Booker T, Bret Hart and Raven fought in an intense triple threat match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Despite fierce competition, Raven found a way to retain the title over very game competition. The next night on Nitro Of Champions, Ric Flair announced that Booker T would be headlining The Great American Bash taking on the WCW Champion. But the question became who the WCW World Heavyweight Champion would actually be at the PPV?
Raven and Bret Hart fought at Nitro Of Champions for the WCW Title but Booker T got involved, laying out both men with a chair. Raven would retain but Bret “The Hitman” Hart was incensed. The next week on Nitro, Bret Hart locked on the figure four leg lock on Booker on the ring post incapaciting the Book man. Booker was ruled out with an injury leaving the co-President Ric Flair in a predicament. He announced a fatal four way match to determine a new number one contender the next week, but all four men were taken out by members of Raven’s group the Exiles. Bret Hart then made an emotional plea to Flair to give him one more oppurtunity at the title. Raven came out to agree to the match. But on one condition, if Bret lost he would not get another title shot for the next 12 months! Meaning that the earliest that Bret can recieve a title shot next would be The Great American Bash 2001! Bret agreed and Flair made the match official for The Great American Bash.
A dangerous alliance was formed the day after Uncensored when Chris Benoit turned his back on the WCW Universe and allied with Paul Heyman and Eddie Guerrero. After the duo destroyed the dream team of Hollywood Hogan and Sting, they set their sets on Chris Jeirhco for Paul’s own personal reasons. Benoit’s constant attacks on Jericho would eventually lead to a match between the two former WCW Tag Team Champions at Slamboree. In the match of the night, Benoit prevalied due to Paul Heyman’s interference. Needless to say, Jericho wasn’t done with Paul Heyman.
Heyman tried to get WCW International Champion Rob Van Dam on board as he and Eddie Guerrero would help Van Dam retain the International title on multiple occassions. Eventually, after they almost cost him the title at Nitro Of Champions, Van Dam struck. Van Dam and Jericho eventually formed an alliance to combat the Radicalz. The hardcore tag team match was made for The Great American Bash between these four former ECW stars.
It was announced the week after Nitro of Champions that Diamond Dallas Page would be making his return to WCW at The Great American Bash. However, Page ignored the plans himself, making a shock return to save Bret Hart from Asbury Perfection the next week! Curt Hennig demanded a match with DDP at The Great American Bash which Eric Bischoff. However, Eric promised to make DDP “see the light” on the pre-show hoping to have him join “Team Eric”.
Pre-Show – Diamond Dallas Page chooses whether to side with Eric Bischoff or Ric Flair
Eric Bischoff comes out to welcome everybody to The Great American Bash. He cuts a heel promo and promises the fans a night they would never forget. Eric announced that he would be the referee for the opening tag team match between Hogan/Sting and Tajiri/Muto. He promises to call that match right down the middle. Eric announced to the world that DDP would sign a contract for the former WCW Champion to join “Team Eric”. Ric Flair comes out to a huge pop (I’m guessing!) and tells Bischoff to shut the hell up. He tells Bischoff that DDP hates his guts just as much as anybody. Flair says that there is not a man more disgusting on this earth than Eric Bischoff. Eric reminds Flair that he still has majority control between the two of them and advises him to not get on his bad side. Flair comes back by saying that just because Bischoff has majority control, doesn’t mean he can tell the Nature Boy what to do. It’s not like Bischoff could fire Ric if he were to say call Eric an Asshole! This gets a pop and enfuriates Bischoff. Bischoff then simple shrugs it off by saying that if Ric thought Bischoff was an asshole now, he can’t imagine think of what Ric thinks of him after he gets DDP on “Team Eric”. DDP’s music hits and he comes out to a huge response. Bischoff tries to get DDP on his side by promising DDP would be the highest paid worker on the roster. He also guarentees DDP that if he joins his side, the winner of tonight’s WCW World Title would defend the title against the King of Bada-Bing at the next PPV! And unlike Booker T, no-one would be able to touch him. DDP shakes hands with Eric but then drops him with a Diamond Cutter! Eric is brought to the back when Flair picks up the mic. He says that since there’s no referee for the opener anymore!, how about old nature boy takes on the role? The crowd pops and is thrown a ref shirt
Match 1 – Hollywood Hogan and Sting def. Keiji Mutoh and Yoshihiro Tajiri with Ric Flair as special guest referee
Clean win for Hogan and Sting. Flair doesn’t really contribute to the finish at all but then again he doesn’t need to. If anything, he like stops Mutoh from using a chair or something but it’s a clean win for Hogan and Sting. Mutoh and Tajiri aren’t really over enough to win this feud, even though I was tempted to just have them keeping jobbing out to heel tag teams! The Asian Invasio have really went downhill since Mutoh feuded for the WCW Title. 82% is a lot better than what I was expecting! It might have been down to Hogan, Sting and Flair more than the actual match quality, which was pretty bad.
Match 2 – AJ Styles def. Kensuke Sasaki in a Falls Count Anywhere match
Match of the Night goes to… these two! Very happy that these two stole the show and it’s awesome that the fans are into both of them. AJ is the future of this company and Sasaki is becoming the most over member of the Asian Invasion. I have to give these two credit. They said they’d be able to deliver and they did! 96% overall! 100% match quality!
Match 3 – Perry Saturn (c) def. Arn Anderson in a tables match to retain the WCW Television Championship
These two were actually feuding before and actually had a match way back at Uncensored. But then Arn Anderson got injured and I had to wait until he got back to kind of wrap up the feud. Perry retains but I’m not sure for how much longer he’ll remain champion…
Match 4 – Rowdy Roddy Piper (c) and Steven Regal (c) def. Dean Malenko and Rey Mysterio in a ladder match to retain the WCW Tag Team Championship
Now I know Rowdy Piper in a ladder match doesn’t exactly sound like the greatest spectacle in the world! But then again, they said the same thing about Regal and Dave Taylor when they were in the four way ladder match at Armageddon 2006. And they were both awesome in that match! These guys have a way of suprising you! Legion retain the tag team titles continuing their title reign that started back at Uncensored.
Match 5 – Diamond Dallas Page def. Curt Hennig
DDP goes over Curt Hennig in the end. As much as I’ve loved booking Hennig and Bam Bam Bigelow as the “Asbury Perfection” tag team, I think it’s time for Hennig to have a solo run. He’s got a lot of potential in the International Title picture. As for DDP… WELCOME BACK!
Match 6 – Scott Steiner def. Ultimo Dragon in a submission match
Steiner makes Dragon pass out to the Steiner Recliner. I didn’t really want Dragon to tap out as it wouldn’t have made sense, with him showing the never-die attitude during his I Quit match with Guerrero at Uncensored. So Steiner goes over like that. These two never really seemed to click in the ring, but they’re both still over which made this feud all the more worth it..
Match 7 – Chris Jericho and Rob Van Dam def. Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero w/Paul Heyman in a hardcore tag team match
I had the most difficult time in deciding who to put over in this match. I wanted Benoit and Guerrero continue to look strong as the two Paul Heyman guys. Then again, RVD is the International Champion and Jericho only just lost the WCW Title. I went with the faces with the notion that Jericho could still do a singles feud with Benoit afterwards. Then Benoit could get a lot of big wins on PPV. Either way, awesome match with a 93%.
Match 8 – Raven (c) def. Bret Hart to retain the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. If Bret Hart lost, he would not get another WCW Title shot in the next 12 months.
These two have a hell of a match back-and-forth. Raven retains after clobbering Bret with the brass knuckles and Evenflow DDT when the ref was out. Bret looks on into the crowd in disappointment as they cheer him. He walks out of the ring with his hands on his head as the crowd continue to applaud.
I do have a bit of a plan for Bret with regards to the stipulation. I don’t want to spoil anything but Bret’s got a bit of a future ahead of him. I just hope that he can continue to be over in a year’s time!