What the World Was Watching: WCW Main Event – July 23, 1995

Gene Okerlund and Bobby Heenan are doing the studio duties for today’s broadcast.  Heenan says that there is going to be a big parade in Bucksnort, Tennessee to honor Dick Slater and Bunkhouse Buck’s tag team title win on WCW Saturday Night.

Heenan goes through a long story about how he was tending to a sick waitress at a Mexican restaurant after Bash at the Beach so that is why he could not pay for Okerlund’s dinner after Okerlund correctly predicted that Hulk Hogan would beat Vader at the pay-per-view.

Okerlund and Heenan discuss the Giant, with Heenan saying the shirt that the Giant tossed at Hulk Hogan on last week’s show came from the film The Princess Bride and only one person wore that shirt.

Heenan says he secured an invitation for Okerlund to go to Bucksnort.  Okerlund is not interested in going until Heenan says he can get an escort.

Harlem Heat (w/Sister Sherri) (34-5-2) defeat the Blue Bloods (17-2-1) when Stevie Ray pins Earl Robert Eaton after a Booker T Harlem Hangover at 7:48:

This bout came from a WCW Pro taping and according to live reports, the match was stopped because the crowd was not reacting due to two heel teams competing.  The Blue Bloods then proceeded to do a promo against America, turning the Heat babyface by default, and the match was restarted with a more engaged crowd.  Regal accidentally places Booker in his finisher too early, but Ray is alert to what is going on and rushes in to make a save.  After seeing Booker yell at fans to shut up all year it is funny to see him gesture for their support when the Bloods spam chinlocks in the middle of the match.  The hot tag is dull as Booker just casually walks over to tag his brother, but the ending is good as Ray blasts Eaton with a bicycle kick, Regal knocks Ray into Sherri, and the referee forces Regal out of the ring, allowing Booker to hit the Harlem Hangover so the Heat avoid losing two matches in a row.  Rating:  **½

Okerlund agrees to go with Heenan to Bucksnort, with Heenan reminding him that it is a formal affair so he has to bring a shoe.

The Last Word:  Harlem Heat’s victory in the feature match positions them to get a rematch for the tag team titles later and the Blue Bloods are suddenly the odd team out in the tag team division.  They could feud once again with the Nasty Boys, with the winner facing the Heat or Dick Slater and Bunkhouse Buck, but those two teams faced each other enough in June before The Great American Bash.  It is more likely that they will face the Heat a few more times or grind their wheels before getting another title shot in the near future.

Backstage News*:        WCW is using a lot of excuses for the dead crowd at Bash at the Beach such as the outside temperature, the crowd liked the heels, and that the company’s main audience is children, many of whom were not at the show.  A better explanation would be that the fans were casuals that were not familiar with WCW storylines and only knew some of the bigger names like Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Randy Savage, and Sting.  The event also saw fewer people interested in sticking around to watch much of the show because there were no bleachers and the sight lines were terrible, with beachgoers unable to see the wrestlers when they were on the mat.  It did not help that WCW Main Event featured lots of talking segments instead of in-ring action to hold the crowd’s attention.

*Bash at the Beach did receive a lot of press coverage in the Huntington Beach area, although many television stations called it a WWF event.

*Two big names backstage at Bash at the Beach were Tank Abbott, who recently finished runner-up at UFC 6, and the Ultimate Warrior.  WCW would like to run a Hogan-Warrior program in 1996 but there are still legal issues regarding the Warrior’s likeness.  Abbott will likely not be brought in at this time as some such as Terry Taylor are against his hiring.

*David Hasselhoff, one of the big Baywatch stars, was supposed to appear with other cast members at the pay-per-view but declined because of a busy schedule.

*WCW sent Chris Cruise and Mike Tenay to the AAA show in Los Angeles the night before Bash at the Beach.  This could strengthen ties between the two promotions, although Cruise and Tenay are low on WCW’s pecking order.

*The Monday night show on TNT will be called Nitro and it is scheduled to take place at the Mall of America in Minneapolis.  Eric Bischoff is said to be upset because TNT is only giving him one-third of what he thought necessary to do the broadcast.  The show will include a Hogan main event and it is likely that Bischoff will try to showcase a great technical match every week and give it a lot of airtime.

*Even though the Renegade worked for Killer Kowalski’s wrestling promotion he was never trained by Kowalski and the WWF legend is making that known to everyone that inquires.

*While he is doing the Zodiac gimmick on television, Ed Leslie would prefer to return to his Brutus “the Barber” Beefcake character and is looking at legal avenues to get the rights back to his name because the WWF is not doing anything with his old gimmick.

*It is likely that Hogan will wrestle Kamala on Main Event before The Clash of the Champions on August 6 because he would make $300,000 if his match was on the Clash telecast so it is more cost effective for WCW to use his appearance on part of their regular television rotation.

*WCW is thinking about doing Hogan-Sting for Starrcade and booking it like Hogan-Warrior at WrestleMania VI.

*The Renegade experiment might be ending as well as WCW executives are realizing that he needs more training, so a gradual phase-out of the character is likely to take place by the fall.  It seems like the Bash at the Beach show was the ultimate test for him and he failed when the crowd booed him mercilessly.

*WCW referee Jimmy Jett, who works the WCW Worldwide tapings, made an appearance at an ECW show in Tampa, with Bill Alfonso bringing him out as a “real referee.”  Jett ended up getting chokeslammed by 911.

*The Disco Inferno (Glenn Gilbertti) should debut soon and a feud with Johnny B. Badd seems like a natural fit.

*Sonny Ono, who was the referee for the Hacksaw Jim Duggan-Meng match at Uncensored and who is also a friend of Bischoff, will likely be the manager of a foreign faction that could eventually include Meng and Kurasawa.

*In talent relations news, Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart are campaigning for El Gigante to return to the company.  WCW has signed Eddy Guerrero of ECW and it is expected that he will soon be programmed against Alex Wright.  WCW management also believes they can sign Chris Benoit and the Headhunters.  Al Snow is also under consideration, but the WWF may sign him before WCW has a chance.  Public Enemy and Sabu could be acquisition targets but it is unclear whether they would sign or if WCW still has interest in getting them.

*Backstage news is courtesy of the July 24 and 31 editions of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer.

Up Next:  WCW Pro for July 29!