The Great American Bash 1986 – Charlotte

|Date: July 5, 1986
|Venue: Memorial Stadium |City: Charlotte, North Carolina

|tweet me: @BastionBlogger

The show kicks off with skydivers jumping out of planes. It’s an unusual way to kick off a pay per view. It goes on way too long. The national anthem follows.

Denny Brown (c) vs. Steve RegalJunior Heavyweight Championship match

Background: Steve Regal is not the Steven Regal we all know and love. This is “Mr Electricity” Steve Regal, a relative newcomer to Jim Crockett promotions. Denny Brown, who won the Junior Heavyweight Championship back at Starrcade 84 puts his title on the line against somebody who has a lot of momentum at the moment.

Previous PPV matches: This is an NWA/WCW PPV debut for Steve Regal.

The Great American Bash PPV Record: Both men wrestle at a Great American Bash event for the first time tonight.

Match: “Mr Electricity” Steve Regal gets the first move in with a big powerslam and then a hiptoss to the champion. Denny Brown fires back with powerslams of his own as he picks up the pace. Earl Hebner is the referee for this match. Regal acts the heel as he claims Brown grabbed his mullet. Denny keeps control for a while with headlocks and a cross body. Mostly headlocks though. Regal responds with an armbar. The pace starts to quicken and Regal gets the first near fall of the match. Steve Regal applies a headlock of his own and tests the referee as he takes Brown down using his hair and then trunks. Regal hits a knee and a suplex for a two count. As the time ticks down on the match Regal hits a clothesline and right hands. Regal then goes back to the headlock as we’re told there’s only two minutes until the time limit expires. Regal hits a powerslam, elbow drop and backbreaker before missing with an elbow drop. Denny hits a big right hand and a legdrop for a two count. The bell then rings, the time has expired. The crowd boo the result.

Result: Draw.

Review: Well nobody wanted this show to kick off with a time limit draw. Steve Regal is the bigger name of the two and has more momentum but he’s above the Junior Heavyweight division so I guess this was the best way for Denny Brown to retain. This wasn’t a good match, there were too many headlocks and armbars. It felt like a way to get both men on to the card. Denny Brown retains his title by way of draw.

Rating: 2/10

After the match Steve Regal throws Denny Brown out of the ring and holds the Junior Heavyweight Championship high in the air.

Black Bart vs. Robert Gibson

Background: There is no mention of Black Bart’s Mid-Atlantic Championship on the line here so I assume it isn’t. There’s no history here that I’m aware of.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.

The Great American Bash PPV Record: Both of these men wrestle at The Great American Bash for the first time tonight.

Match: It’s a back and forth start to the match with Black Bart using his strength against the popular Robert Gibson’s speed. Gibson applies a head scissors for quite a long time. Black Bart takes control from here with clotheslines and big right hands that send Robert Gibson flailing all over the ring. Bart drops Gibson on the barricade outside the ring. Black Bart’s offence isn’t pretty in the slightest but he wears down Robert Gibson. Bart throws Gibson into the corner but Gibson bounces off the middle turnbuckle and hits a cross body which is enough for the three.

Result: Robert Gibson wins by pinfall.

Review: This wasn’t a great match either. Mostly dominated by Black Bart who wore Robert Gibson down with blows and power moves. Gibson eventually got the win with a cross body. The predictable win but the right call.

Rating: 3/10

Sam Houston & Nelson Royal vs. The Minnesota Wrecking Crew (Ole & Arn Anderson)

Background: Sam Houston has been attacked in the past by Arn and Ole Anderson as a way to get in the head of Sam Houston’s mentor Dusty Rhodes. Arn Anderson is the current TV Champion but tonight that title is not defended.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time tag team match between these two teams.

The Great American Bash PPV Record: Arn, Ole and Sam Houston are all 1-0 at Great American Bash events having won at last years event. Nelson Royal makes his NWA/WCW PPV debut tonight.

Match: Arn Anderson kicks off the match against Sam Houston and takes the early advantage. Sam Houston surprises Arn with some offence of his own. The two veterans Ole Anderson and Nelson Royal soon tag in and it’s Nelson Royal who takes the upper hand. All four men are in red trunks for this match. The Minnesota Wrecking Crew make quick tags, keeping Nelson Royal away form his corner for a short while. Sam Houston soon tags in but gets the same treatment. Nelson Royal gets a hot tag and lays in to both Andersons. Arn Anderson is looking to go 3 for 3 on NWA PPV tonight. The Andersons take it in turns to lay into Nelson Royal in a slow paced match. Royal tags in Houston who picks up the pace against Arn, hitting dropkicks and bulldogs. All hell breaks loose with all four men, the referee doesn’t see Houston roll up Arn and also doesn’t see Ole come off the top with an axe handle, nailing Houston and allowing Arn to pin Sam for the win.

Result: The Minnesota Wrecking Crew win by pinfall.

Review: This was another match with a very slow pace. It was fairly standard stuff and the favourites took the win. I would have preferred to have seen Arn Anderson in a singles match but we’ve already got 10 matches tonight. Arn and Ole win tonight.

Rating: 3.25/10

Manny Fernandez vs. Baron Von Raschke – Bunkhouse match

Background: Manny Fernandez, a good friend of Jimmy Valiant, helps Jimmy out with his on-going war with Paul Jones army. Tonight Fernandez meets Von Raschke.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time NWA PPV match between these two men.

The Great American Bash PPV Record: Manny Fernandez is 1-0, Baron Von Raschke wrestles at this event for the first time tonight.

Match: It’s a fast paced start to this match with Manny Fernandez gaining the early advantage. He chases after Paul Jones but can’t get his hands on him. Manny Fernandez has won all three of his previous NWA PPV matches. Raschke slows down the pace, applying a version of his claw. It’s very strange seeing the Baron wrestling in jeans and a t-shirt. He bloodies Fernandez early on and then applies pressure to the wound with his belt before choking him with it. Paul Jones soon gets involved, nailing Manny with a right hand from the outside. Von Raschke then hits Fernandez with his boot repeatedly. Fernandez fires back, using the belt and boot himself. Fernandez misses with a cross body and goes flying out of the ring which allows Paul Jones to land a sneaky boot. Raschke looks to slam Manny Fernandez back into the ring but Fernandez rolls him up and gets the three!

Result: Manny Fernandez wins by pinfall.

Review: This was the best match so far tonight, mostly due to his faster pace. I actually expected this match to go the other way. There wasn’t a lot of violence considering the stipulation but there was blood. Manny Fernandez gets the win, one of the biggest wins of his career. He’s not 4-0 on PPV.

Rating: 3.75/10

Wahoo McDaniel vs. Jimmy Garvin – Indian Strap match

Background: This is a rivalry that has been going on for many months. It started the Jimmy Garvin debuted with Crockett, targeting McDaniel for seemingly no reason whatsoever. Wahoo is not a man to step down from a fight and the match was made between the two at the Great American Bash. The Indian Strap match stipulation was added and it’s a match type that McDaniel has never lost.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time NWA PPV match between these two men.

The Great American Bash PPV Record: Both men wrestle at this event for the first time tonight.

Match: Jimmy Garvin has his wife Precious in his corner. I’m a big fan of “Gorgeous” Jimmy Garvin. It’s a cagey start to the match but Wahoo has the advantage for the most part. Wahoo looks like he fell over the barricade on the outside and Garvin quickly runs out of the ring to take advantage. It’s not long before McDaniel is busted open. Jimmy Garvin goes for a pinfall but there are no pinfalls in this match, it’s all about hitting the four turnbuckles. Garvin is the first man to hit a couple of turnbuckles but Wahoo soon chops him down to the canvas. Wahoo hits two turnbuckles but Precious trips him up before he can hit a third. Garvin heads to the top but Wahoo pulls him down. McDaniel then hits three turnbuckle pads, Precious gets up on the apron and hits him repeatedly with the spray but Wahoo hits the fourth pad for the win.

Result: Wahoo McDaniel wins.

Review: This wasn’t a terrible match. It feels like the matches are gradually getting better as we go on. The psychology was spot on for this one. I think Wahoo winning was the right call due to the stipulation. In a standard one on one I would have preferred to have seen Jimmy Garvin win. A pretty average match here but not the worst by any means.

Rating: 4.5/10

Ronnie Garvin vs. Tully BlanchardTaped Fist match

Background: This is a rivalry that has been going on a long time. The Four Horsemen injured Ronnie Garvins hand and when he returned, Garvin had taped hands which The Horsemen said gave him an unfair advantage. Blanchard would then lay out Garvin with taped fists of his own which led to this match being a taped fist match.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first PPV match between these two men.

The Great American Bash PPV Record: Tully Blanchard is 0-1 having lost to Dusty Rhodes at last years event. Ronnie Garvin wrestles at this event for the first time tonight.

Match: There are 10 three minute round in this match with 30 seconds breaks between round. Tully has JJ Dillon in his corner whilst Ronnie Garvin is joined by Wahoo McDaniel. Tully tried to attack Garvin before the bell but Ronnie sees him coming and lays him out with a big right hand! The bell rings and it is all Ronnie Garvin as he hits Tully with rights and lefts. Blanchard hits the deck and JJ Dillon wakes him up with smelling salts. Garvin is dominant in the first round. Garvin continues to dominate the second round with jabs and headbutts. Blanchard cowers. Tully is busted open as it turns into a wrestling match. In the third round Tully finally manages to pull Garvin into the ringpost to take control of the match. Into round 4 and Ronnie is busted wide open. Tully turns it into a wrestling match, hitting a powerslam and elbow drop. Wahoo gets involved on the outside, hitting Blanchard with an atomic drops which gives the advantage back to Garvin. In round 5 Ronnie hits some big right hands but Tully manages to hit a blow of his own off the top. Both men go down for a count of 10 but the referee says that there has to be a winner and the first man up to his feet will be declared the winner. JJ Dillon tries to help his man up but Ronnie Garvin gets up to his feet first!

Result: Ronnie Garvin wins the match.

Review: This was a good match. It was more of a boxing match than it was wrestling but the two men did a great job. I really like Tully but he spent most of the match taking Garvin’s offence. It was more gritty than the boxing match between Mr T and Roddy Piper at Wrestlemania. Ronnie Garvin gets the big win tonight.

Rating: 6.5/10

The Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal) vs. The Russians (Ivan & Nikita Koloff) – Double Russian Chain match

Background: This rivalry has been going on since The Road Warriors debuted with Crockett. The Koloffs have always been the big team in the territory but have been threatened by the even bigger Road Warriors.

Previous PPV matches: These two teams actually met at last years Great American Bash event and the match ended in a double disqualification. But it was Ivan Koloff and Krusher Kruschev.

The Great American Bash PPV Record: Hawk, Animal and Ivan Koloff all drew last year, Nikita lost to Ric Flair.

Match: It’s a back and forth start to the match with Animal chained to Ivan Koloff and Hawk chained to Nikita. Ivan Koloff is the first man busted open and Animal pins him for a near fall. The Road Warriors take control, whipping and choking their opponents with the chains. Nikita tries to escape but Hawk is right after him. Hawk has the better of Nikita whilst Ivan takes down Animal. The referee gets knocked out of the ring and Nikita manages to untie himself from the chain. Nikita then knocks down Animal with aa clothesline. Ivan goes to the top but Paul Ellering shoves him down! Animal then pins Ivan Koloff and gets the 3!

Result: The Road Warriors win by pinfall.

Review: This was a decent match, it just wasn’t very long. The two teams have chemistry and the stipulation added something but it is slightly restrictive. The Road Warriors were the right winners though, they’re on a hell of a roll and it’s a matter of time before they’re tag team champions.

Rating: 5.75/10

Jimmy Valiant vs. Shaska WhatleyHair vs. hair match

Background: These two men were best friends before Pistol Pez Whatley attacked Valiant and joined Paul Jones army, renaming himself Shaska Whatley. Whatley would then cut off some of Valiants beard which would cause Jimmy to seek revenge and threaten to shave Whatley and Paul Jones bald.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.

The Great American Bash PPV Record: Jimmy Valiant is 1-0, Whatley wrestles at this event for the first time tonight.

Match: Shaska Whatley attacks Jim Valiant before the bell and dominates the early part of the match. Shaska attempts to pin Valiant with his feet on the ropes but referee Earl Hebner sees him. Valiant starts a comeback but Paul Jones takes a cheap shot from the outside. It’s then announced that the loser of this match will get their head shaved bald. Whatley continues to land right hands, busting Jimmy wide open. Paul Jones continues to get involved from the outside. Valiant keeps trying to fire up but Whatley keeps fighting him off. Shaska gets what is definitely a three count at one point as Jimmy misses his cue to kick out. The referee gets knocked out of the ring and in comes Baron Von Raschke who takes down Valiant. Manny Fernandez fights off Baron and Jimmy steals his loaded glove. Valiant puts the glove on and knocks Shaska out with it before pinning him for the three! In comes the likes of Sam Houston, Ronnie Garvin and Nelson Royal to help Valiant shave Whatley’s head!

Result: Jimmy Valiant wins by pinfall.

Review: This match was ok. It was basically Whatley dominating Valiant for 15 minutes before Jimmy using Von Raschke’s glove and getting the win. It wasn’t a classic but Valiant got a big reaction for winning and is still a popular babyface.

Rating: 3/10

Dusty Rhodes, Magnum T.A. & Babydoll vs. The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Dennis Condrey) & Jim Cornette – Six person cage match

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time six person tag team match involving these two teams.

The Great American Bash PPV Record: Dusty Rhodes and Magnum TA are both 1-0 at this event, the rest of the field make their Great American Bash debut tonight.

Match: Babydoll takes a cheap shot at Bobby Eaton as the bell rings before Eaton and Magnum TA officially kick off the match. The crowd go wild for Magnum as he takes out both members of the Midnight Express. Dusty tags in and hits some of his trademark jabs. Rhodes then rubs Eatons face on the cage which splits him open. Magnum TA should be the man to take the world title from Ric Flair if you ask me. Dennis Condrey is bloodied too. The Midnight Express take control with cheap shots and keep Magnum TA away from his corner. Magnum is soon busted open too. Magnum tags in Babydoll and all six competitors go at it before Babydoll pins Jim Cornette for the victory! After the match Big Bubba Rogers lays Dusty Rhodes out on the outside.

Result: Dusty Rhodes, Magnum TA and Babydoll win by pinfall.

Review: This match was ok but felt quite short. I thought it could have gone on a bit longer. Magnum TA took a lot of the damage for his team before tagging Babydoll in who won the match by pinning Jim Cornette. The finish came out of nowhere and it was a little poor for the magnitude of the match but it’s a big win for the babyfaces mone the less.

Rating: 5/10

Ric Flair (c) vs. Ricky Morton – Cage match for the World’s Heavyweight Championship

Background: Ric Flair has to defend his World’s Heavyweight Championship against 14 different competitors on the Great American Bash tour and tonight his opponent is Ricky Morton. Ric Flair has taken many shots at Morton, claiming he has a young fan base. Morton and Flair have got into it physically a few times which adds a lot of fuel to this fire.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.

The Great American Bash PPV Record: Ric Flair is 1-0, Ricky Morton wrestles at this event for the first time tonight.

Match: Ric Flair makes a grand entrance in a helicopter. It’s a cagey start to the match with neither men getting an advantage too early. The crowd loud in their support for Ricky Morton. We get some classic Ric Flair selling. It’s very much a back and forth match with both men exchanging strikes. Morton is wearing a protective face mask in this match and targets Flair’s nose quite a lot. Morton’s mask actually catches on the cage at one point. Morton hits a cross body for the first near fall of the match. Flair rips the mask off Morton and puts it on himself! Ric Flair starts to dominate the match after he busts Ricky Morton open. Flair talks loads of smack as he beats down his challenger. Flair hits a suplex and then applies the figure four but Morton gets to the ropes. Morton starts to fire up and the crowd is deafening. Ricky hits a big cross body off the top and we nearly get a repeat from Flairs win at Starrcade 83. Morton dominates for a long time with multiple dropkicks and right hands off the top. With the referee knocked down, Ric Flair hits an atomic drop onto the top rope and then pins Morton with his feet on the rope for the win!

Result: Ric Flair retains the World’s Heavyweight Championship by pinfall.

Review: This match was good. The crowd were really into it and behind Ricky Morton all the way. I couldn’t see Ric Flair losing this one though, I think he’ll be on a collision course with Magnum TA at Starrcade. A great effort by Ricky Morton who can sell with the best of them. Ric Flair retains tonight.

Rating: 7/10

And that was the first night of the Great American Bash 1986. It wasn’t a great show, quality-wise, but there were a few good matches. The first few were all very passable with Denny Brown and Steve Regal wrestling to a draw, Robert Gibson beating Black Bart in a non-title match, Minnesota Wrecking Crew beating Sam Houston and Nelson Royal and then Manny Fernandez defeating Baron Von Raschke. None of those matches were very good. Wahoo McDaniel beating Jimmy Garvin was an improvement on the previous four matches but it wasn’t spectacular by any means. I think it helps that I’m a big Jimmy Garvin guy. I would have preferred to have seen him win but he wasn’t going to beat McDaniel in his own match.

Ronnie Garvin and Tully Blanchard would then have one of the better matches of the night. Ronnie won this one, he’s being pushed as one of the top babyfaces on the roster at the moment and beat a very credible opponent in Tully Blanchard. Blanchard is arguably #2 heel on the roster. The Road Warriors beat The Russians in an Ok match. Some big heavyweight in this one. I’d like to see The Road Warriors have a run with the tag team titles and surely they’ll be the team to take the belts from The Midnight Express. Jimmy Valiant beat Shaska Whatley and shaved his head. The aftermath was arguably better than the match itself. The stipulation definitely added a lot of interest to the match. The six person cage match was ok and ended with Babydoll pinning Jim Cornette for the win. It’s the result the people wanted to see. Not an amazing match here but I’m not much of a Midnight Express fan. In the main event Ric Flair defeated Ricky Morton is a good match. I don’t think there was any danger of Flair dropping here but the two men sold well for each other in a back and forth match.

Overall Rating: 43.75/100 (ranked 3rd out of 5 PPV’s reviewed so far)

Match Of The Night: Ric Flair vs. Ricky Morton
Worst Match Of The Night: Denny Brown vs. Steve Regal
Surprise Of The Night: Manny Fernandez beats Baron Von Raschke
Worst Booking Of The Night: Denny Brown and Steve Regal draw
Superstar Of The Night: Ric Flair
The Great American Bash 1986 – Charlotte Will Be Remembered For: Ric Flair beating Ricky Morton and Shaska Whatley getting his head shaved bald

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