July PPV Countdown: WCW Bash At The Beach 1995

The SmarK Retro Rant for WCW Bash at the Beach 95 – Live from Huntington Beach, CA. – Your hosts are Tony & Bobby. – This is of course from the beach, with no actual seating. WCW made various claims from between 50-100,000 people, but actual attendance (free, to boot) was about 10,000. The setup looks kinda like Road Wild, except with phony Hollywood beach bunnies instead of racist redneck bikers. It certainly looks unique.  (Meltzer kept harping on this one during a recent radio show, noting that AAA was having a giant show in the same city at the same time, and he wondered why no one from WCW wanted to go watch the show and scout for talent instead of partying with the Hollywood phonies.  I guess not everyone appreciates lucha libre as much as strippers and blow.)  – US title match: Sting v. Meng. (Today we went to a festival in the park with a friend, and while there that friend ran into another friend who happened to be a Tongan.  Tattoos and everything.  It took a lot of self-control to keep from asking him if he was related to Haku.)  This is a rematch from Great American Bash. They go right for the test of strength to start and that goes nowhere. Meng pounds away and they slug it out, but Meng no-sells it all. I think they missed a major opportunity in not booking Meng v. Renegade at this point. Not an opportunity to draw money or anything, but an opportunity to amuse me. And that’s the important thing. (I never really got why they switched Meng’s character abruptly from suit-wearing badass to CRAZY TONGAN WILDMAN without any explanation.  I mean, I know in wrestling that sort of thing is common, but you’d think that sort of drastic personality shift would indicate personal problems.)  Meng hammers away in the corner and grunts a lot. Choking follows. Lots of it. Legdrop gets two. Meng goes to the NECK-MUSCLE MASSAGE OF DEATH, but Sting reverses to an armbar. Meng’s attempt at a suplex is blocked and they do more jockeying, and that goes nowhere. Sting’s clothesline is dramatically no-sold, in case we missed the point when he didn’t fall down. Sting is aghast. What acting. Meng goes up and misses a headbutt from the middle, which allows Sting to get the Scorpion Deathlock. Col. Parker distracts Sting and he lets go like an idiot, and Meng tosses him. Suplex back in gets two. Backbreaker gets two. Meng works on the back in the laziest manner possible as Tony makes his ridiculous claims about the crowd being the largest in WCW history. Meng goes to the abdominal stretch and we get lots of crowd shots. Sting gets a sunset flip for one, and Meng gets his own, which Sting blocks with a bad-looking butt-splash. Everyone is out. Meng is up first and we get a Boston Crab as the psychology is just all over the place. Pick a body part and stick to it. Sting makes the ropes, which of course tricks the heel into thinking the match is over, and a missed elbowdrop allows Sting to come back. Backdrop suplex and clotheslines follow. He clips Meng and gets a Thesz Press for two. Rana gets two. Cross-body gets two. Stinger splash is blocked by a thrust kick, which gets two. Meng goes up again with a big splash for two. And once again he thinks it’s over, and this time gets rolled up for the pin at 15:30. This was How to Bore the Crowd 101. ** Hawk saves Sting from any further abdominal stretching. – World TV title: Renegade v. Paul Orndorff. Criss-cross to start and Orndorff takes him down and pounds away. He goes up and hits boot on the way down, and Renegade comes back and dumps him. Orndorff lands in the sand which, as Tony notes, is very abrasive to the skin. (Oh Tony, you were like a neverending supply of running jokes for our group back in the day.)  Back in, Renegade works a headlock and pumps up the crowd. Okay, just the headlock. He gets an alleged dropkick that ends up 0.8 Watts, and Orndorff bails and tosses sand in Renegade’s face. Well, now you KNOW you’re watching a classic. (However, Renegade sent away for Charles Atlas’ bodybuilding course and became a real man afterwards!)  Back in, Orndorff gets a side suplex and goes to the chinlock. Orndorff gets his own dropkick and stalls, then decides to go for the piledriver. Sadly, Renegade escapes and gets ANOTHER 0.8 Watts dropkick, and then ANOTHER one. This guy really needs to learn how to throw a dropkick. (That was the least of his problems.)  Powerslam fails to excite the crowd, and when Orndorff tosses Renegade they CHEER. WCW should have taken the hint. This isn’t even a hardcore crowd, it’s casual beach dwellers, and even THEY hate the guy. Back in, Renegade escapes a suplex and gets a backdrop suplex for the pin at 6:11. Crowd boos that one out of the building. Or off the beach, as it were. Orndorff punks him out and piledrives him, which turns him face with the crowd. Renegade doesn’t even have the decency to sell it, popping right back up with a flying bodypress. –*  (At least it’s not Kamala v Jim Duggan.)  – Kamala v. Jim Duggan. (F---!)  And here I thought the show could only get BETTER after that last match. Thankfully Duggan is here to save us from any potential Ugandan invasion forces. This was during the early days of the Dungeon of Doom, when suspense was running high as to who the newest members would be, and when I say “high” I mean as in “drugs were needed to enjoy this angle”. They slug it out and Duggan wins that battle. Kamala won’t go down. A clothesline drops him, but he comes back with some chopping. Duggan tries a slam, and gets pounded. Choking follows. Into the bearhug, and Duggan misses a charge after escaping. Into the PURPLE NURPLE OF DEATH, but Duggan slugs out and bites to come back. Clothesline and Duggan slams him, which is about the one impressive thing in the whole match, and the three-point stance puts Kamala down. Zodiac runs in behind the ref’s back, knocks Duggan out, and Kamala gets the pin at 6:06. I don’t know what was more astounding – that Kamala actually got a serious push, or that no one figured out Zodiac was Brutus Beefcake. DUD – Diamond Dallas Page v. Evad Sullivan. Don’t even get me started on the rabbit. Sullivan attacks to start and suplexes DDP in, but Page backs off. Atomic drop and clothesline set up a suplex, and Dave is pumped. He stops to put the moves on Kimberly, however, and gets stomped down by DDP. Page pounds away, but misses a charge and crotches himself. Sullivan comes back and slugs away. Clothesline and he wants whatever, but goes after Max Muscle and gets hit with the Diamond Cutter at 4:26. This gets nothing and likes it. DUD  (It’s the parade of Hogan hangers-on and wannabes!)  – Normally I wouldn’t bother with pre-match promos, but Jerry Sags quotes Frampton in between screamed clichés, so he earns a spot in the recap as a result. – WCW World tag title: Harlem Heat v. Nasty Boys v. The Bluebloods. The crowd is chanting for the Heat, so Booker tells them to shut up. It’s a pier-nine brawl to start (after a complex coin toss that was supposed to set the Nasties & Heat as the starters) and the Nasties clean house. Knobs and Booker start proper, and Booker pounds away and chokes him out. Knobs ventures too far into the wrong corner, and Regal tags himself in. Booker takes him down and superkicks him, and Stevie Ray comes in for more pounding. Eaton tags in and gets backdropped and bails, which allows Sherri to get her shots in. Back in, Stevie gets a sideslam, but Eaton tags Sags mid-move and the Nasties do some CLUBBERING, CLUBBERING, THEY BE CLUBBERING in the corner. Knobs headbutts Stevie low and they go after the leg. Sags decides to tag Regal in, so Stevie makes the comeback and the Heat work Regal over in the corner. Booker goes to the Blueblood corner and gets pounded, however. Knobs comes back in and misses a charge, but Regal subdues Booker. Knobs clotheslines Booker for two. Nasties double-team Booker for two. Regal slaps him around and drops a knee, then tags Sags back in again. Sags promptly turns on the Bluebloods, and they brawl for a bit, allowing Booker to tag Stevie back in. Sags & Stevie slug it out, but Eaton comes in and takes over for Sags. The Bluebloods work Stevie over in the corner, and Knobs comes in with an elbow and a splash for two. Booker comes in and gets a sidekick on Knobs for two. Stevie comes in with a kneedrop, and Regal tags himself in and goes after Knobs. Bluebloods work Knobs over in the royal corner, and Bobby comes off the top with a knee for nothing, as Booker saves. Regal Stretch, but Sags saves. Stevie gets tagged back in and hammers on Knobs in the corner, and Booker gets tagged by Regal, which prompts Knobs to suddenly make the comeback out of nowhere. Regal hammers him down again, but Knobs blocks a sunset flip with a buttdrop, and Sags gets the hot (?) tag and cleans house. Everyone brawls and Regal gets splashed by a bunch of people, and apparently Stevie Ray was in the pile and thus gets the win at 13:10. What a stupid finish. Match dragged on and had absolutely no flow to it. *1/2 – Lifeguard match: Randy Savage v. Ric Flair. This would be a lumberjack match, except with lifeguards mixed in. Nyuk nyuk. Savage knocks him down and pounds away to start, and a trio of clotheslines put Flair out. The lumberjacks put him back in, but Savage chokes him out on the apron. Savage pounds away in the corner, but Flair gets an atomic drop out of the corner and starts chopping. Savage gets tossed and the babyface lumberjacks gently put him back in, and Flair chops again. Blind charge hits elbow and Savage slugs away and knocks Flair down with an elbow. Flair Flip and he heads out and back in via the lumberjacks. Savage gets tossed to the sand and thrown back in. Suplex back in is blocked, and Savage suplexes Flair to the outside. Back in he goes. Tony notes that Savage’s suplex was not a deliberate toss over the top. I’d say SUPLEXING a guy over the top is pretty deliberate, but the rule says that you BOTH have to be in, which is why it’s not a DQ. Just in case your teacher ever puts that on a pop quiz in history class. Flair takes over with a sleeper, but Savage sends him into the corner to escape. Flair chops away and tosses Savage, which SHOULD be a DQ, but I guess this is no-DQ or something. Back in, Flair comes off the top and collides with Savage in a weird spot, and Savage whips Flair around and slugs away. Sleeper is reversed by Flair into the kneecrusher, and goes to work on the leg. Savage keeps fighting back, but hits boot on a charge and NOW! WHOO! WE GO TO SCHOOL. Figure-four, but Savage reverses pretty easily. Flair gets a delayed vertical suplex for two. Savage comes back and slugs away, and Flair goes out again and makes a run for it, only to be caught and brought back. Back in, Savage backdrops him and gets the axehandle, but AA comes in and distracts the ref. Flair charges and gets backdropped over the top, but Arn comes in again and DDTs Savage. Flair gets two. Savage gets a backslide for two. Charge hits elbow and Flair goes up top, gets slammed, and the big elbow finishes at 13:53. That was so predictable that I typed the finish like 30 seconds before it happened. Match was nothing special and lacked emotion – it just felt like a couple of guys doing their usual match. **1/4 – WCW World title, cage match: Hulk Hogan v. Big Van Vader. Since Hogan is involved, this is pinfall, submission or escape. Hogan attacks and sends Vader into the cage to start, and chokes him out with the t-shirt. Double axehandle and he slugs away, but Vader won’t go down. They slug it out and can’t ram each other into the cage, until Vader finally wins that battle. He keeps pounding Hogan, but gets rammed into his own mask, which Hogan then proceeds to use as a weapon. More punching. Vader comes back with an avalanche, however, and goes up for a pump splash. Back up for another go, and that gets two. Vader spears him into the cage and keeps pounding away. Drop suplex and Vader goes for the door, but Hogan recovers and sends Vader into the cage. He tries a slam, but gets pounded back down again. Vader goes back up, but misses a senton bomb and Hogan comes back. Corner clothesline and Hogan tries another slam, but Vader falls on top and gets two. We hit the chinlock, and Hogan comes back with a clothesline. He still wants the slam, however. He gets it, but hurts his back. Vader comes off the middle rope with a splash and gets two. Hulk-up time, as he no-sells a trip to the cage and comes back. Vader eats the cage a few times and it’s the big boot, but Zodiac tries to get into the cage, only to be foiled by Dennis Rodman. Hogan drops the leg, poses, and then does it again. Sure, just totally emasculate the guy, why don’t ya? Hogan climbs, but gets caught by Vader, who then falls off and allows Hogan to exit at 13:09. Real bad. * This was also Vader’s final WCW PPV, as he left for the WWF shortly before Fall Brawl. The Bottom Line: Well, Savage-Flair was a major disappointment, and was pretty much the only match on the show even close to “worthwhile”, so that pretty much makes this the usual WCW disaster of epic proportions. (Man, how did I forget about THIS one in my list of horrible PPVs?)  Strong recommendation to avoid.