(This one has been pending for nearly a week, which was before everything kicked off on the UK wrestling scene. Obviously I stand with the victims, some of whom I actually know personally, and remain horrified by every new story that comes out)
We’ve got Summer Slam on the horizon and that one is probably going to take over a month to get covered, so I’m doing a bumper edition review for all of the Beach Blast and Bash at the Beach shows.
Bash at the Beach is notable for the frankly ridiculous amount of tag matches that it has in Main Event slots. Indeed, all but three of the Main Events here are tag bouts. I’d like to say that this would be a good review for fans of tag wrestling as a result, but when you see some of these tag team combinations you might choose to disagree.
For the first two years of its existence this event was called Beach Blast, which is a name I prefer actually, but they went with a new name in 1994 and it stuck for the rest of company’s lifetime.
Let’s all grab our inflatables and suntan lotion as we head to the sand and sea for some wrestling action!
Beach Blast 1992
WCW Tag Team Titles
Champs: The Steiner Brothers Vs Doctor Death Steve Williams and Terry Gordy
Bill Watts was running WCW at the time, and there’s nothing he liked more than rough tough guys with legitimate sporting and fighting backgrounds knocking seven bells of sugar out of one another, hence why this is closing the show instead of Rick Rude Vs Ricky Steamboat or Cactus Jack Vs WCW Champion Sting. Doc and Gordy were both big stars in Japan and had also worked for Watts in Mid-South, so they were obviously going to be figured in now “The Cowboy” was calling the shots.
Jim Ross is on commentary with Jesse Ventura and you can just hear the excitement in his voice at the prospect of these big lads striking and suplexing one another. The opening exchanges are good stuff, as they combine amateur styled grappling with punches and kicks when things heat up a little bit. The crowd seems into the idea of things breaking down into more of a fight, and they pop when things get a bit heated between Scott and Gordy. The quality of the wrestling is good, as everyone involved knows how to handle themselves in a real fight and do a good job of translating that hyper realism into a pro wrestling scenario. It feels far more like watching a BattlArts or UWFi match actually, except no one is doing kicks and it’s more about grappling than martial arts.
Doc and Gordy establish themselves as the heels by throwing Rick to the ramp way and then not allowing him to get back in, which leads to them controlling him in their half of the ring. The crowd isn’t making a lot of noise but it feels like they are paying attention to the match. I don’t get the impression that they are bored but rather viewing it like a Japanese crowd, in that they are watching intently rather than making a lot of noise chanting. There are even some scattered cries of support from the crowd now and then, again like you’d get in Japan. Rick eventually tags out to Scott, but it’s not really built like a proper hot tag and Scott is soon going back and forth with the heels rather than making a big hot comeback to fire up the crowd.
From what I’ve seen of their WCW work, Doc and Gordy didn’t seem to really care for doing the traditional tag team formula most of the time, with most of their matches basically being them just out wrestling the other team until they won, with the opposition occasionally being allowed the odd crumb now and then so the match wasn’t a total bore fest. They do at least attempt some sly cheating in this one to try and get some heat, such as Doc kicking Scott right in the leg and then clubbing away at him with Gordy whilst the ref tries to deal with Rick. Scott sells the leg big, crumpling whenever Doc or Gordy target it, stopping any potential comebacks before they can start. It makes sense from a psychology standpoint, but it’s not especially exciting to watch and it starts to drag after a certain point due to the rather muted crowd.
Scott ends up dragging himself to the corner whilst in a Boston Crab to tag Rick, but I think the ref was supposed to miss it as it feels pretty flat for what is supposedly a hot tag and Ricks immediately cut off and power slammed off the second rope by Gordy for two. Doc and Gordy do NOT like hot tag segments do they? Goodness me, I think Rick got one move in before getting cut off and beaten up. This is technically our third heat segment too, with only 5 minutes left on the 30 minute time limit to boot. What an oddly structured match, especially for something that is supposed to be the Main Event. I mean, Rude Vs Steamboat not only went 30 minutes but featured great wrestling and storytelling, whilst Cactus Vs Sting was a high octane brawl that would have made an exciting show closer, yet we’re getting Doc and Gordy refusing to sell and basically killing this match dead at every turn.
Rick continues to get absolutely levelled by the heels, with the time announcements finally getting the crowd invested because they know both teams are running out of time. Rick eventually manages to slip out of an Oklahoma Stampede and gets a desperation Steinerline. We get the 1 minute warning, as Rick makes the tag to Scott, who comes in with slams on the heels. Scott gets an under hook powerbomb on Gordy and gets the Frankensteiner just as the bell rings to make this one a draw.
TIME LIMIT DRAW
The actual wrestling on display here was solid and well executed, but the match really started dragging after a certain point, as watching Doc and Gordy choking the life out of their babyface opponents for so long just got dull. The last minute was hot, and I get the story that The Steiner’s got essentially dominated by the heel team for the majority of the match so as to establish the heels as genuine contenders, but they could have told the same story with 20 minutes in the mid-card as opposed to boring everyone in the Main Event when there were better candidates for the Main Event slot. I do fully expect this match to have its fans, but it wasn’t for me I’m afraid.
Beach Blast 1993
The Masters of the Powerbomb (Vader and Sid) w/ Harley Race and Robert Parker Vs The WCW Superpowers (Sting and Davey Boy Smith)
This one was set up by an infamous mini-move where an evil little person called Cheetum blew up Sting and Davey Boy’s boat at the behest of the heels somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico. No, I’m not making that up. After only just escaping murder at the hands of a vertically challenged villain, Sting and Davey decided the appropriate recourse was to have a wrestling match with the two men responsible, as opposed to calling the police and having them incarcerated for aiding and abetting a felon. Ah, wrestling.
Well three of these guys are good and one of them is Sid, so hopefully a 75% good quotient will be able to keep this one watchable. Sting hammers away on Sid to start, with Sid selling it all in his usual goofy fashion, only to pop up and drill Sting with a choke slam. Well, that was sure a frantic way to start us out. Both faces get thrown outside of the ring but come back in with top rope axe handle smashes to pop the crowd. Bulldog was actually the guy going after Vader’s WCW Title at this stage due to going to a DQ with him at Slamboree, so he gets to do his shine with him, delivering the big vertical suplex for an easy pop.
Obviously Vader helped out by posting there, but you still need a lot of strength to pull something like that off. It’s a testament to both men doing their jobs well that they managed to make it look so effortless. The heels do manage to cut Davey off following that though, and work him over. When Vader’s in its good and when Sid’s in I spend every second hoping he’ll tag out to Vader. I must say that standing on the apron whilst Vader did the wrestling was a good use of Sid actually. Sid aggravates me further by tagging in and delivering my least favourite rest hold in wrestling, the nerve pinch.
Sid’s skin actually looks like a chip shop sausage here the longer the match goes on (the Brits amongst you all will get that reference) and he makes sure to flex whilst doing the nerve pinch, as having a roided physique and gurning like a moron is all he brings to the table. Eventually Race tries to hold Davey so that Vader can squish him, but Davey dodges and Race ends up taking a bump to the floor. Sting gets the hot tag following that and runs wild on the heels. However, a Sid cheap shot allows Vader to cut him off and we have a second heat segment.
Vader and Sid are drawing some decent heat from the crowd actually, with Vader quickly settling back into the routine of laying a whupping on poor Sting. Sting’s face paint has almost completely melted whilst the two heels are drenched in sweat so it must be boiling in that building. Sting manages to dodge a Sid elbow and tags in Davey, who runs in to a boot to the mid-section and gets immediately cut off. What was the point of that? Did Davey tag in too soon or something? It’s not long before they go to the finish though, as Vader comes off the top with the moonsault for what I think was the first time. Sting breaks up the pin however and Davey rolls Vader up straight after for the three count.
WINNERS: STING AND SMITH
If Vader was going to successfully hit the moonsault then it really should have been the finish, as nothing was topping that. Davey being up so quickly for the win afterward was silly as well, as Sting broke up the pin attempt and Davey rolled Vader up something like 10 seconds later. Thankfully they had Sting break up the count at least so Vader’s new MDK move didn’t get kicked out of. The match itself was fine, but felt more like a TV Main Event as opposed to a Main Event of a pay per view. Still, the crowd was with it and it had the desired effect of setting up Davey for another Title shot, so I’ll give it a pass.
Bash at the Beach 1994
Champ: Ric Flair w/ Sensuous Sherri Vs Hulk Hogan w/ Jimmy Hart and Mr. T
This was of course one of wrestling’s biggest dream matches, with WCW being the first to put it on pay per view even though the WWF could have done it themselves back in 1991 or 1992 had they wished to. Flair had been a babyface going into 1994, but he was quickly turned heel in order to feud with Hogan. Knowing how Flair has always favoured working the heel side of the fence, it probably wasn’t too much of a struggle to get him to go along with it. Indeed, Flair had played a part in convincing Hogan to come to WCW to begin with so that they could work this program. It ended up being a smart move on WCW’s part too, as this show did a good buy rate and helped give the company a sheen of legitimacy.
Noted wrestling fan Shaquille O’Neal is here to present the belt to the winner, owing to the show being in Orlando and him being a Magic player at the time. Michael Buffer lays it on thick in the ring introductions, comparing the match to the moon landings when it comes to importance. Well Hogan does have a moon sized ego, so that’s probably an apt comparison in some ways. I’ve seen this one in highlight form numerous times due to having the “Best of the Bash” VHS that WCW put out in the 90’s, but I’ve seen it in full considerably less.
Hogan gets a strong babyface shine, as he bumps Flair around and even gets to out wrestle him at stages too. Flair sells it all well in his excellent heel style of course, getting a good mixture of cockiness, frustration and cowardice. It works in getting the majority of the crowd behind Hogan, as they pop when he batters the Champ and then boo when Flair tries to run away and use Sherri as a shield. If you’ve ever seen a heel Flair Vs face Hogan match before then you likely won’t be surprised with what you see, but it’s a formula that works well and I’ve always enjoyed the dynamic between them. Both of them are still quite spry here as well, so the action is fought at a decent pace.
Eventually Sherri trips Hogan, which allows Flair to cut him off and start working some heat. Sherri was a good accoutrement to Flair’s act actually, as having a female manager who could get physically involved worked well for the sort of snide heel character Flair had going on. It worked pretty well when he had Woman in the corner as well, as she wasn’t afraid to get physically involved either and once gave Konnan one of the all-time best low blows I’ve ever seen when Flair took him on at BATB 96. Bobby Heenan is great on commentary too, openly cheering Flair on and getting desperate whenever Hogan has control.
A long chin lock slows things down a bit during the heat, possibly because Hogan over exerted himself in the opening section, but it succeeds in getting the crowd behind the challenger and it pops big when his hand doesn’t drop at three and he fights out to make the comeback. Flair takes a fantastic bump over the top to the floor and then even takes a back suplex whilst out there also. Flair has literally done everything in his power to make Hogan look like an all-conquering megastar here, which he really didn’t need to do as Hogan just being Hogan would have gotten over to begin with anyway, but he’s gone the extra mile to make the challenger look strong.
Flair manages to get a suplex back inside the ring, but Hogan no sells it and gets the big boot. This should be the three count, but Sherri pulls out the ref and then decks Jimmy Hart before coming in with a splash from the top rope to Hogan. Flair goes to the Figure Four following that, and the heat as Hogan teases tapping out is fantastic. Hogan eventually makes the ropes to break the hold, but sells his leg big following it. Flair makes the mistake of throwing chops though, which leads to Hogan no selling and making the comeback again. Flair had a fantastic facial expression of “you’ve got to be kidding me” when Hogan started no selling there. It was great. Sherri tries coming in with another splash to cause the DQ, but Hogan moves and then takes both heels down with an Axe Bomber.
Hogan goes to the Figure Four following that, but releases the hold due to Sherri being on the apron. Mr. T carries her away, but not before she can throw Flair a concealed weapon. Flair hits Hogan with the intercontinental object, but Hogan kicks out at two for a great near fall and then does the full Hulk Up routine. The big leg drop comes next and that’s enough for the three count and the Title. The crowd loves it and goes nuts for the finish.
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: HULK HOGAN
If this had been modern day WWE they probably would have insisted Hogan do the job on his first night in to show that he was willing to do business, even though him winning was the right result. Think about that, even early 90’s WCW can book things better than WWE can these days!
The match itself was really good and delivered a satisfying clean finish to send the fans home happy. Obviously things wouldn’t remain rosy in the WCW garden once Hogan’s ego really started getting out of control and he filled the roster with all of his ex-WWF mates, but this was one heck of a first night and getting the belt on him early certainly gave the company a jolt. The problem was that they didn’t really have an opponent for him once the feud with Flair was done and when they finally did have one in Vader they allowed Hogan to no sell his devastating powerbomb finisher to make him look like a goober right out the gate.
Bash at the Beach 1995
Champ: Hulk Hogan w/ Jimmy Hart and Dennis Rodman Vs Vader
This was the payoff to Hogan’s disappointing feud with Vader, as they held this match on an actual Beach and clips from it would go on to be used in an episode of Baywatch. As mentioned already, Hogan pretty much killed Vader immediately by taking his devastating powerbomb move in an angle and popping up like the move didn’t even hurt, thus making Vader and everyone else who had been powerbombed up to that point look like an absolute plum. I mean, I get that no selling finishers was kind of Hogan’s thing, but if you ask me Vader was a special case who had plenty of other big moves that Hogan could no sell like the Pump Splash or running body attack, that would have still allowed Hogan to look like superman but would have protected Vader’s biggest move.
Hogan clobbers Vader in the early going, as I ponder how hot the ring canvas must have been due to it being out in the sun all day. Vader blocks a throw into the cage and gets one of his own before working Hogan over with his usual array of punches. Hogan quickly fights back after that and then decides that what this heated blood feud needs is some comedy, as he puts on Vader’s entrance mask attire and mocks him with it. I mean, I get that this is a super casual crowd so silly house show comedy spots would pop them, but this is a pay per view that everyone all over the world is watching and this is supposed to be a big hate filled rivalry. It’s about more than pops in the building sometimes.
The action itself is entertaining at least, and Hogan takes his licks as Vader splashes, punches and throws him around in his usual manner (Though he might have been taking it a bit easier on Hogan than he would normally). It’s hardly a technical classic or anything, but it’s a reasonably fun brawl inside the cage, with Vader even taking a huge bump by missing a back senton splash from the top rope. That one looked a tad unpleasant I must say. Hogan probably gets a tad too much offence at points considering his monster foe, but it’s generally fine and he does let Vader do a number of him for parts of it.
Hogan takes Vader down with an Axe Bomber and successfully gets the big body slam before collapsing in pain due to hurting his back. This actually allows Vader to get up first and then clothesline him, which is a nice little break from the usual Hogan formula, as normally they’d go straight to the finish from the big body slam. Hogan no sells a Vader splash from the second rope and then starts Hulking Up. Vader gets flung back and forth into the cage before taking the big boot and leg drop. Kevin Sullivan and Brutus Beefcake try to run down and help out Vader, but Rodman fends them off and Hogan drops another two leg drops before clambering out of the cage to win.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: HULK HOGAN
Quite similar to Hogan’s match with King Kong Bundy actually, as he spent a lot of the match giving the bigger heel a kicking and didn’t really do as much selling as you’d expect. It wasn’t a great match owing to the casual crowd and the fact that Vader didn’t really get a chance to put some serious heel heat on Hogan, but it was basically fine and it was entertaining for what it was.
Flair comes down to yell at Vader following the match, which leads to Vader beating up both him and Arn Anderson to seemingly turn face.
Bash at the Beach 1996
Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and ??? Vs Sting, Randy Savage and Lex Luger
Nash and Hall had left the WWF and moved over to WCW, so Eric Bischoff decided to make use of it by doing his own version of the New Japan Vs UWFi feud that he’d seen whilst in Japan, by acting like Hall and Nash were still WWF guys looking to come in and take WCW down. They were forced to tone it down a bit when the WWF legal team got involved, which led to Hall and Nash both openly admitting that they didn’t work for the WWF at Great American Bash. However, on the same show they powerbombed Bischoff through a table to heat the feud up further. WCW did an incredible job of booking them as a threat, actually needing police with guns to stop them at one stage. This all built to Sting, Luger and Savage teaming up to take on Hall, Nash and a mystery third man at BATB.
They use an instrumental very similar to “Crazy” by Seal for Hall and Nash’s theme, which sounds cool but doesn’t really suit them. That song is also incredibly 90’s isn’t it? In a nice touch the commentators are openly cheering against the heels because of their villainous goals, even including heel commentator Bobby Heenan, who would normally want the heels to win. The commentary team actually freak out when Hall and Nash come out without the third man, with Mean Gene even coming down to ask them who it is. They say they have enough with just the two of them right now, and demand that the faces come down to start the match. This is a great way of building suspense and I remember reading a Re-writing The Book over on Wrestlecrap where there wasn’t even a third man and they were just making it up to mess with the faces, which actually could have worked as a payoff. All the babyfaces have their faces painted like Sting to show that they are unified.
Luger gets a quick shine but Sting accidentally squishes him in the corner with a Stinger Splash, which leads to him getting taken away by medics. This not only makes it 2 on 2 now but it also plants another seed to try and make people thing that Luger could be the third man. Sting gets to batter Hall for a brief bit, but soon both he and Savage are getting taken apart by the heels. There is one notable botch where Savage tries to move out of the way of an elbow drop but he can’t quite manage it and Nash lands on top of his head and neck in a gnarly moment. Savage was lucky not to get badly hurt there. I’ve seen less conspicuous botches cause worse. Sting gets worked over for a while and sells it well, although the heat probably goes on for a bit too long and it starts to drag after a while. It does the job of making Hall and Nash look like dominant heels that are a genuine threat at least, which is exactly what they needed to do here.
Sting finally manages to make the hot tag to Savage and he briefly runs wild only for Nash to catch him with a low blow to take him out of proceedings just as he was getting motoring. This is Hulk Hogan’s cue to come down to the ring, ostensibly to help the WCW guys. However, it’s all a SWERVE, and one of the best ever for that fact, as Hogan drops the leg on Savage and high fives with Hall and Nash to reveal himself as the third man. Heenan ruined it a little bit by screaming “whose side is he on?” when Hogan came down, but it was in character for him at least seeing as he was always Hogan Hater In Chief. Hogan flings the ref out of the ring, leading to the match getting thrown out. I’m surprised they didn’t go the whole hog and have Hogan get a proper pin.
The match was basically one long heat segment, which wasn’t especially interesting to watch, but the storytelling was fantastic and began WCW’s run of dominance in the Monday Night War until they managed to ruin it for themselves in 1998 and 1999. Hogan cuts a big heel promo following the match, as fans fill the ring with rubbish, and dubs the group the New World Organisation. I’m still not sure if he just got it wrong or if it was originally supposed to be that but they realised New World Order sounded better. The gist is that Hogan was bored of being nice brother, and wanted to team up with Hall and Nash to take over the wrestling industry. As far as reasons go, that works well.
Bash at the Beach 1997
Hollywood Hogan and Dennis Rodman w/ Randy Savage Vs Lex Luger and The Giant
Rodman was a big celebrity name in the 90’s and WCW paid him a decent chunk of change to come in and become a heel with the nWo. This all led to him and Hogan teaming up to take on Luger and The Giant. Apparently neither Luger or Giant especially liked working with him, but Giant did what he was told whilst Hogan had to try and prevent Luger from doing something to him on a couple of occasions (This is all from Hogan’s 2002 book, so take it with an entire mill worth of salt seeing as that tome isn’t always known for its reliability).
Rodman and Hogan’s entrance feels like it goes on forever, and we get further stalling once the match starts, with Hogan doing the old “delay wrestling as long as possible to annoy the crowd” act like a pro. When the wrestling starts it’s simple fare, with shoulder blocks and the like, but the crowd seems to be okay with the whole “move, taunt, move, taunt” stuff going on. Rodman eventually gets a tag in and manages to catch Luger with an arm drag, which causes the crowd to explode and the commentators to lose their mind. Man, if every crowd was this easy then it’d extend plenty of careers.
Luger manages to survive this devastating arm drag and deliver a pair of his own to Rodman, which Rodman sells big time. To be fair, at least they are selling the move and not just treating it as an afterthought. Moves and holds are what you make them. The body slam used to be a finish because you were picking up a near 300 pound man and throwing him down to the mat from nearly 6 foot in the air. I buy that something like that would keep you down for 3 seconds if this wacky sport were real. Rodman manages to recover and gets some nice leap frogs, but Luger catches him with a clothesline and the crowd loves watching Rodman get creamed by basic stuff. Hey, if it works then it works!
Giant comes in for the first time and does some stuff with Hogan, no selling his offence and causing him to bail. It’s amazing how they have done basically nothing here yet they have the crowd in the palm of their hands. It’s a testament to what you can do when you make the most of everything I guess. Rodman comes in for some stuff with Giant, but gets caught in a bear hug and then spanked for good measure. There really seems to be genuine disdain from Giant towards Rodman, and it’s kind of great as it adds to the match. The heels actually work some heat on Giant of all people, which seems kind of nuts when he’s the bigger half of the face team. Rodman looks absolutely knackered by this stage, leaning over the rope whilst he waits in the corner. You can be in the best shape possible but there’s a definite difference between just being in shape and ring shape. It probably didn’t help that he was likely partying all night before he got there.
Giant manages the hot tag to Luger and he runs wild on the heels, even popping Savage at one point, but a Rodman cheap shot allows the heels to cut him off and he gets worked over for a bit. This match REALLY didn’t need a second heat segment lads, you’re not The Midnight and Rock ‘N’ Roll Expresses. Luger actually gets to kick out of Hogan’s leg drop in the heat, and it doesn’t really even get that much of a pop either, which is kind of weird. Giant gets the tag and runs wild, doing the old double noggin knocker to a big pop, but Kevin Nash in a Sting mask comes down to clock him with a baseball bat. It was clearly not Sting, due to Sting not being 7 foot tall, but the announcers have to pretend it’s really him, making them look stupid in the process. Luger wracks Hogan straight after though for the clean win and then wracks Rodman and Savage for good measure to give WCW an unusually strong win to close out a pay per view.
WINNERS: LUGER AND GIANT
Luger would defeat Hogan on Nitro for the WCW Title not too soon after this, so the finish actually had a purpose. The match itself wasn’t especially good but the crowd was into it and I like the fact they didn’t just do a #LolNwoWins finish, so I’ll be generous.
Bash at the Beach 1998
Hollywood Hogan and Dennis Rodman w/ The Disciple Vs Diamond Dallas Page and Karl Malone
They brought Rodman back for this one, although he was considerably more messed up this time and took it even less seriously than he did the first time. Malone was a basketball rival of Rodman, so him coming in for this match created a lot of buzz. It also gave DDP his first proper Main Event program after a decent year or so of being one of the few WCW guys who wasn’t booked to look like an absolute chump against the nWo guys every week. Hogan showed up on the day of the show and apparently demanded 25 minutes, and he got it because he’s Hogan, even though it was probably 15 minutes more than these four could probably do and keep it watchable.
Unlike Rodman, Malone was actually taking this seriously and was in great shape as well as being willing to have the best match he possibly could. There are lots of photographers and the like at ringside. I like to stick Thunder on in the background sometimes and I’ve been working my way through the 1998 episodes and I can confidently say that this is one of the best promotion jobs WCW ever did for a big pay per view Main Event. It ended up doing a good buy rate and you can definitely see why when you take into account that WCW rode that hype train pretty hard.
Rodman and Malone actually start us out and stall for a long time until Rodman tags out. You know, if two guys in the match are so limited that you have to stall for ages without actually doing anything, then maybe you don’t need 25 minutes for your match? Just a thought, Terry. Malone and Hogan go next, with Malone getting a nice body slam for a pop before tagging out. It looks like we might get DDP and Hogan, who are at least trained wrestlers and should be capable of running some spots together, but Rodman comes in instead as a boring chant goes on in the crowd. This match has been ludicrously dull, with nothing but stalling and roughly two actual moves done, and the crowd isn’t even that into it either.
Rodman is not so much on a different page but on a different planet to everyone else in the match, stumbling around and barely capable of doing anything. Even when he manages two leap frogs without bodging them up, he then stumbles into DDP to ruin whatever spot they had planned, causing the crowd to groan and murmur some boo’s. Malone is doing his best and actually doesn’t look terrible when you consider his level of experience, but he’s still in over his head here and it shows. Watching stuff like this gives me a whole new appreciation for the Lawrence Taylor and Kevin Greene’s of the world who are capable of going in there and entering serviceable performances. The bloke who plays Green Arrow on TV wasn’t that bad either, I remember enjoying that Summer Slam tag match he was in.
Hogan does some more stuff with Malone and keeps it simple by doing chokes and chin locks, and it’s boring but adequate for the most part. Rodman comes in to stumble around again; taking a tumble when he holds Malone so Hogan can punch him. DDP gets a tag and comes in with a nice clothesline off the top rope to Hogan, only to get cheap shotted by Rodman and worked over. Goodness me, call and audible and make that the hot tag so you can take it home lads, this match is dying on its arse! Hogan and Rodman continue to slowly work DDP over, with everything Rodman does looking terrible, until DDP is able to dodge a leg drop and make the tag to Malone, who actually does a decent hot tag segment in all fairness. He keeps it simple with clotheslines and slams, but he has good fire and the crowd gets into it.
Malone gets Hogan with his own big boot and then brings in DDP for the Diamond Cutter, but Rodman comes in to break up the pin attempt, so Malone comes in to Diamond Cut him. Whilst the ref tries to split them up, Disciple comes in with a Stunner to DDP, which allows Hogan to steal the pin. So not only did we sit through that turgid match, but they put the heels over too when they could have easily just had Malone pin Rodman so that Hogan didn’t need to do a job.
WINNERS: HOGAN AND RODMAN
I’ll give it half a star because Malone was really trying to do well and I got a kick out of his hot tag segment. Aside from that, this was one of the worst celebrity matches I’ve ever seen, with Malone well out of his depth despite his commendable attitude and Rodman being so far gone that if they tried to drug test him then his piss would likely melt the cup. A terrible match that went on for far too long and bored me senseless. One to avoid, it’s not even bad in an entertaining way, it’s just bad.
Bash at the Beach 1999
If Nash gets pinned then he loses the Title
WCW Champion Kevin Nash and Sting Vs Randy Savage and Sid w/ Gorgeous George, Miss Madness and Madusa
Sid had returned to WCW the previous month to assist Savage in a beat down of Nash, which had led to Nash forming a tenuous alliance with Sting. However, a fake Sting attacked Nash on an episode of Nitro which led to Nash thinking the real Sting was up to no good, so this match was made with Nash himself requesting the stipulation so he could find out whether Sting was trustworthy or not. There was also a subplot of Nash kidnapping George for 72 hours, which led to now the infamous “Send For The Man” moment where Savage slapped a corpsing Torrie live on television, in a moment that Maffew has immortalised forevermore. George shows up with a black eye here, with the implication that Savage has blamed her for her ordeal and given her a knuckle sandwich as a result, which was pretty tasteless even for this trashier period of wrestling.
George decides to go over to Nash’s corner before the match officially starts, which serves only to agitate Savage’s onions and distracts him so that Sting can lay a whupping on him. Sid comes in following that and clubs away at Sting with his usual dazzling display of hokey offence, including some terrible punches. Sid had been on national television for over a decade by this stage too, so to be this awful with that amount of experience is almost impressive in a sick kind of way. Madusa and Madness get involved when the opportunity presents itself, as Sting gets worked over. Nash actually hasn’t even officially been in the match yet, as Sid outright steals the Steiner Recliner to use as a rest hold. I bet Scott Steiner loved that.
Sting makes his own comeback and tags in Nash, who runs wild on the heels, delivering a pretty lousy side slam to Sid because the big man sandbags him on it. Seriously, you have to TRY to go up heavy on a side slam, you don’t even have to jump that much for it! Sting tags back in and fights with Savage outside the ring, but stupidly goes for a Stinger Splash onto the railing and misses, leading to him taking a second heat segment. So yeah, they’re doing a double heat on the SAME person. That’s all kinds of awful. Eventually Sting and Sid bonk heads, which leads to Sting falling head first into the Eudy’s before making the tag.
Nash comes in as things break down, leading to both Madness and Madusa coming into the ring. This doesn’t result in a DQ for whatever reason, so Sting batters both of the women instead before going nuts with Stinger Splashes. Sting and Sid end up heading to the floor and distracting the ref, which leads to George coming in to hit Nash right in his Jack Knife. Oh yes, it was all a SWERVE. However, George does such a horrible job of delivering the low blow the first time around that Nash doesn’t even register it, so she has to do it again. Savage heads up for the elbow drop and Sid keeps Sting at bay so that Savage can win the World Title.
WINNERS: SAVAGE AND SID (SAVAGE WINS THE WCW TITLE)
Yet another stinker, as Sting was the only one who was seemingly trying to have a good match and he wasn’t capable of carrying the other three men on his own. The finish was an absolute mess too. Savage lifts the old Elizabeth victory pose by carrying George on his shoulders whilst she holds the belt. His reign would last all of a day as Hollywood Hogan would beat him the next night on Nitro and he would then move on to a feud with Dennis Rodman of all people.
Bash at the Beach 2000
Champ: Jeff Jarrett Vs Booker T
Jarrett was supposed to be facing Hogan for the Title here, but he had laid down for The Hulkster earlier in the night, which had led to Hogan storming out of the building and Vince Russo cutting a scathing “shoot” promo on him. How much of this was planned and how much of it wasn’t isn’t really clear, but what is clear is that Hogan was annoyed enough by it all that he filed a lawsuit. With Hogan gone, Russo named Booker T as the new #1 contender and that match was set up to close the show.
They’ve done all sorts of things to the audio here, which makes me think the fans are chanting things they shouldn’t be so they’ve edited it out. Whether that was WCW or WWE who did it I couldn’t say. We get the traditional babyface shine, as Booker out wrestles Jarrett before the fight heads outside for our mandatory brawl in the crowd, because it’s a Main Event in the Attitude Era and basically all of them had one of those. They brawl back down to ringside, where Jarrett piledrives Booker on the announce table before throwing him back inside to work some heat.
Booker twice fights out of a sleeper and gets one of his own in reply, but Jarrett counters that into a knee crusher and goes for the Figure Four. Booker counters that into an inside cradle, but Jarrett kicks out at two and gets the hold on the second attempt. The crowd is in to Booker and wants him to win, so WCW at least made a star out of him thanks to this whole debacle. Booker fights out of the hold and then gets the Axe Kick before following up with the 110th Street Slam for two. Jarrett ducks a jumping side kick and the referee gets squished in the corner.
Jarrett brings in the Title belt with the ref down, but Booker takes it off him and hits him with it for two from the revived referee. Jarrett tries bringing in a chair next and props it up in the corner, but Booker sends him into it for another two. Jarrett just outright attacks the referee next by giving him The Stroke before heading up to brain Booker with a guitar (possibly not drawing a single dime in the process) but Booker catches him with a Book End on the way down, which gets a three count from a replacement referee.
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: BOOKER T
Good match, although it felt a bit rushed. Booker’s reign would hardly be booked well, but getting the belt certainly gave him a boost and worked well as a launching pad to a decent WWE career once WCW finally bit the dust.
A couple of good matches, some middling ones and a couple of atrocious ones. Definitely a “mixed bag” if there ever was one. I’d recommend watching the 96 and 97 events as they both have good matches on their respective under cards and the Main Events are good enough that they don’t spoil the show overall. Beach Blast 92 also has some absolute gems on it, even though it tapers off at the end. Aside from those events, you probably don’t need to go out of your way too much to delve into the BATB archives on WWE Network.
I’ll hopefully see you all next week when we begin the Summer Slam Main Event reviews with 1988 to 1992!