"A word before we get started: Many times over the past few years
on RSPW, I and many others have read newer posters state that such-and-such
a PPV is the "Worst one ever!" I assure you, whatever a given is, it
is not the Worst PPV Ever. nWo Souled Out was extremely bad, but it had
a **** ladder match. WWF King of the Ring 1995
was pretty wretched, and certainly the worst WWF PPV, but there was
at least one match over **. No, the title of the 'The Worst PPV Ever'
has always fallen on, and shall always fall on, WCW's Great American Bash
1991, aka the Flair Protest Show. There is no comparison to anything else,
it is, without a doubt, the biggest and most insulting waste of three hours
ever to be called a wrestling program. Let this be a lesson to future
generations of posters: Don't watch this show, even to see how bad it could
be. It's just not worth it, no matter how cool your friends say you'll
be. Take up smoking instead."
--Scott Keith, in his GAB '91 review
And we're LIVE from Baltimore, Maryland on July 7, 1991. Your
hosts are Tony Schiavone and Jim Ross. Ironically enough, this
is Eric Bischoff's WCW debut. He's just a lowly announcer here,
though, and would be until early 1993.
Some backstory is needed. In fact, several novels worth of backstory
is needed, but I'll try to restrain myself.
You see, the promised match for this card had been Ric Flair, the
WCW and NWA World Champion, finally--after THREE YEARS of ducking and hiding
and waiting and disqualifications and cop outs--FINALLY dropping the WCW
World Title to Lex Luger. It was virtually a KNOWN FACT that Luger
was going to walk out of Baltimore with the title.
One problem: Flair just left the company while still holding the
Jim Herd, in charge of WCW at the time, wanted Flair to job the
title to Luger and become either a babyface, a manager, or just about
anything else he wanted as long as he dropped the title and got paid less.
When Flair refused, in what he felt was the final slap in the face from
a company who had been screwing him over for years, Herd fired him outright
and Flair jumped ship to the WWF--taking the NWA World Title, which
Flair personally owned, with him. WCW took back their WCW World Title
and declared it vacant. Oh, and because Flair physically took the
old title with him...you would think that WCW would just use their backup
belt, right? Bzzzzt. They didn't HAVE another copy of their
own damn title belt, and so they took their defunct "Western States" championship
belt and put a piece of metal that said "World Title" over the "Western
And who was to be Flair's replacement against Luger to fill the vacant
title? A top contender? A hated heel? A top star from
another federation who recently defected to WCW?
No, Barry Windham. Barry Windham, who wasn't even a singles
wrestler at the time--he had been wrestling exclusively in the tag team
division with Arn Anderson for the better part of a YEAR prior to this.
Somehow, WCW "determined" that Luger was the #1 contender for the title
and Windham was #2, which every single fan in attendance at the Great American
Bash knew was complete and utter bullshit.
And this, my friends, is why this card is known as the Flair Protest
Show. Every single person there knew that Luger was winning the title
in here, because Windham wasn't even a contender. The fans do not
pop for anything the entire night--nothing. The only time they wake
up is during the main event, and that's just to scream "WE WANT FLAIR!"
at the top of their lungs. Backstage morale was pitifully low, and
no one--even normally shining stars like Brian Pillman--could be bothered
to make anything resembling an effort.
Can you blame them?
Match 1: PN News and Beautiful Bobby Eaton vs. "Stunning" Steve Austin and Terry Taylor in a Scaffold Match.
Yes, that's right, they START THE PAY-PER-VIEW WITH A SCAFFOLD
MATCH. For those of you not familiar with professional
wrestling, the opening match of a PPV is supposed to be fast-paced and
exciting--to get the crowd heavily into the match, you see. In a
scaffold match, on the other hand, all the participants spend most of the
time trying not to fall off the scaffold and kill themselves. This
particular match is under Capture the Flag rules, which means you've
gotta go to your opponent's side of the scaffold, retrieve their flag,
and bring it back to your corner. Eaton manages to grab it and win
the match, and no one cares. This is generally considered to be THE
worst opening match in the history of professional wrestling. -****
Match 2: The Diamond Studd (w/DDP) vs. Tom Zenk.
Studd is Scott Hall, AKA Razor Ramon in case you didn't know.
This is nothing terribly offensive, but nothing remotely good either.
That makes it one of the night's best matches. Studd wins with a
belly-to-back suplex. 1/4*
Match 3: Oz vs. Ron Simmons. Oz is Kevin Nash,
AKA Diesel. Ron Simmons is Faarooq. Welcome to the
world of forgotten gimmicks, where Doink the Clown and the Repo Man
go to die. Oz had just "debuted" a few weeks ago. Simmons gets
the win. Bad match (what a shock). DUD
Match 4: Robert Gibson vs. Ricky Morton. In one of the laziest
things I've ever seen, the freshly-turned Morton is still wearing the
tights of the babyface tag team he turned on (the Rock-n-Roll Express).
Fun Fact: The referee is Bill Alphonzo, who would later be ECW's uber-dick
referee. This is an extremely boring match, although not entirely
Match 5: The Young Pistols and Dustin Rhodes vs. The Freebirds
and Bradstreet in a Six-Man Tag Team Elimination Match. I don't think
the Six-Man Tag Titles are on the line here, and I have no idea why.
Dustin Rhodes would go on to greater fame as Goldust in the WWF.
This is the second best match of the night, which is to say that it's two
notches worse than mediocre. Rhodes wins it (GEE WHAT A SHOCK! His
father Dusty Rhodes was only the booker at the time and all) with a bulldog.
Match 6: The Yellow Dog vs. Johnny B. Badd. And the
PARADE OF DISGUSTINGLY STUPID GIMMICKS continues. Yellow Dog is Brian
Pillman, Johnny B. Badd would go on to nominal success in the WWF under
his real name, Marc Mero. Johnny B. Badd is a flamboyantly gay
character; this was right after his debut. Brian Pillman is an extremely
talented worker, and I have absolutely no idea why this match is so awful.
But rest assured, it is awful. Pillman wins by DQ after Teddy Long
runs in and interferes. *
Match 7: Black Blood vs. Big Josh in a Lumberjack Match.
Black Blood is Billy Jack Haynes. Big Josh is Matt Osborne, who would
later go on to be Doink the Clown. Ladies and gentlemen, THIS
is your match of the night. I'm serious. Blood carries Josh
kicking and screaming to a *3/4 affair, which easily, easily, easily makes
it the best match of the night.
Match 8: One Man Gang vs. El Gigante. And the
crap marches on. Gigante carries four midgets to the ring with him,
just because. Fun Fact: This may be the only time you'll ever see
One Man Gang not be the worst wrestler in a match. -***
Match 9: Nikita Koloff vs. Sting in a Russian Chain Match. "Russian
Chain Match" is, of course, Russian for Strap Match. Guess how
this match ends? THAT'S RIGHT! THE WAY EVERY OTHER STRAP MATCH
KNOWN TO MAN ENDS! *
Match 10: Barry Windham vs. Lex Luger in a Cage Match for the
vacant WCW World Title. Ah, now the crowd wakes up. Not
to cheer, oh no, just to scream "WE WANT FLAIR" at the top of their lungs.
I'll note that I've personally met one of the fans who was front row center
at this show, and he remembers vividly how the main camera would cut away
immediately whenever their gigantic "WE WANT FLAIR" sign
even showed a chance of getting on camera.
The announcers, Ross and Schiavone, completely ignore the crowd.
So do Luger and Windham.
The match, which is quite bad, goes on for a while until...
Are you ready for the REALLY fun part?
Luger turns heel. Harley Race comes down to ringside,
yells "NOW IS THE TIME!" at Luger, and good ol' Lex wins the WCW World
Title after a single piledriver. This is after Luger had been
built as the number one babyface in the company with storyline going
back THREE YEARS leading up to this gigantic blowoff match, and they
turn him heel. Absolutely pathetic. WE WANT FLAIR. -*****
Match 11: Paul E. Dangerously & Arn Anderson
vs. Missy Hyatt & Rick Steiner in a Cage Match. What,
you thought the previous match would be the END OF THE SHOW? Ho ho,
that would make sense! There's three minutes of airtime left, why
not use them?! Paul E., who is really Paul Heyman and would go
on to own Extreme Championship Wrestling, gets destroyed by Rick after
about a minute. -**
I will not be held responsible for the actions of anyone who watches
this show of their own free will and accord.