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Great American Bash was the second oldest annual pay-per-view event in World Championship Wrestling (second only to Starrcade). The inaugural Great American Bash was in Charlotte, NC, in July 1985, headlined by NWA Television champion Dusty Rhodes versus Tully Blanchard in a steel cage (it was not on pay-per-view). The following year, Great American Bash became an inter-state tour stretching from Philadelphia, PA, to Altanta, GA. The next year, the Great American Bash tour expanded to several more states.

Great American Bash made its pay-per-view debut on July 10, 1988, where it became an annual event through 2000 (sans 1993). In 1994, WCW modified its name to "Bash at the Beach" (merging the names of Beach Blast and Great American Bash) for the first pay-per-view match between Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan.

In 2004, Great American Bash became the first event to cross promotions when World Wrestling Entertainment hosted its first Great American Bash. In 2009, WWE simplified its name to The Bash in order to add appeal to its global audience.

Below is the complete list of each year's events with the headlining match listed:

Many of the NWA/WCW Great American Bash pay-per-view events were held in the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, MD.

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