What the World Was Watching: WCW Main Event – July 16, 1995

Eric Bischoff and Dusty Rhodes are doing commentary for today’s Bash at the Beach pre-show broadcast that is originating live from Huntington Beach, California.  The camera shot of fans on the beach surrounding the ring makes for a great visual.

Opening Contest:  Johnny B. Badd (23-4-2) defeats Chris Kanyon after the Badd Day at 2:21:

There is a platform that surrounds the ring, serving as the arena floor, and there is sand beyond that.  That is a good thing as Badd dives onto Kanyon and both men crash into the sand.  Dusty hypes the “burning sands” to sell the move.  Kanyon bumps well for Badd, something Badd seems to appreciate as he can do more high-flying moves, and it is no wonder Kanyon soon received a permanent job with the company.

Gene Okerlund interviews Commissioner Nick Bockwinkel, who says that there will be a winner for tonight’s main event between Hulk Hogan and Vader.

Call 1-900-909-9900 to find out what is going on with the Ric Flair-Vader relationship.  Rumor has it that there is some dissension between them.  Okerlund says many fans on the beach have cellular phones and will definitely call the hotline!

Okerlund interviews the Blue Bloods.  Lord Steven Regal says that today history will be made when he and Earl Robert Eaton win the tag team titles.  WCW Tag Team Champions Harlem Heat and Sister Sherri interrupt, arguing that the Bloods have an agreement with the Nasty Boys for the triangle match and that is will not make any difference in the outcome.

A new Dungeon of Doom vignette sees Vader appear in his mastodon mask, with the Master saying that Vader now possesses all the power to defeat Hulk Hogan.  Kevin Sullivan echoes these sentiments.  The Master offers his power, which Vader rejects and disappears on his own volition, leaving the Master and Sullivan puzzled.

Okerlund interviews Sullivan, who frames tonight’s main event as the end of Hulkamania, thereby guaranteeing a Vader loss.  He says that Hacksaw Jim Duggan will be the Dungeon’s first victim when Kamala wrestles him on tonight’s pay-per-view.

A promo with Hulk Hogan and Dennis Rodman airs from the previous evening’s Slim Jim party.  Hogan says he and Rodman have been hanging and banging as Rodman, who is referred to as “Rod the Bod,” tears off his Hogan shirt.

Bischoff is all smiles as he is joined by the ladies of Baywatch, including Gena Lee Nolin.  She says she is having a blast.  Doug and Deborah Schwartz come on camera, talking about an upcoming episode where WCW talent will appear with the Baywatch cast.

Okerlund talks with Ray Malzo, the head of the Orange County Harley-Davidson dealership, and two young fans.  Malzo says that he has a special presentation for Hulk Hogan, who comes out to accept with Jimmy Hart.  The teenage fan almost forgets his lines as he gives the Harley-Davidson motorcycle to Hogan on behalf of all the world’s Hulkamaniacs.  Hogan proposes the idea of there being another Harley-Davidson that WCW can buy and that can be given to a fan who has attended the show, even though a true babyface would just give their bike to someone.  Paul Wight, still unnamed, comes out, takes off his shirt, and throws it in Hogan’s face, yelling at him “Remember this?”  Hogan says that the shirt belonged to Andre the Giant, beginning a tasteless angle where WCW sold Wight as Andre’s son.

Road Warrior Hawk (2-0-1) pins Mark Starr (1-9) after a flying clothesline at 1:22:

It is nice that Hawk made this show after he no showed last month’s Main Event before The Great American Bash.  Starr is coming off a win on WCW Worldwide on July 8 but wrestling a jobber and a name talent are two separate things.  Hawk swallows Starr up and then yells into the camera about how he likes making people feel pain.

Number One Contender’s Match for the WCW Tag Team Championship:  Dick Slater & Bunkhouse Buck (w/Colonel Robert Parker) (13-8) defeat Alex Wright & Marcus Bagwell when Buck pins Bagwell after a side suplex at 3:24:

WCW was scraping the bottom of the barrel for a number one contender for the tag team titles because the division only had four credible teams.  As a result, Wright and Bagwell are merged so that Slater and Buck can beat someone to get a title shot on the next WCW Saturday Night.  It is also a sign of WCW putting the brakes on Wright’s push as he has not wrestled since June 24 and is knocked out of the match after a single punch by Buck.  Buck also pins Bagwell after Parker provides a token distraction.  Rating:  *

After the match, Vader hits the ring and destroys the babyfaces as the crowd roars with approval.  Vader also beats up some jobbers that try to help, moving his reaction down to the “mixed” category as some casual fans finally pick up on the fact that he is a heel.

Okerlund interviews Randy Savage, who says tonight is going to be full of excitement, pretty girls, and snapping Ric Flair in half.

The Last Word:  The middle of the broadcast had too much talking but that is preferable to running video packages for feuds that would have re-aired on the pay-per-view telecast anyway (like with modern day WWE).  Vader came off like a world beater on this show but since WCW is already programming Hulk Hogan with Paul Wight it seems like Vader’s “monster of the season” run is coming to an end against the Hulkster so he can move onto someone else.  Also, even if fans did not buy the pay-per-view, the appearance of lots of fans on the beach gave WCW an image of legitimacy and top flight status as a wrestling promotion so from a marketing perspective it was great – although the accounting department would have a much different opinion since none of the fans on the beach paid to see the show.

Up Next:  Bash at the Beach ’95!