27th Jun2014

‘WWE: United We Slam – The Best of The Great American Bash’ Review

by Chris Cummings

USA-Bash-Blu

For more than ten years, the NWA and WCW promoted the event known as “The Great American Bash”, a show that celebrated American pride while bringing major matches to the forefront and presenting shows that featured some major moments in the history of professional wrestling.

This set, released in a 3 DVD or 2 Blu-ray set, features some of the biggest contests from various Bash events, with names such as Ric Flair, Sting, Dusty Rhodes, DDP, Randy Savage, Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero and Bret Hart, among many others, making appearances. It is a stunning set for match quality and star-power and the choices of matches are very good.

United We Slam: The Best of The Great American Bash begins with early Bash events (1985) and ends with the most recent, and final Bash, from 2000. The way in which the set is laid out has both good and bad points about it. In one sense it is nice to see the matches in the order of when they occurred, but at the same time it can become a bit stale watching the same workers a few matches in a row. I think after the initial view, this release would benefit from the viewer plucking matches from different places in order to mix things up. This is standard for these sorts of releases though, and it would obviously make no sense for the order of the matches to be random. Still, I prefer to visit different eras in small bursts.

The set is hosted by that son of a plumber, Dusty Rhodes, who offers insight into the early events as well as providing alternative commentaries, alongside Larry Zbyszko, on some of the matches in the release. Dusty does a decent job as the host, linking together matches and bringing some authenticity to the release, considering he was the head booker when The Great American Bash was originally created.

The event was often a top notch one, and has become a PPV concept that is looked back upon fondly by fans. There is a gap between 1992 and 1995 here because WCW temporarily dropped the Bash from its PPV calendar for a while, and there is no inclusion of the events that WWE would host for a while after adding The Great American Bash (later, just The Bash) to their annual PPV output, which doesn’t bother me, this isn’t a WWE-match set. With seven hours of wrestling on the DVD release, and even more on the Blu-ray due to the extra matches you get, this is a set that will certainly please fans of NWA and WCW as well as fans who want to see some of the big moments in one of WWE’s once-primary competitor’s history.

The highlights from the set include Sting vs. The Great Muta and Flair vs. Terry Funk from 1989, Steve Austin & Rick Rude vs. Dustin Rhodes & Barry Windham from 1992, DDP vs. Randy Savage from 1997, Chavo vs. Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko vs. Jericho from 1998.

There are a few duds, which is bound to happen, not every single match will appeal to everyone, but for the most-part it does what it sets out to do. With old school matches as well as a selection from the younger talent that began to make waves in the late nineties in WCW, there is plenty of diversion here to tick the box for most. The Blu-ray release features five extra matches, some of them terrible, other’s fine, making it possibly worth picking up the Blu-ray if you can.

The WWE Network, if it succeeds, almost makes these sorts of compilation releases pointless, with all of the matches and all of the full PPV shows in their entirety on there, but until the Network launches Worldwide and all wrestling fans choose that over DVD’s, this is still a worthwhile release and one that is worth checking out.

United We Slam: The Best of The Great American Bash is out, on DVD and Blu-ray, through Freemantle Media, on July 14th.

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One Response to “‘WWE: United We Slam – The Best of The Great American Bash’ Review”

  • Jason

    What was ur favourite match on the set and are the 1991 & 1999 matches on the extras any good?!?