The WCW Summer tradition has come back around again with The Great American Bash 1990! The top babyface in the company is ready to return, as Sting has his sights set on Ric Flair’s World Title in a match that was meant to take place back at WrestleWar. The last couple of pay-per-view efforts have really suffered mostly due to Sting’s injury and plans needing to be changed, so can WCW get back on track? Let’s jump in!
Match #1: Buddy Landel vs. ‘Flyin’ Brian Pillman
The crowd pops for Pillman and Landel gets right in his face. It earns him a slap and he walks it off. Collar and elbow tie up and the two exchange chops in the corner. They exchange some rights. Landel sends him with an Irish whip but Pillman launches back with a cross body. Another collar and elbow and Landel works Pillman to the corner. Pillman reverses an Irish whip and hits Nature Boy with a hip toss before knocking him out of the ring with two drop kicks. Landel gets up and poses for the crowd which gets a lot of booing. Back in the ring, Pillman reverses a wristlock with one of his own.
Landel regains control and Pillman goes down to the mat. Landel pulls Pillman up and knocks him down with the shoulder while not giving up the wrist. He muscles Pillman to the corner and slaps him in the face. Pillman is irate and chases the cowering Landel across the ring where he is saved by the referee. Another tie up and Pillman goes back to the wrist lock. Landel sends him for the ride and Pillman leaps with a sunset flip. He can’t get Landel down. Pillman tries a springboard cross body off an Irish whip once again but this time he is caught with a back breaker. Landel uses the ropes to choke Pillman and delivers chops.
Pillman returns the favor and sends Landel. He attempts a drop kick but Landel holds onto the rope. Landel attempts a couple pins but only gets 2. Pillman strengths his way back up as Landel holds his wrists. Pillman is sent for the ride. He tries to counter a hip toss but instead meets a big clothesline. Another 2 count for Landel. Landel uses his shin to choke Pillman until the ref breaks it up. Pillman fights back and chops his opponent to the corner. He stands on the turnbuckle for 10 rights. Landel reverses an Irish whip and takes control. Snap mare by Landel who grabs a reverse chin lock. Pillman is slow to his feet and delivers elbows to Landel’s gut.
He runs the ropes but is stifled by Landel’s knee. Landel holds Pillman down with a modified chin lock. Landel lifts Pillman for a successful vertical suplex. Landel is slow to his feet and he stomps Pillman’s head. Another big chop but Pillman fights back. He goes for more rights in the corner. He sends Landel for an Irish whip but he meets his forearm. They go for the ride, Pillman with a cross body but Landel rolls him over for 2.5. Landel sends Pillman, but Flyin’ Brian grabs his waist and attempts a pin. Landel holds the ropes and Pillman can’t get the veteran over. Landel ducks a clothesline and thinks Pillman tumbled to the floor. To his surprise, Pillman comes off the top rope with a flying cross body and he picks up the win.
Winner: ‘Flyin’ Brian Pillman (Top Rope Crossbody)
- EA’s Take: We’re still pretty early in Pillman’s career, but he’s clearly athletic with a great look. High spots get people excited and the crowd is eating him up, but he still feels too green to be creative at this point. He executes 3-4 sunset flips per match and at least 2 springboard cross body slams each time I’ve seen him so far. As for Landel, he’s starting to become the guy WCW goes to for putting over an up-and-comer.
Match #2: ‘Captain’ Mike Rotunda vs. The Iron Sheik
Sheik wastes no time to attack Rotunda with his flag pole. Sheik stays right on him, rips his jacket off and abuses Rotunda in the corner. He chokes Rotunda as the ref tries to break it up. Sheik sends Rotunda for a vicuous clothesline off the ropes. Sheik sends him again. Rotunda ducks a clothesline and lands a sunset flip for 2. Scoop slam by Rotunda followed up with a drop kick. Sheik rolls out to the floor to regroup. Back to the ring and the two tie up.
They exchange rights and the Sheik rakes the eyes. Sheik rams Rotunda into his boot. He lifts Rotunda for a side gut wrench suplex. He locks in an abdominal stretch. Randy Anderson kicks Sheik’s hand off the rope which allows Rotunda to deliver a hiptoss. He follows with an elbow drop. Rotunda goes for number 2 but Sheik moves. Belly to back suplex by Sheik who gets two. Sheik hammers away at Rotunda but the captain fights back. Big series of rights from Rotunda and Sheik drops to his knees. European uppercut by Rotunda but Sheik rakes the eyes. Vertical suplex by Rotunda and he gets another 2 count.
Sheik rakes the eyes again and he tosses Rotunda outside the ring. Sheik taunts the crowd while Rotunda regroups. Rotunda is back to the apron and Sheik brings him back in with a suplex. Lateral press for 2. Sheik attempts a double armed suplex, Rotunda reverses it into a backslide and gets the pin.
Winner: ‘Captain’ Mike Rotunda (Backslide)
- EA’s Take: So there was a point during the match where JR referred to Iron Sheik’s start to the match as a “terrorist attack”. Why do I get the feeling that wouldn’t fly these days? I’ll hand it to the Sheik in that he knew how to tick off a crowd and was legitimate in his suplex repertoire. We really saw classic work here by him, but what surprised me was Rotunda. He seemed lost at points and I don’t know if that’s on him or Sheik, but it was obvious there was some sort of miscommunication a couple of times.