Pro Wrestling
Pro Wrestling

The Great American Bash was an annual summer pay-per-view event produced by the National Wrestling Alliance's (NWA) Jim Crockett Promotions and then by World Championship Wrestling (WCW). According to Ric Flair in his autobiography, To Be the Man, Dusty Rhodes invented the concept of The Great American Bash.

After the final Great American Bash was held by WCW on June 11, 2000, the event would not be held again due to the acquisition of WCW by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE). After a four-year hiatus, however, the event was revived by WWE in 2004 until 2009 (the name of the final event being abbreviated to "The Bash"), and was also used as the title for a special live edition of SmackDown in July 2012. WWE's production of The Great American Bash was the 1st former WCW pay-per-view event to be revived by WWE.


The Great American Bash was invented by Dusty Rhodes, a prominent wrestler of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), who became a wrestler and booker of the NWA's Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP). The first Great American Bash event was held by JCP on July 6, 1985 in Charlotte, North Carolina at the American Legion Memorial Stadium. It was broadcast on closed-circuit television. In 1986 and 1987, The Great American Bash was held as a series of events. The Great American Bash continued to be broadcast on closed-circuit television until the 1988 event, which was the first to be broadcast on pay-per-view (PPV). In November that year, JCP was purchased by Turner Broadcasting System and JCP was rebranded as World Championship Wrestling (WCW).

WCW continued to produce The Great American Bash under the NWA banner until WCW seceded from the NWA in January 1991. As such, the 1991 event was the first Great American Bash produced by WCW alone. After the 1992 event, WCW did not hold the PPV again until they revived it in 1995. It then continued annually until 2000. The 2000 event was the final Great American Bash held by WCW, as in March 2001, WCW was purchased by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), which was renamed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in May 2002.

After a four-year hiatus, the event was revived by WWE in 2004. To coincide with the brand extension, where the promotion divided its roster into brands where wrestlers exclusively perform, the 2004 event was held exclusively for the SmackDown! brand. It continued to be held exclusively for SmackDown! in 2005 and 2006. Following WrestleMania 23 in April 2007, brand-exclusive PPVs were discontinued, thus the events from 2007 to 2009 featured the Raw, SmackDown!, and ECW brands. In 2009, the event was renamed as The Bash. It would be the only held under this name, as well as the last held on PPV, as the event was replaced by Fatal 4-Way in 2010.

In April 2011, WWE ceased using its full name with the WWE abbreviation becoming an orphaned initialism. WWE then revived The Great American Bash in July 2012 under the event's original full name. This event was held as a special episode of SmackDown. After another eight years, WWE again revived the event, this time for the NXT brand as a two-part special episode of NXT. The event was scheduled to again be held as a special episode of NXT in 2021, thus becoming an annual event for NXT.

Dates and venues

WCW/nWo co-branded event SmackDown-branded event NXT-branded event
# Event Date City Venue Main Event
National Wrestling Alliance: Jim Crockett Promotions
1 The Great American Bash 1985 July 6, 1985 Charlotte, North Carolina American Legion Memorial Stadium Tully Blanchard (c) vs. Dusty Rhodes in a Steel cage match for the NWA World Television Championship
2 The Great American Bash 1986 July–August 1986 A tour of 13 shows around the south and eastern parts of the country Dusty Rhodes (c) vs. Ric Flair for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship
3 The Great American Bash 1987 July 1987 A tour of several shows around the south and eastern parts of the country The Road Warriors (Animal and Hawk), Dusty Rhodes, Nikita Koloff, and Paul Ellering vs. The Four Horsemen (Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Lex Luger, and Tully Blanchard) and The War Machine in a WarGames match
4 The Great American Bash 1988 July 10, 1988 Baltimore, Maryland Baltimore Arena Ric Flair (c) vs. Lex Luger for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship
National Wrestling Alliance: World Championship Wrestling
5 The Great American Bash 1989 July 23, 1989 Baltimore, Maryland Baltimore Arena Ric Flair (c) vs. Terry Funk for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship
6 The Great American Bash 1990 July 7, 1990 Baltimore, Maryland Baltimore Arena Ric Flair (c) vs. Sting for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship
World Championship Wrestling
7 The Great American Bash 1991 July 14, 1991 Baltimore, Maryland Baltimore Arena Rick Steiner vs. Arn Anderson and Paul E. Dangerously in a handicap steel cage match
8 The Great American Bash 1992 July 12, 1992 Albany, Georgia Albany Civic Center Terry Gordy and "Dr. Death" Steve Williams vs. Dustin Rhodes and Barry Windham in a tournament final for the inaugural NWA World Tag Team Championship
9 The Great American Bash 1995 June 18, 1995 Trotwood, Ohio Hara Arena Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage
10 The Great American Bash 1996 June 16, 1996 Baltimore, Maryland Baltimore Arena The Giant (c) vs. Lex Luger for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship
11 The Great American Bash 1997 June 15, 1997 Moline, Illinois The MARK of the Quad Cities Diamond Dallas Page vs. Randy Savage in a Falls Count Anywhere match
12 The Great American Bash 1998 June 14, 1998 Baltimore, Maryland Baltimore Arena Sting vs. The Giant for control of the WCW World Tag Team Championship
13 The Great American Bash 1999 June 13, 1999 Baltimore, Maryland Baltimore Arena Kevin Nash (c) vs. Randy Savage for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship
14 The Great American Bash 2000 June 11, 2000 Baltimore, Maryland Baltimore Arena Jeff Jarrett (c) vs. Kevin Nash for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship with Ernest Miller as the special guest enforcer
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)
15 The Great American Bash 2004 June 27, 2004 Norfolk, Virginia Norfolk Scope The Undertaker vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray Dudley and D-Von Dudley) in a Handicap Concrete Crypt match
16 The Great American Bash 2005 July 24, 2005 Buffalo, New York HSBC Arena Batista (c) vs. John "Bradshaw" Layfield for the World Heavyweight Championship
17 The Great American Bash 2006 July 23, 2006 Indianapolis, Indiana Conseco Fieldhouse Rey Mysterio (c) vs. King Booker for the World Heavyweight Championship
18 The Great American Bash 2007 July 22, 2007 San Jose, California HP Pavilion John Cena (c) vs. Bobby Lashley for the WWE Championship
19 The Great American Bash 2008 July 20, 2008 Uniondale, New York Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum Triple H (c) vs. Edge for the WWE Championship
20 The Bash June 28, 2009 Sacramento, California ARCO Arena Randy Orton (c) vs. Triple H in a Three Stages of Hell match for the WWE Championship
21 SuperSmackDown LIVE: The Great American Bash July 3, 2012 Corpus Christi, Texas American Bank Center The Great American Bash 20-Man Battle Royal to determine the guest General Manager for the following week's SmackDown
22 NXT: The Great American Bash 2020 July 1, 2020
(Night 1)
Winter Park, Florida Full Sail University Io Shirai vs. Sasha Banks
July 8, 2020
(Night 2)
NXT Champion Adam Cole vs. North American Champion Keith Lee in a Winner Takes All match
23 NXT: The Great American Bash 2021 July 6, 2021 Orlando, Florida Capitol Wrestling Center at WWE Performance Center Adam Cole vs. Kyle O'Reilly


External Links

The Great American Bash
National Wrestling Alliance
World Championship Wrestling
World Wrestling Entertainment
The Bash
Fatal 4-Way
Capitol Punishment