets the title match later tonight. The opening bell rings 9:40 into the show.
Benoit snaps off an armdrag to start and Booker retaliates with a hiptoss. Oh and there’s a chance Benoit might want to join the NWO but he’s never said yes. Benoit gets in a shot and Booker heads to the floor. He has a bad knee due to a previous match with Benoit. Down to the mat for a bit and things are continuing to be slow.

Booker hits a hard elbow to the face for two and slams him down, getting the first advantage. Benoit comes back with a dragon screw leg whip to work on the bad knee. Belly to back gets two. Benoit hooks a chinlock but Booker elbows out of it. That doesn’t last long as Benoit chops him right back down, followed by a snap suplex for two. A belly to back is countered into a cross body for two.

Benoit keeps control and it’s time for a chinlock again. Booker gets up again but Chris knees him in the ribs to take him right back down. A front suplex puts Booker on the top rope. Benoit hits a hard clothesline for a pair of twos and now he’s getting frustrated. Back to the chinlock again and then a surfboard submission. Booker fights out of that and hits a powerslam.

Booker goes up but takes too much time, resulting in his cross body hitting the mat. Crossface attempt fails as Booker makes the rope. Now back to the chinlock for the fourth time. Does he realize he’s Chris Benoit? Booker fights up, probably due to the amount of practice he’s had so far in this match, and hits an enziguri followed by a spinebuster for two. Pancake sets up the Spinarooni but the missile dropkick is countered by a crotching. Superplex puts both guys down but Benoit can’t cover.

Instead he goes with the rolling Germans but hits a dragon (full nelson) suplex for the final one which only gets two. The crowd reaction says they thought it was over. Swan Dive hits but again he can’t cover. A delayed cover gets two, but then Booker pops up, hits a pair of side kicks and the missile dropkick for the pin to win the series. REALLY anti-climactic ending.

Rating: C. The match was ok but man was it underwhelming. The knee wound up meaning nothing at all and the ending comes out of nowhere with almost no comeback by Booker. Benoit controlled about 90% of the match, but the chinlocks were distracting. When’s the last time you remember four rest holds out of Benoit? Decent match but this should have been a lot more.

Chavo says Eddie wants to fight him but Lee Marshall disagrees.

Kanyon vs. Saturn

Saturn is in the Flock still. A guy dressed in Kanyon’s old Mortis attire (it’s known that they’re the same person at this point) comes out of the entrance until Kanyon himself comes through the crowd and jumps Saturn to start. Ok not so much jump him but wait for Saturn to turn around and make the whole thing pointless. Swinging neckbreaker gets two for Kanyon. Kanyon puts him in an electric chair position but drops Saturn forward for two.

Here’s the Flock but Kanyon knocks all of them around with ease. Saturn is sent to the floor which winds up going nowhere. Kanyon sets for something but Lodi distracts him, allowing for Riggs, Kidman and Horace to triple team him. Not that it matters to Saturn who dives over the top onto all three of them. Nick Patrick ejects everyone other than Lodi I believe. Kanyon is sent into the barricade and Saturn is in control. Saturn hits a move that I’ve seen Kanyon use before, as he suplexes Kanyon back in from the apron while standing on the middle rope.

Back in Saturn hooks an ankle lock and then a hold that resembles Cattle Mutilation but has half of the normal grip for that and a half nelson at the same time. Cattle Mutilation looks a lot better. A springboard clothesline puts both guys on the floor with I think Kanyon taking the worse of it. Saturn brings in a chair, prompting this from Tony: “Is this Raven’s Rules? We haven’t heard anything about that.” To anyone watching along with me, press rewind for about seven minutes and twenty seconds, to the part where Tony says: “Saturn coming to the ring for this next match, which is under Raven’s Rules we understand.” Moving on.

The chair is used as a springboard to set up a dropkick in the corner ala Poetry in Motion. There’s Sabu’s Triple Jump Moonsault to fill the moves stolen from ECW quota of the night. In a cool counter, Saturn tries a slingshot shoulder block but Kanyon counters into a northern lights suplex for two. Saturn comes back with a swinging neckbreaker for two of his own. Time for a chinlock and the fans aren’t pleased. A belly to back gets two for Kanyon and a Stun Gun puts Saturn down but Kanyon can’t follow up.

They do a weird backslide move where Saturn is sat out and gets two out of it. Rings of Saturn is transitioned into a two count somehow. They’re trying some different stuff here and it’s really not working. Fireman’s carry into a pancake gets two as does a torture rack neckbreaker. Downward Spiral is countered into a half nelson suplex by Saturn, getting two. Saturn’s Death Valley Driver is countered but he KILLS Kanyon with a superkick. Saturn does seem like he knows what he wants to do.

They both go up and both get crotched and fall to the floor. The Mortis from earlier in the match comes in and make that two of them. The smaller one hits the taller one and this is getting goofy now. They fight to the floor as Saturn jumps into a Downward Spiral which gets the pin for Kanyon.

Rating: D+. This was a really strange match. They were trying to be different I think and while they accomplished that, it wasn’t exactly good stuff. A lot of it looked like they weren’t sure what they were doing and it came off as kind of sloppy. Also at 15 minutes, this was too long. Not an awful match, but they overthought it and that brought things way down.

The smaller Mortis is unmasked as Raven, who DDTs Kanyon on the floor. I’d assume the much taller one was Reese. Raven gets on the mic and yells at Saturn for losing and has the Flock beat him down. Saturn fights them off because most of them suck.

We recap Malenko vs. Jericho. Malenko won a title shot in disguise as Ciclope and then the title later on that night but Malenko had to surrender the title. Jericho didn’t get it back because we have to have a rematch with Malenko vs. Jericho tonight.

Cruiserweight Title: Chris Jericho vs. Dean Malenko

Title is vacant coming in. Jericho is announced as being from Calgary here which is a new one for him. They double clothesline each other to start but both pop up with Jericho spin kicking him down. Malenko goes crazy and pounds on Chris in the corner. That’s a new one for him. Jericho comes back with a shoulder block and some shadow boxing with the referee. Liontamer is easily countered and Dean hits a suplex for two.

Off to a surfboard submission and Jericho screams like a girly man. Jericho gets out and is caught in the Tree of Woe but Dean’s baseball slide misses. Out to the floor and Jericho hits a pescado. He pounds away on Dean and both guys are looking fired up here. Suplex sets up the posing cover for two. Off to a sleeper by Chris but Dean counters into one of his own. Jericho counters that with a belly to back for two.

Lionsault misses and Dean hits a leg lariat into a cradle for two. Tony says we’re ten to fifteen minutes into the match but it’s more like eight. Knee to the head of Jericho gets two. Dean takes him to the corner and sets for the top rope gutbuster but Jericho counters into a fast rana to put both guys down. Jericho gets a very delayed two. Dean counters a powerbomb but Jericho rolls him into the Liontamer. Ok more like the Walls of Jericho but same idea. Dean gets the ropes and Jericho is furious. He threatens to hit the referee but the power of Billy Silverman stops that.

Jericho takes him to the corner and counters a headscissors atttempt into an Alabama Slam. Dean counters a Liontamer attempt into the Texas Cloverleaf for a BIG pop. Jericho makes the rope to make the crowd get sad again. The butterfly suplex into the backbreaker puts Dean back down and Jericho slaps him. He shouts that Dean is nothing like Dean’s dead father and Malenko snaps. They go to the floor and Dean hits Jericho with a chair for the DQ to give Jericho the title (which wasn’t announced until tomorrow night because WCW likes to screw its paying customers).

Rating: C+. This was a pretty decent match which picked up a lot near the end. Dean would never get a singles title in WCW again while Jericho would go on to be wasted in the midcard until he jumped to the WWF a little over a year later. Pretty good match but it was based on emotion and the title changing hands on a DQ was stupid.

They brawl to the parking lot and get near the traffic where Jericho has to avoid being hit by a car. He runs into a building across the street as we try to figure out who the champion is.

Eddie says Grandma Guerrero doesn’t want them to fight and starts crying about it.

The announcers think Jericho should be champion but we’ll get a ruling tomorrow I guess.

Video on Juventud Guerrera who never gives up. It’s him walking around set to very slow Latin music.

Juventud Guerrera vs. Reese

Reese is 7’2. That would be the extent of his list of talents. He also played Yeti at Halloween Havoc 1995. The idea here is that Juvy needs to prove himself again after losing his mask. The announcers are STILL talking about Jericho. No contact for the first minute as the Jericho chatting continues. WE GET IT ALREADY. Reese throws him around but Jericho keeps charging. Reese goes to the floor and Juvy dives at him, getting caught and rammed into the post.

Juvy says bring it on even more and crotches him on the top rope coming in. He fires off kicks at Reese’s knees and jumps up into a choke off the top. Reese shrugs all that off and bends Juvy over his knee in a backbreaker. He spends a few minutes destroying Juvy and throws on a bearhug. Juvy finally hits a low blow to slow Reese down but Reese drops to his knees so he can punch Juvy in the face. Reese suplexes him down but Juvy is up at 9. Reese goes to get a chair but the referee pulls it away. Van Hammer, former Flock member, comes out and hits him with it so Juvy can hit an AWFUL rana for the pin. Shoulder was up too.

Rating: F. What in the world was the point of this? Juvy is supposed to be some new man that never quits. Yeah that’s true, but he’s also a man that was getting killed until Van Hammer came in to save him. This match was REALLY boring and could have been accomplished in about four minutes instead of the nine that it got.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.

Chavo is a little psycho here. Heenan: “You know I asked Grandma Guerrero what she thought of this match.” Tony: “What did she say?” Heenan: “I don’t know, I don’t speak Spanish.” The idea here is that since Chavo is nuts, Eddie is afraid of him and doesn’t want to fight him. Chavo slaps him in the face and Eddie is fired up now. Eddie chops away and Chavo does the same.

They go to the mat and Eddie pounds away as this becomes a brawl. Chavo misses a splash in the corner and Eddie does the spinning face grind with his boot. Now Chavo launches Eddie over him and onto the corner. Leave it to WCW to make sure that two of the best wrestlers in the company have a brawl instead of a wrestling match. Chavo goes to the floor and Eddie kicks the rope into his crotch on the way back in.

They exchange control over the arm and Chavo goes to the top. He flips forward but Eddie moves out of the way. Chavo lands on his feet and runs to the other corner to hit a moonsault press for two. SWEET. Eddie sends him to the floor and into the steps. Back inside a brainbuster puts Chavo down and Eddie slaps him. That wakes Chavo up again and he snaps, resulting in him going off and it’s time for a chase scene. Back in Eddie rams into Chavo’s knee to take him down and it’s figure four time.

For some reason Chavo doesn’t reach two feet to his left and grab the rope. Well to be fair he’s crazy. The hold finally is broken up by Eddie and it’s back to the knee. Now the Gory Stretch which is appropriate here. Chavo escapes again but the knee gives out and Eddie hits a regular dropkick to take over again. Now off to a camel clutch for some reason. Oh for the love of…..YOU’RE GUERREROS!!! FREAKING JUMP OFF SOMETHING ALREADY!!!

Now an over the shoulder backbreaker. Are you kidding me? He spins that into something like an Eye of the Storm and we get a LOUD We Want Flair chant. Chavo takes over again and does the Eddie chest slap thing. He loads up a Frog Splash but Eddie crotches him. Eddie’s Frog Splash misses and both guys are down. Tornado DDT is countered by sending Chavo to the floor, but he comes back in with a springboard tornado DDT for the pin.

Rating: D. Allow me to reiterate: YOU’RE GUERREROS. This was ridiculous as the whole thing was dull, much like the rest of the show has been. There’s just too going on tonight that is pure boring. At the end of the day, there are way too many talented guys out there being boring. Gee, I wonder if that’s a coincidence: the talented guys get time and they all keep it in slow. I think I smell a Bischoff.

We recap the making of the tag match later. Roddy said no one knows Savage so Savage got in his face. Piper says he’s not selling anything and they had a brawl. They’re teaming against Hogan and Hart later. How does that set it up? Who knows?

TV Title: Fit Finlay vs. Booker T

Remember what I said about talented people having boring matches? I haven’t seen this match perhaps ever, or at least in almost fourteen years. How much do you want to bet that this match is slow and boring? Booker has already had a sixteen minute match tonight so he’s tired coming in. Feeling out process to start and since no one cares about this match, the announcers talk about the tag title singles match later.

Booker sends him to the floor and hits a dive over the top to take Finlay down. Back in Finlay hits something like a spinebuster and off to some leg locks. Now a half crab. The leg work goes on for a few more minutes and MY GOODNESS DO SOMETHING INTERESTING!!! I’ll bet that the main event matches are all energetic and “fun” and I’d bet even more that the other guys were asked to be slow and boring, because they might show someone else up otherwise. I need something to rant about during this match because there’s only so much you can say about Finlay laying on Booker’s leg.

Mr. T. makes a brief comeback but takes a knee crusher to put him right back down. Out to the floor and Finlay wants to use a chair which isn’t allowed. Instead the leg goes into the post again. Back in Finlay Vader Bombs the knee and stomps on it some more until Booker decides to pop up and spin kick Finlay down. The fans think this is boring and I can’t argue at all. Powerslam sets up the ax kick as the knee is perfectly fine. Finlay puts him down but the Tombstone is countered. The champ misses a charge and a piledriver gvies Booker the title.

Rating: D. Technically this was fine as the whole thing was about the knee work, but then they just finished the match, which is something Booker would never do. This show is ridiculous with the boring matches and now it’s time for the “draws” to come into play. This can’t end well at all.

US Title: Goldberg vs. Konnan

Konnan is Wolfpack and has Hennig and Rude with him. Goldie is 99-0 at this point, meaning he’ll be 104-0 by tomorrow night and 110-0 by the Nitro after that. The cheering is so canned here it’s unreal. Konnan gets knocked to the floor in about a second and this isn’t going to go anywhere. A bad leglock puts K-Dawg down again, double leg takedown is called a spear, Jackhammer ends this. Total squash.

Hennig and Rude beat on Konnan post match and reveal Black and White shirts. Luger and Nash make the save.

Hollywood Hogan/Bret Hart vs. Roddy Piper/Randy Savage

How is this the third PPV I’ve done between here and February of 1999 and this is Bret’s first appearance? Hogan is world champion because it’s WCW. Why are these four fighting? Who knows? The only thing we got from WCW was Piper and Savage fighting, which doesn’t explain a thing. Stalling before we get going until it’s Piper vs. Hogan getting things going. After more stalling, Piper goes into Three Stooges mode and brings in Savage.

Tony praises Savage/Piper for their ability to make tags. Yeah that’s what they’ve reached. No ability to talk about Jericho now is there? Piper atomic drops Hogan back into their corner and the beating continues. Disciple hits Piper in the back with the belt to shift the momentum for the first time and it’s off to Hart. Bret and Hogan take turns punching Piper as you can tell that even these four aren’t interested at all.

Bret does his usual stuff and whips Piper in, resulting in Piper going into slow motion for a small package. Pipes tags Savage but it doesn’t count for some reason. That worked so well that they do the same thing again. Things break down a bit and Savage tries to bring in a chair, but instead of hitting Bret with it, he puts it over Piper’s stomach to prevent a headbutt from Bret. Savage gets the tag and the fans don’t move at all. Everything breaks down and Savage goes up but his knee gives out on an elbow attempt. Hogan wraps it around the post and Savage gives up to the Sharpshooter.

Rating: F. There’s no excuse for these four to be wrestling in one of the featured matches on PPV when you have this roster in the year 1998. None. These four are the “draws” right? Then why do you keep them on top while the company’s massive lead has died and WWF is in the lead? That would mean putting someone other than Hogan on top, and we just can’t have that right?

Gene comes in for a post match interview with the losers and a match breaks out.

Roddy Piper vs. Randy Savage

This was scheduled due to the loss apparently. Savage jumps him to start and this is as bad as you would expect it to be. Now he can hit the elbow but the knee is too hurt to cover him. Instead he punches the referee and Piper puts him in a figure four. A second referee runs in and Savage gives up AGAIN. This was like 90 seconds.

Someone smarter than I am, tell me what those two matches solved. What were they even fighting over? Why am I trying to figure WCW out anymore?

Tag Titles: Sting vs. The Giant

Winner gets both belts. Why are they fighting? Again, not explained. Giant is smoking on his way to the ring. Yeah that was their attempt to make him EXTREME. If Giant wins, he’s picking Disciple as his partner to be champions. I would say even WCW wasn’t that stupid, but I would be very wrong. Giant blows smoke in his face so Sting fights back and puts him on the top rope on his back for a splash. The second attempt eats boot and Sting is tossed to the floor.

Back in Sting runs the ropes and hits a cross body but Giant just stands there. Elbow drop hits Sting and YET AGAIN they walk around as slowly as possible. This is the main event too, so why in the world are they doing this here? Bear hug to Sting to further keep things boring. Sting dropkicks the knee out and hits two Stinger Splashes. There’s an easy slam but the Scorpion is easily broken up. Death Drop gets two. Death Drop gets two. Death Drop from the middle rope gets the pin.

Rating: F. This was the main event. It lasted seven minutes and was awful. Was this really the best they could come up with? Somehow, I think it was and that’s why you don’t see WCW around anymore: we don’t get the announcement of who Sting’s partner is as it was made the next night on Nitro. In other words, there was no need to pay for this show at all.

Overall Rating: F+. And yet somehow, it was still better than Road Wild. The problem here was that nothing was interesting at all. Everything was VERY slow paced and boring with nothing at all being even remotely good. With the card they have, this could have been a decent show, but instead they made sure it was in slow motion and that the two decisions that came out of the show weren’t revealed until Nitro, making this show show TOTALLY POINTLESS. Thank goodness I only have twelve of these things left. I can’t take any more than that.

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