The original Great American Bash of 1985 is one of my earliest memories of professional wrestling.
As I’ve noted before in other inductions, I’ve always been a fan of events taking into account holidays. When you think about it, what is more apropos of pro wrestling than the United States’ Independence Day, which takes place on the 4th of July? I can’t possibly be the only person that views the spectacle and noise of fireworks to being very akin to what we see in the ring; the flash (entrances, personalities) overshadows what we should actually be celebrating (in ring action).
Yes, I did just compare technical wrestling to America’s freedom. If that’s not a first, it should be. It probably should also be a last.
Regardless, the Bash was a huge event for Jim Crockett Promotions, the company that would eventually become World Championship Wrestling. The early Bashes often weren’t just a single event, but rather a string of shows that traveled the country and were promoted as can’t miss happenings. I vividly remember the promotion for the 1986 Bash, as for the first time ever, the legendary Great American Bash was coming to my town! The legendary Bash coming to Cincinnati? Count me in!
Eventually, the tour idea would be whittled back down to a single event. Still, it remained one of WCW’s signature shows, and would continue to be so until the company’s demise (which you can read about here). Upon WWE’s purchase of the company, Vince & Co. would shelve the name for a few years before bringing in back in 2004…and prior to killing it off yet again in 2009. You’d think that would be the end of the story, but no! In 2012, the Bash was back one more time…but this time, it wasn’t for a PPV. Rather, this Bash, much like America, would be FREE!
And by that I mean they were just going to throw it on a pre-July 4 episode of Smackdown.
If you’re expecting a showdown of legendary Nikita Koloff vs. Ric Flair proportions, prepare to celebrate!
And by “celebrate”, I of course mean “hang out with a bunch of mid card geeks backstage instead.”
Yeah, this party starts off not with a bang, but instead with the Colons and Johnny Curtis. No offense, guys, but it’s not like kicking things off with a Nature Boy promo. To be fair, it’s not really an interview at all – just glimpses of guys yakking with no intelligible audio. Without the verbiage, we are left to speculate what precisely they may be toasting. My guess is Curtis’ upcoming character makeover to Fandango…which, believe it or not, would be an upgrade over the guy who poured milk over his head.
Also, is Curtis naked here? Is this a nude beach party? One with no beach?
Holy crap, I may be right – Alicia Fox, where are your pants? Is she nude? Seriously, look at the position of her navel. And her hips. Do you see any pants? How on earth did this make it past the PG police?
This cannot possibly just be a misleading Photoshop crop on my part to drive traffic!
Yoshi Tatsu and Nattie share a conversation about the merits of Bret Hart as an uncle. My guess is he’s good, but not the best uncle there was, the best uncle there is, nor the best uncle there ever will be. That would have been my Uncle Burt, who paid me top dollar to attempt to take over Indiana wrestling promotions so he could franchise his Dinner Theaters to the building owners. True story.
But I digress, as I need to discuss something I am just now noticing at this party celebrating the US of A. That is, there sure are alotta foreigners at this here shindig! Yoshi’s from Japan, Nattie from Canada…
…a pan to the right gives us Hunico and Camacho (billed from Mexico)…
…before we get to Tamina (Fiji islands) and Rosa Mendes (Vancouver, Canada). As if you weren’t worried enough about us being invaded, they take one of the lone true blooded Americans, Hornswoggle, and attempt to drown him in a kiddie pool.
Wait a tic…Hornswoggle was billed from Ireland, wasn’t he? He was like originally a leprechaun or something. Well, that theory goes out the window too.
In bebops Teddy Long in a KISS THE GM apron, fully unconcerned about such potential shenanigans. Or the fact that Alicia now appears even more naked than before. He tells the crew they can make a giant mess if they’d like, as they have someone to clean it up:
Eve Torres, who is wearing the frumpiest frump that ever frumped. Seriously, you’re having an American (she’s from Sacramento for crying out loud!) play maid to all these infidels? No wonder you get kicked to the curb as GM.
Teddy further explains we are going to be having a big ol’ USA barbecue tonight, so he brings out the US Champion to light up the grill…
…Santino Marella. You know, a guy from Italy.
Teddy would soon learn the old adage, “Never trust a non-American to light an American grill at an American party”, as Santino fails miserably to ignite the charcoals. Not to worry, however, as we have someone WWE keeps on roster just for that purpose.
Future Knox County, Tennessee Mayor Kane!
Who’s ready for some AMERICAN rasslin’ fun now?
Sorry to disappoint, but we instead get an Alberto Del Rio interview, who trots around ringside telling people they should have never made it over the border and should all be deported. As I watch this, all I can think is that Vince was on the phone with his buddy Donald, telling him, “I have a great idea for your presidential campaign!”
Now if you’re thinking, “Ok, heel Alberto from Mexico is going to get his comeuppance from someone from the US of A at this Great American Bash”, prepare to be disappointed once again…
…as he is interrupted by Sheamus. Who is from Ireland. Worse yet, he gets his head slammed repeatedly by a car hood. Please to stop, I am having WCW Backstage Assault (yep, that’s inducted in the archives) flashbacks. BTW, did you know you could play as Vince Russo in that game? Thanks, Joe Gagne!
Alright, so far we’ve had a backstage skit with virtually no Americans, then a battle between two more non-Americans. Let’s get to our first actual match to see if we can start waving old glory!
Well, that there is Antonio Cesaro. Pretty sure he is the Swiss Superman. And his partner, Aksana, is from Lithuania as I recall. So no such luck there.
The DEEVER shows up, and I know from my 2,700 Google searches of her (purely for research for articles on this site of course) she’s from England. Great Khali is Indian. This has to be the least American Bash ever.
Still, it’s hard to complain when after a quick squash, we get Layla attempting to teach the big guy how to dance. Oh how I miss you, Deever. Couldn’t you make a deal with Conrad so we can get you at Starrcast with us?
SPEAKING OF Starrcast, our next match feature Christian (CANADIAN!) taking on our FIRST competitor from the US, Cody Rhodes! Rhodes picks up the victory here in a pretty nice little match. Of course, he’d have quite a few “nice little matches” and never break through in WWE, eventually going out on his own and making his name elsewhere. Hence we get All In, and in conjunction, Starrcast.
Ok, I’d like to interrupt this induction to shill a bit here for Starrcast. I’ve mentioned it a couple of times, but want to go into a bit of detail here as if you are a frequent visitor of WrestleCrap.com, I think you really need to find a way to get there as we are going to have a pretty sizable presence at what is shaping up to be the biggest wrestling convention I can remember. My WrestleCrap Radio co-host, Mr. Blade Braxton, is going to be there with me doing a WrestleCrap panel. We are going to have tons of ORIGINAL props from WrestleCrap inductions – the robe that Oz wore, the Black Scorpion mask, and the original outfit that hopped out of an egg to dance with Mean Gene back in 1990. Plus, we are going to be joined onstage by WrestleCrap inductees. Don’t have them all in stone yet, but I can tell you we will have Oscar from Men on a Mission and I literally just got confirmed none other than Dr. D David Schultz will be there to DISCUSS HIS FAMILY WITH US.
If that’s not enough, I will be on stage debating what really caused WCW’s demise with ERIC BISCHOFF. Since you know, I wrote Death of WCW and know a thing or two about it. JJ Dillon and Kevin Sullivan are also joining the fun. And of course there will be a zillion wrestling superstars (seriously, check out this list) there signing autographs, doing photos, you name it. I try not to spend time promoting events, but this will most likely be the biggest WrestleCrap event that will EVER happen. We’ll be there signing books, taking photos, etc., and we want to meet YOU. So yeah, click here and let’s have some fun Labor Day weekend!
Back to your normally scheduled induction!
We head backstage to the PART-AY, with Zack Ryder showing up to tell Teddy he wants to play some tunes. Heath Slater, who apparently did not have kids at this point, shows up and explains no one wants to hear Backstreet Boys or Bieber, they want to hear the ONE MAN BAND. I’d call it a toss up to be honest. The partygoers disagree, and pelt Slater with hot dog buns and paper plates.
So Ryder lays down some beats and we get Brodus Clay and the Funkadactyls showing up. Backstreet Boys don’t sound so bad now, eh?
Also, this serves as a reminder of how sad I am that Cameron is long gone from the company. Remember that match when she made a cover on an opponent who was laying face down? And she yelled at the referee to count? Man those were good times.
Speaking of folks I miss, Vicki Guerrero (with the amazing Twitter handle of ExcuseMeWWE!!!) is out next to introduce her man, Dolph Ziggler, who will be facing Alex Riley. Yes, that Alex Riley, of RAGING Alex Riley fame. (Note to self: induct Raging Alex Riley.) Dolph pins the guy in about two minutes. The absolute best thing I can say about this match? My autocorrect wanted to change the beginning of the last sentence to DOLPHIN instead of DOLPH PINS.
The Dolph Pin would be a great name for a new Ziggler finisher. Dude is overdue for a makeover, having him come out bedecked in dorsal fins may not be the worst idea.
Next up comes an interview with Michael Cole and AJ Lee. Cole wants to know why AJ has been playing both CM Punk and Daniel Bryan off each other, acting like she is interested in helping both of them. Cole has a better idea for her, that she hooks up with a REAL MAN, namely…
Unfortunately, before AJ can ponder the possibilities of being with a former war correspondent, Punk and Bryan both come out. Long story long, she kisses both of them, then skips away as they both look completely baffled. This would all lead to an upcoming Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk title match.
You know what, that there match sounds like it could be pretty daggum good.
In fact, maybe it could have even been GREAT.
And they are both AMERICANS.
Why couldn’t we have had that on THIS show?
Seriously, like you didn’t see that coming.
Finally time for another match, as Santino comes out and introduces his partners for the evening, which would be a REAL American Hero as well as the man who “puts the 2×4 in USA” (yeah, no idea there), Sgt. Slaughter and Hacksaw Jim Duggan! Something tells me this match, in which Sanitno’s crew is taking on Hunico, Camacho, and Drew McIntyre, probably won’t be as good as what that Punk-Bryan match would have been. Just going out on a limb there.
Cole: “What is it about these holidays that we have to drag out these fossils from the past?”
Never thought I’d say this, but Cole has a point there. Also:
Cole: “You guys do realize that as the crowd is chanting USA, Santino is from Italy.”
Santino picks up the duke with his patented Cobra Strike. I can’t slam this too much – it was quick, inoffensive, and a proper use of the old guys. And it featured two Americans! I’ve now officially upgraded this from a Mediocre American Bash to an Inoffensive American Bash.
That is better, right?
Over at the party, a dance off is interrupted by Damien Sandow very literally pulling the plug. He explains to us that this type of tomfoolery is not what our founding fathers battled for in achieving our independence. A brawl breaks out between Sandow and Ryder, with Zack getting the upper hand. As Sandow lies on the floor, Ryder grabs a punch bowl and throws it, completely covering…
Cole: “She looks like Carrie!”
MICHAEL COLE WITH THE TRIFECTA!
Let’s celebrate with another MIDCARD DANCE PARTY!
Waitaminute…that guy in the American Flag shirt…is that…is that…EC3??
Why it sure is!
Who would have ever guessed he was such a big fan of The Honky Tonk Man?
Back out to the ring, where Ryback obliterates Curt Hawkins in another two minute squash. Again, I don’t remember the Bashes of old being quite like this. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for a 20 minute Ryback ** classic, but can you guys give me something here?
A battle royal?
Wait, scratch that.
A battle royal won by…
Look, I love Zack and think he has seriously been given the shaft by this company. But this is the GREAT AMERICAN BASH.
Come on, give me War Games.
Give me a MAJOR title bout.
Give me Baby Doll explaining what was on the Dusty Rhodes photos.
Or you know what?
Just give me more EC3 dancing.
He’s a GREAT AMERICAN, and that’s a BASH enough for me!
Have a great 4th weekend, everyone!