Started with Smackdown. My god what a horrible episode of pro wrestling.
The segment with Sheamus at the beginning was horrid. Sheamus apologizing for kicking a referee will likely do him no favors. Randy Orton vs. Mark Henry was shaping up to be a nice confrontation, but the non-finish killed it. Plus, Kane is doing more harm to Orton's in-ring career revival that Christian initiated than good. Ryback had another decent squash, but that singlet is horrible. Kidd/Slater vs. Usos was a waste of a match and Jimmy Hart embarrassed himself by trying to put himself over with the megaphone.
Piper's Pit was easily the best segment on the show and it was definitely awesome. I love that Danielson gets so much mic time to really show off just how great he is with it and just how much personality he has. It really makes up for the all the years I had of listening to the ignorant wrestling fans say "Guys like Danielson don't have the personality or mic skills to cut in WWE." This, by the way, it not something that developed over night. Danielson has been awesome in this manner since roughly 2005.
Damien Sandow vignettes are boss, but as history has proven everything depends on the follow-up. I hope things work out for Sandow, but he could be another Hade Vansen/Mordecai/Sean O'Haire/etc.
Hunico vs. Duggan.... Just whatever. Cody Rhodes segment started good but Dusty Rhodes destroyed it. The main event was an utter waste of time. A horrible episode of pro wrestling, really.
Not content to end my day of wrestling with that garbage, I watched the Great American Bash '90. The non-commercial tape version.
The opener was Brian Pillman vs. Buddy Landell. Landell looks horribly out of shape here. The match is plodding and boring, which is kind of surprising given who's involved.
Next up Mike Rotunda vs. the Iron Sheik. Really? A bad match, this one.
Doug Furnas vs. Dutch Mantell. Oh come on. This match bored me to tears.
Tommy Rich vs. Harley Race and I can't help but feel that whoever is in charge is trying to piss me off. This match blows, shockingly.
The Midnight Express vs. The Southern Boys. FINALLY. I don't know what the deal is with those other four matches, but here's something that's really really good. We're on the last legs of the last hurrah of the MNX here and they go balls out to make this a classic, which it is. They follow the standard formula of MNX getting beat up and then cheating to dominate the entirety of the match before the hot tag. It's perfectly executed. Then there's several insanely hot near-falls at the end before MNX score a quick inside cradle to win. A fantastic match.
Next up, making his WCW debut: BIG VAN VADER. Vader demolishes Tom Zenk.
The Steiners vs. The Freebirds is next. A good enough match with the Steiners being their usual selves and the Freebirds being humongous heat magnets. The finish was designed to protect the Freebirds (Rick belly-to-bellied Hayes and when Hayes was pinned he got a foot on the rope, but the ref counted three nonetheless), but honestly at this point they didn't need it anymore. Hindsight, 20/20, etc.
Paul Orndorff, Junkyard Dog, and El Gigante vs. Sid Vicious, Arn Anderson, and Barry Windham. Fuck me that's one horrible looking group on the face-side of things. Match has a bullshit-finish and the fans are screwed out of what was supposed to be the first official in-ring match of El Gigante (well, not really screwed but you get my point).
Lex Luger vs. THE UNDERTAKER~! Match sucks, but man that was neat to see the Undertaker. I can only assume that Luger's clothesline to finish caused Mean Mark to have a heart attack and die, before being resurrected by Brother Love later that year.
DOOM vs. The Rock 'n' Roll Express. Another good match, not surprisingly. It follows the formula, but DOOM ends up winning because they're kind of the new age LOD and the idea is to make sure they're the ultimate badasses.
Main event time. I should mention that leading up to this, in between each match Gordon Solie would interview someone and ask their thoughts on the main event. That actually makes the main event come off as a very big deal and it's something WWE should do today. The main event? Sting vs. Ric Flair for the World title. This storyline began in one year prior at GAB 89. Most people will say it started at the first Clash, but that's not true. The Clash-match made Sting, but at the time it was just a tossed together match. THIS match began with Flair vs. Funk a year prior, which lead to Flair/Sting vs. Funk/Muta, which lead to Sting joining the Horsemen, which lead to Sting winning a titleshot against Flair at Starrcade, which lead to Sting getting beaten out of the Horsemen, which lead to this match. It was supposed to happen sooner, but Sting got injured. Anyway, the match is pretty good, but not a classic. It hits all the right points, but I can't help but feel the finish (an inside cradle) wasn't definitive enough for what should have been a definitive win for Sting. Still, it's a good match and the historic nature of it is worth watching.
Match of the Day goes to the Midnight Express vs. The Southern Boys.
"Hogan is trying to get Yokozuna into WCW. Remember, he still has a win he needs to get back" - The Wrestling Observer Newsletter: December 08, 1997